Mad Style: The Phantom

Posted on June 13, 2012

Since this is our very last Mad Style until 2013, allow us to take a moment to pat ourselves on the back. We never were very good at false modesty, so why bother attempting it, amirite?

  • We picked up on a few very subtle dialogue cues and one extremely UN-subtle Joannie dress in the first episode and wondered if perhaps there wasn’t going to be something between Don and Joan this season, while maintaining that we thought an actual affair was unlikely.
  • We picked up on how well-dressed Megan is in comparison to her actor friends and predicted that she was going to be getting grief for being a dilettante.
  • We picked up on how infantilized Megan’s clothes often are, and how that reflected how Don saw her; a theme that paid itself off in the finale.
  • We noted that Peggy’s work clothes indicated she was spinning her wheels and predicted that once Peggy left SCDP, we’d see a more mature style and the end of the Catholic schoolgirl uniforms.
  • We noted that Jane’s “I Dream of Jeannie” LSD outfit was signaling the upcoming explosion of eastern styles and philosophies, which was later embodied by Paul Kinsey and his story.
  • And, to our eternal pride, we sussed out the rose motif on Joan’s clothing and picked up on the fact that she was wearing the fur Roger gave her when she slept with the Jaguar dealer.

Now, we’re telling all this because we want you to be impressed with us but also because it illustrates just how much of a part costuming plays in a filmed story; especially when you’re working on the level of Mad Men, where every person involved in its making is committed to raising it to the level of art. Lesser costumers wouldn’t have given us so much material to work with, but Mad Men Costume Designer Janie Bryant isn’t just a brilliant costumer; she’s a master storyteller in her own right. We’re not geniuses for picking up on these things; Janie’s a genius for laying them down.

Also, we’re telling you all this because we got one big, fat thing wrong and it’s staring us in the face with this episode.

After Joan made partner, we maintained that she wouldn’t change a thing about the way she dresses and in fact, might even become a bit more confrontational with her clothes, adding, “You will never see Joan Harris in a menswear-inspired dress.” Well, shut our mouths. Not only is she wearing a double-breasted (oh, the puns we could make) dress that mimics a man’s suit, but she’s serving up full-on Lane Pryce realness here, doing her best to fill his shoes and wear his glasses.

Not that they’re literally his glasses. That would be morbid and weird.

This dress was what she wore when Pete first approached her about the Jaguar deal and Lane approached her to tell her to ask for a partnership. To our eyes, it will always signal those two conversations and how they taught her two things: What everyone really thinks of her, and how she needs to say “Fuck it,” to all of them and go after what she wants. Notable, then, that she muttered something a little surprising in this scene; that she should have just slept with Lane to keep him from killing himself. Joan’s not normally that blase about sex in conversation and she didn’t used to think of herself that way; as the sexual relief these men need to get through their jobs. It could’ve just been grief and stress talking, but since no dialogue is wasted on this show, we wonder if Joan, for all her competence, doesn’t now think of herself in those terms, deep down. In other words, the prostitution may not have devalued her to the partners the way we predicted, but it may have, in a small way, devalued her to herself.

Notable that Don’s tie matches her. They’re very much on the same level in this scene. Joan doesn’t approach him or talk to him like a staff member anymore.

But if Joan has any devalued feelings about herself, she’s keeping them locked down and putting on a bold front for the world; bolder than ever, in fact. This power red is about as declarative as one can get about one’s position. There’s nothing demure or obedient about this red, but it doesn’t strike us as a sexy, passionate color in this context. It’s about power. More importantly, it’s about feminine power. The point to that beautiful shot is to show us how the dynamic has shifted. Against that stark background, Joan isn’t just a bolt of red in the middle of all that gray, she’s an unmistakably female silhouette standing out amongst all the male ones. She is, almost literally, a big red X spray-painted on the scene.

Red served as an extremely important color this episode, indicating female power, but also, strangely, indicated male powerlessness.

The entire point to this scene is that Stan and Ginsberg (in matching red) aren’t women and thus, are failing at this portion of their jobs because they can’t do what Peggy can. In this instance, the red signals their lack of ability and forward movement, which makes it an ironic bit of costuming, considering how much red signaled exactly the opposite for the women.

Stan wears that yellow plaid jacket every time he makes a presentation. It’s notable that Ginsberg has a huge coffee stain on his shirt, which to us, indicates how frantic he is, trying to pick up the slack after Peggy left, and how things have deteriorated in the creative department.

But Pegs is off on her own adventure, with her own office and yes, even her old Thermos with her, sitting on the windowsill. This outfit was designed to be a shocker and we have to say, mission accomplished, Janie Bryant. No one ever saw Peggy wear something like this. It’s mature, powerful, and declarative in a way her old schoolgirl clothes never were. Granted, Peggy’s not a clotheshorse and while she accomplished what she set out to do with this Chanel-like suit (inspire respect in others), it’s not exactly flattering to her and it’s not the very latest in hip, trendy clothes. The Chanel-style suit had become something of a standard for women at this time. What raises this up from being boring is the bright color and the white trim. It’s not exactly youthful, but it’s very powerful.

This strikes us a little more youthful. It’s still a sturdy work dress, but it’s got some real style. Once again, we see Peggy in red on this job. Golden yellow was her career color for seven years at SC. Looks like she’s switched it out for red now. Interesting to note how busy this dress is. Peggy usually wears plaids and that’s it in the way of pattern.

Meanwhile, Megan is still floundering and still sitting around in casual clothes that speak of no power at all in her life. In a series of scenes indicating how perfect she would be for the “French type” Butler Shoes is seeking for its “Beauty and the Beast” commercial, we see her in this bright green scarf worn gypsy-style. Her other-ness has been referenced all season, whether in Inca-style dresses or tapestry skirts, there’s always something to remind the viewer that she’s not an All-American Girl, especially in scenes where that fact becomes prominent.

Her friend is working a total Nancy Sinatra, head to toe.

The tendency to place her in little girl clothes reaches its zenith with this scene. Ironically, the only other time she wore that hideous bathrobe was after Don’s birthday party, when she quickly got rid of it and wound up having hate-sex with Don on the new carpet. That scene was all about the power she had in the marriage. This scene is all about the complete lack of power she has in the marriage. A nicely subtle callback.

And finally, Megan gets her power red. Interesting to note: Joan’s power red manifests as a skin-tight dress, showing off her curves and indicating her sexual power, which is what she used to get where she is. Peggy’s power red is business-like, indicating the hard work she did and relatively normal career path she took. Megan, who ultimately received a career boost through her connections with her wealthy and powerful husband, wears a power red, but rendered in a fairy tale costume. Sex, career, and marriage; the three paths to power for women in a patriarchal society.

It’s also notable that her other color is a bright, sunny yellow. When she was working in the office, she wore this color so often that we were close to declaring it “her” color, indicating her sunny personality and bright optimism. But once she left SCDP, she never wore it again, which indicated how depressed she was slowly becoming. Now that she’s back at work, she’s sunnier than ever.

None of the other major female characters wore red this episode and there were plenty of opportunities for them to do so, but Janie opted to dress the rest of them in a rainbow of other colors.

Like Joan once did, Marie has a suit of armor. It’s  always all one color; impenetrable and uncomplicated, very much like herself. No fussiness like prints or contrasting colors for her.

Beth is the very picture of respectable blandness, practically melting into her surroundings.  Howard’s tie calls back to the beige of her outfit, tying them together, horrible as that is.

But here, she’s childlike, both in dress and action. In an episode notable for its use of red to indicate female power, Beth, who’s pretty much the least powerful woman the show has ever depicted, is in a very traditionally feminine pink.

The pink continues with her hospital-wear, which is fussier than ever and about as traditionally feminine as one can get. She’s gone from being child-like to being doll-like. We’re glad the writing noted the physical resemblance between Pete and Beth. They don’t just look like siblings; they look like twins. It was always so obvious to us and we always felt like it was a huge part of why Pete became infatuated with her.

Trudy is, as she’s been all season, a buzzing print surrounded by buzzing prints in her home. There’s so much visual noise in Pete’s home life, reflecting his own annoyance and depression regarding his surroundings.

But for the first time this season, Trudy’s in a cool, serene, solid blue (which matches the blue of the couch) as she finally addresses (in her own confused way) Pete’s ennui and offers him the solution he wants. It’s extremely notable how much this outfit calls back to Beth’s hospital-wear.

Surrounded by deep browns and old-world refinement (you can bet all this furniture was shipped over from England), Rebecca is firmly rooted in this world and her clothing reflects it. There was a subtext of anti-Americanism in this scene, with Rebecca blaming an American for filling her husband’s head with ambition and noting that Americans tend to wallow in their grief. In other words, she’s dressed to match her furniture because this scene was all about her Englishness re-asserting itself angrily.

One final thing before we go:

She’s on her way.

 

 

 

The end.

 

[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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  • Sobaika

    JON SLATTERY BUM. Worth it.

    • BayTampaBay

      That is one nice piece of ass!

      • CrazyAuntie

        The best outfit of the season!!

  • kathryn_dc

    Fantastic. Half of the joy of watching Mad Men is coming here to read your posts. Thank you! Looking forward to 2013.

  • Roosevelt 85

    LOVED that comparison between Peggy and Don….and Roger’s PERFECT ass

    • tijde

      Agreed! The Don & Peggy shots were a great catch, one I didn’t get on my own. Now I’m wondering… there was a big “on her way” vibe to that scene; she’s definitely going toward something better. Yet she’s compared to Don, who has arrived. Pegs is in a hotel room; Don is in his permanent home. Does this mean Peggy will surpass Don–the position he’s settled in is one she’ll only stop at for a moment on her way through? Will Peggy surpass Don? Or does this mean Don’s much more “in transit” than he thinks–like Peggy, he’s going to move on?

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

        Hmm… I am thinking Don’s declaration that he’s sick of all the ‘piddly shit’ or whatever he called their tiny accounts means they could both be going upward?? Either that or Don’s about to completely crash & burn.

        • JosephLamour

          I think he’s going to crash and burn and Peggy will only go up and up.

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

            Nuh-uhn.

    • LondonMarriott

      Not to mention her pose in the movie theater, calling back to the Don pose in the opening credits: one arm slung over chair, cigarette.  If this has been mentioned, I missed it (ETA: it was!), but damn that was a great detail (as are all the fine details on this show).

      Let’s stand and salute Roger’s ass, like he did Joanie’s!

      • Sweetbetty

         That cigarette in the movie theater has been bothering me.  I worked at the candy counter in a movie theater in 1965-66 and there was no smoking allowed in the theater but it was allowed in the lobby.  It didn’t have anything to do with pollution or air quality or the other things current smoking bans relate to, it was a state fire marshal law totally related to fire prevention and I had a feeling that law went way back before then.  I couldn’t find anything online about smoking bans in movie theaters that long ago so do any of the BKs who lived through that era have any memories on the subject?

        • roadtrip1000

          It probably depends on the state. I remember that smoking was definitely allowed in the movie theaters in New York during the 70s and the 80s. I think there were smoking and non-smoking sections but my memory on that issue isn’t so clear since I always wound up in the smoking section due to my friends who smoked. I specifically remember that when I saw Superman in 1978 (in a theater on East 86th St.) the people in front of me were snorting cocaine and the people behind me were smoking marijuana! That kind of behavior was common enough that it seemed like bad manners to complain.

          I also remember that when I took a bus cross- country in 1981 the driver would announce the smoking laws as we passed the state lines. At that time, even though I’ve always been a non-smoker, it seemed so strange that smoking wasn’t allowed on the buses in Utah. Now when I look back I realize how fluid our idea of normal can be. So I do believe that the smoking laws were (and still are) regional.

        • Susan Stella Floyd

          I remember people smoking in movie theaters in Texas well into the 1980s.

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

    Bravo.

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

    Wonderful! I’m going to miss Mad Men and I’ll miss these posts! Thanks TLo. :-)

    I also noticed the similarity between Peggy and Don’s bedspreads and bed posts. 

    Trudy’s frilly nightgown reminded me of her frilly maternity babydoll dress and I think she was equally troubled in that scene as well.

    • shrimpcracker

      I also noticed there appears to be 2 kids in the pool.

      • 3hares

        Wow, I hadn’t noticed that in the show. This is how things are going to be eventually, so she’s going to put them in teh picture! Howard also mentioned a second honeymoon so it seems like Pete’s agreed to trying for a second by now too.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PCARAOJSL553GBBPQSLRYD5REE L.

        Hmm… second honeymoon, two kids in the pool, blue negligee.  Who else thinks the Campbells will have a little boy the next time we see them?

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

           And I noticed for the first time in this episode that the Campbell’s couch matches their living room curtains. I think that would drive me crazy too.

    • Anna Bergman

       The shots of Peggy  and of Don in the similar beds made me wonder again why Don and Megan’s apartment is so boring.   Their bedroom shouldn’t look like a cheap motel in Virginia!  It makes me think of how little they knew about eachother.   There is no artwork and the colors are drab–not just because of the white carpet!   That carpet is the only decorative thing Megan showed interest in.    I think Megan is a shallow person who lacks inner resources.  She’s not interested in things that don’t directly concern her.  Betty, when she’s not depressed, has much more going on.   She reads,sews, rides horses….  She gardened and was interested in decorating. Betty was a successful model when she and Don met.  Megan hasn’t shown herself to be a good friend to anyone.   Betty wasn’t above back-stabbing but she was supportive of Francine and of the women in her Weight Watchers class.   I think Betty could possibly work through some issues and enjoy her life.   Megan is vacant.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nicole-Walraven/527225623 Nicole Walraven

        The shots of Don and Megan’s apartment have always looked like a hotel suite to me. I thought it signified the temporariness of their relationship. Also nothing has changed in there since they’ve moved in. Nothing is growing, or being added, and it has lost the lustre it had when they first started living together. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amy-Abrams/1025963424 Amy Abrams

     That photo showing Peggy in the theater just as Don approaches her:  Her position calls back the intro to Mad Men – Don’s position with the cigarette with his arm extended over the sofa – she’s not just on her way, she IS Don.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joel-Haywood/1192586666 Joel Haywood

      I noticed (and am surprised TLo didn’t mention) that the brown in her dress at the theatre matches Don’s brown suit.  Yes, they are equals now.

    • FashionShowAtLunch

      Nicely done.

    • jackie cohen

       ooh I noticed this too!

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

       i read somewhere that this way of sitting/relaxing/whatever is referred to as “drapering”.

      • artsykelly

        It’s “draping” and it’s become an internet meme – there is even a tumblr.

  • joolyz

    “No other woman wore red this episode and there were plenty of opportunities for them to do so.” The secretary (I forget her name) in the first photo is wearing red. I noticed it because it was so striking against Joan’s blue.

    • schadenfreudelicious

      coincidentally her name is Scarlett…

      • MilaXX

         Correct. TLo even noted in the recap that Scarlet was wearing scarlet.

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

          Fine, nitpickers. None of the other major female characters wore red.

          • MilaXX

            In a way it still applies since Scarlet has gained new power. She’s Joan 2.0
            We probably would never have noticed if you guys hadn’t trained us to look at this show with such a critical eye.

