Mad Men: Far Away Places

Posted on April 23, 2012

We noted, earlier in the season, that the writing had changed slightly. It seemed to us that the writers wanted to address head on the oft-mentioned complaint about the show that “nothing happens,” and we wondered if perhaps this was a result of the long, sometimes nasty negotiations with AMC to get it back on the air in exactly the form the creators wanted. It’s dangerously easy to read way too much into Mad Men and we fell into that trap ourselves, thinking that perhaps Matt Weiner had been ordered to craft a more eventful, buzz-worthy season. From “Zou Bisou,” to Joan giving her rapist his walking papers, to Pete getting a well-deserved bloodying, the number of water-cooler moments has been noticeably greater than in seasons past. But nothing could have prepared us for last night, what with Peggy handing out handjobs, Don turning into a monster right in front of our eyes, and the piece de resistance, possibly of the entire series to date: Roger Sterling, tripping balls.

But this wasn’t about giving the public and antsy TV executives something to get excited about. The crash of events this season has been a commentary on not just the times, but on time itself. Last episode, Pete’s high school crush noted that time seemed to have sped up around her, which is not an uncommon feeling for young people as they leave behind childhood and enter adulthood, but Pete readily (and sadly) agreed with her, inadvertently voicing what many people were feeling. With the confluence of events around them, from race riots to serial killers to Vietnam, time seems to be spinning out of control for everyone. “I just wasn’t made for these times,” sing the Beach Boys. “How can a few numbers contain all of time?” asks Jane. “What time is it?” ask Roger, Don, and Peggy as they are awoken, both literally and figuratively.

Which brings us to our next point: the dialogue this season is far more on-point than in seasons past. Characters will not only openly state the themes of each episode, they will state them over and over again. This could be taken in a less charitable manner, i.e., a dumbing down of the scripts for a show that is often too obscure for the average audience member, but we don’t think that’s the case. This is, again, a commentary on the times in which these characters are currently living. With long-simmering racial tensions violently exploding, the conflict in Vietnam escalating, and the increase in post-War violent crime, what was subtext is now text; what was background is now center stage. Events are spinning out of control, forcing people to, as Jane’s therapist intoned, “live in the truth together.” But first, they have to run away and go on trips.

Peggy in 1966 is turning into the Don from five years earlier. She starts off the day by ignoring and dismissing her romantic partner in a haze of work concerns. (“I’m your boyfriend, not a focus group!” could have, with one word change, been a classic Betty line). She gives an impassioned, sentimental, memory- and emotion-stirring pitch about the most innocuous of products, and when the client proves to be difficult (the Heinz guy is the absolute worst kind of client to have; one who doesn’t know what he wants and constantly shoots down excellent ideas), she pulls a classic Don Draper “I’m not here to teach you about Jesus” moment. And it was beautiful. But unfortunately for her, 1966 (and many would say 2012) was not a time in which women could act like men and get away with it. Just a few episodes before, drunken Peggy was whining to Dawn about not being sure if she wanted to act like a man, but here she was, doing exactly that. And when the client reacted angrily (with an undercurrent of implied violence: “Miss, if I didn’t have a young daughter…”), she pulled the classic 1961 Don move of leaving the office in the middle of the day to go see a movie and have a meaningless sexual encounter. Then she goes back to the office to work well into the night and, after the shitty day Abe wished on her was over, called him up and ordered him back in her life.

Roger and Jane take a journey through the psychedelic sixties and inadvertently arrive at a truth neither of them were prepared to state without the help of some magic sugar cubes. It’s to the show’s credit that they didn’t resort to a lot of silly visuals and hallucinations to portray an acid trip. For Roger, it was more experiential. He was able to comment on the proceedings without opening his mouth; able to experience events while at the same time observing them; able to travel through time, back to the 1919 World Series while bouncing through the night, time speeding up and slowing down simultaneously. It was a wonderfully disconcerting set of scenes and it says something (kind of hilarious) about the alcohol-soaked brain of Roger Sterling that he found the whole thing highly amusing, eye-opening, and kind of not that big a deal, all at the same time. He woke up the next morning perfectly refreshed, happy, and ready to face the world – and his new truth. He is the only person who ended the episode in a happier place than when he started. Roger is defined by his lack of introspection (as opposed to Don, who’s defined by his tendency to wallow in it), so he found the enforced introspection brought on by LSD to be liberating and, in typical Roger fashion, not something to be lingered over. He found his truth and happily moved on from it. “It’s going to be a beautiful day.”

Don and Megan take a trip themselves, but it turned out to be the darkest trip of all, as the shaky foundations of their marriage are finally exposed, both to us and to themselves. We knew things couldn’t have been as rosy as they’ve been depicted so far, but watching Don stalk, chase, and tackle Megan in their home was easily one of the most horrifying moments of the series. It exposed the violence inherent in his character in a real-world way, instead of in a dream loaded with metaphor or in “harmless” sexual role-playing. What was subtext is now text: Don wasn’t killing an old girlfriend in a dream; he was chasing his own wife as she ran screaming from him in terror. Megan isn’t Betty; that much has always been clear. Betty wouldn’t have had the strength to confront Don so forcefully during their marriage and in retrospect, that may have been a form of survival instinct playing out. On some level, she knew that if she really and truly confronted him about his failings as a man, the likelihood of him lashing out violently was very high. Megan probably didn’t understand that before now, or else she wouldn’t have made the most scathing and hurtful riposte possible: “Why don’t you call your mother?” That was a gasp-worthy line, given that she apparently knows his personal history better than Betty ever did. And the question of whether Don has truly changed (although it was never really a question for us) has been answered: No. Because what did he do when faced with unpleasantries? He ran,  like he always has. “What kind of person does that?” asked Megan. A hobo; a man who is incapable of making a home or forging ties. And Don, the violent events of the summer and its rash of murders foremost in his mind (“I thought I lost you.”), escapes to the past, remembering a time when Megan was his subordinate and therefore, a much more likely partner for him to pursue. Things were easier for Don when Megan still worshipped him, just as things were better for him when Betty did the same.

In the end, it was zen lion Bert Cooper who brought him to heel by raising one massive paw and swatting the cub who’s getting out of line. Don confused his reprimand for personal advice, thinking he was talking about the state of his marriage, and told  him it was none of his business. “This IS my business,” snapped Bert, bringing the subtext once again to the text and letting Don know that his business life was in tatters while at the same time (and perhaps inadvertently) revealing to him that his personal life was about to follow. When Bert mentioned the “little girl” in Don’s life was he talking about Peggy or Megan? And how can it be that we’re just noticing now that the two women most important to him have the same root name? As Don sat in the conference room and literally watched the office pass him by, it was interesting to note that his wife was going in one direction and his protege in another.

And finally, along with the journey and time themes that dominated the episode, there was a sub-theme playing out regarding the Jewish experience. Abe offered to say a brucha over a new pack of Peggy’s lucky gum; Jane spoke Yiddish while under the influence of LSD; Michael revealed not only that he was born in a concentration camp and adopted (something that jolted Peggy, who gave up her own child for adoption), but also that he was rather severely damaged by the knowledge. We don’t quite know how to take the latter revelation. His talk of being a Martian and receiving messages from his home planet didn’t sound like a joke or a quirk to us; it sounded like the delusions of a schizophrenic. In an episode that left our heads spinning, we honestly don’t quite know how to take that last bit. Maybe by the time we get to our “Mad Style” post in a day or two, we’ll have it figured out. We’ve got to come down off that trip first.

 

[Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC]

    • smokyvalleygirl

      i wasn’t sure what the deal was with Peggy and the man in the theater – so dark on my TV screen – I thought that is what I saw – wow – strange behavior for all on this episode

      • Dejah_Thoris

         I got the impression that she did that in order to take control of the situation, after being belittled by the Heinze executive for being a just a “little girl.” The movie dude was also going to treat as a passive female, just as Pete’s little fantasy high-school crush allowed it to happen to her during the driver’s ed movie.
        Peggy wanted to feel the control of taking over the sex act and being the one in power.

        • smokyvalleygirl

          interesting thought – yes, I can see that response in light of what she had just experienced.  I wasn’t sure what had happened, screen was so darn dark – but thought I understood what I saw by the scene of her washing her hands

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

          well, taking control would have been leaving. I honestly think that Peggy struggles with how smart and strong she is while still being rather socially awkward with boundary and appropriateness issues. I think this guy in the theater totally dominated her in a very passive agressive creepy way. She was somewhat willing, but for some reason or reasons, she decided it was fine to do this (as a way of being liberated somehow? to not be a prude? to be edgy?) instead of walking out which would have been the truly strong independent thing to do. Minus the creepy it’s kind of related to how Don relates to Megan.  These three main women in the episode – Jane, Peggy, Megan – are all reacting to male domination in different ways. Jane is largely passive, more of the old fashioned model, and just a pretty face. Peggy is trying to be  MALE and fails, and then ends up being creepily maneuvered into a sexual encounter by this guy in the theater. (I can guarantee she got no sexual pleasure from it. It was some other thing. She was surviving it…..) Megan clearly has power when it comes to the passion Don feels for her, and she’s taking a good deal of advantage of those feelings to get what she wants in life, and she’s trying to control this out of control monster/dominator of a man and  struggle her own freedom and power out of the situation, and kind of has uneven success on the issue. Sometimes she allows herself to be dominated (allowing Don to drag her to HoJos when she wanted to stay for Heinz) and sometimes she dominates right back (orange sherbet, insult to Don, getting home on her own steam instead of sitting there waiting for Don.) She runs, but she’s got the power in the end (she towers over him as he grasps her and sobs about how much he was afraid he’d lost her.)

          • formerlyAnon

            The fact that we’re left unclear (or at least, I’m left unclear) as to how Peggy experiences the movie theater incident – to what extent she feels that she took some control – rings true to the nature of the experience. Standing up and walking out would feel like taking control to some people in some circumstances, to others it would feel like fleeing, routed by yet another male.

            • VanessaDK

              Yes–though there is also just the typical story that he gave her something (weed) and came to get his payment, and to some extent she just figured she would pay for her tokes and see the movie at the same time.

              It also echoed Abe’s accusation that she just has sex to “get it over with” and move on to something she finds more interesting.

            • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

              I dunno. I think she’s not that into Abe anymore. We’ve seen her be passionate before.

            • Flooby

              I was looking at her face while she washed her hands and she didn’t look disgusted or freaked out like I assume some one would if they did something sexual under coercion.  I think there’s a very strong chance that Peggy wanted to do a sex act in that theatre- that she thought it was hot, wanted the release, what have you, but that she wanted to be the active one, not the passive one.  

            • Sweetbetty

               “I was looking at her face while she washed her hands and she didn’t look disgusted or freaked out”

              I noticed that too; it even took me a second to register that she wasn’t just washing her hands because she had just used the potty.  So do you think Peggy went to the theater with doing a sex act in mind?  I thought it just happened because of the series of events; the guy smoking the joint was close behind her, she turned to scold him, he moved up next to her, he made the first sexual advance.  I felt it was at that point that she decided to have a sexual encounter but that it was going to be on her terms.

              And while we’re on the subject, having never done it myself, how hard is it to give a guy a handjob in a movie theater without making yourself conspicuous?  And how does the guy manage to walk out of the theater without the evidence of the encounter being visible for all to see (though I assume the striped pants did help to hide it)?

            • Vodeeodoe

              Part of me wants to feel all empowered that Peggy treats people like a man, but most of me doesn’t like the way men treat women on the show. The way she blew off Abe (her boyfriend, not a date) in the morning, got high and gave a hand-job to a stranger in the afternoon, then had an unsettling experience with Ginsberg and gave a late night summons to Abe to unsettle her – was very Don Draper. I selfishly want her to be better than that.

            • Vodeeodoe

              Part of me wants to feel all empowered that Peggy treats people like a man, but most of me doesn’t like the way men treat women on the show. The way she blew off Abe (her boyfriend, not a date) in the morning, got high and gave a hand-job to a stranger in the afternoon, then had an unsettling experience with Ginsberg and gave a late night summons to Abe to unsettle her – was very Don Draper. I selfishly want her to be better than that.

            • Vodeeodoe

              If you’d never gotten a handjob in a theater before, it would be really easy, as long as you could keep your mouth shut. Easier for the pros to get caught. That’s my guess. Oh, and those pants definitely helped.

            • http://www.facebook.com/Curefreak Daniel Wheeler

               I’m not sure what her thinking was, but i think it was smart  that she took control of the situation the way she did especially since this guy was a stranger her walking out on him could have been disastrous.

          • artsykelly

            I would disagree that Peggy didn’t get any pleasure from it.  She was openly watching the guys face while she gave him the handjob.  She wanted to see what she could do to him.

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

              well that may have been more about power than sex, though….

            • VanessaDK

              I interpreted it as confirming what she suspects about all these guys (including Heinz) all they care about is being “serviced.”

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

              aha…

            • sweetlilvoice

              Ah…totally nasty and very plausible! The pitch is really about seduction…

            • formerlyAnon

              Sex is almost always at least a little bit about power, IMO.

            • Vodeeodoe

               Sometimes feeling like you have the power in a sexual experience is a sexual experience.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            Well also, she WAS high.

        • annamow

          I definitely think Peggy’s actions were directly related to the Heinz pitch. It was about power, but the power to please someone. Not in the submissive way, mind you, but more like “I’m going to do this to you and you’re gonna like it” way. The Heinz exec may not have submitted to her control, but at least this random guy would.

          • terekirkland

             Yes. This is exactly what I thought Peggy’s motivations/thought-process were/was. She wanted to put herself in a situation where she was the boss and the outcome was under her control. I don’t think the pot had that much to do with lowering her inhibitions. She did it to be in charge.

        • annamow

          I definitely think Peggy’s actions were directly related to the Heinz pitch. It was about power, but the power to please someone. Not in the submissive way, mind you, but more like “I’m going to do this to you and you’re gonna like it” way. The Heinz exec may not have submitted to her control, but at least this random guy would.

    • NDC_IPCentral

      Thoughtful analysis as always, gentlemen.  I thought that Michael’s Martian riff was his way of discussing through analogy his European, Holocast and concentration camp roots.  So alien to a 1960s American that it could be from another planet.  This episode bears re-watching, as difficult as some scenes are.  (AMC tonight at 11PM EDT)

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/H3XLN4XSYDM2UWIOCYAXGKMU6E Elizabeth

        I agree, Michael is not literally claiming to be a Martian. It’s a simile, and used by Michael to explain and and comment on his improbable and painful origins. He’s using this scifi riff to both express his distance from the holocaust experience but also the feeling of displacement/dispossession that an alien has (which is a common trope in scifi). Its use here also calls back to Ken’s story last week. It’s all a clever callout to the emergence of science fiction in the sixties and seventies as a genre that addressed a lot of the identity politics of the time. I also thought the scene was beautifully shot and acted. It revealed Michael’s desire to remake himself (shades of Don) and instead of a hobo, he’s the alien, a stranger in a strange land.

        I have a q though – was he adopted or did his biological father track him down and reclaim him? I thought it was the latter but I can’t recall. In either case, major attachment issues on both ends here. 
        i enjoyed this episode immensely. TLo, thanks for your explanation of subtext becoming text – it makes a lot of sense and captures why this season feels different. I have a lot of respect for Weiner et al., they are operating in such a confident manner so far. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

          I felt the same way about Michael’s Martian story, and I think that Peggy took it that way as well (perhaps because she also feels like a Marian in some ways).

          I thought that he was saying that he was adopted, but I’m not sure. You could be right that his biological father tracked him down.

        • Jecca2244

          This makes sense why he kept telling Peggy in the beginning he had no family. then went home to who we thought was his dad. 

        • CozyCat

          To me Michael’s Martian story sounded like the type of fantasies children make up–”I hate my family, so I’m actually a princess who was left with them….”  It IS true that actually being born in a concentration camp must have been very rare (most pregnant women would have been executed, and, if not, the conditions could not have been conducive to carrying the baby to term or the survival of an infant after birth.)  He has probably been treated as “different” and “special” all his life.  So it’s natural that he would both want to abandon his past while feeling “alien” to those around him.

          It will be interesting to see how his story will contrast to Don/Dick’s denial of a horrific childhood. 

          • MK03

            There was an undercurrent of deep bitterness in Michael’s story, which is certainly warranted. I think he’s been stewing over his origins for a very long time (again, for good reason) and he thinks of himself as a freak.

          • DonnaL

            It wasn’t just rare for someone to be born in a concentration camp and survive, but — to the best of my knowledge — impossible.  Even assuming it would be possible in those conditions for a woman to carry to term in the first place.  Which I *highly* doubt.

            If it were “born in a DP camp” I might buy it, since lots of people were born in displaced person camps after the war, but born in a concentration camp and surviving?  No, and it bothers me that such a story would be presented as truthful.

            • Verascity

               http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-13069586
              http://www.aish.com/ho/p/48952026.html
              http://www.vosizneias.com/54100/2010/04/26/berlin-six-born-in-concentration-camp-to-attend-dachau-reunion

              All I did was google “born in a concentration camp.”

            • asympt

               Yes.  Seven infants found alive and hidden when Kauferling, a Dauchau satellite camp, was liberated.  Who knew?  (Well, apparently Abe did.  “It happened.”  But he’s a journalist, and Jewish, and probably knows more than most.)

              http://www.vosizneias.com/54100/2010/04/26/berlin-six-born-in-concentration-camp-to-attend-dachau-reunion

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Micaela-Cannon/1465504041 Micaela Cannon

               Except that there are documented cases of this happening…

            • Lisa_Cop

              Ginsberg’s situation is actually very rare as the Nazis routinely killed all pregnant women in concentration camps. Children were also exterminated. However there is documentation that a few infants (2 in Auschwitz, 1 in Buchenwald) who were born just as the Allies were liberating the camps, after the Germans lost the war. Ginsberg must have been in that situation which means he was born in either December 1944 or January 1945.

            • MasterandServant

              Is Ginsberg that young? 21/22? He said the orphanage was in Sweden, no? Sweden did take refugees up to a point…his father could be another family member that found him. Ginsberg could be the product of a prisoner and a guard, who shuffled this child out. And his father could be a relative of his mother

            • Lisa_Cop

              Ginsberg said he was 5 when he was adopted. I don’t think he could have spent any length of time in the camps because there were no children in the camps. Women who became pregnant were tortured and then killed.  Most women who became pregnant aborted their children in order to save their own lives. The only way Ginsberg could have survived is that he was born as the camps were being liberated. I googled “children in concentration camps” and couldn’t find any documentation about children actually living or smuggled out of the camps. But I agree that Morris could be a relative of his mother.

            • http://twitter.com/clairebbbear Claire Bartle

              Let’s not also forget that not all concentration camps were the same. If Ginsburg was of German Jewish background and born in say 1940 or 1941 (and I think he is both, I don’t think he is in his early 20s in 1966), if his mother was in a concentration camp it would more likely be somewhere like Therienstadt or maybe even Ravensbruck, which did not have gas chambers. There certainly were children arriving at and born in those camps – sure, almost all of them died, but that was because they starved or got diseases, not because they were gassed. So there would be a window of opportunity for a baby to survive, at least for a while, that didn’t exist later on, once Auschwitz was doing its ghastly work.

              The other thing is that it was an orphanage in Sweden. Sweden is nowhere near any concentration camp, so it seems an odd place for a former camp inmate to end up. But it was a neutral country during the war. This suggests to me that the story is supposed to be that the infant Ginsburg was smuggled out and sent to a neutral country while the war was still on, rather than miraculously surviving until the camp was liberated. 

        • juliamargaret

          I thought that his biological father had tracked him down and reclaimed him. It seems unlikely that a single Jewish man go to a Swedish orphanage to adopt a five-year old boy that was unrelated to him. This seemed to be emphasized when he introduces himself to Peggy when she says she works with Ginsburg, “I’m the original”. But I could see how Michael could always have a sense of doubt that this man was really his father. 

        • Fay Dearing

          A pregnant woman entering a concentration camp would have to either be very early along (so they wouldn’t notice and kill her immediately) or she would have to become pregnant while at the camp. At the moment, I’m actually leaning towards that second one as it would partly explain a lot of Michael’s self loathing. If his mother was raped she was probably raped by a Nazi guard or officer which would explain why Michael can’t face his own origins without making up a story to cope. The older man acting as his father may in actuality be his grandfather (assuming he fathered Michael’s mother young and she had Micheal young) or a brother or other close relative of Michael’s mother. That would explain a lot of why the man is so attached to Michael, but Michael can’t seem to accept him into his life.

          Just a theory! But with the information we have so far this is what makes the most sense in my mind.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            I think that is an excellent theory. How exactly he’s related to “original Ginsberg”, I don’t know. I never thought he was his father (did he ever call him that?), just a father figure. 
            He also said something about a “case” (legal matter), which has me curious.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

            Omigod that is heartwrenching and sounds entirely plausible. fydgsvjgsadjclgsahdjgfla

        • Sweetbetty

           I thought it was obvious that Michael’s bio father tracked him down until others started questioning it.  It wasn’t really clear.  Michael said, “This man, Morris, found me in an orphanage”, so it seems obvious that Michael doesn’t want to believe it’s his bio dad and maybe it isn’t.  Dad actually seems old enough to be his grandfather but I guess going through the Holocaust would age a person.  I’m interested to see what their relationship actually is and I feel sure it will be revealed eventually.

        • VanessaDK

          It is going to be really interesting how they develop the stories about the assimilated Jew (Abe) and the holocaust survivor (Ginsberg).  

        • wmsinfla

          My take-away was that Michael was adopted.  When Peggy comes upon them in the office and approaches by referring to Michael as “Ginsberg,” the father says come meet the “real Ginsberg” (or the original Ginsberg? something like that).  Also, they’re so very different physically.

        • Vodeeodoe

          Add to that the scenes where Peggy intrudes on his conversations not once, but twice – and he gets upset both times. He’s very private, despite the over-the-top version of himself that he shows to the world. That was a great line he gave her after his phone call.
          I got that his father was his adoptive father and adopted him from a Polish(?) orphanage. I like how you tied it in to last week’s sci-fi current. Good call.

      • VanessaDK

        I am with TLo on this one.  He did not sound like he was joking or sarcastic to me.  He was very serious when he said something about being found in a Swiss orphanage when he was five (“I remember that”)  by the man who calls himself his father.  Perhaps it is his real father who tracked him down after the war, but clearly he was told a story about this origins that he can’t verify.   I suspect that he might be revealing some serious problems that will become more apparent. And of course his self-creation myth is a more outlandish version of Don’s self-creation.

        • luciaphile

           His flat affect chilled me. I took the scene the same way TLo did.

          • Verascity

            Not everyone reacts emotionally when speaking about something emotional. Sometimes it’s easier to shut down. I’m sort of shocked that so many people took that scene as an indicator that Ginsberg has mental problems. I took it as an admission that his past is so terrible that he can’t talk about it at face value.

            • Sweetpea176

              And it’s a way of talking about it while discouraging questions.

            • fursa_saida

              Right. And just because the part about the Swedish orphanage might well be true doesn’t mean he also believes the Martian thing is true, per @VanessaDK’s citing it. We all tell ourselves stories of our own lives; the events are mostly real, but the narrative is always made up. We can tell more than one story at any time using those same puzzle pieces, and we may believe that story to different degrees or in different ways.

      • http://twitter.com/mirrormirrorxx Paola Thomas

        I agree too.  I think Michael has wanted to broach the subject with Peggy for some time as it’s such a key part of his personality and that feeling only intensified after she met his ‘father’. But you can’t just blurt out something like that as part of every day chit chat. The Martian analogy allows him to bring it up in a somewhat light-hearted way (he must know how uncomfortable it makes people feel), lets him distance himself from the pain of it all and also reveals his own sense of alienation from the world he lives in.  

    • Sobaika Mirza

      This episode was totally wackadoo. Your write-ups allow me to make sense of it all, don’t know how you manage it!

    • Eclectic Mayhem

      I’ve only just finished watching it and have kept an eye on twitter waiting for you to announce this was up.

      I feel completely wiped out by the episode and somewhat tearful.  Very tearful.  Not much more to say than that.

      Thank you for noticing all the things I was too stunned to take in – you know you’re fabulous don’t you?

      • http://twitter.com/TMamBo Therese Bohn

         It upset me too, and was also tearful, but what an incredible episode.  I’m totally blown away .  I’ll have to wait a day or two before I watch it again. Wow.

    • ccinnc

      Don is accustomed to having things his way, isn’t he?  Suddenly, he’s realizing that he no longer can count on that.  And he was frightened.  I don’t remember seeing that before.  I’m not sure it will change him, though… not in a good way.  Thanks for a great post.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

        I think that he had a moment like that when Betty found his box. At that point, Betty was past the point where they might have reconciled. I think maybe Megan isn’t there yet (even though perhaps she should be after that chase scene) so I hope this marriage will take a different turn. Don is still Don, though.

        • ccinnc

          Yes, good point re: his box.

          Megan’s cry from the heart to Don that every time they fight, the marriage is diminished a bit (I’m paraphrasing), was a breathtakingly honest statement. I wonder if Don really heard it.  I HATED that he chased/tackled her.  That was repellent.

          • makeityourself

            It was sickening.  At the conclusion, Don wrapped his arms around Megan’s waist, while he was on his knees. I’ve never seen him need anyone like that before.

            • ccinnc

              And I don’t think she needs him at all.  But I could be wrong.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RHLSUVX3NCPB4OSS5BM7GZIXUE P. Capet

              i hope the actress didn’t hurt her head.  it looked like she landed pretty hard.

            • Sweetbetty

               I was thinking about that too, not so much just “Megan” but both of them.  It didn’t seem to me like Don tackled her purposely but that when he finally caught her they both fell awkwardly and I was thinking that they were lucky there wasn’t any furniture in the way when they both went down or someone could have gotten hurt.

            • barbarasingleterry

              With all of the death foreshadowing, I was afraid that either Megan or Don would accidently fall and hit a head on the corner of a table and get killed.  Megan almost looked as if she would go running out on the balcony and maybe accidentally go over the side.  Don’s need for acceptance and mother love is palpable in this episode.

            • barbarasingleterry

              With all of the death foreshadowing, I was afraid that either Megan or Don would accidently fall and hit a head on the corner of a table and get killed.  Megan almost looked as if she would go running out on the balcony and maybe accidentally go over the side.  Don’s need for acceptance and mother love is palpable in this episode.

            • Vodeeodoe

               I’ll have to watch it again, but that was some pretty good stage-fighting. When Hamm tackles her, he swings around a bit so that they both land on their backs and she is partially on top of him – at least her head and shoulders.

            • http://the-archandroid.livejournal.com/ Christie

              I think you’re absolutely right re: his need for her and her need for him.  I think he senses that, and I think it freaks him the hell out. 

          • formerlyAnon

             I don’t believe most people in Don’s mental/emotional place “hear” much of anything in a lasting way that doesn’t fit into their patterns.

    • Scimommy

      Thanks for the fantastic recap. I am so tripped out by the episode, I don’t know what to add. Except… I hope you are wrong about Michael being a schizophrenic. I hope that his Martian story is just his way of dealing with the horror that was his early childhood. Also, while I love Abe, it’s obvious that Peggy is going to drive that relationship into the ground because it’s just not a priority for her. Sad face.

      ETA: Oh, and I think Megan will eventually leave Don. Or will at least try to. How he will react to that – I am afraid to even speculate.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

        Beautiful recap to a wild ride of an episode – thanks!

        Agree about the Martian story being a way to deal w/horror vs schizophrenic delusion – I think he was making an analogy about being ‘alien’/other. I was surprised that Peggy seemed somewhat naive about children being born in the camps – I think she asked Abe something along the lines of ‘did that really happen?’

        • Jennifer Coleman

          You have to put yourself in the times. What we know about the Holocaust experience, especially the aftermath, was not that widespread to America, even though it was just 20 years later. People know that Jews were in camps and bad things happened, but not the true horror. If you were not a Jew or had European Jew relatives, you just were not that aware.
          Also remember that the whole alien/Martian experience for people was through the old b&w scifi movies, like The Day The Earth Stood Still, or War of the Worlds, and there was a strong war component to those films – a reaction to WW2 in the 1950s. His comment is really deep when you put it in that context.

          • BobStPaul

             Sorry, but I think your statement about the horror of the camps not being widely known in America in the 60′s is way off the mark (speaking as someone who was in my late teens when this episode took place).  I think it was probably more known and recognized then than it is today.

            • Lattis

              I was a grade schooler in this time period. I will never forget reading about the holocaust in my first grade class in a little town in Ohio. It was so shocking to me that I have never forgotten our talking about it in school and later asking my parents about it because I wasn’t sure it could be true. 

              From my perspective, it was actually widely known in this time period. 

            • Sweetbetty

               I was well into my teens, maybe even out of high school, before I became aware of the Holocaust (and this would have been in the late 60s).  I wondered how I had never heard of this before and became fascinated with it to this day.  I think I’d heard of “concentration camps” and knew they weren’t pleasant places but had no idea about what went on there.  I thought perhaps the media became more open about publicizing it as the years passed.  In more recent years, though, I wonder if it wasn’t because I spent my first seven years of school in a Catholic school.  I understand the Pope and the Catholic church were criticized at the time for not taking a firmer stance about what was going on with the Nazis.  Add to that the fact that my church was organized by German immigrants and maybe they just didn’t want it mentioned in their school.  Disclaimer here:  This is not meant to be a religious comment and I hope no one tries to turn it into one.

            • Maggie_Mae

              From earliest childhood we had Life Magazine’s big book on WWII. (My late father, a Cold War casualty, had served back then.)  There was definitely a chapter on the camps.  

              We also had a subscription to Life magazine–which covered the topic again & again.  I remember an illustrated excerpt from Ann Frank’s diary, with a sketch showing what she & her sister might have looked like, behind the barbed wire….

            • Jennifer Coleman

              You are missing my point. The news media outlets were still limited in the 1950′s & 60s. A girl like Peggy could be sheltered from the horrors of the Holocaust fairly easily if it was not really brought up in school, or she or her family didn’t read the papers. Plus, it’s a different thing to know about the existence of the concentration camps and be really familiar with what happened in them. And as for your comment about today, people might inexcusably choose not to believe in the Holocaust, but the information about it is quite apparent in many forms. Where I live, there is rich conversation about its legacy that crosses cultures.

          • sweetlilvoice

            Should have made the connection to The Day the Earth Stood Still, amazing powerful movie. I also think it’s much easier to learn about the Holocaust now especially with the internet, the Holocaust museum and all the books. I also believe a lot of the camp photos weren’t released until long after the war. Anyone else know more? 

          • Mike McGee

            I remember looking at pictures of Jews being marched off to concentration camps in Life Magazine. I was 15 or 16 at the time, the same time as this show takes place, and I still remember how devastating those pictures were to me.

            • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

              I have the same memory. I was shocked to the core of my being that humans actually did such things to other humans. Not sure I’ve ever quite gotten past it, actually.

        • formerlyAnon

           I just assumed that Peggy knew enough about the camps to be surprised that a baby born in one survived. Interesting to read Jennifer’s comment about what was & was not known about the camps in the ’60s – I certainly didn’t know details, but I wasn’t yet an adult and would have just assumed that I had been shielded from them by my parents. As well as by the different standards for what was acceptable for mass media and the relative difficulty, compared to today, in a stumbling across something that wasn’t mass media acceptable.

          • ldancer

            I was under the impression that the term “Holocaust” didn’t really come into broad use until a bit later, or maybe around this time (I know it wasn’t used in this episode, I only mention it as part of the larger point), and that people outside of our community didn’t really know the whole story in such an accepted way as they do now. Am I wrong? My family were survivors, too. I appreciate the realism of this, of that story and those people beginning to appear in the Mad Men world. Michael would be a little older than my mom, and about the age of my aunt, who was born either in a DP camp or on the run in the woods somewhere near the Ukraine, I’m not sure which.

        • Sobaika Mirza

          I think Peggy is – for lack of a better word – pretty ignorant. There was a moment last season where she asks, in total awe, “Did you know Malcolm X was shot last Sunday?” and Joey’s reaction was pretty much, “Um YEAH, girl do you read??” She has very little knowledge of what exists outside of her teeny little world and is continually shocked when hearing of it.

          • Maggie_Mae

            Peggy went to secretarial school, not college.  Aside from the academic background she missed, she also missed the late-night arguments over coffee or wine that further one’s knowledge of the world.

        • fursa_saida

          I had a similar initial reaction to yours. Then I thought it might have been the times, like what @google-60ff3f85e9da37c9a357587379c036a7:disqus was saying, but there seems to be a lot of dispute over that. At the end of the day, though, I find myself frequently and consistently surprised at how much most gentiles just don’t know about Jewish history, practice, and experience. (I’m only half Jewish, and very non-practicing at that, but I’ve always happened to live in parts of the US where there was a large Jewish minority and so even the goyim knew at least a few things.) So maybe it’s just a case of plus ça change.

      • asympt

         When I was about eight, and unhappy at home and at school, for at least a year (near to the year this episode is set in) I narrated a continual internal story in my head about being a Martian, a sort of anthropologist just here observing.  I knew it was a story, but at the same time, as a child does, I also slantwise believed my own story.

        If I were as unhappy as Ginsberg, I might have needed to believe it even more.  The strangest thing is that there, late at night, he says it, out loud, to Peggy.  That I didn’t know what to make of.

        Meanwhile, what is his (adoptive) father’s “case”?  It’s clearly an obsession with him–is it any saner?

        Strange days for everyone, when nothing seemed stable or safe.

        • Scimommy

          I agree that Michael’s father is strangely obsessed with him, almost in a reverent way. Maybe he was in the camps himself and lost his biological family there? So Michael is all he’s got?

          • VanessaDK

            It is not unusual for holocaust survivors to have had exactly that kind of overpossessive connection with remaining family.  The adult survivors are pretty much gone now, but the issues that they brought to parenting, even kids born in the US, means that the children of those survivors are themselves a unique group (psychologically speaking) because they did bear a burden of dealing with their parent’s psychological and emotional scars.

            • Maggie_Mae

              I worked with a guy whose mother was a survivor of the camps.  He definitely had issues–but I can hardly blame the lady for not being The Perfect Mom….

            • Flooby

              It’s an interesting dynamic- the reaction of the children of survivors to the horrors of the holocaust.  In my line of work (see previous comment) we are noticing a pattern where in the children of survivors became very religiously orthodox and it creates a painful divide with in the family because the parents (the direct survivors) never went that route and are now ostracized by their holier than thou children.  There’s obviously a lot going on there and in my work I only hear the parents’ side of things but their pain is very real when their children won’t, for example, celebrate Passover with them because they didn’t go through the orthodox rituals of home purification etc.  Becoming fervently religious is obviously a well-known coping method to horrors- but what’s interesting to me is that none of the survivors I work with on a daily basis became orthodox.  But, like I said, I think of them as the “super survivors”- they’re a very well adjusted group and I’m not in Israel, which is where the more religious survivors tended to go.  One thing that has occurred to me before is that this group I work with lived a life and developed a stable identity BEFORE the holocaust- so for them  their experiences, while traumatic, weren’t NECESSARILY formative.  

              One thought I never had?  That I’d be talking about work on tomandlorenzo.

            • Flooby

              Ah hm- I work for a large Jewish community organization in LA (and before that I worked for a similar one in NYC) and there ARE a large number of holocaust survivors alive and well who were adults during the Shoah.  The ones I work with now I kind of think of as the “super survivors” because they never succumbed to suicidal tendencies and/ or substance misuse etc. and they are only now,  for the first time, in their 80s and 90s, seeking out help via peer groups and social workers because of infirmity and poverty (problems related to old age, not the holocaust.)   

            • ldancer

              No one in my family became particularly frum, or suicidal, but many of them were very unhappy and diminished by their suffering, and there is indeed a certain…is pathology the right word? amongst their kids (my mom et al). Even us grand kids. The war hangs over us like a cloud even now. I can’t imagine what it felt like back then.

              In other news, I love Megan more and more. She’s real. I see more of my own peers in her than I do in any of the other characters, which is neither here nor there, really. Just to say that I get her.

            • Sweetbetty

               Bless you and people like you.  I hope these remarkable people get all the help they need.

            • VanessaDK

               Thanks for adding this.  I didn’t mean to overstate how few survivors there are now, but realistically, there were far more around twenty or thirty years ago. One of my Aunts is a survivor of the camps (she was 20 when the war ended) and few of her peers remain.   In the 1980s, a dominant issue for Jewish nursing homes was meeting the needs of aging survivors, many of whom were there because they had lost so much family that they had noone to care for them.  There are far far fewer of them now, and those who are around were much younger at the time of the Holocaust,and many started families here in the United States. Not sure if they were more or less affected than older survivors, but probably in different ways.

        • avelvetcrush

           It was Michael’s reflection saying it to Peggy.  He never turned around.  :-)

          • VanessaDK

            Yes, that was an amazing visual effect–the reflection in the window–beautifully done by Hornbacher.

          • http://needtherapy.tumblr.com/ skadi1

            Which really lends credence to the schizophrenia explanation, although I admit, initially, I thought it was a metaphor.

            • Spicytomato1

              I immediately thought schizophrenia, too. But now as I’m thinking about it in the context of the times, is it realistic that he could have it so well controlled? I’m sure people are affected to various degrees but from my understanding it is extremely difficult to manage, even today and with all the advances made in neuroscience compared to back then. 

              That, plus fact that he has a career in advertising, which is so stressful and unpredictable, is leading me to believe that he isn’t truly mentally ill and that he was in fact speaking metaphorically.

            • LesYeuxHiboux

               The whole speech put me in mind of Vonnegut and Slaughterhouse Five.
               

            • Munchkn

               Me too!  In fact, this whole episode did.   “I have become unstuck in time.”

            • Sweetpea176

              I took it as a metaphor.  But if it is a delusion, it’s not necessarily schizophrenia.  Could be bipolar disorder (manic depression) or a delusional disorder.  If he does have schizophrenia, though, it could be a first break, so you’d be seeing a psychosis develop and worsen – which could start with a single delusion and some eccentric behavior.  Usually the phase leading up to a first break is characterized by social withdrawal and isolation, lack of interest in things (it can look a lot like depression before the psychotic break occurs), which we’re not seeing here.  Onset usually occurs late teens, early 20′s, but not unheard of to occur into the 30′s or even 40′s.  Unusual, though.  Newer meds — the atypical antipsychotics — don’t necessarily work any better than the older ones, they just generally have a lower risk of causing a movement disorder.  That said, other than thorazine, which can be extremely sedating, I don’t know what was commonly prescribed in 1967.  My guess is that if they’re writing in a mental illness for Ginsburg, bipolar disorder fits better with his presentation. 

            • formerlyAnon

              I know it’s not supposed to be all about me, but I refuse to believe he’s beginning a descent into schizophrenia which those around him are going to have to try to parse. There are some things that are just too all consumingly awful to feature as a minor subplot on a t.v. drama. They just wouldn’t dare.

              (aaand I would have scoffed if told a lawnmower was going to act as deus ex machina and run amok and cut off a foot in order to ensure Lane’s continuance. So what do I know.)

          • Sisyphus .

             And him watching his reflection as he tells Peggy parallels with Roger tripping on that ad with the gray hair/black hair and then going to stare at his own reflection (which he is warned against while high).

            Two older men telling uncomfortable truths to younger wives, two inappropriate father figures browbeating their “children” (“you’re lucky I have a daughter your age and understand”) — such great stuff in this episode.

            And I loved how Don’s experiences flipping back and forth in time were so similar to how Roger experienced the acid.

            Can’t wait for the style recap —- there’s a lot of orange to explain there!

        • http://www.facebook.com/megania Megan Ishler Anderson

           It seems to me that a baby born in the camps would be viewed as a ‘miracle baby’ and the man who adopted him would view himself as the protector of the miracle.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

            My thoughts exactly. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

          Kids often have schizotypal type beliefs (see also Santa Claus and believing in monsters under the bed, fairies, etc) – but maintaining them into adulthood is usually a sign of psychological disorder, so I see where TLo are coming from. 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

          Re the father’s “case,” it may (or may not!) be explained to us later. Someone made the point once that watching Mad Men on Netflix or DVD, where you can consume multiple episodes in one sitting, is very different than watching week-to-week. Weiner often shows us something, such as Bert Cooper in stocking feet, and only several (or many) episodes later gives us the ‘why’ (Bert’s interest in Japanese culture, which we don’t know about until we see the interior of his office).

          Like many of us, I didn’t start watching till towards the end of Season 2, when TLo started blogging it (thanks TLo!!). Because I had no idea what was going on, I immediately went back and watched all of Season 1 and caught up on Season 2. Even the basic Dick Whitman story – that he grew up poor, switched identities in Korea, was tracked down by Anna, etc. – took about a season and a half to be revealed to us.

      • Carmel Steindam

         I also took Michael’s comments to be more about feeling like an outsider because of his childhood experiences. He is a very interesting character.

        • Sweetbetty

           I agree that Michael would feel very much like an outsider to Peggy and the others at SCDP but if he was in an orphanage until age five he should feel like he was a part of that group, of war orphans.  Even living where he does in NYC he must have come upon others like himself, maybe not many, but a few, so it seems he wants to separate himself from that group of people and he feels he is separated involuntarily from everybody else so that he feels as alone as a man from Mars.

           PS:  There is a town named Mars in PA so for a minute I was waiting for him to turn it into a big joke by telling Peggy he was born there. :-)

        • Sweetbetty

           I agree that Michael would feel very much like an outsider to Peggy and the others at SCDP but if he was in an orphanage until age five he should feel like he was a part of that group, of war orphans.  Even living where he does in NYC he must have come upon others like himself, maybe not many, but a few, so it seems he wants to separate himself from that group of people and he feels he is separated involuntarily from everybody else so that he feels as alone as a man from Mars.

