I’ve always struggled a bit with how the characters on Mad Men never seem to grow or change. The drama of the series starts being less dramatic when you realize that, each time, what you think are the stakes and consequences seem to disappear at the end of each episode. (“To be brought up later,” you think, but are they ever really? This show seems like Lost sometimes, except instead of smoke monsters or whatever, it’s rape.* [Dramatic elements thrown in merely to keep you interested.]) I do understand that not everything needs to be looked at in detail, and many things serve to add to the picture of the character overall, but how can I keep caring about a character who rarely faces and never learns from the mistakes they make? Those mistakes stop being shocking and captivating and sexy when they’re the same mistakes being made over and over again. It is somewhat true-to-life, I’m sure — as Angela’s mom from My So Called Life brought up in this episode, “I have patients who spend years reasoning out their motivation for a mistake, and when they find it out, they think they’ve found the truth. And they probably have. But then they go out and make the same mistake.” — but that doesn’t, to me, seem like a fulfilling narrative. With all of that said, though, I think this season (my favorite so far) has really allowed many of the characters to grow! And the reason, seen especially in this episode, seems to be the looming idea of growing older, being phased out, and eventually dying while all the Pete Campbells of the world live to cheat on their wives without you. Also LSD.

This episode was great! Wasn’t it? It was. A trippy timeline (I asked out loud near the end of the episode, immediately embarrassed, “Why is Megan wearing the same outfit?”) (VERY dumb) with each of Peggy, Don, and Roger’s story-lines dovetailing nicely. The episodes that focus on only a few characters are always nice, and it was especially nice to focus on Peggy for a bit. She rarely gets enough focus, I think! Her Draper-y rant at Mr. Bean and his subsequent condescension were perfect. Men, right? The worst! It’s tough to watch her try more and more to be like Don, and do a fine enough job at it, and consistently get shut down. Her growth, unlike that of Don and Roger, relies partly on the growth of those around her. Her movie theater handjob was a sad attempt to be in control the only way women are ever “in control” on this show, and also it was gross. I’m glad she washed her hands! Later! At the office! The story Ginsberg told her about his birth was quite possibly, and I’m hesitant to overstate anything, but let’s just say it was quite possibly MY FAVORITE SCENE EVER IN THIS SHOW’S HISTORY? It was so good! And quiet! And dark! And touching! And sad! And her responses to him were so great! Very good scene. Also: When Don said, “Did Dawn get any messages?” I thought, until this afternoon, that he asked, “Did Don get any messages?”

Roger’s LSD trip was fun to watch. See, Roger? LSD isn’t so bad, UNLESS YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR, ROGER, DON’T LOOK INTO THE MIRROR! You don’t want to realize that you are both old AND not Don Draper/any man without grey hair! It’s a funny thing that Jane pushed him to do LSD and then broke up with him while they were on it, and then didn’t want to break up with him anymore in the morning. LOL. Sorry, Jane. That’s what you get. Turn on, tune in, gently agree to break up with the older man who was supporting your lifestyle and would’ve left you a lot of money when he died.

Don was upsetting. Hahah. That’s really the only thing I want to say about Don’s plot line. What a jerk. First of all, it was really cute when he said “you’re gonna love it” about the orange sherbet and was so excited for Megan to try to orange sherbet, but give her a BREAK if she doesn’t like the orange sherbet, you JERK! People like different things! And maybe, since you could’ve gotten whatever you wanted, you should’ve let her get pie AND sherbet! It was good to see Megan stick up for herself, and I’m glad she wasn’t there when he got back to the Howard Johnson’s. (Speaking of, remember when Don said Howard Johnson’s was a “destination spot”? And Megan said no, it’s a place you go to on the way to somewhere else? And Don for some reason had never thought of that? GIVE ME A BREAK WITH THAT BOLOGNA!) But, my goodness, that relationship. Talk about window pain. Megan! Leave now! You’re good for that guy, but that guy is not good for you! Divorce him and take half of his money, if you can, and marry someone without all these red flags! HE IS A MONSTER!

