Mad Men: The Collaborators

Posted on April 15, 2013

“Why can’t you just follow the rules?”

That was Pete, helpfully pointing the audience toward tonight’s theme, but also voicing (in a highly conformist, Mad+Men+S6E3+5Pete Campbell kind of way) their possible frustration and annoyance with Don and the prospect of watching yet another of his adulterous affairs unfold. It was a prospect that did not fill us with glee, resulting in an episode that felt like way-too-early-in-the-season narrative wheel-spinning.

Look, we don’t expect Don to be a nice guy. He’s a shit, and he’s been a shit all along. We were never among the fans of the show who ever really rooted for the character, except in the sense that we hoped he would find the psychiatric help he so clearly needs. But we never bought into the whole Don-Draper-as-James-Bond hero worship that defines a portion of the show’s fandom. In the earlier days of the show, we admit, there was a bit of fun in watching Don deftly maneuver his way through the world, never allowing himself to be touched by sentiment or slowed down by accusations. But now, after watching all the shitty ways he’s made his shitty life even shittier for YEARS – we don’t find this affair as interesting as we suspect we’re meant to.

We have no idea if other people feel this way. For once, we didn’t follow along on twitter or read any other reviews before writing this one. Maybe y’all thought this was a tour de force, but all we kept thinking throughout the episode was “We’re here again?” Now, Mad Men is populated with characters who are determined to never change, even as the world around them does. One of the most persistent themes in a show sometimes weighed down with themes is the idea that most people never really change and they wind up making the same mistakes over and over again. It’s an idea and philosophy for the show we fully support. But if you’re going to show Don having another affair or flashback to Don’s past again, is it too much to ask for something a little different; some facet that casts it in a different light? Because both the flashback scenes and pretty much any of the scenes with Sylvia could have been inserted at any point in season 1 to 3 and not made much of a difference to the script. The only thing the flashback accomplishes is filling in the blanks on the line Don delivered to that madam last season that he “grew up in a place like this.” That’s an awful lot of screentime just to back up a tossed-off line made a year ago.

Do we learn anything when we find out Don’s stepmother was also a prostitute? It’s not like that one missing bit of information caused lightbulbs to go off over the heads of countless audience members. “Ahhhh. So THAT’S why Don’s so horrible to the women he loves!” We knew this. It’s been reiterated a thousand times.

Do we learn anything when we see Don practically bully Sylvia into continuing the affair, even as she’s expressing some reluctance? Take the cross off her and the entire conversation could be Mad+Men+S6E3+1a rehash of similar ones he had with Rachel Mencken in season one. Or Sally’s teacher in season 3.

We’re not upset that Don’s making the same mistakes again. We expected that. We’re disappointed that the creators seem to have run out of things to say about it. It’s early days in the season, of course, and unless everyone behind the scenes at Mad Men suddenly lost all of their creative faculties, we have no doubt that emotional shocks and revelations are on their way, but “Don doesn’t think the rules apply to him” is not exactly a deep thing to say at this point. And illustrating the concept of “Don thinks all women are whores” by having him literally hand Sylvia a wad of cash after sex is almost embarrassing in its heavy-handedness.

And while Pete’s eerie insistence on duplicating the arc of Don’s life is also not exactly revelatory, at least in this instance, they managed to move the story forward, ever so slightly. They did this by reminding us once again that when it comes to be being a put-upon ’60s housewife, Trudy Campbell’s gonna do it her way:

“I am drawing a fifty-mile radius around this house and if you so much as open your fly to urinate, I will destroy you!”

Betty Draper only wishes she had the nerve to utter those words. That was a spectacular moment; not just because it was a funny line and we all love Trudy, but because she so rarely loses her temper with Pete but when she does, she cuts him in half better than anyone. The only downside to this scene was the realization that we’re probably going to see a lot less of Trudy going forward, if she’s really insistent on not being seen as a “failure,” and living what is essentially a long-term separation from her husband.

So, Pete and Don don’t think the rules apply to them, but Don’s much, much better at skirting them than Pete is. Again: this story has been told countless times.

The good news is, we think Sylvia’s a fascinating character. No surprise there, since Don tends to have affairs Mad+Men+S6E3+3with fascinating women. The fact that this is literally happening under the same roof as his marriage is what lends it a slightly more dangerous feel than affairs past – and the possibility that all of this is finally going to blow up in Don’s face is the only thing that makes it remotely interesting. A season of him lying to and gaslighting his own wife is not going to make us happy, but him actually having to come face to face with the fallout from his lying (which he never really had to do with Betty, since she just sent him away when she found out about it) is the only prospect of this storyline that interests us. Sylvia’s Catholic guilt at some point is going to rear its head (if it hasn’t already) and at some point, she’s going to have to face up to what her actions are doing to the people around her. She seemed genuinely shocked to discover that Megan’s a real person with feelings, and a wife in love with her husband. And even more shocked to find out that Megan hasn’t drifted as far away from Don as Don led her to believe.

As for Megan, she clearly has some conflicted feelings about the marriage, even if she’s not entirely ready to admit it. Granted, it’s not a crime for a woman to not want to be pregnant, nor does it mean her marriage is failing, but there seems to be an awful lot unsaid between Don and Megan, and they appear to be pointed in different directions, even if neither of them can admit it. To Don’s credit, he is genuinely upset that Megan went through this and tries to be a good husband about it, but it’s clear the miscarriage primarily made him think of himself and his actions (no shock there), and the weight of how he’s screwing up his personal life (again) has him sinking to the floor. Again.

In other news, Peggy is pretending that she doesn’t know how this business works. We cringed when she blurted out all the news about Heinz to Ted. But later, when he approached her about working up a campaign and she offered up some weak feelings of discomfort over it, we didn’t buy it. Not for a second. Peggy’s been in this business way too long to not know how things work and she knew, on some level, exactly what she was doing when she told Ted about Heinz. We suppose there’s a parallel there with Sylvia, who’s doing something she knows is wrong, but pretending to be somewhat powerless against it or unaware of the potential fallout. Meanwhile, she has a fabulous black secretary who’s looking out for her, and an office full of men who don’t much like her and subject her to sexist jokes no creative would ever pull against a male copy chief. So of course this is all her fault and she has to worry about her staff liking her, a concept that never once entered Don Draper’s head.

And finally, she’s (as always) criminally under-utilized in the early part of a season, but Joan got one hell of surgical-laser bitchslap against Herb (“I know there’s a part of you that’s happy to see me.” “And I know there’s a part of you that you haven’t seen in years.”) as well as one hell of a moment storming into Don’s office and Mad+Men+S6E3+4pouring herself a drink while spitting out “He’s here.” with as much disgust as she can muster. Because he’s the one person who tried to tell her “You don’t have to do this,” he’s the one person she feels safe enough to let see a little of her anger and disgust come up to the surface.

It seems to us, in light of all this – Don having an affair again, Pete’s marriage winding up where we all knew it would, Joan still having to deal with how she got her partnership, Peggy getting a chance to pitch Heinz after the Heinz rep practically threatened to slap her in a meeting last year -  that 1968 might be the year of fallout for these characters; the year when all of their repeated bad behavior or past failures or painful memories are going to haunt them even further until things blow up somehow.

Because there’s a real sense that things are going to blow up soon, isn’t there? And we’re not just talking about the Tet Offensive. Until then… your wig will be ready next Tuesday, ma’am.

 

 

[Photo Credit: Ron Jaffe/AMC]

    • Sobaika

      Perhaps this is just me, but I really could do without any more flashbacks to his past. We know his issues and we know where they stem from. There’s precious little left to explore with Dick Whitman.

      • Violina23

        Nope, not just you. This was the first set of flashbacks I was struggling to place relevance on. Like TLo said, it felt left-over from previous seasons.

      • VanessaDK

        I suspect some significance to the fact that she was prostituting herself while she was very pregnant, presumably with his half brother.

        • sweetlilvoice

          I too found that gross. What a family!

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            I highly doubt it was that she WANTED to do sex work while pregnant — but she had to eat and she had to be able to pay for things for her child, so she did it. I don’t really think “gross” is the way to sum up what I’m sure was a decision that was at least initially based in necessity.

            • Melanie

              Plus, that wasn’t a john; that was Don/Dick’s uncle, the “rooster” – she’s “paying” for room and board.

            • vandeventer

              Yes, exactly.

            • sweetlilvoice

              You are completely right. It wasn’t gross so much as unsettling. But she’s doing what she has to do to survive. Interesting that she ends up marrying him. And her sis is a prostitute too?

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              Unsettling is the perfect word for it. We’re all aware of the image with the prostitute who has a child, but somehow we never imagine her as actually being PREGNANT with that child.

            • Lattis

              And actually, Don isn’t her child – he’s her dead husband’s. So, even though she isn’t a likable character, she’s someone who takes her responsibility to Don so seriously that she brings him with her and provides food/shelter for him (as well as herself and unborn child) with her arrangement with the “rooster.”

            • Lattis

              And actually, Don isn’t her child – he’s her dead husband’s. So, even though she isn’t a likable character, she’s someone who takes her responsibility to Don so seriously that she brings him with her and provides food/shelter for him (as well as herself and unborn child) with her arrangement with the “rooster.”

        • http://www.facebook.com/leela.corman Leela Corman

          Was she prostituting herself, or just having some fun with Uncle Mack? Because she ends up marrying him, right? I’m not getting that she was also a prostitute. Don’t forget what she told Dick when they walked in: “Keep your eyes down and mind your own business”, or something to that effect.

          However, in researching my last project, I learned that in that time period (and probably always, really, but I was researching the early 20th century), women and girls turned to sex work much more often than is commonly realized. It wasn’t always that they were prostitutes by vocation, but that they used that when they had to. Still, what did I miss? Because I didn’t get any of that from Dick’s mother.

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

            It was fairly heavily implied that she was at least sleeping with him for the roof over their heads. That certainly wasn’t a passionate, adulterous affair we were seeing. It was business-like and emotion-less.

            • http://www.facebook.com/leela.corman Leela Corman

              I guess I was a little confused because she does end up with him later, correct? Thanks for the clarification.

            • http://www.facebook.com/leela.corman Leela Corman

              Oh also, just a little technical note: She’s pretty visibly pregnant, I’m guessing more than 4 months, so it really bothered me to see her lying on her back. Only a man would write that! Because pregnant ladies don’t feel good on their backs at that stage, generally speaking. Maybe back then we didn’t know that it’s a bit dangerous (puts pressure on the vena cava), but it’s a position pregnant women tend to avoid, for the most part, past the first trimester.

              I agree with everyone about the flashbacks. I loved this one, maybe because I just drew a comic half set in a brothel, but I would like to see them work a little harder, story-wise. Still, it’s easy to seduce me and make me do what you want with that old music and some marcelled hair.

            • Guest

              None of what was happening in that scene was about her feeling good.

            • http://robot-heart.tumblr.com heartbot

              Yeah, I don’t think the point in that scene was what SHE was enjoying or comfortable with.

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              That’s WAY before they put the 16 week mark in for laying flat. As for discomfort for her, she could have been part of a large minority who isn’t bothered by it, at least at that stage. The 16 week guideline is because that’s when the weight gets high enough to put on too much pressure — if you produce less water with a smaller baby, you can go significantly past that without noticing.

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

              well, she wasn’t in that position for fun, so it’s doubtful her comfort level would be much considered by “Uncle Mack” anyway.

            • sarahjane1912

              God. Totally. I just hated that he was ‘mounting’ her when she was so near her due-date. Must have been mega-uncomfortable. Poor poor woman.

            • Little_Olive

              Well, I think they want precisely to convey that it was one of those undefined situations, with mixed motives and emotions, which tend to start off as temporary and become a weird establishment. That kind of thing (while not necessarily this sordid) happens in real life a great deal; only we are too eager to label things. This show has quite a few of moments, feelings and relationships of the sort.

            • http://robot-heart.tumblr.com heartbot

              I thought that, too, but maybe they all just lived with him…

          • MilaXX

            In a sense she is because she sleeping with him in exchange for a place to stay. It may not be that she decided to become a prostitute, just given the circumstances she had no choice.

          • Czarina5 Czarina5

            I also think there is more to this flashback that we don’t know about yet. It would be too simplistic for this flashback to just show that Dick witnessed his step-mother having sex or to be around other women having sex. I can imagine that young Dick may become sexually exploited at a very young age, either as a prostitute himself or in some other way that is a bigger part of his dysfunctional self that will unfold over time — it is clear that Don has a voracious sexual appetite and then hates himself after, and we don’t know where that comes from. Since Don did tell Betty that “Uncle Mac” was nice to him, we might see that Uncle Mac actually helps to get Adam and Dick out of the whorehouse, but not before Dick is deeply affected by being there.

            • DogintheParthenon

              I agree. Uncle Mac may have been nice to him, but something that had happened or was happening to Dick was horrible enough to drive him to enlist just to escape. Up to this point, we haven’t been shown anything too overly troubling; sure, his father was abusive, but he is dead now. What was going on to make young Dick so desperate? And how did he get from a shy yokel to the smooth Lothario that is Don Draper?

            • formerlyAnon

              Lots of young people enlist, even in war time, just to get out of Dodge – to see more of the world, leave their familiar environment – without any particular precipitating trauma. Just a lack of compelling alternatives and youthful restlessness.

            • fursa_saida

              Yeah, but we already know Dick has been abused and then witnessed his father’s violent death even before anything happening in the whorehouse. We’re way past any question as to whether he’s gone through trauma.

          • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

            We can argue the definition of “prostitution,” but she was having sex with him in order to keep a roof over their heads. It might not be money exchanging hands, but it’s also not an “affair.”

        • luciaphile

          I have to think about this some more, but I’m not sure that Abigail was a prostitute. She was so determinedly religious in all the flashbacks we’ve seen. We know she married Uncle Mack at some point and that they raised Adam. She was coming to her sister’s and that must have meant there was desperation there. She’s seen sleeping with Uncle Mack. She’s not seen to be taking money from him. There’s a difference. I have a hard time reconciling that Abigail with the one who was at the train station with Adam and Uncle Mack to pick up Dick’s body.

          • luciaphile

            Ack, my bad. I missed the bit from Mac telling Abigail “she could help out.”

          • Lisa

            Where does it say that Abigail married Uncle Mack? In 3-11, Don tells Betty that she “took up” with him.

            • vandeventer

              Yeah, that how I remember it. I don’t think they were ever married.

            • H2olovngrl

              At that point in time, and at the poverty level they were living, it would not have been unheard of for an unmarried couple to shack up yet refer to themselves as married. Different factors could play into this; How removed they were from polite societyhow far ut in the boonies, , how poor they actually are, how busy they are, trying to live/farm/make ends meet, what kind of documentation they had for themselves, whether or not they had access to a man of the cloth or the money to pay him at all.

            • fursa_saida

              Did common-law marriage exist at that time, or is it a more recent invention?

            • Glammie

              Yes, it existed. It’s an old invention, not a new one.

          • JasmineAM

            Money isn’t the only collateral one can use to reward a prostitute.

          • DogintheParthenon

            So, I’m a bit confused. Abigail and Dick come to her sister’s place to live and the sister is initially with Mac, but Abigail winds up with him, right?
            Also, Dick looked like a 9- or 10-year-old kid when his father was killed; now he is a teenager, but his stepmother is pregnant with his half brother, Archie’s kid. I understand that they used the same actor for young Dick in every flashback, including the most recent one, but the time line doesn’t hold up…

        • BayTampaBay

          Maybe that is what she had to do to put a roof over “Dick’s” head and the unborn baby’s head. Remember, she is not “Dick’s” biological mother. I am willing to bet that her left absolutely ZERO.

          Sylvia prostituting herself for money to send to her son is also very weird as her husband has money.

      • MilaXX

        I don’t mind the flashback if they show something different. This one was just a retread of what we already were knew.

        • MAK

          We didn’t know that he was telling the truth when he said he grew up in a brothel. We thought he was just poor and his stepparents were cruel. But he actually grew up in a brothel after all of that. I was left thinking, well – of course he would be so sexually confident. He has seen it all. And I really get a better understanding of the level of desperation he would have to escape that past. Remember that he tells people the story that there was a mix-up in Korea after the blast, but really he made the switch himself at once.

          • MilaXX

            given what we already knew of his childhood we had no reason to not believe him when he said he grew up in a brothel & we already saw that he was dirt poor and had horrible parents.

            • MAK

              TLo didn’t believe him. They said so in their post on that episode. I also thought he was stretching the truth because he had never said that before when telling his story to Rachel or when he spilled all the beans to Betty. It didn’t come up in his conversations with Adam. It raised more questions than it answered.

      • SassieCassy

        good note about the past really being DICK and not DON. when we found out last season that megan knew about his real life i thought the dick whitman chapters were done with.

        • http://robot-heart.tumblr.com heartbot

          Megan knows, but I don’t think she really understands.

      • decormaven

        I think the introduction to the whorehouse is important, distasteful -yes- but important. The key to his compartmentalization comes from when he’s caught peeping in on Mac and Abigail. Remember the prostitute’s admonition: “You got your own room. That’s how things work around here.”

        • Sobaika

          The compartmentalization was the running theme of the episode (Peggy attempting a line between business and friendship, Pete between his shenanigans in the city and at home, Sylvia finding their dinner distasteful but not their sex) and in that sense, the flashbacks provided a good construct for the individual episode.

          But for what we know overall of Don and his character? I personally didn’t find anything new or worth noting about how his past influences his current behavior. Here’s Don throwing wads of cash at women. How shocking.

          • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

            I knew that his mother was a prostitute and that his stepmother called him whoreson and never let him forget it, but I did not know that she had turned to prostitution too. I’d imagine that this would go deeper than just hypocrisy to maybe inspire in him something like contempt for those who try to position themselves as upholding convention.

            • judybrowni

              I doubt the stepmother became a prostitute with a list of clients.

              She needs a roof over her head, Mac made it clear she has to service him, the rooster, to live in his hen house.

              Still, nice irony that the unloving stepmother who accused Don of being “a whore son” is essentially forced to whore herself out to provide a house for her unborn son.

            • http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/lastbutnotleast janinedm

              I see that a lot of people assume she’s married to Uncle Mack (or something like that). She could be, though it’s not unusual for pimps to accompany their … staff places. But even so, “married” to a pimp and living in a brothel is not much different than being a full on pro considering her earlier objections to Dick’s very existence.

            • Sweetbetty

              Somebody refresh my memory, please; what happened to Dick’s bio dad?

            • SonOfSaradoc

              Kicked in the head by a horse and died in front of Dick.

            • Sweetbetty

              Thank you; I vaguely remembered that but wasn’t sure.

            • MAK

              Right after Don leaves Sylvia’s maid’s room he has that flashback. I think the memory makes him sink to the floor when he sees the parallel of himself to Mack. The scenes of Mack, fully dressed, leaning over his stepmother and Don the same way over Sylvia – cheapening her by sneaking in and doing it in that dark sad room – make him realize how far he’s fallen.

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

              Agree – that was my “wow moment” in this episode. What we have seen from earlier flashbacks of his stepmom & Mac, they were “holier than thou preachy” and strict. We already knew about his father’s proclivities, with Dick being the incarnation of his sin. Now the writers are bringing out the hypocrisy of the other adults who raised him. Even if stepmom didn’t end up turning tricks, she did “take up with” the pimp. To be fair to Don, he has said that Mac was nice to him, probably meaning that he was fair and didn’t beat him.