           PS:  There is a town named Mars in PA so for a minute I was waiting for him to turn it into a big joke by telling Peggy he was born there. :-)

          • MagsRagsVintage

            There were so many displaced people after WW2 that it’s very possible that the orphanage was more like a warehouse, where kids were fed and clothed but not loved or or talked to or socialized. Very few folks really knew how important those things were for raising normal children. I remember the stories about the Romanian orphanages after the fall of Communism and how many of the kids had attachment disorders, even after being placed with loving adoptive parents.

            • sweetlilvoice

              Me too! I remember all those babies rocking themselves because no one hugged them. So sad.

               

          • Andrea Rossillon

             I did, too!

          • Flooby

            Because the Nazis targeted children for extermination during the Holocaust (‘the revengers” the Nazis called them) Michael would have been at LEAST 20 years younger than any other survivors in the NYC area making it hard for him to feel a peer connection to them.  Especially because he doesn’t remember any of the Shoah experience, his first memories are of the orphanage.  
            (I assume he is more than 23 years old- closer to 30 actually because I think he went to college and then worked for “a few years” at other ad agencies. I don’t really know how the math works exactly, but the Holocaust went on for 6 years, and he could have been born in any of those years I guess.)    

      • Musicologie

        As someone else pointed out on another board, many of the children born in concentration camps had Jewish mothers, but their fathers were the Nazi guards. Finding out a truth like that could definitely mess someone up.

        • Vlasta Bubinka

          Without knowing when he was born, he may have been born to a woman who a late deportee to a camp, shortly before or even after liberation. Thousands of Jews were held in camps by liberating armies as they tried to figure out what to do with the displaced and homeless people. He could very easily have 2 Jewish parents.  And Nazis who had sex with Jews were punished. Sex between Jews and Aryans was forbidden. Doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.  As another blogger mentioned, survivor guilt is probably issue for him (regardless of his parentage) and his reference to Mars is reminescent of the lines in Night and Fog (one of the first Holocaust documentaries) that refers to Auschwitz as another planet.

    • http://stirringsavannah.com/ Gina Magharious

      this episode was mind boggling.  it had this eerie Twin Peaks vibe from start to finish.  This season has been great so far, and this episode amped up my excitement for what’s to come. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leslie-Graff/1104101552 Leslie Graff

      wonderful review . . . as always.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

       

      What I noticed about Megan going in the opposite direction from
      Peggy was how it wasn’t just Megan, but Stan and Ginsburg.  How the three were lined up in a row it
      reminded me of the famous Abbey Road photo (although that is a few years
      later).

      Of course the orange was everywhere.  There may be a point that Megan was wearing
      orange while feeling that the orange Howard Johnson was a “stop” and not a
      destination, while Don viewed Hojo has a destination.

      • Scimommy

        I thought that Peggy walking in the opposite direction represented that she is no longer working on the Heinz account.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=690834251 Ann Smith

        Orange also signifies caution/danger (orange construction cones)

      • ballerinawithagun

        And Megan’s walk seemed rather jaunty! I think she feels more in control now than we realize. Megan is part of the team. Peggy will either move up or out. Since her behavior is similar to Don’s will she become the first female executive?

        • Sobaika Mirza

          That’s what I got from it – Peggy’s heading in a different direction in more ways than one. And I think it’s out, rather than up. I don’t think SCDP knows exactly what to do with her and she’s hit her glass ceiling.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAMNQMUGFM4NNSPAQLZRODSD5I Angela

             That’s what I felt too ~ Peggy was “going against the tide”.

          • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

            It’s certainly not explicit yet, but I’d be pretty surprised if we don’t see Peggy hitting up against the glass ceiling. It would be pretty unusual for her to be executive level even in the late 60s, I’d think.

    • Aika L

      Wonderful recap as always! I really thought that Don was going to physically hurt Megan this time around and the whole time my head kept screaming “Seven Twenty Three” because of the three storylines again. I’m still not sure what to make of Roger’s LSD trip, it was so . . . bizarre, but then again, this whole episode was like an alternate reality for Mad Men. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

        I was hoping that Roger would take off the towel turban and reveal a dye job

      • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

        Welcome to the late 60s!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720086455 Sue Shea

      so i’m confused on how things ended up with don & megan. they walked in to the office looking distant and pretty pissed, but then all smiley as they parted ways. was that just a show for the people in the office?

      • Sobaika Mirza

        This may be more for Mad Style, but what stuck out to me was that Meghan’s chic little outfit was brown and not brightly colored. They’ve made up for the time being, but their relationship will never be the same.

        • MissAnnieRN

          I thought it was navy blue, though that doesn’t change the symbolism you are describing.

        • http://www.deborahwiles.com/ GoodSally

           I think it’s September now and she’s wearing more fall colors.

          • Sobaika Mirza

            But she was wearing bright orange the day before? I don’t know, they’ve been sort of heavy handed with her bright wardrobe, it was an interesting time to begin with darker hues.

            • http://www.deborahwiles.com/ GoodSally

               yeah… September is the beginning of fall, and there’s a summer/fall mix to the wardrobe as women leave summer colors behind and bring on the fall hues. I agree that the brown dress is also pointedly symbolic of Megan’s mood and the current state of her marriage as well. I don’t think all is forgiven, not by a long shot.

      • VeryClaire

        I think they had sort of made up but clearly hadn’t really gotten over it, hence the distant way they walked in together. Then the little smile as a peace offering. But Megan’s feelings from the night and morning fight are not gone.

        • TheDivineMissAnn

          Agreed.  The man kicked in the door and chased her around the apartment like a mad man out of control.  That’s not something Megan will forget any time soon.  Not to mention she repeatedly said “How could you leave me there?’.  There’s been a serious breach of trust there – how quickly can that be mended?

          • Maggie_Mae

            Don had to kick the door open because she had the latch fastened.  So he couldn’t get into his own apartment….

            • KittenBritches

              I agree.  Much as it pains me to sound like I’m making excuses for Don’s behavior, I think that Megan deliberately goads Don into losing control.  She was pushing his buttons with the way she was shoving orange sherbet in her mouth, then again with the directive for him to call his mother, which, let’s face it, was totally out of line.  Even putting the chain on the door and her saying “Leave me alone!  I don’t want to see you” when ordered to open the door were actions designed to escalate the conflict, rather than defuse or avoid it. 

              Anyway, they’re both totally messed up, and unless they develop better coping mechanisms for dealing with one another’s bullshit, they’re going to end up killing each other.  But I suppose that’s stating the obvious.

      • fursa_saida

        That is a “we both would like it if we were okay right now but we’re not at all okay but we can’t/won’t talk about it right now but we both want to put on a good face for each other so nobody panics and nothing gets worse so okay here’s a sad little smile” smile.

        Clearly I have had too many tempestuous relationships.

    • nycfan

      Great post, as usual.  I also did not think that Ginsberg was kidding about the Martian thing or displacement and I think that is what shook Peggy the most, coming face to face with his damage in light of her reaction to work-related stress.  It also explains the gravity of his response to their titillation upon getting a look at photos from the Speck murders.

      When Don went to his knees and hugged Megan in desperation, I thought at first that she had him for sure now, but also that he was clinging to an ideal of happiness rather than reality even as it exploded around him.  I will also note that Megan initiated the physical violence (well, after he kicked in the door, but even that she almost seemed to taunt from him) and it reminded me of her reaction to the party, she seems to intentionally draw violent reactions from him when she is hurt or angry — perhaps she sees a path to power over him in drawing that out or maybe it is just how she strikes out, I dunno.

      But I do think we can say the honeymoon is over.

      And the middle sequence, with Roger and Jane, was well done, especially for a show that has not always been great with dream sequences.  Of all the characters to be tripping on Dr. Leary’s “medicine”, I did not expect it to be Roger, and the way he enjoyed it was unexpected and engaging.

      • Jecca2244

        Such a good point about the Speck murders. that scene makes sense now.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

        I worry about saying that Megan “seems to intentionally draw violent reactions from him” – Megan is direct and even occasionally bratty: she mentioned being a youngest child, and as a fellow youngest child, I could see some of her actions as maneuvers to say “PAY ATTENTION TO ME” especially in the face of Don’s total denial of her own personal identity and desires. However, I don’t think any were ever to the point of meriting a violent response, and I think we should be careful of being too sympathetic with Don. Personally, I thought he was showing classic abusive behavior, and while Megan perhaps should be careful of antagonizing him for her own safety, I wouldn’t say his violent responses are her fault.
        To be frank, I was worried he was going to rape her (more than the other fears that he might kill her) when he was chasing her around their apartment, because of the callback to the fight from the first episode of this season which they “mended” through sex. I was uneasy then, and this fight brought all my unease about that fight to the forefront. 

        • gokobuta

          I was terrified that Don was going to really going to hurt her, (or that she would do the same to him)!

          The “I thought I lost you” moment suggested to me that he’s just terrified of being alone again. It’s been noted that he chased her around the apartment like a parent runs after a child who has stepped over the line; but after a certain point it reminded me of a parent chasing their child because they’re terrified their kid is going to run into traffic and be taken away from them forever. He was in such a dark place before Disneyland, and the show keeps
          emphasizing how bright and youthful she is, in both disposition and
          wardrobe. He desperately doesn’t want this shiny new life to be taken
          away from him. All in all, his possessiveness is pretty creepy…Porphryia’s lover, anyone?

          But he also seems to expect her to treat him the same way, to worship the ground that he walks on. Don can’t understand why Megan prefers work over a romantic, spur-of-the-moment road trip (for *his* work, natch). Even though he got her the job in the first place, Don mocks her ambition. And Megan has already rejected his idea of having a
          kid right away. And then there’s Zou Bisou Bisou.

          Another thought: Don doesn’t stand for people who try to undermine/change him (e.g. Bobbie, Jantzen, Betty/Henry, the whole contract thing, etc.), but he’s also willing to
          compromise so much of himself for Megan’s sake. He’ll give her the job
          she wants (even though he’s blasted both Peggy and Pete for overstepping their bounds), he’ll live in an open-concept
          apartment with
          impractical white carpet (he of the gloomy home office and locked desk),
          he’ll wear jazzy plaid sport coats to dinner parties. He’ll even
          be faithful.

          I guess we got a taste of what happens when all these principles collide after Zou Bisou Bisou, and again with last night’s episode. All this tension! Mad Men, why do you do this to me every week?

          • Sweetbetty

             “I was terrified that Don was going to really going to hurt, (or that she would do the same to him)!”Oh, forgot about this, but did anyone else think Megan was holding a gun in her right hand when Don broke the door down into their apartment?  I think it must have been her purse or something else, but just for a second I thought it might be a gun and she would shoot him.  Over-the-top dramatic, sure; but look at all the other gasp-worthy moments we’ve been having.

    • janiemary

      An amazing episode… on so many levels! I had never noticed either about Peggy and Megan both being derived from Margaret!  As I have thought in the past, nothing on Mad Men is accidental,unintentional or not thought out!!  Matt Weiner does not make mistakes!!

    • http://asskickingadviser.com/ Ass Kicking Adviser

      A trip indeed. Twilight Zone meets Alice in Wonderland meets Mad Men. I loved it.

    • MissAnnieRN

      Well – I felt a tiny moment of Mad Men zen-glee when Michael announced he had been born in a concentration camp.  Something the BK’s have been debating since his character’s introduction.  I think we are now in the know about the central conflict in the Don/Megan marriage.  She demands respect, she doesn’t take kindly to being ordered around, and Don has trouble separating the idea that he is her boss at work, but outside of work, she would like to be more of a equal – not one that can be ordered around to leave work (and the TEAM), eat orange sherbet, and simply do whatever Don says.  The conflict is one of power.  

      How about that teaser for next week’s ep?  All we see is a hand with a lit cigarette (presumably Peggy), with Megan running in with a concerned look on her face.  I’m feeling more and more certain that someone’s life will be in jeopardy this season – I’m just not sure whose.  

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

        It’s funny how the “teasers” manage to reveal ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

          Done watching teasers…. I want to come to it fresh and I don’t want it to spoil my reaction to THIS week’s episode…

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

          TEASER: YOU WILL FEEL GENERALLY UNEASY. SOMEONE WILL COMMENT THAT SOMETHING HAS GONE AWRY.
          Seriously, this week’s teaser is nigh indistinguishable from last week’s. I do appreciate it, though – I can watch the teasers for Mad Men without feeling cheated the next week – Weeds was horrible for that. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Liz-Norris/26609454 Liz Norris

             I absolutely love the teasers. I swear that Weiner (or whoever cuts them) goes out of his way to make them as unenlightening and context-free as possible. It’s like a middle finger to the very idea of teasers. Hilarious.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

              I definitely agree with the teaser love. It’s just so funny, because watching them, there’s no prediction to the next week’s episode’s actual content – just vague emotional/verbal responses. I like it. 

            • Jennifer Coleman

              Oh, totally. Weiner is a red-herring throwing genius. The most you can get to find out what the show’s going to focus on is the recaps that show at the beginning of the new episode.

        • MissAnnieRN

          Seriously – but that one tableau did strike me because of megan’s facial response, and the growing uneasiness I have watching the show.  I know the writers wanted us to think that Megan had been a crime victim in those moments that seemed to drag on for 30 minutes while Don was looking for her.  But they had me convinced something awful had happened to her.

          There has been much discussion over the meaning of things like the inclusion of the murderous current events of the time, Don’s drawing of the noose, the car crash video, Don’s “Saturday night in the suburbs – might has well shoot yourself.”  So while I 100% agree that nothing is ever revealed in the teasers, that 5 second scene stood out.

          Though I’m probably just over-analyzing :)

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        I know, I’m finally starting to feel like I “get it”. Michael having concentration camp roots, Megan’s ambition getting in the way of their marriage. Things that I thought before, coming into light. I am worried about Peggy though. 

        But when are we gonna learn more about “Delores” from the season opener? She has to come into the picture again, right?

        • Sweetbetty

           I keep forgetting about little things like that and I agree that they were written in for a reason.  I fully expect her to come into the picture again as well as possibly some characters from seasons past.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

      I didn’t get the sense that Michael might be schitzophrenic. I just thought that maybe it’s a way he explains to himself and others why he is the way he is. 
      I loved Roger’s LSD trip.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Micaela-Cannon/1465504041 Micaela Cannon

      I have been waiting eagerly all morning for this post. I had to stay up until 3:00am so that I could watch that episode 3 times.  Blew my mind. 

    • http://profiles.google.com/denise.alden Denise Alden

      Well done once again, gentlemen.  I, too, thought the scene of Don chasing Megan around the apartment was terrifying:  I kept saying, ‘oh no, oh no, oh no.’  I had visions of Megan crashing through the glass windows.  And I loved the bookend of showing them on the floor on their backs again, so similar to after they’d made love after their ‘fight.’  Great pick up on the names of Peggy and Megan!  Never saw that, either.  But I did notice Peggy and Megan going in opposite directions, and I thought ‘little girl’ referred to Peggy, but you’re right:  it could just as easily refer to Megan.  I really loved this episode, and at the same time found it disorientating.  As well as heartbreaking.

      • http://annequichante.wordpress.com/ Anne

        The image of Don and Megan on their backs on the floor was also a lot like Roger and Jane on LSD, talking about how their marriage was over…

        • http://profiles.google.com/denise.alden Denise Alden

          Yes!  I see it now; thanks!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Micaela-Cannon/1465504041 Micaela Cannon

         I really thought for a grim moment that Don was going to chase Megan right off of the balcony.

        • http://profiles.google.com/denise.alden Denise Alden

          Me, too!

    • NurseEllen

      How do you guys get these things posted so quickly???  I’m still trying to process the episode, myself.

      However, I will comment one your first point, about the writers now packing action into every minute.  You charitably dismiss the notion that this new emphasis on events was prompted (at least in part) by the nasty negotiations, but the writing is so VASTLY different from that of previous seasons that I’m having a lot of trouble with being equally charitable.  The proportion of what you call “gasp-worthy” moments to actual running time has been so ramped up this season pretty soon we’ll all need oxygen tanks at our sides while we watch.  Personally, I would have preferred a little more space for character development and introspection last night.  I wanted to see Don & Megan’s rapprochement, rather than a simple cut from crying on the floor of their apartment to exchanging tired smiles at the office.  What did they say to each other to be able to get up and start the day?  Same for Roger and Jane.  (Of course you noticed that many folks last night spent time on the floor.  Roger & Jane were photographed from above, and practically looked like the hands of a clock…..more time symbolism.)  There were just too many plot & dialogue non-sequiturs for my taste. 

      I understand the conceit of jumping around in time, as it of course echoed the themes of the episode, but I don’t care for it as a storytelling method.  I think it’s overused nowadays. 

      “Born Free”?  How funny!  NOBODY in the world of “Mad Men” is born free–everyone has baggage.  Even little Gene, who we hardly ever see, is born to be ignored by his father. 

      You’ll address this in “Mad Style”, but I’m dying to know what you thought of Jane’s getup at the LSD party.  Kind of a cross between Cleopatra and Jean Shrimpton and a vestal virgin.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

         I noted Jane’s earrings especially after last episode’s comments on big earrings on the whores.

      • formerlyAnon

        “I would have preferred a little more space for character development and introspection last night.  I wanted to see Don & Megan’s rapprochement, rather than a simple cut from crying on the floor of their apartment to exchanging tired smiles at the office.  What did they say to each other to be able to get up and start the day?”

        I took that lack of information to be a statement about the depth of what was said – if anything. Meaning that they *haven’t* really dealt with what happened.  Lots of times people with episodic upheavals in their marriage DON’T really deal with them. They just get through them and then resume the day-to-day afterwards. Sometimes they don’t have the tools to deal with the issues, were raised in an environment where nothing was ever talked about/explained in front of the children, or just aren’t ready yet to follow any discussion where it might lead.

        • TheDivineMissAnn

          Good point.  They are two people who do not “fight” well.  A couple of jabs and then each is back in their corner.  Given that, and the fact that these two people are quite different in age, at a time when gender roles were changing rapidly, does not bode well for this marriage.

      • Spicytomato1

        “I wanted to see Don & Megan’s rapprochement, rather than a simple cut from crying on the floor of their apartment to exchanging tired smiles at the office.  What did they say to each other to be able to get up and start the day?”

        Funny, I assumed that nothing at all happened (other than them standing up, dusting themselves off and heading to the office in silence) in between those two events and that everything was swept under the rug until the next outburst. I just can’t imagine them (Don especially) having anything more to say on the matter at that point.

        • fursa_saida

          I completely agree. And as for what happened between Roger and Jane between the floor conversation and the bed conversation, I’m pretty sure they wound down and went to sleep. 

    • Lynn Landry

      I can’t decide if this was a great episode or just too contrived. But, the Martian comment seemed symbolic (he’s a writer…). He said, “I’m a martian. We’re not trying to take over. There aren’t that many of us. Just existing” (Can’t remember the exact words). Seemed to be a statement against the anti-semitic stereotypes and he’s basically saying that they aren’t what you think, nor are they a threat. It was chilling. I couldn’t figure out if maybe he had just been told about it and was bitter.

      It was interesting to see Bert wake up and call Don out. He been shuffling around in the background for a long time, but as the “patriarch” Bert knows that he needed to get things straight again so he can go back to laying around in his office in his socks.

      I did love seeing the Howard Johnson’s. I loved staying at the HoJo with my family when I was a kid. It was interesting at how wide-eyed Don was about it and how he wanted Megan to have the experience as if he were taking her to Rome. “She’s never been to one.” “You gotta try orange sherbert.” Don, it’s a Howard Johnson’s! He seemed to excited and so eager to show it off to Megan. It was like he just moved in from the farm.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

         For all of his assumed sophistication, Don is a small town boy

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

        “It was like he just moved in from the farm” – exactly! This confused me. Did Don actually think he was taking her away for a classy weekend? I could understand if he framed it as “this is a totally wacky American road trip experience, you’ve gotta try it,” in the way that a ‘foodie’ might still enjoy eating a funnel cake at Six Flags, just for the fun of it. Instead, Don seemed genuinely and deeply insulted that she didn’t like all the diner food and referred to the Hojo as a stopover rather than a destination (can’t remember her exact words).

        As with other things in this episode – maybe I just need to watch it again.

        • Lynn Landry

           “this is a totally wacky American road trip experience, you’ve gotta try it,”

          I’m not sure these ironic ideas were part of that culture at the time. I think the Howard Johnson’s seemed very modern at that time. Americans loved to drive, the Insterstate system was still pretty new and I think it seemed high class to stay at a chain where everything would be the same no matter where you sent. McDonald’s, HoJo, Holiday Inns, were all new at that point so I guess it would seem exciting.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=690834251 Ann Smith

            Agreed, they were all viewed as new and hip.  Incidentally, Howard Johnson’s was one of the first chains to figure out how to make food uniform amongst its chains, and ‘to scale’ up for so many customers.  Guess who helped figure this out?!  Jacques Pepin of Cooking with Julia Child!  

            • Maggie_Mae

              I remember Howard Johnson’s from a youthful trip up to the Northeast–they were along all the turnpikes.  And they were all brand new. 

              Later, a couple were built in Houston.  Occasionally we’d cross the metropolitan area for some of those fried clams.  Frozen, I’m sure–but quite exotic on the Gulf Coast. Plus 28 flavors of ice cream….

            • Spicytomato1

              I’m with you on the memories that orange-roofed building — even that sign! — brought back. I wonder if any have been preserved? I would like to think so. 

      • Sweetbetty

         I liked that Bert was roused from his reverie and back into his role of senior guy at SCDP and I like that it was an old ad of an engineered women’s undergarment from his power days that he used to get Don’s attention.  I don’t think he has an office to lay around in in his socks; we always see him in common areas such as the lobby or conference room or some other person’s office.  And when Pete was fighting for a better office Bert said something like, “As long as you’re handing out offices…” only to have Roger cut him off.  It’s like the rest of them let him come in every day and wander around as a kindness but don’t really feel that he’s doing anything of value.  But there’s no denying that Don got a real wake-up from the dressing down ole Bert gave him in this episode.

        • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

           It was Lane who cut him off–no money for more offices. But yeah, the old man doesn’t have an office so he shuffles around in the background. At least he woke up long enough to metaphorically slap Don.

        • fursa_saida

          Yup yup. After Don said “it’s none of your business” I was sitting there going “3…2…1…” and ol’ Bert did not disappoint me. He said exactly what I was hoping he’d say. Oh, that’s always a good feeling.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

      I thought Michael was disrespectful and demanding when he expected such privacy in an office, both times, on the phone and when his father was visited.  It was as if he demanded for people (Peggy) to not see or hear him when he was in the same space.   Very arrogant. No doubt he will be in charge in ten years.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

        I sort of agree… but do you share an office? I work in a cubicle farm, and there’s definitely an etiquette of pretending not to hear others’ personal conversations, and a very fine line of when it’s appropriate to say “I couldn’t help but overhear…” I also thought that Ginsberg’s annoyance was directed as much toward his father as toward Peggy.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

          Agree – I used to share and office and the guy I shared with (who was a weirdo) would make comments about my conversations after I hung up – VERY creepy and no boundaries. This was before the days of cell phones. If I had to make a really personal call (ie doctor’s office or something similar) it got really bad.

          • sweetlilvoice

            Exactly! I have to take my phone to the basement and make personal calls. I don’t have a door or walls. There is no privacy here. I’ve cried in the basement more than once too.

      • baxterbaby

        He made such a point of “privacy” (which is hard to come by at SCDP unless you have your own office, but in light of his past, I kind of understand the sensitivity.  Raised in an orphanage until he was five, and then, most likely, in a series of tiny Lower East Side apartments like the one he’s living in now.  And his presumptive adoptive dad clearly has no boundaries (he came to SCDP to use the copy machine!).  Work is probably the only place that Michael feels is his own, even though it’s not.  Also, at the end of his phone conversation (which I took to be with his dad), after the arguing there was the typical “I do too”.   No matter how fraught or complex the relationship, the bottom line is “I love you.” 

    • PastryGoddess

      I DVR’d it…looking forward to watching.  I love watching after your recaps because you see the things that I totally miss.  

      Thanks guys

    • Jecca2244

      this episode was so crazy. My roommates and I kept joking that Games of Thrones had been more believable. The Michael born in concentration camp thing bothered me. still thinking about it! Did this really happen and the babies survived?

      • Judy_J

        The statement about Michael being born in a concentration camp got me thinking, too.  But you know, when the Jews were rounded up and shipped to the camps, there were bound to have been pregnant women in the mix, so it is entirely possible that babies were born in the camps, and that some did survive. 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

          And as another poster noted above, women did become pregnant in the camps, often by guards.

      • estella_nyc

        Actually, I coincidentally did a little internet reading a few weeks ago about babies born in concentration camps and there are a few examples: 
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-13069586 
        http://www.scrapbookpages.com/dachauscrapbook/DachauBabies.html 

      • estella_nyc

        There are several examples of children being born in concentration camps and making it out alive.  Most recently, the BBC did a profile of one such child, Eva Clarke.  But it wasn’t common; the Nazis made sure of that.

        • Jecca2244

          Thanks Estella, just looked up an article on Eva Clarke. I went to Dachau a few years ago when I was living in Italy for work. There was a fair amount of literature on forced abortions for women that were even full term. Still haunts me.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Thanks to these posters for the info, I was wondering this myself. I just couldn’t bring myself to look online…thanks! 

      • lilibetp

        Yeah, there were some born in concentration camps.  Not many survived.  Many of them were sent to the gas chambers because obviously they weren’t able to work.  Others were taken by the doctors and experimented on in horrific ways.  Most of those also died.  The few who did survive were either sneaked out in very daring ways or were born very late in the war and the Nazis used them in negotiations with the Allies at the end of the war.

      • Sweetbetty

         I believe that there would have been a concerted effort among all the women aware of the baby born in the camps to work towards seeing that it survived, not only because of maternal instinct and the pulling together that was necessary for their own survival, but to assure the survival of the Jewish race.  They had no idea how many Jews had escaped eradication so each new child was a hope for the continuation of their kind.

    • schadenfreudelicious

      Twin Peaks, meets Hitchcock meets Memento…trippy indeed, Roger once again stole the show with his version of “take a trip and never leave the farm” 

      • BayTampaBay

        Wildwood Weed grows wild on the farm……LOL! LOL!

    • Jodie_S

      I loved the way that the story turned back on itself from different perspectives, as when Peggy received one of Don’s desperate phone calls.   

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        It took me a few minutes to figure out what happened. I had no idea this show was capable of doing that kind of thing. This is a big, big episode.

    • http://twitter.com/HappyCouchDay Happy Couch Day

      I was yammering on at the end of last season about Peggy and Megan
      having the same name. Most people were fairly unimpressed by my
      revelation but I thought it was interesting.

      • 3hares

        Peggy is a nickname for Margaret but Megan isn’t, really. It’s Meg that’s the nickname. Megan is, I think, a modern name that probably shouldn’t even have existed when this Megan was named.

        • Siân Neilson

          Megan is a welsh diminutive of Margaret and it does predate the 1960s. Though I have no idea how prevalent it was on the other side of the pond from Wales.

          • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

             It wasn’t unusual by mid-century in the U.S., but Megan is both French-Canadian (the Maritimes have Scottish settlers, but I don’t know about Welsh) and perhaps a bit old. She would have been born around 1940.

        • Sweetbetty

           I thought about that too, that the name “Megan” didn’t become trendy until maybe the 80s or 70s at the earliest.  I thought maybe it had to do with her French roots, that maybe it was more commonly in use then.  I also recalled an episode of The Waltons, set in the 30s, where a school teacher was named Megan (I remember it because there, too, I felt the name was out of place).  And one of the characters in The Thorn Birds, set even earlier, was named Megan, though called Meggie most of the time.  So who’s to say when it first came into use.

          • asympt

             The first year “Megan” cracked the top 1000 in the US (can’t find lists that big for Canada), according to the internets, is 1952.  But it wouldn’t have come out of absolutely nowhere.

            Doesn’t seem to have registered as a name in France at all around 1940.

            • http://tekalynn.livejournal.com/ Teka Lynn

               As I understand it, Irish names are not especially unusual or anachronistic in French Canadian society. A number of orphaned Irish children came over to Quebec during the potato famine, and were adopted by fellow Catholic French Canadians. Many Irish families assimilated into Quebec and exist to this day.

            • Maggie_Mae

              Kate & Anna McGarrigle were fine folks singers from Canada–French on their mother’s side. They recorded many a song in French.  (Kate died in 2010.)

              Not everybody in every era must have one of the most common names!  There are always some outliers….

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

           It’s not too common, but I do know Megans who are actually Margarets.

    • lilarose

      Great analysis, as always. But I think it’s possible to make too much of the “Peggy’s becoming Don” theme. Megan has come between Don and Peggy, who had developed a genuine personal bond as as well as a professional one. (Remember Don’s visit to Peggy in the hospital after she gave birth.) In the past, Don looked out for Peggy and supported her. Now he has abandoned Peggy; her frantic search for the violet gum talisman that he gave her shows how much she misses him and feels lost without him. Spending the day acting the way Don would is the only means she has, at the moment, to feel connected with him. If Don were around to support her I don’t think we’d see her acting so recklessly.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

        I hope so, because if Peggy succumbs to becoming Don SCDP will be a dark place indeed. 

        • formerlyAnon

          If she becomes Don too literally, she won’t be around too long. As noted here, women had (some would argue still have) to sugar coat their professional aggressiveness lest the focus be less on what they’re saying than their “abrasive” manner.

          (edited for spelling)

    • http://twitter.com/Athenabast Athena Bast

      I’m a little pissed at Megan. She could have just gotten their key from the HJ guy and stayed there. Don would have/did come back. Instead she antagonized him by disappearing. She would have seen his rage in some form or another appear previously. You keeping poking a sleeping a lion and eventually it’s going to wake up. She’ll leave him eventually I think.

      • MissAnnieRN

        I’m not pissed at her at all.  If my husband drove off and left me in the middle of HoJo’s parking lot in Plattsburg, I probably would have gone home too.  Not saying passive aggressive behavior is mature, but it takes one to know one, I guess.  Don pulled the ultimate P-A move, and Megan matched it.  

        • Jasmaree

          Let’s not forget that Megan threw his dead prostitute mother in his face (which was COMPLETELY uncalled for). It’s not like Don driving off was out of nowhere. Both sides were in the wrong here, but Megan managed to piss me off more.

          • MissAnnieRN

            I agree that Megan’s comment was uncouth.  However, saying something nasty and leaving someone stranded, alone, and 5-6 hours from home was definitely not an equal response.  As the old saying goes – it takes 2 to tango, and Don responded in a disproportionate way, imo.  

          • Sweetbetty

             Megan made the mother comment in anger and immediately realized that she had crossed a line and regretted it.  She wanted to discuss it but Don insisted she get in the car so they could go home.  Can you imagine what that drive would have been like?  I would have wanted to talk it out before I got into the car too.

            • Jasmaree

              Same could be said for Don. He made the decision to leave her, regretted it, and came back. 

          • fursa_saida

            Different strokes re: who is more annoying to whom, but in my opinion nothing she did or could have done short of, I don’t know, threatening to harm the children, merited him chasing and tackling her like that.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          I honestly thought she went off with a couple guys, had some fun, and was going to come back after blowing off some steam. 

      • smokyvalleygirl

        interesting that the HOJO man did not automatically give them 2 keys –  like they do these days.  Was that standard?  only getting one key unless asked?  Would Megan not  have thought to ask for a key when they first checked in  - thinking that she would not need it?  From my 2012 point of view, staying in a motel with my husband and not thinking I needed my own key –  kind of a foreign thought.

        • Lilithcat

          interesting that the HOJO man did not automatically give them 2 keys – like they do these days.

          Maybe that’s motels.  But I’ve never been to a hotel that “automatically” gave me a certain number of keys.  The receptionist always asks how many I want.

          (edited because a previous “cut-and-paste” showed up!)

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

        And let’s remember – Megan is, what, 26? She certainly seems mature and pulled together for 26, but she’s still drawing on limited adult experiences. I’m not sure how I’d react if my husband left me in a motel parking lot in the middle of nowhere (would hope this would not happen), but in my 20s I probably would have done the same thing as Megan. She had no way of knowing that he would return.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

          I think they are both drama queens, and the more dramatic response was to leave entirely. 

          • judybrowni

            Which is what Don did: “leave entirely.” Run away.

            Megan had no way of knowing he’d return. She went home.

      • jenno1013

        I disagree…I don’t think Megan would have felt any confidence at all that Don would return to the Howard Johnson’s.  So, she went the most logical direction:  home.  At the time I was thinking she’d either find a way to go home to Canada or home to New York, but when he drove off, I think she believed she was totally on her own.  The fact that it took him seven hours to set out for New York shows his lack of connection to the entire concept of “home.”

      • sagecreek

        HE DROVE OFF AND LEFT HER. I probably would have stayed, too, but Megan has nothing to apologize for.

      • MK03

        If my husband drove off and ditched me at some hotel, I wouldn’t stick around either. I mean. that’s such a “fuck you” move. My response would be “Well, fuck you too. I’m not waiting for you to come back, I’m taking my own damn self home.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Liz-Norris/26609454 Liz Norris

         How was she to know that Don would come back? My friend’s (now ex-)boyfriend did that (although he did it on the side of the highway, not even in the parking lot of a business), and he really did go home, leaving her to find her own way home. They split up days later, thank goodness.

        It’s a despicable thing to do, and I can’t see how it’s Megan’s fault that he did it. If Megan had been the one to drive off and leave Don in the parking lot, I have a feeling she wouldn’t get a lot of leniency on the matter.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Liz-Norris/26609454 Liz Norris

         How was she to know that Don would come back? My friend’s (now ex-)boyfriend did that (although he did it on the side of the highway, not even in the parking lot of a business), and he really did go home, leaving her to find her own way home. They split up days later, thank goodness.

        It’s a despicable thing to do, and I can’t see how it’s Megan’s fault that he did it. If Megan had been the one to drive off and leave Don in the parking lot, I have a feeling she wouldn’t get a lot of leniency on the matter.

    • Judy_J

      This was easily the strangest episode of Mad Men, and one of the best.  Megan definitely has feminist attitudes that Don will have to face.  I thought it was great that she caught a bus back to the city after Don left her…she didn’t wait around to be rescued.  Roger’s reaction to droping acid was classic, and so very Roger.  And Bert putting Don in his place…..how I love Bert Cooper!  He speaks volumes with just a few words.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        Bert Cooper FTW!

        • KittenKisses

           I have to admit, I’ve always loved Bert. He’s proof that the wisest words are often spoken the quietest.

      • KaileeM

         It also speaks to Megan’s maturity in terms of how she deals with her marriage. She could have easily called crying to her parents, they were only an hour away, but instead she got herself on a bus and went home to New York.

        • Sweetbetty

           I don’t know if it speaks of her maturity so much as it speaks to her desire to show Don she’s a capable woman who can take care of herself and doesn’t really need him; a thought that is not lost on him and that terrifies him.  It does take a level of maturity, however, to actually carry out her actions.  I think she would have rather walked all the way back to NYC than let her parents know how Don had treated her.

          • KittenBritches

            “I think she would have rather walked all the way back to NYC than let her parents know how Don had treated her.”

            That’s how I took it too.  Shame and embarrassment that she could have married someone that would treat her so poorly.  The day she called her parents would be the day they started telling her to leave the guy for realz, and I don’t think she’s prepared to do that yet.

    • siriuslover

      You guys are my postmodern heroes. This analysis is cutting and incisive, and all out brilliant. I love TLo.

      • sagecreek

        Very true! One quibble, Unks — it’s “root” name, not “route” name.

    • avelvetcrush

      I loved how the yellow flower Jane had during the trip (the same color that Megan usually wears) was a crushed bloom between Roger and Jane on the bed the next morning.  And in keeping with the episode’s time theme, this was probably at the same moment in time that Megan was being chased thru the apartment by Don; removing the bloom of their honeymoon. 

      I don’t think that Michael is schitzo.  The Holocaust and that early childhood is alien.  I also find it interesting that this strange childhood and being raised by non-family is similar to Don’s.

      • KittenKisses

         Love the rose thought, well spotted!

    • Susan683

      I had a totally different take on the Don/Megan story (granted, I have never liked Megan).  I thought his chasing her around the apartment wasn’t violent, but because she refused to face him – it seemed more like a parent chasing a child.  And I don’t think she stands up to Don — she is VERY passive-aggressive with him.  Whereas Betty would have manipulated Don to get what she wanted, Megan makes a statement like “it’s ok for you to be obsessed with work but I can’t” and then goes back to eating her meal.  And when he couldn’t believe she didn’t like orange sherbet, she acted like a 13 year old and began gulping it down.  And then, “the most scathing and hurtful riposte possible: “Why don’t you call your mother?” That was a gasp-worthy line” (and I did, in fact, gasp) — was said specifically to hurt Don — but with a clearly unforeseen reaction by Don.  Megan did not expect him to storm off the way he did — she expected him to back down and begin the conversation (argument) about work that she was too immature to begin on her own.   Rather than confront Don, she reacts to him like a teenager to a parent. She could have had so much more power if she had stayed at the hotel and forced Don to come groveling back to her. 

      • Sobaika Mirza

        I’m no Meghan fan but I can’t agree. I think Don’s finally met his match, and rather than deal with it, he runs off in his car like an overgrown baby. I rather admired her for not waiting around for him to cool down and getting herself home.

        And I was cringing as he chased her around the apartment. That’s the first time we’ve seen him be violent, right? Ugh.

        • ccinnc

           I was hoping it wouldn’t turn into violent makeup sex. That would’ve pushed it into disgust territory for me.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

            yeah, doing that twice would have really pushed it for me too. First time was difficult enough to watch. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

            on the other hand, I do think these two get turned on by high drama to some degree….

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              Not anymore. If I were Megan, I would have lost all taste for it at this point.

            • Glammie

              Yep.  Remember, they were smiling at work the next day.  My guess is that ex-actress Megan thinks this crazy emotional stuff is high passion.  She’s not an ex-actress by accident.  She and Don are playing things out.  

            • emcat8

              I didn’t see those smiles as happy smiles AT ALL. Those were the most pained smiles I’ve ever seen.

          • JosephLamour

            Aaaaaa-greed. There was a lot of living room gasping last night, that’s for sure.

          • charlotte

             I literally begged them not to do it, too. So glad it didn’t happen.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

          I’m somewhere in between. I also didn’t entirely see the chase as violent necessarily, but more desperation on Don’s part, chasing this modern woman who stands up to him and won’t just be dominated by him, terrified that he’s lost her. (I was ALSO terrified he’d lost her. Somehow I’m rooting for Don to truly be in love.) She’s terrified herself, not sure how to handle these strong feelings, wanting to be her own woman, to stand up for her own career and for her feelings in the marriage. I didn’t think eating the sherbet was childish, in fact I thought it was “acting” childish in order to show Don how much he was treating her like a child, like his daughter instead of his wife. (Brilliantly acted, I must say.) 

          And I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought, when she said “How could you do that to me?” Well, he’s Don Draper, that’s why…He’s an ASS, and has been his whole adult life. 

          I don’t know how long Don was gone, but it seemed like a long time and I’m not surprised she left. But it WAS immature of her not to answer the phone once she got there, knowing it was Don calling. 

          • Sweetbetty

             It may have been immature of her to not answer the phone, knowing it was Don, but I would have done the same thing.  She was furious because of what he had put her through and he was furious at her so what would that phone call have been like.  I’d have just let him stew in his own juices too until the inevitable face-to-face confrontation.

          • Lilithcat

             Who says she knew it was Don?  She might have thought or assumed it was Don, but in those pre-answering machine, pre-Caller ID days, you never knew.

            • janiemary

              Also, if Megan didn’t get to the port authority by bus until 5am and then couldn’t get a cab, she really wasn’t at home very long to ignore too many of Don’s phone calls.  I mean, obviously she was dressed to go to work but had not left yet.  Could she have only been home a hour or two? What time did the Drapers usually go to work?  Or was she waiting there for him, intentionally not answering the phone to have it out with him when he finally showed up? Hmmmm….

            • MasterandServant

              If Megan got to Port Authority at 5 AM and Don left Plattsburgh at 2 AM, he was calling her while she was on the bus. She wasn’t home to answer his calls.

            • Flooby

              Also Don was driving by the time she got home- she probably didn’t even get one call from him to ignore.  He just thought she ignored all those calls and fumed harder about it.  
              I don’t think we’ve seen Megan be petty or mean spirited before this- I assume she would have picked up the phone.  

        • Susan683

          I didn’t mean to imply that Don’s actions were justified.  He did react poorly (to say the least!), but he reacted to a comment meant to hurt him as no other comment could.  I would have admired Megan for leaving if it had been a conscious choice — but her reaction at home (“Do you know how hard it is to get a cab at Port Authority at 5am”) showed that it was a gut reaction, not a plan thought out to make Don go crazy with worry.  

          Megan fights like a 26year old — all the drama she can muster.  She fights to punish Don, not to get what she wants from him.  She thought marrying Don would be a good career move, but she didn’t expect resentment from her colleagues that she may be given entitlements she hasn’t earned and resentment from Don that she wants a career. 

          • makeityourself

            Does Don fight like a 40-year-old?  Leaving his wife standing in a parking lot alone, in the middle of nowhere?  I’m old enough to be Megan’s mother, and I would have done exactly the same as she. He acted even more childishly.

