Movies Are Prayers by Josh Larsen, Free for CAPC Members
In Movies Are Prayers, Josh Larsen exemplifies how critical engagement with a film can be an act of neighbor-love.
Spoilers, of course. If you haven’t already, make sure to read our full episode recap, The Unfulfilling Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
Those conditions for Don’s return, coupled with Ginsberg’s comment about him “drying out,” makes it crystal clear that everyone in the office thinks (perhaps rightly) that Don’s major problem is alcoholism. But while Don has always been a big drinker, to term him an alcoholic seems a little off; after all, he hasn’t seemed to have too much trouble cutting down on his drinking, even though he’s been alone and distressed for months now. Similarly, while he’s been a womanizer in the past, it seems like he’s lost almost all interest in women. What he needs is to feel his place in the world, to not feel dislocated. He needs to know he exists.
Bobby: “I wish it was yesterday.”
The whole plot line with Harry and the computer (a wink?) reminds me that the story of SC&P and its various earlier incarnations has always felt like it mapped onto the tech start-up world of the 1990s, what with all the drinking and the partying and the personality-driven workplace, something that Jim Cutler alludes to. But the SC&P of 1969 is surprisingly staid, workmanly, even a little . . . boring? No wonder Roger misses Don. Though I’m not sure he’ll find what he missed in this new Don.
Here’s the thing about Peggy: recently, a friend told me she’d started watching the show and just couldn’t stand Peggy, and wasn’t sure she’d keep going. I told her to keep watching, that Peggy becomes a great character. But during this episode, I saw someone Tweet, “when did Peggy become the worst?” And—well, I sort of had to agree. That was a low blow. Perhaps what the show has succeeded in doing with Don’s character, among other things, is to take us to the point where we wince at that kind of jab in Don’s direction (as opposed to Megan’s, which was certainly merited). Yikes.
Also painful: Joan’s unfailingly professional politeness toward Don. I noted a few weeks ago that Joan and Don’s friendship was one of my favorites on the show, and as a viewer, I’m going to be disappointed if that never returns, though it makes sense.
Random mortality bingo—Jim Cutler to Harry Crane, holding up a book he’s reading, apropos of nothing: “I know this isn’t the message, but we could all learn something from the funeral business.”
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