bill bodkin and jason stives are mad men …
The Low Down: Martin Luther King Jr. has been assassinated and the episode revolves around reactions from all the characters.
The Bed and Booze Count:5 drinks (although Don probably had a few more prior to Megan coming in to the bedroom at episode’s end). –JS
Our Favorite Retro Pop Culture Reference: I do enjoy a good Planet of the Apes reference so watching Don and Bobby become engulfed in the mind melting moments that climax that film was more than entertaining for me. –JS
Favorite Performance: This has been a really strong season for Vincent Kartheiser’s Pete Campbell, but tonight was his shining moment. We finally saw some decency out of Pete — checking in on his wife (Alison Brie) and then calling Harry Crane (Rich Sommer) out for his crassness was great. –BB
The Supporting Scene Stealer: Ben Feldman as Michael Ginsberg was terrific. We met him last season and he was a bit on the annoying side. This season he’s been relegated to the background, with only his Burt Reynolds mustache making him stand out. This episode we return to his story with his overbearing father and we saw more to him than just a joke and a wicked ‘stache. –BB
The Best Part of The Episode: The meeting with the trippy insurance guy (William Mapother) was classic. It was a hilarious moment that broke up the heaviness of the events of the episode. Sterling’s reaction to the insurance guy’s impersonation of Tecumseh was hilarious. –BB
For all the somber feelings felt amongst the main cast I think Don’s confession to Megan about feeling detached from his children’s lives was very powerful and very tragic at best. You can tell he means it despite constantly putting up a fight in regards to expressing his feelings. It took a national tragedy for him to start boiling over in how he approaches his true feelings for the ones he loves. –JS
The Part We Could’ve Done Without: Megan’s rather terrible wardrobe and hair during the ad awards show. –BB
The Little Thing We Loved: Holy Harry Hamlin! Add him to list of this season’s cameos. Also, John and his son watching Planet of the Apes was a charming little moment we haven’t seen with Don and he very often.
The dumb founded responses the ad men give after hearing Roger’s friend talk about being visited by the spirit of Dr. King. I mean, c’mon, Stan’s reaction says it all and I couldn’t help but start howling with laughter as it was going on. –JS
Final Thoughts: This is what Mad Men does really well — how to weave real history into the world of the show. Remember the JFK assassination and Sterling’s daughter’s wedding? Fantastic episode. Here, we’re looking at how the death of one of America’s greatest orators and leaders effected everyone — sorrow, pain, inspiration, remorse, depression. It was another awesome installment into this stellar season. –BB
It’s definitely hard to sum up an episode when all your characters are acting out of place as most Mad Men episodes around tragedies tend to be. Still, there are enough signifiers that keep their roles and our perceptions of them in place. Tragedy both personal and national has always made people think and the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce gang had their share of things to think about after the death of Martin Luther King. In light of recent tragedies I felt this episode was very fitting because it shows how much people need each other in times of great sorrow and how people either try to learn from such events or simply go about their days as if nothing happened. Everyone needs someone in those times and even the most conceded people look for loved ones when needed. I quite liked seeing Pete reach out to Trudy despite being rejected in the end but his feelings were heard and felt and that says a lot. Overall a very good episode that deals with a harsh reality for people who live in a bubble world all unto themselves. –JS
All Photos Credit: AMC