Join 3,416 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Madness is genius
April 9, 2014 7:02 AM   Subscribe

The final season of Mad Men (which will take place over two half seasons, a la Breaking Bad) begins airing this Sunday.

Madness is Genius

(Fake) Spoiler Alert

Everything We Know About Mad Men Season 7 (Those preview shots don’t mean anything.)

Q&A – Milton Glaser (Designer of Mad Men‘s Season 7 Key Art)
posted by roomthreeseventeen (569 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
...AMC’s decision to air Season 7 in two halves, one in 2014 and one in 2015...we won’t get to see how the Ballad of Don Draper ends until June 2015.

That's ridiculous. I can see doing one half in the spring, and the other half in the fall, but one half now and the other half all the way in June 2015? This first half had better be goddamned fantastic.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:12 AM on April 9 [6 favorites]


It will shock you how much those preview shots don't mean anything.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:14 AM on April 9 [30 favorites]


I'm hoping the first episode begins with a black and white shot of Sally Draper buying a machine gun out of some guy's trunk.
posted by bondcliff at 7:15 AM on April 9 [54 favorites]


It isn't one season in any sense except contractual. In every other sense, it's two short seasons instead of one full one. This madness is for lawyers only; for everybody else, it's two short seasons.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 7:17 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


oh god I just remembered I don't have cable anymore. this is a huge tragedy.
posted by desjardins at 7:18 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


I keep meaning to watch this show. I tried the pilot once upon a time but felt like I'd been beaten about the head and neck with a stick marked THINGS WERE VERY DIFFERENT BACK THEN.

Fine people here and elsewhere have told me I'm missing out, so it's on my list. I have until next summer then to catch up, I guess. I look forward to seeing the thing then retroactively seeing what MeFi has to say about it.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:25 AM on April 9 [2 favorites]


They posited that they're splitting the season for artistic purposes but the cynical among us (ie. me) thinks it's purely business.
posted by girlmightlive at 7:26 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


AMC’s impending shortage of critically acclaimed series (from the "Everything we know" link)

I think that's it right there ...
posted by jbickers at 7:27 AM on April 9


Fine people here and elsewhere have told me I'm missing out, so it's on my list. I have until next summer then to catch up, I guess.

I believe the first (six?) seasons are on Netflix, and I actually think the show lends itself to watching it in binges. That is, if you can stomach all the soul-crushing depression at once.
posted by likeatoaster at 7:30 AM on April 9 [2 favorites]


I've re-watched season six over the past week, so I am primed and ready for season seven.

Or half of it, anyway. I'm really pissed off about this. This is pointless audience manipulation in some desperate attempt to boost ratings and nothing else.
posted by orange swan at 7:36 AM on April 9


At what point does a split season just become two seasons? Is it a contractual thing with Weiner and the actors?
posted by mullacc at 7:36 AM on April 9


Yeah, yeah, two seasons. Sucks.

MAD MEN! MAD MEN! MAD MEN!

I love this show so much!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:37 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


This is also my first post-cable season of Mad Men. Do episodes show up on the various download stores the same night, or next day?
posted by hwyengr at 7:37 AM on April 9


likeatoaster: "That is, if you can stomach all the soul-crushing depression at once."

I started watching Mad Men when I was in the middle of a highly painful divorce. This...may not have been optimal timing.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:38 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


In the fake spoilers link, I am a BIG fan of several of the Mad Men characters participating in Stonewall. Yes, please.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:38 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


hwyengr, they are downloable the next "morning" like 8 or 9am. Not early enough for me on the east coast to download to watch at lunch.

I got more immune to the whiteness of the cast until I finally saw Black Mad Men; with a seasonal split and general eh ness about it all I'll just wait till it's on Netflix this time instead of trying to iTunes i.
posted by tilde at 7:40 AM on April 9 [2 favorites]


Madmen is still going? I thought Don Draper would have died of alcoholism two seasons ago.

Anyway, ny prediction for the final: Don Draper reinvents himself Asian and ends up in 1980 as a born-again Christian working at a high level for the Reagan election campaign.
posted by happyroach at 7:41 AM on April 9


On the bleakness scale, is Mad Men closer to Breaking Bad ("I enjoyed that, but it poked at the thorny recesses of my mind and I keep experiencing involuntary shudders") or Hannibal ("That was good but now I have to sit on my back porch shivering for an hour so that I can reenter human life")?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:43 AM on April 9


Don Draper reinvents himself Asian

well that would certainly be an interesting and unforeseen plot twist.
posted by desjardins at 7:47 AM on April 9 [7 favorites]


Don Draper reinvents himself Asian

What year was it that Jane Fonda went to Vietnam? I could see Draper falling for her.
posted by mr. digits at 7:55 AM on April 9


Where Don Draper Ends, D.B. Cooper Begins
There’s always been something in the air with Mad Men, quite literally. From Mohawk to American, North American Aviation, and Ted’s own little two seater, airlines and aviation are about as prevalent on the show as aliases and fake identities. Even when Joan was upset after being served divorce papers from Dr. Harris, it was a model airplane she grabbed and threw at the unassuming receptionist as Don stood in the doorway. Mad Men has been telling us how the story ends from the very beginning. It ends on an airplane.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:58 AM on April 9 [12 favorites]


felt like I'd been beaten about the head and neck with a stick marked THINGS WERE VERY DIFFERENT BACK THEN.

That was actually one of the things I loved about it so much when it started. I didn't feel like it was handled like stick-beating, instead I felt they handled it really well by letting the differences sort of hang in the subtext. Like when Betty yells at Sally for playing with the dry cleaning bag, and for a second you think this is going to be about how plastic bags are dangerous as toys but no, she's yelling because Sally may have dumped the freshly cleaned clothes onto the floor. I loved those moments.

As the seasons have progressed, I feel like they'd relied on that concept less. There's less exploration of the gap between then and now, and instead a focus on the characters in relation to their own time.
posted by dnash at 8:01 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


In the fake spoilers link, I am a BIG fan of several of the Mad Men characters participating in Stonewall. Yes, please.


The Sal Romano Renaissance!

(also a great band name)
posted by entropone at 8:06 AM on April 9


Close the door.
posted by drezdn at 8:07 AM on April 9 [3 favorites]


On the bleakness scale

By that definition, maybe Hannibal? Although I think for me it's more like "this is beautiful but now all I can think about is how everything is pointless and everyone is secretly deeply unhappy."
posted by likeatoaster at 8:08 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


I re-watched the pilot recently and was amazed how well it set up storylines that are still being worked on into season 7. In the pilot, you can see hints that Sal is closeted, that Don is suffering with coming up with ad ideas, and that Pete is an ass.
posted by drezdn at 8:09 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


I keep meaning to watch this show. I tried the pilot once upon a time but felt like I'd been beaten about the head and neck with a stick marked THINGS WERE VERY DIFFERENT BACK THEN."

This was exactly my reaction, too. I stopped watching after two episodes because the heavy-handed "This is the 1950s and everybody smoked indoors and kids didn't wear seat belts and blatant sexism..." was too much to bear.

After the third season I realized I was missing out on some great TV and binge watched until I got caught up. I'm really glad I did.
posted by rocket88 at 8:09 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


Do episodes show up on the various download stores the same night, or next day?

With a few exceptions, I got the email from iTunes saying the new episode was available for download at 12:30AM Pacific time after the show was on TV.
posted by zsazsa at 8:15 AM on April 9


I don't understand the legal aspects of calling it one season -- that's presumably why it's 14 episodes and not 20ish -- but the chance that the decision to air it over two years was about artistic blah blah is approximately zero. You get to sell TWO season passes. You get to sell TWO DVD box sets. You get an extra year of people catching up on Netflix to get even higher ratings in your last year.

I mean, I'll watch it, because I enjoy the show, but no one is falling for the argument that it's a creative choice.
posted by jeather at 8:15 AM on April 9


What?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:22 AM on April 9


Who is even claiming it's a creative choice? Matthew Weiner is on record in interviews saying, "We're obviously doing [the split season] because "Breaking Bad" did it, but Vince did it for totally different reasons. He said, "I can't give you all those episodes at once, I need time off in between. I can give you some now and some later." For us, we're doing them all at once."

Simple as that: they're doing it because it worked out great for Breaking Bad, even though Breaking Bad did it out of necessity and that necessity is completely lacking in Mad Men's case.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:25 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


This is pointless audience manipulation in some desperate attempt to boost ratings and nothing else.

That's an almost perfect description of every television program, ever.

Remember that blue_beetle's law applies here. A television show is a mechanism to deliver your eyeballs to an advertiser's commercials.
posted by rocket88 at 8:33 AM on April 9 [2 favorites]


I tried the pilot once upon a time but felt like I'd been beaten about the head and neck with a stick marked THINGS WERE VERY DIFFERENT BACK THEN."

That's funny, because I credit the show greatly for not doing this in a heavy-handed way at all. There is pretty much one line that's a little much ("it's not like there's a machine that just makes copies of things"), and that was it. I don't really think there is anything in the show that is delivered in an easily digestible form.

People talk about smoking inside and no seatbelts, but those were common into the 1990s. Smoking in bars was legal in Maryland until 2007 or 2008, I think. I'm pretty sure my father only wears a seat belt half the time, and I knew adults who drank beers while driving to work until the mid-90s.

A lot of the things people treat as totally alien are more about their own personal experience than the decades. I certainly cannot relate to the hyper-parenting child-centric family life that the people who are so aghast at Don Draper are coming from.
posted by spaltavian at 8:38 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


Here's Jon Hamm appearing on a dating show in the 90s.
posted by ChuckRamone at 8:40 AM on April 9


Remember that blue_beetle's law applies here. A television show is a mechanism to deliver your eyeballs to an advertiser's commercials.

AMC is paid cable. That law is dumb anyway.
posted by mullacc at 8:42 AM on April 9 [3 favorites]


TIME - MAD MEN THE LAST DAYS

very pretty pictures

Shameless self promotion: The six times Bob Benson tried to seduce his co-workers

posted by The Whelk at 8:43 AM on April 9 [3 favorites]


As much as I don’t care for it, splitting the season seems to be pretty mush SOP for cable dramas these days, so I guess I was expecting it.

I took all the promo pictures with airplanes and taxis and transportation as metaphors for all the different directions the characters’ lives are taking, and how fast things are changing for them. Then again, once you take one Russian Lit class, you start seeing symbols and metaphors everywhere and its hard to stop.

As dyed-in-the-wool a Manhattanite Pete is, and as much as leaving the city in the first place added to his depression, I can’t see going to L.A. as anything but a positive for Pete. A fresh start away from all the Unbearable Baggage of Being Peter Dyckman Campbell is just the thing that can help him if he lets it. But will he be able to stand Ted's perpetual cheer without using that shotgun?

Starting the season in 1969 makes sense, since Weiner originally said he wanted to end the series in 1970.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:46 AM on April 9


The period styles and designs are also major eye candy for me. I WANT DON & MEGAN'S APARTMENT!
posted by dnash at 8:46 AM on April 9 [5 favorites]


I tried the pilot once upon a time but felt like I'd been beaten about the head and neck with a stick marked THINGS WERE VERY DIFFERENT BACK THEN.

They did do some of that in the pilot, in order to set the scene for the network and the audience. They backed WAY off after that.

The period styles and designs are also major eye candy for me. I WANT DON & MEGAN'S APARTMENT!

I love to freezeframe and look for things that were in my grandparents' kitchens. And OH, how I covet Joan's red snowflake pattern Pyrex bakeware!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:50 AM on April 9 [2 favorites]


It isn't one season in any sense except contractual. In every other sense, it's two short seasons instead of one full one. This madness is for lawyers only; for everybody else, it's two short seasons.

And it will cost me two iTunes season passes, just like Breaking Bad did, when my cord-cutting household watches these.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:57 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


The period styles and designs are also major eye candy for me.

Yeah but it is really painful to see nice mid century furniture lumped in with random old junk under the tag of "mad men" on craigslist, ebay, vintage stores, etc.
posted by mullacc at 9:00 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


If you're airing your "final season" in two chunks that will go up in separate calendar years with the large majority of a year separating them, it is not a final season. It is two (very short) seasons. Save the hype for when the actual ending comes around.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:04 AM on April 9



The period styles and designs are also major eye candy for me. I WANT DON & MEGAN'S APARTMENT!

NO YOU DON'T THAT APARTMENT IS MADE OF CHEAP FURNISHING THAT WILL SHOW THEIR AGE IN LIKE FIVE YEARS AND HAVE TO BE REPLACED.

That being said dear GOD is late 60s-early 70s stuff popular now. Every freaking antique store on Mission or Wyeth Ave looks like someone unloaded a dump truck of props from MODESTY BLAISE. Bloomingdales is in on this shit too with the 70s era Adler designs and Hannibal's costumes all look like someone raided the moddest, most paisley acid-green closet in the world. It's different from the mid 60s Mid-century revival that the first season prompted, more European and decadent and 70s, less mini skirt more Jane's huge earrings.

I wonder how much of this comes from the fact that Peru is/was a really trendy tourist spot now?
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


And it will cost me two iTunes season passes, just like Breaking Bad did, when my cord-cutting household watches these.

I have season passes to both The Walking Dead and Doctor Who, both of which split seasons in half, and I only paid for one pass for each.
posted by olinerd at 9:07 AM on April 9


I knew that decor comment would get The Whelk revved up.

That said - I just hate every single bit of the decor and almost all of the fashions on the show. I appreciate people like them, and I admire the show's attention to detail, but they just make me want to heave.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:13 AM on April 9


Yeah but it is really painful to see nice mid century furniture lumped in with random old junk under the tag of "mad men" on craigslist, ebay, vintage stores, etc.

So, so, true. I started searching craigslist for a vintage cabinet years ago (after Mad Men put the idea in my head) and so many people tag things "Eames" which would have made Charles Eames barf.

One time I saw an online sale of vintage kitchen items that included an Anchor glass chip-and-dip set that I recognized from my childhood. On sale for about $50. So I called my mom. "Hey, do you still have that chip-and-dip set? Can I have it if you don't use it?" I've also called dibs on her fondue set.
posted by dnash at 9:14 AM on April 9


I'm excited for the return of Mad Style on Tom and Lorenzo, which is usually every bit as enjoyable as the show itself.

And also excited about Bob Benson.

And all those airplane promos... They are totally trolling the DB Cooper theorists. (of which I am one)
posted by mochapickle at 9:16 AM on April 9 [8 favorites]


It's telling that, (as far as I know) Banana Republic stopped doing Mad Men-inspired styles for the last few seasons. I guess every fashion moment will get a revival at some point, but the early 60s stuff really does seem timeless in a way the latter part of decade is not.

I still don't like the new office.
posted by spaltavian at 9:16 AM on April 9


You really don't want that furniture. It was hell to clean and horribly uncomfortable too. Now you've given me flashbacks to my grandparents "leisure" room. Ugh.
posted by bonehead at 9:17 AM on April 9


I still don't like the new office.

Not great, Bob.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:18 AM on April 9 [6 favorites]


I liked the comment in the other Mad Men thread from long ago that Don and Megan's apartment is great for the time period cause it was made for high-functioning alcoholics, stoned teenagers, pill-popping wives, or really anyone who might pass out at any moment and need a soft horizontal space.
posted by The Whelk at 9:30 AM on April 9 [18 favorites]


With a few exceptions, I got the email from iTunes saying the new episode was available for download at 12:30AM Pacific time after the show was on TV.

Good point; not the primary so I didn't get email. Maybe I'm just lazy then. :P
posted by tilde at 9:35 AM on April 9


That said - I just hate every single bit of the decor and almost all of the fashions on the show. I appreciate people like them, and I admire the show's attention to detail, but they just make me want to heave.

Just wait 20 or 30 years when someone does an early 21st century-based series, and it's a parade of skinny jeans, black plastic eyeglasses, and everyone living in $300,000 tiny homes.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:48 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


We'll be too busy living in our underground shelters to have revival trends.
posted by The Whelk at 9:51 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


It will shock you how much those preview shots don't mean anything.

It always surprises me when people start reading into those like they're stills from an episode or something. They're clearly a sort of fashion editorial, introducing us to the aesthetic of the new season.

Re the split season, I'm a little confused since it's way too late in the game for the traditional reason to split seasons -- the ability to go on a "movie of the week" contract with the unions and pay everyone less. Usually that's not an option for shows that have been on the air a while.

It may be for contractual purposes, or obscure financing reasons, or weird AMC timeslot stuff. Either way, meh.

Re the overall aesthetic of the show -- one thing I find fascinating about Mad Men is that it was clearly planned to have a short run and exist entirely within the Camelot/midcentury aesthetic. But the show has been wildly successful, and now it's the sixties and everything is simultaneously amazing and hideous. And rather than soft-pedal on that, finding the best way to show the characters and settings off, for the most part the garish polyester shag carpet is shoved into our faces.
posted by Sara C. at 10:15 AM on April 9 [3 favorites]


I was happy that Breaking Bad's last season was split in half because, although I understood that ending the show at 5 seasons would prevent any downturn in quality, I was so so so thankful that I got to enjoy the series for another year. BB deserved a drawn out last season.

Mad Men is in no way near the quality of BB and doesn't deserve it's last season to be split. Just finish it already.
posted by LizBoBiz at 10:18 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


I'm much more interested in the number of miniskirts in the preview shots, and the fact that Roger is wearing Beatle boots, than I am in OMG LOOKIT DON IS GETTING OFF A PLANE WHAT DOES IT ALL MEANNNNNN portents.

I mean, guys, Joan Harris and Betty Hofstadter-Draper-Francis are wearing skirts several inches above the knee. Peggy's hemline has shifted by several feet, over the course of the series. Megan looks like she's confused about whether that outfit is a blouse or a dress.

WE HAVE REACHED PEAK MINISKIRT, folks.
posted by Sara C. at 10:18 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


I do like how the show is unafraid to embrace the tackier or uglier fashion/design trends. It would be so easy to have it be a slick, aesthetized modern version of the period tastes but no, sometimes there are outright clunkers and stuff that seems utterly bizarre looking to modern eyes and we're about to enter the period when fashion and decor went OFF THE RAILS and I can't WAIT.
posted by The Whelk at 10:22 AM on April 9 [5 favorites]


I do like how the show is unafraid to embrace the tackier or uglier fashion/design trends.

Yes! Remember when Harry showed up with those sideburns? And Don wore a turtleneck with a jacket to a party? It was this terrible-wonderful-awful-thrilling shock!
posted by mochapickle at 10:25 AM on April 9


Remember every single thing Peggy has ever worn or touched?
posted by Sara C. at 10:28 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


Sara C.: Re the overall aesthetic of the show -- one thing I find fascinating about Mad Men is that it was clearly planned to have a short run and exist entirely within the Camelot/midcentury aesthetic... And rather than soft-pedal on that, finding the best way to show the characters and settings off, for the most part the garish polyester shag carpet is shoved into our faces.

I don't this is clear. It seems there was always a definite story arc that would have include time passing by a lot of Don Draper's world. While I've strongly argued against the show just being "the Decline and Fall of Don Draper" (I doubt the show's ending theme really is as facile as "tell the truth, be yourself"), it certainly can't also be Draper going from strength to strength in his own element. There would have been no need for more than one season.

And, if all the underlying themes of the show (a rising, if incomplete meritocracy, LA matching or eclipsing New York, a changing America) are to be explored at all, the throughline must go to at least 1969. If Don Draper doesn't see the moon landing and somehow feel intensely ambivalent about it, I don't know what the hell Weiner thinks this show is about.
posted by spaltavian at 10:29 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]



Remember every single thing Peggy has ever worn or touched?

the fact that Peggy cannot dress herself is my favorite thing about her.
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 AM on April 9 [11 favorites]


LizBoBiz: Mad Men is in no way near the quality of BB and doesn't deserve it's last season to be split. Just finish it already.

Wow. I really liked Breaking Bad, but if you forced me to compare the two I can't see it coming out the stronger.
posted by spaltavian at 10:32 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


Am I alone in wanting Bob Benson to talented-mr.-ripley Pete?

I watched up to season 3 a few years ago, fell off, and then recently picked it back up and watched from 4 to 6. I'm really impressed with the depths that the writers allowed Don to fall to in S6. When he parrots the one creatives' (beard-o, can't remember his name) speech about moving to California I was even more surprised than Sally walking in on him and the downstairs neighbor. I mean, Don has always been an unfaithful piece of shit, but that's the first time the audience really sees him stealing an idea wholesale (like, line for line, not just taking credit for someone else's work).

That is to say, that I'm not sure how Don's story is going to end up. Everything about the show indicates that it's not going to end well, but part of me thinks that S6 could be the lowest point, and that S7 might involve him redeeming himself a bit. Don is a great character in the way that he realizes a lot of same stuff that the audience realizes about unfairness, inequity and his own emptiness, it's just that after he realizes these things he justifies continuing by saying (maybe rightly) there's not much he can do about it. Instead he piles on another layer of regular-human-suit and vainly continues to search for fulfillment in the wrong places.

The larger overall arc of the show, for many characters, seems to be about the changing conception of identity, especially for women. Don is literally a self-made man, but the identity that he chooses isn't satisfying. Ironically he's a man who's in the business of selling identity to others through advertising. We follow our characters from the modernity of pre-war America, to the post-modernity of emerging global capitalism, and there are both good parts to this (greater autonomy for women) and bad parts to it (the emptiness of consumerism).
posted by codacorolla at 10:33 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


I want it ON RECORD that I called The Talented Mr. Benson before anyone else.

