Mad Style: The Other Woman

Posted on May 30, 2012

There were other aspects to the story, but for us (and we think, for just about every other viewer), this episode was entirely about Peggy and Joan. Megan had an arc in this episode as well, but it was the weakest of the three and the costuming tended to reflect it.

This is Peggy’s “hard at work” sweater, making it a particularly good choice for this scene, which demonstrates that she’s working her ass off but not getting the kind of perqs normally thrown at male creatives on a big account. Golden yellow has always been her “career” color, going all the way back to Season One, and she wore this sweater in several scenes this season depicting how hard she works, most notably when she stayed late in the office while Megan went off to an audition.

Catholic schoolgirl on acid. Did you catch that every color Peggy’s wearing, with the exception of the orange, can also be found in Ken’s outfit? Blue, green, brown, and, of course, a golden yellow. It’s beautifully subtle and you really have to look to take note of it.

They’ve had a connection all season and their clothes have been backing that up. Unfortunately, Peggy’s not nearly as sentimental as the man who wrote “The Gold Violin,” and she winds up being quite cruel to Ken in this scene. His timing was bad. This was not a moment when Peggy wanted to hear a man tell her he’d take care of her. She knows that when she relies on men to guide her and mentor her, there are going to be strings attached. In Don’s case, those strings manifest in a stream of abuse and she’s just about hit the wall on that.

But Ken never looked so cute as when he stood up and silently applauded her genius.

Another golden yellow sweater; another workmanlike outfit that has practically no style to it at all. A lot of people have been complaining about Peggy’s wardrobe this season. After watching her struggle through some highly questionable outfits in the past, it seems many of us assumed that success would bring a style revolution to Peggy’s closet. In fact, it had the opposite effect. She’s not a secretary and thus, her looks and how she presents herself in work are of lesser importance than they once were. She only really makes the effort when a client is coming in, but otherwise, she’s been wearing one drab work outfit after another, and most of them either referenced menswear (lots of blouses that looked like men’s dress shirts; lots of plaid) or referenced Catholic school uniforms. She’s been in a career rut all season and her clothes have reflected that; hard at work, but no lobster for her.

But Peggy’s taking control of her career and she must have realized on some level she needed to start showing some style in order to do it. This is easily the trendiest thing Peggy has ever worn on the show; pure 1967 mod. Ted Chaough is a pretty groovy guy (as evidenced by his uber-groovy turtleneck, not to mention his Peggy-esqye golden yellow plaid sports coat); much trendier than the skinny-tied Don Draper. It makes sense that she would try and doll herself up in something stylish for this meeting. What’s shocking about this outfit is that she actually managed to pull it off. Usually, when Peggy dresses outside her comfort zone, she looks pretty silly. But it’s clearly a whole new Peggy from this point on and we may just have seen the end of the drab Catholic schoolgirl uniforms.

Note that as feminine and stylish as this dress is, it still mimics a man’s suit. Also: Ted’s such a dick that he had to cross out the SCDP banner before writing down his offer.

Definitely the death knell for the school uniform. She went from her trendiest outfit to one that’s probably among the more grownup-looking outfits she’s ever worn. Joan once famously told her that if Peggy wanted men to take her seriously, she needed to stop dressing like a little girl. It’s advice that never really stuck with Peggy until now. This is mature in shape and in color. For once, she doesn’t look like Don’s subordinate in a scene. She’s walking out of there as Don’s equal in a lot of ways. We can’t wait to see what her wardrobe will look like when she’s working at CGC and making major bank.

You didn’t really think we’d seen the last of her, did you?

Joan’s story was, of course, a lot less triumphant than Peggy’s. Janie Bryant has been playing around with Joan’s floral dresses all season and we’ve had enormous fun applying meanings to red rose dresses and brown rose dresses. Taking that just a little bit further, we see Joan in this blue floral, listening to that grimy little pimp reduce her to a prostitute and we see someone who’s trying to come out of the dark (these flowers aren’t brown, after all) but still feeling (you’ll pardon the pun) a little blue. She comes across weary and closed-off in this scene and this dress, while beautiful on her, tends to reinforce that.

Interesting to note the grimy little pimp is dressed in an ominous black suit. Pete rarely wears black.

Joan’s weariness continues in this scene, where she continues to wear the same outfit and once again stands in her living room dressed in blue. It’s something that’s been done with her character countless times before. She wore blue when she smashed a vase over Greg’s head, when she cut her finger and he stitched it up for her, and of course, when she threw him out.

Her mother, on the other hand, is a buzzing annoyance in clothing form. She’s also in a floral design, but it’s loud and doesn’t quite integrate with the surroundings the way Joan’s clothes do.

The next day, she’s made her decision and she’s dressed accordingly. After wearing florals all season to illustrate the state of her life, here she is in a highly uncharacteristic animal print. She’s gone from the heartbroken wife to the prostitute; from roses to leopard skin. The brown does a nice job of reflecting her dead-inside mental state at the moment.

And there it is: the outfit that caused us to gasp out loud. That is, of course, the fur that Roger gave her back in 1954; the one that caused her to coo “When I wear it, I’ll always remember the night I got it.” Well, fuck you, Roger Sterling. That’s EXACTLY what this outfit is saying. “You ruined what we had by letting me do this, so I’m ruining what you gave me.” We’d be surprised if she ever wore it again. It’s one of those beautiful costuming moments that takes a sad, horrifying scene and makes it even more so once you realize what she’s wearing.

This scene mimics the scene when she got the mink. She’s in a hotel room, in a tight black dress showing a lot of cleavage, wearing a mink and accepting a gift from a man; in this case, that sad emerald necklace.

Note that she’s wearing uncharacteristically large, dangly earrings, which we’ve noted before have been used to signal prostitution, such as in the whorehouse scene with the Jaguar exec. Lots of prostitution surrounding this one account.

The script fooled most of us on the timing, but Janie slipped in a little nod and wink with this bathrobe. The emerald green calls back perfectly to the emerald necklace she received as “payment.”

The next day: reserved and business-like, as if nothing at all had happened. She’s worn this outfit several times before. It’s simply a good work dress, which is all she wanted for this day: to get up and get on as if nothing had happened. It’s also one of her more demure work outfits.

And finally, standing with – and standing out from – the partners. You will never see Joan Harris in a menswear-inspired dress, nor are you likely to see her wearing grey. It’s bright colors most of the time (when she’s not depressed) and this dress is almost defiantly bright. Head held high, she’s not going to become a wallflower of a partner. She will proudly stand next to these men and even draw attention to herself because she knows whatever she did to become partner pales in comparison to the many things she witnessed these men do to get where they are. This is totally an “I’m HERE, dammit” outfit; a declaration that she will not be ashamed by what she did.

It’s also EXTREMELY notable that she wore this dress when Lane called Pete a “grimy little pimp” and beat the crap out of him. It was, after all, the machinations of Lane and Pete that got her to this point.

As for Megan, it’s a little hard to hang any sort of triumphant feminist argument on her because, unlike Peggy and Joan, she’s not independent at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s her dependency on Don that allows her to pursue an acting career at her leisure. She’s not depicted working hard like Joan and Peggy are. In most of her scenes since she left SCDP, she’s portrayed sitting around her penthouse, wearing casual, slightly juvenile clothes. In fact, we noted with this episode just how much of a power imbalance is depicted whenever she interacts with Don now. He’s always in an authoritarian suit and she’s usually barefoot and/or underdressed in some way.

Like so.

Megan’s worn her “audition dress” before and we noted then that it made her practically invisible because she’s always shot wearing it against neutral backgrounds. Even here, she’s overshadowed by her friend, who’s in wild patterns…

And other such attention-seeking items. This is the friend who all but accused Megan of being a dilettante and we think the clothing here is making a point. This gal’s working that room like it owes her rent. She’s a typical hungry actress who’ll jump on a conference room table and make an ass of herself if she thinks it’ll get her a Jaguar commercial. Megan would never, in a million years, do something like this, nor would she ever have to, because unlike her friend, Megan doesn’t worry about making rent.

If this is her best dress to wear to auditions, then she’s inadvertently telling the casting director that she’s bland and invisible, instead of colorful and hungry for the part. We fear that at some point, Megan’s going to come to the conclusion that her wealth and comfort (i.e., her marriage) are holding her back.




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  • It’s interesting to me that Ken has transformed from the guy who made Alison show him her panties, to the man who seems to have the most integrity at SCDP. I wonder how he would have reacted had he known about Joan’s ‘offier?’

    Was surprised to see Pete in a black suit – I always thought these were considered “only for funerals” until fairly recently.

    Thanks for the post, TLo!

    • He did know about it.  He was at the dinner with Pete then the guy suggested the deal.  But he thought it was out of line and tried to brush the guy off by telling him she was married (or at least attempted to before Pete stopped him).  What we don’t know is whether or not he knows that Pete extended the offer to Joan, or that she accepted it.

      • MilaXX

        I would guess he can put 2 and 2 together and wlll figure it out.

        • Spicytomato1

          How could he not when Joan is announced as partner? Eek.

        • And when he does, he’ll be out the door.

      • You’re right – sorry, I forgot about the dinner, was just remembering the meeting with the partners.

      • He told Peggy they weren’t going to get Jaguar, probably because he assumed the Joan/prostitution idea wasn’t going anywhere. I imagine he wouldn’t have thought Pete would pursue it… Pete is cautious enough to not let the idea get out there, not so much for Joan, but because they don’t need the advertising community knowing that’s how they landed an account…

    • miagain

       My mother once asked a salesman at Brooks Brothers (back in the ’60’s) where the black suits were… he looked down his nose at her, and replied….”Brooks Brothers doesn’t sell black suits madam, we sell navy blue or charcoal grey.” 

    • Redspring

       I think Ken is one of the most interesting, under-explored characters on Mad Men. He seems to effortlessly get published both in genre fiction and the New Yorker, in a way that would make Paul Kinsey eat his heart out. And, while he’s not a “junior partner” the way Pete is, Ken’s obviously good at winning and keeping accounts, even though he only takes them out for drinks and not dinner so he can go home and write. He married a woman he seems to truly love who just happens to come from money–but he and his wife are smart enough not to take it for that dream house in the suburbs because there are “strings attached.”

      I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of “The Pact.”

    • I adore Ken and felt really badly for him when Peggy went after him. He had poor timing, but still – he’s always been the most supportive of Peggy’s career among the younger men of SCDP. 

      • Sarah Michaels

        This is true! I was watching Season 2 today and when Peggy got her office, he was the only one who congratualted her and didn’t bitch about how unfair it was! 
        I was thinking Meghan’s dress was kind of plain, but maybe she wanted it to be that way so the casting people could see her like a blank sheet of paper they could do anything with? 
        I loved Peggs little mod outfit, so cute!

        • Lulu Lafurge

          Right about Ken. I love Ken Cosgrove! In a previous season, he also refused to leverage his wife’s family business for the sake of making a buck with a new account. He referred to his home life as his “actual life,” which I just loved!

        • sweetlilvoice

          I think he was lucky to marry a woman who he can talk to and be creative with. It’s probably helped him a lot. I never thought he was malicious either. He and Alison spent the night together (or it’s hinted at) during the JFK election so I don’t think she harbored any mean feelings about him chasing her around earlier. It still amazes me how much booze flowed around that office. Creme de menthe in the water cooler! Gross.

          • scrappy1

            WTF? Watch it again. You’ll see that Alison is very obviously uncomfortable with Ken’s behaviour. And to suggest that a woman who is angry with a men who sexually assaults her in a room full of her co-workers is “mean”? You need to go back to “being a decent human being 101.”

    • You’re right–it is interesting that among the agency men we’ve seen from earlier seasons, he seems to be the only one who’s done a little growing. (The Pete who sat up eating cereal and watching children’s cartoons while his wife was visiting her parents is the same grimy little Pete who comes home to eat cereal out of a box this season?)

      This is one of my favorite MadStyle posts of all time.

  • Scimommy

    Fabulous job, gentlemen. I think that the mink was also there to highlight that this was not entirely unfamiliar territory for Joan. As for Peggy – if she really does radically change her style and starts dressing in a more mature and sophisticated fashion… well, maybe there is hope for me yet.

    • Maggie_Mae

      Except that Roger has always been a silver fox & a charming devil.  Even though we’ve come to know his moral failings–just as Joan has.  She knew a relationship with him had benefits, but she enjoyed his company.  Not the case with Jaguar the Hut (thank a TwoP’er for that name).  Now that fur coat has lost any positive memories it might once have carried….

      Yes, I’m sure that Peggy will invest some of her new salary in a new look.  Hey, surely we’ll get a glimpse of the new offices! With some familiar faces, perhaps?

      • Sweetbetty

         That’s why I can’t go along with the comparisons of what Joan did with Jag Guy being the same as what she did with Roger.  No doubt she enjoyed any gifts Roger bestowed upon her but she was genuinely attracted to him because he is the silver fox and charming devil.  She would have slept with him even if he hadn’t given her any gifts.

        That, to me, is the difference between prostituting oneself and just being a girl who sleeps around.  One gets something material in return and the other does it for other reasons.  Who’s to say who is on the higher moral ground.

        • snarkmeister

          Agreed.  She was Roger’s mistress, not his hooker.  There was genuine affection, even love, between the two of them, and that made all the difference.  While he did give her gifts, they were not exactly a “payment for services rendered.”

  • Alka Shingwekar

    I find it interesting that Megan never wore anything so bland at the SCDP offices.

    Joan’s story is still making my heart break. 

    • Jessica Goldstein

      Me too! I can’t figure this bland dress out. Does she think she needs to be a blank slate the directors and writers can project whatever they want onto? Otherwise, I can’t understand why her every work outfit was more flattering and stylish than what she’s wearing for auditions. Anyone in the industry here who could explain?

      •  Or she thinks her skills should outshine all the bells and whistles. 

      • LondonMarriott

         Typically, actors should either wear something professional, as in job interview clothing, or something that suits the part.  That Megan continually wears that beige dress says to me that it’s either her lucky dress, or that she really has no idea what she’s doing in auditions (unless she’s always going for bland background roles?).  Does she really want to be cast, wearing that?  I’ll admit, I have a lucky audition sweater, but it’s emerald green and flattering.  I’d choose Megan’s dress only if I wanted to be imagined naked – and had a great tan.

        • GypsyHowell

          And yet Janie Bryant seems completely enamored with the dress, and seems to have chosen it for the complete opposite reasons.  Unless I’m misconstruing what she said.

          • LondonMarriott

             Oh what did Janie say?  I bow down to her attention to detail!  I mean, maybe the Megan feels the dress allows a blank template for the auditioners to project anything onto, but that’s reaching for me.  My take for now is that Megan is clueless about auditioning.

          • EveEve

            When I watched the video of Janie Bryant explaining the dress, she thought it was sexy, slinky and almost like wearing nothing at all.  It has a sparkle to it that obviously did not show up in the low lighting treatment given to the interview room.  Perhaps this was a rare misstep in the production, because I agree that on the tv screen it comes across as bland and dull.  

          • luciaphile

            Maybe they went with it because it did look like she was wearing nothing at all. She’s at an audition where her talent is not as important as how she looks from the rear (although they apparently made a big misstep with the actual play she was auditioning for).

        • Yes, I find it odd that she would not know what she’s doing in auditions if she is so socially and politically savvy in the ad world, like when she masterfully saved the Heinz account.  Wouldn’t those social skills be transferable to the entertainment industry?  

        • At what point does this dress stop being considered lucky?

          • MK03

            When she gets a terrible gig while wearing it. Maybe she’ll be wearing it when she gets a part in “Oh Calcutta” in a few years.

          • Sweetbetty

            I don’t think it was ever called her “lucky” audition dress, just her “audition dress”.  Back when I was doing a lot of job interviews I had one particular suit, my “interview suit” that I almost always wore to them, not because it was lucky but because it was the nicest, most businesslike suit I had in my wardrobe.  So that still begs the question to me of why Megan thought this was a good audition dress.  Like everyone else has noted, it’s bland and doesn’t do much to flatter her.

          • Glammie

            Yeah, I had an interview suit–but, on the other hand, I was on a much more limited budget. Megan’s got money and taste, so having a single audition dress reads like kind of a throwback to her pre-married life, doesn’t it?

      • MK03

        My opinion when I was a theatre student was “At an audition, your clothes should never be more interesting than you.” Unfortunately, I think Megan’s audition dress is exactly as interesting as she is…

      • My read, as it has been with Megan’s entire storyline this season, is that while she “wants to be an actress”, she worked harder at advertising (which she never actually wanted or enjoyed) than she ever has or will at acting. I’m not sure if this is a conscious thing on the part of the writers, or what they’re trying to do with that. But it echos something I’ve dealt with in my own life and seen a lot of friends stumble over, too. It’s much easier to be disciplined plodding along forcing yourself to be miserable at your day job, in a weird way, than it is to do what you need to do in order to succeed at your “true” calling. Especially if it’s an artistic calling.

        I also think there’s an element of the old trope about women becoming secretaries in offices like SCDP in order to land husbands. Women like Megan were raised to become wives, not to develop careers. Dressing the part of Hot Girl You Want To Marry is probably easier for Megan than dressing the part of Serious Actor You Want To Cast.

        • Sweetbetty

          “Women like Megan were raised to become wives, not to develop careers.”

          That depends on who had the most influence on her growing up.  I wouldn’t doubt that her mother would raise her that way, and as something “to be admired” as Joan’s mother did.  But her father seems to be more likely to push her to follow her passion, whatever that may be, and to not rely on a man.

          • Sure, but back then, women got to “follow their passions” up to the point where they landed a man. Ideally a man who shared that passion. A lot of the early Women’s Lib texts explicitly mention this, in fact, and this is one of the key themes of Peggy’s storyline, the ability to be the man you wanted to marry rather than marrying the man you wanted to be. 

            In fact, I think this is why Megan’s father was so disappointed in her — not because SHE was pursuing advertising as a career, but because she’d settled for a man whose passion was advertising. Because it would have been almost beyond the pale for someone like Megan to have planned for such a buttoned up career. In the fifties and early sixties, women went to college, majored in cute arts and humanities stuff like theatre, met their future husbands, whose careers they lived vicariously through the social/entertaining demands of said careers. If you were Megan, you studied theatre, married a playwright or a director, and then spent your life inviting the producers around for dinner and being charming and knowing who Edward Albee was. Maybe you acted for a while until that first moment where you realized “oh wait I would have to go to Boston for the previews…” and quit to facilitate your husband’s career. But the idea that you were going to be a successful actress in your own right was not assumed, even by liberal-minded academic types.

          • bitchybitchybitchy

            Just a note to say that when my parents and I were discussing what track I would go into in high school, my mother pushed for secretrial simply because she thought it would be reliable, secure work while I looked for the right guy.  So Megan’s mother could have been the same.

      • My read, as it has been with Megan’s entire storyline this season, is that while she “wants to be an actress”, she worked harder at advertising (which she never actually wanted or enjoyed) than she ever has or will at acting. I’m not sure if this is a conscious thing on the part of the writers, or what they’re trying to do with that. But it echos something I’ve dealt with in my own life and seen a lot of friends stumble over, too. It’s much easier to be disciplined plodding along forcing yourself to be miserable at your day job, in a weird way, than it is to do what you need to do in order to succeed at your “true” calling. Especially if it’s an artistic calling.

        I also think there’s an element of the old trope about women becoming secretaries in offices like SCDP in order to land husbands. Women like Megan were raised to become wives, not to develop careers. Dressing the part of Hot Girl You Want To Marry is probably easier for Megan than dressing the part of Serious Actor You Want To Cast.

      • Glammie

        Janie Bryant says her AMC reel that the dress is both flesh-colored and a metallic–so she likes the glittery naked aspect of it for Megan’s seduction of Don.

        Though what I notice is that, while it’s on-trend, it’s got a school-girl vibe with the a-line shape and pleats.  So, I suppose it’s a pretty good expression of Megan–discreetly sex with the tones, but also high-necked and girlish.  Megan continues to seem kind of young and unefined–she wants attention except when she doesn’t.  She’ll play vixen with Don, but clearly feels uncomfortable flaunting it in an audition–you *know* her friend would have wiggled when she was asked to turn around, while we’ve seen Joan do a major ass flaunt in Season One.  

        • greenwich_matron

          I’m glad I watched the AMC tape of Janie. The dress looked like a potato sack to me. 

        • ybbed

          That type of dress, short, with little pleats was the style then, it was kind of a school look, worn by many at that time.

