I actually buy the Campbell brothers cold reaction to their mother's death. Alzheimer's or advanced dementia can have a significantly alienating effect on loved ones. I'm sure Pete has a lot of processing to do, but his initial reaction of distance and relief is perfectly realistic. What I didn't exactly buy was the soapy plot contrivance. I'm sure that stuff happened, but the whole thing seemed winged in as an afterthought.
Other than that, I thought the episode was beautiful. I'm not as hard on Don as most -- the central tension of the show, for me, is a deeply damaged and flawed man teetering between self-destruction and redemption. Don has virtues. As an abused and neglected child, he's deeply empathetic and more forgiving of others than most. We just forgot he had those virtues since he spent this season acting like a deranged, manipulative monster.
Cute allusions to Don being Rosemary's Baby ("wah wah wah!" and opening and closing with him in a fetal position). He was particularly monstrous this episode. Also, Bob Benson as a young Don Draper. Yet another devil child.
Bob Benson is starting to remind me of the Talented Mr. Ripley. The manipulation, the opportunism, the perfect manners, the ambiguous sexuality. If Chekhov's gun goes off the season, I'm guessing Benson will pull the trigger.
I work on Campus and would welcome an increase in security. It makes sense. There is an unusual amount of crime -- I've been solicited for handgun purchases in the parking garage, a number of women have been assaulted in adjacent buildings, clearly imbalanced people regularly wander into the office and make a scene. It'd be helpful to have a swift security response so that front desk staff don't have to endure the brunt of a lot of creepy business without support. People working on the weekends have an especially difficult time -- the campus is nearly empty and security response is very slow.
But then again, I'm an obvious and well-known Nazi.
The only purchases I ever make on Blake Friday are alka-seltzer for my hangover, and gas to get the hell away from my family and hometown.
Some of the rooms had beautiful and inventive installations (Dawn Sharp, Kate Towers, Sword + Fern), but a great deal of them were really uninspired. It's really not enough for boutiques simply to lay out their wares in a room and charge $20 for people to see it. What's the point of that? Content should make clear in the future that the space should be used for a clever installation or spectacle.
I err on the side of trying not to beat, shoot, gas, or unnecessarily jail people who aren't really threatening anyone, even if they're disobeying police orders. I don't mean to be facile, but this sort of thing takes on a creepy authoritarian, even crypto-Fascist vibe, when clearly non-threatening people -- elderly and children, for instance -- are on the receiving end of police violence and others get really excited, smug, and even enthusiastic about it.
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