Tuned In

Mad Men Watch: Still on Vacation Edition

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I’m on vacation even as I write this. The things I do for you people! I got episode 4 of Mad Men before leaving but didn’t have time to write a full-fledged Watch, so think of these as starting points, then fledge them yourselves:

* So after all the discussion of That Scene last week, we have Don shoving Betty in mid-argument. Does the violence still seem out of character, or are we seeing cracks in whatever dam Don’s managed to erect over the years? “Do you think you’d be the man you are today if your father didn’t hit you?” Betty asks him. Maybe he’s the man he is today despite the fact that his father hit him, and he’s in danger of losing control of that man.

* Additional Sopranos parallel: the protagonist refusing to discipline his son the way he was by his own dad—trying not to repeat his father’s mistakes, but in the process making new ones of his own.

* “There is no such thing as American history. There’s only a frontier. That crash happened to somebody else.” Don does his best work when he’s projecting.

* The best compliment I can pay Colin Hanks is that I didn’t find him half as distracting as I expected him to as Peggy’s priest; he filled the role well, I thought. (I do notice he’s starting to sound eerily like his dad.) I’m as interested to see what happens with his (apparently) progressive, Vatican II priest as with the now-surfaced tensions between Peggy and her sister. (Loved the moment with Peggy’s mom chiding him for not saying grace the way she expects a priest to.)

* Speaking of which: excellent last moment, as played by both Hanks and Elisabeth Moss. How heavy does that Easter egg look in her hand?

OK, back to my hammock.