Mad Men: The Flood

Posted on April 29, 2013

It’s almost impossible to watch an episode like “The Flood” and not spend the entire time comparing it to season 3′s Mad Menization of the (first) Kennedy assassination, “The Grownups.” Aside from the rather obvious similarities in story, both episodes also reveal that Matthew Weiner and company are not particularly at their best when forced to make historical events center stage. Not that we’re arguing that this was a bad episode; just MMS6E5+2not one of the better ones, to our minds. Like “The Grownups,” the story takes a huge event, places it smack in the middle of the characters’ ongoing lives, and watches how they all react to it. It’s something of a standard way to depict historical events and it’s always just a tiny bit disappointing to us when Weiner & Co. attempt it.

But just as we said the morning after “The Grownups” aired, a “bad” episode of Mad Men is still a hell of a lot more engrossing with a hell of a lot more depth than 95% of what’s on television. And we don’t want to give the impression that we didn’t enjoy it or that it didn’t have moments of deep emotion or character triumphs, but it felt very …. rote. “Historical event X happens, spurring character Y to do Z.” We didn’t get anything quite so declarative as Betty taking the Oswald murder as an opportunity to leave Don, but several characters took this moment to either move forward, rail against their restraints, reveal who they truly are, or allow themselves to become overwhelmed by their emotions. It was, in most ways, a smaller story than the Kennedy assassination to these people; which makes sense, because these people are all white.

We hated ourselves for doing it, but after the initial 20 minutes of the episode, we started watching the clock, wondering just when the hell an actual black person was going to speak. Mad Men is a lily-white world, seeing as how it’s almost entirely focused on the Manhattan creative class and the upper-middle to upper classes on the east coast, starting in 1960. These characters do not inhabit an integrated society and for many of them, as we’ve seen, the only black people they ever regularly come into contact with are the ones who are waiting on them hand and foot, silently. People get angry at Weiner & Co. for not including more African-Americans in the story, but we’ve always felt that when it comes to the topic of racism in the period, that IS the story, at least for these characters. They are largely sheltered and removed from the African-American experience of the time.  This is also why we’ve never been among those clamoring for a return of Sal to the story. The forced underground experience of closeted gay people pre-Stonewall IS the story – and it would be something of a disservice to it to have Sal happily sashay back into SCDP’s good graces, waving his rainbow flag.

But 1968 is definitely a period when those walls were crumbling and the assassination of Martin Luther King was a watershed moment in African-American visibility and voice, so all we could think for the first MMS6E5+3half of the episode was, “Where the fuck is DAWN?” We realize she’s the most minor of the minor speaking roles on this show, but they made the effort to define her last episode (and a little bit last season), so it struck us as enormously odd that we weren’t seeing any of this from her viewpoint. Peggy’s secretary provided a brief moment, but she’s so undefined as a character that it just felt like she was mouthing generic lines. It wasn’t until Dawn finally showed up that it all kind of clicked into place. Love it or not, Weiner & Co. took the same route with Dawn that they took with every other character. They used this event to define her rather than using her to define the event. It may seem odd that she was so relatively emotion-less and business-like when she returned to the office, but in retrospect, it makes almost perfect sense. As we said last week, she is Peggy 2.0; maybe not quite as ambitious in her goals but no less committed to being the very best at her job that she can be. Peggy came into the office the weekend of the Kennedy assassination to work on an Aquanet ad because that’s how she deals with these types of events. Dawn is similar in a lot of ways; she just wants to work. And when Joan moved in for that HILARIOUSLY awkward hug, suddenly Dawn and Peggy’s secretary were thrown into relief; one giving us the emotional, culturally-based response we’re yearning for as an audience, and the other one giving us a very interesting character reaction that elevates her way above “Black Character #1″ and pays her the respect of allowing her to be fully rounded as a person. The open reaction Peggy’s secretary was having to the event probably would have mortified Dawn.

Having gotten these two different takes out of the way, Weiner & Co. went back to looking at all the white people in the tale and frankly, most of them didn’t come off all that well. Peggy pays lip service to how awful it all is, but she makes fun of Abe for loving the drama a bit too much (which was true) and then allowed herself to be pushed into lowering her asking price on an apartment; using the assassination and the rioting to benefit her financially. That’s when sheMMS6E5+4 wasn’t ignoring the assassination outright in order to indulge in baby-making fantasies briefly. We’re being harder on her than we mean to be. After all, it would be silly to expect Peggy to lie on the couch sobbing all weekend. She never was very good at understanding the various civil rights struggles going on around her; not even the nascent women’s lib movement, of which she has remained largely absent and uninvolved. Peggy’s main focus has always been Peggy, which is befitting of Don Draper’s protege. We have to admit, it’s thrilling to see her negotiating to buy an apartment (with a balcony, like Don’s of course) and attending an awards ceremony all dolled up in a gown. This is everything Peggy’s worked toward since the very beginning of the series and it’s heady and exciting to see her achieve it.

But please, girl. Don’t go shagging your boss, for God’s sake.

If you’re looking for a truly repulsive response to the events of the week, you can always turn to Harry Crane, who’s been marked by the writers this season as The Asshole. Like Peggy, his reaction to the assassination tends to center around financial dealings and how this all affects him, which would be bad enough, but then he had to go talk about those people ruining his city and frankly, it was the first time in … ever? That we were on Pete’s side. People seemed a little surprised last night to see Pete being so forceful (not to mention empathetic) on the topic, but Pete wanted to sell televisions to black people at a time when he could have been fired for bring up the topic (and almost was) and was one of the only people to react with disgust at Roger’s blackface act during Derby Day. He’s an old Knickerbocker Democrat from a long line of them, with vaguely liberal leanings and a surprisingly open mind about race. This has all been long established, so it was nice to see it paid off. Granted, a lot of Pete’s fury and reaction come down to his own shitty life and how he screwed it up, but he was genuinely revolted by Harry’s words.

As for Harry, we suppose it’s only a matter of time before he jets off to the west coast for good. The only goal the creators have for the character this season seems to be to show how much everyone else dislikes him. And once you get the Duck Phillips treatment on Mad Men, it’s only a question of when you’re going to be shown the door, so to speak. Our only issue with Harry is how undefined this change in character is. We’re talking about someone who used to introduce himself to pretty secretaries with “Harry Crane. Married,” and who was reduced to tears at the idea that he’d screwed up his marriage by one night of drunken cheating. We suppose his unexplained turn toward crudeness and self-absorption is making a point about the growing crudeness in the culture, but to be honest, it’s unearned.  The longer this goes on, the more scenes of Asshole Harry we get treated to, the more it stands out that the audience has absolutely no understanding of who Harry is.MMS6E5+1

And finally we get Don’s reaction to events, and frankly, we’re afraid we couldn’t care less. Everything about the Don story just felt like wheel-spinning to us. His reaction to the events was to worry about his mistress more than anyone else, withdraw from his children and wife, argue with his ex-wife, and skip out to the movies for hours in order to escape everything. It’s all very typically Don Draper. Which is good; we wouldn’t have it any other way. Like Peggy’s reactions, it would make no sense to have Don act out of character now. But unlike Peggy’s story, absolutely nothing new or interesting was being said in Don’s. “I go through the motions of pretending to love the people around me?” Pfft. Tell us all something we DON’T know, Don. Granted, it’s a big deal for him to admit something like that to Megan, but we suppose the audience, after all these years, is something like a bitter ex-wife of Don’s. We hear him have these breakthrough moments, but all we can do is roll our eyes because we know any sort of real change in behavior isn’t coming. So while everything Don said or did this episode felt earned and made sense for the character (including the idea that he only really notices his children after they’ve become fully formed people, which explains why poor Bobby has been the Most Ignored Child of the 1960s up till now), it didn’t add up to anything engrossing or interesting. We found ourselves thinking that, if the writers had little new to say about Don in this tale, they should have spent more time on the other characters.

Bullet points for a very fragmented episode:

  • Dawn and Ginsberg, the two characters most defined by their minority status, are the only characters who revealed a little more of themselves this episode. Everyone else acted like they’ve always acted.
  • That awards dinner was a Mad Style extravaganza and a treat for the eyes. The Paul Newman bit was a little cheesy, but the confusion surrounding the announcement of the assassination was beautifully handled. Sitting at home, half the audience found themselves squinting, leaning in, and turning to each other to say “What?” Perfect mimicry of what the characters were feeling in the moment.
  • We haven’t even touched on the weirdness of Roger’s acid-tripping buddy and his bizarre visit to the office. We don’t think we’ve heard the last of this one, but we suppose it’s at least partly of the theme of crudeness and obviousness entering the culture and the advertising industry, something that offends Don.
  • Thank God poor Bobby got a little something to do. That bit about him peeling the wallpaper was perfectly “little boy,” as was his ridiculous “I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!” the second he got caught. Loved Don’s amused reaction to his “Jesus.”
  • We really didn’t get the point to Betty this episode. Demanding that her kids be sent into a rioting city just flat out doesn’t make any damn sense. Watching her scream at Don because he didn’t pick them up had us saying “Really? This scene again?”
  • On the other hand, Betty’s reaction to the idea that she would have to present herself as a candidate’s wife was PRICELESS. All the credit in the world to January Jones, who doesn’t normally get much credit for her acting. Poor Betty. Her life is just about on track and she’s heading toward an eating disorder.
  • Trudy Vogel Campbell don’t front, bitches. She really meant it when she kicked that shithead out.

 

 

Our Mad Style post will be up on Wednesday.

 

[Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC]

    • zenobar

      “They used this event to define [Dawn] rather than using her to define the event.” I felt exactly the same. Such a great opportunity missed. I wondered why they made the black characters’ response to the assassination such a side story. OH, and that dreadful, awkward hug Joan tried to give Dawn…I literally winced. It was horrifying to witness.

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

      ‘Trudy Vogel Campbell don’t front, bitches.’
      You two are priceless.

      • Not applicable

        Alison Brie rocks this role- it’s perfect for her. It’s too bad she & Pete are on the outs- would love more Trudy time.

      • kckris

        ha! agreed!

    • decormaven

      Almost hooted when Bobby got called out on the wallpaper. “I didn’t do anything!” Just like the stereo. And gotta love Betty’s response: “Why are you destroying this house?” Bobby’s disturbed because things aren’t matching up. What a portent of things to come!

      • marishka1

        I, frankly, was shocked to think that Betty would allow that mismatched wallpaper in her house!

        • Eric Stott

          That house was most probably furnished and decorated before she moved in & I don’t think she’s gotten around to making many changes. I’m certain she has a lot less money to spend than when she was with Don.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Maybe she will give a makeover to the house while she’s making over herself? Probably many fundraising/ campaign parties in the future.

            • fursa_saida

              Great. Now I want a montage that I’m definitely not going to get.

            • T. Sticks

              We can hope! Maybe Matt W. is reading! :-)

          • MaryAtRealityTea

            And I don’t think she’s ever really felt “at home” there. She made her house, so to speak, with Don and their roles were very well-defined, but with Harry it’s a whole different ballgame. Betty always seems to maneuver around that dated house like a ghost wondering where to haunt.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1582777135 Melanie K. Morgan

              I get the feeling that was Henry’s family home – perhaps it was his grandparents’ house, and he inherited it, and Betty doesn’t feel like she can make changes to it.

            • http://twitter.com/pamelajo444 Pamela

              It wasn’t Henry’s family home. He and Betty bought it after looking at a number of other homes.

      • formerlyAnon

        I hate that dark house so much that all I could think was “destroy more!”

        • not_Bridget

          It’s a lovely Victorian but needs a decorator with a lighter touch to make it a modern family home. Lugubrious wallpaper is not the way to go….

          • formerlyAnon

            I can agree. Every time we see the house I want to buy white paint by the gallon and tear down all the drapes.

            • AnotherJulie

              and beef up the lighting!

            • greenwich_matron

              I remember people in the 80′s and 90′s ranting against all the white paint that was used on the inside and outside of Victorians…

            • formerlyAnon

              So true! White paint is totally not “period.” But it’s much closer to *my* comfort level when decorating than doing something more appropriate. I’m not the one my friends call up to come over when they’re agonizing over paint swatches and finish samples.

            • CommentsByKatie

              Yes…my husband and I are trying to buy a Victorian right now it’s it’s so hard to find one that hasn’t been RUINED by white paint. If you want a breezy, open, white house…don’t buy a Victorian.

        • Cheryl

          I love that house! Yes, it’s dark, but very cozy in the winter, with all of that marvelous old wood. I would kill for a big old-fashioned country kitchen like that.(with a Hoosier cabinet, although maybe she just has shelves on the far wall?). My own apartment is furnished with vintage kitchen items from the early 20th century, 100-year-old cookbooks, and dented enamelware pots and pans. I would feel right at home in that fabulous old kitchen.

      • sarahjane1912

        But how weird were Betty’s actual words here? They really ‘sprang’ out at me. She didn’t say: don’t destroy the wall, or the wallpaper but ‘Why are you destroying this HOUSE?’. What a reaction. Completely lacking in proportion to the venial sin committed and almost as if she was saying: “Why are you destroying ME?”

        • greenwich_matron

          As the mother of a seam ripping, paint picking, wallpaper tearing kid, I completely got Betty’s point.

          • sarahjane1912

            *Chortle* Sorry, I shouldn’t laugh but that’s funny. And PS. I wrote ‘sarahjane was here’ all over my dolls house walls … and drew tattoos [skulls/crossbones, anchors etc] on my dolls. I guess my mother should have been relieved I stopped at those things. ;-)

          • Not applicable

            and it was a little flash of the old Betty… even more impatient with little boys.

          • http://twitter.com/Rowsella315 Kathy G

            I sympathize. Between mystery glop on the carpet, sharpie pictures on the walls, a hole? in the side of the door, the dent in the garage door from backing up too fast, holes in the comforter, and gouges in the wood bedstead– boys can be very destructive. I am sure Betty and Henry hired paperhangers and paid a nice price for the wallpaper. It’s not like they can paint the area and it is not high enough to hang a picture over it. My friend’s daughter once left the tub running while she IM’d her friends on her computer in the next room. It overflowed, ruining all the wood floors upstairs, went through the walls downstairs and required new sheetrock to be placed — basically trashed the house. It cost thousands to repair.

        • golden_valley

          My mother would have said the same thing. The house was very important to women of Betty’s generation. Raised by parents who lived their early married lives in the Depression, taking care of your possessions was extremely important. For a woman in particular, the house’s condition (whether she chose the decor or not) reflected on the woman.

          • Glammie

            Oh, but it’s such a ghastly house. I was all for ripping that wallpaper.

        • ankali

          Not that Betty doesn’t overreact or react weirdly to things, but I’m willing to cut her some slack here. She was already upset by the assassination, and she got snippy.

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        And crazy over-reaction on her part, which is de rigeur for her. Tearing off a piece of wallpaper is by no means destroying the house.

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

          Depends on the wallpaper!

      • CozyCat

        If Betty were a little more strategic she would use the incident as an excuse to replace all that ugly wallpaper.

        Then she would have to get Bobby to start scratching up the furniture…

      • Cheryl

        Well, a decor maven would definitely know!

        • decormaven

          Ha ha! I think Bobby was just bugged by the paper design not matching, and maybe with a boy’s imagination, thinking that it was a schism in the Force. When he peeled it back, I think he thought he might see an alternate universe. Nope, just more ugly wallpaper.

      • AudreysMom

        Once he started picking at that wallpaper I had visions of what really might be behind it. With that dark house straight out of American Horror Story, who knows what it might be?

      • Not applicable

        I thought the same thing- like he has an eye for design…

    • Golfkat

      Who here is hoping that Abe isn’t permanent? After last night, I’m getting a little worried.

      • Meg0GayGuys6

        Ugh I remember kinda liking Abe in the beginning but he’s annoying me. I always wished Peggy and Stan got together, and I probably always will.

        • Eric Stott

          I am beginning to wonder just what sort of romantic interest is in store for Stan…he’s got to be doing more than just filling the background this season.

        • MartyBellerMask

          It’s not looking like they’re going to. They were both at the awards and didn’t even make eye contact.

        • Golfkat

          I want that too. Their late night phone sessions were cute. It still could happen. She could have an affair with her boss, lose Abe over it or before it, and end up getting burnt professionally (this could send her back to SCDP!), leaving her to lick her wounds for a while in her personal life and in the end shack up with Stan. I kinda want this to happen. It could work with the Peggy/Don parallels actually.

        • Girl_With_a_Pearl

          I like Stan, but he’s too much of a pothead at the moment to be a good marriage prospect for Peggy. It’s one thing getting high socially, but the guy is always high these days. I’ve had friends like that. Fun to hang out with, but not good romantic partners.

          • formerlyAnon

            Though I’ve known plenty of people who were big potheads as long as there was room for it in their lives – but once they got a more demanding job, spouse, kid, whatever, had no huge problem cutting it out/way back.

      • formerlyAnon

        I have thought Peggy and Abe had an expiration date from day 1. Not going to predict when, though. To be honest, they’ve already lasted longer than I expected – probably because neither of them have shown any sign of wanting urgently to get married.

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          I was actually a bit surprised at Peggy’s reaction to the thought of having children with Abe. For some reason I just assumed that Peggy wouldn’t want children.

          • Violina23

            Maybe it brought back a flash of bad memories of the kid with Pete….

          • Lilithcat

            I don’t know about that. After she had Pete’s baby, and gave it up for adoption, the show seemed to suggest that she did have a desire for children that she was tamping down.

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

            She has said in the past that she wants things like marriage and children. She just wants them on her terms.

          • AmeliaEve

            Peggy already has a child. I expect she has done some pretty serious thinking about that topic.

          • AnotherJulie

            I know – she couldn’t stop smiling! But I think her response was consistent with that older scene where she goes home and changes into a spiffy new outfit because she thinks Abe will propose, and he doesn’t. She was simultaneously disappointed and relieved. I think Peggy wants children and marriage but needs to control the circumstances, similar to buying her own house w/ her $$, but including Abe. I think the Peggy character would propose to Abe in 2013!

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            I didn’t get the vibe that she really wanted it. If you look at her face, that smile isn’t genuine. It’s a grimace that completely runs the gamut of emotions in 3 seconds. It’s a testament to how great an actress Elisabeth Moss is, but I honestly didn’t get a “let’s have babies” vibe from her. Also, that whole stilted “you’re in my life” thing really sounded forced. I don’t think she knows what the hell she wants, and I would personally feel resentful if my shack-up lover was suddenly talking about knocking me up. They have zero chemistry. Every scene we see them in, he’s a total jackass to her. I don’t see them together for long, but she’ll probably move to the W80s for a spell and feel even more smothered.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1582777135 Melanie K. Morgan

          What about Peggy and Ginsberg? Or is she too old for him?

          • Lauren Hall

            Ginsburg is pretty similar to early Peggy so I’m not sure how that would work in her overall arc of working her way up.

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

            He’s too young in more ways than one.

        • Lauren Hall

          Remember what Peggy’s mom said? “He’ll move in with you, but he’ll marry someone else.”

      • Eric Stott

        He’s a decent guy, but they’re going to be moving apart culturally. He’s liberal, a bit radical, and probably will have ideas of being an Urban Homesteader – living in a gritty neighborhood would be political gold for him…at least for a while. Peggy wants a good upper middle class life.

        • Girl_With_a_Pearl

          Agreed. On the other hand, what a great investment if they bought an apartment in the west 80s in the 1960s and just held onto it for a few decades. :).

        • Lisa_Co

          This episode was nostalgic for me. I remember in 1979 looking at lots of depressing apartments in the East 70′s and 80′s. Most were converted tenement with bathtubs in the kitchens and the neighborhood is a concrete jungle. Then a colleague invited me to his apartment in a lovely brownstone in the West 80′s. I loved the area: tree lined streets, lovely brownstones, Central and Riverside Parks. And reasonable prices. I moved to West 85th St. and have never lived anywhere but the UWS for 30 some years. Yes, it was a bit scary back then but not the danger zone Peggy worried about it being.

      • MilaXX

        They’re already outgrowing each other. If they did get married all I see is Peggy cheating on him. That would make the Don parallels too close and is an outcome I don’t want for Peggy.

        • ohayayay

          At this rate, she will cheat on him *before* they get married.

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

            That look between her and Ted, and the way Ted completely ignored his wife… Abe isn’t long for this show.

          • ankali

            She already has if you count the movie theater handie, and I would if I were Abe.

      • golden_valley

        The characters seem to enjoy each other’s differences, they enjoy the novelty of their lives together and even enjoy the suggestion that they will continue to be together. Whether they can successfully negotiate a life with such differences in existence remains to be seen. In that era there were matches made that would have been nearly impossible just a few years earlier, but the parties consciously decided to work it out. Others fall back on ingrained assumptions about married life and fail.

        • Golfkat

          To me it doesn’t really feel like Abe is crazy about Peggy’s life. I think he likes her, but not her career, which, when it comes to Peggy, IS her life.

          • desertwind

            I like these two together. Abe is also career-focused: “It’s the New York Times!” i think they understand that drive in each other. Neither wants the traditional husband-wife role. They’re pretty honest with each other and are learning how to make it as they go along.

            Oh, Peggy! Ted wants a mirror. Don’t fall for it!

    • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

      Peggy and Abe: Deathwatch as a couple…this episode to me spelled doom for them

      Megan: Everything about her dress and hair at the award’s dinner/ and her convo with Peggy=love these two as friends
      Also love her and Don’s comparison to Sylvia and the doctor on their way out.
      Ted: Flirting with Peggy in front of his wife-sketchy

      Pete: Using the assasination to get back in Trudy’s good graces and it not working:)

      Peggy-being totally supportive of her secretary…love that she hugged her.

      • Lilithcat

        Peggy-being totally supportive of her secretary…love that she hugged her.

        I felt that that hug was almost as awkward as the one Joan gave Dawn. The “I’m doing this because it’s what I think I ought to do, not because I really feel it” sort of hug.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          I felt that it was awkward too but I took it to be for a different reason…which is Peggy to seem to be that demonstrative in public

          • Frank_821

            I agree, it was more to do with Peggy isn’t a touchy, feely gal-but she genuinely cares for Phyllis

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Yeah she went out of her comfort zone for that hug, which to me is really saying something

            • Aurumgirl

              I saw Peggy’s hug as her reaction to Phyllis’ distress–she could see her secretary wanted that comforting, and so she responded to that and reached out to hug her. The Joan-and-Dawn hug was totally different from that: Joan did what she thought was “required”–but Dawn neither wished to be comforted that way, nor did she respond. Dawn didn’t want comforting, she wanted the focus of work to offset all the chaos of the assassination.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Yeah I think, Dawn was the huge difference. In that Dawn seems to be like Peggy where she wants to work no matter what the circumstances and doesn’t need to be comforted by her coworkers. Her look was like…uh why are you touching me? In Dawn’s favor, I wouldn’t want to be hugged by any of my coworkers either.

        • tereliz

          Yes, the requisite “I’m sorry for ‘your people’s’ loss.” The only difference was that Peggy is friendlier with Phyllis than Joan is with Dawn. It was supportive in a sympathetic way, but not in a “We’re sharing in our grief together” way.

          “I’m sorry for what your people are going” through only highlights difference, sympathy, not sadness. Which is plain from the transition from the scene of the previous night, where most of the white people were more concerned for their own safety from angry rioting “Negroes” than sad that the human race had lost one of its greatest civil rights leaders.

          • Sobaika

            Precisely. Clumsy gestures in an attempt to reach out, one was just way more hilarious than the other.

          • Frank_821

            Yes recall the newspaper headline where the rioters are referred to as “human beast”

            • pollatadana

              I’m pretty sure that was a fake newspaper given out as promotional material for the movie (the name of the paper is “The Ape”)
              (ETA – but yes, it resonates with the larger attitudes toward the rioters)

            • decormaven

              Yes, that was ephemera created specifically to be handed out at the movie. Wow, the set decorators did a good job on this one.

              http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1968-planet-apes-promotional-49779732#.UX7C03DA2y4

          • fursa_saida

            Exactly. All these white people going around saying to black people “I’m so sorry”–it’s literally treating them like they’re all one family.

        • P M

          No. It felt like Peggy doesn’t really know how to connect to people at all. Even Abe – she really doesn’t get him at all. I’m surprised he doesn’t see that.

      • MartyBellerMask

        Yep, Ted is seriously into Peggy and his wife knows it.

        • http://twitter.com/DifficultDiva Diva in 4 Inch Heels

          Ted must talk about Peggy, all the time and remember when she was trying to get in touch with him, while he was on a retreat with his wife?

          Ted, has a serious longterm desire for Peg (I think, he’s had a thing for her, when he initially brought up her leaving SCDP.)

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            I do remember the retreat which we think was marriage retreat and which we can see didn’t work.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          I guess their marriage retreat was a FAIL and Peggy definitely returned whatever look he shot her.

          • http://twitter.com/DifficultDiva Diva in 4 Inch Heels

            Yes. Even my sister noticed the shared glance between Peggy and Ted and she doesn’t follow Mad Men at all.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Yeah, the look wasn’t subtle at all. I always kind of thought he was into her but I was a little surprised for her to return it. Especially since she is looking to move in with Abe.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1582777135 Melanie K. Morgan

              Peggy and Abe have lived together for quite a while now.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Omg you’re right, I totally forgot that episode…so why is Peggy buying a place alone???

            • MDubz

              I think that Abe is moving into the new place with Peggy. Peggy’s doing the buying because Peggy’s the one making the money…

              Actually, thinking about the overall grace with which Abe handled the fact that Peggy is buying their new place (I mean, he gets a bit huffy with the location, but overall he seems fine with it) switched me from predicting their doom to kind of rooting for them as a couple. They were more genuinely supportive this episode of each other’s careers than we’ve seen in a while, and for those two, career support is everything.

            • artsykelly

              Peggy and Abe are creating a modern relationship that works for them, screw what anyone else thinks. I think that is pretty badass and makes me feel really good about the two of them.

            • artsykelly

              That’s why the real estate agent was so shocked at Abe not being the buyer. Back in 1968, women couldn’t even have CREDIT CARDS in their own names (even if they had an income, CCs were in their husbands names), so for a woman in a relationship to be the sole purchaser of an apartment with a mortgage, was pretty shocking.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              I didn’t know the credit card thing. Sometimes I forgot just how ahead of the times Peggy is.

            • artsykelly

              I had a professor who always used the credit card thing as an example of how much has changed. She was an adult woman in her 30s, with an income and husband, who tried to get a store card in just her name. They wouldn’t allow her to apply for one without her husbands income information – even though her own income was equivalent of a single mans. Honestly, I’m surprised Peggy CAN get a mortgage in her own name in 1968.

            • elizabeth

              It’s because she’s not married. If she and Abe were married, she would not be able to apply for a mortgage or other form of credit on her own. Single women had some advantages!

            • http://twitter.com/DifficultDiva Diva in 4 Inch Heels

              Peggy’s keeping on the plan of being with Abe, because she does love and care for him, but I think shewants a man who will “fit” her goals and future plans. Abe has always been the complete opposite of Peggy and that’s what attracted them to each other in the first place. Yet, Peggy wants what she doesn’t have. She wanted and thought he was going to ask her to marry him. He asks her to move in with him. She wants to purchase an apartment. It’s all her money, which she says doesn’t bother her, bit it does that Abe cannot help financially with the purchase and then he reveals that he wants to move to the UWS and eventually have kids with Peggy. I think Peggy was making or trying tossecure steps for her own future, without Abe and things are up in the air.

        • fursa_saida

          When Ted said to Abe “Oh, I’m in your seat!” I was like OKAY, WRITERS, WE GET IT, THANK YOU.

        • editrixie

          I am dreading this for the future. I wouldn’t mind at all if Ted was in love with Peggy, it would be cool for once if the guy was the one with the unrequired crush on someone, but I live in fear of them actually writing it as an affair. Especially because I’d grown to like Ted, which surprised me. I’ve had lots of unrequited work crushes, and it would be perfectly realistic for that to happen. And who wouldn’t fall for Pegs? She’s awesome.

          • MDubz

            Yeah, Peggy’s not allowed to sleep with Ted. NO DO NOT WANT.

            • artsykelly

              Peg has already had an inappropriate older dude affair – Duck was enough! Geez, hook up with Stan if you’re gonna break up with Abe! But not TED.

            • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

              Agreed! I actually really like Ted Chaough too. He’s been a funny character since he first appeared, and I find his cheesiness endearing. I wouldn’t put it past Peggy to have an affair with him, because she does have that streak to her, but it would cause a massive ripple effect. I’m a little worried that they’re going to do a “big reveal” on her already having an affair with him, like they did with Duck Phillips. Is she really that stupid? Mayyyyybeeeee….