            • Susan683

              I dont’ think men ever mature past about age 11, so I don’t know that Don can fight like a 40 year old…..hahaha.  I guess the point I am really trying to make is that lots of folks give Megan credit for standing up to Don, but I think she is just acting her age — she isn’t really confronting him at all, she is just shocked that he would want her to have a baby, or not understand her wanting to stay with the Heinz team for the presentation.  She wants a career and she never stopped to think that Don would want his wife to be a homemaker who lets him make all the decisions in their relationship.  Megan didn’t consider Don not supporting her career — she just married him and now is shocked that it is a source of friction.  It is an issue that women are still juggling today.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              Yikes. We couldn’t possibly disagree with you more about the dynamic of their relationship.

              And the comment that all men never mature past age 11 is offensive.

            • Susan683

              that comment was meant as a joke — hence the “hahaha”.  I did not mean to offend — just trying to lighten the mood a bit.  I am sorry it came across that way. 

            • Jasmaree

              I don’t agree with the men and aging joke, but I do agree with the rest. Megan is perhaps to young to know how to be a homemaker or to be what Don would expect his wife to be in public. She’s now awkward with the kids, she’s uncertain of her role at work, and she’s not entirely sure what to do when she’s out with Don (“I can’t tell when I’m working and when I’m not.”) I don’t think Megan knew or was fully prepared for what being Don’s wife entailed, and there is evidence to suggest that she mostly married him as a career move.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              Don never expected her to be a homemaker. The day he proposed to her he told Peggy she wanted to be a copywriter.

              And she’s “uncertain” of her role in work because Don insists on treating her like his wife at work.

              People keep saying that she married him for less than honest reasons, but we’ve never seen one indication of that.

            • Browsery

              “Don never expected her to be a homemaker.”
               I don’t believe we can make that assumption.  I don’t think we have any idea of how seriously he took her career ambitions.

              I agree that Don’s treatment of her is undermining her; but she seems to have had precious little understanding of how her marriage would affect the dynamic of the work environment.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

               Well, he gave her a job as a copywriter, so he must’ve taken it at least somewhat seriously.

            • http://twitter.com/mirrormirrorxx Paola Thomas

              I think Don gave Megan the copywriter job in much the same way as Roger gave Jane carte blanche with his credit cards, as a way of keeping his young wife amused and grateful.  He has never shown himself to remotely supportive of her need to be taken seriously in her work, nor does he seem to care whether she succeeds in it or not. It’s just a toy that was within his gift to keep her amused.

              He admires her intelligence – all Don’s women have been intelligent – but he is not of the generation who believes that women need work to feel fulfilled. I’m sure he’s still expecting her to turn into Trudy.

            • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

              Not necessarily. He might have been humoring her and thought it would be convenient to have her at the office for those little “quickies” he so enjoys. If he took her work seriously, he wouldn’t be taking her away from that work so easily. His attitude is that her contributions are so inconsequential, the others on the team won’t miss her.

            • megalomania79

               He did give her a job as a copywriter, but only when it is convenient for him.  He wouldn’t pull Peggy out before such an important pitch, would he?  Nope, she’s wife first and copywriter second. 

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

               Well, he gave her a job as a copywriter, so he must’ve taken it at least somewhat seriously.

            • Jasmaree

              I think Don expected her to be a lot more like Betty (which I’m sure you’ll agree with). She doesn’t act like what he would expect from a wife of a prominent businessman. He’s embarrassed by her in public. At HJ, at the birthday party, at the business dinner. She seems to embarrass him at almost every social or public gathering this season, and out of those situations, she only once seemed to get why Don would be upset. She just isn’t as graceful as Betty was in those situations, and she doesn’t seem to fully understand what is expected of her. It may just be a generational difference.

              Someone who commented further down recalled this quote: “I saw what Don and Peggy did and it looked like fun…”. It just always seemed to be that Megan married partially to further her career (she doesn’t seem to have any evident talent) and Don married Megan because he wanted a wife. Of course, the two honeymooning love birds aren’t going to admit that right away, but the honeymoon appears to be over now. 

            • VanessaDK

              That was me–and I also raised the possibility that she thought it would be fun to be a copywriter, and she fell in love with Don, so it isn’t necessary that she did one to get to the other.  She seems very “of the moment”  and not one to sacrifice present pleasure for later gain.

            • shopgirl716

              Agreed completely.  I think she may be figuring out she’s in over her head with Don and his demons.  I also completely agree with her reaction to his abandonment at the Howard Johnson.  He ran out on her. Fuck him.  Let him worry and wring his hands.  She can get herself home and he can deal with the fallout of his extreme asshole behavior.  I cheered her on for not answering the phone and locking him out.

            • shopgirl716

              Agreed completely.  I think she may be figuring out she’s in over her head with Don and his demons.  I also completely agree with her reaction to his abandonment at the Howard Johnson.  He ran out on her. Fuck him.  Let him worry and wring his hands.  She can get herself home and he can deal with the fallout of his extreme asshole behavior.  I cheered her on for not answering the phone and locking him out.

            • Jane_Lane

               Yeah, but don’t you think that’s kind of a childish thing to do? Not that Don was in the right, but that’s the kind of thing I would have done when I was a teenager to get back at my mom.

            • Sweetbetty

               How would you have handled Megan’s situation?

            • shopgirl716

              Nope, I sure don’t think it was childish.  If he wants to abandon her at some random Howard Johnson’s why should she?  Hell with him.

            • tallgirl1204

              A few episodes ago (the birthday party, maybe?) an old friend of Megan’s was telling Don that Megan used to make great tips when they were waitresses together, and that “Megan is a great actress.”  Megan’s reaction was a flicker of panic, and then she laughed it off.  I think those are deep waters. 

            • reebism

              I actually thought that was bitterness, because she failed at acting. 

            • Sweetbetty

               I saw that flicker too and wondered what the back-story was.  I’m looking forward to it being revealed eventually.

            • Funkyjuicebox

              Me too! I heard an interview with Matthew Wiener on Fresh Air where he talked about “the problem between Don and Megan”, and how it would be revealed this season. It certainly made me curious! Did anyone else notice her reaction when Joan brought in her baby and Megan was asked if she wanted to hold him? I think she doesn’t really like kids, and it’s part of her act…

            • LindafromChicago

              Speaking as a woman who was 21 at the time, I just don’t think Megan knows what the hell she wants.  And why would she?  One morning I woke up and I was supposed to “put out” or else I was frigid (after years of trying to be a virgin).  I wanted something but I didn’t know if if was a career and older mentors kept warning me that getting married or even falling in love would put my expectations of doing anything of importance in jeopardy.

            • formerlyAnon

              I agree. Neither Megan nor Don *can* be completely clear about Megan’s role. They probably both fall into more “traditional” roles and expectations, at times, than they might articulate. You can’t leave behind years (for Megan, 20+ for Don, 30-35+) of absorbing one set of cultural expectations and then leave them behind in less than a decade.

            • Christy Gill

              How can Megan be too young to be a homemaker when Betty was her age or younger and did it just fine (well, relatively, anyway). I’m pretty sure Trudy was 26 or younger when marrying Pete as well. Must keep in mind the nature of the period.

              And I agree that this alternate view of Don and Megan’s marriage is mostly way off. But that’s me.

            • Sweetbetty

               The age gap between Don and Betty isn’t what it is between Don and Megan.  They were both young when they got married and learned how to play grown-up married couple together.  Same with Pete and Trudy.   Don, more than most men who had grown up in a more traditional family situation, had no standards for Betty to meet and was just pleased as punch to have her waiting at home for him every night.  While he may not want another “Betty”, he may want a bit more of a homemaker than Megan (the only time I recall seeing someone cooking was when Don was making the kids breakfast).

            • Christy Gill

              Right, but my point was that I don’t agree Megan is “too young” to know how to be a housewife (not that I agree that is what Don wants, or thinks he wants . . ). Megan is younger than him, but she is not a child. The age gap may matter in other respects (or, should their marriage last, may in later years), but I don’t see her age as some sort of blame for her attitude towards Don. Though, I also am not in the group to really place much blame on her in last night’s episode anyway. 

              On that note, The alternative (to TLo’s view) argument that some have posted here about their relationship and last night’s episode is alarming.

            • rowsella

               My mother was 20 when she married my father in 1964.  Basically, a young woman in high school expected to get married and become a homemaker even if she attended college for her MRS first.  Some became nurses, secretaries and teachers and then got married and quit to raise a family.  While workingclass women didn’t always do that, most did–there was prosperity and blue collar workers still had jobs in factories.

            • shopgirl716

              I thought Megan was pretty clear when she told Don she didn’t know when she was supposed to be his wife and when she was supposed to be his subordinate.  My sense is that she was frustrated with the boundaries of their relationship. Don was patronizing her and she got pissed.  I’m 45 and that still pisses me off.

            • zmayhem

              YES, THIS.

              And not only frustrated with the boundaries, but with the facts that (a) they’re so porous, and (b) Don constantly redraws them without regard to anything but his own momentary whims. Living a married and professional life like that, constantly trying to negotiate all those moments when Don changes the rules and expects her to shift effortlessly with them — just…God. This is not an unfamiliar dynamic to me or to many people I know, and if it doesn’t make you pissed off it’s just flat-out crazymaking. It’s like being constantly gaslighted.

            • shopgirl716

              Sure, I’m kind of surprised that she’s bought into it for this long.  I don’t agree with the commenters who say she married him for her career.  I don’t think she’s that simple of a creature.  But their situation has become untenable.  I can’t wait to see how this gets resolved in future episodes.  

              On an different note, I always saw this as a show about my mother’s time but this season they’re hitting issues that really resonate with me.  LOVE THIS SHOW!

            • Dagney

              Yes yes yes.  The writers have written a ton of subtext in Don’ character. I think many women have actually lived this.  Years ago, when my former husband and I were dating, he made a comment about how he liked the fact I had my own opinions and expressed them.  I did not realize it at the time, but he viewed this as a cute anomaly.    

              I supported him through fairly drastic career moves during our marriage, but when I made my own major career move, he balked.  Not only did he not support my decision, he started to rally against it.   By showing me baby stroller ads.  Suddenly, the strength of character he claimed to admire was his greatest enemy.  

              Our marriage eventually collapsed under it’s own weight, and the weight of his pregnant girlfriend, who was, well, my polar opposite.  My point, is that he THOUGHT he wanted me.  But he wanted nothing to do with me.  In the end, he wanted everything that I wasn’t, and never was to begin with.

              I see all this in Don’s character right now.  He has this cool set-up with a fabulous wife at home and down the hall, and she has all this moxie and verve, and he THINKS he wants that, and he’ll entertain it for a spell; but at the end of the day he wants someone who is going to be quiet and do what he says.  Sure he made Megan a copywriter, but he could give a damn about her career.  Would any of the other copywriters have a job if they kept Megan’s hours?  Heck no.  Especially Peggy.  

              Don brushes off Megan’s concern for work like she is babbling nonsense.  He brushed off her request for pie because he adamantly wanted her try sample a crappy dessert invention.   What will happen when Don becomes more insistent about a kid and Megan looks to her career options? 

            • Sweetpea176

              I experience this sort of thing to this day — men who are initially attracted to someone assertive and independent, and then end up resenting those very qualities.  As others have pointed out, what is so fascinating about this show is the view of many aspects of women’s lives that haven’t really changed all that much.

            • Glammie

              I don’t think it’s quite that simple.  Don doesn’t simply want something who’s quiet at the end of the day.  He wants both the career girl and the housewife.  He wants the woman who’s as excited about his work as he is, but also one who will drop her responsibilities to go off with him.  He loves Megan, but he’s also self-centered.  

              He wants the emotional honesty of the period, but he also can’t deal with it.

              I thought the contradictions were very real–both to the character and the time period.  (And, yes, it still goes on.)  Jon Hamm also did a fine job of letting Don’s emotions happen.  

              Oh and I agree with the TLo that the on-point dialogue is tied into the changing times.

            • Lilyana_F

               I agree a 100%, couldn’t have expressed it better.

            • Sweetbetty

               Absolutely agree with everything you say.  It happens with both men and women.  The very qualities that attract them as single people turn into major issues once they are a married couple.

            • rowsella

               Even into the 1970′s my father did not want my mother to work.  He agreed to a temp job for 3 weeks to buy a new washing machine but that was it.  After she divorced him, she had the same issue with my stepfather.   He also wanted her at home.  I can’t imagine that 1966 was much different, particularly with men in Don’s income bracket.

            • whatladder

              Given how non-seriously Don has been taking his own career lately, it’s not surprising he’s ignoring Megan’s. He doesn’t really see her as a separate person from himself.

            • Sweetbetty

               Agree.  What was Megan supposed to do?  Stay standing in that parking lot not knowing what Don was going to do?  I’m only glad she had some money on her so she was able to take a bus and cab home rather than have to rely on hitching a ride with lord-only-knows-who.  And I find it telling that when Don arrived home she was dressed and ready to go to work, like any other day, not still in the same clothes or in a robe like Betty would have been after such an argument.  Megan was ready to carry on as usual with or without him.

            • Browsery

              By having Megan drop her sunglasses, they wanted Don and the audience to wonder if she’d been forcibly abducted and would end up dead in a trunk.

            • Browsery

              By having Megan drop her sunglasses, they wanted Don and the audience to wonder if she’d been forcibly abducted and would end up dead in a trunk.

            • dbaser

              Yep–for just a moment I got the same kind of vibe from “The Vanishing”.

              Just love the way this show raises and then subverts expectations.

            • Jane_Lane

              I thought that too, but having seen the bit where he kicks open the door before I saw the episode, I thought there was going to be some kind of heroic rescue scenario. Which isn’t very Mad Men-like now that I think about it.

            • Flooby

              I think when Don drove away last night he wanted to punish Megan.  Of course he was coming back, I almost have the feeling he’d done this before to Betty.  But Betty would have been sitting there helplessly like a child and she would have been the one who suffered.  As it is Don is the one that suffered because Megan didn’t behave like a child and was self-sufficient enough to get herself home.

            • Alan Pursell

              I was kind of hoping for a They Live fight scene in the parking lot. “EAT THE SORBET!” And don’t mess with Montreal women.

            • Alan Pursell

              I was kind of hoping for a They Live fight scene in the parking lot. “EAT THE SORBET!” And don’t mess with Montreal women.

            • emcat8

              Bwah! Bonus points for a They Live reference!

            • http://twitter.com/ThatFerd Ferdinanda Florence

              Then the dropped glasses would be even more significant (I wonder what the HoJo sign REALLY reads, when you put the glasses on!)

            • emcat8

              Totally agree. I had my partner once, after a minor disagreement in a restaurant in a foreign city, walk away from me and leave me alone to find my way back to the hotel, very late at night, on my own. I had no idea where he went or anything. We were in our 30s, and that wasn’t the first time he’d done something that childish and thoughtless. I could completely identify with Megan, and I didn’t think she was being a drama queen at all. I asked my partner the exact same question — what kind of a person does that?

          • VanessaDK

            I think you are right that Megan may have married Don as a career move (or maybe she just saw two things she wanted at the office).  I have been noticing remarks in the past few episodes like when she told the client at dinner “I saw what Don and Peggy did and it looked like fun…” so she slid into a job via marrying the boss, which stood in marked contrast to the torturous process of selecting Ginsberg’s portfolio out of a large stack of applicants. And she clearly takes her work seriously and is invested in it, though there is no evidence yet of whether she has real talent.

            • AuntFiona

               But Megan DID get that HJ isn’t a “destination,” as Don suggested, but rather is “on the way to” someplace else. That’s a key fact in developing a strategy for HJ that she understood, and Don did not. Advertising/copywriting isn’t always about wordsmithing — it’s often about understanding the product. We haven’t yet seen Megan create something magical (I’ll never forget Don on “the carousel”) but she’s got the right mindset. 

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              I realize this is 2 days later, but I am rereading the comments now and I really think you nailed this. Just one more reason for her to be mad. Are we having a vacation or brainstorming? Are you working, but I can’t have ideas? She was onto something, for sure.
              God this show is soo good!!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

          Not the first time we’ve seen him be violent. Remember Bobbie Barrett? On a couple of occasions? And although Don’s and Megan’s make-up sex after the party seemed to be a sort of role-playing, there was a violent undertone.

          • MK03

            You beat me to it. The Bobbie fiasco (because really, that whole relationship was a colossal mess) was our first glimpse into Don’t potential for violence. Even now, the “do as I say” scene leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. 

          • CPT_Doom

            Not just Bobbie Barrett, there was a key moment in season One, can’t remember which episode, where Betty was trying to get him to physically punish Bobby. In the middle of an argument she pushed him pretty hard and he pushed her back, even harder, as if in warning – “I’ve got this under control right now, but you don’t want to push it.” Ever since 5G there has been the undercurrent that Don could be violent, and I saw this fight as further confirmation of that.

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              Which is why I think TLo is on the nose about Betty’s “survival instincts”.

              Score one more for Team Betty.

            • egl48

              Yes, Betty knew how to handle Don, which sadly turned out to be to get away.

        • egl48

          Don’s been violent before.  He shoved Betty in the first season.  I think Betty did try to stand up to Don, but lost interest after awhile.  It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Megan.  I get the feeling she is a user.  She kind of put on a Julie Andrews/Sound of Music pretense to nail Don, and now she has turned out to be a different kind of woman all together.  

        • rechercher

          Not the first time we’ve seen domestic violence from Don: remember in (I think) Season 2, he pushed Betty around at home after she lashed out at him physically, and threatened her with even more. (Please correct me if I’m remembering this wrong.)

          • Maggie_Mae

            Correction: Don pushed Betty one time & she seemed to dare him to do more. He didn’t.  

            Don was raised by a violent drunk & a stepmother who probably never “spared the rod.”  But he declined to spank his son on Betty’s orders–& that one shove was the only violence he ever offered Betty.  His rather violent fondling of Bobbie Barrett led to a more intense affair; she was aroused, not insulted.  Sick on her part, yes–but not objectionable violence.  He did hit her husband–but that was not a domestic thing.Don was so upset by his strangulation dream because he’s always suppressed his violence.  

            • LesYeuxHiboux

              I don’t recall her daring him, she looked like she was both still angry and had had her suspicions confirmed by his shovng her (“I knew you were that kind of man.”). He made a comment about putting her through the wall as well. That potential has always been there. Don didn’t do more because Betty knew better than to continue pushing him (emotionally or physically), which baby of the family Megan (who is in over her head) did not seem to recognize.
               
              It makes me ill to say it but Don has started to remind me of my father, and I’m beginning to understand why my father loathes this show.

            • Verascity

              Not to excuse Don, because I do think he has a capacity for violence, but I’m pretty sure *Betty* was the one who made the “wall” comment. (“What are you going to do, bounce me off the wall?”)

            • LesYeuxHiboux

              I went back and watched the episode just to be sure, it was “Three Sundays” from Season 2. Just before Betty pushed Don he said “You want me to bring home some of what I got in the office tody? I’d put you through that window.” Betty said nothing after the push, just ran down the stairs.

              Last night’s episode also had a callback to Three Sundays wih Don’t father’s violet candy, given to Peggy. Betty escaped Don’s more violent side because he could leave office things at the office, but Megan is the office stuff and the home stuff, so perhaps she will be less fortunate.

          • http://twitter.com/ellydisapproves miss elinor

            He also manhandled her after he heard about Henry.  He dragged her out of bed quite violently. 

        • Sweetbetty

           I was cringing as he chased her around the apartment too because I was half expecting one or the other of them to go crashing through those huge window walls and possibly falling to the ground.  I know that sounds a bit extreme but after everything else that happened in that episode it wouldn’t have surprised me.

          OTOH, I was half expecting their chase to end up with passionate sex since we’ve seen that before.  Indeed, when they fell to the floor I wasn’t sure if Megan was laughing or crying.  And even though it didn’t turn out that way, I wonder if Don was expecting (hoping) for it to, thus reassuring him that things weren’t as bad as he thought they were; that their relationship hadn’t made a critical turn.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            When he embraces her, he lifts her dress up (maybe inadvertently?) and exposes her slip. I think we were supposed to wonder if he wanted to go there. Maybe he was testing the waters. 

        • bluefish

          What I love so much about the show is that it doesn’t hide from the fact that marriage can be a very messy affair indeed and that couples engage in all manner of behaviors when they snap.  And that the writers actors producers directors etc seem to have enormous empathy for these characters.  The audience too.  This is something the show has in common with that other amazing novel for tv — The Sopranos.

        • P M

           The chasing was truly frightening behaviour.

        • Alyssa King

          He was violent toward Betty in one episode.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RHLSUVX3NCPB4OSS5BM7GZIXUE P. Capet

        watching don so easily acquiese to megan in past episodes, on minor issues, i had to feel sorry for betty, because don was always such a control freak with her.  but now i see he hasn’t changed a bit.  he just wants the megan he has in his mind, and was verbally browbeating in the restaurant when he didn’t get his way.  but her crack about his mother was really harsh. i hope she doesn’t know the whole story, because if she does, that was esp. mean.  he was fleeing from that remark.  but in any event, if they’re going to make it as a couple, he’s going to have to give up an awful lot of hangups.  and she’s going to have to be an even better communicator than she’s been.  she shouldn’t have agreed to this trip in the first place.  they were alone in the hallway when he brought it up.

        • Sweetbetty

           They were in the hallway but still very exposed in that busy office and Peggy et al just on the other side of the door, so it would have been difficult for Megan to put up much of a fuss about Don wanting her to abandon her team (Especially since he didn’t really consider her as part of any team; he considered her his wife.  Period.).  Plus he pulled the “boss” card on her.  I don’t see where she had a choice without making a big scene there.

          • Sweetpea176

            But she had plenty of time to talk to him — they went home and packed first, after all.

            • Sweetbetty

               But they packed hurriedly, so hurriedly that she forgot her bathing suit.  Don was probably blathering happily along about the trip and she didn’t want to spoil his mood.   Besides, they had already left the office so there was no real point in discussing it.

          • 3hares

            I disagree. I think it was only after she was on the trip and Don continued being overbearing that she got more sure that she really wanted to stay. Don’s dismissive attitude towards her was wrong on its own terms. But she stands up to him about wanting to go out with her friends. She could have taken the same attitude about Heinz—as he himself pointed later. As wrong as Don’s attitude was, I think Megan makes her out to be a little more noble about work than she’s been.

      • sherrietee

         I agree with you completely on the passive-aggressive nature of Megan.  I thought the EXACT same thing when I was watching it.  And seriously, with the whole going home and locking him out and shouting petulantly “leave me alone”?  Really?  Are you sure you want him to leave you alone, Megan?  I think she baits him regularly, on purpose.  She’s got some serious mental issues.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Liz-Norris/26609454 Liz Norris

          Well, if my husband abandoned me in a parking lot hours away from our home, I certainly wouldn’t want to be around him. And he probably wouldn’t want to be around me either, for safety’s sake.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269440086 Elizabeth Inglehart

        My reaction is the POLAR opposite from yours. Megan was trying to discuss with Don, like an adult, why he doesn’t take her career seriously. He reacted by treating her like an abusive parent would treat a little child.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          Not another word from you, young lady! You will eat that sherbet and like it!

          • emcat8

            You want to cry about something? I’ll give you something to cry about!

        • rowsella

           If Meghan wants people to taker her seriously career wise, she should start by getting a job at an agency in which her husband isn’t a senior partner.

          • Maggie_Mae

            But it would probably be a secretarial job, because of her qualifications & work history.  

            Her one hope: Don takes Bert’s  words to heart & begins concentrating on his career.  And on Megan’s place in the office; if she has any talent, she doesn’t need to be mollycoddled–she needs criticism.  Let’s hope she can find another persona than childish/sexy.

      • uprightcitizen

        Until you said it, I didn’t realize that I had the same reaction to Don and Megan’s fight. She was acting a bit like a teenager, and he was definitely treating her like one. The setting (Howard Johnson’s) was this happy family place where you take children, all bright colors and orange sherbet, and he expected her to be amused by it and delighted that he’d whisked her off to someplace silly and fun. (And his flashback of a different road trip was punctuated by how easily SALLY was manipulated to go back to sleep … as if he wishes Megan was as easy to deal with as Sally.)

        When she didn’t react that way, he behaved the way parents do … the pout that the parents of teenagers use when the teenagers don’t appreciate all that’s been given to them (specifically, the fact that she should ENJOY taking the day off as a perk of being married to him, ignoring how it makes her look to everyone else). And when he chased her around the apartment it was in that same way that a father chases a kid who has just yelled an obscenity at him, realized what they’ve done, and taken off full-tilt. I felt like Don was frustrated because she wasn’t listening to how worried he was about her, so he thought he needed to catch her to explain. The tumult and violence in their relationship is very immature. It reminds me of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

        When he found Megan safely at home, I thought “why would she have so easily lost her sunglasses in the parking lot?”, but then had to remember that, with a few exceptions, there was no such thing as expensive, signature shades back then. The kind she was wearing were cheap, and you bought them at the drugstore. Losing them wasn’t really significant.

        Peggy giving a handy in the movie theater and then going back to work was definitely psychopathic, shocking behavior. It certainly paints an image of her losing control.

        I don’t think Michael referring to himself as an alien is schizophrenic, or a joke. I think sometimes people, especially creative ones, craft careful metaphors to explain how they feel … it’s a great mechanism to draw people in and still keep them at a distance. Did you notice how ANNOYED he was that Peggy interrupted a private moment of his TWICE? That piece of story line seems destined to go somewhere.

        When Jane had the pearls in her hair, the resemblance to Katherine Ross from movies of that era like “The Stepford Wives” was amazing.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          He started by treating her like a child. Ordering for her, overruling her request for pie. He could have easily said, “let’s order both”. I would not be surprised if orange sherbet is Sally’s favorite.

        • Sweetbetty

           “Peggy giving a handy in the movie theater and then going back to work
          was definitely psychopathic, shocking behavior. It certainly paints an
          image of her losing control.”

          And the irony is that she did it as a means of showing that she *was* in control.

          • formerlyAnon

            I think psychopathic might be a little strong.

            It certainly doesn’t fit in with the Peggy she is always trying to create, but she doesn’t have a blueprint to follow for that person. (And she seems like the sort of person who would sometimes be socially awkward even if she wasn’t trying to follow a path for which she has no map.)  She paddles along as fast & hard as she can, sometimes in sync with her environment & those around her, sometimes, like that day, dreadfully out of sync.

            • Flooby

              Also, let’s not forget, sex acts are a great escape- from work stress, from life, from your surroundings.  Even though what Peggy did wouldn’t be called immersive in any way it was definitely a stronger experience and more of an escape than that glug of whiskey she had before leaving the office or the marijuana in the theatre.  

            • AZU403

              Giving a stranger – OK, he was better-looking than most of the men on the show – a handjob: definitely EWWW. I’d rather have pie.

            • terekirkland

              Peggy does seem to me like she is following a blueprint—but of Don Draper, not herself. In this episode I saw her acting like the old Don, the Don you know she feels lost without since he’s been phoning it in since the wedding, and THANK YOU, BERT for calling him on it (and I think the “little girl” he was referring to was Peggy, which made me mad since it’s obvious that nobody appreciates her there).

              Even as she began her diatribe to the Heinz guys, I was simultaneously applauding her and cringing for her, since it was about as well-received as I had anticipated, ie, not at all. If I were Peggy, I can’t say I would have done things much differently. Even the HJ (not the Ho-Jo, the other HJ) seemed like Peggy trying to take control of her life. She can do whatever she wants if she’s a powerful, single career-woman, but at the end of the day, it takes a toll. And it obviously has been taking its toll for some time now, as was evident in her drunk convo with Dawn.

              It killed me to see the female therapist in the Leary scene, knowing that she has what Peggy wants… the career, the respect, the ability to remain a woman, unconsumed by the Ad Man ideal of SDCP. I was probably reading too much into that, but that only shows how much her character resonates with modern viewers.

            • Sweetbetty

               But would you rather have orange sherbet? ;->

        • fursa_saida

          I agree about Michael. It was the only story he knows how to tell in a controlled and safe-ish manner about his life, at least to someone he doesn’t know very well. I didn’t read it as crazy at all.

      • http://profiles.google.com/valencia.lucia87 Lucía Valencia

        THIS! You just described exactly how I perceived the whole thing (and I have never liked Megan either).

      • bobsails

        Am I the only one who sees similarities between Betty & Megan… and differences that are more a function of time? Megan and Betty are both well-educated, intelligent, beautiful women. Betty dabbled in modeling… Megan in acting. The difference between Betty and Megan is Peggy. In other words, when Don married Betty, there weren’t “girls” like Peggy in the office breaking through (or, at least, knocking on) the ceiling… demanding/desiring to do “man’s work” — to be recognized. 

        Another way to say it… if there weren’t any Peggys (and, later, Joans… after she finally became aware that the satisfaction she rec’d from work was more than from an M.R.S.), there couldn’t be any Megans… there would still only be Bettys!I don’t know. I wonder if the relationship between Megan and Don isn’t supposed to show us that Don is the constant… to remind us that Betty (for all her own, obvious flaws) didn’t stand a chance. Remember the early days? Don’s late nights at “work” with Betty sitting alone and quiet in that big house? His reaction when Betty bought the bikini? Remember when he fled Sally’s birthday party and, later, came back with the dog? Betty never spoke up or reacted… not in the beginning. Megan is trying to stand up for herself, but it’s still only 1966… she’s breaking a kind of ceiling of her own… there aren’t as many role models in the home dept (her mother is a nice french-canadian housewife, as far as i can tell). And, Don is still Don. I sometimes think Betty and Megan have more in common than I have seen discussed anywhere. The way Megan shoveled down the orange sherbet reminded me of Betty in the episode with the ice cream at the end with Sally. Very different scenes, but something similar about the acts. They are products of two different times… and both trying to gain some control over their own lives in a time when women were largely extensions of their man. But, with each passing year it is getting a little easier … or, at least, more woman are more likely to speak up. I feel like the writers are asking me to see that even though there are only a few years between Megan and Betty (how many? maybe 10 at tops?) their ability (or lack-thereof) to react/respond/relate to Don mirror the strides women have taken over that same span of time. So, it’s not going to be perfect or easy, but Megan does some to be trying (where better simply couldn’t). In some ways, watching Megan and Don, makes me feel like Betty never had a chance. Because life is changing so rapidly in the 60s, Betty and Megan are both products of their own unique time (though not far apart in age), and dealing with a man who sees women he sleeps with in one way (and women with whom he doesn’t… Peggy, Anna… in another). 

        Sorry these thoughts are not fully formed… just some impressions! 

      • Vodeeodoe

        It’s a fine line, but it’s a line. There is a big difference between the fight where she strips in front of him to ‘clean’ the house and her freaking out (besides her failing to get across her need to be seen by him as an individual with her own goals) because he left her in the middle of the country and she doesn’t allow him back into the apartment because she might suddenly feel like she doesn’t know this guy as well as she thought, and tells him to go away repeatedly. Meaghan isn’t a child. {“It seemed more like a parent chasing a child”] If that’s your idea of a child or adult ‘asking for it’, then maybe parenting isn’t in the cards for you. Don kicking the door in, in itself, was a terrifying image (he’s at least got 50-60 pounds on her); let alone him terrorizing her all through the house, like some intruder. The fact that their fights get physical is unsettling to watch and a very bad sign of the direction of the relationship to me. Meaghan saying that their fights diminish their relationship a little, every time – and Don’s facial reaction was a profound moment.

        • filmcricket

          To pick up on just one point here: to me, Megan saying their relationship is diminished by fights *is* childish. Couples fight. If you believe your relationship dies a little more every time you have one, you’re not cut out for a relationship.

          Now, it could be argued that it’s just these two people and this relationship that’s toxic, and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. But there was enough ambiguity in the way Megan said it that one couldn’t be sure if she was talking specifically about the kind of fights she and Don have or if that’s her attitude towards relationship conflict in general. To me it sounded like the latter.

          • Vodeeodoe

            I was definitely thinking it was about the kind of fights they have. Of course every couple fights, but when fights become physical and terrorizing, that does diminish a relationship. That’s a flag that tells me I could be brave and try to get the crazy person to go to therapy, or most likely that I would want to run out of a fear of getting physically hurt. Personally, I haven’t seen Meagan come across as childish, except for the underwear fight. Her bringing up Don’s mom was below the belt, but it came after she had expressed her frustration with his treatment of her, especially in the workplace – which seemed to fall of deaf ears.

      • Megan Patterson

         When a woman is yelling at you and insulting you to your face, that is not passive aggressive. WHY DOES NO ONE UNDERSTAND THIS.

        • fursa_saida

          PREACH.

      • Jane_Lane

        It felt like that to me too, however, I also know that Betty would have never confronted Don like that. If Don had left her stranded at a Howard Johnson, she probably would have waited there for him to come back rather than getting a ride home. Megan is very young, and it strikes me that, at least emotionally, Don is very young too. They’re a mess because they’re both childish and refuse to deal with anything like adults.

      • P M

         While I agree that Megan can display passive-aggressive behaviour, I think his grabbing her prompted the running / chasing. And someone running after you when angry, AFTER they have kicked down a door, may not make you slow down and face them.

      • librarygrrl64

        I was anti-Megan right up until a few episodes ago, but this week I found myself both liking and feeling sorry for her in equal measure. That chase scene was horrifying and suspenseful. And I am completely intrigued with Gabe. Can’t wait to find out more.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ruthieoo Ruthie O

      When Don and Megan started fighting in the diner, I told my friends, “God! How refreshing is it that Don and Megan are fighting like a normal couple, not just the passive aggressive icy stars that consumed his relationship with Betty.” I thought it was great that they were having a typical fight, out in the open. I’ve even had that fight before! But then, when Don got home, I realized that Don can NEVER have a typical fight; he can’t handle an open power struggle. What started as a fight modern couples have over and over again became something dark and twisted as Don chased her around the apartment. My excitement was shattered. 

      Also, they “resolved” their conflict with while lying on that carpet again. Is that a magic “marital problems are temporarily forgotten” carpet?!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        well it was related, in my mind, to Roger and Jane lying on the carpet after their LSD trip

        • MK03

          Oh yes, that was no accident. Both couples wound up sprawled on the floor after an eye-opening night. But I think Don will continue to deny the truth, because that’s what he does. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

        See, I didn’t really see it as a normal fight, but it actually did remind me a lot of Betty, albeit on Don’s side. It called back to the diner scene in CA where everyone is shocked that Megan wouldn’t throw a tantrum over a spilt milkshake (and TLo reminded us that there was probably a time when Betty didn’t either), and here Don was, throwing a tantrum over uneaten food, with Megan pointing out how he was shoving unwanted food into her mouth much in the same way we saw Betty treat Sally last season at Thanksgiving. For all Don’s talk of how Megan is better for him than Betty, he hasn’t really considered that he’s a lot more like Betty than he realizes, perhaps through her influence, but just as possibly through his.
        Also, I really hope no one thought the fight in the restaurant was a normal fight that normal couples should have – Don completely ignores who Megan is and any of her own desires, with something as unimportant as dessert and, even despite having ignored her initial wishes, accuses her of trying to embarrass him with her own ignored desires. Sounds like classic abusive behavior to me, and I wasn’t surprised it erupted in violence – their entire interaction gave me chills and anxiety. 

        • KittenBritches

          “Don completely ignores who Megan is and any of her own desires…”

          That’s not true.  Wasn’t it last week that people were as much as calling Don whipped for letting Megan pick out his clothing (the plaid sports jacket) for him?  She also picked out the white carpet.

          • Sweetbetty

             Those things are window dressing; what he wants to control about Megan goes a lot deeper than clothes and furnishings.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

            Sorry, I was referring to his actions in this episode. But you’re right about his past actions. He’s at least been making a concerted effort. But he did a lot of backsliding in this episode. 

            • KittenBritches

              “But he did a lot of backsliding in this episode.”

              That much is true.  Considering he let her persuade him to go to Fire Island when he didn’t want to, I was really surprised to see him bulldoze her over about what DESSERT she wanted.  For crying out loud, if she wants pie, give her pie! 

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

              Right? Though I was thinking it might be a “last straw” thing for Don, because it seems like he’s the type of guy to take differing opinions as being rebellion. Totalitarian love the way Kundera describes it in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – to paraphrase inexactly, “The ways you are different from me threaten me and my love for you.”
              But who doesn’t like PIE? 

    • Judy_J

      One more comment about Roger’s LSD trip: the ad he was looking at with the photo of a man with half his hair grey and half black.  I remember those ads as being for Grecian Formula, and the ad instructed you to put your hand over the grey side, then over the black side to see how much younger/older the man looked.  Loved that Roger was looking in the mirror and seeing that image of himself.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        I love that in the magazine, he was drawn to the advertising (and as you pointed out, interacted with it). Does this signal a return to form for Roger at work? I hope so!

        • Sweetbetty

           Do you realize that the man in that ad is Ted Knight, “Ted Baxter” from the old Mary Tyler Moore show?

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            He looked familiar, but, no I didn’t know that! :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leigh-Webster/1230522072 Leigh Webster

        Did anyone else pause the show right at the scene when Roger has grey & black hair and cover each side? I did and I think he looks MUCH better grey!

        • KittenKisses

           I recently saw an old episode of Law and Order with John Slattery with dark hair thought he looked distinctly average. The silver hair makes him look incredible. Even my boyfriend commented how much better he looked.

    • Frank_821

      This was an intense and powerful episode.

      I felt so frustrated for Peggy and relieved for Roger

      Roger’s story was played out so surprisingly well. I always hated those bullshit pseudo-intellectual parties. They were always so phony and narcissistic. At first i thought how typical of Jane. But once the the LSD trip came, I went whoa!. This is the reason. The whole break up scene was beautiful and sad. Kudos to both actors

      I also just clicked in my head how Don’s story so strongly tied to the other 2. Or rather how much people at work depend and need Don. I think back to the interview done with him in last season’s premiere that set him as the star and the core of the firm.

      Last week I mentioned how much Pete needed Don’s validation and guidance and how he never seriously tried to mentor him. However, in the past it seems like Don did make an effort to keep Pete at least in check for the good of the company. And Pete heeded him more or less since it was Don giving him attention.

      Now it comes to the forefront that Don has greatly neglected Peggy. She smart and talented but she’s still less experienced and adept at handling difficult clients. And her gender makes it harder for her to deal with those jerks. She still needs Don to help her through that and to teach her

      Things are pretty bad when Bert Cooper has to come down to earth and lay down the law. It’s easy to forgot this seemingly doddering and eccentric old man is actually pretty sharp and still very much the founder of the company and someone not to mess with

      btw How amazing did Bess Armstrong look as Jane’s psychiatrist? Does that woman ever age? she’s been around since the 1970s

      • formerlyAnon

         Neither Peggy NOR the clients have a tried and true script for interacting when the “ad man” is a woman. It’s particularly fraught ground when the agency guy is essentially “courting” or “wooing” the client.  So much of business behavior is ritualized and -even today – calls on the metaphors of sports, the locker room and sexual conquest.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        Has she been around that long? I knew her as Angela’s mom on “My So-Called Life”, in the 90′s… so ok, I guess that does put her at that age. She does look great.

        • Munchkn

           Bess has been around since the late 70s at least.  She starred in the sitcom “On Our Own” in the ’77”-’78 season where she worked in an ad agency.

    • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

      Michael calling himself a Martian is just a way to distance himself from the horror of his past.  I don’t think it has a thing to do with mental illness.

      I loved this episode. It actually does make sense that Roger would be the first one to take LSD, as strange as that seems. It was a drug for the educated, wealthy class at that time– and believe it or not, it wasn’t illegal (on a federal level) at the time of this episode. 

      From Howard Johnson’s to “Born Free” to LSD…. I love how much ground MM covers!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RHLSUVX3NCPB4OSS5BM7GZIXUE P. Capet

        i think they meant that a baby could have been born there, that’s what was so shocking and upsetting…michael mentioned dislocation, and that certainly describes the sense of the entire show, everyone sharply pulled out of the normal flow of time.

        • makeityourself

          I think the word was “displaced,” and it was used twice in this episode.  Not by accident, surely.

          • TheDivineMissAnn

            Probably displaced.  After the war ended, the many, many refugees struggling to get home were referred to as Displaced Persons, or “DP’s”.  There term was also used in the U.S., sometimes not very kindly.

            • Amy Fee Garner

              Yes.  I have an old Sunday School booklet from the late 1940s with a lesson on DPs, including lots of Biblical backup on how church folks ought to treat them as neighbors, etc.  and with dark undertones that something very different was the norm.  My mother confirmed that people postwar were very mistrustful of “foreigners,” having been coached to be eyes and ears for spying during the war, and that the DPs had gone through trauma, bring little-discussed and unacceptable “mental problems” with them.  I guess the 60s helped people open up about their issues, but the mindset against anyone outside of the mainstream was a tough nut to crack.  

            • Sweetbetty

               Read Philip Roth’s short story “Eli, the Fanatic” to understand this better.

            • Spicytomato1

              “The term was also used in the U.S., sometimes not very kindly.”
              In both my mom’s and dad’s experiences, the term was used extremely disparagingly.

            • Pennymac

              My mother who was born in the U.S in 1927 travelled to Germany with her mother after my grandparents divorced. When they realized what was going on, they couldn’t get back out of Germany, so she lived there through out the war as an American citizen. She had some frightful stories, but escaped the camps by renouncing everything American. My Grandfather
              got them on the first transport ship out of Germany afterward, and my poor mom, who had been under suspicion through out her childhood because she was an American, was now a DP in America and was under suspicion for most of her twenties here. She had a “Nervous Breakdown” We never talked about it much, but she told me some horrible stuff just before she passed.

            • fursa_saida

              The term “displaced person(s),” as a technical term in international development and aid circles, has been pretty much replaced with “refugees” these days, I think. On the other hand, IDPs (internally displaced persons, people who don’t cross a border but still have to leave their homes due to violence or disaster) are much more fashionable to worry about these days.

      • Munchkn

         I know that Betsy Drake took it under the supervision of  her psychiatrist.  She found it so helpful she got her then-husband Cary Grant to take it.  Yep, Cary dropped acid.

