Mad Men: Signal 30

Posted on April 16, 2012

Mad Men landed like a pop culture bomb (even if it’s never achieved a massive audience) in part because it provided a much-needed unromanticized look at a world yet to be changed by social changes like feminism, offering a view of women’s lives   under a patriarchal, consumerist, highly conformist culture. Less obviously, it hasn’t shied away from taking an unflinching look at men’s lives in the same culture. Men get all the perqs in this world, but the show has wisely posited that they’re just as stuck in their roles and can just as easily buckle under the pressure of trying to be what everyone says they’re supposed to be. Just one week (in real-world time; two in story time) after an examination of violence against women in a patriarchal culture, the show (somewhat cheekily) offered an examination of violence against men in that same culture. In the patriarchy, women get marginalized and objectified and men get emasculated.

The theme of emasculation played out again and again this episode in ways important and trivial: Megan sitting at Don’s desk (again); Megan driving the car; Trudy running roughshod over Don’s attempt at smoothness (after Megan refused to call her to cancel); Lane’s humiliation, first by Pete’s cruel commentary and then by Joan’s rejection; Ken having his dreams ripped away by Roger (to no avail); Roger being reduced to “Professor Emeritus of Accounts,” and finally, Pete, who was so emasculated this episode, so beat down by a world that won’t let him be king even though the title was promised to him from birth, that he looked like he’d been pulled from the wreckage of those car crashes he was laughing at at the start of the episode.

There was a secondary – and quite related – theme of people not knowing their roles and sticking to them. Lane should stick to the business and financial end of the company and let the account men handle the acquiring of new accounts. Ken should just be happy with his job and stop trying to reach for more. Pete should be happy with his life in the suburbs and stop trying to … well, be Don Draper by blowing it up through selfishness and an inability to be happy. There’s a price to be paid when you step out of line in a conformist society. The world would be so much easier if everyone turned the bolts they’re programmed to turn, like the robot in Ken’s story.

And like last week’s story, the threat of violence big and small hangs over the proceedings. Small: Pete’s bloodied face and humiliation. Big: Charles Whitman’s (not “Whitmore” as Dick Whitman sheepishly reminded the room) killing spree in Texas. There’s an overwhelming sense that the machinery of society isn’t working the way it’s supposed to and the result is death far away and a growing uneasiness at home. Time is speeding up, and for the first time, Pete no longer looks like the forward-thinking young executive who  first saw the value of the African-American market or predicted that Kennedy’s appeal to young voters was similar to Elvis’s. Getting everything he ever wanted out of life has forced him into a cranky early middle age – or at least, that’s how he felt when he realized the high school girl he was obsessing over never even considered him as a romantic or sexual possibility in her life. “He’s just Pete,” she tells “Handsome” Hansom, who sits there in his tight sweater, showing off his muscles and chatting amiably about the possibility of going off to war.

Don tries to give Pete some heartfelt advice about not screwing up what he has, but as Pete notes, he makes a particularly poor advocate for such a sentiment. Is Don really happy? That seems to be the major question hanging over this season. Certainly, by all outward appearances, he’s a changed man, but if there’s one across-the-board truism about the lives of these characters, it’s that outward appearances are often a lie. And speaking of lies, what’s the deal with Don telling that whorehouse madam that he “grew up in a place like this?” His birth mother was a prostitute, but as far as we’ve been told, he grew up on a farm. Either there’s something about Don’s childhood we’ve yet to see, or he casually dropped a meaningless lie into the conversation. It’s notable, but we’re not really sure why.

Also notable is his drunken plea to Megan to “make a baby,” something she rebuffs quite quickly and easily; just as easily as when she tells him that if he wants to cancel on the Campbells’ dinner party, then he’d have to do it himself. This is behavior unlike that of any woman Don’s ever been with, and surprisingly, he seems to love it. Then again, he loves getting slapped and yelled at during sex. Is it really possible that Don is the happiest and most content person in this world? The mind boggles at the thought.

And if we’re grading people on a happiness scale, then Ken’s probably not too far behind Don. Granted, if he was truly happy with his lot in life he wouldn’t keep turning to his writing, but Ken’s made it perfectly clear that his work life will always come second to, in his words, “my actual life.” Pete was, of course, a shithead for tattling to Roger about Ken’s writing success, and Roger was, of course, quite adamant about Ken dropping his writing because his own writing career never materialized, but was Roger really all that wrong? Sure, he has no right to tell Ken what to do during his off-time, but Ken admitted to Peggy that he turned dinner meetings into one drink so he could get home to write. He really is blowing off a big part of his job in order to pursue this dream. But like the robot in his story, he does what they tell him to do and retires the career of “Ben Hargrove.” Quite unlike the robot in his story, he’s able to create a solution for himself. Enter: “Dave Algonquin,” who, like all writers, steals liberally from the people around him, taking the name Algonquin, the character’s name, Coe, and the references to Beethoven – all mentioned at the Campbells’ dinner party, to craft a thinly veiled slap against Pete, acidly and quite accurately summing up his life:

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

We haven’t done bullet points in a while, but since this was such an oddly disjointed episode by design, our thoughts this morning are equally as disjointed.

  • How cute was it when Joan quickly waved Peggy into her office during the fight?
  • “Chewing gum on his pubis” will definitely go down as a classic.
  • “If I had found her first,” Don says of Megan, “I might not have thrown it all away.” We’re not so sure about that, Don. The marriage failing wasn’t Betty’s fault.
  • Then again, Megan really does know how to play him like a fiddle, doesn’t she?
  • And what’s this deal about a pact between Ken and Peggy? If Peggy is serious about following Ken if he leaves the company, what does that say about her relationship with Don at this point?
  • The writing this season has been at times a little more on-point than we’re used to with this show and that was certainly the case during the scene with Pete and the prostitute. He said no to the wife role-play, no to the virgin role-play, and yes to the worshipping role-play.
  • And let’s just come right out and say it: Watching Pete get bloodied was one of the most satisfying moments of the series. He’s made some strides over the years, but he was as nasty as he’s ever been this episode and never deserved a beatdown more than now.
  • Joan looked delicious with Lane, but it didn’t escape our notice that she’s still wearing her wedding and engagement rings. We doubt she’s told the office about the state of her life.

And finally, if you didn’t catch it last week, Tom sat in on the “Ryan & Ryan” podcast with Mo Ryan and Ryan McGee last week to discuss the ins and outs of “Mystery Date,” (not to mention Game of Thrones) and you can listen to his not-so dulcet tones here.

 

[Photo Credit: amctv.com]

 

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

    Quick note about Lane’s humiliation — first blow to him was from his wife, who struck him when he was taking too long to leave the house for the soccer match. That was a shocking moment for me!

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

      I loved Roger’s reaction to England’s World Cup win: “World Cup of what?”

      Did one of the US networks (only three at the time, of course) really show the World Cup final here? That surprises me.

      Edit: Of course they did, or Weiner wouldn’t have allowed in the show. From Wikipedia: “The first American coverage of the World Cup consisted only of a same day tape-delayed telecast of the 1966 Final on NBC. The Final was aired before their coverage of the Saturday Major League Baseball Game of the Week. NBC used the black & white BBC feed and aired it on on a two hour tape delay.”

      • CrazyAuntie

        Maybe “Wide World of Sports” would show it?  On a slow weekend?

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      • fnarf

        The Union Jack flags and hats struck an odd note, though. That was England playing, not the United Kingdom, and within my memory at least no English supporter would be waving the Union Jack — always St. George’s Cross, the red cross that is the front part of the Jack. Maybe it was different in ’66, I dunno. But the Union Jack also contains the flag of Scotland, and every Scot in the world was rooting for Germany in ’66, and every Englishman knew it.

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

          I think it was different in 1966. It’s a far digression from Mad  Men, but if you’re interested, this article from 2005 demonstrates the switch to England’s flag is a pretty recent development.

          Here’s a photo of Union Jack-waving fans at the 1966 World Cup final.

        • pottymouth_princess

          To Janie’s credit, the men all donned the national red and white national scarf, although like you I thought the Union Jack hats a bit disingenuous. Then again, football was nothing in the US, so player jerseys and other paraphenalia might have been tough to procure unless one had been back to the old sod in recent months.

          That scene further emasculated Lane; he doesn’t like football. What red-blooded European male wasn’t football mad (or isn’t now)? You play soccer or ride a bike. It doesn’t seem as if Lane did either.

          • emcat8

            Not to mention it was his *father* who loved football, which just… whoa. Poor Lane.

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

          The Union Jacks weren’t incongruous for the time. I wrote a post with links to photos of Union Jack-waving fans in ’66 and an article about flying England’s flag at such events is a relatively recent phenomenon. The post hasn’t gone through yet, but you can Google the info.

          • fnarf

            Yes, posts with links get held.  Ah, I didn’t know that. I should know better than to second-guess the show’s temporal accuracy.
            Player shirts would have been tough to procure anywhere, as they didn’t exist yet. There was no sports-gear market, and the players themselves wore only a number on their back, which were not THEIR numbers but the numbers of their positions. Change position, from winger to center forward or whatever, and you would change number and shirt.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jhjenn Jennifer Howard

        Yes, the 1966 World Cup brought such an enormous American audience to the TV that two  US leagues were formed eventually leading directly to the NY Cosmos and wild popularity of the sport during the late 1970s. Was trilled to see especially after just watching 2006 documentary on it – Once In A Lifetime: The Incredible Story of the New York Cosmo. Still loved Roger’s remark though;-)

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

          Yet, for whatever reason, as late as 1978 the World Cup was not televised in the US. I disagree that the ’66 World Cup brought an “enormous” audience (“enormous” was the audience for Bonanza or Ed Sullivan), but I’m sure it was a factor in the rise of interest in soccer in the US through the ’70s. Anyway, this is getting far afield from the main topic…

          • fnarf

            But getting far afield is one of the chief pleasures of Mad Men!

            1966 didn’t have an enormous audience of Americans; virtually no native-born Americans watched the final, and they didn’t pay attention to the NASL until the likes of Pele showed up. Attendance in those early days (1968-1974) was abysmal, with huge losses for all the teams.

            Soccer was a purely immigrant game at the time; if you had walked down the streets of New York on July 31, asking all the Americans you saw, few of them would have even heard of soccer, let alone the World Cup. Note that while the USA had played in the 1950 Cup, with an all-immigrant squad, they didn’t return to the tournament until 1990.

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

            I think you exaggerate. According to the August 26, 1966 edition of Life magazine, p. 93, (available on Google Books), ten million US viewers watched the World Cup final, with the implication that that number was unexpectedly high for “a midsummer Saturday afternoon.”

            Since soccer as a general topic bores me to tears, I think this will be my last post on the matter.

          • fnarf

            I think most of those ten million were either immigrants or casual viewers flipping over from the baseball game for the novelty of it, who didn’t watch to the end. It is well-established that owners wildly over-estimating the response to 1966 was one of the causes of the terrible financial problems of the NASL and its predecessor league in ’67.
            The American reaction was precisely captured by Roger.Soccer history interests me a great deal, which is why I’m going on about it. The game is STILL struggling in most places in the US (at the professional/national level), almost fifty years later.

    • bluefish

      I’m not on the Lane humiliation train at all.  His handling of Pete was terrific and Joan’s reaction to a first, forbidden kiss, was ambiguous at best.  We’ll see how it plays out, obviously, but I wouldn’t count out Lane and Joan just yet.

      • Laylalola

        Agree! Also, as for the theme of stepping out of line — it wasn’t Lane who fumbled Jaguar.

        • fnarf

          To be honest, it was Jaguar who fumbled Jaguar. Neither Lane nor Pete stuck the chewing gum on the guy’s pubes. I’m not a big fan of business visits to whorehouses, but for chrissakes, man, pay attention to what’s happening around you!

          • Vodeeodoe

             Also, the fact that his wife discovered the gum leads to some wild speculation on my part, as to the ‘how’…

          • music52809

             Yeah, THAT created a big question in MY mind . . . 

          • http://www.facebook.com/jhjenn Jennifer Howard

            He was so drunk and giddy she had to undress him and put him in his jammies. 

        • AudreysMom

          would that be ‘Jag -u – ar’?

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

         I agree totally that Lane is rising to the challenge! I was thinking more along the lines that Lane feels humiliated repeatedly in this episode. What makes him so exciting is that he repeatedly acknowledges his humiliation and does something to redeem his sense of pride and masculinity — which makes him serve as counterpoint to poor self-pitying, sniveling Pete. When his wife hits him he calls her on her manipulations. When Pete insults him he puts up his dukes. When Joan rejects his pass he acknowledges it.  This is all made of awesome.

        But when he says that Joan could do his job I took that totally in the period context, “I am doing a job that a girl could do.”

        • librarygrrl64

          Good point, but I think his comment could be taken both ways. He has shown before that respects Joan’s office and business skills, certainly much more than most of the other men do, especially Roger. But then to kiss her right after saying that…interesting…

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

             Hey, I’m a librarian!

          • librarygrrl64

            Well, then, you must be a woman of extremely high intelligence and good taste. ;-)

          • formerlyAnon

             You left out wide-ranging interests and fascinating friends.

          • librarygrrl64

            Oh, I think that goes without saying. ;-)

          • Vodeeodoe

            Yeah, I don’t think he made that comment as a gender reference. He is the one guy who respects her business smarts and has told her so several times now.

          • VanessaDK

            He kissed her after she brushed his hair off his forehead–she made the first move–an affectionate gesture, but she touched him and he leapt at her.

          • P M

             Such a pity: I’m still shipping for Joan+Lane. They’d rule the world, those two….

          • Sweetbetty

             I viewed that brushing-the-hair gesture as more motherly (or big sisterly) than as a come-on, but Lane, in the heat of all the emotion, took it as an invitation to make a move.  Joan steered the action in the right direction after the kiss.

          • VanessaDK

            I agree, kind of, but even though it looks to be an affectionate gesture (not sexual), touching your boss in that kind of a personal way would be pretty shocking even today, when we hug our colleagues all the time. I am not surprised that he took it as an invitation, and I am not so sure it wasn’t on a subconscious level.

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

          Yes, yes, all of it.
          And I still love him (more than ever) despite the accidental insult of Joan.

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

            Not quite an insult, he just misread her- and to be fair he was in a physically and emotionally muddled state.

  • http://twitter.com/TheUppityMinx V.R. Neuman

    Was Don talking about Megan when he said ““If I had found her first, I might not have thrown it all away?”  My friend watching it with me and I thought he was talking about Trudy, about how great she was.  

    • Sobaika Mirza

      I definitely think he was talking about how well-matched Trudy is for Pete, but he was comparing Pete’s marriage to Don’s current one. Don seems to genuinely believe that Meghan is right for him. For now, at least, it sort of seems that way.

    • Paigealicious

       No, pretty sure about Megan, because Pete said something about Don being on his second wife and therefore wasn’t really qualified to be giving marriage advice.

    • Michele Miller

      I’ll have to watch it again, but I heard this exchange as if Don meant that if he knew then what he knows now, he might not have thrown it all away, meaning that it wasn’t just the right woman, it was being a changed man.  Perhaps just what I wanted to hear him say. 

    • http://twitter.com/Kusandra Kusandra

       How old was Megan when Don found Betty?

  • Musicologie

    About Don growing up in a whore house–that line struck me too, since his step-mother has been portrayed as particularly devout. Maybe young Dick accompanied his father on several of his night trips…or maybe his step-mother made him go to check up on his father, or retrieve him.

    • frcathie

      I agree. I first wondered about the inconsistency of this line, given that Don’s mother died in childbirth. But I am not sure it was a lie. Don’s father was obviously quite familiar with prostitutes. I was thinking he meant that he spent a lot of time waiting around for his dad to conduct his business.

      • jessieroset

        I agree. I don’t think there was much more to that than his Dad taking him along on his extracurricular activities.

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

        Also, that he “earned his manhood”, in a way, in whorehouses.

      • Robyn Morelli

         See, I took it a different way. I thought he meant that he “grew up” out of his first marriage to Betty. His attitude certainly asserts that he has moved beyond whorehouses and meaningless philandering…

    • frcathie

      I agree. I first wondered about the inconsistency of this line, given that Don’s mother died in childbirth. But I am not sure it was a lie. Don’s father was obviously quite familiar with prostitutes. I was thinking he meant that he spent a lot of time waiting around for his dad to conduct his business.

    • MK03

      Ahhh, I didn’t think of that. Good catch!

  • http://viridianpostcard.blogspot.com/ viridian61

    This seemed to me a “let’s emasculate Pete” episode.  Your insights, as usual, are more insightful – thank you.

    In one meeting Don was doodling a noose.  That is spooky.

    • Spicytomato1

      Oh yeah, the noose. It definitely was creepy and ominous. At first I thought it foreshadowed something to do with Don but in hindsight I think it was more of a general harbinger of doom.

      • Jennifer Coleman

        Seemed to me it shows how work is incredibly boring to Don now & echoed his feelings about spending Saturday night in the suburbs w/Pete & Trudy. Other than Megan, I’m really not sure what Don is passionate about these days.

        • LesYeuxHiboux

           I think you’re onto something there. That would make Don’s sudden interest in having a baby clear: he needs something to live for, a literal new life.

          • Vodeeodoe

             That, or taking last week into account, he fears losing her and wants a baby to make sure she stays with him. Truthfully, I think he was just drunk, horny, and thinking about how cute she looked when she saw Pete’s baby.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ellen-Buddle/36807397 Ellen Buddle

            I don’t know, over on the EW recap they mentioned the discussion of the gun in Pete’s house, and his misery this episode. They seem to suspect that if anyone is looking for an easy way out, it’s Pete. Scary stuff.

          • MissAnnieRN

            Wow, that’s a pretty long bridge to build between the noose and the mention of a gun…..  If Pete Campbell offs himself I will be really, really shocked.  Not so much for his character, because honestly, the writers could make it plausible given his depression, but I’d be shocked to see him go.  

          • MissAnnieRN

            So I’ve made it through 9 out of 14 pages of comments.  When I first read the surmise about Pete and suicide cueing off of the noose and the gun discussion, I thought “y’all are CRAZY.”  Then, I read more of this as the thread marched on.  Then I thought about Don’s comment to Megan – “Saturday night in the suburbs?  I’d rather shoot myself” or something similar.  

            Putting the beatdown of Pete into context – trying to imagine how Pete (who has always had a HUGE short man complex) will walk into the office after that, after all the senior partners looked on as he got his ass kicked, it all leaves me thinking that you may all be onto something……

          • MissAnnieRN

            So I’ve made it through 9 out of 14 pages of comments.  When I first read the surmise about Pete and suicide cueing off of the noose and the gun discussion, I thought “y’all are CRAZY.”  Then, I read more of this as the thread marched on.  Then I thought about Don’s comment to Megan – “Saturday night in the suburbs?  I’d rather shoot myself” or something similar.  

            Putting the beatdown of Pete into context – trying to imagine how Pete (who has always had a HUGE short man complex) will walk into the office after that, after all the senior partners looked on as he got his ass kicked, it all leaves me thinking that you may all be onto something……

      • Elizabeth Davis

        I’ve always thought the opening sequence represented Pete falling to his destruction — not Don. The man’s profile looks more like Pete’s, especially at the beginning and when he’s slipping past the wedding rings and into the glass of alcohol. The final shot of the man’s back is obviously Don. Perhaps it’s as how he appears while he dispassionately watches the fate of his colleague. 

    • CrazyAuntie

      Right! Forgot about the noose.

    • think10

      What was also interesting about the noose is right after that when they mention the dinner party with Pete in the suburbs Don goes “that’s blow your brains out material” or something along those lines. I thought it was interesting that there were two suicide-related things within a 1-2 minute timeframe.

    • Sweetpea176

      I wasn’t sure if the noose was supposed to signal how checked-out of work Don is, or if he’s secretly unhappy with his shiny, new life.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      I immediately thought of his brother. With the noose and the pointed “his name was “Whitman” there seemed to be a few callbacks to Don’s past.

    • BeverlyC

      Does anyone here remember that Don’s brother, Adam, hanged himself? That noose gave me the creeps too and I’m pretty sure Don hasn’t forgotten how his brother committed suicide.

  • MissMariRose

    I really enjoyed the direction of this episode. There were some fresh angles and POVs. I think Slattery directed this?

    • Musicologie

      In my viewing party, we were struck by the transitions. Some of them worked, but some were really hokey (like the top of the car becoming the desk).

    • Musicologie

      In my viewing party, we were struck by the transitions. Some of them worked, but some were really hokey (like the top of the car becoming the desk).

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        I’m a little undecided about the match cuts, and the pan between the car roof and the desk top.  The fact that they drew as much attention to themselves as they did inclines me to believe they didn’t work.  With all the talk of sci-fi, however, they were an interesting idea.

        I’d have to go away and do some research but I think I’m safe in saying that pretty much all the grammar of film editing (fade outs, panning shots, close-ups, jump cuts – you name it) was in place even before sound arrived, but arguably one of the most famous match cuts (or graphic matches if you prefer) came along in 1968 when a bone flung into the air becomes a spaceship in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

        • librarygrrl64

          I really liked the match cuts. I have no idea how old that technique is, but it seemed very 60s to me.

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

            It reminded me of the match cuts in The Graduate (’67), during the back-to-back Simon & Garfunkel song montage, showing the ongoing affair between Ben and Mrs. Robinson. Very sixties.