      • fursa_saida

        YES. I forgot to mention it in my own comment, but I couldn’t be happier that we saw Megan and Peggy as apparently truly sincere friends, two women who legitimately like one another. Their work relationship was always a little more awkward, but I think getting Megan’s discomfort about the nepotism of making copywriter, as well as their very different relationships with Don, got in the way. It makes a lot of sense to me that these two very intelligent women would appreciate one another, even if they’re not close.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          yes it was awkward when they worked together mostly because of Don. Plus Peggy worked so hard to get copywriter and Megan got because she married Don and really didn’t even want it.

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

            But I think even Peggy respected that Megan was talented.

    • zenobar

      Apropos of nothing, however, this image – “Sal happily sashay[ing] back into SCDP’s good graces, waving his rainbow flag” – made my whole morning.

      • http://communionoflight.com/ Frank Butterfield

        And when I read that, I immediately thought of the Thomas Is Gay And We Support Him issue on Downton Abbey. Piffle!

        • zenobar

          Nice! I was thinking more along the lines of Scott Thompson’s musical number in the Kids In The Hall movie “Brain Candy” – “He’s gay! He’s gay! Have you heard the news? He’s gay!”

          • tereliz

            “WHO CARES?!” ;)

        • ringthing

          My first thought, too! How is it that Thomas being outed had the blase reaction of the nobles but Sal, four decades later, is out the door. Difference in programs, settings and esp. writing. It’s easy to see which writers are the most invested in historical accuracy.

          • elizabeth

            yeah, but remember that English upper class men had plenty of homoerotic if not homosexual schooling. As Lord Grantham pointed out, if he’d screamed every time someone at Eton tried to kiss him, he’d have lost his voice in the first week he was there.

          • Joe M

            The answer is: British v. American cultural differences and the fact that Sal pissed off a client, who complained about him. (Jimmy the footman is lower than Thomas, and certainly no one Lord Gratham cares about keeping happy so he can stay rich, so his complaints don’t carry the same weight.) That being said, it was probably too optimistic to think that Thomas would be welcomed back so easily.

      • Eric Stott

        I don’t think he has to come back to SCDP, but having him pass through an episode could be nice

        • VanessaDK

          Maybe he could work for Ted Chaough?

          • Eric Stott

            I’m really finding it hard to separate Ted Chaough from the character he played on Desperate Housewives. I get this vision of Peggy opening the door and finding him with Stan.

      • Glammie

        But you know, this is the time my father’s ad agency partner came out and they worked together for a while . . . so if MM wants to bring back Sal in some fashion, they’re hitting a time when they can begin to do it. Poor Sal.

    • DaveUWSNYC

      I left the episode feeling the same mixture of anxiety and dread I had as a kid Bobby’s age watching the events unfold on TV and on the faces of the adults around me. I wondered if the wallpaper would ever match up again. June ’68 is going to be a body-blow.

      • decormaven

        Yes. As bad as MLK’s assassination was, RFK’s was a reverberating shithammer. I can still see my mom, a social worker, sitting in front of the television that June morning, saying “What has this world come to?”

        • DaveUWSNYC

          Exactly – funny my mom said the same thing. It felt like hope was dying and we were left with…Nixon.

          • decormaven

            Amen and amen.

      • MartyBellerMask

        Oh, poor Bobby. If he’s got anxiety now…

      • CarolinLA

        But he noticed the wallpaper mismatch prior to the assassination.

    • GinaGeo

      You know, I’ve been waving my “Return Sal” flag because I loved the character. But your explanation has me lowering that flag and putting it away.

      • Joe M

        Yay!

        • GinaGeo

          Well, I was just waving the flag. I didn’t have a chant or anything.

          • formerlyAnon

            :D

      • http://www.facebook.com/judy.julian77 Judy Julian

        I still miss Sal. Was hoping that perhaps he might return in a small way, similar to when Paul Kinsey made an appearance as the Hari Krishna disciple last year.

        • GinaGeo

          That’s what I hoped for too. A cameo of sorts.

          • AnotherJulie

            How about Sal returns in an expanded cameo, outside the workplace?

        • Munchkn

          Well, the Stonewall Riots are in late June of ’69 so there’s always hope that we may see him yet. I sort of think of Sal at this point as one of the guests at Harold’s birthday party in The Boys in the Band.

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

            He’s about two decades too old for that, another reason we don’t tend to champion his return. Sal was a virgin to gay sex well into his 40s, not to mention married the last time we saw him. He’d be about 50 in 1969 and highly unlikely to be involved in the movement in any way, given his backstory.

            • fursa_saida

              Yeah, even with age put aside, I’ve never thought of him as radical enough for that.

          • swiss_miss

            I would love the return of Sal/a cameo, but I don’t think he would be out and even less involved in Stonewall. But it might be interesting to see him as a still closeted gay man and his reaction to younger people around him being more and more open and radical and Stonewall happening but without him suddenly joining them or coming out to everybody.

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

          Presumably Sal went to work for another agency? It seems like he would show up at some of the same industry things that everyone else does. I don’t think Sal would be flying any flags, even in 1968, but I do think it would be interesting to see him again.

        • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

          Am I the only one (other than Weiner, I guess) who doesn’t miss Sal? I don’t mean the character was bad. Bryan Batt was fantastic, and Sal’s outing and job loss was tragic and brilliantly played. But I didn’t care about him that much. Everyone thinks of him as smooth and suave, but I found him almost like a male Joan – catty and smug. (I’m not a huge Joan fan, either.) Sal seemed more like a creative dinosaur from the Don Draper heyday. Even the contrast in artistic styles is crazy between 1960-1965. It made sense for him to go; he wasn’t going to evolve. At that point, Creative would have been looking for fresh, youthful styles.

          • 3hares

            I liked Sal fine as a character but I don’t see him as a loss the way he’s often described. Like I’m not sure what it is assumed he’d be doing if he was back. Often people seem to connect him to things like Stonewall which seem completely out of character for him and I agree he seemed firmly behind the curve creatively. I’m sure they could use him well if someone ran into him again in an episode but I didn’t see Sal as somebody that was on the verge of evolving when he disappeared.

    • Pennymac

      Watching 1968 unfold on Mad Men with my adult son has been eye-opening. For me, its the re-living of memories. For him, its his incredulous reaction to the way things are culturally portrayed on the show. But last night his comments were priceless. When Joan came into Dons office: “What is SHE wearing?” followed by the hug: “Well, that was awkward. Were white folks really that clueless?” (The times, they are a-changin)

      • Danielle

        Man, that awkward hug was hilarious. Even moreso than when someone hugs Tabatha Coffey.

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

        There are plenty of white people who are still that clueless.

    • Heather

      Is it bad that I love Peggy and Abe together?

      • grouchywif

        No. I love them together, too. As much as Peggy is, to our modern eyes, the professional woman paired with the unconventional free spirit, for her time, Peggy is a bit free spirited herself. Living “in sin” with a man. I do think their relationship is headed toward that weird place where you try to figure out a little more where you fit in each other’s life and what you want for the future…but it’s a lot easier nowadays for unmarried individuals to approach things like how to handle the money and the kid convo than it would have been in the 60′s. In the 60′s this whole idea that you could still be respectable while shacked up with a man you aren’t married to is still quite new.

        • formerlyAnon

          This. In a way, she’s more unconventional than Abe – the male intellectual activist, especially in NYC & other major world centers, had a long tradition by the 1960s. But I don’t like them together long term because I’ve never seen any convincing evidence that Abe is, underneath the political, going to be able to be any more enlightened than any other man raised in the ’40s about the role of his woman when she becomes his wife and the mother of his children. (This is, of course, heavily colored by my own experiences of politically radical males, though in my case, in the ’70s.)

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

            That’s a really interesting point, and one often missed by those of us who came along a little later: radical/lefty men were often not particularly enlightened when it came to women. I’d of course love to see that explored.

            • formerlyAnon

              In a way, I think Abe might be worse than some men because from the first he’s seen his work as more significant than Peggy’s advertising world which certainly fuels “the machine” in the most cynical and superficial ways. But I might be wrong, because I really thought they’d come aground on the shoals of that divide long before now. So maybe he’s more willing to be flexible than I have ever given him credit for.

            • Aurumgirl

              We haven’t been shown too much of the “radical 60′s” culture except through Abe. But judging about what women wrote of their experiences with men like Abe when they “worked together” to protest for change, it was always the guys like Abe who expected the girls in the group just make the coffee and sweep up after their meeting when they all left.

            • formerlyAnon

              And run the mimeograph machine.

            • MartyBellerMask

              We got a taste of it in Season 1, with Midge’s Beatnik friends. And yep, the men were mostly dismissive of the women in the group. Don was the least sexist in the bunch.

            • formerlyAnon

              Double post.

            • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

              It’s still that way in a lot of cases. Academia.

            • Aurumgirl

              And in a lot of places. Not just Academia.

            • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

              Leela is right. I think we’ve already seen shades of that sort of man with Paul Kinsey (and even Pete Campbell) earlier in the series. On the surface, you saw a well-educated guy publicly throwing himself into leftist political activism, touting himself as being open-minded, but he was actually the worst chauvinistic dirtball when it came to women. Abe strikes me as being of the same ilk. I know men like him in their late 60s-early 70s in academia, and they’re STILL absolute pigs when it comes to women. I think that’s why I dislike Abe so much and never liked him from the get-go: I recognize way too many familiar traits in that character. Let’s face it: Abe’s ultimately not very supportive of her career (for christ’s sake, he writes a smear story on her job when they first meet!). He’s nasty to Stan’s cousin at the party. It bothered me that he only wanted to move in with her after that discomfort he displayed at seeing Peggy talking like “one of the boys” with Stan and Ginsberg. He clearly still wants to see her as a housefrau, but he is particularly loathsome because he does it in the disguise of shacking up, which seems more liberated but really isn’t. If you look closely at Peggy’s face, it’s not radiating joy when he mentions the kids thing. It’s that sad smile she gave during his shack-up proposal, mixed with a lot of fear. And she’s sitting alone on that sofa – in pants. That’s very symbolic. What I find interesting is that the least chauvinistic person on the show is actually Stan, who appeared to be the worst of them all when he was first introduced. He and Don are the only people who take Peggy seriously. So far Ted Chaough appears to be supportive of her, but I think he just wants a piece of ass. It’ll be interesting to see where that goes.

          • lulubella

            I totally agree. I have interacted with many old school radicals near where I live. They’ve always struck me as lotharios using their live and let live vibe to hit on women. Side note: I was at a hot springs and this former? older? hippie was trying to regale us with a story of having driven down from Humboldt or wherever when he picked up a young beautiful hitchiker, and spun a story characterizing her as some kind of Mountain Girl and he some kind of Ken Kesey, showing her the ropes, the world. I interrupted and asked, “Wait, how old did you say she was?” “21.” I said, “No. If you are a teenager you are hitchhiking. If you are 21, you are travelling.” He looked crestfallen–not that he did not know that, but that we were not buying it, and that we were not that same audience, back in the 60s, trading tales of free love and conquests.

            Now back to the regular programming …

          • Lilithcat

            Let me tell you about politically radical males in 1968. When we were occupying buildings at Columbia, they wrote on a blackboard: “Liberated women, remember your pill.”

            And don’t forget Stokely Carmichael’s comment a few years earlier that “The only position for women in SNCC is prone.” (Indeed, let’s not forget MLK Jr’s own womanizing.)

            At the time, and, let’s face it, even today, men’s political radicalism rarely included equality for women.

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

              I recall reading in my women’s history textbook (in college in the 90′s) about a rally where, during a woman’s speech, some of the guys started yelling “Take her off the stage and fuck her!”

            • Glammie

              Yep, there’s a reason that Women’s Lib followed this period.

          • http://www.facebook.com/josette.arvizu Josette Arvizu

            Yeah. Remember when they first started dating he laughed at her claims that women and black people had some struggles in common-like not being let into country clubs where business takes place. Abe said, “Yeah, Let’s have a civil rights march for women, Peggy. ” and “No one is trying to shoot you for voting.” Totally dismissing or perhaps even totally unaware of the kind of violence against suffragettes in the 1910s when they were force fed during the hunger strikes or thrown into dank jails.

            • mcpierogipazza

              Or the personal violence women experienced. There’s a reason the 2nd Wave feminists focused on “personal is political.”

            • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

              I’m so glad you noticed that too!!

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

            Yes. This. Abe seems a little put off when he is inconvenienced by her career, but when he’s at an event celebrating her career, he has no problem skipping out to further his own. At some point, I see this becoming a problem. That in addition to the fact that he doesn’t really agree with what she does…he’s going to want her to leave her career at some point, or at least step back, and I don’t think Peggy will be willing to do that.

        • Kwei-lin Lum

          The couple really seem to have real affection for one another, still. Either they’re still in a honeymoon phase or are learning to bridge their differences. I don’t quite get a macho vibe in Abe, but the audience hasn’t really seen all that much of him, either.

          • fursa_saida

            You don’t have to be macho to be sexist, believe me.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            I didn’t think Abe and Peggy were super affectionate. Getting her a meatball sub didn’t strike fireworks. I got more of an affection vibe between her and Stan.

      • VanessaDK

        Hear hear! I just don’t see “doom” on them–I totally see upper west side in their future. Abe went to Harlem (in a tux!–best line of the evening) for the NEW YORK TIMES! He’s no lower east side bohemian–he is a poltiically astute rising journalist.

        • Laylalola

          Oh yeah, that really stood out for me this episode. This is a guy who used to write for the underground who is this geeked and geared up to aggressively pursue this story for the New York Times. They’re soul mates.

      • MK03

        No, I like them too. I just happen to prefer Peggy and Stan a little more. :D

    • Sobaika

      There were quite a few awkward moments – and it’s one of the only ways MW has gotten race issues right in my opinion. Upper class white characters can be racially clueless, no matter the time period. Though I felt like when we finally saw Dawn, it wasn’t a missed opportunity.

      • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

        I agree with this.

      • zenobar

        Truth.

      • formerlyAnon

        Race relations in this country are STILL awkward, often. And IMO, if one hasn’t experienced that, one is very young, lives in an environment in which their relationships with those of other races are very stylized and bounded, or is very oblivious. ETA: Personally, I don’t think you’re having real relationships across races if one doesn’t occasionally have to screw up the courage to directly address an awkwardness – at the very least, acknowledging some kind of de facto segregation that one encounters. Perhaps that’s generational ( I *am* over 50) but I don’t think so. I see it among people 20-30 years younger than I am – though I think they are better at addressing it head on.

        • AnotherJulie

          Well said. I am also over 50.. the younger generations at least WANT to address race head on – whereas most of the white characters on Mad Men either joke about it (Roger), use it to appear cool (Paul Kinsey), try to engage and fail (Joan), or ignore it. I think Pete had one of the top 3 scenes of the episode.

        • Glammie

          I think it depends where you are. I went to integrated schools, so developed a certain racial awareness–even now I tend to be more aware of nuances than my peers. But I’m aware of race. My younger relations, though, just don’t see color in the same way. Dating across color lines doesn’t even seem to register as an issue–they just date people. It’s really nice to see, but it does make me feel like a bit of a fossil.

          Don’t think it’s like that everywhere, though.

        • Stitches

          agreed. i’m 25, and sometimes i feel like i come across as the overly helpful white girl.

        • JosephLamour

          Let me tell you… I write about it almost every day now for Racialicious. The awkwardness, the calling back to the awkwardness and the awkwardness at the calling out, is just… not good for anyone. But necessary.

          • formerlyAnon

            Oh yes. Sometimes in a mixed group I think “Well, which is going to be *more* burdensome – ignoring what at least half of us are thinking, and perpetuating the status quo, or saying something and dragging out all that awkward back & forth. Truly, sometimes I just want to have some kind of polling device “is the majority up for this right now, or do we just want to finish lunch?”

      • Violina23

        I think it’s partially cluelessness… and partially just NOT knowing what to do. Granted, I wasn’t alive in the 60′s, but I think often times people “get it”, but don’t always know how to show their support/solidarity if it isn’t something that they can directly relate to, It’s like today with social media, people will changing their profile photos or share viral photos on Facebook to show how much they care… I think mostly because they don’t know what else to do.

      • http://twitter.com/DifficultDiva Diva in 4 Inch Heels

        I agree. It wasn’t a missed opportunity at all. Dawn’s been an employee of SCDP for almost 2 years now. She’s observed that what goes on at the job, is about getting the work done, regardless of what’s happening in the real world or your personal life. Public displays of emotion are frowned upon, so she knew that she couldn’t be the only SCDP employee to stay at home. She wants to be seen as “belonging” to her fellow coworkers and employers, that’s why she was so shocked that Don and Joan expected her to not show up for work.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1582777135 Melanie K. Morgan

          And I imagine that work felt safer to her than her neighborhood.

        • Not applicable

          i also think she was kind of annoyed that they were expecting her to go home– firstly b/c she had such trouble even getting into work- and then by thinking she was not professional enough to manage her feelings…I *think* Dawn found that patronizing.

        • KayEmWhy

          Bingo! You hit the nail on the head.

      • Not applicable

        I agree too- any more shift to Dawn or Peggy’s secretary would have been inauthentic to the show. Suddenly Madmen is PC?? wha??

    • Pennymac

      P.S. I loved Ginsburg’s awkward blind date!

      • Sobaika

        YES. Loved Virginsberg and his father. Their scenes were some of the few that didn’t make me cringe and were actually interesting.

        • tereliz

          Virginsberg, lol. His date, interrupted, and the way he explained to his dad what happened and why he had to go home, and his father’s response was some of the best character development in the episode. I hope he goes out with the girl again. :)

          • ideated_eyot

            Ginsburg’s father is a very good character.

        • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gaby

          Virginsberg is my new favorite portmanteau. THANKYOU.

        • fursa_saida

          I get unreasonably excited during any scenes with the two of them–well, even just with Ginsberg, to be honest, but I love his dad too. “You, you want to get on the ark with your father?” YES.

          • Cheryl

            I don’t like the accent he uses. It sounds phony to me. I mean, I know it’s not his natural speech, but it doesn’t sound like any Eastern European/Yiddish inflection I’ve ever heard.

            • fursa_saida

              I can’t speak to the accent itself, but the cadence and phrasing is very, very familiar.

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

              I agree with both of you — phrasing sounds right, accent sounds wrong. I can’t take him seriously as a character.

      • sarahjane1912

        Positively Woody-esque, no? I think Ginsburg might be in a state of virginity for some time.

        • fursa_saida

          I would HAPPILY fix that for him. I’m going to start saying “You’re a sexy girl, and you smell great!” to all my friends, especially the male ones.

      • Cheryl

        Yes, the young woman handled that whole thing beautifully. She was able to make him feel at ease; I hope we see her again.

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

        I forgot about that date. I loved Ginsburg in that scene too. He was totally adorable.

    • Meg0GayGuys6

      I laughed at every scene with Stan. Love him!

      Also, I need help, BKs… the end of last season we saw Peggy with the Virginia Slims. Is there nothing to say of that now? Was that all there was to it? I remember in the TLo recap talking about how huge it’d be if she got this account, but how it wouldn’t really be believable if she did. Are we expecting for that to come back up this season or was that all there was to it?

      • decormaven

        Peggy told Don that they were trying to win the account in “The Phantom”. Who knows how much effort had to go into the pitch, how long the company would take to make a decision, then roll out the new product? The company & agency may be looking at the “right” time for the launch, and given how tumultuous 1968 was, it may be a bit before we see any campaign.

        • Meg0GayGuys6

          Yea, I wasn’t sure what month/year last season left off so I wasn’t sure if that campaign would have already happened. According to wikipedia, Virginia Slims were introduced in July 1968 and if my history knowledge sticks, MLK was assassinated in April, so hopefully we’ll see little something about this campaign soon!

        • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

          I think it’ll be revealed that another “big” company (Leo Burnett) took on the business and stole it from the midsized agencies like SCDP and CGC. It would lead toward talks of a merger.

          • decormaven

            I think you’re on to something. The preview clips we see for the coming episode make me think there’s going to be talk of an alliance between CGC and SCDP. The lil guys are going to join forces.

            • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

              I hope so. That would bring about an interesting internal struggle, too.

      • Logo Girl

        Even though they sometimes play with historical precision as needed (such as with Lucky Strike), I’m guessing that it would have gone to Leo Burnett as it did in real life. I think the ads were already near release at the time of this last episode.

    • Lilithcat

      “They used this event to define [Dawn] rather than using her to define the event.” I felt exactly the same. Such a great opportunity missed.

      I think you’re missing TLo’s point. Which is that it is a good thing that we are getting a clearer picture of who Dawn is.

      I wondered why they made the black characters’ response to the assassination such a side story.

      Because the show is not (yet) about them, and it’s not about historic events*. To bring Dawn, or Peggy’s secretary, center stage at this point would not be true to the show and would throw it off-balance.

      *Insofar as events that I lived through are allowed to be “history”!

      • zenobar

        Oh, I got what TLo were saying. I just felt that, since we got a quite lot of “off the clock” Dawn last week, it wouldn’t have been at all out of place to get a little more in-depth regarding her reaction to this event. Not even placing her center stage for the episode – at this point in the storyline, she is still a secondary character (although I’m hoping to see much more of her and her journey as this season goes on). I was trying to say that seeing a little more of the story through Dawn’s character would have been such a stark, poignant contrast to all the white-people hand-wringing.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      I didn’t have quite the same reaction about Don’s conversation with Megan. True, it is something that the audience probably figured out awhile ago, but I thought it was moving that he actually spoke about his problems feeling love towards other (and that he rooted it to doubts about whether he was actually loved as a child). I was also a bit heartbroken for Don when Bobby basically admitted that he cared more about Henry than him. True he hasn’t been a great father, but that still must be hard to hear. Now if only he would act on that instead of retreating again. (Also would like to note that I’m so glad they re-casted the role of Bobby. The kid they used to have is on Once Upon a Time now and works on my last nerve whenever he has a scene!).

      • Sobaika

        I agree that it was a big moment, but we’ve been wallowing in far too much of Don’s bullshit for it to have the impact it should have.

        I will say this – I’m not the biggest Megan fan but in terms of the children, she’s good for them and their relationship with their zombie father.

        • http://twitter.com/DifficultDiva Diva in 4 Inch Heels

          That’s one of the main reasons why he married Megan.

          I know, she was conflicted about the unwanted pregnancy and miscarriage, but when she heard Don express his true feelings about his kids, she must have felt some sort of relief, that she’s not going to have her own child go through that with Don.

          • Violaine

            Parenting seems to have been one of the main sub-themes of the episode – Don’s & Betty’s poor parenting, Megan parenting his kids and her phone conversation with her father, Bobby’s concern about Henry, Dawn mentioning her mom, Pete’s concern about his kids and his emotion over MLK’s wife and kids, Peggy contemplating kids.

            • Adelaidey

              And (Vir)Ginsberg and his father, as well.

        • AnotherJulie

          I couldn’t have said it better. I think Jessica Pare’s facial expressions during that scene were excellent. Horror, pity, etc etc

          • sweetlilvoice

            I love that she wasn’t wearing obvious makeup either. Her face was so bare that all of her emotions were right at the surface. A nice touch. I love how disgusted she was by him getting drunk.

            • AnotherJulie

              Agree. That scene moved her further up my list of MM characters that I actually like and can relate to.

          • fursa_saida

            I swear I will never understand people insulting her acting.

      • Scimommy

        All I thought during that scene was “Don has to be drunk to be honest about himself.”

        • decormaven

          When Don gets drunk, he hears the voice of his father, as in “Seven Twenty Three.” “Look at you. You’re up to your old tricks. You’re a bum. What do you do? You grow bullshit.”

          • imspinningaround

            I work in advertising, and believe me, I think about that line A LOT.

      • Lulu

        Is it possible that this episode was about Don being surprised that he actually *feels* for people he thinks he has convinced himself he has only *pretended* to feel something for? His concern for Sylvia was touching, as was his admission of love for Bobby. I wish we’d have waited until next week to see that dashed by Bobby’s fears that Francis might be shot — would have been nice to see Don try to grapple with real love for a bit before the return to despair.

        • Joy

          I also thought a bit of what he was talking about was his love for Sylvia. He also looks back at Megan after this speech and I feel like he wishes Sylvia was the woman he is sharing this with.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1582777135 Melanie K. Morgan

          “His concern for Sylvia was touching?!?!” She’s his mistress! I thought it just showed his selfishness and inability to sustain a real relationship – he’s all worried about his girlfriend, but forgets to go get his own kids, and ignores them (and his wife) while they’re there.

      • Violina23

        Yeah, I thought it was a very honest and moving conversation, but by now we KNOW that no level of self-awareness is going to change who Don is and how he behaves. It just makes the whole thing feel sad and hopeless.

      • fursa_saida

        I agree. It was a very, very rare moment of openness from him, even if it was a concealed speech about Sylvia as some have suggested above.

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

        All I could think is, “You call Betty a piece of work for insisting Don come get the kids in the middle of a riot, but you ‘oh poor baby’ your husband when he’s a drunk who admits he doesn’t love his own kids?” I have no sympathy at all for Don. I think in terms of parenting, he’s even worse than Betty, and yet, everyone–on the show and outside it–give him a pass because he’s a sad man with a rough childhood confronting his own demons. Oh, please.

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

          “everyone – on the show and outside of it – give him a pass?” How’s that even true? It’s a central story point. He admits he’s a lousy parent and both of his wives have criticized him for his parenting, not to mention his kids’ stepfather.

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

            True to some extent. Betty has always been up front with him about his poor parenting skills, although I think it loses some of its sting considering that it comes from Betty, and Henry’s criticism, although very much warranted and spot on, has the same problem by virtue of his being married to Betty. Megan is critical, too, but she’s also very sympathetic, and honestly, if my husband told me he didn’t love his own children, even if they weren’t my kids too, I think I’d be a little more horrified and wonder about the sort of person I married.

            I think in the reception of the show, a lot of people don’t view Don as a bad parent. I don’t think that applies at all to your analysis, but I know a lot of people were stunned by the revelation in this episode that he doesn’t actually feel any real love for or pride in his children and that it’s all an act for him, just like everything else. I think most people have always thought Don was a loving, if absent, father.

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

              I’m not sure who else in-story is qualified to comment on his parenting, other than his wives and his kids’ stepfather. It would be odd for any of the other characters to have an opinion on it.

              And I think you’re coming down a bit too hard on Megan, who didn’t even get a chance to say anything about Don’s monologue before the episode ended.

              As for people outside the show, you’ll pardon me, but it’s a quirk of Mad Men fans that they constantly point out how certain characters aren’t “criticized” by other fans of the show enough. It’s not an impulse I can say I understand or share. I’m not saying you’re guilty of this across the board; just that I could easily find many people who claim that Don is too criticized while Betty gets a free pass or Betty is too criticized when Joan gets a free pass or Joan is too criticized when Peggy gets a free pass. We’ve been writing about this show for a good while now and we can tell you, it’s quite a popular sentiment among the fans of the show.

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

              I think most people have always thought Don was a loving, if absent, father.

              I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, it’s not that surprising. There were a lot of scenes of Betty acting out at the children — yelling, hitting, hair-pulling. These were shocking, focus-pulling scenes and people naturally remarked on them. Don has been mostly kind and warm (in his way) in his scenes with the kids. Realizing that he too was a shitty parent may have taken some more thinking and a better knowledge of the show. It wasn’t as obvious and clear-cut.

              Also, Don has been given a lot more depth than Betty since season 3, so you feel less compelled to judge him as good or bad and more inclined to think about his psychology (or at least I do…). Betty has been portrayed as nothing but Crazy Bitch-Mom of Death for entire seasons.

    • Frank_821

      Yes I was grateful little Bobby had something to do. How piercing that his main anxiety was over Henry’s safety? It drove home the point what a neglectful parent and lousy husband Don is. Henry may be dull but he’s the only stable force in those kids’ lives. Even Sally manages to remain civil with him with all her snark

      • http://profiles.google.com/ruthieoo Ruthie O

        And Don’s reaction was perfect: “Henry isn’t that important.” At once, he comforts Bobby AND provides a sharp dig towards Henry. The adman way: say something the audience wants to hear that means something totally different.

        • http://www.facebook.com/theAccidentalHousewife Leah Elzinga

          and sets up Bobby’s inevitable reaction to Henry running for Senate. That’s going to scare the shit out of that poor kid.

