Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TV Geek Out 163: Mad Men, "The Rejected"

Since Mad Men's third season spent so much time on the dissolution of the Draper marriage, season four isn't wasting any time returning to the show's other major stories. One of the biggest is the relationship between Peggy and Pete, which "The Rejected" caught up with in thrilling, sometimes heartbreaking fashion. Those crazy kids are so similar, yet so different, and the episode illustrated this with artful parallels in their varying paths. They're both growing up and thriving, yet their directions couldn't be any more opposite. Becoming a father seems to give Pete the push he needs to graduate from man-boy to man, and his wheeling and dealing lands him a secure place in the old boys' network. Peggy, on the other hand, tastes the sweet and bitter sides of choosing "other things" besides marriage and a family: Meeting Joyce the lesbian and her arty friends puts Peggy at the epicenter of New York's counterculture just as it's beginning to explode, while hearing of Pete's domestic bliss reminds her of what could have been.

Meanwhile, Don's life continues its publicly embarrassing downward spiral, Ken Cosgrove makes a welcome return, and John Slattery does a terrific job of directing one of Mad Men's finest hours. We had a lot to say about all of this so check out our plus-size "The Rejected" discussion here.

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