          • Eclectic Mayhem

            You’re right, there is something about it that feels like the 60s and I do think that was what Mr Slattery was going for, that and the association with SciFi.  I’ve not seen much Twilight Zone but another poster up (or down, I’ve lost track) thread has pointed that out.

            Fritz Lang, however, used a match cut as far back as 1922 (Dr. Mabuse) so it’s definitely an old, old technique.  Hoorah for Silent Cinema!

          • Verascity

             I agree! I noticed them right away and thought, “Wow, very of the time, Slattery.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/jhjenn Jennifer Howard

            My boyfriend got annoyed at the cuts. Personally, I loved them. Good job Slat. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1084733830 Kate Andrews

      Yes, he did.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1084733830 Kate Andrews

      Yes, he did.

    • crackineggs

       Agreed.  I loved this episode so much, I teed it up and watched it again right away (paying the price for that now though).  I loved the scene with Roger and Lane with Roger giving him advice on how to “play” the client to get information for the RFP.   Roger was in his element – the professor giving the lecture – there were no wise cracks or witticisms.  I can’t remember him being so natural and laid back.  You could see that he really was good at reading his clients and doing his job.  Now he’s just reduced to getting them drunk and taking them to whorehouses.

      • librarygrrl64

        Yes, it was a nice reminder of why Roger was an asset to the company.

  • VeryClaire

    Perhaps Don meant he “came of age” in a place like this. I didn’t really get the conversation with the Madam though. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Don’s not really happy. Don can never be truly happy. 

    • fauxhawk

      A friend of mine put Don’s state of mind like this: “happiness is an absence of sorrow.”

  • Blue_Sky1

    Don said he grew up in a whorehouse.  Do we know what he was up to between the time he dropped off “Dick’s” body and didn’t get off the train, at about age 19, and the time when Anna found him selling cars in California?   Am I reading too much into this, or does Don still have one big secret he’s keeping hidden?

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

      if his mom was a prostitute, then in a literal sense he grew up in the house of a whore….but it seemed he was referring to something more specific, lying or not. 

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

        His mother was a prostitute, but she died in childbirth.  He didn’t literally grow up in her house, he grew up in his father and step-mother’s, and later her’s and her new husband’s (farmhouse).

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

        His mother died in childbirth, though. He literally didn’t grow up in her house at all. The midwife brought him to his father and his father’s wife immediately.

        • Candigirl1968

           I took it as more metaphorical, like he spent way too much time as a kid in whorehouses, so they don’t really phase him.

    • roadtrip1000

       While we’re on this subject – If the mother was a prostitute how would she know who the father was?  (Unless business was really, really slow.) Maybe Don did grow up in a whorehouse and the father only claimed Don when it became obvious from his looks that he was his son.Or am I forgetting some important detail from season one?

      • Maggie_Mae

        Don’s father was too cheap to pay for a condom; thus, Don was conceived. It was a sad little country cathouse. We only saw the one girl working there & got the idea that there weren’t many customers.  Don’s mother died just after he was born–living long enough to name him “Dick” in a bit of black humor.  The midwife who attended her took him to Don’s father’s wife, who had been trying to have a baby for some time with no luck….

  • Blue_Sky1

    Don said he grew up in a whorehouse.  Do we know what he was up to between the time he dropped off “Dick’s” body and didn’t get off the train, at about age 19, and the time when Anna found him selling cars in California?   Am I reading too much into this, or does Don still have one big secret he’s keeping hidden?

  • http://callie-wanton.livejournal.com/ callie wanton

    john slattery keeps bringing it with his direction.

    this season is keeping me on the edge of my seat much like the third one – my favorite – did in its time. thrilled.

  • http://callie-wanton.livejournal.com/ callie wanton

    john slattery keeps bringing it with his direction.

    this season is keeping me on the edge of my seat much like the third one – my favorite – did in its time. thrilled.

  • http://twitter.com/TheOrangeTag Trinh

    I have been waiting for your recap all morning! So glad you posted it early :) Your recaps are always a good read. I really thought this episode is alluding to Pete Campell’s death later this season. There are a lot of hints such as when Don mentioning to Megan that a Saturday night would make him want to blow is brains out, and the talk about Peter having kept a gun after Trudy made it clear that she did not want it in the house. The faucet exploding in Trudy’s face was hilarious but also foreboding. Also, the Whitman shooting must also be a hint. I bet in 3 episodes, Pete will be dead.

  • http://twitter.com/TheOrangeTag Trinh

    I have been waiting for your recap all morning! So glad you posted it early :) Your recaps are always a good read. I really thought this episode is alluding to Pete Campell’s death later this season. There are a lot of hints such as when Don mentioning to Megan that a Saturday night would make him want to blow is brains out, and the talk about Peter having kept a gun after Trudy made it clear that she did not want it in the house. The faucet exploding in Trudy’s face was hilarious but also foreboding. Also, the Whitman shooting must also be a hint. I bet in 3 episodes, Pete will be dead.

    • egl48

      I sure hope not.  Pete is a great character.

      • Spicytomato1

        And Vincent K is a great actor. He really brought it last night, so much subtlety in his performance.

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

          He’s so good. I hope he gets the Emmy this year.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charlotte-Sanders/100000745060624 Charlotte Sanders

           I so agree, he just broke my heart in this ep and usually it’s John Hamm that does that so well.  The scene in the elevator was so moving, not only from Pete but Don too.  They are both tops, great, great acting…

        • http://www.facebook.com/jhjenn Jennifer Howard

          Indeed. 
          Vincent Kartheiser is overlooked. Man Man needs an Emmy.  It’s  Don Draper, Roger, AND Pete Campbell. None would be 1/2 has interesting without the other. Just try to be a better man Pete. 

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

         Don’t worry ~ on this show, things never happen the way you think they will. Uh-oh, do you think that if we think it won’t, then it will? Could they actually do that to us??

    • miagain

      I wonder if the films he was forced to watch in the driving school could be a clue to what’s in store?

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

      Maybe all that + the drawing of the noose is supposed to be an allusion to Dick Whitman’s failed relationship with his younger half-brother? Pete’s constantly been the picture of the snotty, jealous, sometimes adoring younger [work] brother to Don Draper, the aloof, adored “first son” of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, who got his name in the title (as did Lane, who mentions it this episode) whereas Pete, despite also angling for it, still has not reached that level as a partner, while ever-undeserving, childish Roger even has a name in the company (albeit carried over). Don’t get me wrong, Pete lost pretty much all the goodwill he built up last season by being such a little turd this season, but now you’ve got me thinking – they dangled “Named partner” as a goal for him to work towards, and he’s been working pretty damn hard – seems like a cheap thing they could have given during the office skirmish to please him just a little. 
      Shouldacouldawoulda. Oh well. Random thoughts. 

  • Sobaika Mirza

    I have waiting 5 excrutiating seasons to see Pete Campbell get punched in the face.

    • SassieCassy

      haven’t we all!

  • Sobaika Mirza

    I have waiting 5 excrutiating seasons to see Pete Campbell get punched in the face.

  • NurseEllen

    And of course, using the Beethoven 9th as the music is wonderful, seeing as it’s the “Ode to Joy” and all.  Translation of first part:

    Joy, bright spark of divinity/Daughter of Elysium/Fire-inspired we tread thy sanctuary/Thy magic power re-unites all that custom has divided/All men become brothers under the sway of thy gentle wings/Whoever has created an abiding friendship/Or has won a true and loving wife/All who can call at least one soul theirs join in our song of praise/But any who cannot must creep tearfully away from our circle.

    Hmmm………foreshadowing?

    • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

       Fantastic catch!

    • Musicologie

      I’m a musicology grad student (as if my handle didn’t tip you off), and my viewing group is made mostly of other musicology grads. We were excited when the second movement played in the apartment, then ecstatic when they used the finale for the closing credits.  The two non-musicologists in our group just rolled their eyes at our excessive celebration.

      • NurseEllen

         Yes, my husband and I are both musicians (I have a grad degree in musicology) and we both looked at each other with highly raised eyebrows when we heard Beethoven.  Probably it’s just Pete’s idea of putting a little audio gloss on how sophisticated he now is.  Notice he didn’t say anything about how his new stereo console SOUNDED, just went on and on about how BIG it was.  Another demonstration of his raging case of “short man syndrome”.

      • Mefein

         And for all of you (most of you) too young to remember it, the second movement was a very familiar piece of music at the time because it was played over the closing credits of the Huntley-Brinkley Report.  Whenever I hear it I still flash back (no pun intended) to watching the evening news with my parents in the sixties.

      • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

         I was surprised at Beethoven for its seriousness at a party. From Pete I would have expected something more pablum – music wise. Definitely not the Beatles or Joanie Mitchell. Then again – those recordings would cost the production many dollars in royalties. The music person on the show David Carbonara is cousins with a friend of mine from music school. He needs to write a book about the music cues. Or musicologists need to start a blog dissecting the music of Mad Men a la TLo’s fashion statements. (hint hint)

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

          i’m pretty sure it was beethovan’s ninth, the one with the famous final choral movement.  Alle menschen werden bruder…All men will be brothers.  Very ironic, in keeping with the show’s usual musical choices.

        • Musicologie

          Ooh, I like that idea! I was just discussing it with a person in my viewing group who studies film music. She’s much more suited to the task. ;-)

        • Maggie_Mae

          For showing off the quality of a fine hi-fi system, there’s nothing like classical music.  And I’d bet that Pete was exposed to plenty of high culture during his childhood.  

    • fnarf

      Do you know what recording was playing over the end credits? It was old-fashioned sounding, with a ton of surface noise, like it was off of a 78 set or something. Definitely not a whiz-bang sixties stereo hi-fi spectacular like Pete would have owned. Klemperer? Weingartner? I wonder why the old-fashioned recording was used?

      • NurseEllen

         My husband was desperately trying to figure out that very thing.  I don’t think we noticed the surface noise that much.  His thinking was that since “Mad Men” is NYC-based, in keeping with everything being historically accurate, it was probably either Toscanini (NBC Symphony) or Bernstein (NY Philharmonic).  I’d vote with Bernstein, since Lenny was getting so much media attention at the time, and he recorded it with the NYP in ’64.

  • NurseEllen

    And of course, using the Beethoven 9th as the music is wonderful, seeing as it’s the “Ode to Joy” and all.  Translation of first part:

    Joy, bright spark of divinity/Daughter of Elysium/Fire-inspired we tread thy sanctuary/Thy magic power re-unites all that custom has divided/All men become brothers under the sway of thy gentle wings/Whoever has created an abiding friendship/Or has won a true and loving wife/All who can call at least one soul theirs join in our song of praise/But any who cannot must creep tearfully away from our circle.

    Hmmm………foreshadowing?

  • Scimommy

    I loooved this episode. So dark. So satisfying – both the Pete beat-down and the Lane-Joan moment. I’ve been shipping those two since last season. I can’t wait to see where the writers go with it. Heck, she’ll probably hand him his heart, chopped up and neatly arranged on a platter, but then again, Lane has been known to show some spunk (as long as he is not facing his father or his wife, anyway). I think that if Joan decided that she needs someone like Lane in her life, that they could be really good for each other.

    I read that John Slattery directed this episode. He seems to know what he is doing, no?

  • Scimommy

    I loooved this episode. So dark. So satisfying – both the Pete beat-down and the Lane-Joan moment. I’ve been shipping those two since last season. I can’t wait to see where the writers go with it. Heck, she’ll probably hand him his heart, chopped up and neatly arranged on a platter, but then again, Lane has been known to show some spunk (as long as he is not facing his father or his wife, anyway). I think that if Joan decided that she needs someone like Lane in her life, that they could be really good for each other.

    I read that John Slattery directed this episode. He seems to know what he is doing, no?

  • schadenfreudelicious

    Almost as delicious as Lane’s smackdown of Pete, was the guys reaction.  Don closing the curtains, and Roger’s priceless ” am I the only one who really wants to see this”…kudos to Slattery for his direction on this one.

    • MK03

      YES!! I love how NOBODY even tried to put a stop to it. They wanted to see Lane beat the shit out of Pete as much as we did. 

      • Sweetbetty

        Pete’s last pleading look towards the other guys, just before Lane landed his final blow, was so pathetic.  It was like he was asking, “Why are you letting this happen to me?  Isn’t Lane the outsider and I’m one of you?  Why aren’t you putting a stop to this nonsense?”.  And then, pow, he’s on the floor.

      • MissAnnieRN

        I actually thought – wow, Lane is going to can Pete’s ass for his smug trash talking.  Instead, he beat the shit out of him.  Which, in the end, actually ends up being much, much worse than losing your job.  Am I the only one who thought Lane was kind of hot once he took off his period glasses and his suit jacket and rolled up his sleeves and put up his fists?  I was like, whoa – Lane is a sexy middle aged ginger?  Who knew!  

        • MK03

          Oh, absolutely! Lane is so much foxier with his hair mussed and his sleeves rolled up. Mmm, Jared Harris…

    • librarygrrl64

      I actually said, out loud, “No, sir, you are not!” in response to Roger. ;-)

    • AuntFiona

       Also loved Roger’s post-smackdown comment to Don and Burt, something like, “I don’t know about you two, but I had Lane.”

      T-Lo, just an excellent recap and analysis, as usual.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    Almost as delicious as Lane’s smackdown of Pete, was the guys reaction.  Don closing the curtains, and Roger’s priceless ” am I the only one who really wants to see this”…kudos to Slattery for his direction on this one.

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

    I loved this episode. They’re never more surprising than the first time you see them.  I thought it was funny when Megan yelled “Cynthia!” and she says. “What?” Finally they got her name! And she was the one in yellow this week…

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

      That was hilarious. Megan is a funny drunk.

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

    I loved this episode. They’re never more surprising than the first time you see them.  I thought it was funny when Megan yelled “Cynthia!” and she says. “What?” Finally they got her name! And she was the one in yellow this week…

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

    Well, I don’t know that Don is HAPPY, but he is happIER than he has been in a while.  Megan has ended up being a much more interesting character as a 2nd wife for him than I expected at the end of last season.  They are much better suited by temperment, as well as sexually and intellectually.  So, I think that Don believes that if he’d met her first, he wouldn’t have screwed it all up–I don’t think that it’s true, but it’s nice for him to think that.  Of course, he may screw his entire life up once again.

    • MilaXX

       I don’t know. I often get the feeling that Don is a stepping stone for Megan, a means to fuel her ambition. I can easily see Megan leaving him and Don being devastated.

      • Sobaika Mirza

        I don’t think Meghan’s particularly ambitious, but she’s smart and forward thinking and thinks the prospect of a baby at this time in her life is ‘impossible.’ They seem really happy right now, but it’s hard not to see them going in two different directions.

        • Sweetpea176

           Or it could actually be impossible.  Perhaps she can’t have children?

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

            Maybe she’s on birth control but Don is so self-absorbed to even notice. That’s my bet.

          • Sweetpea176

            Yes, of course. Although I don’t think Don has to be at all self-absorbed to miss her birth control pills if she doesn’t want him to know about them.

          • barbarasingleterry

            That’s what I thought after that comment.  Maybe a botched abortion earlier in her life prevents it?

          • UsedtobeEP

            Then I wasn’t the only one who thought her “impossible” comment was significant. I have been scanning the comments to see whether this came up anywhere. It was like she let this slip then jumped off topic really quickly. I don’t know that she had sex with him so much because he fixed the sink as she wanted to distract him from the whole baby issue. I think there’s something going on there, whether it’s can’t or won’t remains to be seen.

          • wmsinfla

            I had the same thought when she dismissed the baby idea, i.e., that she could have a a baby. 
            Re:  Peggy and Ken’s “pact”:  I was disappointed to hear that and Peggy fell in my estimation for being potentially disloyal to Don since they have such an unspoken connection.  But, on the other hand, Peggy seems a bit confused about Don so far this season, wondering if she really is understanding him.  Although she did warn Megan earlier about the danger of subjecting Don to a surprise party.

            Otherwise, an outstanding episode, really revvng up the season.

        • Sweetbetty

          Megan looked so warm and loving when the baby was there that I was waiting for her to bring up having one with Don and that he’d say, no way, I have three already.  I was surprised when he brought it up.  I thought he’d be more interested in keeping her the hot, mean-sex, non-domesticated woman that she is. 

          As for Megan’s ambitions, maybe something will lead her into acting, which was the reason she came to NYC.  Maybe a client will want her in a commercial, a la Betty in the soda commercial, and things will take off from there.  If being an actress is something she’s wanted deep down for many years the temptation may be too great and she and Don won’t be able to weather the storm of her becoming a successful actress?

          • alula_auburn

            I was actually thinking about a Megan/Betty connection–it seems very typically Don-self-destructive that he would subconsciously repeat the pattern of taking a worldly, sophisticated woman and moving her (metaphorically at least) to the suburbs with a baby.  Of course, Megan has a different personality and a different social priming than Betty did a decade earlier.

          • michelle shields

            good possiblity. Didn’t a client in a previous episode want “maybe someone french”?

        • mimi fabila

          Agreed.  We all know as an audience how seemingly completely aware Meghan seems to be of Don’s indiscretions…the more we see her interact as Don’s wife with each episode this season, the more excited I am about how she will be able to deflect his demise when we finally witness him falling apart.  She is strong, smart, and independent – all befitting at the cusp of feminism.

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

      If he’d met Megan first, she would have been a child. Let’s not forget that. I know that’s not what he meant, but it is true. He has dated plenty of women closer to his age that he could actually say “If I’d met her first…”, but in the end, he went with another young woman. And once she’s no longer young, will he still feel the same? Doubtful.

      • suzq

        When she’s no longer young, he will be old…close to “dead” as Bobby said in Episode 1.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jhjenn Jennifer Howard

        I think Rachel Menken was a close as he was to a soul-mate.

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

    Well, I don’t know that Don is HAPPY, but he is happIER than he has been in a while.  Megan has ended up being a much more interesting character as a 2nd wife for him than I expected at the end of last season.  They are much better suited by temperment, as well as sexually and intellectually.  So, I think that Don believes that if he’d met her first, he wouldn’t have screwed it all up–I don’t think that it’s true, but it’s nice for him to think that.  Of course, he may screw his entire life up once again.

  • mom2ab

    I loved this episode.  With all the Twighlight Zone references from the editing to the voice overs I think it makes perfect sense that Don is now the one truly happy person in this new world.  “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”

    • crackineggs

       This is what I love about reading this board.  I knew with the scene transitions they were referencing something from that era, but I had no idea what.  I think Paul talked about the Twilight Zone in one of the very first episodes.  I’ve just watched a few of the original episodes and I think they really referenced back to them with this episode – Pete’s creepiness, Ken’s writing and now this.  Love it!

    • formerlyAnon

       Don also seems primed, to me, to possibly descend into a no-dramatic-cause midlife crisis sort of angst. Work is not so much his turf to dominate as it once seemed, but he’s still successful. He’s happy with his marriage – or what, with Don, passes for happiness. Whatever the next parenting crisis is, he’ll be affected by it but as the father & the non-custodial father at that, he’ll be somewhat insulated. If there is no new external disaster, he can feel more and more boxed-in and unfulfilled in order to have a personal crisis.

      • UsedtobeEP

        And you would think that he’ had enough crisis in his life so far to want to avoid all of that.

        • formerlyAnon

          I think maybe he’s someone to whom personal crisis is familiar home ground. He will return there over and over, because in a way it is his “safe place.”

          • UsedtobeEP

            Yes, too much normalcy = deafening silence. Unnerving. I think you are right.

    • funkycamper

      As a huge Twilight Zone fan, I can’t believe I missed the TZ-styled editing, voice-overs, etc.  Will definitely need to rewatch just for these.  Thanks for pointing this out.

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

      Oh — say more about that!  I reacted to the ep emotionally as I would to a TZ episode, and in fact at the end I said out loud “that was like a Twilight Zone episode starring Pete.” But I didn’t (consciously?) understand that the ep was using similar filming/editing/directing techniques.  Can you explain further?

    • MissAnnieRN

      this episode was so twilight zone!!!  In fact, in the same way that T and Lo didn’t see the Liz Taylor-as-style-icon for Joanie coming, I didn’t see The Twilight Zone references coming.  MM is a perfect döppleganger for it in many ways.  

  • mom2ab

    I loved this episode.  With all the Twighlight Zone references from the editing to the voice overs I think it makes perfect sense that Don is now the one truly happy person in this new world.  “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/dvdusen Danielle Van Dusen

    If a major character dies this season, I’m going to have to bet on Pete. He is miserable and so immature that he has no coping skills whatsoever…It sure seems like the writers are setting him up for suicide.

    • BayTampaBay

      I bet it maybe Megan to throw Don for a further loop.

      • MK03

        Why would Megan kill herself? They haven’t set up anything to indicate that.

        • BayTampaBay

          Sorry My Bad! 

          I do not think she will kill herself.  I just meant that she may be a character to die this season.

          • MK03

            Bah, I read that wrong. Yeah, I suppose they could kill her off, but somehow I don’t think they will. At least, I hope she wasn’t introduced just so she could get killed and drive Don into another downward spiral.

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

            Nah. MAD MEN is too classy to do the old “Woman in a refrigerator” trick. (google it)

        • Sweetbetty

           Well, there was that scene of her on the balcony after Don’s birthday party.  Some speculated if that might have been foreshadowing.  There are a lot of reasons she could come to commit suicide; let’s see where her path travels.

          • AWStevens

             I wanna see Betty commit suicide.  But she survived cancer so…

    • charlotte

       That’s precisely what everyone said about Roger last season.

