Mad Men: The Other Woman

Posted on May 28, 2012

When it comes to rating the occasionally shocking turns of events in the world of Mad Men, we propose the Lawnmower system. It’s very simple. Allow us to demonstrate.

Guy walks into an advertising agency and gets his foot unexpectedly amputated? That’s a FIVE out of FIVE Lawnmowers.

Peggy goes into labor? FOUR out of FIVE Lawnmowers.

Zou Bisou? That’s about a 2/5.

Peggy leaving SCDP and Don? That’s a 3/5.

Joan prostituting herself for a partnership with the blessing of most of the other partners? Oh, that’s about ten lawnmowers right there.

If we were even more obsessive about Mad Men than we already are, we might propose aggregating some of the top reviews of the show this week, just to see how people’s views over Joan’s actions break down by gender. We’ve read a couple straight-male reactions this morning and they were very concerned with Joan’s virtue and the horrible, no-good thing she was forced into doing. And while we don’t want to make predictions about how people will feel (or tell them how they should feel), we wonder if a lot of women will see what Joan did as … not so much “empowering,” as it was making the system work to her benefit, using both the tools at her disposal and the expectations of the patriarchy to enrich herself far beyond what most women could achieve on their own at the time.

Look, what Joan was asked to do was humiliating and reduced her once again to her body. That it was the partners who were asking her to do this (according to the increasingly slug-like Pete Campbell, leaving a trail of slime behind him wherever he goes) was the ultimate betrayal to her – especially Roger. And sure, we’re looking at this from the perspective of gay men, who can sometimes be even more reckless and thoughtless about sex than their straight counterparts, but we found ourselves thinking Joan did something smart for herself and her child, and that ultimately what she had to do wasn’t so different from what she’d been doing her whole career: manipulating men to get what she wants, using her looks and her sexual power.

But the difference here, of course, is that the main tool in Joan’s arsenal wasn’t her wiggle or her jiggle; it was always her brain. With this act, every advance she’s made in her career; every iota of respect she earned from powerful men, has all been swept away; her carefully cultivated and maintained sense of competence replaced by the idea that her real worth is always going to be found in her ability to give men erections. Whatever benefits she accrued or triumph she might have felt in becoming a partner didn’t matter at that moment when we saw her face as she slipped her dress off, the pain and (highly uncharacteristic) fragility etched there in a way we’ll probably never forget.

Which brings us to our next point: The partners will never forget that Joan literally slept her way to a partnership. This part of the story has us confused quite a bit. It doesn’t make much sense to us. Joan, as we know her, wouldn’t agree to such a thing, no matter how much money was offered, simply because she would know that from this point on, the most important people in her career will always think of her as a prostitute. After all the hard work she’d done to establish herself as a highly competent manager, we’re having a near-impossible time believing that she would do this. In other words, we believe that Joan could sleep with a man she’s not attracted to in order to get something out of it. In fact, we believe that Joan has done some version of that before in her life, and we believe there’s a cynical, practical part of her that would just shut herself off and get through the act, knowing that the benefits could be life-changing. What we don’t believe at all is that she’d expose herself to the level of judgment and possible ridicule she would be receiving from people like Roger and Don.

Don’s reaction, however, was surprisingly tender and paternalistic. He was going to save Joan from the horrors of prostitution; horrors from which he literally sprung into life. Don’s issues with women (and they are legion) all spring from the two women he could have called his mother: the prostitute who bore him and the hard, cold woman who raised him on a steady diet of resentment for reminding her of her husband’s infidelities. As we saw in last week’s episode, Don has great affection and respect for Joan and was appalled at the idea of her becoming anything like his birth mother, of whom he’s always felt an enormous sense of shame.

What surprises us is Roger’s reaction. Actually, strike that. We flat out don’t buy it and consider it a rare instance of the writing team dropping the ball. Oh sure, we got him saying he’d never pay for it and calling it “dirty business,” but that was it. We’re supposed to believe that Roger would let the mother of his child (and clearly the woman he loves) prostitute herself for a client with hardly a comment from him. Worse, we’re supposed to believe that he has virtually no problem with the fact that she went through with it, never batting an eye when she came in for her first impromptu partners’ meeting – as a partner. There was no reaction from him at all. That’s bullshit. Roger might be a royal dick about it (in fact, it’s likely) but to have no reaction to it at all strains credulity to the breaking point.

The bomb-drop of Joan’s actions and the potential for the fallout to ripple outward for years to come means we could probably go on for another couple-thousand words on the topic, but we’ll save the rest of our thoughts for the Mad Style writeup. For now, let’s move on to the other Other Woman: Peggy.

One could attempt to make the argument (weak thought it may be) that Joan’s actions were empowering, but no such argument needs to be made in Peggy’s case because there simply is no argument: this is the most empowering thing Peggy has ever done. This is the most powerful thing Peggy has ever done. Don was an absolute ass to her when she first told him, but she shut him down completely when she pointed out that she was doing exactly what he taught her to do and what he himself would have done in her place. He couldn’t argue with that at all and his condescending paternalism evaporated when he realized that, to be replaced with something far more real: a quiet despair over his loss. When Don came to Peggy’s apartment during the season 3 finale and begged her to come work for his new company, telling her, “I will spend the rest of my life trying to hire you,” we said at the time that it was easily the most romantic thing Don ever said or did for any woman. To that, we can add his hand-kiss, a gesture that nearly wrecked us just as it nearly wrecked Peggy. That’s the thing about Don: he’s all surface and image; bravado and bluster, but on those very rare occasions when he allows someone (and us) to see the fear under the mask, it can be emotionally devastating, and for just a second, you could see that Peggy was wavering.

But as she stepped into that elevator with a smile on her face, we knew that this really wasn’t a sad thing; nor was it morally or emotionally confusing, like Joan’s actions. No, this was a full-on triumph for our Pegs and we were thrilled for her. Don earned this moment of despair by continuously playing down her contributions and by taking advantage of the close, casual relationship they have by humiliating her often. He never would’ve thrown money in any other staff member’s face like that. As the song goes, you always hurt the one you love, and Don, who has NO IDEA how to sustain a relationship over time, took his comfort with Peggy as an invitation to treat her worse than anyone else at SCDP. In other words, Peggy was his office-Betty. He became way too comfortable with her contributions to his life and took them for granted. And on those rare instances when she called him on it, his cruelty would come roaring to the surface and hit her full in the face, exactly the way it used to with Betty.

But it wasn’t that Don was merely cruel to Peggy; that’s not why she was leaving, nor was it for a higher a salary. She left because she knew her connection with Don (and his inability to have fully supportive emotional relationships) had reached the point where it was no longer going to help her career and had, in fact, started to hurt it. He took her for granted and he was always going to do so, barring some sort of major change. Ted Chaough is an asshole in ways Don probably couldn’t manage, but he’s a new asshole to Peggy and the change could be to her benefit. Her career had become stagnant under Don’s tutelage and having a new condescending, obnoxious boss could be just the shot in the arm it needs. Peggy thrives when people underestimate her or attempt to put her down, so we’re thinking of the two of them – Ted and Peggy – he’s the one in for the bigger surprise the next time he tries to throw his weight around. If she could go from being Don’s mousey secretary to being a highly respected copywriter, she can handle just about anything Ted throws at her. She’ll be fine. It’s Don who’s going to suffer from this loss.

In terms of the themes of this episode, we found them both obvious and a bit paper-thin, to be honest. Women in the patriarchy, no matter what they do, are going to be treated like whores. Joan was in the most literal sense, but so was Peggy when Don threw money at her and Megan, when the casting directors made it clear her ass was as important to them as whatever talent she might possess. To be honest, we don’t think the script actually needed to make those connections. Peggy and Joan’s stories, told side by side, more than made the point of how women are viewed by men a lot of the time. And the entire Jaguar campaign hammered that point home again and again, with a Thor-sized hammer coming down on the audience’s collective head with that tagline: “At last, something beautiful you can truly own.” The dealership exec just wanted to own Joan for a night; Don wanted to own Peggy and her ideas indefinitely, Don never wanted Megan to have a career of her own separate from him, Ted Chaough wants to steal Peggy from Don, as if she was an item in his possession, and finally (and somewhat clumsily tacked on), the casting directors only wanted Megan for her body – and found it wanting, apparently. These are all true things and worthy of exploration on a show like Mad Men, but it felt like the writers wanted to get Peggy and Joan in certain places by the end of the episode and stumbled upon a prostitution theme to tack onto their stories. For once, we wish the two main stories could have played out without attempting to link them to anything else. Peggy and Joan are engrossing enough on their own and seeing them both reach career highs in very different manners was more than enough story for us. Sometimes – in any story, but this is especially true in Mad Men – the thematic elements can overpower the dramatic arc and in this case, such a thing was definitely to the story’s slight detriment. For once, the story wasn’t about, say, how awfully women are treated in a patriarchal system. Just this once, the story was solely about two women on different paths and we found ourselves wishing more had been done to demonstrate their similarities as well as their differences. For us, one of the most poignant moments in an episode loaded with them was the brief shot of Joan noticing Peggy leaving the office. So much these two women could share with each other. They both started as secretaries and found themselves with full-blown careers. They both had affairs with partners and bore them a child. They both have mothers who drive them crazy. And they both know, better than any other women who ever worked in that office, just how much of a price they constantly have to pay for not being exactly the type of women society tells them to they’re supposed to be.

Much, much more to come in our Mad Style post, later this week, including the moment we both exclaimed “OH MY GOD!” over one character’s one article of clothing. Why would we do that? VERY eagle-eyed readers with a good understanding of the show’s history might figure it out.

 

[Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/AMC]

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  • EveEve

    Brilliant and spot on Tlo!

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

       I think Joan, as a single mother in the sixties, as a woman in a male-dominated workplace and business (and world), chose to ensure financial protection for her son. It could be done differently, and was, in 1967, but Joan chose this path. I’ve been there; I know what that decision is like.

      The writers carefully set up this scenario last episode (and previous to that as well) when Joan was served with divorce papers, and again in the bar scene with Don when she wondered about how to start over with a baby.

      • siriuslover

        And you could see it in the scene with her mother that they did as a replay. When she came home, she told her mom that they could now afford a better fixer-upper so spend the money, which turned into a “discussion” of her mom’s relationships.  Then, when they did the flashback to her in her room (and I realized she had already been with the exec before Don came in–wow), you get the context a bit more about her statement about money to her mom.

        • SignLadyB

          Oh wow! That totally went over my head! I couldn’t figure out why the scene was played twice with only her removing the necklace as the introduction.

          • sarahjane1912

            I got the chills when I heard the exact replay of the dialogue Joan and her mother had before Don’s entrance. And all I could think was: it’s too late, too late! She’s already done it! Big BIG sigh.

          • http://promiscuouslola.blogspot.com/ Cate

            I TOTALLY missed that too. I remember thinking it was after as she was taking the chain off, but completely missed the connect to the replay. 

        • imakeart

          When Joan told her mom they could afford the repairman, it was a totally different day than the scene that replayed.  Check the clothes on Joanie and her mom..  Her mom is just a nitwit.

          • siriuslover

            Hi imakeart, yes, I know. I’ve already edited my post and apologized for confusing anyone. When I did my second run through the episode, I couldn’t believe how I melded the two.

      • Karrie Witkin

        I agree that Joan’s choice was motivated primarily by her need to provide for her son. I disagree with TLo’s assessment that Roger’s reaction was implausible; I thought it was completely true to character. Roger is superficial and needy; his only expression of power is pulling out his wallet. Joan has been refusing his money and holding him at arms length for a long time. His statement, “I won’t pay for it,” is the loudest protest you’d hear from someone who is generally spineless and non-commital in all of his relationships. While Don did the right thing to stand up for Joan, I can’t help but feel that he partly wanted her to stay out of it so that he could win jag on his own merits.

        It was sad that Joan made this decision; I don’t think it is empowering in the slightest. To benefit from her partnership, she is now tethered to a company where her integrity has been soured. The look on her face as she caught Peggy marching out of the office underscores this fact. Peggy is free to leverage her talent elsewhere, but Joan–whose skills are also indispensible to the company–hasn’t given herself this option.

        Peggy was amazing in this episode; she gracefully endured the many-faces-of-Don as she broke her news to him. I thought the hand-kissing gesture was both touching and patronizing; it was an incredibly complex moment, and so well done. I hope the writers manage to keep her in the show, somehow. As I find myself rooting less and less for Don (forget about the other male protagonists, save Ken), Peggy and Joan are the moral center of the show.

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

          I watched the AMC video about the show (they do one for each episode), and Elisabeth Moss said she didn’t know that Don was going to kiss Peggy’s hand, and that she started to cry for real. Me too, but I’ll cry at the drop of a hat. Also — I’ve been going back and watching season 1 — Pete pimps his wife out to her first lover to get his story published in a magazine! I think I’d forgotten how sleazy he was back then too.

    • http://tigergray.blogspot.com/ Tiger Gray

      Haven’t seen the ep but I take it more as a person trying to work within a system that is always going to be hostile to her. It’s a choice many marginalized people have had to make throughout time. While it’s tempting to say she should rise above it’s often almost impossible to do so and still get even a semblance of what one wants in life. 

    • KayeBlue

      I agree the story isn’t entirely believable, and that the partnership is just to ratchet up the Lane/Joan drama. But I can’t call it a free choice when it’s the men in her office asking her to do this. She received compensation, but what if she refused and was fired? She’d have no legal recourse against SCDP for the egregious sexual harassment. She probably wouldn’t have many employment opportunities as a single mother… remember when she worked retail, and told Roger that she made much less than as an office manager? I think she figured one very unpleasant experience was better than losing her job security. 

      • Sweetbetty

         ” but what if she refused and was fired?”

        I saw nothing in the episode to suggest that Joan would have gotten fired if she didn’t go along with the proposition.  If the agency didn’t get the account it very well might have closed, but that’s not the same thing.

      • Jane_Lane

         The only one who actually asked her to do it was Pete, the others, save Don, agreed to let her do it if she wanted to. And I don’t think, at the least, that Lane, Bert or Don would have allowed her to be fired. And that’s assuming Roger wouldn’t grow some spine and stand in the way of that as well.

        • http://twitter.com/pennyeager Penny Eager

          But to have all 5 partners (she didn’t know Don was against) offering you a partnership or $50k to sleep with a guy to win a HUGE account is not so much of a choice… She expected they all would have been against it, apart from Pete, who’s yuck. When Lane came in and suggested the partnership… it looked like it kind of broke her down, not the money, but the fact that every partner in the firm was willing to allow it.

          I do agree that the implausible bit is how Joan could’ve done it knowing that from then on she’s just the partner that slept her way there, however I guess it definitely opens up some new plot lines…

    • Browsery

      I don’t think Joan feels in charge.  She’s genuinely shocked to be approached with this proposition, but her practical side and need for security for herself and her son win out.  Lane, who does care about her, basically encourages her to press for more on theory that, if she’s going to sell herself, she shouldn’t sell herself short; at least get a partnership and 5% of the profits.

      Although the male partners put her in a horrible situation,  I don’t know that they’re going live easily the decision, except maybe for Pete, who can justify anything.

      • marcilynn

        Lane was also trying to save his own butt – the Christmas bonus – by getting her not to take the cash. 
        He’s getting very desperate. It’s a bit scary…

        • http://promiscuouslola.blogspot.com/ Cate

          Agreed. I saw his telling Joan to push for more as a veiled way of saving his OWN ass.

  • sweetlilvoice

    This episode greatly affected me, I cannot stop thinking about it. I was crying as Joan went through with her end of the deal and when Peggy left. It was like watching Joan getting raped all over again. This episode is going to haunt me, if I work up the nerve, I’ll re-watch it today.

    • Verascity

       You’re not alone, sweet. I cried, too, and then I cried again as she watched Peggy leave the office. I actually found it more difficult to watch than the rape scene, for some reason.

      It’s true that this season in general, and this episode in particular, are far less subtle than previous years… but I have to say, it was pretty painfully brilliant to watch Ginsberg’s relatively female-positive pitch (with it’s “you can’t own a woman” subtext) get twisted into something so skin-crawlingly terrible.

      • AnnPopovic

        I think it’s harder to watch than the rape because they all did it to her, and they will all turn around and make her feel like she *wanted* it.
         
        This broke my heart.

        • roadtrip1000

          The partners (except for Don) may as well have been right there in the hotel room. It played like a strange, sanitized, white-collar gang-rape/business transaction. When I saw this episode the first time i felt as if I were on an emotional roller-coaster, and also felt a bit used myself (by the writers). When i watched it a second time I could better appreciate it’s thought-provoking brilliance.

    • Spicytomato1

      I gotta believe Roger will have plenty to say to Joan…I think that meeting just wasn’t the time or place. Perhaps he hadn’t even fully processed it until the moment she joined the meeting and words weren’t coming easily to him.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

      I didn’t cry. I was a little shocked because it didn’t seem like something that Joan would do. The thing that is beautiful about Joan is that she is the only one who owns her body. She knows how to let other people think they can have it or use it, but in the end she is in total control. She made this decision for herself and her son and I’m sure she weighed out the consequences.

      • SignLadyB

        I agree about Joan owning her body and I think that was part of my shock. I really imagined she would NOT go thru’ with it yet somehow still win the account. And yes it truly was Joan’s rape all over again and yes, I did cry for her.

    • MK03

      I’m so sad for Joan. Just…sad. As I watched last night, I said “Can this woman be sexually abused any more in this show?” I always watch this with my mom and she pointed out that Joan was using this to her advantage and even said “She’s gonna be the one to break the glass ceiling!” And my response was “Yeah, and all she has to do is sleep with a sleazy creep.” The generational divide at work, perhaps?

      • siriuslover

        I think you’re absolutely right about the generational divide here, as well as the context. As I wrote further down, I’ve been playing this out historically all night–yes, I dreamed about this episode. I think some argument could be made for her actions historically, but I’m not sure that it’s Joan’s character specifically. I’m still working through that.

      • jessicasac

         I can’t help but feel like this is something that women can always resort to though. I’ve seen it happen. It’s a tool in the tool box, I don’t think there is anyway around that. It will always be there.

      • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

        I’m conflicted. It is amazing that Joan is a partner in an ad firm, even if it is only 5%. She deserves it on the merits of her work but she got it for another reason. I do think that Joan had a choice and I think she chose what she wanted. It is sad because we can’t change the way men view women in the work place. Joan (like all potential victims) gets to decide if what just happened was abuse. She can choose how to feel about the situation, and so far we’ve seen Joan as a very strong level headed woman, who doesn’t let people manipulate her – not perfectly with Kevin and Roger she’s let things slide but she’s stood up for herself in the end.

        • http://twitter.com/pennyeager Penny Eager

          I really think the thing is, Joan will feel far worse about what the partners did to her (putting her in that position where she is the one who has to choose whether to prostitute herself to get a car account) than what yucksville Jaguar man did to her, which I agree she can choose how to feel about.

          • Cassie78

            I agree.  I think the tragic part for Joan was being asked to do it by the partners.  That is what crushed her.  It’s as if you think you’re making progress (as Joan had) and then someone you thought actually respected you reduces you to trash…well Joan is only human.  Even the strongest people wouldn’t deal with that well.  I always felt that deep down she had a lot of insecurities (like the way she admired/envied Peggy’s rise to copy writer).

        • oohsparkley!

          I agree.  Joan will probably feel shame for letting herself be used like that by the partners and the potential client.  She will probably compartmentalize her feelings, I think she is good at that.  She will have to work harder to regain her self respect and hopefully the respect of the others.  She was worried about her job and she was well aware of the financial precariousness of the company, so she probably felt like her only real choises were both bad.  I hope that she is resilient enough to put it behind her and enjoy and benefit from her new position.

      • Redlanta

         My Mother-in-law would tell stories about sexual discrimination  harassment like it was no big deal.  I remember when all the harassment lawsuits were coming forth, she just didn’t get “what all the griping” was about.  She really seemed to accept that this is just the way things are , and our generation makes too much of it.  Same thing with Tiger Woods- she didn’t seem to think his wife should divorce him.  It was like divorce was worse!  I guess it is just that generation that grew up in the Depression, and value security over all else.

        • EditKitten

          My mom is a secretary and has been full time since 1974, and the stories she tells me about the ’80s would make your hair curl. She dealt with bosses dropping trou and expecting favors in their offices, bosses dropping off hotel keys on her desk and expecting her to show up, glowing reviews in which the only negative they could say about her was that she didn’t dress as glamorously as others (she was a single mom with two kids at home).

          • bluefish

            I worked as a clerk, secretary, executive assistant, special assistant in that order from 1980-1997.  Unbelievable what one had to experience and put up with back in the day.  There appear to be many more protections now.  I did complain, formally, in 1993 — one of the most stressful and unpleasant times of my life.  I got through it and appeared to momentarily vanquish, if that’s the right word, in a new position — but eventually that kind of standing up to The Man can kill your career.  And it certainly did mine.  Your mother and I would have a lot to talk about, I know!  One was expected to serve as a handmaiden to the gods — while ordinarily doing the bulk of the work for a fraction of the pay — and hideous displays of lack of respect.

      • Jane_Lane

         Yeah, my grandmother was a secretary starting in the 40s until she retired in the 90s and she tells me stories of male behavior that horrify me and would never be tolerated now days and she’s always confused by my reaction to it.

    • Jennifer Coleman

      The thing was, when Lane walked in and told her the partners would finance the ‘fee’, she finally knew where she stood with the partners and whether she slept with the skeevy Jaguar dealer guy or not, the damage was done for good. For her, she could never see any of them as colleagues or friends again for making the ask. For them, either she would be considered the reason they didn’t land the account or the person that slept her way to a partnership. I think she is less a prostitute in their minds, but more of a pawn. The sad thing is I think the firm is going to break up, so she would’ve been better off taking the cash.

      • girlwiththemousyhair

         I completely agree with you, Jennifer, about the damage already being “done” when she found out the partners hadn’t objected to the situation. Their “silence” no doubt cut her deeply and in turn led her to subconsciously believe in her own lack of value/importance. As strong as Joan may come off, she is incredibly vulnerable and even insecure, and the thought of this group of men who she has known for years, discussing and supporting her possible prostitution probably destroyed years of carefully constructed self-confidence.

        • formerlyAnon

           THIS times 1,000.

          No matter how it happens, when you find out that people with whom you have a professional and/or personal relationship are o.k. with viewing you as a pawn, it reshapes the view you have of the relationships. And Joan has hit the barrier of being seen merely as a sexual object before – it is a reality to her & that is why she uses it as a tool – it exists whether she uses it or not.  She would be hurt and possibly angry, but not AT ALL surprised that most of the guys would go along with this.

          • ImissSal

             Agree 100%.  And let’s not forget that when she walked into that hotel room, she believed Don was in on it as well. She must have felt completely alone, and basically like she had no choice. If Don had gotten to her on time it’s possible she wouldn’t have gone through with it.

      • Alice Hepburn

        This is a really good point, and makes a lot of sense. Cause I, like TLo, could not see Joan compromising her position in the work place like that, but thinking back to her expressions (which hurt me so bad) and her anger and mortification at Pete bringing it up with the rest of the partners meant the damage was already done. And it makes the scene with Don even more poignant because she thought that Don, Roger, and Lane all who respect her (though with Roger it’s obviously more complicated) all just were okay with it. So for one of them to step up and say no too late is sad. Anyway, yes that she had already felt like the damage was done makes a lot of sense.

        • CarolinLA

          Even in last week’s episode, when she told Don about being served the divorce papers, she waxed slightly poetic about how her work life was her castle.  So first, Greg rapes her again with the papers and the partners (sans Don) do it again.  OH MY GOD, I know the show is cruising to a death this season – I hope it’s not Joan.

          • Ms_Flyover

            I also hope it’s not Joan.  I hope it’s Pete.  And I hope they castrate him before killing him.  

            Ok, somewhat vitriolic response to the episode, I admit.

          • Jennifer Coleman

            This was the most heinous act Pete has done because he so cleverly obfuscated the truth and outright lied to everyone. There’s a point when he’s about to leave Joan’s office and he smiles just a little bit, then turns around and tells her he hopes he didn’t offend her. He manipulated everyone brilliantly. We might’ve thought he was worth pity when he was in that elevator with Don a few weeks back, but he took that desperation and turned it into pure evil. His intention now is to taint everyone he can on his climb upwards.

          • Susan Stella Floyd

            I have never pitied him. At all. Not only is he the prototype of WASP, male privilege, but he’s an amoral asshole, to boot.  No sympathy.

          • http://twitter.com/pennyeager Penny Eager

            Exactly. He manipulated everyone, and to me what Lane did was just as bad, though you can see why Lane needed Joan to take the partnership… Lane didn’t want her to have a lump sum so he could have his bonus. I am sure Lane just felt like crap though, when Burt said they still weren’t getting the bonuses…

            I kind of wonder what Ken will think about it all. Now that Peggy’s left, Ken must realise that Pete would have orchestrated the whole thing to get the account… And Peggy & Ken did have their pact…

          • http://naturallyeducational.com/ CandaceApril

            That worries me…especially with her identification with Marilyn.

          • Jennifer Coleman

            Joan has never been portrayed as victim in the series. She has made some bad decisions regarding men, but has stoically lived with the consequences and moved on. Like she said to Don – she was raised to be adored, but opposed to Betty who had the same type of upbringing, she has never chosen emotional paralysis over action.

          • formerlyAnon

             I REALLY will not buy any attempt to show Joan as doomed – struggle, yes, but downward spiral, no. I think she’d have gone there already if that was in her nature. She has a kid to take care of and a mother to support her efforts (however fraught that relationship is).

      • muzan-e


        and whether she slept with the skeevy Jaguar dealer guy or not, the damage was done for good. … For them, either she would be considered the reason they didn’t land the account or the person that slept her way to a partnership.

        This is such a terribly potent statement. Potent like a hit to the gut. 

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

        Maybe the firm is headed for a downfall– but now Joan has more reason to help fix it. If last week we thought Joan was going to find Lane out- there is no doubt in my mind now.

        Either way, it will look great on her reume’.

        • P M

           You know, I think Joan, as new partner, if she has any brains, is going to try and put pieces together, and probably realize that something doesn’t add up. That and Lane left some pretty heavy hints in his conversation with her….

      • SignLadyB

        Now THAT is a great analysis. And I actually buy it, as well.

      • Celandine1

        Exactly! I think Joan would not have seriously considered the offer if it was just Pete making it, but when the partners discussed it as a possible route to getting the business and actually came up with a number to offer her, she realized that she had already lost the respect she spent her career building up. Heartbreaking how disappointed she was in them when Lane told her. At that point, getting security for herself and her son became the priority. I am glad she at least found out later that Don stood up for her. I am not sure I want to see the inevitable confrontation between her and Roger.

        ETA – The look on Joan’s face when the sleezebag unzipped her dress broke my heart. Pete is a troll.

      • Sweetpea176

         I think you’re right.  The tragedy is that the partners were led to believe that Joan was “amenable,” to quote Pete, and Joan had no way of knowing that.  If either the partners or Joan had had all the information, this would have played out very differently, IMO.

      • silaria

        That’s it exactly.  Joan really didn’t have a choice in this.  Once Pete told the partners, her fate was sealed.  If she refused, she’d be seen as The Reason SCDP lost Jaguar, and it would be all over the office in no time.  Her job and her life would never be the same.  All she could do was name her price, and she at least managed to name one that would help and support her for years.  It wasn’t empowerment.  It was making the best of a terrible situation.  Bottom line:  Pete Campbell backed her into a corner, and he knew exactly what he was doing.

        • marcilynn

          I was just thinking what a great show down it’d be between Jane and Pete. Better than Pete and Lane I bet.

          • 3hares

            Why just Pete? The partners knowing was always going to happen, because they had to know they weren’t going to get the account. Joan’s fate was sealed when the partners (sans Don) made her the deal. If they’d said no, it wouldn’t have been up to her. And no, Pete didn’t convince them Joan was into it. He repeated an ambiguous statement and they jumped at it just as hard as he did. They all did it to her by vote.

          • marcilynn

            He completely manipulated the situation. He made the partners thinks she would do it, for a price, and he made her think that they were all behind it completely. If you remember they were all SHOCKED that Pete even brought it up and she was insulted. I believe that if Stirling had been at the meeting with Ken, that he would’ve been able to wrangle an alternative with Herb – Pete just began pursuing it. 
            I don’t believe Joan would’ve done it if she hadn’t been lead to believe that they all wanted her to. The conversation with Lane, who was just trying to save his own ass (not have them give her the bonus cash he needed to cover his embezzlement – major asshole maneuver btw) was the final straw to push her decision.
            I can see Joan finding out that all of them had originally said NO! and going for Pete’s blood. That would be fun to see.

          • 3hares

            I just think you’re letting more people off the hook than Joan would. Pete told the partners Joan said they “couldn’t afford it,” which implies she was somewhat open to it (it’s still a no), but they grabbed at that ambiguous statement as a reason to make the offer as if it was enough. Then Lane (not Pete) told her about the meeting and gave her the impression they were all on board–instead of saying they were all on board except for Don. The others all were on board. They did not all originally say no. They made noises of shock until Pete implied that maybe Joan could be persuaded (which turned out to be true) they  said yes and didn’t even ask her to be sure so they wouldn’t have to  do it themselves.

            Pete was completely slimey and set things in motion, but the other partners were just as responsible. They should have voted no, and could have shut Pete down (like they do all the time) if he wasn’t telling them exactly what they wanted to hear. I don’t think Joan would suddenly feel less betrayed by Roger if his defense was that Pete–who he usually never trusts–said that Joan said they “couldn’t afford it” and that was enough to convince him to ask her without even asking for details or clarifying with Joan herself. They were all okay with it and Joan knows that. Anyone making Joan a priority would have talked to her about it. Anyone who only cared about the account would hide behind Pete. That’s what they did.

      • http://twitter.com/DemonLibrarian Gail Stern Kwak

         I absolutely agree with this.  Whether or not Joan “did the deed” the partners would never have viewed her the same again.  If she hadn’t and they hadn’t gotten the contract, they would have blamed her, and she would have blamed herself.

        Yes, it was completely tasteless for the (male) partners to even bring it up as an option, but they were so desperate for the Jaguar contract that they would have whored out their own wives to get it.

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

         Yeah, this was my interpretation as well, and this is why it was totally believable to me.  Even if the partners *wouldn’t* have held it against her for not going through with it, she didn’t know that–because Lane didn’t tell her that Roger had been angry at first, that Bert had said she could still say no, that Don had stormed out in disgust.  She believed that they all thought she was a whore and thus figured any respect she’d built up was already gone no matter what she did.  So why not do what she thought they wanted her to do and get a partnership out of it?  She hated every minute of it, and I don’t think she’s gonna forgive the partners any time soon, but she felt she was in a shitty position no matter what and so chose the path that would at least grant her and her son some real economic security.

        Joan also didn’t know that Pete had twisted her words when he presented the whole thing to them, so they weren’t making decisions based on the whole truth either.  Yeah, Roger was a dick for not objecting more strenuously, but he did object until Pete made it sound like Joan was all for it for the right price.  So I’m not sure Joan would have gone through with this without the deceptions and omissions from both Lane and Pete; I’m not sure she would have done it had Don gotten to her in time, because that at least let her know that not *all* the partners wanted her to do it.  At any rate, she really was in a terrible position from the moment that douche asked Pete and Pete didn’t immediately shut him down.

        • Sweetbetty

           ”She hated every minute of it”

          This begs the question to me of how does a woman behave during such an assignation?  Others have mentioned that prostituting yourself means letting the man do whatever he wants.  After their time together was done and Jag Guy was telling Joan she was a hell of a woman Joan was lying there expressionless and slipped out of bed without saying a word.  When they were having their drink beforehand it was obvious that Joan wasn’t exactly overjoyed to be there.  I doubt if Jag Guy would have felt he got what was due him if Joan just laid there and let him do her so I’ve got to imagine she put on some sort of show about being invested in and enjoying what they were doing in bed.  I don’t think for a minute that he kicked her or spit on her or did anything else too degrading or kinky but I’ve gotta think that Joan had to put forth some sort of effort that wasn’t heartfelt on her part.

          I guess it’s easy to see that I’d never be able to make a living as a prostitute since I’m so clueless :-)

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

            That Jaguar exec couldn’t see Joan as anything but an object of his fantasy. It didn’t matter whether she acted like she was into it or not. All that mattered was that she let him do it. He would supply all the flattering details in his head.

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

            That Jaguar exec couldn’t see Joan as anything but an object of his fantasy. It didn’t matter whether she acted like she was into it or not. All that mattered was that she let him do it. He would supply all the flattering details in his head.

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

            That Jaguar exec couldn’t see Joan as anything but an object of his fantasy. It didn’t matter whether she acted like she was into it or not. All that mattered was that she let him do it. He would supply all the flattering details in his head.

          • TropiCarla

            TLo’s response to this is so true. Sadly, too many men believe a woman is ‘willing’ if she is limp and not objecting to the proceedings. They can enjoy themselves regardless of if a show is put on. I think about this all the time when I hear about men having sex with girls who are passed out drunk, roofied, etc. In generations past, doing your (wifely) duty as a sex partner was often seen as no more than laying there.This episode haunts me, but what I find most interesting is how differently the audience might perceive these events had we not been gazing at them through our western-society, 21st century lens.

          • Sweetbetty

             I’ve admitted before that I’m naive, but when we see on TV and movies these $1000-a-night hookers I can’t believe men pay that to have a woman just lay there and not object to the proceedings, unless of course that’s the kind of sex they men are  into.  I always assume these women do things to earn that money.  And I also can’t believe that these high-priced girls allow themselves to be physically harmed and abused though they may participate in mutual S&M.

             Now, I know that what we see on TV and in movies isn’t necessarily the way things are in real life, but I’ve heard and read enough to know that the high-priced-hookers do exist and I do wonder what they do that makes them worth that.  Unfortunately, for every one of those women there are a hundred girls hanging out on street corners trying to just earn enough for their next fix and I fully believe they do often suffer in many ways at the hands of their “johns”.  I still can’t imagine the Jag Guy being satisfied with Joan just laying there and grudgingly letting him screw her.

      • Amy Ellinger

        well put jen

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BU7KTPGJ3TU2LUNWGWPFJTTPU4 HeidiW

        I agree completely.  I also felt that in the “offer” that was given to Joan was a bit of a threat that if she didn’t, she’d be the person at fault for the company losing the account (which they seem to need desperately). And the look on her face when Don tells her she doesn’t have to do it, and of course she already has, was so sad because it made her realize that at least one person hadn’t expected her to act like an asset instead of a person.

      • AnnPopovic

        I saw this compounded by the fact that she asked how Roger had responded; when she discovered that Roger’d said nothing in her defense it must’ve knocked the wind out of her. After all those years with him off and on, in the end, it was a slap in the face to think that HE of all people would barter her. So she knew if she DID refuse, Roger wouldn’t have had her back. I can’t help but think that yes, there was some ‘screw you, Roger’ in accepting the proposal. I think, also that someone like her would come to use that AS justification for her actions in the long term.

        • mathildagray

          I think it hit both Joan and Roger that way.  In the meeting, Roger says incredulously, “She said she’d do it?”  Pete implies that she’s considering it, and that’s when Roger ends up on the “fine, whatever” side of the fence.  Roger felt betrayed by the fact that Joan would even consider it, which is why he didn’t stand up for her.  Then, later, when Pete doesn’t mention that Roger was flat-out against it at first, she feels betrayed by him in return.

    • emcat8

      I woke up twice last night in the wee hours, thinking of Joan and this episode, and not being able to get it out of my mind. I still haven’t figured out how I feel about it, 24 hours later. I’m not sure I ever will. It sounds like a lot of us will be haunted by it for a long time.

    • Daniel E Prieto

      How do you not despise Lane more than Pete? He offered Joan a 5% stake in a company he is pillaging, knowingly scamming her.

      Pete is the one partner most heavily invested in the financial success
      of the business and therefore has reason to be genuinely grateful for
      Joan’s sacrifice. It’s strange to suggest that Joan and Pete would make natural allies (not friends, strictly business) but remember what Bert told Don about
      Pete in Season 1, “Fire him if you want but I’d
      keep an eye on him. One never knows how loyalty is born.” Everyone knows
      that Pete operates on dark energy, the question is: can you harness it
      for yourself or will you be on the receiving end?

      • Kathleen Boylan

        Well put.  If there has to be a death this season, let it be Lane, not Pete.  Any pity I felt for him with the  embezzling plot went out the window when he scammed Joan — who could have used the money a lot more.  At least Pete is honest in his scuzziness.

        • d_in_denver

          Pete is honest in a half-truth, lying by omission kind of way…..

      • 3hares

        In part because for some reason many recaps I’ve read rewrite the episode to put Pete in Lane’s place when Lane’s at his worst. It’s Lane, not Pete, who tells Joan about the partner’s meeting. It’s Lane, in fact, who convinces her to go through with it, because he doesn’t trust her to say no so needs to give her an offer that doesn’t involve him coming up with money.  Pete put the first question to her, reported her more open to the idea than she’d been in their interview to the partners (but probably no more open than he truly thought she was), then asked Lane to look at the finances. Joan then came to him with an offer. Not defending Pete’s own actions here, but he’s taking on everyone else’s sins as well. Pete responds pathetically well to the idea that somebody actually likes him. This season seems to be putting him in the worst place that way. He’s never been more despised (and powerful) at the office or unwelcome at home.

      • Jennifer Coleman

        All the partners (except Don in this case) exhibited terrible behavior. Pete & Lane (who is in desperation freefall – he saw another way to stave off that day’s threat to his embezzlement scheme with the partner angle, but he’s generally straw grasping. I see him as less odious than Pete by a few inches), but also Roger who didn’t even make the effort to go talk to his former lover & mother of his son to clear up what the heck was going on – he knows Pete is a snake, but he just relied on his side of the story. Cooper is 100% business at his core so I’m not really surprised by his rather weak reaction. None, save Don, held the slightest concern for Joan’s honor, even if she appeared not to. 

      • MsAnon

         I think it’s because Lane is setting himself up to get caught.  Consciously, subconsciously, whatever.  He knows that Joan is the one who can figure out he’s embezzled the money.  He knows that a partnership would give her the power to point him out.  He tells her she should be a partner.

    • fursa_saida

      I really hate how completely hateful they’ve made Pete now. I enjoyed his relationship with Trudy (of course, me and the whole world), and I enjoyed having him as a complex and shaded character. He’s just a salacious Grinch now. Also, I want more screen time for Trudy.

      • Sweetbetty

         I want to see Trudy call in a repairman of some sort, a la Joan’s mom’s Apollo, and start a steamy affair with him while Pete has his apartment in the city.

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

        Yes, but it is not out of character. I completely believe that this is what Pete would become. I may not like it. Trudy and Tammy deserve better. But it makes sense. 
        Pete has always been my favorite character, and I think the writers have done him justice.

    • megalomania79

      I was teary, I admit.  The look of fear on her face when she turned away from that odious guy was heartbreaking. 

      I agree that they dropped the ball with Roger.  Roger wouldn’t have let that happen…at least, I don’t think so.  It seemed out of character for him.  Although, he does have his ruthlessness back.  He isn’t content to stay back and be just a name on the sign.  He’s trying to get business and maybe he’s trying to get back at Joan for throwing his money back at him. 

      Trudy is awesome, as she always has been.  I still like Pete as oozy as he is.  He’s a spoiled baby, but also as tortured as the rest.

      I cried when Don kissed her hand.  He let his shield down, which he does so rarely, and it was touching.  I think he was patronizing up to that point, but that was pure emotion.  

  • cmb92191

    Bravo!

    As much as can be said about Joans “limited options”, this predicament -as it will- still goes on today.   I found it fascinating in many ways.  As a female,  there are still some limits even in progressive 2012.  It is true that the partners will always see Joan as a prostitute.  However, in so many ways Joan has always used “herself” to get what she wanted.   I appreciate Don trying to say her virtue-as it were- was very noble but quite frankly that ship had already sailed. 

    Peggy- good for you!  I never was so mad at Don when he threw the bills at her.  Don would never give Peggy the respect she deserved and craved.  I know its only a TV show, but that made me reflect on my own worth.   Sometimes you need to walk-or run-away

    • sweetlilvoice

      Peggy and Don’s relationship has taken a nose dive since last season and the arrival of Megan. I cannot believe that Don threw money at her like a whore. And I kept waiting for Harry to get on the floor and pick it up for himself. That’s the type of sleazy thing I could see him doing.

      • Lynn Landry

         I liked that Ken and Harry were sticking up for Peggy. They respect her and were excited to sing her praises. They didn’t like how Don was treating her.

        • Sobaika

          I actually thought only Ken disliked how Don was treating her. Harry was just standing there until he realized he was alone. You could practically see the “Awkward…” thought bubble over his head.

          • the_archandroid

            Harry’s been disappointing me this season, but he seemed visibly upset that Don did that to her, but he’s still (as always) too afraid of Don to say a damn thing. 

          • sarahjane1912

            His fear of Don is also wrapped up in the whole Guilt About Megan thang. I’m sure he still thinks about whether she told Don about his sleazy fantasy. Or not. Harry may be head of media, but he’s on an island, really, with a good chunk of the firm not having accepted that TV is the way forward [not that he's exactly driving it with any real vim, imho].

          • CozyCat

            My reading of it was that Harry was shocked and appalled as well and thought about saying something, then thought better of it.  He’s not as close to her as Ken is, so he didn’t talk to her afterwards.

          • emcat8

            That was my reading too. He kind of half opened his mouth, but retreated. 

        • megalomania79

          I agree.  I was hoping Ken would have said something.  And Freddy Rumsen looks good!  It was nice to see him.  As paternalistic as he is, he’s a great support for Pegs.

      • Sweetbetty

         I noticed Harry hesitating, glancing at the floor, then being the last one to leave.  I believe he wanted to pick that money up so bad he could taste it.

        • evietoo

          He was looking down because he was embarrassed at the way Don humiliated Peggy, who had just saved their account on the spot.

          • susu11

            I agree with evietoo, Harry looked genuinely upset with how Don reacted towards Peggy. Both Ken and Harry seemed completely dumbfounded and offended, and I’m glad. It would have been nice to see one of them actually speak up and defend her in the moment, but I guess Don’s hubris can be intimidating.

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

             Exactly–I mean, wasn’t Harry the one who came in singing her praises specifically?  I can’t imagine either him or Ken not being appalled, because that was an appalling thing to do to anyone.  But anyway, I don’t think Harry is all bad like a few seem to; yeah, he can be a real douche, but he still has a heart–and he’s funny as hell.

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

          I didn’t see it that way- I thought he was going to speak up for Peggy. But what won out in the end was a realization that it wouldn’t have done any good. And he was saddened even more by that knowledge. He knows Don pretty well.

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

          Maybe he was counting it, to see if Don carried around as much cash as Roger. :)

      • jessicasac

         I couldn’t believe Don had Megan working with Peggy. That would have done it for me, I would have been like “OH hell NO!”

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

        I guess there goes my wish of more Don-Peggy scenes. You blew it, Don!

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

           Maybe SCDP will crash and burn and Don will have to go work for Peggy!

    • Glammie

      My take was that in some ways, the selling of Joan happened not because it was so long ago, but because sexual mores had changed–enough so that it was front, right and center and a woman who wasn’t just one of “those women” would be asked to put out.  The Sexual Revolution didn’t always play to the benefit of women–in some ways, Women’s Lib, which is still a couple of years away was a reaction to the increased pressure on women to perform sexually.  

      Don’s soft spot was interesting–he certainly was a lot less tolerant of poor Sal’s saying no.    

      • CarolinLA

        I’m surprised TLo didn’t make the connection to Sal in their review above given how cruel it was.

      • BrooklynBomber

        That’s a very good point. Well into the 70s a lot of men thought (or decided) that the sexual revolution meant they should be able to have sex with any woman they wanted, and any woman who turned them down was “uptight” or afraid. In the revolutionary political organizations, women were kept in traditional roles in the kitchen and bedroom.  

        • Glammie

          Yep, my mother knew some of the early Beats, but never liked that crowd because they really tended to treat the women in their circle like dirt–i.e. date-rape.

          Even as a young teen in the 70s I remember that there was a certain weird harsh judgment of you if you weren’t willing to have sex.  There still seems to be that attitude–saying “no” used to mean that you’re uptight, now it seems to mean that you’re a religious zealot.  

          TLo’s said that it’s the most feminist show on TV and I think they’re right in that MM really takes a pretty subtle look at how women’s sexuality is viewed over time.  Most shows just don’t seem to bother, but MM just kind of goes through it and allows the women of MM to have their different reactions and experiences.  Not that it’s not there for the men too–Don, I think, tells Joan not to do it because I think Don has been that pretty boy equivalent–he came from nowhere and has used his looks and his charm to survive.  (His talent for womanizing didn’t come from nowhere.) He, alone of the men, has been desperate in the past.

          • sarahjane1912

            Golly … I was a young teen in the ’70s and I don’t remember there being a ‘weird harsh judgment’ on one if one wasn’t willing to have sex. NO ONE I knew ‘did it’. Then again, I did grow up with a class of boy who divided girls into those one slept with and those one married … so that in itself is a pretty horrific indictment of the social/cultural mores of the time, I guess! ;-)

          • Glammie

            I expect it was very much a matter of where you were–I was near Berkeley/San Francisco.  I had friends who lost their virginity at 12 and 13.  Certainly not everybody, but we were very affected by the attitudes of the sexual revolution and hippie free love counterculture.  

            On the plus side, we weren’t judgmental as a group about other kids being gay.  Not as open and accepting as some schools are now–i.e. no same-sex dates at the prom or PDAs–but being open-minded was part of being cool.

          • sarahjane1912

            *Clutches pearls* 12? 13?! Yikes. We WERE green. *GRIN*

            PS. Applauding wildly re your school not being judgmental etc. Certainly warms the cockles when there is so much homophobia still being perpetrated against young gay teens. :-(

          • formerlyAnon

             High school in early 70′s – both camps existed, but skewed to Glammie’s end of the scale. (And this was in the Bible Belt South)

          • http://twitter.com/fashunroadkill Chelle

            I think now a days saying “No” still means the woman is “up tight” rather than a religious zealot.

          • Sweetbetty

             Wha??  So if a woman says no to a man who wants to have sex there’s something “wrong” with her. 

      • joything

        THANK YOU Glammie, for remembering Sal! Glad to see many here had the same thought.

        • sarahjane1912

          Agreed wholeheartedly. *Smacks head* Can’t believe I didn’t see the Sal parallel, but another piece of the MM puzzle falls into place with this spot-on insight. :-)

  • MerBearStare

    As much as I did not want Joan to go through with it – and I’m officially done with Pete forever – I can’t blame her for doing it. I think it’s interesting that Don didn’t want her to do it, but when that guy from Lucky Strike hit on Sal, Don was mad at Sal for not having sex with him and Sal lost his job because of it.

    • Sweetpea176

      I kept thinking about the firing of Sal, also.  That’s a stunning commentary on the place gay men held in the hierarchy,  On the other hand, Don’s wanting to preserve Joan’s virtue and save her is its own kind of objectification, no?