      • pattycap11

        While it was jarring, I do think that Bobby’s concern was motivated at least in part by his knowing that his stepdad is somehow vaguely involved in politics and is out being active while there is this talk of danger. Understandable that he’d notice and be anxious.

        • Melissa Snyder

          Yeah, I thought that was at least part of the reason Betty was so anxious to get the kids out of the house. What with Henry’s line of work, it would have been hard to avoid dwelling on the assassination and unrest.

        • http://twitter.com/DarrenNesbitt Darren Nesbitt

          Do you think they see Harry more as Dad and Don just as. . . Don?

          • http://twitter.com/DifficultDiva Diva in 4 Inch Heels

            I think Sally and Bobby are getting older and understanding that BOTH of their parents have issues. Luckily, those kids, especially Gene have loving step-parents in Henry and Megan.

      • http://twitter.com/DarrenNesbitt Darren Nesbitt

        Yes when Don said “Henry isn’t that important” I gave the biggest Betty eye roll.

        • http://twitter.com/DifficultDiva Diva in 4 Inch Heels

          It’s funny, how Betty and Don react/behave about their exes second wives/husbands. Their resentment over Megan and Henry being apart of their kids lives, being better parents and their kids loving them for it, drives them crazy.

      • librarygrrl64

        I adore that silver fox, er, Henry. :-)

        • Cordelia_Gray

          So do I. I know most people find him dull, but he’s a loving husband, a good son, and a pretty good stepdad. Not to mention damn good looking. There’s nothing dull about that. :-)

          • librarygrrl64

            I love both he and Hamm as actors, but it’s the Henrys of this world over the Dons forever. “Bad boys” are only fun in fiction. ;-)

    • Frank_821

      Whoops forgot to say. I loved contrasting the office scenes with Dawn and Peggy’s secretary. The former was so wonderfully awkward, the latter seemed so much more genuine. She’s more than just the token black girl

    • Jennifer Coleman

      The look Joan had on her face as she was deciding to hug Dawn was even better than the hug. Kudos to Christina Hendricks and Teyonah Parris on that scene. Dawn suddenly got very interesting with that hug – she expressed her admiration in the last episode for Joan, but here she rebuffs her. Her personal life and emotions are completely off limits to her co-workers. But I really hope that the tethering of her to Peggy’s secretary ends soon.

      • Not applicable

        also- that was like the best Joan could do, you know? she has had issues with race in the past- and I almost felt that little display was for Don as much as it was for Dawn.

        • purkoy28

          she also said, we are sorry for your loss. not this is a loss for everyone but your. that stuck out to me.

          • shelley514

            Me too. It was Joan’s way of letting Dawn know she is not part of the “we”. Dawn is still “other.” It’s also the equivalent of “don’t all black people know each other.”

      • shelley514

        Dawn’s reaction to Joan’s hug called to mind Dawn’s friend’s warning to her last week …. . “I told you those girls are NOT your friends.” No Dawn, Joan is not your friend.

    • Scimommy

      The contrast between Dawn and Phyllis was stark. The feeling I got from Dawn was not just that she wanted to be at work, but that she actively did not want to be home during the grieving for MLK. Unlike Phyllis, she does not mention her family beyond saying something that sounded like she did not want to be with them. I think, like Peggy, Dawn feels like a fish out of water with her family. I bet we’re going to see her at home at some point, being chided by her mother for not settling down with a family like she should and her variation on the “You’re going to get raped” that Peggy once got.

      • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gaby

        I dunno – I thought Dawn said “My mother thought I should come in” which says more to me that her mother and possibly entire family are of the stoic “Don’t let them see you cry” variety, which I thought dovetailed well into the way Dawn is characterized, especially on this episode. If anything, I felt like it said that Dawn is close to her family, perhaps to the exclusion of blending in to her community (“those harlots”/”No one looks at me”).

        • Scimommy

          That’s interesting. I guess I interpreted “My mother thought I should come in” as “…or they will fire you.” I don’t remember what Dawn said verbatim, but there was something along the lines of “I’d rather be here” when it was suggested that she go home.

          • Joy

            I definitely think her Mom was saying “You got a good job, don’t mess it up, you better walk down to madison avenue if you have too”. At least that is what my grandmother would have told me. I don’t know if I agree with you about her being a fish out of water with her family and being encouraged to settle down. The majority of the black women in my family WORKED and that was always encouraged and expected. That is not something to mess up.

            • Scimommy

              We’ll see, you could be right. At this point we have precious little to go on. I am remembering Dawn’s conversation with her friend/sister last episode and I think it was made clear that the other woman was not working. But I don’t remember what they said verbatim, so I could be misremembering.

              In related news, our Dawn-Ginsberg ship hasn’t sunk yet!

            • Joy

              It hasn’t sunk yet! She still doesn’t have a date to the wedding and Ginsberg is still a virgin!!!

            • Scimommy

              OMG, I forgot that she needs a date for the wedding! As much as I think these two would be very interesting together, I also think that bringing Ginsberg would be a disaster. The guy has no filter!

            • formerlyAnon

              God I hope she wouldn’t try bringing Ginsberg to the wedding. For something that much of a social stretch, you need somebody with better social skills than he’s got.

            • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

              While it might be awesome from a fandom perspective, I don’t think it would ever happen because Dawn seems so fixed on doing her job, and representing her race within SCDP (whether it be intentional or not), that she wouldn’t jeopardize her job by fraternizing with someone at work. Plus, Mad Men has toyed with the idea of interracial relationships in the past, but if they’re really going to go there, I don’t think they’d do it with Dawn and Ginsberg. They’re both already “trailblazers” of a sort; I don’t think they’d ALSO be the token interracial couple.

            • Scimommy

              When I “ship” these two, I don’t necessarily mean that they must arrive at “coupledom”. I think it would be very interesting if there was a mutual attraction between them and some interactions beyond strictly work-related ones. And of course I can totally see how one or both of them could put the brakes on should anything serious threaten to develop.

              Btw, I am suddenly seeing Don being an asshole to Dawn (because he will eventually) and who better to sympathize with her than Ginsberg? Joan might, but it will be more of a tough love type sympathy, not the “Come on! The guy is a known asshole because (insert hilarious Ginsberg line)” type sympathy.

          • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gaby

            Oh, see, I understood that as “It took me so fucking long to get here [train issues, rioters, etc] and you’re just going to close up and force me to go through all that crap again? I’d rather get something done than have made the trip for nothing.” I definitely don’t see Dawn as saying that she feels she fits in more at SCDP than home, especially after last week’s awkwardness among the secretariat. It would be nice if she felt that way, but I think she’s actually different from Peggy in that regard.

          • Girl_With_a_Pearl

            Guys, it would be highly, highly unlikely for Dawn to take Ginsberg to an African American wedding in Harlem in 1968.

        • fursa_saida

          I agree. I also imagine that back home for her (whether that means her house or her neighborhood), there would be a lot of emotions running high and maybe she just finds that overwhelming to be around. Wanting to get away and focus on something else for a while isn’t that uncommon a response.

      • golden_valley

        There are 2 ways for any “out” group person to behave in order to get noticed and achieve some sort of equal status. One is to out work the mainstream group around you. The other is to protest and draw attention to your out group’s grievances. Dawn is in the out work category and perhaps her mother is too.

      • gdougs

        I got the impression that Dawn wanted to be at work because she felt safer there. Less likely to be hurt in an office full of white people. And also because she wouldn’t want them to see her as overly emotional and therefore, incapable of doing her job.

    • Eclectic Mayhem

      I’d’ve been pissed off with that shoddy wallpapering job too Bobby – you go for your life!

      Until a few weeks ago I was only vaguely aware that Tom Cruise had a cousin who was also in the acting business but this is the third time I’ve seen William Mapother aka Roger’s acid-tripping buddy in as many weeks.* Not sure there’s much more for that character to do in the show but you never know with Weiner!

      Thanks for all your insight TLo – fabulous as always.

      *The Lather Effect & Another Earth – the latter of which was really intriguing. It’s on again on HBO this afternoon – set your DVRS!

      • MartyBellerMask

        He has cameos in a bunch of Tom Cruise movies. “Minority Report” being the first one that comes to mind. IIRC, he was in (the non-Cruise) “In the Bedroom”, and was very good.
        Bit of a fruitcake here, but perfectly cast. Mad Men casting does it again.

        • http://twitter.com/FranticButFab Heidi/FranticButFab

          I think I read once that Tom Cruise has a bit part for him in every one of his movies.

          • Violaine

            Are they related? Same last name, no?

            • MartyBellerMask

              Cousins!

            • lilyvonschtupp

              Tom’s real last name is Mapother

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          Minority Report is probably the only Tom Cruise movie I actually like! I’ll have to go back and look out for Mapother, he didn’t register with me before now.

      • tereliz

        William Mapother aka Ethan from LOST, aka, the crazy vehicular suicidal misogynist from American Horror Story Asylum, ALWAYS creeps me out, to the point when I can’t concentrate on what’s happening because I’m waiting for him to do something crazy. Last night, I did not have to wait long. So weird. A wasted scene unless it goes somewhere critical for Roger or Don, imo.

        The wallpaper bothered me almost as much, lol.

        • Sobaika

          Did anyone else pick up on Roger’s line “Make sure he doesn’t get lost on the way out” because I chortled.

          • tereliz

            LOL, yes. Next to Ginzberg’s dad and Bobby’s “Jesus”, that was one of the only good laughs in such a sad and unsettling episode.

          • H2olovngrl

            I love when my favorite shows slyly reference each other! Noe, if they could work in a Doctor Who line, that would be golden!

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          Yeah, I was confused when then initially met at the awards ceremony. I thought that his character might have actually known Don, perhaps even as Dick Whitman (dun dun duh!). I didn’t really get the whole “he’s on acid” thing until Roger brought it up.

          • FloridaLlamaLover

            …and I didn’t catch Roger’s reference, so I’ll have to watch with a closer ear and ear

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          Ahhh – clearly he’s been in all the stuff I haven’t watched!

        • MartyBellerMask

          Stan was hilarious in that scene.

          • MAK

            You could see he thought this was The Best Client Ever.

          • fursa_saida

            I assume he was high and was just like “dude, this shit is willlllld”

          • lilyvonschtupp

            Stan was so friggin’ high. I had to laugh at that too!

      • MsKitty

        Mapother was also an abusive Kentucky backwoods pimp in season 3 of Justified. If I ever saw him in a straight, non-menacing role I don’t think I could handle it.

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          He’s a total sweetheart in both The Lather Effect and Another Earth so you’d probably best avoid both films!

      • MilaXX

        He was Ethan the Other who pretended he had been in the plane crash on LOST and last night that’s all I saw. He was more convincing when he was on Justified.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      The whole rewind, Betty is a bitch scene was to get the kids, particularly Bobby to New York. And the whole Bobby Draper scene’s point was that he was feeling upset. After Don finally realizes that he has some feelings (love?) for this kid after all these years, when Don goes to comfort Bobby, the person Bobby’s most worried about something bad happening to isn’t Don; it’s his step-dad, Henry Francis. Henry is the more important father figure for Bobby, not Don.

      • Girl_With_a_Pearl

        BTW, I actually think that the show is less interesting whenever Betty and her family are featured or the current Don’s shenanigans at home. I’d rather see more of the goings on at SDCP and Peggy.

      • MartyBellerMask

        When he said that it was like, “oooh, BURN”. Poor Don. But not really. I’m glad Bobby got some lines. Meaningful ones.

    • Violina23

      I noticed a lot of commenters were kinda rolling their eyes at having another “Mad Men Characters react to [Important Historical Event]” episode, but I felt like it would have been disingenuous to ignore the impact of something so huge, even though, as mentioned, it is from the predominantly “white” world of Mad Men. I thought it was a vast improvement over the Kennedy episode, and a pretty solid episode overall, even though it felt like it was checking off boxes, so to speak. As someone born in 1981, I find it all very fascinating.

      I had the same exact reaction re: Don. He made that EXTREMELY honest speech to Megan about how he felt about his children — and it was almost beautiful, but then I’m saying to myself “But does this change ANYTHING? NO!” It’s just getting harder and harder to root for Don, or even really CARE about what happens to him. With all the gloomy hints scattered around death and dread, I’m starting to suspect Don might not make it past the end of the series.

      • Kwei-lin Lum

        I thought the scene at the end with Don on the balcony felt especially ominous. Not to mention the falling silhouette against the skyscraper in the opening credits.

      • filmcricket

        It’s interesting that “The Grownups” seems to be an unpopular episode – I LOVED it. I thought it was one of the best ones that season.

        This felt less impressive, for all the reasons already mentioned: it’s re-trod ground, it’s about someone most of these people had no real connection to, etc. I did like the callbacks to “The Grownups” though, including Harry once again being concerned about losing prime time, Pete once again being disgusted by that, and Betty – who is the only character we saw witnessing Jack Ruby getting shot – not allowing the kids to watch the TV because “who knows what they’d see.” I wondered if Bobby’s TV ban was about ruining the wallpaper or Betty trying to protect him. Or both.

        I expect the RFK assassination, if they deal with it, will be more profound.

    • crash1212

      Random thoughts: 1) Let’s not forget that Megan actually won the award – and it was tossed aside as meaningless. 2) I don’t think it’s so odd that Don doesn’t relate to children when they’re babies – I think it might be quite common, especially during that time – I thought his “awakening” to Bobby was touching and it’ll be interesting to see where this goes…if it goes anywhere. 3) I was in 4th grade when MLK was shot in a very white world and from what I remember, this was pretty close to the experience. I remember apologizing to a black man I saw in the grocery store and wanting to hug him and my mom sort of holding me back. He thanked me and my mom was sort of awkward…she didn’t admonish me, but it was exceedingly awkward/moving. We were a very political/mostly liberal family and that period of assassinations was defining.

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

        ” I don’t think it’s so odd that Don doesn’t relate to children when they’re babies”

        Yes, but he basically admitted that he doesn’t feel anything for them for almost the first full decade of their lives.

        • crash1212

          True. I don’t have children, so I can’t speak to the parenting thing, but I don’t really respond to kids until they’re about that age. Guess Don and I have more in common than I’d like to admit!

          • elizabeth

            I do have a kid, and I didn’t really think I was into kids until they hit that 9/10 year old mark. As I found out, kids are interesting before then (though difficult and love is not always automatic), but you have to invest time and work, which Don just doesn’t want to do. I get impatient with folks who think Don’s a good dad, just because he doesn’t care enough to do the hard work of parenting that Betty has to do (albeit bitchily).

            • formerlyAnon

              Agree with this completely – though by the standards of his time, Don is not underacheiving as much as he would be seen to be today. I remember my parents had friends who fed the kids around 4:30 or 5:00, with the parents eating at 7:00 or 8:00 after the kids went to bed, until the kids were 8 or so. It was considered a slightly “snobby” or upper crust approach – since it worked better if Dad came back home on the train from a fancy job in an office than if he got off his shift at the factory at 4:30 – but a significant minority of families we knew tried it for at least a while. Nobody really expected Dad to interact with young kids very much.

            • http://twitter.com/Rowsella315 Kathy G

              I was a small child during this time born in 1965, my brother in 1968. My father worked as a bank manager. Mothers were at home raising kids. We would eat at 4:00 and go to bed at 6 or so– generally, we would be bathed and dressed for bed when my father got home. We would greet him like he was a rock star, throwing our little bodies at him, get hugs, kisses, the tickle monster… then good night!–get tucked in and we would go to sleep. If there was a Christmas special on or Winnie the Pooh, my mother would wake us up for it so it seemed really special. Plenty of times my father did not come home– he had clients, he was at a bar, he was being Don Draper (serial cheater) and would come home very late, drunk off his ass and sometimes there could be yelling.

              On weekends, there was yardwork, football, baseball (god forbid we interrupt those games) and hangovers. Mom would take us out to parks, museums, sometimes a friend’s house etc. if she could. He was considered a good provider and a good father in our neighborhood. There are pictures of playing catch, building snowmen together and summer afternoons in the backyard and birthday parties (very Kodak moment)–no pictures of empty scotch and vodka bottles, vomiting over the toilet and violent rages. They divorced in 1972 and it was not long before we had a “stepfather” although she & he didn’t actually remarry until about 20 years later.

              I never doubted my father loved us, just knew it was in his fantasy of being a good father, part of the myth of who he was in his own head–he had his own reality. There were various times in his life where we were more important to him than others–usually reflected by the priorities of his partner at the time. So while he was a difficult person, a horrible husband, he was at times a great father and that was enough, it had to be enough– to make up for the times he really egregiously was not.

              So reading the judgments of Don and Betty as parents, I really think they are being looked at through the lens of the standards of today’s Type A parenting styles. Betty would also be conceived as a normal mother who seems to have lots of patience with Sally. If we peeled wallpaper off the walls, we got in trouble. Don likely gets the kids every other weekend so to miss a visit is kind of a big deal. While Megan often deals with the children, that was not unusual either, most men didn’t know what to do with kids for long periods of time on their own. We did a lot of movies and going to parks and my dad had a hard time handling all of us at once by himself and we were well-behaved. I can see the kids are closer to Henry, looking at him as a father because they live with him and he occupies more of a traditional father role, more than seeing Megan as a mother.

            • formerlyAnon

              Yes. Expectations were different.

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

              Don abandoned his kids on more than one occasion – disappearing for over a month, in one case – regularly subjected their mother to emotional abuse, and has just admitted that he fakes feeling any emotion for them for about a decade. His behavior goes way beyond the
              “distant father” model of the time and dips in to sociopathy.

            • http://twitter.com/Rowsella315 Kathy G

              I see what you are saying. However, during the 1970′s divorce-a-rama there were a great many kids who’s parents divorced and were abandoned by their fathers– whether it was them remarrying and having a second family where they were much better parents and had less time for them or just took off because they could. I guess Don is a trendsetter of paternal neglect. Don and Betty’s divorce was remarkably civil and amiable from the perspective of most 70′s children of divorce. My own father disappeared for a year and when he came back, was remarried, had honeymooned in Bermuda and living in New Jersey. I don’t even remember missing him that year. By the time I was in high school, it was unusual for a kid to still have both original parents at home.

              To be fair, just about every man on this show except for Ken has treated their wife to emotional abuse.

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

              I’m afraid it sounds to me like you’re wildly overstating the number of men back in the day who abandoned their families and I think you’re understating how socially unacceptable that was, even 40 years ago.

              None of the other men on the show lied to their wives about their entire life story and name, and then spent their entire marriage gaslighting her and boxing her in while spending as little time as possible with her and sleeping with an enormous number of women on the side.

            • http://twitter.com/DifficultDiva Diva in 4 Inch Heels

              Thank you for the above post.

            • 20s_Jazz_Baby

              I don’t think he’s a sociopath; I think he’s schizoid. It seems to fit a lot better.

            • Lisa_Co

              No, schizoids don’t like people; sociopaths are liars and have little remorse for how their actions affect others.

            • 20s_Jazz_Baby

              I think he’s shown remorse, or at least that he’s conflicted about what he does. He doesn’t seem malicious. Schizoids have few emotions and little empathy, and can’t really connect with people. His speech about pretending to love his kids felt really schizoid to me. Im happy to accept that I might be wrong though!

        • jennmarie19

          Hmmm . . . I didn’t think he meant that he didn’t love them until they were 10 years old. I interpreted it more along the lines that he was faking it for a while (when they were babies) and was surprised with the intensity of love he felt once they started to become little people. Then again, Don is proving again and again that he’s a total shit, so you guys could be spot on.

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

            Bobby was the example here. He didn’t actually feel anything for him until he spent an afternoon with him and realized he had thoughts and responses entirely of his own. And Don was using this as a larger way of explaining why he can’t be there for his children even now.

            • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

              And I don’t think he’s going to really be there for them in the future, either. They’re just an accessory to him, and when they get in the way, or don’t serve a purpose, he ignores them. Bobby may be interesting to him right now, but just wait until he starts to defy Don, and piss him off. He’s going to start treating Bobby the same way he treats Sally, and Bobby is going to feel the same resentment towards him that Sally does.

            • Glammie

              I don’t think it’s quite like that. It’s more that Don was so badly damaged as a kid that he’s hollow inside. He doesn’t know how to really love someone–even his kids–because he has no love for himself. Betty’s more of the narcissist who treats the kids as accessories, Don’s incapable of connecting most of the time–there’s no there there. Which is probably why he married a beautiful narcissist like Betty in the first place.

              His best hope is that someday his kids may forgive him.

            • MAK

              You couldn’t swing a cat in Ossining without hitting an immature adult with issues. I think this show mirrors most people’s inelegant struggle to catch onto themselves and do better. It happens very rarely, though maybe more so now in the post 70′s age of emphasis.on self actualization, fulfillment, self-help etc. I don’t get the boredom with a character like Don who had such a stark, loveless childhood that he hated and buried himself. He’s an astronaut, as a Burt would say.

            • Glammie

              Yeah, it’s very hard to overcome a childhood like Don’s. It’s not surprising that Don hasn’t been succeeding. I’m more saddened than bored by it. To me, it’s a very real depiction–enough so that I’ll wager Don is partially drawn on someone Weiner knew well. I find him kind of tragic–he’s so talented and so unable to get out of this self-destructive cycle. I suppose he’s as much an addict as anything. I expect we’ll see him drink more.

            • desertwind

              remember thesoldier in Hawaii asking Don if he was an astronaut?

            • MAK

              Oh right! By Burt’s Randian standards he’d have to say hell yes I’m an astronaut. Ida was born in a barn and Don was born in a brothel.

            • girliecue

              As always, Glammie, an astute analysis eloquently stated. I agree completely.

            • Glammie

              Thanks!

            • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

              I suppose one could argue that just about all of the main characters have a strong bit of narcissism going through them, though perhaps driven by different things. I agree that the kids are accessories for Betty too, in the sense of ‘this is what a perfect suburban life is like.’ But for Don, the reason is different – these are the things that are supposed to represent a happy, normal life, UNLIKE the life he had growing up, but ultimately, the outcome – bitter children with varying degrees of dysfunctional relationships with their parents – is the same.

            • Glammie

              I was actually being kind of technical–I think Betty is a bona fide narcissist. Weiner has said that she’s the one one char character for whom he has a diagnosis–and I’ll bet it’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It really is all about her and she pretty much doesn’t see other people–thus, her really weird responses to things.

              Don is a truly damaged guy, but I think he is capable of genuine empathy and he knows his kids are people. Despite that, though, he can’t emotionally connect. I do think he wanted kids for selfish reasons, but I don’t think it was just to portray an image I think he really thought that if he just got the externals right, got the ingredients of the American dream right, he’d become the man he wanted to be. But that’s not how it works. No matter who he beds or what awards he wins, he’s still empty inside, so needy that he hasn’t nothing of himself to give to other people and he inevitably betrays those he needs most.

            • formerlyAnon

              Yup. Don does shitty things because he’s broken. Not because he chooses to do shitty things because they’re expedient. It’s not a distinction that makes any difference to those he hurts (including himself), but it exists. It’s why he can sincerely express the wish that he could be different, but never manages to actually be different.

        • Sally3000

          I wondered if Don’s sudden affection for Bobby was triggered by seeing himself in Bobby (the escapism mentality, the way he said “Jesus,” almost mimicking Don).

          • lorem_ipsum

            Agree. Don thinks he’s the only sad person in the world, basically. Then when Bobby basically narrated why Don has gone to the movies for his entire adult life, he realizes that this little person is capable of the same feelings he is.

          • Glammie

            And, see, here I thought it was because they finally got a kid who could act.

        • FloridaLlamaLover

          Don’s world revolves around Don. Other folks get drawn into his orbit from time to time, and either escape (the psychologist lady, the beatnik chick) or get crushed/damaged/torn to pieces (to my mind, Bobbi Barrett). Loving babies and small kids just ain’t in his wheelhouse.

        • EveEve

          My take on that scene was a bit different: I thought it was written to be a wake up call to Megan that if she has kids with Don, he will want nothing to do with them. If she wasn’t sure before about having kids with him, she’s on full notice now that he will spend daddy time drinking himself into oblivian while she is strapped with the child care.

          What I don’t understand is why the writers keep repeating the “Betty being annoyed that Don is neglecting his parental responsibilities” script. His character has been written as nothing but a lousy influence on the children, and it seems more realistic that she would discourage, rather than encourage Don to spend time with the kids. Is this the ony way Weiner can think of to keep the Betty Draper story line alive?

          • gracedarling

            I imagine it’s because Betty needs a break! When Henry’s at the office, she’s wrangling them all alone – we haven’t seen a Carla figure for a while and she’s ALSO sick of Don shirking his duties. It would be very out of character for her to put their emotional welfare before her own need for a cigarette and a martini and a well-deserved rest (let alone pass up an opportunity to stick it to her ex-husband).

        • NoGovernmentName

          I actually had a friend admit this to me. She said that she loved her kid as much as she loved anyone else, but not especially more than other people she loved, and that she had to grow to that point. It was a rather horrifying moment, but I felt a weird sympathy for her, since she was totally tortured about it. That must make a person feel like they are a freak and a monster, that they don’t love their kids in the mystical, all-consuming way that you are supposed to love them. I felt lucky not to have that particular conflict inside me. Makes you wonder how many people walk around feeling that way and never admit it for fear of being judged.

        • http://twitter.com/1tsplove sara

          But where is the “first decade of their lives” part coming from? All he said was “one day they get older and you see them do something.” I imagined this more around age 4/5/6. That said, I have no sense of how old Bobby is…

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

            Bobby’s eleven.

            • http://twitter.com/1tsplove sara

              Ah, thanks for clarifying!

        • H2olovngrl

          This really feels like more of a writing fail than a legitimate character flaw. Once again, in the middle of a full rewatch, I can’t help but think the writers need to check back on all Don’s interactions with his children, because that big reveal just made me feel disbelief and skepticism, due to all the small moments he has had with his children that have shown him being a caring and loving albeit flawed and imperfect father.

          • 3hares

            But Don himself said that he’d imitated loving behavior even when he didn’t feel it because he wanted to treat his children that way. He’s really just talking about being conflicted about it and sometimes feeling like a fraud, which I think matches up fine with what we’ve seen.

            • H2olovngrl

              He had no reason to fake that feeling at the end of The Wheel. There was no one judging him but himself when he felt such a stirring of emotion that he hustled home to be with his family, (too late). I just feel that having him “say’ he faked all those feelings is the writers trying to prove it to the viewers, but maybe, he is just so messed up that he is denying the existence of emotions he really did feel at the time, but that seems a bit overcomplicated. There have been a couple of needle scratch moments for me this season, and that was one of them. This is a great show, they don’t have to scramble about to amp up the drama.

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

              “He had no reason to fake that feeling at the end of The Wheel.”

              He did if he was desperate to maintain a lie and a delusion, which he was.

            • H2olovngrl

              So, do you mean he was even trying to delude himself back then, but now, with more self awareness, he realizes that he was fooling himself? IBecause, we don’t know that he ever told Betty he rushed home to join them, and he had nothing to prove to the people at Sterling Cooper. If he is more aware of his shortcomings, it would be nice to see some legitimate growth with his character this season, but instead, it seems like a slow backslide.

            • 3hares

              I think you’re making what he was saying far more simple than it was. It’s not that he never feels emotion, it’s that often he feels like he’s not feeling what he should feel and is faking it. So the moments where he has a genuine burst of it are overwhelming.

              The Wheel actually is a great way of proving the point because Don seduces himself with the idea of home and the kids. The kids aren’t actually there, but he’s looking at posed pictures of them being happy and loving and desperately wants that. I think we’ve seen this conflict in Don throughout the series. If he was just a loving father he wouldn’t be so distant with the kids. If he was completely cut off from them he wouldn’t have these bursts of emotion.

      • Violina23

        One of the hardest things to admit, as a mom, was that I just wasn’t much of a newborn person with my daughter when she was born. I took care of her, I loved her, but I didn’t always “enjoy” her, and I felt awful about it. What Don said was a bit more exaggerated than anything I felt, but I understood immediately what he was saying, and I found it very poignant. But it all goes to hell when you realize how little that will mean to Don in the end, and how nothing will really change. It goes from being somewhat uplifting to all-around sad…

        • crash1212

          So true. On the one hand I thought – A BREAKTHROUGH…and he and Bobby will bond and go skipping off into the sunset – a redeeming point in Don’s life….and then I remembered! Doubtful that will happen, but it was as you say a poignant moment. We shall see.

          • MyrtleUrkel

            Maybe hearing Bobby express his concern for the real father figure in his life, Henry, will be a catalyst for positive change in Don (I doubt it). I’m sure that was a slap in the face after coming to the realization that he actually loves his son.

