Mad Men – “To Have and to Hold”

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Tyler Clements

Grade: B

Things are looking pretty bleak for my theory. However, I will continue to champion it! Also, I am very busy finishing up school things before graduation, so this will be brief. Last night, the theme of the episode was supposed to be gluttony (curse you Erin Levy).  This was the weakest episode of the season thus far, in my opinion.

Gluttony, the over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or wealth items to the point of extravagance, wasn’t the most prominent thing in this episode. In fact, there wasn’t really a discernable over-arching theme to this episode, and that’s why it felt weak to me. Really, gluttony has been the theme of every single other episode other than this one! There’s no Betty over-eating, there’s no Don drinking until he’s sick, and there’s no Lane’s wife buying him a Jaguar. 

More and more over time, Mad Men has succeeded by showing how its characters are dealing with the same issues in different ways. Maybe I’m missing, but it didn’t seem like there was any of that in last night’s episode.  It almost felt like this episode just moved some story-lines along.  Hopefully next week will be better! I’m still holding out hope that the theme will be greed.

Extra Thoughts:

  • I liked Don’s ad for Heinz more than Peggy’s.  But once again SCDP is losing because they’re trying to force the client to like something that they never said they wanted.  
  • Stan is the best thing about this season. The middle finger between Ted and Peggy was the most perfect thing.
  • I loved that we had no clue CGC was competing for the ketchup business as well.
  • MORE GINSBERG PLEASE. He was promoted to Main Cast but he’s been on screen for a total of like 57 seconds.
  • Lastly, I find it interesting that every episode has ended with Don in bed with Sylvia (except last week, where he was in bed, then flashed back, then sat down in his doorway). Wonder if that mean’s anything. I’m working on my next conspiracy theory.
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2 thoughts on “Mad Men – “To Have and to Hold”

  1. Bodl says:

    Disappointed in your review, because your theory is correct!

    The episode was filed with gluttony – for sex on the surface, but mostly for power.

    Think it over and reconsider.

    • mollyraker says:

      I’ve researched gluttony and I agree a little more with you. However, I’m still a little skeptical. It’s tricky to say that someone was a glutton for sex in the episode because there were no consequences shown for the “over-consumption” of sexual acts. Megan’s writer and his wife were attempting to get Don and Megan to swing with them, but they were more amused than anything else. Maybe Don continuing to go back with Sylvia indicates his over-consumption, but that’s not really as overt as Mad Men usually is.

      The thing that stuck out the most for me was Harry. He is who I’m assuming you were referring to when you mentioned power. He continues to make a fool of himself because he thinks he is more important than the partners think he is. Problem is he’s probably right, in the coming years his power and influence is only going to get stronger.

      Another interesting tidbit from the Dante’s Inferno Wikipedia page (only the most reliable information.) It says there is “strife in Florence between the “White” and “Black” Guelphs,” which, from what I can tell, has something to do with the Catholic church in the early 14th century, but may have been applied to the strife between white people and black people.

      I did say I wasn’t giving up on my theory, and you made me think I was a little more right than I had thought, but this episode still lacked the heavy-handed themes that usually accompany Mad Men episodes.

      Thoughts on my thoughts?

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