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Mad Men - Season 4 - Sundays on AMC

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Jul 3, 2004
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Amir0x said:
Watching this latest episode, I was struck by a feeling I had. It's the first time I've ever felt like I wasn't sure if television could get better. Like, I honestly don't know how another show will manage to be so consistently perfect for such a period of time to provide the sort of payoffs we saw in "The Suitcase."

I mean I know it's not a rational thought, but it's just how incredible the writing is. It's just that good.
I had the same feeling. Like "this is the best television you will ever watch, it's only downhill from here."

Really though, I've had similar feelings about past Mad Men episodes too, like most of the end of season 3. Everyone keeps thinking this show just can't get any better and it keeps doing it.
 

cory64

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Liu Kang Baking A Pie said:
I had the same feeling. Like "this is the best television you will ever watch, it's only downhill from here."

Really though, I've had similar feelings about past Mad Men episodes too, like most of the end of season 3. Everyone keeps thinking this show just can't get any better and it keeps doing it.
I know. It's insane.
 

etiolate

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I found Don's leaning towards the establishment with Joe Namath and Liston interesting. I thought at first this was just Don preferring letting accomplishments speak for themselves, a product of getting the award. I also wonder though if he is becoming more east coast establishment due to losing his California tie. He thinks of himself as forward moving in ads, but being anti-Namath and anti-Clay is going the opposite direction.
 

Talon

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etiolate said:
I found Don's leaning towards the establishment with Joe Namath and Liston interesting. I thought at first this was just Don preferring letting accomplishments speak for themselves, a product of getting the award. I also wonder though if he is becoming more east coast establishment due to losing his California tie. He thinks of himself as forward moving in ads, but being anti-Namath and anti-Clay is going the opposite direction.
I think it's less of the establishment thing and more of this:
It's interesting to see Don here hostile to both Ali (who always boasted that he was "the greatest") and Joe Namath (who became far more famous than your average QB with one Super Bowl win entirely because of the guarantee he made before he won it). Even after the interview he gave at the end of the season premiere, he still doesn't quite grasp how important self-promotion is going to become in the culture.
Especially in the context of advertising. Insofar, a lot of the work that Don's done is designed to soothe people into buying a certain belief or association that's deep seeded (see: The Carousel). We see Don dismissing cameos as being brutish and lazy not only in this episode but in previous ones.

I imagine he's not going to be thrilled that people buy shit just because some pretty boy tells them to. The whole use of true creative capital for a consumerist culture is undercut in a way. This is mostly why I miss Kinsey, but at least we got Cosgrove back.

Even though in reality, they're part and parcel.
 

BikoBiko

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Just saw this tonight. This episode is so amazing that I feel compelled to watch it again, never had that before with a show. Just so much happened in the episode... so awesome.
 

jett

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Just caught up with this show, watched all seasons including the last episode.

Damn Mad Men is good.
 

Ignatz Mouse

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Talon- said:
I think it's less of the establishment thing and more of this:

Especially in the context of advertising. Insofar, a lot of the work that Don's done is designed to soothe people into buying a certain belief or association that's deep seeded (see: The Carousel). We see Don dismissing cameos as being brutish and lazy not only in this episode but in previous ones.

I imagine he's not going to be thrilled that people buy shit just because some pretty boy tells them to. The whole use of true creative capital for a consumerist culture is undercut in a way. This is mostly why I miss Kinsey, but at least we got Cosgrove back.

Even though in reality, they're part and parcel.
Don's been wrong about most trends since the beginning. The "Lemon" ad that he hated (and showed up in the new guy's portfolio) was the marking of a new trend toward ironic advertising. In the first ep, he totally balks at selling cigarettes as macho as a counter to health concerns-- which was to become the prevailing trend as well.

That's one reason why Don wanted Campbell along-- he spots those trends.

Really, Don's move has been counter to whatever the prevailing mainstream is.
 

etiolate

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Talon- said:
I think it's less of the establishment thing and more of this:

Especially in the context of advertising. Insofar, a lot of the work that Don's done is designed to soothe people into buying a certain belief or association that's deep seeded (see: The Carousel). We see Don dismissing cameos as being brutish and lazy not only in this episode but in previous ones.

I imagine he's not going to be thrilled that people buy shit just because some pretty boy tells them to. The whole use of true creative capital for a consumerist culture is undercut in a way. This is mostly why I miss Kinsey, but at least we got Cosgrove back.

Even though in reality, they're part and parcel.
That's true. I wonder if Peggy then becomes the self promoter of the group? She sort of has to in a way.
 

BanShunsaku

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Can't get over how amazing every episode has been this season.

I mean seasons 1-3 were awesome, but this season has been absolutely incredible. I sat in awe last night watching Hamm's performance, I literally could not move in my chair from how much I was drawn in to the episode.

After last weeks ep I thought the show couldn't get any better, boy was I wrong.
 

Poimandres

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Damn, that episode.... just too good. Pretty much perfect in every way, except maybe the Anna apparition, but I haven't quite decided if I liked that or not.
 