            • P M

              I think it connects to Sylvia in that, that particular experience taught Don that just about *any* woman, even the deeply religious, could be ‘seduced’ (and I’m using the word loosely).

        • fursa_saida

          “Find your own sins.” And him sitting down in front of his own closed door was clearly a callback to him peeping at the whorehouse.

      • greenwich matron

        I agree. I think that any new “revelations” are simply sloppy constructs to “motivate” upcoming actions that aren’t consistent with Don’s established character. They seem to be making it up as they go along and I’m half expecting them to throw in some aliens to explain the space ship that’s coming in episode 12.

        • Sobaika

          Maybe not aliens… this feels more like Jack running around on a beach with Bai Ling just to fill up some screen time.

      • Laylalola

        I honestly don’t even know that the flashbacks are making sense anymore, either substantively or just in terms of timelines. I thought Don’s mother was the prostitute, for example — his stepmother rubbed that in his face, calling him the son of a whore or somesuch, didn’t she? Whatever.

    • Violina23

      The most disappointing thing about this season thus far is that Pete Campbell has NOT been punched in the face yet.

      I have the exact same feelings about Don. I’m rooting for him in the sense that I guess you can’t help but want these characters to better themselves and have a happy ending, but that’s CLEARLY not going to happen for Don. So he remains, to me at least, a fascinating character. There’s an inherent charm and presence he has (in stark contrast to say, wannabe Pete), but it doesn’t undo the shittiness and the fact that he never learns from his mistakes.

      • VanessaDK

        But he was punched verbally this time. Yeah Trudy!

        • Violina23

          So much awesomeness in that scene. Oh so much… :)

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        It’s a toss up as to whom I want to be punched in the face more – Pete or the new fella Bob. And I’m not usually given to violence – honestly!

        • CozyCat

          Practically everyone at SCD(P?) has a secret–and Bob seems like the type who would ferret out those secrets and use them for his advantage….

          • sarahjane1912

            Well, as a titular ‘wannabe Pete’ that’s exactly what he’d do. Get slimy and close with the object of his ‘affection’ and then go for the jugular. After all — even though it came to naught in terms of ‘blackmailing potential’, that’s exactly what Pete tried to do to Don, right? I’d be watching Bob. Really watching him rather than just dismissing him out of hand because he only ‘looks’ like a smarmy brown-noser on the make. ;-)

            PS. Who buys toilet paper for someone else without checking the brand first? Or is that just me questioning the weird conclusion to that little scene?!

            • formerlyAnon

              Who buys t.p. without checking the brand first? Someone whose training and responsibilities do NOT include any variant of “home making.” One of those thousands of small, intentionally thought out decisions that make up care taking and which are invisible to those who’ve never done it. Toilet paper is one of those things that just appear, magically: provided by mom, wife or housekeeping. If you have to buy your own, you replicate the brand mom bought (if you know it) or just grab what’s convenient.

            • fursa_saida

              I don’t have any brand loyalty. I generally just get what’s cheapest. But I suppose that’s not really at issue for any of these characters.

              I found it sort of insane that Bob could even be asked to do that–a secretary, yes, but even though Bob’s a subordinate I still think it’s weird and gross as shit. Of course, Bob’s the type who’d agree to it, but jesus.

        • butterflysunita

          I would like to see Herb the Jaguar guy get punched in the face.

      • H2olovngrl

        It would be an even BETTER show if Pete was punched every season. Maybe let every major character have a chance?

        • sarahjane1912

          Yeah, let Joanie ‘at him’. Big time.

      • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

        re Pete: give it time, Trudy came close : )

    • VanessaDK

      I think the scene between Sylvia and Megan was to set up Sylvia getting pregnant on purpose. I saw her reactions as thinking Megan and Don will stop “drifting apart” pretty fast if Megan gets pregnant, and that would be a threat to her relationship with Don.

      • Violina23

        I didn’t get that kind of read out of Sylvia at all — she seemed genuinely uncomfortable, sympathetic towards Megan, and given her reluctance to even continue the relationship with Don, I have a hard time seeing her taking some kind of manipulative action to “reel Don in” and hurt Megan in the process.

        • H2olovngrl

          If it happens, I think it would be accidental. I know plenty of Catholics who had no problem with committing the sin of adultery or premarital sex but then absolutely balked at the idea of terminating a pregnancy. Explain this away, Mr Draper!

      • not_Bridget

        Sylvia mentioned having a miscarriage about a year after the birth of her (only) child. But her situation was different from Megan’s. Probably Sylvia would have been glad to have another child or two–married to a good man with a decent income; but it never happened. Part of her problem now is being an “empty nester.” Not that it excuses her for having an affair. Which she knows–there’s a big heaping plant of guilt on her plate.

        I don’t see Sylvia getting pregnant–even if she could.

        • Sweetpea176

          Do we know that Sylvia was in a good marriage when she had her miscarriage? Arthur referred to her son as “her kid,” which leads me to believe that it’s not his son. Do we know how long they’ve been married and or either has been married before?

          • sarahjane1912

            This. I totally spotted that line and then mulled over it for some time afterwards. I guess now we’ll just have to wait to find out what that particular backstory might be, but there’s obviously more to that relationship than we currently know. For all the obvious stuff we’re being slammed with so far in this series, I hope Weiner & Co are able to spin this effectively into the future.

    • Jenny

      I think the difference between Pete and Don is that Pete is going to realize he wants his marriage and will try to fix it. The “previously on Mad Men” reminded us when Don told Pete that he had it good and to not mess it up. At some point I think Pete is going to realize it and I really can’t wait to see him grovel. But then again, I’ve always strangely had a soft spot for Pete.

      • Eric Stott

        Pete is slimy, but he has a weak and vulnerable side. He’s trying to fool himself. The way he tried to treat that affair as if it were a romantic evening was rather pitiful- especially since she was visibly impatient to get started.

        • Spicytomato1

          I agree he’s vulnerable and you’re right that the encounter was awkward. When he said “Temperature OK?” I simultaneously laughed and cringed.

          • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

            Not like this needed to be said, but clearly he’s not a suave as Don. Don and Sylvia are always going at it the second they walk in the door. That’s not the case with Pete and this woman (and Beth, for that matter).

            • BayTampaBay

              For some strange reason, I always felt Pete really cared about Beth.

            • Girl_With_a_Pearl

              Pete did care about Beth; obsessively, but he cared. He was especially concerned for Beth when her husband was about to send her off for shock treatment (which got him beaten up and thrown off the train). He did not care about whatever her name was last night. When they were finished with their encounter, he was anxious to leave and tried to hurry her along. She was not the next great love of his life.

      • MilaXX

        I doubt it. Pete has always been ruled by his peen. He had an affair with Peggy while being engaged and getting married to Trudy. He raped the babysitter when Trudy went to visit her parents and tried to make it seem like it was Trudy’s fault for leaving him alone for a long weekend. Now we have confirmation that Trudy was aware that the apartment in the city was so he could cheat.

        • 3hares

          Agree with all of this except for his trying to blame Trudy for the rape. I don’t think that line was making it her fault at all. It was confessing something he didn’t have to confess and admitting this is what he did when left on his own.

          • MilaXX

            The way he told it to her made it seem like he was trying to justify his behavior because she had left him all alone.

            • 3hares

              I know it can be read that way, I just really don’t think that was the point or that Trudy would have accepted it as that. MW himself said that the point of that scene was Trudy saying, “You’re not going to do that again” and Pete saying “You’re right.” (Even if that sadly didn’t last.)

            • MilaXX

              However in view of last night’s episode I wonder if she meant it more like Pete not peeing where he eats. She admits she knew the NYC apt was for his affairs and really only seems upset that Pete slept with the neighbor and people knew about it.

            • MK03

              When my mom and I talk about that scene, we always end up using a line Homer said in The Simpsons: “You weren’t here to keep me from doing something stupid!”

      • sweetlilvoice

        I have a soft spot for him too and it’s a shame how he’s been aged! He looks like a balding pervert (which he is). Remember how adorable he was early on? Same thing with Harry–he’s such a sleaze now.

        • par3182

          Adorable? Pete? He was a weasel from episode one.

          • Angela Langdale

            I think the comment “adorable” must be in reference to their looks, not behavior. You know how people always say men age better than women, but it isn’t always true. Plenty of men are paunchy and balding before their time, and they are definitely showing this with Pete. Sort of like a reverse Dorian Gray!

        • MK03

          I miss the sweet, doofy Harry from earlier seasons.

          • H2olovngrl

            We all do. Sad, mopey Harry Crane wandering the halls of Sterling Cooper late at night in his tightly whiteys and undershirt…

      • 3hares

        The fact that this blowout happened in ep two makes that seem possible to me. Whatever Pete was trying to do with that affair, he wasn’t really feeling his own defense of himself with Trudy and I think is pretty stunned with how he ended up. But since this is the beginning of the season they’ve got to be going somewhere with him in that situation (married but on a sort of ankle bracelet probation). The second Trudy said oh no, she wasn’t just giving up made it seem like she was still going to be a force there still.

      • formerlyAnon

        I agree. Pete won’t be able to hold to his side of any bargain requiring fidelity, but he WILL want the cushioning married life provides and that girlfriends on the side can’t provide. This is NOT a man who wants the petty, day-to-day responsibilities of being truly single. I am interested to find out if we get to see if Trudy is willing to keep running that side of things or how he’ll fill in if she’s not.

        • jdens

          Yes, and I think the toilet paper points to that.

          • P M

            Have we forgotten the hot chocolate from season 1? ‘It’s from a diner!’ ‘How can you tell?’ ‘It’s been made with water, not milk’

            • jdens

              Yes, I’ve forgotten that!

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        Pete wants his marriage because he needs it to keep up his facade. That’s the only reason. I think he’s just as concerned – albeit for different reasons – about appearances and how others see him as Trudy would be as a divorced wife. A wife and child and a house in the suburbs are all a part of that image he wants to convey. Sure, he’ll come groveling back to Trudy, but he’ll keep up his reprehensible ways on the side; he’ll just be more careful to not do it in front of his wife.

        • Wendi126

          Pete always feel inferior and like the emotional child he is wants what he can’t have. Add that to his low morals and inability to see his the effects of his own behavior. He back stabbed and used people to get to be partner and he used his fathers death as an advertising tool. Pete needs to think he’s in charge and #1 because he knows deep down he never was or will be. Trudy was perfect because she was smarter than him and knew how to manipulate him into getting what they wanted while letting Pete think he did it all and is so wonderful. When Trudy got her suburban lifestyle and Tammy was born, Pete was demoted and not needed much. Now that he can have affairs all he wants…he of course will want Trudy again. I think he was kindest and most drawn to Beth because he sensed her sadness and dysfunction were even deeper than his.

          • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

            I do agree with part of this… you’re right on the money when you say that he wants what he can’t have. I also think that he wants EVERYTHING. For him, there’s no sense of “you can’t have it all.”

      • sarahjane1912

        Fair point. But I think a big reason Pete might want to ‘fix’ his marriage is because knows already, I suspect, that he is going to be completely screwed without it. It’ll be less about Trude per se than the fact that he will get stone-cold CHILLS over the prospect of not having his perfect shop-front in the future. He is, after all, a man-on-the-make from an old-money family, married to someone from a similar [if more commercial] background, and he KNOWS he broke the rules. I think he’d like to get back to his house-in-the-’burbs/sleaze-den in Town as soon as he can.

        Failure is not an option.

    • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

      Peggy and Stan are both pretending they don’t know how this business works. I love that these two are friends. However I knew there was going to be trouble with them sharing work information. You don’t give your friend confidential work information especially if you are in the same business. Peggy is not doing her job if she doesn’t go after it. Ironically, this is the only review that points this out. The other ones that I have read are basically like she is screwing Stan over.

      • Musicologie

        Even though Peggy feels guilty, the ethical breach was definitely Stan’s.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          Agreed

        • AutumnInNY

          agreed, but I’d hate to see Stan canned and off the show. He’s a great character.

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            I mean for him to get fired they would have to know that he gave the information to Peggy and I don’t think she would tell anyone that.

            • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

              Perhaps it will be an opportunity for him to join him at Cutler Gleason and Chaough…

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              I don’t feel like I am going to be care about Stan the way he deserves until he gets rid of that beard…

            • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

              Haha. I agree, in that I think he’s way too cute to hide behind all that facial hair.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              It’s possible birds are nesting in it, it has to go. Your right, without he’s adorable.

          • fursa_saida

            I don’t think he’ll be canned. He’s the only actual character in the creative pool at SCDP anymore. It would probably be fairly simple to conceal the source of the information–at least, I hope. Plus, the misogyny of the period might work in his favor (“that bitch shouldn’t have stabbed you in the back like that” instead of “how could you be such an idiot as to tell anyone this”)

            Plus, honestly, if SCDP wasn’t going to go after ketchup anyway, how does it actually hurt them?

            • AutumnInNY

              True. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

            • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

              Yeah, they haven’t invested any time in the yutzes at CGC’s creative, who all look cartoonish. Same with SCDP. Ginsberg and Stan are the only ones who have any story focus, and without Peggy there, they are really getting on each other’s nerves. I think either one or both will follow Peggy. SCDP is due for another coup.

            • fursa_saida

              I would LOVE that. For Peggy’s sake, I hope it’s Stan, but I sort of don’t care which of them it is as long as Ginsberg gets some screentime (which could happen either way). He’s one of my favorite characters.

      • Laylalola

        I think Stan is sharing bits of information to take their personal relationship to new levels of intimacy, and that Peggy once again is going to sacrifice the personal for career advancement.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          You might be right about the reason Stan told her even though I think these two are just friends. However, when you work at a job you are not supposed to give out insider information for any reason. She now knows the account is up for grabs no matter how she found out. Of course she is going to give it a shot to see if she can land it.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            It doesn’t really matter here. Stan’s in creative, not marketing. It’s already been noted that Heinz was taking meetings with various agencies – Chaough knew about it. The only thing Stan told Peggy was that SCDP declined, and it’s an inside joke between them because they both slaved over Beans. I think this situation is actually more about the beginning of loyalty dissolution between companies and ad agencies, which started in the late 60s. This was when Creative really started taking off in the business. Stan’s star is rising, if he branches into photography.

        • J.Klein

          I think Stan told her because he was stoned.

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            Lol

          • 3hares

            And the two of them still on some level talk like they work at the same agency.

            • fursa_saida

              One of the glorious things about having a friend outside your usual group is that you can speak completely freely without interpersonal repercussions. (Two of my best roommate relationships were because they were people I really, really liked who had 100% separate friend groups from mine.) Same with having a friend in your field but not at your work; you can say what you think about what’s going on without worrying about pissing off your boss or coworkers. I figured that was something they have been doing on these calls mutually.

              Honestly, if Peggy didn’t want this to happen, she should have just stopped at “beans doesn’t like ketchup and some funny shit happened.”

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Peggy needs a new work husband to confide company secrets. But the pickings look slim at Cutler Gleason and Chaough…

        • sarahjane1912

          Sure … but come on! Was he born yesterday?! He HAD to know that he was stepping over the line in divulging this info, even IF he thought he could trust his ‘other-work-wife’. Besides, they’d already covered the ‘nobody likes me’ topic, so Stan ought to have been aware that Peggy was absolutely capable of treading over a few bodies to get ahead. She has a bit of form, after all.

          I do see that she didn’t immediately grab the info and use it, and indeed, she was reluctant to go forward with it, but bottom line is: it’s within Peggy’s character, as established so far at any rate, to target her own bottom line. She’d be stupid not to, especially with her boss [whom we are aware has a soft spot for Pegs and vice versa] persuading her to go for it. I’ll be interested to see how this unfolds at any rate. :-)

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            Definitely, and I would even add that I suspect the actual reason Peggy told her boss has more to do with her being nervous about him being in her office. He stops by for no reason even after she gets off the phone…he really didn’t want anything, catches her on a personal call…I think she got nervous and over explained…the situation…but now of course she will go after it. Peggy has always had an ambitious streak and now that she has encouragement to pursue it.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            Stan has always given Peggy insider advice and tips: the deal with hiring Ginsberg, concern about replacement, etc. Stan knows Peggy better than Peggy knows herself. I think he a) loves her for real, and b) is not above using her as a bulldog to get him out of SCDP. I think Peggy is more worried about screwing over Don than she is Stan, who’s only in Creative, anyway. I think Peggy & Stan are the real collaborators.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1208138556 Sara Munoz Munoz

        And technically, SCDP never had a shot at ketchup anyway, so she’s not really harming Stan at all. Which of course Stan knows. Although I hadn’t thought of it that way until now. :)
        Anyway, wouldn’t that be incredibly satisfying to win Heinz over. Of course she has to try.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          so true

          • fursa_saida

            YOU CAN’T DATE THAT BOY I LIKED HIM FIRST

            NO I AM NEVER GOING TO ASK HIM OUT BUT HOW COULD YOU LOOK AT HIM???!??

        • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

          The other thing is, Stan and Peggy were the ones who worked for a year or so on Heinz beans, and could never ever please Beans. I think Stan was telling her that info in a “can you believe the irony” way – also, it’s clear he is feeling trapped at SCDP. It would be hilarious if she scooped up Stan for CGC and the two of them ruled Ketchup there. Ketchup has a younger guy in charge who probably would be more in tune with their ideas and style, and possibly more open to working with a young woman. There’s definitely something about Ketchup V. Beans afoot. Beans = the old order, Ketchup, the new.

      • ideated_eyot

        I’m expecting a thematic connexion between the Stan-Peggy story and Bob Benson. I think Bob is a corporate spy. He’s going nowhere on the SCDP ladder, but he’s wedging himself into meetings and hanging out around the brass as much as possible with that glib smile… does not bode well.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          My suspicion on Bob Benson is he is an advertising Eve Carrington. I don’t know how yet but he will end up screwing someone over…

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

            “an advertising Eve Carrington.” Well said!

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              I love All About Eve:) Don’t you get that sense that he is literally waiting for an opening/opportunity/any weakness to strike? I wonder if after last episode he will try it through Pete. He is already running errands for him which is how Eve started.

        • aesteve212

          I KNOW – everytime he left the room to escort out a client I was yelling “don’t leave him alone with them!” Feel like it is a matter of time before he does something sly.

    • Spicytomato1

      I think the biggest surprise for me last night was when Trudy revealed that she was onto Pete’s ways. Not just with his latest fling but with the whole apartment arrangement. I guess I expected that she wouldn’t put up with any cheating rather than being resigned to it.

      • Eric Stott

        Same here- I was shocked at how much she knew.

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

          I figured she knew something was up specifically when the neighbor man shouted, “Campbell, she’s your problem now!” And the apt. — I’ll bet she knew what she was agreeing to last season. She probably knows other couples where the man has a city apartment.

        • Surly Temple

          I wasn’t too shocked by Trudy knowing. My parents were of that generation that qualified their adultery, as in someone within the same social circle was completely off-limits. However, I was shocked by Trudy telling Pete in their kitchen, right then and there, that she’ll be having a separate life from him from now on.

          Pete’s as single as he wants to be.

          • deitybox

            It’s true – where’s the punishment for him in that? He got exactly what he wanted, with no divorce fallout.

            • formerlyAnon

              She gets maintenance of her social standing in the suburbs out of it. It’s a couples-oriented world. A single woman is perceived as a threat – or at least an unsettling influence. As long as she’s not looking for a second husband, Pete still has his uses.

            • P M

              Which would then tie Trudy into this whole arc of prostitution – client and prostitute each getting something. How sordid….

