Mad Style: The Collaborators

Posted on April 17, 2013

Lots of stories being told through color this episode. And since it’s 1968, costume designer Janie Bryant had a whole lot of colors to work with. Curiously, she chose to focus mostly on two.


Standard middle class suburban wear. No one’s really wearing the latest anything in these pictures. The women are dressed in a manner very similar to Betty Francis, especially the one with the scarf. They’re put-together and presentable, but these are sturdy 1965-or-so clothes. Every wife matches her husband in this scene. It’s extremely subtle and we actually had to rewind it to make sure each man wound up with the matching woman as they walked out the door, but blue dress walked out with blue tie and gold dress walked out with gold tie.

Pete and Trudy match in tones of gold and green. Janie Bryant will do this quite a bit with couples. It’s a subtle way of signaling who “belongs” to whom in a scene, working on a subconscious level. Pete and Trudy just look like they’re together in this scene, even as they spend most of it apart. In fact, the extreme matchiness of the couples here (moreso than normal, even for Janie Bryant) is probably meant to play up the fact that every person in this room is flirting with someone else’s spouse.

Much like Betty in her creams and blues back in Ossining, Trudy is very tied to her home through the use of color and pattern. Much like Betty mimicked the plaid of her kitchen wallpaper by wearing plaid pants and plaid shirtwaist dresses, Trudy favors prints and florals that mimic all the floral patterns in her home. Here, she’s sporting autumnal tones that practically make her one with her living room.

Trudy always favored prints – in fact, prior to Megan she was the character most often wearing prints – but her prints got louder and larger when they moved to Connecticut. Part of that is, of course, due to the wildness of the times, sartorially speaking. But it also helps to give every scene in Pete’s home a buzzing sort of tension. He hates this house. Trudy matches this house exactly and protects it fiercely. Each scene is filled with conflicting and competing patterns to enhance these feelings. “This is my home. I am of my home.” “I hate this place and I hate you for making me stay in this place.”

It’s a shock to see Sylvia dressed this way, both to us and to Don. It’s a shock to us because Sylvia has only been presented in sultry or ominous black in the story. This explosion of color and frippery upends our notions about her, as it does the same to Don, who’s taken aback to see this scene of domesticity play out between his mistress and her husband. It’s also a shock to us because it looks so utterly ludicrous. No one dresses like this anymore. Of all the pampered-wife looks we’ve ever seen on this show, no wife ever looked so pampered and so silly. It’s a perfect representation of what’s going on in the scene, as she pouts and asks her wealthy husband for money. Had she been dressed in some sort of sexy Megan bathrobe or frumpy Betty bathrobe, this scene never would have worked as well as it does.

Once again, Don and Arnie are dressed alike, both working a dark and light grey combination with hints of red peeking underneath. Once again, Arnie is wearing a light over a dark and Don is wearing a dark over a light.

It would be so like Peggy to insist on a black secretary because Don has one. And it’s typical of how Peggy doesn’t always quite see people for who they are except in the ways that they can help her or she can use them. In other words, Don has a black secretary and Peggy kind of fucked up that relationship last year by inadvertently accusing her of being a thief, so she’ll just get one for herself and start over. We suspect a lot of Peggy fans are not going to like us for making that point. Peggy is a super-human ad-woman and a trail-blazer, but she’s been shown time and again to have a tin ear when it comes to the social and political changes going on around her.

At any rate, whoever she is, she’s fabulous. It’s a little surprising to see the most glamorous and with-it secretary on the show in an office other than SCDP. She’s sporting the very latest in pale lipstick, colored tights and wild prints. She’s probably no more than 6 years younger than Peggy, who might as well be her mother for the way she’s dressed in the scene.

That sense of solid maturity is only enhanced in this continuation of the scene, where she’s up against her baby-faced copywriters. It’s interesting how, ever since she moved to CGC, she’s surrounded by people younger than her. You rarely saw that at SCDP. Anyway, in the interaction with her secretary, the bright colors of her suit tended to fight a bit with her secretary’s wild print and bright red. Here, it’s a bright line, demarcating the difference between herself and the colorless, mopey, child-like men who work for her.

We’re not going to pretend to know why, and we’re not going to attempt to spin out a theory, but the blue-and-green color combo was really prominent this episode. The thing about color theory as a form of critical analysis is that it’s so outrageously personalized. Red means passion. But it also means anger, and blood, and violence. In the right setting, it can mean communism. It’s possible Janie has a specific message in mind with this repeating motif, or it’s possible she’s simply using it because, as we said when we noted it in episode 1 with Peggy, it’s a popular and very of-its-time combination. Either way, we’re keeping an eye out for it.

Pete’s seedy little bachelor pad looks eerily like Peggy’s apartment.

As for Pete’s little friend, it’s notable that, like Sylvia last week, she’s a column of ominous black, even when she’s half-naked. Sylvia still entices Don, but Pete’s little assignation wound up blowing up his life. Foreshadowing?  Will “women in black” be a theme this season? Because we had an entire room full of women in black at Roger’s mother’s funeral.

Blue and green. Ketchup guy’s blue suit – which is clearly the most expensive and newest in the scene, illustrating his sharpness and ambition – is a focal point in the scene and Ken’s green suit provides a counterpoint. Most of the other men fade away, although it’s notable that Don is also in a dark blue. He’s been working more blue into his wardrobe this year.

Blue and green. Here, we’re looking at opposing forces of a sort. Each woman has an agenda, but their agendas are wildly different from each other. Megan just wants a friend to confide in, but Sylvia clearly wants to keep the relationship as light and on-the-surface as possible. Up until this conversation, she never really considered Megan a real person.

Megan is dressed in a youthful sweater and plaid pants while Sylvia’s maturity and comfort in her role as a wealthy man’s wife is more apparent. Her dress is embellished, her hair is set, and she’s wearing way more jewelry than Megan is. On the surface, you wouldn’t think these women have much in common. Enter Don, a dark column in the room, throwing the balance off and reminding us all of what they have in common.

Like we said, color theory can get pretty shaky when you try and apply exact meanings to colors, but we’re going to go out on a limb here and suggest that, at least in this part of the story, blue is signaling motherhood. Sylvia is a mother, Megan is not; and the whole scene was pretty much about that, on the surface.

Peggy’s getting more stylish by the second. That’s a 1968 version of a 1962 Joan Holloway dress. Check out how short the skirt is. Minis went from shockingly vulgar to accepted in a ridiculously short period of time. Peggy’s not the most fashion-forward person in the world, so if she’s wearing her skirt this short in the office, you can bet a whole lot of other women are as well.

Ted blends in perfectly with his surroundings, the orange of his suit and tie merging with all that honey blonde wood in his office. This is another signal of how standard wear reflected the wilder styles of the time. He’s a successful businessman, well into his 30s, and he’s in an orange suit. Think about that.

This outfit had one purpose in this scene: to be as declarative and bold and “fuck you” as possible. She dominates every setting and background in this. That’s no small feat when you’re dressing a character known for her bold style choices. There’s a lot about this look that reads mature, though. Joan is favoring vests and vest-like dresses this year, which attempt to mimic menswear in order to signal her role as a partner. But vests aren’t exactly flattering on a woman shaped like Joan and when you add the scarf at the neck (a very old school Joan mainstay), and the charm bracelet, and even the typical Joan up ‘do, you get the very image of the middle-aged female office worker of the period. She looks formidable and put together, but she doesn’t look 1968 stylish or youthful. Not that she should; just that there’s a very clear line separating her from Megan and Peggy.

If Joan’s still working in 1980, she could dress just like this and no one would bat an eye. In many ways, it’s standard business-wear all through the 1970s. Picture “9 to 5.” Half the background players were dressed like this.

Once again, Peggy is professional and put-together. The men in her life (including Abe but with the VERY NOTABLE exception of Ted Chaough) are all slobs or dress like little boys. She is so going to have an affair with Ted, isn’t she?

Megan is often dressed to look both younger and less powerful than Don. Of all the women on this show, we don’t think we’ve ever been treated to so many nightgowns and bathrobes in one character’s wardrobe. And when she’s not in sleepwear in the apartment, she’s usually seen barefoot or in very casual, slightly juvenile clothes.

This hideous bathrobe is a more youthful (no, really) version of Betty’s satin-y, puffy, synthetic nightmare of last episode. This sort of faux-old-fashioned print and style -especially in sleepwear – was very popular at the time and would signal the adoption of prairie dresses and other such retro affectations on the pop culture scene in the years to come, from Holly Hobbie to Little House on the Prairie. Even her bathrobes are trendier than Betty’s or Sylvia’s.

Blue, as she tells him about her miscarriage and they dance around the idea of having children without actually discussing it.

Blue once again, to call back to and remind you of her earlier blue dress and even of Megan’s bathrobe. Blue, in a dark scene almost devoid of color. This whole dinner scene centered around Sylvia’s discomfort with the idea that Megan and Don aren’t drifting apart and that Megan could’ve been pregnant with his child while they’ve been carrying on. It’s notable that Sylvia got a little judgmental with Megan over the abortion question, but we think that judgmentalism was really about herself and the fact that she was in danger of breaking up this marriage.

Didn’t stop her from hopping back into bed with him, though.


Trudy is once again a buzzing, loud autumnal-toned print in her home, overwhelming the scene and assaulting the eyes a little. It’s discordant and it just feels wrong, which is how Pete is supposed to see this scene. It’s also extremely notable that Trudy’s dress matches the blonde’s sweater.

Blue and green. Not only does her print not fight with the room the way so many of her others have, but it’s also not an overly floral print. Instead, there are bold, declarative stripes. In many ways, this outfit is atypical for Trudy; not just because of the stripes, but because of the more modern shape and shorter skirt. In fact, this is the first really 1968-modern dress we’ve seen her wear; a simple, relaxed shape rendered in really bright colors. Everything else always felt just slightly behind the times, ever since she had the baby.

Blue and green. But of course, the coat comes off early in the scene and from that point on, she and Ted are matching and on the same page. She protested going after Heinz, but it was as feeble a protest as Peggy ever managed. She wanted to do this and she knew what she was doing. She just needed Ted to convince her to take her coat off. Sex as a metaphor for business (and vice versa).

She will always find a way to work a Peter Pan collar into her wardrobe.

After the blacks of the first two episodes and all the blues in this episode, it’s a surprise to see Sylvia in this bright red.

But not really. All women are the same woman in the eyes of Don Draper.



Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

  • princessricky

    is Don’s tie tack a cross too?

    • Eric Stott

      If you mean a Christian cross I doubt it – overtly religious men’s jewelry was not a common thing for businessmen then, with the exception of a discrete lapel pin.

  • veriance

    pretty sure that couch (Campbell house) and drapes are designed by VERA. ~squee~

    • luciaphile

      I think you’re right. I saw vintage fabric on Etsy that looked identical. Of course now I can’t find the picture again

    • Meg0GayGuys6

      Another good eye! The stripped tie was before he left for the dinner, and the solid was after dinner.

      I had to scroll back up to see that he was wearing that solid-ish tie at dinner with the doctor and Silvia. Before scrolling up, I thought maybe he grabbed the doctor’s tie by accident after sleeping with Silvia, but no such luck 🙂

    • I thought it was a Brunschwig & Fils print on the couch.

      • luciaphile

        I had a post that I think I deleted somehow. But I’ve been Googling Vera Neumann and Brunschwig & Fils images this morning and it looks like it was either a Vera Neumann or a Vera Neumann knockofff.

        • Julie Ann

          This couch print has always bugged me and I have to get this off my chest. I see the resemblence to the Vera Neumann prints, but they are not the same. The print of this couch seems to me MUCH MORE similar to prints from the early 80s that Cos Cob types had in their homes in spades. I don’t think they got this detail right.

    • Sweetpea176

      They look so at odds with the house. To me, it’s the couch and drapes that assault your eyes, and not so much Trudy.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      OMG, my mom used to buy VERA sheets. No wonder I liked that couch – because I had sheets that looked just like that on my bed. She must have bought them on sale at Fortunoff’s. The show has finally caught up to things that I remember.

  • R.A.

    It was driving me nuts that I couldn’t place the actress who plays Sylvia – she was Samantha in Grandma’s Boy! One of my favourites! Push it real good!

    • Freak/Geek

      Hello! She’s LINDSAY WEIR! 🙂

    • She’s also Lindsay Weir from the short-lived and much beloved Freaks & Geeks (with young Seth Brogan and young James Franco).

    • VeryClaire

      My teenager walked in to the room and said “Velma from Scooby Doo!”

    • To me she will always be Velma from Scooby Doo.

    • tereliz

      Linda Cardellini. As soon as I saw her in the season premiere I was distracted trying to figure out if it really was her, and then she spoke… and mentioned something about her kid at college and I died a little inside. She can’t be older than 38-39. Love her.

      • Wikipedia says 37. I was shocked too but remember, they’re not high school age when they play high school kids…

        • tereliz

          I knew she was older than the rest of the F&G cast, but it was the fact that she seems to be playing a woman in her forties that shocked me so.

          • I don’t think the character is necessarily in her forties, it’s the “early matronhood” TLo mentioned was common to women of the period. Like Betty, she’s in her thirties, but considered middle-aged.

    • ballerinawithagun

      My husband has a great eye for these tings and figured it out right away. I didn’t have a clue!

    • Danielle

      I was a big ER fan, so I’ll always see her as Sam. Or as Chutney (aka, the real killer) in Legally Blonde.

      • Chickadeep

        Ha! I forgot about Legally Blonde. Foiled by her dubious post-perm alibi!

  • I’m wondering whether it’s intentional that both Pete’s mistress and Joan have the same brooch on, albeit one in gold, and one in silver. Since it’s such a minor part of the costuming, I’m surprised that it pops up twice in this episode. Anyone else have their theories?

    • Meg0GayGuys6

      whoa good eye!

    • MartyBellerMask

      I actually didn’t notice that Joan was wearing it. She wears it so much I don’t see it anymore. Yet on Pete’s mistress I immediately noticed it as a “Joan brooch.” Funny.

    • P M

      All I thought was that Crazy Neighbour Lady thought she was dressing up for a Big Adventure in the City (what an idiot).

    • Beth513

      Wow! Nice catch. I wonder if the broaches are signaling something about Pete. It symbolizes that Pete just sees women as objects to be used for sex. Joan is wearing the pin when she has to deal with Herb, who Pete essentially pimped her out to, and the blond, well we all get what’s going on there. Of course, it may also be about the fact that they both have abusive husbands. Or, it may have just been a popular broach for the time period.

      • Honestly, considering how little Pete and Joan have to do with each other in the story, we’re going with the “popular brooch” theory.

      • 3hares

        I think just popular. Brenda and Pete are using each other. Brenda’s just nicer about it.

      • AutumnInNY

        Yes, popular at the time, those circle pins. I have the exact silver broach Pete’s mistress wore. It was my Mother’s. It’s kind of a timeless vintage piece.

      • Jessica Stone

        If there’s a link, I don’t think it’s Pete. But there is a connection between what Pete’s girl is and what Joan is made to feel like in the scene she’s wearing it.

    • I saw that and the first thing I thought of was what those pins symbolized during that time: virginity. My mother still calls them virginity pins. Both women have or have committed to compromising themselves sexually and it’s way to tell the world they are still without blemish in some way, like a little bit of armor.

      • Melanie

        I can’t believe that they signal virginity, at least not to everyone. Joan has a baby. The jig is up.