    • http://annequichante.wordpress.com/ Anne

      Very, very odd episode.  I loved Roger and Jane on LSD, and I’m fascinated by Ginsberg and his Martian story.  I agree with other posters that I don’t think it’s schizophrenic as much as it is a way to rationalize where he came from and how he came to be where he is. 

      With regard to Don and Megan…I mean, I won’t try to deny that they’ve got problems.  I think he was angry and did something dumb–leaving Megan at the Howard Johnson’s.  But by the same token, they had a room reserved, Megan could have stayed overnight and figured out how to get back in the morning, instead of hitching a ride with random kids and having to take a six hour bus trip and find a cab at the Port Authority at 5 AM.  She could have avoided that situation–and if she had stayed, Don would have found her there when he came back.  And do you think Don would have become violent towards Megan if she hadn’t run from him?  I know it’s no excuse for domestic abuse, but I just think Don wasn’t the only one who was in the wrong this episode. 

      Can’t wait to see where they take it from here.

      • judybrowni

        Megan didn’t “run from Don” at HoJos: HE left her, and she had no idea when — or if– he’d ever return.

        Rather than being stranded in a strange place, she took the bus home.

        The only time Megan ran from Don was when he was chasing her and threatening violence, in their home.

        Kicking down a door: classic domestic violence, as well as “chasing” his terrified wife.

        Excuses for Domestic Violence: not cool.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Exactly, how would she know if he was coming back? He’s done runners before. And bravo to her for taking the situation into her own hands and leaving. 

      • formerlyAnon

         I don’t think there was a right or wrong for Megan once Don drove away. This didn’t seem to be a familiar script playing out in which one of the couple storms off and it’s “understood” that the other will, or will not, await their return to the same spot.

        I think it’s a personality thing – some people would have been more comfortable deciding to go back to the room and regroup in the morning. Other people would need to be actively doing something – hanging out in the room would drive them nuts.

        • Sweetbetty

           ” hanging out in the room would drive them nuts”

          My thought exactly.  And I’m rebellious enough to think, “Waiting in this room is exactly what he expects me to do; well, I’ll show him, I’ll take my fate into my own hands and show him that he can’t control me”.  Betty, OTOH, might very well have done just that, gone into the room and waited.  Then when Don returned nothing would have been said, they would have driven back home in silence, both of them would have buried their anger rather than resolving anything, and the wedge would have been driven deeper between them.

        • Spicytomato1

          “This didn’t seem to be a familiar script playing out in which one of the couple storms off and it’s “understood” that the other will, or will not, await their return to the same spot.”
          Definitely not. Being in the “honeymoon” phase they still haven’t gotten to know each other all that well and develop those “scripts”…this was new territory for them.

    • MilaXX

      There was so much on tv last night and everything was firing on all cylinders. I feel like I need  to rewatch MadMen and Game of Thrones.

      Peggy’s continual evolution into Don is scary. I keep expecting something awful to happen to her.
      Mot sure what to think of the Megan/Don marriage. I think Megan may be too ambitious for Don who I think is still looking for that fairytale marriage/wife that really doesn’t exist.
      Michael is just plain creepy and his confession pretty much solidifies that fact.

      On a more shallow note I cannot wait for the Mad fashion post, bust to talk about Jane’s party outfit. GORGE!

      • Cosmopolitan 79

         I find your choice of words disturbing. Michael’s “creepy” “confession” is that he’s a Holocaust survivor.

        • MilaXX

          my apologies. It wasn’t the Holocaust survivor part that I found creepy, rather his delivery and the Martian bit. I’m sure it’s the trauma of his birth, but it came off as someone very disturbed and perhaps mentally ill.

          • Cosmopolitan 79

             Oh, okay, got it.

    • makeityourself

      I hung in there with all of the time-shifting and story-telling from different points of view, but I have one question.  When Don was driving back home from Howard Johnson’s, after getting very little sleep and being in a state of high anxiety, I thought he did a flashback to his trip from last year, when he was driving home from Disneyland with Megan and the kids.  Then I realized it was all messed up — Megan was dressed as if it were the early 1950s, as was Don.  And I can’t imagine that they drove to/from California.  That would have been an air trip, not a road trip.  Was this just a confused imagination from a stressed out Don?

      Opinions?

      • ccinnc

         Also, they were all dressed in winter clothing. I haven’t thought that one through …

        • Sweetbetty

           The announcer on the radio was saying something about “unseasonable temperatures for September”.  I assume last night’s episode took place in September, or close to it, since last week’s was set in August, I seem to recall.  Is it just one year since their trip to CA when Don proclaimed his love for Megan and that’s what he’s recalling?

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        They were driving back from the airport after the California trip of the previous season. Later that morning, Don would propose to Megan.

        • makeityourself

          Thank you.  That makes sense now. Carry on.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

          I agree – they are driving back from the airport after the CA trip – which was clarified because they are trying to find the Rye house, which none of them have been to before (Sally says something like, “I don’t want to move”) – and Betty finalized their move while the kids were away.  However, didn’t Don propose to Megan while they were still in CA? I can’t remember.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            Yes, I think he did! Because in this scene she says “I’m still in shock”. I took that to mean from the proposal.

          • Mefein

             I remember it as being back in his NY apartment.

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              Hunh. Maybe she was just “in shock” because they hooked up.

      • Mefein

         Now, I took it that in Don’s imagination, he was merging his two wives into an earlier memory, of driving with Betty and the kids to their new home (the one in Ossining), with perhaps the memory of driving the kids to the new home in Rye with Megan.  The clothes are from the ’50s, he’s still wearing his hat (does he do that anymore?  I can’t remember), and it even seemed to me like they were making Sally look smaller.  Even the car seemed an older model.  Just that Megan was in Betty’s place.  But at this point of crisis in his marriage, Don may be seeing his wives as interchangeable — it’s all going the same sorry way.

    • butter nut

      just adding a footnote to the references of Michael’s Martian heritage – September 1966 (time of this episode) is when Star Trek debuted.  sci-fi is in the air, big time.

      • barbarasingleterry

        When was Stranger in a Strange Land written?  I thought of that book as soon as Michael said he was a Martian.  In fact, I think he even said he was a “stranger in a strange land” when he was talking to  Peggy. 

        On a sf forum it was mentioned after that last episode that Mad Man is now science fiction.  This whole episode struck me that way with the overlapping timelines, and disjointed story telling.

        • Vlasta Bubinka

          The book was 61, but the line is from Exodus, as in the Bible not the novel.

          • barbarasingleterry

            Thanks for the reminder about Exodus.  I had forgotten that and it would be very appropriate for Michael to be quoting from the Old Testament.  It was more the Martian aspect though, the main character of Stranger in a Strange Land was also named Micheal and he was an orphan human raised on Mars.  With all the other sf references this season, it made sense to me.

      • bobsails

        Interesting. I thought the outfit Jane wore to the party was something out of Star Trek….

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=570601022 Jude Swift

      fantastic breakdown, boys.  if i didn’t know and love your fashion blog, i’d say you have a future – or a past – as literary critics!

    • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

      My take on it was that they were driving back from the airport after a wintertime trip to Disneyland just that previous winter, in a month that is not part of the show’s regular timeline. I definitely did not get a 50s vibe; they were just wearing coats, which were still practical above all else (and people tend to keep their coats for years and years). Sally (I think, have to watch it again) mentions “their new house,” which I took to be the haunted mansion they now live in.

      However, my initial reaction was that Don was thinking of an earlier time with Betty, and putting Megan in Betty’s place. The reason I don’t think that now? He was humming “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” which was released in early 1964, after Betty asked for a divorce. There was no new house for the kids right after the divorce, of course, as they kept living in their same home.

      I’m such a nerd for dates and details, but they do help in piecing things together on this show.

      • makeityourself

        Yes, that what caught me too, as if he had substituted Megan for Betty.  But I think we’ve got it straight now.  

    • makeityourself

      Can’t wait for MadStyle.  
      Could Jane’s orange chevron coat have looked any more like the roof of Howard Johnsons?

      • mommyca

        you meant Megan’s coat, right?
         

        • makeityourself

          Oh yes.  Thanks.  Jane wore the I Dream of Jeanie goes to the Nile jumpsuit.  

    • kj8008

      The Heinz guy is just an asshole who wants to play ad exec. However, he’s a typical mid-20th century male – arrogant, chauvinistic, know-it-all – in this story. It was like Connie Hilton Lite.  Can’t describe what’s in his head, but loves the argument that this is NOT what I want.

      Someone had to tell it to him straight.  The old Don would have thrown him out.  Peggy couldn’t but spoke to him as if she really could.

      • makeityourself

        That Heinz guy is alive and well today.  Everybody’s had that client — the one who says “I don’t really know what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it.”  I think particular scenario is what burns out more people in the creative department than anything else.  Even deadlines.

        • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

          No kidding. One of the reasons I got out of the ad biz was clients like that. We used to call them — well, most often we called them flaming assholes, but we also called those purveyors of frustration process of elimination clients (“I don’t know what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it — just throw a shit ton of ideas at me and maybe I’ll like one”). They usually had little imagination, were negatively oriented, had no marketing communications sense and liked to wield petty power in creative presentations. They couldn’t tell a good idea from a bad one, but they were foolishly hidebound about their usually irrelevant, conservative, behind-the-times tastes. My view as a creative was that successfully managing such a client fell on the account person’s shoulders, and letting such know-nothings fuck with really good ideas (and “Home is where the Heinz is” is a really great approach for selling something as prosaic as pork and beans) is piss-poor account management. Ken wasn’t doing his job well, IMO.

          I never had the nerve to get as in-your-face as Peggy got with that client, but many’s the time I felt like it, and a few times I did a bit more diplomatic version of that. I’m female, so I know the thin ice upon which Peggy trod.  Kudos to the MM writers. In a show full of flashback material for me, that client presentation scene was close to the bone.

      • Maggie_Mae

        There was never & will never be a way to make Heinz canned beans “hip.”  Once the young people started feeding themselves, they discovered that cooking dried beans was far cheaper & tastier. 

         Don could have made the fool see the light–partly because he’s a man & partly because Don (when he’s “on”) can be so persuasive….

      • Maggie_Mae

        There was never & will never be a way to make Heinz canned beans “hip.”  Once the young people started feeding themselves, they discovered that cooking dried beans was far cheaper & tastier. 

         Don could have made the fool see the light–partly because he’s a man & partly because Don (when he’s “on”) can be so persuasive….

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          The OLD Don could have. This Don 2.0 might not have been able to. But yes, you are exactly right.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

        It’s funny b/c he reminds me of my sister’s father-in-law – who ostensibly lives in the early 21st century but might as well live in 1950! :-)

    • MilaXX

       Agreed, Don was a jerk for leaving, but she was an idiot to not at least wait until morning to go home since that would have been safer.

    • MilaXX

       I’ve stated in hotels & motels and automatically been given 2 keys both here in the US, in London and in Canada. If we wanted more, we had to ask, but we’ve always gotten 2.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UCLO5V2YD36T7QMPKOC7YXPOFU Erica

      Interesting post.  I didn’t have the same worry that Don would hurt Megan.  He was furious and terrified, but I wasn’t worried about that.  To me, although he of course behaved horribly by driving off, I think he actually behaved BETTER than he would have a few years before.  He drove a bit because he runs away when he’s challanged, realized what he was doing, and turned around (say, as opposed to leaving his daughter’s birthday party for hours).  So, then he’s terrified that she’s been snatched because she was gone so quickly.  But he sticks around hoping.

      A previous poster commented that Megan doesn’t need Don.  And I think that’s right.  He thought he was marrying one type of woman, and he married another.  She wants him, but she doesn’t need him, and she doesn’t have to put up with his bull out of fear that she can’t support herself and live her life just fine (a true modern woman).  And he’s going to have to decide if he can handle that, because I think he’s realizing that he does need her.

      • mommyca

        Thanks Erica! I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking that. I wasn’t worried about Don hurting Megan either. If you watch the scene again (it’s on AMC online), she is the one hitting him first, and then he tries to hug her to stop her from hitting him and then she runs away….
        On the commentary from this episode Matt Weiner says that from that scene: “you really get that Don loves this woman. I don’t think we’ve ever seen that man before.  You realize what this woman means to him, and she is everything that is good to him”.
        From a story standpoint, I don’t see how Weiner can go the “divorced Don” route again…. Can we see on the other hand that Don can grow up from this point forward? That is my hope…. Once again, Weiner in interviews had said that the problem between Don and Megan is something we have been told, but it’s not what we think it is… to me it’s clearer now that he means the problem between them is about work/career and the relationship between work-home for them, and not about other women and cheating…. and finally, even though his many flaws, I don’t think Don is a monster…. at least IMHO…

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          He “tries to hug her?” Really? He chased her through the apartment, knocking over lamps, and then tackled her to the floor.

          • susu11

            I think ‘hug’ is the wrong word. Don tries to restrain her after she kind of strikes at him and she breaks away commencing that awful chase.

            Can I also just say how terrifying Don looked kicking down that door? Jesus.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UCLO5V2YD36T7QMPKOC7YXPOFU Erica

              Yes, and to be clear, my husband and I watched it together, and HE was afraid Don was going to hurt her.  I thought at the time it was interesting our different reactions to the scene.  Good show, good episode.

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

              weird. I didn’t for a moment think that Don was going to hurt her, at least not on purpose. She doesn’t kind of strike him, she’s totally lashing out at him. Not that she could really hurt him, she was slapping him, and it’s never not scary and violent for a man to chase a woman like that, especially knocking over furniture. He is clearly stronger than her.  But I think he was trying to stop her, not hurt her. Hug is not the right word, but trying to grasp her so as not to lose her is more my impression. They both chose the most dramatic responses, I must say, escalating each other’s emotions. 

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

              weird. I didn’t for a moment think that Don was going to hurt her, at least not on purpose. She doesn’t kind of strike him, she’s totally lashing out at him. Not that she could really hurt him, she was slapping him, and it’s never not scary and violent for a man to chase a woman like that, especially knocking over furniture. He is clearly stronger than her.  But I think he was trying to stop her, not hurt her. Hug is not the right word, but trying to grasp her so as not to lose her is more my impression. They both chose the most dramatic responses, I must say, escalating each other’s emotions. 

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              Lots of abusive men don’t “mean” to hurt their partners. 

            • Sweetbetty

               Amen.  Coming from one who knows from experience.

            • sweetlilvoice

              Very similar reaction in our house too!

          • Jasmaree

            mommyca means before that. When Don enters the apartment, and they argue, Megan tries to hit him and he hold her arms (I’m not really sure with what intent. mommyca is suggesting that it’s to prevent her from hitting him again. Not really, a “hug” the way you would think of it. I’m not completely sure). Megan breaks free and runs away. Then the chase scene happened. 

            • mommyca

              thanks for the clarification! that’s exactly what I was trying to say :-) 

            • mommyca

              thanks for the clarification! that’s exactly what I was trying to say :-) 

          • mommyca

            well, I don’t want to argue with the masters, but I have watched the scene many times, and she is the one hitting him first and he tries to grab her arms to stop it, he never hits her….but well… i might be projecting and seeing what I want to see, which is Don NOT being a monster… Tony Soprano was a monster, I don’t think Don is….

            • http://profiles.google.com/denise.alden Denise Alden

              Oh, my dear, what else could Don Draper be but a monster?  And the most terrifying monsters are those who are good-looking and smart, aren’t they?

            • Kelly Fitzgerald Hartman

              This is leaving out what happened previously, however.  She’s scared of him – who would do such a thing (drive away, leaving her hours from home).  She manages to get herself back to her home, through a journey that sounds incredibly nerve wracking, scary, and stressful.  She has likely been awake for over 24 hours, arriving at Port Authority at 5am (a terrifying part of town at most hours).  She manages to clean herself up and tries to patch together the wherewithal to get into work so she can do her job.
              Don returns, breaks down the door and advances towards her angrily.  She hits at him to *stop* him from coming at her.  He grabs her and she is flailing her arms trying to get away from him.
              Imagine the fear she had building up through the night; knowing he cared so little for her that he just drove away.  Then he breaks down the door.  

            • fursa_saida

              THANK YOU. Everyboy seems to be looking at this like she should be and was in a perfectly calm state of mind, maybe a little tired, and poor Don was just so frantic. She was probably on her last nerve, and I mean that not in the sense of anger but in the sense of anxiety.

      • Sweetbetty

         I just kept wondering what Don was going to do when/if he caught her.  I never thought he’d hurt her; I guess I was thinking that he was hoping it would turn into mean sex again (her yelling at him through the closed door to “go away” and “I don’t want to see you” was very similar to what she said as she cleaned up after the party in her underwear). 

    • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

      This was meant to be a reply to makeityourself, by the way. Not sure why it doesn’t show up there.

    • Jennifer Coleman

      I was pissed we didn’t get to see someone eating HoJo’s clams, but I was happy we got to see the orange ice cream! I had a total sensory moment watching the episode because I could remember the taste of those 2 things clearly. Who know HoJo’s had such a hold on a section of my brain?

      This episode was such a mindfreak. It so violently blew apart the facade of Don & Megan being a well adjusted couple. He’s so full of crap – he does not want Betty, but he wants Megan to be like Betty. They are both children. I don’t know if he is going though some delayed childhood because Dick Whitman is out in the open and he has to grow into a new person (as if THAT’s possible), but he has far too much baggage to deal with to be reborn, mostly centering on his aggression towards women. So what Don, you’re not a philanderer, but that does not mean you are any less toxic to the women you care for. Megan wants to please her man and has tapped into his inner psyche, but it seems she has to resort to more & more intense childish games to reach him. We know that glamorous working couple entrance to the office each day is a complete sham, only a visual.

      It was funny that Roger’s shallow persona was what made his LSD experience so refreshing to him. Jane became a lot more interesting on her trip, I see why the fact that Roger only sees her for her beauty made her so miserable. I loved her tearful but lucid reaction to the split as being, ‘It’s going to be very expensive.”

      • Jasmaree

        I have to say, this is the comment here I most agree with.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

        I was reminded about TLo’s comments about the difficulties for the twice divorced – I feel like it’s come up about Betty but it equally applies to Roger (and TLo may have mentioned it with him – I’m recalling Bert telling Roger that he “threw away [his] birthright to be with that [trollop?]” How will people react to Roger’s second divorce? 

      • Chaiaiai

        OMG, the HoJo’s clams!  My dad has a great story about his pain-in-the-ass younger brother ordering them on a family trip in the mid-60′s.  He got food poisoning and the rest of the kids (um, 5 in the car) took serious pleasure in that;)

      • Chaiaiai

        OMG, the HoJo’s clams!  My dad has a great story about his pain-in-the-ass younger brother ordering them on a family trip in the mid-60′s.  He got food poisoning and the rest of the kids (um, 5 in the car) took serious pleasure in that;)

      • Browsery

        That’s funny, because I have lousy memories of my family stopping at HoJos on the way, as Megan said, to somewhere else, somewhere I did not enjoy.  To this day, I hate the colors orange and blue.  After she reacted badly to the orange sherbert (yuck), I thought, Please don’t bring out the Bitter Pecan flavor (double yuck).

        I frankly was surprised that Don saw this trip as a treat because I hated HoJo as a little kid. I thought the side trip Montreal was the real present.

      • fursa_saida

        I agree. This episode was the first time I really liked Jane. I felt for her so much in how pained she was by Roger’s obliviousness to her.

    • yard sale

      Don has always used sex as a means of venting his misogyny, I think. Since he’s determined not to cheat on Megan, he has no outlet. We also saw it in the way he dominated several of the women he’s been with before–strong women need to be brought down a peg and if he can’t dominate them mentally like Betty, he dominates them in bed. Megan can’t be silenced and controlled with rough sex and so she’s the ultimate adversary AND she knows his history and secrets. She’s in a dangerous place, whether she knows it or not (although I have a feeling she’s aware of it after last night’s chase scene!!) and the harder she pushes back and tries to take Don’s power, the harder he’s going to fall and the nastier he’s going to get. Fever or no, he’s one high ball and an exposed secret shy of REALLY doing some damage.

    • Bakerlooline

      I took that very last scene between Megan and Don – after they get up off the floor and he embraces her while he’s on his knees – as the desperate boy hugging his mother, hoping that his “mother” wouldn’t abandon him again.  He found a “motherly” mother for his children in California, but he also found one for himself, too.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

        Pretty sad. Megan thought she was marrying a man to admire and try to meet as an equal, and instead finds herself with not just three but four children to take care of, sans partner.  

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      This whole episode was a trip.

      (Apologies if someone has said this already.)
       

    • JMansm

      I cant WAIT to read what you say about Jane’s science-fiction, alien queen, outfit and hairstyle when they go to the LSD party. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

        “Science fiction”? It was just cut outs in the shape of a tromp l’oeil belt. 

        • JMansm

          The whole thing with that dress, the jewelry and the hair REALLY reminded me of old school female science fiction costumes. Just my opinion.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

            Huh. I saw more Labyrinth ballgown by way of 60s orientalism. But to each their own. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

            Huh. I saw more Labyrinth ballgown by way of 60s orientalism. But to each their own. 

          • Maggie_Mae

            Somebody upthread reminded us of a fact I’d posted elsewhere: Star Trek came to our screens in September, 1966.  Jane did look a bit like one of the Captain’s conquests.  But it was really an uncomfortable outfit for an evening devoted to mind expansion..

          • Maggie_Mae

            Somebody upthread reminded us of a fact I’d posted elsewhere: Star Trek came to our screens in September, 1966.  Jane did look a bit like one of the Captain’s conquests.  But it was really an uncomfortable outfit for an evening devoted to mind expansion..

          • Sweetbetty

             It wasn’t a dress, it was a jumpsuit with very wide pants; even more futuristic.

          • fursa_saida

            Hell, it’s not too far off Princess Leia, really.

    • idrisr

      When Don finally busts in the door he says “I said I’m sorry”, when he actually he hadn’t said sorry yet. How long did it take him to even realize to turn around? And when he gets home he’s all anger and violence as if he didn’t cause any of it. If anyone still finds his character attractive I’m dumbfounded.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

        Was Don ever supposed to be an attractive character?

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        That’s a big unanswered question. Don came back to HoJo– but after how long? Maybe Megan waited, but again, how long? 

      • UsedtobeEP

        I took that like the way you respond to a child who almost runs into traffic or gets lost at the mall. There is a little bit of anger because you are so relieved and yet so frustrated at the experience. I think Don was terrified that Megan actually left and he didn’t know where she was. Same with chasing her around the apartment, just like you would chase down a kid to confront some bad behavior. I was not really scared he would hurt her on purpose, just that he was really frustrated that he was ready to talk/argue it out and she left him there. Strange way to treat your wife, but I don’t think he knows what to do with her. I think he feels child-like when he’s with her, and forgets that she would prefer to be treated like an adult, thanks, even if she isn’t always perfectly adult in her reactions. 

        • idrisr

           The child analogy seems off. Megan didn’t just run away and start this whole episode, Don stranded her. The situation was entirely of his making.

          Yes, very *strange* and dumb way to treat your wife.

          • UsedtobeEP

            I don’t mean she was acting childishly. I think at first she wanted the same option to run away that he had, and then was really running out of fear. Instead of wanting to hurt her, I read it more like he felt he was chasing down a child who had done something wrong and he wanted to make her stand still and talk to him and accept his apology. Of course, she didn’t have that option when he childishly drove off in the car and stranded her. What an idiot. 

            I think people are reading this as not abusive behavior by looking at it in the light of Don the persona. It’s a huge step that he didn’t just go off and sleep with someone else, on the one hand. But I asked myself this question: How would I perceive this behavior if my own husband treated me this way? And I would think he had lost his mind. I would also ask him to leave the house for the night for my own safety, and if he didn’t, then I would. Put yourself in Megan’s shoes. It’s scarier when you are the one running through the apartment.

    • idrisr

      I loved Cooper’s inflection is his line *This is MY business.* Reminded me of Jay-Z’s *I aint a businessman – I’m a business, man*

    • http://twitter.com/StickyClicky Barbara Benham

      Please don’t turn Megan into a feminist heroine. She acted like a petulant child with Don at Howard Johnson’s, making a scene with the sherbert, and asking why he never called his mother was crueler than cruel. Contrast her behavior to Jane’s. I’m not sure I would have stayed at the hotel, but not picking up the phone and not letting him in the apartment were hardly conciliatory. And how how could you do that to me was silly since she had lodging and could have returned hom the next day instead of running off with strangers.

      • luciaphile

        She didn’t get into NYC till 5AM and then had difficulty getting home from there. He didn’t leave Plattsburgh till after 2AM. She wasn’t sitting at home all night ignoring a  ringing phone.

        He treats her like a toy he pulls out and puts away when it suits him. She, understandably, is objecting to that. She’s been put in an impossible position and he’s been adamant about keeping her there.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          That just made me think of Abe’s line, something like “You just want to take me to work and put me in your drawer to take out when you need me.” 

          Oh, Peggy. Please don’t turn into Don!

          • formerlyAnon

            Aaand – isn’t this the model that almost all coveted, high-pressure, high-reward jobs push one to follow? Even today?

            It’s never comfortable for the less work-obsessed of a couple, and in the ’60s it would also have been unexpected for a man to run into it.

            Abe is making the same basic assumption as Don is – they were attracted to intelligent, working women and then are taken aback when those women come with the same split focus as an intelligent working man. It may not be logical, but it’s part of those unconscious expectations we all carry with us out of our early lives and what we observed & were taught as kids.

        • http://twitter.com/StickyClicky Barbara Benham

          And who put Megan in that position? Remember, she came on to Don Draper! She married the boss, someone she barely knew. She didn’t have to accept the proposal.

          I never specified she was home all night. But per the dialogue, she wasn’t answering the phone. She said a terrible thing, a verbally abusive thing, to Don. If Don had said something that mean to Megan, we would be applauding her leaving!

          Don’t buy into woman as victim!

          P.S. Marital fights were much more dramatic before cell phones!

          • fursa_saida

            I completely object to “don’t buy into woman as victim,” but I had to laugh at your postscript. I was thinking about that too when he couldn’t find her in the parking lot: “Why doesn’t he just call–oh.”

      • makeityourself

        I don’t think anyone is saying that Megan is a feminist hero.  

        Also, I could hardly put Jane and Megan in the same picture.  Jane is acting like a “woman” who does not work outside the home, has no children, and spends her time shopping, going to her psychiatrist, and having lunch with her friends.  Megan is newly married, has young step-children, is working a full day and truly feels like part of the creative team.  I don’t think it’s acting like a little girl to take charge of a situation (her new husband has left her stranded in the parking lot of HoJos in the middle of nowhere while in a rage,) and get herself home.

        Remember, Megan absolutely did not want to go on this last-second trip, and felt awful about abandoning her coworkers.  

        Lastly, perhaps you have never been threatened by or experienced male violence.  If you have been, I’m sorry.  But your statement, “of course the violence was wrong,” seems cavalier.  Megan was threatened two times in less than 24 hours.  She was abandoned by a furious husband, and  you want her to sit around and wait for him at the motel so that he can drive her home?  Why should she be conciliatory when the phone is ringing? Then back in NYC, he crashes down a door, wrestles her, and chases her around a room with an intent to harm.  

        The violence wasn’t just “wrong,” it IS the wrong.

      • Scimommy

        Megan’s reaction was not perfect but she was trying to assert herself the best way she knew how. As for “she had lodging”, it must have been extremely embarrassing for her to approach the manager with “I’m sorry, I’m Don Draper’s wife, but he just drove off without me, and I am not sure if he will be back, but could I please have a key to our room?” At that moment, going back to NYC must have seemed the best solution for her, even if she hadn’t thought it through.

        Also, I don’t believe that Jane Sterling is the epitome of maturity. True, she didn’t create any scenes in this episode, but she clearly viewed her psychiatrist as some sort of guru and dragged Roger to said psychiatrist’s LSD party instead of having an long-overdue state of marriage talk with him. Hardly the move of a mature woman.

        • Maggie_Mae

          Let’s hope that Megan schedules some time to have a mature discussion with Don.  Childish anger & makeup sex are no basis for a marriage.  And she’s right that she’s not respect at work….

        • Maggie_Mae

          Let’s hope that Megan schedules some time to have a mature discussion with Don.  Childish anger & makeup sex are no basis for a marriage.  And she’s right that she’s not respect at work….

          • rowsella

             Most nepotism is not respected by the people who worked hard to get there.

        • EEKstl

          But seeing her psychiatrist as some sort of guru WAS the act of a mature woman in the 60′s.  Unlike 5 years earlier when Betty was seeing a psychiatrist by mid-decade “seeing a shrink” was synonymous with the mature act of soul-searching and truth-seeking.  The shrink-patient relationship back then did have a guru/Svengali aspect to it. They wielded a lot of power and control (I saw it first-hand with my parents).

          • Scimommy

            That’s very enlightening, but just because Jane jumped on the shrink=guru bandwagon still does not indicate maturity. Jumping on any bandwagon does not indicate maturity (and I have nothing against psychiatrists, just against bandwagons).

            • rowsella

               Seeing  a therapist shows you at least admit there is a problem somewhere.  That indicates a modicum of introspection.

            • EEKstl

              Oh, I completely hear what you’re saying (or typing, as the case may be).   I’m not saying Jane is the Poster Girl for Maturity, and I’m not necessarily one for bandwagons. My only point was that jumping on this particular bandwagon was at least an attempt at self-knowledge and not necessarily an indicator of IMmaturity.

          • Maggie_Mae

            Jane had definitely matured from the secretary who came on to Don, was rejected, got fired & then came on to Roger.  When he proposed, she was shocked for a minute or two–she would have been quite happy continuing as the handsome, rich guy’s girlfriend.  As a young wife, she was a mess, drinking too much & not knowing how to deal with people–some of whom (like Roger’s daughter) had good reasons to dislike her.

            The most recent Jane seems to have her act together.  Alas, she & Roger had nothing in common and were both unhappy.  Soon, she’ll be free with a very nice alimony…..

    • idrisr

      When Michael’s father is at the office he says he wants to make photocopies in regards to his case. What do you think that is about? Possibly reclaiming property seized by Nazis, his true identity lost in the concentration camp experience, his rights as Michael’s adopted father…?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

        I sort of just assumed housing court. Low rent tenement housing-dwellers always get screwed because there’s no requirement of representation in housing court.  

        • idrisr

          I have to invoke Occam’s Razor here and say you’re probably right.

      • Browsery

        I assumed it had to do with reclaiming property, but it’s possible he’s obsessed with an unprovable case and Michael is afraid of having developed the same problem (not that I really saw that). 

         Even if Michael’s father had a case, it literally took decades for Survivors and their relatives to get some relief from entities like Swiss insurance companies, so that alone could literally drive you nuts.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I thought the same thing too! It had to be Holocaust related. And his dad was quite dashing with Peggy, wasn’t he? Maybe this is discussed later on in the posts (I’m behind in my reading, had to do work!) but were many babies born in the camps? Could this have been toward the end of the war right before liberation? I’ve read that children did survive but babies are so fragile…I guess I could do some online reading.

      • Sweetbetty

         Ah, yes, the old guy said that like a throw-away line but there are no throw-away lines in MM so we know this “case” is going to be explored in the future.  I also thought it was odd that the old guy had the chutzpah to just drop by his son’s new office to make use of the office equipment.  He could have asked Michael to take the papers to work and make the copies for him.  Maybe Michael would refuse if he thought the old guy was fighting some ridiculous battle, but I still think the dad wanted an excuse to see where his boy worked, and be seen by his coworkers.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          I think he did ask. He was asking for something on the phone and Michael kept repeating “no.”

          • Sweetbetty

             Excellent point.  I just assumed it was a girlfriend, I guess because of Peggy comparing it to her conversation with Abe.  But thinking back, it could just as easily have been with his “father” asking him to do something he really didn’t want to do.

    • idrisr

       Megan did stay there for a while, long enough to go inside and meet some people to give her a ride to the bus station.

      • Sweetbetty

         I imagine her as standing there a while until it was apparent that Don wasn’t going to turn right around and come back for her.  Then maybe going inside, maybe even having a cup of coffee (and maybe that pie that she wanted) while mulling over what she was going to do now.  Once she made the decision to try to get back to NYC she waited for someone she thought would be trustworthy to give her a ride to the nearest bus station.  It was 8:30 when Don called Peggy and it was probably late afternoon when he had left Megan in the parking lot.  It was after 2 AM when Don left HoJo’s for home so he probably got home between 7-8 AM.  Megan said she arrived in the city at 5 AM.  A lot of math to do here but I do think that Megan spent some time at HoJo’s before she left on her way back home.

        • idrisr

          I like the way you think.

          Approximate Timeline:
          **********************

          Leave Office ~ 10 am
          Leave Apartment ~ 11 am
          Arrive HoJo ~ anyone know how long it would likely take to get there?

          7 pm – Start time of Megan ‘missing’, 7 hours before 2 am.
          10:30 pm – Megan’s bus leaves
          2 am – Don’s awakended by cop
          5 am – Megan at Port Authority, 6.5 hours later

          That means Megan had a lot of time between her bus leaving and Don stranding
          her. How much was spent at HoJos vs bus station is unknown, but seems like you
          can assume at least an hour as she had 3.5 hours from Don leaving and her bus
          departing.

          • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

            We can approximate when Don stormed of from HoJo’s by the lighting, they made extra sure to have Don’s leaving/return frame the restaurant in the exact same way.

            Don leaves: HoJo’s is in full light with hard, short shadows cast from not quite overhead; early-to-mid-afternoon, maybe 3pm given that it’s the end of summer, possibly 4pm.

            Don returns: HoJo’s is now in nearly complete shadow.  The light is cooler, more subdued.  Several hours have passed at least, and the Officer Subtraction Timeline makes 7pm a reasonable estimate.

            When Don asks the waitress if she’s seen his wife, she remarks that Megan was there recently.  Which means she spent at least 3 or 4 hours at HoJo’s before saying, “fuck this” and finding out where to catch a bus.

    • sandee

      I think Don is allowing himself to see more of what an awful person he can be and he was scared to death when it came out more than before with Megan. He treats her like a doll. When she finally had enough, she lashed out.  Don was shocked, he prefers the doll. After knocking down the door, chasing Megan and throwing her on the ground  I think he saw himself more clearly than ever before, thus his breakdown kneeling before Megan. I think he had a breakthrough. I think he began to realize he has a lot to lose if he does not do some soul searching.   

      • Sweetbetty

         I agree that between the incident with Megan and the dressing down he got from Bert that Don is going to take a whole new look at himself.  Sort of like when he cut back on his drinking and started swimming in the mornings a few seasons back.  Don seems to have the capacity to reinvent himself when he finally wakes up and sees the bad direction he has been heading.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

      There is a class element at play with how Don and Megan viewed Howard Johnson’s.  Of course Don is now among the privilege class however growing up he was a poor boy from a farm.  Going to a Howard Johnson’s to Don would be like going to an amusement park.  Being such a poor (abused, or at the very least neglected) kid from a farm perhaps the one time Don went to a Howard Johnson’s was a “good time.”  One of the best times while growing up, hence he clung to it.  Loving Megan so much, he wanted to share that special place/experience.  However, she is not only from a different time, but a different class.  For her class, a Howard Johnson’s would be just a stop and not a destination.   

      • Maggie_Mae

        Megan came from an educated household & has more sophisticated tastes–unlike the son of a dead whore.  

      • Maggie_Mae

        Megan came from an educated household & has more sophisticated tastes–unlike the son of a dead whore.  

    • HM3

      Anyone else notice the brief phone call Don makes from the pay phone to Megan’s mother? THAT is a side of Don I have never seen before: strangely vulnerable, terrified, diminished, hurt, apprehensive, yet visibly calculating–so many different faces in one conversation. The phone call scene alone exemplified some of Hamm’s best acting.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

        Isn’t Roger’s daughter named Margaret also?

    • idrisr

       Seems that a whole lot of people consider him so

    • royinhell

      Now THAT was a thrill-ride of an episode!  Lost count of how many times I gasped… 

      As someone who’s taken a lot of LSD in the past, it was refreshing to see it portrayed accurately- from Roger’s “this isn’t working for me… I hear music in the bottle!”, getting lost in the mirror (never a good idea to look), to the later come-down where walls are knocked down in the brain and what’s really on your mind comes out your mouth. But also how you may think you’re on the same page as your companion, but you’ll interpret each other very differently- depending on what you WANT to hear. 

      And yes, the next morning (the effects will last from 8-12 hours) some people will feel rested and happy while others will have more of a hangover feeling.  

      • margaret meyers

        The morning after everything looks especially clean and sparkly, like the world has just been washed. 

    • http://twitter.com/alyraeschiff Alyssa

      Don says to Roger: “That’s an hour from Montreal.”  He then decided to take Megan with him, and clears his schedule for the rest of the week.  He had a plan in his head to take Megan on this improptu trip, take her to see her family, and be the knight in shining armor, the hero.  But because he won’t share with her, won’t tell her, he then gets disgusted that she is rejecting the gift that he hasn’t even given her yet.  And Megan just wants to have a voice in the plan.  From the beginning.  How happy would she have been if he said, we have to go here for business, and then we’re visiting your family.

      This episode was all about women rejecting men’s plans for them.  Guy wants to assault Peggy in the theatre.  Peggy turns it around on him.  (And moment like that are never about sex, always about power.)  Jane wants to drop acid with Roger.  Roger didn’t even listen when she told him.  Roger wants to leave.  They stay, because that’s the only way Jane will get what she wants.  Don wants Megan to just come along, it will be fun.  Megan just wants to be asked. They end the episode back where Megan wanted to be, the office.

      • Sweetpea176

         I don’t think Don was going to bring her to see her family.  She mentions it in the car and he says that they’ll be visiting them soon.  I just think that the realization of how close Montreal was gave him the idea to bring Megan.

    • http://the-archandroid.livejournal.com/ Christie

      I think there were a lot of things going on with Ginsberg’s Martian analogy, and not necessarily a delusion.  Of course we’ve got to see it in Peggy’s story, because that was the office based story of the trio, but that it comes on the heels of Peggy sort of traveling to another planet via weed in the movie theater, a planet where she is the one in control, where the rules are clear. (This is how i interpreted the hand job, as a more direct and honest representation of what the ad industry is. She’ll take these strangers in hand, and give them what they want, but through her own action, through her own agency).  I think it just reinforces this theme of alienation and otherness that Peggy was trying to communicate to Dawn a couple of episodes ago.  Is she a leader or a follower, is she from mars (men) or venus (women), is her career more important, or her relationships.  Where does she belong.  I think that Ginsberg’s Mars monologue ties him to Peggy in this way, she’s alienated in a professional and gender oriented way, he’s alienated from the larger culture and from the horror of his birth.  Plus on a purely surface level it connects with Ken’s sci-fi story. “Just stay where you are” Be the robot that tightens the bolt, nothing more, nothing less.  The question for Peggy is can she do that? Can she just be the cog in the machine. 

      • Sweetbetty

         Off the subject, but speaking of Dawn, did anyone wonder why Dawn just obeyed when Peggy told her she could go home, at 8:30, when it was dark out, when a few weeks before she was spending the night on the couch in Don’s office rather than try to get home after dark?

        • Sweetpea176

          I guess she wasn’t interested in another night at Motel Olsen!

        • alula_auburn

          I thought her fear of going home was tied pretty specifically to the riots, which would have died down by the time this episode takes place, iirc.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

      I can’t help but think that Megan may like the drama a little.  For example, why was she in the apartment when he got back?  Why didn’t she leave and get away from him?  I can’t see that she will ever have respect for him again, but then again maybe that’s what she expects.  I can’t really figure out why she is with him, unless it is for the drama.

      • Maggie_Mae

        She does like to play games.  But they might get out of hand….

      • Sweetbetty

         I got the feeling that her first priority was getting back to work, which she had abandoned the day before and which is where she really wants to be.  It was probably still up in the air in her mind how things were going to work out with Don when they eventually came face-to-face.

    • http://twitter.com/Tatiana_Putra Tatiana Putra

      Everyone may burn me at the stake for saying this but I kind of like when Megan gets feisty… yes, it sometimes is manipulative and childish, but she IS a young girl. I think after so many seasons it’s good to see someone who actually doesn’t sit and take all of  Don’s control issues. I feel like anytime someone seriously does (Peggy for example) he doesn’t take it and somehow ends up being apologized to. 
      Megan and Don are such a great picture of the clashing of the times. I see SO MUCH of my grandpa in Don, drinking womanizing and all. Wanting to change but  “unable to”.  I don’t see Don changing but I do (possibly romantically) think that Megan is causing Don to think of someone other than himself! Betty tried, maybe Megan being manipulative back is the only way for him to see it??

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

        THIS. I think too many people are taking Megan’s personality as “asking for it” which bothers me for so many (hopefully obvious) reasons. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584364405 Sabrina Abhyankar

        she’s 26. I don’t understand how that makes her a young girl. 

        • Browsery

          Although I would call someone that age a “young woman” and hate the way a lot of younger females self-infantilize themselves, the age of 26 is still pretty young; the personality is still being formed.

      • janedonuts

        Yes. Megan consistently speaks up for herself and her own needs. She refuses to let herself get trampled on, which is why she’s got Don wrapped around her finger for the most part. I think like T. Lo has said before, he is trying to change, but you don’t just change overnight. If anyone can get him to, it’s Megan, but the question is how long will she want to be that person? 

        • rowsella

           You know, Meghan speaks up for herself now, however, she did not before she married Don.   She behaves differently.  Don, however, is still basically the same person except he is actually interested in his own wife and not sleeping around.  So, one could say Don has grown/improved his character despite his latest violence.  Neither one are in any way mature.  Mature people would not have driven off in an angry huff or even taken a bus home.  Mature people would have answered a phone or called someone like her parents to let them know Don may call and to tell him she is ok.  Mature people would not have chained locked the door.  They would have sat down and talked.