      • baxterbaby

        The only auditioning advice re: clothing I ever got (from a pro casting director) was, when you get called back, always wear the same thing you wore to your initial audition.  It becomes a sort of identification for the people that are usually seeing hordes of actors.

        • Sweetbetty

           That makes perfect sense, then, why Megan has one audition dress, even though it hardly seems memorable..  Thanks for sharing that.

        • librarygrrl64

          I concur. I was casting a show recently and there was one girl who was really good, but obviously had the blandest, most unmemorable name imaginable. However, EVERYONE on the production staff vivdly remembered her as “the girl in the bright red dress.” 🙂

          • baxterbaby

            Michael Shurtleff, who was a major Broadway casting director in the 60’s and 70’s (watch me date myself) said this, ” Wear the same dress each time you audition for the same role; it’s identification, and I think you should carry it through.  If you wear a purple dress the first time, wear it again when you’re called back.  I don’t know how many times a director has said to me, ‘I thought that girl in the purple dress was coming back’, and I say, ‘She was back, she was in orange,’ and he says, ‘Of course.  That’s right.  Well, she wasn’t so good this time.’ ”

          • librarygrrl64

            Color me old, because I know who Michael Shurtleff is? was? His book, Audition, was required reading in my theater program in college. 🙂

          • baxterbaby

            I auditioned for him a few times.  I just remember that he was polite and kind.

    • VanessaDK

       It looks very upper East Side – not the kind of Bohemian outfit I would expect form a NY off-broadway actress.  She definitely looks like a dilettante.

    • VanessaDK

       It looks very upper East Side – not the kind of Bohemian outfit I would expect form a NY off-broadway actress.  She definitely looks like a dilettante.

  • I feel like an official Bitter Kitten, being able to have caught that fur and knowing exactly what T Lo was saying when they said “Oh my god”. 

    Jesus, Pete has changed alot. He used to be more…morally ambiguous. Now he’s a “grimy little pimp”.

    • Sobaika

      Was he though? Rewatching the first episode reminds me that he’s as slimy as they come. And he may not have been quite so blunt about it, but he similarly prostituted Trudy when he attempted to get his ‘writing’ published.

      • ChiliP

        I agree- this echoes a storyline introduced in the first season.  The difference is that season 1 Pete was optimistic, in a new marriage, and ready to climb the corporate latter.  Season 5 Pete is depressed, in an unfulfilled marriage, and has already reached (to some extent) his career goals. Thus, his flaws are much more evident.

      • MilaXX

         YES a jerk from day 1.

      • Glammie

        Pete’s *always* been willing to do anything to get ahead.  This is a guy who used his father’s death in an airplane crash to try to bag an airline account–right after it happened.  He also tried to blackmail Don in Season One.  The only reason he didn’t get away with it is that A) Don really did despise him and B) Bert Cooper cared more about Don Draper’s ability to write an ad than his dubious past.  

        I think the thing is that post coercive blackmailing sex with the babysitter, Pete sort of reformed for a bit.  He had all of Trudy’s attention so his greedy ego was getting enough strokes for a bit–particularly after Don recruited him.  

        But now Pete’s unhappy and dissatisfied and back down the rabbit hole he goes.

      • SO glad you pointed this out. Doesn’t Joan ask, “How would you feel if someone asked Trudy?”–not knowing that Pete had put Trudy in that situation himself.

    • MilaXX

       No he hasn’t. Pete has always been a jerk from day 1. Seducing and impregnating Peggy, raping the baby sitter and trying to justify it by saying it was because Trudy was out of town.

    • nycfan

       I dunno, wasn’t it Pete who essentially tried to pimp Trudy out to a former boyfriend, all but demanding that she sleep with the guy in order to get some story Pete did published (so that he could keep track with Ken’s publishing coup)?  I thought of that when Joan asked how he would feel if some one asked Trudy to do that … he already had, essentially.

      • suzq

        Great pull!  I was thinking back to Roger’s moral ambiguity over Sal and Lee, but yours is even better and more to the point.

    • 3hares

      He always had this in him. In season 1 it was more obvious. When he’s happier, like when he felt close to Trudy, he’s not so awful. (I know many would describe that as him getting his ego stroked by Trudy but I don’t think the show makes him quite that cardboard and inhuman.) This season he’s got nothing, is despised everywhere, and goes back to the vicious punk mode.

  • I gasped at Peggy’s interview attire. Very
    Joanish also, both in color and the scarf at the neck. And the “mature in shape
    and color” dress is a Joan color too. And I noticed the fur and recalled another hotel room too! Of course your reading is far more sophisticated… 

    • EveEve

      Janie Bryant commented (in a video on the AMC MM web page)  that this dress was a true vintage that she found.  She liked that it was double breasted, commenting that she’s a bit obsessed with the double breasted style.

      • I LOVED that dress and would have grabbed it if I had seen it in 1967. It’s very reminiscent of a dress I did have way back then.

        • I would grab it now! It’s adorable!

    • KittenKisses

       Men love scarves.

      • Ted’s face says it all.

      • sweetlilvoice

        And she showed a little bit of cleavage too…not sexy but sweet.

    • I had what I think of as my Buffy dress (Family Affair) that looked like that.  Dropped waist, red skirt, I think.  Can’t find a picture of it online.

      •  I had a Buffy dress too!  I wore it in my first grade picture. 

  • I love, love, love the evolution of Peggy Olson. Despite the several allusions to Joan’s royalty, it’s Peggy who looks most like a queen in her purple dress at the end. And particularly at no other moment than during the hand kiss! Seeing her walk through Don’s door at the slightly lowered angle just lets you know she’s going to own that scene.

    • MilaXX

       When I saw her exit interview dress, I thought to myself Peggy’s wearing Joan’s old color

      • Edgar4evar

        It made me think not only of Joan’s old color, but that it was as far from her “office comfort” mustard on the color wheel as it could possibly be. 

    • Susan Stella Floyd

      Great points.

  • Thank you for continuing to point out how bland Megan’s “audition” dress is.  It’s also not very flattering on her (and the actress has a great figure).  I wonder if it’s a callback (no pun intended) to her saying she felt she never really tried hard enough to pursue acting.  Because that dress is not trying at all.

    Though (and I admit I don’t know anything about what pursuing acting in NYC was like in the 1960’s), was I the only one who thought, “Audition for a Broadway production already?  That was fast.”

    • jennmarie19

       Agree with everything TLo said about Megan. I’m getting increasingly irritated by her story. She seems less “independent” than rebellious–almost like a teenager. I mean, am I the only person who thought it was completely understandable for Don to get upset when she just mentioned off-hand “Oh, and I’ll be in Boston for 3 months.” Also, I thought the writers were making a totally false equivalency between Megan’s objectification in the audition and Joan’s/Peggy’s mistreatment by men. I mean, she’s an actress for God’s sake. Of COURSE her appearance matters. It would have been different in a casting couch situation, but give me a break. Actresses (and actors) deal with that kind of scrutiny every single day—including the ones who audition for Mad Men.

      • warontara

        You’re not the only one who was annoyed about her springing Boston on Don all casual like that. Godo grief, even if I were just dating someone (as opposed to being married), I would be pissed at having no notice that they might just move out of town for a few months. And she wanted Don to visit every weekend? So I guess he’s supposed to cart his three kids out there as well when he has them? Yeah, ok.

        Also co-sign about the objectification at the audition. Yes, it was a little crass, but theatre is a world where appearance matters, like it or not. I’ve seen and heard much harsher things working at castings now. Give me a break!

      • ChiliP

        No, you were not the only person annoyed by that. Megan would be FURIOUS if Don casually mentioned that he’d be gone 3 months for work. Remember how upset she got when he was late for dinner? I’m thinking more than just a plate would have hit the wall. Plus, it just emphasizes her dependence on Don even further- she would most likely need living expenses while in Boston, which would (presumably) come from Don. Then she expects him to accommodate her schedule and visit her, even though he is the one supporting them financially and has children. It’s a very childish, self-centered way to think.

        Also, I took issue when she said that if it came to acting or Don, she would choose Don but hate him for it. Is she really “choosing” Don if it causes her to resent him? It seems like an excuse to build up passive-aggressiveness for the remainder of their marriage, rather than make a genuine sacrifice for the sake of your marriage. Again, that’s a very childish way to view a marriage or partnership.

        • HobbitGirl

          I’m surprised TLo didn’t mention how strongly that negligee Megan’s wearing calls back to Trudy’s earlier days. Trudy’s grown up a lot since then (witness her putting her foot down about Pete’s apartment!), but Don’s still marrying the child brides.

          • KittenKisses

             Megan’s negligee reminded me of poor Kitty’s when Sal had the droop for her.

          • I wondered if anyone else thought that, too.

        • suzq

          Apparently, Don has a thing for child-like women…

          • Mariah Warnock-Graham

             Women for girlfriends, girls for wives. You’d think it’d be the other way around. I am still a little heartbroken/relieved that things never worked out with Rachel Menken.

          • MK03

            If anyone could have been a match for Don, it would have been Rachel. I still think she was The One.

          • sweetlilvoice

            I just re-watched season one and Rachel saw right through him at the end when he wanted to run away after Pete tried to blackmail him. And her face when she saw him and Bobby Barrett together in season 2-if looks could kill! If that was true than Don would be dead several times over after some of Betty’s glares.

          • MK03

            If anyone could have been a match for Don, it would have been Rachel. I still think she was The One.

      • ballerinawithagun

        I know. I thought they were going to move into the “casting couch” right away. Maybe they are saving that for later. Scrutiny is part of the audition. Doesn’t anyone remember the T & A song from Chorus Line? Yes, I think Megan is now just being rebellious. Don gave in fairly easily so she really shouldn’t complain. I think she was Daddy’s little girl, giving her lots of support for what, so far, has turned out to be mediocre talent.

      •  If Don had been paying attention to Megan talking about her acting aspirations, he’d know that shows rehearse out of town. Heck, even I know that just from watching the movies. I took that as him never taking her seriously enough to imagine it would actually come to that. But I may be influenced by the fact that a man I lived with for 6 years was astonished that I would take a job when I got my PhD that involved moving out of town, even though he’d lived with me during the entire job search process. What, did he imagine I was doing it for fun? Similarly, if Don is surprised about Boston it’s because he hasn’t been paying attention or taking her seriously.

        • jennmarie19

          I take your point, but I disagree. They do live in NYC, the theater capital of the world. Also, what bugged me was the way Megan told him. She was completely blase and off-hand about it. A 3-month absence is something you discuss with your husband, not something you spring on him and just assume that he’ll swallow no questions asked. See what ChiliP above said about how furious Megan was when Don was a few hours late to dinner. She would certainly take issue if Don told her he was leaving for 3 months on a work assignment.

          •  But do you think that this is really the first time that the topic of going out of town for a show would have come up between them, if she has been auditioning and talking about her career? that’s why I say he hasn’t been paying attention. I highly doubt that Megan was “springing” this on him for the first time! Hence my comparison to my own experience where my boyfriend knew I was preparing for a career and applying for jobs out of town, but still was mad that I might actually move to take one of those jobs! It happens.

          • jennmarie19

            If that were the case, though, I’d have expected Megan to say something like “You knew this was a possibility.” Of course, I guess if they’d already talked it over, it could have been left unsaid. Anyway, I guess we can agree to disagree, but your personal situation does indeed sound like it was really unfair. Good for you for going after your PhD and your career!

          • EveEve

            Spoiled is what she is.  She seems to expect to start at the top (Broadway show), yet I don’t recall that she’s ever been cast in a professional role. She is certainly being written as being one determined woman, who wants to get her way.  She got the rich, handsome husband (easy to do when you’re young and gorgeous and he’s on the rebound), and she got to be a copy writer when she said she wanted that (easy to do when your husband is the boss), and then quit that job with no worries about how to support herself.  But if the writers don’t let acting pan out for Megan, then what will they have her doing?  Looking forward to seeing what Weiner has in store for her the next couple of episodes.

          • She was talented at copywriting. 

          • EveEve

            And talented in the sack and talented at acting too. My point was that the writers of this show have, so far, made it easy for her to get what she wants. 

          • LesYeuxHiboux

             Peggy did say that Megan was “just one of those girls” for whom everything seems to fall together. Unlike a lot of other Mad Men fans, I don’t count catching Don Draper’s eye as a piece of luck. I wonder if she gave up on acting because it didn’t come as easily as everything else?

        • MK03

          Not necessarily. Quite a few people in New York don’t realize that shows do out-of-town tryouts or transfers. That’s something that only industry people or diehards tend to know about.

        • ChiliP

           Perhaps I don’t understand enough about the theater world, but I would have assumed (like it seems Don did) that New York had/has a thriving theater scene, meaning Megan would be less likely to travel.  And she wasn’t even going to mention the fact that the play was out of town- it was only brought up because she excitedly said “You will need to visit me!”.  Traveling for work is understandable, but it’s something you discuss with your partner.  If Megan knew the play was in Boston, the *mature* thing to do would have been to discuss it with Don before going in for the second audition, at the very least. Megan would definitely have been upset with Don if he took a 3 month hiatus from work, and only mentioned it offhandedly to her after he took on the account. The problem isn’t that Megan is looking for plays out of town, but rather that she is self-centered enough to not think it warrants discussion with her husband.

          • CassandraMortmain

            Megan is not looking for work outside of NYC.  This is a play that will open in NY but will have previews in Boston.  That is standard procedure for any Broadway play and many off-Broadway ones as well.  They need some time to work out the kinks in the production before they hit the Great White Way. 

          • 3hares

            But I think the point is that whether or not she’s looking for work out of town, a 3 month trip out of town for work is something spouses discuss and plan for. It’s not brought up this casually with “You’ll have to visit me starting next week!” Whether it’s standard procedure or not, it’s something somebody would talk about with their spouse as something to arrange.

          • Lilithcat

            but I would have assumed (like it seems Don did) that New York had/has a thriving theater scene, meaning Megan would be less likely to travel . .  . If Megan knew the play was in Boston, 

            The play wouldn’t, ultimately, be in Boston.  It was going to preview there before it went to Broadway.  At the time, Broadway shows usually previewed out-of-town.  This gave them an opportunity to tweak the shows before, presumably, less critical audiences.    Boston and New Haven were common places for such previews. Anyone even remotely connected with the theatre, even as a regular attendee, would know that.

            Today, it’s more usual for plays to have a period of previews at the regular theatre before the official opening.  It’s usually a few weeks (although in the case of Spiderman:Turn of the Dark, it was months and months and months and months.)  It’s SOP for critics to wait until the official opening to review the show.

          • baxterbaby

            Of course!  Does no one watch “All About Eve”?

          • Maggie_Mae

            One of my favorites. But they rehearsed in NYC for a long time before heading out of town.  Where hanky panky might occur!

          • Maggie_Mae

            One of my favorites. But they rehearsed in NYC for a long time before heading out of town.  Where hanky panky might occur!

          • ChiliP

             Ah, well I stand corrected. Thank you for the information. However, I’m still a bit confused- if it were common knowledge, why did Don seem so surprised by it? If he knew that were common practice, and he knew that Megan was going in for a second audition, I would think that he would at least make the connection that she might be gone for awhile.  He might not be very attentive to her acting, but he’s not stupid. I could just be projecting due to my own inexperience with the theater world, but my take from the scene was that he seemed genuinely surprised that she would be in Boston for 3 months if she got the part. I wouldn’t attribute that to simply a lack of belief on attentiveness on his part. This is a genuine question, as perhaps I misunderstood the interaction between them.

          • Lynne Roberts

             Why is Don so surprised? Don is wrapped in his own world, and he’s re-occupied with the Jaquar bid.

          • ChiliP

            Sure…but that still doesn’t explain why he would seem surprised by her going out of state for a preview, if that were common knowledge. It certainly seems to me that Don was unaware Megan might have to travel if she got the part, and I’m not convinced the lack of communication was entirely his doing. Megan hasn’t always been exactly forthright with Don- remember that she lied to him when she first started auditioning, and she came clean only after Peggy confronted her.  That’s not to say she wouldn’t have eventually told Don the truth, but at the very least I think it’s clear that Megan feels she can’t always be honest with Don if being honest is going to keep her from what she wants (such as auditioning, accepting a part that brings her to Boston for 3 months, etc).

          • Maggie_Mae

            When this season began, we were surprised that Don had shared much of his secret past with Megan.  But it wasn’t until her parents’ visit that she actually told him of her “long time dream” of being an actress.  

            Has she ever had a previous professional acting job?

          • LesYeuxHiboux

            In Tommorowland she mentioned that her friend had told her she could never be an actress because of her teeth, which she laughed off with a less-than-genuine “As if I’d even want to”. I notice that the gaps between Miss Paré’s teeth are shrinking as her acting ambition grows this season. I think she is one cagey fox, with a long term plan. Master manipulator Megan.

        • ChiliP

           Perhaps I don’t understand enough about the theater world, but I would have assumed (like it seems Don did) that New York had/has a thriving theater scene, meaning Megan would be less likely to travel.  And she wasn’t even going to mention the fact that the play was out of town- it was only brought up because she excitedly said “You will need to visit me!”.  Traveling for work is understandable, but it’s something you discuss with your partner.  If Megan knew the play was in Boston, the *mature* thing to do would have been to discuss it with Don before going in for the second audition, at the very least. Megan would definitely have been upset with Don if he took a 3 month hiatus from work, and only mentioned it offhandedly to her after he took on the account. The problem isn’t that Megan is looking for plays out of town, but rather that she is self-centered enough to not think it warrants discussion with her husband.

        • ldancer

          I have to agree with you. And if I were in Megan’s position, meaning 2012 me, I would very much expect my husband to go along with my work needs. Of course, it’s 1966. I wasn’t around at the time but I understand that things were different then. But in my marriage now, if I got any flak from my husband about my career, you can bet there would be a fight. And we have had a few, though not because he expects me to be secondary to him. Only that one of my two careers isn’t very remunerative, so he was annoyed that I was putting so much time into it. That definitely caused a battle.

          I think it exposes an interesting double standard, this Megan-hate. People who in their actual lives would probably not tolerate their romantic partner forbidding them to go all the way in their careers are calling this character childish because she demands that same consideration. If these were real people, I’d say that Don is in the wrong, and frankly deserves to get cut down by a woman at this point in his life. But, characters aren’t people. They serve many functions, and in this case, it’s to highlight the changes coming in the culture of marriage and work.

          • I think the issue is more that she didn’t discuss the possibility of being in Boston for 3 months with her husband for agreeing to the job. I’m very serious about my career, and I 100% expect my husband to support my career. However, I would never in a million years tell him AFTER THE FACT that I’d decided to take a job that would have me in a different state for 3 months. It’s something I would discuss and we would work out together before I agreed to the position.

            If Don had vetoed her move to Boston *before* she took the position, that would be one thing. But to be furious that your spouse made a big decision like that without even consulting you is something that would happen even today, even with couples who do support each others work. I’d have a fit if my husband sprang something like this on me AFTER he’d already agreed to take the job…

          • Sweetbetty

             And if your husband came home and casually mentioned that he’d be away for three months and had never discussed it with you beforehand, there wouldn’t be any fight?

          • You stole the words right out of my… fingertips.

          • ldancer

            To be fair, yes. I wouldn’t make a decision like that without discussion, and neither would my husband. But we’re real and Don and Megan are deliciously dysfunctional fictions. My main point wasn’t about the three months out of town, though. It’s that Don has repeatedly shown that he will reflexively say no to Megan’s ambitions when they begin to look like real possibilities, and then they fight, and then when they make up he claims to be supportive. It’s a pattern they’ve established. And even though things are generally different now, I sure know what it’s like to get support in one hand and resentment in another.

          • ChiliP

            I don’t think you’re reading the issue correctly. The problem isn’t that Don got upset about Megan going to Boston- the real issue is that he seemed genuinely surprised by it, which leads me to believe that Megan had not previously discussed it with him. This is purely speculative, but I would think if Megan had previously told Don she would be in Boston, she would have said something to that effect when they started arguing (“But you knew I might have to have to go to Boston, I told you after the first audition!”).  From a writing perspective, that certainly would have emphasized Don’s fault in the situation, but the omission of that type of dialogue makes me believe it had not been discussed. Plus, like you said,  you are evaluating this from a modern perspective. Regardless, even within that vein, of course I would be furious if my husband forbid me from traveling if it furthered my career. However, I would fully expect him to be furious with me and I knew I would have to travel extensively and did not discuss it with him until after the I pursued and took the job, just as I would be with him. Marriage is a partnership- you need to discuss these kinds of things. The show has consistently portrayed Megan in a child-like manner, so it’s not much a stretch to say she was being self-centered about her “career” and expectations for Don to accommodate her. This is less about Megan “hate” and more about discussing how Don’s and Megan’s flaws manifest themselves and various points in their marriage, just like any other couple.

