IMDb > "Mad Men" Signal 30 (2012) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb

Reviews & Ratings for
"Mad Men" Signal 30 (2012)

« Prev | 57 of 90 Episodes | Next »

Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Index 5 reviews in total 

22 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

One of the best episodes of this fantastically engaging series

Author: tbmforclasstsar from United States
16 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When you find a series that is as sound and powerful as "Mad Men," it is sometimes difficult to explain to someone who has never seen the show why they should watch it. Explaining the premise is not enough; listing the cast never pulls people in; even trying to give a clip or episode to watch can be difficult. The show is well done all around, making it difficult to pull out one episode that is greater than the other extremely well done installments.

However, I can already say that last night's "Mad Men" is one of my favorites of all time and I fantastic example of the mastery of this show.

The newest episode in the fifth season, "Signal 30″ is centered all around Pete Campbell. Before we even go into details of this episode, we already know that Pete is such an amazing character in the world of this show. He is slimy, obnoxious, and pretentious, but he is also a hard worker and a little boy trying to make it in the world of men. While we are never fully cheering for Pete, we do side with him on some points and scenarios and wish him at least some success.

Pete may be the most interesting character now because he has grown the most in the show's history. Starting as a lowly copy/writer, Pete has become a junior partner and pivotal bread earner for Sterling/Cooper/Draper/Pryce.

But what goes on inside Pete? What sort of moral sacrifices and betrayals has Pete made now that he is turning almost completely into a new Don Draper? "Signal 30″ reveals so much.

To read the rest of the review (IMDb forms are too short) visit here:

Was the above review useful to you?

15 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Ranks with the several best episodes best far.

Author: schell-7 from United States
22 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Warning: The following review unavoidably alludes to story elements involving Pete Campbell while underscoring the remarkable unity of the episode as a result of scriptwriting, acting and, perhaps above all, John Slattery's direction. Ultimately, the spectator is enabled to feel both strongly "about" and "with" Pete, thanks to filmmaking that is as fluid and subjective as it objective and cinematic. The non-contextual specifics of the review will make little sense to the reader who has not already seen the episode.

Both thematically and formally this is one of the most layered and complex yet satisfying episodes to date. If John Slattery was responsible for a lion's share of choreographing the set scenes and managing the editing as well as the scripting (both the plotting and the numerous humorous one-liners--the asides about "guns and varmints" resonating with the 2012 Republican Presidential debates or Bertram Cooper's "It's medieval" doing the same for viewers of "Pulp Fiction"), he hit this one out of the park. Viewers may differ about which of many emotions emerges as the dominant one--howls of laughter ("I had Lane," Roger says after the altercation); scenes of gratifying vindication (when our favorite villain gets what he deserves); disturbing self-recognition as the camera unveils that same villain's internal conflict- -a newly married man's discovery of the disparity between his actual age and his pubescent sexual identity.

If women do not appear to have a central role in this episode, their voice, though marginalized, registers strength, dignity and composure. They serve as a foil to Pete's adolescent, regressive obsessions; they collaborate with greater efficiency and effectiveness than their male counterparts; Joan's calm and deliberative administrations leave Lane looking no less childish and confused than the conceited, immature overreacher he has just vanquished.

Unifying the entire episode is the face of Pete Campbell: framed in patronizing smugness one moment; in the pose of an insecure, tentative coward the next; then, a bloodied and humiliated, scapegoating bully; then a voyeuristic and fantasizing adulterer; finally, a soundly defeated putative Romeo and Rocky, undone in the first role by a bulked-up high school youth and in the second by a bespectacled awkward Brit who had been the object of his patronizing smugness.

The camera and lighting allow us to see Pete on the outside and from the inside. It films Pete's face from every angle, even cutting from Pete's face to Pete's face (!). And just when we come to see Pete as a "grimy pimp" (Lane's description) and applauding his humiliation, we simultaneously come to feel sympathy toward his character. We see him as a tormented overreacher suddenly confronted with a sexual identify that is 15 years behind his actual age.  

