"Mad Men" The Milk and Honey Route (TV Episode 2015) Poster

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Everyday it's a getting' closer / Going' faster than a roller coaster
sportello2911 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Don is having a conversation with his daughter describing the road trip he is planning, his getaway. Sally in turn remarks how she would love to go to Spain, an idea that Don seems to support. Ending the conversation with a textbook fatherly advice it is funny to see the resemblance of 'child' dreams that both Don and Sally share. They have no idea where they are going or for what purpose, which seems to be making the journey only this much exciting and thrilling.

On the road, Don's car breaks down, causing him to check into a motel. The owner of the hotel 'drags' Don into a veteran's convention/party/fund raiser. Don is reluctant to share at first, however after a few drinks, yet still surprisingly Don finally let's it out - he killed his CO and got sent home. The secret Don was keeping all this time was out and it meant nothing to anyone, the veterans simply showed their drunken compassion, as if they have all been there.

In an unexpected turn of events, the boy from the hotel's room service that was buying Don's booze set him up to the very veterans from the party. Convinced that Don stole their donations, they take his car as collateral. Almost as if he has nothing to lose or care about, Don takes the blame and even gives gives his car to the boy, who has surely reminded Don of himself. We leave Don at a bus stop, carrying on his journey to the unknown.

Meantime, Betty's new shoes cause a comical collapse on the stairs on the way to class, she is now an aspiring student. Apart from a broken rib, the fall leads to a shocking discovery - Betty is on the last stages of lung cancer. With another sad reference to US milestone events of the time, we learn that Betty has less then a year to live. Refusing to continue treatment, Henry tells Sally the news and brings her home, hoping she could convince Betty otherwise.

Betty gives Sally a letter to open after she passes, which Sally opens as soon as she returns to school. The letter is touching, motherly, and elegant, just like Betty herself. It is very sad to see one of the most beautiful characters potentially go like this. Betty's problems provide a thin and at times even sarcastic contrast into Don's issues, as the two stories are shown in parallel, making them seem completely pointless and small.

Duck Phillips asks Pete for a favor to help him get a job, for old times sake, which turns out to be a trick - Pete is getting interviewed for a job himself. Pete ends up taking the job and reconciles with his wife, who seems reluctant at first, however as Pete lands a few signature promises, she jumps right in. Amusingly, this seems exactly like something Pete Campbell would do, exactly the type of emotional and money driven decision he would make. Let's just hope this is not all a trick on the naive and a genuine job offer. Somehow, the weasel that Pete has always been, he still resonates as a positive character.

"The Milk and Honey Route" brings us one step closer to closure, attempting to shed some light into where are heroes are going and what is really bothering and motivating them.
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swatiechawla19 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Before tonight, I only knew the English derivation of the term 'unto a land flowing with milk and honey'. The last time that I had my hands on a full Bible was during my hours at the school library where I made trinkets of notes on the terms that inspired me. Through Mad men's episode, I assayed the route with an effect of both, sorrow and joy. I have come to understand that only the chosen ones will be guided to the 'milk and the honey route'- a place where the kosher elements would co-exist alongside the non-kosher ones, legitimately. The route thus, will be laced with an opportunity to obtain ultimate salvation; the same way Hindus redeem their Karmas.

Mad Men's chosen people have always been Don and his ex-wife, Betty.

Don is on a road to his own redemption, trying to rid himself of the demons of his past. He 'was in advertising,' we are now too sure. His professorial attitude is flashy – his insistence to Andy (in whom he sees a younger version of himself) to not mislead himself into living a life of deceits; and, teaching Sally the ministrations of money spending. Is he finally ready for a full blown up regurgitation of his past? If there is any semblance to it, we shall get to see only in the last episode of the series.

But, Betty, on the other hand, has freed herself of her linear-life of being a wife and a mother; of running errands of the day; of waiting aimlessly at the dinner table in the exact same position, every night. She has come out of her existential crisis; has found complacence in Freud's Analysis of a case of Hysteria (12th episode), only to await a bigger crisis in the face. Must her life end so tragically? Betty, to me, is a personification of a kind of a familiar boredom that comes with the riches, and 'being lucky.' In her case, the boredom has turned onto her in the form of a charade that gleams merrily through her pretty face. She definitely has graduated from being an overprotective mother, to being this new person who, suddenly, finds marching 'to the beat of your own drum…will be adventure.' With her letter of commandments, she seems to have also passed her jarred-wisdom and over-protectiveness to her daughter, Sally (the scene with the brothers). One must give credit to her prescience on reading through Henry's inabilities of dealing with her loss later.

What bothers me really is whether and how Weiner would manage to wrap up the series in the one hour that is left of it. In the meanwhile, his anti-heroic, utterly flawed characters are on a road to happiness, much less to finding themselves. Though the one to be always surly, Pete, too seems to have been the chosen one. He has finally found closure. He is 'not dumb anymore.' Joan wanted money, and respect; but she is a woman of the 60s, compromise is not an unknown ground. She finally walks towards the honey route, with her money, respectfully. Bert died mid-way. But, how will things end for Peggy and Roger? Will Don find Dick? Will it all be cushy in the end? Will there be a complete closure? Or, will it be like life, moving on without any neat ends?
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edwagreen11 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
While it was bad enough that Betty receive such a diagnosis and that part of the episode was handled very well, the rest of the episode remains a complete enigma to me.

Who really cares about Don venturing forth out west and meeting up with those characters as they talk about their military days. The ending sequence regarding money allegedly stolen is ridiculous.

As this excellent series is winding down next week, more should have been made of the New York scene, the vibrant part of the advertising activity.

So many of our regular endearing characters were missing from the episode. I know that Joan has cashed in but she could have been included as well.
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the beat of your own drum..
Arth_Joshi4 August 2018
Mad Men

Mad Men; one of the most acclaimed series by critics, loved by the fans and buzzed at the award shows, is a character driven series created by Matthew Weiner depicting the inner world of an ad agencies set in '60s in New York. The writing is sharp, elaborative, adaptive and exquisite that keeps the audience tangled in its not-so-likable and faulty world on the edge of their seat.

It is rich on technical aspects like projecting the chemistry among the characters, stunning cinematography, beautiful camera work, references mentioned in the conversations and the classic tone of the series that makes it supremely watchable.

The primary reason why the series stands alone is not only its nature to work in a metaphorical way but to weave out a poem from the sequence, is the genuine soul behind it that attains a certain closure in each episode. The performance objective is score majestically by the cast especially by the protagonist Jon Hamm who is supported convincingly by the cast like Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones and John Slattery.

The practical conversations, the whistle-blowing dialogues, three-dimensional characters, excellent execution, finely detailed set-pieces, alluring costume design are the high points of the series that helps it enter the major league.

Season 07

The final act is powerful, poignant and offers a cathartic release to the viewers where the only game-changing and ground-breaking highlight is Hamm at the heart of it, who is achingly good and the makers too have wisely offered him enough range and space for him to flaunt his talent on screen.

The Milk And Honey Route

Hamm's character is pushed a lot to a point where it not only breaks down but has freed itself into a lost space beyond any marketing politics while the one that are stuck in gets drawn emotional family trauma and conflicts.
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Geography lesson needed!
lpadler-6910328 August 2018
Don is stranded in Alva, Oklahoma, not Ava. A pickup driving by had "Alva, Oakla." on its door. Can anybody spell around here?
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Don broke down in Alva Oklahoma not Ava. The door on the tow truck said Alva. It is a town in NW Oklahoma.
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