          • Anna Bergman

             Joan is training Scarlett to be a worthy successor

          • carpediva

            I think may actually be a typo.  There are whole paragraphs (and pictures!) on how major female characters Joan & Peggy ALSO wore red this episode.  I’m wondering if they meant yellow?

          • TxMom2011

            Well… you’re the ones who taught us to be nitpickers!

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

            After several years at the TLo University of Nitpicking Studies, I feel that I have attained at least a Masters degree and am hoping to get my Ph.D. next year.

      • http://twitter.com/suryasnair suryasnair

        Aka Joan 2.0

    • lilibetp

      Is that red?  I thought it was hot pink.  But, yeah, it really stood out against Joan.  I think her name is Scarlett.

    • Gabriella Soza

      I don’t recall if it looked that way on my television, but in the screencap it looks more like a vibrant pink to me.

    • AZU403

      You guys have me so well trained that in the screen cap I noticed the Lanes’ bright red – and empty – armchair.

  • Black Steel

    It’s maybe too obvious, but I picked up on the green worn by Mme. Calvet. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say she’s envious of her daughter, who has so much, while Mama is angry, bitter and limited. Isn’t that the scene where she calls her a bitch and tells her she’s chasing a phantom? Way to undermine, green-clad monster.

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

       I don’t think she is jealous.  She does what she likes.  She is  old enough to know how unproductive it is to “wallow.”

      • nosniveling

        Actually, Megan brought up that her mom was competitive with her earlier, when she (Marie) was all over Don in the beginning.

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

          That’s Megan’s perception.  Is she a reliable narrator of anything but her own view?

          • Flooby

            I agree that Marie acts jealous of Megan- when Megan wanted sympathy for her ambitions her mom ignored the ambitions and attacked Megan as a person.  Marie called Megan delusional, a dreamer, overly dramatic and finally a bitch- all things the denigrate the PERSON of Megan but don’t address her ambitions.  Whereas Megan’s father was like, “Remember your ambitions, don’t get caught up doing things that aren’t your first love.”  So yeah, I think all the evidence (flirting with Don, her own unhappy marriage) show that Marie is not only jealous as hell, but acts it.  It’s perfect that she was wearing that green dress during the scene when her jealousy really showed itself overtly.  

          • http://www.facebook.com/SerenityEarth Serenity Jones-Peace

            I don’t think Megan’s mother is jealous of her. She has a hard sense of realism. Probably form a few failed dreams of her own. She just wants Megan to have the same realism without the harsh experiences

          • Flooby

            I don’t see that Marie was being “realistic” – she didn’t discuss the merits/ demerits of Megan’s dreams in a fact based way at all.  All she did was attach Megan as a person and call her having the ambition to be an actress delusional.  Thinking about it now, I feel strongly that Marie doesn’t want Megan to have more than she has.  In fact she wants Megan to end up just like she has- in an unhappy marriage, bitter, and unfulfilled.  

          • Kathleen Gillies

             Well, I would have difficulty dredging up sympathy for a woman who has spent maybe 6 months trying to get work as an actress in a city full of hungry talented actresses —who is lying in bed pouting and pitying herself in a penthouse apt.; unable to get herself up and take a tour with her mother who is visiting.  I guess I’d offer some cheese to go with her whine.

          • BostonBuddha

            I think her mother’s advice to her — like her father’s advice to her — reflects the long-running core disagreement between Megan’s parents – a life of wealth and comfort (which Marie values most) versus a life of artistic accomplishment (which her father values most).  When Marie criticizes her daughter as having an artistic temperament but not being an artist, she is talking about her husband as much as her daughter.  So Marie’s “realistic” advice to Megan is also an attempt to win her over to her point of view and to reject her father’s.

          • gokobuta

            “Not every girl gets to do what they like. The world cannot support that many ballerinas.”

            “Thank god my children aren’t my whole life.”

            Heartless, unsympathetic, dismissive, but not jealous. A kick in the pants for her grown daughter.

          • Sweetpea176

            I agree.  I also think that Marie allows her anger at her husband spill over onto Megan because she sees them as alike.  I’m also assuming that Marie’s comments are also coming out of a backstory that we don’t know yet.

          • Sweetbetty

             I think that Marie does have a backstory that’s going to be revealed eventually.  I base this partially on Megan’s response when Marie said something about the world not being able to support that many ballerinas and Megan replied something like, “Is that what happened to you?”.  I think we’ll find out that Marie had artistic aspirations and gave them up, perhaps due to pressure from her own mother, or from her husband.

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

             Totally agree.  When women are “hard” and “realistic” it is dubbed bitter and jealous.  Misogyny is the root of this type of thinking.  When a father is “realistic” it is because he wants what is best for the child. 

          • Kathleen Gillies

             Yes, and how do we know her father is not jealous and somewhat derisive of Don?  He cannot be happy for his daughter that was having a successful career and married to a good earner that provides well?  Instead he sows and fosters thoughts of inadequacy and unfulfillment.

          • LesYeuxHiboux

             Good point, it may actually run the other way. Megan is a “Daddy’s Girl”, which would put her in competition with her mother for her father’s affection. People always accuse others of what they do.

          • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

            I see Marie being shown as pretty clearly competitive with her daughter. Marie gives off the vibe of a disappointed middle-aged woman at the “Is this all there is?” point in her life — unhappy, unfulfilled in her marriage, resentful, and having her daughter’s youth, hopes and ambition making her aware that her time for all that is past. She’s got a sizable mean streak and seems unable to expand beyond her own bitter limitations to offer her daughter support.

      • Aurumgirl

        I’m not so sure.  I think she is the kind of mother who is jealous of her daughter’s already visible success.  Mme Calvet’s in a marriage with a husband who has affairs, and her own ambitions aren’t realized (nor are they even discussed).  Whatever she says of her daughter is what she really feels about herself–it’s very likely Mme Calvet is the one with the artistic aspirations but no real artistic talent (or at least no way to realize that talent in the context of her generation.  But it’s all possible for Megan).  

    • lilibetp

      Hmmm…  Was that the dress she wore to see Roger?  Or was that a different situation?  Joan was given an emerald when she prostituted herself and Marie wore emerald when she went to see Roger?  I’m really confused because I thought that was wear she was going, but on Roger’s bed (lucky Marie!) the top looks lower.  I think I need to watch this episode again.

      • sarahjane1912

        She wore black to see Roger [see above in the screenshots when they're on the bed together]. :-) And didn’t she also wear black on the night when she … serviced him at that dinner? Quite the opposite of being ‘in mourning for [her] life’. ;-)

    • TheDivineMissAnn

       This is a little off topic, but Mum used to have the same suit in that exact color, albeit with a different material.  In pictures of every Graduation, Communion, or other special occasion,  she’s wearing it.  Brings back nice memories.

    • Spicytomato1

      Interesting. I didn’t catch any jealousy from Marie but I did note that her green and blue outfits are on the cool end of the color spectrum, reflecting her chilly demeanor. No warm tones for her, I’d imagine.

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

      I don’t think Mme. Calvet is angry so much as filled with ennui and a kind of world-weary sophistication.  I don’t think she undermines Megan so much as speaks harsh, unvarnished truth.  To everyone.  That alone makes me love her.

      • Sweetbetty

         I kinda love her for that too, but one thing I’ve always found, and this may be just with me, but when people say things with a foreign accent they seem to sound much wiser and if what they say (assuming they’re not screaming or otherwise emotional) seems harsh, as much of what Marie says does, it comes across as just someone speaking the truth with no evil intent.  But, like I said, that could be just me.

    • Glammie

      I think you’re right and I think there was more than one visual/word play thing going on.  Megan’s mother is “green with envy.”  Trudy is being “true blue” when she says Pete should have his apartment.  She was also “true blue” when she sided with Pete about not going to Roger’s wedding after JFK’s assassination.  

      And Joan, among other things, is a scarlet woman.  She’s still wearing her scarves, but ever since she made partner, those scarves have become takes on ties–two of them have had rep-style stripes.  That said, gentlemen seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses–Joan will not be playing sex kitten in those partner meetings.  

      Meanwhile, I read Beth’s fur collar as a sexual pubic-hair allusion and post-op Beth was in literally fragile and delicate clothing–reflecting her mental state.

      • Kathleen Gillies

         I noticed that after his comments, he returns from work to find Trudy dressed –not in a house robe and the second time she is in a blue peignor.  I think she really wants that pool.

        • Glammie

          Trudy’s always liked her ruffly negligees.  I miss Season Three Trudy–she had the *best* clothes.  I need more Trudy in Season Five.  

          Hmmm, more Trudy, more Mona Sterling and some more walk-bys by Jane Sterling and her outrageous wardrobe.  Damn it, 1967 is going to be too early for a consciousness-raising group.

        • Colleen Panzer

          I was really mad (although not surprised…) that Pete didn’t notice when Trudy was in regular clothes when he came home, *especially* since he’d complained to her that she was always dressed for bed when he arrived!

          • 3hares

            Time had passed since that argument during which they’d been away and started trying to have a baby. I think her dress and negligee was part of a compromise they’d already started.

    • VanessaDK

      Mme Calvet sees Megan like her husband “artistic temperament but not the talent” and I think she projects her same anger in her daughter.

  • aimee_parrott

    Ha!  The end.  Or Roger’s end, anyway.

    great post, as always.  Reading these Mad Style posts has changed the way I watch the show.  You deserve a pat on the back for that!!

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

    Thanks TLo! I love your recaps and the comments. It’s scary how much time I spend here!

    • Sweetbetty

       Same here.  I’ve been telling myself how much more I’ll get done around the house now that the MM recaps will be over with but I just saw that Project Runway will be starting in less than a month so I better make sure to get a LOT done during that month :-)

  • karinlee

    Brilliant as always, guys. Reading your posts makes each season of Mad Men even better.

    By the way, was anyone else distracted by the mustard stains all over Ginzo’s shirt?

  • ldancer

    Thank you for another great season of writing and analyzing! Your commentary is an essential part of our Mad Men viewing, in our household.

    Also, I just started re-watching the late, great “Deadwood” and realized that Jane Bryant was the costumer for that show, too! Alma Garrett’s pea-green crushed velvet robe…ahhh…

    Finally, someone please bring me a pair of those pointy pale green flats Megan’s wearing in her scene with the ambiguously-accented Nancy Sinatra type. Size 9.5. Thank you. That is all.

    • FashionShowAtLunch

      Oh, Deadwood.  God I loved that show.  That costuming was STUNNING.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1401197785 Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

        Oh wow! I had no idea Janie Bryant had worked on Deadwood. I’ll have to go back and re-watch it.

      • ballerinawithagun

        When Mad Men took so long to return, the only thought that kept running through my mind was that we never had a finale for Deadwood. Her costuming was perfect in that also.

    • another_laura

      I did not know that!  ”Deadwood” is still my favorite show of all time – I still miss it!  Now I could watch it with trained eyes!!

      • Flooby

        Me too!

      • jennifervney

        Me three! :)

      • AnotherCelia

        And…maybe the amazing T and Lo could do a “between Mad Men seasons” costume analysis of Deadwood???  A girl can hope!

    • VanessaDK

      What was that accent? Odd at the very least.

      • ldancer

        Frenchternational via Scarsdale, I’m guessing.

      • Sweetbetty

         I was wondering about that myself.  Was the character trying to practice accents for upcoming roles?  As careful as the MM producers are I can’t believe they’d hire an actress that spoke like that.

    • tijde

      Idancer, I LOVE those shoes too! As a girl who’s restricted to flats (curse you, defective spine!) the footwear on MM usually makes me sad. But dammit, I could rock those shoes. I’ll take an 8.

  • lordandtaylor

    “Her friend is working a total Nancy Sinatra, head to toe.”
    LOL!
    TLO: Love your writing style.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

       My first thought was Sharon Tate, but Nancy Sinatra is good too.

      • margaret meyers

        Sharon Tate was often dressed like a little girl, too.

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

    I think I may miss your write ups even more than I’ll miss the show. Not that your other content isn’t great (and I will continue to visit for it), but your Mad Men posts have always been my favorite, amplifying my enjoyment of one of my favorite TV shows. Thank you.

  • luciaphile

    I have a brooch just like the one Joan is wearing on her blue suit. Just had to share that. Great recap as always.

  • http://twitter.com/Merneith Merneith

    AMC warned us that there would be would be brief nudity so I spent the whole episode watching for it. Totally worth the wait.

    Joan – I don’t disagree that she might feel some loss of respect for herself. But I think she’s also feeling some degree of survivor’s guilt for turning Lane down so hard the day before he killed himself. It’s not rational, but it’s pretty common after a suicide for survivors to wonder what they could have done. Also, remember that she doesn’t know -why- Lane killed himself. It’s possible that she’s wondering if her rejection put him over the edge.

    I hope Trudy finds someone who appreciates her.

    • sarahjane1912

      There was a warning for nudity on an after-the-watershed show? How … puritan.  

      • MK03

        It’s not after the watershed everywhere. It’s on at 8 where I live.

        • sarahjane1912

          My apologies. I assumed it was on at 10pm everywhere. :-~)

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

            I get the feed at 7 pm in L.A. Start watching it on the DVR at 7:30 and repeat. By 10 I’ve watched it twice.

          • sarahjane1912

            *Applauds wholeheartedly* That’s dedication for you!

            Though … psst … I’m no slouch. I check from the ‘crack of dawn’ in my part of the world [Middle East] for the show to be uploaded and then soak it in. Avidly. I then watch again in the afternoon so I’m primed — hopefully! — to be in tune with whatever glorious insights TLo have to offer. And I try — and succeed, true — to avoid any other blogs in the meantime so I can receive TLo’s fresh take on the proceedings without being swayed.

            Am I going to miss this? Am I? AM I! :-(

    • Spicytomato1

      “Also, remember that she doesn’t know -why- Lane killed himself. It’s possible that she’s wondering if her rejection put him over the edge.”
      So true. Maybe if and when the truth comes out it will give her a measure of peace. In fact had Don noted her suffering it might have been nice for him to share the truth.

      • nosniveling

        All indications are that the truth on Lane’s death will be covered up.  How an out of sequence check (followed by 2 missing checks- Lane took the whole page out of the checkbook) can float by is questionable to me.
        I’m aware that Burt believes that Don knowingly singed it but-the exact thing happened in my business, out of sequence checks are a huge red flag.Also, Don had Joan cut a 50k check to Rebecca just on his say so…. the financial side of this firm is mighty loose!

    • maretha2

      I thought that too. Don seems to feel guilty about Lane’s death because he knows about the forgery and embezzlement. Joan feels guilty because she knew Lane had feelings for her. But no one knew the whole picture about Lane, not even his wife, who is furious to have found the photo in his wallet. I think it’s normal for people to wonder if they had done something differently whether they could have prevented the tragedy. Joan’s comment to Don seemed to underline that no one knows everything going on in a suicidal person’s head, and they are not to blame for his choice.

      • oohsparkley!

        You reminded me that I don’t know who that photo was and it’s significance.  Can anyone clue me in?

        • Flooby

          The photo was in the wallet that Lane found in the cab.  The girl in the photo called him at his office about picking up the wallet for her boyfriend and Lane (very creepily) flirted with her.  When the actual owner of the wallet came to pick it up Lane kept the picture as a memento.  Some one else noted that in all his preparations for his suicide he didn’t remove it from his wallet- that it was a passive aggressive stab at his wife.  That girl, think her name was Dolores?, was like his fantasy girlfriend.  

