Mad Men, Season 4

Week 4: Drunk Typing
Talking television.
Aug. 16 2010 6:14 PM

Mad Men, Season 4

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Week 4: Drunk Typing

Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) and Abe Drexler (Charlie Hofheimer). Click image to expand.
Peggy Olson and Abe Drexler 

Ah, the pears. Don is returning to his lonely apartment. He witnesses a weary, absurd exchange between an old married couple that makes sense to no one but them. Will Don or Peggy ever have this kind of long-term relationship that grows gnarled and beautiful with age? And, taking into account the episode's theme, is marriage really what women want? The old couple seems sweet though there's a palpable weariness in the woman's voice. Here he goes with the pears again. Haven't bought him pears since '49.

Julia, it's an excellent notion that Allison represents a new kind of overt emotionality. A trend that will crest during the '60s and then slowly dwindle to the Facebook update. The show reminds us once again about how dramatic office life used to be. I have never seen anything thrown in an office that wasn't a Nerf basketball. Today's paperweight would be an ALL CAPS e-mail that Don would hastily delete, or, more likely, forward to HR. The old way seems a lot more cathartic for everyone involved.

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It's also a good thing Don didn't have a cell phone. That lame letter he was writing would've been a drunken text. I like the feebleness of the letter though, because it showed Don's confusion: All these young women in his life are responding in unprecedented ways. The docile, tractable girls of yesteryear are vanishing and being replaced by confusing, easily startled yet wary women. Is this what it felt like to be around incipient feminism? Don is having so much trouble adjusting to the times that it's enough to make you wonder if he'll try to reconnect with Betty again. Either that, or he's going to join Freddy Rumsen in AA.

And, John, I, too, salute Roger Sterling behind the camera. There are some among us who found the Pete-Peggy elevator scene too underlined, but I thought the music-enhanced meaningful stare was a nice, and appropriate, dash of Sofia Coppola. And maybe I was too harsh on Peggy's new friends. I'll admit I'm curious about who else may turn up in the elevators of the Time-Life building. William Whyte would be cool, Fortune editor and author of The Organization Man, though a touch pretentious.

Wrapping up, I agree with the commenters who suggest that Dr. Faye's wedding ring is a prop. Contra Roger, bowling is certainly a sport. And, do you suppose that Matthew Weiner makes the actors smoke period weed?

—Agger

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Michael Agger is an editor at The New Yorker. Follow him on Twitter.

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