        • Also, purity. At this point in time, the sexual revolution had not happened yet. It’s kind of like the line Susan Sarandon has in “Bull Durham” when she is getting Millie, who had been very sexually irresponsible, ready for her wedding: “We ALL deserve to wear white.”

          • BayTampaBay

            NO SHIT!

    • Celandine1

      My mom had that brooch in gold in the 60’s. I also see it a lot at antique dealers, swap meets, etc. I think it is just a really popular style for the time.

    • Sandra FledglingMixologista

      First thing I thought when I saw the brooch on Sunday, was think of Betty when she first visits Dr. Edna in season 4. I know it is silly, but I always remembered the brooch she was wearing because I personally thought it was misplaced on her clothing. It was too high for me. I went back to look at the photos, and I now see they are different, but for a moment, I thought they were cutting down on the props budget and they were recycling. I guess you are all right in saying it was a popular style at the time.

    • KayEmWhy

      My mom has the same pin. It was popular costume jewelry during that time. Her’s is Monet. There was also Napier, and Sarah Coventry, which was like a Tupperware party, but with jewelry. I think Chanel and a costume line too. I remember the moms all comparing each piece with one another and some where quite pricey and the dads complaining about it. I think that maybe it was a status thing among the women of the time.

      • BayTampaBay

        Weiss, Kramer, Eisenberg and Eisenbeg Ice from the 50’s and 60’s the best costume jewelry. I inherited a ton of it my from my grandmother. All this “stuff” is now back in style big time.

        • KayEmWhy

          Yeah she has a few pieces of those too. I found a similar pin at a flea market for a steal.

  • bxbourgie

    I’ll be looking forward to this every Wednesday now that Mad Men is back. Thank you thank you thank you.

  • sarahjane1912

    Fabulous again, boys. Just fabulous.

    A few observations: Joan looked ‘brittle’ to me in that vodka-shooting scene. Just brittle. The whiter-than-usual make-up with the lippy made her look a bit older as well. A bit Snow Queen too.
    Sylvia’s feathery mules! Oh wow. Loved them.

    Looking forward to everyone else’s thoughts as well. Thanks again.

    PS. My parents TOTALLY had the floral ‘spring’ fabric on Trudy’s sofa set [and curtains]. If it wasn’t the same material, it was absolutely the spit for it. Had a huge chuckle about that!

    • formerlyAnon

      That fabric, or very similar knock-offs was omnipresent at one point!

    • Musicologie

      I noticed just how white Joan’s skin was in that scene, too. It reminded me of how often Layne was dressed in red and blue–those were practically his signature colors.

  • Qdahling

    I love you guys. That is all.

  • Sobaika

    Peggy’s secretary is perfection. My eyes bugged out (in a good way) when she came onscreen. I hope we get some more presence from her and Dawn this season.

    • Musicologie

      I like that Peggy’s secretary (was it Phyllis?) is both reminding us of Dawn while contrasting with her. Yes, they’re both black women about the same age and in the exact same professional position. But Dawn dresses much more conservatively and, well, respectably. Even though she’s gotten more comfortable with her role at SCDP, Dawn still treats Don formally and with utmost attention to protocol. Peggy’s secretary was getting personal with her, spouting pop psychology–her mindset is of-the-moment, and so are her clothes.

      • Sobaika

        I suspect this was something Peggy injected into the relationship – a do-over as TLo said, of her misstep with Dawn. Also Don is a man and a rather intimidating one at that. Men, especially subordinates, wouldn’t treat him the way they do Peggy and Don would never need a secretary to suggest morale boosters.

        • P M

          Whereas Peggy, bless her heart, needs all the help she could get with anything social

      • luciaphile

        And Peggy’s secretary evidently wants to move beyond being a secretary.

        • And into being Nichelle Nichols.

          • Brad Watson

            The first blast I got seeing Peggy’s secretary was from the old Mannix show, big in ’68. She’s a dead ringer for Gail Fisher, who played Joe’s secretary… wait for it… Peggy. Single mom (as I remember) and had a son – she had some really great story lines.

          • It’s reductive, but it was the hairstyle and the red top that made me jump to Uhura!

          • Yep, that’s what I said in my earlier episode post.

          • Wow, flashback time! I remember that.

          • Bwhahahaaa

        • SassieCassy

          peggy probably loves that. her female solidarity thing shows its head most with career women, she tried helping megan at work too and didnt understand at all that megan didnt want it

    • P M

      And let’s hope she ditches the icky pale lipstick.

      • Sobaika

        Nawww, I don’t find it terribly icky and it was the height of trendy at this time period. Ever see old pictures of Marsha Hunt?

        • decormaven

          Yes. Frosted lipstick, very on-trend for the time. Just going to have suffer through it.

          • Joan Arkham

            My aunt wanted that lipstick but was not allowed to have it. She said she (and others) used to use Clearasil instead. Ewww!

          • SassieCassy


            like 10 years ago the nude shiny lip was so popular and i couldnt find anything so i mixed a dab of foundation with lip gloss.

          • Glammie

            The frost was made with fish scales, by the way.

          • P M

            What?! eww . Sorry, I’m veg, that just grosses me out.

        • P M

          Yes; I don’t think I disliked the fact that it was pale. It’s just the way pale is done, ya know? Not too white, not deathly, something that doesn’t look deathly…

      • vandeventer

        What? That lipstick is FAB!

      • notterriblybitter

        I vividly remember my babysitter showing up one night in frosted white lipstick. I though it was da bomb. She also had her hair set on juice cans, which kind of ruined the whole effect but I still thought she was so, so glamourous.

        • formerlyAnon

          Gosh, I remember just idolizing the style choices of my various babysitters. From my 40-ish godmother and her single girlfriends (cigarettes, highballs and amazing manicures) to the older teenagers with trendy hair and makeup and *boyfriends*!

          • BayTampaBay

            I remember a babysitter of mine in 1969 ironing her very long “Cher” hair on the ironing board with our clothes iron on a very low setting.

    • Eva_baby

      Yes. She totally popped on the screen. Also, I love how absolutely WRONG her make-up is for her skin tone. Because, dude, make-up companies didn’t make make-up for dark black girls. You had to do your own blending to make something work for you or just say, Eff-it, and wear what the white girls wore.

      • Glammie

        Yeah, I keep wondering what the actress thought when she was shown that lipstick. “You want me to wear what!?” And then you bring in the manic horizontal stripes . . . Reminds me of Mary Wilson in her book on the Supremes about how they kept having to do their own make-up because pro make-up artists would do all sorts of awful things to them.

      • mcpierogipazza

        I’ve seen it pointed out elsewhere that Fashion Fair and another line for black women were available by then.

      • It wasn’t wrong, that was on purpose, unfortunately…my mom and others wore the same mess as a fad back then.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      Oh I really like Peggy’s secretary! Loved how she was giving advice to Peggy, who is her boss and is younger than Peggy. I also loved her clothes. I bet she’ll be the next secretary to move from being a secretary to junior executive.

  • MrsAtaxxia

    I love how with that one stripped dress Trudy nailed Pete’s ass to the wall and came barreling into the late 60s all in one outfit. It’s such a declarative statement, esp from a character who was such a fashion plate early in the series, this was a momentous kind of FUCK YOU outfit. She may not have burned her bra, but for Trudy Campbell, shedding a crinoline may have amounted to the same thing.

    • 3hares

      Can’t help but think that actually draws her more in line with Pete than she was all last season.

    • not_Bridget

      That scene reminded me of several with Oona Chaplin’s character in the BBC/BBCamerica series The Hour. Well bred wife of a wandering husband, she wore ladylike light neutrals or pastels. When confronting her husband’s latest fling–or, finally, her husband–her outfits included emphatic black accents. Or fur…

      The show was billed as the British Mad Men–but it wasn’t. It began a few years earlier & in London–and had rather ambitious plot elements. Still quite excellent. I was hoping it would be covered here but, since the BBC cancelled it after 2 series (with a giant cliffhanger)–perhaps it’s best it wasn’t.

      Still, reading the Mad Men style coverage here definitely helped me appreciate the style & decor provided by the very bright people who produced The Hour….

      • MsKitty

        Yes! I just started catching up on season 2 of The Hour last week (bummed about it being cancelled), so Marnie ripping Hector a new one was still fresh in my mind when I saw Trudy’s confrontation. Both were stellar in their own ways. The only thing missing was Erika Badu’s “Tyrone” playing in the background (LOL).

      • Supernumerary

        I’m so glad to hear someone pipe up about The Hour. The first few episodes of series one really told me outright that ‘British Mad Men set in the ’50s’ was totally off-base, but oh, the costuming. Still crushed that it wasn’t renewed for another series — especially since I’ve read that the creator had intended on it being a three-series show. So close!

      • fursa_saida

        I had exactly the same thought. Marnie and Trudy had a lot in common, really, though I doubt the Campbells’ marriage will turn out the way Hector’s and Marnie’s did by the end of series 2. (Add me to everyone who is miserable that it was cancelled–there was a wave of petitions about it, but unsurprisingly that didn’t do much good. That cliffhanger is still killing me.)

    • vm9799

      this. exactly this.

    • lorem_ipsum

      Absolutely agree. Trudy gave up her high fashion to become a suburban mother and she was proud to play that role (or be consumed by that role) to have her picture perfect family, until now. She sees that Pete’s not doing his job pretending anymore and she’s not going to either. Back to the Trudy that demanded attention and KNEW the power she held over men!

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      I love it too. I also think it’s interesting that she’s playing the opposite of the Betty Draper role. Betty dug her heels in, turned a blind eye, and got depressed in the suburbs. Trudie not so much. I expect big things from her this season and I’m psyched!

  • formerlyAnon

    That “faded wall paper stripe” print on Megan’s quilted bathrobe was never mod or featured in ads that I remember, but gosh an awful lot of it was around.

    I very much like Peggy’s dusky blue and cream striped jacket in the Heinz scene with Ted. You are spot on about her ongoing social awkwardness. It’s interesting seeing that play out even now that she seems to be hitting her professional stride.

    Someone mentioned it in the earlier Madmen post this week, but I agree with them that my impression of the time is that Peggy’s secretary is too dark-skinned to have her position in that particular time. At least in an apparently virtually all-white firm. Another 5 years or so.

    I have to give my parents, especially Mom, credit. I recognize these suburban homes from friends’ homes, but (though we moved to a new suburb every few years through the ’60s as my dad climbed the corporate ladder) we NEVER lived with so much dark wood and clashy (or over-matchy) patterned walls, furniture and drapes. The decor transitioned from what would now be called mid-century Modern through the next few decades but stayed clean and classic without kitsch or all that pine paneling or, later, the dark wood faux-pub decor.

    • Moriginal

      Pete and Trudy’s couch (and drapes). WHY?

      • formerlyAnon

        That print is possibly the closest thing to cutting edge in the house! Eventually it (or a very similar fabric) was on clothing and bedding and table cloths and tote bags as well as furniture and drapes and accent pillows.

        • sarahjane1912

          Right into the eighties as well. Or variations of it. Seemed quite fashion-forward to me. Clashed with the rest of the room though.

          • snarkalicious

            I don’t know. My grandparents, who were very “proper” and belonged to an old-school country club in the Texas panhandle, had that EXACT couch in the seventies, along with a matching armchair. Not sure if it was new or old upholstery, but I can’t see it with fresh eyes on the show. My husband remarked that it was “hideous” the other night; I just see myself taking afternoon naps on it with their schnauzer.

          • formerlyAnon

            Yes, but by the ’70s the print had been around for a while. In ’68 it might not have been the very latest thing, but it was more recent (at least as I remember) than just about anything else in Trudy’s house.

        • Chickadeep

          That print is *very* late-’60s-early ’70s Preppy. The springy, primary colors are at odds with the rest of the Colonial decor, but they are spot on—and very trendy—for the [young] Greenwich country club set.

    • Sobaika

      DEFINITELY agree on Peggy’s secretary. The visuals and casting are usually spot-on with this show but it looks like they overlooked this aspect of the time.

      • Laylalola

        I have to disagree. It’s NYC. The Black Panthers, nevermind black workers in NYC, have been around for about two years now — and it’s about a month before the assassination of MLK Jr. She was probably hired by Peggy, in a field that already was and is considered highly creative. And her personal style it’s on par or slightly more conservative than what we’ve already seen the white photo assistant in the first episode wearing while shooting SCDP partners in the Time Warner building.

        • formerlyAnon

          You are probably right, for the setting. My memories of racial norms at the time certainly didn’t include a top creative firm in Manhattan.

        • Sobaika

          You could be right, but I really don’t think a new secretary who is a woman of color and planning on moving up would ever present herself in way comparable to a photographer’s assistant, particularly not someone who is dark skinned. Especially since Cutler Gleason and Chaough hasn’t been portrayed as progressive as SCDP.

        • She would not have been hired by Peggy, she would have been hired by H. R. and the Panthers were about as far away from Madison Avenue as you could get. And her outfit is not appropriate as a newly hired AA subordinate in a corporate environment even though it’s a highly creative one. She would be too afraid of not fitting into the office culture and would dress more like Dawn if she wanted to keep her job or not be talked about. And though Dawn was loosening up a bit, she and Phyllis would still very much be expected to “be a credit to their race”.

    • decormaven

      “faded wall paper stripe” print – Lanz nightgowns.

    • P M

      If true, that was really sad, the bit about lighter ‘coloureds’ (I’m Indian by birth, god knows we have our issues around lightness). Neither Dawn nor Phyllis come across as very dark to my eyes, though.

      • SassieCassy

        shadeism and stuff like the paper bag test were huge in the 60s. today too, but then especially.

  • MartyBellerMask

    And nothing to do with style, but I think Arnold knows. He just DOES.

    • janierainie

      I’ve been wondering if he’s setting them up.

      • P M

        He just seems *too* innocent, doesn’t he?

        • Eric Stott

          It might not be the first time she’s done this – and being a doctor on call is the perfect alibi for him to do something himself.

          • decormaven

            Yep! Did you watch him eye women passing in the hall while Don was digging for the Leica in the supply closet in the first episode? Dr. Rosen may do a little carousing on his own as well.

          • I keep wondering whether showing us all those instances of Dr. Rosen looking at women during the first part of the season premiere was a way to mislead us – “oh, here’s an old school Mad Men male who obviously cheats on his wife” while in the end, he was the one who had been cheated on. It would be ironic and also sort of karmic if he really *just* looked at other women and didn’t cheat on his wife, because , other than being a welcome change to have a faithful husband on this show, it would leave Don no subconscious excuse like “that’s what all men do anyway” to hang onto.

          • tereliz

            I thought that showing Arnie checking out other women was to add to the shock of Don cheating with his wife, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if he enjoys looking at women but only looks, because he seems to be as in love with his wife as Megan is with Don.

          • P M

            Now *their* story is beginning to sound like a soap opera 😀

          • MartyBellerMask

            Maybe. Or maybe Sylvia was actually Arnold’s mistress once upon a time. Her cheating on him now is karma biting him back. That’s why he puts up with it.

        • janierainie


    • It would definitely fit in with Trudy knowing about Pete’s affairs all along, and with the general theme of people not being able to keep their illicit sex life compartmentalized from their home/office life anymore.

  • VanessaDK

    Terrific analysis! I can’t help but wonder, when you refer to Sylvia as the wife of a wealthy man, if we are getting hints that they are “keeping up appearances”. The scene with her in the robe and headscarf made me think of her Italian grandmother–more lower class than we see on the other women. Coupled with the issue about having enough money for dinner, and harking back to the comments in the season opener about how much more Don’s apartment cost than their own, I wonder if they are not quite as well off as their lifestyle would initially suggest.

