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Mad Men: The Phantom

And just like that Season 5 comes to a close. :(

These seasons of Mad Men go by way too quickly.

Season 5, Episode 13: The Phantom
Opportunity is in the air for everyone and Pete meets a stranger on the train.

In addition to discussing this episode, let's talk final thoughts for the season and where Mr. Weiner might possibly go next.

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Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
gatsbyfan
Jun. 11th, 2012 03:48 am (UTC)
I'm sort of underwhelmed with this episode. It didn't really do much for me. I feel like it was more a device to set up the next season.

Observations:
Megan's mother is not going to win any Mother of the Year awards. Megan is clearly upset and she doesn't do anything to make her feel better.

Loved the banter between Peggy and Don. Love them together. Especially after the comment from the client about women. The boys are starting to see that Peggy played an important role in the creative side.

I call total bull shit on the behavior of Rory Gilmore after the electroshock. As someone who has had family members that have had treatments, I can tell you they don't bounce back happy as can be the day of the treatment or one day after the treatment. Her not recognizing Pete is a little iffy too. They forget things but that was taking it to the extreme. They forget incidents, but I don't recall them losing entire years.

Lane's wife's reaction to Don. That's not completely surprising. What is surprising is that she's not going back to England.

That shot of Don walking away from the set... gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.

Favorite Lines:
"What is Regina?"

"Not every girl gets to do what she wants. The world cannot support that many ballerinas."

"Ill try and get away on the condition that you lower your expectations."

"You had no right to fill a man like that with ambition."

"My friend down there. She was wondering are you alone?"

tomfoolery815
Jun. 11th, 2012 06:45 am (UTC)
Congratulations to John Slattery for looking good naked. I'm amused that his is the first bare ass we've seen in five seasons.

"You had no right to fill a man like that with ambition."
Great, revelatory line, isn't that? What his wife doesn't know is that Lane wanted more, that he loved the opportunities that America offered him. Forming their own agency wouldn't have happened if Lane wasn't already desirous of advancement. He already had ambition. She's probably right about Don going over there to make himself feel better, since he's seeing Adam Whitman everywhere he goes.

Meanwhile: $175,000 in 1967 was worth $1,129,900.48 in 2010. That's a hell of an insurance policy.
tomfoolery815
Jun. 11th, 2012 06:49 am (UTC)
That shot of Don walking away from the set... gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.
It was, Gatzy. I also loved the wide shot of the five of them spreading out in their new digs.

"My friend down there. She was wondering are you alone?"
That's a good one to ponder until next season, isn't it? He resisted temptation in the high-end brothel -- you know, the one where if there is a rule about chewing gun, it's not rigidly enforced -- but is he finally happy enough in marriage to resist two gorgeous women throwing themselves at him?
tomfoolery815
Jun. 11th, 2012 06:53 am (UTC)
I actually liked Pete for a few minutes there when he was in Rory Gilmore's room.

But then he went and spilled the beans to Rory's husband and was an ass to the conductor, and we had the pleasure of two guys punching Pete in the face in about as many minutes. Throw in Lane beating the crap out of him, and I think AmyCurl will call this the best Mad Men season ever. ;-)

Poor Trudy. She doesn't what she's facilitating by agreeing to an apartment in the city for him.
gatsbyfan
Jun. 12th, 2012 12:18 am (UTC)
And now begin the games parsing Weiner comments to determine if he is giving us hints at what's to come.

Is Megan gone or will she be back?
Toward the very end of the finale, “We see her on the [Butler Shoes commercial] set and we realize that she’s gone,” says the series creator.


Don “knows that if he gives Megan what she wants, she could possibly leave him,” Weiner says, adding that nevertheless, the screen test changes Draper’s mind about helping his wife land the commercial audition.
“I think it’s almost a story of sacrifice, that he sees her on that film and falls in love with her again and realizes that he has to do this,” Weiner says.


http://tvline.com/2012/06/11/mad-men-season-5-megan-gone/

It seems possible to me. And it would certainly please a lot of the Megan haters out there.

