This really is the end of an era: the end of the 1960’s, to be specific.
I have a simple mixed drink beside me and uncertain expectations inside of me as I sit down to watch, analyze and enjoy “Time Zones”. On a purely personal level, I enjoy Mad Men more when California is more of a supporting character and less of an emerging star; so, hopefully whatever obsession the attractive but clinically flawed characters had with Cali in Season 6 subsides in “Time Zones.” New York, I love you, and I hope Don, Megan, Ted and everyone else comes to appreciate you more in this final season.
On that note (already analyzing the episode when all I know is the title!), all that’s left to do is wait an hour and wait for this episode to air.
Let’s start with the generalizations. Some general impressions. None of these characters actually seem satisfied or happy with their lives currently. But isn’t that Mad Men‘s niche? If someone’s happy, is usually means that they’re a victim of a writer’s dramatic irony. Betty doesn’t know Don’s sleeping with Midge, but we do (Season 1). No one expects the president to die, but we as the audience know John F. Kennedy will be assassinated on this date.
Don visits Megan in California (I don’t think we’ll get away from CA this season!), and they are an attractive, drunk couple but they do not give off good vibrations. This becomes more clear when Don admits to his airplane buddy that Megan doesn’t really know enough to leave him, but she knows something. That’s why your nervous abut sleeping with your East-Coast husband, Megan. At least you have a kick-ass apartment in California. And your acting career seems pretty solid. Meanwhile, Don doesn’t seem to have much going for him even in his work left.
Back in New York at the SCP office (ouch, Don Draper), some women are struggling to get respect. Joan, who should be president of this company by now, is trying to keep business, but it’s not easy. Meanwhile, even after she answers several questions very intelligently, a man asks her “What’s the difference (between fees and commissions)? If you even know.” Of course she knows, dude. Again, she basically runs the office. Peggy, on the creative side of business, is struggling to get her ideas heard. Even the really good ones (that’s quite a pitch, Freddy! What a freelancer you are!). He boss tells her he’s immune to her charms, and she cries. She’s used to Ted, who was not immune to anything about her.
Some Other Observations
Poor Ken still has to wear that eyepatch. I feel bad for the guy. This is not the business for him. He was so angry this episode. Remember the young, carefree author who walked through Sterling Cooper with swagger and confidence? Where did he go? Kenny just need to move to Vermont ( maybe with Olivia Pope and Fitzgerald Grant?) and write about the maple trees the rest of his life. Maybe get published in Atlanta Weekly a few more times. You’d be happier, Ken.
Freddy is a rockstar! Having just watched he episode where he pisses himself and gets let go, it’s good to see that he’s still grinding out ideas and putting himself out there. Also noteworthy is that he gives Don advice, because they both have been in that “let go” boat at some point in time. Don didn’t soil himself, he just unloaded some serious baggage from his past on some nice, chocolate-peddling clients. Don needs advice from Freddy. Both guys have had problems unloading.
On Roger reconnecting with his daughter: thank God. Do more of that and less shacking up with weird girls way too young for you.
On Pete’s plaid-pants, casual-sweater-tied-around-the-shoulders golf look: when did you get so casual, Pete? You somehow seem less rat-faced when you’re actually relaxed and happy (and dating a blond woman who doesn’t actually look like a real estate agent).
On the overuse of the words “the 4 P’s:” I assume this is when the 4 P’s theory first came out? When marketing started becoming scientific? How historically accurate! But also, having gone through enough marketing courses in college, hearing about the 4 P’s over and over and over again gets… incredibly annoying. So annoying.
Finally, WHERE is Betty? Where is Sally? Both of these characters satisfy the teenage-angst part of watching this show, and they weren’t even mentioned this episode. Not cool.
That’s all for this week. Overall, not too much happened, but we have two more years of this show to see something happen!