I hope he straight up murders someone.
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 AM on April 9 [6 favorites]


all the underlying themes of the show (a rising, if incomplete meritocracy, LA matching or eclipsing New York, a changing America) are to be explored at all, the throughline must go to at least 1969.

I think most of these themes really arose around seasons 3 and 4, when the show was already successful.

I remember being a really big deal when the show was picked up for a second season, and I'm almost positive nobody expected it to be as successful as it has been or run as long as it has. Now that we know the show is a success, it seems obvious that they should do the whole decade of the 60s. But that's not how TV series are developed. The How I Met Your Mother people didn't think their show would be on nine years. There is no WAY Mad Men was always expected to cover a full decade.
posted by Sara C. at 10:38 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]



the fact that Peggy cannot dress herself is my favorite thing about her.


Also cannot pick a man. Cannot.

Like a coworker said to me the other day (because I didn't want to dodge traffic to keep up with a bunch of six foot guys on the way to after work drinks, and so got there a full three minutes after them)

"There are many things that impress me about you, sweetkid, but that was not one of them."

Likewise Peggy, there are many things that impress me about you, but clothes and choice of men are not among them.
posted by sweetkid at 10:38 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


Since nearly all of my non Bob predictions are false I shouldn't say anything but I think Stan has a speed problem
posted by The Whelk at 10:42 AM on April 9


Re the split season, I'm a little confused since it's way too late in the game for the traditional reason to split seasons -- the ability to go on a "movie of the week" contract with the unions and pay everyone less. Usually that's not an option for shows that have been on the air a while.

I think it's more that it gives AMC leverage in negotiating contracts with providers (and keeps providers happy by Discouraging cancelled service) than anything else.
posted by graphnerd at 10:43 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


codacorolla: "the one creatives' (beard-o, can't remember his name) "

Stan. Seeing that beard for the first time was a season highlight for me.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:43 AM on April 9 [2 favorites]


When he parrots the one creatives' (beard-o, can't remember his name) speech about moving to California I was even more surprised than Sally walking in on him and the downstairs neighbor. I mean, Don has always been an unfaithful piece of shit, but that's the first time the audience really sees him stealing an idea wholesale (like, line for line, not just taking credit for someone else's work).

Stan.

But he's doing all sorts of sneaky things to keep himself afloat. Season 5, he leaves Ginsburg's Sno-Cone concepts in the cab so he can float his own idea.

I want it ON RECORD that I called The Talented Mr. Benson before anyone else. I hope he straight up murders someone.

I have the feeling (and slash-fiction!) that he already has? Seriously, he's my favorite thing to come out of Mad Men all last season. I love how Pete responds to him and his relationship with Joan.

But I have no idea how this whole Mad Men story is going to end. I want it to end with Peggy getting the last scene and the last word.
posted by mochapickle at 10:44 AM on April 9


Ha! Damn you, Chrysostom.
posted by mochapickle at 10:44 AM on April 9



Stan. Seeing that beard for the first time was a season highlight for me.


men with naturally strong jawlines shouldn't hide them behind beards I AM LOOKING AT YOU MR. EVANS

I totally wrote up Bob's scandalous backstory cause, I have problems

posted by The Whelk at 10:47 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


codacorolla: but that's the first time the audience really sees him stealing an idea wholesale

But wasn't stealing an idea there, he was thinking about stealing another identity, another way to be. And the whole show is premised on him doing that. We've also seen him about to pull the trigger with Rachel in the first season and who knows what he was considering out in California with Joy in Season Two.

Don learned how to be a survivor growing up and he after Korea, he seems deadset on never being trapped again. When he's desperate, he's willing to go to lengths that are others aren't, because he already believes everything could blow up in second anyway; just look at what he saw happen to his dad, and the real Don Draper.

The "let's go to California thing" had one big difference from Korea or Rachel, though. He wanted to go with Megan. That's the first time he considered running with someone. It was, at least in part, a reset to save his marriage, not escape it. I know it was pretty much played off as the Don's lowest, and must sharemful moment, and it was certainly desparate and unrealisitc. But I think it shows that, unlike Betty, he doesn't just see Megan as an accoutrement of his current lifestyle.
posted by spaltavian at 10:56 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


Now begins my renewed search to find a bar or restaurant in Austin that will let me camp out every Sunday night and watch their teevee. I can't wait for the Amazon Instant release on Monday and risk being spoiled. It's almost worth signing up for cable for two months. Almost.

If any of y'all have any suggestions, hit me up via MeMail. The Alamo Drafthouse and Violet Crown don't show TV shows anymore. The Tigress on North Loop shows it, but don't do food service and I don't have Don Draper's iron liver to be able to sit and drink for an hour plus without something to snack on. Austin Java showed it last year, but they close at 9 on Sundays and it's sort of awkward to sit there watching TV while the staff are mopping up around you.
posted by donajo at 11:06 AM on April 9


Speaking of low, desperate, and unrealistic, does anybody see parallels between Don's recent "YES PLEASE I GO TO CALIFORNIA NOW" behavior and the time that Duck called up Peggy and claimed he was opening his own shop and wanted her as creative director?
posted by Sara C. at 11:07 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


Donajo, if it makes you feel better, while I will be watching on Sunday nights sometimes, it looks like for the season premiere I probably won't get to see it until Tuesday or Wednesday, for reasons of actually having a life. Want to make a date for chatty thread domination around then?
posted by Sara C. at 11:09 AM on April 9


I want it to end with Peggy getting the last scene and the last word.

That would be absolute perfection.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:10 AM on April 9 [4 favorites]


mochapickle: "Ha! Damn you, Chrysostom."

I get that a lot.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:13 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


So do I, which is weird because that's not my name.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:14 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


Ugh another split? I know the ratings don't show it but the huge break between S4 and S5 really hurt our interest in the show. We'll still watch it though.

I could really use a Season 6 wrap up/cliffs notes version. Show me the highlights in 15-30 minutes in video.
posted by Big_B at 11:17 AM on April 9


And so begins the season of me endlessly refreshing this thread.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:28 AM on April 9 [6 favorites]


the fact that Peggy cannot dress herself is my favorite thing about her.

I just recently rewatched the finale of Season 6 and couldn't help but think that "sexy" outfit she wears (ctrl-F "BAM" - for whatever reason, I can't link right to the image) is CRAAAAZY inappropriate for the office.

But I think it shows that, unlike Betty, he doesn't just see Megan as an accoutrement of his current lifestyle.

Yes! I know this was an unpopular opinion in Season 5 (when I saw displeased references to The Megan Draper Show) but I really was struck by what a good partner she was for him and how they seemed to have a much more equal relationship than would have been expected from their, uh, courtship. I do just love her as a character.
posted by psoas at 11:53 AM on April 9 [2 favorites]


I've just recently watched it. From memory: Those are the main plot beats I can think of, though there are probably some I'm missing.
posted by codacorolla at 11:56 AM on April 9 [13 favorites]


Sara C, I'm sure I'll find a place to watch the premiere, at least, but maybe later in the season we should have a later in the week live watch/chat.
posted by donajo at 11:57 AM on April 9 [2 favorites]


codacorolla, I think by "Bob Crane" you mean Harry?
posted by psoas at 12:03 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


"The final shot of the season is her in Don's office."

Wearing pants.
posted by dnash at 12:04 PM on April 9 [13 favorites]


"Bob Crane." Talk about your Freudian slips.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:09 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


Haha, yeah, I meant Harry. I feel like that's an appropriate oversight to make with his character.
posted by codacorolla at 12:10 PM on April 9


Anyone who says they're not splitting the show into two 'half seasons' because they want two shots at the Emmys is a lying liar who lies.
posted by lovecrafty at 12:26 PM on April 9 [6 favorites]


Wow. I really liked Breaking Bad, but if you forced me to compare the two I can't see it coming out the stronger.

I guess its really a matter of opinion and in a MM thread I shouldn't expect BB to come out on top. (But it should and you are totally wrong!)
posted by LizBoBiz at 12:27 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


Pete holds off on firing Benson, since he represents a valuable pawn for Pete. I doubt that this will backfire at all.

It's backfired already. Bob sets up Pete at Chevy, knowing that Pete can't drive a stick, resulting in Pete wrecking a sports car in the Chevy lobby and being thrown off the account.
posted by donajo at 12:30 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


Nice summary, codacorolla. One more detail: Megan had a miscarriage and she and Don had a conversation about it where it was unclear whether they were both saying they wanted kids or whether Megan was saying she didn't and misunderstanding Don saying he did.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:09 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


Loved that summary! Rewatching S6E1 now...

I hope they do something with that terrifying balcony at the Drapers' apartment in S7. There seems to be so much uncomfortable focus -- for a while, I was taking it as a metaphor for how precarious Don's and Megan's relationship is. But every time they show it, it's like this looming precipice.
posted by mochapickle at 1:12 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


But every time they show it, it's like this looming precipice.

Doesn't everything in the show represent a looming precipice?
posted by Bromius at 1:13 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


Also, Ken Cosgrove turns into Fred Astaire when he's on speed.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:14 PM on April 9 [11 favorites]


"Do you feel a sense of ominous foreboding?"

"Oh god do you ever NOT?"
posted by The Whelk at 1:14 PM on April 9 [5 favorites]


Doesn't everything in the show represent a looming precipice?

Well, sure: Pete's hairline for starters!

But really, someone ougghta fall off that balcony.
posted by mochapickle at 1:15 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


It's gotten to the point that if the offices aren't literally caked in blood by the end I will be dissapointed.
posted by The Whelk at 1:17 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


They're going to need a fleet of lawn mowers.
posted by codacorolla at 1:20 PM on April 9 [4 favorites]


...And Peggy stands over them, wide stance, applying a matching shade of Belle Jolie. Mark your man & take it, break it, indeed. She laughs, turns, and walks out of the office. Fade to black.
posted by mochapickle at 1:21 PM on April 9 [5 favorites]


I AM PEGGY OLSON DESTROYER OF WORLDS
posted by The Whelk at 1:24 PM on April 9 [11 favorites]


...AND I WANT TO SMOKE SOME MARIJUANA.
posted by mochapickle at 1:29 PM on April 9 [15 favorites]


I'd like to see a brief montage of the lives of the children with Larkin's "This Be The Verse" running in back.
posted by mr. digits at 1:34 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


But how did Bob Benson get imbued with the Power Cosmic?
posted by Bromius at 1:35 PM on April 9


Prediction: the series ends with the formation of the Olson-Harris agency. Peggy is shown coming up with the famous "Because I'm Worth It" campaign for L'Oreal.
posted by lovecrafty at 1:35 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


The Whelk: "It's gotten to the point that if the offices aren't literally caked in blood by the end I will be dissapointed."

The Red Meeting.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:39 PM on April 9 [17 favorites]


Olson Harris Benson Crane?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:52 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


A Mad Men thread! This is great. Thanks r317!
posted by iamkimiam at 2:07 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


I remembered not liking the last season and being bored by it.

I remembered wrong. Bob Benson 4-Eva.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:36 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


I bought a Blue blazer cause of that guy.
posted by The Whelk at 2:38 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


Mad men has always been about sexism induced loneliness to me. No one in the show has true friends they can share their lives with. Working relationships are about drinking and winning and talking about girls and none of the men take their wives seriously as a partner, so home is just another place where they are alone. Don's lovers are the most intimate relationships he has but they are fleeting, not something to build a life on. The exception that proves the rule is Don and Peggy—theirs is, at times at least, a true friendship.
posted by macrael at 2:39 PM on April 9 [7 favorites]


The glazer-designed poster is very uh, evocative of the time. It's not my thing but it screams the era .I can almost feel the raised felt.
posted by The Whelk at 2:41 PM on April 9


Remember that blue_beetle's law applies here. A television show is a mechanism to deliver your eyeballs to an advertiser's commercials.
posted by rocket88 at 8:33 AM on April 9 [1 favorite +] [!]


Harry Crane could not have said it better.

Zubie-zoo, y'all!
posted by 4ster at 3:03 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


That's probably zu bisou. Bisou is French for 'kiss.'
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:11 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


Can't wait for Peggy's Thermos to make its next appearance. Also, the freaking zubie-zoo song keeps making its way into my head. I guess it's Mad Men season.
posted by mynameisluka at 3:39 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


I kind Of want the final image to be Peggy throwing out her thermos or something. Just a complete break with the past.
posted by The Whelk at 3:41 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


So I'm wondering if they will end the first half of the season with The Crazy Episode That Leaves Us Feeling A Certain WTF-ness or if they'll save it for the second half of the season.
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:50 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


Also: PEGGY PANTS
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:51 PM on April 9


Trying again: it's Zou Bisou Bisou, not zubie-zoo.

Here
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:55 PM on April 9


Exactly. Zubie-zoo.
posted by mochapickle at 3:55 PM on April 9 [18 favorites]


ffs
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:56 PM on April 9


Mad men has always been about sexism induced loneliness to me. No one in the show has true friends they can share their lives with. Working relationships are about drinking and winning and talking about girls and none of the men take their wives seriously as a partner, so home is just another place where they are alone. Don's lovers are the most intimate relationships he has but they are fleeting, not something to build a life on. The exception that proves the rule is Don and Peggy—theirs is, at times at least, a true friendship.

This is a terribly good point.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:43 PM on April 9 [4 favorites]


Let us all watch Don Draper bowl.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:32 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


Long live the Mad Men threads!

Team Pizza House represent.
posted by rewil at 6:40 PM on April 9 [7 favorites]


The exception that proves the rule is Don and Peggy—theirs is, at times at least, a true friendship.

Yes, I really hope that whatever comeuppances Don has in store, his relationship with Peggy can be repaired. Each of them owes so much to the other, and they get each other on a deep level, and there's a lot of mutual respect though Don's asshole enough to have burned through a lot of it.

The scene in which he begs Peggy to go with him to the new agency is one of my favorites in the whole show. Doesn't hurt that it was part of the "caper" episode, probably the most fun in the series.

However, macrael, I might take issue with your blanket assessment of marriages on the show. I think that Betty and Henry have a solid relationship, though she is still mainly decorative career-wise (his career that is). Pete and Trudy had a fabulous partnership (for the time) until Pete blew it up through his own insecurities. And the finale suggested that their relationship still retains some affection and respect.

[Though--I think I may be alone in seeing major sexual tension between Pete & Bob, which I kind of hope comes to something. Wishful thinking, no doubt. Maybe The Whelk could write the fanfic?]
posted by torticat at 7:16 PM on April 9


Pete and Bob are totally in for a Dick Brograde The Servant kinda ..thing. Like I just assume Bob saw a rich, isolated, prissy guy in Manhattan with a distant wife and thought SUGAR DADDY DING DING DING. Sex or no those two have the potential to go into some REALLY FUCKING WEIRD power dynamic stuff. Pete's got the money, Bob's got the social capital and ability, the two of them could fight forever.

In short, Pete has no idea the kind of viper he's dealing with and I hope it ends up with his bank account emptied.
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 PM on April 9


(Pete's whole thing is that he's usually right about things but for all the wrong reasons, and he's unable to see past his privilege and his terminal lack of social skills. He's unpleasant and curdled and resentful. He is the perfect target.)
posted by The Whelk at 8:14 PM on April 9 [6 favorites]


I probably won't get to see it until Tuesday or Wednesday, for reasons of actually having a life.

Heyy.

Everyone who doesn't have a life, see you Sunday night!
posted by sweetkid at 8:17 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


talking about TV is social I totally have a life shutup
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 PM on April 9 [6 favorites]


Season 2, episode 11, "The Jet Set", is the most astonishingly nuanced and stylish
episode of any tv show ever produced. It should be inscribed on the next solid gold
Voyager laser disk. Every discussion I read revolves around how flawed Don Draper is,
but people keep passing over the hero part of flawed hero. Lotus eating isn't for him, or us.

(totally team Mad Men here. "Breaking Bad" had some fun twists and imagery, but way, way
too much Skyler-Marie-Jesse bloat.)


These are the opinions of a man first plunked down in front of a tv during the Kefauver
hearings and essentially, except for bathroom breaks, is still watching.
posted by Chitownfats at 8:24 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


Guys, I'm double booked on Sunday! I mostly have no life at all I swear.

(Also let's keep in mind that one of those engagements is to recap Game Of Thrones for a Canadian geek website, and the other engagement is to watch my boyfriend do sketch comedy. It's not much of a life.)
posted by Sara C. at 8:30 PM on April 9


Mad Men is in no way near the quality of BB and doesn't deserve it's last season to be split. Just finish it already.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHA. No.
posted by crossoverman at 8:43 PM on April 9 [10 favorites]


It's OK Sara C it's not like you're trying to convince us zooby zoo is really French or Breaking Bad is better like a Mad Men thread noob.

Everyone knows this thread will just be all PEGGY NO in a few days.

*God willing. Please don't let Peggy make a good decision.*
posted by sweetkid at 8:45 PM on April 9 [4 favorites]


Peggy will NEVER make a good decision.

That's like all she does.

I love her for it.
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 PM on April 9 [4 favorites]


(Cause Peggy is really smart and focused and still somehow thinks if you just work hard enough things will work out.)
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


Totally. Also she is interesting because she *has* the opportunity to make decisions, unlike many women on this show, and yet she consistently makes the most godawful ones.

LOVE. HER.
posted by sweetkid at 8:50 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


Wait a minute. Is there a whole rivalry between Breaking Bad fans and Mad Men fans? Are there outfits? Is there gonna be a rumble?
posted by lovecrafty at 8:56 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


I don't even care if Breaking Bad is better, I just think it's out of place in these threads. It's like they're both alliteratively titled AMC shows so GO! COMPARISONS!
posted by sweetkid at 8:59 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


Not only are there outfits, ours are obviously better.
posted by Sara C. at 9:03 PM on April 9 [4 favorites]



Pete's whole thing is that he's usually right about things but for all the wrong reasons


I agree with this but I think this is what makes him so sympathetically human. I don't understand why people seem to want the show to punish him for it.
posted by sweetkid at 9:07 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


I agree with this but I think this is what makes him so sympathetically human. I don't understand why people seem to want the show to punish him for it.

I do have sympathy for him at times. But that whole business with the neighbor's au pair and then the utter sleaze of the thing with Joan and the Jaguar dealer makes any sympathy I feel towards him fleeting.
posted by lovecrafty at 9:18 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


the utter sleaze of the thing with Joan and the Jaguar dealer

Yeah. But Joan's got Avon--actually by now she probably has several accounts--so all's well that ends well!

No really... "utter sleaze" doesn't even do justice to Pete's role in that whole thing. Although the manipulation he pulled off was pretty masterful, something you can't always say about Pete.
posted by torticat at 9:28 PM on April 9


I have sympathy for Pete cause he's so pathetic, he's stuck on this idea of himself that he can never reach and it leads him to do awful fucking things even when he's actually right (and worse when he's not). Pete is an idol of impotence, frustrated rage and simmering resentment, he's wrong but he'll NEVER REALIZE WHY. He's tragic AND awful, at best comic at worst a monster of class and power. Even among all the un-ware characters, he is the least self-aware, the least reflective.

Pete is a toddler.
posted by The Whelk at 9:31 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


I think my sympathy for Pete comes completely from how lonely he seems. If that loneliness is warranted is left up to the watcher (cause god he can be FUCKING AWFUL) but I think it's this vulnerability Bob is hooking into and he's not smart enough to see it happening.
posted by The Whelk at 9:34 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


I think we agree largely on Pete, Whelk, your comment just made me think about people who think Pete's arc is all about HE HAD IT COMING but Pete's not a villain, he's a person, and life things happen to him like they happen to other people. The show doesn't have a sense of justice like that.

I don't always have sympathy for Pete, but I root for him. I think he does and says a lot of things people think but don't voice.

To me the central comment on his character is what he said to Trudy when he had to share Accounts with Ken:

Why does it always have to be like this? Why can't I get anything good all at once?

If anything, Pete is the one looking for a sense of justice or getting what's fair and right in a universe that is indifferent and an environment that is rapidly changing.

He's misguided in this, but he's not a child.
posted by sweetkid at 9:43 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


Well wanting everything to come in one huge ball of perfect greatness is kind of a childish idea. It's something I've myself rubbed against in my career. WHY CAN'T EVERYTHING BE AWESOME INSTEAD OF STUPID. I think we're on the same page with Pete, he's so frustrated but lacks the tools to figure out why cause he's also so stupidly privileged.
posted by The Whelk at 10:08 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


Which fits into his role in the show of being the Worse Don, he tries to do everything Don does but fails, breaking people and causing horrible things to happen in his wake and in the end it's just WHY ME.

I mean Don does this to but he has a measure of self-awareness and reflection to realize he's being a shitheel even if he can't stop.
posted by The Whelk at 10:10 PM on April 9 [5 favorites]


Los Angeles in the summer of 69?

Charles Manson

My godparents lived on a street off Benedict Canyon.
posted by brujita at 10:16 PM on April 9


Yeah, there was some Sharon Tate imagery associated with Megan last season iirc. Enough that people were speculating on her possibly being murdered.
posted by lovecrafty at 10:21 PM on April 9


"Why We Still Root for Don Draper", Steve Bryant, Esquire, 09 April 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 3:28 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


LizBoBiz: Mad Men is in no way near the quality of BB and doesn't deserve it's last season to be split. Just finish it already.