          • alula_auburn

            Somehow I suspect that if Megan had called her parents, she’d be eviscerated here as immature, spoiled, vindicative, etc for “calling home to Mommy” (or perhaps “Maman,”) especially considering Don’s earlier grumbling about how Megan talks to her mother in French.  

            Which only goes to show that one of the things Mad Men, perhaps inadvertently, does best is show that women can’t win.

      • avidreader02

        I totally agree.  I don’t understand why people are so mad at Megan.  I thought it was hilarious when she gulped the ice cream furiously as a way to show Don how he was treating her.  And the actress showed previously how ambivalent Megan was about going on this “trip.”  Was what she said about Don’s mom WAY out of bounds? Yes.  But she showed in her face that she knew she had gone too far.  She didn’t seem manipulative. She just seemed angry about being treated like a child.  Hasn’t everyone said something in anger that they really shouldn’t say?

        And as far as her just getting her own ride home… good for her! It shows a woman actively rescuing herself instead of waiting passively waiting for Don to get his act together.  And as far as not answering the phone… she was traveling the whole night in a bus and wasn’t home.  

        Megan isn’t perfect, but I like her character.  I think the strange animosity that fans are having toward her is strange.  It’s almost like people want to admire the character of Don so much that the refuse to see his really bad behavior.  When he was with Betty, his actions could be explained with ” well, Betty is horrible and she deserves it.”

        Team Megan.  She calls Don on his bullshit.  And unlike everyone else who has to be subordinate to him, she doesn’t have to apologize for it.

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          “Megan isn’t perfect, but I like her character. I think the strange animosity that fans are having toward her is strange. It’s almost like people want to admire the character of Don so much that the refuse to see his really bad behavior. When he was with Betty, his actions could be explained with ” well, Betty is horrible and she deserves it.”

          Nailed it. The reaction of some fans to this character is interesting and a little eye-opening.

          • avidreader02

            Totally going to sound like a brown noser, but the fact that y’all (who write some of the most insightful thoughts on this series) wrote to say I nailed a point made me squeal like a school girl. Which is usually very unattractive in a forty one year old man.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              We were going to make a comment about how we love it when 41-year-old men squeal like schoolgirls, but then we realized that would sound a little dirty.

            • avidreader02

              Squeal!! Do it again! Do it again!
              (Wow, that does sound dirty.) 
              Oh what the heck, y’all can make me squeal like a schoolgirl as often as you want.  

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269440086 Elizabeth Inglehart

              Ooh — say it anyway!

          • Sweetbetty

             But was Betty really so horrible?  We know she did some awful things but everyone seems to agree that she was trapped in a place that she really didn’t want to be and in a time that made it difficult for her to make any changes.  I don’t think Betty is basically a horrible person and she didn’t deserve her husband’s bad behavior any more than the other characters in this show.

            • avidreader02

              I totally agree. But a vast majority seem to hate the character of Betty.  I was just saying that it was used as an excuse by some of the fans to pardon Don for his actions.  

            • alula_auburn

              I agree.  I sometimes think the comments about Betty (and to be honest, some of the comments about Megan after this episode) are one of the most revealing components of the gender politics of this show.  It’s nowhere near as simple as a line between good/bad, 50s/60s, Betty/Megan. . .

            • avidreader02

              You are so so right.

            • UsedtobeEP

              I think Betty lost a lot of sympathy by the way she treated her kids. She certainly didn’t deserve Don’s treatment.

            • alula_auburn

              I agree about Betty’s mothering. . .but it never ceases to amaze me how often people speak about Don as being “good” with his kids as one of his redeeming qualities.  It’s an amazing double-standard–he’s okay with them when he sees them, maybe, but he’s clearly never been an all-in parent, and now they’re barely an afterthought (especially the boys).    

              (I won’t chalk that up entirely to the times, either–my grandfather was parenting ten years earlier and he wasn’t pulling Don’s dad-when-it-fits-in bullshit.)

            • formerlyAnon

              I agree. One thing this show does well is tie peoples’ bad (or questionable) behavior very realistically to the damage they’ve taken in life – or even just to the limitations of their world view, when it’s not as dramatic as “damage.”

              That lets us each partially excuse (or not) the bad behavior, given our own perspective & experiences.

            • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

              I’ll disagree on one point: I do think Betty is a horrible person.  But, I also think a lot of what made her that way was the relationship with Don.  She became harder and more controlling with her children as Don denied her any control in their relationship.  Betty became petty and spiteful, doling out little punishments over little things whenever possible because it was basically impossible for her to punish Don for legitimate wrongdoings.  She retreated into sullen childishness because Don encouraged it as a way of handling her (take a pill and lie down; infantilizing her concerns; treating any confrontation like she was having a tantrum).
              She spent all her time trying to live up to the Good Girl Ideal as set forth by her mother and society in an impossible situation, where her husband demanded she maintain that silent perfection while himself behaving like an ass.And she cracked.  What becomes of her now will be interesting, especially since I think Henry is still too much Father Figure but at least not emotionally abusive.

            • Sweetbetty

               Sorry, but I feel you just disproved your own statement.  Betty is not a one-dimensional “horrible person”.  She has her bad qualities and she has her good qualities.  We don’t see her every minute of every day; we only see what the writers want us to see.  Nobody in the show is totally a horrible person or a wonderful person; they are all humans with human frailties. They are all products of their background and their current influences.  I don’t see Betty as any more horrible than Don or Pete or any of the other human and flawed characters on the show.

            • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

              She doesn’t have to be one-dimensional to be a horrible person, and by calling her a horrible person I don’t have to mean she is horrible all the time.  Very few people in history can be called horrible every moment of their lives, and Betty is far less horrible than those people.  We’ve seen her be sweet, coy and intelligent, often when removed from the constraints of her role as Mother (a role she seemingly despises).  Season 1 she was not horrible, but we’ve been watching her decent for years.

              Where Betty falls on the horrible scale as compared to Don and Pete is up for debate.  Betty is an emotionally stunted woman, largely shaped by the extreme demands of her environment.  Is she redeemable?  Can she change?  Perhaps.  Change in a variety of forms is the recurring theme of Mad Men.  But that she is a complex, betimes sympathetic and even interesting horrible person doesn’t change the fact that she is horrible.

        • Sweetpea176

           I, for one, see Don’s really bad behavior, and never blamed his actions in his previous marriage on Betty.  Nevertheless, I don’t like the Megan character.  I find her irritating.  Or maybe it’s the actress I find irritating.  Or some combination of both.  To the extent that I find people liking her “puzzling.”  But I’ll refrain from making assumptions about why people like her and accept that people react differently to things sometimes.

          • avidreader02

            I think you have every right not to like Megan.  Everyone has different reactions to different characters.  I’ll admit a soft spot for some of the more unlikable ones.  All I was trying to say was that people’s reactions seemed a bit one sided in favor of Don.

            • avidreader02

              Ok, just to clarify.  I am saying that some of the pro Don comments regarding a man tackling a woman after she had the audacity to stand up for herself “puzzling.”  And I was throwing out an idea why that was.  And as for making assumptions of why I like the character… what assumptions could you make? 

            • Sweetpea176

              It just sounded like an overly broad assumption of why people who dislike Megan dislike her.  As for what assumptions I could make about you based on your liking Megan?  You’re rhetorically supporting my point — none.  I have no idea why you like this character based solely on the fact that you do, so I can draw no reasonable conclusions.  

        • sweetlilvoice

          “Megan isn’t perfect, but I like her character.  I think the strange
          animosity that fans are having toward her is puzzling.  It’s almost like
          people want to admire the character of Don so much that they refuse to
          see his really bad behavior.  When he was with Betty, his actions could
          be explained with ” well, Betty is horrible and she deserves it.”

          Exactly! My husband was watching the show with me (he’s not allowed to talk during it) and I asked him why he thought about Don chasing Megan around the apartment. He said, he was going to hit her. I didn’t see it at first because I want to like Don and hitting someone is despicable. But he was totally despicable during the trip-yanking her out of the office, not treating her like it was her job to go to the presentation, making her eat sherbet, leaving her at HoJo’s (and thinking she would be there still!). She holds all the cards and he knows it now.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1302929 Sarah Rogers

          I think Megan is trying to negotiate the terms of her relationship with Don, and is struggling to figure out how they primarily stand in relation to each other. She’s played a lot of different roles so far.  Is she his Maria von Trapp-esque nanny / surrogate mother to his children?  Is she his younger sex-kitten wife?  Or is she his work colleague?  These are pretty extreme roles to be juggling, and it’s no wonder both of them are confused and angry right now. This drama has been building for a while.

          I am surprised by the backlash against her, too. God knows that Don is no picnic; you’d think people would have more sympathy. But I do think they both acted incredibly childish in the diner scene.
          I was impressed by how much of that sherbet Jessica Paré was gulping down. I bet she got an ice-cream headache during filming!

        • MK03

          I must say, I like Megan more with each episode. When she started tearing into the orange sherbet with delightfully sarcastic abandon, my mom and I looked at each other like “Betty would never have had the balls to do that!”

          • LesYeuxHiboux

            I don’t think it is an issue of “balls” wih Betty. Megan was making a scene and Betty above all did not air her dirty laundry in public, she sat around in it a day after the party and waited for her husband to pass through her crosshairs. Different sensibility on her part, not a lack of bravery. To lose her decorum publicly would have shamed her as much as Don. She excercised self control when she wanted to lash out like Megan does easily.

      • avidreader02

        I totally agree.  I don’t understand why people are so mad at Megan.  I thought it was hilarious when she gulped the ice cream furiously as a way to show Don how he was treating her.  And the actress showed previously how ambivalent Megan was about going on this “trip.”  Was what she said about Don’s mom WAY out of bounds? Yes.  But she showed in her face that she knew she had gone too far.  She didn’t seem manipulative. She just seemed angry about being treated like a child.  Hasn’t everyone said something in anger that they really shouldn’t say?

        And as far as her just getting her own ride home… good for her! It shows a woman actively rescuing herself instead of waiting passively waiting for Don to get his act together.  And as far as not answering the phone… she was traveling the whole night in a bus and wasn’t home.  

        Megan isn’t perfect, but I like her character.  I think the strange animosity that fans are having toward her is strange.  It’s almost like people want to admire the character of Don so much that the refuse to see his really bad behavior.  When he was with Betty, his actions could be explained with ” well, Betty is horrible and she deserves it.”

        Team Megan.  She calls Don on his bullshit.  And unlike everyone else who has to be subordinate to him, she doesn’t have to apologize for it.

    • http://twitter.com/Tatiana_Putra Tatiana Putra

      Also, “But first, they have to run away and go on trips”

      This is one of the reasons I love ya’ll – great analysis!

    • http://twitter.com/Tatiana_Putra Tatiana Putra

      ..

    • Laylalola

      I took Michael’s Martian comment to be … half serious, in the sense that to him it actually seems more probable that he’d be a displaced alien from Mars than someone who was born in a concentration camp and survived. That second scenario, unlike the story about being a Martian, is, according to Michael, “impossible.” Peggy used the same word when asking her boyfriend about the likelihood too.

    • Ogden1990

      What tune was Don whistling in the car during the flashback scene?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

        “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles. 

    • cteeny21

      Bobbi Barrett(season 3) knew what she was talking about when she gave Peggy the advice to be a woman and to not try and be a man. Maybe she should have tried a little Joan charm on the Heinz guy, though that doesn’t always work out well for Peggy.

      • Browsery

        Bobbie wasn’t wrong, but she’s had a very different kind of career:  personal manager to her husband.  

        Joan can be charming, and she’s smart and very competent, but she doesn’t always know how to get the respect and responsibility she wants.  In a past season, she didn’t get the TV script vetting job because she didn’t realize that she had to come out and ask for it.  She didn’t understand that people wouldn’t realize she was doing a splendid job (she was) and automatically give it to her.  She didn’t even challenge the decision or privately express disappointment. 

        Peggy, by contrast, has been willing to put herself out there about wanting to be a copywriter and at times she has had to take it on the chin.  More important, Peggy isn’t comfortable using her physical charms as is Joan and she’s not as immediately appealing to a middle-aged man who doesn’t want to be challenged.

    • Browsery

      In a response to an earlier post I estimated Michael’s age and said that he could have been a young child in a concentration camp, although I didn’t guess he was a baby.  I wonder how his father would have identified him at the age of five.  I find it doubtful than adoption agency would release a young child to a single man without believing he was the father.

      I’ll have to watch the scene again, but I took the Martian discussion as metaphorical.  Although schizophrenia or some kind of mental illness might explain Michael’s employment record.  But so could being Jewish in the 1960s and have a strong personality.

      Every since the last episode I’ve been primed to expect a horrible car crash and every time a character got into a vehicle I wanted to cover my eyes.

      It’s so true that even in 2012 a woman can get dressed down for being assertive and doing her job as Peggy was doing.  I liked that she took prerogative of leaving the office after being treated poorly.  In the movie theater, while half-watching a movie about predators in the animal kingdom she was open to experiment, as she often is.  I don’t think she was attracted to the guy with the pot, especially after her sat down in those ridiculous striped pants.  Rather, I believe she enjoyed watching herself arouse him and I’m sure she was responding to the condescending, sexist treatment she’d received from the Heinz exec. by exerting control over a man.

      One of the reasons I keep watching Mad Men is because much of the awful workplace treatment it depicts is not part of the past; it’s still very much in the present.

      • judybrowni

        Those “ridculous” striped pants were fashion forward in New York in 1966: didn’t hit the burbs until ’68, when I bought them.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        I really liked the way Ken handled himself in that scene. Tried to reason with the client without demeaning Peggy. 
        Just wanted to give a shout out there.

        She didn’t get dismissed until Pete entered the picture.

        • ccinnc

           I’m liking Ken more and more, beginning with his flat refusal a season or two ago not to entangle family (Cynthia’s father) with business.

          • baxterbaby

            I have always loved little Kenny Cosgrove.  There, I said it.

            • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

               I’m hoping by the time Mad Men ends for good, Kenny won’t have lost his soul to the crushing ad biz machine. I like that guy.

            • http://twitter.com/mirrormirrorxx Paola Thomas

              Me too. Apparently he’s named after the Ken doll, but I like how they’ve just made him normal and nice with intriguing depths and no hang ups, rather than bland and boring.

        • Sweetbetty

           I noticed and admired Ken’s handling of the situation too.  I’d love to know what was said in the conversation between Pete and the Heinze guy.

        • UsedtobeEP

          Loved the way Ken said, Can YOU believe her? Because he didn’t know what the client was thinking. Hedging his bets but still being the good guy. Way to go, Algonquin.

      • Sweetbetty

         “Ever since the last episode I’ve been primed to expect a horrible car
        crash and every time a character got into a vehicle I wanted to cover my
        eyes”

        Me too.  And every time a character takes his eyes off the road for a few moments, to pull out a cigarette lighter, tune the radio, or look at the person next to them, I expect them to see an oncoming crash when they put their eyes back on the road.

    • janedonuts

      Great recap. I’m spinning too. Thought you guys would have touched on the flashback theme too – Roger reliving scenes from 1919, Don going back and forth in his mind during the car ride. So much to ponder here. I LOVE THIS SHOW!

    • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

      “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (Beatles, of course, 1964)

      Edit: Not sure why replies to posts aren’t showing up where they’re supposed to, but it’s unfortunate.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

      Great, great post!  I hope Michael is not ill.  But I don’t think so.  Haven’t you ever felt like you were an alien, not fitting in?  A Stranger in a Strange Land?  I am so glad the Roger/Jane thing is over.  That whole thing was just exhausting to me.  Does this mean there is potential for Roger/Joan?  He does LIKE her, after all.  I still don’t see what Megan ever saw in Don.  Someone explain it to me.  Loved the analogy of the zen lion raising the massive paw.  I loved how Peggy got really aggressive (assertive?) with the Heinz guy.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Don backs her up.  Could it be that Don is slipping at work?  Seemed to be that that was all he was – his work.  Love Love Love Sally Draper!!  Always love it when she makes an appearance.  Loved how disheveled Jane and Roger looked after the LSD.  Great acting!  Love Michael’s father.  He’s so affectionate.  It’s all very interesting and engaging. 

    • http://the-archandroid.livejournal.com/ Christie

      Maybe I was projecting, but If Megan smiled, I really didn’t see it.  It seemed like a wan, fake keeping up appearances smile, and Don’s smile seemed absolutely desperate and forced…

      • ccinnc

         Didn’t Megan make some sort of gesture with her finger zipping under her nose as she smiled?  I have no reference for it.

        • Sweetbetty

           I noticed that too, only I saw it as a little fluttering of her fingers that made it seem a bit flirtatious and I wondered if it was sincere or if she was just putting on a bit of a show for people at the office.

        • Verascity

          I thought she was wiping her nose like she’d been crying. 

    • bluefish

      Wonderful comments on this amazing show and this particularly unsettling episode and thank you for the “zen lion” description of Bert Cooper.  One of the hidden gems of this season for me has been to see the old guys — Bert, Roger, and to a certain extent Lane — feeling in some ways much more comfortable in the chaotic 60s than the younger crew — I’ve always thought it a big mistake for the ad agency or the audience to under estimate or disparage what these three in particular bring. Love Zen Lion — thanks!

    • Browsery

      Many people describe Peggy as “socially awkward.”  I don’t get it.  She doesn’t really have any models and she is by nature, a candid, straightforward person.  

      Bobbie Barrett’s advice about not trying to be a fake man was wise, but abstract; she owed her position to her husband’s success.  The only real woman role model on the scene has been Faye Miller, but Faye manipulates people as part of her profession and she wasn’t interested in Peggy’s offer of friendship.

      This woman’s doing the best she can; she has to make it up as she goes along.

      • Laylalola

        Peggy to me really is quite a bit like Pete Campbell — I think a lot of posters and TLo naturally notice the socioeconomic similarities between her and Michael Ginsberg, but she and Pete are the ones who really strike me as pretty much two sides of the same coin. Glass-half-full types, their own worst enemies, nearly identical trajectories and aspirations. She’s got the most self-destructive and bizarre sense of who she sleeps with, often connected to job climbing — really, were she not so consisstently pathetic in this realm she would be as despicable as Peter often comes off. Anyway, I digress. 

        • Browsery

          i understand what you mean.  Another comparison is that both have a degree of self-awareness of their weaknessess that is not always shared by the other characters. I watched a NYT panel on Mad Men and the interviewer mentioned to Vincent Kartheiser that Pete is considered by many viewers to be ruthlessly ambitious.

           VK said he wasn’t going to try to defend Pete because it was true.  He said he thought Pete understood he did not have great charm or amazing talent (Not that he’s stupid or incompetent; I like MM in that it shows why people are successful in certain contexts and it’s a simple matter of being “smart” or “hard working.).  Pete knows he has to fight to succeed at the level he desires.Peggy understands she’s not smooth.  She wants to do a good job and be appreciated and be proud of herself as a professional and a woman.  As I said, before, she has no real models.Pete is interesting in that when he was younger he had wrapped himself in a romantic fantasy of himself as a relentless truth-seeker.  But when Peggy actually laid some truth on him with the revelation about the baby, that was too much and he actually was outraged when she destroyed his grand illusions.  Like most of the other men, he’s only happy when a woman meets his expectations of appropriate behavior.

          • Laylalola

            I don’t really know that she slept with Pete to advance her career, but it sure could be read that way — how many women sleep with a man from the office just hours after their first day at the new job? A viewer could also read her sleeping with Duck as inextricably tied to her desire to move up in the corporate world. The fact that there’s so much insecurity on her part — nevermind her capacity for denial in the extreme — gives those actions the cover of ambiguity, maybe it really is by default instead of by design. I think it’s by design and that she’s just in denial that she might be “that kind of woman” after all.

            Pete is probably my favorite character, for all sorts of complicated reasons, and as for the actor who plays him, I’m going to have to check out his other work. I can’t imagine the thoughts the actors have of these characters they play! 

            • asympt

               You need to see him as Angel’s suddenly grown son Connor, on “Angel”.  He looks very different as the younger character–he’s got really great hair, and he has superhero physical strength and agility–but he’s another badly damaged character suffering from the aftereffects of a terrible (a literally hellish) childhood.  A lot of people hated Connor, but as with Pete, I think Kartheiser showed how a sympathetic, smart actor can make you feel for a character.

              (I didn’t recognize him as Pete until he’d said a couple of lines.  His voice is distinctive.)

            • Sweetbetty

               I always thought the Peggy slept with Pete that first day because she was just flattered that he wanted her.  She wasn’t the most attractive of women at the time, I’m still wondering if Pete was her “first”, and she might have thought it couldn’t hurt to have an “in” with one of the men at work.

              I just re-watched that episode not long ago and I still wonder why she ran off to see Joan’s gyno to get birth control pills during her lunch break.  I can understand Joan giving her that advice and I can understand Peggy being willing and eager to take it, but why the urgency to do it that very day?  If she wasn’t at the right point in her cycle she wouldn’t start taking them until she was anyway.  Or maybe that’s it; that she *was* at the right point that very day and didn’t want to wait another month.  But then she did end up conceiving Pet’s child….oh, the puzzles in this show.

      • formerlyAnon

        “Many people describe Peggy as “socially awkward.”  I don’t get it.  She doesn’t really have any models and she is by nature, a candid, straightforward person.”

        Wonderfully succinct.  I DO think Peggy is a bit socially awkward and your last sentence perfectly sums up a somewhat longer response I made before I read this about why (IMO) she sometimes (not often) ends up a bit out of sync with the situation around her.

      • BayTampaBay

        Sorry Browsery but I think Barrett owed his SUCCESS and POSITION to his wife Bobbie.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

      I loved that Megan made her way home. How dare Don leave her in the middle on nowhere after treating her  like a child (pulling her out of work, making her eat ice cream) and hoping to reduce her to some crying mess (instead he was reduced to that mess). I love that she is a modern woman (with enough money to make her way home too). Don is starting to look seedy next to her.

      • Maggie_Mae

        He didn’t make her eat the ice cream.  He insisted the waitress bring it to her, then she tasted it & didn’t like it.  Once she realized he was angry, she started shoving it down her throat….

        Of course he looks seedy.  She’s a professor’s daughter with French airs; he’s the son of a dead whore.

        • judybrowni

          Megan has dutifully taste tested all that horrific deep-fried HoJo shit, without a murmur, she wanted pie for dessert — Don highhandedly cancelled her order and told the waitress to bring sherbet.

          Megan tasted it, and didn’t like it: but to Don that was all about “embarrassing” him.

          So, Megan did what he was pressuring her to do: eat the damn stuff and pretend to like it.

          The end of a long day in which Don had, repeatedly, overruled what Megan wanted or needed (to work, to see her mother, to eat a piece of fucking pie) and pushed her, forced her, to do what he wanted, and like it, damn it!

          • Maggie_Mae

            So she stopped trying to talk to him in an adult manner & reverted to childish behavior. That worked well. 

            His leaving her in the parking lot was inexcusable.  But his anger when he got home was fueled by that latch on the door.  

      • NurseEllen

        I haven’t read through all 400+ responses, but I’m wondering if anyone is aware that it is probably over 300 miles between Plattsburgh, NY and NYC.  There’s a State University College there, which I visited as a potential undergraduate (in 1973 or thereabouts) and it was an all day trip.  The buses don’t run so frequently, and they’re not direct to NYC, either–there are probably a dozen stops on the way.  Given all that, AND that Megan bummed a ride to the bus station from persons unknown, I don’t think she made a very good decision to go back home.  She said all she got was “an offer” at the Port Authority; in those days, she’s lucky she didn’t get robbed, or worse.  She’d have been safer staying with Don.  But then the story would have suffered.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

          I agree she may have been safer, but I loved that she just did not take it. That she did not just sit there like “bad little girl” and wait for him to return.

        • Sweetbetty

           But Megan didn’t know all that.  All she knew was that she was left in a parking lot hours away from home and she had to find a way home.

          • NurseEllen

            She must have known that it took them six hours to drive up there. She could have easily locked herself in their reserved room and not answered the door or the phone for the same effect. Anyway, all this conjecture on my part is basically pointless–she did what she did. It caught my attention because it’s the kind of detail that the writers are usually so assiduous about not letting slip.

    • Pants_are_a_must

      The whole episode was structured to fit the LSD trip; the bewildering time jumps, the rewinding the episode did without any warning in the last third, the almost hallucinogenic quality of Peggy’s Don-ish midday romp and most of all, Roger’s trip of course. The horror aspect was ramped up, thanks to Michael’s backstory being revealed and Megan’s disappearance, which I’m sure caused the exact same reaction in all the viewers.

      On the nose and pretty unsubtle, but this seems to fit Mad Men very well. Carry on.

      • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

        Thank you for mentioning the bewildering time jumps. I thought I was tripping out.  Towards the beginning of the episode, Megan is talking to Peggy and Don takes her away to Howard Johnson’s. Then we see panicked Don in the phone booth but don’t know where he is or why he is there. But this is before Roger has told Don where the flagship HoJo is. Later in the show, the same scenes are repeated, but they’re not exactly the same. Very confusing. Of course, it didn’t help to suddenly see Don and Megan in winter clothes with the kids in Mickey Mouse ears. WTF?

        • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

           Surely you’ve seen this style before? It’s the same day and night but from three points of view, starting over from the same place.

          • Jodie_S

            I used to love watching the British series “Coupling” use the same device — looking at events/interactions from different points of view.

            • http://profiles.google.com/denise.alden Denise Alden

              Oh, how I loved “Coupling”!  And you’re right; using that device was hysterical in that series!

    • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

      Proto-Barbarella

    • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

      Proto-Barbarella

    • StillGary

      HoJo brings out the worst in people.

    • StillGary

      HoJo brings out the worst in people.

    • Browsery

      Am I the only one who, after the first scene of Don calling Peggy, thought that maybe the agency had decided to fire her and he wanted to be the one to break the news?  It would have been extreme, but I did consider that for a minute.

      • Laylalola

        I knew instantly that he was in another drama entirely unrelated to anything currently happening in the office.

        • Sweetbetty

           And wasn’t it ironic that Peggy thought what happened with the Heinze account was the whole reason for his call.  They’re both caught up in their own worlds.

    • Browsery

      Am I the only one who, after the first scene of Don calling Peggy, thought that maybe the agency had decided to fire her and he wanted to be the one to break the news?  It would have been extreme, but I did consider that for a minute.

    • http://the-archandroid.livejournal.com/ Christie

      I’m wondering if the very bad job they did on the green screen behind Don and Megan was a part of this LSD trip schema as well, kind of adding to the surreality of it all.  I hope that is indeed the case and it isn’t just a really poor job of editing/ effects…

    • http://the-archandroid.livejournal.com/ Christie

      I’m wondering if the very bad job they did on the green screen behind Don and Megan was a part of this LSD trip schema as well, kind of adding to the surreality of it all.  I hope that is indeed the case and it isn’t just a really poor job of editing/ effects…

      • Laylalola

        Do you mean the car ride? Rewatching older episodes with Betty and Don in a car, I’ve been struck by how bad those are shot — they don’t even try to move the car set, and just flash lights in on them. It’s so bad I thought it’s probably a send-up of how those scenes used to be shot in TV shows and movies in that age. But I don’t always assume the show is THAT clever about every last detail (but what do I know).

      • beadskrit

        I interpreted the bad green-screening as part of the Hitchcock homage of the whole episodes (something I’m surprised TLo didn’t comment on). If it were black and white, that scene could have been straight out of North by Northwest.

        • makeityourself

          North by Northwest was shot in color.

    • BettyGurruchaga

      TLO, good recap. I think you might be on to something about Michael. Remember he was two different people when he  was interviewed by Peggy and then by Don. The part about Michael’s past somewhat disturbed me because of the way it was shot. All you saw was his reflection in the mirror, as if the “other” Michael was telling the story. 
      On another note, maybe I am reading too much into it, but I love how the age difference between Jane and Roger was shown in the bathtub scene. Whereas Roger is enjoying a baseball and car models of the past, and asking Jane if she is seeing it, and she replies flatly, “No.”

    • BettyGurruchaga

      TLO, good recap. I think you might be on to something about Michael. Remember he was two different people when he  was interviewed by Peggy and then by Don. The part about Michael’s past somewhat disturbed me because of the way it was shot. All you saw was his reflection in the mirror, as if the “other” Michael was telling the story. 
      On another note, maybe I am reading too much into it, but I love how the age difference between Jane and Roger was shown in the bathtub scene. Whereas Roger is enjoying a baseball and car models of the past, and asking Jane if she is seeing it, and she replies flatly, “No.”

      • avidreader02

        What struck me about the bathtub scene was Jane’s first response to Roger’s laughter.  She asks if he is laughing at HER.  It just seemed so sad- and an insight into their marriage.  Also- maybe this should be said in the Mad Style section, but she goes from being so made up and accessorized at the beginning to almost nude… no makeup or shellacked hair and fancy dress.  And she looks so much younger and more beautiful without all her armor.  

        • Glammie

          I noticed that too–she was so beautiful in that green negligee at the end.  

          Damn, Roger is seriously funny on LSD.  Of *course* he could hold it together.  He’s entirely used to being addled.

          But, wow, this sure leaves the Joan and Roger story open.

          • sweetlilvoice

            I wondered when the nudity was going to come in (due to the warning before the episode). I thought Jane looked amazing, so beautiful, so young. She looked as young as when she was first introduced.

            I love Roger and Joan but there is so much baggage/damage there…I wonder if they can overcome it.

            • Sweetbetty

               I’m pretty sure the warning mentioned “sexual situations” or something similar, rather than nudity, and was referring to Peggy’s hand job of the guy in the movie theater.  There wasn’t enough nudity in that bathtub scene to warrant any warning.

      • Sweetbetty

         When we first saw Roger in the bathtub up to his chin in water after ingesting a drug all I could think of was a Whitney Houston flashback (or flash-forward from the MM era).

    • annamow

      I thought Jane’s getup for a night of LSD was hilarious! That hair! Those earrings! That OUTFIT! Not the comfortable clothes you want to be wearing on a trip…

    • EEKstl

      Brilliant recap for a dazzling episode. I don’t even know where to start, there are so many gems to mine.  For me one of the most interesting explorations was how there are moments of truth which blow in to a marriage like a hurricane and some can weather the storm and some can’t.  Roger and Jane saw the “truth” and it was the final nail in the coffin (it’s always sadly ironic when the most mature and profound dialogue between a couple happens at the end of their relationship); Don and Megan saw the truth and it was a nightmare for them both – but I think they’re going to make it.  “Warts and all” need not be a death knell, sometimes it simply informs the partners and allows them to heal and move on.  Are Don and Megan respectively undamaged and mature enough to get there?  Time will tell.  

      • Sweetbetty

         This also recalls Peggy and Abe’s argument of the morning where she asks if he wants to stop seeing each other.  It seems Peggy isn’t willing to weather the storm but that Abe is willing to dig his heels in and work to salvage what he sees as a good thing.

    • andi56

      Knowing there was a concentration camp in Michael’s past, I was waiting for it to emerge. But I think your interpretation is a flippant, even thought you probably didn’t mean for it to be, about him possibly being schizophrenic. Most concentration camp survivors, and the children born in the camps, created worlds where they felt safe, in a world that completely let them down. “Feeling like a martian” indicates that Michael, who literally came from another world, feels his singularity, wondering where there were others like him. You have to remember that “others like him” didn’t end up in America; many were put into resettlement camps, and then were allowed to emigrate to Israel. Outside of a shul, Michael probably would have no idea where others like him happen to be. There was also a great deal of shame in being a survivor: no one wanted them, no one wanted to know their story, and large swaths of America didn’t believe the Holocaust occurred (sort of like now!). So even though there was a large community of survivors in New York (my family members among them), people as young as Michael were not so common. 

      • Glammie

        Hmmm, I met several of them as a kid (in California)–I knew the children of various survivors.  Never sensed there was shame about it by the late 60s–more that it was incredibly awful and tragic.  But that is an outside view.  

        I don’t recall the Holocaust denialism become a meme until quite a bit later.  After all, American soldiers liberated camps and there was footage of the survivors and the remains.  And those soldiers were alive, hale and hearty at the time.  Denying the Holocaust meant denying the heroism of American soldiers.  

        If anything, it was the distrust of the government and belief in conspiracies that began in the 60s that eventually led to the whole syndrome of Holocust deniers–at least in the United States.  Chunks of Europe have never wanted to face it.  

        I agree that Michael’s monologue about being a Martian isn’t about being schizophrenic, but an expression of his extreme sense of displacement and alienation.  

        • andi56

          There have always been Holocaust deniers. And there was a huge amount of shame, because survivor guilt was quite palpable in a lot of them, especially the ones I met and were related to, and the ones who emigrated to Israel. You also have to remember that starting in the 60s, there was a big deal about Jews not fighting back, Warsaw Ghetto not withstanding. Others embraced their new lives, but the scars were always there. How could they not be? And to answer another message, the suggestion of schizophrenia was rather blithely presented, don’t you think? If not, go back and read it again. 

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            We’re not sure how noting that his experiences have left him supremely damaged is “flippant” or “blithely presented.”

          • Glammie

            Denying that the Holocaust happened and survivor guilt are two different things.  I agree that there was a controversy over “fighting back”–I’m thinking specifically of the controversy over Hannah Arendt’s *Eichmann in Jerusalem*–but the idea that the whole thing was invented was an idea that gained purchase among extremists a bit later.  There were, of course, some who always denied–but I think the form that anti-semitism primarily took at this point was more akin to blaming the victim.  In the United States–in Europe I think there was always a more “active” denial going on.  

            And, yes, I agree there was longterm emotional damage–for camp survivors, those who managed to avoid the camps and those who were in safe countries, but saw their families wiped out.  As a child and teen, it was something that was very present because the war was still close enough in time that my Jewish friends had relatives who’d died in the Holocaust or had parents who’d survived it.  I really heard about the Holocaust through the family stories of others.   It actively informed my friends’ sense of what it meant to be Jewish.  It was clear to my outsider self that being a Jewish child was a serious business–that there was a responsibility involved.  

            I’m sure this was partly the area I was in–liberal, politically conscious–and probably generational–my friends were the new generation, the new hope–which may have had something to do with their relative openness about the matter.

    • margaret meyers

      When I saw Abe’s gigantic father I thought to myself “Dad’s so very big and his son is such a squirt?  How does a boy born from a man that big and eating American food stay so small?”  And now I know the sad answer to that question.

    • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

      Surely you’ve seen this style before? It’s the same day and night but from three points of view, starting over from the same place.

      (Again, this was a reply to a comment below. Maybe it’s time to log out and log back in.)

    • Jasmaree

      Something else I wanted to mention: Don and Megan ending up on the floor of their apartment was very similar to an earlier scene with Roger and Jane.

    • Sweetbetty

        I’m a bit confused about the party host speaking with Don’s voice to Roger as he looked into the mirror and then actually turning into Don.  Can anyone sort that out for me?

      • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

        It’s an attempt to replicate the experience of taking LSD. Hallucinations, etc.

        • Sweetbetty

           Yes, I understood that, but I’m assuming everything has significance.  What was the significance of the host speaking in Don’s voice, then becoming Don visually?

          • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

            The host, who I think, actually, was Dr. Timothy Leary, chose not to take LSD that night so that he could “guide” those tripping. But Roger on acid didn’t hear Dr. Leary, but instead the soothing tones of Don who so often seems to know what to do. And then Don says to Roger what he says to Betty just a few episodes ago — everything will be all right.

            Edit: come to think of it, I’m not sure it was Dr. Leary. But I thought I heard his name. I’ll have to rewatch.

            • Maggie_Mae

              Roger called him “Doctor Leary.”  I think that was the famous Sterling Snark.  Leary was already famous for advocating LSD–& was in trouble out in California at the time….

          • the_archandroid

            I think it’s because Roger sees Don as a sort of conscience for him, or as someone who is more diligent and serious and less flippant on one hand, but on the other hand, also someone he could relate to.  After all, at the beginning of the day Roger is suggesting that they get out of town and try and seduce some young things, and Don’s response is to think of his wife.  I think Roger sees this as being Conscientious and responsible. Plus, Roger had just been looking at the hair dye ads, and I saw that as Roger confronting his past and his present, youth and age, flippancy and potency.  It makes sense, then, that the voice he hears as being directive (“don’t look in the mirror”, “sit next to your wife”) is Don’s. Because Don is potent, and Don is (seemingly) a paragon of virtue in terms of his relationship with is wife.  

    • rosiepowell2000

      ["Bobbie Barrett's advice about not trying to be a fake man was wise, but abstract; she owed her position to her husband's success. "]

      Jimmy Barrett owed his success to Bobbie’s talent as an agent.

      • Browsery

        Yes, but the point is Bobbie did not start as a low-status secretary in a large, highly structured company who had to prove herself from the start among men who thought of her chiefly as someone to size up and make fun of.  Bobbie was representing a commodity: Her husband.
        Peggy had much farther to go.

    • Redlanta

      To me, the overall recurring theme is Don as a “hobo” who runs.  The old “fight or flight” adage.  He runs from things he’s can’t handle.  Another subtle reminder was Megan and Don discussing gifts for the kids.  She asks “What about Gene?” and Don just blows it off.  He can’t handle that whole situation (name, marriage demise, another man being his main Father Figure) so he just runs.  Maybe running is good- last night we saw the mess when he stays to fight-UGLY.  Absolutely loved Bert putting him back in line!  

      • Redlanta

         On another note about marrying the boss and thinking “It looked fun what Don and Peggy were doing”   Don and Megan are quickly becoming Roger and Jane.  Remember when Don told Roger “everyone is laughing at you”?  I see this coming at work anyways.  But there will be no “enlightened” discovery of a poor marriage ending.  It will be rough and ugly with Megan doing the dumping, and the character of Jane being played by Don…

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

          This is so true!

      • emcat8

        I constantly think of Rachel telling him he’s a coward. I remember thinking how terrible that was at the time, but after all these seasons, there is no better description of Don.

        • Redlanta

          Good observation! Also the classic from Faye “You only like beginnings”

    • Thundar99

      Just putting it out there becuase it was bugging me last night…but wasn’t there another instance, in season’s past, where Peggy had this kind of anonymous sex that she didn’t register as meaningful because she didn’t allow the man to kiss her? Am i misremembering. Because when she denied the kiss it seemed like a familiar request from her. Like a part of her sexual pathology that can only truly let go if there are no emotions entanglements.

      • Sweetbetty

         Maybe you’re recalling when she allowed herself to get picked up in a bar so she could lose her virginity.  I don’t remember if there was any kissing or not but I do remember that when the guy talked about seeing her again she had no interest.  She had just one goal that night and she accomplished it on her terms.

        • Robyn M

          I don’t think Peggy lost her virginity in the bar hookup.  She has sex with Pete in the pilot episode.

          • Sweetbetty

             Ooh, that’s right.  Do you think Pete was her first?  I guess that bar hookup was just her exerting her liberation as a “modern woman”.  Or is Peggy just a horny gal?

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

          Peggy didn’t even have sex with the guy from the bar (he didn’t have a condom, and it was well after she’d had the baby, and certainly didn’t want that to happen again).  Also, we don’t even know if she was a virgin on the 1st episode when she slept with Pete.

      • bobsails

        Hi – Are you thinking of Betty? There was an episode where she went into the a back room with a guy she didn’t know. They both were using the bathrooms at the same time, if I recall correctly. She didn’t know his name, but I don’t remember if she would permit him to kiss her or not.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      As soon as Megan and Don sat down at the HoJo table, I IMMEDIATELY thought of the scene with them in the kids in California, where Bobby spills his milkshake. Later, Don flashes back to that vacation, so I know it had to be intentional.

      Does anyone remember if that previous scene was set at Howard Johnson’s as well?

      Megan has gotten a bit of hate on this board for being immature. But hell yeah, she is immature, because she is young. She has an excuse for being an impulsive brat at times. However, Don is a grown-ass man and should know better.

      • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

         She’s what, 26? She may not be 40, but she’s not a little girl any more, either. I don’t hate the Megan character, but it’s about time she started acting like she was closer to 30 than 20.

      • formerlyAnon

        I might be wrong, but I’d bet a lot of those calling Megan “young” are old enough to look back their (our) mid-twenties and see the poor decisions rooted in lack of maturity.

        I can remember reading a novel in which a character calls a 30-year-old a “young man” and finding it quite jarring. I’m pretty close to thinking of 30-year-olds as “young men” now, myself.

        • Sweetbetty

           “I might be wrong, but I’d bet a lot of those calling Megan “young” are old enough to look back their (our) mid-twenties and see the poor decisions rooted in lack of maturity.”BINGO!

    • Kirsten Agnew

      I think that this review is way off regarding the Megan and Don relationship. She challenges him, she doesn’t play the sub-servant wife that Betty did. She’s not afraid to stand up to him. And from watching this show from the very beginning, I think that’s exactly what Don needs. An equal. I don’t think that this showed us that the “shaky foundations of their marriage were exposed” This showed us a couple who fought. Every couple fights, its a natural part of life. It the way it goes. 

      I think that the chase scene at the end wasn’t violent, it was more that she was angry and didn’t want him to hold her and she reacted by running away. Like we saw afterwards, he wasn’t chasing her to hurt her. He wanted to hold her. He was terrified that he had lost her and realized just how much she really meant to him. It’s passionate. It showed how much he really does love her and that she is everything good to him.

      Its also rather unfair that they wrote, “things were better for Don when Megan still worshipped him”. When did she ever worship him?? She probably looked up to him professionally, but I never saw worship. And whats the deal with everyone thinking that Megan married Don as a career move and that she’s “up to something”? When have we ever seen that from her? Because she is kind and easygoing and isn’t afraid to say what she feels means she’s up to something?? Come on people. They can’t have Don miserable forever. It can’t always be the same. The show needs to change sometime. And in no way do I think that Don was looking for another Betty. Why would he? What did he really did out of that relationship??