      • Glammie

        I don’t think it was a matter of objectification–he felt it would hurt her–and it did.  The look on her face during the scene with the sleazeball was so sad.  I think part of the reason she did it is because she thought everyone wanted her to. Don was the one man who was willing to put her feelings and self-respect above the business.  Couldn’t do it for Sal–what a foreshadowing that scene was–Sal says to Don you wouldn’t expect one of the girls to do this.  Don says, “Depends on the girl!”  

        But Don does have a streak of empathy for women–it’s inconsistent–but it’s there.  I think TLo are right–he’s cruel to the ones he’s closest to–Betty, Megan, Peggy.

        • formerlyAnon

           Very insightful. I think I agree.

    • the_archandroid

      I think Don’s reaction to Sal was a combination of a lot of things, including his homosexuality.  I think in that episode Don even says “you people.”  Plus, a couple of episodes prior, Don catches Sal about to have a tryst with the bell boy, so for Don it’s one in the same.  I think he sees it as a sort of hypocrisy on the part of Sal, as in “Oh, you can hook up with this nothing bell boy, but all of a sudden you’re too good for our biggest client?”  I am certainly not trying to defend Don, but prior to this you have he and Joan connecting in the bar, and him pretty much demonstrating his respect and affection for her.  Prior to Sal being whored out, you have Don catching him in flagrante delicto.  So, although he didn’t demonstrate it immediately, his opinion of Sal had already plummeted.  Plus Sal is a man, Don doesn’t have to be chivalrous and righteous when it comes to a man, there’s nothing to protect there.  Again! not defending Don, he screwed Sal over for nothing and I’ll always resent him for it, but there are definite differences in the two situations. 

      • Courtney Wegener

        I agree with all these differences you’ve mentioned. I also feel like the circumstances had a lot to do with it, though. I think Don would have opposed Joan being sexually used by a client regardless, because he has a love and affection and respect for her. But I also think Don would have opposed Sal being whored out — if it involved the partners sitting in a room together considering the offer and naming a price. It’s just horrific how this situation played out. Sal or ‘some girl’ taking one for the team when something happened out of the blue is one thing (ie. basically, allowing rape to avoid the fallout.) But this conscious, deliberate attempt to farm out an account for sex — and actually *paying her money* and *naming the price* for her consideration is so far over the line. I can’t understand how anyone watching this could be so deluded to think that Joan chose this for her advantage. She ‘chose’ it because Pete and Lane manipulated her into thinking that it was necessary and the only way to benefit herself, and because she believed every single one of her colleagues/’allies’ had deserted her. They were sitting in a room discussing her price.

        • 3hares

          And yet, isn’t it interesting that it would be more okay for Don to wish that Sal take one for the team without payment than for Joan to actually benefit from doing the same thing? Because the line crossed here is one that’s far more advantageous for Joan, and that’s what makes it gross. Like what makes it awful is that everyone agreed that they were asking a lot of her, and that this obviously demanded recompense.

    • bellesprit

       Yes. I, too, kept thinking about Sal & Lucky Strike a-hole. (Side note: How I wish Sal would show up somewhere in one of these episodes.)

    • Lynn Landry

       Thanks for bringing up Sal. I thought the same thing.

    • Sweetbetty

       I got the feeling it was others pushing Don to pressure, then fire, Sal.  Don wasn’t as powerful then and I think he regretted doing what he felt he had to do.

      • MerBearStare

        Yeah. If I recall correctly, the guy from Lucky Strike drunkenly told Don to fire Sal or else they would lose Lucky Strike. Don tried to chalk it up to the Lucky Strike guy being drunk, so he didn’t fire Sal initially, but when the Lucky Strike guy (maybe I’ll just right LSG from now on, for brevity’s sake) came into the office and saw Sal still working there, that’s when he forced Don’s hand.

        • Glammie

          No, he drunkenly told *Harry*.  Harry then told no one.  The Lucky Strike guy came to the meeting, there was Sal and LS guy stalked off.  Harry then told Roger and Roger told Don.  

          I think if Harry had gotten the news out earlier, Sal actually *wouldn’t* have been fired.  I think they’d have taken him off the LS account and hidden him deep in the office when LS was around.  I think Don was pissed off because A) he didn’t feel like losing an art director and B) he’d told Sal to “limit your exposure” and was mad that Sal hadn’t been, in his eyes, sufficiently discreet.

          Don was no saint re: Sal, but he was also backed into a corner.  ”They can turn out our lights.”

      • 3hares

        But he also seemed impatient with Sal not going through with it. When Sal asked “what if I was a girl?” Don said it depended on the kind of girl. By Don’s implication there Joan was that kind of girl–one okay with casual sex.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/rmccarthyjames RMJ12345

      It also reminded me of when Pete wanted Trudy to sleep with her ex to get his story in the New Yorker (though it was less explicit). Pretty much the same concept, and to his new wife! He’s completely irredeemable in my eyes.

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

        Yep. And he didn’t even flinch when Joan suggested a similar scenario.

      • sarahjane1912

        Ooh golly, I’d forgotten that!

        But in THIS scenario, when Joan asks Slimey Pete whether he would be okay about Trudy being approached like this, Pete just dismisses the concept out of hand. He really can’t see that there is any parallel. Absolutely GUNNING for Pete to get a real comeuppance now [and I don't just mean fisticuffs in the boardroom]. What a tosser.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Giselle-Amezquita/100001774463463 Giselle Amezquita

    Yay!! Another good recap as always boys! I’ve literally spent almost my whole morning refreshing and refreshing the home page waiting for this! One of my fav moments had to be that jaw dropping look of disbelief on Peggy’s face when Don told her that Joan is now a partner. I could only imagine what she was thinking. 

    • the_valkyrie

      You’re not alone. Been waiting the whole day for this recap!

    • Sweetbetty

       Yes, and Don said it so offhandedly and some other interruption came along so quickly that Peggy barely had a few seconds to process that tidbit of information. 

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

        I’m glad it didn’t make her rethink her decision. I was afraid she’d think “If Joan can get ahead, so can I…”

  • cluecat

    In Pete’s let’s-talk-about-being-pimps partner meeting, the aqueisence of Roger and Bert Cooper (!) to whore Joan out for an account, and Bert’s saying something to the affect that she can still work there if she says no —  WTF?    I’m trying to decide if this is a jump-the-shark moment for me because it seems so incongruous to what we know about the characters and how they feel about Joan.  Joan’s acceptance, was, for all the reasons TLO pointed out, stunning and unbelievable.

    This episode just seems shabby and cheap, and a little bit provocative – if someone the self-awareness of the writers and show creator pushed them a little to ask themselves how far they could go.   IMO, too far. 

    • Linderella

      While I don’t think it was a “jump the shark” moment, cluecat, I have to say that was my first fear when this episode ended:  “I hope we didn’t just see the show JtS.”  It remains to be seen what the creators do with it from here.

    • Sweetbetty

       Joan’s acceptance, was, for all the reasons TLO pointed out, stunning and unbelievable.”

      It absolutely was, but I got the feeling that it was her mother’s nagging and digging at her when she arrived home that night, already wrung out by the events of her day, that pushed her over the edge into accepting that.  And last week she told us that her mother “raised her to be admired”.  If she talking about being admired for her looks and sex appeal that one step towards prostituting oneself.  As TLo already managed, Joan has used those tools, along with a sharp mind, to get through life already.  If she was under the impression that the partners at SCDP already felt she was capable of doing such a thing, she may have felt “why not”.  I agree too that Lane’s suggestion that she forgo the cash and push for the partnership and 5% was as much to cover his ass as it was to benefit Joan.  My heart breaks for her, though, at what she must have felt when she thought that Lane and Don were both pushing for her to do the deed.  Roger has always been teetering back and forth towards being a sleazy cad so though I’m sure it angered and disappointed her it wouldn’t be nearly as surprising.

    • Jennifer Coleman

      This episode is about the firm turning from Anakin to Darth Vader. Its general amorality has bubbled up to the top in this awful act and crushed its soul.

      • Chaiaiai

        Jennifer, I swear, you ALWAYS hit the nail on the head.  Good point!

    • marywv

       YES – Shabby and cheap! Like a ratings grab episode. Very disappointing.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/FDLN57LIHID66FUHX7EU2EQHBE Sarah

       I don’t find it so unbelievable – Pete did a lot of manipulating in this episode.  As you’ll notice, never at any point did Joan actually talk to the partners as a group.  Pete made it seem like she was seriously considering sleeping with the Jaguar guy, when initially she flat out refused.  Bert has always been a bit libertarian/laissez faire when it comes to the goings on of SDCP, so it doesn’t surprise me that he would go along with it if he thought Joan was on board.  Roger, on the other hand, for all his posturing, easily gets his feelings hurt when things don’t go his way.  Joan had previously rejected his offers of money, but now all of a sudden he sees that Joan is willing to sleep with some random Jaguar guy.  I can see how that would upset him to the point that he would not want to stand up for her honor.  And Lane was just trying to save his own ass – on the off chance that Joan accepted, he needed to make sure that he would not have to extend the line of credit to pay her, which is why he brought up the partnership.  But what he ended up doing was demonstrating to Joan that he was perfectly willing for the firm to pimp her out.

      I think in Joan’s mind, the damage was done whether she went through with it or not.  The partners were all willing to consider using her as no more than a pawn, demonstrating what they really thought of her.  Even if she declined, she saw that the partners were willing to sell her out for their own personal gain.  So I think she figured she might as well get something out of it, because the damage was already done.  What she didn’t realize is that the partners under other circumstances probably would have absolutely refused – it’s just that they were being manipulated by Pete, or preoccupied with their own problems (Lane and his money issues/Don with his general checked-outedness/Roger still butthurt from Joan’s previous rejection of him).

      • http://twitter.com/katrinamayr Katrina Mayr

        YES, thank you — Pete manipulated the partners by lying and saying Joan would go forward at the right price, then Lane walked in to see Joan and made it seem as though they were hopeful she’d agree to being rented out.  You could tell she was crushed and disappointed that the men she thought cared for and protected her – Don, Lane, Roger, Bert – saw her as a business asset to be used to their advantage. You could tell that she felt much more guilt about the situation when Don stopped by and eliminated the middle-man (Pimpy McSlugface) to tell her he didn’t want her to do it. 

        I had a big ol’ lump in my throat when they circled around to show that Don had stopped by after she’d already gone through with the “transaction.”  You could tell she felt a sudden rush of guilt.

    • CozyCat

      I think the writers built a mounting series of justifications for Joan taking this step.  First, she was led to believe that the parners were on board.  If that’s true, then their opinion of her is so low that she loses nothing.  Secondly, the deal she agrees to gives her a degree of power and independence.  They can’t fire her without some legal cause (watch out Lane!)

      So we are left wondering:  would she have done it if Don had gotten their first?  Would she have done it for a one time payment, even a big one?  It’s not clear the answer is “yes.”  So I think the writers handled it pretty well.

      • ybbed

        Not only did she think the partners were for it, Pete implied that the account would walk away if she didn’t do it.
        From the very first initial conversation with client Pete manipulated.  He cut Ken off when he was about to say she was married.  He presented the “proposition” to Joan as though the guy insisted on it or no deal, when actually the guy said, ” if it happens, it happens” or something to that effect.  All the way through the show Pete manipulated the entire situation, his desperation was so complete. Remember when Ken went in to see Peggy after Don threw the money at her?  He says, “I know for a fact that we are not getting Jaguar” because he knew Joan would never agree to it, and I am sure he thought none of the partners would go along with it.  He doesn’t know Pete as well as he thinks, does he? 

  • BrooklynBomber

    I don’t watch the show, but I was flipping channels last night and came upon it, about 10 minutes into the episode, which seemed to be about illustrating the evolving/shifting status of women by contrasting women as sex objects with women starting to gain more equal footing in the professional realm. The old woman’s role (which will never disappear) vs the new woman’s role(s) (which will never be fully realized). The way men have thought about women (as sex objects or children) vs the way they’re having to think about women (as workplace talents and competitors, as independent thinkers).
    Since I missed the beginning of the show I don’t know how the prostitution idea was introduced, but I was pretty shocked by it. And even though I’m really only familiar with the show from this blog, it seemed off the charts. Was this a moment of shark jumpery for Mad Men?

    • Jodie_S

      It seems to me that they have spent this season reinforcing Joan’s integrity, as she kicked out her husband, refused to take money from Roger, etc., only to undercut her character development with this episode. I agree with TLo that it’s not only her personal integrity that’s at stake with this action but her professional integrity. I’m not buying it.

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

        But if you think about her reasons for doing it, doesn’t it make some sort of sense that she would use the tools at her disposal (“My mother raised me to be admired”) to get something she sees as very valuable — long-term financial safety for herself and her son? 

        She has precious few ways to achieve this, especially in 1967, and even though she’s not destitute by any means, she does like the finer things in life and makes no bones about that. She’ll want that good life for Kevin as well. This is who Joan is. She knows she’s never going to make partner or the big bucks in the way a man would, or even Peggy will.

        I think Joan thinks she making a smart move here, even while she knows it is, on some level, debasing herself. I think she’s going to hold her head up high (she is already doing it) and I also think her partners are going to see this differently with time, and with the money that Jaguar generates, as this account is a huge game-changer for SCDP.

        I’m not saying it was a good thing. But I think it made sense to Joan, or she wouldn’t have done it.

        • Glammie

          I’m a bit iffy on the whole explicitness of the deal–and I don’t know that a partnership would be surrendered that easily–but it’s no more implausible than the entire Don’s secret-identity arc that started the show.  MM has a soap-opera component and always has.  

          I *do* think we’re going to see the downfall of Lane–now that Joan’s partner she’ll have the right to have access to the books and she’s got the eye and mind to pick up Lane’s creative accounting.

        • Sweetbetty

           ” I think she’s going to hold her head up high”

          But did you notice her posture in the office with Pete as they finalized the deal.  Joan always walks ramrod straight, partly due to her heavy-duty foundation garments I suppose, and with her head held high, but her entire body was slumped as if she was carrying the weight of the entire company on her shoulders, which indeed she was made to feel she was, emphasized even more by the dress with the long scarf trailing down the back (but that is a detail for the style post).

          • Glammie

            Nice observation–beautiful acting job by Christina Hendricks, too.

          • MichaelStrangeways

            The Emmys have robbed the actors all these years (not ONE win!) but if Christina Hendricks doesn’t win for this year they are dead to me…

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

             You’re right about that. I was thinking of the scene showcasing the phone call from Jaguar. She did her usual ramrod-straight strut into Roger’s office, and her head was high. Her look defied anyone to say one disparaging word, especially Don.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

      We can’t know till the end if it’s jumped the shark. It was certainly very shocking but that doesn’t mean they can’t write the show with consistent quality anymore. 

      • Glammie

        Yep, I’m more concerned with how they’re going to write around Peggy’s departure.  I think of her as a central character–second only to Don in importance as far as storylines go.  I think it was right for the character to go–even though the new job will probably suck–but the show needs the character.

        • Redlanta

           When the extortion comes to light, and Megan dumps Don for showbiz, I could see him going to Peggy and the two of them starting their own business.  Don hates the office- he took it out on Peggy- and Peggy will hate working for Ted.

          • Glammie

            She’s not going to dump Don for showbiz.  I don’t think Megan’s tough enough for showbiz.  We’re seeing what made her give up acting before.

        • Lattis

          Yeah, I’ve always related to Mad Men mainly through Peggy’s story. But, it was so gutsy and canny of her to leave, I had to cheer her even though it leaves me sad. I loved Freddy Rumsen’s comment about how her leaving would show Don she wasn’t just a little secretary from Brooklyn who wanted to help out.

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

             I’m glad Freddy Rumsen was back for an episode.

        • MichaelStrangeways

          I don’t think the character is going anywhere…she’ll still be on the show. “Mad Men” has really revolved around Don first, and Peggy second.

          If she IS off the show, except for very occasional guest appearances, it’ll be a HUGE mistake. She’s the heart of “Mad Men”. As much as I enjoy Roger and Joan and the other characters and would hate to see them go, I think the show could survive. But, “Mad Men” without Don or Peggy wouldn’t be watchable.

        • sarahjane1912

          I really really hope she is still given a central pozzie in the future [to my mind, I'm thinking some nail-bitingly good Peggy vs Don et al pitches for new business as just one scenario] because I agree: she is just so important to the MM story. Given that I’m still all over the ‘Mad Women’ [Jane Maas] book I read [!!] I want Peggy to be all OVER some sky-rockets-in-flight account, an account which by virtue of the Old Agency Old Boys’ Club attitude is brutally denied them. *Drools* I’d love to see that. ;-)

    • MRC210

      If by jumping the shark you mean a decline in the show’s quality, I don’t see any indication of that.  If you mean a decline in the fortunes of SCDP, then, yes. We’ve seen them descend from a company that won accounts with smart and imaginative campaigns to a company that is so desperate for clients that it pimps out its office manager.  I don’t see them recovering from this; it will come back to haunt them and destroy their reputation for good.  Poor Joan, I think she’s achieved 5% of nothing.

      • marywv

         Great comment! I agree, they’ve got to get it together creatively. I predict Don will beg Peggy back – or Ginsberg will. I also hope Don can get himself on point. He’s just as much of a wreck this season as he was last, except in drastically different ways. I want him to be inspired, to fall in love with work again, to see the future. To be better than a middle-aged has-been living through his glamorous younger wife.

      • BrooklynBomber

        What I meant was more about taking the story and the characters in a direction that seems, I don’t know. . . a bit beyond the pale. Stretching the limits of credibility. And I guess that could be considered a decline in the show’s quality, but, again, my comments reflect the point of view of someone who doesn’t actually watch the show. I know a fair amount about it from this blog, and from all the general talk about what it. So I can’t say this turn of events is out of line with the overall arc of the story, but it struck me that it might be.

        • Maggie_Mae

          All the previous seasons are on Netflix Streaming.  Watch all of them.  Get caught up with the season to date.

          Then we’ll talk!

      • Glammie

        Well, it’s pretty sleazy, but destroy their reputation?  I doubt it.  Don’s creatively pretty dry, though he can present like crazy and Ginsberg’s got the Peggy gift for inspiring copy.  As long as they can deliver Jaguar copy that works, the agency will be fine.  

        I’m not sure that SCDP ever had a soul to sell.

      • Sweetbetty

         ”a company that is so desperate for clients that it pimps out its office manager”

        Speaking of which, I wonder what would have happened if Jag Guy had been attracted by some other woman at the office?  Of course, in addition to her physical charms Joan had a position of quite a bit of power at the office and that might have been a turn-on to him too.  But say he was attracted to Dawn?  Or if there was a nubile 19-year-old secretary that caught his eye?  Just wondering….

        • MagsRagsVintage

          Or Megan when she was still working there?

          • Sweetbetty

             I was going to put Megan in there but it would have had to have been before she became Mrs. Draper for it even to have been mentioned by Slimeball Pete.  Then Don would have given him a repeat of Lane’s smackdown.

        • sarahjane1912

          Well, if it was a 19-year-old secretary, she certainly wouldn’t be considering 50K and then upping her ante to a five-percent-stake in the company! Heart breaks thinking that there were/are girls who were/are in this position. Girls withOUT Joan’s ability to turn the situation to their advantage. :-(

      • sarahjane1912

        Hmm. Perhaps.

        But as they’ve pointed out on more than one occasion, getting a CAR account takes them to the next level. Doors hitherto closed to them will now, more often than not, be open. They’ll get opportunities to pitch for things now that before, were denied them because they didn’t have a Major Account under their belts.

        And who is going to know that Joan was pimped out to get the business? That’s something that NO agency would be, no pun unintended, advertising, because they’d want to be awarded Jaguar on pure merit, not as mésalliance.

  • Ozski

    I was not surprised that Peggy finally decided to move on but does this mean we won’t be following her storyline? Will she follow the arcs of Sal & Paul? I see her as our protagonist, so I certainly hope not! Also, Joan’s story was just devastating. The one place in her life where she had any semblance of control and satisfaction is now destroyed. This really was Joan’s Year of Suffering. And Pete? At one point I actual felt some sympathy for this weasel. He is just rotten to the core now. Ugly, ugly episode.

    • JohannaEG

      I’m surprised no one’s brought up the moment when Don asked Sal to prostitute himself for the sake of the company.

      • Frank_821

        Don never did that. What happened was Sal was getting fired by the client’s insistence when Sal wouldn’t put out. When Don found out the truth he got mad at Sal, blaming him for the situation

        • JohannaEG

          Right, sorry the order of events was off in my memory. But still, Don was upset that Sal wouldn’t do it, which is the opposite reaction to the similar situation with Joan.

          • ciotogist

            I think Don can’t imagine what it’s like to desire another man, so he couldn’t imagine why Sal wouldn’t just go ahead for the good of the firm.  He respects Joan, though, in a way he didn’t respect Sal once he was outed.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

      I’m pretty sure we’ll follow her. I think she’s the 2nd most important character after Don. Can you imagine the backlash if they wrote her off?

      • Glammie

        I don’t think a backlash would keep them from doing that.  However, she is a central character, so I think we’ll follow her.  I think Jon Hamm once said that MM was, in many ways, about Peggy–that it’s not an accident that the show starts with her first day on the job.

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

    You two are dolls to have this post up on a holiday!  Thank you so much.  I think you’re right on about Roger’s reaction to Joan’s partnership/prostitution deal, and my husband seemed to think it was a bit far fetched that a woman in 1967 would be on the board of an agency.  How many women are on boards even today?  I was heartbroken about Joan; like sweetlilvoice, I am haunted by this episode.  On the other hand, so happy and excited for Peggy!

    • Glammie

      Advertising was one of the very few businesses where women made significant inroads early.  So, yes, I could see a woman as an agency partner–though not one in Joan’s position–i.e. neither creative nor bringing in accounts.  But MM is consistently weak in its understanding of how relatively unimportant anything that’s not creative or accounts is in an ad agency.  Harry’s not that important and Lane’s job wouldn’t really exist.  Joan seems to be some sort of production/traffic manager as well as office manager.  That can be a more important job than media.  

      • Sweetbetty

         ”-though not one in Joan’s position–i.e. neither creative nor bringing in accounts.”

        Well, now, didn’t she just bring in a very big account? :-)  I know what you’re saying, though.  And Pete-the-Sleazebag will take all the credit for landing Jaguar.  Now that she’s opened the door, though, I think Joan could probably bring in accounts with the best of them.  Hopefully she could do it without sleeping with the guys, though.

        • Glammie

          I would like to see that.  Joan would be a great AE–knows exactly how to take care of people and make them happy–sans sex.  

          My take on Joan is that she will always make mistakes, but she’ll also always be tough enough to come through.  Marilyn Monroe may be dead and the look passe, but Joan’s figured out that she can do Liz Taylor.  I think it’s that lack of self-pity combined with a strong work ethic that makes Joan so darn appealing.

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

        Joan’s function has always been shown as the office manager. I was interested to see Traffic on her her door as we have never seen her do one drop of production/traffic work.

        • Glammie

          Well, what would you see?  It’s mostly phone calls and the occasional lunch with would-be service providers.  We do know that she knows where all the artwork and such are stored and filed–so she’s shown the knowledge of a traffic manager.  But’s it’s not telegenic work–so we don’t see it.  

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

            You’re right, we don’t have to see her with job bags and work orders to know what she does. But Traffic and Office Manager are two full-time, very important positions. This would have been the perfect time for someone to mention that she is pulling double duty. 

          • Glammie

            Yeah, I can’t quite figure out Joan’s job.  In the small agency where I worked, we didn’t have an office manager nor someone who was just traffic.  We did have creatives, AEs, a production manager who also handled traffic, a PT bookkeeper and a couple of secretaries.  

            SCDP’s a boutique agency–but big enough that you’d see a production manager and possibly a separate traffic manager.  But that person *wouldn’t* be the office manager.  

            Though, of all of them, Lane’s job seems the most superfluous.  Agency financials are pretty straightforward–money from ad creation and production and a percentage kickback from networks and magazines for ad placement.  There aren’t really any concrete assets and the staff is small and mostly salaried.  

          • AudreysMom

             And Lane seems to understand that (his job is the most superfluous). He’s mentioned it before (to Joan) and he said it again in this episode (three years ago when my place in this agency really was important [or words to that effect]). You figure what he does Joan could do (and may have to if he ends his relationship with SCDP as we expect he will…)

          • http://twitter.com/fashunroadkill Chelle

            I thought he said three years ago he settled for less of a partnership because he wanted out of his current gig.

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

            Joan’s official title is Director of Operations, which was bestowed on her last season when the company was in financial trouble and she didn’t get a raise to go along with the promotion.

          • Glammie

            In other words, Weiner and co. *did* dump together a bunch of nonglamorous ad agency jobs and decided they’d all be Joan’s.  Not quite how a real agency does it, but MM’s not a documentary.  (Shrug)

      • CozyCat

        Lance’s job only exists because they needed him to make the big break from their old agency.  His terms for firing them–and thereby releasing them from their non compete clauses–was that he be made a partner.  In fact, his position in the firm supports your logic; he has been pretty much dead weight and therefore tried to justifiy his existence in the first effort to land Jaguar. 

        • Glammie

          I know the plotline reasons for Lane’s existence, but this is one area where MM could have done a little more homework–i.e. Lane should always have had something to do with accounts and getting new business.  MM wanted the whole hatchet man/lay-offs thing that happens with takeover, but ad agencies in the early 60s just aren’t a natural for that scenario.

        • Sweetbetty

           When they were making plans for the new company someone mentioned bringing Lane aboard.  Most didn’t want him but
          Don said, “Do you know how to do what he does?  I don’t”, thereby convincing the others that they needed Lane (and his infusion of cash).  But no one really ever said what it is that Lane does.

        • http://twitter.com/fashunroadkill Chelle

          I’ve never figured out what Bert does and think he’s the main dead weight. He doesn’t even have an office!

          Also, I thought he left at the end of last season…

          • Mariah Warnock-Graham

            Bert knows how the sausage is made. He’s the one who makes sure they have the right memberships, know the right people behind the scenes, understands which connections are important … think about his position in the Nixon campaign, him bringing in Jai Alai Guy’s father, making sure Pete is kept on so that they have access to the right parties and people, handling the Honda situation. He doesn’t bring in cash, but one sense’s that the cash wouldn’t come in without him.

            Also, as a primary named partner and majority partner, the company would lose a good deal of its reputation without him.

          • Glammie

            Bert’s a rainmaker–uses connections to bring in business.  Roger would, in the real world, be able to do the same thing given that he seems to be fairly social.  But maybe his divorce cost him social connections (seems unlikely though.)

            My father picked up a ridiculous amount of business on the golf course.  

    • Verascity

      The original Sterling Cooper had a woman on the board.

      • MissMariRose

         Oh, that’s right. How could I forget Alice Cooper?!

        • Glammie

          More Alice!  She was great.  More discussion of Bert’s cattle.  ”I do love them.”

      • http://twitter.com/fashunroadkill Chelle

        I thought Alice fronted mone for the founding of Sterling Cooper though.

    • crackineggs

       Through the sixties Joan Crawford was a very high profile member on the Board of Directors for Pepsi.  Not quite the same thing, but she probably helped ease the way for other women and make it seem quite glamorous at the same time.

      • Sweetbetty

         She inherited that seat from her late husband, who was chairman of the board; she didn’t work her way up from being a secretary.  If one wanted to make a real stretch, one could say that she got her seat on the board the same way Joan got her partnership, by sleeping her way in. :-)

        • sarahjane1912

          LOL! Now — with all the Joan Crawford/Pepsi talk — you’ve got me thinking about No-More-Wire-Hangers Faye Dunaway and her turn in Mommy Dearest. The way Joan Crawford [Faye] ordered around those Pepsi execs was a classic. *GRIN*

  • ccinnc

    I haven’t finished your review, but I’m thrilled to get to your pararaph about Roger’s reaction.  THANK YOU.

  • sweetlilvoice

    What will happen to Kenny now that Peggy left? Will he leave too? What about the pact?

    • Scimommy

      I think Peggy made it clear what she thought of the pact earlier in the episode. In other words, in her mind it’s probably dead.

      • CozyCat

        Ken didn’t seem particularly serious about leaving.  He’s pretty content at SCDP (all he had to do was change his pen name to keep his soul saving outside activies)  and he was pretty flippant when he brought it up.  I think that’s why Peggy snapped at him after his words of support. 

        Really, the pact was something else Peggy had to abandon.  She had to stand completely on her own two feet without relying on any of the men in the office.

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

          I’m sure CGC would love Ken to come along– with his accounts, of course. Maybe after she’s been there a while, she can recommend him. But I agree she needed to do this on her own.

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

          I’m sure CGC would love Ken to come along– with his accounts, of course. Maybe after she’s been there a while, she can recommend him. But I agree she needed to do this on her own.

        • aesteve212

           Although the combo of being there for the genesis of the Joan-prostitution idea, and seeing money thrown at Peggy might push him out the door?

      • Sweetbetty

         I sort of got the impression that Peggy was just giving Ken a way out of that pact; letting him know he didn’t have to leave just because she was.

    • MK03

      OH SHIT I FORGOT ALL ABOUT THE PACT OH SHIT

    • Sweetbetty

       I was wondering about that too, especially since The Pact was mentioned again in this episode.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=68202265 Andrea Howland-Myers

    I have a guess about the OH MY GOD!! I feel like Joan didn’t become desperate to earn more money until she was reminded that if she could afford a nanny, she wouldn’t have to put up with her mom’s bullshit anymore. Maybe if she can lock down a 21st-century style childcare situation, she feels Kevin won’t be as likely to scare potential new boyfriends away.

    • sweetlilvoice

      Not to mention that her fridge broke, money seemed to be an issue. I knew her fate was sealed then.

      • Kyle Crawford

        I don’t think it was money – but her mother. The super could have just come and fixed the fridge, but Mrs Super wont let him into Joan’s apt anymore…..

        • sweetlilvoice

          His hands have been in every toilet from here to the Bowery!

        • Sweetbetty

           I snorted when Joan’s mom insisted she and the super were just friends!  I wonder how many times she had called for him to come up there.

          • sarahjane1912

            What was his name again? APOLLO?! Oh you have got to be kidding … *Snort!!!*

      • siriuslover

        But the flashback made it pretty clear that her knowledge of the fridge breaking happened AFTER she slept with the Jag exec. But those kinds of general issues may have been in her mind to begin with.

        • Sweetbetty

           I’m a bit cloudy about the sequence of events at Joan’s apartment but I think the news of the fridge came before she made her decision to sleep with the guy.  It was like it was the last, or close-to-the-last straw to break her will not to do it.

          • siriuslover

            I’ll rewatch it today.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=68202265 Andrea Howland-Myers

             Yeah, there are two scenes involving Joan’s mother; the first is about the fridge and comes before she makes her decision; the second is the flashback scene with Don where her mother says “I’ll leave you two alone.”

          • siriuslover

            So I rewatched and you’re totally right. I don’t know how I conflated those two very different scenes. Thanks for calling my attention to my inaccurate memory.

          • Sweetbetty

             Glad to help since I get so much help from others here when I have questions.  I was fighting sleep during part of the show so can’t swear to anything that happened.

    • Redlanta

       Maybe she’ll help organize the first on site corporate daycare!

  • Scimommy

    I am still choked up over last night’s episode. I had tears in my eyes when it ended, and I didn’t even know what I was crying about. Both Joan and Peggy are moving on and up, each by her own ways and means. I agree with you that the partners will see Joan as sleeping her way to the top, but I don’t think it’s THAT different from how they saw her before (perhaps with the exception of Don?). At least now she will have real power and money. She wants to be free of her dependence on her mother, she does not want to rely on Roger – well, this was the price she had to pay for that independence, and it was within her, um, skill set, so she did it.

    That scene with Lane in her office was very powerful to me. I thought that Lane’s advice to her was (a) very good and (b) surprisingly tender. Yes, it was self-serving, because he didn’t want to give her $50K immediately, but also I thought he meant every word he said. Also, when Joan mentioned his “feelings” for her – that must be true because a woman like Joan knows, no? In short, I haven’t given up on shipping the two of them yet. Of course, given the current trajectory of his life, Lane might off himself in two episodes, so there goes that.

    By the way, was it Joan’s black dress when she showed up at the Jaguar guy’s hotel room that made you gasp? Because it was very reminiscent of what she wore for her first rendez-vous with Roger back in the day. She got a mink shrug then. Last night it was an emerald necklace.

    • jblaked

      Completely agree.  At the end of the episode – when Peggy had pressed the elevator button and was looking back at SCDP, I had to pause the show to breathe.  I was terrified that the empty elevator bay would reappear and Peggy would be the main character to die.  She finally got what she wanted and now she dies.  Thankfully, that was not the case.  Peggy is much too valuable and loved for Wiener to do that.   Still, I wonder if that was a wink from him as he knows we are all anxious over who will die.

      • Renaissance_Man_ATL

         I thought the same thing re the elevator! 

        • http://profiles.google.com/basedow.maureen Maureen Basedow

          I was thinking, oh great, she’s pressing the down button. This will end with a shot of the elevator “going down.”  But that’s not the way the episode ended. That’s when I cried. 

      • MRC210

        I know what you mean about the elevator, I was holding my breath too.  Yes, I think that might have been Wiener’s little joke.  Loved Peggy’s smile at the end, by the way.  But that empty elevator shaft is Chekhov’s gun, isn’t it?  Someone’s going down there.  Or is that Wiener’s joke too?

        • http://twitter.com/ThatFerd Ferdinanda

          The light coming out of the elevator was like the light from the briefcase in “Pulp Fiction.”  Along with the smile, the lighting helped reassure us that this was a positive step, rather than a descent. 

          • DaringMiss

            I also flashed to Pulp Fiction!

      • Lilithcat

        Why on earth did so many people think there’d be an empty elevator shaft?  

        • UsedtobeEP

          Because Don looked down the empty elevator shaft a few episodes back, almost stepping into it. 

        • mousetomato

          Because a couple of episodes ago, Don pressed the down elevator button, and no elevator showed up, just the shaft. Plus, isn’t that how Rosalind bit the dust on L.A. Law?

          • Lilithcat

            Plus, isn’t that how Rosalind bit the dust on L.A. Law?

            I have no idea.  As a lawyer, I don’t watch that kind of show.  When I do, I always regret it.  They are so unrealistic that they make me want to throw things at the television.

          • Glammie

            Bwah!  My mother was a lawyer and you could not watch *any* show with a courtroom in it without her muttering “Objection” right, left and center.  Just drove her bats–and the more earnest and self-important the drama, the more she growled.

          • Lilithcat

            and the more earnest and self-important the drama, the more she growled.

            Oh, yes, indeed!  Comedies are generally fine; you don’t expect them to be accurate.  Although the fact is that one of my favorite shows, Night Court, was probably among the more realistic (at least in its first couple of seasons).

          • greenwich_matron

            I would have loved to see the discussion with the lawyer who drew up Joan’s papers before the fact.

          • Glammie

            Oh man, my mother also liked the early Night Court–particularly before the tough black woman defense attorney was replaced by dingy Markie Post.

            She also had a soft spot for Judge Wapner.

          • mousetomato

            I am not a lawyer, but after that episode I stopped watching the show.

      • Sweetbetty

         So glad to hear that others were thinking of the empty elevator shaft.  And that would have been jumping the shark even more that having Joan pimped out.

        • CozyCat

          I completely agree.  Joan’s decision was craftily built the entire season.  Offing Peggy at that moment with the elevator would have been jts.  In fact, if someone does meet the grim reaper this season, my guess is that it’s not via the elevator.  I think that’s just Weiner messing with us.  (and don’t we enjoy it!)

    • bluefish

      Jared Harris as Lane is just outstanding.  His scene with Joan was indeed very powerful — I had the same reactions you did.  It provided a nice counterpoint to the other emotional high — Don and Peggy’s time together at the end.  Complete with a very subtle but intensely physical encounter between the mentor and his protogee.  It felt as though Don was the heartbroken Lancelot to Peggy’s unwavering Guinevere in that moment — delicate but super charged in an episode in which sex was for sale — or used, like Megan, for a quick pick me up.  All of that saved this one from being as mediocre as last week’s offering.

    • Redlanta

       Actually, I think that was the dress she was wearing when Greg raped her in the office.  I think that is the WTF wardrobe moment our boys were hinting at…

      • Verascity

         No, that was a different dress.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=68202265 Andrea Howland-Myers

         Joan was in purple when Greg raped her.

      • crackineggs

         But she WAS wearing the mink that Roger gave her for similar services.  (I can’t take credit for being an astute observer – I watched Janie Bryant talk about the wardrobe on the AMC site).

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

      Oh, the look on Joan’s face as Lane essentially broke her heart… His heart was breaking too, because now he knows for sure that they will never have a future together.

    • ybbed

      I think she had Rogers mink shrug on when she got there.

  • Frank_821

    I did a major OMG with the flashback. First, “Joan’s still doing it to?” to “Oh NO! Don was too late!” It’s funny how how I’ve a number of women’s comments on other boards being how they lost respect for Joan and how she’s no better than a whore. I just felt sorry for Joan and what she has to do to try and survive

    I love the way Peggy interacted with Ken, Freddy, Mr Chaugh and Don. Her clothes spoke volumes in the evolution. I am kind of glad she snapped a little at Ken-not wanting some patronizing empty promise. There’s a Freddy being objective and honest with her. And that dress she wore the day she quit. Little Peggy was no school girl there. She became a grown woman

    You’re right Peggy needs to leave Don. For her own growth she has to stop being in his sphere. To a certain extent she has become too dependent on him for validation

    I didn’t like them cramming the Megan subplot in. It was overkill and intrusive. They should have just left her presence to the office visit which inspired Gisnberg’s idea. They could have dealt with her career in another episode

    • CrazyAuntie

      Totally agree about the Megan subplot – too much and not needed.

    • http://twitter.com/keristars ★☆ keri ☆★

       I did a major OMG with the flashback. First, “Joan’s still doing it to?” to “Oh NO! Don was too late!”

      I knew as soon as Don walked in the first time that he was too late, tbh. It was hearbreaking to watch her expressions, and then to see it again… I hated that she felt she needed to do it, but clearly Joan decided that she wanted the promised payment, and if the “partners” already thought so poorly of her that she’d do such a thing, why not fulfill their expectations? There seemed to be an element of shoving it in their faces, to me, but I could be wrong.

    • MsKitty

      Agree. It felt like it was completely tacked on, and didn’t move the story forward since we already know that Megan’s ambition is going to cause conflict in the marriage.

      • Glammie

        Well, the Megan storyline felt a little squeezed in to me as well, but I don’t think the storyline was simply about Megan’s ambition causing problems in the marriage.  I think we were also seeing Megan’s childishness and naivete.  I think she went running back to Don at the end because, unlike Joan and Peggy, it’s not at all clear that she’s going to be willing to do whatever it takes for a woman to get ahead.  She’ll play her sex games with Don, but she’s not going to wrap herself up with a bow in the back the way Joan does to make a sale.  

        For all her black-lace lingerie, Megan’s an innocent.

        • rumcg66

          I don’t know if she’s exactly an innocent, but she’s certainly in a position of great privilege. That’s what makes her the least like Joan and Peggy. Those two truly have no one to rely on but themselves; Megan took the route of marrying the boss, and now she has the luxury of trying to pursue her dream without having to work for a paycheck. Big, big difference there.

        • sarahjane1912

          “For all her black-lace lingerie, Megan’s an innocent.”

          Ah … but she only wears black lingerie when she’s cleaning the apartment and waiting to be brutalised. *Wink*. Seriously though, that pale green baby-doll nightie she was wearing while running her lines was just adorable. And very innocent.

    • Sweetbetty

       ”I did a major OMG with the flashback.”

      I’m glad you brought that up; I was thinking maybe I imagined it since TLo didn’t mention it in their recap and I’m sometimes fighting sleep at the late-for-me hour that MM is on.  And I was wondering which version really happened until I realized Joan removed the necklace in her own bedroom (I was thinking it was still in the Jaguar guy’s hotel room; that she was leaving it behind).  So now we all have to wonder what would have happened if Don had gotten there sooner.

    • MK03

      I am just not on the Megan train at all. I want to tell Weiner and the writers, “Stop trying to make Megan happen. It’s not gonna happen.”

      • ybbed

        Without someone like Megan there won’t much of a catalyst for Don to change.  And since he is the central character we need to see him evolve or come to grips with himself, his history. Like Weiner says every story with Megan is really Don’s story. 

  • Alka Shingwekar

    It is actually a relief to have the corporate men women relationship spelled out. Prostitution does seem extreme, the Madonna Whore characterization over wrought, BUT it is awful to be facing watered down ghostly versions of these attitudes every day in the workplace – and home. You can’t call anyone out on it, because we are a modern society, and these situations are in the past, or in your own hyper emotional head, but as women, we are made to feel a little dirty, a little humiliated, a little under appreciated every single day. Not just by men, but by other women who buy into the hypocrisy and enforce it even as they suffer from it themselves.

    • MsKitty

      Yep. Just this year I’ve been witness to this type of power play; not to Joan’s extreme but it could have got to that point if folks didn’t speak up that it was totally unacceptable and we weren’t having it at all.  I lost respect for a few folks from this. The more things change the more they stay the same, sadly. 

    • CozyCat

        Amen.  I worked in an organization where the leader of the whole shabang was shacking up with a direct subordinate and my boss gained a lot of influence by findng jobs for her relatives.   My boss–the PIG–was thereby able to get away with doing nothing except taking credit for other people’s work and making advances at the women in the organization (including me–I turned him down, with real career consequences…)

      I can’t say that I have never had a (not too serious) thought about whether my life would be better if I’d said “yes.”  And Joan has even fewer options given her time and career path.  And she’s got a baby to take care of in a period that was much less supportive of single mothers.  I understand why she did what she did.   But dont’ think that kind of stuff doesn’t go on anymore.  There are still organizations where the leadership style would fit right in at the MM version of Jaguar  It’s usually much more subtle….

    • DaringMiss

      This whole storyline reminds me of the old feminist quote “If a woman can sleep her way to the top, why aren’t there more women at the top?”

      Apparently, Joan is the exception!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/73Q6VFU33UGYTWN2SEN7QPZ6YY Stephanie

    My reaction to what Joan did was recalling what Lee Garner Jr. did about Sal. The weak point in the story for me was how naive it was for everyone to treat this as a “well, that’s done” thing and not realize that now that slimebag car dealer owner can extort “dates” any time he wants.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

      That’s what I was thinking too. Not just Joan, but how many other woman have been forced into this position because he is so willing to abuse his power. Disgusting.

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

        This episode brought back an old memory to me. In 1966, I was working for the import division of Chrysler Motors. One of our out-of-state dealers was visiting our office and point blank asked me if I had a friend he could see that night. I knew immediately what he wanted and just answered, “No.” It was that brief, but obviously, I’ve never forgotten it.

    • TxMom2011

      That was my concern too.  What if he wants more?

      • Glammie

        At that point, though, SCDP should have an ad campaign working or not working–and since there are two other votes, SCDP will have some protection from that.

    • Sweetbetty

       Exactly what I was thinking, and now he doesn’t have to hand over any compensation for the “dates” since everyone understands he can withdraw his account at any time if he doesn’t get what he wants.  Ew, and did anyone else cringe when he just couldn’t wait any longer and said, “Let me have a look at them”.  He couldn’t even be suave and sophisticated; he was like a 13 y.o. boy opening his first Penthouse magazine.  Then when Joan turned her back he didn’t even have the finesse to slowly undo her zipper; she was left trying to reach around by herself to do the unzipping.  What a clod.

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

        I was thrown by the whole necklace thing. IMO, he would not have bothered with a gift, let alone an expensive one. He would have felt that the granting of the account and an hour with him would be more than enough compensation. I realize that Weiner used it as a way for us to know in the flashback that the deed had already been done, but it still doesn’t ring true with me.

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

          Maybe it’s to show that he’s not that bad of a guy? No, I think you’re right, it was a gimmick. That’s disappointing.

        • CozyCat

          I wouldn’t be surprised if he found a way to “expense” the gift…

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

            Without a doubt.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/73Q6VFU33UGYTWN2SEN7QPZ6YY Stephanie

          I didn’t have any issue with the necklace; to me it was his way of reinforcing his self-absorbed delusion of “benevolent lover”.  Toad.

  • http://twitter.com/msjwatt J.Watt

    Another commenter said it, but I have to agree, this episode will haunt me. I agree with the “Thor-like hammer” comment about the theme, because honestly, a blind person wouldn’t have missed that. But this episode was gut-wrenching in a way I can’t fully articulate. As a professional woman in 2012, I wish I could tell you these things have gone away, but they haven’t. This isn’t really power on display as much as a lack of ability to move in any other direction (or at least a perceived lack of ability.) My heart was breaking in the last 10 minutes. 

    • Glammie

      I think that’s the thing.  It hasn’t gone away.  I’m old enough that, in some ways, things are worse for women than they were  20-30 years ago.  There are still very few at the top and the margins of acceptable behavior for women in a corporate environment are still quite narrow.  (By the same token, actresses are hypercriticized and scrutinized now in a way they weren’t 30 years ago–when someone quirky like Debra Winger was a huge star.)

      • filmcricket

        I’ve often said that if you remade Casablanca now, a character like Sam wouldn’t exist, but Ilsa would do half her scenes in her underwear – so exactly how far have we come? (That’s not to start a racism vs. sexism debate; chances are Sam would just be written out completely and the cast would be all-white. But tell me I’m wrong about what’s deemed acceptable onscreen.)

        • http://twitter.com/msjwatt J.Watt

          This is so true. In order to be a viable asset in a world like Hollywood, you have to be willing to take your clothes off. The other side of that coin is that its “empowering” for women to do this because they’re making a choice, but are they really? The options presented to them probably look like “take your clothes off” or “we’ll find someone else to do this.” Which isn’t really a completely free choice. If there were more female executives would the game be the same? I don’t know, but I could hope for the best.

          • Elizabetta1022

            I often feel like women have been bamboozled into thinking that taking our clothes off is empowering. Who feels empowered when they’re naked in a room full of clothed people? I feel most empowered when I’m using my talent/intelligence to create something meaningful. 

  • Laylalola

    The show has put the men in a position often experienced only by women — that of never knowing for sure whether they won Jaguar  due to their brilliant work or because of the sex. And it’s not just Don’s presentation at issue here. It’s Ginsberg’s winning tagline. It’s Pete’s pouncing on the opportunity (knowing Lane’s former friend there was going to self-destruct and that the firm could still get in if they played their cards right). Roger and Bert have their own intricate, nuanced issues to deal with here. 

    Peggy, meanwhile, has burned bridges in a way that seems also as definitive, by choosing the firm she did. Even if she and SCDP wanted to go back, I don’t think that’s possible. I think that kiss really was a sendoff for the ages signaling that fact. I know the first instinct is to take her action as the more empowering of the two scenarios last night but I’m not at all certain about who will have fewer regrets in the long run.

