Mad Men: “The Runaways” Season 7 Episode 5 Review

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As far as TV meltdowns go, Michael Ginsberg may have just set a new standard.

Like he cut his nipple off and gave it to his boss (thanks Mad Men for allowing me to write that sentence). Ginsberg had been acting weird the whole episode, but it only seemed a little weirder than what he usually does at first. It’s not out of the realm of the show for Ginsberg to make hyperbolic jokes about the computer taking over his mind.

To illustrate his paranoia, we got a recreation of the iconic scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey where HAL reads the lips of the astronauts, except it was Ginsberg trying to read the lips of Lou and Jim. It was a clever homage that lent the episode an extra dash of crazy before things really got nuts. He tries to kiss Peggy. She rejects, leading him to freak out and cut off his nipple as a gift. He leaves the office strapped to a stretcher. What a weird episode.

But it turns out that Lou and Jim were talking about approaching a tobacco company, meaning Don would be fired thanks to his letter to the New York Times a few seasons ago. Don learns this when he by chance runs into Harry Crane while in LA at Megan’s house party.

Side note: Megan was a whole new kind of horrible tonight. She quietly shoves Don’s pregnant niece Stephanie because she require more attention, then has an uncomfortable threesome with Don and her friend. Weird episode.

Don takes his new information and runs to New York. In typical Don style, he convinces the tobacco company to sign on and work with him. He still has what it takes to fix his career, even if Jim doesn’t plan on keeping him around.

Meanwhile, Betty and Henry get in a fight when Betty doesn’t speak carefully enough about her political beliefs. Then there’s Sally, who comes home with bandages on her nose after getting a nose job. The argument that follows is the new season tradition of Betty and Sally outdoing all the terrible things they said the last time they fought. The difference with this episode though was the brilliant scene we got with Sally and Bobby. The siblings have never really shared a scene together since they’ve grown up, but their connection here was a flawless representation of more mature siblings dealing with a broken marriage. This one may be worse though, if Betty and Henry torture the children by staying together.

This was another fantastic episode of Mad Men‘s seventh season. Now that all the characters are back in place, things are clicking, making the individual episodes work a lot better. The Runaways also benefitted from a number of surprises that will keep us talking until next Sunday. Glad to see this show is back on track. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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