Mad Men: The Phantom

Posted on June 11, 2012

Don Draper would be appalled by this, but we’re about to give away a professional secret. We’re about to tell you how to write a Mad Men recap. It’s very simple. First, you watch the latest episode. Then, you watch it again. If you’re lucky and observant, you won’t have to watch it a third time. See, what you want to do is find that one line of dialogue that sums up the entire episode. Matt Weiner and company are very thoughtful about making sure that tired reviewers like us will be able to find it. In fact, Season 5 almost felt like a love letter to the show’s legion of recappers and reviewers because sometimes there was more than one line per episode that could reasonably serve as the thesis statement. And sometimes, to the consternation of many of those reviewers, bells, whistles and flashing lights, with a title card that reads “And now for tonight’s theme…” would flash on the screen to helpfully let us all know when Something Important was about to be said.

The season five finale was, in many ways, a return to the kind of vagueness in theme and purpose that, to our way of thinking, characterizes the heart of the show. It was not, however, a return to the kind of shocking developments or talked-about scenes that characterized previous season finales; from Peggy going into labor and Don delivering the “Carousel speech,” to the Magnificent Seven breaking down doors in the Sterling Cooper offices and stealing their way to a new company, to Don making a marriage proposal that shocked everyone with its suddenness and seeming randomness. Strangely, what we were left with was a somewhat muddled finale that seemed to be cycling through a bunch of themes and scenarios, checking in on most of the major characters (if only briefly, in some cases), while focusing mainly on continuing the stories of two of the show’s more controversial characters: Pete and Megan. But thankfully, all we needed was one brief, crackling scene with Don and his former protege (and now equal in status) Peggy to pull that theme out of his mouth and set it on the table for everyone to mull over.

“That’s what happens when you help someone. They succeed and move on.”

Don is consumed by fears, despite the James Bond front he puts on for the world. The most prevalent of his fears, and the one that tends to spur on most of his worst actions and impulses, is the fear of being abandoned. And you don’t say “fear of abandonment” about a man unless you’re willing to talk about his mommy issues. Don’s biological mother abandoned him physically by dying and his adoptive mother abandoned him emotionally by never showing him the slightest bit of love or affection. Like with so many men, these maternal relationships wound up playing themselves out again and again with every female with whom he comes in contact. In the case of a thousand affairs, mistresses, and one-night stands, his fear of their rejection and abandonment played out with him keeping them all at arms length, with the option at all times for him to walk out first. With his three central relationships with women, his fears manifested in ways much more controlling and even sinister. He almost literally tried to imprison Betty to keep her both from knowing too much about him and from leaving him (because the two go hand in hand). He pulled Peggy up out of obscurity and gave her a chance, only to box her in and berate her at every turn to ensure that the realization of her worth and talent would be kept from her as long as possible. With Megan (and the failure of his first marriage behind him), his fear of abandonment spun out of control and manifested itself, oddly enough, in an attempt to mold her into something like a sexier version of Peggy; a sharp, go-getting copy writer who will also show him her tits in the office on command or run out with him in the middle of the day to go on an adventure to Howard Johnson’s, but still help him save an account from the brink of disaster with some quick thinking and masterful role-playing.

Unfortunately, Megan, like all the other little dolls in Don Draper’s toybox, eventually decides she has wants and desires of her own, independent of Don. For Don, this is the death knell of their relationship; the first tentative step toward its inevitable end. It’s impossible for him to see it any other way, which is why he’s been less than enthusiastic about her acting dreams, even though he’s been fighting these feelings all season. But Megan doesn’t do subtext and if there’s one trait she possesses that makes her both good for Don, but unlikely to remain a feature in his life forever, it’s the tendency to demand confrontations and conversations. No one else in his life ever does that with Don and most people who know him wouldn’t even make the attempt, but Megan does it constantly; putting her needs, wants, and frustrations out on the table and demanding a response to them. It’s both a little healthy and a little childish at the same time.

Megan has been quite the controversial character this season and we don’t think we’re going out on a limb when we predict that her actions this episode will be wildly debated. While it’s true that with this episode we saw the culmination of all those allusions to her childishness and selfishness all season, we honestly have no problem with her hitting up Don for a little help in her career. He acted put out by it, and while his line “You want to be someone’s discovery; not someone’s wife,” sounds wonderful on the surface, it’s so much bullshit when you remember how he handed her a job as a copywriter just because she said she wanted one.  He was fine with giving her a fully-crafted career when it suited his fantasy of her, which makes his reluctance to help her get one part quite the hypocrisy.

But Megan is perfect for the part – which was alluded to much earlier in the season when Butler Shoes mentioned they wanted a French type for their Cinderella ad (and obviously, with the latest Beauty and the Beast ad, they’re cycling through the fairy tales). The scene with Don watching her reel in the conference room was a bit vaguely presented, but we’re fairly certain we’re supposed to see what Don saw: that Megan is luminous on film and has real star quality. Despite the protestations and put-downs of her cold and bitchy mother, it becomes obvious to Don that Megan isn’t necessarily the dilettante that everyone has been assuming. Granted, he bases this entirely on a presentation of her looks with nothing of her assumed talent on display, but that’s par for the course with how Don sees her and sees women generally. The point is, Don realizes not only that she’d be perfect for the ad, but that she really does have what it takes. As Peggy said of her back when she first announced her acting dreams, Megan is “just one of those girls.” For Don, this realization is akin to a declaration that she’s leaving. She obviously doesn’t see it that way, but for Don, walking away from her fairy tale into the darkness of the set beyond was a walk away from the dream that this marriage was going to be his salvation. It may not literally be over yet, but it’s emotionally over for Don. And the single young ladies of Manhattan better brace themselves.

As overwhelmingly strong as Don’s fear of abandonment is his guilt, which consumes him just as much. What better way to set off Don’s worst impulses than by detonating a bomb of abandonment AND guilt in the middle of his life? Lane’s suicide has dredged up the rottenness Don is convinced is at his core. And since the show has to be occasionally obvious to the point of distraction, we got a literal representation of that with Don’s tooth and his hallucinations of his dead half-brother Adam, whom Don also drove to suicide through carelessness and a need for control in his life. He will, as Adam helpfully told us, always be “hanging around” in Don’s life, feeding his guilt and challenging his self-worth by reminding him of who he really is.

There was a motif of men in rooms with other men’s wives that played out: Roger and Marie, Pete and Beth, and in a twist, Don, the ultimate philanderer, sitting down with Rebecca, not to commit adultery but to make himself feel better and cast himself as the hero once again. Rebecca was having none of it, and while her anger with Don for awakening a destructive ambition in her husband could be said to be slightly displaced – after all, she was seen cheering his career aspirations on over and over again – she was absolutely right to point out that his $50,000 check was merely a payback of money already owed to Lane and not in any way an example of him doing her any favors. He expected gratitude and dispensation and she wasn’t in the mood to give it to him.

As for Pete, the only thing that interests us about his ennui is when it results in him getting punched in the face, which happens often, thankfully. To be honest, we didn’t find his depression particularly engrossing all season, especially when it mostly comes down to a long commute that he hates and the fact that Trudy has a baby other than himself to take care of. We’re not unsympathetic, but considering we just got finished watching Lane destroy himself after being subjected to enormous stresses, we can’t work up much interest for his storyline. And having him deliver a suspiciously poignant and well-written monologue explaining his actions and then having Trudy give him exactly what he’s wanted all season, an apartment in the city, felt a bit too much like the whole arc had just been wrapped up in a bow. We would have rather seen more time spent with Peggy and Joan, considering the massive changes both characters have undergone.

Joan is both more assertive and business-like than ever, if that can be believed. She clearly feels the need to fill Lane’s shoes as the responsible one among the partners. What’s interesting to note is just how badly the other partners react to a female voice expressing concerns or telling them what to do. Granted, they were never terribly respectful toward Lane, but they treated Joan like a nagging wife in that meeting. She’s got an uphill battle with that group. Still, she seems largely unperturbed by their sexism (which makes sense, given the long years and myriad ways in which she’s had to deal with it) and quite confident and happy in her new position. Let’s face it; if you’re a Joannie fan, that shot of her lined up with the partners and looking out the windows of the finally realized second floor to SCDP was thrilling.

As for Peggy, she seems ridiculously happy as well. In fact, all three of the female characters this episode were ultimately depicted as happy and upwardly mobile in their careers. How telling that the male characters, by comparison, are depicted as rotten (literally), depressed, or, in the case of Roger, irresponsible and pleasure-seeking. Meanwhile, Stan and Ginsberg struggle to come up with a pantyhose tag line (and fail spectacularly) and Peggy is seen berating two young male copywriters in much the same manner Don used to berate her. The women all wind up doing quite well and the men are all depicted as floundering. Even the supremely damaged Beth Dawes was in a more serene and peaceful place than Pete by episode’s end.

So what happens next? Will Peggy land the Virgina Slims account and make advertising history by coining the legendary tagline “You’ve come a long way, baby?” As thrilling as that would be, we almost hope it doesn’t come to pass because it would be way too literal and on-point for her character. We tend to think the rather down-to-earth view outside her hotel room window (it sure as hell wasn’t the Eiffel Tower) indicates that the soaring heights of a possible award-winning campaign that changes the face of women’s advertising might not be a given just yet. She’s doing amazingly well, but if she really does land the Virgina Slims account, she will have easily surpassed anything Don has done. A thrilling prospect, but we’re not sure if that’s where the show’s heading just yet. If anything, their conversation hinted that she’s still open to returning to the rapidly expanding SCDP, but it would have to be as Don’s equal, and just like Peggy obviously does, we have a hard time picturing such a thing ever happening.

Much more to come in our Mad Style post later this week, including Joan’s attempt to fill Lane’s shoes and Peggy’s brand new power color. And if you really think we have anything else to say about the show worth listening to, then you can listen to Tom discussing the costumes of the season with Studio 360′s Kurt Andersen here.

 

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  • Lynn Landry

    A while back when you were writing recaps on the season when Don was in California with the group of free thinkers, you mentioned that Don is more like them and more like the generation to come than his own generation (and I need to go find the exact post I keep remembering). I’ve thought about this all this season because it seemed that Don was drifting into old age and missing out on the chance to be himself. I think he’s going to have a good time in 1967, with the guilt or not.  I do agree with the vagueness of this episode. It was so anticlimactic.

  • Sobaika

    Excellent write-up! You took an episode that seemed haphazard on first viewing make actual sense. I’ll miss these recaps, they genuinely add to the experience of watching Mad Men.

  • Laylalola

    The thumbnail of the partners is beautiful of course — but when it appeared on screen I really was over just how forced it was. Separately, I got very strong vibes of everything that went amiss in casting Betty in the Pepsi thing with this whole arc with Megan. It would have seemed a natural had she in fact been discovered but that’s not what happened and it never will be.

    • sarahjane1912

      Oh WOW … *smacks head*: the Betty/Pepsi ad! I’d forgotten that! And of course, Betty was being manipulated — via casting her in that ad — to get to Don [and was approached rather than Don putting her forward], while Megan manipulated THIS situation to her own benefit, even at the expense of her friend’s chances. Interesting. Warrants more thought. ;-)

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

         I believe it was Coke with Betty.  Pepsi was the parent company of the drink that Sal had to redo the Bye Bye Birdie bit.

        • sarahjane1912

          I stand corrected. I assumed it was Pepsi from Laylalola’s comment. My apologies.

      • mskgb

        It was a Coca-Cola ad, and Betty is told that the company wants Audrey Hepburn rather than Grace Kelly (http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/2010/06/mad-style-betty-draper-s1-part-2-2.html). In that instance, both Don and Betty lie–he doesn’t tell her that his refusal of the job offer means her loss of the modeling gig; she says that her responsibilities as wife and mother are more important to her than the job. Neither acknowledges Betty’s defeat and neither gets the life he/she wants.

        Given that Don secured Megan’s job partially as a response to Marie’s cruel words, the act took on a paternal quality. If cold mother won’t support her daughter, then (sugar) daddy will (Megan’s tearful taking to her bed and self-pitying drunkenness–shades of Betty–cast her as the child). I agree with everyone who sees shades of “Carousel” in Don’s screening of Megan’s reel. What interests me is the multiple viewing positions he occupies: the creative director who sees an image of beauty perfect for the client casting “Beauty,” a husband who sees creative potential in his wife, and a man whose emotional connections to people depends on images, either literal film images or his mental images of them.

    • Violina23

      I agree, it did feel a bit forced, but it was still a beautiful shot so I forgave them :)

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

        It was a bit of a superhero shot wasn’t it? It reminded me of X-Men or something… It felt a bit like the direction of that scene was going a bit razzle-dazzle.

        • MissKimP

          Made me think of Da Vinci’s drawing of the (Vitruvian?) man with arms and legs extended at various angles.

        • maya s

          yeah! the League of Extraordinary Ad Men (and Women)!

          I found the whole episode kind of noticeably shot and edited, but that shot most of all, obviously.

    • Liverpoolgirl

      I agree.  I was annoyed by the partners in the bare space especially when Pete says he’ll have the same view as Don.  However Roger naked looking out the window was priceless.

      • CozyCat

        I’m waiting to see if the boys addresss Roger’s incredibe rear view shot in the Mad Style post….

        • mskgb

          Nudity *is* a costuming choice ;-)

      • bluefish

        I was impressed and happy that Roger got over his fear and decided to drop acid by himself after all.  Go naked, tripping, ecstatic Roger!  Who says people can’t change?

      • Girl_With_a_Pearl

        Actually, I really liked that Pete said that he would have the same view as Don.  Pete may have the same view as Don, have a house in the suburbs like Don used to have, or even cheat on his wife like Don, but he will never be Don.

        • Liverpoolgirl

          I know it was a great line but I just can’t stand Pete.  Why do we forgive Don all his mistakes and despise Pete to the core?  It can’t just be one of them has James Bond caliber good looks.  Perhaps it is just that Pete is so pompous and Don is relatively unassuming or that Pete has no insight into anyone around him and Don gets people.  I don’t know but I could barely watch Pete cheating in that hotel room. Blech!  Don however….

          • http://darkesword.com DarkeSword

             I think it’s because Pete is just so whiny about his situation, whereas Don kind of faces it with a I-know-exactly-what-to-do kind of resolve.

          • HengRu

            This is it for me. Pete is a self-pitying whiner, while Don is stoic and, if anything, doesn’t show himself enough mercy. I seldom feel sorry for people who obviously feel sorry for themselves.

          • Glammie

            Pete’s meaner.  Pete whored out Joanie to get Jaguar; Don didn’t.  Pete coerces sex right up to the border of rape.  Don has been more of a seducer.  Don’s got a tragic background, Pete has a cold one.

            Pete’s just slimier–his good moments are always kind of a surprise.  Don’s more ambiguous–moments of genuine goodness (not spanking his son, his conversations with Sally–and just awfulness–his pushing his brother out of his life.

          • Vodeeodoe

             It’s definitely Pete’s pomposity, but if Pete looked like Don, a lot of people would open doors for him. Good looks are a serious asset in any situation, regardless of whether it’s fair or not. People approach Don, not so much with Pete, who is a great talker. Go back to the scene where Pete shows Megan’s dad what he does for a living, and note how women come up to Don in brothels and bars without him even having to talk to them. Not the most perfect comparison, but you get the idea.

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

            I think Pete is sexy as hell. But he definitely does not have the alpha-male thing going for him like Don does. And you know he wishes he did.
            Also, Don just oozes confidence, and that to me is his biggest asset.

          • asympt

             Vincent Kartheiser is sexy as hell, and it’s a tribute to his acting that Pete not so much.

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

            Valid point.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HREPOWNBVUBRIVPQCF3ST2IKDM Euphory

            Pete is actually very good-looking, but in a boyish way.  The actor has round face and big round eyes, very adorable and endearing, but definitely not a mature Alpha-male type like Don. 

            Some men can work that types of looks (i.e. Reid from Criminal Mind), but Pete’s boyish looks combined with his childish mentality, social awkwardness, and his “i wanna be class president!! pick me! me me me!” matter just reinforces him as a boy, not as a man.  

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

            And Don inspires people, whereas Pete irritates them.

          • ybbed

            Howdy Doody Circus Army!!!

          • Jane_Lane

             Don is damaged, he has pathos that causes his behavior and we identify with that. Pete is just a jerk.

          • aesteve212

            I know we don’t know all of Pete’s back story (or at least not in the detail we know Don’s) but what bugs me about Pete is that he acts like everything in his life is OWED to him. And if he doesn’t get it he is a grump (or worse). Don views his accomplishments as earned. And he has had quite a lot to overcome to get them (granted a good amount of what he had to overcome was due to his own actions).

          • 3hares

            I think Don’s just better at hiding his entitlement. There’s plenty of times he thinks things are owed to him. He just doesn’t stamp his feet and whine about it like Pete.

        • EveEve

          I can’t recall the exact line, but didn’t Don have a “Whatever, dude” comeback when Pete said he’d have the same view as him?  I imagined that little swat shriveled Pete up considerably…not that it would take much.  Pete/Vincent Kartheiser has zero on-screen sex appeal. Zero.

          • DeebaCee

            I think it was just “Congratulations.” (but spoken very dead-pan)

    • AudreysMom

       I had a very different reaction to that shot. It felt…perfect. We’ve struggled along with SCD(P), with Joanie’s ascension, with even the inevitable success of weasel Pete. So when they stood, aligned in the windows at what was so close to the end of the episode and the season, it just felt right. A beautifully framed shot that I knew would be captured in TLo’s post.

      • miagain

         I was surprised when the story continued for a few more minutes.  That framed shot would have been so terrific as the final shot of the season.

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

        Agreed. I actually gasped at it. It was perfect, and it seemed to say “We’ve finally come out the other end”. They way they were framed, with Joan in the middle… it was breathtaking I thought.

      • lifetime_student

        I felt the same, particularly with Joan at the center. The partners may have made SCDP possible financially, but Joan is the one who made it all work. I hope that shot of the partners presages  the recognition of Joan as the pivot around which the company revolves.

        • http://darkesword.com DarkeSword

           So true. I watched “Shut the Door. Have a Seat.” the other day and as much as they always talked about Lane being instrumental in the breakaway from Sterling Cooper, they literally had no idea how to pull off the actual logistics of getting everything they needed and running a new company until Roger called Joan. She’s the lynchpin, and without her, the entire endeavor that is SCDP would collapse in on itself.

          • oohsparkley!

            Hands up every woman who knows the office/business  couldn’t run sucessfully without them and doesn’t get the recognition or respect they deserve.

        • formerlyAnon

          She might get that recognition, backhandedly, at her retirement, or in an oblique remark from an individual. But it’s just not in the guys’ world view that a woman who started out as a secretary or even office manager could be essential to the business – and like Lane, she’s not a creative and she doesn’t directly bring in accounts. The way she got her partnership, while it may never be mentioned, will also never be forgotten, and that will also keep them from acknowledging that she is vitally important & has earned their respect. 

          She may be acknowledged for being useful, for having been right in a particular instance, but never perceived by the group as having been essential. Maybe an individual partner will acknowledge her privately, at some time. But that’s as good as it’ll get.

      • LesYeuxHiboux

         I saw each one with a window to jump out of.

  • Frank_821

    Yes it was obvious that the men are not use to being talked to by Joan that way. How sad that Lane has done more for the well being of the company dead than he did alive. He netted them $90,000 and Joan taking his place. She’ll ultimately do a better job than Lane. I think of all the men, Bert will be the easiest to adapt to Joan being a oh-not-so-silent partner. He can comes across as a doddering eccentric but he’s really a very sharp and pragmatic man

    Good for Peggy. Seeing her in action was like seeing Don without most of the BS and baggage.

    How amusing there were 2 james Bond references in the music

    • CozyCat

      All thru the episode it was apparent how unnecessary Lane’s fall and demise was.  The company is doing so well, if he had sought help, or held out longer, or something, he might have made it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/tuckeramy Amy Tucker

         It was apparent three episodes ago. It was so tragic, if he had simply asked Don (or any of the other partners for that matter) for a loan, and told them what was going on, they would have had no problem loaning Lane the money. His downfall was not his financial situation – it was his pride and repression.

        • CozyCat

          Yes, and speaking of repression, it was really evident in this episode how his wife contributed to his downfall.  To say of ANYONE “you shouldn’t have encouraged him to have ambitions” is so demeaning (shades of his father).  I felt a little sorry for her in the last episode (imagine if Lane had succeeded in offing himself using the Jag she just bought him) but it was really apparent in this episode how he could never have confided in her. 

          She was technically correct that Don was just returning Lane’s money, not making a gift.  But what she didn’t know is that Lane was a thief who felt he had to steal in large part because of her lack of emotional support.

          I go back and forth between being angry at Lane and being sympathetic–that’s why the show is so good.

          • Glammie

            That was, to me, the stand-out line of the episode–the tragedy of Lane in a nutshell.  It was a brutal, angry thing to say–a way to dismiss Lane–and, yet, there may have been a grain of truth in it.  On some level, Lane wasn’t tough enough.  Not tough the way Don is tough and Peggy is tough.  Joan, Bert and Pete, too.  Even Ken.  There’s a real survival-of-the-fittest thing going on at SCDP.

            I actually think that was going on a bit with the Megan storyline.  Don helped out Megan because she was falling apart–and after what happened with Lane, he didn’t want to see Megan destroyed by failed dreams.  Which may have something to do with the ambiguous feel of Don watching the film test and the commercial.  The ad was Megan’s dream, but it was, after all, a very small dream–in a sense, Megan, in Don’s eyes, was diminished by it.  He was seeing her limitations in a way he hadn’t before.  He gives her what she wants, but it just turns out to be a commercial take on a fairy tale.

            I think Don had thought there was more to her and now he thinks there isn’t.

          • P M

             Hmm: You  know, *that* may be the downfall of this particular Draper marriage: the fact that Don can’t admire Megan anymore.

          • Glammie

            Or in admiring her as an object–an onscreen “phantom”, he pulls back from her–he begins to recognize that there’s a difference between his dream Megan and the real girl.  

            Lot of phantoms in this episode–Lane and his empty chair, Adam, blanked-out Beth, Roger’s memory of LSD clarity, and, of course, Megan’s flickering screen test.

          • P M

             Can I just say how sad I am that Lane was the one to go, as I was totes shipping for Red + Red.

            And I was thinking that too of phantoms – whatever you said. Plus, now, Joanie’s ‘what could have perhaps been’. I wonder if she *ever* harboured any attraction for him.

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

            That’s two weeks in a row that Don has helped people realize small dreams that made them very happy.  Last week it was Glen.

          • Glammie

            Interesting.  It does seem like he’s a more open and generous person than he was in his first couple of seasons, but it’s not at all clear he’s a happier one.  What I noticed about the two girls at the end is that they were younger versions of Megan and her friend Emily, who, of course, looks like Betty.  He’s found out what Megan wants, granted her wish–and now he’s looking for something else again.

            And, of course, the contrast is Peggy.  He can’t give her what she wants because she’s not looking for something simple. 

          • Tasterspoon

            My first, disappointed, take on that last scene (girls at the bar) was that Don was already back to his bird-dogging ways, as you say, “looking for something else,” but my husband thought it was simply a set up for the last line, “Are you alone?” and his answering side-eye.  I feel like he’s been redeemed a lot in the past few episodes (showing Peggy genuine respect, demonstrating true friendship with Joan, tring to give Lane a way out, helping Glen, helping Megan (I thought the reel was simply to show how HAPPY the idea of acting made Megan and his realization that he could give her that)), so for now I’m hoping that my husband was right, and that Don can continue be a constructive rather than destructive force.

          • Glammie

            I don’t think Don’s on a path to redemption right now–he does walk away from the light and into the dark to get to the bar. He also gave a hell of an angry, unhappy pitch in an attempt to get Dow and napalm in the middle of the Vietnam War.  

            And while I actually *don’t* think he’ll cheat with the girls at the bar, he’s no longer going to be shutting down the dialogue.

            Megan’s very young and as TLo note, her directness is both healthy and a bit childish.  Unfortunately for her, her natural, youthful self-involvement will make it harder to sustain her marriage to Don Draper.  Acting’s a demanding career that’s hard on a stable homelife.  Don married her, in part, because he saw her as someone who’d put back together his longed-for picture-book family.  Basically, he chose to marry her when she created the perfect picture with his kids.  

            Part of Don’s problem is that he wants contradictory things in his partner–a woman who makes a home for him, but who’s also got her own vital interests and passions that, somehow, never interfere with his needs and wants.

            Sigh.  Unfortunately, I think it’s an accurate reflection even now of a lot of marital dynamics.

        • fnarf

          Except that his financial situation was not just about the $7,500. He was simply not earning enough to cover his expenses. “I’ve been operating at a loss for three years”. He would have had to come back for more $ pretty soon. Unless he was going to get a Christmas bonus every month.

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

      I really was surprised they treated her so badly in the meeting. Well not Pete, because he is a douchecanoe, but the others really did treat her like she was nagging, which is unfortunate, because if she upped and left, they’d be completely lost.

      • formerlyAnon

        But they can’t see that.

        If they do come to accept her as giving valuable advice, I bet they’ll couch it as her being the practical caretaker, the “mom” of the business. And it’ll take time. The guys are used to giving the women instructions, not being instructed or questioned by them.

      • Pinup Ghoul

         …and I imagine that such a plot arc is a very real possibility for next season. I hope they don’t make us wait two years again!

      • Melissa Brogan

         I wasn’t surprised, really. Yes, they granted her a partnership, but I’m not sure they fully realized that meant inviting her to make decisions/participate in discussions beyond the level she’d already been doing as office manager running the meetings. I think in 1967 corporate NY most men couldn’t even fathom being “nagged” by a woman about business matters.

        Remember back in the early ’60s when Cooper’s sister was a deciding partner in selling to the Brits? She came in, heard what Cooper thought over lunch, made a few little quips about Roger, and then voted exactly how Cooper wanted. That is how they are used to women having “power.”

    • Mariah Warnock-Graham

       In my MM universe, Bert is the star of the show. I would totally watch a buddy show of Bert and Roger. Prequel!

  • NDC_IPCentral

    Wonderf

    • Liz French

      It is, it is! What a lovely surprise for this Sunday morning WNYC listener–TOM!

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

      Good to “see” you, NDC. Trust you’re doing well?

      • TheDivineMissAnn

         ^^this.  I was pleasantly surprised to see your post.  I love your insights!  Hope you are on the upswing.

      • NDC_IPCentral

         Sara and Miss M -  Thanks so much for asking.  I’m doing quite well, indeed.  I had my “Big Open” surgery on May 25, and my gyn-oncologist surgeon was very pleased with the outcome, which was borne out by the pathology report: no visible residual tumors in the organs removed or in the cavity wash.  Very happy-making results!  I was discharged from that excellent Manhattan hospital on 5th Avenue in the 90s on May 30 and am recup-ing at home on medical leave from IP Central.  I have a long, long scar that runs from above the navel to down dere – it’s healing; it’s itchy!

        Chemo should resume for me at the end of this week, and I expect it will pack an extra wallop given my post-abdominal surgery state, and my 20 lb weight loss since this all began in January (i have quite the skinny, gosling-hair appearance of a chemo patient!).  But I’m eating well and doing a lot of walking as my exercise, which is good, too.  I am a testament to being in good health, other than that pesky cancer – no other underlying conditions undermined my body’s ability to handle both the first chemo and also the operation.  I’ll be seeing my primary care physician/oncologist tomorrow afternoon (he’s just returned from a well-deserved vacation), and I know he’ll be very pleased.

        All the best,

        NDC (a loyal WNYC Producers Circle member, too, BTW, Liz French!)

        • EveEve

          NDC, great news!  You don’t sound nearly bitter enough to be a bitter kitten.

          • NDC_IPCentral

             EveEve – I’m just so bone-deep grateful for having such talented and caring (yes! very compassionate) physicians orchestrating my treatment.  No cause for bitterness, at least insofar as the current situation is concerned.  Going through this crisis is one heck of an opportunity to recalibrate one’s values.  I’m sure not sweating the small stuff any more.

        • formerlyAnon

           What FANTASTIC news. I had been thinking that you’ve been quiet because you’d had the surgery & were recuperating & it’s wonderful to know that the news was good. Hope the next chemo siege is ameliorated by the fact that you’re on leave and can devote all your energies to resting & building yourself up.

        • charlotte

          I just thought of you today because you’d been quiet for a while. So glad you’re doing better!

  • TropiCarla

    Luv you guys! 
    It is also hysterical that I’ve been proselytizing my in-laws so much about your recaps and ‘Style’ posts, that when Joan powered through the screen in her red dress, they turned to me and asked, “What does that red dress mean, Carla? What would your blog guys, say?”

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

      What did you tell them? :) I think red is a nod to Joan.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tuckeramy Amy Tucker

       Hilarious! My husband does the same thing – “What did that blog those two guys write say?”

    • fnarf

      Wasn’t Ginsburg wearing a red sportscoat too? He’s trying to do a “power color” but getting it all wrong. He’ll never fit in with these lunatic ad people no matter how hard he tries. He may be unpleasant in his own way but he’s not a buttoned-up freak like Don, Pete, etc.

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

        All I noticed was the stain on his shirt. :)

  • sarahjane1912

    Fantastic recap as usual! Thanks, guys.

    I just want to add some of my own ‘magical moments’:

    * Don’s exit from the TVC set when that fantastic opening to ‘You Only Live Twice’ tinkles away before Nancy Sinatra launches into the lyrics. Sublime. And the fact that Don ordered an Old-Fashioned [just his drink from his philandering days].

