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Dawn of an Old Age
March 26, 2012 7:47 AM   Subscribe

Mad Men is back. And so is Vulture with another of their always-enjoyable recaps.
posted by lohmannn (481 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
I wonder how many millions of people have Zou Bisou Bisou stuck in their heads.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:55 AM on March 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


I wonder how many people had to Google it (like me). This seems like a good rundown.
posted by mikepop at 8:04 AM on March 26, 2012


Also, favorite line from this recap: "that party scene could have come straight out of an unusually sophisticated episode of The Monkees"
posted by mikepop at 8:05 AM on March 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oddly, after enjoying AMC's other fine offerings of genius meth cookers and zombies during the show's hiatus, I had a hard time really becoming re-invested in the emotional problems of dysfunctional ad men. Nice decor, though.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:05 AM on March 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


I'm waiting on the Tom and Lorenzo re-cap cause as much as that show likes to tell the story via set design and outfits, they REALLY hit the "foreshadow future events via decor" nail last night. Henry's super-gay office furniture (who else didn't recognize him now that's he's skinny? See what heading out to LA all the time does to you.) Don's super modern sunken living room for his young Quebecois-cursing wife. Pete's new suburban home looking exactly like Dons just as he goes through the echos of the first time we met Don. Jane's aggressive style to match her new aggressive snark.

But oh god we are getting into the ass-ugly period of American design. BROWN is creeping in. BEWARE THE BROWN.

Also all the characters where turned up to the most extreme versions of themselves, probably due to the show being away but I liked it. It cut through the turgidity the show sometimes has and made everything feel faster and more farce like. Hell that party scene felt like Venture Brothers episode and the conservation of detail was really something - you could extrapolate Joan's entire upbringing from those few exchanges with her mom.

Oh and also, all those girls lined up to hand in their resumes to Lane? RUN GIRLS! RUN AWAY!
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 AM on March 26, 2012 [13 favorites]


Recaps from What's Alan Watching? and AV Club.

The Musical History of Megan’s French Mad Men Tune
posted by kirkaracha at 8:06 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"The only thing worse than not getting what you want is somebody else getting it"

Amen
posted by johnstendicom at 8:06 AM on March 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also my only explanation for why Peggy and Abe are together is that he's her pot connection.
posted by The Whelk at 8:07 AM on March 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also it's always fun to watch Pete suffer entirely due to his own shitty, sociopathic attitude. The only drawback is that he'll never realize how every bit of his torment is his own damn fault.
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Meta-explanation for Peggy and Abe is that he's an adorable Jew that should be on television more.
posted by silby at 8:11 AM on March 26, 2012


Love the show for its verisimilitude but every ep has one or two lines of dialogue that just doesn't ring true to the period for me. Last night" "Oh? And how'd that work out for you?" and "Who's the savage now?" were the clunkers. Also, Sally. She grew a foot and her voice dropped an octave. Just keep her off the pole, Don. Just keep her off the pole.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:11 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I particularly enjoyed the fact that Pete’s daughter’s name is Tammy (although, we might already have known that, I just forgot in the past 18 months) and Joan’s son is Kevin. Very 1966.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:11 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just keep her off the pole, Don. Just keep her off the pole

Seriously?
posted by sweetkid at 8:13 AM on March 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also, the running theme of the premiere especially with Megan, that they all live in an atmosphere so poisonous and cynical that every character is trying to score points off each other and squash any joy. It's like a court drama and they're all backstabbing each other for the chance to carry the King's chamber pot.
posted by The Whelk at 8:16 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


they REALLY hit the "foreshadow future events via decor" nail last night...

The one set that really stood-out to me was Joan's apartment...Those orange walls exactly colored to eliminate the impact of her hair color, letting her face come forward.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:19 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Oh? And how'd that work out for you?" and "Who's the savage now?" were the clunkers.

Apparently the incident with the water balloons was based on a real event, and that line (which is actually "And they call us savages") was included in the New York Times write-up of the incident back in 1966. Of course, the NYT story is behind a paywall so I can't actually see it.
posted by notmydesk at 8:19 AM on March 26, 2012 [13 favorites]


that line (which is actually "And they call us savages") was included in the New York Times write-up of the incident back in 1966.

Huh, that's interesting. I felt that line was a little too on-the-nose as well. Interesting to hear about the context. Overall I definitely feel like Mad Men is still doing a terrible job with race, mostly because of Matt Weiner's stubborn refusal to change anything because of criticism.
posted by sweetkid at 8:22 AM on March 26, 2012


Also it's always fun to watch Pete suffer entirely due to his own shitty, sociopathic attitude.

The wonderful thing about this season is that Pete's attitude is increasingly justified. It was easy to hate Pete when he was an ambitious go-getter who hadn't done anything to justify his arrogance, but now it's quite clear that Pete (and to a lesser extent Ken) is the guy keeping Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce afloat. Of the four named partners Lane is the only one really putting in the work any more: Bert is a relic, Roger a dilettante who's trying to remain relevant by poaching Pete's work, and Don's been checking out gradually since midway through season four because of his desperate unhappiness.

Pete is the only person at SCDP who would sink the company by leaving. He knows it. So does everybody else. And they're still treating him poorly - remember, back when he jumped ship to join SCDP, they dangled a name partnership in front of him if he "worked for it," and now he has to throw a tantrum just to get a reasonable office? His frustration is entirely reasonable.

None of this is meant to downplay the fact that Pete is still a massive dickhead, because of course he is. But even massive dickheads can be justified in their anger on occasion.
posted by mightygodking at 8:24 AM on March 26, 2012 [26 favorites]


Oh yes of course, that's why it's good, but he still manages to express his entirely reasonable frustration in the worst way possible, which is why it's fun to watch him squirm.
posted by The Whelk at 8:26 AM on March 26, 2012


Also, I want to thank mightgodking for making me comment "Lawful Neutral!" everytime Joan showed her almost religious devotion to rules and obligations.
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 AM on March 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


and tom and lorenzo is up decent re-cap but I await the detailed fashion commentary.
posted by The Whelk at 8:33 AM on March 26, 2012


what made this show NOT a soap opera in the past was the extreme tension that pervaded every scene. I felt that was lacking in the first episode since all the characters have become punchlines in recent seasons. This show is in desperate need for an intimidating authority figure. When it started pretty much all the main characters were characters were capable of causing those below them to cower with a simple stare, now it seems only Don's wife has that ability.
posted by any major dude at 8:40 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Whelk, you should start your own commentaries!
posted by sweetkid at 8:40 AM on March 26, 2012


Or head over to the AMC chat section.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:44 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


any major dude, the lighter tone is a welcome change from the previous seasons' DEPRESSING ALCOHOL DEMONS THEATER which was all curling up on the floor and crying.
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 AM on March 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Official Mad Men talk.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:45 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: It's like a court drama and they're all backstabbing each other for the chance to carry the King's chamber pot.
any major dude:This show is in desperate need for an intimidating authority figure.

The two of you just collectively put your finger on it for me. While I enjoyed last nights episode (especially the party!), it felt like it was missing something, and this is it.

Everyone is still jockeying to "carry the King's chamber pot" -- but who's the King? It used to be Don, and it's not anymore. Without that King, the office politics feel hollow to me. And that's such a huge piece of the show.
posted by Frayed Knot at 8:45 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pete's on his way to becoming the king.
posted by drezdn at 8:50 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm very interested in peoples' reactions to the crazy Don/Megan sex scene, because I've already seen quite the range of responses to it. It seems like some people think Don had more of the power in that scene, and others think Megan had more. Was she putting herself in a vulnerable position and daring him to dominate her, or was she using her sexual power over him to taunt and berate him and get away with it? Or both?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:50 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well I think anyone expressing shock at the scene has a bad memory: Getting beat up or verbally berated by women is kind of Don's thing and I think Megan knows how to play him like a harp in that regard, but I don't think she's doing it cynically or even consciously.
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 AM on March 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


It was mainly an excuse to show side boob.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:55 AM on March 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


This show is in desperate need for an intimidating authority figure.

I've been thinking in this same vein, but obliquely. The show is entering a creative period in advertising and graphic design that was really groundbreaking, especially with advent of photo-typesetting and other graphic tricks. Yet, what little work we actually see being pumped-out of SCDP is so old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy. I'd love to see them bring-in some young-turk art-director/graphic designer (like a Herb Lubalin-ish character) to really shake-up the place, threaten Don as the "idea guy" and create real creative battle lines among the rest of the staff. It would be a sort of in-house metaphor for the changes in society. Then again, it might bring the actual ad business too much to the front?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:55 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yet, what little work we actually see being pumped-out of SCDP is so old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy.

I work in advertising, and we have never read a client so wrong as they have at SCDP. The Bean Ballet, the Patio thing from a while ago. I mean, man have we read clients wrong, but never that wrong. I know it's mostly for dramatic effect, but we were all talking about it this morning -- didn't the account team prep the client? What was in the brief anyway?
posted by sweetkid at 8:59 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I stayed up till 4 am to watch it (because I had to, er, acquire it from less-than-official avenues because OUR CABLE WAS OUT FROM 8PM ONWARD WTF CABLEVISION!!!!), so I'm a bit tired. But my husband and I haven't been able to stop talking about the Don/Megan dynamic. The consensus on the internet largely seems to be that she was right about the bitterness of the office and Don should have just appreciated her sexy dance. But the inappropriateness of the whole set-up, from the initial party planning (she thinks it's a good thing to hold a party for these people where they'll all go home and fuck after?) to the dance was absurdly inappropriate. She's treating her office mates like her 20-something friends, and her husband like a college boyfriend. The "nobody loves Dick Whitman" joke was cruel and cutting. It was clear that she was upset from the post-party scene onward that Don wouldn't have sex with her. She had no qualms with throwing Peggy under the bus as an excuse for leaving, even though her hurt feelings were clearly about Don, and not Peggy. She's as high-maintenance as Betty was, perhaps even more so, but seems better at manipulating Don to get her way. It makes me worried for the future of their relationship. She doesn't seem like a person who would hesitate at straying from her marriage if Don didn't give her what she wants, despite its current brand new sheen.

(And I like Megan. I just think the interaction is complex and thorny and only going to become more so. She's an actress. Betty was a model. Not so different, really.)

Also, I love Lane and Joan. So much.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:00 AM on March 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


that Bean pitch was cringe worthy, and the print specs looked old. They're enjoying a nice level period now but they're going to be up against big changes in how ads are made and designed soon - I thought Ken and Pete's conversation on going foward vs. stability was a nice meta-comment on the state of the show itself.
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 AM on March 26, 2012


Except the bean pitch is exactly how they advertise shrimp at red lobster now. Husband and I have long made jokes about shrimp chorus lines, so we LOLed.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:02 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The "nobody loves Dick Whitman" joke was cruel and cutting.

I agree, he let her in on his secret, which is so huge for him, and she's throwing it in his face. I wonder if part of her role is to say things the audience has wanted to say, or things we've all had on our mind or something. Or what Weiner thinks is on our mind. Like the 'you all smirk all the time' comment.

Also, I think Megan and Don do things like that underwear cleaning thing all the time. Anyone else get that impression?
posted by sweetkid at 9:02 AM on March 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh god that dance, as if the entire party needed the JUST IN CASE YOU DIDN'T NOTICE DON'S WIFE IS REALLY YOUNG underlined for them again.
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


well Red Lobster isn't known for winning Cilo awards now is it? Dancing slow motion food products was a cliche then and now.
posted by The Whelk at 9:04 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Was it? It had to start somewhere. Perhaps we've just seen the birth of DANCING BEANS.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:05 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"They're called Kidney beans for a reason."

So didn't Don fight for the pitch? I don't think it's cause he's happy, I think he's finally comfortable with the fact that he doesn't care anymore, cause the stuff they're putting out is perfectly *fine* and runs itself and he can just coast along ...except they have no money and doing okay is one step away form doing bad.

I still read that completely as the show talking about itself and the need for change, even if it's just shifting the tone away from THROWING UP SAD SACKS FULL OF LIQUOR.
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 AM on March 26, 2012


Oh, also, does Megan know about Peggy? The joke about leaving Joan's baby on the church doorstep could be read either as an unfortunate coincidence or a remark along the Dick Whitman lines.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:09 AM on March 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


Perhaps we've just seen the birth of DANCING BEANS.

Pfft. This is how you sell beans. And chocolate.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:10 AM on March 26, 2012


Pfft. This is how you sell beans. And chocolate.

Now if only Sal had mimed that Ann Margaret number
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, also, does Megan know about Peggy?

I would say definitely not. The only person who could have told her would be Don, and I think at the end of the day his loyalty to Peggy is MUCH stronger than it is to Megan or any romantic interest.
posted by sweetkid at 9:14 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Megan's song and dance invites comparison with Joan's desolate accordion aria back in Season 3. Groundwork for the rumored fling between Don and Joan?
posted by Iridic at 9:17 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another interesting detail I noticed about last night's show...It seemed to me that the smoking was way down. In fact, I noticed that, when a character had a cigarette, quite often they were in the process of putting it out in an ashtray.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:18 AM on March 26, 2012


that Bean pitch was cringe worthy, and the print specs looked old.

Funny, I thought that was exactly the kinds of ads and pitch you would expect to see for that time. Any time, actually -- slo-mo photography for food is commonplace. So, that's what made it weird when Don just tossed it -- this is exactly the kind of forward-looking ads that Don's team seems to be famous for.

The client is right? It's like I don't even know you any more.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:21 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would say definitely not. The only person who could have told her would be Don, and I think at the end of the day his loyalty to Peggy is MUCH stronger than it is to Megan or any romantic interest.

I think that's what we, as viewers, want, but I don't think Megan would agree. After all, the whole Peggy blurting out inappropriate stuff at the party was about her relationship with Don, and the fact that Don didn't stand up for her. Megan read that interaction as Peggy dissing Megan's work ethic--in short, reading the interaction as Megan-centric. Megan wants us to know, it seems, that Don discloses things to her (about Harry, too). I think the power in the office is actually shifting to Megan in many ways.

Megan's song and dance invites comparison with Joan's desolate accordion aria back in Season 3. Groundwork for the rumored fling between Don and Joan?
posted by Iridic at 12:17 PM on March 26 [+] [!]


Oh god, I hope not. But it also invites comparison between this & Roger's blackface party routine. Both inappropriate for the audience due to the generation gap, and in both cases, the performers are seemingly completely unaware of it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:22 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


> It seemed to me that the smoking was way down.

Well, there was that scene with Roger smoking while he was holding a baby.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:22 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, there was that scene with Roger smoking while he was holding a baby.

I saw it pointed out elsewhere that Roger now smokes Camels, not Lucky Strikes. I didn't even notice but that's a pretty great detail.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:24 AM on March 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


And the scene where people are invited out on the porch to smoke "tea."
posted by emelenjr at 9:25 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Megan wants us to know, it seems, that Don discloses things to her (about Harry, too). I think the power in the office is actually shifting to Megan in many ways

Hmm, that's really interesting. I think you're right about the power dynamic shifting. Still I can't see how Don would have told Megan about Peggy's baby. It takes all the teeth out of that amazing interaction Peggy/Don had in the hospital.

"It will shock you how much this never happened." Chills.
posted by sweetkid at 9:25 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


The joke about leaving Joan's baby on the church doorstep could be read either as an unfortunate coincidence or a remark along the Dick Whitman lines.

Here's my take on all the in-jokes:

The show has been off the air for 18 months. You need to re-introduce all of the show's major themes and remind the audience of what has gone before. Even if you've seen it before, you need that flash of recognition.

For example: "There's my baby."

Audience goes: "Oh yeah, it is his baby. I remember that. Wow, how ironic that he would say that. Does he remember that? Is he saying it just to be cruel? Or is he really that disconnected?"

Each of those facts -- it's his baby, he's sometimes cruel, he's sometimes disconnected -- are all hallmarks of his character. And in just three words, you're reminded of all of that.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:26 AM on March 26, 2012 [14 favorites]


You know if Jane does nothing but snippy asides I will happy.
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 AM on March 26, 2012


Is Megan getting pregnant? Her sickness at the office (even if she was just faking) and Joan's comments hint that it'll be an issue. On the other hand, she seems like she wouldn't be interested in kids anytime soon.
posted by drezdn at 9:36 AM on March 26, 2012


oh good comment from the AV club review

One of the things I love here is that the SCDP folks assume everybody will understand their ad in the New York Times is a swipe at their rivals, yet the only people who understand it are in the office. Even Joan comes to think it’s an ad that points to her being fired, thanks to her mother (though this leads to the wonderful scene where Lane assures her that’s not the case), while the African-Americans reading the ad assume that SCDP is looking to hire them. The company, filled with people who couldn’t give less of a shit about the African-American plight, is backed into a corner where it has to hire one anyway, if only to save face.

Mad Men is a series about uncovering the lies and hypocrisies underlying the American dream, so it makes sense that it would finally be turning its sights on race at this point. The opening and closing images of the episode are of people who have been kept from places like SCDP by men who treat these offices as their birthright and a social system designed to prop those men up and keep them in power. At first, those out of power demand to be let in. And then they flood through the door the second it inches even slightly open. This is another way Mad Men plays with history: We know where all of this is going, but part of the fun is seeing the characters utterly ignore that which is going on around them until they blunder into the middle of it anyway. Put another way: Megan’s party feels like the stereotypical “swingin’ ’60s affair,” of the sort you might expect to see parodied in an Austin Powers movie, but our main characters feel awkward and out of place while attending. Yet there they are, the doors shutting on their era, even as they refuse to leave.

posted by The Whelk at 9:39 AM on March 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


Also, I love Lane and Joan. So much.

