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“Mad Men”: Episode 4, “Three Sundays”

Madmen3sundayspeggy_trio

Holy heck, this was a great episode of Mad Men,” packed with equal amounts of arresting visuals and razor-sharp lines of dialogue that will rattle around in our heads all week.

Seg “Three Sundays,” superbly penned by Andre and Maria Jacquemetton and directed by Tim Hunter, is framed by three trips on successive Sundays to the parish church with Peggy’s family. By the end of this episode, we’re all fidgety little boys squirming in the pew and tugging at our starchy collars.There is enough repressed anger and nervous tension in this episode (actually in the Draper household, the anger is boiling over) to light up Broadway, if there were electrical sockets built in to the backsides of Don Draper, Betty Draper, Father Gill (in a fantastic guest shot by Colin Hanks), Peggy Olson and her mother, Katherine, and sister, Anita.

Was it my imagination or in the opening scene in Peggy’s church was there an extra volume put on the Monsignor’s admonition for his flock to “live worthily” and “bear the cross.” These themes seemed to be significant in the episode.

(More after the jump.)

STUART LEVINE WEIGHS IN

If Matt Weiner and his team were concerned about a sophomore slump, they needn’t worry any more.
Sunday’s fourth episode of the season, “Three Sundays,” was fabulous.

For me, the episode was all about children, and how parents treat a child affects those all around on the periphery. Let’s start with Bobby. This adorable rascal keeps getting into trouble: breaking the record player, jumping on and breaking the bed, spilling his drink while playing with his robot. He looks to be about 6 or 7, and he’s testing boundaries. A kid being a kid.

That’s a concept Betty’s completely oblivious to, and her reaction is to have Don smack Bobby around, thinking that will teach him right from wrong.

Don won’t do it, however, still reeling from when his father beat him, and telling Betty that he wanted to murder his father when he grew older. It might not be a shocking revelation, as it was hinted about in a few prior episodes, but it does reinforce that Betty has no idea about the relationship between Don and his father, or much of anything about Don’s past.

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