Average User Score: 8.4May 6, 2013Does anyone understand that what they are seeing is four terrific portrayals of different versions of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, plus one of the confused opposite thereof? Don, Roger and Pete played =so= well by the under-appreciated Vince Kartheiser are the sons of (respectively) alcoholic and abandoning, smugly prideful and over-controlling, and barely conscious but achievement-obsessed parents.
Joan is likewise the daughter of an obsessively controlling mother, and Joan =needs= to be in =control=. Peggy is the daughter of working class fools who sabotaged her at every turn, leaving her without a sense of identity, as well as much self-awareness. (Does it take a Scientologist to nail a role like that one? Could be.)
All five are simply trying to live up to the expectations either programmed into them by their domineering parents... or struggling to find some "rules to live by" in a world where (only) money talks... and =matters=. (Listen carefully when old Burt speaks.) All five are half-conscious "false selves" trying their best with what limited awareness they have to play a game that is way over their heads. Thus far, Roger has it more figured out than the others, but he's as often caught in his own blind spots as the almost-as-perceptive Joan and Don.
Don and Joan will make up. They =have= to. Because they need need each other's awareness to stay in The Game. As good a "player" (rather than a "piece" like Peggy) as she is, Joan is not going jeopardize her standing as the office manager in a shooting war with New York's most charismatic creative director... unless she forms an alliance with the CD at Peggy's old agency. Just like the rest of them (save possibly for Pete, who's too immature, rule-bound and self-righteous to understand the realpolitik), the other principles will continue to rescue Don from his alcoholism. Not because they "understand" why he drinks, but because as long as he keeps hitting homers, he's their "franchise player."… Expand