YES. Love that scene. Great dynamic.
posted by Edison Carter at 9:45 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, also, does Megan know about Peggy? The joke about leaving Joan's baby on the church doorstep could be read either as an unfortunate coincidence or a remark along the Dick Whitman lines.

I heard it as a reference to a scene in Battleship Potemkin: she mentioned that the office was a better place than the church steps, not doorstep. the reference would have been understood in 1966.
posted by Edison Carter at 9:47 AM on March 26, 2012


I haven't read all the commentaries yet but I think that Mad Men is doing a terrible job with race and I don't see why they're even bringing it in if they're not going to treat it appropriately. Matt Weiner has said several times that he just doesn't care enough about race to make it a topic on the show, which is fine, but then understand that a lot of people see your show and think "that's what it was like."
posted by sweetkid at 9:48 AM on March 26, 2012


Overall I definitely feel like Mad Men is still doing a terrible job with race, mostly because of Matt Weiner's stubborn refusal to change anything because of criticism.

The job seekers make it look like he's about to shoehorn in a black character. So good on indignant liberals for insisting that the show make them feel good about themselves rather than conform to the creator's inclinations that got them watching in the first place.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:55 AM on March 26, 2012


I think the power in the office is actually shifting to Megan in many ways

I found Don's comment to her that he wants her with him in the office interesting. In some ways, Megan could be seen to represent the youthful shift that is happening in society. She's young, vibrant, uninhibited, tuned-in, worldly (in that "can flow from one group to another" way that Don isn't). Don might be seen, with his "I want you with me" line, to be acknowledging the shift coming and recognizing that his survival depends on embracing it.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:58 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I haven't read all the commentaries yet but I think that Mad Men is doing a terrible job with race and I don't see why they're even bringing it in if they're not going to treat it appropriately.

I just feel bad that you're being forced to watch something that so clearly rubs you the wrong way. Ask your captors if you can watch House Hunters International or something. It has a lot of diversity.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:01 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Excuse me? I love the show, doesn't mean I can't have any criticism of it whatsoever.
posted by sweetkid at 10:02 AM on March 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


but then understand that a lot of people see your show and think "that's what it was like."

But that's the point: for these people, that's exactly what it was like. These are reasonably well-to-do white people in New York. Black people were an afterthought for them, and the show has never shied away from the fact that to these white people, blacks were inconveniences or bothers or irrelevant or (in the case of Paul Kinsey) an opportunity to self-impress or (for Pete) a target market and nothing more.
posted by mightygodking at 10:03 AM on March 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


Hey, now. They had an openly gay black man.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:03 AM on March 26, 2012


But that's the point: for these people, that's exactly what it was like. These are reasonably well-to-do white people in New York. Black people were an afterthought for them, and the show has never shied away from the fact that to these white people, blacks were inconveniences or bothers or irrelevant or (in the case of Paul Kinsey) an opportunity to self-impress or (for Pete) a target market and nothing more.

I do agree with you that this is what it's like for this particular group of characters. But it's not what I believe to be true for NYC as a whole and specifically advertising in NYC in the era. Yes, things were far from awesome for minorities but I think it would take some real blinder-wearing for these characters to make it all the way to 1966 without seeing the affects of voting rights, Civil Rights act.
posted by sweetkid at 10:08 AM on March 26, 2012


Is race really not being handled well? I thought the whole thing with Lane being confronted with his racism in the form of "I'd feel more comfortable if I saw to its return" despite his penchant for black girls and that the wallet owner 'couldn't marry' his girl was an interesting look at at least one character facing their own hypocrisy regarding race. I assumed it was because of this that he was the one to finally address the "lobby full of negros" that everyone was content to walk past or deride.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:08 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think the way the show is starting to handle race fits in well with it's stance as the viewpoint of upper class white guys in the 60s, they're never going to notice or acknowledge black people until they are forced to by circumstance, having to hire a black secretary to save face is the only way they would have gotten a minority in that office.

Also note Rodger's overt racism with Lane's more subtle, every-day kind of racism with the cab driver (Oh that's for you!)
posted by The Whelk at 10:09 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyway, we see in the party scene how they deal with the growing "race question", by ignoring it or offering abstract platitudes when the subject comes up. "And the police aren't being any help" is a perfectly phrased non-statement in order to gauge the other person's opinion so you don't say the wrong thing. Of course Trudy is a master of doing this.
posted by The Whelk at 10:11 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love how the internets mean that there's analysis of Zou Bisou Bisou up within hours f it screening.
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on March 26, 2012


Amidst all the Pete bashing , let us not forget he's SCDP's true believer bleeding heart liberal.
Watch this dimension come to the fore as this season progresses
posted by Bwithh at 10:17 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Artw, that slate piece on Zou Bisou linked above was out 10 minutes AFTER it happened in real time. The press still got screeners, they were just embargoed from talking about the show.
posted by stratastar at 10:27 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ah, of course. Duh.

Well, successful pre-identification of most asked question there then.
posted by Artw at 10:29 AM on March 26, 2012


Ooh, both pre-identification and using social networks for real-time dissemination. Interesting.
posted by stratastar at 10:31 AM on March 26, 2012


Amidst all the Pete bashing , let us not forget he's SCDP's true believer bleeding heart liberal.

Pete's no liberal. Pete just wants to make money, and he thinks black money is as good as white money, and he doesn't get why his clients think one kind of money is better than the other kind of money. But money isn't people.
posted by mightygodking at 10:32 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pete's no liberal

He's liberal by comparison. Re-watch any scene with him while others are being overtly racist (for example, the last scene with the statue delivery). He is clearly uncomfortable albeit not to the point of actually saying something.
posted by mikepop at 10:38 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is race really not being handled well? I thought the whole thing with Lane being confronted with his racism in the form of "I'd feel more comfortable if I saw to its return" despite his penchant for black girls and that the wallet owner 'couldn't marry' his girl was an interesting look at at least one character facing their own hypocrisy regarding race. I assumed it was because of this that he was the one to finally address the "lobby full of negros" that everyone was content to walk past or deride.

Well, you're right about that. It is interesting to see Lane's racism toward the cab driver contrasted with his interest in black women, which I'd previously seen as a mark of liberalism, although it's more complex than that of course.

I guess I can wait and see what they do with it this season. I just think the marginalization of minorities that we've seen so far has much more to do with Matt Weiner's lack of interest in their potential storylines, and less to do with historical accuracy.
posted by sweetkid at 10:39 AM on March 26, 2012


But it's not what I believe to be true for NYC as a whole and specifically advertising in NYC in the era.

Maybe not NYC as a whole, but I work in advertising in 2012, and while the gender issues have come a long way, it's STILL astoundingly, depressingly white, especially on the creative side.
posted by jalexei at 10:44 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


It is interesting to see Lane's racism toward the cab driver contrasted with his interest in black women, which I'd previously seen as a mark of liberalism, although it's more complex than that of course.

Remember, Lane is British. Whatever problems he might have with racism are going to be massively dwarfed by his innately and murderously British sense of class. The fact that the cab driver was black might have given Lane cause to distrust him, but that was much less important to Lane than the fact that the cab driver was a prole.
posted by mightygodking at 10:44 AM on March 26, 2012 [5 favorites]



Maybe not NYC as a whole, but I work in advertising in 2012, and while the gender issues have come a long way, it's STILL astoundingly, depressingly white, especially on the creative side.


I work in advertising in 2012 as well, and my office is pretty diverse. I see your point though. On the whole TV is more white than real life.
posted by sweetkid at 10:51 AM on March 26, 2012


mightygodking: Pete's no liberal. Pete just wants to make money, and he thinks black money is as good as white money, and he doesn't get why his clients think one kind of money is better than the other kind of money. But money isn't people.
I disagree; while Pete plays up the money angle, at the heart of what you just said is that more than any other character he's blind to race (as much as a privileged white person ever could be in 1960's New York). For example, Pete simply and pragmatically couldn't understand a season or two ago not trying to profit from the fact that black people buy (I think Amana) appliances and make an important market share. That comes from being more color blind than posers like Paul or even Lane's dalliance with the Playboy bunny, and it reminds me of things like that youtube video of the little kid asking about gay marriage and after he understands, says "Oh, okay, cool. Well, let's go play!". In the same way, Pete's colorblindness is almost innocent in its social naivete, since to Pete the color doesn't matter.

It's actually one of the things that keeps me liking Pete, even when he schemes and fumes: at heart, he's not really that bad a guy, outside of the almost uncharacteristic episode with the au pair, and is without question the most forward-thinking person there, far more so than Don or even Peggy.

He's needy for obvious reasons, but he's very rarely outright wrong- as The Whelk I think said above, it's that his execution of his wants and needs is often less than graceful. In this episode, the demanding of the office seemed to lack the smoothness we saw when he manipulated his father-in-law, of the man learning to be a better political mover in the workplace- but he was absolutely in the right, and it's telling that even Roger sensed that no one really had his back on who brings the bacon to this company (hence his threat to engage in fisticuffs, which showed also the age gap and his office impotence). His Coca Cola prank on Roger was a better example of the Pete of the last couple of seasons, winning the battle with only a hint of a smirk.
posted by hincandenza at 10:52 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love this show. I accept that it has limitations and is not a perfect thing. But I love it anyway. It's the only TV show I've cared anything about in years. That being said, after such a long hiatus, I had to *remember* how to watch it last night. I had to remember to listen between the lines of dialogue. People are complaining that last night's episode was "slow" or "boring" but I think it was none of those things. Also, I find myself as obsessed with reading recaps of the show as I am with watching it. I have several fave recap authors that I start dredging up every Monday. And now maybe I have a new one!

Best line from last night for me was Harry Crane saying he wanted to take his pants off and slide his ass on the carpet. I cried!
posted by PuppyCat at 10:55 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Funny, I thought that was exactly the kinds of ads and pitch you would expect to see for that time.

Yeah, it looks cliched now, but at the time it was a genuinely different approach to selling a product like this. What I saw was Peggy has a decent idea, but doesn't have the chops (yet) to present it well or to read the client. And Don just takes a lazy, "The client is always right" approach and says let's see what else we can come up with. To me, point of that scene was Peggy's not yet an agency star and Don doesn't give a crap anymore. I think this could be a bookend piece, and by the end of the season, Peggy is the creative master and Don is playing it conservatively. That could be really interesting.

I come down on the side that MadMen is choosing to handle race from the agency point of view, which is to ignore it. I suspect the whole issue will blow up for them and everyone will be "Where the hell did this come from?" when it's been under their noses all the time. I hope that's the direction they're heading, but we'll see what they actually do with it. It's such a fundamental issue of the period in both society and the ad world, I can't see them ignoring it. But that's still an unanswered question about the show.
posted by Mcable at 10:57 AM on March 26, 2012


Pete's no liberal

He's liberal by comparison. Re-watch any scene with him while others are being overtly racist (for example, the last scene with the statue delivery). He is clearly uncomfortable albeit not to the point of actually saying something.
posted by mikepop at 10:38 AM on 3/26
[+] [!]


Notice how Pete insists the Y&R incident isn't funny even when Roger and Don are laughing about it . This isn't because Pete approves of the Y&R idiots but because he is offended that Roger and Don are reacting to it lightheartedly like frat boys- focusing on Y&Rs PR disaster rather than in the racism issues. for Pete, racism and the civil rights movement are no laughing matters and he is offended
posted by Bwithh at 10:57 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


He's less of a rapey little shit these days.
posted by Artw at 10:58 AM on March 26, 2012


Some people are reading Lane's reluctance to give the wallet to the cab driver as more about the money than racism. They left it ambiguous and I think it's open to interpretation.

There is no reason why they can't have black characters on this show in non-service roles. It's been cited many times that there were black people working in mostly white advertising firms during this time. Not tons, of course, but there were a few.

I both hate and love Pete. I do think he's fairly liberal--remember what he said after JFK was killed. He was very offended that some of his co-workers said he had it coming to him.
posted by girlmightlive at 11:02 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Notice how Pete insists the Y&R incident isn't funny even when Roger and Don are laughing about it . This isn't because Pete approves of the Y&R idiots but because he is offended that Roger and Don are reacting to it lightheartedly like frat boys

Disagree. You're according Pete far more empathy than he has ever displayed - and I mean ever. Pete is cool and calculating. I don't think he has anything against black people at all and the color-blindness argument is reasonably accurate, but Pete in that scene isn't pissed about Roger and Don being blithe about racism - he's pissed because he doesn't want to lose public credibility with blacks (who have money!) and Roger and Don are being stupid for stupidity's sake.

Pete doesn't really care much about other people at all - he's a sociopath, always has been, and one of the hallmarks of that is his lack of racism because if everybody is equally worthless, well, that's equality! But he knows which way the wind's blowing and he doesn't want to get knocked down by it.
posted by mightygodking at 11:06 AM on March 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


I thought Tanner Colby's stuff at Slate last week really illustrated well how Mad Men is totally a show about race: Whiteness. It illuminates too, I think, the difference between Roger's and Pete's attitudes about race.

Particularly, this:
The brilliance of Sterling Cooper as a narrative vehicle is that the agency embodies a certain kind of whiteness, the desperate kind. Partners Roger Sterling and Bert Cooper—a lackadaisical princeling and an aging eccentric—are clearly second-tier WASPs, comically rendered as such. They are part of the establishment but live on its periphery. They need Don Draper’s creative brilliance to make up for their agency’s shabby mediocrity. They need Pete Campbell’s family pedigree to gain access to the real Old Boys’ Club, which exists even above them. Campbell himself, finding his inheritance squandered, is impoverished gentry, rapidly falling behind his Dartmouth brethren and hungry to keep up. Sterling Cooper’s junior ranks are swollen with the likes of Harry Crane and Paul Kinsey—Ivy Leaguers, yes, but backbenchers desperate for their status and achievements to be recognized, an insecurity unknown to real children of privilege. Don Draper’s energies are consumed in protecting the false identity he’s built; no way he’s going out of his way to be a friend of the Negro. And as the woman at the bottom of the pecking order, Peggy Olson can’t carry the weight of anyone’s crusade but her own. The success of the agency and everyone in it depends on pretending they belong to a social class that they don’t, a class that in the 1960s did not include black people. That is why there are no black people on Mad Men.
posted by kickingthecrap at 11:08 AM on March 26, 2012 [24 favorites]


Pete might be more interesting than Don this season. He seems to miss living in the city. He also is the only one really driving the company's business, but why hasn't he used that power to demand more than just a bigger office?
posted by drezdn at 11:09 AM on March 26, 2012


Pete doesn't really care much about other people at all - he's a sociopath, always has been

Really? I have to say, I don't get that from him at all. I think he started out as a huge asshole, but has been becoming both kinder and more competent as the series goes on. I think there was a real turning point in his character when he started trying to treat his wife better.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:12 AM on March 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Pete might be more interesting than Don this season.

Yep. Pete and Peggy are the counterpoints to Roger and Don. Their ascent is going to be at the expense of those two.
posted by Mcable at 11:15 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's going on with the new Don Draper?
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:17 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clearly it's the Amber universe, and his Amber universe version is lame, like everything there.
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on March 26, 2012


Pete is not a racist because being a racist is not good for business. There is one color Pete sees in this world and that color is green.
posted by any major dude at 11:20 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


that should read as sees/turns
posted by any major dude at 11:20 AM on March 26, 2012


The thing that makes Pete an infuriating character is that he's usually right but for all the wrong reasons and always manages to find the worst possible way to express himself. He's loathsome, but he has a point.
posted by The Whelk at 11:21 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pete always manages to find the worst possible way to express himself

Maybe almost always. I mean, I totally agree with you, but I almost peed myself laughing when he called Don and Megan "Masters and Johnson."

(I'm not sure which reference cracked me up more, that, or Don referring to Betty and Henry as "Morticia and Lurch," - cheap, and so wrong from the perspective of a kid of divorced parents, but hilarious nevertheless.)
posted by kickingthecrap at 11:24 AM on March 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's hard to find real-world examples of people who invented themselves as completely as Don Draper, but here's one: Robert Van Winkle. Van Winkle was a motocross racer from Dallas who turned himself into Vanilla Ice, presenting himself as a street-smart, cop-hating rapper from Miami. Obviously, that charade collapsed. So now he's in his third iteration — that of a failed reality star who's a better-than-average carpenter. It's weirder than his original version and less exciting than his second, but it feels natural. When I see Vanilla Ice hanging drywall on the DIY Network, I no longer believe I'm seeing something fake. It's a mediated event, but not a hoax; it's sad, but not pathetic.

Now there's a comparison I wasn't expecting to see made.

Anyhow Don's always been broken, he's just between affairs at the moment.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


From the Slate link above:

Evidence of this would come to light on April 22, 1963. Just weeks after Martin Luther King was arrested in Birmingham, Ala., Advertising Age published the results of a survey by the Urban League that covered minority employment at Madison Avenue’s 10 largest agencies. “Urban League Hits N.Y. Agencies on Racial Discrimination in Employment,” ran the trade paper’s headline. Out of over 20,000 employees, the report identified only 25 blacks working in any kind of professional or creative capacity, i.e., nonclerical or custodial.

In this particular setting of advertising in early '60s New York, I don't really think TV is whiter than reality.
posted by jalexei at 11:27 AM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


r Don referring to Betty and Henry as "Morticia and Lurch," - cheap, and so wrong from the perspective of a kid of divorced parents, but hilarious nevertheless.

