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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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 really find it bizarre that every man in the agency is cheating on his wife except for Ken Cosgrove (who seems the only normal person on the show and I am including the women here) except for maybe Henry Francis but he married Betty so I do wonder his sanity. Does Matt Weiner really have such a low opinion of men? It seems strange that the only way he has people deal with relationship issues is infidelity. Not since I watch the movie Babysitters have I wonder why sexism against men (I am women before I get pounced on) is so common yet no one really comments on that.


Enough with the woman-oriented soap opera. Let's get back to the advertising agency where at least there is some originality.


"with each season of Mad Men, I find my desire to live during that period waning. The men, simply put, are pigs." To me, the writers are laying it on so thick with the "men are pigs" theme that I just roll my eyes now -- and I'm a woman! It just becomes a little too much to believe. I'm getting tired of the series, actually, partly because it's so hard to like ANY of the characters, partly because I feel like the writers have lost their way. It's all ennui and angst now -- yawn!


While it's likely that some people behaved in the same manner as Don and Pete, I believe it was not symptomatic of the times. That's not to say adultery didn't take place or that people didn't self destruct. They have ever since there have been people on the planet. That being said however I thought this show was supposed to be a commentary on the life and times of advertising executives in the 50s and 60s. It turns out to be something else; an exploration or the darker side of men and their self destructive tendencies. If Don and Pete can't conquer their demons and keep it in their pants disaster is sure to follow and has already reared its ugly head. Perhaps Mathew Weiner is now more interested in presenting what he perceives to be the moral turpitude of an age and its effects than he is to provide any further insight into a bygone era. My guess is that sooner or later one or both of these men will take a shot at redemption...and that one or both will fail and bring many down with them...


Here's an odd coincidence: Pete should have seen A Guide for the Married Man (1967), co-starring Robert Morse...or he could have consulted with Bert Cooper? (I don't know how that works--mixing fiction with reality ;-) The young Morse's cardinal rule for cheating: never with a woman on your block! Even Trudy knew that.


After the disappointment of episode 1/2 of this seasons Mad men, I hoped that that the 3rd episode would kick start the program, but unfortunately if anything, it was more disappointing than the last. When Mad Men first started it was exciting, original,and every episode was beautifully written and acted, it just seems that now, Mad Men has run out of steam and has turned into yet another glorified soap opera. Far to much time is devoted to personal life's of the main protagonists and not enough time to the dynamics of the advertising industry which is what made it so original. To many of the great characters have been killed off, and all we are left with is Dons personal demons!! and frankly after 3 episodes I am pretty bored with Don's personal history. In fact I am pretty bored with the whole show. I am hoping to God it gets better, but I suspect were going to get more of the same. Wgat a disappointment that the most original show in years is turning into candyfloss.


It's not too hard to figure out why Don hates himself given his childhood, that he is living in a dead man's identity and what happened with his brother after Don denied him a relationship.

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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.