    * I thought Megan was more of a Snow White character [any symbolism in that? Still thinking about it!] but oh wow: she looks stunning on film. The camera — on her showreel — LOVED her. I can’t believe she’ll be sticking with trying to make it on the stage if she attracts the sort of interest she should after her ad goes national.

    * Roger asking Marie: “What’s Regina?” using the, ahem, anatomical pronunciation. He may be foolish and carefree and doing LSD naked at the end, but I do hope he never changes. 

    * Also ADORED the shot of Joan and the boys on the SDC [is that what it is now?] new floor. Joan had her leg ‘cocked’ just perfectly, maintaining her femininity while still in control, and in the centre in a gorgeous power colour. One’s eyes are drawn to her. Can’t wait for the Style notes.

    * I kinda liked how Megan took the job from her friend. Seemed mean, but hey, she HAS to work. Am also glad her crying jag over her non-career was shortlived. Also agree that now that she’s got wings to fly, she may well leave Don for dust. But knowing Don, he’ll leave her first. And I’d put money on him WANTING to get caught, bringing the situation to a head, and then blaming HER for not being there for him [to wit: he has to look for love elsewhere]. 

    * Joanie as nagging wife: Oh wow. Good call. Love that she doesn’t take any of their sh!t though and hope that continues.

    I know this was a piecemeal contribution; can’t wait for all the BK comments. My favourite time of the week. :-)

    • boleyn28

      Megan doesnt Have to work, her friends do though. She should just admit she wants to be famous and its not about the art as she tried to make it seem like before, its about being famous.

      • sarahjane1912

        Financially — of course! — she doesn’t ‘have’ to work. That said, it’s all that has been propelling her since she left the agency. The alcoholic self-pitying funk into which she slipped is indicative of that even though it barely lasted a day. 

        I think Megan is desperate to prove herself as an actress even if it’s in a television commercial; I don’t think she can be dismissed as someone who just wants to be famous when she’s gone for quite a few jobs and seems happy to do anything just to get her foot in the door. Time will tell, obviously, but I haven’t seen evidence of Megan doing it for the fame as yet.

      • Aurumgirl

        It’s always about being famous–there’s no point to the art you create as an artist if it remains unseen.

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          For some perhaps but definitely not for all.  It’s about the work itself and, hopefully, the respect of your peers.

        • formerlyAnon

           I’d say that one always wants an audience – but for many it doesn’t have to be an audience on such a large scale that it equates to “fame.”

          Though perhaps I am quibbling.

        • boleyn28

          We live in a fame obsessed culture today, there was more to being an artistic actress in those days vs. now. In fact ask a kid what they want to be and usually it “Famous!” Not actress or singer, its all about fame today.

          • Sweetbetty

             Yes, I’m concerned with my 15 y.o. grandson.  When I ask him about his plans for the future he says he’s going to be a rock star (he and his friends have a band they started last year).  When I gently suggest a Plan B he won’t even consider it; he’s that sure he’ll succeed as a rock star.

    • FayeMac

      The outfit Megan is wearing in the commercial looks very similiar to the one Suzanne, Sally’s teacher, was wearing during the Maypole scene a few seasons back.

    • bluefish

      Joanie as nagging, practical wife in the staff meeting, looking to Lane’s (sob!) empty chair — and then Joanie as total snooty, nasty witch in the elevator scene with Harry.  The shot of the  partners looking out the windows, with Joanie leading the charge, felt like some trippy combo of something out of The Fountainhead and Gunfight at the Okay Corrall.  And, in more heavy symbolism to come, looks as though we are moving away from this season’s elevator fixation to a possible staircase compulsion.  “”This will be the staircase,”  pronounceth the Goddess Joan as the spot is marked with a big red X.  Have to love Weiner and Company.  Operatic.

    • Aurumgirl

      Regina IS pronounced “Rej-eye-na” here in Canada, it’s not anatomical, it’s English as opposed to Latin.  It’s the capital of Saskatchewan. 
      Roger’s funny because of that ole stereotype of Americans being clueless about geography everywhere, even if the place they don’t know is right next door.  

      • LesYeuxHiboux

         I only know about Regina because of the song “Last Saskatchewan Pirate”, but hey. I ‘m an American (from CA, no less) who knows more than three Canadian provinces. Holla!

        • boleyn28

          Its funny that in Canada we have to learn all about the States, the capitol cities, even the mountain ranges but in the U.S. they dont teach about anywhere else but the U.S. I wonder why that is? It really doesnt do anyone any good not knowing about all of North America : )

          • LesYeuxHiboux

             Well that’s flat out not true. We did states and capitals in 5th grade and countries and capitals in 6th! We used to focus on European countries and now they are crazy for the Middle East/Islam in schools. I studied the five pillars of Islam four years in row! We actually weren’t allowed to use Canada/Mexico on our country I.D. test because it was considered a given. I learned most of what I know about it from a roadtrip to Alaska and college French courses…and watching Degrassi. 

            Thinking about it the focus is definitely more on culture/origins/ideals of countries than geographical location and major exports. At least in the district I attended and the ones I’ve worked with since.

          • Sweetbetty

             I’ve been out of school for over 45 years but we were taught world geography from the very start, not just US.  But I know a lot of things have changed since then.

        • Kylara7

          I love that song :)  

      • greenwich_matron

        I am reluctant to admit this, but I was born in Montreal but we moved to the States and I went to U.S. schools. I never heard of Regina before I moved to T.O. for grad school. It really never just never came up. To really humiliate myself, my mom was born in Saskatchewan (although there is no town listed on here birth certificate).

        • Aurumgirl

          So strange there is no listed town! I really don’t think anyone would know about Regina unless they were taught to know (and we were taught to know it in Geography, so there you are). On the other hand, when I was in grade 3 we had a teacher who’d just arrived from Scotland, so every time we had a Geography lesson of any kind, it was always focused on Dundee Scotland, which was her home town. I’d never heard of such a place and since we didn’t learn about any other towns in Scotland, I’d never be able to tell you about any of them, either (except for probably Edinburgh). It’s what you become exposed to that stays with you.

      • Susan Stella Floyd

        I’m from Texas, lived in Europe for four years, consider myself comparatively well informed on geography, and had also never heard of Regina, Saskatchewan.  I think that, in addition to our general myopia, Americans are especially dismissive of Canada.  It’s just… a trope.  And kind of a point of pride. Weird, no?  Personally, I wish I could move up there and live in a civilized country with a functioning health care system.

        • Aurumgirl

          Yes, but, we do have a cretin for a prime minister now. An evil cretin, like Dubya but with Macchiavelli’s half with brother propelling him. Once I despaired about the way that cliche about Americans not knowing Canada persisted, but someone told me not to take it personally, because often, the difficulty with geography wasn’t limited to whatever’s in Canada. People often didn’t know much about their own states, or other states, as well. But I think that’s changed quite a bit now.

    • KittenBritches

      I like how apropos “You Only Live Twice” is for a man who has led two different lives– first as Dick Whitman, and now as Don Draper.

  • Violina23

    I don’t think Peggy will land Virginia Slims. Even as the clear feminist heroine of the show, the writers have thusfar been smart enough not to depict her as perfect. I think she will be successful, no doubt, but it won’t be smooth sailing, and frankly, that would be somewhat boring to watch. Seeing her deal with a kind of crushing professional disappointment, not just as a by-product of her being a woman, would make for a really great arc next season.  Perhaps it might even be the catalyst to bring her back to SCDP…

    • Browsery

      Al the clear feminist heroine, it would be appropriate for her to lose Virginia Slims because the slogan “You’ve come a long way, baby” isn’t very feminist.  It’s a condescending effort to expand the market of a terrible product.

      • http://twitter.com/maschultz Margaret Schultz

        I disagree. The tag line “you’ve come a long way baby” was feminist FOR THE TIME. One thing about this show, you have to think of things in context, and that was viewed as a pro-feminist ad campaign at the time. 

        The ads showed women wearing mod clothing, without men around them. It indicated that women were in control of their lives. Whether it be what cig they chose to smoke, or the career they chose, or whatever. That was the message. THOSE women smoked Virginia Slims. 

        Sure it was advertising, but it was an ad aimed at feminists. 

        • Indovina

          I realize that this particular part of the conversation isn’t exactly fresh and on-going, but I felt compelled to comment:

          I have to disagree, at least in part (inasmuch as the context of the show itself is concerned, though, less so). Firstly, I think the argument that it was “feminist for the time” doesn’t really hold. Feminist thought in 1968, sadly, is by and large still considered radical today: in any case, what was feminist then is feminist now, though there have been expansions upon and reevaluations of underlying feminist theory in decades since. Secondly, I think when we say it “was viewed as pro-feminist”, we have to ask, “By whom?” The answer here, I submit, is not “by feminists” (either now or in 1968).

          You are absolutely right, however, that perceptions of that iconic advertising campaign and product in 1968 were completely different from perceptions now.  To a general audience in 1968, it was about the modern independent liberated woman. And, again you’re right, it would be a mistake to view the campaign through a modern lens when talking about the motivations of an individual in 1968. The message of the advertising campaign absolutely was about “THOSE women” – the problem was that neither the individuals behind the campaign nor the average person, woman or man, truly understood what was happening or knew who “THOSE women” were.

          The ads were not the product of an underlying theoretical framework and critique of society’s gendered power structure, nor were they even in line with such in a meaningful way. They were not feminist. Nor were they really targeted at feminists, sensu stricto. Rather, it was predominantly at women who were participants in the great social changes of the 60s, and beneficiaries thereof, but in a piecemeal, non-committal sort of way (please note, I don’t mean that disparagingly) – or, at least, those who wished to be them. The ads were merely recognition of a new market opportunity and appropriation by a corporation of an ideal to market a product by marketing a lifestyle – it was a fashion statement, as they say.

          Incidentally, the same tactics are used today in marketing cigarettes to women in the developing world.

          But, as far as the show itself is concerned, none of this is relevant. Peggy is not a feminist, per se, but rather more a fellow traveller, and almost accidentally so.  She has no commitment to restructuring gender relations in a systematic way, but faces issues one by one as they arise in her life, each in an isolated manner. She understands, in many ways, that society is changing, and takes pride in her own successes, yet she is, in essence, just trying to live her own life as she wishes to live it. In other words, she is exactly the same person the advertisements were targetting in the first place. So, her involvement in their creation would make perfect sense.

        • PleaseLearnToSpell

          I remember the ads as featuring women in 1920s garb, the point being that women of today (1960s) had come a long way since those flapper days.  Or was the early picture of a suffragette?  Am I hallucinating?  

          Forgive the monker.  It was created on a particularly frustrating day, and now I can’t seem to change it.

    • sarahjane1912

      I’d be surprised if Peggy was credited with the Long Way Baby line too. That said, I really REALLY hope she doesn’t have to go scuttling back to SCD with her tail between her legs because of a professional disappointment [aka she failed at something or didn't measure up or was unhappy there or ... blah-blah-blah] because she’d been professionally disappointed at her old agency for quite some time and I just don’t think she deserves to be slammed in this way.

      She is in control in her new job, taking everything that appears on her desk, bossing around juniors, rocking her power suit, looking sleek and happy and put-together … I want her to succeed. I want her to succeed the MOST. :-)

      • Violina23

        Yeah, I agree:  Peggy’s been depicted as a character who has gained the confidence and know-how to succeed outside of the world of Don Draper.   I’m hoping the arc takes her through a legitimate disappointment, maybe with some struggles along the way, but coming out with more expertise than before which may make her suitable to come back to SCDP in a big way — perhaps she takes over Don’s job as head of Creative?   Bring the story of Peggy full circle. 

      • TheDivineMissAnn

         Maybe they’ll be a merger or takeover and Peggy will emerge as a partner at SCD.

      • alula_auburn

        This.  If they specifically set Peggy up as “failing” at the Virginia Slim sad, it comes way too close to saying, in story terms, that she never should have left SCDP, which in story terms says that she isn’t “good enough” on her own.  (Such an occurrence wouldn’t necessarily mean that in real life, but in stories, things happen when they do for reasons.)  Personally, I felt like watching her struggle through Heinz was quite enough of that.

    • makeityourself

      I’m hoping for much more for my Peggy.  I think she will become a powerhouse creative director and begin to compete head-on with her former mentor for new business.  It also appeared last night that she is desperate for a team of copywriters, so I’m hoping she lures Stan and Ginsberg over as well.  That’s the story arc I’m looking forward to — it will be a doozy.  Don really won’t know what to do with himself when his protege gives him a run for his money.

      • formerlyAnon

         Maybe this. I have several other story lines in my head, all incestuously re-combining Peggy with at least some of her former co-workers, all of which allow her to grow to be able to really feel, in her gut, that she can treat with Don as an unequivocal equal. I think that will take some time and experience.

        • Flooby

          I can see her poaching Stan- he for one definitely misses Peggy.  Ginsberg was acting (and looking) like a loon in this episode and as Stan said, he’s bored with that dynamic.  

      • SheenaRamone

        The clients weren’t the only ones missing Peggy. Stan and Ginsberg were the most downtrodden we’ve seen them all season. They’ve lost, respectively, their Office Wife and Office Mom. 

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

          So to Ken, she’s…. Office Sister? 

    • CozyCat

      Tobacco accounts have been a big deal since the very first epidsode.  In fact, the last scene at the bar reminded me of Don’s impromtu “focus group” with the black waiter about brand loyalty.  Then, of course, there’s been the Lucky Strikes saga, and Don’s FU to the tobacco industry.  Now, independence is represented by a pitch for a woman’t cigarrette (isn’t it a little early for the “long way baby” tagline?  I thougth that came out in the 70s?)

      • another_laura

        Virginia Slims is pre-1970.  

      • Melissa Brogan

         Wikipedia claims “You’ve come a long way, baby” was introduced in 1968. Makes sense they’d give it to her in 2nd quarter of ’67 to work on. If Peggy lands the account, it will take her time to work up the campaign, film commercials, etc. just in time for a ’68 launch.

  • TankeaRae

    I don’t think Pete’s arc wrapped up nicely at all; more like ironically. 

    Pete has ALWAYS been so busy wanting MORE he never bothered to think about how he actually felt about anything. It isn’t until Beth says something to the effect of “we’re the same” that it even occurs to him that he’s depressed (or however you would have described it 1967). He gets things he wants, but they don’t make him happy. And in the end, he gets the apartment he wants…but now he knows it doesn’t change the fact that he’s unhappy. He’s not content with the suburbs, he’s not content with a good career and a superficially happy life…he’s not content with ANYTHING. The difference is now he’s admitted it to himself. 

    • Browsery

      Pete is wonderful at articulating his idealized notion of truth, but he gets offended and hurt by real truth.  This comes out in his scenes with women.  There was Beth, and the scene in which he rhapsodizes with Peggy about how alike THEY are until she floors him with the news of her pregnancy and decision to give up the baby for adoption.

    • Violina23

      Maybe, but instead of healing the big “wound”, he’s going to accept Trudy’s offer for a bigger band-aid.  I hope they don’t draw out Pete’s downward spiral for all of next season.  I get that he’s Don Draper 2.0 in a lot of ways (*hammer* theme alert! *hammer*) but I’d like to see Pete recognize how much Trudy IS good for him (in start contrast to how bad Betty/Don were for each other)

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

        I agree. I was wondering by the end of the episode if he even wanted the apartment anymore. Then she offered. But it’s just as well; he can’t ride the train anymore.

        But maybe this will help things? Time alone in the city might make him appreciate his family on the weekends. Or not..

      • 3hares

        I think he has recognized how she is good for him. Now he’s depressed, but he has recognized that she makes him a better man in the past.

    • bluefish

      I’m happy for Trudy on the apartment score.  Seems to me that she’s ready to have Pete stay away and let her have the life she wants without him hanging around miserable seven nights a week.  She is smart to allow him to have what he thinks he wants–and to give herself the option of not having to cope with him.  Soon as he has his faux bacholor pad, it will mean little to him.  The argument with the train conductor was a real highlight for me.  Loved it.

      • Violina23

        I suppose it is smart if that is the kind of marriage that she wants — where her husband is essentially MIA during the week, and shows up on weekends to spend time with her and her child. That kind of double-life thing doesn’t appeal to me, but I can’t say whether or not it could work for some people. 

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

        That’s a good way to look at it- a power move by Trudy. He’s miserable and making her and Tammy miserable. But now at least she’ll have the upper hand.  

        • EveEve

          I hope Trudy will get a story arc of her own next season.  Malcontent weasley husband takes apartment in the city, leaving sassy suburban house-wife to kick up her heels.

        • formerlyAnon

          She’ll only have the upper hand if she recognizes she has it and uses it. Otherwise she’s just being the accommodating and understanding wife.

          That said, a “part time” living together arrangement seems to work for several people I know, mostly in marriages where one or both partners are difficult to live with. (and that would be Pete, I’d say).

          And unless she’s ready to re-marry, at the time, if she & hubby are not happy together, the best life she can have is to have an acknowledged marriage and his financial contribution but not have to deal with his day-to-day presence.  A single woman with a young baby didn’t fit into the social world of the time very well (it really WAS very different from today), and she doesn’t seem to have any career ambitions right now other than motherhood. 

          • greenwich_matron

            I agree. It’s pretty much Betty’s situation all over again, and the societal changes happening didn’t favor young mothers.

      • aesteve212

         It makes me nervous though, because I think Pete will feel unsupported emotionally by Trudy. And then whine when he sees her on the weekends that she doesn’t understand the pressure he is under during the week.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      I like that we now know that Pete’s explains his various black eyes and bruises to Trudy is that he had yet another car accident instead of that he pissed off someone yet again.  

      Although I did think Pete was justified in hitting Beth’s husband.  I did feel sorry for Beth and her husband is a real bastard.

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

      ugh, I love your comment!! Pete is one of my favorite characters and I feel he’s so misunderstood. But this is exactly how I feel about him. Sure, people don’t need to like him, and he gives people plenty of reasons not to, but to me it’s interesting to see how he struggles with his demons.  

  • MissAnnieRN

    This is not a substantive comment, because I really don’t think I can add anything to the discussion.  

    What am I going to do without 2 of the best theme songs in TV history every Sunday night?  I think I will have to put them on my iPod or something.  

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

      The song at the end was really great!

    • Call me Bee

      I found the Mad Men Soundtrack CD at Amazon and it is now on my iPhone.  Fab bunch of songs, including the excellent theme song. 

  • bxbourgie

    Peggy’s brand new power color:  RED and I LOVE it.  I almost screamed when we saw her new dress in her new office!  Between her and Joanie’s red silhouette in the middle of the partners on the new floor, was heaven!  Red dresses for everyone!  

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=664429801 Kate Clausen

       Megan’s in red, too, at the end, in her fairy tale costume.

      • bxbourgie

        Was she?  I think most times I block Megan out, so I missed that.  I’m so over Megan.  It’s looking like Don is too.  But I’ll rewatch of course, so I can catch that. 

      • Pinup Ghoul

          All three ladies were wearing mostly bright red, with gold detailing this episode! I love it!

    • Violina23

      Did her first outfit in the office remind anyone else of Hillary Clinton? 
      (It wasn’t very flattering, but boy did it exude “I’m in charge, don’t mess with me”)

      • bxbourgie

        It did, although I don’t think Hillary is a red kinda gal, she’s usually pretty muted.  If Peggy’s dress was a pantsuit then we’d really be getting Hillary Clinton there.  

        • CozyCat

          Part of the power of clothing is that different people use it to accomplish different goals.  A woman who wants to appear more powerful may wear a “power color” like red.  Hillary (who I love, by the way) is an obviously intelligent, strong, confident woman who got an early rep as being “abrasive.”  Ever since, she’s tried to soften her image with more femine colors.  (As for pantsuits–they are so freaking practical and thank god they have become acceptable conservative work wear for women!)

    • MImi Taylor

       I think Peggy’s suit was actually Chanel or “channeling” Chanel. She’s been able to kick up her wardrobe a notch at Chauogh.  Joanie was also in Red when they were viewing the new space…so it seems Red as the power color for all 3 was quite deliberate. 

    • Pinup Ghoul

       I think I may buy a red dress tomorrow.

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

    Great recap, gentlemen.
    Here’s my two cents on the Megan-Don dynamic:

    Marie gave Don a bit of advice, something like, “Nurse her through this defeat, and you will have the life you want.” 
    I took that as, “Coddle her, show her you care (even if you have to pretend), and she will drop the career to be the perfect housewife.” She was assuming that was the life Don wanted. 
    But obviously, that’s not the life Don wants. So he took her advice, but with his own twist.

    And I don’t necessarily think he was blown away by her reel. If anything he might have begun to see her the way Sally (and probably most viewers) sees her: able to turn her emotions on and off like a switch. Maybe if he thinks she’s been playing him, he will find it easier to live “the life he wants” without guilt.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HNGRR454HLHWUKQGAHA2KJJ7NY TeresaM

      I totally agree with you. I don’t think Don is threatened with the idea of Megan “making it” as as actor. Getting her that commercial is another example of Don controlling the career paths (or lack thereof) of the women around him.

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

       Since when does Sally view Megan like that?  She said “are you gonna make yourself cry?” when she was being a brat about Megan not telling her about Anna, but every single other scene we’ve seen of the two of them, including last week’s, has shown them to get along really well.

    • juliamargaret

      I agree about the reel. At first,he’s smiling, but then,after a particularly tender look that Megan portrays, his face falls slightly. Why? I think he’s realizing that some of the loving looks that he thought were purely for him are something Megan CAN turn on and off. I think he starts to believe that Megan may have been manipulating or deceiving him. I’m not saying that she’s done those things, but I think a seed of doubt has been placed in Son’s mind now.

  • boleyn28

    So funny when Roger asks…..”What is Regina?”…..
                                                                                    Typical American arrogance and lack of knowledge about Canada. lol.

    • schadenfreudelicious

      as a Canadian i laughed out loud, course he really doesn’t want to know does he? ;)

      • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

         Uh, dumb American here… what IS Regina? Sorry!

        • schadenfreudelicious

          Capital city of the Province of Saskatchewan :)

          • Joe Johnson

             Well, yes, but why did Roger ask that question? I think he was reacting to something Marie said in French that sounded to him like “regina.” I don’t think that was the literal word Marie said, though, and I don’t think Roger would randomly be asking about a city in the Canadian Prairies. I’ll have to watch it again.

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

            Marie mentioned Regina in French.

          • sarahjane1912

            As I pointed out below: I’m fairly certain Roger only raised the word because it sounded like ‘vagina’. :-)

          • boleyn28

            yes, that was the literal word she said. she was asking her husband how it is in Regina.

          • AZU403

            And that IS how it is pronounced up there.

          • schadenfreudelicious

            it should be noted that “Regina” means reigning Queen as and a Commonwealth country we have many such places named in honor of British monarchs etc, and yes it does rhyme with vagina :)

          • schadenfreudelicious

            Marie was pretending to ask her husband how his lecture went in Regina, he must have travelled there to present a lecture or paper at the university.

          • Susan Stella Floyd

            Apparently, that university was a hotbed of radical politics at the time.  So it makes sense.

        • schadenfreudelicious

          Capital city of the Province of Saskatchewan :)

    • sarahjane1912

      I didn’t see it that way at all. I think he latched onto the word ‘Regina’ because of its pronunciation alone; it matters/mattered neither here nor there whether he knows where it is, only that it sounds like ‘Vagina’. Good ol’ Roger Rabbit trying to make the conversation sexual and suitable to his purposes. ;-)

      • schadenfreudelicious

        agreed, i think it was all about it sounding like “vagina”, Roger does love a good double entendre..

      • Sweetbetty

         If an American saw the word written most would pronounce it “Re-gee-na”, a pretty common name for girls when I was growing up.  Since the European pronunciation does rhyme with a female body part (remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry couldn’t remember the girl’s name?), Roger, being Roger, definitely picked up on that one word out of all that Marie said in French.

        • http://twitter.com/urbantravelsLA Anne Boyd

          “Regina” rhymes-with-vagina is the original Latin pronunciation, as we all giggled about in high school Latin class.  But the really uncontrollable giggling starts when you learn the word for “sheath” (i.e., the kind you keep a sword in) – which actually *is* “Vagina”. 

          It gets even better when you have to say it out loud, because classical Latin is conventionally spoken with a “w” sound for “v”, so the Latin word “vagina” is actually pronounced “wagina.” 

    • LesYeuxHiboux

       Can you name all fifty states and their capitals? This American can. Bonus points for territories!

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

        Thanks to the song “Fifty Nifty United States,” I can rattle off the 50 states in alphabetical order inside of a minute.  My capitals need work.

        Just tested myself on the Canadian provinces and came so close.  I missed New Brunswick and split Newfoundland and Labrador into two. *sigh*

        • boleyn28

          Dont forget the territories as well, they count : )

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

            Yeah, but I need them put to music. ;-)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

    So much of this finale characterized “classic Mad Men” to me. Don’s long, dark walk away from the Butler Shoes set and the partners touring the new office space — all beautifully filmed and just spoke volumes of what’s to come in season 6. I also think your assessment regarding Don’s viewing of Megan’s reel is spot on. At first, I was caught up in the feeling that he was caving to Megan’s desperate plea for a little inside help in getting the part. But the more I thought about it, why the hell *shouldn’t* she ask Don for help? He had no problem handing her a copywriting career and encouraging her to use her role as the boss’s wife to get out of work obligations. This particular request for help just so happened to have the potential for placing Megan in a position well outside of his control.  

    “Luminous” is certainly the right word to describe Megan’s look in that reel, too — she really emanates all kinds of dark-tressed French pop songstress vibe.

    • Jodie_S

      Maybe it’s expected on a first screen test, but I thought she looked painfully self-conscious.  Maybe she was trying to show a range of emotions, but it also looked like her sadness was right under the surface of her joy.  He seems to love her enough to let her go, but in so doing he’s also sacrificed himself, or at least his current conception of himself, along with his ideal image of her.

      • makeityourself

        I thought she looked self-conscious too.  Perhaps I dislike the character, so I’m putting that feeling onto her.  You know, its when you really adore someone who isn’t that good looking, but the more you love him or her, the more beautiful they become.  Works in reverse too.  I wondered about Don’s thoughts as he watched the screen test.  Maybe “Yes, I think I’ll help her out because there is no way she’s going to get work on her own.”  Obviously I’m in the minority here.

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

          But do we know how much he helped her out?  Did he actually tell the clients to use her, or did he just put her materials in the pool with everybody else’s?

          • makeityourself

            Well, he already told her that the execs from his office would be at the casting, so his putting her resume into the pool pretty much guaranteed her the job.
            Sent from my iPad

        • boleyn28

          I think u r in the majority now, the more I read the more comments about disliking the Megan character I see : )

      • CozyCat

        It was an interesting contrast to Betty’s brief modeling gig for Pepsi.  When Don looked at Betty’s pictures, he (and we) knew she was a terrible model.  But Meghan came off pretty well on film.  (although I think some of the luminous quality was due to the soft focus in which it was shot)

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

          Maybe I’m in the minority on this, but I never felt like Betty appeared to be a terrible model. She was modeling for some rather corny Norman Rockwell styled Pepsi ads, so she did fairly well considering the material. I felt like the context around why she got the gig in the first place was what lent such a sad, pathetic air to it all.

          • LesYeuxHiboux

            I agree, Betty perfectly embodied that type of Coca-Cola image. It’s just that the job wasn’t really about her.

        • Mariah Warnock-Graham

           I think that’s the audience seeing both situations though Don’s eyes. And timing. Late 50s stills v. mid-60s film. Totally different. I think the audience is meant to remember how much Don sabotaged Betty, and how much he supports Megan. (And you’ll remember that, unlike Megan, Betty had an actual career on her own merits. In this way, Betty was actually far more independent and living up to the story Don tells himself about success in America.) Two different women who are not so different from each other, but being handled differently by Don.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

        She certainly seemed self-conscious on film, but in that sweetly disarming girl-next-door sense. I’m not particularly a Megan fan, but this struck me as a little endearing.

      • aquamarine17

        I agree with “painfully self-conscious.” I think Don had several emotions while watching the reel. I don’t believe he is impressed by show business or finds the process actors go through exciting. 

        • gokobuta

           He sure loves his movies though.

          He must have felt a little hurt to see that Megan was going by her maiden name in her screen test. Professionally, she was prepared to pretend he didn’t exist.

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

             That seems unfair.  Using your maiden name or a stage name is hardly unusual for actresses and never has been unusual; it has nothing to do with pretending your husband doesn’t exist.  Moreover, Megan *assured* him that she would use Calvet earlier in the episode when he objected to putting her name in for the client.  He didn’t seem hurt by it.

      • Sweetbetty

         I don’t know much about screen tests but I was surprised that there was no audio.  Wouldn’t potential employers want to know what she sounds like too?  It just seemed incredibly amateurishly made to me; I hope she didn’t pay too much for it.l

        • boleyn28

          thats why no one was ineterested in her and it was sent back,lol : )

          • Sweetbetty

             Megan seemed to think that since just a week had passed that they hadn’t actually sent it to anyone to view.  And this may be because I’m looking at it through 2012 eyes, but would there have been only the one reel?  Today if a similar CD had been made I’m sure there would have been a dozen of them to send out but back then a small film reel was probably rather more expensive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evie.michael Evie Michael

    I just wanted to say how much I’ve appreciated your recaps. You really get to the heart of each episode and the commentary is intelligent.
    When I was watching, I kept thinking “what will TLo say about Joan’s blue “suit” dress and Peggy’s new power color?” :-)

    Also, I thought the camera’s pan away from Megan’s fairytale shoot to Don at the bar was really lovely and poignant. 

