Monday, April 08, 2013

Mad Men "The Doorway:" Blue Hawaii

Don (Ho) contemplates the pu-pu of his former life.
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to think here, having been led through two hours of metaphorical hoops that started out as an odd Brady Bunch episode and ended at a destination that wasn't far from where we left off last season (or the season before, for Don anyway). But... Mad Men is indeed back!

It's six months or so later from where we last left off -- now late 1967, at a point where we've thankfully skipped over the "Summer of Love" (with only the fungal spread of sideburns to show for it). "The Doorway" uses the title as a metaphor for all sorts of passages. There's the a dance at the doorway of death to start the episode -- likely meant to trick you into thinking Don was having heart attack -- in the form of Don and Megan's doorman. Metaphorical-hammer-to-the-head much? There was an actual death, of which Roger took the emotional brunt of after manifesting the "doorway" metaphor in his therapy. (No good title inducer goes unpunished.) And there's the advancement of careers for Peggy (at new agency as head copywriter), Megan (now a soap opera star of sorts) and Joan -- who has broken Sterling Cooper Draper Price's glass ceiling yet still can't garner the respect of Harry (who looks like he just stepped off the set of Bewitched).

Musically, there's a lot I haven't digested as of yet, but the final song -- as is often the case -- has its own story to tell. Elvis Presley's rendition of "The Hawaiian Wedding Song" serves as a nice bookend to the Don scene on the beach along with the movie it was from, Blue Hawaii, being about a soldier's journey upon returning from war (an intentional parallel for Elvis himself at the time). Throw in a little infedelity (with an older, time-travelling Lindsay Weir!) and add to that the movie's location being the very same Waikiki beach we see Don and Megan on and you have what is pretty much the perfect song.

Elvis Presley - "Hawaiian Wedding Song"