    • That bathrobe ensemble was pure wealthy-wife drag. There was nothing “lower class” about it.

      • but that could be part of the “appearances” as well. I do think there’s more to the good doctor and Sylvia than we’ve seen so far.

        • Sure. I’m just saying it doesn’t read as “lower-class Italian” to us. You can see boudoir ensembles like this on wealthy female characters in movies going all the way back to the thirties.

          • ah I get what you’re saying now. Certainly agree it was all very “kept woman.”

          • Danielle

            Agreed. Old, Italian grandmothers wouldn’t wear a silk kimono.

          • MissKimP

            Her outfit definitely looked like 30s boudoir, which immediately reminded me of the look in Uncle Mac’s whorehouse.

        • I think it reads as her interpretation of what wealth looks like. Chances are she grew up in a very proper working class Italian family, maybe in Queens or Brooklyn. She is adhering to a fixed idea of what is “classy.” It is expensive, yet “off” in a way. It mirrors the affair with Don in the sense that she presents a good, conservative Catholic girl image, but has this very dark, hidden side. She basically always feels and looks out of place: in her morning attire, in the maids room with Don, in the laundry room. She is not comfortable at all.

      • P M

        But it doesn’t look ‘old money’ kind of hausfrau drag either, somehow.

        • Oh, I don’t think there’s anything remotely old money about the Rosens. They’re both first- or second-generation Americans, most likely.

        • SassieCassy

          there is very little chance that a jewish family or a catholic italian family would be ‘old money’ in the 60s

          • P M

            I meant more like, some couples want to be aspirational and ape those who already have a lot of money and status, down to the housecoats and such.

          • German Jews might be. Jews from further east, no. German Jews came here earlier and tended to be wealthier; they were sort of the upper class amongst American Jews in the 19th and 20th centuries, and often tried to better us Ostjuden. Not sure Sephardim fit in but with a name like Rosen, the good doctor is Ashkenazi.

      • not_Bridget

        Those long trailing sleeves were the giveaway. At first glance, I thought the outfit a bit dowdy; then I looked closer. She couldn’t clean in that robe–she could only give the maid instructions.

        I wonder of the maids and former maids in the building gossip…..

      • ballerinawithagun

        As I recall form my own mother and relatives, If you were still wearing “set” hair and going to the beauty parlor once a week, you would either wrap your hair in toilet paper or wear a silk like scarf to keep your hairstyle in place while you slept. It was hilarious during the holidays to see all of the women fixing and eating breakfast this way. They didn’t remove the hair protectors until they got dressed for the day. My mother’s height of fashion lounge wear was an Asian influenced (then they called it Oriental) bright red quilted jacket complete with frogs and black velvet pajama pants. It was fabulous!

      • Chickadeep

        Agree! And it also places her firmly in the late ’40s-early ’50s, bedroom-style-wise. The maribou slippers, layered luxury fabrics, turban-style headscarf are straight out of a Sirk melodrama of the period (which would have been when Sylvia was in her late teens/early twenties, and—with a kid in college—perhaps newly married?). This may have been a look she favored early in her marriage and one that still works for the good Doctor, while her interactions with Don (form-fitting, slightly outdated sheath dresses, religious jewelry, old-fashioned stilettos, big hair) look like outtakes from an early ’60s European drama involving sophisticated affairs of the bourgeoisie.

    • tereliz

      She IS wearing heeled marabou bedroom slippers. And check out the dramatically oversized sleeves of her robe. Not very practical for scrubbing the toilet. Not that she would ever, especially with that much silk wrapped around her head. Definitely NOT working class Italian housewife to my eyes.

      • VanessaDK

        Maybe the effect is to show them as “strivers” rather than comfortably moneyed. But then, I am always surprised how much my 2013 eyes see things differently than they would have been seen at the time!

  • VeryClaire

    I have to disagree with one point – Trudy in her autumnal prints seems to clash with the living room with it’s heavy spring theme in the drapes and couch. No one ever looks like they belong against that couch.

    • luciaphile

      Does the couch represent the turning point for Trudy and Pete’s marriage? Nothing is ever going to look right against that again…but sometimes a sofa is just a sofa….

      • filmcricket

        That sofa throws me off every time I see it. Partly because it matches exactly nothing in the room, but also because my parents had … sheets? napkins? throw pillows? … something, anyway, in the smaller version of that exact pattern. I am not pleased that we are hitting the point in the show where things are starting to look familiar to me, especially since this episode takes place 6 years before I was born.

        • luciaphile

          I have a bunch of the brooches Joan wears….

          • formerlyAnon

            I keep inheriting them in the jewelry boxes of my [nearly extinct, now] older female relatives!

        • flightier

          the sofa threw me too. I think it’s a Paule Marrot print and those are being relicensed like crazy these days, so they keep popping up.

        • MartyBellerMask

          I keep thinking they’re in the “sunroom” or whatever they called them. That sofa pattern…

    • True, but the aside from that one spring-like print, the house is done up in a lot of autumnal shades of gold, orange, and dark green. Trudy’s clothes often pick up on that, tying her as one with the home. But her loud prints serve a second role, which is to fight against all the prints in the home, giving it an undercurrent of unpleasantness, as seen through Pete’s eyes.

      We could say that the colors she wears represent how she sees herself; at one with the home. But the prints she wears indicate how Pete sees her: an annoyance that keeps him from doing what he wants.

      • not_Bridget

        The house was decorated in Early American–see the paneling, the “Colonial” light fixtures and the kitchen table, chairs & wallpaper). A darkish, autumnal color scheme goes with the style; most of Trudy’s prints match Or clash …

        Times change, even in the ‘burbs. Those almost-Vera prints in the drapes & on the more modern living room furniture seem new. As is the dress Trudy wore in the “goodbye” scene. We saw her as an upper class newlywed, a chic wife supporting her husband’s career, and an almost-dowdy suburbanite Mom. I hope the show keeps up with her as she continues to upgrade the house (I’d redo the bedroom next, if I were her) and her wardrobe. Such a fine mother, so active in the community–what a pity her husband’s work keeps him away…..

        • formerlyAnon

          I think you’ve nailed the role Trudy’s planning to play.

        • am I wrong or are the drapes in the kitchen window behind her blue now where they used to be a plaid or something? I just noticed how the entire colour tone of that kitchen seemed different that morning, with the bright sunlight, the bright aqua-ey dress, and the blue drapes.

        • P M

          Why, not_Bridget, my dear, your tongue seems as sharp as mine. We should do tea, and make shrewish remarks about the women around us 🙂

  • NDC_IPCentral

    Superb analysis and discussion, Tom and Lorenzo. Your remarks really enhance my appreciation of what I thought was an intriguing, if dark and foreboding, episode.

  • SallyLovesPolly

    Megan’s outfit in the laundry room reminds me of Betty’s the night she confronts Don about what she found in his home-office drawer.

  • “All women are the same woman in the eyes of Don Draper”.
    So, you just summed up Don’s sex and relationship life in 12 words. Well played, TLo, well played…

    • AViewer44

      But they aren’t totally. What sets Joan, Peggy and Anna Draper apart?

      • I believe they are the only three he didn’t sleep with.
        I guess he doesn’t see Peggy and Joan as “women” but as respected co workers. Anna is a completely different ball game, something in the Don/Dick ambiguity must be at work there.

        • decormaven

          To me, Anna will be the “soul of the world” to Don, as referenced by her Tarot reading in “The Mountain King.” She is a part of him.

          • Glammie

            Yeah, she is almost not a character, but an ideal–the saintly mother figure. Don’s relationship with her was kind of his big redemption. She pretty much saved his soul by seeing Dick Whitman and accepting him when no one else ever had.

          • decormaven

            Yes, I started re-watching “The Mountain King” today to watch Dick/Don’s reactions to Anna. The flashback where Dick/Don is telling Anna about meeting Betty and how he’s going to marry her- it makes you almost sad to think he believed he could have this fairy-tale type of relationship. This man is damaged, and he has never been made whole. Yes, he has personal responsibility, but his early years were so dysfunctional.

          • Lisa

            Don is now treating Megan just like he treated Betty early in the show. So I suspect that early in his relationship with Betty, he felt toward her exactly as he did toward Megan last season.

      • Sobaika

        Those are all notable exceptions, not the rule.

        • Nicholas

          “These women do not want to sleep with me. Does not compute.”

        • MilaXX

          And they all see through his BS. these are not child brides like Betty & Megan or sexy seductresses like his mistresses.

      • MrsAtaxxia

        I hate to phrase it like this, but I think that he doesn’t see Joan, Peggy or Anna as sexually available to him so they have time to develop as PEOPLE. I don’t know that Don has ever seen any woman he is sexually involved with as a real, developed, person because once he has conquered them he kind of stops learning about them. Because he never slept with Joan, Peggy or Anna he continued to learn about them and that allowed them to become three dimensional to him in a way Betty, Megan or his mistresses never will because by virtue of being sexual to him they will never transcend “wife” or “mistress” into PERSON.

        • I think he sees them as real people, but he essentially treats them like men, which to him, is the highest compliment he can pay a woman.

          • MrsAtaxxia

            You said exactly what I was trying to say, only shorter and way more to the point. Don treats them as equals.

          • formerlyAnon


          • 3hares

            I think he sometimes treats Peggy like a boy (unless he’s pulling out the “you’ve got a salary a grown man would earn” card), but he seems to treat Anna and especially Joan like all woman. Anna’s the gentle mother type and Joan’s the madam he respects. Which probably works for both of them–both Joan and Don, I think, would consider it an insult to not treat Joan like a woman.

          • PowerfulBusiness

            Do you guys think, by the end of the series, Don will be able to conquer this? To be able to see someone as a full human being and have a romantic relationship with them?

          • Glammie

            Hmmm, I don’t know that I see this. In some ways, Don seems cut off from other men. He tends to have a facade with them that he doesn’t have with Joan, Peggy and Anna. He competes with men–parries with them–but not the three women. In some ways, I think Don likes women better than men, is more at ease with them, but sex for Don fucks everything up.

          • Don doesn’t like women, but he does have some affection for Joan, who he still sees as a whore, just a very smart one, Peggy, who he still sees as his competitor and Anna who was the only one who accepted him for his real self. But remember, he still treated Peggy poorly and tried to screw Anna’s niece when he visited and she told him Anna was dying.

          • Don doesn’t see Joan as a whore. He tore out of the office last season and ran to her place just to tell her that.

          • Not in a conscious way, darlings. And yes, he did try to stop her from making that decision but did you see the look on his face when he discovered that she had done it and was now a partner? It was one of “oh no, not you too”. But even before that Don already knew that Joan was Roger’s piece on the side.

          • This seems to be the day we disagree with each other, but we have to reiterate: Don does not see Joan as a whore by any stretch of the imagination. The look he gave her wasn’t a look of judgment against her but disappointment that she felt she had to go through with it.

            Honestly, you’re arguing things that are directly contradicted by the script and the directing. He’s treated her with nothing but the highest respect ever since she became partner. She can blow right into his office and pour herself a drink without even looking at him and he doesn’t bat an eye when she does it. In fact, he respectfully walked out of the room and left her alone because he knew she was upset. Those are not the actions of a man who thinks the woman involved is a whore.

          • Glammie

            Also goes with Joan’s semi-surprised comment to Don when he comes to stop her, “So, you’re one of the good ones.” He’s the only one who doesn’t want her to sell herself. Not at all coincidental that he does a number on the dealer in this episode.

          • Just because he doesn’t treat her like one doesn’t mean that in the back of his mind he doesn’t now see her as one. Remember who this is. Don can only see women as either the Madonna or the whore. Joan may be highly respected in the office but Don still has to process what she did, in the only way he can. I love u, guys.

          • Just because Don does not treat Joan as a whore and gives her professional courtesy doesn’t mean that he
            doesn’t see her as a whore. He can only relate to women as either Madonna’s (Anna) or the whore ( any one of his conquests) Joan may have been exempt depending on how much he knew about her Roger but as soon as he learned of her partnership deal, that implicated her as well. I’m sure as time goes on, just how he really feels about Joan will be revealed, just as he’s revealed how he now feels about Megan.

          • The way I see it, Don may or may not have exempted Joan from his Madonna/whore/competitor labeling contingent based on whether he had knowledge of Joan and Roger. Because Don can only see women in one of the ways mentioned above, she definitely joined the whore club in his mind. There’s no logic to treating her like one so she continues to garner his professional courtesy.

            It will interesting to see how this plays out between them, especially since he so blatantly cast aspersions at Megan for just pretending to be one.

          • Glammie

            It’s not at all clear to me that Don doesn’t like women as much as he’s extremely conflicted about them. He’s actually more, not less, inclined to treat women like people than Pete or Roger. He respects Peggy–thus his kissing her hand when she tells him she’s leaving, though he also drove her to leaving by being an ass to her. I think it’s less about misogyny and more about Don’s fear of intimacy and his own self-hatred. He never wants to be in a relationship that would have him as a member.

    • PowerfulBusiness

      Have to agree, and applaud TLo and Gus. Yes. Brilliant.

  • “All women are the same woman in the eyes of Don Draper.” – so dead on. This was as wonderful to read as always.

  • I disagree with your theory on Green vs. Blue. Blue isn’t motherhood.

    Green is the insecure protagonist of the scene. Blue is the antagonist, invading the scene and disrupting the harmony of Green (though not necessarily on purpose). Gold is the non-aggressive power color this episode, warmth and generosity. Red is sex and danger.

    • I wouldn’t claim that blue equals motherhood universally. Certainly, it didn’t represent that for the Heinz guy’s suit or Ted Chaough’s groovy turtleneck. I like your take on it as a protagonist/antagonist thing, but I’m not sure it always reads that way with Sylvia. She’s not the antagonist in that restaurant scene, nor is Megan in her bathrobe, except in the sense that they’re both saying things to Don that he probably doesn’t want to hear.

      • Sobaika

        I thought the blue/motherhood was a good call, reminded me of Madonna blues (Da Vinci, not Like A Prayer). Blue was meant to symbolize humility and passivity in Renaissance era.

      • tereliz

        Sylvia and Megan were acting more as obstacle characters, perhaps, rather than antagonists.
        Although I don’t think there’s much subtlety to Sylvia’s blue, pearl studded dress. The Madonna comparison, or virgin/whore aspect, is pretty clearly being made.

      • Sylvia’s blue dress in the restaurant looks like silvery blue scales to my eyes.

        “He’ll have Steak Diavolo.”

        Next costume stop for Sylvia on the subtle-hint-o-meter, Leg Avenue “Sexy Devil” halloween costume.

      • Glammie

        While I’m sure that there are allusions I’m not getting, the thing that strikes me about the green/blue combos is that they are two colors that ought to go together, but don’t. Bryant consistently picked green and blue hues that clashed instead of harmonized. We see scene after scene of couples/collaborators/friends with serious degrees of friction.

      • Every time you call his turtleneck groovy, it makes me laugh

    • sweetlilvoice

      Blue will always remind me of Betty Draper’s good blue cloth coat.

  • pawtley

    Best read of my week, as usual (and makes me want to go back and watch this ep for the third time).