And, finally, Cooper’s line that was something like, “It is my business because it IS my business” was very good, because yes. Do your job, Don! Why do you think you can just not do your job? The final scene hinted towards Don at least being aware of the effect that the way he’s been acting has had, and I really hope that is something that turns out to be something. Again, it is hard to give a shit about Don week after week, because he’s cute for a second when he asks Megan about sherbet, or he says something that sounds reasonable enough to Peggy, when you learn over and over again that he is just an asshole. I feel like I’M in an abusive relationship with him. Why do we all have to keep siding with this monster? When is he going to prove that his ups and downs are worth following? Soon, I hope! It seems like it could be soon!

*Like when Joan’s husband raped her in Don’s office? That bothered me when I thought it would never be mentioned again, but it bothered me MORE when it was mentioned in such a tossed-off manner in the episode earlier in the season when Joan was telling her husband to leave. “You’re not a good man, and you never were,” she said, “And you know what I mean.” That’s it? Is that really what they had planned when they the rape scene was written, or did they just toss it in because the character was leaving the series and they didn’t want to make it seem like it was included to be shocking, without a purpose?
Comments (66)
  1. *Re: The lack of a fulfilling narrative.
    Kelly, you may be surprised (or not, I don’t know, I can’t read minds via the Internet, YET) but I kinda agree? I’ve mentioned this before, but the lack of stakes and narrative drive are two reasons why Mad Men will be a very good show but never a really great drama the way The Wire or Breaking Bad are.
    That said, the show is endlessly interesting. In a way, Mad Men feels a bit more like a great sitcom than a great drama in the sense that there is relatively little building of an over-arching story but each episode can be stellar as a stand-alone piece. The Simpsons (i.e.,the Greatest Show Ever, Especially If We Pretend Seasons 12-∞ Don’t Exist) and Seinfeld had very little continuity, but they are fabulous nonetheless. I think that’s how Mad Men has to be taken—not to be enjoyed as a complete “meal” but rather with each individual, delicious bite-sized morsel of an episode.
    And yes, this really has been a great season so far.

    *There was something subtle about last night’s episode that may hint at something…interesting. There were two 1966 films mentioned or watched: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Naked_Prey, mentioned in the beginning by Peggy’s boyfriend in which a white man is hunted while naked by a bunch of African natives. Secondly, the film Peggy watches is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_free, a film about a couple that adopts a lion and releases it in Kenya.
    Two films set in Africa—one in which the Africans are savages, one in which the continent is window-dressing to a cute story. What’s the significance? This season, the characters have been twice fascinated by the stories of lone mad men and murderers. Other reviewers (including some Videogum commenters, as I recall) have noted how these sensational stories grab the attention of the white characters while the story of the African-American Civil Rights struggle is pushed to the background of their minds.
    Is there going to be a real reckoning with the African-American plight later this season? Do these films hint at a white America that has cast the African-American experience as so “other” that they can handle black people only as exotic, safely distant, far-off savages? Or has grad school warped my thinking so badly that I take the tiniest scraps of something and make them into a big nothing? Don’t answer that.

    *”I don’t know. It was a fight. It’s over.” –Don
    “Every time we fight it just diminishes this[us?] a little bit.” –Megan
    When Don said “It’s over,” is that the relationship or just the fight? Hmm. I liked Megan’s line as well, although I’m not sure if she said “this” or “us.”

    *Hahaha Roger tripped on LSD! And he got to listen to the Beach Boys’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet_sounds, my favorite album of all time, as he did so!

    *I liked the coda to the Sterling marriage: sad but clean and clear. And yes, it will be a “very expensive” divorce.

    *Ginsberg’s story struck me as a pretty clear reference to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land, which was a huge counter-culture reference in the 1960s. Another really nice moment in the episode.

    *Peggy. Shouting at clients. Smoking reefer. Movie theater handjobs. What would Peggy from 1960 think?

    *How do we feel about the Pulp Fictionesque multiple overlapping/interlocking timelines of the three stories (Peggy, Don/Megan, Roger/Jane)? I don’t think it really worked well. It felt…distracting.

    • The timeline and transitions — like with other episodes this season — were clearly homages to the editing and directing styles popular at the time.

      Didn’t even pick up the Stranger in a Strange Land reference… well done!

    • I didn’t get the Stranger in a Strange Land connection until now. Brilliant! You’re spot on. I love that book. I should say I grok.

    • Must we always invoke Pulp Fiction whenever a narrative isn’t strictly linear? This episode wasn’t told out of order. It was three different stories that all started at the SCDP office. In that regard, it was more like the 1999 film Go, if one wishes to make comparison to a film with a similar narrative structure.