            • sweetlilvoice

              Well, marriage has been called legalized prostitution before. I don’t agree with that but I know I’ve heard it. Good catch!

            • sarahjane1912

              Yep, Trudy has pimp value. Who’da thunk it? ;-)

            • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

              I think Trudy is the one who is the pimp, Pete is her bitch now, which she discovered a while back would be the only way to play it. Buh bye, happily ever after.

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              She doesn’t care. She’s not looking to punish him, but rather just be rid of his bullshit. She gets all the benefits of being Mrs. Pete Campbell, and she’s not giving that up for the satisfaction of hurting him.

            • vandeventer

              Well his punishment is that he has essentially lost his family. If that does not matter to him, then that is just sad – but Trudy can’t control that. Divorce would truly set Pete free, but Trudy is not giving him that. She still expects him to provide for her and their daughter. Trudy wouldn’t be able to take him to the cleaners in 1968′s divorce courts anyway. She is setting the rules now, and if this is how she wants it, then she wins.

            • judybrowni

              Pete doesn’t look too happy all alone in his fuck pad, now does he?

              No one to notice his sulking, no one to blame for his depression: how can Pete be happy if there’s no one to blame but himself?

            • Eric Stott

              That was a barren cheap little apartment, wasn’t it. The only personal touch was the bar.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1208138556 Sara Munoz Munoz

              The Mondrian-inspired coat rack was pretty cool.

            • sarahjane1912

              It was almost like the carbon copy bars in all the SDP offices. Sad, really. Has no food [essentially, apart from crackers] but has the gamut of cocktail offerings. Tacky for a ‘home from home’ set-up.

            • sarahjane1912

              Nooo! I can’t agree. It WOULD be a punishment for Pete. He absolutely wants things the way he had them. Having some smarmy underling purchase his toilet paper, not being able to play the dirty dog with that slight frisson of danger every time he does it … NOT having the house in the ‘burbs with his perfect wife: that’s gonna hurt. I think we’ll see Pete try to redress the situation sooner rather than later.

          • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

            My grandparents were, and I agree. I wasn’t surprised at all. For one thing, men didn’t have to hide it that well, because a lot of wives were resigned — my grandmother was an EXTREMELY religious woman who did not share that perspective on adultery, and even she tolerated it for some time when she was married the first time, to the extent she once shared a hospital room with one of his girlfriends…

      • Violina23

        Yeah, at first I thought maybe she found out from the girl in the car, but the more I thought about it, it makes a lot more sense that she is CLEARLY smarter than what Pete gives her credit for, understood from day 1 that he’d be using an apartment in the city to cheat, and had made peace with it, so long as he kept it IN THE CITY. It was the realization that he was cheating with people in their own neighborhood (with the possibility of damaging her reputation) that set her off, not the cheating itself.

        Trudy is one lady that knows what she wants. WOW.

        • jdens

          Yes, and the more I think about it, the more I feel certain that it’s not women as whores this episode’s exploring, but men. I noticed Trudy got more than her share of suggestive flirting from the neighbours, but she seemed more disgusted than intrigued by any opportunities. And then there’s the song at the end. . . Just a Gigalo, instead of, oh. . . Roxanne, for example.

      • Sobaika

        I – strangely – wasn’t that surprised. Trudy is no fool, she’s not one to blind herself to things the way Betty was. It was set up in the opening scene, while Pete was flirting with his female dinner guests Trudy was doing something similar off in the corner with their husbands.

        • Spicytomato1

          I agree that she’s no fool. Which is why I was surprised that she’d put up with an arrangement like that. Although I guess if she’s OK with it that’s her prerogative. Like someone said above, it seems she was OK with it as long as it stayed in the city. I guess Pete decided to push the limits.

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

            I think Pete believed he wouldn’t get caught.

            • Sweetpea176

              Oh, I don’t know. I think Pete was begging to get caught on some level. He resents Trudy, and has contempt for both her and himself. That “seduction” scene was so pathetic — peanut butter crackers or something like that? Please. Neither of them seemed to be getting much of a thrill from sneaking around. Pete hates himself for being such a shitheel, and for failing so miserably at being a shitheel, when Don makes it look so glamorous (in Pete’s eyes). He hates Trudy for dragging him to the suburbs, for being smarter than he is, and probably most of all for giving him permission to cheat on her.

            • H2olovngrl

              I think Pete is a moron.

            • Lattis

              Succinct – spot on – blunt as a stump – to the point. Couldn’t agree more!

          • Violina23

            It’s funny because I didn’t think that way AT ALL in the finale from last season when she let him get the apartment. I remember thinking “Oh no, Trudy, don’t be a fool!” But alas, she’s no fool… :P

            • Joan Dahlgren

              She finally consented to letting him have an apartment in the city after he came home with a fat lip. Trudy comes from a sophisticated, upper class background where cheating’s tolerated if you keep it discreetly under wraps. Coming home with a fat lip is not keeping it under wraps, and I think Trudy realized that if Pete was going to cheat, it was better if he kept it away from the home and–most importantly to Trudy, for whom appearances and decorum are super important–out of the public eye. That said–if Pete wasn’t such a weak individual and so dependent upon Trudy for prestige and her parents money, they would have never moved to the suburbs in the first place, where he’s clearly miserable, affair or not.

            • sarahjane1912

              And — to me anyway — seeing the neighbour’s bashed-up face on her doorstep — raced her right back to seeing her HUSBAND’S face in the same manner. She may well not have known after Pete’s bashing incident — when she told him he needed an apartment in town for his safety — that it was related to ‘female troubles’ but she’s sure as hell made the connection now.

        • MK03

          I don’t think she was flirting with the husbands. I think she was graciously rebuffing their slimy come-ons. As soon as they left, she showed her true feelings.

          • H2olovngrl

            Sounds like a set up for the more swinging seventies to come. Married men were getting bolder with their advances toward married women. You didn’t see much of this in Don and Betty’s earlier scene with parties at their houses.

          • Sobaika

            That’s why I didn’t say she was flirting, but their conversation was certainly sexually charged and she knew it.

        • Joan Dahlgren

          But she wasn’t coming on to them–they were coming on to her, and I don’t think she particularly enjoyed it.

          • P M

            No, she didn’t, and shame on the men for either not noticing or enjoying her discomfort.

        • P M

          I finally realized that with all the commentary for this episode. I did find it odd last season, the way she was ‘agreeing’ with Pete that he should get an apartment. I thought ‘Really? Trudy, after everything you know about Pete, really?’

          • 3hares

            VK said after that ep that the line was basically to Pete, a rejection–which is how it played to me. That was the moment where Trudy was like look, I’m sick of dealing with whatever it is you’re going through because you’re obviously a mess. And she said it just at the moment where Pete was ready to crawl home with his tail between his legs. He understood she was cutting him loose in a way. Maybe his despicable behavior here is almost a petty revenge–but, being weak like the Heinz guy–he’s actually terrified when it plays out.

            • P M

              I just saw this, and the little hamsters in my head started spinning :D. You know, put that way, it makes sense. Just to be clear, sense in the way that it can only make sense to Pete Campbell.

        • fursa_saida

          It seems 100% in character to me that Trudy would have this kind of practical, mercenary attitude. She showed, when she was first introduced, that she was very savvy and viewed herself and Pete as a rising power couple. She puts on this sweetness and light persona (which isn’t to say she doesn’t also have those qualities for real, but not to quite this sugary level) because it’s the role she knows she’s meant to play. Did you see her face completely change the second those men were out the door? A very strategic woman, our Trudy.

      • Frank_821

        In hindsight, it was not that surprising to me. Trudy has tolerated a lot from Pete because she’s just as ambitious as her husband. Whatever his flaws, Pete has never been short on ambition and he is very good at his job.

        I suspect what Trudy has gone through with Pete, Trudy’s mother went through with her husband. She made a comment once about understanding her father’s ambitions and desires. She is likely following her mom’s example in terms of discretion and not being open. However with Pete being the Pete, she had to lay down the law

        I suspect Pete will eventually try to patch things up with her since as someone said he does care about his marriage even if he’s lousy at it

        • Eric Stott

          Right now I think that Pete is better at his job than Don is. He never had the creative brilliance, but he’s dependable and he’s an expert at putting up with bullshit and dealing it out. Someone like Roger would despise him but realize that he’s valuable. If Don left everyone would adjust and probably feel slightly relieved.

          • fursa_saida

            Pete is GREAT at his job. (“You should handle the clients as well as you handle me.”) Going to him hat in hand has got to be in the top 5 smartest things Don Draper has ever done.

        • decormaven

          This. Trudy understands ambition – “Dissatisfaction is a symptom of ambition. it’s the coal that fuels the fire.” (A Little Kiss). She will fight to get what she wants.

          • 3hares

            That moment was so important, too, because she understands ambition but not a lot of other things. When she said that to Pete, it was in response to Pete saying that fulfilling his ambition left him feeling empty. Trudy is satisfied in getting the life she wanted and will overlook or stifle or contain the things that disturb it. Pete isn’t. And he’s got these impulses for emotional authenticity that contradict the superficial.

            • fursa_saida

              “He’s got these impulses for emotional authenticity that contradict the superficial.” YES. He’s a terrible person (those impulses also contradict treating other people decently), but Pete is one of the most interesting characters on the whole show, IMO. Well, I should say, one of the most interesting male characters. I can’t think of a single female character of any significance who doesn’t interest me.

      • MK03

        Trudy is no dummy. She knew what was going on as soon as the guy next door shouted “She’s your problem now, Campbell.”

        • fursa_saida

          What I love is that she took in this information but never once seemed to see it as a reason to take anything out on that poor girl. Solidarity!

      • Aurumgirl

        I never got the sense that she would be “resigned” to it, but that she wasn’t about to compromise herself to neighbourhood gossip or the financial ruin that would come from a divorce, for her or her baby. Marriages have existed on agreements like this for centuries–all Trudy expected from Pete was that he keep his dalliances discreet and get the heck out of her way while doing so, all the while paying for his responsibilities to his daughter and to her as his wife and child’s mother. No other way to secure that back then (and as many women who are single mothers today will tell you, not many more ways to secure that now, either). Trudy isn’t blind or ignorant about the world around her nor is she blind to her husband and his weaknesses. The only person who really thinks she is is Pete. Ha ha.

        • BayTampaBay

          Trudy and Pete are like Edith Wharton’s Buccaneers. Trudy married Pete because he was from an old NYC Knickerbocker family high up on the social latter and Pete married Trudy because her parents had plenty of “new” money.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1208138556 Sara Munoz Munoz

        I think Pete was even more shocked! I bet he thought he was getting away with it the whole time.

    • Surly Temple

      Peggy’s office’s view: what gorgeous façades on the buildings across the street.

      • TheDivineMissAnn

        Yes!!! I noticed that too and thought it was fabulous.

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

      I don’t know about you guys, but I really started to feel bad for Megan. I think it’s going to be terrible for her once she finds out about Don’s affair with Sylvia (and you know it’s coming).

      • Spicytomato1

        Yeah, she seemed extra vulnerable — and so young compared to Sylvia — to me last night. When she snuggled up with Don at the end it seemed more like a child/father than husband/wife embrace.

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

          And I’m not sure how she feels about having a child now — she seemed open to the possibility by the time the episode ended, but of course it doesn’t make sense for her career. I doubt the soap would do a pregnancy workaround for a new character.

          • MK03

            Last season, she was not keen on it at all. And she is still on the pill, even if she didn’t take it right during their vacation. I think those are pretty strong indications that she doesn’t want kids right now. But it can be very different when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. You go from “it’s not gonna happen so I don’t need to worry about it” to “Shitshitshit what am I gonna do?!?!”

          • Girl_With_a_Pearl

            i thought that she was saying that she would have had an abortion if she didn’t have the miscarriage. I didn’t get the sense that she would have gone through with the pregnancy and I’m not sure if she would have told Don before she had the abortion.

            And no, the soap would not have written a story around a pregnant actress. Except for Lucille Ball in the 1950s, actual pregnant actresses (as opposed to an actress with a pillow) were rare on television in the 1960s. Very different than now with actresses on T.V. showing off their “baby bumps” at the slightest hint of pregnancy or a series writing around an actress’s pregnancy such as Betty gaining weight.

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          I think the child/father dynamic has at least partially defined their relationship from the beginning. The episode last year at the HoJo when Don tried to force feed orange sherbert to Megan is representative of that power dynamic (and I think he was initially attracted to Megan because of her apparent innocence, how well she got along with his children, etc.)

          • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

            I don’t think Megan is as innocent as people would believe. She has quite a manipulative streak herself and I don’t think it was by accident that she became Don’s right hand during her short tenure at SCDP. She knew exactly what she was doing, she just lets Don think he’s in charge. I bet she already knows about the affair and is probably doing a little something on the side herself.

    • sweetlilvoice

      Thank you gentlemen for the lovely and quick post! You are the best. The night belonged to Ms. Trudy! I never thought she would be the feminist in the show. No one screws over Trudy Campbell. And leave it to Pete to chose the crazy neighbor to mess around with. Love Joan as always and Herb better watch it! She doesn’t have to put up with that type of talk. I also don’t believe that Peggy didn’t know what she was doing when she told Ted about Heinz. You could practically see his wheels turning! What did she expect? And is it really a big deal? I am also sick of the Sylvia/Don relationship. She is going to crack. I don’t even like Megan and I actually feel sorry for her. How sad is it that she couldn’t tell Don about the pregnancy? Don is getting sloppy again and it’s going to bite him in the end.

      • decormaven

        Remember, Trudy told Peggy “My father loves blood sport” before heading to the prize fight in “The Suitcase.” You don’t watch a lot of boxing without learning when to make your shot. What a knockout she delivered to Pete!

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

          We always remember the time she and Pete fought and she said with delicious ferocity, “YOU DON’T TALK TO ME THAT WAY!!!!!”

          Not one wife on Mad Men has ever shown that kind of spine when dealing with her husband.

          You go, Trudy.

          • deitybox

            But I was sad about the whole “failure” thing – why doesn’t she just divorce Pete and take him for all he’s worth? She’s just giving him his freedom. I think Joan showed a lot more spine when kicking out Dr. Rapey last year.

            • formerlyAnon

              So many reasons. Her position in their very nice suburb would be completely different as a divorced woman, for one. A husband who’s “in the city for work” doesn’t automatically disqualify one from being invited out with other couples. No husband and the single woman would be almost universally dropped from any mixed-sex socializing. In some environments, she might even find herself subtly marginalized from participating in things like the PTA. If she doesn’t want to find a second husband, Pete has his uses.

            • Melanie

              Exactly. Remember how they (Betty and her friends) all gossiped about Helen, the divorced single mother (to Glenn) who moved into their neighborhood?

            • vandeventer

              I think Trudy is a strong person though, and she is making the choice that will make *her* happiest, even if it is not the choice someone else might make.

            • BayTampaBay

              She may not be ready to divorce him in 1968 but I bet my bottom dollar she will divorce him by 1978. My parents are the same age as Pete & Trudy. Been there, saw that show from a front row seat and still have the T-shirt.

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              Because it was 1968! You didn’t just get all a man was worth — even if you got a nice settlement, if he didn’t want to pay alimony or support, he simply didn’t pay it. No matter what you got upfront, you were likely to have to live with just that, because no one was interested in tracking down or punishing men who didn’t honor their divorce payments.

            • formerlyAnon

              THIS. Also, unless you had your own/family money, or stashed money away for months/years before you initiated a divorce, money for a lawyer would be a problem. Women couldn’t get credit on their own in most cases, at that time (yes, YOU’RE WELCOME, all of today’s young things who spurn the label feminist!), even if they were the breadwinner for an entire family and could prove it.

            • deitybox

              You’re totally right, as is everyone else who replied. I get it, it just makes me sad. Hmm, maybe Trudy will come across a copy of The Feminine Mystique in a future episode?

            • sweetlilvoice

              I am itching for that day! I read that book several years ago and it really affected me–the disease that has no name.

            • MK03

              But Trudy does come from a well-off family. Of course, I don’t know that they would approve of her divorcing, and it’s possible that they wouldn’t support her, financially or emotionally. Then again, I’ve always had the impression that Trudy’s father has never liked Pete, so who knows?

            • CozyCat

              She asked Daddy for money/business to support Pete’s career. Going back again and asking them for money to divorce him would be humiliating.

              And I can hear her mother advising her about men and how a wife has to make allowances and look the other way….

            • Joan Dahlgren

              Speaking of which, I wonder what happened with Betty? Remember her tentative steps to “get what I’m entitled to” when she divorced Don? She was dissuaded by Henry, who in effect said, she was never going to get a good settlement from Don and she should just get (re)married– to him– as quickly as possible. That whole line of inquiry hasn’t been yet developed, it may never be, and, granted, Henry is infinitely better than Don as a husband, but still, I wonder.

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              I don’t know for sure, but she wouldn’t be able to reclaim any assets she gave up in the divorce, I don’t think. I know when my mom got divorced 7 years later she was not allowed to turn down child support, so I’d guess that was ordered but she probably passed on everything else and since she’s remarried she couldn’t get alimony anyway.

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

              Look at it from Trudy’s perspective in that time and place. Why should she give up all the considerable benefits of being Mrs. Peter Campbell just because Mr. Peter Campbell can’t hold up his end of the bargain? There was no benefit to Joan in being Mrs. Greg Harris. She as much as said that to him when she kicked him out: We’re doing fine without you and we don’t need you.

            • H2olovngrl

              I agree. She wouldn’t want to give up the social benefits of being associated with Pete and the firm. Also, divorce could be terribly messy and they have a child. Among a certain class, she and their little girl could be seen as social pariahs. I can’t see Trudy doing that. She is much too opportunistic and savvy for that. Why should she be denied the country club membership because Pete is a schmuck who can’t keep it in his pants? And let’s not forget that her folks are not terribly fond of Pete and she would have yo own up to them, as well.

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              This.

              Divorced women were scorned — it was changing by the late 60s but in more conservative circles, it was still very, very true. They were assumed to be the kind of woman who wouldn’t just have an affair with your husband, but try to break up your marriage, and then you’d be in their place.

            • Brad Watson

              Helen Bishop, Exhibit A

            • DogintheParthenon

              Exactly!

            • P M

              As much as she’s the princess, I don’t think Trudy would want their pity. Or her mother’s questions, with the underlying assumption that Trudy perhaps didn’t do enough to keep her man. Pure speculation on my part, of course.

            • H2olovngrl

              Exactly. I can’t see her admitting to her parents that she backed the wrong horse. That would be her absolute last course of action…although maybe her dad would punch Pete again? There is that!

          • golden_years

            Betty confronting Don on his secret identity. Betty throwing Don out after he wouldn’t admit to his affair with Bobbie.

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

              Different kind of spine. No wife on the show has ever been as willing to be furious and show that she’s furious to her husband.

            • P M

              I’ve always wondered what Trudy’s relationship with her parents was like. She seems to have always been the princess, and always able to get her way. There’s a confidence in her actions, and in her fights with Pete, that makes me wonder: is she so confident that her parents would have her back in case something went quite wrong? Would they make Pete really suffer if Trudy went running to them?

            • 3hares

              I think her parents are a big part of the threat to destroy him. She could do it with them or without them, though.

            • P M

              Hm….. I wonder, the circles Pete aspires to, how detrimental would it be to him if he gets divorced from Trudy?

