Mad Men: Season 4, Episode 13

Tomorrowland (17 Oct. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
9.0
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Reviews: 4 user | 6 critic

Don takes the kids to California and comes back with a surprise announcement. Meanwhile, Betty fires the kids' nanny before they move out of the old house over one questionable incident, and Peggy gets a shot at a new account.

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Bertram Cooper (credit only)
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Henry Sloan
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Storyline

The staff at SCDP are taking their opportunities where ever they come. After Don's diatribe in the form of the advertisement in the New York Times against tobacco advertising, he and Pete have a meeting with the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society for their business. It's not so much the advertising contract of a non-profit organization that they want but those of the businesses for which the board members actually work. They ask Ken to use some social connections to leverage some of that potential. And based on a social conversation Peggy has with Joyce, Peggy pounces on an opportunity for another contract, but has to work fast to get it. Within all these goings-on, Don is taking some time away from the office to take the kids to California, where he has to deal with some aspects of Anna's estate. But Betty, acting on an emotional impulse in the process of moving to a new house, thwarts Don's plans, for which he has to make some quick last minute adjustments to those ... Written by Huggo

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Drama

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17 October 2010 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen Amell-star of the hit CW show Arrow was watching this episode when he saw his wife for the first time. Cassandra Jean had a very minor part in the episode but would come out on top with one of the most popular men on the CW. See more »

Quotes

Peggy Olson: A pretty face comes along and everything goes out the window.
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Connections

References Hogan's Heroes (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Season 4: Another very strong and enjoyable season
26 December 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A few episodes into this season I had to wonder to myself why I had taken so long to get around to watching it. It had been on the BBC months prior and had sat waiting for me to watch my recordings but yet I always found a different show to watch when it came time to pick one. I don't know if it is season 1's impressions lingering in my mind but the show was in my head as dry, a little slow and perhaps a bit stiff – this was the feeling I had even though the previous two seasons have been nothing of the sort. Anyway, when I eventually did start the show it took almost no time for this lingering doubt to be dispelled and to be replaced by a season that is yet again engaging, interesting, character-driven, comedic and entertaining.

We pick up some time after the end of the third season and the new company, although still in infancy, is in proper offices, mostly off the back of the Lucky Strike business. Don's marriage has long been dissolved and while his focus is on getting business good, his personal life is full of messy interactions, frustrations and poor judgement. The decision to skip forward a year (give or take) is a good one as I had worried that the fourth season would be focused on the business as they struggled to get off the ground, the skip forward means that the firm is still a focal point but it is not so overpowering that it pushes out other aspects. As with the third season the show does a really good job of spreading out the plots to have lots going on with the other characters – and not just lots going on, but lots going on that is of interest and value. I never really felt that there were threads where I was longing for it to move back to the characters I prefer, everything seemed to work pretty much as well as everything else.

Of course Don is still the lead character and he is really well written – all at once sharp, desirable and professional while also demonstrating terrible judgement, nagging demons and frankly a real inability to build a relationship that goes beyond the "new" stage. He is fascinating this season and he has grown on me as a character very much over the last few seasons. He is not alone though and indeed almost everyone has more meat on them in terms of character and, in some cases, plot threads. This also helps the show develop a sense of time and place – I'm not old enough (or American enough) to say whether it is accurate or not but everyone seems to say it is, but where real or not, it works for me because the show gives you a feeling of time/place but without ramming it down your throat. Likewise this fourth season is for me the one that handles cultural change the best because it doesn't wear it on its sleeve but rather shows it through its characters. OK we have people and places and events that are part of times changing but they are no more important than behaviour and interactions that say the same (eg the final exchange between Joan and Peggy).

The cast respond well to the material and are yet again excellent throughout. Hamm leads well but support is just as good from Moss, Kartheiser, Jones and others. The one thing I struggled with a little was the reintroduction of Staton to the cast; I had no problem with his performance but having his work in LA Noire so fresh in my mind I did find that I was constantly waiting for him to suddenly and erratically shout and threaten during normal conversation! As always the design is great – from sets to costumes it is a retro-design head's dream come true.

Overall I may have come to this season with an unjustified reluctance but the season quickly puts me right on that, delivering an engaging and entertaining show that mixes social change with personal plots and comedy with drama. Very well done and very much worth watching. Unfortunately this is the last season that will be available in the UK without subscribing to Sky to get access to the new channel they created.


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