      (Not a big deal, but since we tend to get so specific and analytical when discussing shows in these open threads, I figured it was worth a mention.)

      • You’re right, of course. This really isn’t like Pulp Fiction. I referenced Pulp Fiction last night when I watched this, but in my defense I had been drinking since 2:00. (Very good defense)

  2. “Girls is insufficiently racially diverse and not at all insightful and, no, I’m not watching it anymore.”

  3. More like Downer Draper Jr.

  4. Does anyone remember the episode of My So-Called Life when Rayanne almost overdosed, and Angela calls her mom to help and her mom ends up telling her a story about her friend in college that overdosed?

    Sorry this was a really pointless comment. I’ll see myself out.

  5. Betty would’ve totally eaten that sherbet.

  6. This. Always this.

    • It’s hard to be ‘trippy’ without being silly; somehow they pulled it off.

      • I think that’s the beauty of having Roger Sterling as the first person to turn on… and in the context of the pretentious intellectual crowd he so very much loved to mock. He is inherently silly and so what would come off as groan-worthy came off as entertaining and weird but also incredibly accessible to those who get it (or do not). Plus, visually, it came off perfectly as he is so — well, Roger — that he sort of rolls with the punches of intoxication and doesn’t overthink things so even that crazy overfeeling overdescribing conversation with his soon-to-be-ex came off perfectly without being annoying like in … hmm… Easy Rider is the first movie comes to mind.

        Much rather see Roger in this scenario than any one else. Maybe Bert Cooper.

  7. 14-year old me squealed when I saw Bess Armstrong. Then, true to character, I was like, whatever, because why does Patty always have to stick her nose in my business*?!

    *my “business” being my favorite TV show.

  8. This was my favorite episode of the season so far. Don’s cat and mouse game with Megan is fun to watch. It’s very Leopold Von Sacher Masoch (Venus in Furs), I think. He’s really scared of losing her but he’s also having a hard time treating her how she deserves (and is demanding) to be treated.

    The LSD scene was very 60s. Was Sterling calling him Dr. Leary as a joke? The real Timothy Leary had a house upstate but was in the New York area at this time, I believe. I don’t know if they would have done that. He looked nothing like the real Leary.

    Peggy’s scenes were terrific too. Her interaction with Ginsberg was perfect even though Ginsberg is lying and fabricating everything (I think). He hates his father so much, I’m convinced he made up the concentration camp story.

    I disagree with you about Joan’s rape Gabe. They way they’re handling it seems very appropriate for the time. I want them to make a bigger deal of it, but I think that would be anachronistic in many respects and also, it wouldn’t suit her personality to show too much emotion about it.

    This was my very favorite part:

  9. don’s refusal to treat megan like she actually is an adult is creepy, because it keeps seeming like he really wants a woman that he can completely control- one who doesn’t have her own wants or needs or preferences. perhaps that’s why he got rid of betty- she was good at being that type of wife for a good long while, but eventually the strain of not being a person ruined her. and now it seems like don is just searching out another relationship where he can be this all powerful presence. it’s really getting sad and dark.

  10. Stray observations on some little clues I caught.

    - Lots of orange in this episode! Orange, as we all know, doesn’t rhyme with anything. But “rhyme” does almost rhyme with “die” which is what Pete is going to do this season, don’t you doubt it, mark my words.

    -I’m on the fence about the Tarantino-time-jump thing, but I like that it hinted at jumping time which is what Pete’s time is going to do. Jump out a window, along with his body.

    -The movie that Peggy handjobbed at was called “Born Free” and it’s about a lion. Lions, as we know, kill people. Pete is going to die this season.

    -When Peggy got taken off the job, Pete told her that she was taken off the job. Pete is going to get taken off of his life.

    -Don was worried that Megan was dead. He should be more worried about Pete. Not that it matters, because worrying can’t save Pete now.

    -No Joan in this episode. No Pete next season.

    -If you look carefully at the beginning of this episode, you’ll see a man falling out of a skyscraper. He’s at the beginning of every episode actually. He’s Pete. Falling to his death.

