Monday, April 27, 2015

Mad Men 7.11: The End of Sterling, Cooper, Draper.

Well, who knows what to call it, anyway - the signal firm of Mad Men has gone through so many slight changes in name.  But tonight, in episode 7.11, the 4th episode from the very end, the company was sucked out of existence by McCann-Erickson.

In one sense, this had to happen, if only to keep history a little straight.  Not that Mad Men was ever a literal historical drama, but it was close enough to history that we needed to know why we never heard of an advertising company called Sterling whatever.   And tonight's episode gave us the reason: because McCann-Erickson absorbed them lo those many decades ago.

But it wasn't a clean absorption, and won't be a happy ending for everyone.  Why indeed did the McCann-Erickson exec who spelled out what was happening to our people not have a rosy example for Joan's future at the company?

Joan at least has a new love interest.  So does Roger, and the other guy with the mustache, who had something going with Peggy last year.   But not Don.  And when he shows up at the waitress's apartment, he finds she's moved on to who knows where, much like a fair number of so many other important and unimportant characters in this series.

Cooper moved on last year, and at least gave us a Robert Morse song and dance as a coda.   The Brit committed suicide a few seasons ago.   Sal disappeared long ago, with barely a trace, presumably because he was gay.

Mad Men the series will disappear too, in just three episodes - why the tagline of just two more episodes until the series finale, why not just say just three episodes left?  I couldn't tell you.  Except that, this is Mad Men, and nothing is what it seems to be, including the series ending - because this series, in all its low-key sometimes maddening supremely downbeat story, will never end, will never cease being watched and talked about, and will last for the ages.

-> 20-minute interview with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) in 2007 at Light On Light Through

See also Mad Men 7.1: Vignettes and Playboy ... Mad Men 7.2:  Flowers and the Hung-Up Phone ... Mad Men 7.3: "Lunch with Rod Serling" ... Mad Men 7.4: Computer! ... Mad Men 7.5: Retrofit Paranoia ... Mad Men 7.6: The Dance ...  Mad Men Mid-Season 7 Finale: Telescope vs. Television ... Mad Men 7.8: Don, Rachel, and the Waitress ... Mad Men 7.9: Fast Ride ... Mad Men 7.10: "Fast Girl"

And see also Mad Men 6.1-2: The Lighter and the Twist ... Mad Men 6.3: Good Company ... Mad Men 6.4: McLuhan, Heinz, and Don's Imagination ... Mad Men 6.5: MLK ... Mad Men 6.6: Good News Comes in a Chevy ...  Mad Men 6.7: Merger and Margarine ... Mad Men 6.8: Dr. Feelgood and Grandma Ida ... Mad Men 6.9: Don and Betty ... Mad Men 6.10: Medium Cool ... Mad Men 6.11: Hand in the Cookie Jar and Guy de Maupassant ... Mad Men 6.12: Rosemary's Baby, Dick Cheney, and Sunkist ... Mad Men Season 6 Finale: Beyond California

And see also Why "You Only Live Twice" for Mad Men Season 5 Finale ... Mad Men Season Five Finale

And see also Mad Men Season 5 Debut: It's Don's Party  ... Mad Men 5.3: Heinz Is On My Side ... Mad Men 5.4: Volunteer, Dream, Trust ... Mad Men 5.5: Ben Hargrove ... Mad Men 5.6: LSD Orange ... Mad Men 5.7: People of High Degree ... Mad Men 5.8: Mad Man and Gilmore Girl ...Mad Men 5.9: Don's Creativity  ... Mad Men 5.10: "The Negron Complex" ... Mad Men 5.11: Prostitution and Power ... Mad Men 5.12: Exit Lane

And from Season 4: Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight ... 4.2: "Good Time, Bad Time?" "Yes." ... 4.3: Both Coasts ... 4.4: "The following program contains brief nudity ..." 4.5: Fake Out and Neurosis ... 4.6: Emmys, Clio, Blackout, Flashback  ... 4.7: 'No Credits on Commercials' ... 4.8: A Tale of Two Women ... 4.9: "Business of Sadists and Masochists" ...4.10: Grim Tidings ... 4.11: "Look at that Punim" ... 4.12: No Smoking!  ... Mad Men Season 4 Finale: Don and -