    • formerlyAnon

       I’m voting the suicide stuff is misdirection – or at best a metaphor for self-destructive behavior. If I had to guess, there’ll be a suicide attempt but any death will arrive as a blow from the heavens. Car accident, heart attack, etc.

      • AuntFiona

         That’s what I thought. As soon as I saw the Drivers’ Trng crash film in the opening, I thought what a great callback it would make for killing off a character in a future episode. Might be too literal to make it Pete, though.

  • Spicytomato1

    “The theme of emasculation played out again and again this episode in ways important and trivial.”
    No kidding. And as far as the disjointedness you mentioned, I felt like it contributed to the unsettled feeling that permeated the episode. I had a growing feeling of dread about Pete in particular, his angst — carefully masked especially at the dinner party — was really acute and uncomfortable to watch, I thought. I can’t help but feel that he’s headed for a really big fall.

    A nice amount of humor helped balance that, at least. I loved the baffled looks on Roger and company as they tried to process that Lane was serious about fighting Pete. I loved Joan and Peggy eavesdropping. And I loved Roger’s line to the effect of “If cooler heads prevailed we’d try to intervene.”

    • librarygrrl64

      Yes, lots of chuckles (and even an outright laugh) from me this week. Definitely in the script, but also due to Slattery’s sense of humor, I’m thinking.

    • UsedtobeEP

      Notice too how they keep bringing up these men who murder women. Speck, Whitman, then in October of 1966, the zodiac killer starts his work. With Pete being attracted to the high school student it makes me wonder. I have just started watching this show, having been content up to now to live through the lovely recaps. Have to say, entering through the last couple of episodes, that Pete comes off as one really unbalanced guy, and that isn’t the impression I got of him through the TLo recaps of before.

      • crackineggs

         I think you might be on to something here.  I’ve always thought that there was something unsettling about Pete.  He can look so cruel and he obviously feels life has somehow not been fair to him.  Now all of this talk about his gun, plus twice he has mentioned killing the vermin on his property.  Serial killers often start with animals don’t they?

        • UsedtobeEP

          It would be a huge departure to add murder in there anywhere, wouldn’t it? Dysfunction, we have lots of. But Pete sure creeped me out last night with all the ingratiating behavior, the relentless performing, down to having a boxing match to please Don, when he looked like he knew he would lose all along. I probably need to go back and watch previous seasons to read the character better but that was one uncomfortable hour of TV. Which means I can’t wait until next week!

          • crackineggs

            Did I really post that?  Ha!  After reading thirteen pages of analysis and speculation, I think I’m a little drunk on foreshadowing possibilities!   I’ve been watching the first season again and Pete is just so slimey and creepy.  It’s wonderful stuff!

          • Vodeeodoe

             I think Pete could go either way killer/suicide. But believe me, he’s going!

  • Scott Hester-Johnson

    “Lane’s humiliation, …. and then by Joan’s rejection”

    I actually took that as Lane’s triumph, when Joan said that every guy in the office had wanted to do that, implying that he was the only one man enough to step up to the plate and take a swing. And right after his solid pasting of Pete.

    • iwsav

       I agree, Scott.  I didn’t take that scene as his humiliation.  I think if Joan walked out of the office, it would have been humiliating.  But she calmly went to the office door, opened it, sat back down, and said that he was the only one to step up to the plate.  She stopped it from going farther in the office, but did not put the kibosh on something happening outside of the office.

      • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

         I hooted out loud (“YES!”) when he kissed her, and was so relieved that she didn’t walk through the door but came back and sat down. Joan is a class act all the way.

        • Sweetbetty

          My feeling exactly.  And when she said that every guy in the office had wanted to do that, I assumed she meant make a pass at her.  By clarifying that it was taking a swing at Pete she gracefully shifted the focus away from the kiss, implying it had never happened, to the fisticuffs, which is what she wanted to concentrate on.  Gotta love Joanie.

          • librarygrrl64

            That whole scene was IMPECCABLY timed and acted. Kudos to Slattery, Harris, and Hendricks.

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

            Joan is awesome.

          • filmcricket

            Joan’s always done that very well. When her roommate hit on her back in S1, she side-stepped it neatly in a “that never happened” way. (Pete’s so hopeless that when he replaced the au pair’s dress he actually had to get her to say “this never happened.”) She’s obviously very used by now to rejecting people gently.

    • MissAnnieRN

      I totally agree.  Joan would have been completely within her scope to push him back the second he leaned in, but she kissed back.  She didn’t embrace him, it was a cold, stiff body language, but she kissed back.  I almost saw it as a sign of respect that she didn’t push him away.  She knew why he was doing it, and let him do it.  Then she MASTERFULLY opened the door, sat back down and redirected the conversation very skillfully with an awful lot of semantics and double entendre.  That entire scene was an amazing bit of writing and acting.  

  • norseofcourse

    I want to see Pete Campbell eating a box of Bugles at his desk on next week’s episode. 

    • Spicytomato1

      Haha! Although I’m afraid Pete is way past the point of self-medicating with Bugles.

    • miagain

      in his robe?

      • Sweetbetty

        Was anyone else as surprised as I was to see Pete in his robe lying on his back fixing the sink?  I’d have never guessed he even owned a tool box.

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

          Well as it turned out he had no idea what he was doing anyway. I assume he went in and fiddled with screws and nuts until it stopped dripping without an idea of what anything’s purpose was. See: failure to know your role (husband as handyman, as demonstrated by Don, as “failed” by Pete, probably because of their divergent upbringings – Pete, living in a modern city, could bring in a plumber, or at least the super of his building, for minor repairs, vs the countryside outhouse liver who had to make do for himself).

          • idrisr

            When he went under the sink I wondered what the hell did he plan to do under there to fix the drip. I’d have first taken off the faucet head and seen whether the washer was there or degraded. But I’d imagine the drip will be back, because Don didn’t do anything to fix that really…

          • Sweetbetty

             The first thing you want to do is shut off the water supply and the valves for that are usually under the sink, if not in the basement.  If you take off the faucet head without doing that you might be presented with a  geyser. 

          • idrisr

            yes, shut off the water first unless you  want to get sprayed.

            Also, just thought of this. In the Jaguar meeting, Don said that the pitch would be ‘pornographic.’ Isn’t the guy going under the sink with women watching so common a porn trope to be cliche? Or my mind is just in the gutter.

          • TheDivineMissAnn

            Yes. And Yes.  And my mind is right with yours.  ;)

          • filmcricket

            And Megan quite obviously enjoyed it.

          • MissAnnieRN

            My mind is mingling with yours down in the gutter.  Between Don’s scene and the boxing scene I’m thinking I’m a bad bad feminist for falling prey to these old tropes thinking both Don and Lane are way hotter doing both of these things :)

          • UsedtobeEP

            It will be back; even Don said it was coincidence that Pete fixed the leak. I think I heard the dripping overdub at the end. I think Pete is going nuts.

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

            Pete’s a drip.
            BURN. 

          • norseofcourse

            Ironically, the guy who grew up without plumbing knows how to fix the sink …

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

            He probably had a sink. Toilets are newer technology, and outhouses were more convenient and inexpensive if you had the land.

        • crackineggs

           When Pete brought out his tool box I flashed back to my Dad – he had the tool box and all the right tools, but he was clueless about fixing anything.  He’d end up swearing and throwing the tools down in disgust.  It got to the point that whenever he brought out the tool box, our overly sensitive dog would run up to one of us and cower. Fun times.

          • barbarasingleterry

            The tool box that was used most in our house belonged to my mother.  Dad could do minor plumbing (leaky sink or toilet) but the hammer and nails stuff belonged to Mom.  Invariably, he would start to hammer and hit his thumb.  Lots of very interesting language after that…

    • Pants_are_a_must

       I want a “Loser Pete Campbell” twitter.

  • Frank_821

    I liked the little touches like the ever so discreet way Joan handled Lane’s kiss. The applause for Don when he fixed the sink.

    It says soemthing about the show’s writing when we can cheer Pete getting a major beatdown but still feel sorry for his state in life. You said it perfect. He wants to be Don Draper but he’s finding out all too quickly how unsatisfying that is. He was right to call Don out both times though. Don has no right to judge him. More importantly if he really wanted to help Pete he should of told him not to be like him. What’s more Don should have tried to intervene in the fight. Pete was a total shithead in his approach but he was right that they giving the client exactly what he wanted and Lane needs to understand sometimes that’s how you have to play it in order to win the client.

    What’s funny is how happy Pete was that Don was coming to his house for dinner. It shows that Pete has no real friends and no one there really took him under their wing and nutured/mentored him. Not really.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      “It shows that Pete has no real friends and no one there really took him under their wing and nutured/mentored him.”

      And he wants it painfully. He’s spent so long thinking he’s better than what he is, and he craves that validation.

      • kj8008

        I agree – his dad was a sham, his brother doesn’t really like him that much either.

        • rowsella

           Don had a similar situation in his family. Dislike by his stepmother, shame by his father.  In fact, Pete at least can be who he is.  Don also was an army deserter, not likely to measure up to the standards of his senior partners.  It is curious that while Pete was the first to discover that Don was a fraud, he is still tantalized by the image that Don cultivates.  I think that Pete needs to relax, release that need to be Mr. Superstar.  Don will self destruct in his midlife crisis as we all know.  Pete’s problem is that he is no longer attractive to college girls which can be kind of a shock to those used to a certain level of privilege and name recognition in some circles.  The elevator metaphor is pretty interesting.  In the beginning we saw that Don had no where to go but up and we saw certain areas of his life implode d/t his duplicitous identity and self destructive behavior.  Pete, who for most of his life thought he was up, found himself without moorings after his father died and must struggle like the rest of us.  I think he sees Don as a guy who broke all the rules and won and wants to be like him.  I feel sorry for Pete, his birthright frittered away, he will feel cheated out of what he feels is rightfully his the rest of his life.

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

        Don’s drawing of a noose reminded me of his own relationship with his brother – it’s interesting that two such failed pairs of sibling relationships have never been able to reach out to one another to fill those gaps. Oh well. 

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

        Well, Don has no friends either. Megan teased him “I had to invite your accountant to your birthday party”. He just doesn’t want them. 

    • MK03

      I felt the theme of this episode was “Pete, you will NEVER be Don. Please quit trying.” You could see him, in every situation, trying to figure out how Don would handle it. Hitting on the teenage girl, trying to fix the sink, with the prostitute–everything was predicated on “What would Don do?” Pete has been trying to be Don since season one. It ain’t gonna happen, Pete. Give it up.

    • librarygrrl64

      His face when Don actually showed up was priceless. It was so sweet and child-like it actually made me laugh.

      • Spicytomato1

        I know, me too. He was amazing in every scene he was in. I said it before but Vincent K’s performance was stellar in this episode.

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

      But Pete didn’t *have* to have sex with a prostitute. He just had to take the client there. 

      • asympt

         Well, he wouldn’t have, if the girl hadn’t won his three-guesses-what-I-really-want-to-fantasize challenge.

        Not that it was a hard one to guess–

        • Sweetbetty

           But we wouldn’t have gotten to the guessing game if he hadn’t gone into the bedroom with her.  He could have sat out at the bar with Don; it was his choice to go off with the girl.

        • kcarb1025

          Pete was obligated to have sex with her because she guessed his fantasy? LOL

    • http://twitter.com/latxcvi LaT

      Don *wasn’t* judging Pete, though.  That’s what made that exchange so interesting, particularly given how Pete’s behavior was mirroring some of Don’s self-destructive behavior of season’s past: Pete was projecting *his own* disappointment in himself onto Don; he knew he’d done something shitty by sleeping with the hooker and he projected all of that onto Don so he didn’t have to think about how awful he’d managed to make himself feel.  Same thing with the fight. Instead of telling Lane no and walking out, he let his wounded pride get the better of it, fouled things up for himself and expected someone else to either make it better for him or tell him that his shitty choices were okay.  I don’t agree that Don has any great responsibility to help Pete out when Pete’s a grown-up capable of making his own choices.  Don isn’t Pete’s baby-sitter and, more significantly? Don *isn’t Pete’s friend*.  He’s never been Pete’s friend and a lot of that is Pete’s own doing.  Pointedly, Don didn’t reassure him when Pete said, in the elevator, “I thought we were friends.”  Because they aren’t; they never have been.  Also, sometimes, it’s the people who’ve made decisions as bad as the ones we’re currently making who are the *best* suited to tell us that going down that road won’t end well.  Don wasn’t wrong to point out to Pete that he seems to have a good life and that it’d be foolish to throw that away because he seems hell-bent on not letting himself take pleasure in it and Don’s speaking from his own lived experience.  It’s not automatically judgmental to say to someone, “I’ve been where you are right now and it might not end well,” when you know what you’re talking about, which Don does with the kind of behavior Pete demonstrated last night.

      • asympt

         Pete wasn’t just talking about Don.  “We’re supposed to be friends”–everyone in that office is supposed to be the supportive family he didn’t grow up with.  He couldn’t earn his own family’s esteem, but he’s doing what the company wants of him and performing well–so why not?

        (Because that’s not how friendship works, but poor Pete doesn’t know that.)

        • Andrea Rossillon

           Plus, Pete does not behave as a friend– in order to have friends, you must first be one. Don’t screw with Roger and Lane and expect them to like you.

          • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

            And don’t try to blackmail somebody and then expect them to be your pal.

        • UsedtobeEP

          If you are friends with someone, then you don’t treat them as badly as Pete treats everyone in that office—you know, like essentially calling them useless and a homo.

        • UsedtobeEP

          And where did that come from anyway? Ugh, I really disliked Pete last night. I really dislike name calling, and that was just vicious to attack his role with the company like that, too. 

      • Sweetbetty

         ”Don *wasn’t* judging Pete”.

        I wanted to scream that at Pete as I was watching.  Don didn’t say a word; it was Pete’s own guilt and self-loathing that made him assume that Don was judging him.  Yep to everything you wrote.

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

    Oh, how I love Lane.  It was so satisfying to see him beat up Pete–especially after last week (two weeks ago, when did this happen?) when Roger said, “I think we should take this meeting outside” and Pete laughed.  Not laughing anymore, huh, Pete?  Interestingly, I found myself comparing Pete to Betty rather than Don.  He has everything he ever wanted–wife, kids, house in the suburbs, high-level advertising job–and he can’t be happy.  Betty got out of her sham of a marriage to Don, married a politican who (presumably) doesn’t cheat on her, she has lots of money, and an even bigger house in the suburbs, and she’s still miserable, but for different reasons.  I’m not sure if Don is HAPPY, but with Megan he seems at least healthy and functional.

    I loved Trudy on the phone with Don, and Ken Cosgrove is just so refreshingly NORMAL, isn’t he?  But then, he always was.  I remember at the beginning there was Pete, there was Sal, there was Kinsey, there was nerdy Harry, and there was…wait, what’s his name?  It felt almost forced when they gave him the writing subplot back in “The Golden Violin,” but I liked where they’ve taken it and how it fits into his life (plus his wife played Alex Mack on Nickelodeon when she was a teenager, so the science fiction thing is perfect!).

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

      I would point out – Pete never wanted a house in the suburbs. He wanted to raise his kids in the city. 

      • Adriana_Paula

        YES.  The suburbs make him miserable; hence his crack that maybe the robot took the bolt out of the bridge bacause he “hates commuters.”  Pete’s always been a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker; his mentioning to the high svhool girl that his family helped pay for the Bronx Botanical Gardens, was bragging, but also longing.  I feel for him; he has no other model for a successful life.

    • formerlyAnon

       Yeah, when Ken just calmly changed his nom de plume and went on his merry way, I loved him as I never have before.

      Though I think he’s really just there for contrast – to emphasize how locked in the other guys are to the demands of their rigidly constrained world. They may seem like the inhabitants of a free spirited & creative enclave to folks outside of advertising, but that’s only window dressing.

    • http://twitter.com/bigknittrouble Big Knitting Trouble

      OMG Alex Mack!  I knew I recognized her –”Cynthia!”

      • BayTampaBay

        Who is Alex Mack?

        • Sobaika Mirza

          The actress starred in a piece of 90s Nickelodeon awesomeness, the Secret World of Alex Mack. I think that’s what it was called. I think that show is actually what introduced me to Sci-fi.

          • MK03

            Also, more 90s delight: Trudy’s dad was also Clarissa’s dad. Whenever he’s in an episode, I can’t help but squeal, “Marshall!!”

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

            It is so weird seeing him do anything else. Marshall Darling forever.

          • TheDivineMissAnn

            Was she the one who could turn into some kind of liquid and slide under doors, etc.?

          • Sobaika Mirza

            That’s the one!

    • Jennifer Coleman

      Ken is the Weeble of this show. He may on occasion wobble, but he’ll never fall down. And all of his peers become unhinged at his centerdness. I’m glad that Peggy has connected with him, the most stable character on the show.

      • emcat8

        Ken is like null space — everyone becomes different around him, and then they lose their shit precisely because he doesn’t. You could almost see Roger getting more agitated at Ken’s lack of reaction to his ridiculous demands… and then Ken just goes back to doing what he does, with a different slant.

    • Laura Maki

       Ken is one of my favorites, and for sure is the person I would most want to spend time with in real life. He was always quite accepting of Peggy becoming a copywriter. I loved when they did that hug/twirl thing a while ago. When I heard they had a pact to leave together my heart grew 3 sizes. I also always love when Pete tries to be like him, and just gets jealous that it’s not as easy for Pete as it is for Ken.

      • Phaedra

        Work doesn’t really mean anything to Ken, so it makes him easygoing and content with anything going on at the office. Work means *everything* to Pete, so he takes every imperfection and disappointment in his work life to heart. (So it hurts even more that he doesn’t have any friends at work (not like he tries to be personable…))

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

    I’m less cynical about Don’s happiness than you guys are and I disagree with the assertion that Don’s failed marriage to Betty was 100% Don’s fault.  I also think it was less disjointed than last week, but I do agree about the on-point thing, especially for that scene. 

    This show was loaded with moments. LOVED it. In my top 3 episodes. The Pete Smackdown was awesome and I think I’m going to have to re-watch those last several scenes a few more times to catch more details. I loved that Joan was centered and mature and professional and confident enough to understand that Lane kissing her was in the heat of the moment and she was kind enough to give him an out and not make a big deal of it. I LOVE that she said that “Everyone in this office has wanted to do that to Pete Campbell”  which of course is not entirely what he was talking about, and of course, it could also be about everyone in the office wanting to do that to HER as WELL. Loved the elevator scene at the end with Pete. “We’re supposed to be friends” and Don almost imperceptibly shakes his head at that (LLLLOVE how Don Draper/Jon Hamm conveys so much with his slight expressions, usually of disgust or disdain. Someone needs to do a youtube reel of those.) And then he says “I have nothing, Don.” and then we cut to Ken talking about The Man with the Miniature Orchestra (aka tiniest violin in the world. ) 

    I’m sure I’ll have many more comments to make. So much to talk about!

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

      That’s what I thought Joan was going to say!  When the sentence started “Everyone in this office,” I thought it was going to be about how everyone in this office had wanted to sleep with her–but I think she knew that that wasn’t what Lane needed to hear in that moment. She’s a good egg, that Joan.

    • MilaXX

       Perhaps I’m wrong but I don’t think they are saying that Don’s first marriage was 100% Don’s fault, rather Don was implying everything was Betty. It felt like he was saying if Betty had been like Megan they might still have been married.

      • http://twitter.com/latxcvi LaT

        Huh.  I took Don’s “I might not have thrown it all away” as being more an acknowledgment that Megan is more *suited* to him than Betty was – and let’s face it, that’s true; Don and Betty really weren’t compatible – which isn’t a *failing* on Betty’s part or even a criticism of Betty.  Like, I can wear both red and blue, but red, as a color, is more flattering on or suited to me. That doesn’t mean that blue is inherently flawed in some way, just that it doesn’t work as well for me as another color does.

      • Jennifer Coleman

        I agree. I do get the feeling Don is aware of what he lost when he divorced Betty, even if the decision was correct because the relationship turned toxic. The thing that we never really seen was how Don & Betty went bad, the damage was done before the show started. Is Don doomed to repeat his mistakes? Was Betty as rational as Megan, but at some point disengaged from him? 

        • asympt

           We’ve seen plenty of indications that Betty’s always been insecure, with good cause.  You can’t afford to be insecure around Don–and Megan definitely isn’t, the way she stands up to even the smallest bit of bullshit from him.  (He hasn’t hit her with the big bullshit so much.)

    • Sweetbetty

      Ken’s writing also called back to the discussion of Pete’s 7′ long new stereo and how it sounded like there was a miniature orchestra inside it.

    • Jennifer Coleman

      That scene in the elevator was heartbreaking. When MM ends with an elevator scene, the results are always striking. All through the episode, Don has been trying to help Pete: the advice about if he’d found Megan first, he wouldn’t have thrown his first marriage away (Don is deluding himself, but the advice was heartfelt), his remark to Pete after the fight about things going to be okay (shades of his soothing words to Betty) and his pained face in the elevator when Pete said he had nothing. He is not judging Pete, he doesn’t want Pete to follow his footsteps. Pete, though sees only his idealized image of Don (the King), constantly holding up a mirror to Pete’s failure.

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

        I think Don is holding back a mountain of opinion about Pete, which really shows in his pained expressions, which he has had on his face every time Pete has one of his entitlement rants and when he bitches about Roger. Pete has no social graces or way with people the way Don and Roger do, and he’s oblivious to how much of an ass he is. 

