Mar 14, 2015

Mad Men: "Dark Shadows"

Left to right: Jessica Pare and January Jones
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 5, Episode 9
"Dark Shadows"


"Am I the only one who can work 
and drink at the same time?"
- Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss)

Plot:

Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) is working on a family tree assignment and seeks advice from Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) about the past. When she discovers from Betty Francis (January Jones) that she wasn't told about Anna Draper, she goes off on Megan who tells Don Draper (Jon Hamm). Don ends up telling Sally all about Anna. Meanwhile, Betty has to deal with Weight Watchers and is having some trouble going through with it. Meanwhile, Roger Sterling (John Slattery) asks Michael Ginsberg (Ben Feldman) to get a project together for a wine. He also has  to get something ready for a Sno client and is mad when Don ditches his input in favor of his own. Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) continues to lust after Beth Dawes (Alexis Bledel) as he waits for a news article to come out. Sally gets a good grade on her project. Sterling manages to do well with the wine client, however he still can't keep track of Jane Sterling (Peyton List), who still wants a divorce. The episode ends with everyone sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner.


Rating: 4 out of 5

Kiernan Shipka
MVP:
Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka)

Just like that, Sally returns with a force. While Bobby Draper (Jared Gilmore) continues to be an uninspired character, Sally has badgered her way into the conversation quite frequently. In this episode, she reflects how the parents around her are lying to her. She needs honesty and desperately seeks it. As a result, it opens up cans of worms that are rather painful and leave the Draper family tree visible for everyone to see. Was it really necessary for her to not know about Anna? In some respects, it makes sense. However, Sally's quick ascension into maturity has been fascinating to watch and after "At the Codfish Ball," she deserves to have this great outburst of an episode. If for no other reason, she connects the petty adult issues that fill up a lot of this episode.

Left to right: Shipka and Jones
Best Scene

It all begins with the colored pencils. When Don didn't deliver on getting Sally some for her art project, she turns to Betty. As they discuss the family tree, the slip of the tongue comes in which Anna Draper's name is mentioned. This unexpectedly sends Sally into a spiral and forces her to confront Megan about her. To watch Sally complain about being Megan's friend first is a wonderfully innocent and vulgar way to deal with hiding a child from a dark and twisted past. However, it reflects a Sally who wants to know everything and become enlightened. This is her reach into maturity, and it works rather effectively to the point of getting Don involved. However, to see the two women that she calls mom (or equivalents) have a petty war against each other reflects the brilliant ways that this show explores broken homes.



UP NEXT: "Christmas Waltz"

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