    • Logo Girl

      Regarding Peggy and regrets: could be, but I always picture the outcome for Peggy to be one of the ones that has a positive projectile, such as that she runs her own successful firm by the late 70s or some such… But perhaps that’s just me to see it that way…

      • siriuslover

        I agree. I can even go so far as to see her hiring Don when he’s finally lost it at his own company. But that’s a big stretch and comes from the mind of someone who likes eighteenth and nineteenth century melodrama.

    • Glammie

      I don’t know that she burned a bridge–she did go over to the enemy, but from what I can see, she’s not taking accounts with her.  I don’t know, though, how empowering it will be for her either.  Ted however-you-spell-it didn’t hire her for her talent as much as to stick it to Don.  

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

        Well the talent is a bonus. She’s getting a LOT of money. Based on what Joan said she’s making, I’m guessing Peggy just doubled her own salary. Ted will definitely make sure she earns her keep. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/73Q6VFU33UGYTWN2SEN7QPZ6YY Stephanie

        If my boss threw money in my face, you bet your ass it’d be his arch enemy I’d meet with first lol

    • KittenKisses

       ”The show has put the men in a position often experienced only by women
      – that of never knowing for sure whether they won Jaguar due to their
      brilliant work or because of the sex.”

      I love that thought. Well put.

    • CozyCat

      Peggy’s leaving at a point when the firm is at a high, and she did it in a way that is professionally acceptable.  None of the other partners have a reason to view her badly.  As for Don–he didn’t react with rage the way he did when he found out that Betty was seeing Henry.  He even admitted that he had been taking her for granted and tried to charm her into staying before realzing that it was too late.

      My guess is that the firm will end up in financial trouble because of Lane’s embezzling, and he will beg Peggy to come back and help–and she will (BUT as a partner this time.)

  • http://twitter.com/cspurvey Colleen Spurvey

    I’m not sure how smart Joan’s move to become partner was. Think of all the times we’ve seen partners in the firm asked to throw down $50,000 a piece to  help keep the firm afloat. That’s 4x Joan’s salary. Also, what happens to her when Lane’s embezzlement skulduggery hits the fan?

    • CozyCat

      Lane may have inadvertantently made the discovery of his malfeasance more likely.  Joan is now a partner, and therefore has the right to see the books, and if anyone is capable of spotting the discrepancies, it is Joan.  If she blows the whistle on him, he can’t threaten to fire her anymore.  And in some ways he has made himself more obsolete–he has no skills that Joan does not have in greater abundance.

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

        That’s what I was thinking too, that they had to bring to Joan into a position of more power within the company so that she could uncover Lane’s embezzlement. (Of course that’s not the only reason, but it’s certainly handy!)

      • barbarasingleterry

        I thought that Joan would discover the discrepancy because she writes the checks and most likely balances the accounts.  Lane has put her in a position of co-conspirator and in his debt.  It would be in her best interest now to protect him and hide his embezzlement from the rest of the partners so that she can benefit from her 5% share.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/SHDII3BAQ462EIAY3ZS3OOVXTM Margie

        Yes, but when Joan discoveres Lane’s malfeasance she will now have power over him —maybe she will use it to gain greater financial control over the firm. Depending how hurt and angered she is by what the men did to her, she could gain power sufficient to crash and punish them all or to bargain for a bigger slice of the pie (including all of Lane’s)!
        In classic Greek or Shakespearean drama a woman’s power both to give and to destroy life can wreck serious havoc!
        Maybe it is time for a woman to let loose and quit being a 20th century victim. And who better than Joan with her statuesque figure (think Lady LIberty, etc) to wield the sword!

    • http://twitter.com/1carmelita 1carmelita

      I thought the same thing.  I wondered if she just bought into a sinking ship. If the firm goes down due to Lane’s embezzlement she’ll have 5% of nothing. She really got used by these guys in a lot of unsavory ways.

    • Laylalola

      She will make far more as a partner the first year alone, and that was even before they landed the Jaguar account.

  • PaulaBerman

    So what about the flashback, where we learn that Don’s plea to Joan came AFTER she had already done the deal? Would it have made a difference if Don had gotten there before she went? Was she doing it partially out of a feeling of betrayal, thinking that all 5 partners saw her as a whore anyway, so she might as well get paid for it? I wonder.

    Also, did Roger really vote for the whole thing? Pete misrepresented Joan’s “you couldn’t afford it” as a counteroffer, when really it was meant to get rid of him. When he depicted it to the partners as a ploy for more money, Roger seemed disgusted, but realized there was nothing he could do to stop Joan if she was willing to do it. He seemed to be saying, “I really don’t know Joan anymore; let her do what she wants, ugh.”

    I see the whole thing as engineered by Pete, enabled by Lane, who needs the money desperately and, out of guilt, helped Joan get a better deal, but pushed her towards the deal nonetheless. They betrayed her. Roger threw up his hands in disgust and said, “Whatever.” Bert Cooper is a cipher. Don really did object, and I wonder if knowing that in time would have altered Joan’s decision.

    On another note, please tell me we will still see Peggy? I can’t imagine Mad Men without her, and don’t want to try! My fantasy is that ultimately, Peggy comes back as a named partner. Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce OLSEN.

    • sweetlilvoice

       Agreed! Pete was a master manipulator in this episode in all his slimey glory. He lied several times about who said what. I couldn’t decide if that was on purpose or just how he really saw things. It was the old never trust a witness line.

      • PaulaBerman

         He did it on purpose. I despise Pete. However, I think Joan will ultimately parlay this incident into great power and the company will benefit from it. I just wish she didn’t have to pay this price to be recognized. I hope she gets her comeuppance against Pete someday. Lane, I think, will get his, and perhaps it will be Joan that has to clean up that mess.

        • Glammie

          Oh, I think Joan will uncover Lane’s mess.  I think making her partner is Lane’s death knell.  

          Yeah, Pete entirely manipulated everything.  Funny thing is, everyone *knows* Pete’s a manipulative slimeball, knows when he’s doing it, too, but they still succumb to it.  He has a knack for appealing to everyone’s basest instincts.

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

            He does the slimy stuff, so they don’t have to.

      • Sweetpea176

         The pretext for that conversation was sickening:  “Joan can you help me break it to the partners that we’ve lost Jaguar because this guy will tank it unless you sleep with him?”  Gross!

        • UsedtobeEP

          I wish Joan had said, “Why, certainly!” and called a partner meeting to tell them exactly what Pete had just said to her. I think Roger and Don might have kicked his ass again. Lane could have closed the curtains for them, this time. 

        • sarahjane1912

          Ohhhhh that absolutely SLAYED me! I was so SO angry at Slimey Pete right then. What a cock. Sorry for the language but seriously. A cock. Of the first order. Grrrr!

      • 3hares

        I thought the only time he lied was to make Joan’s “you couldn’t afford it” sound less like a dismissal than it was (though I think it still sounded like a dismissal).

    • the_archandroid

      I think it absolutely would have made a difference if she’d known before hand.  If either Roger or Don had said, don’t do it Joanie, it’s not worth it  she wouldn’t have done it.  You are absolutely right about Pete, he really played them all, then went home and read good night moon to his kid.  She doesn’t know what a monster she has for a daddy. 

      • PaulaBerman

         I have never liked Pete. Now I full-out hate him. I have rewatched the scene where Lane kicks his ass several times, and I think I might watch it again today. He may well be a sociopath. Poor Trudy and Tammy.

      • TxMom2011

        I watched the show late last nite through very tired eyes… but did Pete’s baby look like it had down syndrome?  Did anyone else notice that. 

      • UsedtobeEP

        I didn’t understand until just now, reading that, why that scene was in there. After what he just did to Joan, he has the nerve to go home and read a book to his daughter, who will one day be a woman some day. How would he feel if some sleazy guy pimped her out to win an account? Nice.

        • Sweetbetty

           Sleazy as Pete is, he might be the one to pimp out his own daughter if he really felt backed into a corner.

        • KittenKisses

           I like how, despite all his slimeyness, Joan’s crack at Trudy actually seemed to hit him. For a fraction of a second he flinched and looked disturbed.

      • http://twitter.com/flaming_mo Maureen Cox

        What really struck me about Pete reading to his daughter was that he had no problem coercing someone else’s (albeit grown up) daughter into basically prostituting themselves just a few hours before. Chilling.

      • Girl_With_a_Pearl

        Right after reading Good Night Moon, Pete had the nerve to tell Trudy that he needs an apartment in the city.  We know why he wants that apartment and so does poor Trudy.  Oh, and he rounded out that scene by complaining about her appearance, that Trudy is dressed in a nightgown by the time he comes home.  Yes, Pete was horrible on so many levels this episode.    

        • Sweetbetty

           And when Trudy complains that they’re not even trying for another baby (which I’m sure Pete does not want) he says that’s because he’s using up all his energy putting his foot down.  WTF?  Pete better be careful or Trudy will run to daddy and daddy has the means to hurt Pete where it matters, at his business.

        • 3hares

          This is the worst week to be defending Pete, but I don’t think he was complaining about her appearance. They’ve been hitting on this all season. Trudy’s got a life in Cos Cob that he’s barely a part of. Her pajamas signal that she only dresses for other people. And his own offer for sex was “give me another baby.”  I love Trudy, but I think if this were another couple Trudy wouldn’t be seen as a hero for this set up. Pete’s not treated particularly well by anyone either. It’s just assumed he deserves it.

      • 3hares

        I still don’t get how Pete “played them all?” I think his main manipulation was to make it easy for them all to give him the answer he wanted. He implied that Joan was open to the idea, but they all except Don voted to make her an offer. It just bugs me–these are all grown men who either passively or actively supported this for their own ends. Stopping this would have been completely easy and not one of them did it. Not Don because he can’t be bothered to keep his mind on it, and not the others because they were fine with it. They’re all culpable for the offer.

    • Spicytomato1

      “Was she doing it partially out of a feeling of betrayal, thinking that all 5 partners saw her as a whore anyway, so she might as well get paid for it? I wonder.”

      That’s what I thought. Combined with her finding living with her mom to be intolerable. I’m not sure if knowing about Don’s objection would have stopped her from going ahead with it. Perhaps, but like the real reason for the Jaguar win, it’s one of those things we’ll never know.

      • gokobuta

        One thing that jumped to mind was the conversation that Joan and Peggy had back in Season 1, when Joan cautions Peggy about her weight gain.

        Peggy: “I know what men think of you. That you’re looking for a husband, and that you’re fun. And not in that order.”

        I think this stung Joan a little, but it seemed like she was okay with the assessment because she knew that, in the office at least, men also respected (read: were terrified of) her. Those who didn’t, like Joey “Walking Around like You Want to Get Raped” Baird, were either beneath her notice or easily taken care of. But the senior execs and partners generally respected her for her professionalism, and for her capabilities.

        The fact that the partners would even consider car-man’s proposal tarnished that respect forever (with the exception of Don, and possibly Lane). And by this point she had split from the husband that she spent so long looking for (“I’ve been offered a few, and this one was by far the best.”), so she’s left with being one of those women that sleazy businessmen “have fun” with.

        I have a hard time believing that Joan would compromise her professional image like this, especially when I think back to how she verbally decimated the last group of guys who tried to reduce her to a piece of ass to her face (Joey and Co.) How the hell did Pete make it out of her office alive? I guess he slimed his way out with half-lies and condescension.

        Am mildly disappointed by how Joan’s storyline played out but was blown away by the performances and Peggy’s resignation. Can’t wait for what will happen next!

    • bluefish

      Pete has become the master manipulator and kingpin behind the scenes, replacing Don as the alpha male at SCDP.  The more frustrated Pete remains, sexually, the more vicious he seems to become.  If I were Trudy — shudder — I’d be encouraging him to get his flat in Manhattan.

      • Glammie

        But he’s not the alpha male–which is Pete’s huge frustration.  He gets stuff done, but nobody likes him and women, except for Dark Betty, don’t really want to sleep with him.  He’s this weedy little guy–he and Lane were the pimps this episode.

    • MK03

      As far as I’m concerned, Pete has crossed the moral event horizon. And yes, that’s coming after I’ve seen every episode, even in light of Poor Gudrun. The fact that he was actually willing to whore out a coworker in order to secure an account…man, fuck you, Pete. You’re just a piece of shit.

    • UsedtobeEP

      Sterling Cooper Drayper Price HOLLOWAY Olsen, remember.

      • PaulaBerman

         Joan is not a named partner (neither is Pete), and with a 5% share, she probably never will be.

        • UsedtobeEP

          Come on, now, a girl can dream…

          • PaulaBerman

            Oh, in my dream, Peggy opens her own agency with Ginsburg and Joan is the CFO.

          • siriuslover

            YES!

          • avidreader02

            And Ken!

          • MrsPsmith

            heh, I like that people around here aren’t relationshippers but WORKrelationshippers

          • gokobuta

             And if Ida Blankenship can somehow come back from the dead, it will be perfect.

    • Sweetbetty

       ”Peggy comes back as a named partner. Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce OLSEN”

      Except by then I don’t expect there to be a “Pryce”.

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

        Yeah, even if he’s not dead, he’ll probably be in prison, or at the very least, thrown out of the agency for embezzlement.

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

      She would have done it anyway, even if Don rode in on his white horse ahead of time.

      • PaulaBerman

         Maybe. But just maybe, if Roger and Don had thrown a fit about it, really acted as if such a suggested were abhorrent in a way, and Joan knew about it, she wouldn’t have felt like it was something she had to do. Pete made her feel like she was going to be a disappointment to everyone and it would be all her fault if the company went down. My feeling is that she felt that they had already whored her out in their minds, so might as well do it and get paid and help out the firm. If she had known that such an offer was not how SCDP did business, it was not necessary, and had they berated, even punished, Pete for having the temerity to ask, it all would have gone down differently.

      • PaulaBerman

         Maybe. But just maybe, if Roger and Don had thrown a fit about it, really acted as if such a suggested were abhorrent in a way, and Joan knew about it, she wouldn’t have felt like it was something she had to do. Pete made her feel like she was going to be a disappointment to everyone and it would be all her fault if the company went down. My feeling is that she felt that they had already whored her out in their minds, so might as well do it and get paid and help out the firm. If she had known that such an offer was not how SCDP did business, it was not necessary, and had they berated, even punished, Pete for having the temerity to ask, it all would have gone down differently.

      • CozyCat

        Speaking of which:  the cologne account Peggy saved was called “Chevallier Blanc”….

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

          The woman was riding it in that case. :) Lady Godiva saved the day.

          • CozyCat

            True.  But that sort of fits with the general theme throughout the episode that none of the women is saved by a “white knight”….

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

            Nope, not with this group of cads…

  • Kyle Crawford

    One quick thing.. and I think its important to the Joan/Peggy paradigm [ other than the fact we can say something like " the Joan/Peggy paradigm " about a tv show in 2012 , a little shocked that anything on tv is this good ] Joan is what – 10 years older than Peggy ? Do we really know ? and those are 10 HUGE years for women. Peggy is just on the cusp of getting out of the entire MAD MEN universe…. ” you have come a long way baby ” can/did and will change everything.
     Sure there will be limits to how far Peggy can go with her career, but MANY fewer that women Joan’s age had.

  • baxterbaby

    Terrific analysis.  The only thing that I could add is the little argument that started up around these parts last night.  The Gentlemen Friend reacted in line with the other straight male reviewers you referenced; I, while I was saddened (and a little sickened by the sleaze factor) found Joan’s decision understandable in light of her life experience, if not her character.  I also said something to the effect that often when a woman who looked like Joan achieved anything major career-wise then (and even now), there was going to be a sizable percentage of those who believe she “slept her way to the top” anyway.  So in this case, sad but true.

    As for Peggy, when Don said to her “…every good thing has that happened to you has been because of me”, I knew that she had really made the right decision.  As long as Don believed that, even to the smallest degree, he would never give Peggy the respect and credit she deserved.  You guys are right;  Ted Chaough is another kind of asshole, but no doubt Peggy’s career will continue to be full of assholes; she’ll just get better at handling them.
     
    Your point about the similarities of Peggy and Joan was spot on, but Joan could never seem to lay off patronizing her (and perhaps resenting her as a negation of Joan’s own life and experience) and Peggy could never seem to get over her awe of Joan’s social ease and sexual superiority for them to ever have anything more than brief moments of sympathy.

    (Was you OMG style moment Peggy’s purple power dress?  Stealing Joan’s color and being the cutest thing she’s ever worn at the same time?!)

    • Jodie_S

      (I think that it was Peggy’s purple power dress too.  Awesome.)

      • makeityourself

        So do I. She has never looked more in control, feminine or professional. And yes, the color.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1573976444 Kary McGonigal Barrie

          And it’s notable that purple is opposite of her traditional power color, yellow, on the color wheel. Doing a 180, moving on, etc. 

          • http://graduallygreener.wordpress.com/ GraduallyGreener

            Agree – I bet this was TLo’s gasp moment.  That particular purple is the exact opposite of her usual mustard power color.  She’s full of her own, new power, and has a new color to go with it.  Awesome.

            Purple is not Joan’s power color, though.  She tends to wear purple in moments of conflict.

      • Redlanta

         I think it was the black dress Joan wore to the client’s hotel suite.  If I remember, that was the same dress she wore when Greg raped her in the office.  Not positive tho….

        • Melissa Brogan

           She wore a purple dress when Greg raped her.

    • avidreader02

      The OMG moment is what Joan is wearing to her assignation with Herb.  Not the dress…. but something else.  I nearly cried when I realized what it was.  And I thought I may have imagined it… but I didn’t.

      • ldancer

        What was it? I’m in the dark!

        I know it wasn’t this, but can I just give a shout-out to Megan’s actress friend’s neon-topped thigh-high hose?!

      • MK03

        Was she wearing the mink Roger gave her??

        • avidreader02

          It was the mink.  I didn’t want to say it, but other people have also noticed it.  It just made me so sad that she wore something Roger gave her – and it was the mink Don sold to him.  

          • Redlanta

             Wow!  I thought it was the dress she wore when Greg raped her in the office.  But you are right!

        • Amy Fee Garner

          I think that might be the OMG moment TLO mentioned. 

          • Andrea Rossillon

            I think it was the blue coat she’s wearing when she comes home to find her mother with the broken refrigerator. You know, like Betty’s “sad coat”?

  • Verascity

    As others have said, what I found most notable, once the dust had settled and I could think rationally again (I was IN TEARS at the end and feeling absolutely devastated, to be honest), was how similar Joan’s predicament was in a lot of ways to things that still go on in 2012. In a way, in this episode, Peggy and Joan’s stories for me showed the contrast between the idealized feminist narrative and the reality of the feminist movement’s gains.

    Peggy’s story is the one we *like* to see, where a woman becomes successful on the merits of her work and then frees herself from the shackles of being devalued for her gender. Joan’s, sadly, is more representative of the kinds of successes women saw and still see (and the success of feminism as a movement, in a way): she finally got the share she should have had years ago, but at an enormous and unquantifiable cost, and still being judged on her beauty and her sexuality; it’s very little and very late, and she had to literally use the fact that she’s a woman to get it.

    • bluefish

      I remember in the early 90s being encouraged by my then boss “to put on that red dress you sometimes wear” and go and visit so and so in his office.  So and so was upset with said boss and needed some cheering up.  Kid you not.  I did go visit so and so and helped him resolve his immediate issues — no red dress and no attempt to go beyond the call of duty either.  I will never forget how I felt when I received those particular marching orders.  Plus ca change etc.

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

       The thing is that man will talk.  There is no way he will have sex with Joan and not brag about it.  Then men will be lining up dangling their accounts and expecting Joan.  SCDP will have the reputation that they will go all the way for their clients.

    • Emmajanesmith

       I have been reading all the comments after another brilliant analysis by TLo as usual, but man this is a great one. What a good way to put it, and this is also why I love MM so much – if it was just Peggy’s story, which is a valid story, but as you say the one we ‘like’ to see, also a version of the period drama narrative “see if women had just been more plucky like main character here they can defeat the patriarchy and get everything they wanted – BE MORE PLUCKY women, and patriarchy just melts!’ – but no, it’s balanced by Joan’s story, and I really love your summary ‘got the share she should have had years ago, but at an enormous and unquantifiable cost, and still being judged on her beauty and her sexuality…’.

      I think Peggy’s story is just as real, but it’s only one story, and it’s a very rare one.

  • JohannaEG

     It’s Joan. She’ll single-handedly save the company.

    • PaulaBerman

       Yes! I see her being the one to discover and untangle the Lane fiasco. It’s just sad that they couldn’t recognize her value and skill earlier.

      • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

        Well she’s the one who does the books. She’ll find out soon.

        • Scimommy

          Yes, and in my Joan-Lane shipping mind she will then also rescue Lane from suicide and they will share a tender moment before the screen fades to black. Sigh. Probably not, huh?

          • Glammie

            Lane just sold her down the line.  She’s not going to save him.

          • formerlyAnon

             I dunno. She’s got to work with half an office who just sold her down the line. She may save him either because he then owes her big time, or because she can “like” him without trusting or respecting him – which is about the best she can feel for most of her fellow partners.

          • Glammie

            Yes, so would she save any of them?  Really doubt she’d save Pete.  I think she’d help out Don who’s the only one who showed personal concern for her.  

            The main difference between Lane and the other partners is that he’s been embezzling while the others haven’t.  The others won’t need her help in quite the same way.

            Also, I think Joan’s not going to want to be seen as covering up Lane’s embezzlement–that’s a risk for her.

  • Frank_821

    Oh and a major yes that Pete has become a total slime for manuevering the way he did. Lane comes in a close second for using his concern for her honor as a cover to hide his embezzlement. What was bizarrely funny is after Joan agreed, we see Pete is still a very childish person. The fact he had no idea how the arrange the assignation and even naively asked Joan for help was both exasperating ridiculous and a much needed tension breaker.

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

      Pete has always been slimy. But he OWNS it. He’s all “That’s right, I did this, and you better thank me for trudging through the slime so YOU guys don’t have to.”

      I kind of admire that.

  • judybrowni

    I wasn’t buying Joan’s choice, either. Why would she turn down Roger’s money– which she could have accepted privately, when she was embarrassed to have the partners even know about Peter’s pimp offer and then accept her role as a whore?

    However, I can understand a woman of her generation both being presented with that dilema and — possibly — accepting. 

    In 1972, three months into my first professional job, I had a boss who told me I either had to sleep with him or be fired. As baldly as that. (And I doubt that was the first time, or that I was the first underling to whom he’d made that demand.)
    But I was more Peggy’s generation than Joan’s, was smart enough to out-think him, keep my job, and stay out of his bed. However, later on I was chagrined to find out that everyone on staff — and in my next job — assumed I had had sex with him.

    But you’re right, I also don’t buy Roger giving in that easily.

    • asympt

       She didn’t accept Roger’s money because she doesn’t want her child to be seen as a bastard.  That was a much, much bigger deal back then.  It’s still a year or two before Diana Ross sings “Love Child”, a song that would hardly make sense today.

      Joan would rather humiliate herself than her baby; she at least has the ability to stare people down right back.

      • Sweetbetty

         Absolutely.  When the younger BKs were having trouble believing that living together was a shameful thing back then when we were discussing Peggy and Abe’s cohabiting plans I was wondering if they also would find it hard to believe that a child born out of wedlock was a horrendous scandal.  Believe me, IT WAS.

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

          Many of those younger BKs have 
          probably never heard the term “shotgun wedding” either. It’s amazing how many fewer “premature” babies are born now that it’s acceptable to have a child out of wedlock.

        • sarahjane1912

          It absolutely was.

          Moreove, there are lots of children of the 50s/60s/70s adopted into Good White Christian Homes who were the product of an illicit relationship that had no future. And no shotgun to force it there.

  • Lynn Landry

    We ended up watching this episode late and going to bed immediately after. So, I dreamt about it and woke up this morning still thinking about it. On the one hand, think the Joan story might be a bit over the top. Well, I KNOW it is. I also struggled with why the other partners were supporting it and I suppose this act will be thrown in her face. But, in a way, they all prostituted themselves–except Don. They all have to live the knowledge of how they got Jaguar. It seems that Don gave his pitch sincerely, wanting to win the business on merit. All the other men just wanted the business and were willing to stoop low to get it. Joan, at least, had some practical motivation to do what she did. So now, they got Jaguar so the gross guy could have his “Helen of Troy,” (my husband and I applauded and screamed “go joan” when she told him he was mixing too different stories). What happens when gross guy is over his euphoria from scoring his babe? He has all the power and I don’t see them keeping Jaguar for very long. The entire relationship was prostitution and Jaguar will toss their whore aside whenever they want.

    I was so so happy that Peggy had no price. That was so powerful. Leaving a company/job for reasons other than money, especially one so intense is extremely difficult and she stuck to her guns knowing that the reward she wanted from Don was not that. The interesting thing about Peggy leaving is that at her next job, she arrives as a senior copywriter. They won’t see her as the secretary who fought her way up. This gives her more power. Sometimes the only way to move up is to move out. I am sad that she’ll be written out of the script though. I don’t like how SCDP is going back to a boys club. Now, Joan is all alone.

    • Frank_821

      It should be noted Herb was part of the committee to approve the agency. he isn’t head of the company. rather he oversees the various dealerships. Basically he’s in charge of the sales force. Herb would really only have leveraging power if the ad was not having the desired effect on sales or people coming into the dealerships

      • Lynn Landry

         good point, but then it makes Joan’s actions even more distressing.

        • the_valkyrie

          I think they discussed it on the show, when Pete told the other partners about Herb’s offer. Pete basically said that they needed Herb’s vote because he would swing the others. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=68202265 Andrea Howland-Myers

           Pete lied to her in no uncertain terms that there was no way SCDP could get the account if she didn’t sleep with him.

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

        To clarify, Herb is the president of the dealers association, an elected post. He owns a dealership that sells Jaguars and other brands. He has power among the other Jaguar dealers in the association and so with Jaguar itself. He is only in charge of his own sales force.

  • Jessica Goldstein

    I still can’t decide if I blame Joan or not. Regardless, I wholeheartedly agree that even if Joan would prostitute herself, she would not do so in the work realm. She’s a partner now, but she’ll always be a partner with an asterisk, right? I also agree that Roger should have reacted beyond what he did. Didn’t get that at all. Two other thoughts: (1) I can’t see how this won’t hurt Joan professionally in the long run. At least one client knows what went down, as do the other partners. That’s way too many people to keep a secret of this magnitude. (2) I’ve never been a Peggy/Don relationship shipper, except professionally. Were I writing this show—and clearly I’m not!—Peggy’s emancipation would be the first step in establishing a new, more equitable relationship. I can’t see a path other than the two of them reuniting on new, more equal footing, especially since we’ve learned this season how much Don enjoys having a creative partner. Given the historical character Peggy is based upon, I’m not 100% ruling out a romantic partnership, either. I’d call it far-fetched, but not impossible.

    • CozyCat

      Partner with an asterisk is better than a possible future as Mrs. Blankenship. 

      If the firm survives long term, there will undoubtably be rumours and legends among the staff about how Mrs Harris (now a senior partner) got her break.  But they will be too afraid to say anything to her face.

  • nosniveling

    Lane’s response to the *proposition* was very disturbing to me.  As someone who appeared to care for Joan, he was the one who structured the deal she eventually agreed to.  He took Pete’s report that “they couldn’t afford Joan” at face value.
    For all those who wanted a Lane/Joan hookup, ugh- disgusting.
    At least Don was able to make his views clear…..it’s not worth it if you have to sell your soul to get it.

    • Scimommy

      I don’t want a Lane-Joan hook-up. I want them to be together for a while. The fact was that Lane – in the face of Pete’s suggestion that Joan was potentially open to agreeing for the right price – went to her and told her how to best look out for herself in that situation. And the thing is – I don’t think he will think less of her for doing it. He will understand and will still care about her.

      • Sweetbetty

         After his recent shenanigans he shouldn’t think less of anyone for doing anything.

  • rumcg66

    I couldn’t wait to read this post and I’m so glad you didn’t take Memorial Day off and wait until tomorrow!! 

    I agree that Joan’s decision was out of character and I don’t really buy it. Roger’s reaction I understand a bit, though, because my read of it was that he initially responded “Joanie didn’t agree to that, did she?” but when slimeball Pete indicated that she simply wanted more money to do it (which of course was completely untrue) it seemed like he was angry and hurt that she would do that and that’s when he washed his hands. Of course, he should have known Joan better.

    • nosniveling

      I think Roger showed his true character when Joan told him she was pregnant and he assumed she would go for an abortion.
      Was grossed out but not surprised by his reaction to Pete’s proposition.

  • schadenfreudelicious

    I totally agree with your thoughts on Roger’s reaction, completely mishandled by the writer’s..perhaps he would have ultimately gone a long with it, but to not even have a conversation with her about it, the mother of his child?..makes no sense in the context of their relationship to date…I have lost the ability to describe Pete as anything other than a ”Schweinehund”…he made my skin crawl last night…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tracy-Alexander/3234141 Tracy Alexander

    The OMG moment: Joan was wearing the fur coat Roger gave her?

    I think we didn’t see a bigger reaction out of Roger because Pete inaccurately told the partners that Joan said they couldn’t afford the deal (when, in truth, she had pretty much said she wouldn’t do it at all). Pete manipulated both sides to think the other was okay with it.

    • the_archandroid

      There’s no way it’s NOT this. Well, it could not be this…but this sounds like the ticket. 

      • susu11

        I did not realize it was the fur Roger had given her until I watched the ‘Inside Mad Men’ episode recap on the AMC website afterwards. Holy crap did that hit in the gut. 

    • avidreader02

      Yep. That’s it.

    • Scimommy

      Yes. And you know it was not there by accident.

  • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

    The “OMG” fashion comment… I’m placing my bet on Peggy. She has never looked quite so feminine and pretty as when she met with Ted and then quit SDCP. That purple dress was lovely!

    • Sweetbetty

       The dress, the makeup, the hair; all more feminine and pretty than she has ever looked, even at her non-engagement dinner.

  • jblaked

    And why was Ginsberg so fascinated by Megan showing up at the office to see Don?  Was it unusual for a spouse to visit?  I seem to recall Betty visiting him, but that was before Ginsberg was on the scene.

    • sweetlilvoice

       That was strange,it was like he was waiting for his parent’s to come out! And I thought it was very trashy of Megan to mess around with Don like that, everyone had to know what they were doing. Of course, maybe that was the point. And how trashy was Megan’s friend? Climbing on the table like a tramp….

      • Spicytomato1

        Yeah that whole office visit was bizarre, and like you said, trashy and inappropriate.

        • susu11

          Yeah I did not understand the point of that scene. I mean i get that it’s the moment that Ginsberg gets his inspiration for the Jaguar line but I think it could have been conveyed better. There was no need to have Megan’s red-haired friend crawling with her ass hanging out on that table to get to Ginsberg’s ‘Eureka!’ moment. 

      • Sweetbetty

         That whole scene was, like the rest of Megan’s scenes in this episode, so unnecessary and left me scratching my head.  Did she screw Don before every audition?  I hope he has a big box of Kleenex in his office.  Was her friend the same one who got pissy with her about not being a struggling actress like she was?  If so, she really got herself dolled up.  Did Megan tell her to get dolled up and “entertain” the other men while she took Don into his office for a quickie?  Like I said, I’m still scratching my head…..

        • makeityourself

          “big box of Kleenex . . . ”

          Haha!

    • the_archandroid

      I think that Megan was the main inspiration for Ginsberg’s line.  She’s absolutely beautiful, but has been exceedingly inconvenient for Don re: his creative drive. But for the present moment, he owns her (until she becomes a world famous actress and leaves Don to languish in the dust)

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

        I agree that Megan’s visit was Ginsberg’s inspiration,  but his “she comes and goes as she pleases” suggests he doesn’t think Don owns her.

        • emcat8

          Oh, thanks for this. I was really having trouble grokking that whole scene; it was somehow too opaque for me, as was the conversation with Lane. Thank god for the BKs!

      • Sweetbetty

         Or until she goes to Boston for rehearsals and tryouts.

    • AinsleySpud

      He was fascinated because it gave him the idea for the tagline for his pitch.  He doesn’t think that Don really owns Meghan. 

  • susu11

    I hope what I’m writing is coherent because I’m exhausted from having a late night, and my heart hurts just thinking about this episode. That look on Joan’s face was truly gut-wrenching. Like  TLo I personally didn’t think Joan would have gone through it, but I don’t think it wasn’t completely unrealistic for her to have considered it either, even at the risk of being open to judgement by Don and Roger, or the other partners. She did not propose the idea, it was not a manipulative ‘gold-digger’ ploy on her part,it was mostly in her eyes a kind of business transaction that was brought forth, even if it was a dirty one. What Joan saw was a one-night/one time deal to provide for herself and her child for the long-term. I wonder if Lane hadn’t approached her about the partnership idea, and only the cash was on the table would Joan have taken the offer? In her eyes the partnership was an advancement that would give her a financial stability that was hers, and not just Roger or some other man handing her cash every month or so. 

    Given her history for ‘having fun’ with men, I also think that factored into Roger and the other partners not completely disregarding the whole horrifying idea, cause they saw Joan as that ‘kind of girl’, which is just sad beyond words. But still like TLo, I think Roger would still have been more hurt than was depicted that Joan went through with it. They have such a long history together! I can’t and don’t judge Joan, but it was not an empowering moment, mainly because she felt that was her best career option and because the men even entertaining the notion of prostituting a colleague is disgusting and probably the worse moment for the men on this show. 

    Also as soon as those dollar bills hit Peggy in the face, I wanted her to walk out of SCDP and never look back. That was one of the most degrading things I’ve seen on Mad Men in season after season of women being objectified left and right. I think the reason it stung so bad is because Don and Peggy shared such a beautiful moment in ‘The Suitcase’, I couldn’t believe he could do that.  I understand people take other people for granted, but the act of flinging money in someone’s face crosses a specific line in my mind. It hurt to realize that Don was too late in both Peggy’s and Joan’s case to make things right. I was so proud of Peggy for moving forward.

    • Sweetpea176

      Don’t throwing money in Peggy’s face was all the more insulting because he seemed to think her dismay was about not getting a trip to Paris. 

    • Sweetbetty

       ”Given her history for ‘having fun’ with men, I also think that factored
      into Roger and the other partners not completely disregarding the whole
      horrifying idea, cause they saw Joan as that ‘kind of girl’, which is
      just sad beyond words.”

      What’s possibly even sadder is that because of Joan’s looks and bearing she comes across as “that kind of girl” more than she really is.  Not that I think she’s been a paragon of virtue all her life, but I think she projects more than what she really is.

    • emcat8

      I’m there with you. I had someone fling money in my face once in a work situation. Not quite like Peggy’s, but I’d found out that my bosses were paying a male more than me for the same job, one I had to train them for, and when I mentioned it to a (higher positioned) colleague, he did that. That was the beginning of the end — I started looking for a new job right after that. When Don did that, my stomach clenched. I don’t know that I’ve ever watched an hour of television that caused me so much *physical* distress in my life — and I’ve watched The Wire multiple times!

  • Damien W

    I think they are saving Roger’s ultimate reaction to what’s happened for another episode, possible even one next season. He’s good at being selective about expressing what he truly cares about, and that day, he wanted to talk and strut like a triumphant ad exec, and deal with the details later. Later may come the first time Joan speaks up in a partner’s meeting, or simply when Roger makes an ill-timed joke. Could  be next week, could be next year. Depends on how smoothly Jaguar goes out of the gate. It also depends on how soon Lane’s actions are revealed to everyone, which ties into hiring new staff for the account. (Maybe the freeing-up of Peggy’s salary has bought Lane another temporary lifeline.)

    • Lynn Landry

       I wonder, also, because Roger knows Joan needs money and rejected his offer if he understands what Joan was doing and why more than the others.

      • Sweetpea176

         Now that you mention it — it’s a pretty big insult to Roger, isn’t it?  His money wasn’t good enough for her….  (I don’t actually think it is any kind of insult to Roger, but I can see Roger seeing that way.)

    • CozyCat

      Pete’s manipulation also put up barriers between Joan and Roger that make communication difficult.  She thinks he was completely in favor of the idea.  Part of why she did it may be the hurt that caused.  But he doesn’t know how his behavior was reported to her.  So he feels abandoned too.  Both of them are too proud to get past their barriers to talk.

      But I can easily imagine a heated exhange some day where they unload on each other….

  • jblaked

    I bet it’s either that dress or the scarf she wore for her interview with Cheough.

  • Spicytomato1

    As riveting Joan’s story was, and Peggy’s, too, I also enjoyed seeing all the work on the Jaguar campaign. I loved that Ginsberg had the breakthough line. But talk about a hollow victory for Don (the Joan angle notwithstanding), he will never know if the creative alone could have won the account.

    I was really unsure about how Peggy was feeling after she extricated herself from Don, those moments while she waited for the elevator had me holding my breath. I half expected the empty shaft when the doors opened. And then when she broke in that smile, I heaved a sigh of relief for her. Great closing scene.

    Also, wondering how Ken will react to Peggy’s news. Did she not tell him or did she do it privately and we just didn’t get to see that? What about their pact? This inquiring mind wants to know!

    • Lynn Landry

       if she had fallen down the elevator shaft, I would have never watched the show again! too cheesy.

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

      What about Stan? I think he will miss her. I hope Peggy stays friends with her team.

  • Sweetpea176

    I was also pretty appalled at Lane, who suggested a partnership for Joan to cover his own ass.   My take on that conversation was that she hadn’t really decided until the idea of a 5% stake was raised.  I’ll have to watch again to be sure.

    What do folks think — if Don had gotten to Joan’s apartment before her liaison, would she still have gone through with it?  I think yes — she knew she could say no, and as soon as the idea of paying her to sleep with the guy took hold, she realized that she’s still seen as an object — so then why not secure her and her son’s future?

    • 3hares

      Before Lane showed up with that idea Joan thought it was over. Pete had asked her and she sent him packing. Then Lane basically came in and said, “So the partners are thinking about offering you money to do this guy, but here’s what you should ask for…”

  • http://www.facebook.com/elisabeth.neuhaus Elisabeth Maria Neuhaus

    I think the “OMG!” moment may have been Megan’s green nightie, which is very reminiscent of Kitty’s “Poor Kitty” nightie in S3. 

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

    Joan did what every women did, does, and always will.  Use sex to acquire things, money, power, places.  It is called being married or having a boyfriend.

    • rumcg66

      Misogynist much?

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

       Wow, that’s the most disturbing thing I’ve read in quite a while.

    • Sobaika

      And here I thought it was about having a partner in life. Silly me.

      There’s nothing uglier than internalized misogyny. 

    • the_archandroid

      I think, in general, most women aren’t married or in relationships as some sort of barter economy.  I’m all for cynicism, but um, this is way harsh. 

    • alula_auburn

       What an edgy, innovative, and not at all trite, misogynistic, or inane comment.

    • Glammie

      Is that what you tell yourself when go to sleep alone at night?  Some kinds of cynicism are naive.

    • Glammie

      Is that what you tell yourself when go to sleep alone at night?  Some kinds of cynicism are naive.

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

      Are you fucking kidding?

  • bluefish

    You know it’s so funny — I watched it, I got it, I wasn’t shocked and appalled.  I see changes in Don’s world that leave me feeling alarmed for him — and I see him realizing with each passing episode just how much his clout has diminished — at work and at home.  Joan will be fine — Peggy will do well in a new situation.  I’m worried about my beloved Lane.  Pete will continue to transform himself into a Mad Ave Iago to any number of possible Othellos.  If Megan ever gets a job as actress, we may be treated to another sighting of Sal — a moment I long for.

    But all of that seemed to evaporate when you mentioned “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency … ” and the famous lawnmower scene flashed back onto my circuits.  THAT was the Mad Men I loved and I find it miss it now, no matter how great the particular show. 

    This week was a vast improvement over last week but it seems as though the writers have oddly lost faith in their work — Two super heavy-handed, hit you over the head, episodes in a row.

    • anotherEloise

      Iago!   That should be Vincent Kartheiser’s next role.

  • TxMom2011

    I felt really sorry for Joan in this episode.  (I think maybe I wouldve felt better about it had it been her idea,  and not the slimeball trio of the car dealer, Pete and Lane)  Sometimes it’s really complicated being a working/single mom.  Even in these days.  I could never have done what Joan did… but I aint mad at her … for doing it.  I dont buy Roger’s silence either. I just dont believe he cares that little about her.  Well, at least she can be rid of that obnoxious mother of hers.  Speaking of mothers…. is there a good mother on this show at all?!

    • Sweetbetty

       OK, that made me snort my soda out my nose :-) 

      I still think Joan’s mother’s kvetching was what pushed her over the edge into accepting the deal.

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

      Peggy was a good mother by giving up her baby.

      • formerlyAnon

         This.

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

      How about Trudy?

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

     Oh, it’s just too much! I’ve been reading and re-reading, watching and re-watching. The mind reels! Money flung every which way at the women, Pete reading Good Night Moon to his Baby Girl, “putting his foot down” with his Wife, (all Trudy needed was a rolling pin and curlers in her hair to complete the image) whom he apparently is not having sex with anymore, then telling Joan that having sex for money puts her in the same class as Cleopatra! Megan’s comment, “a wife is like a Buick in the garage”, meaning frumpy-dumpy, and her friend putting on a show, teasing the boys with a lascivious kitten interpretation on the table, which only Ginsberg doesn’t care to watch. Joan is obviously the Jaguar, there are hints that her mom is a Cougar, (the handyman’s wife won’t let him come over anymore?), I mean come on!!! Every stereotype of a woman there could possibly be was portrayed on the show last night, and only Peggy said, “There is no amount”, meaning no amount of money Don can pay her to be his bitch anymore! Whew, that wore me out…

    • Sweetbetty

       How about when Don told Peggy she didn’t have to wait until the second (when her  two-weeks notice would be up), that he had a room-full of freelancers out there, and she said she understood and took her leave.  Was Don being disparaging of her, telling her she needn’t stick around, that they’d be just fine without her?  Or was he truly being kind and telling her he didn’t want to hold her back any longer than necessary?  And was her reaction a biting, “I understand, you don’t want to see my face here any longer”?  Or was it a grateful, “I understand, you’re setting me free and I appreciate it”?

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

        I think his telling her to go now was a combination of hurt and loss of her loyalty. He thought she was repudiating everything he had done for her along with their friendship. Also, many firms will not allow an employee to work out their two week notice, especially if they are going to work for a competitor. They don’t want  the employee to have any further access to company files or contacts. In fact, I’ve known instances where security was called to watch the departing person clear out their desk. Then they were escorted out the door.

      • Glammie

        He told her that right after she said she was going to work for a competitor.  At that point, no agency in their right mind would keep her around.  Ted refuse-to-spell-it would love every bit of info he could get about the goings-on at SCDP.

        • CozyCat

          Yeah, she has divided loyalties at that point.  She made the offer because that’s the way it’s done, but she knew he would reject it and he did.  If he were really angry he would have had securtiy accompany her back to her office to make sure she didn’t take any files (rememeber the weekend massacre when SCDP was formed?)

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

        He was saving face. How could he handle the next two weeks without losing his cool? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002382070459 Anthony Diaz

    I’m sorry but I don’t see Joan’s actions as empowering. I see all these comments (not just here, but on other websites as well) about how a woman in her position didn’t have much choice. Where is this coming from? Because as Joan has said before, she does fine on her own. Sure she can’t afford a house and nannies, but she can afford her apartment and to care for her son. If she was really that desperate for money, let’s be real here, she would’ve have taken Roger’s money. I’m sorry but I just don’t buy that many women, especially someone like Joan, would see prostituting themselves (in the name of their company no less!) as a better option than taking child support from their millionaire baby daddy. I did not like that character development one bit and I personally lost all respect I had for her.

    • Sobaika

      Agreed that it was radically out of character for Joan, and not exactly a shrewd business decision.

      But I think the ‘empowering’ angle comes from one arguing that Joan did what she wanted with her own body and came out on top. It isn’t that cut-and-dry – the look on her face when she was going through with it, the fact that she was misled into thinking all the partners were all supportive, etc. We saw too vastly different power moments for our ladies, and ultimately I don’t think it matters if you or another audience member lost any respect for her. The real question is, did Joan lose any respect for herself? If at the end of the day, she’s okay with it, then empowering is the right word for her experience. 

    • Sweetbetty

       Did you lose any respect for Pete, Burt, Roger, and Lane for putting her in the position in the first place?

      I still maintain that Joan was caught in a weak moment.  There was all the tension at the office about will they even be able to stay in business.  Her rapist husband’s divorce papers were still fresh in her mind.  Roger was still acting like a jerk.  Then she went home to her harpy of a mother who was complaining about a broken refrigerator, a big issue for someone just getting by as we can assume Joan was.  I can’t help but think that if this had come up a week sooner or a week later Joan’s decision might have been different.  That day, she was feeling beaten and dragged through the dust and saw the choice she made as the best one.

  • makeityourself

    I found Peggy’s “giving notice” scene with Don to be spot-on. She had practiced her speech very carefully and managed to get through it professionally and with grace, even while Don spat insults at her, degraded her successes and ultimately kissed her hand with tears in his eyes. I was so happy to see her smile as she stepped onto the elevator. Congratulations Miss Olsen!

    • Sweetbetty

      And I was crossing everything on my body that would cross, hoping that it wouldn’t be that foreshadowed empty elevator shaft.

      • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

        I thought Joan was going to come out to see her off.

        • ldancer

          Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. I was watching the background for Joan.

          John Hamm’s acting in the scene where Peggy quits was amazing. That guy acts with his face SO well. So much tension and suppressed emotion compressed behind his reddening face and not-smile…wow.

          • crackineggs

             He really is an amazing, expressive actor.  At one point in that scene his face was getting flushed.  Actually Lane, Pete, Peggy and Joan – all of those performances could be their emmy nomination show.  But the ladies would have to go up against Lena Headey, who nailed it as Cersei last night.

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

      Such a good scene!

      And hey, Freddy Rumsen isn’t a pants-wetting drunk! That’s good too!

  • the_archandroid

    Roger’s reaction is really puzzling, especially given the fact that he’s been hovering around Joan like crazy.  I’m wondering if they’re going to save all of the fall out for next week, or if it truly was dropping the ball?  While I was watching it I was thinking that the reason they didn’t focus on Roger was because they were so invested in showing Don’s dynamic with these women, but I don’t know if that excuses throwing away the whole Roger/Joan history.  If they did drop the ball, I’m hoping they pick it up and run it to the end zone next week re: Roger’s reaction.  
    Lastly, what’s up with Dawn?  Is she going to get any kind of story/ reaction?  I feel like we only saw the back of her head this episode, and that makes me sad. :(

  • Linderella

    One thing I found quite interesting in the comparison/contrast of Joan and Peggy:  Joan was treated like a whore and went along, while Peggy had money thrown at her twice (once literally, and then later in the form of a salary offer) and chose the second option, which had nothing to do with her gender or sexuality.  Much as I love Joan, it’s becoming increasingly obvious she is of the past (right down to the Monroe body type) while Peggy is moving toward the future of women in business.

