Mad Men: To Have and To Hold Season 6 Episode 4 Review

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We’re praying right there with you Sylvia.

To Have and To Hold was an eventful hour as friction rattles many formerly stable relationships.

Based on the last five or so minutes of the episode, it would seem Don and Megan had the biggest story tonight. But the bulk of the night was spent on Joan who is forced to deal with her past sins in the open. When Harry Crane’s secretary leaves early and clocks out at 6:00 with the help of Dawn, who got some serious development here, Joan fires her. Harry claims it isn’t under her authority. Joan of course seemed incredibly strong, with Christina Hendricks once again knocking it out of the park. But when Harry brought up why she is a partner (anyone else hoping he’d get punched Pete Campbell style?) we see more of her vulnerable side.

Joan has always been very proud, but now she has this black mark, and Harry just threw it in her face. So she goes out with her friend from out of town and gets hit-on by a guy, hopefully restoring her confidence. It’s a testament to the writers here that “Queen Bitch” of SCDP gets many of the most sympathetic and captivating storylines still six seasons in.

Meanwhile, Megan is asked to shoot a love scene on her new soap opera gig. Don reacts uncomfortably. So Megan gets him to go out to dinner with the show’s head writer and his wife. They’re swingers. It was kind of hilarious to see Don and Megan tip-toe around trying to get them to back off. The cab ride home was even more interesting. It’s rare that Don and Megan seem good together to me, but sharing a laugh over their crazy evening, they’ve never been cuter.

Of course it all gets ruined when Don shows up on the set for the sex scene. Fighting in her dressing room, Don and Megan say enough terrible things to each other that ruins any chance they had of me rooting for their marriage. Sorry Don, Fay is still my first choice for you. But I have to admit, Sylvia might be a close second. She tells him that she prays for him to find peace. Isn’t that exactly what we’ve been doing for six years as the audience? Clever.

As far as company happenings go, SCDP is secretly going for Heinz ketchup. Only Don, Pete, and Stan know about it, going so far as to cover the windows in the office with tin foil. Their pitch doesn’t go well though, as Peggy and Ted are next in line and possibly win them over with, frankly, a lesser ad. It was very smart not to have Peggy in the episode up until that moment. The first scene shared between her and Don this season was one of betrayal. Can we go back to that movie theater please?

The only part of the episode that really didn’t work for me was Dawn. I think she has potential to be an interesting character, but the scenes with her sitting at the bar fell flat. I also doubt Dawn will play a major role in whatever endgame the series has. But I invite the writers to prove me wrong.

Aside from that though, we have another winner from Mad Men season six. It’s crazy that a show is still this good after so long. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty


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