Slate: He’s a man of ambition, but he seems to get more unhappy the more he achieves. He’s achieved many of his goals—Trudy had the baby, he got a bigger office, he’s dominating Roger—but he seems to get crabbier by the week. Do you understand why he’s so unhappy?
Kartheiser: With success comes a level of sadness. You think, “I’ll reach this goal, and then I’ll feel a sense of completeness, of wholeness. I’ll feel that I have accomplished something. I will see myself as a worthy man.” And it doesn’t really exist.
Yeah. I don’t quite know how to feel about this Megan thing either. As I tweeted post-episode Sunday night, I expected the proposal to be revealed as a dream sequence. Truth be told, as much as I’m intrigued by the ending, I’m fairly frustrated as well.
But then again, it wouldn’t be Mad Men if it didn’t end both thoroughly confusing and/or frustrating.
The arc of this season seemed to be the integration of Don Draper and his assumed persona with Dick Whitman, the man who he is on the inside. Part of that was getting close to Dr. Faye, a woman who seemed to be an amalgamation of the two types of women Don needs in his lifeâ€”blond bimbos to have sex with, and smart women to confide in and be friends with. This was cemented when, in a fit of panic, Don confessed the secret of his past to Dr. Faye, or at least part of his secret. Once she knew the truth and still accepted Don, we hoped that his transformation from the booze-soaked bachelor at the beginning of the season to a level-headed and successful ad executive was complete. If he could love Dr. Faye, he could be a complete person and no longer have to live the duality of his personality.
This may now be my favorite Mad Men scene of all time. Better than the lawn mower, better than the scene where Lane fires the crew, and better than Pete telling his father-in-law SCDP was kicking Clearasil to the curb. Better.
Why? First off, it’s hilarious. An elderly man who love pears, and his silent wife who ain’t having any of it. Second, it’s sad. An elderly man who love pears, and his silent wife who ain’t having any of it. But, as in all things Mad Men it’s about what not said that’s the most important.
In true Mad Men fashion, people are overly committed to over analyzing in this scene.
â€œDid you get the pears? Did you get the pears? Did you get the pears?â€ barks the batty old husband, who has somehow managed to grow old with his gruff wife. â€œWeâ€™ll discuss it inside,â€ says the wife. Don canâ€™t begin to imagine what it is that makes their marriage work. But heâ€™s probably thinking that the reason it works is buried in all that stuff about them that heâ€™ll never know.
A true, but obvious take:
Ah, the pears. Don is returning to his lonely apartment. He witnesses a weary, absurd exchange between an old married couple that makes sense to no one but them. Will Don or Peggy ever have this kind of long-term relationship that grows gnarled and beautiful with age? And, taking into account the episode’s theme, is marriage really what women want? The old couple seems sweet though there’s a palpable weariness in the woman’s voice. Here he goes with the pears again. Haven’t bought him pears since ’49.
Some people don’t know what to make of it. They’re not thinking at all:
If anyone knows what the deal was with the “pears” discussion at the end, let me know?
It’s almost impossible to use the “hated” and “Mad Men” in the same article. However, Sunday evening brought with it two ongoing pain points for me while viewing episode 1, season 3 of Mad Men.
2 Things I Hated
Roger Sterling makes a joke every 3 seconds. Don’t get me wrong… when not cheating on his wife or sulking about Joan, Roger is the most hilarious person on the show, hands down. However, his lines are a lot like the 4-year-old who who realizes they’re doing something cute… they keeps doing it over and over, playing to the crowd until it’s downright annoying. The writers haven’t made Roger downright annoying, but they might well be on their way.
Joey the art guy. Not only is he annoying (“Mahhhthuhhh”) and unless, he’s distracting. Slapping a sweater vest on someone doesn’t make them appear 1964. His look and haircut imply “season 7 contestant on The Bachelorette.”
5 Things I Loved
Sally Draper. She’s growing up, a better actress, and important as ever in revealing just how messed up Betty’s anger toward her children is.
The unspoken. As always the case, the show picks up somewhere in the future, though we have to piece together what’s happened since the last time we saw our pals.
Don is becoming Don. He’s more vulnerable yet more successful. Less cocky yet cocky as ever.
The last scene. My goodness, the last scene. In the words of 50 Cent: “if they hate then let them hate and watch the money pile up”.
Pete Campbell. Hate on Pete all you like, but he’s a go-getter and smarter than his stupid antics imply. It appears hat the ill will between himself and Don is either A) long gone with the success they’ve both achieved at SCDP, or B) still the elephant in the room ready to run amok.