I kept expecting Betty to turn up in the final minutes having gone completely Grey Gardens.
posted by The Whelk at 11:29 AM on March 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Regarding the dynamics between Don and Megan at the end: remember, Don's the same guy (a couple of seasons ago) who spent Thanksgiving with a prostitute who, at his request, slapped him during sex. There's definitely an undercurrent to Don of wanting to be dominated/humiliated -- which was at play with Megan's "Don't look at me/you can't have this/you're too old" line -- that works in tandem with his own cruel/domineering streak. Don has let himself be vulnerable enough to Megan that he's also told her about Dick Whitman; I suspect he'd also let her in to see his kinks a little bit, too (or she's canny enough to have gleaned what makes him tick on this score). Not that this cancels out the fact that their relationship is going to eventually end in tears and/or bitter recriminations, of course.

And kickingthecrap beat me to the Slate article, which I think argues very well that the show is about race -- specifically, about the insularity of whiteness at a certain historical moment, and all the clumsiness, awkwardness, offensiveness, etc. that comes when that insularity begins to crumble and racial privelege is beginning to be questioned.
posted by scody at 11:30 AM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I remember Pete's "Molly Goldberg" crack about Rachel in the first season ( the character was the stereotype of the Jewish grandma, unlike elegant Rachel).

Nthing everyone who says Eggface is a sociopath.
posted by brujita at 11:33 AM on March 26, 2012


Out of over 20,000 employees, the report identified only 25 blacks working in any kind of professional or creative capacity, i.e., nonclerical or custodial.

Later in the same article, "In the fall of [1967], data was released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission showing that minority employment in advertising had barely changed since 1963."
posted by kirkaracha at 11:46 AM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mad Men is back? No way!
posted by mrgrimm at 12:00 PM on March 26, 2012


To be fair to Pete, he was also one of the only party attendees who seemed discomforted during Roger's blackface stunt a few years back.
posted by rewil at 12:08 PM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


The thing about Pete is he's right more often than any other character. And Kartheiser steals absolutely every scene he's in.

I keep singing zou bisou bisouuuuu to my dog and she is nonplussed.
posted by mochapickle at 12:20 PM on March 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Kartheiser steals absolutely every scene he's in.

My sister and brother-in-law attended some Mad Men event several years ago (around the first or second season) that featured Weiner and several of the cast members in a Q&A. He said Kartheiser came across exactly like Pete in virtually every single way.
posted by scody at 12:26 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]



Vincent Kartheiser can do more with his eyes than anyone else can with their whole face. My favorite moment was when they were talking about the windows at Don and Megan's place and someone said, "you can still hear the noise even all the way up there" and Pete says, "yeah." But the look on his face is that he MISSES that noise. That one word and that one look tell you everything you need to know about how much he hates living in the suburbs.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:30 PM on March 26, 2012 [9 favorites]


Joan's "mommy-with-a-stroller" dance at the door of SCDP was a great scene, because it's something so mundane that every woman with a child has had to do, but it managed to transmit so much story at the same time -- she's trying to maintain her dignity and panache, but its terribly inhibited by the baby and his needs and his LARGENESS in the life, and she's invisible, nobody comes to help her, she has to struggle with the baby on her own, and try to maintain herself.

(The scene with everyone seeing the baby in the office was brilliant too; the tension when Pete walked in to see Peggy with a baby was almost painful.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:47 PM on March 26, 2012 [6 favorites]



I keep singing zou bisou bisouuuuu to my dog and she is nonplussed.

My cats slept through the whole two hours. No taste, either of them.
posted by sweetkid at 12:53 PM on March 26, 2012


I don't get the Pete being sociopathic thing. I think more than anything else Pete (and all of us) are confronted with a sociopathic society that he constantly tries to fit on himself, and finds it failing.

Example: you're supposed to sleep with the au pair when his ... this is the manly thing to do when the wife is out of town. He has the ostensible power to do it, being white, male, well-employed and in a position of power over the poor girl, tries it on for size, and its horrible for everyone involved, but least of all for him, remember he's always been buffered from the consequences of his actions by his privilege (more than say Peggy).

Just as the fellow-commuter urges him to escape from his home, because the commuter friend can't stand his own home. Is he supposed to feel desperate and trapped a la Rabbit and Don in suburbia?

These issues recur over and over again with Pete coming off as an asshole, not for the actions themselves, after all we would all cheer Don bedding the au pair (no? why?), but for not pulling it off with the correct aplomb. His character is a distinct foil to Roger and Don's, because the differences matter.
posted by stratastar at 1:06 PM on March 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I never read Pete as a sociopath (at least not after the first couple of episodes). He is trying to succeed in a world that baffles him, as stratastar describes, but is often awful at it. Pete I think has an ethical and moral center, and a desperate need to fit in and be loved... and this righteousness and sincere core often trips him up when interacting with people far more glib- and selfish- than he can be. If anyone is close to a sociopath on this show, it's obviously Don: he uses up and spits out people rather brutally, but because he's so handsome...

... which, on that- please, Matt Weiner, please do not have a Don/Joan hookup. Joan is the queen- and honestly, Christina Hendricks is a huge draw on this show- and Don is far, far beneath her. Their professional respect (did someone mention this above?) and admiration for each other has always been a hallmark of this show's excellence; lesser shows would say "Let's shove the two popular leads together!" for ratings. I hope they don't go there, and I hope Joan can find real peace beyond Dr. Rapey or Roger the Marginalized Drunk.

Oh, one question about Don: I was reading on TWoP that it's in canon that he's 8 years younger than "Don Draper", yet this episode seemed to imply his (40th) birthday was 6 months earlier. Continuity error, or is the 8 year difference still there- that he celebrated his 32nd/33rd birthday 6 months ago, and is now fake-celebrating his 40th to keep up appearances? Which... if he's only 32, he sure plays older as Don Draper. He would not be biologically much older than most of the staff there, and possibly younger than people like Harry.
posted by hincandenza at 1:17 PM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Which... if he's only 32, he sure plays older as Don Draper. He would not be biologically much older than most of the staff there, and possibly younger than people like Harry.

I can't remember exactly where, but I feel like he had a check up a few years ago where they said he was 36. Although that could have been the Real Don Draper's age as well.
posted by sweetkid at 1:34 PM on March 26, 2012


In last night's episode I'm fairly certain he said something like, "I've already been 40 for 6 months."
posted by girlmightlive at 1:37 PM on March 26, 2012


So he's using the Real Don's birth month and day but his own birth year?
posted by sweetkid at 1:41 PM on March 26, 2012


I'm not sure but I don't remember the episode or dialogue where it's mentioned he's 8 years younger than the real Don. I had just assumed that he was, in actuality, 6 months older than the real Don based on last night.
posted by girlmightlive at 1:50 PM on March 26, 2012


Also, since Megan knows he's Dick Whitman, and presumably his real age, I doubt she would've called him "old" if he was actually only 32.
posted by girlmightlive at 1:53 PM on March 26, 2012


I also have never read Pete as evil. To me, he seems like the guy that sees real evil around him (i.e. Roger Sterling) and wants the things that evil gets you, but then is never sure he wants to jump in with both feet.

So, yes, he banged Peggy. He had a dalliance with the German nanny. He tried to torpedo Don when he discovered Dick Whitman. He did those things not because he really wanted to. He did them because that's what evil people do, and evil people were his model. Remember how he said he could justify an expense report if he claimed the spending was for whores? He didn't invent that. Someone taught him that.

But then he backed away from all of that, at the first sight of it going wrong (Peggy acting strangely, the neighbor telling him hands off the nanny, Bert Cooper telling him that nobody cared). And he never tried those things again.

I think his father's death had a lot to do with that. That style of evil just wasn't winning.

His best success was in working with Trudy to manipulate her father. Evil, yes. But not Roger Sterling evil.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:59 PM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


So he's using the Real Don's birth month and day but his own birth year?
posted by sweetkid at 4:41 PM on March 26 [+] [!] Other [15/15]: «≡·


That's been my assumption--in other words, Real Don just turned 48 and Dick Whitman turned 40 six months ago.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:06 PM on March 26, 2012


Right- looking at the Mad Men wikia, we can confirm two things: Dick Whitman's canonical birth year was apparently 1926, so he is turning 40 (this episode is occurring in fall of 1966), but that he took the real Don Draper's birthday. Second, the real Lt. Don Draper was older than the Dick Whitman in his "early 20's" during the Korean War; it apparently is specifically mentioned that when Pete Campbell has Adam Whitman's shoebox of photos, he investigates and is told by a "friend in the defense department" that Dick Whitman died ten years ago in the Korean War, and the "real" Don Draper is apparently 43 (this episode, "Nixon v. Kennedy", takes place right around election night, i.e. November 1960).

If you do the math, and assume the birthday celebrated in this recent episode was that of the real Don Draper, then he'd have just been celebrating his (fake) 49th birthday- not his 40th, which as noted was 6 months ago.

So yeah, it seems Don took the real DD's birthdate, but not birth year... which seems sloppy on the writers or the character, since that'd be an easy thing to have gotten tripped up on when he assumed another man's identity. It also means when Don was hired by SC in the "early 1950's", when he was actually in his mid-to-late 20's, the "Don Draper" he was pretending to be would be already 35+. He'd have gotten a lot of comments about looking really young for his age.
posted by hincandenza at 2:11 PM on March 26, 2012


I may be hazy on the exact details but Pete was the most distraught out of his colleagues at JFK's assassination -he complained that everyone else was a Republican who seem happy about the killing, and he then pulled out of attending Roger's daughter's wedding ( potentially a career-damaging move for Pete) . I remember then there was a later scene where Pete and his wife were alone at home, continuing to be distraught at the assassination and what it meant for society.
posted by Bwithh at 2:26 PM on March 26, 2012


Yeah, Pete can be self-absorbed and pissy and impulsive and entitled in a ton of ways, but he's not ultimately lacking in empathy the way an actual sociopath is. If anyone's close to a sociopath on the show in terms of not being able to feel for other people on a deep, intuitive way, it's hands-down Roger. His boozy charm masks an intense self-pity and caustic envy, neatly encapsulated by his toxic "the only thing worse than not getting what you want is somebody else getting it" joke-that's-not-a-joke.

Don has certainly come close in his own way to lacking empathy, but this seems to a large extent to be due to his compartmentalization, since in the Dick Whitman scenes with Anna he quite literally appears to be an entirely different person, who actually possesses reserves of genuine sincerity and caring.
posted by scody at 2:36 PM on March 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Rogers' I Want What I Want When I Want It is just so hilariously sad.

Anyway if I'm right about Henry Crane, Closet Case I want it to be known that I called it a season ago.
posted by The Whelk at 3:01 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


And his glasses are too big for his face now that he's skinny and it makes him look like a lost TMBG band member.
posted by The Whelk at 3:02 PM on March 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


it makes him look like a lost TMBG band member.

My love for The Whelk continues unabated.

posted by scody at 3:19 PM on March 26, 2012


Would Pete's pointing his rifle at secretaries in the office count towards him being a sociopath?
posted by kirkaracha at 3:54 PM on March 26, 2012


No more than ice-cold Betty shooting her neighbor's doves out of the sky, wearing a bathrobe and a lit cigarette dangling from her lips like some John Waters wet dream.
posted by hincandenza at 3:56 PM on March 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


‘Mad Men’ puts ‘Zou Bisou Bisou’ in millions’ heads
posted by Artw at 5:31 PM on March 26, 2012


Actually, that was linked in the 6th comment of this thread.
posted by hincandenza at 5:48 PM on March 26, 2012


"Yeah, Pete can be self-absorbed and pissy and impulsive and entitled in a ton of ways, but he's not ultimately lacking in empathy the way an actual sociopath is. If anyone's close to a sociopath on the show in terms of not being able to feel for other people on a deep, intuitive way, it's hands-down Roger. His boozy charm masks an intense self-pity and caustic envy, neatly encapsulated by his toxic "the only thing worse than not getting what you want is somebody else getting it" joke-that's-not-a-joke."



Yes, good point. Smart sociopaths are charming. Pete is smart but not charming.
posted by Bwithh at 5:49 PM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the power in the office is actually shifting to Megan in many ways

Yes, and I'm counting on that being the reason for the ultimate downfall of the Draper marriage. At some point Megan is going to "overule" Don publicly or cause some kind of palace coup attempt. At that point Don will decide that she's gotta go. It doesn't look like the kids really like her anyway. She's more like daddy's latest sleepover girlfriend.

I heard it as a reference to a scene in Battleship Potemkin: she mentioned that the office was a better place than the church steps, not doorstep. the reference would have been understood in 1966.

That's exactly the way I took it too and thought it was a bit much. Oh, look at the big brain on Megan.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:48 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Big Canadian brain.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:15 PM on March 26, 2012


French Canadian
posted by The Whelk at 8:02 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was looking back at what I wrote at the end of last season and apparently I found Megan 'manipulative' and noted to watch if this developed. It has, but it's not malicious or even really I think conscious. She's not making a list oh how to bend Don to her wiles, she's just Got Him Figured Out in a few ways and refuses to let his bullshit work on her. This is a bit of reoccurring theme, that Don is attracted to women who call him out ( or, you know, hit him) but ends up with perfectly controllable, completely respectable girls. Megan has both the youthful innocence and the Calling Out Obvious Bullshit, so of course it's going to end horribly.
posted by The Whelk at 8:23 PM on March 26, 2012


i think that's giving Megan more credit than she deserves? I don't dislike Megan, but I don't see how she's really got him figured out, other than she's figured out his kinks, which is a pretty intriguing development, I agree. I think he sort of got bored with the women who really thought they understood him (Faye, maybe Rachel).
posted by sweetkid at 8:35 PM on March 26, 2012


It's the first time he's with someone who both has him reasonably figured out and has that girlishness thing he likes so much. Maybe figured out is too strong a term but comparing her reactions to him wanting to go to sleep to say, what Betty would have done is interesting.
posted by The Whelk at 8:37 PM on March 26, 2012


‘Mad Men’ puts ‘Zou Bisou Bisou’ in millions’ heads
posted by Artw at 5:31 PM on 3/26
[+] [!]


Actually, that was linked in the 6th comment of this thread.
posted by hincandenza at 5:48 PM on 3/26
[+] [!]


Hmm. Link should have gone here.
posted by Artw at 8:41 PM on March 26, 2012


Anyway, I leave open the possibility that these are just the opening salvos in discovering Megan is Completely Nutbar.
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have to say I have NO IDEA what endgame could possibly be with Megan, and I love that.
posted by sweetkid at 8:47 PM on March 26, 2012


I want her and Peggy to be friends, it makes sense, they can be the entryway into the Youth Culture and they have no actual reason to dislike each other ( aside from the awkwardness of your employee being your bosses' wife and oh boy is that awkward, but I did like Peggy's little I Can't Hate You If You Keep Being So Nice! Fuming. It took an outsider to highlight how, well, not very nice these people are to each other)
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


But the inappropriateness of the whole set-up, from the initial party planning (she thinks it's a good thing to hold a party for these people where they'll all go home and fuck after?) to the dance was absurdly inappropriate.

I don't understand this, PhoBWanKenobi... most all the office people came to the party paired up (or at least had partners)--why would it be inappropriate to throw a private party where everyone leaves happy, liquored up, & in the mood for sex? I don't understand the comments either, elsewhere in the thread, about this scene underscoring her youth compared to Don's age. Good grief, 40 is not that old! Certainly not too old for a sexy song & dance birthday present. (1966 is a few years after "Happy Birthday Mr President," and I took the scene to be kind of a callback to that.)

I think the point of the scene was entirely about Don's inability to accept a good thing even when it's practically literally dropped in his lap (and he's the envy of everyone around him!). He resists in part because he needs to be in control (he doesn't like surprises) and partly because of his self-loathing. Megan did misjudge the part about his not liking surprises, and even ignored Peggy's warning about that. But I don't see anything inappropriate, otherwise, in her throwing the party.
posted by torticat at 9:44 PM on March 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I keep wondering about four things:

1) the black underwear and the white carpet as racial signification (or even the black dress, or peggy's black dress)
2) the rise of the radical quebecois, and the book white niggers of america, and the ye ye girls as euro trash, and about the implications of class instead of race, when it comes to those things. (the book was published in 1968, but the big gaspe mine strikes were late 50s--and Megan is a different kind of white then Betty, who is social climbing)
3) everyone in SCDP is hip by proxy: Peggy is hip because of her bf; Roger is hip by Jane, Megan is hip because she knows the band (how does she know the band), Don was hip b/c of Anna but Anna is dead,
4) this show seems a lot more queer then even nyc was in 66, there seems to be more mobility,and they seem to be willing to say more then what was traditionally public knowledge.

i also think that harry is queer.
posted by PinkMoose at 12:01 AM on March 27, 2012


@torticat: Did the blatant sexual harassment scene in the SCDP office on Monday give you a clue about why Draper might not want his sex life and his work life mixed up together? You realize that's the tip of the iceberg, right? Age ain't got nothin' to do with it. What matters is that a former secretary now married to her ex-boss is sorta working for creative but she's not accountable for anything because she's fucking the boss. And she does a sexy dance for him in front of all his coworkers. Now people can react to her in one of two ways: sex object to be desired, or whorish peer (or direct report) who is untouchable because she's fucking the boss.

It's a disaster for Don, who just wants to get shit done in private so he can quietly feed his demons. Megan seems too naive to fully understand how her public sexual manipulations of Don spill over into the workplace, though grasps how it will benefit her personally. And everyone who has to deal with Megan professionally thinks she is rubbing it in that she married well and will no longer be held accountable at work. Megan's attitude toward Peggy especially makes her look like a manipulative nightmare employee: "I married your boss, and you have to make both me and him happy now or I'll cry!"