      • Logo Girl

        Thanks for sharing this. I was actually wondering how accurate they got it. I was only four so I have no memory of it, though I was at the time living in a very white upper middle class suburb of Boston so it would have been a similar environment.

      • MaryAtRealityTea

        I honestly think in those days fathers were very detached from the parenting aspect and with babies all of the bonding is done through care. Also, Don is a mess, so that’s that.

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

          Not all Dad’s, trust me. And I don’t think most of my friends born in 50s/60s feel that way about their Dad’s either. Most men cared deeply, but with most mom’s still at home (in the middle/upper middle classes at least) father’s were working a lot as the sole bread winner. Mine traveled all week for work, but took on all baby (diaper,feeding) duties every weekend so he could spend time with us and my Mom could get a break!

        • swiss_miss

          Don’t forget that Bobby has a father-figure who is involved in his life and Bobby therefore loves this father-figure and worries about him. The name of this father is Henry Francis. Of course fathers weren’t expected to change diapers, but Don has always been a shitty and uninvolved father even for his own time- like in the first season, when instead of getting the cake he just went away during the birthday of his own kid and there nearly was no cake? Seriously, when you’re never at home because you’re too busy working, drinking and sleeping with your various mistresses, at least you could be present during the birthday party of your child and get the cake.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            To his credit, he did drunkenly put together that play house. Hahahaha!

      • AudreysMom

        How about this? Martin Luther King was shot on my 14th birthday (which puts me at about Sally’s age in the show). And I lived in a suburban, white, Republican family. Mostly I remember the household reaction being that of a news event that interrupted plans for our evening TV watching. My parents’ reaction certainly wasn’t as bad as Megan’s father; I guess I’d put them in the Roger Sterling group. They were stunned and knew what the event meant even if they didn’t have the sympathetic reaction to it.

        I honestly wish I had your memory Crash1212 of apologizing to a Black man in a grocery store, but I doubt that I had the chance where I lived, and I don’t believe my upbringing gave me that sensitivity then (I gained it later on, thank heavens). Don wonders about repeating his father’s emotional distance from parenthood. The best thing about growing up with conservatives in the 1960s is that it remains a context from which to question my choices and beliefs on race and on pretty much every other social issue.

        This was a strange episode (Betty’s floating face and William Mapother included), but I think it did represent somewhat both the range of responses to King’s assassination and the awkward tension in whites uncertain how to respond to Blacks when both race and class were unspoken issues. Living through that time as a 14 year old, it was fascinating to watch that through the responses of these now-familiar characters.

        • Qitkat

          I too lived with white, suburban, Republican parents. I was a bit older than you when this happened, and my strongest memory of those days is how upset my dad was about my upcoming plans to move to the Washington DC area, because of the riots there. My parents were both Deep South Southerners, with my mom’s family having owned slaves, and my maternal grandmother having a black housekeeper for as long as I could remember. Nevertheless, they were always careful to avoid bigoted remarks, and later came to be supportive of more liberal ideology, as did I. While I never thought of it this way before, it’s possible that the events of 1968 helped shape them into becoming much more socially conscious in the coming years.

      • fursa_saida

        It was touching, but it’s an exact repeat of what he went through with Sally. Around the same age, he started to appreciate and even like her, and they were beautifully (if a bit stiltedly) close for a few years. Now that she’s entering teenagerhood and can actually regard him and his behavior critically–without the rose-tinted glasses that most adults in his life have due to his charm and, when it comes to the ladies, sexual appeal–he doesn’t know what to do with her. Of course this transition is often difficult between parents and children, but I suspect that that period of closeness will probably never really be replicated with Sally, and will end much the same way with Bobby. It would be nice to be wrong.

    • Joe M

      I have “Love Is Blue” stuck in my head now. Anyone else?

      • decormaven

        Yes. That was such an appropriate selection for the closer. Whoever scores Mad Men really has an affinity for the perfect song.

      • zenobar

        Not just stuck, wedged with no hope of release until I find a replacement earworm.

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

        Oh, yes I do. My friend we were watching it with dug out a version with vocals last night. It kind of sounded like Bela Lugosi getting sentimental.

      • MK03

        Also, wasn’t that used as the theme to the 1968 film of Romeo and Juliet?

        • tonyg

          You’re thinking Love Theme from “Romeo and Juliet”/ “A Time for Us”. The instrumental version was a big hit for Henry Mancini…in 1969.

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

      … and the Ginsburg date. He was kind of – sweet? Where is that going?

      Haven’t finished coffee yet, can’t think of anything else right now. Except yes, that HUG, and Joan’s outfit!

    • http://twitter.com/SillyGrrlJen Silly Grrl

      I proclaimed that they should have named this episode “White People Being Awkward.”

      • Sobaika

        Not this episode, the show itself.

        • http://twitter.com/SillyGrrlJen Silly Grrl

          True, but this episode was particularly awkward.

    • MyrtleUrkel

      Great recap, and I agree with your comments about Pete. His reaction rang true to his character. In the JFK assassination episode, there’s a lovely scene of him and Trudie comforting each other on the couch, and now, with this tragedy, he doesn’t have anyone. He can’t even communicate with the man delivering his takeout. I hope he stops trying to be Don and devotes his energy to getting Trudy back, but I hope she gives him hell first.

    • formerlyAnon

      I think your comments about Dawn and Peggy (and Sal’s place in the MM universe) are absolutely dead on.
      Bobby “Most Ignored Child of the 1960s” – again, dead on, & funny.

      If Peggy is serious about babies, she and Abe are toast. Though I’ve never believed they’d make it this long, to be honest.

      As a white Catholic of Democratic background, MLK’s assassination was horrifying, but RFK’s was the one that had me spontaneously praying. Major current events really ARE experienced through our own filters. I was still a kid living with my parents, but I remember thinking that in conjunction with the Vietnam footage on the t.v. news at the time, the world was possibly turning into an overwhelmingly awful place.

      • sarahjane1912

        If Peggy wants to get on the mummy track, she’ll have to find a better candidate than Abe, methinks. I don’t care if he’s heading for a fulltime contributing editor job with NYT, but he’s always going to be hairy hippy Abe and that combo just will not wash with our Pegs. He may be ‘driven’ but it’s SO not in the same way as Peggy with her advertising career.

      • http://www.facebook.com/cpetersky Claire Petersky

        Notice the portrait of JFK on the wall at their apartment? Clearly a hero to Peggy. RFK could be too.

      • fursa_saida

        I don’t think she is, though. I think she was pleased and surprised that Abe was thinking that way, partly because she was feeling distanced from him for most of the episode. But when push comes to shove, I don’t think she feels ready for that at all. It’s not like Abe is gonna be a stay-at-home dad, progressive morals be damned. Plus, she already had a pretty traumatic experience of having a baby, if not being a mother. I know we had the whole “it will shock you how much this never happened” line, but if that never comes back to haunt her internally even just a little, I’ll be pretty annoyed at the writers. They usually handle payoffs, even long term, better than that.

        • Adelaidey

          In The Suitcase, she mentioned the anguish of giving up her baby, and how she never knows when it’ll hit. “Playgrounds”. One word conveyed a lot.

        • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

          I don’t think Abe is progressive at all when it comes to women. He certainly won’t play Mr. Mom, and Peggy is more of a traditionalist than she likes to let on. He’d probably expect her to just give up her job when he’s established himself at the NYT, so their roles would be more “corrrect.”

      • Cheryl

        That’s interesting — we now know that Bobby Kennedy’s assassination is coming soon, but at that time, no one knew what was going down throughout the nation, all summer. In other words, hold onto your hats, because the worst is yet to come.

    • http://www.facebook.com/judy.julian77 Judy Julian

      I gasped out loud when I recognized Harry Hamlin as the account exec for Peggy’s company! Bobby peeling the wallpaper is indeed such a little boy activity. My little grandson did the exact same thing when he spied a loose spot in my bathroom.

      • P M

        And he’s still so handsome :)

        • lilyvonschtupp

          I think he’s better looking now than he was when he was young.
          Didn’t he have a baby with Ursula Andress?

      • sarahjane1912

        Aaagh! Me too! I almost shrieked. He hasn’t aged all THAT well, but he’s still a fox. Sigh. Hope he’s got some scenes in the future. I wonder how much he has in common with Roger. ;-)

        • Girl_With_a_Pearl

          Harry Hamlin’s character seemed to pay a lot of attention to Megan in the very short time they were being introduced. Just saying.

      • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

        I yelled “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!” Honest to god. That was such an awesome cameo!

        • Cordelia_Gray

          My Hubs and I did too!

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

      THANK YOU again! You always make the the experience of the show even better.

      I enjoyed this episode. I’m with you on the Wheel Of Don. I’m ready for it to stop spinning and land somewhere important. I can’t figure out if the writers will have Megan find out about his cheating or not. We’ve heard his “reveals” before but she hasn’t, at least not to the same degree, so she may be hoodwinked a while longer. People can unfortunately take a lot of abuse before they decide they’ve had enough.

      - I was gratified that they spent so much time on the MLK assassination. I felt the characters’ shock as my own, and again felt how huge this loss has been for us all, and continues to be. We need him and have needed him for all of these decades. It is a tear in the fabric of our universe to have him cruelly removed. So I guess I got caught up in my own emotions about MLK and how damaged and broken this country is. I did wonder, though, if all those upper-class white people would really have cared that much? Could someone who was there at the time perhaps speak to that?

      - LOVED Bobby & Don watching “Planet Of The Apes”.

      - Acid trip ad man was a goddamn delight.

      - I realize this is a Mad Style comment but Megan’s awards dress hurt me. And I usually love head to toe metallics.

      - Ginsburg is really growing on me. If they showed his story more, it’d be really interesting. Maybe this is just because his ancestry is mine – my family came here after the Holocaust too, though no one was born in a camp – but I feel like the Jewish story is very much a 60′s New York story. I was amused by the actor’s transparently early-Woody-Allen act. One thing perplexed me a little, though: it certainly seems accurate that his dad would have tried to set him up with a nice girl from the neighborhood, but it doesn’t quite make sense to me that she’d be in their apartment alone, unchaperoned by someone from her side. Then again since they’re not Orthodox and this isn’t a formal marriage brokering, maybe that would have been normal?

      - I kind of felt like Peggy’s broker didn’t even put her offer through, out of disapproval for her & Abe’s “shacking up”. But I’m with Abe: no Upper East Side! I can totally see them on the Upper West in the 70′s and 80′s. And now begins the part of the show where it starts to look like my past…weird.

      • Angela_the_Librarian

        I loved that they were watching Planet of the Apes too. It seemed very apropos for the anxiety they must have been feeling about the future. I don’t agree about the real estate agent though. She might have disapproved of Peggy’s arrangement but she’s also a real estate agent trying to make money. I doubt she would have purposely lost out on a commission (and she was rather cut throat about the whole “let’s bargain while there are riots” tactic)

      • not_Bridget

        I wasn’t Upper Class, but I was a very young adult White Texan at the time. MLK was obviously a great man, who preached peaceful methods to solve the problems of society. (He was talking about more than racism, especially near the end.) Anyone who had heard the Southern Preaching Style, so often used for getting across narrow messages, turned by him into a platform for discussing matters that affected everybody, knew that he was something special. (Listen to his “I Have a Dream” sermon.)

        Even Roger had been impressed by how well he spoke. And Joan cried…

      • http://www.facebook.com/sara.swoboda.3 Sara Swoboda

        Acid trip man – William Mapother (Tom Cruise’s cousin!) Also on Lost

        • lilyvonschtupp

          That guy is so versatile. I was banging my head against the wall trying to figure out who he was.

          Plus he’s so superior an actor to his cousin Captain Chipmunk.

      • http://www.GiftedCollector.com/ The Gifted Collector

        I also wondered about Ginsburg’s blind date going to his apartment unchaperoned. Or maybe her father considered Mr. Ginsburg a proper chaperon.

        Does Ginsburg make his own clothes? That would certainly explain why they never fit properly.

      • fursa_saida

        I was thinking that since their dads play chess together, there might be a level of trust and comfort? Also, it wasn’t clear to me whether–oh CRAP, I forget her first name, but Ms. Farber–anyway, I wasn’t sure whether her mother was in the picture. If her dad is anything like Ginsberg’s, I doubt he’d be too worried about it.

    • formerlyAnon

      I liked that they defined the character rather than the event. That’s really what one takes away in day-to-day life, when big stuff happens. The event-defining happens through such heavy personal filters, and is constructed inside our heads, mostly.

    • Jasmaree

      I think you guys might have missed something about Don (and his monologue). Sure he goes around pretending to love people…for a while. He says that, at some point, you see your kids do something and then the feeling suddenly hits you. But I don’t think he was talking about his kids.

      You know how the “previously on…” kind of hints at what they’re aiming for in the following episode? For instance, it had a little segment where Bobby remarks on Dons age and talks about his death and we got a lot of that this episode. It also had a little tidbit where Sylvia tells Don they can’t fall in love. I think what they’re hinting at here is that Don might actually fall for Sylvia. The way he constantly worried about her while watching the news and called her while she and her husband were on vacation is very unlike the way Don usually treats his mistresses. And something was up in one of the very first scenes where Don asks “Where are you going?” twice. I don’t think his relationship with Sylvia is going to be the occasional romp in the bed that he seems to want.

      • http://twitter.com/ZoeyCharles7 Zoey

        That’s interesting. I didn’t see it that way, but you may be right. It makes sense that he would explain it to Megan that way.

      • lorem_ipsum

        That was my immediate thought after his speech as well.

      • http://www.GiftedCollector.com/ The Gifted Collector

        You might be on to something here. I couldn’t figure out why suddenly discovering you love your son would lead to drinking. And Don never gets obsessed about somebody else’s safety…or somebody else, for that matter.

        • greenwich_matron

          You are so right! Don’s reaction to being overwhelmed by love for Bobby is to ignore his kids while drinking himself into a sentimental stupor? It’s the ultimate “make it all about me” action.

      • CozyCat

        I wonder if Megan’s feelings for Don are affected by hearing him say he’s been faking his love for his kids. It’s the kind of revelation that makes you see the person you love in a completely different light. And: If he’s faking his love for them, who else might he not really love? Megan’s not stupid, and the wheels in her head may start turning about that one….

        • fursa_saida

          I loved that she was confronting him about the way he was treating his kids to begin with. If and when they get divorced, those kids will really be losing something not to have her in their lives anymore. (No way Betty allows Megan to be a sort of “cool aunt in the city” figure. No. way.)

          • CozyCat

            Thank god they have Henry and that he and Betty seem to be in it for the long haul.

          • warontara

            I’m assuming that Don will pawn them off on her during his visits.

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

        No, I don’t think we missed anything. That speech was very clearly about his children.

    • grouchywif

      I think it was good that they didn’t just “trot out the black people for the MLK episode”. that would have been trite and more than a little condescending, I think. The story was about who the story is usually about…the white people. I do think that little set-up last week of Dawn helped us understand why she acted like she did this episode. her goal at work is to keep her head down and act professional. She doesn’t relate much to her coworkers…she thinks some of them are more than a little crazy and drama filled. She just wants to do a good job and be professional.

      • KateWo

        I agree….I think if they did show more of this from the black characters point of view there would be a lot of criticism about how the writers didn’t use them much before the MLK episode. Plus the convos with Dawn and her friend were highly criticized last week for not feeling genuine so imagine the writers trying to tackle this topic…

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      As for Pet Campbell, I often loathe his actions and find him to be slimy and dislikeable. But, credit to Vincent Kartheiser’s acting and the writers because there have been several times when I’ve found myself feeling sorry for him. He is a very interesting, well-fleshed out character. He has also been far more forward thinking with regard to race issues than any other character as TLO pointed out. Of course once I start to feel sorry for him, he’ll probably do something even more loathsome next time.

      • http://twitter.com/DifficultDiva Diva in 4 Inch Heels

        Pete, continues to be his own worst enemy. He knows that Don’s a mess, but he still does these things, like cheat on his wife and fantasize over women that he cannot have, because he thinks he needs to behave that way, because that’s how “real men” act. Wasn’t his father a womaniser and he hated how fake and trivial his parents lives were with each other?

        He failed to realize, that he and Trudy were a team. He took her for granted, when he should have been pleased that she has always had his back.

        Pete just screwed up big time with Trudy.

        • editrixie

          Yeah, he spent so much time trying to have what Don always had — wife, kids, house in the ‘burbs, city apartment, partnership…and then he got it. Now he’s separated and living a crap lonely existence, just like Don did before Megan. He’s an embodiment of “careful what you wish for.”

          • http://twitter.com/DifficultDiva Diva in 4 Inch Heels

            Very true.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I totally didn’t notice that you call Pete Pet! Even if it’s a typo, it’s pretty funny. He’s a lot of p words right now…

        • Girl_With_a_Pearl

          Ha, ha! Just a typo. I’m going to correct it now. Thanks Sweetvoice.

      • librarygrrl64

        “But, credit to Vincent Kartheiser’s acting and the writers because there have been several times when I’ve found myself feeling sorry for him.”

        It’s the same for me. I have often found it easier to feel sorry for him than for Don. Maybe because his thoughts and emotions are more transparent.

    • MarTeaNi

      It’s nice to know I’m not the only one baffled by this change in Harry Crane, married. There is a very solid line between the Harrys Crane pre and post the creation of SCDP. I think some of the time spent re-retreading on Don would have been better spent giving Harry a character arc of some kind. It would, if nothing else, be less frustrating to show why or how Harry is such an asshole now instead of, “Ok Sommer, he’s The Asshole, run scene!” The only time I’ve seen any real continuity between the two Harrys is when Paramatma returns and Harry tries to save him. Even when Lakshme seduces him for blackmail, Harry’s first reaction to her “no wait, you’re with Paul and I’m married…ok nevermind.” It was a very abrupt change in character.

      • MaryAtRealityTea

        I know. This confuses me too. I keep thinking we’ll get a Harry episode at some point that revisits some of his past – even his recent past. Harry has always been very defined by his marriage – a point seemingly well-acknowledged and drive home when during their exchange Pete reminded him that MLK is a married father of four to sort of drive the importance of the event to a level Harry could relate too.

        I don’t think Harry has ever really seemed “open-minded” about racial issues or societal changes and I always took that to mean he grew up in a sheltered family or something, but he’s never been an out-an-out asshole as displayed the last couple episodes. Even when he “shushed” Joan at the awards ceremony! What is happening here?!

        • Sobaika

          We just saw them have a pretty big blowout in front of the partners, there’s no way Harry and Joan are on good standing yet.

          I’m not surprised by Harry’s douchebaggery. The show could have handled him (especially the change in heart regarding his marriage) better, but there’s not a single character who isn’t ugly at one point or another. Trudy is dealing with Pete marvelously and called MLK’s death ‘shameful’ but also made an anti-semitic crack at a dinner party last season. Pete is the most socially forward thinking but and treats women abhorrently. Roger is one of my favorites to watch but blithely says MLK shouldn’t have been shot because he ‘could speak.’ Joan can side hug all she wants, she’s been outright dismissive to black characters until now.

          So Harry was likely always a racist and always a misogynist (refusing to cheat on your wife for a few months doesn’t negate that) and it’s been becoming more of an issue because times are changing and tensions are escalating into a fever pitch.

          • Lisa

            Roger does not say that he thought that MLK shouldn’t have been shot because he could speak. He says that he thought that the fact that MLK could speak would save him, would be enough to solve the problem. As if all the evil in the world can be reversed with a few eloquent and moving words. And it makes sense that Roger would think that — he’s in advertising! And a terrific account guy, who actually (unlike, say, Don) believes the product that his agency is selling (consisting mostly of words) is a good thing.

            Not to be too cynical though — MLK’s words actually did accomplish a lot, I think. They just weren’t, as Roger bemusedly commented, “enough.”

            • Qitkat

              MLK’s words may not have been “enough” to change the world as Roger said, but they still resonate today, more so for me now than they did then; not that long ago, re-reading one of his speeches left me in tears.

        • decormaven

          While maybe his backstory hasn’t been quite as fleshed out, remember what Harry told Don in “Tea Leaves” after he devoured a bag of White Castles (after the Rolling Stones’ signing debacle). When Don says, “I thought you got them for your family,” Harry says “Let them get their own.” He then goes on to offer his advice on those who want marriage & a family: “Eat first.” He also told Don he was leaving the bag in the car because “Jennifer has me on a diet.” Maybe Harry is being soured on the world- he sees people having fun, doing drugs, living the high life, and he’s weighed down with family responsibilities. He may see himself as Doing the Right Thing, and not getting recognized for it at work, hence his lashing out at Joan. None of this excuses his behavior, and this may be drawing on some thin threads, but it’s a thought.

          • filmcricket

            The racism stuff seems to be coming out of left field for him, but as far as the rest of it goes, I think we’re just seeing SC(DP) corroding yet another soul like it’s done to everyone else – only we’re not seeing the process, just the result. I also think we’re supposed to assume his time on the west coast is influencing him quite a bit, given his clothes. TV stars and network bosses probably make Don & Roger look like monks by comparison.

            • decormaven

              Yes! Remember those random shots released prior to this season, where Harry is driving a convertible (think Roger & Don are passengers) in what appears to be LA? Harry definitely has been exposed to the LA scene. We’ll see if we get any further fleshing out of his character then.

        • MarTeaNi

          It’s strange to see because it feels like the only really perplexing writing. There doesn’t seem to be any payoff for this behavior or goal for the character beyond “the office needs an asshole.” I think some focus needs to be put on him if only so he doesn’t flatten out so much as a character. Even if I cringed during the office blowup, at least it gave some explanation to his bitterness and resentment.

      • Logo Girl

        This conflict had been brewing between Harry and Pete for at least four years. When JFK was assassinated, Pete complained that Harry was calculating lost ad time and did not seem to care what had happened beyond that.

        • MarTeaNi

          The conflict isn’t out of place, although Pete has roots for conflict with everyone. I’m saying “Harry being an Asshole” has been an abrupt shift in the character starting with season 4.

        • MartyBellerMask

          Y’know, somebody’s gotta be concerned with it. It may be insensitive (and without question, Harry IS an asshole), but the work was to be done. Clients were unhappy and he is (apparently) the only person who deals with anything TV. Harry is clearly overworked, on top of being awkward. They seriously need to get an accounts guy, someone with more finesse, to handle the clients.
          I’m sure Bob Benson would like the job.

      • Joan Arkham

        Late to the party on this but…

        I feel like the minute Harry became involved with TV he started down the Road to Asshole. Meta-commentary from Weiner & Co. on the business of television itself?

      • rachel schiff

        I’m not sure I think Harry is much more of an asshole than most of the men on that show. There have been many, many times when one of them overlooked a tragedy or crisis for the sake of making money or some other kind of personal gain, or even exploited it to their advantage. Some examples: when Marilyn Monroe died and Peggy immediately expressed relief that they hadn’t used their Marilyn Monroe ad, or when Pete used his own father’s death as a way of getting American Airlines after their plane crashed, or when Don was inspired by Midge’s heroin addiction to renounce tobacco as a way of saving the agency, or when Roger wouldn’t postpone his daughter’s wedding after JFK was shot, or the fact that they didn’t cancel work after MLK was shot. (I do agree with T Lo that Pete is the only white character who has been represented as consistently bothered by racism, from the beginning.) Also, I think Harry is mad at Joan because he’s jealous that she got her job using a method that he can’t use, and he is incredibly ambitious, like a lot of people on that show.

        • MarTeaNi

          It’s not about whether Harry is more or less of an asshole than other characters on the show. It’s that Harry very abruptly became this asshole once season 4 began. It was a sudden, inexplicable shift in character. The continuity of this character change is maintained from season 4 forward, but we never get any explanation for it. We don’t understand WHY he’s an asshole or what drives him to behave this way. There is no development for this, and we’re left trying to gather very thin threads to come up with reasons.

          This plot with Joan is a good example. This is the first clear time that I can think of we have a reason for Harry’s shitty behavior. He wants to be a partner, he’s mad they won’t give him the partnership, Joan got it when he feels he deserved it, so he lashes out. But…what about all the jokes he makes about hating his wife now? Where did that come from? The scene in “Tea Leaves” last season where Harry greedily and somewhat bitterly eat all the White Castle burgers: why does he do that? Harry 1.0 would call his wife to talk about work, couldn’t even talk to secretaries without feeling guilty, so what happened? We never see any of the development that leads to this, so it’s like Harry 2.0: a whole new set of characteristics an we’re not privy to how they evolved.

          Every time I see Harry 2.0 being as asshole (which is almost his only defining characteristic now), I’m left baffled as to what exactly happened to Harry 1.0 for him to become the reviled office jerk.

          • 3hares

            It’s never seemed like a drastic shift to me. It seems like he started out kind of a good guy and controlled by his wife, then the TV Hollywood business went to his head. His wife smacked him down by throwing him out the first time he cheated and he thinks of his wife as a bit of a battle axe now because she has too much control. In Hollywood he picked up the starfucker mentality and makes him feel a bit full of himself, probably looking down on the New York guys a little and taking on California fashions.

            • MarTeaNi

              We don’t see any of this though. We never see any of this character development. I don’t see his character as being full of himself because of California for example. I think, especially with this last episode, that he feels bitter and under-appreciated because he’s the head of media and everyone on the show treats him pretty poorly, and this connects with previous seasons where he had to fight to get help in the department and even created his job, even though he was a fairly non-confrontational character.

              And Jennifer took Harry back into the home by the time season 2 started, so why now in season 4 is Harry suddenly harping about what a battleax she is? He seemed fine with her in 2 and 3! Where did this contempt come from? It might be office bluster because he’s trying to fit in ineptly with the philandering crowd around him, because in “Christmas Waltz” the first thing he said when Lakshme seduced him was “I can’t, I’m married.” They had sex anyway, but for the constantly disparagement he spouts about his wife, why would he say that at all?

            • 3hares

              It’s true this has been happening off screen since he’s a minor character. All I can say is from what little we’ve seen of him I think he was clearly shown “going Hollywood” and that he’s seemed to have been portrayed as seeing himself as hen-pecked for a while, even if he was fine with it.

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

            I think this is exactly right. We know exactly why Don acts badly, or why Betty does, or Joan, or Roger, or Pete. We know enough of their backstories and motivations to understand what drives them. Harry remains a cipher, for the most part. Which is fine, but now he’s taken center stage as something of an antagonist and we don’t really have any idea why. All of the stuff about “he works in TV now and that’s made him more neurotic, etc” makes perfect sense – and we suspect this is pretty much how the writers see it – but this characterization and motivation was left almost entirely up to the audience to devise. He went from awkward and self-absorbed to crude and screaming without any storylines in the middle to explain the change.

            We found out this week that he has three children. Is there any other recurring character of his tenure whom we know so little about? We haven’t even seen his wife in 3 years of story time.

            • 3hares

              A nitpick, but we did know about his children before that. Bea’s been mentioned numerous times and in Christmas Waltz he said they he and Jennifer were having another baby, which presumably turned out to be the twins.

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

              We didn’t know that Harry had three children before it was mentioned this episode.

            • 3hares

              We knew he had one child years ago, and then we knew his wife was pregnant with a second last season and now we’re learning that that second child was twins. So it seems like the opposite of a big revelation.

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

              We never said anything about a “big revelation.” We only said that this episode was the first time we found out he has three children. It’s true no matter how much you nitpick it.

            • 3hares

              I’m not disagreeing with the fact that this is the first time we’ve learned he had 3 children. Maybe I misunderstood the context. I thought that fact was being used as evidence that Harry was underwritten as if we should have known he had 3 children before this, when it seems to me that they’ve kept us pretty up to date with Harry’s growing family and this was a natural time to give us a new minor detail.

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

              No, but you’re nitpicking as to whether we ever heard about Harry’s children at all or whether this is a big announcement, two things I never said.

              Re-read what I wrote. This is being presented to us in a way entirely different from similar developments in the other characters. This is not how we found out about Pete’s children, or Gene Draper or Kevin Harris.

            • 3hares

              Ah, I see. Yes, I agree. Harry’s a minor character whose story we really don’t follow. We just see him acting in the office and get updates about his personal situation, and that stands out more when he’s creating more conflict with people instead of just being a supporting person at the office. He’s getting the character focus of Ken (whose current state of mind we understand because it tied into business plots) but he’s now acting a little like a Duck Philips, whose motivations were filled in in more detail.

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

              I would argue that Ken’s personal life has received more focus over the years. We’ve seen more of his wife, know that his real passion is writing, and we’ve met his in-laws.

