Posted by: pop-break | May 27, 2013

Mad About Mad Men: ‘The Better Half’

jason stives is mad as hell …

MADMENHEADER

Plot: It’s drama central on Mad Men. Don and Megan are in crisis (of sorts), Abe and Peggy break up (finally), Roger wants to finally be a father to his and Joan’s baby (kinda late to the party) and Betty is hot Betty again (nice).

The Bed and Booze Count: two flasks, a couple glasses of wine and one insanely unexpected bedding.

Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC

Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC

The Supporting Scene Stealer: I gotta hand it to Megan in how she handled herself this week in dealing with both Arlene and Don even though the latter didn’t have any direct effect on her this week. The final moments between her and Don in their apartment showed a character very level headed and in control of her life and her feelings. When she tells Don she misses him all the time when he says he just happened to miss her after cheating on her (again) it felt like sticking the knife in Don unintentionally (no pun intended).

The Best Part of the Episode: I really liked Don’s interactions with Betty even if they had damaging results. Something about watching them interact with Bobby without a huge dash of sarcasm was nice and the moment they share out in front of their rooms drinking I found very touching but of course it led to a turn of events that didn’t quite sit well with me.

The Part we could’ve done Without: What was the point of Rogers storyline? I don’t know why but I feel like he has just been wandering this season but his immature actions with his daughter and Joan
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The Little Thing We Loved: I hesitate to say Pete’s interactions with Joan was my favorite moment but despite how much of a snake he is he seemed to be truly lost in his own museum at the agency. It didn’t come across as brown nosing and by the end when Bob Benson offered to help him out I actually saw a level of sympathy in Pete Campbell. Man, I never thought I would say that.

Final Thoughts:  Ok, apologies for my initial contribution to this week’s piece that went up last night as I was very tired after being up for 22 hours so my thoughts ran away with me. In spite of seeming like I really disliked this episode I realize now it came down to the composition rather than the actual story and “The Better Half” was a rather interesting episode. You are dealing with people this week who are unaware that the people they rely on the most aren’t always there for them when they are acting rather irrational. AV Club’s review pointed out that this was all about safety nets and I am inclined to agree. Peggy in particular had her safety net disappear after Abe left her and honestly who can blame him for leaving her. Peggy has always come off strong but she takes for granted the cushion she has by being with someone. She clearly likes Ted but that’s because she sees power in Ted much like what Don has and with Abe not willing to give up the description of his attackers it showed weakness in her eyes even though it was human nature. With Abe gone she is alone again in a big agency and everything seems so unfamiliar to her despite being around the same people she has known for ages but they are all changing. I think the way the scenes were cut together this week is what bothered me and everything jumped around too frequently hence my knee jerk reaction to not like this episode but there was a lot of development and overall it was a rather good episode.

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