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Mad Men – “The Collaborators” Review

Posted on April 15, 2013 at 1:00 am by Amanda Andonian


If all you need out of Mad Men is sex and scandal, then is definitely the episode for you! Episode three of the sixth season, “The Collaborators,” further explores not only Don’s affair with his neighbor’s wife, Sylvia, but it also catches us up on what ole Peter Campbell has been up to. It was a thoroughly enjoyable episode that gives us a lot of insight into some of our favorite characters, and leaves us with the promise that is season is going to be a doozy.

mad-men-the-collaboratorsDespite Don’s forlorn words from last week, he apparently didn’t want to stop sleeping with Sylvia enough to actually stop. Their affair is still going strong and still right under the noses of their spouses, neither Don nor Sylvia giving any signs of growing weary with the charade. They do have a brief tiff over Sylvia taking things too seriously; but in his usual Don Draper way, he convinces her that what they’re doing has no bearing on real life, and it’s not long before they’re back in bed.

The juxtaposition of Don’s affair and the flashbacks to his childhood provide an interesting look into the mind of Don Draper. It’s no wonder that his outlook on sex and relationships is so warped; watching some creepy “uncle” bed your step-mother in a whore house will do that to anyone. Plus, the fact that his first associations with sex are completely centered around prostitutes is painfully echoed by the casual way he hands Sylvia several bills after their latest tumble.

mad-men-the-collaborators2As for Peter, man that guy is still a douche. He flirts with all of his neighbors’ wives, slipping them his card, stabs Don in the back in a conversation with their client from Jaguar, and then has the gall to be all, “Woe is me!” when things fall apart for him. What I did love about all of Pete’s ridiculous antics, though, was that it gave Trudy (played brilliantly by Alison Brie) a chance to stomp him into dust. When Pete’s latest fling takes refuge in their home after telling her husband, Trudy keeps a calm outer exterior, but then lays into Pete the next day, telling him, “I’m drawing a 50 mile radius around this house, and if you so much as open your fly to urinate, I will destroy you.” Trudy is officially a badass!

mad-men-the-collaborators4We also get to see more of Peggy, who is struggling at work because she’s too hard on the junior copywriters she works with. She makes the excuse that her standards are high, and the men aren’t meeting her standards, but Peggy’s secretary wisely points out that she could stand to be encouraging to her team. Unfortunately, as easy as it seems to be for her to talk to her secretary, Peggy has no managerial ability when it comes to the copywriters, and it results in pranks and the lonely feeling that everyone hates her.

My only complaint with the episode is that there’s still not enough Joan! I want to know how she’s handling her promotion to partner and what she’s doing with her newfound position. If the past is any indication, there’s no way that Joan is going to rest on her laurels—she’s definitely going to take full advantage of the opportunity she’s been presented with. Hopefully, the writers will get to that more next week, though the preview was woefully inadequate in giving us a hint of what’s to come.

Speaking of the previews for Mad Men, I find it kind of hilarious how lacking in detail they are. They’re full of silent looks and out of context one-liners that don’t make any sense when played back-to-back. Understandably, it’s difficult to craft a teaser trailer out of just a quiet show as Mad Men, but that doesn’t mitigate the fact that it’s literally impossible to glean anything from the 30 second trailers they cut together.

Anyway, what did you guys think of Mad Men? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516.

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