Stars: John Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, Jared Harris, John Slattery, January Jones, Jessica Pare, Robert Morse, Aaron Staton, Rich Sommer, Kiernan Shipka
Writer: Matthew Wiener & Semi Chellas, Series created by Matthew Wiener
Director: Scott Hornbacher     
Network: AMC, airs Sunday nights
Original Telecast: April 22, 2012

“Far Away Places” is a unique episode in MAD MEN’s history. I love the storytelling device of showing the same day through the eyes of Peggy (Elisabeth Moss), Don (John Hamm), and Roger (John Slattery). I like the sort of GROUNDHOG DAY feel that we keep looping back on the same day. Plus, this episode made me realize things that as a viewer I hadn’t even noticed were missing in the main components of the character’s lives this season.

Let’s start with Don, since he’s arguably the “main” character of the series. I haven’t seen Don Draper act like the old bastard Don in a while. It took just minutes to rediscover my deep seeded loathing of the character and the way he treats people around him. Leaving Megan (Jessica Pare) to fend for herself at an out of town HoJo is a pretty crappy way to treat your new wife. And really who gives a s**t if she likes orange sherbet or not?! It’s not as if it is the be all and end all of deserts. She wants pie….get her a slice of pie and stop being an arrogant, controlling cock about everything. The world doesn’t revolve around Don Draper’s penis (but he thinks it does). The resolution was pretty well done. I’m glad he suffered for being an ass. I think he needs to suffer more, but that’s just me. Then the big revelation at the end of the episode that Don has pretty much just been a face at the firm and has left Peggy to deal with all the clients…wow….I for whatever reason never put that together until it was pointed out to me. Time for Don to put his money where his mouth is.

Then there’s Peggy’s day. I love how far Peggy has come over the years. This episode pointed out just how much farther she has to go still. Men and clients in particular look at her as a “girl” and always want the approval of Don to go ahead with whatever campaign Peggy has worked her ass off to get done on deadline. Her blow up with the idiot from Heinz is more than deserved, and that guy got off lightly…of course not as lightly as the pot smoking beatnik in the movie theatre. When it all comes down to it, Peggy is tough. She will survive, but it remains to be seen, once Don steps back into the ring with his gloves on, how bad a beating she’ll take.

On to Roger, who if you’ve read my reviews, you know he’s pretty much my favorite on the show. Roger is still grasping and grappling with being something of a figurehead for the company. He doesn’t actively work accounts since Lucky Strike took off, and he has plenty of time to drink, and eat out just to schmooze clients, and do whatever his little heart desires. The biggest thing that comes out his LSD trip is the break up with his former secretary wife Jane (Peyton List). I really expected the acid trip to be trippier, but there were some very interesting moments in the various parts of the scenes. Honestly, I just love Roger no matter what. He can do no wrong and is always forgiven, even if he is a misogynist like Don…he has a softer personality and it makes him more loveable to me.


Related Link: TV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 – “Signal 30”
Related Link: Exclusive Interview with MAD MEN star John Slattery on Season 5
Related Link: TV Review –  MAD MEN – Season 5 – “Mystery Date”
Related Link: TV Review of the Season 5 premiere of MAD MEN – “A Little Kiss”

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  1. Wow, Sean! Tells how you really feel about Don Draper, played brillantly by Jon (not “John’) Hamm. Yes, he can be a controlling SOB sometimes, but that is a characteristic that has often worked to his advantage professionally – not so much personally. There was no excuse for him driving off and leaving Megan at the HoJo’s – something he regretted almost immediately. But neither should Megan have made the comment about calling his mother. That was really a low blow, given Don’s childhood, which I think he has discussed with her. My attitude about Don is much different than yours. I want him to evolve. I want to see him become a better man. That would be much more interesting than watching him destroy his personal life for the 20th time.

    As for Peggy, you barely referred to that scene in the movie theater with pot smoking guy. Having her give a HJ to a stranger in a public palce was a little over the top, I thought. Matt Weiner loves to have his female characters act out their anger, frustrations, sadness, etc. in a sexual way. Betty hasd the quickie with Mr. No Name in the back room of a bar. Joan did it with Roger up against a wall in downtown NYC while her husband was in Nam (albeit, a jerk of a husband). Now Peggy is doing more of the same. Not sure what message MW is trying to send, unless it’s women have just as much of a right to act like trash as men.


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