Nobody comes out smelling like roses. I'd LOVE a sexy serenade from my sweetie but never in front of either of our coworkers. If we worked together that would just be squicky.
posted by SakuraK at 12:27 AM on March 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't understand this, PhoBWanKenobi... most all the office people came to the party paired up (or at least had partners)--why would it be inappropriate to throw a private party where everyone leaves happy, liquored up, & in the mood for sex? I don't understand the comments either, elsewhere in the thread, about this scene underscoring her youth compared to Don's age. Good grief, 40 is not that old! Certainly not too old for a sexy song & dance birthday present. (1966 is a few years after "Happy Birthday Mr President," and I took the scene to be kind of a callback to that.)

Would it be appropriate even today to throw a work party where your explicit aim was for everyone "to go home and fuck"? I recognize that Mad Men reflects a particularly libertine environment for the time, but dang, these guys are coming out of the 50s. There aren't many workplaces today where that would be OK. I mean, it might happen, but not for you to go out and make that your goal. .

Keep in mind: this is the early 60s and none of our main characters are enmeshed in Free Love. Even if sexual harassment was OK that doesn't mean public displays of sexuality were, especially from women. Lane called her dance a "burlesque". The equivalent level of shock today would probably be going to a party and watching your boss's wife do a striptease. Honestly even if the boss's wife today did what Megan did it would probably raise a few eyebrows.

Mad Men is entering the Sexual Revolution of the 60s, and Megan vs. The Old Guard really exemplifies that divide. She thinks it is totally cool to do a sexy show for her husband in front of his partners and employees. Meanwhile, the people who represent the upper class and blue bloods (and wannabe upper class and blue bloods), the Petes, Trudys, Rogers, Lanes, and, yes, Dons, are completely taken aback by her stamping on the lines of propriety. Yeah, everyone thinks it is funny and sexy, but in the way Tijuana bibles are funny and sexy. As we see in the many, many jokes from everyone in the office about it later, Megan is not seen as a strong, sexually empowered woman, she's seen as a trophy sex toy at best, a whore at the worst, and definitely not to be taken seriously.

This is not including the fact that she is half is age, a former secretary he promoted to copywriter after marrying her, and they are all over each other at the office. She's already seen as climbing to the top by getting under Don. She meant for her dance to prove to everyone that they were happy and fun and hip, but it just cemented the opinion of other characters that she's nothing but a sex kitten.

It doesn't just underscore the difference in Megan's youthful attitude versus Don's, it also underscores her immaturity. Jane's immaturity compared to Roger emerged as petulance; perhaps we will see Megan's emerge as painful naivete.
posted by schroedinger at 1:10 AM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Slight correction to you there: This is not the early '60s now, but 1966.
posted by raysmj at 2:50 AM on March 27, 2012


Alan Sepinwall's interview with Matthew Weiner about the season five premiere.
posted by crossoverman at 3:28 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did the blatant sexual harassment scene in the SCDP office on Monday give you a clue about why Draper might not want his sex life and his work life mixed up together?

I don't think this kind of concern is what bothered Don, not at all. I do agree it turned out to be problematic, but more because Harry couldn't maintain the line between private and professional behavior than because Megan didn't.

she is rubbing it in that she married well and will no longer be held accountable at work. Megan's attitude toward Peggy especially makes her look like a manipulative nightmare employee:

But Peggy ended up feeling sorry for her own behavior, not resenting Megan. Again, I think the workplace situation IS a problem, something Megan points out, herself. I guess I saw the party as playful, not manipulative, and the coworkers as more bemused than shocked or angry.

schroedinger: Would it be appropriate even today to throw a work party where your explicit aim was for everyone "to go home and fuck"? ...There aren't many workplaces today where that would be OK. I mean, it might happen, but not for you to go out and make that your goal.

This wasn't a work party and wasn't in the workplace; besides, we've seen this group actually in a work party at the office where everybody got drunk, put on suggestive skits, paired off & had sex. But yes, I see that Megan was naive. It does seem she's capable of learning. I'm going to rewatch the episode and see if my overall impression changes.

This made me laugh: Jane's immaturity compared to Roger --is anyone mature compared to Roger? :)
posted by torticat at 4:57 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


perhaps we will see Megan's emerge as painful naivete

This seems spot on to me. I think she already knew Don wouldn't be crazy about the idea of a surprise party, but ignores that and then ignores Peggy's warning because she knows her party will be so fantastic it will be the exception and win him over. She had months of observing him in the office yet still decides to get involved with him and then married because certainly she won't end up like any of those other women in Don's life.

I also agree there's no point in guessing exactly what is going to happen with her, but it should be fun to watch. If nothing else, we should be thankful to her for getting Don out of his old dreary apartment.
posted by mikepop at 6:09 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


People who liked 'Zou Bisou Bisou' might be interested in buying the record. It's a 7". Limited edition. With a picture sleeve. On red vinyl. The b-side is the 'Mad Men' theme.
posted by box at 7:46 AM on March 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't understand this, PhoBWanKenobi... most all the office people came to the party paired up (or at least had partners)--why would it be inappropriate to throw a private party where everyone leaves happy, liquored up, & in the mood for sex? I don't understand the comments either, elsewhere in the thread, about this scene underscoring her youth compared to Don's age. Good grief, 40 is not that old! Certainly not too old for a sexy song & dance birthday present. (1966 is a few years after "Happy Birthday Mr President," and I took the scene to be kind of a callback to that.)

I think the point of the scene was entirely about Don's inability to accept a good thing even when it's practically literally dropped in his lap (and he's the envy of everyone around him!). He resists in part because he needs to be in control (he doesn't like surprises) and partly because of his self-loathing. Megan did misjudge the part about his not liking surprises, and even ignored Peggy's warning about that. But I don't see anything inappropriate, otherwise, in her throwing the party.
posted by torticat at 12:44 AM on March 27 [1 favorite +] [!] Other [1/2]: ·≡»


It's inappropriate because it's a gift for her, not him. It's a gift that doesn't take into account anything about Don's personality or desires. The party, likewise, was Megan-centric. As one of the party goers commented, there weren't even enough girls there for the single guys to pair up. And before the dance, the party seemed pretty bland. Why, then, would people go home wanting to fuck?

Because, like Harry, they'd be tittillated by Megan's sexuality. She's their coworker and their peer, and whether or not it was a "work party," it was a party attended by about 90% of their coworkers. That she thought they'd go home and fuck and it would be wonderful just shows that she doesn't really know them or know what they're like. Was Pete Campbell going to go home and aggressively schtup Trudy after? Peggy and her boyfriend? It's just weird. It shows a lack of understanding about the people around her, and a lack of boundaries, too.

But of course, her goal wasn't to get other people to fuck. She wanted to fuck after the party. Ironically, Don pretty graciously accepted "the good thing" in public, letting Megan save face. He acted exactly as he was expected to (as Joan said, 'What I would have given to see that man blushing.") It's only in private that he lets his true feelings be known.

And 40 might not be old now, but they're in the era of "don't trust anyone over 30."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:07 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


1) the black underwear and the white carpet as racial signification (or even the black dress, or peggy's black dress)

You know if that conversation was there to put in the triple meaning of maintaining a public image of happy conformity AND the idea that "whiteness/middle classness" is something that can always be lost and must be constantly guarded against interlopers then well I think I'll just die now.
posted by The Whelk at 8:24 AM on March 27, 2012


Good grief, 40 is not that old!

40 was already a big deal in 1966, and on the way to becoming an ever bigger one. With Megan representing the generational cohort about to take over the national conversation, 40 puts Don irrevocably on the other side of the divide. The Generation Gap is becoming very real.

In 1968, Life Magazine published a book exerpt entitled The Gap, in which NY advertising executive Ernest Fladell, aged 42, hangs around with his nephew Richard Lorber, 20, a university student "who has long hair" (and who takes on the role of introducing Ernie to pot, among other things). It's a nice encapsulation of the times. (A few years later, Ernie moved his family from Greenwich Village to Vancouver, BC, where I ended up becoming high school best friends with his daughter Anne; a framed copy of the cover photograph hung in their family room. Ernie died before Mad Men began; I've often wished I could have known what he would think of the show.)
posted by jokeefe at 8:30 AM on March 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Argh, "excerpt".
posted by jokeefe at 8:31 AM on March 27, 2012


Oh, and I don't think Megan is doing any of this stuff maliciously--but I think we're seeing signs that she can be fairly self-centered and isn't beyond ignoring the desires of those around her to create the outcomes she wants. Which would be fine if she wasn't dealing with an office full of people with significant demons behind them. People like Don and Peggy and even Pete have reasons for wanting to maintain, say, a strict boundary between work and personal spaces. It's not that they're cynical. It's that they're haunted.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:35 AM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think we're seeing signs that she can be fairly self-centered and isn't beyond ignoring the desires of those around her to create the outcomes she wants.

That may be some of what's at play, and a direction that the character will take in the future -- it will be interesting to see. I do think that what was on display with the party, more than anything, was a kind of fatal combination of (over)confidence and lack of knowledge. Megan doesn't know Don well enough to understand that he won't want a party (no, Megan, he really won't want a party), just as she doesn't know who's in Don's Rolodex well enough to know who to invite, just as she doesn't know her coworkers well enough (besides the fact that the smirk instead of smile) to understand how the party (and her performance) will really play within the office's politics, because she wasn't there long enough before hooking up with Don to develop that knowledge.

She's totally over-reaching, but her beauty, her marriage, and her background as an actress all give her just a little too much confidence that (aside from asking Peggy for help with the Rolodex) she knows exactly what she's doing -- when in fact the whole thing turns out to be a very pretty, hip study in the Dunning-Kruger effect. I think she really thought that the party would be a Big Success in terms of both delighting Don and impressing the office, and that it would win her a kind of status and respect both at home and in the office. It didn't, hence her anger/confusion/distress -- which she then channels into crazy hot sex with Don, which allows them to reconnect with each other (for now, at least) while afterwards underscoring her sense of disconnection from everyone else ("I don't think those people like me... I'm not sure I like them").
posted by scody at 9:30 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Inflation adjustments:

-Roger passed his secretary the equivalent of $332.19.
-The bribe he gave Harry amounted to $7,308.20.
-Slovenly Polito was carrying something like two grand in his wallet.

That last item bolsters my suspicion that Lane is being set up for a Mad Dog and Glory arc.
posted by Iridic at 10:18 AM on March 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Megan doesn't know Don well enough to understand that he won't want a party

Hm. Terry Gross suggested something like that on Fresh Air and Matthew Weiner pushed back. (He also said people's different interpretations and what they "read into it" is one of the great things about the show, and I agree with that too.)

I just didn't think that "Megan wildly and inappropriately miscalculates" was the big takeaway from that episode; I thought she understood Don quite well but was trying to pull him out, and the question going forward is whether she'll be successful at that or whether she'll wind up jaded in the way she presently sees everyone else.
posted by torticat at 10:20 AM on March 27, 2012


Didn't Fay have a mafia connection somehow?
posted by drezdn at 10:31 AM on March 27, 2012


Yeah, through her dad I think, I thought the whole purpose of that set up was to get Lane mixed up in the mob.
posted by The Whelk at 10:37 AM on March 27, 2012


Also an opportunity to catch up with Sal, who went back into the family business after leaving Sterling Cooper and reinvented himself as "French Cuffs" Romano, consigliere to the Luccheses.
posted by Iridic at 10:49 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lane appears to becoming a timebomb in all kinds of ways.
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on March 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Back Issues of Mad Men
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on March 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ooh, goody. Thanks for the Vulture link and for the various other recaps/essays as well. As much as I love the show, the main feature of the Mad Men Experience for me is the reactionsphere. It's as if the original readers of A Tale Of Two Cities got delivered a Ph.D. dissertation on Dickens in the mail each week.

I really, really missed this show
posted by saturday_morning at 11:38 AM on March 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Pete is not a racist because being a racist is not good for business. There is one color Pete sees in this world and that color is green.


I only read half the thread because I had to get to the bottom to chime in on this point because a couple people have mentioned it. Pete's not driven by a desire to accrue money. No, he wants something a bit more difficult - he wants status and respect.

That's at the heart of his early attempts to bro out with Don, it was at the heart of his rape of the au pair across the hall, and it was at the heart of the whole incident with the b.b. gun. And let's not forget that terrible scene when his father turns him down for a loan! We're informed later that it's because his father wasted all of his wife's money but as we're watching it we see Pete as this total scrub little brother who doesn't get any respect from anybody. He can't exert a firm hand with his wife, he can't bed the au pair, he can't really climb the ladder particularly well - and he tries and tries and tries. Eventually, slowly, he breaks through and achieves some grudging acclaim.

Does he deserve it? Well, he starts to, eventually, but he's such a douche about everything that it all balances out against his favor again.

I think I enjoy watching him struggle.
posted by entropone at 6:08 PM on March 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Does he deserve it?
Well, he's also smarter than his peers with his insights on how consumer markets are changing. He's ahead of the curve on the huge new opportunities in youth popular culture and in African American markets but gets his insights shot down by the others. And as we see in the new episode, he's by far the most functional senior executive at SCDP in terms of bringing in business.

Also, it might be that his sympathy for African Americans and his Democratic/liberal inclinations (unusual amongst the higher-ups at SCDP - Don is probably neutral) may be something to do with empathy with the underdog
posted by Bwithh at 7:09 PM on March 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


well, in America money and respect are synonymous at least that is the ugly truth that Mad Men is trying to convey. What Pete hasn't figured out yet is that people are mostly cynical and the only respect you gain in this world is when your benevolence stands between them and THEIR happiness.
posted by any major dude at 7:25 PM on March 27, 2012


TLo's Mad Style is up!
posted by rewil at 1:06 PM on March 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


A! A! A! A!
posted by The Whelk at 1:08 PM on March 28, 2012


I love the call out on Jane's red dress of ANGER! She's totally turning into a fun, bitter drunk.
posted by The Whelk at 1:37 PM on March 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


and yes, Trudy, a mere 5 years older than Megan looks completely ancient in her up-do and high neckline, colorful print be damned. She looks like someone's mom (which ...I guess she is now). Jane being a fashion plate is well known (look what she did to Rodger's office, it's like my favorite thing about her, I suspect she consists entirely on pages ripped from Italian Vogue) but I was trying to figure out just why Peggy's dress was coming off as frumpy despite the exposed shoulders and floral and then it hit me: it's not her and it's trying too hard. It's like she went to the racks going "I can be fun! I'll wear a fun dress and then everyone will know how fun I am!" and there is she, getting drunk with abe glowering cause people aren't noticing how FUN GOD DAMMIT she is.
posted by The Whelk at 1:58 PM on March 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


The T and L link reminded me of something, I think we'll see the redhead from Don's party again.
posted by drezdn at 2:00 PM on March 28, 2012


So Megan was an actress, right? So apparently she has friends in the performing world? That's why she knows all these people like fashion forward models (I'm assuming miniskirt girl is a model)....

Also, despite the best efforts of this show I cannot get behind stripped ties. It's like being smothered by Jos. A. Bank.
posted by The Whelk at 2:05 PM on March 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Finally got around to watching it. Have to admit that after a year away I cared less.

I thought the sex scene was total fanservice.
Pete doesn't really care much about other people at all - he's a sociopath, always has been
Yeah, no. I feel like I have to point this out but "sociopath" is a (pseudo) clinical condition where people don't feel empathy, or even anxiety in general. The 'classical' test for sociopathy involved giving people an electrical shock, and if they didn't show signs of stress before the shock, they were likely to be sociopathy. They can't predict even their own distress, much less distress in others. Pete clearly feels a lot of anxiety, so he can't be a sociopath.

I say 'pseudo' because it's not in the DSM, but the latest edition put 'psychopathic' as a type of narcissistic personality disorder, to cover what was previously called either sociopath or psychopathic. Prior to that, it wasn't included at all.

Which actually I thought was an interesting thing with Don Draper. Draper was always, especially early on show shown to be a sort of sociopath. Yet, he gets so anxious about the two guys he thinks might be FBI in S4 that he throws up due to it. Biologically, that just wouldn't have happened to a 'real' sociopath.

The writers of the show may mean for these characters to be sociopathic/psychopathic, but if so they aren't doing so in a 'scientific' way.
He's liberal by comparison. Re-watch any scene with him while others are being overtly racist (for example, the last scene with the statue delivery). He is clearly uncomfortable albeit not to the point of actually saying something.
He [Pete] is also the one character who doesn't smoke. Peggy's boyfriend is the real "hard core" liberal, of course, but he's a minor character.

Regarding Pete's empathy, as I said earlier, he wasn't acting as a 'sociopath' in the episode with the Au Pair. He didn't lack empathy, he was clearly acting out of concern at first, but by doing something out of concern he ends up having power over her. He's in an environment where doesn't have to worry about consequences and he ends up doing something that he recognizes as being wrong.

It's the difference between someone who justifies their behavior, and someone who knows the difference between right and wrong and can't help but chose the wrong path. It show's the complexity of Pete's character.

Still, no one is going to like Pete, he's the heel in the show, the asshole you want to root against. Making the character more complicated makes the show more interesting. I don't know they
Oh, one question about Don: I was reading on TWoP that it's in canon that he's 8 years younger than "Don Draper", yet this episode seemed to imply his (40th) birthday was 6 months earlier. Continuity error, or is the 8 year difference still there- that he celebrated his 32nd/33rd birthday 6 months ago, and is now fake-celebrating his 40th to keep up appearances? Which... if he's only 32, he sure plays older as Don Draper. He would not be biologically much older than most of the staff there, and possibly younger than people like Harry.
Remember the episode where Don was talking to Pete about how he couldn't have a background check done? He says "My age is wrong!" He's almost certainly using his real age, not his real birth day.

