Having said that, the ambiguity sometimes got a little annoying, if not downright insulting at times. Matthew Weiner says in a post-season interview conducted by Alan Sepinwall that not only did Joan land the Avon account, but that he assumes the audience understands that. This has always been the major flaw in Mad Men‘s writing and the problem that arises when subtlety and ambiguity are goals for the show: the writers sometimes lose track of what’s in their heads and what’s on the page. We’re reminded of either the commentary track or the “Inside Mad Men” video on “My Old Kentucky Home,” where Matthew Weiner goes on and on about what Betty and Don are thinking as they kiss each other at the end of Roger’s party; important, insightful bits of character information that inform the scene and put it in context – none of which appeared onscreen or would be knowable in any way by the audience. On the one hand, we appreciate a show that expects the audience to keep up and figure things out along the way without being spoonfed. On the other hand, the show’s pacing problems grew to epidemic proportions this season and it seems to us we could have been spared 30 seconds of  Dick Whitman’s Whorehouse Frolics in order to get one short line informing us that the most important and dangerous thing Joan did all season actually paid off for her.

...one of the things this analysis makes apparent is the extent to which many of the show's ticks are stalling tactics: flashbacks take up time in a story that would otherwise run short, which explains their haphazard appearances. Also: the tendency to omit crucial information that exists in the same universe as the telegraphing of thematic content: we won't tell you basic information, but we will make very sure you understand the obvious and not-complex theme we want you to take away from the scene.

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