One of the big complaints of this season is that sometimes it is a little too on the nose with its themes. When you name an episode “Dark Shadows,” have an ancillary character audition for Dark Shadows, and reference the killer smog of 1966 (a dark shadow if there ever was one), well it’s a bit much.
And it’s really a bit much when all of the dark shadow references were pointed at one Mrs. Henry Frances. If there is one development that I’m not the biggest fan of is the constant vilifying of Betty. Now while some of this is justified in terms of the story (and in keeping with January Jones’s real life pregnancy which kept her off set a lot), it seems a rather reductive take from a show that made its bones in dealing so well with nuance.
But enough about poison and shadows. Thanksgiving is around the corner, so let’s sneak in a Sno-Ball and check in with the girls at Weight Watchers.
- Speaking of the Weight Watchers scene, I once again agree with Tom and Lorenzo’s tweet on how that scene should be re-enacted by the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
- Petty jealousy was running rampant everywhere: Betty’s jealous of Megan, Roger’s jealous of Pete, Peggy and Don are jealous of Ginsberg, and on and on.
- Who knew that the ghost of Anna Draper would once again haunt the Draper family? And who knew that Betty would finally be better at channeling her hausfrau angst and rage at people who deserve it? Mind you she still has to do a runaround by using Sally to take a few swipes at the seemingly happy marriage of Don and Megan, but still give credit to Betty for actually directing her anger at what she’s really angry at: that Don is actually making an effort to keep Megan happy and that just burns Betty to the core.
- And speaking of Sally, once again props have to be given to Kiernan Shipka for not only being a good actress but also having the uncanny ability to mimic January Jones’s line deliveries when it’s necessary to drive home the point that Sally can easily be like her mother (i.e. the whole “are you going to cry now” bit to Megan, to her fight with Don).
- Meanwhile, the rest of the episode was a bit odd. Roger and Jane’s little fling-ette was a bit much but once again it gives Bert one of the best bits of the show.
- Elsewhere, we’re getting the old youth vs. establishment storyline yet again by one Michael Ginsberg. He’s hungry and ambitious, but unlike the hungry and ambitious Peggy, he’s able to tap into the youth energy that everyone in 1966 is lapping up with a spoon. In fact it’s very interesting to see how the interlopers at SCDP (Megan, Ginsberg, and Dawn) have all been dealing with the establishment, and how the establishment is dealing with the new energy they all bring.
- Best exchange of the night: “I feel sorry for you.” “I don’t think about you at all.”
- Can we please have enough of Peggy’s workplace free fall? It’s bad enough we saw that Don is losing his creative mojo but not Peggy too.
- Megan may be part of “the new, the young, the ha ha you know” (thanks for the quote Anna Russell), but she’s wrong; Dark Shadows was one of the best soaps of the time. And how hilarious is it that she’s not getting roles. The question is, where does this leave her?