The episode ranges from broad comedy to smaller yet significant moments, such as Don's wife refusing the order to cancel dinner at Pete's and redirecting Don's assignment to the person who gave it (a harbinger of the imminent war not just between the sexes but the generations).

"Mad Men" continues to be remarkable in its generating excitement without the usual formulaic, sensational television plotting.  And its one of the few shows where the camera stays STILL long enough for the viewer to actually see something worth looking at! This may be the closest television drama has come to realizing the strengths that Andre Bazin, in "What Is Cinema," found in the singular "realism" of American filmmaking. (it's NOT a series of disorienting shock edits endlessly enticing viewers with the same stories and shots that can be found on the pages of "The National Enquirer.')

Was the above review useful to you?

16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Focus on Pete and Slattery

Author: vacancy from United States
16 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When the opening credits rolled, I was interested to see what Slattery would do behind the camera. Overall, I think he did a decent job. He seemed a bit focused on segues, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It may be that I focused on them as well, because I was looking for what he might do in the director's chair.

**Spoiler Alert**

Direction aside, the story was a microcosm of Pete. From the first episode, he has had a supplicant/hate relationship with Don and this installment played heavily to both sides of that relationship. He is like a child meeting his idol when Don shows up for his couples night. That is, until Don usurps his role as domestic master in the faucet saga. I believe his reaction to this manifested itself in the following Jaguar night on the town.

The other side of Pete, if it is truly another side, defines the second side of this episode. His pursuit of sexual conquests outside his longstanding and now marital relationship, finds two avenues. The first, and more telling, is his adolescent pursuit of a high school, driving class student. The second is his all too easy bordello participation during a client outing. The first is circumvented by a classmate, putting him in the same position of inadequacy he feels around Don.

Pete is weak. Pete has always been weak. Pete remains weak, in spite of the power he has gained.

He wants to be the handsome guy. He wants to be the talented guy that the girls fall for. And as much as he hates the guys that he wants to be, he squelches that hatred in an obsequious attempt to curry favor with those same guys. As long as they are above him on the social/corporate ladder.

Was the above review useful to you?

9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Multi-faceted episode with great ending.

Author: steve-3628 from United Kingdom
6 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like at least one other reviewer I was (initially) underwhelmed by this episode, but by the end realised that in fact it's one of the best. The transition of Pete, as a character we are learning to loathe to one that draws on our sympathy; the unlikely chemistry between Lane and Joan; the emerging strength of Don's wife Megan (which reaches new heights in the next episode), and of course Pete's comeuppance. Like all good episodes the threads come together and become more meaningful by the end. This episode is a triumph for Weiner and Pierson (writers) and Slattery (director) who I've always admired in front of the camera and who now proves himself (again) behind it.

Yes, Pete and Trudy's dinner party scene seems a little slow and somehow empty. But it turns out that this was important as this episode is largely about Pete's unhappiness and his feelings of emptiness and inadequacy. He is desperately trying to be upbeat only to be upstaged by Don (...before he is ultimately knocked down by Lane!).

The old rivalry between Pete and Ken Cosgrove is also subtly reprised in the closing scene where the creativity of Ken's 'Beethoven 9' story contrasts sharply with Pete's emptiness. I've always liked the closing music in Mad Men, and this one - with it's almost overpowering irony (Ode to Joy) - is one of the best.

Great stuff!

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing Episode **

Author: edwagreen from United States
15 April 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode was a huge disappointment and you want to know why? There was no basic central theme around our assortment of characters.

Don and his wife go to a party that is really benign in itself. The most exciting feature is where Don takes off his shirt to fix a kitchen leak and the hostess points out that country living doesn't have the bakers and the Greenbergs. Perhaps, she should read Laura Z. Hobson's "Gentleman's Agreement."

Our British partner has an opportunity to bring in an account. The head person of that group wants a night of action. The guys go to one but Don refuses to participate.

There is a memorable fight in the office, but what a joke that turns out to be. This is supposed to be a business office, not Madison Square Garden.

The show has to go up after this.

Was the above review useful to you?

Add another review

Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
External reviews Plot keywords Main details
Your user reviews Your vote history