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Monday
Aug162010

« In Which Right Now My Life Is Very… »

Did You Get Pears?

by MOLLY LAMBERT

Who else cheered when Allison chucked the golden snitch at Don? Yes that's right, Donald "This Never Happened" Draper, "this actually happened." You can't just stick the tip in one night and then pretend you forgot about it the next day because you were so wasted! I mean, you can! Unless you have to see them all the time by necessity, but that's why you don't dip your dick in the company cold cream!

Sometimes it's more important to tell the truth than to save face. The first three seasons of Mad Men were about the social pressures and restrictions that stop people from being honest with others, let alone themselves. So far this season has been about the unassailable internal problems that override those human constructed dams.

Everyone's an expert and a hypocrite when it comes to matters of the heart. When Allison's feelings about Don start leaking out in the conference room, Peggy tells her to stuff them in a sack. Later when Peggy finds out that Pete knocked up Trudy, she is unable to do anything but bang her head on a desk. Perhaps a more subtle gesture could've been used to indicate Peggy's feelings, but I thought it was very accurate.

Often when real emotional trash goes down you'll have a visceral physical reaction that feels especially unwelcome given that you are dealing with feelings, which theoretically ought to just give you mental anguish. And yet there you are, banging your head against the wall, or doubled over in violent pain, or throwing up in the hallway.

The difference between what should happen and what does happen is another one of Mad Men's major themes, along with the differences between the person you are and the person you present yourself to the world as being. Even if you want to keep your inner feelings entirely to yourself, as Don does, your body might still sell you out.

Don criticizes Faye Faith Popcorn for sticking her finger in people's brains and getting them to talk. One of Jon Hamm's greatest skills as an actor is his ability to convey simultaneously the many different levels of Don Draper's bluffing while making it fully believable that most other people would see only the very top layer. 

Peggy's cool downtown party was perfect. I swear I went to that party last weekend. The guy with the bear head turned out to be a bear. Telling a lesbian that your boyfriend rents your vagina is the kind of flirty neg cool art dykes live for.

How many sweatshop drug parties and exhilarating dashes from the NYPD will it take Peggy's new lady friend to unlock her potential bicuriousness? Who will get Peggy to cuckold her dopey fiance first, her new lesbian buddy or her metrosexual officemate? 

This episode was directed by none other than silver fox John Slattery! Perhaps that is why it was so very wry. It's like Matthew Weiner heard the internet complaining about how season 3 focused way too much on Don and Betty's marriage breaking down and not enough on the Sterling-Cooper office, and then granted us our dream of banishing Betty to a plotless corner so that we can spend more time with Joan, Pete, and Peggy.

We all know what the ancient couple with the pears signifies for Don's new secretary. Bobbie Barrett was a gateway drug and now Don's going to start banging old ladies on the reg. The real tragedy of this episode is that my intended, that all American idiot Ken Cosgrove, has given his dowry to some betch. Farewell to thee Kenny C, my blond prince of Vermont. I'm sorry your pretty boy swag was too much for creative. 

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She tumbls here and twitters here. You can find last week's Mad Men review here.

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Reader Comments (10)

The Malcolm X throwaway line was interesting.

That and the bet I'm now making that it is Joan who will participate in first girl-girl action on the show.

Oh and Peggy's head! up on the thing.

August 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Perfect "In which."

"Lee...Lee...Lee. The jockey smokes the cigarette."

August 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlmie Rose

shit dont stop - thug life

August 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLambo

Matthew Weiner appears to have a surveillance camera on Lambert at all times.

At Brown guys were always putting up video installations to impress Lambert and hoping it would lead to "one kiss" during pursuit by the cops.

August 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Carnevale

I'm pretty sure, "Did You Get Pears?" was actually a question (PAIRS!) for the audience. Since there was a lot of duality going on. Pete's babies. Don's secretaries. Peggie's potential bi-sexuality. Mirrors all over the place. i'm sure there was more.

August 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

The Peggy of this episode--all head-banging-on-desk and head-peaking-over-partition--was a little much. At least enough to make me cringe (and not in the "oh-god-she's-going-to-fuck-Duck" way)--it lacked all the subtlety and restraint of her character in previous episodes. That she told Allison to "stuff" it rather than lending comfort was an amazing twist and should have been left untouched by the theatrics. Slattery may know how to douse an episode in wry, but I, for one, prefer bourbon in my Old Fashioned. BAM!

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex S.

I kept daydreaming that Joyce was meant to be an approximation or whatever of my beloved Eve Arnold. But Eve never worked for Life, did she? Just Magnum.

August 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHC Carr
good, i like it
May 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterminuman berenergi
nice Post..i like it
July 17, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermp3saavn
good, i like it
August 19, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterogep

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