Openly riding my blinged out hobby horse here... but can this just take a rest? I can't help but feel that people are still in the afterglow of the show ending so reecntly, essentially six months ago. It's a good show, but in a few years it will just be another good show, to go on the shelf alongside the sopranos, six feet under, etc.

And honestly, i think it had it's moments but i'm mostly burned out on the number of people i've heard compare it as a tier above whatever else is currently in the discussion. I realize you may not be directly doing that here, but it still comes off as "Well mad men is pretty cool, but breaking bad errhrrmm bla bla bla ;)". And i really want to be clear that i like it, i'm not like reflexively hating it or anything. I just think it gets oversold pretty damn hard like everywhere as it did for essentially the whole last season, online and off by tons and tons of people.

And with all that said, i hope that this season leaves us with some unresolved story threads, and some questions. If it does an enterprise-style flash forward to the 80s or something i'm going to be so mad. I don't want to know who sally marries, or any kind of bullshit like that. My biggest gripe with the finale of breaking bad and several other recent shows was that the ending felt like they just worked their way down a checklist of what needed to be covered, as if they had been obsessively reading every blog post and fan theory. I agree with AV club that sort of thing works for jokey shows like rick and morty if it's directly poking fun at the fans, but yea.

I guess my point there is that i think the need to have some concise way to tie everything in a bow pretty much the knife stabbing modern storytelling. It's not killing it yet, it's not even really bleeding yet. But it's definitely doubled over in pain.

For as much as some people hate the sopranos ending, tv needs more of that and less of the checklist stuff. Leave something to the imagination.
posted by emptythought at 4:04 AM on April 10 [6 favorites]


the utter sleaze of the thing with Joan and the Jaguar dealer

Pete really was just the messenger there, and this forgets that Joan agreed to it. I think it's kind of an insult to the character to, after five seasons, make her out to be a damsel in distress. She wasn't at the mercy of Pete or Roger. She reluctantly, but purposely, made that decision. And while Don's objection came from a good place, she doesn't need anyone to white knight for her.
posted by spaltavian at 5:42 AM on April 10 [5 favorites]


Enh, I dunno. Pete actions weren't messengering as much as they were coercion, and both Pete and the jag guy knew it was shady. Pete was totally inappropriate to even broach the topic to Joan in the first place. If the jag guy had mentioned it to any other exec at SCDP, things would have turned out differently: Don would have told the jag guy to leave, Roger would have scoffed, Bert would have side-eyed him and said something cryptic but fitting, Lane would have chuckled awkwardly but made it clear that it wasn't going to be a bargaining ship. Ken, had the account been his, would have said it simply wasn't possible.

None of those reactions are white-knighting, just decency. And I suspect they would have been the same reactions had the jag guy made this proposal about any other woman at SCDP.
posted by mochapickle at 6:07 AM on April 10 [5 favorites]


Joan's no innocent, but all of this happened because Pete was doing what he thought needed to be done to get the deal, at any cost.
posted by mochapickle at 6:08 AM on April 10


If the jag guy had mentioned it to any other exec at SCDP, things would have turned out differently: Don would have told the jag guy to leave, Roger would have scoffed, Bert would have side-eyed him and said something cryptic but fitting, Lane would have chuckled awkwardly but made it clear that it wasn't going to be a bargaining ship. Ken, had the account been his, would have said it simply wasn't possible.

Yes, Pete is the only who would have allowed Joan to make the decision.
posted by spaltavian at 7:54 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


So I didn't mean to turn this into a BB vs MM thread, sorry about that. The point I was trying to make was that splitting the last season like this and like BB did would be reserved for shows:
-with a shorter run time than normal (by which I mean it wasn't kept on the air until people were hoping for it to be ended a la Dexter, Lost, etc.)
-that are endlessly discussed by fans (enough to continue during the breaks between seasons)
-that are of sufficient quality and complexity

Of course following these guidelines would assume that networks' goals are to promote the art of television and not to make money. Ideally, splitting the season should not be done to draw out advertising dollars and Emmy eligibility and prestige for a network that is will have lost its two premiere shows, which is what I feel like is done here. To me, splitting MM final season feels like a dirty trick, and it didn't with BB.

I guess my point there is that i think the need to have some concise way to tie everything in a bow pretty much the knife stabbing modern storytelling.

I totally agree with this. Wrapping shows up with a nice bow does make the finales of these shows feel cheaper and I am left more unsatisfied than shows that don't answer all the questions.
posted by LizBoBiz at 8:04 AM on April 10


Working relationships are about drinking and winning and talking about girls and none of the men take their wives seriously as a partner, so home is just another place where they are alone.

No, Ken's eye is going to heal and he and Carolyn are going to have a lovely low-key marriage and retire on the proceeds of his fiction writing and someone is going to walk away from this morass of ennui into a happy, long life and please please please can this happen.

And with all that said, i hope that this season leaves us with some unresolved story threads, and some questions.

Like the question of whether Pete & Peggy's kid turns out to be, oh I don't know, Steve Oedekerk?

posted by psoas at 8:24 AM on April 10 [2 favorites]


Ken is going to write THE soft Sci-fi classic that replaced Stranger In A Strange Land in this universe and then move to Montanta and raise horses and never see or hear from these awful people ever again.
posted by The Whelk at 8:40 AM on April 10 [3 favorites]


Slate: My college course on Mad Men taught my students to be smarter TV watchers. It can teach you, too.
posted by mochapickle at 9:52 AM on April 10


Your local library probably has the dvd's if you wanna catch up or just start. Or iTunes for $23 a season. By the way I was born in '55 so I am Sally...
posted by judson at 10:05 AM on April 10


Which fits into his role in the show of being the Worse Don, he tries to do everything Don does but fails, breaking people and causing horrible things to happen in his wake and in the end it's just WHY ME.

The great thing about this analysis is that there really was a generation (sub-generation/in-betweenish generation?) of men who were raised to expect that they were going to be riding the White Dude Gravy Train along with the Don Drapers of the world, only to have Civil Rights and Women's Lib and Management Culture and Cholesterol and Jimmy Carter and all the rest fuck that up for them. Pete Campbell is basically a young (and more class-privileged) Archie Bunker.
posted by Sara C. at 10:40 AM on April 10 [2 favorites]


I'd bet money that one of the reasons AMC is splitting the last season of Mad Men is so that the Mad Men series finale doesn't come directly on the coattails of the Breaking Bad finale. Probably more for ratings and money reasons than critical acclaim, but still.
posted by Sara C. at 10:41 AM on April 10


Ken, had the account been his, would have said it simply wasn't possible.

I don't know if this is true, actually. He's mellowed as the show has gone on (and a lot of that has been due to the influence of working with Peggy, which is another right on cultural touchpoint the show gets right), but it's consistently mentioned that Ken is in the businesses of procuring women for clients. He'd probably not have shat where he ate in terms of the Jag guy and Joan specifically, but it's not like he's above prostitution in general.
posted by Sara C. at 10:43 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


I think it's kind of an insult to the character to, after five seasons, make her out to be a damsel in distress.

She's not. But that doesn't mean Pete isn't the sleaziest little weasel in pimptown. The offer never should've been considered. He tells the partners that Joan's up for it, then goes and tells Joan that all the partners agreed to offer her fifty grand to do it.

Look how shocked she is when Don comes and tells her not to do it (sadly, after she's already done it). She thought he'd already agreed with the rest of the partners. It's a position she's been in over and over again. As Roger's mistress. As the wife of her rapist. This time, she at least bargained for a stake in the agency rather than a cash payout and some roses.

They nail it home with the Jaguar campaign: "At last, something beautiful you can truly own."
posted by lovecrafty at 10:45 AM on April 10 [2 favorites]


I see what you mean, Sara C. He's definitely been skeevy in the past (even back in S1, wasn't he the one who tackled a girl to prove what color underwear she had?), but I'd thought he'd dialed it back in more recent seasons since he got married. We don't see a lot of interactions with him and Joan, but I think he would have avoided the damage. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking & a desperate desire to want Ken and Peggy and Stan to come out of all this relatively unscathed.
posted by mochapickle at 11:00 AM on April 10


He's dialed it back a lot, but the show makes repeated and specific references to the fact that he, specifically, finagles prostitutes for clients. And I don't think it's ever been shown that he is now officially against doing that. I'd think it was out of character and taking his "dialing back" too far if that ever happened, to be honest.
posted by Sara C. at 11:04 AM on April 10


This seems like a good excuse to post a picture of Jon Hamm with a :D expression.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:40 PM on April 10 [3 favorites]


Slate: My college course on Mad Men taught my students to be smarter TV watchers. It can teach you, too.

I like how the comments on this article over there turn in to the usual chimpanzee-like poop flinging about how TV isn't a true art medium and that it makes you all dumb in the brain and is for stupid fat people in middle america and stuff.

And how the top comment totally calls that out.

I mean, she took time in the article to address how she already deals with arguments from asshats pulling that "but lol why is that a thing for study?" line at her, and then everyone just keeps riding that jackhammer like it's sooo original and sooo valid.
posted by emptythought at 4:05 PM on April 10


Yes, Pete is the only who would have allowed Joan to make the decision.

Joan's been making decisions like that since day one, just for smaller stakes. I think it's a disservice to the complexity of all the characters involved to pretend it never would have occurred to her if Pete hadn't swanned in in a cape and twirly waxed mustache like a cardboard villain out of a Victorian melodrama while Joan and her fragile honor swooned on a fainting couch.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:12 PM on April 10 [5 favorites]


the show makes repeated and specific references to the fact that [Ken], specifically, finagles prostitutes for clients. And I don't think it's ever been shown that he is now officially against doing that.

In my head, there's a mile-wide gap between utilizing the services of professional sex workers and suggesting to your co-worker that she prostitute herself. Ken has come a long way since season one.
posted by donajo at 7:10 PM on April 10


Ken is going to write THE soft Sci-fi classic that replaced Stranger In A Strange Land in this universe

This made me curious, because people and dates are interesting, so I checked;

Mad Men Season One March to November 1960

Mad Men Season Two February to October 1962

Stranger in a Strange Land publication date June 1 1961

So that universe has had that book in it since before season two.
posted by dglynn at 7:16 PM on April 10 [2 favorites]


I think it's a disservice to the complexity of all the characters involved to pretend it never would have occurred to her if Pete hadn't swanned in in a cape and twirly waxed mustache like a cardboard villain out of a Victorian melodrama while Joan and her fragile honor swooned on a fainting couch.

That's the reason I really love "The Other Woman" - because the story relies on the motivations of all the characters working with and against each other for that story to play out exactly the way it did. And as it unraveled and I kept thinking we could avoid what was happening, it was like this perfectly told tale of tragedy - the ending was inevitable and all these flawed characters couldn't avoid it.

I don't think you can take Pete out of the equation and still have the story play out in the same way, but I'm absolutely sure that it's not just because of him that it happened.
posted by crossoverman at 7:51 PM on April 10 [5 favorites]


My preparatory Season 6 re-watch is proceeding apace...

BOB BENSON WELCOMES THIS CHANCE TO SHINE
posted by dry white toast at 10:25 PM on April 10 [2 favorites]


In my head, there's a mile-wide gap between utilizing the services of professional sex workers and suggesting to your co-worker that she prostitute herself.

Yes, that's exactly what I initially said.

While Ken probably wouldn't have wanted to shit where he eats by pimping the office manager out to a client, looking at him through a 21st century lens he's no "better" than Pete when it comes to pimping in general.
posted by Sara C. at 10:38 PM on April 10


Pete Campbell is basically a young (and more class-privileged) Archie Bunker.

Nonsense. Pete isn't an ignorant bigot. Greedy and self-indulgent and downright sleazy as he may be on a personal level, he's been shown numerous times to be very progressive on an objective level. This may seem like a stretch, but he reminds me of JFK: personally corrupt but capable of functioning at a high level in the professional and political sphere.
posted by orange swan at 8:05 AM on April 11 [7 favorites]


Joan's been making decisions like that since day one, just for smaller stakes.

I absolutely agree: that storyline was mostly about Joan coming to realize what the compromises she's chosen/been forced to internalize really come down to. It calls back to her relationship with Roger, which she has leveraged into work benefits, and her other uses of "feminine wiles" to advance her interests. Joan takes a lot of punishment as a consequence. She's there to show that even a smart, attractive woman who could play the social-professional system like a fiddle still suffered outrageous costs.

Pete is used as an instigator and a precipitator of events in the show frequently. I see him, in many of these instances, as embodying the judgy, hypocritical, patriarchal expectations of the time. When Pete is the villain, he's the villain that most plainly is the whole crappy system itself. He's a very useful character.
posted by bonehead at 8:19 AM on April 11 [2 favorites]


Right, remember Pete's fight with Harry after the MLK assassination.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:32 AM on April 11


As unpleasant as Pete is, he not only sees which way thing are blowing in the future, but he sees the depressing realities of the present more than others are willing to admit. He's like the gravedigger in Hamlet.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:32 AM on April 11 [3 favorites]


And Pete and Trudy's reaction to JFK's death. I think it's significant that Pete and Trudy were truly friends once--to the extent that Don admired their relationship. And even as he's used some women sexually, he also seemed to truly respect Beth and even Peggy at times. He's such a complex character.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:25 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]


Pete and Trudy where never more cute and simpacato then when they're scheming together.
posted by The Whelk at 9:28 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]


Pete isn't an ignorant bigot.

It's not so much that he's a bigot. It's that he feels entitled to certain things, and now everything is changing right as he expected he would start receiving these things. So he has this chip on his shoulder.

Unlike Archie, he's not directly blaming minorities and liberals for his misery, because he's from a different class background where those messages aren't being pushed down his throat.

Pete instead blames the older generation above him (people like Don and Roger), who he sees as specifically denying him his entitlements.

That said, you better believe if a black ad exec was promoted ahead of him, the racial slurs would fly.
posted by Sara C. at 9:31 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]


Pete is the most class-conscious character on the show. He is a bigot, in my view, but one mostly focussed on The People Who Matter, and disdaining the ones who don't.

It's one of the reasons Don (who is really Dick, a literal bastard whore-son) gets so under his skin. It's also a major reason he feels entitled to treat Peggy like shit. She's just a disposable girl, a working-class Catholic nobody from Brooklyn.
posted by bonehead at 9:44 AM on April 11


I've always thought the real reason Pete is bothered by Don and, at times, Peggy is because he's a failed, frustrated creative who has been unable to escape the shackles of his class. He'll never be seen as anything more than an account guy and he never wanted to particularly be an account guy. He's good at it, sure, but he's stuck. He's like Rogers cousin, whatshisface, but he's not even able to parlay his privilege into a token creative job.

That being said, "Thanks, clearasil" is still a joke in our household.

I don't think he's a bigot, though, and I can't see him using racial slurs even under duress. I think his liberal sentiments are more than just libertarian lip service to various potential markets. Harry's more the sleazeball.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:53 AM on April 11 [3 favorites]


The connection between "uses racial slurs" and "bigot" and "sleazeball" is a very 2014 idea.
posted by Sara C. at 9:54 AM on April 11


Pete's the kind of WASP who wouldn't use racial slurs anyway. But regardless, I think his progressive sentiments are largely real even if they're highly imperfect.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:16 AM on April 11 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I've always gotten the sense that if Pete had been given the choice at birth, he would have chosen to be brilliant rather than aristocratic in a heartbeat. I noticed that he only started dropping his mother's name after the episode in which it was made clear that he'd never get the thing he really wanted from her - approval.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:17 AM on April 11 [3 favorites]


That said, you better believe if a black ad exec was promoted ahead of him, the racial slurs would fly.

Nope, I don't believe that. He wouldn't use slurs, pretty much ever.
posted by spaltavian at 12:00 PM on April 11 [7 favorites]


Don-O-Mite, A Funky Blaxploitation Parody of AMC’s ‘Mad Men’
posted by homunculus at 12:41 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Pete's insecure, and it makes him an edgy little asshole. You know he's someone who will have an ulcer in about three years. I think he's so competitive and turns so vicious because he's got this zero-sum idea in his head, where if someone else is a winner, it means he's a loser. That's also why he'll try to "win" at all costs, even if it means making a fool out of himself or someone else. He also seems to discount what he (or anyone else) might have to lose, which means that when he loses, he loses big. I don't think that's out of hatefulness really (though it does come out as hatefulness), I think he's just got a *massive* superiority complex.

Anyway, I've liked him since that weird scene of him sitting alone in the dark with that big old gun on his lap. And when Beth forgot him? Phew, talk about the futility of life.

What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that I like Pete because he's got soul. He's also a spoiled brat asshole, but if anything, that makes him having soul more interesting to me.
posted by rue72 at 1:04 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know one way or the other whether Bob Benson will be making an appearance. I know the actor has a show now, but we need Bob.
posted by drezdn at 2:47 PM on April 12


Speaking of, I just found this: Benson - The Mad Men '80s Spin-Off. And I am utterly delighted.
posted by mochapickle at 7:12 PM on April 12 [9 favorites]


mochapickle, that was better than I even imagined.
posted by sweetkid at 7:20 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Just watched the season six finale. Forgot how much was in that last episode. I don't remember it feeling so packed when I watched it for the first time. I guess watching it the first time, I was just sitting there, mouth-agape, stunned by what was happening. This time it just felt like I was watching a series of doors get slammed in Don's face. Good times.

Bring on Season 7!
posted by crossoverman at 4:29 AM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Bob Benson as an aging advertising executive in coke-washed 80s LA would be a great show.
posted by codacorolla at 7:54 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I would watch Bob Benson watch paint dry. For like six seasons.

Although I was just reading that Weiner brought in Benson solely as a catalyst to stir up Pete. He won't confess as to whether Benson's in S7.
posted by mochapickle at 9:00 AM on April 13


Oh, I heart that Bob Benson opening. That is so lovely.

Rewatching the season finale of season six (oh the spoilers I need to avoid for the next two years #firstworldproblems). I usually watch shows with the captioning on; Netflix turned the f words into (inaudible) - despite their lip readability :P.
posted by tilde at 12:10 PM on April 13


Wow. I didn't realize how much I had forgotten about that finale until I read this blow-by-blow listsicle thing.
posted by mynameisluka at 1:00 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


Team Pegasus GO
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:01 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


This is the most Freddy Rumsen has ever talked
posted by sweetkid at 7:02 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Well, well, well. Welcome back, Mr and Mrs Draper.
posted by rewil at 7:10 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Don still looks like he's having more fun than anyone else.
posted by sweetkid at 7:11 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Man it looks like everyone's getting a piece of "Sterling's Gold."
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:21 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


So it's January '69? They've jumped right back to the Tate theories from last season.
posted by rewil at 7:22 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


OMG PETE
posted by sweetkid at 7:23 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


I want this Pete in an action figure form.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:23 PM on April 13 [8 favorites]


Yea complete with a mini Brooklyn Avenue sandwich.
posted by sweetkid at 7:24 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


look how happy Pete is aww. He hasn't been this happy since Season 1 when he found out he was getting steak in the pan with butter and ice cream for dinner.
posted by sweetkid at 7:25 PM on April 13 [5 favorites]


Pete's girlfriend is a January Jones clone.
posted by sweetkid at 7:26 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


That's because he's got his very own Betty Draper.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:26 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Also I guess Don just didn't tell Megan he's not working.
posted by sweetkid at 7:27 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I know it's much too early to worry about but if things overall end up badly with Pete I really will be heartbroken. Despite everything he's done.
posted by rewil at 7:28 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


How. High. Is. Pete?
posted by The Whelk at 7:29 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Somehow this whole episode so far has me clasping my hands and clucking the character's name in delight and concern for their future.
posted by mynameisluka at 7:29 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Roger Sterling or Archer Sterling?
posted by The Whelk at 7:30 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


It's hard to wish ill will on someone who's trying so hard to be someone else because he doesn't know who he is.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:30 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Pirate Meghan will be my other action figure.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:32 PM on April 13


How. High. Is. Margaret?
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:39 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I wonder what flavor of crazy church group Margaret has gotten herself into
posted by The Whelk at 7:41 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


The only thing missing from this episode is Sally. I need to know how she's doing!
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:42 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Neve Campbell??
posted by sweetkid at 7:44 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Well on the upside this stylish dark haired lady seems to be age appropriate
posted by The Whelk at 7:44 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Is that Neve Campbell?
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:45 PM on April 13


It's Neve Campbell, looking AMAZING.
posted by sweetkid at 7:45 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


So what thy will shall be the whole of sterling's law.
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


That's appropriate since Roger's bed is a Party of Five.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:46 PM on April 13 [11 favorites]


Indeed - best I've ever seen her!
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:46 PM on April 13


This is quite a character. I'm intrigued.
posted by sweetkid at 7:48 PM on April 13


This is the most honest conversation I think he's ever had with a woman.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 7:50 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Yes, tell us more about this work.
posted by rewil at 7:50 PM on April 13


Team Pegasus dislikes this "Lou."
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:52 PM on April 13 [5 favorites]


Great detail, Joan removing her earring for a long phone conversation, grandmother-in-law lost a family heirloom that way.
posted by The Whelk at 7:53 PM on April 13 [5 favorites]


I am laying the blame for Lou at Duck's feet, where it belongs.
posted by rewil at 7:53 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


I'm still not sure what we're supposed to make of Joan's so called brilliant business maneuvers.
posted by sweetkid at 7:54 PM on April 13


I think Joan is still the glue holding this place together and is not receiving the credit she deserves. I blame Lou.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:56 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Also: Stressed out Ken Cosgrove from Accounts is disquieting to my soul.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:56 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Seriously, she's the only partner who appears to be working.
posted by mynameisluka at 7:56 PM on April 13


Without Don and Ted, this entire firm has gone backwards from the standpoint of respecting women.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:57 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Joan's doing her best, she's not perfect, and Ken is handling all the accounts and crazy with stress and Lou is a coasting asshole
posted by The Whelk at 7:58 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


yea but this whole switch with this marketing guy where he suddenly realized the agency also handles media planning seemed silly to me.
posted by sweetkid at 7:58 PM on April 13


TEAM PIZZA HOUSE
posted by rewil at 7:58 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


Stan's beard is a masterwork.
posted by sweetkid at 7:59 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Oh Peggy, who thinks if you just try hard and keep PUSHING THAT BUTTON AND EXPLAINING IT AGAIN people will see how OBVIOUS IT IS, oblivious to the fact that other people might not care as much.
posted by The Whelk at 7:59 PM on April 13 [5 favorites]


Why is Don wearing a tie when he has no job.
posted by sweetkid at 7:59 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Oh God. I see.
posted by rewil at 7:59 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


OMG Freddie is fronting for Don!
posted by flyingsquirrel at 8:01 PM on April 13 [6 favorites]


No Peggy don't cry your floors are spectacular.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:02 PM on April 13 [9 favorites]


This last image is really haunting. The straight on shot of Don sitting in the chair echoes Freddy Rumsen at the beginning, but so much more decrepit.
posted by sweetkid at 8:04 PM on April 13 [8 favorites]


Was he detoxing or just cold?
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:05 PM on April 13


The slow, hard work of putting it back together.
posted by rewil at 8:06 PM on April 13


Jesus, THE FEELS
posted by mynameisluka at 8:07 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Was he detoxing or just cold?

