Mad Men Episode 505: Recap & Review

Mad Men Season 5 Episode PhotosEpisode 505 is a beautiful character study picking apart the life of one Pete Campbell. In the suburbs all is not well. He’s a bred and borne city kid, and he’s having a hard time adapting to the suburban life style. Like the continuous discordant drips of the leaky kitchen faucet, Pete’s life continues on and on, but to what end? In writing, he has it all. He is an important member who is continuously bringing in clients, has a beautiful home, a charming wife, and a new child. He should be feeling like a king, but something’s off. He’s bored and restless of country life. Not only that, he’s downright depressed. During the whole episode he constantly mentions examples of death and tragedy. He talks of keeping guns in the house. It’s been two weeks since the brutal deaths in Chicago, and now there’s been a shooting at a University in Texas as well as news of plane crashes. The Mad Men universe is no longer what it used to be in terms of predictability. Time slips by in a moment and now the world is full of random events.

The one modicum of  learning some control over life and death is scoffed at in the beginning of the episode. Pete’s in a driver’s education class in a local high school during a showing of “Signal 30,” a staple traffic safety film shown in driver’s ed classes all over the nation. As the sounds and images of the carnage of real life traffic accidents are played over the projector, Pete laughs at the film’s campiness, winning a smile from the attractive blonde in a few seats ahead of him. He slowly gazes over body, from neck, breasts, bare legs and feet. Rather than learning how to navigate safely, he becomes preoccupied with attracting the attentions of an underage female. He openly flirts with her and flaunts his moneyed background in an attempt to reel her in, and constantly asks her for a free Sunday. She’s something new, something young, and something he can use to satiate his boredom. He’s tried buying happiness but as lovely as his new stereo is to sounding just like “a tiny orchestra,” it’s not enough. More than anything what does a king want? An adoring audience. He’s found someone that could possibly fill that role.

What about Trudy? As mentioned by Pete in the season opener, there used to be a time when she wouldn’t be caught dead with a robe outside the house. She’s no longer wearing frilly negligees to bed, but loose fitting sleeping gowns and hair rollers. She’s no longer calling him at the office and asking what he’d like to eat for dinner, and nor does she wait for him to come home. She’s (rightly) preoccupied with keeping their house a beautiful home and their new child. She doesn’t have time to stroke his ego.

Mad Men Season 5 Episode Photos

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Mad Men Episode 504: Recap & Review

Mad Men Season 5 Episode PhotosEpisode 504 “Mystery Date” was a resounding clap of thunder that I’m sure, quickly silenced all the haters who have said that there hasn’t been much going on in the show of late. Murders, violence, meeting the many women of your new husband’s philandering past, deadbeat rapist husbands, racism, terrifying step-mothers, its got it all.

For Don, his past has come back to haunt him. The very first scene of the episode is of Megan and a cold-ridden Don stepping into an elevator, where Andrea a former fling, soon steps in and starts openly flirting with Don until he introduces Andrea to his less than pleased wife. As Andrea steps off the elevator, Megan exasperatingly says “How many times is this going to happen?” During an aspirin raid in the kitchen, Don tries to talk to Megan about the incident. Don explains that  “It was a long time ago and I was unhappy.” Megan cynically retorts “Because you were married”, and follows up with “You’re married to me now…and that kind of careless appetite, you can’t blame that on Betty.” She calls him on his bull, stating that regardless of the state of his marriage, Don still sexed up the majority of women found in Midtown. After a meeting with a client, where Don sits back and lets the newest rising star in the office, the newly hired Michael Ginsberg of the last episode, make a pitch. Afterwards, he calls Megan where she tells him to go home and rest.

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Mad Men Episode 503: Recap & Review

Mad Men Season 5 Episode PhotosYup, this addition of Recap & Review is super belated, but better late than never right?

The third episode of the season was Betty-ful. I think it was rather smart of the Mad Men team to not have Betty and the goings of the Francis Household in the season premiere as Betty is such a downer. I sympathized with Betty when she was with Don as she seemed but one story of the thousands of women who had similar upbringings and situations during the 50s and 60s. However, when the situation remained unchanged even after she became Mrs. Francis, you can’t help to realize that she’s nothing more than a horrible mother with a frigid and childish personality.

There are many Betty haters out there, but I have to admit, this episode made her an iota more likable.

The beginning of the episode had a great visual parallel. Sally and Bobby  (poor Bobby he’s been replaced so many times) are seen struggling with zipping up the back of Betty’s dress. Failing, Betty crawls into bed and blows off Henry and his important Junior League of America meeting for the fourth time in a row. In the very next immediate scene, we see Don quickly and easily zipping up the back of Megan’s dress. Betty’s life post-Don is still full of baggage while Don’s life (so far as we’ve seen) has turned a complete 180 and has no snags nor bumps.

Betty has turned into a fat ice queen. She’s now overweight and throughout the episode is shown eating. When she was Mrs. Draper, she was rarely shown partaking in any sort of meal. After fixing dinner for her family or for parties, she would chain-smoke endlessly and guzzle down red wine. Betty’s an incredibly vain individual who was bred to be a beauty queen and a trophy wife. There’s nothing attractive about her other than her physical beauty. Henry’s mother summed it up best last season. “I know what you see in her. You could’ve gotten it for free you know.”

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Mad Men Season 5 Premiere: Recap & Review

Mad Men Season 5 Cast PhotosAfter 17 months of hiatus, Mad Men came back and nestled deep back into a specially reserved space back into my heart. Even within the first five minutes of the premiere, my stomach fluttered  in such a way that only happens when you reunite with long lost good friends. Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration or maybe I just need to get out more, but it certainly felt that way. During the gap between last season and the premiere, the lives of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce churned away and upon our meeting again, we have caught up  with one another on how we’ve been.

Spoilers ahead!

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