        • Jennifer Coleman

          Pete has always suspected he is an ass. While entitled, his family and his parents’ relationships with him were dysfunctional. He acts like he feels he should treated as a child of entitlement, but he realizes the equation is wrong. That’s why he’s been attracted to women he feels will look up to him (Peggy, that nanny, the driving school girl). Trudy was the well-bred girl that he felt he had to marry 
          (even though he lucked out as she’s pretty solid).
          Roger, on the other hand is oblivious to the fact he’s an ass most of the time. Also very entitled, he’s only now really doubting himself. Pete is terrorizing Roger now because Roger has never had that hole of self doubt in his soul that Pete has.
          Don is really never been invested in Pete, say he was with Peggy in other seasons. What he does see is that Pete is embarking on a similar path that Don himself was on and he has empathy for and also impatience with Pete. But Don has terrible friend/advice skills-he has not had a male friend the whole series. He kind of dislikes everybody except for a few women.

          • asympt

             Well, he’s friends with Roger.  But he doesn’t particularly LIKE him.  (He does pity him.  “Roger’s miserable,” he asserts, correctly, to Pete.)

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Carlson-Nikoleit/100002490979930 Margaret Carlson Nikoleit

            I’d hesitate to say he’s friends with Roger either. Remember that time he forced Roger to throw up in front of a client? Not a friendly prank.

          • Jennifer Coleman

            Exactly! They’ve talked about their lives together, but do not trust each other. I think Roger at one point wanted Don to be more of a friend, but realized it wasn’t going to happen. All of their interactions have revolved around the office, even when they talk about personal stuff.

          • Jennifer Coleman

            Exactly! They’ve talked about their lives together, but do not trust each other. I think Roger at one point wanted Don to be more of a friend, but realized it wasn’t going to happen. All of their interactions have revolved around the office, even when they talk about personal stuff.

    • MissAnnieRN

      “ I disagree with the assertion that Don’s failed marriage to Betty was 100% Don’s fault.”

      So do I.  I’m not condoning Don cheating on Betty, but it’s not hard to see that a guy like Don Draper is never going to be happy with a submissive, childlike, pretty face like Betty.  He didn’t respect Betty.  Probably never did.  Remember the scene of the two of them in Italy out to dinner on the street?  It was like a glimpse into their past.  Betty could have easily been replaced by Megan in that scene if they had been in Paris or Montreal instead of Rome.  If indeed Betty and Don used to have a relationship like the one depicted in that scene, then I can definitely throw shade at Don for losing his way.  But for the majority of the time we as an audience have seen the Don/Betty interaction, it seems as though he never respected her to begin with.  If that is indeed the case, then shame on him for not figuring that out before marrying her.  

  • NurseEllen

    I also wanted to say that I LOVED Roger explaining to Lane how to reel in a prospective client.  Who knew he had actually thought out all these strategies?  Apparently he’s far more canny than he appears at such meetings–there’s much more going on than just being a good time guy.  And nobody does all this like him.  At the lobster dinner with the Jaguar man, Don was all business and Pete was clueless.  It was fun to watch Roger apply his own principles of client courtship, figure out what the guy REALLY wanted, and provide it–even though SCDP was already assured of the account.

    • charlotte

       It was about time to depict Roger as something else beside a douche who walks around handing out dollar bills.

      • BayTampaBay

        I agree.  I want to see Roger’s good characteristics come out.

        • asympt

           What I liked was how relatively amiably Roger seems to be adjusting to his new status.  “Now I’m Professor Emeritus of Accounts.”

    • PaulaBerman

       And as you listened, you just KNEW Lane was not going to be able to do it, because Roger does all that instinctively. People just like Roger, they trust and admire him for his sang froid, and that is why he was so good at what he did. Lane is more of an introvert, a numbers guy, not particularly warm. I loved watching them interact, because they are so different, and neither one can do what the other does.

      • Sweetbetty

         Some things cannot be learned; some things cannot be taught.  Some things are just innate in a person’s character.  That’s why I think that a lot of these seminars on leadership and other qualities are largely a waste of time and money; you either have it or you don’t.  Maybe you can polish the skills or learn how to bring them to the surface, but if you don’t got it you just don’t got it.

  • StillGary

    HOly cow! Wonderful commentary — with so many themes and undercurrents, this wan’t an easy discourse! It’s funny, though, I don’t really think Lane feels particularly refused or rejected by by Joan — I think winning the fight made him feel all manly and and his kissing her was just a momentary brazenness — maybe to just satisfy a curiosity. I don’t see him as being really sexually attracted to her — his regard for Joan is much more amicable — but in Lane’s eyes, he behaved he just behaved like  a barbarian with Pete, what would a barbarian do next? I loved Joan’s reply to his apology, “everyone wants to hit Pete.” I thought she was going to say everyone … WANTS TO KISS ME — maybe she changed her mind mid-sentence, haha.

  • makeityourself

    More emasculation — Don fixing the faucet while Pete fumbled with the tool box.  I found Don’t line to Pete, “That was just a coincidence,” after Pete tried to learn why his previous repair had failed, very interesting.  It’s as if Don was saying to Pete, “you think you’ve done everything right in your career and personal life, with the wife, the baby, the house in the suburbs, etc., but it was really just a coincidence.  You’ve got what appears to be success, but really your life is still a dripping faucet, one step away from erupting.”  

    I loved Roger’s coaching of Lane.  Roger is really the expert account man/psychologist when he’s sober.

    • PaulaBerman

       It doesn’t hurt that Don looked so hot taking off his shirt, standing there wet in his tight white T… and Pete looks like a dork perpetually.

  • carolynmo

    I’m going to mess up the paraphrase, but I loved Roger’s comment before the fight: I know cooler heads should prevail, but am I the only one who wants to see this? I laughed out out at that.

    Oh, and at Don’s jacket at the party. Seriously guffawed.

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

       Me, too!  That jacket!

    • ccinnc

       Yes, and how out of place does Don look in the burbs now?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1084733830 Kate Andrews

    Just thought of it: Pete’s beatdown echoes his bop on the nose on his office wall earlier this season. 

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

      he keeps running into walls in life, this time it was named Lane!

  • Judy_J

    So many OMG moments in this episode!  Can’t wait to read the Mad Style post….I literally screamed when Don walked in wearing that plaid sportcoat!  He looked horribly uncomfortable and out of place in it.  And didn’t you love it when he fixed the faucet in Pete’s kitchen?  Speaking of Pete, he’s getting creepier and creepier with every episode.  His hitting on that hight school girl made my skin crawl.  I’m definitely watching this one again.  So much to digest.

    • MilaXX

       I’m more interested in seeing what TLo has to say about Joan’s green dress. It reminds me of Peggy’s green dress from the previous episode.

    • 3hares

      I was mostly noticing the return of Pete’s blue suit from seasons past. Seems like he doesn’t wear it any more, but regressed in this ep.

  • Brigitte Todd

    The callback to Pete’s gun! Love it. So many callbacks this week. 

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

      Maybe that’s why he spilled the beans to Roger about Ken’s writing? To get him back for blabbing to Trudy. 

  • Paigealicious

    Are you going to take your teeth out, or should I remove them for you?

  • makeityourself

    That dinner party was excruciating.  OMG Don in is “country” sport coat.  (I know; I’ve got to wait for MadStyle.)  I found myself comparing the event to the previous dinner party at Don’s house, when drunken Roger propositioned Betty in the kitchen.  These people really need to stay out of each other’s houses.  But then or course we would have missed Megan’s cabaret performance earlier this season.  But it’s no wonder Don thinks entertaining co-workers in the home is a bad idea.

    SO GREAT TO SEE JOANIE BACK IN THE OFFICE!!!!!  I think she’s another reason this episode just sang.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UGFSSAYFPNER5HPV4GGZA3PMMQ Christiane

    Honestly, I thought Don’s comment, “If I had found her first, I might not have thrown it all away,” really revealed something about how much he has changed. He married Betty to “complete” the role he was playing. Megan, he married to be happy, to be more “true” to himself. Seeing him in the high-class brothel was a revelation. The old Don would have indulged himself. The new Don knows just how much he has to lose. And I think that moment with Megan in the car – he was once more celebrating his escape from the suburbs and the prison he had constructed for himself there.

    And I too have been waiting five seasons for Pete to get a beatdown. 

    I was cheering for Ken at the end.

    Incidentally, my grandmother had that same kind of huge stereo console. We kids weren’t allowed to touch it.

    • AZU403

      We had one of those gargantuan pieces of stereo furniture too. Oddly enough it was from Germany and on the radio dial you could tune it to Munich, Berlin,Prague, etc., though unfortunately being in the US we couldn’t actually get those cities.

      I really have led a sheltered life – it took several minutes before I figured out what kind of “party” the guys were at.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I didn’t realize it was a whorehouse either at first. That gold bedspread and leopard undies should have been a clue…….

      • Munchkn

         We had an old radio that had settings on the dial for London, Paris, and other foreign cities.  Sometimes you could tune in the BBC and whatnot.  My brother has the radio now.

    • ccinnc

       We had one too. So did my husband’s family. It was de rigueur for the 60s.

      • Spicytomato1

        Oh yes, it was my parents’ first major purchase after they got married in 1961. I have it now and we still listen to vinyl on it.

        • asympt

           We had one a little bit smaller–it doubled as a coffee table.

    • MilaXX

       Mine did too. In fact against my wishes my mother threw it out just 2 years ago when we were cleaning out my grandparents home.

    • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

      My parents had a similar one – although the top didn’t flip up, it was an under cabinet model where the turntable pulled out. And it was used as the alter table for my private, at home, first Communion in 1970. My dad later took out the turn table and original speakers and updated the components with radio, cd and tape players, plus new speakers. It’s still in their living room and is quite a beautiful piece of furniture. I’m eyeballing it to take out the now outdated components, fit it with shelves and turn it into a bar.

    • BayTampaBay

      My parents had one too.  It was an RCA purchased in 1965 or 66.

    • librarygrrl64

      My dad STILL has his in the living room. It moved with us from one house to another. My late mother redecorated around it at least once a decade since then, but that was the one thing she couldn’t get rid of. He used to blast us out of bed on weekends by playing one of his Beethoven albums. It’s so old it has now come back in style and is retro. He has been talking about (finally) getting rid of it. He’ll probably make a fortune selling it to some hipster on Craig’s List. ;-)

      • http://www.facebook.com/jutz.holtzman Jutz Holtzman

        This made me laugh. My parents home is decorated so badly that it has finally come back around to “cool again”. He indeed would make a small fortune- he shoud take it to an antique dealer!

        • librarygrrl64

          It’s even less attractive than Pete’s, if you can believe it. I think one of my brothers wants it.

    • 3hares

      I think Megan’s far much more like Betty than different in plenty of ways. Any suggestion on Don’s part that if he’d only married Megan his first marriage would have been different seems like same old Don to me. It wasn’t Betty not being suited to him that made him cheat. I’m sure he was completely blissful with Betty six month into their marriage as well. If Don today escaped from the trap of the suburbs, earlier Don escaped from the trap of the country and escaped to the suburbs.

    • cmb92191

      My father in law had a huge McIntosh tube stereo that he bought in 1960 and it still plays to this day! My father in law has passed on, but this huge hunk of furniture is in my brother in laws house.  When I saw that stereo in Pete’s house, I thought of my in laws stereo.   I always gave my children strict instructions never to touch it when visiting..

  • Eva_baby

    I liked the glimpse into Ken here.  I’ve always had the impression he actually did his job effortlessly well, hence Pete’s little snarky about ‘Kenny and his haircut’.    The fact that he was brought over from Sterling-Cooper speaks to that.  He’s never seemed as competitive or even as invested in the job as most of the others have.  With this glimpse into his psyche yesterday, that feeling that this is just a job to pay the bills got cemented for me.  It is the writing that feeds his soul, and that is where his real passion lies.  I think that is a lot healthier attitude than Pete, Don, Roger and even Lane has.  I was really glad to see that he ignored Roger, changed his pen named and continued to write. 

    Also, I loved that little scene where Peggy told him she liked the ‘one with the girl that laid the eggs.’  Her expression was great and just that little tidbit made me so curious about the story.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      Speaking of Peggy – after the Lane/Pete throwdown when she stands at the door, doesn’t say anything, waits a beat and then just leaves

      Elizabeth Moss has great comic timing. She wasn’t onscreen much but I remember that moment and her ‘girl that laid the eggs’ expression so well.

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

        It reminded me of last season when she was peeking over the wall into Don’s office, and pulled her head down at just the right moment.  Her physical acting ability is great.

        • barbarasingleterry

          That episode was also directed by John Slattery if I remember rightly.  The fact the Peggy, a sheltered Catholic girl, reads Galaxy magazine and likes science fiction says a lot to me as well.  Science fiction was considered a little subversive and definitely not main stream.  I would have thought she would like mysteries or romance novels. 

          • AZU403

            She could have read the story simply because it was by someone she knew – one way to get introduced to media you wouldn’t otherwise sample.

          • asympt

             Yes, I think she sought it out.  Her boyfriend or one of their friends probably had Galaxys around.

          • filmcricket

            I was certain when Ken said he wrote genre fiction that it was going to be romance novels. Poor Sal would have flipped. But that would be too obvious a cliche for Mad Men, I guess.

  • rat618

    Don’t forget Joan’s beat down of her worthless husband. After being told he wasn’t surgeon material as a Chief Resident he looks anywhere for people to fawn over him and he found it in Nam. Way to go Joannie.

  • annrr

    I love the thread of Ken writing Science Fiction, it fits perfectly in with the late 60′s. So much classic Sci-fi is from the 60′s, books by Bradbury, Heinlein and Asimov, movies 2001 A Space Odyssey  and Planet of the Apes, and the Original Star Trek  aired on TV in 1966. I don’t really remember Galaxy magazine but after looking it up on Wiki, seems like Ken getting a published in Galaxy is pretty big, a lot of major Sci-Fi authors got their start there.

    • asympt

       Galaxy was still pretty good in the mid-late 60s (cutting edge in the 50s).  Ken’s going to be a regular in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, though, with his literary sensibilities and his Twilight-Zoney use of sf to comment on modern alienation.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if “Algonquin” becomes a minor but significant New Wave figure.

      The editor he was meeting should probably have been a little younger, and he would have represented a paperback line.  Back then a reasonably successful short-story writer (it was possible to be one of those back then!–and get paid perhaps two cents a word, which wasn’t terrible pocket money for a side gig, and could pay the rent for someone who really churned them out) could actually get a paperback of short fiction, because anything with a rocket on the cover could pay for itself in newstand/drugstore/grocery store sales.  People outside the world of sf wouldn’t have known him, but if he went to an sf convention his pen name would be recognized–and it wouldn’t shock me if his wife went to sf conventions.

      Perfect was that they didn’t let him call it “sci fi”.  Someone who wrote from the literary side of the genre back then wouldn’t have used Forry Ackerman’s appellation, which suggested pulp fiction to non-Forry insiders at that time.  (Bless Forry’s “Famous Monsters” supernerd heart.)

      (Yeah, it was two decades later before I was published in F&SF, but I had a deep interest in the small-pond glory days I’d missed.)

      • asympt

         And by the way, Go Ken.  I never much liked him, but now that I know where he actually parks his soul, now I do.  He’s wise to keep it detached from the office.

        • filmcricket

          Yeah, I’ve always been sorry that they kept Ken and left Kinsey – Paul was so much more interesting, even though he was pretty much a failure. But there’s no doubt Ken’s the only guy in that office I’d want to know in real life.

          • DCCaliChick

            I miss Kinsey, too.  I loved how he was the pompous office crackpot.  I don’t think he was a creative failure–he was just abrasive to upper management.  Wonder why they let him go…

      • barbarasingleterry

        My dad was an avid sf fan and had subcriptions to Galaxy and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.  I would steal them out of the mailbox and read them before he had a chance to even see them.  He also belonged to the Science Fiction Book Club.  After I started at UCIrvine I learned that one of the physics professors was a regular contributor to F&SF.  Glory days for sure…

        • emcat8

          Your dad sounds like my dad. We had those and Asimov’s and Analog plus Omni in the ’70s, and he also got Hitchcock’s and Nero Wolfe. At one point I couldn’t even keep track of all the genre magazines and books littering the house. It’s all his fault I am like I am, I guess.

      • annrr

        That is interesting, makes sense. I was turned on to Sci-fi by my older brother who had a wall sized bookshelf full of paperbacks. I was into Omni magazine in high school, I think that came after Galaxy.

  • AliciaChamisa

    The madam sidling over to Don reminded me of Peggy Lee’s, “Big Spender,” in her looks also

    • AZU403

      For a minute I was afraid it was Andrea, from last week.

      • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

         I had that moment too. But I loved how effortlessly she shifted from trying to find him a girl to moving into business mode of “what do you think of the place – do we need a tv?”

        • TheDivineMissAnn

          Didn’t she allude to finding him a man, too, if that’s what he was wanting?  She said something like…”I know of a place just a few blocks from here…” or something to that effect.   Smart businesswoman!

          • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

             You’re right. I forgot that. And between Don and the Madam – it was all just business. No moralizing or judgements. Can I provide you with what you’re looking for? No? Alrighty, drinks on me.

          • asympt

            Yes–though she called it a “friend”, not a place.  Don complimented her on how smoothly she made the pitch.

  • NDC_IPCentral

    I had thought this was a “setting up several plot lines” episode.  Thank you so much for your take on the context – men’s roles – it makes great sense.   Excellent comments, Kittens and poodles – I think I’m going to have to find a way to re-watch this episode so that I can revel in the reveals.

    Oh, and I ABSOLUTELY remember the day that Charles Whitman climbed atop the tower at the University of Texas and gunned down the students and passersby.  It was horrifying.  There is a lot of violence that is running through Season 5 – as there was in that tumultuous decade.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UGFSSAYFPNER5HPV4GGZA3PMMQ Christiane

      One of my best friends from college, her parents were grad students there, dating each other at the time of the shootings. If they had done the usual thing they did of meeting for lunch every day, my friend would not have existed, because her dad would have been crossing the plaza at the time the shooting began. But he got stuck in the lab shepherding an experiment, and then spent the rest of the afternoon hiding under a lab bench.

      • NDC_IPCentral

         Yowie – that is an experience that imprints itself indelibly on one’s life forever afterwards.  Doubtless there were others who also managed to escape the line of fire by chance as well.  Speck last week and Whitman this — when we get to 1968…  Well, and the riots in ’67, which I remember very well, as I lived in Detroit.  My poor Old Home Town began its slide with that catastrophic event.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/UGFSSAYFPNER5HPV4GGZA3PMMQ Christiane

          Detroit, Newark, Trenton, Camden, so many cities hit the skids then and have never really recovered.

          • cmb92191

            That is so true.  Camden is only a fragile shell of what it once was.  It was vibrant city, and now it is so sad to see how much it has fallen.  The 1971 riots didn’t help much either.  I cry for that city and its residents.

        • UsedtobeEP

          I said earlier in this thread as a response to someone that the zodiac murders start in October of 1966, as well. It was not a happy year. I imagine all this random violence was really unsettling. It still is when it happens today but there was less of a context for it then.

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

        What a story! It’s like the “My grandpa was supposed to be on the Titanic” stories we’ve been hearing a lot of this week. :) Glad your friend was able to exist. :)

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/UGFSSAYFPNER5HPV4GGZA3PMMQ Christiane

          Very interesting family overall; my friend could name John Connolly has a second cousin twice removed or something like that. She usually went back to the Austin area every summer to visit relatives, and came back to the East Coast with a renewed Texas accent. And her mom’s rellenos were KILLER. I’ve lost touch with her, apparently she moved back to Texas fairly recently.

    • MK03

      Violence has been looming large over this season, and I wonder if it’s setting up some kind of horrible event later in the season, or if this was simply a very violent year in American history. It can be hard to tell with this show…

  • Eclectic Mayhem

    Fantastic episode and fantastic commentary TLo.  Much as I love John Slattery, and particularly enjoyed his performance this week, I don’t think all of his match cuts worked, they were a bit too clever clever and drew attention to themselves.  Though I could see the argument that he was alluding to what’s about to happen in the world of sci-fi movies.

  • miagain

    What did the title mean….Signal 30?  Is it a sci-fi reference?
    I really liked this episode…. the fight was so satisfying, the dinner party was just nuts, and Pete’s behavior so oddly spot on.  On paper…I should hate Pete… but there’s something about the guy that makes me root for him (about 30% of the time),  but then there are the other times, that I want to punch him in the nose…go Lane!

    • http://6things.blogspot.com par3182

       It was the title of the Drivers Ed film that Pete was watching at the beginning.

      • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

         Yes, and I read it refers to police code of “major trauma case” or something like that

        • asympt

           Oh, good catch, both of you.

          Pete certainly is a major trauma case.

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

          major trauma case.  that’s hilarious!

      • Sobaika Mirza

        I think the title/driver’s ed theme was a big warning to Pete – don’t turn into Don aka a car wreck in human form if there ever was one.

      • emcat8

        Yes, and that film was still being shown when I took driver’s ed in 1974-5. It was honestly pretty freaking gruesome, and I’m not at all squeamish about stuff like that. A couple of the jock guys in my class actually threw up. When I saw that title for the episode, I was trying to figure out how it could be tied in to Mad Men. Very interesting how they did it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1183772509 Jen Hughes

    OH man. I cheered so loudly at Pete’s beating and then giggled all the way through the commercials afterward. That whole scene was AMAZING. 

    • asympt

       I kept saying to Lane “You’re lucky he’s not Connor.”  Yes I’m a nerd.