          • Sweetbetty

             “The show has consistently portrayed Megan in a child-like manner, so
            it’s not much a stretch to say she was being self-centered about her
            “career” and expectations for Don to accommodate her.”

            In my mind, Megan has dreamed and thought about becoming an actress for so long that she has mapped out her entire career.  First there’s the audition processes then finally getting a role and rehearsing out of town for several months.  Then there are the eight performances a week, which will take place at night when Don has come home from a long day at work; then  maybe even becoming a movie or TV star which will take her on location or require her to move to CA.  She’s probably already pictured the gown she’ll wear when she goes up on the stage to accept her first award, her husband applauding heartily in the audience.  All of this has been a part of her life for so long and is so ingrained in her own thinking that it never occurs to her that the man she loves and who claims to love and support her doesn’t see it all too.

            I don’t hate Megan but she is self-centered and immature and has a lot to learn about the give-and-take of a successful marriage.  One more flawed character in a show full of ’em.

          • Glammie

            I agree with your characterization of Megan as immature and having a lot to learn.  But I don’t see that she’s mapped out her career.  I think, if anything, she’s kind of impulsive.  She gave up before and worked as a secretary and then as a copy writer and then back she went to acting.  Which is fine, but not indicative of someone who did a lot of long-range planning.  

          • ChiliP

            Absolutely. I have no doubt Megan has already envisioned her life as an actress, but that goes back to my point about Megan being self-centered (which you also pointed out). It’s a lot to expect your partner to understand your career path, without communicating it to them, and it’s definitely a lot to get angry at them when they express surprise or frustration at the sacrifices your career demands on your marriage.  When Don first really interacted with Megan (when they slept together in his office), she said she wanted to be a copy writer like Peggy. She only briefly hinted at her previous acting ambitions while they were in California, and as I recall, she made it seem more like a hobby rather than her dream job. So, in Don’s mind, Megan has always wanted to be a part of the creative process in the advertising world, and he helped her achieve that. She only recently made the transition to acting, so I’m having a hard time blaming Don for his reaction to what being an actress entails.  I know that you acknowledged Megan’s immaturity, so I’m really just repeating what you already stated. This is a long way of applying your (and other’s) perspective of Megan to analyze her flaws and behaviors, like we do with the other characters on the show. Hell, I could write a novel on Don’s flaws. Megan’s would only be a pamphlet.

          • Could it be that success at something frightens Megan, a la Impostor Phenomenon?  Would her success — at anything, regardless of ideology — further embitter her father-as-competition?  Underneath her ambition, she seems to me the self-sabotaging type, especially given the timing of her leaving SCDP.

        • AmeliaEve

          I agree that Don probably didn’t pay attention to her when she talked about her theater studies and potential work situations.

          Additionally, I felt that this was partly one of the class markers of Don as a self-made man. He’s managed to observe and imitate the lifestyle and manners of men like Roger and Pete, but he didn’t grow up with it, and there will always be gaps in his social knowledge. His exposure to Broadway was probably mostly just taking clients to see popular plays; I can’t imagine him really thinking seriously about how theater works as a business. Even less can I imagine him having watched the stage-door musicals of the ’30s and ’40s that exposed other middle Americans to traditions like out-of-town try-outs and summer stock.

          Don clearly had love/hate feelings about Betty’s privileged Main Line background. He was proud of having a sophisticated wife, but he still resented her class advantages. Megan’s background is more middle class, but still miles different from the way Don was raised. He’s been mentioning that sort of thing more this season, too, like the party at Pete’s suburban home where he said that people were naive to romanticize country living when they hadn’t grown up with an out house, as he had.

        • Sweetbetty

           I don’t live in NYC and I’m not connected to show business in any way but, like you, I knew about the out-of-town rehearsals and try-outs just from watching TV and movies.  What I’m not sure of, however, is if that’s the case with every show destined for Broadway.  If it’s not, it may have never occurred to Don that Megan would get cast in one that did the out-of-town thing.  Still, you’d think that in their end-of-the-day talks that she would have said something to the effect of, “You do understand, darling, that if I get this role the rehearsals and try-outs will be out of town”.  Don still could have let that go in one ear and out the other because he’s so involved with his own issues and that he really didn’t think Megan would ever get a role that demanded that level of commitment, though.  Not being party to every conversation they had, none of us can really judge.

      • VanessaDK

         Yes, I finally have had it with Megan–the writers have convinced me that she is utterly immature.  Her tantrum over Don’s surprise at the extended out of town tryouts was completely childish, and of course enhanced by the baby doll outfits, and the portrayal of her as Sally’s “friend” rather than a step-parental relationship.

    • Maggie_Mae

      We haven’t had a hint of Megan working her way up through Off Broadway or Off Off Broadway productions.  What acting has she actually done?  College productions?  In the past, many a young actor learned his or her craft by doing stuff like soap operas or TV dramas–not “arty” but ways to pay the rent.   

      Nope, it looks like Megan wants to begin at the top!  While dressing dully so she’ll be taken seriously….

      • kattyatlaw

         Maybe she’s been watching Smash and assumes she’s the next Karen Cartwright?

        • Hah! While reading this whole Boston thread, I’ve been resisting the urge to write about Smash and the out-of-town previews. 

      • This isn’t really how acting works, and definitely wasn’t how it worked in the 60’s, when Broadway theater wasn’t some kind of creme de la creme reserved only for celebrities the way it is now. Not to mention that, aside from a few soaps and a low-rent indie movie here or there, there WASN’T anything else to act in. It would be a lot more “wrong” if they’d had her going to a callback for a film or a TV series being shot in Hollywood.

        FWIW, even now it’s not that weird for extremely unknown actors to make a good living in the theatre and even have roles in broadway shows. A friend of mine who barely rates speaking roles in film and TV starred in a broadway show a few years ago.

    • Lilithcat

      She wouldn’t have been at that audition unless her agent sent her there.  There’s no reason that an actor couldn’t audition for for roles on or off Broadway (other than Actors’ Equity rules/status).  I don’t know what the requirements were in 1964 to get Equity membership, and, in fact,she would not necessarily have had to be an Equity member even if it were an Equity show.

      • Here’s a question- does an agent get paid outright, or just a percentage? 

    • Re auditioning for a broadway production “already” – my understanding of theatre in New York in the 60’s is that there was a lot more of it than there is now. The notion of “off-broadway” was pretty new at that time, and “off-off broadway” was basically the equivalent of Hey Guys Let’s Put On A Show! 

      Also, broadway theatre usually is more of a Big Spectacle with large casts and choruses and various levels of understudies. Statistically speaking, there’s probably MORE chance of getting cast in a tiny role in a Broadway show (especially back then when broadway was still practically the only game in town) than in getting a lead role in something else that anybody would ever see, unless you were big friends with the folks at La MaMa or something.

      • Phaedra

        The play was “Little Murders,” which has a small cast.

        Good theatre history notes throughout this thread elsewhere, though!

    • MissKimP

      The screen cap of Megan walking into the audition just really emphasized for me how childlike/naive/immature (take your pick) she is in her pursuit of an acting career. I was immediately reminded of Sally’s Codfish Ball outfit–its sparkliness, the shiny/metallic purse and shoes–and even the way she smiled and held her purse.  Acting at being an actress…

      • MissKimP

        Oh, and a question for people who may know:  when auditioning, wouldn’t you dress for the part you were hoping to get, rather than just wearing your “audition dress”?

        • zmayhem

          You’d wear something roughly in the same general neighborhood as that of the part you want (or at least not jarringly far from it; if you’re auditioning for The Importance of Being Earnest and you know it’s going to be a nice traditional late-Victorian staging, you don’t wear a miniskirt or skinny jeans), but you don’t want to be in an actual costume. If you’re not sure what the show is going to look like, clean and neutral and easy to move in is the way to go. And if it’s a callback, like Megan’s, you wear either what you wore to the original audition or something damn close, to help the auditioners remember who you are and why they called you back (depending on the production, they may have seen a hundred or so people, and by the time they decipher all their own scribbled notes and assemble the callback list they may remember next to no specifics at all until the callbacks come and they have a much smaller group in front of them. At the very least, you don’t want to look drastically different than you did last time.

          (Unless they specifically tell you to. The original and One True Steve tells a story of auditioning for Blue’s Clues with his usual long hair and skate punk wardrobe. He looked like ass but blew them away with his sweetness and earnestness, and when they called him back they said, “Come back in right away, we really want to see you again — just, please, don’t look like you this time.”)

  • That’s the dress Peggy is wearing on the cover of the special Mad Men Newsweek. I remember thinking it looked way nicer than anything Peggy actually wears on the show.

  • P M

    The clothes were absolutely what I expected, the storyline though, I seem to see differently from everybody:
    I do think, finally, that Lane, may be edging towards suicide. He seemed thoroughly ashamed about what he had made Joan do. After all, he had backed himself into a corner so that he *had* to give assent. Again, he could’ve come clean and asked for help, but he didn’t.
    I wonder if he went on a bender that evening: he betrayed Joan, and she still thanked him. Did you guys notice Joan only hugged Lane at the Jaguar announcement?

    I also wonder if Joan will ever leave SCDP, now that she’s seen what Peggy has done. Joan’s story in this episode made me wonder: a woman THAT competent, not leaving this sad, sad place, for something better? Why??

    This episode made me thoroughly, incredibly ashamed at the partners. Seriously, did NONE of them think that something nasty could happen to her? Did none of them come and talk to her? Well, with the exception of Don.
    Bert Cooper, I am ASHAMED of you. Roger Sterling, I hope Jane takes you to the cleaners. Pete, I hope Trudy takes some incredible revenge on you. Lane, being a man doesn’t just mean beating up another man.
    The men just left a sour, rancid taste in my mouth. UGH. 

    Lane was thoroughly emasculated in this episode.

    Joan will never have reason to lower her head in front of these jackasses ever again. I hope she RULES every meeting from here on in. Or helps sell the company. THAT’LL show’ em.

    •  “Seriously, did NONE of them think that something nasty could happen to her”

      I know, right.  It is as if it is all vanilla and safe.  And since the show did not spell it out, show us any abuse, apparently, we are to think it was so very simple.

      • Not to minimize what Joan did, but the likelihood of the Jaguar guy hurting her in any way was very slim. This wasn’t some anonymous hooker picked up off the street or working at a whorehouse; she works for a company that’s trying to to business with his. He would have been in deep shit if she showed up for work the next day with a story to tell or some visible bruises.

        There are plenty of horrifying stories about prostitution, but plenty of times, it’s really just a simple business transaction; a payment for services rendered.

        • Maggie_Mae

          In fact, I bet the ladies at the high class bordello the guys visited earlier this season don’t have to worry about abuse, either.  The Jaguar guy’s transaction with Joan was probably fairly straightforward & over rather quickly.  

          But the whole show was about “something nasty” happening to Joan. Beginning with her perception that every one of the partners was eager to turn her out….

        • judybrowni

          Disagree. If guys dealt out violence — to their wives, to hookers, whatever — it was still being dismissed (“What did she do to provoke him?”) and not prosecuted.

          Demanding sex with an employee is a power play: over the agency, and the woman. As is violence directed at vulnerable women. The agency is the supplicant, here.

          If you think prostitutes in even a “high class” bordello could prevent or prosecute violence dealt out to them, you’re delusional.

          The police would laugh it off — or look to arrest the prostitute, unless they were paid off — the madam consider it the price of business, and that would be that.

          Read “The Happy Hooker” or Polly Adler’s “A House is Not a Home” for a reality check.

      • Whatever, it is just a television show.  But paid for sex is never just about sex, and taking it to its logical conclusion, keeping Joan in character she would not bring that abuse back to the partners.  She would wear make-up and hide it.  She would suck it up.  But it is quite disturbing seeing how many people think women who must sell their body for sex (even that one time for that really ‘not on the street corner punter’) are as safe as a newborn in a hospital ward, and trying to spin it otherwise is promoting the fallacy that paid sex is safe and easy. 

        • Maggie_Mae

          I bow to your greater experience….

          •  No one is lecturing.  I am stating it because I feel it needs to be stated and not glossed over. Sheesh.  You react as if the slightest hint of reality will destroy the delusion forever.  If only.

          •  No one is lecturing.  I am stating it because I feel it needs to be stated and not glossed over. Sheesh.  You react as if the slightest hint of reality will destroy the delusion forever.  If only.

          • Glammie

            Well, what is the reality here?  The reality is that the big request during this time period in this kind of situation was the blowjob.  As Marilyn Monroe once said, “You spend a lot of time on your knees.”

            Not every guy who uses power to get sexual favors is a wannabe rapist or kinky.  Having a gorgeous woman service you (without having to do the work) was and is fine for a lot of men.  And, at the time, blowjobs were considered a bit out there for the marital bed.  

            That said, it looks like Joan and Jag guy went all the way, but that’s in keeping with her being this fantasy woman for him who’d normally be way out of his league.

        • HobbitGirl

          Part of the problem with prostitution in countries like the USA, though, is that the laws enable the dangers by penalizing the women so heavily that there’s basically no choice but to go underground, where the risk of abuse, violence, and other more horrifying things is huge. With stricter regulations, as in the Netherlands, prostitution is much less of a risk for all the people involved. It’s not an ideal career, but not all situations are alike.

          I’d also argue that a lot of NOT paid-for sex isn’t just about sex. People are complicated creatures.

        • suzq

          Are you talking assault or disease or pregnancy?  Joan knows here way around the pill, and likely, a condom…but you never know.  I’m with TLo on this…violence wasn’t part of the storyline.  And it’s not like Matt Wiener (who cut his teeth on the Sopranos) shies away from violence.

        •  I disagree. Sometimes paid-for sex IS just about sex. Any situation involving sex can be as simple or as complex as the people involved make it.

        •  I disagree. Sometimes paid-for sex IS just about sex. Any situation involving sex can be as simple or as complex as the people involved make it.

    • MilaXX

       The thing is Lane has been ashamed his entire life. If he committed suicide or at least attempted it I wouldn’t be surprised.

      • VanessaDK

         Joan will discover his embezzlement, but be beholden to him for giving her the means to become partner, and thus be in a position to potentially help him cover it up, after suitable moral wrangling.

        I think we are being purposely misdirected on Lane’s suicide–it is too heavy handed.

        • Weaseltease

          I agree with you about Lane – it’s likely that Joan will be the one to discover his fraud, and that gives him a future potential ally.

          But I also think he had another motivation for suggesting the partnership to Joan, other than this and “his feelings”   — the partners wanted him to extend their credit to offer Joan the 50K (I think it was Bert who suggested it).  But Lane had lied to the partners about their being a surplus in order to offer bonuses, and had already extended SCDP’s credit.  Offering a partnership instead buys him time that coming up with the 50K wouldn’t have.  He was being awfully slippery here.

      • charlotte

         And I bet Sally will be there to find him.

    • Joan will become the lovelier version of Ida Blankenship at SCDP in the ’90s, when she finally retires. She’s a lifer. She came of age at a time where you got someplace and you stayed, especially if you were born in the thirties and found yourself with a good secretarial job in NYC — that was like gold. It won’t occur to her to look somewhere else. She’s got a great job and had one before she was made partner, even before Sterling Cooper was bought by PP&L.

      Joan is a woman who wears a fur coat she was given by her lover in 1954. She’ll never change her fashion/style or her job. She reminds me of an aunt I had who worked at Gulf Oil in Beaumont, Texas for over 30 years. She understood her position and her importance to her division and she never changed a thing, including her hairstyle. She did eventually wear panty hose, though. hee.

      • Glammie

        Agree.  Plus, Joan has gone elsewhere (the store, marriage) and she didn’t have the same status or salary that she has at SCDP.  Yes, she made an awful trade-off here, but she does now have a share of the agency and the partners know they *owe* her for bagging Jaguar.  Everyone (except Don) was degraded by what happened.  I think Lane and Roger most of all–Roger because he did owe Joan something.  Lane because he’s shown feelings for her and because he negotiated the real deal.

        I have some recollection of Lane in Season 3 saying something or being shown to know how to make offers people can’t refuse–I think it was part of the Don deal, though, of course, it was Bert who really turned the screws on that one.

    • HobbitGirl

      I think she probably feels like she can’t leave. She’s what, in her mid to late thirties now? And a single mother, a fact that would be difficult for her to hide? She might be competent, but the sociopolitical climate of the workplace is stacked against an “older” woman with family to support, especially in the late 60s. 

      And speaking as a woman with…erhm…similar assets, it can be extremely difficult even in “normal” job interview situations for people to consider your resume and not your T&A. She is clearly not really respected at SCDP, but she might be worried that she’d be trading bad for worse if she looked elsewhere.

      • CozyCat

        It’s important to remember that Joan is on the administrative side of the business.  In practically every industry, admin people (typically women) tend to be viewed as interchangeable, that is, not having special talents.  You don’t steal another firm’s hyper competent office manager, you steal their “professional” people.  Admin types tend to move when they accompany a “professional” (as Joan did when SCDP was formed.)

        Joan cannot make an independent move like Peggy did.  The only way she could move would be to go thru an employment agency, where she would probably be placed in a secretarial position (and be interviewed by another organization’s “Joan.”)  She can’t move anywhere and have the level of influence she had at SCDP even pre partnership. 

      • CozyCat

        It’s important to remember that Joan is on the administrative side of the business.  In practically every industry, admin people (typically women) tend to be viewed as interchangeable, that is, not having special talents.  You don’t steal another firm’s hyper competent office manager, you steal their “professional” people.  Admin types tend to move when they accompany a “professional” (as Joan did when SCDP was formed.)

        Joan cannot make an independent move like Peggy did.  The only way she could move would be to go thru an employment agency, where she would probably be placed in a secretarial position (and be interviewed by another organization’s “Joan.”)  She can’t move anywhere and have the level of influence she had at SCDP even pre partnership. 

      • Scarlet39

        The feeling that she can’t leave is what I got out of the scene where she saw Peggy going towards the door.  Peggy got out, and she’s stuck. 

      • Sweetbetty

         “She’s what, in her mid to late thirties now? And a single mother, a fact
        that would be difficult for her to hide? She might be competent, but
        the sociopolitical climate of the workplace is stacked against an
        “older” woman with family to support, especially in the late 60s. ”

        I was a single mother of three and in my late 20s when I was told point-blank by a fatherly man at an interview in the mid-70s that he didn’t like to hire women with small children since they tended to miss a lot of work because of kids’ illnesses and such.  There were three open positions that I was interviewing at this business that day and when I met back with the female HR manager and she asked how everything went I mentioned that to her.  I could tell by her reaction that she was shocked and mortified and I’ll bet the man got a good lecture on the Equal Opportunity Act.  I was young and naive but if I knew then what I know now I’d have sued the pants off of them.  Problem is, I’d have had to prove that he said that.

        • In the mid-80s I was told by a man interviewing me (single mother of 2) that he “didn’t want to hear about sick children as a reason for not coming to work.” I said, “OK.” And then just lied to him. What a tool. But I really needed the job.

    • KittenO

       I agree that Lane would be my guess for the possible suicide.  I know everyone says Pete- but I see him as way too self centered and to some degree sociopathic.  When have you seen him show remorse- and how many times has he showed zero remorse?
      Lane embezzled. He keeps being reminded that there is no Christmas bonus.  His marriage has never been great.  He does not feel comfortable in his home country.  His childhood was abusive.  He showed embarrassment and guilt that he was not in the war.  He cannot keep up with the bills- at work and at home.  Out of all the characters, he seems the most who struggles with himself. 
      The money secrets will have to come out, and soon.  And then what choices will he have?

    • VanessaDK

       “…Joan only hugged Lane at the Jaguar announcement..”

      Lane and Joan are compatriots in administration/finance — Pete & Roger are in Sales and Don is Creative.  And Bert is ???

      • CozyCat

        At one time Cooper used his high level connections to get the old SC business.  He still brought in Maneschevitz (sp?) without even trying.

      • A name on the masthead. 

  • muzan-e

     It’s bright colors most of the time (when she’s not depressed) and this dress is almost defiantly bright. Head held high, she’s not going to become a wallflower of a partner. She will proudly stand next to these men and even draw attention to herself because she knows whatever she did to become partner pales in comparison to the many things she witnessed these men do to get where they are. This is totally an “I’m HERE, dammit” outfit; a declaration that she will not be ashamed by what she did.