  • shopgirl716

    You’ve mentioned before that you believe Don will end up in California by the end of the show.  It has occurred to me this season that Don could end up out there because of Megan’s career, as implausible as it seems.  It would be an interesting turn of events if he ended up following Megan for her career.  SCDP branch in LA?  Don and Harry Crane, that would be really funny.

    • Maggie_Mae

      While watching Megan’s reel with Don, I was struck by her beauty.  Of course, we still don’t know if she can act–that involves talking!  But she might do quite well in the ad–Don wouldn’t suggest her if he thought she’d hurt the campaign. So, maybe she’ll get jobs out on the West Coast. Her talents might not be suited for the serious world of the NY stage, but TV isn’t that picky! (Yes, I know there’s great acting on TV now; back then, not so much. Megan in a mini on Star Trek….)  

      For years, we’ve been seeing Don trapped in his marital death spiral, Don as the drunken divorcee & Don on his honeymoon. The Don we saw at the end was the original guy who’d just walk into a room & attract the female gaze.  Whether or not he availed himself of that particular offer, he’s got the power back. Next season, I’d just as soon see him channel that power into work; the honeymoon may be over but the marriage isn’t. 

      I’m sure Marie regards Roger as a dalliance, but part of me would love to see Don meet his New Stepfather In Law!  And Sally would get a Step-Step Grandpa…..

      • alula_auburn

        Heh, I also found myself thinking “beautiful, luminous–but that isn’t necessarily a reflection of her ACTING.”  (Also, she looks particularly radiant in black and white–which for this show I kind of can’t help wondering if its a meta-statement, particularly the way she sort of disappeared in her “liquid skin” dress.)

        It also seemed a little heavy handed that there were two references, visually at least, to Don not really liking that apparently Megan acts as Megan Calvet, not Megan Draper.  Which, kind of like the Boston try-outs, sits kind of awkwardly between contrived writing and a comment on the marriage.

  • Jennifer Coleman

    Perfectly, perfectly on point, Tlo!
    I’m a little in shock – the season is finished and I barely got back in the swing of it being on again. Now, back to the interminable waiting…

    I agree that Don was playing out a fantasy by having Megan work in the office with him, but I think also he was trying to mitigate his fear that he would stray – ‘If she’s with me all the time, then my ‘rottenness’ will stay hidden because I feel so good when she’s with me’. But in the end, she’s a person, not an actress playing a role he cast. He took one half step ahead by letting her follow her dream without too much outward fight, but one full step back, by presumably falling into his old patterns. She’ll most likely be off to a fabulous Hollywood career by the time the show is back.

    Megan’s mom, while bitter as all get out, did have some sage advice about Megan not really being in the marriage to support her husband, but her delivery was just plain mean. Kind of in the same style as Henry’s mom to Sally.

    Super cool to see Peggy on par with Don & meeting in his (and now her) place of inspiration.

    Pete?…..feh.

  • boleyn28

    No other girl stood a chance for the commercial, who would have the balls to turn down their bosses wife or not encourage the clients for her, really was wrong of Megan to use Don like that. Every career boost she has had was given to her not earned. There is nothing for her to be proud of.

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

      And if she’s discovered and has some success, she won’t be able to own it completely. 

      • barbarasingleterry

        Sort of like the Jaguar account.  They will never know if they got the account due to their creative work or because of Joan…

    • Violina23

      But, to play devil’s advocate — so many “lucky breaks” in life that get people ahead in various fields often come from being in the right place at the right time, and exercising the connections you have. Of course talent and skill need to be there to back it up, but utilizing people you know to get your foot in the door is not the most absurd thing in the world to me. 

    • LesYeuxHiboux

       Though he used Dr. Faye in a similar fashion, and she got thrown over for Megan. A little karma? The user married a user.

    • Jennifer Coleman

      But the acting world is cut-throat. Megan didn’t do a great thing, but it didn’t occur to her to do it until her friend wanted her to use her influence with Don, which was pretty presumptuous. I seriously doubt she would feel conflicted about how she got the role, nor should she. She might’ve burned that friendship, but friends compete against each other all the time for roles-her friend should’ve been wary of talking up the role to another ‘European-type’ in the first place.

  • http://twitter.com/AbbottRabbit AbbottRabbit

    I decided last night that if you ranked the episodes and/or seasons of this show in terms of the sheer number of times Pete gets punched in the face, then this has been the best season EVER. And the finale alone was TWICE as good as any other episode in the show’s history. 

    (it may be grasping, but Pete getting punched in the face is one hell of a delicious straw to hold onto). 

    • http://bristlesage.livejournal.com/ bristlesage

       I said last night that if someone could cut together all the instances of Pete getting punched and Joffrey from Game of Thrones getting slapped, I would watch it all the time.

      • http://twitter.com/AbbottRabbit AbbottRabbit

        Oh my god. I would make it my screen saver and then let my computer go to sleep all the time so I could just sit and watch it. Someone with tech skills — make this happen!

      • http://www.fromtracie.com From Tracie

        Yes, please! I would leave that on a constant loop. 

      • http://www.fromtracie.com From Tracie

        Yes, please! I would leave that on a constant loop. 

    • Ms_Flyover

      I find it remarkable that I no longer care enough about Pete or find him interesting enough to even appreciate him getting punched in the face.  And the attempt this week to make him human or vulnerable or whatever was water on me.  Dr. Matt W. – please have Pete die in a tragic car accident and bring  Sal in as head of accounts.  I don’t actually care if it makes any sense, at least I’d care about the character.

      • SMurphy104

         YES! Please, please, please bring Sal back!!! (But he wouldn’t be an account man…Art Director or Creative Director is his department.)

  • schadenfreudelicious

    was i the only one that initially thought the girl in the bar with Don was Megan’s friend?…didn’t she make some comment to Megan about being willing to sleep with anyone (meaning Don?)…..

    • Sobaika

      Yeah, the two women looked strikingly similar.

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

      I thought it was her, but the accent was different. Still wonder if it was the same actress, though. I still have “You Only Live Twice” stuck in my head. 

      • schadenfreudelicious

        yes it was the accent (or lack of it) that cinched it, but for a moment there i thought Megan was about to get some karmic comeuppance for snagging the part from her friend

        • makeityourself

          Totally on track with you BKs.  At first I wondered if Megan’s friend was making a deliberate hit on Don to get back at her friend Megan.  But the lack of an accent cinched it for me to.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

            I was going to comment on that too – I still thought it *was* her, and was trying to sort it out. I wonder why they (Matt W.) deliberately used a girl so similar? It was confusing. 

    • lilibetp

      I thought it was her, too.  And when I first glanced at the woman down the table I thought it was Megan for a second.

      • TheDivineMissAnn

         So did I!  I thought it was much later in the evening and Don and Meghan were playing the “Pick me up in a bar and pretend you don’t know me, honey”  game.  And I, too, thought the girl was Meghan’s friend.

    • MImi Taylor

      Yes! I had to look up the credits and actresses just to make sure. They were def. 2 different actresses.

  • boleyn28

    With all the prep work Lane did before he offed himself, you would think he would remember to take the picture of that girl out of his wallet.

    • Laylalola

      I tend to think it was deliberate — there was a lot about his suicide that was passive-aggressive. 

  • boleyn28

    Lanes wife got herself a trendier new haircut after Lane died. 

    • Glammie

      I wonder if we’ll see her next season.  She’s an odd character, but a  potentially interesting one.

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

      I thought she looked much thinner than in other episodes.  Combined with the haircut, that suggested a Twiggy look to me.

      • Sweetbetty

         I, too, was struck by her thinness when she stood up from her chair.  I never thought she was the least bit heavy before but she looked runway-worthy for today.  Of course, she had been through a lot emotionally so that could explain a weight loss.

    • Melissa Brogan

       I noticed that too! Husband suicides, time for a Vidal Sassoon-esque cut?!

  • http://twitter.com/observacious Kim Z Dale

    Joan being treated like a nagging wife is realistic. Even now women who have a take charge attitude are often viewed as “bitchy” when men behaving the same way are hailed as “assertive.”

    Yes, overall it was a bland episode. Normally, I’m sad when a season ends, but this season left me wanting some time apart from the show. Of course in a few months I’m sure I’ll be jonesing (Joansing?) for more.

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

      I agree about Joan, but maybe more like a babysitter. One of the differences between her and the guys, is she is used to actually working. Someone has to do the mundane stuff while they go out golfing,lunching,drinking with the clients. 

      • LesYeuxHiboux

         Truth, they used to gripe about Lane doing his job, too. Accounting for every paper clip and piece of letterhead.

        • Melissa Brogan

           No one likes the bean counters.

          • greenwich_matron

            But they all want the beans.

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

      Very realistic. When I was the financial manager of an entertainment sales and marketing division, the (male) directors often treated me like a nagging wife when I requested they follow certain protocols – which were company mandated. One actually said “Linda has me pussy whipped”. I just remembered that.

      • CozyCat

        I worked in an office where a group of guys were putting together a big, high profile project.  They made it clear that they didn’t want any “girls” in their club.  Then they announced to everyone that they needed to bring in someone to mange those messy administrative details–and that it should be a woman, because “women are better at administrative work than men.”

        Well, they didn’t get their woman.  And they spent their entire enormous budget before the project was half finished.  It was a big disaster.

        The more things change…

    • formerlyAnon

      I think that if they come to accept Joan’s advice and input – and I think they will – it will be as the glorified “Mom” of the business – that way they can think of her in yet another female caretaking role while the hot shot creatives and account executives do the “real” business of the agency.

  • susu11

    Really excellent recap guys. It really illuminated some of the strong points of the episode/season while helping me to understand why it was ultimately an underwhelming, muddled finale. I hate to beat a dead horse, but I really believe the heavy focus on Megan in this episode and throughout the season hurt the overall narrative of the show. To put her in for the commercial left a particular bad taste in my mouth because we basically had it shoved down our throats that Megan was suppose to be this independent, free spirit but in actuality she’s just as dependent and childish as Betty was with Don. It annoyed me how Don supposedly “fell in love with Megan all over again” (in the words of Weiner in the Inside the Episode recap) while he watched her screen-test and realize he was standing in her way by not helping her. Really? Don was the only thing standing in the way of Megan’s amazing “talent”? Give me a break. He’s financially supporting her and while not the most encouraging vocally, he has tried to give Megan the space to get out there and pursue acting. Marie is a supreme bitch but she had it right- Her daughter is not an artist and she’s ungrateful. Megan hasn’t paid her dues, and tried to blame Don for her lack of progress in the acting world. This might be the only time I was actually rooting for a television character to cheat on his spouse.

    The Beth/Pete story arc also felt clunky and pieced together. I realize that memory loss is common with electro shock therapy but it just felt too convenient that she completely forgot who Pete was, but was still more than happy to listen to a stranger rattle off his unhappy monologue.

    The Peggy scenes were the best of the night. I got a little thrill when I realize she was on the Virgina Slims account. She is really on her way to being Don’s equal now, and likely even surpassing him. (Also that scene when she sees the dogs out her motel window killed me. I’ve had to travel for work in the past and that scene really captured how unglamorous but still fun it is to be on your own)

    Hoping the Season 6 will start off with more of a bang than how this one ended. Just wanted to thank you TLo for your recaps/style posts this season!

    • ChiliP

       That’s really what we were supposed to take from Don watching the screen test?  Wow. I would be more sympathetic to Megan’s “plight” if she had given up acting for Don, and he was truly standing in her way. That is simply not the case.  She abandoned her “dreams” before she even met Don, and  clearly she was not successful in her previous attempts to become an actress.  When she told him Don she wanted to be a copy writer, he gave her the opportunity, even though she previously exhibited no signs of being good at the job. Now, she has changed her mind (again), wants to become an actress, and Don is now responsible for paving the way for her new career? Not to mention she only got the idea to audition for the part from her friend. Megan owes everything she has to someone else. I started this season as a Megan fan, but I roll my eyes in exacerbation pretty much anytime she is on screen now.

      Peggy and Ken are pretty much the only characters I want to succeed going forward. I would put Joan on that list, but I’m worried about the kind of sacrifices she will have to make to get there.

      • sweatpantalternative

        Megan stabbed her friend in the back! It’s a an ugly new layer in her character, I’m surprised it isn’t being discussed more.

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

           I do agree with Megan’s mother, on a certain level, Megan is very ungrateful, like her father.   

        • aquamarine17

          during the scene with Emily in the Draper’s apartment, I thought Emily was so much more alluring than Megan. She really struck me last night as being a beauty. to me, Megan looked sort of dwarfed next to her. Emily has the long hair and a great figure. I always felt that Megan has needed very fitted clothing to look even remotely sensuous. She often looks like a coat hanger to me, with clothes hanging off it. 

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

          Enh. We’ve never even seen this girl before, right? She’s probably only Megan’s “friend” because of her powerful husband. 
          Now if it were her friend with the red hair (sorry, I am blanking on her name), then it would be a serious stab.

          Not that it wasn’t totally mean. Because it was.

    • boleyn28

      I like your insight, I think Megan will alway blame others for her failures since she wont have to blame herself that way. It cant be a coincidence that she has never got an acting job, even before she met Don. Marie would know better then anyone about how her daughter is. I wonder if she will be a terrible actress, since they havent shown her acting yet.

      • Redlanta

         I have to say, I didn’t “appreciate” her ease, beauty or grace in that audition reel.  To me it seemed stiff and focused on her worst physical attributes- her teeth.  It seemed like she realized that and tried to go “pouty” or reflective to close her mouth.  Didn’t see Don fall in love all over again either.  To me he seemed awakened to just how blind her ambition was, and was tired of the fairytail.  It’s back to “old-fashions” and one-nighters for our Don!

      • Sweetbetty

         Was Marie at one time an aspiring ballerina?  I don’t remember that being mentioned before but that’s what I took from Megan’s biting comment to her.

    • Munchkn

       I laughed when I saw the dogs humping:  Virgina is for lovers  -even if it’s just the canine kind.

      • O H

         Foreboding of how she will get royally *&%$ by Virginia Slims?

        • CozyCat

          No, I think it was just to make it clear that as great as the trip was, it falls far short of the romance of Paris. 

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FBVC5LBEOWEHBYYCH3A2IZGZHI yahoo-FBVC5LBEOWEHBYYCH3A2IZGZHI

          I thought the dog scene was a reference to intimacy.  Peggy was all alone in the hotel room without Abe, and she sees two dogs together looking out the window, and upward career journey is solo.  

          • Sweetbetty

             Am I the only one who didn’t realize Peggy was in a motel room and was wondering why Abe wasn’t in their bedroom with her?  Thank goodness for the commentators here for clearing things up for me.

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

            I recognized it as  hotel- but had forgotten about the trip to VA. I was thinking “Peggy! Please tell me you didn’t hook up with Chaough in a hotel!!!”

  • boleyn28

    It bothered me the way Megan got drunk and then tried to use guilt and sex to make Don feel bad about not giving her the commercial. I think she knew exactly what she was doing because she got her way with him in the past for an advertising job  maybe not by getting drunk, but she still ONLY got the job because she was his wife, she didnt have to work the way Peggy did or any man either. Megan is a great manipulator and knows how to work it to get her way.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

      I used to feel the same way regarding Megan’s character, but I’m beginning to think that most people have been reading a bit too much into her. I don’t think Megan manipulated Don to get anything from him that he wasn’t already willing to give. Megan actually *did* work hard at SCDP and her successes seemed almost effortless — not necessarily because of anything Don was doing for her, but because she’s “just one of those girls,” as Peggy pointed out. Megan certainly seemed conscientious of the way others might perceive her triumph on Heinz — so much so, that she tried to convince Don to tell Stan and Ginsburg that her idea was actually his. She was also working overtime to downplay her “beginners luck” to Peggy. I think she genuinely wanted to do well in advertising initially, but later realized that she was compromising her dream by settling for what would ultimately be an unfulfilling career.

      • boleyn28

        I agree with you, but although she was talented (or it was beginers luck, because she only had 1 successful idea) she didnt start out and work her way up the way Peggy did. She was given a great position solely on her marriage, not her talent. Peggy was given a chance cause of her first great idea, but had to really work hard and take alot of shit to get where Megan was.  But u r right , I think manipulate is the wrong word. Megan really is a love her or hate her type of character,isnt she? : )

      • margaret meyers

        Reading interviews with Weiner, I think he wants Megan to be that Golden Girl:  prettier than most, good at a lot of things, someone who has or gets things her way.  In the arts and in life you meet people like this — everything looks easy for them. 
        She’s good for Don.  He needs to be made to feel insecure sometimes and he has to understand that this wife is going to lead of her own sometimes.
        Me?  I think Megan is a pretty good sport and does a lot for Don and his kids. 

        • boleyn28

          I think its because Megan seems to want to be looked at as the innocent and independent woman that has worked for all she has. She doesnt seem to be aware of her luck or grateful for what has been handed to her.

        • avidreader02

          I totally agree.  While I don’t think Megan is perfect or the best thing since sliced bread, she hasn’t done anything that most of the other characters have done.  Don got his job by getting Roger drunk and manipulating the situation.  Pete got his job by his family’s contacts.  Joan got to be partner by sleeping with the Jaguar guy.  Lane got his job by backstabbing his original company. Roger is the product of nepotism.  I really could go on and on.  
          I really don’t understand everyone calling her manipulative or cunning.  She seems like a flawed character… like most of Mad Men. And in life.

          • Sweetbetty

             ” — seems like a flawed character… like most of Mad Men. And in life.”

            I know I must sound like a broken record but that’s my mantra too.  I’ve repeated it again and again when comments are being made about how the characters should/shouldn’t behave.

    • Jasmaree

      I don’t think she’s the twirling mustache villainess you’re making her out to be, but I don’t buy the independent, free-thinking version of her either. She’s not much of a manipulator; actually I’d say she wears her heart on her sleeve. 

      She wanted to stand out on her own, independent of Don–that I agree with. In fact, here’s something I wrote last week (re: being mad at Don for not telling her Sally was coming): 

      I think she reacted that way because she didn’t like the assumption that she wasn’t doing anything. Her acting career hasn’t exactly taken off, so she’s basically been an upperclass housewife: lounging barefoot around the beautifully furnished apartment her husband bought, reading magazines, going shopping, cooking dry spaghetti, and waiting for her husband to get home so they can eat dinner together. I think she really wants to prove that she’s a serious actress with a bright future, but she’s taken on the role of a rich man’s wife with an outlandish and expensive hobby/dream. And she hates it. But it’s New York. They’re are hundred of girls absolutely desperate to land a gig because, unlike Megan, the idea of finally paying rent is motivating them.So she gets ridiculously angry whenever someone does anything that even implies that she might have some free time. I’m in the minority that believes she threw that plate against the wall, not because she was mad at Don for not calling, but because she didn’t want to be the girl who sits at the table to wait for her man to come home.

      And apparently, after dealing with rejection and facing the idea of just being Don’s wife for the rest of her life, she acts out in desperation. It was wrong of her to ask for Don’s help with the commercial. It seems she only got the job because she’s Don’s wife. And while it was was hypocritical of Don to point that out, that doesn’t necessarily make him wrong. She didn’t want to get anywhere by just being Don’s wife, but that’s where she ended up out of sheer desperation. And let’s not forget the ethical problems with betraying your friend’s trust to further your own career instead. I’d say that ultimately, Don views this as the moment he let’s Megan go, while Megan is more dependent on him than ever.

      • boleyn28

        I like your POV, but I have to add that , in my opinion, I think Megan wants people to see her as independant and trying to succeed all on her own, but, I really dont think she is like that. I think shes is like her friend, sleeping her way to success. Although she is sleeping with her husband. What I mean is she doesnt really care about succeeding on her own, she wants to be famous ( I dont buy the artist thing) and she will do whatever she can to get there. Just like her friend who will sleep her way to an audition, Megan guilts her way to one. 

      • boleyn28

        Twirling, mustache villainess…thats funny : )

      • LesYeuxHiboux

        You make an interesting point at the end there, about Megan’s desperation and duplicity. I wonder if she didn’t shatter Don’s fairytale image of her as the golden girl by being a needy, grasping, drunken mess when he got home (from his POV). He may feel used as Dr. Faye felt used.

      • Farthingale

        I like how nuanced your character reading is. I kind of feel that stabbing her friend in the back is the first time Megan has shown any REAL desire to succeed at acting. The writers have really gone out of their way to show Megan, as you pointed out, lounging around at home. Not sitting in a coffee house with a newspaper circling open calls, or any other actor-ish behavior, just basically lounging around barefoot, quite comfy but isolated. When her friend asked her to put in a good word with Don about the audition, I think it may have woke her up to the reality that struggling actresses make no bones about using any connection, however tenuous, to land a job. Megan’s pretensions to “make it” on her own would be seen as ridiculous and childish by any struggling actor in NYC. Actors looking for work chase down leads, pound on doors, call in favors, etc. to land that job.

         I see Megan’s “back stabbing” as her actually getting real and growing up a bit. She had to acknowledge that her friend was more aware of an opportunity sitting right under her nose than she was, and was prepared to fight for a chance. Megan’s acting “fantasy” of sitting in that apartment waiting for jobs to come to her was smashed. It seemed she must have realized if she wasn’t going to use the connections she had, others were prepared to. And she made a grown-up (and shady) decision.

        Also, I see Megan becoming a writer or director’s muse, a la Arthur Miller, someone less successful than Don monetarily, but with artistic clout. Someone very much like her father. 

  • boleyn28

    A few ep. back, yellow roses were significant inthe opening scene (when Peggy  had an important presentation aand the roses were on her slip, and there was someone else who wore them too, maybe Joan?) Anyway, in the scene when Beth is in the hospital and Petes visiting there are yellow roses beside the bed. It has a significance (why not use pink roses if it didnt, right?) I have to go back and find out what it meant……………………………………….
                                                                                                       unless someone out there remembers : )

    • sarahjane1912

      TLo draw attention to the interlinking ‘motif’ of yellow roses in the Mad Style recap for Far Away Places. Not sure there was any additional significance to the yellow rose itself [unless one looks to meaning of flowers but I think that's a stretch]; just that the yellow rose tied the stories together. Nicely spotted though. :-)

  • Leonardo Alves

    I love Megan’s mom! She’s so mean and on-point!

    • Farthingale

      That bitch is shady!

  • boleyn28

    How did Howard know about the affair I wonder

    • Andrea Rossillon

      I felt that Howard’s comment was very interesting…. Pete had been seeing Beth as like him, captured in this gilded cage of Cheever-esque quiet misery; but from Howard’s comment, she has done this before– this is at least the 2nd time she’s had ECT. Her depression (probably independent of, but exacerbated by, the whole suburban thing) seemingly follows a pattern– more and more blue; an affair to make her feel connected, beautiful, and good; ECT; ctrl-alt-delete.

      Suddenly Howard is a little more sympathetic– all season, we’ve been set up to see Howard as this monster (and he’s certainly not very nice), but if this is a regular thing with her, and it’s something he can’t help her with, it’s more understandable that he tries to carve out some happiness away from her. Like I said, he’s still not very nice, but that one comment reveals that their marriage is not as simple (Howard = evil, Beth = unhappy) as Pete (and we) thought. We don’t know if Howard tried to help her at first, and now feels just as trapped as Beth does. What Howard does have, and this is what makes him unsympathetic, is the male prerogative of money and physical freedom to build a secret, separate life elsewhere.

      • greenwich_matron

        It made me think of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Whatever his faults were, I’m sure Sylvia was no picnic to live with.

    • http://profiles.google.com/dorothymichael Dorothy & Michael n/a

      Pete spilled the beans when he mentioned Beth’s hospitalization and shock treatment, something Howard did not mention to Pete.  Howard quickly came to the realization that Pete was the other man in Beth’s life.

      • boleyn28

        yeah but Howard sais “your the one!” so I guess he already knew….but I wonder how?

        • greenwich_matron

          I thought it was because Pete knew that Beth was in the hospital. Pete was supposed to think that she was visiting family.

        • Lilithcat

          Based on his comment to Pete, I’d say it’s because Beth had a history of screwing around.  So he’d know the symptoms.

        • another_laura

          It’s probably a pattern, yes, but Beth probably told him something, too.  Or, which would be horrible, her shrink told Howard in violation of dr/patient privilege as part of the wind-up to having her admitted. 

      • CozyCat

        And he didn’t just know things he shouldn’t have, he blamed Howard for them:  “you just want to wipe out her memory!”  So he’s obviously been talking to Beth in a context where her unhappiness with Howard was discussed.  If she has a history of these strange affairs, it wouldn’t be a big leap for Howard to realize that Pete was the current one.

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

      It just sounds like something Beth has done, many times before. He’s figured out her games by now. Maybe she even confessed. He just didn’t know who.

    • Melissa Brogan

       Howard says to Pete: “She always spreads her legs for the first chump she can find.” That’s why everyone thinks it’s a pattern. Beth gets ‘blue’, finds a man to sleep with, spirals until she’s hospitalized and shocked. Howard knows the pattern, and once Pete spills the beans that he knows about the hospital, and suddenly Howard realizes Pete’s the chump she slept with this time.

  • katwoody

    Great recap as always you lend an insight that adds so much more to my love of the show. I’ll miss your recap of this show but look forwad to more recaps of others. Lovya

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

    What was that remark Joan made to Don about Lane supposed to mean? Did she mean that she should have been more open to his advances? Did I miss something? 

    • deathandthestrawberry

      That was my impression. I doubt she knew about the embezzlement. Given her straight-laced approach to business, it would have angered her for sure. I don’t think even Burt knew, even if he did discover the cashed check.

      Unless, of course, she was sad that Lane didn’t confide in her, but I think she just misread the situation. I think she is so used to men only being interested in her for her body that she just assumed that her rebuffing his advances caused or contributed to his suicide. Their last conversion was unpleasant too. He made that (uncharacteristic  for him) vulgar comment about her in a bikini, which she (rightly) reacted badly to. That surely weighs on her mind.

      • CozyCat

        One Don’s best qualities is that he respects other people’s secrets.  He could have explained the whole thing to the partners (although I’m sure Cooper has worked it out).  He could have thrown it in Mrs Pryce’s face.  But he is allowing people to still think well of Lane. 

        The true test of the Draper marriage will be if he shares it with Meghan.  He shared his own secret with her, will he express his feelings of guilt re Lane?

        • aesteve212

           I know! I was dying to know if he told Meghan about the embezzlement! She knew about the firing – did any of the partners even know that Don fired Lane?

    • 2ndhandchic

      I took it to mean she was blaming herself for Lane’s suicide. She doesn’t know anything about Lane taking money from the company, and the last thing he ever said to her was the creepy remark about her in a bathing suit.

      • boleyn28

        oh yeah, thats right. I forgot that no one knows but Don. Thats why shes blaming herself about not doing enough. poor joanie : (

      • http://profiles.google.com/dorothymichael Dorothy & Michael n/a

        And don’t forget, Lane rashly kissed Joan a few episodes back when he was in the office with her – I think it was when she came back to the office with the baby before she came back to work full time.  She was feeling left out, worried that others in the office were taking over for her, when Lane said the two women put together could not accomplish half of what Joan does in the office.  Or something along those lines. After Lane kissed her, Joan discreetly got up and opened the closed office door and sat back down beside him, to ensure he would not do that again.

        • emcat8

          She was back at work when Lane kissed her — it was right after he thrashed Pete.

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

        I think you’re right, she doesn’t know about the embezzlement. I wonder how that’s been covered over. She’s in charge of the books. I wonder if someone (Don) fixed things before she got hold of them. 

        • Melissa Brogan

           As far as we know, Cooper’s under the impression that Don authorized the $8000 check (because Don didn’t protest signing it, he just said he’d take care of it–an effort to let Lane save face). When he confronted Lane, Don said he’d take care of the money. So perhaps Don has paid back the $8000 and Joan knows perhaps as much as Cooper, but not more.

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

            But there’s also a matter of the 50,000.00 advance. 

          • Sweetbetty

             Yes, I’d been wondering about that too.  It seems that enough time has passed for that to have come to light as well as any other checks Lane had written.  Also, what did Lane’s wife mean about “much more” when she was referring to the $50K Lane had put into the business?

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

            I wondered about that too. Is she talking about some kind of commission for Jaguar? Lane had told Don (while rationalizing his embezzlement) Jaguar wouldn’t have even been a thought if it hadn’t been for his connection, and he hadn’t been properly compensated. 

      • Sweetbetty

         Yes, that’s what I took her to mean too and wondered if she was going to just start offering herself to any man she felt needed it.  Poor Joan if she’s been reduced to thinking that’s her main value.

  • boleyn28

    I felt bad for Pete this episode, even though he is a letch. He was being a gentleman standing up for Beth to Howard on the train and it was interesting to hear what he is feeling and why he is the way he is. They really humanized him this ep. after a season of making him into a disgusting monster-pimp.

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

       I feel a crumb of pity for him, but Pete’s little moment of emotional gallantry wouldn’t have been necessary if he’d refrained from bonking Beth. Leave it to Pete- he can’t conduct a simple affair without it turning into something that leaves scars.

      • margaret meyers

        What I love about the way they write Pete is that they always come up with a great way for him to ruin whatever fun he is having.  The ep where he had sex with Beth and then had to keep returning to her for rejection was just hilarious.  Everyone else would have said “Gee, that was fun — I’ll enjoy the memory.”  Instead Pete turns it into a continuing series of punches on a bruise.
        “I have nothing” was my favorite moan this year. 

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

        I couldn’t help but notice the newspaper photo of the Earth from space tacked onto Pete’s wall when he got the call from Beth — the subject of their post-coital conversation in “Lady Lazarus.”  Great prop.

        • asympt

           And you know that he put that there in lieu of a picture of her.

        • asympt

           And you know that he put that there in lieu of a picture of her.

