Mad Men - "Shoot"
There were two particularly outstanding moments in an episode packed with them.
Pete losing it was gasp-worthy. Just why he loses is unclear, it was either for him or for Peggy or just because he had heard too much. It may be a turning point for his character because otherwise he is a cowardly creep who likes humiliating his secretary and hides behind someone else when he thinks he’s in trouble.
The other remarkable scene was the sight of Betty in her negligee, cigarette in mouth impassively shooting at (and deliberately missing?) pigeons and it was an awesome end to an awesome episode.
The pigeons weren’t a subtle metaphor – they are in a box, they fly around a bit and then go back in the box – and Betty is as wounded as the one that Polly caught. Still the metaphor worked: maybe because Betty is shooting at the pigeons, they might stay away; maybe that’s the next step, leaving the box and not coming back; maybe she was suggesting to them that being dead is better than being in a box; or maybe Betty is replying in kind to her neighbour – those pigeons were flying over her yard after all.
Elisabeth Moss looks pregnant to me and since I don’t think (and hope) that the programme makers are suggesting that her character is unknowingly pregnant I think her weight gain is a Jane Leeves/fat Daphne ploy.
I love that the ad men are sometimes utterly clueless. Sal’s remarks about Jackie O (I mean K) may seem knowing to us but I think many people did think she would be unpopular because we women cannot stand any other women who are more glamorous than us and have married well (and can speak Spanish).
Don is a better husband when he doesn’t have a mistress and I was surprised that many people thought he deliberately sabotaged Betty’s modelling when it seemed to me that he was happy to let her try. His decision to stay at Sterling Cooper was in part (along with a host of other reasons) because he hated his wife being used as a bribe.
This show is tremendously complex and I appreciate that Betty’s behaviour, Don’s motives, Pete’s feelings, or Peggy’s attitude can’t simply be summed up in one or two ways.
I haven’t even mentioned Peggy and Joan’s confrontation. Gosh, this is an episode I would really like to watch again.