    Who didn’t think immediately when seeing Peggy’s secretary that she was righting the wrong of Dawn’s overnight stay? And not just her as secretary, but the relationship between the two women that was suggested? I want to see their show, and also the Peggy and Stan show. Love those pairings.

    • Sobaika

      I like the secretary and that she’s looking out for Peggy, but I don’t like that the for the third time in a row the slightly-more-than-an-extra black character is a specific and two-dimensional reflection on the primary characters and their whiteness (Carla, the Drapers maid and Kinsey’s girlfriend that took him to Mississippi).

      • SassieCassy

        spot ON

      • Laylalola

        There was also Lane’s Playboy bunny girlfriend he introduced to his father.

        I could be 100 percent wrong on this — but I *think* part of what’s going on is that the show has been telegraphing the Other-ness of the Black man and woman during this era as they entered onto the main stage, into social and professional and cultural spheres with the main characters. Right now each new Black character immediately stands out, the viewer is almost uncomfortably aware that this is new and different and, frankly, that most of the main characters are NOT treating them as three-dimensional beings. Maybe I’m being too generous in giving the show creators the benefit of the doubt (for now) that they know this unease is something most of the main characters would have felt at the time and over the years have been subtly conveying these aspects of race relations. We’ll see. MLK Jr.’s assassination is due within the next few episodes.

        • Sobaika

          I had this opinion during perhaps the first half of the series (and to be honest, I thought it was kind of brilliant). But the more we got to see Carla and the more her storyline remained a) she’s black and b) she sees through Betty’s shit, while ultimately seeing her fired conveniently as a plot device to usher in Megan on Don’s trip with the kids… When you think of the things the show has explored in varying degrees (lgbtq narratives, the Jewish-American experience) I’m ready for them to do something more.

          Have you heard of the Sexy Lamp test? If you can remove a female character from a plot and replace it with a Sexy Lamp and have the story remain more or less the same, you’re doing it wrong. I’m waiting for someone other than a Black Lamp.

          • Qitkat

            I had a very positive response to your post, fueled by just finally having gotten around to watching The Help. Brilliant film. Especially the line you used about Carla seeing through Betty’s shit!

            Somehow I don’t think MM is going to go much farther with their black characters in spite of the racial tumult America is headed for.

          • formerlyAnon

            I agree that I don’t see MM engaging much further with black characters, except as mostly 2-dimensional representatives of some societal trend. Maybe there will be a token black professional encountered in a few years, or one of the minor characters will dabble far enough in politics to encounter a black political organizer. As has been discussed here before, it really was very easy for a white person, especially one with money who lived in a big enough town that neighborhoods and shopping could be de facto – even if not legally – segregated, to never interact with a black person except on the most superficial level – most likely as someone in a service job.

          • I have a question about this. I was born in 1972 and grew up in upper Manhattan. Half my teachers, classmates, and neighbors were black and/or Hispanic, and of course that remains the case now in every area of life – bosses, friends, etc. How much did people mix, though, in the previous decade? This is not a rhetorical question. I really want to know. Like, would you have had schoolmates, coworkers, whatever, of other colors, if you were just yer regular hoi polloi (as opposed to rarified upper classes)? How segregated was working- and middle-class life?

            By the way, I think the maid Megan fires is the first Hispanic person we see on Mad Men, no?

            Oh, and there are NO Asians on this show. Were there really no people of Asian descent in the mix back then? It’s weird to think there was a time when Jews were exotic.

          • I grew up in Chicago in the 60’s when things were still very segregated. I really think you had to make the personal choice as to how much one would let that influence one’s social mixing. When we moved to our neighborhood in 62 it was all white, by the end of the next year, it had changed. There was one white child left on our block who I continued to play with. I went to her house, she came to mine. Then she moved. Our school transitioned also but we still had some white teachers. The Hyde Park neighborhood which was one of the first fully integrated neighborhoods, was an experiment started by the University of Chicago.

            In my case we pretty much had friends of other races where we hung out socially, at the skating rink, at the beach, after work when older, etc.

            Things are still pretty segregated in Chicago but more so in the working class neighborhoods than with the hoi polloi, as you say. Now it’s more of an economic than an ethnicity thing. Hope ths helps.

          • There was a very important event in 1968 – the passing of the Housing Rights Act (real name Civil Rights Act of 1968, a follow up to the big Civil Rights Act in 1963.) This was the act that finally outlawed racial discrimination in housing, including restrictive covenants. The act was passed only a few days after the shooting of Martin Luther King, Jr.

            Neighborhoods didn’t desegregate themselves immediately, and there is a lot of de facto segregation still remaining in many places, although it’s based largely on self-sorting. But it does seem that attitudes were changing rapidly during this time. I’m sure there was a huge difference depending on where in the country you lived, and even where you lived in a given city.

          • Laylalola

            WOW, that whole post is just tremendous! And frankly, it IS a pretty brilliant theory/opinion — the question is whether the show developers are doing that or not. (I truly don’t know. I was a late comer to the show — I started watching due to these TLo analyses, actually. 🙂 As soon as I was hooked I watched the first two or three seasons on Netflix in a very short period of time.)

            One thing I was just wondering before you posted this response, though, was whether Mad Men has ever introduced an adult black male character? We have your Black Lamps but no Mad Black Men, do we? I can only recall maybe the boy who was hit with the water balloon having a few lines; maybe there were protesters with him who didn’t have lines, and then a couple of men in the SCDP reception area before Lane dismissed them, telling them the position to be filled was that of a secretary.

            (Okay, obviously I don’t read other recaps of Mad Men, because this HAS to have been analyzed up and down and backward all over the Internet. There certainly have been analyses of whether the female characters are feminists or would be part of the movement when it really kicks off.)

          • MilaXX

            Yes. Early on there was an elevator guy who Pete spoke to about and RCA account. I think at one point there may also have been a sandwich guy in early seasons. I’d have to rewatch, but I think there have been a few POC but mainly in the peripheral.

          • Good point.

          • MilaXX

            THIS^ I recall being annoyed early on about Carla because there were what I saw as missed opportunities to expand on that character while remaining true to the feel of Mad Men. I was also extremely pissed when the guy who robbed Joan & Roger was some face black man.

          • Meeee too. This is the first time I’ve had a chance to express my annoyance over that too. I’m so glad TLo provides a forum. Why did he have to be AA? In the part of town that they were in the chances were just as well that he could have been a white junkie or something. That was really overkill.

          • Exactly.

          • I would have fired Carla.

            I never understood why people were so interested in Dawn. (Besides being brown)

            I am interested in Phyllis and her arc. She is not a Black Lamp.

          • Sobaika

            People are interested in Dawn because usually secretaries do some crazy shit on this show – Blankenship, Megan, Peggy, Jane, etc. It’s really noticeable that she is black and is only given lines relating to Don’s coffee. Besides, the red carpet looks of the actress have me interested in her becoming the new Khaleesi.

            And I’m really not sure how Phyllis’ one scene which says, ‘Hey look, Peggy made a black friend and didn’t alienate her two minutes in!’ makes her anything but a Black Lamp.

          • Dawn is the only person to sit at the desk outside of Don’s office for any length of time and get virtually no story out of it. I understand some of the arguments as to why there’s so little African-American representation on this show, but that’s a glaring example of the show’s blind spot. They have effectively and believably integrated (for lack of a better term) an African-American character into the cast and they’re doing nothing with her. Hopefully, that’ll change this season.

          • What they said. It IS only the third ep, so fingers are crossed.

          • Dawn had one scene with Peggy that did not leave me wanting more. I am only vaguely interested in what happened with Scarlett. Sometimes I just don’t care.

            Phyllis is vibrant.

            If a character is dull I’m an equal opportunity get them off the show-ist. God Conrad Hilton! Please no more of him.

            I am fighting for Joan minutes, tbh.

          • Ditto

        • That’s an excellent point and if true then MW and crew are wayyyy smarter and more subtle than I’m giving them credit for. Could it be that they only cast super dark skinned AA characters because they are telegraphing the one dimensional way that the Caucasians on the show might see them at them time? I don’t know if they (the writers) would risk having that much insightfulness go right over the head of the viewer, even those that would be in tune with said subtleties to begin with such as myself. I guess it will remain something else to ponder unless they either flesh out the AA characters or explain somehow the choices that they made in the way that they are portrayed.

          The conflict last season between Peg’s and Dawn was on the money though.

      • MilaXX

        The show has often missed the with fully realized POC. I’m hoping this season at least Dawn, if not both Dawn and Phyllis will be different. If you are interested, I just started reading a script written by Erika Alexander aka Maxine Shaw from Living Single wrote. Google Why did I write an episode of Mad Men with negroes? and it should come up..

        • Sobaika

          Thanks, I’ll look for it!

        • thanks for the rec! I just looked that up and it’s a really solid Mad Men script… now I wish that episode actually existed.

        • Ooooo, thanks, will check it out.

      • Agree, agree, agree, u should see my posts on this and TLo’s Mad Men episode page that addresses just this concern. I was beginning to think I was the only one paying attention to this.

  • P M

    Only thing I can add is: Trudy is in fussy, feminine dresses the whole episode. Come The Big Fight, she’s in ‘business-like’ stripes and a collar.

    And a side note: Seeing Trudy in this scene somehow made me think of my grandmother. If my Gran had been allowed to work, I have no doubt whatsoever she’d have been CEO of wherever she was working by now. Or at least a director of some kind.

    In other words, women had reserves and talents, if only they could use them properly.

  • formerlyAnon

    Interesting observation that Pete’s bachelor pad is similar to Peggy’s apartment. I feel like it is and isn’t. It is in that it clearly has not had a lot of money poured into its furnishings (or endless hours of homemaking to compensate for lack of money.) But Peggy’s has a very homey feel, her “decor” is a recognizable assemblage of the influences of her childhood home (JFK on the wall), her younger, working girl days, and more recent acquisitions. It’s not the home of someone who devotes her life to homemaking, but it IS a home. Pete’s apartment, not so much.

    • decormaven

      True! Pete’s apartment is one step from a low-rent motel room, the kind that rent by the week.

      • Joan Arkham

        Peggy’s apartment has (as I recall) a separate bedroom. This is an efficiency, with the bed pretty much front-and-center. Along with the bar.

        • Eric Stott

          Aside from the bar, Pete isn’t going to put a cent or a moment of effort into that apartment. I don’t think he has any interest in objects, except possibly their cost. If he had an upper class income I could see him collecting books or pictures just because they are status objects.

          • P M

            People like that (and to my surprise, they actually exist) are sad, hollow shells – no interest in anything or anybody for the sake of the object or the person or the activity. What a shallow, empty life.

        • Beth513

          I think the entry way and the window call back between the two, although they are clearly different in that Peggy’s is larger (it’s actually a 2 bedroom) and much more lived in and homey. Pete’s is a sleazy “bachelor” pad. In style and feel it reminds me much more of Don’s season 4 apartment, although that was much darker, but no more seedy feeling than Pete’s.

      • sweetlilvoice

        Or the hour!

  • katavina

    Great analysis, as usual. Blue as maternal, at least where it concerns the Draper apt building, is interesting. I’d maybe even extend it to traditional domesticity as a whole. The laundry room is blue, and Sylvia practically disappears against the walls. The maid is wearing a blue dress, too, but Megan stands out violently. Later, it’s Sylvia who looks drastically out of place in blue in the Draper apartment, as does Megan when she’s wearing the bathrobe. The idea of Megan as a traditional wife and mother does not sit well in that household.

  • decormaven

    Great style recap, as always! A question- have we ever seen Peggy’s desk from her seated view? I want a closer look at the female-shaped cartoon-looking tchotchke on her desk. It’s always fun to sort of psychoanalyze people from the personal items displayed on their desks.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your writings on this show only add to the deliciousness of watching it. You guys do a lot of work on this.

    – I almost want to see how Pete & his looks age, but only because he disgusts me so thoroughly.

    – I think I’m wearing a tiny version of Joan’s outfit in my nursery school photo from 1975. Pigtails, though, no up-do.

    – Would have absolutely KILLED for Peggy’s secretary’s outfit when I was in high school in the 80’s, to be worn with combat boots and purple hair.

    – Megan seemed to be looking less stylish this episode, whenever she was in day clothes, no? The green sweater & plaid pants are just house clothes, I know, but to me they called back to Betty’s housewife wear a bit.

    • Chickadeep

      Funny…my elementary school photos often have me in outfits like the one Phyllis is sporting (minus the necklace) — especially the colored tights. Usually my childhood wardrobe matches Sally’s, so that means Phyllis is a pretty hip/young dresser for the time, maybe shopping in the Junior’s department instead of the Women’s department like Peggy?

      • formerlyAnon

        Or just in trendier stores – this is Manhattan and if any city would have them, they’d be there.

    • Qitkat

      Phyllis’s vest and skirt outfit really struck me as perfect for the times. My roommate and I both had versions of that, and it was also simple enough to sew for yourself, as many of us, or our moms did, still at that time.

  • these analyses are quite astute.

  • reb

    Sylvia hasn’t updated her wardrobe and hair since the early 60’s. It’s like Don’s banging her so he can relive the time when he was on top of the world.

    I though Megan’s plaid pants and smoking in the kitchen were a flashback to Betty. And that house coat she wore looks a lot like the one Betty had in the first three seasons. She was so childlike in that scene.

    • tereliz

      “Sylvia hasn’t updated her wardrobe and hair since the early 60’s. It’s like Don’s banging her so he can relive the time when he was on top of the world.”


      • Yes. That’s perfectly put.

      • awesomesabrina

        this is…wow. I think you’re exactly right.

    • P M

      Perhaps this *is* Don’s last moment of feeling in control. Foreshadowing through costume, perhaps? The mistress is dressed how women looked when he was riding high, his wife is dressed how his first, more submissive, wife was…. Don feels in control and that’s reflected in the women around him?

    • AutumnInNY

      Well said. And she’s certainly overdressed for doing a load of laundry in the basement.

      • judybrowni

        Yup, who wears a wool (or knit) fitted dress to do laundry?

        I found it discordant and distracting in that scene.

        Also: both Joan and Pete’s bang wore circle pins in this episode, but on opposite sides of their dresses.

        These circle pins were also called “virgin pins” at the time, for some reason (and idiots like my stepbrother would insert a finger and declare “Now you’re not a virgin!”). There was also supposed to be some sexual meaning to which side you wore the pin — the signifigance of which I no longer remember — but both Joan and Pete’s neighbor were wearing theirs while with a man with whom they’d had a one-night stand.

        Joan viewing that reminder of her stand with loathing, neighbor not yet realizing Pete is loathsome.


        • “Yup, who wears a wool (or knit) fitted dress to do laundry?”

          Someone who wears marabou feather heels BEFORE she gets dressed for the day.

          • judybrowni

            Not disagreeing with you, but Sylvia was in such sharp contrast to Megan it was noticeable, and indicates she’s perhaps has had “help” longer doing her wash.

            But still, who did that outtside of ’50s housewives on sit coms?

            Sylvia’s early morning drag — silk kimono, marabou slippers and headscarf — seem connected more to the ’20s and ’30s glamour than 1960s, and connected to sloppy brothel style of the 1930s that Dick Whitman witnessed..

          • I can’t say I agree. Yes, Janie tells a story through fashion that doesn’t always correlate with the broader trends or habits of the day, but that’s not necessarily a misstep; that’s using costuming to tell a story about a character. This isn’t a documentary about ’60s fashion, after all.