    Thank you so much for pointing this out. I am frankly a little stunned by these last few episodes – I mean, it’s one thing to understand that a show is critically acclaimed, another to be presented with the calibre of what’s going on here.  If I wasn’t so sure that I’d find the thing heartbreaking and infuriating by turns…

    But thank you, because this paragraph completely blows my mind. That it’s done – that she’s owning it – and that she’s making them own it, too. This is not a woman shamed, this is not a woman agreeing to quietly, gently forget it happened. This is confrontational, and I fucking love her for it.

    • siriuslover

      Yes! Thank you for articulating what I’ve been trying to think through for the last few days. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but the Mad Style post and your comment have put it together for me.

    • GypsyHowell

      Absolutely.  She had a look of real defiance on her face when Don gave her the raised eyebrow.  Also, I noticed that Pete assumes it’s all Joan’s doing that they got the account. He didn’t ask Don the address the troops, he asked Joan.  I thought that was the ultimate slap in the face to Don.  Oh, how I would love to hear the SCDP watercooler speculation (oh hell, the entire industry will be talking about it, won’t they?) about how Joan, the Director of Operations, was made partner “out of the blue” the day they got the Jaguar account. 

      Pete has managed to despoil everything at SCDP.

      • sweetlilvoice

        If Pete wants Don to be his Daddy then maybe he wants Joan to be his Mommy. Together, Mommy and Daddy will make the world right.

      • AND Pete wanted Joan not just to address the troops, but “the men” — I want to just pinch his head off and dropkick it.

  • Robyn Morelli

    That blue coat that Joan is wearing when she comes home and talks to her mother about the refrigerator is strikingly similar to Betty’s “Sad Marriage” coat. In fact the whole getup with the silk scarf is so “Betty” that it I feel like it signals that she’s totally trapped in this situation, just like Betty was trapped in that marriage…

  • Jennifer Coleman

    Another thing that struck me is that Peggy’s back-tied trailing scarf was reminiscent of Joan’s leopard scarf on her dress.
    Megan’s dress also calls out to Sally’s more flashy one. It’s very pretty but not going to make an impression at an audition. I kind of loved Megan’s actress friend’s psychedelic dress with the orange stockings (that we saw too much of!).

    I suppose Joan & Peggy both like the Blue Coat of Family Turmoil.

    Janie Bryant has a video on the AMC MM website about the costumes for this episode that talks of the fur meaning and also Elisabeth Moss being interviewed – she’s in a very very different look for a future episode.

    • MilaXX

       Since Betty also wore a blur coat/scarf, perhaps we should call it the blue coat of sadness.

      • Jennifer Coleman

        I meant Betty, not Peggy.

    • ballerinawithagun

      I like that…the back tailing scarf. Watch me as I walk out the door!

  • janetjb

    What does Megan think she says about herself wearing such a dull dress?  I don’t really care one way or another about Megan, but  the non-color really bugs me.

    Does she have a role model that I can’t recall from the 60’s?   

    • astoriafan

      I suspect that dress really didn’t come over on the screen the way it was intended. In the interview Janie Bryant raves about it, the sparkly fabric and rhinestones, the flesh color of it. I think it was supposed to look a lot more glamorous than it did. To me it looked (on the show) like a khaki jumper, the only eye-catching thing about it being the short length. I mean I thought it was charmingly cute, just not a show-stopper in any way. 

      • Sweetbetty

         I agree.  When she first changed into it to “meet Don for dinner” and people were referring to it as a cocktail dress I wondered where that was coming from.  I didn’t see any sparkle and thought it was just a beige dress that she could have worn to the office and not gotten a second glance.

      • But interestingly, her stockings glowed more than her dress. Those shimmery hose were fun to wear.

  • MissAnnieRN

    I’m sure I’m not the only person who shed a tear when Don kissed Peggy’s hand??

    Nice catch on the scribbled out SCDP logo. The only catch i had in any of your always brilliant analysis were the colors tying Peggy and ken together when she is wearing her plaid dress with the blue blouse. Did not catch the fur at all!!

    What will we all do when mad men and GoT are done for the season? Sigh. I live television a bit too much.

    • sweetlilvoice

      Maybe our esteemed bloggers could do an update on the individual styles of the MM ladies? That would be much appreciated! The unborn fawns and bitter kittens would be very grateful. I too will be very sad when MM ends, of course I will still be on this amazing blog everyday. 

      • Sweetbetty

         They can also do the set designs.  And a lot of us were begging for TLo’s view of the Downton Abbey costumes.  Speaking of which, when does DA start up again?  And how long until the next season of Mad Men?

        Like someone else said, I live TV and TLo too much.

        • sweetlilvoice

          I would assume the British version would be this fall that’s when last year’s season started. If you just watch the U.S., then I’m not sure. I also want another season of Upstairs Downstairs.

      • alicetiara

        If you go through the archives, they did a really comprehensive discussion of each character a few years ago. 

  • Laylalola

    It doesn’t seem believable to me that Megan would wear that particular dress to auditions — she has a wardrobe of cutting edge, colorful pieces that make people drool. And she wore the vast majority of them in professional settings.

    • janiemary

      On the AMC MM website, Janie Bryant talks very highly of Megan’s audition dress… refering to it as “liquid skin”.  While it looks dull to us, especially given that it totally matches the background in the audition scene, I think the idea behind the dress is that Megan is nude while actually fully clothed. 

      • KittenO

         I also have to believe, per Jamie’s comments about the glittery liquid skin aspect of it, that he dress looks a lot more fabulous in person than on my tv screen.

    • Le_Sigh

       I think its speaks to her lack of confidence and that she’s unsure of herself in the acting world.  She’s all out on her own, and doesn’t have her marriage as a passport to act and come and go as she pleases.

      • GypsyHowell

        Yes, she has to have sex with her husband at work to give her that boost of “CAWNfidence” (sorry, her pronunciation of that word was highly irritating to me) before the audition. Also, am I supposed to think that she was surprised to be treated like a piece of meat by being asked to twirl around?  Hard to imagine it’s the first time she’s endured that in an audition.  Or maybe it’s just that the director, producer and playwright were less impressed with her stunning beauty and grace than Matt Weiner apparently is.

  • P M

    I wonder if Joan’s going to start dressing differently: similar to the advice she gave Peggy, if she wants to be taken seriously as a partner, will this affect her dressing somehow?

    Or will she be considered the person who sets up drinks? (please God please no) 

    • Maggie_Mae

      Joan will have more money & might well upgrade her wardrobe.  However, I don’t see her as an early adopter of Dress for Success.  Even in a Tootsie suit, nobody will ever mistake her for a man….

      • P M

         Oh dear god, I hope not! I’m not a fan of Dress for Success!

    • MilaXX

       I think Joan will be savvy enough to not allow herself to become the set up drinks gal. She most surely will assign someone else to do it.

      • In the final partners’ meeting, Joan is seated at the side of the table and another woman (Scarlet?) is sitting where Joan used to sit. Joan is going to assert her partnership and make sure the boys who did her in remember that she is a voting partner now.

    • HobbitGirl

      But Joan already definitively does NOT dress like a little girl. She knows what works on her, and as we’ve seen before (remember the lipstick testing?) she knows what her clothes do for other people too. Her body has always been a tactic in her arsenal.

    • Sweetbetty

       If Joan doesn’t set up drinks who would be the most likely to do it?  Just wondering….

      • Andrea Rossillon

         Joan already doesn’t set up drinks. She quit doing that when she came to SCDP. She’s not a secretary–she’s Traffic.

        • CheriCPat

           Thanks for reminding me – I saw that label on Joan’s door that said “Traffic.”  What does that mean?

          • The Traffic Manager supervises, tracks and coordinates workflow (the “traffic”) through the agency. They often function as a communication hub between the various players on a project, and help set and maintain internal deadlines. It can be a very complicated and fairly stressful position, depending on how well the agency principals run the place.

          • sweetlilvoice

            Sounds like my job! I didn’t know what Traffic meant either. Thanks for the info!

  • Yishai Avior

    You guys are brilliant. 

  • Frank_821

    I wonder if the reason for Megan wearing such a non-descript dress is because she’s trying to present herself as “serious” actress and not a diletant with a rich husband. But seriously simple is one thing, but bland is another

  • I noticed that Peggy was smoking in the scene with Ted.  That’s something she only does when she’s pissed off or nervous.

    • Or wants to look grownup.

    • susu11

      I imagine she must have been a little bit nervous, it’s a huge step to leave SCDP and her mentor. I smoke like a fiend before meetings. But I think here the smoking has the dual effect of making her look quite sexy and like TLo said grownup at the same time.

  • Nancy Stefanick

    You both have an uncanny memory for details!  I relish your commentary because you give such reverence to the costumers and production value of this show.  Beautiful backdrop to beautiful performances.

  • another_laura

    Re Megan, it looked to me like she wanted to present herself as a “serious actress” instead of an actress who really really wants the part and what a misfire. If we ever see her at an audition again, my bet is that she goes in a very different direction and that Don gets really really really angry about it.

    But hey, as most bitter kittens agree, the most interesting women-stuff is Joanie and Peggy. Can’t wait for next week. When will Joan find out about Lane? How long before we get to see Peggy win a new client, beating out Don?

  • susu11

    As soon I got to my office and sat down at my desk I checked to see if the Mad Style post was up, thanks TLo! 🙂

    The first time Megan wore her audition dress,I thought it was a very bland neutral dress in comparison to the brighter and flashier outfits she usually wears, but I thought this time around it was a bit sexier especially combined with the coat and the metallic silver shoes.The softer makeup she’s wearing with the dress also helps make it look a
    lot sexier than the harsh red lipstick she wore the first time. Janie Bryant commented on the AMC site that she wanted Megan to wear this outfit because it was a bit like showing skin without showing skin. (Janie said the color was meant to be ‘metallic skin’) I think that makes a lot of sense since she is somewhat ‘laying herself bare’ in front of the casting people, as they objectify her body. But I do notice the dress almost makes her fade into the walls as well-making her invisible like you say TLo. She’s somewhat exposed but she doesn’t hold your attention. It’s a beautiful styling choice in the context of the scene.

    Oh Joanie! Once I realize where that fur was from, my heart broke even more. The leopard trim on her brown dress also reminded me of Pete’s hooker who wore that leopard underwear and said he was ‘her king’ Joan set the terms for the deal but Pete was running the show. The power dynamics in that case and here are really interesting (and sad) to observe. Also Pete looks like the harbinger of death in that black suit in the first scene with him and Joan.

    Peggy and Ken almost look like a couple in that screen shot. I hope they continue some kind of friendship/work-type relationship now that Peggy’s left SCDP. I absolutely covet that outfit she wore to meet Chaugh! Sexy and mod. I’m also excited to see what Copy Chief Peggy Olson’s wardrobe will look like.

    • siriuslover

      and her office!

      • mr_apollo

        Speaking of offices, am I the only one who really likes Harry Crane’s office and thinks it’s a sly joke that, when Pete had the office, it was cramped and dominated by the column, whereas Harry (or his wife) has turned it into a comfy, homey place such that you don’t really notice the inconvenient structure?

        I’m surprised Pete hasn’t made some envious remark about Harry’s office still being better.

        • Lisa_Cop

          I think when Pete had it, the office was painted a darker color and lit darkly. Now that Harry has it, the office is brightly lit.

          • sweetlilvoice

            Plus Harry hasn’t injured himself on the pillar either. Still a great scene!

        • That painting behind Harry’s desk is the same rainy Champs Elysee scene that everyone’s mother had in their living room.

          • Not to mention that Peggy was looking right at it when she improvised her Parisian ad for Chevalier Blanc.

        •  Also, did you notice that the chair by the door is upholstered with the same fabric as the new Draper armchairs when Betty had the living room redone?!  The fabric is an orangey- yellow with black instead of black and white but it is exactly the same!  Right down to the type of armchair.

    • HobbitGirl

      I’m kinda hoping it’s Pete, not Lane, who decides to off himself. I feel bad for even saying that, but dear sweet lord, he’s a repulsive slug-man these days.

  • VermillionSky

    This was something my husband brought up the other day that I didn’t think of, but I think it is pretty interesting. This wasn’t the first “indecent proposal” in the show.  Remember what happened to Sal Romano when a client demanded sexual favors with him?  Don was pissed at him for not accepting and gave him the axe.  With Joan, he was the only partner who wouldn’t even entertain the idea of whoring her out for a big account.  It’s a sad reminder that Don really isn’t any better than the other partners, even though he was the only one who didn’t want her to do it.

    • HobbitGirl

      OMG you’re right! I had totally forgotten that. I felt bad for Don here: he seemed to be mostly reacting protectively of Joan as something he sort of “owns”, not actually considering any potential benefits she might get from it.

    • suzq

      Actually, I think Roger was pissed that Sal didn’t accept.  Lucky was Roger’s account and he was very, very pissed.  Another sharp reader (above) remembered that Peter tried to get his wife to go out with a former boyfriend in order to help him get an account.  So Pete’s an old hand at this and so’s Roger.

      • ldancer

        Roger had no idea f Lee Garner Jr.’s advances on Sal. That was Don. All Roger knew was that Lee suddenly didn’t want Sal around.

    • zmayhem

      There was another one as well — Don’s involvement with Bobbie, long ago, began as a fairly unpleasant quid pro quo; she was clearly interested in him and moving on him, he (unusually for him at the time) was absolutely not responding, and IIRC she finally not only made a very explicit move on him in a car, but told him as she was doing so that if he wanted her husband to apologize nice and proper to the Utz potato chip people, make everything good and save the account, he’d better do this for (or to) her. It was extremely coercive and not particularly mutual, and he sucked it up and whored himself for the sake of the agency and the account. I I remember, when that scene ended, feeling an utterly disorienting rush of, “Holy shit, I think I just saw a man get date raped.”

      Later it got more mutual, but always with a deep undercurrent/undertow of barely-suppressed violence and constant jockeying for redrawing the rules of who had power and who didn’t. And it started from an “indecent proposal,” to which he acceded. No wonder he got so angry at Sal later on–how dare Sal think he had a right to refuse to do what Don himself had done for the sake of the business?

      Unsurprisingly, apparently he has miles more respect for Joan than he does for himself.

  • Jodie_S

    Megan seems to have two distinct sides to her personality: One is very childish, pouty and naive and can be seen in her teenage style outfits; the other side is more mature, stylish, and sometimes coquettish, aimed at pleasing men (something she learned from her mother). She takes the pursuit of acting very seriously, and sees it in very idealistic terms, and so has not, yet, realized that she has to promote (or sell) herself in this pursuit, which is what she finds so distasteful about advertising.  When she realizes this reality,  she’ll either cave in or start dressing differently for auditions. She’s capable of it, but conflicted.

  • Animal print with a tie down her back, almost like a leash. I thought that was odd and notable. 

    • sherrietee

       I thought it notable that it could be a jaguar print.

    • Vlasta Bubinka

      The visual is striking in this context, but she has worn dresses like that before in pink, black, green…

  • MilaXX

     I can’t help but wonder if Joan will be the one to discover Lane’s embezzlement and fix it somehow, thus further cementing her arsenal of dark secrets she has on this crew.

    As far a Megan is concerned I think she’s had an expiration date on her forehead for some time now. We all knew the marriage was doomed from the start, but her deciding to leave SCDP and pursue her acting career seems to have accelerated the process.

    • VanessaDK

       That is what I get for commenting before reading–I was thinking the same thing about Lane and Joan–this episode sets up for her to cover up his embezzlement, if she can…

  • jblaked

    First, re Megan’s audition dress, I felt the same way about it as TLo.  However, upon watching a behind the scenes video on with Janie Bryant, I saw that it is much more beautiful up close – very shimmery – and Janie didn’t intend it to make Megan fade into the background, instead she sees it as a very modern sexy dress – she calls it “metallic skin.”  I also didn’t realize until this post – and seeing Joan was wearing two different outfits – that the day after Joan’s “night” was not the same day that SCDP got the Jaguar call.  Interesting.  Can’t wait to see what Peggy wears at her new agency.  Her cute little interview look with scarf reminded me of the outfits that Jamie Summer’s secretary, Callahan, wore on The Bionic Woman.  Then again, I think they put her in those neck scarves to hide the line of the fake fembot head.  But, I digress…

  • Mariah Warnock-Graham

    Joan’s wearing Betty’s blue coat when she talks to her mother!

  • MsKitty

    When I saw Peggy in that interview dress I actually gasped.  That’s the most sophisticated look I’ve seen her in, and as you said she really pulled it off. Now that her confidence level has gone through the roof with this move, I expect Peggy’s wardrobe to reflect that.

    Another one out of the park, fellas. Thanks!

  • Ms_Issippi

    The first thing I noted about Peggy’s “break-up dress,” as a faithful TLo minion, was that the purple is the exact opposite on the color wheel from her signature SCDP mustard. Her mind was made up; she had already made the emotional break. 

    I thought Joan’s brown dress with the back-scarf made it look like she was being hanged by a man’s tie.  

    • Mary Saucier

      Thank you! I was reading the comments and couldn’t believe that I was the only person who thought the animal print scarf looked like a noose!

  • Vlasta Bubinka

    Megan’s nightie reminds me of Kitty Romano’s nightie. Green and flirty and worn for a marriage that maybe a charade.

    • susu11

      That’s a great point! i thought it mimicked it Kitty’s nightie too but a little bit less ruffly and girlish, maybe to show Megan’s more goal-oriented even though she’s playing the part of doting wife?

      God do I hope this marriage ends up being a spectacular charade because I am tired of watching it already.

  • warontara

    I’ve known girls like that, and it irritates me so much. They don’t love the craft, they love the applause. Their big dream is to star on Broadway, but not because they love theatre so much- just because they crave having a standing ovation eight times a week.

    • GypsyHowell

      Well in fairness, do we really know that she’s lacking hustle and effort, just because we don’t see it detailed out on the screen? Maybe we’re supposed to believe she’s really going after this. Apparently she’s been to a number of auditions.

      • Maggie_Mae

        I believe what I see.  Or what I’ve been told.  

        My opinion of her Audition Dress has changed. It really is rather lovely, in an understated way.  But, by wearing it, Megan shows that she’s not just another hungry, Bohemian actress. She’s got money. 

        And it really is rather short for that year.  “Older” women (post teenyboppers) really didn’t adopt that skirt length until later.  I don’t think the costumes must be totally accurate–they help depict characters & tell stories rather than  recreate the “average” attire of the day.  But I wonder aboutt her discomfort at being asked to show off her body a bit–when she’s already showing more than many would.  

        • margaret meyers

          That dress does say “MONEY.”  It’s clearly a special dress, and that pale and perfect color requires cabs, not buses, and dry cleaners to keep it looking special.  Having lived through the late 60s and 70s, that restrained, tasteful taupe was a money look that was often paired with a constant tan, good jewelry and expensively maintained hair.

      • HobbitGirl

        I think we are. I mean, she sniffed at the part on “Dark Shadows” as beneath her — the actors I know would snatch at the opportunity to audition for ANYTHING. She’s not as driven because she doesn’t have to be. Don will take care of her. 

        •  She admitted to her friend that she’d kill for that part on Dark Shadows.  She simply didn’t get an audition for it.

      • warontara

         (Oh Disqus is not my friend today! Lol I had a whole reply written and it vanished! So if it shows up again, please don’t think I really have that much to say!)

        I don’t think she’s hungry, but I am admittedly basing that off of my personal experiences. I’ve lived with and been around lots of aspiring performers who were either working, in class, auditioning, or sleep. She doesn’t have to work, so I know that gives her a large amount of free time, but it still doesn’t seem like she does much beyond take a class or two and breeze into Broadway open calls (or other auditions she deems “good enough” for her). I’d buy her as an ambitious woman chasing her dream if she was out there going for parts that aren’t highly visible.

  • Another great post. Watching Joan after the encounter I wondered if she will be able to get passed it and walk with her head held high (as she should). Thank you for pointing out she is already doing that, I missed that little nuance in the color change. 

    Then again, if she could pretend her rape never happened, she sure as hell can pretend this never happened. 

  • nycfan

    I thought it was striking that Joan wore green not once but twice after the emerald was foisted on her by Herb the Sleaze (with the “compliment” that the color suits her) … the green robe (which to be fair was just “handy”) and then the day they get the Jaguar account and it is first announced she is a partner, she is in green again.  To me (and maybe this is wishful thinking), she was taking ownership of the situation … she did it, she is now a partner, deal with her (still competent and commanding as ever, with the champagne already ready to go).   Or maybe it was all just a coincidence.