            • BayTampaBay

              I agree! Trudy wasn’t hurt (she was over that emotion; her knowing all along proved that) she was pissed off because Pete doesn’t know how to “behave” in polite society. Do what you want just don’t do it the street and frighten the horses as my Southern Grandmother use to say.

          • AViewer44

            Megan has had some of that spine. It seems odd that she’s not more aware of he growing rift and that she doesn’t ever seem to pick up on …. The smell of someone else at least. When she was so maddened by that woman in the elevator last season.

            • P M

              That was some kind of fantasy-scene though, wasn’t it?

      • Joan Dahlgren

        “No one puts Trudy in the corner!”

    • Sobaika

      Re: Joan

      In the past I’ve always thought she was the only one Don treated like an equal. She’s more than competent at her work and never threw herself at him or showed any inclination that she’d want to. And he was surprised (and a bit disappointed) in the way she’d received her partnership. I would have thought he’d view her a bit differently especially considering his issues with women and sex, and not that she’d be comfortable enough to gripe about Herb in his office. I find that interesting, I hope their relationship is explored more.

      • bella

        Maybe it is because he thinks of her as an equal that he can overlook his whore issues and treat her like a human being and not like other women

        • ohayayay

          But Don actually treats real-life prostitutes with respect. “I grew up in a place like this.” He knows where he came from.

          • P M

            Oh, to have a scene between that madam and Don – discussing the business, the madam verbally prodding a bit under Don’s skin…… such possibilities

      • formerlyAnon

        I think her griping about Herb hints at one of the interesting facets in their relationship: she understands him, or thinks she does, well enough that sometimes *she* can just walk into his office and know where the boundaries are. It’s not entirely her letting him define the limits.

      • http://twitter.com/laura_valerie Laura Curtis

        I think Don’s respect for Joan stems from her respect for him.

        Joan is one of the few women in Don’s life (maybe apart from Anna) who don’t idealise him. Joan visibly disapproves when he has done something stupid, and gives him credit when he does something noble. She sees him as and thus lets him be a fully fledged, flawed human, rather than an archetype. I think he allows her to do the same (hence, the drink in the office).

        They are also similar in a lot of ways. They know they aren’t perfect or inherently good but they know how to put on a show. They know how to act to garner admiration and respect from those around them. My favourite moments between them are those when they both simultaneously let their guard down and let themselves be; I think each of them are the only people in each other’s lives who they can do that with. Post-Herb and post-lawnmower incident are two examples that spring to mind.

        • 3hares

          I don’t think Joan’s so different in the way she sees Don. She’s said how handsome he was and how she was surprised he never went for her. I think it’s more that whatever kind of woman she represents for him, he respects that type.

          • MK03

            Don may very well be the only man in her life who doesn’t see her as an object. Even Roger, for all his sweet moments with her, ultimately saw her as little more than a hot piece on the side. Remember what he said when he broke it off with her in season 1? “You are the finest piece of ass I ever had, and I don’t care who knows it. I’m so glad I got to roam those hillsides.” And Don was the only one who tried to talk her out of sleeping with the Jaguar sleaze. That certainly didn’t go unnoticed. Joan knows where her appeal is, and has both worked it to her advantage and had it used against her for most of her life. I expect she finds his lack of interest in her appearance but vested interest in her well-being a very welcome change of pace.

            • pookiesmom

              Not just men, but women as well. Remember last season when Peggy thought Abe was going to break up with her, and

            • fursa_saida

              I don’t think it’s just that Joan’s unspeakably hot. I think it’s the incredibly self-possessed, streetwise persona she projects, and also the way she talks about men (easily manipulated creatures to be patted on the head). ALL OF WHICH I LOVE, but I’m saying I think it contributed to Peggy’s shock.

            • pookiesmom

              Agreed, it’s Joan’s complete persona–but that doesn’t make her any less of a fantasy to men and women. Just as Don isn’t idealized by the men around him simply for his good looks, but rather also for his mystique and gruff (but not showy) charm. They both play into stereotypes of femininity and masculinity of the time in order to get ahead/gain power/protect themselves emotionally (Don more than Joan, probably).

        • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

          Yes, Anna and Joan are the only women who Don hasn’t or won’t sleep with, AND who don’t hero-worship him.

          • Danielle

            Peggy

            • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

              Except she hero-worshipped him, at first, anyway.

            • fursa_saida

              And she took a lot of shit from him that Joan never would have, but she was still young and learning her way. Certainly at this point she’s pretty much on this list, or she would be if they were still talking/interacting (which, as far as we know, they’re not).

        • Little_Olive

          I think you are right. To me, Don senses Joan is a woman he could never really submit; he wouldn’t be in control. I am not sure that what stems from this is respect, but he is at least able to look at her without the veil of sexual considerations influencing his demeanor of her. Which does not mean that he doesn’t think of her as a woman in the sense that what most women have to offer is their sex: after all, Don prompted Joan into the disgusting act that pushed her into partnership.

          Notice how the other women are either shag material or too ugly to be shag material, but not really equals. Peggy he treated like a boy, and totally lost it whenever she had a “feminine” moment.

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

            Don told her flat out that she scared the hell out of him.

            • Little_Olive

              Oh, didn’t remember that. I guess I can maintain she scares him because she is (at least publicly) no damsel in distress.

          • pookiesmom

            What do you mean by “Don prompted Joan into the disgusting act that pushed her into partnership”? Didn’t Don try to convince Joan not to prostitute herself for the account?

            • BayTampaBay

              YES! He was the only one 100% against it! I had the feeling Lane was against it too but took the road of “if you do it…make sure you get a goose that will continue to lay golden eggs.

      • Sweetpea176

        Like his relationship with Peggy, I think Don’s relationship with Joan will prove to be pivotal for him. I don’t think he realizes it, and I’m not sure I realized it until just now, but I don’t think Don could have had a relationship with Megan without first having Peggy to break the mold of what he thinks women are. He had the same kind of respect for Joan, at a depth that he can’t just turn off because she made the deal re: Herb. At the same time, though, he now can’t overlook the whore issues, because it’s in his face. If he’s to continue to have anything but a very surface relationship with Joan, he will be forced to reconcile two competing images of her into a more nuanced whole. Don’s inability to do that very thing with anyone — in particular himself — is what’s been his problem all along.

      • pookiesmom

        Yeah, the relationship between Don and Joan is probably the most interesting one in the whole series for me. I think beyond him respecting her (which he clearly does), what’s most compelling about their dynamic is that he genuinely considers her a friend. He doesn’t really have many (…any?) real friends to speak of, come to think of it, and ESPECIALLY not women. He has people that he’s friendly with, but he never lets his guard down around them. But Joan gets him in a way that other people don’t, because she sees his gruff Draper charm as a put-upon thing. She can see through (and relate to) his persona, because she has constructed one as skillfully as he has. He did his best (though his best was abysmal) to view Megan as a three-dimensional person, but ended up very predictably emotionally checking out as soon as she started to build up a life outside of him. His fear of abandonment has stunted basically every relationship he’s ever had with a woman, aside from Joan. Maybe because he was never under the illusion that Joan was or could ever be “his” to begin with.

        And from Joan’s perspective, I think she sees in Don a man who is majorly fucked up, but who isn’t completely driven by power, money, and lust. He at least grapples with issues of morality (at least, when he is self aware-enough to do so, which unfortunately never seems to apply to his romantic relationships), and has a great deal of professional integrity. And I think she respects that.

    • MilaXX

      I have to admit I was a bit bored with pretty much all of Don’s story last night. I did love Trudy telling Pete off. I have to hand it to Allison Brie, watching her play both Trudy Campbell & Annie Edison really impresses me.
      Hopefully it comes up in the Mad Style post, but Joan’s version of men’s wear or office wear, those double breasted button down looks are really unattractive but they are also a bit off putting.They remind me of armor or perhaps her locking down the sexuality that she had to use to get the job.

      • deitybox

        It’s interesting, because the navy suit and red blouse she had on last night seemed like a nod to the power suits and pussy bows of the 80s – as if she’s way ahead of her time.

        • MilaXX

          I get that on one hand that’s the intend. It’s just that the double breasted look feels very I dunno, “locked in”. It also is very unattractive and makes her look wider than she is. Joan was always stylish and feminine. I cannot imagine her being unaware that this look is not flattering.

          • http://twitter.com/_KarenX Karen Miller

            She probably knew Herb was scheduled to come in to the office. She was trying to hide as much of herself away as possible, I bet.

            • P M

              I dunno…… all those loud, fighting colours? She seemed to me like she hoped to feel like a prizefighter.

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              I don’t think it was that kind of hide — I think it was hiding her feminine assets as much as she ever does, as a clear message of “this is business and that’s all we have to discuss”. The loud colors are an assertion of being able to make that message stick.

            • P M

              Ohh…… yeah, that makes sense.

            • MilaXX

              She had a similar look in the premiere when they were taking office photos only in purple.

          • judybrowni

            I think Joan is struggling with the sixties looks, which were geared toward a Twiggy frame, essentially.

            • Joan Dahlgren

              Agree, judy. Actually, I think both style and sexuality got very muddled in that era. The late sixties styles were not kind to voluptuous women. Also, they were relentlessly “youthful” in that they downplayed the kind of fully blown sexuality of a figure like Joan’s–they generally looked best slim-hipped, small chested women. And because there were so many teen and 20-somethings thanks to the Baby Boom, you can see why Correges and those other looks favored by Twiggy caught on, and that from there it was only a few steps away to the “unisex” looks that became popular. Actually, I’m not sure that this blurring of sexes and the denial of female sexuality is something we ever grew out of–I tend to think even today, we’re still kind of stuck in that groove; otherwise, why would so many women be adopting skinny jeans, which actually, IMO, look best on tweens who haven’t fully developed yet and not so great, truth be told, on most adult women?

              Just my opinion, of course, but I think Joan not only has good reason to be tamping down on her femininity, she has the misfortune to be doing it in an era where the fashion choices available to her just don’t mesh with her body type either.

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

              Or why we have 15 year old celebrities, as opposed to talented people who have actually managed to accomplish something…

            • BayTampaBay

              Do not forget; She is a voting partner in the firm now not just the office manager. She has taken over Lane’s role.

            • AViewer44

              Yes I agree! I keep wondering how she managed to find a buttoning vest that actually buttoned, because they weren’t making clothing like that for big busted women in the ’60s.

            • fursa_saida

              She must be making pretty damn good money now; she can afford a tailor. Her clothes may not be so flattering, but they still fit.

          • Little_Olive

            To me it shows that she is also in between things. Joan mastered her position as an assistant; she is learning to navigate partnership.

            I also think it has to do with the compartmentalization Sobaika was talking about: office/private life. It seems to me that the two were more of a melange, whereas now Joan is (trying to be) a businesswoman.

        • judybrowni

          And yet, the bow breaks up the heaviness of the bust, while the purple double-breasted look of last week accentuates it, as I know from experience.

      • judybrowni

        Double-breasted and big busted: no.

        As someone dealing with more than her fair share of natural cleavage, I long ago eschewed the double-breasted look.

        • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

          ditto, ditto, ditto. Maybe her choice in wearing something that she thinks is confining her sexuality when it’s actually emphasizing it more is a clear indication of the conflict she feels.

      • MK03

        “They remind me of armor or perhaps her locking down the sexuality that she had to use to get the job.” And that, I think, is exactly the point. She’s not at all comfortable with what she did to get the partnership and I think she’s very consciously shrouding her body as much as possible.

        • formerlyAnon

          Agree, though the connection to how she got the job may not be conscious, just a conscious thought that she wants to be taken seriously, just like a man, and therefore can’t be too feminine.

    • VanessaDK

      I think that this is more of a follow up to the “Doorways” episode by being as much about compartmentalization as it is about prostitution. Everyone showed how they try to keep one side of their lives away from the other side, but are confronted with the duplicity. Peggy trying to keep her friendship with Stan away from their competition (though I agree that her reveal to Ted Chaough was a little suspect); Pete and Don’s affairs; A reminder that Joan has to deal with the way she got the partnership but pretend it never happened; Megan trying to keep her work life and ambitions away from her marriage.

    • decormaven

      I’m ok with how this episode played out. I appreciated the flashback to how Dick was introduced to the whorehouse. I think we see how he may be a champion to some women; he saw how Uncle Mac “took care of the hens” and could “bring on the day” and Don doesn’t care to see that happen with women who matter to him- like Joan. The conversation he had with Sylvia- “This didn’t happen. Just in here.” I know he has expressed similar sentiments, but this man truly doesn’t connect the reality with his actions. HIs level of compartmentalization is baffling.
      A shoutout for “Just a Gigolo” as the closing song, and the use of “I’ve Got Five Dollars” for the introduction to the whorehouse.

      • Qitkat

        PERFECT music for this episode. I love it when the theme is reinforced with the song choices. And although I’m not very interested in Sylvia as another of Don’s conquests, I did like the extra moments spent during the flashback. I have always appreciated how well done all the flashbacks have been, getting right to the heart of how Don became who he is today.

        • sarahjane1912

          ‘Just a gigolo’ was laying it on a bit thick though. In my humble opinion.

    • Laura

      IMO It was a show about prostitution and the price paid by everyone involved. You can’t say no because you once said yes. Why cant you just follow the rules? Paying Sylvia. Sex in the maid’s room. I want whatever you want. I’m ready to talk whenever you want to talk. House in the suburbs for not being a failure. And of course Joan’s partnership. Just a gigilo.

      • Violaine

        Yes, about prostitution and the boxes of expectations that men of that time put women into, the few choices they had and how crappy the boxes made them feel. And Trudy being able to break out of the boxes because she’s younger.

        • http://www.facebook.com/georgina.brown.1675 Georgina Brown

          I think both messed up, and are both responsible.Teddy is just doing his job, allthough I dont think even Don would ask Peggy to jeopardize not only her friendship, but her friends job.

          • fursa_saida

            I don’t think it would even cross his mind to ask her not to. Do they even talk nowadays? He might be annoyed, but I think on some level he’d feel respect and even a bit of pride.

    • fnarf

      Pete Campbell is the worst philanderer of all time. How many times? He didn’t rape Peggy, exactly, but he forced himself on her, and impregnated her. He raped that German au pair. He pathetically tried to put the moves on the teenager at driver’s ed. He had an affair with the crazy woman, which ended up with his face punched in; and now he’s gone with another crazy woman who apparently ran straight home and told her husband, who busted up HER face. Oh, and his thoroughly creepaziod way with the prostitutes. Such a miserable little man.

      I agree 100% with your analysis of this episode — Don’s shenanigans are getting boring. He’s pushing his luck even further this time, which is supposed to create tension, but all it’s really accomplishing is making me want to push him down the stairs.

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        Yes, Pete preys on weaker or vulnerable women. Don goes after women who seem to be a bit of a challenge (at least at first).

        • Eric Stott

          I think that Don falls in love with the women he seduces, at least after a fashion. Pete has to invest his little affairs with a semblance of romance, and the sense that he’s doing the woman a favor.

      • lorem_ipsum

        Pete sucks at affairs because basically, he’s disgusted by women. He thinks THEY’RE the pathetic ones. Don continues to succeed at cheating because he knows he’s disgusting as well.

        • 3hares

          I don’t give Don that much credit. He and Pete both seem pretty full of self-loathing. Don just does that like he does everything else, with the romantic movie-star look. He expects his mistresses to listen to sad stories about his life and feel sorry for him and his wife “drifting apart” when his wife isn’t aware they have.

          As always, Don’s just a better liar. With Pete all you can see is it’s disgusting.

          • pookiesmom

            I don’t know about this, actually. I think that Pete unconsciously transfers his self-loathing onto all of the women in his life. I don’t think he’s capable of loving anybody, to be honest. Trudy gets the brunt his self-hatred, because she’s the most prominent figure in his life, but the women he has affairs with are also easy targets, because they are essentially faceless emotional punching bags for him.

            I think Don is at least slightly more self-aware of the fact that he is the root cause of the problems, even if he tries to drown out his conscience. Does that make him any better than Pete? Not necessarily, but the fact that he is at least aware of his own destructive qualities (instead of blaming everyone else for them) makes him a more sympathetic character for me.

            • 3hares

              I think Pete definitely does have a huge streak of blaming other people–especially in later seasons he often accused people of not wanting him to have what he wanted just because he didn’t get what he wanted. But if I was comparing Don’s treatment of Betty to Pete’s treatment of Trudy I’d say Trudy got the better deal. Pete married somebody who demanded a certain amount of respect. Don does seem to have more awareness that he’s messed up, but he can be self-serving about those too. I often find them both sympathetic, though. I lean more towards Pete at times not because he behaves better but just because he doesn’t get away with it.

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

            They may both be immoral, but Don’s a lot more complex than Pete. He’s more intelligent and curious, has a better understanding of people, and has moments of strength, love, friendship, even nobility. He has emotional depth. That’s why when he reverts to being a shithead a lot of people perceive it as tragic. To me, Pete’s just a bratty sociopath.

            • 3hares

              I think that’s subjective, though, and just depends on which character you find more interesting or likable.

            • pookiesmom

              I think in a lot of ways, Pete is what Don would be if Don lacked the “It” factor that makes everyone love him or lust after him or want to be him. It’s not just looks, it’s that Don has a charisma, a brilliance, and just enough self awareness that people simply want to follow him. Or if they don’t, they at least respect him or want to be him. Pete doesn’t have that and it makes him insanely jealous because you’re right–his actions aren’t quantifiably more horrifying than Don’s. He is a bit more sociopathic & unapologetically rapey than Don (in that he doesn’t even see it as a problem, whereas Don seems capable of feeling remorse). He’s also less tortured than Don (so I have less sympathy for him), but in terms of the action that he takes, you’re right–he’s not really objectively worse than Don. I think it’s actually very interesting that the writers parallel these two characters because it forces us to question how masculinity is presented and idealized. It’s like Pete shows us Don’s worst qualities, unmediated by Don’s charm, so we can grasp how truly sickening they are and how dangerous these conceptions of masculinity are.

            • 3hares

              I agree. Although I think they’re both tortured in different ways, with Don’s again being the better version.

          • fursa_saida

            I actually don’t think he’s really into sharing the sad stories. He doesn’t share his life, he builds and shares fantasies–running away together, “you want to feel shitty until I take off your dress,” etc. What Don is is amazing at compartmentalizing, which is common among people who’ve been abused or had some kind of trauma. I’m not saying that that last part means he’s blameless, but to me it’s been clear for a long time that he’s very, very good at living each part of his life completely separate from all the others as a coping mechanism, a way of not having to sit down and really think about his feelings/problems/issues/experiences–anything about himself, really. (I may be projecting juuuuuust a little.)

      • Danielle

        When did he force himself on Peggy? I don’t remember her being a reluctant about it.

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

          I just had that argument with a friend; he thought Pete’s coming in the middle of the night to the home of a scared new employee who’d been harassed all day was abuse of power. I said that for whatever reason, Peggy was obviously into it (and into him, all season). Pete’s a rapist but he didn’t force himself on Peggy.

          • artsites

            Pete came on to Peggy early in the first season. It was completely unwanted attention and seemed really nasty and agressive, and then the audience gets the surprise of their life when he comes to her door and she takes him willingly. I have to say, throughout these last many seasons, I’ve been amazed that this bomb has never come up. She gave birth to their child.

            I think the cheat that she actually DID give the baby away for adoption is really just that. Who’s to say (besides Matt Weiner himself http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2008/10/mad-men-peggy-b.html) that she was actually telling the truth to Pete.