Ignatz Mouse

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I like the apparition well enough, as long as they don't replace her with Hayden Christiansen on the bluray release.
 

dave is ok

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Liu Kang Baking A Pie said:
What's better? I've just about seen every major good thing, so I can compare.
I wouldn't go so far as 'best ever', but it was definitely Top 5.

'The Constant' from Lost
'The Suitcase' from Mad Men
The Fly' from Breaking Bad (not really)
 

Amir0x

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dave is ok said:
I wouldn't go so far as 'best ever', but it was definitely Top 5.

'The Constant' from Lost
Just doing you a favor and removing this from your list for the thread's sanity. LOST's writing is so many billions of times inferior to MAD MEN that we'd just all spend the rest of the thread laughing hysterically at the mere idea that any episode of LOST even whiffs the worst episode of MAD MEN, instead of actually discussing the show.
 

Blader

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Amir0x said:
Just doing you a favor and removing this from your list for the thread's sanity. LOST's writing is so many billions of times inferior to MAD MEN that we'd just all spend the rest of the thread laughing hysterically at the mere idea that any episode of LOST even whiffs the worst episode of MAD MEN, instead of actually discussing the show.
Because inciting another discussion about Lost is sooo good for the thread.

movie_club said:
I hated that he saw the ghost of Anna. It took me out of the world of mad men so fast.
I think I would've preferred him just seeing Anna, sans the ghostly transparency.
 

Amir0x

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Blader5489 said:
Because inciting another discussion about Lost is sooo good for the thread.
exactly. That's why I'm scratching it from his list in a gesture of truthism that will eliminate the need to discuss the choice.
 

movie_club

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Blader5489 said:
I think I would've preferred him just seeing Anna, sans the ghostly transparency.
Same. Dont get me wrong, I loved the episode, but that part was way to unrealistic to me. I dunno, just killed that scene for me.
 

The Big Rig

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movie_club said:
I hated that he saw the ghost of Anna. It took me out of the world of mad men so fast.
Who says that wasn't just inspiration for the Samsonite ad? She did have a suitcase.
 

dave is ok

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Amir0x said:
Just doing you a favor and removing this from your list for the thread's sanity. LOST's writing is so many billions of times inferior to MAD MEN that we'd just all spend the rest of the thread laughing hysterically at the mere idea that any episode of LOST even whiffs the worst episode of MAD MEN, instead of actually discussing the show.
Fair enough. The thing about TV is that you have 45 minutes or whatever, and any show can put together a good episode. I think 'The Constant' was a great and poignant 45 minute episode of television, and I think Lost was a horribly flawed show.

The Wire is what I consider to be the best show ever made and I can't tell you the name of a single episode, because the story was structured in such a way that the episodes didn't really mean a lot by themselves. It was a full story and all the pieces mattered.

Mad Men certainly means more when you've seen every episode - but it still has great singular episodes, which is why it's so good.
 

Amir0x

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dave is ok said:
Fair enough. The thing about TV is that you have 45 minutes or whatever, and any show can put together a good episode. I think 'The Constant' was a great and poignant 45 minute episode of television, and I think Lost was a horribly flawed show.

The Wire is what I consider to be the best show ever made and I can't tell you the name of a single episode, because the story was structured in such a way that the episodes didn't really mean a lot by themselves, it was a full story and all the pieces mattered.

Mad Men certainly means more when you've seen every episode - but it still has great singular episodes, which is why it's so good.
I can name a few episodes of THE WIRE that immediately come to mind. Still, I think it's fair to say that in both its own merit and the merit of the show taken in its entirety, "The Suitcase" is one of the greatest episodes of any television show. I mean it's a night past so it's a little early to say if it's THE best, or just one of the top five or something, but the impact and power that the writing and characterization had was a marvel. A true masterpiece of modern American writing.


However, the inner geek drive to automatically try to go ahead and rank everything in some sort of superior order is really ruining things. Every movie, game, show and cock size has to be measured against the other, and you live or die based on what the majority thinks of your rankings :lol
 

XMonkey

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movie_club said:
I hated that he saw the ghost of Anna. It took me out of the world of mad men so fast.
Same, but even with that part, I still think it's easily in the top 3 episodes of the series. I just didn't think it was necessary and ghosts/apparitions in a visual medium are so hard to pull off well.

The phonecall scene right after made me forget about it completely, though.
 

dave is ok

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I kind of feel like the writers have no clue what to do with Peggy, except for having her mention that she wants to get married and have kids but doesn't really want to every episode. Still, she's always interesting with Don
 

XMonkey

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I feel Peggy doesn't even know what Peggy wants.

She's one of my favorite characters on the show now.
 

gdt

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Amir0x said:
Just doing you a favor and removing this from your list for the thread's sanity. LOST's writing is so many billions of times inferior to MAD MEN that we'd just all spend the rest of the thread laughing hysterically at the mere idea that any episode of LOST even whiffs the worst episode of MAD MEN, instead of actually discussing the show.
This is just ridiculous.
 