    • mamacita32

      :( Darn. I really wish the Monroe body type wasnt part of “the past!” 

      • Linderella

        Well, look how fast The Look changed from Monroe to Twiggy as a body ideal. 

  • http://naturallyeducational.com/ CandaceApril

    I think what Pete did there was so clever though disgusting. By making the partners think Joan was already open to it, he made it hard for them to vote no without them revealing their feelings. Also, they were taking it in as new information about her and adjusting their opinions accordingly. Then, Joan figured they all already thought she was a whore since Pete said it was unanimous…so she might as well get something out of it. I found the whole thing painful.

    • dbaser

      The big mistake everyone made was letting Pete control the dialogue between Joan and the other partners.  He fabricated a little, omitted a few facts and twisted everything to his advantage; hate him or not, Pete was willing to get his hands dirty and do the work the other partners were unwilling or unable to.

      Don has to realize that he can’t act like running the company and being involved in the necessary day-today decisions is beneath him.  That is what kept him from reaching out to Joan in time, it allowed him to get complacent and take Peggy for granted and ultimately lose her. 

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

        You gotta hand it to Pete. He does NOT give up. I don’t think he’ll be killing himself.

  • VanessaDK

    You’ve already said so many things I was thinking so I will just add that I saw this episode as an extension if the “every man fir himself” theme. Every person acted in self interest, even where it benefited others or was a minor subplot-Lane suggesting partnership to Joan to save money, Megan using Don to increase her confidence, as well as the obvious ones.

  • Redspring

    Women like Joan are always accused of sleeping their way to the top. It’s just that in her case, she actually did it. I suppose given those expectations, why not?

    Don is learning he has no control over the women in his life. Peggy, Megan and Joan (as far as he knows) have all rebelled. The times he grew up in told him he should be able to control his women. Will he adjust to the fact that he can’t?

    • AutumnInNY

      Good point about Don and the women in his life. Teenage rebellious Sally will be next, following right on their high heels.

  • sopranomom

    I am suprised by the notion that some have expressed that Joan had some kind of real choice in the matter.  It was made very clear by Pete that the account would be lost if the request for sex had been declined.  He came into her office saying that he needed her help in explaining to the rest of SCDP that the Jaguar account was about to tank.  Joan totally called him on his manipulation when she looked down her nose at him and said something to the effect of “you really are a piece of crap.” 

    It was Pete who cleverly convinced the partners that Joan was willing to have sex with the Jaguar Ex. for the right price.  Lane came up with the idea that Joan should negotiate for a partnership instead of cash to cover his own ass.  Don left the conversation too soon.  I can’t come up with an explanation for Roger and Cooper.

    Joan didn’t have a choice.  To decline the offer would be to lose the account and possibly sink the company in the long run.  She believed that all of the partners were in agreement that she should prostitute herself therefore if she said no, she would most likely lose her job.   Becoming a partner would insure financial security for her and her child.  Human dignity and sexual equality never entered the picture.

    • susu11

      You’re right, In my fragile mental state I had forgotten that Joan had thought all the partners were on board to negotiate pimping her out. A part of me thinks she could have have still said no because most of the employees did receive bonuses (even though we know the truth about how that came about), so a part of me thinks she couldn’t have thought they were in that dire of a financial situation, or that the company couldn’t find another account or alternative to make earnings. Joan also could have approached all the partners in a meeting to discuss the circumstances, and what the fallout would be, instead of just taking Pete’s word for it. This doesn’t mean I judge her at all-on the contrary, I think the pressure to do it must have been immense because it was a seemingly ‘quick’ solution with long-term benefits for the company and herself. Poor Joanie.

      • Sweetbetty

         ” Joan also could have approached all the partners in a meeting to
        discuss the circumstances, and what the fallout would be, instead of
        just taking Pete’s word for it.”

        It’s hard to imagine such a meeting taking place, even more so to imagine Joan calling the meeting.  Then again, if any woman could carry off such a thing it would be Joan or a woman just like her.

    • Sweetpea176

      Lane said to Joan that getting the Jaguar account would be financially ruinous for the firm.  I think because the resources they will have to put into it will exceed what they will get paid?  SCDP wants the account for the cache, and the possibility of it attracting new business.  Joan tells him not to be afraid — in other words, getting the Jaguar account is risky for them.  I don’t think anyone was seeing Jaguar as a solid business move, or that not getting it would sink the company.

      • sopranomom

        But Don also told the entire staff that a company is “defined” the moment that they get their car.  There was a lot riding on this account.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/rmccarthyjames RMJ12345

        I think that he was saying that having to pay her $50G would be ruinous, partially to cover up his embezzling. 

    • makeityourself

      Oh, she definitely had a choice. She may not have made the better one in the long run, as it appears the agency would have won the account without her assistance, but then again, maybe she did.

      I think she came home to her broken fridge, exhausted and confused, and talked the whole thing out with her mom. The two of them weighed the options and made the decision to go for it.

      Remember, she had the long affair with Roger, and Bert knew about that, and I’m assuming Don did too. Pete knew about her fling with Kinsey and Lane has already put the moves on her. So while they all like and respect Joan, they all no she is no saint. They wanted her to take one for the team in a way only Joan could. (except for Don, but he keeps walking out of meetings and can’t stay focused on the situation at hand.)

      • Sweetbetty

         Do you really think she talked it over with her mom?  I know I’m naive but that thought never occurred to me.  I thought she did it completely without her mom’s knowledge, far less approval.

        • EveEve

          Did she entertain the sleazeball in her apartment? If so, her mom must have been complicit in getting the baby and herself out of the way.

          • Sweetbetty

             Ew!  No!  Why would she bring him there?  She went to his hotel room for their tête-à-tête and then went home to, as someone else said, shower it all off.

          • emcat8

            With a wire brush.

        • makeityourself

          Yes, I think she probably did. Her mom might even have encouraged her. Joanie had been drinking when she arrived at home, and her mom poured her another drink so that they could talk. Then what we don’t see is Joan getting dressed in her black velvet gown and mink and heading out the door. She returns a few hours later wearing a new emerald pendant, and then Don shows up.

          Joan’s mom can’t be left alone with the building’s handyman, she wishes Greg were dead and she raised her daughter to be admired. I don’t find it a stretch to suggest she may have helped Joan reach the decision that she did.

    • 3hares

      I disagree that meant she had no choice. Joan doesn’t consider losing a client (a client that they don’t even have yet and might never have whether or not she sleeps with the guy) as the end of the world or the end of her job. She knew just how much it did and didn’t mean to them. If they’d balked at the partnership she would have no trouble refusing. They put her in a shitty position, but she made a choice with it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erin.stokesbury Erin Stokesbury

    it’s the black dress, the black dress i tell you!  a similar one to the one where she slept with that hideous guy the night roger had the heart attack

    • MissKimP

      What about the fur coat, given to her by Roger, if I’m not mistaken….

  • http://womenshealthnews.wordpress.com RachelW

    I think you all are perhaps missing the woman’s perspective on Joan – because of Pete’s manipulations, she believed it was possible that all of the partners, after everything she has contributed, fundamentally saw her (and perhaps women in general) in that “whore” role. It’s not unreasonable that she would believe this – after all, we saw Don degrade Peggy’s contributions by literally throwing money at her, and Joan has seen a *lot* about how these men treat their women. So she might as well get something out of it for herself. It’s not entirely dissimiliar from young women finding their sexuality who get called a “slut” for very little sexual activity (compared to the young men), and that judgment causes them to take an “if I’m getting judged for just this, I should just take as much (sexually) as I want – I can’t win in this system.”

  • Frank_821

    I am curious about something. Was the cost of living in NY just as expensive in relation to the rest of the country back in 1967. Joan made almost 13,000 a year which back then for most of the country was good money-especially for a woman. Peggy is going to be making 19,000 (?). If you factor in at 4-5 fold increase for 2012 that is a nice salary. But of course the cost of living in NY today is crazy expensive

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

       I plugged Peggy’s 19K into an online inflation calculator as soon as the episode was over. That’s 122,000 today. Pretty good. But then, I don’t know if the increase in cost of living for New York has kept pace with inflation rather than outstripping it. Having never lived in New York, though, I assume that 122K today is at least a pretty good salary for a single person (not a combined household). Maybe 19K in 1967 would have been even better back then.

      • judybrowni

        In the early ’70s, I had bathtub in the kitchen apartments in Manhattan for $200 a month, when my salary was $100 a week.

        When I left NYC I was living in a rent-controlled modern apartment for $325 (new rentals elsewhere in the city ran $500-$600.

        Saw that exact same apartment (one-bedroom) same location going for $3,300 a month a couple years ago.

  • the_archandroid

    You know, it’s kind of ridiculously appropriate that SCDP now has an account with Jaguar as a car.  Bert and everyone else keep referring to it as a lemon, and mention that it looks great on the outside, but it’s insides are junk.  With the departure of Peggy, Pete’s ascendency, and Don’s creative decline, you could describe SCDP in the same way.  Looks great on the outside, but the inside is FUBAR. 

    • Qitkat

      How about how Joan will feel about herself from now on?
         *looks great on the outside, feels rotten on the inside*

      I was horrified that Joan went through with this, and heartbroken that Don had been too late. I wished that she had gone to Roger and Bert and Don and Lane after the slimey Pete had done his bit, and torn them each a new arsehole. I’m just the age between Peggy and Joan, and that is what I hope I would have done.

      This is NOT the way a woman will become empowered. The question will always remain in everyone’s minds as to the merits of winning Jaguar. It wasn’t worth it, and I hope that there will be fallout from this terrible storyline. At the final meeting in the office, we could easily see how shocked Don was when he realized Joan had gone through with it. No wonder he left the celebration, only to lose his girl Peggy, who showed she had all the POWER and the DIGNITY that it took for her to move up, the way a woman ought to move up. Her scene with Don was so moving, as she gave him her thanks and credit for giving her the opportunities, and his desperate reactions that were all too late, then his sweet graceful accceptance with that kiss on her hand.

      Don’s best relationships were always with Joan and Peggy, through all the years of ups and downs, we have seen so many individual defining moments which he had with these two women. Now he finds himself alone again at the office, all respect lost for Joan, and Peggy gone, just like that. Pete has turned into the slimeball Don once was, but pulled himself up from, but what will this do to Don? His marriage is crumbling, as he is bewildered by Megan’s ambitions, just as he cannot really comprehend what is driving either Joan or Peggy.

      • ldancer

        It’s easy to judge the way a woman lives, and believe we know how she “should” succeed or even just hold on to her life. But in complex fiction, as in life, peoples’ actions are not so simple. I said elsewhere that Joan was being manipulated as badly as everyone else there. Pete hit her where she really cares – the business. Lane hit her someplace else she really cares – her survival. You could see the conflicts playing out behind her eyes.

        People aren’t one-dimensional, and don’t live in a bubble of their own perfect ethics. They’re vulnerable to eachother’s machinations.

        • Qitkat

          You are putting words in my mouth. I never said her actions were not complex, I never even addressed the extraordinary manipulation that was going on between Joan, the partners, the creepy Jaguar salesman. Of course she was conflicted, of course she isn’t one-dimensional. How did you possibly discern these things from the statements I made?

          • ldancer

            “The way a woman ought to move up” sounds like a judgment to me. I’ll grant you that writing only gets across some of the intent behind comments. But that’s how it read to my eyes. I agree with you that this is not how women become empowered; I don’t think the story was about Joan’s empowerment (and I’m not saying that you do, by the way).

            Judging women is a sport in this country (as well as others). Women who use sex at all in their lives come under fire from feminists and conservatives alike. I’m just arguing for Joan being over a barrel. The more I think about this episode, the more I think it was an excellent turn for the writers to put her through. Look how much it’s brought up among viewers, and how many things it brought out in the other characters. I sorta wish Peggy had known about it – her reaction would have been interesting to see.

          • Qitkat

            LOL. This board is full of judgmental comments, and I’m the one that you decided to respond to. Fine. But you don’t know me, and you couldn’t be farther from the truth. But I’ll own this one. If I had to choose between Peggy’s actions and Joan’s actions to move up in the corporate world, it’s no contest for me. I’ll always choose what Peggy did. Peggy can live with herself and her actions. Down the road, how will Joan feel about what she did? Will she lose any sleep at night? Will this affect how she is treated by the other partners? Will she have any regrets? We will all have to wait and see how the writers approach this very volatile and divisive subject.

  • kj8008

    I don’t know how or when – but Pete will be ousted (be it this or next season).  He is truly embracing his douchebaggery, and likes that he succeeds with it.  A reckoning is coming.

    I fully hope and wish that Joan is NEVER with Roger again after not getting in the way of this “dirty business”. Not paying for it but doing nothing makes his statement very weak. Putting his love for money over Joan shows his transparency as a person. And also makes him become less enjoyable as a character. Joan making trading in her personal power for sake and sacrifice of Kevin. Yes, the male partners will not forget.  But they will not curse her when they cash that next big check with that panther logo on it.

    I applaud Peggy leaving – sadly to the Draper poser, Teddy Chaough. Whatever he can do to be more like Don (going after his accounts, hiring Smitty to understand his enemy,now to buy his best protégée at a $134k in today’s money. She would be stupid to turn that down).  But like I told my wife, this doesn’t mean she won’t be back…. Peggy’s story does not end here.  Kudos to Weiner in giving Freddy Rumsen the title as Peggy’s consigliere.

    This continues to be the year of the woman.

    • Frank_821

      Yes Freddy played a crucial role. Freddy was the first person to spot Peggy’s talent. And after all these years he still sees it. He tells her exactly what she needs to her. Validation and real advice on how to grow. He knows she’s good enough to go someplace else and has to.

      And as far as Chaough. Yes he’s an asshole. But Peggy knows his rep already. Chaough knows his rep already and he doesn’t deny it. smart way to woo Peggy

      • Sweetpea176

         I love Freddy Rumsen for his relationship with Peggy.

    • Rachel Eldridge

      I’m struck that Peggy has a network of men to consult with — Ken and Freddy.  And we never see her having a conversation with Abe about her career.  She’s doesn’t need the permission of her boyfriend to make a change of this magnitude.  

      I’m waiting for the other shoes to drop in the next episodes over how does Joan work in this environment, will we keep getting to see Peggy, is Ken going to be upset with her, and when will Lane be found out.

      • Sweetbetty

         Peggy doesn’t need Abe’s permission but where the heck is Abe?  We haven’t seen hide nor hair of him since their dinner with Peggy’s mom.

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

        I loved the admiration Ken had for Peggy when she saved the cologne campaign.

    • ldancer

      I want to see Pete gain 60 pounds and suffer from erectile dysfunction.

      I couldn’t f&%ing stand to see him read “Goodnight Moon” to the little girl he does not deserve. My daughter loved that book. We read it to her all the time. She died before she turned two and I’d give anything to read it to her again. A little personal real life intruding on my Mad Men commentary. I couldn’t keep it out of my mind during that scene. People like Campbell don’t deserve undisturbed lives.

      • A Reeves

        I’m sorry for your loss–and that you were made to remember a cherished experience in this way.

      • Verascity

         I’m sorry — that must have been really upsetting to watch.

      • Sweetbetty

         So strange how a TV show can intrude into our reality and cause pain that we never saw coming.  My deepest sympathies.

      • CozyCat

        This show echoes so much of what many of us have lived through, good and bad.

        Sorry it brought back such a bad memory for you. 

        And don’t worry–the Pete Campbell’s of the world eventually get what they deserve…

      • emcat8

        I am so sorry for what you’ve lost, and that the show brought that back to you in such a terrible way.

      • emcat8

        I am so sorry for what you’ve lost, and that the show brought that back to you in such a terrible way.

      • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

        I am so sorry that you had to relive such pain.

      • Glammie

        I’m so sorry.  That must have hurt so much.

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

      Thank you.
      All this “I can’t believe Roger didn’t say anything, and let her go ahead with it” talk. Whatever. Roger is, always has been, and always will be a jackass. I have never hoped for them to be together. This cements it.
      And another thing about that. Joan slept with Roger years ago, and where did it get her? Is that how she went from secretary to office manager? If so, then this is nothing new for her. If not, well, at least now she got something for her troubles.

      • Sweetbetty

         The difference between Joan sleeping with Roger and Joan sleeping with Jag Guy is that we can very likely assume that Joan was attracted to Roger, handsome, charming dog that he is, and quite likely would have slept with him evenb if it would have no possible effect on her career.  Jag Guy, however, wasn’t handsome and we can only guess about how charming he could be.  If Joan had gotten to know him some other way there’s probably no way she would have considered sleeping with him.

  • sweatpantalternative

    I think the partners were actually a little blind to the fact that they were asking Joan to prostitute herself. I mean, everyone sleeps around, everyone does side deals, everyone uses their friends, families, and colleagues and expects to be used in return. I really think that they (minus Don) would have held it against her if she hadn’t have slept with the guy, and I think she realized that, too. They are thinking, however wrongly, “it’s just sex, you (and we) screw people all the time, so why not do it for a good reason”. I think if Roger is overly cavalier it’s because he still doesn’t fully grasp that Joan WAS completely faithful to him during their affair. Joan DOES NOT sleep around or sleep to the top, they just assume that she, like all the other women they use and discard, does.

    In the end, I still think sleeping with that creep was extremely out of character for Joan, but I think she did it ultimately for two reasons: (1) for her son, and (2) because she found herself in the ultimate catch-22: she would lose face and some respect from the partners by doing it, but she would incur their animosity and blame if she did not. She’s a slut if she does, she’s a bitch if she doesn’t.

    • MilaXX

       They were in no way, shape or form blind to what they asking. Pete knew, which is why he was running around trying to spin this to everyone who would listen. Roger knew, which is why he didn’t want to pay for it. Lane knew, which is why he told her to ask for a better deal and Don knew which is why he told her not to do it.

    • Verascity

      They *absolutely* knew what they were asking from her. And no, thanks to Pete’s machinations, I don’t think she knew at all that they would have been okay with her not doing it.

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

      First of all, I don’t think that Joan was faithful to Roger during their affair. Wasn’t she still with him when she and her lesbian roommate went home with those two guys?

      Second of all, you are right otherwise. The men, particularly Don, did exactly what Joan did. I honestly don’t think they are making as big a deal out of it as everyone here. If Don is disgusted/disappointed by what Joan did? WTF ever.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/toodleskitty79?feature=guide AWS

    I’m thinking Peggy’s purple dress made yous two gasp…  Or maybe it was ALL the green… 

    ===

    I rarely watch a “Mad Men” episode twice in a row.  But I had to last night.  There were worldly references like Lady Godiva, the Sultan of Araby, and Helen of Troy.  These references related to every plot turn.

    For the exact reasons TLo listed I believe Joan did make a smart move.  First thing she needs to do is kick her mother OUT of her home and hire a professional nanny.

    The Megan “casting couch”, we-only-want-you-for-your-your body plot was important.  Joan, Peggy, and Megan ALL made choices because of who they are in 1966 and where they are in their relationships, FINANCIALLY and emotionally. These are the reasons they HAD to make the choices they made. 

    Roger not responding as expected to Joan’s financial move didn’t surprise me.  He may love Joan but he never loved her enough to leave his wife and marry her.  He’s a lame duck when it comes to love. 

    There were many poignant moments last night.  I hope we get to see a lot of Peggy at her new ad career digs. 

  • http://twitter.com/1carmelita 1carmelita

    Don really is losing his ability to be in charge, and that is getting to him. I think a big part of the reason he didn’t want Joan to prostitute herself was that it muddied the waters regarding his ability to win the account on his own. He was pitching Ginsburg’s idea (a person who’s talent clearly intimidates Don) and now that Joan went through with her evening with the client, he’ll never know why they got the account. He used to be the star, but I seems to feel his invincibility fading. His wife is standing up to him, Peggy is moving on without him—it all leads back to how times are changing and he is being left behind. When Peggy smiled and got on that elevator, I cheered for her! She’s moving forward to a (hopefully!) bright future and leaving the “old boy” stuff behind as SCDP. We’ll see if things are better at the new place, but at least at this moment it looks good for her. It’s not like there isn’t sexism everywhere, but the stronger characters are going to prevail. I felt bad for Megan when she was being inspected like meat, but I think she’ll do okay. She seems pretty determined.

    • fatima_bird

      You know, I didnt think about that aspect of Don’s opposition to the prostituting. Although I generally like Don despite all his problems (and how thats been his appeal from day one) it did seem out of character that he was the most outraged…it would have been great if the writing could have explored why Bert, Roger, Lane all stood down and let it happen, although this episode was chockful of action and there was no time.
         
      Anyways, I think your point helps flesh out some of Don’s own motivations in opposing it, just as Lane was motivated to help Joan not only because he “has feelings” for her, but because he’s in deep water and needs the cash flow to the company asap. None of these characters act on the basis of their principles, they are all motivated by self-interest…these are two examples of the theme from last week’s episode subtly flowing over, I guess.

      • the_archandroid

        I think that his interaction with Joan in the episode before this also gives some context as to why he was outraged.  He put her on a pedestal when he first arrived, and thinks of her as this powerful, incredible unattainable woman.  To do this to her tarnishes that image completely.  Add that to the fact that it completely throws into doubt whether or not his  (or rather Ginsberg’s)  creative has any efficacy at all and it’s understandable that he would be the one most upset… after roger, who’s upset-ness I hope we see in the next episode…

  • bellesprit

    Talk about watercooler conversation fodder. Whew. I kept waking up in the night fretting about this episode. Not worried about Peggy though. Her storyline was excellent and strong and definitely the right move for her character. Of course, the resignation moments with Don were heartbreaking. (Jon Hamm amazes me more and more.) But Joan! Aw, Joan! A powerful episode for the actress but devastating for the character. Nothing is black & white here; for instance, Lane’s self-serving yet somehow caring suggestion for the way Joan could move up and gain security. I was horrified that Joan went through with it. Yet, I could see that she might consider it the one way she could achieve real power and independence. Yes, the partners will know what she did; but they’ll always know that they pimped her out. They may or may not feel shame. I agree completely that Roger’s reaction, or lack thereof, was just not believable.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/G4PE5SQN3QOYBIQQYKCZ4D6PMY DebraS

    I think Joan did it in part because she felt like getting Jaguar was being placed on her shoulders. Just the fact that the partners  passively allowed the offer to be made without objection told her they wanted Jaguar more than they respected her. I think she felt “this is how they see me, I might as well get ahead, then.” When Don told her “we don’t need Jaguar, it’s not worth it,” her face was so tragic. I think that’s all she would have needed to hear from any of them to keep her from that choice.

    As for Roger, I think it absolutely seemed characteristic of him. He has always been a lightweight and Joan has always known it. I think Joan has wanted the marriage, family, and to be taken care of – ultimately, she wants the fairytale. She wants a good, strong man who loves her. She wants strength, sincerity and goodness. And she just can’t seem to find it.

    I’m so sad. Joan’s storyline in this episode made me cry.

    • fatima_bird

      You’re right, Joan has wanted the fairytale and it is a tragedy that she didnt get it, because she was certainly deserving of it. Roger marrying Jane and not her, the rapist husband, etc. But the reality it that Joan is such a competent, intelligent, and strong person, she’s in the best position to take care of herself and her son (and her mother.) I think even today a lot of women learn that the hard way- we want people to take care of us but no one will adore us more than we can adore ourselves. 

      • Sweetbetty

         Not to compare myself to the magnificent Joan in any way, but I was left by a no-good husband to manage for myself and our three kids in the early 70s when I was just in my 20s.  I had believed in the fairy tale and kept up that hope for a long time.  Since most guys in their 20s aren’t in the market for an average looking woman with three little kids I wasn’t exactly turning men away from my door.  As the years wore on and I found I could take care of myself and my kids on my own I found that I wasn’t willing to put up with any of the BS that comes with many relationships; BS that we’re flexible and willing to compromise about when we’re young and still figuring out who we are.  At a certain point I gave up the hope and just decided to do the best I could for myself and those who depended on me and that’s what I see happening to Joan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/smpflueger Sean McArdle Pflueger

    The acting in the episode was so heart breaking. I was thinking this is Elizabeth Moss’s emmy reel, but then I thought it was Christina Hendricks’s Emmy reel. Then, I realized they would cancel each other out again.

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

      Moss will be in Lead, Hendricks in Supporting. Please, Emmy voters, wake up!!!

      • Melissa Brogan

         To be honest, I kind of dislike that they’re choosing to run Jessica Paré in lead against Elisabeth Moss for nominations.

  • bellesprit

    Was anyone else disgusted by the Jaguar guy’s presentation of the necklace? He should have draped an Elizabeth Taylor type glorious emerald display around her neck. Instead, he presented one tiny emerald on a chain. I wanted to slap him.

    • sweetlilvoice

      The whole scene reminded me of Moulin Rouge, especially with the shots of Don talking (Ewan McGregor singing) and Joan preparing to sleep with that man (Nicole Kidman as the courtesan). 

      • MK03

        Except the necklace the Duke gave her MIGHT make it worth it to sleep with a scumbag. Maybe. 

    • Sweetbetty

       Ugh, yes, I thought that necklace was so tiny and insignificant. 

    • ldancer

      Yeah! A cheapskate on top of being a sleazebag. He thought his gift was so sophisticated and fancy. He has no idea that he’s humping the leg of a goddess.

  • http://profiles.google.com/basedow.maureen Maureen Basedow

    I agree. I think professional women in 2012 are hit by this one in a very different way than the guys. This is why I think the Megan plot had to be there, because women were not just getting it at work, but at home too (Don’s reaction to the possibility that Megan would just leave for three months in Boston), and the sadness, and subtle way the “call-back” was handled was key. As was her determination not to give up. In the last ten minutes, when  Peggy, to put it in the same terms, gets fucked over one time too many, realizes she has the power to free herself, and does, with joy, and with that look on Joan’s face as she walked out – that was one for us.  

    • http://profiles.google.com/basedow.maureen Maureen Basedow

      This one posted in a weird place. Was agreeing with J.Watt, somewhere earlier in the queue. 

  • http://twitter.com/HotMessHousWife Sammi M

    Well-written and brilliant, as usual. I too was shocked that Roger didn’t do a damn thing, while Lane totally had Joan’s back – discouraging her while also saying if she went for it, she should ask for the 5% partnership. It’s so interesting to see Joan as the lightening rod that the partners all revolve around.

    As for the “OH MY GOD” for Mad Style – was it Joan wearing the Asian bathrobe? I remember a previous Mad Style where you mentioned how Joan would never wear something like that…

    • crash1212

       Well, my take on the Lane thing was that he was watching his OWN back. He knew that he couldn’t get another $50K extension of credit to pay Joan, so to save his own skin, he thought of something else for her to ask for…just in case she was going to go through it. I think Lane’s part in this was just as underhanded and smarmy as Pete’s…although, the smarminess of Pete knows no bounds.

      • MilaXX

         True, but I also think he was telling her “if you have to make a deal with the devil make it a good one.” That’s what he’s failed to do his entire life.

    • fatima_bird

      I think the OMG has got to be Peggy in her meeting with Ted Chaough. She looks modern and confident and hot. Also, I wasnt smart enough to come up with that myself, Janie Bryant mentioned it in a video on AMC’s website. 

  • fatima_bird

    I’m so glad Peggy finally did it. In that scene where she stands outside the conference room, wistfully watching Ginsberg open up a platter of lobster, I was thinking, “Damn girl, why don’t you go out and get your own lobster dinner?” both literally and metaphorically.

    In terms of Joan, though, I really don’t know where this will lead her. I think she has the brains to handle the fallout, and carve out a respectable place for herself again. I think she will make the partners pay if they try to use it against her, even if its subconscious on their part. I’m sure she was aware of all the consequences, and went through with it anyway, because a woman in her position (mother, divorcee) would never be able to reach such a powerful position in her career otherwise. I’m rooting for her to make the best of this.

  • ldancer

    I wasn’t expecting Joan to go through with it, but I will say that I didn’t think it was poor storytelling. I agree with you about Roger; I think the writers didn’t think that one through, though perhaps we might see something later. However, the timing would be wrong, I think. What the partners’ treatment of Joan most reminds me of is the De Maupassant story “Boule De Suif”.

    I didn’t read Joan’s choice as clearly as you…yes, she manipulated men to get what she wanted in this situation, but she was in turn manipulated quite a bit herself, and that is a substantial part of the story that I feel is going unacknowledged here: Joan is human. She can be manipulated, too. There were too many forces acting upon her in this situation that she cared about or feared.

    The contrast between Joan and Peggy is that Joan doesn’t know how to simply ask for what she wants. “I want to be a partner”. Peggy does. “I want to move on. Pay me more, too”. I’m being a bit reductive here, but I do think this is a major difference that was starkly illustrated in last night’s episode. Why doesn’t Joan know how to be direct with men? Why does Peggy, even though she sometimes needs a little push from a friend? I loved that scene with Freddy. Interesting that the schlubby, openly flawed Freddy is suddenly a better mentor to her than Don.

    Last night’s episode was so satisfying, I wanted a cigarette afterwards. And I don’t even smoke!

    • http://profiles.google.com/basedow.maureen Maureen Basedow

      Agree. Exceptionally well-written and plotted episode. These are more like mini-movies these days than serial television. That was one of the best hours of television ever. Subtle aspects like what Joan’s mother says pulling her out of the bedroom (“you have to! He’s your boss!”) tied into the Megan and Peggy storylines neatly with one, character-perfect line in the script. 

    • Lilithcat

      Interesting that the schlubby, openly flawed Freddy is suddenly a better mentor to her than Don.

      He was, in some ways, always more of a mentor.  He is the one who recognized her talent, and pushed her to push herself forward.

      • MilaXX

         YES and I loved that Peggy still keeps in touch with Freddy. In many ways he’s a better mentor because he also has that father figure role.

        • dbaser

          Very endearing that Freddy still calls Peggy “Ballerina”.

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

            Reminds me how on “Murphy Brown”, Jim used to call Murphy “Slugger”. :)

    • mskgb

      The difference isn’t solely one character’s ability to ask for what whe wants in the professional realm. Peggy’s move out of the “secretary” category–and into a position where she could make direct requests–came because men recognized her talent. While she didn’t earn the same money as Paul for doing the same job (remember Don’s reaction to Peggy’s news of equal pay legislation?), she was recognized as intellectually unique and talented. Although Joan demonstrated similar professional talent when reading television scripts for Harry, no man envisioned her as anything other than a high-level secretary. When management recognized the strategic importance of the script-review work, they hired a man to do it and Joan remained in the “secretary” category.

      I, too, had difficulty believing that the woman who didn’t want the partners to know she’d been asked to prostitute herself would go through with the act. Worse still was her having to endure Pete’s pleas for help with the logistics of pimping. However, I’m interested to see what Joan does with her new position. Does anyone else think that she will be the one to discover Lane’s embezzling?

      • Sweetbetty

         ” Does anyone else think that she will be the one to discover Lane’s embezzling?”

        Thought that since last week when it happened.

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

    nm

  • MsKitty

    Much to still digest and add later but just have to say that I had to rewatch the scene when Pete first approached Joan. I missed all the dialogue because I couldn’t hear it over my repeated shouts of “FUCK YOU PETE!!!” I always thought he was a weaselly bastard but always cut him a bit of slack. Now that he’s added pimp to his resume he’s dead to me.

    This episode was just so emotionally devastating.

    • Sweetbetty

       I wonder if Vincent Kartheiser is in hiding this week since he knew everyone would want his blood after watching this episode.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leeaundra LeeAundra Keany

    Here’s how I rationalized Roger’s reaction and Joan’s acquiescence to the indecent proposal – Remember Hitchcock’s “Notorious”? The government orders Cary Grant to ask his new love and former “party girl” Ingrid Bergman to prostitute herself to Claude Rains to get secrets about his Nazi friends. Grant wants to refuse but remembering her sordid history, decides to test her by asking her to do it. Bergman is then so shocked that he would even ask her to do something like that, her heart is broken. Hurt and desperate, she agrees to do it thus confirming for Grant that she is a slut. In Mad Men, Roger is properly resistent until Pete tells him Joan said “You can’t afford it.” And of course Pete makes it seem as if Joan was more open than she really was. Likewise, Joan is shocked when she finds out Roger more or less agreed to the proposal (ans now its Lane who makes it seem as if Roger was more encouraging than he really was) and perhaps that, plus all the reasons insightfully delineated above, pushes her over the edge. 

    It’s not a perfect parallel but so similar in motivation, it made Roger’s behavior somewhat believable and understandable to me.  That or Roger is just an a**hole…

    • http://profiles.google.com/basedow.maureen Maureen Basedow

      I also saw “Notorious” in this. There were visual references to it to. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/leeaundra LeeAundra Keany

        Tell me more about the visual references you saw. I missed them but am pretty obtuse when it comes to that sort of thing. I was however wondering during my viewing if the writers were referencing it in any way!

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

    gah, sorry

  • Ezmartin

    Holy crap rewatched the episode and saw that Joan wears the fur coat roger gave her in the 50s to her “client meeting!”

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

    I agree 100% with you on the writing about the whole Joan thing, I didn’t buy it at all. Instead of gasping I was like “AW, COME ON, GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE” the whole time. But I did love Peggy’s moment with Don, A total YOU GO GIRL! moment. Elizabeth Moss and Jon Hamm really worked beautifully in that scene. 

  • MK03

    After the scene in Joan’s apartment, I found myself wondering “You know, I wonder if these two could maybe be great for each other?” 

    After the scene in Roger’s office, no. No, they could never be together.

  • http://twitter.com/toddodowd Todd O’Dowd

    Once again TLo, another brilliant take. I literally watched the episode after a long night of work and couldn’t sleep afterwards. And I can probably guess which article of clothing it was (but will hold that thought till the Mad Style post).

  • http://profiles.google.com/katherinempg Katherine Pisarro-Grant

    Was I the only one who thought that the return to the scene before Joan’s decision meant that the whole “prostitution” thing actually never happened? Mad Men has given us too many dream sequences and time switches for me to not raise a flag when I see a repeated scene from a different perspective. Or is that just wishful thinking?

    • http://profiles.google.com/basedow.maureen Maureen Basedow

      That’s why there had to be an object to connect to reality. That’s why he had to give her the necklace. To show that it really happened.

      • Sweetbetty

         The necklace was my clue that it really happened.

    • Melissa Brogan

      She wouldn’t have been in on the partners’ meeting otherwise. That’s why they return to the scene with Joan and Don in her apartment – to show us Don got there too late, and she’d already slept with the guy. She doesn’t tell him, and if you watch his face at the end you recognize he’s quietly shocked that Joan is a partner now, because she went through with it.

  • TxMom2011

    One thing that crossed my mind last nite after Don’s initial reaction to the offer by the car dealer…..  Maybe Don was thinking… it could have been Megan that gave that tour…?   Would Pete try to convince her too….lol… not!

  • marywv

    This was pretty much the MOST disappointing episode of Mad Men I’ve ever seen. It felt so unauthentic. NONE of the characters behaved according to their carefully construed patterns and it just seemed so fake and contorted. It felt shamefully like a network drama – a soap opera. I’m so happy you guys blogged it today because I have been dying to discuss.

    I agree – there is NO WAY Roger would have allowed this to happen sans reaction. Particularly since the episode opened with him speaking to Joan about providing for Kevin. Roger is flippant, but he’s not a callous ass hat. Also, Bert’s reaction. Totally in everyway ridiculous to me. They’ve spent 4 seasons establishing him as the agency’s moral compass and nary a word when Pete – who has been reproached for his scummy tactics before – broaches the idea. ANd to actually support it?! Particulalry since he has always been so respectful of all the female employees.

    Now, I understand Joan wants provide for her son and to be independent. I also understand she is fragile and feels very alone and desperate right now, but there is no way she would do such an about face 180. No. Way. This is Joan we’re talking about!

    Joan is so image conscience and she’s too smart. She would be the first to tsk tsk about a girl selling herself out and losing respect at the hands of an indiscretion. Joan has always been about self-respect. This was too far fetched for me and I’m pretty shocked by the soap opera-y direction the writing is taking this season. Bummer.

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

      I don’t agree about Bert. Bert has been all about the business. If morality ever came into play, it was purely coincidental.

    • Melissa Brogan

      Why do you think Bert would have objected?

      As for Roger, it’s up for debate, but I think Pete masterly manipulated the situation such that Roger doesn’t like it – calling it dirty business, insisting he won’t pay for it – but doesn’t actually do anything because Pete’s convinced everyone that Joan’s willing if the price is high enough. If there’s going to be fallout from him, it will likely be in private between the two of them; he’s never openly recognized her as a love interest, even if everyone in that room knew about it.

    • KD Beach

       I’m not so sure I agree about Roger – and here I am specifically thinking of his client dinner with Manischewitz.  I mean, he bought Jane an apartment to attend a client dinner….

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

    Re-watched Peggy’s farewell scene after learning in a behind-the-scenes clip that Elisabeth Moss did not know that Jon Hamm was directed to hold/kiss her hand as he did… her reaction was totally in the moment. Watch her face as he holds onto her hand, almost as if to say, “Don’t leave me here… you are the only good thing about this place and now you are leaving me too…”  Devastating.

    With regard to Joan… OMG. To learn, after all those years, that the men you thought had your back still see you as just a piece-of-ass commodity must have hurt more than any other aspect of the “deal.” That fury could have pushed her over the edge. “FINE- if that’s all I am to you, let’s just call it what it is and now we all know where we stand.” I don’t know. This episode was so charged with emotion.

    And how about Don’s acceptance of Ginsberg’s awesome tagline? He seemed fine with expertly pitching someone else’s idea. No qualms about not being the person who came up with the idea. Has he made peace with the knowledge that he is now just a salesman?

    • http://profiles.google.com/basedow.maureen Maureen Basedow

      I think with Peggy gone the stage is now set for a Battle Royal between Don and Ginsburg

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

        As Stan predicted, Ginsberg is truly Peggy’s last hire…at least at SCDP.

    • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

      Creative Directors are often a main pitch person for large pieces of business, whether they come up with the idea or not. Happens all the time, and doesn’t make Don just a salesman. CDs are sort of like newspaper editors in some ways — they assess and often hone their staff’s ideas. Often this comprises much more of the CD’s job than actually coming up with bombshell ideas, although on an important pitch like Jaguar the creative heavyweights will take part in the brainstorming.

    • Sweetbetty

       That hand kiss was touching.  And then it lasted, and lasted, and lasted.  Made it all the more poignant and now the revelation that E. Moss wasn’t prepared for that…..devastating.

  • Sweetbetty

    Did anyone else catch the bit of insight we got into Lane’s current financial problems when he was talking to Joan in her office?  He said that when they were reorganizing and he knew that the business needed him badly he accepted less than he needed just to help the business out.  So now we know why he’s been struggling so to maintain the lifestyle his family was accustomed to.

    • MilaXX

       That wasn’t that much of a surprise. I get the feeling that Lane has been doing that his entire life.

  • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

    I believe the way it played out, because Pete made sure he kept up the pressure before anyone had time to think. He was able to convince the partners that Joan said okay and their reactions make sense to me. She just recently told Roger to stay out of her business. Bert’s an Ayn Rand reading, modern art collecting moral relativist (“Don Draper is in this room”). Lane would likely feel that he couldn’t butt in without inappropriately revealing his feelings for her. (…and how about that? Joan pays more attention to detail than the other partners. She’s going to catch Lane). And since, Joan had already faced the indignity of the conversation happening in the first place, it’s like it already happened. I think she saw it as a done deal perception-wise if they are capable of the conversation. The main part I don’t believe is everyone taking Pete’s word when he reports what others have said. I can only attribute it to Joan/the partners being squeamish.

    • MilaXX

       I think the fact that Lane was the only one to approach her privately bout this, well Don did but he was too late. Lane’s self esteem is so low he thinks he actually helped her and Roger’s such a child that he’d rather pretend it didn’t happen. I think Joan was just caught at a time when she felt cornered and alone and at least Lane’s option would provide a measure of security for her child. I also think if Don had come to her sooner she would have said no.

  • PaulaBerman

    Can I make a bit of a controversial statement about Joan? Joan has been willing to accept sexual compromise and even personal degradation when she has a goal in mind. She married Greg Harris after he raped her! She is able to make these choices when she feels they are necessary for her. Her decision in this episode is not wildly out of character for her. I think she got a better deal this time than she did from Greg. Yes, I think it hurts her and makes her bitter, but it is within her nature to make these choices, and it is a sad comment on what a beautiful, smart woman sometimes needs to do in life.

    • MilaXX

       But no one knew he raped her.  For me the question is how will these men ever take her seriously?

      • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

         But, really, is that pertinent? She knew from 13 years experience they would never truly take her seriously anyway, not partner-serious. If they thought of her as a peer they’d never have tried to pimp her out in the first place. I think it hurt her to do the deed, because she’s not really that kind of woman, but she was in a ridiculously impossible position, given her life situation, how much she cares about the agency and the fact that she believed all the partners fundamentally didn’t give a shit about her.

        • MilaXX

          I think it is. Joan never had to admit to anyone other than herself what kind of man she married. This is different because in a way it said yo her that all these men she worked for thought she was a whore, something to be bought and sold. I think she can and will say “eff em” and go about her business, but deep down it did effect her. I think that’s why Don coming to her and telling her not to do it, that she’s worth more than that meant so much. It means at least of those men see her worth more than a lay in the hay. It’s not the sex, it’s the respect and at the end of the day Don’s the only one who was willing to give her that respect.

  • HM3

    During her interview for the “Inside the Episode” recap on the AMC website, Elizabeth Moss disclosed that the part of her resignation where Don held onto her hand was unscripted, and unexpected. The moment lingered without her expecting it, and as a consequence, Moss herself shed true tears. I found it a delightfully interesting little tidbit.  :)

    I have never been so deeply affected by an episode of a television show. I have such mixed and powerful emotions about all its disparate elements–I’m very surprised at myself! 

    • Windy Goodloe

      Knowing this makes that scene even more poignant. 
      And I am with you, HM3. I was really shocked at how emotional I was, too.
       

    • Glammie

      Was wondering about that–it seemed like it might be improvised–it was almost too emotionally complex to just be in the script.  Don Draper really is this joint creation of Weiner and Jon Hamm.  Listened to an interview with Weiner where he said that before they started shooting a season, he’d pretty much have a big discussion with Hamm–very much gave the sense that they collaborated on the character.

  • Jenny66

    I spent most of the show muttering, “No, Joan, no!” at my screen, but upon reflection I see her decision as a win-lose proposition. Yes, she sold her body to a sleazebag and will probably be forever known as the partner who slept her way to the top, but she has also secured her financial future in a society and era that would always treat her as a sex bomb anyway. She’s not the first businessperson (male or female) who did something they opposed in order to get ahead. While she was upset by the partners’ seeming consent of the proposition (And really, who the hell believes Pete Campball without getting corroboration?), I think she made a very practical, Joan-like decision, after Lane advised her on it from the business end and she realized that Don was against it. At that point, she had a chance to change her mind but made her decision in a very cool, Joan-like fashion.

    I did cheer for Peggy, but I hope she doesn’t lose her fire in a new agency and revert to being meek, apologetic Peggy. I also hope we keep seeing her, as she’s one if the most fascinating characters. Also, once she gets a foothold in the new place, will she bring Ken over? I hope so.

    And how fun was it to see Freddie Rumson, all sober and supportive? That was a nice surprise.

    • Lilithcat

       I think she made a very practical, Joan-like decision, after Lane advised her on it from the business end and she realized that Don was against it.

      She didn’t know that Don was against it until after she’d done it.  When he came to her apartment and told her that he’d left the room before the vote.  Before that, she had assumed that all the partners, Don included, were on board with the plan.

  • siriuslover

    I watched this episode last night. I even dreamed about it, believe it or not. That’s because as a historian, I’m still trying to process everything between these two women from this episode.  TLo’s recap has mirrored my thoughts about women, their bodies, and societal expectations. It could be a very empowering thing to use one’s body, but as it played out in the show, it was just weird. I expected this of Pete, the little slimeball, but I’m right there with you about Roger. Though it could be said that he’s tried to throw money at her, albeit for a different reason.  It was the Peggy / Don ending that choked me up, and I realized how great the actors are. I could see the pain on both Peggy’s and Don’s faces. It was palpable.

  • Jennifer Coleman

    Random musings:I read on the MM site that Don’s holding of Peggy’s had was direction to John Hamm that Elizabeth Moss didn’t know was coming. Her reaction was totally spontaneous.

    Ginsbourg’s Jaguar inspiration was seeing Megan swan in & out to see Don.I call partial BS on her irritation to Don not supporting her career – she casually mentions being out of town for 3 months and expects him to just be on board instantly? She is just doing her own thing, maybe not a housecat like Betty, but a roving one, not committed to anyone, really.

    If Joan realized she had Don in her corner, she wouldn’t have done it. Tragic seeing her reaction and I dug the scene being shown twice lake that.

    Costume surprise? Joan’s mink, a gift from Roger years ago, worn spitefully.

  • http://twitter.com/grrliz Liz Fox

    I usually like TLo’s reviews, but some of this commentary is making me side-eye real hard. Who the heck would think what Joan did was “empowering”??? She didn’t want to do it, she felt like she had to do it. She didn’t do it on her own terms, she was pushed into it by powerful men she works for, some of whom she thought legitimately cared about her but apparently not. What she did tore her up inside, we can see how bad she is hurting. She doesn’t feel good about what she’s done, she only did it out of fear of not being able to properly care for her child. It was a product of her being almost helpless, at the whims of men. There was nothing empowering about it, which is why watching it was so uncomfortable!

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

      Yeah, exactly.  She did get something out of it–something significant–but she thought she didn’t have much of a choice anyway.  Her face with the Jaguar guy and when she realized that at least one of the partners, Don, hadn’t expected her to do it–god, how could anybody even toy with the idea that she felt empowered?  She felt she did what she had to do, while being manipulated by both Pete and Lane.

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

       If you read the review carefully, you’ll see that we did not call this empowering.

    • 3hares

      I disagree she didn’t do it on her own terms. She’s a partner now. And not a silent one. I don’t think she feels good about what she’s done, but she’s at peace with it. She was handed something bad but used it for herself. I don’t think she felt like she had to do it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ATYV2LO7L3544OWFQC7TTXTTCE JP

    Joan is reeling.  She doesn’t know who she is anymore and now she is responsible for a child.  She’s married to a monster and had an on/off affair with a selfish, callous man.  We are seeing the toll.  

    She’s acting out-of-character because Joan doesn’t know her character at this time.  It’s sad to see her flail, but I think she’ll perservere.

    • ldancer

      Good point. Also: weird stuff can happen to you after you have a child, to your personality, to your memory, to your brain. You can lose your bearings. And the poor thing is all alone except for that negative mom of hers.