    • AZU403

      I was hope hope hoping that the nudity would be Jon Hamm – no such luck.

      • oohsparkley!

        Me too! But the silver fox is also one of my “TV boyfriends”.

    • Sweetbetty

       ”AMC warned us that there would be would be brief nudity so I spent the whole episode watching for it.”

      Silly me, I thought the glimpse of Beth’s side-boob as she got out of bed with Pete was the brief nudity so I was totally unprepared for Roger’s bum shot.  And I will say I enjoyed that quite a bit.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    I’ll miss your Mad Style posts. They’re some of the best TV blogging around.

  • http://twitter.com/SashaSh SashaShagzhina

    OMG.. I loved it so much it’s unbelievable. I was waiting for the post and jus read it like a great dessert at the end of my long day. Thank you so much!!! 

  • hmariec19

    Joanie! In that blue suit! Fabulous.

    “The end.” Bahahahaha.

  • PastryGoddess

    Great recap guys!  I’ll add another pat to your backs for all of the things you guys picked up in the costuming this season.  How are we going to get through the next 6 months with no Mad Men?

  • charlotte

    Isn’t it ironic that Stan is wearing a jacket in Peggy’s (former) power color mustard yellow?
    Oh, and more Trudy (and Betty) please next season.

    • Sobaika

      Traditionally yellow is associated with cowardice. So I never thought of it as Peggy’s ‘power’ color as much as it was just her color, representing a person who didn’t demand enough respect in the office and wasn’t allowed their full potential. Now that she’s gone, her buddy Stan is floundering and incapable of tapping into women’s advertising in the way she could.

      • charlotte

        I guess that’s true. But isn’t yellow also associated with envy? Stan might as well be jealous of Peggy. He’ll never be able to think like a woman after all.

        • Sobaika

          I think green = envy.

          • charlotte

            I just figured out that “yellow with envy”only exists in German. We associate green with hope. Didn’t know there’s such a cultural difference.

          • sarahjane1912

            No, no … yellow as jealousy [and deceit] is accepted all over the place [not just Germany]. 

            Interesting to note that: Envy is when you want something someone else has; jealousy is when you fear something or someone might be taken away from you. Or words to that effect, so I’ve heard. ;-)

          • Spicytomato1

            I just heard that recently, too, for the first time. It’s such a succinct and neat explanation of the differences.

          • SassieCassy

            Yeah meanings are different all over. Kind of like in China white is the color of mourning and red is a happy color. In US literature/film it means more lust or aggression.

        • FashionShowAtLunch

          It’s green that’s associated with envy.

      • lilibetp

        I think yellow can also be associated with the intellect.

      • lilibetp

        I think yellow can also be associated with the intellect.

    • SheenaRamone

      Stan wore only the lime jacket last season, and this season, wears the mustard blazer only twice – in ‘Mystery Date’, and in ‘The Phantom’, when we see him pitching without Peggy. 

      Ginsberg, too, has a splash of actual mustard on his shirt. 

      Those guys miss her and it shows in every way possible. 

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

    The trim on Joan’s red power dress also has a trim very similar to a male’s tie.  Maybe even matching Bert’s and Don’s tie.

    Joan’s blue suit is simply fab!

  • Katia Alba

    Love the recap!!
    Maybe I am confused, but I really thought that the girl approaching Don in the last scene was Megan´s friend and I was like, ohhh the revenge!Did you notice how the guard in the train dont even touch Vincent K.?? it was funny.

    • charlotte

      I’m pretty sure we were supposed to think that the girl is Megan’s friend, at least for a moment.

    • Spicytomato1

      I thought it was her at first but realized it wasn’t when she didn’t have the accent. As someone pointed out on the recap thread, the credits prove it was two different actors.

  • thrillckr

    Also of note for Joan is the blatantly phallic necklace she’s begun wearing to the office. 

    • Szerelem .

      She’s been wearing it since forever. 

      • Sobaika

        Yeah, it’s a pen on a chain. It was very popular among secretaries in the 50s and Joan’s been wearing it since day one. I remember hunting online for one during the first season and never finding one that was quite right. I also went around looking for cardigan chains inspired by Miss Pillsbury during Glee’s first season. 

        • http://twitter.com/omg_dora Dora K.

           Is it an actual pen? I thought it was a pen-shaped pendant. Also, have you got a source on it being popular among secretaries? I’d love to hear more. For some reason I was always fascinated by that accessory on Joan.

          • Sobaika

            Someone with a better knowledge of fashion history might inform you better, but yes they were working pens and common in the time and place. If memory serves I learned about it in an interview Janie Bryant gave during the early seasons. Maybe try on AMC’s website?

          • Joshau Norton

            It wasn’t a fashion statement as much as a way to have a pen handy at all times. A lot of my school teachers wore the same thing. There was also a brooch type pen that was on an retractable string.

          • Maggie_Mae

            The Pen on a Chain is related to the Reading Glasses on a Chain–both descended from the Chatelaine.  Distantly related to the Clips on a Chain that could transform a cardigan into a cape.  

            All mostly obsolete accessories.  Mostly Fashion Don’ts.  Unless you’re Joan….

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

            I think I still have a silver Tiffany pen on a chain. Need to look for it.

          • http://twitter.com/omg_dora Dora K.

             Thanks, all!

        • http://www.facebook.com/darva.sutra Darva Sutra

           A couple years back I found/purchased a Joanie pen necklace lookalike.  From the jewelry company 1928.  They may still have them or look on ebay.  I wear mine occasionally on workdays when I feel the need to channel Joan.

      • thrillckr

        My apologies.  This is my first season of watching Mad Men so had no prior knowledge of it.  Does the necklace have any special significance?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1401197785 Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

          I don’t know that the pen has much significance in itself, but they were pretty common, back in the day. My grandmother wore one well into the seventies. (Yes, I looked for it when we were packing up her belongings and sadly, did not find it. It would have been a kick-ass memento of her.)
          I strongly recommend going back to the archives and reading all the Mad Style posts. I read them before I ever watched an episode. Fascinating stuff!

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

          For a while, Joan was not working at the agency and we never saw her wear the pen. When she returned to start the new SCDP, we welcomed her and her pen back. You really need to start from the beginning. So many things will start to make sense.

    • FashionShowAtLunch

      That’s actually her pen necklace, which she wore almost constantly back in the first couple of seasons, and if I’m correct, has only recently begun to wear again. 

    • Mary Saucier

      Her pen necklace? She’s been wearing that since season 1.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NHKW4ZLHFQUGL42Y3JVKNQ7ZCQ Molly

       Isn’t that the same pen necklace she’s always worn?  I hadn’t thought about it as phallic, but (ahem) you’ve got a point there.

    • tijde

      Didn’t one of the men on the show–I think it was an underling, but I’m not sure–mention the pen specifically while bitching Joan out? I think he was pissed that she refused him or acted offended at his dirty comment. IIRC, he accused her of wearing it to draw [even more] attention to her breasts.

      • tijde

        Found it. Joan was fighting with Joey the freelancer in The Summer Man. He doesn’t make the pen comment to her, but to Peggy, when Pegs tries to tell him he does NOT want to make Joan an enemy.

      • tijde

        Found it. Joan was fighting with Joey the freelancer in The Summer Man. He doesn’t make the pen comment to her, but to Peggy, when Pegs tries to tell him he does NOT want to make Joan an enemy.

  • Judy_J

    Once again, you guys have done a stellar job analyzing the clothing and content of Mad Men.  Costume has always fascinated me, and it is so wonderful to find a place where fashion and costume meet.  And thanks for that perfect screen-shot of John Slattery’s naked derriere.

    • 3boysful

       And wasn’t that just the perfect, subtle way to tell (show) us what he’d been doing!

      • sarahjane1912

        *Mutters feverishly* Must find how Monsieur Slattery keeps in such. good. shape.

        • snarkalicious

          No kidding!  Maybe his hair color just makes him look older than he really is…like, 30 years younger. 

          • Spicytomato1

            Do we know for sure it was him? Maybe he used a body double, like that one scene of Fat Betty coming out of the bathtub…

          • Qitkat

            It was him. I posted a link to an interview he did on the recap post.
            Look on vulture.com for it.

  • AnnaDraper62

    In my withdrawal from MM, I started re-watching from season 1 (TOTALLY worth it, I tell you). In the episode where Joan gets raped by Greg in Don’s office, he brings her a bouquet of red roses and she leaves them at her desk, subtly marking the beginning of her sartorial rose motif. Bravo, T&M for pointing this out–I would have never noticed this amazing detail if it wasn’t for you!!!

    I will miss reading your MadStyle blogs, but I’ll be visiting everyday nonetheless. :)

  • http://twitter.com/ursny UrsNY

    Another brilliant post, especially the ending! I’m going to miss these. They always bring another dimension to the show for me, since I rarely pick up the subtext of the costumes on my own. I especially love how you organized the reds into a trilogy. Fascinating!
    Ugh, sludgy brown is perfect for Rebecca. Amazing. She took the moment when empathy could break though my dislike, and be so brittle and repulsive that I double down on my loathing. The faintly silver lining of Lane’s tragic, sad death is never having to see her disdainful face again. Good riddance.

    • Qitkat

      While Rebecca was never a major character, I’ll miss checking in on her just as I have missed checking in on all those who have left the show. She will have so much to deal with in the aftermath of Lane’s death and it’s also tragic that she will always wonder what really drove him to it, and never completely know the truth. Unlike most other shows on television, Mad Men gives us such vibrantly written characters, even those who turn out to be minor, that many of us wonder what happened to them down the road. Most shows I don’t really care. YMMV.

    • Flooby

      Yeah, I don’t get why people were cheering her as a big time truth teller who busted Don’s “illusions.”  He had a not particularly easy errand to do- arrive at the home of some one grieving and give them a check- and she made it SO much worse by unloading a lot of venom on him and basically accusing him of causing her husband’s suicide.  Just the worst.

      • http://twitter.com/ursny UrsNY

        I agree. She has no idea what’s actually been going on with her own husband, and she was content not ask as long as it benefited her. After he’s broken is when she strikes the noble widow pose. Plus, I thought the bad guy was the British tax authority, not SCDP. Don may just be doing what he should and not more, but she’s making everything as miserable as possible. Which she did often to Lane before he died. Yeah, not understanding the cheering either.

    • Sweetbetty

       Don’t count Rebecca out yet.  As someone mentioned in the recap, she still owns Lane’s portion of the partnership.  If she chooses to sell it back to the other partners she should be set financially for life (assuming the UK tax man doesn’t get most of it) but if she opts to retain it and step in as a partner in the agency she’ll be around for a while.  And the fact that she’s moving her mother in with her rather than preparing to return to the UK as soon as she can leads me to believe her choice may be the latter.

      • formerlyAnon

         Agree. No-one would expect her to handle the details of settling the estate personally, there would be lawyers or bankers for that, so she could just go home immediately if that was what she wanted. She needn’t stay to keep her son in school till the end of the year, he could go with her or stay at his boarding school until she had things settled.

  • BradCav

    One point I haven’t seen noted anywhere else, and one I didn’t realize until I saw the screen cap just now: I thought we were done with the suicide imagery after Lane hung himself in his office, or at least that it had found its context. But Roger makes a couple of notable call-backs to it in this episode. First, directly, when he is talking to Marie. Secondly, and less obviously, in the concluding montage, he is standing naked on a chair, looking over the city, as if he is preparing to jump or fall. It’s possible, even likely, that I’m wrong. But I think that the specter of death has not left the halls of SCDP.

    • KayeBlue

      Yes. The writers have already had every major female character get pregnant, and every major male character have an affair/get divorced/get married (all three for Don and Roger)… there’s got to be some big event next season. My money’s on a random crime to further emphasize the decline of New York. 

      • Qitkat

        We’ve already had a random crime, last season, the night that Roger and Joan were mugged, and she got pregnant from *thank god we’re alive sex*.

        • KayeBlue

          That’s why I said “further”. Peggy got accidentally pregnant in season 1, but that didn’t stop the writers from having Betty do the same in season 2 and Joan in season 4. I think it’ll be a death by crime next season. 

          Still hoping they all just become nudists, though. 

      • Sweetbetty

         Megan hasn’t gotten pregnant.  And if she would somehow (birth control isn’t 100% dependable), that could cause quite a storyline, including a crime (abortion).

        • charlotte

          Megan hasn’t gotten pregnant, but she has gotten into (albeit involuntary, part-time) motherhood. If that counts.

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

      I could have completely been imaging this, but after Don “saw” his late brother Adam working at SCDP and kept walking past the rest of the offices, was there a faint shadow behind one of the frosted glass panes that resembled a large hanging object? My heart seized in my chest when I saw it, but I don’t think I’ve seen it mentioned anywhere else, so I’m wondering if I severely overreacted to a shadow.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QP4RBTAZX6QTHZZSJ2YT7DGO7Q Brittany

    I think I started reading your blog in & around Season 4 ending, so I never really followed your Mad Style posts till this season (although I have of course, gone back & read them ALL). I have to see they’ve really enhanced my viewing experience – please keep up the good work! Do you feel like there are any posts you’ve missed? Like top 10 lists etc? 

  • boleyn28

    I love the Vogue magazine Megan and Marie are reading, check out the cover. FABULOUS!

    • Spicytomato1

      I have such a weakness for vintage magazines, they are such perfect little time capsules.

  • Le_Sigh

    Brilliant!  I will miss your recaps – they’re the reason I watch the show now.

  • MilaXX

     You have taught us well because the minute I saw Joanie in that blue suit d glasses, I immediately recognized it as her version of menswear. I also noticed the red power color on Joan and especially Peggy.
     I love your recaps and especially the Mad style post. You guys are awesome.

  • http://theargiehome.blogspot.com/ Gus Casals

    Let me second the kudos to the amazing Janie Bryant, and
    extend them to you too guys. I know I watch Mad Men in a different light thanks
    to both her and your work.

    Great catch on the subtle “how Joan approaches Don” thing…
    And I have to say I love the new professional Peggy. On the back of my mind, I
    always a more carefree, maybe even hippy-ish Peggy at some point down the line,
    but unless something really big happens, I don’t see that happening now.

    Marie’s green outfit kills me. She was serving complete Lois
    Lane realness there.

    Oh my, and that Don/Peggy at the hotel bed catches? You guys
    are GOOD (and have excellent memories)

    • anotherEloise

      “Lois Lane realness”!   Love it.   

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

    What will I miss most? The show or the Mad Style Posts? Hard to say. Thanks men!

  • jblaked

    Did anyone else notice that the red chair in the Pryce apartment was the same chair that was in Lane’s old office at Sterling Cooper? I love that chair.

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

       That chair is the best.  I would take it, right now!

      • Susan Crawford

        It’s a classic, isn’t it? English country house library/Men’s Club smoking room kind of chair. Perfect!

        • A Reeves

          I thought it was so poignant how much it stood out and looked as if it didn’t belong. It signified Layne’s ambition, I suppose. Totally missed it in the episode, though–and I watched it  twice. Thanks for the screenshot.

