Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

My thoughts about the Mad Men finale, The Flash leaps to a first season finish and Arya's game of faces on GOT

I know all of the talk regarding the current episode of Game of Thrones has been all about what happened to Sansa yet all I have to say regarding that is a) it was terrible and the scene itself reflected how terrible it was and b) hopefully, this change in story line will lead to a fittingly vengeful conclusion.

So, while we all agree that Sansa had a bad week, let's look in on Arya's training in the House of Black and White. Her time with the Faceless Men has been harder than some of her other adventures as she's being asked to focus more on her inner struggles than her outward ones. Playing the game of faces is more challenging for her as she would rather use a weapon instead of words to defeat her enemies.

Arya can't help but question authority but does know when to go along to get along at times. That's why I think her teacher hasn't given up on her. He sees the potential in her to become one of their best yet relinquishing her identity is difficult as it is the only thing left to her in this world.

In my opinion, Arya wants to have the skills of the Faceless Men and still be a Stark, a contradiction in terms that will force her to choose one over the other in order to complete that death list of hers:

Season one of The Flash finished up this week, taking an already good show into greatness. It had everything you would want from a superhero finale; amazing action, a risky plan that could either make one life better or destroy the world and a huge sacrifice by an underestimated supporting player.

Kudos to Tom Cavanagh for his work here as Dr. Harrison Wells/Ebord Thawne, our Big Bad of the series. The man truly owned this role and made it sing out with wicked glee.  Applause must also be given to Jesse L. Martin as Barry's surrogate father Det. Joe West and of course leading man Grant Guslin.

While the show does have it's flaws(as my good buddy Thaddeus points out) such as taking forever and a day to put Iris in the loop and the whole moral/mechanical conundrum about the mini metahuman prison(for the latter, I just repeated myself, "It's just a show, I really should relax."), the good far outweighed the bad.

The chemistry between the actors, along with solid writing and sharply done special effects all helped to give The Flash his best foot forward here. The wait for season two will be hard but it will truly be worth our while:

Speaking of greatness, the season finale of Mad Men gave us a really good sense of closure. Granted, not everyone had a happy ending(sad for Betty yet I feel that Sally will come out of that experience a stronger person than either of her parents) yet what last send off they had felt earned.

I did hope that Peggy would take Joan up on her offer to join her in starting their own firm(when Joan told her, "The partnership is only for you", that sounded like an admission of real respect for Peggy's talents and hard work) yet on the other hand, those two did tend to clash quite often there.

Peggy and Stan finally realizing that they love each other felt right. This wasn't a case of settling down or just grabbing at the first warm body for comfort. Their relationship has been a battle of wills with an unacknowledged respect for one another and mutual affection. By teaming up in personal as well as business life, Peggy and Stan will only help each other to achieve their dreams and that is a romance worth emulating, if you ask me:

In the end, of course, it was all about Don who finally learned to connect with the strange new world of the seventies. His despair over not being welcome at Betty's side and by Anna Draper's niece Stephanie rejecting his standard advice of "push past(your pain) and move forward" really did him in for a moment there.

At heart, Don is a drifter not just by taking off whenever he gets the urge but as a social person as well. His charm and good looks have aided him in fitting into whatever groove society was currently plugged into. His changeling skills were fraying on him over time but during that last group session, he discovered that it was now the norm to be open about your problems and that reaching out to others is now considered a strength, not a weakness.

By being free to explore his inner self, Don is now a renewed soul that can jump start himself on to the next decade, as that final shot of a certain iconic soda ad shows(Matthew Weiner has confirmed that, yes, Don Draper in this reality is behind that commercial). In a weird way, Don is like a vampire who needs to be "quickened" in order to survive and that he does,at least for now.

I didn't tune into Mad Men right from day one but am happy to have had shared this wild ride with Sterling Cooper(Draper Price). Thank you,cast and crew, for making this show the true meaning of "must see TV":


OUTLANDER: The season one finale is airing on May 30, giving folks time to catch up with the entire run of the series this Memorial Day weekend. If you haven't watched it yet, treat yourself to this embarrassment of riches, I urge you!:

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