  • jessicasac

    Fully agreed with every word about Joan. Some of the best acting from what is probably the show’s best actor. I really thought she was going to back out. Maybe she knows about Lane’s embezzlement? I could see them replacing him with her. I was re-watching some old episodes and was reminded of the fact that apparently Lane couldn’t do his job without Joan. Sterling Cooper Draper Holloway…Harris? Pete is despicable for the way he played everyone, guilting Joan, lying about her response, I wouldn’t call it amused. Roger really didn’t respond the way I thought he would, though maybe he realized he is never going to have Joan, he never possessed her and he never will. Finally a good episode! I hope that Pete gets his apartment in Manhattan, Trudy catches him cheating with a prostitute or maybe an unwilling nanny, and pushes him out the window.

    • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

      No just Sterling Cooper Draper. Joan is a junior partner like Pete.

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

        Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce!

        • Sweetbetty

           I think Pryce’s days are numbered, if not on earth, at the agency.

          • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

            I haven’t read all the comments, so I don’t know if this has already been mentioned, but Lane stands alone facing into that huge vortex in Roger’s office as the other partners head to the party.  If that’s not falling man symbolism (maybe with homage to Hitchcock’s Vertigo), I don’t know what is.

  • http://twitter.com/otterbird otterbird

    I haven’t read through all the comments, so forgiveness if this has been said before, but way back when didn’t Don imply to Sal that Sal should have slept with Mr. Lucky Strike?

    I think you’re right about men and women responding to the episode differently.  I couldn’t help thinking, “Hey! Joan made partner!”  Of course, how much that will be worth when Lane’s embezzling comes to light remains to be seen.

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

    No it wasn’t empowering, but what options did Joan have?- Stay as she is, financially insecure and working for a financially insecure firm. She knows she’ll never be promoted on the strength of her work alone, nor will she be able to get another similar job at another firm if SCDP goes under.
    - Marry someone she doesn’t love, just to secure financial security for herself and her son (and effectively prostituting herself for the rest of her life).  She’s already tried that one.
    - Marry someone she DOES love.  As she hinted last week, she’s already ‘old’ in sixties terms and believes no one will look at her with a kid in tow. She may or may not be right, but she certainly doesn’t consider this to be an option at present.
    - Do what she did, securing her own financial future AND that of the firm’s (or so she believes) in one fell swoop. I do think her understanding of what this could do for SCDP was a huge part of her decision. She knows better than most what’s going on with the finances.

    I think for Joan this was her ‘casting couch’ moment and it totally made sense for her to do it.  I’ve always felt that

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

      Another option: Accepting Roger’s financial support for their child. Huge. Maybe that was one reason his response was so muffled. He knew he’d done right by offering support. And Pete made Joan’s position seem more of a yes than a maybe.

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

         Remember that scene when Roger told Joan she was the finest piece of ass he’d ever had? From that moment on, we knew that no matter what, Joan knew Roger would never regard her as a lover, let alone a potential spouse. He married another secretary, not her. He cheated with her and got her pregnant, but never offered to take care of her, just slip her money for the baby. Why do we think that his failure to stand up for her is out of character? it’s completely in character. He was fond of her, and used her, but he also made sure to have sex with Janie in her new apartment just to piss on it. Joan has known for a long time now that Roger will not be her savior; that’s why she married her rapist in the first place.

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

          I agree.  In this respect I think Joan has totally changed since season 1. Back then she was basically angling to ensnare a rich husband and become a kept woman.  Whereas now after Roger and Greg, she doesn’t want to be beholden to any man and wants to do it for herself.

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

           I agree too.  I have no idea why everybody thought Roger should have suddenly turned into a chivalrous knight in this episode.  Yeah, he likes Joan, he didn’t exactly want her to do it, but since when is he her protector and champion? 

      • Maggie_Mae

        Joan cared for Roger more than she should have, although she never seemed to expect he’d end his marriage for her.  After his heart attack and temporary return to being a family man–& after Bert warned her against wasting her youth–she found a potential husband who looked good on paper.  Then Roger dropped Mona for Jane–which must have hurt.  

        When Joan told Roger she was pregnant with his baby, he had one more chance. He could have said–let’s both divorce, no matter the cost; then we can marry & raise our child together. Nope–he gave her money for an abortion; maybe he just couldn’t afford another divorce. Nope–he dumped Jane. Yeah, he’d love to give Joan money from time to time–and maybe get a little screw on the side.  Between his visits to Jane, in the apartment he’s paying for. And the occasional blowjob from a friend’s mother in law on the side…

        With all the partners apparently eager to pimp her out, Joan didn’t have much of a choice. I wouldn’t exactly use the word “empowered.” But she does have power now…

  • oldrnwysr

    Re: The Megan plotline.   I believe she said she was trying out for “Little Murders”.  This was a highly controversial Jules Feiffer play that intially bombed (closed after 7 performances in 1967) because it was such a grim satire of modern urban living.  It was successfully revived 2 years later when the realities of ‘modern living’ had sadly progressed to where an audience could appreciate the message. Her role would probably have been that of the young woman used to having her way, but coming up against forces over which she had no control.   (I don’t recall if the play had any nudity-I’m looking for any other explanation for the treatment she received at the audition other than the obvious…)

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

      Thanks!

  • AutumnInNY

    “The partners will never forget that Joan literally slept her way to a partnership” and will never “let her forget” it. I don’t think I’d be far off in predicting the first one to point this out in the near future will be the very same master manipulator that brought the idea to Joan: Pete. With each episode he keeps sinking lower in his ruthless machinations, what a despicable beast he’s become.
    I kept hoping for the scene where Joan goes to the partners (or at least to Roger) to discuss Pete’s proposal instead of just taking his word for it. I didn’t find that credible, that Joan who is so smart, wouldn’t at least go to one of them. I also agree Tlo, that Roger not saying anything was a complete ball drop on the writers part in both of those scenes and it totally, as you say strains all credulity to the breaking point. I just don’t buy it on Roger’s part. He loves Joanie and I can’t believe there wasn’t more of a stance on his part.Also, Don did a great pitch and Ginsberg a winning campaign, but in this current partnership behind closed doors at SCDP the story of how the Jaguar account came to be theirs will never be forgotten and perhaps decades later it will be the stuff of ad agency folklore.  

  • AutumnInNY

    “The partners will never forget that Joan literally slept her way to a partnership” and will never “let her forget” it. I don’t think I’d be far off in predicting the first one to point this out in the near future will be the very same master manipulator that brought the idea to Joan: Pete. With each episode he keeps sinking lower in his ruthless machinations, what a despicable beast he’s become.

    I kept hoping for the scene where Joan goes to the partners (or at least to Roger) to discuss Pete’s proposal instead of just taking his word for it. I didn’t find that credible, that Joan who is so smart, wouldn’t at least go to one of them. I also agree Tlo, that Roger not saying anything was a complete ball drop on the writers part in both of those scenes and it totally, as you say strains all credulity to the breaking point. I just don’t buy it on Roger’s part either, not for a second. He loves Joanie and I can’t believe there wasn’t more of a stance on his part.

    Also, Don did a great pitch and Ginsberg a winning campaign, but in this current partnership behind closed doors at SCDP the story of how the Jaguar account came to be theirs will never be forgotten and perhaps decades later it will be the stuff of ad agency folklore. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/cyprienne123 Cyprienne Zed

    I’m super pissed at Pete.  The partners were all led to believe that Joan was exercising her own agency; Joan was led to believe that the partners had all signed off; and all the time Pete knew of everyone’s misgivings and chose to sit on them, and just played everyone for his own benefit.  Pete “in control” makes me sick.

    • 3hares

      Pete told the partners she’d be willing to deal, so they made an offer. Lane, not Pete, led her to believe that the partners had all signed off. And he wasn’t lying. Except for Don, they did all sign off. Whether they thought she was up for it makes little difference in terms of whether or not they’re willing to ask it of her. Joan then went to Pete on her own.

  • http://twitter.com/jen_wang Jen Wang

    I think it’s important to weigh the partners’ reactions taking into account how Pete deliberately misrepresented Joan’s position when he talked to the them.  He says that she’s amused, implies that she’s amenable, and misrepresents her “you couldn’t afford it” as a negotiating chip, instead of (essentially) a refusal.  Taken all together, he basically tells the partners that they just need to make her the right offer to make it happen.  With that in mind, all the partners who agree read as repulsed, but resigned.  Roger’s line about not paying for it just makes it clear that he’s disturbed by it, not that he doesn’t care.

    • 3hares

      I don’t see why this makes such a difference. If it’s okay as long as Joan is willing for the right price, then what’s disgusting about any of it? Joan’s upset that everyone but Don would ask it of her, period. They don’t actually care enough to not ask it of her. She’s not mistaken about how any of them feel by the end of the ep.

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

    watching the scene that intercut don’s presentation with joan’s “sacrifice,” i thought it felt
    inspired by that climactic scene at the end of Godfather, Part 1, where they
    intercut the baby’s christening, a normal, public event, with the murder of
    michael’s enemies, the dirty work that gets done underneath the radar. it just
    had the same tone, rhythm, and sense of purpose to it, and seemed almost like
    an homage to coppola.

    while i do agree it’s stretching it to accept that joan would be turned out by some partners, no
    matter with what distaste, i can believe in their general cynicism, along with
    a tendency to not think about things you don’t want to think about when the
    rewards are high. and there is never any real proof that joan went thru with it,
    because she insisted on getting her contract before the end of the business
    day, so that just makes it easier for everyone to forget.  joan deserved and needed the partnership and i
    can see how she would feel, sadly, that this is the only way she could get her
    due at the firm.  she made a practical
    decision that these businessmen could relate to, and i don’t think it’ll come
    up again.

     

    but there’s a weird tendency toward melodrama this season on mad men; i miss the heady mix of
    hilarity and drama. it’s so dark that it’s gotten a bit portentious. you can
    almost see with mathematical precision where joan and peggy’s arcs diverge.

     

    It was so nice to see peggy’s little smile at the end, after such a brutal episode.  and while she’s
    super-talented, her “win” also reminds that beauty can actually get in your way
    as a female, if some men can’t or won’t relate to a beautiful woman in any
    other way.  whatever.  good for her.

    • Karen O’Hara

      COMPLETELY agree with the Godfather analogy.  I was thinking the same thing, watching those scenes.

      • siriuslover

        me too!

    • Sweetbetty

       ”and i don’t think it’ll come up again”

      Sadly, I think it will.  If the partners don’t bring it up for one reason or another Mr. Jag will dangle his business in front of them when he decides he wants another taste of Joanie.

      And, yes, I thought of the Godfather christening scene all through that.  A matter of semantics here, but Mr. Jag wanted a night with Joan but it looked to me like they had a daytime tryst.  Not that it matters, but is that how y’all took it?

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

        i don’t know.  they’ve already landed the account and the old guy is married and this was supposed to be a one-time thing.  i don’t think anyone will ever bring it up again.  and whatever time they had their tryst, no one but joan and this old goat really knows what happened.  the pitch was good and they can all think the account was won on that basis alone, if they like.  i just tend to think everyone will be happier not to think about it again and that’s how they’ll wanna move forward.

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

           ”It will shock you how much this never happened.”

          Yeah, I agree.  We might get some echoes of the sadness surrounding this event in future episodes, but it seems akin to Peggy’s baby and Joan’s rape–it’ll probably be a long, long time before anyone mentions it again.

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

      So much this!

  • LuLusLemons

    Didn’t Bobbie specifically seek Don out for a sexual relationship? “The Don Draper Treatment.”

    This episode reinforces my “purple is the color of Peggy hardening her heart” theory!

    I thought that the balding man in the black glasses was supposed to be Jules Feiffer on that “casting couch” (Megan was reading for his play LITTLE MURDERS). That guy LOOKS like a Feiffer character, but the actor doesn’t look like Feiffer did at that time. Which makes me kind of glad; Feiffer embodies mid-century New York and it would suck if they shoehorned him in to a throwaway scene meant to reinforce the episode’s main theme.

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

      YES. Don did the same thing Joan did. With Bobbie, and who knows who else. The same thing Sal was fired for NOT doing. Don can not pull the moral high ground act, and the partners are hardly shocked.
      Business as usual at SCDP.

  • http://roughmenstandready.wordpress.com/ Dejah Thoris

    BLUE ROSES!!!

  • MilaXX

    The partners will never forget that Joan literally slept her way to a partnership.
    I haven’t had time to make the rounds of the internet to see what the fan reaction to last night’s episode is. I will say that for me, a single woman in her late 40′s who was raised by a single parent, I saw this as anything but empowering for Joan. As I watched that final scene with her sitting in on her first partner’s meeting the fact that the partner’s know how she got there kinda stuck on my craw.  I get the sense that between last week with the whole Don/Joan scene from last week and Joan’s current storyline the writers were trying make us see a woman who feels back into a corner. She needs to get her mother out of her house, she has a baby to take care of. A baby daddy who has the emotional maturity level of a 6 year old and an ex husband she knows she can’t count on for squat. I don’t but fine Roger’s actions of of character. Sure he loves Joan, but that never stopped him from marrying Jane  or trying to talk her into having an abortion when he found out she was pregnant. Besides with Pete being the one to broach this idea, child that he is, Roger’s best response was the equivalent of a child sticking his fingers in his ears and pretending he doesn’t hear the bad things being said. Lanes reaction too was in line with who he is. I’m sure Lane thought he was actually helping, and yes it was a better deal than the original offer of 50k, but still a sucky deal. I’m not pretending that people haven’t traded sex for power before, I just find it hard to swallow Joan did this knowing they won’t truly take her seriously as a partner because of how she got her partnership.  BTW I did spy Joan wearing the fur coat gave her.

    Loved all the scenes with Peggy and her leaving SCDP. It felt right and it most definitely was time. I actually thought to myself when Don threw that money at her that he was treating her like the work wife/work version of Betty.

    I also agree we didn’t need the Megan scenes. In fact I think they weakened the episode in some ways. More and more Megan comes across ad child like and selfish. But last night in the midst of these 2 string storyline, every time they cut to her I was like, ” what’s she doing here?”

    • AutumnInNY

      Good analysis re: Joan’s situation, and the Megan scenes for sure. In the midst of these two powerful story lines it was a waste of plot time (in my opinion) that could have been saved for another show the way they do with other characters. Nice to see tho for once this season she wasn’t 3/4 of the episode. I cannot stomach her pouty spoiled child vibe one more frame. And what was that scene with her friend doing the table dance? That came out of nowhere.

      • MilaXX

        I think her friend on the table was part of the over kill. Once again it was driving home, really beating into us at that point, that women were still seen as objects. Like Megan’s scenes it wasn’t necessary.

    • Sobaika

      I’m still not sure how I feel about Joan’s decision, but here’s some incoherent ramblings:

      Joan’s been witness to every partner exhibiting disgusting behavior, in fact, she’s probably seen them do a lot worse than that Jaguar guy. So a part of her was thinking, “Fine, I’ll play dirty, just like you have for 13 years. I’ll get what I’m owed, and I’ll wear Roger’s fur coat as a big ‘fuck you’ while I’m at it.” That’s where some of the empowering talk comes from.

      Now, will the men still look at her the same way? No. Is she a real partner? No. Was it as satisfying as watching Peggy exit SCDP? No, it was actually pretty heartbreaking. But at the end of the day, Joan is the only one who gets to decide if it was an empowering choice for her or not.

  • Orange Girl

    Peggy’s scarf? Joan’s emerald necklace, in place of her pen pendant?

    • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

      something jumped to me about the scarf too.

      • Sweetbetty

         You mean the scarf she wore during her meeting with Ted?  The one that was tied tightly around her neck with the knot on the side rather than in the front like a man’s bow or neck tie?  The one she wore when her eyelids were covered with blue shadow and her hair was sort of fluffy rather than the sculpted flip she’s been wearing?

        Nah, I’m going with the mink coat Joan was wearing, though I didn’t catch it like everyone else did.

        • http://twitter.com/julepalooza patsy hatt

          I like all those ideas! For me the OMG garment had to be Peggy in the final scene, in a beautiful stylish dress that a grown woman would wear. Liberation from Don has liberated her from that Catholic School girl drag at last!

  • http://theargiehome.blogspot.com/ Gus Casals

    Mad Men gets all kinds of emotions from me. Laughter, happiness, despair. But I always maintained a certain intellectual distance.
    I simply could not stop crying for the whole episode, and right now, words fail me as to what emotional strings it pushed.
    Thank you for you analysis, since it helps me put some of the feelings and ideas in context. 

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

    I almost forgot: What the hell was up with Megan’s friend crawling in the creatives table??? Did I miss something or was that totally unnecessary and out of the blue?

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

      Gratuitous sex, and to show us all how Gingberg could care less as if he is above it all, all the while he always goes back to a position of seeing women as inferior.

      • Laylalola

        Ginsberg’s comment about Megan — something like, Oh I see, she just comes and goes as she pleases — for some reason stayed with me the whole night as … weird. He’s got issues, doesn’t he, that are only being hinted at in one line here in this episode, one line in another?  

        • fatima_bird

          Yeah, i thought that comment was a little out of place. I’m hoping they build the storyline over time. Otherwise, why should he have an axe to grind with Megan? Its better for his career that she left. 

          • PaulaBerman

             It wasn’t an axe. It was him coming up with an idea for the ad.

        • asympt

           That comment was him working out how to frame the Jaguar ad line, not necessarily his personal view of women.  He sees how Don remains enthralled by the woman who actually is his wife, but whom he doesn’t control, and boom, he’s solved the ad puzzle.

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

            Yes and no. I think he has issues with women. And has writing has shown that.

        • Sweetbetty

           That comment along with his strange questions to her about actors’ clothes and shoes; it does make one wonder what goes on in his head with regards to Megan.

          • LesYeuxHiboux

             I wonder now if that wasn’t a dig at her? She goes shopping for her rich girl clothes with Don’s money because she slipped into the part of his wife (even if she’s playing it less and less)? The clothes and shoes come with the role.

      • UsedtobeEP

        I don’t know that he is above it all. In fact, I suspect he might just be the opposite. I think the way other men in the office feel about women might actually disgust him, and he isn’t above using his detached observations about that to come up with ads that play to those feelings—the creepy stalker ad when he first got there, owning something beautiful, etc. It’s almost like he’s seeing if he can appeal to their basest emotions and he’s successful every time.

        • LesYeuxHiboux

           That is exactly how I read the stalker ad, he thought they were disgusting for feeling that way but wasn’t above using it to manipulate them. He is an alien, after all.

      • BrooklynBomber

        That scene has me wondering why TLo call this a feminist show. I mean, yeah, I get that they’re showing how exploited women are/were, but it seems the way they’re doing it reinforces the very thing they’re trying to expose. And uses women actors today in the same way the women were being used then. Or was that scene unusual? 

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

          We call this a feminist show based on the hundred or so hours of storytelling we’ve watched, not on one 2-minute scene. Mad Men is not a show that can be understood after watching just a few minutes of it out of context.

          • BrooklynBomber

            I totally get that – that’s why I made sure to say that I don’t normally watch the show (I acknowledge that any comments I make are based on very little context. . . though you’d be surprised how much you can learn about this show by reading about it here!). In general, I’ve always felt that when art, entertainment, etc. seeks to expose exploitation by emulating it, it’s something to look at, talk about, examine, etc. You know what i mean? I think one can always ask if it’s helping or reinforcing, that sort of thing.

    • Sweetbetty

       I had mentioned before that I thought it was to keep the other guys occupied while she took Don into his office for a quickie.

      • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

        A comment made elsewhere (AVClub, I think) suggested that the friend — I think Julia’s her name — was pretending to be in a Jaguar commercial.  That would make her behavior an impromptu “audition,” which makes some sense, considering that she looks to acting as her bread and butter.

  • mskgb

    Deborah Lipp at IndieWire: PressPlay rember something I had forgotten: “This is the same Pete who, in Episode 1.05: 5G, asked Trudy to sleep with an editor in order to get him published—no wonder he thinks Joan shouldn’t be insulted.”

    • asympt

       Oh man, I’d forgotten that.

      I have to say, as totally wrong as what Pete did was, he really doesn’t seem to find what he manipulated Joan into doing insulting.  In fact, as you watch him usher her into the partners meeting, he seems deferential and grateful.  But that does fit in to his pathetic history of needing and valuing women most, or only, when they’re propping him up.  Joan needs to spend the rest of forever slapping him down.

      • UsedtobeEP

        I wonder what she will do to him, actually. I don’t see Joan as a vengeful person, but nobody forgets something like that, especially if she finds out the extent to which he misrepresented what she actually said. She already knows he lied about all the partners being in disagreement. 

        What I do wonder is whether Don would have called on her if the pitch had not gone well. I like to think so, but why didn’t he tell her not to go through with it earlier? 

        • asympt

           Don did call on her before the pitch.  He went to see her the instant he knew the partnership offer had been made, the evening before the pitch, when he found out from Dawn Joan had left the office.  Unfortunately, we found out later, she’d left the office to go to the assignation and was home to shower it off.  (Mr. Jaguar Dealership probably also has a wife to go home to at night.)

          He told her not to go through with it as soon as he learned she had the slightest intention of considering it.  He made the pitch the next morning thinking she hadn’t and that he was relying solely on his own salesmanship.  Thus his shock when Pete ushered her into the partners meeting.

        • 3hares

          It was Lane who “lied” about the partners being in disagreement, but honestly, I don’t think Joan would consider the other partners to have been manipulated. The other partners made her the offer. That means they thought it was an appropriate way to use her.

    • LesYeuxHiboux

       This is exactly what popped into my head when Joan asked “How would you feel if someone asked Trudy?” PETE asked Trudy himself!

  • Redlanta

    Great review- I also couldn’t believe Roger’s nonchalance about Joan’s actions.  Although, it seems he almost acts less with the things that hurt him the most.  But just watch- at some point he will bring up that Joan wouldn’t take his money; just slept for it instead.  And it will be snide humor when he does.  Great comparison to Don treating Pegs like his office Betty.  He just never learns.  He definitely has a Madonna/Whore complex.  This week didn’t help his psyche at all, with so many startling changes in his many other women!!

    • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

      I’m curious to see what the follow-up with Roger will be.  His face was an expressionless mask during Don’s presentation to Jaguar.

  • uprightcitizen

    I loved the way Layne was able to make it look like his suggestion of Joan asking for a partnership was out of concern for her future, when in fact he was trying to avoid having to ask for more credit for the company and risk his embezzlement coming to light. He still thought he could angle for a partner bonus, and couldn’t afford to have a large sum of money go to Joan.

    As he realized that he’d pulled off that particular bit of sleight of hand, the look of relief and satisfaction (that he looked like a wise advisor to Joan and kept his ass out of hot water a little longer) made it obvious that he can be as smarmy as Pete.

    • asympt

       His expression looked more complicated to me: relief, but still mixed with fear and a little nausea.

  • artolaartola

    I kept checking to find out what your opinion was! Great insight- I also did not buy that Joan would do this or Roger would allow it; but there was one thing that I appreciate which is the title ‘the other woman’ which can be considered the other woman inside women….the would be the woman who does suspiring things, surprising both to themselves and the men their lives and the world. This other woman who came to the door wearing the fur that Roger gave her was not someone we met before. It also felt to me as proof that she gave up these guy; she realized their opinion of her is not going to get her too far in the end so she would assess what she is personally wiling to live with in order to be given status, at least financially.  Roger offering Joan money to help with his son was quite different from him proposing to her and her being respected as smart did not come with a pay raise. I think this was a great terrible horrible brilliant episode…but I also don’t really buy it!

  • fatima_bird

    You know, I have to say I think this is the best Mad Men episode ever. I was engrossed the entire time. And honestly, I didnt see it as a fall from grace for Joan. I feel that we’ve seen five years of her getting shit on, and her never really making a stand for herself. Yes, she had her small affairs and intrigues, but nothing that left her much better off than she was before.

    We’ve seen five years of all the women in the show being thrown around by life and the men in their lives. TLo had pointed out when Megan left the agency, she was the only character who would actually do something about her unhappiness. I think this is the beginning of many of the women in the show taking a leaf out of Megan’s book, in their own ways.

    After five seasons of overt patriarchy, I wasn’t shocked by Joan’s actions, although that doesnt mean I wasnt surprised. I was just happy that she was finally, FINALLY getting her due, in the only way she could get it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

    Wow. Someone else commented that they needed a cigarette after this one, and for me it was a drink. Seriously. And like others, I dreamt about this all night. 

    My inarticulate thoughts:

    Joan was being pragmatic. It was sad to see her have to stoop to schtupping that slimeball, but there it is.

    Pete just needs some little devil horns and a tail and he will be complete.

    Go Peggy!

    THOSE WHITE GLASSES  (on Joan’s Mom)

    I am confused about one thing. Lane keeps bringing up wanting to give out bonuses. I don’t get it. If he’s worried about money and depleting the company coffers, why does that keep coming up? How could that benefit him in any way? I’m clearly missing something obvious.  

    • Laylalola

      The staff has already been promised bonuses — he desperately needs the partners and junior partners to get their bonuses too to avoid his $8,000 being detected (detection of his embezzlement is already a risk even if the partners okay’d the bonuses immediately). And as for his advice to Joan — in addition to genuinely liking her, the money played a role too. If she went with the fast $50K as opposed to the partnership he REALLY would have been at dire risk of the money flow and his $8,000 check to himself being exposed.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

        OK. So – his bonus would be $8,000? So it would like he was just giving himself his own bonus? No, that can’t be right. I still don’t get it. 

        I completely understand he’s in deep doo-doo with that check, and needs to hide it or cover it up somehow. Got that part. I just don’t get how the paying out of bonuses would help.

        The lightbulb will go on in my head eventually (I hope).

        • EveEve

          He desperately wants the partners to get bonuses, because he already gave his bonus portion to himself.  If the other partners get their portions, nobody will notice that he got his before the rest of them got theirs.  Does that switch the light switch?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

            Yes, thanks EveEve. I just thought $8,000 was a way huge bonus (heck, it would be TODAY, let alone all those years ago.) So it didn’t make sense to me. Now it does.

          • http://twitter.com/M_Farah M_Farah

            Moreover, if the firm gives out bonuses, then Lane hasn’t embezzled (in his mind anyway; the fact that he lied about the surplus and took the money early is obviously problematic).  If the firm doesn’t give out bonuses, Lane has just misappropriated $8,000 dollars.  

  • suzeden

    Good heavens, it was just a night of sex (and I’m a woman) — I can barely picture anyone I know who wouldn’t seriously consider a night of sex with some known guy for 50 grand or good partnership in a firm.   It doesn’t make a woman a “whore” or any of these other names, it’s her option to do or not do it. And I disagree with TLo, it *totally* fits her character, because she has now “saved” the firm! She’s now one of the guys, who all do questionable/displeasing things in order to make things happen. 

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

      Just a night of sex?  When a man pays to have sex (because he is that type of man), he expects to have what ever he wants, after all, he paid for it.  It is not just vanilla sex.  It is sex up your ass, forcefully, being kicked, hit, slapped, punched, spit on, choked, etc.

      What an ignorant statement?  “Just a night of sex…..”

      • suzeden

        Oh that’s silly  - he didn’t pay to have sex, by  the way, the firm did.  Your imagination is far beyond anything suggested in the episode. 

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

           That’s nothing silly about it.  It is not what the episode suggested but reality.  When men pay for sex, they pay for ownership for that time.  You made light of it and was called on it.

        • Aurumgirl

          I agree, she made a bargain wherein she’d get what she wanted.  Joan was always in control in that transaction:  her payment terms, she tells Pete before he can interrupt, are non negotiable.  She has to entertain the client.  She calls the shots there, too.  It was just sex–it’s troubling for Joan because Joan gets quite a rude awakening about how she is perceived by men she used to believe saw her as a peer.

          The client’s “payment” did not go to Joan.  In exchange for sex with Joan, Rennet simply sways the vote towards SCDP at Jaquar.  SCDP pays Joan for saving its business, just as SCDP would have to pay to buy Rennet a very pricey Christmas gift at a very expensive Christmas party, or just as they would have to pay to treat Rennet to an oyster and martini afternoon.  Or, just as Don would have to pay by signing a contract to get the business of a company like Hilton.  

      • enid soto

        Don, Pete, Roger, etc etc would’ve done the same thing if a female exec would have requested it for a prized account. And people wouldn’t have judged them so harsly. 

        • Sweetbetty

           Hell, no; there’s always been the Double Standard when it comes to sex.

      • PaulaBerman

         This is a huge extrapolation. There is no evidence that Joan received any physical abuse. I think a lot of people would be tempted by money and power to do something like this. It’s more of a reward than she ever got for sex with Greg, after all.

        I have always wondered why people consider selling sex to be so abhorrent, but selling your thoughts, your labor, sometimes your integrity– that’s OK! Not prostitution! Just business! Your body is the only thing you truly own (like Ginsberg’s pitch said: you can’t own a woman, sorry). If you want to sell it, I don’t see why that has to be degrading. It CAN be, and Joan certainly did not love the arrangement, but I truly despise this whore = degraded paradigm. Whores are degraded by society, and sometimes by the individuals they have sex with. That does not mean that the act of commoditizing your sexuality is inherently degrading. If it were, movie stars and models would be whores too, as well as many men and women who do it for lesser rewards.

        • quietmim

          I agree.

        • 3hares

          Roger allowed himself to be humiliated by Lee Garner at the Xmas party. Pete used his father’s death to try to get American Airlines. People sometimes talk as if sex is in a special category of behavior, but both of those things were significant things to ask of somebody.

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

            The difference is, this time it actually worked.

      • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

        Regardless of what happened that night, and regardless of Joan holding her head high the next day, I couldn’t help but notice how her eyes were made up.  Dark shadows extended from their corners, making her look almost Goth.

        Also, this is the first time I recall clearly seeing the plaque on her office door, which read, “Traffic.”  And she was indeed being trafficked.

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

        There is absolutely nothing in the script that supports what you’re saying here, nor is it particularly reality-based. Men pay for sex all the time without beating up the women they’re paying.

    • Lilithcat

      I can barely picture anyone I know who wouldn’t seriously consider a night of sex with some known guy for 50 grand or good partnership in a firm. 

      Seriously?  You must run around with a lot of people who have very little respect for themselves.  That or low morals.  You can fancy it up anyway you like, but sex for money is the definition of prostitution.

      • Sweetbetty

         I’m not disagreeing with what you say, but what’s more degrading, to fall into bed with any man that pays attention to you, a different one every week, getting nothing more than maybe a drink or two bought for you, or making a careful, measured decision to sleep with a man one time, or even more than one time, in return for something of value?  This is just something I wonder about from time to time; I don’t fall into either category myself.

      • Maggie_Mae

        Hey, some people say lawyers do dishonest stuff for money.  

        Not all lawyers, of course….

        • Lilithcat

          In fact, very few lawyers.

    • the_valkyrie

      She’s not and will never be one of the guys. They will all know what she did and there will always be the thought in their head that she is a whore and that she has a price

      • http://twitter.com/julepalooza patsy hatt

        With the exception of Peggy, they are all whores. They have all done things to get and keep clients that are questionable morally & ethically. They have no moral high ground here. They know it and Joanie knows it.

        • Sweetbetty

           Unfortunately, women are judged differently than men.  And Joanie knows that too.

        • the_valkyrie

          I agree on a certain level that they are all prostituting themselves in one way or another, but we may be seeing things from a privileged perspective. Second wave feminism was gaining momentum, but I’m pretty sure that this was above the partners at SDCP (who as a whole are sexist). It’s true that in monetary terms Joan will be better off, but I think there will still be a price. She undone the 13 years she worked there and the semblance of respect. 

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

      Well, if you think it was like *that* then clearly you did not catch Joan’s face when the whole thing happened. And it MOST CERTAINLY DOES NOT fit her character. Joan is first of all a lady (with all the old fashioned connotations that you might add to that) and that’s why it was so heartbreaking for her to do it.

      • rowsella

         Please, she was not a “lady” in that sense, before she was married she was a bit of a party girl and sleeping with the boss.

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

        I think it’s important to remember Joan’s face, that she hated every minute of that transaction, but it doesn’t fit her character because she’s a “lady”?  What does that even mean?  The only connotations I have are, I don’t know, prudes who pay a lot of attention to etiquette; it’s a silly term, frankly, and demeaning to women who are not considered “ladies” for whatever reason.  And while Joan certainly does like to avoid vulgarity, she has never been above using her sexuality or doing things that would offend or hurt people, which is what I think you’re implying.  She’s slept with married men, she’s passed Roger’s kid off as her husband’s, and she even said, last season, that if she spent one night with the ham guy she could have gotten Joey fired.  To do this, as much as she hated it, is simply not outside the realm of possibility for her and never has been. 

        I don’t think it makes her a bad person. I think the show made it understandable, and that’s why it was heartbreaking.

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

          “Demeaning”? Come on now, it was to do with so much more than etiquette and I made that observation precisely because of that connotation of yours. Being a lady to me means having some respect for yourself and not giving up your integrity, however small it may be. That’s what I meant by Joan being a lady, not your (ironically) outdated conception of the term. I was not implying anything, any woman who has to give up her body for any other reason outside love, sexual desire or just because she goddamn wants to is out of character for me, and THAT is very different from the things you listed Joan has done. I do agree that it does not make her a bad person at all, I never implied that either.

  • FloridaLlamaLover

    Best line:  ”He’s a baby.  He’s doesn’t know that we all wish his father dead.”   ~~~~ love Christine Estabrook!

    • the_valkyrie

      Who said that line? Can’t remember and it’s frustrating 

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

        Joan’s mom, about Greg. I lol’ed so hard at it.

        • the_valkyrie

          Cheers thanks!

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

        Joan’s Mom?

  • sweetlilvoice

    Upon a second viewing, I’ve decided this was truly an amazing episode and one of the best yet. I didn’t catch that Don didn’t know that Joan had ‘sealed the deal’ until the phone call came in from Jaguar that they had gotten the account. I think he believed he had saved her. His face was so conflicted….

    John Hamm was amazing in this episode…his face when Peggy said he was leaving. And she didn’t argue with him when he got nasty, she didn’t give into his urge to fight and yell. All his bluster was gone and you saw his heart was really breaking. That spasm when Peggy told him where she was going, his look at the end…

    And the last scene with Peggy getting on the elevator-what a closer! I cannot wait to see what next week brings. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jane-Morris/1076502799 Jane Morris

    I’m late to the party, but did anyone else think for a second that Peggy was going to walk into the empty elevator shaft at the end there. Scary moment for me.

    • Lilithcat

      You’re not the first to suggest that, and I cannot fathom why anyone would think that.  Enlighten me.

      • siriuslover

        because the empty elevator shaft has been shown previously this season, most notably with Don looking down the shaft.

      • MsKitty

        Even with the scene with Don and the elevator a couple of eps ago, it didn’t even cross my mind with Peggy. Sometimes an empty elevator shaft is just an empty elevator shaft (of course if it comes into play during the remainder of the season, I’ll eat my words).

  • PeggyOlsonIsMyHomegirl

     The coat Joan wore to meet with the Jaguar exec is the same coat Roger gave her in a flashback in the Season 4 episode ‘Waldorf Stories’, no?

    • PeggyOlsonIsMyHomegirl

      And, as I was remiss to mention originally, when Roger gave it to Joan she said: “When I wear it I’ll think about everything that happened the night I got it.”

      Not a groundbreaking observation, but I love the little details like this.

  • uprightcitizen

    I would have been in agreement with you about it being out of character for Joan, because she would recognize that they would always see her in that light from then on, but when I watched her face as she realized that Don HADN’T participated in the discussion, you could see a different shade of her decision. Remember, she thought they had ALL voted on asking her to do it. So, she would figure that if that was how they were going to view her after all the years she’d known some of them, especially Don and Roger, then what the hell … why not make hay of it? When you knew that Don had come by after she’d already done the deed, you could see in her reaction to him that just knowing he had left the room when Pete brought it up might have caused her to make a different decision entirely. But she’s so pragmatic. Her smile as Peggy left said volumes. She’s going to live with the choice she made and make the best of it.

  • jrn33

    I also had mixed feelings over the extent to which Joan’s actions seemed in line with her character. I believe she definitely could see the pragmatism of sleeping with the car executive. She obviously has a very clear understanding of the sexual politics of the time, better than almost anyone else. I mean, she went through with a marriage to a man who raped her. In this case, she would be marrying herself to a company that pimped her out – although at least this time she had some control over the situation. But, like you guys so clearly pointed out in the recap, I couldn’t see Joan doing that when all the other partners would always know that the reason she became partner was because she prostituted herself. However, I think she also rightly believed that the other partners realized how much they had sold their souls asking her to do this. Even though they would always know how she became a partner, they would never be able to forget their own role in that and realize that they were no better than she was, and in fact much, much worse for putting her in that position. Perhaps that thinking, in addition to the security the partnership would bring, could justify her actions.

    However, more than Joan’s decision, I found Roger’s reaction (or lack there of) harder to believe. The only excuse I could possibly make was that he was dismayed to realize that she would even consider it to put up any real resistance.

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

      So true! This time the company raped her, and she married it.

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

    It’s Peggy’s scarf around her neck like Joan used to wear right? sorry…had to guess. Do I get an A? No?

    I’m with you re: all comments about Joan and Peggy. I am half with you about Roger; I don’t think Roger loves Joan anymore; that was long time ago. I think he still wants her but even that has waned. But I agree that not showing any reaction from him when he realized the deal had gone down is quite outlandish.

    Re themes: I was relieved to just have some big plot points move forward and have the episode veer away from the idea of theme. The theme was women in the sixties and the crap that they had to deal with to make their life – and mine – a better one. I turned off the TV at the end and thought, my god I am glad it is 2012. All women have their external and their internal; every woman is her own ‘other woman.’

    Oh, one more thing. Was anyone else worried that Peggy was going to fall down the elevator shaft at the end? No? Just me. Damn you L.A. Law!!

    • momogus

      I held my breath for a second because I thought she was going to fall down the elevator shaft!! You weren’t the only one!!

      • cleep1000

        Me, too!

    • suz72350

      No, you’re not alone. I cringed when the elevator door opened and worried that Peggy would step into oblivion.

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

      Roger never loved her. I don’t think he’s capable of loving anyone as much as he loves himself. Joan knows that. 

  • CynthiaNOLA

    Best episode since The Suitcase.  

    I wept when I saw Joan’s face as her dress was being unzipped.  And then wept again when Don kissed Peggy’s hand.  The acting was also sublime.  And I appreciated the ambiguity of the characters’ actions since I too have been annoyed with being hit over the head with themes this season.  i.e., By stopping by Joan’s, was Don being paternalistic, caring, or did he just need to prove that he could win the account on his own? 

    Watching this episode was unsettling and also deeply satisfying.  Loved it.

  • CynthiaNOLA

    agreed

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FDLN57LIHID66FUHX7EU2EQHBE Sarah

     I think the Megan subplot was there to demonstrate that Don is quickly losing hold of all of his healthiest relationships with women.  He has lost hold of the two women he respects as equals – Peggy has left the office and I doubt he is going to be able to look at Joan the same way again.  This is all happening the same week that Megan has told him that she could be going to Boston for three months.  If she is successful, he will lose her too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

    I just remembered something else.

    When Don left Joan’s apartment, didn’t he say “Say good-bye to your friend for me.” ? Meaning her mother. 
    So does he not know she’s living with her mom? 

    And he’s the only one at the company who knows she’s getting divorced, right? 

    • CarolinLA

      I think Lane must know that she’s getting divorced.  As I posted in a separate thread, he said the partnership would carry her and her child through life with no mention of a husband.

    • cleep1000

      I wondered about that “friend” comment, too. It would seem Joanie is keeping her personal life very much a secret.

      • Sweetbetty

         You took the words right out of my mouth.  I can’t imagine why she wouldn’t have mentioned her mother staying with her to help out with the baby.  I don’t know about NYC at that time, but in the small town I live in there was only one day care center in the area with a waiting list a mile long and they would only take children that were potty trained.  If you were a working woman with a baby you had to try to find a private babysitter and that wasn’t always easy.  There should have been no reason for Joan to keep her mother’s helping her a secret, and you can be sure the other women at work would have asked her who was caring for the baby, that’s women-talk.

      • Sweetbetty

         You took the words right out of my mouth.  I can’t imagine why she wouldn’t have mentioned her mother staying with her to help out with the baby.  I don’t know about NYC at that time, but in the small town I live in there was only one day care center in the area with a waiting list a mile long and they would only take children that were potty trained.  If you were a working woman with a baby you had to try to find a private babysitter and that wasn’t always easy.  There should have been no reason for Joan to keep her mother’s helping her a secret, and you can be sure the other women at work would have asked her who was caring for the baby, that’s women-talk.

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

      I thought he was talking about Herb Jaguar. He thought she hadn’t seen him yet.

  • Glammie

    Last night’s episode made me sad.  While I think the Joan storyline was a little too overt, it still kind of broke my heart.  Would Joan really do this?  Do women still do this?  Absolutely.  I had a friend who slept with a married guy to get a plum academic appointment.  She figured she was pretty experienced and the job was worth it.  

    Was it worth it for my friend?  No.  But not because she was emotionally destroyed by what she did, but because the guy wanted more and her coworkers were playing their own angles.  Eventually, it all exploded.  Sleeping your way into a position can work, but it also stirs up resentment and *even now* the woman is marked in a way the man is not.  It’s not a way to garner a lot of respect.

    But my friend really wanted the job.  And how do you get your dream job once there’s a slimy price tag attached?

  • JimiG

    No! I didn’t think this was true to Joan’s character at all. The men at the firm never really respected Megan because they thought she married her way into her job, and Joan was fully aware of that. How much worse is it going to be for her? Think back to that episode when the copywriters were making vulgar drawings of her. She flipped out! Why would she expose herself to this much condescension and ridicule?

    • PaulaBerman

       I was under the impression that the only people who know about this are the partners. Pete is going to be an ass regardless. Lane wouldn’t be condescending or ridiculing– too much guilt. Cooper is in his own little world. Don I think likes and respects Joan too much to shame her, considering his own past. I am most concerned about Roger’s reaction. It could get ugly, and mostly out of sour grapes on his part.

      • Sobaika

        Ken was there when the Jaguar guy brought up Joan. A few days later and they have magically landed the account and Joan is a partner? He’ll know, and others will probably find out too. I can just imagine a drunk Roger letting things “slip” at some office party.

        • PaulaBerman

           Don’t you think everyone will think that DON landed Jaguar with his amazing sales pitch? Why would Ken assume that Joan prostituted herself? Even fans of the show, who see all aspects of the story, are shocked by it. It is possible that Ken would figure it out. It’s also possible that no one else will know unless a partner shoots his mouth off, which I think is the more likely scenario for the info to come out, if it does.

          • dbaser

            Ken’s not dumb.  It’s not just that the firm got the account, but that Joan has also been promoted to partner.  When that becomes common knowledge, he’ll put it together.

            It’s also not inconceivable that Peggy will let it slip to Ken, should the firm decides to keep it under wraps.

          • PaulaBerman

             Maybe. But would Ken blab that? In a company full of dirtbags, Ken seems to be the most decent one. I just cannot get behind an assumption that everyone will know about this. I think it will be within a tight circle. Joan might get blowback from them, esp. Roger, but I don’t expect it to be common knowledge. Also, no amount of sniping at her can take away that 5%.

          • dbaser

            Good point–Ken would keep his own counsel on that.

            I think SCDP’s biggest concern going forward is Peggy poaching talent like Ken or Ginsburg, both who now would have reasons to be less than enchanted with SCDP.

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

            If anything, Ken finding out would bring him one step closer to the door. I doubt he’ll last much longer at SCDP anyway.

          • Sweetbetty

             But Peggy doesn’t know the circumstances of Joan’s promotion, only that it happened.

          • dbaser

            Peggy has had it stated to her by Don that Joan is a partner, but Ken is likely to connect the dots as to why she was promoted.

          • ybbed

            Ken will know because he was at the table when the idea came up.  And all of sudden two days later Joan is made a partner?  He will definitely know

        • Aurumgirl

          maybe, but I think all the “men who know” would shut up about it–they are complicit, and they all have their livelihoods intact as a result.  I bet it is never mentioned again, or only mentioned by a character who will be forced out of the story because of it.

  • Le_Sigh

    So many things to say about this episode.  I also wish they had told Joan and Peggy’s stories side by side – it seemed too much to add Megan’s woes into the mix.  It seemed to hit the whole “women in society” theme too hard on the head.  I found myself checking out when she was on camera – I really couldn’t really care less about her audition process or career and how its going.

    My heart broke for Joan – the whole time I was muttering “I can’t believe they let her do that.”  It was heartbreaking and didn’t make sense.  Also go Peggy!

  • FloridaLlamaLover

    Joan’s Mom!  She also said — “You’re drying up inside. For what? Greg?”  Loved the inflection she placed on “Greg?”  Christine also portrayed my favorite loca real estate agent on American Horror Story this past year.

  • fnarf

    I dunno about you guys, but for me the OMG outfit was Joan’s mom’s sweater. The gauche end of the sixties poking out there. I loved it.

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

    Hated the episode. Hated the Joan story line. Don’t care what she got out of it. Hated Peggy getting crap thrown at her. Megan being stared at by producers, Disgusted.  Tired. Might be done with this show. Tired of seeing women shown like this (not saying it does not happen, not saying that many women who read this blog could not tell you things that happened at work) in media. 

    • sononagal

      Lauren – this episode is about a time when women were treated like “things you own.”  Whether as employees or wives.  Only the most enlightened people saw anything wrong with it in the mid sixties. The show is a history lesson.  And while women are still objectified in our society, back then it was the norm.  There were no anti-harassment laws, no sensitivity training, and the women’s rights movement was about 10 year away.

      As for Joan, we all hated that story line.  It was the point of the episode – to hate what Joan did.

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

        Agree with everything you say. Still tired of seeing it.

  • sononagal

    Argh!  I was yelling at the tv for the entire episode…just a few rants of mine.

    “Pete, you are such a f-king as#-hole!” 

    “No, Joan, nooooooooooo!!!!!!!” 

    “Right ON, Peggy! You GO girl!”

    “God damn it, Don….wake the hell up!”

    “Oh noooooo … don’t kiss her hand!  Don, you’re killing me!”

    “Damn you, Mad Men writers!  Where the hell is my box of Kleenex?”

  • http://twitter.com/Merneith Merneith

    1. When I saw Joan’s face as she unzipped her dress, I was reminded of Roger’s face as he played Santa for the Lucky Strikes account. Roger has also whored himself out in the name of keeping the client satisfied.

    2. As a woman, I don’t think what Joan did was empowering, exactly. Not because of her “virtue” but because of how it leaves it her in a difficult place with the partners. I think she did what she thought was necessary but I’m not sure she’s going to be able to pull off being a public partner.

    3. I think it was Lane’s opinion that turned it for her, not Roger’s. She’s over Roger – or she knows Roger too well, which is another way of saying the same thing. Knowing that Lane wanted this for her was the key. Lane …. is clearly comfortable on a personal level with loving prostitutes, but is not really clever enough to understand what this would do for Joan’s position with the rest of the partners.

    4. Actually, you know what, I bet Bert doesn’t have a problem with Joan’s actions. She’ll still be Joan when she’s in the room with him. Roger will be cynical and hurt. Don will be hurt and confused. Pete will probably try to blackmail her into sleeping with him.

