Review of Mad Men Season 3 Episode 4, "The Arrangements"

Mad Men: This Week's 5 Maddest Moments

The title of this week's Mad Men, "The Arrangements," refers to the main devastating event of the episode, but it's not the only disastrous thing to go down. I've put together my top five moments from the episode to get this chat started, so to see what I thought (spoilers ahead), just read more.

  • Grandpa Gene's dangerous games. Mad Men's not usually one of the shows that stresses me out, but the scenes of Gene letting Sally drive and then letting Bobby open a box with a giant knife are so foreboding. The following interaction between Gene and Don after Gene educates Bobby about war, shooting people, and the Clap, is deliciously uncomfortable.
  • Jai alai draws a line in the sand at the agency. Young millionaire Horace's silly idea thrills some of the ad men with the idea of easy money, but Don pushes back in a show of integrity, first at the meeting with Horace Sr., and then at dinner with Horace and Pete. The cracks at Sterling Cooper are getting bigger.
  • The slow realization of Salvatore's wife Kitty that something is amiss in her marriage. Poor Kitty, in her wasted, discounted negligee. Her building bewilderment while Sal dances out the Patio commercial is hardly subtle; she knows he's not straight. Will she stay in her marriage?
  • Peggy's roommate hunt. From the prank call to Joan giving Peggy advice, this subplot is one of the light spots of the episode. It also produces two eyebrow-raising quotes. New roomie Karen Ericson: "I think you should only close your door for one reason." And Mama Olson: "You'll get raped, you know that."
  • Don and Betty's inability to comfort their grieving young daughter. The dramatic scene of Sally collapsed on the living room rug in her tutu, the adults out of focus in the background, is heartbreaking.

What parts of the episode are your favorites? Are you surprised by Grandpa Gene's death, despite all the foreshadowing? Are you excited to see more of Salvatore and his struggle with both career and sexuality?

Photo courtesy of AMC

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