            • 3hares

              You’re right, after I wrote that I thought of a lot of things that we’d seen and heard about Ken. Not only in terms of seeing him out of the office, but the kinds of interactions he’s had have been more revealing about his backstory and just the way he is. Harry’s usually wandering in, saying the wrong thing, and leaving.

          • H2olovngrl

            Yesyesyes! Exactly what I was getting at, albeit, much less eloquently.

    • Shannon Long

      I was really impressed by the little boy playing Bobby. I feel like I know that little kid now. He is going to be trouble.

      Also, I think Gindberg is adorable and I would totally date him (but I would make him shave that mustache).
      Trudy is my spirit animal.

      • fursa_saida

        I am on the Ginsberg train with you, dude.

      • NoGovernmentName

        I love the moustache, but I have a facial hair fetish. It makes him look like a man, instead of the boy he was last season. I hope the teacher takes his v-card.

    • zenobar

      I think I didn’t express myself at all clearly here, with regards to missed opportunity. My response to Lilithcat is closer to what I guess I meant to say. What I absolutely did NOT intend was to come off as ‘too bad they didn’t “trot out the black people for the MLK episode”.

      • Sobaika

        Agreed. They could have introduced Dawn much earlier and given her more screentime and it wouldn’t have been condescending or forced.

        • zenobar

          Precisely this.

        • Glammie

          Yep. She’s already in the cast and hers is the different experience. I thought she deserved a little more.

    • MsKitty

      Won’t get to watch this until tonight, but have to add my voice to the chorus of people who are so over Don and his screwups. You would think that he would have gained a bit of self awareness after hitting rock bottom in Season 4; and for much of last season he seemed to at least be trying to be not so much of an asshole. But now it’s like Don’s reset button has been hit, and it’s back to even more reckless behavior (a mistress who shares the same address?!?) and self pity. Been there, done that, can’t be bothered anymore. Sad to say that my attention drifts whenever they focus on Don’s storyline, and only picks back up when they get back to the other characters, all of whom are much more interesting this season.

    • hello

      But what about the balconies? Peggy, Don at the end of the episode, and most importantly, MLK BEING SHOT ON ONE.

      • OrigamiRose

        Interesting thought.

      • http://twitter.com/ErinEngelhardt ErinEngelhardt

        I imagined Don on the balcony after telling Bobby that Henry is not that important, thinking that he himself is not that important either – a rare humbling moment perhaps?

      • http://profiles.google.com/awilsongirl Amy Wilson

        Thank you! I mentioned the idea of balconies on Twitter last night but this is the first place where I’ve read someone else mention it. Within the first 15 minutes, we had balconies mentioned twice (Peggy, then MLK), then the episode ends with Don on a balcony. I have been trying to figure out the meaning and hoping someone else had some ideas.

        • KateWo

          Perhaps as another death reference since MLK was shot on one and the reference of Don falling in the opening credits?

          • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

            I thought that when I saw Don on the balcony, too.

            • fursa_saida

              I haven’t even seen Les Mis in any form and I was sitting there thinking “DICK DRAPER WHITMAN, DON’T YOU DARE PULL A JAVERT.”

            • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

              Me too! I know they wouldn’t do that to us – yet. But still… (except I love Les Mis.)

        • hello

          No, thank *you*! :)

          Maybe it’s about trying to get an overview of a situation? About being exposed? About being “above it all,” but still vulnerable?

          • MartyBellerMask

            View from the top not all it’s cracked up to be.

      • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

        Oh wow. That’s a good observation.

    • H2olovngrl

      Thank you for expressing the same concerns regarding Harry’s character, that several of us have also pondered. I couldn’t quite define why his character’s emotional journey felt wrong, but you hit it on the nose. There has not really been a basis for the direction he is heading; at least not one that we, the viewers, have been privy to. YES! It feels unearned, like you said.

      • lulubella

        I agree it has been unspoken, but having grown up in LA, I can see why they are taking the character in this direction. Harry spends alot of time in Hollywood. Being somewhat weak and a yes man to begin with, I am not surprised he is trying to emulate what he interprets as power among the movers and shakers during one of Hollywood’s hay days (only to get more intense as we move into the 70s). Harry may be demonstrating less finesse than those he is trying to emulate. But I’m not shocked–he is the 60s version of the high school tech geek who’s now a acool coder. It seems plausible to me that he adopted the persona (his ornate office, awkard Yiddish references) and now is coming to believe he is that person, growing more ostentatious in dress and more demanding in tone. This potential may have always been inside him, and now he has been exposed to an environment where it can evince itself. I’ve seen this change–or rather, revelation–in people older than him.

        • H2olovngrl

          I know of what you speak, I just wish we could’ve had a little more insight into when, why and how his character went in the direction that he did. If his pesonality altered that much, what was the reason(s)? I guess there wasn’t enough time for Harry’s story. Although, in my opinion, I would happily trade out some of Don and his mistresses for a little back story enrichment on some of the lesser characters like Kenny, Stan, Harry, Henry, Bert, etc. I would say Ginsberg, but he is a big “meh” for me.

        • fursa_saida

          Would you mind specifying the awkward Yiddish references? I’ve been missing them, apparently.

          • lulubella

            Only awkard in the way he delivers them and that he does, not because they are inherently awkward. Although I cannot site the season/ep, I have heard him use the terms “tsoris” and “nosh” … I think there were one or two others but they are escaping me.

            • fursa_saida

              Oh, of course, I didn’t think you meant they were awkward in themselves. I can’t believe I missed/forgot Harry Crane saying “tsuris.” Ridiculous.

            • lulubella

              That one was the most cringe inducing, esp since many people seem to get “nosh” but not tsoris/tsuris/tsouris (I’ve seen it spelled all three ways!).

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

          This. I am willing to suspend my disbelief about who Harry is today, and go along for the ride. The groundwork was laid in season one — we see him trying on all sorts of different personas, or strategies, in order to fit in, and he is so awkward, and yes, he was defined by his marriage and worked hard to come back home after Jennifer kicked him out, but he’s weak, and he’s easily led, and Hollywood has led him by the nose — or he has chased, like a dog, after every smell in the new forest.

          He’s ambitious, he wants to be important, he has created this job from scratch. He’s making it up as he goes along, and I’m buying it. Hints have been strewed all along the way, not only in his lines (which can seem throwaway, but are very deliberately placed), but in his dress and his mannerisms, and his office trappings — he’s still got that photo of Buddy Ebsen on his desk. ha!

    • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gaby

      “Roger’s acid-tripping buddy” – I just kept thinking about Phillip K. Dick, although the book it made me think of (VALIS) was published more than a decade later. Still, Dick always had that 1960s acid-tripping air in his writing.

      • Lattis

        I’m a huge PKD fan. Sometimes I think of his main theme in relation to Mad Men: “What is human?” I would love to see a redemption of Pete as someone suggested upthread. I’d love to see him start to ask himself what it is to be a human, and decide to act authentically.

        • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gaby

          I think Pete acts pretty authentically, he just acts childishly and selfishly (which, to PKD, might be the MOST human way to act, though not the “noblest” – PKD doesn’t write a lot of noble characters, he writes human characters who occasionally, sometimes accidentally, do noble things, Dickens style). There’s nothing inauthentic about Pete that I see except maybe his envious attempts to live out his fantasies of being Don. But they’re still Pete’s fantasies.
          But I’d probably also quibble with the idea of PKD’s main theme being “What is human?” That’s more of a subset of his major theme, “What is real (and does it matter if it is)?”

    • SonOfSaradoc

      “After all, it would be silly to expect Peggy to lie on the couch sobbing all wee

      kend.”

      I sat here wondering for a couple of moments (before coffee) what ‘sobbing all wee kend’ was about. Sounds … Scottish? But Peggy Olsen is Norwegian and Irish, yes? Maybe some strange Irish-Celtic usage – a small understanding (wee=small, kend~~understanding)? Maybe something cutting-edge trendy and I’m once again behind the learning curve in current culture?

      After a sip of coffee it became obvious.

      • zenobar

        I had exactly the same reaction. “…Scottish?…OH. Okay.”

    • StillGary

      Oooh, so Roger’s “friend” was tripping? I thought he was schizophrenic and it was interested to see what Ginsburg would make of someone more “out there.” Was the friend at the acid party of last season?

      • not_Bridget

        Some folks used acid a few times, then realized that it only offered a glimpse of the greater reality. So they moved on to mysticism, Eastern religions, etc. Roger isn’t into that sort of thing–seeing a shrink is more his style.

        A few folks liked acid far too much. So they kept doing it, constantly. Or had their “third eye” opened permanently, because their brains were already bent a bit–& kept tripping without benefit of pharmaceuticals. (See Roky Erickson.)

        (And some folks just did acid for the occasional giggle; in the right setting, there’s nothing wrong with that. Especially since the street stuff was usually much weaker than what Roger’s shrink handed out.)

        • Qitkat

          Sadly so, as far as the folks who liked acid a bit too much. We had a good friend whose brother went down that road, never to recover.

      • MilaXX

        Obviously so . It made it even more distracting that the actor was Ethan from LOST.

        • lorem_ipsum

          Yes! Goodness. That was enough for me to have zero interest in him. Then he had that line about good vs. bad or whatever and I just about checked to make sure I was still watching the right show.

      • fursa_saida

        Well, Ginsberg did seem pretty taken with the idea of the insurance guy’s being visited by the ghost of MLK. I don’t think he actually believed it, but he wanted to hear more. Hell, I’d want to hear more. That dude missed a strong career in bullshit avant garde cinema.

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      I love Trudy Vogel Cambell! One episode after expelling Pete she is looking hotter than ever and was rocking some Veronica Lake finger waves. I can practically see her humming as she blithely throws away all her old Housewives frocks and then cruises into Saks to get a a new wardrobe for her liberated self.

      • lulubella

        Agreed. Loved the long flowing hair reminiscent of the “falls” worn in the 70s and the less prissy make up. She looked sexy – can’t wait to see her in an East Indian-inspired silk caftan.

      • CozyCat

        Trudy is one of the sadder figures on the show. She is incredibly smart and capable, but she was born a little too early and was a little too sheltered to make good use of those qualities.

        • Glammie

          Hmmm, I think she’s young enough that she can change her stripes pretty successfully if she so desires. When Tammy gets a little older, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Trudy go to work and be very successful at it.

        • AnotherJulie

          I think that is true of almost all the female characters – and I think that one of the main points of the show.

      • Lilithcat

        Maybe this comment should wait for “Mad Style”, but I couldn’t help noticing that she was wearing a solid color dress. No more print clashing with the sofa!

    • Shell

      Great recap, guys! Here’s a quick recap of my thoughts on last night’s episode:
      1. Glad to know it wasn’t just me who couldn’t hear what was going on when they announced MLK had been shot! Haha, I thought I was losing my hearing! :)

      2. I noticed a distinct “father” theme last night, what with bobby/don, Ginsberg’s dad trying to set him up, Pete wanting to see his daughter Tammy… Kind of an interesting change from this seasons earlier focus on mother figures.

      3. I definitely see Betty spiraling into a full-fledged eating disorder. The writers are already painting the picture of Betty havig control

      • not_Bridget

        Diet pills might be Betty’s period-correct problem. Although we’ve already seen that she can get high-strung on occasion…

        • tereliz

          Yeah, I’m betting she goes the full Judy Garland.

        • zenobar

          Mother’s Little Helper. It is written.

      • fursa_saida

        When she put down the dress and went through a door, I fully expected she was going to the bathroom to purge.

    • purkoy28

      the eye contact with don and sylvia in front of their spouses was sooooo obvious. i wonder if it is a hint to the fact they will get caught? same with the idea of henri and danger, i hope nothing happens to henri, i would choose him over don any day.

      • sarahjane1912

        And that coy little wave Sylvia threw to Don behind her husband’s back/over his shoulder. Golly. How did it not ‘hit’ Megan on the way through? So obvious, I agree!

        • KateWo

          I think Megan was already turned around I’m not sure

          • sarahjane1912

            Ah! I missed that. Cheers. :)

    • OrigamiRose

      Stupid question and I hope you don’t hate me for asking but, Dr. King was shot early in the day, right? – did it really take that long for the news to spread? I’m not trying to be a bimbo – I just can’t believe it took until the evening for the news to break, especially in Manhattan.

      • http://twitter.com/photinakis M.Photinakis

        I believe he was assassinated in the early evening hours, actually.

      • formerlyAnon

        M.Photinakis is right. He was shot around 6 and died an hour or so later. Too late to make the evening news except as a breaking news bulletin on the eastern seaboard.

      • Joe M

        No, he was shot at 6:01 pm Central Time. No offense, but that would be so easy to look up without having to ask. Wikipedia it?

        • OrigamiRose

          Hey darling, some of us are young enough that we remember this lyric:

          “Early morning, April 4
          Shot rings out in the Memphis sky”

          Wiki that, sweetheart.

          • sarahjane1912

            Er …. you’d believe the lyrics to a U2 song over all known news reports of the tragedy? Hmm! PS. I watched MLK: The Assassination Tapes this afternoon. Great doco. 6.01pm was the time of the shooting. :-)

          • Joe M

            LOL! I’m definitely young enough to remember that. I think the question is, who is old enough to remember that song when it was new? I get my history from reliable sources, not U2 lyrics, but thanks for playing.

      • http://twitter.com/otterbird otterbird

        It’s not stupid; I think U2′s song “In the Name of Love” has caused a lot of confusion. Dr. King was shot at 6:01 in the evening. Maybe the boys in Ireland forgot to account for the time zone difference. ;)

        • GinaGeo

          Yep. But the times I’ve seen them in concert Bono sings “early evening”.

        • Joe M

          Not a full excuse (even with artistic license), but details of this level were harder to ascertain with certainty even in the 1980s. The World Book encyclopedia would give MLK’s date of death but probably not the time of death. So you had to rely on your recollection or go look at the newspaper microfiche or magazine back issues at the library to figure something like this out (or, in this case, check out a book on the assassination or the 60s). If he thought about it at all, maybe Bono was remembering that it was no doubt early morning (on the 5th) in Ireland when he heard about it as a seven-year-old. Anyway, it has caused a lot of unfortunate confusion, but today it’s easy as pie to get an answer to a question like this.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513515590 Cecily Squier

        Nope, 6 in the evening. I had the same thought, which I attribute to that darn U2 song.

      • ashtangajunkie

        I think he was shot in the early evening – 6ish. I don’t think that there is much of a time difference between New York and Memphis; an hour maybe.

        • OrigamiRose

          Thank you – as I referenced, I felt stupid for asking but a huge touchstone of my generation is a song that mentions the shots being in the early morning.

          I do appreciate your kind reply :)

          • ashtangajunkie

            My pleasure. Love your name. :)

        • Lilithcat

          Right, Memphis is Central, so it’s one hour earlier than NY, which is Eastern.

          • ashtangajunkie

            Thanks for confirming – I’m Canadian and have no confidence in my knowledge of US time zones. :)

    • msdamselfly

      I have an insight into Don Draper. He’s one of those men who brings out the motherly as well as the carnal love from women because he is still a frightened little boy in some ways as well as being so handsome and debonair. While he seeks out and needs this mothering, the adult part of him rebels against it and pushes the woman away. It’s ironic that he told Betty in season 1 that she acts like a “little girl” when it’s he that is also “a little boy”. He and Betty were like two children playing “grown-up” and now he’s with the adolescent Megan who is trying to break free from her own parents’ control.
      You can really see the child in all of these adult characters and in a way, the 60′s revolution was partially about admitting and disclosing the true inner child from behind the mask of adult roles that people had been playing

      • librarygrrl64

        Good points. :-)

    • http://twitter.com/DifficultDiva Diva in 4 Inch Heels

      I like the fact that Don’t Draper hasn’t changed at all. Yes, his actions/behavior are repetitive, but I think that’s the point of his story. As much as some of the audience, is continuing to hold onto the hope that he will grow, his marriage to Megan will work, that he’ll become a better father to his kids and that Don will finally find some peace/acceptance of himself, I just don’t see it happening. Some folks just are incapable of change.

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

        I agree that it’s the point of his story, but I don’t think the writers have to repeat the same scenes and “revelations” over and over again in order to tell it.

      • filmcricket

        The longer this show goes on, the more Matt Weiner’s time on The Sopranos becomes evident. The inability to change was a major theme on that show, too, particularly for the male lead.

    • sarahjane1912

      “Betty heading for an eating disorder”. Oh gawd, I hope not [but I kinda do want to see her back in her skinny clothes].

      Question: Was Betty’s snark to Don re his ‘girlfriend in Canada’ referring to Megan? Or just ‘whichever mistress Don probably has going at the moment’? Cannot BELIEVE Betty thought it was okay for Don to collect the kids and drive them back into a riot zone. Bizarre. At least she rationed the children’s TV viewing this time though; throughout the JFK ep, the children were exposed to wall-to-wall coverage.

      • tereliz

        Eh, I kind of feel like the “Don, come get the kids” freakout was less about control on Betty’s side and more of a plot device to get Bobby and Don to the movies.

        • roble ridge

          Interestingly, I viewed it as very in keeping with Betty’s character. To me, it showed that she was still bitter about being replaced by a younger, beautiful woman. Her making Don come to get the kids demonstrated that she’s still a spiteful person when it comes to Don.

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

            Mayor Lindsay was largely responsible for keeping the rioting out of NYC. Henry had been with Lindsay. Betty told Don that Henry had said it was okay out there at this point. There’s no reason to believe she doesn’t believe that. She wanted Don to honor his commitment to his children (perhaps especially in light of the news). It’s in character for her, and for a mother whose kids are expecting to spend the weekend with their dad.

      • SonOfSaradoc

        I agree that Betty insisting Don come and drive the kids through riot-watch Manhattan was ultra bizarre.

        The ‘girlfriend in Canada’ sounded just like Betty’s previous bashing of Megan as just a girl and not Don’s wife. Betty is always belittling Megan in her mind (like some of the audience), and never has internally accepted that Don re-married. At least that’s how I interpreted that line.

        • Joe M

          It was odd, but she was told by Henry that things had calmed down. Also, it’s not as if they would literally be driving through Harlem. Don would probably divert through Queens to avoid the area altogether. It’s not as if he’s driving down Lenox Avenue, stopping at every light. To be realistic, I really think the kids by now would be taking the train down (OK, maybe the youngest is too young for that; still, my mom put me on a train to Westchester by myself in NYC at age 12 in 1983 during a visit there.) Or Betty would do the drop off somewhere at a location halfway between the two parents. It’s a bit much to think that Don drives back and forth to Rye every time he gets his kids.

      • http://twitter.com/ZoeyCharles7 Zoey

        My impression is that Bobby’s no TV edit was punishment for ripping the wallpaper, not because she didn’t want him exposed to MLK riot coverage.

        • Danielle

          It was both. Betty told Henry she didn’t want the kids watching before the wallpaper incident.

        • sarahjane1912

          Ah! *Taps nose* That makes more sense. Ta. :-)

      • MilaXX

        Bobby couldn’t watch tv as part of his punishment for tearing the wallpaper.

      • Danielle

        Part of Betty’s not wanting the kids to watch TV I think had to do with her watching when Ruby shot Oswald, and how it really freaked her out.

    • AnotherJulie

      I was thrilled by the Ginsburg sub-plot. He is adorable. Never better.

      Ditto the Trudy conversation.

    • Heather

      I think you missed that the real estate agent was totally submarining Peggy on the apartment, on purpose.

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

        We didn’t miss it; we just don’t think there’s anything yet to support that, since she did say she’d continue to work with Peggy to find her a place.

        • Heather

          I didn’t really think that was genuine. We’ll see, I suppose.

          • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gaby

            It rung true to me in parallel to my current search in the NY housing market – there’s always someone with more money than you, it can feel like.

        • NoGovernmentName

          I thought the “it wasn’t meant to be” was subliminally meant (by the writers, not the real estate agent) for her and Abe– the fantasy of their life together. Not meant to be.

        • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

          I didn’t get the submarining thing at all from the agent. NYC agents don’t care, they just want to close a sale. I thought she was being more pushy than sabotaging.

      • Danielle

        The way the agent kept saying that ‘it wasn’t meant to be’ made me wonder if maybe rejecting her offer had less to do with the money and more to do with the sellers not wanting to sell to a single woman.

        • greenwich_matron

          I think that is more likely than the agent torpedoing Peggy. The agent seemed like someone who would be much more interested in the commission than in any sort of gender redlining.

          • Lilithcat

            If she’s so interested in the commission, why would she torpedo Peggy? That would be a dumb move, and NY real estate agents don’t do dumb.

    • Pants_are_a_must

      Jon Hamm hammed up that boringly emotional dialogue so much, lord. I give him all the credit for Don Draper, but that was a shoddily written scene, shoddily acted.

      Joan’s unbelievably awkward hug was such a tone deaf moment, it was embarrassing to watch.

      • AnotherJulie

        RE: Joan’s hug – That’s what made it hilariously awkward.

    • Laylalola

      Peggy really worked my every last nerve last night. She has a habit of becoming conveniently passive in unsavory situations — she deliberately lets them happen, she wasn’t pushed into anything — when it’ll get her something (an apartment). And continuously interrupting her boyfriend while he’s on deadline reporting an MLK ASSASSINATION-RELATED STORY for the NEW YORK TIMES, when if it were him interrupting her deadline for Secor Laxatives you just know she’d go ape-shit. But anyway.

      • lulubella

        So much like Don.

      • CozyCat

        I thought she was reasonably understanding about Abe focusing on the story. But she was right: Abe’s excitement was about the career boost he was going to get out of the story (NYT!), which was pretty much the equivalent of her getting a deal on the apartment. Both of them are ambitious professionals who had an opportunity drop into their laps because of a tragedy.

        But Abe believes that his career is more important, more “moral” than hers. That’s probably going to be the end of the relationship–ultimately he really doesn’t respect her.

        • MartyBellerMask

          I think that’s probably true. I’m glad they haven’t moved yet. They need a good long conversation before taking another step.

    • VanessaDK

      Thanks TLo! Again a spot on review–I was also thinking–Ugh–they just don’t shine when handling major news events. Is it budget or a conscious decision to specifically write around any possibility of showing stock footage of the actual riots or Abe up in Harlem or out on the streets? How about just writing a scene for Dawn or Phyllis at home ?

    • Zaftiguana

      Goddamn, was I proud of Miss Trudy last night. She’s played her part so consistently in that marriage that I thought she might take him back, but I guess when she was done with said act, she was DONE.

      I loved Dawn’s response. It felt like the real and human reaction of a whole person, not the token lip service of a character. I do wish we’d seen more of her and how she dealt with this both on and off the stage of SCDP.

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

        I loved Dawn’s response, too. I got the sense that she felt suffocated by her family’s grief and had to get away to deal with her own sadness the best way she knows how–by burying herself in work.

        And I loved Trudy, too, for standing by her decision even when it seemed she might falter. Brilliant acting on Alison Brie’s part.

        • NoGovernmentName

          I also think that it was obvious that the white folks around her didn’t understand the depth of her mother’s sense of loss. “We went to my aunt’s house in Newark,” Dawn said. “Why would you do that?” Don asked (clearly Newark wasn’t any more appealing then than it is now). “My mother wanted to be with her sister,” she replied, as if talking to a child. It was like a family member died, which Don didn’t quite get until she said that. At least he attempted compassion.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            Actually, that was Phyllis talking to Peggy and Peggy attempting compassion. Dawn was coming down from Harlem.

      • AnotherJulie

        Trudy always came out on top, in my opinion, even when being the dutiful wife. She can cut Pete to the quick like nobody’s business. Remember her in that scene when Don tried to cancel on her? He had no shot.

        I too loved Dawn’s response. Can you imagine how she would have felt walking into that lily-white workplace, with all those eyes on her?

    • http://twitter.com/fashunroadkill Chelle

      Was I the only one who didn’t think Bobby was saying he cared for Henry more than Don when he talked about Harry getting shot? I just assumed that Bobby realizes that Henry is in more “danger” than Don. After all, he did witness Betty being concerned for Henry when he went with the mayor.

      • fursa_saida

        That whole exchange in the kitchen was beautifully written. Betty won’t let the kids watch TV because “who knows what they’ll show,” and then when she argues with Henry about going in, his response of “They’re going to burn down the city! …Everything’s fine” was just the least comforting thing his kids (stepkids, whatever) could hear. Kids aren’t stupid. They know something important’s happening when the adults try to cover their eyes.

    • KateWo

      I really enjoyed this episode. After the Ted/Peggy interaction I’m wondering: what if they are already having an affair and it’s a big reveal later? They shared some kind of look and Ted’s line to Abe about being in his seat could be foreshadowing.

      All the death/religious/birth/baptism references this season another speculation I have is maybe “Don Draper” will “die” and Dick Whitman will be reborn?

      All the white adults acted awkwardly to black characters, but Bobby’s comment to the usher was touching.

      Betty already has an eating disorder, but looks like it will become full fledged and up front in the storyline.

      Loved the Pete and Harry stand off although its funny that on one hand the writers are so spot on with Pete’s character history but in regards to Harry it’s like what happened to this guy?

      • formerlyAnon

        If Peggy is having an affair at work whilst apartment hunting with Abe, I am going to have a head snap experience, re-evaluating her capacity for smooth deceit. Especially in personal relationships, she’s never been anything less than game, earnest and slightly awkward when adjusting to new wrinkles.

        • KateWo

          Yeah, you’re right. It would be pretty out there.

      • Melanie

        I don’t know where you get that Betty has an eating disorder. I don’t recall seeing any evidence of that.

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

          Don used to berate her to eat during her pregnancy and made quite a few references back in the day to her lack of eating. Multiple dinner scenes in the Ossining kitchen depicted her with only a glass of wine, watching the rest of the family eat.

          • Melanie

            I remember that now that you mention it, but that was years ago. I guess I would amend my statement to say that there’s no evidence of that that’s continued til now. I feel like we’ve seen her eating several times, even though last season it was Weight Watchers.

            • KateWo

              Her situation was a common one, eating disorders are usually about control, Betty’s had no control with her life with Don, thus she controlled her food. Grandpa Gene told Sally that Betty was forced to do swim camp by her mother as a child because she was fat so that established it was not an okay way to be in her household. Once Sally said ‘but Mommy doesn’t like to eat’ and Betty’s Dr commented that she always got her figure back after pregnancy. The references have been subtle and few and far between so it’s not something everyone will have picked up on, and its much more true to life than normally depicted on TV. Plus I don’t think there was much awareness about it back then.

              And she’s definitely eating now but to the point of getting overweight. Eating disorders are somewhat like a recovering addiction, you have to be conscious not to relapse. Betty being in the public eye will probably be a trigger.

            • fursa_saida

              Yup. It’s not something that ever fully goes away–even if you recover, it’s something in the back of your mind that you have to be conscious of keeping at bay.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            Plus the whole binge and purge of the can of whipped cream!

        • sweetlilvoice

          It wouldn’t surprise me if she has some type of disorder–she was a model after all and she knew what it took to keep the weight down/off. She’s going to be even more in the public eye now if Henry is a Senator. Not to mention, her weight would be something about her life she could control. I wish she would go back to blonde though, I never know who she is at first.

    • gogobooty

      I have been thinking about this for a couple of weeks, with the DD flashbacks to his tawdry childhood, and now his “crummiest of confessions” to Megan about faking loving his kids for pretty much ever…

      What is a huge gap to me and makes little sense in the DD character is the whole zone of years when he became top dog at SC. DW grew up on a dustbowl-y farm in a place where education didn’t appear too emphasized. Then he was in Korea, blew up his comrade, stole his identity and moved on. We saw the flashback of him as a gawky car salesman somewhere in East Podunk, when Anna caught up to his DD identity and they worked out their support deal. Next career stop DD is an unpolished, over-eager beaver selling furs to Roger, trying to show off the Betty ads he designed for the fur shop, and Roger tells him the gals can buy their own furs tagline stinks. DD and RS later get smashed and and DD shows up to work at SC a day later saying RS offered him a job.

      Profit!

      When the story actually begins, Don is the big fish in a small agency, supposedly at the top of the creative game of advertising, plus he’s a charismatic babe magnet and the one guy in the agency that all the co-workers and clients want to engage with and please, in their own ways. Other than being handsome, how was this achieved? How does DD, who comes from such dirt-poor beginnings, who acts like a puppy when he meets RS and perceives that he has a chance, who is stoic and silent about expressing any feelings except contemptuous disdain for others and their weaknesses become such an intuitive and clever marketing guy? The kodak carousel was all about the pretty picture and nostalgic/envious feelings it evoked for the family it turns out he barely cares for.

