Reviews & Ratings for
"Mad Men" The Chrysanthemum and the Sword (2010)

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

January Jones at her best...

Author: Red_Identity from United States
23 August 2010

January Jones, who plays Betty, gets a lot of criticism. Some criticize her character, which in turn makes them criticize her. However, this episode shows that even though Betty Draper is cruel and cold-hearted to an extent, it does not go without reasoning. Betty Draper's conflicts have come from the pain that Don has caused her. Neither are to be blamed while the other goes without complaints. Both Don and Betty's lack of attention for their daughter Sally is causing her to go overboard, and this will in time affect the other children. Of course, the two parents will only notice too late, if ever they do notice, but January Jones is proving that she is perfectly playing the part of a mentally-abused mother in the 1960's.

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Author: borowiecsminus from Ossining, NY
30 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is better than its predecessor, "The Rejected," but not by a whole lot. It just barely earned eight stars as far as I'm concerned, and it didn't seem up to "Mad Men" standards.

The episode features a number of events regarding Sally, played quite well by Kiernan Shipka. It's also the first episode in a while that we've been January Jones (Betty). The show pulls off something quite well, and that is that we ARE either Betty or Don, depending on what makes the story flow. We tend to know what they know and feel what they feel. This is further illustrated as us specifically not seeing Sally's conversation with the psychiatrist, as well as making us feel like Don in the sense that as soon as we see Betty, it's because there's a problem.

This installment is not without humor, as well. Some of Roger's crude and offensive remarks, as little as I'd like to admit it, prove very funny, and of course Sally's "I know that the man pees inside the woman" is the funniest line from a drama I've heard in a long time.

The other event taking place here is Roger Sterling's fight with the Japanese. What was good about this is that the writers have mentioned this a bit before. It's never been so forward, but they brought it up once or twice, so we wouldn't be completely caught off guard here. However, I thought the scenes with the Japanese clients was a bit strange. Half of the time, they spoke through the translator, the other half they spoke in broken English. Pick one. I did like Roger's apology and found it interesting how Bert treats him like a child. And the last shot of the closing door, a subtle homage to "The Godfather," a movie which is clearly a very heavy influence on the show, did not go unnoticed.

But, even with all that being said, the rest of the scenes in the episode seem to be either filler, unimportant, or repeating the same points. It's rather lackluster.

Frankly, the best part of this episode is the title.

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Author: jotix100 from New York
4 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Pete Campbell has good news. He has heard that Honda, the Japanese motorcycle company, is scouting for an agency as they are about to introduce a car line to the market. Adding this account to their list of clients could not come at a better time. The whole room is shaken by Roger Sterling as he is quite vocal about not wanting their business. No one expected Roger's reaction, but being a veteran of WWII and having fought against the Japanese makes him feel strongly about making nice with a former enemy. He storms out of the room.

Everyone agrees to work out something to interest the executives of Honda. Bert Cooper advises to keep Roger out of anything to do with the prospective client. The day arrive for an office meeting with the Japanese. Pete has thought to present gifts to the three men, giving the head man a melon in a beautiful wrapped golden box. Clearly, the man is puzzled as to why this gift without having even had any proposal. Roger, coming back to the office realizes of what went on behind his back, he is not a happy camper.

Don goes out for a dinner at Benihana with his new girlfriend, Bethany. A young woman has been engaged to babysit the children that are staying for the week-end with their father. At the restaurant, Bethany complains about the smell of the grease in the place. Another executive from a rival agency, Ted, arrives with his wife. It is clear to Don this man is also trying to get the account. Back home Sally comes out from the bathroom where she proceeded to give herself a haircut. She looks a mess. Don gets home to learn what went on in his absence and he is furious. He fires the woman.

When Don brings Sally home, he is met by Betty. Seeing her hair is a mess, she slaps the girl and orders her upstairs. Later on, Sally is seen watching television at a friend's house during a pajama party. She begins to play with herself in an inappropriate way. Betty and Henry are having sex in their bedroom when the bell rings. It is the mother of the girl from the pajama party bringing Sally back. She goes on to tell Betty about Sally's shocking behavior. It is clear Sally needs professional help.

Don decides not to do anything in the competition to get the Honda account, something that would drain their finances. Instead, he pretends to make a commercial to compete in the race, when all is a lie. The day when all the presentations are due, Don arrives empty handed as he tell the Honda people they are out of the competition. He hands a check for three thousand dollars Honda gave the agency for an outline of what they were to expect.

This episode was written by Erin Levy and directed by Lesli Linka Glatter. The main topic is about how reluctant and xenophobic the advertising people were in dealing with the invading Japanese business that were fighting for a place in the American market. The other theme is Sally's behavior, which is starting to get out of hand. Her parents'divorce might be the culprit, but the girl needs a guiding hand that her own parents cannot give her.

As usual, the principals and the guest cast do a wonderful job. That is why this is one of a kind television series. A nostalgic look at the not too distant past and the world of advertising.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Honda Ruse Smokes Out A Car

Author: getyourdander from United States
6 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode is the great Honda ruse. One of Don's competitors has been trying to out maneuver Don using the gay creative couple Don fired a while back to try and guess his moves. In this case Don makes a left turn and everything back fires on them.

The main thing in this episode is Sally. She is at a sleepover at a friends and does something totally unacceptable for a 10 year old in the 1960's to do. The friends mom brings her home and tells Betty what she did. Betty is in shock.

Betty goes through the school and finds a Psychiatrist named Dr Edna to try to help Sally. Sally is in deep mental trouble from all the events of recent months and Betty & Don talk but at a loss of what else to do. Even Don is shocked at the behavior.

There is more to come here as the plots are building towards another great season ender down the road.

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