      • 3hares

        Last season practically every single line Megan had to Don was either giving he something he needed to make things better, like Beatles tickets, or popping into his office to say how much she supported what he was doing. I remember because I thought omg, she’s marrying him when all he’s ever seen her do is make things easy for him? Clearly, they’ve tackled that problem!

      • Jasmaree

        I think you may be being a bit too optimistic. Sure, every couple fights, but not every couple fights like this. Bringing up hurtful pasts, abandoning people at restaurants, hitching rides home at 5 in the morning, chasing people around an apartment. No, I think if there’s one thing that can be said for sure about this episode, it’s that this is fight between Don and Megan was not normal or healthy. And I don’t think that Don will ever just be happy before the end of the show. He might get bouts of happiness, but a perfectly normal, happy protagonist doesn’t make for a good drama. Not to mention the fact that it would be thematically out of place.

        • Kirsten Agnew

          And I think your really over analyzing it. People snap, they fight, they say things they don’t mean and loose their temper. And I don’t expect Don’s character to be perfectly happy and normal all the time, but the constant unhappiness needs to be changed up sometimes. And what the hell is wrong with being optimistic? Better than being gloomy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269440086 Elizabeth Inglehart

            If I ever experienced a “fight” with someone in which they abandoned me by the side of the road, kicked a door in, grabbed me, chased me around an apartment, tackled me, and threw me on the ground, and then begged my foregiveness, I would recognize that as a classic cycle of abuse, and I would GET OUT IMMEDIATELY. This is exactly how abusers behave. Read any account of domestic abuse.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

              This is right.  It is classic domestic abuse.  Classic.  It couldn’t be clearer.  

            • fursa_saida

              Yes. And when Kirsten above said “it was passionate, it shows how much he loves her” I died a little in my chair. Obsessive, controlling behavior is not love, it is abuse. 

            • Logo Girl

              Or you would hope to get out immediately. Sometimes leaving can be more dangerous than staying, at least initially. It actually takes some strategic planning in many cases, of which there was almost none of the awareness we have now, then, sadly. :(

        • Sweetbetty

           Every couple fights, though I do feel the word “argue” should be used since “fight” suggests physical violence, but the outcome can be different.  Some arguments bring differences out in the open that have been simmering under the surface and allows them to be addressed and possibly corrected.  Some arguments don’t really address the underlying issues and go round and round and come up again and again and only drive a wedge further into the troubled relationship.  By Megan saying, “Each time we fight we diminish ourselves”, it leads me to believe that she sees these arguments as destructive and not an opportunity to strengthen and build their relationship.  Don isn’t that insightful; he wants what he wants when he wants it but it has to be *just* the way he wants it or he’ll end up ruining it.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

        Sure, every couple fights. But a fight that involves kicking down doors and pursuit over furniture… well, I guess I can’t say it’s not literally “passionate”, but that’s not “passionate” meaning “romantic.” That’s scary.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Exactly, if that’s passion-I will pass! It is no fun to be with someone like that.

          • alula_auburn

            Comments today are making me feel a lot better about being single.  The only ones who chase and tackle in my apartment are cats.

        • Maggie_Mae

          Don kicked the door open (not “down”) because Megan had latched it shut….

        • Maggie_Mae

          Don kicked the door open (not “down”) because Megan had latched it shut….

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        Color us once again astonished that anyone would defend Don’s actions in this episode. When someone is running away from you in anger and fear, chasing them down and tackling them to the floor IS AN ACT OF VIOLENCE, NOT LOVE. He doesn’t want to “hold her,” he wants to SUBDUE HER. AGAINST HER WILL.

        Megan worshiped Don when she was his secretary. She pretty much came right out and said so the first time they had sex on his office couch. Even if you disagree with that reading, we fail to see how it’s “unfair” of us to see it that way.

        And why can’t they have Don miserable forever? He’s been shown to be a very fucked up man over and over and over again.

        We reiterate: when a husband tackles his wife and throws her to the floor against her will THAT IS AN ACT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

        People really do have a hard time believing a man wrapped in such an appealing package can be a monster, don’t they?

        • Kirsten Agnew

          When did he throw her to the floor? They tripped!! And I’m not defending anything. THAT JUST HOW I INTERPRETED IT. But regardless of that, everyone is just going to have to agree to disagree. Some people like the Megan and Don storyline and others don’t. Everyone can’t have the same opinion and excuse me for disagreeing with yours.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

             They didn’t trip. He chased her and tackled her and they fell to the floor.

            Yes, that’s how you interpreted it; and your interpretation winds up defending Don’s actions. I don’t have to excuse you for disagreeing with us, but I’m perfectly within my rights to engage you on that disagreement. There’s no need to be petulant about that.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patricia-James/100003747058262 Patricia James

              She’s right AGREE to DISAGREE people. Everyone is allowed their opinion.

              BTW: I don’t really think that that comment was rude.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

               Yes, everyone is allowed their opinion. No one is taking that right away from anyone.

              Oh, and here’s another opinion: logging out and then posting under a different name just to say “She’s right” about YOUR OWN COMMENT (and then “Liking” it) is exceedingly lame, “Patricia”/”Kirsten.” We can see your IP address, you know.

            • KittenKisses

              Haha, owned. Well done, TLo.

            • bobsails

              Wow. I found your blog today and enjoyed a few of your posts… but, this is kind of a harsh and unnecessary comment. Isn’t it? How do you know there aren’t two people using the same computer? 

              Your Don / Megan comment didn’t resonate with me either. I thought Don knocked down the door because he was upset / sick with worry… and came over to Megan because he wanted to hold her / be close to her… but, she (being equally strong- willed) did not want him near her. (I could definitely see her point).

              At that point, I thought she slapped him and attempted to knee him… and that the tried to protect himself from the kneeing… while he was trying to hold her/stop the hitting/kneeing, she escaped and ran. He seemed to have this great need to be near her and she (rightfully) was pissed and didn’t want to be anywhere near him. When he chased her, I also thought they fell accidentally. I have only seen it once, so I could be totally wrong.

              I view this show for what it is… an interesting show… a time capsule… all the characters seem flawed to me… I enjoy how they evolve, try, change, fail, try again. 

              Because people see it that way does not mean that “they can’t see a good-looking person for the monster he is” or whatever you said. I don’t have a horse in the race, so -to-speak. I don’t like the way Don treats women… it sickens me.. and I hated how he spoke to Megan at Howard Johnson’s. I also thought Megan’s comment to Don was extraordinarily cruel. However, I think she does what she can to assert herself and it doesn’t always come out perfectly. (He is super-controlling and difficult). 

              In my view, more will be revealed with future episodes. I didn’t really see Don trying to be violent to Megan… I don’t think he had violent aims. [I could see a version where he kicks the door down and goes to her (and she doesn't react) and he holds her and begs her forgiveness.] I also thought he was trying to hold her, but then everything went south fast because they were both reacting quickly and everything escalated. Of course I could be 100% wrong, but something cool about the show is that things aren’t always what they appear to be, at first. We’ll see in future episodes, I suppose. 

              Thanks for your thoughtful style/clothing analysis posts… now that I’ve found them I’ll read them. Very enjoyable.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              We really don’t understand the idea that if Don didn’t have “violent aims,” that it renders his actual violent acts (breaking down a door, chasing his screaming wife around the apartment) somehow null and void. That Don acted violently toward his wife is a fact, regardless of his intent, or how the scene would have played out had she acted differently, or what’s going to be revealed in future episodes. Don committed acts of violence against his wife, in their home, full stop. In 2012, a woman could press charges against her husband for doing exactly what Don did here.

              “He wanted to be near her.” “He wanted to hold her.” We’re sorry, but these are EXACTLY the phrasings used to justify or explain away acts of domestic violence all the time. SHE didn’t want these things at all and made that perfectly clear by screaming “LEAVE ME ALONE” AND “STAY AWAY” at him.

              Regardless of what he wanted to do, he kicked down a door and chased his screaming wife around the house until he wrestled her to the floor, all against her will. He did all of this against her will because what she wanted (for him to stay away from her) was never a consideration for him – another classic trait of the abuser.

              You could call her actions against him “domestic violence,” but it would be a twisted version of the term, since he outweighs her by a good 60 pounds and she’s not really capable of physically hurting him on her own, simply by slapping him. There was no kneeing, as you can see here:

              http://www.amctv.com/mad-men/videos/talked-about-scenes-episode-506-mad-men-i-thought-i-lost-you

              And we’ve been doing this for a good long while. In our experience, every time a commenter responds to another comment to defend it within minutes of the original posting, and both comments are coming from the same IP address, it’s always the same person doing the the old sock puppet trick.

              But thank you for the compliments.

            • bobsails

              Hmmm. Well I didn’t say this exactly: 
              “We really don’t understand the idea that if Don didn’t have “violent aims,” that it renders his actual violent acts (breaking down a door, chasing his screaming wife around the apartment) somehow null and void.”

              And, it doesn’t encapsulate what I think about the matter, but, that’s OK! Maybe this is as far as we can go without meeting in person and speaking face-to-face. :) We’ll see what happens next week! Cheers to you. 

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

               Sorry, but we thought this:

              “I didn’t really see Don trying to be violent to Megan… I don’t think he had violent aims.”

              Did, in fact, seem like a voiding of his actual violence because he didn’t intend to be violent.

            • bobsails

              Oh, well, to explain: I am simply not convinced there was violence. Hence, there would be nothing to “void.” My understanding of your point: you are convinced there was violence (intended and actual) in that scene; I am still mulling it over. As I explained, I did not see the scene the same way as you.

              I don’t remember if you mentioned this, but if you did… I would agree that his behavior in Howard Johnson’s was 100% abusive, disconcerting and unsettling. I agree that his character is controlling and can be emotionally abusive.

            • BayTampaBay

              IMHO: Don is a monster. Don realizes he is a monster. Don believes (for whatever reason) that Megan is his last chance at….”salvation”.  Don is failing, he knows he is failing and it eats him up like a cancer.  Don is a monster.  This is how I see it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269440086 Elizabeth Inglehart

            Watch it again.  He TACKLED her and pulled her to the floor.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

              She was running from him. She was scared that he was going to hurt her. I would tell a girl friend to pack her backs for less then that.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

            I like the Megan and Don storyline. As a storyline. Just as I think that Don is a great character. That doesn’t mean that I have to think that Don is a good person, or that he and Megan have a good relationship.

            Maybe there’s potential for both of those things to come about. I’d love to see it, but I think that it’ll be tricky to have either evolve in realistic way, because it’s not something that you see happen often in the real world.

          • mommyca

            I also interpreted it as they tripped… if he wanted to hit her, he would have done it right there and then in the floor…. maybe even Matt Weiner’s interpretation is incorrect…. 

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo
            • mommyca

              I’ve watched it more times than I should have during office hours…. :-) I’ll watch the whole episode again tonight… Still, why didn’t he hit her when they were on the floor then if that was his intention from the beginning? Boy… Mondays are not a very productive day at work…. :-)  I can’t let go….

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              Domestic violence isn’t necessarily always a matter of intent, nor can you describe or explain it in logical terms. Not to mention, it isn’t solely defined by “hitting.” The very act of chasing her and tackling her is already an act of domestic violence.

            • mommyca

              Of course, domestic violence can even be psychological…. I guess domestic violence must be more common than we can imagine…  Still, I’m sticking to my guns: he didn’t tackle her :-)

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              You’re quibbling over word choice. He chased her and subdued her against her will after kicking open a locked door and while she was screaming at him to get away from her. That is domestic violence, full stop, no ifs, ands or buts.

            • mommyca

              Ok…. I guess at this point nobody is going to change anybody’s mind, but it has been an interesting exchange….. I’m looking forward to the Mad Style post, which I hope has less controversial issues…. 

            • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

              OK, I think the problem here is semantics and the word “tackle,” which we apply to football and the act of one player aggressively grabbing another for the sole purpose of subduing him and bringing him to the ground. In reviewing the scene, I believe that Don is trying to stop Megan. Period. He puts his arms around her to end her running and they accidentally fall to the floor. Yes, he was violent and angry and she felt physically threatened, but I don’t feel he was trying to catch her to hurt her. 

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              “Yes, he was violent and angry and she felt physically threatened…”

              Which makes this an inarguable instance of domestic violence.

              Again, we’re astonished that anyone would dispute that.

            • makeityourself

              You and me both. Maybe some of these posters should volunteer at the women’s self help center, where I used to assist on the crisis phones. They might re-think their replies here today.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

              I think we all are used to tv shows resolving themselves into happy endings: Don will grow emotionally and his marriage with Megan will “work”.  Don is a horrible, horrible, damaged person!  It would be the rare, rare person that could come out of his background and be well emotionally.  Megan wasn’t a progression for him.  He just traded in for a younger model after barely knowing her, because she looks and acts like a doll.  There was just lust.  There wasn’t a mutual contract to grow emotionally.  It’s the 60s.  There wasn’t much consciousness.  Even today, men still need control.  I think we just all want a happy ending and for the problems to resolve themselves cause it’s a tv show. But in reality these things don’t resolve themselves.  Don has shown Megan who he is.  His alleged “love” for her isn’t going to make him change, any more than someone’s love for someone else can make them quit drinking.  The good thing about MM is that it isn’t a typical show the resolves problems with a happy ending.  AND if Don Draper wasn’t played by a handsome actor like Jon Hamm, who is perfect in every way, excuses wouldn’t be made for him on these posts.  If he was played by someone whom our culture considers unattractive everyone would be reacting very differently.  I think that’s another way MM is brilliant.  They are making us think about our assumptions and values.

            • Sweetpea176

              I also think that we’re used to identifying a good guy and a bad guy, and real relationships are rarely like that.  Neither of these characters behaved very well in this episode, and both of them had good reason to be angry with the other.  I am in no way condoning Don’s having left her at HJ’s or his later behavior in their apartment (or any of his actions, really), just pointing out that as audience members, we’re not often asked to grapple with ambivalence about characters who are both right and wrong at the same time.  Again, not condoning emotional or physical abuse in any way.  Just saying that I think the controversy in these comments is indicative of our being more used to our TV being much more straight forward in its heros and villians.

            • fursa_saida

              Exchanges like these always terrify me, because it makes me realize how ready so many people are to overlook or excuse abuse.

            • KittenKisses

               It’s the problem that still haunts women when attempting to prosecute those who violate or harm them. Juries find it difficult to associate any violent attack on a woman with a man wearing a neat suit, either denying he did it or that his actions were simply misunderstood.

              Personally, I don’t like the character of Megan because I don’t trust her, all that sunshine and perkiness is hiding something, the world (and Mad Men itself) has taught me that.

              Megan cannot excuse her childish actions which provoked that violent temper. If you suspect someone is capable of violence I cannot understand why you’d want to say something that could unlease that fury.

              But, and here is the crux of it: Don made a choice to be violent. That choice made everything that happened afterwards inexcusable.

              Yes, Megan provoked him and his reaction was to leave her.

              However, he drove home and argued with her through the door. He chose then to kick down the door and chase his frightened wife around his home, all because she was upset and wanted to be left alone. That choice had nothing to do with her comment.

              He is a product of his society and his upbringing but the moment he kicked down the door he lost all sympathy and understanding of that past and became a bully. Whatever his motivations or intentions were, Megan was frightened and wanted distance between them, which Don was not prepared to let her have and it culmintaed in his tackling her. And that cannot be excused and sometimes it cannot be forgotton or forgiven.

              Just remember, ANY form of unwanted physical contact is assault. This is not the same situation as their sex game, which appeared to be like most domination games; preplanned, organised and fundamentally an exchange between two people who trusted one another and had an understanding of their destination in the game.

              The fact that so many people saw so many different endings to the chase around the apartment would show that this was not a game, that this could have ended a lot worse in a more fundamental way.

              Instead we are given a situation that could have long range implications for the Draper marriage, much in the same way Joan’s rape did for her marriage. When you have such a horrific act committed to you, by the person who claims to love you, how can you ever believe them? Never mind, trust them again?

            • Sweetbetty

               Rather than hitting her I would have expected him to choke her, a la Andrea of a few shows back.

          • Sweetbetty

             After several viewings I say it’s still questionable whether or not Don deliberately tackled her and threw her to the floor or that they tripped and ended up there accidentally.  We couldn’t see their feet so it’s open to interpretation.  I will say that Don looked dazed rather than triumphant after they fell, leading me to believe it wasn’t intentional, but that could be explained a number of ways.  You can agree to disagree but I don’t think there is a definitive answer except from the show’s writers.

        • Jasmaree

          I agree that Megan did worship Don once, that there isn’t much keeping Don from being miserable, and that this wasn’t an act of love.

          I do think that Don intended to drag her into the room (not that that’s much better) rather than fall of the floor. It looks like his movement and Megan’s struggle made him trip and made them both fall (Notice how awkwardly placed his legs are, that he was the first to hit the floor, and that he fell backward). Either it was an accidental fall or it was poor acting.

          • Glammie

            That was how it looked to me.  He was going after her, but they also tripped and fell.  That the fall was accidental was what kind of broke the tension.  

            I think Don is always getting pulled in two directions, which is why he’s such an awful partner.  He’s both violent and abhors violence.  He doesn’t want to be the man he is.  

            I think it’s also what makes him a sympathetic character.  On some level, he knows he does awful stuff and he doesn’t like it when he does them either.

            Nonetheless–run, Megan, run.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

               Watch it again: http://www.amctv.com/mad-men/videos/talked-about-scenes-episode-506-mad-men-i-thought-i-lost-you

              He was “going after her,” which is in itself an act of domestic violence, and then he tackled her.

            • Jasmaree

              Sorry, you guys. Still not seeing it.

              1:16 to 1:17 – He catches up to her and holds her. Not enough force to be considered a “tackle.”
              1:18 – They struggle
              1:19 – Don loses his balance and they both fall. This break the tension a bit. Ends the struggle. 

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              Well if you’re not seeing it, then you’re not seeing it.

            • asympt

               He was trying to physically control her–with the leverage of a lot more size and strength–while she was making it desperately clear she didn’t want him to.  I’m with you guys, of course she had every reason to be terrified.  No means no, and taking physical control of someone is physically violent.  And frightening.

            • mommyca

              I saw just the same thing, or more, I interpreted it the same way… I guess everything is in the eye of the beholder…. 

            • Sweetpea176

              I think whether or not he tackled her or they tripped and fell is entirely beside the point.  Even if — even IF — you could justify his kicking in the door in order to gain entrance to his own house — he was chasing her, saying that he had said he was sorry even though he actually hadn’t, and somehow expecting that “sorry” would erase the fact that he drove off and left her.

            • PaulaBerman

               It’s the “holding her” that is the problem. I wouldn’t want anyone to grab me and hold onto me against my will.

            • Jasmaree

              Well, that kinda happens when you slap people and then run way.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              Wow.

              Why not just cut to the chase and say she deserved it?

            • Jasmaree

              She didn’t deserve it (and I guess here that “it” refers to running around, being stopped, and falling). But, whatever. We’ve already had our domestic violence argument. It isn’t going anywhere else.

              Look: victim blaming is a real thing, and it’s terrible. Rape victims aren’t somehow “asking” to be raped by wearing revealing clothing. Domestic abuse victims aren’t asking to be abused by sticking around. But I feel as though, once you INITIATE a physical altercation, you cease to become a victim. You don’t hit someone and expect them to stand there and be hit. If there were two men, no one would expect that to happen. If there were two women, no one would expect that to happen. And if a man were hitting a woman and that happened, then everyone would be up in arms. But somehow, there’s a vagina shield that protects women from this situation. That very idea, to me, is sexist. 

              I will qualify that and say that, at that point, leaving was the best course of action.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              She DIDN’T initiate a physical altercation. He did when he broke down the door and when he continued to approach her after she told him not to. Any court of law in 2012 would see her slapping him as an act of defense, not as an initiation of violence.

            • emcat8

              I don’t know how you guys are keeping your heads about you with these incredible, unbelievable statements. Kudos — it’s making my blood boil, frankly.

            • boomchicabowwow

              THANK YOU THANK YOU THANKYOU for keeping up this fight.  You have influence with this commentariate and you’re continual insistance in this matter may very well have some real world impact.  BRAVO T and Lo!

            • rowsella

               It seemed to  me that the more Meghan pulls away from Don, the more desperate he is to be close to her.  I think of when my son was a toddler and being very clingy.  I would need some physical space by myself and the more I wished to be separate, the more anxious he would be and the higher need for him to be held–the need to be close would escalate into a panic.    That reminds me of Don.  He is absolutely terrified of being separated from Meghan.  He is like the addicted, very selfish, only in touch with how he feels, not noting anything as important that will contradict the story of them in his mind.  I think Don feels Meghan is his last chance as well.  This is a very unbalanced relationship only not in the way most people think.  Don was up all night, positively out of his mind with worry for her (or of his life without her).  This is a different kind of Don that was married to Betty.  Another Don would have picked up a woman at the bar and used that free room at HoJo’s.  While Megan was put out, just angry about having to walk from the bus station.

            • EEKstl

              I actually agree, and perhaps that is why there is some difference of opinion on whether this scene depicted an act of violence or not (which I think it most certainly did).  People act out in violence for what they THINK are seemingly noble reasons, i.e. love or devotion.  It’s how they justify their monstrous behavior, which,taken to it’s most extreme level becomes “I hit/kill/rape/harm because I love.”  Well, you know what?  That ain’t love.  Don was acting out of anxiety and panic, and fell back on his darkest, most primitive instincts. I’m not sure how they put that genie back in the bottle.

            • Glammie

              I agree he was chasing her and broke down the door to do it.  But it also looked like a trip.  As to whether it can be classified as domestic violence–during the time period–no.  Same way Joan’s rape wouldn’t have gotten the time of day from a cop.  Our perception of DV has radically changed–but that radical change is about five years down the line.  Second-wave feminism and the raised consciousness about rape and DV don’t really come into play until the 70s. 

              Does Don have a streak of violence in him?  Yes.  Does he treat his women partners like crap?  Yes.  Was this behavior still weirdly acceptable at this time?  I’d say yes.  

              As for trip v. tackle–well, I’ve missed things before and will be watching it again, this time with my husband.  I’ve noticed before that he reacts more viscerally than do I to scenes of men being violent toward women.  A more immediate sense of how deeply such incidents constitute a violation of the male code of behavior.  Kind of like my aversion to Betty because she’s such a crap mother that as a mother, I have an angry gut response.  

              As I say, I could not be seeing everything or missing a level of interpretation.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              No one’s arguing that it wouldn’t have been seen as somewhat acceptable for the time.

            • Glammie

              I’m actually trying to figure out what the argument is here.  Whether Don’s treatment of Megan constitutes DV, right?  It would now, but wouldn’t then–the trip v. tackle wouldn’t really change that.  (Even now, though, you wouldn’t get far with a DV charge–lack of bruising and other physical injury.) 

              But it doesn’t seem to me that this is about whether Don’s technically committing DV, but about how good or bad a person he is.  Or, more precisely, whether his actions toward Megan are forgiveable or is he beyond redemption?

              If he tripped with her, then he didn’t get quite as far as intentionally physically injuring her.  If he tackled her, he did.  Which means a particular line was or was not crossed.

              I suspect, in terms of the show’s arc, it doesn’t matter–because I think we’ll see another incident.  No sign that Don’s self-aware and under control.  He’s going to keep cracking.  As a viewer, I care less about judging his moral fitness than I do about whether his character holds together.  I think Don’s supposed to be the perfect ad man in that he reflects the nation’s dreams and nightmares.  

              In some ways, I was less surprised by Don falling apart (and the way he did–he’s had flashes of violence more than once) than Roger being so weirdly together.  Is *Roger* somehow going to survive the 60s with sense of self intact?  That was my biggest question after last night.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              The argument – to our continued astonishment – is about whether or not Don committed an act of domestic violence. That he would have gotten away with it 45 years ago doesn’t make it not so, just like we can say that Greg raped his fiancee, even though no one at the time would have prosecuted him for it.

            • Glammie

              Hmmm, well, I’ve no problem labeling it DV through a contemporary lens.  

              It reads to me as if the posters who have been defending Don and dosing out some blame to Megan have been women, which is interesting to me.  There seems to be an unwillingness to acknowledge the physical differences in strength.

              But I’m on the west coast–shouldn’t you guys get some sleep?

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

              Trip or Tackle?  Why does it matter?  He aggressively chased her all over the apartment, grabbed and held onto her when she clearly wanted to be away from him, and they both fell violently to the floor because of his actions.  He’s the one who instigated and carried out the awful, violent behavior.  No matter how pissed off you are, you can’t act like that.

            • Glammie

              Did I say you could?  Just because one part of the scene looked one way to me and differently to others has NOTHING to do with how the rest of the scene went.  Please read what I actually wrote and how I viewed the scene before giving me an irrelevant lecture.

              I SPECIFICALLY SAID that I think, ultimately, trip or tackle doesn’t matter because we’re going to see more of this.  

              Hell, I’ve called Don violent more than once–we’ve seen him, repeatedly, veer between violence and abhorrence of violence–between manhandling Bobbie Barrett and refusing to spank his son.  

              He’s more desperate and out-of-control in the scene with Megan, but it’s not out of character.  

              This is a guy who abandoned his brother and let him think he was dead.  Not a good person.  He never has been. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269440086 Elizabeth Inglehart

          Tom and Lorenzo, that is precisely right. Every word is precisely right. And it’s chilling to me that people want to dress this up in the “Oh, he just LOVES her so much” excuse.  That is an excuse that domestic abusers themselves use.  “I love you so much I can’t control myself.”

          • Browsery

            I would never suggest that any behavior can be excused by saying “He loves her.”  I do believe that couples fight in nasty ways and that this was not “simple’ domestic violence.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

               What does “simple domestic violence” mean?

            • PaulaBerman

               It means he didn’t just haul off and punch her  in the face. I didn’t think you got cookies for that, though.

            • alula_auburn

              I’m starting to think even then he would have to clearly state that he was hitting her for purposes of domestic violence, and not out of “love” or “damaged childhood” or “abandonment issues” or “serious anger management problem” or  “stress” or “sleep deprivation” or “insulting the glories of orange sherbet.”  

            • Sweetpea176

              I’m not necessarily sure there is any such thing. 

        • MrsPsmith

          First: if I was in Megans place – that relationship would have ended then and there.

          But in terms of the story:
          What happened this episode between Don and Megan might (might!) even be good for their relationship. I don’t think anyone ever really tried (or was able) to put a stop to Don’s behaviour. Noone had the power. Megan did, this episode. Not necessarily with style or even as a conscious decision – but it started with him doing his usual *controlling the woman* bullshit and ended with him on his knees.
          He abandoned her and ended up being the one who was abandonded – and the one with the bigger fear to be abandonded.
          And the bolted door: I’m german, we have a phrase for when you want to stop someones action/behaviour: “dem einen Riegel vorschieben” meaning: to put a bolt in front of it. That’s what she did – even if it got violent.

          She made it clear that she won’t be the controlled little wife. Not without a fight.

          Storywise this opens a couple of possibilities:
          1.Don doesn’t get the clue and it ends with her leaving him or him leaving her by the way of cheating etc etc etc.
          2.Or he gets even more violent and manages to break her with whatever result.
          3.Or he gets the clue, immediately or after a couple more fights – and then there is a chance that this relationship  might work and end up being happy.

        • sweetlilvoice

          After the chase scene my husband said, “Were we ever supposed to like Don Draper?” I think he’s the man you want to root for, want to see improve but he may never get there. He has touching scenes, like when Anna died and he cried in front of Peggy and a lot of bad scenes where he ruins a kid’s party, calls Betty a whore and says he’ll get custody of their kids….Sadly his bad scene outnumber his good ones. I guess that’s why the show is so good.

          • http://profiles.google.com/denise.alden Denise Alden

            You’re right, those reasons are why the show is so good.  Don Draper isn’t likeable; he’s fascinating like a freakin’ car wreck.  We just can’t look away, can we?

          • Susan Crawford

            Don is Tony Soprano in a gray flannel suit. Like Tony, Don is a lost soul, full of anxiety and neediness and emptiness that can’t be filled up. He has a charm that is undeniable, a magnetism, power, a commanding presence, he has money and position. And he does cruel, thoughtless, careless things that hurt and destroy people. He doesn’t know how to love generously – not even when it comes to his own children. Like Tony, Don is the figure we all are drawn to, and then repulsed by as he acts out the ongoing struggle that is his life.

            And, like Tony Soprano, Don can be almost psychotically manipulative. In short – the man we love to hate, and hate to love, and end up rooting for anyway because (a) the writing of the show is THAT good, and (b) Jon Hamm, like James Gandolfini, was born to play this part.

            • boomchicabowwow

              Except with Tony it was easier to understand we were suppose to dislike him.  He was fat and balding after all…….

        • Sweetpea176

           “People really do have a hard time believing a man wrapped in such an appealing package can be a monster, don’t they?” 

          Which is exactly how some of them get so good at it in real life.

        • alula_auburn

          Honestly, after years of watching this show, people defending Don here (or the other few boards I’ve skimmed) doesn’t surprise me at all.  Sometimes I think that it’s too easy for some people to separate Mad Men’s gender politics as so foreign from today that really ugly comments and events get swept over.  

          I’ve never felt that the Don/Megan marriage was as much of a break from his past as many viewers seem to, though, so maybe I’m just extra-cynical about how people see women on this show.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            This seems like a perfect place to add that Jon Hamm himself has said he’s shocked when people tell him they think Don is cool or even a good guy.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

              What I really find interesting about Don’s character is that while he is clearly deeply troubled and often does unspeakably horrible things, he does have some good qualities, like being good with his kids. There are very few people in this world who are fully ‘good’ or fully ‘bad,’ and this is what elevates Mad Men for me – the characters are fully rounded characters, not one-dimensional ‘types.’

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

              He’s a Disneyland dad, literally.

            • White Rabbit

              My father was and is a violent abuser. He beats and threatens his wife (my mother), and he used to beat and threaten us kids. And yes, he has some astonishingly positive qualities – most human beings do. The trick is to recognize that their good qualities, however dazzling they may be, should not cloud the reality that abusers are dangerous people. I can’t tell you how many people around my family clung to my father’s positive qualities in order to distract themselves from his violence and avoid having to do anything to help my mother and us kids.

            • PaulaBerman

               Don is cool, but he is not a good guy. That’s the problem: it’s hard for people to separate “he’s cool, handsome, has style,” from “he’s a totally screwed up, wretched person who doesn’t know how to treat people who love him.” Also, when you grow to care about a protagonist, it’s hard not to want to see the best in him. I want Don to transcend his violent, fucked up, scary unenlightened self and be a better man. I doubt it will happen. That doesn’t seem to be Matt Weiner’s style. I do think he showed some true remorse at the end, which is different from what we’ve seen of him before. It remains to be seen if that was just temporary or indicative of a real change of heart.

            • Glammie

              Was it remorse or desperation?  I didn’t get the sense that he’d really taken responsibility for trying to control Megan like a puppet, abandoning her or physically threatening her and pursuing her.  

              Problem with Don is that he’s a chaotic mess of neediness under his facade.  Quite a contrast to Roger–who’s apparently Roger to the core no matter what altered state he’s in.  

            • White Rabbit

               Jon Hamm seems like a genuinely good guy. I’m not surprised that he’s said this. I continue to be astounded by the legions of fans who adore Don Draper and almost pathologically find fault with the women he mistreats, or fall back on referencing his unfortunate childhood, in order to justify his awful behavior.

        • White Rabbit

          THANK YOU.

          • White Rabbit

             Not sure why my posts aren’t appearing as replies – ??

        • White Rabbit

           “People really do have a hard time believing a man wrapped in such an appealing package can be a monster, don’t they?”

          THIS.

      • the_archandroid

        That chase scene was really violent.  I was frightened for Megan, I was physically clutching my pillow and wide eyed with fright because he was running, full speed, after her in the apartment.  When Don first came through the apartment, he didn’t do it with relief from terror at finding her alive, he seemed absolutely furious, and if I’d seen that look on my partners face, I might have run too.  I was a little shocked when Don shoved Betty way back when, but in this interaction with Megan, there was a moment when I was sure she was going to die.  This added on to Don’s violent reaction to his fever dreams a couple of episodes ago, and I think that the writers are trying to evoke this flight or fight feeling in the viewers.

        • White Rabbit

          I grew up around domestic violence, and I had a very similar reaction. My heart rate jumped, my eyes popped, and I held my breath worrying about what was about to happen. IMO, if the director wasn’t trying to convey the sense that Megan was in danger, s/he failed miserably.

    • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

      I don’t think it was a HoJo in California. For one thing, the restaurant chain barely penetrated there. But the style was very similar, and I’m sure that was intentional.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        I assume that was meant as a reply to my post. Thank you. :) I have no idea about the history of Howard Johnson’s. But it sure reminded me of that scene, either way. :)

    • Sweetpea176

      I didn’t really like this episode – I thought the non-linear, Rashomon stuff was sort of gimmicky.  I understand that the episode was constructed that way b/c of the LSD trip, theme of relationship conflict (seeing things from differing points of view), but it felt too on-the-nose for me.  I was also sort of horrified that Jane goes to a dinner party at her shrink’s house to drop acid with her and presumably her husband.  I suppose the other guests were patients as well?  We have codes of ethics and such in the mental health profession these days, but even if it wouldn’t have been considered a boundary violation, I’d think it would be very awkward to say the least.  I don’t know, the whole episode felt sort of out of left field, which I suppose was the point, but it didn’t really work for me.  I think I’ll have to watch it again to know what I think.  (How about that for devoted fandom?  I’ll re-watch an episode I didn’t like, just to be sure.)

    • 3hares

      To me it seems reactions to Megan suffer from extremes. I don’t think she’s a gold-digger, a former call girl or a brat. (And I don’t think you need to see Don as perfect to dislike her at all.) She was a bit bratty in this ep, but I could understand what she was feeling–and I would have gone home too. Her scenes w/Don did read a bit like a teenager with her dad, but Dad was acting like a child too-just as bratty. But she often feels over-praised to me as well. For instance, I don’t think she’s uniquely good at standing up to Don (except when it comes to her lackluster performance at work when Don keeps her from shining). I think she stands up to him in her own way, as other women have with Don, but that she also has the advantage of Don trying to be the “nice, patient” guy Peggy mentioned in the premiere. They’ve only been married a few months. So basically in this ep I thought Don was much more in the wrong, but I think Megan has her own self-serving version of herself as well. But Don’s is so much bigger and more screwed up Megan’s can hide in its shadow.

    • SewingSiren

      I sure wish I could get a hold of some of good 60′s acid.

      • baxterbaby

        I hear that sister!

    • LindafromChicago

      I wonder if anyone else noticed that there was man called “Dr. Leary” at the LSD party?  At least I think that’s what I heard.  Timothy Leary was in New York in 1966 and 1967 (once in awhile?  from time to time?)  By 1967. he was throwing large LSD parties that included more than personal friends.  I was invited to one but decided against it at the last minute.

      • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

        Yes, Roger references Timothy Leary, but I don’t think he was meant to be at the party. He was a well-known figure by 1966, so Roger was just being funny with that reference.

        • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

           Well, by that time he was throwing these little LSD parties in NY. But I’m not sure it was Leary himself or not. I’d have to rewatch.

          • asympt

             Yeah, I at first thought his “Dr. Leary” reference was a joke, too.  But it suddenly came to me that this was the exact time and place Leary would be helping run such an evening, and Roger and his wife are of a class that would have entree if they wanted it.

            • Maggie_Mae

              Timothy Leary was out West in serious legal trouble for most of 1966. 

              He was so notorious that the unhip Roger knew his name….

      • JMansm

        I thought Roger was making a joke when he said that – referring to the party host as “Dr. Leary” simply because he was offering drugs. 

      • Nancy Brenner

        Yes! I heard that also.  I also enjoyed the
        psychiatrist’s flubbed reference to The Tibetan Book of the Dead which she
        called the Tibetan Book of the Damned! Her husband corrected her and spoke
        about the Bardo Instructions. I thought that dialogue was a reference to the
        following book:
        Timothy Leary, PhD, Ralph Metzner, PhD and Richard Alpert, PhD (Baba Ram Das)
        wrote a book in 1964 called The Psychedelic Experience – A Manual Based on the
        Tibetan Book of the Dead. It contained excellent tripping instructions, to be
        sure. It must have been very popular as such a guide as it’s 9th printing came
        out in 1972.

         

        The drug was only one component of a psychedelic session.
        Equally important was the mental and spiritual preparation, both before and in
        the course of taking the drug. What I particularly loved about this book was
        that the authors made an important contribution to the interpretation of The
        Tibetan Book Of The Dead. They showed that it was concerned, not only with the
        dead, but with the living. Currently, The Tibetan Book Of The Dead is often on
        the recommended reading list for hospice patients and their loved ones.

        Yes! I heard that also.  I also enjoyed the
        psychiatrist’s flubbed reference to The Tibetan Book of the Dead which she
        called the Tibetan Book of the Damned! Her husband corrected her and spoke
        about the Bardo Instructions. I thought that dialogue was a reference to the
        following book:

        Timothy Leary, PhD, Ralph Metzner, PhD and Richard Alpert, PhD (Baba Ram Das)
        wrote a book in 1964 called The Psychedelic Experience – A Manual Based on the
        Tibetan Book of the Dead. It contained excellent tripping instructions, to be
        sure. It must have been very popular as such a guide as it’s 9th printing came
        out in 1972.

         

        The drug was only one component of a psychedelic session.
        Equally important was the mental and spiritual preparation, both before and in
        the course of taking the drug. What I particularly loved about this book was
        that the authors made an important contribution to the interpretation of The
        Tibetan Book Of The Dead. They showed that it was concerned, not only with the
        dead, but with the living. Currently, The Tibetan Book Of The Dead is often on
        the recommended reading list for hospice patients and their loved ones.

      • Sweetbetty

         I noticed that both times I watched and wasn’t sure if Roger was addressing the host of the party or “Dr. Leary” in the abstract since he was the main proponent of using LSD at the time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1551681662 Lauren Summers

      I haven’t see the episode yet, but Michael’s revelation of the concentration camp mixed with being a Martian sounds SO much like Slaughterhouse-Five, a satirical account of a former U.S. combatant during WWII who participated in the bombing of Dresden, and whose PTSD causes him to believe he has been abducted by aliens. Kurt Vonnegut published it in 1969, just a few years after these episodes are taking place. If you haven’t read it, take a look: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slaughterhouse-Five. 

    • judybrowni

      On several threads, I’ve seen commenters take Megan to task for her crack “Why don’t you call your mother?” as though it comes out of left field.

      It seems to me that it’s a direct response. They’re an hour away from her home and her mother, Megan would like to visit, and Don swats that down as he has every other of Megan’s wishes.

      Megan is responding to a real issue—Don has no concept of real family feeling—dismisses hers out of hand, because he has no experience of it.

      And after he’s swatted down everything else she wanted or needed  to do that day, one bridge too far.

      • Browsery

        First of all, he invited her in part because of the proximity of Plattsburgh to Montreal.  I assumed he was intending for them to take a side trip.  (I’m not justifying the way he impressed her into traveling companion service, making her leave the team in the lurch.)

        Second, she knows he has no mother to call, and why. It was exceptionally cruel.  

        Still, I put all their stuff under the broad rubric of “Marital Discord.”  They are a match.

        • judybrowni

          No, not a match.

          If Don intended to go to Montreal, he gave the opposite impression to Megan. Just swatted anything she wanted that day away like he was swatting flies.

          Ordering her about as tho she was an automaton, there only to do as he wished.

          But when the not-fembot had had enough, she reacted. And Don strands her in the middle of nowhere. 

          She had a loving family, comes from a more sophisticated background than Don, he mistook her youth and easy temperament for the perfect Don fembot.

          Don is either going to change, and step away from his controlling pattern, or he’s going to lose this wife, too.

        • Verascity

          But she asked to take a side trip and he completely shot her down.

          • Sweetbetty

             She didn’t really ask to take the side trip to visit her parents; she simply commented on how close they’d be to Montreal.  And Don just said that her parents were coming to visit soon; he didn’t completely shoot her down.  If things hadn’t gone so wrong at HoJo’s and she had asked him nicely I’m not sure he wouldn’t have given in to her request.

            • Verascity

              Yeah, I’m not sure how the subtext of that conversation isn’t “Can we see my parents?” “No.”

            • alula_auburn

              At best, it seems like a weird controlling thing to me–that he needs to “give” her the side trip like a king granting a boon, not like a decision made by both members of a couple.

              (But I feel this way in other shows, too–I don’t get why “act like a dick because you don’t want to spoil the SURPRISE” is supposed to be romantic, but I had this same argument about the episode of Glee where Will proposed, so maybe it’s just a trope I don’t get.)

      • the_archandroid

        This is in response to a comment by Judybrowni…since my responses keep getting lost in the thread
        “Megan is responding to a real issue—Don has no concept of real family feeling—dismisses hers out of hand, because he has no experience of it.”
        This is so spot on, Betty’s father says it at one point during his dementia, that Don can’t be trusted because “He’s got no people” It’s difficult for him to connect to anyone on a truly intimate level because he never got it at home, and that sentimental connection is one that he exploits in his line of business, and therefore one that he can’t ever take seriously, much to his continued detriment. 

