Mad Men: Season 3, Episode 13

Shut the Door. Have a Seat (8 Nov. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
9.4
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Ratings: 9.4/10 from 1,228 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 4 critic

With another sale on the horizon, Sterling, Cooper, and Draper convince Lane Pryce to fire them and then join them as they start up a new advertising firm. At home, Betty follows through with her plans to divorce Don.

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Title: Shut the Door. Have a Seat (08 Nov 2009)

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Storyline

Don's life is falling apart around him. He learns from Connie about the sale of Sterling Cooper and, because of it, the loss of the Hilton account. As Don passes the news to Roger and Bertram, the three decide to plot strategy for what each wants in their professional future. Among their options are to go to the new company (which for Bertram will probably mean the end of his professional life), or the preferred option which is to buy back Sterling Cooper from Putnam, Powell and Lowe. What is not an option is to quit since they are all under contract, which would prevent them from working in advertising altogether. With the assistance of an unexpected person however, they come up with another option. The success of this option depends on the assistance of many, who may or may not decide to help, and some quick action before the rest of the world figures out what's going on. Because this maneuver feels like starting over, Don reminisces about a big change in his life when he was a ... Written by Huggo

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Drama

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8 November 2009 (USA)  »

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Goofs

When the group is leaving the office of Sterling Cooper after their weekend meeting, Joan walks by the front desk of the office through three camera angles. In the first angle, she wearing a scarf on her head which hangs loose over the back of her neck, then from the next angle, the scarf is tucked in under the collar of her jacket, and then from the last angle, the scarf is once again untucked. See more »

Quotes

Lane Pryce: Mr. Hooker! I've been sacked. Please have my office and things put in storage at this address.
John Hooker: What's happened?
Lane Pryce: You're a sharp boy, you'll figure it out.
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User Reviews

Season 3: Another engaging and enjoyable season that makes for sturdy drama with a good comic edge
17 October 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Season 3 of Mad Men picks up where season 2 left off. Betty and Don are together thanks mainly to her pregnancy, while the other new arrival in Don's world of the British management is also having an impact. Unlike when I started season 2, I was looking forward to season 3 simply because I had enjoyed the second season more than the first having found it to be more engaging and interesting. Season 3 covers a lot of ground with the main characters and also the secondary tier ones and again I found it to be enjoyable and engaging stuff.

It perhaps engineers a bit too much stuff to happen but generally it has a good narrative flow to it at both the Agency level of the story and the personal level of the main characters. Don is the key to all of it and the season makes good use of his identity while also not playing all of the cards at any point. The stuff with Conrad Hilton didn't always work for me because it did seem to come out of nowhere, likewise some other aspects seemed to happen very quickly – the fate of the Englishman's foot was funny but I felt it robbed me of some interesting competition with Don within minutes of introducing it. The period is not ever really forced upon us as it was in season 1 but rather it is shown in changes in the characters and in their situations. OK we have MLK's speech and JFK's assassination within this season but both of them are best played out through the characters rather than being something done to set a period for the viewer.

Beyond Don the degree of narrative spread among the second tier of characters is better again and I didn't feel the show was all on the shoulders of one or two characters. Betty may have finished being our "fresh eyes" as she was in bits of season 1, but she remains an important character. Her time is limited but her role as a progressive woman is solid but yet not pushed down our throats to make a judgement or to have others make a judgement on her. Likewise Sal's preferences are nicely revealed and are "dealt with" in a manner that unfortunately suits the period, without overdoing it. This is the way the season plays out – with the narrative making good use of the "second tier" characters through, filling the show with more energy and allowing social observations to be made without them being too obviously inserted.

The direction continues to be good, as are sets and costumes – the whole thing looks very of the period throughout. The cast benefit again from having stronger (in my opinion) material than they did at the start. Hamm is still a strong lead but the cracks and pressures spreading across Don's life are well shown. As with season 2 Jones improves by having material to do more with. Moss has a little less to do but she is still an engaging character and her upward struggle is neither forced on us nor allowed to fade into the background and be forgotten. Below these everyone else plays their part well, having moments of focus and background across the season. Hendricks, Kartheiser, Slattery, Sommer, Morse, Batt, Gladis and many others all stick in the mind.

Overall season 3 of Mad Men continues the standard I felt it achieved in season 2 over the worthy but rather less engaging first season. The narrative threads all engaged me whether they were business or personal and I thought it did them in a good mix while also balancing comedy and drama well too. Season 4 is just finishing on the BBC at the moment and I'll watch my recordings of it once I've left a gap from season 3 – however 4 will be the last season freely available as Sky, as usual, has come in and done what they did with 24, by outbidding for the remaining seasons and putting them into a channel bundle that you have to subscribe to all of even if you only want to watch Mad Men for 12 weeks out of the year. Essentially Sky will be holding the established audience to ransom to watch the show for however many more seasons they do; and yet this is the same Corporation that complains about the growth of online piracy / file-sharing without a hint of irony or self-awareness about their part in encouraging it.


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