Mad Men: “For Immediate Release”

*spoilers*

What struck me the most about “For Immediate Release” was its tempo. A lot of people have been complaining that season six has been going too slow. Well, this episode really took the pacing up a notch.

Firstly, Don kicked Jaguar to the curb. It was great to watch Don give Herb the ol’ take-this-job-and-shove-it. A lesser show would’ve left it there, with Don and the audience feeling lofty and triumphant, having conquered the evil Herb. But Mad Men doesn’t take the easy way out.

When news reaches SCDP, Joan is devastated. And rightly so: She did fuck the guy for that account. Moreover, Don was supposedly the one who wanted to defend her. Instead, he made it all about him. “Just once,” says Joan, “I’d like to hear you say, ‘we.'”

Pete is angry, too. But who cares about Campbell? Nonetheless, I did like his description of Don as Tarzan, “swinging vine to vine.” Once again, like The Planet of the Apes in the episode previous, we are given an image of man as ape. Don is the alpha male in its truest, ugliest, biological sense.

Don marinates on this, this concept of “we.” However, instead of using it as a mea culpa and apologize, he channels it into a business merger with CGC. Together, he and Ted land Ford.

Megan’s blow job was that good.

mad-men-for-immediate-release00046(source)

I think Peggy’s reaction to the merger is especially revealing. I especially loved the way you hear Don’s voice off-screen before Peggy and the audience realize he’s in the room. She came to CGC to get out from under Don’s shadow. These days, she seems to want to get atop Ted’s. But now Don has come and violated her space. Then they get her to write a press release, like she’s back to a secretary all over again.

Bad times continue for Pete. He was on a high with the company about to go public and was making progress winning back Trudy. Then, he catches his father-in-law, who happens to have an exotic taste, with his pants down. Trudy’s father pulls the account in what was a fairly petty move, even by Pete’s standards.

I like the analogy the show draws with the Cold War. Ken Cosgrove tells Pete that he has nothing to worry about because it’s assured mutual destruction, which is “the same reason [he] doesn’t fear the bomb.” Well, it turns out nuclear deterrents don’t always pan out.

(Christ on a cracker!)

It’s hard to predict how this season is going to play out. With the merger, assuming it happens, Don’s career is pretty stable. Although, he’ll now have to work with Peggy in a new role. Nonetheless, the loss of Heinz, Jaguar, and Vick’s has been weathered. Of course, there will be some naysayers at SCDP about the merger, but I don’t see that being a big deal.

The true wildcard is the doctor. Rosen seems to be approaching a breaking point. He’s now quit his job and is giving up on his dream of performing a heart transplant.  Rosen tells Don about how he has resigned himself to fatalism. You get the feeling that if/when he finds out about Don and Sylvia, the shit is going to hit the fan.

mad-men-for-immediate-release00109(Come at me, Don!)

Cheers,

-B

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~ by braddunne on May 7, 2013.

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