            Regardless of your stance on the PetePeggy baby, I really feel like Pete and Peggy have been kept at a very careful remove ever since the first season although I think there may have been a couple of couch incidents in there. It seemed clear that Pete had real feelings for Peggy. He was unlike himself with her at every step. It was his first time making a move on a girl, they were like two kids playing out a skit about their parents when he hit on her and she rejected him. Both looking to Don, was this okay? Is this how it’s done? But then he seemed to be truly drawn to her and to connect with her. It was a tragedy when he married Trudy instead of being able to pursue that.

            Even without the baby, it seems to me there is something big and unexplored there. I’m surprised Weiner didn’t just let it lie vague rather than explicitly saying she told the truth to Pete and all that misleading about the sister raising him was in fact a dead end. After all, there’s something unexplored about the two of them together, not just baby-wise, but connection wise. Or this has been a very very long drawn out Sam & Diane…

            My theory is that once Weiner hit on the arrangement of Pete being Don’s shadow (very astutely described in these comments) he had to keep Peggy away from Pete. I suspect he’s saving them (and maybe even their baby) for the big final finale. (As Trudy and Joan and Sally ride off to their adventures).

      • fursa_saida

        I don’t think this woman was “crazy”; I think she was young, had probably never done this before (she was so hesitant and unsure, the poor thing), and in an abusive relationship. It doesn’t surprise me at all that she would latch onto a man who was being “kind” to her (as she perceived it). It also doesn’t surprise me that an abuse victim would be drawn to someone like Pete; it’s a hard pattern to break.

        • 3hares

          I don’t think she’s most of those things either. Pete wasn’t kind to her, he just flirted with her. I think she was a married woman looking to have an affair–whether or not it was the first time I’ve no idea, but hesitancy doesn’t imo imply that she was unsure. Her actions were all very sure imo. I also have no idea if she was subject to regular abuse. Unfortunately you can see many things from the time period that consider a smack in the face for a “good reason” like infidelity an ordinary thing. So while I consider it abuse I don’t think she was escaping an abusive relationship by running to Pete Campbell. I just think it seems like every woman who decides for some reason she actually wants to sleep with Pete gets portrayed as a childlike prey even when she’s a consenting adult initiating a sexual relationship.

          • fursa_saida

            I put “kind” in scare quotes for a reason–I agree, he was just doing what he thought he was supposed to in order to get to sleep with her. Obviously she knew what was going to happen when she showed up there; I’m not implying she didn’t consent. I was talking about how very attached she got so quickly, which I assumed was what the person I was replying to meant when they called her crazy. I do think she seemed very unsure, nervous, and passive until they actually got started, like she didn’t really know how to do this, but I suppose we can agree to disagree there.

            As for the abuse–changing norms doesn’t really have much effect on abusive behavior itself, just on how it’s hidden and how others react to it (reactions include trying to break the cycle in your own family–I’m saying, abusive behavior is abusive behavior, and whether the pretext is socially sanctioned or not has little effect on whether the abuser will react to it). It’s very, very rare for someone to go from non-abusive to full-on beating to the point of the victim bleeding all over her face just like that. It’s not even like he backhanded her in a moment of passion and then thought better of it; she said he was chasing her. There’s generally an escalation over time of abusive behaviors, and it’s very, VERY unlikely that this was the first time he hit her. Even if it was, he was almost certainly emotionally and verbally abusive to her earlier, which is still going to have a huge effect on a person’s self-esteem and behavior. She certainly wasn’t “escaping by running to Pete Campbell” (well, not until that literally happened); she wasn’t escaping at all, not any more than any other married person having an affair is escaping mentally and romantically. But I think it played into how desperately attached she became almost immediately.

    • imspinningaround

      Trudy Vogel Campbell, with the strongest of pimp hands.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14301272 Kate Gorton

        This is everything.

      • H2olovngrl

        This brought a smile to my face and also took me back to the “Slap a Pimp Scully” episode of The X-Files. For this, I heartily thank you!

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      The flashback scenes were so confusing to me. It took reading a few recaps to understand that the pregnant woman was Don’s step-Mom (at first I thought maybe the whole line about his mom dying in childbirth was a lie). Did she turn to prostitution after her husband died? So confusing!

      After being excited last week for the return of Mad Men this week I was left a bit disappointed. Don’s affair with the neighbor really does feel like something that has been done to death already. It was great to see Trudy give Pete the proverbial smack down, but I wish she would just divorce the twerp instead of keeping him at bay in the city.

      Oh, and if there are signals of doom to come, do you think Peggy’s baby might come up sometime this season?

      • MilaXX

        From what I gather once Don’s father died, his mother found herself broke and penniless and went to live with her sister & her creepy husband. They ran a brothel and step mom ended up prostituting herself.

        • SassieCassy

          huh. i missed a lot of that. time to google a dick whitman timeline or something

          • Sweetbetty

            That’s what someone needs to do, put together a video of Dick Whitman’s life story in flashbacks starting from when he was born to when he became Don Draper, adding to it as new flashbacks are revealed.

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          So, do we know if Don’s mother also worked at the brothel where he eventually lives with his step mom? I really need to go back and watch episodes with flash back scenes because for some reason I thought Don was living on a farm before he left for the army?

          • Sobaika

            They were on a farm, at least during The Hobo Code flashback from Season 1.

            • Sweetbetty

              Uncle Mack said to Dick as they were going up the steps, “I understand you used to live on a farm”, and then went on to give his rooster analogy.

          • MilaXX

            Perhaps after this guy marries his stepmother they move to a farm. Or it could be they just lived in a rural area.

            • Sweetpea176

              He was much younger during the Hobo Code flashback in Season 1, so he was on the farm before moving to the brothel. He was there with his father at the time, not with Uncle Mac. Did they go back to the farm at some point before Dick went into the army?

            • MK03

              There’s a bit of fudging with the timeline. I don’t know if anyone noticed, but they got the same kid who played young Dick in earlier flashbacks to come back for last night’s episode. As such, he’s several years older now. He looked to be about 10 in the episode when Adam was born (S1 E6, I think?) and he’s clearly in his mid-teens now. So that just adds another layer of confusion on top of everything.

            • Sweetpea176

              I did notice that they used the same kid, but I didn’t catch how old he was supposed to be when Adam was born. Which is odd, because I just re-watched Season 1 yesterday!

          • http://twitter.com/_KarenX Karen Miller

            Or perhaps they move back to the farm they always had after she gets someone (a husband) to help her run it.

          • vandeventer

            Could the brothel be on a farm? Although I thought I remember Don saying that after his step-mom hooked up with Uncle Mack, that they moved somewhere else? So maybe later on they ditch the brothel?

        • Sweetbetty

          went to live with her sister & her creepy husband
          ********************
          I’m not so sure Uncle Mack was married to the stepmother’s sister. Sister introduced him and said, “He’s with me now”, which could mean they were just in a relationship.

    • hunt3002

      I’m waiting for the Doctor to catch Don and Sylvia in the maid’s room. The whole affair is leaving me feeling ickier than any other affair Don has had.

      • Girl_With_a_Pearl

        Agreed. That’s because when Don had an affair with Bobbie Barrett, his other major affair with a married woman, she was married to a jerk – a guy who makes fun of a woman’s weight and is unkind to people, so who cares if Bobbie was cheating on her husband. Sylvia is married to a Don’s only male friend. A guy who is a saint: a heart surgeon, someone who saves people and who goes into work at any time of day, even on New Year’s Day – during a snowstorm – on skis.

    • Frank_821

      Yeah, Don’s behaviour is old news. I just sigh and roll my eyes. I agree with what someone else wrote. I felt bad for Megan and I’ve never been much into her character. Her miscarriage though underscores how much she and Betty are actually alike and different. I get the feeling Betty probably did not want to get pregnant when she did with Sally but never admitted it

      Peggy shouldn’t feel too guilty. After all SCDP can’t pitch Heinz ketchup. She should however let Stan know it’s going to happen ahead of time though. That would ensure he won’t get too mad at her. I thought it was funny when Ted said, it’s nice to know the place falls apart after you leave.

      Also the whole thing with Quest was a good reminder to Peggy the realities of the world and her own limitations in terms of people skills. It’s hard enough to be the boss. But being a boss that’s a woman in 1968 and she’s Peggy Olsen. If she had said soemthing more like “Yes I yell and push and demand a lot from you guys but that’s because I know you can deliver. You’re working here because you’re that good”. A line like that would probably have gone a lot further to gaining their respect

      • decormaven

        Yes, remember how Betty hinted to her OB/GYN that it wasn’t a good time for her pregnancy with Gene, and how she talked with Francine about possible options in “Meditations in an Emergency”.

      • VanessaDK

        I got the impression that she doesn’t really think that they are all that good, which made a pep talk hard to pull off.

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

          Yeah, that pep talk was hilariously bad!

        • P M

          That must have stung the little brats. Especially as they expected her to coddle them (according to me, anyway)

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        She still hasn’t figure out the part about gaining their respect. OR, she thinks that she – like Don could/can – should be able to just DEMAND respect, without having to put any effort/courtesy/politeness into it. But, a) she’s not Don, and b) the times, they are a-changin’.

    • http://www.facebook.com/leela.corman Leela Corman

      I can see your point, but I think it was a great episode nonetheless. Everything is imploding. Don is ever more hollow. I actually think that they’re playing his affair with Sylvia as darker, more trapped, and more desperate than his earlier dalliances. I sense that the two characters both feel almost bored, not so much with eachother but with this ride they keep getting on.

      Other random thoughts:

      - I felt for Megan, having been through a miscarriage at about that time. It’s very physically depleting, besides the emotional component.

      - TRUDY! My new heroine. Finally she drops the finishing school veneer and becomes an emancipated adult. That was some terrific dialogue, and some really incandescent acting.

      - That horrible car dealer man, argh! I was hoping that Joan would utter one of her famously perfect cutting remarks, and she delivered. Or, you know, the writers did.

      - Pete is more disgusting than ever, if that’s even possible, and I found myself wincing in every scene he did. He’s becoming a scrawny, WASP version of the car dealer. I like the twist that everything he touches turns to such spectacular shit. He may be trying to act like Don Draper, but he’s not such a smooth operator, so instead of his paramours slipping into the woodwork, they come hurtling through his door in their dowdy nightgowns, with bloody noses.

      - PEGGY’S SECRETARY. I am TRIPPING on her fabulousness. She made me want to stand up and cheer.

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

        “Everything is imploding. ”

        Yes, there is that sense to things. We hope that the only reason so much narrative throat-clearing is going on so early in the season is because they’re planning on getting to some major shifts in the months to come. Given how much the show makes an effort to draw parallels between the personal lives of the characters and the social and political events of the period, it’s hard to avoid the prediction that big things are coming in 1968.

        • decormaven

          The one-two punch of MLK’s and RFK’s assassinations will really reverberate. Everything is starting to spin, and who is well-anchored? That’s what I will be watching for.

          • Sobaika

            I sure hope so. Anyone remember a season (or two?) back, when Peggy wonderingly said at the office, “Did you hear Malcolm X was shot? Did you know who he was?” and her coworker was all ‘Um, yeah I live on this planet.’

            These are characters that have long lived in their own little bubbles, and are always surprised when they realize there’s a world outside of it. You used to hear mere snippets of current events on the show (like Carla listening in MLK’s elegy for the Birmingham Church) and this week we heard about the Tet Offensive multiple times. The world is spinning itself into a frenzy, and it’s going to come crashing down on our guys. Can’t wait.

          • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

            Yes, I think the assassinations will play a huge role, especially in light of the HEAVY overtones of death in Ep. 1-2.

        • desertwind

          Shouldn’t the single guys start receiving draft notices soon? What will they do? I’m worried about Stan and Ginsberg.

          Will Abe marry Peggy to get out of that possibility and/or go to Vietnam as a reporter or stay around to cover the assassinations and the riots and the Chicago convention? Can see him getting involved politically, but not Weather Underground-level. I like Abe and Peggy together – they’re cute.

          Will we ever see Joyce again?

          Peggy should track down Sal and hire him.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1208138556 Sara Munoz Munoz

            I miss Joyce too!

      • sweetlilvoice

        Amen to all of this post. And how wonderful was Peggy’s secretary? I squealed over her outfit! I loved her talking to Peggy like an equal and trying to guide her on how to be nicer. Of course Peggy being nicer was deliciously awkward.

        • http://twitter.com/MichelleRafter MichelleRafter

          I hope T+L look at the secretary’s outfit in this week’s Mad Style — it looks like a Simplicity pattern version of what was selling in the junior department, down to the polyester fabric.

        • Sweetbetty

          I loved the secretary’s clothes, hair, and sassy attitude but hated her chalky white lipstick. I was in my late teens at that time and I do remember white lipstick being a fad for a short time but always felt it looked cheap and don’t think a gal like Peggy’s secretary would wear it.

          • bd73

            i’ve been musing on how different peg’s secretary is from don’s when both women are about the same age. old school and new school.

            • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

              And in real life, neither of them would be working at SCDP, in their current capacities, not yet anyway.

            • fursa_saida

              They’ve got very, very different bosses. Peggy’s secretary (who needs a name!) referred to Peggy being encouraging toward her. I have no idea how that manifests, but clearly they’ve got a pretty friendly relationship. Don wouldn’t know how to treat a secretary that way if he tried.

      • MK03

        YES. I loved the episode. Mad Men is at its best when everyone is miserable, and that was certainly the case last night. And I utterly adored Don’s deft castration of both the Jaguar sleaze AND Pete during the pitch meeting. It was fucking perfect.

        • fursa_saida

          I DIED. When Roger started smirking I was basically cheering. I knew Roger would get it. To be honest, I expected him to approve of it more than he did, but then, he has spent decades as an accounts man.

        • http://twitter.com/lareveuse lareveuse

          Yes, and it was payback for Joan. He’s the only one who cares about what Joan had to go through, and he is making the sleazebucket pay, in the way only Don can. I love how he pointedly shook his hand and looked in his eye at the end.

      • BayTampaBay

        Was she wearing “white” lipstick or was that just bad color tone on my TV?

        • Glammie

          It was a light frosted lipstick. It had a moment in the late 60s. Fortunately, a very short one.

          • fursa_saida

            It happened again in the early 2000s. In colors. I remember I had a frosty blue one and a frosty pink one, which thankfully I never actually wore. It was a terrifying period.

        • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

          I could expound some more on her…but I won’t, lol.

      • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

        When Joan made the “And I know there’s a part of you that you haven’t seen in years” comment, I literally yelled “YEAH!!!!” and fist-pumped. Mr. Shug was all, whoa there! Same for Trudy ripping Pete out.

    • carolie_king

      I laughed when Don ordered an old-fashioned, even though I know it’s his regular drink – I never thought of the appropriateness before.
      Step-mom prostituting while very pregnant – maybe Don has issues with Megan possibly getting pregnant, or if she does it will send him into a tail-spin. I know Betty was obviously pregnant several times, but don’t think he was dealing with his memories as strongly back then.
      LOVED the Jaguar meeting with Don making things go his way by saying exactly the opposite of how he felt. Herb was absolutely wrong when he said Pete was the better salesman.

      • Qitkat

        Don was superb in that meeting with slimy Herb. He knew exactly what he was doing, and how the Jaguar overlords would react.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Indeed! You could see them cringing at the very thought that a truck driver would drive one of their cars. Jags were and still for the rich.

          • meowing

            A friend’s 16 year old son got a Jaguar for his birthday. Just don’t understand that decision-making.

        • Sweetpea176

          I loved how Don changed his vocabulary, pronunciation, style of speech, mannerisms….

        • http://twitter.com/heatherteegee Heather

          And Roger’s reaction! Glorious.

        • jdens

          I, too, adored that scene.

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

          Yes! He so deliberately coarsened himself to drive home the point. It was delicious. Wish Joanie could have witnessed it as a fly-on-the-wall. Brilliant scene.

    • jdens

      I think this episode went deeper than prostitution and breaking the rules. It’s not just women as whores, but women as mothers. Sylvia was introduced to us talking about children, and in this episode it was pointed out that she sends all the money she gets to her daughter (?). She also pointedly denies ever feeling the ambivalence about having children that Megan feels guilty about. . . and she’s wearing Madonna blue in that scene. Also, when Don gives her the money, I don’t think that’s primarily meant to show us that he thinks all women are whores. (Pete thinks all women are whores, and treats them accordingly.) That’s maybe the most obvious interpretation, but I think the flashback immediately preceding the scene is telling us a bit more. Don’s proving he’s ‘the rooster’ around here. He relishes the opportunity to provide what the doctor can’t/won’t because, as I think TLo pointed out in a previous post, Don envies that doctor.

      • formerlyAnon

        Don relishing his role as “el patron” who everyone in his circle can look to – exactly right!

        • jdens

          Now I’m thinking of the pointed contrast between Sylvia who has to ask her man for money vs Megan, who, as the doctor helpfully points out, earns some of her own money. I wonder what, if anything, Don feels he can give Megan, since she no longer needs from him what he’s used to providing.

      • Little_Olive

        That is a very well developed contrast between Don’s and Peter’s regard towards women that you have pointed out. I think it goes somewhat unnoticed because of the plot. While I am fully on board with TLo’s feeling of “we are *here* again?” -the adultery threads sometimes seem too easy a thread-, and Don is a very real (believe me) immature, weak womanizer, nothing gets on my nerves as Pete’s self-absorbed contempt for women.

        • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

          That’s exactly the difference I noticed. And I think the writers are showing us their behavior (yes… again), in some effort to tell us something about them.

        • jdens

          Thanks. I think the first episode should alert us to further mother references. With the death of Roger’s mother, and Don’s vomitous reaction to the mother-love Roger obviously had and he didn’t, I think we can expect this to reappear in this season as often as the door motif.

        • http://www.facebook.com/carla.bauer.9 Carla Bauer

          This to me is interesting, because I think Don is a dead ringer for a man that doesn’t hate women, but he loves them too much. No one woman will ever fulfill Don. He has to do it himself. And Pete is just amazed that he can get laid. There is no feeling for Pete–just seeing if he can do it. I feel sorry for the women he gets involved with, but for the women that are with Don–it just seems different…

          • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

            Maybe it’s just semantics, but I don’t know if what Don’s experiencing is “love” for women, though Pete’s is certainly contempt. But Don can’t find an honest, true love, because his whole life is a lie.

            • filmcricket

              I think Dr. Faye had Don pegged exactly right: he likes the beginnings of things. He enjoys the conquest, and the ‘new car smell’ of a new relationship before anything goes wrong. He says things to his mistresses that are incredibly romantic; for the longest time in S1 I was sure Don was going to leave Betty for either Midge or Rachel. By S3 when he was saying the same stuff to Miss Farrell it was like “Well, that’s just what he does.” And then either the woman leaves him (Midge, Rachel), or she gets too clingy and he loses interest (Faye). I think both Bobbie Barrett and Miss Farrell would eventually have fallen into the ‘too clingy’ category had outside forces not intervened, and it looks like Sylvia’s going to do the same.

            • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

              Great point. I’d completely forgotten about what Faye said.

          • marcilynn

            I agree – I think Pete is testing when he seduces women – or his version of seducing, but then has no idea how to execute an affair. I feel I can almost see him trying to figure out WWDD – What Would Don Do? when he’s faced with actually talking with them.