And from Season 3Mad Men Back for 3 and 3.2: Carvel, Penn Station, and Diet Soda and 3.3: Gibbon, Blackface, and Eliot and 3.4: Caned Seats and a Multiple Choice about Sal's Patio Furniture and 3.5: Admiral TV, MLK, and a Baby Boy and 3.6: A Saving John Deere and 3.7: Brutal Edges ... August Flights in 3.8 ... Unlucky Strikes and To the Moon Don in 3.9 ... 3.10: The Faintest Ink, The Strongest Television ... Don's Day of Reckoning in Mad Men 3.11 ... Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World in Mad Men ... Mad Men Season 3 Finale: The End of the World

And from Season TwoMad Men Returns with a Xerox and a Call Girl ... 2.2: The Advertising Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ... 2.3 Double-Barreled Power ... 2.4: Betty and Don's Son ... 2.5: Best Montage Since Hitchcock ... 2.6: Jackie, Marilyn, and Liberty Valance ... 2.7: Double Dons... 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved? ... 2.9: Don and Roger ... 2.10: Between Ray Bradbury and Telstar ... 2.11: Welcome to the Hotel California ... 2.12 The Day the Earth Stood Still on Mad Men ... 2.13 Saving the Best for Last on Mad Men

And from Season OneMad Men Debuts on AMC: Cigarette Companies and Nixon ... Mad Men 2: Smoke and Television ... Mad Men 3: Hot 1960 Kiss ... Mad Men 4 and 5: Double Mad Men ...Mad Men 6: The Medium is the Message! ... Mad Men 7: Revenge of the Mollusk ... Mad Men 8: Weed, Twist, Hobo ... Mad Man 9: Betty Grace Kelly ... Mad men 10: Life, Death, and Politics ...Mad Men 11: Heat! ... Mad Men 12: Admirable Don ... Mad 13: Double-Endings, Lascaux, and Holes


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Outlander 1.12: Black Jack's Progeny

A deep Outlander 1.12 last night, with back story about Jamie's family, Black Jack, and some frontal male nudity, a rarity even on R-rated television.

There was also a fine little time-travel conversation between Claire and Jamie, in which she describes to him the wonders of air travel.   This was an important conversation for several reasons.  It signals that Jamie is continuingly aware that Claire is from the future, and won't be looking at the revelation from last week's episode as some bizarre out-of-synch event.   Instead, Jamie is likely to process this into his everyday entire relationship with Claire, which is much more interesting.   And, it's always fun in a time travel story to have a character from the past brought up to speed about current or future events.  (One of my favorite parts of The Plot to Save Socrates was Sierra with the philosopher on a plane across the Atlantic.)

So that was my favorite conversation in the episode - narrowly surpassing my second favorite, also between Jamie and Claire, in which he recalls and extols her "round arse" bumping against his thighs on their first ride together on a horse.

Jamie's sister Jenny was also good to meet.   Up until now, Jamie has been something of an outsider even in his own time and place in Scotland.   That's one reason why he and Claire were so attracted to one another.  Now, finally, we see Jamie in his proper place - laird in Lallybroch - and that's nice to see, including working through reacquaintance problems.

I was a little disappointed, though, that Jenny's little boy was not Black Jack's (if we can believe her story).   Black Jack and Frank look identical for a reason - which certainly isn't that Black Jack traveled through time to the future.  The only rational explanation is that Frank is Jack's descendant. (I know, Outlander is a fantasy story, but there's a strong logic within the fantasy, which is what makes it so good.)  That being the case, it would be good to sooner or later see some evidence of Black Jack's progeny.  (Again, I should mention that I haven't read the books.)

Outlander on continues to appeal, intrigue, and surpass what we usually see on television.

See also Outlander 1.1-3: The Hope of Time Travel ... Outlander 1.6:  Outstanding ... Outlander 1.7: Tender Intertemporal Polygamy ...Outlander 1.8: The Other Side ... Outlander 1.9: Spanking Good ... Outlander 1.10: A Glimmer of Paradox ... Outlander 1.11: Vaccination and Time Travel

 
Sierra Waters series, #1, time travel

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Americans Season 3 Finale: Turning a Paige

Well, The Americans topped off its season three finale with a move that pitches the series in the most dangerous direction it's been so far. The trip to the Soviet Union had the reverse effect of what Elizabeth and Philip had wanted.  Paige is even more disconcerted by who her parents are. And, in a stunning last scene, she confides in that pain-in-the-a pastor.