      I have seen enough flashbacks about DW’s “difficult childhood”. Got it. I can’t really get too concerned about DD losing his mojo for ads is kind of irrelevant because I don’t know how he got there in the first place. That is the character building omission that makes his story on MM so weak to me.

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

        The answer to that question is found in the story of Peggy’s rise and Don’s mentorship of her. Her status as an outsider and someone on the bottom of the social rung gave her an insight into what people want and how they think. Don cultivated that in her because it was exactly how he became so good at his job.

        Look at how far Peggy’s come in her job. Now pretend she’s a studly, good-looking white man and imagine how much further she would have gone with nothing in her way. That’s Don’s story.

        • decormaven

          Bravo. I’ve been with Mad Men since the get-go, and no one has ever encapsulated this better.

        • Lattis

          Holy moly that’s well said.

          Something I have strong but conflicted feelings about is how Don passes on to Peggy the ability to wall off her past so completely it is as though it never happened. Which, for the Peggy and Don, is what allows them to be players at such a high level (Madison Ave., awards dinners etc.). They’ve reinvented themselves – reincarnated themselves.

          I can’t help but compare this to the Masterpiece series, “Mr. Selfridge,” which is showing concurrently on PBS. He is someone who not only didn’t hide his humble beginnings, he uses them as a sort of grand advertisement of himself.

          Clearly, it would be an entirely different story if Don was someone who had somehow integrated his past with his present, but there is something really enticing about the idea of just walking through a door and closing it on the past and then forgetting where the door is and then planting a hedge in front of the door and then digging a moat in front of that and . . . oh

          • Glammie

            That’s Don Draper v. Conrad Hilton, isn’t it? Connie Hiltonuilds builds himself up from nothing and isn’t ashamed to say it. He’s the one character who really schooled Don.

        • filmcricket

          Well said.

          Don’s also a good salesman. He’s not an accounts man like Roger or Pete because he can’t be bothered to put the time in for the kind of hand-holding that requires, but his 2 previous jobs before SC were both in sales. He’s also obviously ruthless about exploiting other people’s weaknesses and has a forceful personality when there’s something to gain. There’s also some evidence that he’s something of an auto-didact, and in any case, an ad man would not be a university-educated position back then; you learned by doing. Given all this, it doesn’t seem too hard to see where his success comes from.

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

        Just because education wasn’t particularly valued or emphasized doesn’t mean that Don felt the same way. The guy’s obviously intelligent; he reads a lot, and widely. He seems to love movies, so by extension, he’s keeping up with pop culture at least to a certain extent. Thinking on his feet comes easy to him, especially when it’s to his own benefit. Combine all that with his ability to intuit what people want and his charisma and it’s little surprise that he’s where he at today.

        And he didn’t blow up the real Don Draper. That would have been the Viet Cong/North Vietnamese Army.

        • Lilithcat

          And he didn’t blow up the real Don Draper. That would have been the Viet Cong/North Vietnamese Army.

          Not them, either. It was the North Koreans.

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

            Oh, god damn. What a complete and utter brain fart. This is what trying to think on two hours of sleep in the last two days does to a person.

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

              Dick Whitman did blow up Don Draper, though. He dropped a lighter into a puddle of fuel directly under his feet. That’s why Don was so freaked out by the young serviceman’s lighter he accidentally picked up in Hawaii.

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

              But it wasn’t intentional, was it? Ugh. Clearly, I need to rewatch that episode. Well. Find out what season/ep it was and then rewatch it. And then fall down the Mad Men k-hole…

        • Cheryl

          Dick Whitman fumbled with a lighter, it dropped into some gasoline, which caused the explosion that killed Don Draper. It was an accident, but Dick Whitman was responsible.

        • gogobooty

          Don has said he only attended a wee bit of college. And he was totally dismissive of Dr Faye and the educated psychological insight she brought to the work.

      • gogobooty

        What I wanted to add to this but did not have time for was that it kind of doesn’t make sense that the DD character is at a weird, inexplicable impasse with the changing times. If he is the consummate chameleon who can assume another man’s identity, con his way into a job and rise to the top of the field in a fairly short time, why is it so hard for him to roll with the societal changes? Why is he so married to his conservative ways of dressing and acting, why so seemingly baffled by other people’s motivations? He’s supposed to just intuitively get it, right? That’s what makes him so great at selling crap people don’t need. Is it just the booze?

        All the way back to Rachel Menken, DD has had a blow it off willingness to bail on his life, to just pick up and run, if he could get the right gal to go with him, or if he had the right gal (Anna) to go to. It made him seem like he was down with the start form scratch idea, and yet he clings to life as he already knows it. Marrying his Von Trapp fantasy of Megan the secretary and workmate was more of the same. Being so closed off to everyone around him makes it hard to believe he can simultaneously be brilliant at his job. I didn’t get enough from his working with Peggy (except the ‘change the conversation’ idea, which seemed like DD standard operating procedure) to make these personality discrepancies clear.

        • fitzg

          My take is that he doesn’t just “intuitively get it.” Several people remarked in commenting on last week’s episode about how puppy-like Don was when he met Roger. And then, he turns into this debonair guy. I think that this change, and in a larger sense, his ability to fit in as of the early 60s — when we first saw him and when he was in his prime — was hard-won and based on a lot of observation. He’s not the “strong, silent type” for nothing — he needed to be silent and observe so that he could figure out how to fit into the world of which he so desperately wanted to be a part. And that was a world that was more or less the same in terms of societal rules and class distinctions from the time he was a kid to the mid-60s. So even though he wasn’t personally exposed to the “rich and powerful” when he was a kid, he gleaned what he could from newspapers, pop culture, hearing the people around him talk about the “rich and powerful” and had a basic understanding to work from when he set about trying to re-create himself. Now that rug of basic understanding has been pulled out from under him, and instead of being an eager kid/young man who is willing to figure it out, he is older, dissipated, drunk, tired, disgusted with himself, and probably frustrated that the rules are changing just when he pretty much finally had it down. It’s harder — and, I think, for Don, nigh on impossible — to work up the willingness and the energy to change yet again.

          • filmcricket

            Exactly. The boomer nostalgia about “the 60s changed everything” can get a bit tiresome, but there’s no question that decade saw more social upheaval than Don had probably seen so far in his life, since he wouldn’t have been exposed to the leftist intelligentsia of the 30s.

            Also, people get more conservative as they age. They’ve worked so hard to establish themselves that they don’t want to walk away from their lives or their identities, or they just don’t have the energy for it anymore.

    • MilaXX

      I didn’t think it would, but this ep bored me. I did notice and like the contrasting scenes with Peggy/Priscilla(?) vs Dawn/Joan. I wasn’t surprised at Pete’s reaction. It was nice to see he’s not always a jerk. LOVED Trudy standing her ground.
      I was curious about Peggy’s Realtor. I almost got the feeling she sabotaged Peggy a little. Something about the whole transaction bugged.

      • http://twitter.com/ZoeyCharles7 Zoey

        I felt the same way. But I guess her getting the apt. wasn’t really the point.

        • MilaXX

          The odd thing was hearing that Abe thinks about them having a family makes me feel even more certain that they won’t last.

          • fursa_saida

            Same. Peggy’s reaction was much less about delight at the idea of having kids (not that she doesn’t want them, I just think she doesn’t want them now) and more about feeling pleased and a bit flattered that Abe was thinking that way.

      • fursa_saida

        She seemed very disconcerted by the poorly hidden living-in-sin status of Peggy and Abe. I’m wondering if the neighbors and management in that building might have had a problem with it; it certainly seemed to make her uncomfortable. If there was sabotage afoot, that’s the only reason I can think of–after all, she wants her commission, no?

        • MilaXX

          Yes that was my confusion. She seemed at best confused with the living situation & a but disapproving, but why would she shoot herself in the foot. If the whole point was to show that Abe sees them as having a future together then something went wrong.

      • Lilithcat

        I almost got the feeling she sabotaged Peggy a little.

        And lose the commission? Ha. This is a real estate broker we’re talking about! One who wants to take advantage of an assassination to get the price of the property down. Anything to close the sale.

        • MilaXX

          I don’t think that scene read like it was intended.

      • barbarasingleterry

        I was bugged as well. To initially suggest she offer more than just because of the rioting that less was better seemed a little fishy, almost as if she didn’t want to sell the property to a single woman. I did like Abe’s comments about buying in a different neighborhood, gentrification was starting then.

    • FloridaLlamaLover

      Had to quickly scan this, as I’m about to run out the door to work. Yep, I didn’t hear what the guy shouted out at the dinner either: am I happy or ticked to be thusly manipulated? Also — was it me or was the acting more wooden and stilted than usual this time around? Wow — Joanie’s hug was so awkward and forced, better that she didn’t do it at all. Poor Dawn flinched like she was going to get whacked when Joan turned her way. My memories of the assassination of MLK, JR are minimal — I was 6 years old — but I remember that my sister’s high school trip to DC got canceled mid-travel (Atlanta to DC via train) and that my Dad was in downtown Atlanta with WSB-TV in the communications truck, covering the event. “Angry, crazy crowd,” as Henry says, describes what was going on near the GA capitol that night.

    • dalgirl

      So many great comments about the episode, nothing to add there.

      Moving on to shallow…to see Joan WEARING HER HAIR DOWN in the previews for next week was a major “YES!!”

      • KateWo

        I had to pause on that scene, because at first I thought: Why are they at Joans apartment late at night? (since her hair was down) then I see they’re at the office, although everyone is looking more casual so maybe it’s a weekend?

      • https://www.facebook.com/GOODGODGIRLGETAGRIP?ref=tn_tnmn Fisher&SonsFuneralHome

        I saw that and think its a sign of trouble. Maybe she is pulled into the office on the weekend because something bad happens?

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

          Yeah. There’s some kind of business doohickey in the foreground; an adding machine, maybe? I bet something terrible with their finances is going to happen. :

    • lulubella

      Is my computer screen dirty, or was the wall behind Don’s head/chair dirty and smudged, as white walls are wont to do? If it’s true, I was surprised to see that bit of shabbiness unattended to in his office. I was thinking it’s where he grabs the wall when he spins around, drunk, to get up or get another drink. Or maybe not, and sometimes a cigar is a dirty monitor.

    • KTBSN

      RE: the significance of Don’s current dalliance being in such close proximity to his living space. It’s not about finding the conquest on Madison Ave any more, now he needs to have her two floors down. Is he getting lazy and old? Is he worried about what the SCDP crew might think having worked alongside Megan and knowing her better than they knew Bets? Kepping up appearances at the office now?

      • Cheryl

        But this is also flirting with disaster — the odds of Megan finding out are much higher, especially with Sylvia and Megan now being friends. Is he getting a high from the reckless thrill?

    • pamasutra

      The scene with Ginsburg in the diner when the news broke of MLK, and the cook’s devastated reaction as he came out from the kitchen broke my heart. The cook sank w/ his heavy heart into the nearest seat at the diner counter. The significance wasn’t lost on me — it was exactly one of the non-violent strategies Dr. King and the movement had–a seat at a diner like everyone else.

      • ferngilly

        Wow – a seat at the diner like everyone else – that is an astute observation! That was such an emotional scene.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I found that scene especially moving. The tension and grief was palpable. Poor Ginsberg! He was a nervous wreck and then the whole date really was ruined.

      • AnotherJulie

        Beautifully put. That scene made me cry. Despite all the ENDLESS Don Draper bs, little moments like these make MM worth watching.

        I had a similar response to Pete’s scene, made even more powerful because he is usually so loathsome.

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

      Maybe I’m wrong (as I’m not nearly as smart as you fellas), but with Pete’s behavior this episode, I wonder if we’re getting the Don Draper redemption story that we’ll never get from Don Draper. His call to Trudy and his impassioned reaction with that great final statement – “He had a wife and four kids!”, with that final shot of him showing how dark and alone his life is (literally) makes me wonder if they’re showing someone who tried to emulate Don Draper is learning from his mistakes. God help me, I actually LIKED Pete this episode and felt for him.

      Compared to Pete, it’s all I could do to not strain my eyes from rolling them seeing Don continue to be Don. UGH.

      I totally snorted at that awkward hug from Joan and Betty’s flashed look of horror at the realization that she’ll have to be seen in public. GAWD I love this show.

      • 3hares

        It seems to me that one “advantage” Pete has is that he gets called on his shit. I was watching the ep of Don being comforted by Megan at the end that I nearly forgot he’s cheating on her. Pete was facing much clearer cause and effect for his actions. He’s alone because of what he did, and if he’s going to get back anything he lost he’s going to have to work for it, starting by taking full responsibility for it. Maybe he’ll never be able to do that, but I think we have seen him adjust his behavior and understanding of himself in ways Don just never has to do.

      • ashtangajunkie

        I liked Pete this episode as well, which is saying something (as it happens so infrequently).

      • greenwich_matron

        I felt the same thing. I think Pete is attached to Trudy in a way that Don never was. Don acts like “the wife” or “the mistress” roles that must be cast rather than real people, but Pete knows that there isn’t another Trudy waiting for him at the next bar or in the secretarial pool. I felt like Don had a chance after his divorce, but he just made a new casting call, but maybe Pete will be different.

        • Glammie

          Interesting. Pete genuinely loves Trudy and she genuinely sees right through him. He’s an awful person though.

          • greenwich_matron

            I was going to write “but maybe he can change” but I couldn’t do it with a straight face. I would try to be more optimistic, but I’m sure it wouldn’t work.

            • Glammie

              Yeah, the women, in general, seem better at changing than the men. I’d say Peggy and Joan really have changed with the times. Peggy has wanted to, Joan has had to. The male WASPs of MM, not so much. Though Roger has a certain elan that kind of works for the times and I bet he won’t do blackface at the country club anymore.

              The one thing working for Pete is that he’s kind of a baby. He has the possibility of growing up. So maybe he can change . . . maybe. Nah, I wanna watch Trudy conquer the world instead.

      • NoGovernmentName

        Except that Pete is a rapist, and I personally don’t think I could ever get past that to root for him.

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

          Ugh, I genuinely forgot about that ugliness, to be honest with you.

    • ferngilly

      This episode has been in my head all morning. Personally, I felt it was illuminating rather than rote. There’s nothing more obvious than a tragedy. Such occurrences bring out two sides of relating and association – cliched, universal sentiments as well as the roaring snakes of unanticipated emotion from Medusa’s head that are the most unsettling. I haven’t really had a chance to read the other comments but I think you two do provide insight and perspective into this episode that I wouldn’t necessarily have picked up on (of course because that is what you do!)

      On a personal note, I’m from Boston, and the bombing tragedy didn’t really “set in” for me until over the weekend (two weeks, imagine) and viewing this was eerily familiar and grounding. There were so many familiar scenes – confusion and incomprehension upon hearing the news, my father (like Ginsberg’s) in despair upon hearing the news of yet one more act of horror that unearths deeply buried memories, wanting to get out of the house, going to the movies as a distraction.

      Seeing Don glued to the television out of ostensible concern for the Rosens (but really Sylvia) I think was his attempt to make a personal connection with the tragedy that was going on in DC, just as it was for me to say “oh my god that is right down the street from my friend’s place” when I saw the location of bombers’ apartment, and seeing the special forces helicopters overhead. I really don’t think the MLK assassination was dealt with awkwardly or heavy handedly at all – in fact, I feel as though it was a very accurate representation of the range of emotions people experience due to their personal connections of a major event, no matter how close or distant they are. Sometimes people (like Joan) just don’t know how to deal and that’s ok too. There’s nothing wrong with that. You can’t make some parts of history original or unique, especially the more horrifying events.

      Also, it is completely understandable why Dawn prefer to stay at work if her neighborhood is in upheaval. She is glimmerings of an “escapist” personality as well. Remember – she has stayed at the office before when she felt it wasn’t safe to go home.

      Has anyone picked up on the Henry/Harry connection? They have the same name, and they had the same opportunistic approach regarding the cultural repercussions of the MLK assassination. “When someone dies, they always want someone new” or something to that effect from Henry, and the concerns about the primetime slots from Harry. These two are of the same ilk, aren’t they.

      • CozyCat

        My interpretation was that Henry was referring to the death of someone in the state senate and the fact that he had been approached to fill the seat, as he had been in similar situations in the past. I think his response to MLK was the opposite of Harry’s: he was the only white character who was motivated to DO something by the events because he was so critical of the way the mayor was handling things. And there was an implication that there might be a drop in salary from working in the mayor’s office to serving in the state senate, since he opened the conversation by telling Betty that she would always be taken care of.

    • lulubella

      And there was Peggy, shot from behind, as we’ve see Don so many times. It reminded me of when Don was looking out the window of the new upstairs area at SCDP.

      • KateWo

        In her mustard yellow power color!

      • fursa_saida

        I didn’t recognize her from behind at first, and I sincerely thought SOMEONE was buying office space. I was waiting to find out who. Once I saw it was Peggy it all made sense. I was reminded less of Don looking out the window and more of Joan standing in the middle of the row of partners, looking out at the view from the new offices she secured for them.

    • jenno1013

      Did I really hear this? Don and Megan, back in their apartment after the awards dinner:

      Megan: “I hope your secretary is OK.” [or words to that effect]

      Don: “Arnie and Sylvia are in DC.” (with an inflection that suggests he’s correcting Megan)

      Now, were they talking in parallel but not to each other, not listening to each other, just babbling as one does at such moments, or did Don commit some sort of Freudian slip in associating “your secretary” with “the woman with whom I’m currently committing adultery”?

      • http://twitter.com/ZoeyCharles7 Zoey

        I thought it was because he was watching TV covering the riots in DC.

        • Lilithcat

          That was my thought as well. It was a parallel conversation.

      • MartyBellerMask

        I don’t think it was a slip or a correction. He just very literally did not care what Megan was saying, and doesn’t really think about Dawn at all.

      • http://twitter.com/ZoeyCharles7 Zoey

        I don’t think it was Freudian, he was watching the DC riots and preoccupied with Sylvia.

    • LuluinLaLa

      Please excuse my ignorance, but what award was Megan up for? She hasn’t worked at SCDP for two years or so, right? And she was only a Jr. Copywriter, at most? Why was she up for an award but no one else was? At the least there would be an art director up for it as well?

      • lorem_ipsum

        I missed it as well. Jumped up off my couch to read it when they focused on it, but of course I didn’t make it in time to see.

      • the_archandroid

        Pretty sure that she and Don came up with a pitch for Heinz baked beans last season

        • LuluinLaLa

          Someone on another board said it was the ad where the mother is shown throughout history feeding her family baked beans, so that makes sense. But I thought last night, they made it clear it was Megan’s ad, and no one else’s, which is why I was confused. I thought Don said something to the neighbors about it being Megan’s, and then later at the award show, it was said again, in that only Megan and Peggy were representing from their two agencies.

          • fursa_saida

            Was definitely the beans–she made a self-deprecating comment to Peggy about how SCDP doesn’t even have the account anymore.

          • the_archandroid

            I don’t know how it works but probably there is some nomination process and Don put in Megan’s name instead of his own, back when he was still enamored with her.

    • Glammie

      Weird episode. Unlike the JFK assasination, I was sentient for Martin Luther King and what I remember is nothing like what we saw (I know that doesn’t mean a lot). I first heard of it over the intercom at school. We had a new black principal and I could tell from the sound of his voice that it was a huge deal to him–and he was heartbroken. With the white adults, there just wasn’t, at all, the same kind of reaction. It was of interest, but the sense was that Martin Luther King wasn’t *their* person. In other words, I remember a real difference in the reactions. I remember MLK’s death as one of those things that got bigger and became more important over time.

      • Joe M

        MLK was shot at 6 pm Central Time. Even if you were on the West Coast, that’s still 4 pm, after most kids are in school (not counting the time it took to get the news out). Maybe you heard about it the next day, but it seems odd you didn’t get the news that evening at home first.

        • formerlyAnon

          As I remember it, if you didn’t watch the nightly news with your parents, maybe not odd at all. There was no 24/7 news at the time, and if a young enough child, unless the death was going to change the daily routine (if one lived somewhere that rioting was feared) there were and are many homes where the daily news isn’t a topic of conversation. And there is the vagary of memory: I don’t remember first hearing the news of either the MLK or RFK assassinations that year, I simply remember thinking about the events afterwards, and later, seeing after-the-fact news coverage.

          • Joe M

            I think what you’re saying is broadly true, but the magnitude of this particular event (one of the biggest events of the decade) is such that it still seems hard to believe that a child wouldn’t learn about it on the night of the 4th. As mentioned in this episode, regular programming was pre-empted, so it wasn’t just the nightly news. I’m sure a parent could have specifically put a quarantine on a kid finding out that night by keeping the TV off and the kid indoors, but I don’t think it was the norm for this particular event.

            • Glammie

              I’m sorry you can’t believe it, but not only did I not hear about it, my friends didn’t either. It wasn’t part of our lives. Remember, no computers, no cable–television, radio and the newspaper the next morning. One newspaper–local. MLK had no impact on my daily life, so not only did I not hear about his assassination that night, I didn’t hear much about him in general. There was more a sense of black people having been treated badly and that we needed to change that.

              It’s why Principal Boyd’s address over the intercom stays with me–because it was clear, even to a young kid, how sad his voice was and how important it was to *him*.

              I think you’re not getting that it was a much more segregated world and what that meant–Joan’s awkward hug kind of summed it up. Martin Luther King was *their* leader–not someone with whom most white people felt much connection. Plus, it was a year full of crazed news–riots, JFK assassination and night after night, the war in Vietnam. Kind of a lot to lay on kids, so people didn’t.

            • Joe M

              I do get what you’re saying. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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

              It depends on where you lived and who you lived with. I am white, was 15 in 1968, was born in the American South, raised in the Air Force, and lived in Washington, D.C. when King was assassinated. It was all over the news, all night long, and since we were a television watching family, we saw it over and over again, and we went into D.C. some days later, as a family, in our car, to see the destruction. Our white community was devastated as well.

              I know there was the mindset that King belonged to the black community and was “their” leader, but it was much, much more complex than that. And it was indeed a crazed year.

        • Glammie

          I’m sure my parents did get the news at home first. Or maybe the next morning, they weren’t big on television news. Remember, this is well before the 24-hour news cycle. Doesn’t mean that they told me about it. I was very young and many parents of that generation shielded their kids from this kind of news. Also, and this is the point I’m trying to make–the news was tragic, but not as important to them as it was in the black community. My parents were white liberals, but even so, I don’t think they got the true significance of it. The shooting of RFK was a much bigger deal for them.

          Looking back, the assassination of MLK was a sad turning point for civil rights in this country–it generated a huge amount of grief and *anger* in the black community–but I really don’t think most whites really got that for quite a while. It got big news coverage, but so did many things at the time. I think Mad Men got the nuance wrong on this one–the world didn’t grind to a halt the next day, though the NY stock exchange closed for his funeral. In a sense, if everyone had gotten the significance, there wouldn’t have been such a long civil rights struggle. Some characters–Dawn, of course, but Peggy’s boyfriend, Abe, would have been much more aware of the significance than others. But there was a pretty big gap among people’s perceptions.

          • fursa_saida

            Ginsberg is also on the list of characters who “got it” better than others, no doubt in part because of being a minority himself. His cynical “they had to do it” reaction read very true to me in terms of someone who understands the currents at work, but doesn’t feel directly connected and may not be the type to be deeply emotionally impacted.

            • Glammie

              Yes, and I think that’s historically accurate, too–a lot of Jews felt a strong kinship with blacks about the civil rights movement. Feelings in the other direction, were a bit more ambiguous. Wonder if MM will go there?

          • formerlyAnon

            Your first paragraph, especially, is EXACTLY how I remember/perceive it having been.

            • Glammie

              Thanks. I was beginning to wonder if I was alone in remembering it that way. I keep thinking of the phrase, “the past is a different country,” when writing about things that were just how things were when I was growing up.

      • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

        Maybe it’s because I was living on the Upper West Side at that time, but MLK’s murder was a huge, visceral shock. Everything in the neighborhood stopped, and people felt a combination of immense sorrow and lurking dread, waiting to see if Harlem just 20 blocks north would explode into rioting. But what happened was amazing: Hundreds, maybe thousands of people, spontaneously poured out of Harlem walking down Broadway, many holding lit candles, utterly silent. It remains one of the most moving things I’ve ever seen.

        • AutumnInNY

          Wow, that image gives me chills. What an awesome sight that must have been. Thank you for sharing that experience.

        • formerlyAnon

          I’ve never seen any images of that, anywhere. Thanks for sharing.

        • Glammie

          Interesting. Yes, I think where one was matters a lot. But that does go with my sense even as a young kid that MLK’s death was devastating for the black people I knew in a way it wasn’t for whites.

          You know, I wish MM had maybe put Dawn in that vigil–that she mentioned it the next day–but I suppose she doesn’t, understably, trust anyone in the white office world of SCDP.

        • Joan Arkham

          Adding a wow.

          I was born in 1971, but spent my teen years and young adulthood in a DC that still had buildings burned and abandoned since the riots.

        • Floretta

          And Mayor John Lindsay really did go to Harlem and walk the streets talking to New Yorkers. Not so great in labor negotiations or handling a massive snowstorm but that night, he did it right.

    • ferngilly

      And one more thing – Peggy saying that Jim Cutler was like “Roger but with bad breath”. I wonder what Roger’s breath smells like since he takes awful care of himself. Cloves? Mints? What does he do to have such memorably fresh breath?

      • the_archandroid

        probably juniper… from all the classic gin martinis

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

      I gave Trudy a imaginary pat on the back for telling Pete to stay away. Also, Maybe this is the beginning of the end for Megan and Don? She’s going to realize sooner or later (sooner) that he doesn’t love her – that he’s incapable of loving her, and she’s going to pack her bags.

      • missd

        if someone told you that they’re faking their love for their children most of the time, it wouldn’t be long before you’d think they were doing the same with you.

        It doesn’t surprise me though, to answer someone else’s comment, that he’s good in advertising. He’s good at being FAKE. He works in advertising, selling an illusion of reality, but nothing real. He portrays the dream and the aspiration, but he’s very aware, right back in the first episode, that nothing is actually that graspable. He just doesn’t know how to care and love.

        • decormaven

          Remember what Don told Rachel in the very first episode. “You’re born alone and you die alone, and this world just drops a lot of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts.” Outside of connecting with Anna, Don has been to himself. Different women have seen or drawn out different pieces of him, but he pretty much is a solitary soul.

    • Loryn

      Is Peggy’s realtor the same actress who plays Joan Calamezzo on Parks and Recreation?

    • Qitkat

      I disagree strongly with most of this except the Pete-Harry interaction, which was amazingly portrayed, and very effectively put us at the center of conflicting emotions as to how we are relating to Pete this season, and how Harry is turning into the schlub of the agency.

      I loved this episode, thinking it was a return to the Mad Men we all admired so much in the beginning years. Of course, everything was seen through the eyes of the major white characters. That is the world we are given a peak into every week. I appreciated that in one hour’s time we were given a glimpse into the lives of so many characters, and their reactions to this tragic, game-changing event. Enough tragic, game-changing events have occurred on the American and world stage since then, that we have all learned that there are many, many different reactions people can have to these events; that many emotions and actions may come along afterwards, even long afterwards, having stewed in our subconscious, so to speak, that the immediate response to something like this depends sometimes exactly where and what a person is dealing with in their own personal life at that time. It might be ideal if we all stopped and reflected upon our own mortality and how we might go about doing a better job to help change the world to be a better, fairer, safer place for everyone, but truthfully, human nature, with our often, sadly baser instincts reveals itself more often than not. It is wonderful and extraordinary when people do have a noble response to tragedy, but most of us feel bad about it for a while, and then proceed to go about our regular lives. For God’s sake, this kind of violence has been going on for so long and we still can’t change the damn gun control laws.

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

        I don’t understand what you disagree with.

        • Qitkat

          I think I understand why you said this because I realize I didn’t go into any detail about that in my comment. So I’ll just quote some of what you said, and how I reacted differently.

          …the story takes a huge event, places it smack in the middle of the characters’ ongoing lives, and watches how they all react to it. It’s something of a standard way to depict historical events and it’s always just a tiny bit disappointing to us…

          Nothing about this episode disappointed me; don’t we all react to huge events basically with how they impact our own lives? When 9-11 happened, I called all my immediate family just to touch base, to feel a closeness even if only through the telephone and react together to the shocking events. I emailed my cousins who live in NYC to find out how they were, and if they knew anyone personally who was there. I found out my cousin, a surgeon, was on stand-by at his hospital waiting for the victims who never arrived. I wanted to raise funds to help, because otherwise I felt so helpless, that I created a small artists book and sold it at a local farmer’s market and sent the proceeds to the American Red Cross. I scanned the newspapers for any names I might recognize.

