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Mad Men: Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency - Review

If tonight's episode of Mad Men is an indication of the direction it's heading then look out Quentin Tarantino!

Airing on the same night as the 2009 Primetime Emmy's may prove to be a mistake since this episode was truly amazing. It had everything you've come to expect from this award winning show like; great writing, funny situations, clever 60's references and wonderful acting by everyone. It also had gratuitous violence. After last weeks surreal and very trippy episode I was wondering what they would do for an encore. Simply put, Matthew Weiner delivered big time.

"Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency" saw Matthew Weiner & Co. deliver a gem all the while the entire entire cast was sitting in L.A. waiting for their names to be called. Sadly, their names weren't called all that much. But that's another story all together.

On to the abbreviated review . . .

Something is bothering little Sally Draper so much at night that she cries for her daddy to give her a nightlight. Sally is still bothered by the death of grandpa Gene and she feels like somehow his ghost is alive and well in her new little brother Gene. This is pretty scary stuff for a nine year old and she counts on her parents to help see her through this. The ever immature Betty thinks it's a good idea to get her a Barbie Doll as all little girls love dolls, right? Wrong, oh so wrong. Sally proves to more mature than Betty at every turn even when she screams in the middle of the night. Glad Don decided to be a good father; at least Sally will be able to count on him when she gets older.

Sterling Cooper is buzzing with the news that the Chairman of PPL is coming for a visit and it looks like they will have to postpone Joan's going away party not to mention give up their 4th of July holiday (which means nothing to the British.) Ken with his usual devil-may-care attitude bags the John Deere account and brings in a tractor lawn mower into the offices. Bert Cooper thinks the brass at PPL are coming to give Don a promotion but they bring in Guy McKendrick to take over and decide to ship Lane off to India after all the good work he's done. Talk about trying to recapture the old empire. Of course Bert is wrong (why do they listen to him?) but before the changes take place Smitty lets Lois ride the tractor around the office and she promptly runs over and destroys Guy's foot. "He'll never play golf again!" The amount of blood spatter was so over-the-top it reminded me of "Kill Bill". Joan is the only one who rushes in to give the guy medical aid (he probably wishes it was mouth-to-mouth) and proves once and for all she is woman with MANY talents that should never be overlooked.

Bert forces Don and Roger to bury the hatchet and not have their personal issues get in the way. Especially since "the British are coming!" Don makes the effort and offers Roger and olive branch. Probably because he thinks that he's going to get a promotion and soon be done with Grand Ole Roger.

Joan gets the news from her drunk/doctor/rapist husband that he didn't get the residency after all and as he wallows in his own ineptitude she is there for moral support. He informs her that she will have to keep working and that he will never be a surgeon. Boy, for someone so smart she sure knows how to pick great men. Not. Is it too late to get her office manager job back? John Hooker announces that HE is the new office manager. That guy's a dweeb.

During Joan's party but before the foot incident, Don gets a call from Conrad Hilton who wants to meet with him. Turns out that Connie from the "My Old Kentucky Home" episode that Don fixed a drink for is the one and only Conrad Hilton of the Hilton Hotels fame. Or in other words he's Paris Hilton's grandpa.

Random Thoughts . . .

The British Invasion was very weird. They left Roger off the depth chart all together and treat Lane like a servant. What's with the dead snake in a basket thingy? Are they serious? It reminded me of the horse head in the bed scene in the "Godfather." Do the rest of the gang at Sterling Cooper actually think these guys are sincere at all? They give the useless Harry a promotion and ignore the rest, are they that clueless? Even if Guy fully recovers they showed their true and vapid colors by ending his career. Cold blooded.

Again, who knew Joan was so valuable to have around? Not only does she provide excellent scenery to look at but she's calm and level-headed in case someone's foot gets cut off. First the accordion and now triage? I love her even more. When she broke down during the new guys toast was heartbreaking. I don't care what's she done in the past, she is heart and soul of Sterling Cooper. Even Peggy agrees.

Who's the new guy with the horn-rimmed glasses that is hanging around Harry, Kinsey and the gang? Is it Harry's new guy?

Loved it that Kinsey was playing a guitar and singing when the Chairman arrived. Is "pretentiously creative" a term?

In one fell swoop Lois changed everyone's lives. Enough said.

The chemistry between Joan and Don at the hospital was palpable. Why didn't these two ever get together? Now that would be a power couple if I've ever seen one. He wouldn't be cheating on her that's for sure.

What was Conrad Hilton really offering Don? He couldn't have just wanted free ad advice. Is he that cheap?

Will someone please pay attention to Sally? First she through the Barbie away and then let's out blood curdling screams in the middle of the night. What does she have to do, kill the dog?? Don did make an effort at the end but somehow I know it won't last.

Best Exchange:
John Hooker: "Mr. Kinsey, you might want to shave your beard.
Kinsey: "What? Who the hell are you people?"
John Hooker: "That. Was. A. Joke."

Best Lines:
"I'm going to go home and make a celebratory dinner for my husband and when you wake up in the middle of the night and wonder what you forgot - - don't call me." Joan to John Hooker.

"Jesus, it's like Iwo Jima out there. We should but a rubber mat down so Cooper can get around." Roger to the guys.

"Sit down sissy Mary, you're pale." Roger to Harry.

"He hated me and I hated him. That's the memory." Don to Betty.

Overall, I give this episode 5 Lucky Strikes Out of 5 because it was just plain awesome. I loved the fact that there was so much misdirection, dashed hopes, great Joan moments and ultra-violence. It didn't hurt that the story took some big leaps ahead as well. The show is nearing the half way point of this excellent 3rd season and it's nice to see some things shaping up in time for the stretch run. Nicely done people!

I'd like to hear your comments and thoughts about this great episode and in the meantime enjoy this sneak preview of next weeks episode as Don literally gives his two cents on Betty's redecoration. Enjoy!

-- Janaki Cedanna

Next Week's Episode: "Seven Twenty Three" - Betty tries her hand at local politics. Don is forced into thinking about the future. Peggy receives a luxurious gift.

Posted by Janaki Cedanna on September 20, 2009 11:04 PM
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