(Note: Because AMC is rerunning the first season of "Mad Men" every Sunday at midnight, and because a lot of people missed the show the first time around, I'm reposting my blog reviews for each episode the morning after. These are written as they were back in the summer/early fall; if I feel differently about anything in retrospect, I'll mention it in the comments. Also, while comments from both newbies and people who watched the first time are welcome, if you've seen these episodes before, please be vague about events in later episodes so as not to spoil things for the newcomers.)
Brief spoilers for episode four of "Mad Men" coming up just as soon as I borrow a neighbor's lock of hair...
I watched this episode about a month ago (even before I saw episode 3, for reasons too boring to elaborate on) and wasn't in a position to take notes at the time, so I can't say as much about it as previous weeks, but I liked it. The primary goal is to humanize Pete -- to explain him, if not apologize for him -- and it accomplished that.
Those of you who find the show too heavy-handed probably aren't going to have their opinions changed by scenes like the one pictured above, where Pete's blue-blood daddy (or is he?; the money comes from his mother's side) lectures him about how his job isn't fit for a white man. But it worked for me, in part because of those obnoxious Bermuda shorts an docksiders; sometimes, it's the odd detail that makes a scene. Pete's weird quest for approval from Don makes much more sense now, both in light of his own lousy father figure and the revelation that he intended to be a creative type, but the episode's not entirely a pity party for him. He massively oversteps his bounds with the Beth Steel man, and I like that Roger manages to frame things so it looks like Don saved his job.
In the other half of the episode, Betty goes down the rabbit hole by agreeing to babysit for Helen the divorcee while Helen's off cruising for men at a Kennedy campaign event. It's an interesting friendship (if you can call it that), because Betty has as many reasons to be jealous of Helen as she does to be afraid of becoming like her. Chief among the latter: Helen's creepy son, so out of sorts from the divorce that he's lost all sense of boundaries, walking in on Betty while she tries to pee and then demanding a lock of her hair. (Not sure which of the two is more disturbing, but it was amusing to see the machinations a woman like Betty had to go to to use the bathroom in that get-up.)
What did everybody else think?