          So while everything Don said or did this episode felt earned and made sense for the character (including the idea that he only really notices his children after they’ve become fully formed people…), it didn’t add up to anything engrossing or interesting.

          I felt more engrossed with Don in this episode than in some of the previous ones this season, possibly because of his very personal interactions with Bobby–-finally! (and I’m a mother with three sons) and his wondering if Sylvia was in danger. I mostly haven’t gotten bored with Don’s downward arc and the repetition which Weiner gets so criticized for in showing how many different, yet similar ways Don can continue to lose his soul. It’s an epic, Shakespearean tragedy to me, playing out for us every week, and even knowing it won’t end at all well, keeps me deeply interested. No matter what else happens, this show will be one of my favorites ever, along with Six Feet Under, because I’ve never seen such attention to all the little details, the nuances and layering and depth and astonishing variable interpretations thanks to the internet and, in a large sense, because it takes place during the most formative years of my life.

          Now that I can reflect on this episode a little further, and re-read your take on it, I realize that I over-reacted in saying “I disagree strongly.” For some reason I had a very emotional reaction to this episode; I was a young woman about to begin my career, and move far away from home at the time. It brought back all sorts of memories. My initial take from your review was that you didn’t particularly enjoy an episode which I loved, one in which we know history began to tumble faster and faster downhill into more tragic events, and began to color my entire world in shades of despair, at a time when I was so eager to ‘take on the world.’

          You gave your usual, detailed, intelligent take on this episode, and I would never miss your view of this Mad Men world; your interpretations have been there for me since the beginning. In retrospect, I had a different emotional reaction than you did, but I agree with many other points that you made concerning Peggy, Dawn, Pete, Harry, Joan, Roger, Trudy. So I see that I didn’t have as much disagreement as I thought.

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

            That makes sense. I just didn’t understand which parts you disagreed with.

    • lorem_ipsum

      Maybe I’m the odd one out, but I really don’t see Harry’s role as Asshole #1 out of line for his character. He has time and time again, in every season, proven that his first thought in any crisis is “How will this affect me?!” and consistently does anything necessary to save his own ass or reap the benefits of what’s going on. He’s always trying to scramble back up to the top.

      • Glammie

        Yeah, though he’s such an asshole now, when just last season, we saw some nuance in him–his helping out Paul Kinsey. I’m with TLo on this one–the asshattery should have been a bit more nuanced.

        • lorem_ipsum

          Oh please, he “helped out” Kinsey because he banged Lakshme and she threatened to spill the beans. Given, he didn’t do exactly what she wanted him to, but his every move was to dig himself out of the hole and relieve himself of guilt.

          • Glammie

            Certainly, that played a part, but he didn’t have to get Paul away from Lakshmi and to LA. I think he did do that part because Harry has had a streak of decency that’s popped up at various times.

    • beebee10

      You guys, I am so bored with Man Men! As a major fan, I can’t believe I just typed that.

      It’s very dull to see Don doing the same things. There’s no tension anymore in his actions. Before, I felt there was someone always fighting demons or walking a tight rope of his double life, but now he just seems like he’s sleepwalking. Where’s his desperateness for Meghan and the marriage? Where’s his sense of failure when it comes to ‘doing better’? I think there’s a hole in the writing this season, which started last season IMO.

      I thought it was just a clunky episode and not well handled.

      But like TLO said, it’s still very good TV.

      • Synnamin

        I think I agree with you. I’ll still watch it religiously (and I still adore the show), but Mad Men feels like a story without an end, without some sort of resolution coming. If the protagonists aren’t even going to move forward, then the tension evaporates. Same-old, same-old.

    • minerrva

      Did anyone else find the “Planet of the Apes” to be a particularly confusing cultural reference in an episode about the MLK assassination? The space given to Charlton Heston’s beach scene with the half-buried statue of liberty in the background was particularly hard to read…the human/ape, civilization/barbarity question is too literal and too oblique all at once. The racial politics of that film are NOTHING if not seriously, seriously complicated.

      • Angela_the_Librarian

        I guess I saw the use of Planet of the Apes as more of a reflection of the anxiety sweeping the country (and magnified after King’s assassination). There was the constant threat of nuclear war, major societal upheavals, etc. that linked the real world with the movie. It also came out in 1968, so it may have also been picked because it seems like a movie that Don would take his son to (Sci-fi, Adventure). You’re right that the movie has complicated implications about race, but I’m not sure if that much meaning was implied by using it in the episode.

        • minerrva

          I agree with you about the anxiety–that’s the best reading I could come up with. And you’re right about it being in the theatres at the time. I was thinking that maybe it was a little *too* complicated to let the reference pass without a little more commentary, but maybe that’s more fit for the classroom, not a TV show. In any case, thanks for the generous response–I see there’s a “vote down” on my comment, so I hope it wasn’t taken as too pedantic. Basically, what it boils down to is that I’m interested to hear how others who maybe know more about PotA in film history feel about the use of the film in the episode.

        • NoGovernmentName

          There were total racist undertones to Planet of the Apes, and I found it pretty ham handed that that is the movie Don and Bobby were seeing last night. Not sure how Weiner could have not realized that– I’m sure he did.

      • T. Sticks

        I LOVED the fact they went to see Planet of the Apes — I thought it was a perfect fit for the times with its racial undertones, violence and destruction of the country. How about the fake Ape newspaper?! My brothers and I would have loved to see that paper to compliment our many viewings of Planet of the Apes and it’s sequels on the “After School Special.” Good times!

        • minerrva

          I agree about the fact that it definitely seems relevant, historically. I don’t know the film well enough to understand exactly who is held responsible for bringing about the apocalypse and dystopian future that Heston is cursing in the scene–I think that’s the crucial issue. Any Planet film buffs out there know more?

          • 3hares

            Humankind and nuclear weapons, I always assumed, was held responsible for the destruction. Iow, war. Which was relevant in 1968. Also although the movie was never meant to be a racial allegory it was seen as such by many and was particularly popular with black audiences.

        • lilyvonschtupp

          Not to mention Don picked up a newspaper in the theatre that read something like, “Police Round Up Human Beasts”

      • Laylalola

        I don’t understand the general comment over the years in praise of Matthew Weiner’s supposedly subtle and nuanced writing. His handling of race relations in this episode was about as subtle and delicate as a battleaxe.

      • fursa_saida

        I thought it was significant that one of the clips they chose to show was an ape talking about the lowness, crudeness, and uselessness of humans. It reflected the general anxiety, as everyone’s said, but it also reflected the way the white establishment was thinking about the black rioters.

      • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

        Did anyone else notice the parallel imagery between Charlton Heston on the beach, naked and sobbing, the reference to James Mason walking into the sea in “A Star Is Born,”….and that “suicide” poster they did for the hotel??

    • roble ridge

      Don putting his hand around Bobby while he’s sleeping and gently touching his son’s cheek. That’s the first act of tenderness I recall seeing Don demonstrate to any of his children.

      Perhaps there is some hope for him, however minute.

      • lulubella

        There have been several that I can think of off the top of my head: 1) Bobby gets in trouble for (fill in the blank – can’t remember innocuous thing that incited Betty to fly off the handle), and Bobby 2.0 is in his parent’s room getting a gentle talking to by Don, and with his sweet little voice asks Don about Don’s father, and Don calls Bobby back into the room and gives him a huge hug; 2) Don is rocking baby Gene to sleep as Sally looks on; 3) Don, not Betty, helped Sally realize that Gene was not her Grandpa Gene reincarnated; Don and Sally take the day off and go the museum (or zoo, can’t remember) the morning after she runs way to the City, and when he drops her off at his office and heads to the conference room, he turns to her to give her a super cute conspiratorial look; 4) Don always sided with the kids when Betty had a rage-fest, and would admonish her in front of them, which I thought was good of him to do to show the kids that they were not the problem (esp. when Betty hit Sally for cutting her hair – both Don and Henry were outraged at that one); 5) Don is tempted to hide in his LA hotel room, but thinks better and does the canon ball in the pool and plays with the kids on their trip to Disneyland; 6) He does NOT cancel the Disneyland trip when he could have bailed since Betty fired Carla, so he improvises and brings Megan. Yes, he’s not a present or perfect father, and these have been few and far in between, but when he does express love, I always think it’s sweet and notable.

        • MAK

          Well put! I can’t help thinking that Sally will have some very good
          memories of Don as a father even with his absences. He doesn’t put the
          kids down, isn’t cruel, and he provides a good life for them. He isn’t
          very self-aware but at those Ossining events, at Roger’s Country Club,
          and at the brothel, he usually is one of the more aware guys in the
          room. I don’t know what kind of emotionally mature world TLo and many
          commenters here grew up in, but in this homogenous, still mostly authoritarian era, (even with the booze,
          philandering and absence) – Don is a good-enough father.

          • lulubella

            I agree – I am NOT in the camp that Don is an awful, irredeemable figure. Then again, I don’t hate Pete either. I look at everyone like a character study, and a chance to have an ominiscient view to understand why they do some of the things they do. It’s not rationalization, it’s explanation. I find parts of each character wonderful, funny, sexy, horrifying, egregious. It’s interesting how I never hear anyone denigrate Roger. It’s always about his fantastic humor (or rather, the actor’s delivery of the writers’ incredible lines). He has carried on and imbibed as much or MORE than Don, and we know it, and yet … anyway, I do get dismayed when bloggers devolve into judging the character, when in reality, we have a beautiful bird’s eye view to be impartial witnesses and therefore have the chance to analyze rather than judge.

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

              Why on earth would anyone want to be “impartial witnesses” to a work of fiction?

            • NoGovernmentName

              Especially when judging fictional characters should be half the fun of watching the show! We are supposed to judge them, and then delight when the writers upend our judgments with new insight, or reinforce them in some incredible new way. I also think the point is that many of our beloved SCDP characters are pretty awful. Irredeemable? No one said that, but none of them should be romanticized. I personally hate a corny redemption story. I’d rather see something grim but true.

            • Kwei-lin Lum

              This is a reply to Tom and Lorenzo–To see how that universe of characters works. It’s often illuminating to have a godlike perspective. Especially if you’re “creative” and want to make a world of your own. That said, I love reading your opinions on this blog.

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

              Doesn’t a god-like perspective imply judgment?

              I don’t understand what you mean about wanting to make a world of your own.

            • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gaby

              “I never hear anyone denigrate Roger…” Really? Just in this post, TLo pointed out that he’s been a racist, and in (MANY) other posts they’ve basically called him a manchild. Roger’s just not central in every episode, so the critique doesn’t come up as often.
              Don’s a sociopath, as far as I judge and analyze.

            • lulubella

              I guess “never” was a bad choice of words – I meant rarely, and your point is noted about his centrality to the show vs. Don, which I was thinking about as I wrote that. But to me it seems like his impact is much larger than his screen time!

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

              I’m still curious about your idea that fiction requires impartial witnesses.

        • lorem_ipsum

          Thank you for this list! So many moments that really captured me. I think everyone is largely misreading Don as a father, as well as his speech about it. He’s always loved the kids in the way that he knows how—it’s just that he never was given any affection or really, attention at all, so it’s unfamiliar to him. I think he THINKS he doesn’t love them because his own understanding of love is so off base.

        • roble ridge

          Excellent recollection of those moments!

        • AnotherJulie

          Also, that time Don left Sally’s birthday party for hours, but came back with a puppy. Not great for Betty (!) but I bet Sally remembers that birthday fondly

    • Qitkat

      Finally Bobby Draper gets something to do, and I found it quite powerful that the interaction between Don and his oldest son at the iconic film of the destruction of New York leads us to the most insightful moment ever of Don’s inner turmoil about parenthood. “And it feels like your heart is going to explode.” His pretend emotions have become the real thing. Heartbreaking and sweet, a turn away, just for a moment, from self-destruction to self-awareness.

      • Floretta

        Another baby step in the growth of Dick Whitman, really, breaking through the Don Draper veneer.

    • T. Sticks

      I really loved this episode! Like you I was eager to get to Dawn’s story, but I think Matthew Weiner did a wonderful job of showing what race relations were like at the time. Yes, he could have showed more of Dawn’s home life and the chaos that followed the assasination, but instead he took that one small scene between Dawn, Joan and Don to flesh out the character Dawn and make us realize she was a fully formed character, not just doing what we might expect. I thought that scene was genius!
      I especially loved the scenes with Ginsburg. I visited the Lower East Side Tenament Museum and the scenes in Ginsburg’s tenament apartment are so realistic, down to the sewing machine in the middle of the kitchen. I had to watch that scene again and the apartment was done in fascinatingly realistic detail — kudos to whoever designed it!
      I love Ginsburg’s his father’s story and hope we get more of it. I was also excited to see his potential new love interest. The actress did a great job and they had real chemistry.
      When you think of all the characters who were worked into the episode and how each one had a story to tell I really thought it was a great one. Loved the scenes with Don and Bobby, too.
      While I, like so many others, long for something more to develop between Peggy and Stan, I think she does have a lot of chemistry with Ted and his wife is annoying!
      Looking forward to Mad Style!

    • Dorrie Crockett

      I thought it was interesting that even after however many years of marriage, Henry still doesn’t know who he’s married to. For him to say (paraphrasing), “when they see the real you” — uh, Henry, you surely don’t know Betty as well as you think you do.

      • Glammie

        Yeah, that was interesting–Henry uses a lot of denial to deal with creepy Betty.

    • tseventyt

      I read Dawn’s behavior as being in a state of shock. I don’t think she fully knows her own feelings, let alone being comfortable to share them at that office. I see her acting in a sort of default mode, and at some point when she feels safe, she’ll be able to process her emotions. That’s not going to happen on SCDP time.

      Also, I’m not really puzzled by Harry’s behavior. In the early seasons, he was just chicken sh_t. As he’s become successful, the success has gone to his id, and he’s just gradually revealing the asshole he always wanted to be but was too scared to be. He’s always been socially awkward, but I think a primary root of his awkwardness is a strong narcissism. He’s always had a problem understanding other people in a basic way, and understanding a world outside of his concerns.

    • Rachel Walden

      Did anyone else think Peggy specifically lost the apartment because she and Abe are not married? The Civil Rights (Fair Housing) Act wouldn’t have been enacted until a few days after MLK’s assassination in 1968, and then New York extended to marital status later. I thought the agent’s reaction to their status might have been part of encouraging her to underbid as well.

      Also, can we get Peggy and Megan as roommates, once they separate from their current partners? :)

      • lorem_ipsum

        I don’t know if it was specifically about being married, but I definitely think the agent sabotaged them simply due to being a nontraditional couple. Being unmarried wasn’t a HUGE deal anymore at that time, but having the woman wear the pants, so to say, especially financially? Hell, people still can’t get over that today.

        • Cheryl

          I re-watched the episode, and the agent does talk to Peggy about her offer after she knows that Abe and Peggy aren’t married (and she found that out in the first scene). If she were going to scuttle the deal, she would have told Peggy that apartment was gone before she even put in the offer. (Not the reduced offer, after the assassination, but in an earlier phone call.)

        • CozyCat

          I think a female real estate agent might have been able to overlook another woman’s financial independence as long as there was a commission check involved.

          My reaction to the whole transaction was: “Buy it, Peggy! Buy it! Buy it! That place is going to be worth $2-3 million in 20 years!”

      • formerlyAnon

        I absolutely think she lost the apartment because they aren’t married. The agent has a boatload of preconceptions, supported by law and practice of the times that say 1) No matter what the paperwork says, a single woman’s income is lower than a man’s, and is precarious – why, she might get pregnant and lose her job (they could fire you for that in those days) or quit it and 2) If there’s no marriage license, the man and his financial contribution can be outa there at any second – and probably will be gone sooner rather than later. Plus, 3) living together unmarried just indicates a looseness and laxity in how one approaches all the rules of society.

    • Synnamin

      In the phone call between Pete and Trudy, did you notice that Pete’s still wearing his wedding ring, and Trudy isn’t? She is DONE. He is clearly deluding himself that there’s still something there. Or, more likely, he’s unwilling to believe that he doesn’t have control over the situation.

      • Glammie

        Except she’s not divorcing him, so I think there’s a limit to the doneness. Unless she divorces him, she can’t make a new life with a new guy. I think she’s royally pissed and it may be over, but I don’t think it’s quite there yet.

    • CMGNOLA

      I understood Pete’s reaction to be less about MLK and more about him throwing a temper tantrum over his wife’s rejection of his offer to comfort her…which is why it was so overly-dramatic.

    • musicandmochi

      While I personally have not seen the new season yet, I did find it pretty jarring at first how much of a jerk Harry Crane had become (see “A Little Kiss,” “Tomorrowland,” etc.). Of the original Sterling Cooper coop, it seemed like he was one of the men who respected women the most. (Not that there’s a high standard of respect for women in the world of Mad Men.)

      Anyway, his ever-growing position involves heavily dealings with Hollywood. That in itself gives me an all-bets-are-off attitude toward Harry. He always seemed like one of those bumbling, fumbling nerds who would eventually tire of “being the nice guy.” Well, now you’re just an asshole, Harry. Hats off to you.

      On a totally unrelated note, YOU GO, TRUDY!

      • NoGovernmentName

        Has Harry been generally disrespectful of women, or just of Joan? He had a problem with Joan way at the beginning, since they dated and it went bad. He stood up for Scarlett. I may be forgetting some other instances of misogyny…

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

          Well, Megan’s certainly no fan of his; not after she caught him talking about having sex with her in the break area.

          • NoGovernmentName

            Yes! That was the beginning of the next level of asshole behavior Harry. The whole thing with Paul Kinsey was pretty creepy too. So I guess this isn’t the first season where we’ve seen him be gross about women. First it was the Joan stuff, then Megan, the Lakhshmi, and now the racist stuff, and more Joan hate.

            • lilyvonschtupp

              Especially when he loudly shushed Joan at the banquet when she commented that she couldn’t see the stage.

            • NoGovernmentName

              Those two have hated each other since the beginning, but for some reason I remember Harry as not being particularly misogynist at first. I guess he was, and was just too self-conscious/nerdy to let it pour out until now.

        • purkoy28

          they didnt date, harry has been married snce s1

          • NoGovernmentName

            You’re right, it was Paul Kinsey that she dated.

        • musicandmochi

          Well, the way he hit on that model Carolyn was pretty skeevy, not to mention the disgusting comments he made about Megan.

          Really? I don’t recall Harry dating Joan (I doubt he seems worth a thought to Joan), nor do I remember any particular beef they had. Maybe you’re referring to Paul Kinsey pre-Season 1?

          And as TLo has mentioned, it is heavily implied that Harry and Scarlett are having an affair.

        • Floretta

          He stood up for Scarlett because she’s his secretary (emphasis HIS as in property) and because he is likely sleeping with her.

    • fursa_saida

      I loved that this episode showed the many ways that white people reach out to others in times like this, most of the time in order to make themselves feel good, not out of any real understanding or solidarity. I feel depressingly certain, though, that a lot of viewers may have missed that somewhat more subtle aspect of it (with the exception of Joan’s hug, which had me practically on the floor laughing).

      Loved Dawn, loved the scene in the diner, loved Peggy and Abe’s conversation because it felt like a real conversation even as it showed how their relationship is heading for the rocks. Loved how incredibly wrong Henry is to say “I think it’s all over now.” LOVED Pete, and thank you for bringing up his other progressive moments when it comes to race–I’d forgotten. I thought the scene was remarkably well-balanced between his personal distress (while bringing up MLK’s wife and kids was a perfectly legitimate thing to say to Harry at that moment, it also reflected is own separation from his family) and his sincere disgust with the event and with Harry’s reaction to it. LOVED THE GLORIOUS RETURN OF GINSBERG AND HIS FATHER. Please let us see him get devirginated before this show is over. Please.

      I think overall I liked this episode better than you two did because regardless of how it handled the historical event, it felt like it did move the story forward. Much more so than the last episode, anyway.

      I thought Ted Chough’s “Oh–I’m in your seat” moment was a little bit heavy handed, though. You can take that anvil off my toes now, writers.

      ETA: I thought Ginsberg’s date bore a remarkable resemblance to Peggy, and I can’t decide if it’s coincidental. If it’s not, I’m not sure I understand what they’re getting at there, but I suppose we’ll see–I can’t believe they went to the trouble of introducing her and spent that much time on her as a one-off.

      • librarygrrl64

        Todd VanDerWerff at The Onion AV Club said that he had to keep his eyes on the screen because when he turned away for even a second, her voice sounded so much like Elizabeth Moss’s that he got confused. ;-)

    • CarolinLA

      Peggy also came in to work on Aquanet because she knew they had to scrap the orignal ad. That ad featured two couples in a convertible with the wind blowing which looked exactly like the Kennedy motorcade.

    • CarolinLA

      I love how Don didn’t even call to check on his children yet he calls DC to check on Sylvia (and the doc of course).

    • http://twitter.com/kerryev kerryev

      Were ladies’ pant hems shorter back then? I really noticed it when Megan and Sally left for the park.

      • librarygrrl64

        Ankle-length (unless you were a hippie in jeans) seems about right, IIRC. I was only 4, but I have a lot of family pics from that decade.

    • snarkykitten

      Was there anything behind the wallpaper Bobby was peeling off? I remember pulling the paint off the wall in my parents’ kitchen because it had been painted like 4 or 5 times & there was this fascinating lead sandwich of colors.

    • Cheryl

      I had several problems with this episode. For one, Harry’s reaction was probable quite realistic. Not everyone was in awe of the Reverend Doctor Martin L. King; even in “liberal” New York, among intelligent and progressive people; there existed those who could not care less about his assassination. They would be super pissed about the rioting, looting, and just plain ol’ inconvenience of the whole thing. Especially when it involved businesses losing money — and Harry has always been super-focused on bringing in the money.

      I thought that some characters, like the young and emotional Megan and Sally, and Abe and Ginsburg, were perfect in their reactions; Henry was, like Harry, more focused on how this affected his career. Joan seemed to be more upset than I would have expected.

      When Bobby made the comment to the movie theater usher about going to the movies when you’re sad, I read it as trying to “cover” for why he was at the movies, rather than showing empathy for the man. “Uh, I’m just here because I’m really sad, not because I’m being punished and can’t watch TV.”

      Don was Don. Gotta love him.

      • lilyvonschtupp

        Harry’s reaction was more realistic in EVERY part of the country. Whites in the South, as well as the west and the heartlands were celebrating like it was Mardi Gras.

      • T. Sticks

        Bobby’s reaction to the usher sweeping and his statement to him about “People like to go to the movies when they’re sad” reminded me very much of one of Don’s summaries about human nature when he’s in a meeting with SCDP co-workers or clients. And then to watch the father and son sit side-by-side with their dark hair and physical similarity I just thought was really interesting. Bobby maybe hasn’t spent that much time with Don lately, but maybe some of Don’s uncanny way of summing up humanity is reflected in Bobby?

    • CarolinLA

      I found Bobby’s tearing of the wallpaper as the beginning of the end. He’s peeling back the fabric to see what’s underneath and it jarred Betty so much that she accused him of destroying this house. I think the writers meant the house that they’ve built for Don and co. This may be portentous of the future now that the unpainted has been exposed.

      • librarygrrl64

        “He’s peeling back the fabric to see what’s underneath”

        Ooooo, I was trying to figure out the symbolism of that bit, and I like your take on it! :-)

      • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

        It reminded me of the scene when Sally asked about the painted “DICK + ANNA 64″ on Anna’s wall. Something metaphorical about peeling away layers to discover Dick Whitman. Religious tie-ins with “a little child will lead them?”

    • Guest

      Did anyone think that there was an unususal

    • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

      I thought that January Jones was pregnant during last season’s shoot. She doesn’t appear much this season. When she does, she’s still very heavy. I wouldn’t focus on this, but she is svelte on the red carpet(s) so I’m confused. I look forward to the time the show can dress her again in stylish clothes. I’m not fond of her dark hair either. I don’t get why someone goes from blonde to black. Why not some shade in the middle? I guess this is a character choice?

      • http://twitter.com/ZoeyCharles7 Zoey

        She’s turning into Henry’s mother. I think it is reflective of the times for housewives. They didn’t have a separate identity, except through their husbands. I think we will see her transform into Senator’s wife next.

        • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

          That’s a good point. In fact, Megan is very “liberated” for a person in the late sixties. She is younger and pretty hip for her day. Frankly, I don’t see what Megan (or anyone else for that matter) sees in Don. He barely speaks to her. He’s inebriated half the time. Betty probably knows the real Don (the real fake Don) better because he wasn’t pickled yet when they were a young couple. Betty isn’t evolved at all. She’s all buckled up, so to speak. She is ambitious–as you say–as the woman behind the man. Being a political wife is extremely appealing to her. I hope her storyline gets her into politics.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            I see Megan as like Abe: using Don as a financial launchpad so she can spring forward in her own career.

            • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

              I think she is sincere. She really loves him but his success (and money) are part of the package. She went from secretary to advertiser (I forget what that job title is) in a heartbeat after marrying Don. If I were to jump out of the secretarial pool I’d feel uncomfortable asking another secretary to get me coffee until I adapted. I think she asked another secretary to do something for her on day one after her promotion. She has a lot of confidence for a young woman of any era. I think she feels a little bit entitled because (perhaps) her parents have some money. She seems to have scruples. She has more patience with Don’s kids than Betty does.

            • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

              I do think she does love Don a lot, sincerely, but I’m figuring she initially saw him as an escape from her horrible parents, too. Like, finally being able to cut herself off from them financially by marrying well…frying pan into fire kind of situation. I haaaaated Megan in Season 5, but I’m coming to like her more as she becomes more of a well-rounded person. I find it really funny that Megan’s soap opera character has a parallel, almost meta backstory to Megan herself and how people perceive Jessica Paré.

      • purkoy28

        she was pregnant for real before, but she has been in a fat suit and face prosthetics since last season, it is just part of the storyline, it wasnt to hide her real pregnancy.

        • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

          Thanks for the info. I like January, and I wish the writers would expand her part again. She isn’t doing much. She’s barely on the show.

        • Danielle

          She had the baby not long before they filmed last season, so they put her in prosthetics, making Betty bigger than January ever was, to hide the lingering weight that she was still losing. It didn’t take long for JJ to get thin again, but it makes sense for the story to have Betty be heavier for longer.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      One thing you can say about Pete: he’s only a shithead to white people. :oD

    • Guest

      Did anyone think there was an unusual amount of swearing in this episode? Even having (Mr. NRA) Charlton Heston saying “God Damn”. (A big “curse” according to network TV, still).

      I wonder if it is showing that the culture was changing so rapidly that in the course of just a few months, even people very removed from the over all societal changes were being impacted with an change in “decorum”.

      • bd73

        hm. years back i head the p-word on “nypd blue.” thought that was beyond the pale. and that was way after i accepted their use of asshole. so, nothing last night felt alarming.

    • NoGovernmentName

      William Mapother has made a career out of playing creepy dudes. This episode was no exception. That was some serious WTFery coming from that character. Stan’s reaction about summed it up.

      The Ginsberg verbal diarrhea on his date with the cute teacher was cringe-worthy. Way to just blurt out I’M A VIRGIN! at the first opportunity. When she said, “Tonight is not the night!” I laughed out loud. That and the awkward Joan/Dawn hug just killed me. Will Ginsberg date the teacher? Or was that a throwaway plot? He is pretty cute. I admit that I dig his hippie styling.

      How symbolic was it when Ted Chaogh was sitting in Abe’s seat? Peggy definitely has a crush on him, and it’s probably mutual. When they were talking, his wife was going, “Ted! Ted! TED!” and he didn’t notice her or Abe. One would think, after Pete and Duck, that Peggy would know better than to do that again.

      As for Don’s reveal about not loving Bobby up until like, that day… sadly, I think many parents experience that. I have had several friends admit as much to me about their kids, which made me feel lucky not to have to fake it that way. Society definitely does not accept such admissions from people, but I can imagine it would be induce a lot of self-loathing and depression.

    • Nancy

      The things that struck me:

      Pete Campbell having moral authority in a conversation.

      Don’s concern for his mistress being echoed by Bobby’s concern for his stepfather.

      How hard it seemed for Trudy to choose being alone at a heart-wrenching time even though the other choice was Pete.

