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Dave MB

My one semi-profound observation is that while Don is dating a Mount Holyoke fringe actress (instead of a Bryn Mawr model) he is paying for the services of a buxm redhead who looks a bit like Joan in the face.

Like many, I enjoyed the renewed focus on the workplace.

Victoria

My TV viewing has diminished to next-to-nil, so I was happy to have MAD MEN back and would have found things to love no matter what.

Early reviews mentioned Henry's intimidating mother, which seemed so ripe with potential: "Henry... with a Mother Complex?! Wheeeee!" Suddenly, his opening line to enormously pregnant (yet in virginal white lace) Betty last season - "I wish you were waiting for me." - becomes irresistibly rich with dark possibilities, which seems a righteous use of Betty's character. - In the end, I found Mama more aware and insightful than flat-out intimidating; still, I hope for more from her.

I will admit to two things that made me go "WHAAA?!" - The new offices are strewn with cardboard file boxes (unpacked? over-extended?) and the narrow halls have file cabinets and odd pieces of furniture messing with their lines. I'm supposed to believe that Joan would allow the office to look like this? This after last season ended with her "rules" for how business would be conducted for maximum good impression? I don't think so. And no conference table? Because they can't afford one? Huh? Lazy way to make a small and obvious point that their new universe is not the grand, flush thing it once was.

There's one plot point that screamed inauthentic to me - again, a gimmick to make an old point (done and re-done, by the way), but going into it would be a spoiler to Lance.

Has anyone noticed that Matthew Weiner's recent interviews seem to smack of a certain graceless cocky assurance? (Example: he loves to go on about how he breaks the usual rules but never thanks AMC for providing the space for that.) I'm hoping this does not infect the product. I really want to be fascinated this season.

El Jefe

Victoria,

The sheer untidiness bugged me too (in the context -- that's exactly what my Madison Ave. office would look like though :) Joan FTW. Nice to see both her and Peggy (despite the incongruity you pointed out) seeming to push for more overt authority in the new digs, even in limited ways. Wonder what their role will look like by 1970? Weiner definitely has a case of haughty spirit going, but it took Chase and Simon several seasons before such arrogance began to directly affect their opuses (Sopranos & Wire.) And while it was in some ways underwhelming dramatically Betty's moment of unwelcome self-recognition -- "I am *not* a silly woman!!" -- has been a long time coming. Mama may, like some Dickensian villains (not that she's a villain), have more effect by simply being herself towards people not equipped to deal with that, including her son.

Dave

Sally doesn't like sweet potatoes. Bobby does.

All the rest is commentary.

(Seriously, it was a pretty good ep, and I'm not the series biggest fan. That said, is it wrong for me to wish the worst for Betty?)

Victoria

I'm with you, Dave, on the Betty thing. It just seems so natural for her to have to go through some hell. For her own good, of course. - I had delicious fantasies about her having a breakdown, ending up in a (beautiful) facility somewhere, leaving Don to juggle single fatherhood and work and libido. Greedy me.

El Jefe

Victoria,

I had delicious fantasies about her having a breakdown, ending up in a (beautiful) facility somewhere, leaving Don to juggle single fatherhood and work and libido. Greedy me.

That was an entirely beautiful sentence. Entirely understandable too.

someofparts

Henry's mom had some wickedly insightful things to say about Betty. Don't know where that storyline is going, but it's got me interested.

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