  11. 2 things:

    1) “You’re not a good man, and you never were,” she said, “And you know what I mean.” This isn’t tossed off. It’s an acknowledgement that Joan tried to internalize her attack but never did. There were so many episodes where you could almost forget what happened to her. But she never did. I thought it was pitch-perfect, at least for that time period.

    2) I think Don was trying to recreate their Disneyland trip from last season when he took Megan to get ice cream (sherbet) in a diner, just like he’d done in California. Only this time Megan wasn’t the voice of cool calm (remember when the ice cream got spilled?); she was seething and furious. You can’t go back again.

    • Not to be nitpicky because I’m totally human and fallible too, but it wasn’t ice cream at the diner in California, it was a milkshake. And it brought all the boys to the yard.


    • 1) I totally agree. I loved it when Joan said that. I too felt it was pitch-perfect.

      If one of us, and it could be any of us really, wants to get upset over a rape scene with no closure, then I nominate Dr. Melfi’s rape in The Sopranos. I understand it was hard for her to NOT sick Tony on the guy and how it would’ve complicated things immeasurably for her, but Jesus Christ that episode was so frustrating for a viewer seething for bloodlusty justice.

    • Well, we’re both seeing the same thing: the rape scene and then, much later, the small acknowledgement of it before her husband (whose name I do not know at all) left the show. I think saying that it’s something she tried to get over but “never forgot” is certainly correct. (How could it not be?) I’m not trying to say that she should have said more, or exploded in anger, or stood up for herself earlier. But after the episode ended (the rape episode), it hardly changed how her husband was portrayed, and it didn’t change the way she acted towards him. She was still strong. He was still fine enough. We knew he had raped her, which is something that tinted other things he did, I guess, but did it ever really mean anything? Was it just to prove that EVEN Joan was weak? If so, why do we need that proven? Of course we know that EVEN Joan is weak. A major, great part of Joan’s character is how her outer strength belies a quiet inner weakness. Was it to show that sometimes in the past husbands raped their wives, even when their wives were Joans? I’m just not sure what the purpose was, other than a quick shock.

      • It’s GREG! (Seriously, I had to look that up.) I think we mostly agree. I always looked at GREG as a banality-of-evil type. What does a rapist look like? What’t doesn’t a rapist look like?

        If the US has the highest rate of sexual assault in the developed world, even outwardly ironclad women like Joan can be victimized. Victimization is not the same as weakness. I think it showed that Joan refused to self-identify as a victim, no matter what, but that that did not prevent men from imposing violence upon her. I think it acknowledged that in women’s lives any and all men could be willing to ‘take possession’ of the women around them at the drop of a hat. They were always one random impulse away from humiliation.

        To many men, women really had/have no agency.

        • I agree. But also want to point out that “date rape” wasn’t a thing until the ’70s, maybe, or later? I HATE the term “date rape” because it implies that the victim played a role by spending time with their attacker before hand… but I guess that was the step our legal system took in the right direction? Ugh. I think it’s very significant that Joan recognized it for what it was at all. I’m surprised it was ever dealt with. I think it shows just how strong and forward thinking this woman is. We were never meant to see her as weak unless you would consider playing by society’s rules her weakness (which in a lot of ways it was, but how could she know that?). I think until Joan stood up for herself last week, I took that rape scene as representative of just how dangerously weak Greg was. Now I see it as Joan finally able to celebrate the breakdown of society’s unjust rules. Things will never go “back to normal,” thank god.

  12. This isn’t terribly insightful, but I’m always impressed when a movie or TV show can do an LSD scene that’s realistic. People usually just substitute standard psychedelic imagery for the genuinely surreal experience that the drug produces. I thought this was a very good LSD scene.

    • I was relieved by it. Nothing worse than a tripping on ____ scene, which is just someone messing around with Photobooth on their Mac.

    • I was really stoked to see what they would do with Roger’s trip. At first I was like, “WHAT,” because I wasn’t sure if the music was supposed to be coming out of that bottle or if it was a musical cue for the show itself. Then I was like, “Oh, I get it. That bottle’s playing the music. Hmm. That’s a little obvious.” But then when Roger put the top on and pulled it off and then just laughed, and went about his business, that’s when I was fully on board, and thankfully, all the stuff that followed worked just as well.

