|Index||4 reviews in total|
This is a crucial and important episode to the series. It gives us a
deeper insight into Don's secret life, where he was previously known as
Dick Whitman. His entire past life is not revealed, but the episode
does introduce his younger brother, and the way Don deals with the
situation is very sad, but appropriate given the type of man he is.
On the other side of the episode, we find out how selfish Pete can truly be, and we see Peggy hilariously trying to deal with covering Don's affair. Her quick need for Joan's help shows how naive and helpless she is in this new world for her, and when she mentions how difficult it is, Joan replies with a smile "Yes, but don't you love it?" That was one of my favorite moments.
Overall, this was a brilliant episode all around, the best so far of Season 1, and I look forward to more.
After New Amsterdam's character-based drama, 5G returns to a
combination of character and plot in terms of storytelling, going
further in its attempt to establish Mad Men as a truly impeccable
series. Needless to say, it succeeds.
The center of the story is, once again, Don Draper, who has already been approached by someone claiming to know him as Dick Whitman; this time, things get more complicated as his picture appears in a local newspaper and he is contacted by none other than Adam Whitman (Jay Paulson), who calls himself his younger brother. In a shocking turn of events, Don eventually admits that he has in fact changed his name, and then tries to buy Adam's silence. Meanwhile, Pete is envious when he finds out one of his colleagues managed to get a short story published, and subsequently discusses the matter with his wife, who suggests asking an old boyfriend for help...
Slowly but confidently, the drama is shaping up to become something really original, injecting some welcome mystery into the already gripping story of a very unhappy man. Beneath Don's shallow image of perfection lies something deeper, and Jon Hamm's mastery of those moments is one of the episode's highlights, alongside with the exquisite writing in what could have been a throwaway subplot and the consistently excellent visuals. A worthy "successor" - the term is employed loosely here - to The Sopranos in the "great TV" department, which makes it even more ironic that HBO failed to see the show's potential. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Betty and Don arrive home after the award night in which he won a
coveted advertising award. Don shows the following morning clearly hung
over. Peggy makes a comment about what she heard Pete Campbell's
version of how Don got the award, and how he thinks his boss' head is
swollen with the pride he won an important recognition.
Ken Cosgrove's short story is published in the prestigious Atlantic Monthly. Most of the men in the office feel they can write, but no one can claim to have something published. To make things worse, Ken also has written two novels. Pete Campbell is fuming inside. Paul puts down Ken's achievement.
Peggy buzzes Don to tell him there is a person on the phone for him, whose name does not ring a bell to her. It is Midge calling. Don is not happy about her doing such a thing. Peggy, without thinking, picks up the extension where Don is talking to Midge. She cannot help but listening in shock to their heated conversation. Peggy does not know what to do when Don walks out of his office and announces he is out for lunch!
Pete made Trudy read a short story he has written. Her reaction: it is too modern for her taste. He asks her to call her friend Charlie Fiddish, a big man with a lot of influence to see if he can get the story published in a high brow magazine. Trudy points out to the fact that Charlie was 'her first'; she hesitates in complying with her husband's request. Reluctantly, she sees Charlie, who is more interested in reviving their relationship than in what she came to see him about. As an answer, he promises it will be included in a children publication, when Pete had thought it was better suited for The New Yorker.
At a staff meeting with Roger Sterling, Don is interrupted by Peggy, who hands him a note from an Adam Whitman who has come to talk to him. Don is rattled with the interruption, but he goes to the reception area to see this person. The red headed man is elated when he sees Don, who is horrified at the intrusion in his place of work. He tries to tell Adam he has him confused. When the other man insists, Don asks him to go to a cafeteria four blocks from the building and wait for him. Their encounter is not pleasant. Adam keeps saying he is the little brother, but Don is adamant in holding his ground. Don insist that he will not pay for the lunch because the meeting never happened.
