Customer Review

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ships that Pass in the Night, May 21, 2012
This review is from: Mad Men Season 5 (Amazon Instant Video)
Mad Men is one of the best shows in the medium for conveying unspoken emotion, in the acting, the writing, the tone, the music and the setting. Things that people are feeling and thinking but not actually saying are conveyed just as strongly as those that are spoken.

A lot happens in this episode. Lane is in trouble with the In Land Revenue in England and is fiddling the company books (no doubt momentarily) and robbing Peter to pay Paul to take care of it. This is an obvious set-up for a longer arc, but of all the things that happened in this episode, this was my least favorite. I like Lane and I believe he would act more honorably from what we have seen thus far. Pete continues to chase the Jaguar account, but as everyone knows, Jaguars were temperamental cars until Ford took them over, decades later. Late sixties flavor is mixed in with a throw-away sub-plot involving the Hari Krishnas.

Don's resentment of Megan's decision to leave advertising continues to simmer and burn, though Megan largely ignores it, and Joan's estranged husband moves to make the estrangement permanent, which leads to the most powerful scene of the episode and possibly one of the most powerful of the series. Joan throws a temper tantrum in the outer office after being served and Don rescues her and takes her out. Viewers have always wanted to see Don and Joan interact more - not only are they the two most beautiful people on the show, they seem to be eerie mirror images of each other, a fact that is beautifully conveyed in the scene that follows. Joan and Don sit drinking in a mid-town bar, cynically surveying the talent. They are both scarred veterans of the battle between the sexes. They have both sought love and they have both manipulated to take the best on offer when love wasn't available. They are both weary and neither is sure they can pick up their guns and soldier on again. They stoically acknowledge each other in the old, old dance but know they are too much alike to be together and Don still has something to lose, though I suspect his fidelity is going to take a hit soon, rationalized by Megan's departure into the world of acting. The scene between Don and Joan is achingly beautiful, all the more so because viewers have been unconsciously waiting for it the entire run of the show. And it is pitch perfect. I cannot say enough about the acting and the writing in this scene or the perfection of it for these two characters.

A five star episode.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 21, 2012 8:15:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 21, 2012 8:19:46 PM PDT
exactly why I love this show - FACIAL EXPRESSIONS. Roger's Yeahhhhh Righttt look. Cooper pretending to be aloof. Peggy's charlie brown look when she is thinking, Betty's exagerrated eye roll, Don's when he is confused. Pete when he is pleased with himself and his lips and face get super rosy.

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 9:42:01 PM PST
CT music fan says:
I have to agree about that scene with Don and Joan in the bar. One of the best of the season and of the entire series. Great take by the reviewer.
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