The other thing, though is that if you extrapolate his age back to the dates of the Korean war, he would actually have been 24/27 during that time. not in his early 20s. Seems like a bit of an error by the writers of the show.
Was Pete Campbell going to go home and aggressively schtup Trudy after? Peggy and her boyfriend? It's just weird. It shows a lack of understanding about the people around her, and a lack of boundaries, too.
The irony is, the one guy who did fuck his wife after that was Harry.
posted by delmoi at 5:03 PM on March 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


was included in the New York Times write-up of the incident back in 1966. Of course, the NYT story is behind a paywall so I can't actually see it.

There's a City Room blog entry about this here. (I'm not sure if nytimes blogs are behind the paywall as well?) Here's the relevant bit quoted from the 1966 article:

"Mrs. Esme Robinson, the boy's mother, and several other angry women immediately went up to the sixth-floor offices of Young & Rubicam, from which several onlookers said they had seen the water bombs thrown.

"But a secretary in the office said: 'That's ridiculous, they didn't come from this floor. This is the executive floor. That's utterly ridiculous.'

"'Don't you call us ridiculous. Is this what Madison Avenue represents?' shouted one of the women.

"'And they call us savages,' exclaimed Mrs. Vivian Harris, another of the women."

According to City Room, Matthew Weiner kept the dialogue as it was reported, saying, "His story was such that I thought it inviolable. The way that quote-unquote ‘average person’ got to the heart of it was way better than any writer could have made up. If I had concocted the story, I would have never written that. It was a great capturing of the lack of respect, which is to me what a lot of the show is about.”
posted by torticat at 7:38 PM on March 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's interesting torticat.
posted by sweetkid at 8:15 PM on March 28, 2012


'Mad Men': The story behind Don Draper's new digs
posted by Artw at 8:01 AM on March 31, 2012


TLo's Mad Style is up!
posted by rewil at 4:06 PM on March 28 [4 favorites −] [!] Other [2/2]: «≡·


Can I just thank you for linking these? it's taken me days to (almost) get through them, but they're some of the best MM analysis I've read yet.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:10 AM on March 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Your morning pareidolia: Pete is doomed.
posted by Iridic at 8:13 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


PhoB, I know right, major character arcs foreshadowed four episodes in advance via clothing. That is an on the ball costume dept right there.
posted by The Whelk at 8:25 AM on March 31, 2012


I'm just glad I now know that purple is Joanie's sad color.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:49 AM on March 31, 2012


The use of color to match people to rooms to show where they " belong" and when they clash!
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 AM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's hoping Pete doesn't die. It might be more metaphorically. It seems like he's starting to get everything he wants and also starting to realize that it doesn't make him happy.
posted by drezdn at 10:04 AM on March 31, 2012


PETE On the wall above Sally’s bed are two tigers fashioned from floral-patterned fabric or paper, both adorned with paper flowers. In Peter Pan, the title character’s life is often in the hands of Tiger Lily.

I... really? What?
posted by Gordafarin at 6:42 AM on April 1, 2012


Yeah that article is stretching really far, I think Pete is going to end up getting everything he wants and still be unhappy and accidentally end up ruining the company. Somehow.
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on April 1, 2012


" and now we have to do a fade to scene, because of how fat you are."

Is this a new writer? Everyone is so ...quippy.
posted by The Whelk at 7:18 PM on April 1, 2012


Man I wonder if Ginsberg is a parody of someone specific...or a type. It's so hard not to read this as writers room gossip.

So far the theme seems to be WASP culture vs. The World
posted by The Whelk at 7:30 PM on April 1, 2012


Oh hey, I know how a perfect reference for What do kids wear to a concert in the 60s, I actually really needed that.
posted by The Whelk at 7:41 PM on April 1, 2012


Oh Betty, oh just ...just no sweetie.
posted by The Whelk at 7:52 PM on April 1, 2012


Oh no Pete didn't!
posted by Burhanistan at 7:57 PM on April 1, 2012


Eat your pain Betty! Your pain is a delicious suffering with artisan angst syrup!
posted by The Whelk at 8:07 PM on April 1, 2012


Of course the other way to view that scene is You Kniw What, I'm going to Enjoy This.
posted by The Whelk at 8:16 PM on April 1, 2012


That was a painful, beautiful, hilarious episode. I love Ginsberg! And, auuugh, that scene where Megan forces Don to go to Fire Island. I'm telling you, that girl is trouble. I'm seeing conflict on the horizon between her & Sally soon.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:24 PM on April 1, 2012


Oh man, that cut from Betty being bed ridden to Megan putting on a slinky dress was BRUTAL.
posted by The Whelk at 9:00 PM on April 1, 2012


See I'm in love with Forceful Best Friend Of Stones Groupie. One of the hallmarks of good drama is that you could just turn around and follow a side character and still be entertained. I would totally watch the stoned adventures of teenage fangirls in the 60s.
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 PM on April 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also Henry/Harry/Harold needs to be stoned more often.

What the hell was he up to in LA?
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on April 1, 2012


Also haha Romney dig haha
posted by The Whelk at 10:22 PM on April 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Harry is going to be sad to watch. He's that guy in every organization that had that great idea once. Yeah, that one time he was the guy.
posted by readery at 5:08 AM on April 2, 2012


And how pregnant was January Jones during principle shooting? It is interesting that Weiner chose to make her weight gain due to a thyroid issue rather than having Henry's baby. Then we are allowed to see that Don feels some guilt(?) about how things turned out and Megan's cluelessness. Since Betty has very little interaction with the rest of the cast, anything can happen to her weight. It's easy enough to shoot her scenes later (or even before) the rest of this season was shot.
posted by readery at 5:40 AM on April 2, 2012


I think they put a fat suit and/or makeup on January. She did gain weight but not that much and there was something a bit crepe-y around her face. I think it was just done to make the gain more noticeable on screen.
posted by sweetkid at 7:32 AM on April 2, 2012


Her neck was very creepy.
posted by readery at 7:51 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah they nutty professor-ed her up. That was honestly too much.

Also: Harry and Don Go to Whitecastle! That was the best!
posted by stratastar at 9:45 AM on April 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also haha Romney dig haha

George Romney
posted by Artw at 10:39 AM on April 2, 2012


George Romney looks as though they sawed off the top third of Lyndon B. Johnson's head and stretched it over Mitt's skull like a swim cap.
posted by Iridic at 10:47 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


“When is everything going to get back to normal?”

You know if anyone is going to take a header out of an office window it's looking a bit like our favorite increasingly irrelevant bratty drunk!
posted by The Whelk at 11:00 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


"There's the last guy I hired" was such a lovely bitter little moment.
posted by Artw at 11:03 AM on April 2, 2012


What we found shocking was that after Don informed her that he wouldn’t be spending the weekend in Fire Island with her and her young friends … she actually got him to change his mind and go. If you don’t quite grasp the significance of this, go watch any early episode where Betty could barely get Don to agree to sleep in his own house 5 nights a week. Go watch any episode where a woman tried to get him to do something he didn’t want to and he ran in the opposite direction, every single time. the T&L review is up!
posted by The Whelk at 11:03 AM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah someone is doomed.. it may be Roger but Pete's suit in this episode was pitch-black navy blue. I smell the misdirection!

Roger may be unhappy, but he doesn't care.

Pete's the one who may break with the understanding that status and respect won't make him a happy person.
posted by stratastar at 1:19 PM on April 2, 2012


Are we to understand that Draper the sex addict has gone most of a year without cheating on anyone? that's going to be some dam breaking when it happens.
posted by Artw at 1:26 PM on April 2, 2012


Well, Don probably would've shagged that minor backstage at the Stones concert if she wasn't so eager to get further backstage.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:27 PM on April 2, 2012


That wouldn't have stopped old Don.
posted by Artw at 1:30 PM on April 2, 2012


I think thats kind of a moral event horizon where we, the audience, would no longer be able to stand him
posted by The Whelk at 1:31 PM on April 2, 2012


Well, he;s charming, but i think it's been pretty clear all along he's an absolutely terrible person with no judgement or self control whatsoever. That marrying the first person that came into view after getting a divorce didn't immediately blow up on him is kind of amazing.
posted by Artw at 1:33 PM on April 2, 2012


Eh, Dan's Out Of Control Spiral Of Self Loathing seems like a rehash of the last season.
posted by The Whelk at 1:35 PM on April 2, 2012


Basically, it's time for someone to drop some LSD.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:40 PM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bert! Bert! Bert on acid, please.
posted by The Whelk at 1:42 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


They can have some running, hopefully low-key, theme about how LSD influenced advertising and pop culture, while whoever takes it borders between introspection and life affirmation with freaking out and taking an account in weird directions.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:44 PM on April 2, 2012


All the early psychedelic drug advocates being straight-laced Havard professor types you then threw themselves into hippydom and alternate lifestyles, it kind of works with the general trend of youth-culture threads on the show.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on April 2, 2012


All the early psychedelic drug advocates being straight-laced Havard professor types you then threw themselves into hippydom and alternate lifestyles, it kind of works with the general trend of youth-culture threads on the show.

Maybe two seasons ago ... I know they are not super committed to the real-life timeline of events, but the water-bombing of the picket links happened on May 28, 1966.

LSD had been in the public consciousness for 2-3 years already, despite the recent hype from Tim Leary.

Time Magazine's cover story on March 25, 1966 was LSD: The Exploding Threat of the Mind Drug that Got Out of Control. ("One dose of LSD is enough to set off a mental riot of vivid colors and insights — or of terror and convulsions")

It was made illegal soon after. Kesey was already in prison (I think). I can't see any mass participation among Madison Avenue sorts at this time.. These are the people who sold out and cut their hair or put on the dress and high heels. Tony Soprano, maybe. Don Draper? No way. We'll see...

I think thats kind of a moral event horizon where we, the audience, would no longer be able to stand him

I haven't really been able to stand him since Day 1. I have some sympathy for him because of his shitty life as a child, but he's been fairly abhorrent throughout the series. But then I don't like the show that much either.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:31 PM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


They've also already done their crazy Warhol arts scene thing.
posted by Artw at 2:53 PM on April 2, 2012


Basically, it's time for someone to drop some LSD.

I think this would be reaaallly annoying in most cases, unless it was something like the pot smoking weekend thing, which was kinda cool. Hmm. Maybe it would be kinda cool.
posted by sweetkid at 2:58 PM on April 2, 2012


Roger may be unhappy, but he doesn't care.

Pete's the one who may break with the understanding that status and respect won't make him a happy person.


Who on this show is happy though? Maybe Trudy Campbell, Stan and Ken Cosgrove. Peggy and Bert go back and forth. The others are pretty miserable.

One thing I love about this show is how they show the many complex forms unhappiness can take. They're all unhappy in their own way, and it's kind of beautiful.
posted by sweetkid at 3:01 PM on April 2, 2012


I demand more crazy Warhol art scenes.
posted by The Whelk at 3:11 PM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Andy Warhol paints Debbie Harry on an Amiga
posted by Artw at 3:13 PM on April 2, 2012


Well, he;s charming, but i think it's been pretty clear all along he's an absolutely terrible person with no judgement or self control whatsoever.

I dunno, I tend to think even Don wouldn't sleep with an underage girl. I think that scene actually makes that pretty explicit, when he says "We're worried about you." Old Don was a horndog, but not a statutory rapist.

That marrying the first person that came into view after getting a divorce didn't immediately blow up on him is kind of amazing.

Except, of course, she wasn't the first person and he was divorced for well over a year before he married Megan.
posted by crossoverman at 5:01 PM on April 2, 2012


Well, he;s charming, but i think it's been pretty clear all along he's an absolutely terrible person with no judgement or self control whatsoever.

I dunno, I tend to think even Don wouldn't sleep with an underage girl. I think that scene actually makes that pretty explicit, when he says "We're worried about you." Old Don was a horndog, but not a statutory rapist.


Well, and also, just as consistently as he's been characterized a womanizer, he's been characterized as a dad, and a good one--if an often-absent one. Paternal feelings toward a girl just barely older than Sally are just as believable as amorous ones coming from him, if not more so.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:27 PM on April 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Someone's going to die this season. Not necessarily Betty, but it seems to be a major theme (like in the Pete thing linked above). For example, the Rolling Stones fan that Don talked to was obsessed with Brian Jones, who would die only three years later.
posted by drezdn at 8:15 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm betting Roger.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:24 PM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Greg is a dead duck in Vietnam. Roger going too would be a brutal one-two for Joan.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:07 AM on April 3, 2012


Greg comes back and pushes Roger out a window. Or something.

I don't think they're going to kill Greg. It's too easy.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:12 AM on April 3, 2012


Rather selfishly, I want Greg to survive just so I can see the look on his face when baby Kevin's silver white hair starts coming in.
posted by Iridic at 9:21 AM on April 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


If they are going to kill anyone (besides Greg), which I don't count as a certainty this season, how about Megan? Don's already had one divorce and already had the wife who just pretended not to see his affairs. We've seen him self-destruct the rest of his romantic relationships in various ways. So if they want to go in a different direction with this relationship...
posted by mikepop at 9:57 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay, let’s start with this:
Peggy: white shirt, gold skirt.
Michael: white shirt, patterned tie with gold elements.
...
There are points being made about these characters through their clothing. Michael Ginsberg is a male Peggy Olson. He’s socially awkward, sloppily dressed, and extremely talented.


Aaaah, I didn't even notice that.
posted by rewil at 8:49 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Francis house is a castle. Drool.
posted by Gordafarin at 3:17 PM on April 5, 2012


Oh, so Peggy is THAT kind of drunk. Makes sense.


also,

LITERALLY STRANGLING MY DEMONS
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Don really, really hates to have women discuss or out his sexuality. Every show of violence or even strong consternation on the show has been over that, it seems.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:20 PM on April 8, 2012


Yeahs Don's all whip me beat me call me cheap but don't ever bring it up or discuss it outside my fantasy zone or I will literally murder you.

That said, I think that sequence isn't supposed to be all that complex, literally shoving his past under the bed? It's pretty obvious and I'd be harsher on it if the entire episode wasn't built around people's reactions to the sensational murder story, so it felt more integrated and less heavy handed. I liked how they all had different interpretations of the " the girl under the bed" as symbol, and dear god Grandma Morticia you are growing on me. Hey Sally, I think we had the same grandmother, for realz, mine couldn't cook either.

I can't even start on Peggy except that she's wearing really nice shoes and that drunk babbling hit waaaaaay too close to awkward too drunk to realize when to stop talking home. Moss sold that scene so hard. And before! Can her gleefully counting money be a thing, I want it to be a thing.

Oh so, overall, bigger arc points? The world is coming apart, riots, people sleeping in strange beds, beds becoming hostile, can't sleep, sleeping under the couch, bedrooms violated. It's all about the bedroom being upset and upended and Joanie's ACCORDIANS OF AGONY. I knew Dr. rapist was going to screw her up, but I didn't think like this.

Also Ken had a line.

And Ginsberg's Cinderella pitch WAS fucking dark, it was fucked up, I wonder if that's going to be part of the Rotting Culture/Collapse of society theme, wholesome sunny ads ( think Betty posing with Coke) embracing the dark and ptsvhosexual end times if the 70s
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 PM on April 8, 2012


I kinda want a Seconal now, too, Grandma Pauline.
posted by rewil at 9:43 PM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


The accordion! I feel like I've become a much better reader of Mad Men since reading the Tom and Lorenzo posts. The red and black colors of both scenes. I think the accordion is emblematic of Joan swallowing her feelings and putting on a show.

What I liked most about this episode was the heat. Sally's little nightgown. The sheen of sweat over Peggy's face as she balanced on the edge of the sofa.

Also . . . something about the way the shot of Megan and Peggy's butch friend was framed. Foreshadowing? Maybe?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:45 PM on April 8, 2012


Grandma Pauline was so gleeful in telling the story of the murder to Sally, she really is playing the role of The Witch in Sally's personal Joseph Campell journey.
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 PM on April 8, 2012


I nearly forgot Peggy's super cool lesbian friend makes a comeback, and she calls Peggy Pegasus!

I love her so much.

You could write a paper On the different reactions of the characters to the murder story, from Peggy's oh let me see, forbidden knowledge! To her friends's more icy aesthetic appreciation, to Ginsberg complete disgust and Grandma Pauline's melodramatic goth glee
posted by The Whelk at 9:50 PM on April 8, 2012


Also " there are some parts in town where we could run into people I've worked with" YES MORE OF MEGAN'S FUN BOHEMIAN FRIENDS TORTURED WASPS ARE BORING CRAZY ART WORLD PEOPOE ARE AWESOME.
posted by The Whelk at 9:51 PM on April 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually Sally's nightgown was also good for the literal I Am Outgroing Your Perception Of Me thing, her clothes can't keep up with her growth spurts and neither can anyone else.

And yes, the heat, if nothing else this show gets NYC region heat, that dull, pounding yellow haze in August when anyone who can has left and you don't even form sentences anymore cause it's too fucking BRIGHT outside and no air has moved in days.
posted by The Whelk at 9:55 PM on April 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


The story lines were very well integrated, almost so much so that I can't tell if its ham-fisted or effortless.