      “My cigarette just shrank in one drag. Heh. Whatevs.”
      “These ads are crazy. Look at this guy’s hair! He’s half me half Don.”
      “Look at my hair. I’m going to look at my hair.”
      “Don’t look at the mirror? I don’t know, Don, I don’t see the harm in it, really.”
      “Hey look. I’m dancing with Jane. What a sweetheart.”
      “What’s Bert doing on my money?”
      “Baseball?! That’s hilarious!”
      “Jane’s Jewish?”
      “*universal truths*”

  13. Don was very much in the wrong the whole time, but I thought she was obviously pretending to not like the sherbet instead of dealing with the issue at hand. Can I prove this? nope, but she really looked like she had decided before she tasted it. It was bad acting by the character acted well by the large-toothed actor, in my opinion.

    • Yeah I’m more of a lime man myself but anyone who says they don’t like orange sherbet is a damn liar

    • Yeah, Meaghan was asking for it. Kidding. How old is Don supposed to be? 40? He married a 26 year old. Don was asking for it. Regardless of how smart Meaghan is, she doesn’t have the life experience that Don has and he uses that against her constantly (especially so in regards to her new status at work), maybe not on purpose, but it’s there.

      • Orange sherbet is not something you offer someone who doesn’t qualify for a senior citizen discount. Sorry, folks. I was excited because I thought Megan would have a cream pie of the banana-less variety.

    • Definitely agree. Don was trying to force his taste and opinion on her and she had already decided she was going to hate it.

    • Maybe that’s true, but what was really abhorrent about Don in that scene wasn’t just that he ordered for her, but that immediately when she rejected the sherbet he copped that patronizing dad tone with her that is just. so. irksome. “Don’t you think you might be overreacting with your uterus just a tiny bit, sweetheart?” Ugh!

  14. Too many things were happening. Felt a little soapy that – Oh My God! All these SUPER DRAMATIC and IMPORTANT moments are happening at the SAME TIME!

  15. Also – great resolutions of things that had to end – i.e. Joan & Dr. ClumbsyHands and Roger & Jane. Much better than Jane getting shot in Vietnam and Greg catching Roger cheating on him.

  16. I know this has been said before, but I feel like repeating it. Don refuses to grow as a character because there are no long lasting consequences to his actions (at least to the company, his mental state is another matter entirely). He feels little, if any remorse for his mistakes. He assumed another man’s identity for Pete’s sake, and people were like “It’s cool Don, we still love you.” His deplorable behavior is accepted or tolerated by most because he is too valuable to the firm. Now that his actions are starting to effect business, people might not be so forgiving. Get ‘em Burt!

    • How solid of an argument is it to claim Don hasn’t grown as a character when clearly in this season he has given up on his old, cheating ways and is desperately afraid he will cheat again, and when he was always about the work and used the office as an excuse to keep away from his life he is now never thinking about work and takes his life with him everywhere he goes?

      • Very true. I don’t know if I would consider it growth. He’s traded one kind of neurosis for another. Before he was afraid of losing his freedom. Now he fears being alone. I’m sure at least part of this is because of his horribly sad childhood. The man is broken in so many ways.

        • Not to mention, in terms of their icky, violent arguments, remember when Don pushed Betty (pretty hard too) into a wall, when they were fighting and he says something like – You want me to put you through a window? Granted, I can’t remember the words, but it was something terrifying like that. Don shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

    • No. Never for Pete’s sake. I’m still waiting for round two with him and Lane.

  17. Ooh! I’ve been meaning to point this out, but I love how Don is starting to look increasingly more square as the years go by. His personal style has not changed much, and he looks right at home in his office and at work, or at a business lunch/dinner with a client or whatnot. But anytime you take Don and put him backstage at a Rolling Stones concert, or throw him in a plaid blazer, or have him seated in a brothel, he more and more just comes off as “The Man.”

    I just think it’s funny. It’s generational. Don’s 40 years old (and 6 months) now. The times they are a’changing. He still looks slick! It’s just that his slickness worked a lot better when surrounded by the dressings of 1960, not 1966. Now he’s getting confused for a cop and getting hairy-eyeballed by teenagers. Good stuff. Can’t wait for him to start making dad jokes.

  18. Kelllyyyy! You and I watch Mad Men in the exact same way, and think the exact same things about it. Joan and the rapist husband? Yup.