Amir0x

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The truth is the truth. The rest of the mortal shows with such contrived and awful writing do not dare speak in the presence of MAD MEN. It is embarrassing for all involved to even consider it.
 

brianjones

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Liu Kang Baking A Pie said:
What's better? I've just about seen every major good thing, so I can compare.
i don't wanna start another 'this show is better" debate i guess i just wasn't as blown away by it as other people were.

the constant wasn't that good imo. i was never much a sap for penny/des though
 

Amir0x

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like i said, we are avoiding LOST discussion in a MAD MEN for the sanity of all involved.

I was crossing it off his list so that I didn't have to deconstruct how inferior it (and its writing) is compared to MAD MEN. Bump the emmy thread for that.
 

LM4sure

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Just watched last night's episode. Wow, that was amazing! When Peggy is complaining that she doesn't get any thanks and Don says "That's what the money is for!"...that was amazing! I laughed.

And When Harry calls the other guy a Jew...:lol
 

Y2Kev

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I agree re: ghost of Anna. I just thought it would look less awkward and more immersive if she wasn't, like, a green ghost.
 

gdt

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Amir0x said:
like i said, we are avoiding LOST discussion in a MAD MEN for the sanity of all involved.

I was crossing it off his list so that I didn't have to deconstruct how inferior it (and its writing) is compared to MAD MEN. Bump the emmy thread for that.
But it's not like The Constant is a weird choice for best episode ever. It's a pretty common one, actually. No one was gonna call out that choice at all. You started that discussion.
 

Merguson

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Amir0x said:
like i said, we are avoiding LOST discussion in a MAD MEN for the sanity of all involved.

I was crossing it off his list so that I didn't have to deconstruct how inferior it (and its writing) is compared to MAD MEN. Bump the emmy thread for that.
I think you're getting the opposite reaction.
 

gdt

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I think I've come to the conclusion that my favorite part of this episode was at the end, when Don put his hand on Peggy's and they just looked at each other. So much was said with only nods and eye contact. Just beautiful.
 

LM4sure

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Oh, another great moment was when Joan came in to bitch about the guys not throwing away their trash and the one guy says, "I may be paid less but I'm still not a janitor." Loved it! I wish I could come up with witty lines like that on the spot!
 

maharg

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Poimandres said:
Damn, that episode.... just too good. Pretty much perfect in every way, except maybe the Anna apparition, but I haven't quite decided if I liked that or not.
I really liked it *because* it was so unexpected. And it really drove home the entire issue of what Don was avoiding with his binge drinking and overworking, making concrete what he knew the moment he got the memo: that Anna was dead. No matter how much he drank, he just couldn't get away from that fact.

It's not like she was really a ghost or anything. Don was pretty clearly dreaming/hallucinating. But the show kicked you (just like Don's subconscious kicked him) in the head with what this was all about by using something unexpected, while still not outright telegraphing it by having Don just blurt it out before the time was right.
 

AgentWhiskers

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maharg said:
I really liked it *because* it was so unexpected. And it really drove home the entire issue of what Don was avoiding with his binge drinking and overworking, making concrete what he knew the moment he got the memo: that Anna was dead. No matter how much he drank, he just couldn't get away from that fact.

It's not like she was really a ghost or anything. Don was pretty clearly dreaming/hallucinating. But the show kicked you (just like Don's subconscious kicked him) in the head with what this was all about by using something unexpected, while still not outright telegraphing it by having Don just blurt it out before the time was right.
The fact that she didn't speak a word made it perfect.
 

dave is ok

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My mentioning a Lost episode was the most subtle and unintentional troll ever

EDIT: Re: Anna's ghost

The episode didn't need that scene. It would have been a great episode without it and translucency always looks stupid.
 

Mindlog

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maharg said:
I really liked it *because* it was so unexpected. And it really drove home the entire issue of what Don was avoiding with his binge drinking and overworking, making concrete what he knew the moment he got the memo: that Anna was dead. No matter how much he drank, he just couldn't get away from that fact.

It's not like she was really a ghost or anything. Don was pretty clearly dreaming/hallucinating. But the show kicked you (just like Don's subconscious kicked him) in the head with what this was all about by using something unexpected, while still not outright telegraphing it by having Don just blurt it out before the time was right.
I see it as a solid compromise. Making her completely visible may have been confusing to some viewers. However, doing a full flashback interrupts an incredibly powerful scene.

Maybe in a drunken stupor Don stumbles around and knocks everything off his desk. The picture ends up on top of the Samsonite?
 

gdt

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I liked Anna showing up, but I too wish she wasn't translucent. Only mark against the episode, but it's an extremely, extremely small one.
 

LaneDS

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gdt5016 said:
I think I've come to the conclusion that my favorite part of this episode was at the end, when Don put his hand on Peggy's and they just looked at each other. So much was said with only nods and eye contact. Just beautiful.
I really wanted Don to say "thank you" there or something. Although I think it was genuine, I don't really trust the character enough to have a tender moment like that not be sexual on some level. Overall though, a sweet moment.
 

hamchan

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I found ghost Anna to be a great moment, made me kinda sad actually.

Reminds me of the time when my parents just knew my grandparent had died. They just knew something had happened.
 
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