Mad Men “The Fog” Review (Spoiler Warning)
This episode felt like a surrogate of The Twilight Zone. Time slows down to the point where it seems to have stopped. The daily activities at Sterling Cooper, i.e. creative, are halted without Don present to make the important decisions. The shots are slow and patient, especially in the waiting room scenes with Don and the prison guard. Betty’s labour is drawn out for a majority of the episode.
My initial reference to the twilight zone is also supported by the title. The fog seems to be a clear reference to the cloud that has decended upon our major characters. Betty’s labour is filled with hallucinations that blends the realm of reality and fantasy into one, blurring her senses. She also mentions that her labour felt like a fog. This may be her subconcious mind revealing outright what she truly believes: that she is a mere housewife who should be thankfull of her luxury. She also believes that a new child will mend the rifts in her relationship with Don: a show of naivety and ignorance.
This concept of time is echoed throughout:
– The prison guard in the waiting room with Don mentions not being able to wear a gold watch.
-Peggy stating to don that “maybe this is my time”, after her demand for a raise is shot down.
-Don telling Sally’s teacher that this is not a good time.
-Cosgrove wearing a watch from one of the clients, which leads him to say “what time isn’t it?
A non sequitur that sounded awkward and out of place, but ties into the whole theme of the twilight zone.
This concept of time leads me to assert that this is a call to renewal and reassesment of values.The prison guard sees his new child as a fresh start to better himself as a father. The concept of renewal also leads Don to evaluate his relationship with his children. He acknowledges that he doesn’t nearly spend enough time with Bobby (throwing a ball around). He rectifies this failure by listening to Sally pontificate during a late night snack. Instead of dismissing her to the side as he usually does, he atentively listens to her tirade . He humbles himself and allows her to express herself (something that has been lacking these past three seasons)
Other cases of reassessment includes:
-Duck soliciting peggy for a new job forces her to reassess her position at Sterling Cooper.
-Betty names her new son after her father, symbolizing a form of resurrection, a chance at forging a better relationship with her dad, through her son.
-Pryce reassessing the Sterling Cooper’s approach the African American market.
It’s ironic that the proverbial Fog these characters actually walk into provides clarity on who they really are and what they should do to ameliorate themselves.
-the nurse is played by Yeardley Smith, the voice of lisa on the simpsons
-Eugenes birth occurs on the same date as the assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers.
what yall think?