          • fursa_saida

            Hating women and “loving them too much” are just two sides of the same coin–treating all women as part of a vast category without differentiation among them. Don loves women sooooo much that he can’t survive in a relationship where he has to give anything up, can’t stick to only one of them at once, balks and disengages when they demand emotional commitment and maturity and real attention from him, dissociates and focuses on himself when they look to him for emotional support, and has no interest in their lives outside of his interactions with them (Megan is something of an exception to this last, but just barely).

            He’s not verbally abusive like Pete (I admit I was shocked when he started treating the neighbor he slept with THAT badly immediately after she’d been beaten), nor is he a rapist, but he doesn’t actually respect women and see them as real people any more than Pete does.

            There’s a great quote from High Fidelity, when the protagonist finally realizes that he can and will commit to his girlfriend:

            The other girl, or other women, whatever. I mean, I was thinking that, they are just fantasies, you know? And they always seem really great, because there’s never any problems. And if there are, they are the cute problems, like we bought each other the same Christmas present, or she wants to see a movie I’ve already seen, you know. Then I come home… and you and I have real problems, you don’t want to see a movie I want to see, period. There’s no lingerie…You have great lingerie! But you also have cotton underwear that’s been washed a thousand times, and it’s hanging on the thing, and… And they have it too, it’s just that I don’t have to see it, because it’s not in the fantasy… I’m tired of the fantasy, cause it doesn’t really exist. And there are never really surprises and it never really…delivers.”

            That fantasy? That’s “loving women too much.” It’s also Don Draper’s entire. life.

      • VanessaDK

        This is what I was looking for–that is why watching his stepmother being pregnant and having sex with the brothel owner pulls it together. thank you. I always learn something here!

      • P M

        Thank you. I also thought about motherhood was implied in Peg’s secretary’s convo to her. I got the distinct impression that she wanted to say ‘Act like….. you know….. their mother’.

        • jdens

          How interesting. I didn’t have that reaction at the time, but I think it’s interesting how(justifiably) uncomfortable Peggy is in a maternal role. She shouldn’t have to play mom in the workplace, and as it turns out, it not only doesn’t make them like her anymore, it seems lower their respect. Reminds me of what a German woman told me about Angela Merkel, that at least in the beginning of her political career, she refused to be photographed with a baby.

          • fursa_saida

            The second she started that speech I was thinking, “Oh, Peggy, NO.” If she wanted to ease off on them, she should have just done it, not announced it in an obviously deeply uncomfortable fashion. They’d feel better without witnessing her feeling out of her depth.

            Regardless, in her situation, better they fear her. I’m sure they were making horribly misogynist jokes to one another in private, but before this clearly they didn’t feel bold enough to actually make her aware of it. That knowledge that your shittery won’t be tolerated is how things change, to begin with at least, because too many people are assholes who can’t get their heads around not being assholes unless they’ve already been socialized that way. That last sentence didn’t make much sense, but I hope you get what I mean.

      • ScotchBonnet

        Agreed. Honestly, the tone of the scene when Don gave Sylvia the money suggested nothing to me so much as a man giving his wife pocket money before he goes to work, which is definitely never a vibe I’ve felt with Don and his various girlfriends in the past.

        • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

          I don’t think it was Don playing the dutiful husband to Sylvia, it was him making sure that he totally and absolutely usurped the doctor”s authority. Everything a narcissist does is to somehow benefit himself, no matter how it may appear.

          • http://twitter.com/lareveuse lareveuse

            Sylvia’s his wife, Megan is his daughter. He was very paternal with Megan in this entire episode.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mwwgrimm Mariah W Grimm

        I am actually a lot more interested in what they do with the doctor than in what they do with Sylvia. This is the first time we’ve seen Don have a friendship with a man (even if there’s envy or rooster-ish-ness involved) that seems based in part on respect and enjoyment. He was friends with Roger, but had no respect for him. I think it’s telling that the bond he has is with markedly ethnic characters who have “made good.” They’ve trod and trod his relationships with his mother and his women, but they’ve only touched on his relationship with men, which, thus far has involved dismissiveness or competition.

      • MarTeaNi

        That conversation alone makes my very interested in Megan’s story this season. We’ve seen Betty’s ambivalence towards her children have some disastrous results. It seems like Megan is going to simply put off the decision as long as possible; she doesn’t want to have to make it because she sees Sylvia’s reaction and realizes there’s a good portion of the world that’s going to react like that, or worse. All of the women are supposed to be working towards motherhood. I still remember that conversation Trudy had with Peggy in the bathroom, “don’t worry, you have plenty of time.”

        • jdens

          Yes, I imagine ambivalence towards motherhood brings up some real issues for a man who can’t help but feel his own birth was nothing but bad news for his mother.

      • gracedarling

        It’s also the second episode in a row in which Don has no contact with his children. His attitude towards Megan has gone from “Let’s make a baby!” to “Whatever you want.” I’m really interested to see what they do with his parenthood in the upcoming episodes, and Pete’s, now that they both seem fairly estranged from their own families.

        • jdens

          He definitely seems far less invested in the relationship.

    • david wilson

      I wasn’t too happy with this episode because the writers were rehashing old themes. You explain the dynamics very well in your article. However I have to mention their wonderful use of music. The closing credits used that hoary old chestnut “Just a Gigolo” by Jack Hylton. Jazz musicians love the tune as well as Louie Prima and even David Lee Roth.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP2ByaSKjn4

    • http://twitter.com/Sugarbeetle Sugarbeetle

      Nobody’s mentioned yet how Silvia told Megan her thoughts about not wanting children were a sin while she’s committing the larger one by screwing Megan’s husband.

      Catholic guilt has its own methods of compartmentalization.

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

        I don’t think it was the “not wanting children” part she was subtly rebuking, so much as the “willing to consider terminating a pregnancy” part.

        • SassieCassy

          yeah it was that megan said she did not want to make that CHOICE and sylvia was taken aback that there was a choice to begin with

          • H2olovngrl

            Oh dear, I hope they are not setting the stage for Sylvia to be pregnant with Don’s baby…

      • P M

        Myself, I thought the bit about her feeling guilty about watching TV during the day, whilst having an affair, was hilarious.

    • formerlyAnon

      I feel like there may be a reason the show is hurtling (or so it feels) into the swamps. King’s assassination was in April, Bobby Kennedy’s in June. The Chicago riots came in August. If the “real world” is going to layer its jarring blows onto the Mad Men world, they’ve got to get down to it and create everyone’s own personal hell in the first 6 months of the year. And frankly, there are so. many. of these characters with ominous black clouds waiting, it could take weeks and weeks.

      • Qitkat

        Such a tumultuous year it was. I well remember it. And later on the country will elect the first president who will have to step down in disgrace several years later. From the assassination of a beloved president to the fall of a controversial president and all that happened in between set our country and all of us on a journey no one could have imagined in the waning years of the fifties. This show being set in what were my own defining years has been a large factor that has kept me coming back for more. I hope Weiner doesn’t disappoint us in how he approaches the broader and more personal themes of the show.

      • NDC_IPCentral

        Enjoyed both your comments, since we’re all contemporaries with genuine memories from 45 years ago. Yes, 45.

        • AliciaChamisa

          Me, too, graduated from college ’68. So many memories…

    • Anglow

      In the first episode there were several shots of Don from the back that were identical to the opening silhouette of him sitting in a chair with a cigarette. It’s in the way his head was positioned. I am wondering if this is foreshadowing him jumping from the building?

      • formerlyAnon

        I don’t believer Don will physically jump. It’s too clean. It might be foreshadowing something dramatic in his ongoing self-sabotage.

        • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

          Agree. It certainly won’t be a literal jump off the roof.

        • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

          I predict Don will walk off into the sunset like Hannibal Lector, ssssssth

        • siriuslover

          I think Don is going to have some kind of medical emergency–like a heart attack while he’s in bed with Sylvia. Did anyone else notice how PURPLE his face was in that opening post-coital scene when he went back upstairs for his cigs? It was like his head was going to explode.

      • Qitkat

        I hope that Don never jumps from the building. That would be way too much in our faces for any kind of subtlety. This show is far better than that heavy-handedness. I will be quite disappointed in Weiner if it ends that way.

        • Sobaika

          I hope it doesn’t end with him jumping off a building either, but I don’t have the same opinion of MW and his subtlety that others seem to. The imagery and dialogue has gotten progressively more and more on the nose and literal with time. Likely a deliberate decision on his part.

          • Qitkat

            Perhaps you’re right. I hope Weiner backs off from this literal arc he is on where he doesn’t give the audience enough credit.

            • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

              See, I don’t see it as not giving the audience credit. I see it as mirroring societal changes — society became more literal, more forthright, over the time period the show has spanned. That might just be crap, though :)

    • jdens

      Just a note of interest (to me anyway). The opening episode had Don reading from the Inferno with the phrase ‘alone in a dark wood’. Sylvia, of course means woods or forest, and she’s even Italian!

      • AViewer44

        Good catch! “Una selva oscura” (a dark forest) and “esta selva selvaggia” (a savage forest) in the original. And it’s even a feminine noun!

        • jdens

          Oh, thanks for the Italian! This has to be deliberate right? I just had a quick look at Inferno on Wikipedia, never having read the whole thing (or any of the other two). The nine circles (limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud, treachery) seem like they could write Mad Men plot points by themselves.

          • AViewer44

            Ha! It’s odd because I’ve been muttering that very memorable opening stanza to myself since last week (intensive Italian seminar in college) but did not pick that up!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Janice-Bartels/100000059651359 Janice Bartels

            Awesome observation! Especially since ep. 1 felt like limbo and ep. 2 felt like lust. Will the pattern hold true next week?

            • jdens

              I don’t know. I wonder! I agree with you about 1 and 2 but I’m hesitant to expect too much of a predictable pattern.

            • formerlyAnon

              Well, if Betty’s eating is a focus next week, I’ll buy into this. At least as a structuring device.

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

            Well the doorway definitely touches on limbo. Rogers monologue about feeling stuck and no matter what decision he makes nothing changes.

            • jdens

              Great observation.

            • jdens

              Also, I keep thinking of the Hawaii experience for Don as a limbo of sorts. For Dante, limbo was the best someone could hope for who couldn’t get into heaven. Wikipedia describes it as ‘a deficient form of heaven’ for the unbaptized, who ‘lacked the hope for something greater than rational minds can conceive.’ This is where the pagan philosophers were, and even though it may be reaching a bit, I kinda think the soldier functions in that capacity. Wasn’t he philosophizing about life in his spiel about one day being in Don’s shoes? And limbo’s also described as having ‘green fields’ and a castle–I know I may be over-enthusiastic here, but I can’t help but see lush Hawaii and that massive hotel playing into this.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Vella/666619877 Matthew Vella

        Good catch!

      • http://robot-heart.tumblr.com heartbot

        Great catch!

      • http://twitter.com/Piadro Pedro Carvalho

        And she orders him a bloody steak diavolo (=devil)

      • http://www.ellenciompi.com/ NurseEllen

        I was thinking about the use of “Casta Diva”, the famous soprano aria from the opera “Norma”, as the music playing in the restaurant when Don and Sylvia are dining. I’ve heard the aria many times (and by the way, I don’t know who was singing, but it wasn’t very good…….they should have used the Callas recording) but I never bothered to look up a translation. Until now. “Casta Diva” means “chase goddess”; the rest of the aria goes on to entreat the goddess to curse Norma’s lover, who has abandoned her (and their children) for a younger woman. When he runs away with the new girl anyway, Norma considers murdering her children to get revenge, but realizes that would make her just as bad as he is. So she gives the children to their father and his new love, and commits suicide instead.

        Do we think this is foreshadowing of future plot developments? Imagine, looking to an 1830s opera for inspiration!

        • decormaven

          I love it. I think music is chosen VERY carefully for the episodes. The use of “Song to Woody” at the end of “Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency” and “You Really Got Me” at the end of “The Other Woman” stand out for me. I’m not an opera buff, but I figured that music was pivotal to the restaurant scene. Brava!

        • AliciaChamisa

          Totally agree on the Callas version. Last night’s was puny

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

            The music budget is probably still hurting from last season.

            • Lauren Hall

              Tomorrow Never Knows: worth it.

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

              And then some. :D

        • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

          I’m glad someone else caught this. I was impressed that they also referenced shades of Fatal Attraction with the scene when Don comes home and sees Megan and Sylvia together. The look on his face was exactly like the one Michael Douglas had when he came home to find Glenn Close and Anne Archer having a chat. Then of course the operas. In Fatal Attraction it was Madame Butterfly.

        • Glammie

          “Casta Diva” doesn’t have Norma cursing her lover. She’s pretty much being the priestess in that scene and calling upon the goddess at that point. No reference to her secret Roman lover, who commits suicide with her.

    • Qitkat

      In the past affairs, Don could go on and on without seeming to crumble this early. His compartmentalization techniques are already faltering, given his weariness with himself and his life in the final scene of being unable to even enter his own apartment.

      • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

        Funny you should use that word, compartmentalization. It’s the exact word my ex used to describe his life, ewwww.

    • MrsAtaxxia

      I am just ready for Trudy and Joan to get in a Jaguar and ride off into the sunset.

      • formerlyAnon

        Aaaaww. Can they pick up Peggy on the way? (And no cliffs.)

        • MrsAtaxxia

          They can totally pick up Peggy (which I guess means no E-type) and no cliffs. I was thinking more like heading to the Hamptons for the weekend. Then back to work to FUCKING TAKE OVER THE WORLD.

          • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

            lmao

        • MerBearStare

          And Sally. She would be infinitely better off with those three.

          • http://twitter.com/PourSumShugOnMe Shug Knight

            Friggin love Sally. She will grow up to be a lethal combination of Betty and Don and it will be fabulous.

      • ideated_eyot

        That’s a hot couple.

    • CatherineRhodes

      I felt like the episode should have been called “Munich” — You compromise as appeasement and they just want more. Think Pete and the NYC apartment, and the Jaguar dealer coming back for more favors “just because we gave him what he wanted once.”

    • carrotcake

      I feel like this season so far is some kind of dream that Don’s having, with Sylvia representing the devil/angel of death. I know it seems far fetched, but Don was clearly unconscious when the doctor was giving him CPR in the first episode.

      • warontara

        Don wasn’t getting CPR. It was the doorman.

        • Czarina5 Czarina5

          I’m not so sure about that…if you rewatch the episode the first POV shot is Megan screaming “Oh My God” and Dr. Rosen, fade to black and then we hear Don’s voice. Later when we see that it is the doorman that Dr. Rosen is giving CPR to, his appearance is slightly different (look at his tie and collar). This is either a lack of continuity in the filming of these scenes or a foreshadow of a second heart attack — that would be Don Draper.

          • AViewer44

            Yes, I thought it was a little different, too. Megan wasn’t screaming in the flashback where he’s performing CPR on the doorman, and he’s also calling the patient Jonesie. But I can’t believe that this entire season is going to turn out to be a dream sequence, a la Bobby and Dallas. Say it ain’t so!

            • Joe M

              It isn’t so. Of course not.

          • tereliz

            I thought this when the story first started—especially with Megan screaming—but then figured they just fudged things to create drama, make you THINK Don was the one having the heart attack.

            You know, the old, start with a vaguely described scene from the middle to establish interest, then continue with what happens earlier in the story (when it’s boring) to up the suspense. Even though you effectively lose all the energy from the first scene.

            As you can probably see, I think that’s cheating and usually indicative of lazy writing unless the story needs a fluid chronolgy to best tell the story.

          • GinaGeo

            I wrote something similar after the premier episode, but as I kept looking at the scenes, it does look like it’s the same. Yes, later we see his tie is loose and he’s sweatier, but it looks like the same tie. Performing CPR is taxing and I think the Dr. was simply sweaty and hot and loosened his tie at some point. I was desperately hoping to find a “clue” in those scenes, but I don’t think there is one…unfortunately.

      • Czarina5 Czarina5

        I have the same sort of gut feeling that all of this is the limbo that Don is in after suffering a heart attack and that event is the catalyst for the type of self-reflection that MIGHT lead to redemption. Not only is the entire world blowing up around Don, but I almost think that if he has any chance of positive change, his heart has to metaphorically blow up as well.

      • Laylalola

        See, after the first episode, I was thinking the whole season might be Don’s Dante trip through hell. But I don’t know who Beatrice would be (I don’t believe it would be Sylvia). And we don’t have a Virgil (I was hoping Lane might be the guide). I just don’t think anything along either of those lines is happening.

        • tereliz

          I can SEE that. I just hope it isn’t. :/

        • tereliz

          I can SEE that. I just hope it isn’t. :/

        • jdens

          I don’t think it has to be so literal for there to be a connection. As I mention elsewhere, I can definitely see the 9 circles of hell informing the themes and plot points, but I wouldn’t be looking for any strict allegorical symbolism.

    • Joe M

      I found the snippet of Jim Garrison coming on Carson (which happened on January 31, 1968, for those keeping track) pretty illuminating. Crackpot culture and conspiracy theories are intruding anywhere. A crank like Goldwater is soundly defeated in ’64, but a country starting to unravel is opening up to all sorts of weirdness, even on mainstream Carson.

      • CarolinLA

        The Tet Offensive happened on January 30th. Possibly delayed news?

    • Anglow

      I am just loving Mad Men being back! Isn’t it wonderful? The clothes, the styling, the references, the beautiful people….the acting! We are so lucky and only one more season after this one. Sigh.

    • Pennymac

      “Because there’s a real sense that things are going to blow up soon, isn’t there? And we’re not just talking about the Tet Offensive.” THIS! I felt squeamish the whole time time was with Sylvia, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s not that it disturbed me that he was being a shit, and I’ve never had any Meagan loyalty, but I did feel an impending sense of doom during the affair scenes. Also, YOU GO, TRUDY!!!

      • lizlemonglasses

        I had to watch it on the DVR over breakfast, and I’ve felt edgy all day now!

    • beebee10

      It was a ham-handed episode, ending with “just a gigalo”, just in case we didn’t get it.

      Unlike TLO, I do root for Don because he is so conflicted and he tries and fails. I don’t think he is horrible but that he acts horribly. The character is unlike the other TV character people obsessed over, Tony Soprano, who was actually a horrible sociopathic person, who just felt bad for himself.

    • http://twitter.com/junethomas June Thomas

      I think you’re missing one thing that the cathouse scene did tell us: That Dick/Don’s mom became a prostitute because she needed a place for him and his brother-to-be to sleep safely. When they arrive at the brothel, she seems a little unsure of how things work, and it’s only when the “rooster” visits her, while Don is spying, that she truly comprehends. And then the working girl spells it out–more on-the-nose dialogue–to little Dick: “You got your own room. That’s how things work around here.”

      • Lattis

        Would they have pimped Dick out, too? “that’s how things work around here.”

      • Lattis

        Would they have pimped Dick out, too? “that’s how things work around here.”

      • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

        Which is why I don’t understand why he couldn’t be grateful for the sacrifice she made. But I do understand his anger at her helplessness in the situation. And little Dick (no pun intended) is still a very angry boy.

        • formerlyAnon

          He was a child, initially. Not enough distance or perspective to be grateful for sacrifice. Later, I think his life events left him too broken. Emotionally he is a thoroughly broken person, though resilient and, for many years, successful.

          • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

            Good point.

      • artsites

        I actually thought that bit of dialogue was the girl telling him that he also has a room, and that it’s going to work that way for him too. Meaning they will sell him out to johns also. I thought that was an interesting backstory for Dick. That he was a gigolo (song as he sunk to the ground) in his teens (men, women, the other prostitutes) and he does all this philandering to prove how straight he is or just from habit. I also saw the rooms in the brothel being serviced by the rooster as a direct copy of Don walking into different doors in his building to service the women inside. Not for the women’s sake, but for his. To prove something like a rooster would.