I wondered the same thing. My guess (hope?) is that it's both.

What was it he said on the plane about being broken? I wish I could remember the exact line.

Bummer we won't see Neve again - what a fabulous little cameo. But yay for Don saying no - to her and to the booze at the end. He knows he's at the bottom. Good thing we don't have to wait another year for the next episode.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 8:11 PM on April 13


Sepinwall's take.
posted by rewil at 8:13 PM on April 13


I'm crying right now because I love Peggy and I love this show and I love all of you.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:25 PM on April 13 [5 favorites]


My poor boyfriend. He doesn't watch the show and only gets to hear my mangled "Oh God! Don! Don!" "Peggy! Peggy!" shouts as I shake my head and babble over whichever moment in the show. This time it was Don as a drunk, broke-down Cyrano that got me.
posted by mynameisluka at 8:26 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


Fuck. Things better improve for Peggy, like, in the interim between this episode and next.
posted by donajo at 8:27 PM on April 13


Really? Wow.

I was totally underwhelmed by the episode. It telegraphed way too many things. The acting was lacklustre. The writing was so very much not up to snuff.

It needed to move faster. This abbreviated 'season' is what, seven episodes? Two episodes gone to set everything up and then resolve it, leaving five whole episodes to actually tell a story.

Betting:

- Megan and Don split (perhaps when she finds out he's not working)
- Peggy ditches the house and buys an apartment
- Stan gives up
- Pete tries to start a new agency and fails horribly
- Peggy and Ted are either going to take up again, or have a terribly public argument
- Ken does something stupid, stress-induced
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:29 PM on April 13


I agree with the comments on Sepinwall's blog. I think we're going to see Neve Campbell again.
posted by sweetkid at 8:29 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


Did y'all see the previews for next week? Any bets on who Pete wants to start a new agency with? Campbell & Olsen, perhaps?
posted by donajo at 8:29 PM on April 13


I guess I didn't put two and two together when he made his appearance last season, but it's nice to see Allan Havey in something.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:30 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Pete's not that good at long term planning. It'll be Pete & Stanslastname and will die a horrible death when Stan insists on creative control.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:31 PM on April 13


- Megan and Don split (perhaps when she finds out he's not working)
- Peggy ditches the house and buys an apartment
- Stan gives up
- Pete tries to start a new agency and fails horribly
- Peggy and Ted are either going to take up again, or have a terribly public argument
- Ken does something stupid, stress-induced


I don't think any of this is that likely to happen, at least not this way. Stan gives up what?
posted by sweetkid at 8:31 PM on April 13


I loved Allan Harvey when he played himself on Louie, but I'm not a fan of Lou Avery at all. I wouldn't have thought things could get worse for Peggy with Don gone, but that was a failure of my imagination.
posted by gladly at 8:32 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Gives up trying to help Peggy. Probably passive-aggressively sabotages her.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:33 PM on April 13


Did we know that Ken's eye damage was permanent? I had the impression last season that he was only wearing the patch while his eye healed. I was surprised to see him still wearing it this season. I'd feel sorry for him if he wasn't taking his frustrations on the one person in a position to lighten his workload, Ken.

Although, I supposed they had to turn Ken into an asshole somehow. No one lasts more than a handful of episodes happy and fulfilled on this show.
posted by donajo at 8:33 PM on April 13


He's such an anti-Don, with his Mr. Rogers sweater
posted by sweetkid at 8:33 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


No one lasts more than a handful of episodes happy and fulfilled on this show.

Bingo. Thus my predictions. Megan and Don I would bet actual money on if I had any.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:34 PM on April 13


I think Ken's eye patch signals in part that it hasn't been that long since the last episode of S6, since I don't think the damage is supposed to be permanent.
posted by sweetkid at 8:35 PM on April 13 [5 favorites]


Not precisely Mad Men related, but I'm excited for the Halt and Catch Fire thread to come.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:38 PM on April 13


There are promo images of him without it, although that's not conclusive.
posted by rewil at 8:38 PM on April 13


Good points. I hope Pirate Ken isn't a permanent things. It's not nearly as charming as Pirate Megan.
posted by donajo at 8:40 PM on April 13


If the season 6 finale was Thanksgiving, it's been at least two months for poor pirate Ken, but I have no idea how long a shotgunned eye takes to heal.
posted by gladly at 8:40 PM on April 13


Ask Dick Cheney.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:42 PM on April 13


They're watching the Nixon inauguration so it's January 1969.
posted by sweetkid at 8:42 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Are we not talking about Adam Scott playing the gayest man in Hollywood?
posted by The Whelk at 8:44 PM on April 13


I'm intrigued by Halt and Catch Fire but fear it will be full of cringy computerworld buzzytalk like "I'll create a GUI in Visual Basic and see if I can get the IP address."
posted by sweetkid at 8:44 PM on April 13


Are we not talking about Adam Scott playing the gayest man in Hollywood?

THAT WAS ADAM SCOTT?
posted by donajo at 8:46 PM on April 13


... That was Adam Scott?!?!
posted by rewil at 8:46 PM on April 13


I don't think so.
posted by sweetkid at 8:48 PM on April 13


...who is Adam Scott?

Also, I predict Turn will be turfed within two weeks.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:48 PM on April 13


Sorry, I was too busy trying to find a credit on IMDB to join in the chorus of, "That was Adam Scott?"
posted by ob1quixote at 8:49 PM on April 13


Surely if it was him it would have been mentioned in the bullet point in Sepinwall's review going over the various guest appearances.
posted by rewil at 8:54 PM on April 13


So, Matt Zoller Seitz at Vulture says that Don is super drunk outside in the final scene. I was watching at a bar so maybe I missed it, but I thought he put the bottle down and walked away, the implication being that he was sober and trying to stay away from the bottle. I thought it was analogous to his refusal to schtupp Neve Campbell. Was this too much to hope for?

Also, AV Club (VanderWerff & Sonia Saraiya) is up.
posted by kickingthecrap at 9:09 PM on April 13


He had wine at Megan's. That jumped out at me because I thought he might be sober after his low point at Thanksgiving. But no, there are further lows for Don Draper.
posted by donajo at 9:12 PM on April 13


We haven't seen him sloppy-drunk, and not with the frequency of his benders as before. I think he's more-or-less-sobered-up for levels of Don Draper.

I thought it was funny he had to live through what his wives have had to live through, putting a drunk spouse to bed.
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Major props to the Mad Men (make-up? costume? hair?) department as I saw Neve Campbell's name in the credits and had to rewind to figure out who she was (initially rewinding all the way back to Pete's real estate agent thinking they had maybe bleached her hair blond for this role).

(Or it could be I'm just slow. I went through the first episode last year not realizing Sylvia was Linda Cardellini until reading the Sepinwall recap).
posted by The Gooch at 9:17 PM on April 13


the period hair, make-up and clothing can really disguise people.
posted by The Whelk at 9:22 PM on April 13


Also, the always nail the final song, don't they? Vanilla Fudge was a nice touch.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:23 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Neve looked pretty Neve Campbelly to me, with the creamy skin, dark hair and dimples.
posted by sweetkid at 9:25 PM on April 13


When she first sat down, I turned to my friend and said "That's Neve Campbell!" And for the rest of the scene, was thinking, "Is it? It is. No. Yes. Is it? Yes. Definitely not. Maybe. Oh, hell, it doesn't matter."
posted by donajo at 9:28 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


She did/does look good, though.
posted by donajo at 9:28 PM on April 13


I'm glad I'm not the only one who, after having seen this RIGHT after this week's Game Of Thrones, saw the cuts between sunny, yellow L.A and snowy blue NYC and went "Ah and now to Winterfell"
posted by The Whelk at 9:29 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


So - Megan with the near-fainting spell and the "let me brush my teeth".... Eating disorder or drug habit?
posted by dnash at 9:32 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I can't wait to see what Tom & Lorenzo have to say about Margaret still rocking the pillbox hat. Camelot's over, darling. JFK's dead and Jackie is remarried and it's time to move on. But then again, Margaret will be one of those Upper East Side women who hang on to their Chanel suits and pillbox hats for the rest of their lives.
posted by donajo at 9:33 PM on April 13


I'm not the only one who, instantly upon seeing Pete's blond real estate agent, said out loud in the voice of Joan Cusaks' character from Addams Family Values: "Mal-li-bu Betty" ?
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


also LOU'S WORST THING his fucking EXTENDED DOCTOR METAPHOR, UGH SO PATRONIZING
posted by The Whelk at 9:37 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


So - Megan with the near-fainting spell and the "let me brush my teeth".... Eating disorder or drug habit?

I thought she was just avoiding sex with Don. Neither of those would surprise me, though.
posted by donajo at 9:37 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


So - Megan with the near-fainting spell and the "let me brush my teeth".... Eating disorder or drug habit?

I thought she was drunk from their dinner with the Hollywood guy.
posted by palomar at 9:39 PM on April 13


I'm still not sure what we're supposed to make of Joan's so called brilliant business maneuvers.

Joan lacks some specific experience but is ambitious and willing to learn what she needs to. She's quick on her feet, excellent when damage control is required. And she cares about the company. Nothing new in any of that.

It's interesting that she and Peggy seem at this stage to be the only major employees in New York who DO seem interested in doing good work even if it means working extra. Well, and Don I guess, using a proxy.

I was so weirded out by that opening--Freddy giving a Don Draper pitch, complete with Don's cadences--and thought it was a great reveal at the end that he had been literally delivering Don's words. I love how MM does this repeatedly in its premieres (going back to the opener of season 1)--Don is out and about doing his thing, and then he goes home at the end of the episode and there's a major revelation about what's really going on in his life.
posted by torticat at 9:44 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


What was it he said on the plane about being broken? I wish I could remember the exact line.

flyingsquirrel, I think he said something about thinking maybe he had, or hoping he hadn't, "broken the vessel"? I didn't understand the reference, but am not sure I caught what she said that he was replying to.
posted by torticat at 9:47 PM on April 13


"I keep wondering, have I broken the vessel?"
posted by rewil at 9:53 PM on April 13


I thought he put the bottle down and walked away, the implication being that he was sober and trying to stay away from the bottle. I thought it was analogous to his refusal to schtupp Neve Campbell. Was this too much to hope for?

I think that was the implication. Maybe not that he was sober, but that at that moment at least he was trying to stay away. I think not only was it analogous to schtupp-refusal, but also may have been influenced by Neve's telling him that her former husband "died of thirst."

He's trying.... Weiner has said repeatedly that the major theme of the show is whether people can really change. I'm hoping for a hopeful answer of some kind to that (next year) but probably THAT is too much to hope for.
posted by torticat at 10:02 PM on April 13


Don on LAX's moving walkway echoes The Graduate.

I can't figure out which LA deli he and Pete are at: Langer's(which is near Echo Park and downtown) or Canter's (Fairfax district). Nate and Al's would be contemporary too, but that didn't look like their logo. Any Angeleno mefites with conscious memories of Jan 69 ( I was 7 months old)can fill in other possibilities.
posted by brujita at 11:10 PM on April 13


I think I recognized the Canter's sign.
posted by mynameisluka at 11:17 PM on April 13


Yeah, I just saw it on the repeat. I'm usually seated in the deli case room when I'm there.
posted by brujita at 11:34 PM on April 13


Don was watching "Lost Horizon" while lying next to Megan, which is one of my favourite films ever. And it's about a utopia, which of course Rachel Menken warned him about in season one - it's a place that cannot exist. So if California was the place that he and Megan were once happy, that's no longer the case - and maybe a place that he can be happy doesn't exist.
posted by crossoverman at 1:50 AM on April 14 [2 favorites]


Funny, from the TLo review:
We imagine that when Pete, who’s kept Dick Whitman’s secret for almost a decade now, heard the other partners recount the story of Don’s Hershey pitch crackup last year, he reacted with a bemused “Grew up in a whore house, you say! A thing like that!”

I did wonder last season about Pete's reaction to Don's enforced leave of absence, since he was missing from the partners' meeting when Don was informed.

Don't agree with TLo's assessment of where Joan is in the season opener, though. For one:
Not one character was happy or in a good place in this world –

I don't see any reason to think Joan's not still on the upswing in this episodes. And on that front:
Ken yells at her like she’s a secretary. And what’s sad about that is Joan would never have allowed him to yell at her like that when she actually was a secretary.

I don't think that's the point of her reaction in that scene. Avon is still the only account she's got (it's been only a few weeks since last season ended), and she's so glad he's giving her work on another account, she'll overlook being yelled at. It's not a situation where she's taking abuse from a position of weakness, but rather that she's hungry for opportunity and willing to accept it from a harried Ken. Joan was operating from a position of strength in this episode and actively working to make herself stronger yet.
posted by torticat at 5:03 AM on April 14


I got the idea that Don's attempt at dealing with his alcoholism is forswearing the hard stuff. I remember hearing that just staying away from hard liquor was a thing. I don't think his pride would allow him to turn down wine with dinner as something he couldn't handle.
posted by readery at 5:49 AM on April 14


Did anyone see Peggy in her tam and think, "You're gonna make it after all?"
posted by orange swan at 7:00 AM on April 14 [4 favorites]


If Don’s making up a whole fake work schedule for Megan’s benefit, he could make up longer vacations to be with her. He IS the pretend boss after all.

Airplane Lady is just Sylvia without a husband, and now I want my ashes to go to Tom Sawyer Island. I already told my sister this morning to divide me up into six Baggies and use whatever’s left of my life insurance money to visit all six Disney parks.

In an industry that’s so driven by appearances, and apparently doing client meetings every day of the week, WTF is Ken doing still in a patch, and not being fitted for a glass eye? I guess I can fanwank medical reasons, but should I really have to be doing that for myself, show?

Loved the shoutouts to all the online discussion about Megan (and her teeth!) provoking strong feelings one way or the other, with people with loving or hating her.

Where was Peggy’s cat to comfort her when she got home! I mean, I know he’s a working cat, but I’ve never known a marmie who wasn’t good at being cried into, even barncats and mousing toms. (I know, I know. The scene wouldn’t have worked without her being alone. Just a cat lady quibble.)

Did anyone see Peggy in her tam and think, "You're gonna make it after all?"

OMG YES SO MUCH THIS
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:50 AM on April 14 [3 favorites]


"I don't know, Peggy, I guess I'm immune to your charms" You are DEAD to me, pal.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:57 AM on April 14 [5 favorites]


I really liked the "immune to your charms" part. Peggy's going to have to struggle a little bit. Sometimes you run up against people you don't work well with, and their dynamic is very common for creative hierarchical structures. The whole bit about thirty choices last week/two this week/why would you put something in front of me you don't like stuff was really great and realistic.

Also I liked the little bits of comedy where Peggy would start doing her cheesy wistful pitch voice while looking off into the distance, "Webster's defines time as..." and then Lou would just be like "uh, no."
posted by sweetkid at 8:06 AM on April 14


A male acquaintance of my parents in the early/mid 70's had an eye patch.
posted by brujita at 8:09 AM on April 14


yes yes but was his name Ken
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:12 AM on April 14


I doubt Ken has lost his eye. I think it's just probably still healing.
posted by orange swan at 8:15 AM on April 14 [2 favorites]


Next week on Mad Men, Dawn and Shirley have a bland conversation on How to Keep Your Head Down and Get By In the White Man's office?
posted by sweetkid at 8:19 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


It would be more realistic and more fun if Dawn shuns Shirley because she thinks Shirley is a harlot.
posted by orange swan at 9:00 AM on April 14 [2 favorites]


But then again, Margaret will be one of those Upper East Side women who hang on to their Chanel suits and pillbox hats for the rest of their lives.

And the gloves. I don't think "regular" women were still wearing gloves except maybe to church and evening social events.

Next week on Mad Men, Dawn and Shirley have a bland conversation on How to Keep Your Head Down and Get By In the White Man's office?

They could always go work for Don-O-Mite.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:24 AM on April 14


Not fun to see the season open with both Peggy and Don so miserable.
posted by luckynerd at 9:26 AM on April 14


I love Happy Pete Campbell! Hugging Don, drinking iced tea, and wearing madras.
posted by mochapickle at 9:57 AM on April 14 [5 favorites]


And probably high as a fucking kite.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:05 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


The episode needed more (ie any) Betty and Sally Draper.

End scene: with the patio door stuck, Don can't keep out the cold/pain he's insulated himself from, so he decides he has to embrace it?
posted by dry white toast at 10:06 AM on April 14


Don told Pete he looked like a hippy, but Pete didn't look like a hippy — he looked like a preppy. Was this supposed to show how increasingly square and out of touch Don is?
posted by orange swan at 10:07 AM on April 14


Yeah. To Don, anyone not wearing a suit and tie at 10am is a hippie, it seems.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:13 AM on April 14


I thought he said "You don't LOOK like a Hippie but you sound like one."
posted by The Whelk at 10:15 AM on April 14 [3 favorites]


There appears to be some dispute about this. I heard him say he looked like a hippie, but apparently The Whelk is correct.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:31 AM on April 14


Watching it now... He said: "You not only dress like a hippie, you talk like one." At least, that's on the CC. It's muffled. Pete doesn't look like a hippie at all? But maybe that's hyperbole to note the difference to NYC Pete.
posted by mochapickle at 10:46 AM on April 14


Also I hate Lou. I've worked with about eight versions of him.
posted by mochapickle at 10:51 AM on April 14 [4 favorites]


Can't count on the cc, mochapickle, they'll often leave things in that were cut, or leave off sections completely. If a phrasing changed, it might not have been updated, or if it was updated, the actual cut may have reverted.

... not sure why I'm reading the spoiler thread when I didn't go ahead and find a way to see it legally or not .... I'll just go back waiting for the T&L fashion post Wednesday ...
posted by tilde at 11:30 AM on April 14


I've got to do a more detailed re-watch but one thing I liked was Don riding the airport people-mover with the rainbow-colored wall behind him. They way it was shot made it look like Don, dressed in typical old-fashioned Don attire, was standing still and the psychedelic colors were coming at and washing over him.
posted by mikepop at 11:40 AM on April 14 [4 favorites]


That was my reading entirely mikepop. Don dressed like a 50s Organization Man with the psychedelic colour in the background and people running past him in the foreground. He's ever more an anachronism.
posted by dry white toast at 12:04 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


It's really interesting that that appears to be the direction that they are going in. From the beginning of the series, I've tried to remind myself that Don is basically part of my grandfather's generation. He passed away several years ago, and watching Mad Men has been an interesting window into what the world was like when he was approximately my age.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:15 PM on April 14


This thread is proof we need a tv.metafilter.com and we need it NOW. A new thread for each new episode of a show — and a warning saying DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T VIEWED IT YET — where we can live-comment the ep as well as discuss it at length after it airs? SIGN ME THE FUCK UP. I'll throw any Mad Men and GoT and Elementary and Boardwalk Empire and Hannibal RSS feeds in my reader tout de suite if'n we can get this up and running soon. I know there's been talk recently of doing this, but if we were waiting on my vote to proceed ( ;-), then you have my sword, axe, bow, and remote control!

I even have envisioned a name and slogan! Metavision: Best of the Tube.
posted by grubi at 12:38 PM on April 14 [3 favorites]


And with that said... I like Allen Havey (been a fan since his talk show on the old Comedy Channel!), but I hate Lou. I feel weird rooting for Havey and against his character. It's not right, dammit.
posted by grubi at 12:41 PM on April 14


MetaTalk thread on a Metafilter TV discussion space is still open.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:42 PM on April 14


ooooh, yes
posted by grubi at 12:59 PM on April 14


I just had to look at the wiki to see what age Don Draper/Dick Whitman would be in 1969. According to Wikipedia clues lead to Dick Whitman being born in 1925, so he's be 44 in 1969. Which today would not be ancient, but he seems older.

