This week's Mad Men is an exercise in emotional exhaustion: romantic and business partnerships disintegrate, sexual demons threaten people's lives; yes, it was a typically overwrought episode.
As usual, I want to chat about this week's maddest moments, so to see them (spoilers ahead), just
- That's all, Sal: Sal's fired?! We've all been waiting for the other shoe to drop for closeted Salvatore, but I didn't think it would somehow lead to his firing. When Sal rejects Lee Garner Jr. in the editing room, you know there's fallout coming based on Sal's frustrated reaction of throwing the film canisters. I still can't believe that Sal could be fired for good, but Roger's yelling and Don's hostile (and homophobic?) "you people" that he spits at Sal feel very final.
- Please Mr. Postman: Betty fosters her crush on Henry through letters, and I gotta say, the voice-over of Betty reading her letter to Henry comes way too close to the cheesiness of a Dear Diary device (something I dislike on another show). The "safe" practice veers into risky business when Henry shows up at the house and Carla is rightfully suspicious. Betty makes it all worse when she acts overly transparent to Don for Carla's benefit and then plans a fundraiser at her home so Henry can visit. Her petulance at Henry's no-show and then rage at his office over it show how immature Betty is, once again.
- To the moon, Alice: Coconuts Conrad Hilton is genuinely disappointed to see that Don hasn't prepared any ad copy for the planned Hilton on the moon. Don's rarely this flummoxed by someone else, but I guess a demand for a moon hotel does it.
- The war at home: I was pleased to see Carla coming into her own as a character, even if it's little by little. It's probably fear of judgment, but Betty suddenly treats Carla as consequential when she throws together an excuse for Henry's visit. However, Betty loses those points when she's sympathetic to Carla's feelings about the Birmingham church bombing but then remarks that it may not be time for civil rights. The "girl, please" look Carla sneaks at Betty's sheltered statement is priceless.
- Late night lesson: Ugh, the teacher and Don sleep together. Come on, dude. Another Don affair storyline is not only exasperating, it's boring. In the first two seasons, it was all dapper Don who was so suave he just couldn't keep the ladies away, but watching him sniff around Sally's former teacher during a work slump is just pathetic.
What did you think of this week's episode? Do you think Sal will stay fired, and Betty will stay away from Henry?
Photo courtesy of AMC