            We know very little about Sylvia but what we know about her clothing is that she likes to get very dressed up in an old-school way, even down to her bathrobe and nightgown. She seems very caught up in the imagery of being married to a wealthy man: diamonds, opera gloves, furs, turbans, marabou slippers. It makes perfect sense to us that she would wear a totally impractical outfit like that in the middle of the day to do laundry.

          • judybrowni

            Can’t say I agree.

            Especially, again, when the fashion misstep is distracting me from the story, rather than complementing it.

          • Hey, we all lived through that period. It’s very risky to generalize about how regular people wore their clothes 50+ years ago. I’m sure your observations are accurate based on your particular experiences, but I had several wealthy Italian-American aunts who would dress exactly like Sylvia around the house — full jewelry, hosiery, expensive dresses — especially if they had lunch plans or visitors coming over later that day. I don’t think your example throws the goddess Janie off her throne — at all.

          • Someone suggested that the reason she was dressed that way in the laundry room was because she was just there to wash away the evidence of her dalliances in the maid’s room. It’s not like she’d want her maid to know that she the employer had been sleeping and more, in her bed.

        • Eric Stott

          A lot of women wore circle pins in the mid 70’s because they came as premiums in a popular brand of detergent – I think theirs had a pearl attached. After that everyone switched over to that black-on-silver Thai jewelry.

      • reb

        The early 60’s were a much more formal time so it makes sense that Sylvia would still dress up for every occasion. Sylvia is the same age as Don I assume and she’s a doctor’s wife and she lives on Park Ave. So it makes sense that someone of her age and stature would be dressing like this.

        It’s funny that not only does she look like Don’s former mistresses but she’s a bored housewife like Betty. It’s like Don’s trying to relive all of his past at once.

      • BerkeleyMom

        I just assumed Sylvia was in the laundry room on her way back from somewhere else. Who hasn’t popped in a load of wash and then gone out for an hour of shopping or whatever?

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      Yes me too. She’s slowly morphing into another of Don’s wives worn down and overtaken by the toll of him. She’s starting to seem very defeated.

    • Scorpia_Mossmoon

      Yes, even her lingerie seemed different, to my uneducated eye. Megan and Pete’s lover wear a bra and panties, while Sylvia wears a strapless longline bra (girdle?) even though her dress has straps.

  • I mentioned this a lot in comments last season. I think Jane Bryant has been playing the blue/ green game for at least two seasons now. Blue seems to mean something like ‘respectable’ ‘conformist’ ‘establishment’ etc. (note Betty’s always worn a lot of blue) and green seems to mean something like ‘free spirit’ (Megan -together many of Don’s other mistresses – has always worn a lot of green cf. her bright green baby doll in the last eppy).

    Now the colours are being juxtaposed and clashed more suggesting the culture clash of the times which is now fully out in the open.

    • She has definitely always used blue very strongly in the female characters. It was one of Betty’s signature colors in the way that purple was for Joan and yellow was for Peggy. It still is one of Betty’s signature colors, in a lot of ways. Or it was right up until a bunch of squatters called her old and sent her scrambling to a beauty salon.

      • Chickadeep

        Note the outfit Joan wore at the end of last season when she joined the other partners for the first time (when Don realized what she’d done): deep teal blue with a green scarf. Single Mother (Madonna)/Whore in one outfit. She clearly felt powerful in it, or at least confident and at peace with her decision. She wore a blue suit to her first meeting as a partner too, didn’t she? And if I recall, she also showed up for her assignation with Herb in black…perhaps the “Women in Black” and “Blue/Green” wardrobe color stories for this season, being foreshadowed?

        And now that I think about it, the colors Joan was wearing are pretty much the colors of the room dividers in Pete’s sad, weaselly little bachelor pad.

      • Citysqwirl

        These particular blue and green colors really struck me as the colors on the first images of Earth from outer space that were taken in 1967. That was my first thought when I saw the sliding panels in Pete’s apartment: those are ocean blue and Earth green! I have only vague thoughts about what the themes of water and earth could represent in all those lovely instances of use in the show, though.

    • butterflysunita

      I like the idea of green representing freedom, the new, or breaking with convention. Especially since Trudy is wearing green stripes in her scene when she tells Pete off–and that dress is such a striking departure from her other clothes.

      • I’m pretty sure it means something like that. I think Megan was wearing a green dress when she got engaged to Don and Sally’s schoolteacher was wearing green when she was dancing on the lawn (I’ve been noticing green for a long time). Trudy is wearing it now she’s asserting her independence. Joan and Peggy rarely wear it even though it would be a great colour for both of them, as they are both quite conventio

  • MrsAtaxxia

    As to the blue. When Sylvia and Megan are sitting and Megan is telling her about the miscarriage Sylvia actually looks like a Madonna or a rendering of The Virgin Mary in that all blue outfit, and she is sitting there taking the confession of a woman who lost a child and is now questioning if she ever wants children. And she is sleeping with that woman’s husband. Talk about a Madonna Whore complex. Sheesh.

    • I thought that, too, especially with that very specific shade of blue.

    • Yeah, we think we may have landed on the blue-as-motherhood motif simply because they established the madonna imagery in the first episode, when we found out Sylvia was sleeping with Don and they showed an actual madonna figure.

      • MrsAtaxxia

        Yup. They are really laying it on thick with the Catholic overtones this season.

        • But they finally answered the Catholic Norwegians question! (As a Norske, that’s really been bugging me.)

          • I went to a Lutheran college that was so Norwegian that we had lefse at the annual Christmas dinner. A Norwegian Catholic from Brooklyn messed with my head. It still seems like retcon, though. They named her Peggy Olson, making at least partially Norwegian, but also wanted to deal with the pre-Vatican II Catholic guilt after her pregnancy.

          • St. Olaf?

          • BTW, I’m so Norwegian, I make lefse every year because I live far from home and can’t live without it.

          • Concordia Moorhead

          • Fargo native. 🙂

      • Took me a second viewing to figure out that Don and Sylvia have sex in the maid’s room, not in Arnie and Sylvia’s bed.

        • Glammie

          Yeah, she’s servicing him and vice-versa. I think what’s interesting about Don v. Pete is that Don thinks everyone (including him) has a price. Don knows he’s a man whore. Pete, on the other hand, is always the John and thinks he’s better than he is. I suppose Don is always looking for a “real” connection, but always ends up debasing it because he really never leaves the whorehouse emotionally.

      • But Megan’s blue housecoat has a look that is very childlike, and puts Don in a completely paternal role. His demeanor around her this season has been much more as a father than as a husband. We used to see Sally in a lot of blue, too.

  • teensmom99

    Thank you for all especially the compare & contrast on the robes. Meanwhile I don’t think Trudy has been totally behind the times: it’s like she shops in the Connecticut suburbs for the latest while Megan is shopping in NYC for fashion forward clothes, when Trudy’s hair was down, it was very trendy.

    • Chickadeep

      I think the difference is that early, pre-‘burbs Trudy was always the complete cutting edge of upscale fashion, with her matching coat-dresses and sheaths and matching hat-bag-gloves-shoes, and she was almost always very “dressed.” In the burbs we started seeing her in casual duds & slightly old-fashioned dresses for formal events; even Pete was complaining about coming home to find her “dressed for bed” (in hostess gowns or caftans). Part of it may be the limited selection of stuff available in suburban boutiques, but she’s in Cos Cob/Greenwich…there were always chic little fashion boutiques there, even if the selection skewed slightly more Preppy than Manhattan.

      I see it more as a reflection of her stay-at-home-Mom-ness, in an era where dressing in pearls and a twinset for a casual coffee visit is no longer required. This is about the time my own Mother (a couple of years younger than Peggy) transitioned from updo-and-lipstick to au naturel, hair down, pants and a sweater with a duffel coat and scarf (and two years later, she was in jeans or white bell-bottoms, yak fur boots, casual sweaters and tees, and Hippie Hair). It didn’t take long!

      • teensmom99

        I actually think that except for the nighties, Trudy is still stylish-but suburban, preppy stylish. I think she’s up-to-datish on the styles–but just not making the best choices. I’ve always felt that she’s sort of a wannabe –just like Pete tries to live like Don, she tries (and fails) to put herself together like his wives. But she’s defini
        tely, as we saw this week, nobody’s fool. She’s not going to end up like Glenn’s mom.

        • Chickadeep

          Preppy stylish is definitely a different beast…prepsters rely on classic, conservative pieces and tend not to wear the latest thing, or at least sport a more conservative version of the latest thing. Her slightly old-school A-line, fitted-waist dresses in slightly old-school prints read as proper but not mod — they remind me of my own mother’s “dress-up” choices in the mid/late ’60s; she’s a little younger than Trudy but went to the same kind of schools as Pete did and has always skewed a little 1950s in her sensibilities when it comes to “nice” casual wear or dress-up, despite going full-on Hippie in the late ’60s.

          I totally see Trudy working the eventual CT nouveau prep thing in the early ’70s…that striped dress she wore for her showdown with Pete was perfect and just what I remember from that era, for those people. She’s a year or two away from The Ice Storm but definitely on her way. And I agree, nobody’s fool!

          • teensmom99

            chickadeep–YES! You so eloquently said what I was trying to get at. It’s wrong to call Trudy dowdy–it’s what you said! Stylish but not mod.

  • RMJ

    One thing I noted while watching the episode: the pattern on Don and Megan’s bedspread was, to me, an autumnal version of the Campbell’s sofa. I didn’t notice until now that it was also a LOT like the the dress Trudy wears. There was a quick cut between the Draper marital bed and the Campbell home late in the episode, tying them strongly together.

    Come to think of it, we’ve never seen the Campbell’s bedroom. Maybe another set would just be too expensive but it also underscores the empty sham-ness of their marriage.

    • 3hares

      Do you mean we’ve just never seen it in detail? We’ve seen in in darkness here and in Signal 30, both times with one person awake and one person asleep or pretending to be.

  • buscateunomasalto

    I noticed that Joan has finally taken off her wedding ring. She wore it all last season even after she had kicked Greg out, but now she’s finally out in the open with a bare ring finger.

    • P M

      So she has – good catch!

    • Joan Arkham

      Ooh, good catch. I wonder if it would have been typical for a divorced woman to continue being “Mrs. So-and-so” until she got married again.

      • If she’s got a kid, she’s gonna want to hang onto that “Mrs.” Joan might not, but divorced single mothers had very good reasons at the time to keep their married names and designations.

      • formerlyAnon

        Yes. The designator “Ms.” was not in use and the loss of one’s proper place – status and respectability (ESPECIALLY if you had a child) in going back to “Miss” once one had been married would have seemed like insanity to most women. Instead of being Mrs. John Smith, you would become Mrs. Jane Smith – and you BET that people noticed the change.

        • siriuslover

          Right. I think Ms. Magazine doesn’t come out until what, 1973 or something like that? So ’68 is still way early.

      • Actually, some divorced women started using their maiden name as their first name, and kept their married name as their last name. So if she was Joan Holloway before she was married, and then Mrs. Greg Harris, after the divorce she’d go by Holloway Harris.

        BTW, it’s never appropriate to say “Mrs. Joan Harris.” She’s Mrs. Greg Harris, or Joan Harris, but not Mrs. Joan Harris.

        • Donna Tabor

          Actually, if she were widowed she would have had the option to go by Mrs. Joan Harris.

          • teensmom99

            No–a widow would have been Mrs. Greg Harris. Mrs. Joan Harris would mean a divorcee.

        • In the early 90s, I was signing up a very old lady for a library card and it took three tries and a careful explanation that I needed *her* full name for legal reasons before I could get her first name out of her. I was completely horrified underneath my professional facade. She literally did not see herself as someone with a separate identity from her husband’s.

          • formerlyAnon

            I knew several women who are, or would be, in their late 80s if still alive, who were stricken when they started getting official & personal (bank, pension, Christmas cards etc.) mail addressed to Mrs. Jane Smith after they were widowed. They felt it as one more symbol of their bereavement, the deprivation of their life partner. Now, since I know all of these women had library cards, supermarket discount cards, etc. in their own first names, and some had investments or bank accounts using their own name, it was more a symbolic blow than anything. Nonetheless, it did distress them a great deal, perhaps because it made them feel alone in the world.

          • P M

            We’re very used to seeing things from our own era’s perspectives. Cultural beliefs get very woven with personal beliefs, and the lady likely never thought that taking her husband’s name had anything to do with her own identity.
            I see it in my parents and other ancestors; I see the difference between myself and my cousins in India.
            I’m not saying it’s good or bad, I’m just saying that’s how many people tend to live their lives.

        • TropiCarla

          I had a conversation with my female friend and colleague about this just this weekend. The “Mrs. Husband’s name only” thing really needs to go away. Yes it is tradition, but many traditions are rooted in GROSS prejudice. Marriage should not mean losing one’s right to a first name.

          • Melanie

            I think this is an entirely personal decision, and left to the woman to choose for herself. Feminism means choices, not only the choice YOU would make.

          • TropiCarla

            I agree with you, Melanie. Feminism does mean an availability of and the freedom to make choices. My objection is to the assertion that it can only be one way, particularly when the only way is male-oriented. The whole “it’s never appropriate” thing is what set me off a little.

          • formerlyAnon

            I was taught that using Mrs. Husband’s Name was a protection – you controlled who used your first name by choosing to provide it to them or not. Of course, now that we bandy about first names freely, it’s one of those points of etiquette that are completely obscure and meaningless, except to those few who continue to follow the formal conventions. I think the conventions have their place, which is the basis of my belief that “Ms.” is much needed and should be more consistently in use.

        • formerlyAnon

          I remember divorced women using the version “Mrs. Joan Harris” though. Not so much by the mid ’70s but earlier. It may not have been correct, but they were going to hang onto that Mrs., even if they were no longer married to Greg and therefore didn’t want to be known as “the first Mrs. Greg Harris.” [Some environments may have stuck more closely to the correct ways than others. I can imagine the Southern country club set we lived among but didn’t really belong to in the early ’70s doing so.]

        • If Joan married a woman named Joan it would be correct.

        • teensmom99

          Actually “Mrs. Joan Harris” would have been appropriate for a divorced woman. If she were Mrs. Greg Harris it would have meant they were married or she was a widow. I knew woman who didn’t want to be called Mrs. Theirfirstname Husband’s last name because that implied the dreaded divorce.

  • Great recap!

    The Women of Mad Men all in their bathrobes and crying, well not the ones who have male-dependency problems. This episode really pulled the veneer off most of these relationships and perfect lives, yes?

    That couch fabric in the Campbell home looks like Brunschwig & Fils.

  • sarahjane1912

    Almost forgot! Holly Hobbie! I used to spend ages trying to draw those little girls with their hats. Perfect for potential ‘drawers’ because you didn’t have to draw a face; just a suggestion of eyelashes/nose, if you felt like it. It was all about the big hats!

    Megan’s bathrobe! I know I probably do this way too much, but yup, had a robe just like it. She really looked like a teenager in that and yes again, the contrast with Betty’s quilted job was telling.

    • I totally had a Holly Hobbie lunchbox in first grade (1976).

      • Danielle

        I still use my Holly Hobbie cookbook I got at a book fair in elementary school. It had a great recipe for meatloaf.

        • siriuslover

          Are we sharing Holly Hobbie stories? I had a HH canopy bed set. It was kind of creepy at night looking at that bonnet and trying to imagine her face. And I had a robe like Megans, but it looked more “clothlike” if that makes sense. It was red and white like a candy striper. I was 6.

