Any Mad Men fan worth caring about has spent the past two months slumped in a chair, highball glass in hand and dried sick crusted on the front of a half-unbuttoned shirt, blasting "Tomorrow Never Knows" on the hi-fi while consumed with worry that Peggy Olson's post–Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce fate involves her de facto exit from the show. [Editorial shit-losing aside: How could she leave Don for Teddy Chaough? Who's going to roll her eyes when Stan Rizzo sketches a cartoon of Pete Campbell fellating a Jaguar tailpipe? How could she abandon *us*?! OK, we're done now.] But today finally brings some comforting news on the Peggy front: Series emperor Matthew Weiner assures TV Line that our irrational panic is unnecessary, even silly. Of course she's going to be back. Don't be insane:
"Our best thoughts come from others." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Things your wife won't do: spin around for a group of leering strangers in her pleated beige audition dress, accept an emerald necklace from a mouth-breather named Herb in exchange for a handsy nightlong dalliance, take a secret milkshake meeting with Ted Chaough. What kind of cologne do whores buy to give to their husbands on Valentine's Day? Peggy, can you get Joan in here? What's that? Peggy bounced? Well, where's Joan? Oh. Gross. Well, are there any lobsters left?
Perhaps, but Liam Neeson is no ordinary human, and this Alaska-set battle between man and nature is no ordinary B-movie. I love everything about The Grey; the solemnity and silliness, the characters' lack of first names, the beard icicles. Forget the fact that there are no wolves in the part of Alaska where the movie takes place. Focus on how Neeson elevates what could have been camp into his own King Lear.
[Production note: Does it completely disorient you to watch a Thanksgiving episode in early May? And, to make it even more temporally upsetting, to watch a Thanksgiving episode on Mother's Day? Is it just us? Are we weak of constitution and fragile of mind? All we know is that we want some canned cranberry sauce right now, as these Rankings spill forth like so much rotten fruit from our overflowing mind-cornucopia. Shut up, it's late, we should be asleep. Next to a can of cranberry sauce. We're not letting that go until we get some.
Here's the thing about the weeks following those history-making, paradigm-shifting Rankings in which Don slips on the banana peel of Fate and momentarily stumbles into the second position: Order is always, always swiftly restored to the Draperverse; we're not sure what would happen if Our Hero weren't allowed to immediately scramble back to the top of the Power Pyramid, but we imagine that a theoretical second consecutive Monday morning of two-slottedness would involve so much grief-vomiting into a fedora that we'd require an intravenous drip of one part rye to three parts Four Loko just to get straight long enough to mash out a suicide note. (We take this show very seriously.) Thank Anna Draper in Heaven that the Creator (Matthew Weiner) allowed Don to scramble back to his feet after last week's existential knockout, even if he hasn't completely regained his footing (and probably never will).
[Production note: This one's pretty straightforward, if you're prepared for the sheer amount of blow job jokes that await. Strap yourself in: You don't want to slide out of that leather chair halfway through.
Remember when we told you that Don would drop to no. 2 this week? Well, we lied. Actually, that's not entirely accurate; with no foreknowledge of what challenges this week's episode would bring to the Draperverse, there's no way we could make any kind of valid promise about his position, even if the Madmetricians might have suspected Don's hegemony to continue based on two previous seasons' worth of data. So here Mr. Whitman sits again, atop a writhing pile of his inferiors, absently stirring an old-fashioned with his middle finger. The Power Rankings are a bitch like that.
[Production note: Do not recalibrate your Tele-Vision sets: Those vibrant blues and oranges on your screen were intentional. And they're the same hues we're splashing all over our homes in 2012! We are all Howard Johnson's bitches. He's won, he's finally won.
[Production notes: How great was this episode? Feels like an instant all-timer, right up there with the suitcase, the tractor, and the Season 5 DVD outtakes of the makeup department entombing January Jones in the Fat Betty suit. Amazing. We should probably just quit right here. But we're not going to, because letting you down is an important part of our journey together. So as they say: Here goes nothing.
[Production notes: Well! That was certainly something! These Power Rankings were written from a safe place underneath our grandmother's couch, while clutching a kitchen knife and looped on Seconal. We are still hyperventilating at press time.]
The Clash of the Titans sequel, Wrath of the Titans, opens March of next year, but Warner Bros. is already planning a third installment. Two of Wrath’s co-writers, Dan Mazeau and David Leslie Johnson, have been hired to whip up a treatment that will again focus on Sam Worthington’s Perseus. A name for the movie is far from being confirmed, although producers are rumored to really be leaning toward Kitty Litter Tray of the Titans. Grade: C [HR]