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“Mad Men,” Episode 7, “At the Codfish Ball”

Mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters and how slavish devotion to ideology messes with those complicated relationships. There were no small themes in this week’s “Mad Men,” another knockout seg that eased my last lingering concerns (from a few episodes back) about whether the show still had the right stuff.

I loved each of the storylines pursued in “At the Codfish Ball,” penned with real pizzazz by Jonathan Igla and nicely directed by Michael Uppendahl. Roger Sterling delivered a few pearls of wisdom that will rank among the show’s best lines (“Who knows why people do good things? For all we know Jesus was trying to get the loaves and fishes account.”) And I particularly appreciated the deeper colors added to Megan’s palette, with kudos due to Jessica Pare for a great episode. I enjoyed Julia Ormand as her feisty and frisky mother, Marie Calvet, but I was even more impressed by Ronald Guttman’s work as her father, the fulminating and frustrated academic Emile.

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