      • MsKitty

        Me too. And there’s also a Christmas morning picture of me in one of those prairie nightgowns with the matching sleeping cap. Not one of my finest fashion moments (LOL).

        • Ugh, you guys, two words: Gunne Sax! My mom forced me to wear one to my cousin’s bar mitzvah in 1983 and I was furious. I was never into Holly Hobbie – I wanted to be Debbie Harry. So to be forced into that ribbon-strewn flowered brown monstrosity, with WHITE TIGHTS! and then forced to sit through a 4-hour Conservative service at shul. Oh, the indignity! The first-world indignity!

    • Beth513

      My mother decorated my little girl bedroom in Holly Hobbie – with Holly Hobbie wallpaper and linens. I was born in 1978, so ten years after Megan’s bathrobe. We also had a whole set of Holly Hobbie glasses which where probably from the early 70s, and they slowly broke one by one over the years. A few years ago I found the whole set in a thrift shop and bought them for the sentimental factor.

  • T. Sticks

    Is it just me who gets excited when they notice little things like the violet candies Don gave Peggy when she pulls open her office drawer? It just makes me happy when I spot her her red thermos in the background of her office! Thank you TLo for these amazing recaps. I love your attention to detail! They make me appreciate this show in an all new way. I was born in 1964 and the show has now entered the era where I recognize sunflower prints on the wall that were all over my childhood bedroom! Looking forward to Sunday night and your next recaps!

    • sarahjane1912

      Not just you. If it wasn’t for TLo, I’d have to watch these eps three times in a row to spot all the minutiae rather than watching them once and dipping back into them when I have time in the future. 😉

      • carolynmo

        Yep. I was born in 1962 and am seeing all kinds of house decoration and fashion from my childhood. Sometimes it’s very unsettling.

        • Ditto. Especially when Betty Draper reminded me of my mom. However, Mom never shot at the neighbor’s pigeons.

          • Jean Leavitt

            My Mom smashed my brothers BB gun on the granite steps to our house in the same outfit.

          • formerlyAnon

            Aaaah! There is a story behind that comment . . .

        • Glammie

          Yeah, me too. And the clothing this season. My mother had a green-and-blue plaid wool suit. I had a couple of dresses in Joan’s color combo in the early 70s. Things have started to get weirdly familiar.

          • I had a dress in the same pattern of blue and green plaid that the new copywriter (Peggy’s replacement) at SCDP wore in the last episode. I wore it to an office that was still decorated in red, white and blue early 70’s decore in the early 80’s until they finally decided to update right after I left. Reminds me sooo much of SCDP.

    • vm9799

      i totally pointed out that red thermos to my hubby while we were watching it! love the detail!

    • MissKimP

      I mentally exclaimed, “The violet candies!” when Peggy opened her desk drawer. Thanks to TLo, I carefully observe the contents of any drawer that gets opened on MadMen..

  • Golfkat

    Does anyone else think that the deodorant prank with Peggy might be a callback to season 2, episode 11, where they’re discussing a campaign for Right Guard and Ken says “You know, women smell bad too. Not you, of course” – directed at Peggy, who is running the meeting and is at least acting like she’s their superior. I feel like there are some parallels there, but I can’t really figure out how to word it.

    • Eric Stott

      It was a juvenile prank and they were too timid to take it to the next level. At SCDP they’d have at least used Tampons or Kotex.

      • not_Bridget

        Or Midol. But the show needs permission to use brand names, I think.

      • P M

        Peggy needs to talk to Joan about how to put the little buggers in their place, with just the right look, the right tone of voice and the right choice of words.

  • formerlyAnon

    I wonder, is this the only blog that forces Disqus into a complete nervous breakdown (intermittently) when traffic is heavy?

    Surely some of those sports-focused blogs (I hear of their existence, faint and far-off rumors) also get a big response.

    • MsKitty

      I’m a regular on a few other Disqus blogs and this new setup acts wacky with all of them. I wish they would have stuck with previous commenting system, it was much easier to use.

      • MilaXX

        agreed this new upgrade sucks and melts down a lot more than the previous version

  • Peggy’s staff (with the exception of her secretary) are the dorkiest bunch of guys I have ever seen…all the guys at her old agency were hot for the most part. Has anyone noticed this?

    • PowerfulBusiness

      Yes! I too was thinking ‘why does everybody look like a 15 year old sad sap in the creative department?’

      • LOL they do look 15…I mean it’s advertising, looks count a little. Maybe it’s to show, that they are more professional there.

    • siriuslover

      I know! If I were Peggy, I would’ve taken that Quest “ad” they “wrote” and went up to them and say this: “hey guys, this is really funny stuff! Why can’t you put this kind of effort into the stuff that actually pays your bills?” IE: do your freakin’ jobs, idiots.

      • LOL

      • siriuslover

        On rewatching the episode this afternoon, I realized she DID say that, but to Ted as she was walking out of his office!

  • MsKitty

    In other words, Don has a black secretary and Peggy kind of fucked up that relationship last year by inadvertently accusing her of being a thief, so she’ll just get one for herself and start over. We suspect a lot of Peggy fans are not going to like us for making that point.

    I’m a Peggy fan and that was the first thought that crossed my mind, especially when Phyllis commented how Peggy was always encouraging. Peggy totally sees this as a Mulligan.

    • not_Bridget

      Even if Peggy picked her secretary for the wrong reason, it appears she got a pretty good one. Some have said Phyllis was “too dark” for the time—maybe Peggy wasn’t hip to the subtleties.

      Still, it might work out for both of them…

      • It’s not the character Peggy that’s missing this major subtlety, it’s MW and crew. There’s a whole story steeped in the realities of the times that still has overtones today of the internal color caste system that exists not only in the African American race but in every ethnicity with brown skinned people. I know that Mad Men doesn’t have a lot of airtime to give to this but it would be a realistic story line to include if they are going to try to represent AA characters especially during this time period.

  • Jenny

    I also saw a lot of Betty in Megan during this episode. She even fired the maid! In this show, dialogue is rarely wasted, so why so many lines discussing the maid?

    • SassieCassy

      i think the maid stuff is important too. no clue why but it was mentioned too much. maybe megan will accuse her of stealing or something

      • Laylalola

        Sylvia’s (unseen?) maid is important too — the maid smokes, and that’s being used to provide cover for the affair for now. Right before she fired her, Megan told her maid something about how when she’s gone she never knows what the maid might destroy in her home.

        • Chickadeep

          Oooh! Behind-the-scenes Maid Grapevine is totally gonna take down Don/Sylvia. You know Sylvia’s maid is aware of everything (she does the laundry after all!). I bet she’s going to drop a dime to the Doc on his wife’s shenanigans to avenge her friend’s firing.

          • formerlyAnon

            Depends how easy it is to get work. Even if Sylvia doesn’t realize the maid spilled the beans, any upheaval in a marriage can change the money available for housekeeping, and nobody knows that better than the help.

          • Yeah, and now that you mention it, how inconsiderate and frankly rather gross for them to have sex in the maid’s bed!

          • Chickadeep

            Although…LOL, I just realized that Sylvia met Megan down in the laundry room. Megan was doing the laundry because she let the maid go, but Sylvia? She’s probably doing it to hide the evidence from her maid!

        • I saw that line as Sylvia saying she was going to blame her smoking on the maid rather than that the maid actually had taken up smoking. Very flip and dismissive as if she thought how would her husband know and who cares? It’s just the maid taking the rap for her smoking!

          • MartyBellerMask

            Because Arnold knows Don smokes.Twice we have seen Don tell Arnold he’s going to get cigarettes, but he’s actually going to have sex with Sylvia. And both times he tells him he should quit. He’s no dummy. I’ll say it again: he knows.

      • MissKimP

        I think Sylvia’s maid will start working for the Drapers. She will notice a Draper lighter, or a cuff link, or something, that ends up in the Cohen residence….

      • Lisa_Co

        Doubt it. Last episode she made sure to retrieve the lighter and return it to Megan.

    • Huh, good point about the callback to Betty firing Carla. One thing that comes to mind is that the comparison emphasizes how unequipped Megan is to be “the housewife”: she’s career-minded, she doesn’t want children (yet?), and she hates being the boss of the house and responsible for the maid. Don’s apparently not okay with this, based on his dismissive reply when Arnie tells him “You’re lucky your wife works.” Don doesn’t feel lucky. But of course, Don’s never satisfied with any one woman and is always latching on to women who are very unlike the one he is in a relationship with. If he were married to housewifey, maternal Sylvia, he’d probably be having an affair with a glamorous, ambitious younger woman like Megan.

      Anyway, the scene is not necessarily purposeful in terms of predicting what’s going to happen with Megan. This show plays around a lot with different stereotypes of womanhood and characters who are foils to each other.

    • jdens

      Good point, Jenny. I think there’s more to the maids and how they function in the story than I’ve been able to put my finger on, but at the most basic level the maids are unwitting collaborators. I think the firing of Megan’s maid is significant in that she now no longer has a scapegoat for the destruction of her home, and that may play a part in the eventual revelation of what’s *really* destroying her home.

  • charlotte

    Doesn’t Pete’s new mistress look a lot like Faye Miller? I wonder whether that is intentional or not. She’s certainly a very different character.

  • sarahjane1912

    I totally concur with your observation that …

    ‘Trudy matches this house exactly and protects it fiercely. Each scene is filled with conflicting and competing patterns to enhance these feelings. “This is my home. I am of my home.” ‘

    .. but I have to say, there was one major slip-up at the conclusion of this scene that belies this a bit [or maybe it’s just me].

    As she stalked out of the room — I had to replay it to make sure I heard the line correctly — she tells Pete to ‘Turn it off’ [ie the television]. If she was REALLY protective of her home, she would have told Pete [even earlier] to take his darn feet off the white floral sofa. No way would Trudy have let him get away with that, despite him being the Man of the House, because she totally rules that place.

    • Little_Olive

      Maybe it is meant to show that Trudy was, after all, brought up in a culture where men are primarily right to be in the position of power and a husband is always a husband, annoying -like the feet up are- as he may be. The questioning comes after this knee-jerk reaction towards men.

      • vitaminC

        It could also be meant to allude to an ongoing argument/cold war phase in their marriage. Like maybe they’ve had that fight so many times already that she’s just not going there again? Or maybe it was a deliberate act of aggression to start a fight, so he could play the nagged husband and storm off to his flop in the city?

  • Little_Olive

    There is something else that I always pick up on and that is the difference between open and buttoned jackets in men. In a ambiance that is generally lit on the low side, with many earth and dark colors around, and opposite a dar suit, a white shirt really pops.

    This is especially noticeable in contrast with, say, Ted Chaough’s suits or how little of Ken’s shirt we saw. Maybe I am over-interpreting, but something there catches my eye.

  • Qitkat

    I actually like Trudy’s floral sofa a lot, but it looks like it belongs in a Florida room.

    • Eric Stott

      In a few years that print would be on weather resistant fabric outdoors.

    • I love it too, it just doesn’t belong with the rest of the house.

    • it looked so starkly out of place compared to the rest of the scene. almost jarringly.

    • not_Bridget

      Trudy is beginning to change the decor. She can’t afford a decorator, but I bet Pete’s income & her family allowance will let her gradually freshen up the rather tired Early American look. Eventually, she might even get around to painting the paneling white…

      • 3hares

        I doubt she considers the look rather tired. They haven’t lived there for very long. She must have just finished decorating it.

  • Am I imagining things? Are Trudy and the mistress sporting matching manicures? And how telling that Trudy’s holding up the cloth to her face with her wedding ring dead center (I suppose it’s possible that she’s just left-handed, but it seemed very deliberate) I also noticed how VERY polished Trudy’s makeup was in her standoff with Pete.

    • Guest

      I think they are wearing the same color of nail polish. It looks like Trudy’s ring is just big on her, and it’s sliding a little.

    • artsites

      I don’t know if they think in this much detail about it, but I was thinking they’re in a small town in the suburbs, both similarly affluent, they surely go to the same salon, and in 1968, that color was probably the trendiest thing. That even happens today. New OPI colors and everybody’s got the same ones at some fundraising event… I’m sure they pay attention to nails for the ladies and wouldn’t have accidentally given them both the same color if it weren’t purposeful.

      • Angela Langdale

        This reminds me of the movie, The Women. The blabbermouth manicurist accidentally gives away the cheating husband because she does both the wife and the mistress’ nails! Jungle red…

  • 1) I SO WANT Sylvia’s blue dress with the white beading. LOVE IT. Also loved the one she was wearing at dinner – but I wouldn’t have called it blue; maybe a soft aqua?
    2) Just figured out that Sylvia (Linda Cardinelli) is Sam from ER.
    3) The makeup on Peggy’s black secretary was bizarre. Her nose was orange, her cheeks were red, her lips were white and her eyelids were blue. Very, very weird.
    4) We seem to be seeing a lot of Megan looking crappy this season. When she was in the office every day she always looked great. How many of us can relate to that?
    5) My mom used to wear a wrap around her hair at night, like Sylvia’s. It was to preserve her hairdo. She had her hair done once a week, on Fridays; by Wednesday it usually looked pretty rough. I can remember her letting us pick all the bobby pins out of it on Thursday nights, because she would be having it done the next morning.

    • formerlyAnon

      Re: secretary’s makeup: If there were any mass market brands carrying shades for dark complexions, I wasn’t aware of it. I imagine in a big city like NY, there was something (with a much smaller range of choice) available for women of color, if only a private line some enterprising salons marketed, but most women had to invent their own approach to makeup using products intended for light skinned women.

      • xay

        I think Ebony Fashion Fair was the first mass market makeup line for darker skinned black women (or at least the only one I remember women using when I was a child in the 80s) and that didn’t come along until 1973.

        • BayTampaBay

          There was also a line called Naomi Sims for dark skin women.

      • I agree, and even though advertising is a bit more liberal in it’s dress code, I don’t think she would have dressed as
        hip as that, being the new kid on the block, so to speak. I think her style would have been way more conservative, as the standards would have been set higher for her. She would not dress like Peggy’s equal or contemporary because she wouldn’t have been seen as such. Btw, I have a picture with my mother wearing that horrible shade, I guess they just didn’t know any better, lol.

    • P M

      I thought blue eyeshadow was in in the 60s?

  • Eric Stott

    Pete’s apartment is going to be a dump.

  • rachel schiff

    There’s definitely a feeling in this episode that it’s getting harder to separate sex and it’s out-of-control qualities from life. Pete’s sex life explodes into his home with a bloody face. Herb shows up in the doorway of Joan’s office as an intrusive reminder of the role of her sexuality in her job. And Don comes home to find his mistress talking intimately with his wife, who is crying. Even Ted walking in on Peggy during that phone call seems to make her feel vulnerable and exposed.

    • bellafigura1

      Not to mention Betty’s bizarre rape convo last week …

      • BayTampaBay

        I think the hole show is getting more than little bizarre so I still watch the New Dallas for some mindless entertaining fun.

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      I think that’s interesting especially considering America is on the cusp of the sexual revolution. I wonder if it is an intentional parallel on the show’s part?

    • Ooh, that’s a great point! I was surprised by the theme of “keeping up appearances” in this episode, which seemed to be a throwback to the early seasons. But the difference is it just doesn’t work anymore. Pete, Don, and Sylvia all care very much about keeping the appearance of happy marriages, but are being very reckless with their choice of sex partner, and for Pete it has already blown up. Trudy has apparently attempted for years to pretend Pete isn’t cheating on her but he’s not cooperating anymore. Joan, who used to be so discreet about her sex life in the office, is forced to deal with the fact that her most embarrassing “affair” is public knowledge among the partners.

