Thoughts on Mad Men: Season 7, The Runaways (SPOILERS)

IMAGE CREDIT: Photo by Michael Yarish/AMC

SPOILERS BELOW!

We’re done with the Sharon Tate craziness now, right? Right?

I hope you had fun with your Sharon Tate shenanigans in this episode, Weiner. Right down to having Megan dancing with the Charles Manson lookalike. When Stephanie picked up the steak knife, I thought, “Here it comes.” I was so whipped into a frenzy that I was completely blindsided by the real horror laying in wait for us. Discovering just how deep poor Ginsberg’s mental illness ran was terribly sad, and those scenes were very effective. It was a horrifically successful way to humanize Peggy again, as well. When Peggy says, “It’s just a computer!” she’s saying it to calm Ginsberg down. But it’s an incantation. She knows that Ginsberg’s fear has crossed into irrationality, and, of course, will later discover what’s really going on with him. But she’s afraid of what the computer means for her career. It must have been difficult to keep a healthy perspective when those early computers arrived on the scene. And the size would have made them even more intimidating.

I found it surprising that Harry spilled to Don. Was it all because he didn’t want Don to tell his wife about his date? It just seems like Harry is riding a nice wave of power with Cutler, and the last thing he should want to do is confide anything to Don that could jeopardize that. Of course, Harry is an insufferable braggart, so being in the know must have been impossible for him to resist revealing to Don. So, I probably just answered my own question. It’s not surprising that Harry has overestimated his influence with Cutler as he assures Don that he will do everything he can to save him, but it IS interesting to hear how much he’s been involved in some key conversations. Additionally, I was instantly curious about who was onboard the “Chaough is useless” bandwagon. The entire conversation between Harry and Don was interesting not only because the information was pivotal for Don, but because Don had to do very little (other than keep his poker face) to acquire it.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of.” – Cutler to Lou about Don. Not so fast Cutler. Never underestimate Don’s ability to navigate out of a tight spot and turn a roadblock into an opportunity. Lou is completely outmatched, and you might be, too, if Don can stay out of the bottle, and Megan can stop with the sex games that just might pull Don back into his past. Seeing Don get a couple of opportunities to best Lou this episode were certainly welcome. First, watching Don laugh at Lou’s attempts to compare himself to Bob Dylan, and second at the end by showing up at the Philip Morris meeting and outmaneuvering Cutler and Lou by offering to resign but giving solid reasons for why everyone might want him to stay and work on the campaign.

Thoughts:

  • When Don walks into the Phillip Morris meeting, all I can think is has he ever been up against a more hostile crowd? I thought his reasoning was sound, but I was far more focused on the body language of Cutler and Lou. They looked incredibly weak and defenseless as Don made his play. I wasn’t surprised to see that from Lou, but I was very much surprised to see Cutler look so cowed. I think if we’re keeping score, it’s only fair to say this one went to Don. And I didn’t begrudge him enjoying his moment in the sun when Cutler and Lou came out. He got in his digs and slammed the door in Cutler’s face when Cutler snitted, “You think this is going to save you, don’t you?” And Waylon Jennings plays us out with a little “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line” and all is well. Watching the previews for next week which shows Don looking like he’s waking up in someone else’s bed appears to mean that we’ve got another backslide coming.
  • I was worried about what Megan’s threesome might do for Don’s mojo. I was certain that it would throw him right back into flashback mode, and we would see a quick backslide. I suspect that Megan thinks that this is how you make Don happy. He won’t stray if you bring an extra woman into the bedroom with you. But we know more about what makes him tick, and sex is not about closeness for Don. That last look on her face as Don leaves was difficult for me to decipher. I don’t know if it was that she was regretting last night’s activities, or if she is disappointed that he still won’t tell her the details about what is going on at work.
  • I’m bored with Betty and Henry. I think Betty definitely represents a certain woman struggling with the rapid changes of those times. I watch her and the character resonates, but I think everything that needs to be said has been said already with that character. I’d much rather watch the other storylines. I’m so interested to see what’s going to happen with Sally both as she relates to her father and as she navigates her teen years. I’d really like to see much more of the office dynamics. I’m just finding myself more and more irritated whenever Betty and Henry’s storyline eats into the meager minutes of the show that we have remaining.
  • Here’s yet another reason I don’t really understand the animosity we’ve seen thrown Don’s way. Exasperation and annoyance, sure. I understand the anger when he blew Hershey’s, of course. I just don’t understand why, after all this time, it still burns so bright and hot. I would understand a calm, reasoned attack to get him out, not one fraught with all of this emotion. When he’s not drunk, he’s been reliably decent to people. Important caveat: as long as you’re not married to/sleeping with him. When he tells his secretary to change his plans and book him on the later flight as he’ll be working late, she says she’ll cancel her plans. He makes it clear that she’s not to do so.

One thought on “Thoughts on Mad Men: Season 7, The Runaways (SPOILERS)

  1. I didn’t know anything about Sharon Tate! I missed that entirely! And I’m fascinated by Betty. She is mean to her kids, but I can’t figure her out. Like I can’t figure out Don. Or Megan. Their relationship seems superficial to me, and formal somehow. The awful threesome. Ghaaa! Awkward breakfast for sure! And Ginsburg! Poor bastard! That shocked me! I think we are all grappling with new stuff all the time, and I’ll bet everyone is worried about their jobs. Especially secretaries, which really don’t even exist anymore, do they! Love your writing!

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