          • boleyn28

            He really is a romantic, the way he gently pulled her scarf through his fingers on the train, he maybe just should be romantic with his wife instead,lol : )

          • asympt

            This is the second time he’s physically attacked someone to defend the honor of a woman (not his wife) he felt he was in love with–recall way back in the first season when he shocked his officemates by lashing out at them when they were mocking Peggy’s weight gain.  He’s very much the romantic, but in a confused and overinternalized way.

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

             I think he’d like to see himself as the Dominant Male but physically and emotionally he doesn’t measure up. His parents really gave him an emotional screwing over.

          • asympt

             Yes they did.  I have a lot of empathy for Pete–but I wouldn’t want to be Trudy, and Peggy dodged a bullet.

          • ldancer

            I thought that gesture had more of a creepy, stalkerish vibe to it…

          • 3hares

            These days any gesture of longing or unrequited love reads as creepy and stalkerish I’ve found.

  • http://twitter.com/suryasnair suryasnair

    I loved when Gilette said that they don’t have a woman’s POV and when Ginesberg had his tauntrum. Hahahaha – take it Don, Peggy is woth 100 Ginsberg’s in gold. 

    • boleyn28

      yeah, and Ginsburg knew it too. He always thought he is better then Peggy but now he know better and he hated it. I wonder if Topaz will move to Peggy’s agency?

      • http://twitter.com/suryasnair suryasnair

        I hope so. I also find it ironic that the ‘man’ is the one throwing tauntrums, while Peggy was professional most of the times. 

        I just started re-watching, and the Peggy – Paul dynamic also has Paul Kinsey throwing tantrums. 

        Ginsberg is starting to look like a one trick pony – Press a button to get an irreverent quip about your product!

        • Violina23

          Ginsberg is good, but he’s raw and lacks polish (as well as basic customer-facing skills). Working under someone like Peggy was the best thing for him

          • another_laura

            No kidding, lacks polish – big stain on his shirt at a client meeting?  geez, have a spare shirt in the office….

      • http://twitter.com/suryasnair suryasnair

        That would be delicious.

  • PaulaBerman

    I guess I wondered if the theme of this show was supposed to be “you’re an ungrateful bitch,” as uttered by Megan’s mother, at least from Don’s perspective: Megan is ungrateful for all the privileges and luxuries she enjoys while her artist friends struggle (“It is terrible to have an artistic temperament without being an artist”), Mrs. Pryce (I was on her side in that confrontation), Peggy (she took Don’s education and ran away), and of course Pete, the most ungrateful of all. I’m not saying these characters actually are ungrateful (besides Pete, who totally is and for whom I have zero sympathy), but from Don’s perspective, they all took his efforts to give and turned them against him.

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

       Or, put another way:

      “That’s what happens when you help someone. They succeed and move on.”

      • PaulaBerman

         Yes, I suppose that is a nicer way to say the same thing!

      • AZU403

        I read this week’s theme as “Getting what you want… maybe.”

      • CatherineRhodes

         Exactly.

         ”You’re an ungrateful bitch” = “That’s what happens when you help someone…”

      • CozyCat

        I thought the sentiment was even more poignant in the last line:  “Are you alone?”

    • Violina23

      But who exactly turned *against* Don?  

    • susu11

       That ‘ungrateful bitch’ line by Marie was harsh and in my opinion only really applicable to Megan’s situation with the commercial and not really anyone else’s problems. Pete is just a miserable soul who can’t ever be happy with what he has. You can chalk it up to being ungrateful but it is more indicative like he said of a ‘deeper wound.’ Also as slimy as Pete is, he has worked hard to produce and maintain accounts for SCDP, and provide for Trudy. Megan’s goals are pretty one-sided, let’s be honest. I never felt that Peggy took advantage of Don’s ‘education’; she was his protegee and it was natural for her to want to move on. She’s proved her worth as a copywriter, Megan had that job and the commercial handed to her. Rebecca Pryce didn’t owe or need to be grateful to Don or SCDP for anything. Lane put almost everything he had into that agency. 

      • boleyn28

        you are sooo right! Also, Megan was being very mean to her mom as well, she was being caddy to her mother just cause she didnt get her way. Marie had every right to put Megan in her place, she is talking to an adult not a little girl, she is being honest to Megan and laying it out for her in a way that Megan will listen too. She is her mother she has been dealing with her “artistic temperment” her whole life.

      • PaulaBerman

         Which is why I said, “From Don’s perspective.” You won’t frequently catch me agreeing with Don’s perspective on things.

        • susu11

          Oh, I guess I misinterpreted ‘the ungrateful bitch’ line being the main underlining thematic statement for the characters you mentioned in this episode. (like how TLo referenced Peggy’s success/move on line to anchor their overall analysis of the story lines in this episode) Even if we are suppose to interpret it from Don’s perspective, Don is the focal point for most of the story arcs intersecting in Mad Men and I’m still not certain how that ‘ungrateful bitch’ concept is entirely applicable from his point of view. I don’t think Don felt really betrayed by Peggy. Even he sort of admitted he would have done the same thing if he was in Peggy’s shoes and left SCDP. And I don’t think Don really thought Rebecca was being ungrateful. Maybe he was expecting that she’d be relieved to get some help but honestly he knows that was Lane’s money in the first place. Also I don’t even think Don thought Megan was being ungrateful, even though she was exactly that in my eyes. He just recognized her dreams ran opposed to his, and he didn’t want to make her unhappy.

          • PaulaBerman

             There was a tinge from Don’s quote of bitterness re: Peggy, no? The sense that she took his teachings and left him. Maybe it was rue. I don’t think he thinks Peggy is a bitch, but I do think he feels a (perhaps irrational) sense of abandonment. As TLo said, Don has mommy issues. All these women in his life rejecting him and disappointing him has to be making him feel, as the last line of the show said, alone.

  • boleyn28

    Interesting point that I havent seen mentioned yet………………………………………………
                                                                     On Megans screen test, it is clear they asked her to turn around (presumly to check her out) her face is priceless, full of disgust, annoyance and shame. You really could tell what they asked her to do and how it made her feel.

  • Verascity

     Man, I just took the theme to be EVERYONE IS DEPRESSED NOW AND NO ONE CAN STAND IT.

    • Jodie_S

      Yes, very depressing. In Don’s pitch during last week’s episode, he said that when you achieve happiness, you just want more happiness or more success. Is it that the types of happiness they seek are really just phantoms and/or that all their personal demons are the phantoms keeping them from achieving it? 

    • Jodie_S

      Yes, very depressing. In Don’s pitch during last week’s episode, he said that when you achieve happiness, you just want more happiness or more success. Is it that the types of happiness they seek are really just phantoms and/or that all their personal demons are the phantoms keeping them from achieving it? 

  • mr_apollo

    Someone please tell Roger that taking LSD by yourself is not a good idea.

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

      Well… I hear ya.  But I’ve done ‘shrooms so many times by myself that I preferred doing that alone.  I only did LSD once and it was at a Phish concert with friends.  I didn’t see much diff between shrooms and LSD except I loved LSD much more.

      • O H

        Don’t let that phone ring, it might be Roger.

    • boleyn28

      agree, atleast have 1 other person there, he should have given Mona a call lol : )

    • sarahjane1912

      Yup. Everyone should have a buddy when indulging.

    • nosniveling

      ……..especially when standing in a window.

    • formerlyAnon

      That was my first thought! Then I realized that of those who regularly drive (rather than staying in the city & taking cabs), most probably routinely drive after four or five drinks, so their notions on self protection are not highly evolved.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tuckeramy Amy Tucker

    I couldn’t figure out what was bothering me last night about Don’s reaction to Megan asking him for an acting job, but you guys nailed it. It was hypocrisy, yes! The shot of him walking away from her was really powerful.

    Also, I hate Pete. I loved seeing him get punched (twice!) again. 

  • mshesterp

    I have nothing worthwhile to add except:
    Naked John Slattery.  Thank you, writers.  

    And dang, John Slattery looks good!

    Ok, one more thing–I LOVED Peggy’s new power color and how she really looked so put together and professional for one of the first times ever. I’m sure she “misses” Don, but she’s going to be badass on her own.

    • Qitkat

      Such a complete surprise with that shot of Slattery. Made me wish I weren’t watching alone! A great moment to share with someone ;-)

      • ldancer

        Do you think that was his actual backside or does he have an ass double? Either way, that was freakin’ great, seeing him standing naked in the window of the Stanhope, tripping his chiseled ass off. Perhaps he’ll throw off the chains of corporate America, drop out, and start making bad self-produced psychedelic records (this did happen occasionally). And then in the 70′s he’ll discover EST or martial arts or something.

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

    The biggest problem with this season is it is just too short. They couldn’t go far enough, or explore enough characters in a satisfying way. 
    The second biggest problem is that we had to wait too long to get this short season. It was bound to be a let down.

    Please AMC et al. Please don’t make us wait so long next time. I’m afraid you will lose the audience. 

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

       I totally understand where you are coming from.  But waiting a year for this friggin series to start made me want it MORE and more.  :-)  I doubt they will ever lose fans unless they keep making lousy eps like last night…

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

       I totally understand where you are coming from.  But waiting a year for this friggin series to start made me want it MORE and more.  :-)  I doubt they will ever lose fans unless they keep making lousy eps like last night…

    • aquamarine17

      I’ve always felt that each episode of MM should be 1.5 hours. It would really make a difference.

    • Qitkat

      I actually like the short seasons. I didn’t like having to wait 18 months or so between seasons though. I think that having short seasons takes a page from British television, which has commonly had shows which have as few as 6-13 episodes a season (which they call series). I think it forces the writers to eliminate filler, to write as if their careers depended on it, to tell stories succinctly, to figure out how to present depth of character, to make the sets and costumes tell as much of the story as the dialogue does, to hire actors who can act with their entire bodies and facial expressions as well as their voices.

      Using a short season to tell a great story requires a similar talent to write a great, unputdownable novel.

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

        Good point. I have always admired the Brit way of doing it. I just want a long season because I’m selfish. :)

  • mr_apollo

    Tom & Lorenzo: Thank you. Your essays on the episodes and your analysis of “Mad Style” have been the most insightful and intelligent writings I have read about the series.  I will miss them as much as I miss the show itself.  

    • O H

       I second that.  Or do you need a second motion? :-)

      • CatherineRhodes

        What is this, Parliament? But seriously, I second or third the motion regarding TLo’s commentary.

      • TheDivineMissAnn

         touche’

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

    Worst MM episode ever.  Worst finale of a season ever too.  They should have ended on last week’s ep.  I am disgusted right now simply thinking about that very last scene with Don.  The fans left to ask themselves, “Will he or won’t he cheat?”  I watched the recap at amctv dot com and Matt Weiner basically said as Don is walking away from Megan’s TV commercial shoot, the marriage is over.  Really?  Does it have to be? 

    Didn’t Rebecca seem to know exactly what was going through her husband’s mind when he died?  When did that bitch EVER have ANY empathy for Lane? 

    I like Marie. At least she’s honest with herself and her daughter. Granted, I have no children so I really enjoyed her scenes with Megan. Marie is Betty in 20 years. 

    I know this is a dramatic television show and we want to keep things artistic and “real” but I couldn’t suspend my disbelief last night which resulted in a very disappointing season finale.

    • A. W.

      The point of that last scene wasn’t if he’ll cheat or not. When that girl asked him “are you alone?” it tied the whole episode together for me. Don IS completely alone emotionally, and it’s his own fault. By returning to cheating, he’s accepting the darkness in his heart and embracing his loneliness. I gasped when she said it.

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

         Yeah I get that too.  I want Don to evolve.  That’s not too much to ask.  I think if we open NEXT season to him fucking everything with a vagina then any growth he made this season is pointless. 

      • another_laura

        Also, when he walked into that 50s bar and asked for an old-fashioned.  He’s reverting to type.

  • idrisr

    Did Don end up in the same brothel they went to with the Jaguar guy? Something seemed a bit too forward about the way the woman approached Don and offered her friend.

    • Laylalola

      I thought the blonde who approached him was the same blonde who had asked Megan to ask Don for the part, and that this was a vindictive thing against Megan. I could be wrong. 

    • Laylalola

      I thought the blonde who approached him was the same blonde who had asked Megan to ask Don for the part, and that this was a vindictive thing against Megan. I could be wrong. 

      • boleyn28

        nope, it was a different girl.

      • boleyn28

        nope, it was a different girl.

    • Melissa Brogan

       It was just a bar. She was a  bit forward. Maybe they were hinting at the sexual revolution? Women feeling freer to initiate? I’m not sure.

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

    One more thing, Peggy needs to get RID of that Sally-from-”Davey and Goliath” HAIR!  I don’t care what friggin year it is, that hair makes Peggy look like she’s in the 3rd grade.  I keep waiting for her to start sucking on a lollipop.  

    • O H

      You know, I think you’re on(to) something here.  Peggy’s flip ‘do is a message about conquering Goliath, i.e., advertising.  AWS, keep us posted on D&W episodes paralleling MM.

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

         ha ha

  • boleyn28

    I really hope the ending means that next season we get to see classic Donald Draper cause his saintly persona is very boring.
    Lets see some philandering and lying and all the seedy things that made Mad Men so great : )

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

      I just think it was interesting that we got through an entire season with Don only having sex with one woman – and it was his wife to boot.

      • boleyn28

        Yeah, thats saintly for Don, lol : )

    • alula_auburn

      He was saintly this season?

    • formerlyAnon

      I’d like to see Don evolve – yes, cheat, but then realize what he’s throwing away and re-invest in his marriage. I don’t expect it though. He’s still too damaged and he doesn’t know what to do when he sees someone [whom he thinks is] moving away other than to move away faster, and be first.

      • Sweetbetty

         ” He’s still too damaged and he doesn’t know what to do when he sees
        someone [whom he thinks is] moving away other than to move away faster,
        and be first.”

        What causes someone to be like that?  I ask because as I read your words I saw myself in them.  I had never seen it written out like that, but I have done it.  I just thought it was the best way to avoid being hurt, even though I never did manage to avoid the hurt.

        • formerlyAnon

          I think Don experienced too much rejection – or felt rejected too consistently - in his early life and has no analytical distance from those emotions when they come up. (Not a mental health professional, so this is armchair theorizing of the worst kind!)  There are some people & relationships from which quick flight is probably healthy – or at least a reasonable form of self-protection. But I don’t think Don can get the distance to recognize whether his withdrawal is reasonable or not – he just withdraws instinctively. And I don’t think he ever had a romantic relationship with good communication skills modeled for him, so he doesn’t even know what he ought to be shooting for.

        • formerlyAnon

          I think Don experienced too much rejection – or felt rejected too consistently - in his early life and has no analytical distance from those emotions when they come up. (Not a mental health professional, so this is armchair theorizing of the worst kind!)  There are some people & relationships from which quick flight is probably healthy – or at least a reasonable form of self-protection. But I don’t think Don can get the distance to recognize whether his withdrawal is reasonable or not – he just withdraws instinctively. And I don’t think he ever had a romantic relationship with good communication skills modeled for him, so he doesn’t even know what he ought to be shooting for.

          • aesteve212

             Yes – and I think this early consistent rejection coupled with a solid decade of living a double life really sealed his personality. I was so happy at the start of this season that he had opened up to Meghan about his real identity (and then telling Sally about Anna!) but the reality is, his personality and his gut reactions are not going to change that much at this point in his life. Sad.

  • Frank_821

    I forgot to say how much I loved the scene with Ginsberg. The boy’s talented but it’s clear he hasn’t learned how to handle clients. Now he’s seeing how tough this job really is and how much Peggy has to.

    All this season long talk about Megan has made me think. I think it’s safe to agree with others she’s Betty 1967. She’s got a brain, some talent and looks. Unlike Betty she’s not afraid to speak her mind, but in many ways she’s just as childish as Betty. Basically Don went after the same type of woman.

    I saw nothing “wrong” with Megan asking for a little help. Maybe unethical but considering what a cut-throat business it is. She wasn’t asking for a guarentee but a chance to audition. Don could have spelled it out to Ken and Harry to be impartial. Megan’s friend wasn’t afraid to ask for that same help. I kind of liked she screwed her friend though. It’s true she doesn’t need the money from a commercial. But getting a commercial would be some kind of validation that she has what it takes. And it would be validation she’s not just some dilletante wife of an ad exec.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

      Ginsburg in that stained shirt really grossed me out. Just because you’re talented doesn’t mean you get to meet with clients (or come to work at all!) in a shirt that looks like you vomited all over it.

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

        Ginsburg so needs to get laid.  And the woman who is effing him needs to start picking out his clothes. 

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

           Or he can get laid by a man, and that man can pick out his clothes.

          • formerlyAnon

            Either way (boy- or girl- friend) I don’t see Ginsburg as being a very easy fella in whom to invest.

      • Jodie_S

        As we’ve seen, nothing in their wardrobe selection is accidental. It must have some significance but I’ll wait for that discussion in Wednesday’s mad-style post.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

          There absolutely has to be some significance — particularly considering how large and in your face those nasty stains were!

          • Sweetbetty

             I’ll confess; I didn’t see them.  But then I miss a lot of visuals.  I think it’s because I use the closed captioning and am so busy reading them that a lot of visual details slip by.

          • formerlyAnon

            There are some shows I just don’t watch because I know they have to be really “watched” – eyes on the actors - and I am often doing something else while the t.v. is on & so I miss too much.

          • formerlyAnon

            There are some shows I just don’t watch because I know they have to be really “watched” – eyes on the actors - and I am often doing something else while the t.v. is on & so I miss too much.

      • greenwich_matron

        Ginsburg seemed to be improving in “The Other Woman.” He was dressing better and even conscientious about manners and playing well with others. Now that Peggy is gone he has reverted.

      • boleyn28

        HAHAHA thats hilarious! : )

      • Laylalola

        But it’s so … typical of creative types — or, it’s classic, really. There’s at least one person in creative types of offices who’s a genius or manic depressive type at least who just can’t seem to get it together — the hair isn’t really combed or is two days unclean, the clothes are never ironed or are worn from the clothes hamper, or there’s a stray cat hair on the coat, something. A lot of that is just subtle enough it would be hard to convey in a costume, but a stain would do, especially a bright one.

        • ldancer

          I think it’s more typical of depressed people, and of IT folks. Sorry, don’t mean to offend, some of my best friends are computer nerds, but in my experience working in the creative end of the corporate world, the IT/programming folks are the schlubs. By “creative types” I assume you mean art directors, designers, illustrators, writers? We are generally the most sharply-dressed people in the office.

          Well, for me that’s in the past tense. Now that I’m a freelancer you’re lucky if I’m wearing pants. But I’d never go to a meeting with a client or editor dressed in stained or ill-fitting clothes. “Creative” types are just as professional as the rest.

          • Laylalola

            Well, my experience was in NYC-based magazines, primarily with the editorial and photography staffs, and now is with Washington, D.C. reporters.

          • PleaseLearnToSpell

            I think men have this option but women don’t.  Can you imagine a female creative type with mustard on her dress being treated with any sort of respect?

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

        I think Stan is close to punching him.
        Or quitting.

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

          I bet Stan really misses Peggy – both personally and professionally.

          • CozyCat

            That scene was a truly satisfying revenge fantasy.  Everyone took Peggy for granted.  Now she’s gone and they’re starting to realize everything she did (“We never had to do focus groups before!”)

            Another theme since the beginning of the series:  the way the male ad types are oblivous on how to market to women (remember Jackie and Marilyn?)

          • emcat8

            Yeah, and that they’ve made absolutely zero progress since then.

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

            And I think that’s it’s notable that it isn’t just any client that needs a woman’s perspective- Topaz was the account that Peggy went after and landed. WITHOUT Don’s help. 

          • aesteve212

             I don’t think Stan took her for granted. And I think Ginsberg just doesn’t know how to interact with anyone. If Don had actually supported her (I realize this would have been in an alternate universe!) she might have stayed.

    • boleyn28

      But its not a validation of having what it takes since she didnt get the part on talent but on connection to Don. So really what she had was a husband who could get her the role. Im guessing that no one would have been impartial since she is the bosses wife.

      • Aurumgirl

        Here’s what I don’t understand about this vitriol on Megan:  if it is “not a validation of having what it takes since she didn’t get the part on talent but on connection to Don”…how does Peggy’s newly acquired successful position differ in any way from Megan’s successful audition?  Does it mean Peggy didn’t really “have what it takes” either, because we all know Chaugh went after her with the primary intention of taking Don’s very talented protege away from him, to have for himself? 

        Part of the “talent” about one’s skills is knowing how to market/sell/promote yourself properly so that the talents get noticed, and are then allowed to develop and grow.   Megan finally realized that she could use her connections in advertising to get work in acting–instead of trying to get work in acting by going on auditions for acting jobs where she knew abolutely no one, had no connections whatsoever, and would probably never acquire them.  I don’t think this means Megan is talentless, it just means realized she was wasting her time trying to get a foot in the door in productions where the casting folk would only cast those to whom they were connected!

        Peggy could also have gone after work in another rival agency–but she knew how much Chaugh wanted to burn Don.  It was her connection to Don that allowed Peggy to demand the position she wanted, and the money she wanted.  Chaugh woulnd’t have valued her so much if hiring her didn’t mean he could punish Don nicely–and Peggy used that fact to get herself ahead, no doubt about it.  Funny how we loathe one Meg/Peggy, and love the other one. 

        • LesYeuxHiboux

           We saw Peggy work her way up from being “the talking dog” who writes copy after the day’s secretarial work is done. Megan was the beauty at reception who became the beauty at Don’s desk, then moved to Don’s arm and a leg up to whatever profession she chooses (copy writing, acting). Megan is trading on looks and sex appeal, where Peggy works very hard. Joan oozes sex appeal without trying but she is incredibly competent at her work, and works hard. Megan is all luck and looks and its hard to take that type of person seriously, and many even resent it, which is what I think the comments reflect here.

          Megan may not be talentless, but who would know? That reel was just silent ogling of her bone structure.

          Peggy used Ted Chaough’s pettiness to get a position and salary she already deserved (she landed Topaz by herself, seeded the idea that won a Cleo, and kept creative afloat while Don canoodled with his new bride), but probably wouldn’t have had a chance at due to her gender. Megan used flashes of her tits and marital guilt to get copywriting/acting gigs. Maybe she could have gotten them on her own, but she got tired of trying and took the shortcut. That’s what pisses people off.

          • boleyn28

            I agree with you. But I dont think people hate her because of her beauty, she is afterall a character on a show, but hate her characters personality.

          • LesYeuxHiboux

            I don’t think people hate her for her beauty. I think people hate her for taking the shortcuts that are afforded her because of her looks/wealth/marriage/what-have-you. Look back to the conversation between Peggy and Joan about giving her a hard time because she’s “just one of those girls” who things come to easily. Her personality is the way it is because she’s never had to work very hard for her opportunities. No one is grateful for things that come easily. Her own mother knows this about her.

            She’s not really a very nice girl, she’s just had it easy. Noblesse oblige.

          • boleyn28

            Oh, I didnt mean you. I just noticed a lot of the Megan lovers seem to say we (the people who dont like her character) are mean in our judgments because she is pretty and rich,ect. To those people I meant that she is a character that we are judging based on a person MW made up. So beauty doesnt factor in to that, and for those people, there are plenty of beautiful women on MadMen that are liked so that theory of hating her beauty is BS.
             Again, I agree with u LesYeuxHiboux, and that wasnt meant for your opinions as we have the same opinion about Megan : )

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

            Peggy said that she honestly thought Megan was “just one of those girls” who is good at everything.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

            It’s fascinating to me how harshly many viewers judge the “attractive” female characters in Mad Men. As we saw in Tomorrowland, Megan’s looks certainly aren’t the only thing that attracted Don. Her calm, carefree nature and easy acceptance of Don/Dick played at least an equal role there. She’s not some seductively villainous Eve character who convinced Don to take a bite of her apple. Megan did well as a copywriter and was actually good at it, despite getting a leg up from her marriage to Don. Hell, she could have just been a young trophy wife who stayed home and ate bon-bons; instead, she chose to try to have a career in advertising. Megan seemed to take copywriting seriously — she worked quite hard and demonstrated a lot of conscientiousness about appearing to receive preferential treatment after her promotion. I think some people are just determined to see nothing good in Megan at all; it’s reminiscent of the vitriol toward Betty. Peggy certainly paved the way for female copywriters at SCDP, but it’s not fair to expect all of her predecessors to imitate her struggle. Smart people use whatever assets, connections, and resources they have to get ahead in life.

          • LesYeuxHiboux

             I’m not sure one can make the case that her acceptance of Dick/Don figured into his attraction to Megan, since he had not yet revealed this aspect of himself when he proposed. Megan had one good idea for one campaign in her short time as a copywriter, which shows promise but is hardly the proven track-record of someone like Peggy. Megan and Betty’s looks are as much a hindrance to them as a boon, no matter what they achieve people can undercut it by pointing to their beauty. However, these looks do bring their own out-of-the-ordinary opportunities. I never understood the outright hatred of Betty, and I don’t hate Megan. I do find her ingratitude childish, going along pretending she doesn’t have any advantages. Betty was acutely aware of her looks, moneyed background, her education and pedigree and how it had contributed to her station in life. Some may find that distasteful or snobbish but I prefer it to Megan pretending she’s down in the trenches struggling along with her fellow actors. Pretending all things are equal. It’s dishonest, and I’d rather a snob than a liar. 

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

            Before Don proposed, I recall his saying that Megan didn’t know him, to which she responded something along the lines of, “I know who you are now” — indicating that she didn’t care about his past. She may not have known specifically about Dick Whitman, but she didn’t need to at that point. Faye wanted him to acknowledge the truth and move on with his life, whereas Megan just didn’t care and accepted him as is.

            I agree with you on all of Megan’s flaws. However, I think it’s worth pointing out that even Peggy, with her proven track record, was unable to make the Heinz guy happy. Megan was able to pull an idea out of the hat that achieved that. I say credit where credit is due! 

          • Sweetbetty

             ”Before Don proposed, I recall his saying that Megan didn’t know him, to
            which she responded something along the lines of, “I know who you are
            now” — indicating that she didn’t care about his past.”

            That’s such a sweet, romantic, idealistic thing to say, but so hard to live up to in real life.  She thought she knew who he was now, a man who would love and support her no matter what she wanted to do in life.  She’s finding out now that that’s not quite who he is.  I’m sure she didn’t think he was a man who would abandon her at a HoJo’s either.  Dick Whitman or Don Draper, there are qualities he has that she did not know about and she has already had to make some adjustments to.  Whether she will be willing/able to make more adjustments as his layers are peeled away remains to be seen.  And the same goes for him; Megan has already shown she’s not the girl he thought he was marrying and he has made/will continue to have to make adjustments if he wishes to save their marriage.

          • ybbed

            I’ve been trying to respond to your comments all night..I hope this one lands in the right spot, but I so agree with you about Megan.

          • 3hares

            I don’t hate Megan–I also don’t agree with all your descriptions of her here. Some of this is not what I saw happening with Megan, so seems a bit over-positive. But lots of characters have people who hate them, and you’ve set up kind of a trap here. If someone dislikes a good-looking character it’s suspect and must have to do with their looks automatically? Even if they like other attractive characters? Megan’s a new character who got a lot of screentime. I would think that in itself set her up to be judged. One could just as easily turn it around and say that people are judging her too nicely because she’s an attractive female character.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

            I didn’t introduce conversation about Megan’s attractiveness. The comment I responded to specifically said that Megan hadn’t legitimately “earned” anything and was skating by/getting shortcuts because of her looks. I was speaking to that sentiment. I’m also not talking about all characters; I’m talking about female characters. On a similar note, Matthew Weiner has said that he doesn’t think Betty would have unleashed so much hate among fans of the show if she were unattractive, and I agree with him.

            Obviously, people apprehend characters however they choose; I simply find it interesting that attractive female characters in Mad Men are judged harshly among many fans for things like being ruthless to get what they want, while male characters who do the same things are let off the hook and often lionized for the same kinds of behavior.

          • Sweetbetty

             ” I simply find it interesting that attractive female characters in Mad
            Men are judged harshly among many fans for things like being ruthless to
            get what they want, while male characters who do the same things are
            let off the hook and often lionized for the same kinds of behavior.”

            Isn’t it that way in real life too?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

            Yes, it absolutely is. That double standard is present in both art and real life!

        • Farthingale

          I totally agree. I am of this mind completely. And I’m flummoxed by those who use the “Megan” doesn’t need the money argument. Megan needs acting jobs to get her career cranking. To get her face out there and to build her resume. The best way to get an acting job is to have an acting job.

        • boleyn28

          No one said talentless, but the reel was silent!!!  Peggy is talented and proven so and earned her way to the top, she got interviews from talent and connections made through hardwork and talented pitches and making money for products, where as Megan is only using her connection through a husband, not based on her talent or succesful work but on his love for her. Like her mother said,”She has the artistic temprement but is no artist,” If she cant get work through talent yet, I think that she probably wasnt the best woman for the job. But I think that Meagan and Peggy are incomparible, Peggy is awesome a real modern woman.

          • Aurumgirl

            No, Peggy’s talent is overlooked and it’s overlooked often. Joan’s talent is overlooked and overlooked often. Megan’s talent, and she does have it, is overlooked too (though we all did see she landed a client Peggy failed to land, repeatedly, and she did it without even trying). The point is, talent isn’t enough: where the women are concerned especially, it certainly isn’t valued. It is always “who you know” that mattered for all of them, isn’t it?

            Megan is just as much a modern woman (and the point is made fairly clearly, too–maybe a bit more modern) as Joan and Peggy. So to me, it’s weird how much she’s hated. But it really is telling, too.