    And it is super hard to care about Don, because he is so irredeemed, and he seems irredeemable. This season, I thought the marriage to Megan was giving me a little something, because he so clearly wants this relationship to finally be a good one, but it doesn’t click because the only thing that’s really changed are his desires. He still acts the same — assuming that everyone will fall in line with what he wants, and just going on and doing what he wants. And I don’t even care about Megan and her proto-/pseudo-feminist complaints about Don not taking her job seriously, but she had a point.

    Plus that sherbet looked just awful.

  19. I wish they ate more of those french fries.

  20. So I just watched this episode online and for six minutes starting at minute 36 it turned into the Lifetime tv series the client list. I really thought my internet had taken LSD.

  21. Kelly, the characters never seem to grow or change because back in the fifties they were expected not to and to keep any interesting feelings bottled up – except for rich guys, who were livin’ the high life (wives n ho-s, amirite?) All that repression leads to a great show, if the writers do it well. Women had to get married, have babies, be awesome housewives who had to deal with mean, drunk, boring, etc. guys and pretend like it was awesome. The only time Don gets interesting is when he goes to California where nobody knows him and the world is his Romney etchasketch. Don was actually super interesting until we all learned about his past and the fact that he continually runs away from it and can’t handle intimacy. Then he became boring, because he can’t change. Maybe it might happen now that his gal told him about her need to be meaningful at work and not just his plaything, but that is not likely to happen unless he experiences the same thing Harrison Ford did in Regarding Henry, which was a gem of a film. Now the sixties are happening and all these poor old people who were taught the one and only way the world works are raising children who are all like, hell no! Now you are gonna see changes in the old fogies, whether they like it or not. Tangent: Roger’s wife looked like Liz Taylor and she was hot. Double Tangent: I want to get high with Roger. An imaginary character.

    • Also, I’m not any kind of expert, but that being said, a few things about Joan:
      She got made fun of at work by fellow women for being older (32, I believe. gasp!).
      The boss she was in love with and had been having an affair with for years went and married his early twenty-something secretary, when it should have been Joanie.
      This prompted her to go for that doctor husband because she had nothing else and no future at work to work towards.
      (Remember when she helped with advertising, because they lost someone, and she was good at it, but the minute the firm hired a man, they condescendingly sent her back to her woman’s job?)
      (Remember her maternity leave party? Ouch.)
      That gal had nothing and was hoping she could salvage some kind of life she wanted somehow. Dude lying to her about staying enlisted killed that last hope and brought back the reality of her bad choice.
      Joan’s the one that’s gotten the shit end of the stick out of all the characters.

  22. Another small moment I loved was when Peggy was going off on the Heinz guy and Ken didn’t disagree with her or throw her under the bus.
    More Ken and Peggy pact! He’s the most decent guy ever!

  23. I have to take issue with those who are complaining about the lack of characters evolving on this show. This episode, I think, was a significant one in terms of Don’s character. I mean, Don Draper getting all excited about Howard Johnson’s? Orange Sherbet? Clearly this was Don trying to share his childhood memories with her, without being able to say so, because he is Don Draper, and it is 1966, and because he probably isn’t even aware that this is what he is doing. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that this was him putting himself out there for Megan, even just a tiny bit.

    Since Don is used to being able to convince people what their tastes should be, he is sure that he will be able to show his foreign wife an Americana wonderland at the HoJo, and have her go nuts with glee over the fact of him sharing himself with her. So when she rejects it, because she has no associations with the place or the food, and because she (as well as the audience) mistakes his enthusiasm for bully-ing, he takes it as double insult…to his taste-making acumen, as well as to his childhood. That’s why he flips out and leaves her…well, that and her ‘go call YOUR mom’ crack.

    So, for the tiny step forward he takes, now we get the inevitable giant steps backward. Of course, he’s going to ditch her, he’s just had his childhood self slapped in the face and he must retreat back into the only mode he is comfortable with: that of the secretive loner. But then he relents, and he goes back for her. That I think is pretty telling of where he is. There was plenty of time left in the episode for him to take that room key and go upstairs with the next available woman to walk into the diner. Any previous season, he probably would have.

    I really enjoyed this episode, and I think it epitomized what’s great about this show: compelling (and compellingly flawed) characters who keep having to learn the same lessons over and over again, and whose interactions are every bit as random and bizarre as those we encounter all the time.

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