Mad Men: Severance was like a dream…

I’m just going to post this bit of flotsam. It will connect to nothing (as is so often the case with my flotsam, which by definition runs to the semi-random) and most of my readers (are you even out there?) won’t even know what I’m talking about. No worries. The Mad Few watched Mad Men… live or streamed after the fact.  If not yet… be warned of spoilers. Kind of.

Camera angles and set-ups; a casting call. I’m not fooled, somehow, but already, nothing seems quite real. A version of Don we’ve seen and not liked (he seems to like himself just fine, these days; though who knows what lies beneath).

A waitress whose face is too familiar, but not; like a dream itself. After she’s misread his intention and he’s misread her interest, she reminds him that things get mixed up when someone dies.

The one that got away has died, and he looks so lost and confused.

The flight attendant who was familiar too. (Should she be? She reminded me of the market researcher he dated – Faye Miller – the other woman besides Rachel who seemed to understand him, could challenge him, wouldn’t put up with his womanizing crap.) The motion in his bedroom – he comes up behind the stewardess (yes, that was the right word back then) reaching around as if he’d stabbed her in the stomach and she spills wine that looks all too much like blood and he throws the bedspread over the stain…

… as the scene dissolves into lust, she finds an earring under the bed…

Didn’t he have a dream a season or so ago – an eternity ago, in Mad Men time – in which he’d murdered a woman, wrapped her in the bedspread and hidden her under the bed? That was just a dream. He was sick or drugged or drunk or all of the above.

This episode feels like a dream. Even Pete says so, of his time in California – and both he and Ted are back full time as if it never was.

Kenny let go, free to pursue his dream, and choosing to be their nightmare instead.

Peggy and Joan walking through unpleasantly familiar territory, but with new takes on the outcomes.
(Sidebar: the antisemitism of season 1 is anti-Irish in season 7b… the sexism is the same, but somehow even more offensive. And that is really saying something.)

Hopes and dreams… Peggy can’t find her passport. Turns of language: missed connections, takeoffs and landing parties — a nod to the moon landing in the last/first half of the season, another reference to flight, or something else entirely?

What has really happened… is really happening?

Severance. Everything feels disconnected. Disjointed.

Not unlike this post. Sorry about that.

I’m sure the pieces will begin to weave back together again over the final episodes.
And if not… well, Mad Men is one of my more enjoyable dreamstates.

What was your take on the start of Season 7b?

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