          • ybbed

            Megan is much more forward thinking than Joan and Peggy, much more a modern independent woman.  And I think it is really telling how much she is hated.  I personally think she is a great character in Mad Men.

          • 3hares

            I don’t hate Megan, but I fail to see how she’s more forward thinking or modern or independent than Joan or Peggy. She’s just not.

          • Aurumgirl

            No, Peggy’s talent is overlooked and it’s overlooked often. Joan’s talent is overlooked and overlooked often. Megan’s talent, and she does have it, is overlooked too (though we all did see she landed a client Peggy failed to land, repeatedly, and she did it without even trying). The point is, talent isn’t enough: where the women are concerned especially, it certainly isn’t valued. It is always “who you know” that mattered for all of them, isn’t it?

            Megan is just as much a modern woman (and the point is made fairly clearly, too–maybe a bit more modern) as Joan and Peggy. So to me, it’s weird how much she’s hated. But it really is telling, too.

        • Sweetbetty

           ” Does it mean Peggy didn’t really “have what it takes” either, because
          we all know Chaugh went after her with the primary intention of taking
          Don’s very talented protege away from him, to have for himself? ”

          This sounds like a contradiction of yourself.  People are saying that Megan doesn’t have talent (though nobody really knows yet) and only got the commercial because of Don.  But Peggy does have talent, you say so yourself, and has shown it and proven it.  Though Chaugh may delight in stealing someone from Don he wouldn’t have taken a person with no talent.

          In essence, people are saying Megan has no proven talent and only got the job through her connection to Don whereas Peggy definitely has shown talent and very well could have gotten a job equal to or better than what Chaugh offered her based on that talent.

          • Aurumgirl

            But Megan has proven talent. As a copywriter, she succeeded in landing a contract Peggy simply could not land, try as she might; and even though her screen test was “silent”, it is very clear she’s got what you need to be successful in film: presence, and plenty of it. As Peggy says, “she’s one of those girls” who’s good at everything. As for Peggy–Chauogh ? sp. was clued in enough to note the connection between her and Don. His intention wasn’t talent: his intention was a slight against Don. Talent, again, is not the point. We all know Joan has it, we all know Peggy has it, we all know Megan has it too–but talent alone didn’t get any of them very far, as they all eventually realize.

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

      I disagree. Asboleyn28 pointed out, there is no validation on getting a part by asking your husband for it. And no, she really doesn’t need the money from the commercial, and her friend (assuming she’s a struggling actress like the vast majority of her class) certainly DOES need it, maybe she’d pay the rent with that check, while Megan could spend it just on a dinner. For all of this, she IS some dilletante wife of an ad exec. And she will continue to be one until she stops acting (no pun intended)like she’s entitled to everything. 

      • aquamarine17

        I guess Megan wanted the exposure from that ad; she did mention it. It would have been nice of her to help her friend get the job, though, if her friend needed the money. However, she might have come to believe that a charitable act like helping her friend is impossible in the showbiz world. Helping her friend might very well have helped her…

        • Sweetbetty

           Or, as TLo stated, “That’s what happens when you help someone. They succeed and move on.”

      • boleyn28

        Yeah, no kidding. What if that was money needed for rent, food,ect. Megan didnt want to be on commercials until this came up. I think she is jealous of her friend otherwise she would have put both their names in Dons ear. I guess Megan knows her friend(s) is/are more talented then her.

    • LesYeuxHiboux

       To me, getting a commercial while married to an ad man would be a huge red flag of nepotism. Just like Betty getting a Coke ad because another agency wanted to poach Don.

      • formerlyAnon

        Yes, it would be huge red flag – if people weren’t pretty jaded to various kinds of favors & influence being brought to bear. If she could do the job, nobody’d do more than shrug a cynical shoulder.

        Let’s all count the people who have careers and win awards in creative fields and the “in” or influence which first got them a chance to show what they can do is hardly even gossiped about if it turns out they have what it takes to do the job.

        • boleyn28

          I think the whole idea is that Megan has never shown her acting skills yet and so she might not have what it takes. She got hired because of being Mrs. Draper, not acting skills. There must be a reason she has been written as never getting picked for a job or not having her act on the show yet. Maybe she will end up as a horrible actress (no one seems to think she is good, not even her mom)

          • formerlyAnon

            Yeah, they haven’t shown us enough to tell but it is easy to argue that Megan must not be anything special – and certainly what they’ve shown is her pursuing an acting career but not her being dedicated to being an actress – as someone else has said, we haven’t seen her rehearsing or working with others on developing self-started unpaid projects. But I’m agnostic about her abilities and am willing to believe that she’s at least competent, if inexperienced.

  • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gabriella M

    I thought the scene with Don watching Megan’s reel was at least also somewhat of a reference to the Carousel pitch where Don seems to realize how much more he values his family than he realizes (only to arrive home in that first season finale too late to spend time with them).  It both hearkens to the similarities of realizing he needs to give and value his relationships, and the entire Megan thread this episode also served to callback and contrast to when that rival agency nearly cast Betty in their ads in order to attract Don, but he didn’t bite (to Betty’s disappointment). And isn’t it just perfect, that just as Betty was replaced in the ads with a more Audrey Hepburn type, so TLo earlier pointed out that Don himself replaced Betty with a more 60s, Audrey-esque type. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CYGGYQDGESKN4PWJTA2KN25PLI ruff

    Nobody needs to drop acid more than Marie Calvet! That said, I love her character. In her dialogue, she is extremely economical. A bit of a letdown last night; I guess I was looking for a shocka like last season. Thanks for a great re-cap season TLo. 

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

      I don’t know, I think after getting hit so heavy in the prior two episodes, it was nice that they wrapped things up with an episode that was just pretty steady and not overly shocking.

      • CozyCat

        So much happened in the last two episodes!  This episode was about everyone dealing with those events.  On many shows this would have been the first episode of the next season, but there’s more dramatic weight to seeing the characters dealing with the events immediately after they occur rather than wating until long after the impact on us has worn off.

  • Joe Johnson

     I could hardly disagree with you more.

    • Joe Johnson

       Sorry, TLo, that comment was meant as a reply to someone far below. It’s not directed at you! I have to log on and off each time to get my comments to appear in the right place, and I didn’t do that in this instance.

  • O H

    What was Marie saying to Megan about having babies?  Is there something in Megan’s past that prevents her, some secret, and that’s why she could forgive Don’s past so readily?

    • Kyle Crawford

      isn’t that more just a new generation of women, that can see life beyond being baby making machines ? Which in 67/68 was shocking….

      • Maggie_Mae

        The new generation of women benefited greatly from better contraception. Couples did not live together for years & then, finally, marry.  Outside some very conservative subcultures, it was taken for granted that married couples would delay childbearing–so they could enjoy young married life until they were ready to be parents; but the technology wasn’t all that good.  Betty got pregnant very early–back in the 50′s; one reason she was so angry at her kids.  Trudy used a diaphragm until Pete gave her the OK; although she didn’t get pregnant immediately, anyway.  Peggy was instructed to get The Pill but didn’t realize it would not work the first day! 

        Once The Pill was taken for granted, women were able to consider other options. Either temporarily or permanently….

    • boleyn28

      I think she just refused to have babies now because she still wants a career and isnt ready.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

        If I am not mistaken, I believe Don mentioned (to Joan, I think?) that Megan told him his kids were “enough.”

    • Sweetbetty

       I didn’t get the feeling there was anything preventing Megan from giving Don the baby or babies he thinks he wants other than the fact that she doesn’t want to be a mother at this point, maybe any point, in her life.

      • Maggie_Mae

        Don was not hell-bent on impregnating Megan.  He thought she might want kids herself–she didn’t. (At least, not yet.)  The cuteness of Trudy’s baby made him suggest a baby–but that was booze & baby-cuteness talking.   

        It’s not a deal breaker for Don. As he considers that the marriage to Megan might not be Forever, he probably thinks  it’s all for the best….

        • Sweetbetty

           No, I don’t think Don was hell-bent on impregnating Megan either and he only brought it up the one time, that we know of.  Since Marie mentioned it to Megan, though, it must have come up in conversation again either with or without Don present.  I was making the point that not having children seemed to be Megan’s choice, not an inability.  And from the very start I thought it would be a bad idea since I never expected this “ideal” marriage to last and indeed it seems to be going downhill fast.

  • norseofcourse

    All I could think of during the Pete/Beth scene was when Don sat by Peggy’s hospital bed and told her, “It’ll shock you how much this never happened.” Part bad joke, of course, but also another instance of seeing Pete’s actions look a little like what we’ve seen from Don. 

    As for the theme of helping someone only to have them move on … does Don appreciate how Megan helped him? He was in the darkest of places when they met. She accepted him – the realest version of him anyone’s had a chance to see. And there he was at the end, moving on. 

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

      Oh, good recall!

    • Sweetbetty

       I didn’t get into MM until about season 3 and I just watched the above referenced episode recently.  Did Don know Peggy had a baby or did he just know that she had some sort of emotional breakdown?

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

        He knows she had a baby but doesn’t know it was Pete’s.

  • MilaXX

    I enjoyed last night, but thought it was as anviliscous and obvious as most of the season has been. Many of us had already made the connection between Don’s feelings of guilt over Lane’s suicide and Adam’s. Did really need to see Adam’s ghost and/or have him tell Don he would always be with him? Didn’t we get the sense of guilt Don had from his meeting Rebecca? 
    As for Megan, I had no issue with her asking Don to get her the part. It was fact that she pretty much stole the part from her friend who asked her to put in a word for her that I disliked. 
    I wished we had gotten more Joanie scenes. She may be attempting to fill Lane’s shoes, but darned if she isn’t effing effiscient about it. More of that next season please.
    Don watching Megan’s video reel reminded me of his kodak pitch. Even though the spin for kodak was happy memories, I think he views Megan’s acting ambitions as her abandoning him. I know there was a question earlier in the season as to whether or not Don had been faithful to Megan. After seeing Don walk offset, literally away from his fairytale wife, I don’t think he did. I think  Don was desperately trying to live his ideal marriage with Megan. When Don walked into bar, he walked back into womanizer mood and gave up that fantasy. 

    • AuntFiona

       Anviliscous? Well done, MilaXX.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

       During negotiations with AMC, do you suppose Matt Weiner had to have the show’s episodes toss in some “obvious” hints in the storyline, at AMC’s urging, to appeal to a larger audience?  There’s a lot of bad, bad, BAD, TV out there that alot (!) of people seem to like.

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

        I am convinced of that. Let’s hope the anvil stops here. Or at least, doesn’t get any more, uh, anvil-tastic.

      • MilaXX

        I have been wondering that.

    • Sweetbetty

       ”Did really need to see Adam’s ghost”

      I’m going to get nit-picky and graphic again, but did Adam’s rope burns look accurate to you?  They didn’t look to me like they’d choke a person; too forward on the jaw to obstruct breathing.

      • greenwich_matron

        I thought they looked strange too.  Maybe they are different if someone is strangled versus breaking the neck?

        • Maggie_Mae

          That was Adam from Don’s imagination.  He never saw Adam hanging–but learned of his death later. Imaginary Adam we saw was also wittier than the half-bright half-brother who wanted to latch onto Don’s life, so long ago. 

          • Sweetbetty

             So then if Don was seeing Adam as he imagined him to look after being hanged he would probably project what he had just seen of Lane’s hanged corpse.  Did they show a close-up enough image to see if the tie (it was a tie, wasn’t it?) Lane used was in that position?

  • Kyle Crawford

    you have to add one more woman in his life, Sally . She will “leave” him as well……

    • Farthingale

      Right, because one day every girl must spread her legs and fly away!

  • ErinnF

    Sorry – this is a RANDOM thing to mention, but were those STAINS all over Ginsberg’s shirt during the meeting with the Topaz clients? It grossed me out. 

    When I worked for an ad agency, we’d get bitch-slapped if even our fingernails were raggedy during client meetings. 

    • boleyn28

      Yes, I noticed that too, like mustard dripped out of his hot dog onto him. His genius is the only reason he can survive in that industry cause he sure looks unproffessional

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

       I read someone that Jared Harris had complained about stains and was told, “That is what we are doing now….”  So yes, I believe they were stains.

  • Sally3000

    Near the end of Megan’s acting reel, was she working up a tear for the camera? I couldn’t see a tear, but it seemed that way to me. Like a reenactment of the technique she showed Sally in an earlier episode. If so, I wonder if her ability to turn her emotions off and on so easily made Don feel vulnerable. He appeared to become uncomfortable at that point in the reel.

    When Don said “That’s what happens when you help someone, they succeed and move on” all I could think about was Don asking Anna for a divorce so he could marry Betty.  

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

      Oh! Speaking of Anna… she was on “Modern Family” last week. It might have been a rerun.

  • boleyn28

    Didnt Don tell Megan (in the Cool Whip episode I think) that he cant cast her in the commercial because it would be bad for the agency. I know she didnt want that commercial and maybe it was before she quit, but I remeber him telling her that. I wonder if that applies to her,them and the company now?

    • Sweetbetty

       Seems to me that was after Don had already told Joan Megan was leaving but before her goodbye lunch with the girls.  She said something like, “I could still come back and do the Cool Whip thing” (can’t remember if it was the actual commercial or a presentation or what).

    • ybbed

      At the creative meeting. when they acted it out, they just told Peggy they weren’t doing it and it was their decision.

  • fnarf

    What was obnoxious about Megan asking Don for help getting the part wasn’t the asking, it was the shaft she gave her friend, who had asked her for help getting it. 

    What was annoying to me about the Pete storyline wasn’t just the boredom; it was the complete surfacing of a new and unwelcome trend on Mad Men that has been vaguely visible below: terrible writing. The credulity of Trudy to the ridiculous on the face of it car story, which he apparently already used after the fight with Lane, was simply not believable, and was transparently written in to move the story past that corner they’d written themselves into. Same with the Beth visit in the hospital — I didn’t buy it for a second, it was incompetently managed. The whole Beth storyline was there because they wanted to say something about Pete’s unhappiness and inability to compartmentalize like Don, but you could almost see the cue cards the whole way through.

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

       Yes, I too was annoyed by the electric shock storyline.  Yes, it happened but it was not used that way.  It was used to give Pete a reason to self-reflect, something he can suddenly do with the sharpest point.

    • Sweetbetty

       ”What was obnoxious about Megan asking Don for help getting the part
      wasn’t the asking, it was the shaft she gave her friend, who had asked
      her for help getting it.”

      Funny, I’m still not through all the comments but there seem to be an equal number of BKs who like and who hate Megan for doing that.  I know show business is a dog-eat-dog world but Megan isn’t fighting for her next meal like so many others at her level of the profession are so I thought it was a dirty trick on her part.

      • fnarf

        It’s not just that it was a dirty trick to get ahead. It’s an explicit statement: you’re not my friend, and never were; I was lying to you then, and I will climb over you now to get what I want, and you will never sit in my house again, and we will never speak to each other again. It was pretty rude on a personal basis. Does Megan have any friends, actual friends of her own, besides the redhead?

        • Sweetbetty

           And is the redhead an actual friend?  If Red had asked Megan the same favor as Blondie did, would Megan have pulled the same trick?  You bet she would.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

        I don’t think the fact that she’s “not fighting for her next meal” is a very good excuse for not seizing opportunities as they arise. Her friend put this gig on her radar, and Megan acted on it for herself. It may not have been the nicest thing to do to a friend, but I can’t fault her for asking Don for help. A national commercial would have been just the right breakthrough job for a struggling actress. It was a cad move, but a savvy one at that.

  • dickylarue

    Last night’s finale felt like how some lesser shows end their season. The episode before the finale on most shows usually has the biggest development of the season and then the finale just puts a period on the sentence in a far less thrilling way. 

    I wasn’t excited over how this season ended. It didn’t leave me wanting to know what happened next. Yes, I would watch them make sandwiches in the break room if Weiner would shoot 23 episodes of it, but it took all the characters to a rather dull place in the end. Even where Peggy ended up felt depressing. I wish I could get all pumped up that Don is going to cheat on his wife again, but we’ve been there, haven’t we? What could be interesting is seeing Megan succeed in acting, him remain faithful to her and her be the one who acts like the old Don in his hey day. Seeing how a loyal husband version of Don deals with a wife who is clearly having affairs and has one foot out the door might be interesting. I don’t know. I just felt like the series reached a bit of a wall. What’s there to look forward to next season? Seeing the 2nd floor? Seeing what machinations gets Peggy back in the office? Thin Betty? I know I sound a little meh about the season and that’s not the case. I loved everything up to the last episode which left me feeling hollow and hopeless…which I think was exactly what Weiner wanted us to feel. Why? I don’t know.

    • Sweetbetty

       It seems the only one for which real adventures are in store is Sally but we’ve all speculated on how she’ll act out her rebelliousness so I don’t think there will be any real surprises, unless she decides to become a nun to remove herself from it all.  And if Glen is included in any of her adventures, judging from the reactions to his most recent appearance, the viewers aren’t going to be thrilled with that either.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=810765636 Melba Searcy

    On Peggy’s color change… 

    I always saw her wearing yellow as a “lack” of her power.  Yellow usually is associated with a lesser status… Red however means you are in control. 

    • boomchicabowwow

      As a formerly green Heather once said…”I’M RED.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=810765636 Melba Searcy

        You are awesome as hell for this one… :)

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

    That Malibu-Blue Joan had on in the partner’s meeting had me drunk.  LOVE IT! 

    • CozyCat

      I couldn’t notice the color of her dress because I was too busy admiring her glasses!

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

    i haven’t read the other comments yet, and wonder if i’m the only one who read the screen test differently. i think everything in the episode involving megan (her mother’s outlook, her drunken tantrum, her odd impatience after relatively little time pursuing a difficult career, her screen test, where he can see her up close in all her beauty and self-consciousness), conspired to give him a more realistic understanding of the woman he married. and
    betty’s stinging words are true: she is a bit of a “child bride.”  seeing this more clearly now, he still loves her but isn’t in love with her anymore. he leaves behind the fairy tale set piece of this rebound marriage as though waking up from a lovely but unsustainable dream. it’s bittersweet.  and this gives the whole season its depth, to me.  we had to take this rocky ride with don as he fell head over heels with this person he hardly knew, then get to know her little by little and painfully see the person behind the dream.  and isn’t what that happens every time we fall out of love with somebody?  i thought it was a great ending.  and i have to say i’m relieved don the player is back.

    • boleyn28

      Matt Wiener said that Don fell back in love with Megan while watching the screen test, but I like ur idea better. I hope next season plays out that way : )

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

        oh!  in that case, it’s kinda tragic that he’s gone back to being a player.   but i still like it!  :)

        in any event, i know for sure that the screen test was the moment i, out here in the audience, fell out of love with megan as a character.  i’ve wanted to like her, but she’s just too ridiculous.  she’s so childishly eager for everything to fall into place for her, right now.  i can see don still loving her but not, i don’t know, looking up to her the way he used to.  she seems more like a daughter to him than ever.  

        i guess we’re supposed to tie in don’s womanizing with his neuroses, but i like thinking of it as just a return to reality.  a reality that will be more fun to watch than this marriage was!

        • boleyn28

          I agree, she really hasnt put much time into her acting since she left SCDP, but she wants everything now. Im not a fan of her character either : )

          • formerlyAnon

            I don’t know how much time she’s put in, they seem to have implied that she regularly goes on auditions & that she’s been to class. If she isn’t cast, she can’t work.

    • susu11

       Agreed! I find your interpretation much more in line with Don’s character and growth this season. That’s why Weiner’s comments irked me so much.

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

      I guess that’s part of the cliffhanger – is the “Don the player” back, or did he fall back in love with his wife and tell the girls at the bar that he’s not, in fact, alone? I think he saw how well she does on camera and that’s why he changed his mind about helping her get the commercial gig. He’d already said no, so if he watched the reel and didn’t see a spark, he could have just kept things as  they were. But, despite his feelings to the contrary, he did eventually get her the job. He fears abandonment, but clearly doesn’t actually stand in the way of success – notably Peggy’s. He might put up a fuss along the way, but I don’t think we’ve seen him sabotage anyone. As someone said, he walked away from his storybook/fantasy bride, but it might mean more that he’s opened his eyes to the reality of a real person, vs. a literal walking away from the marriage. But then, I’m a cockeyed optimist. We don’t know if Megan is actually talented or merely beautiful. She did well in their “Just taste it” role playing, but then so did he.

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

        you may be right about his being in love with megan.  heck, i’m an optimist, too.  but i do wonder this.  even if weiner wasn’t being subversive with that back in love comment, and don sees megan as she is, and is touched by her, just as she is, and loves her, he’s probably realizing…it’s not enough.  he can both love her and walk slowiy out from the klieg lights and right into the bar.  she’s not the answer he was looking for.  that’s what it seems he found out this week.

        • A Reeves

          Really good points, P. Capet.

          I didn’t get that Don “fell in love” ith Megan “all over again” either–I wasn’t even sure she was any good. Thinking about it since, I think she was fine–or Don would not have sent her along to the client.

          No, I think Don lost respect for her–even if he did fall in love ith her. (It was an ingenious comment because it’s irrelevant. Don really has loved a lot of women…).

          He now knows that her ambition really isn’t to be good at acting–but to be envied by her friends. As some have pointed out–she craves the fame, not the craft; the success, not the struggle. That’s disappointing–maybe even somewhat soul shattering to Don.

          My own daughter is a bit like Megan even though she’s still only 12. She was born expecting things to be handed to her. It’s so odd. You could see it so clearly even when she was two. As a result, I understand completely where Marie was coming from!

          • Sweetbetty

             And if Megan went back into pursuing acting to satisfy her father, what will he think of her doing this commercial for shoes?  He would probably prefer that she stayed a copywriter.

    • aquamarine17

      I totally agree with your “he still loves her but isn’t in love with her anymore.” I sensed a familial feeling from him towards her during the viewing, nothing like love love. Matt Weiner needs to look again at his product—Don’s face during that viewing!

  • http://twitter.com/suryasnair suryasnair

    And I don’t think Pegs is overwhelmed with the new job. I took it as her being astonished that her boss wants *her * ideas and opinions, and is willing to give *her* the credit.

    • boleyn28

      Yeah, I think thats the first time she was asked by a boss to be creative and do what she feels is best, without any direction or ideas from men on how to do it. GO PEGS!

  • boleyn28

    TLO           THIS IS FOR YOU…………..
       I was wondering now that True Blood has started if you 2 will do a blog about that show like u do for MadMen? I sure hope u do cause it is a very interesting blog u 2 write : )

  • CatherineRhodes

    Don’s arc started with last year’s finale — “Tomorrowland” — and ended with him walking away from the fairy tale through the darkened hall and into the bar. It was really quite brilliant.

    Just as you can’t summon the interest for Pete’s storyline, I can’t find the energy for Megan. I liked her at the beginning of this season when she was power wife and talented copywriter, but now I find her annoying with the tantrums, the childlike behavior. Asking Don for the referral was a serious cop-out because shooting a commercial is not “acting,” it is what actors do to pay the bills until they can get a real acting job. She doesn’t want the craft, she wants the fame.

    I love the Roger and Marie storyline — those two have met their match. Peggy bumping into Don in the theater was priceless.

    Joan has become a power player with the partners, seriously. She can fill Layne’s position, no problem, and is a stable force for the rapidly changing company. Oddly, I think they all respect her more after the Jaguar incident because it shows she will succeed by any means necessary — they whore for their customers all the time, and have no ethical qualms whatsoever. It was a dramatic moment when she marked a red X on the floor.

    Anyone care to play predictions for next season?

    • SCDP will become SCDC (Campbell). Pete’s brought it a ton of business this year and will probably be promoted to full partner.
    • The agency will land the Dow Chemical account, putting them in direct conflict with the war protests/youth movement.
    • Megan will move to Los Angeles and be out of Don’s life, but Marie will move to New York and be part of Roger’s.

    • aquamarine17

      I am wondering if Season 6 will open with the Don-Megan marriage already having been over for a little while and Don is single again. I like your idea of Marie in NY for Roger.

  • boleyn28

    I saw Matt Weiner’s synopsis of the show and he said that Don felt like he and Megan were doing the shoe company a favor by giving them Megan for the commercial, rather then the shoe company was doing Megan and Don the favor by casting her. That just shows the dellusion Don has for Megan, it seems like he thinks the whole world should lay out the red carpet for Megan and her unseen talent, I sure hope his POV changes about her next season.

  • sweatpantalternative

    “You’ve come a long way, baby” seems like a perfect tag line that Peggy and Don would come up with TOGETHER. Peggy would come up the gist of it, Don would pare it down to something more pithy and essential, and add the “baby”. Makes me wonder if next season Don will scoop her and somehow land a new cigarette account after all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lynne-Jacobson-Arons/797361589 Lynne Jacobson Arons

    Why has no one mentioned that the “friend” interested in Don looks JUST LIKE MEGAN?

    • greenwich_matron

      It was interesting. The pretty brunette and blond actresses in the last scene looked so much like the pretty blond and brunette actresses playing actresses who discussed favors from Don.

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

    Love Rebecca’s new short hair and wondering why she is staying in America. 

    • Sweetbetty

       I wondered about that too.  She disliked America so and was only there because of Lane so why would she now be moving her mother across the ocean to live in the USA with her?

      • Glammie

        Her son’s in a prestigious school so that may have something to do with it.  Also there’s the estate to settle.
        Wonder, though, if it means they’ll keep Rebecca around.  Good actress–damn, she spit out those lines and just sort of let Don wither–I’d like her to show up next season.  I mean, she still has Lane’s percentage of SCDP and now it’s worth something.  

        Lane may not have been tough enough, but I think Rebecca might be.

        • Sweetbetty

           Oh, wouldn’t that be grand.  Two female partners, Joan and Rebecca.  Can you imagine those two butting heads.

          • Sweetbetty

             Another thought just occurred to me.  One of Lane’s first concerns when Don fired him was that he’d lose his visa.  What about his wife’s visa?  And his son’s?

          • formerlyAnon

            Even more so – we don’t (or, I don’t) have enough of a picture of her as a person to rule out all sorts of plot convolutions. She’s not young, but she’s now single, intriguingly British, and at least moderately posh. Who might be interested in her if she’s shown in a more friendly light?

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

    I thought there was an underlying theme this week -  ‘ be careful what you wish for, because you might end up getting it’.  The episode felt disjointed because we checked in on every major character to find they’d realised a long held dream, which wasn’t quite bringing them the happiness they thought it would.
     
    Joan is now on an equal footing with the men (and front and centre of the gorgous image above) but at such great personal cost that she assumes she should have slept with a guy to prevent his suicide; Rebecca Pryce’s finances are finally back on an even keel but her husband had to destroy himself to get her there; Pete gets his apartment in the city, but only as the result of a tragedy that leaves him feeling even more alone than before; Peggy’s long-held  dream of flying in a plane leaves her in a shitty hotel with a less than glamorous view (and I bet it was cloudy on the flight down too); Roger finally finds a sexy, independent, intelligent equal who is not the coat check girl, but who leaves him to do LSD an explore his feelings alone (how delicious if he ends up as Don’s father in law!); Harry is given the chance of an office ‘without a column’ but it’s so tainted that he can’t take it, ditto Bert finally being offered his own office; Megan gets her part, but it’s not the part she wanted and she couldn’t even get that on her own merits; Sterling Cooper Draper (?) finally ends up with its second floor, but at the cost of one partner’s suicide and another partner’s prostitution.  And Don is starting to realise that the beautiful, free-spirited, independent woman he thought he wanted is not bringing him much happiness either and  that those very qualities will likely tear them apart.
     
    As Adam helpfully points out, Don Draper has a rotten Dick Whitman at its core and everything in SCD(P) world is rotten at the core too.  There will be repercussions next season.

    • Marian Humin

      This is exactly how I saw the finale.

    • Qitkat

       Excellent!

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

    Love, love, love how Stan is so sick of this dynamic.  Translation, he wants the dynamic of Peggy. 

    • http://twitter.com/suryasnair suryasnair

      Do you think Stan will jump ship?

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

         I don’t know.  He seems a bit passive-aggressive.  Like he will take crap forever and just complain about it.  I guess it all depends on if Peggy wants him to come over.

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

        I think so. And they really said a lot with that one line.

      • formerlyAnon

        I think that eventually Peggy will recruit from SCD(P), and in the process she will realize she’s Don’s equal now. Or maybe she’ll know it going in and HE’LL realize it.

      • SheenaRamone

        Most likely. Even if he didn’t just miss Peggy on a professional level, I’m sure the loss of her on a personal level is hitting him just as hard. I don’t see him sharing a joint with or making flirtatious comments towards Ginsberg anytime soon. 

    • greenwich_matron

      I think he also wants the dynamic Peggy as much as he wants the dynamic of Peggy.

  • http://twitter.com/TJ_Gator TJ (Gator Cub)

    I could see Peggy coming up with “You’ve come a long way” and Chaough adding “…baby.” Would be a nice mirror to the Glo-Coat dilemma, would offer Peggy a gigantic victory tinged a little bit with disappointment (in the added word presumably altering some of her intended meaning).  There’s definitely a ton of great material to be mined from Virginia Slims, and I hope it isn’t a Red Herring and CGC loses the account.

    • http://twitter.com/TJ_Gator TJ (Gator Cub)

      Also rather than surpassing Don, I think inventing Virginia Slims parallels the first big success of Don’s that we got to see: his invention of “It’s Toasted.” Since the show altered the actual history of the phrase it’s hard to judge how big a success it was for Don, but I imagine it’s at least in the same ballpark as Peggy inventing Virginia Slims.

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

        She would surpass Don because the Virginia Slims tagline entered the cultural lexicon and is a phrase still used in conversation decades after the ad campaign ended. Don hasn’t managed anything like that yet.