The interesting characters to watch are Roger, the hedonistic sexy grandpa and Don who looks at counter-culture California like he is at a zoo; he's an outsider looking in.
posted by readery at 1:09 PM on April 14


Roger, the hedonistic sexy grandpa

This is a weird description of Roger.
posted by sweetkid at 1:18 PM on April 14


Roger, the hedonistic sexy grandpa

This is a weird description of Roger.


And yet, somewhat accurate.
posted by grubi at 1:20 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


True, but it sounds like a description you would use if this was the first time you ever saw the show and know nothing else about the character. Like if it was the first episode - "The one to watch is the sexy grandpa!"

Not a knock on readery, it just struck me as weird.
posted by sweetkid at 1:25 PM on April 14


Don who looks at counter-culture California like he is at a zoo; he's an outsider looking in.

Don is always an outsider looking in, no matter where he is.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:32 PM on April 14 [3 favorites]


Hey, Roger's a grandpa. And looks the part. But his prime motivation besides altered states of consciousness, is sexual experimentation. Don's a Korean War veteran, but Roger is a Navy man from WWII.
posted by readery at 1:38 PM on April 14


Don is always an outsider looking in, no matter where he is.

Yeah... Come to think of it, that's true for Peggy, too, more than any other character. I think it's probably the root of why they connect. (Tom and Lo just mentioned this in their recap : Pic from the Basket of Kisses epi.)

sweetkid, I like your observation about watching this as if it were the first episode. While all the characters are true to their overall arc, but sexxxy gramps Roger, fussy Ken, quite possibly high Pete, and bite-her-tongue Joan are in places most of us had never dreamed of when we met their 1960 selves. But Don and Peggy are different. If we were to fast-forward from season 1 to their eventual fates in 1969, I don't think any of us would be remotely surprised. Another connection.
posted by mochapickle at 1:45 PM on April 14 [3 favorites]


I think it's probably the root of why they connect.

True, the back to back shots of the two of them being so very unhappy but apart reminded me of Fievel Mousekewitz and his sister pining for each other beneath the pale moonlight.
posted by sweetkid at 1:50 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]


HA! I actually said to the TV: "Why don't you just call her????"

I'm hazy on this: Why would he go all the way to Pete for info and a chummy lunch instead of just asking Peggy?
posted by mochapickle at 1:55 PM on April 14


isn't Peggy mad at Don about the whole Ted thing? I don't remember how they left their relationship.
posted by sweetkid at 2:14 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


I think for Don it's really a blow/step down in the world to be vying for Peggy's affections/clout instead of the other way around. Obviously. Actually, he's vying for everyone else's affections and power right now...the firm, Peggy, Megan. He actually has to work for it.
posted by mynameisluka at 2:21 PM on April 14


I believe Peggy's last words to Don in season 6 were, "You're a monster," at the conclusion of the St. Joseph's mess. She hates Lou, but I'm not sure she'd be excited to see Don back in the office either.
posted by gladly at 2:24 PM on April 14


I like how whenever Pete is happy he picks up like 300 Gay Points.
posted by The Whelk at 2:27 PM on April 14 [6 favorites]



I think for Don it's really a blow/step down in the world to be vying for Peggy's affections/clout instead of the other way around.


Yeah, that's a good point. Pete's still a fellow partner, though a more junior one.
posted by sweetkid at 2:29 PM on April 14


True, but it sounds like a description you would use if this was the first time you ever saw the show and know nothing else about the character. Like if it was the first episode - "The one to watch is the sexy grandpa!"

Shielding my eyes because I still haven't seen the episode and won't until probably tomorrow night, but it's funny you mention this. I started watching Bored To Death this weekend and described Ted Danson's character as "silver fox sexy grandpa Roger Sterling type dude".
posted by Sara C. at 2:30 PM on April 14


DUUUDE SARA C WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING HERE
posted by sweetkid at 2:31 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


I can't take the thread out of my recent activity, because then I'll lose it.

I'm trying to skim, or sort of avert my eyes as I scroll past.

Mostly I find that accidentally seeing a character's name or something here or there doesn't spoil much for me, historically, because you people's comments are so cryptic and usually we all sort of notice different things or want to talk about relatively abstract stuff. Also, it's season 7. I know that Roger is a sexy grandpa.
posted by Sara C. at 2:41 PM on April 14


Did anyone else find the whole plane scene (with Neve) to be bizarre and distracting? It took me right out of the show. The "he was thirsty . . . and he died of thirst" line made me laugh out loud. It reminded me of something that I would have heard at one of my HS drama competitions - and I would have laughed at it in high school, too.

In the middle of the scene my husband turned to me and asked, "Are we supposed to have any idea what the fuck she's talking about? Her husband was a drunk . . . and . . . then he died?" This and the really forced instant intimacy was weird even for Don, I thought.
posted by peep at 2:46 PM on April 14


So if we never see Bob again cause he's in Detriot for BULLSHIT REASONS than I demand at least one major character have a Gay Revelation. Stonewall is around the corner and the lack of a regular queer character stings.

no Rogers's Big Stoned Orgy Bed does not count. it does not.

Seriously, literally any character. Pete. Stan. Albert. Harry. Just give me this one thing.
posted by The Whelk at 3:24 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


I know how wrong I was with Harry Crane: Closet academy ( but I did call him being a sleep around greaseball, explaining how cagey he was.) But how about Pete's eternal frustration being in part because he's a deeply repressed homosexual? Like that's what Bob was picking up on?


Sigh, I never get what I want.
posted by The Whelk at 3:28 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


If Weiner says MM is about how well people can adapt to change, Don's hat doesn't bode well for him.
posted by brujita at 3:46 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


As always, Mad Men episodes leave me in this dreamy, obsessive state of wanting to connect dots. This episode had so many callbacks and juxtapositions it was unreal.

The one that struck me the most though was the first and last scene of Don. In the first, he's indoors, clean-shaven, wearing a hat, suited, bathed in warm light and backgrounded by bright colors in neat and even squares (tiles), facing left, and effortlessly gliding ahead of the scenery as it moves behind him. He almost beats it by leaving the frame. The lines are horizontal, as is the movement. In the last scene he's outdoors, scruffy, hatless, in pajamas, barely visible in the dark and backgrounded by very far away and uneven squares of the NYC skyline, facing forward, and uncontrollably shaking in the center of the frame. The scenery engulfs him and he is shivering because of it. He can't even keep it out, as the doors aren't gliding properly on their tracks. They are literally stuck. The lines are all vertical and there is no movement.

But then so many other things…the Brooklyn and then the real NYC sandwiches (and Freddy placing that bag on the white carpet, oh my god), the earring to answer the phone allusion (and the moment of comic relief as Ken yells at Joan and then tries to punctuate it with his bad toss sans stereoscopic vision plus Joan's inability to catch, what a pair), the naked Roger orgy followed immediately by his daughter's face on the phone and the naked Megan side boob followed by Roger leaning in to kiss his daughter's face at the diner, the California home being the inverse of the NYC home, the whine of coyotes traded for sirens, and so many, many more.

I thought the airplane talk was really heavy handed, but I liked it anyway. I didn't fully understand the bit about her husband dying of thirst, but it made perfect sense to Don* in the context of his "thirst" (all kinds) as well as her husband wanting to be buried at the Happiest Place on Earth (albeit his second choice). It's a place that also has symbolism for Don, calling back to the death/suicide/escape opening episode of the last season. Southern California is also where Megan and Don fell in love, and so it makes him wonder where it all went wrong, i.e., how he broke the vessel (presumably, spilling all the liquidy thirst-quenching contents; also, the holy vessel). Ugh, so on the nose. Still, curious what Dante's Inferno has to say about vessels and such.

There were several moments in this episode where the female characters were battling with outrageously sexist BS, and in many of those instances they were belittled for it. Fantastically executed scenes that were wonderfully difficult to watch. The women are having to run all these circles and do extra footwork to just be heard. Peggy has enough design sense and instinct to recognize the brilliance of Freddy's ideas and to be rightly shocked that they came from him, but she's also got too much ego and still not as talented as Don to know where to stop with an idea when it's perfect. Man, is she going to be so so SO pissed when she finds out that she's been fighting (and failing) for Don's ideas all along. So much undermine. I keep thinking about the episode where somebody shit on her landing, and now this with the clogged toilet. The poor woman doesn't get a break from the infuriating madness.

Lou (is that the name of Peggy's new boss?) is a stupid dolt and I hate him. He's like Mister Rogers' horrible cousin who works in advertising. He's a hair scrunchy in human form.

tldr; it was great.

*Which sort of broke the fourth wall for me. I remember thinking as I was watching, "this better be a friggin' dream that Don is having on the plane because this is all too much catering to what's going on in Don's head right now." Also, whispering on a 1960s airplane? Get real.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:20 PM on April 14 [5 favorites]


Ack, I just realized that my previous comment contains all manner of spoilers and I'm not sure what the community feels are on that these days (and specifically, for this thread). Sorry if I've said too much.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:35 PM on April 14


Stonewall is around the corner and the lack of a regular queer character stings.

I hear you, but I feel like given how strongly the showrunners stuck to their guns through years of complaints about the lack of black characters, I suspect they feel like between Sal in earlier years and Bob Benson last year, they've "done" the "gay in the 60s" thing. Maybe Sal will reappear for a cameo where we find out he was on the front lines of Stonewall?
posted by dnash at 4:45 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]


We are completely pro-spoiler in these threads. The assumption is that people reading are up to date.

(Still shielding my eyes)
posted by Sara C. at 4:45 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


"I feel completely at ease” should be this season's "I love puppies."
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:54 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


30 Rock / Mad Men Crossover.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:26 PM on April 14


The tam thing gets even better when you realize that Mary Tyler Moore's boss's name was also Lou.
posted by orange swan at 7:28 PM on April 14 [6 favorites]


There was a 30 Rock reference in an episode of Mad Men, too.
posted by crossoverman at 7:40 PM on April 14


Don Draper’s sad manhood: What makes “Mad Men” different from “Breaking Bad,” “Sopranos”
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:48 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Southern California is also where Megan and Don fell in love

It's also where Don used to visit Anna, the only person he ever felt truly whole with. After last season's trip when he almost drowned, he said "I used to feel great after trips to California" (or something like that). But that's because he would always spend time with Anna when he was there.

So now instead of Anna, he visits Megan, who he can't really be whole with because, in her mind, "nobody loves Dick Whitman."

In my mind, Season 7 for Don is about replacing Anna: that person he can be whole with. I don't know if that's Sally or Peggy. Maybe it's about learning to be whole on his own. Whatever the case, it isn't Megan.
posted by dry white toast at 8:26 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]


The tam thing gets even better when you realize that Mary Tyler Moore's boss's name was also Lou.

And she's even avoiding a plaid-jacketed coworker named Ted!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:14 PM on April 14 [3 favorites]


OK, I've so far mostly managed to avoid working in corporate America so can someone explain the dynamics between Ken and Joan? I would have figured that (since she's a partner and he's not) he'd have to show some sort of deference to her or that she could somehow pull rank on him, general sexist mores aside.

I just had to look at the wiki to see what age Don Draper/Dick Whitman would be in 1969. According to Wikipedia clues lead to Dick Whitman being born in 1925, so he's be 44 in 1969. Which today would not be ancient, but he seems older.

The Season 5 opener, with all the Zou Bisou business, was his 40th birthday party. That took place in late 1966, yes?
posted by psoas at 6:04 AM on April 15


I noticed that too, and I think Ken simply forgot or didn't care. And she didn't call him on it because he was having a temper tantrum. What she did instead is went to meet the guy and try to save the account, basically pulling her rank back but getting sort of stuck and out of her depth at the same time.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:45 AM on April 15


I think that scene is being misread. That was Ken being desperate, not disrespectful. Joan is the not the face of accounts in the firm, so Ken is absolutely right that his position needed to be perserved for apparences, and Joan knows that. Further, Joan really was appreciative that Ken was being completely honest about how much help he needed. Ken has been shown to be pretty decent and respectful to Peggy (even forming an alliance), so I don't think that scene is "sexist Ken" at all. I think that scene is about two people who have known and worked with each other for 10-15 years; Ken wasn't any less deferential than I would expect him to be with Don or Roger.

Joan and Peggy talk that way to each other (honestly, Peggy talks that way to pretty much everyone) and so do all the male partners. I think the point of the scene was that Ken is actually much more willing to use Joan as an accountman than Joan would have expected, and certainly not with such a lack of ceremony. No condescending "this is a big responsibility" speeches, just authentic harried "ahh, just fix it!".

The Season 5 opener, with all the Zou Bisou business, was his 40th birthday party. That took place in late 1966, yes?

I don't think it was late '66, but you are correct. Don will turn 43 sometime in 1969. Honestly, I don't think he seems older than that. That puts Don being born in 1926. Same year as my (long dead) grandfather.
posted by spaltavian at 7:19 AM on April 15 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I think Ken was maybe disrespectful, but it didn't have anything to do with it being Joan, it was just the fact that he is totally swamped and barely has time to breathe.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:44 AM on April 15


Dear Television's excellent take on it
posted by The Whelk at 7:50 AM on April 15


I think that scene is being misread. That was Ken being desperate, not disrespectful.

When Joan first came to his office, she hears him ranting to people in his office, and when they come out, I think they're all men. So I really don't read Ken's tantrum as directed at Joan as "secretary" either. Yes, Ken was only willing to use Joan because he's desperate, but he still trusts her more than "Torkelson," whoever that is. Also, right before he tosses her earring back to her, he implies that she's an "Account Man" now.
posted by gladly at 8:04 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that hand-off was a very "one of us" sort of gesture.
posted by spaltavian at 8:07 AM on April 15 [2 favorites]


Can someone ride a lawnmower over to Lou's office? No one should talk to Peggy like that.
posted by lunasol at 11:00 AM on April 15 [4 favorites]


Yeas, Joan has a partnership. But she's a n00b in Accounts, and Ken was at the end of his rope. We're not in Standard Hierarchical Situation Mode here.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:03 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


In the middle of the scene my husband turned to me and asked, "Are we supposed to have any idea what the fuck she's talking about? Her husband was a drunk . . . and . . . then he died?" This and the really forced instant intimacy was weird even for Don, I thought.

He probably was in an accident or struck with a terminal disease and died in a hospital after the doctors realized there was nothing more to do for him and turned off the tubes feeding him. Just as it is now in almost every state in the U.S., euthanasia was illegal. Certainly nothing to laugh at.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 2:43 PM on April 15


"He was thirsty and died of thirst..." is a reference to alcoholism and probably to going cold turkey and dying from that.
posted by crossoverman at 3:10 PM on April 15 [4 favorites]


Oh come on. I was laughing at the maudlin, overwrought writing and acting. It was a super dumb line delivered with such a straight face. I've been watching Mad Men since the pilot. I love it, and although I have issues with it here and there, never has anything leaped out at me like the airplane scene. I re-watched it twice since posting, and now it's even more of a WTF moment for me. It plays like something that we are supposed to find profound, but it's trying way too hard.

My husband's comment was essentially referencing the same thing - her vague, mysterious, "profound" non-answer to Don's question. We both knew "thirsty" referred to alcohol/alcoholism.
posted by peep at 3:41 PM on April 15


That's been bothering me, too. I blame Scott Hornbacher, who has directed arguably the most heavy-handed episodes of the whole series: The one where they fire Sal, the one where Betty goes to Weight Watchers, Far Away Places (the one where Roger and Jane do LSD and Don forces Megan to try orange sherbet), and last season's double-openers.

They're all really well written (Pizza House!) but the individual direction feels super clunky compared to other episodes.
posted by mochapickle at 4:03 PM on April 15


But Far Away Places turned heavy handed into a unreal art movie structure where everything was manic and strange and wonderful.
posted by The Whelk at 4:15 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I think Roger's story still worked. I still love the scene with Roger and Jane talking that morning. Did you find the Don/Megan scenes really painful, though? Their whole segment felt dishonest to me. And I can't help but feel Ginsburg's martian/nazi story would have been so much better if he had said it more casually, as if it were an everyday thing. It might have been so much more unnerving and chilling to Peggy and less easy for the audience to shrug off.
posted by mochapickle at 4:37 PM on April 15


Far Away Places is one of my favourite episodes of the series, so I'm not sure I'm 100% with you on the Hornbacher critique.

I'll have to rewatch the plane scene again. "He was thirsty and he died of thirst" is such an awkward line, but surely it's deliberately awkward? Or else Weiner would have written something else.
posted by crossoverman at 5:48 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Those raised with the dictum "we keep quiet about these things" would NOT say in a public space " he was a drunk who died of the DTs."
posted by brujita at 10:11 PM on April 15


Interrupting watching this episode to ask: is it just me, or is Megan suddenly very... Betty?

She's reminding me a lot of Betty in the Season 1 episode where she thinks about going back to modeling and ends up a pawn in Coke's game.

Especially that ice blue minidress. That's what hot younger 1969 Betty would be wearing.
posted by Sara C. at 10:31 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]


Oh, man. You know who used to get sick after big business dinners?

Betty.
posted by Sara C. at 10:35 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]


AAAAAH BROOKLYN AVENUE SHOUTOUT! (That's my neighborhood. They renamed it to Cesar Chavez Avenue in the 90s) And that's the last of my stream of consciousness posting, I swear.
posted by Sara C. at 10:39 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


The straight on shot of Don sitting in the chair echoes Freddy Rumsen at the beginning

That's Dick Whitman on that balcony.
posted by Sara C. at 11:18 PM on April 15 [5 favorites]


Did anyone see Peggy in her tam and think, "You're gonna make it after all?"

Her apartment is a dead ringer for Mary's, too.
posted by Sara C. at 11:19 PM on April 15


I was laughing at the maudlin, overwrought writing and acting. It was a super dumb line delivered with such a straight face. I've been watching Mad Men since the pilot. I love it, and although I have issues with it here and there, never has anything leaped out at me like the airplane scene.

peep, I agree with you entirely. I need to see if I'd have a different reaction on rewatching, but that whole sequence seemed ridiculous.

I think the point of it was to show Don ultimately rejecting a woman who is exactly his "type," with the bonus segue into his putting down the bottle when he got back home. But it didn't work. Whatever electricity the two of them were supposed to be feeling on the airplane, the abstruse dialogue just destroyed it. And that pretty much took away all the impact of Don's decision not to pursue anything with airplane woman.

To me it was a little similar to the opening of last season, when we (I at least) were left wondering why the hell he was so besotted with Sylvia. Only then, we were dropped in when the relationship was already underway, so how it had begun was left to the imagination. We could try to believe it had started like his relationship with Rachel did, or Megan. Where there was some initial fascination, yes, but he didn't go straight to cradling the woman's face in his hand in the first five minutes.

I love the writing on MM and think these lapses are rare. The only one as bad as this that I can think of is the flirting scene between Don and Suzanne (?) the teacher, which was widely misunderstood by viewers, and with good reason. Oh, and the scene outside the elevator between Peggy and Joan after the Avon meeting, in which Weiner managed to be so sly that he undermined the whole point of the episode and left many viewers thinking Joan had lost the account.
posted by torticat at 11:21 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I'm still not sure what we're supposed to make of Joan's so called brilliant business maneuvers.

I think it's worth remembering that the writers of this show are not actual ad execs, and probably have to make up lots of shit on the fly.

Watching ad people watch Mad Men is almost as good as watching my doctor and nurse parents watch ER in the 90s.
posted by Sara C. at 11:28 PM on April 15


I don't think "regular" women were still wearing gloves except maybe to church and evening social events.

I'm not positive that Tom & Lorenzo will mention it (are they even still doing Mad Style?), but the interesting thing about the costumes in that scene is that Margaret's clothes are dated even in contrast to extras in the scene. Even the older more matronly extras.

Though I couldn't help but imagine that her hat was an homage to that one Dylan song.
posted by Sara C. at 11:35 PM on April 15


Oh, and the scene outside the elevator between Peggy and Joan after the Avon meeting, in which Weiner managed to be so sly that he undermined the whole point of the episode and left many viewers thinking Joan had lost the account.

But even they didn't know if they had Avon at that point! In fact, I don't know if we knew until the season seven premiere if the Avon gambit had worked.
posted by crossoverman at 11:39 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]


Re the Ken and Joan dynamic.

More than anything, the scenes between them reminded me of the (season 2?) episode where Harry is the only person in his department, and he throws a bunch of extra work at Joan. Joan gets really into it, but she isn't able to parlay handling the overflow into a career change.

I'm thinking now that the brass ring is in her sights again, she's not going to let the situation go down the same way. Joan's angling for more account work, on an ongoing basis. Ken needs her, and this time she is not letting herself get replaced by a kid.
posted by Sara C. at 11:47 PM on April 15 [5 favorites]


I think Mad Style posts on Wednesdays, so we should be seeing it in the morning.
posted by rewil at 2:08 AM on April 16


Considering the creative and writing teams don't give a flip about anything beyond straight white people unless its to feed a specific little plot point, I don't see any Stonewall. Aside from Sal (and his wife, referred to as Kitty - coincidentally the same as "Kitty" Genovese) and Lee Garner, Jr, unless Bob Benson shows up that's completely done. Doesn't affect the people in this little bubble of the creator; Roger's orgy is just another throwaway bit.
posted by tilde at 5:08 AM on April 16


Nonsense. Sal wasn't a "specific little plot point", nor was Bob Benson. I don't think you have any sort of handle on what the writing teams "give a flip about".

