Mad About Mad Men: ‘Man With a Plan’

bill bodkin and jason stives have a mad plan …

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The Low Down: The merger is in full swing and people are coming and going. Joan (Christina Hendricks) is struck by a mysterious stomach problem so it’s up to the ever present Bob (James Wolk) to save the day. Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) and Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) are none to happy with the merger — Peggy dislikes how Don (Jon Hamm) is treating Ted (Kevin Rahm) while Pete, who’s dealing with a mentally ill mother, feels he’s being forced out. Meanwhile Don gets into some very sexy and destructive behavior with Sylvia (Linda Cardellini).

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The Bed and Booze Count: Two beddings and countless drinks ( I counted 5 from Don, who the hell knows what Ted drank or Pete’s Mom) — JS

Favorite Performance: Don Draper (Hamm) really was the stand out here and I found his sudden control of power over Sylvia (Cardellini) very interesting even if it was a tad misogynistic. Don has never shown that kind of assertive nature and maybe that makes it very out of character and out of place but I found it fascinating considering the last few weeks. –JS

For the second week in a row Kevin Rahm’s Ted has really impressed me. He showed a bit more of his humorous side, especially when trying to keep up with Don and his drinking. However, he one ups the always cool Don by literally taking control of their meeting with the NY Thruway by flying them up there. His sly and subtle smile was perfect. –BB

The Supporting Scene Stealer: We still have no idea where the hell Bob Benson (James Wolk) came from but I quite enjoyed his contribution to Joan’s “food poisoning” storyline. Something about covering someone’s tracks shows a lot of decency even for a character we have no background on. Seriously, who the hell is he?! –JS

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Linda Cardellini owned it as Sylvia tonight. When she breaks free of Don’s 50 Shades of Grey-esque game of submission and domination, it’s delivered in a fantastic speech. It’s rare we see a woman on this show put Don in his place, especially one he’s been bedding. –BB

The Best Part of The Episode: For me it was the final moments when Sylvia makes Don realize that the affair they have been engaging in needs to stop. Don’s power trip was great for awhile but it only enforces how lost he is so to see someone he felt passionate for stop him in his tracks was more than pleasing. –JS

Don and Slyvia’s silent elevator ride was excellent. When she walks out of the lift and back to her apartment without ever looking back, it was perfect. The look on Don’s face, a look of defeat, is something we haven’t seen in a while. –BB

The Part We Could’ve Done Without: I’m not too sure where the storyline with Pete and his mother is going but it just felt like strange bedfellows to me. I imagined a very silly sitcom between the two but I’m not sure where it fit in with the rest of Pete’s storyline which clearly involved a power struggle on his part. –JS

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The writers of this show don’t seem to know what to do with Peggy Olsen. So we’ve gone back to her being a whiny, complaining member of the staff. I didn’t welcome the return of this side of Peggy and I hope this was just a temporary return and better things will come for her. –BB

The Little Thing We Loved: I got a real kick out of watching Roger fire Burt. This pretty much comes down to how Roger just never changes gears during his exchange with Burt and it’s a very cut and dry scenario done with a lot of sarcasm under neath. The silver fox strikes again. –JS and BB

Final Thoughts: This episode was all about power and while Don was clearly in control of every aspect of his life this week you have to commend Ted for showing some initiative. The merger of the two agencies is a big deal even if one comes off weaker than the other but there is a power struggle from within that Don Draper may seem ready for but truly isn’t. This is obvious from how his sudden domination of Sylvia comes crashing down in an instant. It should be interesting to see how the show handles Bobby Kennedy’s assassination next week in the same way they handled Martin Luther King’s a few weeks ago. Overall a good episode but felt a bit disoriented at times in its intentions. –JS

“Man With a Plan” was an expected and unexpected episode. It was expected because after such a game-changing episode like “For Immediate Release” you’ve got to expect a bit of fall out and a bit of a letdown. The plot has been completely turned on its ear, so everyone in the world of the show and the audience at home need to play a bit of catch up and getting to know everyone. So we weren’t getting a home run here. However, it was a bit unexpected because the end of Don and Sylvia’s tryst, while we knew it would happen, we did not expect it to end with Sylvia putting the nail in the coffin. Don’s forte is crushing the romantic and sexual longings of many a woman (remember the shrink from two seasons ago?) when has it been done to him? It’s a rare thing. So overall, a well-acted but not overly amazing episode. –BB

All Photos Credit: AMC

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