    The call back to Roger’s mink was genius and probably a good indication that after suffering through this last indignity she is essentially piling all her “ill gotten” gains from years of working her way through powerful men on the funeral pyre (the mink, everything from Greg, hopefully the emerald, etc.) of the old Joan and emerging as the new one, with that old pre-feminist outlook behind her.

    Having left the firm, Megan has definitely fallen back to childish attire and behavior. Is this the same woman who pulled off the french underwear cleaning come-on?  She seems to look to Don more and more often as a father figure (let me fix you a drink an turn on Carson so you can get some sleep).  She’s not that much younger than Betty, but suddenly feels light-years younger (in part b/c Betty middle-aged herself the moment she chose Henry).

    Here’s hoping that Peggy sets her Catholic school girl dresses on fire and starts over with her wardrobe. 🙂

    • HobbitGirl

      AND the green ties her strongly to Jaguar in other ways, too — the most famous Jag I can think of in this era would be Steve McQueen’s “Green Rat.”

      • Lilithcat

        Red is a great color for convertible sports cars, but I admit to believing Jaguar XKEs, like Triumphs, should always be British racing green with tan interiors.

  • Judy_J

    The clothing adds so much to the story.  Thank you for your insights.  I also watched Janie Bryant’s style recap on AMC’s website, and she had quite a bit to say about Peggy’s interview dress.  It’s an actual vintage dress, not created for the show.  I’m constantly amazed that she is able to find these items and incorporate them into the storyline.  I love Peggy’s purple dress….such a completely new look for her.  I’m with you guys….can’t wait to see what kind of wardrobe she has for her new job.

    • 2ndhandchic

      Thanks for mentioning Janie’s video. I didn’t know they existed, but it really adds to the viewing. I didn’t realize Megan’s audition dress was sparkly until Janie held it up!

    • I remember Peggy’s dress very well- it was an object of deire for everyone in my high school in the winter of 1967. I don’t remember the lable, but it was at the Brass Plum boutique at Nordstrom’s when that was still a high-end designer lable division. Wool knit, proper military braid and brass buttons. Great garment, in a year when there was a whole lot of utter crap around.

      Megan’s dress would have been from a heavy slippery hard-to-sew synthetic; it’s a year too early for Quiana but there were earlier attempts at that fabric that were inferior in that they all ran like rabbits. I’d almost guess the actual dress for TV is silk lame jersey just because silk is easily available now and not as rotten to handle as the older synthetics.

  • ballerinawithagun

    Joan’s brown dress with “jaguar” scarf also points to Joan’s physical assets. The back scarf points directly to her shapely derriere while her pen necklace dangles between her breasts. But her face and hair are perfect and held high. She has power and did what she had to do. Now she has even more power to wield. Truly a Queen. 

    • sweetlilvoice

      Built like a B-52 indeed!

    • I saw her little scarf detail as a throwback to her earlier days at SC when she proclaimed, “Men love scarves” and would always work in a scarf in her wardrobe to be sexy. I

  • siriuslover

    Thank you guys for this post! Such a good episode. I was so happy to see Peggy walk out that door and also note her style evolution. On the AMC site, Janie Bryant says that the dress for her interview is vintage. And when you see the whole thing, it’s so gorgeous. I also loved her purple dress with Don. That queen / knight image with the hand kissing was just brilliant, along with the camera angles. I cannot wait until Sunday night.

    ETA: WAAAH! I’ll be travelling Sunday night.

    • Lilithcat

      On the AMC site, Janie Bryant says that the dress for her interview is vintage.

      Probably the majority of the costuming on Mad Men is vintage.  Janie doesn’t fool around with pale imitations.

      • siriuslover

        But she’s a damned good enough costumer to be able to design what we would think is vintage, don’t you think? I think if she thought it important enough to SAY the dress was vintage, it means something.

        • Lilithcat

          She does design a lot of the costumes herself.  She also buys vintage fabric, as well as vintage clothing which is recut for the character.

      • margaret meyers

        That taupe was a very sophisticated and chic color in the 60s.  Think of the Four Seasons restaurant — a fortune in fawn colored carpet, subtle gold chain curtains in the windows, carrara marble, taupe chair covers, etc.

  • Nancy Caciola

    I’m very surprised you did not comment on something that really leaped out at me! On the day Joan decides to go forward with the deal, she wears a brown dress with, as you note, an animal print trim. That print is what we normally call “leopard” — but in fact, jaguars (the animal) have a very similar spot pattern to leopards. When Joan takes the deal, the dress relates her back to the new Jaguar ad campaign: She is the Thing of Beauty that may be purchased. Surely this cannot be coincidence!

  • Frank_821

    Oh them fembots. such memories. And an appropriate tie-in to a story about objectifying and owning women

  • jessieroset

    I haven’t even read all the way through but I just have say how much I love Peggy and Ken together as partners. It’s so nice to have someone truly appeciate and *get* how gifted she is at her job. The silent clapping was perfect. With the way they’ve been pushing their “pact”, I’m curious to see how their storyline plays out.

  • slubird

    I’m about to finish reading the post- I look forward to this all week- but I also wanted to add that I thought the significance to the green robe was less about the necklace and more about the green in relation to Don, since last week after spending time with Don she wore a dress in the same color. Maybe bright green will be her “men aren’t always the worst” color?

    • judybrowni

      Or green for money, in this case, the money involved in Joan’s prostitution.

      • I think possibly green for envy, in addition to the money – green looks amazing on redheads, and green could be a colour for Joan now which signifies ‘you can’t have me’? She wore it after sort of putting Don in his place, and now she’ll be putting the rest of the partners in their place too…

  • warontara

    I guess that may be what we’re supposed to believe…I’m just not buying it. I think that Megan probably feels like she’s really getting out there. But she’s got nothing but free time and decent connections, and there really is more she could be doing to try to make it. Sure, Broadway open calls (I’m assuming that’s what that was) don’t come along  often, but in New York City, there is A LOT she could do to learn more about theatre. But it seems to me like she just wants to do what she wants to do, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I’m just not buying this as her lifelong dream that she would really fight for.

    • Lilithcat

      It’s not you.  It’s the damn Disqus commenting system, which seems to choose random spots for replies.

      • dress_up_doll

        I’m glad it’s not just me! I’ve pretty much given up on Disqus and have now become an avid reader as opposed to an acitve commenter.

        • sad!!!

        • greenwich_matron

          I wonder if the problems are browser dependent.

  • sweetlilvoice

    Amazing post! Thank you for all the great critiques! Screw you, Roger and Lane indeed! 

  • Katsaavedra

    I am concerned about the pact.  The only mention of it was Peggy deriding it.  It certainly didn’t appear that Ken was aware of Peggy”s departure. 

    • Sweetbetty

       No, I got the impression she didn’t talk it over with anyone at SCDP.  That’s why I’m a little confused by a lot of the comments made about Joan’s look at Peggy as she leaves the office.  There was nothing to indicate to anyone that Peggy was leaving for good.  Sure, she had her thermos and coffee cup (why did she have a thermos anyhow?  Didn’t they have a coffee pot going all the time at SCDP?) but that didn’t have to mean anything final and I’m not even sure it would have been visible to Joan, what with Peggy carrying her coat and purse (and maybe a hat?).  I thought Joan’s look was a bit of puzzlement but that she was too distracted by the celebration at hand to dwell on it.

      • judybrowni

        Thermos for soup, maybe.

        • Katsaavedra

           Exactly what I was thinking.

      • I think that Joan might’ve had an idea… normally when we’ve seen Peggy arrive at work in the morning she doesn’t have that much stuff with her, and if she was going to be carrying such a clumsy assortment she’d have a bag. And Joan will have seen, even if they haven’t discussed it, that Peggy’s pissed off with how she’s treated…

        I definitely think Ken will try and follow Peggy now though… he’ll realise what Joan’s done.

      • She could’ve brought soup for lunch that day, hence the thermos. Or it’s just where she hides her weed. I know that’s where  my grandfather used to hide his.

      • Katsaavedra

         Peggy’s, departure just as everyone was celebrating landing Jaguar, illustrated just how separate she has been from that acct and everything else of high visibility at SCDP.  Joan was noting that she was not taking part in the celebration.  The dynamic between Peggy and Joan has always been stressful.  Each represents female ambition but at opposite ends of a spectrum.  Neither really understands the other but each has earned the other’s respect. 

      • She even left a picture frame on her desk, and I’m guessing after working somewhere for 3 years, she probably had more personal stuff there which she also left behind.

        • Sweetbetty

           Yes, I know when I left jobs I usually had one or more bags full of stuff to carry out.  And remember when Megan left after her short stint there, Don said something about bringing her box of stuff home so she didn’t have to come back after lunch with the girls.

  • sarahjane1912

    Fantastic style recap as usual, TLo. Thank you so much.

    Favourite outfit: Peggy’s ‘negotiating’ ensemble. She looked gorgeous, ‘with it’ and in control [despite the jittery excitement in her eyes]. Can’t wait to see the looks she rocks at her new agency. Farewell Catholic Schoolgirl; Hello Cosmopolitan Girl, I hope! 🙂

  • Lenee43

    So everyone seems to agree that Joan is wearing the mink that Roger gave her, and Janie Bryant’s video confirms that.  Somehow I just don’t see what everyone else is seeing.  It looks like a completely different coat to me.  The one Roger gave her was black with a narrow collar, and this one is brownish with a very wide collar.   Am I completely misremembering this?

    • No, I noticed Roger’s coat was more black too.

    • Sweetbetty

       I noticed that people were describing it as a coat, a jacket, and a shrug.  They’ve also said it was the same fur coat that Betty was modeling in the photo on the wall of the store Don was working in and where Roger bought the fur, but Betty is wearing a full-length light colored coat in that photo and Roger gave Joan a dark colored waist-length jacket.  The collar could be worn more than one way, so that explains that difference.

    • Isn’t that just the nature of mink? Black in some light, brown in others? Or am I confusing it with a different fur? I don’t wear them, so it’s no skin off my butt to be wrong. 🙂

  • In a lot of the posts I’ve read on this episode, there is a lot of hand-wringing and teeth gnashing over Joan’s decision: is it in character? is it worse or the same as the kinds of whoring the men have done for work?  But for me, the straw that broke the camel’s back for her was the horrible conversation with her mother: the emotional undermining, the social sabotage with the repair man, the threat to leave her in the lurch, the sheer horror of having to depend on this awful woman every single day. It reminded me of that scene where they are seen from above lying on the bed; the only way Joan can work right now is if someone takes care of her baby. I think the opportunity to be able to hire someone else and get her mother out of the house was the emotional motivation for her action. Yes, it was complicated by all the other factors, but it was an act of emotional survival as much as economic survival.
    That hideous blouse says it all.

    • Sweetbetty

       My thoughts exactly; her mother pushed her over the edge.

  • Aurumgirl

    Janie Bryant says that Megan’s audition dress is meant to be like her skin.  It isn’t meant to be drab  or dull but rather “bare” and undressed, like Megan is laying her soul/talent/expression out for all to see (especially at auditions, which is the only time she wears this dress).  But it could do both ( bare and bore) , which would figure if you consider that she’s not landed a part at anything yet.

    On the other hand, Megan isn’t like her hungry and attention seeking friend at all–she’s consistently presented a public persona that is more classic and patrician, even when she was just a secretary.  Megan may not feel like she has to grovel and put herself on display desperately in order to land a part; she may feel (and want to convey) that she can get the part on merit and talent alone.  She’s too young to have figured out that merit isn’t going to get her very far (whereas Joan has been schooled in this fact many, many times.

    As for Joan believing that Roger’s “ruined” what they had, I think Joan finally got a lesson in the fact that people try very hard to tell you about who they really are–but we seldom listen to them.  Roger once told her she was “the best piece of ass he’s ever had” and she was touched because of when he said it–but the fact is, Roger’s very skilled with words and on some level he chose the precise phrase to use to convey his true, unedited feelings for her.  It was just easy for Joan to misinterpret their literal nature because of the circumstances.  He also tried to “tell” her again, when he rehired Jane, took her as his mistress, then broke up his marriage to make Jane his new wife.  And again, when he proposed to pay for Joan’s abortion, instead of actually seeing their child as a way to take their relationship into what Joan always thought it would be, a real husband and wife with a child relationship. Roger’s always acted on the belief that Joan is “good enough to fuck, but not good enough to marry”. Maybe Roger’s silent acquiescence to “the deal” was the time Joan finally “heard” what he was trying to tell her about himself, so she could come to view her status with him and with her real passion, that business, without delusions.  That would make the coat  a lot less special for Joan, therefore something she could easily wear to her tryst and then dispose of forever.

    I hope she gives it to her mom.

    • sweetlilvoice

      So sad, but true. You can never really change someone and Roger has behaved for decades like he’s on shore leave. 

    • That last part is gonna leave a mark! : D

  • kamo12

    Peggy’s purple dress also made me gasp a little when I first saw it. I noticed that they kept putting her in splashes of her “career color,” gold, then she appears in solid purple, gold’s opposite on the color wheel. To me it was like someone wearing an all black funeral getup to a party. It’s part of the reason I am still feeling torn about Peggy leaving and not all “you go girl!” Unless the opposite of “career power color” is “new mature lease on life color.”

  • CatherineRhodes

    Thank you, TLo, for this post. If Academy Awards were given for brilliant and incisive blog writing, there would be a gold statuette on your mantle.

  • LuluinLaLa

    Am I the only one not seeing Peggy photos above? The first photos I see are of Joan in the blue floral dress.

  • nosniveling

    This isn’t a style comment per se, but another take on Joan’s prospects.  A lot of folks seem to feel that her future is “ruined” because she “slept her way to the top”.  Well, that would have been would be assumed anyway, she will just have to demand the respect that she deserves.  If there’s any character in the history of the series that’s capable of doing that, it’s Joan.
    All is not lost.  Look for more power dressing from her in the future.

  • FashionShowAtLunch

    It’s also worth noting that purple is an archetypal color for royalty, and it was so fitting in that scene, given the body language between Don and Peggy (that some here have noted) in this scene, and given how the power dynamic between the two shifted so dramatically when she told him she was quitting. 

  • VanessaDK

     Ken and Peggy– Fascinating relationship, and I was really struck by the fact that he is always insisting on their “pact” and she completely ignored him and made her own career move–I think you really nailed it when you said that it was “not a moment when Peggy wanted to hear a man tell her he’d take care of her.”  I don’t think there is ever a moment when she wants a man to take care of her.

    Oh, and the echo of Mustard Yellow in Cheoughs jacket was a striking way to link them together, as well as to indicate that the new firm may be more mod-ern than SCDP.

    • LJ39

      Just noticed too that Ted Chaough’s turtleneck is the same purple color as Peggy’s next-day dress (at least on my screen), representing her alignment with him.

  • Liverpoolgirl

    Every week I despise Pete Campbell more.  He makes my skin crawl.  Blech!

    • 2ndhandchic

       Agreed. In a show filled with terrible people, it takes a lot of be the worst. He is so gross.

    • 2ndhandchic

       Agreed. In a show filled with terrible people, it takes a lot of be the worst. He is so gross.

  • EveEve

    What “career”?  I don’t recall that she’s ever been cast in a professional role. She certainly being written as being one determined woman, who wants to get her way.  She got the rich, handsome husband (easy to do when you’re young and gorgeous and he’s on the rebound, and she got to be a copy writer when she said she wanted that (easy to do when your husband is the boss),  but if the writers don’t let acting pan out for Megan, then what will they have her doing?  Looking forward to seeing what Weiner has in store for her the next couple of episodes.

  • I think somebody mentioned on the recap post that Megan’s negligee was a lot like the one that Kitty Romano wore in the Bye Bye Birdie episode.  Possible callback to a woman whose husband can’t give her what she wants?  

    • I noticed that similar lingerie too!

      • Lilithcat

        Well, it was a pretty common sort of nightwear for woman at the time. 

    • GypsyHowell

      Am I imagining things? I could swear that we saw Trudy in a nightie of that same color too.

  • Sweetbetty

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned yet but I wanted to comment on Joan’s hair.  There was a lot of discussion on the last episode of how soft and feminine it has been looking then this week it’s not nearly so.  It’s not the severe, hard, shellacked do of earlier seasons, but it lacks the waves and softness of the last episode.  Can we interpret this as Joan having to harden herself because of the events of this episode?

    • I noticed that hairstyle change, too.  And the lighting made Joan very pale, especially during the party. (She was equally pale and in the same dress during “Signal 30” in the scene where Lane makes a move on her.)  Likewise, compare her pale complexion in her dark blue, ruffled dress the morning after Jag Guy with her warmer skin tones in the same dress in “Public Relations.” (Yes, I’ve been combing through the Mad Style archive.)  Also, her makeup in the party scene extends shadows from the outer corners of her eyes.

  • AmeliaEve

     But the scarf was an animal print, referencing Jaguar. (I thought the dress on Megan’s friend also seemed like a sort of animal print, and she was actively pretending to be a jaguar for the guys.)

  • When Pete had that scene with a prostitute, a few episodes ago, the prostitute was wearing leopard. Now, when Pete and Joan make their deal, she is wearing leopard, becoming a prostitute into Pete (and everyone else’s) eyes. 
    And, in a non-costume related comment, I think Christina Hendricks is the best actress ever.

  • This is really random but when I saw Trudy’s pajamas, I noticed that her floral house coat was similar to the flowers on the couch, indicating she was happy in their life. She didn’t blend in or match exactly like Betty or Beth do with their homes.

  • This is really random but when I saw Trudy’s pajamas, I noticed that her floral house coat was similar to the flowers on the couch, indicating she was happy in their life. She didn’t blend in or match exactly like Betty or Beth do with their homes.

  • CassandraMortmain

    I so love Peggy’s whole look when she’s negotiating with Chaough. I hope this is a harbinger of a more sophisticated look for her. She will absolutely need to be more stylish if she expects to thrive at a high level in such an image-conscious business.

    One of the things I find interesting about reading TLo’s posts is seeing the reaction from the readers to different characters. The contrast between how the BK see Joan and Megan is fascinating. Joan has always been a favorite here (and with a lot of viewers and straight male critics). But she has always been retrograde in the worst possible ways and has done some highly questionable things from the get go. She’s always been a whore with seriously fucked-up values. She carried on a long-term affair with her married boss, accepting expensive gifts from him while at the same time going on “dates” with men she wouldn’t normally give the time of day to, simply to get them to “empty their pockets.” She has exhibited some nasty racism and some contempt for women who aren’t as attractive as she is. She was so hung up on prestige and position that she accepted a marriage offer from Greg (who she never really seemed to love) because that was the best offer available, she hadn’t been able to snare an ad executive husband and because she had become a bit of a joke among the younger staff. And then she married Greg anyway after he raped her. Seriously, can you see Peggy doing that? And now she’s passing off another man’s baby as her husband’s. Nobody every mentions that (probably because everyone loathes Greg so who cares if he’s deceived?) but that is seriously evil. It’s damaging to her child, who will basically be living a lie. Joan has consistently made bad choices and she is entirely the author of her own misfortune.

    So now it’s out front – she’s a whore. Nothing new there – the entire office knew her as a good-time gal. Even Peggy said to her once that everyone thought she wanted to get married, and to have fun. And not in that order. At least Joan turned this to her advantage. So I feel no surprise or sorrow about this. It’s entirely in character. I love Joan as a character and because Christina Hendricks does such a great job. But if I were to ever meet Joan in real life, I’d probably find her loathsome.

    On the other hand, so many people really dislike Megan, who has never done anything as immoral as Joan. We’ve never seen her really even be unkind to anyone. Her crime is that she’s young and pretty and privileged. And maybe a bit of a dilettante. That apparently is worthy of derision. As I said, fascinating.

    • It’s only fascinating if you have a hard time with the idea that different people have different ideas about different characters. Your entire comment boils down to “I hate Joan and isn’t it fascinating that other people don’t?” Not one of the characters on this show are morally perfect. It makes no sense to question why some people like some morally imperfect characters more than other morally imperfect characters.

      • CassandraMortmain

        Of course they’re all morally imperfect, as all humans are.  But some are a lot better than others.  Peggy, Megan, maybe Ken, Ginsberg, Henry, Dr. Fay  – these are all characters who have never done anything terrible.  Joan’s behavior has been as bad as anyone’s, and yet she gets a pass.  I don’t think it’s unreasonable to question why that is, when other characters are raked over the coals.  And it’s way too simplistic to chalk it up to “I hate Joan and don’t understand why everyone else doesn’t.” 