      • alula_auburn

        Haha, glad it wasn’t just me.

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

      Me too but I still felt bad for him. What is he going to tell Trudy??

      • Sweetpea176

        I hope he tells her some approximation of the truth — if anyone can set him on a better course, it’s Trudy.

  • Susan Stella Floyd

    Last week’s serial killer shared Don’s real first name; this week’s shared his last name.

    Seeing as how I graduated from, live blocks away from, and work at The University of Texas (I can see the Tower from my office window, actually), it was like a punch to the gut hearing about Whitman.  Should’ve seen it coming.

    I also wondered if, in an episode filled with satisfying meta morsels, the accidental reference to “Charles Widmore,” which Don so quickly corrected, wasn’t a little shout-out to Lost.

     

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      “Last week’s serial killer shared Don’s real first name; this week’s shared his last name.”

      Wow!  Great catch!

      • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.mcada Lisa Huntsman McAda

         Except his name wasn’t “Richard”, it was simply “Dick.”  No diminutive there.

    • idrisr

       astute, nice.

  • sweetlilvoice

    Thank you gentlemen for the quick review and the insights! Pete getting punched by Lane was so deeply satisfying! And is Bert Cooper the only partner who hasn’t kissed Joanie? Loved the Lane and Joanie kiss, loved Don being manly and fixing the sink, loved him drunk in the car (versus when Betty was drunk after dinner and he had to drive in Season 1), loved “What more, Mr. Toad?”

  • fauxhawk

    I was sooooo rooting for Lane in that fight. Glad he beat the piss out of Pete.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2P2ANLRZ6YAVGONA36I2AQJYGI VicD

    This was the quote of the show though, “I know cooler heads should prevail, but am I the only one who wants to see this?”  Roger’s unrepentant.  I love that about him.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      I loved that line!  And then Bert Cooper says “This is barbaric!” but does nothing to stop it or even continue to protest. Guess the elder statesman of SCDP is not so crazy about Pete either, aye?

      • librarygrrl64

        I think it was a combination of wanting Pete to finally get a smackdown, AND the prospect of Lane doing it. Because who would EVER have thought he’d be the one? ;-)

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

        LOL, he’s not.

    • asympt

       Roger did offer Pete a hand up after Lane left him on the floor, to Roger’s credit–of course Pete couldn’t accept it.

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

    I didn’t have the impression that Ken’s and Peggy’s pact was necessarily about leaving SCDP. I thought that it was about Ken taking Peggy as his “creative” on new accounts.

    Wouldn’t Peggy recognize most of the possible recruiters from other agencies? I don’t think she thought that Ken was interviewing for a new job, but that he was wooing a new client and she didn’t want to be cut out of the account (due to her lack of penis).

    • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

       No, I’m pretty sure it’s a pact that if one leaves, they go together. Peggy is Don’s copywriter, she’s already at the top of the firm in that regard and doesn’t really need Ken – who is the bottom account man – to bolster her in-house responsibilities.

      • asympt

         Agreed.  I raised an eyebrow but could see them both looking for a lateral move to a firm that might be a little more freeing.

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

        Why does she need him to make a move to a different firm?

        • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

           I don’t know, to be honest. But I don’t think it’s uncommon in the ad world for people to form “teams” that move from place to place together to increase their bargaining power. And who else would Peggy have but Ken – not Pete or Don. And as the senior copywriter, Peggy brings clout to a partnership to Ken’s benefit. Plus, as a woman in the 1960′s, she might not feel confident she’d get a job elsewhere without the team approach. The only thing I thought seemed odd, perhaps, was that if they had enough of a relationship to form a pact, wouldn’t she have known more about his extra ciricular writing career already?

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

            Well, if he jumps ship, he would bring his accounts. She is the writer for the bulk of them (assuming they have kept the old lineup), so it makes sense that she would follow and get to continue writing them.

    • filmcricket

      This is what I thought as well. Peggy and Ken landed the pantyhose account together, but everyone was too caught up in Don’s engagement to notice. They might have figured at that point that they make a good team. God knows they’re the only ones with their heads screwed on right at that office right now; if the place goes down, together they might be able to salvage something from the wreckage.

  • kj8008

     Props to Lane (the black horse of the group) to stand up for himself. I
    said to my wife, “Is this really happening?” when he took his coat off.
    Pete, to his credit, picked up the gauntlet, and got an ass-whooping. 
    It was humbling, and embarrasing, for Pete when it was over. As a man, I can respect a man for taking a beating if it was a good
    fight. What got me was Don standing next to Pete, not to help him up but
    said instead offer his comforting phrase, “It’s going to be alright”. 
    That was the closest he would come to putting his hand on his shoulder
    and offer sympathy.

    Pete’s week:
    Lost a fight to an older man
    Lost the 17 year-old girl to the young “Mr. Handsome”
    Lost his ‘king of the castle’ title with Trudy’s anti-NRA decree THEN Don’s Superman act in the kitchen. All three women (as did Megan in the car) were super turned-on by that shirt busting display. So manly.

    I have a feeling Pete is going to do something very stupid later on this season. Something, I’m afraid, very dangerous.

    My wife said it best, “Two words; ‘Revolutionary Road’. ”

    I was only hoping Lane wouldn’t get schooled like his father did to him
    last season! Obviously, he learned to protect himself old-school Jack
    Johnson style. I wouldn’t expect him to do it any other way.
    Unfortunately, Lane was feeling his oats when Joan came in to attend to
    his wounds. She responded professionally, and with tactic, opening the
    door and acting as if it never happened. A polite letdown (and
    emasculation) for Lane.

    • sweetlilvoice

      Beautifully put!

    • http://twitter.com/Nanskatoon Nancy Skaggs

      And then to top it off, Trudy hands Pete Don’s damp shirt and tells him to put it in the dryer!! Ouch!

      • idrisr

         that is actually the worst part of it all.

    • Sweetbetty

      ‘What got me was Don standing next to Pete, not to help him up but said
      instead offer his comforting phrase, “It’s going to be alright” ‘

      That’s the same thing he said to Betty when she called to tell him about her cancer scare when she said, “Do what you always do”.  It seems that Don wants to comfort everybody by telling them everything’s going to be alright but he can’t quite believe it about himself.

      • PaulaBerman

         He said, “You’ll be fine,” not “Everything is going to be all right.” Big difference. Don was saying, look, it’s just an ass whupping, you’re not going to die, walk it off. To Betty he showed real tenderness, I thought. To Pete, more like, hey, you had it coming, take it like man.

  • Maddy B

    I think Signal 30 is one of those highway safety films with car crashes.

    I’m nervous about the mention of Pete’s gun.  That can’t be good.

  • Sweetbetty

     I thought the noose was a reflection of Don’s fight with his inner demons; we don’t know whose neck ends up in that noose, the Don of today or the Don of the troubled, mysterious past.

    • formerlyAnon

       I wondered if it was just a general “things are closing in and heading to a bad place” foreshadowing. I wonder, if in an extension of the “it’s not so easy being a man, either” theme, Don is going to bust out of his unaccustomed place of – well, I’d say content rather than happiness and fall into a restless, angsty midlife crisis.

  • MilaXX

    Given Don’s behavior  at the whore house I have to rethink the speculation that Don may have cheated on Megan already. I wonder if Don is trying really hard to make this marriage with Megan work but deep down inside fears or knows he’ll screw up again, hence the “killing” Andrea as the representation of his cheating.

    Pete most definitely deserved his beatdown, but sheesh, makeup and costuming are going out of their way to ugly him up this season. The receding hairline, the slight paunch, the poor guy looks a hot mess.

  • Sweetbetty

    “Chewing gum on his pubis”  I’ve gotta wonder how it was that the wife found that gum on his pubis.  Does she inspect it every night?

    • kj8008

       I think she was there for more self-indulgent reasons (this is Mad Men, you know).

    • Sweetpea176

      The image of the girl parking her gum while she took care of business is hilarious to me.  But you’d think he’d notice it there.

      • TheDivineMissAnn

        Yep.  I laughed out loud.  Wasn’t the client pretty drunk at that point?   Maybe he was too drunk to get undressed, which is how his wife discovered the gum!  It’s just too funny….

        • Maggie_Mae

          Don advised Pete to shower when he got home–and he did. If only the client had had such good advice–although, as a veteran philanderer, he should have known….

          • http://howtofaint.tumblr.com/ How to Faint

            It’s too bad the client couldn’t at least think of a convincing lie rather than blurting out “THE  WHORE DID IT!” Sheesh. What, no, “That dinner gave me awful reflux and the only thing anyone had on them was some gum. I thought I’d spit it out when I visited the WC but I suppose I ‘missed.’ Dearest, do you think it’s time I look into a gentleman’s reducing program? I hate to think I’m ending up like old King Tumtums.”

            There. He still looks like a fool but just a fat, drunk one. Fucking amateur, I swear.

          • formerlyAnon

            Yeah. Not that his lie would be convincing to his wife, necessarily, but as the parent of several teenagers I was APPALLED at how pitiful his bare-faced lying skills were.  I kind of felt like he wasn’t even trying to play the game.

    • idrisr

      The Jaguar guy should be able to sue that brothel for gross negligence or at least professional malpractice.

  • http://twitter.com/foodycatAlicia foodycatAlicia

    I loved the Ryan & Ryan podcast. I have a voice for your posts now!

  • Lynn Landry

    Thanks for such a great recap. My viewing is never complete until I hear what TLo has to say. I thought it was funny when at dinner there was the country versus city conversation. In the city, Pete could probably just call the super to fix a leaky faucet. In the “country” you have to do it yourself. And the person who understood that was Don. He could fix little problems in the country, but understood the fantasy from the reality and wants no part of it. Even his jacket: Megan picked it out because they were going to the country. Don felt better wearing his urban uniform.

    The theme of middle age is still an undercurrent. In so many situations, Don just seems like an old man.

    Regarding Ken: love Ken. He is different from the others in that he truly loves his wife, strives for work-life balance, is nurturing his creative side and seems to be able to play the businessman role more effortlessly than the ones that want that so badly. Not every adman was a philandering, drunken asshole and Ken speaks for that part of the honest guy. Ken, also, doesn’t seem to be looking for an express elevator to the top. He shows that he is the one that keeps his nose to the grindstone, be patient and enjoy what he has…unlike Pete, Roger, or Don.

  • suzq

    Two things–When Don pleads with Megan to “make a baby” she replies, “That’s impossible.”  Is it impossible?Also, the theme this week seemed to be that the old tactics no longer work. 
       – Far from being the accounts genius he used to be, Roger actually blew the Jaguar account.  The firm already had the account in the bag but managed to lose it during the visit to the “party.” 
       – Pete can no longer prey on young, innocent women.  He turns to his first prostitute this week.  With every dalliance, for Pete, there’s a reckoning.  Let’s hope his isn’t a nasty case of the clap.   – Don can no longer pawn his social dirty work off on his wife.  Megan has a mind of her own.  This is cute for now, but as Pete reminds him, no matter how you feel about things now, the honeymoon does come to an end.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      I read that scene differently.  During dinner, I thought the client alluded to wanting to see “action” like that, either a strip club or a whorehouse, because Pete said something to the effect that “That’s Roger’s department.”

      I did catch the “That’s impossible.” statement from Megan and it got me to wondering what exactly that meant.

      • suzq

        But Roger was careless.  At that point, he wasn’t thinking about a long term relationship with Jaguar.  He was thinking about short-term fun.  That’s where Roger has gone off the rails in his more recent career.  He’s full of short-term solutions that don’t work out: write a self-published memoir to hype yourself, marry your cute secretary, bribe your television guy to give up his office, pay off the senior copy editor to do some work on your account…

        • TheDivineMissAnn

          Good point.

      • Spicytomato1

        I’m thinking maybe she had an abortion and is sterile? Although she was a bit too chipper in her response for that to be likely.

        • http://howtofaint.tumblr.com/ How to Faint

          Abortions don’t make you automatically sterile.

          • Spicytomato1

            I’m aware of that. I guess I should have been more clear and said “botched abortion.” I’m guessing the incidence of those was higher back then compared to now.

      • http://twitter.com/WinonaCookie Ramona Szczerba

        Maybe she used to be a man.  That would certainly rival Don’s secrets!

    • MK03

      I thought “that’s impossible” was weird too. Maybe she’s on the pill?

    • Musicologie

      I was wondering, too. Even if she’s on the pill, “That’s impossible,” doesn’t seem like a natural statement. “That’s unlikely,” or, “That’s not happening,” but not “That’s impossible.”

  • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

    Some disjointed thoughts:
    - Megan seems to deal with Don effortlessly and without drama, and he likes it. She doesn’t whine to get what she wants. I liked her more this episode.
    - While the men seem to be aging, the wives feel younger to me. At the dinner party, the wives all behaved in a very modern, comfortable with each other manner – giggling and clapping for Don’s plumbing “heroics”. Very different from the dinner parties chez Don and Betty – although Betty would have been as young as Trudy/Megan/Ken’s wife whose name I forget.
    - Don’s the country boy (as we’re reminded when he strips to his t-shirt and handily deals with the plumbing) who feels at home in the city; yet Pete is the city boy who cannot abide the country.
    - Still don’t want to see a Lane/Joan romance. Too pat a story line.
    - Pete’s story line of decline feels too rushed to me. I feel like we’ve missed a beat and he went from forward thinking weasel to a total basket case. However – (see next point)
    - I feel like what we’re seeing a kind of roller coaster where the male character’s are each in different cars, following each other up and down.  Roger after being on a very long descent showed signs of upward motion in this episode. Don, after being on the descent for so long is clearly on the ascent again. Lane seems to be on the descent. And Pete is rocketing towards the bottom. Bert Cooper is at the end flat section coasting along, looking back with both longing at the highs and satisfaction at no longer having to deal with the lows. Ken is over on the Ferris Wheel enjoying the view and taking it all in. Perhaps it’s a too obvious metaphor, but visually for me, it captures the sense of where they all are.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      Your roller coaster analogy is very good!

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

      “…although Betty would have been as young as Trudy/Megan/Ken’s wife whose name I forget.”  

      Cynthia!

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

      i like the amusement park metaphor.  to me, it’s like that sci-fi story, where the robot only has an on and off switch.  the men can’t help but lurch from one extreme to the other.  middle age seems esp. rough when the times, they are a changin’!

    • suzq

      With one important exception– Trudy is still wearing early 60′s clothes.  She hasn’t switched over to the mod wear of the city.  She’s suburban, hence, more conservative (although she never used to be) and I think she was trying to show off the fact that she lost her baby weight.  And since neither one of them drive, she can’t get to the store to buy new clothes.

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

        I noticed that! She is totally in the cupcake 1960 style housedresses that Betty might have worn 6 years earlier!  I’m sure TLo will comment on this in the fashion review.  That really surprised me because Trudy has usually been dead on fashion wise in the past, but I’m afraid she’s settling into suburban motherhood.  Now, to be fair, she did wear a more modern floral gown at Don’s birthday party, but I still found it awfully matronly (actually, just awful!) and not nearly as fresh and fabulous as Megan’s black bat-wing mini!  I hope motherhood won’t prematurely age Trudy, but her happy attitude aside (and cluelessness as far as Pete is concerned) she’s looking older by the day. :-(

      • cmb92191

        Trudy drives.  In fact the episode where Pete is on the train with a card playing commuter, he mentions that she is still in her robe when she takes him to the station. 

      • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

        Trudy doesn’t drive? I didn’t realize. How do they get around?? Maybe Trudy is like  a Charlotte York/Kristen Davis – she has found a flattering style and sticks with it regardless of fashion. They’re kinda the same style, actually…

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

    I don’t know if anybody else noticed, but Damon Lindelof, one of the creators of LOST, was so taken by this episode that he spent 2 hours afterwards writing a fan fiction version of Ken’s sci fi book after watching. Check his twitter timeline. 

    @DamonLindelof DATE OF INCIDENT: 14 Sagittarius, 2785. LOCATION: Aristophanes Interplanetary Span (“The A Bridge”) CAUSE: Automaton Malfunction

  • Jasmaree

    I don’t think that Don is happy at all because of the noose he drew during a meeting and the reference to the Whitman shootings. Plus Peter’s “Wait until your honeymoon is over.” Don seems like a ticking time-bomb to me. Try as he might, he can’t only prolong the time he has before he starts acting out his inner turmoil. Seems he knows it too.

    It never fails to astound me house differently we see Megan too. You guys seem to think that she’s an independent, confident woman perfectly suited for helping Don. I think that she’s more than a little insecure, helpless, and desperate. She doesn’t understand a thing about Don that isn’t related to sex. They clash on pretty much everything else, and Megan always seems to be completely clueless on what Don would want. Every party, every dinner, every interaction they have that isn’t sexy seems to be laced with conflict.That’s why I think she’s insecure. She knows that that’s pretty much the only reason she has any semblance of control over Don, and she’s worried that that role could be taken from her by some random broad in an elevator.

    • BayTampaBay

      I think it is more of a generation gap between Don and Megan than Megan being clueless and insecure.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

        How about the way she told Don to wear a sport coat to dinner instead of a suit (and that’s what the other “young” men were wearing). Don is getting older and out of touch.

    • Sweetpea176

      I think you’re right about her being a bit insecure.  She’s what — mid-20′s?  Who isn’t insecure at that point in life?  Also, you could see Pete and Trudy trying to figure out their marriage together early on, but I don’t really see that with Megan and Don.  I see her trying to figure out how to be Don’s wife. (Not that Don isn’t trying to change his ways, it’s just if there’s any sense of the two of them creating a relationship together, it takes place offscreen.) 

      Anyway, I mostly attribute their friction to the fact that they didn’t get to know each other before they got married.

      • rowsella

         I think Don is more insecure in the relationship than Meghan.  I think he is head over heels, more so than she.  Her casual approach may devastate him later.

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

      i agree about the noose.  hello, freud.

    • 3hares

      I don’t see her as insecure but I fail to see her being especially good for Don either. She’s fine for him, but, for instance, I disagree that no other woman has ever stood up to him the way she has. Currently she’s his princess and anything she wants he’s going to at least consider giving to her. She can sit in his office and come and go as she pleases and he’ll let her dress him in a sports jacket and make him hang out with her young friends. It doesn’t seem to require that much insight to me so far—she’s more just young and expects to get what she wants. I also don’t see her as that independent. She still seems to more be playing at being a copywriter than to be that serious about it.

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

      What struck me about the “wait until the honeymoon is over” comment from Pete, was that Pete was never truly in a honeymoon stage with Trudy. He values and appreciates her for many qualities, (now anyway) but at the time of their marriage he had a much more objectified view of his wife. She fits the qualifications of being a well-bred, well educated young woman from a moneyed family. If he was ever in-love with his wife, perhaps during the dating stage, we never saw it. He slept with Peggy the night before he was married. There was also that nanny, who he pretty much raped. He’s also made several unsuccessful and overly chauvinistic passes (even overly chauvinistic for the MM world) on various girls and women throughout the seasons.

      My point being that the beginning of Pete’s marriage with Trudy is completely different from Don’s to Megan, but probably eerily similar to Don’s marriage to Betty. (Not that we saw it, but that’s how I see Don feeling toward Betty when they were married. Searching for a girl with all the proper qualifications.)

      • Jade Hawk

         there was a flashback scene when Don was asking Anna for a divorce so he could marry Betty. in it, it was made pretty clear that he was pretty in love with her at that time.

        that’s simply part of Don’s pattern: he’s attracted to independent self-determining women (which Betty was back then, what with the modeling career and great education, and foreign language skills), but then tries to turn them into housewives… and gets bored with them once the goal has been achieved.

        • Vodeeodoe

           It’s why Meaghan had the good sense to have them live in Manhattan. At least she won’t get bored.

        • formerlyAnon

          And with Megan he *might* – though I’m not convinced yet – have the modern version of that scenario, one I see played out in today’s world – after marrying the independent woman he admires, he tries to put her into a more traditional housewife role, she resists, and they descend into conflict.

  • BPlease

    I’m fascinated by Megan Draper – but I’m not sure that Megan is fully realized, at least in terms of how Jessica Pare plays her.  What I mean is, Megan *does* seem to know how to play to Don, but it feels like Pare is just reading her lines, not imbuing them with any sort of reality. 

    I don’t mean to slam Pare – I’m near-obsessed with the coolness she projects in the role, and her amazing beauty.  But it doesn’t have a sense of being real, to me, the way she plays Megan, whereas Maggie Siff (as Rachel Menken, who I still miss on the show) brought it from her first scene in her first episode, and the relationship with Don was utterly, fully realized and believable to me.

    • MK03

      I still think Rachel could have been The One. Shame Don had to go and ruin it…

    • librarygrrl64

      I didn’t realize I felt the same way until you articulated it (especially your first paragraph). There’s a difference between subtle acting and not acting.

    • LesYeuxHiboux

       Part of me suspects that this is because Meghan the character is playing a role she doesn’t fully understand. The great actress. She seemed more fully realized to me before she took up with Don.

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

      i’m fascinated by her too.  i want to like her more than i do.  i don’t know if she’s for real or hiding something.  she seems super-ambitious and can play don like a violin.  they do seem super-compatable, though.  i like her breezy style and her assertiveness.  i can’t figure her out and i think that’s what makes her interesting to me.

  • charlotte

    I know it was driver’s ed, but I did find it amusing that “LANE” was written on the blackboard when Pete was flirting with that girl.

    • asympt

       !

    • juliamargaret

      Wow!

