We are now in 1960s New York. The times are a very complex one socially (civil rights, assassinations, Vietnam, etc.) in the United States and situationally at the agency. Whatever they call themselves. This is doubly true for central character Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm). His professional and personal lives are in a state of chaos (more so than usual) this season. He goes through a rather sharp decline with the season ending with rock bottom.
A good aspect of this downward spiral is that we get plenty of flashbacks to Don as a young person and we kind of begin to get a more complete picture of why he is the way he is. Especially towards women. Troubled childhood to say the least. We begin to understand that his excesses with smoking, drinking and women are just the way he tries to disguise his insecurities.
All this begins to affect his young wife, Megan (played by Jessica Pare). She, professionally, is having the time of her life as she is becoming a star on a daytime soap opera. But that success begins to pale in comparison to the mess of her marriage. It is crumbling before her eyes and she doesn’t really know why. Just feels the distance between her and Don widening.
Another character that gets a further delving into this season is Pete Campbell (played by Vincent Kartheiser). His personal life also goes through an upheaval after his wife, Trudy (played by Allison Brie), finds out about one of his indiscretions and kicks him out of her bed and their house. Now Pete is pretty much living a bachelor’s life in a small apartment in New York City. Work is also a source of worry with him at times feeling like an ignored man despite being a partner. Then his mother, who is definitely suffering from Alzheimer’s, becomes a person who needs his attention.
As is typical the show delivers on the story and acting fronts. An interesting new dynamic when two formerly rival advertising agencies decide to merge in order to get the huge Chevy contract. This brings Don and Peggy (played by Elizabeth Moss) back together. The way these two actors/characters interact is one of my more favourite parts of the series.
Once again the series manages to educate us on the issues and American society at the time. Things like money, power, gender, sex, politics, and gender politics are brought to light by being woven intricately within storylines.
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