Is it March 23rd already? I’m getting psyched just at the thought that it’s less than 2 weeks away. The third season of Mad Men is probably the second greatest season of television ever. (Season 4 of The Wire is the first.)
From the beginning Mad Men has been about identity. The first two seasons focused on self discovery, but by the end of Season 3 all previous notions are shattered. Vietnam is upon Sterling Cooper – but the subtitle should be some akin to the war at home. The drinking and the whoring is no longer safe – Don’s life has finally caught up with him. Usually his women are removed from his home-life – a beatnik, a California girl, his clients. But this time he seeks trust in his daughter’s school teacher. Betty not only finally files for divorce, but also takes on an affair of her own.
Roger Sterling’s daughter is getting married the weekend of the Kennedy assassination. His daughter holds contempt towards her father for marrying a girl who is only a few years older than her. Yet when Kennedy is shot, the wedding is still on. And it is up to Pete (of all people) the most selfish and self-absorbed employee at Sterling Cooper to point out the absurdity of such an event when the rest of the nation is in tragedy.
It’s no coincidence that after Kennedy’s death, Sterling Cooper receives its biggest shake-up and is once again bought up. Don, Roger, and Bert Cooper have no choice but to go out on their own – severing ties in the process. They take the accounts they can over the weekend and begin a quite revolution – much like the one that was beginning to boil around the country – and begin to head out on their own.
I’m only beginning to scratch the surface here. I’ll give a more detailed account once I re-watch it again. You’ve been warned.