TV Review: Mad Men 704 – The Monolith

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Mad Men uses its middle episode of this half season to turn Don, Roger and SC&P, definitively, towards the future.

Don’s been back for three weeks and hasn’t done a lick of work, he’s basically a ticking time bomb at this point. So when Don gets put under the direction of Peggy and dressed down by Cooper of all people to know his role, Don risks everything by going on his first bender of the season. Luckily, he calls his only friend, Freddy Rumsen, who swoops in and takes Don home to sober up. The speech Freddy gives Don the next morning is exactly the final kick he, hopefully, needs as Don stops feeling sorry for himself and does the work. I expected the show to maybe dwell on this transition a bit, but a bit of foreboding with the computer and kick in the ass from the shows ex-drunk seems to be all Don needed. It’s amazing that he has nothing at SC&P other than a distant supporter in Pete and an office of a dead guy. I think Lou is going to shoot himself in the foot at this pace though, we will see in the coming weeks.

Roger’s trip to rescue his daughter was an odd diversion for the show, and while it served as a reminder that the hippie life is, ultimately, not for him, it also took up quite a bit of screen time. Slaterly is great as always, and Margaret’s descent is a little unsettling, but I’m curious how this is going to play out going forward. I can’t see the ramifications this is going to have on the show at this point, but I have faith Weiner knows what he is doing.

Peggy’s battle with Don is an obvious one and it didn’t get nearly as interesting as I thought it would. She stands down and I was just as disappointed in that as I was Don tossing back that not Coke can. She has to stand up for herself sooner or later and I wondered she might be the one who takes Lou out. She’s going to blow sooner or later and if Don shows her respect and does the work, it won’t matter where the money is coming from.

A bit of a brief review, but not a lot going on this week. Sad to see the Creative Pool go, but it’s all about transitions this week, I just wish they weren’t the obvious ones. Don, Peggy and Roger all have a lot of room to grow, but I’m not quite sure this was the best showcase of it. Depending on where these last three episodes go will inform us on the importance of this week, but I think we have a strong favorite for the weakest entry of the final season.

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One thought on “TV Review: Mad Men 704 – The Monolith

  1. Yea, I thought the whole thing with Roger’s daughter was an odd diversion…. It seems just like gratuitous 60’s hippie commune stuff thrown in for good measure. I also don’t get why Don has so little support from his long-time co-workers.

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