  • carolynmo

    Tom and Lorenzo, I started watching Mad Men this season because of your style recaps. In the past, I skipped theses posts (BKs, don’t start–I know not reading all TLo posts is sacrilege!), but I’ve been catching up on the older posts and past seasons. And NOW that I’m hooked, Direct TV is pulling the channel!! But that’s another issue.

    Anyway, thanks, guys. These style recaps have been fascinating to read.

    And I’ll never skip posts again.

    • Spicytomato1

      Those TV commericals warning of the channel going away are hilarious! For both MM and The Killing, it seems they pulled the most angry, histrionic scenes they could find to fire up the viewer outrage. I’m not affected so maybe that’s why I find them so amusing.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I have AT&T cable and I found those commercials pretty funny. I think I started re-watching Mad Men went the blogs started. I tried to watch it before and found the first couple of episodes to depressing. I’ve tried all sorts of shows due to this blog.

        • Spicytomato1

          This is the first MM season I’ve watched in its entirety, also because of TLo. I’d tried in the past and, like you, found it depressing. Also ominous and unsettling. Somehow that vibe didn’t bother me this season. So now I’m going to watch from the beginning, since we have so much down time until season 6!

          • Sweetbetty

             Just how much down time do we have?  Anybody know?

    • barbarasingleterry

      Actually it is DISH network, not Direct TV.  I found those commercials hilarious as well.

      • carolynmo

        Yes, you’re right. Thanks. That’s what happens when I write a comment with only one cup of coffee!

  • sarahjane1912

    *Raises uber-dry martini-with-three-olives* Thanks so so much, TLo, for yet another season’s worth of sterling work.

    PS. Yes, it IS a martini. But it’s 7pm here! *GRIN*

    • nosniveling

      at least it’s not an old fashioned ;)

      • sarahjane1912

        *Gags* Tried one of those once — at an MM ‘opening night’ par-tay — and couldn’t have been more revolted. ;-)

    • Sweetbetty

       ” another season’s worth of sterling work.”

      As in *Roger* Sterling?  As in his sterling butt? :-)

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

    The actors playing Pete (Angel’s Connor), Beth (Girlmore Girls’ Rory) and Peggy (Westwing’s First Daughter) were all teenage stars.  it’s really nice to see their career and professional development.  
    And I think the casting of Beth is deliberate to make her a physically female Pete (with the round doll face and big round blue eyes). 

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

      Could the reason for giving Pete a “receding” hairline have been to give him a higher forehead ala Beth to force the similarity? (wow, that was an awkward sentence.)

  • sarahjane1912

    Ooh … one question though: has MM ever done an end-of-season montage the likes of which we saw in this episode? Very ‘The Wire’, I thought, and *scratches head* I can’t recall it being done before. If I’m incorrect, would love to know where/when it WAS done before. :-)

  • Musicologie

    Something I JUST noticed in the sketch of the pool–a second child.

    • charlotte

      Now I’m waiting for Pete to blurt out “But I’ve already made two” when Trudy is once again unable to conceive next season. Not gonna happen,I know, but still.

    • Sweetbetty

       I noticed the second child too; all part of Trudy’s dream.  Even the house in the sketch looks much more modern than the inside of their house is.

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

    Peggy in the movie theater with her arm throw across the top of the seat and holding a cigarette.  Just like Don in the opening credits.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=661256074 Mars Tokyo

    I think Roger’s arms are longer than his legs!

  • surfergirl70

    Fantastic post.  Thanks for a great season, guys!

  • call_me_schmeg

    i found my way to the tlo-ness via slate (with their condensed reprints of mad men style). can i say how grateful i am? oh? i can? ok…. THANK YOU! i really, really mean it. to next season!

  • ballerinawithagun

    Red! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1401197785 Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

    And now the long, horrible wait begins, for more Mad Men, recaps and Mad Style. Is it weird that I enjoy the Mad Style as much as the actual episodes?

    • http://www.thechipsterdiaries.blogspot.com/ Jess the Chipster

      No! As soon as I finish an episode, I wait eagerly for TLo’s style recaps.

  • Valadilenne

    Joan wore aqua whenever her storyline was directly intertwined with Lane: when they got into that big fight over her days off, when Joey drew the pornographic cartoon, when she took the ice into his office and he kissed her, and when she hugged him in Roger’s office at the Jaguar announcement. It’s safe to say that it’s her “Lane color,” and now she’s dressing like him and basically roleplaying as him in an effort to both fill his empty chair and the gaping hole he’s left behind in their friendship.

    • tijde

      Great catch.

  • MK03

    John Slattery has a sweet ass.

  • jennmarie19

    Slow clap, gentlemen. Your recaps and most especially the Mad Style posts were an incredible complement to the whole season. You really added to the enjoyment of watching the show. Thank you for all of the time and care you devote to it. The bitter kittens are bowing down. 

  • Frank_821

    Looking at Stan I feel rather bad for him since he’s grown on me over the past 2 seasons. I see him as a lovable lunkhead and lug.

    I can’t help but chuckle at Ginsberg. I know it’s wrong but I love seeing him flounder like that. The fact he’s such a mess says a lot about valuable peggy really was to the company and in truth Ginsberg is not up to the task yet of filling her shoes

    • KayeBlue

      Agreed. I think they’ll bring Peggy back when Ginsberg self-destructs. He went from quirky to arrogant in just a few episodes. 

      • Spicytomato1

        I think he’s always been arrogant, it’s just that it’s been allowed to run rampant now that Peggy’s not around to keep it in check.

        • KayeBlue

          True. I liked him a lot after the sweet scene with his father, and I thought his backstory would be developed after the born-in-a-death-camp scene… I’m surprised how quickly he became unlikeable. I was laughing so hard at his stained shirt!

          • Spicytomato1

            As much as he seems to grate on everyone, I still like him. Even the stained shirt didn’t bug me, I guess because I have known people like that who can be intensely focused on one thing and yet be so clueless about everything else!

          • sweetlilvoice

            Agreed! He just needs a firm hand and some time to mature. I volunteer myself!

          • Sweetbetty

             I still think Ginsberg’s backstory, as well as his “father’s”, will be explored.  Like someone already mentioned, we’ve had births, deaths, marriages, divorces, affairs, and so much in between, that a Holocaust backstory would be something different for a current TV series.

    • LuLusLemons

      The irony there being the way he handled the shoe account…

    • greenwich_matron

      Ginsberg reminds me of a thirteen year old who is too old for a babysitter and too immature to be left alone. 

      • tijde

        Well put. That’s him perfectly.

  • another_laura

    Love you, T Lo.  That is all.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TRNFWXFV5XXESSL5Q4YADG6WWQ Bridget

    Three other points:  1. Beth’s beige coat calls back to the beige silk top and brown skirt she was wearing when she first met Pete.  2. Rebecca’s outfit, while chic, calls back Beth’s “depressed” color palate, tying her to tragic depression in another way.  3. Rebecca’s top’s only embelleshment is a knot that loops around her neck.  Not a bow, a knot, reminding the viewer subtly of Lane’s tragic end.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1733757290 Lynell Garrett Smith

    Your comments always make my week!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344314000 Anne Meek White

    Thank you, thank you for the wonderful recaps and Mad Style. You give me so much more insight into the characters thoughts and actions, and I enjoy this site as much as the show. Great work!

  • http://twitter.com/suryasnair suryasnair

    Watching the old seasons, Pegs mostly wore red when she stood up to Don n demanded what she thought she wanted for her career, like the hilton account. Looks like it’s the color of her demanding and getting what she wants. 

    And she looked like Margaret Thacher – in a nice way –  in that red suit. 

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

      That suit is pretty much wearing her. I think she looks like someone trying to appear older in someone else’s clothes as opposed to a powerful person.

  • Joshau Norton

    It appears that ole Pete is losing his hair rather rapidly. This is bad news for Vincent Kartheiser but fits into his slimy, weasel character quite nicely.

    Skinnny, pasty and now balding. The perfect anti-Don.

    • 2ndhandchic

       I just read an interview with Vincent Kartheiser over on Vulture and he mentioned that they shave his head to look like he is losing hair. They also had him gain a little weight, which truthfully I hadn’t noticed.

      • Joshau Norton

        You’re right. I found the interview and he is shaving back his hair line. I’m glad to know that Vincent isn’t paying the karmic price for Pete being such an unlikeable dweeb.

      • sweetlilvoice

        It takes a really good actor to make someone be so unlikable. Vincent is a sweetie in interviews and Pete is still a slimeball. There must be something very freeing in playing the bad guy.

        • http://twitter.com/ciscalim Francisca Lim

           True! And Vincent just gets better by the episode. I could stand him just alright at the beginning of the season because there was a gap after season 4, but dear lord I literally cringe and felt nauseous by the end of season 5 just by his little pathetic expression, blergh!

      • Laylalola

        I noticed the weight gain — but only because in earlier seasons he was so, so lean in his suits and just a really noticeable energy or kick or something in his movements/body. The weight gain really did add to the sense of dragging and depression.

        • 3hares

          Yes, he’s not fat but it gives a fullness to his face that wasn’t there before. That’s where it really showed for me.

    • Susan Crawford

      I think I read somewhere that Kartheiser is actually having his hair cut back to indicate the receding hairline -anyone else come across that?

      • 3hares

        Yes, the actor has a full head of hair. They shaved it back more and more during the season. I’d love to have seen his five o’clock shadow on the forehead.

        • Spicytomato1

          Yeah I was wondering how strange it must look as it starts to grow in. Kudos to him for committing to the look. Although I guess he didn’t really have a choice.

        • Sweetbetty

           Gosh, I wonder where his hairline will be at the beginning of the next season?

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

    Still, no one has mentioned how that woman at the bar, interested in Don, looks just like Megan. 
      

    • Lilithcat

      It was mentioned ad nauseum, ad infinitum in the comments to the recap post here.

  • LuLusLemons

    Loved joanie’s glasses, and how they are a clear “not trying to please men” signal — and also a bit of a further fu to Roger, who was disappointed to find her at home in cute, but not particularly sexy, pjs and glasses.

    Butler Shoes was a great account. It gave us Peggy and Megan turning men’s controling scenarios around (Peggy is wearing them when she shakes down Roger, Megan uses her commercial) and walking out, in a manner of speaking.

    • greenwich_matron

      I take Joanie’s look to say “I have sexual power, and I will ration it out as I see fit.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506473106 Mori Clark

    i have to say, if anything i watch mad men just to read y’alls recaps. great job, guys. :) 

  • KayeBlue

    Lovely!

    I want there to be a store called “Buy What Joan Wore on Mad Men”, because where Joan would have found that lovely suit/dress to fit her chest size is a mystery to me. I have almost everything I own tailored to my non-model proportions, but there are limits. I need that suit!

    I hope we see more of Megan’s mother next season. She brings the 50′s, Old World glamour that started the interest in this show (it was pointed out that her accent is more French than French-Canadian, but she may well have been born and raised in France and immigrated to Canada). Love her matching hat. 

    I’ve definitely hit a fashion wall in this series. I was born just before the first Bush administration, so the clothes are looking… old. Not vintage. Let’s cross our collective fingers that Peggy doesn’t go full Nancy Reagan. 

    Of course, Roger Sterling could just make the entire firm embrace nudism for 1968!

    • Susan Crawford

      I don’t have Joan’s fabulous belle poitrine, but I would TOTALLY shop in that store!

      • ldancer

        Belle Poitrine!! Thank you for the Edward Everett Tanner III/Patrick Smith reference!

        • Susan Crawford

          I have such fond memories of the wit and satire those two fellas created!

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

      I think the secret is that Janie Bryant tailors down large-sized clothing to fit Joan’s body. She really does a stunning job, too. Joan’s figure looks poured into her clothes — it’s rare to see anyone IRL these days whose clothing fits that perfectly!

      • Maggie_Mae

        I could believe that Joan would have had a tailor or seamstress for years.  She’d buy stuff off the rack & pay a bit extra for the right fit.  In future shows, we’ll see what she can do with more money–dressing suitably for her position but never, ever looking like a man!

      • Sweetbetty

         I’m more inclined to think that Janie has Joan’s clothing custom made from vintage fabrics and using vintage patterns as a groundwork.  You can only tailor down clothes so far before you begin to affect the hand and proportion of a garment.  In something like that double-breasted dress it would be much easier to make from scratch than to attempt to alter an existing garment.  I believe the real-life Joan would have employed a dressmaker too.  She wouldn’t have been able to afford a lot of clothes in her earlier days but what she had would be quality made and custom fitted.

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

          I was thinking of Joan’s gorgeous “Wave” dress, which Bryant said was originally a huge size that she tailored way down to fit Christina Hendricks. But you’re right; though, it sounds like she does both.

  • greenwich_matron

    Megan’s dirndl reminded me of last season when she was auditioning for the role of Mrs. Draper with her Maria Von Trapp reading. Last season Don saw Megan with the kids and believed he could truly own that beautiful tableaux, and now he is seeing a more overtly fantastic version of Megan and realizing that it’s a show for everyone else and has very little to do with him.

  • AmQueenNow

    In the screen shot with Rebecca and Don the red chair almost seems like a 3rd character with its central placement and the red power color.  Another path to power?  Death?  Widowhood?  Not sure what, but it is impossible to miss.

    • Melissa Brogan

       Another reminder of red symbolizing male decline. (See Ginsburg and Stan above.)

  • Lilithcat

    Roger was clearly the best-dressed in this episode.   ;-))

    • http://polishyoftruth.com/ Tara @ Polishy of Truth

      Am I the only one who giggled and then backed it up so I could see RogerAss again? Dude is in good shape!

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

    What struck me about Peggy’s red suit is that it looks so much like something Faye would have worn. I think that was probably intentional on Peggy’s part. In “Blowing Smoke” she told Faye (wearing a red suit in the scene) how much she admired her. She went out and bought some new duds and thought, “what would Faye pick out?”

    • greenwich_matron

      I think your spot on. Also, Faye was the character who overtly understand the way she could use her wardrobe to communicate with others. 

    • http://polishyoftruth.com/ Tara @ Polishy of Truth

      Yes!!!

  • Spicytomato1

    I’m in full agreement with everyone who’s said that reading the recaps and Mad Style posts is as enjoyable as watching the show itself. I know my life will feel a bit emptier without those elements…until next season.

    A couple things I noted, fwiw. I agree that Peggy’s red suit is a bit matronly on her. I took it as a sign that she still needs to grow into her new, more powerful position. I don’t think she’s Don’s equal just yet. But when she does reach it, I think her personal style will dramatically reflect that.

    Secondly, I couldn’t help but ogle the vivid, oversaturated colors in the commercial shoot. It reminded me a little bit of the dramatic color portion of The Wizard of Oz. A commentary on Don and Megan’s marriage? The fairy tale isn’t all that it seems?

    • Lisa_Cop

      I would call Peggy’s suit mature but not matronly. And it is SUCH a step up in sophication fron her SCDP catholic school girl outfits. I thought the suit was very becoming on her.

  • Qitkat

    In other words, the prostitution may not have devalued her to the
    partners the way we predicted, but it may have, in a small way, devalued
    her to herself.

    That was my take too in previous posts, and everyone seemed to disagree with me.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KFD4YODYT6N2NNTE7ZAHJWQXCM Deirdre

    Beth’s pink dress in the hotel room was SO childish (especially when paired with Alexis Bidel’s babyface) that I was pretty creeped out by it. I know that infantile look was in in the 60′s but it just weirded me out. Really speaks to the type of women Pete is attracted to.