        • sarahjane1912

          The Kodak Carousel came close, I think. I know it’s fallen out of usage [and out of business!] but the way the Kodak account/presentation was framed in the MM world, it was as if Don came up with the name for the projector [even to the extent that leading up to the slide show, everyone kept banging on about the 'wheel' after which the word 'carousel' came almost as a lovely surprise at the conclusion of the pitch].

        • makeityourself

          “You’ve come a long way, baby, to get where you’ve got to today!”

          I can still sing the jingle from tv. And for some reason I kept my Virginia Slims datebooks from the very early ’70s, which are filled with gorgeous shot of Beverly Johnson, Cheryl Tiegs and the like with menswear-inspired clothes on their bodies and cigarettes in their hands.

          • TheDivineMissAnn

            “You’ve got your own cigarette now, baby.  You’ve come a long, long way.”

      • greenwich_matron

        Didn’t they already have the client when Don came up with that line? 

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

        I think the name itself “Virginia Slims”, is pretty iconic. I don’t know about the tag, but I can see Peggy coming up with the name. Remember, they don’t even have that yet.

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

    Richmond, Virginia the city of lovers (dogs), like Paris.  LOL! 

    I don’t think the finale was bad at all. Sure, we were not shocked or left hanging or what have you, but it was good.

  • Judy_J

    I’m going to have to watch this episode a couple more times.  My first impression is that Megan has become an annoying little crybaby, throwing temper tantrums when she doesn’t get her way.  I find myself hoping Don has a really good time with his menage a trois with the two chicks in the bar.  And I must commend the commenter in last week’s thread who brought up the photo of the woman in Lane’s wallet.  Good work!  And yes, I’m already looking forward to Season 6.

  • AutumnInNY

    Excellent analysis Tlo as always. Thank you so much for these thought provoking and wonderful recaps, they are a treasure to read every Monday morning. 

    This is my least favorite season of MM. I felt almost every episode that something was off. I couldn’t place it and still can’t 
    explain it. Last night’s finale while having it’s moments were kind of a let down for me as well. We waited, what a year and a half for this season? It seems incomplete to me on several levels. 

    I’m disappointed in whom they choose to highlight in what will be our last look at these characters for probably another year or more.

    Too much time was given to the Pete/Beth story line. A lot of Beth scenes that could have been used for other characters.  I would have rather seen more of the Pete/Trudy dynamic that’s been going on. Surely Trudy-tho she gave in on the Manhattan apartment can’t be sensing something has been going on with Pete all this time? I find it hard to believe that sharp as she is, and despite being so wrapped up in the baby that she’s not on to Pete-even if she’s in denial. It would have been nice to see that explored more in an entire season than it was. 

    I may be in the minority on this one as well, but I hope Megan will be on her way out. I for one have had my fill of both the character and the actress. She’s had more screen time than Joan, Peggy and obviously Betty all season. I am far more interested in Sally and the core women characters than in Megan and all that comes with her half-hearted ambitions. Those last two scenes, Don walking away from the shoot and him at the bar were golden. I can only hope it’s a true indication of what’s to come in Season 6.

    Don single, dispirited, creatively challenged coping with the agency changes, aging, his children, and his personal demons than Don married to Megan make for a more intriguing Don Draper. 

  • http://twitter.com/suryasnair suryasnair

    I so badly want Roger to be Don’s Step-father-in-law.

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

       That would be such a hoot. 

    • Redlanta

       I was so afraid he was going to “fly” out that window on a bad trip!

  • beebee10

    I’m not one to go in for complaining about a show that is so well done and exceptional. But here I go. This season seems like a stumble for me. Not sure exactly why. I think they understandably needed to move on from the tension of “don’s secret identity” and shadow Dick Whitman cast.  But it was hard to care about Meghan, hard to care about Pete and his malaise (tho he’s very well acted), hard for me to believe Joan would prostitute herself with the knowledge that her male colleagues would all know, hard to lose the character of Lane, and boring to see Roger so dull and with no arc. And Betty…well why bother? 

    So now we’re left with Mr Don Philanderer, like the whole arc of the season led nowhere? Is that the point? Don is just Don? Is the point that no one changes? That’s not so compelling or at least it wasn’t this past season. 

    Still love the show, but for me they did jump the shark with Joan and then Lane. Here’s to a better Season 6. 

  • jilly_d

    Can’t WAIT for the style post this week.  Peggy has “come a long way, baby” style-wise since leaving SCDP and Gawd, as a straight woman, I’ve never been so ready to jump the fence as I was seeing Joanie in those black cat-eye frames.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

    Thank you T and Lo for all your hard work, watching and re-watching and analyzing and catching screen caps and writing such beautiful essays for us all to discuss. You know you can never stop now, or there will be legions of Bitter Kittens and Unborn Fawns roaming the internet, craving a TLo fix …

    When the music started in the movie theater, I shouted out “Casino Royale!” Was I right?

    Joan was TO DIE in that scene with the partners with that blue outfit and that Queen Nefertiti-ish beehivey hair.

    The line about “having an artistic temperament but not being an artist”  - ouch.

    Good for Megan. I mean, not asking Don to help her friend, but digging for the part for herself. 
    I went to bed convinced the blond in the bar at the end WAS her friend, and was trying to make sense of all that, but others here have commented that it wasn’t her, so I guess they’re right. Sure looked like her though.

    Joan was wearing blue roses in one scene, and I as going “wait, blue roses mean what again?”.

    I was horrified at Beth having shock treatments. For what, a little depression? We’ve come a long way baby indeed.

    Lots of gauzy peignoir-y fabrics, yes? I remember my Barbie doll from that time (1966) having a pale blue outfit like that. “Flammable” is all I can think of.

    I got chills when the “You Only Live Twice” music started. That was a beautifully done scene.

    So now we all get to wonder where they’ll all be when the next season starts. I can’t even. But I look forward to it.

    • mskgb

      Yes–Casino Royale is correct–the movie where James Bond isn’t really James Bond, a perfect inspiration for advertising.

      I, too, had no problem with Megan asking Don to help her get a job. Sure, she could have told her friend that she’s not the dilettante her actor friends may think, that she wants to work, and she’ll use her advantages for her own benefit, thank you very much, but I think the point was the superficially supportive nature of the business. Didn’t the same friend Megan shafted note that she had been telling their fired-from-Dark-Shasows friend how good she was (and how great was the line, “Everybody wants a redhead” in light of last week’s developments with Joan”)?

      And agreed–Joan was to die for in her blue, double-breasted shirtwaist, hairdo and *glasses*!

      • sweetlilvoice

        The glasses! Love them. Has she ever worn them out of the house? “Men are not attracted to girls who wear glasses”-Marilyn Monroe in How to Marry a Millionaire.

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

          “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses”- Dorothy Parker :)

    • sweetlilvoice

      I can tell you that my best friend was offered shock treatment for her very serious depression 10 years ago. It’s a last resort but it’s still done. Poor Beth, the anti-depression/anxiety drugs are really good now and she could have probably benefited from them. Dark Betty indeed…at least Betty got out. Wonder if her hands go numb now?

      • Sweetbetty

         I have a friend whose husband has been suffering from serious depression for some years now and he has had numerous shock treatments, as recently as this year.  It’s still done but not for someone like Beth, I’m sure.

      • aesteve212

         I know someone who still administers it. It has progressed quite a bit – more of a fine tool now, vs a dull hammer then. Doesn’t wipe the memory/personality in the same way. For some families is it is a god-send. It just sounds so medieval though.

  • Susan Crawford

    Thank you both for another amazing season of recaps, insights, humor and depth – I can’t say how much your weekly analyses have added to my enjoyment of this show.

    I must say, I was waiting with my breath held to see this episode: fallout from Lane’s death; fallout from Joan’s promotion; fallout from Peggy’s departure – positively atomic things were certain to happen. And they did, but not at the level of full-on destruction. Instead, it was like a series of smaller explosions: little dirty bombs that will leave residue behind to change everything in subtle, scary or unpredictable ways down the line.

    I was thrilled to see Julia Ormond paying Don and Megan a little visite. She and Megan have a hell of a history, that was clear, but one thing is sure: she is not one to sugar-coat the truth as she sees it, and she sees VERY clearly the state of her daughter’s marriage. Her “advice” is like a full-on smack to the jaw for BOTH Megan and Don. What, exactly, do these two beautiful, privileged people expect to gain from their marriage? What are they willing to do to make it work? What level of trust does a marriage require?

    Megan’s acting class friend asks for a favor, and Megan reluctantly agrees to put in a word with Don. And then she betrays her friend, but finally comes right out and tells Don exactly what her ambitions and dreams mean to her. And gets the job. Was it because of Don? Or was it also that screentest reel?

    Because THAT was quite a test. Megan does not have the all-American looks that drove the studios back in the sixties, but as I watched her screentest, all I could envision was Godard, Truffaut, even Fellini being blown away by that perfectly imperfect face. And when she is getting prepped for the rehearsal, she looked incredible. Like Coppelia – a beautiful doll coming to life.

    Peggy – I cannot WAIT for the Style Re-Cap, because there is a LOT we need to chat about, fashionwise! But she is making her way, that’s clear. The meeting with Don in the movie theater? OK, it was pretty contrived, but boy, did it nail down the underlying theme of this entire season: letting go of people, dreams, the past, fear, emotion. Zowie!

    Pete’s beating (and I’m really losing count at this point) on the train was intensely satisfying, especially when the conductor hauled off and sent him sprawling. But he was right not to stay silent to Mr. Philanderer, who has sent his wife off for electro-shock therapy and still wants to party hearty while she’s recuperating. But Pete also took advantage of the situation with one final tryst before her treatment. That is something Pete can romanticize and mythologize all he wants in any number of emotional speeches, but he used her.

    (Big problem for me? I cannot stop seeing Rory Gilmore! I was waiting for Lorelei, Luke and the whole population of Stars Hollow to storm that hotel room and rescue Rory from the clutches of Slimy Pete!)

    Joan has a BIG job ahead, but I think her dignity, her calmness (even in the face of the ongoing sexism), and her really sharp business acumen is going to be MAJOR next season. Those big boys are going to be learning some lessons from Joan, and they will not be allowed to forget them.

    Roger, Roger, Roger – why do I love thee so much? Because of all the characters on this show, you are the most open to new experiences, to taking big risks with yourself, to going after life with so much zest and recklessness. OK, I admit it – I love me those bad-boy silver foxes. The shot of naked Roger, arms spread wide, embracing another LSD trip as the panorama of the city fills his view – fabulous! (And Mr. Slattery, you have a hell of a booty!)

    Trudy gives in on the apartment, so we will definitely see Pete’s continuing trail of slime. And depression. And I am really looking forward to seeing how it all turns out, because much as I detest Pete, Vincent Kartheiser does such an amazing job of creating the character that I watch Pete’s scenes with awe for that talent.

    As for Don, so much happened to him: his attempt to give Lane’s widow sympathy and money was soundly – and rightly – rejected. It broke my heart to hear her say that a man like Lane should never have been pushed so hard as to become filled with ambition. Don left that apartment with NO illusions.

    The ongoing toothache was an interesting device – of all types of pain, a really bad toothache is perhaps the most intrusive and impossible to ignore. It pounds away, stabs when you least expect it, and although you can numb it for a while, you know it is going to crop up again and again. Hello, Adam.

    Don’s face as he watched Megan’s screentest reel was tender and somewhat amazed, because clearly, he was seeing Megan in a very different way. And it was elegiac, too – Don was letting go of a fantasy. When he walked away from the lighted, fairy-tale set, where Megan was a brilliant splash of color, and strode into the shadows, and then into a bar . . . well, we don’t need a Jaguar to fall on our heads to see what is coming.

    I loved this season – it was challenging, it was dark, it was heavy with foreboding, it was full of violence and threat, it was full of change, endings and beginnings. It was just like the sixties.

    And again – T and Lo, you are the BEST guides ever!

  • Caaro3

    And here I thought, “Well…I’m president of the Howdy Doody Circus Army!” was the theme of the final episode.

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

      That was so great!

      • Susan Crawford

        I cannot TELL you how hard I laughed at that reference. I appeared in The Peanut Gallery at the “Howdy Doody” show – the culmination of my dreams! However, I was SO overexcited that after the first part of the show, I threw up. Buffalo Bob came over and said, “Little girl, if you knew you were sick you should have stayed home.”

        Since Buffalo Bob also lived in my home town, my mother had many, many opportunities to cut him dead – and bless her heart, she did.

  • greenwich_matron

    I can’t think about Megan without falling into a “meta” abyss.  I can’t think about the character’s acting ability without thinking about the vitriol that is thrown at Jessica Pare and January Jones (both of whom are pretty successful), and I can’t get upset about Don’s nepotism because of Marten Holden Weiner. There can’t be a definitive answer to whether Megan is any good because talent always seems to be debatable and nobody really seems to make it on their own by virtue of talent, whether they are helped by nepotism or showing their tits in “Hot Tub Time Machine.”

    Her mother’s comments made it clear to me why I couldn’t take Megan’s acting ambitions seriously: every little girl wants to be an actress. The character never said or did anything to suggest that there was anything more than that. She doesn’t have a clear idea of what she wants other than to get a big break. I know that we don’t see everything, but why don’t we see her rushing off to dance class or reading classic plays? She did take a class, but we don’t see her agonizing over whether she will be accepted by some teacher for some workshop. She gave up easily the first time and didn’t try again until it was clear that her daddy was disappointed in her. On the other hand, everyone who becomes a great actress was once a little girl…

    • Farthingale

      I noticed this as well. The writer’s chose to show Megan’s acting ambitions generating little more activity than sitting around the penthouse waiting for the phone to ring. I would have loved to have seen her in some acting classes, or inviting a passel of unwashed acting wannabees up to the apartment to rehearse plays, etc.

    • aesteve212

       I don’t think she has stopped going to classes or making all the efforts actors make – we might just not be seeing it on screen. I think if we had never seen her in another job, I might feel like this career was dilettante-ish. But she has been a successful copy writer. She knows what professional success feels like.

  • Redlanta

    Fantastic review fellas!!  I was wondering if Peggy would be the Virginia Slims girl also.  That look Don gave the two Manhattan girls, at the end, was priceless!  I loved how Joan has finally come upfront at doing what she has had to maneuver and sneak to do in years past-run the company!  It was sad that Lane was essentially correct in thinking he had more value dead than alive. 

  • suzinrva

    1968 -Virginia Slims test-marketed in San Francisco. Peggy at the Fillmore / Haight-Ashbury at the height of American counter culture? Perhaps she meets Tom Wolfe in Richmond on her business trip and begins her own Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test?  Not likely. Waiting for next season.

  • nycfan

    After two consecutive HOLY COW episodes, I liked the solemn conclusion.  

    Loved the interaction between Megan and her Mom, and I think in the presence of her parents (particularly her mother), Megan’s childish, petulant side emerges more clearly, as though she’s reverting to being 12-years-old in their presence.  Don’s child bride indeed. 

    I hope we see more of Marie & Roger next season, those two have genuine, screen-burning chemistry — the kind of chemistry they hoped Roger would have with his Casablanca-esque dogfood heiress former girlfriend (which season?  I forget).   Marie’s appreciation for Roger’s wit, coupled with her cool refusal to put up with his accompanying little boy desire to be mommied, is bracing and a joy to watch even in such short scenes.

    I had the idea that when Don watched that screen test reel in many ways he saw Megan as she truly is for the first time — the raw, almost pathetic (to him) ambition, maybe faces she had made at him that he took as genuine but now sees as part of her acting, that deep desire to be a STAR however she gets the break (so antithetical to his desire to succeed on an “even” playing field and hide all at once).  He may still love her and have a paternal desire to give her whatever she desires, whether she “earns” it or not, but I’m not so sure he respects her and I am pretty certain that the fantasy perfect marriage/partnership he had built around her crumbled to dust.  Hopefully he emerges a better person, even if he can’t really deeply change.

    “Are you alone?”  I think on every level, Don’s answer is now yes.  Will he and Megan have an “A Star is Born” arc over the last two seasons or will she simply fade into the background?

    Short of another tragedy or some wild advertising escapade (which would have felt cheap in the shadow’s of Lane’s death, I think), I’m not sure where else this season finale had to go.  Had they ratcheted up the drama, I think people would be screaming about soap opera dynamics.  I dunno, I like the way it ended, with people grasping at something better, to be better, yearning for happiness without figuring out what would make them happy, and yet, in the end, deep down, anchored to who they are and always will be. 

    • CatherineRhodes

       Very incisive post, nycfan. Thanks.

    • barbarasingleterry

      I see the ending as very indicative of the times.  Changes are all around in society, everything is up in the air, nobody really knows what is expected of them anymore and chaos is the norm.  All of the characters are embracing the changes in their lives by either changing themselves or reverting to type.

  • Call me Bee

    Thanks, Tom & Lorenzo, for your thoughtful MM insights.  It amazes me the nuances you pick up in these episodes…

    For something totally off-topic–did anyone see Jon Hamm on the Graham Norton show?  He was very charming, and Graham had the Don Drapper Ken doll.  SO darling and I SO want one!  He comes with a  little briefcase and trenchcoat.  Sweet!

  • Candigirl1968

    Peggy coming back to the firm could bring new and interesting tension between her and Joan, just when the two were becoming friends.  

    I do buy Pete’s depression.  The fact that it is vague, unsatisfying, and seemingly coming from a place of ingratitude and selfishness makes it seem annoyingly realistic.  That Trudy gave in to the “apartment in the city” and the ambivalent look on his face say it all.  The apartment – which was yet another false answer to his problems – really is just another sad band-aid.  

    • judybrowni

      It will be lonely. And Pete is lonely enough already in the midst of family and colleagues.

    • formerlyAnon

      I expect scenes of Pete staying late at the office, drinking into the evening at bars, trying to pick up women but it mostly ending disappointingly.

  • think10

    I haven’t finished reading all the comments so forgive me if this has already been stated but I interpretted the reel-viewing and Megan-placing in a different manner. Toward the end of the reel Megan is playing with her hair and (I think) Don notices she’s not wearing a wedding ring and Don gets a funny look on his face. This combined with the “Megan Calvet” on the board at the beginning and I thought it went back to his earlier comment of “You want to be someone’s discovery; not someone’s wife”…with his whole abandonment thing it was like he suddenly thought, damnit, I DO want her to be my wife. My take was he wanted to exert contol over her and have it be about HIM doing her a favor not that he thought she would be so great. Just my two cents! It felt like a real turning point in their marriage.

    • judybrowni

      However, Butler shoes wanted someone “European”: Megan Calvet, for instance. Megan Draper, not so much.

      And Cinderella wouldn’t be wearing a wedding ring.

      • think10

        The point was not “OMG! Megan wasn’t wearing a wedding ring and she used her maiden name in the screen test!” Both perfectly explainable. The point was Don’s interpretation of the situation. It actually didn’t matter (to me) that her screen test was plausible. My take was it made him (consciously or subsconciously) think, that’s my wife and tied with his prior comment about not wanting to be someone’s wife made him step in. To me the look on his face was one of love, not “wow, she’s great at this and deserves a chance.” He wants her to stay his wife – he wants to keep her there. He suddenly looked like husband-of-Betty not the New Don Draper as he’s appeared all season.

      • greenwich_matron

        Megan made this screen test before Butler shoes, though. She had already decided on using Calvet as her professional name. She mentioned using Calvet when Don brought it up, and she did not make it sound like she had already made that decision.

        • boleyn28

          She has used her maiden name way before this, its her acting name.

        • boleyn28

          She has used her maiden name way before this, its her acting name.

          • greenwich_matron

            Yes, but she didn’t have an acting career before she became Mrs. Draper, at least they never suggested that she had anything to put on her resume that would require her continuing to use her maiden name. 

            I don’t use my husband’s name, but I had a career before I got married and I got married 25 years later. 

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

             I didn’t have a career when I got married, as I was just out of college.  I still didn’t take my husband’s name, being rather attached to my own.  Was that wrong?

            Anyway, Megan told him she’d use her maiden name when he asked her what the clients would think about his being her husband. He didn’t seem put out by that particular detail at all.

          • greenwich_matron

            Why would you think it was wrong to keep your own name? 

            It was the 1960′s and lots of entertainers kept their maiden names when they got married after they had established a career, but lots of them used their married names (a lot of singers who had horrible divorces immediately come to mind).  Don didn’t seem to mind (which I think in anachronistic), but given the time and the fact that she didn’t have any professional need to keep her maiden name, it makes her commitment to her marriage questionable.

          • A Reeves

            My own Mom did her best to have an amateur acting career in 1966-68. She hyphenated her name.

            The career was OK–and turned into a professional broadcasting career when the the marriage dissolved after about four years in around 1968. (The way she tells it, she wasn’t home to put dinner on the table and iron his shirts like he wanted…but, then, she likes stories. The truth was, they were both infants. (Actually, both are true.)

          • Maggie_Mae

            Susan Sarandon was married to Chris Sarandon when she began her acting career.  Her career has lasted far long than that marriage….

            But I see nothing odd about Megan keeping “Calvet.” Although she probably only used it in student productions, Up North….

          • PleaseLearnToSpell

            Chris Sarandon is Susan Sarandon’s brother, not ex.

          • Sweetbetty

             Nope, they were married.

  • AuntFiona

    What was the film Peggy and Don saw? I couldn’t place that opening music, though I know I recognize it.
    And masterful job again, TLo. You’ve had an outstanding season, too,

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

       Casino Royale.

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

        Hey, didn’t Megan say last week that she could not see that without Don because he wanted to see it so bad? I did feel sad when he walked away from Megan’s set and you knew that was it.

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

           HA! Good catch.  This of course would imply Megan thinks about Don but Don does not think about Megan.  Unless of course Megan has not expressed much interest in seeing the movie.

          • boleyn28

            It was a different movie last week then this week, Fistful of Dollars and Casino Royale

        • susu11

          Actually i think the film that Megan mentioned last week that she couldn’t see without Don was ‘Fistful of Dollars’ with Clint Eastwood (one of my faves)

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

            No, she said Don would kill her if she took Sally to see “Fistful”. Something like that. I think…

          • Sweetbetty

             No, susu11 had it right.

      • aesteve212

         AHHH – just putting this together (and haven’t made it through all the comments yet, so maybe this discussion is still to come) but Casino Royale and You Only Live Twice in the same episode! I was more focused on the metaphor of You Only Live Twice, coupled with the return of suave Bond-like Don, but now there is the contrast of the spy-spoof Casino Royale and straight YOLT. CR had an aging-Bond who came out of retirement, and all the stars are super glamorous aging movie starts (David Niven, Orson Welles, etc). YOLT was gadget heavy if I remember correctly – maybe that was interpreted as cutting edge at the time? I guess what I am trying to say is, through using CR and YOLT within 10 minutes of each other, Weiner is further contrasting the old guard and the new.

  • rainwood1

    The finale didn’t do much for me because it focused on all the storylines I’m less interested in – Pete’s affair with Rory Gilmore, Pete’s personal life generally, Megan and her career, Roger’s affair with Megan’s mother, Lane’s wife, Peggy’s career away from SCDP, and Don’s hallucinations about his past.  All they needed was Glenn and it would have made been complete.  

    That said, the line up of the five partners in the new space was genius.  They should have ended the season with that shot.  

    • Sweetbetty

       Hmm, I wonder if they’ll open the next season with that shot and pick up right where they left off.  Probably not since in the past several months of MM time have passed between each season.

  • LuLusLemons

    Joan and Peggy, united in their red power color.

    Joanie breaks through the glass ceiling (the second floor — “Get more room than we need”), marking the staircase on the floor in red spray-paint.

  • cherylmoore

    I was a bit disappointed by the episode having expected something earth-shattering to happen, but now realize there is a lot of food for thought there. I liked the fleshing out of a few more characters, Megan’s mom and Beth. It didn’t occur to me before that Pete is depressed; I thought he was just an asshole…now I know he’s a depressed asshole.  The after-electroshock scene was stupid to me (having seen people in real life after electroshock)- very unbelievable and just a device.  To me the pivotal scene was Don watching Megan’s screen test and detaching from her – he is admiring her but realizing she is not who he thought she was. All along this season, Don is getting slammed, like the door slamming in his face with Lane’s wife. Even though he has been such a jerk, I find myself feeling a bit sorry for him. I don’t even care if he wants to philander anymore.
    I was so relieved to see Peggy again, but please, give her better hair and clothes !  HATED the red “power” suit.

    • nycfan

       I assumed that electro-shock was not the only mood altering treatment going on with Beth, but you are correct that her well kept pink chiffon emptiness is not a realistic post-electric shock therapy behavior generally.  Still, the after-affects of such therapy I’ve seen at NY Psychiatric is a very different venue than the hospitalization Beth is receiving, which seems a lot more like a pre-Stepford high end memory reboot program for troubled upper class wives.

      • CozyCat

        I know someone who received shock treatments for depression in the 60s.  She did suffer from a kind of amnesia afterwards, but it was not as depicted.  It was more a fuzziness about periods of time–I doubt you would experience the clean extraction of all memories of a particular person.  Nor did she describe  those treatments as the pleasant “re boot” that Beth experiences–they were terrifying for her and the subsequent “fuzziness” was highly unpleasant.  I really felt uncomfortable with the whole storyline.

    • boleyn28

      Not to discount your POV, but the scene with Don watching the reel (according to Matt Weiner) Don was falling in love with her all over again and realizing the shoe company would be lucky to have her, not that she would be lucky to have them. this is according to Matt Weiner, not me  : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/lenoradody Lenora Dody

    I loved Marie’s line last night; something to the effect of “Not everyone gets their dreams, the world can’t support that many ballerinas” !

    • LuLusLemons

       She got some great ones. “Thank God I don’t live for my children” or something like that.

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

      Also telling Roger “Don’t ask me to take care of you”.. That was great. 

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

    YES! Peggy’s new power colour! Weeks of re-reading Mad Style posts and it smacked me in the face. I’m so happy for Pegs!

  • Kathleen Gillies

    Don is totally Meghan’s Sugar Daddy.  She is such a child.  She really loves him so much every time he gives her what she wants.  When he doesn’t, he’s some nasty old man that expects his wife to be home and wait for him and keep his home… well act like a wife I guess.  I love her mother’s comment “You ungrateful bitch. thank God my children are not the center of my life.”  She was saying that Meghan was ungrateful to her mother, not just her husband and her good fortune.  When Don wanted to put Meghan’s Choice of Being a drunken dramatic whiney bitch on her she said– She is your problem pal. You filled her head with unrealistic expectations. 

    I think Don was very surprised that she wanted the commercial.  In the past she had declined commercials. They were beneath her.  They were advertising.  They were not art.  Even though I am not a Meghan fan (find her beautiful but boring), I was surprised to discover such lack of depth in her mechinations, her reaction to Don after the initial request (going to the bathroom to cry, really?), the drunken petulance the following day, then the I loveya daddy enthusiastic energy at the camera shoot.  Artistic temperment (Diva anyone?) without talent.  The screentest wasn’t really anything but how she looks on camera (which is honestly no surprise to us because we watched her on camera all season).  In this episode, isn’t she about 27?  Isn’t she getting kind of long in the tooth in those days to get her start?  1960′s were all about the youthquake and though she is a beautiful girl, I wonder if she is subtracting 5 years on her CV– esp. for ingenue parts.

    Peggy was amazing.  She was so sharp and confident.  Her and Don meeting up was a great scene.  I think he will try to steal her back.

    Pete’s storyline this season was a downward arc. He is such a solitary lonely character.  He has no idea why he is so unhappy.   I think he has clinical depression.  It is not merely the change in relationship at home after baby.  He seems to have no desire for his wife. I think he does truly care for her and Tammy.   He and Beth were both desperate for connection, intimacy to pull them out of the dark.  He seems so separated from everyone.  He is working really hard and being successful in his work so he knows it is not the cause.  I wonder how much destruction he will cause.  He, like Lane is not one to bare his soul to his wife and ask for help and certainly would not at the office…. except maybe to Don.  I could not get over all the statements he made about “being weak” when Beth talked about her depression and treatment.  Mental illness/depression held such a stigma.

    Roger is hilarious as usual.  Lane’s wife was angry and it was understandable.  She certainly didn’t fail to verbally whip Lane at her leisure when he was alive.  Perhaps she is feeling a bit of guilt herself.  What happens with Lane’s partnership stake?  Will that continue to help support his family?

    I love the SCDP is suffering d/t Peggy’s absence (if only she had a fly on that wall during Ginsburg’s screw up).  Thing is, if Meghan had stayed on as copywriter, they probably would have done fine and she would have been a success at that.  I am finding little sympathy for her “I need to live my dream” and shooting commercials.   I guess I am more cynical in my old age.  The world cannot support so many ballerinas after all.

    • CatherineRhodes

       I agree with you on Megan. She is a whiny spoiled child, annoying as hell.

      • FINNlady

        Completely agree about Megan.  This season emphasized her role way too much.  Don lost his mojo because of this wanna be actress.  She landed the greatest role of her life by landing Don with her good mothering acting BEFORE the marriage.  Afterwards, she can’t be bothered to make the kids breakfast (Don does it) or take care of Sally when it inconveniences her.  I have a different reaction to Don’s watching her on film.  She seems to be asked off camera to keep her mouth closed in the last portion of the film.  I think Don realizes she will never be a big film success because of her teeth and he steps in to give her the commercial as a kindness.  Don is the embodiment of James Bond and I want that Don back.   Don even looks like Sean Connery in his 007 roles.  Same slim, yet muscular torso and ultra-conservative hair and dress and mannerisms.   Don would be someone I should hate because he’s such a philanderer and “male chauvinist pig”  but, I am intrigued by him, because of the nuanced way his character is drawn and revealed to us. Hope the story shifts to more emphasis on  current events of 1968 and their impact on advertising.  Finally, what’s up with referring to women as “ballerinas”?  Megan’s mother uses the term and Freddy calls Peggy a ballerina.

