Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mad Game

I don't think I have the energy to fully recap both Game Of Thrones and Mad Men, but both shows were top notch this week.

Game Of Thrones episode, "Breaker Of Chains," showed us the new possibilities that open up when you kill a king.  Don't get me wrong--you don't need a reason to kill Joffrey.  But now that he's gone, a bunch of new plots can start.

For instance, Sansa's been moping around King's Landing for more than two seasons, and now she's finally on to a new adventure.  She's rescued by Littlefinger, who it turns out was behind the murder (along with unknown others)--using that necklace, as we predicted two weeks ago.  He's also been plotting to get Sansa to go with him for a while as well, so it's killing two birds with one necklace.  We might have some fun with this couple, the most naïve and the most cunning.

Meanwhile, Joffrey lies in state and except for Cersei, no one seems especially broken up.  Tywin uses the opportunity to lecture Tommen about what it will take to be king--which mostly means listening to Tywin-- while Jaime takes his sister by force.

Oh yeah, she wants Jaime to kill their brother, Tyrion, who's in a dungeon with only good old Pod to visit him. Tyrion has become surprisingly noble--he'll face his fate, and seems mostly concerned those close to him.  (Which proves he didn't do it--like Littlefinger, he'd have arranged to take care of these issues.)

Tywin, who never lets a murder go to waste, also goes to Prince Oberyn, offering him a spot on the Small Council.  Time to get close to Dorne, no matter how much they hate the Lannisters.  Oberyn knows a lot about poison, but doesn't seem to be involved in the murder--though now he'll be one of  Tyrion's judges.

Meanwhile, Olenna, the only strategist in King's Landing who compares to Tywin, discusses the new opportunities Joffrey's death opens up with Margaery, who wonders if she's cursed.  Maybe she isn't, but I wouldn't want to marry her.

At Dragonstone, Stannis received the good news, but tells Davos that they've got to make their move, but they don't have the soldiers or the money.  Soon after, Davos gets an idea--King's Landing has been borrowing heavily from the Iron Bank of Braavos for the wedding, so I think Davos will get them on Stannis's side, promising they'll be paid back if they help overthrow the Lannisters.

Things are a lot worse at Castle Black. They've got 100 not-so-great soldiers. Meanwhile, tens of thousand of wildlings are pillaging the land to the south, and massing at the Wall to the north.  How can they defend themselves?  Just as Samwell worries Gilly can't defend herself, so he takes her to Mole's Town where allegedly she'll be safer, though you have to wonder if it's Sam who can't take it.

Finally, there's the actual Breaker Of Chains, Daenerys, who, after Daario easily defeats Meereen's silly champion, uses a bunch of trebuchets to shoot all the chains she's broken into the city.  Show the slaves what'll happen if they revolt.  Not a bad plan.

There's one more thing, but I consider it almost a separate show inside Game Of Thrones.  It could be spun off into its own series--"The Adventures Of Arya And The Hound." This time they come upon a poor farmer and his little daughter.  He feeds the couple but before too long the Hound has robbed him of what little silver he owns.  Arya isn't happy but he figures the guy will be dead soon anyway in this new world.  They continue on to House Tully--isn't that where Littlefinger is going?  Maybe Arya and Sansa will have a reunion (though Arya's specialty arriving just in time to watch her family members die).

Mad Men's "A Day's Work" was a smart episode, filled with smart dialogue, taking place on Valentine's Day 1969.  Don is getting backdoor info from Dawn, who's still faithful.  However, when Sally--good to see her back--drops by the office while playing hooky, she meets Lou and starts to figure out something's wrong. Jerky Lou isn't happy with the intrusion, so he wants a new secretary.  Peggy is also mad at her secretary over some roses she mistakenly thinks are hers--Peggy was less sympathetic than usual this episode.  This happens on Mad Men--you never know how people will turn out.  Anyway, there was shuffling around of secretaries until Joan got kicked upstairs--time she took care of accounts, not personnel--opening a slot for Dawn, who's moving on up herself.

On top of all this, Roger feels he's losing his power under the new administration, while Pete feels he doesn't even exist, living out in California.  Will they bounce back?  Will they lose out?  Will nothing happen because that's how this show works?  Tune in next week.

Back to Don and daughter.  Sally finally meets her dad at his apartment.  He lies to her, of course, and then discovers she lied to him. He drives her back to her school, but at a gas station diner he finally opens up and tells her why he got the heave-ho, and how things are going with Megan.  Sally is still recovering from certain revelations last seasons (she tells him how horrible it was to go to his building where she might have to share a ride with That Woman), but they seem to reach an understanding by the show's end.  The last thing she says to him as he drops her off is "I love you."  A more hopeful ending than usual for Mad Men.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last season one of the subplots was about making the arrogant, attempted child-murderer and successful cousin-murderer Jaime into a more sympathetic character as he defends Brienne and leans to more nobility while suffering.

This season, though I think they are trying to do the same for Cersei. Making her an ignored bereaved mom who is raped (the books didn't exactly play it that way and the internet has been atwitter over this- ability they can forgive Jaime for pushing a kid out a window and other acts of violent mayhem but raping his evil twin sister is apparently beyond the pale) though so far Cerseihas just been suffering with no real humanity shown (I would call mourning for Joffrey to be not so much humanity as monsterity).

In the end though they could both become sympathetic characters though because they are cute.

7:29 AM, April 22, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they chopped off the wrong part of Jaime.

8:46 AM, April 22, 2014  

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