But! Even the show title was called "Mystery Date" unraveling from Ginsburg's Cindarella stranger narrative: with each storyline and theme of learning of strangers being told in two's: (Chicago Murderer and Riots), Dawn and Peggy, Greg and Joanie, Gramma and Sally, and... new Don and ... old Don.

Peggy's glee? OH Yes! "Dazzle Me!" ... and how she hit her line "What do you have in Mind" bwah!!!! Cloths tangent: her moss-green shoes were amazing, as were her black and white pumps from last week... but the Oh look how we dress Peggy and Ginsburg together-she's wearing a tie aren't they odd ducks and isn't she worrying about her manishness? -1!
posted by stratastar at 10:34 PM on April 8, 2012


I was impressed by the scene where Peggy thought the secretary was unsafe because of the Speck murders, but she was unsafe because of the riots, and the split in black culture b/w bed stuy and harlem--a split that Peggy refused to pick up on, and that Peggy's boyfriend is in chicago for a whole other scandal.

that and the domesticaization of violence, something that Don has been doing for years, and Peggy taking over the power of capital. (plus speaking of red and black--seaconals are red and black)
posted by PinkMoose at 10:36 PM on April 8, 2012


"the split in black culture b/w bed stuy and harlem"

For a non-New Yorker can you explain further? Was one a middle class black neighborhood and the other not?
posted by stratastar at 10:40 PM on April 8, 2012


i'm not a new yorker either, but that has been my impression.
posted by PinkMoose at 10:43 PM on April 8, 2012



For a non-New Yorker can you explain further? Was one a middle class black neighborhood and the other not?


Harlem has historically been seen (regardless of actual reality, this is about media portrayal) as a kind of city within a city, the Black New York, a separate part of the island , the Harlem renaissance and jazz and books and art. Harlem in the white boy NYC imagination would have meant "black" but also avant gaurde and the area itself was still then pretty much middle and working class, with even a few rich enclaves.

Bed-Stuy however, is a ghetto, and has been for a long time. And for non NYC watchers, it is on a completely different island and way inland. I thought Peggy's accidental mixing of all Black neighborhoods as the same was a nice touch, but yeah, it would've been hard to find a taxi driver who would go above 96th street then, and it fits into the idea of the city deteriorating. The whole "sleep in the office, it's too late to attempt to cross the city safety" is a trope that was very much used in the 70s.
posted by The Whelk at 10:58 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


The continual references to the murders of the student nurses in Chicago has me spooked. I was a too young to know the details when it happened, but later on vacation in a cabin I found a pile of old Life magazines and read the sensationalized story. And was so creeped out it follows me to this day. Very interesting that they chose to have direct access to crime scene photos. Horrific crime scene photos. And the Seconal shit, Peggy doing that creepy walk thru the 'empty' office and Don strangling...very ominous. Some weird shit is coming.
posted by readery at 11:26 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


The story lines were very well integrated, almost so much so that I can't tell if its ham-fisted or effortless.

Unlike last week, when I felt I was getting beaten over the head, this week was much more effortless - even if I could see the pieces they were playing with, I still didn't quite see the moves the show was making. For example, I really hadn't expected Joan to get rid of Greg quite so quickly - but I'm so glad she did. And I loved Peggy and Dawn's bonding, even though it was undercut by Peggy's ingrained racism at the end of the night - looking at her purse, not sure if she could leave it in the same room as Dawn.

Don's story was very odd, but I liked what it underlined - that he's not the player he was, though he is still wound up and destructive on the inside.

And Sally Draper FTW!
posted by crossoverman at 4:55 AM on April 9, 2012


Here are some mugshots of that "handsome man" Richard Speck, just so you know how wildly Mrs. Henry's Mom was embellishing the story with her own fantasies.
posted by Iridic at 7:10 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tom and Lorenzo pick up on something

And in fact, certain things about Andrea didn’t quite add up. There were freelance women copywriters utilized by Sterling Cooper six years ago, before Peggy was hired? Since when? She mentioned that he took her on the loading dock of Lincoln Center while his wife waited inside, but which wife? Most of what we consider Lincoln Center wasn’t completed until after the Draper marriage ended. We fear the whole reason Andrea’s presence bothered Don that much wasn’t because she was a dalliance from his distant past, but a dalliance from his recent past. He’s already cheated on Megan.
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 AM on April 9, 2012


Here are some mugshots of that "handsome man" Richard Speck, just so you know how wildly Mrs. Henry's Mom was embellishing the story with her own fantasies.

I thought that she was purposefully riffing on the Mystery Date commercial which Sally had been watching earlier. She was telling Sally a cautionary tale about sex, really.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:13 AM on April 9, 2012


And in fact, certain things about Andrea didn’t quite add up. There were freelance women copywriters utilized by Sterling Cooper six years ago, before Peggy was hired? Since when? She mentioned that he took her on the loading dock of Lincoln Center while his wife waited inside, but which wife? Most of what we consider Lincoln Center wasn’t completed until after the Draper marriage ended. We fear the whole reason Andrea’s presence bothered Don that much wasn’t because she was a dalliance from his distant past, but a dalliance from his recent past. He’s already cheated on Megan.

I thought of that too when (in what we now know was a dream), he pushes her out the door. She says "it was just sex" in a way that suggests that it wasn't just sex half a decade ago.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:14 AM on April 9, 2012


Also:

No one in Sally’s world really wants to talk to Sally about all the things she’s feeling and seeing. It’s not that Pauline would make a good person to turn to, but it’s a statement on how lonely Sally is that she’s probably her best option for an honest answer. Granted, one conversation with Pauline left Sally drugged and huddled under the couch (again, they weren’t subtle with the imagery this episode), but at least she had an actual conversation with an adult, instead of being told go to her room, go outside, or hang up the phone. Sally’s been the victim of such terrible parenting that her fucked-up and frightening step-grandmother may actually be a good thing for her.

posted by The Whelk at 8:16 AM on April 9, 2012


Thanks for the explanation of Harlem and Bed-Stuy, but -- wait, Bed-Stuy is pronounced "Bed-Sty"? HOW HAVE I NEVER KNOWN THIS? I thought it was "Bed-Stew." I guess I've never heard it said aloud, only read it in books.

Now I feel really provincial.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:17 AM on April 9, 2012


Roger's collapse continues apace. In the first episode, he was handing out $50 dollar bribes from a $1000+ bankfold; now he's down to $10 kickbacks from a $400 roll. I know he's supposed to be independently wealthy, but he probably paid through the nose for his divorce, and he's too proud to husband his assets like a prole. I suspect he's always counted on a Bert Cooper-style non-retirement retirement plan, but Pete's never going to let him have that.
posted by Iridic at 8:17 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Episode 4 picked it up a bit. Or maybe I was just glad not to see Betty in the bad makeup.

The story lines were very well integrated, almost so much so that I can't tell if its ham-fisted or effortless.

The episode should have been named Cinderella--Ginzo's pitch; Joan; Sally; ... whatshername ... Andrea (notice how her shoe falls off as Don is strangling her); and of course Speck's victims--Prince Charming is a fairytale; got it.

And yes, that was Madchen Amick, for all you Twin Peaks fans. Though I disagree with linked Tumblr--I thought the 60s look was pretty unflattering.

Lots of good stuff--enjoyed Peggy and Roger, even Joan and douche-monster Greg (he must know the boy isn't his?), but come on, make the one black character more interesting than just being afraid to go home. She lacked a little depth, imo.

even though it was undercut by Peggy's ingrained racism at the end of the night

$400 in 1966 would be worth about $3,000 today, fwiw. I think what happened is what could happen to many of us. If I had $3,000 in cash with someone staying over, I wouldn't want to leave it out either, no matter who it was. Peggy is thinking that, goes to get it, then drunkenly also thinks, "oh no, if i take my purse it's going to look like I don't trust her because she's black, etc." and she's frozen.

Anyway, I don't think it was intended to make Peggy look racist. In fact, it's an interesting counterpoint to Lane's vignette in the cab. I'm glad they're finally getting to that stuff, although it is still 1966.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:20 AM on April 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ken Cosgrove would like to you know he exists and has a line and then will go away for another episode.

I have this running theory that ken is the only happy one in the office and is completely oblivious to everything going on.
posted by The Whelk at 8:21 AM on April 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Peggy's Racist Purse was just the cap on a AGONIZINGLY awkward evening to balance out her success in dealing with Rodger with her way way way too drunk and rambling and shoving her foot so far into her mouth it may never be seen again.
posted by The Whelk at 8:23 AM on April 9, 2012


Can her gleefully counting money be a thing, I want it to be a thing.

Ask and ye etc.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:24 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


(he must know the boy isn't his?)

He has no reason to suspect anything, Joan tells him she's "very late" like six weeks into his deployment and the timing isn't suspcicious at all, it's not like babies take exactly nine months - now if the Baby came out with a mane of silver hair, a martini, and a collection of racist puns then he might have reason to question.
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyway, they seem to have this thing where Joan always gets what she wants, but always the worst possible version of it. Also, loved the way they've been sneaking in elements of Joan's childhood and home life cause they ring very true to her character - you can totally see how her wit was sharpened on the whet stone of a mother.
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 AM on April 9, 2012


and Peggy taking over the power of capital. (plus speaking of red and black--seaconals are red and black)

Also, Peggy's cute matching handbag and outfit? Green, which on this show is only used in scenes involving money.
posted by The Whelk at 8:56 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


And Peggy has a lot of ways of working through power, Roger really doesnt.
posted by PinkMoose at 9:32 AM on April 9, 2012


I have this running theory that ken is the only happy one in the office and is completely oblivious to everything going on.

He has his story writing to keep him happy.
posted by drezdn at 9:42 AM on April 9, 2012


He has his story writing to keep him happy.

Last episode, shot of Don Draper exiting the office into a dirty 70s NYC. Slow fade to words being written on an Apple IIE describing the scene we just saw. 80s Ken types:

". . . truly, we were mad men.


THE END."

Too bad Roseanne beat them to it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:56 AM on April 9, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ken publishes a scandalous tell-all that reveals he knew exactly what was going on with everyone the whole time.
posted by The Whelk at 9:57 AM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's going to end like Watchmen, isn't it?
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM on April 9, 2012


Turns out a giant telepathic space squid was behind the whole thing
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 AM on April 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Last episode, 1962 Don wakes up next to Betty in the Ossining house and says 'Honey, you won't believe the dream I just had.'
posted by box at 10:10 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Turns out Peggy never left the hospital in the first season and the entire show is her coma-dream
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 AM on April 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mohawk Airlines changes its name to Oceanic.
posted by box at 10:15 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is all a simulated reality for colonists in hyper-sleep traveling to Mars.
posted by The Whelk at 10:15 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


After several more affairs, Sam gets Don to be a faithful husband/better person and finally leaps.
posted by mikepop at 10:16 AM on April 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


1981: Harry Crane, fresh out of the closet, slides over to the creative side of the TV business. His first project is a sitcom about the commercial music business set in 1928, during the last golden days of Tin Pan Alley.
posted by Iridic at 10:27 AM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's the 1980s. Don and Megan and their children are meeting for a holiday visit with Sally and her family at a New Jersey diner. Pete walks into the dinner. The real Don Draper walks in (and!) has a gun. Fade to black as Don Jr. plays a brand new song by a band called Journey on the jukebox...
posted by drezdn at 11:23 AM on April 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Jimmy Barrett is there too.
posted by drezdn at 11:24 AM on April 9, 2012


The partners of Draper Campbell Olson Pryce take a day trip to a small Vermont village to see the fall foliage. While there, they are arrested and tried for breaking the local Good Samaritan law. Every one-off Mad Men character ever is called as a witness.
posted by box at 12:09 PM on April 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I could get behind that ending as long as Sal appears.
posted by drezdn at 12:17 PM on April 9, 2012


Sal is never coming back ever. The actor himself has practically retired.
posted by The Whelk at 12:20 PM on April 9, 2012


Cue Sia's "Breath Me." Sally is driving off to college after Don succumbs to a brain condition. We see the future for all the show's main characters and how each dies.
posted by drezdn at 12:22 PM on April 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


They all die in an elevator accident
posted by The Whelk at 12:23 PM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sal is never coming back ever. The actor himself has practically retired.

They could Derwood him.
posted by Artw at 12:24 PM on April 9, 2012


The partners of Draper Campbell Olson Pryce take a day trip to a small Vermont village to see the fall foliage.

...while walking near a golf course, Don is hit on the head by a stray golf ball. After fading to black, the light comes up on the bedroom of Burt Ridley, who proceeds to recount a strange and suspiciously detailed dream...
posted by mikepop at 12:29 PM on April 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


They all die in an elevator accident

Is this a riff on the Y&R elevator accident from last fall? That wasn't funny.
posted by sweetkid at 1:06 PM on April 9, 2012


Reading Tom and Lorenzo discussing Andrea, I wonder if Megan will mention the copy-writer from "six years ago" to Peggy and what Peggy will say.
posted by drezdn at 1:58 PM on April 9, 2012


Tommy Westphall shakes a snow globe with the SCDP building inside it.

Is this a riff on the Y&R elevator accident from last fall? That wasn't funny.

I suspect it's a reference to the Rosalind Chase death from "L.A. Law". Damn you, David E Kelley!
posted by crossoverman at 5:49 PM on April 9, 2012


But think, Don pulled out that lie like it was nothing, while miserably sick. It isn't completely bullet-proof, but... wow.
posted by stratastar at 10:53 AM on April 10, 2012


No real life elevator accident allusion intended.
posted by The Whelk at 10:56 AM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Finally got to watch it. Love the T&L recap as usual. Can't wait for the Mad Style on this episode of course. My husband immediately pointed out Joan wearing pants in the final shot after she kicks Greg to the curb - "liberation pants!" Myself, I caught how Sally had outgrown her nightclothes. And Peggy's kicky green heels!
posted by flex at 10:46 PM on April 10, 2012


Peggy's kicky green heels!

I love those shoes with all my heart.

Also, is it just me, or does some of Joan's wardrobe seem a little... off? I mean, not just off in relation to the New Mod Fashions that La Belle Mme. Draper is wearing to signify the coming cultural youthquake, but the fabrics and patterns themselves seem not to be quite of 1966 for anyone. Contrast with Betty, whose ice blue upholstery dress in the previous episode certainly wasn't hip, but it perfectly hit that "Johnson Administration Junior League" note that the show was going for.

Maybe it's just the weirdness of seeing Joan in all those magenta rose-patterned fabrics, which inevitably make me think of a flamenco dancer costume. Her most iconic looks seem to have always been composed of solid jewel tones (such as the dress she was wearing when they all went out for dinner to hear the dulcet tones of The Accordion of Doom).
posted by scody at 8:35 AM on April 11, 2012


The show does make the point that not everyone keeps up with the times, or they find a style and stick to it. I think Joan is going to dressed like she's auditioning for Miss America 1958 for a long, long time.
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yep, I think that's right. I guess it's just never been so jarring before with Joan -- she always had Her Look, but it always worked for her. Now at times I find myself going "oh honey no, not the flowery battleship look," which seems odd because IT'S JOAN.
posted by scody at 8:51 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


that dress during the ACCORDIONS OF AGONY dinner was quite stunning and had the hint of purple in the accessories and fringe cause on this show purple on Joan means PAIN! SO MUCH PAIN!
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM on April 11, 2012


I think that's been coming for a long time, though; wasn't it Jane, at that point still a secretary, who called Joan out for being a little old-fashioned, with the pen around her neck and such? I've had a feeling for a while that the show was setting Joan up for a pretty brutal left-behind-by-the-times beatdown.
posted by COBRA! at 8:56 AM on April 11, 2012


Yeah it's one of Joan's major arcs, she's still locked in Marylin mode so hard she doesn't see the changes around her - and then she finally gets her dream (Joan is a romantic, this is my favorite part about her, it's also why she was so good at soap opera plots) husband/baby but in the worst possible way and now she's a single mother in her 30s, which could be away to force her to confront modernity (or her inability to get over her past self will spell doom DOOOOOOOOM)
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Liz Taylor. Hmm.

I do love the shrinking roses.
posted by rewil at 11:56 AM on April 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Peggy is thinking that, goes to get it, then drunkenly also thinks, 'oh no, if i take my purse it's going to look like I don't trust her because she's black, etc.' and she's frozen.

Then Dawn left her thank you note right on top of the purse.

In fact, it's an interesting counterpoint to Lane's vignette in the cab.

I thought it was a boring rehash of the same point; I love the show and like both of the characters.

Thanks for the explanation of Harlem and Bed-Stuy, but -- wait, Bed-Stuy is pronounced 'Bed-Sty'? HOW HAVE I NEVER KNOWN THIS? I thought it was 'Bed-Stew.' I guess I've never heard it said aloud, only read it in books.

Billy Joel, "You May Be Right." "I was stranded in the combat zone/I walked through Bedford-Sty alone."
posted by kirkaracha at 9:53 AM on April 12, 2012


"Live from Bedford-Stuyvesant, the livest one."
posted by box at 2:05 PM on April 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ken Cosgrove would like to you know he exists and has a line and then will go away for another episode.

"Title? I'm Ken ... Cosgrove ... Accounts." is still my favorite scene from the entire series.

Even after the split, I was sure he would be back ... And he was!
posted by mrgrimm at 5:36 PM on April 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also he called marijuana "tea" in episode 1 (or 2). Too dreamy.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:38 PM on April 12, 2012


Oh! Mad Style : Mystery Date is up!

In our various writeups about Joan’s costumes on the show, we often mentioned how the styles of the mod late ’60s weren’t going to be particularly friendly to Joan’s very 1950s-style body. Those A-line shifts and micro-minis weren’t ever going to be Joan’s go-to’s, so we assumed she’d wind up looking less and less stylish as time went on.