        • Sweetbetty

           ” Afterwards, she can’t be bothered to make the kids breakfast (Don does it) or take care of Sally when it inconveniences her.”

          Not a Megan defender but I disagree here.  We only ever saw one breakfast scene with the kids but even if Don made breakfast every time they were there I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily because she can’t be bothered.  Don, despite all his faults, does seem to want to have a relationship with his kids and making them pancakes on a weekend morning is one step in the right direction.  And she did take care of Sally but was angry at Don for not letting her know that Sally would be showing up.

          • Maggie_Mae

            I’m not a Megan lover, but that breakfast was a chance for Don to spend time with his kids. Megan has been a decent stepmother–which does not mean competing with the real mother.  Not that the real mother is all that great….

          • formerlyAnon

            My dad was a pretty straight-up traditional gender roles guy, and fixing something ‘special’ – biscuits or english muffins with lots of butter or sometimes pancakes – for breakfast on Saturday mornings is something I remember him doing regularly, for a while. Kids were not required to be involved in the making, though we could be. I don’t remember if he did the dishes, though. My bet would be that he didn’t, unless my mom were actually ill.

        • 3hares

          Marie said ballerinas because it fit her point. It’s a stereotype that little girls want to be ballerinas, but the world could never support that many ballerinas in the world. So only a few of them make it.

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

      Totally agree about Pete.

      Also, SCDP needs to hire another female copywriter quick.

    • boleyn28

      spot on about her mood changes on their marriage depending on if she is getting her way or not : )

    • Sweetbetty

       ” In the past she had declined commercials.”

      I don’t remember this?

  • mskgb

    Can someone else confirm that Megan picked up what looked like a small, heart-shaped box of chocolates with the morning mail? If my eyes weren’t playing tricks, I wondered who sent them. The box looked too minuscule to be something Roger would stealthily send Marie, and Megan didn’t thank Don. ‘Tis a mystery (and perhaps a false sighting).

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

      It was a can of film – the reel from her screen test.

      • mskgb

        Of course :smacks forehead:

  • Qitkat

    The BEST analysis on the net.

    Last evening, except for the last 10 minutes, I was a bit let down by this episode. I knew it wouldn’t have the drama of the Peggy, Joan or Lane moments. And that was alright, but I still wanted some icing on my cake. I went searching for it on other reviewers’ recaps. And did.not.find.any. Until I came here this morning. Maybe if I had watched the episode twice, like you guys do, and apparently many recappers don’t, I would have found more substance. But I knew I could count on you two for that. Thanks. So much.

    My favorite moment was the delicious surprise of Peggy and Don meeting up at the movie theater. I kept waiting for her after that brief glimpse into her new agency. If we don’t see her again, it was the perfect way for her to exit, even as we got a laugh with the dogs’ copulating outside her hotel window. Our gal is succeeding and realizing her dreams, but I will miss her a lot. The show needs a strong woman, and while for many that is Joan, it will always be Peggy for me. Probably because I’m closer in age, and understand and admire how she has stretched and stumbled and ultimately honed and polished her talents and goals to now be in this exciting new opportunity.

    • LuLusLemons

       How awesome was it to see her in the signature Mad Men pose, one arm stretched out over an empty seat? “Drapering,” I believe they called it earlier in the thread…

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

        Yes, I noticed that immediately during that scene! Such a fantastic touch.

    • charlotte

      Am I the only one who (at least for a moment) saw the possibility that the movie theater scene might just be a dream? I know it turned out not to be that way, but after the appearance of the “ghost” of Don’s brother (and the infamous fever dream of course), I wasn’t so sure whether this is real or the narcotics are still wearing off.

      • Qitkat

        Your narcotics? ;-)
        /sorry/ a moment of cheekiness overcame me

        • charlotte

           Ha, that’s okay. I just re-read my comment and thought that there might be a joke coming.

      • Sweetbetty

         It didn’t occur to me at the time but after reading your comment it occurred to me how horrible it would have been if it had turned in to Peggy giving Don a hand job in the theater, whether as a dream or not.  Eww.

      • aesteve212

         hahah – I love this thread. After the early-in-the-season fever dream there have been A LOT of scenes that have left me feeling “was that a dream?” and then 5 minutes later reminding myself “of course it wasn’t!”  And I would watch a Peggy show in a heart beat. My favorite scene with her this season was when she takes out the notepad to write her salary requirement on, and hand to Ted Chough (sp?). I love that she is so serious and doesn’t care that Ted thinks it is a little formal. I just love Peggy so much!

  • nycfan

    In re Virginia Slims

    Did anyone else’s mom have all the Virginia Slims calendar books?  Slim, spiral bound weekly calendars with a “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” add on each page (each of a woman done in turn-of-the-century drag and showing her husband by lighting up a Slim) … I don’t know if Peggy will be the one who comes up with the tag line in our fictional universe (if so, she’ll have topped anything Don ever accomplished in terms of iconic advertising), but just suggesting it brought back a wave of memories of flipping through my Mom’s Virginia Slims calendar with the feeling of getting away with something (probably somewhat in the way a little boy probably felt surreptitiously flipping through his Dad’s Playboy).

    I gotta see if anyone has posted any of those ads on line.

    • CMSmith1848

      My mom had one! I immediately thought of it. I loved that calendar. The pictures were beautiful and I looked at it again and again and wanted to be one of those cool, grown-up, career women.

    • nycfan

       Aha, The Virginia Slims Book of Days.  Here’s a link to a print ad for the 1978 book: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21022123@N04/6997938510/

      Anyhoo, sorry for the tangent, now back to Mad Men talk. :)

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

        The tangents are sometimes the best parts… :)

    • Judy_J

      I guess I was in the target audience for Virginia Slims, because I bought into it.  I smoked for 3 whole months when I got to college, and it was Virginia Slims I was smoking.  I thought I had come a long way, baby.

  • A Reeves

    Thank you so much for your reliable insights and well-written commentary. It’s been a treat.

    I liked this episode, I hope it is a sign of things to come. I want Don to resume his philandering: we’ve met some fabulous female characters that way.
    The episode didn’t feel so much like a season finale as like a bridge to the next season. That’s OK…still makes me rather impatient for the next season.

    I loved Julia Ormond in this. “Do not ask me to take care of you” –juxtapose that against the advice she gives her own daughter. Thus is a complex character born and brilliantly played in a few lines.

    And Joanie! Yes, we had blue roses–but then we didn’t. On that second flor she was back in a solid It looked like orange to me, though, not red. Will rewatch before the mad style post on Wednesday. I’m looking forward to your comments, as ever.

    Guys–I think I’ll miss you and the bk’s more than the episodes hile we wait for the next season!

    • judybrowni

      Joan in orange? — horrors, no never! The color must be off in your set.

      Joan in red, ah, that’s different — so was Peggy in this episode. 

      Dollars to donuts, TLo pegs that as the new power color for both.

  • Qitkat

    After listening to Tom’s incisive analysis (such fun to listen for a change!), I wonder. Since Joan is wearing her blue roses dress while showing the other partners the new floor, does this signify that she is now firmly married to SCDP? Also what will the new name of the agency be?

  • CarolinLA

    I loved that Pete was seeking lifesavers that were fresh.  

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

      I thought that request was just a ruse for getting Caroline off her desk so that he could speak to Beth privately.

      • CarolinLA

        It was but MW chose to send her for lifesavers not coffee or a candy bar.  And isn’t that what Pete really wants – a life saver?

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

          One of the more hilarious lines of the night. :)
          And it calls back to Hildy (I think?) trying to serve him instant cocoa instead of the good stuff from the cafe. His secretaries have never respected him. 
          And goodness, I devote way too much brain space to this show!

          • CarolinLA

            I hear ya, sistah.  I’m spending too much time today, certainly, because I’m trying to decipher a greater meaning to the finale so I can alleviate my disappointment.

  • CarolinLA

    Marie and Don were both invested in dashing Megan’s dreams.  Marie, because she doesn’t want Megan to get what she didn’t, and Don, for all the reasons you list.

    • Maggie_Mae

      But Don didn’t dash her dreams….

  • Girl_With_a_Pearl

    I think the thing that annoys me about Megan is that she’s been “an actress” for what, six months and she’s complaining that she isn’t getting anywhere big yet.  I’ve known people who were actors who waited for years for their big break, acting in plays that didn’t pay anything, doing voice overs, anything just to get some experience.  Megan got all upset because nothing was happening yet for her.  So when she got the part in the commercial with Don’s help, it just wasn’t earned.

    I just realized that maybe that’s why I have never seen her as “the one” for Don.  Women like Dr. Faye, Sally’s teacher and Rachel put in the time with Don, as it were, hoping to be the one he chose.  Don ends up with Megan just because Bobby spills his drink and she calmly cleans up the mess.  Neither her part in the commercial or the role as Don’s wife were earned.   

    • Lilithcat

      I think the thing that annoys me about Megan is that she’s been “an actress” for what, six months

      Where do you get that idea?  It may be six months since she quit SCDP to work on acting full-time, but that doesn’t mean she hadn’t been trying to break into acting before that.  Based on her mother’s comments, and her own conversations with Don, it’s apparent that this is not  a new development in her life, but something she has been pursuing for awhile.

      • Girl_With_a_Pearl

        Megan did take acting classes before working for SCDP, but if I recall, when she told Don that she wanted to try acting as a career, I think she had said that she had regretted giving up her dream of acting because she hadn’t really given it a chance.  So now it’s six months that Megan is really giving acting a chance.

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

           Agree with Lilithcat – Megan’s acting isn’t new. She said she didn’t give it a chance the first time, but I am assuming it’s because she was working full time as a receptionist at SCDP, which would get in the way of classes and auditions, and then she moved on up personally and professionally. Also, I don’t think she’s gotten any offers either big or small. So, after six months, she’s getting understandably frustrated. You’re right, most working actors spend a lot of time getting rejected and paying dues. It doesn’t mean they weren’t all frustrated and upset by it. Just because she doesn’t have to worry about paying the bills doesn’t mean she doesn’t want it as much. In fact, it can make it even more frustrating because she doesn’t have any outside barriers to success like the need to make money waitressing or being a receptionist, or not having the perfect wardrobe and grooming. If she doesn’t make it, she has nothing to blame it on.

          And, as a general comment, to my mind, it’s not important how you get your first break, it’s what you do with it. Just because she got the opportunity through Don doesn’t make it any less valid if she turns out to be good. Likewise her blond classmate. Had she gotten the role, it would also have been because she had a connection at the top through Megan. That’s life. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

          • Aurumgirl

            Agree with everything here.  I also think Megan shows us all just how much she really does want it–and competes with her friend when she realizes that she ought not to have any qualms about using her own connections to get a break.  I don’t think she “double crossed” her friend by doing so, either.  She just did what she had to to win the part.  Friends go to auditions together all the time, and sometimes one wins and the other doesn’t–that’s how it works.

            And a “break” is all that the commercial is.  Don knows she’s going to be successful because she is talented, but a commercial is just one tiny amount of time on screen.  Lots of people who want to act make lots of commercials, and their careers end there and never go further; lots of others only make one or two commercials an their careers take off and become more than they were ever dreamed to be.  So we don’t know what will happen with Megan’s acting career.  We just know it’s possible.

          • Sweetbetty

             ”Friends go to auditions together all the time, and sometimes one wins and the other doesn’t–that’s how it works.”

            But Megan and her friend didn’t go to the audition together.  Even if Megan had gotten her friend an audition, with her connections Megan was a shoe-in to get the part.  They weren’t on a level playing field.

          • Aurumgirl

            Yes, just as at any audition, those auditioning are not all on a level playing field: there will be those who know someone who knows someone, inevitably, every single time. The difference this time is Megan is not one out of a group where others may be connected and she is not. She’s connected where others are not. She finally figured out that one is not always rewarded for merit or talent–as this show amply demonstrates, especially where female characters are concerned. Took her a while, but the big lesson finally sank in.

          • boleyn28

            The blonde friend would have gotten an audition, not necessarily the part. Megan was given the part, not just an audition cause no one would dare to turn down Dons wife. So its a little different for the blonde girl.

          • Sweetbetty

             ” If she doesn’t make it, she has nothing to blame it on.”

            She can blame it on the fact that her mother and her husband don’t give her the support she wants.  Boo-hoo.

      • boleyn28

        But she said she didnt try as hard at acting as she did with advertising, and she didnt try to hard at that. So I got the assumptuion she has been wanting to be an actress for a long time but didnt really work at it or try that hard to succeed. Look how she gave up after a short time of acting again, she gave up and sold out for a commercial.

      • aesteve212

         I agree that she has been working at this for a while – before she knew Don. And I think added to this is the pressure that every day at home she has a reminder that she had a good job that she was talented at, and she left it. That is a scary thing to do, no matter how much money you have. And Don has brought it up a few times, so she not only has something to prove to herself, but something to prove to Don. If she were ever to give up acting, I get the feeling Don’s first reaction would be “thank goodness we’re past that silliness” (well, up until his watching of her acting reel – I agree with Tlo and BKs that he sees her talent in that scene)

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

      Her role as Don’s wife wasn’t earned? And what a prize he is. Faye and Rachel dodged a real bullet, IMO. 
      Also, I think Megan is actually a really good wife for him. How is she not? 

      • Sweetbetty

         The issue is not what kind of wife you or anyone else thinks Megan is but what Don thinks of her as a wife.  It’s quite apparent that she isn’t what he thought she was.  That doesn’t make her a horrible person; let’s face it, he’s not what she had thought he’d be either, but if he doesn’t think of her as a good wife, that’s  his reality.

        • ybbed

          But we don’t know that.
          What is apparent is that he may think she is more than he thought she was. There was a question at the end.  We don’t know his reality, yet.

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

          Well Don doesn’t really know what’s best for him either. That’s the worst part. 

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

          Well Don doesn’t really know what’s best for him either. That’s the worst part. 

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

      Yeah, I’m not sure how “a role as wife” can be “earned” or not; the
      heart wants what it wants, and I hardly fault Megan for not having to
      dutifully “put in the time with Don, hoping to be the one he chose.” 
      Despite their many arguments, Don and Megan have seemed in love all
      season.  Is it simply unearned for the viewers, because we didn’t see
      her as much as the other women before they married?  Well, we’ve seen
      even more of her by now, and it’s pretty clear that she’s been as good
      for him as anyone else could have been.  She calls him on his shit and
      will not allow him to treat her the way he treated Betty. 

      • Girl_With_a_Pearl

        I was going to leave this whole discussion alone, but came back to say:

        1. I never said Don was a prize or was somehow some ideal husband.  Quite the contrary in fact.

        2. I did not use the word “earn” in the sense that a woman has to do x, y, z and she “earns” the right to marry someone.  Yikes!  No, not what I meant.  

        3. I used the word “earn” as in we the viewers didn’t get to see Don and Megan gradually get to know each other in a the romantic sense.  Sure they knew each other in the office, but it was all very sudden unlike the other women he said he was in love with:  Rachel and Sally’s teacher.  The whole thing happened very fast.  Kind of like Roger and Jane.  That was fast too.  I’m not sorry the writers added this story line, but it was fast.  We didn’t see the development.  It wasn’t “earned”.  

        4. I’m not sure Megan is right for Don.  Yes, she stands up to him.  Good for her!  But, they seem to have violent fights that seem to come close to getting out of control.  She no longer shares his interest in creating ads.  In fact she has some contempt for what advertising does.  But advertising is Don’s life.  And her father hates him. 

        5. I don’t think Don is right for Megan.  He seems to want to control her.  Not good.  Very bad in fact.  He liked when she was a copywriter and liked what he likes.  Now he doesn’t quite get her acting career.  He has helped her, but what will it cost her?  Tune in next season.

        6. I’m not sure anyone is right for Don, including Rachel, Sally’s teacher and every other woman he’s met.  Can anyone make Don truly happy?  Can Don make someone else happy and not cheat on them or disappoint them or a bunch of other stuff that someone here will point out I left out?  Stay tuned.
                

      • A Reeves

        Maybe this was commented on belo, but before I read it–has Megan ever called Don “on his shit” as it were in any circumstance where it involved his behaviour with someone else and not just her? In other ords–was she looking out for Don–or herself?

        There was that time she told him not to react to Betty and “give her what she wants” which was to poison them with the questions about Anna, but any other time?…hmmm–something to watch for when I go on my Mad Men season 5 binge with the dvds!

        • Maggie_Mae

          Unlike Faye, Megan does not preach. Unlike Betty, she does not seethe silently. She asks for what she wants. She answers Don back quickly when she’s unhappy–but they work the problem through.  

          I see the marriage lasting for some time.  When it ends–perhaps because she finds somebody better–Don will not be as wounded as he was when Betty left….

        • Maggie_Mae

          Unlike Faye, Megan does not preach. Unlike Betty, she does not seethe silently. She asks for what she wants. She answers Don back quickly when she’s unhappy–but they work the problem through.  

          I see the marriage lasting for some time.  When it ends–perhaps because she finds somebody better–Don will not be as wounded as he was when Betty left….

    • greenwich_matron

      I don’t think that either Don or Megan earned a happy marriage. Don saw Megan as the bandage for his gaping wounds at the end of the last season and Megan saw Don as the grand prize in the secretarial pool. Now each is faced with the fact that the other cannot provide the fairy tale ending. Unfortunately, I don’t think that either of them can give up the dream or forgive the other for not being perfect.

      I don’t particularly like Megan and I think she is a little absurd, but you got to be some kind of stupid to marry Don. 

      • Sweetbetty

        “I don’t particularly like Megan and I think she is a little absurd, but you got to be some kind of stupid to marry Don.”

        You know that and I know that and everyone who has been watching Don Draper over the last how-many years knows that but Megan barely knew him when he proposed and she was young and impressionable and he was the handsome, rich, big-shot at the company she worked for.  I’m not defending Megan; not a lover or a hater of her.

        • greenwich_matron

          I have a pretty broad definition of “some kind of stupid.” 

  • emcat8

    Arg, and now I have the Virginia Slims song as my earworm for the day. …you’ve got your own cigarette now, baby/You’ve come a long, long way.” Arg.

  • Vodeeodoe

    MM making Vincent shave his hairline back to show that he is slowly going bald doesn’t help his fresh, young looking face either.

  • MichaelStrangeways

    The line-up of the partners in the new office; the pullback shot at the commercial with Don walking out of the studio; the Bond music; the fucking dogs; butt nekkid Roger and the final, ridiculously handsome shot of Don in the bar=One Big Film Nerd/Mad Men Nerd Epic Swoon

  • CatherineRhodes

    Can you imagine your boss saying “start smoking so you can work on this account?” We’ve come a long way, indeed.

    In college I smoked Virginia Slims Menthol Lights. Ugh.

    • mstzilla

      I smoked Virginia Slims Menthol Lights in college too  – one reason is that most men didn’t want to be seen smoking them so wouldn’t try to bum them from you (although some would!)

  • Sarah Michaels

    I can’t STAND Mehgan. I’ve never liked her but this episode really moved me from dislike to hate. Screwing over her friend, guilting Don with her whiny and childish drunk antics and then making him put her in the commercial? She wants it to be a fairy tale, everything handed over to her in one big swoop, no work nothing, just skipping to the end and getting the good because for some reason she’s owed it and has a pretty face, so why not? She’s a princess and Joan and Peggy are modern, working women. Ugh. Don is definitely a selfish bastard, but Meghan is no less selfish. She and Don are perfect for each other.

    This episode felt so overdramatic to me, with the ghost of Adam Whitman, Don’s ridiculous toothache, Meghan’s whining and moaning (did I mention I can’t stand her?) and Pete’s outrageous behavior (and monologues). This season has been very hit and miss for me—I feel like the writers are getting desperate because they’re running out of story lines (Lane embezzling reeked of plot desperation to me) and the show has become a little outrageous, ridiculous and over the top… but then they have an amazing episode (like Mystery Date, Dark Shadows, or the Codfish Ball) and I totally forgive them. But a lot of plot lines have just not felt right to me (Joan’s being the biggest, and most dissapointing) and I’m left feeling very lukewarm about Mad Men after this finale.

    On the bright side… GO PEGGY! Nice to see someone getting something they actually deserve in a believable way (the dogs humping at the end was a sign to me that yes, she’s going places, but this is no fairy tale… she’s
    moving at a slow pace, the way everyone does).

  • Jennifer4676

    I haven’t scanned all the comments — but Pete’s hairline is receding right?  Seemed like a great detail.  

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

      i thought the same thing.

    • jessieroset

      Pretty sure I read somewhere (here, maybe?) that they actually shaved back his hairline to give the receding look.  Awesome attention to character detail. 

      edit – and of course, I should have read through more comments since someone else mentioned it a few spaces down :).

  • Sweetvegan

    “Unfortunately, Megan, like all the other little dolls in Don Draper’s toybox, eventually decides she has wants and desires of her own, independent of Don. For Don, this is the death knell of their relationship; the first tentative step toward its inevitable end. “  And in case it wasn’t obvious to the viewer, Megan says, when she’s trying to convince Don to get her an audition, ”I’ll be Megan Calvet.”

  • CarolinLA

    When Joan was speaking about Lane and said “Why didn’t I give him what he wanted?”, I got royally pissed off.  That is not the Joan that I’ve been watching for five seasons.  Are the writers trying to tell us that Joan now sees herself as the saving grace fuck of the firm?  First, she lays it out for the Jaguar account and now she casually mentions to Don (one of the good ones who didn’t want to pimp her out) that if she’d just given Lane a taste, she could’ve saved him as well?  I don’t buy it for a minute.  The Joan we know would never draw attention to her prostitution ever again.  She would hold her head up high and shut down any allusion to it with an appropriate silence.  She is not Vagina Woman with a cape around her clitoris and I think they betrayed her character with that scene.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

      I see your point, but I don’t believe Joan would have confided that to just anyone. I think it’s been fairly well established that she and Don have a uniquely intimate (albeit platonic) and respectful relationship. Now that Joan is a partner, I see that relationship deepening.

      • asympt

         Agreed.  There was nothing “casual” about her telling Don that; she was wracked with guilt and what-ifs, as so many friends and family are when there’s a suicide, and I really can’t think of anyone else she’d have told that she obsessively wondered if she might have been able to save Lane’s life that way.

  • charlotte

    Pete calling himself pathetic made my day.

  • gokobuta

    Except on Star Trek.

    [Edit: argh, this was in response to a comment pages and pages ago about red meaning power, yellow meaning lack of power]

  • Debbie Weiss

    From the music at the theatre when Don and Peggy are at the movies during the last episode, I think they are watching “Casino Royale” (1967), music in the title played by the great Herb Alpert.  David Niven  plays the older James Bond dragged out of retirement and confused by the new developments at the office.
     
    COINCIDENCE?  (I think it was significant).

  • boleyn28

    Its funny how Megan is so jealous of her friends who get work (the red head from Dark Shadows) and thinks its o.k. to talk about how they got fired sarcastically behind her back, ect. But when her friend makes it clear shes jealous of Megan’s luck in landing Don, Megan acts like a little victim and sais its not her fault shes lucky. Well it goes both ways, her character seems like a very selfish woman.

  • boleyn28

    Megans mom’s accent is not accurate, which is odd for MadMen. She has a French accent, not a French Canadian one. Trust, they are different.

    • asympt

       But it’s entirely plausible that she IS French, and met and married a Quebecois.  Even without your ear for French accents that’s the assumption I’d been making–it accounts for Megan’s European self-image.

      • asympt

         (Also, without being able to parse Prof. Calvet’s accent, I think it’s plausible he could be French–and had to take a university job in Quebec after not reaching that achievement in his academic career in Europe.  Would that be another self-perceived failure, long before the fresh one of not getting his book published?)

        • boleyn28

          maybe, but I dont think its that intricit, I think they  just gave her the wrong accent. Its not an ear for accents, it is the same as distinguishing an accent from Texas vs. North Dakota or something. They are just different.

          • Maggie_Mae

            Well, I’ve often heard people talk about The Southern Accent or The Texas Accent–when things aren’t that simple.  

            Should Megan have served poutine rather than dry pasta?

          • Maggie_Mae

            Well, I’ve often heard people talk about The Southern Accent or The Texas Accent–when things aren’t that simple.  

            Should Megan have served poutine rather than dry pasta?

      • A Reeves

        No, it is not a Quebecois accent. But then, the announcers on Radio-Canada do not have Quebecois accents, either.

    • Maggie_Mae

      Quite a few watchers don’t really care.  I know a few Spanish accents but the only French ones I’ve heard are Cajun & Creole. 

      The English accents of the characters aren’t especially accurate, either.  Peggy should sound more Brooklynese.  The upper class New Yorkers & Philadelphians would  have accents you can hear in old movies.  But not all the actors can handle accents–so they went with more general speech….

    • Maggie_Mae

      Quite a few watchers don’t really care.  I know a few Spanish accents but the only French ones I’ve heard are Cajun & Creole. 

      The English accents of the characters aren’t especially accurate, either.  Peggy should sound more Brooklynese.  The upper class New Yorkers & Philadelphians would  have accents you can hear in old movies.  But not all the actors can handle accents–so they went with more general speech….

    • Jumping Jacks

       Their accents in French are also inaccurate.

  • Michelle Le

    I don’t know if anyone has said this yet or if anyone thought the same thing, but the scene where Don walks away from the Butler set reminded me of someone walking away from a slow-mo explosion…you know those really corny action hero sequences. Especially with the James Bond music. Is Don the hero in this scenario or the villain? 

    By the way, my husband is also curious as to what “those blog guys” say – I even caught him reading your Revenge recaps! 

  • Glammie

    I felt like the finale was less tight and finished than previous seasons, though I liked the season reasonably well.  Loved Roger on LSD, thought the Lane suicide arc basically worked and was set up well.  I’ve known people to sleep with someone to get a job, so I had less of an issue with Joan storyline than a lot of people–was glad to see Weiner admitted that getting a partnership out of sleeping with a client was unrealistic.  Generally, the stakes are wayyyy lower.  Sally continues to be an interesting character and I even dug Fat Betty.  Oh, and, yes, it was time for Peggy to walk.  But since she is a central character, I’m curious how they’ll play her next season.  

    Don’t hate Megan–I think she made an interesting contrast-and-compare to Betty, though she doesn’t interest me as much as Trudy, Ginzberg, or Bert of whom we saw not enough this season.  

    But mostly, the finale seemed like the loose ends left over post the big Lane suicide episode.  Sort of the bits and pieces stuck together to leave on a slightly less devastating note.  It was almost an opening episode for the next season.

    • greenwich_matron

      I agree with your opening episode comment. I am hoping that the fact that Peggy went to a fictional agency bodes well for her staying a major character. 

      I don’t like Megan because she is the manifestation of Don’s refusal to grow. She is young, impulsive, and (I think) without direction, so she just seems like a wind-up toy to me

      • Glammie

        Well, I think Don did try to grow, but he’s a fucked-up guy, so it’s often one step forward and two steps back with him.  He has been more honest with Megan than with Betty and Megan’s not the narcissist that Betty is.  That said, Megan’s too young for him, the marriage was impulsive and Don, once again, just sort of blindly reacted.  

        I guess the thing is, for me, I don’t have to like or dislike Megan–it’s more whether she’s believable as a character and whether the dynamic between her and Don is interesting and credible.  I think Don marrying someone like her as a second wife–instead of a more sophisticated, more equal woman–is legitimate.  Don still wants the dream girl instead of someone with a less-perfect facade, but who’s actually more of a twin soul like Peggy.  

        But that’s not surprising–Don’s in the dream business.  He’s not a realist–women aren’t really partners for him–they’re embodiments of fantasies–which Joan pointed out to Peggy in her speech about the kind of women Don marries.  

        The smallness of Megan (ie. her dream isn’t a very big one, after all–she just wants to be the princess in a shoe commercial–a little girl’s dream in some ways.), in a sense, reflects the limitations of Don’s perceptions of women–he’s scared of smart women like Joan, unattracted to Peggy because she’s not a Jackie or a Marilyn (or the current update.)  Little wonder he’s never satisfied–he’s afraid of what’s real.

        That said, I think we spent too much time with Megan this season–Weiner and co. seemed to think if we spent time with her, she’d be interesting–but they pushed it too far and the time spent on Megan came at the expense of other characters.  I wish they’d put off part of the Megan-as-actress arc.  Maybe we should have just gotten to the point where Megan tells Don she doesn’t like advertising and quits.  

    • aesteve212

       I have so many questions about the Lane suicide. Why is their suddenly more money coming in – is it because there is more work all of a sudden, or was Lane embezzling more than we saw? What is the official story of his death? If it is common knowledge that he killed himself, how has that impacted the staff at SCDP? Competitors? Surely that must be a knock on SCDP if your CFO killed himself in his office? Does anyone know Don fired him? I actually love having so many questions, but am nervous that starting next season, Weiner will skip forward far enough that none of these issues are alluded to.

  • Chaiaiai

    Has there been a Valley of the Dolls reference yet? It was pubbed in ’66…maybe next season….

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

    Edit: response put in the wrong place. Again. I swear, I hit “reply” to the post I wanted to reply to!

  • 3hares

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her using connections. But her use of connections wasn’t particularly awesome either. Roger and Pete make chasing accounts into an art. Megan just asked Don. Which she does a lot.