    • Sobaika

      You’re right about Bert. He doesn’t give a shit, and it probably isn’t the first time he’s seen this sort of thing happen.

      • CarolinLA

        I think Bert is a realist about the business.  He’s been in it a long time and this is hardly the most shocking thing he’s heard along the way.  He was fine with it if it was Joan’s choice to say yes.  

      • PaulaBerman

         Bert is a libertarian. I’m sure he sees it as a smart business move in a world where everything is a potential commodity.

  • Erika Wood

    I am really surprised that everyone seems to see the Roger thing as a great big a-hole moment for him.  At first I thought I was naive, but it was very clear to me what was going on there.  There was ONE post that mentioned Notorious which I think got close, but I really believe that when Pete quoted Peggy in that awful meeting, and quoted her accurately “You can’t afford it,” I believe Roger, who knows her so well, felt immediately like, well, there it is.  She’ll never do it.  He took her comment the way SHE really meant it.  Meaning, end of discussion.

    Story-maker that he is, Weiner kept the two apart this episode so there could be some good old misunderstandings perpetrated by Pete and Lane, where Joan was led to believe that Roger specifically supported the move.  I think Roger was so confident it would never happen, that he just casually left with that light comment of “leave me out of this dirty business” just meaning, it ain’t gonna happen, you’ll see…

    I do think that affected Joanie profoundly, that she thought Roger was all for it, and even Don’s being against it was presented by Pete (of course) as just off-hand and not really that passionate.  And yes of course she wore the mink to her tryst.  It was like breaking something given to you by the person you used to love.  She dirtied it.

    So yeah, I think there was a perfect storm of events for Joanie.  The fridge, her slutty mother who raised her to believe a woman is only worth as much as her parts, feeling that all her allies actually thought this was a likely scenario, having Mr. rapist-compromise-letdown-doctor-husband serve the divorce papers, having to LIVE with that mother….  I actually DO think it may have made a difference to Joan if she’d had Don’s visit before the event.  Not because she isn’t master of herself, but because she was in a very very vulnerable place right at that moment, and when you have a child and feel their security is at risk, you’re not going to be thinking rationally anyway, but pile on all those other stresses and fears and Pete’s truly snakey work at this along with Lane’s support (for his own selfish reasons, obviously), and the strongest of us might find ourselves making a mistake (who amongst us has never made a mistake, even a big one–and that doesn’t just mean sex-for-money).  I think the comment that she loses either way applies very much too.  She either loses SDCP the client or she proves she’s something they’ve all always somewhat cast her to be.  Maybe the whole world has cast her that way.

    As to Roger’s reacting non-chalantly in his office, I believe he had no idea that her being there meant a thing.  He was in the excitement of the moment getting the phone call, and Joanie is very often present during partners meetings, that’s nothing notable–except to Don of course…  I think that relationship (Roger and Joan) has been building to something season-ending.  Then again, I’ve been waiting for the Pete-Peggy baby bomb to drop all these years too, so….

    As to Cooper, he is from another era.  His vague support of Joan (make sure to tell her she can still say no) probably amounts to super-feminism amongst his set.

    Just want to add that I find Megan’s story-line great and important.  Subject of another post, though…

    • Lilithcat

      when Pete quoted Peggy in that awful meeting, and quoted her accurately “You can’t afford it,” 

      You mean “Joan”.  And he didn’t quote her accurately.  He took her statement out of context and put a spin on it that hadn’t been there.  

  • Aurumgirl

    Oh, I thoroughly agree that Joan “manipulated men to get what she wants” but I have a few different takes on this perception.  For one thing, a woman like Joan would only be acceptable in such a world (the working world, especially one in which men are paid highly for the work they do) if she were endowed with assets that could be used that way.  She got her foot in the door with her looks:  she works twice as hard as every man there, takes more shit, manages every one of their difficulties with utter grace and ingeniousness (and knows that SCDP simply would not exist if it had not been for her) and it is a writing failure to try and make us believe that such a wise, talented, and perceptive strategist like Joan would ever think she’d be rewarded on merit for her efforts.  She may be a whore, but she is not an abject fool.  Then, there’s the fact that we’re all overlooking:  EVERYBODY is a whore–every one of the characters in the show (including SCDP, which, by extenstion, has a new core client it’s sold its soul to get–as Don says, “who would want to work with these people?) is busy at the job at selling himself for whatever he or she can get.  We all just got a glimpse of the way male whores are treated, compared to the way female whores are treated.  There is an inequality in respect and pay between the two, no question. 

    Then there’s this:  in that context, and given what we know about it for 5 seasons now, how else would Joan ever be able to be respected for her opinions, control her own job security, and be assured of financial self-sufficiency for herself and her child?  Should she really have tried to find a nice, wealthy doctor to “keep” her as a housewife?  Should she really have tried to get Roger, who (Joan knows) doesn’t really love her, to “keep” her as his mistress?  What does everyone think “keep” means? 

    Joan didn’t get much respect from any of the men in SCDP before, and, just like Don when he learns what everyone really thinks of him “quitting” the tobacco trade, she’ll learn that no one will be grateful for her efforts going forward.  But she’s a partner now, and not a silent one.  That alone will go a long way to rendering others’ opinions and attitudes against her irrelevant, because once again she has saved everyone’s career and business, but this time she can’t just can be quietly ignored anymore.

    • sweatpantalternative

      Um, awesome.

  • JMansm

    Is it super weird that I think Ginsberg is gay? In this episode we had him not paying attention at all when Julia or whatever her name is was giving her little show on the table (and we were shown that this behaviour irritated and confused Stan) and then a few episodes ago he was definitely checking out the flamboyant guy’s ass as he walked away (and then later he was checking out a woman’s ass – I can’t remember who – as though trying to compare). 

    • avidreader02

      I kinda get that vibe too… but I also think he may have a crush on Megan. I can’t decide!

    • CarolinLA

      I think Ginsberg wants to be as free as Megan is.  Free of his father, free of bosses, free to be the alien he claims to be – anything but the shackled man he is today.

    • Twinzilla

      I think Ginsburg’s character is childlike.  You see them in the arts.  They are very creative and fun, but also naive, not yet sexual, clear-eyed and blunt about things. They have a limited outlook that can make them say things adults won’t.  He dresses like a kid, he says things out loud that a child would say — Don and Megan just went to his office and I think they are going to have sex, which worries me a bit.  He was offended by the jokes about the student nurses in Chicago and he was offended by the woman crawling up the table.  It isn’t right and he can’t see the humor.

      I think Ginsburg’s personality type is one the script writers know, and they are using him like a conscience in the script.

      • JMansm

        That’s a really interesting and kind of beautiful idea.

      • ldancer

        Huh. Not for nothin’, but I’ve been a working artist for a long time and that doesn’t really fit the description of most of us. Also, a copywriter isn’t in the arts. I think Ginsburg is a present yet to be unwrapped for us, and I will be sad if the writers don’t unwrap him at least a little bit. They’ve given us such a tantalizing glimpse of his personality. I’m sorry to sound like a broken record, but he’s a Holocaust baby and VERY much an outsider, so I think that’s what we’re seeing.

    • ybbed

      I always thought Peggy was going to be gay too. Maybe she’s just not out yet.

      • Sweetbetty

         If Peggy was going to come out I think she would have when that lesbian from the magazine hit on her in no uncertain terms.

        • ybbed

          maybe, maybe not

          • sarahjane1912

            Too right.

            Contrary to ‘popular opinion’, not every gay man or lesbian wants to get into the pants of every man/woman they meet. Sorry to soapbox, but I do get tired of that assumption. It’s like thinking that a straight person is attracted to every single person of the opposite sex — it just doesn’t happen — so just because Peggy has met one lesbian, it does NOT mean that if she ‘was one’, that she would be attracted to her. Or that she would do something about it.

            Moreover, to posit that Peggy MUST be straight just because she didn’t follow through upon Joyce’s mild flirtation early in the series is ALSO an assumption that should be put to bed. Personally, I think Peggy IS straight, but equally, she could well be waiting for someone she likes rather than the first one who comes along. Just my 10 fils. :-)

          • Sweetbetty

             Point well made and well taken.  But I also question why the O.P. had the opinion the Peggy might be gay.  Is it because she isn’t traditionally pretty?  Is it her somewhat masculine taste in clothing?  Is it that her main goal in life doesn’t appear to be a husband and kids?  Is it her non-traditional job for a female?  Is it her strength in standing up to men?  All those seem pretty cliche when it comes to judging a person’s sexuality and all those have been discussed at length in the many MM postings without the possibility of Peggy being gay being mentioned.

          • ybbed

            I am not sure who this is in reply to, but it came into my email box, so I will respond.
            All I said was that I thought Peggy MIGHT be gay. 
            All the other things you are talking about, you must be talking to someone else. Because there are a lot of assuming assumptions going on up there.

          • ybbed

            I agree with you sarahjane, it is easy to stereotype.
            It is difficult to come out now, but back then it would be very difficult, and it may be something that she isn’t even fully aware of yet.  It is just a hunch.

  • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

    …and dare I say it, I’m on Don’s side when it comes to Megan. It’s usually a good rule of thumb to assume that Don’s in the wrong, but unless I missed something, Megan didn’t tell Don that the audition would take her of Boston for weeks. I can’t think of a person who would not mind not being told that in advance. And I think she did it on purpose, in order to fight about it. His reaction was, “thanks for the head’s up” and she comes back with “you want me to fail!” I mean, she’s quit acting before and she didn’t even know Don then. That time, it was some friend’s fault for saying she wouldn’t make it because of her teeth. Seems to me she’s a lot like her Dad: self sabotaging and full of blame. This time it’s going to be Don’s fault. Also, she’s in NYC in the 60s, there’s theater all over the place (literally, isn’t this the era of experimental theater), but she isn’t going out on those auditions. It seems to me that she’s only trying for big time roles up against actresses who have been working the last few years. She’s exactly like her dad; it has to be big deal to even register with her ego. …so who’s going to be her “grad school student?”

    • Glammie

      Yep.  I think a lot of discussion of Megan have been drowned in the Megan v. Betty nonsense (thank Gawd, we seemed to be spared visits by the Betty-extremists this week), but Megan’s got a bunch of her own issues.  Megan’s got a sweet streak, but she’s also very much been taken care of during her life.  Being good at advertising–of landing a client through her idea–isn’t good enough for her.  And Don, who loves her, but also loves his business and being a *success* at his business, is really hurt by that.  

      Megan feels entitled in ways of which she’s not even fully aware.  And now we’re beginning to see how it will (turn around) bite her in the ass.

      • Lilithcat

        Being good at advertising–of landing a client through her idea–isn’t good enough for her. 

        Why should it be?  Why should she be stuck in a job she hates, rather than shoot for work that she loves?

        • Glammie

          It’s not clear to me that she *does* love it.  She’d already given it up before.  She didn’t pick it up again until her father disparaged advertising.  I don’t think that’s an accident.  

          Megan didn’t seem to hate advertising at all–until Daddy came and pissed over everything.  In many ways, Megan’s very young.

          I say this as an ad-agency brat who never liked advertising.

      • ybbed

        How is it being entitled to want to do the work she thinks she wants to do?
        Don needs to take ownership of his own success and failures at work.

        • Glammie

          She’s relying on Don to support her while she does it.  Someone like Don or Joan gets the job they get and then works their ass off.  There wasn’t the same freedom to pick and choose. Megan doesn’t get what succeeding at a job means to someone raised in poverty like Don.  It’s partly a generational thing–Don and Joan would have both been through the Great Depression as kids.  

          • ybbed

            You are awfully hard on Megan. It was pretty traditional back then to be supported by your husband. So yeah, she does have more choices than other people. Everybody is shaped by their upbringing, I don’t think you can fault her for that.  She has admitted that she is “lucky”.

          • Glammie

            You’re reading something into my comments that’s not there.  I’m not judging her–I’m noting the assumptions she’s making v. the assumptions of people like Don and Joan.  It’s the Generation Gap in action. It’s not a question of either one being right or wrong–taking sides doesn’t interest me per se.

    • Lilithcat

      Also, she’s in NYC in the 60s, there’s theater all over the place (literally, isn’t this the era of experimental theater), but she isn’t going out on those auditions. 

      First off, as far as “experimental theater” was concerned, it was usually ensemble-based, so roles would go to ensemble members.

      Secondly, you don’t just show up and audition for any role that’s out there.  Your agent is going to send you out to auditions for roles for which you might be suitable.

      Thirdly, Don referred to her “audition dress”, which suggests that she’s been doing a lot of auditions.  We just don’t see them all.  And this was for a Broadway show, so a big deal.

      Megan didn’t tell Don that the audition would take her of Boston for weeks.

      It’s not the audition that would take her to Boston.  It would be the show itself if she landed the role.  I suppose after all those years in NYC, Don might never have heard of out-of-town tryouts, but it seems unlikely to me.

      • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

        I understood that she’s going on lots of auditions, but she’s not getting roles. My point is that she could be on a stage. She could join an ensemble through her audition coach/teacher or whatever. She has at least one other actor friend. Remember, according to her and her father, this whole exercise is about honoring the art of theater instead of being a corporate sell-out or whatever. As for the last part, i could have been clearer, but I know that the role, not the audition, would take her out of town for weeks. Did I miss the part when she brought it up before she was on her way to the audition? Because it still seemed to me that Don was more upset about the timing of the news than the news itself. YMMV

        • Lilithcat

           My point is that she could be on a stage.

          This isn’t Andy Hardy!  

          It’s not that easy to get into an ensemble company.  You have to prove yourself.  If she’s not getting parts, she’s got no track record.  So she’s not likely to be accepted into an established company, especially if they don’t know her.  One actor friend doesn’t cut it.  Particularly if, as seems to be the case, she’s viewed by some others at her level in the profession as a dilettante.
          It would be nice if it were that simple to get into a company, that simple to get auditions, that simple to get roles.  The actors I know would have a lot more work.

          • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

            It would be as improbable as switching lives with a dead army engineer, befriending his widow and living under an assumed identity for decades…

    • greenwich_matron

      I think Megan just sees shiny things and wants them. She saw that Don was the shiny brass ring on the secretary carousal, and she went for it. Now she wants to be a shiny Broadway star.

      • Glammie

        Yep.  And she’s trying to please the men in her life–her father, Don-the-father-substitute.

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

      We don’t know that she didn’t tell him she’d be gone. We don’t see their whole lives. It is very possible that she had brought up this show (maybe before landing the audition), and very, VERY possible that he tuned her out. 

  • http://twitter.com/suryasnair suryasnair

    For me, it was the green dress she wore as the partner. Wasn’t it the same one she wore when she received flowrers from ‘Aly Khan’? 

    I think Joanie will be fine, despite the circumstances.

  • CarolinLA

    I didn’t realize that Lane had played the “you’re a soon-to-be divorced woman” card with Joan.  When he proposed the partnership idea, he said that it would take care of a woman and her child for a lifetime.  No mention of a husband.

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

    Just now got a chance to watch this, and (as always) read your recap immediately after.

    I think I need time to process what I just saw.

  • http://twitter.com/bstolemyremote bitchstolemyremote

    I think that Joan did what she needed to do to ensure that men never make those decisions for herself. That’s more interesting to me than debating whether or not she was victimized (clearly) or whether she made the right decision (we’ll have to wait to see).

    The final scene between Peggy and Don was heartbreaking. 

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    I had a very uncomfortable feeling with the whole Joan storyline, particularly the Roger moment, to the point that I considered not watching the show anymore. Not exactly with what she did, because I think one can make a case from previous actions and relationships that it wasn’t exactly out of the question, but with how she did it and how public it was. It wasn’t true to the character, and neither was Roger’s reaction. The Megan/Don/Ginsberg pitch stuff was really oversold, and so was that grotesquely bald tagline. The only part of the episode that hit on all cylinders for me was Peggy’s. How much did I love the lunch with Freddie? 

  • twinkiecowboy

    “No matter how powerful we get around here, they can still just draw a cartoon.” The turquoise dress Joan is wearing at the end of this episode is the same color as the one from last season when she told off Joey. This episode hit me really hard– Joan is such a victim of her upbringing and her time period. Obviously her mother raised her to believe that her only value was in her looks and in pleasing men. I think some of the partners still saw her as the secretary who slept with the boss (Roger) and flirted with clients to lubricate their business, so why wouldn’t she sleep with a client for the right price?

    I don’t think it was an empowering move at all. The whole thing was orchestrated by men. She was manipulated by Pete, her colleagues were calculating the price of her body, and if she didn’t go through with it she’d be the reason they didn’t get it, the reason they’d wasted all those late nights and weekends. Don said a company is defined by the moment they get a car and I think this will be a defining moment for the new SCDP as well, sadly.However, I think some measure of empowerment might be found in the aftermath of Joan’s decision. She walks into her first partner’s meeting with her head held high, meeting Don’s gaze and not turning away. She did what she had to do for her child and she’s owning it. It’s just a tragedy that they would have never considered making her a partner otherwise.

    • emcat8

      Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it. This definitely is their defining moment, and look what it is…

  • CarolinLA

    Who ever thought that Joan would have a number that would buy her and that Peggy would not?

    • asympt

       Joan has a child.  Peggy (by choice) does not.  That makes the equation very different.

      • greenwich_matron

        Yes, but I could argue it either way.

    • Laylalola

      $18,000 isn’t a number?

      • CarolinLA

        That was her number to go but when Don asked her to stay, she said “There is no number”.  Meaning that money would not sway her, unlike Joan who was.

  • dickylarue

    I thought the previous weeks episode really had a small moment that made me understand why Joan would do this. She’s over the fairy tale. Especially the fairy tale of Roger. 

    When Roger was flirting with the secretary outside her office in his Hawaiian shirt he was showing us that he’ll always be the little boy chasing the shiny new thing. He’s getting divorced. Joan’s getting divorced. If there ever was a chance for love and timing for these characters it was now considering they brought his only son into existence and yet Roger was still outside talking up a secretary.Roger & Joan aren’t some great love affair. He got what he wanted from her and it wasn’t a long term relationship. It’s just sad what they became. And now it’s sadder what she’s become.  

    • sweatpantalternative

      Not to mention that Joan also knows at this point how useless and unimportant around the office Roger really is. He’s a rich playboy with no real talent or power outside of what he inherited. He’s charming as hell sure, but I bet Joan has become just as disillusioned by his empty antics as Don and the rest of the office.

  • CarolinLA

    I wonder if Roger will now try to seduce Joan again and when she refuses, tells her “Well, you did it with the Jag guy”, then see where that leads.

  • beadskrit

    As Pete has become slimier and slimier this season, I’ve been struck by the fact that every creapy, shitty thing he’s done has been a variation of something that we’ve already seen Don do before. Pete expected Joan to prostitute herself to a client. Don expected the same of Sal and fired him for refusing a client’s advances.

    • sweatpantalternative

      Yes, and I think Don’s reaction to Sal’s predicament was very similar to what the partners were thinking but didn’t explicitly voice: “It’s just sex”, “You’ll get something out of it”, “Win win for everybody”. Sure they all expected Joan to say no, but sure they also  would have been mighty pissed had they lost the account just because she refused. She knew that. Of course, as multiple people have posted above, the situation was never really so dire as Pete’s machinations made it out to be. He is total scum. Always was. Don’s complex, contradictory, yet always “one of the good ones”. Pete’s always been slimy, redeeming himself in only the briefest moments.

    • Glammie

      No.  Don fired Sal because SCDP’s biggest client insisted on it.  Big difference.  ”They can turn out our lights.”  Don did blame Sal in that he’d warned Sal to be discreet and didn’t think Sal had been-but the firing happened because the client wanted it.  

      Don was following Roger’s orders and Roger was following Lee Garner’s.  It was an ugly situation, but Don didn’t have a real choice–which made him angry and he did take out the anger on Sal.

  • twinkiecowboy

    @bitchstolemyremote That’s true, I didn’t think of that! Next time there is a partners’ vote on a woman’s body, Joan will be a part of it.

  • harlowish

    I can’t see Joan’s actions as empowering just because, like y’all said, now all the other partners know how she got her partnership.  If no one else knew I might be less conflicted about it.

    And the partners (minus Don) were sleazy for going along with it, but I think it’s mostly Pete Campbell’s fault they got into such a sleazy place.  When he told the partners what happened, they were shocked, but then he misrepresented how willing Joan was by saying, essentially, “She didn’t say no, she just said we couldn’t afford her.”  And it seems like after the partners heard that they were more willing to consider the possibility.

  • http://tigergray.blogspot.com/ Tiger Gray

    I don’t even watch this show but I love your analyses. 

  • greenwich_matron

    Has Joan ever had a sex scene that wasn’t cringe worthy? From Paul, to the guy she picked up with her room mate, to Roger, to her husband, sex has never been a good thing for Joan. So someone comes to her and promises to materially change her life in exchange for yet another disagreeable sexual encounter.
     Joan is perfectly capable of being unambiguous, and Pete read her correctly. It was not the other partners job to save her from a fate worse than death. They wouldn’t fire her for refusing (they were surprised it was even on the table). Each of the partners (except Don) know that he has sold his soul for his share of the business. To paraphrase Lane, “If you are going to sell your self, get top dollar. I didn’t get top dollar, and now I regret it.” 

    I hate this development because it is so unrealistic. People don’t give up enormous amounts of wealth for a single act. The whole scenario plays like a moral dilemma board game. 

    • Glammie

      Yep.  Who gets a lifetime sinecure for a half-hour of sex with a sleazeball?  

  • daliah lugo

     I think this episode is a casualty of this season’s lesser, “dumbing-down” writing.  While the act of *literally* sleeping her way to the top may fit in with the overall theme — women of her generation had to use this particular tool (their sexuality) to get ahead — Joan’s decision is not in keeping with her character.  I firmly believe the “Joan” that was built up to this point would never have allowed the partners (or herself) to get away with this.  Not because trading in her stock was adverse to her, but because she has always been more strategic than that.  Sure, she gets a partnership, but the partners will never forget how she got it, and will never be able to respect her.  The Joan we knew would never allow herself to be put in that position.  The writers got stuck in “making the point” mode and lost sight of the larger picture.  Might just be the JTS moment for Mad Men…

    • Maggie_Mae

      Pete convinced Joan that all the partners wanted her to screw the car guy–they were just negotiating the terms.  Therefore, she had already lost their respect–so she might as well get something out of the deal.  And she’s lost respect for them (except Don)–but has a bit of real power, now.

      Hasn’t “Jumped the Shark” jumped the shark?

  • Tafadhali

    Last night, I stayed up all night writing, trying to pull an essay into shape before I had to turn it in at noon today. I was writing about the construction of the ideal in Venus and Adonis, Troilus and Cressida, and Antony and Cleopatra, but it was really about being objectified, being seen as something to possess or consume, and of course it was about how women are shaped in patriarchal society. Last night, I was mostly working on the concluding section on Cleopatra that I didn’t really have space for, trying to figure out what to say about her, about whether she found a way to work that misogynist system, which saw her as a queen and as a prostitute, to create her own image and build her own power.

    I turned it in at noon, came home, and said, “Okay, now it’s time for my reward: Mad Men!”

    And then the episode was exactly the paper I wrote, down to invoking two of the idealized beauties–Helen and Cleopatra–I discussed. It was like Matthew Weiner said, “Oh, oh, hey! Is this what you were getting at? Hey, maybe this should have been how you approached the Cleopatra angle–I know you weren’t happy with that section! Hey!”

    It’s probably still not as bad as the fact that I took a break from work yesterday to watch Lewis and the episode was *literally structured around* Troilus and Cressida, including loving excerpts from the text and one of the main cops reading his copy of the Oxford edition that I’d left neglected on my desk to watch TV, but god, I need to start watching Hawaii 5-0 again or something.

  • http://twitter.com/jptrostle JP Trostle

    Haven’t seen anyone so far comment that Joan was compared to both Cleopatra AND Helen of Troy in the same hour.

    • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

      I haven’t finished reading the comments yet, but the Cleopatra reference reminded me of an earlier observation (made here or elsewhere, I forget) that Joan’s idol post-Marilyn Monroe had become Liz Taylor.

  • jmypike

    I believe the clothing item in question may have been the fur jacket Roger had gifted to Joan back in the day–I think it’s the same one she was wearing when she arrived at Herb’s room

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

    How will Joan ever be able to come up with $50,000 if the partnership needs her to, like the way they had to a few years back?

  • Twinzilla

    I’m going to defend Roger here.  Pete played that situation beautifully to get what he wanted, coloring conversations when he described them to others. It started when he told Joan that the dealership guy persisted in insisting on Joan, even repeating his demand at the curb when they parted.  No such thing happened.  Roger was disbelieving that Joan had entertained Pete’s suggestion until Pete mischaracterized what she had said by quoting her as saying “You don’t have the money,” like “Joan’s cool with it but she doesn’t think we can make it worth her while.”  Roger backed off at that point because he,  knows Joan needs money, but he’s a little surprised she would go this way for it.  Pete is a weasel. A very good weasel.  Lane also accepts
    Pete’s lies, but at least he goes to Joan with a better strategy (even if it is also a strategy that hides his theft).  The partnership demand is brilliant for Joan, and she will be a great partner, one who actuallly pays attention to the business end of things.
    LOVED seeing Freddie Rumson.  Since we’ve also seen Paul, doe s this mean  we’ll soon see Sal Romano?

    • PaulaBerman

       Re: Sal, god I hope so.

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

        Wouldn’t that be fabulous if he is Art Director at CGC? Oh, wait, probably not- Smitty is there. 

  • JulieTy

    MEGAN: I don’t think she really wants to be an actress at this point — it’s just that her father made her feel ashamed of her work in advertising and pressured her to go back to her “dream.” Dreams can change, Daddy. And didn’t she look just like Ann Marie in her audition dress?

    LANE: Getting more desperate by the minute — TLo, darlings, why no discussion of this in the recap?

    JOAN: I’m not sure I will ever be able to forgive Weiner & co. for what they did to her.

    MOTHERS: Joan’s is a nightmare, Peggy’s is a martinet, Don’s was a hooker, Pete’s was cold, Betty’s (and Don’s) are dead, Sally’s is a nightmare, etc. etc. etc. Why are there no good mothers on this show? Does Disney own AMC?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=21413366 Evan Hart

       Counter: Trudy is a kick ass mother and the fathers on the show aren’t really much better than the “bad” moms. Don’s dad was an abusive alcoholic, Pete’s dad was a self-centered asshole, Sally’s is distant and damaged, Lane’s dad is abusive and controlling, etc.

      • JulieTy

        I agree about fathers, but at least we had loving Grandpa Gene for awhile. As for Trudy, I don’t think we’ve seen enough of her parenting to make an assessment. She wants her daughter to grow up in fresh air. Is there more data than that?

        • Melissa Brogan

           We can at least put her down under “better than what we’ve seen in the Mad Men universe so far.”

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

          Grandpa Gene was sweet with Sally, but he was also senile. Betty probably had a different experience growing up.

  • SignLadyB

    But, but. Yes, I pretty much see what you are saying TLo, and I’ll probably end up agreeing in the end. Still, Pete has jumped the sleaze shark, and with such refined tones and countenance through it all.He started with Peggy 5 years ago and has now hit the high point in his sleaze career–no place to go but to pimp hat and gold chains in my mind. And the way he treated his wife was just more of the same.
    I understand what you are saying about Joan and her final rationalization but I hate it and I really don’t think she would have done it in real life. I really believe she has too much self-respect. And that Don didn’t protest more vehemently at the proposal or even at his private meeting with Joan at her home really surprises me–he is the only man in that partnership who truly loves and respects Joan. I just don’t see him allowing it to happen.
    Peggy–yay for her! It was time for her to move on. I was so happy that she met with the sober Freddy R. and that he really does care for and respect her–they have history and they know it.
    I think it’s either the color of Peggy’s aubergine dress or the scarf on Joan’s dress going down the back rather than tied in a bow. And didn’t Megan wear the same dress twice? First to the office then to the audition? 

    • Sweetbetty

       ”And didn’t Megan wear the same dress twice? First to the office then to the audition? ”

      Megan has an “audition dress”.  She brought it to the office, or already had it stashed there, and changed into it when she snuck off to that audition when she told Peggy she was meeting Don for dinner.  She wore it during this episode’s audition and Don made a reference to her “audition dress”, so she’s worn that dress numerous times I believe.

  • Andrea Rossillon

     that was the moment I understood that Lane’s not paying his British taxes wasn’t the problem but the symptom of his money issues. I had thought he needed the (embezzled) money to just pay his taxes– but I guess he didn’t pay his taxes because he needed the money.

    • Andrea Rossillon

       god, this was supposed to be in response to Milaxx, a million comments ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1370315162 Jennifer Jones

    Joan in Betty’s sad marriage coat???

    • Andrea Rossillon

       I saw that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1370315162 Jennifer Jones

    another thought. Was Joan wearing Roger’s fur when she went to the hotel?

  • tzemingdynasty

    Sorry if this is repeated in other comments, but OMG, Joan’s fur wrap! Am I right? That Roger gave her all those years ago… Which he bought …from Don? Absurdly and depressingly echoed in her mother’s garish tiger stripe cape thing too.

  • QueenieQueenie

    This episode just seemed like another in this season’s line of jackhammery-themed episodes that no longer trust the show’s old audience — which, as we all know, has been extremely loyal and quietly-cultivated over time — to understand this show’s used-to-be-subtle nature.  Such is the way of all television, I know, and yet I found myself profoundly saddened by it.

    Joan’s storyline, to me, was so out of character and ratings-mongering that I could hardly watch.  Roger’s not caring was a misstep?  Megan’s scenes seemed tacked-on?  Certainly, because the episodes this season have seemed less and less subtle, sensible, and profoundly undertonedly-feminist, and instead seem more and more about, “How can we show more o’ them attractive undergarments and more o’ them saucily outrageous sexual escapades to attract more viewers? It doesn’t really matter if they make sense this season. Just throw som’more in. No one will notice.” 

    Where we once were horrified by a beloved female character being raped in an office and then quietly marrying the secretly-odious monster, leaving the audience aghast at the society from which this show’s lightly subversive ideology sprung, we are now expected to believe that the same female character would be treated the same way by everyone in the office, openly, without any immediate repercussions. I just don’t buy it.  

    Instead, I find that my mind wants to find levels that are no longer present on the surface of the show’s writing. I wonder if Joan’s being secretly divorced had much to do with her unfortunate, albeit ridiculous, plot. Ken and Pete (a.k.a. “Ultra Weasel”) made small talk about Joan being secretly divorced at the table. Divorced women in the 1960s were often lauded for their “dating approachability” in “comedic” movies of the period, because they were “no longer virgins” and therefore “quite liable” to sleep with whatever schmuck came around. And I recall that Don sought to defend Joan, not by saying, “She is a person!” but rather, “She’s married!” Don, crazy nutcase — literally — that he is, still defends married women. Remember his horror at Bobbie being a mother with children? To Don, a woman is still the property of her husband, you and don’t mess around with that in Don’s increasingly-old world. The look on his face at seeing Joan revealed as a partner was the same look he had when he discovered Bobbie was a mother. (Although to be fair, Don really only has *one* “WTF?!” face, although it seems to have been deployed less often of late.)

    Ownership. Cue the theme-jackhammer of the season.

    Is anyone else weirded out by the high amount of car companies sponsoring Mad Men now? One wonders if they read the script for this episode … or rather, one wonders if they heard that hawt young ladies would be climbing on tables, inexplicably selling their bodies for their inexplicable future, and popping in to their husband’s office to do things they said they didn’t want to do mere episodes before. Perhaps that was enough for said car companies to shell out the big bucks.  God I’m cynical.

    Good-bye, my dear Peggy: the one woman who can’t be owned. Your fans shall miss you but cannot believe you are truly gone. Hopefully the theme jackhammer won’t run wild over you anymore.

    • Sweetbetty

       ” Ken and Pete (a.k.a. “Ultra Weasel”) made small talk about Joan being secretly divorced at the table.”

      When did this happen?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=21413366 Evan Hart

    I find this whole conversation very interesting. In many ways, all of the men in the office have had bits of themselves and their souls ripped out by their business. I don’t see a great deal of difference in the compromises they’ve made for their business and what Joan did. The major difference, in my mind, is that the other partners will judge her more harshly for what she’s done to get ahead. None of the other partners got to their position through honest, hard work. Joan made a calculated decision for herself and her child. It broke her heart (and mine), but I wasn’t ask shocked as others by her actions. 

  • annaplurabelle

    Looked at in context, I didn’t think it was out of character for Joan to go through with it. This season’s Joan isn’t the Joan from earlier seasons. Joan has been depressed for awhile now. Depression messes with your perception of life options and self esteem, and will make you do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do.

  • Katie Millett

    I don’t see Joan’s actions as empowering either.  She was put in an impossible situation and tried to get the most she could out of it. However, she was bullied (by Pete) and manipulated (by Lane) to do something and she gave in and did it.  Even though it would have been risky and scary, I think the most empowering thing she could have done would have been to start looking for another job.  Don finally didn’t take Peggy for granted anymore when she said she was leaving, and hopefully the partners would have realized that they couldn’t do without Joan.  She then could have tried to negotiate for a better salary or some other benefit in order for them to get her to stay.

    This plan would have have been very risky and I don’t blame Joan, because it is hard for her to take risks in her situation.  However, even though she is now a partner, what is to say she won’t be bullied and manipulated in the future?  Once a woman is viewed as a whore she is society has little tolerance for her saying “no” to future propositions.  The partners have learned that she is willing to do anything to land a client and what protection does she have against them using this against her in the future?  

    • avidreader02

      But remember when she did leave the original company?  The only job she could get was a shopgirl.  i don’t think Joan has the options that Peggy has.  And she has her mother and her child to support.

      • Sweetbetty

        There have been several comments about Joan supporting her mother but I wonder if she does.  We never saw her mother until the baby was born and at one point her mom commented about going back to her place in Jersey.  I got the feeling that she was a widow (do we know anything about Joan’s dad?) and was getting by on a pension.  She doesn’t seem old enough to be retired on her own so maybe she was working a small job to supplement her other income (that I imagine) and gave that up to move in with Joan and care for the baby while she worked.  I just don’t get the feeling that Joan is her sole means of support, though.

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

          Earlier in the season I think they indicated that Joan’s mother was divorced.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558631967 Ivona Foster

    A female viewer here: I don’t have an issue with the morality of Joan’s choice but it made me feel so desperately sad because she knew they will NEVER look at her as the competent woman she is EVER again.  The moment in Roger’s office when they found out they got it was particularly cringe worthy, I half expected them all to turn to her and tell her job well done as unrealistic as that is.

    I agree Roger’s reaction was complete bullshit but Lane’s was sweet and true to form I would say. He understood that she might not have a choice but do it and he wanted to make sure he gave the info she needed. Don, oh Don…. I want to believe that Joan might have changed her mind if he came by before and I hope she will set him straight on that one day: that she didn’t ignore what he said but that he simply came too late.

    My respect for Don would have been higher if he had added that he will work to get her the partnership without her doing this. Interestingly, all the men were looking at it strictly from the perspective of “it’s not important if we get Jaguar”. Not one of them thought what this could do for Joan, a soon to be a divorced single mother, no one but Lane that is. 

    Pete is now cemented as the slimey a-hole, as far as I’m concerned.

    You go Peggy!

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

      But the thing about Don– he wouldn’t work for her to become partner, would he?
      IMO, the only person acting against his morals was Lane, who I think truly cares about Joan. But convincing her to do it was true to character because he had to (regrettably) save his own butt.

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

    I think Joan’s actions just PREVENTED it ever happening again. Can the male partners truly expect a 5% voting partner to whore herself out for the company another time? At what greater cost? What more can they offer her?

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

    She clearly looks to him as a father figure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=733516833 Toby Wollin

    I’ve been waiting for this moment in MM for a long time – I’ve always felt that she was Mad Men’s version of Mary Wells and now I’m sure of it.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Wells_Lawrence

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1091753514 Kelli Anderson Taylor

    Yet another sad thing in all of this, is that the selling of Joan was completely superfluous and they would have won Jaguar anyway.  When the call came in from Jaguar, they said it “wasn’t even close” between the other agencies and SCDP.  Let’s pretend for a second Joan DIDN’T do it.  Herb could have been mad and voted no, but if the other people on the Jaguar board loved the pitch as much as it seems, Herb would have been shot down instantaneously. 

    • MilaXX

      I think Don knew this.  He ran to Joan right after the pitch which he seemed to  feel pretty confidant about. Unfortunately he was too late.

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

    “No matter how powerful we get, they can always draw a cartoon.” If everyone will think it anyway, why not do it and benefit from it? Joan is a total realist and knows that she only can rely on herself. Whatever else may happen or be said about her, she can laugh (or cry) all the way to the bank. She sold herself because it was all she had to sell and she, better than anyone, knows her own “shelf life.” Maybe at one time she thought the firm, or the people running it, would have her best interests at heart. So to me her actions were motivated by self-preservation in reaction to the hurt and betrayal she felt when that perception was shattered. 

    • ChrisDixon69

      So true. I think it would have made more sense to watch this episode straight after last weeks, where Joan lamented no longer receiving flowers at work. Last week when Joan received the flowers from Don, Roger seemed to react in a way that suggested he’d conceded the loss of Joan, so to him, her actions this week were probably a continuation of her moving on from her life up until that point.

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

    “No matter how powerful we get, they can always draw a cartoon.” If everyone will think it anyway, why not do it and benefit from it? Joan is a total realist and knows that she only can rely on herself. Whatever else may happen or be said about her, she can laugh (or cry) all the way to the bank. She sold herself because it was all she had to sell and she, better than anyone, knows her own “shelf life.” Maybe at one time she thought the firm, or the people running it, would have her best interests at heart. So to me her actions were motivated by self-preservation in reaction to the hurt and betrayal she felt when that perception was shattered. 

  • JMansm

    I’m not getting the shabby and cheap thing at all. Nor am I getting the idea that people weren’t behaving the way that they should. Pete, while terrible, has gotten reasonable at manipulating people (even if he’s terrible at avoiding the consequences) he kept conversations separate enough that Joan didn’t realize that not everyone was that on board and that the guys didn’t really realize that Joan wasn’t on board. It was actually beautiful writing:

    1) When Ken and Pete first talked to Jaguar guy, Ken took it as “absolutely not” but Pete saw an opportunity.
    2) When Pete talked to Joan and she said they couldn’t afford her price she was saying “no” and Pete saw it as “maybe.”
    3) When Pete talked to the guys, he then extended what Joan had said into saying that she wanted a significant incentive – none of them saw how horrified she was. 
    4) When Pete reported back to Joan, he was not forthcoming enough about the fact that Don stormed out and while no one else said no they said things to indicate their disapproval of the situation and they all seemed to be operating under the caveat that Joan was possibly OK with it (in other words they were against it but the possibility that she might be willing to go through with it made them feel okay about it). 
    5) The two other people that Joan spoke to about it added some complexity. Don made complete sense but was of course too late. Lane is possibly where the writing broke down a bit. His motivations seemed pretty muddled and while it definitely made sense for him to tell her to ask for a partnership, I think that if he had spoken to her about it for 5 more minutes he would have realized Pete’s bluffed and really tried to convince her not to do it. 
    That this really bizarre and upsetting transaction took place was a result of Pete withholding information and everyone else failing to seek out the missing information (that they could have easily uncovered) because it’s an extremely delicate and uncomfortable topic. Therefore, I don’t think it was handled that cheaply or shabbily, and certainly not in a way that had people behaving uncharacteristically,  but rather in a way that made this episode possibly the strongest and tightest piece of writing all season. I think that the other elements of Peggy and Megan only added to the story and overall I was very impressed and enthralled with this episode. 

    • Qitkat

      I like the way you broke down your five points. I think what disturbed me the most about this situation, is that the other partners initially took at face value everything that Pete reported back to them. And that Joan, not knowing how manipulative and distortive Pete would be, just allowed things to happen as they did. That she did not go privately to each partner and say what the hell is going on with you people? Why are you making assumptions that this is something I am going to go along with, as long as the price is right?

      Joan never really saw any of the men’s first-hand reactions, from the moment that sleazeball Jaguar salesman brought it up with Ken and Pete, to how the partners reacted. We know that Ken acted the most appropriately, immediately rejecting the suggestion as unthinkable. We know that Don was disgusted and horrified, that he didn’t want or assume that Joan would be on board at any cost. We know that Roger seemed off-put by the idea, but didn’t react as strongly as many of us watchers thought that he would have. We know that Lane was startled but not nearly as offended as we might have thought he would be, since he realized her cooperation could play a part in helping out his money woes. We know that Bert’s reactions were as convoluted as Bert always is. And we know that Pete, having become the manipulative near sociopath we have been seeing for some time, saw this as an opportunity to control the other partners and Joan.

      Joan really didn’t know any of the above. Do we think that she will ever realize just how much she was manipulated and used? Is it going to be worth it for her career, both in the short and long runs?

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

        They all took Pete’s words at face value because they have become lazy. Pete knows this. He was banking on it. Well played, Pete Campbell, well played. That weasel isn’t going to stop till his name is on the marquee.

        • 3hares

          And not just lazy. They wanted to get the account but distance themselves from the pimping, look the other way. They all chose to passively let him get involved in part to avoid anything that might make them feel icky or change their minds. Pete was all about making it easy for them to say yes, they would like it if Joan slept with the guy for them.

          • P M

             Exactly. I think they would have all done something like this: Pete just happened to push the idea into action.

            Further distancing: It wasn’t their idea originally. They could always say that it was the dealer’s idea, and they just *had* to say yes to get the account.

        • P M

           I also think that the hunger for Jaguar overrode any ethics and concerns these men would have had for Joan.

          Probably, maybe, months from now, one of them will stop and think: ‘Hey, wait a minute, something didn’t add up – what was it Pete said? Did it really happen like that?’

          The speed at which things happened though, in the Jaguar deal, would have been too fast to really opt for alternatives, unless someone was willing to be confrontational. Which does not happen in Mad Men, or indeed, often, in life.

          Pete played them ALL masterfully.

          OTOH, shame on Lane.

    • Melissa Brogan

      4) When Pete reported back to Joan, he was not forthcoming enough about
      the fact that Don stormed out and while no one else said no they said
      things to indicate their disapproval

      He also conveniently left out Roger saying no–calling it dirty business and refusing to pay for it. Granted, I think Pete manipulated Roger into thinking Joanie was more on board than she was. I think that caused him to go along with it even if he found it distasteful. So he said no, but rather more weakly than Don, and this was yet another thing Joanie never knew. For all she knows in the very end of the episode, only Don objected, but that isn’t quite the whole story.

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

        Roger didn’t say no at all, not even weakly. He said “I won’t stand in your way, but I’m not paying for it.”

        • greenwich_matron

          How did he think he was not going to pay for it? If Joan got paid, he would be paying 25% (as would Don).

        • greenwich_matron

          How did he think he was not going to pay for it? If Joan got paid, he would be paying 25% (as would Don).

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

            He said this in response to the original idea of paying her $50,000, which led Pete to ask Lane to extend their credit line, which is what sent Lane back to Joan with the partner offer because he knew he couldn’t extend their credit any further.

          • greenwich_matron

            It’s telling that he somehow thinks that getting the firm to come with the cash is somehow “not paying for it.”

          • Sweetbetty

             I took it to mean he didn’t care if they pimped Joan out but he didn’t agree that they should pay her for doing it.  Wouldn’t Joan’s pay-off come from company funds, though, not equal amounts from each partner’s pocket?  That’s why Bert told Lane to go to the bank and extend their line of credit by $50k (which Lane had already done unbeknownst to the others).

          • greenwich_matron

            Yeah, that’s probably what he meant, but they own the firm, so every dollar in or out of the company funds equals twenty five cents in or out of Roger’s pocket. Roger’s protest was complete nonsense. If he voted against it, it wouldn’t have happened (he and Don are half the company), but he let it happen. He may be in denial about paying for it, but he cannot be ignorant of it.

            The more I think about it, the more revolted I get: Roger is the poster child for good guys involved in corporate malfeasance. 

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

          I thought that was more Roger snark, in reference to his seemingly endless pockets. But nobody was laughing. 

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

      I think the way Lane approached her made sense.  If everything in Lane’s life were going normally and he had no serious problems going on, he probably would have done the upstanding thing told her to keep her integrity and refuse.  But that’s not his situation – he himself is desperate, with serious financial issues and is facing prison, divorce, losing his job/business…  He’s doing things he never would have thought himself capable of.  He didn’t necessarily suggest that she do it, but if she did, he was advising her to protect herself and get as much out of it as she could so she didn’t end up shit creek like he did.  Plus, landing Jaguar would certainly help him with his personal situation.

  • Jessica Stone

    For me, ‘getting what you really want’ (and knowing what that is) was the defining theme. 

  • silaria

    This is pretty much exactly how I interpret it.  Joan’s decision wasn’t “stunning and unbelievable”.  For the situation in which she found herself, it was perfectly logical.  If she refused she’s become known as the person who lost the Jaguar account, earning the resentment of everyone she worked with.  If she accepted, she could continue working (and we know how important her job is to her), and she could gain something from it. Those were her choices as she saw them.  The only person operating with full knowledge of the situation was Pete, and he played everyone else to suit his needs.

    • Sweetbetty

       ”If she refused she’s become known as the person who lost the Jaguar account, earning the resentment of everyone she worked with.”

      Do you think the partners would have let it be known to everyone Joan worked with that they tried to pimp her out and she refused, thus causing the loss of Jaguar?  Nah.

      • silaria

        I don’t think they’d put it about deliberately, but there’s that thing about three people keeping a secret.

      • Melissa Brogan

         C’mon now, you really think Pete wouldn’t drop some rather unsubtle hints around the office that Joanie blew it all? He might not come flat out and say, hey I tried to pimp her out, she refused, and we lost the client! But he’d be damned sure to make the office know she blew it somehow.

        • greenwich_matron

          Pete being unable to manage the client would be an epic fail on his part. His sloppy handling of the situation created the dilemma, and I don’t think anyone would let him off the hook. Ken tried to redirect the client and he wanted to plant the image of madonna Joan into his mind, but Pete shut him down. Pete might try to drag Joan down with him, but he wouldn’t bring it up. 

  • ChrisDixon69

    I have not had time to read all of the comments, so I don’t know if this has been covered or not, but with any shock with actions of the partners, you must also remind yourself that this is the ad business. If you haven’t ever worked in advertising, you might not realise how easily morals and standards can be sacrificed for the promise of The Big Account. As for this (and other) reviews bemoaning the characters acting out of character – this is what advertising people do. As for the reactions of Roger et al to Joan’s decision, don’t be so impatient! As with all things Mad Men, the best reactions will be a slow burn.

    I thought the episode was spot-on – probably the best hour of TV I’ve seen in a long time.

