TOTALLY UNRELATED TO SOCCER: I wrote a few tweets about last night’s episode of Mad Men, then realized a million DVR-people would yell at me for spoiling it, so I moved them here. Read if you care. There are spoilers, duh.
Couple of thoughts about the form of last night’s Mad Men that I haven’t seen in the recaps. Spoilers ahoy.
So the big theme of the episode was friendship and the limits of friendship.
Formally, that meant two parallel stories about friends (Don/Joan, Harry/Paul) helping each other out of rough moments.
There was a lot of Don/Joan romance talk, for obvious reasons, but the form of the D/J story was still really similar to the H/P story.
One parallel: both stories involved trips to bars/restaurants that culminated in one friend giving the other travel money.
Both friend-outings were also a little cruel, with the “strong” friend dangling something unobtainable in front of the “weak” friend.
I.e., Don can’t give Joan the happy marriage they were playacting, any more than Harry’s fantasy-chat can make Paul a real writer.
This limit was driven home by the fact that both “strong” friends were shown to have their own weird background weaknesses.
I.e., Don’s wife actually expects things from him and won’t turn normal anger into cathartic preprandial hatesex.
And Harry is so domestically bummed that he accepts ludicrously improbable come-ons from Hare Krishna street orphans.
(In his office, no less. And how lucky is he that he doesn’t have a window now!)
Anyway, both farewells were touching and sad, because friends help, but ultimately you’re still on your own.
Friends give you cab/bus fare, but you’re still divorced in a bar or terrible at writing Trek scripts.
Friendship can’t fill in for either work or home, Mad Men’s two major settings/preoccupations.
I thought it was a good episode.