    • dickylarue

      I definitely think they are setting us up for everything falling apart. They ended last season with the expansion of the office/business and now this season you see Don basically try to lose the Jag account (which I think is coming) and this Heinz stuff is going to probably cost Stan his job when Peggy’s firm bids on it and possibly lands it. Especially when the Baked Beans guy finds out the word is on the street that he pitched a hissy fit in the meeting. He’ll leave Don’s firm in a second. Then on top of that Don’s destroying a few marriages including his own. Pete destroyed his and the other couples marriage. There’s going to be a lot of suffering and Emmy bait coming up this season. That being said, I thought last night was a strong episode. While I do feel there’s a been there/done that thing going on with these characters, I did get a thrill seeing Don embarrass & infuriate Hank & seeing Trudy stand up to that little twatwaffle. Weiner’s a very skilled storyteller so I’m putting my faith in him that all these callbacks are going to reveal some things we haven’t seen and may not yet know about these people.

      • Angela_the_Librarian

        I don’t think Don was trying to lose the Jaguar account though. He didn’t want to go along with the local dealer’s desire to put more money into the local radio campaign, so he made his pitch to appear to be on the sleez-ball’s side while really convincing the British/National campaign guys to stay on course (and stay with his high minded concept of the ad campaign). They could still end up losing the account, but I think that would be more on Pete’s head for going along with the local dealer’s suggestion to make his ideas look like the ideas of the agency.

        • dickylarue

          Angela – I don’t think he was intentionally trying to lose it. He was trying to ridicule Herb. But he took it so far, I think his desire to demean Herb will probably lose the account for them. He thinks he can get away with anything and I think what they’re setting us up for is a rude awakening in both personal and business matters for Don.

        • MK03

          I don’t think Jaguar will walk. Since the sleazeball was made it clear that this was the way he wanted to go with their advertising, they might fire him, though. Which I would fully support. Just the sight of him makes my skin crawl.

          • P M

            I am fervently hoping that that happens

      • AutumnInNY

        I agree with your assessments about things falling apart. Also I think the Don-Megan marriage is over. I’m hoping. I think this will be a failed second marriage, impulsively entered on Don’s part. Megan leaves with an acting career handed to her via Don and that shoe commercial and lots of alimony. She’ll be set for life when her career tanks or she gets bored with it. I just don’t see them lasting. She’s young and already seems detached and obviously Don is Don. I’m thinking she did in fact have an abortion, which may or may not be addressed. It would be much more interesting to see Don alone, over 40, navigating the the world as it is in the late sixties.

        • dickylarue

          My guess is Don is going to lose everything and everyone’s prediction that he’s going to end up working for Peggy some day will come true. If that’s so, how we get there is going to be excruciating.

          • AutumnInNY

            oh boy, will it ever be (excruciating).

          • formerlyAnon

            I wonder. I think Peggy – she’ll have much angst, but Don (and others) will have taught her well – will resist hiring a washed-up Don. If he is saved in that scenario, it will be because Joan exerts her influence somehow.

      • AutumnInNY

        I agree with your assessments about things falling apart. Also I think the Don-Megan marriage is over. I’m hoping. I think this will be a failed second marriage, impulsively entered on Don’s part. Megan leaves with an acting career handed to her via Don and that shoe commercial and lots of alimony. She’ll be set for life when her career tanks or she gets bored with it. I just don’t see them lasting. She’s young and already seems detached and obviously Don is Don. I’m thinking she did in fact have an abortion, which may or may not be addressed. It would be much more interesting to see Don alone, over 40, navigating the the world as it is in the late sixties.

      • http://www.ellenciompi.com/ NurseEllen

        I think “twatwaffle” is my new favorite word.

        • dickylarue

          I implore you to use it with reckless abandon NurseEllen! Twatwaffle is the new fucktard according to me.

    • DaveUWSNYC

      Joan’s dicky-do comment made the episode for me.

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

      Don’s and Pete’s behaviors are no surprise, but the first thing that I noticed about both of them last night was that they’re both screwing around too close to home. The fact that they’re both sleeping with women who are actually *friends* of their wives (and the wives of their guy friends), and who live next door/downstairs is doubly or triply reprehensible.

      Whereas Pete clearly HATES women and just sees them as objects, Don’s women issues are a little more complicated. Yes, there’s his perception of women as whores, but I think there’s a bit of him trying to *find* something with these women. It woulds weird to say, but he actually LIKES women, even though he has serious issues with them. I also think that Pete’s women have all been weak, or fragile in some way (Peggy, Beth, this episode’s woman), while Don’s are stronger and more confident (though still damaged).

      As for the one-liners, Joan and Trudy won it for me!

      ETA: I also can’t wait to see more of Peggy’s secretary.

      • 3hares

        Don might often have affairs with strong women but he marries into situation where he hopes to have control. Neither Betty or Megan are as fragile as some of the nutcases who sleep with Pete, but Pete’s the one with the strong wife. (And Peggy was never fragile.)

        • jdens

          Good point!

        • http://robot-heart.tumblr.com heartbot

          Peggy WAS naive, though, and I think Pete thought she was stupid. Pete’s a terrible judge of character, though.

        • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

          Maybe “fragile” isn’t the right word for Peggy, but at the time, she was certainly someone he thought he could take advantage of. I agree that Don and Pete both married women who are the opposites of the types that they have affairs with; but I was specifically commenting on the affairs. It’s like those are the situations where their true (albeit messed up) personalities come to light.

        • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

          what she said

      • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

        Don doesn’t like women any more than Pete does, he’s better at hiding it and fooling himself into believing he likes them.

        Any man that has the mommy issues that Don has is always going to be mistrustful of women, therefore the need to marry, fuck, control. boss and mentor them instead of just being friends with them.

      • CozyCat

        Don and Pete are an interesting contrast. Don hates himself, but is supremely self confident. Pete doesn’t hate himself–he thinks he is entitled to wealth and success (and doesn’t have the self awareness to know what a jerk he really is). But he has no self confidence.

        This plays out in their relationship with women. Don is a master at the “conquest” and appealing to women in casual relationships. But he marries women who he thinks are childlike and controllable (underestimating the strength and resolve of both his wives.) He’s not capable of showing his inner self to any woman who is strong enough to build a strong marriage with.

        Pete married a strong woman who was capable of being the kind of equal partner who could help him build the kind of life and career he thinks he deserves. (Remember how Trudy ruled at Roger’s Kentucky Derby party) But he puts the moves on vulnerable and weaker women so he can feel manly and powerful in comparison.

    • Grace

      “Do we learn anything when we find out Don’s stepmother was also a prostitute?” Just because she had to take refuge in a Brothel and got Raped by Mack…. does not make the stepmother a Prostitute.

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

        She was sleeping with him for room and board, as the blonde prostitute said to young Don.

    • teensmom99

      I’m having Disqus problems so I hope that this is not a repost:
      Dear T Lo,
      Please discuss Megan’s quilted robe vs. Betty’s. thank you! You besotted fan.

    • http://robot-heart.tumblr.com heartbot

      I think the entire point of Don’s affair *is* “We’re here. Again.” And this time it’s not glamorous or sexy. Sylvia is pretty enough and interesting enough, but she lacks the edge most of Don’s previous mistresses had. She’s a middle aged housewife. That’s it. Instead of it being all James Bond, as you pointed out, it just feels gross, considering that she lives in his building, he’s friends with her husband, they all have dinner together, and Megan and Sylvia can have heartfelt tete-a-tetes about miscarriages after running into each other in the laundry room. Like Pete, Don is shitting where he eats, and while Don’s finesse is a little better, what we know about Don is that as the mistresses get closer to home, the closer the marriage is to over. The scene where Trudy blew up at Pete was fantastic. Mostly it just makes me wonder what Megan is going to do when Don finally gets caught, because I think it’s inevitable that he will.

      It’s interesting that Don thinks all women are whores, and yet, he’s the only one who really feels angry about what was done to Joan with the Jaguar business.

      It wasn’t the best episode ever, but I’m hoping it’s necessary to further some plot points coming down the line. I really wish there had been more Joan.

      • MK03

        “Mostly it just makes me wonder what Megan is going to do when Don finally gets caught, because I think it’s inevitable that he will.” I think she’s going to expose the Don/Dick ruse. She can be childish in her anger like Betty. but unlike Betty she’s a lot more unpredictable and emotionally volatile. In a fit of impetuous anger, I think she could very well call the cops on him about that.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I feel that way every episode–more Joan! And I also agree with your entire post!

      • sweetlilvoice

        I feel that way every episode–more Joan! And I also agree with your entire post!

      • BayTampaBay

        Did Don not say Sylvia, “I want you with me all the time” and did he not say the same thing to Megan last season when Megan talked about not wanting to go to work with him at SCDP? Maybe I am just dreaming this all up.

    • carolynmo

      I apologize for getting into Mad Style territory, but didn’t Peggy wear a Joan-esque dress in this episode? I pointed that out to my husband, who asked, “are you just watching for the clothes?” I said, “I’ve got to prep for TLo this week!” He doesn’t understand.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=639062430 Sara Padilla

        Interestingly, Joan’s outfit called to mind one of Peggy’s earlier dresses, the navy with red gores.

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        I think you’re right… the dress that Peggy is wearing in the thumbnail for this post is very Joan-esque.

      • reebism

        I noticed that too! I gasped when I saw it, because it looked so much like a purple version of this dress: http://wpc.4d27.edgecastcdn.net/004D27/Television/MadMenS5/MadStyleS5E4/MSS5E30+24.jpg

      • P M

        There, there, my dear. *We* understand.

    • P M

      I wonder if there will be a Don vs Peggy face-off over Heinz ketchup. Now THAT will be something to see.

      • CatherineRhodes

        Yes, seems like the writers are setting us up for that. The showdown between Don and Peggy is going to come sometime this season.

    • lorem_ipsum

      I really think this episode was less about Don being exactly who he used to be, and more about his marriage being exactly where it used to be. The very end of last season left us right on the doorstep of Don’s wife once again essentially being a child that he parents and handles, rather than being a partner. We had “love leave” Don for a while because Megan was his equal—fighting with him, making him feel weak, even taking care of him at times. But those days are gone, and so he needs Sylvia to be on an equal playing field with him. When Megan mentioned the miscarriage, I immediately thought back to when Betty was pregnant with Gene and someone, maybe Don, said that he was created in a moment of desperation and born into a mess. Babies are a hail mary for Don because it gives his wife/wives a job, a position, something they can do that he can’t. He’s STILL looking for someone to replace his mother, someone to respect. I bet my bottom dollar that Megan will be knocked up before everything really shoots to hell.

      (I attempted to post a similar paragraph a minute ago and it seems to have disappeared. Apologies if this is repeated : ) )

      • http://robot-heart.tumblr.com heartbot

        Maybe Megan would be the one to actually go through with an abortion. I hope she doesn’t get pregnant, though.

        • lorem_ipsum

          Yes, I think she would. She’s not the silent sufferer that Betty is, she’s the throw-the-spaghetti-at-the-wall type : ) I can definitely see her throwing it in Don’s face (and Sylvia’s, after that talk they had!) I agree though, if only because it would seem a bit overly obvious choice for the writers.

          • P M

            Given that she’s playing a soap character, wouldn’t it be delicious if she stumbled across Sylvia and Don having a ‘romantic dinner’, then stormed off straight to Dr. Rosen to tell him?

            • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

              I wonder if it was just me or did the scene between Sylvia and Megan seem straight out of a soap opera circa Guiding Light or Search For Tomorrow? The pacing and the phrasing were so reminiscent of that to me. I don’t think that was an accident, just MW and crew having a little joke on us the viewer.

    • Laylalola

      100 percent agree that Peggy knew (on some level) exactly what she was doing — she wants to pitch and win the ketchup account, but wants and needs to have some tiny bit of denial that she’s the one who set this in motion. It’s too overtly aggressive otherwise. It’s going to spectacularly torpedo this intriguing new relationship with Stan (he’s definitely going to take issue with it and see right through any self-denial). It makes for a more interesting storyline in terms of tension and conflict but it’s disappointing (and all too common to see women do).

      • P M

        Catholic guilt, perhaps?

    • CatherineRhodes

      One interesting dynamic is the relationship between Don and Sylvia’s husband that seems to genuinely be based on mutual respect and friendship. Don doesn’t really have male friends, so I don’t remember seeing that side of him. TLO mentioned that Don was being obsequious over the guilt of sleeping with the doctor’s wife, but it seems deeper and more complicated to me.

      • P M

        A search for a father-figure, perhaps? Dr. Rosen appears (“appears”) to be a genuinely decent man, with a job where he saves people. He’s a good husband, and a good provider to Sylvia’s other kid.
        Don must feel like a shit-heel next to him.

    • dickylarue

      Did anyone else think the blonde hooker in the flashback was a dead ringer for blonde Betty? I was curious if that was intentional.

      • http://robot-heart.tumblr.com heartbot

        The only similarity I saw was that they both were blond.

    • imakeart

      Maybe I’m a bit daft, but it really hit me last night just how much Pete hates women. The only woman he’s ever treated with any kindness was the shocked-out wife, and then it was mostly because he couldn’t have her. Don’s been disrespectful to a lot of women, but he doesn’t have the hatred Pete has. And when it comes to Joan, Anna, and for the most part, Peggy, his affection is pure. Pete – no redeeming social value at all!

      • melissaisasnob

        Pete is a rapist.

    • Czarina5 Czarina5

      TLo — what do you make of Bob Benson? Is he the devil incarnate?

      • decormaven

        No. He will be representative of Judecca in the Ninth Circle of Hell in the Inferno. His sin is treachery to his lords and benefactors. You watch- he’s the one taking notes in all of these meetings, part of the “team.” He will take them all down.

        • Laylalola

          Or he’ll be the fall guy. Someone’s going to be the fall guy when it becomes clear to Heinz that this explicit non-meeting is suddenly known around town as a Heinz taking a meeting with SCDP and seeking new pitches.

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        I don’t know what his purpose is yet, but I think we’ll know before long. He’s the “next generation” after Pete, who was the next gen after Don.

      • tereliz

        I think he’s a dyed in the wool sycophant—the type that needs to cling to someone successful so that he feels more successful—and has finally found the right ass to wedge his nose into. Pete’s. If anyone at SDCP ever wanted a sycophant, it’s Pete Campbell.

      • CarolinLA

        I think he’s Eve from All About Eve.

    • Sweetpea176

      Does anyone else think that Stan gave Peggy a head-start over other agencies on Heinz ketchup on purpose?

      How many more episodes before those two realize they’re in love?

      Pete Campbell sent an underling out for toilet paper. (It’s an asshole move –no pun intended — but it’s also classically self-defeating Pete Campbell. He’s above getting it himself because, I guess, that’s something that wives do? But then he says that his wife had asked him to get it and he had forgotten earlier in the day. Is he trying to imply that his wife is so useless a housewife that she can’t get toilet paper? Does he realize that his lame excuse really says that his wife doesn’t think he’s above buying toilet paper? But what it really says to someone smart — and I think the underling (I forget his name) probably is — that his wife kicked him out and he’s using the lamest cover ever, and is making the lamest attempt ever at trying to put someone else down by asking the underling to do it, which the underling then turns back on him by realizing what’s happening, then buying it for him, with a tone that clearly says (to me anyway), “you can’t even manage the simplest tasks of taking care of yourself, you useless twerp.” And I’m not sure Pete even realizes that, which makes it all the more delicious to me. He’s been read and he doesn’t even know it.

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        Interesting point about Stan giving Peggy the heads-up. I just wonder if he’s smart enough to so “casually” bring it up. Then again, how specifically do they usually talk about their work. I guess we’ll just have to see.

      • awesomesabrina

        I totally want Stan and Peggy to get together. I imagine it being like that scene in the end of Working Girl, where Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith are fussing in the kitchen and getting coffee and packing lunch, all without talking, and it just works like this seamless efficient comfortable love engine.

        • P M

          I think the ‘reality’ (this is, after all, fiction) would not be pleasant.

      • P M

        How appropriate for ass-kissing Bob Benson to get toilet paper for Pete Campbell. ‘Can I wipe your ass too, boss?’ (ugh, now I’m gagging)

        • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

          Ditto

    • AutumnInNY

      Criminally under-utilized indeed. Again, Christina has had more air time in her commercials than on screen. She makes the most of every little line she gets. Wonder how many episodes into the season we’ll have to wait to see more.
      Enough of the Megan Draper hour(s)!

    • http://profiles.google.com/withano Loren S

      This may just be my post-Roe v. Wade perspective, but I got the impression that Megan had an abortion and was using the word “miscarriage” as a euphemism. The way she talked about it made it seem like it was her choice to lose the baby, especially the way she and Sylvia talked about it in relation to their Catholic upbringings.

      • Joe M

        No, I don’t think that’s right.

      • MK03

        No, I think she really miscarried. She says that she was relieved that she didn’t have to make a decision about it either way. She felt guilty that she was considering abortion at all and that she could hear Sister Something-or-other’s voice in her head scolding her. I think the difference between her stance and Sylvia’s is generational more than anything.

      • http://robot-heart.tumblr.com heartbot

        I thought the same thing at first, but I think she just felt guilty because she was HAPPY about having a miscarriage.

      • reebism

        Disagree — she seemed like she was relieved she didn’t have to get an abortion, but was feeling guilty that she was considering having an abortion at all.

      • quitasarah

        She distinctly says that her guilt is because she wanted to end the pregnancy anyway. I took her at face value.

    • throwaneyeonthis

      With all due respect, (the line they always used in The Sopranos before disagreeing) I don’t find the Sylvia character fascinating. I could see the attraction Don had to Rachel and especially Bobbi as they were strong, before their time type of women. Sylvia is convenient with the ability to blow his life into shreds and not much more in my eyes.

      • awesomesabrina

        Agree, I think she’s really dull. Maybe that’s part of the point, that Don’s affairs are a bit routine and boring, even to him? I don’t know, feel like I am missing something there. Don’s relationship with Rosen is more interesting, though.

    • flamingoNW

      Was anybody else bothered by Roger siding with Don and then siding with Pete within seconds?

      • lizlemonglasses

        Bothered, a little; surprised, not at all.

      • awesomesabrina

        Mmm…not really. “Because they’re the client” is a pretty standard issue, reflexive comment for an account manager to make.

    • T_A_R

      Matt Weiner said before the season started that the season premiere could have taken place before the pilot.

      And I think that’s kind of the point of why we are where we are.

      I think of it this way: Don was convinced last season that he’d do it right this time. He even said as much to Pete: “If I’d met her first…” He sees Megan as this savior and assumes she’d work her magic and he’d be happy. But no, no he’s not. Just like we saw that flashback to him being giddy in love with Betty, he was so sure Megan would make everything better.

      As the audience, WE see that loud and clear. But Don doesn’t. And he hates himself for it…but not enough to stop doing it.

    • inchoate

      I can’t wait for this week’s Mad Style. They clearly made an effort this week to make Megan look as childlike and Betty-like as possible (that nylon robe! those little plaid pants!), while also looking as unattractive as Jessica Paré can look: dark circles around the eyes, blotchy skin, unflattering hairstyle…

      • VCR1

        I can’t wait either! I had the same thought watching the scene with Megan in her robe!
        Fantastic episode and fantastic recap!

