Mad Men premiere: our TV Club chats with readers about the start of Season 5.

Slate’s TV Club Chats With Readers About the Start of Season 5

Slate’s TV Club Chats With Readers About the Start of Season 5

Real-time discussions with Slate writers.
March 26 2012 5:10 PM

Humming Along to “Zou Bisou Bisou”

Our Mad Men TV Club chats with readers about the show’s season premiere.

(Continued from Page 2)

John Dicker: That and the bar car. I swear they had that, though long before I was interested in alcohol. On the premiere: curious why they chose a two-hour season opener. I think I would've liked these episodes better one at a time. Also, not that many of the conflicts they've queued up are terribly compelling, save Joan's dilemma.


Marc Naimark: When will Roger dump Jane?

Marc Naimark: And will he dump her for the new black secretary (and will there actually be a black secretary ... all comments seem to assume so, but I don't see that as a given).

Julia Turner: Slate's culture blog spotted a black actress in a photograph of the set in the New York Times—which we took as a clue that SCDP really will hire a black assistant. We'll see if we are right!

John Swansburg: It was great, I thought, that Lane's announcement that SCDP will hire a black person is tinged with sexism: Men, go home, we're just looking for a secretary.


Monty Montaño: I was trying to pick out the likely hire from the group waiting.

Julia Turner: I think I spotted her—there was a woman in plaid and the camera paused a moment on her face before circling around the rest of the group. That's my guess.


Bethany Lang: Loved it. Thought it did a great job of covering a lot of ground without being too overwhelming. I've read a few recaps today and I'm surprised no one has mentioned the fact that Meghan knows about Dick Whitman. Really interesting that Betty had to find out about that for herself after years of marriage, but Don essentially barely knows Meghan and told her his crazy secret already.

John Swansburg: Weiner discusses this with Alan Sepinwall, in an interview about the premiere that posted today.

John Swansburg: I mentioned this in passing in my post, but you're right that it's a very important point. We don't know exactly what Don told Megan, but the fact that he started this relationship by coming clean is very interesting. He trusts Megan, and seems not to want a repeat of his relationship with Betty, which was based on a lie. And perhaps having told Faye his secret last year, he's more open now about sharing it.

Julia Turner: You're right that it's interesting how much Megan knows—and how dismissive she is of his psychodrama. I took it as a sign that Don really has evolved, and no longer feels he has to suppress everything. The question is what he really wants now that he no longer has anything to prove. Perhaps these changes account for his lack of interest in work? It used to be that he hustled and hustled, lest the world knock him off his ill-gotten perch. Now that his secret is out(ish), maybe he doesn't feel that drive anymore?

Neil Young: The office scenes were clearly meant to suggest that Don is changing (not quite the career-driven tiger he once was), but I thought the brief scenes with his children were meant to show that too. The breakfast scene was one of the most tender moments I remember him ever having with his children. And I found the drop-off where he told them to signal they were OK with the porch light particularly affecting. Also, when he was asked how his Memorial Day weekend was he commented that it was great and that he'd had the kids. This all seemed telling to me—perhaps of his desire to make things with Meghan work. Or that his priorities are in flux.


Jackie Hoffart: Did anyone else think that Don's older son was played by a new actor? Was that just me?

Julia Turner: Yes, I think that's the third or fourth Bobby Draper in the series' history. It's almost becoming a joke!

John Swansburg: It wouldn't be a new season of Mad Men if there weren't a new kid playing Bobby!

Alexander Charner: This version of Bobby is a brat.

Ann Marie Lonsdale: I was sad that the Draper children only had a couple of scenes, but the moment of Sally's sneaking a peek of Megan's artfully draped body indicates something truly spectacular and weird is going to happen for her: teenager-dom! I'm super excited to see how Sally fares (and Betty and Don, for that matter).

Monty Montaño: I hope the series sticks around long enough to see Sally develop into a hippie vixen.

Julia Turner: Me too. I think the closing scene of the series is Sally at Woodstock. Or Kent State. Or in a disco, doing coke in sequins and lame.

Monty Montaño: Or walking onto Manson's ranch.

Julia Turner: Exaaaaactly.

Ann Marie Lonsdale: Yes! Sally the hippie wild child who, deeply affected by the assassinations of Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy, goes to Columbia and joins the Weather Underground or gets a law degree and becomes Attorney General.

John Swansburg: For me, the biggest cliffhanger from last night is the question of whether or not Pete gets a beagle.

Julia Turner: To scare away the gophers!

Julia Turner: Thanks for your questions, everybody! Talk to you next week.

John Swansburg: Ditto what Julia said. Bisou bisou!