Thursday, May 01, 2014

Sunday, Sunday

A little late with my look at the Sunday shows, but it has been a pretty special week.

I think top show of the night goes to the Mad Men episode "Field Trip."  Don seems to be trying to change--or is this just a new disguise or something different.  He flies to Los Angeles to help out his wife, but she doesn't appreciate being an afterthought.  And when he tries to be honest, telling her how he was let go, that just makes her more angry for lying for so long.  Can this marriage be saved?  Doesn't seem like it at present. (A lot of fans think Megan will go the way of Sharon Tate.  It'll be interesting, in any case, to see how the show handles the Manson murders.)

We also see Betty for the first time this season. After talking to Francine (always nice to see Anne Dudek), who's spending more time out of the house, Betty decides to go along on Bobby's field trip to a farm.  Betty and farm life don't fit, but Bobby's is thrilled his distant, glamorous mom comes along.  Seems to be going well until Bobby makes a mistake, trading away Betty's sandwich, and big baby Betty makes him feel bad about it and spoils everything.  And then she wonders why her kids don't like her.

We also get one of my favorite, Harry.  He comes in to save a meeting (by lying) and when dressed down by Jim Cutler pretty much tells his boss he doesn't care.  I get the feeling Harry knows he can go elsewhere. In any case, he's probably right that Sterling Cooper needs to move into the 70s and purchase a bulky computer that won't make any difference but will impress clients.

But the big story is Don, after talking to other agencies, tries to go back to work. This is the real field trip. He sits around all day while the partner's rush around trying to figure out what to do. It was sad, and a little surprising, to see how Joan and Peggy--the two main gals in the firm--are not happy to see him.  They've had such good relations in the past, but right now, the new, honest Don can't seem to catch a break from any woman.

So after waiting all day, the partners finally meet with Don and say he can start working again--with strict conditions: he can't drink at work, can't meet clients on his own, and must follow a script in presentations?  What?! The whole point of Don is how he wings things, dazzling the world with his words and his smile.  Truth is, the partners would probably fire him if they could, but that would mean buying him out, which they can't afford.  Only Roger seems to think the missing ingredient at the sinking firm, where no one's really happy, is Don's genius.

So they make the offer to Don. And he says "okay." End of show.

Is this the beginning of his comeback, where he'll set things right with the firm, his friends and his family?  I'd like to think so, but that's not generally how this show works.

Then there was Game Of Thrones' "Oathkeeper." A good episode, but not a lot of action.  Well, not a lot by GOT standards.  I mean, within the first ten minutes or so, Daenerys has taken Meereen without firing a trebuchet.  A group of Unsullied sneak in through the sewer system and hand the slaves of Meereen a bunch of weapons.  That's enough apparently--killed their masters and let in Dany.  She decides to crucify a lot of top people--after all, that's what they did to a bunch of kids on the roadway.  Normally I'd say You Go Girl, but Ser Barristan warns against it, so I have to assume there'll be some trouble in the future.

Though really, why should there be trouble.  She's not got a large, dedicated army.  She's got, I have to assume, as many ships as she needs--or if not, she's got enough plunder to buy ships.  All she has to do is wait for her dragons grow up a bit more and who's gonna stop her?  But if she gets bogged down in Meereen, I guess she will.

Meanwhile, the murder mystery was solved.  As expected, it was Olenna with the poison at the reception. And Littlefinger helped.  He's become friends with the Tyrells (and wants to be good friends with Sansa).  While he's scheming, Margaery sneaks into Tommen's bedroom and makes some age-appropriate pillow talk.  Pleasant dreams, Tommy.

The post-violence Jaime and Cersei scene is unpleasant. Not because of what he did, but because of what he won't go.  She wants Tyrion and Sansa dead. He talks to his brother and doesn't believe either were involved in Joffrey's death.  So we see the noble side come out. He gives his sword to Brienne (she names it Oathkeeper) and sends her off with Pod (that'll keep him safe) on a quest to find and protect Sansa.  After a season and a half together, they part--will they ever see each other again?

Up north, Jon Snow is trying to get everyone ready for the attack. His boss doesn't like him, and so sends him on his quest to Craster's Keep.  And who's coming along but the despicable Locke, pretending to be a Brother.  Not clear to me if Locke is planning to kill Jon when he's not looking, or if he figures following him will get him to Bran, a better target.

Speaking of Bran, that story is heating up (finally).  The mutineers at Craster's Keep have turned the place into a hellhole, and that's just when Bran and crew chance upon it.  They're captured (and his direwolf, along with Snow's, are penned up--otherwise Bran could cause a lot of trouble there).  They put Hodor in chains and the rest they can handle. Bran admits who he is so they've got a powerful hostage. I kept waiting for Bran to take over the nasty leader, Karl, but I guess that's not in his power yet.  Anyway, with Snow coming, looks like fun.

At the end, we see something strange. Craster's last baby, a boy, is left for the White Walkers.  The main WW takes the kid to the big Walker hangout where he turns him into one of them.  Now I don't know the White Walker's way, but do they really needs a bunch of Baby Walkers around?  How would this help them?

No Tywin, whom I missed. No Stannis, no Davos, No Roose, no Theon.  But above all, where was my weekly instalment of the adventures of Arya and the Hound?

After the show ended, there was Silicon Valley, still fun. And I should add that Veep is having its best season yet.  Now that Selina is campaigning, she still may be a loser, but the stories are moving faster.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am excited because, in big ways, the show has left the books. Not that the books were bad (and they might hook back up later), but its nice to have the unknown to anticipate.

5:37 AM, May 01, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Some people say the best thing about them leaving the books is the Martin readers can't be so smug any more.

Anyway, Martin, I hear, was getting too expansive in his approach, and we need the TV show to consolidate characters and action to keep us focused.

9:45 AM, May 01, 2014  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

So I'm sitting here thinking of Mad Men and wondering wtf "leaving the books" means, figuring it's industry slang.

But now I'm doubting myself.

3:43 PM, May 01, 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry- just figured Mad Men fans didn't read

9:53 AM, May 02, 2014  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

We don't, closely. But don't think I'm giving you a point. I consider it perfectly American to be driven primarily by cleavage.

12:10 PM, May 07, 2014  

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