      • 3hares

        I think Pete’s bitter “it’s all about what it looks like” was important in a lot of ways because of that. I still see him as the one who’s more ambivalent about keeping up appearances. He wants to get out of the consequences for his actions here and pretend it never happened and Trudy won’t let him. But keeping up appearances is her solution. Pete hasn’t been a faithful husband to her, but pretending she doesn’t know Pete has a mistress is not something Trudy’s been doing for years.

    • P M

      A subtle way to remind this generation of the folly of hookup culture, perhaps? Because the concept of totally casual sex with absolutely no consequences doesn’t really exist, IMO.

      • BayTampaBay

        I agree!

      • Kylara7

        “Totally casual sex with absolutely no consequences” only exists in a very well balanced friends-with-benefits situation…and that can be harder to find and sustain than a regular old romantic relationship! 🙂

      • fursa_saida

        Welp, I’ve had it more than once (and not always in a FWB context either), so…sorry to disappoint?

  • MK03

    I was struck by how similar Peggy’s pink-and-purple outfit (in her first scene) is to Joan’s famous pink-and-purple dress from the first season.

    • KateWo

      And, surprised this wasn’t mentioned yet, Peggy is wearing a Joan dress in the scene about being sexually harassed at work.

  • So, if we’re talking blue vs. green, Megan wears blue when interacting with Don, Stan wears it when interacting with Peggy, The Wife wears it twice (both her dinner at the Campbell’s and her nightgown later are blue) when interacting with the Campbells, Joan wears it when interacting with Herb, Ketchup wears it when interacting with SCDP, and Sylvia wears it when interacting with Megan. Could it also be blue signifies those who will be or have been taken advantage of?

    Green is worn by Megan when interacting with Sylvia, by Sylvia when interacting with Don, Trudy when interacting with Pete, Peggy (momentarily) when interacting with Ted and Ken when during the Heinz meeting. All of them seem to be wearing green when doing something they don’t want to be doing.

  • Seeing the pale pink lipstick on Peggy’s secretary, took me immediately back to high school in 1968 and how all of us were wearing “Erase” which was that exact color. It was originally marketed for covering acne, but before long girls were wearing it as lipstick. Gad…looking back at it now it was pretty ugly

    • Donna Tabor

      Blame Twiggy. Who looked fabulous in those ice-pale pinks because of her huge, fabulously black fake-lashed eyes. Most of us, lacking the false lashes, just looked like corpses.

      • Yep, Twiggy was the inspiration and then using “dippity do” a styling gel to straighten the bangs and oh, don’t forget put scotch tape over those gelled bangs before going to bed!

    • Hee! Acne coverup as lipstick. I love it!

    • I don’t know what’s worse, that or the drives-me-insane fashion disaster of women wearing dark eye pencil as lip liner. I wish women would leave that look for the wonderful drag queens that do it best!

  • Cuddlebunny

    HELLO! Blue & green combos = promiscuity.

    • Uh… how?

      • Cuddlebunny

        Blue dress with Pete’s green in the first scene, blue and green in Pete’s apartment, a reach–blue suit of Ketchup to Ken’s green suit (cheating on their one and only Beans?), Pete & Trudy when she rips him a new one, and foreshadowing–Ted and Peggy.

        • After I read this I had to look back through. It seems like the person who stands to get hurt (or who was hurt) is wearing green: Trudy, Ken, Peggy, Megan… Anxious to see how your blue/green theory plays out this season.

        • I don’t know that it necessarily equals “promiscuity” in every case – especially Heinz – but if Peggy and Ted wind up going there, I could see a case being made for it representing a sort of cheating. Even then, it’s pushing it on the Heinz meeting.

  • bellafigura1

    Nicely done as always, and excellent finish, there, fellows!

  • gloria

    New to the community, I wanted to share an observation and get your thoughts on its significance (or not!)
    Jane is so thoughtful about her style /color choices, but, I have also noticed that sometimes she repeats certain characters wardrobe items to make further revelations about a character in a scene.

    Megan’s green cable sweater (that she wears in the Sylvia/miscarriage confession scene) has also been worn in a couple previous season episodes.
    -Dark Shadows, when she demonstrates her (fake) crying acting technique to Sally
    -Christmas Waltz, when she throws a tantrum because Don comes home late and drunk from his Joan/Jaguar test drive escape.

    So, Megan’s green cable sweater… a deliberate character comment? Or, maybe sometimes a green cable sweater is just a green cable sweater?

    • I don’t know if it’s meant to call back to those scenes specifically, but I think of it as one of her “child-wife” looks. She’s an innocent.

  • Logo Girl

    I just popped on Zeffereli’s 1968 Romeo and Juliet and instantly recalled that the Capulet’s colors were warm reds and golds, and the Montague’s colors were cool blues and greens. Do not know what it means symbolically in connection to this conversation, except that Janie Bryant once again nailed period color schemes.

  • gloria

    New to the community and still getting the hang of Disqus! So, apologies for any double posts.

    So, I wanted to share an observation and get your thoughts on its significance (or not!)
    Jane is so thoughtful about her style /color choices, but, I have also noticed that sometimes she repeats certain characters wardrobe items to make further revelations about a character in a scene.

    Megan’s green cable sweater (that she wears in the Sylvia/miscarriage confession scene) has also been worn in a couple previous season episodes.
    -Dark Shadows, when she demonstrates her (fake) crying acting technique to Sally
    -Christmas Waltz, when she throws a tantrum because Don comes home late and drunk from his Joan/Jaguar test drive escape.

    So, Megan’s green cable sweater… a deliberate character comment? Or, maybe sometimes a green cable sweater is just a green cable sweater?

    • lorem_ipsum

      Yes, I noticed as well. And I absolutely think that Megan, who is usually at the forefront of look-at-me and trendy choices, wears a sweater like a kid carries a blankie. She uses it to wrap herself in comfort when she’s feeling lost and like she has no control over her life.

  • shopgirl716

    I don’t think Don’s looking so hot this season. Tired and worn down, as if the alcohol, cigarettes and dissipation are starting to take their toll. At the tender young age of 46, I now know that your all your sins eventually show up on your face.

    Also, why would anyone get with Pete? Ew, just ew.

    • not_Bridget

      I’m sure Pete was anticipating bringing all those sexy city girls to his bachelor pad. When that didn’t work out, he took the dangerous step of shtupping a neighbor lady there…..

    • Logo Girl

      Brenda (?( didn’t even seem like she wanted to be with Pete, but felt like she “had to” for some weird reason. She was so pensive, and it didn’t just seem like nervousness or guilt. It was almost like she took it on as a dare.

      • P M

        Brenda seems like a woman who’d been reading way too many pulp paperbacks about having big adventures, and might have even discussed that possibility, in veiled terms, with other women. But, she had no idea what she was doing, and got in way over her head.

  • Heather

    Pete’s dirty shoes on the couch drove me crazy!

    • Ditto and I’m sure the intent of that small gesture was deliberate to show the analogy of Pete “messing up” his marriage with his disregard for the couch.

      • Heather

        Good point! I just can’t believe Trudy didn’t say something to him – “get your feet off the couch!”

  • pattycap11

    I just don’t see Peggy and Ted as a couple, and I think she’s gonna feel badly about ratting out Stan. I don’t think it was deliberate; she was tipsy when she spilled the beans. *snort* I see Ted’s convincing her as part of the whole sinner/prostitution/infidelity theme of the episode. this episode stressed that don still has a moral compass, at least at the office. somewhere, peggy remembers that.

    • Peggy was drinking in that scene?

      • pattycap11

        yeah, the bottle was very prominent; i don’t mean she was sloshed or anything, though.

    • siriuslover

      That’s a good point. But I keep going back to the title of the episode: “The Collaborators.”

      • The collaborators were more Stan and Peggy in this scenario than Stan and Ted,imo.

        • siriuslover

          I was thinking Ted and Peggy as well as Stan and Peggy.

  • Orange Girl

    I think Peggy is going to have an affair with Ted and it will come out that his motivation was just to get what he thinks Don “had.” And then Peggy will second guess why Ted hired her in the first place. Peggy will be surprised to find out that people think she slept with Don to gain his favor, when she’s one of the only women on the show who hasn’t. That, or Peggy will use the affair to ruin Ted and take his job.

    • formerlyAnon

      All plausible. Even if Ted’s motivation isn’t to ‘be like Don’ the assumption that Peggy had an affair with Don is going to come up if there’s even an abortive attempt at an affair between these two. And yes, despite all her time in the male dominated corporate world, I think Peggy WILL be surprised and shocked and offended by the assumption. Sigh. Another one of Peggy’s hard moments.

    • I think she will too. However I think Ted really thinks she’s talented.

      • Orange Girl

        I think Ted thinks she’s talented too, but I wonder if he was actually surprised to find out how talented? Anyway, I don’t want her to have an affair with her boss, but it would be “Don-like.”

        • Yeah affairs never turn out well but Peggy would have to acquire a 1000 more issues to be like Don. The Ted component that does interest me is that Peggy is so ambitious yet she never seeks out this trait in her love interests. He guys always seem to tolerate her obsession with work rather than encourage it. It would nice for once to see her with someone who has the same traits that she does but preferably not married. And remember, Peggy’s affair with Pete didn’t turn her into Don.

          • Melanie

            Peggy didn’t have “an affair” with Pete. He seduced her once, when she was unbelievably naive, and that was it.

          • 3hares

            I think they had sex twice? He came to her apartment and later they had sex in his office.

          • Melanie

            Well, yes, I guess they did. But the second time was much later, after Peggy had gained some respect in the office. The power dynamic was way different – in fact, isn’t the second time when she told him about the baby and said “I gave it away and never think about you” (or something to that effect)? Still not what I think of when I think of an “affair.”

          • Having sex in his office after he was married constitutes an affair, a brief one but still an affair. The first time they had sex you are correct he was not married yet.

          • They slept together in the couch on his office after that and continued a mild, awkward flirtation for a little while until she put the kibosh on it by telling him about the baby. Maybe not a full-blown “affair,” but definitely something of an illicit relationship.

          • siriuslover

            uh-oh, I think I need to clarify my cheekiness here! I was alluding to Don telling Peggy after she had the baby that she’d be surprised how easy is it is to say that didn’t happen. Since Pete is so slimy, I was just taking some of Don’s advice and saying, “that didn’t happen.” Sorry folks for any confusion!

          • Lisa_Co

            Yes. It came back to me when Don told Sylvia their affair “didn’t happen”, just like he told Peggy about her child. That’s most likely what he feels about anything unsavory.

          • formerlyAnon

            I thought that might be what you were referring to!

          • More like they had “relations” , not a relationship.

          • No, they had a relationship. They communicated on a fairly deep level, admitting things to each other they never admitted to anyone else. They were infatuated with each other for a short time. They slept together and produced a child. I don’t see how that’s not a relationship.

          • I don’t think slimy Pete was ever infatuated with Peggy, to him she was just a lay. Getting knocked up accidentally does not constitute a relationship and the fact that she told him about it was not as a loving confidante, she made him privy to that info to hurt him. You say tomato and I say tomahto, lol.

          • He bared his soul to her and told her things he wouldn’t even tell Trudy – or anyone else, for that matter. More than once. We can disagree on what that means for the characters, but there’s no denying what was depicted on screen; long glances, stolen kisses, a couple sex scenes and a couple really intense scenes of dialogue. Also: a baby. That’s a relationship.

          • His “baring his soul” was a ploy to get her to trust him. He showed his true colors and true feelings towards her when he shot her down and humiliated her when she was dancing for him at P.J. Clarkes. I didn’t see the romanticism that you are referencing in regards to the long glances and stolen kisses. People can have all of that and more and still not have it classified as a relationship. And I still don’t know how having an unwanted pregnancy qualifies or validates something as a relationship. But one thing is for sure, we can agree to disagree which is why this site is so much FUN!!!

          • You seem to be defining “relationship” as something benevolently romantic. It’s not. It’s any ongoing connection between two people with any significance to it.

            And no, when he bared his soul to her, it was not a ploy to get her to trust him. He was on the verge of asking her to run away with him, as unlikely as that prospect was. Listen to Matthew Weiner on the commentary tracks for that season. They were both infatuated with each other for a brief period of time.

          • Trust me, I’m the last person that would define the word relationship as solely benevolently romantic. There is a distinction in that they had a relationship to each other but were not IN a relationship, as I see it. Whatever they had, it wasn’t healthy. There are no right or wrongs here since people are going to define things in relation to their own perceptions. The intentions or interpretations of the author may or may not influence those viewpoints. “On the verge of running away”? That sounds more like Don and Rachel Mencken.

          • Uh… no. There is a right answer here: They had a relationship. No one said anything about “being in a relationship,” if you want to make that distinction.

            “On the verge of running away?” He literally said that to her. Sometimes, there is a right answer. That’s what the text is for.

          • I stand firm on what I believe and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. You say catsup and I say ketchup.

          • You say catsup, I say ketchup.

          • What’s with the ‘tude, guys? While I agree that there are fixed points about the show, ie; plot lines, costuming, technical and historical facts, that can never be debated, you telling me how to interpret my view of the character’s intent and interactions with one another is like dictating how I should view a Picasso. There are many abstracts that will be left to the viewer’s perception.

            I conceded a while back that we can agree to disagree.

            When you start telling your readership that their wrong in their opinions (because that’s what it is and all it is since I didn’t write the show) then that goes against everything an open forum embraces. You have your opinion (because you’re opinionated and fabulous, of course : )…and I have mine. You say catsup and I say ketchup. It’s obvious that you’re as, if not more passionate about the show as your readers.

          • Not everything is a matter of opinion. I can say it’s a matter of opinion that Peggy had an abortion but the text actually directly contradicts it, which means my opinion would be factually incorrect. I’m not telling you how to interpret something that’s interpretable; I’m pointing out that you’re denying what the script is actually saying in favor of something that isn’t supported by it in any way. I’m sorry, but I refuse to “agree to disagree” on that. It’s a factual matter that Pete and Peggy had a relationship.

            I’m going to ask you nicely to drop this now.

          • Re: factual versus interpretation, that’s exactly what I said earlier. I was trying to drop this nicely a few paragraphs ago, when I said “agree to disagree” but you felt compelled to continue. Jesus. I didn’t know you could be that disagreeable that you refuse to agree to disagree. Help yourself.Just so you know, me voicing my opinions and view points on a site designed to express the same, is not a concession of the validity of any of your points, it is exactly what it is, a nice way of saying, “guess what, we are never going to agree on this. Methinks somebody likes argument for the sake of arguing. Nice try for civility but it comes a little late for me. The subject is now dropped.

          • siriuslover

            Her affair with Pete? I think the phrase I’m looking for here is that “it didn’t happen.”

          • Do you mean because she only slept with him once since he was married that you don’t consider that an affair?

          • formerlyAnon

            Peggy won’t ever be as messed up as Don, but the fact that she’s a woman moving up automatically gives her at least 400 of those 1,000 issues. Affairs in the workplace are and were one of the areas that hurt women more than men. She’s valuable enough that she’s not going to be disposable as would a secretary, but if an affair with a married man goes bad in a way that management notices, she’s on the ice floe alone.