Betty and the children arrive at Sterling-Cooper to get Don for their family portrait. Peggy, figuring Don has gone to a tryst with the woman on the phone has no explanation for his absence. She tries to get help from Joan, who feels she has to know where Peggy's boss is at the moment. Peggy explains he goes to meet a woman, which is music in Joan's ears. Joan suggests Peggy keep entertaining Betty. The two women get along fine, until Don arrives.
Don is surprised when he opens an envelope that contains a picture of a younger man, himself sent by Adam. He is staying at a seedy hotel. That night Don goes to see him. Don wants Adam to stay out of his life. He wants nothing of his past because he has reinvented himself into the actual persona. He opens his briefcase and hands over five thousand dollars to Adam for him to disappear and never contact him again. Betty talks to Don that night about getting a summer place near their home, but Don explains they cannot afford it now.
Lesli Linka Glatter directed this episode which was written by the creator of the series, Matthew Weiner. The main idea behind the chapter is that now the viewer knows that Don Draper is a fictitious person. Dick Whitman wants to hide into his new identity which has given him so much that he will do anything not to lose it. An interesting installment in this award winning series that reflects a slice of life during the 1960s
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"5G" just broke my heart. This episode pointedly assures us that Donald Draper does not want his past to ever intrude on his "forward progress" in life. He was not Donald Draper at one point in his life and wants to keep that past secret. However, a brother arrives at his company wanting to reconnect after realizing he's alive, having not died in the war. Donald won an award and was in the paper. With recognition in New York located at a big ad business how long can Don carry on the façade? Jon Hamm has never been better than in this episode from what I have seen. Excruciating blockade put up against a sweet, pure-at-heart young man who has found his older brother and just wants to be a part of his life, Hamm allows us to see how this decision is ripping him up inside. Still, it is something he feels is necessary. Whoever he was prior to the war, after it Don considers himself completely alien to that version of his life. If anything this episode tells us that skeletons exist in the closet and sometimes a man will do whatever he feels he must in order to maintain his burdensome secret. Meanwhile Don's secretary, Peggy (Elisabeth Moss), has discovered that he is having an affair and must "hold down the fort" when Betty shows up with kids ready for the Draper family portraits. Joan (the eye candy definition if there ever was is Christina Hendricks; those curves and breasts, that red hair and those lips; My, my, my) learns of Don's affair from a shellshocked Peggy. Peggy anguishes still in her position; will she ever find a comfort and ease as Don's secretary? Joan will try and goad Peggy into embracing her job and making sure Don is happy as his secret life is kept just that secret. When one of the ad execs gets a story published in a respectable magazine, he's the envy of the office as the boys kind of have a bit of a contempt for him (jealousy?), and so Pete tries to get his wife to talk to her publisher ex boyfriend to publish his story. When she does (Charlie is his name, and he wants to rekindle their former sexual relationship), but it isn't in a magazine that will impress the boys, Pete is upset with her. The show has a bunch of characters in it that are so self-involved and so self-absorbed that I find myself even grimacing and chewing away at a disdain and disgust with them. Seeing them claw away inside and the real person they are surfacing despite how they try to maintain an appearance that isn't truly them; this places them in an authentic light that shows exactly who they are. Behind the veil, these are people who care very little about anyone but themselves. Right now, only Peggy seems to be a halfway decent human being while even Betty remains so concealed her own little world (she feels slighted when she shows up at the company and no one responds to her! She tells her pregnant friend that at the job is a whole different world than the domesticity she contains herself), worried about her family portraits and the summer house where the Drapers go to during the holiday in August. Betty mentions to Peggy that his secretary knows him better than she does. That is the sad state of this marriage. The agonizing nature of Don's dismissal of his humble and thankful brother (he just wants to have a familial re-bond with his brother; that is all) is so tragic. The episode even toys with the idea that perhaps Don has a gun and will kill his brother such a tease thankfully is just that. Still, the ending is unfortunate as Don turns away someone who just wanted to be family to him.
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