    • http://polishyoftruth.com/ Tara @ Polishy of Truth

      I agree! Plus I thought she looked a lot like him, which I thought was creepy, but then I thought I was reading too much into it! I am glad TLo said the same ;-) Pete obviously thinks he is so wonderful no wonder he is obsessed with her! Pete with boobs!

      • 3hares

        It seems like a big part of the story was more that they “had the same problem.” Their eyes, which were commented on more than once, were connected to lonely and vulnerable planet earth in space.

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

      I also thought Beth’s dress in the hotel room resembled a housekeeping uniform, which underscored her invisibility.

      • Sweetbetty

         I saw it as a uniform too; waitress, beautician, housekeeper, nurse’s aid, all something typically female and subservient.

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    If you compare the last shot of Stan and Ginsberg with the first shot of Peggy and the two men standing at her desk, you will notice that both Ginsberg and the man on the left are in suits and ties, and Stan and the man on the right are both in plaid jackets and polo-type shirts.  Peggy (or lack of her talent) are the focal point in both shots.

    Dang!  that Jeannie Bryant!

  • Rebecca Jay

    I would kill Peggy for her headboard.

    • Spicytomato1

      Haha, I noticed the headboard right away, too. I inherited one that’s almost identical from my great aunt. The only drawback is that it’s full size, when we have become accustomed to queen (did queen size even exist back then I wonder?). My son loves it!

      • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

         I don’t think we had queen size back then. King size was the new thing – my husband and I bought one in 67, and I remember how huge and lonely it felt.

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

          We had a king size bed in our honeymoon hotel room in July 1967 and bought a queen the next Feb. 

        • Melissa Brogan

           Simmons claims to have standardized both King and Queen size mattresses back in 1958, so a decade later they probably weren’t too uncommon.

  • LuLusLemons

    As an aside: Pare is quite the dish, and even she can’t pull off shiny blue rayon panties. Ew.

  • Adrien Hamilton

    BRAVO! Fantastic work. 

  • dickylarue

    Thank you so much TLO for these columns this season. I’ve shared and linked this series to friends telling them they only get 1/2 the story of Mad Men by watching it and the other 1/2 by reading these columns. As a filmmaker and a writer, these columns have been eye opening for me. Your series of posts here are like a Master Class in Production Design. I’ll never tell a costumer “just put whatever you want on them” ever again. 

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

      I’ve pointed people here because your posts are also terrific writing tools.  Even people who have never watched MM can learn the importance of props and costuming as part of character and plot development.

  • MsKitty

    “The End”

    Y’all so crazy.

    I want Megan’s green suede flats.

    I think I will miss these posts even more than the show.  Thanks TLo.

    • Qitkat

      In 1966, I had a pair of green suede MaryJanes, one of my favorite pairs of shoes of my life :-)
      I wore them out walking all over Europe/Britain for my college study abroad summer.

      • Spicytomato1

        How cool to remember those shoes and all the adventures attached to them. I can remember shoes that I hated because my mom made me wear them but none come to mind with such a poignant association as yours.

        Here’s hoping another favorite pair is on your horizon somewhere!

      • judybrowni

        Me, too!

        I was in high school, I believe they were tan or light green, and I bought them in the children’s department, because I wore a size 4.

  • fnarf

    Bravo!

    Now, during the offseason, I want you two to go back and do Mad Styles on classic movies, starting with the Technicolor work of Douglas Sirk: “All That Heaven Allows”, “Magnificent Obsession”, and “Written On The Wind”. Hell, just do the whole Rock Hudson catalog; I’d love to see “Pillow Talk” and “Lover Come Back” as well. Get to it, boys, it’s a long offseason but it’s not going to last forever!

    • MsKitty

      They can’t do Douglas Sirk without including “Imitation of Life.” Lana Turner’s wardrobe was 20 kinds of fierce in that flick.

    • luciaphile

       Ooooooh, what a fantastic idea. I would love to see your comments on Written on the Wind!

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

      And then compare and contrast with “Far From Heaven.”

  • http://twitter.com/dixielou8 Ashley

    I just got chills. OMG LOVE YOU TLO!

  • Sweetvegan

    “Sex, career, and marriage; the three paths to power for women in a patriarchal society.” Yup! Thank you for another fantastic Mad Style post!  

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

    Anothing I just remembered.  There is a parallel of Joan’s prostitution story and Sal’s prostitution story.  Sal refused to sleep with the Lucky Strike exec and got fired!  Joan relented and was made partner.  Don certainly wasn’t above to pressure Sal into male-prostitution back then.  

  • OneBonBonIsPoison

    Looking at that blue dress and the black one in the hotel, with her perfect updo, I was wondering if Marie is Roger’s Dark Joan (the same way Beth is Dark Betty). They are both women who can hold their own against him. Of course, that green suit is certainly not a Joan-like outfit, so it may just be the more subtle connection pointed out in the recap – two strong, self-aware women, two pillars of monochrome stability. 

  • Trevor Scott

    No Downton, no Mad Men, what am I going to do for the rest of the summer? 

    • 2ndhandchic

       Project Runway and Breaking Bad start in July, if you are into either of them.

      • sweetlilvoice

        BB yes! PR I couldn’t stand to watch after the last 2 seasons.

    • Lilithcat

      Second season of Boss starts August 17.  Yay!!!!

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

      Suits starts this week.

  • David Del Vecchio

    Guys: your style posts are astute but everything about this show has become so on-the-nose and blaringly telegraphed that every recap you read, professional or amateur, picks up on just as many “subtle cues”. I really enjoy your posts, and think you bring a lot to the table in terms of analyzing the trends of the time and what a certain outfit says about the wearer’s status or class, but I think the fact that every aspect of an episode, from the dialogue to the clothing, bleats out the show’s themes is a sign of weakness, not strength. And when people who write about the show are too pleased with themselves for picking up on these themes, it just shows how silly it is that the majority of TV writers have been blinkered into thinking this party game is the highest achievement our culture has produced.

    Without a doubt, the heavy-handedness makes the show fun to watch and overanalyze, but I think a lot of the media obsession with the show derives from how the giant bread crumbs the writers (and Janie Bryant) drop every week make it so easy to write about, while at the same time making bloggers feel really smart for picking up these cues. (Watching the show this season has become like high school English class, when we were taught to pick up on symbolism, i.e. the green light and giant eyeglasses in Gatsby.) 

    This flattery of the viewer (and the super-viewer who blogs about the show) by making it so easy to detect themes and symbols might be the true genius of the show — and in a meta way, demonstrate the show’s themes of seduction and suckerdom just as well as anything that even happens on-screen. (Not to mention the fact that this show that’s supposedly about how Americans are continually being manipulated into buying non-essential luxury items they don’t need now features commercials from two separate luxury car companies every week with voiceovers by two of the show’s leads!)

    • Spicytomato1

      I respectfully disagree. I think TLo’s take is uniquely astute and I’m not sure why you feel the need to tear down their work while at the same time claiming to “really enjoy” it.

      • boleyn28

        Because he is probably hoping that TLo will see it and say, wow, thats really deep and insightful, we should invite him to wright for us. ; )

      • greenwich_matron

        TLo were so polite to this the original post that I thought I misread it.

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

      While we agree that the show has become distressingly un-subtle in the past season, we scratch our heads in confusion at the idea that because viewers pick up on and discuss the themes of the show, that proves that the show is somehow weak or that people have been fooled into thinking it’s more than it is. You could apply that to any work that gets discussed at length, including the very one you mentioned. In other words, it’s like saying that because Great Gatsby has themes that have been discussed ad nauseam, that proves it’s a weak work. The thinking just doesn’t track for us on that one.

      And we know of no writer or even fan who has claimed that the show is the highest achievement our culture has produced.

      • David Del Vecchio

        My thoughts on the giant bread crumbs really pertain more to Season 5 than to the series as a whole. I found this season a lot of fun to watch, but the fact that the themes were SO THERE in every line of dialogue, outfit and gesture took me out of the show. Sometimes too much artfulness can diminish the art, as you become so aware of the craftsmanship and planning that something is lost. There was always an allegorical element to the show, and the characters were always archetypes to some extent, but this season it became so much so that rather than thinking, “Wow, look what’s happening to Joan” and feeling very moved by it, I instead was thinking, “Wow, look what the writers have decided to do with the Joan character and how everything in the scene has been arranged to emphasize it” and thinking more about the writers’ motives than the characters’.

        And I do think that’s a weakness. A literary work or drama is not weak because it has themes and symbols, but they need to kept in balance for it to continue to work as believable drama — and although I still think Mad Men is very good, I don’t think this was its strongest season. (Just like I don’t think The Great Gatsby is Fitzgerald’s strongest book or the greatest American novel, yet people like to think it is because its themes have been made so accessible so people feel really smart when they “get” it.)

        I love watching the show every week, and I also love reading these great breakdowns, and will miss both till next year! My main point was just that when the costumer has two people who don’t live together dress in blatantly matching colors that day to emphasize what’s happening in a scene, it throws me out of the scene and I think that trick, along with the on-the-nose dialogue, weakened this season while paradoxically making the media even more enamored of the show because it made it so much easier to deconstruct and write about.

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

           Fair enough. Your points are well taken.

          • Susan Crawford

            David’s points ARE well-taken. But let’s not forget that film and literature inspire and influence one another, but they are  two different languages. Yes, films and TV series (at least GOOD series) have a strong narrative line, fully developed characters and of course a wealth of symbolic and metaphoric references. But film is VISUAL, and therefore the symbols, the metaphors, the semiotics and the very ESSENCE of character development, plot and conflict are developed visually. The screenplay, the direction, editing, lighting, camera work, costume and set design, casting, soundtrack and SO much more is not described to us as a writer does in a novel - we SEE it. The best shows are not always the deepest or most symbolic – the BEST shows are those that fully utilize the technology and artistry of the language of film – the visual narrative – to tell the tale and draw us into it. That is what makes MM so rewarding to me, at least.

            It honors the best tradition of a well-crafted film while telling a compelling story about characters with many layers. We can watch it and love it sheerly for the over-the-top characters and their dramas, we can find all sorts of hidden meanings, but for me, the thrill is seeing a TV series that respects great visual narrative.

          • Lisa_Cop

            While the themes were more obvious this season, I found the filming/editing to be way more sophisticated. Having the same scene played twice with different POV (HoJo episode) intercutting Joan’s sleeping with the Jag salesman with Don’s pitch, the occasional use of flashbacks – all this was very “film” as opposed to tv.

          • Kathleen Gillies

             I thought the different techniques that you illustrate were made to also reflect the experimental techniques they were using in films in the era– which made it kind of nostalgic.

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

          “I instead was thinking, “Wow, look what the writers have decided to do
          with the Joan character and how everything in the scene has been
          arranged to emphasize it” and thinking more about the writers’ motives
          than the characters’.”

          This is also one hallmark of the mind of a critic, as opposed to a more
          casual watcher of the show, who simply gets pleasantly lost in the story
          without looking for things to deconstruct. Thanks to the internet,
          critical deconstruction of tv and film is far more widespread and common
          than it used to be, so we’re generally more aware of the sort of planned minutia
          that may have gone largely unnoticed in the past. That said, season 5
          was certainly a departure from past seasons with respect to the overt
          nature of themes, but (as has been discussed at great length on this
          blog and elsewhere) I tend to think this may have been intentional, as a
          reflection of the shifting cultural tide of the mid-late 60s. It will
          be so interesting to see what’s in store for season 6.

          • Spicytomato1

            “Thanks to the internet, critical deconstruction of tv and film is far more widespread and common than it used to be, so we’re generally more aware of and have far more forums for discussing the sort of planned minutia that may have gone largely unnoticed in the past.”

            Yes, and I love it. For me it enhances the viewing experience, although I can easily forget the “critical” aspect and get lost if the show is really good. I know Mad Men, Project Runway and the late, great Lost would not have been the same for me had I not had all the recaps and comments to help me see and consider things I never would have on my own.

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

            I agree. And the fact that more people have access to deconstructive commentary, recaps, critiques, in-depth discussion, etc. doesn’t diminish the quality of the show or necessarily mean that it’s too visually planned or artful. Mad Men is the kind of story that invites discussion, and the longer the show goes on, the more fans will be delving into the nitty gritty details.

          • Maggie_Mae

            But those critical techniques are supposed to be secret!  They should only be known to those who’ve been to the right classes & read the right books!  

            Now, interested laypeople can learn to analyze visual media–especially with the inspiration of sites like this one.  

          • boleyn28

            But isnt that a good thing? Why should only a certain type of educated people be able to make or observe critical techniques?

        • boleyn28

          You dont have to watch it or read these blogs u know. I resent the fact that u r essentially putting us down, who are u? Are u some great genius solving our worlds greatest mysteries? The show is fun and it is fun to look into the fashion and story and read others opinions.

          • greenwich_matron

            Agree. Thank you for saying this. 

    • Qitkat

      I suppose everyone is not meant to be a Bitter Kitten/Unborn Fawn ;-)

      Seriously though, you do make some good points. However, I’m inclined to feel the opposite. I think it’s quite wonderful that there are some television shows worth dissecting to this extent, rather than the tripe that also gets as much attention or more. People are apparently hungry to find meaning in what they invest their time. And maybe I’m naive, or in the minority, or not the type of watcher many others are, but often I don’t find everything to be so heavy-handed (given, it has been a long time since I was in high school English class, learning about symbolism) or obvious, and I really do enjoy getting the insights of others by coming here. I don’t happen to have anyone I can discuss this show with personally; it is one of my favorite shows, and has been, long before it was the juggernaut (perhaps not the best term, but the only one I can think of at the moment) that it is today.

      And maybe it’s just another example of how the internet has overwhelmed and reduced even things with great meaning into sound and word and sight bites. Everyone wants to be on board. Nobody wants to be left behind. We’re all just lemmings?

      • Spicytomato1

        I don’t think we’re lemmings. People have always had strong opinions about evereything, including TV shows. The thing that has changed is that we have a new channel for what, prior to the internet, was called “water-cooler chatter.”

        Actual water cooler chatter has probably decreased as more people are able to work remotely. I’m one of them and have found blogs and their communities of commenters to be a sort of replacement for the camaraderie with co-workers that I no longer get to enjoy. 

        I heard a radio interview with the writer Susan Orlean, who was asked why she was so active on Twitter. She said something like how, since she works at home alone, Twitter is her “office gossip.” Exactly how I’ve felt about blogs.

        And I agree that with all the trash that is on TV these days, it’s refreshing to find a show that feels substantive and that can provoke such passionate discussion.

        • Qitkat

          I don’t think we are lemmings either. The comment was meant to be addressed directly to David Del Vecchio, which lost its sardonic tone by being expressed in writing rather than face-to-face. My take on what he is implying.