        • Disagree. You are essentially asking why people don’t dislike Joan as much as you do.

          • CassandraMortmain

            We’ll just have to agree to disagree.  I’m merely questioning why Joan’s behavior (some of it pretty damned ugly) almost never gets questioned or criticized.  Even Don gets blowback occasionally. My thoughts about Joan are actually irrelevant in this.

          • Liverpoolgirl

            I agree. Joan by behavior with Roger has established what she was and now we are just haggling about the price.  Joan has always used sex as currency.  It has just never been quite this blatant.

          • JMEL

             Yes, sleeping with a married person is abhorrent.  However, everything Joan has done in her life, she earned on her own.  Long ago, she could have chosen to live in an extravagant New York apartment and lived her life as arm candy.  She could have slept her way up the corporate ladder.  Instead, she chooses to live in the same modest apartment she shared with a friend before she was married.  She worked her way up in the company on her own accord. If she wasn’t good at her job, they never would have begged her to come to SCDP.  She turned down money from Roger to help with the baby.

            I don’t recall her going on dates with men just so they would “empty their pockets”.

            One of the reasons this scene was so disturbing is because it was the first time she used sex to attain her position/prostitution.  She felt betrayed by the men at SCDP.  However, she knew it was her choice and she accepts that.  She will not be ashamed of the choice she made.  She owns it.  

            A woman of that time was expected to marry.  She had many offers but waited and chose a man who looked the best on paper.  Many people have married jackasses and knew they were jackasses before they exchanged vows.  Many women of that time (and today) don’t marry for love but for feeling obligated to be married and have children by a certain age. Her mother raised her to use her looks to her advantage.  Joan can’t be faulted for that. She received pretty things and was courted by many men.  However, she was never the office whore.  She is picky about who she sleeps with- with the exception of Kinsey. Her affair with Roger was never known by many.  She did not flaunt it.

            Kevin will grow up never knowing who his biological father is.  There are many children of that generation that never did.  It was a generation of secret keeping.

            This is why I love the show.  Many of the characters do despicable things.  However, we are reminded they are human, just like us and that we should not throw stones.  I will never forget the time Don left to pick up a birthday cake and never came home.  I thought I would never forgive him for that.  But, the excellent writing draws me back in.

            Would I like her if I knew her in real life? I can’t say.  She is upfront and blunt, but does not go out of her way to hurt people nor does she step on them to get what she wants.  She takes responsibility for her actions.  This is why I like Joan (and commend Christina Hendricks).

            Great write up!  I can’t believe I missed the “green/money/kimono” reference. The money had already exchanged hands by the time Don knocked on her door.  

          • Liverpoolgirl

            This is certainly not the first time she has used sex to get what she wants.  It is interesting however that she is viewed as Saint Joan the victim. She was raped, has an evil mother and now is a single struggling Mom. She is very likeable but It takes some kind of steel to look Mona in the eye while you are sleeping with her husband. She dresses like she knows what she has and is willing to use it to her advantage. Like I stated before we are just haggling about the price. Its basically a transaction.

          • jdoodadparis

            I’d hardly call Joan’s mother evil. Joanie’s a ‘high strung gal’ and would be no bed of roses to live with. The scene where she fixes her a drink demonstrates that while she may be high-maintenance (ask the super!),she has her daughter’s best interests at heart.

          • Liverpoolgirl

            Perhaps you’re right but that judgement vibe coming off her mother gives me the willies.  

          • greenwich_matron

            I’ll say it: Joan’s mother gets a complete pass in my book because she is THERE. Don doesn’t even care enough about Joan’s existence to know who is taking care of her kid. Her mom is imperfect on many levels, and maybe she even needs the room, board and pin money that Joan is supplying, but she is sucking it up to help Joan and Kevin. No one else is making any sort of personal sacrifice whatsoever (don’t get me started about Roger’s gifts). Don acts like le chevalier blanc, but he doesn’t even know that Joan needs her mother to survive, let alone who she is.

          • Liverpoolgirl

            Can you justify any behavior just because she is THERE.  So Joan needs help but by God her mother will make her pay for it in more than just pin money.  And why does Don enter into this equation

          • greenwich_matron

            Justify? No. Nor excuse. I can, however, forgive anything I saw (including doing the super). She may be a crappy mother on many levels, but she is not evil and she certainly isn’t Joan’s main problem right now.

            The Don comment is more general, because he has been held up so often as Joan’s potential saviour. He “cares” enough to pass judgment but his “say goodbye to your friend” comment shows that he never cared enough to find out how Joan survives from day to day.

          • Liverpoolgirl

            I agree that her Mom is not Joan’s main problem. It is just one of the factors that make Joan a sympathetic character and essentially nets Joan a pass on some of her less than wholesome behavior. But I disagree on her Mom is ok just because she is THERE. Look at Joan’s face when she arrives home to her Mother.  That says it all.

          • boleyn28

            i dont think its been said that apollo and her slept together, it was said its a lie made by his wife. and i think don said “friend” to be cute, polite, charming. like saying shes to young to be your mom.

          • Bam! You got it down!

          • Susan Crawford

            I think part of why Joan’s behaviors are often uncriticized is that Joan, despite her many relationships with men, is a VERY private woman. She does NOT share easily, she does not often seek advice, or cry on someone’s shoulder. She consciously projects a self-contained, aloof, professional demeanor to offset those bombshell looks. She is so used to people judging her on those looks that her thought processes, her emotions, her deepest feelings and desires are not seen

            Yes, she used her sex appeal and her allure, but she also justified whatever she got by being good at her job, utterly discreet, loyal and VERY, VERY much brighter than “the boys” might suspect.

            As for blowback or criticism – anything others could possibly aim at Joan, I believe she has faced up to alone, and it comes from within. She knows who she is, what she has done, and I think she’s had more moments of soulsearing regret than we’ll ever see on screen.

          • Maryann

            Susan, these are excellent points. I think in her containment and her regrets, the audience senses a vulnerability which is very compelling. This is very Marilyn Monroe-like as well.

            In fact, one reason I think Lane helps her is that he too feels vulnerable and identifies with that. His speech to her regarding taking the partnership underscores it.

          • Maggie_Mae

            “We’ll just have to agree to disagree” is a slightly cute way to end an argument & move on.  When the phrase is followed by further argument, it means “but I’m really right & you’re wrong.”  

            Joan is bright & beautiful & sarcastic–and has had to make her own way in the world.  (Not for her the Main Line upbringing or the professor father.)  She has made some bad decisions but has continued to work hard & move on without whining. She’s not as pathetic as poor Betty (bless her heart) or as dull as Megan.  

            No, she’s not an innocent virgin.  But she’s never been supported by a man.

          • boleyn28

            right on the mark, u hit a bulls eye with the “when the phrase is followed….” its like saying im sorry, but…..  funny, funny stuff. u know its serious when TLo gets into it with more then 1 response,lol.

          • Maryann Gatto

            I think you do the absolutely best analysis of this show I have ever seen – and I have seen many, but I think Casandra Mortmain is making a good point here. She really isn’t saying why doesn’t everyone hate Joan as I do, but rather why are people willing to give Joan a pass? Of all the women characters on the show, Joan is morally much more like the rest of the Mad Men than any other. She’s not equal  to Betty who is probably is the next morally problematic (and is victim more of her impulses and hurts than any calculation), and her behavior is far different than Peggy’s and Megan’s. The way people view Megan is particularly fascinating. It reminds me of the brouhaha that HBO’s Girls is creating. People project motivations on to Megan that are not there, and (as far as I can tell) 90% of the criticism is envy-based. Unfortunately, there are beautiful, lucky people in the world, but it’s awful to be boldly faced with that. But, I digress.

            The reason so many are willing to give Joan a pass, I think, is that on some level people understand that women of Joan’s generation have had it probably the hardest of any generation post WWI. From the end of WWI to the end of WWII there was no single codified acceptable behavior for women, and indeed, the 20s & 30s were a break out period, and WW2 was an exceedingly happy time for many women who were able to work in men’s fields while men were at war.

            At the end of WW2 with the return of veterans, women were forced back into hyper-femized roles – Dior’s new look and the increased focus on breasts (maternity) were two examples of the externalization of this societal shift. Joan, a smart, capable and ambitious woman, is plop right in the middle of this unfortunate turn of events for American women. (The next generation of course would be the Peggy’s and have the Feminine Mystique and would find a way out of that oppressed position.)
            So Joan does do all this stuff – have an affair with the boss, marry the wrong guy, sleep around to get what she wants, lie about the paternity of her kid, but we give her a pass, because really what are her options? She had the unfortunate luck to be a young woman at the wrong time in 20th century American history. The same argument, I think could be made for Marilyn Monroe, who although she possessed the physical characteristics of this new hyper femininity had very much the drive required of any successful person of any period. That was the tragedy.

          • Who are these “people” who collectively have given Joan a pass? There are as many opinions about Joan as there are people who have them. You only have to read this comments section to see that.

            To illustrate:

            So Joan does do all this stuff – have an affair with the boss, marry
            the wrong guy, sleep around to get what she wants, lie about the
            paternity of her kid, but we give her a pass”

            Of that list, the only things that seem objectionable to us are the affair and the paternity. In fact, it seems pretty strange to us to list “married the wrong guy” as something we’re NOT supposed to “give her a pass” over. Everyone’s going to bring their own judgments to the table and we shouldn’t expect everyone to have the same ones. Some people think Don’s cool, some people think he’s a mess, and some people think he’s a monster. In fact, every major male character has been shown doing far worse things than anything you’ve listed about Joan and each one of them have their fans and supporters. For some reason, some fans have latched onto the female characters and insisted that they be reprimanded somehow. This exact argument – about people collectively “giving a pass” to someone – has been made about Betty and now with this season, Megan.

          • Maryann

            I am not personally judging Joan; I understand moral relativism.

            My point was that Joan, of all the women, is more EQUAL in amorality to the men, not more so. I said: Joan is morally much more like the Mad Men. However, “they” – commenters and critics alike – seem to root for her in a way they do not for others. I do not usually engage in these comparisons, because every character is complex and frankly all merely products (in reality of the author’s imagination) but dramatically speaking of their environment. I do so here, because of the initial commentary.

            In re list of behaviours:

            Married the wrong guy should have read: married her rapist. I think that makes it more clear why it might be a problematic decision.

            Lie about the paternity of child could read: defraud her husband and (I am not sure about the law in NY State in 1966, but possibly break the law). Ironic here that she is agitated about being served. In NYS in 1966 divorce required grounds. As far the plot allows, the only person that does actually have grounds – adultery – is the husband.

            Sleeping around to get what you want is more self-destructive than destructive.

            As I said, you are fine analysts; however, this original commenter was neither mysogynist (as one commenter has claimed) nor personal in her judgment of Joan. I think the more interesting analysis of personal judgments is actually, why the invective against Megan? She’s a cipher.

          • You’re still making a series of judgments that are particular to yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that. Like we said, we all do it. But expecting other people’s judgments to line up with your own strikes us as a waste of time.

          • Maryann

            One can either believe every person’s comment is viewed as a judgment particular to himself or one can believe that a person is capable of objectivity.

            I think, and it is probably because I am an attorney, that people (while clearly the product of myriad of influences) are capable of objectivity. My analysis has little to do with my personal feelings.

            Would you be surprised to learn that I advocate Joan’s behaviour? Because, I do. I think given the circumstances she has made many more right decisions than wrong. As the original commenter said, my opinion is immaterial in this discussion. I am analyzing Joan’s  character in light of the commentary.

            The problem with reducing any (or every) comment to personal judgement is that any response, including your own, can then be reduced to personal judgement based on your own personal biases. If that were the case, there would be little reason for discourse of any kind.

          • Is this not a discussion about how people respond to Joan and whether or not they give her a pass over other characters? How could your feelings on the character NOT be a part of that discussion?

            In other words, we wholeheartedly disagree with your basic premise that lawyer-like objectivity can and should be applied in discussions of art.

          • Maryann

            “we wholeheartedly disagree with your basic premise that lawyer-like objectivity can and should be applied in discussions of art”

            Now, that’s just silly. All of your analyses are objective in respect to your feelings about the character. If they weren’t your analyses would read something like – I love this dress. I hate that dress. This dress is ugly. I don’t like that dress, because I don’t like that character.

            Of course you bring objectivity and knowledge to the analysis, without it criticism would be boring (and not criticism actually).

            I think you may be confusing objectivity with maybe scientific analysis? I am not sure. I am speaking about objectivity with respect to the character versus personal like or dislike – which is what you seem to think the original commenter was expressing.

            As to your first point, one can discuss whether Joan gets a pass or not irrespective of one’s feelings easily. Let me give you an example: I adore President Obama. I think there are times he gets a pass by the press when he should not (even when I agree with him!).

          • Boy, did you ever switch the goal posts. We’re talking about complex art, in
            this case, a television show. We’re not talking about President Obama or
            even about a dress. Not one of those comparisons remotely apply.

            And while we enjoy being told we’re silly and confused for not
            understanding what we do when we write these posts, the fact of the
            matter is we absolutely don’t agree with your basic premise – any of it.

            Discussions that move from the work itself to examining the reactions of other audience members are tedious and inevitably accusatory, not to mention a waste of time because no one here really knows anyone else.

            It would be nice if you could drop the subject, along with your
            condescension. Seriously, who responds to “I don’t agree” with “Well, you’re clearly silly and confused” and expects to get a conversation out of that?

        • FashionShowAtLunch

          There are some seriously misogynistic undertones to your diatribe here.

        • alula_auburn

          A lot of people would say that Peggy lying to Pete for months about the existence of his first born child is at least as morally dubious as Joan lying about Kevin’s parentage. (And in that era, odds are that kid probably doesn’t know he was adopted.)   And I would say that is one of the most ignored story lines since S2.

          (Personally, I don’t think either of those are moral event horizons, in the circumstances of the story.  And I think it is frankly repulsive to treat Joan’s marriage to Greg as a failure of HER morality.)  

          Aside from Peggy, most of the people listed here haven’t had nearly as much screen time as Joan, Don, Roger, and Pete, so it’s a pretty meaningless “objective” comparison.  

          • Sweetbetty

             “(Peggy lying to Pete for months about the existence of his first born child)  And I would say that is one of the most ignored story lines since S2.”      

            I’m convinced that’s going to come back at some time and I feel that it’s going to have something to do with Pete wanting to lay claim to his son.  Just a gut feeling I have….

          • 3hares

            How could he ever lay claim to him?

          • Sweetbetty

             In that day, I don’t know that he could.  But I said I thought he’d “want” to lay claim to him, and that could cause a whole lot of upheaval whether he succeeded or not.

          • boleyn28

            i agree, and i dont think it was ever in the storyline that joan really didnt love greg and just wanted a husband, i think she really did love him. afterall she ended her affair with roger when she started dating greg : )

    • Sweetbetty

       “I love Joan as a character and because Christina Hendricks does such a
      great job. But if I were to ever meet Joan in real life, I’d probably
      find her loathsome.”

      You and me both.  I’ve worked with versions of Joan over the years and even though a lot of the younger women sucked up to them because they did have a lot of power none of them seemed to have any real friends.

      • Maggie_Mae

        My relationships with female superiors had little to do with their sex lives or their friendliness.  The ones who have caused me problems have been either ignorant fools or little girls unable to take responsibility for their own actions.  Who, in fact, tried to blame their subordinates for their own failings. 

        Joan takes her work seriously. That’s good enough for me. 

      •  Joan is super-competent and I think if I ever met her in real life I’d envy her poise and her ability to organize and manage.  As well as her beauty and style, of course.  I think she wouldn’t like me, I’m too much of a Peggy, awkward and prone to blurting out what I actually think at inopportune times. 

        Joan is very image conscious, and at times seems to value appearances over integrity.  That would be tough for me to like – with people like that I’m never sure if they’re sincere.  She’ll sleep with a married man but be extremely discreet about it.  Not for Joan, to openly have an affair, or to refuse to have one altogether.  There’s a lot of subterfuge.

        Her empathy for women who are not as beautiful, poised, efficient and stylish as she is seems pretty limited, though recently she seems to have softened a bit.

    • boleyn28

      Joan always thought her advise was helpful, I hate it when people beat around the bush or fake nice, she sais what needs to be said without sugar coating. the women she managed nedded to be told cause they worked in an image conciese work place, and sloppy appearences arent tolerated. She uses her sexuality but so do alot of characters, megan dresses in very short dresses at work ( tlo’s recap for ep1 on madstyle) but because she doesnt exude sexuality like joan it doesnt sreally seem as slutty. I think people dont like Megan as much cause she presents herself like a wounded deer, a victim of dons masculin authority  ( on faraway places, she blames don for not letting her say no to h.j., when she could just have said no, or leaving early all the time when everyone else is working) it has nothing to do with her looks, and honestly, joan is way better looking then megan. Megan slept her way to the top too, she slept with don way before their wedding or relationship. Joan is just more in ur face about her sexuality and i love women who own it like that.

      • Sweetbetty

         “Joan always thought her advise was helpful, I hate it when people beat
        around the bush or fake nice, she sais what needs to be said without
        sugar coating.”                I dunno.  I think there are ways to give people needed advice without being snarky or demeaning.  I love Joan in a lot of ways but feel she has problems relating to other women.  What I keep remembering is her advice to Peggy when she first comes to work and the men are all ogling her and making suggestive remarks.  Joan says basically to enjoy it while you can because you’re not that much and the novelty will wear off.  Telling someone “you’re not that much” seems extremely cruel and degrading, not to mention unnecessary.  While she might have hit it right on the nose, there was no reason to say those words to Peggy.  And when she was calling Paul out for dating the black Sheila, her words and tongue were razor sharp.  Sure, she wasn’t being a phoney and what she was saying was completely accurate, but her motive was not to be helpful but to hurt Paul good and proper.  And while he may have deserved it, it was still something done out of malice on Joan’s part.  Joan’s just like all the other people on Mad Men, or on this planet, she has her good points and she has her flaws.

  • I wish I had time to read through all 176 comments before mine, but alas I do not.  Maybe someone already said something along these lines but here goes:  I thought for sure TLo would say the purple dress Peggy had on, and then her superior position over Don as he kissed her hand, strongly suggested some kind of royalty on Peggy’s behalf.  At least that’s what dawned on me.  Call me crazy but it felt like we were supposed to think Don was kissing the Queen’s hand.

    •  I thought so, too.  But it’s only now I realize that in Pete’s exchange with Joan, he said something to the effect of, “Would you call Cleopatra a prostitute?  She was a queen.  How much would it take to make you a queen?”  And Joan said something like, “You couldn’t afford it.”  But there *was* a price, and they paid it (and PS – I support Joan).

      Yet Peggy is in royal purple (which I noted when I was watching on Sunday), and there was no price at which she could be bought.  No money was needed to make her a queen, and her “true” status was reflected in the color purple (although, like I said above, I don’t think Joan has anything to be ashamed about). 

      I’m sure this has been said 100xs today. 

  • Anglow

    Didn’t Peggy caress Don’s hand on her first day working for him, and didn’t he rebuff her? Did I actually catch a throwback reference?

    • FashionShowAtLunch

      He also caressed her hand in “The Suitcase” as she was leaving his office the morning after their all-nighter, the morning he found out about Anna’s death.

    • CatherineRhodes

      Really good reference. She touched his hand and he said, “I’m not your boyfriend.” Nice touch at the end that he’s kneeling to her in her regal purple, kissing her hand.

  • AutumnInNY

    “She’s been in a career rut all season and her clothes have reflected that; hard at work, but no lobster for her.” LOL, no lobster for her!  Funny! Excellent recap Tlo on all points as always. Thank you. You both make my day.
    I did notice the matching colors on Kenny and Peggy, subtle and clever. And yes that scene with Kenny, you had to feel for him, she was pretty cold to her good friend. 

    In the final scene, where Peggy exits down the hall to elevator, it was hard not to notice this telling color combination.
    She was wearing the regal purple dress and carrying the power color red (thermos) confirming her confidence and mettle as she steps into the elevator and smiles to herself. 

  • Asmahan Safi

    I found also interesting that the purple dress Peggy wears to announce her departure from Don has a little bow in the front that recall her pink dress she wore when she expected Abe to propose. She is in dark purple, mature and confident to move on with her career where in rosy pink still a little girl when it comes to personal relationship.

    • I find it interesting that when making huge leaps forward personally and professionally this season, she’s been wearing colors that mimic Joan.

  • Sweetbetty

    Quick question not on style or plot, but what show was Joan’s mom watching on TV (as shown in the Joan-at-home photos above?