    • http://twitter.com/srslsly Leslie

      I don’t know if Michael’s comment was schizophrenic. I think he just said it to emphasize how detached he felt from society, as an adopted child, as someone whose family history has been effectively effaced, and as a result, someone whom others are never able to fully understand. It’s this loneliness that prompts him to deliver the alien story in all seriousness. We already know he’s a bit of a joker; framing his past in the martian story is meant to give his story a light edge (although it also makes his story all the more depressing). I know quite often as I child I felt as if I did not quite belong, and wondered if I were just an “alien-like” being living in a society of normal people. I think the excuse I used in later years to express my inability to “get along” was that I was just not on same wavelength as whatever person.

      In a way, Michael’s martian story parallels Peggy’s “woman in the workplace” story. Both feel as if they are in a place where they do not quite belong.

      • Browsery

        Yes, he is darkly imaginative.  He envisioned Cinderella as a potential rape victim.

    • Melanie Harrison

      It’s funny, of all the moments that made me angry, the scene where Don ignores Megan’s wish for pie, and tells the waitress to bring Sherbet infuriated me. This is the essence of Don, what is important to him takes center stage, and what others might want or need are ignored. Why couldn’t Megan eat pie AND try Sherbet? Because, it’s got to be Don’s way. Always.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I’d be very annoyed if I wanted pie and got sherbet instead. I love pie! And those few lines sum up their relationship quite well. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tracy-Alexander/3234141 Tracy Alexander

      Not sure if someone has already mentioned this, but it’s interesting that the Heinz account is present in every episode that deals with a significant Don/Megan incident. Don was first introduced to the account after bullying Faye into it… the same episode where he cheated on Faye with Megan. In the season premiere, when the first pitch was rejected, we saw our first glimpse of the potential violence after the party. And finally, all that culminated last night. The account and the marriage, it seems, both started under somewhat dubious beginnings.

    • http://twitter.com/StickyClicky Barbara Benham

      My statement that the violence was wrong was absolutely not cavalier. It was an attempt to make clear that my critiques of Megan in these scenes were not meant to be an endorsement of domestic violence. I agree that violence is wrong. Physical and verbal.

    • emcat8

      I’m glad you mentioned Abe wanting to discuss Peggy’s actions, and how Don-like she was — that was exactly what I kept thinking throughout the episode, that it starts off with Abe wanting to talk about their relationship and how Peggy behaves, but she just goes all Don Draper on his ass and puts him off. Then she pulls a Don on the asshat client, and then again in asking Abe to come over when she’s had some kind of revelation that shakes her up. I’m so fascinated by this; I can’t wait to see more. 

      Man, I loved Bert throwing down on Don at the end. 

      • Browsery

        Although I don’t doubt that Peggy was neglecting Abe; I didn’t think her behavior was emblematic of Don; it was more emblematic of having a demanding job and Peggy’s position is especially precarious.

    • Lilyana_F

      You guys make my Mad Men experience infinitely better, I am watching the show with a different mindset because of you and I am thoroughly enjoying it. So thank you :)

    • Logo Girl

      The Margaret/Peggy/Megan thing has been “bugging” me for a while, but you guys are the first I’ve found to say anything about it :)

      Great recap. 

      The whole episode created such a sense of unease. The Roger on acid bit was perfect – I know people had been speculating on that one for a few years, but it just seemed right.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RHLSUVX3NCPB4OSS5BM7GZIXUE P. Capet

        i think roger was being sarcastic (as usual).

      • BayTampaBay

        Logo Girl stated: “The whole episode created such a sense of unease. The Roger on acid bit was perfect”

        No! Bert Cooper on the money was perfect!  LOL! LOL! 

    • Sweetvegan

      There’s definitely been a change this season, but I think it’s because the first couple of seasons were first needed to establish who these characters are. None of the gasp-worthy events of last night would be so gasp-worthy if we hand’t known each character’s past. A show this good needed some time to establish the characters and their usual behavior before having them go haywire and have it not just be a stunt or a crazy thing to do.

      • the_archandroid

        (Replying to Sweetvegan)
        This.
        This is exactly what I was trying to explain to a friend of mine, who decided to start watching the show with Sunday’s episode, and decided, she just couldn’t get into it.  I could not adequately express my frustration.  Trying to get invested in Mad Men in it’s 5th season is like trying to read Harry Potter from the fourth book.  It makes no damn sense if you don’t start from the beginning. 

        • sweetlilvoice

          Exactly! All the little details in the show will make no sense without having watched everything else. I told my mother the same thing, I think she feels excluded because my sis and I are huge fans.

    • Nancy Brenner

      Did anybody see what was in the note that Roger was holding in the psychiatrist’s home? Also what poem was Roger referring to that Jane wrote to him? I missed those parts, I guess.

      • Browsery

        It was something like” MY Name is Roger Sterling.  I have taken LSD.  I live at __ E. 66th Street, #14A, New York, New York.”

        Jane wrote Roger a poem when they first got together.  He was surprised by her artistic side and impulsively proposed.  I assume she’s continued to write.

        Arguably, the decline of that relationship could have been shown in more detail.  But maybe the sketchiness was the point.  Everyone except Roger knew he would be unhappy.  Being with Roger has aged Jane considerably.

        • LesYeuxHiboux

          She did say he made her feel old, an he didn’t lik to think about that. Their relationship in a nutshell.

          • Maggie_Mae

            Jane will soon blossom as a beautiful young woman with a big alimony check every month for the rest of her life.  Or until she remarries….

      • cleep1000

        The note had Roger’s name and address, in case he got “lost”.

    • MasterandServant

      I had to rewatch Don’s ‘Meggie’ scene multiple times. It just kept sounding like ‘Peggy’ to me. Maybe that was the point….

    • Verascity

      Everyone’s been hashing out Don/Megan and I agree with you on that, but I wanted to chime in on Ginsberg: I took the “Martian” speech as a heartbreaking bit of escapism, not schizophrenia. How do you confront the fact that your parents died in the Holocaust? That you were born in a concentration camp? It’s easier to talk about if you pretend it’s not real.

      It’s sort of an extension of classic Jewish humor: we laugh so we don’t cry. Ginsberg’s making jokes — and then taking it a step further and disconnecting himself from events — so he can handle talking about his past at all.

      • MasterandServant

        But he very much emphasizes that this is what he has been told- who told him this?….I am very interested to see how this plays out.

        • Verascity

           I don’t think that meant anything special — it’s part of the disassociation. Besides, of course he was told it, how else could he know?

          • MasterandServant

            If he was born and shuttled away somehow, then he would have no recollection- but if he was born in any of the Scandinavian areas or France, he could have actually been born and spent some time in there. It really depends on his age- so this history is intriguing to me on many accounts.

            There is also the point of being in NY- my mother grew up in a neighborhood in Brooklyn that was mixed (Jewish and Italian) and she explained that post WWII, there were 2 types of Jewish families- those that wanted to shed every bit of their past and become Americanized and those that took the opportunity to hold their Jewish identity fiercely close to them. Michael’s family unit seems to be floating somewhere in between and does not seem to have much of a community network, which many European Jewish families found important post WWII.

            • Verascity

              His father seems to be pretty fiercely into his Jewish identity to me? He said a brucha over his son! Ginzo himself, however, is clearly struggling.

      • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

         This is what I was saying to my husband when we were watching. He didn’t get the scene at all–thought Ginsberg was being serious about being a Martian. To me, it was more like dark Jewish humor to deal with the horror of his life. I’m a Martian–this man, he claims he’s my father, but I see the truth. It’s all said with a bit of tongue in cheek and a bit of a heavy heart.

        • Verascity

          Yes, absolutely. I have to wonder if the majority of people who didn’t get it aren’t Jewish. I had never thought of that sensibility as being particularly Jewish before, but reading TLo and the comments, I’m really surprised that people took something like that from what read as perfectly natural to me (raised Jewish in a survivor family).

          • Browsery

            I’m not Jewish, but I am a native New Yorker.  I certainly got it.  I feel like a full-blooded Martian at times, too.

          • PaulaBerman

             Totally agree. A elderly Jewish man once told me about his friend, a Holocaust survivor who devoted his life to documenting and studying the Holocaust. He asked his friend, “How can you not be screaming all the time?” His friend answered, “You can’t eat while you’re screaming.” That to me sums up the Jewish mindset for dealing with tragedy, and Ginsberg is a good example of that. Jews also have a tendency toward the mordant wit. I think Ginsberg was being sort of revelatory and evasive at the same time. He’s an interesting character.

            • fursa_saida

              I love that, the “you can’t eat” thing. Jewish humor/survivalism in a nutshell.

          • fursa_saida

            Maybe that’s why, yeah. I was shocked when I saw multiple people reading it as insanity, really taken aback. Upon reflection, I think I felt a little hurt, because I felt so much like I understood Ginsburg for the first time through that speech, and I loved that scene. Maybe I felt so attached to it because of what you were describing.

            I particularly read the repeated “It’s all right if you don’t believe me” as a cue that he was making believe in some way. 

    • reebism

      I had a different spin on Michael’s story — he wasn’t adopted, that was his biological father, but Michael felt too disconnected to connect to him. 

      • juliamargaret

        That was my take, too.

    • cswmm

      What was meant by the swimming pool accident? It was never explained or developed. More foreshadowing?

      • Sisyphus .

         I thought it meant that a kid had pee’d in the pool… but given that Megan was acting like a bratty teen and Don like a terrified father who had misplaced his kids at Disneyland and thought she was dead, it gives “accident” a more sinister meaning.

        • judybrowni

          Pee in the pool, doesn’t mean cleaning it. 

          “Accident,” and cleaning means poop. 

          As for Megan acting like a “bratty teen” — you mean, after Don has ordered her about, dismissed any and all of her wishes and wants, and then made it all about him? (I order you to leave work, although it’s important for you, I’m your boss! No we can’t see your mother, just an hour away, eat all this crap, no pie for you: I declare you must have sherbet! etc. One step out of what he wants — Megan didn’t like the fucking sherbet– and Don accused her of “embarrassing” him.

          She was acting out the part of the child, to make her point: because that was the way he was treating a grown woman.

          When his domineering no longer worked, Don ran away like a bratty teen.

          Don stranded her, and Megan went home, where Don ramped up the abuse.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

            This. This so much. I saw a woman at her wit’s ends with a man intent on her remaining in the tiny box he’d imagined her in, and of course she reacted in ways that weren’t perfectly calm or rational. But I can’t believe people are painting the picture as “giving Megan a pass when she made mistakes too!” People are allowed to make mistakes – fights (non-physical, non-abusive ones) are part of what forces relationships to grow so that people learn to compromise to live with one another – but that’s not what happened here. Don was narcissistic and abusive. To point out Megan’s mistakes as having similar weight compared to Don’s is actually to give Don a pass for behavior which should never EVER be the response to ANY behavior in ANY relationship. These comments have made me so upset because they’re the sort of comments that lead victims to think they may have deserved their abuse. 

      • PNWNancy

         A kid had an accident in the pool = used it as a toilet…so they had to close it to clean it up.

        • rowsella

           Metaphorically, Meghan peed in Don’s pool.

        • Browsery

          Interesting.  I thought the manager meant a serious accident, e.g., a child hitting his head on the diving board.

          • Sweetbetty

             I think the writers meant the comment to be ambiguous.  Here was Don, worried about his wife’s safety, and when an accident in a pool is mentioned the worst comes to mind.  It was the managers sort of goofy earnestness that gave it away to me.  How mortified he must have been to have that happen when Mr. Draper came to visit.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

      This was the most uncomfortable hour of television I’ve ever watched.

    • Jana Falknor

      I think the Martian thing is a metaphor. It’s not uncommon for children who have been in foster care situations to invent stories for why they aren’t with their birth parents. It’s a coping mechanism for a child who has experienced far more in life than they should. I’ve always had a feeling of some underlying sinister vibe coming off him. I’ve found myself googling serial killers in the NY area in the 1960′s. This season has had a violent underscore. I think the writers are making a point about how violently America’s innocence was changed in the 60′s. There is something there with Ginsberg though. I can’t put my finger on it, but you pointing out schizophrenia rings a bell with me. It would make sense that somene with his backgroud would suffer from any number of attachment disorders and or psychological imbalances. 

    • http://www.joannao.blogspot.com JoannaOC

      Things I want to pay attention to, the second time around: the connection between Peggy’s situation and the dialogue of “Born Free” we are hearing while she’s in the movie theater; the relation between Roger and Jane’s trip/relationship and the Beach Boys’ song; all the ways in which the characters in this show are living out the hell that was my parents’ marriage at this time, thrashing around, trying to make sense of the way they were trying to do the right thing and how that was killing them.

      • Susan Crawford

        Good comment, JoannaOC! The dialogue of the film was about whether Elsa could survive on her own. There was a clip of Elsa with a male lion and the carcass of their prey, and the male lion went for Elsa, and she submitted, allowing himn some space – but she didn’t retreat, either. That was a pivotal moment in “Born Free” and could have plenty of similarities to the survival of women on their own in those far-off days of change.

        This entire season has had a theme of women’s lives under attack, of a lack of security, of the insecurity and nebulousness of life in the turbulent sixties. Finding one’s identity is a long-running theme of “Mad Men”, but now we’re seeing the female characters struggling to emerge in the midst of the chaos of the era, and that chaos includes a level of catering to men that might almost seem quaint if it weren’t so exhausting to watch.

        I remember this decade well – I was living in NYC, going to grad school, working part-time for a celebutante photographer, and trying to figure out my identity (still trying, BTW), and I knew many Peggys and Megans. And a few Dons, too. I wouldn’t trade the experience of living through the sixties for anything, but neither would I want to take myself back to that era – it was a trip, all right, in more ways than one.

        And in terms of the “right” of a man to kick in his own door and chase his wife around their apartment – it was a total bummer. Those were some confusing, dangerous, trippy times, indeed. Marriages foundered, relationships were incomprehensibly complicated, and even figuring out what the right thing was could be equivalent to strolling onto a minefield.

    • AWStevens

      Tom and Lorenzo, I adore your writing.  If I ever marry my sugar daddy, I’m gonna send you money every week.  I mean it!  You talented writers should never be in need of anything and how awesome would it be for me to be a patron of your art… *le sigh*

    • Noland Bell

      Well said, yet again.  I had the the thought, tho’, that Don was indeed cheating on Megan – cheating on her with himself.

    • rosiepowell2000

      ["Betty wouldn’t have had the strength to confront Don so forcefully during their marriage and in retrospect, that may have been a form of survival instinct playing out. "]

      She did by Season 3.  In fact, Betty had no qualms about confronting Don when he was being confrontational in two episodes from earlier seasons – (1.07) “Red in the Face” and (2.04) “Three Sundays”.

      • judybrowni

        But when Betty pushed Don: he pushed back, harder.

        Making the point: he was bigger, stronger and if he took it to violence, she would be the loser.

        • rosiepowell2000

          Have many people actually forgotten the number of times Betty has faced down Don . . . especially in Season 3?  Wow!  

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        Season 3 was at the end of their marriage. In season 1 she was a quivering doormat and had been for some time.

    • Browsery

      I can’t find the previous exchange of comments, but I just re-watched the sequence twice and I’m in the camp that believes Don tripped at the end.  Megan was not afraid at that point, she was more saddened.  It was an exceptionally rough game of adult tag that escalated, but at no point did I think Megan was in actual danger (although I’m sure she was frightened at points).  

      If I really thought Don had engaged in brute-like tactics, similar to those of Joan’s ex, I would not hesitate to say so.  And Megan did hit him first; if you’ve been frightened out of your mind and driven all night and someone provokes you even if s/he had a right to be incensed, you may well react badly.  I could be mistaken, but I thought in a much earlier episode with Betty that she hit Don first as well.

      There was plenty of bad behavior on both sides in this episode.  What happened had to be understood in the context of their marriage and maybe the times.  In no way am I trying to trivialize domestic violence.  I merely think that applying that label here would not be apposite.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        “an exceptionally rough game of adult tag”

        AMAZING.

        We can put this alongside other comments to the effect that he was “hugging” her or “trying to hold” her or that this “wasn’t ‘simple’ domestic violence” (whatever that means).

        We’re not getting into another back and forth on the meaning of the word “tackle” or whether or not he tripped because it doesn’t change the fact that he broke down a door, chased his wife through their home while she screamed at him to get away from her and then subdued her against her will, all the while knocking over lamps and resulting in a violent tumble to the floor. Using euphemisms like “rough game of adult tag” doesn’t change the fact of what happened at all.

        “In no way am I trying to trivialize domestic violence.”

        You may not be trying to, but that’s exactly what you’re doing. Men in 2012 could be arrested for doing exactly what Don did here should their wives choose to press charges.

        • makeityourself

          Thank you again. Your words about violence against women are the truth.

        • Browsery

          I am woman, a feminist, and regardless of what you may think, a very sensitive person.  I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with you.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            I made no comments or suppositions about your gender, your feminism or your sensitivity, but I still think you’re terribly mistaken about that scene and its implications, both in the story and in the real world.

        • Jasmaree


          We can put this alongside other comments to the effect that he was “hugging” her or “trying to hold” her or that this “wasn’t ‘simple’ domestic violence” (whatever that means).”

          What all these comments are trying to get at is that it isn’t quite as cut and dry as you’re making it seem. The term “domestic violence” may not exactly apply here–it’s a very abstract term, with subtle differences between people, like “racism.” No one doubts that it’s terrible, but there is sometimes a fine line between what actually counts and what doesn’t. There were extreme wrongs on both sides, and I don’t think one comes out looking any (or much) better than the other. Don really shouldn’t have broken that door down. That was totally uncalled for. And so was Megan hitting him. (And I think this is an important thought the earlier comment brought up) She hit him first. It’s arguable whether or not Don was actually planning to harm Megan, but it’s much less difficult to interpret a slapping motion. Running after her was wrong in hindsight, but I’m not exactly sure how that could have played out otherwise. It was a rash decision that was way over the top for what the argument was about, just like throwing someone’s disturbing past in their face, or leaving someone at an HJ. As far as charges go, I think the worst thing you could actually have an argument for is battery, meaning that Megan feared an attack to a reasonable extent. Remember, we saw this happen, and there’s STILL an argument about Don’s intent. Someone may be arrested and charged based on this, but I don’t think it’s quite domestic violence. I don’t think he was trying to hurt her at all. It seemed he just wanted to stop her from slapping him and stop her from running. He didn’t handle communicating that quite well, but neither did Megan. Don assumed he knew best for his wife, abandoned her when she argued, and chased her through an apartment. Megan shoved large globs of ice cream down her throat to prove a point, made a very unnecessarily hurtful comment in response to a routine argument, and tried to hurt Don. It’s not quite as black and white as your comments and posts make it seem. 

          Note: Megan wasn’t screaming for him to get away while he was chasing her. She did that when she locked herself in her apartment, which I thought was straight out of a “How to Handle Your Problems: Pre-teen Edition” handbook (Section five: Locking yourself in a room and yelling “Leave me alone!” right after the section on ignoring phone calls from people who are worried about you and the section on making a scene in public to prove a point). Honestly, I thought, just as Don did, that she had refused to eat the sherbet as a small protest against Don’s control. It certainly isn’t less mature than many other things Megan has done. 

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            “What all these comments are trying to get at is that it isn’t quite as cut and dry as you’re making it seem.”

            It’s quite obvious that some of you think that way; that was never in doubt. But we cannot disagree more strenuously. It actually IS as cut and dry as we’ve said.

          • avidreader02

            Note: Megan wasn’t screaming for him to get away while he was chasing her. She did that when she locked herself in her apartment, which I thought was straight out of a “How to Handle Your Problems: Pre-teen Edition” handbook (Section five: Locking yourself in a room and yelling “Leave me alone!” right after the section on ignoring phone calls from people who are worried about you and the section on making a scene in public to prove a point). Honestly, I thought, just as Don did, that she had refused to eat the sherbet as a small protest against Don’s control. It certainly isn’t less mature than many other things Megan has done. 
            No, she was just sobbing as she ran from him.  And when she hit the ground.  So since she wasn’t screaming, it was fine.
            And refusing to eat the sherbet was a small protest.  It wasn’t a scene until he got nasty. She just calmly asked for a different flavor.  Did she lose it and shovel sherbet and give herself a headache? Yes.  Was it mature? Probably not.
            Did she slap him. Yep.  Was that right? Nope. Had he just broken down the door? Yep.

            Was she at home when he tried to call? No, because she was on a bus trying to get back to New York.

            I cannot believe people are blaming all of this on her behavior.  Oh my God! I don’t hate Don, and I certainly haven’t forgotten Megan’s utterly cruel statement about his mother.  But to say it is one-sided to say it is wrong for a man to chase a woman around their home and then grab her so they fall to the floor as she sobs… oh my God. I said earlier I was team Megan.  It was a light hearted quip before this conversation got really strange.  I really do see both characters’ views.  I just happen to agree more with Megan in this scene of domestic violence.The only thing I can think of is to flip the scenario.  If Don and Megan had switched dialogues and actions… who would you back?  Would Don shoveling sherbet be immature?  Or would it seem charming and just what that controlling little minx deserves?

            • Jasmaree

              “I cannot believe people are blaming all of this on her behavior. ”

              I’m not. That was the point of the edit and pretty much the entire comment. Both sides are at fault here almost equally. Everyone’s portraying Megan as a victim, though, so I’m saying she isn’t. It’s one-sided to say that it’s wrong for a man to chase a woman around her home and then have no comment about her slapping him. And if Don and Megan’s roles were reversed, you’d better believe that EVERYONE would be beyond upset about those slaps. The physical nature of the fight? Both sides. Complete lack of communication? Both parties. Total overreaction? Don and Megan. This wasn’t a “Don and his victim” episode, it was a “screwed up couple” episode, and I think people are losing that when they consider that Don is male and Megan is female. Imagine if it were two men instead of one man and a woman. Both parties were to blame for almost everything.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              Imagining the genders were different is a pointless exercise because we’re talking about a specific instance of a much larger man terrorizing a much smaller woman in her own home. Megan’s slaps weren’t ever going to do the kind of physical damage Don is capable of by virtue of the fact that he outweighs her by about 60 pounds and because she was struggling to get away from him while he was attempting to subdue her.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              ” It’s one-sided to say that it’s wrong for a man to chase a woman around her home and then have no comment about her slapping him. ”

              It’s only one-sided if you pretend the likelihood for each person causing the other physical harm is absolutely equivalent and if you pretend not to notice that she slapped him to get him away from her and that he continued to pursue and subdue her against her express wishes.

              But then, why would you want to pretend such things?

            • Jasmaree

              This is going to have to be a response to both of your comments, since they’re similar, and I’m about to turn in for the night.

              The likelihood of causing physical harm doesn’t not diminish the wrongness of putting your hands on someone else and initiating a physical altercation. A small child may have no chance of hurting a larger boy, but that doesn’t mean that a small child hitting a large boy isn’t even worth mentioning. Why she slapped him is up to interpretation, I guess. It’s not like she announced it. But the morality of it, IMO, isn’t and it doesn’t depend on gender, height, or weight. I would agree with you, however, if I thought Don ever intended to hurt Megan. A small boy hitting a larger boy is wrong, but that doesn’t give the large boy any reason to beat the small one. That’s where I think the idea of the likelihood that there’s going to be harm is involved. It’s more in line with how proportionate the response is to the to the action. However, we’ve already established that I don’t think Don intended to harm Megan and I’m not sure that argument is going to go anywhere else. Ultimately, I think that Don’s reaction wasn’t out of proportion. Like I said, the absolute best response was to leave (He shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Shouldn’t have kicked down the door. To me, that and leaving her there were the most extreme actions Don took.), but holding her arms down so she couldn’t slap him anymore doesn’t seem over the top or very violent to me at all.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

               “The likelihood of causing physical harm doesn’t not diminish the
              wrongness of putting your hands on someone else and initiating a
              physical altercation”

              But this isn’t about the “wrongness” of Megan’s actions. You keep trying to make it about that but it’s not. It’s about a man violently pursuing his wife in her own home and subduing her against her wishes. Even if we agree that it was “wrong” for her to hit him, it doesn’t mean that what followed wasn’t an abusive act on his part.

              And once again: HE initiated the physical altercation when he broke down the door and grabbed her – something that you keep either misstating or ignoring when it’s pointed out to you.

            • rowsella

               I’m not upset about Don breaking the chain lock to get into his own apartment.  He asked her to unlock the door.  He told her he would break the lock if she didn’t.  Locking someone out of their own home is a dick move.   The whole chase thing was insane.  I agree he was being aggressive.  She as well was histrionic.  If she needed some space and time away from Don, I wonder why she returned to their apartment.  Why wouldn’t she call her family and go home for a period of time?    They are doing a very strange dance together.  Passive/Agressive indeed.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              Why would she go to her parents when she has a job and a life in New York? Why should she have to leave all of that because Don treated her like shit?

            • rowsella

              It’s safe, get some rest, some space, see how things look in the morning.  I think the treating each other like shit was mutual.  An hour and a half is a shorter trip than going back to NY.  Don had their schedules clear through the weekend.  I think this was a Thursday.  If she wanted to be away from Don, why return to where he lives?

            • Glammie

              Because it’s her home.  By the same token, why didn’t Don go to a hotel?  When Betty told him to get out, he *did* go to a hotel.

            • Glammie

              Because it’s her home.  By the same token, why didn’t Don go to a hotel?  When Betty told him to get out, he *did* go to a hotel.

            • http://profiles.google.com/denise.alden Denise Alden

              Maybe she wanted to go back to her home and be away from Don.  Maybe that’s why she locked the door.  She lives there, too, right?

              By saying, “It’s safe,” you imply that Megan’s own home is not safe.

            • rowsella

               The character said she did not feel safe getting home from the station which implied that is Don’s fault.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              None of these make very compelling reasons as to why she should uproot her entire life. And why do you keep saying she wanted to be away from Don or wanted her space from him? HE abandoned HER.

            • PaulaBerman

               Is rowsells saying uproot her entire life?  I thought she just meant, go to her mom’s from Plattsburgh for the night instead of trekking back to NYC, since Montreal is closer. Then, the next day, get a train back or something. That would have been safer than hitchhiking back.

            • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

              None of these make very compelling reasons as to why she should uproot her entire life. And why do you keep saying she wanted to be away from Don or wanted her space from him? HE abandoned HER.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

            Er, domestic violence isn’t an “abstract term” like racism (though that’s another can of worms let’s not get into). It’s a legal term. And this WAS domestic violence. Don acted in an aggressive, threatening manner towards someone he’s MARRIED to (and it doesn’t even need to go that far- NY law today says it’s DV if it’s someone with whom you have sexual relations) which put Megan in the reasonable fear of bodily harm. Though it’s no longer encouraged because it can prolong and antagonize attackers, she hit him to keep him away from her which is a valid legal defense (since he had BROKEN DOWN THE DOOR). And then he CHASED HER around the apartment in a threatening manner that Megan clearly found extremely frightening to the point of tears.  
            I worked at the Brooklyn DA for a few months and this is easily a case of DV. 
            Megan’s “mistakes” here are not comparable to the threat of bodily harm against another person. At all. And if you think someone breaking down your door and chasing you around an apartment when you tell him to keep away from you doesn’t imply both violence and abusive behavior (control issues emanated from Don strongly this episode), that makes me worried about how far society still has to go to stop treating women like chattel. 

            • Lattis

              Amen sister.

        • greenwich_matron

          What does this guy have to do before people will stop defending him? He is handsome, rich, powerful, and charming and seductive when he wants to be, but he is not a good person. Just because someone is fascinating does not make him good, but reading the victim-blaming is very disheartening. 

        • shopgirl716

          I love, love, love your blog and have commented several times but have never followed the comments as closely as I have today.  I have had to pick up my jaw from the floor over people’s reaction to Megan.  Unbelievable.  Somehow the entire fiasco of a trip was her fault and there was no domestic violence.  I keep wanting to rush to her defense but then I remember it’s a TV show and I do have a life.  Matthew Weiner must be reveling the way this episode has the Mad Men universe up in arms. 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

          It’s kind of like in some people’s version of real life, someone who’s handsome and successful can do no wrong. I find myself not wanting him to be a bad guy. That’s what’s so great about the characters on this show. They’re not all bad or all good, just very human. The red flags are waving all around him, but Don is just too good lookin’!!

      • aquamarine17

        I don’t know about the chase or the falling per se, but I have an opinion about Don as a violence-oriented man. I don’t believe he is. If he were, it would have been easy for him to stay in Korea. Also he would have beat his son when his wife wanted him to. I felt that the chase turned into something neither of them expected. I wonder how it would have gone in a small apt. like his last one. there was so much room to run in. For me, his worse crime so far was shutting out his brother, contributing to his suicide, a sin of omission, I guess. Other than that, he is doing the best he can like everyone else.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

          Korea: not a situation where he had power or control. Being abusive isn’t the same as being “violence oriented.” It’s about control. 

        • emcat8

          I grew up in a violent household, and I’m a few years younger than what they put Sally at, so it was expected at the time. Not the kind of beatings you read about in a paper, like with an electrical cord or something, but my parents slapped me around and screamed at me my whole life, until one day in my teens I snapped and went after my father like a crazy person. They mostly left me alone after that. I never knew what would set my dad off, especially, and he was a big man — his hand was the size of my head, so when he slapped me in the face, it rocked me back on my feet or knocked me off my chair. 

          To this day, the way I want to react to things is by hitting. I think fondly of punching people in the throat. It pervades my life, even though I know better, and I’m dedicated to not being a violent person, to being better than my parents were. I worked with kids a lot when I was in my teens and young twenties — and I knew very early on that I would never have kids, because I could never truly trust myself around them. I’m great with them, and I love kids, but I think I would have been a terrible parent when things got really bad. The idea of handling my kid as a teenager terrified me — as soon as they started mouthing off as all teens do, I would probably be arrested.

          So I’m a violence-oriented person. And I would no more want to be a war situation than any other sane human being. I don’t think it matters at all in that sort of situation. I understand what you’re saying, but he isn’t doing the best he can. Not by a long shot.

          • aquamarine17

            i guess the superlative word “best” throws off what I was trying to say. the point i was making was that people actually do the only thing they are capable of in a moment, then that event is over, unable to be re-done. or they would have done something else, wouldn’t they have? it’s not to say that justice can’t be served, but in any action a choice is made that could be objectionable to everyone or to some party involved but it is done, un-revisable. i am sorry that you had such suffering in your youth.

    • rowsella

      I thought this episode was unusual by all the dramatic music score in the background.  Normally there is no score until the end or unless there is some strange sequence without dialogue.  Many people mentioned this episode reminded them of the Sopranos (in another forum).  I think it is because the music was very like the background music in The Godfather.  The scene with Don and Meg back at the apartment sort of evoked to me  Days of Wine and Roses.  If you can remember the last time we watched Don and Meghan on the floor of their apartment, it was Meghan manipulating Don who’s big crime was not falling all over her for the party he didn’t want and who was paying the price at work for her Zou Bisou performance (something Don had nothing to do with).  She sabotages herself professionally without Don’s help.  I think they are both self destructive. 

      I hope Peggy gets her groove.  Doing a Don is not going to work for a woman in the 1960′s.  If anything, I bet these presentations make everyone happy for Photoshop, Powerpoint/Keynote and digital video.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

        Actually there’s usually music. There’s a whole Mad Men soundtrack of the background music. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584364405 Sabrina Abhyankar

        Powerpoints are great, but you still get clients like that. 

    • Mostly I Lurk

      This is a minor quibble, but Peggy’s lucky gum was actually a pack of Choward’s Violets. They’re these sort of “breath freshener” candies that taste like what you imagine eating a bowl of potpourri would taste like. Still around too, I hate the taste of them but I love the way they make my purses smell. It’s very flowery but has a way of knocking out other scents.

      Apologies if this already came up, I tried to skim the comments just in case but I could have missed it.

    • Verascity

      Actually, yes, that’s perfect. It’s been a long time since I read Slaughterhouse-Five, so I didn’t make the connection,  but now that you mention it, it’s dead on.

    • Lochery

       Don scared me so much this episode, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

      • PNWNancy

         Yes, he scared me, too.  My jaw dropped when he left Megan in the middle of no where–even knowing his history, it was hard to take.  He scared the crap out of her and punished her–no wonder she didn’t want to open the door!

    • Megan Patterson

      Maybe the Martian stuff didn’t happen? Peggy was still high at that point. I think we’ll know for sure in days to come. But given his past, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ginsberg were schizophrenic.
      Also, I’m not totally sure if I would say Don hasn’t changed — yes, he ran, but he came back pretty much right away, and spent hours trying to find her. He was clearly very distraught that she might be missing. If Betty did that, do you think he would care? I genuinely do think now that he loves her, but it’s not the good kind of love, it’s more of an obsession for him. And after last night I don’t think it’s going to end well. 

    • janiemary

      I don’t know if this has been mentioned but it should be noted that Roger and Jane were on the floor during their “trip” when they came to the realization that their marriage was over.  Don and Megan are on the floor in the exact same position after their race through the apartment.  Foreshadowing or coincidence?

    • caligirl71

      Did anyone else feel that Jane’s whole look at the LSD party was a throwback to star trek circa 1960s. I was expecting James T. Kirk to appear out of no where. I can’t wait for TLo’s fashion commentary on this episode. I heart TLo…

      • Maggie_Mae

        Yes, the Star Trek link was mentioned above….

    • Daniel E Prieto

      I found the difference between Roger and Don’s trips  to be significant. Typical Don has to control and micro-manage every detail of the trip, right down to the dessert that his wife orders. When Don can’t be in control of everything, he pouts and runs, the closest thing to an adult tantrum as you can get. Roger, on the other hand, surrenders control: he let’s his wife plan the evening, then lets the acid do its work on him without any struggle, and has an enlightened experience.

      As a viewer, we realize by the end of the episode that Roger, having broken up from a strained relationship and sure to lose half his fortune, is capable of being a happy man with less while miserable Don desperately clings to what he currently has, which probably still doesn’t satisfy him. Two different ways to experience life.

    • Flooby

      Also, Don was actually driving by the time she got home.  She probably didn’t get even one call from him to ignore.  He just thought she did.

    • PaulaBerman

      So maybe the point of this episode is that the characters are having problems distinguishing between role playing and reality. Don and Megan have had quasi-violent sexual role playing before. I think Don isn’t self-aware enough to able to tell when he’s faking the aggressive male sexual victimizer and actually doing it, probably because he has done it so many times without love that he doesn’t know how to do it lovingly, at least not when he’s angry. There was also a creepy father/daughter vibe to the game that fell apart at the end. I’m not sure if Don is able to be really real with someone without being violent. However, the one sliver of hope in the whole thing is that he actually seemed to care that he hurt her, and care that he almost lost her. I have a feeling he hasn’t really cared before. That must be incredibly frightening. Not an excuse for his behavior, but an explanation. If he can work through his fear of real intimacy, maybe he will be able to have some. OR maybe he’s not capable of it. It’s not wrong for me to hope he is, is it? He is a protagonist I’ve grown to care about, despite the fact that he is a wretched person.

      Peggy also was role playing– first she was playing Don, then she was playing the anonymous handjob giver at the movie theater, then playing at being Abe’s girlfriend, when she is none of those things, really.  She seems pretty lost. Then you had Ginsburg, role playing the orphan from Mars. Peggy, Don, and Michael are all dealing (poorly) with their painfully confusing identities.

      And then we have Roger, who because he is so self-possessed, maintains his sense of self in any reality. With his perception blurred by drugs, he was actually able to get some perspective on his decisions. I wonder if it came out better for him because it was drugs that warped his interaction with the world and not some pathological put-on like the others.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

      TLo,  I love that you have such consciousness about domestic violence.

      • theotherTLO

        I totally agree.  What scared me so much about that scene was the wild shift from the violence of chasing Megan around to the child-like clinging to her.  It’s scary to think Don’s emotions over potentially losing Megan (either b/c she’s been abducted in Plattsburgh or b/c she was fed up enough with his driving off to not take him back) are so violently polar – kick down the door and physically threaten her and then hug her so tightly.  Neither one is a stable reaction.  Certainly speaks to how his reaction will escalate even more the next time something happens.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

          Yes, Don has totally shown her who he is.  Nothing will ever be the same.

          • Sweetbetty

             And one of my favorite Don Draper quotes goes something like this:  People show us who they are all the time; we just choose to not see it.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKSM57KFWUGRMKPDUW4SPL3GDM Kathryn

              That is absolutely true.  I had forgotten about that.  It is such a great quote.

          • Sweetbetty

             Whoops, I really mangled that quote.  It should have been:  “People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.”I feel like I should cross-stitch that on a sampler and hang it on my wall.

        • 3hares

          Yeah, I think that while there are certainly moments in the ep where Megan isn’t being the best she can be, those moments are well within the normal behavior of a cranky or fed up person. Like when she said “Go away! I don’t want to see you!” and wouldn’t unlock the chain I could see how that would suck for Don—he just drove all night and now he can’t go into his apt. because his wife doesn’t want to see him. I could understand even saying “Open up or I’ll break it down.” But it was still understandable in ways his OTT reactions in several places weren’t.
           
          But actually breaking the door for good reason probably scared the hell out of her, and that just made him more aggressive, chasing her around even when furniture was getting broken. A neighbor would have been correct to call the police. That he then hugged her on his knees and wanted comfort was even more crazy. And remember this is all after from her perspective he left her in the middle of nowhere to get home by herself—which put her in other dangers. And even after hearing that story he still seemed more concerned with the drama in his own head than what happened to her even though she was the one in danger due to his actions.

        • fursa_saida

          They go together. My ex, who was only emotionally abusive and was a fairly mild case (I broke up with him before it could get worse), would do the same thing–fly off the handle because of something I’d supposedly done to hurt or embarrass him, and then collapse into a childlike state of blind neediness, confusion and a sort of remorse. They go together.

        • fursa_saida

          They go together. My ex, who was only emotionally abusive and was a fairly mild case (I broke up with him before it could get worse), would do the same thing–fly off the handle because of something I’d supposedly done to hurt or embarrass him, and then collapse into a childlike state of blind neediness, confusion and a sort of remorse. They go together.

    • CatherineRhodes

      I haven’t perused the comments yet, but did anyone notice the Pulp Fiction vibe, from the mid-century diner to the time-shifting editing to the cadence of the language? Ah, if only there had been a light-emitting briefcase.

      I thought this episode was one of the most brilliant pieces of television I have ever seen; I was stunned when it ended. I actually do think Don’s changed, but he’s on a continuum and he’s got a long way to go. He’s met his match with Megan and we’ll see whether he kicks into flight response or whether she forces him to “stand in the truth.”

      TLo, I’m looking forward to the post-comedown analysis.

      • Sweetbetty

         “I haven’t perused the comments yet, but did anyone notice the Pulp Fiction vibe”

        Yes.  And I had the same head-scratching reaction to the time-shifting.

    • AutumnInNY
    • AutumnInNY

      Was anyone else reminded of the foreshadowing shot of Megan on the patio/balcony a few episodes ago? I couldn’t help but think of that during the violent chase around the apartment and wonder if Megan was headed in that direction, freak-accidentally going over the railing? 
      Also, Peggy is becoming insufferable IMHO. Nice boyfriend she doesn’t seem to appreciate. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

        I had the same thought. That balcony scares me. It would be too cheesy to have someone jump or be pushed, though. Don’t you think? Too sharkjumpy.

    • Daniel E Prieto

      You guys pointed out what I also noticed: the change in the writing. Although, I think that it reflects a change in the characters (and possibly the times) more than it does the writers themselves. The characters seem more exhibitionist, more narcissistic, and feel more free to act out their impulses in public than they would have in previous seasons. Examples: Peggy giving a stranger a handie in the theatre, Pete and Lane fighting at work in front of co-workers, Harry dresssing younger than his age and feeling more than free to say dickish things in public conversation. For some reason, this behavior seems believable by 1966 standards but would seem alien in season 1 when it was 1960. Could it be that there was at least a certain public ettiquette that society imposed on people in the early 1960′s that had vanished by the end of the decade?
      Whearas sexual tension was in the air in (at least) the first two seasons, when everybody just wanted to get screwed, it seems like everyone is acting out, aggressive, and paranoid. It’s a great season but my only wish is that Wiener would bring more attention to how the advertising business is changing at this point in history.

    • filmcricket

      God, yes, all those people dressing up to drop acid. I’m reminded of Ken Kesey’s impression of Timothy Leary’s acid trips which boiled down to “Christ, but y’all are boring – let’s go have some fun!” Was that supposed to be the actual Leary, or did Roger just call him that in jest? (Also, I’ve been waiting for the psychedelic drugs to show up, but never in a million years did I think Roger would be present at their introduction!)

    • malarkey

      Wow, kittens. 18 pages of comments… I just gotta say, I nearly squealed when Jane said “we’re taking LSD tonight” ~ what a great episode. Love how this show continually goes where you don’t expect it to.

    • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

      I think part of Don’s violence is his inability to separate Megan’s different roles.  She is One Thing and she is that all the time.  When she’s at work, he still treats her like his wife.  When he whisks her off for a day of play, an endeavor he treats as romantic and un-business-like, he still expects her to work at lunch.  She pointedly tells him that he is doing this (why are people calling her passive-aggressive?  Aggressive maybe, but she’s quite direct!).

      Later, at the apartment, I saw Don’s violence as a further inability (or unwillingness?) to separate out past actions from present context.  They’ve have playful, role-playing dirty sex before, therefore that is appropriate to this instance as well.  He chases her around the apartment expecting rough make-up sex, meanwhile she’s terrified because she hasn’t instigated a sexual encounter (as opposed to stripping down to black lingerie in order to “clean”).  Don wants to treat all scenarios equally with no thought to whether or not his actions are appropriate at the time.  When Wifebot has too many settings he gets angry because she’s not reacting to everything the same way all the time.  Which explains why he got so angry and confused that his actions weren’t garnering the kind of reaction he wanted.

