“Mad Men”: Episode 5, “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”

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By CYNTHIA LITTLETON

This felt like an episode about people trying to live with open wounds — Oedipal and otherwise. The Sally Draper scenes were painful to watch.

Though there were some light touches here and there, “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword” was a heavy episode. It’s never easy to see a child suffer. And now even Sally’s unfeeling mother recognizes that the kid is troubled.

Roger Sterling was also nursing a war wound through his visceral opposition to doing any kind of biz with a Japanese motorcycle manufacturer called Honda.

The physical manifestation of his anger was so expertly telegraphed by John Slattery — in the way he prowled around the room during his first nasty encounter with the Honda execs and the way he and Pete nearly came to blows.

The subtext about Roger’s concern about new accounts overshadowing the importance of his cornerstone client, Lucky Strike, was nicely handled by in the script by scribe Erin Levy and by helmer Lesli Linka Glatter who’s just fantastic, particularly on this show. (And we all know that Lucky Strike is about to wane in importance once the federal ban on cigarette advertising on TV hits in 1966.)

I noticed this episode had an amazing color palette — as if to visually represent that the Day-Glo psychedelic era is just around the corner. Deep greens, reds, blues and of course, Roger’s pop art office (which is so not him!). It was a visual treat, sharply assembled by editor Leo Trombetta, who won an Emmy on Saturday for cutting the HBO telepic “Temple Grandin” (you notice these things after you endure a three-and-a-half-hour awards ceremony).

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