Mad Men Review: "Chinese Wall"
Looks like the climax came early this year. The sh*t hit the fan for Roger and the rest of our friends at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce on "Chinese Wall."
In general, I have found that most seasons use the finale or the penultimate episode as their most climactic or eventful. That said, there is more action to come in the next two episodes of Mad Men, I will be extremely intrigued to see it.
After Ken Cosgrove heard from a friend that Lucky Strike was switching agencies, the news began to spread like wildfire through SCDP. First Pete, then Don, then a meeting of the partners was called to order where Roger denied any knowledge that Lucky Strike was leaving. What was the point of that? Does it make it that much worse if they know he was trying to save the day before others found out?
Everyone at SCDP was running around like chickens with their proverbial heads cut off. They needed to both get new clients and save their current ones, all while hoping Don and Pete didn't run out of dodge and take off to greener pastures.
Both in Faye to Don, and in the combination of Tom and Ted Chaough to Pete, it is noted that these two would be welcome additions to any advertising agency. "You're the most hireable man on Madison Avenue," Faye tells Don, but he doesn't care. "I'm not at that point yet," he replies, because he is ready to fight to keep SCDP alive.
Hasn't Pete wanted to walk away for less than this before, though? A true partner with equal power if he goes with Ted Chaough? I'd jump at the chance. Apparently. Pete has had his hand on almost all of SCDP's accounts, and that can be something he might never want to leave. He feels invested now. I'd be surprised if either of these guys gave leaving SCDP another thought.
Meanwhile, Roger is just down in the dumps. He's berating Don. He's crying to Joanie. I thought Don was miserable when he was depressed, but Roger's performance takes the cake. It turns out he transforms into a whiny little girl when things don't go his way. His memoirs, the fantastically funny Sterling's Gold, is now in print and he still can't muster up a smile. This guy is in for the worst if he doesn't turn things around and start making an effort to get back in the game.
So, is anyone else as confused as I am about Don's current relationships? Everything was going so well with Faye. I noted the fact that things were going a little too well and the next thing you know, he's taking advantage of her and she walks out on him. He stepped over a line and she wasn't pleased. But she came back to him. She gave in to what he wanted. She used her knowledge of his clients to help him out, even though it could have jeopardized her career.
Does Faye just care about Don that much? Or is she too infatuated with him to make the correct decisions? Should she have helped him out in this situation or not? My answer would be yes, but I'm not sure that's what everyone else would say.
Obviously, Don has to go be a whore and sleep with Meaghan moments after his fight with Faye. Can you not turn it down one time Don? Here's my question about Meaghan: Is she actually interested in becoming a copywriter one day, or was that just her way in? Was it just a sneaky secretary ploy to get in Mr. Draper's pants? It kind of seems that way to me.
Will SCDP survive the loss of Lucky Strike? Will all the main components stick around? Will a new client come in to save the agency? Will Don's relationship with Faye take a turn now that he's strayed? How about Roger? Is he going to make it through all this?
- The Peggy story line was completely boring. I couldn't care less about what was going on with her this week.
- I liked that Don is continuing to work on his drinking problem, as this week both Faye and Meaghan were monitoring his intake.
- Loved the funny moment of Stan, Freddy and Danny guessing what the company-wide meeting was about.
- Talk about kicking a man while he's down. Joanie breaks things off with Roger for good? That's tough to take.
- I don't like spoilers, but I happened to catch the title of the season finale. And if it means what I think it means, I could be real excited about a company swooping in to save the SCDP day.
Mad Men: "Chinese Wall"
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.