Mad Men Review: "The Collaborators"

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I used to wish I was an adult in the 1960s. They seemed so romantic and somehow more mysterious than the way we do things now.

But with each season of Mad Men, I find my desire to live during that period waning. The men, simply put, are pigs.

Peggy's Problems

Don has a beautiful wife. Megan is amazing and talented and loves Don. To repay that love, through what I can only imagine is a deep hatred for himself, he continues to sleep with Sylvia Rosen, a woman he actually pays when he's finished with her. He treats her like a prostitute. That she was the person Megan confided in about a miscarriage two days earlier was classic Mad Men.

Megan feels like a horrible person because she was unsure about her pregnancy and she felt God took any decision out of her hands.

Herb from Jaguar dropped by SCDP and made Joan feel very uncomfortable. He was, as Don said, "gutting the national campaign," which didn't seem to bother Pete at all. That could be because Pete's busy getting it on with someone other than his wife, as well. His neighbor, Brenda.

If the men are happy, it's usually because they just screwed over their wives. Don happened to meet up with Sylvia with Megan, thus putting him into a bad mood. Tangled webs are difficult to get into and out of and when they have no idea where the web begins and ends, that makes it even more difficult.

"The Collaborators" felt like some sort of tragedy about the wrong choices to make in a marriage. Brenda must have told her husband about what happened with Pete because he beat her to a bloody pulp. At the very least, Pete offered to call the authorities, although it would have been a grave error given he knew exactly why she was beaten as her husband was yelling behind her something to the effect Pete could deal with her now.

Arguably the most depressing moment of this fiasco was when Brenda, covered in blood, awaiting Trudy to attend to her with an iced cloth, begged Pete to take her to the city because she wanted to be with him. It was unimaginable to me that after being so badly beaten her first thought was to be taken away by Pete, in front of his wife, who was being so good to her.

He wouldn't even take her to a hotel, but offered to call a cab. The person who took her to safety was the least likely candidate: Trudy. She who knew fully well Pete had been screwing Brenda in the hotel she let him have in the city. This quote made Trudy my hero:

I refuse to be a failure. I don't care what you want anymore. This is how it's going to work.You will be here only when I tell you to be here. I'm drawing a 50-mile radius around this house and if you so much as open your fly to urinate, I will destroy you. You understand?

Between Pete and Don, I cannot determine who is uglier on the inside. Pete knowingly treating a woman he just had an affair with, who was assaulted because of him like a piece of dirt on his shoe... or Don for pretending to continue to be in love with his wife while she hides inside a secret like a miscarriage because she's afraid she might say the wrong thing.

Don can't have Sylvia when he wants her and he imagines the brothel where he spent his teen years, but falls onto the floor outside his own apartment where his gorgeous wife is waiting for him. What on earth makes him hate himself so much? Is it he who feels like a gigolo? And isn't being faithful to Megan a pretty easy cure for that?

Peggy has been plagued by problems of her own at her new agency, but she has a supportive boss who gives her so much wiggle room. She's so lucky to be a woman in her position and all of the jokes in the world by the guys below who are wishing they were her are worth it to be where she is.

She's going to go head to head with SCDP for Heinz Ketchup thanks to a personal call she had with Stan. Ted's not going to let the opportunity pass, no matter how she heard about it. I can't wait to see how she does up against the people who taught her everything she knows, especially when they all seem to be falling apart.

Peggy has no idea how lucky she was to get out of SCDP. With their marriages falling apart, the men are making bad decisions at work and it's all tumbling further into their daily life than it has ever before, and it's been pretty bad in seasons past.

So far, watching Mad Men Season 6 I feel like I'm watching the beginning of a horror movie. I can't even imagine who will be left, let alone in one piece, at the end.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (43 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I did not particularly enjoy this episode. The whole thing was focused on Don doing the same old and Pete doing the same old. I am no longer fascinated by their activities. I did enjoy the scene where Pete's wife threw him out. We also saw Peggy at work at her new agency. But I'd like to see more of Joan, the only character Im rooting for at this point?


All I'll say about Pete's marriage is; GO TRUDY. It's about time. She kicked ass. Also, can we PLEASE get updated on Joan! I feel like they keep bringing her in and teasing us, only to cut to Don being a miserable prick. We get it. More Joan please. I'm not asking for anything more than a couple of scenes to check in. I have to say, this season seems a little aimless. Like there's no real stakes. We all know that Don is a cheater, we've seen this played out. Where's the story of this season? Don and Pete eat up all the screen time while being miserable assholes?


I have to say, I'm over Emo Don. He's treating Megan pretty badly. I get that he's sick of her, but what the hell brought this on? It can't just be her career, she's literally just as sweet to him as she was before, even though she's quite ignorant of his darker nature. Don has never been the greatest husband but he even treated Betty better. When Betty got pregnant, he stood by her, placing his hand on hers as a symbol they'd do it together. Megan tells him that she lost a baby, pretty scary for a 26 year old woman, and he doesn't even change expression. In previous seasons, you could root for Don, because even though he screwed up a lot, he had a heart. This new Don is cold.


I like that there's attack on men in this
review, when in fact, Sylvia is just as much
to blame as Don. She could have said no at
any point. But, as many have before her, she
put in the order. So to speak. She should
meet Rachel Menken and Faye Miller, those
are two opinionated women that both
got screwed over by Don. Side note, did
anyone else find it heartless that Sylvia
listened to Megan's heartbreak, only to
make the concious choice to screw her
husband the next evening? In that case,
both men and women are pigs.


Getting there is half the fun. That's what I keep saying as I look on this season of MAD MEN.
Don and Pete will compete with each other for pursuit of redemption.
Their competitive nature is what drives them,and it drives them to build their company. It is this same competitive nature that will bring one or both of them to a bad end. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out on THE SERIES FINALE. Looking forward to watching THE COMPLETE SERIES when it's done. Carissa,women can be just as devious and competitive as men.Even MORE so these days.


I can sympathize with Peggy. Having myself been promoted from copywriter to Copy Head, then Manager of Copy and Design in the 60's and 70's, and given the task of inspiring my staff to continually create compelling advertising I know what a challenge she faces.


Go Trudy Pete is an idiot.


The author writes as if the present is so damn wonderful. I'd kill for a time machine to go back to the fifties and sities.


You don't get it.

Ronald simkins

But adult men really were pigs then. So Peggy has three gay men working for her - she should cultivate them. We are coming up to some really changing events MLK assassination then RFK. Then all the Viet Nam war atrocities.

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Mad Men Season 6 Episode 3 Quotes

Well, it's nice to know that no matter what, I got something done today.


Oh it's just filled with profanity, marijuana smoking and simulated sexual acts. And a few songs.