That may still be true, but there’s something – or rather, someone – we forgot about. Joan’s 35 here and Marilyn’s been dead several years. We know that she took a lot of style (and even life) cues from Marilyn, but who would inspire her during this period, now that she’s getting older but no less desirable? Of course she wouldn’t look to the Twiggys and Jean Shrimptons of the world to inspire her dressing. She’s too old to be interested in the latest trends, none of which suit her. Instead, she turned once again to one of the biggest movie stars of the period for her style inspiration: Elizabeth Taylor. HOW could we not see that one coming? We’re almost ashamed.

posted by The Whelk at 11:47 AM on April 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mystery Date recut as a horror movie trailer.
posted by rewil at 7:19 AM on April 14, 2012


OH GOD DON NO TAKE THAT THING OFF TAKE IT OFF AND BURN IT
posted by The Whelk at 7:36 PM on April 15, 2012


Well, he took it off.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:39 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got an uncomfortable bit of connection between Ken's robot story and the prostitutes " settings".

"he's within walking distance" oh man salty madam, you are a DELIGHT.
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Edwin is like, the dictionary definition of bilious lord.
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 PM on April 15, 2012


Also Ken lives in queens! Ken lives in queens!
posted by The Whelk at 7:48 PM on April 15, 2012


So Roger just hates anyone's joy doesn't he?
posted by The Whelk at 7:49 PM on April 15, 2012


Okay raise your hand if Layne got a little hot there for a second.
posted by The Whelk at 7:53 PM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


God Peggy learn how to dress yourself.
posted by The Whelk at 7:53 PM on April 15, 2012


Pete: how are you?

Girl: Still underage!
posted by The Whelk at 7:57 PM on April 15, 2012


That was medieval!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:57 PM on April 15, 2012


HOLY SHIT
posted by The Whelk at 7:59 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


PEGGY READS GALAXY!
posted by The Whelk at 8:03 PM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Guys, above, about Ken knowing everyone and putting them into books, I was right. I totally called it.
posted by The Whelk at 8:04 PM on April 15, 2012


So Pegs totally was the one who ratted on Cosgrove, but the real question is whether the driver's ed scenes happened at all or were Ken's story.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:06 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I vote for real, aside from the Handsome Hansen line there's nothing out of place about it, which there would be if it was Ken Writing Pete
posted by The Whelk at 8:11 PM on April 15, 2012


Well, it was completely disconnected from the main storyline other than one reference to Pete scaring Megan with driving statistics. We never see him entering or leaving. They end with the echo of the faucet. They felt surreal, dreamlike (especially according to my slightly tipsy husband).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:17 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pete was drawing traffic fatality doodles during the partner meeting, so I'd say the classes were real.
posted by mikepop at 8:51 PM on April 15, 2012


Pete becomes a militant bicyclist.
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 PM on April 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cynthia!
posted by The Whelk at 10:07 PM on April 15, 2012


PETE

PETE

PETE

YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS.
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 PM on April 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, not so subtle reminder at the dinner party HEY GUYS THERE'S STILL A RIFLE IN PETE'S OFFICE - DON'T WORRY THOUGH NOT BRINGING THAT UP FOR ANY PARTICULAR REASON, JUST MENTIONING IT.
posted by mikepop at 5:05 AM on April 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


If Ken, like Aaron Staton, is 32 years old, then he's of an age with Harlan Ellison. Meaning that until Roger interfered, Ben Hargrove was on track to bring the world an "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" in 1967.
posted by Iridic at 7:57 AM on April 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Betty Is Five
posted by The Whelk at 8:01 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Duck And His Dog
posted by The Whelk at 8:02 AM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


OMG, Don and Roger and Bert during the run-up to the fight -- that was GREAT acting.

Also, whoa, my mom's parents actually put their foot down on her first-choice college (in 68, a couple years later) because of things like the Texas tower sniper and the nurse murders (and further campus violence in the next couple years) because she would have lived in an apartment at the co-ed first-choice place and was in a women's dormatory with dorm matrons at the women's college second choice place. Her father insisted it simply wasn't safe unless she was in a much more controlled housing environment. Like the poor drivers' ed girl who may or may not exist.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:33 AM on April 16, 2012


How's The Nightlife At Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce?
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 AM on April 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Don is really starting to open up more about his past.
posted by drezdn at 9:56 AM on April 16, 2012


Repent, Peggy! Said The Advertisingman
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 AM on April 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think Pete ratted out Ken's writing sometime at the whorehouse, not Peggy. Also, the leadup to the fight was one of my favorite scenes ever.

Going back to last episode: the incident at Bed-Stuy
posted by stratastar at 10:50 AM on April 16, 2012


The Pete That Shouted "Respect!" at the Heart of the World.
posted by Iridic at 12:19 PM on April 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Whimper of Cane-Whipped Lanes
posted by The Whelk at 12:38 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The City on the Edge of the Seventies
posted by Iridic at 12:50 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is There Hope for Pete Campbell? A conversation with Mad Men's Vincent Kartheiser.

from the always interesting June Thomas at Slate.
posted by readery at 4:40 AM on April 17, 2012


I loved Ken Cosgrove, science fiction writer.
posted by Artw at 8:22 AM on April 17, 2012


I loved Ken Cosgrove, science fiction writer.

Me too! Hell, I wanted more. Let's see Ken trying to fit in at a period fan convention - getting in a fight with Poul Anderson, spilling a drink on Michael Moorcock, clumsily hiding his surprise that Andre Norton is a woman.
posted by Iridic at 8:48 AM on April 17, 2012


and to round it out, having Harlan Ellison personally insult him.
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 AM on April 17, 2012


But Ken brings it on himself by commenting on Harlan's boots. Bit of a sore spot.
posted by Iridic at 8:57 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love that his stories are sort of soft-science, high on metaphor and allegory type stories that are perfect for the period and character.
posted by Artw at 10:12 AM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah I thought how pitch period perfect his stories where, the soft SF as social fable was like 80% of the genre back then. Really smack on.
posted by The Whelk at 10:13 AM on April 17, 2012


I think Galaxy was the home of that kind of proto-New Wave thing as well, so that's perfect. This element was added by someone who really knows their stuff.
posted by Artw at 10:16 AM on April 17, 2012


Oh, and that awkwardly explaining a story after being outed as a writer in front of a bunch of people who, to be honest, probably do not give a shit, and it coming out kind of crap sounding - totally been there.
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Heh.

The Man with the Miniature Orchestra

by Dave Algonquin

There were phrases of Beethoven’s 9th symphony that still made Coe cry. He always thought it had to do with the circumstances of the composition itself. He imagined Beethoven, deaf and soul-sick, his heart broken, scribbling furiously while Death stood in the doorway, clipping his nails. Still, Coe thought, it might have been living in the country that was making him cry; it was killing him with its silence and loneliness, making everything ordinary too beautiful to bear.


That's just so right.

(And death is there.)
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


With all this talk of Ken's science fiction stories, it occurs to me that Star Trek will premiere in about a month from when this episode was set. When do we get our first reference to that show?
posted by crossoverman at 9:34 PM on April 17, 2012


Wasn't Trek only a modest success at the first showing and then gained traction in re-runs or am I totally wrong?
posted by The Whelk at 9:50 PM on April 17, 2012


Its ratings were low but it was one of the first shows to really survive due to specific demographics tuning in - skewing younger than many other shows that aired at the time. The ratings were lower in season two and the third season only came about because of a letter-writing campaign.

It's not a shoe-in for a reference on Mad Men, but I imagine Trek might get referenced by Ken or in regard to demographics.
posted by crossoverman at 10:45 PM on April 17, 2012


I could see Peggy mentioning it, or Sally watching.
posted by drezdn at 9:17 AM on April 18, 2012


Considering Sally's TV watching habits I'd be worried when Amok Time aired.
posted by The Whelk at 9:31 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can we keep this thread going for the whole season?

For reals, I love discussing TV shows but I am always bad with finding forums and the like.

you guys are all I have.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:35 AM on April 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Not without longboating.

Someone needs to start writing the work of Dave Algonquin, then someone else needs to link it, then we are good for another 30 days
posted by Artw at 10:59 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


well SOMEONE here IS a SF author JUST SAYIN.
posted by The Whelk at 11:02 AM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


what happened to the Watercooler site? Metacooler?
posted by sweetkid at 11:09 AM on April 18, 2012


If Philip Jose Farmer were still around, he'd have totally written a story or two as Algonquin.
posted by drezdn at 11:23 AM on April 18, 2012


Eh, why not?
posted by Iridic at 11:41 AM on April 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO
posted by The Whelk at 12:12 PM on April 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


okay this is too much fun, someone else take a whack at it.
posted by The Whelk at 1:13 PM on April 19, 2012


LOOK WHAT I CONTINUE TO DO
posted by The Whelk at 9:23 PM on April 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I want to live in an alternate universe where Ken Cosgrove is real and we get 9 seasons of TNG.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:53 AM on April 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Anyone mind if I port this over to projects? It feels like it should be in Projects.
posted by The Whelk at 8:04 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Go right ahead. The more literary pastiche artists we can recruit the better! Especially since I launched this massive fan fiction project right on the cusp of a weekend when I absolutely need to finish a one-act play.
posted by Iridic at 8:20 AM on April 20, 2012


Ok, let me get to an actual computer.....
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on April 20, 2012


and submitted.

First person to work in a 7th heaven reference gets a cookie.
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


If this episode isn't nothing but Ken's frustrations at writing I will be so upset.
posted by The Whelk at 6:30 PM on April 22, 2012


OH GOD JANE OH GOD SHE IS GOING EAT MEGAN FOR DINNER OH GOD
posted by The Whelk at 7:20 PM on April 22, 2012


PEGGY'S EYESHADOW OF NOT BEING WHO SHE IS
posted by The Whelk at 7:21 PM on April 22, 2012


OH GOD OKAY WHO IS THE MOLE IN THE THREAD WE CALLED THE DR LEARY STUFF ALSO OH GOD OH GOD
posted by The Whelk at 7:32 PM on April 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Everything is ok. Now go to your wife. She wants to be alone, in the truth, with you."

FUUUUUUUCK. Fuck! Fuck.
posted by stratastar at 7:36 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


WHEN DID THIS BECOME PULP FICTION OH GOD
posted by The Whelk at 7:44 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not Pulp Fiction, it's the Vanishing.
posted by sweetkid at 7:53 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


OH GOD EMMY EMMY NOW PLEASE
posted by The Whelk at 8:04 PM on April 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


That was so ridiculously, preposterously good.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:09 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also Megan you should probably stop throwing around that Dick Whitman stuff like it's nothing.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:10 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just one of the couplets, but the repeat interactions btw Peggy and Ginsburg are stunning... she keeps trying to pry and he just gives her everything about himself and its too much for even him to handle. And she wanted to kill herself...
posted by stratastar at 8:20 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I cannot even begin to unpack, this is Christmas.
posted by The Whelk at 9:18 PM on April 22, 2012


Peggy! Eyeshadow! Pitch! Handjob! Rodger! LSD! Jaaaaaane! Megan!Don!Tantrum! Worry! Sex!Seriously disturbing power plays! Don's fantasy! BEAUTIFUL DAY! Oh god, I need space, air, air please.
posted by The Whelk at 9:21 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


CONCENTRATION CAMP BABY
posted by The Whelk at 9:21 PM on April 22, 2012


*collapses*
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


how it went from low comedy to theater of the absurd domestic ennui to liquifying tragedy, there is so much i love, but top five

a) megans outfit matching the hojo
b) the listening to the beach boys while doing acid
c) the born free hand job
d) bert cooper not knowing what is going on and fucking peggy over royally.
e) whistling the beatles
posted by PinkMoose at 9:46 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


f) the lsd vodka playing "the internationale"
g) Sterling CRACKING up at his mind's replay of the fixed 1919 Black Socks World Series.

Sterling has an amazing mind, he just never gave a fuck.
posted by stratastar at 10:02 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Holy crap we've all been waiting for Sally to become a hippie . . . what if Roger does?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:13 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't catch this : "d) bert cooper not knowing what is going on and fucking peggy over royally. " What when?
posted by stratastar at 10:20 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sterling is so much the perfect character to go on acid and have his veneer of bullshit stripped away. I hope it sticks for a bit.
posted by Artw at 11:56 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


And I thought last week's episode was amazing. This was amazing infinity.
posted by crossoverman at 6:06 AM on April 23, 2012


I didn't catch this : "d) bert cooper not knowing what is going on and fucking peggy over royally. " What when?

His remark about "some little girl running things" while Don was away.
posted by Edison Carter at 6:44 AM on April 23, 2012


I liked the callbacks to earlier episodes (I've been rewatching from the beginning all weekend long and am almost done with Season 2), especially Peggy's frantically looking for her violet gum ("It's got purple and silver packaging!"): In S02, Don remarks to Bobby how his father had "this gum that smelled like violets" and had "purple and silver packaging". That struck me, since that was one of the only positive memories Don seemed to have about his father. For him to share that feeling with Peggy says a lot to us. Especially since she seems to view it as a good-luck charm for presentations. Then she goes into the presentation and confronts the Heinz guy like Don used to. It was AMAZING.
posted by Edison Carter at 6:47 AM on April 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


As sexist as it is, that's likely how it was reported from the Heinz people and given the social context it's not a wholly inaccurate read. What Peggy was doing is no different from the shit Don pulled in season 1 (I've been recently rewatching, and it's funny what a douchebag he was), but he's a middle aged man in a suit and clients are less likely to react poorly to him when he gets angry. They're much more likely to bristle at a twenty-something woman, which is why it was inappropriate in that situation.

It's a shame, of course. She's just doing what she learned from someone she respects. But it's not going to work for her the same way it does for him. What Bobbi Barrett said back in season 2 is true--she's not going to get ahead as a man. At least not yet.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:48 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


JINX
posted by Edison Carter at 6:49 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the Tom and Lorenzo recap: "When Bert mentioned the 'little girl' in Don’s life was he talking about Peggy or Megan?"

Oooh, that's good.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:56 AM on April 23, 2012


Also, confirmation that Jane Siegel's dad is Jewish (though of course, it's possible that her mother isn't), something viewers have been debating since her debut. Heavy Jewish subtext throughout the episode. I really like Ginsberg. Can't wait to learn more about him. Shipping him and Peggy so hard.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:58 AM on April 23, 2012


Excuse me, PhoB, but it's PRETTY WELL ESTABLISHED that Ginsberg is Martian. I'm surprised you didn't know that.
posted by Edison Carter at 7:02 AM on April 23, 2012


They're much more likely to bristle at a twenty-something woman, which is why it was inappropriate in that situation.

But it's yet another reason why Peggy Olsen is probably the best damn character on the show.
posted by Edison Carter at 7:03 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


But it's yet another reason why Peggy Olsen is probably the best damn character on the show.

Pete wants so badly to be Don, but he never will be. It's Peggy.

They're really kind of like his kids, in a way.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:08 AM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


God I hate Pete with the fire of a thousand suns. But a re-watch really reveals why he's a prick. His dad was the biggest prick of all.

And a re-watch has made me have actual sympathy for Betty, too. This is such a good show.
posted by Edison Carter at 7:12 AM on April 23, 2012


Man, I've always had sympathy for Betty. That woman is Feminist Mystique-ing so hard. She's SO bored and lost, and she's not really introspective enough to realize way ... and the culture certainly isn't giving her the answer yet that, "Housewifery is boring and not everyone likes mothering." She has nowhere to go and nothing to do but look pretty and make sandwiches, and nobody ever gave her a chance to find out if there was something else she wanted to do. Nobody ever really gave her a chance to be a grown-up because she's so privileged ... women of a lower class would have had some actual struggles that matured them, even if they ended up a housewife.

A lot of the wives of professional men I've talked to, who were having kids in the 50s and 60s, were Just. So. Bored. They weren't ALLOWED to work (it would make their husbands look like they weren't good providers), and their lives were just SO circumscribed by convention, it was hard to reach out, hard to even admit they had a problem, because it just wasn't talked about, and post-partum depression wasn't a thing, and "I'm wealthy and comfortable and don't have to work and have a professional husband and a car and three kids and OH MY GOD I'M SO BORED AND DEPRESSED I CAN HARDLY GET OUT OF BED" certainly wasn't a thing.

Some of them buried themselves in volunteer work, but when Betty tried that, she ended up meeting Henry Francis, who wanted to put her in the same little housewife role that Don did.

She's a terrible mother and a shallow person, but she is what she was made to be.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:32 AM on April 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


I have a pack of violet gum somewhere in this apartment....
posted by The Whelk at 7:33 AM on April 23, 2012


I understand the crushing soul-sucking aspect of Betty's Suburban Nightmare -- I really do -- but her *personality* is un-fucking-bearable at times. I'm not asking her to enjoy the lot in life she's been given, but she seems to think it's perfectly okay to spread the misery rather than address her own. She's just an asshole.

But given the depression angle, I have developed some sympathy for her. I get that she's dying slowly inside and I see how awful that is for her. But for the time being, I don't have to like her.
posted by Edison Carter at 7:43 AM on April 23, 2012


But given the depression angle, I have developed some sympathy for her. I get that she's dying slowly inside and I see how awful that is for her. But for the time being, I don't have to like her.

I think it's pretty huge to have sympathy for Betty and understand her, but not like her. I feel like a lot of her negative characteristics can be assigned to many other characters on the show -- shallow, childish, etc.