Personally I'm more concerned about Peggy. In my mind her character is too important to the show. If she weren't to remain, I don't think the show would remain MUST SEE for me. The good thing is that when the new season starts up, they could be a year ahead and Peggy could be back at SCD(P?) and with a larger role.
gatsbyfan
Jun. 12th, 2012 12:24 am (UTC)
I also loved the wide shot of the five of them spreading out in their new digs
That was a beautiful thing. It reminded me of an earlier season.

Congratulations to John Slattery for looking good naked. I'm amused that his is the first bare ass we've seen in five seasons.
There were a lot of comments on twitter upset that it was him. It couldn't have been Don? Or even a side boob of Megan? Him??? Cracked me up. Also sign of the times when his bare ass has a twitter handle: http://twitter.com/RogersMudFlaps
tomfoolery815
Jun. 12th, 2012 12:47 am (UTC)
There were a lot of comments on twitter upset that it was him. It couldn't have been Don? Or even a side boob of Megan? Him???
Ha! Well, we were presented Megan side boob in the season premiere. Funny thing: Before I read this, one of my work Mad Men friends was saying that near the end of the episode, she was wondering when the nudity was going to happen, and presumed that Rory's side boob (she called her that, too) wasn't it.

She also would have preferred a serving of Hamm. :)

Also sign of the times when his bare ass has a twitter handle: http://twitter.com/RogersMudFlaps
I had just started following before I started this reply. He/she is pretty funny. :)
tomfoolery815
Jun. 12th, 2012 12:56 am (UTC)
It seems possible to me. And it would certainly please a lot of the Megan haters out there.
Those people irritate me. I like what her youthful optimism does to Don.

I suspect that some of those people think that Megan's expanded screen time was at Betty's expense. They forget that JJ had a reduced role this season by design, since she had a newborn.

And if they hate her because they think she took screen time from Peggy ... well, I love Peggy, but Megan is Don's wife.

Personally I'm more concerned about Peggy. In my mind her character is too important to the show.
I agree, Gatzy. After that scene in Peggy's new office, I now think we could have a Scranton-and-Stamford setup next season. Elisabeth Moss has been the female lead from the start; I don't see that changing.
marymary
Jun. 20th, 2012 04:22 am (UTC)
First of all, freaked out. This looks like my journal now. Love it, don't get me wrong. :)

Second: yes, it has taken me a full 10 days to watch the MM finale. Take this as an indication of the fuckedupness of my life rn.

That shot of Don walking away from the set... gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.

I mean...that shot just killed me. I was sort of grinning and tearing up at the same time, it was so perfect. With "You Only Live Twice" playing over it? The sparkling, brightness of Megan on the set, with Don walking away into the negative space. I really can't recall a recent shot that affected me like that. Perfect.

Is Megan gone or will she be back?
Toward the very end of the finale, “We see her on the [Butler Shoes commercial] set and we realize that she’s gone,” says the series creator.


The SHOT was very much about Don moving on. The visual. I understand the narrative -- that he made the choice to do what Megan wanted, not what his m-i-l advised (to help her over the disappointment and then make her a good wife). But that didn't convince me he and Megan were in danger of losing each other. Nor did the bar scene. It was the walking away shot -- that's what that shot means, period.

I also loved the wide shot of the five of them spreading out in their new digs.

Yes, Tom! I sort of laughed cause you could see them setting up for that shot. Beautiful. So nice I thought it was the final shot for a minute.

"You had no right to fill a man like that with ambition."
Great, revelatory line, isn't that?


Yes, it was! I agree with you that his wife didn't understand his appetite for American-style success. But I think I understand her regret -- maybe she felt he wasn't well-prepared to get knocked around like one does in that environment, especially with the weak foundation (apparently) built by his father. I think she was feeling Lane's vulnerability and hating the system that (seemingly) chewed him up. Not fair, but I think I understand.