This idea that they must show the most on-the-nose, obvious scenes is completely antithetical to the show's mature writing style. By insisting they hit us over the head with the March on Washington/Woodstock/Stonewall is a cry for dumbing down one of the few dramas on television that's for adults.
posted by spaltavian at 5:57 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Uh, there's also Kurt, and Joan's former roommate Carol, who was clearly a lesbian and in love with Joan. I don't think gays are statistically underrepresented on Mad Men.
posted by orange swan at 6:49 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Yay! Mad Style is up!
posted by mochapickle at 7:31 AM on April 16


If anything, I think the ongoing discussion of LGBT issues in the 60s implies that -- of all historical events of that time -- Stonewall is probably the most likely to be featured. Especially since it's a small local thing that happened in a neighborhood we see plenty of on the show. It would be weird if the show did a special March On Washington episode, because none of the characters are likely to be there and the show doesn't take place in DC at all. Stonewall is almost certain to be mentioned, even if it's a one-off reference to somebody being upset that Judy Garland died and then a short exchange about heading down to the Village later.
posted by Sara C. at 7:50 AM on April 16


re: Mad Style


Starting with a closeup of the face, moving out to a medium shot and then taking it even further, out to a long shot. The opening and closing shots of the episode, mirroring each other. The reason Freddie looks so well groomed is because he’s a literal stand-in for Don Draper. The irony with that final shot is that Don Draper is no longer Don Draper. That’s Dick Whitman on that balcony, cold and shivering.

Hey...combo of what Sara C and I said about that scene. Maybe we're secretly T&Lo Sara C.
posted by sweetkid at 7:51 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


The dress hanging on the back of Peggy's office door caught my eye when I watched the episode, but I totally didn't make the Lane connection T&Lo did and now I'm just kind of bowled over with WOW, HEAVY.

Also really interesting to me how much California Pete Campbell looks like Vincent Kartheiser in light costume, while Season 6 Pete Campbell looked like a different, older guy.
posted by COBRA! at 7:58 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Was Pete thinner? I remember it standing out that he gained some weight in Season 6. My guess is that a fitter Pete is an indication that he really is better off now.
posted by spaltavian at 8:01 AM on April 16


I think he's a little thinner, they've at least restyled his hair (and probably stopped shaving back his hairline, even), and he doesn't have the corners of his mouth constantly pulled down in a weird grimace.
posted by COBRA! at 8:03 AM on April 16


Couldn't disagree more with T&Lo about Margaret in that restaurant scene. While, yes, there was an upswing in conservatism with Nixon, it was a different, more casual and middle class conservatism that didn't go in for pillbox hats and gloves.

Also, look at everyone else in that scene and tell me she doesn't look out of touch.

The background actors are starting to look like characters from Woody Allen movies. She looks more antiquated than the Dick Van Dyke show.
posted by Sara C. at 8:07 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I think they had Kartheiser put on about 25 lbs to play Season 6 Pete. Looks like they let him take a couple back off for California Pete.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:13 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Sara, check out this image of the Nixon daughters in January 1969. It's a very formal occasion, yes, but I think that wherever they're eating is a pretty formal place. Her purple dress prior is much less conservative than this look (so! short!)

That shot of Pete coming in through the diner door is the most I've ever seen Pete look like Kartheiser. I didn't notice it when watching the show ('cause Kartheiser's so good) but in the still his Pete-face sort of slips away.
posted by anastasiav at 8:26 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Leopard skin Pillbox hat is about Edie Sedgwick.
posted by brujita at 8:27 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Canter's is a deli, not a diner.
posted by brujita at 8:28 AM on April 16


While, yes, there was an upswing in conservatism with Nixon, it was a different, more casual and middle class conservatism that didn't go in for pillbox hats and gloves.

Only one year later, in 1970, Elaine Stritch would memorably ask on Broadway "Does anyone still wear a hat?"
posted by dnash at 8:29 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


anistasiav, that's an outdoor photo in the cold winter (inauguration?), and neither of those hats are pillboxes. Here's a photo from the campaign trail that is probably similar in formality to Margaret's brunch situation, and indoors.

Chanel suit, outdated hat*, and little white gloves is not how the Nixon daughters dressed. It's not even how Pat dressed.

*Edie Sedgwick is a nice catch, though! Wasn't she also the misguided child of wealthy parents? I'm actually slightly disappointed that we haven't run into the barest mention of Andy Warhol on the show yet, considering it's 60s New York and pop art would have been the talk of the advertising world at the time.
posted by Sara C. at 8:35 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


That said, Margaret is wearing a much more apropos dress in her earlier phone conversation, so I don't think we're meant to take away that Margaret is out of touch as a human being. But something is being said by dressing her up that way, in that scene. Maybe as a callback to Roger's old life? "Come back to the real world, sexy grandpa! It's time to wake up!"
posted by Sara C. at 8:37 AM on April 16


that's an outdoor photo in the cold winter (inauguration?), and neither of those hats are pillboxes

It's January 1969 in the episode, too, in cold New York. But I do take your point about the hats not being pillboxes.
posted by anastasiav at 8:45 AM on April 16


Okay, I was all with family since Sunday night Jewing it up, but I thought this was a very interesting episode. Understated, started with the office in contrast with last season's silent Don in Hawaii sequence. In some ways, it feels like Don and Peggy's frustrations are those they've coped with before; being belittled by a supervisor and coping with a fading marriage. And yet that end sequence was just brutal. I've never felt so certain that the writers were trying to tell us that both of these characters are our protagonists, and that they're the same. Neither of them have wrestled with this level of solitude before, and it's killing both of them. I'd like to see the series and this season end with their triumph and unity--perhaps mirroring their disunity in the series premiere, when Peggy reaches out to Don and is rebuffed. I suspect both of them need to break totally free of Sterling Cooper. And perhaps Don needs to shed the shackles of advertising. Once I would have pegged (heh) this series for a downer ending, but after last season, I don't think so. I think we'll get some sort of soaring emotional triumph.

Also:

NO YOU DON'T THAT APARTMENT IS MADE OF CHEAP FURNISHING THAT WILL SHOW THEIR AGE IN LIKE FIVE YEARS AND HAVE TO BE REPLACED.

How prescient was this comment? That apartment is already falling to pieces without Megan. I'd say it was on the nose, but having grown up in houses where all the sliding closet doors were off their gliders, it feels pretty accurate to me.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:47 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


When Peggy first meets Abe at a Warholesque happening he says something to the effect of Andy being a hack.
posted by brujita at 8:56 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


And because her jewelry represents both the wealth she acquired and the way men see her as a prostitute, here’s Kenny, literally throwing it in her face. That she doesn’t catch it is ironic – and telling. She’s not the person she thought she was, nor is she the person everyone else thinks she is. - Mad Style
She doesn't catch the earring Ken throws because it's a horribly off throw by someone who hasn't adjusted to a lack of depth perception. It only serves to cap off Ken's frustrations for the episode (and comic relief for us viewers).

Peggy needs to hire a super or handyman service for her building, but I'm wondering if she is spread too financially thin from buying the place. I'm guessing Abe assured her that he would handle at least some of the maintenance.
posted by mikepop at 9:01 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


I really find the Mad Style analyses to be incredibly off-base for anything regarding plot or motivation.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:06 AM on April 16 [4 favorites]


She doesn't catch the earring Ken throws because it's a horribly off throw by someone who hasn't adjusted to a lack of depth perception. It only serves to cap off Ken's frustrations for the episode (and comic relief for us viewers).

I know, I was surprised TLo didn't catch that! Went back to their original review to see if they'd noted it there but nope.

Still, lots of interesting connections/observations in that MadStyle. I love the dress hanging on the back of Lane's door. Yowsers.
posted by torticat at 9:08 AM on April 16


Ugh, T&L, again with the throat clearing. The analysis is fine, though Chrysostom is spot-on. But the defense of the analysis undermines your arguments.

I think I'm going to institute a "will not read the comments this season" policy, mostly because I don't want to see them bickering with their readers again.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:09 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


But even they didn't know if they had Avon at that point! In fact, I don't know if we knew until the season seven premiere if the Avon gambit had worked.

We were supposed to infer from the thank-you basket of goodies that it had worked. In interviews Weiner made it clear that it was intended to be a success for Joan (he wasn't trying to be cagey about that)... but I agree with you in terms of how it was received by the audience, which is why I think of it as a failure on Weiner's part.
posted by torticat at 9:13 AM on April 16


In some ways, it feels like Don and Peggy's frustrations are those they've coped with before; being belittled by a supervisor and coping with a fading marriage.

Yes! Also, I think both of those character beats are, right now, all about repetition. This, AGAIN? I'm still alone? I'm still fucking up my marriage? I'm still not getting the respect I deserve? I'm still a drunk? Both of them are having dark nights of the soul, and both of those dark nights of the soul are about facing problems bigger than just you, that aren't new problems, and that none of the easy fixes you've tried are doing anything to solve.

Interestingly, Don's problem is somewhat fixable (dry out, join AA, get out of his terrible marriage and do better in the future), whereas Peggy's really isn't aside from a few token balms (her overarching problem is structural and depends on massive social changes that are still ongoing 40 years later).
posted by Sara C. at 9:23 AM on April 16


Brujita, good catch on the long-ago Warhol reference! I forgot about that scene's resemblance to the Factory.
posted by Sara C. at 9:24 AM on April 16


PhoB I totally agree with you. TLo got really ugly last season with the arguing against their commenters and it really bummed me out.

I also agree with Chrysostom that they frequently mis-read plot/motivation in their analysis and it totally baffles me. Their attention to costume and art design detail is quite astounding at times (i.e. noting Megan's Rhoda-like get-up in the kitchen with Don vs. Peggy's MTM-like tam, and holy crap the dress on the back of Lane's-now-Peggy's office door - that spooked me once they pointed it out). But in terms of plot analysis, they are quite dense.

I move that each week when they post their Mad Style analysis we all forgo their comment section and just come here to talk about it. I mean, I know we kind of always do that anyway. But I wanna make it official. Metafilter: We Do Mad Men Analysis Better.

(Hi guys. I'm so glad this show is back and I can discuss it with you guys. I don't have many friends IRL who care to dissect the show this way and this totally fills my MM beanplating needs, even if I mostly lurk.)

Also jesus the slow-motion entrance for Megan - yeah, fabulous, but every time Matt Weiner discusses Megan the character or Jessica Pare in interviews I just get super skeeved out. He is totally obsessed with her, in a way that seems sort of Hitchcock-ian. And then when we get these languorous sequences featuring her legs or side-boob or just how OMGHOTTT she is in general I feel really uncomfortable and wonder what it must be like for Jessica Pare to work for him. (Yes, I get that Matt Weiner didn't direct or edit this episode, but I know he has final cut every week and I also know that he includes an absurd level of detail in his teleplays and in his general overall show-running so I am fairly certain that this gross-ness is coming from him. Even my SO pointed it out this Sunday, and he's a dude who finds Jessica Pare OMGHOTTT.)
posted by thereemix at 9:26 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Also, I think both of those character beats are, right now, all about repetition. This, AGAIN? I'm still alone? I'm still fucking up my marriage? I'm still not getting the respect I deserve? I'm still a drunk?

Well, as a wise person once said, time is a flat circle.
posted by sweetkid at 9:30 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Also jesus the slow-motion entrance for Megan - yeah, fabulous, but every time Matt Weiner discusses Megan the character or Jessica Pare in interviews I just get super skeeved out.

One thing redeems this, for me, and I'm surprised Tom & Lorenzo didn't point it out.

Like many of the signature moments in Don and Megan's relationship, that little slo-mo sequence is a dead ringer for the advertising aesthetic of the period. It could almost be a car commercial.

In fact, doesn't it even call back to the "Daddy's home" print ads they were doing for Mohawk Airlines, once upon a time? This is not the homecoming you're looking for, Don. No matter how much you want to see it that way.

Also, I have to say -- 1969 is officially the year I start noticing set dressing from my childhood. We had Megan's corningware casserole dish (for all I know someone in my family still has it), and my mom had that same makeup mirror with the lights.
posted by Sara C. at 9:31 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


As another wise person once said, and apropos for this episode - "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."
posted by Sara C. at 9:32 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


And because her jewelry represents both the wealth she acquired and the way men see her as a prostitute, here’s Kenny, literally throwing it in her face. That she doesn’t catch it is ironic – and telling. She’s not the person she thought she was, nor is she the person everyone else thinks she is. - Mad Style

Glad I never got on the T&L train, because that is the stupidest analysis of Mad Men I have ever read.
posted by spaltavian at 9:33 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Yeah spaltavian that was a real clunker. I'm still shaking my head over here.
posted by thereemix at 9:35 AM on April 16


Like many of the signature moments in Don and Megan's relationship, that little slo-mo sequence is a dead ringer for the advertising aesthetic of the period. It could almost be a car commercial.

This is a really good point and I'm glad you mentioned it.

Also FANTASTIC music choice for that scene. I've got "I'm a Man" on repeat on iTunes now. It just puts you in the perfect mood for what's to come.

The lyrics of that song are kind of hilariously on point too.

I got to keep my image
While suspended from a throne
That looks out upon a kingdom
Full of people all unknown
Who imagine I'm not human
And my heart is made of stone
I never had no problems
And my toilet's trimmed with chrome

posted by thereemix at 9:38 AM on April 16


Glad I never got on the T&L train, because that is the stupidest analysis of Mad Men I have ever read.

The worst point is that I thought they made a lot of good observations about Joan's costuming in this episode and the fact that, while others might see her as a capable businesswoman, she's still dwelling on how she got there.

You were on a roll, Tom & Lorenzo! What happened!

Especially since I took the earring exchange as showing that Ken wants her help and sees her as an equal -- as long as she stays out of his office -- not as him pelting her with gold as a reminder of her sin, or whatever they were getting at.
posted by Sara C. at 9:51 AM on April 16 [4 favorites]


He misses it cause he CAN'T SEE cause he has ONE EYE and it's a CONSTANT REMINDER OF HOW AWFUL HIS LIFE IS RIGHT NOW.
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 AM on April 16 [6 favorites]


You wouldn't tell a office manager/secretary to stay out your office, even!

That was so clearly Kenny treating her as another account guy, a player, rather than Joan, Queen Bee. No one would have spoken to Joan that way in 1960, because the account guys saw her as some sort of exquisite creature. Stay out of my office is the sort of verbal horseplay/ragging on each other that tends to happen between men. We've only seen Peggy get the sort of treatment so far.
posted by spaltavian at 10:04 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


"He misses it cause he CAN'T SEE cause he has ONE EYE and it's a CONSTANT REMINDER OF HOW AWFUL HIS LIFE IS RIGHT NOW."

Exactly. Did you notice the little disclaimer they added about "We know this scene is about Ken's depth perception but..."? That analysis was lame and most of the cogent points were already noted by commenters here before they posted their analysis.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:06 AM on April 16


There are some great parallels between Joan and Peggy.

Peggy earned her position; she worked hard and rose through the ranks.

Joan got her position on her back, but! I think it was a very calculated move on her part. She was never going to move past secretary/office manager without something big happening. She saw an opportunity (albeit a skeezy one that everyone except Don walked out of smelling like a giant turd), she took it, and she leapt from 'office girl' to partner.

Ken throwing the earring at her, I think, was a continuiation of his temper tantrums from before--which, as others here have noted, means he's treating her as Accounts now. Though I think there will be a payback--perhaps Joan throwing something at him? A new file maybe?--along with "I am a partner and if you ever talk to me that way again you won't have this office anymore."

The miss was about depth perception, sure, but after minimum two months using only one eye your depth perception is going to adjust itself. I think the other meaning inherent in that scene is that Ken is treading water and lashing out, while paradoxically treating her as an accounts gal as well as demonstrating superiority over her (which as I said above is going to come back and bite his ass) by forcing her to do exactly what he wants--either catch it, or be forced to humble herself by picking it up, in front of him or not.

But mostly I think it's about Ken unravelling.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:12 AM on April 16


Peggy’s “You’re gonna make it after all” Mary Tyler Moore-style knit beret.

TLo... Peggy's tam was crocheted.
posted by orange swan at 10:12 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


I noticed that and was glad to see it. Because I'm so bitter about the new crochet trend, and I'm glad I have something hideous to point at and say, "See, entire world? Crochet is UGLY AND ALSO BAD."

I wouldn't kick a granny square afghan out of bed (literally), but seriously crochet has no place in the world of good taste.

Also this is clearly another way that the late 60s aesthetic totally informed what I think of as stylish. Just about everything that everyone is wearing, all the interior design, etc. is pinging my NOOOOO SO TERRIBLE JUST PLEASE DONTTTTT buttons.

This is clearly why Roger was naked for a significant portion of the episode. I feel your pain, man.
posted by Sara C. at 10:19 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Poor, poor Ken. Over the course of a few seasons, everything good's been taken away from him--his rising career as a sci-fi writer, his relationship with his father-in-law (once unsullied by business). Even the birth of his first child was marred by a physical injury. All because of his job. I'd be pissed off and shaky, too, if I were him.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:22 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Really? I thought Peggy looked amazing and dressed very well in this episode. Megan would look like a pile of sex in a burlap sack.

I think Roger's nudity through the episode was more about him being lost, directionless--about to be reborn.

And showing off a pretty hot bod for a grandfather.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:26 AM on April 16


Feckless, I thought her clothes were overall alright (as terrible late 60s fashion goes: it could be worse, she could be wearing double knit), but that tam was the worst.

It was the tan leatherette insert, for me. I've seen so many of those in thrift store dollar bins over the years. Shudder. I can practically smell the thing.

The same basic hat pattern in dark green or maybe goldenrod, without the fake leather, would have been fine. But that hat as it actually is in real life is the ultimate example of why crochet is the worst.
posted by Sara C. at 10:29 AM on April 16


You wouldn't tell a office manager/secretary to stay out your office, even!

That was so clearly Kenny treating her as another account guy, a player, rather than Joan, Queen Bee. No one would have spoken to Joan that way in 1960, because the account guys saw her as some sort of exquisite creature. Stay out of my office is the sort of verbal horseplay/ragging on each other that tends to happen between men. We've only seen Peggy get the sort of treatment so far.


Exactly. I don't get the comments about how Ken is totally going to get his comeuppance for treating a partner THAT WAY or anything. They're in the trenches together, and has been said above, some of the only people who are actually working.

I work in advertising and have definitely gotten snippy with people with higher titles than me, if it's an area that I control (for me, digital production). That's life in the trenches. Ken is head of Accounts and Joan is shaky in that area. Their interaction made sense to me.
posted by sweetkid at 10:35 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


(ooo beta site for Mefi Tv Discussion is live)
posted by The Whelk at 10:36 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Yes, but how snippy would you be to one of the owners of your company?

He treated her in some ways the way she wanted to be treated--as one of the guys in the trenches--but he really did step over a hierarchical line there, and his uppance will come.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:37 AM on April 16


I have also been snippy to the owners of the company. My personal experience aside, Joan is not a delicate flower and can handle this just fine, as I think the scene was showing.
posted by sweetkid at 10:40 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]



(ooo beta site for Mefi Tv Discussion is live)

So are we going over there? Right now it's just mathowie talking to himself.

I'm a little worried about fragmenting the conversation.
posted by sweetkid at 10:42 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Exactly. I don't get the comments about how Ken is totally going to get his comeuppance for treating a partner THAT WAY or anything. They're in the trenches together, and has been said above, some of the only people who are actually working.

Yeah, I agree with this. I also agree with TLo that Joan's power comes with vulnerability, but her previous veneer of power was completely illusory. Now, she has to be vulnerable--she has to learn. She's admitted and accepted her mistakes from next season and is ready to become a true pro to earn her position at the top. Could totally see Joan getting an MBA during the 70s.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:52 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


They're also different kinds of power. I'm pretty sure that, as Office Manager, Joan had free reign to go into any office she wanted. Not because she was so formidable/hot/whatever that nobody would call her on it, but because she literally kept the keys to every office and may have either had business in there or overseen other secretaries' business in there from time to time.

I mean, who cleans up all those empty rocks glasses and makes sure everybody has plenty of ice, if not the secretarial staff?
posted by Sara C. at 10:57 AM on April 16


Yeah I'm usually grumbly about the whole Joan as partner/getting accounts/not being Head of Secretaries any more but this storyline worked for me, apart from some weird "that wouldn't go down like that in advertising/business in general" quibbles.

For example, no way would that guy have talked to the agency about moving advertising in house before his bosses at Butler. Also the whole "did you even think about how we do media planning for you too?" bit from Joan to marketing guy was a little too dramatic.

But whatever, fine, it's TV, fine.
posted by sweetkid at 10:57 AM on April 16


Yeah from a plot standpoint I'm not sure why this guy would broadcast that information to the agency, at all. Did he just think Joan was a dumb girl and forget he was talking to an employee of the company he's thinking about firing?
posted by Sara C. at 11:00 AM on April 16


Sara C., I know there's a lot of ugly crocheted items out there, but that's a failing on the part of the crafter, not of the craft itself. Crochet can be beautiful. You might be interested in reading the post I wrote on this topic for my knitting blog, "A Case for Crochet".