This will leave Elizabeth and Philip with some wrenchingly painful options next season.  Obviously, they're not going to kill Paige, and would kill anyone who might try.  Certainly Philip feels this way, but I think Elizabeth does, too.   But certainly neither feels that way about the pastor, with whom they've already crosses swords, and have no love for at all.

But what would killing him do?   Paige would go ballistic if that happened.   Possibly the pastor will think that Paige is the one who's crazy and needs help - but how long will that last?  And, as always, Paige and everything she may do at home is just a stone's throw from Stan, whom she of course knows is FBI.   This a fine, insanely complicated kettle fish the narrative has landed itself and us in.

And, speaking of Stan, we still have no resolution at all about Martha.  Philip is showing qualms about killing innocent people.   But, as I've been saying ever since the bug in the pen was discovered, how can he let her live?   This situation, also of course connected to Stan, is so wrought with peril for Philip and Elizabeth, that Elizabeth may well do something about it - kill Martha - if Philip does not. But if Elizabeth does this, how will Philip react?  For that matter, how will Paige, if she catches any wind of it at home?

The Americans, always on the searing cutting edge of danger and death, always on the verge of its center of Elizabeth and Philip no longer being able to hold, has never been closer to mere anarchy loosed upon their world.  I'm very much looking forward to The Second Coming - or, in this case, the 4th season of this remarkable series.



Bones 10.15: Cards in Hand

A well-played Bones 10.15 on Thursday, which took a close look at Booth's gambling problem.

One of the best parts of the action was in the detective bit at the card game, where Booth lodges a charge against one of the players, to get into proximity to the telecom replay system, so Booth can synch his phone to Angela's system back at the Jefferson, so she can see what happened in the room during the past few days.   It was a neat piece of action, and you don't often see such finely tuned stings in this series.

Otherwise, the main tension in the episode was whether Booth would be able to resist his urge to gamble, and do what was needed in his police work.   With everyone in the Jeffersonian watching on the screen, Booth just manages to arrest the bad guy rather than place the bet.  But in a chilling coda at the end of the episode, Booth places a bet with his bookie - this despite the fact that he's thrilled with Bones being pregnant, or, who knows, maybe that increases his gambler's anxiety, I'm no expert on this.  What's clear is that is that the betting passion stirred at the card game had to be expressed.

We also get some good support from Aubrey on this, who does his (unsuccessful) best to keep Booth away from the card game and his gambling impulses.  Aubrey's motivation is that his father was a gambler.   As I've been saying in previous reviews, I think his character is adding some depth to the show.

My favorite minor part of the episode which maybe won't be so minor: Hodgins invents a plastic that's perfect for putting on the hard floor near a kitchen table, to prevent glasses that fall off from breaking.   Since Cam, in her officious way, stopped him from developing this at the lab, any profit that comes from this will belong to Hodgins - and Angela.  I'm hoping he makes back the tons of money that one of the serial killers took from him a few seasons ago.


And see also Bones 9.1: The Sweet Misery of Love ... Bones 9.2: Bobcat, Identity Theft, and Sweets ... Bones 9.3 and NCIS 11.2: Sweets and Ziva ... Bones 9.4: Metaphysics of Death in a Television Series ... Bones 9.5: Val and Deep Blue ... Bones 9.6: The Wedding ... Bones 9.7: Watch Out, Buenos Aires ...Bones 9.8: The Bug in the Neck ... Bones 9.9: Friday Night Bones in the Courtroom ... Bones 9.10: Horse Pucky ... Bones 9.11: Angels in Equations ... Bones 9.12: Fingernails ... Bones 9.13: Meets Nashville, and Wendell ... Bones 9.14: "You Cannot Drink Your Glass Away" ... Bones 9.15: Hodgins' Brother and the Ripped Off Toe ... Bones 9.16: Lampreys, Professors, and Insurance Companies ... Bones 9.17: Spartacus in the Kitchen ... Bones 9.18: Meets Day of the Triffids ... Bones 9.19: The Cornucopic Urn ... Bones 9.20: Above the Law ... Bones 9.21: Freezing and Thawing ... Bones 9.22: Promotion ... Bones 9.23: The New Intern ... Bones Season 9 Finale: Upping the Ante

