|Left to right: Jon Hamm and Jared Gilmore|
Welcome to Mad Cap: a daily rundown of every episode of the acclaimed AMC series Mad Men. During this time, I will be compiling my thoughts and highlights as we travel through every moment and season of the Emmy-award winning drama that has come to define modern TV. The goal is to be a refresher on every moment for Don Draper and his band of advertisement executives leading up to the final season. Stay for all of the shocking moments and the brilliant acting performances, and make sure to chime in with your thoughts and criticisms on why the show means something to you.
Season 6, Episodes 5
"This can not be made good. It’s shameful.
It’s a shameful, shameful day!"
- Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser)
In the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the world begins to change. Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) discovers that Harry Crane (Rich Sommer) is racist. Others grieve and there's rioting with more deaths. Michael Ginsberg (Ben Feldman) is put on a date that doesn't work out. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) has to deal with his kids and ends up taking Bobby Draper (Jared Gilmore) to see Planet of the Apes. Betty Francis (January Jones) and Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley) grieve together. Don reveals that while he wants to be a better person, he has trouble empathizing with people. This is most notably seen when he gives a speech about feeling empty inside when having children.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Don Draper (Jon Hamm)
Don Draper (Jon Hamm)
It is a tough call when considering that it is all of the small pieces that make the chaos into a wonderful episode. In fact, it has been awhile since Mad Men used real world events as a crutch for an episode. Not that it matters, as this one manages to capture something deeper about the 60's culture than the other ones. It is a death that opens up people's true intentions. It wasn't until the third act where Don takes center stage that he brings it all home into something beautiful, tragic and very poetic for its subject matter. Once again, he delivers a great performance by analyzing disaffected culture simply by showing up and trying to please everyone without feeling satisfied inside.
What is brilliant about Don is that even when he is having a rough time, he knows how to deliver a monologue of inner turmoil. In this case, he tells Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) about feeling depressed when children are born. He thinks of the ceremonious nature with cigars and other festivities. However, he still can't feel the empathy that everyone around him feels. It is something that dives deeper into the Don mythology and makes him a fascinating character. It says a lot not only about him, but about the assassination that pins the episode together.
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