    One more thing – and maybe I’m crazy – was there an updated cut in the title credits showing Pete Campbell’s silhouette in profile as the falling man?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1474713106 Katy Morris McDermott

    I haven’t read all 549 comments, so forgive me if this has already been said (or just add my thanks), but I’m truly grateful that you guys chose to spend several hours of your holiday writing this post, knowing the BKs would be waiting breathlessly for it. I hope you’re enjoying a fabulous barbecue full of great food and well-dressed people somewhere…

  • Wilson Hooper

    I’m not quite sure if I agree with the characterization of the partners’ response here. (Excepting Pete, of course, who’s indeed as slimy as your say) Sure, the other men’s resistance wasn’t strong, but neither did they do anything to suggest that she’d be fired, or even resented, if she didn’t do it. And Don went to bat for her as much as he’s gone to bat for anyone. Though his motives seemed selfish at first (he wanted his creative to win the account), any doubt was put to rest when he went to her apartment. 

    I think this is an occasion to reassess Joan. You acknowledge in your review that using sexuality to manipulate people into giving her what she wants is old hat, but you imply that she’s forgiven because she’s doing it for her career or for her baby or for women or for whatever. In don’t think her motivations are so pure. She and Don get along because she seeks control just like him. She loves being the queen bee of those poor, put-upon secretaries. She has no qualms about using her sexuality to get those men in line. She turns harshly on her husband when he has a different vision for his future than she does. And now, she whores herself out without much of a fight as long as it gets her a seat at the table. 

    I’m not passing judgement, I just want folks to acknowledge that she’s no saint, and that she’s flawed just like the rest of the characters on here. 

  • greenwich_matron

    I think Pete is being given too much “credit” for Joan’s act. The ugly truth is that Pete was right about Joan’s “can’t afford it” comment. Joan saw right through Pete’s clumsy manipulations and she could have shut him down in her fabulous Joan way. The partners basically wanted this to happen (even Roger, who loves his lifestyle). Pete isn’t a manipulative puppet master, he is a grimy little pimp.

    • PaulaBerman

       Pete did a lot of lying and misrepresenting to get Joan to the point where she’d do it. He is a grimy little pimp, but he did a whole lot of maneuvering in this ep.

  • nellcote

    So did Peggy “walk into the light” and fall down the elevator shaft?

  • mixedupfiles

    I feel like I’m grieving for Joan. I can’t stop thinking about this episode, but not in a good way. I can’t stop arguing in my head with the writers.

    Joan has from the first prized her image above all — how she presents to
    people. To present as a paid whore, to her now fellow partners? Now and for the long future? Not in a
    million years. One of the first things we learned about her was her distaste about having been with Kinsey — not because of their dynamic, whatever it was, but because he’d made it known, and that was a betrayal to Joan.

    Maybe if it had been a private choice of hers, rather than something that was known to the men. Then we could have had all the discussions about what, if any, distinctions there are between this and all the other practical reasons women have sex with men, and have through the ages. (To be clear – women have sex because they want to, but it’s also always been a tool, like any other aspect of human interaction.)

    One of the things I’ve been thinking about this morning is how I understand sex as a transaction better now (I’m in my 40s) than I did when I was young. It hasn’t been sex for money for myself or my friends, but certainly at times it’s been for affection or for security or even for status, in some cases. And you can’t necessarily see the dynamic when you’re in it, but you can later. And for Joan, it’s later.  She’s older (in 60s terms), and her view of how she has used sex would not be blinkered. And so for Joan to wrestle on her own with sex as direct transaction could have been really interesting. But there’s just no way in hell the Joan we know would have compromised herself in this public way. It would mean too much. This betrays who Joan is.

    And it’s not about Roger letting her down. She’s been well and thoroughly let down by Roger. Most poignantly in that scene — I can’t remember now what episode, or even season — when they were having a moment about their shared past, and he reduced it to a bit of crassness about how it had been a pleasure to roam her hills. She knew well before now that Roger hasn’t treasured her in the way she would have like him to.

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

      i agree completely.  that is why i think when don came to see her, she didn’t let on what had happened.  that would have been too devastating.  i think she is leaving the whole thing up in the air; nobody really knows for sure whether or not she actually showed up at that old guy’s hotel room, or what actually happened there, and no one will dare ask.  i’m thinking everyone will do what is expedient and be more comfortable sweeping the whole thing under the rug and just moving forward.  joan had specified to pete that she wanted a contract that very day and the contract itself had nothing to do with anything but her official contribution to the company, and i am hoping everyone will just leave it at that, because otherwise the whole thing is just too horrid and embarrassing and brutal.

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

      People keep getting confused over two things in our review. We did NOT say that this was an empowering moment for Joan and we did NOT say that Roger was supposed to object or protest the plan. What we DID say was that this wasn’t so much empowering for Joan as it was another instance of her gaming the system that’s rigged against her and that we find it hard to believe that Roger wouldn’t have made some comment – NOT necessarily of support or outrage – about the instance after the fact.

      • mixedupfiles

        No, I wasn’t arguing with your post — you write “Joan, as we know her, wouldn’t agree to such a thing,” which I think is exactly right. And my Roger comment was more about what other commenters have suggested.

  • rainwood1

    I haven’t watched MM faithfully this season, forgetting it was on or coming in late after PBS Masterpiece was over, and missed this episode entirely because we were out of town.  I’m kind of glad I’m not watching much anymore.  Just reading your post, T Lo, made me sad enough.      

    • Maggie_Mae

      My Sunday nights have recently been devoted to Game of Thrones, then Mad Men.  I’m an old-time Masterpiece Theater fan, but Masterpiece Classic has become snore-inducing.  For three Sundays, I watched Sherlock on Masterpiece Masterpiece, then the repeats of GoT & MM.  (Even though I already have the Sherlock series 2 DVD’s!) 

      I enjoy keeping up with high-quality TV. Between repeats & On Command, it’s possible! Sherlock’s gone now until next year.  GoT has one more episode & MM has (I think) two.  So it will be back to reading & Netflixing….

    • Maggie_Mae

      My Sunday nights have recently been devoted to Game of Thrones, then Mad Men.  I’m an old-time Masterpiece Theater fan, but Masterpiece Classic has become snore-inducing.  For three Sundays, I watched Sherlock on Masterpiece Masterpiece, then the repeats of GoT & MM.  (Even though I already have the Sherlock series 2 DVD’s!) 

      I enjoy keeping up with high-quality TV. Between repeats & On Command, it’s possible! Sherlock’s gone now until next year.  GoT has one more episode & MM has (I think) two.  So it will be back to reading & Netflixing….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/F4QEKFKIWCIQJVYDLMB3CIXUGQ Erin

    I know EXACTLY what article of clothing you’re talking about and the second i saw it i said, “I can’t wait for this week’s Mad Style post.”

  • Qitkat

    removed

  • Qitkat

    removed

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/F4QEKFKIWCIQJVYDLMB3CIXUGQ Erin

    I haven’t seen anyone point out that Don’s disgust with the situation was not just about Joan…Remember, he has a beautiful young wife putting herself out there audition after audition…to Don, a wife is off-limits. If Joan could “fall”, what about Megan?

  • http://twitter.com/luckinspades Miko Simons

    Well written.  I do desire to add: consider that Joan initially chose to hide behind her married status even though she (and we) already knew she was being divorced.  As if that would make her answer clear to the womanizing cheaters she works with.

  • JMansm

    I’m trying to guess what the shocking article of clothing was but the three things I have come up with are all probably too obvious, I think (since you said “eagle-eyed”). I feel like such a nerd but I’m so excited for Wednesday, to find out what it is. 

  • gokobuta

     I wonder if Peggy will ever reveal to Ted Chaough that she was the star of SCDP’s Honda commercial.

  • Megan Patterson

    I think the main difference in her life that contributed to Joan actually “taking one for the team” in exchange for a partnership is simple — she’s a single mother now. She has a child to support on her own. Many mothers throughout the history of man have done a lot more for less. 

  • sononagal

    God – I have been thinking about Joan all day. 

    I am 51 – not quite old enough to have had to experience the outright abuse the women in Mad Men have had to stomach, but old enough to know what my Mother would have gone through.  She would have been about 36 in 1966 (Joan’s age?).  Had she been divorced and raising a child on her own at that time, people would have labeled her “easy” and “damaged”.  Having a second chance at marriage would be nearly impossible.  A single man – divorced or not – would have married a younger women without children or prior experience as a wife.  Men wanted to “own” something right new and “off the lot” – not a previously owned model.

    With her divorce pending, Joan knows she will likely be single for the rest of her life.  Roger?  Joan saw that he will continue to chase anything in a skirt, as the last episode proved.

    In Joan’s mind, the only way for her to be economically independent was to… ironically…to sell herself to the men.  Joan’s strength?  She completely dictated the terms of the agreement with SCDP.  Joan wanted to be a voting partner with the salary that goes with it – nothing less. 

    I agree with many of the posters that she will never really be seen as equal – but as a woman who slept her way to partnership.  She might get the income, but never equal respect.  That was the very saddest thing of all.  Tragic, in fact.

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      in 1966?

      maybe i’m thinking a little bit later–i’m a little bit younger–but i skipped a lot of grades &, actually, i would say maybe half the kids i went to school w/ had divorced parents. maybe a bit less than half & maybe they divorced later [i'm not quite old enough to remember 1966]. but it may be cos i grew up in los angeles. then again, JH is supposed to be in new york. i cant imagine it was any different there. & the advertising industry cannot be that different from the movie industry in which i grew up. if i only include the industry people, could it be possible that almost all of them had been married, divorced &, possibly, married again–or even counterculture married, meaning: not legally? it could.

      • sononagal

        Sorry.  I didn’t mean to suggest there wasn’t divorce in 1966.  Even in Mad Men,
        there are plenty of examples of divorce.  Roger, Don, …

        I guess the point I was making is that in Joan’s mind, she probably believes she has few options left for financial security.  As her mother said, “you’re drying up.”

        I am also certain that a woman like Joan would be among those that get re-married
        in the 1970′s.  She would be quite a catch with her strength and humor.  But in 1966, it was much harder to find a man who wanted a divorcee with a baby (Betty, aside I suppose, but she fell in love with another married man).  

        I do remember that in the mid 1960′s, none of my friends had parents that were or had been divorced.  If they were, they didn’t talk about it.  And this was San Francisco! 

        But the attitude about divorce changed quickly – by the time I was about 10 or 12 (1970-1972 ish) there were lots of divorced parents.  I mean LOTS.   It was as if all the parents around me suddenly realized they were unhappy and discovered there was an option for them.  It was after all, the start of the “me” decade.  Maybe that had something to do with it.

         

        • BrooklynBomber

          Similar to my experience in a Bay Area suburb: when I was growing up in the ’60s, none of my friends’ parents were divorced, and to my child’s mind, the word “divorcee” was almost was the same as “floozy.” Also, in the house next door to ours, the husband beat up the wife all the time, and nobody thought there was anything to be done about it. 

          • sononagal

            Yup.  For women at the time, Divorcee = Floozy.  

            Ironically, I kind of remember that divorced men (who didn’t stay that way long), were not painted with the same disapproving brush at all. 

            I recall that the woman in the “failed marriage” was suspected of being “difficult” or “un-satisfying”  or “a bad mother.” 

            Oh sure, occasionally the man was a pig and everyone knew it – but that was rare in my memory.

          • BrooklynBomber

            I don’t even recall hearing anything like that, but it was there, somehow … maybe I got it from tv … I don’t know, but what you’re describing is indeed what my impressionable young mind took in.

          • Sweetbetty

             Remember how Glen’s mom was discussed by the housewives in the neighborhood when she, a divorcee, moved onto the block.  Divorced women were also assumed to be on the hunt and would take  another woman’s husband without a twinge of guilt since she was already assumed to be morally deficient.

        • formerlyAnon

           Yup. I remember divorce sweeping in two waves through the generation that was married & often had children by the ’60s – the first wave in the early- mid 70′s. At first it was shocking, but people became accustomed. Then another wave (among that generation) was late 70′s through the mid 80′s, as couples who’d stayed together, happily or unhappily, divorced either because they’d gotten the kids raised & felt it was now o.k. to split, or because with the kids gone, there was little to keep them together

          • sononagal

            That’s EXACTLY how I remember it.  

        • anotherEloise

          I grew up in the Bay Area in the ’60s, and knew plenty of kids with divorced parents.  In many cases, in fact, the divorced mother moved from elsewhere, with her kids, to make a fresh start in California. . .  

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

    I was blown away by this episode, although I actually thought the parts with Megan and her friend were totally unneccessary–in fact when Don and Megan started making out in his office, I fast-forwarded it (boring!) But I found Joan and Peggy’s stories astonishing.  I think we will hear from Roger about Joan’s actions soon too.I just really hope that Joan can put this action past her and do what she does best; Making SCDP — or should that be SCDPH? — work.  Back in S3, Don said “Joan, what a good idea” and I think he knows that SCDP would not make it without her.

  • CarolinLA

    What will be Joan’s worth to the women in the office now?

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

      Even higher. They won’t know what she did to get her job. The secretaries 5 years ago might have gossiped, but they have been replaced. These newer girls look up to Joan.

  • CarolinLA

    I have to say that I don’t buy the casting couch for a theater production.  If she’d been going in for Dark Shadows, yes.  Live theater?  No.

  • http://twitter.com/duxrock Just Ducky

    Laugh-Out-Loud Comment on AMCTV.com’s MM message board today (sorry – didn’t get the poster’s name):

    “I hope Pete Campbell turns out to be Rosie Larsen’s killer.”

    I have been cracking up all day.

  • amyfromnj

    Why would Joan do would she did when Roger offered to help her with the baby? At least Joan was respectable before this happened. Not any more!

    • MilaXX

       Because allowing roger any role in raising that child would be more trouble than it’s worth ultimately

    • xay

      Because Joan knows better than to be dependent on Roger for anything. Furthermore, Joan is no less respectable than any of the men in that room who let Pete talk them into being pimps for a contract.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002239766347 Mod Chick

    Joan was wearing the fur Roger bought her at the furrier where Don worked as a salesman.

    • http://twitter.com/duxrock Just Ducky

      Mod Chick: Was it truly the same fur? GREAT observation on your part.

  • http://twitter.com/observacious Kim Z Dale

    You may get to it in Mad Style, but the flashback was really heartbreaking. I wonder if Joan would have gone through with it if she thought that even one person (particularly Don) were against it. The hurt in the line “I thought everyone was on board” I took as her feeling like if everyone already looked at her as a potential prostitute she might as well benefit. I like to think that she wouldn’t have done it if the timing of Don’s visit had been different. I see where the arguments of empowerment come from, but I feel this was a really sad day for Joan. You note that she has used men in the past, but that was the past. I had seen one of the points of the series being that Joan was evolving beyond needing to do that. I cried.

    I hope the series can pull Joan back up from this. I’m really sad for her right now.

  • imakeart

    I’ve watched the episode 3 times and have cried each time like it was the first.  It was a real jaw-dropper.  This show is a true work of art.

    Peggy’s resignation scene put such a lump in my throat.  I was in that exact situation years ago with my first mentor. At the time, it was the most difficult thing I’d ever done.

  • texashistorian

    Great recap as always. My two cents, for what they’re worth: I don’t think this whole Joan/Jaguar ordeal was as much sexual (that’s way too in-your-face for Mad Men) as it was about the choices people make. Joan acted as if she had none. She had built her entire adult life around her sexuality and her job at the advertising agency. She put both together to protect both, whereas she could have done what Peggy did – leave. Or what Megan did – assert herself. Or what Trudy did – set her foot down and say NO. Instead, Joan, who looks like she can kick anyone’s ass but is a deeply frail person – limited herself because the world that she knows limits her.

    And I think that’s the brilliance of Mad Men. This show is really not about Don or Lane or Roger or Pete, etc… it’s about the women, and the world that is changing for them. Rules are either enforced, broken, or redrawn – all for people like Peggy, Joan, Megan, Dr. Faye, Sally, Betty, and Anna.

    I’m so very excited for Peggy. Did anyone notice how much older and mature she looked when she spoke with Freddy and with her potential boss? There was nothing sexual about her look, as opposed to the other women, like Joan’s sex-pot, Trudy’s suburban wife, or Megan’s young, hip partner look. Peggy was in complete control and wasn’t shy about it. Don better watch his back… you know in the opening credits, when the silhouette of a man falls in between sky scrapers, and a giant woman’s foot moves, as if it was kicking him? That’s Peggy giving Don the final boot when she becomes the head of her own ad agency. ((( Ha ha))).

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

       LOL! I keep expecting him to bounce off like a hackey sack, but it hasn’t happened so far…

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

      Joan had another choice. She could follow Miss Blankenship’s path: sleep with the boss (or possibly the boss’s son, I can’t remember), but still toil away at her job until it literally killed her.
      Joan was not gonna go out like that.

    • formerlyAnon

       ”Instead, Joan, who looks like she can kick anyone’s ass but is a deeply
      frail person – limited herself because the world that she knows limits
      her.”

      YES. This has been stated in different ways several times in this thread, but I think you put it very well.

  • http://twitter.com/katrinamayr Katrina Mayr

    So… if you don’t watch it… then you mean that the RECAPS may have jumped the shark?

  • Erica_StuffIMakeMyHusband

    “VERY eagle-eyed readers with a good understanding of the show’s history might figure it out.”

    Joan arrived at the Jaguar guy’s apartment wearing the fur that Roger gave her.

  • trishy4301

    Re: the OMG wardrobe moment: when Herb opens the hotel room door, Joan is wearing the fur coat that we saw Roger give her in a flashback, when their affair was new and she was still channeling Marilyn (I don’t remember which season, sorry!)

    Re: who will die: my money is on Lane. At the end of this week’s episode, after they find out they won Jaguar, he is alone in Rogers’ office, and he’s perfectly framed against the wall of spots, and It seemed like he was being sucked into the vortex. I think Lane’s financial troubles and the embezzling will shame him into doing something awful. :-/ I hope I’m wrong – I love Lane’s character and his dynamic with Joan.

  • Maria McGarry

    I hated this episode so much.  Peggy leaving SCDP makes sense, and even the context felt right.  Nothing about the Joan situation hung together for me: 1) the ask (from just one vote, as Don points out), 2) that the partners who rely on her competence would throw her under the XJ6 that way, and most importantly 3) that she would agree to do it?  All 3 sets of behaviors seem wildly abnormal to me based on what we know about the characters.  It was like a horror movie — this can’t be happening, how can they do this to Joan? 

    But then the silly Megan story, just in case you were too stupid to see the anvil falling on your head from Joan, was what sealed the deal for me:  If Mad Men didn’t jump the shark tonight, it came damn close, basting a ridiculous point in obviousness. Pete is an odious jerk, but her response that his “love affair with Manhattan was over” I thought was also cruel.  She wears the pants in the family — and that powerlessness is what drives his frenetic sexual domination efforts everywhere.  Indeed, Pete prostituting Joan is exactly the kind of thing that wold turn him on.  

    I’m starting to hate these people.  And I so don’t want to.

  • Amanda Caldicott

    The fur!!

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

    To me this episode also reveals how men were so powerless when it came to the women they are dealing with. Joan will have them by their balls at some point.  ”at last something beautiful you can truly own” How pathetic. 
    Joan will harden from this. She may have looked pained and fragile, but the wheels were turning. 

    I agree with you about Roger. He’ll probably  do a slow burn, but they dropped the ball. 

  • http://twitter.com/M_Farah M_Farah

    I couldn’t understand the point of that scene either.  Is that the same friend who won the part in Dark Shadows?  Maybe this scene (especially coupled with Megan’s audition scene) was intended to suggest how she got the Dark Shadows part.

    • http://twitter.com/M_Farah M_Farah

      Oops. I was trying to reply to someone else’s comment and obviously failed.  My comment was in reference to the scene with Megan’s friend crawling across the conference room table.

  • filmcricket

    I was thinking of the previous ass-kicking when Lane left Pete with a glare after the initial meeting. He seemed to be saying, “Remember how I called you a grimy little pimp? Proves I was right, doesn’t it?”

    • sweetlilvoice

      Good tie in, I had forgot about that! Pete learned a lot during his time at the brothel. 

  • filmcricket

    Yeah, I don’t think Roger’s in love with Joan or sees her as The One, or anything like that. I’m pretty sure MW has said either in interviews or commentaries that Roger’s description of Joan as “the best piece of ass I’ve ever had” shows what he feels about her. If he had really been in love with her, he would have left Mona for her instead of for Jane. I think he has affection for her, and since his trip he might feel more of a connection with her, but love? No.

    • Sweetbetty

       I get the feeling that Roger is incapable of feeling true, mature, love for a woman.

  • Bozhi

    I do noot know why Joan did that, probably for power.
    I’m more thinking about the ending song, Kinks, You really got me.

  • sarahjane1912

    Oh TLo. Thank you. As usual, late to the commentary, but *rubs hands with glee* can’t wait to fine-tooth-comb the BKs’ comments.

    I died a little, just a little, when Don kissed Peggy ‘goodbye’. Magic stuff. But Peggy’s smile at the elevator removed the sting.

    Can’t wait for MadStyle. *GRIN*

  • filmcricket

    Exactly. You tell ‘em you’re going to work for a competitor, and they walk you out instantly.

  • another_laura

    What broke my heart was Joanie arriving in the coat Roger gave her. Because it reminded me of the scene where Roger said to her, as he was in his office fearing that he was dying of a heart attack, supposedly in the face of death, expressing his true self, “you’re the best piece of ass I ever had.” Man, that killed me.

  • Sarah Michaels

    I was not a fan of this episode. I love Mad Men because I think that the show has always done an amazing job of showing misogyny in a way that says yes, this is what it is, we’re going to show you, and we think it’s disgusting. They failed this episode. Trying to show that Joan’s action are somehow empowering disgusts me. It is not empowering for a woman to sleep with a man to become partner no matter how you spin it, so don’t even try. Trying to spin it that way is offensive. Yes, Joan has always used her talents as a beautiful, sexy woman to get what she wants, but she does it in a classy way, a “you want this but you can’t have it” way that doesn’t compromise her principles, and sleeping with that man? That compromised every principle Joan has.  I have always loved and appreciated that Joan and Peggy represents the two opposite ways that women get ahead in the work place, but I’ve always hoped that Joan would learn she’s worth more than just being a sexy woman and use her talents in a way that demands respect for her mind and not her body to get ahead. I feel like this episode is showing that that’s never going to happen, and god that’s dissapointing. I want to see Joan rise to the top more than anything, but this is not the way I wanted to see it, and it makes me a lose a lot of respect for the show. Maybe they’ll win it back by the end of the season, but I’ve never been this dissapointed after watching an episode of Mad Men. And I agree, the “women are sex objects” theme was extremely heavy-handed. Roger Sterling’s reaction to Joan’s actions was not so much unbelievable to me as it was absent– I feel like they could have delved a lot deeper into his emotions and they just went for the surface reaction. As interesting as Don’s reaction to Joan was, I would have preferred to see Roger’s. Dissapointing writing this episode. Peggy finally REALLY standing up for herself was the best part, but did she really need to be so cruel to Ken? Poor Ken Cosgrove. 

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

      THIS ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND TIMES, YES! 

  • GoldenMolly

    Oh. My. God. I know exactly what “article of clothing” you guys are talking about. It’s Joan’s fur coat, isn’t it? Isn’t it the same coat Roger gave her? She knew Roger agreed with her taking one for the team; she wore the same coat he gave her to meet the guy. Quite symbolic.

    And, no, Roger does NOT love Joan. Roger doesn’t love anyone but himself! I thought this was clear by now. He’s been/was in love with Joan, but he has never loved her. Not really.

  • Lattis

    I’ve read all the comments. All 18 blasted pages. 

    You know, lots of people have made some version of this statement: “Joan will never be equal as a partner or be able to hold her head up as a partner – they all know that she slept her way into a partnership.”

    Hells Bells. Why not say that in reverse? Joan will know every time she looks around the table that these guys were nothing more than pimps. Doesn’t seem to me that they’d have any right to feel like they’d taken a moral high road whereas she debased herself. They were all in the same boat: they wanted her to do it to assure their success – she wanted to get a better financial deal for herself and would tolerate doing it. 

    And this isn’t to say that it didn’t GUT me to see that utter horse’s ass paw at Joan and say he couldn’t “wait to see ‘em.”  God. The look on her face and her gesture deflecting his piggish hands. 

    • Lattis

      Also – I don’t hold it against Joan *or* think less of her. 

      But, I sure would like to see someone really love Joan and prize her. 

      • sweetlilvoice

        I just hope before the show ends that Joan is either with a man who adores her or happy enough with herself. I just want her to be happy. Her face during the seduction-amazing, heart breaking. 

        • P M

          Sorry to sound so venomous, but ‘seduction’ is hardly a word I would use. Sorry – not disagreeing with you, just the word.

          • Sweetbetty

             Agree.  “Transaction” would be a better word.

    • Kylara7

      The look on her face, with empty eyes and holding back tears, was wrenching.  

    • UrsNY

      Thank you! It’s disconcerting that so much online opinion (everywhere, not at ToLo) has been parsing Joan’s morality, when the partners pimped out someone the supposedly care about and admire. Scumbags. They cornered her in a swamp and she walked out of it. Her route is irrelevant. She has every right to hold her head high.

    • KayeBlue


      Why not say that in reverse? Joan will know every time she looks around the table that these guys were nothing more than pimps.”

      Very true! But since these are pre-feminist, pre-sexual harassment law, pre-how-is-selling-your-female-employee-even-up-for-discussion times, the other four partners have the power of this knowledge over her. They may vote to fire her precisely because they won’t like to be seen as the pimps they are. 

    • formerlyAnon

       The reverse view – she knows the guys are pimps – *might* work inside her head. But if they are all treating her as if she slept her way there & need not be taken seriously, what’s inside her head isn’t going to allow her to make much headway against them.  That’s why she ended up facing such a choice – however she might want to think about her self, her perception was that the entire team thought of her as a no more than a piece of ass to barter for a contract.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001629470857 Coralie Legister

    I look forward to these posts almost as much as the episodes themselves so just wanted to say thanks guys!
    I always try to look for the things that might come up in your Mad Style analysis:

    Is the one article of clothing that shocked you the mink coat that Roger gave to Joan when she was his mistress? In a way, a mistress’ gifts could be seen as payment.I don’t know if this is of any significance but I noticed that both Peggy and Megan wore purple dresses on their last day in the office, where they are also leaving Don.Also that Joan’s silk robe which she used to cover up what she’s done from Don is the exact same colour green as the dress she wore the next day, only to reveal to him that she had gone through with it.The green nightie that Megan wears in bed is almost the same as the one Kitty wears in her attempt to seduce Sal. Their actions whilst wearing them were a complete contrast, however.

    • KayeBlue

      Brilliant on the mink coat! If there’s a betting pool on this, I’m following your call and putting my money on that.

  • cherylmoore

    I agree with the comments that Joan has had a rough time, she’s
    depressed and poor, coming home to her awful mom and her refrigerator broken. The men in her
    life have disappointed her so much.  How alone she must have felt ! It was a very emotional episode and I too cannot stop thinking about it. Roger was a disappointment, but then he
    always is. Glad for Peggy.  Don is learning bitter lessons and becoming a character that I’m actually starting to like.

  • fursa_saida

    Joan’s blue ruffly dress? Because I sat straight up on my couch (no mean feat) when I saw that.

    None of the recaps I’ve read so far mention Lane at all, but his actions in going to Joan and advising her to at least not settle, if she was going to allow this to happen, was actually pivotal to the episode. I also can’t tell exactly if it was meant to be in some way connected to his various plans to get out of financial trouble, or if it was just simple concern for a woman for whom we know he has immense respect.

    In short: LANE: DISCUSS.

    • Sweetbetty

       Lane’s actions in this episode have been discussed at length.  The consensus seems to be that he knew the company didn’t have $50K to hand over to her so he told her to ask for the partnership to cover up that fact and save his own butt and also because he does care for her and wanted her to get the best benefit she could out of selling herself this way.  He also revealed that three years ago when the company really needed him he took less than he needed for the sake of the company and now he’s paying the price (his tax and other financial problems, though he didn’t go into detail on that with Joan).  As he left Joan’s office he hesitated and you could see his growing disgust with himself but the wheels were already in motion and he was just trying to guide them to his (and Joan’s) best advantage.

      • fursa_saida

        If it’s no trouble, would you mind giving me a link to said discussions? Or do you mean in the comments here?

        • Maggie_Mae

          Yes, Lane’s advice to Joan has been discussed here.  The large lump sum payout would probably expose his shenanigans. So he advised her to go for a partnership. 

          She already had a fair idea about where the money goes. Now she will learn even more.  And she has a vote….

        • Sweetbetty

           Interspersed in the comments here.

  • SVLynn

    Wonderful recap. I watched last night, and still feel so sad over Joan’s choice, as so many has said, Pete so manipulated her and she was damned whether she did it or not. I still have a hard time with after her being raped by her husband, and then throwing him out, she would allow herself willingly to go through that violation yet again. I was so sad at what she’d done, and so sad that she thought all the partners wanted her to do it, thanks to Pete. I don’t think Roger would have done absolutely nothing either, no way he wouldn’t at least have shown up a drunken mess at her doorstep. That was hard to believe.
     Don was upset with Joan’s choice, but for more than one reason. He will now never know if they would have won the Jaguar account without Joan. He needed a big win at work,that he had made happen, this was a major blow for him I think.
    I just hope we are going to see Peggy more than we see Betty!! I’m rooting for an all female ad agency with Joan and Peggy as the owners, these guys on this show are such slimeballs. Pete has now sunk to new sociopathic levels, he truly has no moral compass whatsoever. What an incredible douche he is. Brilliant episode and recap.

    • Sweetbetty

      ” Don was upset with Joan’s choice, but for more than one reason. He will
      now never know if they would have won the Jaguar account without Joan.
      He needed a big win at work,that he had made happen, this was a major
      blow for him I think.”

      I had totally missed that the first time I watched but when I re-watched it last night it was so obvious how much the knowledge that Joan went through with the deed affected Don and on so many levels.

      “I’m rooting for an all female ad agency with Joan and Peggy as the owners”

      And Megan as a knock-out copywriter after failing as an actress and realizing that she really did enjoy doing what she did so well.

  • JMEL

    When an episode haunts my thoughts for an entire day and I read almost all 15+ pages of comments on TLo, I know it was good.

    The Megan storyline was a bit disjointed to the overall episode, but, I believe, it was part of showing that Don will never own any woman/anything truly beautiful.  The three women closest to him make their own decisions no matter what he says or does. 

    Don will never know if he won Jaguar for his presentation, or because of Joan.  What a blow to his ego.

    I thought Joan was not out of character.  Once a woman has a baby to take care of, the cards in your hand change forever. It was not empowering, it is survival.  I also thought Roger was in character.  He spoke against it at first and never thought she would do it, but he never stopped her from seeing other men.  Great point when someone else mentioned he had the same look on his face when he has to be Santa for Lucky Strike.  He was a whore too.

    Slimey Pete lied to all sides to get what he wanted.

    I look forward to the style post because I want to know TLo’s interpretation of the green bathrobe worn by Joan when Don came to visit.

    • Sweetbetty

       Yeah, I remember Joan in a fuzzy chenille bathrobe, I believe it was pastel blue, right after Kevin was born.  A far cry from the deep green silk kimono she was wearing when Don visited.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Austen-Jane/100002245814326 Austen Jane

     The dress. That’s my guess.

  • lynd

    Unfortunately, I don’t think Lane had Joan’s best interests at heart. I think the guy was scared of being caught in his embezzlement fiasco so he tried to pursuade her not to take the cash and to accept a partner stake instead, which would ultimately defer payment to Joan. Sounds like a nice idea in theory, but given that the agency seems to be careening for a downfall (loss of Peggy, gain of Jaguar through highly questionable means, Lane’s embezzlement), Joan may never see a penny of that money if the agency dissolves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001998855370 Fatima Siddique

    The scene where Joan first takes her place with the partners was absolutely heartbreaking. She knows she belongs there, and on some level, they must know she belongs there too. But, they all know what she had to do to actually get there and it just broke my heart. 

  • DCWWNJ

    This episode has haunted me. Pete may have come off as the sleaziest for pushing the matter, but anyone who did not jump up and down with fists failing to stop this is on equal footing with him. For all her bravado, Joan is the weakest female character of the series.  Yes, i said it.  She married a man who raped her.  She did not have to do that.  She absolutely had a choice.  You can excuse her not going to the police because she feared not being believed over a doctor, or that she feared being blamed because she was not a virgin.  But you cannot claim that she is strong woman who empowers herself when she marries a rapist.  And, I do not care that she is a single mother with a broken refrigerator, she did not have to prostitute herself.  Roger is a baby (and now low-life pimp), so she should not be with him.  But, as Kevin’s mother, Joan was extraordinarily irresponsible for not having Roger financially support that kid.  When the actual father is present and can help the kid, there is no excusing prostituting herself.   I think it is nonsense that she did not take child support because he is unreliable; I think it was because she wanted to avoid the social embarrassment of having had someone else’s baby while married.  That she negotiated a higher price is not empowering in the least.  She will forever be a prostitute in the eyes of her so-called partners.  And as for the men, I do not know that I can stomach watching this any more.  They are all TEN times more culpable because they were willing to sacrifice someone else’s body for financial gain.  never mind the morality of selling your body— how DANGEROUS it was to put her in that situation!  So Pete is a rapist, a pimp, and philanderer; Roger is a baby, a racist, a pimp, and a philanderer; Layne is a spineless pimp, a thief, and philanderer; and Bert is a pimp.  Don is the new hero.  whodathunk it?

    • greenwich_matron

      Good point about the rape. Joan seems to have a major WTF moment each season. She married her rapist to become a wife, she kept Roger’s baby to become a mother, and this season she became a prostitute. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001461122566 Maven Theoneandonly

         Mother. Prostitute. Very Freudian!

        • greenwich_matron

          I’m thinking that next season Bert may adopt her, so she can be a daughter as well.

    • Maggie_Mae

      Roger had his chance when Joan told him she was pregnant.  He said she could have the kid & he would have nothing to do with it–or abort.  He did not suggest they both divorce so they could marry & he could raise his child as his own.  (Of course, even though his feelings for Joan are his version of “love”–he’d still have a little piece or two on the side, from time to time.)  Perhaps he couldn’t afford a second divorce? Nope, he was enlightened by LSD & dumped Jane. Oh, and decided he’d contribute some money to his son–but only under the table.  There was no suggestion of real child support…

      Pete lied & informed Joan that all the partners agreed she should screw the car guy.  Apparently she’d already lost their respect.  So she went ahead & got the best deal possible. 

      • greenwich_matron

        Agree about Roger. He is dangling checks in front of Joan because it makes him feel good. There is nothing stopping him from setting up a trust for Kevin and depositing the checks there. 

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

          YEP. 

        • formerlyAnon

           Absolutely right.

  • rigpa56

    One of the things I enjoy most about this show is the non-judgmental way in which the characters are presented.  There is not one character that I don’t have compassion for in terms of the life’s struggles, even Pete Campbell.  When I read peoples reactions I think they forget that there are no heroes in this show.  Like every human being walking the planet we do the best we can given our adaptive modes of living based on your life’s experiences.  Did you not notice that Joan’s first reaction to Pete’s suggestion was to ask, “Oh, how did that come up” and reach for a cigarette?  Joan is no fool and yes it hurt but she falls back on her own adaptive modes.  People don’t really change and I think it’s a point that Wiener makes throughout all the episodes.  All the rest is lots of filler.  We are creatures of habit and I think Wiener and his writers are brilliant at displaying the complexities of how we go to battle in life.  We do our best, sometimes we are heroic and then sometimes we are worms.

    • Sweetbetty

       Amen and Amen.  I get so irritated sometimes reading here about how this character should have reacted this way and that character should have reacted that way.  Sure, in a perfect world and if all the characters were supposed to be saints we could criticize them for the way they handle certain situations but that’s not the case.  They, like us, are all flawed human beings shaped by many different people, events, and experiences.  No one is “just like” another so it doesn’t matter if one of us had a similar life experience and handled it a different way.  None of has been shaped by the things that have shaped Don and Betty and Megan and Pete and all the rest so to get into arguments  about how a character should have reacted to a situation is just plain silly.

      • rigpa56

        Thank you Sweetbetty …

  • KayeBlue


    What we don’t believe at all is that she’d expose herself to the level of judgment and possible ridicule she would be receiving from people like Roger and Don.”

    So! Completely! Agree! Whether or not Joan’s decision makes any sense on its own merits (she does have that kid, and kids tend to be expensive), why on earth would she want to deal with these men once she knows that they all know? They’ll never treat it as “falling on the grenade” for the SCDP army. Plus, I bet Don will resent her because the big account wasn’t won solely on his creative genius.

    I’m a bit mad at Lane, too. Joan’s got a 5% stake in a resource-stretched company. $50,000 in 1966 is $355,000 in 2012… I don’t know about anyone else, but I could live off $355k for quite some time (especially an untaxed cash payment, prudently invested). Did Lane sell out Joan to cover his own financial irregularities? 

    Can’t wait for MadStyle. January ’66 must have been the harbinger of global warming, ’cause no one is cold in short sleeves!

    • nosniveling

      ” Did Lane sell out Joan to cover his own financial irregularities? “Yes, Matt Weiner says so specifically in his video about the ep. on AMC.

      • KayeBlue

        Thanks! Haven’t seen that video yet, I’ll have to watch it. 

      • sweetlilvoice

        I knew it! He had to cover his ass.

    • greenwich_matron

      There is no way she wouldn’t have to pay taxes on it.

      I think Lane knew that he would be a lot  better off if Joan took a partnership, but he probably felt it was the right thing to do. I am guessing that the partners have a total of $1.2MM invested, so 5% would be $60,000. It also transfers a lot of the risk to Joan, who is foregoing cash for a share that will be worth a lot less if they don’t sign Jaguar. Want to see my spreadsheets?

      Joan is going to have huge problems going forward. Both Peggy and Megan had issues because of their relationship with Don, and people aren’t stupid. Office managers are not made partners: everyone will know (or assume even worse). Harry will stir up trouble and Ken will have some sort of reaction. The secretaries who worshiped Vesta at the Christmas party will not happily join the cult of Aphrodite.

      I wonder how Don will act. I think he will be resentful, but this is the man who said “It will shock you how much this never happened.”

      • KayeBlue

        Re: The taxes… They’d likely have given her the $50,000 in cash, in a suitcase, no? I couldn’t see how they’d justify a wire transfer to her bank account. They’d have to give her cash, make up some phony invoices about where the money was paid, and hope the IRS never asks about it. She could have used $20 here, $100 there, without attracting IRS attention. 

        As much as I’d like to see your spreadsheets, I really want to see Lane’s spreadsheets! :)

        • greenwich_matron

          I’d like to see Lane’s too, but I’m sure they would give me a headache!

          As for the suitcase, either SCDP or Joan will pay taxes on it, and not calling a payment for service would cause major problems with the bank, accountants, and ultimately the IRS. They will get their pound of flesh.

          I would have loved to see the scene where Pete is outlining the transaction to the lawyers so they could draw up papers.

          • Sweetbetty

             ”I would have loved to see the scene where Pete is outlining the transaction to the lawyers so they could draw up papers.”

            Same here.  And Joan wanted the documents by the end of that day so that would have made it even more tricky to come up with something that looked “business as usual” to cover something so out of the ordinary.

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

        That is one of my very favorite lines from Don:  “It will shock you how much this never happened.”  Thanks for bringing it in here!

  • suzq

    I seem to recall Roger Sterling telling Sal Romano that he should have quietly given in to Lee Garner, Jr.’s advances and that it was his fault that SCDP lost Lucky Strike.  I’m sure this was rattling around in his head when Peter delivered Jaguar’s proposition.

    • KayeBlue

      Great catch! It was Don who told Sal Romano that re: Lee Garner, Jr, though. Sal asked if Don would expect a girl to do that, and Don replied “It would depend on the kind of girl… and what I knew about her”. I wonder why Don’s position changed so dramatically in three short years. 

      • Lilithcat

        I don’t think Don’s position has changed.  He didn’t want Joan to do it because she’s not that “kind of girl”, and because of what he knows about her.  

  • http://twitter.com/besswww bess w

    I don’t know what your “one article of clothing is” – though I recognized Joan’s folding black/white dress from the first time we saw the new offices of SDCP… so perhaps this is a new “new office” look. But in smaller decor news, had anyone noticed that Pete Campbell has a newspaper clipping of the view of the earth from space on his office wall? Still hung up on that comment from Beth I suppose.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001461122566 Maven Theoneandonly

    I think there should be something to be said about Joan doing what she did of her own volition for her own (as well as her child’s) benefit, as a means to an end (career-wise). It also could be viewed thru the lens of a woman taking back her body via her sexuality, making the CHOICE to do what she did and remembering that time, not long ago, when her husband took that choice from her (and raped her). I’m interested in seeing how she’s able to maintain her self-respect and the respect of others after this.

    • DCWWNJ

      One cannot justify Joan’s actions just because she did it of her own volition without also giving a pass to all the men involved.  If it was somehow acceptable for Joan to do this even though she was not desperate, then it was OK for the Jaguar jerk to demand Joan as tribute for his business, and for the partners to pimp her out. 

      One can have compassion for someone making bad choices yet still call a spade a spade.  How is she “taking back her body” via her sexuality?  I hear this type of argument all the time and just do not understand it.  She allowed herself to be treated like a cow by the Jaguar guy and all the partners.  Joan was not desperate.  She was working, had help from her mother (however disagreeable the woman is), and turned down support from the actual father of the kid.  In real life, so many women would be grateful to have Joan’s resources so they would not have to resort to desperate measures.  To me, she did not do this for her kid.  She did it because, for whatever reason (including the misogyny of the era), the Joan character does not value herself (and posting a high price tag does mean you value yourself).  While the Joan character had no control over the fact that the men asked her to be a cow, but she had the means to say I won’t let you make me a cow.  Yes, the times were different, but Joan had it better off than the generations before her.  And today, women are better off not because men changed on their own, but because older women said no and grabbed the respect that they were entitled to all along.
      Oh, what a downer of an episode.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/EICGS3ZJZ2P5NYMR5ND55IACUQ Tara

         I don’t understand how having sex under the circumstances Joan had sex means she doesn’t value herself.  Describe a situation when a woman can have sex and still value herself. 

        • DCWWNJ

          I do not understand the premise of your question.  Are you suggesting that all sex is a form of prostitution?And, at least that I have read so far, no one who has defended Joan selling herself has admitted that defending it necessarily sanctions the partners pimping her out.  You cannot say that she did right by herself without championing the partners, too.

        • Sarah Michaels

           Uhm… whenever I’ve had sex with someone I’ve dated?

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

            Then you’re dating the wrong kind of men.

          • http://profiles.google.com/bellarifatta Bella Rifatta

            Sara Michaels is saying that she values herself when she has sex within the context of a dating relationship.  Your reply doesn’t make sense.

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

            Whoops.
            The thread was split between two pages. I thought it was the original poster that said that. Sorry!

        • Lilithcat

          Describe a situation when a woman can have sex and still value herself.

          Whenever one of us has sex with someone we love, with whom we have a fulfilling relationship, when we’re both in the mood.

          I cannot believe that you think so little of other women that you think having sex, per se, means that we do not value ourselves.  

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

            Whole lot of moralizing and judgmentalism up in this thread. It’s one thing to judge a character’s actions in a story, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing to start attacking other people (“I cannot believe you think so little of other women…”) for having a different view. In fact, it’s a little gross.

        • Glammie

          Easy.  She actually desires to have sex with the guy.  She’s not coerced into it by the men who pay her salary.

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

        ” One
        cannot justify Joan’s actions just because she did it of her own
        volition without also giving a pass to all the men involved.  If it was
        somehow acceptable for Joan to do this even though she was not
        desperate, then it was OK for the Jaguar jerk to demand Joan as tribute
        for his business, and for the partners to pimp her out. ”

        That makes absolutely no sense.

        • DCWWNJ

          It is one thing to disagree, and quite another to say that someone’s opinion “makes no sense.” To me, those who think that Joan was simply making a reasonable business decision cannot condemn the partners who gave her the opportunity to make it. Because I do not see these as rational choice, I say both are wrong but, to me, the partners were far worse because they pressured her (all they while feigning not to) and would never have agreed to do the deed themselves nor pimp out their wives or daughters. (Pete asking his wife to flirt, while tasteless, is not nearly on par with what was asked of Joan).

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

            “It is one thing to disagree, and quite another to say that someone’s opinion “makes no sense.”

            Yes. And we would say we disagree with you if we thought what you were saying made any sense, but it doesn’t. Joan and the partners are not on equal footing in any way, shape, or form, so it’s perfectly reasonable to judge them differently regarding this transaction. To insist they be judged on exactly the same terms is to deny the reality of the situation.

  • boleyn28

    Here are some bullet points…….

    *When Joan asked 

    • greenwich_matron

      If there is a suicide this season, I’m beginning to wonder if it will be Ken. He has a placid exterior, but life keeps beating him down. He wants to write but he must keep it hidden, he alluded to problems with his in-laws (his father-in-law has played demons of all stripes before), his career is pretty lackluster even though he has a gift for it. Now Peggy has broken their pact, which he seemed to take seriously and he’s about to find out that the only way to make partner is to sell yourself. 

      He seems to be centered, but he keeps his own counsel.

      • Glammie

        No.  Ken may be hiding his writing under a pseudonym, but he has an outlet for his art and his wife is supportive of him.  He’s good and successful at his day job–he has big accounts and he was able to move from McCann-Erickson where he was unhappy and bring them with them to SCDP.  He’s long been able to tune out Pete–partly because of the writing, I think.  

        He may quit SCDP, but there’s no sense that he’s trapped to the point of despair.  I think if anyone jumps out the window, it will be Lane.  He’s got a house of cards that can come tumbling down and he’s isolated–bad marriage, in a foreign land and lacking Don Draper’s all-American gift for self-reinvention.  

        Financial problems are a classic trigger for suicide with middle-aged men.  

        Lane’s being set up for some sort of disaster–just a question of what and when.

        • greenwich_matron

          He apparently does have a supportive wife, what was her name again?  :)

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/EICGS3ZJZ2P5NYMR5ND55IACUQ Tara

       I agree with you about Don looking like a slimy letch!  Honestly, it’s rare for Jon Hamm to look bad, but the way they shot him when Peggy was giving her resignation made him look like a greazeball old man.  His collar seemed way too tight, although it wasn’t.  I don’t know what was going on there.

      • roadtrip1000

         Agreed. Plus the way he kissed Peggy’s hand really creeped me out.

    • CatherineRhodes

      Really good point remembering his suggestion that Trudy “whore herself” with the guy at the publishing house to get a short story accepted. Pete really is morally devoid.

      • Kathleen Gillies

         Remember that Trudy wouldn’t even consider it.

  • Bill Curtis

    I’ve worked with survivors of childhood, teenage and adult sexual abuse and am a survivor myself. I’m not saying that Joan or any of the characters was abused in their youth, but some people who were sexually abused as a child (or as an adult, like Joan) value themselves or their sexuality less than they perhaps should. Some survivors of sexual abuse can act-out, put less value on their virtue, or just have a very different view of sex. Who knows what Joan has been through. If she had that figure as a teen, I’m sure she had some challenges as she matured.