    • http://twitter.com/JoannaCarver Joanna Carver

      I actually gasped when I saw Jaguar McSleaze in Joan’s office.

      For the most part I’ve been disappointed with the last two episodes of Mad Men. I feel like they’re just doing more of the same.

      • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

        Best line for Joanie ever, meowwww…

    • MisScarlett

      There was a moment this episode I have been waiting for FOREVER– finally, someone kisses and tells, and quickly. Pete’s face conveyed such dread when Trudy walked out of the door to take the blonde neighbor to the hotel, I literally felt a little knot on my stomach for him. Not because I like the president of the Howdy Doody Circus Army, but because that poor girl was obviously a little cray cray (and I’m not even going there with her obviously dysfunctional home life– so sad), got attached to Pete quickly, and you knew it was all going to implode quickly.

      I’ve always been amazed at how much hidden sex goes on in the Mad Men world… Don never fully even admitted the Bobbie affair to Betty, did he? (Not to mention the teacher, artist, random gypsy girl in LA, etc). And even weasely Pete had a dalliance with the “you are my king” girl, the neighbor’s nanny, of course Beth, and I don’t recall Trudy ever knowing specifics.

      Great summary as always, TLo.

      • the_valkyrie

        Technically the neighbour’s nanny wasn’t an affair…it was rape.

        • MisScarlett

          That’s true! I forgot the context of that one.

      • TonyGo

        And the “you are my king” girl was technically not a dalliance. She was a prostitute in a high-class brothel.

        • MisScarlett

          Another good point. I just meant to convey that there’s a lot of notches in their bedposts.

        • MisScarlett

          Another good point. I just meant to convey that there’s a lot of notches in their bedposts.

    • flamingoNW

      I’m seeing in other places that people are saying they were surprised by Trudy’s strong response to Pete, that she’s been a weak laid back housewife/doormat, but I NEVER got that read from Trudy. I feel like she’s always been in charge in that household. She’s been in control and aware fo what’s going on with Pete WAY more than he even does.

      • http://twitter.com/lauraklenda Laura K

        Oh yeah, Pete may wear the pants in that family, but Trudy picked them out!

    • Joe M

      Where is Sallllllllll? (Just parodying the inevitable comment.)

    • http://twitter.com/NJedwina Edwina

      Not only is the magic gone for me with Mad Men, but it is verging on hate watching territory. Matt Weiner has run out of creative juice, the storyline is flat and the only character I care about is Peggy. I love this world that Weiner has created and he’ll always rank high in my estimation.

    • Logo Girl

      Someone else may have pointed this out (Disqus is too hard to reload!) but I am fixed upon “This didn’t happen.” Don and Sylvia sleeping together didn’t happen, just as Peggy having a baby and ending up in the mental hospital didn’t happen.

      • carrotcake

        I’ve never heard the Peggy theory! My mind is blown.

      • carrotcake

        I’ve never heard the Peggy theory! My mind is blown.

      • tereliz

        That stuck with me, too. Partly because I’ll never forget that he said that to Peggy.

        “It’ll shock you how much this didn’t happen.”

        When he said it to Peggy, I felt it appropriate. She was a young girl who was in a situation where she was in obvious denial about what was happening with her own body—or if she wasn’t in denial, she sure didn’t have any friends or coworkers she could confide in. Certainly not her Catholic family. And taking Don’s identity swap into the equation made this piece of advice feel like a defense mechanism. A survival instinct.

        With Sylvia, Don isn’t in denial. He’s not telling her “this never happened” to keep her quiet. He knows exactly what he’s gotten into. Sex with a married neighbor, the wife of a new friend. It’s a dangerous game, and if Don were acting on “survival instinct”, why continue “shitting where you eat”, so to speak?

        What is the point to him saying this, other than to add to the strange, superstitious, “knock on wood”, “I’ve got the wrong lighter, so I condemned that newly married PFC to death in Vietnam” kind of moodiness from the season premier?

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          I also thought that when Sylvia told Don that he always liked leaving it echoed back to Dr. Faye telling him that he only liked the beginning of things.

          • tereliz

            Yes, the beginnings are when the women in his life “need” him. Whether it’s his love, his attention, his dick… but when you don’t add anything of substance to your relationship, when it’s all on the surface (see: Lovely Megan, I went out to buy a lightbulb. When I get home, I’ll be able to see you better.), or about sex, or when the affair has run its course, things will ALWAYS fall apart for Don because he doesn’t see any reason to continue to put in the effort. Relationships are work. Having real friends means you need to trust. I thought Don was putting the effort into his marriage with Megan at first, but once she no longer “needed” him in a way that he likes to feel needed, he let it fall apart.

            • MisScarlett

              Great comments. I thought about the “lovely Megan” note a lot this episode as well.

            • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

              U hit the nail on the head, they need to be idolized. When they see that you know their game, they run for the hills.

        • formerlyAnon

          When he said that to Peggy, it felt jarring, but also comforting – and had the virtue of, in a way, being “true.” She certainly had no better way to cope than by leaving it totally behind, and once the initial trauma/shame had died down, you KNOW nobody ever mentioned it again in her family. (Not directly, anyway. Her mom might allude to it in extreme circumstances.) Unfortunately for Don, his panacea of “this didn’t happen” is not often even as partially apt as it was in that case.

      • decormaven

        “This didn’t happen” is going on Don’s tombstone.

      • ohayayay

        I would imagine that “This didn’t happen” is exactly how his stepmom dealt with having to sleep with Mac for room and board.

      • Qitkat

        I feel like Joanie wants to believe that also, about sleeping her way to the partnership, but she is having much more of an issue compartmentalizing it the way Don and Peggy have been able to.

      • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

        Don also said that to the secretary he slept with and paid off with some extra in her Christmas envelope.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1208138556 Sara Munoz Munoz

          Allison. I had forgotten about her. Didn’t she sleep with Ken in season 1? Poor thing.

    • the_valkyrie

      Damn I totally misheard Pete when he asked Bob to buy something for him…I thought he said ‘filing paper’. No wonder I thought it was odd

      • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

        Brilliant that they have the office brown nose buying toilet paper, bwhaaaahaha!

        • the_valkyrie

          Yeah Bob is a smarmy lick arse (and every office has one). Wish I had some minion to buy groceries for me.

    • P M

      Oh, another beauty from our Joanie:
      Herb: ‘I told you you could have any car off the lot’ (I think that’s what he said)
      Joan: ‘I take the bus’
      Ouch. She’d rather take the bus than go near a Jag.

    • CarolinLA

      Don’s looking to be punished. He WANTS someone to call him on his personal shit and then make him put the work in to fix it. I hope Megan’s the one to do that.

    • bd73

      how will ken feel when peggy poaches the huge account he covets?

    • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

      I always assumed that Trudy knew about Pete’s extracurriculars when she let him get the apartment in the city. Also, I think Sylvia’s husband is so likable I actually feel bad for him. I wonder who will find out first Megan or him??? I think he will.

    • http://twitter.com/Alloyjane Alloy Jane

      Wow, offline for a few and Disqus has changed dramatically. Alas, no more pages. That was my favorite feature…

      Anywho, I love that Peggy and Stan work together over the phone. Too cute but yes, does not bode well for her relationship with Abe. And the hairstyles! Hilarious. I think this episode was meant to more visibly cut down Don to what he really is: a hopeless dirtbag who is going to seed. He is failing and yes, it’s all about how it’s going to blow up in his face.

      Not sure if I’ll keep watching, though I might just because I want to see where this time takes Peggy, but I have no patience for the kind of folks whose lives are fucked up because they won’t do anything to make it positive. It’s just too wearing to watch that level of idiotic self-destruction.

    • greenwich matron

      I don’t think that Don is making the same mistakes again, because what he is doing now is so much worse. He never slept with any of Betty’s friends and he didn’t have work affairs until after his divorce. He only had one affair with a married woman and he hated her husband. His behavior around Dr. Rosen is so duplicitous that it is beyond cruel and he is actively cultivating it. He couldn’t have accidentally started having an affair with Sylvia before he noticed that they lived under the same roof and he saw her husband regularly: he created the entire situation and he must have understood that there is no possible good ending. His comment last week about wanting to stop reminded me of a smoker who only remembers that he wants to quit after he had a cigarette.

      MW is making it pretty clear that the passions that lead to cheating lead to some pretty cold, slimy sex (and a great deal of inconvenience and being late for work). As Trudy pointed out, infidelity is a huge problem, but rubbing your wife’s nose in it and subjecting her to humiliation makes it worse. I cannot see how Megan could forgive this betrayal and, given Don’s flagrance, I cannot see how she won’t find out.

      • SonOfSaradoc

        I haven’t looked at all the comments yet and this may have been mentioned, but Megan is pretty distracted by her own situation of a pregnancy and then miscarriage. Sniffing around her cigarette-smoking, bourbon-drinking husband for subtler scents is probably lower on her list of priorities lately.

        As a serial cheater, he probably has his methods, although sneaking up a flight of stairs as disheveled as he’s been looking after his schtups with Mrs. Rosen doesn’t confirm that hunch very well.

      • AutumnInNY

        Good analysis of Don’s duplicity with Dr. Rosen. Regarding Megan, she’s certainly no babe in the woods. She knew what she was getting into with Don. Granted he wasn’t married at the time, but wasn’t Don dating Dr. Faye exclusively at the time when he brought Megan on the California trip to babysit and came back engaged?

      • AnotherJulie

        Agree. His affair with Midge (even thought he was married -early episodes) seems almost sweet and innocent compared to the Sylvia plotline, which is twisted.

    • http://twitter.com/DallasDiner Infinine®™

      As someone who dated an exact replica of Don, I know this type inside out. Sociopath, sociopath, sociopath. I have written much on the subject and at some point I hope TLo will allow me to post a link to an article. I think it would help people. Imho, MW and crew should be given the benefit of the doubt. The fact that Don’s behavior is becoming monotonous and repetitious is exactly the point that they want to make.

      Of course they could come up with more creative scenarios for Don’s story arc but the truth and utter sadness of the situation is that Don IS compelled to the dreariness of doing the same stupid and defeatist things over and over again in almost the same way because it serves his inner need of self flagellation along with the more evident drive to satisfy his infantile id. It’s what he knows and he doesn’t need to get fancy to get his needs met. Hence the weariness seen as he crumples at his door. Now wrap all that up in the bright bow of a classic narcissist and there you have him and my ex. The best revenge I could ever have in having been duped by this piece of caca was knowing he’s trapped in a web of his own making, FOREVER and will never get it right because he can’t.

      Don is a little better than most narcissist in that he genuinely seems to feel some guilt. Most don’t, depending upon the degree of their affliction.

      I think the fact that MW and company are telling the story true to form is a testament to their brilliance as writers and that they’ve thoroughly researched the subject. Someone or several folks in that writer’s room must have their own experiences with this illness, which is much more prevalent than people think. One in four, I read somewhere.

      I too was a part of that Draper as Bond fan club during the first couple of seasons which oddly enough coincided with my relationship with Mr. Chameleon. Couldn’t figure out why I liked the character so much until I noticed the eery simularities. After that I stopped worshiping both and started feeling pity for them. But Don will always be my guilty pleasure, albeit a much safer and saner one.

      Side notes: It’s so irritating to see that with all the research MW and co. do for authenticity, they went a step further in the wrong direction in casting Peggy’s secretary even darker than Dawn. Without wanting to sound like a broken record or someone hung up on this, it really sticks in my craw because it’s just not accurate. Both Dawn and she are beautiful black women but it’s still too early in the civil rights era for general “acceptance” of the whole black is beautiful thing. Corporate hired the lightest person that they could find. American Airlines did not hire an indentifiably black flight attendant until 1970.
      So I wish they would please stop casting from the Gene Roddenberry/Lt. Uhura school of thought. Nichelle Nicholes on Star Trek was a fluke, not the norm.

    • Kathleen Gillies

      Don is always having an affair with Dick’s stepmother . It’s icky. Pete is getting punished for shitting in his front yard. Peggy is learning still, now it seems Ted is her mentor in business (where Don was in advertising). Don totally took joy in bombing the sell for that dealership pig. Too bad Joan couldn’t have seen it. I think Don views Joan as an equal. He is getting very messy, taking big risks now between the drinking in last week’s episode to this affair he is having with Sylvia. She was so jealous to find out he still sleeps with his wife. I don’t know what to think about Meghan. She says she had a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage yet never said anything to Don about it; carried on normally the entire time with work. After sharing it with Sylvia, mostly d/t emotional lability brought on, I expect by hormones (and probably firing the maid–really, they need a maid to clean after the two of them?)–she is too sick to go to dinner –when she could have easily cancelled as Sylvia was leaving–which reminds me of when she was too sick to go on an outing with her mother. How long has it been since Hawaii? They have never had a conversation about children since they married? Don has kids, its not like their lives are so separate from that whole notion. The entire prostitution theme was heavily played– Pete’s neighbor asking to be his kept woman after he was such a jerk to her and they probably had the most sad awkward sex ever– turns out to be a battered wife — and Pete assumes she brought it on herself. That woman has really poor survival skills if she is looking to Pete to be her savior.

    • AnotherJulie

      Sometimes the self destructive behavior of EVERYONE ON THE SHOW makes MM almost unwatchable. Don is predictable and tiresome – but I’m furious about Peggy mouthing off to Stan re: Heinz.

      So few characters maintain any self respect this episode: Trudy (best scene of the show); Joan, in a small but long-belated way; Dr. Rosen, Ken.

      Otherwise, everyone’s sniveling and self-pity made me want to punch them even more than I usually do.

      Small thing – but was I the only one who thought Pete’s blond neighbor was way too fit for the 60s?

    • Lynn Landry

      I’m hoping to see Trudy as an example of what happened to a lot of women when the divorce rate started to increase: they started to work. And they went to work with a different purpose than catching a husband in stark contrast to Mad Men Season 1. I think it’s that shift that began a change in how women were seen in the workplace. Betty got out of her marriage with a safety net (another marriage). Trudy won’t play that.

      And Peggy knew EXACTLY what was up! She’s going to pitch her some Heinz.

    • http://twitter.com/lauraklenda Laura K

      Can’t wait to see where this season goes—it always starts to pick up episode 4 and 5.

      And does it weird anyone else out that the actor who plays young Dick Whitman also was young Michael Bluth?

    • slowestloris

      I agree that things seem to be stuck in a loop and aren’t super interesting so far… but I also think that there’s gonna be a major blow up at some point in this season, which I’m really looking forward to. Yes, we see the same old Don of past seasons when he goes all James Bond on Sylvia in the restaurant, but the whole thing seems so much more desperate and dark than in s1 (due to the music, lighting, the disconcerting insertion of the sex scene into the dinner scene), where Don’s behaviour was still portrayed as slick and cool.

      Also, damn there were some funny lines this episode! Joan’s burn on fatty mcgross (I literally shouted EW when he came on screen), Stan’s line about the wig and of course, Trudy laying down the law on Pete (who when he was lying in beb pretending to sleep, all I could think was “he’s gonna be such an ugly old man”)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1017585103 Kanani Fong

      I thought the weaving of news from Asia –from The Pueblo Incident in North Korea (timely, given the current situation), to the worsening situation in Vietnam, and the reference to Munich was artfully done. War changes things, in ways both subtle and extreme, and given the backdrop things are brewing with the characters as well. Changes are a foot, relationships will end, and other opportunities for expansion are on the horizon. Even the dialog following Megan’s “miscarriage,” with the “It’s not the right time,” is indication of some very big changes in outlook socially. I think it will be an interesting season. I’d just like to see more or Roger and Joan, and a lot less of Don philandering.

      • siriuslover

        and 1968 is a huge year with global protests and an uprooting of traditional hierarchies–or at least an attempt to do so. From the student / workers’ strikes in Paris, to the Mexico Olympics (Black Power) to Mexico student protests, student protests in Japan, etc. there’s a symbolism here that hits directly on the ways in which 1968 represents fundamental change and a crashing of the old guard.

    • FloridaLlamaLover

      Oh dear…this is a sign of how deeply disinterested I am in my once-favorite show. I completely forgot that it was on. I was tuned into HBO watching Game of Thrones and didn’t even record MM. From your review, and from the comments below, doesn’t sound like I missed a whole lot.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1550881905 Hildegerd Haugen

        You did, it was vintage MM.

    • gracedarling

      Oy vey, enough with the flashbacks! I had so hoped that we were done with them after Dick’s father got kicked in the head. If we absolutely must have them – and I really don’t think they’re necessary – if MW keeps insisting that Don is the narrative heart of the story, perhaps we could flash back to Sylvia’s girlhood in Rome, or Megan’s in Quebec, and get to know a bit more about him via more thoroughly rounding out the women he is drawn to.

    • fursa_saida

      Man, I don’t know if anyone else around here watches The Hour, but I’m partway through season 2 right now and there were SO MANY PARALLELS I saw in this episode. I already thought of it as “Mad Men, BBC style,” but Trudy just pulled a Marnie. At least she didn’t have to lay down the law while picking her idiot husband up from jail.

    • kathrineb

      I must say I enjoyed Trudy Campbell’s reaction to Pete’s cheating.

    • janierainie

      I totally get what your saying about Don and this affair. I was wondering if maybe they were trying to convey the idea that “yes he even does this to nice wives because he really is bad” idea. My guess is that,in the Betty years, fans rationalized his behavior because Betty was a bitch (of course a generalization). Now it gets a little more personal, because people want to relate more to Megan as opposed to Betty.
      I think you’re right about the fallout thing. What goes around may be comin’ around.

    • buddy100

      At first, I was quite critical of the Pete/Trudy characterization, but then I realized what was the missing link was: Beth. To explain, I was shocked that Pete and Trudy were so callous and cold towards each other upon breaking up. Pete, in particular, didn’t even seem to feel guilty about being caught. If anything, he was more sneering and derisive. This kind of behavior did not seem to reflect the couple’s history of, as TLo have noted, a pretty solid team. Yes, they were flawed, but the Pete from the last episode was not the same man who broke down crying to his wife after he forced himself on the au pair.

      Beth was the living reflection of his own aimless ennui. She made him feel justified in his feelings of discontent, that he had a kindred spirit. The scene where he reflects upon her analysis of the moon (alone and vulnerable in the darkness) shows what a profound impact she had. She hasn’t even been mentioned in this season, but I believe she was the main catalyst for his becoming disenchanted with Trudy and the materialistic superficiality he perceives her as representing. That, of course, in addition to moving to the suburbs.

      • 3hares

        I think absolutely we’re supposed to be seeing the fallout of Beth and, more importantly, Pete realizing that nothing was going to fix the “permanent wound”–that includes Beth herself and a wife and family. It seems like since that realization he’s been just sort of wallowing in it and we’re coming in at the point where he needs to figure something else out.

    • librarygrrl64

      “We have no idea if other people feel this way.”

      No, I just caught up on the last few episodes, and I feel EXACTLY the same way: been here, done that. I have all but lost interest in Don as a character (even though Hamm does a great job), and I have never been able to generate the smallest interest in Megan. I’m in it for the other characters at this point. Even Betty is more interesting. It’s always nice to see Linda Cardellini, though.

    • snarkykitten

      I hope Peggy’s move doesn’t ruin the Peggy/Stan friendship. I love those little bits. As for Don’s philandering, I was bored with that shit since the beginning.

    • http://stylingdutchman.blogspot.com/ annebeth

      I am SO over Don. He’s an asshole. He’s boring. I could deal with having them kill off his character and dedicate more time to someone else.