TV Review: Mad Men 706 – The Strategy

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Mad Men redefines the family for members of SC&P, home clearly is where the work is.

This week’s episode was all over the place as everyone (but poor Ted) was in New York and a lot changes are on the cards. Don is pulled above his rank on Burger Chef when Pete brings him into the pitch run through, and Pete tops himself even further by proposing Don, not Peggy, make the pitch to the client. All it takes is one little suggestion from Don to incept Peggy that her pitch sucks, or could at least be better, and she decides to try and break a new pitch. Watching Peggy struggle with ideas, get drunk at Lou’s Tiki bar and call and harass the likes of Don and Stan is funny, but heartbreaking; and Elisabeth Moss is fantastic throughout the episode. It only gets better when Don shows up to the office and decides to let Peggy in on some of the Draper magic. Don’s strategy for re-breaking a pitch is, actually, kind of funny (“I abuse the people whose help I need. Then I take a nap.”), but it’s watching these two bond even further that steals the episode. Neither of these two have anybody, really, and watching them try to come up with a way to represent the family in their Burger Chef makes them, maybe truly, realize that no one else knows them like they do each other. It’s a beautiful little moment and I hope these happy feelings keep rolling, Pete can be a part of the family too.

Speaking of Pete, California Pete loses his luster when he comes back to New York; I miss California Pete already. Pete is so relaxed with Bonnie, but as soon as they cross into the Eastern Time Zone it is all downhill for everything in his life. Bonnie ditches him in New York, Pete is instantly jealous of Trudy, and we quickly discover that California Pete might only be a mirage on the west coast. Though, maybe he can be a part of that Burger Chef family they ended the episode on? Oh, one more thing, severely disappointed we got no interaction between Bob and Pete, come on!

That’s right, Bob Benson was back this week and, sadly, it seems like we might have seen the last of him. I guess if SC&P gets Buick then we might see more of him, but if not he had an interesting, if rushed, send off. Bob’s new boss with Chevy doesn’t have the restraint that Bob does when it comes to walking the streets of NYC as a gay man, but the beating he takes motivates Bob to make a drastic move with Joan. I didn’t realize that Joan was so sure of Bob’s sexuality, but I have to appreciate her wanting to find love and hoping that Bob does to. Bob’s biggest blunder in his assessment is that he doesn’t realize that Joan is married to SC&P, and the news of losing Chevy is way more shocking and urgent than his proposal. Poor Bob, I hope he finds what he is looking for, but I hope this isn’t the last we see of him either.

Some Smaller Bits:
– Ken’s “You really got to keep an eye on him,” line, incredible.

– Have the ad pitches always been so deceitful? Don always seemed to come from a passion, but this Burger Chef pitch felt far more manipulative for some reason.

– Lou kind of wasn’t that terrible this week, though I see some foreshadowing with Peggy sitting in that office and Megan mentioning she will have it soon.

– Speaking of Megan, she seems to be collecting her things with hopes of never to return to NYC, can they make it till July?

Mad Men continues to churn out quality work and I love where they are taking Don and Peggy. Please don’t blow these two up, they are such a dynamic team right now. Anything can happen though, but I feel like Weiner is going to reign in the show and focus on the core three of Don, Peggy and Pete, and I would love that.

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