    Addiction issues and promiscuity are somewhat common in those who have been abused. I think about that when I try to figure Roger out and some of his sexual actions.

    Again, not saying any of these characters was abused, but I’ve learned that it’s more common than I ever thought. It reaches deep inside some people and really messes some people up. I was abused by a mentor (who was a Catholic priest) when I was a teen. It skewed my relationship with my body and my sexuality for a long time. I did some sexual stuff in my 20′s that I’m not proud of, but I own it. Would I change some of it if I could go back? Sure. But I don’t beat myself up over it anymore either. I hope Joan won’t either and just keeps moving forward.

    People have been having sex for various means to various ends for all of history. I don’t condone the partners’ behavior, but I try to see it through the weird, objectifying, sexist prism of an entitled white male in his 30′s-70′s in that mid-sixties time period.

    As some others have said, none of these characters is perfect. We all make choices. Some choices are easier to live with than others. Some choices are just plain BAD (see my first “marriage”). Some we live to regret. Some choices create opportunities we never imagined.

    I hope and expect Joan will turn this choice into something amazing for herself. I am waiting anxiously to see her start to flex some of her partner muscle.

    • formerlyAnon

       Yes.  Joan has been here – having some kind of unwanted sex – before, maybe as a victim of acknowledged abuse, or just as a highly desirable woman in a time when “date rape” wasn’t really a concept. Except as something that happened to a girl that “wasn’t smart” about where she went and with whom.

      And, yes. Joan understands the business and some of these men in a pragmatic way that none of them share. I would love to see her flex a little partner muscle, using her insight. It will look manipulative because it will have to be done in a way they don’t recognize, initially, or the majority of the other partners will unite to slap her down. She will, eventually, be stonewalled or frozen out if she does flex that muscle. But by then my little fantasy is that she will have learned enough at a higher level of the game to join Peggy’s firm and be given more real authority.

  • Bill Curtis

    And I love any television story that sparks this much discussion!

  • MollyRingwald

    The only other times we’ve ever seen Joan wear black (to my recollection, anyway) are when she was also giving in to men out of desperation. Once in a flashback to the 50s when Roger gave her the mink (maybe she wasn’t “desperate” but the scene was set as if they were “trading” valuable commodities) and once after her roommate came out to her and she dragged home a really unimpressive man to sleep with to make herself feel less alone and vulnerable. Just something noteworthy – Joan seems to wear black when she’s using sex to get something.

  • boleyn28

    2 more episodes left, any ideas on whos going to die or is that theory done now?

  • HobbitGirl

    I would never say that Joan’s actions here were “empowering,” but I also think the reaction you mention — mostly from straight males — is part of the problem in how we think of it. When you look at it without all the social taboos and cultural codes, Joan participated in a capitalist exchange: she has goods someone else wants, and she sold the use of them for a benefit she wants. I think the reason straight men in particular are SO uncomfortable with prostitution — even though they use it!! — is that it reveals to them that women have something that they want, and that they can only get by a) earning it, b) stealing it, or c) buying it.

    Now, there are all sorts of power abuses and terrible things wrapped up in prostitution, particularly in countries where it’s unregulated, but to me attitudes toward it also always come across as so paternalistic and fearful: you can’t possibly ever get something out of sex that you can use! You’re a woman! Arrrgh! 

    So I’m not going to claim that I wasn’t terribly sad for Joan, but I am also not disappointed in her. She did what she believed would be the best choice for her future. And yeah, maybe she will lose the respect of the men at SCDP, but how much did they really respect her anyway? They were all willing — with the exception of Don — to go through with this before she even agreed. That suggests that any loss of “respect” that comes out of this was already there because Joan’s a woman, and a beautiful woman. She doesn’t need their respect so much if she’s a partner. Nobody respects Pete, but he’s (financially) doing just fine.

    • DCWWNJ

      You make a good point that they had no respect for her to begin with, but she could have respect for herself.  As for paternalistic attitudes, I would have felt the same anger and sadness about the choice had Sal Romano done it.  

      • judybrowni

        All Sal would have gotten for his trouble is not fired: Joan earned life-long security for her child.

        In a Patriarchy which offered her no other opportunity to do so (with the exception of Roger’s offer, which would have tied her to Roger for 18 years, or more.)

        Frankly, Joan made a reasoned choice, why is she getting more blowback than her pimps?

        • DCWWNJ

          I do not think Joan gets more blow back, just more discussion.  What the pimps did was so patently horrible and reprehensible that it barely needs mention.  What is there to debate regarding the men?  Joan, while I maintain had a real choice to say no, was in an entirely different position given the kid.  Whatever side you come down on, most would probably agree that there is room for debate.  And why not tie herself financially to the real father of the kid?  Not only is Roger morally responsible for that kid, but it is a far better choice than what she did originally– tying her son to a rapist to keep up the charade that the kid was a product of that awful marriage.

          • greenwich_matron

            You are right about the Roger angle! I didn’t even think of that. It ties in with last weeks meme that money only solves today’s problems. Now Roger is tied to her through his one true love, and he had to give her a portion of it too. She also has enough power now that he won’t try to buy her with little checks and bicycles. 

      • HobbitGirl

        But my point is that the lack of self-respect we perceive her actions as is because of patriarchal sex norms. There is logically no reason that selling sex should mean you don’t respect yourself. She feels shame because moralistic men have told her she should.

        • formerlyAnon

           Accurate observation, I think. But her feelings & mine watching her have those feelings, is what I think we react to.

    • greenwich_matron

      I understand your point, and I am quite ambivalent about Joan’s actions. It was an absurd amount of money and I can’t overlook that this act also saves the jobs of everyone she knows. I also don’t buy that a single act puts Joan in the same category as a street walker or Don’s junkie ex-girlfriend. 

      I think that she should set the bar a little higher than Pete, though. Also, her day to day existence depends on others respecting her, but that is not true for Pete.

      • HobbitGirl

        True enough about Pete!! I thought for a second awhile ago, although I can’t remember when now, that maybe he was growing, but gawd, he’s just repulsive now. I want him to get punched in the face more!

      • formerlyAnon

         I’m not ambivalent at ALL about Joan’s choice. Just sad that she was presented with such a choice and very sad at the price she is paying for it inside her own head. I believe she was in a lose-lose situation, couldn’t see a brilliant game-changing way to play it, and took the pragmatic approach. Very Joan, IMO. 

      • UsedtobeEP

        Pete does want respect, though not in the same way as Joan. Or maybe it’s more approval that he’s after. He’s made several comments about people not appreciating what he’s done for the company by getting them a shot at Jaguar. He falls all over himself to get Don to come to his house, and then acts like an excited puppy when he gets there. 

  • http://twitter.com/yellowhannah33 yellowhannah33

    I think Joan was damned if she did, damned if she didn’t. If she chooses not to do it and they don’t get the account then they’ve wrecked their chance at ‘a car’ which was deemed so important, particularly given their financial problems since the departure of Lucky Strike. No one would ever forgive her, not really, and ultimately the male mindset would be ‘she’s thrown it around town so many times – what is once more going to hurt?’ That’s why Pete went to her before the partners. The Partners would have stopped him from saying anything to her – as soon as the seed is planted she’s put in an impossible position. If she does it, she’s slept her way to the top, literally. Isn’t everyone else in the office going to be peeved and wonder how this has come about? Peggy seemed somewhat irritated. Joan has been there for longer but is her role as integral to the agency as good creative, probably not. I would imagine the ramifications of this will be felt in the last two episodes both implicitly and explicitly.

    Disagree with TLo *crosses self, looks to the heavens in anticipation of immediate and eternal damnation* on Roger. I thought that was a completely believable reaction. He’s always been largely passive about Joan’s sex life. When he met Dr Rape there was emotion there, but I think he acknowledged the necessity [as he would see it] of Joan marrying. As he said last week – he’s watched her receive flowers from numerous men but he’s never been bitter, angry or jealous – maybe just a little sad. I think he feels the same way now about Joan as when he first met Don – he wants to buy her fur, but not a whole coat. 

    • formerlyAnon

       Totally agree with your first paragraph.

      Your second paragraph makes me realize how little I care about Roger – how much of a nonentity he has become for me.

  • sweetlilvoice

    That might actually improve that turd of a show. What a waste of time that was!

  • Susan Crawford

    What a thoughtful and deeply-felt analysis, TLo. As always.

    This episode had me sniffling into a damp Kleenex a couple of times. And shouting out some anatomically impossible advice to Pete.

    At the client meeting when “Mr. Big” made it clear that a night in the company of the redhead with the “build like a B-52″ Pete’s little piggy eyes lit up with possibility. And at his meeting with Joan the next morning, couching the whole matter in the terms he did was SO typical of Pete’s complete moral emptiness.

    Then, calling the partners meeting, Pete continued to play the thing from both ends – trying to seem appalled, but morphing into a “so what” pragmatism. When Don left the room, I SO wanted Roger to follow him, didn’t you all? Lane, up above his head in debt and fear and regret – all of which he portrayed with a few facial expressions: SUCH a good, solid actor! And so the “vote” was taken.

    Lane did try to mitigate things by pointing Joan to a better option than a flat payout. A partnership is forever. And I believe despite everything Joan may have to live down, that the boys are going to get an education they never quite expected from Ms. Joan as the future unfolds.

    Her “date” with Mr. Big wasn’t as awful as it could have been. In fact, despite his tough talk to the boys, he was actually almost pathetically grateful for Joan. His desire to “see them” was clearly quite natural, and the way this scene was shot was magnificent as she turned her back to unzip her dress, then let him do it while the camera stayed on her face, where a world of emotion was revealed. Christina, start writing an Emmy  speech for this scene.

    Peggy has been getting lost in the shuffle for a long time. And this episode, it was positively painful and shameful to see how she was treated by the one man who actually GOT her – Don. When she sits in on the Chevalier Blanc Cologne teleconference after they decide to pull the Beatles-influenced ad, and comes up with the very original and powerful and woman-centered idea of the man being “rescued” by the epitome of allure, Lady Godiva – that was the Peggy we all cheer for. Quick-thinking, original, strong.

    And the come-down when the team tells Don they saved the account because of Peggy? First Don hits Peggy with “That’s Ginsberg’s campaign.” Then he lashes out about Paris, and throws crumpled up money in Peggy’s face. I don’t think I have ever seen Don so savagely crude to Peggy – he’s done some pretty rotten things, but deep down, I always felt he truly liked and respected her. But he lost it completely, and in the end, he lost Peggy.

    Pete’s suburban idyll, reading “Good Night, Moon” to his adorable child as his wife looks on adoringly – all false, all tainted, all about to implode, as Pete reveals his “need” for an in-town apartment. Being told his “romance” with the city – his other woman – is over, and he’d best get used to suburbia was the coup de grace, and I expect we’ll be seeing a bitter, soul-searing divorce pretty soon. And as for Pete – I hope the alimony settlement breaks the bank!

    When Peggy accepts Ted’s offer – the title she wanted and a bigger salary than she requested – I breathed a sigh made up of equal parts regret and satisfaction. Don lost sight of Peggy. He forgot what she really meant to SCDP. And what she did was exactly what he would have done. He taught her well. And the lingering hand-kiss broke me up. But when Peggy straightened up her shoulders, grinned and stepped confidently into the elevator – whooo-hooo!

    As for Megan – she got a taste of the commodification of the audition process. It isn’t just about talent, my dear, it’s about sex appeal a lot of the time, and clearly Megan wasn’t too comfortable with the turning around to let the couchful of men eye her. Don’s anger at the idea of her being gone for several months was very predictable, and her not getting the job was a way out of that storyline – for now. Because, as Megan vowed, “I’m going to succeed.” And one of these days, she WILL, and then we’ll see how that plays out.

    I’m holding my breath every episode, waiting for Lane’s world to crash and burn, and after this episode, I fear it won’t be much longer. The embezzlement cannot be hidden for much longer, and the “no bonuses this year” statement sent Lane off to a solitary drink while the rest of SCDP popped champagne corks. But Joan’s special recognition of him was so touching, wasn’t it?

    Looking forward to the style re-cap later this week – there were a couple of AMAZING costume moments!

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

    The Joan story-line felt gimmicky.  Not believable at all.  

    The Don-Megan story-line feels weird, too.  It feels weird to see him and Megan lovely-dovey one moment and then him doing something dickish the next.  I don’t know how she can stand it.  And I still don’t know what she sees in him.  

    And I never feel the story is complete without Betty.  I feel the whole season is missing something because she’s barely there.  To me, Mad Men is about Don and Betty and the whole 60s marriage culture.  But their divorce is true to life, so I guess I should just get over it.

    • greenwich_matron

      Gimmicky – I agree.

      Would you have sex with someone for money?
      What if it was $50,000 for one act?
      What if it was $50,000 of 1967 dollars?
      What if everyone thought you were a whore anyway?
      What if your job depended on it?
      What if it wasn’t just you, but everyone you know would lose their job?
      What if you had a baby and you were his sole means of support?

  • nycfan

    Just got around to seeing it last night and thought it was a great episode.  I thought Joan’s decision had been very clearly set up before her all season  –  she is isolated, a “middle aged” (for the time) soon-to-be divorcee with a baby and a difficult mother living in.  She recognizes herself as a little past her prime.  She followed the old pre-feminist playbook and married “up the chain” but her doctor was a bust (to say the least), she has a history of using her sexual powers to get what she wants from men, not as a kept woman or prostitute, but always as a mistress.  She has discovered how much her job means to her while absent on maternity leave and now she has been faced with an impossible situation — the request itself, once spoken aloud, damaged her relationship with the partners forever.  If she said no, there would always be a bitterness and she gets nothing out of it.  If she says yes, she will always bear that scarlet letter (and likely spend her life at the beck and call of Herb every time the account comes up for renewal), but as a practical matter (if Lane hasn’t undone the company with his embezzlement), she has the ability to provide for her son and herself and maybe undo some of the financial damage this divorce will do to her life.

    I totally bought Roger’s reaction.  I don’t think Roger Sterling has ever truly loved anyone except Roger Sterling; recall when he had his heart attack, how he broke Joan’s heart with his honest admission of how he saw her — as “hills” he climbed, not as some one he loves.  I doubt he would have qualms about pimping anyone other than himself for a meaty bit of business.

    It’s hard to say whether Don was more upset that Joan didn’t follow his advice (he thinking she went through with it after he tried to intervene) or petulant that the victory was not his after all.  I think both and it probably has put a wedge in his relationship with Joan — who knows, now, he might try to seduce her b/c he no longer respects her.

    My gasp moment on the clothing was the dress when Joan came in to make the deal with the Devil, err, Pete, for the 5% voting partnership.  That brown dress was trimmed with a mixed tiger/cat print as she was selling her soul for the Jaguar account.  No sad blue roses or dead brown roses, it was a predator print — Joan being decisive, taking control of an impossible situation.  Later, the emotional toll of that decision was writ large on her face in the horrible meeting with Herb (could he have been any more disgusting — I gotta see’em???).  Heart-breaking but to me utterly believable.

    BTW, Lane should just go ahead and break every mirror in his apartment — I don’t see how he can look himself in the mirror ever again at this point.  Joan is the one who will ferret out his duplicity and when she does, he will have not only broken her heart further when she realizes his advice was entirely self-serving but he’ll have no allies in the office to protect him.

    As for Peggy, I LOVED pretty much everything about how they handled her story, though I thought that Draper throwing money in her face was too much for me to believe, even for their work spouse relationship.  No doubt he would have done everything else, but money in the face is such a hideous insult, I just don’t see him reacting to his disgust over the indecent proposal by treating Peggy like a poll dancer.  The range of emotions that swept through both of them when she told him about her decision to leave was a real treat, though, and the odd, long kiss on the hand was unexpectedly compelling.  But watching Peggy walk out with that smile was great — I cheered Go Peggy!! — with my only concern being that she make sure there was an actual elevator in the shaft before walking aboard.  Now she better not be gone and forgotten a la every other character who leaves Don …

    • nycfan

       BTW, Joan should have asked for a waiver of capital call obligations for her first 2-3 years of her partnership — if there is a capital call on the partners (like, say, when Lane’s embezzlement leaves them short of cash they need for the Jaguar account), she’ll have to come up with 5% of the money — so if there is a $100,000 capital call, she has to come up with $5,000, and think what that amount of money did to Lane.  And if the company goes down, she shares the liabilities (though any idiot would go after the deep pockets of Bert, Roger and Don at that point).

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EICGS3ZJZ2P5NYMR5ND55IACUQ Tara

    I don’t think the partners lost respect for Joan – they never had any to begin with.  That’s why they were able to contemplate selling her off in the first place.  And Don can shove it.  Sure, he was born of a prostitute, but he’s patronized prostitutes many times, as has most every man at SCDP.  Sex is just a part of business, and I think they are very realistic about it.  Personally, I wasn’t offended by what Joan did.  I’d do it myself, and I’d consider that emerald a bonus after I exchanged it for cash. 

    Further, I don’t think Don was concerned about Joan’s dignity.  I think he just didn’t want it to sully the success he’d feel if his presentation was a hit.  Anyway, I always find it rich when certain types of men (Don-types) feel like they need to protect and counsel women (as if!).  Joan knew what she was doing, it’s over, and now she’s set for life (provided SCDP doesn’t go under, and that’s a definite possibility).  More power to Joan!  Why she would care what those assbag partners think of her is beyond me.  She was already cognizant of their disregard before she ever slept with Herb Rennet.

    Finally, Peggy made the best move.  She’s outta there, and she can watch the rats go down with the ship.  I thought Don’s hand-kiss was embarrassing and filled with lies.

    • CatherineRhodes

       Tara, you have some very good comments. Thanks for posting.

    • DCWWNJ

      Self-respect aside, she is not set for life.  By virtue of having pimped her out, the partners cannot be trusted to not screw her out of her fair share in a million different ways.  And, yes, what others think of her is not important.  But what does she think of herself?  That is the tragedy here.  The look on her face was not one of an empowered woman.  And tJoan did think they had regard for her.  She was initially shocked and offended by the proposition, especially when she learned of Roger’s reaction.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/EICGS3ZJZ2P5NYMR5ND55IACUQ Tara

         I agree that she most likely thought the partners did have some respect for her.  I think when she realized what was afoot and respect was not in play, she got pissed and thought, “There are no rules.”  It got very Machiavellian real fast.  When there are no rules, you gotta do what you gotta do.

        I like your point about pimps screwing her out of her fair share.  That’s what pimps do.  

        • http://profiles.google.com/bellarifatta Bella Rifatta

          Joan was clearly very torn up about the decision. She looked devastated and had the same look on her face with the car dealer that she had when being raped by Greg in the office. We cannot overlook the fact that Joan is a sexual assault survivor. It is likely that she is suffering from PTSD, not to mention the stress of living with her mother, raising an infant as a single parent, and acting as the operations manager for a company that isn’t completely stable! As a rape survivor, she may have subconsciously, or consciously, have wanted to reenact the rape on her own terms. By accepting money and negotiating professional advancement to do something she was loathe to do, it gives her a sense of agency and control over her body, albeit temporarily.
          I just don’t see how anyone can think that her decision making process, however financially prudent, was coming from a healthy or empowered place.

      • Jane_Lane

         I absolutely disagree. Pete maybe, but I can’t imagine the other partners standing aside and letting him do that.

    • UsedtobeEP

      You are too funny. I want to judge these characters as harshly as you, but I still find myself trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. I guess that’s because it’s too hard to like a show this much when it’s packed to the gills with a few good women and a bunch of slimeballs, and Ken. 

      And the look on Joan’s face is hard to toss aside. That was a tragic bit of acting.

  • http://twitter.com/1tsplove sara

    Who else is DYING to know what article of clothing induced the OMG from TLo?  Any guesses?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1057325429 David Verdun

       Joan’s fur coat, the one Roger gave her in “Waldorf Stories.”

      • Susan Crawford

        Definitely the coat. Roger’s gift of this coat was much more than an expensive souvenir to a mistress – it represented the real power Joan had over Roger, specificalle, and over men in general. I know that whenever Joan puts that coat on, or runs her hand over it in her closet, she is validating herself. It isn’t a trophy to her – it’s part of what makes Joan so consummately incredible as a character and as an archetypal woman.

    • nycfan

       For me, it was the brown dress with tiger trim when she made her counter-proposal for partnership interests.

  • d_in_denver

    When Joan asked him about Trudy, Pete’s reply was, “*I* didn’t bring it up, THEY did.”  That’s how Pete differentiates the situations it in his tiny little sleezeball brain. 

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

    I’ve heard a lot of people on this board connect Peggy with Wells. Good old Mad Men, never doing what you’d expect. :)

  • d_in_denver

    Not only did she stand up straight, head held high, the look on her face said, “What I did is no worse than the position you put me in whichever way I chose.  Nor any worse than anything any of you have done.  Judge me, I dare you.”

  • d_in_denver

    And Freddy gave her such sage advice that Don would tell her to do the same thing if Don weren’t the subject of their conversation.  And good for him for letting Peggy know his intentions would be to call Don if there was an opening.  He might be old fashioned and makes me cringe sometimes, but Freddy’s a good egg.

  • CatherineRhodes

    TLo, the “lawnmower” rating for shock value is pure genius. Let’s use that forever!

    I loved the story line of the three women juxtaposed against the Jaguar ad campaign: the ‘other woman’ as tempermental, uncontrollable, out of reach. From Don’s perspective, all three women deeply disappointed him in various ways. However, I found his reaction towards Joan was unconvincing. Hadn’t he left her last week in a drinking establishment, encouraging her to hook up with the lawyer at the end of the bar? That he would now be so concerned with her chastity that it would warrant a house call is preposterous.

    I know Ted Chaough has figured prominently into prior episodes, but can someone remind me how.

    Math Games:
    $12,500 (the amount of Joan’s annual salary) = $88,767 today
    $18,000 (the salary Peggy asked for) = $127,825
    $19,000 (the salary offered) = $134,926
    $50,000 (what the partners thought they would have to pay to buy her off) = $355,069

    • LuLusLemons

      I don’t make much more than $19,000 a year (in 2012 dollars) and many of my friends less than that. That sure depressed me.

      • judybrowni

        Advertising pays well to those who rise to the top: Peggy has earned her way to Chief Copywriter by selling millions of dollars worth of client’s products over a number of years.
         
        But it still, wasn’t until she’d been working at the agency as a copywriter for years that she could afford to move into Manhattan — with a roommate.

        More years before she earned enough to afford an apartment of her own. (When Manhattan real estate wasn’t as inflated as it is now.)

      • Sweetbetty

         Do you live in NYC?  I and many of my acquaintances are at about that level too but in this small central PA town we get by but couldn’t even consider it in NYC.

        • LuLusLemons

          I live in a major city and I have a career, of sorts (been at it longer than Peggy).

          I mean, I understand it’s relative (they made a point of expositioning how much Joan made, what $50,000 represented in 1967, how much Peggy was asking for, and how much she got), but, like I said, I know people who would be pretty excited to be making that amount much 40-odd years later.

    • JMEL

       I know Ted
      Chaough has figured prominently into prior episodes, but can someone remind me
      how.

      This madmen wikia link will tell you:

      http://madmen.wikia.com/wiki/Ted_Chaough

    • Jane_Lane

      The revelation that she’s renting an NYC apartment and raising a kid on 12,500 a year blew my mind. I live in a little bitty town and I couldn’t get by on that by myself, much less if I had a kid to take care of.

  • d_in_denver

    Well, and Don witnessed Sal in a compromising position with a bell boy at the hotel in Philly (?).  If Sal was going to “do it” with a common bell boy, why wouldn’t he just go ahead and “do it” with the Lucky Strike dude?  Why was Sal, one of “those people,” all the sudden being so discerning for something that clearly Don cannot relate to at all (a homosexual encounter).

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/2NZ34H4R2PVPGADOVR2LERSNTI *

    Normally I love this blog and agree with virtually everything you guys say, but I think you missed the boat on this one.  I’m curious as to why you don’t mention the time slip to drive home the importance of Don’s resistance to this idea to Joan’s decision.  I don’t think Joan would have done it had she known that Don was against it.  She was under the impression that ALL the partners had talked about and agreed to it, including Don, which seems to have steeled her to accept the position handed to her by patriarchy.  If not, I do not think we would have had that rewind moment to see it from Joan’s perspective.  That moment where we see that the shower Don interrupted was to wash off the residue of the disgusting fat ass she just banged, and her eyes getting misty, and to hear the words “it’s not worth it” after she already did it, through her ears, made it all the more painful because it gives the impression that just one dissenting voice standing up for her might have been all she needed to believe that the business world wanted more than just her body.  I think it fits within her character, because upon hearing that all the men thought she should do it, she realized that she had to use her body more literally than ever before to exploit the male world’s objectification of her to her own advantage, because the same men would close off every other path. If anything this makes me hate Pete Campbell even more than I thought I could.

    Also, I do not entirely agree that the prostitution connection of Joan, Peggy and Megan reveals a weakness in the writing so much as a culmination of the worst that the patriarchal attitudes on display have to offer, and is in keeping with the series memory developed all along.  I think the show needed to make this connection, because this episode is precisely about HOW patriarchal culture determines upward mobility for women on these paths.  I think it makes more dramatic sense to have them linked in this way rather than pointing to the obvious connections mentioned at the end of this blog.  I can’t speak for the writers, but the prostitution thread does not feel like a tacked on at the last minute kind of gimmick, but the horrifyingly logical climax of the show’s depiction of socially constructed gender, and the kind of experiences that pushed second wave feminism into the mainstream.  We had seen many horrors before, but this episode showed how brutally women are raped, emotionally and physically, by every facet of patriarchal culture.  The world of art is not immune, just as advertising is not-it’s all a “dirty business.”  It would have seemed odd and more palpably disruptive in a structural sense to stretch out logical conclusions, for this thesis involving the leading female characters, into different storylines just to avoid having them united by their underpinnings. 

    • UsedtobeEP

      I like this, because last week they showed art commenting on advertising’s part in consumerism. Well, here’s another connection. Art can try to be moral and upstanding, but hey, turn around and let me look at your ass and see if it can sell my play. 

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

    Here’s my take. I’ll try to say something that hasn’t been said yet.

    I don’t get that the partners won’t respect her now. I don’t see that at all. They voted to have her become ONE OF THEM. When the terms changed from $50,000 cash to a PARTNERSHIP, none of them said “What? Joan a partner? Pfffft. Never gonna happen.” Nobody debated her qualifications. Suppose Herb Rennet had a thing for Scarlett, or even Peggy, and she asked for a partnership as payment. Would the guys have gone for it? Not a chance.
    Everyone knows Joan is qualified, but she would never get it. Remember, none of the partners (aside from Pete) “earned” their position- they paid for it with money. Joan doesn’t have money, so she bought in with her body.

    • Kathleen Gillies

      I see reference to Joan’s special qualifications all the time and I’m perplexed.  She was the office manager and it looks like she managed traffic in the new firm too.  When she was out on maternity leave, they seemed to carry on ok without her.  I don’t doubt that she is competent and good at her job but that is really a hired position, not founding partner level.  Other than this instance, she was not a rain maker nor a creative resource.  She kept things organized and managed the ancillary staff.  She really hasn’t qualified for anything other than broker this deal for herself which has NOTHING to do with any inherent talent or hard work in advertising.  I think, all things considered that she did well for herself in the scope of her very limited circumstances.

      Edited to add: I’d like to make clear that I do not believe Joan is not talented nor a capable person. However, d/t the times, she has had limited opportunity to develop them and capitalize on those qualities.

      • Glammie

        Yep.  It’s not that Joan’s not good at what she does, it’s that what she does is part of overhead.  Accounts bring in the clients and creative creates the product.  Anything else costs money.  In that sense, neither Joan’s nor Lane’s partnerships make sense in a real-world sort of way.  

      • kckris

        They can’t even put her name on the door to her office…it says ‘Traffic’ which I think is quite referential.  People, in earlier episodes, would just pass through (without knocking or going around) but still she maintains an open door policy.  I think the writers were trying to indicate that she is “loose” but the ‘door’ being opened or closed is up to her and on her terms.

      • judybrowni

        If it hadn’t been for Joan, they never wouldn’t have gotten the agency off the ground.

        Joan knew where the client files were buried, and Lane made it clear the office was falling apart during her pregnancy leave.

        If you don’t think the office manager or Traffic manager is the hub of the business you don’t know much about that business. And that’s not even taking into account Joan’s people skills, or what she’s picked up about advertising in 13 years.

        It’s Lane who’s dead weight there (and Bert Cooper doesn’t add much) even Roger wasn’t pulling much weight for years.

        Joan is devalued because she’s a woman, as is Peggy. Well, they’re going to have to see how well they do without Pegs, 

        And they finally had to pay Joan what she’s worth for being a lynch pin in both creating the company, and keeping it alive.

        • Glammie

          I know the structure of the ad agency business inside and out and traffic is not the hub of the business.  It matters, and it requires keeping track of things, but it’s not a job that makes or breaks an agency.  And, frankly, it’s not hard for someone who’s well-organized and good with details.  

          Bert’s a rainmaker with the connections to bring in clients over the years.  Roger should be able to do the same.   Creative makes the product that the AEs are selling.  Good traffic management and production management means business runs smoothly, but it doesn’t create ads and it doesn’t bring in potential clients.

          Sexism only applies in that Harry’s job is probably somewhat *less* important than Joan’s.  

          Peggy’s actually more important to SCDP than Joan and less easy to replace.  

          But the show’s fiction so I don’t worry much about the inaccuracies–they’re there, though.

          • greenwich_matron

             I would have thought that Harry’s job is important. Isn’t buying media space the crux of their product? Isn’t he on a partnership track?

          • greenwich_matron

            Never mind, I just read your previous posts buried about a million comments back

          • Glammie

            Well, possibly he is in the world of Mad Men, but in the real world–at that time (i.e. I don’t know how things work with the Internet)–media buying’s simply a matter of number-crunching.  You take the budget, have the client tell you who their core audience is and then draw up a schedule that has buys in the right markets.  There is a percentage kick-back from the magazine or network, but you’re spending money, not bringing it in.

            Harry would, however, be courted by various folks at the networks because he’s helping *support* them.  But if Joan, say, suddenly took over, the networks wouldn’t turn down the money.  

            Both the clients and the AEs have to approve a media budget and, often, a media schedule is a continuation of what happened previously.  The most interesting thing I’ve seen proposed media-wise was not the whole advertiser on a controversial segment, but Pete’s suggestion of advertising in Ebony.  

            But, anyway, the client/AEs and creative would pretty much know where the ad would be going–Harry would be mostly figuring out the details.  Not saying they’ll play it that way in Mad Men (i.e. who’s buying their print if Harry’s “television”?), but that’s how the job works in real life.  

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/2NZ34H4R2PVPGADOVR2LERSNTI *

            Ha, you’re funny.  Really, office managers who know everything inside and out about the business and keep things running smoothly are easier to replace than a creative person?  What world do you live in?  The world is not lacking for creative types looking for work.  And it takes more than someone who is merely organized and good with details to do the job well.  I think you devalue how important work like Joan’s is to a successful business (have you worked in this capacity?).  Her character is essential to the success of that business, and her skills extend beyond organizing paperwork and taking phone calls.  You sound like the clueless men on the show who have no idea how much work goes into creating the workplace that facilitates all this creativity and selling of ideas.

          • Glammie

            Yes, dear, I’ve worked in that capacity.  I grew up and worked in a family ad agency–I’ve done a number of agency jobs as a result, including office management.

            A good office manager is valuable, so is a good production manager, but they don’t make or break an ad agency.  You need a good product (and while there are a ton of wannabes, a brilliant copy writer is a rare bird.)  and you need people who can bring in and handle clients.  

            Or do you really think an ad manager decides to go with an agency because she or he’s heard what a good job they do with production management?

            Do you think production management *saves* an agency when a big client leaves?  Do you think agencies go into a tailspin and close their doors when a traffic manager gets a new job?  

            I think with Joan, the sexism isn’t in her job being undervalued as much as Joan has shown talent in the key areas of business, but has never been considered as a possible account executive or a copywriter.  

            You really want to play this game with me?

        • greenwich_matron

          Makes me think: they STOLE the files and I cheered, but prostitution gives me the willies.

    • greenwich_matron

      I think you have a point, and my main point against it is that the plot is so contrived that I find it hard to read that much into it. 

  • CatherineRhodes

    Just thought of more foreshadowing. Remember Lane said to Peggy earlier this season that she could do his job? I’m predicting that the untimely death will be Lane, and that Peggy will step in as managing partner. 

    • Jane_Lane

       I can’t lie, after the way Joanie finally got her due, that turn of events would horrify me.

    • CarolinLA

      Except he told Joan that she could do the job, not Peggy.

      • CatherineRhodes

         I meant Joan and typed Peggy. Ugh.

    • emcat8

      Lane said that to Joan.

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

      I’ve been wondering if Lane’s horrible father will die and leave him enough money to buy out of his mess. 

      • greenwich_matron

        He looked healthy, but one can hope.

  • KateWo

    Joan: not sure how I feel about it, but no man or women has really treated her well ever on the show.  She had some mutual respect with Peggy but they were never close.  With people treating her like an object all the time, it’s easy for her to believe that she is one.  I’ve rewatched some early episodes and I feel like her comment to Peggy about handling sexual harrassment (she might as well enjoy it while she can because she isn’t much) can really be applied to herself in this episode. 

    And with Ken…in the first few episodes he’s slimy and sexist to Peggy just like all the other guys.  Sure part of that might just be that the character wasn’t developed yet but with those early scenes it’s easy to believe Peggy doesn’t care about the pact.  And is she’s going to grow, she shouldn’t be depending or waiting on another man anyway.  But I hope it’s not the last of her, I am surprised she left without saying goodbye to anyone.

    Earlier in the series, the sexism was less hidden, it was not inapropriate to say certain things or act a certain way in the office.  Now, it’s just not said out in the open.  The sexism still exists but people have to at least have to keep up the appearance that it doesn’t.  That’s why I think so many comments say “not much has changed” etc, and also why so far the thing with Joan is going unsaid.  Perhaps Weiner and Co and making that point.

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

      Ken absolutely was a jerk back in the day. 
      Do you remember, was it Ken that made disparaging comments about Peggy’s weight gain? Prompting Pete to punch him in the face? Or was it someone else, Kinsey perhaps? 

      • nycfan

         Yet Ken became a published author of a sappy sounding Vermont childhood short story, which made me wonder then whether he was similar to Sal as a guy playing to the talk of the boy’s club without actually believing it, and so coming off even more strident than the rest of the guys … or maybe he got married and grew up.  But I always thought there was a serious disconnect between Ken the sexist pig and Ken the sensitive writer, including the episode where Sal read his work and Ken went to dinner, that was a pretty nice Ken who I could totally see Sal falling in love with (poor Sal), so I think he was a young but sensitive guy over-playing the frat boy role b/c it didn’t come naturally to him.

    • http://www.MintaHall.com/ Minta Hall

      You know, when I think back, in the late 1960s, when feminism began to make women push for better treatment, there was an IMMEDIATE and fierce push-back from white males–especially professional white males. I’m thinking that there was an underlying sense that the men (Don the romantic excepted) were sort of taking out on Joan their sublimated resentment of women pushing into their space. None of them even think twice about slapping Peggy down in front of her subordinates (!!), nor do they have any compunction about treating Joan as their personal sex object. And Megan too–wasn’t it obvious that the men left in the conference room were imagining Megan treating them to some handy “afternoon delight”? 

      So I’m thinking there shouldn’t have been much surprise from anyone that the males were willing to pimp out Joan. I think it betrays a very real sense of anger at needing her to keep the business running. The company really was falling apart until she stepped in–how much did they–these smart, powerful MEN–resent a needing a woman like that?

      IOW, I wonder if the men at some level didn’t see slapping Joan in her “proper place” (i.e., on her back in bed) wasn’t their way of expressing their rage at all women intruding into their work lives.  Wasn’t it an expression of their belief of how “this is the way it really should be”?

      And…will Pete and Trudy’s marriage make it to the end of the season? It’s pretty clear that these two are on completely different tracks and want totally different lives.  Pete is such slime.  I wonder if the other actors want to take a hot shower after doing a scene with him?

      • Glammie

        Not exactly.  The sexual revolution actually came before Second-Wave feminism.  So, with loosening of sexual mores, sexism of a sort became more overt.  Feminism was a pushback against *that*.  Some of those late-60s’s wildly radical movements were as sexist as all get-out.

  • DorothyP

    I think Joan figures that most people think she’s always gotten what she wanted by sex no matter how smart she is–she might as well get a big payday.

  • Annie Leung

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Peggy did what was best for her but it doesn’t stop me from weeping inside that my favorite character is gone (maybe not for good but the threat is enough)! It’s sad but looking back at the season 4 finale, you start to see the rift widening beneath their feet when Don announces that he’s marrying Megan. As T-Lo so rightfully pointed out in their recap for “Far Away Places”, Megan, Rizzo, and Ginsberg were all headed in one direction while Peggy was going off on her own in the opposite way at the end of the episode. Talk about foreshadowing! I hope this isn’t the last we see of Peggy but this could be the beginning of those last 30 yards in Don Draper’s fall from grace.

    I’m still not sure what to make of Joan’s arrangement with SCDP. To be honest, I was nauseated and furious that this was a serious consideration amongst the partners and that Pete had magically acquired a pair to even bring up the proposition with her (although I could be mistaking stupidity for courage). I was disappointed with Roger and very very VERY disappointed with Bert Cooper. But this could be referencing the theme again that this is no longer their world but in a twisted sense of irony, it’s exactly the world they’ve always worked in. Joan, still wounded from the dissolution of her marriage, saw this as what any woman of her situation during that time would have seen it, an opportunity wrapped in an indecent proposal. It’s wrong, disgusting, and immoral on so many levels but when you think about the general opinion of advertising and business back then and into today, don’t the same words come to mind? As was her promotion in season four, her freshly minted status as a partner is “almost an honor.”

    I didn’t really see the parallel of empowerment in the episode for Joan and Peggy. The only thing I saw was the inevitable shift in how they had to carry themselves from now on. Joan’s figure and Peggy’s willingness to prove herself to Don have landed them both in less than ideal situations even though they have everything they thought they wanted. Don himself said it in “The Summer Man”, “We’re flawed, because we want so much more. We’re ruined, because we get these things, and wish for what we had.” Joan finds herself at the receiving end of male attention once more and Peggy has control of every account except for Jaguar. With two episodes to go this season, it’s almost a perfect set up of what’s to come.

    • nycfan

       Regarding Pete’s “courage,” I’d say it was pretty much the opposite involved — he didn’t have the nerve to stand up the client over something so gross and demeaning, even in some relatively politic way; instead, he had the temerity to try to manipulate Joan into doing it.  To me, a decent person never would have brought it up to Joan at all — some things, spoken aloud, can never be unsaid or unheard, and to mention it to her at all is to suggest she might do it.  Pete was not showing backbone, just the opposite, he was demonstrating what a slug he really is.

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

      Why more disappointed in Bert? They are all humans, and they all have the same thing at stake. Bert has never shown himself to be “better” than anyone else.

      • Aika L

         To me, Bert always seemed like a voice of reason. He’s not better than any of them of course but consistently, he’s hit the nail on the head about Don’s past, Roger’s reasons for selling Sterling Cooper, and even more recently, Don’s “love leave”. I’m disappointed in all of the partners but I thought Bert would be the one who could see this transaction for what it really was.

        • greenwich_matron

          I think he saw it for exactly what it was, he just felt it was up to Joan. Just like with Don’s past, he isn’t going to let societal norms fetter the individual. It’s very Ayn Rand.

  • d_in_denver

    The way he asks Joan for her help in explaining to everyone that they lost Jaguar – they wanted something we were “not ready” to deliver (or something to that effect).  Basically the way he worded it, he let her know that they hadn’t told the Jag guy “no.”  Thus, he played her by letting it be known she had a choice.  She said, “You couldn’t afford it.”  He played that to the partners as, “She seemed amenable.”  It’s like in dumb and dumber when one of them asks the girl what his chances of a date are and she says, “One in a million.”  He replies, “So you’re saying I have a chance.”  Joan was NOT “open to the idea” and thought she made it clear to Pete.  He went to the partners anyway and totally  mischaracterized their conversation.  It was under the pretense that she would consider it for a price that the rest of them said, “well, if she’s ok with it why should we object?”  Pete most definitely played them all.

  • Kathleen Gillies

    I thought that Peggy was the most empowered woman in the show.  She’s going places.  I think acting wise, Meghan has probably missed the boat.  Back in 1967 being an executive’s wife was a job in itself.  Joan…. well, this time at least she walked in the room knowing it would pay off.  Pete is a slimeball and so is Roger, Burt and yes, ( I hate to say it) Mr. Pryce.  Don may be a decent one in this however only because he is being a romantic.  I guess I have heard the one about Admen willing to sell their mother for an account but this is ridiculous. 

  • VAprof

    I have to say I disagree with the empowering view of Joan’s actions.  They pimped her out.  You could almost see the unworthiness spread across her face when she was told that all of the partners wanted her to do it.  It really reminded me of battered women who stay in abusive relationships because they don’t think they are worth anything better.  I know she made the choice, but I think it was made from a place of feeling worthless and it bothered me tremendously that Joan would compromise herself and that these people she trusted encouraged her to do it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EUVLIAIHME6TXGSNSTKYW77724 Shannon

    There is one unseen part of the narration that may have been a factor in Joan’s decision. She comes home, smells the rotted food, and talks with her mother. The last we see is Mom saying ‘sit down’ and preparing (another) drink for Joan. 

    What did those two talk about that persuaded Joan to put on the brown dress and talk to Peter the next day? 

    • greenwich_matron

      Also, why was she so late that day? I remember her mom said it was 8 o’clock and she had already been drinking.

      • judybrowni

        Joan needed more than a couple of stiff drinks after work day to deal with the idea that the partners of the firm were apparently eager to sell her for an account.

      • Sweetbetty

        Many of the employees at SCDP have been seen working late and I’m sure there are times Joan has.  This particular day, though, I can see her stopping off at a bar and having a drink or three to think over what had been presented to her.  Or, since I doubt she was in the mood to be hit upon, she may have just stayed late at the office drinking and thinking.

        • greenwich_matron

          Drinking and thinking makes sense. Maybe she was out with Lane strategizing…

  • leave_Blake_alone

    I love the two times the writers have played with timing this season – here, where we first saw Don’s “don’t be a prostitute” speech and then realized that it occurred *after* Joan already had, and in the LSD episode, when we first saw Don calling Peggy frantically looking for Megan then going back to see the events from his point of view that played up to that point.

  • Jane_Lane

    I think Roger knew that Joan would do it if she wanted to do it no matter what he said and that she’d resent him for trying to talk her out of it in the same way she resented him trying to insert himself into her and her child’s life. And even though I was initially horrified, after having some time to think about it,  the partners didn’t force Joan into anything. Bert wanted to make sure she knew she could say no and Lane told her she shouldn’t do it, but also told her how to set herself up for life if she decided to do it anyway and Don was outraged outright. As mad as I could be at those men for standing aside and letting it happen, I think, while I can’t say it was exactly empowering, they actually made it a point to give her a choice. Even Don didn’t press too hard. Pete was the one who pushed hardest. Pete was the one who brought it to her when the other partners were horrified at the idea. Pete was the one who suggested that if she didn’t put out, it would ruin the firm. I’ve never really much liked Pete, but he is seriously turning into a sleazy little toad this season.

    • judybrowni

      No, neither Bert nor Roger told Joan anything.

      Pete lied to each party in turn: to the men he lied that Joan was “amused” and agreeable to being prostituted — when she was horrified and her “You can’t afford it” was merely a rhetorical equivalent to “You slimy pimp, get lost.” 

      To Joan, Pete lied that the partners were all on board with it, and he didn’t relay any of their qualms — Roger or Don’s disagreement, Bert Cooper’s “generous” offer that she wouldn’t be fired if she refused. She had none of that information.

      Basically, Pete set Joan up: she still wasn’t on-board, even while feeling betrayed by the partners supposed agreement to sell her, until Lane for his own base reasons, laid it out as a means to lifetime security for her and her child.

      Let’s make it clear: Joan didn’t get any of the actual information on what the other partners said or thought — until she heard from Don, AFTER the fact. Joan wasn’t given the “choices” you claim.
       
      All Joan knew was that the partners were apparently willing and eager to prostitute her for an account. Her only choice: whether or not to collect in the only way open to her, on what they owed her for making it possible to both create the agency, and keeped it from running into the ground.

      • 3hares

        No, Pete lied to the partners–though I don’t think he thought he was lying at all–by answering their “what did she say?” by repeating “she said we couldn’t afford it” instead of saying she told him to get lost.

        Lane then went to Joan and told her about the partner meeting. So the understanding that they were all on board came from Lane.

        Joan then went to Pete with a deal. So Pete never returned to her to officially ask her for the firm or tell her she wouldn’t be fired. Though Bert leaving that up to Pete was incredibly irresponsible on Bert’s part, I don’t think Joan feared being fired.

        So the situation was actually more complicated, with all the men’s private issues contributing both actively and passively to leave Joan in a lurch. She did have a choice, but not all the information. And a big reason for that wasn’t just Pete pulling strings. It was all the other men wanting him to pull all the strings, or to just not have responsibility.

  • formerlyAnon

    Yeah. Absolutely “ten lawnmowers” on the rating scale.

    I’ve only read half the comments. Most of what I have to say has been said in my comments on comments.

    Joan’s story line makes me sad. I find it believable that she felt she was in a lose-lose situation with regard to the men she had trusted – to a limited extent – as colleagues and at least “work” friends.

    I want her struggle with how this changes her relationship with these guys to make her harder, more ruthless, and for her to use what [I believe] she will figure out, first, about Lane and what she already knows about many of these guys, to build her own power, as far as the times & people around her will let her.

    But that’s probably wish-fulfillment.

    Peggy’s storyline makes me happy. I think she and Joan might be continuing their different but parallel paths as she learns to manipulate her new boss, but in a way that she believes will contribute to her own success.

    Back to wish fulfillment territory: I want to see Joan and Peggy working together, using their different perspectives to help create a successful company, acknowledging their similarities on one level, while remaining very different, perhaps sometimes adversarial, in their approaches to the challenges of the work.

  • Courtney Wegener

    Also want to add — I think what made Don so particularly uncomfortable and horrified by this situation was not only Joan and his respect for her, but specifically that *he* and SCDP were in the position of selling her. Don has used prostitutes; he would likely have stood by silent while Sal was sexually abused by a client for the sake of the firm. But actively betraying one of “his” women, not only failing to protect her, but actively colluding and even planning in her prostitution, is utterly repellent to Don, for obvious reasons.

    • judybrowni

      But don’t discount the fact that Don wanted to win the account on the merits of the pitch.

  • megalomania79

    I agree.  I don’t think she has the chops.  I mean, just in that casting couch scene alone she looked totally unsure of herself.  Since that happened all the time, and probably still happens now, I don’t think she could do it.