Mad Men
Signal 30

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 5 USERS: A
"I Demand Satisfaction!"
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Well, women certainly took it on the chin last episode. Let's see if we can find someone else to do so this week, shall we?

We open with audio only, on the screech of brakes followed by a thudding crash, but we don't have to worry about the lives of any of our show's characters -- yet. Instead, the video shows a Driver's Ed class watching the cautionary and episode-eponymous film Signal 30. Everyone is sitting with apple-polishing grave looks on their faces, save one Pete Campbell, who looks amused as an audience member at an above-average Catskills show. And it might seem inappropriate for him to be giggling at such tragic violence, but while I wouldn't put it past him, I feel compelled to give him the benefit of the doubt and theorize that he's actually laughing at the production values, which are so bad that the real film actually has a disclaimer about them. Would that many other films I've seen were so honest. Pete's amusement causes a comely young (like, high school young) blonde to turn around, but far from being offended she seems taken with his levity. And he seems taken with her... takeness (among other things) as John Slattery's direction takes us allllll the way down her leg, to the point where I wonder if Pete's really into women's footwear. If you'll remember, the esteemed Mr. Slattery also directed "The Rejected," an episode that featured some other indulgent camerawork of which I was not a fan, but as I noted at the time, his efforts with "Blowing Smoke" were a huge improvement. Don't reverse the trend, Silver Fox. But speaking of directorial touches, the tapping of her foot soon is matched by a repeating sound...

...and then that night, presumably, Pete and Trudy lie in bed in the dark, with Pete's eyes wide open as he listens to the same sound, which is that of a dripping faucet. He asks Trudy if it goes on like that all day and she sleepily murmurs that she supposes it does, "but I don't hear it." Of course, the idea that Trudy dragged Pete out to the suburbs kicking and screaming is rather well-developed, so you probably don't need me to tell you how their differing level of sensitivity to this nuisance underscores that notion. Then again, I don't have anything better to do.

Rather than lie in bed and stew about it, however, we cut to Pete checking out the sink and then opening a tool box and the look on his face is so determined that even the tool box doesn't have the heart to be like, "Really?" A quick shot of Pete's legs stretching out from under the sink leads to him checking it again... and the leak is apparently fixed. Pete smiles, apparently unconcerned with what Chekov would have to say about the early introduction of the faucet.

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Mad Men




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