And see also Bones 8.1: Walk Like an Egyptian ... Bones 8.2 of Contention ... Bones 8.3: Not Rotting Behind a Desk  ... Bones 8.4: Slashing Tiger and Donald Trump ... Bones 8.5: Applesauce on Election Eve ... Bones 8.6: Election Day ... Bones 8.7: Dollops in the Sky with Diamonds ...Bones 8.8: The Talking Remains ... Bones 8.9: I Am A Camera ... Bones 8.10-11: Double Bones ...Bones 8.12: Face of Enigmatic Evil ... Bones 8.13: Two for the Price of One ... Bones 8.14: Real Life ... Bones 8.15: The Magic Bullet and the Be-Spontaneous Paradox ... Bones 8.16: Bitter-Sweet Sweets and Honest Finn ... Bones 8.17: "Not Time Share, Time Travel" ... Bones 8.18: Couples ... Bones 8.19: The Head in the Toilet ... Bones 8.20: On Camera ... Bones 8.21: Christine, Hot Sauce, and the Judge ... Bones 8.22: Musical-Chair Parents ... Bones 8.23: The Bluff ... Bones Season 8 Finale: Can't Buy the Last Few Minutes

And see also Bones 7.1: Almost Home Sweet Home ... Bones 7.2: The New Kid and the Fluke ...Bones 7.3: Lance Bond and Prince Charmington ... Bones 7.4: The Tush on the Xerox ... Bones 7.5: Sexy Vehicle ... Bones 7.6: The Reassembler ... Bones 7.7: Baby! ... Bones 7.8: Parents ...Bones 7.9: Tabitha's Salon ... Bones 7.10: Mobile ... Bones 7.11: Truffles and Max ... Bones 7.12: The Corpse is Hanson ... Bones Season 7 Finale: Suspect Bones

And see also Bones 6.1: The Linchpin ... Bones 6.2: Hannah and her Prospects ... Bones 6.3 at the Jersey Shore, Yo, and Plymouth Rock ... Bones 6.4 Sans Hannah ... Bones 6.5: Shot and Pretty ... Bones 6.6: Accidental Relations ... Bones 6.7:  Newman and "Death by Chocolate" ...Bones 6.8: Melted Bones ... Bones 6.9: Adelbert Ames, Jr. ... Bones 6.10: Reflections ... Bones 6.11: The End and the Beginning of a Mystery ... Bones 6.12 Meets Big Love ... Bones 6.13: The Marrying Kind ... Bones 6.14: Bones' Acting Ability ... Bones 6.15: "Lunch for the Palin Family" ...Bones 6.16: Stuck in an Elevator, Stuck in Times ... Bones 6.17: The 8th Pair of Feet ... Bones 6.18: The Wile E. Chupacabra ... Bones 6.19 Test Runs The Finder ... Bones 6.20: This Very Statement is a Lie ... Bones 6.21: Sensitive Bones ... Bones 6.22: Phoenix Love ... Bones Season 6 Finale: Beautiful

And see also Bones: Hilarity and Crime and Bones is Back For Season 5: What Is Love? and 5.2: Anonymous Donors and Pipes and 5.3: Bones in Amish Country and 5.4: Bones Meets Peyton Place and Desperate Housewives and Ancient Bones 5.5 and Bones 5.6: A Chicken in Every Viewer's Pot and Psychological Bones 5.7 and Bones 5.8: Booth's "Pops" and Bones 5.9 Meets Avatar and Videogamers ... Bad Santa, Heart-Warming Bones 5.10 ... Bones 5.11: Of UFOs, Bloggers, and Triangles ... Bones 5.12: A Famous Skeleton and Angela's Baby ... Love with Teeth on Bones 5.13 ... Faith vs. Science vs. Psychology in Bones 5.14 ... Page 187 in Bones 5.15 ...Bones 100: Two Deep Kisses and One Wild Relationship ... Bones 5.17: The Deadly Stars ...Bones Under Water in 5.18 ... Bones 5.19: Ergo Together ...  Bones 5.20: Ergo Together ... Bones 5.21: The Rarity of Happy Endings ... Bones Season 5 Finale: Eye and Evolution

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