          • formerlyAnon

            I think a guy who is himself ambitious (though I think Abe IS, just not in the “establishment” path Peggy takes) is less rather than more likely to support Peggy in her work. Because at the time, the assumption is that your woman is a support to *your* ambitions, not chasing after her own.

          • sad but could be true

      • Peggy’s too smart for that and she knows it would jeopardize everything she’s worked for.

        • Peggy is smart, but she has mixed personal and professional before.

    • I actually dont think they will have an affair, but I do think Peggy is going to stupidly fall for him, and he will rebuff her.I thought last episode marked a glaring diference between Peggys bosses.The first one, Don, is sleazy and messy in his personal life, but has certain work ethics /re:Heinz Ketchup).Chao-ughugh seems to have (or at least try to have) his personal matters in order (going to a religious retreat with his wife), but is shown as rather sleazily having Peggy put her personal life on the line (vaguely threatening her job in the process).
      They wont f–ck.Mark my words.But Peggy will want to.

    • MartyBellerMask

      Oh god. I hope not. But seeing him in his turtleneck for some reason reminded me how slimy he is. Oh man. Peggy, don’t do it!

    • girliecue

      Kevin Rahm’s name is in the opening credits so Ted must be a prominent figure somehow this season. I hope they do have an affair and it drives her into whatshisface – sorry, middle age memory cramp – her friend at SCDP’s arms.

  • Hooray for the Holly Hobbie shout out! I was a wee girl in the 1970s and I had a Holly Hobbie dress and bonnet that was my favorite outfit. I recently had a bunch of old Super 8 home movies my dad shot transferred to digital, and I’m wearing that damn dress in virtually every clip. My mother must have been overjoyed when I finally outgrew it.

  • I thought that Peggy’s purple dress resembled Joan’s two dresses from the last season.

  • Rebecca Shanaman

    You are, of course, right that applying color theory as critical analysis is so personalized, buuuut I am going to go ahead and do it anyway. In addition to blue symbolizing motherhood. I think the blue/green is a reflection of the Madonna and the whore dichotomy. Except, here I think the idea is expanded so that the Madonna color is applied to people who are sure of what they want and not compromising aka pure in their motives and the green is saved for those that will compromise their lives.

    Blue: (i) guy from ketchup wants SDCP, (ii) Stan wants to talk to his friend openly, (iii) Ted C in the scene where he tells Peggy to get the ketchup account. Green: (i) Ken in the meeting with ketchup, which he can’t pursue even though he wants to, (ii) Trudie in the striped green dress after staying in a marriage with a man she dislikes because she doesn’t want to lose her current life. Lastly, Peggy moving from green to blue, as easily as taking off her coat, when allowing herself to go after ketchup. But I think Joan (who has actually had sex for clear monetary gain) is dressed in blue because she did it for her child, so to Don she is a mother just like his.

  • musicandmochi

    When I saw Trudy’s green ‘n’ white striped dress, I immediately flashed back to Helen Bishop.

    • CatherineRhodes

      You are so right. She is the character most identified by stripes, and she was the only divorcee.

    • judybrowni

      Wow, good catch!

  • bella


  • I thought it was interesting that Megan was dressed in a very Betty-esque outfit when we see her firing her maid. And again (with the bathrobe), when she’s weeping on Don’s shoulder.
    Roger is going to buy the farm before the end of this season. When he shouted “It’s my funeral!” at his mom’s funeral, I took that as a not-very-subtle form of foreshadowing.

    • What did the maid get fired for besides not washing Megan’s bras by hand?

      (irl I would give a housekeeper a big bonus for washing my underthings in the sink. If I even was bold enough to ask.)

      Maybe Roger will just be able to grow up now. It’s a death of his super-protracted childhood.

  • can we declare a decision in the abortion v. miscarriage discussion? no one I’ve talked to can decide if Megan ‘made that decision’ or was ‘relieved she didn’t have to decide’.

    • formerlyAnon

      I’d go with miscarriage. That’s how I read the conversation.

      • Heather

        Me too. I thought it was pretty clear also.

        • There’s no question that Megan was telling Sylvia that she’d miscarried.

          The question is whether Megan was telling the truth about how the pregnancy ended.

          • formerlyAnon

            Yes. If she’d had an abortion she might need to talk about the experience, but she might disguise it in the partial truth of a miscarriage. (But I still think we’d have seen more of the whole deal if it were an abortion, hence I’m taking the miscarriage story at face value.)

    • not_Bridget

      You could do that in the episode thread. We’re being shallow here!

      Example: Color symbolism–or just using color schemes of the day? I remember green/blue and red/pink well; often found with Scandinavian furniture. Hated them–just as I hated the bouffant hair; thus I became a hippy, dressed in denim/ethnic/second hand finery–with free range hair!

      • Kylara7

        Marimekko (Finnish design firm) used those colour combinations quite a bit back in the day, and now it’s retro! 🙂

    • She was pretty clear that she was relieved she didn’t have to make that decision. Besides, if she got an abortion without telling Don, why would she turn around and tell him she had a miscarriage when he never even knew she was pregnant in the first place? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to not say anything?

      • Ah, Sylvia’s “I would never be able to consider such a thing” line was what threw me off. You guys are right, probably should have gone in the episode thread, but I was already here and it was on the tip of my tongue!!

        Thanks for yet another insightful recap, TLo!

    • Most definitely she was being sincere about the miscarriage.

  • siriuslover

    Blonde lady and Joan seem to be wearing the same broach.
    Maybe the blues and greens are reflecting back to Hawaii and Don’s suicide advertisement, subtlely playing to the notion of floating into demise.
    And I agree about Ted and Peggy…after we learned his wife insisted they go on that retreat, I thought so. We shall see.

  • KateWo

    One thing that stuck out to me that’s not mentioned here was how colors were used to signal the difference between Megan and Trudy. They showed Trudy in their mostly blue bedroom and orangey autumn dress, completely in the know about Pete’s cheating, and then switched to Megan in her blue bathroom and orangey apartment oblivious to Dons cheating. Nothing too much to dissect, just a nice example of using color theory to illustrate plot.

    • I love the Campbell’s bedroom, I want that shade of blue.

  • CarolinLA

    Is it also possible that Joan and Herb are both dressed in blue because they are tied together?

  • MarTeaNi

    I can’t be the only one who wanted to shout at Pete, “SHOES OFF THE MOSTLY WHITE COUCH.” For shaaaaame, Mr. Campbell.

    • I thought that too, my mother would have killed him for that, lol.

    • Tony Grima

      I didn’t notice until I read this recap/post, but Stan on the couch, while talking to Betty, is in the exact same position as Pete on the couch earlier. Maybe hinting that Stan and Peggy will be hooking up?

      • 3hares

        Or just that the posture is kind of typical of male’s being able to be more sloppy and spread themselves out over furniture.

  • pookiesmom

    GodDAMN does Betty look good in that episode! What a drastic change her costuming is now from what it was then!

  • Evelyn Thompson

    The scene in Don’s office after Joan laid the smackdown on the Jaguar guy she had to f*** to get her partnership…did anyone notice that the blue painting, and the red-and-gold pillows, matched Joan’s outfit perfectly? She’s there, even if she’s not in the room, reminding all the other partners what went down to get that account.

    Also, Sylvia’s dress at the restaurant looked like armor. Did anyone notice that? She’s all suited up in chain mail, ready to do battle with Don, and he just melts her by announcing he’s going to shuck off her dress and do what he wants.

    I also found it interesting that Pete’s bored housewife-on-the-side was wearing a cardigan that matched Trudy’s outfit, but a nightgown that matched the couch (a call back to “The Phantom”, when Trudy was ensconced on that same couch wearing basically the same nightgown

    If it’s ok, T&L, I’d like to post a link to my Downton Abbey costume blog, in which I give that great show the “Tom and Lorenzo” treatment. But only if you give me the go-ahead.

  • trixietru

    SO many comments…forgive any repeats please.
    Color theory aside, Megan’s costumes were all wholesome and sincere. Sylvia’s costuming was duplicitous; as the romantic rival she’s portrayed as the snake. *though really love Madstyle’s comparison between the red dresses, past and present.
    The only thing I get from Trudy’s dresses is how anti-City she chose to become. She has turned her back completely on cosmopolitan life. Joan is just the Matron with Flare to me. Peggy dresses like the reformed “plain clothes” nuns did at that time when they taught school. The young ones at least.
    Peter’s city pad is a disconnect for me. It looks tobacco stained and dingy as if he might harbor some shame after all. Or maybe it’s a deliberate attempt at post college mismatch to make him feel younger.
    **I find Sylvia’s hair style ridiculous, like a cartoon. The over exaggerated wing tips at the sides could either be Sister Bertrilles head piece or devil horns.

    • judybrowni

      Unfortunately, some women did indeed still wear their hair like that in 1968.

      • trixietru

        Thank you Judy, of course you’re right. Need to back peddle: felt the hairstyle was silly for this character since it seems over the top in size and shape for her age, and assumed sophistication. As if Sylvia’s hair is meant to carry the weight of deeming her the anti-Megan.

    • 3hares

      Remember Pete’s apartment was rented not as a place to live, but as a place to crash. So it basically looks like what it is. It was never supposed to look like a place where someone lived all the time–it’s like a hotel room.

      • trixietru

        Was expecting more of a man-tastic decor since Pete is such a snob. We’ll see how it spruces up since Trudy laid down the law! *the full stocked mini bar was pretty funny.

  • gracedarling

    I thought Pete’s mistress showing up dressed in her nightgown and coat was a direct callback to Francine showing up at the Drapers’, and asking Betty how she manages to turn a blind eye. What a sad little echo. I miss Francine.

    I was also really taken by Ketchup (Kip Pardue?) and his weird energy. I though he was going to brush Beans’ hand in that scene. Were straight men (as he read to me) aping out gay men’s flamboyance at the time, as a way of seeming more hip and with-it? Another sad echo. I also miss Sal.

    • MartyBellerMask

      Yes, thank you. Kip Pardue! I couldn’t place him.

  • Laylalola

    These are just so fascinating — I don’t know why you two couldn’t teach some sort of film class or something.

  • Colors

    “Green and blue will never do.” Blue and green clash and you aren’t supposed to wear them together.

    • not_Bridget

      But green & blue was a common combo in fashion and, especially, home decoration bac then. Red & pink were also seen together……..

      • jdens

        Red and pink together make sense since one is a tint of the other. It’s basically a monochromatic look.

    • jdens

      Disagree strongly. Not sure when that rule emerged, though I would guess it came as a later reaction to the era when the pairing was used so much, but it reminds me of the no-white-after-labour-day rule, which is silly. The colours are analogous, sitting next to each other on the colour wheel, and when put together judiciously, result in a really harmonious palette. Green trees against a blue sky…

  • Anniebet

    Since I don’t watch the show, I can’t comment on the themes, etc, but I’m sorry, but those are some seriously ugly clothes on the women. The only outfit that seems right to me is the secretary’s. But what do I know.

  • Jaialaibean

    I just noticed that Stan’s denim-over-blue-shirt outfit in the infamous Heinz convo is an exact color match for Ted’s blue-jacket-over-light-blue-turtleneck ensemble that he wears when he appears in Peggy’s office to start the ketchup wars. So does blue actually mean ketchup? HA! It does draw a clear parallel between the two men, though, but only Ted gets to match up his blue with Peggy, which means they’re the real collaborators.

    • Jaialaibean

      And don’t forget, the Heinz ketchup guy was also in bright blue!

  • Noshmek

    I just attempted to watch the first episode so I could see what all the fuss is about. These people are horrible! What is it I’m missing about this series other than the awesome costume and set design? I mean, really, these people are awful.

    • katchwa

      Well we are five seasons in. I can’t help but think you’d get more ouf of starting with S1 Ep1 and going from there.

      And if you do, then dispel any notion that there is a single hero character, they are all morally ambiguous characters with both strengths and significant flaws.

  • I just noticed that Joan has a diamond print on her red blouse…diamonds indicate wealth,and Joan is wealthier now than she’s ever been. Like diamonds, her line to the Jaguar jerk was priceless.

  • bluefish

    I’ve watched this episode three times. On my tv screen the dominant colors in terms of set decor were red white and blue. Thanks for another great analysis though on the clothing front.

    I thought Sylvia looked pretty great in her early morning kimono by the way. Just to note that women of a certain age — Sylvia in particular — and of a certain class — again, Sylvia — would not have been going after the very latest in 60s fashion. Sylvia’s style still very much of the moment for 1968 — but of the moment for a more mature woman. Including the matter of hairstyle. That’s her style story and she’s definitely sticking to it.

    I thought Trudy’s Get Outta My House outfit — green striped, etc. — had a vaguely military shape to it. Kind of an Eisenhower jacket styling above the waist. Joan’s red and blue number was absolutely over the top crazy in terms of color. Wowie zowie on the eyes!

  • PearJack

    I got a Petit Hameau’s maid vibe from Sylvia’s frippery (maybe the head scarf?) that seemed to make sense as a sort of upscale decadent version of her maid that they mentioned and also (of course) the women in the brothel.

  • Lisa

    I am waiting to see if each episode this season portrays one of the rings of hell in Dante’s Inferno. The idea that the premiere was “Limbo” and that 603 was “Lust” does not seem wrong to me.

    Also, Don seems different to me this season. He is throwing caution to the winds more and seems not to give a **** about anything, work or personal. It reminds me of the statement “Abandon Hope, Ye Who Enter Here” at the entrance to hell.

    But we shall see.

  • jdens

    I think the nearness of blue and green on the colour wheel also have something to say. They’re not opposing colours; they sit right next to each other–they’re friendly. And the closeness of the ‘other’ was pretty important in this episode. Another reason why Sylvia in that red at the end has so much impact. Not only does it reveal her as not just mother, but whore, but it also reveals her to be much more of an opposing, disruptive force, sitting directly across the colour wheel from green.

  • AnotherJulie

    OMG – you made a prediction that sounds soap-opera- I thought that wasn’t allowed! (i.e. Peggy having an affair w/Ted)

  • silaria

    How about the fact that Joan and Pete’s little friend are wearing the same pin? Considering Joan only got the one scene, that choice stands out all the more. Ive been trying to figure out if it’s simply about women sleeping with people they shouldn’t, or if it’s a deeper message about how they have something missing, a whole in their soul. Or maybe it’s a warning, like “sleeping with this woman will mess you up.” Pete’s situation could be foreshadowing what Joan’s going to do to greasy Jaguar guy.

  • silaria

    Also – I’m not sure it’s fair to say Don sees all women the same. He respects and likes Joan and Peggy, neither of whom have slept with him. I think instead, he tends to like a woman up until she sleeps with him, at which point he categorizes her as being like his mother- willing to sell herself for the right price. That’s why he was so upset about Joan’s situation. He respected her highly, and hated to see her forced to degrade herself to the level of most other women.

  • librarygrrl64

    Sylvia’s kimono-style robe (with the lingerie-looking gown underneath) and head scarf also IMMEDIATELY looked “retro for the 1960s” to me, a callback to the 1930s and 40s. And a lot like what some of the women in the whorehouse would have been wearing, thus connecting Sylvia to Don’s 1930s flashback. Well done, Janie Bryant! As always. 🙂

  • Did anyone else recall Betty wearing a green striped dress the first time she told Don not to come home?

  • G. M. Palmer

    Don and Arnie’s stripes are going in opposite/converging directions (depending on if you’re looking up or down).
    Just found this site and LOVE these reviews.