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

          On the Web, the comments come and go
          Talking of Mad Men and TLo.
          :-)

          • greenwich_matron

            I’ve heard bitter kittens singing, each to each…

    • Frank_821

      I think your assessment can apply to many commentaries posted about the show this year, everyone agrees that the this is much more heavy-handed. It should be clarified that the boys have been doing Mad Men analyses back since Season 2 when the show remained low key and subtle and they started doing Mad Styles over 2years ago prior to the 4th season. So regardless the effect is on bloggers today, Tlo were years ahead of most of these jokers

      • Maggie_Mae

        The tone of the show has been changing.  I believe the first episode was set in 1959–but the Fifties lasted through a few more seasons; inhibition & repression were the rule.  Subtle hints got the message across. 

        The Sixties are loud & unsubtle & Roger Sterling likes LSD!

    • greenwich_matron

      I find this insulting and dismissive of the artistic success of all the creative people involved in the show. If the creative teams involved are not “bleating out the theme,” what is the point of their contribution? The implication is that a show is not artistically valid unless it flatters you by making you feel smarter than people who don’t “get it.”

  • Qitkat

    Looking closely at Pete and Trudy’s kitchen, I noticed the notepad/calendar on the wall next to the phone (just like my parents’ and the one in my first apartment). The calendar appears to be crewel embroidery which was a popular sewing craft back then and in the early seventies. Trudy or a friend/relative surely made that. There is a sliding bar for each of the months and day numbers, and even for the years so it could be used over several years (looks like six). I love the attention to little details like that.

    And I love the floral sofa, although it looks more like it ought to be in a Miami apartment.

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

      The Floral sofa in Pete’s house reminded me of the Bonwit-Teller Store in Philadelphia (in the early 70s). The Ladies room had a similar print wall-paper and matching sofa. It was also the same wall-paper in my room at the same time. The attention to detail is amazing.

      • Spicytomato1

        I was thrown off by the couch. It doesn’t seem to quite go with the rest of their decor. Maybe it was a new purchase? But it did get me looking at Pete’s house again, wondering if it’s supposed to be dated or in style? The Drapers’ place is obviously mod and the Francis house is obviously dated but this one isn’t so black and white to me.

        • Qitkat

          The couch is jarringly out-of-place. But then a pool in Connecticut doesn’t make sense to me either (3 months use at most?). It harkens to Trudy’s desire to fit in, in a *country club* type of way, I think. Maybe the couch is the first purchase in a makeover of the living room.

          • Susan Crawford

            I think the sixties marked a real uptick in the addition of in-ground pools among the upper-middle classes in suburbia, and in Fairfield County they were very much in vogue. I recommend the wonderful film “The Swimmer”, starring Burt Lancaster and based on a John Cheever story of the same name. Lancaster’s character decides to swim his way across town, from pool to pool, neighbor to neighbor. It was filmed in Fairfield County, and you can see the elaborate pools from that very era. (Plus shirtless Burt – always a pleasing sight!)

          • Ksagun13

            I grew up in Michigan, which gets pretty cold.  You could probably start using the pool around Memorial Day, maybe earlier if you get a hot day.  Definitely through part of September, so you’d get about four months out of it.  It’s definitely a status item.  

        • boleyn28

          The couch and curtains are made from the same fabric, so the couch was specially made for the house, not bought at a store, it has been there since they moved in. There house seems to fit Pete’s mood. It is dark, depressing and gloomy with all that dark wood all over the place, I would be sad there too : )

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

    I think you guys should do a class at NYU or somewhere on this show. Or, well, maybe you already have, here. Sort of. I don’t know – my lame way of trying to say you’re great! and that this is the best.

    Women in hats – when did that stop? Well, it hasn’t (Lady Gaga) but you know what I mean – the whole “matching ensemble” look. Marie and Beth are both columns of one color with the little hat on top. 

    Don and Peggy on the beds – !!! 

    I wish we could see what book Beth is reading. Maybe someone else caught it.

    Just noticed that Pete and Trudy’s couch is really ugly! Is it just me? Or, it just doesn’t – look like couch fabric, or go with the rest of the room. Also, in the kitchen, there’s that funny little round plaque thing up on the wall by the phone, that looks like an artist’s palette? What is that? 

    I’m rambling just because I know I’ll be going through withdrawal now for however long it will be until we’re all back here again.
    Ciao ~

    • 3hares

      Not just you about the couch. Wow, that’s awful. The only way it matches is that everything’s busy!

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

        Just noticed that my original post here must have posted at the same time as the ones above it – which also commented on the couch, but which weren’t showing up when I posted! So, it looks like I hadn’t read all the comments, but I had – oh well, you know how out of whack the order of posts gets here sometimes. Glad to know though that I’m not the only one who had that thought.

    • tijde

      I’m quite sad ladies’ hats aren’t common anymore. I adore them. I would have a whole hat wardrobe, except I live in a rural area, and here they’re not seen as stylish so much as a cry for attention. =

      • boleyn28

        I wear hats all the time, who cares what someone else thinks, or if they arent or are in style. Honey, if u want to wear hats then wear them. Start a style fad in your rural town. Why wait for someelse to start a style then be a follower? And hats have never gone out of style, they just became more of an original style statement : )

    • Logo Girl

      I think that artist’s palette looking thing is a craftsy-clock, probably from a little country store geared toward suburban bourgies. 

  • NDC_IPCentral

    Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, Tom and Lorenzo, for these beyond wonderful dissections of the MM costuming.  Your observations add welcome layers of meaning to a complicated and thoughtful show.

    LOVE your peignoir observations.  I have to say, though, when I was in the hospital at the end of May, there weren’t any frilly, expensive nightgowns parading around the gyn-oncology unit’s floor!  But who’s quibbling?

    I, too, though two decades later, had a Chanel-type suit like Peggy’s red & white three-piece that I wore for presentations, speeches and power situations.  (Mine was white, shocking, vivid pink, with gold accents on the buttons.)  That suit IS supposed to be just a bit “mature,” to establish credibility, but the color pulls it back from “old” to make the “I belong, and I don’t have to wear a man’s suit to be in the club” statement.  Red, though, has also been my power color throughout my career – assertive and attractive.

    I’m glad that Joan has opted for the more tailored look in her partnership role.  When you consider what she’s accomplished, and how shrewd her business decisions are, it actually is not surprising that she’d revamp her look to move way beyond the secretarial pool.  Joanie is one of the most perceptive characters in the show, only undermined by her physique’s unavoidable sexual messages.

    Marie’s suits were very much of the time and right for her age.  My mother had quite a number of suits that she wore to her job, and they were solid colors and fine fabrics, as I recollect.

    I hadn’t cottoned onto the startling similarity between the bedroom shots for Don and Peggy.  Thanks for those pix – what a statement they make together.

    2013 – too long, but if it were facile and instant, maybe we wouldn’t appreciate Mad Men quite so much.  Thanks for making the show even better for this devoted fan, T Lo.

    All the best,

    NDC

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

      Hi, NDC. You sound good. I hope your treatment is going well.

      • NDC_IPCentral

         Hi, Nancy (I like your given name ;-) …) -

        I’m recuperating from my Big Operation (performed 3 weeks ago) at home, and chemotherapy starts up again tomorrow.  The treatment protocol that my doctors chose for me really is doing the job, and those tumors are dust right now, which is extremely encouraging.  I expect that chemo, this time around with me having lost more weight and being somewhat puny as I heal, will sort of wallop me, but I’m fine with that in the larger scheme of things.

        I’m so incredibly fortunate that I have responded so exceptionally well.  That’s not always the case, but I’m sure glad it’s so for me.

        All the best,

        NDC

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

          That is good news indeed. I’ll keep sending good thoughts your way for a complete recovery.

  • duchessofjersey

    Back when Beth complimented Pete on his eyes, talking about how Earth looks from space was meant to suggest how she feels she’s floating through life like a lonely astronaut, but it also had the clumsy sound of an unoriginal pick-up line. It was clearly something that someone – and not her insensitive husband – had told her about her own eyes, bluer and rounder than Pete’s, and now she was repeating it to him. It’s interesting that Pete may have at least halfway realized this, telling the nurse that they have the same eyes.

  • AZU403

    I know… I’ll have to catch up on my reading or something. At least I won’t have Monday morning hangovers.

  • MzzPants

    I predict Joan will be running that company in a blink.

    And Sterling….they could take his character so many ways from that final moment.

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

    Great work as always. Thanks for another enjoyable year of style recaps.

    One thing that strikes me about Marie. You compared her suit of armor to Joan’s, but it reminded me of another woman prone to suiting up in the most feminine way – Bobbie Barret. They use a lot of the same elements (lots of hats, heavy coats, fur trim, buttons, big jewelry, usually working all one color).

    They’re also both older, sexy women on the show who are cheating on their husbands, which there haven’t been a lot of on Mad Men. I think Marie will be a big player next year, and I don’t think this thing with Roger is over.

    ETA a couple more things I noted upon scrolling up

  • Susan Crawford

    OMG – I just realized that I won’t be spending a good part of my Wednesdays with T, Lo and all the Bitter Kittens, Precious Unborn Fawns and the Commentariat until 2013! Horrors! (And I mean it – I SO look forward to our conversations, one and all.)

    Yes, once again TLo pretty much called every shot correctly this season, from Joan’s rose theme to Peggy’s powerless wardrobe, and on and on. And once again, I ended the season completely in AWE of Janie Bryant, whose genius in pulling together wardrobe pieces that truly give the show not only historical accuracy, but also give the characters incredible depth. She really GETS the semiotics of fashion in a very special and unique way.

    Let me start by saying that when I saw our Peggy in her red Chanelesque outfit, I did some fist pumping, and emitted a loud “Yeah, girl!” I agree it may not have been the most flattering cut for her, but Peggy is taking small steps, and I expect that with her new salary and her new power, Peggy will splash out in the coming season. I also loved that her new boss is still rocking the turtleneck and jacket – the deep, royal blue was a great contrast to Peggy’s red and white.

    I was also VERY surprised at Joan’s meeting outfit, but it was totally PERFECT. The color was feminine, the fit – as always – showed off that voluptuous body, but the conservative double-breasted (and I’m biting my tongue here: no jokes!) cut was all business. (And the pencil pendant – God, I have to get one of my own! Joan’s symbol of control and organization. The addition of the severe, black-frame glasses was brilliant. In those days, women normally opted for the cat’s eye frame, or a modified oval, often in a pastel color, often adorned with rhinestones. These glasses were clearly a reference to Lane, and I actually felt a lump in my throat when I saw them.

    I also LOVED that Joan wore the blue floral dress from her day of infamy to have the conversation with Don. And how touching and emotional was that moment, folks? Joan “got” Lane on so many levels, and he “got” her, too.

    Don and Lane’s widow in that dim, dark, deco-ish apartment: another great scene in terms of costume. Rebecca in subdued black and cocoa, the requisite pearls at her neck and ears – every bit the English matron. She really gave it to Don, didn’t she, and in doing so, it was clear that she detested every single thing that Don, SCDP, America and the sixties stood for: ambition, power, aggressiveness, emotionalism, the endless striving, clawing, obsessive way of doing business.

    All of those qualities – the qualities that Don Draper has epitomized – are what ruined Lane, who was so damaged. I am wondering whether Rebecca will return next season – I can see several possible storylines where she might play a part. Have we seen the last of the forged check? Or is there some fallout coming from somewhere? Lane’s insurance money was a nice little windfall for SCDP, so maybe no more questions will be asked . . . or maybe they will.

    Megan started this episode looking girlish, and sporting her new at-home uniform of ankle-length pants, sweater and (at last!) a pair of shoes, which I would totally want to snag right now. Her acting class friend, in a very similar outfit, was bolder with those stripes. TLo said it: a definite Nancy Sinatra vibe going on, including the long flip hairdo. I did love Megan’s scarf – that was a style I remember well!

    Her negligee scene was just a riot of color, pattern and emotion. Megan had gone through most of a bottle of wine waiting for Don, she was all over the place in her need and, to his credit, Don didn’t behave like a d-bag. Just put her to bed, and when she rolled over to display those garish turquoise nylon panties amid the riot of pink and red and so on: yikes!

    Maman in her suits and simple sheath dresses – tres chic in an understated way. Maman understands well her power, and her clothes will never need garishness of any kind to signal who she is. When the hang-up calls started, I must admit, I thought for a moment it was Creepy Glen glomming onto Megan, so I was both relieved and amused when it turned out to be Roger! (I just knew after The Codfish Ball that Roger wouldn’t’ let Sexy Maman off his hook.)

    The Topaz presentation was so pathetic. Neither Ginsberg nor Stan (despite the latter’s lucky jacket) had a clue about how to pitch the product. And if Peggy had been on hand, no WAY Ginzo would have been allowed to walk in to meet with clients with that stain on his shirt! (And if Joan had seen him, I suspect she would have burned the stain off with one withering glare!)

    The “new space” scene: gorgeous in every way. Joan in red marking a red X on the floor and then taking her stand – AWESOME moment.

    Pete continues his downward spiral. His meeting The Philanderer and poor little Rory/Beth on the train – a bit contrived, but never mind. Little brown mouse Beth is on her way to be zapped, and when she calls Pete asking for a tryst – of course he went. I loved her pink dress in that scene – the sailor-like white collar, the color – all so very pure and innocent. And the fluffy pink negligee post-ECT: ultra feminine and vulnerable. And by God, those two DO look alike! Which adds even more to Pete’s innate creepiness, IMHO.

    After his umpteenth beat-down, Pete returns to Trudy, also in a fluffy, feminine negligee, but in a much more adult and powerful color. And she has come to a decision about the Manhattan flat: take it, Pete, because I’m sick and tired of your misery. Trudy has obviously made HER choice: home, her child, the Fairfield County life. (I thought the sketch of the pool was a brilliant touch – the picture-perfect, ideal American family. Sigh. And all Pete says is that their kid might drown in the pool. Thank you, Mr. BuzzKill!)

    The glorious color of Megan’s filmset costume – I couldn’t get enough of it, and I suspect the advertising world she is tentatively entering will prove to be her destiny next season. Don, walking away into the shadows, and then the dissolve as he entered the dark-panelled bar – GREAT edit! And I – like many others – am going to have to watch this episode again to determine whether the blonde who solicited Don on behalf of her friend was Megan’s acting class pal. If so – DANGER, Megan!

    But my favorite outfit not only of this episode, but of the entire series? Roger’s Birthday/LSD Suit. John Slattery, you rule!

    T and Lo, thank you from the bottom of my heart for these wonderful re-caps and analyses – you are treasures in my life!

    • judybrowni

      No, the blonde who solicited Don in the bar, was not Megan’s friend.

      Bar blonde had an American accent, Megan’s friend accent was “European,” possibly French.

      • Susan Crawford

        Yep! I checked the credits, and it was definitely NOT the same actress. But still: DANGER, Megan! (amirite?)
        Have a great day, judybrown!

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

    That brown/puke green velvet flower bedspread of Don’s gives me the chills. The whole room looks like a bad hotel (even for the time). It looks like a place that Megan does not belong.

  • http://polishyoftruth.com/ Tara @ Polishy of Truth

    Ahhh I am going to miss these posts, and the recaps, and the show…

  • TxMom2011

    My youngest daughter is home from college for the summer and we have been watching a lot of television together. (she doesnt have much time for it when at school)  She has mentioned several times that I really really really analyze some of the shows.  (most especially the new HBO Series Girls… which I am totally fascinated by) I told her it was TLO’s fault! 

