Analyzing Mad Men's Next Episode Previews
Mad Men pretty much spoils their entire show with their “scenes from next week’s episode” teasers at the end. I mean, they leave NOTHING to the imagination, as long as you know how to read into them. Let’s take a look at the 30 second spot, break it down and start analyzing carefully.
On the next episode of AMC’s Mad Men…
Pete angrily presses down on the remote control. The remote control is a symbol for his marriage. His frustration to change the channel represents his frustration to change his attitude towards his marriage and his wife.
Then in the next scene, Roger says, “I didn’t know you were capable of being that bad.” Or maybe he says, “mad”, it’s hard to tell, because John Slattery talks into his tie. But it’s obvious that he’s talking not to Don, but to himself. Yes, he is talking to himself, and I don’t mean into a mirror. He is talking about loud, addressing no one but his own shattered ego, and the scared teenager within.
Then we see this for 2 seconds:
I mean, come on, AMC, could you make it more obvious that they just had sex in the copy room? Look at how she’s not looking at him, and look at how he’s looking at her. Look at how his eyebrows are raised, and notice how his hair is so carefully and precisely shellacked and combed. This is evidence of trying to cover up sexual relations. I mean, this one is just obvious, no wonder they didn’t add a soundbite over this 2 second scene.
Then Ken Cosgrove says something while sitting down in a chair. A chair. Read between the lines, people.
Cut to Peggy in her office, laughing, pouring herself a drink.
This is a huge setup for her new storyline. One, she’s laughing. When does Peggy laugh? When she feels she’s got the upper hand. Why would she have the upper hand? Look at the scarf she’s wearing. It’s purple. You know who else wears purple? Joan. Peggy shot Joan in the head. Why else would she be so happy? And is that…is that a bottle of champagne? Case closed.
Next scene: Pete looks into the mirror and says, “Don’t do that.”
“Don’t do that”? “Don’t do that”?! What could “that” be? Think about it. That. What does “that” rhyme with? Cat. What’s another animal? Duck. And who do we know named Duck? That’s right, Duck Phillips. But wasn’t Duck fired a long time ago? Yes. He’s come after Pete, begging for a job. Hence, “Don’t do that.” If the camera panned further, we would see Duck right next to the mirror. It’s called mise en scène.
Then immediately after that, Megan is talking to Don, saying, “Yes sir.”
THEN we cut to Don saying, “That’s how it works.”
I think we all know what happened here. Megan has slipped into some sort of amnesia, thinking that she’s still working for Don. Hence, “yes sir.” Don is relieved by this, as he’s very unhappy with her blossoming acting career, and wants her back in his control. “That’s how it works” = “that’s how the cookie crumbles” = what also crumbles? Sanity. Megan’s sanity.
Then rapid fire cuts. Cut to Don: “That’s how it works” then Peggy: “Well he doesn’t know that” then Sideburns McJones says to Roger, “I will have to double check.”
He’ll have to check on what? Look carefully. It’s all there. What’s that behind Roger? A lamp. And the lamp is lit. And what do lamps represent? That’s right, childhood. And who did Roger have a secret love child with? Yes, Joan. Sideburns McGee knows allllll about it. And Roger has trusted him to babysit. But Sideburns Johnson over here isn’t a very good babysitter. He constantly needs to check on the baby, because it cries a lot, because ole Sideburns Smith is losing control of his life, and babies can sense these things.
Okay, THEN there’s a scene of Don saying, “What are you talking about?” and then a scene of Pete saying, “It’s all about what it looks like, isn’t it?” But this being Mad Men, it isn’t all about what it looks like. We know that. That means there’s only one answer.
Pete is dead.
I can’t believe they spoiled this for us in their preview. And I’m sorry that I spoiled it for you. But really, it was so obvious.