    • Lilithcat

      I don’t know, but I’d be very amused if it were Bewitched!

    • I was trying to figure that out, too, but couldn’t make it out.

  • At first I mistakenly thought that the scarf Peggy wore to her interview was the one Duck gave her a few seasons ago when trying to recruit her.  But I was misremembering that scarf as orange, because I was recalling the orange Hermes box it was in (probably cause the box showed up again when she went to return it).

    Still, back then she’d mostly just appreciate that kind of accessory’s beauty (I remember thinking when she got the scarf ‘she’d never *actually* wear that’*)…if someone sent her an Hermes now, the Peggy who went to that interview and walked off her job to the Kinks could totes wear it and pull it off.

    *not throwing shade at season 3 peggy–I’ve felt like a poser in clothes “too fancy” for me, too

  • marcilynn

    Do you think Ginsberg was describing how he sees Don as the ‘asshole’ who’d buy the XKE? 
    He seemed to have started his revelation after watching Megan ‘come and go as she pleases’ from the conference room. Plus I feel that although he respects Don, he also kinda hates him.

    •  I definitely, definitely thought he was referring to Don as the “asshole” who’d buy the XKE.  The pitch was tailor made for assholes, and Don is a class-A asshole.  And that sort of observation could only be made by an outsider like Ginzo.  The pitch was an insult cloaked in a bit of flattery. 

      •  Although, now that I’m thinking about it, 2 weeks ago he said the Jag didn’t do anything for him, and Joan said that’s because he’s happy.  He’s not wanting for anything, so there are no voids to fill.  I think that’ll be changing soon.  He’s definitely that asshole that needs to fill voids w/ objects, rather than take a second to determine why the void is there to begin with.

        • Sweetbetty

           He hasn’t had his midlife crisis yet.  That will bring on the purchase of a sports car, among other things.

          • Maggie_Mae

            I doubt that Don will have a midlife crisis–he’s never been that smug. Men from good backgrounds who got the right education, married the right woman and succeeded in the right career arrive at mid-life and (sometimes) feel that their lives are empty & meaningless.  Existential crisis or hormones crashing? (Women can to through similar phases.)  

            Don had a dreadful childhood, escaped to a new life by taking a dead man’s name, lucked into a job he could do well (and worked hard), married a simple, happy girl. At the beginning of the series, he seemed to have it all–lovely family, fine career–but he was having affairs that were more than simple sex; he was trying to find himself. We’ve seen him go through crisis after crisis; he always lived in fear of his background being discovered. Betty was not that simple; yes, he was greatly at fault, but she is still unhappy with a “better” husband. He deserved to lose her–but it hurt.  And Peggy was right to leave–but that genuinely hurt him, too.  (Even if he’d been a totally great mentor, she probably should have found her own way, eventually.)

            Ginsberg looks at Don & sees a big, handsome, rich goy who was handed life on a silver platter.  He doesn’t know the whole story & probably never will….

            (Besides, I see Don preferring good American cars over temperamental imports.)

          • Glammie

            Yep, Don knows what it’s like to truly have nothing and be no one.  I think it’s at the core of his empathy.  The midlife crisis types are Roger (who did blow up his marriage on a whim) and Pete.  

            Can’t hate Don just because he didn’t choose to be a broken child.  In some weird way, he does the best he can.  It’s not good enough, but he could be much worse.

          • boleyn28

            he prefers tempremental imports for a spouse so why wouldn’t he want one for a car?

          • boleyn28

            i think he is in the first stages of his mid life crisis, the arm candy wife 20 years his junior, the fabulous, trendy apartment, the empty void that used to be filled by work and now is filled with megan (who is not filling him the way he wanted). I have witnessed many mid life crisis in my time and i think he is definatly starting one : )

    •  I definitely, definitely thought he was referring to Don as the “asshole” who’d buy the XKE.  The pitch was tailor made for assholes, and Don is a class-A asshole.  And that sort of observation could only be made by an outsider like Ginzo.  The pitch was an insult cloaked in a bit of flattery. 

    • boleyn28

      yes, great observation. ginsberg has this wierd crush on don. not in a sexual way but in some wierd ginsburgy way,lol.

  • SakiSuzi

    It was interesting that Don wanted Peggy to name “her number”, from what I can gather, when Peggy was a secretary she was making about $35 per week, and got a $5 raise when she became a jr. copywriter–roughly $2100 per year, assuming she did get several raises over the years, the leap to $19,000 was a lot of money back then, around $130,000 today. As for Joan’s 5%, it’s hard to estimate what SCDP gross earnings were, but after research found an article that said Olgilvy and Mather’s gross earnings for 1966 were $97,000,000. Assuming that SCDP is much smaller, say they earn $15,000,000 to $25,000,000–Joan’s 5% could potentially be upwards of $1,000,000— a HUGE sum of money back then. Joan would have a good idea of what she her potential take on the matter would be–much more than the $50K that was originally on the table. 

    • Glammie

      Not quite how it works.  Generally, what gets published with ad agencies are billings–but the agency’s only getting around 10-20 percent of that. So $97 million in billings is about $10 million in agency revenue. 

      • greenwich_matron

        Wouldn’t they have to deduct expenses as well? That would bring the profit down to (say) 20% of net revenue (maybe up to 50% in an extremely good year).  Which would make Joan’s cut about $20K. SCDP lost money in 1965 (hence the partner’s cash infusion and the bank’s extended line of credit), and they made no money in 1966 (hence, no bonuses).

        I think the company’s pro-forma would aim for a 15% ROI (which was a lot better than the stock market did in the 1960s), which would give Joan a projected income of $9K a year (in addition to her salary).

        • Glammie

          Yep.  Some expenses–actually ad production costs and the billable hours associated with them are charged to the client–so copywriting and art direction are billable–traffic/production management are not.  

          So there’s income from actual ad creation and then the second source of income is a percentage of each ad placed on a network or a publication–that’s the 10 to 20 percent of billings.  It’s been so darn long that I no longer remember what the percentage is.  

          The easy number to figure out and the one agencies are most likely to publicize are total billings.  My recollection is that–ideally–billings generate 60 percent of an agency’s revenue and ad copy 40 percent–but it’s been a long while.  

          • greenwich_matron

            So Don’s department gets paid like a consultant or lawyer? The client gets a bill for creative that is itemized to show an hourly and production costs as well as a bill for media purchased? 

            It makes sense, but it makes it really explicit that Jaguar got an enormous amount of work for free (three or four firms having their entire creative firms working all hours). If I were a client and I needed a new ad pitch, it would be much cheaper to send out an RFP and get all the initial work for free from multiple companies.

            Also, would Mr. Heinz have received invoices for billable hours spent creating pitches he didn’t like? Clients get sticker shock even if you can be extremely specific about exactly what work took place during billable hours. I can’t imagine having a heading like “two copywriters sitting around thinking up that idea you didn’t like – 20 hours.”

            Thanks so much! It’s wonderful of you to share your knowledge.

          • Glammie

            Well, the company can’t use the pitches without the agency’s permission.  But, yes, there’s a bunch of work being done on spec here, though I have some vague, quite possibly wrong, recollection that if something fairly elaborate is requested the would-be client will shoulder some of the costs.  

            Yes, Heinz would get billed, but billable hours are fairly soft and would be adjusted accordingly.  The bills don’t tend to be as itemized to show each bit of the creative costs, though where I worked, we *did* keep track of that kind of breakdown internally and could have produced it for a client.  

            In general, though, the media budgets dwarf the creative ones–so, the sticker shock is over on the media side–and that’s agreed-upon ahead of time.

            One thing Mad Men gets rights is how precarious even a “successful” agency is.  

    • Laylalola

      I also don’t know the calculations but very much out-of-hand assumed 5 percent of the business to be a much, much better deal. But in the comments section to TLo’s first recap of this episode so many posters were saying she would have been better off taking the $50K — or at least having a clause saying she was exempt from a cash call for two or three years should the partners have to pitch in again (due to, say, Lane’s embezzlement). Still, unless things really tank — and having actually landed the Jaguar account, SCDP should be fine — she should easily make several times over her annual salary each year.

    • boleyn28

      a lot of money for today as well!

  • amandacita

    Ok, I am cringing at being the one to bring up this extremely childish point, but in the shots where Megan & Friend enter the conference room… are those xeroxes of everyone’s naked bums up on the idea board?  I see they’re putting that xerox machine to good use!

    •  I didn’t notice that!  That’s hilarious.  I bet those are butts of MM set designers and interns.  And probably Vincent Kartheiser b/c that seems like something he’d do.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I love it…a little MM joke to lighten the mood.

    • Oh, my god! They are. Great catch! That is amazing. Incredible. I love it. There also seems to be someone’s face, though I can’t make out whose.

  • Wow.  I am completely envious of your observational abilities.  I of course didn’t even think about the fur until right before I started reading this post.  Y’all continue to amaze me.

  • charlotte

    I loved how Peggy’s “leaving dress” told us that she no longer needs to be one of the boys and dress accordingly. Miss Olson is now on top of her game- it will be interesting to see if her higher salary affects her clothing next season.

  • Maryann Gatto

    In that scene Peggy was in the color of nobility and Joan was in the color of money.

    • Glammie

      Also, Joan’s turned her long slinky scarf into a semi-tie–similar to what Peggy usually does with *her* scarves.  Joan’s going to be all about the business.

      • Maryann

        Yes! And almost rep-striped tie. Ha. Her (hidden) pen is starting to look a little more phallic these days, no?

  • Susan Crawford

    I see the whole story of Joan’s sordid night in a VERY different light. Pete definitely decided to pimp her out, and when she rejected him, he spun his miserable tale to the partners. Don stalked out (bless him), but the others – each for his own lame, sad reason, decided to “let her decide” and sweeten the offer with some money. Roger refused to pony up for the “fee” – but he was still spineless.

    Lane is so emnmeshed in his financial misery, his embezzlement, and his burnt-out soulless existence that he tries to cut himself in on the pot, then tells Joan to demand a life-long partnership option. Burt is an old man in a young man’s game, trying to hang on to what he once ruled like a lord, and despite his obvious distaste, he goes along, but makes it clear it stinks. Only that self-satisfied little pissant Pete smirks happily because he got his way.

    Now, to Joan’s costumes. The blue floral dress – and matching coat hanging on the door – is a smashing outfit for her. It’s obviously a signal that she is slowly moving back into her comfort zone after some time wearing more neutral tones, or darker clothing. And in comes Pete, trailing slime, and absolutely wrecks her whole day.

    When she gets home, after stopping for a drink or two along the way, there’s Mom, glued to the chair, looking judgmental (or maybe just mental – can we introduce her to Betty’s Mom-in-Law?) She’s wearing a knit top that was VERY popular in the sixties – sort of boxy, with a dramatic print, and it could be worn with either slacks or a skirt, or even over a solid-color sheath dress. Every woman of a certain age had one in her closet. (Loved Mom’s creepy ivory-toned glasses, too!)

    Joan’s outfit the next day – the taupe dress with leopard trim, and the long, back-scarf – really referenced everything the men had been batting around about Jaguar – all the no-no’s they had to stay away from, all the acting-out Megan’s little friend did on the conference table. But on Joan, it took on another dimension – I felt it said, “OK, boys, you want to play with little Joan this way? Well, watch out, because this kitty has claws and they’re coming out!”

    The “date” outfit was another statement. That fur coat came out because it gave Joan power. I really believe that. I don’t for a minute believe that Joan looks at it as an emblem of anything but the real affection and concern she has always had for Roger. And the black dress was a total WOW.

    Next came her business as usual dress, which she’s worn before, I believe. No big deal. What’s done is done, and she was sending off some mighty strong signals with her all-business body language and stern face: Partners, stay the fuck away from me today.

    The appearance(s) of Don – one perhaps wishful thinking, one too late – so brilliant. Her emerald green silk robe, donned after she slid her emerald pendant into a bag – great touch. (And by the way, that actually DID look like a pretty nice bauble – at least Mr. Big Guy wasn’t cheap.)

    Ah, but that turquoise dress! Oh, yes. That was Joan’s real statement moment. She was completely disrespected by the partners – the very men who depend on her more than on any other woman in SCDP to keep things from becoming chaos. These are the guys who gave her a fancy title and not one extra dime – and I’ve been in THAT position, and believe me, it is NOT pleasant, but Joan smiled and continued to do her job.

    Could Joan have flat-out refused? Certainly. But remember when she and Don went to the Jaguar showroom, took a Jag out for a racing tour of Manhattan, and ended up sharing drinks and dreams and fears? Well, Joan knew what this account meant to Don. And she knows Don, and Roger and Lane in ways that go very deep. And she knows her life is not going to be easy. And she has a child. And she said yes when the offer gave her not just money – but power and a future.

    So in her turquoise dress, she stood with her colleagues as a partner, and smiled graciously, and I believe that Partner Joan is going to parlay her 5% into a MAJOR interest in SCDP, and Pete the Slug better slither as fast as he can, because Partner Joan will be glad to pour some Morton’s Salt on him just for the fun of watching him fizzle away!

    Peggy, our little hard-working bee has suddenly found the SCDP hive a very unwelcoming place. All season, we’ve watched her struggle to figure out her place as things seem to be rushing past her. She reminds me of the moment where The Red Queen tells Alice that in Wonderland, “You must run twice as fast simply to stay in the same place!”

    The deep yellowy/mustard colors abounded, including her “working late sweater” appeared. Her plaid jumper with the little blue blouse – more hard-working Catholic schoolgirl attire. (It always shocks me to see her drinking and smoking in this type of costume. I want to give her detention and send a stern note home to her mother!)

    That marvelous moment of Peggy watching the lobster fest, with her little nose literally pressed against the window – how Dickensian was THAT, folks? And Don exploding at her, throwing money in her face – don’t know about you, but I distinctly heard the snap of a camel’s back at that point.

    Her interview outfit with Ted – SO much more elevated and professional than we normally see her. And another style that would have been found in the closet of just about every young woman of that era. I loved Ted’s outfit, too – the burgundy knit turtleneck (probably a fine guage merino wool, and from Italy) and the mustard-check jacket – just elegant and edgy enough to signal that Joan is heading for a world of new experiences. 

    The deep purple dress she wore to hand in her resignation was something I would wear today, frankly. It is VERY stylish, a polished and flattering design that gave Peggy the gravitas she needed to convey to Don. Deep purple used to be part of the cycle of mourning colors. As one emerged from black, the transition slowly allowed for other dark colors to be substituted as time went by. Deep purple signaled the end of the darkest period of mourning, and thus was a sign that a woman was beginning to resume her life.

    And I hope it will be so for Peggy – but I’ll bet she’s going to have some mighty big surprises with old Ted!

    Megan seemed so incidental in this episode, that I’ll only say that T and Lo have it nailed down: now that she is pursuing acting as the wife of Don Draper, her clothing at home is youthful, but not especially fabulous. Her “audition dress” is really pretty blah. Frankly, I get it. Megan really wants to get roles because her talent will outshine her wardrobe. She doesn’t want to “flaunt” her style and money. But wouldn’t it be fun if she tried the flashy approach just once?

    Well, Peggy and Joan took radical steps this week, didn’t they? Chin up, shoulders back, and go for it, girls!

    • Maryann

      Yes. Athough the Other Woman could most certainly be viewed as the car, it was clear to me from the outset The Other Woman was Joan. Particularly if you view this episode as a bookend to the New Girl. Peggy was the woman in the office, but it is Joan, the other woman (and she has often been the other woman, right?), who actually fulfills the destiny that I think many presumed for Peggy. It’s interesting.

      I would also note Jane’s comment re: Joan “a professional something”. She’s actually a professional everything. Jane is a professional nothing. Parsing Mad Men’s words is some of the best fun on TV.

      • Kathleen Gillies

         I think Joan is the one they own, not “the other”.  Meghan “belongs” to Don.  Peggy walked out, there was no magic number for her.

      • Susan Crawford

        I so agree that when that phrase a “professional something” came up, all I could think was that it should be changed to “consummate professional” in Joan’s case. She has been blessed – or cursed – with that body “built like a B-52”, that head of brilliant red hair, that creamy complexion – and those assets are also obstacles that she has dealt with through professionalism.

        When I see her wearing that pencil on a chain, seated at her desk, quietly and competently managing the staff, setting up the events and meetings, making sure the egos are boosted or booted as needed, and dealing with the juvenile and often raunchy sexual innuendo in a strong and dignified manner . . . professional ALL the way.

        I look forward to Partner Joan more than I can say, and I just know that Skeevy Pete is really going to get his comeuppance in a manner that will make the office boxing match with Lane look like a tea dance. And after his actions this week, I am hoping SO much that the comeuppance will end with his desperate sobbing in the sewage-filled gutter into which he has been kicked, preferably by a pair of Partner Joan’s best stiletto pumps.

        • boleyn28

          i agree with you, pete is a skeeze. but it is worth mentioning that pete was the only one that took joans partnership seriously. he was the only one who went and got joan when roger called the partners to his office
          (with the exception of don who was in the dark)    at least pete is taking her new role seriously, for now.

  • Correction: Ted was wearing a gold checked sports coat, not plaid. It’s a fine houndstooth check.

  • judybrowni

    Not only is Pete in uncharacteristic black when he’s trying to pimp Joan, but so is Roger when he’s misinformed that Joan is “amused” by the offer.

    But more telling, Don is in an uncharacteristic black suit when he’s forced to bid farewell to his work relationship/friendship with Peggy.

    And Joan is in uncharacteristic black when she sells herself, the only other black dress I remember her in is when she was informed that Roger had been hospitalized with a heart attack. It’s her mourning color, too. (Roger also wears black for Pete’s misinformation that Joan is amused and agreeable to being prostituted, and Joan in the partner’s meeting, the acknowledgement that she had completed the deal.)

    It’s no coincidence that Joan is given an emerald for prostituting herself (and already wearing green earrings), and puts on a green dressing gown (instead of her pale blue chenille bathrobe) to see Don: all green for money.

    Joan may be in a hold-up-head bright blue for that first partner’s meeting, but her scarf is green.

    Megan’s audition dress may be skin colored, but it modestly covers her breasts and buttocks. She doesn’t want to connect auditioning with showing off her secondary sexual characteristics, or selling her ass: the men auditioning her, insist on seeing her ass, anyway.

    And Megan’s friend, literally shows her ass to the Jaguar account men at the office. She knows what she’s selling.

    • judybrowni

      In 1970, I owned a dress very similar to Peggy’s worn for the Ted Chaugh meeting.

      Just sayin’.

    • judybrowni

      And Joan’s mother is wearing a sweater with black roses when Joan comes home to contemplate the offer.

  • HeatherD9

    More thoughts…

    Joan’s visual dialogue in this episode…. 

    Joan in her Blue Dress w scarf always read “Married Joan” to me after she showed off her ring to Jane in S2 E5 The New Girl.  Take a look at: S3 E11 The Gypsy & the Hobo, asking Roger for a reference & smashing the vase on Greg’s (empty) head,

    S4 E4 The Rejected, the Ponds focus group for young ladieslike Megan  – not married women like Joan,

    S4 E13 TomorrowLand,  Joan’s blue dress for promotion to Director of Agency Operations(no extra $$$ )scene with Lane,   & my fav…S4 E5 Chrysanthemum & the Sword when you wrote about the Honda tour :”

      And here is a VERY different Joan; a Joan who was probably directed by Bert Cooper to present herself as modestly aspossible to the gentlemen from Honda. We think it’s hilarious that the buttons on her cardigan are straining across her chest. … Also love how dammit, Joan was still going to wear a damn scarf if she wants to. Only this time it’s jammed in around the collar to cover her up even more.” Completely different from the other car account! 
    Then there is the “I’m being serious & sad not sophisticated & worldly even if I can’t admit it Black Dress from S1 E10 TheLong Weekend, S4 E3 the Good News & S4 E13 Tomorrowland.
    It’s interesting to note that the young & fresh Joan from S4 E6 Waldorf stories to the “ I don’t need your flowers!”  &  “Well I learned a long time ago to not get all my satisfaction from this job” Joan of TomorrowLand. 

    I half expected her to wear black on the day her partnership was
    announced.  Janie Bryant is much more clever & subtle than I am.  It
    makes soooo much more sense to have Joan in her breakout green!  You
    called it with her head high “I’m a partner & y’all have done much
    worse than I to get here” owning her moment.  

    I  wonder were this will take her next!

  • HeatherD9

    Hi again,

    Last thought on the call backs.  The blue, orange/red, & white graphic dress. Has had 3 very different interpretations.