      The contrast between the Joan/Dawn hug and the Peggy/Phyllis hug.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      As much as I wanted to kick Harry in the head last night, I can’t but help to imagine what his actions would be if he lived 40 years later.

    • Damien W

      New Yorkers were treated to an inside joke — the realtor said “as soon as the 2nd Avenue subway is finished…” — construction had just begun in 1968 and was slow going; Work halted in 1972 when the city went broke, and it didn’t resume until the mid-2000s. It is still far from complete.

      It’s true that Pete has always been more forward thinking when it came to blacks, but I think his moral outrage at Harry’s insensitive (but typical of the period) rant was 80% about his own family guilt and 20% about racism. I think his guilt took him by surprise — he’s used to being bested, but he’s not used to being just plain wrong. But, Harry is an ass whether he means to be or not, so it’s easy for the office to believe it was all about righteous outrage.

      • MDubz

        Re: the 2nd Avenue Subway, I died laughing when the realtor said that!

        • Cheryl

          I was following The Bowery Boys on Twitter (along with TLo, they live-tweet the episodes) and they said that the spot where Peggy’s prospective apartment was, on 84th and York, there is now a 7-11.

      • NoGovernmentName

        Bert Cooper was pretty hilarious, actually. That scene was all intense, except for his amusingly prissy intervention.

        • Floretta

          And the secretary in the background carrying on unflappably, like nothing was going on around her.

      • MasterandServant

        Oy the subway. They are currently blowing out the south entrance for the 96th street station at the corner of my building. My husband had a good laugh at that line!

    • lilyvonschtupp

      I saw some references in this discussion about Boston trying to maintain control. It was an interesting note that James Brown was scheduled to perform on April 5th, the day after the assassination The political heads wanted to cancel the concert fearing that such a large collection of black people would lead to rioting. James Brown nonetheless wanted to go on with the show and it was televised live. There is a documentary called “The Night James Brown Saved Boston” that is a really a fascinating watch. I highly recommend you check it out as it gives an interesting perspective on the aftermath in such a city as Boston, which is still a hotbed of racism and police brutality against minorities.

      • lilyvonschtupp

        Sorry if I offended any Bostoners.

        But I gotta tell ya: I HATE the Pats, and think Boston’s greatest export was New Edition.

    • Veronica1022

      I think sometimes we look at Don’s parenting through today’s eyes. My dad had a baby with his 2nd wife when I was 19, and he changed diapers and was very, very involved with the day to day parenting, that was not common in the early to mid 70′s. Don provided for the children, seems to respect them and dosen’t hit or belittle them. For the late 1960′s that probably puts him up for father of the year.

      • Cheryl

        My dad was a very involved father from the day my older brother was born in 1946 till he died. He puts Don to shame. I don’t know if it was intentional, but in the first episodes of the season, did Don mention any of the children at all? It seems out of sight, out of mind, and I think this is what Betty was angry about. He doesn’t think about them — even when they are supposed to be with him! How many times has he forgotten to pick them up? It seems to me, as it must to Betty, that he always forgets, and she always has to remind him.

        And it’s a good thing she did. He got bonding time with Bobby, and Sally got to go to the vigil in Central Park with Megan, which was better than her hanging around the house “not watching” television with Betty.

        • purkoy28

          i agree, so when megan gets all upset with betty, she should keep in mind how neglectful he is with the kids and forgetful, and how annoying it is to be the main parent but don is the hero. saying that, i do feel betty is a mean mom sometimes, or just so sad she projects on her kids. but megan will understand how awful an ex husband don really is, and i cant wait to see megans perfect little handed over life shatter at her feet (wahahaha, my evil laugh) lol.

      • Floretta

        Agreed, especially in light of the abusive childhood Don had. Don had no good role model. Bless him, he broke the cycle, refusing to spank Bobby (basically for being a boy, not some great infraction) because as Don told Betty HIS father beat the hell out if him for every little thing.

    • Not applicable

      I wasn’t alive yet when this was happening in the world– but I loved the detail of Planet of the Apes being in theaters at this time. It’s not something I would have even thought of until MW decided to point out this coincidence.

      When I saw the apes, I thought, “oh, no!…wait til the end!” Don & Bobby & everybody had just experienced this horrific event that seems to be upending society- and now a vision of the future… a NYC destroyed! Thought for sure Bobby would be having nightmares at home and Betty screaming ‘what was he thinking?’ about her ex. Glad Bobby wasn’t scared- I would have been!

      • Cheryl

        I was in college at the time, and honestly, although I saw the movie, I don’t think anyone made the connection. MW took advantage of a coincidence, but it wasn’t significant at the time.

    • http://twitter.com/NostalgiaOD NostalgiaOD

      Trudy Vogel Campbell is my hero. So many of the male/female interactions on this show make me angry or my skin crawl. She is a woman ahead of her time and I love her for it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1582777135 Melanie K. Morgan

        Or behind the times – instead of divorcing Pete and moving on, she’s staying married to him in order to keep her position in society.

        • AnotherJulie

          Even today plenty of women stay in bad marriages that benefit them in some way. I think Trudy is looking out for herself.

          • formerlyAnon

            As do men (sometimes stay in bad marriages that work for them in some way.)

            • AnotherJulie

              Good point! But I was just defending Trudy, whom I adore :-)

            • purkoy28

              trudy also is looking alot better and modern then before she kicked pete out. she is embrasing her modern women

          • 3hares

            It’s benefiting her because she sees divorce as failure and doesn’t want that social stigma, just as she was fine with a “boys will be boys” mentality about Pete until the neighbors saw it. There’s just really nothing ahead of her time about it.

            Actually, let me amend that. I think she’s also staying in the marriage because she hasn’t really given up on it. I have no problem with her staying in the marriage for either reason, but she’s never been a trailblazer.

            • AnotherJulie

              Agree! T is not a trailblazer – just making the situation work for her, for the many reasons you mentioned.

              I did not say she was ahead of her time. I think staying in a marriage for one’s own benefit has nothing to do with being ahead OR behind the times.

      • 3hares

        How is she ahead of her time? She seems resolutely old-fashioned to me. She’s just good at it.

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

          Yeah, I wouldn’t call Trudy a woman ahead of her time so much as a woman who knows how to make the time she’s in work the best for her. She’s unlike most of the other women in the story in that respect.

    • Penny

      I actually really liked this episode. It was riveting, especially the scene where they had just found out about MLK’s assassination. I like that it showed how people grieve in different ways.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      Did Abe remind anyone of Mike “Meathead” Stivic?

      • PrunellaV

        Yes, now that you mention it!

      • greenwich_matron

        Abe is smarter, better looking, and picks his fights better, but I totally get it.

    • gracedarling

      After his long-ago line to Don about needing to get him a ‘new Daddy’, Bobby has gone out and got himself one. Kudos, little buddy – may you be spared the emotional scarring that Sally is surely headed for.

      Also, Bobby picking at the wallpaper in that Victorian mansion immediately brought to mind ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. I was almost expecting some ghostly dancing children to come out.

    • Neil Goldenberg

      This season is killing me so far. I’m living in hope that it will turn around soon. That episode was plain bad TV.

    • AutumnInNY

      Don really seems to be overly concerned about Sylvia, more than his usual mistresses, and playing with fire just one floor below. Wondering if he’ll just wait till Megan discovers the affair and leaves him like Betty and how soon? Thoughts?

    • silaria

      I just about cheered when Trudy refused to let Pete come home. The best part was Joan’s totally awkward hug with Dawn, but I also liked how Peggy seems to be real friends with her secretary. Very different from her abortive attempt to befriend Dawn last season. Other than that… I don’t know. It was a strange episode, and I think maybe it tried to cover too many characters in too little time. Would any of these white, wealthy, conservative people really have had such strong reactions to King’s death? It seemed strange to me, but then, I’m far removed from the times.

      • Cheryl

        Yes, it didn’t seem right to me. The younger, hipper ones, maybe (Megan, Abe, Ginsberg) but not so much the others. And I don’t think Don was moved so much by the death of the man, but was more concerned with whether Sylvia was OK. Betty, Joan? Not so much.

    • http://twitter.com/doesmonaknow DoesMonaKnow

      I agree with the commenters who think power had made Harry more bigheaded and assholish and brought out his bad qualities as time has gone on. I don’t really find the changes in his personality to be out of character or without explanation. Even if you go back to S2 he was the guy fretting over the Cuban Missile Crisis costing SC ad time. His graceless moments go back for years. Remember when he told Peggy she wasn’t fat anymore? Then in S4 he was starting to act all “Hollywood” when he was ordering Caesar salad without the dressing and being an obnoxious name dropper. He was insecure in S1 and has gradually grown more confident, just not in a positive way.

      As for MM and race, I gave up expecting anything truly enlightened or thoughtful beyond the rote/cursory level a couple of seasons ago. IMO the reticence on race has nothing to do with political correctness or accuracy or it being too soon—it’s obviously just not that interesting to Weiner. Writers who get the kind of autonomy he does write the stories they want to tell. To go to another medium, take James Cameron. Do you really think he ever got a studio memo requesting that he make the female lead in his latest action film a little more assertive? Because that’s such a typical, popular thing from Hollywood action blockbusters? Yeah, no. The man married Linda Hamilton and Kathryn Bigelow. Strong women were appealing to him and that was reflected in his creative output.

      MM could have just been a story about the ad men, but Weiner included characters like Betty and Joan and Peggy, not just to give the male characters love interests, but because the story of women in that time was one he wanted to tell. He has several female writers on staff because he’s interested in their perspective. Likewise MW is Jewish and there have been several Jewish characters through the years (more recurring than lead) with differing approaches to their faith/heritage, including Jane, where it wasn’t explicitly pointed out for years.

      So if MW wanted there to be more black characters than there are, it would have happened already. Joyce the lesbian assistant photo editor would have been black (just so she could’ve shut down Peggy and Abe’s “do women or blacks have it harder” argument), when SCDP was on the brink in S4 there could have been a black company that wanted to hire the firm, some creative/account guy would be passing (but more likely he founds out that a parent did), a black family would have moved into the neighborhood, etc. None of this would have been unrealistic or required Don to suddenly become politically correct or “progressive” all of a sudden. NY advertising in real life was not quite the Augusta National affair depicted on the show, especially by the late 1960s. Still more white and male than anything else, yes, but “mainstream” companies were marketing to minorities more aggressively with actual minority models in the ads, and black athletes and entertainers were used in endorsements, so firms started bringing in people who would presumably “relate”, for a competitive advantage. Even the Sears catalog was no longer lily white at this point! I could buy the old incarnation of SC being “conservative” but having SCDP be more of the same (except with now with miniskirts and facial hair and pot fumes!) is just boring at this point and seems like a bit of an excuse honestly.

    • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gaby

      Random other thoughts:
      Second Avenue Subway – still incomplete today, for those not aware/not living in NYC.
      I thought the last scene between Don and Bobby was a throwback to the Sally/Betty bedroom scenes way back when.

      I bet Betty dyes her hair blonde again when she realizes blonde covers up grey more easily than brown. Also it just so doesn’t suit her.

      • librarygrrl64

        As a Philadelphian, I wondered how many of those real estate conversations were loaded with inside jokes for New Yorkers. ;-)

        • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gaby

          My brother actually lives pretty close to Peggy’s 84th and York Street letdown, so I’ve been in that area – I think I actually even looked at an apartment for myself near there. York Street is really freaking far east from the subway, it’s a bit more than half a mile to the nearest stop (for reference, it’s farther than the width of Central Park). It’s also slightly rundown in parts today, from what I’ve seen, as opposed to the rest of the pristine Upper East Side. But it’s still nice enough.

          • librarygrrl64

            Thanks, Gaby. :-)

    • http://twitter.com/maggie162 Maggie

      I’m betting it’s going to be pep pills for poor Betty. That should…relax her.

      • decormaven

        Maybe she’ll try the Relax-A-Cizor.

        • purkoy28

          hahaha

    • MasterandServant

      This episode was like a page out of my mom’s life story- and one that we heard often. She was a high school senior in Brooklyn in 1968 (in a half white-mostly Italian Catholics and Jews- and half black public school). Her senior class trip to Washington DC was to leave early in the morning on April 5. When everyone arrived to school, the teachers announced that the n-words were burning DC and so they had changed plans and were going to PA Dutch country instead. And this was at an integrated school! I think it’s hard for us young ins to understand the reality of race relations at the time. As a side note- the second avenue subway is still incomplete and I am currently living on top of it. Good thing Peggy didn’t get that apartment

      • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

        Peggy’s unease at moving so close to Harlem was totally on point to people raised in lower-middle and working classes in her generation, especially in east coast cities like NYC and Philadelphia. Philly and Baltimore are still that bad, in many ways. Very little has changed. I think Peggy’s character is someone who wants to get along with everyone, but she was raised to be cautious. If her mother is Brooklyn Irish Catholic, even doubly so – she probably also got the same lines my Irish grandparents used to say about everyone from blacks to Italians. Peggy doesn’t want to be that closed-minded, but it’s harder than she wants to admit to shake off those ingrained fears, like that scene with the purse. That was so accurately done. I understand where she’s at, even though I don’t necessarily agree in principle. Even today you hear “stay away from such-and-such street”, implying that’s a black neighborhood. Especially in Philly.

        • MasterandServant

          84th and York is pretty much Yorkville….which at the time was primarily working class Hungarian (the bakery reference), German, Polish, and Irish Catholic. Even though Don is on a similar cross street, he is on 5th Avenue which is VERY different from living on York, even though it is only 7 blocks away.

        • MasterandServant

          Yes but 84th and York is Yorkville, not Harlem. Yorkville was a working class Hungarian, Polish, German, Irish neighborhood. Lots of churches, bakeries, and meat shops. Some of them are still here (and I shop at one of the German butchers regularly). As people got priced out of the Upper East Side, they often moved to Yorkville and it is now just a slightly less yuppy version of Don’s Upper East.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            Aha! That makes sense! I’m not very familiar with the UES because I haven’t had much opportunity to go there – but if it contains German butchers, I think I need to pop in next time I’m in the city! That said, if you’re ever in the market for a heavenly bialy, Kossar’s on Grand Street on the LES is my favorite. Now I’m hungry!

    • Cheryl

      Just a little history lesson for those whose hair is not yet grey, and whose knees are not yet creaky, I was in college in the spring of 1968 in a small private university in suburban Long Island. If you found the constant use of the word, “Negro” last night rather grating, rest assured, that was the term that was used by blacks and whites alike up until this point. After the assassination, after we returned to school after Spring Break (that’s another thing — Spring Break was Easter vacation, not the Spring Break of today!) the word was “Black,” and “negro” was gone forever. I remember all of our African-American students returning to campus with “natural” hair, no longer processed. It was a huge cultural shift.

      I don’t expect to see Dawn start showing up at the office with an Afro, but on college campuses that’s what you would see.

    • purkoy28

      is york and 84th a great area now? and also the clothes they are wearing are from the promo.

      • MasterandServant

        Yes it is good but not ideal- too far from the subway, so it costs a tad less and tends to be young. I live all the way on 93rd….I think that would be a no no in 1968!

        • purkoy28

          im from winnipeg (canada) so alot of the new york location stuff gets lost on me. but if they ever come to canada i can answer location questions for all the new yorkers: ) lol.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      I was thinking about how Pete’s tv in the background was broadcasting LBJ’s speech about Dr.King and staying committed to his belief of nonviolence to avoid any sort of rioting.

      I would have greatly impressed me if there was some mention of RFK’s powerful speech before his followers after he announced Dr. King’s death to the crowd. It would have been an interesting link between this episode and the one that’s going to come in an episode or two.

    • kckris

      Is it just me, or does it seem like Bobby should be older than how he’s portrayed??? I thought he looked a little young in previous episodes, but in this one, especially. He just seems to be too young in comparison to Sally and Gene, even….

      • http://twitter.com/doesmonaknow DoesMonaKnow

        Yes. Bobby should be 11 or 12 this year and think of what Sally has been doing since S2 or so, when she was 8. The actor playing Bobby turns 11 this year, but the character always gets the cutesy storylines. I think they have just given up on finding an actor with a ton of range and leave the meaty stuff for Kiernan to handle.

      • purkoy28

        my son is his age and that small, in the 60s kids didnt look 20 at 13 the way they do now, especially the girls, lol.

      • Joe M

        I think he’s been the same age for most of the series. What’s funny is that he (whichever actor is “he” that season) has really NEVER, in six seasons, had nearly any dialogue at all. Think of that for a minute: it’s stunning.

    • http://twitter.com/DarrenNesbitt Darren Nesbitt

      It made me sad that most of the characters (black, white, minor and major) all said something along the lines of “We knew this was coming”. Did everyone “know” MLK would die so horribly?

      • http://twitter.com/doesmonaknow DoesMonaKnow

        Medgar Evers and Malcolm X had already been assassinated prior to 1968 so it had to be something at least a segment of the general public considered a strong possibility for MLK even if they didn’t want it to happen.

        • http://twitter.com/DifficultDiva Diva in 4 Inch Heels

          Also, MLK was showing America and the world that Black people were not all uncivilized animals or invisible. We have the same hopes, dreams, wishes and goals for ourselves, children and families, just like white people. I think folks knew, that idea and belief of sameness and commonality was a huge threat to a lot of people. My sister, remembers seeing our father cry, for the very first time, in front of her, when he heard the news about his assignation. This was such a horrible thing to happen, because progress was being made.

        • purkoy28

          Malcolm X was not as prominent a figure in the change of the world as MLK, especially in all colors and class groups.

      • desertwind

        It’s also not that long since JFK’s assassination. Plus all the Vietnam stuff heating up. The counter-culture changes. I think everyone just felt “What next?” whether it was a feeling of dread or a feeling of exhilaration.

      • Floretta

        Dr King himself said in his “mountaintop” speech on April 3: ”
        And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

        Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop.
        And I don’t mind.

        Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”

    • JANE LANE

      I have never experienced anything like the assassination of MLK in my lifetime, but the thing that struck me about the way Dawn and Peggy’s secretary reacted to the news and the way people reacted to them was that it must have been really really bizarre to be a token black person on that day. Because I’ve been the token and it’s been weird, but I’ve never experienced anything where I could be pretty sure that everyone who looked like me was probably experiencing the same great loss. I kind of feel like Weiner hit the nail on the head with Dawn’s awkwardness and Peggy’s secretary seemed overtly angry as she left and the reactions felt to me a lot like what happens when someone asks me to answer questions on behalf of my race or apologizes to me for slavery or when someone says something racist and suddenly I’m no longer that nice girl in Comp class they invited out for a beer, I’m an angry black chick. I’ve had friends express that they’re afraid of black people or that they wouldn’t know how to be friends with black people and I don’t count because I’m not like those black people. It’s so alienating. It gets to this point where you want to put your head down and just not be noticed anymore, like Dawn. But you’re also so angry, like Peggy’s secretary. And I don’t know, maybe that wasn’t intentional, but that’s what I felt.

      • http://twitter.com/DarrenNesbitt Darren Nesbitt

        lol reminds me of when I was waiting in line to vote for in 2008 and a few white guys made sure to give ME a high five when walking past. Awkward lol

        • purkoy28

          did they also try to give u a high five, to the side, fist bumb, hand shake…. cause that would have been funny.

      • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

        I agree with this.

      • purkoy28

        i found that withthis season, alot of commenters were expecting the conversations between dawn and her friend to be more “stereotypical” in there conversation. People commented alot on that like they were expecting finger snapping and “dont go there” type talk, wich is silly cause in real life, i have never had a friend talk like that.

        • JANE LANE

          Well, not to mention that black folks didn’t really express themselves that way back then. And even now that’s not as common as people think it is.

      • Joy

        Well said. Although, I wouldn’t have minded seeing Dawn on the bus or walking to work showing some of the emotion she felt, and then hiding it when she got in.

    • http://twitter.com/ZoeyCharles7 Zoey

      When Arnie and Sylvia were telling Don and Meghan that they were going to DC and Arnie said, “Say Don…” as they were walking away, I totally expected Arnie to address the tension between him and Sylvia. It was a good moment and I think soon Arnie will pick up on it and expose the affair.

      • purkoy28

        i know right, it seemed so obvious that there was something between them, the way don would not look away from sylvia, even when talking to arnie.

    • purkoy28

      Does anyone know the answers too……………..
      was the candidate that abe cheered for a better nominee then bobby kennedy was? abes a liberal and seemed to like him best.
      Who and what is with rogers friend?

      What was the symbolism with the wallpaper? I thought TLo would have touched on that, and im not as insightful as them,lol.

      • http://twitter.com/ZoeyCharles7 Zoey

        Eugene McCarthy. He ran against Johnson on an anti-war platform. It makes sense that Abe would cheer for him.

      • librarygrrl64

        Re: wallpaper……everything isn’t matching up (working out)? Old patterns (of thinking, of behaving) are off-kilter? I was thinking about that, too. Either that or Bobby is borderline OCD. That wallpaper would have bugged the hell out of me, too. ;-)

    • purkoy28

      Is the west 80s a cool neighbourhood now in new york?
      and what was that insurance guys pitch about? i didnt understand it.

      • 3hares

        The west 80s is expensive (I got priced out of it and moved uptown). But in Peggy’s time it’s not desirable. It got gentrified.

        The insurance guy’s pitch was basically: What are you going to do when the rioters burn down your house? Buy insurance.

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

      The only moments of this show I actually enjoyed was that awkward hug Joan gave Dawn and when Trudy told Pete to stay in the city. The rest of the show felt more like an adult version of Sesame Street taking on a serious issue than like an episode of Mad Men.

      I can’t help but feel the caliber of writing on this show isn’t quite there this season, and the brush strokes were painfully obvious in this episode. Particularly when it comes to writing non-white characters or dealing with story lines that might focus on racial issues…it’s clear you’ve got a sheltered, all-white writing staff trying very hard to address criticisms of the show and that they are completely unequipped to handle those challenges with any authenticity or nuance.

    • greenwich_matron

      The insurance guy was so bizarre. Insurance companies aren’t exactly known for hiring people who the ad companies find too strange to handle.

    • purkoy28

      i know this is from last ep, but was anyone else a litle disapointed that joans son kevin didnt have red hair? i was hoping he would, just like his mum.

      • SuzyQuzey

        Her red isn’t real. Look at the hair by her neck and side hairline in this ep when it’s up (scene with Dawn). You can see brown.

    • librarygrrl64

      “Granted, it’s a big deal for him to admit something like that to Megan, but we suppose the audience, after all these years, is something like a bitter ex-wife of Don’s. We hear him have these breakthrough moments, but all we can do is roll our eyes because we know any sort of real change in behavior isn’t coming.”

      God, SO MUCH this. My exact reaction to Don at this point. I am so NOT invested in him lately, but the other characters are still doing it for me.

      I liked the humor in this one, though. The one-two punch of Joan awkwardly hugging Dawn, followed by Hamm’s brilliant facial reaction was priceless. The other laugh-out-loud moment was when Roger’s crazypants client was giving his pitch to SCDP, everyone had a confused or pained look on his face, and then they showed Stan’s face and he was sporting a gigantic grin. I also hope that Ginsberg gets himself a girlfriend. That scene was well-played on both of their parts. His face when she said she thought he was handsome (and he is): adorably sweet.

      I’m also crushing on Arnie. What a mensch.

    • shelley514

      I’m amazed at the many comments here to the effect of “Mad Men is about white people . . . this is no place for black stories to be told.” Like that’s some sort of acceptable justification for the lack of a black perspective on MLK’s assassination, when there are black characters through which to give it. I was disappointed with the episode.

    • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

      Actually, I thought that the way they handled this subject was rather interesting. It could have become a “very special Mad Men,” which isn’t what the show is about. The show is not about race, it’s about class; how this specific class is dictating the masses through advertising. These white privileged people would have had no clue about how to feel, or even relate to the black characters. That kind of interaction weirdness is still around. Also, I thought it was interesting that the two black characters we do see have completely different reactions, themselves. But the fact that the show chose to show how removed the impact of MLK’s death from these rich people (aside from fear of riots in their own backyard) was, frankly, more realistic. MLK died 10 years before I was born and I was brought up with MLK Day being a big deal: we did plays and special assemblies about civil rights, and were indoctrinated with “this was a watershed moment in history.” Which it was. But that’s all hindsight. As it was happening, I’m sure there were a lot of really confused people suddenly wondering what was going on or how it would affect them personally. A lot of race-fueled fear, definitely.

    • Wade Valdez

      Roger’s acid-tripping buddy was played by William Mapother, Tom Cruise’s first cousin.

      Good looks may not run in the family, but insanity sure does!

    • SuzyQuzey

      I haven’t read all 777 comments, so forgive me if someone else has already brought this up. Did anyone else notice the continuity gaffe when Megan came out of the bedroom to argue about Don going to pick up the children from Betty at night during the riots, and there was broad daylight outside of the apartment? Then, Don is in the car with the kids and it’s night. Betty called Don after dark.

      • H2olovngrl

        I can’t get disqus to work well enough to read all 778 comments!

      • Jaialaibean

        Betty called Don in what looks like late afternoon. There was pale daylight coming into both the Francis and Draper residences during the call. Don complained about coming back with the kids after dark because he knew it would take him quite a while to drive out the 25 miles to Rye and back, and by that time, night would have fallen.

    • ideated_eyot

      I have a slight hunch that Pete Campbell is going to be seriously beaten or stabbed before the series ends. We’ve had an entire episode centered on his puniness and inability to defend himself (Signal 30), and now he is on his own in a rapidly deteriorating New York; with a tendency to foolishly mouth his way into nasty conflicts.

      • R B

        The grimy little pimp.

    • R B

      I was shocked at the emotion and how deeply everyone was affected by the shooting. However, I think we’re desensitized from everything that has happened in the last decade. I kept thinking “why are they so upset?”. I guess for them, it was their 9/11.

    • Colette

      So happy to read a review not going on about how wonderful Don’s bloody monologue was at the end… I hate monologues, nobody in this world waits patiently for people to speak that long, it’s completely unrealistic, but besides that issue, I HATE monologues that writers use as an excuse to have the characters tell us something they’re too damn lazy to show us (which is sort of strange in this episode, because they HAVE shown us Don feels like way– not sure why they needed to tell us, did some writer leave the last 30 seconds of writing to the deadline and needed to fill up some time?).

      I agree that Harrys behavior is coming out of left field, but I have to say, EVERYONE’S behavior is coming out of left field this season. The character feels so disjointed to me, and I don’t believe half the things that they do.

      Oh, and I do love this show– just not this season…

    • Linlighthouse

      I’m too lazy tonight to look and find out if anyone else has said this, but I noted a theme tonight–men and their children. For example:
      l. Don’s monologue about pretending to feel fatherly love.
      2. Don surmising that his own father felt that way.
      3. Pete calling Trudy and asking after Tammy. Have we ever seen him even touch his daughter?
      4. Abe mentioning having kids (making Peggy smile herself silly).
      5. Ginsberg asking his date if she likes kids.
      Yes, a new generation is on the rise, and fathers are about to get involved in their children’s lives. And that is a change that is so much for the better!

      • 3hares

        I often hear Pete described as having some abnormal distance from his child and I really don’t think it’s supposed to be true at all. Before this ep, off the top of my head, he held her after she was born, had spit up on his suit going to work and read her a bedtime story with her tucked into his arm. He’s not abnormally disinterested in her compared to any other guy on the show with kids. Tammy’s barely shown on the show.

        • Linlighthouse

          First, I’m excited someone is actually reading my posts, 10 months after the showing. Second, I’m not surprised I missed those parts about Pete and his daughter, because the disks I borrow from the library are sometimes so damaged we often give up and skip entire scenes. And Pete did seem excited that he was “going to be a father.” Tammy was born in, I think, ’66. In a few years, expectant fathers will be accompanying their wives (or significant others) to Lamaze class and the delivery room. You have to wonder, if Don had been allowed in when Gene was born, if he wouldn’t have had stronger paternal feelings from the beginning.

          • 3hares

            I must have had the thread tracked so the comment got sent to me! But I should have actually also just agreed with the rest of the comment. The whole Noah’s Ark theme, as I remember, is about people wanting to cling to loved ones, but so many characters find it hard to do that because of different obstacles. Some are physical, some are mental–some are both. It really is amazing watching it to think about how different fathers were supposed to interact with their kids back then.

            • Linlighthouse

              Thanks for clearing up the point about Noah’s Ark. I wasn’t too clear on it. But I do love Ginsberg’s father.

    • Ruby Joy Grey

      Megan won the award…and no one cared.