Mad Men Season 5 Thoughts So Far

Well, we’re four episodes into Mad Men and it’s been quite a season already. Pete’s clearly unhappy, Don’s surprisingly (suspiciously?) happy, Roger’s showing his uselessness, Joan’s being awesome, Betty’s turning into everything she hated and Peggy’s…well, Peggy. Between reading my pal Sean Collins’ posts, talking to my wife and reading Tom and Lorenzo’s post recaps and fashion explorations of the episodes I not only don’t feel compelled to blog every episode, but also I’m noticing all kinds of other things that I might have missed. The following are a few random ideas that have either popped into my head or been put there by someone else. Hit the jump if you’re curious.Someone’s going out a window. The first scene this season featured another ad agency throwing water and civil rights protestors (for, not against) and there have been several other references to what I always assumed was just a clever representation of Don’s inability to stay in control of his life in a real way as seen in the credits and on advertising. At one point, Roger even says that he’s been thinking of throwing things through the giant window in his office.

Speaking of Roger, dude needs to actually do something. Looks like all those years of sitting back and doing seemingly nothing. Walking around with a drink and a quip can only keep your name on the door so long, right? Seriously, John Slattery does more ad work in the 30 second car spots I see during the commercial breaks than Roger does in a season.

Hey, speaking of which, WHAT DOES BURT COOPER DO?! Anyone?

I love that Ken’s writing and won’t let Roger put a stop to it. He’s like Don in a sense that he’s creating these alternate identities for himself, but unlike Don, he’s doing it to follow a creative passion instead of avoiding something. He’s running towards a dream, not away form a nightmare.

I mentioned above that Betty has turned into everything she hates. She’s overweight (and without a good reason), she’s living in the least modern house imaginable and, as my lovely wife pointed out, she’s about as far away from the night life of Manhattan as possible. Does anyone know where she and her husband actually live? We tried figuring it out, but came up empty.

So glad Joan kicked her asshole husband to the curb and got back to work. I hope she can keep her mother from playing with her head too much, she’s a trouble maker.

Sally was awesome in the previous episode, by the way. I didn’t know specifically about the crimes she wanted to get more information about, but that’s a landmark moment of childhood that I think most people can relate to: wanting to hear about what grown ups know only to find out that you might not be quite ready for everything adults know.

I believe TLo pointed this out in their post about the first episode of the season, but they mentioned that the train car Pete rides doesn’t look so hot and is kind of a hint towards the crappification of New York City from glistening metropolis to the hellish hole it would become in the 70s. My wife’s noticed this more than I, but I have noticed a general sense of disillusionment this season, especially as it focuses more and more on the atrocious crimes being perpetrated and reported on so heavily.

I don’t know what’s happening with Lane, but I think I like it.

I KNOW I like Don’s new wife and all the style and modernity she brings to the show. Mod!

I also like Peggy this season. I hadn’t thought of the discrimination/barrier-breaking similarities between herself and the African American secretary, but I literally slapped my forehead in realization when she commented on it in the last episode. Also, something is clearly going to happen between her and the new kid.

Okay, here’s the last bit and my wife gets all the credit for this one. We’ve been talking about the out-the-window thing all season and tonight, after Pete’s experiences (made all the worse by the fact that he is a walking, talking ego that has been not bruised but beaten worse than his face by Lane) it might be him taking the swan dive. But then my wife said that she thinks he’s going to shoot somebody. They made a very specific point of mentioning in this episode that he has a shotgun at work. Does that mean he’ll shoot Lane for making him look a fool in front of Don, Roger and Burt? Might it be someone else? I guess it could have been a red herring thrown in to distract us from the window motif, but who says the falling man didn’t get shot first?

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