    In S1 E10 The Long Weekend, Joan wears one when  she tells Roger she
    doesn’t want to see “The Apartment” were that poor girl is “Passed
    around like a tray of canapes”.

    In S4 E10 Hands & Knees, there’s Megan as you describe:

    “This is the super-cute outfit that finally got his attention. She’s
    in blue, like a lot of the female characters this season when something
    important happens to them. The plaid trim is new for her, since she
    never wears any sort of print. Again, it’s about making her more
    noticeable all of the sudden, both to Don and to the viewer. We don’t
    know if she really is going to be the nextDraper paramour, but they’re certainly setting it up that way.”

    Lastly there’s Peggy in S5 E11 The Other Woman.  Here she is,
    striking out on her own, no longer a secretary, soon to be Copy Chief. 
    The sharp modern look will carry her away from Don’s shadow, Joan’s
    sphere, & Megan’s path (no more mentoring Don’s wife) & out on
    her own.

    I’m so sad that there are so few episodes left!  I think Janie Bryant could tell us so much more!

    Thanks for listening fellow bitter Kittens


    P.S> TLo PLEASE do more MM Character Style posts this summer!  Pleasepleaseplease!


  • i365

    Did you notice that at the end of the Peggy-Freddy diner scene, the waitress who poured coffee for them was wearing a uniform exactly the same golden yellow color as Peggy’s sweater? I wonder if it made Peggy compare herself to the unthanked waitress.

  • i365

    It’s also noteworthy that Peggy’s purple dress that she wears in the last scene with Don is purple, the opposite on the color wheel of yellow. I wonder if purple will be her new power color. Also, T&L have mentioned on this site before that purple is the color of Joan’s heart–here it shows the sadness that Peggy feels in leaving.

  • i365

    Not to mention that Joan’s brown dress with the “leopard” print could in fact be considered a “jaguar” print–and the actress friend said she wanted to be painted in spots like a jaguar. So Joan is literally dressed as a jaguar in the scene where she considers bedding herself for the Jaguar account.

  • the_archandroid

    Re: Pete wearing black, it really seemed to transform him into a kind of demonic figure, or like a representation of death itself.  He looked extra pale, extra skeevy…extra everything negative that he now embodies.  Just sickening. 

  • Qitkat

    I fervently hope that we will never again see Peggy in either plaid or Catholic schoolgirl uniforms. She is so beautiful in the purple dress that I am stunned. Best she has ever looked. She is also very attractive in the dress she wore to her meeting with Ted Chaough. Please MM, let us continue to see Peggy’s upward arc.

  • Qitkat

    I just realized that in two separate scenes Joan and Megan are wearing the same color. That deep turquoise is so flattering with Joan’s coloring; while attractive, it really does nothing special for Megan.

    Then we see beautiful Megan in a drab mousy color for her auditions. Is this sending us a message about how unsure she really is about herself? I just watched an episode of WNTW in which a young woman who was an artist and had even dyed her hair pink, nevertheless presented herself when seeking jobs in the plainest, least memorable outfits she could. She learned how she was really sending the message that she didn’t want to be noticed or remembered, which was contrary to her ambitions.

    • What is WNTW?

      • Qitkat

        What Not To Wear, on TLC channel, hosted by Clinton Kelly and Stacy London

  • i365

    I totally agree. I think people give Joan such a pass because they love how Christina Hendricks plays her (as I do). But she has said some serious bitchy things, usually to other women who aren’t as attractive as her. She’s spent her whole working life relying on her looks or at least using them to boost her status–this is a natural conclusion of that storyline.

    I like Megan because she is making Don’s brain hurt in new and interesting ways. But she could stand to be developed a little more as a character.

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      i dont know.

      i dont know cos i dont understand what yr supposed to do when yr in the position joan is in. i spent my whole life being above using [what you cant by any means tell from my photograph] my appearance to get me anywhere–even when i most definitely could. i didnt like the cheapening idea of it &, even more, i didnt like to hurt people. i didnt wanna be somebody who had that kind of power over anyone. so i held back, absented myself, & thereby wound up w/ about a tenth, a hundredth of the life i wouldve had if i had done it.

      i dont know what the answer is, truly. the older a person gets, i think, the more he or she has to look back on his or her choices & see the other avenues–the roads not taken– & think about what mightve happened had they been the ones wandered upon.

      to that end, i think the joan dilemma has a zillion more grey shades than might appear at first, second, third, fifteenth examination.

  • A Reeves

    Thank you Tom and Lorenzo for continuing to do your excellent reviews and analysis–and for doing the recap on what was a long weekend for you. I appreciate it.

    I love the fact that when Peggy leaves she is in purple. Not only is it opposite her working mustard yellow (turn about is fair play) but it is the colour of royalty. And she was beyond price, unlike her counterpoint, the incredible Joan. She, too is a Queen. Queens, like people, like well written characters, come in many kinds. 

  • GoldenMolly

    I came here all excited to see if you guys would mention this: when Jon meets with Peter to talk about her conditions for the “deal”, her dress has animal print, turning her into a… JAGUAR. It even has a “tail”! :O

  • i365

    I agree with all of that except the part about Don lucking into his job at SC. He hustled for that job by putting a hard sell on Roger that he was right for the job, and didn’t stop when Roger rejected him. He worked hard to get into advertising.

    • He did, but at the same time it was literally a con job. Roger didn’t offer him a job, Don just showed up and hoped Roger wouldn’t own up to blacking out and would save face instead by shrugging his shoulders and going with it. Which he did. Which made Don literally luck into the job.

    • Maggie_Mae

      Is this one of those lost replies? I used the phrase about Don “lucking into” his job.  

      What I really meant was that he found the career that suited his talents–as a bright young guy having a way with words but no education qualifying him for a “profession.”  It wasn’t the good fortune of a young man handed a career on a silver platter–that’s Roger!  But the “luck & pluck” of the poor hero in an old tale, who grasps the opportunities he sees & wins riches & the beautiful princess.  (Even if they didn’t exactly live happily ever after.)

  • Amismo

    The young are so quick to judge, it used to be easier for me to blame a woman for staying in an abusive relationship, to try to keep the peace,to excuse horrendous behavior by men. Now I’ve seen a friend who was a senior faculty doctor at Boston Mass use makeup to hide the bruises left by her gambling addicted husband, another friend unwilling to admit her mistake in insisting on marrying a directionless jobless for years deadbeat. I can see Young Joanie, powerful and confident in her feminity, queen of her domain loving Roger waiting for him to acknowledge his love for her. And then, in blind panic course correcting to marry a bright young man with a brilliant future. As a queen, she felt she needed to show she was in control of her life even as it spiraled out of her grasp. That calm competent controlled facade became her prison, unable to admit she needed help.

    I love her coming undone moments this season. No longer in the perfect at home lounger with hair held back with a cute bow. The world isn’t black n white, and yes there isnoreason to hate Megan. It’s just hard to stomach her casual, little girl entitled attitude paid for by making our Joanie a prostitute.

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      if it makes you feel any better, my mother had to do something similar–& my mother was a doctor too. years before almost anyone else’s mother was a doctor, in fact. people who dont know better wonder why i cant stand my dead father. oh hell of hells.

      edited to add:
      & i’ve had two out of three just wretched, crazy spouses. & even the one that was good, the first one, wouldnt let me see anyone other than him for a year & a half. he later ran a cult, part of which involved, um, marriage counseling. it doesnt matter who you are, how bright you are, what you know is right, what you know should not happen. the only thing i know for absolute certain is the less likely you are to be abusive yrself, the more likely you are to both find & not leave someone who abuses. it’s cos you just cant understand it, thats why. it doesnt make any sense. you keep hoping the person will go back to the reasonable self he always has somewhere–even if it’s just a little bit of his personality. it’s always there somewhere….. it’s super difficult to understand that self, not the bad self, is the false self–when you dont have a bad, false self yrself. it’s almost like trying to comprehend a space alien. anyway.

      • holdme…agree and absolutely have been there and would never have seen myself there in a million years.  it’s very hard to explain to other people but you did.  i never did understand him and that’s because non-monsters can’t really comprehend monsters.  that darkness at the core is too absolutely alien to us.  and we are full of hope. 

        because of what i’ve gone thru, i find i’m way less judgemental about other women and their experiences.  so that’s a plus!  also, i’m still me, and that’s a plus too!

        christina hendricks should get an emmy for this episode alone.  the changing expressions on her face…sigh.

      • sekushinonyanko

         That is so, so true. And put better than I’ve heard yet.

  • Peggy’s purple dress: purple is opposite yellow on the color wheel. That dress said to me “Peggy 2.0 (or whatever they were saying in the ’60s) is here!

  • Kathleen Gillies

    I find it ironic that Peggy is the one out of the three women’s arcs they can’t own.   She’s the “Other Woman.”

  • jessicasac

    Wasn’t that mink black? It was brown in the store, black when she tried it on, or so it appeared, and is brown again. The blue coat looks like Betty’s sad marriage blue coat. 

  • Um, Megan quit a soul-sucking job that she “should” have to pursue her her heart’s desire, the job she really WANTS. How is that not feminist? Yes, she’s lucky that she has a supportive partner that affords her an opportunity to do it, but that fact alone certainly doesn’t make her a useless heap sitting on a log. Would it be more feminist of her to start turning tricks so she could memorize lines and go to call-backs? Would she still be a helpless sell-out not doing real work once she got a part and quit hooking? Ridiculous.

    • Amismo

      Is Megan really pursuing her dream? Do you feel she is really hustling, taking advantage of her fortunately good circumstances to really focus on her career? Did you feel she went o that audition hungry for the role?

      Do you remenber Don hustling for HIS chance? Or Peggy?

    • What’s ridiculous is your response, because the only thing we said was that it was harder to hang a triumphant feminist argument on Megan’s story this week, not that Megan has never done anything that could be called feminist. Nor did we call her a useless heap on a log.

      Basically, you’re responding to things you made up.

  • THANK YOU! for that whole post, I agree with you 110%

  • It’s misogynistic to hold a female character to the same standard as the others?

  • I was wondering if anyone else noticed the slight smattering of men’s daughters shown or alluded to in this episode? Pete spends a day hard at work in Manhattan, trying to pimp out a colleague, and goes home to read “Goodnight Moon” to his baby daughter. A photo of Sally can be seen on Don’s desk at some point during the episode–I think when in the scene in which he throws money in Peggy’s face. These two men have young daughters but they’ve been treating grown women in questionable (or downright despicable) ways for seasons. idk!

  • AWS

    Tlo = so brilliant you put diamonds to shame.  oxoxo

  • John_in_Cincinnati

    Gents, you said “this episode was entirely about Peggy and Joan.”  I thought so too, and wasn’t happy with this episode until I read Tim Goodman.  He said that the ep was all about Don, Don losing power.  Wife can go for three months without him.  Peggy can go to her life expectancy without him.  Agency can take big decisions and win a car without him.  “Mad Men” is about Don Draper.  🙂
    “In fact, we noted with this episode just how much of a power imbalance is depicted whenever she interacts with Don now. He’s always in an authoritarian suit and she’s usually barefoot and/or underdressed in some way.”  — Power imbalance? You mean that she always wins the argument?

  • Daniel Gariépy

    Have been loving your Mad Style treats since I first discovered them a few years ago. The insights are spot-on and I like looking at the stills.
    Only 2 things surprised me this time. You didn’t make an allusion to that rich jewel-toned purple dress of Peggy’s echoing Joan’s old jewel toned dresses. Like…she finally took Joan’s advice all these years later. And also you didn’t say anything about the pussy bow perched at the waist. 😉    

    See? I have been paying attention.  Love your stuff! Can’t wait to see what you will say about Peggy’s red Chanel-inspired suit in the coming episode.

  • I was thinking the Joan’s brown dress with the animal print was more jaguar than leopard when I saw it! I knew she was onboard from that moment.

    Megan’s friend’s dress’s print is also spotted like the coat of a wild cat.

  • AutumnInNY

    Joan in that fur coat. Perfect analysis of that scene Tlo. I agree. We’ve probably seen the last of that coat.

    A couple of things came to mind when I saw her wearing it. The first was the Roger flashback and the other completely not related was “What becomes a legend most”? The Blackglama campaign that I believe began in the late 60’s. I remember seeing it as a kid in my parents LIFE and LOOK magazines. One tag line, very simple.  I probably didn’t understand it at the time but I never forgot it.Joan can really pull that look off and she would have fit right in with those other models/actresses.

  • Strixx23

    I’d been wondering why Peggy wore a purple dress when she leaves SCDP.  After looking back at old TLo recaps, I realised that this dress was an echo of the one she wore when she tried to cry in the bathroom and couldn’t, early in Season One.  Both dresses are the same jewel tone purple.  Quite literally in the bathroom scene she was looking back at her “otherness” (the purple) and it didn’t quite fit. A few commenters observed that the dress here reminded them of Joan, and the earlier outfit even has a scarf which was essential to Joan’s workwear arsenal. Peggy seems uncomfortable and slightly ridiculous because she’s not wearing her persona yet. It’s not a huge leap to say that Peggy is an ‘other woman’ but part of Peggy’s journey has been to get to a place of  acceptance.  In The Other Woman, as already stated in the comments, she is positively regal.  She has finally learned how to wear her otherness, instead of letting it wear her. Poignantly, Peggy’s otherness dress not only fits as she tells her mentor that she has to move on, the kissing of her hand could be Don bowing down to her otherness in its full glory.
    Also, I wanted to comment on the colour orange, as I found it strange that her interview dress wasn’t trimmed with yellow.  At the point where she decides to
    move on, where money is thrown in her face, she is wearing a
    dress with yellow and orange.  As TLo note, Ken is wearing a tie with her
    dress colours, except orange.  This is because orange is Peggy’s “taking her career to the next level” colour.  Peggy actually says to the interviewer when he asked her to state her price to move on, just for kicks, “This isn’t a game, it’s my career.” 

  • There is such a power/age imbalance between Don and Megan that it is kind of gross.

  • I will never stop snickering whenever I see that pillar in Harry’s office. Perfect.

  • boleyn28

    Lets all have a poll, for those who are interested. List your absolutely favorite outfit worn by any character this season, try to choose one ( I realize how hard that is,lol). It will be interesting to see your opinions : ) I’ll start…………………………….

    My favorite is the pant suit that Jane wore when they did LSD, it was absolutely  FABULOUS.

    • HeatherD9

       Hey boleyn28,

      That’s a hard choice…  Favourite outfit because of how it suited the character?  Favourite because of how it helped tell the story?   Favourite one to steal for my own use?  There’s a lot of good ones out there… 

      In fact, your idea helped me notice something.  I went back through the (ever fab) TLo style posts to review the season & discovered that both Joan & Megan were wearing red dresses when they realised married life wasn’t quite what they expected.  In The Codfish Ball, Megan is in that stunning red Empire / Indian gown.  Then in Mystery Date, Joan is in that deep burgundy cocktail dress.  Both stunning & suitable — both sad date clothes. 

      As for steal-worthy clothes…  I’m petite & don’t go out to banquets etc very much.  So I’d most likely go for Megan’s houndstooth coat dress, the black & white plaid shopping ensemble or the graphic cream/black/yellow dress.  If I were taller & could carry it off — either Marie’s red Chanel suit or Megan’s bejeweled India gown.

      Thanks for the suggestion!


    • HeatherD9

       Hey boleyn28,

      That’s a hard choice…  Favourite outfit because of how it suited the character?  Favourite because of how it helped tell the story?   Favourite one to steal for my own use?  There’s a lot of good ones out there… 

      In fact, your idea helped me notice something.  I went back through the (ever fab) TLo style posts to review the season & discovered that both Joan & Megan were wearing red dresses when they realised married life wasn’t quite what they expected.  In The Codfish Ball, Megan is in that stunning red Empire / Indian gown.  Then in Mystery Date, Joan is in that deep burgundy cocktail dress.  Both stunning & suitable — both sad date clothes. 

      As for steal-worthy clothes…  I’m petite & don’t go out to banquets etc very much.  So I’d most likely go for Megan’s houndstooth coat dress, the black & white plaid shopping ensemble or the graphic cream/black/yellow dress.  If I were taller & could carry it off — either Marie’s red Chanel suit or Megan’s bejeweled India gown.

      Thanks for the suggestion!


  • boleyn28

    Some bullet point observations/opinions, please add if u like : )

    *When Megan was sitting on the sofa after they made up, she was dressed in all black and red, as was Joan at the hotel room (black dress, red hair so it was more subtle then Megan,s outfit). The Jaguar pics in the pitch were all in red and black too, does there outfit signify the ownership and lack of ownership of beautiful things, or people?

    *Peggy’s purple dress was the same cut and style of Megans dress when she told Peggy she wanted to quit advertising (the scene in the bathroom). Maybe it signifies moving on to different challenges for the women?

    *What do u think happened between Joan’s mom and Apollo? A little hanky panky while Kevin’s sleeping(wink wink).

    *I thought TLo would mention the orange day-glow fishnets. FABULOUS! I really like her character but what is her name?

    *Megan’s audition dress is spectacularly ugly! With all the wonderful clothes she has or can buy why that? It’s obviously not lucky for her. All her clothes are usually so colorful and bright, she dressed to be noticed at SCDP but dresses to blend in at auditions. I guess she isn’t as passionate as she once was and her fashion depicts that. 

    *Megan seemed so frustrated and discouraged after being rejected for a few auditions. She’s only been at it for a couple of months and is acting like she was denied for 100 auditions after years of hard work. Megan isn’t used to rejection cause she has gotten everything she wants over the last year or so. It’s hard to get ahead when her husband isn’t her boss and she has to work for it,lol.

    *They have hinted and straight out said it that Megan was never good at being an actress, she never got hired. I think she’ll give up cause she’ll get sick of the rejection but blame Don for it instead of herself. 
                  I wonder how Don got the impression that Megan is great at auditions (as he stated in their bedroom) when she clearly                                                isn’t Maybe is she changed her hideous dress,lol.

  • boleyn28

    i thought so too, it was definatly black in the hotel when roger gave it to her, or atleast looks that way, then its brown thsi week.

  • boleyn28

    actually for that day and age, Megans dress is considered short. It would be classified as a mini dress.

  • boleyn28

    wow, it looks like ur writing a book,lol.

  • boleyn28

    I loved Ted Coughs jacket with the fur collar he carries in with him, I would wear that now, it was so fabulous, expensive looking but modern. U would never catch Don in anything like that, in fact I remember the guy from Lucky Strike wearing the same kind of coat to the SCDP Christmas party.

  • jessicasac

    Joan’s blue coat looks like Betty’s old sad marraige coat. The mink looks brown in some scenes and black in others.

  • Peter Young

    The shock of blue on Don’s tie that he wears during the pitch reminded me of that same blue in the first place ribbons we used to get in grade school track meets.

  • Chaiaiai

    I went back and looked at the Season 5 preview images (YES, I’m a nerd).  Joanie is in vibrant, not-quite emerald green dress. 

  • duchessofjersey

    I bet at some point there’s going to be a major decision that Joan casts the deciding vote on among the partners. Five percent seems small until it’s a tiebreaker.

  • duchessofjersey

    I bet at some point there’s going to be a major decision that Joan casts the deciding vote on among the partners. Five percent seems small until it’s a tiebreaker.

  • I didn’t realize how awful her dress was for a special “audition dress”. But you can tell since I didn’t notice at all what she was wearing.

  • DawnMarie76

    Reading some of your earlier posts I noticed that Peggy’s more adult dress in the last scene is an echo of Megan’s dress in The Lady Lazarus episode, when Megan is practicing the husband-and-wife pitch with Don and the creative team in Don’s office. I think Megan inspired Peggy’s shopping trip for her new power wardrobe. 

  • Blenda Park

    My husband has abandon me and the kids for the the past 8months now, and refuse to come back because he was hold on by a woman whom he just met, for that, my self and the kids has been suffering and it has been heel of a struggle, but I decide to do all means to make sure that my family come together as it use to, then I went online there I saw so many good talk about this spell caster whose email is [email protected] so I had to contact him and in just 4days as he has promised, my husband came home and his behavior was back to the man I got married to.I cant thank the spell caster enough what what he did for me, I am so grateful. I even spoke to the spell caster over the phone, to confirm his existence. His email again is: [email protected]

  • Miss Disco

    Is Joan’s Blue Coat actually Betty’s Sad Coat? They’re shown in different lighting, but i think the colour is actually the same, and the two ladies are very different sizes which would explain the difference in fit. Or did Janie Bryant find another very similar coat?