  • http://twitter.com/suryasnair suryasnair

    Peggy wore red here : http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/2010/07/mad-style-peggy-olson-s2-part1-2.html when we saw a sassy Pegs who wont sleep with just anyone. 

    Red is really her power color.

  • http://julia-here.livejournal.com/ Julia

    What I didn’t notice in the episode, because it took a distant second to the dialogue in that scene, is that Pete and Trudy’s dinette is exactly like that of my husband’s Aunt in Nichol’s Hills. OKC: blue curtains with a white sheer, cream wallpaper with a little print, exactly the same phone next to the door, maple captain’s chairs, and the milk-glass and brass hurricane lamp light fixture (Pure 1960 or so). I’ll bet that’s original to the house, and the bright spring-print couch in the dark panelled family room is a new thing, and Trudy’s own taste.  

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

      That breakfast area gives me claustrophobia just looking at it. No wonder Pete hates to be in that room.

  • Damien W

    I just want to thank you guys for elevating my MM experience this season. Every episode became that much more meaningful after coming here and reading these essays and comments. Can’t wait for next year!

  • avelvetcrush

    —–>  Big RED empty chair in between Rebecca and Don !!  The lasting power of Lane torn between work and family.

  • 3hares

    Wow, it’s almost like that last Roger scene was put in just as a farewell to Mad Style. I don’t know what I’m going to look forward to on Wednesdays anymore. Thank you guys so much for both the recaps and the MadStyles!

  • Joshau Norton

    The dress Megan wore in her audition tape seemed to be about 50 kinds of wrong. That big white circle kept pulling your eye away from her face and actions. It wasn’t until her closeups that you got any sense of her. Usually by then the casting director would be about 6 reels past her and she’d be in the “reject” pile.

  • Luee_T

    Love how the season began with Baby Kevin’s ass and ended with his dad’s.

    • CatherineRhodes

      Good insight.

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

      that was trippy, man! :)

  • KittenBritches

    Has somebody already pointed out the irony of Megan being barefoot in most of her scenes after quitting SCDP, and then her first big acting break being for a SHOE commercial?

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

      Nicely done.

      • KittenBritches

        Hey, thanks!  :)   I’m also wondering if it wasn’t a deliberate choice on the writers’ parts to have the fairy tale enacted be “Beauty and the Beast,” which I’ve always interpreted as a formula for domestic violence (ie, love a Beast enough, and he’ll turn into a handsome prince for ya).  Except that in the case of Don and Megan, he’s outwardly a handsome prince, and only resorts to douchebaggery, physical violence, and other “Beast”-ly behavior in private.

        • greenwich_matron

          Yes! Megan couldn’t cure the beast. Don will have to wonder if it was because she didn’t have the magic or if he couldn’t make her truly love him.

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

      To me it makes sense that she is always barefoot at home– she has white carpet!

  • judybrowni

    Called it! I’ve been so well trained by TLo Mad Style posts that when I watched the episode I caught it first-hand “Peggy and Joan: red is their power color!”

    Also noted Joan in menswear double-breasted dress, but I forgave TLo immediately, because they supplied the cherry on the sundae, by tying in Megan’s red and yellow fairytale dress: 

    “Sex, career, and marriage; the three paths to power for women in a patriarchal society.”
    Brilliant!

    • judybrowni

      No more sad mustard color for Peggy!

  • CatherineRhodes

    WOW, that was brilliant, TLo. You are such talented writers.

    Would you consider doing a final recap of the season? Maybe going over the arc of the show itself and each of the main characters? Of course you’re very busy guys, and that sounds like a ton of work, but would be very satisfying for your loyal minions. :–) 

    • A Reeves

      I second that suggestion. Please.

      • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

        *raises both hands* Aye!!!

        • Lisa_Cop

          Yes, please.

          • CatherineRhodes

            In a perfect world…we would have a TLo recap of the entire story arc of the season, then a separate recap of each character’s story arc.

            Maybe announce that for a week there won’t be style posts in order to focus on Mad Men summaries.

    • boleyn28

      That would be great, u should do a recap : )

  • Susan Crawford

    I forgot to mention the wonderful parallel shots of Don, alone on his bed, and Peggy, alone on hers on her trip to Virginia. T and Lo nailed it, but I also wanted to add that when Peggy hears noises outside her window, and looks out to see the two dogs mating, it was the moment when this whole season was summed up for me.

    Lust, domination, power, rawness, sex and animal survival. Alas, poor Lane – he may, after all, be in a far, far safer place.

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

      Thanks, Susan. I just couldn’t figure out what those dogs were supposed to represent. I’m not very good at finding hidden meanings and symbolism, which is one reason that I treasure TLo’s essays. Most of Shakespeare and poetry is lost on me.

  • A Reeves

    Thank you both so much. If Janie bryant is the story teller (and she is) then you too read that story aloud to me and translated it brilliantly. And not only do you observe, interpret and analyse–you also write incredibly ell. If I wore a hat, I would take it off to you.

    By the by, I totally did not catch that Peggy had travelled to Virginia and was at her hotel when she looked out the window. It took the Mad recap to get that. Then, I wondered why on Earth the show had chosen to depict her “arrival” in Virginia in that nondescript way. Now I know. Thanks again.

    • Sweetbetty

       Don’t feel alone; I didn’t realize she was away from home and I wondered where Abe was.  Poor Abe; he moved in with Peggy and disappeared.

      • greenwich_matron

        Me too. I  was wondering where in Manhattan she had a garden apartment.

  • sockandaphone

    Man Im gonna miss these posts a whole lot. You honestly make Mad Men so much more enjoyable to watch and make me realize what a genius, fantastic show it truly is, despite its minor flaws.

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

    I also just noticed that Roger is standing on a chair! The scene went so fast and I was laughing so hard, I didn’t notice that he was perched precariously! Glad he didn’t fall out the window!  Wonder if he was on an acid trip there?

    • judybrowni

      Yes.

    • Twinzilla

      And there’s a lamp tipped over on the bed — someone has been spinning around the room!

      • Sweetbetty

         Oh, Lord.  Didn’t notice the lamp.  And the window has grips so apparently does open.  Hope there’s not a flying leap or a bed fire for Mr. Marble Butt.

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

    And the saddest thing about the Rebecca scene was Lane’s big red chair sitting between Don and Rebecca.  :-(

  • EEKstl

    BRILLIANT observations, I will miss them until next season.  How’s that coffee table book deal coming, boys?

  • HM3

    Not to sound vulgar, but I am distracted by how low Nancy Sinatra’s girls are hanging (sorry, couldn’t remember if Megan’s friend had a name). Do you suppose this is a reference to the bra-burning feminists of the era, or just the result of an unsupportive undergarment? The illusion seems to contribute to the “deliberate casualness” of the scene, together with Megan’s gypsy-style head wrap and both of them sitting ON THE FLOOR, leaning against perfectly comfortable seat cushions.

    • greenwich_matron

      I noticed that they were a little concave – I thought about how hard it must be for casting directors to find twenty-first century starlets who have home grown instead of bags of saline.

      • Ksagun13

        I remember hearing that some casting directors are specifying actresses without implants for historical dramas — I think all the women in Game of Thrones are natural.  There’s so much nudity, it would be really obvious.  

        • Lisa_Cop

          Extremely hard, especially since thin women are generally not well endowed.

          • Qitkat

            There are exceptions- my first college roommate in the sixties was a tiny slip of a girl and she had spectacular breasts. Probably the first female at 18 I had ever paid attention to in that way.

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

          There’s an actress on Magic City who is nude a great deal of the time. Her breasts are so obviously fake that it’s very distracting since the series takes place in the late ’50s.

      • boleyn28

        Maybe it will start a trend of au naturale in t.v. and film,lol. I doubt it but it would be nice not to see fake tits every where. Maybe young girls wont feel so bad that they dont have DD’s at 15 like the girls on t.v.

    • Glammie

      We’re still pre women’s lib, when there wasn’t really much in the way of bra-burning anyway.  That said, it *was* considered sexy and hippie-ish to go sans bra during the Summer of Love.

      • Maggie_Mae

        Feminists never burned bras.  There was one demonstration–connected to the Miss American pageant, I believe–during which bras & various feminine furbelows were dumped into garbage cans. “Bra Burner” became shorthand for Feminist–especially among the MCP’s…..

        Bras did go out of fashion–not just during the “Summer of Love” or among the hippies.  I remember sheer blouses with small pockets strategically placed to cover the nipples–wearable if you could pass The Pencil Test.  (Real hippies didn’t bother with The Pencil Test.)

        We got smarter–& brassiere technology improved. Those damn white cotton bras of the 60′s with circular stitching deserved to be burned!

        (Check out Wikipedia’s article on “History of Brassieres” for more uplifting information!)

        • greenwich_matron

          They probably would have burned beautifully, especially if they were starched!

    • margaret meyers

      I think younger women were just starting to wear the new, really unstructured bras about this time, and rejecting the sturdy holsters you see on the older women.  Looking at the histroy of bras on the net, 1964-65 saw the introduction of bras with lighter construction, done with simple seaming and made of sheer, modern stretch fabrics.  Think of Sharon Tate.

  • http://twitter.com/tiffbirchy tiffany birch

    I have a random question—do each season’s marketing poster, that’s revealed a few weeks before a season’s premier, have anything to do with that season’s storyline? If so what does this season’s poster, where Don looks at a store window display of a naked female mannequin standing next to a seated and clothed male mannequin (http://blogs.amctv.com/mad-men/2012/02/season-5-poster.php) have to do with season 5? Any thoughts?

  • BrightsideSusan

    Love these recaps and will miss them and the show.  I was a bit surprised to see Joan still wearing the pen around her neck, though. 

    • judybrowni

      Why?

  • http://profiles.google.com/emily.w.sings Emily Wilkerson

    One of your best Mad Style posts yet! I will miss them during the long wait for season six.

  • jessicasac

    I’m surprised that Peggys suit is seen as Chanel-like, I saw it as Courreges-like.

    • judybrowni

      I agree, but I’m not an expert.

    • Twinzilla

      Yes!  A Chanel would have been in boucle and had braid and closures.  Like Courreges, this was a smooth fabric with a crisp border.

      • jessicasac

        And the bold color. I’m not sure of time line but, I believe this would be at the height of Courreges’ popularity.

  • BostonBuddha

    I suspect that those commercials asking viewers to work to keep AMC on DISH are probably being paid for by Direct-TV as a dig against its top competitor.

  • ErinnF

    Thank you for these fabulous Mad Style posts — and also for opening my eyes to the powerful role clothes can play in the telling of a story. I catch myself examining the wardrobes in almost every show I watch now. Hell, I’ve even started paying more attention to the stories MY OWN clothes are telling. 

  • judybrowni

    Okay, this isn’t Mad Style related, but it’s been bugging me.

    When the nurse says she sees some resemblence between Pete and Beth — “You have the same eyes” — I think she’s referring, whether she knows it or not, to the deep sadness you can see in each.

  • ErinnF

    I have been so consumed by Game of Thrones lately that when I saw that gold brooch on Marie’s emerald suit, at first glance my brain got confused and I thought, “It’s the Hand of the King!”

    • Ksagun13

      Hilarious!  I’d LOVE to see a TLo analysis of that show.  Even just the clothes.

    • boleyn28

      The fashion on Game of Thrones is amazing. I love how every “house” or area, has their own personal fashion. My favorite is Castly Rock or Kings Landing fashion : )

  • http://twitter.com/SnazzyO SnazzyO

    Just a note to say THANK YOU for the wonderful commentary this season. I always get so much more out of an episode because of the way you highlight the marvels of Janie Bryant. 

    See you next year!

  • snarkalicious

    I believe it.  I’ve noticed how toned and healthy he looks before (in shirtless scenes, etc.).  What’s his secret?

    • sarahjane1912

      Still waiting for the answer on John Slattery’s secret, but thought I’d pop back to observe that — having just started watching MM from the beginning — he looked WAY older in the 1960 eps than he does currently. I’m sure that has something to do with the ’50s sensibility and Roger being a ‘senior’ member of the firm, but it did surprise me how old he looked [hair, face, etc] compared to now. Then again, he was heading for a heart attack in that era so maybe that was part of it. Interesting though. :-)

  • aquamarine17

    I have to say Thank You so much to TLo for your brilliant essays. I have enjoyed them and the Commenters, very very much. I look forward to being together again for Season 6. I like your fashion blogs in general and loved the way you featured Marc Jacob’s 2013 resortwear.

    I had a thought about the pale pinks related to Beth and Pete. In the episode where Pete is attracted to the classmate in the driving class, she wore a pale pink sweater.

    • boleyn28

      the pink relates to innocents and fragility, which Pete is attracted to in women.It makes him feel more like a man or a  ”king” being with weak or innocent women. Ironically, Trudy is just the opposite : )

  • formerlyAnon

     The sight of Peggy in her red Chanel-like suit filled my heart with happiness. Since I have been led to read [what I notice in] the costuming like tea leaves, I felt suddenly optimistic that she’s going to get her shot.  A similar feeling about Joan, though I haven’t worried about her future as I have about Peggy’s. (Yes, I do know these are characters.)

    Thank-you TLo, for another great season.

  • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

    Hers is a bitter, negatively oriented version of the truth. Glad my mother wasn’t like that!

    Edit: My comments aren’t reliably appearing where I try to insert them. Thx, Disqus.

    • Twinzilla

      Total agreement.  I’m shocked by how many posters are OK with the nasty way Marie talks about her daughter, and even see them as valid.  You could see that Don didn’t accept it, and he saw exactly where Megan got the idea that being (drunkenly) available will make your husband forget anything that is wrong between you.  I think it’s as much Marie’s nastiness as Megan’s screen test reel that makes him help Megan get the job. 

      • Lisa_Cop

        I think it’s a combination of his utter rejection of Marie’s POV and especially his acceptance of Peggy in her new role in a new job. He sees people have to move on in their lives, even if that causes him pain. Betty essentially did the same thing (moving

      • 3hares

        I think Marie comes across especially harsh to us because she’s going against something that in 2012 people take for granted as good parenting, even though in 1967 it wasn’t at all. Most of the characters on this show have been supported far less by their parents. Megan’s the only person who even suggests her mother should want her to have her dream. I think in those times it wouldn’t be seen as so very harsh–which doesn’t mean Marie isn’t being nasty here as well, though.

        • ybbed

          When your mom calls you an “ungrateful little bitch”, something is wrong. It isn’t whether her mom is right or wrong, its that you don’t treat your daughter like that.  She is unsufferably unhappy and poisonous, which thank god, Don sees.  This is not the normal for the sixties, moms still loved and cared for their children back then too.  Marie wants Megan to settle.

          • 3hares

            Yes, I agree that something is wrong. That’s why I said she was being nasty. But I don’t think a grown woman calling another grown woman an ungrateful bitch necessarily means their relationship is always poisonous either.

    • greenwich_matron

      I don’t like Megan and I thought Marie was on point (and I love a good one-liner), but she was inexcusably awful. At the very least she should realize that she is in no position to dispense personal advice or judge. There is also a big difference between being honest and saying every nasty thing the second it comes to your head, she was a guest for god’s sake.

