The fourth season of Mad Men premiered last month, revealing the aftermath of the creation of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and the dissolution of the Draper marriage.
MORE ON Mad Men:
Sady Doyle: Mad Men's Very Modern Sexism Problem
Justin Miller: 'Mad Men': No Sympathy for Betty Draper
The Atlantic Mad Men Panel: 'Mad Men': One-Liners, Sex Talk, and Nude Photography
Richard Drew (TV producer and creator of the blog Remote Patrolled): Maybe it's all the daily drinking that got them through the day, but there was certainly a lot of bad behavior on display on last night's Mad Men.
We had World War II veteran Roger Sterling insulting the firm's potential Japanese clients, Betty slapping her daughter following her self-applied haircut, Don going on a date while supposedly looking after his kids, and Sally's growing sexual awakening (not "bad" per se but a major no-no for uptight Betty).
Of course all actions have consequences—Roger found himself verbally eviscerated by the go-getting Pete; Betty and Don confessed their respective miseries yet found no solace; and poor Sally was shipped off to see a shrink. Although for "poor" Sally that kindly shrink may be the only hope she has with a distant father and an ice-queen mother. Seriously, Betty Draper has to be the worst mom on TV.
One of the things I love about Mad Men is how you can see the characters' futures unfolding before you. Unlike many shows, you just know where these people are going to be 20 or 30 years down the line: Betty, bitter and angry with a daughter who hates her; Don, aged, unhealthy and alone; Peggy, a female pioneer of the advertising industry; and Pete, rich, successful but still desperate to prove himself.
Last night's show was another step on these inevitable journeys. And though their behavior may have been bad it'll be decades before the true consequences are felt...
Catie Cambria (fashion publicist at Donna Karan New York): In a surprising and fascinating turn, Sally has become one of the weirdest and most wonderful characters on the show this season. She teeters on a fine line between normal and deranged, as we watch her in her struggle in loneliness and longing for her father.
Sally is devastated when Don ditches her and Bobby for a date; she responds to Don's icy goodbye by chopping off her golden locks. Phoebe, babysitting for the evening, freaks out when she sees what Sally has done—which Sally merely explains by stating, "You have short hair and Daddy likes you." The scene is deeply Freudian, especially when Sally asks Phoebe, almost sizing her up as she does so, whether she is "doing it" with her father. True to the Electra complex, Sally's nemesis is her mother. Though Sally claimed that she "wanted to look pretty," the haircut seems to have had the opposite effect. To be unpretty is the cardinal sin in the church of Betty Draper—she slaps Sally when she sees what she has done.