‘Mad Men: At the Codfish Ball’ Review

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So it’s unanimous that Roger Sterling and Sally Draper should get their own show right? At the Codfish Ball did a lot of very interesting things with very little actually going on, making for another fantastic episode of the best show on TV.

This week saw Don being honored by a cancer organization for the letter he put in the newspaper at the end of last season. Megan brought in her parents to see her new husband’s success first hand, which was pretty much a complete catastrophe. However, At the Codfish Ball did something with Megan that no other episode has done thus far, made her likable. This started right at the beginning of the episode as she carefully handled an urgent phone call from Sally and asked her parents to speak English in front of Don. Then she had her brilliant idea for the Heinz campaign, followed by the excellent way she handled the news that they were going to be dropped by Heinz and urged her husband to do the pitch at that moment. She may be young but this episode proved that she has a good head on her shoulders. Which makes it sad that she clearly isn’t happy in her line of work. Peggy’s surprisingly genuine congratulations was an eye opening sequence for Megan. Then we saw just how messed up her parents’ marriage is, and that her father knows that advertising isn’t her passion either. I am not completely sold on Megan yet, but this episode was a giant step in the right direction.

Sally also got a lot of attention this week. The fact that she is still in contact with Dean is disturbing, but the way she handled her grandmother falling was fantastic, from instructing her brother what to do on the spot to the tiny lie she told her father about being on the phone. Mad Men still impresses me with how quietly yet effectively they do their character development. Having her go to her father’s ceremony was terrific. Megan’s father’s mistake of saying “spread your legs” instead of “spread your wings” was the funniest moment of the episode, mostly because of Roger’s wildly inappropriate laugh. Speaking of Roger, his interactions with young Sally were priceless. Roger treated her more like an adult than anyone ever has on this show and it was extremely refreshing. But it quickly turned weird when she walked in on Megan’s mother giving Roger a blowjob. Awkward.

The only other thing going on this week really was Peggy’s woes with her boyfriend. Her relationship with Joan is wonderful as they are the two most powerful women in that office. Peggy’s boyfriend wants to move in with her, something pretty unnatural in the 1960s apparently, as brought on by her mother, who still is one of the most unlikable characters this show has to offer, but in a good way.

At the Codfish Ball was another fantastic episode of Mad Men, full of subtle character development and the brilliant pairing of Roger and Sally in the second half. But the best reward is that Megan is finally likable, and I really hope that sticks. (9/10)

2 Responses to ‘Mad Men: At the Codfish Ball’ Review

  1. Frank Hotdog says:

    I agree with the subtle character development in this episode.
    I’m glad to see Megan’s character make a more cerebral turn for the better, but still, Megan isn’t my cup of tea in this series. For some reason, I miss Fay Miller. I liked the fact that Fay was an established, professional woman. It seemed a greater challenge to Don, rather than a ditsy young Freddy Mercury look-alike who is bound to cause strife in the office. I will bet twenty bucks that Megan ends up as fodder like Jane Sterling….
    Speaking of Sterling, he was great in this episode. I guffawed when Sterling lost his composure over Megan’s father’s flub. That was genius. Roger’s interactions with Sally Draper were cute, and totally believable. Roger’s a big child, and to see him act like a goof to keep a kid entertained seemed easy to believe. Of course, seeing Megan’s mom playing the skinflute with Roger didn’t seem out of whack either.

  2. Rosie says:

    [“Sally also got a lot of attention this week. The fact that she is still in contact with Dean is disturbing, but the way she handled her grandmother falling was fantastic, from instructing her brother what to do on the spot to the tiny lie she told her father about being on the phone.”]

    Sally’s lie about how she had tripped her step-grandmother was “fantastic”? Really? Sorry if I don’t feel the same.

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