  • 3hares

    Not to mention Don and Adam, who was also in this ep. Adam came to see Don as his brother and Don said the relationship, from now on and as far as he was concerned, didn’t exist. Beth did Pete one better and just said: I have no idea who you are.

  • 3hares

    I think MW’s said that nobody’s interested in stories about divorced men, so Don and Megan will probably still be married.

  • 3hares

    Yes, she said she tried harder at copywriting than at acting and she seemed to be serious. She didn’t try that long or hard at copywriting. Not saying that she was lazy, but she didn’t try that long or hard. She’d quit acting before getting her job at SCDP as I understood it.

  • 3hares

    Ugh, sorry about all these unthreaded replies. I did not realize they were all popping up at the end in the wrong place.

  • Onirica

    Did anyone else get the idea that Peter is going to try to pursue Peggy again? When he was giving his speech to Beth he said something along the lines of having what he thought he wanted and that it didn’t make him happy and that he longed for what he had before. And then we got the shot of Peggy and Don at the theater. 

    • Bozhi

      I missed that.   You can be right.  They have a son.

      • Maggie_Mae

        The son is long gone. If Pete shows up, I trust Peggy will toss him out–as she did before.

        If Pete wants a son, Trudy would be glad to try….

      • formerlyAnon

        That’s a different way of looking at what Pete said than I thought of myself. It would be interesting, if so. But I’m doubtful because Pete never had much of a relationship with Peggy and neither of them ever really “had” a child. She bore one, and probably feels some deeply buried connection to her faceless baby that was adopted out, but he had an infinitesimally small tie to the child compared to hers and neither of them ever actually lived with or cared for the baby.

        • Sweetbetty

           I confessed before that I didn’t get into MM until season three and have caught a few episodes of seasons one and two here and there but I was under the impression that Peggy’s sister adopted her baby and was raising it right under Peggy’s nose.  Someone set me straight.

          • formerlyAnon

             You might be right, I didn’t start watching every episode until last season (and I know that I’ve missed one or two even since then), so I might have missed that part of the plot entirely. My “memory” was just that an adoption was arranged with no information about the adoptive parents attached to the fact.  Hopefully someone will set the record straight.

          • 3hares

            No, Peggy’s baby is not being raised by her sister. Peggy’s baby was indeed adopted out anonymously with no information about adoptive parents. The baby people confuse for Peggy’s is her sister’s actual biological baby. Peggy and her sister were pregnant at the same time. The sister didn’t adopt Peggy’s son.

          • Sweetbetty

             I know there’s that TV show “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” (which I have never watched) and I’ve heard stories over the years about this person or that who didn’t know they were pregnant until they gave birth, but was there ever any discussion about how Peggy didn’t know she was pregnant?  Most of the women who make that claim are heavy to begin with so maybe baby weight wouldn’t be noticed, but Pegs was a slim gal.  Then there’s the missed periods, and I understand some of these “Didn’t Know” women were irregular to begin with so maybe Peggy was too.  I don’t know…I’ve given birth four times and I was never a thin person and there’s no way I didn’t know I was pregnant so I just have a problem with suspension of disbelief of that situation.

          • aesteve212

             There is a great This American Life episode that covers the “I didn’t know I was pregnant” show. I didn’t really think this was possible, but apparently it is!

          • judybrowni

            No, Peggy’s sister was also pregnant in earlier scenes.

          • Sweetbetty

             Oh!  Well that explains the little boy Peggy seemed so uncomfortable with.  I’m glad to hear that because for years I’ve been expecting Pete to want to lay claim to his son for one reason or another.  That would cause a lot of disruption in Peggy’s family if the sister was raising him.  So, Peggy’s child was adopted out the traditional anonymous way?  That should mean that even if Pete should decide to lay claim he wouldn’t be able to.  It’s difficult enough today to trace an adopted child and back then it was probably nigh unto impossible.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MNMVM2GPVUEIOJXBOSLCXKAW4U judy brown

    I must disagree, the quote that sums up this episode of Mad Men was: “I’m president of theHowdy Doody Circus Army.”

    Oh hell, it’s the just the best line…

  • Bozhi

    I’m sorry, but Megan is nothing but a f*g hoe.

    • Jane_Lane

       What?

      • Maggie_Mae

        A gardening implement?  

    • Liverpoolgirl

      Huh?

  • http://twitter.com/ReidNeufeld Reid Neufeld

    If it is known what music Pete Campbell is listening to on his headphones all the time it certainly isn’t by me.  I really hope it isn’t The Beatles. 

    And now after this episode I wonder if Don’s dead half brother Adam has been following him around all this time – on camera I mean, actually IN shots – but this is the first time that ‘they’ve’ actually stopped and shown him. I might have to watch all the episodes again – with an eye out for any potential Adam sightings. If there is then that would certainly be quite something. 

    Exquisite finale I thought.

    • asympt

       I really think it was triggered by the guilt he feels at Lane’s very similar suicide.

    • boleyn28

      I think Pete is watching tv with the headphones, or at least he was in prev. episodes.

      • 3hares

        No, pretty sure it’s established he’s listening to classical music.

    • Sweetbetty

       It would be like watching the movie “The Sixth Sense” over again after seeing the end of it the first time.

  • SheenaRamone

    I love that red is Peggy’s new power color. And I love that Stan and Ginsberg, her former creative partners, wore matching shades of dark red in the failed Topaz pitch. Based on their resentment in that scene, Don’s stuck dealing with the children of another divorce, this time a platonic one, and they clearly choose Mom Peggy over him. Hope they eventually follow her to CGC – or her own agency, if/when she starts it. I want her to be wildly successful and become the Lady Godiva of her Chevalier Blanc pitch and rescue the men in her life, rather than the other way around. 

  • Jane_Lane

    One thing I will say about this episode: damn, I never get tired of seeing Pete Campbell get punched in his smug face. 

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    Great episode. LOVED the dueling Bond music: Tiajuana Brass “Casino Royale” in the movie theatre followed by “You Only Live Twice”, the “official” Bond move for 1967 in the bar at the end. 

  • Jodie_S

    There was much anticipation before this season began about the ways that the 60s would influence these characters. We’re well into the decade now and I would have expected more of the zeitgeist of the times to affect them. However, they are still, for the most part, solidly entrenched in old mindsets, not to mention styles. There doesn’t even seem to be any dialog about the voices calling for change in every aspect of society at the time, which must to have at least permeated their news sources.

    In this episode, you could see Don’s surprise and dismay when Megan compromises her ideals. Perhaps, even stodgy old Don has the potential to respect people of conscience if he can open up enough to hear them speaking. However, it looks like SCDP is becoming even more amoral, pointing out the increased separation in that decade between the establishment’s mores and those calling for change. In the end, Mad Men seems to be a scathing portrayal of Madison Avenue and, even when they (eventually) begin to hear the zeitgeist (then as now) they will only try to manipulate and exploit it.

    • Maggie_Mae

      Vocabulary clue: Zeitgeist is a German compound of the words for “time” and “spirit”.  (Geist is the cognate of the Englilsh  ”ghost”–see “Holy Ghost.”)  Zeitgeist means “sprit of the time”–so there’s no need to append “of the times.” 
      This season, news broadcasts in the background mentioned escalation in Vietnam. Roger took LSD.  Megan has no fear of getting pregnant unless she wants to.  There’s a black secretary, even though she’s not a Crusader For Her Race.  

      Throughout the show’s history, various issues & events have been played their part; I’m sure we’ll see more next year. But this is fiction, it’s not Sociopolitical Issues of the 1960′s.  

  • annrr

    I love Vincent Kartheiser. If you went to see what a good actor he is, read what he is like in person.  Pete Campbell is the best bad guy since J.R. Ewing.

  • Scott Hester-Johnson

    I know I’m a bit late posting this, but did anyone else notice that Beth’s bedside table in the “hospital” was filled with half-finished woven baskets?

    Basket weaving! The prescription for mental health back in the day.

    • Windy Goodloe

      Great observation about the baskets! But I was hoping to see what book she was reading.

    • Sweetbetty

       I was interested in the afghan on her bed; wondering if she had crocheted it herself as therapy during/after other hospital stays.

  • claudemtl777

    Julia Ormond’s french pronunciation is plain awful. This character should not have a french accent when she speaks english, therefore she would be an english speaking Montrealer married to a frenchman. That, I could buy.
    It would also explain Meagan’s first name. Meagan is not a name that two francophone parents would have given their child in the 40′s, ever.(or the 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s) it started popping up here and there as a french name in the 90s, but pronounced meg-anne.Also , realistically , when her mother talks to her in french, Meagan should answer back in french.  
     Montreal here, btw..Very happy to see how well Jessica Pare is doing

    • boleyn28

      I know right? Also she has a France French accent not a French Canadian accent, I think outside of Canaa most people dont know there was even a difference : )

      • claudemtl777

        she has the accent of someone who learned french in France, yes, you’re right. 

    • Sweetbetty

      I don’t know about the accents but I was always scratching my head when Megan’s mom spoke in French and Megan replied in English.  That just seemed odd.

    • Glammie

      No, it’s quite common for kids in bilingual families to understand to understand their parents speaking in a mother tongue and then answer back in another language.  Megan operates and thinks in English–so it’s easier for her to talk in English.  It’s also a way of asserting a different generational/cultural identity.

      One of the big factors in the U.S. of what they call language death–i.e. by the third generation, no one speaks the native language of their grandparents.

      • claudemtl777

        But she does not come from a bilingual family.
         The father character is clearly french , what with his accent and a last name of Calvet and the mother speaks english with a french accent and her name is Marie (Pronounced Mah-rie, a la francaise, not muh-ree). And megan clearly stated that she’s from Montreal, and her parents are visiting from Montreal. So language death is not an issue. 
         I hope I’m not coming across as nitpicky. It’s just that Mad Men gets (almost) every details right, it bugs me when, in my eyes, they slip up. They wouldn’t put Betty in a Halston Caftan, no matter how good she might look in it, because it would make too many peoples eyes twitch. I get that not everyone cares about the nuances in language but my ears twitched…(Can ears twitch?)

        • Glammie

          Yes, she does–both parents speak English and Megan’s clearly been fluent in English since childhood.  The actress is also French-Canadian and, clearly, someone who’s been bilingual since childhood.  Why Megan is a fluent English speaker isn’t explained–but it’s clear from *her* accent that she is.  

          It’s possible that Megan’s parents sent her to an English-speaking school or that her father, as an academic, taught outside of Quebec at points during Megan’s childhood.  There would be a lot of reasons to make sure that Megan was fully bilingual–and the character seems to be.

          But, anyway, it’s typical for a conversation to take place in two different languages between parents and children in this kind of situation–particularly if Megan’s pissed off at her mother, which she is.  Since we’ve heard Megan speak French before, it was pretty clear to me that she was sending an antagonistic message to her mother by choosing to speak in English.

    • Maggie_Mae

      The name is Megan.  Not Meagan, Meghan or Meaghan….

      I’m sure Montreal is a lovely city, but many of us are not from there…..

      • Sweetbetty

         Thanks for pointing out that there is no “h” in Megan Calvet Draper’s name.

    • AnotherJulie

      (not sure this will reach you from 10 months ago but I am new to the Tom and L site and reading old reviews).
      Just wanted to comment that I too had a problem with the name Megan from the very start. Joan, Peggy and Betty? Perfect. The name Megan always seemed like a too-obvious attempt to make her modern, but certainly not French and also not appropriate for the time either. I also saw it is one of the few errors in writing.

      • claudemtl777

        Message received!!)) I hope you enjoy the site…I’ve been following them for years and I learn so much… And as you can see the comments section is interesting also…The Mad Style post are surprisingly complex and thought out, I always look forward to them… Have fun!!

        • AnotherJulie

          Thanks! Just in the past day or so I have spent too much time reading and laughing at their stuff… (TV reviews and Mad Style). Luckily I watch very little TV :-)

  • Labeachnative

    I’m no expert at this type of analysis and the Tlo posts are consistently a revelation to me, but I think it was obvious that Don’s reaction to Megan’s screen test was ‘I’ve been played’.

    • asympt

       Not according to both Weiner and Hamm in the “inside the episode” video on the AMC Mad Men site.  Both the writer and the actor meant you to see Don thinking, wow, she’s good, I love her, I have to let her do this.

      It’s interesting to how much of the audience they didn’t get that result at all.

      • 3hares

        Elsewhere, though, Weiner’s said that what Don was seeing there was Megan’s “inner self” that was sad, and he wanted to make her happy.

      • Jasmaree

        I think Weiner does a relatively poor job portraying Megan the way he wants to (and not just this once). He seems to want to make her an ‘it’ girl: that one girl who is beautiful, smart, and just talented at everything. But we haven’t had much evidence that she’s particularly good at anything. She’s had one big success in advertising and practically none in acting. 

      • Jasmaree

        I think Weiner does a relatively poor job portraying Megan the way he wants to (and not just this once). He seems to want to make her an ‘it’ girl: that one girl who is beautiful, smart, and just talented at everything. But we haven’t had much evidence that she’s particularly good at anything. She’s had one big success in advertising and practically none in acting. 

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

          Possibly, but it’s really not his fault that Megan is so hated by a portion of the viewership. Some of the criticisms made of her are absolutely ridiculous and reveal far too much about the person making the criticism.

  • boleyn28

    Megan lied to Don last ep., she said she had an audition but really she was making her film reel.You can tell by the clothes (thats why she wasnt wearing her audition dress) I wonder why she lied to him?

    • Sweetbetty

      She also tried to hide the film reel from Don when it was returned to her in the mail and told her mom she had paid to have a screen test.  Paid with Don’s money.  I wonder how much something like that cost at the time.  And didn’t she do any research to determine if the place was legit or just a front for selling acting lessons?  It seems like this would be something discussed among aspiring actors, if Megan really spent any time with them.

      • greenwich_matron

        Megan does seem to have a double standard when it comes to being upfront about things.

      • AutumnInNY

        Yes, it would seem like Megan would know more about this if she were really in touch. Since she has Don to finance her so-called-career and not have to wait tables or do other miserable jobs like her friends the money isn’t really an issue, which it is for all those struggling to pay rent and maintain the stamina, enthusiasm and passion go on audition after audition and not always get the gig. 
        I didn’t like the way she put down her Dark Shadows friend either. That was kind of mean and petty. She is a self-centered spoiled child. Her Mother’s got her number and calls her on it, thank goodness someone does. When she doesn’t get her way she pouts, slams doors, gets drunk, throws plates, stabs her friends in the back. Betty called it right on this one. Don’s child-bride indeed.I hope this closes the book on the marriage. I think she’s played a part—and played Don (to some extent) all along. 

        • Sweetbetty

           ”She is a self-centered spoiled child. Her Mother’s got her number and calls her on it”

          But didn’t Megan’s mother raise her?  I know from bitter experience that a parent only has so much influence on how a child turns out but if she is spoiled, who spoiled her.  Perhaps she’s blaming it on Emile since Megan said in the past that she’s his favorite, but I would hesitate to call a child I had a hand in raising spoiled lest the blame be put on me.

          • 3hares

            I think Marie absolutely sees Megan as Emile’s child, and in calling her spoiled she’s also calling Emile spoiled. Emile’s another artist who isn’t successful, and maybe he and Megan bonded over the idea that they’re both artistic souls that Marie can’t understand. So she enjoys pointing out that they’re not as special as they tell each other they are.

        • Sweetbetty

           ”She is a self-centered spoiled child. Her Mother’s got her number and calls her on it”

          But didn’t Megan’s mother raise her?  I know from bitter experience that a parent only has so much influence on how a child turns out but if she is spoiled, who spoiled her.  Perhaps she’s blaming it on Emile since Megan said in the past that she’s his favorite, but I would hesitate to call a child I had a hand in raising spoiled lest the blame be put on me.

        • aesteve212

           I interpreted her Dark Shadows comment as one that revealed the capriciousness of the business, not a slight on her friend.

  • boleyn28

    The end of the show was right on cue of being obvious. Don walking away from his fairy tale life (and wife)? 

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

      If it was a fairy tale, then what was with all those dark moments like the cleaning/fighting in underwear, leaving her at Hojos, etc? I’m not contradicting, just confused by the fairytale reading of their relationship. There are a lot of storms there.

      • Sweetbetty

         Well, I think the cleaning/fighting/lovemaking in underwear was part of the fairy tale.  The other dark moments were hints that all might not be sunshine and roses but the walking away from the commercial set was a pretty sure indication that the fairy tale was over.  The marriage may go on for a while, but the “Love Leave” has definitely run its course now.

  • boleyn28

    I have seen lots of comments about how Megan was so successful and talented at advertising, but really didn’t she only come with 1 good idea? Other then that she copied coupons or went to the printer. She is getting a lot of credit for 1 good idea: )

    • Sweetbetty

      I agree.  She did well with the Heinz baked beans then did well with what was essentially acting with Don in the Cool Whip presentation.  She also made some slick moves when out to dinner with the Heinz couple, but that again had more to do with sensing what was going and making the right moves (something a good actor should do) on than being creative at advertising.  Other than that, she seemed to do little more than an intern would.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

        She basically saved the Heinz account. That’s kind of a big deal.

        • Sweetbetty

           But again, it was only one big deal.  The question was raised as to why some people kept commenting on how talented Megan was at copywriting but we were given only that one example so how can her talent really be judged?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLU6YVO4BRTELTTH3GRAAMWZQ Dot

            Peggy helped out with two ad campaigns before being promoted to junior copywriter — which Don more or less did as a dig at Pete, by assigning her to the newly acquired Clearasil. Is it a contest of quantity? I think Megan’s success was a “big deal” because the Heinz client had been absolutely impossible to please before Megan was able to finally nail it and ultimately save the account.

  • Kylara7

    Lots of great observations, interpretations, and details in the post and the comments, but I just have to add that I really enjoyed Marie (even though she’s kind of a bitch) simply turning down the expectation that she would play nursemaid to Roger during his LSD trip or mommy to grownup Megan for Don.  Matter-of-factly refusing those womanly roles was probably very rare in those days, and isn’t taken all that well even today!

  • Tasterspoon

    Just a question: why did Peggy keep saying that she didn’t smoke?  She was smoking during her job interview.

    • Sweetbetty

       I wondered about that too since we’ve seen her smoking many times over the seasons.  I thought maybe she was like me back in my early 20s; I didn’t smoke but sometimes when I was out in a bar or at a party and someone offered me a cigarette I’d take one just to have something to do with my hands.  I never bought a pack of cigarettes and never smoked at home.  Remember, she did have to go into Joan’s office and ask for a cigarette that one time when they had a little girl-to-girl talk.

      • Maggie_Mae

        Yes!  Peggy probably never bought cigarettes–just bummed them on occasion.  We’ve also seen her take a puff or two of reefer.  Again, probably just something somebody had….

  • ZnSD

    Peggy in RED!

  • Tasterspoon

    HA, total Monkey’s Paw!

  • Tasterspoon

    HA, total Monkey’s Paw!

  • Tasterspoon

    But she always seems to come forward within a day or so.

  • Tasterspoon

    Oops, these were meant to be replies to previous comments.

  • Cindy Callaghan

    If looking for a theme in the season finale, pain and it’s significance is right up there.  Don felt physical pain with his toothache, Beth felt emotional pain with her darkness, Megan felt mental pain with her lack of job choices, and with Don in not being enough.  Lane’s pain was overwhelming enough to cause his complete destruction.  I’m curious to see if anyone agrees or disagrees…

  • Liverpoolgirl

    I was thinking how sweet it was that Don believed in Megan’s dream of being a real actor.  He seemed genuinely surprised that she would lower artistic standards to be in a commercial.  Do you think him seeing her in that Snow White get up cheapened her in his eyes and he had to walk away.  Megan was not what he had believed her to be.

  • ybbed

    Wow, what a great review!
    You know there can almost be no other interpretation of Don as he walks away from the set at the end, but you guys explained it better than anyone else has, and I’ve read a lot of reviews and comments since Sunday.  And just to add to it, Megan is the last woman who knows Don’s secret and therefore the next he has to leave behind. I don’t want it to happen because I like Megans character so much and I think she really cares for him and balances him out, and it just seemed too obvious an ending, but I think you may be right, this marriage is doomed.  Weiner said the end of the season was telegraphed in “A Little Kiss” and now I think I know what he was talking about……the fact that Megan knows about Dick Whitman.

    Again, great review, the best, and now I have to read 660 comments.
    Looking forward to the style review! Thanks again.

  • ybbed

    you know that was what my husband said too!

  • ybbed

    That is the same thing my husband said too! The exact same thing.

  • ybbed

    I totally agree with TLo’s version of these events.  And the way you feel about Megan seems to color your view of this episode.
    I am a Megan fan, so I want to believe he saw her beauty/ability and wanted to do something to help her. Maries poisonous attitude also worked as a catalyst to move him in that direction.
    She looked gorgeous.

  • ybbed

    I totally agree with TLo’s version of these events.  And the way you feel about Megan seems to color your view of this episode.
    I am a Megan fan, so I want to believe he saw her beauty/ability and wanted to do something to help her. Maries poisonous attitude also worked as a catalyst to move him in that direction.
    She looked gorgeous.

  • ybbed

    all my comments seem to be disappearing but I’ll take a chance..
    I totally agree with you, I have never understand the dislike of Megan. She is good for Don, but unfortunately for Don (who does seem to be growing) he may be incapable  pulling it together.

  • ybbed

    I don’t know why you say that. She told her friend she knew she was lucky. And I don’t know what evidence the writers gave that says Megan wants to be looked at as “innocent and independent”. She is just trying to pursue her dream.

    • Sweetbetty

       ” She is just trying to pursue her dream.”

      So much has been said about how little Megan really seems to be pursuing her dream and tonight I happened to catch “A Chorus Line” on TV.  Now, those people were pursuing their dreams of being in show business.  Sure, they were dancers, not actors, but the process is much the same from what I understand.  If we had ever been shown Megan going through what the auditioners in the movie were going through she’d be a lot more credible and get a lot more support from the Bitter Kittens.

  • Devon_McLaughlin

    I think one of the keys to Megan’s real character is the scene when she tells Don that she wants to quit the ad agency and become an actress. If you remember, she wakes him up from a dead sleep to tell him this, which is an effective but manipulative way to get what you want from a man (a friend of mine ended up with a second child in an already bad marriage from that very same gambit). Don fell in love with Megan when he saw how good she was with his kids….unfortunately for him that’s not who she is or who she wants to be.

  • NonoOno

    Oh hell yeah!
    I’m so sorry I just caught you guys for the first time. I’ll be back.
    Next year.

  • http://twitter.com/gildedbat naeelah

    “ And having him deliver a suspiciously poignant and well-written monologue explaining his actions and then having Trudy give him exactly what he’s wanted all season, an apartment in the city, felt a bit too much like the whole arc had just been wrapped up in a bow. ”
    I see his getting the apartment differently.  I think Pete’s story line was driven home by his crying in the elevator, “I have nothing.” The point is that he has EVERYTHING and he still isn’t happy.  He’s wealthy, successful, good at his job, has (or had) a great relationship with his wife, finally has a kid, etc.  He is not disadvantaged in any conceivable way, except where his own petulant entitlement causes him problems.  The episode even ends with Pete pointing out that he has arrived at the same level as Don (which, clearly, also parallels where Don’s life was in season 1).  So Trudy consenting to let him have his apartment was the final nail — he’s gotten everything he’s asked for, except for an escape from his life.  (Note that he expressed disdain toward people who would resort to suicide as being unable/unwilling to solve problems, while he makes no effort to solve problems himself.)  

    Some of my friends have mentioned feeling sorry for him.  I love Pete as a character, but I sure as hell am not sympathetic.  I don’t think we’re supposed to feel sorry for him, beyond whatever pity we might feel for people who have been entrapped by the American Dream.  The 50s and early 60s are famous for their consumer culture, and I suspect Pete is where the fallout of that is being worked into the show.  

    Or something along those lines.  These are all half formed ideas, but I do feel sure that the point of Pete’s story this season is to give him everything, and show that it will never be enough.

    • 3hares

      I think people who feel sympathy see “petulant entitlement” as something more like depression/despair that actually hurts. I mean, this description of Pete goes for pretty much anyone on the show. Most of them have everything and still want more. Don even made a whole rabid speech about that being the way of things. He, imo (and according to MW) was moved by Megan’s screentest because he saw her as vulnerable and hurting over not having an acting career–and Megan lives in a penthouse with a rich husband etc. Characters who can be happy with what they have are more likeable on TV and in real life, but imo Pete pays for all his flaws so that makes him very sympathetic.  I also think he sometimes gets used as a scapegoat for all the ugly feelings on the show.

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

        I agree! I definitely think Pete is depressed (“profoundly sad” much like Betty) and has gotten to be much more so as the seasons have worn on. He’s a very complex and interesting character and I always feel sympathy for him, which isn’t the same as supporting his decisions. Also like Betty, I don’t see him as a villain. He says very clearly what his pain is about (“Why does it always have to be like this? Why can’t everything good happen all at once?”) and he just doesn’t have the mindset where he can see how he can work through it and be happier. He thinks therapy is for weak people. He’s stuck with himself, and can’t see out of his profound unhappiness. I think there’s an interesting contrast between him and Beth, where she’s depressed too and does something that she feels will help her (the shock treatment).  Whether or not her husband is shoving her to do it as well, she clearly thinks of it as something that helps her. Pete continues to look in all the wrong places for something that might help him.

  • MissusBee

    Thanks TLo for another season of unmissable insights. I will miss you as much as the show!

    Just wanted to add – Beauty and the Beast is telling as it’s the one where the girl’s love saves the monster from his curse and turns him back into a man. In Don’s eyes, Megan was the pure free spirit who could rescue him and make him whole, but the last scene reveals the scenario as pure construct as it disappears into the darkness, and now he has to live a double life again: the fake fairytale where love isn’t enough, and the shady reality of drinking alone and cheap hookups, where he goes to forget about it.

  • aesteve212

    Thanks Tom and Lorenzo and all the BK commenters! This is how great tv can be even greater – a group of people who are passionate and thoughtful and respectful! Looking forward to next year (fingers crossed) and more TLo in the meanwhile.

  • Ashley Bilby

    I know I am a day late to the party here but these posts and comments have become an essential part of my Mad Men viewing practice and after the finale and reading all the comments about how in-your-face all of the themes and symbolism seemed this season I was inspired to go back and start re-watching from the pilot episode.
    Can I just say how AMAZED I was at how much of the pilot connected back to the overall story arc of many of the characters this season in literal terms of the dialogue? I mean, in fairness the observations MIGHT apply beyond this season specifically but I HAD to share some of what made me pause the show in awe of it’s connectedness and wish I could discuss with TLo or the BK’s who could likewise appreciate it… (these references come from the script of ”Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”, the pilot episode)…
    DON (in his Lucky Strike pitch): Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And you know what happiness is? [Don looks out the window into the setting sun, almost lost.] DON (CONT’D) Happiness is the smell of a new car… It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is okay. [almost to himself] You are okay.
    ~~Contrast that with his pitch to Dow at the end of this season~~
    DON (in the Dow pitch): “Are you?  You’re happy with 50 percent?  You’re on top and you don’t have enough.  You’re happy because you’re successful…for now.  But what is happiness?  It’s a moment before you need more happiness. 
     
    > The direct comparison between what Don considers happiness at the start of the show and now is jarring. In the beginning it seemed happiness was the knowledge that you are okay and now… there is no such thing as happiness, it’s only an insatiable need for more.
     
    DON (to Pete Campbell at SC) Advertising is a very small world. And when you do something like malign the reputation of some girl from the steno pool on her first day, you make it even smaller. Keep it up and even if you do get my job, you’ll never run this
    place. You’ll die in that corner office: a mid-level account executive with a little bit of hair, who women go home with out of pity. And you know why? Because no one will like you. [Pete is speechless. Don smiles and opens the door.]
     
    > I was amazed at how singularly Don nails the Pete Campbell we see at the end of this season. Right down to the description of him having only a little bit of hair, which I had read in others comments is deliberately being done by Vincent Kartheiser, receding his hairline to show the advancing baldness of Pete. And, athough Pete is partner at SCD(P) he will likely never get his name on the door or “run th[e] place” despite how much business he brings in for the sheer fact that no one likes him.
     
    **Okay I’ll stop with those 2 comparisons because I could probably ramble on forever about the genius of this show.  I strongly recommend re-watching the series from the pilot, though. I can’t wait to see what else comes full circle.

    • Devon_McLaughlin

      Excellent observations, Ashley…thanks!

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

       Ashley, this is a wonderful post, and as one of the bloggers for BoK, I just hope that you’ll comment on our site too! Yes, MM never forgets its past, and callback is always running through it’s stories. I made reference to the very comment you quoted here from “Smoke…” in my BoK post called “Peter is Fulfilling Don’s Prophesy”  http://www.lippsisters.com/2012/05/16/peter-is-fulfilling-dons-prophecy/  And after watching this season’s finale, I can’t wait to see what callbacks the next season will bring!

  • maya s

    Don returns to the dark side..
    Just as Megan’s fairy tale begins (and it’s a French one!), his ends. he wanted to be the prince, but he’s just a beast :(

    the last shot i just yelled at the TV “No, Don! Don’t do it!!”

  • http://twitter.com/ladypenelope27 Penelope White

    As a British Mad Men fan who watched the season 5 opener on my iPhone via Dropbox in a grotty backpackers in HK last year, I’m just getting round to watching and reading about the episodes in a more fitting and respectable manner. I absolutely love the synopsis and analysis you guys provide and it really does add so much to the experience. I was turned on to your blog by an American friend and have since rewatched all episodes and read your posts as I’ve gone along. I salute you. Can’t wait to watch and read about season 6 in real time. Keep up the amazing work!