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‘Mad Men”: Episode 8 – A Night to Remember

Posted by Kathy Lyford

I’ve watched a lot of television in my life but I do not believe I’ve ever seen a series so intricately complex and painstakingly crafted as Mad Men.” Not a detail is left to chance. It is therefore very difficult to recap. Forgive me for the length of this post.

This episode is all about the women and, with the help of outstanding performances from January Jones, Elisabeth Moss and  Christina Hendricks, we see the ladies’ facades start to crumble.

Let’s start with Betty.

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It’s been an undetermined amount of time since Jimmy Barrett let Betty in on the secret that their respective spouses have been involved in more than just business. We open with her, clearly frustrated, taking an early morning ride on her horse. And it must have been very early because she returns home to find Don still in bed. He’s in a playful mood, even calling her “Birdy” at one point, but she’s having none of it. She’s as cold as the ice in one of his cocktails.

Preparations are under way for the big dinner party the Drapers are throwing for Rogers and Cowan exec Crab Colson and his lush of a wife Petra, the Sterlings and Duck. Much as she will later confront her troubled marriage, Betty confronts a wobbly dining chair, deciding in the end that it’s easier to dismantle it than fix it. It struck me during this scene how utterly accustomed to dysfunction Sally and Bobby have become as they watch with mild curiosity as their mother destroys the offending furniture before they just go back to watching TV.

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