I think Betty is one of the most realistic depictions of a deeply, irreversibly unhappy person I've ever seen on television. And I don't think she's a terrible mother. That opinion has gotten me people shouting at me in bars. SHOUTING. It's incredible.
posted by sweetkid at 7:49 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Betty is bored, but also not very bright. The older I get, the more I realize that great beauty or talent whan not accompanied by any sort of intellectual capacity is the root of most tragedy. Too much, too fast, etc. etc.

With that in mind I've been anticipating a real tragedy in that family and wonder if Don's general neglact of little Gene doesn't portend some terrible thing. I know he hated big Gene and all, but there is something that creeps me out there.
posted by readery at 7:52 AM on April 23, 2012


That we sympathize with Betty but don't actually like her is one of the strengths of the show - they could have gone into a very well worn "poor beleaguered housewife who self-actualizes" angle and instead hit it more obliquely, Betty is fucking pissed at how she's been treated but her reaction to it is all anger and self-loathing and projection cause she was never raised with anything resembling a way to get through life as an adult.
posted by The Whelk at 7:52 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, raise your hand if you had a .....melodramatic early dating life and may have possibly on more than one occasion done something similar to Megan, with the daring you to leave and all and well that just made that whole scene kinda extra super uncomfortable.
posted by The Whelk at 7:59 AM on April 23, 2012


/raises hand
posted by Edison Carter at 8:00 AM on April 23, 2012


Ayup, me too.

Some peeps on the Mad Men reddit are talking about how Don just switched one childish model for another. But I don't really think I'd characterize Megan as childish. I think the primary problem here is that she lacks discretion. Betty knew how to be discreet--she swallowed her feelings easily, accepted for years that her husband didn't want to talk about his past, and only pressed when she went through trauma herself (her mother's death) and needed an outlet for her feelings.

Don's whole life is built on a foundation of privacy and denial--it's why he was able to get along with Betty for so long, how he was able to survive after the war. It's how he's able to get along sexually, too, making power plays, pretending that his life inside the various bedrooms of New York City doesn't exist. Faye was right that he only likes beginnings, but it's not because of the thrill of the chase. It's because there's no past to get tangled up in.

Megan doesn't understand that. She'll not only bring up his biographical past--"Nobody loves Dick Whitman"--but his sexual past, too, as she did during the fight. The thing is, she knows that he's ashamed about these things. They run contrary to his desired nature, and while he was able to get along okay in the fifties, when a strong man was often a violent man, the same won't be true in the '70s. In order to like himself, he has to forget these moments exist. She won't let him.

Hell, she's not even discreet about the little things--like the gossip he's shared about co-workers. I don't think it would be a dire character flaw normally, and I feel for her, because I have a fucking big mouth myself, but I think it's going to cause increasing conflict between them as he's pulled out of his comfort zone over and over again. To him, it probably feels like a form of emotional violence. His whole life is based on secrets. And now he's married to a woman who refuses to keep any.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:41 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


"When Bert mentioned the 'little girl' in Don’s life was he talking about Peggy or Megan?"

I found this a bit confusing as well. He's talking about Megan with the "love leave" but then seems to be referring to Peggy and the Heinz meeting with the "little girl" comment. Yet, the material he gave to Dawn and that Don brings into the conference room looks like the stuff Megan was working on in the first episode of the season. Although since Peggy is Megan's boss (technically) this would still fall under her responsibility. So we have Bert shown as not totally oblivious, calling Don on out on his lack of work/responsibility. But has the Heinz meeting happenings made their way back to him, or is he indeed out of the loop and only has this rejected newspaper circular as an example of Don phoning it in?
posted by mikepop at 8:46 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


oh yeah Don is SO regimented in keeping his various personae separate that Megan, who is a total fish out of water in the WASP-y upper class world and who has no boundaries is going to be the worst at that.

Also, I kinda feel like Megan's actions are a bit age appropriate. She's not childish, she's literally quite young.
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 AM on April 23, 2012


Yeah, that's my feeling too. Their fights feel distinctively like "college fights" to me.

Maybe because the last time I screamed at a significant other while he drove his car off without me, I was nineteen, though.

God, I'm glad I'm not anymore.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:51 AM on April 23, 2012


Yeah Megan is acting like ...well me in college A LOT.

I mean I never put on a slinky dress and sang in French* at a party but still.

it was german
posted by The Whelk at 8:55 AM on April 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh man you could right a NOVELLA on the expressions Jane's post-trip face. "It will be expensive...." oh man, she can't handle the truth.

Can we talk about the chandeliers hanging off her ears? I know Jane is a very avant guarde fashion plate but she seems to have falling into a paisley pit of like, British Domestic Psychedelia. I like Dick Bograde was going to show up at any moment and sexually torment Rodger.
posted by The Whelk at 9:04 AM on April 23, 2012


felt like*

I'm typing too fast for the elderly keyboard. :(
posted by The Whelk at 9:07 AM on April 23, 2012


Also you misspelled Bogarde and Roger. Are you also tripping balls?
posted by Edison Carter at 9:08 AM on April 23, 2012


I'm high on narrative.
posted by The Whelk at 9:09 AM on April 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


God, I loved her look at that dinner party. That whole scene was SPOT ON. My older sister had earrings like that - 1966 or 67, with an up do.
posted by readery at 9:09 AM on April 23, 2012


this is amusing in retrospect.
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some peeps on the Mad Men reddit are talking about how Don just switched one childish model for another. But I don't really think I'd characterize Megan as childish.

Neither would I. If anything, it seems like the Don-Megan relationship is part of the overall "the times, they are a changing" theme of the current season. Don may have rejected Dr. Faye in favor of Megan thinking an upgraded model of Betty was preferable to an equal, but Megan is turning out not to be the shrinking violet Don may have imagined her to be.

Don seemed to completely not understand why Megan would resist the perks of being the boss' wife (being able to drop work and take off on a mini-vacation on a whim) in favor of staying in the trenches with her work team. What he thought he was being sold in Megan (an attractive admirer) is entirely different that what he bought (a modern woman who demands respect and to be taken seriously professionally).

Also, really have to tip my hat to the Mad Men creative staff for the Roger storyline. I can't be the only one who cringed a little when I saw they were going to do an LSD plot, thinking they were just going through the "Obligatory 1960's Counter-Culture Plot Points" checklist. I've seen enough terrible "person has a bad drug trip" TV episodes to be skeptical. The surprising approach of having Roger's drug trip give him a moment of absolute clarity was beautiful and moving to behold.

Perhaps some time will need to pass before I can judge this episode appropriately, but watching it last night, it definitely felt like one of the best episodes of television I've ever watched, period.
posted by The Gooch at 11:51 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the internet "Clearly that guy in the theater was a young Barry Levinson, and Peggy Olson inspired Diner's most famous scene."
posted by The Whelk at 12:05 PM on April 23, 2012


also, the whole scene is a callback to the Don and Lane outing to the movies: "Handjobs!" "Really, what percentage you think?"
posted by The Whelk at 12:07 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also from the internet:

Bert Cooper's Day:

Arrive at office 10 a.m.
Coffee and Paper to 10 a.m. -11 a.m.
Roams Office. Wastes Secretary/ Receptionist time talking about Asian culture.
Think about what he wants for lunch 11:30-12:00
Lunch at midtown WASP Club 12:00 - 2:00 (Rain Making)
Finds empty office to nap in. 2:00 -3:00
Tells employee/partner of the day to stop being a douche bag 3:00 - 3:15
Afternoon snack 3:15 - 3:30
Leaves work attends Salon at Ayn Rand's Apartment. Enjoys himself except that punk kid Greenspan always wants to play his clarinet.

posted by The Whelk at 12:12 PM on April 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


Also, notice how Bert genuinely approves of Peggy going to the movies (his face goes from scowling to lighting up) which is a callback to when we find out Bert approved of (and probably encouraged) Don's going to the movies.
posted by mikepop at 12:14 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


He needs somewhere on that schedule for sit in empty conference room, where a meeting may or may not coalesce around him. Perhaps on alternating Tuesdays.
posted by mikepop at 12:16 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bert is the irritation at the core of the pearl that is SCDP
posted by The Whelk at 12:21 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think he admired Peggy's gumption and initiative, a la Ayn Rand: self-interest. notice Peggy didn't seem unsure or reticent -- she was pissed and damn well determined to go to the movies. Bert knew he couldn't stop her and had no desire to.
posted by Edison Carter at 12:28 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


But, also feeding into Peggy is 1960!Don, except she can't really get away with the shit Don did because she's a woman, I'm sure Bert was just fine with her going to the movies - more ammunition for his meeting with Don later and lambasting him for leaving the little girl in charge.
posted by crossoverman at 2:38 PM on April 23, 2012


Or he was just mentally checked out when Peggy told him. He served as a way to tell us she was leaving in the middle of the day. I think Bert is just like furniture most of the time, except when he decides to act like an old lion and take a swipe at someone.
posted by readery at 2:57 PM on April 23, 2012


Said above aout Rodget going hippie ...I can kind of see it. He's still basically a teenager, I can just see it happening, not all the way but hanging out with younger and younger crowds and trying all the drugs and girls.
posted by The Whelk at 3:34 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


And yeah Sally going hippie never made any sense to me, she'll be what, fourteen when Woodstock happens? She's the right age to hit the last days of disco or something.

But as the AV talk podcast pointed out, she's a character where almost any plot line would work, any result would feel appropriate. Sally is interesting cause she could still literally go anywhere with her characterization.
posted by The Whelk at 5:16 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


And yeah Sally going hippie never made any sense to me, she'll be what, fourteen when Woodstock happens? She's the right age to hit the last days of disco or something.

I agree! I don't understand why everyone's expecting Sally to be a hippie. I don't even think it would be that interesting plot-wise. It's kind of cliche. The first thing most people who didn't live through that period think of when they think of that time is hippies. It's too expected.

I know Sally's having a frustrating childhood but to see her get all crystals and handwavey and peace signs would be too annoying. Plus she's too young.
posted by sweetkid at 8:32 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can we also talk about how awful and clammy and sweaty Don looked this episode even before he mislaid Megan? I thought he might be having a heart attack on screen and I have rarely wanted to take away a character's cigarettes so badly.

So much emphasis on drinking and smoking in the opening scenes that I asked, "What is this, the altered states episode?" Yes! Also, that's apparently Don clean of booze, while Peggy and Roger were on more serious substances than usual.

(I also sort-of think that if Megan didn't want Don to be on the same room with her, she could have gone NOT to their apartment. She was halfway to Montreal! She knows people on New York! I'm not sure whether or not to "read" her behavior as genuine or as more playing , wittingly or un-, of Don.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:26 PM on April 23, 2012


I want Sally to spend the late 70s in Copenhagen.
posted by PinkMoose at 1:04 AM on April 24, 2012


Any idea why Don would be obsessed with orange sherbert.
posted by drezdn at 7:01 AM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Have you had one? They're delicious!
posted by Edison Carter at 7:17 AM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's sunshine and orange trees, fresh flowers, etc. as ice cream - reminiscent of California, where he is happiest.
posted by flex at 7:26 AM on April 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, violets and oranges. Complementary colors.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:15 AM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I liked how lurid and sinister the HoJo looked with the big burned out oranges and sickly teals.
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 AM on April 24, 2012


That's how they all looked once upon a time.
posted by Edison Carter at 9:26 AM on April 24, 2012


well yeah but they really overcharged the lighting and colors.

So when I saw Peggy's eyeshadow I thought for a brief second "Maybe I should be less hard on Peggy's outfits, maybe she's colorblind" but it fits in, like with the party dress in episode one, of how you can just see her pulling out clothes from the racks going I'M FUN I'M A FUN PERSON I'M GOING TO DRESS UP SO EVERYONE CAN SEE HOW MUCH FUN I AM and it's always always awful cause she is not fun, she is Peggy Olson.
posted by The Whelk at 9:30 AM on April 24, 2012


You watch your filthy mouth.
posted by Edison Carter at 9:33 AM on April 24, 2012


Peggy is many things but relaxed and carefree is not any of them.
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 AM on April 24, 2012


Her name is Peggy Olsen and she is in a good place right now.
posted by Edison Carter at 10:07 AM on April 24, 2012


now imagine Season one Peggy looking in on what Peggy is up to in the last episode.
posted by The Whelk at 10:10 AM on April 24, 2012


I feel like she would just watch with her rabbit eyes.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:26 AM on April 24, 2012


munching idly on nearby lettuce
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 AM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


She'd be frightened by New Peggy. As well she should.
posted by Edison Carter at 11:10 AM on April 24, 2012


PS There is a kid somewhere.
posted by Artw at 11:10 AM on April 24, 2012


New Peggy is gonna punch someone.
posted by The Whelk at 11:11 AM on April 24, 2012


New Peggy is going to meet her child and eat it.
posted by Edison Carter at 11:12 AM on April 24, 2012


New Peggy will unleash ZUUL
posted by The Whelk at 11:13 AM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


That kid is going to turn six soon. Six!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:16 AM on April 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Fear the Peggete child!
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on April 24, 2012


Carrying Pete and Peggy genetics that kid is probably the god emperor of day-care
posted by The Whelk at 11:48 AM on April 24, 2012


Big eyes, big ears, and unstoppable thirst for BLOOD.
posted by Edison Carter at 12:07 PM on April 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm seeing more of a frankenstein's monster thing.
posted by The Whelk at 12:32 PM on April 24, 2012


Pete-ggy vs Sally Draper. IT'S ON.
posted by Edison Carter at 12:41 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


INEVITABLE UNBRIDLED PASSION
posted by The Whelk at 12:44 PM on April 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


THE INEVITABLE SUDDEN BETRAYAL
posted by Edison Carter at 12:47 PM on April 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


HOW CAN THEY RECONCILE THEIR PASSION WITH THEIR JOBS AS RIVAL 80s ERA ADVERTISING MEN?!
posted by The Whelk at 12:57 PM on April 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


HOW CAN THEY RESIST ALL-YOU-CAN EAT SHRIMP COCKTAILS?!
posted by Edison Carter at 1:17 PM on April 24, 2012


Madder Men keeps teasing us with having Jon Hamm return as Sally's father but then they kill him of a heart attack in L.A off camera.
posted by The Whelk at 1:21 PM on April 24, 2012


Draper is definitely dying of a heart attack. Definitely.
posted by sweetkid at 1:37 PM on April 24, 2012


It's all the fever dream of a sick Pete-ggy.
posted by Edison Carter at 1:45 PM on April 24, 2012


Sally attends Don's funeral and meets Robert Crane with his dad, a rising power agent in Hollywood sporting a shaved head, lush porno stash and probably at least 18 year old actor with blond feathered hair on his arm. Meanwhile, Richard Weiss is trying to find his adoption papers to rack down his birth mother only to find out it's Mrs. Margaret Olson-Abrams, the most powerful woman in advertising and his boss.
posted by The Whelk at 2:13 PM on April 24, 2012


That should be Ms. there actually.
posted by The Whelk at 2:14 PM on April 24, 2012


Pete-ggy: "in five years we'll all either be working for him... or be dead by his hand"
posted by drezdn at 2:18 PM on April 24, 2012


Of course Ms. Olson-Abrams is bored in her marriage and has picked out the young Mr. Weiss as potential something on the side not knowing he's her son turning the whole thing into an Oedipal nightmare.
posted by The Whelk at 2:23 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is getting darker by the minute.
posted by Edison Carter at 2:24 PM on April 24, 2012


I haven't even gotten to the rampant coke addiction or Sally's enthusiasm for Regan.
posted by The Whelk at 2:29 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Regan? OR REAGAN?
posted by Edison Carter at 3:34 PM on April 24, 2012


If only she had a sister.
posted by sweetkid at 3:43 PM on April 24, 2012


Oh, dreamy Don Regan.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:33 PM on April 24, 2012


Regan.
posted by crossoverman at 10:37 PM on April 24, 2012


Wait until Bert and Ayn Rand are caught canoodling in his office.

OH IT'LL HAPPEN
posted by Edison Carter at 6:21 AM on April 25, 2012


"Take off your shoes, please!"

"I take off what I want when I choose!"
posted by Edison Carter at 6:22 AM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mad Style: Far Away Places is up!
posted by flex at 7:26 AM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I thought Ms. Rand was only interested in younger men...
posted by stratastar at 10:30 AM on April 25, 2012


Huh, I didn't like the episode that much. Roger's trip was well done, and Jane was a treat, but the Don/Peggy story lines were pretty blech.

Mad Style: Far Away Places is up!

As always, the production/costume design is nigh impeccable. I don't care as much as some about all that, but it is impressive and a darn good reason to watch in and of itself.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:06 AM on April 25, 2012


And that note about Megan's clothes in the flashback is a great observation.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:08 AM on April 25, 2012


Its an amazing observation: the show uses costuming to relate Don's unreliable memories, his expectations of her for him in his life, and her expectations for herself in life. Amazing.
posted by stratastar at 11:40 AM on April 25, 2012


Between Peggy's handjob in this last ep and the implied cunnilingus in the second season (Don and Bobbie Barrett), this is show is filthy.
posted by Edison Carter at 11:44 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hurrah!
posted by Artw at 11:45 AM on April 25, 2012


Amazing

Yeah, I think that really was the best scene of the show (aside from maybe Ted Baxter in the hair dye ad). I kept thinking "did this happen? is this a memory or a dream? is Don gonna crash his car again?"

All based on a wardrobe change. I've seen that effect done before in movies (a repeated scene shown differently to imply the character's memory is off or that her perception is different than the earlier POV) but possibly never so well done.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:45 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


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