Mad Men: “A Tale of Two Cities” Season 6 Episode 10 Review

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Mad Men entered the end of the season with more drugs, and a strong push for Joan.

Don took another trip to California this week, along with Roger and Harry Crane. But while they were away your favorite ad agency was a busy center with a few major developments. But some of these developments were a tad repetitive.

Take Don’s experience at a party where he, once again, experimented with drugs. Not only did this happen two episodes ago, but we’ve seen it in prior seasons as well.

Of course the big thing to take away from it was seeing his perfect version of Megan, which Jessica Pare knocked out of the park. This version is pregnant and a lot less high strung. She even quit her job. It was pretty smart to show this after Don tried his damndest to be a good husband as his wife reacted to the Chicago riots on the phone.

He then saw Don Draper, the real one whom he took the place of all those years ago. Then we get som confusing shots followed by Roger pumping water out of his lungs. It was really cool to see Roger now saving Don, when back in season one it was partially the other way around when Roger had a heart attack. The two are so alone that they naturally must be there for each other.

The rest of the episode dealt with some pretty shaky things going on in the office. Ted’s right hand man doesn’t care for some of the SCDP guys, particularly Ginsberg. But the mysterious Bob Benson continues to break the tension and bring a smoother transition.

Maybe he can help Joan out. Peggy and Joan go on a meeting for Avlon, but Joan wants in on the advertising action. While I wasn’t sold on her need to expand her job, it’s always great to see Pete left in the dust. And then freak out about it. Peggy saves Joan in the end by faking a phone call for her from Avlon. These two looking out for each other is fun. But I will admit I would rather not see Joan go through the same journey as Peggy did. Maybe the writers just need to sell it better.

The closing moments saw Pete complain to Don about Joan, to which he replied, “If you don’t like it, I think it’s time to get out of the business.” That final shot of him smoking on the couch might just lead to that.

One last tidbit, the new company name is officially Sterling Cooper & Partners, solid name, more like the original.

A Tale of Two Cities  really didn’t have much to do with the novel it shared its name with, besides taking place in Los Angeles and New York. It also was one of the first notably repetitive episodes of Mad Men. Being so far into its sixth, and penultimate season, I thought it may have been immune. But enough of the episode was still fresh that it is hardly a point of contention. With three episodes left, I’m sure the writers have some big things in store for us. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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