Thoughts on Mad Men: Season 7, Severance (SPOILERS)

IMAGE CREDIT: Photo by Michael Yarish/AMC

SPOILERS BELOW!

I’m going to continue my Mad Men day after posts. And I’m going to try to post early the day after, but this episode had me reeling, so it’s late. Late, late, late. Blame the moosetaches!! Listen, the sheer number of moosetaches (yes, I’m taking spelling liberties so you’ll understand what I shout in my head or out loud whenever one tries to steal the scene, because I feel it’s warranted based on the ludicrous aspect of these top-lip riders I was forced to endure through the entire episode), threw me entirely out of the episode until Rachel appeared during Don’s dream sequence. And then I spent the whole time from when Rachel appeared up until we discovered that she was dead, shipping Don and Rachel. Again. Because I always thought she was his lobster. I did have to giggle when his secretary said she was going to get Don a sandwich when she saw he was upset about hearing she was dead.

And then I ruminated on the fact that Don watched Bert perform a stockinged-foot, obvi, dance number posthumously and now was spending brief but flirty time with Rachel, also, posthumously, so what did that mean? Had Don started hitting the serious drugs, no doubt with Rog’s encouragement? Was this some strange inter-network crossover tv event where the ghost hunter crew was going to stop by for some silly hijinks and mess up my show? Was someone going to die next? Well, obviously, the deaths are portentous, and now I’m extremely worried about my boy, Ken. Also, I’m really going to need Ken to wear that eyepatch 24/7, because I’m getting weirded out for the actor by the sight of that eye. And that’s saying something because that was during his I-don’t-button-my-pj-top scene where I made sure to focus on his pecticles just in case he was equally lackadaisical about his pj pants, and we were going to have a twig and berries sighting. But back to Ken’s weird eye in that scene. It looked glued shut or something. Let’s keep the eyepatch on for everyone’s sake. Don’t go method, Aaron, and take a sharp object to it to be all super serious about your craft. Dude, there are only six eps. left. Eyepatch. All the time. So, it took two rewatches for me to figure out how to block out the moosetaches, focus and actually take in stuff. And hoo boy, I know I missed so much even still. I cannot wait to start reading what everybody else wrote, so I’ll know what actually happened during that slightly schizo episode. (I’m not complaining. There’s a lot of setting up to do, people. We only have six eps left to wrap this whole mess up. I’m not sure why Ken’s chestage got so much air time as I hardly feel it’s going to be a major player in the end game, but I’m not Matthew Weiner.) Anyway, here’s the lightning round:

Notes

  • I always thought Rachel was the only woman that was the right match for Don, but the timing when they met was completely wrong. He was far too immature to understand that he needed a fully ego-formed, independent woman who knew exactly what she wanted. She was confident and mature. And the bittersweetness of watching him realize how right the path not taken would have been cross his face as he looked over at her children was extremely impactful. I’m continually amazed at what Hamm is able to convey with facial expression alone. What I saw in Don’s expression was the realization that he has chosen the wrong path that leads to his destruction every time, and this is the first time that I’ve seen that fundamental truth really resonate with him. I’ve seen him continue to reach the realization that he keeps messing up and needs to clean that slate again, but this is the first time that it appears that he really understands that it’s his actions and his actions alone that have created each destructive path.
  • Ken. It’s not looking good for my favorite. I love Pete’s brand of crazy misanthrope, but if we need to throw someone off the building, I choose Pete over Ken. And come on. The wine spill. Yikes that made me nervous. Portent. Watch your back, Kenny. However, his last piece of business with Rog and Pete was AWESOME!! Yes, I did pump my fist in the air. Luckily, I was alone. Unfortunately, I did just confess this embarrassing fact to you.
  • OK. Time to talk about the scene with Pegs and Joan in the elevator. I’ll get this part all wrong. I can’t wait to read what others say about this, but here goes. I’m not even going to give the McCann idiots in the conference room the time of day. Pathetic. I just hope that Joan gets revenge for having to sit through that bilious bullshit. There’s not enough time in the day to unpack that little exchange between Peggy and Joan in the elevator. But I felt so much for Joan there. Even looking up there, you can tell that Joan isn’t dressed at all inappropriately. Well, I guess she could have worn a sack. That would have been quite business-like. The point is this. Joan is always dressed very office-appropriate. Is her body gorgeous? Of course it is. I’m not going to pretend it’s not. But she is dressing nothing like Peggy is insinuating that she is. And really, so what if she was dressed more “provocatively” as long as it met company dress code guidelines? Would that make it ok for the men to remark constantly and with no regard to her obvious annoyance on her body in a meeting clearly intended to be focused on business? No. But that’s not even the case here. And Peggy has no sympathy for her. What’s interesting is that Peggy throws that last bit out about all the money Joan now has after the McCann deal as a misdirection ploy. Peggy finally got how really upset Joan was and realized that she was not much better than the McCann men in the end if she was brushing off how what Joan dealt with was similar to what Peggy experienced. As rough as Peggy as had it, she has garnered a great deal of respect from her peers and her reports. And it was clear in that meeting with the McCann bozos that all of their comments were directed only at Joan. Joan will never escape that type of attention. It’s an extra cross that Joan must bear in addition to what Peggy experiences. It was a sad commentary on how women can have trouble supporting each other when we are busy dealing with our own injustices, but I think Peggy will rectify this. She has done so in the past. She’ll have a tone-deaf reaction to something, but she knows how to reflect on her mistake and at least try to make things right.
  • Stan!! I heart Stan. Still shipping Stan and Pegs even though that date was a lot of fun to watch. Peggy was so overdue.

 

Joan and Peggy vs. McCann-Erickson? #MadMen #AMC

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