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Mad Men Music Monday: “This Will Be Our Year”

21 Apr

“Happy Valentine’s Day, I love you.”

The first episode of Mad Men‘s seventh season ended with a punch to the gut for both Peggy and Don as one collapsed on the floor of her apartment in tears and the other sat outside on his freezing balcony in a catatonic like state. It’s Valentine’s Day, 1969 and there’s not a lot of joy in either of Peggy or Don’s life at the moment as the secrets they keep are eating them up inside. For Peggy, her relationship with Ted or really his departure to California and away from her is causing her way more sorrow than she would like to admit; a simple mix up over some red roses sends her spiraling. Peggy passes vague messages through secretaries only to take out her frustration and embarrassment on an innocent Shirley.

Mad Men 7.02 PeggyIn another part of town Don jokingly declares that he is looking for love and he finds it in an unlikely place as he has reconciliation with his daughter. There’s a lot that has been left unsaid between Sally and Don since she walked in on him with Sylvia and while it would seem he has divulged details of his upbringing – the truths he told at work are nothing she doesn’t know he reassures – the topic of his dalliances is different.

Kiernan Shipka gets a lot of red carpet props on here, but really it’s her role as Sally Draper that is everything as she conveys just how hard it was for her to come to Don’s building and practically spits out the word “hairspray.” Later on “spectacular” has the same level of snarky venom as Don inquires about her studies. There’s a wealth of resentment and her apathetic feelings towards her father and his lies is completely understandable.  Being a disaffected teen is nothing out of the ordinary, however this extra layer of disenchantment thanks to the lies adults tell hits Don right where it hurts.

Mad Men 7.02 Sally and Don

“Please stop. Stop Talking.”

Instead of avoiding the issue which is generally the Don Draper approach (unless he is backed into a corner), Don confronts this Sally thing head on and I’d be quite happy to spend an entire “Suitcase” type of episode with father and daughter hashing it out. It turns out they don’t need this long and while Don doesn’t get any magical enlightenment in how to fix his work problems, he does heal this wound and Sally’s last line (which opens this article) is enough to push me into misty eyed territory.

The song which closes out the episode after Sally has given Don an unexpected reaffirming declaration is The Zombies with “This Will be our Year.” So while this season has started with utter despair, this signals that there is still hope to be had.

 

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