Mad Men – Marriage of Figaro Review

Pete returns from his honeymoon, excited about his new marriage, but conflicted about his past encounter with Peggy. After his business relationship with Rachel takes an unforeseen turn, Don attends a party which further illuminates his increasing dissatisfaction with his present life.

Don and Rachel

This episode opens with some new hints about Don’s mysterious past when a man on the train recognises Don as ‘Dick Whitman’. Rather than correcting the man, Don takes his business card and noncommittally agrees to catch up soon. The writers are doing a great job with dropping bread crumbs on this story, I’m looking forward to discovering what Don is hiding. One thing that he certainly isn’t doing a great job of hiding is his attraction to strong business woman Rachel Menken. These two have a real chemistry and I’m sure that we’re going to see a lot more of this impossible romance in future episodes.

Don Draper wannabe Pete returns in this episode, but the scenes in the ad agency are merely a launch pad for the rest of the episode. Don’s dissatisfaction with his suburban life once again comes to the fore here, and the slower pace of the scenes outside the agency do a really great job of separating the two different worlds. Watching Don go through the motions with his wife was a stark contrast to the passion that he obviously had for Rachel earlier in the episode.

Dissatisfaction seemed to be the theme of this episode with all the different suburban characters showing varying levels. The scenes of the housewives gossiping about divorcée Helen were all the more horrible because of how believable they were. I don’t think I could really blame Don for driving off when given the chance to escape it all. But I also felt for Betty when Don finally returns home with a new dog for their daughter and no explanations. I’m looking forward to when things finally come to a head.

Overall, this was a much slower episode than usual, but it did a great job of developing things. Whether it’s watching Don build a play house or sit in the car watching the trains go by, it manages to keep me engrossed.

What I Liked – Good character development. Great use of pacing to differentiate the ad world from the suburban world.

What I didn’t Like – I was wondering if I should know all of their suburban friends, I don’t really recall seeing them before.

Rating – 4 out of 5 (Really Enjoyable)

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