Monday, September 13, 2010

Mad Men Review: Public Relations

Nearly a year after Shut the Door. Have a Seat. took place, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce has somehow made it to unparalleled success. Don Draper is in the prime of his business career, and though he hasn't been with the company since the beginning, he's practically the face of the company. However, his life is just in the beginning of a near endless free-fall out of control. He's been forced to move away from his children, and he can no longer really be a part of their lives. His only vice is his liquor, and though he tries to conceal his desperation, it's clear that he's a shadow of the man he could've been.

This episode shows the intense stakes on a much quieter fashion. After Don behaves a little too modestly during a newspaper interview, he is unexpectedly put on the fire for not promoting any of his clients. It's understandable that Don is trying to be respectable, but when you're having an interview you have respond like you're, for lack of a better response, having an interview. Then again, even at the top of his game, he's being shot from all angles. You see him trying to sell a genius advertisement to a bathing suits company, and despite his indispensable charm, he's shot down. This isn't a great week for Don, a man who's about to hit a few more rock-bottoms.

Meanwhile, Pete and Peggy try to put to boost sales for one of their clients by staging a fight between two actresses over their product. It's an immediate contrast to Dons talk about taking risks, as we see them getting the company into a bit of trouble. However, the highlight of this week is still Don, and the night he gets with his kids is shown in a manner as distanced as Don feels. Everything he had is slowly slipping away, and he can barely do anything besides watch it happen. It really points us in the direction the first half of the season is going to take, and the music tacked onto the end credits really puts us in the position to believe this season is going to have some real fireworks.

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