“Mad Men”: Episode 10, “The Color Blue”

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“I don’t care about your marriage, or your work, or any of that. As long as I know you’re with me.”

Whoa, Don Draper. You’d better have a flak jacket on underneath that tuxedo because you’re about to face incoming missiles from all sides: your wife, your lover and your professional family.

This was the rope-a-dope episode of “Mad Men,” one that meandered along with great character bits until just about halfway through when … wham! Betty hears the keys to Pandora’s Desk rattling around in the dryer and she unlocks more of a mystery that she ever bargained for. I love the way this mammoth plot development was played so randomly — what if she hadn’t done laundry that morning? — and without any hint (at least that I caught) that it was coming.

Leave to Don Draper to engender not one but two psycho femmes with cause to come after him with both guns blazing. I found the scenes between Don and his latest extramarital squeeze, school teacher Suzanne, to be kind of creepy, frankly. She’s nuts, folks, and it’s only a matter of time before it all spills out of her upstairs apartment and onto the sidewalks of Ossining and the halls of Sterling Cooper, for Betty and the neighbors and the office chipmunks to see.

At first as this episode unfolded I was having a little trouble buying the Suzanne-Don relationship, which we’re seeing in full bloom for the first time in this seg, “The Color Blue,” penned by Kater Gordon and Matthew Weiner and helmed by Michael Uppendahl. Suzanne’s a budding feminist, artsy/craftsy type who’s probably headed to Stonybrook or Haight-Ashbury in the next four years or so. What does she want with a married Mr. Establishment type (even one that handsome)? She oughta be dating Ken Cosgrove. But then I saw how they were hinting at her brewing discontent with the relationship and it made more sense.

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  1. Whenever we look into the obscene memories, a sexy debaucheries, a merciless plus tortuous xecutions, a undeniable vindictiveness by using which will over fifty percent a Word of god is definitely filled up, it would extra dependable that him and i get in touch with them the idea of on the satanic force versus the tatement with The lord. This is the track record with wickedness who has provided so that you can dodgy plus brutalize humankind; plus, to get this section, I actually genuinely do not like them, when i do not like all that is definitely merciless.

  2. Alan says:

    “Nice work in this seg” — You say that every week. We get it, you love the show. It’s the only time you actual blog. I think you just like using Variety speak, and I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s Variety Speak!
    But give it a rest. All the episodes are amazing!

  3. dana harris says:

    Also of note: Apparently sales for “The Group” on Amazon skyrocketed the day after this ep aired. (It’s great; the sort of book that should make the pink chicklits flush w/ embarassment.)

  4. Pat says:

    “The Group” is the perfect book for her to be reading — one character’s description is: “Kay subsumes her own talent to the artistic ‘genius’ of her egocentric and philandering husband” — it’s all about the double standard, unfulfilled wives, etc.

  5. cinemaniax7 says:

    Mamaleh is correct regarding the name of Charles Shaughnessey’s character. It is, in fact, “Saint John Powell,” pronounced “sinjin” by the British.

  6. Perry Lane says:

    This episode certainly did meander. With so few episodes each year, one like this has me losing faith in the show. There’s only been one episode, the fabulous ‘Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency’ that has had the spark of previous seasons. There’s only a few episodes left. Let’s hope there are some dramatic peaks ahead instead of continuing the flatlined arc of this episode. A good start would be to lose the teacher plot, it’s never seemed real.

  7. Michael Eddy says:

    Cynthia: Some terrific insight and comentary here. I DVRed the episode and finished watching it at 3:45 a.m. This show keeps getting better and better. I likened Betty finding the treasure trove of info on Don and sitting on it – waiting to pick her spot – laying in the weeds – to a ticking bomb. And then of Hitchcock’s motto which was to let the audience know the bomb was there – but not see it go off – the better for the suspense. She’s going to “go off” at some point – especially with only 3 episodes left in the season (talk about a bummer – I wish this show ran all year long…) – and she’s no longer a shrinking violet. Does she get quid pro quo by going back full force to Francis? If she was smart – she’d confront Don and ask for a divorce and rake him over the coals – after cleaning out his cash stash a la Carmella Soprano (the Matthew Weiner connection). Don, for a guy seemingly so in control and cool under fire – having been given a reprieve already – he’s making some awfully dumb moves. The affair with his daughter’s teacher – and already lying to her (about her brother – who seems like another grenade with the pin pulled and ready to go off) – getting caustic at work, having Roger Sterling on his bad side and doing little to keep the other troops close at hand. Being manipulated by Hilton. Great stuff.

  8. mamaleh says:

    The name of Charles Shaughnessey’s character is not “Shinzin,” but likely “St. John,” usually pronounced by Brits as “sinjin,” as in the novel JANE EYRE.

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