Even famous authors can leave more plot holes than the pesky gopher in the movie Caddy Shack. But is it always accidental?

My husband and I (at our thirty-year-old daughter’s bidding) have just started watching the TV series Mad Men for the first time. I know, I know. How on God’s green Earth (as character Joanie would say) did we fail to watch this riveting, sophisticated tour de force of complex and absorbing characters in it’s heyday?

Betty and Don Draper on Mad Men

But even the brilliant writers of Mad Men failed to fill holes that have left me scratching my head. In the first episodes, Betty’s hands begin trembling uncontrollably. Aha! Something’s clearly going on with her. Possibly a neurological issue? She even fender bends her car with the kids unstrapped in the back seat–it is the sixties after all. Though she does see a psychiatrist for a few episodes, nothing is ever mentioned again about the physical reaction everyone was so freaked out about. Did the writers move on, underestimating our memory cache?

But the most profound plot hole in the early episodes for me was when ad man Duck Phillips’s ex wife brings Chauncey the family dog–a gorgeous Irish setter–to Sterling Cooper and drops him off for a permanent stay.

It definitely ruffles Duck’s feathers.

But when Chauncey gives his former alcoholic owner the stink eye as he ogles a bottle of booze, you worry the dog’s a goner. Later in the episode, Duck appears to intentionally let go of the dog’s leash in front of the office building, releasing him into the NYC night. “What the?” we said, sitting up in alarm. “Run it back!” But he did abandon the dog and never do we learn Chauncey’s fate.

In this instance, I believe the plot hole was an effective ploy. What did we learn about this man’s character? What kind of beast would abandon a dog? What else might Duck be capable of? We have a villain! And so we keep a closer eye on this “fowl” guy.

The dog was never the point.

But I still like to think that a kindly stranger snagged the leash and put Chauncey in the backseat of his Chevy Impala. That he played catch on the lawn with him for the rest of his tongue-lolling, long and luxurious life.

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