I do find a lot of the late sixties styles just hideous. If I'd been alive in that time, I would have clung to the classics. I was glad to see that Pete has a very attractive office. After that suburban hell Trudy subjected him to (DEAR GOD THAT HOUSE WAS HIDEOUS), the man deserves some pleasing decor.
posted by orange swan at 11:01 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


If it were Don, Pete, Roger, or Cooper the head of Butler would get an earful of "who is this kid, why wouldn't you come talk to me?" and then the kid would get an earful about how you don't go to the agency with a scoop on an internal topic and the kid would maybe even get fired.
posted by sweetkid at 11:02 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Well, right now I'm wearing skinny jeans, moccasins, and a top from Forever 21, so I'm under no illusions that I'm better than Peggy's regrettable style choices.

Also, OK, OK, some of that crocheted lace is pretty gorgeous.
posted by Sara C. at 11:13 AM on April 16


That probably would have happened in say S2.

But SCDP is, I think, on rockier ground than they're letting on. Those kinds of phonecalls only come from a place of power; Ken wouldn't be as harried as he is if everything were running smoothly, you know?

(Yes, I know sales people are always rushing and always harried but you get my point).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:13 AM on April 16


(DEAR GOD THAT HOUSE WAS HIDEOUS)

OH MY GOD IT WAS LIKE DROWNING IN PRINTS.
posted by The Whelk at 11:15 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Haha I love that stuff. Megan's wood paneled bungalow is also super appealing to me. Then again, I like to spend time drooling over TLC houses on zillow where the realtors are all "TEAR UP THE SHAG CARPET AND BRING YOUR TOOLBELT!" dreaming about how I'd pretty much keep them like that forever.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:17 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I think it's telling to current fashion trends that if you squint in Megan's apartment it looks like every south-American-aping-california-vegan-resteraunt out there.
posted by The Whelk at 11:19 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


It made no sense at all that Trudy, who did such a great job decorating the apartment in New York, would decorate their suburban home that way. I mean, when people move from one home to another, they generally do fix up the second house in a way that's pretty similar to the first. Trudy's tastes just wouldn't have changed or deteriorated that much.
posted by orange swan at 11:20 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I liked Megan's pad a lot just because it was so different than the Don/Megan hip apartment. It was just like, a place, with stuff around and books and just like a place people live in. We don't see a lot of that on this show.
posted by sweetkid at 11:20 AM on April 16


Then again, I like to spend time drooling over TLC houses on zillow where the realtors are all "TEAR UP THE SHAG CARPET AND BRING YOUR TOOLBELT!" dreaming about how I'd pretty much keep them like that forever.

Dude what if you drop cream cheese on the carpet or someone throws up or something
posted by sweetkid at 11:21 AM on April 16


Fanwank: Trudy is a scary social mimic who tailors her character to her situation, her expected role. This extends to decorating. When she was a hip young married in the city, he HAD to have a chic, fashionable fun decor. Now that she's A Mother In The Suburbs, everything Needs to be flowery and material and delicate.

This is how she constructs her cover identity. Her mask for her double life as a serial killer.

This is her design.
posted by The Whelk at 11:22 AM on April 16 [8 favorites]


Dude what if you drop cream cheese on the carpet or someone throws up or something

We had shag carpet like that until I was 16 or 17. I figured they're pretty much the reason steam cleaner rental was invented. Also, speaking from experience, orange shag hides schmutz so much better than that beige carpeting that is in every McMansion and condo apartment I've ever seen.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:24 AM on April 16


Fanwank: Trudy is a scary social mimic who tailors her character to her situation, her expected role. This extends to decorating. When she was a hip young married in the city, he HAD to have a chic, fashionable fun decor. Now that she's A Mother In The Suburbs, everything Needs to be flowery and material and delicate.

Trudy pushed the "WE HAVE A BABY NOW SO WE ARE CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED TO GO LIVE IN THE COUNTRY BECAUSE THAT IS JUST WHAT PEOPLE DO DON'T YOU KNOW ANYTHING YOU STUPID STUPID MAN DIDN'T YOU READ THE MANUAL" agenda So. Damn. Hard. that I'd go so far as to say that your interpretation isn't a fanwank at all. You can even see it in her clothes.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:29 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


can she also be a serial killer cause I kinda want to run with this
posted by The Whelk at 11:30 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty certain Trudy is the kind of woman who would have written The Rules.

She's Betty but more transparent.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:31 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


1969 is officially the year I start noticing set dressing from my childhood. We had Megan's corningware casserole dish

Born in 1969, here. I didn't recognize that specific piece but we definitely had other corning casseroles from the same line, with the blue flower design.

Also, Pete has a barometer in his office (that I notice followed him from New York to LA) that I swear my grandparents had, but I could just be confusing similar things.
posted by dnash at 11:31 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I said I wanted Don and Peggy to solve crimes last season. Maybe this is how it happens. Don isn't even working right now. Maybe he just keeps meeting up with Peggy outside her office and harassing her with all these Woody Allenish anxieties about how Trudy is a serial killer until Peggy finally listens and they start sleuthing.
posted by sweetkid at 11:32 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


I really find the Mad Style analyses to be incredibly off-base for anything regarding plot or motivation.

yeah, they spent the first three seasons ranting about how Betty's full skirts were a clear sign that she was in intellectual and emotional child, completely ignoring the fact that full-skirted dresses were practically a uniform for middle-class housewives in the early 1960's. I started grinding my teeth every time they'd say, "And here's Betty in another one of her little-girl cupcake dresses" that I had to stop reading for the sake of my blood pressure.

Same with Peggy. I've seen pictures of my mother and her co-workers in the secretarial pool a few years later than Peggy's tenure there, and they're generally wearing button-down blouses and box-pleated skirts. Yet T-Lo were always bloviating about Peggy "dressing like a little schoolgirl" and how that signified that "she needed to grow up." Read a couple of history books before you start declaring yourselves experts, boys.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:38 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Yeah the Peggy/schoolgirl thing is ENOUGH ALREADY
posted by sweetkid at 11:40 AM on April 16


I mean, when people move from one home to another, they generally do fix up the second house in a way that's pretty similar to the first.

One possibility is that, when the Campbells moved out to the burbs, they were able to furnish the new place from scratch. Whereas their starter apartment might have been hand-me-downs, or possibly gifts from Trudy's parents, or even just catch-as-catch can in terms of the aesthetic.

Not that the apartment looked bad, but the overall style might have been more influenced by aesthetic constraints that don't exist in the new place.

Also, if the Campbells are more well off now, Trudy may have decorated the new house with the assumption that they could change it whenever, and thus picked more of-the-moment stuff.

I also feel like nowadays people tend to think about their individual style and how their space reflects them, on an individual level, in a way people didn't in the 60s.

Both sets of my grandparents bought houses in the late 60s. Despite the fact that my grandparents couldn't be any more different from each other in most ways, they had a lot of the same furniture, chose similar colors and patterns, etc. Their homes say "We watched the Watergate Hearings on this TV" much more than they say "I really love antique china patterns!" or "We are super into dogs!"
posted by Sara C. at 11:40 AM on April 16


"And here's Betty in another one of her little-girl cupcake dresses"

On the other hand, women's clothing really was infantilizing back then, and the show has done a lot of comparing Sally and Betty by dressing them in conspicuously similar outfits.

I just don't know how much mileage you can get out of the schoolgirl thing when literally all clothes that women were wearing -- except for anything Joan has ever worn, interestingly -- were infantilizing, and they say it about almost every female character.
posted by Sara C. at 11:43 AM on April 16


but he really did step over a hierarchical line there

Nah. If you seriously think the earring-tossing thing was disrespectful, compare it to Don throwing money into Peggy's face. Completely different in every way. There was mutual respect with Ken and Joan. Like sweetkid said, some of the only people who are actually working.

Ken is so damned relieved that Joan is going to be doing some of this stuff now.

Joan got her position on her back

Yeah, but she earned it with 15 years excellent service before that. The Jaguar guy was so the only way she was going to get what she actually deserved. That's why Joan didn't have the "how dare you" reaction you think she should have had to Ken. She's delighted that Ken is recognizing her real value and doesn't know or doesn't care how she got partner.
posted by spaltavian at 11:47 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Everything that Joan has ever worn is sexualizing, though.

Admittedly, when you look like her, everything is, so I guess they just ran with it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:47 AM on April 16


Yeah, Joan doesn't get partner out of sleeping with the Jaguar guy if she wasn't *already* positioned. It's not like it would worked for Dawn, or Megan when she was a secretary.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:55 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Yeah. Sleeping with disgusting Jaguar man was basically just shortcutting ten years of hard work. Don't blame her for it in the slightest; she has the talent to back it up.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:58 AM on April 16


Shit, Megan did actually literally sleep her way into a copywriting job and it ultimately did not work out well.
posted by Sara C. at 12:00 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


In fact, sleeping with $random seems to have only worked out well for Joan. Everyone else who tries it gets screwed (ahem) in the end.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:03 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Born in 1969, here. I didn't recognize that specific piece but we definitely had other corning casseroles from the same line, with the blue flower design.

All through the late 1970's and 1980's, the blue flower design Corningware casserole was Mom's go-to baking dish. Three or four meals a week were cooked in it; all our birthday and celebration cakes were made in it; it went to church suppers and potlucks; and it lasted long after we left the nest.

It was probably the nicest piece of cookware we had - I always assumed it had been a wedding present or something. I asked Mom about it a couple of years ago: Where had it come from? Was it passed down from one of the grandmothers? A rare gift from Dad? A prize in a cooking contest?

"Oh, that? The dog brought it home one day."

"The DOG? You mean he STOLE it?"

"I guess so. He was always bringing things home, but usually it was just old shoes and broken junk. I figured if somebody left a nice casserole out where a dog could get it..."

"I can't believe you baked all our birthday cakes in a dish the dog stole! All these years I thought it was an heirloom!"

"Nope."

"I don't remember a dog who stole stuff. What dog WAS it?"

"Pippi. He was clean; he jumped in the creek whenever you told him to take a bath. And I DID wash it, you know. With bleach and everything. It's not like it was a dog dish or something."

"But it had a lid!"

"Yeah, he came home with the lid a few days later."

"All those childhood memories..."

"Did the cake taste any different?"

"Well, no..."

"Some kids never got a homemade cake at all."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:05 PM on April 16 [22 favorites]


That is hilarious.
posted by sweetkid at 12:08 PM on April 16


The Underpants Monster: "Yeah, he came home with the lid a few days later."

Genius.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:10 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Shit, Megan did actually literally sleep her way into a copywriting job and it ultimately did not work out well.

Oh, but MEGHAN was so smart and wonderful and intuitive and gifted and engaging and capable and diligent and keen and artistic and effortlessly skillful and sophisticated and accommodating and inspired and full of fresh ideas and talented and poised and astute and brilliant and charismatic and charming and savvy and informed and au courant and clever and witty and perfect (but humble) *deep breath* that she was winning awards all on her own within a year of being made copywriter with no previous experiencee, training, or inclination.

And she was just so darn naturally good at it, and just such a fine, sweet, delightful, generous, thoughtful, gentle, darling, angelic, considerate, good-natured, lovable, dear person, *deep breath* that even Peggy, who'd been busting her working-class ass against a brick wall and a glass ceiling for the better part of a decade not only couldn't hold any hard feelings, but just wanted to be her bestie and hand out together at the awards ceremony!

She only left the one job Don got her (but she was naturally brilliant at without lifting a finger) because she really wanted another job Don could get her (at which she was, OF COURSE, naturally brilliant without lifting a finger).

The only parts of her copywriting job that didn't go well were, "I feel bad for taking lots of time off, even though all my coworkers know it's not my fault and love me and my ingenious work anyway," and "How do I tell Don I want to stop being a preternaturally instant wunderkind at one door he opens for me and be a preternaturally instant wunderkind at another door he'll open for me?"

Poutine's on me if Meghan's middle names don't turn out to be "Marie Suzanne."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:45 PM on April 16 [6 favorites]


Underpants, I was thinking more that her doing that -- and establishing a history of expecting that from Don -- was the first nail in the Draper-Calvet Marriage Coffin.

But I'm always happy to put more logs on the Megan Is So Annoying/Creepy/MarySue-ish fire, sure.
posted by Sara C. at 1:11 PM on April 16


Yeah from a plot standpoint I'm not sure why this guy would broadcast that information to the agency, at all. Did he just think Joan was a dumb girl and forget he was talking to an employee of the company he's thinking about firing?

I'm not sure that the guy was telling the absolute truth, he might have just been trying to negotiate the ad agency's fees down or to make sure that he only gets meetings with the agency's top brass or whatever. His bosses don't necessarily have any intention of moving advertising in-house (which is why it would be worth calling them directly, I think, but I understand why Joan would want to get her ducks in a row first, just in case the kid was telling the truth). It's a dumb move on his part (especially if it really is just a lie his bosses know nothing about, though bringing it up even if it is the truth is dumb, too) and likely to backfire on him -- but he also tried to ~subtly~ drop into conversation that he had an MBA, so I think he's a poser in general, trying to pretend to be bigger than he is and too eager to prove himself.
posted by rue72 at 1:26 PM on April 16


she really wanted another job Don could get her (at which she was, OF COURSE, naturally brilliant without lifting a finger).

Did Don actually get her the soap opera job? I thought all he got her was the modeling gig for an ad, where all she really had to be is pretty. I don't recall him being a part of getting the soap job. How "brilliant" her acting is, I think, is questionable. It's only a soap opera, one doesn't exactly need to be Joan Fontaine. I think she's probably mediocre at best, and I think she knows it. She was shown with lots of anxiety about her job last season, terribly fearful of saying the wrong thing to the swinger coworker who hit on her repeatedly.
posted by dnash at 1:35 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I just realized that I'm old now thanks to thinking the MBA marketing dude looked like a little twerp.

People I'm becoming Roger Sterling what do I doooooooo

(Seriously, when Mad Men started, I always sympathized with the young upstarts. Now they just look like fetuses to me.)
posted by Sara C. at 1:39 PM on April 16


We've been through this, you can never be old because I'm older.
posted by sweetkid at 1:43 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Underpants, I was thinking more that her doing that -- and establishing a history of expecting that from Don -- was the first nail in the Draper-Calvet Marriage Coffin

I apologize, Sara C. - I did know what you were getting at, and I shouldn't have pissed all over it. I had one of those Meghan-Yanks-Me-Right-Put-Of-The-Internal-Reality-Of-The-Show Moments(TM), and I let it sour the discussion.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:52 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I don't know, I think The Underpants Monster and Sara C are both right. Megan was presented irritatingly as perfect-amazing-wunderkind mostly because Weiner has some sort of fascination with Jessica Pare, but now with the character it seems the bloom is off the rose.
posted by sweetkid at 1:54 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Underpants, I don't think you pissed on anything at all.

Besides which, I don't think pissing on either the grave of the Draper-Calvet Marriage or the Fire Of Megan-Hate is going to have much effect!

One thing that occurred to me on my commute this morning is that a lot of my hatred of Megan is related to my general not wanting Don to make the bad life choice of marrying his secretary he barely knows. And yet people did stuff like that all the time.

I'm fairly sure that situations like Don and Megan are the reason couples now cohabitate and nobody gets married until their 30s after dating for like a decade. These are preventable mistakes.
posted by Sara C. at 2:04 PM on April 16


You guys notice that Megan's going to get her teeth fixed? Woman is obliterating everything Don liked about her. Wonder if this means we won't see her on the show anymore. I can't imagine that Pare is getting her teeth "fixed."

Also there was a little on the nose comment during the agent convo about what a polarizing figure Megan is, but I can't remember it exactly. I really need to rewatch this one.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:07 PM on April 16


I'm notoriously bad at predictions, but I took various elements of her pilot casting storyline as hints that the show isn't going to get picked up. Which means they probably won't fix her teeth.
posted by Sara C. at 2:14 PM on April 16


I don't think she's actually going to get her teeth fixed. I think that was a throwaway line to make a joke about how online people don't like her teeth.
posted by sweetkid at 2:15 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I'm notoriously bad at predictions, but I took various elements of her pilot casting storyline as hints that the show isn't going to get picked up.

From Alan Sepinwall on Hitfix:

* Megan's audition is for "Bracken's World," an inside showbiz series that actually ran on NBC for a season and a half in 1969 and early 1970. Based on this extended promo from 1969, it doesn't seem like an enormous step up from her daytime soap work, nor was it a launching pad of note for any of its young actresses.
posted by dnash at 2:29 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


I've never understood Megan. Not saying Jesse Pare is a bad actress or the character isn't necessarily well written, I just don't understand who she is, and why she's there. This latest episode made it even more difficult for me to grasp what "role" she plays both on the show and in Don Draper's life. Is he confused by her as well?
posted by cell divide at 2:30 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


While I'm not sure that she's going to actually get her teeth fixed, I still think the conversation was significant. Megan made gestures of agreement; when she and Don fell in love during their first CA trip, Megan complained about the old friend who told her she wouldn't be successful because of her teeth, and Don professed to loving them.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:31 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


One thing that occurred to me on my commute this morning is that a lot of my hatred of Megan is related to my general not wanting Don to make the bad life choice of marrying his secretary he barely knows. And yet people did stuff like that all the time.

You guys think they have a bad marriage?

I think Meghan is loving her life in LA and doesn't want to deal with Don right now, let alone sleep with him. Their marriage seems strong to me overall, though?
posted by rue72 at 2:31 PM on April 16


Ter utter inability to connect during Don's trip is .....not a good sign.
posted by The Whelk at 2:34 PM on April 16


I'm thinking that neither wanting to deal with your husband nor have sex with him is not exactly an indication of a marriage that is happy and healthy.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:37 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Their marriage seems strong to me overall, though?

Not at all. They had a few moody scenes last season where Megan told Don she could feel things weren't working. "You're not here." His initial announcement that they would move to LA relieved her, they both seemed to think it would bring them back together. But then he blew it and let Ted take his place. She'd already gotten herself written out of the show and made contacts in LA so it was too late for her not to go, but with Don effectively out of a job apparently he stayed behind. So LA has not been the marriage-saver they wanted it to be.
posted by dnash at 2:38 PM on April 16


but with Don effectively out of a job apparently he stayed behind

And that's really important, I think. Don could have gone with her. He finds lying to her easier and better than being by her side.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:40 PM on April 16 [8 favorites]


And that's really important, I think. Don could have gone with her. He finds lying to her easier and better than being by her side.

Yes. They're done. Anyone who has been in a dying relationship would, I think, recognize Megan's lack of interest in Don as the beginning of the end. If anything Don's refusal to cheat on her with the woman on the plane was proof that he might be ready to move on. Status-quo Don probably would've just gone for it?
posted by cell divide at 4:05 PM on April 16


Also, if I may play amateur T&Lo Mad Style for a moment, notice how her look in that cute little cabin in the canyons matches the surroundings so well? She looks totally at home in that little place, which is so stylistically different from the super-stylish Manhattan high rise apartment they'd been in together. She looked comfortable there, Don did not. When Don showed off by buying a gigantic console TV, she was upset about it. They're now in two very different places, physically and psychologically.
posted by dnash at 5:01 PM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Yes. They're done. Anyone who has been in a dying relationship would, I think, recognize Megan's lack of interest in Don as the beginning of the end. If anything Don's refusal to cheat on her with the woman on the plane was proof that he might be ready to move on. Status-quo Don probably would've just gone for it?

I've been in dying relationships, but I don't think their current disconnect is necessarily a death knell. I thought that Megan was savoring her success and independence and resented Don horning in on the life she'd made for herself, and I figured that Don seemed passive and out of touch because he's continuing to spiral into further and further existential angst. Megan and Don aren't in conflict, though, they're just not on the same page -- so things didn't seem that dire to me. When Don and Megan got together, they were playing big-shot man and charming ingenue, and now that dynamic doesn't work anymore. Of course there are going to bumps on the road to finding a new dynamic that does. Maybe they'd just rather break up, though?

I think Don especially might have some trouble with their relationship becoming more equitable, let alone with letting Megan take the reigns for a bit, because he loves to compartmentalize and hates emotional intimacy and is a control freak in his own oddly distant way; he actually does want a *wife,* I think, not a partner. He might be willing to try out a different way of doing things in order to stay with Megan, though -- I think he really does love her, and was genuinely sad at their disconnect, and I think that he would like a bit of a rest anyway. I think that he's more likely to break things off than she is, because even though Megan might feel she's outgrown Don, or just she doesn't want him smothering her right now, she does try to be "a good Catholic girl" in her own way and I think she'd have to be at the end of her rope or feeling very trapped before she'd actually divorce him.

I do think that she might be seeing someone else, though. Or at least it wouldn't surprise me.
posted by rue72 at 5:06 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


One thing I thought the writing nailed was the language and conflict of long distance relationships, from feeling protective of one's space to not wanting to waste time and energy on arguments. Been there, done that; we made it through, but we were also far more honest with one another than Megan and Don are being.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:02 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


And that's really important, I think. Don could have gone with her. He finds lying to her easier and better than being by her side.

I don't know, in what way is he lying to her at this point? He rejected Neve Campbell's offering herself on a plate. He's not staying in New York to carry on with his normal lifestyle, but because there is nothing for him on the west coast. Not that what he has in New York is all that great--using Freddy as a mouthpiece--but what is there for him in CA?