  • crash1212

    I so enjoy these wraps and all the comments from fellow Bitter Kittens. This show is so broad and deep, it really helps to get other takes…just makes the viewing more rich. One thing that really struck me last night at the Pete and Trudy dinner party was how much that gigantic stereo console looked like a coffin and the angle in which they were looking at it resembled the viewing of an open casket. I got this creepy foreshadowing tingle…death in the suburbs  – metaphorical or literal…we shall see.

    • librarygrrl64

      Well, Pete even said that you “could fit a seven-foot man in there.”

  • fnarf

    “All those guys are miserable” — is that what Don said? Also, in the elevator at the end, Don seemed to express extreme skepticism that anyone would find happiness or satisfaction at work. Work is where you earn the money to get what you want, to get away. Remember, Don’s been socking it away in a drawer since before we first saw him. I still think he has California dreams, even though Anna is dead and her house is sold. I don’t think the noose and “blow your brains out” comment are anything so literal as a suicide wish, just a desire to get the hell out of there.

    I thought Don saying, though, that he wanted to wake up, open his eyes, and see skyscrapers was telling. Suburban life — which he knows very well — is death to him. Maybe he doesn’t know what he wants, and never will.

    • formerlyAnon

       Yes. I keep thinking that Don’s apparent state of relative content is a set up for his restless, angsty midlife crisis that’s just around the corner.

    • kcarb1025

      Astute comment, and I agree with basically 100% – although I am not sure on his having California dreams still. I think the appeal of California for him is the anonymity of it. No one out there knows “Don Draper”, and while some of Anna’s old neighbors probably know him as Dick, he’s still virtually a blank slate to everyone out there. But I think that is also why he prefers the city over the suburbs and the country. Even if he does occasionally run into people he’s known in the city, it’s still easier to get lost or make oneself invisible in relatively small space full of eight million people than it ever would be in suburbia, where everyone has their nose in everyone else’s business.

    • Sweetbetty

       ”I still think he has California dreams”  

      I always thought that the ultra-rich jet-setters he had a little sojourn with when he was in CA were going to come back into the picture somehow.  That whole experience seemed so disjointed from everything else in the show and didn’t end with neatly tied up loose ends.  That was many years ago but the “California dreams” comment made me think of it.

    • suzq

      The noose = work, too.

      • formerlyAnon

        Maybe especially work. If he’s starting to lose contact with the zeitgeist, his creative magic is going to be harder and harder to create.

  • http://twitter.com/srslsly Leslie

    I love Pete Campbell, he will always be my favorite character. I know people love to hate him because he’s such a nasty piece of work, but I think he most realistically embodies the weaknesses that everyone possesses. Roger and Don might (or might not) be unhappy, but they’re top dog and they know it (Roger for his humor, getting people to like him, and Don for his sheer masculinity and the respect he engenders as a ‘creative’). Pete scrambles for this recognition and works hard for it, but ultimately never receives it because people don’t like him. He deserved to get beat (have some humility, man!), but when I think of him taking the opposite attitude to work (being nice and working hard, still no confidence), then that’s a recipe for manipulation and being walked all over. If that’s the alternative, I can understand why he acts the way he does.

    Unrelated note, but did anyone else notice how much Roger’s prostitute looked like Joan!?!?!??!

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

      It is not time for Pete’s recognition.  He does not receive it because he demands it.  

    • Pennymac

      I noticed that Rogers prostitute had red hair…

      • filmcricket

        The twin he was with when he had the heart attack in S1 was a pale redhead too. I think he even admitted to that being his type when he was in one of his drunken philosophizing modes back when he and Don were friends.

    • rowsella

       Pete reminds me of my father.  My dad was in sales/finance and accounts but not in advertising and worked for some banks and then corporations like Westinghouse and Borg Warner before doing more insurance/retirement type stuff.  He gave a great first impression.  But he always screwed things up and blamed other people for it.  Even when he did good, the resentment and refusal to take responsibility overshadowed it and he could be nasty.  He was also a big drinker and was a bit of a ladies man (I don’t think he had a wife he didn’t cheat on).  He was really intelligent/smart and had a great sense of humor but boy, once he had his first drink (I can still hear the ice clink in the scotch & water and he died in 2006) all bets were off.  Anyway he was Pete’s age, born in 1938 and was very preppy. 

    • http://twitter.com/mediapileup mediapileup

       I love Pete too. I mean, yeah, it was awesome to see him get the crap knocked out of him because he totally deserved it (and Lane has some pretty nice arms under those suits. who knew?) But as someone who worked in advertising and got tired of dealing with senior-level people who took more than they contributed, I understand some of his frustration. I think it’s been made very clear this season how useless Bert, Roger, and even to an extent, Don, have become, and yet they are taking most of the profit from the company. Pete does bust his a** on the job front and he is not getting the rewards. But even if he *was* getting the rewards, he’d still find something to complain about. And because of that nobody will ever like him. That’s Pete.

      I also love how well they capture the advertising business. Who knew they had RFPs in the 60s? And the client pitches are always great. The moment I realized the awesomeness of this show was back in Season 1 when Don did the carousel slide projector pitch – it was spot on and a FANTASTIC pitch.

      Also, the facial expressions in this episode were classic. Don, Joan, and Peggy all had great moments.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    I found myself fast-forwarding Lane’s dinner date. It was THAT AWKWARD to watch.

    I think Don’s as happy as he possibly can be. I think he’s an unhappy man by his nature.

    Pete Campbell getting beat up by Lane was so ridiculous, yet so satisfying. Lane’s fighting style was a coincidental (?) callback to his role as Moriarty, in my opinion. Cambridge boxing team ROWR!

    • sweetlilvoice

      Love Lane as Moriarty!! Great casting.

  • Laura Maki

    I definitely thought that Trudy’s hooked on pills. From leaving the house in a robe, to throwing a typical Trudy Campbell fete. And she seemed a little intense and Annie-like (her character on Community who was hooked on pills and nicknamed “Annie Adderall”). And when that girl at Driver’s Ed mentioned Ohio State I clutched my heart! I don’t know where we are in time, but be safe! Go somewhere else girl!
       

    • asympt

       Are you thinking of Kent State?

      • Laura Maki

         Oh, yes! I must have conflated my hate for Ohio State (I’m from MI) with the May 4 massacre. Eeek, internet do not judge me too harshly! I at least got the state right!

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

      What happened at Ohio State? Do you mean Kent State (she’d be a senior by then). Ohio State was a fairly bland Big Ten through the sixties, unless I’m forgetting something.

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

        Maybe Laura here is a fellow Wolverine, LOL :)

      • suzq

        She meant Kent State.  Those shootings were in 1970.  If she want to Ohio State in the late 60′s, she’d be in the thrall of the WOODY HAYES era! 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FLKS47RHXPOFWQZYB4MMW43VPE RS

      I keep seeing theories that Trudy must have been depressed or something to wear her robe to take Pete to the train, but I think that line said a lot more about Pete than Trudy. Namely, that Trudy’s priorities have shifted. When you’re up a few times in the middle of the night with a baby, you don’t get up early to dress and coif yourself just to take your husband to the train. You throw on a housecoat because you don’t plan to get out of the car and you’ll have more time later. While pre-motherhood Trudy probably never would have dreamed of leaving the house without her face on, in order to look her best for Pete and/in the outside world, now Tammy and what she needs is top priority. That’s utterly foreign to Pete, who doesn’t understand why he/outside perspectives are longer most important and is upset by it. That’s also probably why he put the kibosh on any Tammy-talk at the party – he wanted things to be like they had been.

      • Vodeeodoe

         Seriously, she just had a baby, she gained some baby weight, she’s doing (I’m assuming) all of the caretaking and it’s her first baby, she has no prior experience and first time mothers tend to freak out in all sorts of ways – oh, and you are tired, because you suddenly have to prioritize a newborn schedule. It would make anyone freak out. Remember, Don made the big money and Betty had a housekeeper/nanny. Trudy is on her own.

  • Daniel E Prieto

    Yes,
    it was great seeing Pete get his ass whupped but you have to admit: it
    takes character to return to your office and continue working until the
    end of the normal work day after losing the fight, everyone gossiping
    about you, having your tie ripped off and your face bruised up.

    Also, I’m optimistic that Pete doesn’t die, but tries to become a better man after this. Whoever said it here is right though, the foreshadowing in this episode indicates that Pete will go on a rampage

    • Sweetpea176

      It was lunchtime and it looks like Pete was leaving for the day.

      • Daniel E Prieto

        You might be right, but he left with Don and I would assume that Don stays at work until the end of the day. Pete certainly seemed humbled in the aftermath of that fight, that’s why I’m predicting that he will go to extra lengths from now on to be nicer to everyone in the office.

        • asympt

           Don said he was meeting Megan for lunch (wonder why they didn’t leave together).

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

            I don’t think Pete can become a better man.

        • Sweetpea176

          Don said he was leaving to meet Megan for lunch. Yeah, I’m interested to see how Pete moves forward — humbled and mending his ways or even more petulant than ever.

    • sleah_in_norcal

      i enjoyed the touch of pete tucking in his tie before he gets his ass whupped.  it reminded me of teenaged girls putting their ponytails up before a fight so they won’t get pulled.  made him look like a bit of a pussy.

      • cmb92191

        I thought the tie was an interesting touch.  I agree with you about girls, however, you are forgetting the removing of earrings and the vaseline on face (to prevent scratches).

        • Vodeeodoe

           Vaseline – whoa!  When I saw girls fight in school, which wasn’t often, it was jewelery and heels.

  • http://www.lippsisters.com/ Deborah Lipp

    “In the patriarchy, women get marginalized and objectified and men get emasculated.”

    In the patriarchy, women get marginalized, objectified, raped and murdered, and men get emasculated.

    • asympt

       Also shipped off to Vietnam and killed or fucked up, which could easily be Handsome’s masculine fate.

    • kcarb1025

      If the country were a matriarchy, women would still be raped and murdered. And men get raped and murdered under the patriarchy too. 

      • http://www.lippsisters.com/ Deborah Lipp

        It is absolutely true that men get raped and murdered, but that wasn’t the conversation. The conversation was about gendered violence and what is done to people specifically because of their gender. Men are not, as a group, targeted for rape and murder because they are male.

        • asympt

           Unless they’re gender-nonconforming, which is even worse (to those inclined to violence, not to a sane person) than being female.

          (And I still wonder where Sal is today.)

          • UsedtobeEP

            Me too. I was thinking about that after Pete called Lane a name. Part of the reason it bothered me. 

  • dorothea_brooke

    Was I the only who thought it was possibly Peggy who ratted out Ken? Pete and Roger’s relationship is so bad at this point, would he really bother? She looked awfully guilty during that last scene. I don’t know, it would be out of character, but as she rises up she’s going to have to start making such choices.

    • texashistorian

       I thought so, too. But I didn’t read guilt in her demeanor. I don’t think Roger’s “advice” to Ken is going to be taken to heart, anyway, since I’m not sure Roger is receiving much respect these days. However, in next week’s preview, Peggy seems to be saying that she’ll “take full responsibility”…. for what, I wonder? Is Ken quitting? Hm.

  • EEKstl

    I think that noose doodle said it all.

    • formerlyAnon

       ”invented himself as Master of All Mid-Century Masculine Tropes”

      Perfect description.

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

    I kind of disagree with your first line. Mad Men seems very much like a romanticized vision of the 60s. It’s a glossy, clean show about the sex lives of mostly wealthy white people. What part of that ISN’T romanticized? Doesn’t mean I don’t love it, but I don’t think it’s exactly a harsh look at the time period or the characters.

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

      “What part of that ISN’T romanticized?”

      The part when Joan got raped and couldn’t do anything about it. The part when Peggy gave away her out-of-wedlock baby and wound up in the psyche ward. The part where alcoholism runs rampant. The part where marriages failed. The part where the children suffered from their parents’ demons. The parts where casually racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks are tossed off without any consequences. The parts where people can’t deal with all the changes around them and react with fear and anger.

      • dorothea_brooke

        Oh hell yeah.

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

        Hmm…I’ll give you half and half. I grant that the characters are dealt with harshly sometimes. It’s certainly not June Cleaver’s world.
        But I still think the time period comes across as glorified, rather than merely serving as a backdrop for social commentary. I know the point is supposed to be that seeing beautiful people say horrible things makes those people less beautiful, but I think the opposite can be true as well, i.e., seeing beautiful idealized people saying terrible things makes those things seem more acceptable. Especially as a woman, it feels like a lot of people would like to go back to a time when women were chattel. So rather than seeing the social commentary as negative, they see it as permission from a time period they regard with such nostalgia.
        I guess what I mean is that, by virtue of its beautiful, glossy and clean presentation, some of the things that should be vilified come across as glorified.
        I get it, but talking to other people about the show, I don’t know that everyone does.

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

          Just because some people misinterpret the entire point of the show doesn’t mean the show is flawed or has failed. And while the cast is attractive in that television sense, aside from Hamm, Hendricks and Jones, we wouldn’t classify it as any more attractive collectively than any other cast on television. And without naming names, some of the cast are downright plain-looking.

          And we can’t really recall one instance of any of these things being glorified. All that drinking has led to some fairly painful-to-watch scenes of pathetic drunks throwing up, blacking out, and pissing their pants. All those sexist jokes culminated in rape, tears, and a trip to the psych ward. Nothing is being glorified here, except possibly the design of the period.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BCFNN4YIMD4YWHQJF3ODXPD3ZM Kelli Phillips

      The very POINT of this show is the pain and decay behind the “glossy, clean” facade.  The very point is that there were few things romantic about this oft-romanticized period in American history.  It’s an extraordinarily harsh (if honest) assessment of the decade, and I don’t see how anyone could miss that.  

      • Spicytomato1

        So true. In fact its taken me a while to get comfortable (or rather less distressed) with the undercurrent of existential dread that I noticed from day one.

        • Sweetbetty

           And that the opening credits reaffirm at every episode.

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

        well, i do watch. and have watched it. so…there you go.
        to be clear, i do think the characters are very well-rounded and fleshed out. and i do love the show, i just think that the more nostalgia you have for a time period (as you say, this oft-romanticized time period…the “good old days”), the easier it is to accept a glossy portrait of it at face value. not everyone gets the subtle social commentary. some people just see beautiful people reflecting the things they kind of miss being able to say and do.

  • http://twitter.com/latxcvi LaT

    You know, everyone’s taking it a face value that Ken was right when he called out Pete as the person who told Roger about his writing, but unless I’m misremembering the scene between them, Roger didn’t out his source. And I was struck by the fact that two other people also learned about Ken’s secret life as a writer in this episode in addition to Pete – Peggy and Don. Now, I can’t see Don giving enough of a crap about Ken to tell Roger something like that about him, and Roger and Pete have been on the outs with each other all season; I can’t see Pete running to Roger with info like that given the tension between them this year.  Ken *assumed* it was Pete, but Peggy was also privy to the information.  I can’t quite figure out what she’d gain from telling Roger, but I thought it was interesting such a big deal was made about Peggy needling that information out of Ken and then, by the end of the episode, *someone* had tattled it to Roger (and didn’t Peggy get called out by Don or someone else earlier in the series re: “no one likes a tattle-tale”?).

    • Vlasta Bubinka

      I assumed it was Pete because was so envious of Ken getting published as far as season 1. Pete tried to convince Trudy to sleep with another man to get him a good deal.

      • Andrea Rossillon

         At first I thought it could be Don, because maybe he was just recapping the evening to Roger? But Don never talks about anybody’s private stuff, EVER. It might actually have been Megan– she was there, too, and I can see her just blithely chatting with Roger about the party and basically saying, “Oh, and isn’t this cool? Kenny is a published writer!”, not understanding that it would get Ken in trouble with Roger.

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

          Or Megan might have just been just gossiping with someone else and Roger overheard. Not that Roger hangs out in the breakroom or anything. 

          • Sweetbetty

             Roger hangs out wherever he thinks he might pick up some useful info.

      • BayTampaBay

        I think Pete is the type that would be jealous of anyone who had anything he did not have wether he really wanted the thing to begin with.  How did Trudy end up with this loser.

    • rowsella

       Maybe Roger just overheard people talking about it and asked some questions.

  • Lattis

    For me,  Sympathy for Pete always gets KO’d by Disgust for Pete. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

      Me too. I kept reminding my husband of the incident with the nanny last season. I was struck at how happy and at ease Trudy was at the dinner, and how the young women laughed when the sink exploded (could you see Betty doing that). How when the baby started to cry, she just happily went and got her and how happy she looked when she came back and how un-easy Pete was with the whole thing.

    • Vodeeodoe

       I know! I want so bad for him to change and he has a few good points and he and Trudy ended the last season at such a good partnership point…but that guy is a heel. If he didn’t want to move to the suburbs, he should have said something. Unless the writers change course, we aren’t really expected to like him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=818790248 Andrea Grenadier

    “If he was truly happy with his lot in life he wouldn’t keep turning to his writing.” One of the oddest comments I’ve ever read here, considering that a lot of people were doing day jobs (say, Frank O’Hara), and writing fiction or poetry was their passion, like Ken. I also write fiction, and that sure doesn’t mean I’m not happy with work! People turn to their writing because that’s what writers do — they write. We don’t write because we’re not happy, writers are driven to write. 

    • alula_auburn

      I agree (both as a writer and in general).  It’s as if it’s taking at face value Ken’s joke about how he thought he’d grow out of writing–it seems very limiting to assume that it’s de facto escapist, or that contented people don’t write, or that writing means overstepping your role.

      That also didn’t seem to me like the attitude of the show–I think Ken adopting his new nom de plume reiterated how centered and content he is relative to pretty much everyone else we saw–he isn’t cowed or defeated by Roger’s pettiness, and he loves the writing enough that he gives up the established rep he’d gotten and goes right back to writing without any sign of bitterness.  (I would even say writing in bed indicates that he isn’t blaming Cynthia for outing him, as it were–he doesn’t go write in a private office or stay late at SCDP; he goes home and writes beside his wife.  He’s integrated.)

    • Laylalola

      ~~~ misread comment

  • http://twitter.com/ParrotTalkBack Ana R.

    With the whorehouse madam, could it be he meant he spent a lot of time in whorehouses in his youth? Teens and early 20s? Not necessarily growing up from baby to adult there? We’ve seen a lot of young Dick Whitman, and the beginnings of Don Draper, but not a lot in his teen years.

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

      Peggy has already voiced her concerns about Don’s new attitude. If she’s so closely tied to him professionally and he loses his commitment to his job due to his new marital contentment, where does that leave her? And perhaps she feels threatened that Don will put Megan in her place as his chief copywriter. It’s conceivable that she’s sensing a need to keep her options open. A pact with Ken is one way of covering her bases.

  • muzan-e

    This guy in the top photo? Is ridiculously gorgeous. And according to the synopsis and the comments, really interesting, partially because I have a sort of weakness for uptight shirts and well-deserved face-punchings. Shamefully, he’s familiar to me from the game LA Noire rather than Mad Men

    but I may have to remedy that if there are bitter young intelligentsia and dramatic comeuppances!

  • BeverlyC

    Don’s stepmother persistently reminded him about where and from whom he came. When his father died, I don’t think he got much attention or affection from the woman who raised him and, we may find out more about his childhood after this reference.

  • BeverlyC

    Joan’s been fending off passes from co-workers (and encouraging some of them) for many years. She knew exactly how to respond to Lane’s embrace. She put a stop to it and let him save face. Diplomacy her her stock in trade.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

      I thought the same thing. She could slap him, but what would that do for her now. She has to stay at this office at this point. She sent him a signal and he understood it, yet she kept their relationship in tact.

      • Sweetbetty

         I can’t imagine Joan ever responding to a kiss like Lane’s with a slap.  She’s much too cool of a cucumber and has too many other tools in her arsenal to have to resort to a slap.  And in this instance, as someone else has noted, she realized that Lane was caught up in the emotion of being the conqueror and realized immediately that he had acted inappropriately.  I don’t think she was as worried about herself staying at the office as she was about putting Lane, a man she genuinely likes, at ease.

      • formerlyAnon

        Yes. And at the time, if she’d made a big fuss about “just” a kiss, she’d have been seen as the problem, not Lane.

      • PaulaBerman

         She genuinely likes Lane and feels tenderly towards him. I don’t think she would ever slap him. She just wanted him to cool his jets. He was acting impulsively out of unhappiness and gratitude. She got that and it seemed like she kissed him back, and then thought, “Not here, not now.”

  • Bozhi

    I don’t know if they put it in on purpose, but the writers had the driving class girl talk about how her parents did not want her to go anywhere “dangerous” for college.  Then in the last scene she has, she tells Handsome she is going to Ohio to college.   Kent State Ohio, May 4, 1970, four students killed, nine wounded by the Ohio National Guard during a nationwide student strike protesting Viet Nam.

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

      She said Ohio State, a specific university in Ohio. Not Kent State, an entirely different university.

    • suzq

      Charles Whitman did his shootings from a tower at the University of Texas.  That would give any reticent parent pause about sending their daughter away to college.  The spectre of women in colleges was still very new (they called them co-eds, a throwback to when colleges became co-educatonal.)  A parent could just as easily be swayed by a single, violent incident.

      Contrast that some time later…the week before I started college,  a gunman in a car on the campus was sniping at African-American passers by.  He killed two people before being arrested by the cops.  My parents thought nothing of it.

  • BeverlyC

    Lest we forget, Don paid Pete’s share of the partners’ contribution ($50,000) to help keep the firm afloat last season. Pretty friendly if you ask me!

