Mad Men Open Thread: Season 5, Episode 10: “Christmas Waltz”

No clever caption, this pic is just here because C. Hendricks is gorge.

*It’s a Krishna Christmas! And it’s 1966, so that means that STAR TREK now exists!
*Lane’s having money problems, I don’t understand what they are and I don’t care to
*”The twist is that the Negron are white”
*Pete can’t drive stick (and yet he wishes Don would kiss him on the mouth)
*Uncle Roger wants to provide baby Kevin with more than just bicycles
*Epic fraternal goodness between Don and Joan (I actually typed “Doan” at first, sue me — or don’t, at least not with any model airplanes around)
*”Lakshmi” (or, as I like to think of her, “The Lovechild of Juliette Lewis and Cobie Smulders”) screws Harry, and then he returns the favour. But the question is, will Paul actually go west?

TUNE IN next week for the return of Trudy!

Mad Men Roundtable: Fat Betty

Some technical difficulties at FOI HQ have slowed the flow of podcasts, but that won’t stop us from registering our comments on the topic of the second episode of the fifth season of Mad Men. And whenever we talk Mad Men, we bring in an expert — Margarita (check out her new podcast, Fat on Film!)

Jenny: After being entirely absent from the season premiere, Betty Draper Francis returned to our screens Sunday night on Mad Men. Betty always brings with her some consternation, since she’s far from the show’s most popular character. But of course, this appearance added a new layer of controversy to our Birdie: a literal layer, in the form of a fat suit. This show is not new to putting its main female characters in fat suits – Elisabeth Moss wore one in the first season as Peggy, who was pregnant and didn’t know it. But this is the first time it’s been done as a way to manage an actress’s pregnancy.

As actual, non-fat suit-wearing fatties, I know we all have some opinions on this. So Margarita, as our resident Mad Men überfan, what is your initial reaction?

Margarita: At first I did think Betty was pregnant. I saw photos of January Jones on set a few months ago in fat suit and housedress, so I thought she must be pregnant with a Francis baby in order to lock down that situation. But it turns out she’s just faaaaaaaahhaaaat. It was interesting that her fatter (OBEEEESE) mother in law came to talk to her about getting on pep pills in order to stay skinny for her man. Though I think Henry Francis is sincere in his continued attraction to her, I think her mom is also touching on the fact that Betty can hardly stand to be seen while fat. 

It’s interesting yet frustrating how they kind of imply she is “eating her feelings” because she’s dissatisfied, even after the thyroid diagnosis. Why would she not have done so when she was married to Don for longer and had three kids? It all seems too convenient as a way to punish Betty for being vain, selfish, and a bad mom. 

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Recap: The Walking Dead, Season 2, Episode 8: “Triggerfinger”

Previously: Hershel wanted them off their land. Beth was catatonic. Lori crashed a car. Rick got himself into an old-fashioned ghost-town shootout with Rene from True Blood.


Lori, unconscious in a rolled-over sedan. A zombie is trying to get at her, providing unneeded verification that she’s alive. She awakes and screams.

Bear McCreary’s Strings of Desolation.

Exterior: town bar. Gunshots. We’re looking up at Rick, finishing off Beret Tony. Hershel and Glenn are naturally stunned by the whole thing. Hershel says they should head back, and Rick palms what looks like keys from Beret Tony’s pockets. Glenn cautiously grabs Rene’s gun. They hear the sound of a car. Rene and Tony have friends. Rick, Glenn and Hershel hide. For some reason, the new guys don’t try the door.

A zombie is biting his way through a cracked windshield to get to Lori. She desperately tries to club out of the car before it can reach her; it doesn’t work that well, until she grabs some type of implement (tire pressure gauge?) and stabs it through the eye. She extricates herself from the car but guess what? Another zombie. She sees the gun inside the car, grabs it and manages to shoot zombie #2 just in time.

Farmhouse. The crew gathers at the dinner table for a meal. Shane tries to encourage Carl — his dad will be fine, etc. Someone calls Lori for dinner, and they all realize that Lori isn’t there at all. Shane and Carl realize pretty quick that Lori went after Rick.

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Episode #22: Sombre Frappuccino

Wait, Walt wasn't the one who lab-brewed the best coffee...

We didn’t really have a solid plan for this week’s episode, but we are so dedicated to consistency that we forged ahead anyway and ended up talking about Breaking Bad for half an hour. Timely! But seriously, it’s on Netflix Canada now and so Jenny’s watched the first three seasons and it turns out Cynara was up to date all along. If you haven’t watched the series yet and plan to, don’t worry — we keep it SPOILER-FREE (or very, very, very spoiler-lite), talking about the themes of the show rather than the plot points.

Also on this week’s show:

-TVtropolis, home of the Roseanne rerun. Has any other sitcom in the last 25 years so deeply explored topics of class and real-life money concerns?

-On the flip side, today we have Up All Night, which has an amazing cast (Will Arnett, Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph) but puts its new-parent comedy in a highly-privileged, wealthy setting.

The Talk is unsurprisingly disappointing. Sharon Osbourne says troubling things. Cynara resembles every fat woman you know. Guess what?? there’s a double standard between the genders on aging for TV news anchors! BREAKING NEWS.

Recap: The Walking Dead, Season 2 Episode 4 — Cherokee Rose

Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori and Steven Yuen as Glenn in The Walking Dead

Watching The Walking Dead this week, I was overcome with an urge to write a recap of the episode. This is probably because The Walking Dead is currently balancing on the fence between quality dramatic television and paint-drying dullness, so a viewer has to fill in the entertainment blanks on her own. Episode four is a weird place to start recapping, I know, but we’ll see how this goes.


Previously on AMC’s The Walking Dead: Carl got shot, Sophia wandered off, people looked for her, Shane shot a good guy to save his own ass, Carl was OK, Shane shaved his head.

Pastoral countryside. There is an old barn. Near the farmhouse, everyone is gathering firewood or something near when up drives a caravan that consists of Darryl on his motorcycle, plus a car and the RV. At Carl’s bedside, Hershel assures Lori and Rick that Carl’s fever has gone down. Carl regains consciousness; asks about Sophia. Rick lies and says she’s fine.

Everyone greets the newly-arrived caravan. Dale asks after Carl, and the Grimeses report that he’s fine, thanks to Hershel and, of course, Shane, who heroically retrieved the needed supplies. Carol, T-Dawg, et al. are relieved; Shane is guilty in the corner.

There is a funeral for Otis. It turns out they weren’t gathering firewood earlier; they were gathering stones, which they have put in a huge pile, presumably as a cairn to substitute for the fact that they don’t have Otis’s body (given that Shane left him to be torn apart by zombies in one of the worst death scenarios possible).

Hershel is the ersatz preacher now, with the funeral God talk. Shane is flashing back to Otis’s death, and then everyone insists that he say a few words because he was with Otis at the end. Still flashing back, Shane concocts a complete fiction about Otis offering to take up the rear and dying as a result. The strains of Bear McCreary’s Ominous String Orchestra rise as Shane puts a final stone on Otis’s cairn.

Title credits. Which I think are quite eerie and cool, actually.

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