Edited at 2012-06-20 04:22 am (UTC)
marymary
Jun. 20th, 2012 04:37 am (UTC)
Yes, I hope to see more Peggy next season as well. I've never exactly liked Peggy, but she sure is interesting and EM does an incredible job with her.

I agree -- Megan is welcome on my screen. Great character, interesting dynamic, relevant to the times, really nice job of acting by JP. I don't get the Megan haters. I thought there were only Betty haters -- clearly I'm out of touch.

Sorry, I don't get the big bonus of Hamm's ass vs. Slattery's ass. They both seem to be in great shape. What am I missing?

Speaking of which, I LOVE Slattery and Julia Ormond together. That was a lot of fun.

I seem to be the Bad Mom Apologist around here... I did think she could have been more encouraging to Megan, but Megan was being a bit of a pouter and I thought her mother was trying to give her a little perspective, which is not a terrible thing. Megan does have a rich husband who loves her and is letting her pursue her dreams on his dime. It's just not that tragic. But Mom shouldn't have said the "bitch" part though. :)

What did you guys think of Joan concluding she should have slept with Lane to prevent his suicide? It was weird -- when he was alive, she seemed to know Lane and be very in tune with him. I don't disagree he had a crush on her, but don't you think she was overstating her importance in his life? And Don knows perfectly well why Lane killed himself, and it wasn't from a lack of Joan.

gatz having no experience or reference on electro-shock therapy, I did find it a little too simple. That she would be feeling fine and dandy and forget she'd even MET Pete?
marymary
Jun. 20th, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
"I'll try and get away on the condition that you lower your expectations."

Roger: "Below 'conversation?'"

Ha! I loved that.

The boys are starting to see that Peggy played an important role in the creative side.

I loved that! They were like, "No, we didn't test it." The clear implication being they didn't NEED to test anything on women when Peggy was around.

My one regret was that we didn't get to see what Peggy would do with Virginia Slims. I'd love to know.
tomfoolery815
Jun. 21st, 2012 05:46 pm (UTC)
But I think I understand her regret -- maybe she felt he wasn't well-prepared to get knocked around like one does in that environment, especially with the weak foundation (apparently) built by his father. I think she was feeling Lane's vulnerability and hating the system that (seemingly) chewed him up. Not fair, but I think I understand.
I agree on your interpretation, Mary. That that's Mrs. Pryce meant.

But what she's saying is almost beside the point: While Mrs. Pryce was protective of Lane and aware of Lane's inability to withstand the rough nature of that environment, it wasn't Don's job to protect Lane from his relative frailty.

He was his business partner, not his big brother. They worked together, toward a goal of advancing their business, until Lane's actions made Don feel they couldn't work together anymore. Don also did the kindest thing he could under the circumstances -- giving him time to concoct the explanation for his departure -- and, sadly, Lane decided to take that time to kill himself.
tomfoolery815
Jun. 21st, 2012 05:56 pm (UTC)
What did you guys think of Joan concluding she should have slept with Lane to prevent his suicide? It was weird -- when he was alive, she seemed to know Lane and be very in tune with him. I don't disagree he had a crush on her, but don't you think she was overstating her importance in his life?
She was overstating her importance to him, but I think this is her version of blaming herself. I'm guessing that when someone surprisingly commits suicide, the people close to them experience a survivors' guilt that takes the form of "I should have done X."

I suspect that Joan's recent business transaction with the pig from Jaguar is a factor, too: That she may be thinking "I had sex with that awful man to secure my financial future; I would've spent the night with Lane if I thought that would keep him alive."

Sorry, I don't get the big bonus of Hamm's ass vs. Slattery's ass. They both seem to be in great shape. What am I missing?
Good question, Mary. I'm presuming it's a matter of whether someone looks at Slattery and thinks "Silver Fox."
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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