    • Frank_821

      Yes but that was more out of gratitude for covering for him. But it does bring the issue again why Pete and Don have developed any kind of friendship since really could be mutually beneficial

      • BeverlyC

        Good point. But Pete still sees friendship/companionship as a transaction. What can you do for me vs. what I have to do for you. His dealings with his father in law, his help for the au pair, his blackmail of Don all echoed his relationship with his parents. He even tried to pick up the high school girl by bragging about his family’s contribution to the botanical gardens.

  • harlowish

    Since nobody else has mentioned it, I’m assuming I just heard this line wrong.  However, when the sink exploded, I heard Pete call Don “Dick”. The whole line was, I think, “Dick, I’ll get the toolbox.”  That would be a huge slip on Pete’s part so maybe I just imagined it, but I watched the episode twice and I heard that both times.

    • Vlasta Bubinka

      I thought it was shit, I’ll get the toolbox.

    • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

       now that you mention it – I think I heard that too. It happened so quick, but if you listened twice and heard it twice.

  • idrisr

     Yes, and Pete even emasculated himself. When Trudy is holding the baby after the sink-episode, he says something like “I can take no credit for her” – as if he’s not even the biological father.

    • Bozhi

      Where did she get that blond hair?  I was thinking the same thing.  Of course, it’s not unheard of, they could biologically have a blond baby.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

        I kind of thought that Pete was just speaking the truth. He really has nothing to do with the baby.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/ACK62Z7OXZEJAAECCQLTW44Y3A Mirja

        Both my parents have dark brown hair. I had blond hair when I was a toddler, but it darkened as I got older. When I was about nine my hair was/still is dark brown. So yes, it’s it’s biologically possible. :)

      • judybrowni

        My father had black hair, my mother brown, as adults.
         
        But like my brother, sister and myself, my father had light blond hair as a child, as did my mother, too, I believe (we blond kids were called “tow heads” for some reason.)

        My hair darkened as an adult, my sister’s stayed lighter, my father and brother’s hair turned silver at 40.

        In my father’s family your hair either turns silver at 40, or you never go grey.

        I’m 62 and my sister is 58, and you can barely find grey in my hair or hers, only if you look very close.

    • sleah_in_norcal

      my first thought was artificial insemination, and they were having fertility issues.  but was donor insemination available in the early sixties?  when i was enduring infertility drama it was the early eighties it was commonplace.  and trudy’s family would certainly have made sure that she had the best treatment available.  but, most likely it’s the most obvious reason, that pete is totally disconnected emotionally from both his baby and his wife. 

      • idrisr

         RIght you are. I had forgotten about their fertility problems and I don’t think the show directly addressed how it was resolved. Maybe Pete will find out he’s not the father and then really go apeshit.

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

          no, i don’t think so.  that encounter with peggy produced a child.  sometimes people with brown hair do have blonde kids.  but i do think it’s to the point that the baby doesn’t even look like him.  he’s so alienated in his new environment.

        • Sweetbetty

           I’ve always felt that something is going to happen to make Pete want to stake his claim as father of the child Peggy had. 

          • formerlyAnon

            For the father, who was in no legal relationship with the mother that would be impossible. It would probably only be possible for the mother to find the baby after she/he was legally adult and then only if they wanted contact.

            And I’d bet money Pete’s not on the birth certificate Peggy filled out.

      • suzq

        They discovered a way to freeze sperm in 1949.  Artifical insemination was available in the ’60′s, although it wouldn’t be until 1970 that you would have commercial sperm banks.

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

        Pete’s fertile, it was Trudy that had issues.

  • Dagney

    I thought the car crash scenes were indicative of Pete’s current lot.  He is learning to “drive” his work life and his personal life, and the choices he made in both resulted in several crashes and burns.  The assumption a teenage girl would consider him for a date.  The taking of his wife for granted.  The snarky remark to Lane.   

    And what about Don’s coat?  He moved from a dark dinner jacket to a kitschy sport coat, and then later, he took off the sport coat to fix the sink.  This “disrobing” really mirrored Don’s admissions in this episode, and indicated he really is happy and comfortable in his own skin these days.  

    The fact he mentioned grew up in the country and used an “outhouse,”  that he possibly spent some of his younger years in a whorehouse, and then finally, fixing the sink.  Since when does Don Draper fix sinks?  He did it without batting an eye.  In front of all these people, the coat, the shirt, the stoic shell were all striped away to reveal to these young execs that underneath the perfection of the entity they know as “Don Draper,” there lies a down-to-earth blue collar.  I don’t believe we have ever seen Don reveal this much of himself in New York, around co-workers.  In the past, his raw self was reserved for the west coast, for the widow of the man whose identity he assumed.  

    What would Betty have thought?  What IF Don and sat her down years ago and revealed all? 

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

      i don’t know.  i seem to remember him fixing the sink back with betty and she just took it for granted.  and she didn’t seem to want to know dick whitman.  she was the perfect ’50s wife and now don is head over heels with this girl of the 60s.  i feel uneasy about it, though.  sher put him into that awful jacket.  he seems to do whatever she suggests.  tom and lorenzo are on the money about the men being weirdly emasculated all of a sudden.  the times are going hot and cold, like a robot switch.  and you can’t win.  wasn’t he doodling a noose?  and i want to like megan but i don’t trust her.  she’s assertive and that’s great, but does she have an agenda? 

      • rowsella

         Meghan has a paying job and no kids.  She told Don she can spend her money on what she wants (re: party), Betty was told by Don that she could not have $6 to pay for the air conditioner repair in their bedroom.  I’d like to hear him tell Meghan that.  Remember it is 1966. Women can’t own a bank account without their husband cosigning it.

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

          i do love how free and modern she is, but he just seems mismatched for her in terms of age.  i feel as though it’s all going to come crashing down on him somehow.  he gives in so much to her he seems besotted.  i read that Signal 30 is police code for death, and that makes sense to me.  this episode felt like middle-aged guys fleeing death, and only seeming older doing so.  ken got it when he wrote about Death waiting just outside the door, filing his nails. in fact, maybe ken has the best deal here. as the romantic poets said, maybe art is our only immortality.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GQIN74TNNQROY5JFPOWWBGJWEM andy

         He also rewired the dining room outlet for Betty. Man knows his way around tools.

        • Sweetbetty

           And he spent an afternoon putting together a playhouse for Sally, and drinking beer.  Didn’t he do household repairs for Anna too?  I know he painted her living room.

          • cmb92191

            He reassembled some of Anna’s dining room chairs.  He was hammering them together– whereas contrast with Betty in season 1 was having issues with a dining room chair and she just shattered the whole thing and quickly tidied it up. 

          • Lynn Landry

             My parents both grew up on farms in the 1940s/50s and if you grew up on a farm, you knew how to fix things, build things, cook things, kill things. My had often remarks on this.  It makes sense that Don would know how to do these things. City people, even if weren’t rich grew up with other people doing that work. My husband, who grew up in SF in an apartment had to be taught how to mow grass when we bought a house in Oakland. He still is just yardwork averse.

  • BeverlyC

    Are we all assuming that Pete ratted out Ken to Roger or is it possible that either Don or Meghan spilled the beans about the second-career in writing? Everyone in the office already knows that Ken was published in the Atlantic, so his writing was not all that much of a secret. But someone from the dinner party had to make an issue of it and I don’t recall Roger saying who it was.

  • Kate_Tee

    So I just thought of a pretty minor inconsistency, but an inconsistency nonetheless: Pete’s in driver’s ed and claims he doesn’t know how to drive.

    But in the Season 2 episode where he and Trudy went to Paul’s apartment for a cocktail party, they make reference to Pete having parked the car outside…

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

      No, Harry and Jennifer Crane mentioned leaving their coats in their car. Pete’s lack of driving ability has been referenced several times, most notably when Don abandoned him in California.

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

        I’m again impressed with you guys, this time on two levels:
        1. Your encyclopedic memory and/or ability to call up the most minute details;
        2. The fact that you read every entry in the comments section, even on page 8.

  • Frank_821

    All this talk about how most people just assumed it was Pete being a mistake is very interesting. I took it at face value it was Pete also but in reality Pete has no reason to bring it up for any malicious reasons. It’s clear he’s no longer threatened by Ken. He even invited the Cosgroves to the dinner party. It’s easy to forgot 4 people actually found out Ken’s secret not 3. Megan could have easily brought it up. Any of them could have brought it up innocently not thinking it was a big deal. 

    Roger, as 1 of the senior partners of course would be annoyed that 1 of his valued employees is dividing his attentions

    Speaking of valued employees, I can’t help feeling as much pity for Pete as contempt. He can be be such a bratty weasel but I can understand his frustrations. Pete has been instrumental keeping the firm alive. After 2 and half years you would think he could get more respect and appreciation from his co-workers. He shouldn’t have to demand it. he’s earned his place several times over. But the reality is Pete is not that likable and he’s certainly not lovable. Peggy seems like she gets more respect for what she does at her job than what Pete does. 

    Pete’s final words of “we’re suppose to be friends” is very telling. Most of the people at SCDP are not any better than Pete when it comes to character or morals there is no real attempt to form friendships. You would think by now, Don and Pete would have formed a better personal relationship (with all they’ve been through). But they haven’t much to Pete’s disappointment. Don considers him just another employee at the firm to keep compartmentalized from.

    Thinking of the fight that lead to the fight. If Pete is responsible for blowing the account and embarrasing Lane’s wife, Roger and Don are just as culpable

    • sleah_in_norcal

      it was interesting that this scenario played out on the same day that the “big news” was that obama’s secret service thugs were screwing whores in brazil (allegedly).  isn’t this a commonplace happening in the world of “powerful men”, then and now?  it’s like, headline news: “Men Screw Whores”.  what was the line….aren’t you funny.  are you scandalized?.

      • formerlyAnon

        During the ’80s, my father was part of a team representing his corporation (in the high tech end of the telecommunications industry) in testimony in front of a congressional committee. Significant lobbying for future contracts went on at the same time. He returned DISGUSTED at the hypocrisy of (Ross Perot’s) corporation EDS, which boasted of imposing  ”high moral standards” on its work force. (At the time, for instance, their employees were required to be clean shaven, and were told in hiring interviews that the company did not tolerate employees who cohabited with someone to whom they were not married.) But the EDS team was hosting social events for the congressional staffers that included hired “party girls.”

      • AuntFiona

         Wow, sleah. “Obama’s secret service thugs”? Really? It was in Colombia,
        not Brazil, and the director of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, was a
        G. Bush appointee. Bet you don’t think they were Georgie’s “thugs.”

        Powerful men have long exploited their positions, although the Secret
        Service men in question weren’t particularly powerful, and you’ll soon
        learn they weren’t in the inner circle of presidential protection.

        The topic here is “Mad Men.” Stay w/ that.

        • sleah_in_norcal

          wow, aunt fiona.  your tone is rather pointed.  i’m sorry if i offended you, i feel a little misunderstood.  i guess i always think of the secret service as thugs, and if bush was still running the show i’m sure i would have referred to them as bush’s thugs (probably not georgie’s).  i didn’t mean to imply that obama had anything to do with this.  i’m an obama supporter all the way.

          i don’t agree, however, that my comment was off topic.  the point i was trying to make (apparently not very well) was that it never ceases to amaze me that people continue to be shocked by the fact that men screw whores.  it’s been happening all through history, that’s why they call prostitution the world’s oldest profession.  on mad men, lane seemed to be shocked that pete and the others would take a client to a whorehouse, and they lost the account because of the scandal.  it paralleled the news of the day, where 
          everyone is shocked yet again that men visit prostitutes.  

          i think a big part of watching mad men is seeing those timeless themes and how they relate to what’s happening now.  so to me i was right on topic.   

    • Vodeeodoe

      That fight was mostly caused because Pete tells Lane [to his face, at a board meeting]: He didn’t ask you [to go take him to a whorehouse] because he thinks you are a homo.

      • filmcricket

        Wasn’t it actually that Pete said Lane’s done nothing useful since he fired them all from S/C? (Interesting callback to a similar remark Don makes in “Shut the Door, Have a Seat,” just before he gets the Big Idea to have Lane fire them. I also thought it was a bit of a shoutout to the audience to have Lane ask Joan “What do I do here?” since a lot of viewers probably aren’t clear on that either.)

        • Sweetbetty

           ”I also thought it was a bit of a shoutout to the audience to have Lane
          ask Joan “What do I do here?” since a lot of viewers probably aren’t
          clear on that either.)”

          It seems no one (except Joan maybe) actually knows what Lane does there.  Remember when Don & Co. were reorganizing and Don wanted to bring Lane along even though no one else did and Lane was seen as one of the “others”?  Don said, “Do you know how to do what he does?  I don’t.”  Even though they really didn’t know what he did or how he did it they knew that getting “it” done was essential to the new business.

    • filmcricket

      If Pete hadn’t been behaving like an entitled “little shit” (TM Roger) from the moment we met him, he’d probably have more respect now. In the pilot he flat-out tells Don he wants his job (and part of his envy of Ken’s literary abilities is that Pete really wanted to be on the creative side of the business). Don’s had to tell him repeatedly that just because he wants what he wants when he wants it, doesn’t mean other people are going to give it to him. Don also doesn’t respond well to threats or sucking-up, which is basically the only way Pete’s ever interacted with him.

      The fact that Pete was hired because of his name probably didn’t help the entitlement problem; he may have thought that Bert & Roger would give him what he wanted because of who his family was, although God knows his father didn’t seem particularly indulgent with him. You’re right that, by now, the work he’s done should have earned him some more respect, but he may have burned his bridges too thoroughly. At least now they can’t fire him for all the liberties he takes.

  • fnarf

    I found an article in the Guardian that describes how football fans in ’66 waved the Union flag, and also how in the intervening decades that flag became increasingly associated with racists and hooligans, so that fans of England (who are from all ethnic backgrounds) started using St. George’s Cross instead. Very interesting. I won’t link, but the article is entitled “The symbolism of the English flag” by Jonathan Glancey.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QJZIEI2HJVLWSJXTWEKX2DCCHI Aaron

    What happened to the in-depth fashion analysis? That’s what drew me to these posts in the first place…

    • cleep1000

      That will come later today or tomorrow.

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

      enjoy the present and wait for it.  it has its own post.

      • sweetlilvoice

        And it’s well worth the wait! Love those posts so much!

    • sleah_in_norcal

      it usually comes a little later as a separate post titled Mad Fashion.

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

         Mad Style, I believe. Mad Fashion is (or was,is it coming around again?) Chris March’s show on Bravo.

  • peachy16

    Are you all so sure that it was Pete who told Roger about Ken’s secret life as an author?  I had the distinct feeling it was Peggy who spilled the beans.  Roger and Peggy’s connection has been played up in the last two episodes, and Peggy seemed to be caught off guard when Ken revealed himself to her. Maybe it was a round-about way of ensuring her position at the agency—by keeping Ken there, too.  And I think Pete was far too distracted in this timeframe to bother tattling to Roger.  And under the Emasculation of Pete heading, let’s not foget the botched plumbing repair.  Don has to step in to save the day.

    • Laylalola

      It was probably Pete but it conceivably could have been dropped casually by Don to Roger without Don even thinking much of it, other than to laugh at the sci-fi weirdness of it. Or Megan could have mentioned it in the office. Or Pete’s wife could have mentioned it to anyone.

    • sleah_in_norcal

      that scene was hilarious.  don as the handy man to have around the house.  in more ways than one.

  • beebee10

    My favorite laugh out loud line occurred immediately after the fight: “Reschedule the meeting.” Perfect!

    I like what they are doing to Don this season. It’s Don without secrets. He is freer and happier without them. Megan gets him in and out of the bedroom and accepts him. Don is more suited for a “modern” life than the idealized 50′s life. It’s like the freedom Anna’s relationship offered him. 

    Of course, he’s still a complicated guy so there’s a lot more to come. It would have been boring if he stayed the same. He is a man who is talented at reincarnating himself. But we know Weiner and Co have something planned. 

  • http://twitter.com/Lola99959 Veronika Kaufmann

    quite the essay. 

  • AWStevens

    Question: please correct me if I’m wrong but I thought I heard Megan say, “Impossible,” when Don said, “Lets make a baby.”  If so, why impossible?  Is she not able to have her own children?  I suppose we could take that “impossible” as her dismissive way of saying ‘absolutely not’ but it does not seem like a throw away answer to me.  Discuss…

    Pete is without a doubt the most spoiled rotten brat we have seen on “Mad Men”. Trudy deserves so much more than that tool for a husband! I think Pete needs a good shrink.

    I have been waiting for Lane to plant a wet kiss on Joan for a while now. I LOVE how she handled it. No WAY is she going to have an affair with him after how the married Roger treated her when he was married to his first wife. She’s past all that. Honestly, if Lane or Roger got divorced and courted her the way she deserves to be courted I would thoroughly enjoy that. But that’s fantasy land and NOT the reality of life nor “Mad Men”.

    This may be my favorite ep of all time. VERY satisfying. John Slattery directed it and Matthew Weiner was one of the writers. Those two facts only add to my love of this ep.

    • suzq

      We’ve been discussing that Megan said to Don up-thread.  You might want to go back and read what was posted after you posted this.

      • AWStevens

         Will do.  I don’t usually read previous threads before I post a comment.  Good or bad, I really don’t have time.

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

          Oh, but the comments are just as good as the recap! I love all the different points of view. :)

    • Vodeeodoe

      I forgot how bossy Trudy was. I still remember what a great couple they were last season, very on the same page. I’m sad to see that relationship not going well.

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

      i was thinking about that “impossible” line myself and it finally came to me that maybe she’s on birth control.  another modern thing, another big difference between betty’s generation and the next, another way that men are losing control.  he couldn’t impregnate her if he tried.  the way she’s so unflappable about everything, though, is a litte unnerving.  she kind of treats him like a baby.  it’s fitting that zou bisou bisou was originally a song sung to an infant; that was the surprise ending to the 60s music video.

  • Thundar99

    Your last bullet point is what I would point to behind Joan’s “rejection” of Lane.  From the 2nd(?) episode where she cried on his couch and was subtly checking him out after he consoled her she was quite tender with him here. She wanted to get the 1st hand scoop but she also wanted to convey that tenderness. In addition, even though Joan’s a sexpot she’s still a lady; so naturally she would get up and open the door even while she took her time walking over to it. Plus, she’s a once bitten twice shy girl at this point in her life.  She remembers the cartoon drawings of her and Lane behind closed doors. In actuality, I think her character has a soft spot for Lane because he’s the 1st and only man in that office to recognize her mental prowess while pushing her physical attributes to the background until this episode. Now having made two displays of “manliness” in Joan’s eyes i can’t help but think his X-factor stock would be going up for her. 

    Finally, I really loved  1) when she told him he provided a necessary and invaluable service in his job and he in turn replied, “You could do it.” not with condescension but respect and appreciation. 2) “Even one in this office has wanted to [kiss me passionately] knock out Pete Campbell.” …seamlessly covering his awkwardness at the pass with nearly British aplomb.  It could be that they are setting us up to root for these two ,because there’s been a few hints that throughout the season(s), but perhaps it is just a platonic friendship that’s really meant to be just sweet in a “if only they could/would” kind of way.

  • Vodeeodoe

    Pete’s always been
    douche-y, but they’ve really been playing it hard this season. The thing
    Slattery shows in this episode that was interesting is how out of touch he is with most of his coworkers. He’s so excited that Don shows to his party that it makes him feel that they are close, despite how obvious Don has always made it, that he could give a rat’s patootie about him, except as an employee with valuable clients. Then at the whorehouse, he has no problem saying horrible things to Don’s face in reaction to the guilt he feels about his cheating on Trudy – or at least about someone witnessing it. The ending in the elevator was really sad, despite how happy I was to see Lane kick his butt. Somebody needs to tell his wife that he needs to move back to Manhattan, otherwise, I’m getting the feeling that his gun will come into play somehow, before this season is over. Also, Go Lane!!! I hope he gets a divorce.

  • donnaINseattle

    When Lane kissed Joan and she got up and walked across the room to the door, I saw her thinking and making a decision of what she would do when she got there: walk out, open it, lock it . . . I felt this is why she was so deliberate in her pacing, Joan was a women thinking things through and making a choice of how to handle it. Of course, she made the most professional (for the time folks, for the time) and most compassionate decision. Go Christina H!

    • Sweetbetty

       I sensed that too, that she was playing out each choice in her head as she made her way to that door; and I’m glad she made the choice she did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ellen-Buddle/36807397 Ellen Buddle

    That football business was one of the major bum notes of the episode for me. Until very recently, football was very much a working class preoccupation in Britain. At the time of England’s win, there was even still a maximum wage set for football players. It wasn’t anything like the aspirational sport played by multimillionaires that it is now. 

    While it is conceivable that Lane would have gone to see the final out of homesickness (and the encouragement of his wife) and been quite pleased about the win, I doubt very much that he would have gone anywhere near those hats and scarves. Worse than that, the idea that his father, clearly old money, would have had any interest WHATSOEVER in football is completely ludicrous. He would probably have played rugby at school, may have enjoyed county cricket and polo and probably went to Ascot and the boat race, all as social occasions rather than out of dedication to the sports. There is no way he would have followed football with anything more than a cursory glance in the newspaper after an important match. So the idea that Lane’s wife would have mistaken his father’s love of football for his own is totally implausible. It was a little detail but references to Lane’s “Englishness” are always jarringly stereotyped for such a carefully researched show, so as usual it bugged me.