      • Aurumgirl

        Oh, she WAS a guest, but she is also The Mother.  And everyone knows relationships between Moms and Daughters are very complex.  What’s interesting is we’ve got a nifty comparison to make between the two women, in terms of time and culture.  Mom was/is just as pretty, just as smart, as her daughter; but when she had her time to choose the direction of her life, the one option open to her was to marry well and have children.  Megan, though, had many options open–with a monied background, good education, good mind, good breeding, good looks and the change in the culture brought on by the “second wave” of feminism, there is no way she would be limited to her mother’s choice.  No wonder Mom is jealous as hell, and willing to illustrate it with her remarks.  What Marie wouldn’t give to be in Megan’s shoes!

        • aquamarine17

          a lot of mothers in that time period were jealous of their daughters’ options, that they wish they’d had. my mother was that way. my mother also lamented that she wasn’t a man with men’s freedoms when we (2 daughters) were growing up. sadly, on a personal note, she endlessly said she wished she had had boys. that part was horrible.

      • Sweetbetty

         I don’t think Marie saw herself as a guest.  I think she felt entitled to be at her daughter and son-in-law’s apartment whenever she felt like it.  She said she wanted to spend Easter with Megan since her husband was an atheist.  I got the feeling she called Megan and said, “I’m coming”, rather than Megan inviting her.  And for the most part I don’t think that she feels she’s being nasty when she says what’s on her mind, though calling your daughter a bitch is way beyond nasty, IMHO.

        • greenwich_matron

          I think you’re spot on. My lesson from this is to not expect gratitude when confronting a sobbing drunk, no matter ho right I am.

          I wonder what was really happening with her husband – maybe he was at an atheistic anti-Easter conference in Regina.

  • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

    I want to join the chorus in thanking you guys for your stellar recaps and insights. You add immeasurably to my pleasure in Mad Men. You guys are the best. Can’t wait for 2013!

  • judybrowni

    Ginsberg and Stan are wearing either burgundy or maroon, rather than red.

    A more guy color.

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

    I was hoping you would end with Roger :)

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    I love how there are unfinished baskets on the table next to Beth’s hospital bed. When I was a kid (in the 50′s and 60′s) I remember adults making jokes about having to weave baskets in the “nut house”…and there they were.

    And, I’d like to say Thank You TLo. Your Mad Style posts are enlightening as well as entertaining. And they have made me a more attentive and aware viewer.

  • SheenaRamone

    Amazing post, as always! I’m going to miss these almost as much as the show during the hiatus.

    Joan channeling Lane absolutely killed me, right down to the glasses and suit. 

    Stan and Ginsberg were definitely mourning Peggy in that Topaz scene. They were both sporting her signature color – Stan, in his mustard blazer, and Ginsberg, with an actual mustard stain (according to Janie Bryant; I’d first thought it was coffee, but wow, that is brilliant). I hope the red they’re also wearing hints they’re going to follow her to CGC. They’re clearly no longer part of the Don Draper Fan Club.Love that Peggy’s new subordinates are the bargain basement versions of Ginsberg and Stan – scrawny dark-haired guy in a loud jacket, and a burly jock type in a polo and plaid blazer. From the way she dealt with those guys, I’m sure she misses her former creative partners as much as they miss her. 

    • judybrowni

      Joan has worn black frame glasses at home in P.J.s, but I don’t remember them before in the office.

      • SheenaRamone

        Yep. Also, the only other time we’ve seen in her in a double-breasted suit, at the office or otherwise (that I remember, at least), was in the season three premiere – aka, the first episode featuring Lane and the Brits at S-C.

    • Sweetbetty

       Bargain Basement Ginsberg and Stan seem to be totally thrown for a loop.  No doubt it’s the first time they had a woman boss and had no clue how to deal with it.  Pegs will whip them into shape, though.

    • Sweetbetty

       Bargain Basement Ginsberg and Stan seem to be totally thrown for a loop.  No doubt it’s the first time they had a woman boss and had no clue how to deal with it.  Pegs will whip them into shape, though.

  • PrincessCritic

    Bravo, fabulous, kudos for a sublime season of fascinating observations and deep insight! Can’t wait for next season!

  • Megan Patterson

     Pete and Trudy also look like they could be siblings too. He defintiely has a type.

    • charlotte

      He didn’t really choose to marry Trudy though, if I remember correctly. It seemed more like an arranged marriage of well-to-do people.

      • roadtrip1000

        That’s an interesting thought. They were already engaged at the start of the show so I believe we never found out how they met. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.)When they were looking at the co-op Trudy did brag about Pete’s lineage to the co-op board members. So it was evident that they were well-suited for each other class-wise (if nothing else). Yet while their marriage wouldn’t qualify as “arranged” in the literal sense it was definitely predestined due to the social expectations of the time. It does seem that Pete got married because it fit into the expected picture of an up-and-coming ad executive. However he mainly wants the surface picture of a marriage and isn’t happy about his wife’s actual expectation of marriage – ie. monogamy, honesty, children, and overall nest-building, nor the other realities of marriage. (His wife doesn’t dress up all the time!) She on the other hand seems genuinely in love with him (or rather her understanding of him). So, IMHO, Peter chose to marry Trudy but only because it was expected of him and it would help him create the right image. But then again, one of the great things about MM is its depiction of the constant tension between individual desires and social expectations.

        • 3hares

          While it definitely started with those ideas, I don’t know if it’s quite that black and white. It seems like they made a point of showing that however the marriage started–and the two didn’t know each other that well when they got married–they’ve had their own unique way of growing together over the years. I don’t think Pete’s problems this season were down to not liking who Trudy was, exactly. I think it was more only a problem when what she was doing exacerbated the problem he had in himself—like he didn’t complain that she wasn’t dressed up all the time, he complained that she was always in a robe, which went along with the whole “this place is a graveyard where people go to die” idea. Trudy, as the woman, has never been as entitled as Pete but there’s times this season where she has her own conflict with the guy she’s married to and the guy in the picture she painted herself. But in a way, the fact that they’ve learned how to negotiate seems to work for them.

          • roadtrip1000

            Thanks for your insight, 3hares. I see your point. This is what I love about MM – it’s so thought provoking. (Too bad Disquis didn’t put your comment on page 11 where it belongs!)

          • Kylara7

            I remember that Pete and Trudy, though they had their differences mostly due to parental meddling, were more of a team before they moved out to the suburbs and had kids.  Trudy often listened to Pete’s ambitious plans and envious rants and gave him practical and supportive advice, and they stole the show at Roger’s ridiculous Old Kentucky Home party with a great Charleston routine.  But since they became suburban parents: Trudy stuck at home in the sticks all day with the baby, Pete dealing with the long commute, and the baby coming first in what little time they have together…it all seems grim and a cautionary tale to social expectations.

        • judybrowni

          pete was old money and old family, trudy’s family was new money and more of it.

          pete seduced peggy on the eve of his wedding., and again after he was married.

          and was an obnoxious dissatisfied husband up to a year or so later, when he again ‘proposed’ to peggy,

          only went back to trudy after peggy rejected him and told him she’d given away his child.

          and only after his rape of the au pair, pete seemed to dedicate himself to trudy–until commuting to the suburbs again inconveienced him back into being a twit.

  • boleyn28

    I just watched season4 finale, and interestingly, Megan tells Don (in California) she doesnt want to be an actress. Interesting.

  • Liverpoolgirl

    After reading some of these posts, I am nervous Roger is going to try to fly out the window.  Perhaps he knew he needed a minder while he was tripping.  When I watched the episode I didn’t realize he was standing on a chair.

    • judybrowni

      I’m not worried, basically Roger’s saying, “Look, world — my penis!”

      • Sweetbetty

         Do you think it was erect?

      • Sweetbetty

         Do you think it was erect?

    • Sweetbetty

       He should have made up one of those little information cards like the LSD takers did at the dinner party and taped it to his body.

    • Sweetbetty

       He should have made up one of those little information cards like the LSD takers did at the dinner party and taped it to his body.

  • Lilak

    Boy, is that couch a sore thumb in the Campbells’ living room.
    What a funny little Orphan Annie dress on Beth.
    But mainly … That originally fabulous Draper aerie has become so dim and showing-its-age over the course of this season, hasn’t it?

    • Sweetbetty

       I thought the shot of Megan and blond friend made the surroundings look very shabby and cheap, like it was the basement rec room of a middle-class house.

  • CatherineRhodes

    Some in the commentariat are critical of Marie’s comments to her daughter. True, “you’re an ungrateful bitch” is harsh, but it’s also a quasi appropriate response to Megan’s childish, entitled behavior.

    If we’re going to pounce on bad mothers, my vote goes to Joan’s mother, who has truly made some vicious comments to her post-partum daughter, none of which were deserved.

    My point is that Megan deserved to be called out by her mother; Joan did not.

    • greenwich_matron

      Can you be more specific about Joan’s motor? I see her as more hapless than vicious. I definitely see Marie’s word choice and timing as vicious. 

    • Jane_Lane

       There’s a difference between pragmatism and nastiness and, frankly, I think Megan’s mother more than crossed the line.

  • judybrowni

    What I don’t get: Megan is in a commercial for Butler shoes.

    But she’s wearing fairytale costume shoes, not something that could — or would — be sold in the ’60s.

    • Sweetbetty

       I noticed those shoes too and wondered how they were going to work them into a commercial for contemporary shoes.

  • Chaiaiai

    What sucks?  A new job where I can’t TLo :(  What doens’t suck?  Anything TLo writes about MM (or anything, for that matter, I’m shameless).  Bless you both!  Also, I’m watching Pegs fingernails really closely.  When she starts getting manicures, I’ll know she thinks she’s REALLY made it;)

  • http://twitter.com/ciscalim Francisca Lim

     Yes! Im dying out of curiosity about this too because Wiener has said that the poster of the mannequins holds a significance to the finale of season 5? somebody pls answer tiffany birch already :)

    • Sweetbetty

       I’m not real good at finding clues in clothes and settings so the only thing I could take from it is Joan’s ascension in power.  There’s her roses in the vase, a man waiting in his robe (actually I’d call it a smoking jacket and first connected it to Lane) and the female mannequin with her dress dropped on the floor ready to give the man in a shade of red (power color) what he wants in order to advance herself.  Don is watching powerlessly from the other side of the window.  This all seems too painfully obvious to me so there’s probably a more subtle meaning hidden in there somewhere.

  • boleyn28

    The scarf on Beth’s suitcase, that Pete caressed, is the same one she wore on her head the night her and Pete first met : )

  • boleyn28

    yellow in north america means more happiness then cowardness, i think so anyhow
     : )

    • roadtrip1000

      I agree. The word can mean cowardice (in old cowboy movies but not in modern day-to-day speech), but visually the color itself is a happy one.

  • boleyn28

    she actually has worn it everyday shes at the office since season 1 : )

  • boleyn28

    ur welcome : ) I think sometimes people forget what this blog is about, fun, insight and fashion : )

  • boleyn28

    Sorry, my comments are not posting in the right spots, so it may come off as confusing. I think this has happened to all of us before though : )

  • http://twitter.com/jptrostle JP Trostle

    >She is, almost literally, a big red X spray-painted on the scene.

    I can’t believe I missed this: Joan says, “this is where the stairs will” go — in otherwords, literally knocking out the ceiling that was above her.

  • Sarah Michaels

    Great analysis. I love how much Beth’s costuming calls back to the way Betty dressed in Season 1, very doll-like.

    Looking at the reds in the female characters really enforces what I got from the episode– a connection between Joan and Peggy (very similar red outfits!) and a lack of one with Meghan (hers is ridiculous, and most importantly it was just given to her, she didn’t earn it the way Peggs and Joan did, since they obviously bought theirs with money they earned… and its borrowed, making me wonder if this fame is just fleeting, something she can’t hold on to? I’m really curious if Meghan is going to become a famous actress, if this is just a fluke and won’t happen again, or if she’s going to become the queen of commercials created by SCDP?)

  • http://twitter.com/thefigure5 Paul Boston

    career is not a path to power for in a patriarchal society. 

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

       Peggy would obviously disagree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1302929 Sarah Rogers

    I lol’ed at the end.

  • boucherie

    Shoulders and upper back is just right too.  

  • boucherie

    I wanted to say a big ol’ thank you for making my MM viewing so more indepth.  I look forward to one day rewatching certain episodes and then looking them up.  It was so very, very enjoyable.  Until next year, be well.

  • boucherie

    What does the phrase “watershed” mean?  Please and thank you.

    • Sweetbetty

      It means the 9:00 hour when adult programming is allowed on TV.

  • Farthingale

    TLO wrote

    “There’s nothing demure or obedient about this red, but it doesn’t strike us as a sexy, passionate color in this context. It’s about power. More importantly, it’s about feminine power. The point to that beautiful shot is to show us how the dynamic has shifted. Against that stark background, Joan isn’t just a bolt of red in the middle of all that gray, she’s an unmistakably female silhouette standing out amongst all the male ones. She is, almost literally, a big red X spray-painted on the scene.
    Red served as an extremely important color this episode, indicating female power, but also, strangely, indicated male powerlessness.”

    I just wanted to add that the introduction of “red” as the new power color for the female leads was ushered in last episode by Sally Draper in the lavatory at the Museum of Natural History. 

  • maya s

    that first Joan suit was so bold and “in your face”, a bit forced, like the empty floor-partners shot. i know you guys said she’d never wear clothes like that, but honestly the first time was the only time. after that she returned right back to her full-on feminine dresses, even though her demeanor changed. and those glasses! as if she bought them just for that scene :) it calls back to Lane breaking his, maybe? (so she can’t really wear those, even if it wasn’t morbid and creepy). 

    and that sad empty chair. two, actually! one at Lane’s home and one at the conference room :( 
    what names do you think we would see on their door next year?(i know in that context it conveyed homey and powerless vibes, but) i wish i could look like Megan while going over want-ads!!when Don walked into the office with his toothache, there was so much noise and chaos in the office, more directly to show his pain – but also, and i’m surprised it wasn’t mentioned – all those rooms were full of men, dozens of grey, boring-looking office dudes. didn’t that emphasize how much Peggy is missed? the hole she left behind can’t be filled by all these guys, hard as they work. 

    When Megan was drunkenly seducing Don into bed, i have to say i’m surprised he held back and refused. Sure, it was sad and twisted, but he’s usually not above that. And she called back to the scene from episode 1 also by saying “that’s all i’m good for” – that’s where my power comes from.

    * i know this had already been mentioned, but i’m so glad they finally noted how similar Pete and Beth look. 
    And the Peggy-Don comparison shot – awesome!

  • Ceruleanhue

    Direct quote from Matthew Weiner about the poster:

    [Season 5 was] a story that I think was very, very cohesive. It’s a story of a second marriage. Don was trying to differentiate himself from this old self — trying on
    this marriage, having a relationship with this woman that looks like
    it’s great. … That’s what that poster is about: Don was shopping for a domestic life and his fantasy of what that was.

  • sujatathomas

    I was watching an old episode of Mad Men and say Faye’s good bye scene with Peggy.  She is wearing a red suit very similar to Peggy’s.  Peggy has even copied the hairstyle.  It seems to me that Peggy has modeled herself after the woman she most admired and aspired to be.  Here is the Mad Style post from that episode featuring Faye’s suit.  http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/2010/10/mad-style-blowing-smoke-2.html