Posted by: pop-break | April 14, 2013

TV Recap: Mad About Men, ‘The Collaborators’

bill bodkin and jason stives pour a drink …

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The Low Down: Jaguar and Heinz campaigns throw monkey wrenches into the world of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Don (Jon Hamm) and Sylvia (Linda Cardellini) continue their affair while Megan (Jessica Pare) reveals she had a miscarriage. Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) cheats on Trudy (Alison Brie) with a neighbor which results in a situation of domestic abuse. Peggy (Elisabeth Olsen) tries to become less of a demanding boss.

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The Bed and Booze Count: 11 drinks, 3 beddings (1 exchange of money).

Favorite Performance: Jon Hamm, as always, is just brilliant as Don Draper. How many times has Don had these life-altering moments? By now it should be so tired, but Hamm just sells it beautifully. Handsome and talented, you sir are a jerk. –BB

Trudy Campbell (Alison Brie) gets this week’s best performance. For a long time she has seemingly played the clueless, idealistic wife but confronting Pete the way she did was a sock to the stomach. There was no remorse and no hesitation in how she felt about wanting a divorce and Alison Bree gets a gold star for the amount of emotion she put behind it. –JS

The Supporting Scene Stealer: Alison Brie killed it for the time ever in this series. Her brief scene with Pete at the end of the episode where she throws him out of the house was absolutely awesome. When she promises to destroy Pete if he pees within 50 miles of the house … might’ve been one of the best lines in Mad Men history. –BB

This is a tie for me. Both Trudy AND Ms. Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) get the scene stealer moments. While once again her time on screen this week was minimal, I quite enjoyed Joan’s jabs at Herb when he cast a shadow over her office doorway, as she so elegantly put. –JS

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The Best Part of The Episode: Don’s pitch to the heads of Jaguar was perfect. He was so smarmy and disingenuous with the way he ‘supported’ the local Jaguar dealer’s idea to do local radio and TV ads. Hamm has really upped his performance game this year and this is a scene that should end up on the Mad Men highlight reel of 2013. –BB

The cinema junkie in me loved Dons exchange with Sylvia in the restaurant about what he wanted to do to her. The cutting back and forth between their conversation and said bedding with the music escalating was incredibly well done even if it seemed a bit cheesy with the music. –JS

The Part We Could’ve Done Without: A young Dick Whitman watching his pregnant mother having sex with his ‘uncle’ who took them in. One of the few vomit-inducing scenes in the show’s history. –BB

Domestic abuse storylines are never welcomed but tossing an incredibly douchey Pete Campbell in the middle of one makes it even worse. –JS

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The Little Thing We Loved: This is a real odd one, but I popped huge for the use of “Just a Gigolo” during the final scene. As a fan of the David Lee Roth cover (and for those who didn’t know it was a cover, now you do), this was both a chuckle-inducing inclusion as well as the perfect song to score Don’s current status in life. –BB

I’m not too sure there was anything I LOVED per say but once again Trudy kicking Pete to the curb had its merits. I also really enjoyed the exchange between Don, Roger, and Pete about Munich and Pete’s completely oblivious understanding of it. Classic. –JS

Final Thoughts: First things first — “The Collaborators” proves that Jon Hamm knows how to direct. He helmed this episode and it was very impressive especially since this was such a Don heavy episode. Like Jason mentioned the restaurant scene was brilliantly shot and edited. Also, Pete has really become a great and not annoying character, which seemed like it was taking forever to do. I’m also (finally) digging the direction they’re taking Peggy. –BB

The secrets and lies nature of “The Collaborators” made for a series of uncomfortable moments orchestrated by a lot of doers and very few thinkers. Megan’s world is clearly starting to fall to pieces and what she has isn’t what she wants anymore. Same could be said of Don last week but his infidelity with Sylvia has progressed and a point of no return may be in sight but the great thing about Don is he is constantly messed up inside. The final moments of tonight’s episode slumped against the wall outside his apartment shows the duel lives are getting to him. While Don still has some good in him, Pete Campbell has gone head first into asshole ville and can’t go back. I will be curious to see where Mr. Campbell’s life goes from here on out but rest assured it probably won’t be fun to watch. Good week to further plot points not necessarily as good as last week but still chugging along. –JS

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