      • Sweetpea176

        I agree with most of this — except that I think Megan is passive-aggressive.  For example, she waits until they’re already at Howard Johnson’s to try to express that her work is important to her, instead of back in NYC when she had the chance to not go on the trip.  The way she confronts him:  “why is it ok that your work is important, but that mine isn’t?” is also passive aggressive.  She’s not actually asking him to explain this difference, she’s indirectly saying that she feels put down and is pissed about it.  I don’t think that her ability or willingness to confront him necessarily makes her direct about it. 

        • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

          She DID try to express she didn’t want to go on the trip in New York.  She expressed concern about the Heinz account; she suggested they go the next day instead; Don insisted and gave her an order as the boss; and THEN she acquiesced to save a confrontation in the office.

          I don’t see what’s passive-aggressive about a direct question like, “why is it ok that your work is important, but that mine isn’t?”  That’s pretty clearly trying to get him to explain the difference and also clearly a statement that she feels her work is put down.  That she is willing and able to confront him necessarily means that she is NOT “passive-aggressive.”  If she were being passive-aggressive she wouldn’t bring it up at all: she would stew, she would fight about other things to make up for not being able to fight about the obvious, she would shut down the conversation and refuse to speak with him, instead demanding that he figure it out on his own.  She’s purposefully confronting about the the things that are upsetting her.  That’s possibly aggressive behavior, but she’s not passive aggressive.

          • Sweetbetty

             Totally agree.  I’m no expert in psychology but the term “passive-aggressive” has been tossed around in this discussion in so many ways and applied to so many people and so many situations that it appears we all have our own interpretation of the meaning.  Megan is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.  She’s no angel, she got involved with Don with her eyes wide open and too quickly.  But I really can’t fault her actions in this episode.

          • rowsella

            The fight about the orange sherbet is not about the orange sherbet.  It is interesting, Don flees but Megan cannot catch him.  He returns to the scene of the argument to find that she fled and returns home the scene of their life together, dejected to find her there and then, she flees him again, he catches her, they fall, now both out of control.  His wind knocked out of him, he announces the fight over.  Its just a fight, not the end of the world. People fight sometimes.  She says every time we do this, it diminishes us.  They didn’t resolve anything.

        • rowsella

          I remember watching that scene and thinking, “well, her work is his work…, wouldn’t Peggy kill to be sitting there brainstorming with him”.   Maybe Meghan and Don’s problem is that they are both control freaks.

    • Lisa_Cop

      I don’t think Megan meant to deliberately hurt Don. It was a comment made thoughtlessly in the heat of an argument where I think she truly forgot his past. As soon as she saw his reaction, you. Could see the dismay on her face. I think all of us who are married or in serious relationships have, at some point, regretted something said to their partner in the heat of the moment.

      As for Ginsberg, I don’t think he’s psychotic though that Martian stuff was pretty odd. However while the Nazis exterminated all Jewish children and pregnant women incarcerated in concentration/death camps, there is documentation that at least 3 infants survived the camps (2 in Auschwitz. 1 in Buchenwald). All 3 were born in Dec. 1944 or Jan. 1945 as the Germans retreated and Allies were liberating the camps. How Ginsberg ended up in Sweden seems mysterious. Since Ginsberg clearly said he was adopted, Abe must be a good hearted Jew, possibly a Holocaust survivor who came to rescue a displaced Jewish child. But how profoundly devestating it must be for Ginsberg to be 1 of 3 or 4 children who survIved the camps.

      • Sweetbetty

         Thank you for that explanation of the infants that survived the concentration camps.  It makes it much more clear to me why Michael feels so alone and isolated.  BTW, you said “Abe” when referring to his “father”; Abe is Peggy’s boyfriend, I think Michael referred to his “father” as Morris.

        • Lisa_Cop

          Oops,you’re right. I did mean Morris.

      • roadtrip1000

        I just did a little google search on this subject. There are estimates that between 1 and 1.5 million children were murdered by the Nazis. While most infants were killed right away there were definitely more than 1 to 4 infants that survived. When the American soldiers liberated the concentration camp at Dachau they found 7 infants who were still alive. There may have been more at other camps as well – I just didn’t find this info readily available online. Older children weren’t killed right away because they were kept on as slave labor or experimented on. Their number of survivors was higher. I’ve known 2 survivors myself who had been in the camps as very young children. They still had the numbers tattooed on their arms. Also, many Jewish refugees found refuge in Sweden after the war so that might explain how Ginsberg wound up there.

    • Lisa_Cop

      I also loved the “filmic” aspects to this episode (very Babel or Crash). We see Roger come into Don’s office, Don leave and then take Megan out of the copywriters’ room twice. Also Don’s call to Peggy. The duplicate situations are filmed differently from each other; different angles and thus POVs. The first time we watch as outsiders – the POV is Dawn watching Don leave, the copywriters watching Megan leave and Peggy taking Don’s call (thinking he’s checking up on work).

      The next time we see the scenes we have full benefit of the Don/Megan and Roger/Jane backstories. We watch Don full face and we are with Megan as she is dragged out the door. Finally we experience the Don/Peintel phone call with Don, feeling his panic over Megan and disregard for Peggy’s pitch.

      Directors generally use this device to illuminate how the same situation can be experienced so differently by various people. The trick is to find someone who experiences reality in a compatible way to you.

    • AbbeyGraf

      Another thing to think about: Peggy, Megan, AND Midge all have the same root in Margaret.  

    • TieDye64

      Um, I think I may have to watch this episode a second time. But, it was so uncomfortable I’m not sure I really want to. I hated the Don/Megan story. It seriously creeped me out and the part with them in the apartment I never want to see again. No matter what anyone else says it obviously showed domestic violence (well, even before that with the manipulation) and it served as a reminder how manipulative, abusive and controlling Don is. Sure, he’s enigmatic as hell but, he’s also a selfish piece of shit. Fascinating, but not necessarily likeable. 

      Peggy has me worried. Is she going to self-destruct? She’s got the talent, but are her insecurities and lack of social graces going to bring her to her knees? Looks like a crap shoot.

      As per usual, T Lo’s review was spot on and brilliant. You guys rock!

    • michiamoa

      I can’t believe anyone is defending Don’s actions, or saying that he was treating Megan like a child in response to her immaturity. Gross.  I thought this episode did a pretty good job of illustrating that Don is an even bigger bag of dicks when he’s happy than when he’s angsting. He uses his happiness as an excuse to obliviously trample all over everyone else’s.

      First off, Roger was pretty obviously inviting Don on a brotrip, which Don promptly
      commandeered so he could gallivant around with his wife. He then needled Megan into going, despite her clear hesitance at blowing off work. Don may not care about his or anyone else’s career, but Megan obviously still cares about hers and it kept her from enjoying their trip, even before the fighting started.

      When Megan wanted to improve her shitty farce of a vacation with some delicious pie, Don decided she couldn’t even have that, and got all bitchy when she didn’t like the sherbet. I think it is in fact, representative of Don’s massive personality flaws that he prefers sherbet to pie in the first place. That is absolutely ludicrous.

      As for the end, Don was violent to an extent that made Megan uncomfortable and upset. I’m not sure why people are acting like it would even be okay to chase and tackle your children in such a manner and even if it is, she is not his child. Maybe she is immature and does like drama. Maybe she’s sorta kinky in bed, but didn’t realize that Don’s need to dominate her would extend to the rest of their marriage. Maybe it doesn’t matter because none of that excuses Don’s actions.

      It’s really irritating (but not necessarily surprising) to me that people insist on infantilizing Megan, when it was Don’s immaturity that caused their situation.

      • UsedtobeEP

        I think this partly in response to something I said earlier. I don’t think Megan is being childish—I think Don wants to treat her that way because he doesn’t know how to treat her as an equal. The chasing reminded me of when you have to go get a kid and make him apologize when he does something wrong (like bites a sibling, maybe) and then runs and hides while the other one is tattling. He wanted to chase her down and finish the argument on his terms, forgetting that he just ran off and stranded her. She wasn’t allowed to confront him when she wanted to—he chose to leave her there. At first she just didn’t want to talk to him, then it was running away in pure fear. So what if it was totally abusive and scary for her? Don wanted to talk to her and confront her on his terms at any cost. He didn’t consider how that might feel to her at all.

        • michiamoa

          That interpretation makes more sense when you explain it like that, and I can definitely see what you are saying now. It wasn’t just you though, it seemed to be a pretty common theme in the comments that Megan was the one bringing the argument down to a childish level, and I just wanted to point out that Don wasn’t acting entirely grown up here either.

      • http://profiles.google.com/denise.alden Denise Alden

        I agree.  But the best part for me?  “it is, in fact, representative of Don’s massive personality flaws that he prefers sherbet to pie in the first place”.  What a terrific line!

        • Sweetbetty

           Does he prefer sherbet to pie?  I got the feeling he just wanted Megan to try the sherbet because she’d never had it before and it was HoJo’s signature dessert.  Since they were courting HoJo’s as a client he wanted her to like everything about it.

    • SVLynn

      Wow, 19 pages of comments, I am sure alot are about the Don hitting new lows terrorizing his wife, so I just had to say this
      ” the piece de resistance, possibly of the entire series to date: Roger Sterling, tripping balls.” made me laugh out loud for awhile. Indeed, that was so so fun to watch. Excellent synopsis, really made me think about how Betty did alot to just survive that marriage intact.

    • astoriafan

      Still working my way through the comments, but I thought I’d throw this out there. (I think I’ve commented here once or twice before but just want to say, TLo, LOVE the recaps, and thanks for the forum!)To me, the anti-Megan sentiment among some viewers is starting to come off as almost misogynistic, the way the woman can’t ever do anything right. I was delighted that this episode put to rest (I thought) some of the criticisms of her character, yet those attacks continue as if the stuff actually on the screen never happened. Common examples: 1) Megan put on a Von Trapp “show” about liking the kids, then became cold to them after marriage. In this episode, we see her still showing specific sympathetic concern for the kids, reminding Don not to take the baby for granted just because he’s the youngest. Yet this criticism continues to surface (I’m not even sure what the basis for this one was, originally).2) Megan used Don shamelessly to get ahead in the office. In this ep, we hear explicitly that she is embarrassed by the position she’s in, that she wants to be part of the team but doesn’t know how and when she’s allowed to tell Don “no” in that context.3) Megan is passive aggressive and/or manipulative. This one really drives me nuts, because in fact Megan always says directly what she wants, Don just often doesn’t hear it. In this ep, she specifically told him she wanted to stay for the Heinz presentation, and he responded with “I’m the boss, I’m ordering you…” Then later he says she should have just told him that the presentation was important to her. And she responds (putting her finger on the problem exactly) that she has no idea when he’s the boss and when he’s the husband (owtte). It’s really not a *fault* of hers that she is in this position (i.e. there was nothing inherently wrong with wanting both the job and the marriage to Don).  4) Megan is childish and/or a drama queen; she “wants it” for Don to act out. But in this episode, we see her take the very adult and self-sufficient action of returning to her (their) home after being abandoned at a hotel, and then getting dressed for work. Since she’s not a mind-reader, there wasn’t really a more mature course of action available to her. Then we have her cri de couer about how these fights diminish the relationship… far from craving these episodes, she hates them. To continue to see her as a drama queen is to refuse to believe what she says.  I don’t even think Megan acts particularly young (actually it would be kind of redundant for the writers to give Don a second child-wife; Betty’s child-like behavior was so well established it doesn’t seem like a road that would be particularly interesting to travel again). Megan acts like an independent adult with opinions and desires and drive. She’s self-aware, and she doesn’t let Don push her around, ever, even on small things (“you want to cancel, you call Trudy”). She does accede to his demands as her boss (leaving the office for the HoJos trip) but then objects strongly when that bleeds over into the personal (which dessert she’s supposed to like). The reason I think the criticisms of Megan start to sound misogynistic is that they are such typical characterizations of a “bad” woman (cold to children, manipulative, drama queen, passive aggressive, doesn’t mean what she says). There’s actually nothing in the show to suggest Megan is any of those things, and a lot that says explicitly she’s not. 

      • astoriafan

        Whoa, sorry about that, I have no idea why that text decided to come through as a massive block. 

        • Carol Stephenson

          It’s a great post, and the text looks formatted just fine to me . 

      • sweetlilvoice

        Great post! Thank you for pointing out those issues.

      • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

        I think you’ve hit the nail on the head for a number of the criticisms, especially about Megan’s supposed “passive-aggressiveness,” a complaint I cannot understand given how direct she is.

        • Linlighthouse

          Mystifies me as well. If someone wants to see passive-aggressive, look at Betty. Then contrast and compare. I loved it when Megan screamed at Don, “How could you DO that to me!?” Why Betty never said that, when the statement was so clearly warranted makes me think of Betty as somewhat masochistic, as well. I like Megan. I hope she helps Don face himself.

      • EEKstl

        Well said.

      • malarkey

        wow, astoriafan, you hit the nail on the head. I don’t get the criticisms either. Megan is a well fleshed out character, and she’s no Betty. What I love about this show: these are real characters with good traits and with real flaws. Show me another series that has this kind of character development.

        Here’s what I see with Megan: TLo said it: Don treats her like his wife at work, not a co-worker. When he wants to run away to have fun, he wants her to go with because he loves her & loves spending time with her. She feels bad because it makes her look like she has ‘advantages’ at work and this bothers her. She wanted to stay for that presentation, she was part of that team. And really, the whole thing is mostly pointing out Don not being interested in work anymore, and wanting to just play & enjoy the perks. He wants her to have this same “let’s run away & have fun” attitude; but she’s concerned with how she appears at work.

    • rowsella

      After reading everything and commenting myself, I had to consider that we are all looking at this episode with 2012 eyes.  In 1966, it would not have been considered abusive to break into one’s own home.  Meghan’s mother would have told her she was wrong not to call to say she is ok, she should have come home, and that what is her problem, Don didn’t hit her.  I don’t think this is a pivotal moment in the marriage (that it is breaking up).  I think it is the moment when Meghan realizes the amount of power she has in the marriage, which is considerable.  This might be where the Draper children lose their father.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I would say the Draper kids never had their father to begin with….he’s been very absent (both physically and emotionally) throughout their childhood.

        • rowsella

           Again, not unlike many families in the mid-sixties.  My dad went to work, went out at night and was mostly home on the weekends nursing hangovers and watching football.  We had more extended time riding in the car with him on vacations twice a year.  And that was before they divorced. 

      • alula_auburn

        Just because it wouldn’t be considered abusive doesn’t mean it isn’t, though. We judge lots of things that were “acceptable” in the past.  What happened to Joan wouldn’t have been considered rape, either. If people were saying things like “Megan should have called the police!” or “Megan should get a restraining order!” that would be proscriptively anachronistic.  

        (And if anything, the amount of soft-peddling people have done has shown that a lot of people with 2012 eyes STILL consider what Don did to be justifiable.  Of course, a lot of people today wouldn’t consider what happened to Joan to be rape.)

    • http://twitter.com/StickyClicky Barbara Benham

      That anyone doesn’t think Megan’s all angelics isn’t necessarily misogynistic. I think she can be passive-aggressive. She was aggressive when she hit Don. She was the first to hit when Don returned to the apartment. She acted like a child with the sherbet. We don’t know her motives for coming on to Don late last season. To get ahead? Animal attraction? A little of both? Also, she has a dramatic side. She boasted to Peggy that the guests would want to go home and make love after her party! I can’t figure her out, and I think that’s precisley how the writers want it to be.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

         “That anyone doesn’t think Megan’s all angelics isn’t necessarily misogynistic.”

        Has anyone actually made that argument here? No character on Mad Men is angelic; the show has always dealt in shades of gray with every one of their characters.

        What’s been a little distressing (to us, at least) about some of these comments is the implication – if not the outright statement – that because Megan acted imperfectly, it explains or excuses the way Don acted.

        • http://twitter.com/StickyClicky Barbara Benham

          My comment about perceived angelics was directed at astoriafan, whose points to me — emphasis on to me, this is my interpretation of her comment — made Megan much less gray and nuanced than I perceive her to be. 

        • Maggie_Mae

          You’re replying to a message that is actually an answer to one further up the page.  In which we were informed that anyone criticizing Megan was obviously misogynistic.  You certainly never said that!

      • Sweetbetty

         Just like Betty not being a “horrible person”, Megan is not just one thing.  She can be sweet, she can be nasty, she can be mature, she can be childish, she can fake emotions when she feels it’s necessary.  She’s just like the rest of the human race.

      • astoriafan

        Aggressive is not the same as passive-aggressive (obviously). I do think Megan is an aggressive person, and it’s a great quality about her. I don’t like it when she does something aggressive/assertive/proactive that is perfectly appropriate to the situation, and people characterize it as manipulative or passive-aggressive or scheming. 

        I didn’t see the sherbet-wolfing to be childish or P/A, but just a sarcastic response (as a commenter said earlier) to Don’s suggestion that she was trying to embarrass him by preferring pie (wtf?). She did lose her cool, it’s true, but who wouldn’t? Her opinions large and small had been steamrolled by Don all day; she should be allowed to respond. The sherbet-wolfing communicated “Yes you’re right, asshole, I LOVE ORANGE SHERBET” quite effectively (plus it was very funny to watch). 

        The only time I can think of that Megan has been passive-aggressive on the show (as opposed to straightforward with her wishes) was in the season opener, in the cleaning-in-undies scene. There was definitely manipulation going on there, but it seemed to be part of some mutually understood roleplaying. 

        I do think, btw, that an interesting discussion could be had about how that dynamic in their relationship fed into the crisis in the apartment in this week’s ep. It wasn’t unprecedented for Don to physically grab Megan and ignore her demands for him to leave her alone. On the other hand, the violence was amped up in this week’s episode and the emotions were very real, while they were more ambiguous in the first episode.

        Clearly if those two had a safe word, Megan would have used it this week. They don’t, and I think this is another example of how the two of them have not yet established good boundaries in several areas of their lives.

        • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

          It’s an interesting reaction on Don’s part to how he sets up his life.  With Betty his life was nothing but separate little compartments.  Home in one box, work in another, mistress in a third, Anna off in the corner, another literal box for his past, and never shall these things meet.  The result was strain and distrust as he struggled to pretend that while he was in one box, none of the others existed.  No one had the right to ask about the other boxes, you had to force yourself in before Don would acquiesce (such as Betty’s demand when she discovered Don’s box, destroying his facade and ultimately giving her the power to end their marriage).  Betty crumbled as Don refused to allow her to be anything at all other than Wife&Mother, whittling her self-worth into a brittle nub.

          Now Don is all about “no boxes.”  He has jumbled his relationship with Megan so that it has no boundaries.  She’s stretched thin into every box: she know about Dick, she’s at home, at work, she even plays the part of the naughty mistress when desired.  Once more, the strain is too much.  Instead of being one very specific thing she is everything, and she must be happy about it all the time.  It must be exhausting.  Megan is trying to assert some control and pull herself together.  Don in part seems to resent that.  “Hey! I set up this no-box world just for you so WHY AREN’T YOU HAPPY?!”

        • alula_auburn

          ” I do think Megan is an aggressive person, and it’s a great quality about her. I don’t like it when she does something aggressive/assertive/proactive that is perfectly appropriate to the situation, and people characterize it as manipulative or passive-aggressive or scheming. ”

          I love this comment.  I think it’s very revealing how often she is labeled passive-aggressive or, my second favorite, “ambitious,”  which is such a crazy, loaded word when it comes to women.  (And kind of hilariously ironic as a slam at Dick Whitman’s wife.)  

          My critical comments here aside, I’ve never been much of a Megan fan–I simply have found her simply less interesting than most characters on the show, although some of that may be the actress; I don’t feel like she indicates as much complexity and inner workings as most of the main cast.   I don’t find the marriage particularly compelling conceptually, and I don’t generally feel I have a good a grasp on her headspace as I do with other characters whose behavior has often been worse  (I still have a lot more empathy for Betty than most posters, which certainly doesn’t mean I think she’s “angelic”.)  But the comments here have been eye-opening, and not in a good way. 

    • http://twitter.com/yellowhannah33 yellowhannah33

      This episode was easily my favourite of the season so far. Possibly one of my absolute favs. As ever guys, great synopsis and analysis.

      I think the kittens are being very, very hard on Megan. Don treated her like a child because he wanted to cow her into acting how he expected and wanted. ‘You’re embarrassing me.’ HOW exactly? She was perfectly polite when she explained to the waitress that she didn’t like the orange ice cream, she had a reasoned argument (it tasted like perfume) and was sweet and she ordered another flavour – she didn’t write the whole thing off. She made the crack about his dead mother, harsh, yes. But he’s obviously not the biggest fan of her mother (perhaps that’s just how husbands of the ’60s were) because he didn’t want to visit her and then he had a go at her for calling her mother all the time to vent in french (HEAVEN FORBID). Then he did typical Don and ran away.

      I wouldn’t have assumed he was coming back and I certainly wouldn’t have stayed on the off chance he did. If she stays Megan essentially says to Don ‘you can treat me like sh*t but I’ll still wait around for you’. Therein lies the road to Betty-dom and entertaining your husband’s clients whilst he feels up another woman in the ladies room. Megan’s no fool.

      The chase around the apartment was nothing short of scary. I honestly thought it might end in rape. I think Don has this sort of violence in him and given that the whole season seems to have been tinged with violent themes or overtones I wonder if that’s where we’ll end up at the end of it.

      The LSD trip, hilarious. Jane’s outfit made me lolz. When I saw it was a jumpsuit?!! OHMIGODSOGOOD.

      • rowsella

         I just watched the first episode this season and it looks like Meghan had this party all planned out.  Don went along, even though he did not like it.  Afterwards he was exhausted and wanted to just go to sleep.  “I’m going to sleep, you do what you want.”  Meghan was very upset that he did not appreciate it and felt he was rejecting her love.  Then Harry makes her feel cheap with his grossness and she leaves work early to go home and sulk then manipulates Don by doing housework in her underwear, and speaks to him in a demeaning manner.  She tells him she hates the carpet and he tells her he does too, he chose it because he thought she wanted it and wanted to make her happy.

        So this episode, Don thinks he has a great idea to get away, be romantic and swoops Meghan out of the office.  She however, decides this isn’t her thing and gets pissy.  Don feels rejected and wants to leave, tells her to get in the car and she refuses.
        He drives off pissed, calms down, turns around and comes back.  It was a dick move.  But I think it was not a fight about sherbet.  They do this these two.

        I rewatched the last episode with my mother.  She did not seem to think Don was being violent against Meghan.  She thought the worst was his driving off.

        Her point about the respect of Meghan in her job is that it is impossible for her to be considered a regular employee subject to the same consideration of the others.  She said it should not have been allowed (Meghan to be hired to work there).  Too much resentment by the other staff.  No one will ever think she is pulling her weight.  It is not that Don does not have respect for her so much that he does not have respect for the creative team in general.

    • http://twitter.com/Athenabast Athena Bast

      If this was mentioned in the comments for “Mystery Date” I apologize don’t think Madchen Amick’s character “Andrea Rhodes” was real. I’ll have to watch the episode again but I think she was just an hallucination brought on by Don’s sickness and she’s some sort of weird combination of Megan and Peggy.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        No, the scene on the elevator with all three characters (Don, Andrea, Megan) was real. Every scene with Andrea after that was a hallucination.

    • Susan Crawford

      Megan the mysterious. This episode both tantalized with revelations about her emotions and values, and snatched back the clues by making us wonder what lies behind these emotions and values. When Don buys the back scratchers and taffy for the two older children, Megan asks what he got for the youngest. He blows off her query, but she raises a serious question. And it’s right in line with the idea of abandonment.

       Don essentially ignores her – even, in a way, looks down at her – for daring to have an opinion about being snatched away from the team at work, swept into the car, and driven to a place that isn’t a destination, but a stop along the way to somewhere else.

      His shock, upon returning, to find Megan had already left was palpable. It completely flummoxed him, didn’t it? And in that summer of violence where time was speeding up, his fear was entirely logical. But still, on his return to the apartment, his reaction to Megan was to lash out at her – still not able to accept that this disorienting trip to nowhere – neither work nor pleasure, but a weird amalgam of both – was entirely indicative of their relationship as a whole.

      Don chasing Megan down like a lion after prey was truly upsetting, but in the ’60′s, as T and Lo indicate, a man’s home was still his castle, even if the moat was getting stagnant and the battlements were starting to crumble. Don could kick in a door and chase his wife. Or could he? As the two lay on the floor like exhausted athletes, Don seems more than just winded – he seems stunned.

      Roger, Roger, Roger! The party, the LSD, the revelations – just perfection! Twisted, hilarious, scorching perfection. Jane’s outfit? More perfection – Upper East Side Mod to the max. The party with its pretentious chatter gave Roger a chance to display his aloof, bored-to-tears-yet-somewhat-amused expression to best effect. (Loved the moment when Russian music erupts from the vodka bottle – his reaction was Emmy-worthy!) And it was brilliant that Roger got from HIS trip, exactly what he really wanted – another new day.

      I’m worried about our Peggy. She is drifting. And may be drifting toward some murky depths. Drinking, smoking pot, cutting out to go to a movie, hand-jobs in the dark. Yikes! Her Heinz presentation was SO sincere that I laughed out loud.

      There she was in her little scout uniform variant of the week, talking about safety and bonding and inclusion around the campfire, and home and hearth . . . and Peggy, this is BEANS! No way was Mr. Client about to give way to all that emotion (although she had him mesmerized, didn’t she?) and admit that he hadn’t a clue how to promote his product. Not to a . . . GIRL.

      Michael is also worrying me. The sudden appearance of his father (who is preparing for his “case” – another mysterious depth) throws him off. A concentration camp born Martian with big plans? Another abandoned child? Another drifting soul. The Martian revelation scene was beautifully shot, wasn’t it? Seeing his face as a reflection? Wonderful touch.

      What a good episode, indeed, fellow Kittens and fawns. Alienation, abandonment, secret depths, time’s skittering passage, and revelations without resolution (except for Roger, of course) – what a perfect set of themes to reflect the sixties, as well as the characters we thought we knew so well.

      As always, thanks to Uncles T and Lo for a magnificent recap/analysis.

    • Kristina Adamski

      Now that Roger and Jane have gotten rid of their significant others, I’m wondering if they’ll finally try to have a real (i.e., public) relationship (especially considering her child is his). Will be interesting to see how this unfolds for the two of them.

      • Linlighthouse

        You mean Joan. I don’t know how far it will go. Joan really knows Roger, and how immature he is. She made that mistake with Greg because she didn’t know him so completely, but Roger? I don’t think it will go farther than just good friends (with benefits, maybe).

    • Athena

      I’m new to this blog and came via the Mad Style posts. I’m loving it here so I’ll stick around. I can’t believe it but I did read all twenty pages of comments and Wow. I just want to applaud TLo for their post and comments. I think the Don/Meghan thing chase boils down to the essential fact that she was AFRAID of him. She was terrified and crying when they fell to the ground. That in itself is a grounds for a DV case.

      While I don’t think Michael is a schizophrenic, he does have issues and is very alienated and alone. I think it was a wakeup call to Peggy that her shitty day could have been worse and that there are certain forms of alienation even she can’t quite feel.

      Just wanted to comment that I love the blog. Thank you.

    • rosiepowell2000

      Betty crumbled as Don refused to allow her to be anything at all other than Wife&Mother, whittling her self-worth into a brittle nub.

      If Betty had crumbled after Don had refused to allow her to be anything but Wife/Mother, where did she find the strength to confront him about his past, kick him out of the house in S2, force him to beg to resume their marriage at the end of S2, confront him about his contract in S3, insist upon naming their last child after her father and eventually divorce him?

      What’s been a little distressing (to us, at least) about some of these comments is the implication – if not the outright statement – that because Megan acted imperfectly, it explains or excuses the way Don acted.

      I agree.  There was no one villain in Don and Megan’s confrontation in this episode.  Both were wrong in their own fashion.  But it’s possible that their marriage might grow a little after this.

      • sekushinonyanko

         It took her three kids, almost a decade, dozens of affairs coming to light, finding out that he’s an identity thief and war deserter, finding another man that wants her, and Don physically attacking her for her to get the strength to confront him.

    • wooohoo

      There was something very strange and manic about Meghan and Don’s behavior on the way to, and at HoJ’s.  It was so off, I wondered if maybe they were under the influence of something.  Don was particularly strange at the restaurant.  Meghan really et the floodgates of complaints open over that orange sherbert.  The scene made her look even more like a child.  She also sounds eerily like Sally when she yells “No, I don’t want to”…  Over annunciating the “No”.  There relationship is diagnostic.
      Peggy’s handjob recipient couldn’t have been creepier.  That belt and those pants?!  ew…
      Roger’s trip kind of made me love him.  The break up scene was really honest and such a portrait of their distinctive personalities:  He’s happy and a little dumb, she is cold and tells him “it’s going to be expensive”.
      I am LOVING this season!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

      (I don’t have time to read all 806 comments right now, so forgive if this has been mentioned ~)

      I notice Michael’s clothes never match. Is that a metaphor for his state of mind, or background I wonder? Like, he’s “not put together right”.

      Trippy episode, literally. Thanks for your essay.  

    • baxterbaby

      I like the way Weiner and co. have been letting him quietly go his own way, following his own goofy little star while not upsetting the apple cart.  I also like the way that the  writers keep letting him outshine all the other would-be writers.  Remember season 1, where he subtly undercuts (without meaning to) both Paul Kinsey and later Pete because he actually has a story published in the Atlantic.  Now it’s Roger.

      Ken Cosgrove. Showing up the snobs since 1962!

      • Glammie

        He’s a curious character isn’t he?  Bland surface, but Weiner and co. give him the talent.  He’s switched his writing focus–from literary (the Atlantic) to SF and now back to literary again.  

        And, boy, was Roger of the vanity-published bio jealous.

    • baxterbaby

      I like the way Weiner and co. have been letting him quietly go his own way, following his own goofy little star while not upsetting the apple cart.  I also like the way that the  writers keep letting him outshine all the other would-be writers.  Remember season 1, where he subtly undercuts (without meaning to) both Paul Kinsey and later Pete because he actually has a story published in the Atlantic.  Now it’s Roger.

      Ken Cosgrove. Showing up the snobs since 1962!

    • rowsella

      As an aside, clearly orange is not Meghan’s lucky color.

    • charlotte

      Aside from the appealing storylines the editing is certainly very interesting this season. All those jump cuts and dream-like sequences, and just the general “playfulness” of it all, is such a callback to the French Nouvelle Vague cinema of the 50s and 60s. It adds very well to the European (or at least French) vibe that Megan has brought to the show.
      I guess Weiner also likes the idea of himself being the “auteur” of his oeuvre.
      In my opinion it is an absolutely brilliant idea to meta-reference a show that is mainly about coming to terms with an era with the cinematic devices of that era.

    • http://twitter.com/jen_wang Jen Wang

      Sorry if it’s already been mentioned, but Peggy’s lucky gum is violet gum she says Don gave her.  In “Three Sundays”, Don tells Bobby that his father liked violet gum.  I thought that was a nice touch.

    • BayTampaBay

      As of 8:04 PM on Tuesday I have read all 845 comments.  I think I deserve a medal of some sort.  The TLo medal for…..??? LOL! LOL!

    • Logo Girl

      One of the specific details I like is Roger reading the Life magazine with the cover story about prescription drugs (and the head full of drugs) and the ad for men’s hair color. I actually looked it up: it is the Life Magazine from June 24 1966 (which you can actually see on Google Books in full),  I’m not sure if one can see it in the episode, but the ad asks readers to place a hand over the two sides of the man’s head to see if the dark hair makes him look younger. How they could find such narrative perfection in an actual object from that summer (well, the doctor had an old issue on the coffee table / and who knows, maybe the writers worked in reverse and wrote the Roger/LSD storyline after seeing the magazine) is one of the reasons I continue to be amazed with this show.

    • http://www.joannao.blogspot.com JoannaOC

       thanks, I caught a few bits of the Born Free dialogue, and watched a little of it on YouTube, but I haven’t seen the movie since it came out!

    • sononagal

      As a child of holocaust survivors, I completely and totally understood the whole “I’m really a Martian” dialog. 

      The guilt one feels about surviving the camps (even as a baby) when everyone else (including your own parents and entire family) dies horribly is overwhelming. 

      Why me?  Why did I survive?  It is so much easier on the soul to imagine that you are really a Martian – some alien that isn’t a part of a world that could have done what it did. 

      That whole scene was so very real for me. 

      • Sweetbetty

         As I’d mentioned in another post, even though I’m an early baby-boomer I had never really been aware of the Holocaust until I was an adult and since then have been fascinated by it.  It amazes me that the many thousands of survivors were able to assimilate back into living fairly normal lives and raise children that weren’t totally damaged.  It says something about the human spirit in general and I know the Jewish people give credit to their long history of oppression as a tool for getting through that horrific experience.  It had to have been very confusing for children like you.

        • malarkey

          I remember a documentary that was on PBS quite awhile back, about a woman who had been a child in a concentration camp. They filmed her returning to that camp for the first time since the war. Fascinating show. It also said a lot about the human spirit~ she was asked if she was uncomfortable being surrounded by germans on this trip. She said “no, these people don’t have anything to do with what happened to me here back then”

          • sononagal

            My parents – holocaust survivors – returned back to Germany for a visit in their 70′s.  They had no problem returning.  They were Germans – as were their parents, grand parents, great grand parents … all the way back to the 1500′s.  They never hated the Germans as a people, as they themselves were Germans. They hated the Nazis and those subset of Germans who believed in their mission.  

        • sononagal

          I’m not sure that our history of oppression makes us any stronger than anyone else.  I really think that people are remarkably tough when faced with horrible circumstances.  You see that all over the world, actually.  But sadly, the survivors of the Holocaust (like my parents) were pretty damaged.  They kept a stash of emergency money constantly available (just in case), passed on a good amount of distrust and fear to their children, mourned their deceased family members their whole lives, and felt a strong desire for order.  I can’t say I was confused.  But it took a lot of therapy to get over my distrust of people and my fear of uncertainty.  So I really could relate to the “I am a Martian” desire.  I used to fantasize that I too was some kind of alien dropped on earth.  It was the only way to account for why I saw the world so differently from any of my friends.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Katherine-Lavender/553350310 Katherine Lavender

      Why are all of this season’s Mad Men commentaries lapsing into a damnation of Megan? She really can’t win. She’s either too ambitious and only sleeping her way through a career, or she’s lazy at work and untalented. She’s too obsessed with portraying a perfect boss’ trophy wife persona to reveal the sinister “Real Megan”, or she’s a public embarrassment with foot-in-mouth disease. She’s either too aggressive and spiteful to Don, or she’s too passive and immature to confront him. Why aren’t people discussing Don? He’s not just an embarrassing husband, but a downright bully. He always has been. I know he’s our hero, and I truly do love him despite all his flaws. But he has a ton of flaws! Are we just too desensitised to that by now? Or just too enamoured with him?

      Don might have been worried about Megan and relieved to find her again. But he wasn’t thinking about her at all when he drove off, and didn’t manage to be big enough to express relief, gratitude or even, god forbid, an apology when he found her again. No, he kicked down the door and attacked her. Someone said that this didn’t seem like domestic violence, because it had an irate parent/wayward child dynamic to it. But Megan is not Don’s child, she is his wife. It would be unacceptable for him to treat her like that, even if he hadn’t looked murderous and she hadn’t been screaming in terror. He has never been capable of treating women as equals – only of perching them up on a pedestal and then brutally knocking them off it as soon as they do anything to challenge or irk him. He belittled Betty and dismissed her feelings constantly, and although Megan still seems determined to (shock!horror!) express her opinion to Don, he seems hellbent on breaking her spirit completely. I don’t think he intends to do this, or even realises it, but that looks like the trajectory of their relationship to me. If Megan acts immaturely (and I think she is by far the more grown up one in this relationship) it is because he infantilises her and dominates her, depriving her of the option of expressing her own views in an adult way.

      It really seems that the majority of the Mad Men audience and commentariat are determined to hate Don’s wives.

      • rosiepowell2000

        She’s too fucking perfect.  I’m sorry, but I can’t stand her.  I cannot stand idealized fictional characters.  They make my teeth hurt.  Unless Matt Weiner do something with her character by making her more complex and interesting . . . without turning her into some idealization of the Swinging 60s Woman . . . I will continue to dislike her. In a way, she reminds me of the Fanny Price character from “MANSFIELD PARK”. Many people complain about how she is disliked by fans, yet all I ever read are compliments about and defense for the character.

        Now, if the show is willing to portray a more complex Megan, I will give her a chance.

        As for Don, I dislike him more than ever.  But at least he’s interesting and complex.

        • Sweetbetty

           Hasn’t this episode done enough to show Megan as an imperfect, complex person?  The multitude of mixed reactions to her behavior should prove that. 

          • rosiepowell2000

            Not quite. Don came off looking a lot worse. And honestly, Megan mainly seemed frightened (understandably so).

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RHLSUVX3NCPB4OSS5BM7GZIXUE P. Capet

        i see what you’re saying, but i just think when folks criticize the wives, they’re addressing lots of scenes, lots of dynamics; it’s not always patently unfair to criticize the wives.  i know i was with betty all the way until she went mean on the kids.  i still have deep sympathy for her character and have recently brought up don’s horrid treatment of her, his getting her fired from that modeling job she loved, barking at her to take off the modern bathing suit, getting reports from her shrink, oh, so many things.  he made her mean and small but i still hated seeing how she treated her kids. i don’t think many people just hated betty from the start.  and with megan, she’s written to be a bit veiled, i think, which is good writing, because we really don’t know her all that well yet, and neither does don.  i see the relationship as exciting but probably doomed because of the age difference and don’s hangups.  he wants the little doll wife and nothing else, and this episode really brought that home.  is it possible to feel for megan and still think she’s made some poor choices?  her cutting remark about don/dick’s mother was very cruel (unless she’s unaware of his past) and hit his sore spot head on.  i also didn’t like the way she blew off betty’s cancer scare.  they both behaved poorly throughout the howard johnson’s trip.  megan should have put her foot down about not leaving the office, since she felt so strongly about it.  and of course, he should have been listening to what she had to say instead of belittling or minimizing her feelings.  when she wouldn’t get in the car with him, he took off in a huff, which was immature but you could sort of predict he would be coming back soon enough.  she could have taken a nap in her room, ordered her pie, read the papers, anything.  she could have taken a bus the next day if he hadn’t returned.  and putting the chain on the door, refusing to open it and yelling at him to go away produced, well, not a great reaction, but a predictable one, since don by that time was frantic, exhausted, angry, etc.  his chasing her around the apt. was, to me, bad, yeah, but not a real threat, but more like something written for the screen to illustrate the dynamic in motion — he’s chasing the dream, chasing something he can’t catch.  if he had been truly violent, he would have hit her when he caught her.  instead, they fall to the ground and the dream is over.  she’s not afraid now, she’s sad.  and he’s the little boy, terrified of being abandoned.  it’s a real mess, but i don’t see anyone as a total monster or totally virtuous here.  it’s more complex than that; it’s real life.  granted, had he hit her, i wouldn’t be saying this.  but i don’t think that’s what the writers were going for.  don is more pathetic than fearsome.  of course, i could be wrong!  we’ll have to see how this all pans out.

    • MasterandServant

      One other thing I thought of today- we have all definitely covered the fact that Michael and Peggy have a connection. Creatively, their home life (kind of) when they start out working….but one thing I thought of was that Michael speaks of coming from a Swedish orphanage and Olson (of Peggy Olson) is an Americanized form of a Swedish surname (Olsson).  I very much wonder if there is a reason that Peggy meets Michael’s father and overhears his conversations, and this heritage is part of it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=739196218 Leah Burns

      So Jane *was* Jewish. I always thought she was just German….

      • sononagal

        As someone who is also both German and Jewish – I don’t understand the distinction … or surprise?

        • fursa_saida

          Well, you can be German without being Jewish, and you can be Jewish without being German. Not sure what else there is to understand.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RHLSUVX3NCPB4OSS5BM7GZIXUE P. Capet

            i think it was surprising in the sense that roger is such a country club prig from that era; i’m esp. remembering his blackface routine.  in that cultural sense, he seems ancient.  so i guess it’s surprising that he was “hip” or “current” enough for his day to fall for a non-christian girl.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

              Especially given the comments about Ginsberg Roger made in a prior episode. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

          It’s surprising given Roger, who makes offhand bigoted comments about every group (including jews – the episode where Ginsberg was hired being one shining example), is married to her. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=739196218 Leah Burns

          I think the debate was more over whether Roger would marry someone Jewish. I know people can be German and Jewish. It’s more surprising to meet non-Jewish people with names like Spielburg because they are a German non-Jew.

    • FloridaLlamaLover

      This is a late comment — watching this episode on DVR, watched it Sunday night and then read TLo — and someone might have mentioned this already.  Anyway, I was scared for Megan during the whole run-from-Don scene the first time I saw it; my gut reaction on first viewing was antelope being chased by predator.  Watching it again, it clicked with me that Megan echoes Elsa in the “Born Free” clip we see during Peggy’s run away from the office.  I know others have called Megan’s running away from Don to be childish, but I read it as her being frightened.  And we have seen how frightening Don’s anger can be. 

    • zeitlinj

      My mother in law was born in a concentration camp. I know of two other babies born within two weeks of her and all three are all alive today. Two of them recently turned 67, including my MIL, and one of them turns 67 on Sunday, 4/29. Here’s my post about it: http://wp.me/p1Gaze-qo

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

      I understand completely – I grew up in a violent home myself and am sorry for the things you, your mother, and siblings had to experience. I didn’t mean to suggest that we should excuse Don’s more violent behavior because he has some redeeming qualities. I just wanted to point out that one thing about the show I find compelling is that Weiner doesn’t make any of his characters simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but shows how complex people actually are, even though this can play out in troubling and even horrible ways (as with your dad).