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Mad Men "The Inheritance" OAD 10/5/08

531 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Steve
From Wikipedia:

Betty visits her ailing father; Paul's girlfriend, Sheila, advises him about his civic responsibilities; Pete's mother tries to put the kibosh on an important family move that he and Trudy are planning.
This is the only show where, after watching a character's stroke-affected father try to put the moves on her, I could say, "Well, it's getting a little lighter in tone."

The episode was all about what you get from your parents, and how your relationship changes as everybody gets older. As usual, we saw parallel plots that often said the same thing: dealing with an aging parent is difficult at best and requires dignity and tolerance. Some characters (like Betty) have that. Some (like Pete) don't.

All in all, though, I found this episode dry. The plots didn't really move, and I wonder what's going to come of this California trip. I was hoping Don would invite Betty; now I just hope he told her he was going cross-country.

Kinsey, poor Kinsey; always put upon and the last one chosen. Maybe I read my foreshadowing wrong but who else thinks he'll get shot in Mississippi? If not him, his girlfriend perhaps.

I was hoping that Betty's dad's illness would be the natural catalyst for Don coming home. It would be a very consistent and period-appropriate way of dealing with it. The Drapers wouldn't speak of the affair again, and although their relationship would be wounded it wouldn't be sunk. I still hold out hope that Betty and Don will get back together because I just don't think the show would ring true otherwise.

I was also hoping we'd see Peggy's new office, and see that she was given a secretary of her own. After all, Freddy had one and she took over all of Freddy's work. Sure he's on 6-month leave but I'm hoping she gets aggressive and pushes for all the benefits he had.

Let's see what happens with the last few episodes of 1962.
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I just watched this episode. There was so much Freudian stuff going on, it made me uncomfortable which probably says alot about me. We had controlling parents, hating parents, hiding from parents, a weird father-daughter relationship, Betty worring about becoming an orphan which is what Don actually was, adopted kids not real kids, black maids raising white rich kids, etc.

Then we have the the beginning of the voter registration trip as a bus ride to the South which is a bit confusing because the Voter Education Project that went on in Mississippi in 1962 wasn't the same as the Freedom Rides of 1961.

And oddly and wrongly, I was wondering if we wouldn't end up with Don and Peggy in California.
Thinking about this show this morning, what interests me is the voyeuristic quality of the cinematography. Often times the camera will wander past two people talking and fixate on them for a moment. Neither character acknowledges the camera, and we the audience feel like secret observers... like children who have wandered into an adult conversation unnoticed.

There was a shot toward the end of this episode where Betty and Glen's mother are talking to each other and the shot is framed from the height of someone who stands as tall as a sitting adult, from several feet away. I expected to see Glen's face after that, as we were shown the view from his eyes. Then it hit me... we're Glen, or at least show creator Matthew Weiner is.

Every writer uses his own experience and perspective, and often inserts a version of themselves into the scripts. I wondered who Mr. Weiner saw himself as. We'd all love to be Don but without the reprehensible cheating. We'd love to be Betty with a perfect home but without the stabbing sadness. Every character has a flaw, something that makes us like them, understand them but not quite want to be them.

I wonder if Mr. Weiner had a crush on the neighbor lady when he was growing up. I wonder if his view of life, and the creativity he nurtured, started when his parents left him alone too much. This episode seems to tell us as much about him as it does about ourselves.

Phrelin... you're right, the disquieting parental images were hard to take, but it probably says as much about me that I was much more put off by Betty's turn to depression several weeks back.
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I especially liked that dramatic overhead shot of Bits on the bed and Don lying along side her on the floor. This show excels on so many levels, IMO.

I agree with Stuart... it was a little dry, but I think we're being necessarily set-up for a powerful season finale... the calm before the storm, so to speak. /steve
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