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

      Well, at least it was plausible then that she didn’t know one way or the other whether he liked soccer (sorry, I can’t call it football). To me that was the odd thing: how could she not know? And also he almost had to be dragged to the pub, even though it was, come on, the World Cup final. Certainly England being in the final was a big enough deal that some posh people paid attention to it.

      • Vodeeodoe

        Lane told her he didn’t want to go watch the football match, but that he would put on a good show of it.  Lane loves New York and the unstuffiness of it. The steaks, the playboy bunnies, the real conversations with people. I hope he has a way to lose his wife without financially destroying his life. That guy is trapped and trying to make the best of it. Hopefully his abusive, jerk dad is super old….

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BCFNN4YIMD4YWHQJF3ODXPD3ZM Kelli Phillips

      I haven’t seen any evidence that Lane’s father is “clearly old money.”  He’s got some sort of wealth and authority now, but I don’t think it’s necessarily true that the Pryces are upper-class.  Lane has mentioned not going to the right schools before–that’s why, he said, that he likes America–because class distinctions are not nearly as entrenched as in England.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BCFNN4YIMD4YWHQJF3ODXPD3ZM Kelli Phillips

        I haven’t seen any evidence that Lane’s father is clearly old money.  He’s got some sort of wealth and authority now, but I don’t think it’s necessarily true that the Pryces are upper-class.  Lane has mentioned not going to the right schools before–that’s why he likes America, because class distinctions are not nearly as entrenched as in England. 

    • http://www.joannao.blogspot.com JoannaOC

       Football became a working man’s sport, but it started out in the public schools, as did rugby. It was the educated professional class –military men, engineers, the bureaucrats of Empire–that took the sport around the world.

    • filmcricket

      Are we sure Lane’s from old money? He said one of the things he like about New York was that no one asks him where he went to school – suggesting that he wasn’t an Eton or Harrow man. I also think the way he was treated by his superiors in London indicates he probably wasn’t upper-crust; the workplace has a democratizing effect of course, but would someone really say “Don’t pout” to a person of their own class or higher, as Lane’s boss did to him?

      I’m just spitballing here – my knowledge of English class issues is based mostly on Wodehouse and Sayers – but I feel like Lane is probably middle-class, possibly having had a scholarship to one of the universities, rather than gentry-adjacent.

      • Maggie_Mae

        I agree & don’t think Lane came from old money at all.  His father seemed rather rough–the sort who’d made his own fortune & wanted his son to do better.  Lane probably attended what an American would consider a very good school–just not Eton or Harrow.  And then Oxbridge on a scholarship.  The management in Lane’s original company definitely looked down on him. 

        Lane’s wife might have been a step “above” him–thus the old man’s anger when Lane didn’t follow her back to the UK & beg her to resume living with him.  Of course the old guy preferred football–it was more working class than cricket.  But I don’t blame Lane for getting carried away at the bar–his team Won The World Cup–& They Beat Germany!  (He & his wife were drinking martinis, though.  Not beer.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ellen-Buddle/36807397 Ellen Buddle

    Ah okay, minor error there. The maximum wage was abolished in 1961. But nevertheless, it was still only creeping up slowly at the time of the win. 

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

    Don Draper lies now and then. Remember when he told Dr. Faye Miller that he couldn’t go to Gene’s birthday party because Gene didn’t know he was his father? That of course was not true. These slips suggest we’ve got a pathological liar on our hands. It’s very subtle writing.

    What about no one knowing what the World Cup was! Cup of what!

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

      He said Gene doesn’t KNOW HIM AS his father, not that Gene didn’t know he was his father. In other words, Gene was being raised by Betty and her new husband and didn’t need Don in his life. It wasn’t a lie.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1320594013 Miki- Mikal Casalino

       I don’t think many American’s watched or cared about UK Football. We know more now, since soccer is so popular. But back then, nope.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BCFNN4YIMD4YWHQJF3ODXPD3ZM Kelli Phillips

     I haven’t seen any evidence that Lane’s father is clearly old money.  He’s got some sort of wealth and authority now, but I don’t think it’s necessarily true that the Pryces are upper-class.  Lane has mentioned not going to the right schools before–that’s why he likes America, because class distinctions are not nearly as entrenched as in England. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Katie-Heim/708520610 Katie Heim

    BLOG GAME OF THRONES, FOR GODS SAKE!

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

      Is there anything ruder than reading a 1500-word review of a TV show and the only response is an all-caps demand to blog about something else? This isn’t cute.

      • judybrowni

        I agree, TLo, and bless you for what you continue to do.

        I wish you’d continued to blog Empire Boardwalk, and would love to read your slagging of the Ren fair wear on Game of Thrones, but I’ll gladly take what you’re willing to give.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1320594013 Miki- Mikal Casalino

           Hard to blog about a show or shows which are not so fashion related. After all this site is a fashion site, not a review of just any shows.  There might be some fashion things to be said about Thrones, but it is sci fi, and what the designers try to do is all imagination. And for 2.5 men…who cares? It is modern day fashion. 

          • Sweetbetty

             I’m pretty sure the Two and a Half Men request was a joke ;->

      • idrisr

         BLOG TWO AND HALF MEN, PLEASE!!

      • sweetlilvoice

        Not that I watch Thrones, but your blogs are so insightful….it leaves other blogs in the dust discussion wise. You two are just that good! I am constantly amazed by the amount of new posts each day.

      • Maggie_Mae

        My Sunday nights have become rather odd–beginning with Game of Thrones & ending with Mad Men–both excellent shows in such very different ways.  But there are plenty of places to discuss GOT–alas, often riven by conflicts between those who’ve read the books & those who want to remain unspoiled. 

        Your recap of this Mad Men episode is one of the best I’ve read–you really go into depth & see things others miss.  And your style notes are yet to come–there’s nobody out there who even comes close to your level of analysis.  I’ve read lots of quibbles about the “accuracy” of the style elements, but you show how those elements serve plot & character.  Really, who could ask for more from you?  (And you cover all those other topics, too.)

        I do have one suggestion for May.  The next series of Sherlock will at last appear on PBS.  On Sunday night–but the shows will be re-run on other evenings & will be available On Command and/or online for a while.  Even if you don’t write a word about the show, please watch it! (I have an all-region DVD player & bought the DVD’s from the UK months ago.)  The first episode, especially, is stunningly elegant.  And funny & touching & the beginning of a thrilling 3 episode arc….

        • formerlyAnon

          I am SO impatient for the return of Sherlock!

    • rowsella

       Probably better to visit TWOP for that.

    • Vodeeodoe

      Katie: Mad Men is a show about the lives of advertising executives in the 1960′s. You know, there is probably an area on TnL’s website where you could have asked them politely to address your GoT needs. I hope you run into an ugly direwolf that thinks you smell like Bantha poodoo.    :P

      • Vodeeodoe

         And when it happens, I hope that direwolf is wearing Chris March.

  • JMansm

    I think that the Ken short story writing career was one of the most interesting and refreshing things to happen on this show in a while. Overall, I feel like every episode this season has been a testament to how well the hiatus served Mad Men because each of this season’s episodes have been brilliant. It’s interesting that I’m more interested in Joan’s personal life, Ken’s side career, Sally and Aunt Pauline from last episode, Peggy’s failing social endeavors, the small but charming scene between Ginsberg and his father, etc. than I am in the likes of Roger, Pete and Don acting like a bunch of cocky, overgrown teenagers as they clamor for recognition and a sense of importance in the office. Even Pete’s very bizarre scenes at driver’s education were kind of interesting. 

    Other than Ken’s short stories, my favourite part of this episode was by farrrrr the adorable drama surrounding Don and Megan not knowing Cynthia’s name. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICH2X47ZEBQDVTKDJMRSNZKN6A alex

    I’ll be the first to admit that I dont like Megan. I dont understand why people keep insisting that she is so different from Betty. Betty came from a well to do family, was educated at a fancy school, lived in Europe for a while, spoke fluent Italian etc. She was not always the bored and unhappy housewife. When Don met her she was working as a model and living in Manhattan. Not very different from Megan.

    Also, what ambition are people referring to? Yes, Megan slept with Don last season becuase she wanted to do what he does but she shows 0 of the ambition that Peggy showed. I can’t take her ambition seriously when she is so unprofessional, she shows up to work late, leaves early, spends half her work day flirting with her husband etc. I just don’t see any evidence of that supposed hard work and ambition of hers.

    • Cabernet7

      Megan wanted to be an actress, or a singer.  I think she mentioned last year that she dabbled in painting.  She dabbles.  She settled for advertising.  I think she wants to be SOMETHING, but she’s not entirely committed to what that something will be.   If she hadn’t married Don, she might have moved on to something else by now.  To her credit though, she does try to work.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1320594013 Miki- Mikal Casalino

       I think Megan is trying to struggle with her place in this era. A lot of us were doing that. As baby boomers (early) we were brought up in the 50′s where you were meant to get married and have kids. But as we matured we were seeing that there was more than that. I think Megan is not really sure of where she belongs. She doesn’t want to be a “house frau”, but can’t really figure out what her life should be.  She is brought up to be the “perfect” woman, as was Betty. So she marries the big  boss dude, and then figures she should be more than that. I just think she is confused as to her real place in this ’60′s world.

      • Sweetbetty

         That’s a good generalization of how women of that era might have felt but since we really don’t know that much about Megan’s background we don’t know what she was brought up to think.  For all we know, *she* might be the one who grew up on a whorehouse, or was brought up in some other non-traditional manner.  Makes it all the more interesting to see where things take her, and Don.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DQ43PRBJ73B5G6B5PKDYFTE7HE Morgan

    I thought Don’s comment in the whorehouse about having grown up in a place like that was possibly him referencing his past indiscretions, perhaps him saying that he has grown up since then.

  • cmb92191

    I have liked Ken Cosgrove as a character, but I still remember him chasing around Allison at an office party, pinning her down and forcing up her dress to find out her underwear color.   I want to like Ken so much more, but this action still bothers me. 

    I’m happy to see that he is grounded in something more than work, he seems to really love Cynthia (that name isn’t so hard to remember!) and living in a different area of the city seems to compel them to give back… However if he forced himself on Allison, how soon until Cynthia gets the same “treatment”?  Or is his writing an outlet to that?    I know he cut down his drinking- but still.

    • asympt

       That’s part of why I didn’t ever like Ken much, but now that he’s older, he doesn’t seem so susceptible to peer pressure.  (Which I think was part of all that very bad behavior at that party.)  And his wife may have taught him a little more about women actually being people–in the little we see of them, they do seem to be a good couple.

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

      I know. I can’t forget that either. But I do think he has matured since then. I think him getting a life outside the office has helped immensely.

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

      I know. I can’t forget that either. But I do think he has matured since then. I think him getting a life outside the office has helped immensely.

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

    Thanks for the insight. When I saw that scene, I  thought Don was slipping into a lie or at least a distortion. He told Faye he wasn’t going to Gene’s party because he welcome at the house, that Gene thinks “that man” is his father. But Betty had told him about the party. 

  • texashistorian

    Another excellent analysis of an incredible script brought to life, TLo! It makes me realize how I need to read your take on the episodes, because otherwise, I’d be lost. I had thought the whole episode was about friendships among men in a changing world. I even thought that Beethoven’s 5th backed me up because it’s about brotherhood! This is why I never was good in literature class, and I still find myself trying to make sense of the short stories I read.

    What I like about Mad Men is how this show defines the mid-century era. I teach college history & Mad Men is a great way to explain the alienation that many people felt in the post-modern world. It’s also a good way to point out how literature redefines how we view history. Sorry, I’m rambling… thanks again for your insights.

    • wmsinfla

      Oh, I so agree that TLo’s post are invaluable about appreciating the depth of this show.  I, too, had trouble in literature classes.  I got glimmers of the insights and depths but could never really bring out what it was about.  Maybe my too normal middle class shelter upbringing (I’m an early boomer)?  I’m just glad to read a a TLo comment or a post and think, “hey, I noticed that too!”  But it happens too rarely.  Keep up the good work, all, especial TLo!

    • juliamargaret

      Well, on the Inside Mad Men video blog on AMC, Matt Weiner actually said that’s what the episode is about, that, and getting what you really want. Which thrilled me, because that was my take, too. But I think the TLo take is appropriate, too: just another layer.

  • Jade Hawk

     blond babies from dark-haired parents are entirely normal. the other way round is what is not possible (which is what ruined Benjamin Button for me. A redhead and a blond can NOT make a black-haired daughter.)

    • Maggie_Mae

      Each new episode of Mad Men runs (this year) just after the new episode of Game of Thrones.  One plot point in the latter show was the fact that (the late) KIng Robert’s blond children had actually been fathered by the blond twin brother of his blond wife.  Investigation revealed that, throughout history, all members of Robert’s family had dark hair–never light; thus, incest was discovered! Gruesome events ensued…..

      I know that Earth genetics is different from genetics on the unnamed planet where the seven kindgoms of Westeros are located–yes, darkhaired couples can have blond babies–but does everybody know?  

      Part of this episode of Mad Men reminded many Game fans of last season’s favorite scene–in which the insufferable Joffrey was slapped.  Repeatedly.
        
       

    • Linlighthouse

      I can imagine that Pete was blond as a child, and his hair turned darker as he grew up.

  • Vodeeodoe

    My best part of this episode was the fight. The best thing was after Lane called Pete out – we cut to all of the men, frozen in a complete state of disbelief and then eventually realising that this was going to happen. Add on Roger’s remark and Don closing the drapes and we have a WINNER people. Joan eavesdropping and hushing Peggy to join her was just icing on the cake.  So awesome.

  • SVLynn

    The actor who plays Pete really did an incredible job in this episode. Was that the first time we’ve ever seen Pete without a blue suit? He must really be depressed, getting beat up and even in his own home, Don shows him up with his amazing emergency plumbing skills, fixing a mistake he created. Loved how it ended with him watching the teenage kids in the class  while they played the sound of a faucet leaking. The scene with Roger and Lane was priceless, I just loved him showing his strategies, and how good he is at it, more Roger!!

  • Megan Patterson

    Joan/Lane could still happen, right? RIGHT?? Also, there was so much squeeing this episode, you have no idea. I literally yelled, “FITICUFFS!? FISTICUFFS!!!” at the fight scene. 

    • judybrowni

      No, Joan made it very plain that she wants to keep Lane as a friend and colleague: break off kiss, go to door, open the door, sit down again and change subject, to approval for something else he did: pop Pete in the nose.

      It was a very Joan move to handle sexual harassment before the term was coined, and there were legal protections.

      In the early ’70s, in my first professional job, I had to handle my boss in a similar way: reject him, while still retaining him as a friend.

      It’s a tightrope to walk.

      • formerlyAnon

        Yup. You knew you were probably going to have some of the guys you worked with cross the line, especially if you were young and even marginally attractive. And that there would likely not be any support from your superiors and/or human resources – indeed, your job was probably going to be endangered if you couldn’t handle things yourself, without “making a fuss.”

        As my dad counseled me when I went to work in a male-dominated field, “The first one’s free. After that, you get to choose what you will or will not allow, but you have to think through your reaction ahead of time because you have to make your boundaries clear right away.”
        Of course, being my dad, he was totally o.k. with the idea of me losing my job if that was the result of setting my boundaries.

  • sarahjane1912

    Wonderful update, as usual. 

    Two points though: Did anyone else notice the cocktail classes Pete and Trudy had at the dinner party? Apart from a slightly different gold filigree pattern, they were dead ringers for Don’s office glasses. While — of course — they could have been a wedding present from long ago, I like to think they were purchased in some sort of aspirational move.

    At the first dinner Lane and his ‘friend’ shared to discuss the Jaguar account, the Jaguar exec was not holding his cutlery in the ‘English’ way. He was even holding his fork like a shovel at one stage, though that of course could have been a symptom of left-handedness [corrected]; I know of at least one Englishman who makes a fist when he holds his cutlery because he had been forced to ‘become’ a right-hander back in the ’50s. 

    Small points for my first post here, but it’s lovely to read all the discussion points after watching the show. Thanks!

  • aimee_parrott

    “If I had found her first,” Don says of Megan, “I might not have thrown it all away.” We’re not so sure about that, Don. The marriage failing wasn’t Betty’s fault.

    I don’t think he was exactly saying it was Betty’s fault, though, was he?  He said that *he* threw it away.  That sounds like he’s blaming himself.  Maybe you could look at the part about meeting Megan first as a shot at Betty, but I think it’s certainly true that Megan gets Don in a way that Betty never did.  What Don didn’t mention, though, is that maybe he needed to live through the experience of that first marriage in order to make the second one work.  And it remains to be seen if he can do that.

    • 3hares

      But he’s saying that if he had been Megan the first time, he would have never thrown it away, because he’d see that Megan was worth hanging on to. Which is an easy thing to say, and still makes it about Betty being the wrong woman to explain why he threw it away.

  • charlotte

    A few more thoughts on Pete: He started off a a whiny, sleazy character in the first seasons (all that climaxing in the rape of a helpless au pair), but I actually came to like him to a certain extent at the end of season 4. He was very sweet with Trudy and I could relate to him trying to solidify his position in the company- with the baby coming and all.
    So where did all that go? Pete is suddenly pathetic as ever.
    Do you guys think Weiner will focus on Pete’s negative character traits all season? I can’t really see him kill Pete off in a car accident as some people are speculating. That seems too on the no(o)se for me.

    • Susan683

      I didn’t watch MM at first and caught up on Netflix.  Hated Pete from the beginning, but two friends kept telling me “just wait.  He redeems himself.”  I never saw it, and he has never grown on me.  I was cheering when Lane took his jacket off and put up his fists.  That punch was SO deserved and such a rewarding scene. It was made better that it was Lane, the “civilized Brit” who did it — as opposed to Don or Roger. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

    At the dinner at Pete and Trudy’s, when it was time for dessert, all the women automatically got up and cleared plates, and the men just sat there. I was trained to do that too. Funny how familiar that scene was.

    Love how Joan is just right in there again, looking fabulous. I wonder who’s taking care of the baby. Mom? (I haven’t read all the comments, so someone has probably already talked about this).

    Did the madam think Don was gay, and was that why she suggested the other place a block (or few blocks) away? (again, sorry if this has been covered).

    Such a dark episode. Except for Don’s sport coat! yowza.

    • sweetlilvoice

      That coat could have been seen from space it was so ugly!

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

      I’m not sure she thought he was gay, but she was suggesting that if he was gay, then she knew a place where he could go. Her discreet and subtle use of the male pronoun was smooth enough that Don remarked on it. So, yes.

  • http://stylekludge.blogspot.com/ StyleKludge

    Perhaps a coincidence, but Charles Whitman was said to come from a dysfunctional family headed by a demanding and abusive father…who owned a very successful plumbing business.

  • Vodeeodoe

    Can someone remind me how Pete and Trudy have a baby now?  Wasn’t Trudy infertile?  Did they adopt?

  • Vodeeodoe

    Can someone remind me how Pete and Trudy have a baby now?  Wasn’t Trudy infertile?  Did they adopt?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1320594013 Miki- Mikal Casalino

       I don’t think they ever said she was infertile. And in that era, they didn’t know as much as we know now. My Cousin couldn’t get pregnant for 10 yrs. Then all of a sudden she had a baby. And a few years after that had 2 more. It was just pointed out that it was not Pete’s problem. His sperm count was normal.

  • DCCaliChick

    Maybe that is what she meant by the “that’s impossible” comment when Don suggested they have a baby.  She knows where that life scenario is likely to lead…

  • rhinebecksue

    Great and welcome insights!  I noticed one subtlety that wasn’t mentioned…at the close of the episode while the credits were rolling, there was no sound track. I thought the lack of music/”Sound” was connected to Ken’s story referencing Beethoven & his deafness.
    I look so forward to Sunday evenings now that Don & the gang are back!!!

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

    I don’t think so, but he might be out of a job- which could be considered professional suicide.

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

    Pete was brought up with upper class training. Even if he doesn’t like Beethoven he knows enough to pay lip service to him. Also, a load of Hi-Fi owners bought classical albums to show off their new systems, and that’s what he’s doing. When he’s alone it’s probably Percy Faith or Mantovani.

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

    Roger would be quite content if Pete didn’t keep throwing insults in his face. Roger is on his way to being the next Bert Cooper- someone kept useful for name value and because he has the right touch with a few select clients, but otherwise a marginal factor in the operations.

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

    Pete has been nice at times and it gives him some dimension. He’s been sweet and vulnerable enough to make you hope that he’ll turn a corner and be decent. 

  • http://twitter.com/Kusandra Kusandra

    We don’t know for sure it was Pete who told Roger. Peggy knew as well. We didn’t see it happen. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/alita.balbi Alita Balbi

    Don saying that if he had met Megan first, he wouldn’t throw it away brings back Pete’s declaration to Peggy during the second season, when he said he made the wrong choice by choosing Trudy. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/alita.balbi Alita Balbi

    What about both Pete and Peggy trying to be versions of Don this season?

  • http://twitter.com/NotGodot Sanford Abernethy

    There’s something awfully Randian, isn’t there, about Ken Cosgrove? Think about it. He’s a brilliant writer constantly pulled down by mediocrities (Keep in mind, both Roger -and- Pete have failed as writers. Roger with Sterling’s Cold and Pete with that story he virtually pimped his wife out to try and get published). Rather than being humble or even honest about his success, he still views it in the same petty language as Randian characters, telling Paul that he ‘lost’… It’s all about winners and losers.