I mean--Megan is there, obviously. But it's probably expecting too much of Don Draper in '69 to give up his professional life entirely, which at this point is still tied up in SDCP. They are still paying him, after all (and enabling him to support Megan).
posted by torticat at 9:49 PM on April 16


Oh I just realized PhoBWanKenobi, you mean lying to Megan in that she doesn't know he was put on leave?
posted by torticat at 9:55 PM on April 16


Yeah, the whole reason they are "bicoastal" at this point is because Don is letting Megan believe he's still working at SCDPLETTERS. Even going so far as to pretend he "has to work" while in California.

Someone who loved their wife would want to live on the same side of the country as her. Or, at the very least, would devote his rare cross-country visits to spending time with her rather than pretending he has work obligations he doesn't actually have.

Also, how can Don even begin to have the journey to truth and soberness that he needs to have if he can't even tell his wife he's been on leave from work for months?
posted by Sara C. at 10:34 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Someone who loved their wife would want to live on the same side of the country as her. Or, at the very least, would devote his rare cross-country visits to spending time with her rather than pretending he has work obligations he doesn't actually have.

He doesn't want her to dump him altogether. She already was willing to pick up and move thousands of miles away from him for her career -- and that was before she found out she loved being in LA alone, and started finding even more success out there, and before he lost his job.

Honestly, he's probably on the right track -- when your wife is having the time of her life without you, it's probably not the best time to start getting clingy and telling her sob stories about your work failures and endless Dark Night of the Soul. Don't push it, you know? Also, he's been having some trouble lately not being Dick Whitman (or at least he was last season) -- and he knows she doesn't want to be with Dick Whitman.
posted by rue72 at 10:47 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


How is it clingy to live in the same state?
posted by Sara C. at 10:53 PM on April 16


How is it clingy to live in the same state?

Apparently too clingy for Megan!

Also, I think that Don really doesn't want to spill the beans on anything that's going to make him look bad in her eyes, and he's such a mess lately that there's just no way he would be able to keep all this information (job loss, drinking, relative fixation on his own past, etc) on lockdown if he were with Megan for more than a week or two at a stretch.
posted by rue72 at 11:03 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Don can't reclaim his position from California, though. He really is working in New York. He is lying by not telling her about the leave, but he really can't just go live with her.
posted by spaltavian at 5:55 AM on April 17


While "clingy" may not be the most apt word, I do not think Megan's reaction would have been one of joy if Don announced on this trip "hey, I'm going to move in right now!" and maybe he got a read on that (maybe when he saw he couldn't even move in a television correctly, or that she really didn't want to be intimate with him).

I think Don is aware of just how tenuous everything is for him, but he still thinks he can maybe fix at least his professional life. He lost his fight for a return date to SCP, but instead of just being drunk all the time he has built up this whole elaborate system with Freddy so he can keep working. I don't know what his end game is there (and what happens to Freddy once he loses Cyrano Draper), but it seems he still wants to get back into the game and maybe "never happen" the end of last season's breakdown.

Things are not good with Megan, and he probably got a better sense of that on this trip. On the other hand, he did put in an effort - shaving on the plane instead of just drinking on the plane - and he didn't have sex with anyone else the entire trip! Again, sort of baseline behavior for normal people but actually pretty good progress for Don. Plus, he is actually well aware and able to admit that if things are a lost cause with Megan he is the one that made it so.

I think it's safe to say that Don has enough money at this point to just walk away from everything (again), buy his approximation of Anna's bungalow by the sea in California, work on souping up cars all day and drink and carouse all night. But for whatever reason he is not ready to give up on everything just yet. I know that whenever we think Don has hit rock bottom he manages to lift up the rock and keep digging until he hits another rock, but maybe last season was some sort of version of rock bottom for him and he is trying to turn some things around.

Of course the downside of being aware and not blind drunk is being Dick Whitman freezing and crying on the balcony.
posted by mikepop at 6:21 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


But for whatever reason he is not ready to give up on everything just yet.

Yeah. Dick Whitman in the war would have loved the bungalow and the seaside, but he he's been Don Draper too long. And the Don Draper persona would probably go start some another rebel firm in the city, but he's too much Dick Whitman at his core (that the recent shakeups have revealed) to have the confidence to do so.

He's stuck: If he's not Dick Whitman and he's not Don Draper, who is he?
posted by mochapickle at 7:09 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I guess that's one of the questions of the show. It seems like most people think Draper is a mask for Whitman. But a lot of people had terrible childhoods and went on to become functioning adults, that developed skills and qualities they didn't have before. That doesn't mean they are still "really" those scared, lonely, kids. The Don Draper we know is the evolution of the child; his core isn't Whitman, his core is a conflicted man that has a past he never really dealt with.

Don will not find peace by just dropping his persona and being Whitman again. Whitman was a screwed up, frightened creature. No one would be better off being the Dick Whitman that existed before Korea.

Don will get better by actually dealing with those demons rather than hiding them. I don't want to push this too much, but I think must people under 35 grew up being told how special they are and can't conceive of how you can still be haunted by that stuff but without that being the "real" you. I didn't have it half as bad as Don, but I notice that stuff effect me- not even emotionally, but almost instinctually. But that does not mean I'm really that angry, fearful person. I'm absolutely not; I've grown and changed and saying Don is really Dick would be kind of like telling me I can never overcome my conditioning.

It won't really matter what name Don will go by at the end. Maybe he'll drop the lie and go by Dick because that will make him more comfortable. But in many important ways he'll always be Don. That is the man he became. Don't we all tell ourselves a lot of things about ourselves, sometimes not true? Don't those reflect our aspirations? Don't we move toward that?

Don's identity switch is a magnification of the struggle that's somewhat inherent to masculity in America; and men generally don't resolve that tension by reverting to being who they were as a boy/young man. But, perhaps more importantly, it's also about self-actualization of anyone in a culture with a class consciousness that's weakening but never going away, a culture of bankrupt, rapidly crumbling traditional values that are thrilling to see die but perhaps the replacement isn't all that it's cracked up to be. The show is about the Sixties, and I can't see that being undermined by having Don become the man he was in the Forties.
posted by spaltavian at 7:34 AM on April 17 [6 favorites]


To clarify, I am under 35, so my comments were not from another generation but more as someone who cannot relate to his own.
posted by spaltavian at 7:41 AM on April 17


Don will not find peace by just dropping his persona and being Whitman again.

He's stuck: If he's not Dick Whitman and he's not Don Draper, who is he?

Exactly. Don has been running away from Whitman since the war. When Don stops running and Whitman catches up he'll have to find a way to merge his two selves or he'll reject Whitman and go on trying to be Don "It will shock you how much it never happened" Draper for the rest of his (probably short, self-destructive) life.

Don has slowed down the running a bit now and sees Whitman coming and it is terrifying him.
posted by mikepop at 7:48 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I do not think Megan's reaction would have been one of joy if Don announced on this trip "hey, I'm going to move in right now!"

I guess?

I know I'm coming at this from a 21st century egalitarian place that didn't exist in the 60s, even in relatively modern marriages like the Draper-Calvets'. But it would be like DTMFA levels of nooooooooooooooo if something like this was happening in my spouse's life and they weren't letting on that there was even anything going on. It's unthinkable to me that someone could be put on indefinite leave at their job due to gross negligence, and their spouse could just not know about it at all. If I were in a marriage where there were substance abuse issues, I would hope that this would be a journey we would take together.

Wait, I wonder if that was supposed to be the takeaway from the Neve Campbell scene? When her husband got sent to dry out or take the cure or whatever, she went with him. It was a problem they were working on together in their marriage, even if it ultimately never got solved. Don and Megan don't even have that. I think that's why he immediately goes to the "I fucked up another marriage" place. Not because he's a drunk or he and Megan are on the outs, but because they are not on a journey together at this point.
posted by Sara C. at 10:27 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


It won't really matter what name Don will go by at the end. Maybe he'll drop the lie and go by Dick because that will make him more comfortable. But in many important ways he'll always be Don. That is the man he became. Don't we all tell ourselves a lot of things about ourselves, sometimes not true? Don't those reflect our aspirations? Don't we move toward that?

He's not "really" Dick -- if he were, when he and his kids showed up at his old house at the end of last season, it wouldn't have been so obviously a place he was completely disconnected from, with some other little boy in the doorway. I think that was proof he's *not* Dick.

The problem is that he's not Don right now, either. That's why he doesn't want to lose all the Don trappings -- job, wife -- and is trying to gather them up again or at least not lose them completely, so he can be Don again.

I think he's mixed up, because it's apparently time for him to find a new identity and move on, but he doesn't want to. He likes being Don and he'd rather just find a way to be Don some more, but the world that Don was a part of (and that therefore "created" or at least defined Don) is crumbling, it maybe doesn't even really exist anymore (which would mean that Don can't exist anymore either).
posted by rue72 at 11:57 AM on April 17


He wouldn't have to move in, but Jiminy Cricket, he could stay a couple of weeks instead of a couple of days. He could do that without even blowing his cover.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:05 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


The fact that he's feeding quality pitches to Freddy Rumsen suggests that, whoever he is, Don/Dick is A) genuinely good at advertising, and B) likes doing it. Season 6 was about the facade of Don Draper coming crashing down, but not everything about Don Draper is fake.

The reason the Draper facade is failing is that he has realized he can't be connected to anyone because he keeps himself so fragmented. I guess, when it comes down to it, even he doesn't know what's real and what's fake.
posted by dry white toast at 8:24 PM on April 17


Yeah, I kind of love the idea that, despite the fact that he probably doesn't need the money and playing Cyrano with Freddy Rumsen is doing nothing for his career, he just can't get out of the ad game.

THE GAME OF AD: YOU PITCH OR YOU DIE
posted by Sara C. at 8:53 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


I think we saw that in the flashbacks. He could have risen through the ranks in the auto or fur businesses; he was going to night school, so he could have pursued other avenues to success, as well. We saw how pleased when he thought Anna came into the car dealership because of his flyers, and when Roger admired his fur ads. It's like a kid who's transported out of his miserable life by music or drama or whatever, and then finds that he has the talent as an adult to do that same incredibly powerful thing to other people. You have a gift and you don't find some way to use it, it's like a part of you dies and you're stuck in mourning.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:01 AM on April 18 [4 favorites]


Underpants, I think it's really important to the show that Megan is not actually very good at acting but it is her dream. The whole thrust of season 5 is hinged on it. The arc I saw was this:

* Surprise! Don didn't make a horrible mistake by marrying his secretary instead of the empowered/smart/beautiful Faye. Megan is great.
* Megan has a gift for copywriting
* Don loves this, and loves her. He's not cheating and he's often happy at home for the first time in 5 seasons.
* Megan doesn't love copywriting, even though she's good at it.
(I think that's what the whole peggy-megan scene is trying to communicate, that she's genuinely good at it but also genuinely uninspired by it)
* Megan's dream is acting and she wants to pursue it again
* Don doesn't understand this, because she is so good at copywriting, but she goes ahead with it
* She tries to make it, and doesn't. Over and over again throughout the season
* She asks Don to get her a job, he says this is not the path to greatness "you don't want it this way, you want to be discovered"
* He finally watches her reel, having apparently avoided really seeing her act at all up until now. And he, who's entire being is about knowing what is good and what is bad, is not impressed.
* Cut to: he's given her the job at coke. she's happy
* Cut to: he turns his back to her and walks into the darkness
* Cut to: he smiles at a woman at a bar
* Cut to: black

You have a gift and you don't find some way to use it, it's like a part of you dies and you're stuck in mourning.

That's beautiful and I think pertinent.
posted by macrael at 4:17 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Are we sure that Don is lying to Megan about being suspended? I really couldn't tell in this episode wether or not he was being above board. I thought that it was plausible that he was honestly working when he told her that he was, even if not in an official capacity to SCDPBLARGH. His work was the stuff that Freddy was passing off to Peggy. It was at best ambiguous though, wether Megan knew he was essentially working freelance, so maybe that's sign enough.
posted by macrael at 4:26 PM on April 18


He keeps saying he "has to work" during his whole trip to California, despite the fact that he does not, in fact, have to work.
posted by Sara C. at 4:57 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


YOu know I have always wondered if it matters of Megan is a decent actress.
posted by The Whelk at 8:26 PM on April 18


According to Weiner, when he saw her reel at the end of S5 he realized she was sooo amazinggg as an actress and realized he couldn't hold her amazing talent back, so he recommended her for the shoe commercial (not Coke, that was Betty).

This has always irritated me because that whole reel was just Jessica Pare being beautiful and smiling shyly. I think Megan works as a character, but Weiner's weird obsession with Pare doesn't extend to the show's viewers and there's a huge disconnect there.
posted by sweetkid at 8:39 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


it also works better for the character and story if she's not that great, cause of what's mentioned above, and cause it changes how Don thinks of himself in "letting" her peruse it.
posted by The Whelk at 8:52 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Yeah I really don't think we need to read that screening of Megan's reel the way Weiner reads it. It's the most disconnect I've ever had from his read on the show.
posted by sweetkid at 8:57 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Can SCDPBLARGH just be our official in-thread name for the agency?
posted by dry white toast at 5:41 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


It's the most disconnect I've ever had from his read on the show.

I didn't take that reel to be so much proof that Megan is a great actress (I mean, there's no sound and she's not acting). I took it just to show how luminescent Megan is on screen, and regardless of Megan/Pare's acting abilities, that's true for both of them. Megan is clearly happy there, and I think Don got the feeling that she is somehow supposed to be there, which is why he agreed to help. He doesn't really seem to resent her leaving the agency after that.
posted by spaltavian at 8:17 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


TV By the Numbers via press note:
Mad Men remains the most upscale drama on television, across all ad-supported cable and broadcast networks. 54% of the premiere audience among adults 25-54 were from households with $100,000+ of annual income.
posted by maggieb at 12:35 PM on April 19


I'd love to see that Weiner quote, I have never really even considered that Megan might be good at acting. I felt like that whole season of rejection and her minor role on a minor show were telling us that she isn't. If that's the right read of the reel scene, then I don't really get what triggered the whole walk away into darkness thing at the end. Like, up until she actually got a job he thought she might come back to copywriting and everything would be good again?
posted by macrael at 7:02 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Basically, yeah. She had her own career, her own goals and ambitions outside of servicing Don, and Don doesn't like it.
posted by donajo at 2:10 PM on April 20


I don't even think it's a question of Don not liking it, it's that he doesn't get it. He's incapable of seeing women as anything but a reflection of himself. It never occurs to him to talk about getting a giant tv delivered. The world is changing and he can't see it. "Ballad of a Thin Man" keeps going thru my head when Don is shown with his hat, "something is happening, but you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?"

Not being able to read the zeitgeist is poison to someone that needs to market a product. He has talent, but his inability to see or be part of the change will leave him a dinosaur.
posted by readery at 6:38 PM on April 20


I'd love to see that Weiner quote

macrael, I've heard him discuss it at more length than this (maybe on a Fresh Air interview?), but you can see him & Jon Hamm talk about it briefly on the Inside Mad Men video for the episode--here.

I agree with spaltavian that it's not necessarily about her acting so much as it's about how the camera loves Megan, and Don recognizes that.

And yeah, I think it matters quite a lot. It's the difference between Megan's being a self-deluded wannabe that Don is willing to indulge, and her having credible ambitions that he decides to support. She may never succeed as an actor, and he may never succeed as a supportive partner; but the episode shows a sincere attempt at forward movement on both their parts.
posted by torticat at 7:02 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]


SO MUCH IS HAPPENING
posted by The Whelk at 7:19 PM on April 20


I hope there's a whole Shirley & Dawn episode this season.
posted by donajo at 7:20 PM on April 20 [2 favorites]


This episode is hilarious!
posted by sweetkid at 7:28 PM on April 20


Sally is one hundred percent prep school it is delightful

Don is every freelancer ever, I feel so close to him in these scenes.
posted by The Whelk at 7:30 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


That stuff with the crappy conference call connection is so depressingly 2014.
posted by sweetkid at 7:32 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Oh yayy Pete is flouncing. And complaining.
posted by sweetkid at 7:35 PM on April 20


It's good that Pete's scowl has returned from hiatus.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:35 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Sally is being so Betty right now omg
posted by sweetkid at 7:38 PM on April 20


I'm a few minutes behind, but I'd have love to it to cut to the LOST stinger after Pete proposed the purgatory theory.
posted by codacorolla at 7:39 PM on April 20


Is it just me or is Peggy turning into Pete this episode?
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:41 PM on April 20 [3 favorites]


Jesus Christ, these Woodford Reserve commercials are just the worst. The absolute worst.
posted by codacorolla at 7:46 PM on April 20


There are a couple scenes featuring Dawn and Shirley that seem straight from the Help in an uncomfortable way.

And now Matt Weiner reminding us all through Bert that some white people in the 60s don't want to look at black people really.
posted by sweetkid at 7:47 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I agree. These actresses are more than competent and he's not writing them with any meat.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:55 PM on April 20 [3 favorites]


I've said this before but if Weiner doesn't warn to deal with race don't do it, don't do this. We don't need every interaction with a black person to be a reminder of how unliked/feared/ignored they are by the white people.
posted by sweetkid at 7:58 PM on April 20


DAWN! Head of personnel!
posted by sweetkid at 8:02 PM on April 20 [3 favorites]


I think she just gave a very well manicured finger to Bert Cooper.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:03 PM on April 20 [3 favorites]


Holy crap check out that dress Joan is wearing in the next episode.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:05 PM on April 20


The FanFare post is up.
posted by donajo at 8:24 PM on April 20


-According to Weiner, when he saw her reel at the end of S5 he realized she was sooo amazinggg as an actress and realized he couldn't hold her amazing talent back, so he recommended her for the shoe commercial (not Coke, that was Betty).

--I felt like that whole season of rejection and her minor role on a minor show were telling us that she isn't.

Yes, that demo reel annoyed me, too, because I saw a sort-of-pretty woman standing around looking awkward, but the official canon of the show is that it was an amazing performance and Don saw that it showed Superior Acting Talent That Could Not Be Denied, and that he owed io her to give her opportunities.

As for the soap, she started out as a minor character, but within one season she had been promoted into a major storyline, given an evil twin, and become so popular that she couldn't go on vacation in Hawaii without being stopped for autographs and being confused for her character.

It looked to me like the only reason she went for a year without working before that is that she wouldn't go out for jobs she felt were beneath her - I remember her laughing at her friend for auditioning for a small role on Dark Shadows.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:56 AM on April 21 [3 favorites]


Thanks torticat, that reading of the reel scene really messes with my interpretation of Don's feelings for Megan. This is going to take a little to sort through. It maybe makes Megan in episode 1 of this current season make a little more sense (I haven't seen episode 2 yet). In that video, Weiner said that Megan being good and pursuing acting is putting her on a path where she might leave Don so I guess now that she's immersed in stardom in LA she's starting to pull away?

Also what's with the whole "you don't want it that way, you want to be discovered, not be somebody's wife" line, just bullshit?

Underpants, her being a star does fit all of that better. I guess I came into the last season so firmly believing megan wasn't good I misread it.

Is this final season just going to be Don getting Don'd by Megan? I half expected the first episode to end with her cheating on him as a reverse of the previous (and of course, the first) season's opener.
posted by macrael at 2:06 PM on April 21


I want a GIF of Roger hanging up on Pete.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:47 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


February 14th: Masturbate Gloomily

I'm putting that in my calendar for next year.
posted by Sara C. at 9:39 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Also Peggy is seriously channeling Stephen Fry from that Fry & Laurie sketch where they own that gym and everything is very dramatic and there's a woman named MAAARRRRRGERRRRYYYYYY
posted by Sara C. at 10:04 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Peggy needs to get out of that company AGAIN.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:04 AM on April 22


Also Peggy is seriously channeling Stephen Fry from that Fry & Laurie sketch where they own that gym and everything is very dramatic and there's a woman named MAAARRRRRGERRRRYYYYYY

Same game, different rules. Dammit, Peter.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:18 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]


Pete and Peggy's spinoff agency is called Campbell and Olsen: We're Not Glamorous, But We Do The Damn Work, So Take Us Seriously. (Peggy talks Pete out of adding, "You Bastards" at the end and/or "Hell's Bells" at the beginning.) Allison is their secretary, and the ghost of Lane Pryce haunts the back office, giving timely stiff-upper-lip advice. The grim determination and tension of their unspoken past is offset with working class/upper class-clash comic relief.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:03 AM on April 22 [4 favorites]


And they have no Art Department because no one will put up with them.

I kid. Sort of.
posted by Big_B at 10:23 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]


The Art Department is in a sealed-off room with a slot to pass papers back and forth.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:27 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


where are we watching tonight? are we watching?
posted by dry white toast at 7:01 PM on April 27


we're not supposed to live blog on Fanfare.
posted by sweetkid at 7:04 PM on April 27


Anyone want to put me out of my misery and tell me who the actor is who played the schoolteacher in tonight's episode? I can't place her & it's driving me nuts.
posted by torticat at 9:21 PM on April 27


The credits say Kandis Erickson as Pam Keyser. Farmer Cy called her Pammie.
posted by maggieb at 11:48 PM on April 27


Here's Every Client Don Draper Ever Had
posted by Chrysostom at 11:42 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Thank you maggieb!

I think she was reminding me of Laura Ramsey, who played Joy, because I don't think I've ever seen anything with Kandis Erickson.
posted by torticat at 5:40 PM on April 28


« Older 101 year old message in a bottle found in the Balt...  |  How Professors Use Their Time:... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments