Mad Men: The Better Half

Posted on May 27, 2013

“She’s blonde, classy. You need to make these women different.”

“You’re the same person at times.”

“They’re two halves of the same person and they want the same thing but they’re trying to get it in different ways.”

For all its complexities and sophistication, advertising almost always asks one question of consumers: Are MM_609_MY_0221_0016v1you a butter person or a margarine person? Are you Chivas Regal or are you Budweiser? Does it taste great or is it less filling? Almost everything in advertising is a variation on the question or a variation on the possible answers to that question. The beauty of it is, it seems profound, but it’s actually banal and the responses tell us not so much about the person, but about how that person wants to be perceived at that moment. In other words, we’re all butter people and margarine people, depending upon whether we want to appear sophisticated (i.e., rich, extravagant, delicious) or morally upright (i.e., thrifty, health-conscious, salt-of-the-earth) to ourselves or others. It’s a self-flattering question with no wrong answers; every response flatters the respondent. Do you feel like a Corinne or a Colette today? Do you feel like cleaning up your messes or are you the type to leave them to others? “The Better Half” dealt partially with these internal dualities within people and partially with external ones, in which others are caught in the middle of dueling halves.

Who is Don Draper, to himself and to the people around him? Who is he to Megan? Who is he to Peggy? Who is he to Betty? Because he’s something of a sociopath, he’s the person in the story best equipped to cycle through his personae until he finds the right one; switching from butter to margarine; Chivas to Budweiser, MM_609_MY_0221_0189depending on the situation. He withholds from Megan, punishes Peggy, and then, in a surprise (but not really) twist, gives himself up to Betty; opening himself up to her in ways he never could have managed when he was trying – and failing miserably – to be her husband.

Who is Peggy to herself and to the people around her? She isn’t so good at switching back and forth as Don is. She’s whip-smart, but she has no guile. She is utterly herself with everyone and that sometimes bites her in the ass. “I’d buy the cheaper one,” she says with assurance, when asked her thoughts on margarine. It’s the only thing she does say with assurance this episode because she knows herself well and can respond confidently when asked something about herself. It’s when she has to deal with the men around her and their various competing agendas that she finds things difficult. She’s not only stuck between the dueling egos of Ted and Don, she’s stuck between the dueling attractions of Ted, who she can’t have, and Abe, who no longer wants to be with her. Abe spoke approvingly of a revolution to come, so it was perhaps just a bit too clever of the writers to have her bayonet him in response, but you have to admit, Peggy stabbing Abe in the stomach was up there pretty high on the Mad Men Lawnmower Scale. We’re thinking 4.5 out 5 lawnmowers.

We’ve been predicting all season (based almost entirely on their costumes) that these two weren’t long for each other. Too many opposing agendas. Peggy would never have a problem with a revolutionary boyfriend with radical politics so long as he could excite her and treat her well. But Abe clearly can’t be with someone like Peggy and gave what has to be the absolute most declarative, definitive, brook-no-argument breakup line possible: “Your activities are offensive to my every waking moment. I’m sorry, but you’ll always be the enemy.” Yikes. No one’s coming back from that one. It’s 1968 and the personal is political. For someone like Abe, the idea of a real revolution coming to change American society was absolutely going to happen and there was no doubt in his mind that Peggy, with her status-quo ways and corporate-supporting career, would be on the losing side of history. We don’t doubt that he loves her, but his reality simply won’t allow for a relationship with her, knowing how unlikely it would be for her to change.

Back at work, she’s got Ted freaMM_609_MY_0221_1015king out because she touched his hand (“It jarred me! You can’t smile at me like that!”) and admitting to her that he’s in love with her. On the other side of the office, she’s got Don, constantly getting up in her face and trying to get her to choose between her two mentors.  When she tries to be diplomatic and tells Don that the best approach is somewhere in the middle, between the two men, Don won’t have it. “No, Peggy, there’s a right and a wrong.” As always with Don and Ted, it’s a big dick-measuring contest to see who’s going to be Top Creative Dog at the new SCDPCGCCalphabetsoup. Will Don’s butter approach or Ted’s margarine approach win Peggy’s support? Not that we doubt Ted’s feelings or even that Don needs Peggy’s support. It’s all grounded in real stuff, but it’s wrapped up in both man’s need to have Peggy be the one to validate him. She’s going to need to find a way to work with both men, because when they’re not using her to validate themselves, they’re ignoring her in a round of back-patting over their own comity. She’s going to get lost in this collaboration and she needs to recognize that immediately. Not even Ted’s supposed love for her is going to help her here.

Who is Betty, to herself and to the people around her? There are times when she wants to be seen as a good MM_609_MY_0225_0493mother and a supportive wife, but there are just as many, if not more times when her needs are much, much simpler. Betty likes to be seen as hot, and she likes it even better when it drives her man to distraction. Remember her flirting with men and then role-playing with Don in Rome? Remember Roger putting the moves on her in her own kitchen and her being just thrilled enough to not quite know how to react? Remember Henry putting his hand on her pregnant belly before he even knew her name? She was raised to believe her worth came wrapped up in her looks, and after several years in a desert of unattractiveness, she’s got her mojo back in a big way.

We’re not kidding when we say Betty was never so hot as she was in that brief moment lighting a cigarette post-sex and allowing herself a small smile. This wasn’t about getting revenge on Don or trying to hurt him in anyway (athough, deliciously, she did). She’s feeling hot at the moment and she wants to revel in that. “Look at me. Can you believe I’ve had three children?” For the first time, Betty has self-confidence and it’s kind of an awesome thing to behold. What was almost too awesome to behold, like looking into the sun, was Betty calmly taking a drag from her menthol and then telling Don exactly who he is, with no pretenses and no agenda; just laying it all out because she’s known him well, known him long, and known him intimately. That combination puts her in a very distinct position in Don’s bed. “That poor girl,” she says sadly, of Megan, “She doesn’t know that loving you is the worst way to get to you.” There’s nothing bitchy in that line; no attempt to hurt any of the people she’s talking about. That’s incredibly rare for Betty, which should give you some idea of how much she’s grown up lately.

We said a couple weeks back that we should all have a discussion soon about why Betty’s still in the story and what purpose she can possibly serve anymore. We think with this scene we got our answer. If Betty never does another thing of significance during this story, her presence will have been justified by this scene alone. No one could tell Don who he is in this manner but Betty. There is no lover or protege or wife who can tell him what all his faults are in such a cool, detached, almost wry manner – and have him accept the truth of it without a bit of defensiveness or arguing.Of course it helped in that regard that Don himself has been through the wringer since their divorce and has recently learned some things about himself. This moment was an emotional perfect storm for both of them. She was right at a time when she felt good about her life and herself; and he just found out some very painful things about himself after once again almost blowing up his life. In other words; this happened because for once in their long, messy history together, she was the strong one and he was vulnerable. Granted, her confidence appears to be tied directly to her dress size, so we shouldn’t make the mistake of building her up too much, but working within the system she’s been forced into her whole life, this was about as empowering a moment as Betty could ever have. “Do you feel guilty?” Don asks her, expecting her to say that she does. “No. This happened a long time ago;” a fascinatingly obtuse line, showing that her ability to compartmentalize her actions can rival Don’s. “I’m happy in my life. Let’s just enjoy this.”

Bullet time:

 

  • Who is Pete, to himself and to the people around him? There was a time when he saw himself (and wanted to be seen as) the go-getting accounts man. He failed at being the husband and father. Looks like his last shot at personal redemption is doing right by his mother. To his credit, he seems genuinely concerned about doing the right thing. On the other hand, we can’t help thinking he’s trying to make a play for Joan, which is gross.
  • Also kind of gross is the return of Duck Phillips once again to the story. Not that we mind the story development; just that the man skeeves us. Someday, someone wiser than us is going to write an essay about the wisdom of recovering alcoholics on Mad Men. We don’t know quite how clean Duck is at the moment, but his advice to Pete was pretty dead-on, and you could tell it came from experience; the experience of having screwed up his own life. “I had regrets because I didn’t understand the wellspring of my confidence.” “Gin?” “My family. You better manage that, or you’re not gonna manage anything.” A patriarchal system requires patriarchs, after all.
  • Weiner & Co. are having quite a bit of fun with the soap opera setting.  Either the within-the-soap-opera dialogue is somewhat cheekily on the nose (“I don’t know what your relationship is with my husband, but it’s over“), or the outside-the-soap-opera dialogue about the soap opera is somewhat heavy-handedly on the nose (“I’m either his mother or his girlfriend. I can’t be both. That’s bad writing”).
  • Once again, Peggy shows how little she understands current events: “They were brought here by slave ships!” “Well I was brought here by you!” Not that we didn’t side with her in this argument. It’s the height of liberal white guilt silliness to not want to help the cops find the person who stabbed you just because you feel they got a bad deal from society. On the other hand, Peggy seems to always go to the “I have it hard too” well every time someone brings up civil rights or racial issues.
  • The increasing sense of violence and danger in the city went through the roof this episode. There were wailing sirens in the background of practically every scene except the campground ones. We wonder if Peggy’s going to ditch that house she bought. If she was too scared to be there with only a one-handed Abe to protect her, she’s definitely not going to want to stay there by herself, especially when she can afford something quite a bit safer.
  • We keep trying to tie “Father Abraham” to Abe getting stabbed but we can’t seem to make it work. Even so, Roger’s attempt to be a father to his various “sons” and then failing completely each time definitely tied back to the camp song. Incidentally, Margaret’s kind of a bitch. She acted like he took the kid to a porn theater.
  • Joan and Bob Benson? Hmmmm. Quite tellingly, there wasn’t the slightest whiff of romance between them. When you combine that with Bob’s polite hallway-standing in the whorehouse a couple weeks back, we’re wondering if Joan hasn’t found herself a cute gay to help her with the baby. Honestly, it’s probably the very best thing that could happen to her right now.
  • Having said that, Bob is still not to be trusted. He told Ken back in the season opener that his father died and then told Pete last night that his father was nursed back to health. It’s possible both statements are true and referring to different periods and events, but come on. Red flags are UP.
  •  “Why is sex the definition of being close to someone?” “I don’t know, but it is for me. It is for most people.” We loved that Betty is simple, confident and declarative in this conversation; saying, in effect, “Don’t know/don’t care/not my problem.” We suppose we buy that the actual act of sex isn’t that important to Don. Anyone who pursues it that relentlessly and pathologically is obviously substituting it for something more important; in his case, true affection. Mama’s Boy Supreme.
  • But Betty’s just amused by it all. When he moved in for a second round, she smirked and said, “Are you sure you don’t want to just hold me?”

Much more to say in our Wednesday Mad Style post – and sorry about no T LOunge last night. The holiday weekend kind of got away from us. Next Sunday, we promise.

 

    • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

      I am loving having confident Betty back…she has to be using diet pills???

      Peggy’s makeshift bayonet made me smile, along with the ambulance guy’s shrug about Abe’s condition.

      Favorite scene was definitely the three Drapers back together at camp.

      Also what was the deal with Ted’s about face??

      • siriuslover

        My crush on Ted broke a bit last night. He declares his love for Peggy by blaming her for a bad pitch (you touched me, then you looked at me! GAH! How can I concentrate?!?!), then he basically tells her, yeah, you got dumped, chin up, it’s MONDAY! As I said below, that end was perfect. He’s this alternate Don in a way, and Peggy seeing that “Morning Don, Morning, Ted,” and the doors closed, was perhaps the most conscious-raising moment for her we’ve seen.

        • MK03

          Looks like Don really is rubbing off on him. His behavior was all textbook Don shenanigans.

          • Zaftiguana

            Maybe an argument for Dan’s assessment of him, i.e. Ted also being about his own idea and Peggy just not seeing it yet.

          • Glammie

            No, he was always this way–we’re just seeing it because Peggy’s seeing it. Keep in mind that Ted was a fairly slimy rival to SCDP and that his partner’s been Cutler, who takes the cake for dirty old man.

            I don’t think Ted is Don 2.0. He’s actively resisting the urge to cheat, but he does have his compartmentalizing down.

            • Chris

              Both Ted and Abe think they are being noble but they both slapped Peggy down in their own ways to do it.

            • Glammie

              Yeah. Abe’s always been a self-righteous ass. Peggy has *terrible* taste in men. Abe pretty much used her without even acknowledging it to himself.

            • formerlyAnon

              Yes. Abe is and will be for years, if not forever, so steeped in his own self righteousness that he has blind spots as blind as Don, Pete, any of ‘em. They’re just different blind spots.

            • MartyBellerMask

              And it proved the suspicion that several of us had a few weeks back. That as Abe’s career took off, he would be revealed as just as sexist and patriarchal as any of the Mad Men. Barking at Peggy to type up his story was enough for me. Not that a successful couple can’t help each other out in that kind of way, but you certainly don’t go about it like that.

            • urbantravels

              Abe was plenty sexist from the moment they met. I’m remembering them at a bar and Abe nattering on about oppressed minorities, and Peggy sort of bringing up the fact that she suffers a lot of discrimination at work, and Abe basically saying “Pfft, don’t be ridiculous, I’m talking about REAL oppression.”

              I think Abe’s probably been bottling up a fair amount of rage over the fact that Peggy’s been the primary breadwinner in the relationship – all that business about “Oh no, I didn’t IMAGINE I had the right to say anything about where we were going to live, it’s YOUR money.” And Peggy trying to smooth down his ego by agreeing to go and be “pioneers” in an urban war zone.

            • Faerie Nuff

              Yes! He set off my d-bag alarm from that very moment. Sure, Peggy has certain advantages for being white, but he just completely ignored the fact that women have been oppressed almost since the beginning of written history. Plus he has a smarmy mustache which has only gotten smarmier as time has worn on. I was so happy when she stabbed him, because I was pretty much screaming at her to dump him during the entire episode until that moment. Then I knew it was over. You don’t come back from a gut stabbing. I mean, you could live. You just don’t want to keep dating the person who stabbed you.

            • Danielle

              He did say it wasn’t about the stabbing though.

            • formerlyAnon

              Exactly.

            • Glammie

              Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Abe just has a different version of white male privilege. Very true to the era, too.

            • lilyvonschtupp

              Compared to Duck, Abe was freakin’ Cary Grant

            • Chris

              Well that’s certainly true but Duck is low bar to set, lol.

            • lilyvonschtupp

              I mean seriously, who in the hell wants to have sex with Duck????????:oP

            • Glammie

              I’d actually forgotten about Peggy’s terrible affair with Duck. I was thinking of Pete. But, boy, Pete, Duck, Smitty (gay), annoying fiance type, Ted . . . . I actually just sort of always assumed Peggy and Abe would break up, they were such a bad match–he had such contempt for her work. Plus, Peggy was always giving up what she wanted.

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

              That is a great point. Was it Ted or Cutler who was trying to pass off that actor as some kind of high-ranking military pilot or something? I just remember Roger seeing right past it and toying with him like a cat by asking super specific questions that the dude couldn’t really answer because his military experience and knowledge was limited to looking handsome in uniform. :D

            • Froide

              Of course, Roger pulled a similar stunt when he scoured SC to find a Jewish person, found a guy in the mailroom, and then introduced him to Rachel Menken as a member of the creative team.

            • lilyvonschtupp

              Thank you for pointing this out. I really don’t understand all of the Ted Love.

              Yes, he’s attractive and looks a hell of alot like James Spader. But Ted was a slimy little prick in Pete fashion who for seasons hated SC/SCDP and particularly wanted to destroy Don. Even this season he was in full anti-SCDP fury (“This is WAR!” he said to Peggy on the Heinz account). HIs plastic reaction of Peggy was not such a surprise. To Ted, its still war on Don. That’s why SCDPSKIDOO is never gonna gel.

              And I hope it shits all over Harry’s arrogance about becoming a partner. Can we get rid of him, please?

            • Denise Alden

              Oooh, James Spader!

            • Candigirl1968

              Ted may not be a cheater, but Ted certainly does seem to enjoy creating emotional chaos, pushing and pulling Peggy (you looked at me! I love you! Wait that nothing ever happened, let’s move on, it’s Monday!), either by utter carelessness or by design.

        • P M

          One of the best moments of this series for me. At least visually, it was very interesting.

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            Yes visually it was perfect

        • bxbourgie

          I still totally crush on Ted, but the way he treated Peggy in that last scene did upset me a little. Still what did Peggy think, that he was going to profess his love for her and start an affair? That’s not Ted, which is WHY she loves him (or thinks she does). Because he DOESN’T cheat, because he is NOT Don in that aspect. I took his “this never happened” convo with Peggy as taking cues from what SHE told him. She told him she’d forgotten about the kiss (even though she really didn’t) and he probably went home and decided that was what HE was going to do to, pretend it never happened and get on with life.

          • Topaz

            But let’s be honest, Ted was thinking about no one but himself when he told her how he felt. He was basically saying “I’ve thought about it and I’ve unilaterally decided nothing’s going to happen. I’m not asking for your input into this decision when I tell you I’m in love with you, I’m asking you to make it easier for me by not doing anything that might make me feel something, ever.” Which naturally Peggy didn’t get, because she’s Peggy and she’d never make someone else pick up the slack for her own emotional turmoil. She wanted to think Ted was the same. But Don and Ted both know what she’s like and that’s why they lean on her with all this crap.

            • siriuslover

              Wow, Topaz, really nice analysis. And I agree completely. Not sure about the deathbed scene yet, but I’m sure time will show us more of Ted’s emotional flaws…that is, if Peggy allows it again, and I hope she doesn’t.

            • Alice Teeple

              I’m not 100% sure about the deathbed scene – it could be that Frank and he were that close and Frank wanted to hear some semblance of normalcy while he was waiting to die. I do think Ted is just as lonely and isolated as everyone else on the show, and he masks it with amiability instead of booze. It’s just as destructive.

            • Topaz

              Yeah, exactly. I was in two minds about how to feel about it at the time for the reasons you’ve said, but this episode has made me lean towards the more ungenerous interpretation.

            • Chris

              I thought the same thing about Frank- that Ted wanted to include him, talk like they normally did and make him feel like he was involved with work still. Ted kept saying Frank would “beat it” and I think it was his way of showing it. Plus they had a long history and Frank was his confidant I think it was comfortable for them to interact that way. It was natural not stilted. I agree Ted is driven and we don’t know enough about him to know if he has any “demons” or what they are. We do know his marriage isn’t in great shape.

            • Alice Teeple

              Yeah, also, it was telling that Frank said something along the lines of “people don’t know how boring you are.” That revealed a lot about Ted’s personality. I don’t think Ted has any real demons like Don, or is an intentionally malicious person. I think he’s simply found himself in a classic mid-life crisis. His best friend died, his company has had a massive shakeup, he lost his power footing, and he has feelings for a woman to the point that it’s put a noticeable strain on his marriage. We don’t know what kind of a person Nan is, either. She seems to be somewhat regal and demanding from what little we’ve seen of her. And possibly older.

            • Chris

              His wife is older- Janie Bryant mentioned it in an interview. I don’t know if it is something that will be specifically addressed in the script or was just part of her costuming notes. Frank telling him “But you’re not interesting” was very cute and realistic especially as Ted seemed to agree. I think your summation of Ted is pretty much perfect based on everything we know about him. He’s trying to keep his head above the water and “do the right thing” however ineptly or selfishly he is going about it.

            • Alice Teeple

              Okay! I thought so! I know the actress is about 6 years older than Kevin Rahm, so it makes sense if Ted is still the anti-Don, marrying an older woman. I’m interested in knowing a little more about Ted’s home life. We know he has at least one son, but we don’t know the kid’s name. I get the feeling his wife wears the pants at home; maybe is from old money and obsessed with appearances – and he feels emasculated at home. That would explain why he’s so competitive at work, and why he would be turned on by Peggy seeing him as a strong man.

            • Froide

              Yes. And don’t forget, Ted was in denial about Frank’s dying; he wanted to believe that day wouldn’t come.

            • Alice Teeple

              Good point. It sounds like Frank was his sounding board and confidante for years. There’s a parallel there to Don’s denial to Anna’s death in “The Suitcase.”

            • Glammie

              The death bed scene was actually a bit of a red flag for me at the time–a guy’s on his deathbed and you’re going on about your own problems? Ted’s ambitious like all of them and self-centered.

              I actually think, though, he and Don are developing a working relationship. I like it because it makes for an interesting dynamic at SCDPCGS.

            • Topaz

              I’ve been wary of Ted from the get go, because there’s no such thing as a genuine all round nice guy on Mad Men and I can’t see anyone getting to the top of the advertising world being Mr Smith all day, every day – but all the same I tried not to assume the worst in every scene. There’s always been a subtle passive aggressive streak about him. And while I still don’t think he’s a total jackass, he’s clearly just as emotionally selfish/inept as most of the other men in Peggy’s life.

              I commented last week that Stan was all wrong for Peggy because he’d treat her like a surrogate mother. But I guess Peggy’s problem is that she’s looking for a surrogate father. So everyone loses.

              Also sidebar: I kind of hate myself for getting so wrapped up in Peggy’s love life. I used to care about her career. What happened?

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1048758739 Maureen Basedow

              I think it is all about her career still. That’s why Abe is dumping her, that’s why Ted won’t follow through on his (questionable IMO) love urge – he made a business decision. It’s not practical. Meanwhile, she gets hit on by long-term co-workers she thinks of as friends and colleagues, but who are mainly interested in her ass. All of these are the kinds of things working women deal with today, and in the 50′s and 60′s, all the much more. From the very beginning, it’s been about her career – and it still is.

            • Topaz

              Yeah it wasn’t a criticism of the show, more that I’ve become fixated on her love life and I despise myself. That last bit was a general statement, by the way.

            • Glammie

              Well, her career’s in good shape, but her love life is a real question mark, so it’s natural to be interested in it. She’s got a lot to learn there.

            • Chris

              It’s not wrong of you to want Peggy to have a well balanced life. The goal is always “to have it all.” And it works for both genders- take Duck’s advice to Pete.

            • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

              I think Peggy balances her career and her love life pretty well. She makes mistakes, but she carries herself well. Her career is important to her. This was the beginning of the Women’s Movement (second wave), and Peggy has no role models whatsoever.

            • Glammie

              There were role models–there were already women who were more successful than Peggy in advertising at that time. We also had the whole Cosmo girl thing happening by then. Peggy’s a pioneer, but she’s not the first, nor the only one on the trail.

              I don’t think Peggy’s work/personal life balance is off, but she doesn’t know how to demand respect in a relationship. I think she knows she’s smart, but I don’t think she sees herself as desirable the way Joan, Megan or Jane do.

            • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

              There were public role models but no one else in Peggy’s life to emulate. I was just beginning to work close to that time. I started at the bottom and tried to move up. When I asked about being a supervisor–which wasn’t really management–I was told that I needed more experience (after two years) and more maturity, but there was no specific area that needed improvement. Whereas, a young man around my age was groomed for management the first day he entered the job, and he had no college either. I’d expected to move up because I’d been acknowledged in school for my intelligence, but the office judged on consistency and dependability. What was expected of me was a rude awakening. I was always working below my level.

              I only insert myself into the discussion because of where I was at the time. Peggy is having to figure things out on her own, just like everybody else has to, ESPECIALLY WOMEN DURING THAT TIME. They were generally expected to stay in the secretarial pool. There was certain clout to be a good secretary but there was little advancement.

              Peggy lacks the confidence of Joan or Megan or even Jane because she is not as attractive. (By the way, the show purposely makes Peggy look less attractive than she is. At least right now, she is blonde and delicate looking. Her voice is a pleasing characteristic, but the show uglies her up a bit. Even Joan looks better outside of the show. Her tight clothes on the show are awkward at best.)

            • Glammie

              Ummm, I was A) around at that time (though young) and B) the daughter of a professional mother. So I had a good kid’s-eye view of the situation for working women at that time. Professional women were rare, but they weren’t non-existent.

              And, yes, it took some doing to get out of the secretarial pool–as we’ve seen with Peggy. There were fields, though, (advertising was one) that were more open than others.

              But, Mary Wells Lawrence was reported to be the highest paid ad executive–not woman ad exec–but ad exec period in the business by 1969 and was president of her own agency.

              And, honestly, I know very few college grads who weren’t in something like engineering who stepped into their first job and found it at the same level as their abilities. It was true in 1969. It was true when I graduated and it’s true now. The only time I’ve seen an exception to that is when the economy is booming, otherwise, you hear a lot about “paying your dues”.

            • Alice Teeple

              When would Peggy have the time to learn about Jane Maas or Mary Wells Lawrence or Myra Janco Daniels? She’s too busy busting her own ass trying to come up with copy for headphones and margarine! Was there much written on any of those women at the time, other than maybe an article in AdAge or something? I thought they all wrote books about their experiences, but years later.

            • Glammie

              Oh come on, how would Peggy not hear about Mary Wells Lawrence when Lawrence was one of the most successful people in advertising *at that time* in New York with her own agency?

              Yes, Lawrence was written about at the time–you think someone that successful in advertising has no sense of self-promotion?

              The nature of the ad biz means you know about the competition—because agencies literally compete for accounts. Wells landed American Motors back in 1967.

              Yeah, Peggy didn’t time to hear about the most successful person in advertising who happened to be a woman.

            • Alice Teeple

              I was asking an honest question, not being facetious. I’m only 34. I was legitimately wondering what had been written about Mary Wells Lawrence by 1968, because they have not mentioned her on the show, when they’ve name dropped other superstars like David Ogilvy.

              I saw there was a giant article about her in Advertising Age in 1969, but I wasn’t sure what might have been written about her beforehand in the general media. There’s been a whole slew of women publishing 60s advertising autobiographies in the last couple of years, all of which have been saying that there were way more women copywriters in the field than Mad Men presents. Since Peggy is an amalgamation of most of those specific women, I think the whole point of Peggy’s character is to show how women in general in advertising might have navigated that field – not whether or not she literally knew of those women.

              Anyway, if anyone would have mentioned her, it would have been Stan, in particular. Stan worked at DDB before SCDP, so he would have been perfectly aware of Mary Wells Lawrence, because he would have worked for her!

            • Glammie

              Oops, sorry for jumping down your throat young’un. But, yes, her not being mentioned on Mad Men is an interesting omission. There were other very successful women copywriters as well, but Lawrence was a marquee name, so it’s not like she was even hidden away in the ranks of another agency. Hers was the name on the agency (which she started in 1966.)

              Mad Men does various little omissions and distortions as far as actual agency business and history are concerned–which is fine, it’s not a documentary. And, yes, since Peggy’s sort of a stand-in for how women made it in the biz, her real-life prototypes aren’t mentioned since it would take away from Peggy’s story a bit. To me, the show is very, very literary, which is what makes it so much fun to parse. It’s like a series of short stories.

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

              Mary Wells Lawrence has been mentioned in a roundabout way. She appeared in that New York Times article last season; the one that Pete expected to feature SCDP heavily. Don said when he saw her picture with her partners, “Jesus. They look like Peter, Paul and Mary.”

            • Glammie

              Wow–do you guys have a photographic memories along with screen caps? I will never play Mad Men trivia against you. Damn, that was good.

            • Alice Teeple

              Ha ha! No offense taken!

            • Alice Teeple

              I don’t think Stan sees Peggy as a surrogate mother, though. If anything, he’s treated her like a surrogate sister, but he’s also held a torch for her- I think the brotherly behavior is a mask to hide the fact that he loves her. He’s never gone to her for advice or comfort; if anything, he’s been giving her sensible advice for years.

            • Redlanta

              The ? genuine all round “nice guy” is Bob Benson. Who the hell is Bob Benson. If he messes with Joanie she will decimate him.

            • Lisa_Co

              Funny, I took the scene with Gleason as Ted trying to take Gleason’s mind off being sick. Very ill people often want to be distracted by visitors not dwell on their own suffering.

            • formerlyAnon

              I agree, except that in this situation Ted *does* get to make a unilateral decision – he is the one who’s married, after all. It is HIS responsibility to maintain that commitment. It’s not the job of every woman he meets and to whom he might be attracted to keep the promises he made to his wife. Which doesn’t mean he’s good for or fair to Peggy. I don’t think he’s a terrible guy, in the pantheon all the guys Peggy’s been attracted to, but she’s been viewing him through the rose colored glasses of an infatuation, for sure.

            • Topaz

              I see your point but if he’d already made his mind up why did he bother telling Peggy how he felt? It’s not like she’s actually done anything to encourage him at that point. She didn’t invite that information. He was just dumping his problems on her and making it her responsibility. When I watched the episode, my feeling was that he was asking her to make his difficult emotional situation easier by not doing things that could make him feel emotional. As if she could possibly do that.

              But as Tom and Lorenzo pointed out in their Mad Style, he was really using her to feel important after a pissing contest with Don. If he wasn’t feeling vulnerable because of that, he probably never would have mentioned his feelings for her. He just came up with some silly pretence to “need” to bring it up.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          Mine too, what happened to decent, caring Ted?

          • Lattis

            I loved how Peggy looked when she told Ted that she and Abe had broken up. She looked so vulnerable, haggard, sleep-deprived etc. Loved the way EM played that scene

            • joything

              Yes. I loved the face. So NOT pulled-together-Peggy. No makeup, barely combed her hair. Ready to drop.

            • MissAmynae

              and with completely natural facial expressions. Not hiding anything behind a cool, calm, collected mask.

            • urbantravels

              Don Draper: This never happened. It’s a new day, let’s get back to work.
              Ted Cheweowugh: Ready to get back to work? It’s Monday morning! Brand new day!

            • lilyvonschtupp

              If I almost murdered someone my coif would be ragged too

          • Alice Teeple

            He’s still there, only terrified that people will find out that he’s considering cheating. Did you see the look Moira gave Peggy in both this and last episode? It wouldn’t surprise me if Nan had her as a little spy on Ted.

            • Spicytomato1

              Totally caught that look, it seemed proprietary to me. I couldn’t figure out if Moira disapproves of Peggy on behalf of Nan/is being protective or if maybe she has a crush on Ted herself and sees Peggy as a rival.

            • Alice Teeple

              I wondered that too! She kind of gave Ted goggle eyes when he gave her his seat. Moira will be one to look out for in upcoming episodes, methinks!

            • http://twowrongsandawrite.com/ auntadadoom

              Yes! And is it meaningful that she was wearing green to Ted’s blue in the first scene, where Peggy (in red) shot him down?

            • Alice Teeple

              Ohhh. Interesting. I can’t wait to see that one boil over.

            • Chris

              She probably hears “Peggy this and Peggy that” all the time from Ted. Plus the frantic way he acted, jumping into the seat next to her so eagerly. He must have known by that point Peggy had a serious boyfriend as she had been working there long enough. I would just assume people would bring a significant other to a fancy event like that and leave the seat open.

          • MartyBellerMask

            He cares about his wife.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Then he should probably stop kissing and declaring love for people at work

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

            I knew when Ted sprung the merger on Peggy with Don in the room that he and Don were two sides of the same coin. Ted has never been a decent, caring person. I think a lot of his feelings for Peggy were centered around the fact that she was Don Draper’s protege and he managed to steal her away from the person he saw as his biggest competition. Now she’s his protege, and that’s very flattering to his ego. It has nothing to do with her. She’s nothing more than a trophy to him, the same as with Don. They both want to control and manipulate her because of what she says about them, not the other way around.

            • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

              These men are learning to deal with a woman as a professional; they get confused. Peggy must keep boundaries; she does fairly well.

            • fursa_saida

              I thought it was hilarious that he referred to Peggy as his protegée. What? He hired her as a fully formed professional. Whatever else we can say about Don Draper, he did more, however badly handled, to help Peggy become the woman she is today than Ted Chaogh will ever do.

      • Chris

        Ted was really freaking out because despite of his crappy treatment of Peggy he has a moral code. In his mind nothing significant can ever happen between Peggy and him. I was surprised Peggy didn’t understand he wanted her to reject him in some way in their first talk. As he said, if it was one sided it would make it “easier.” I read easier as easier for him to beat these feelings. He told Peggy he already thought things through to all the possible conclusions and they couldn’t happen. This was Ted’s idea of a rap session on the problem, Ted is all about being the “best”he can be and it made perfect sense to me that although he admitted his “weakness” in falling for Peggy he would never easily indulge it. Ted’s brushing her off is his way of saying again they will not be going down that road. Deny deny deny. The way he spoke to Peggy REALLY pissed me off though. Especially about the hand holding and smiling. I’m tired of Peggy being powerful men’s emotional punching bags.

        • Aurumgirl

          I took that whole mess about “You touched my hand!” as a sign that Ted really does have it bad for Peggy, and he can’t stand that others might find out. In any case, Peggy having an affair with Ted would have been a bad outcome for Peggy, just because it would have meant her placement in the firmament of the merger would have been diminished. And she can’t afford that. I know she yelled at Don about why she has to be the one to make the merger work, but she does have a big opportunity there. She’s the one who has to lead the dynamic away from the cock fighting going on between Ted and Don, and in doing that she can really take control of the situation so that she will always be seen as equally powerful and relevant.

          Otherwise, it really is time for her to move on to somewhere else.

          Also: I love that Bob Bensen always has his favourite accessory handy, that blue and white paper coffee cup!

          • Lilithcat

            I love that Bob Bensen always has his favourite accessory handy, that blue and white paper coffee cup!

            That’s the iconic Anthora cup, designed by the late Leslie Buck.

            • http://gratefuldating.net/ jamy barab

              Thanks for the link! What an interesting person and story.

          • Chris

            Yes! I laughed when Joan and Bob were drinking out of those ubiquitous blue and white paper cups at her apartment!

            Peggy does need to move on to a new man. If Stan could lay off the weed 24/7 he really might turn into the best guy for Peggy.

            • Topaz

              I laughed all the way through that scene. Or more accurately, giggled like a maniac. I find something about Bob Benson simultaneously creepy crawly and embarrassing, and being British I find that combination absolutely hilarious. I just can’t stop laughing every time he’s on screen.

              And those shorts. Those shorts. Standing between Joan and Roger it just looked like someone had taken a bicycle pump to little Bobby.

            • Glammie

              His being gay would make a certain amount of sense–his open, yet secretive, quality. His saying his father’s dead and then using his father to explain why he can recommend a male nurse.

              A gay character who’s in the closet at work, but out in his own life–that would also be a good update of the changing social mores.

              I do love his cups of coffee.

            • Topaz

              Call me really dumb, but I can’t work out why his being gay would make him better acquainted with a male nurse who trained in the army. Am I being incredibly innocent or naive in some way?

            • Glammie

              Nursing isn’t considered a macho profession, so, yes, it would be less surprising at that time that one of its male practitioners would be gay. A WASPy ad exec knowing a Spanish male nurse is unusual–they wouldn’t normally run in the same circles–unless there was the kind of connection Bob mentioned. But we know that Bob isn’t consistent about his family stories. So it’s a question mark.

              Bob Benson being gay makes more sense to me than his being an agency spy. But who knows what Weiner has up his sleeve? Don Draper’s not gay, but he’s also mysterious.

            • Topaz

              Ah okay, I’ve gotcha. I wasn’t sure if there was an obvious reason or if you were just deducing from what’s most likely. I suppose it’s not a macho profession among civilians, but in the army would that make a difference? Literally no idea how that recruitment process works and I guess I’m getting bogged down in details that don’t really matter at this point. Lets move on.

              I’ve never bought the spy interpretation, just because I felt like from a narrative point of view it didn’t really have anywhere to go. He’d turn out to be a spy and then bugger off, and maybe they’d lose some accounts. Okay, but they lose accounts for more compelling reasons than that all the time. And as a twist it wouldn’t work because he’s so weird and conspicuous. It would get half a lawnmower, at best. If there was a spy it would have been someone like Peggy #2 in creative, who no one paid any attention to. They wouldn’t make so much effort to develop a character who is essentially a plot device that would detonate and then have nowhere to go. It would just be a bit soap opera.

            • Glammie

              Well, the recruitment process was that you couldn’t be gay and in the army. Period. Doesn’t mean that there weren’t gay men in the army. And who knows what was in the Spanish army, or Argentine, or whatever.

              But, yeah, I was taking TLo’s comment and thinking it through. An agency spy doesn’t make sense–there’s no real need for it. There’s no secret formula involved. But we don’t know much about Bob and it’s clear that we’re supposed to find him a bit mysterious. So his being gay is a good theory–since there seems to be no sexual chemistry between him and Joan, but he’s her weekend buddy.

              And times have changed enough that picking up a gay character again makes sense. (And maybe we can finally find out what happened to Sal.)

            • Topaz

              Yeah I know you couldn’t be gay in the army – it was more that I didn’t know if you qualified as a nurse and then joined the army, or joined the army and got told you were going to be a nurse, in which case whether it was “macho” or not would be fairly irrelevant. But anyway. A fairly unimportant issue in the grand scheme of this episode.

              Pretty sure the Sal story’s over, but the Stonewall riots are on the horizon. Interesting to think if that would really impact directly on someone like Bob Benson, if he does turn out to be gay, except to make his life pretty weird and difficult at work, assuming everyone has figured it out by then.

            • Cheryl

              I don’t think that times have changed that much, yet. I don’t think that Stan or Ginsberg would have a problem with having a gay man in the firm, but the older guys? Yes, it would be a huge deal to Roger, Don, Harry, probably Pete, too. Is Bob’s personal story going to be enough for a major storyline, since he’s really peripheral to the main characters? I’d really love to explore Dawn’s backstory, or some more info on Ken’s private life (Is he still writing? Still living happily in Queens? Still tapdancing?)

            • Glammie

              I think it would be a deal, but not a huge deal. Don was fine with Sal being gay as long as he “limited his exposure” and expected to put out if that’s what the client wanted. Not pretty, but not freaked-out homophobic either.

              This was around the time period when my father’s ad agency partner came out. My father was shocked and not super comfortable about it, but it also wasn’t the same big secretive deal it would have been ten years earlier (or the non-deal it would be 20 years later.)

              I think Don’s attitude (stay closeted) would still hold, but there are also at this point the beginnings of tolerance. *The Boys in the Band* opened in 1968, so there’s beginning to be some more general acknowledgment of a gay subculture.

              Ken is Mad Men’s observer–we don’t see much of his life because he really does keep it out of the office.

            • Adelaidey

              Ken vocalized not wanted to work with a homo back when Kurt (or was it Smitty?) came out in the breakroom back in ’62. I don’t remember Harry taking a strong stand, but I don’t think he could have TOO much of a problem with it- as enamored as he is by the showbiz type, I’m sure he’s encountered a few.

            • Alice Teeple

              That probably had something to do with Sal coming on to Ken at dinner…

            • Floretta

              Would dearly love to find out what happened to Sal, even if he never makes another official appearance on the show. Maybe Matt will do a “where are they now” over the closing credits like “American Graffiti.”

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

              I don’t know. When I saw Bob Benson at Joan’s house, the first thing I thought was, “He’s such a spy!” He’s just weaseling his way into everyone’s business entirely too much and soaking up all their secrets.

            • Floretta

              And openly listening in – re-watch the scene just after when Pete calls out Don about screwing up the public offering and Joan hauls them into the office. While the minor minions go scurrying off to their respective offices, Bob lingers just a little too long on those stairs, almost like he’s trying to lipread the conversation going on behind the glass.

            • lilyvonschtupp

              “Because Greg RN…..! – Bobby Deniro “Meet the Parents”

            • joything

              “… it just looked like someone had taken a bicycle pump to little Bobby.”

              BWWAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA…

            • Alice Teeple

              Yes! Alan Partridge!

            • Topaz

              Dan! Dan! Dan! Dan! Dan! Dan! Dan! Dan!

              Oh it’s fine I don’t think he heard me.

            • http://gratefuldating.net/ jamy barab

              I agree–Stan is her equal and he sees her as an equal (well, more or less). Abe was no good for Peggy, since he doesn’t really respect women in general and clearly never really accepted Peggy. Ted is her mentor and that’s just icky. I don’t know that Stan can get his act together to have a real relationship with anyone, but he would probably be the best for Peggy in the long run if he could. And he’s so cuddly!

            • Dan Wheeler

              I don’t know about all that Stan seems to vacillate between wanting to jump her bones and being her friend.

          • siriuslover

            I agree. When she said, “Do you want me to find somewhere else to work?” Wow. I do hope she does find somewhere else to work because she has her shi% together–Take Joan and start a new firm.

          • Alice Teeple

            Perfecto! Agreed 100%.

        • Lattis

          Well said. Ted is so affable that on the surface he seems kind of happy-go-lucky-ish. But, he is really serious. I think he’s the only character who is so predisposed to pre-think the consequences of an affair.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

          I think that Ted has some pride in not being a creature of impulse. Unlike Don, he tries to think it through. Unfortunately for Peggy, he turned his moment of weakness into an attack on HER. Still, he made his position clear.

          Take heart, Peggy, unrequited love is undying!

          • Alice Teeple

            Yeah, I agree with you. He might assume that Don and she had a past (“the boss in love with the protegée” line), and if that’s the case, he wouldn’t want to go that route. Ted has a lot to lose if he were to get into an affair with Peggy, and he knows it. I honestly was glad they didn’t go that route, and although I felt a little bad for Peggy, he did the right thing. That she would expect an affair out of him was disappointing to me, but I think she will bounce back just fine.

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

              Are you kidding? If Ted thought Don had an affair with Peggy, that would only sweeten the pot. In fact, that might be his entire motivation. Except that he got to turn her down and one up Don in some weird warped way. She’s a chess piece.

            • Alice Teeple

              Damn, you think he’s that cold? It’s possible! I’m not sure yet. But I think Ted definitely has feelings for her. What the motivation behind them is, I don’t think we’ve seen enough yet.

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

              Peggy came to him clearly falling apart–hair and make-up a mess, her boyfriend had been stabbed, then they broke up–and he had all of ten seconds, and absolutely zero real concern to spare for her. Of course, he’s that cold. He’s Don’s other half.

            • Alice Teeple

              I interpreted that coldness as a denial out of fear that if he gave in to any temptation whatsoever, especially regarding her in that office, that he’d have to admit weakness. That’s his Achilles heel. Wouldn’t he want her to be on his side, if he were simply calculating potential work allies? This was sure to piss her off. The reason why I can’t 100% think Ted’s attitude was simply cold manipulation, was his reaction of horror after kissing Peggy in private, on his own turf, before the merger. And he’d been publicly goopy over her for months beforehand. They didn’t talk about his kiss for some time, and obviously didn’t act on anything further. He blindsided her with his admission, and she blindsided him by reciprocating. He resents being in love with her because it makes him weak, and it was easier to place the blame on her and declare her the source of his weakness by overreacting to her. I think it terrified him that she took his admission of love as serious enough to go after him in earnest. Frankly, I don’t know how I would react if all of a sudden she came barging in my office with a crazy story about a stabbing and a breakup. I think Peggy overestimated Ted’s feelings, and was deliberately trying to manipulate him right back into an illicit make-out session. All she’s known in this work environment at SCDP would be an expectation of an affair.

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

              Ted seemed way too happy for Don to see Peggy leaving his office a complete mess for me to think he was actually afraid of getting caught in affair at the office.

            • Aurumgirl

              I think Peggy did not underestimate Ted’s feelings one bit. She was spot on about them. What she didn’t account for is the fact that Ted will refuse to act on them and will deny them at any cost because he knows he’s got a lot to lose.

              I don’t believe Peggy’s a chess piece except in the whole tug of war for power that we’re seeing in Ted and Don. She doesn’t have to be, and I think she gets that. That last scene where she’s between them and they both walk into their respective offices with the door closed behind them–she “gets” where she is at the moment, and figures out that she has to do something to change that. To me, it’s significant that she’s staring into the board room–she’s not entered it once except when she was “summoned” to, by Don. She’s acting like she’s still someone’s protege when she was told she’d be an equal in the new firm, so she needs to figure out how to take her place in that boardroom as an equal.

            • Alice Teeple

              Yeah! I made a poor word choice with “overestimated” – you’re right. I think she expected too much out of Ted. He’s not going to leave his wife, because that, too, would admit weakness on his part. Also, that’s a great observation you made with her looking at the board room! Totally missed that. Thinking back, has she ever had much success in that specific room? It seems to me that she’s always either overshadowed by someone, or making a losing pitch, or being belittled. Even Harry made a dig at her intelligence in that room. Even when she and Ken won the Topaz account, it wasn’t in there; it was elsewhere. I can’t think of any triumphs in the SCDP boardroom for Peggy. Can anyone else think of any?

            • Chris

              “What she didn’t account for is the fact that Ted will refuse to act on them and will deny them at any cost because he knows he’s got a lot to lose.”

              I think this is it exactly. I also feel like Ted felt he couldn’t even offer any friendly comfort (not because he thought Peggy would attack him) but because he wasn’t strong enough to deal with it. He was however, a jerk about it. Regardless of what did or did not happen between them, someone walking in as disheveled and shaken as Peggy was with the announcement that someone close to them had been stabbed deserved better than a shove out the door and a “Let’s get to work!”

            • Spicytomato1

              “I think Peggy overestimated Ted’s feelings, and was deliberately trying to manipulate him right back into an illicit make-out session.”

              Yes and she was so clearly on the rebound…which is never a good way to start a relationship. She seemed a little bit out of her mind when she propositioned him post-stabbing. While I don’t like the way Ted treated her, he was right to put her off at that moment.

        • siriuslover

          That’s the part that bugged me too. She was (kind of) moving on, but when someone you have a crush on declares their love for you, well, I can imagine her response, which is just what happened. And yeah, I still do crush on Ted, but it broke a little because of his approach to the issues.

          • Chris

            Yes she just assumed they were ignoring it- it happened weeks before and it was never mentioned again. All of a sudden Ted is all “you touched my hand and smiled at me! I’m in love with you!” Why bring it up at all? It was just to make him feel better and talk through it.

        • Alanna Wisteria

          I read the last scene with Ted as his employing a whole arsenal of defense mechanisms. It’s one thing to tell her he loves her when they’re both unavailable, and I agree that he initially wanted her to be the one to shut things down. Instead, she shows up at his door on Monday morning, essentially offering herself to him by telling him she’s single now. Check out all the emotions that flicker over his face right after she says that. Now the proverbial ball’s in his court, and he freaks out. Time to shut that baby down rather than keeping the possibility open. But I suspect that Peggy/Ted is far from over.

          • Chris

            Yes I think it will come up again between Ted and Peggy and not in a good way. Seeing Duck in the episode is like the ghost of bad boyfriends past. I hope it never gets out that she and Duck were hooking up its just another thing that would be horrible for Peggy.

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

            Totally agree. I think he was shocked and scared when she laid herself metaphorically bare at his feet and clearly appeared disheveled and vulnerable – very un-Peggy. He knew he couldn’t count on her to be the one to hold things back, so he had to do it. More to come for them, definitely.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          Agreed Peggy deserves better

        • Dreamwr8tr

          I don’t disagree with that analysis, but honestly? I just LAUGHED when he shut her down because despite the super-clear signalling, “No this isn’t going to happen” in their first talk (Ted was super grade school which is ridiculous), she goes to him like she expects him to start making gooey eyes at her again with her announcement. The tenor really wasn’t, “I’m kind of a mess for this reason and I’m telling you because it might affect my work today, FYI” “My ex got stabbed” –no, you accidentally stabbed your ex. All Peggy can think about is, “How does this affect my LOVE life?” Because it’s Mad Men and her ex is a sanctimonious hippie with an excess of guilt, she won’t be facing an police investigation when really she should be. And because it’s Mad Men, Ted and Peggy will end up snacking on each other’s faces by the season’s end when it would be totally shocking if they DIDN’T go there.

      • urbantravels

        Betty’s weight loss was REALLY fast – only took a couple of months. It does make you suspicious about chemical help.

        Also, she apparently has magical self-shrinking skin that adapts instantly to rapid weight loss.

        • Lattis

          What are these fast acting diet pills? Just curious. Not that I would ever myself use a chemical substitute for real dieting – for wise food choices, exercise, self-control, hunger, deprivation, patience . . . eh hem

          • sarahjane1912

            Speed, sweetie. Plain old speed.

          • Aurumgirl

            It’s easy to verify, but anyone who sought out medical help for weight loss at that time (and hell, let’s admit it, even today) was put on a B12 “shot” of some kind. And we saw last episode exactly what that B12 shot contained. Very little B12, very much amphetamines. I was a chubby kid during the 70′s and I had a doctor who was preoccupied about weight and he really pushed the whole thin=healthy line at my parents, and yes, my weekly B12′s were not really B12 vitamins. When you’re living on 500 calories a day for months on end, plain old B12 just ain’t gonna carry you through.

            By the way, this isn’t the only TV reference I’ve seen that refers to that really popular practice during that time–on Six Feet Under, there’s a super skinny psychiatrist who tells another character about losing weight as a kid, which happened only with the help of speed. Anyone who actually works with patients of any kind and knows how the body works would have found the character unbelievable (because the body type the actress had is the kind that simply never accumulates body fat, and yes, there is a body type like that) but the point is “weight loss under medical supervision” meant the doctor was shooting you up with speed regularly.

          • Spicytomato1

            I think some form of this practice continues today, with ADHD meds.

          • Jean Leavitt

            There were little white pills going around called… Cross roads or White cross’s.. can’t remember the name exactly maybe someone else does?
            Anyway they were diet pills and plentiful but speed never the less.

          • http://gratefuldating.net/ jamy barab

            I was born in ’69 and when my mom went to the doctor and mentioned that she was having trouble losing weight, he gave her a prescription for amphetamines. She didn’t know what they were or how dangerous they were–they worked and made her feel great! My grandmother noticed a change in Mom’s behavior, found out about the pills, and made her quit. Grandma knew more about medical stuff and realized the danger.

        • sarahjane1912

          Did you also notice between last week and this, that Betty’s hair has lost its brassiness? It was a weird gold colour last episode but this week, when she’s back to being ‘herself’, she’s returned to her Nordic roots [no pun intended], and her hair is that light blonde of her youth. Looked fab.

          • Chris

            They did a good job of showing the process of getting her back to Betty Blonde. She even had some ugly roots last week. She looks great and they have made her a bit more voluptuous too. Betty was never as bosomy as she is now.

            • MartyBellerMask

              I noticed the bosoms too! Heh, bosoms. Not a word I ever use. Aimee used it though.

            • urbantravels

              Well, Betty’s had three children…but January Jones had a baby, and she’s been in the fat suit ever since, so we haven’t been seeing her underlying figure.

            • Danielle

              Maybe not Betty’s, but JJ’s stick insect figure hasn’t been hidden. She’s featured on this blog pretty frequently, so we’ve certainly seen it.

          • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

            I’ve been commenting on my confusion for awhile now about Betty and how the powers that be kept her fat–even her face–and mousy and generally unpleasant. I’d see January Jones looking svelte on the red carpet. The show unveiled the new and improved Betty with a BANG! I was disappointed in her reunion with Don that would have turned ugly eventually if she hadn’t controlled the relationship. As much as Betty would like to be First Lady, she seems to have a bit of disdain for her hubby. She just cheated on him.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          Lol, I hope she doesn’t go valley of the dolls

        • Faerie Nuff

          Since she was only overweight for a little while, I can see her skin shrinking back. One of my friends gained and lost over a hundred pounds several years ago. It took her a couple years to gain the weight and a couple years to lose it. Her skin shrank back because she hadn’t been heavy for a very long time. It’s trickier when you have extra weight for many years and then you lose it. Skin is less resilient in that case.

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

            Plus, Betty was never anywhere near 100 lbs overweight. 30/40 lbs may be hard to lose, but won’t leave much scarring or sagging on someone in their 30s. She’s smoking like a fiend, so that probably is a weight loss tool, as it were. And she’s definitely got to be taking diet pills.

          • Spicytomato1

            Plus she’s still young. Mid- to late 30s maybe? Skin is still fairly resilient at that age.

      • Jackie4g

        In the 1960s EVERYONE used diet pills. They gave prescriptions to 13 year old girls, for crying out loud. Yes, Weight Watchers existed, with its healthful eating ideas and some really revolting low calorie recipes, but for most people, the expedient way was diet pills. The thing is, once you stop, all the weight comes back and then some! However, the point was that for someone raised as Betty was, and with her husband about to run for office, looking the part was everything. Being admired is/was a part of Betty’s personality that had gone missing, and now it’s back in full bloom. As long as she is on public display, Betty’s job is to look hot, and she will rise to the occasion.

        • Topaz

          Didn’t she ask for diet pills last season? And didn’t the doctor refuse them for some reason?

          • Melissa Brogan

            Yes, but after Henry made his intentions known about running for office, she may have tried another, more amenable doctor.

          • Chris

            Yes but that was because her mother in law told her to lose weight and get it together. She even said to the doctor her mother in law said she could get them. The difference now is Betty decided to do it and was motivated herself. I’m not saying she didn’t get some chemical help but she has a will of iron when she wants to. Remember when Don chided her while pregnant with Gene and said she wasn’t eating as much as a cracker. Betty got MOTIVATED and busted through her malaise even though I am sure it was in a very unhealthy way. Plus it has been a matter of months now and Betty had already reduced some when Henry told her about his plans.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          Yeah diet pills also used to be really addictive

          • Lisa_Co

            “Diet pills” were really just decongestant cold medicine. You needed a prescription then to get them, then they were over the counter. Now they’re very hard to get because they’re used (cooked down) to make meth.

          • lilyvonschtupp

            Shhhhh! Don’t tell Janet Jackson!

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              LOL

        • Logo Girl

          They gave them to PREGNANT women. My mom included. It was truly insane.

          • Aurumgirl

            The fact that they put pregnant women on weight reduction diets is also truly insane. It’s all about the drug.

            I think this is an aspect of society at the time–one of the many ways that drug use was so deeply ingrained and accepted and expected even in mainstream culture. To think it was only going on in “the counter culture” of the young was misguided. Wiener’s making a point of showing us exactly how “mainstream” culture it was.

            • http://gratefuldating.net/ jamy barab

              Lots of women who want to get pregnant these days are told to lose weight before conceiving OR to not gain much weight while pregnant. While we aren’t giving speed to pregnant ladies, we haven’t progressed as much as we might like when it comes to weight and pregnancy.

        • ldancer

          I know this isn’t really on topic, but you might get a kick out of this blog where this woman tries recipes from 70′s and 80′s Weight Watchers cookbooks. Fluffy Mackerel Pudding, anyone? http://theskinnyjeansproject.blogspot.com/

      • Janice Bartels

        Loved the Drapers at camp scene. Did you catch during the Father Abraham song that Betty put the wrong hand up first. Hilarious.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          Loved the camp scene and love this song

        • harlowish

          I think Betty put the correct hand up first but Bobby didn’t, and when she realized he had made a mistake she switched so it wouldn’t embarrass him. I think he said left hand, but he put up his right hand.

          • purkoy28

            nope, bobby said right hand, the scene was made to look like a normal family, it was endearing and probably done wrong on perpose.

      • Lattis

        Favorite scene was definitely the three Drapers back together at camp.

        Me too. I was really surprised when Don joined in. I loved it. I couldn’t help but compare to my own life and men in my childhood. I don’t think my own dad would have done that – singing along out loud in a public place.

        And I loved how Bobby was basking in the limelight – wanting to order the right thing for his dad etc.

        • Liz

          I think loving that scene was really integral to the picture being painted of divided loyalty. Everyone else this week was split- Peggy over Don and Ted, Peggy over Abe vs. Ted, Betty on Don vs. Henry and so on… everyone split in half, loyalty divided. That scene was one refreshing moment where Bobby’s loyalty isn’t divided between Mom and Dad. He’s got them both, back together again at the same table, singing a stupid camp song. Glorious, juxtaposed with everyone else’s angst.

          • Cheryl

            I love Sally, but she dominates in every scene with “the children.” This is the first time Bobby has been able to shine outside of Sally’s aura.

            Now, about Gene…

          • http://twitter.com/thejessgill Jess Gill

            I agree – especially when he makes the comment to the other Bobby saying, “This is my mom and my dad!” When was the last time Bobby was able to make that statement to anyone?

            • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

              It must have felt really good for Bobby to be with both his mom and his dad–and they were not fighting. I don’t remember EVER seeing them this happy. The scene was a result of Betty feeling good about herself and taking the time to care about Bobby. She wants to be a good mother, but I don’t think she is mother material. She is usually impatient and on the mean side to her children.

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

        Ted needed someone to blame when he felt he blew the margarine pitch — you touched my hand! Then you smiled! You can’t look at me like that! — and so he declares his “love” and gets to feel like the man, hearing that Peggy thinks about that kiss, too. But as soon as he finds out he didn’t blow the pitch and Fleishman is on board (which happened in a phone call just before Peggy came into his office), he’s got his mojo back and the love game is over.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          Ugh if this is true, Ted is a jerk

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

            It’s Mad Men. Of course Ted is a jerk.

        • Alice Teeple

          No, I don’t think it’s that. I think he’s definitely into her, but is too afraid to lose his power stronghold to fall prey to an affair that could wreck his marriage and make things strange at work. He regretted kissing Peggy immediately after he did it, so my guess is that he really had been working that over in his head and felt anguish over it. He’s too scared to deal with it, so he chose the path of complacency to make everyone’s lives easier. He could have discussed it with her, but that would have left them both vulnerable. I ultimately think he did the right thing.

        • desertwind

          Agreed! I’ve never been on the Ted love train.

          He’s always been as manipulative and ambitious as Don. He has feelings for Peggy, but they’re mostly rooted in his competition with Don and he’s pleased as hell that he believes she’s moved from being Don’s protege to his.

          Peggy is going to realize she’s outgrown that position. she’s on her own now.

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

            Peggy standing there completely distraught, hair and make-up undone, clearly upset…and Ted can’t spare more than a few seconds of concern for her. He’s happy she’s got feelings for him, and he’s happy that Don can see that, but if his interest in her extends beyond the superficial aspect of putting one over on Don Draper, I would be shocked.

      • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

        I wondered about the makeshift bayonet. It didn’t seem very useful. Maybe intimidating from the other side of the window?

        • Danielle

          If someone were to break in, she could stab at them without being in as close a range (to their stabbing at her) as with holding a regular knife in her hand.

          • Chris

            Yes, it extended the range of her knife which would have been useless unless someone was right up next to you. And it was more lethal than a plain broom handle.

            • Floretta

              Being from Brooklyn I’m surprised she didn’t have a baseball bat handy.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          No it probably would not be useful with the criminal element

          • Chris

            It sure worked on Abe though!

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              lol

        • onebluepussy

          So did I… it seems like a very unpractical weapon. If you’re afraid someone will climb through the window it would be logical to have some sort of stick to keep them at bay, but stabbing them??

      • Chris

        I don’t think his wife is ill- she called the office about Frank dying. She and Ted are having marriage troubles it seems- based on their retreat New Year’s Eve and their interactions at the awards dinner. It’s not known yet if Peggy is a cause or a symptom of their problems.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          She has to be a symptom right???…because he was at his marriage retreat before all of this and he mentioned he worked too much…

      • H2olovngrl

        I always thought the bad wig Ted’s wife wears had to do with chemo, or something. There seems me that there have been other little clues as well.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          it’s true she was wearing that wig (fashion or necessity?)

    • JulieTy

      *sigh* I’ve been refreshing all day in anticipation of this, and am thrilled and enlightened by your review, as always.
      One bullet to add: “I’m Bobby #5. Bobby #1 isn’t here any more.” Such a fun nod to the longtime fans who’ve been counting the Bobbies. It reminds me of the running in-joke on “All My Children” about Bobby Martin. ;-)

      • MK03

        Have there really been 5? I thought we were on Bobby #4.

        • Janet B

          Bobby was referring to the number of Bobbys at camp.

          • suzinrva

            An wink at the viewers for sure who have kept track of the ever changing Bobby.

        • Logo Girl

          I think it is five, when counting the kid in bed in the pilot. But I may be wrong.

        • VanessaDK

          There are at least 4:

          Maxwell Huxabee
          Aaron Hart
          Jared S. Gilmore
          Mason Vale Cotton

          Maybe there was one playing Bobby as an infant somewhere in a flashback?

          • Glammie

            Well, so far, this is the best of the Bobbys. They’re actually giving him non-Sally scenes.

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

            Bobbie Barrett.

            • teensmom99

              BobBe-nson!

      • nosniveling

        And, when Don asked is Bobby Kennedy #1, Bobby 5 says, oh he went home :)

      • Logo Girl

        WAS Bobby #2 ACTUALLY Bobby #2? He looked familiar. That would be very meta.

      • lilyvonschtupp

        Bobby Martin????? You’re killing me! LMAO!

    • siriuslover

      A great, great episode I felt. I was appalled by Peggy’s retort to Abe about the slave ships, but she and Abe were at two extremes in that conversation. Abe, so caught up in revolutionary fervor, is only too willing to be the punching bag for the ills of the social stratification system, and Peggy can’t see beyond the length of her nose to realize that YES, there really are parallels to world events and that the Civil Rights movement is social defining.
      Ted, Ted, Ted. You are messed up, man. You declare your love while yelling at Peggy for accidentally touching your hand, then you pull a decidedly Don-like move (bottle up your feelings and get on that margarine work, it’s Monday!). My heart broke a little for Peggy in that last scene–and perfect music, too. I looked at my husband and I said, I hope the women of Mad Men start their own agency and leave these idiots to flounder.
      I knew Bob Benson was lying to Pete, I just couldn’t place it. Thanks for the reminder.

      • shopgirl716

        I was thinking Peggy needs to start her own agency with Joan and Dawn. The three of them can handle anything that gets thrown their way. Sooner or later they will have had enough of the male bullshit and sisters will do it for themselves.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

          Joan, Dawn and Phyllis!

          • Glammie

            Have we seen Phyllis post-merger?

            • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

              No, but Peggy mentioned not wanting to share her, so she’s around. Somewhere.

            • lilyvonschtupp

              no

          • purkoy28

            i dont think one finance exec and 2 secreataries would start a very successful agency

            • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

              I was adding Phyllis to Peggy, Joan and Dawn. One creative, one finance/accounts, two secretaries, one of whom is being trained as an office manager. But you have a point. Still, we can dream!

      • sarahjane1912

        It WAS perfect music … and perfectly rendered by — finally for those who’ve been waiting for it — a black singer [Lou Johnson]. I went straight to youtube and listened to it again after the episode. :-)

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501872200 Laurence Joseph Jones

          Although I found it odd/surprising they used Lou Johnson’s 1964 version…. Dionne Warwick had a surprise chart entry with it during the summer of ’68. Although, really, Lou Johnson’s original trumps the acres of cover versions.

          • Glammie

            Lou might have been cheaper than Dionne.

            • Lisa_Co

              I’m sure Dionne Warwick top 40 hit song would cost alot more money than the less known version, even if it’s the original.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501872200 Laurence Joseph Jones

              Good point. Who knows who owns the rights to Big Top/Big Hill records at this point. I’ve noticed that for as popular with broader culture it was, there’s a distinct lack of R&B music in the background proceedings of Mad Men. It’s probably the first R&B song tie in I remember since “The Twist” in Season 1.

            • Glammie

              Unlike a lot of R&B classics, Dionne Warwick had a huge audience among middle-class whites at the time. It would make sense to hear her–though given the tenor of the episode with Peggy and Abe, Easy Listening might not cut it.

            • SoulMo

              I would think out of all pairings, a Dionne Warwick LP wouldn’t be out of place in the Pete/Trudy household

              (Cue “House Is Not A Home.”).

              There’d might be a “Supremes Sing Rodgers And Hart” LP snuggled up right next to it, but probably not a glut of their LPs featuring original material.

              Most of the other cast members seem like the would fall into two extremes, either “Lawrence Welk” easy listening or more Greenwich Village influenced Rock/Experimental/”Cool.”

              Where I’d hope to hear more mainstream in the proceedings, I have to remember there’s no Teens and College Students on the show, nor any working class cast members. There’s been so many portrayals of the 1960′s where pop music is more prominent, but there’s been central cast members that were the consumers of that popular music.

            • Glammie

              Yeah Pete/Trudy could definitely do Dionne. Lot of good songs for their marriage out of her songbook. (And surely some episode somewhere could have ended with “Walk on By.”)

              It is funny to have a show set in 1968 with no college stutudents, who were so central to the era.

            • Floretta

              Sally comes closest (she’s 14 at this point and was an early Beatles fan.)

          • Floretta

            Actually Dionne recorded it in 1963 as a demo; Johnson’s version charted at #49 in 1967 I think but the 1968 Warwick version is the one that most folks remember from the period, along with a slew of other Bacharach/David songs such by Ms Warwick.

            • SoulMo

              Johnson’s version peaked at #49 in 1964, probably hindered by the fact that Sandie Shaw’s version making a showing the same year in the states, peaking at #52 (and was a #1 UK hit). Lou Johnson had moved on to Cotillion (Atlantic) by ’68.

              I get the feeling that the Warwick version we all know and love is a 1966 or ’67 re-record and not the original demo take, it sounds fuller like “Another Night” or “Do You Know The Way To San Jose” compared to her earlier uptempo recordings like “You’ll Never Get To Heaven.” Lou Johnson was kind of a “male Dionne” and got a few songs before she did (like “Reach Out For Me”) that she recycled to greater audience attention.

        • Alice Teeple

          They’ve had black singers before!

      • VanessaDK

        Nicely said about Abe and Peggy–He can’t put all the kids in the neighborhood at risk of being beaten up by the “pigs” who will take any non-white kid in to blame for the real criminal, and she can’t live her life in fear of being targeted as “the Man” on a block where she doesn’t feel she belongs.

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

          The thing is, Peggy has it right. The truth is that when people like she and Abe–no matter what their intentions–move into a neighborhood like this one, they start to change the neighborhood. Property values go up. Taxes and rent go up. The people who used to *be* the neighborhood get priced out and have to move on, while more and more people like Peggy and Abe move in. They’re *both* the enemy in that neighborhood, and no amount of progressive journalism and not going to the cops is going to change that.

          • Alice Teeple

            Amen! It’s still alive and well in Philly!

          • lilyvonschtupp

            There’s an old saying:

            Urban renewal = Negro removal

      • Inspector_Gidget

        It’s kind of funny seeing portrayals of the 60s youth in retrospect, knowing how they were quickly re-assimilated after a few years of drugs and sex and eventually gave birth to the Reagan yuppies. Now it’s all, “Awww, look at the counterculture rebels, they’re so cuuuute!”

        • marshapa

          Not everyone in the Sixties was a hippie! Many were married young and had the responsibility of children; lots of college students belonged to the Young Republicans. It is wrong to assume that former hippies voted for Ronald Reagan, and I hear all the time how we Baby Boomers “betrayed” future generations. Most of the hippies, I’d guess, are currently progressives or liberals; undoubtedly, there are some conservatives, too.

          • Floretta

            Actual hippies were a minor subculture, mostly west coast. Their influence was out of proportion to their numbers but like other ‘movements’ faded out in short order, with some elements lingering on years after. Communes, for example, were not original to hippies – the back to the land or back to nature impulse has recurred in American history off and on for a long time. Most younger people of the period were pretty much middle of the road – some radicals, some Young Republicans, most focused on their education or survival (e.g. Vietnam.) Values shifted in areas such as unthinking deference to elders, automatically assuming social roles assigned by others, somewhat more tolerance of differences in beliefs (religious, political, moral.)

      • Lisa_Co

        I loved how he weaseled that info about Pete from Joan just from her saying she’d like a beach cottage

    • MsALVA

      I’m wondering what’s with all the stabbing? Stan got stabbed last week (and healed by Peggy) and Abe gets stabbed TWICE in one episode (also involving Peggy)?

      • http://www.facebook.com/georgina.brown.1675 Bawoman

        Peggy healed Stan, but stabbed Abe. Interesting juxtaposition.

      • Logo Girl

        I don’t know. It seems like the late 60s have a very “stabby” feel to them. Somehow it fits. Remember, the Manson murders are only a year off… And Altamont…

        On a total tangent… I just had a flash that they might bring the Tate-LaBianca killings into the story in the last season. I would anticipate Harry Crane having some breezy LA connection to it.

      • MartyBellerMask

        It’s looking like the door is open for Peggy and Stan now! Wonder if she will go for it? I can see her rebounding, if just to rub it in Ted’s face?
        Just please don’t sleep with Duck again.

      • Chris

        I think it’s to show the escalating violence in New York going on at the time. All you could hear in the background in this episode was sirens or a riot (depending on where you were in the city). Megan even mentions the stabbings in the park. Between the social unrest and Vietnam everything seemed like a war zone.

        • urbantravels

          In 1968 I was in utero, so my account is not firsthand, but my mom remembers a general feeling of the world spinning out of control, between the MLK and Bobby Kennedy assassinations, total mayhem in France, riots and crime, Vietnam, etc. etc. Nice to know I got hit with all those stress hormones as a fetus!

          Trudy was not just conforming to social norms in wanting to move to the suburbs when their kid was born. Cities really were beginning to suck during this time period. Increasing crime in the 1960s became rampant crime in the 1970s.

          • Chris

            Yes and Matthew Weiner has said repeatedly this is a theme he wanted to explore, the decay of New York in the 70′s and the switch to California as the new Mecca.

        • Cheryl

          The stabbings in Central Park really happened in July, 1968. I follow The Bowery Boys on Twitter during Mad Men (I follow TLo too, of course) and they found the reference to the incident in the newspapers during the show.

          • purkoy28

            last episodes robbery by the old black lady really happened to, it was an upper east side bunch of robberies by an elderly black lady pulling the same silver tounge bullshit that lady did with sally. i guesse they are using real crimes to make it more realistic.

            • Guest

              Do you have a source you can share?

            • VanessaDK

              Source you can share?

        • VanessaDK

          Interesting though–the Upper West Side was about to turn a corner…

          from a much longer article in June 30, 1969 issue of New York Magazine.

          Renaissance of the Upper West Side
          By Nicholas Pileggi
          Five years ago the West Side of Manhattan was considered such a dangerously blighted area that invitations to parties on Riverside Drive were often rejected, large rent-controlled apartments were voluntarily given up and even Chicken Delight wouldn’t deliver. Today, while many of the area’s most critical problems remain, an unmistakable mood of confidence has replaced earlier premonitions of doom.

        • Lisa_Co

          Megan mentions shootings not stabbings

          • Chris

            Yes you are right. I caught that on a re-watch!

      • Alice Teeple

        There’s a tie-in with Vietnam, I’m sure. The St. Sebastian reference (patron saint of soldiers) was interesting. Earlier in the episode Peggy “patronized” Abe by saying his getting stabbed on the street was like “going into combat.” She stabs him with a makeshift bayonet out of fear. It was an interesting juxtaposition that she healed Stan and harmed Abe.

        • Floretta

          The April 1968 cover of Esquire depicts Muhammad Ali as St Sebastian (“The Passion of Muhammad Ali”) who at this point had been stripped of his title for refusing to be inducted into the U.S. Armed Forces and serve in the Vietnam War. So they would all have been familiar with the image – it was everywhere.

    • Logo Girl

      Peggy’s scenes were channeling Almodóvar to me for some reason, even though there is a 20 year gap in the references. Her standing against Ted’s swirly wallpaper… and her manic/panic at the end…

      • Inspector_Gidget

        Don’t drink the gazpacho!

    • MzzPants

      What a delight to have you post on a holiday! A pleasant surprise.

    • MK03

      And you guys thought nothing would happen in the last ten minutes. Silly TLo!

    • catherines

      I’ve always found Betty’s storylines and character fascinating, from S1, and it’s a nice touch that her new self-confidence is as TLo point out, is linked to her return to being thin and desirable in the eyes of strange men (and familiar men!), as well as to having a husband who needs a pretty wife to attend formal events with him. Her response to Don’s question about sex and being close to someone reminded me of her speech to him in Babylon: “It’s all I think about…every day. Your car coming down the driveway. I put the kids to bed early. I make a grocery list. I cook butterscotch pudding. I never let my hands idle. Brushing my hair, drinking my milk…and it’s all in a kind of fog because I can’t stop thinking about this. I want you so badly.”. In that speech and in her response to him in this episode (“it is for me, it is for most people”), she shows a straightforwardness about desire and intimacy that is very far removed from Don’s games with Sylvia or Megan.

    • Frank_821

      First I agree Margaret can be a spoiled bitch. I wanted to scream at her. “yes you dad screwed up but he didn’t ruin your child and he didn’t ruin you!” Not to mention she only now cares about what money she can squeeze out of Roger.

      Yes it would be nice if Bob was a gay and being a nice pal to Joan. He’s opportunistic for sure. As someone said, his MO for moving up seems to be making himself appear invaluable to their needs. Pete seems to be fooled. I doubt Joan is that fooled. She knows part of his motivation is survival but say as long as he’s being useful and attentive

      regardless more shots of Bob in hot pants and swimwear :P

      I wish Peggy had twisted that knife into Abe after his final comments. Abe is incredibly insensitive and can be very obtuse and way too wrapped up in his cause. That’s got to rank up there with some of the shittiest ways to break up with someone

      Hurray for hot Betty! All her scenes were amazing and Miss Jones was on fire. I am glad Betty has developed enough awareness to not delude herself. Her acknowledgement of what made her fall for Don in the first place. Her ability to set aside her anger and enact a little bit of closure. And not just her anger for Don but Megan too. The reality is she knows even though Megan got the lifestyle that betty always wanted, Betty has the better life in the long run

      The conversation though I was most intrigued by that no one brought up was about their kids. I loved how Betty says she doesn’t get Sally and has no idea who she is but she has a clear idea about Bobby. It underscores the lovely, warm family moment she had during the Abraham song. It’s telling that she probably is a much better parent with Bobby than with Sally.

      I also loved how Henry see Sally as a mini-Don and Don see Sally as a mini-Betty when we the audience sees her as a blend of both

      • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

        That is a great thought about twisting the knife! He was certainly doing some knife-twisting! I’m going to imagine that scene and lol for a long time!

      • Chris

        Margaret has pretty much always been portrayed as a spoiled brat. Remember her carrying ion before her wedding and her mother dealing with her? Or her cozying up to Roger after his other died in order to get him to help her husband’s business? Roger is a lackadaisical and spoiled person but her treating the trip to see “Planet Of The Apes” as child abuse was over the top. It also showed how clueless Roger is- he did it because Don took his son to it.

        • sarahjane1912

          Ooh, I was so mad at her. Roger didn’t deserve to be told that he could only have supervised visits from now on; that was a really low blow. I do wonder whether Roger did pony up with the starter fund for the refrigerated trucking/logistics biz. Anyone got any thoughts on that?

          • Chris

            I thought maybe that was part of why she was encouraging the grandfatherly visits. She either got money or hoped to.

      • lilyvonschtupp

        “First I agree Margaret can be a spoiled bitch. I wanted to scream at her. “yes you dad screwed up but he didn’t ruin your child and he didn’t ruin you!” Not to mention she only now cares about what money she can squeeze out of Roger.”

        YES! I was practically spitting at my TV about that. I was especially pissed at the first epi of the season when Roger gave her a sentimental gift from her grandmother and all she could say was, “Did Grandma leave me anything else?”

        Gawd I’ve always hated her, mainly because I’ve encountered too many people like her. Spoiled brat.

    • Fordzo

      The very best part was when he woke up in that bed – all alone – and then found Betty laughing along with Henry at breakfast. She really got him good this time.

      Do Betty’s (well, January’s) hands give anyone else the creeps? Is it the fake nails? Maybe she is just awkward with the cigarettes? She’s such a beautiful woman, but her hands make me cringe.

      • Logo Girl

        She is left-handed. Now, I don’t think that is creepy, but it did cause me to rewind a couple times, a long time ago, because it surprised me (for some reason).

        • Alice Teeple

          I noticed that too! January Jones and I were both born on the same day and we’re both left-handed! I find that amusing.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

        Had to love those pearl and rhinestone encrusted gloves she was wearing earlier. Really glamourous!

        • sarahjane1912

          Weren’t they stunning? I noticed them immediately. Lush.

      • Munchkn

        Betty’s smoking looks fake to me, i.e, she doesn’t look like someone who smokes IRL. Of all the people on Mad Men, her smoking looks less real than any other characters. She appears to hardly inhale, for one thing.

        I saw a list of actresses a few years ago of actresses that smoked in films or TV and whether or not they smoked IRL and how you could tell. Not inhaling was one of the ways you could recognize fakers as well as the actress held the cigarette.

        • Alice Teeple

          I think January Jones actually is/was a smoker in real life (as is Elisabeth Moss). Those cigarettes on the show aren’t real, they’re some weird herb thing, so I can’t imagine really inhaling them is a pleasant experience. Also, it could also be that they were told to smoke in a different way on camera than the way they would in real life.

          • urbantravels

            I’ve never tried those herbal cigarettes, but every actor I know who has had to use them reports that they are ultra-nasty.

            • Alice Teeple

              I can’t imagine! I bet they taste like scorched oregano.

        • Fordzo

          I’ve watched way too many clips of her today, trying to decide what it is. It’s like she is constantly going around with wet nail polish and is trying not to smudge it. I noticed it all the way back in the first episode (or one of the first) when she was in the ladies room trying to apply lipstick and dropped it. She said something about how numb her hands were and from that point on, her hands always seem awkward to me.

          • onebluepussy

            Funny, I’ve always thought Betty’s hands are really pretty and elegant, especially when she’s lighting a cigarette! (I do hate that pink nailpolish she’s always wearing, but it’s probably accurate for the time.)

        • fursa_saida

          Huh. Betty’s smoking has always seemed extra authentic to me. I can’t say I ever really sat down and thought about it, but as a smoker who is HIGHLY susceptible to watching other people smoke (i.e., I see it and I want a cigarette, it’s actually kind of a problem), Betty is the single character most likely to give me sympathetic smoker feelings.

      • editrixie

        That made me ridiculously happy — just seeing the miserable look on Don’s face was almost enough to make up for the rest of the last couple seasons and having to deal with his bullshit.

    • PowerfulBusiness

      Great commentary, and this line is going to be cracking me up all Memorial Day, “We’re wondering if Joan hasn’t found herself a cute gay to help her with the baby.” Love it.

    • MK03

      What the hell is Bob Benson up to?? His presence in a scene positively screams “DON’T TRUST ME!!”

      • Sarah Oleksyk

        In this case, the presence of his thighs made ME scream.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

          Delicious! Come take a bite!

        • Zaftiguana

          My husband was like, “Where are his pants?!?” and I told him that those shorts were from a time when men weren’t terrified of their own thighs.

          • onebluepussy

            But it’s coming back in fashion now? Although I’ve yet too see shorts THAT tight and, well, short. I LOVED them Did they have some sort of car pattern?! Can’t wait for Mad Style.

        • editrixie

          I miss the days of guys actually wearing shorts as opposed to the horrible things that pass for shorts now.

          • joything

            It’s the only reason why I watch “Big Ten Classic Basketball” on cable. Sports shorts … mmmm …

            • urbantravels

              I just don’t understand basketball shorts anymore. They’re not too far from floor-length gowns at this point. Don’t the players trip on them?

            • Spicytomato1

              Funny. I was watching that channel not long ago and they were profiling a star player from the pre-long shorts era (can’t remember who). There is an apparently iconic shot of the guy making a shot or play and his short shorts are on full display. The commentators were remarking how it’s too bad he wore such unflattering shorts for a photo that still gets so much scrutiny. As if the shorts shorts somehow took away from his accomplishments. That annoyed the crap out of me.

          • Faerie Nuff

            My dad had shorts almost exactly like that. He wore them well into the 80′s.

          • MK03

            YES. Helpful hint, fellas: If they come down past your knees, they’re not shorts. They’re baggy capris at that point.

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

          I loved Bob Benson’s shorts! They almost made me stop suspecting him of something. ALMOST.

      • veriance

        Have to give James Wolk a giant shout out! He’s a Detroiter! ~woot~

        Love how they are telling us enough about Bob to make us interested and keeping out enough to make us suspicious. Also? LOVED those shorts.

        • NDC_IPCentral

          Didn’t know he comes from My Old Home Town, too. Thanks for the info, and more props to the D and the talent it produces.

      • VanessaDK

        Bob Benson as Pete’s personal Typhoid Mary?
        Everytime he tries to do something good for him, something bad happens instead. Either he’s trying to get rid of Pete to get his job, or he’s sucking up to Pete and everything backfires. I tremble to think what it means for Joanie.

    • Shannon Long

      Betty Forever! Oh my god, she was giving me LIFE this episode. I finally kind of like Megan too. I felt awful for Peggy– she started out the episode holding all the cards and by the end she realized, once again, just how replaceable she is to the men around her (see also last week with Stan).

      Little Bobbie Draper is amazing. I had a huge grin on my face the whole time they were doing that little song. He was so excited!

      Roger’s daughter is, and has always been, the living worst.

      Someone get Vincent Kartheiser an Emmy already! The way he bites off those blue-blooded one liners always makes me cackle.

      • shopgirl716

        Margaret is a pain in the ass but Roger is no dream dad. I have a feeling she is pissed at him in general for being a shitty dad and leaving her mom for a younger woman. Any chance she gets to stick it to Roger is something she will happily pursue. Not nice but Roger hasn’t earned a lot of respect from his daughter.

        • VanessaDK

          Margaret has been trying to have more of a relationship with her dad since he inherited the family fortune, but she doesn’t like him and is prone to overreact when he does something stupid (like taking a 4 year old to planet of the Apes).

          “We may have to get rid of the dog! He’s *that* afraid of fur!”

          • Frank_821

            I think you nailed it. Margaret may or may not love her father but she has really grown to dislike him and has no interest it cultivating any kind of adult relationship. She’s the corollary to Sally. As stated above Roger is probably no worse at parenting for a big executive of his time. He provides the material needs. But it’s clear Margaret really doesn’t know shit about her own dad as a person. If she really did then she could make peace with their sitaution better. Mona does having been his wife. It’s how she can still manage to be on civil and decent terms with him.

            Because at times Roger can be decent. Perfect example his toast to Mona during the wedding and his toast to Margaret and the groom

          • MK03

            Margaret has always hated her father, ever since her first appearance in the series. It’s pretty much her defining characteristic.

          • fursa_saida

            I also think I detect a little bit of early helicopter parenting here. A lot of calmer/older parents might just accept that their kid’s PotA phobia was going to be an inconvenience for a while, keep the dog, and in a few months it would in fact all blow over. But I’ve seen a fair number of hyper-attentive young parents–many of whom had fairly inattentive parents–who wayyyyyyy overrespond to every little sneeze their kid lets out.

        • sarahjane1912

          I’m sure he’s not a ‘dream dad’ but I don’t think he was that awful of a father. I think he was largely absent from her upbringing, but that was true of a lot of busy 60s executives.

          In fact, I can’t think of many men on MM who stand out in the father stakes. Dads have also been absent a lot, right from the beginning [Creepy Glen's dad] to now [Joan's husband/Kevin's dad]. And Don, Pete [and Duck] are obviously no great shakes as dads either.

          Roger probably saw his role as paying for stuff when it came to his ‘relationship’ with Margaret, from her wedding to her husband’s business. And I think she accepted that too until she got all shouty about Planet of the Apes, that is. I think she’s a brat.

      • Melissa Brogan

        I’ve said it before, but Kartheiser is really an amazing actor and I feel a lot of people overlook it because the character of Pete is so repulsive.

        • Chris

          As creepy as Pete is I still always feel for him because he always TRIES so damn hard. People like Don and Roger just seem to sail through without working hard or struggling.

      • Sobaika

        YES! Kartheiser has deserved award love since Day 1.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=149100065 Virginia McMurdo

      I like Bob Benson but I think that may be the point…I cannot help but feel this simmering tension growing. It seems as though the rug shall be pullethed from underneath me soon. My friends think I am reading into it too much, but alas.

      • P M

        No no, something’s up with that little yes-man. But what??

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          After last night’s episode I am once again thinking that he is there to spy on either the agency or on a particular person at the agency. He seems overly interested in learning about their personal lives and perhaps digging up dirt. Maybe it’s a far-fetched theory, but there is something not-quite right about him.

          • P M

            I just realized he’s preying on people when they are at their most vulnerable. That’s ………. kinda disturbing.

            • Inspector_Gidget

              Well, he’s looking for any opportunity to boost himself personally with people. That almost always equates to a vulnerable time when they need something. He may just be a really good opportunist. Kind of shitty, but maybe not sinister.

            • swiss_miss

              I don’t know, but maybe he is an opportunist but also a decent person? If he only does nice things which hurt nobody to get ahead- its kind of a win-win situation? As long as he is not hurting anybody, why not?

            • decormaven

              Nah, Bob Bunson (as Roger called him) is going to light that place on fire. He’s pleasant with a purpose.

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

              It’s typical corporate climbing behavior.

      • Chris

        I keep liking Bob, then feeling guilty about it because this is Mad Men and nice things just don’t happen. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop too, but I’m dreading it. I just hope it doesn’t bite poor Joan, those scenes of her with Peggy in the previews just showed her beaming and happy in a way we haven’t seen her in years.

      • urbantravels

        We really haven’t been told anything about Bob Benson’s actual agenda. Getting ahead in the company may not be it.

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

        I think Bob is THE story of the season. Something big will happen in the season finale, and Bob Benson will be at the center of it.

        • onebluepussy

          Oh God, I just had a flash of BB entering the office with a shotgun. Or something.

          • Floretta

            Pete’s rifle? It’s still waiting in the wings….

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=149100065 Virginia McMurdo

      Peggy holding a bayonette was hilarious. I laughed like I did at her face when she saw the intimate moment between two dogs in last season’s finale.

      • MK03

        It’s great because it’s probably the last weapon you’d expect to see Peggy with. Moreover, where the hell did she get it??

        • Logo Girl

          It was makeshift: a knife tied to a broom handle.

          • urbantravels

            Yes; by the time he was in the ambulance the broom handle had been removed but the knife was still sticking in his chest.

            • Qitkat

              Thank goodness Abe was smart enough to say “don’t pull it out,” because Peggy seemed about to do just that. I always laugh at TV or movie scenes where someone pulls out the knife, and then is so amazed that the person just bleeds to death right in front of them.

      • Alice Teeple

        It was an interesting tie-in to Vietnam/combat imagery. Abe finally did make it into combat! And got his ass whooped.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=149100065 Virginia McMurdo

      Oh – and you just can’t beat that sparkle in Betty’s eye. I missed that bitch.

      • UsedtobeEP

        And that may be the best reason of all for keeping her on the show. She’s a hard character to give up.

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

          I can’t imagine Mad Men without Betty.

      • Inspector_Gidget

        I still think Don and Betty are a perfect couple. They are both too Damaged Goods to be with a normal person.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=149100065 Virginia McMurdo

          I feel the same. I said it. They make so much sense. Of course I know this won’t come to pass and I don’t hope for it, but they are both just twisted enough that it works.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      Thank you for posting a recap today!

      I thought another big theme of the episode was that you can’t go back, you can only move forward. When Betty and Don are together he asks her if she thinks about what things may have been like if they had stayed together. She refuses to dwell on the past and what might have been, and instead wants to live in the moment. Roger is trying to “go back” and act like a father and perhaps re-kindle something with Joan, but that’s in the past and isn’t going to happen now. Poor Peggy goes to Ted after her break up to try and return to that moment where a relationship seemed possible for them just a few days ago, and now he’s giving her the re-buff (even though it is recent history, it’s another moment that cannot be recaptured). That was the big theme that I interpreted last night…you can’t go back.

      I hope that if Peggy learns one lesson moving forward is to not let men push her agenda around anymore. She bought that dump with Abe to appease him and has been trying to please both Ted and Don since the agencies merged. Hope she strikes out more for her own benefit moving forward.

      • Lattis

        you can’t go back, you can only move forward

        I was thinking that, too. Although, with Roger I couldn’t help but remember these lines in Austin Powers:

        Vanessa Kensington: Mr. Powers, my job is to acclimatize you to the nineties. You know, a lot’s changed since 1967.
        Austin Powers: Well, as long as people are still having promiscuous sex with many anonymous partners without protection while at the same time experimenting with mind-expanding drugs in a consequence-free environment, I’ll be sound as a pound!

        It’s like Roger doesn’t think there are consequences to anything he does. Is it that he’s so used to always getting what he wants that he hasn’t ever had to really think about anyone else’s feelings? He’s always been rich, white, male – the very essence of a patriarch. I say this while loving Roger’s character – he has the best lines.

        • Qitkat

          Several days ago, before this episode, I heard “My Way” on the car radio, and immediately flashed to this being Roger’s theme song. If you listen to the words, and think of all of Roger’s actions, it puts the song in a whole new light. Not so much about a well-empowered successful man, but a man who moves on past his regrets without looking back, even when he should have a moment of self-examination, he just lets the doubts flow over him and keeps on doing it “His Way,” even as it continues to be to his detriment.

          • Lattis

            “My Way”

            That’s interesting.
            I think that Roger has never found anything/anyone that he loves more than himself.

            • Qitkat

              Absolutely. Roger is the most selfish, self-centered person on the entire show. As for the music, I’ve always found it interesting how lyrics of songs can reap new meaning years after first being heard, due to one’s life experiences, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a song’s meanings turn quite as much for me as connecting Roger with “My Way.”

            • Little_Olive

              I keep going back and forth on that. Roger has the charm of he who is a jerk but does not pretend nor intend to be otherwise. The simplicity of his self centeredness (masterfully reflected in his lines) often triumphs, for me, over the egotistical actions of Don et. al.: those who have had many glimpses of what is right and even desire to act right, but betray themselves in sheer cowardice.

            • kimiakay

              Roger is selfish, but I also think Roger is always drifting along in his life now. Remember in an earlier season he started talking about “his war” and how everything was changing, men were different, at about the time Don wrote “The Letter.” Then Roger had the heart attack and threw him even farther off compass. His moral compass has never been fixed, that’s for sure, but mostly I don’t sense true malice in Roger. Selfishness, some mean teasing, but not the almost pathological go-for-the-throat damage that Don does. You hear Roger say, “Because I’m rich as hell and I can if I want to,” or something like that. I think Roger has a firm sense of self, and is just coasting now. He can afford it.

            • Qitkat

              Very well stated. Certainly a valid observation.

      • siriuslover

        As much as I loathe Don, I felt he had a point when he was in her office telling her that professionals have an opinion. Yes, it was about the “dick-waving contest” as TLo point out above, but I also think he was right in a way. She shouldn’t appease either of them. What DID bug me about that, and one I’m still thinking about, is his last line to her about Ted not treating her like Don treats her: “because he doesn’t know you.” Interesting, I thought.

        • sarahjane1912

          I hated that line. It was like he was saying: ‘I know you, and I have known you longer. I know what you’ve become and what you came from.’ The line was so loaded; not only has Don known her since she was an anemic little secretary, but he knows about the baby too.
          Seemed rather unfair to me [but I also think he was getting back at her not only for being angry at him today, but because she's had a few opportunities to take him down a few pegs in the past few eps. Don would hate that because she's showing she knows HIM too.].

          • Chris

            Yes it was almost creepy the way Don said that to Peggy and so cutting. It was almost threatening while saying he only treats you better because he doesn’t know you don’t deserve to be treated better. Don at his worst.

            • Angela_the_Librarian

              I’m not so sure if there was malice in what Don said. True, he was acting childish because she didn’t side with him, but I also think Don knew that Peggy wasn’t usually wishy-washy about her opinions and that Ted was perhaps having a negative impact. I’m not saying it was a heart-felt moment between them, but the truth is that Don does know her better than Ted does, knows her work ethic and usual work style, etc.

            • Alice Teeple

              I agree with you, Angela. I think Don was just pushing her buttons and attempting a guilt trip. Also of note, Ted’s romantic dismissal of Peggy was almost identical to that of Don’s at the bar in “The Suitcase.” In that episode, Don said something like, “You’re an attractive girl, Peggy. You’ll find someone….I have to keep rules about work.” She calls him out on his affairs and he jokes with her about morality lessons. Don felt no attraction to Peggy and said that to make herself feel a little better about her situation. On the flip side, Ted *does* feel attraction to Peggy, and says that to stop himself from succumbing to weakness and dismiss her obvious advances. It was a poignant and harsh coin-flip.

            • PowerfulBusiness

              Yes. This. I agree that Don was saying that in a very cutting way. As if, “I don’t want to be the bad guy, but because of you and how you are, you’re MAKING me be the bad guy.” Don…you’re a real dick to this girl.

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

            I thought of it the same way I thought of Betty’s commentary on Megan. Betty knows Don a million times better than Megan could ever hope to, probably ever will since I think the writing is on the wall for her. (When I saw her standing on the balcony in her underwear, for the first time I wondered if *she’d* be the one to jump off the balcony at the end of the season.) Ditto when it comes to Don and Peggy. They both know each other really well. Peggy only thinks Ted is better than Don because she doesn’t know him…and Don is right when he said Ted doesn’t know her. I think Ted will be surprised when things backfire on him with Peggy, and I think Don called it in this episode.

        • Lisa

          Ted’s crush on Peggy is the type that you have when you don’t know someone very well and are enjoying having the person be who you want them to be, in your imagination. And I imagine that Don knows exactly what the relationship between Peggy and Ted is. That’s the kind of thing he’s really good at intuiting, when he’s paying attention. So I think that’s what he was talking about.

          • PowerfulBusiness

            Okay, I just read this, and I really hope this is the interpretation of that line that is correct! Because it’s a lot gentler and kinder than the one I interpreted it as!

          • Glammie

            I think you’re on to something. We know Peggy’s not supposed to know Ted well (“Something by Emerson) and, yeah, Don the player knows when other people are doing the playing.

            Don’s funny about Peggy–treats her like a dishrag, but he’s also protected her from some of his worst instincts. He’s avoided seducing her or even flirting with her to get her to do something.

            • Spicytomato1

              I’m not sure if Don has protected Peggy from himself. I’ve thought about that before and I think he’s just not attracted to her. She is so far from any of his (numerous) types. I think seducing or even just flirting with her wouldn’t ever occur to him. Lucky for her!

            • Glammie

              I think the possibility *always* occurs to him. Peggy and Anna, though, are in his don’t-touch category. He seems a bit jealous of the whole Peggy/Ted thing, so I don’t think it’s zero attraction. Sex and respect don’t go together easily with Don.

          • Alice Teeple

            Perfect!

      • Chris

        Yes Peggy trying to please people has gotten her nothing but trouble. The best things that have happened to her have been when she has gotten mad enough that she isn’t concerned with pleasing people and makes the choices that are the best for her. Peggy has come a long way (baby) but there is still a part of her that wants a male father figure’s approval. It’s why I think Stan and she could work in the long run. She has never had a problem standing up to him and he seems to respect her for it, not resent it.

        • Aurumgirl

          Stan is not Peggy’s equal. She figured him out a long time ago. He’s fun as a friend, but he offers no challenge to her, nothing that would make him appealing to her other than as a “brother”. Poor Stan, however, has had it bad for Peggy since day one, and he still does.

          • Alice Teeple

            With Frank Gleason dead, Stan is now the head art director for the merged company, right? Is that the same ranking as her copy chief position? He seems to be the only person doing all of the art for this company, aside from maybe a couple of freelancers. On a personal level, I think they are definitely close to equals, but they wouldn’t have been a few years ago. They’re still both immature in regard to personal relationships, although in different ways. They’re both workaholics, they’re both concerned about their relevance to the company. Stan has always been the one who offers her career advice, which is almost always correct. She might have figured him out a long time ago, but the one thing they do seem to share is learning from their mistakes. If Stan is going to make anything work with Peggy, they will both have to evolve further.

            • Aurumgirl

              I doubt a simple art department worker like Stan would be asked to step into the place occupied by a partner in the merged firm. Stan, like Ginsberg, was allowed to keep his job, and that was it. Peggy, however, returned to the firm as Copy Chief (and Stan already demonstrated his envy at her even higher new rank with his door sign). So no, in terms of work, Stan works for Peggy and he always has. In terms of social status, as well, Peggy’s not matched by Stan either. For one thing, he’s never stopped trying to “put her down” to quell his own insecurities, but she pretty much put a potent stop to that a few years ago, by forcing him to strip down so his belittling erection couldn’t be denied. Stan’s social/maturity “match” was the little hippie girl who wandered the office after her father’s funeral.

              Peggy’s probably still interested in a man who can keep up with her on all levels, but he hasn’t been found yet.

            • bawoman

              Stan and Peggy both work for Ted and Don.Neither work under he other.Peggy is copy chief, Stan is art director.Seems pretty equal to me.

            • Alice Teeple

              Stan has been the art director for SCDP since his introduction – the same job as Gleason, without the partnership. Both of them are Ted and Don’s underlings. In fact, Don established in “Waldorf Stories” that Peggy would have to learn how to work with him because he had more experience than her and was good at his job. Also, it was never determined that Stan made the “coffee chief” sign, and even if he had, it would have been a affectionate prank. They’re clearly close friends; if she’d sensed that he felt threatened by her, she wouldn’t have remained on such close terms with him. If he was threatened by her, he wouldn’t have given her career coaching and looked out for her best interests. Of course he’s stopped trying to put her down since Season 4! He’s her biggest cheerleader at SCDP! There’s absolutely nothing to say he’s insecure about her success, because they’re not in direct competition with each other. They’re equally immature on social issues. I think the office interaction after the x-acto adventure shows that they’re both slowly trying to mature. I don’t think that was the last of their interactions on a romantic level.

            • Aurumgirl

              If he’s the art director, it’s because he’s the only art department we know of. And I know the Coffee Chief sign was a friendly jab at Peggy’s new position in the new firm.

              I also know Stan wasn’t invited in to the upper echelon of the merged company. In that little group, there were only Peggy, Ted, and Don. I do recall she was invited in–an equal to each of the others. That is way above Stan and the rest of her previous co-workers, and way above the job she used to have at SCDP. Peggy seems to have forgotten that, though–until the end of this episode. At that moment, I didn’t see Stan in the picture, either. However, he does have a big crush on her: she just doesn’t reciprocate. That might change in the future, but at the moment Stan seems as far out of her mind as her humble beginnings at the secretarial school.

            • Alice Teeple

              No, she definitely wasn’t invited to the upper echelon or promoted; she was basically told that she’d continue being copy chief at the merged company – same job she’s always had, bigger company. This is a parallel to Joan’s promotion-in-name-only at the end of Season 4. She was already the head copywriter at her old position at SCDP, with the freelancers and Ginsberg under her, and they didn’t offer her a higher salary or anything than the one she got at CGC – just the prestige of doing her same old job at a bigger firm with a different title. Even her office was a downgrade of the one she had at CGC. She is in no way Ted and Don’s equal, she’s their underling. She has very little real authority except over Ginzo and the dweebs from CGC. (PS I think the dweebs were more likely behind the “coffee chief” sign.)

              Stan is the head of the art department – and as far as I can tell, he might be the only working artist there. If there were freelancers, he’d be over them.

          • Chris

            I think Stan and Peggy have a good relationship and the most equal one Peggy has ever had with a man. He is roughly her age, employed with a good job in her industry yet not in direct competition or threatened by her. We’ve seen him admire her success and deal with her Heinz “betrayal” pretty mildly. I don’t think we know enough about Stan to know how deep his waters run. He’s come a long way from the days of antagonizing Peggy. If he matures past his pot phase and is as interesting as he seems he could be, I could see them as partners professionally and personally.

      • Little_Olive

        She tries to please people and then tries to vindicate herself as worthy enough. More than finding a middle ground, she needs to be more assertive and learn how to lead (as opposed to “boss”). She is not very humorous, i.e., she is normally very serious about stuff and especially her work status, so I doubt it will come easy to her.

      • Munchkn

        I’d like for Peggy to join N.O.W. since it was founded a couple of years earlier (1966). I suppose it’s too much to have her join the Redstockings; they’d almost certainly be too radical for Peggy. I did find an article that it rather appropriate: http://fair-use.org/ellen-willis/women-and-the-myth-of-consumerism.

        It’s a piece from Ramparts, a great radical rag that sadly is no more and written by one of the Redstockings. I think Peggy may like it after all.

    • CatherineRhodes

      I find it difficult to accept this new Zen Betty, given her level of discomfort with complex human interactions. She has never been portrayed as a deep thinker.

      My point is that the deep relationship analysis she was giving Don showed an insight that Betty could not possibly have had. The lines didn’t ring true. It sounded like the work of a screenwriter, rather than the authentic expression of the character of Betty.

      • http://www.facebook.com/georgina.brown.1675 Bawoman

        After 10 years of being married to Don, I think it perfectly understandable shes gained some insight. Especially when she is able to compare him with Henry. Shes matured and grown (somewhat)

      • P M

        oh please girl, you know it’s just a phase. Or the side effects of the diet pills.

      • Chris

        I think we saw some introspection last season with Betty taking the Weight Watchers philosophies and applying them to her relationship with Henry. We have seen Betty addressing the changing times a bit with the situation with Sally’s friend (something Don has never done) and also examining who she is (heavy, skinny, blonde, brunette). I don’t find it surprising she would have reached a conclusion about Don. You know she has thought about it long and hard while Don never seems to self reflect or “look back” if he can help it.

        • Inspector_Gidget

          She’s been level-headed in the past. Like when Don’s past was being investigated and she kept silent with the feds. She could have burned him good, and had no real reason not to at the time, but did it anyway.

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

            Because if Don turns out to be a fraud, she stands to lose a lot–her reputation and a lot of child support. She couldn’t say anything to the feds without putting her own status in jeopardy.

            • Floretta

              She already had Henry Francis in waiting IIRC; it’s why it was so easy for her to not ask for child support from Don – Henry didn’t want her dependent on that man for anything (she could be dependent on HIM instead, lol.)

      • http://twitter.com/mousetomato Helene Hertzlinger

        Betty has shown some degree of insight in the past. When she had her big breakup fight with Don, she told him he would never stop cheating, because he couldn’t help himself.

      • Inspector_Gidget

        I think it was particularly telling when she said, “I don’t think about that any more.” She’s always been capable of insight, but she behaves rashly when she gets upset, which comes off as childish. She’s had a lot of time to allow her feeling for Don to cool off, so he’s not able to get that rise out of her anymore. (On the other hand, she was using the opportunity to mess with *him*, which is pure Old Betty.)

        • sarahjane1912

          Ooh … speaking of Betty being childish … did you notice her body language [after she gets the proposition from that guy at the function when Henry came back from his phone call]? There she was, all dolled up in that astonishing dress but she wasn’t poised, wasn’t standing beautifully; she was actually swinging her hips and playing her feet like a little girl. Really stood out to me.

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

        Really? Because I’ve always thought Betty was sort of a master at manipulating people. Here, she purposely arranged this entire scenario so she could get in bed with Don, just to prove that she could, and probably also so she had something to hold over his head. Betty may not be a deep thinker, but she knows how to get people where she wants them. She can’t be that dumb.

        At any rate, I found myself thinking she sounded a lot like first season Betty.

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

          It was parents’ weekend at Bobby’s camp. She had no real way of knowing that Don was going to come. In fact, she had every reason to think the opposite.

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

            I thought she knew. When he asked if she’d told Bobby, she said she wanted it to be a surprise. But maybe that’s just because she ran into him at the gas station.

            I do think she orchestrated a lot of the rest of it. Betty knows how to work Don. Even if she didn’t plan him coming out, she did play the rest of it to her advantage.

            • Chris

              I think she knew what she was doing when she sat out on the stoop but I think the idea came to mind after she ran into Don and they had a great day with Bobby. She was feeling attractive and confident and she put a little bait out by being outside and available when Don came came back. I don’t think she planned anything more than that and just played it by ear when Don was receptive. She was married to Don for a while so I am sure she can read his clues very well. She knew he was admiring her before and even mentioned it to him later.

            • lockmm

              Well, yea she didn’t tell Bobby Don wasn’t coming. But it wasn’t a “surprise” – Don is a flake. Remember Sally’s birthday party where he just skipped out? Or forgetting to get the kids? Or constantly dumping them off on Meghan? Or having no interest in them period?

              She had every reason to believe Don wouldn’t show up. Her not telling Bobby was one of her rare mothering instances where she thinks of her kids’ feelings.

            • 3hares

              Yes, I thought it was both. She knew Don was invited, but only knew he actually showed up until she ran into him at the gas station. She saw Bobby before Don did, and didn’t tell him Don was there. It was a surprise because Bobby would have learned to never expect Don so she let Don have a big entrance. A big entrance that was still sad because the fact that he showed up for Bobby was surprising.

      • deborah wolff

        I agree, it didn’t seem like Betty at all to have that level of intuitiveness to get into the weeds of Don’s personallity flaws. She may have figured him out but she wouldn’t have expressed it like that, I totally agree.

        • CatherineRhodes

          Yeah, just a couple of episodes ago, she was having an identity crisis morphing into Mama Francis with her extreme change in hair color — then suddenly she’s Dr. Phil. I just don’t buy it.

    • NDC_IPCentral

      Thanks for weaving the strands together, gentlemen. I certainly was taken with the urban sense of menace, and those sirens would definitely have been wailing as frequently as we heard last night (heck, I live near a fire station and a college, so the sirens blare around here all too often as well).

      This was Betty’s confident come-back, indeed, powered by the return of her pre-pudge figure. I aquatically was a bit surprised that Don took no offense that the gas-pump jockey so openly ogled Betty-in-blue-linen-shorts. Then again, that might have been Don’s objectifying women and distancing himself from his former spouse as his possession. The divorce has been final for, what?, two 1960s years?

      Ted, Peggy’s crush, crushed Peggy’s rescue fantasies pretty callously in the final scenes, when she needed comfort as a wounded woman, jilted by punctured, revolutionary Abe (yes, that was a finito line from which there is no return). Whether the expression on Ted’s face in exhorting Peggy to get back to work was a mask for him or compartmentalizing, I can’t be sure. Peggy, pale, without makeup, hair a bit askew, wanting a male refuge, found none. Peggy, m’girl, you’re on your own, learning it the hard way, again and again.

      Joan proved herself to be strong and resolute in her advice and admonitions to the men around her. Roger, seeking succor after his dressing-down by his daughter (indeed, she overreacted), got a comeuppance, since Lincoln Logs weren’t the only toy on his agenda. Pete angles after Joan because, I think, Don holds her in regard, even if Pete denigrated Joan’s actions that got her a partnership. Pete is too self-absorbed and sexist to worm his way into Joanie’s affections. Bob’s her new girlfriend, I’m thinking.

      I thought the Megan scenes were rather heavy-handed, but always a style treat. Is she so naive that she couldn’t/didn’t pick up on the bi-vibe that her cast-member and producer’s wife was emanating?

      Much to ponder.

      • Chris

        Megan’s scenes made her seem foolish she was so naive. I thought for sure she would reciprocate her friend’s advances because how could she not see what would happen? This is half of the couple who outright asked to swing with her and Don. How could it be such a surprise to her when after two bottles of wine and making it clear Don was away for the night the friend went in for the kiss?

        • NDC_IPCentral

          Ah, I’d forgotten that restaurant encounter – thanks for reminding me. Megan’s warning systems are not well-tuned. Well, duh, I guess! She’s coming out the loser here. In the embrace that Don gives her on the terrace I thought she seemed young, and vulnerable, with her head on Don’s shoulder she seemed not to be a spouse – he was comforting a young woman. The look in his eyes, far away and removed. Jon Hamm is quite the actor in wordless moments.

          • Chris

            It seems like Megan is getting less worldly the longer she is married to Don. When they first married and even when she was just his secretary she seemed more sophisticated and worldly. She had a large group of young hip friends and even seemed to handle Don’s past with aplomb. Now she seems so isolated and infantilized. Remember how she took control of Don after the party fiasco?

            • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

              Don’s special talent: destroying the self-esteem of the women who care for him. Doesn’t want to be a member of any club who would have him. Smart women walk away.

            • Chris

              Yes just that one nasty comment to Peggy seemed to shred her. I keep thinking of all the times he tried (and succeeded) in tearing women down- dressing down Peggy all those times for her ambition, throwing money at her, telling Betty she looked desperate in a bikini, gas lighting her with the shrink, coming to Megan’s set to browbeat her. The list goes on and on. He’s toxic so much of the time.

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

              Maybe now we understand why Betty was the way she was in season 1?

            • Chris

              I totally understand why Betty has behaved like she did. I’ve always had more sympathy for Betty than the average viewer seems to . While she certainly has her crummy moments I’ve always felt whatever she does wrong gets blown WAY out of proportion. Betty has always been held to a different standard because she is the “mother.” Don gets away with murder personally and professionally because he is handsome and charming. Betty can be selfish but she would never disappear with her child’s birthday cake or pull what Don did with her and the psychiatrist or her and the bikini. No one can say Betty didn’t give her all to that marriage and her family for years.

      • MartyBellerMask

        Yes, Megan is that naive. But more importantly, incredibly self-absorbed.

        • Glammie

          Yep. Though I think it’s also a sign of the times. The idea that some people were bi was just not that overt or well-understood. Megan is sweet, but she doesn’t pick up on a lot of things. Never has.

          • MartyBellerMask

            That scene actually has me wondering now if Arlene’s husband Mel is bi, too? Am I imagining it now, or was he making just as much a play for Don as he was for Megan at the restaurant?

          • MK03

            But are they really bi, or are they just doing the “swinging couple in the city” act because it’s the hot thing at the moment? Arlene and Mel strike me as very surface-y, superficial people who follow trends religiously. Put people like that in positions of power…*shudder*

            • Glammie

              I don’t think the scene between Megan and Arlene was surface-y. I’m more inclined to think there’s a marriage of convenience between Arlene and Mel than their simply being swingers in the moment.

      • greenwich_matron

        I think Megan, like Don, is looking for a mother, but without the sex part. She also seemed to be looking to Sylvia for some mothering after her miscarriage. It seems like women they choose aren’t interested in mothering other adults unless there is a little sex thrown in.

        • Aurumgirl

          I think Megan is looking for any friend she can confide in, anywhere. She’s very isolated and alone, especially in her relationship with Don. I have a hard time believing Megan’s naive here–she knows Arlene’s attracted, but she also Arlene makes an offer of “friendship” when she really wants to be sexual, and she insists on trying that trick on time and again, even when she’s refused, time and again. It really is sexual harassment we’re seeing here, and the bad behaviour is Arlene’s.

          I don’t see this as Megan being dumb–I see this as Megan giving Arlene a series of second chances (and how can she not, when her job is ultimately on the line?) and seeing clearly that even with each new chance Arlene tries to take advantage. Megan really does need a friend, but she’s not about to “settle” for just anyone, and she’s not about to have one “no matter what it costs”.

          • greenwich_matron

            I don’t think she is being dumb, even if she is naive. Unfortunately, no one on this show seems to have any real friends, and it’s hard to see where she would make any. She has led a pretty singular life (which seems charmed to any casual observers) and she really doesn’t have any peers or comrades. I’m trying to imagine her talking about her problems to one of her broke, unmarried, and unemployed actor friends, and I can’t imagine them being sympathetic. That leaves her mean-drunk mother, her husband’s mistress, and her predatory boss.

            It’s funny to think that the mother figure who may have actually done something helpful is Betty.

            • Aurumgirl

              But how is Megan naive here? In the context of sexual harassment, Megan’s actually quite perceptive and diplomatic. Maybe you feel she’s naive in not knowing that whatever she tries to do in the situation won’t ever work, since she is dealing with someone who is intent on being sexual with her and is aware of her position of authority and power over her on top of that. But truly, how does anyone deal with this situation at work properly? Most women just quit (if they can) or try very hard to find work somewhere else before leaving, particularly if their careers are at stake (and it would be, for Megan), before being fired for not providing the sex that’s demanded. I gathered from the way Megan was left on the couch after that visit with Arlene that there would be no “pre-antebellum”, and things would not be “as they were” again, at work. So Megan was alone with a career problem as well as a marriage problem. A parallel situation to Peggy’s.

            • greenwich_matron

              “Naive” is not an insult, and I think her surprise at the reaction she got was naive. This was not a work situation: she invited Arlene over to her house at night, started drinking wine and talking about her personal life. She sought a personal interaction and she got one, and from my jaded perspective, it looked very possible that cable TV was going to give us yet another “hot women kissing” scene. I think she handled it pretty well, but I think it was very naive of her to not consider that what she was doing looked like a come on, especially given past conversations. I hope Arlene keeps her word; she seems to be pretty comfortable with herself and with the fact that others don’t share all her interest.

            • Aurumgirl

              But it IS a work situation–that’s why we see them at work together, and we get a nice reiteration of the fact that Arlene is married to Megan’s boss. Everything that happens between them will have repercussions at work. Arlene knows Megan is trying to become a successful actress–a good word from her will give Megan more work; a bad word from her will mean Megan gets written out of the show. Both women know this: Megan has contended with her before and she says to Arlene that she seeks out her friendship every time she is vulnerable and Arlene sees that, again and again, as an opportunity to make a sexual play–when Megan has many times told her that is not what she wants. Megan’s not naive, really, she’s testing Arlene to see if she’s really understanding her “friendliness” and her protests that it’s okay not to become sexual with her–and I think she’s well aware, this time, that it’s not going to be okay, and that something about the way she’s building her career will have to change, because the soap opera’s done.

          • deborah wolff

            Maybe I am naive, but to invite what you think is a friend over for companionship doesn’t equate with “lets have sex” now. And I thought Megan’s response was exactly played right. She just says her name right away, signaling she is not interested, but doesn’t overreact to it, and still has the where with all to mention if there will be any payback for refusing. I thought it was kind of a ridiculous and unnecessary scene, but well acted.

      • Aurumgirl

        Oh, she picked up on them long ago. I think what surprised her is that the woman keeps trying despite the many times she’s said “No.” She makes a declaration to that in her scenes with the woman, too; something about how she keeps trusting her even though each time she does the woman tries to take advantage, again and again. She even confronts the woman about how loaded and unfair these advances are, since the woman’s husband is Megan’s boss–and still says no to every advance, even though the woman considers them to be “teasing”. Megan actually sees this as sexual harassment, she states emphatically that she’s in the right (when she says that it’s okay to be misperceived as a “tease” because she knows she isn’t teasing at all), and she makes herself clear on the fact that she’s not interested and she’s going to continue to work on the show anyway. What we’re seeing here is a very resourceful and aware woman dealing with a work situation that is an all too common experience for women.

    • PowerfulBusiness

      In a sick way, Ted’s switcheroo at the end of this ep is colder and harsher than anything Don would do. With Don and Peggy, even if they are treating each other horribly, they do it with honesty. If they enjoy it other, they enjoy each other, if they need and want to yell or berate the other one, they do it. It’s much more insidious to declare your love for a person, and when they come to cash in on that admission, to stare at them like you’ve met them once before at a party.

      Peggy tends to have a trajectory where her duress and loss opens a door and leads her to something better. That said, I feel like she’s going to have a “Suitcase”-style meltdown soon before we get to something better.

      • Chris

        I found it more as Ted trying to save himself. He was barely keeping his head above water about his feelings regarding Peggy and it seemed like he thought she would pull him under. I think in the long run he did her a huge favor. Peggy is not cut out to be the other woman, she is very traditional in a lot of ways. The way Ted chose to deal with the situation was in typical selfish male SCDPCGC fashion.

        • Alice Teeple

          I agree with you on this. It’s clear that Ted IS in love with Peggy, but with Moira’s suspicious looks at her, and his feeling generally insecure about his stronghold during this dick-shaking contest, I think Ted is terrified that an affair would undermine any of his authority. Showing that he went to a marriage strengthening retreat earlier in the season reveals that his marriage has already been troubled for some time, but he’s willing to work on it. If they were still at CGC, I think he and Peggy would have gone down the affair route. Ted’s face registered so many different emotions at once, that I could tell how conflicted he was in both scenes, and he chose the path that would make things eventually much easier for both him and Peggy in the long run. Ted is also a scared person who chooses complacency. I also thought it was a great callback to The Suitcase, when Don tells Peggy the exact same thing Ted does, only in a more gentle manner: “I have to keep things separate from work; you’re a great girl, you’ll find someone.” (Pegs. Go hook up with Stan!)

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

            I don’t know. I think Ted sees Don as his biggest competition. Peggy is Don’s former protege, possible love interest (to outsiders anyhow), and claiming Peggy for his own is just another way of showing he’s king of the hill. It’s the airplane scene all over again.

            I don’t think he’s in love with Peggy so much as he’s in love with the idea of having Don’s former protege in love with him and taking his side over Don’s. And I think Ted loved that Don saw Peggy leaving his office looking distraught and disheveled. Ted’s interest in Peggy isn’t genuine. He just wants her to be interested in him because he knows it will get to Don.

      • VanessaDK

        Ted may be using Peggy to save his own ego. When he thought he messed up the pitch to Fleischmann’s he blamed it all on her inciting his feelings. After he found out that everything went well, he ignored her and moved on.

        • Little_Olive

          I never saw it that way but now that you mention it… it seems very according to the times to calm the threat posed by a capable working woman by tainting the relationship with romantic(ish) elements, so as to redefine said relationship within terms a man would be comfortable with (even if it is without malicious intent). Hmm.

      • not_Bridget

        Ted seemed so eager to put a distance between himself and the newly single Peggy that he failed to sympathize with her pain in a friendly manner. He could have shown her a bit of consideration without saying “oh, good–let’s have an affair.” Instead, he did the forced cheerfulness bit…..

    • Chris

      I knew the minute poor Peggy came out in those polka dots something bad was going to happen for her. That ruffle and dots looked like the first hint of her old “secretarial” look from previous seasons (albeit much more stylish). As soon as she put it on things started to go back to the old ways. I did love her beige power dress/suit. It was part lady boss and part Lost In Space. I wanted to start calling her Penny instead of Peggy.

      • Alice Teeple

        Right away I noticed the contrast between her polka dots and Abe’s Zappa stripes. She had the little stripey complementing pussy bow, which I thought definitely signalled confusion on her part. Poor Peggy.

    • lonestarliberal

      Two quick points. First, Don seemed to have become interested in Betty not just because she was looking great but because someone else desired her. That scene with the gas station attendant was telling. “You want her,” Don seemed to be thinking, “I’ll have her!”

      As for Bob Benson, who sure looks hot in a pair of swim trunks, his referral to Pete was telling. It was a male, well-born, military nurse. There’s the male nurse part of that, particularly in 1968–could Bob be a gay? But there is also the military part: it sure seems like Bob could have ties to the department of defense or one of the armed services–is he here checking up on Don Draper?

      • Chris

        Yes this episode had a lot of instances of people wanting things because others wanted them and people taking stock of what they had or lost.

        Bob is so perfect looking he could pass for the new Ken doll released in 1968 or 1969. He even has the same hair and beach outfit.

      • Angela_the_Librarian

        I also think that Don softened a bit when he observed Betty’s interaction with Bobby. He always responds to the positive motherly types (like he did with Megan)

        • Glammie

          He also responds to family “images”. Betty once again looks like a model and Don is always drawn to scenes that look like the perfect ad. The camp scene did. For a minute, they were the image of the perfect happy family. Don is always seduced by his own advertising. He pretty much decided to marry Megan when she looked like she was the perfect sub mom with his kids in the diner near Disneyland.

          • Lattis

            Glammie, that is brilliant!

          • decormaven

            On the nose, m’dear. Kudos.

          • Nicole

            I also noticed parallels with the camp scene and Megan’s Von Trapp singing. Singing with the kids = ultimate Don catnip?

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

            I think Betty was 100% aware of that, too, and that’s why she orchestrated that “happy family” moment at summer camp.

          • lilyvonschtupp

            And don’t forget his soup ad from last week. Or better yet, the immortal Kodak slide presentation from s.1

      • urbantravels

        Betty being desired by whoever-that-was at the charity gala also seemed to ring Henry’s bells pretty good.

      • lulu

        Same thing that turned Henry on in the limo, yes? Everyone else desiring Betty? He wanted the exact words and once he got them . . . look out!

      • Cheryl

        OK, guys, help me out. When we first saw Betty at the gas station, the camera started on her legs and did a slow pan-up, then she turned around. Did Don first see her from the legs up? Did he know that was Betty right away? (He should have recognized the car, anyway; he’s probably seen the Francis family wagon on one of its trips to and from the City.) That whole section of the show, from the gas station to the morning-after breakfast, should be cropped out and sold as a stand-alone DVD. It was like watching a completely different show!

    • Eric Stackhouse

      Betty has always been my favorite character. I always felt like the writers kind of gave her a raw deal after the divorce. But, Don really fucked up her life and her fantasy. I always hoped she and Don would hook up again, and now that they have, it’s perfect the way it happened. Betty will never leave Henry for Don, she is wise to his issues and prefers security to animalistic attraction. She knows the difference now, and obviously has great affection for Don. Great closure. I hope now that she has come full circle that she will not be discarded from the show, because her only role (as is everyone’s it seems) is to support Don’s story.

      • Chris

        I think it did a great job if showing how Betty has progressed while Don has stagnated or even regressed. For Betty to be able to step back from her anger and hurt and 1.) analyze Don and their relationship 2.) enjoy herself (however selfish and wrong it was to commit double adultery) and just be in the moment. We have never seen this from Betty before.

    • http://www.linkedin.com/pub/anne-mccandless/1a/238/38a Anne

      You guys called that Betty/Don hook up back in the mad style discussion regarding the blue dress Betty held up to herself in front of the mirror. At least I think you guys did. Maybe it was another BK. Anyway, from the outset of this episode, the writing was on the wall for those two to end up in bed together.

      Peggy has really become the most interesting character on the show. Joan, a close second. Nice tap dancing on Joan’s part to explain Roger’s presence at her apartment. I also admired how firm she was in her response to Roger that he absolutely cannot be in Kevin’s life.

      When Peggy stabbed Abe, I also though “That’s a 4 out of 5 Lawnmowers right there.” I absolutely love the lawnmower scale. I can’t wait for Mad style – was eyeing the multiple blue/green moments and the yellow moments throughout. Might watch it again to see what I make of it. That is if I don’t watch Behind the Candelabra again instead :)

      • P M

        Was I the only one who thought the way the stabbing happened and the ambulance right really funny?

        • MK03

          Nope. It was hilarious. Especially the paramedic who did not give one shit about either of them. I suspect that was not the first breakup he’s witnessed at work.

          • editrixie

            Not a paramedic — they hadn’t been invented yet. Just a schmo who works for an ambulance company. So yeah, he’d never give one shit about people beyond the minimum they would have to do to take them to the hospital.

        • Chris

          Nope, Mad Men has been brilliant at marrying the shock with laughter. It was the same with “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency.” It was horrific and funny in parts at the same time. Elizabeth Moss did a fantastic job in the ambulance scene.

          • VanessaDK

            “are you breaking up with me?”
            Imagine what the paramedic thought!

            • editrixie

              I’m being little miss pedantic today, but I have to keep pointing it out — he wasn’t a paramedic. They hadn’t been invented yet.

            • urbantravels

              Very true. There wasn’t a lot you could do for someone in an ambulance in those days. The ambulance guys did a few basic things and then just transported you.

              In fact ambulances were pretty much identical to hearses. There were plenty of small towns where the same vehicle did double duty. Trufax!

            • EveEve

              That would be a story he would still be telling to his grandchildren. Long after Abe became a burned out mid-level manager at the New York Times, frustrated by his inability to get along with his female bosses.

            • ldancer

              You so nailed it.

              Love how mister revolution works for the Times. Talk about the Establishment. He’s gonna grow up to be such an asshole!

        • MartyBellerMask

          I loved the ambulance scene. The breakup added an extra lawnmower. Loved it.

          • Pennymac

            Agreed. I just commented that having Abe have the knife in his stomach for the ENTIRE scene justified an extra lawnmower. Plus, it made me giggle.

            • Cheryl

              Stabbed — with a bayonet! I loved Peggy’s improvised weapon.

            • Chris

              It was great- 1/2 bayonet and 1/2 harpoon.

        • http://www.linkedin.com/pub/anne-mccandless/1a/238/38a Anne

          most definitely not! MM is so great at macabre humor.

        • Sweetpea176

          I thought it was so darkly absurd that I thought it might have been a dream sequence or fantasy until Peggy walked into Ted’s office the following morning.

    • urbantravels

      “A patriarchal system requires patriarchs, after all.”

      Let’s sing another round of Father Abraham! Who was after all the original patriarch of the Western tradition, despite not actually having seven sons.

    • DaveUWSNYC

      More Bob Benson in short shorts. Please, Mr. Weiner?

      • CatherineRhodes

        Better still: Let’s bring short shorts for men back in style. So much more attractive than “board shorts.”

    • susan6

      Bob Benson being gay might explain things. He may be trying to gather as much dirt on everyone as sort of pre-emptive blackmail. Being gay was pretty much a fireable offense back then, so he may figure that if they find out his secret and try to oust him, he can threaten many of their secrets. Either that, or he’s a mole for another ad agency.

      Love Betty with her groove back.

      Peggy, time to stop trying to please everyone else, and start trying to please Peggy.

      • urbantravels

        “Being gay was pretty much a fireable offense back then.”

        It’s still perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay in 29 states, actually.

        • Lucía Valencia

          Wow, that’s so fucked up I don’t even have words.

        • raininmai

          In many states, it’s perfectly legal to fire anyone for just about any reason. They call it “at will” employment, and California is a shining example.

          • urbantravels

            At-will employment excepts members of protected classes – it is illegal to fire a member of a protected class solely on the basis of their membership in that class. At the moment state law defines who is in a protected class, since there is no federal law protecting GLBT people from employment discrimination. Those 29 states are the ones who have declined to pass laws protecting gay people from employment discrimination.

            I presume you realize that there is only one U.S. state that does NOT define employment as at-will.

            • Alice Teeple

              Yeah, in Pennsylvania a teacher can be fired for being gay. I knew of a woman who was so terrified of being found out that she was a lesbian in a committed relationship because the school board was so conservative. She was right to be worried, they would have fired her in a heartbeat. These were people who would show up at school book fairs screaming at the librarian for checking out Harry Potter books.

    • Lattis

      I read an interview of a guy who’d been in a plane that suddenly went into a dive. Everyone on the plane was sure they were going to die. While the plane was plummeting and oxygen masks were deploying, etc., he was regretting that when he’d left to go on the trip he hadn’t told his wife he loved her. Then he thought, “I don’t love her.” So when he got home he and his wife divorced.

      That’s what the scene in the ambulance reminded me of. Abe, in the crisis of being stabbed, suddenly sees with clarity what’s wrong with his life and has to set it right.

      • Chris

        I think that’s a very good assessment. Abe, like most of the men in Peggy’s life, really angered me though. Peggy is always the one making the sacrifices and compromising. In Abe’s case: on marriage, where they live etc. which are pretty much the biggest things in life. Abe didn’t seem to mind enjoying the benefits of Peggy’s hard work and success (I think we all know who the major investor in that house was) and I don’t doubt she probably helped to support him while he built up his reporting career. His open disdain for her was so painful to watch. I don’t think poor Peggy being terrified of being raped or murdered in her own home justified his derision.

        • Susan Collier

          It might be a sacrifice, or it might be Peggy taking the path of least resistance. She’s always been concentrating on her career, it seems. It just doesn’t seem as easy for a woman to have both, especially in earlier decades (but even so today).

          • Chris

            That’s the truth!

          • Alice Teeple

            If that’s the case, she and Ted are identical in that respect. He wants to keep the path of least resistance in his own personal life, and concentrate on his career.

        • Lattis

          Just the noise outside their window!!! Geez, I’d have been quaking in my boots.

          • Alice Teeple

            I’m also pretty sure Peggy’s anger at Abe for mouthing off to the police officer also stemmed from a fear that the police wouldn’t be on their side the next time something would happen. Abe was a real jerk to the officer. Not to say that he wasn’t right about them harassing every dark-skinned person on the block, but it was stupid of him to not give a description in that he put everyone else in danger as well with those attackers still out on the loose.

          • vidacelina

            yes, people yelling in Spanish! how terrifying that must be for you.

        • Alice Teeple

          I’ve wanted to smack him ever since he was introduced and went on about laughing at women for wanting civil rights. The scene where he told Stan’s cousin that he was coming home in a body bag made my skin crawl. I know plenty of sanctimonious men like Abe, and I can’t stand being around them. His relationship with Peggy was terrible from the get-go. Peggy really needs a partner or no one at all; not someone to sponge off of her. He’s a horrible hypocrite for doing so and then throwing it in her face. Yeah, dipshit, she might be “the enemy,” but at least she knows where her bread is buttered. Have fun writing for the Village Voice.

          • Chris

            Abe always rubbed me the wrong way too. We never saw him participating in freedom marches or anything that doesn’t advance his career. It’s all about typing it down and getting the story. Peggy is a pioneer in her own way but women’s rights are never of interest to him. He’s as career minded as she is but he thinks he is a freedom fighter.

            • Alice Teeple

              Bingo! It was telling that he was a Gene McCarthy fan. McCarthy was all about solving the “urban problem” by relocating blacks out of the ghetto to wealthier suburbs. I think that Abe’s whole gentrification attempt smacks of that white guilt problem. It’s all well and fine for him to be sanctimonious to the point of idiocy when he gets stabbed by a stranger, but he wants to live in an environment that’s basically an urban utopia, meaning…white people are there to solve the ghetto “problem.” White people with money to buy and fix up those places, like Peggy. He really, really used her. And now he’s writing another article about what a disgusting person she is for being in advertising. History repeating itself.

            • Floretta

              Which is entirely true to character and the times. Women’s ambitions were of little or no interest to many men then (even now) and the idea that a woman even had an ambition to be or do something beyond wife and mother was a non-idea to a lot of people, women as well as men. It always bugged me when someone was referred to as a lady doctor or lady fireman (never firefighter) – lots of earnest discussion about how to refer to a person of the female persuasion doing anything remotely not a wife or mother in the professions. Lower classes had no problem within their own realm – you were a seamstress or clerk or factory worker, maybe a farmer’s wife (never a lady farmer because what woman owned and operated her own farm without a husband?) And don’t get me started on Ms. versus Miss or Mrs.

          • formerlyAnon

            Oh yes. Abe’s thinking is textbook for many of the male political radicals in my life (though in the ’70s). Some of ‘em grew out of all of it and joined mainstream corporate America, most of ‘em found a middle path, and a few of them are still self righteous and able to cloak any self centeredness – including their unacknowledged sexist, racist and classist assumptions – in the banners of political causes. Getting a little more bitter every decade, mostly.

            • Alice Teeple

              YUP. I can’t remember if we had this discussion on another TLo thread, but there were so many lefty radicals from that time who were completely misogynistic. I work at a university, and there are still a bunch of boomer ex-hippies who still teach and who are still complete jerks to women, and are unrelentingly sanctimonious. A lot of my friends’ parents, about his age, lived in a sort of hippie commune and some of them remind me of Abe. Completely unable to have a normal conversation without turning it in to a political battle. I just want to say, give it a rest, guys!

            • Floretta

              Alas, not all old lefties, radical or otherwise – plenty of Young Republicans, John Birchers and assorted right-wing conservatives with similar ideas. A classmate of mine married one – and divorced him after a few short years but it took her a long time to find her self-confidence again. His disdain for women was palpable; what she saw in him I never knew, or asked.

            • Alice Teeple

              *shudder* The John Birchers….yeah. Those people are even creepier. Any extremist on either end of the political spectrum should come with a warning flag!

          • lilyvonschtupp

            Obviously a New York Post reader

            • Alice Teeple

              HA!

        • MilaXX

          Which just goes to show the hypocrisy about Abe.

        • urbantravels

          To me the only saving grace of Abe is that he was *so damn cute* before he grew all that seaweed all over his face. He should have been a hot fling that lasted a short while. That could have worked out fine. But they both made the mistake of going on with it despite the mismatch.

      • Lisa

        So surprised that everyone here hates Abe so much. I think he was really wrong for Peggy, but otherwise the things that he said (e.g. the idea of a civil rights march for women being silly) seem pretty typical of how just about everyone — no matter how liberal — thought at the time. I never felt like he was sponging off of her. I felt like he really loved her for the person she was outside of her work, and would have rather been with her in poverty with her doing work that he thought was not evil than live with her in the nicest place. How he felt about her job was the way that someone might feel now about (say) someone whose job is to create new GMO’s for Monsanto. And maybe he had a point — the kind of work these advertising people are doing is not supposed to be admirable.

        • Sobaika

          This. Abe is actually a really honest character, much more so than Peggy. They were wrong for each other and the audience and Abe could see it before she ever could.

          • Chris

            Abe never struck me as someone who actually did anything particularly great. Everything was about “getting the story.” He was never on the front lines unless it was to help him get a story published in a more popular newspaper. I never noticed him being particularly kind to Peggy. Everything was fine when Peggy gave into him and he knew from the beginning when he wrote that scathing piece and gave it to her what she did. He always struck me as someone who cared for causes more than individual people.

            • Sobaika

              I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you (especially about him caring about causes as opposed to people) but within the context of their relationship, I don’t think Peggy did anything that great either.

            • Chris

              I always saw her trying, bringing him into eat with the creatives so he was comfortable in her group (maybe it was also showing him off too “see my boyfriend”). She really had to stand up to her mother and society by agreeing to officially live with him without even the promise of marriage. That was a huge deal back then, it was such a big deal they were still making movies about it in the 1980′s. Peggy wanted marriage but went along with what Abe wanted. Peggy wanted a nice apartment on the east side but sank all her hard earned savings into that unsafe dump after Abe said “children.” She didn’t carry on about his going off to Harlem in the middle of the riots. She always seemed supportive of what he wanted while he always seemed like he was “schooling” her. At least that’s how he appeared to me. He was like Professor Bhaer in Little Women, blech!

            • Lattis

              Professor Bhaer!! Oh, that’s ripping off a scab. I haven’t thought of him in a long while. I’m with you – blech.

            • Sobaika

              Yeah… I don’t see how her trying to make him fit into her own world or acquiescing to his way of life as opposed to hers is a good thing.

            • Lisa

              That scene when Abe came to Peggy’s office was, I think, when she was desperately trying to come up with ways to fix the headphones campaign on New Year’s Eve. If I remember correctly, Abe as well as Ted suggested to Peggy that she should have let her creative team go home. So I don’t think that her asking Abe to be in the office that night was doing Abe any favors. Quite the opposite — he was spending his New Year’s eating fast food with her and keeping her company while she worked.

              Professor Bhaer was the only totally fictional character in Little Women, if I remember right. Alcott (a spinster, presumably a lesbian) felt obliged to make up a spouse for herself. That almost sounds like a good comparison here to me — that Abe was the kind of boyfriend that Peggy thought that she should have, rather than someone she really fell in love with or was in sync with. But I think he’d be perfectly fine for someone else (I can imagine myself with him more than just about anyone else on the show), so I hate to see him get such a bad rap.

            • Chris

              I meant last season (I think it was) . Abe was in the creative office before Peggy left SCDP and he was just having dinner and drinking beer with her, Stan, Ginsberg etc. I remembered it because in Mad Style TLo pointed out how Peggy’s outfit tied in with Abe’s and the guys in the office. It was just a casual scene that pointed out to me that Peggy was proud of him and wanted him to know her work friends. On New Years Eve Abe just hung out listening to the free earphones and getting in a dig about her “abusing” the guys working under her who she said were slacking. Abe never seemed interested in standing up for Peggy though. I always saw him as criticizing her and implying she was selfish. It’s probably my own hang up but I have a problem with guys who have to lecture women on how they are wrong for doing what they enjoy or excel at. Like Professor Bhaer lecturing Jo for reading the newspaper and writing unladylike stories.

            • gracedarling

              TOTALLY off topic here, but I think Professot Bhaer was modeled upon Thoreau, upon whom Louisa Alcott supposedly had an enormous crush.

            • formerlyAnon

              I just think he was the antithesis of her own man-child of a father. Maybe that’s the same as Thoreau. (Of whom I am also not that big a fan, but he beat Bronson Alcott all hollow.)

            • Lisa

              Apparently a platonic crush. From Wikipedia:

              >In Little Women, Alcott based her heroine “Jo” on herself. But whereas Jo marries at the end of the story, Alcott remained single throughout her life. She explained her “spinsterhood” in an interview with Louise Chandler Moulton, “I am more than half-persuaded that I am a man’s soul put by some freak of nature into a woman’s body … because I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man.”

              I’m not so sure this is entirely off-topic. Peggy is involved with a lot of men, and she seems to enjoy having sex with them, and so I’m not exactly sure that I’m positing that she would be a lesbian if she thought that would be acceptable (though I wouldn’t be surprised if she went in that direction either). But she always seems to be going out with men based on her idea that they are who she is supposed to be with, who validate an idea of herself as a certain kind of person. And then when she moves beyond that idea of herself or her need for them to validate her, she moves on. I’ve yet to see her actually fall for anybody, except maybe Pete. So the relationships that she has with men seem similar to the kind of crush that Louisa May Alcott might have had on Thoreau. Not sexual, not romantic, no “falling in love.”

            • Chris

              Not to get wildly off topic with the Louisa May Alcott analogy but I don’t put much stock into what she told interviewers. LMA was a master at hiding things about herself and her life she didn’t want people to know. Pretty much every fault of Jo’s was hers (even worse) including the lurid novels she wrote but never wanted anyone to know she had authored.

            • Alice Teeple

              Nah, I don’t think Peggy’s a lesbian. She had Joyce practically throwing herself at her for some time and she showed no interest in her or lesbianism. She’s also never shown interest in women. I think Peggy’s simply emotionally immature when it comes to relationships, and she shows the very passivity she would have been raised with as a strict Catholic. On a personal level, she is constantly torn between what she wants and what she thinks she should have.

            • Alice Teeple

              I think part of the appeal of Abe was also the idea of rebelling against her overbearing mother and sister with someone they clearly wouldn’t approve of her dating. Jewish, counterculture, abrasive, sinful? I think Peggy was torn over wanting to rebel against what had been expected of her growing up, and also secretly wanting some of that traditional stuff, and Abe personified that. When he pushed her buttons over the kids issue, he knew her well enough that this would lead him to getting his way.

            • formerlyAnon

              Professor Bhaer: The paternalistic father figure Louisa May Alcott saw as a loving safe haven because her own father was such an irresponsible man-child.

            • Cheryl

              I didn’t see Abe being in love with Peggy, ever. I think he liked having a girlfriend, but he wasn’t especially nice to her, and didn’t even seem to appreciate her non-work personality. They were never really in sych; she thought he was going to propose but he only proposed moving in together. She wanted a nice apartment with amenities; he wanted to live in what he knew was an undesirable part of town, just to give him “cred” with the people. I only wish she had dumped him before he dumped her!

            • Alice Teeple

              Not only that, he proposed moving in together only after he witnessed the relationship she had with Stan and Ginsberg at work. He was clearly uncomfortable with their banter and felt left out of it, and probably quite resentful as well. I think he needed to feel assertive, somehow, so his solution was to shack up. I felt his doing that was a power play on his part against those two, without having to truly commit, but he did so under the guise of sticking it to the man by not getting officially married. Dude was a creepazoid.

            • Chris

              I keep thinking how Peggy’s mother is just going to be rubbing it in. She told Peggy Abe was just going to “practice” on Peggy by living with her but wouldn’t marry her.

            • Alice Teeple

              Oh man, I know. I’m sure she’s dreading that her mother and sister will get on her case yet again. But that’s another parallel of hypocrisy: remember in the MLK episode, when Peggy mentions to Megan that she’s been helping out her mother financially? It’s all well and fine for Mrs. Olson and Abe to shit on Peggy for working in advertising and making lousy choices in life, as long as they can still reap the benefits. It reminds me of when Peggy bought her the TV as a gift, and then her mother chewed her out for moving out of Brooklyn. But she still kept the TV!

            • sekushinonyanko

              That makes me think about Katy Perry’s parents. They’ll publically call her everything but a child of God for singing in underpants and then go right along with accepting the benefits that come from having a rich and famous daughter. Either hate what I do and fuck right off or make peace with it if you want the benefits.

        • formerlyAnon

          “he really loved her for the person she was outside of her work, and would have rather been with her in poverty with her doing work that he thought was not evil than live with her in the nicest place. How he felt about her job was the way that someone might feel now about (say) someone whose job is to create new GMO’s for Monsanto”

          I think it’s a matter of where we (the viewers) stand on this, you’ve defined the divide on Abe well. I believe that if you believe your own judgement on the moral implications of what a person does for a living should trump their own, and THEN you two could live together happily, you don’t really love that person – you love your imaginary version of them.

          Which is common in relationships. How many couples are SURE everything would be perfect if only somebody would stop drinking, or work fewer hours or etc., etc. In Abe’s case, it’s not his views that bug me (I was and remain pretty lefty by the standards of the past & present), it’s the absolutist way he is sure he’s right and everything would be fine if she’d just believe as he does. He’s entitled to his opinion and to live by his own moral code, but the fact is that he is and always has been kind of an asshole in how dismissive he is about Peggy’s choices.

          It doesn’t help that I am a lot older than Abe and as I’ve aged I’ve become more and more convinced that very few things are black & white, right & wrong. The law of unintended consequences sees to that.

          • Lisa

            I agree that Abe and Peggy were wrong for one another, and that the main reason is that he can’t accept what she does for a living. And I agree that he shouldn’t be in a relationship with her and expecting her to change. What I don’t agree with is that he is a bad guy for not accepting what she does for a living. Advertising is a really crappy profession, just as morally empty as creating GMO’s. People have the right to be in it, but people also have the right to think it’s so immoral that they don’t feel good about being involved with people who are in it. (Note: FWIW, I have an M.S. In advertising and a Ph.D. in marketing, both from extremely prestigious programs.)

        • Alice Teeple

          I can tell you the reason why I hated the Abe character so much: his blatant hypocrisy, for one. He was going on about writing for underground papers and bragging about being a part of the counterculture, but as soon as he saw an opportunity to write for the conventional and prestigious New York Times, he was on it. He constantly bitched to Peggy about how loathsome her job was, but he never told her to leave it because he knew that would stop the money flow and put a damper on his writing career if he actually had to work. I couldn’t stand his obnoxious self-righteousness and inability to have a conversation with anyone that wasn’t politically charged; particularly when he was talking about Stan’s cousin coming home in a body bag, or obnoxiously taking advantage of the MLK announcement to play hero. He put himself in physical danger by acting like a moron, and then wouldn’t co-operate with the police, putting the entire neighborhood in danger. The fact that Peggy’s whole life WAS her career negates the idea that he loved her outside of work. We never really saw anything positive between them after they shacked up. And finally, no, I don’t think everyone felt the way Abe did, because Nixon won the election that year on a campaign based on restoring law and order to the country, not inciting revolution. Of course Peggy works in a shitty corporate world, but Abe isn’t much better. At least she’s honest about it, while he pretends he doesn’t know where his bread’s been buttered for their entire relationship.

    • MartyBellerMask

      Hooray for LAWNMOWERS!

    • Susan Collier

      Nobody’s at the helm of that Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce-Ted ship and it’s showing.

      • PowerfulBusiness

        Yes! They alluded to that a few times tonight. The irony of it all. They wanted more, bigger, better – and those three things are causing them to become unglued.

    • http://twitter.com/kitchenflails Cassidy Olsen

      Thank you for posting on the holiday! Have Mad Men episodes always felt so much like movies? I know lately they’ve been especially plot-heavy, but SO MUCH seems to happen in 45 minutes. I only watched season 5 and 6 live.

      I found the comment Betty made in bed interesting, where she said something along the lines of, “I can see how much you’ve changed,” to Don. It just highlights how much SHE has changed, not Don. I’ve always enjoyed watching Betty but I’ve despised her as an actual character until just now. Well, minus the “Can you believe I’ve had 3 kids?” line. The scenes at camp with Bobby and Don had me squealing.

      Also, yeah, Bob Benson is serving some Ted Bundy realness.

    • http://twitter.com/NMMagpie NMMagpie

      An excellent meditation with the butter/margarine analysis. I just love you guys. :)

    • baxterbaby

      I vote for this post as the most enlightening one you two Have ever written. For my money. Kudos!

    • Elizabeth Moore

      Many have commented on the chemistry between Jon Hamm and January Jones in this episode. Yet, I also noticed that Jones and Christopher Stanley had also managed to recapture their old chemistry from the Betty/Henry flirtations of Season 3. Some have commented that Betty has “somewhat” matured. I think one can say the same for some of the other more characters and people in general.

      I can’t crow over the Peggy/Abe breakup. I’m glad that it happened, but I can’t crow. I never really thought those two were suited for one another. Peggy and Abe have never struck me as willing to understand each other. I found both of them self-absorbed when reacting to each other’s viewpoints. They just don’t click. And I think that Abe was right to end the relationship.

      I don’t know if Bob is gay or not. But I do feel that regardless of his sexual preference, it would have been wiser for him to act as a friend for Joan, instead of a lover. Perhaps Bob sees this as the wisest course, as well. I also find it interesting that he seemed to be going out of his way to please the two youngest partners of the firm – Joan and Pete.

      • gogobooty

        Henry gets all worked up when he’s stealing Betty from Don, or when other men want her and he knows all about it. I don’t think he’d like B and D sealing the deal, tho.

      • Inspector_Gidget

        That scene with the guy trying to pick up a dolled-up Betty at a reception was a mirror of the scene with Henry doing to the same thing. I think he had serious deja vu!

        • MilaXX

          I think Henry was turned on by that somehow, hence the sexy time in the ride home.

          • Liz

            I think the episode had major undertones of “women as property” (which- you know, nothing new for Mad Men). But that’s the vibe I got from Don and Ted trying to get Peggy to pick- they both consider her “mine.” And the vibe I got from Henry. If Betty is his property, sure he’s going to get a thrill out of other guys wanting her.

    • Mars Tokyo

      Bob Benson is the new Don Draper.

    • Pennymac

      Holy Shit! My disqus is showing comments again. I went through almost a week of not making snarky remarks. Major withdrawals.

      Duck skeeves me too, and I AM a recovering alcoholic/addict. FYI-there’s a lot of skeevy people in “those” meetings.

      Disagree on the lawnmower scale, Uncles. The spray of blood from the original lawnmower scene was a 5/5. Abe’s stabbing was almost a 5/5 for me; but added to the entire ambulance ride scene? Nothing says “Your activities are offensive to my every waking moment” better than saying that line with a knife sticking out of your gut. One that the “offender” stuck there. That’s a 5/5 in my opinion!

      Oh, and Bob Benson is setting off my gaydar. But then again, it might have only been those shorts.

      • Alice Teeple

        I was wondering if Bob might be gay, too…but then again, it could be he’s pretending so Joan feels at ease with him and blabs more company gossip for his arsenal. I’m still on the fence over whether or not he is! What I DO know is, those fishy swim trunks were freaking amazing.

        • swiss_miss

          I don’t think anyone at that time would think that pretending to be gay would be wise. Even if he thought that Joan would be ok with it, there’s always the possibility that she would tell it someone else and if that got around, it could really hurt him in so many ways. Of course there were some out gay people then, but not many and they were really courageous by coming out and risking so much.

          • Alice Teeple

            Yeah, you’re right. Three’s Company wouldn’t be for another ten years yet! :)

          • Cheryl

            He seems more asexual than anything else. He’s very good-looking, but I don’t find him sexy at all. And he gets along with people (especially Joan) but I don’t think he has “chemistry” with anyone.

            • Chris

              As I said elsewhere here, he is like the new Ken doll. Google Talking Ken 1969 and you will see what I mean.

        • Chris

          Oh those fishy trunks were phenomenal!

    • Inspector_Gidget

      Betty is BACK, bitches! Loved, loved, loved everything about each scene she was in. And, go figure, she was the one person who could make Don’s philandering interesting again. I wasn’t rolling my eyes the entire time he was in bed with another woman, because he actually got schooled in about the only way that would get through to him.

      Best episode in a while. Even Don wasn’t a drag!

    • Blueathena623

      I’m surprised Joan said anything to Bob Benson about Pete’s mother troubles. Joan was always the epitome of discretion, and now she’s blabbing what Pete shared in confidence?
      And I felt for Pete, him talking with Joan. I don’t know if he is trying to flirt with her or what, but there is something there.

      • Inspector_Gidget

        Joan had to know Bob would run with that information. She’s got his number. So it helped Pete and also got him off her back. Smart girl.

        • siriuslover

          I totally agree.

        • Blueathena623

          Thanks. That makes me feel much better about Joan. Did she tell bob this before or after rodger came by? If it was after I can certainly see it as a way of distracting bob from trying to dig info on Joan and rodger.

          • decormaven

            She told him before Roger arrived.

        • joything

          Bingo. Girl knows how to play. When Pete shows favor to Bob now, Bob owes Joan.

      • MilaXX

        Bob is just that smooth and Joan is at a point where she really needs a confidant.

      • jen_wang

        It was kind of touching, like he thinks of Joan as a person with all the answers.

    • JulieTy

      Just watched it again, and the scene with Arlene coming over to drink wine/read lines with Megan ending in an awkward pass reminded me SO much of “Tootsie.”

      • sarahjane1912

        Except without the hysterical jumping up and running around the coffee table and each insisting it was their own fault etc etc … Ha ha. :-)

        • JulieTy

          “That’s a corncob!” :-)

    • http://twitter.com/appletreedd Apple Tree

      I kind of hoped Betty wouldn’t hook up with Don, but SHE’S BACK. Finally! And in a glorious style.

    • PowerfulBusiness

      Can you imagine how much would get done at that office if Joan, Peggy and Dawn ran it? As of now, it’s a bunch of little boys swinging their privates around.

      • Chris

        I always think of that when you see the army of secretaries that are marching through in the background of any scene. The men are always barking orders at the women who make things happen behind the scenes. The women (Joan, Peggy) are always willing to make the sacrifices to have things run smoothly while the men are in pissing contests. I always wonder what poor Clara has had to put up with when dealing with Pete all these years.

    • Chris

      I thought Don’s comment about sex not being about closeness in his mind was very telling. He definitely would not have ever divorced Betty if she hadn’t been the one to reach the breaking point. As bad as things ever got between them he always wanted to roll home to her and the family after his affairs ended. He always seemed surprised and offended whenever Betty questioned his life or business outside their house. It reminded me if something Desi Arnaz had said about Lucille Ball divorcing him for his many infidelities. He didn’t understand it because he didn’t love the other women, he “loved” her. In his mind the two things didn’t affect the other.

      • Sobaika

        I see what you’re saying but… ugh. Fuck men.

        Also that’s a pretty great avatar image.

        • Chris

          Oh yeah (not to be sexist) but it’s an attitude I’ve only ever heard a man espouse. Don didn’t look so keen when Betty turned it around on him. It reminded me of “Down With Love” (or an early episode of Sex and The City) Betty was having sex “like a man”.

          Thanks about the Avatar :0)

      • swiss_miss

        Even though the whole thing with not loving those other women is a ridiculous excuse (who of those men wouuld have accepted if their wives would have done the same thing?) I don’t think it fits Don because he behaved as if he had deep feelings for his mistresses for the length of the affair at least some of the time. He’s not the type who has an one-night stand sometimes or goes to prostitutes or something, but he has rather intense affairs.

        • Chris

          That’s true he had connections with several of the women- but not ever enough to want to be caught. Never enough to call it quits with a wife himself. He always wants to have his cake and eat it too.

        • joything

          I suddenly flashed back to the prostitute Don hired to slap him when he was living in that gross bachelor apartment — and now the slapping connects with his stepmom beating him for having had sex. Ew. Ow. Ouch.

      • Inspector_Gidget

        True, but I also think that was self-delusional. And it served up another opportunity for Betty to call him on his BS. “You sure you don’t just want to hold me?”

    • sarahjane1912

      Oops. Forgot to say thanks again for a wonderful recap. Can’t wait ’til Mad Style. Peggy’s outfits this episode were to DIE. Woman on the way up.

      • Alice Teeple

        That little polka dot blouse was so adorable! I wasn’t crazy about the yellow jacket, but the sheath underneath was so cute.

        • Cheryl

          I thought the polka-dot was the top of a dress? It was a cute outfit. I have to admit, my jaw was so busy dropping every five minutes, I really didn’t pay much attention to the Mad Style!

          • Chris

            Yes the red white and blue was the top of the dress and she had a green and white polka dot one on at the end. Sadly for Peggy they seem to be the Polka dots of doom.

          • Alice Teeple

            Oh! I think you’re right. Either way, it was so cute. And yes, everything was bonkers. My boyfriend came in just after Abe got stabbed in the first airing, and asked what happened. I said, “SO MUCH!” He said, “you say that every week.” And after the second airing, he just sat there with his jaw dropped. It was so great.

    • procrastinatrice

      I really enjoyed last night’s episode, including Betty’s comeback–like most of you seem to. But I am also rather disturbed by it…it all worked too perfectly for her, as in some fantasy she is having when she is trying to lose weight. She loses weight and immediately she has men lusting after her, her adulterous ex-husband who treated her as some crazy middle-aged hag for the last couple of years not only desires her immensely again, but tells her all the things she would want to hear in a fantasy of this kind–that she looks just as beautiful as she did when he first met her. When she mysteriously says that she doesn’t feel guilty about what they just did because “it happened a long time time ago,” I interpreted that as “I already fantasized about this for a long time, so the adultery in my mind had already happened…and a while back.” I think the audience got their own fantasies fulfilled through her comeback, through relating it to the one that got away, or to how life is going to be much more fabulous after weight loss, or just in plain old narcissism.

      But as I said, while I enjoyed it, I was also disturbed…I know there is no good reason to blame the show for the shortcomings of the society we live in, or of mankind in general, but I wish the fact that Betty’s self-image is so connected her dress-size didn’t find such as immediate, uncomplicated justification in the actions of the men around her. I am thinking about how the show could be subversive regarding this plot line, and I have no clear answers…but I am uneasy with this level of “It’s true! Everybody will want you if you lose weight!” representation of things.

      • Elizabeth Moore

        But wasn’t Henry still lusting after Betty even when she was a little heftier? They still had a sex life, as “Tea Leaves” had shown back in S5. As for the fantasy aspect of it all, I think this is from Don’s POV. Or he could have been using Betty as an emotional crutch from the current disasters of his other relationships – Megan, Sylvia and Peggy. And let’s be honest . . . we have always lived and still do live in a world in which physical looks are so important. There are some societies where thin women are not regarded as sexually desirable. Human beings are basically shallow when it comes to judging other people. That is just the way we are.

        • procrastinatrice

          Yes, but I accept that this a societal problem and a human nature problem, and not just a problem with the show…as I said above. And while I appreciate that Henry continued to find her attractive when she gained weight, he was no less a part of this change in male behavior. He is now more animalistically drawn to her, ravishing her in the car when he hears about another man’s desire, rather than the affectionate attraction we have been observing for a while now.

          • Chris

            I think their sex life – if it was reduced- had to do with Betty’s feelings about herself not Henry’s behavior. He made it clear all along he thought she was gorgeous when she weighed more or less, or was brunette or blonde. It is true that other men responded when Betty lost the weight and her opinion of herself has always been tied to men’s opinions of her. Henry got a charge out if it when the other guy was after Betty but I think that is human nature and I truly believe Henry probably thought other guys were after Betty even when she was heavier. He was so proud when he told her he wanted other people to really get to know her.

            • procrastinatrice

              I think you are right about Henry and the change coming more from how Betty saw herself. I should give more credit to Henry…even though he was a little creepy in the car.

            • swiss_miss

              I think she enjoyed it. While it would be creepy for many people, I think it was something that he knew she would enjoy. I feel like he is somebody who would never want to make a woman uncomfortable.

            • Chris

              Henry and Betty have a history of getting frisky in the car. I remember them fooling around in the car in the garage in Ossining. It was after Henry’s mother said something like “I know what you see in that woman.” From what they have shown Henry and Betty have a pretty good sex life and Betty is the one who always seems to enjoy a good game. You are right about the other men- only Henry was as admiring no matter her weight. The young gas station attendant’s behavior is quite different than how she was treated when she ventured into the abandoned building a few months ago.

      • Cheryl

        I think Betty has a kind of freedom now that she hasn’t had since before she had Sally, and became a Mother. She and Henry are a team; Sally is a handful but so far they are doing OK with her. Bobby is finally! blossoming; we just have to wait until Silent Gene becomes a real 5-year-old. He’ll soon be off to kindergarten, which means for the first time she will have all three kids in school. (Mothers dream of that day!) Yes, she’s very tied into her weight and dress size, but as someone who has recently lost some weight, it does make you feel more attractive, and there’s a certain power in that. So she is 40-ish, but still looks like a young woman, but now with freedom and power.

        (I just cleared 25 articles of clothing out of my closet, donating the size 14 pants, now that I wear an 8. It really does feel terrific.)

        • Qitkat

          Congrats on your weight loss. For me, getting to a size 14 would be a happy place of weight loss, lol.

          • formerlyAnon

            Depending on how long ago you wore a 14, it could realistically be a 10 or even an 8 in today’s sizing!

            (A friend who had to downsize her Talbot’s clothing orders a size a couple of years ago was complaining to me that she had to send her most recent order back for a still smaller size – and she’s not shrinking! Pretty soon the truly small among us will be wearing negative sizes.)

        • Chris

          Congratulations! There is nothing better than achieving a goal you have set for yourself!

      • jen_wang

        I took “it happened a long time ago” to mean that she was compartmentalizing it as a visit from the past. Not that she’d been waiting around for it, but that to her, it was sort of a moment outside the fabric of her normal life, nothing to feel guilty about. It reminded me of their trip to Rome, and how the escapism was a lot of the fun then.

    • Lisa

      As things that you can spread on your toast go, margarine is about the least health-conscious thing you can choose. An example of the worst tendencies of the industrial food era, from start to finish. Butter is infinitely more healthful. The fact that anyone ever thought margarine was healthful was a triumph of the marketers, but fortunately, the message that this was a fraud seems to have pretty much gotten through to people. Hasn’t it?

      • fnarf

        Not old people My inlaws still firmly believe that margarine is a health food and that butter is poison — “cholesterol!”. Younger people, in my experience, wouldn’t touch margarine with a ten foot pole.

      • JulieTy

        Anything that comes from a cow has to be better than something that comes from a lab(oratory).

      • Cheryl

        I think there are more varieties of margarine on my supermarket shelf than butter. People are still buying it for “low cholesterol” diets. This is thanks to the advertisers of the 1960s – 1970s. It’s hard to reconcile how much unhealthful nutrition we were fed all those years. Thanks a lot, SCDPCGC!

      • urbantravels

        To be fair, nobody knew a damn thing about trans fats and why they were bad for you until many decades later. It wasn’t a matter of deliberately selling an unhealthful product. In fact, since this is 1968 we’re still in an era when margarine was simply marketed on the basis of being cheaper (with lots of smoke-blowing about how it’s ‘just as good as butter.’ Only a few years later the claims that margarine was healthier than butter came out – and this was official public health advice from on high.

        When I was a kid in the 70s my family went on a “heart healthy” diet kick, which at the time meant among other things corn oil and corn oil margarine. (Who else here is old enough to remember those vaguely offensive Mazola corn oil ads with the Indian maiden?) The first “American Heart Association Cookbook” was a bible in my house. First edition, 1973 – full of advice that would today be considered disastrous.

        Now, of course, we know that trans fats are bad (and corn oil is also terrible for you). But it took a while for the science to get established on that and longer than that to push back against the interests of industry, who still liked their cheap shelf-stable trans fats just fine. It was only in 2003 that the FDA started requiring trans fats to be listed on food ingredient labels and that was a fairly intense battle.

        • ldancer

          I *totally* remember those ads! They featured awful fake “Indian” singing and drumming. “Mazola, corn GOODNESS”. Ugh.

    • Zaftiguana

      This is the most I’ve ever liked Betty.

      Pobrecita Peggy. During that last scene I found myself thinking, “Girl, you should have gotten a wash and set before you went to visit Mr. Chaough. It wouldn’t have changed how the conversation went, but you’d have felt a whole hell of a lot better afterward.” What I love about Peggy is that when things like this happen to her, you can almost see her learning and growing from them.

      But Abe, man. What a shit. I had high hopes for their relationship, but I could never quite let go of that moment early on when he was preaching to Peggy about the hardships of being a person of color but couldn’t acknowledge her struggles as a woman. He’s made some fair socially conscious points, and we know our girl Peggy is no super star in that area, but he’s one of those Social Justice Warriors who has his head so far up his own ass that he can’t see the individuals around him as people with the same worth as the more general communities he’s so eager to champion. Peggy wasn’t scared because she’s a bourgeois corporate shill, ya dick. She was scared because living in a place where her boyfriend was stabbed and people are throwing rocks through her windows and having screaming matches in her yard, WHICH IS SCARY.

      • MilaXX

        I just got a flash back to undergrad when this very “Abe” like guy sat there and said nothing changed for black people until they got angry. Social Justice warriors indeed. Abe really needs to have a seat. I knew he and Peggy weren’t right for each other, but I really wish Peggy could have been the one to dump his self righteous butt.

      • formerlyAnon

        “he’s one of those Social Justice Warriors who has his head so far up his own ass that he can’t see the individuals around him as people with the same worth as the more general communities he’s so eager to champion.”

        Perfect description!

      • Laylalola

        I think the writers are on target on such a depiction — much (almost all) of the first writing from the early Second Wave feminists was about how they broke off into their own movement because the men who were political couldn’t see their own sexism. What I can’t quite reconcile is how Abe was writing for the New York Times just months earlier (MLK assassination articles) with his speech against Peggy being establishment and the enemy. In fact, I took it that precisely because he was submitting work to the NYT that he and Peggy would make it.

        • Zaftiguana

          Oh see, but when he sells out to Corporate America it’s for The Greater Good. Not like when poor, blind, stupid Peggy does it.

          In seriousness, though, I’m sure Abe had some really valid qualms about Peggy’s work. The advertising business is gross. Peggy herself sees this (to a degree). It’s Abe thinking he’s so much better that’s really at issue. The moment that really summed up what a monumental ass he is was there at the end when he said that at least he had an ending for his story. Like even the years they’ve been together he didn’t even give a shit about Peggy or think about her as a person with feelings.

          • Laylalola

            I’m with you on all of that. :)

            But still, the New York Times thing really stands out. Maybe the writers wanted some segment of the readership to think a few episodes ago that they really were soul mates, or maybe they wanted to underscore his hypocrisy. But the choice itself — he’s now so deep into activism at a time when there are so many radical underground publications around, I mean even the Village Voice isn’t as radical as what was out there, that it doesn’t make much sense he’d ever entertain writing for the NYT, which even then was as establishment as you get. I mean there were reporters at Time-Life in the 1960s who 25 years later would say they stayed on and became editors at Time or Life only because they failed to get in to the NYT, where you apparently literally had to wait until a reporter died before a position opened up there.

            • Zaftiguana

              You’re probably on point with the latter, underscoring the hypocrisy. It’s okay for him to want success and recognition from the corporate establishment, but not for Peggy. It’s not a perfect analogy since the New York Times isn’t SCDCGWTFBBQ and civil rights journalism isn’t ad copy, but the situations aren’t as dissimilar as I’m sure someone like Abe would love to think.

            • BookJunkie315

              “SCDCGWTFBBQ.” FTW!

      • Orange Girl

        Abe was definitely self-righteous, but I hope Peggy takes a lesson from his “you’re a scared person” speech and begins to assert herself in her intimate relationships with men. She never just says what she wants (or needs) and therefore gives up all control. This goes all the way back to Pete. She should have told Abe how she felt about moving to the UWS, and about his “raising a family comment.” Her relationship with Abe always seemed doomed, but like another commenter stated, Peggy at least learns from her mistakes. And I don’t think her and Ted are done. He’s bound to have another “moment of weakness” working in that mental ward.

        • Zaftiguana

          We haven’t seen her much in intimate relationships with men, though, and I think in recent depictions she’s acquitted herself pretty well and been fairly forthright. I don’t think she’s a scared person interpersonally and I don’t think that’s what Abe was talking about. It was more a comment on Peggy being something of a conservative at heart (in the non-political sense of the word). Peggy’s conservatism seems to me to have more to do with tunnel vision than fearing progress, though. In the end, I think these two were drawn to one another but just didn’t understand each other at all.

          • Orange Girl

            I think you are both right, Abe didn’t intend to lecture her about their relationship. I just hope she can grow from it. I’ll kind of miss Abe though. He looked great without a shirt:)

        • Chris

          That part of Abe’s speech really irked me. If he meant the physical danger it was obnoxious enough as he can never understand the fear any reasonable woman has to face as she is exponentially more likely to be a victim than a man is. If he meant in her life he also is dismissing the bravery it took for Peggy to pursue her career, ask and get an office, move to another agency and demand respect in her field as a woman. I do agree Peggy should be more assertive, particularly in her private life because she would have given Abe his walking papers long ago.

      • UnixDesigner78

        I HATED Abe in this episode. He reminded me of Mike Stivic (“Meathead”) on “All in the Family” when he got righteous about liberal issues, then turned around and told his wife, Gloria, and Edith Bunker that women should stay in the kitchen. I wondered if it was intentional – Abe even looked like Rob Reiner in the 70s. On the other hand, lots of “radical dudes” acted this way…all the men in the MC5, half the NYC LES punks in the 70s, and I could go on…

    • fnarf

      I thought the stabbing scene was the biggest dramatic error of the entire series. The whole thing was ridiculous — the depiction of the Upper West Side as a war zone (it was never that bad, not even in the worst days, which, like a lot of things in this show, were in the 70s, or even the 80s (crack) not the 60s), the insane boarding-up of the window, the ridiculous knife-on-a-broom handle, the stabbing, and the recriminations in the ambulance. I didn’t buy any of it.

      • http://surelysonsy.blogspot.com/ Jessica | Surely Sonsy

        someone please correct me if i’m wrong, but i thought their house was in brooklyn. she was haggling for the house in the UWS, but lowballed it and never got it.

        • Chris

          The apartment Peggy wanted and didn’t get wasn’t on the West side it was East. She even asked if it was too far east. She and Abe are in the UWS.

          • guest2visits

            That’s what i thought – but what I missed was why she lost the location she wanted ( I missed an important moment, I guess). Was she dissed because she was a female wanting to buy, as opposed to a male? Did her realtor ever give her a proper answer why it wasn’t attainable?
            The extent to which Peggy wanted to please Abe was scary. The pleasure she felt just standing in the empty East side place was such a nice feeling of mission accomplished, success! that I couldn’t quite get a picture of her in my head accepting Abe’s social-protest apt. in place of her dream.

            • not_Bridget

              Her realtor just said the deal fell through on the nice apartment….

            • guest2visits

              I got the impression something else was underfoot; did she (the realtor) drop her courtesy when she realized that Peggy was the buyer… was there a bogus competing bid…. why do I think the realtor was just scraping Peggy off her plate? It looked to me like Peggy thought that the woman was oddly dismissive over the phone. Eh….maybe I’m seeing things because I had already cleaned, painted and thrown a few nice things around the 1st place…all in my head, of course.

            • siriuslover

              I think the realtor was dismissive of Peggy’s hesitance to “take advantage” of the MLK situation and lowball on the price.

            • Lilithcat

              what I missed was why she lost the location she wanted

              Someone else came in with a higher offer.

            • Chris

              After MLK was assassinated and there was a lot of unrest in NY the real estate agent told Peggy they should use it as an opportunity to get the place for a lower price. She submitted a bid under the asking price but someone else offered a higher bid and Peggy lost the apartment.

            • guest2visits

              Thanks. I did miss a portion of the conversation they had.
              However…. I feel lingering skepticism about the whole deal. That realtor was weird for a reason, said Watson. Or maybe all realtors are irritating on some level and this was just a whimsical way of closing that avenue for Peggy, script-wise.

            • Chris

              She was taken aback a bit when she realized Peggy was the sole purchaser, but she was the one that initiated the call to Peggy with the idea to submit the low bid. I think she was just supposed to be an opportunistic real estate woman who was coldly trying to use the assassination for a business advantage.

            • guest2visits

              Aha.That explains Peggy’s blank surprise to the Realtor’s nonchalance. Makes sense now.
              If the real estate person suggested this tactic at Peggy’s reluctance….and it failed;
              it would indeed be stunning to listen to her breezy, flippant reasoning on the phone.

            • Chris

              Yes, she had given Peggy bad advice as I believe the end result was if Peggy had just offered the asking price she would have gotten the apartment. This was already a “discount” because at the beginning of the show she was telling Peggy there was another offer and she would have to go over the asking price to get it. She was trying to be breezy as you say because she was the one who had messed up. Before it was “this is the only apartment for you” and after it was “oh well something else will come along no big deal.”

        • siriuslover

          Abe grew up in Brooklyn and he sees the UWS as a place to reinvent New York

      • editrixie

        Thank you for this — I was wondering, as someone who grew up in the Pacific NW and had only the most tangential understanding of what NY was like outside of muggings! You will get mugged! in those days, if this sense of it being a complete war zone was realistic. There have been other things that have rankled me a bit in that they portray certain aspects of society at that time as permeating *every* part of our lives, but it just wasn’t that way (drug use in particular). And the never ending sirens made me really wonder if it was just that bad.

        • Sweetpea176

          I must be really used to living in a city, because the sirens didn’t really stand out to me at all. If they had, I’m not sure they’d register as high crime as much as high density to me. Especially if you’re close to a major thoroughfare.

          • Qitkat

            I don’t think that’s unusual. For a time my family lived in a national park, which was quiet except for natural sounds. After we moved to a small town, the trash truck pickups used to wake us up, though we quickly got used to them, and eventually hardly took notice. I did notice the sirens in the episode, as we still do in the suburbs where I now live, because they are not very common.

            • Sweetpea176

              No, I don’t think it is unusual. I just re-watched the episode, and meant to listen for the sirens. I forgot to, and so still didn’t notice them. On the other hand, when I stay with family, I get a little creeped out both that it’s so quiet, and that I can’t see or hear the front door from my bedroom.

          • urbantravels

            I live a block from a fire station, I’ve been in this apartment 6 years, I was 7 years in my last apartment. My last apartment was also a block from a fire station. Sirens don’t even register with me.

      • VanessaDK

        Thank you. ITA. I’d like Weiner to pinpoint where on the Upper West Side he envisions this brownstone – cause the places that were really bad were not technically the UWS to me.

      • Sobaika

        Agree. Maybe it was a case of it being Peggy’s POV so she was imagining it much worse than it actually was? But that’s giving the writers a bit more credit than they deserve. The depiction of the UWS was really too much.

      • formerlyAnon

        Thanks for weighing in. My impression of crime in NYC in the ’60s vs. the ’70s and ’80s was much as you report, but since I have never actually lived there for any length of time I don’t know the variation by neighborhood and I didn’t know if my impressions were correct.

        • Sweetpea176

          For some reason, I thought that Peggy and Abe were living in lower Manhattan somewhere. I lived in NYC during most of the 80′s and into the 90′s. As I recall, in the 80′s, some neighborhoods could be that bad — lower East Side, Bowery, Alphabet City. Or maybe I just recall it as being pretty bad because I was young and new to living in a city then. By the 80′s, though, UWS was pretty fashionable (maybe that’s why I thought they lived downtown), Hell’s Kitchen wasn’t as bad as it was supposed to have been “back in the day,” Times Square was becoming kind of a ghost town by the early 90′s.

          There was a period of time in the late 80′s or early 90′s when things felt particularly like they were spinning out of control — the Central Park jogger attack, Crown Heights riots, crack, wilding mobs. But the prevailing attitude everywhere the entire dozen or so years I lived there was that you would most likely be OK, but you had to watch your back all the time, no matter where you were or what time of day it was.

          • AViewer44

            The 80s was when the upper UWS was gentrified and redeveloped, in some areas quite unrecognizably. I lived out of the city between 1982 and 1990, and when I came back I could not recognize certain blocks!

      • urbantravels
      • Chris

        This is from a New York Magazine article in 1969 talking about the Upper West Side in 1968

        “Statistically the West Side’s 1968 crime figures place the area in the unenviable top third of the city’s 76 precinct-house totals. The 20th Precinct on West 68th Street and the 24th on West 100th encompass most of the Upper West Side, and their combined records show 36 homicides, 86 forced rapes, 8,478 burglaries, 1,097 felonious assaults, 3,233 robberies (muggings and stickups) and 6,762 larcenies (mostly pocketbook snatches) last year. The bulk of the West Side’s street crime today is the work of roving bands of 14-to-20-year-olds who mug, jostle and threaten their victims around or near the neighborhood parks during the evening and early morning hours. The effect of these crimes, committed, it sometimes seems, on everyone, or at least a friend or relative of everyone on the West Side, has been to create an atmosphere in which sudden noises produce quick frightened looks.”

        • siriuslover

          Nice primary-source information, Chris!

          • ldancer

            Yeah, thank you!

            If they were living near Morningside Park, that was notoriously dangerous.

      • ldancer

        I grew up in the low 100′s in the 70′s and 80′s and there were some very bad blocks, mostly east of broadway. Especially if you were female. Crack definitely changed the vibe. I’m curious about the 60′s in that era. I met someone who’d gone to Barnard when I was in high school (late 80′s – early 90′s). She said they were told not to venture south of 110th. I said, funny, I was told not to venture north of there.

        • Lilithcat

          When I entered Barnard in the mid-60s, we were told “Don’t go into Riverside Park at night, and never go into Morningside Park.” But plenty of people lived south of 110th.

          Of course, in 1968, we were too busy occupying buildings and being otherwise revolutionary to worry about such things.

          • ldancer

            Yeah, south of 110th was pretty nice. There were a lot of by then ancient Viennese Jews who I think may have been refugees from the Nazis, and a pretty broad assortment of other people. Best Cuban-Chinese in town. Growing up there made me a snob about cafe con leche.

            • AViewer44

              This is weird. I posted here earlier but it hasn’t shown up, so will post what I remember having said–and if it posts twice, so be it! Below 110th was dangerous from the point of view of Columbia and Barnard . . . IF you were talking east of Broadway. I lived on 107th between Broadway & Amsterdam as a Barnard student in the 1970s, and very few students would come over, although there were plenty of students who lived south of 110th between Bway and Riverside. They also drummed it into your head not to get off the express train at 110th and walk through Morningside Park–girls who did that usually met with the proverbial fate worse than death. (When you passed that park on the bus, it looked completely empty, and terrifying.) When I first moved to NYC in 1976, the UWS East of Broadway in the 80s had been bad but was getting better–but you just didn’t venture east of Bway from around 90th on up.

    • Megan Kennedy

      Don’t have time to scroll through the hundreds of comments today, so I’m sorry if someone already said this, but my feelers went up when we get Abe and Megan both in white shirts and underwear in consecutive scenes. There are obvious parallels — Abe and Megan are both much more of the time than their partners, they’re both the more submissive ones. But where Abe is taking control of his identity and has some pride in it, Megan is trying to stifle her differences in order to placate Don. Poor girl has a figurative bayonet in her future.

      • MartyBellerMask

        Maybe the bright red star on her shirt could be seen as a bloody stab to the gut?

        • Susan Bigler

          High five!

        • Megan Kennedy

          Yes! I can definitely see that.

    • jess

      This may be too obvious a point… but there seems to be a strong theme of sex as power or sex and power in the last couple of episodes. Betty’s weight loss obviously resulting in her renewed confidence and regaining the power in her relationships with both her husband and ex husband – both interestingly responding to “unwanted attention” in her from strangers. Betty understands that this is where her power lies and has always used it to her advantage. Don’s confession to Betty that he doesn’t understand why sex is the only way to feel close to someone added to the flashback in the previous episode obviously exposing some of his issues with sex and the power games he plays as opposed to as seeing it as a way of feeling close to another person as Betty says “everybody” else does. And Peggy’s journey from feeling she was a desired woman – having a boyfriend and two potential love interests at work in Ted and Stan to her looking dejected at the end of this episode, Stan having moved on very quickly after expressing interest (although she turns him down first), being dumped by Abe and having been rejected by Ted!

      • siriuslover

        All very good points, though I would point out that Stan just wanted some sex–dirty, sweaty, nasty sex–to get his mind off of all his emotional troubles. He was going to have sex with someone, and in the end, it’s good that it wasn’t Peggy because she’s not a physical crutch for him. It preserved their relationship in a way.

        • MartyBellerMask

          Oh, I agree. If it had happened with them last week, it would’ve been the wrong time. He was medicating with drugs and sex, yet it was really the first time we’ve seen him open up. He cares about Peggy and that hasn’t changed regardless of who he had sex with.

    • Karen

      The joy on Bobby Draper’s face as he sang with his two parents at camp was the dream of every child of divorce put on heartbreaking display.

    • UsedtobeEP

      Oh, goodness. Where to start. For once, I am going to comment before I read though it all.

      First, Peggy having all the men shut the doors on her (literally and figuratively). Forge your own way, Peg. You don’t need them. And please go out with Ginsberg. (Not Stan.) Oh, and Ted is a big old manipulator. He is using that kiss to keep her off balance.

      Second, Bob sure is around Pete a lot. I think you might be on to something with the gay Bob idea, unless the nurse turns out to be a move to sabotage Pete. I didn’t catch the “Thow Momma from the Train” connection until you brought it up. (This nurse got to my dad, now he can get to your mom, too.) Last night I was wondering if maybe they introduced a nice guy just to show the audience how jaded we are. “A nice guy? Really? No way. What’s he hiding? I call ulterior motives!”

      Third, I think Margaret was punishing Roger for being the crappy father he probably was to her. She finally has the power to do that.

      • MilaXX

        Margaret is raising quite the spoiler mama’s boy. Because I am mainstreaming Arrested Development, all I could think was that he is Buster in the making. The kid is four and she’s afraid of him using steps? Doe he never go to the playground? She’s ready to sell the dog because the kid is having nightmares? What a pill!

        • UsedtobeEP

          No chance that kid is growing up normal, yep.

        • greenwich_matron

          Selling the dog really killed me. How many nightmares can we be talking about? It couldn’t have been more than two nights that had passed. My guess is she never liked the dog any better than she liked her dad.

        • Qitkat

          The step incident made me shake my head. My 18 month old grandson already wants to walk steps instead of crawling them, even though his legs are too short.
          Margaret hasn’t had a good parental role model from either parent, and is very overprotective for some reason. I don’t recall anything about the little boy’s dad, I guess she is a single mom?

          • MilaXX

            No she’s married. Remember at Roger’s mother’s funeral she asked Roger for money for some venture hubby wanted to get in on.

          • 3hares

            She got married on screen right after JFK died and talked about her husband in the season premiere.

          • not_Bridget

            Mona appears to have been an excellent parent. But Margaret was an only child & probably has no idea about how to raise a boy. And the boy’s father probably leaves the women’s work to her….

          • Chris

            No she was hitting Roger up to invest in her husband’s business in the episode where Roger’s mother died. She’s still married.

      • Alice Teeple

        Eww! Not Ginsberg! He’s been such a jerk to Peggy!

        • UsedtobeEP

          When? I must have missed it. I still remember that scene when they talked for just a sec about his birth in a concentration camp. Since they have almost no scenes together now, MW was obviously just fleshing out the character, but I liked them together then. I missed the early Stan and Peggy scenes everyone refers to, so I just don’t see them together.

          • Alice Teeple

            Oof. When she hired Ginsberg, he gave her a bunch of grief. He’s always been mouthy to her in the creative lounge – although he’s mouthy to everyone. I think she understood him a little better after he mentioned the concentration camp birth, but he’s certainly never been warm to her, and he clearly doesn’t like Stan, either. There was a scene where she was trying to make conversation with him after he got off the phone, and he made a nasty comment about her invading his privacy. Ginzo is not a team player by any means – he’s too wrapped up in wanting to look like a superstar in his field. I don’t see any warmth between him and Peggy as friends, that’s for sure. Stan and Peggy have been close friends for a few years now. Definitely go back and watch their scenes!

            • UsedtobeEP

              Oh yeah, I remember that. I loved the tension between them. I like angst, and Ginzo is angsty, I guess. I just read Stan as more like a brother for her. Lots of BKs love Stan, and there was a near miss last week, so we shall see…

            • Alice Teeple

              I feel sorry for Ginsberg. I don’t hate him, but he’s difficult to like. I think he’s lonely and feels isolated. I was actually rooting for him to hit it off with that nice teacher his dad set him up with. She seems like a nice lady. I feel like he and Peggy are too alike to really make anything work out, and each are too ambitious for the same type of recognition. She needs someone who is comfortable with himself (and unmarried) and he needs someone who is not in direct competition with him.

            • Cheryl

              I hope Peggy doesn’t bounce around from man to man. But she and Ginsberg seem to have a nice working relationship; last week they were the cooler heads who prevailed over the bacchanal.

            • Alice Teeple

              That is definitely true! I think they’ve come to understand how to work with each other, if not talk on a personal level. Peggy has always sort of bounced around, but she was younger before, and she’s learned a lot since.

            • Glammie

              Yeah, I still kind of hope the teacher shows up again. She seemed calm enough to handle him.

            • Alice Teeple

              She was also a nice personality balance. She seemed to be more amused than annoyed by his abrasiveness, and she could hold her own. It’s a little odd we haven’t heard a follow-up or a mention about her, especially after giving her such a grand introduction. Maybe Ginzo blew it! :(

            • Glammie

              Well, everything got interrupted that night. Still, she was really featured, so maybe she’ll come back.

      • Zaftiguana

        Yeah, I was thinking about what an asshole Margaret was being, but none of that was really about the Planet of the Apes at all. It’s about what a shitty father Roger undoubtedly was.

        I mean, she’s still kind of an asshole. With this and trying to weasel money out of him and just generally acting like the spoiled brat she is. But when you think about how she grew up the pampered daughter of a self-involved, philandering alcoholic and how she had no real adult value to him as a peer or protege because she’s female, it’s kind of understandable. Still wouldn’t ever want to have a beer with her, though.

      • not_Bridget

        Peggy needs to avoid office romances. Either with a superior–or an inferior. Of course, when you put in such long hours–who else do you meet?

        She stayed with Abe so long because he was available, not bad looking–& she does like sex. He was ambitious in his way as she is, so they got along well enough for some time. The strain of the new place & the long hot summer made their differences become a yawning chasm. And I don’t really blame him for some of the rude things he said at the last–she had just stabbed him…..

    • Lattis

      Roger is the most selfish, self-centered person on the entire show.

      That makes me giggle. That’s saying something since there are so many to choose from! :)

    • MilaXX

      Peggy really needs to as one write put it. “get off the fence” in terms of Don & Ted. The only thing she gets there are splinters.

      I have not trusted Bob from day one. He’s that person who seems harmless and eager to please in your office until the day you come in and suddenly he’s the boss’s right hand man and then the next day he’s running things entirely. He’s just too smooth and sneaky for me.

      Betty got her groove back and was on FIRE!

      Peggy said she was selling the apartment even if it meant taking a loss. I bet she rents and apartment ASAP. That apartment was never where she wanted to be, but she was blinded momentarily by the thought of babies and marriage..

      I kinda think Ted may be too afraid to make a move now that Peggy is free.

      • UsedtobeEP

        I think Peggy needs to ignore them both and just do her work. If they want her to be the deciding vote, she should make them ask her first from now on before they talk about it. Funny how neither of them wanted ownership after she was wishy-washy. They all failed.

        • MilaXX

          Never gonna happen. Ted & Don are going to always use her in their game of oneupmanship and she’s not in position to say no unless she leaves the agency.

    • Sashima

      You almost connected the “Father Abraham” song. In speaking of Duck’s talk with Pete about family you said, “A patriarchal system needs a patriarch.” Abraham is the patriarch of three major religions. So there you go!

    • Glammie

      Despite the MLK episode and the RFK assassination, this feels like a somewhat lighter, funnier season that last season. Last season, I could just feel Lane Pryce’s suicide edge closer and closer and it was a real downer. This season, despite the various disasters (Trudy!) and the dreary Sylvia affair (and I like Don better than most), there’ a certain joie de vivre happening. I think it’s the unexpectedness of the merger and the new energy it gives the business scenes. It’s good to see someone really push back at Don as an equal.

      The Abe knifing/break-up was hilarious. The Don/Betty ex sex was interesting with Betty having one of her rare moments of insight–unexpected, but right–the way good MM interchanges are.

      Liked last week’s crazy drug episode as well. Sordid, but, again, interesting. And, yes, getting to the bottom of Don’s neurosis had to be done.

      Interesting that sexy blonde Betty returned after we saw blonde Aimee last week. Given how badly the Aimee sex ended up, maybe Betty’s relatively kindly dump of Don was an improvement. At least no one beat him afterwards.

    • formerlyAnon

      Is it gratifying that Abe & Peggy break up for the reason I called when he first showed up as her steady (he’s too political to be with someone on the “other side” – as his well educated white perspective sees it – in the class struggle)? Yes, since I rarely predict correctly.

      Peggy rings so very true to life for me. Perhaps this is why I think she’s going to flounder a bit more than I want her to before she reaches an even keel at work.

      I say yay Betty. She’s living truism that we can act better towards others when we feel better about ourselves. (Not a statement I’m willing to back very far, with her.) She and Don could’ve been a good team (well, were a good team for a while) if they each weren’t so flawed. Him more than her.

      • Chris

        I think Betty is absolutely acting better towards Bobby because she feels better about herself. She never would have sang a song in a crowded restaurant like that if she weren’t feeling confident and sexy. Betty wants to be looked at now. Vulture pointed out the earrings she wore with the yellow evening gown are the ones we last saw on her in Italy- which was also the last time she seemed to feel sexy and good about herself.

    • Heidi/FranticButFab

      I had the same reaction to Bob Benson in his scene with Joan– totally set off my gaydar. My husband didn’t see it, so I’m happy to have validation from the boys :)

    • decormaven

      Bravo to the shot set up at the end with the closeup on Peggy’s face as she watches the doors shut to both Don and Ted’s offices. It’s bugging me – we’ve seen that same type of shot in a film somewhere. The look on her face- it’s haunting me. Great recap, sirs.

    • lbcarrillo

      “I’m Bobby #5. It’s sad. There’s no Bobby #1 any more.”

      *SNORT*

    • Laylalola

      This is an aside, but the fact that a now-big league ad agency can’t brand itself/name itself surely isn’t a good sign.

      • Cheryl

        This has been a running joke for weeks, and I don’t think they’ll come up with a name until the end of the season (only 4 episodes to go). Of course after Lane’s suicide, there was much speculation about when they would drop the “P” and add “C” for Pete Campbell. They definitely need to go with a one-word agency name, now.

        • joything

          My hit: SDC5. Sterling Draper Cooper Cutler Chaogh Campbell Crane.

          • Qitkat

            Excellent idea. There is a global engineering firm named CH2M HILL.

          • CatherineRhodes

            Brilliant.

          • Itsonreserve

            Harris?

          • lilyvonschtupp

            How about a name that has pizazz like, ‘LIZA!”

        • Alice Teeple

          Pizza House.

    • sockandaphone

      “As always with Don and Ted, it’s a big dick-measuring contest to see who’s going to be Top Creative Dog at the new SCDPCGCCalphabetsoup. ” this is so well-put i laughed.
      another great review tlo, im sure you get this a lot, but these reviews really make watching the show so much more exciting. Your reviews are proof that this is still one of the best shows on tv.

    • Karen Belgrad

      The sirens appeared the loudest every time Megan opened her mouth to speak to Don…. Not subtle, such a loud “alarm! danger!” signal. But it stood out so much!

      • Onirica

        Yeah, this is what I thought, that they were placed to drown out Megan.

    • Fordzo

      I’m praying that the title of this episode indicates that we are about to start watching the better half of this season. I mean, it can’t get worse, right? Right?

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

        Did you think this was a bad episode? I thought it was an excellent episode.

        • Fordzo

          No. I meant that I’m hoping the rest of the season continues to be as good (dare I hope even better?) than this one. This was the first epi this season that I really enjoyed.

    • MartyBellerMask

      OK, a couple more bullet points, since I haven’t seen anyone else bring them up:

      - Duck Phillips got Burt Petersen a VP job at McCann. Wow. After two spectacular firings, he still seems to be doing well for himself!
      - Harry, dismissively calling Peggy stupid (I don’t remember the exact line to Pete.) ASS. Just go find another job already, Harry.
      - Peggy will probably get a new realtor, no?

      • Chris

        That was obnoxious of Harry but I think he was making the point that even Peggy who is next under Don and Ted on the creative ladder knew enough to stay out of it and its really her job to weigh in. Harry, while rude and obnoxious, understands what is going on far better than Pete. Poor Pete just always wants to be on Don’s team and is still dazzled by him. It’s pathetic how much Pete wants Don to like him.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

          Talk about wanting what you can’t have. My poor pretty Pete. He needs someone to love him.

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

          Sepinwall pointed out that, we’re probably supposed to believe that Don did in fact have the better idea. Do you think Peggy would have been interested in sparing Don’s feelings if Ted had the better idea?

          • Chris

            That’s probably the case unless Peggy decided she really was going to be neutral and let them have to work it out themselves. Neither idea really struck me as brilliant so I couldn’t say which was better, unlike the “snowball” campaign where Ginsberg’s idea seemed far superior to Don’s. I think that was part of what Peggy was thinking of when she told Don he only cared about his ideas. Don’s idea may have been better but it wasn’t a thunderbolt and I was really struck by poor Pete trying to get Don’s attention saying “Hey I’m on your side! Doesn’t that count?”

            • Alice Teeple

              She was probably also be getting in a dig at her old Glo-Coat gripe with him.

      • Cheryl

        That was funny about Bert. I never got the idea that he was really a mover or shaker, so for Duck to have gotten him such a great position, was a nice twist.

      • KTBSN

        Good points. Question – did Don go back to his own cabin after the Betty tryst or did Betty somehow head Henry off at the pass by meeting him and going to breakfast? A bit of disconnect on my part I’m afraid.

        • SassieCassy

          i think they met at the breakfast diner. don woke up where he fell asleep and was looking around for betty

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

        I was happy to get a little more intelligence on the harry crane front. I am part of the camp that doesn’t think he’s nearly as vital to the firm as he goes around whining he is. I understand that TV is important, but is he? I find it telling that this amazing asset hasn’t been poached, especially in light of Burt Peterson getting a VP job at McCann.

        • siriuslover

          Very good points. I think Harry’s problem is that he’s too focused on staying with the company. For him, it’s all about getting to be a partner, when really, he should take his assets, which are considerable, and go to a headhunter.

          • Alice Teeple

            Agreed. I think Harry overestimates his role. They certainly don’t seem to be showing him any respect for his position – he keeps getting crappier offices.

    • hellkell

      Oh, Roger. I love you, but when ALL the women in your life are telling you you’re unreliable, it’s time to listen. Take a tab and let it sink in.

      Loved me some Betty. Her and Henry definitely have a 50 Shades of Weird vibe going on.

    • hellkell

      And on Abe: once he makes editor somewhere, by the early ’80s, he’s going to be THAT GUY at Odeon all coked out and trying to sell the shreds of the revolution to coeds in a bathroom stall over a bump. He will be the epitome of sellout in the end.

      • Logo Girl

        YES. Thank, or he will pull a 180 and become a neocon.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

        Sing it, brother.

      • Alice Teeple

        Or he’ll be a sociology professor at a state university, with a captive audience of freshmen, trying to get them worked up over a revolution that will never come, but still enjoying a decent salary. He’ll vote for Reagan.

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

      Abe is such a user. Peggy has to wonder if he was with her for the convenience of live in sex or the grist for his articles about the bougies. Love the *hot*Betty and the chemistry that was like magic btw she and Don. No wonder the first half of the season with Sylvia and almost every Megan scene we were so bored. No chemistry. Isn’t it ironic that Megan is just as bad an actress as the actress playing Megan? I think Pete asks Joan out for lunch etc because he needs a friend. I think he respects Joan. Bob is such a fixer, isn’t he? I think it is hilarious that everyone looks at him with suspicion only because he has been so friendly, helpful, useful and decent. What does that say about us? Oh Peggy. It was time to lose that hairbag with his self-indulgent activism. You can’t be his mother and his girlfriend. I think they had a knife on a broomstick because of some of the work Abe was doing on the apartment–maybe to scrape paint or something? They have high ceilings and tall windows. Roger’s daughter Margaret is a freak. I’m sure she’ll be paying a visit with the princeling when she needs more money, he needs only to be patient. The tug of war with Ted and Don– that situation would make me crazy and look for a position elsewhere. Peggy, Pete, Joan, Harry and Bob should sally forth.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

        Agree about Bob. He has to be underhanded because he appears to be kind? Sounds like projection to me. You can be kind because you’re kind or helpful because you’re a natural yente. Or lonely for company and wanting to talk shop without wanting sex (Megan). It happens.

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

          I dunno. He’s been too much of a focus to not be important for some reason, even if it’s just to be Joan’s boytoy or gay bestie. Shades of Megan.
          Also, the conflicting stories lean me toward g-man undercover and trying to get into circles of trust. But that’s getting into wilder speculations.

          • not_Bridget

            I just don’t see a G-man caring about what’s going on at an ad agency. In those days, they were busy infiltrating anti-war groups and often trying to encourage more violent protests. Or becoming narcs….

            • siriuslover

              I’m not sure I buy the spy arguments either, not_Bridget, but doesn’t the agency have a relationship with Dow Chemical, and therefore be connected to the war? Again, I’m not linking Bob to any of that, just saying that there is that one connection.

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

              I was more thinking that he was after Dick Whitman.

          • Alice Teeple

            Wow, you bring up a really interesting point: “shades of Megan.” Let’s say he and Joan enter (or have already entered) a romantic relationship. Joan’s behavior would exactly repeat Don’s with Megan in season 4: both divorced, with a significantly younger work subordinate. Add to that the appeal of both showing interest in the children. It would be especially ironic, since Joan was the one that scoffed at Don’s behavior with Megan at the end of Season 4. Megan showed the same opportunistic behavior Bob had, by quietly seducing Don. Their motivations are vastly different, though. Megan wanted a wealthy sugar daddy and eventually to get out of the advertising world; Bob seems to want more power in this specific field. It will be very interesting to see how the Bob-Joan thing pans out.

        • jen_wang

          He’s been very nice for a long while now, but I think he’s set up in the first episode of the season to seem overeager, at the very least. (Hanging around with two cups of coffee to give to his superiors, asking Don to hang out right after meeting him.) Not necessarily a bad guy, but definitely lacking some finesse. I think where it causes suspicion is that that finesse is sort of what passes for trust in the office—people may not like each other, but they at least have an understanding, and more established people like Don and Ken don’t have that understanding with Bob.

          I kind of wonder how Joan sees him now? Before, she seemed torn between brushing off his attentions as angling for help during the merger and genuinely starting to trust him. Now, it seems like they’re at least friends, and whatever Bob’s intentions are, he’s definitely learning some tidbits about people in the office from her.

    • Judy_J

      Loved this episode. I was cheering when Betty & Don were in the sack. Betty’s self-satisfied smirk the next morning when she and Henry saw Don in the restaurant was priceless.

    • Logo Girl

      If Abe got stabbed in the UWS and we could hear his ambulance (ostensibly) from Don and Megan’s apartment in the UES, what hospital was he being taken to?

      • Cheryl

        I don’t think they were the actual sirens from Abe’s ambulance. There were plenty of hospitals on the West Side where Abe could have been taken to. There were also the stabbings in Central Park (based on a real incident) as well as Grandma Ida’s criminal capers last episode that are supposed to signify the Great City in decline.

        • Logo Girl

          You are quite right. It just seemed fun that they were implying that there was such a narrative thread.

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

            If you want to get really connectively geographic about it, it could be New York Presbyterian which is around 69/York, but like Cheryl above, I doubt it. He was probably being taken to Roosevelt on the West Side.

      • Mike R

        No, no, that’s not the same ambulance! Crikey! The whole city was a mass of emergencies then, is the point.

        • Logo Girl

          It is more of a what if than anything else, inspired by the intentional flow of the sound editing. I’m aware it probably wasn’t actually supposed to be his ambulance.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mythologicality DC Sheehan

      Bob is bad!!!! He’s too ‘nothing’ and that makes me think he’s ‘something’. The lie, well the error in his lies, clinches it for me. Is he a corporate spy, secret love child, Russian spy, crazy person?

      • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

        Corporate spy? What secret formula is he trying to obtain? Russian spy? You gotta be kidding! Maybe he’s lonely and wants to make friends. If his goal is to run the place, good for him going at it with honey instead of vinegar.

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

          G-man, after Don and trying to get into co-worker circles of trust to get incriminating evidence?

          • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

            It hardly seems likely that the government would marshall resources to uncover a Korean war deserter ten years after the fact. In any event, the only co-workers privy to the Dick Whitman story are Burt and Pete. “Evidence” could only be sought from the Whitmans (deceased) and Anna (deceased) or Betty (not talking; husband a pol). Don’s confidences to his wife would be priveleged in any event. Bob doesn’t seem interested in Don anymore than any other member of the firm. Bob may have a secret agenda; imo, being an undercover agent doesn’t seem like a likely scenario based on my viewing.

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

              Corporate spy does seem plausible, though. There have been a lot of weird leaks this season for SCDP, including Heinz, that make me think he’s a spy.

            • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

              Heinz was hardly a leak; Stan told Peggy. Ketchup was looking at several people, including J. Walter Thompson. And Bob didn’t know what “K” was, anymore than “Marge” or Ginsberg. What other “leaks” have there been?

              It’s an advertising agency and a tiny one, at that. They’re not developing weapons or new drugs. What is there to leak that would be worth the effort of planting a spy?

              But YMMV. Reasonable men may differ.

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

              The fact that Heinz Ketchup was looking for someone else was public. The fact that SCDP was privately pitching to them, against the explicit request of their client, was not. At least, it wasn’t supposed to be at first.

              There was also the fact that SCDP lost the Vicks account, which other companies were aware of before SCDP found out. Also, remember who was out with Pete when Pete ran into his father-in-law.

              I think he’s a *corporate* spy, which just means he’s there to get inside information and leak it to competitors.

            • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

              That has some merit, but I can’t agree. Time will telll…

            • Alice Teeple

              Bob’s been there an awfully long time by now to be a corporate spy. A creative freelancer would be the one to look out for in that regard; someone available during creative sessions would have more valuable information to share with a rival. I think Bob is just a plain and simple opportunist. The information he’s getting from Pete and Joan isn’t anything worthwhile to share with a competitor, and we’ve only seen him once, completely clueless, in the creative lounge. He was more interested in befriending Don than he was in Project K. Same when Roger showed up at Joan’s: notice how he looked at Roger – in the course of two seconds you could see “why is this guy at Joan’s house with a present for Kevin?” flash over his face, as if he was trying to put two and two together. I think Bob’s motivation is more for personal gain than being a spy. It seems it’s all about finding allies to make himself increasingly indispensable to the company. He’s also simultaneously keeping tabs on people’s weaknesses or skeletons in the closet, which can be useful blackmail later on. He’s been sussing out who has the most power at the company, and looking for opportunities of personal vulnerability to ingratiate himself. Bob’s a snake. I love the character!

            • pattycap11

              that’s how i see him — extremely calculating. it’s like he has a genius for it. we don’t know enough about him yet to see anything else in him. we don’t know if he’s capable of being kind for kindness’ sake. so far he’s only been good at helping himself by helping others, but we don’t know what else he might do with his little cache of secrets. he is keeping them handy. he’s an interesting character. bob, i have my eye on you!

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

              I’m sorry, but it doesn’t seem remotely plausible to me. That’s not the kind of show Mad Men is.

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

              You don’t think it’s possible he’s a corporate spy? I’m not thinking CIA agent. I’m thinking more along the lines of being there to let other companies know what’s going on inside SCDP.

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

              Not really; no. I mean, technically it’s possible but in the world of this show it doesn’t strike us as very likely at all. It’s tonally off.

              Besides, it doesn’t make much sense to us on a realism level either. SCDP was a growing, but still struggling and volatile company when Bob joined. Who benefits from planting a “spy” inside such a company? We know he’s been there since at least last Christmas, which puts his tenure at something like eight months at a minimum. Why would anyone put such an elaborate, long-term con into play?

              Bob strikes us as nothing more than a striver and a climber. There are some red flags, to be sure, but they point to him as someone selfish and untrustworthy; not, in our eyes, as someone sinister or part of a more grandiose storyline.

            • Itsonreserve

              But what other companies? The other agencies we’ve seen aren’t afraid of SCDP because of it’s size, that was a major reason for the merger. Don and Ted even say, the large agencies use size to get the contract and the company that hires them tells them the small agency pitches so they don’t need to know what the pitch might be before hand. Bob was working at SCDP long before the merger with CGC which has been their only equal competition within the series and the only real candidate for wanting inside knowledge on SCDP, and one would think a professional corporate spy would let himself get laid off during the merger of his target with his employer so as not to burn his Bob Benson character for future jobs. He wouldn’t try and stay at the new agency.

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

              The funny thing about the “corporate spy” speculation is that people said EXACTLY the same thing about Megan when she was popping up all over the SCDP offices and people were wondering who she was.

              “Corporate spy” just doesn’t strike us as a likely Mad Men storyline.

            • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

              It would certainly be “sloppy writing.”

            • Chris

              It doesn’t seem likely that as SCDP was considered too small to get Heinz or Chevy on their own they would be valuable enough to plant a corporate mole in their midst.

            • http://twitter.com/mxmstrmnn max mustermann

              My thinking exactly. SCDPXXXX is a hot mess right now, what would a spy be looking for?

            • decormaven

              Abolutely, and I’ve been guilty on both charges. I remember we all had Megan pegged as a corporate spy, possibly even working for CGC! So if Bob is to be the male half of Megan’s sunny persona, does that mean he gets a “Zou Bisou Bisou” moment next season? Can he have it in those cute lil’ swim trunks, please?

            • Alice Teeple

              I’m having a hard time with that, too. There’s also a theory going around that he might be a military guy spying on Don. I’m not sure about that either; that would be too weird. I think he’s just an ambitious young guy trying to make himself indispensable by gaining allies for himself, just like Don did in the 1950s with Roger. I think he’s going to eventually gain a lot of power this way. There was an IT guy I worked with for some time who pulled the same stunt: total suck-up only to people who could make things work in his favor. He’d say all the right things to them, gain their trust, then backstab them later when there was someone higher on the totem pole he could go after. Bob strikes me as that sort of character, not a secret crazy man.

        • NoveltyRocker

          It’s interesting that some viewers thought Megan could be some kind of spy when she starting being peppered into the show. Her limited but sometimes conspicuous presence made the impact of Don’s proposal to her in the S4 finale effective. A big, “what!!??” moment for me that I couldn’t dismiss as lazy writing because it did make sense given Don’s arc and Megan having been around enough and at key moments. On my second viewing of that season, it actually played more like it was building to their engagement now that I know that’s what happens.

          Bob’s presence feels much more conspicuous to me than Megan’s because he hasn’t replaced anyone, so I don’t see him as satisfying a real office need like Megan did at the front desk and then taking over for Mrs. Blankenship. We’re told he’s doing a needed job but we don’t see him doing it, so he feels less in the background than Megan did. But the similarity in audience reaction to the two character’s motivations has me thinking he may serve the same sort of story element. This character who’s been harmlessly hanging around but then is either the catalyst or direct perpetrator to some big event that impacts things significantly. And then we all go, “what!!?? THIS guy!!??”. Or maybe it’s a quieter thing where he unwittingly plays into a domino effect.

          Whatever Bob is, I hope he’s there for a good story reason vs. there to eff with those of us who like mining out meaning. The other plausible reason for him is that he’s a character with a clean slate for more central characters to soundboard off of. Not as fun but serviceable.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Hamhock96 Doris Allen

            I’m sure he’ll figure later; just don’t buy the spy theory. Meanwhile, he’s hella cute!

            • NoveltyRocker

              Woops, meant to post this to a thread further down. Where they were actually talking about it =) After seeing the stills of him in the latest Mad Style post, I must admit that he is hella cute. But I still hate when he shows up!

    • Jac

      I rewatched and noticed Megan as “Colette” is wearing a blonde wig and the dangly ball earrings (a version of them) just like Betty wears in the next scene (and the ones she wore to Rome!). Seeing some mirroring there.

    • purkoy28

      best episode yet, iu love that betty has gotten her swagger back, and she is the winner at the end of the race, lol.

    • purkoy28

      when jpoan said she had plans, i guess that meant with bob benson

    • purkoy28

      and where has scarlette been?

    • MisScarlett

      I have been away from the interwebz and it took half the fun out of last night. My bullet points to add (I have a chilled bottle of vino and am settling in to read all the other BK’s input):

      - To add to the “Abraham” references… Lincoln Logs?
      - Doors. Obvs. But, doors. Betty,with major mojo, leaving the door open. Telling Don to close it. “Close the Door, Have a Seat” kept flashing in my mind. I love the continuity of this show and the reward of watching (and analyzing) past seasons!

      • Alice Teeple

        Great observation! People keep tying in “Father Abraham” to Roger, and that’s a nice little detail you picked up there. Impressed! Also of note on the door theme: the doors slammed in Peggy’s face; her barging in a door to talk to Ted; Roger having a door opened and seeing Bob there instead of Joan; Betty leaning over a car door before encountering Don. I’m surprised they haven’t played The Doors yet…or had Stan quote William Blake:
        “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”

        • siriuslover

          Oh man, if Stan quoted that Blake, I’d be in heaven. My legs would seriously crumble beneath me.

          • Alice Teeple

            ME TOO! I’m such a Blake nut. I have a feeling Stan would dig him. :)

        • MisScarlett

          Thank you! I love how this show leaves no little detail without meaning. I am anxiously awaiting a Doors song now :)

    • throwaneyeonthis

      I am going out on a limb regarding Bob and his father’s nurse. From what other’s have posted, apparently Bob said his father is dead. In his conversation with Pete, he said his father recovered. Perhaps Bob’s definition of recovery is a painless death by injection administered by his father’s nurse (can’t remember his name). Maybe he is suggesting the same “recovery” for Pete’s mother. I think about it for my mother-in-law all the time.

      • http://twitter.com/Eurotrash_Freak Miss Disco

        Maybe he did recover, and died in a freak gasoline accident?

        • Cheryl

          I think Dad passed away from an overdose of coffee.

    • MarTeaNi

      “You gave me a great ending to my article.” Yes. That you, Abe, are a huge, dripping douche of a bag.

      I want to be forgiving because I understand wanting to support the movement, but Abe is a sexist, myopic pig when it comes to women and especially Peggy. Not only does he paint her as a totem of everything he hates in society (while seething quietly with resentment these last several episodes, classic Nice Guy behavior), but he refuses to acknowledge that Peggy’s fear (however reactionary) is valid. In the last few days, she’s walked in to find her boyfriend stabbed and her house vandalized, both of which Abe lied to her about. He wants to not only have her accept the violence, but have her remain in total ignorance about it. “I don’t want to worry you” is douche for “shut up, this is my business, stay out it no matter how it affects you.”

      He wants to throw Peggy’s work in her face, and it’s true that they’re both driven in their work in a way that neglects one another, but when Peggy works Abe feels like “The Man” is intruding into his private life. When Abe works he abandons Peggy in an increasingly dangerous neighborhood and tells her to “suck it up, it’s a revolution.” Am I the only one who thought the struggle outside the apartment that night sounded like a rape? But of course Abe has never thought the plight of women mattered. Yes, Peggy’s apathy is frustrating but if there were rapes happening in front of my home you bet your last guilt-riddled dollar I would move.

      I’m glad she stabbed him. It won’t wake him up, and he’ll still write his article and paint her out to be the nadir of the society that he loathes, but at least he’ll have been stabbed.

      • ldancer

        Yes, I absolutely thought that was a rape. Gave me disconcerting childhood memories of the upper west side in the 70′s and 80′s, and of an early scene in “Serpico” set around that time period.

        • MarTeaNi

          Even Megan voiced concern over Arlene walking outside alone. Maybe I find the threat of violence more dangerous as a woman because this show has already had several “polite” rapes, and Pete’s reaction to violent domestic abuse was still that it was the woman’s fault. Those things were all the controlled, presentable dehumanization of women, how much worse is it on the street?

          • Cheryl

            Megan was referring to an actual incident that happened in Central Park, although I think it was a stabbing, not a shooting, in early July. Arlene had walked clear across Central Park to get from the Upper West Side to the Upper East Side, which was not an advisable path to take at that time.

            • MarTeaNi

              I figured it was related to a real-life event, Weiner is really good about tying Mad Men to those kinds of details. It certainly doesn’t help bolster Abe’s repeated mantra to Peggy, “don’t worry.”

            • urbantravels

              It was a shooting – a guy climbed up onto the roof of a restroom and starting shooting people. July 3, 1968. One dead, three wounded. Angel Angelov (or Angelof) was the perpetrator. Gothamist has a post up about it today.

            • Alice Teeple

              It’s still not an advisable path to take at night!

        • Chris

          It made me think of Kitty Genovese who was stabbed to death in NY in 1964 or so right outsde her building and supposedly the neighbors (or the police depending on the story) did nothing to help her.

          • VanessaDK

            Look outside the window, there’s a woman being grabbed
            They’ve dragged her to the bushes and now she’s being stabbed
            Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain
            But Monopoly is so much fun, I’d hate to blow the game
            And I’m sure it wouldn’t interest anybody
            Outside of a small circle of friends
            (Phil Ochs, based on the Kitty Genovese incident)

            • urbantravels

              Kitty Genovese did indeed get stabbed, but the bit about people watching out their windows and doing nothing was a fabrication, mostly cooked up by a New York Times reporter. There were some people who saw and heard little snippets of what was happening, but they didn’t get the full picture. The Wikipedia article is worth a look.

              There is a social scientist mentioned who did a study pointing out that in the 60s and 70s, people were very unlikely to intervene if they thought they were seeing a man attacking his wife or girlfriend.

            • VanessaDK

              The song, of course, was a deliberate exaggeration. The controversy, which also was reported on NPR in 2009, comes from a Kew gardens resident who felt that the idea of a large number of witnesses watching while someone was murdered flew out of hand due to inaccuracies in the writing of the NYTimes story. I’ve read the story and it seems to match the revisionist history pretty well. A number of people were awoken by screams, turned on lights, did not call the police and basically went back to sleep. What makes the story compelling is that (as is agreed upon in both versions) after stabbing Kitty 2-4 times, the lights coming on in windows made him realize that his car might be identified–he left the scene, moved his car, returned and found Kitty in a stairwell and finished her off. The man who lived near the stairwell was the one who said he didn’t call the police because he didn’t want to get involved. If the police had arrived while the murderer was moving his car, there is a chance she might have survived the attack. Perhaps people did mistake it for a domestic dispute, but I think it was considered a dramatic example of people not wanting to get involved — in the Vietnam War; against a rising tide of violence, etc.

            • JANE LANE

              It’s a thing called the Bystander Effect, everyone thinks that everyone else will take care of it so no one steps forward. Obviously this would not have worked in the Genovese case, but if you’re ever in a situation like that, asking specific people to help you might spur people to action because it puts the responsibility directly on them and they can’t assume that it’s someone else’s.

            • Chris

              I’ve even seen where it’s been advised for people to yell “Fire” instead of “Help” because people will always call for a fire engine but are leery to get involved in what may be a domestic dispute or a dangerous situation.

            • janegray

              I’ve heard that as well.

            • Alice Teeple

              I learned about this incident in a psych class. It always haunted me, but I can imagine that if people heard the incident from their own homes, the impetus for not going out to help was probably more about fear for their own safety than not inherently wanting to help someone. (Side note: Abe would be the type to cook up a NYT story like that…)

          • JANE LANE

            I had that exact same thought.

      • jen_wang

        I agree—he set it up in the beginning by blowing their first quasi-date together, dismissing her concerns about women having it hard in the workplace.

      • Pennymac

        I’ve got corporate meetings today. I’m going to work in “huge, dripping douche of a bag” into my vernacular somehow.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sunlover Jenny Ziv Scott

      What I loved most of all: Betty seemed to genuinely enjoy interacting with Bobby when he was at camp. Ordinarily, she seems bothered and dismissive of all of her children but she seems like she is opening up as a person. Loved how she threw Henry in Don’s face.

      • judybrowni

        Betty is back to fighting weight and blond and turning men on: if that’s what it takes to make her nice to her children, age will turn her back into a bitch.

        I speak from experience, saw my great beauty of a stepmother (never good with children) world fall apart as she aged.

        It had been her only talent, although it didn’t give her ;particularly happy marriages, and she felt destroyed when it was gone.

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

          Betty has been successful in marrying well. I don’t see her as a Lily Bart, who’s only asset was her beauty and social dexterity.

          • judybrowni

            Perhaps.

            Betty may have “married well,” but her looks seem to be what she thinks are her only asset.

            As long as Betty believes that, age will drive her mad.

    • pattycap11

      okay, this won’t happen, but wouldn’t it be funny if every time peggy broke up with somebody, it happened just after she accidentally stabbed them with a bayonet?

    • Skittles Zuniga

      Did anyone else catch that all the secretary scurried away when Joan walked up to Roger and them? I thought it was a nice sign of respect toward Joan’s position in the office. I always enjoy catching those moments than the dick measuring contest between Don and Ted

    • OrigamiRose

      A late message of gratitude for posting this on your long-weekend! Your many fans appreciate how much work you put in these recaps (to say nothing of “Mad Style”!).

      Mahalo.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      I’m playing Devil’s Advocate: I’m really starting to like Bob Benson and am dying to know how and when he’s gonna put ‘em all on blast. He already knows more than he should for someone who’s been there for the short amount of time that he’s been there, so when the shit goes down, look out.

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

        What shit? What’s “going down?”

        • sekushinonyanko

          Well when two people love each other…

        • lilyvonschtupp

          That’s what I’m dying to know!

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

            But…you’re the one who brought it up.

            • lilyvonschtupp

              I don’t know if it has to do with the suspicion on this board that BB may be a spy, or if he is using the regulars to climb the corporate ladder quickly. I just don’t know!

      • silaria

        I’m really hoping Bob turns out to be a Machiavellian villian with a vendetta against SCDP, and he’ll turn out to have been behind all the clients’ uncertainty that we’ve seen the last few weeks. But does he want to ruin SCDP, or to rule it? Hmmm…

        (I know, I know, wrong genre. But it would be awesome.)

    • jen_wang

      I will say: I lived for Roger’s five million glances at Bob’s short shorts. Man could NOT look away.

    • jangma

      I don’t know if it’s just because I mainlined Hannibal this weekend, but I am convinced now that Bob Benson is a serial killer. That coffee is probably people.

    • whoopie pie

      Blonde Megan cleaning the spilled drink and catching shit for it was interesting — considering it was brunette Megan cleaning Sally’s spilled milkshake that made everyone sit up and take notice of her.

      • AViewer44

        Nice.

    • contemporarycontempt

      Someone probably pointed this out already, but those quotes up at the top of your post made me think of Betty and Megan, and applying those quotes to them as a way to view this episode–two women trying to get at Don. Which is quite a narrow, phallocentric way to view the story…luckily, the quotes illuminate many of the things that were going on this episode, not just the fact that both Betty and Megan are trying to know Don ten years apart; could be the same woman if only because they are in the same “place” in relation to this terrible man.

    • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

      This is in response to your blog entry and to Sunday’s show in general. I tried very hard to pay attention during Mad Men, since I seem to miss half the nuances that you guys write about. But I still ended up baffled by some things.

      First, I’ve been confused about Betty and why she has looked so heavy and even homely both last season and then this season, too, even after January Jones lost her baby weight. Last night it was so nice to see Betty, BACK with a vengeance. She was slim and stylish again, and her hair color is the way it should be.

      Betty baffled me here: Bobby taught her a song in the “eatery,” and she sang out loud with Bobby in a public place; she seemed to really enjoy herself. I expected her to say, “Not in here, Bobby. Not in public.” But she wasn’t self-conscious, and she did the hand gestures and everything. She looked as though she was having fun–for a change–and she was into being a mom while enjoying Bobby’s age.

      I think that Peggy is liberal–or at least open to trying new things and thinking new thoughts. She didn’t feel safe in their new home. For Abe to stick up for a perpetrator while they’re in immediate danger is idealistic, silly, foolish and downright stupid. Abe’s political views are extreme and not fully formed because he is immature and he is rebelling from his own life.There was no reason for Peggy to discuss slavery at this moment. Her refusal to be pulled into this silly dialogue was smart.

      (FYI: When I lived in Berkeley in the very early 1970s I was very liberal. A black man threatened me with a knife in broad daylight. I was very smart in handling myself, and I refused to “step around the corner.” When I told people the story, I didn’t say what color the man was. I didn’t report the incident to the police.I was traumatized and had to leave the area.

      Peggy is sharp. The rules around her keep changing. She hasn’t been a member of the boys’ club for very long, and just when she gets used to some of the rules, they change again.

      I am baffled by Don. Jon Hamm is a gorgeous man. Don’s interesting feature is Jon Hamm’s physical appeal. Sometimes Don shows kindness to his underlings. He can be extremely fair when he isn’t overly tired or hungover. He is drunk much of the time.

      Don’s marriage to Megan was a rebound marriage. He was lost; he is still lost. For him to sleep with Betty and then come onto his wife was pretty disgusting. Did he shower after Betty?

      I guess I’ll add more feedback to readers’ comments.

      • Alice Teeple

        Holy smokes, that must have been terrifying to get held up in broad daylight like that.

        • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

          The incident changed a lot. I’d thought of Berkeley as a friendly place. My innocence left that day. I’d said Good Morning and gave him some matches and he left but he returned behind me and stuck a knife to my throat. He said, “Don’t say anything. Just step around the corner.” I didn’t move. I was so baffled and shocked and pissed off. He repeated himself. I won’t tell the whole story but I was able to talk my way to safety by taking an assertive approach. I told him to Get the F**k out of here. I was reaching for my keys in my purse. Maybe he thought I had a weapon. My dad was to drive up any minute and I told him so. We glared at each other and he ran away. By the time I got back into my building, I was shaking so hard that I couldn’t stand up or talk. When my father arrived, he knew what had happened only he thought I’d been raped. It took me many years to realize that this was the guy’s intent. I became very afraid of black men on the street, even though I had a close black male friend at work. It took me years to realize that the media’s portrayal of black men played into my fears. In a way I can understand Abe’s attitude but maybe not while his very life is in jeopardy. I didn’t report the incident. My dad and I drove around looking for the guy. I didn’t think I’d recognize the guy. He had on a red sweater and he had short neat hair. I thought the police might blame me for being friendly in the first place. I was down on myself for thinking that I might not be able to distinguish the perpetrator from another black man (as in “they all look alike”). I was also afraid that if he approached me on the street that he might recognize me, but not vice-versa. I moved right away.

          • Alice Teeple

            Wow, what a horrifying ordeal. I’m glad nothing worse happened to you and you kept your wits about you. It probably saved your life. My mom was at Temple for a semester in the mid-70s and told me stories that she walked around muttering to herself when walking to and from the train. Someone had told her that people would be less likely to attack you if you appeared crazy. And that was before crack! But Philadelphia is a much harsher environment than Berkeley would have painted itself to be during that time, so that makes your ordeal that much scarier. Don’t blame you for moving one bit.

            • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

              Your mom was smart. I’ve read to act crazy as well. The climate was very friendly in the Bay Area during that time, especially in Berkeley. A lot of people hitchhiked. Everybody loved each other until there was a home invasion in the Santa Cruz mountains. Maybe the Manson murders affected the climate as well. For a long time everybody shared pot and other drugs. Eventually, the drug dealers turned into Capitalists. People gradually became guarded and suspicious. It had never occurred to me that danger can occur in broad daylight. Someone can pull you into a van in a shopping center parking lot. I was only 95 lbs. at the time. I really had to inflate myself to scare the guy away. I was extremely lucky, as I doubt this would work today.

      • verve

        Betty’s been heavy and homely for so long because 1)it takes time to shed weight (remember that she was a little heavy for a bit after birthing Gene, too) and 2)once they introduced a fat Betty into the narrative, they needed to reintroduce a skinny Betty through the same narrative (via her getting kicked out of her ennui, first by her mother-in-law and later by Henry’s impending political run).

        And the camp was for the whole weekend, wasn’t it? Plus he was wearing different clothes when he came out to breakfast and encountered Betty laughing with Francis. He surely showered. On the other hand, it sure doesn’t seem like he ever did much showering after a number of his other liaisons over the years. Blech. Obviously that’d be a boring detail easily omitted, but still, I kept expecting Megan to smell Sylvia on Don all those nights he’d finally get into their bed and a sleepy Megan would snuggle up to him. D:

        • SonOfSaradoc

          Matt Weiner, in the “Inside Episode” videolet a couple of episodes ago, stated that Don always showers between an assignation and getting into bed with Megan. He said that, if you look closely, you can see that his hair is damp when he gets into bed.

          This is not something I’ve noticed, as Don uses a shiny hair product, so there isn’t much difference between damp-hair Don and Brylcream-hair Don in the dim of the bedroom when he tucks in. Maybe a little ret-con?

          • verve

            I am SO relieved to hear that. Thanks, SonofSaradoc! *banishes the heebie-jeebies*

    • Xesca Romero

      What about Roger entering Joan’s house and finding her with Benson? He probably felt old and out of place. I also found the men’s looks and the size of their pants very significative: Roger looks at Benson like “what’s this guy wearing?”; in opposition to Roger, Bob looks half-naked with those shorts. Paradoxically, it’s Roger who looks ridiculous in the scene, he is overdressed and nobody invited him.

    • ScarlettHarlot

      For me, the line that hit me the most this episode was Don to Peggy:

      Peggy: “He doesn’t make me feel this way!”
      Don: “That’s because he doesn’t know you.”

      Ouch. Considering what Don, and only Don, knows about Peggy…that was quite a thing for him to say to her.

      • Laylalola

        Ted still doesn’t know Peggy like Don does but, amazingly, by the end of the show left her feeling just as bad and confused as Don ever did.

        • siriuslover

          and unlike some posters, I don’t believe that Peggy went into his office hoping to start a romantic moment. She looked horrible. I think she wanted some tenderness, but not necessarily romantic, even though she likes him and now she knows he REALLY likes her. His dismissal of her feelings–that was the crushing blow.

          • sagecreek

            I’m in disagreement with a lot of folks here about Ted’s motivation. Was he insensitive? OH YES. But I think it’s not because he doesn’t care for her…it’s because he still is in love with her. He clearly decided, “I need to put this aside and Work On My Marriage!” And he’s white-knuckling that so hard that he couldn’t hear her or see her.

            • siriuslover

              I don’t disagree with that assessment. I do believe that he loves her. I could see it at the end of that scene when he tells her and he’s at his desk wiping his brow (the actor also says this in the extra videos on the AMC site, so I’m cheating a bit). My issue was the lack of sensitivity at the end of the episode. He could have at least said, you know what, why don’t you take a week off from work to get yourself settled (because if they lived together and they broke up, clearly, someone or both are moving out, etc.).

            • sagecreek

              Agreed. Actually, as soon as the show was over, I turned to my boyfriend and said, “okay, here’s the deal. If the day comes when I stab you and you break up with me on the way to the hospital, I’m calling in sick to work the next day.”

    • ScarlettHarlot

      I don’t trust Bob, either. I totally thought he was going to tell Pete about Roger stopping by, instead of the nurse thing. Also, I love how even at Joanie’s apartment he had that coffee cup. Always with the coffee cup, that one.

      • http://twitter.com/Eurotrash_Freak Miss Disco

        maybe that’s why he’s so peppy? It’s all the caffeine!

        • decormaven

          Coffee Achiever!

          • Joy

            maybe he will bring in a coffee account

            • http://twitter.com/mxmstrmnn max mustermann

              Starbucks?

          • Alice Teeple

            Coffee chief!

    • JANE LANE

      I dunno, if I was Margaret and my four year old was up half the night with nightmares and keeping me up because my half ass father took him to see Planet of the Apes, I’d be absolutely livid. I also find myself wondering (or maybe crossing my fingers and praying for it) if Joan is going to find out how Pete double talked her and the partners and landed her in the bed of that horrible man from Jaguar. I would pay literal money if Joan gave Pete the same kind of beatdown Lane gave him.

      • 3hares

        There’s nothing to discover about any double talk. Pete floated the Jaguar guy’s demand to Joan. Then he went to the partners and told them that he thought Joan would do it for the right offer. They decided to make her an offer. Before they did, Lane went to her and said “So all us partners had a meeting about this Jaguar thing and we’re thinking of offering you 50,000 to do it but I think you’d be smarter to ask for a partnership.” Joan agreed and went to Pete and said she’d do it for a partnership. Nobody got tricked into anything.

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

          No. When Pete went to the partners, he exaggerated Joan’s willingness to do it. When he went to Joan, he exaggerated the partners’ willingness to have her do it.

          • 3hares

            He told the partners that in his opinion she could be open to it for the right price based on the way she reacted when he brought it up to her. He was correct.That’s all Cooper and Roger needed to go forward. Lane was somewhat reluctant to ask her at first but quickly switched his priority was covering his own financial dealings.

            Pete never went back to Joan with any info about the partner’s willingness. She came to him with a counter-offer before he had a chance. Lane, in the meantime, had given her the impression that Don, too, had voted to make the offer.

            I don’t see what these characters are supposed to discover of Pete’s dealings that they don’t already know. Joan knows Pete felt her out with his initial conversation, and then went to the partners and recommended they discuss making her an offer. She obviously knows that Pete didn’t go to the partners and tell them that Joan would never do it. And I don’t think she’d consider “but Pete made it seem like you were more enthusiastic about it than you really were!” a game-changer for the other men.

        • janegray

          She said she wouldn’t, and Pete told the partners she was all about it, and the partners were horrified until Pete told them she wanted to do it. He lied to everyone so he could land an account. Lane went to her believing she was willing and advised her to ask for a piece of the pie that would set her for life, and his advice cemented her belief that the partners wanted her to do it.

          • 3hares

            They acted horrified until Pete said that *in his opinion* he thought she’d do it for the right offer (and he was right, so not only was he not lying about his opinion, his opinion was accurate). Lane went to her believing that he couldn’t bet on her turning down 50 thousand dollars. They hadn’t made any offer, so obviously Joan could not be already “wanting” to do it.

            So what would Joan be “discovering” here? She knows that Pete asked her and she initially said no. She knows he then went to the partners and said they should make an offer anyway. She knows the partners agreed to make that offer.

            Obviously Pete must have told her he thought she might agree. Do you think she’s mistakenly under the impression that Pete went to them and told them that Joan would never do such a thing and then Roger and Bert went ahead with it against his pleas to stop? She knows Pete told the partners they should ask her. She knows they asked her. Imagine how hilarious it would be if any one of those men tried to claim they only asked her to do this thing that benefited them greatly because they thought she WANTED to do it. Like she ought to be thanking them for putting aside their values to make her happy. (And they didn’t think to check with her in person if she really was that eager because it’s not like this is a big enough deal to warrant talking to her.)

            p.s. I’m really sorry I get annoying on this issue, but to me it’s like “When will everyone find out Peggy’s baby is being raised by her sister?” It just drives me nuts.

            • verve

              Joan was obviously insulted when Pete brought it up with her the first time. She sarcastically concluded with a “you couldn’t afford me.” (And don’t pretend that Pete is so dumb and so socially-out-of-touch that he couldn’t pick up on her scorn.) When he went to the partners, he was all jovial and told them she seemed amused by it, repeating her can’t-afford-me line but in a very, very different tone than it was delivered. It may have been his “opinion” that she was amused, but it seems very unlikely. He was being manipulative while relying on literal truths while entirely failing to be honest.

              He also gave Joan the idea that if she refused, they absolutely would not get the much-needed/desired Jaguar: coupled with what seemed to her (as far as she knew) the partners’ whole-hearted approval of this ‘bargain,’ it would be easy for her to assume that she was expected to do this and be blamed if they didn’t get the car account. We did not see Pete following Bert’s edict that Joan be very clearly made aware that this was not obligatory.

              A number of miscommunications or tragic absences of communication altogether occurred in the process of getting Joan into Herb’s bed, but Pete was absolutely being manipulative in making it happen and he was only honest in the sense that he didn’t tell any word-for-word lies.

            • 3hares

              Both Pete and the other partners understood the words “you/we couldn’t afford it” to be Joan’s way of saying no. Far from anyone being too dumb or socially out of touch to understand the phrase, they are actually all clever and socially sophisticated enough to understand the shades of meaning behind the words as spoken by Joan and then Pete.

              Here are things that happened:

              Joan drove a hard bargain in exchange for her services. She refused to negotiated for anything less than what she wanted. She knew she could refuse and would have done it if they didn’t give her what she wanted.

              She wasn’t all that shocked when she heard about it. She joked “How did that come up?”

              Pete reported his opinion of Joan’s willingness to the other partners based on the wording of Joan’s refusal, not Joan’s verbal agreement.

              Pete’s opinion of Joan’s willingness was correct. If you think he got it wrong and Joan was actually completely shocked and insulted and would never consider such a thing, then Pete is more perceptive and you got that one wrong.

              The other partners made the offer because they thought she might say yes. The fact that they got this impression second hand does not make them more innocent or more like a victim or more manipulated.

              The other partners consciously chose not to talk to Joan themselves because they wanted her to do it. They fail to question Pete further because they got the answer they want. Pete was sleazy and aggressive in pushing the deal. They were passive and more cowardly. They were all equally greedy. There’s no question that Pete was working hard to make it happen and trying to push things his way. He did that openly.

              These things make Joan’s behavior this season perfectly understandable and avoid forcing often contradictory victimization stories onto a devil’s bargain story. This particular bargain wasn’t regretted by anybody but Don.

            • verve

              “Both Pete and the other partners understood the words “you/we couldn’t afford it” to be Joan’s way of saying no.”

              Yes, it was part of her “no.” HOWEVER, it was a firm “are you insane” no when she said it. Pete repeated it to make it sound like it was a casual, amused, don’t-feel-insulted/degraded-by-the-very-question-of-it “no.” Which was completely off. And again, Pete may be a lot of things, but he’s good at shmoozing and getting a read on people. There is no way he misinterpreted Joan. He deliberately switched over to plan B– get the other partners involved– to make another attempt at getting her participation. He lied to the partners about Joan’s feelings. Did you not pick up on the radical difference in tone between Joan saying it and Pete? Joan was NOT a happy woman when Pete was propositioning her. She was being polite, but she certainly wasn’t “joking.”

              “The other partners made the offer because they thought she might say yes. The fact that they got this impression second hand does not make

              them more innocent or more like a victim or more manipulated.”

              They thought she might say yes because Pete gave them a completely incorrect summation of how she reacted when he told her. Joan was more inclined to go with it because she thought she had all the partners unanimously already thinking of her as a whore and possibly willing to blame her for not getting them the account. The partners were more inclined to go with it because Pete lied through his teeth to them.

              They both still made their choices and did the best they could with what was on the table, but none of them was operating with complete information– information that was willfully withheld by the grimy little pimp, Pete Campbell. It’s like when someone’s told they have 2 months to live and cash out all their savings to go crazy in that time until it turns out the diagnosis was wrong. That was still their unwise choice to make and they made it (the doctor certainly didn’t twist their arm and ask for their PIN to withdraw cash for them), but they made the choice based on the wrong premises.

              Now, how lucky we would all be if we could always make all our choice with perfect knowledge! But in this case, all it would have taken is Pete being honest and all the other characters could have made smarter choices. Maybe it would have all played out the same– who knows? But Pete manipulated things to make it better odds that it would go the way he wanted, and telling Joan that Bert said she didn’t have to or that Don stormed out over it might have made a difference in her decision-making. (Oh, and Pete– for no good (honest) reason — interrupted Ken as he was trying to tell Herb that Joan was married to put the kibosh on his proposal then and there.)

            • janegray

              No, he went to them and told them she was willing after she turned him down and I think Joan believes that he went and told them that she said no. He didn’t. And the while they might have initially been “defending her honor” they made it clear that if she didn’t want to, they weren’t going to force the issue, but Pete wasn’t having that. It was his account and he was going to get it come hell or high water. He’s a toad and I’d really like to see him get his on this.

            • 3hares

              So Joan convinced herself she was being forced into prostitution so well that she offered to do it before even being asked? Amazing how uninterested both Joan and the other partners are in protecting these interests that are supposed to matter to them. I guess that’s the only way any of them could be manipulated this one time by Pete Campbell, a character who’s never managed to manipulate anybody in that office with much success before or since!

              Actually, Joan demanded a partnership and nothing less for her participation. If she didn’t get that she would refuse using her power to do so. And Pete respected her for it.

      • siriuslover

        But she also seems way overprotective, and I’m an overprotective mom. The fact that she was chastising Roger for going up and down the stairs because he doesn’t know how to navigate them? OK, maybe if her were 1 1/2 or 2, but the kid is FOUR!

        • janegray

          I’ll concede that point, but I still understand why she was mad about the movie.

    • http://www.what-the-frock.com Dana WhatTheFrock

      “That poor girl, she doesn’t know that loving you is the worst way to get to you” is the most astute line of dialogue about Don since Dr. Faye’s “I hope she knows you only like the beginnings of things.”

      • sagecreek

        Yeah…that whole scene was a bit implausible in that Betty was suddenly a font of insight. I loved it anyway, though.

        • sekushinonyanko

          Betty’s had a lot of time to think. She doesn’t work, her youngest isn’t a screaming baby anymore and two of her kids are in school. While she was heavier, she didn’t have the distraction of affairs/pretending to have affairs all the time, so she’d have a lot of time to think. And surely in her years of being married to and not married to Don she’s thought about him a lot, she just would have wanted to avoid being too real with him while trying to preserve her marriage and had no reason to do so while they were both happily remarried.

        • reb

          What was implausible about it? Betty knows better than anyone the pain of loving Don.

    • LadyKateC

      I live in Brooklyn by a major road….sirens are the background noise of my life. So on Sunday I was confused by sirens in the the show, which were mingling with actual sirens in the background. I couldn’t tell which was which. It reflected how I felt like I recognized the NewYork in the show, more like the one I live in. Of course, NYC now is safer than it’s been in years, and richer, too, but there is a significant income inequality issue. I noticed Megan wearing what appeared to be jeans and it that also made it feel more contemporary.

    • Peridot

      “They’re two halves of the same person and they want the same thing but they’re trying to get it in different ways.”

      I thought this was running through Peggy’s head as she watched Don and Ted pat each other on the back on a job well done. Her conversation with Ted clarified that their relationship will remain strictly professional. I hope she’s recalibrating her expectations and realizing that she does not need to pick sides when caught in the middle of a pissing contest. In that sense, maybe Don was right — there’s a right and a wrong, i.e., her loyalty should rest on her professional judgment.

      • AViewer44

        Duck and Pete made up another two halves–at least as they pertained to Peggy! That’s what I was thinking as they shared lunch in Pete’s sad and sordid abode.

    • Mike R

      Has anyone else commented that Margaret almost certainly got married after she found out she was pregnant? She was famously married the weekend after the JFK assassination, late November 1963. It’s now summer 1968, July let’s say. At the earliest, her son was born in July 1964. OK, it’s cutting it really close, I guess he COULD have been conceived on their honeymoon, but most July babies are conceived in October. And July ’64 is the absolute latest he could have been born… no one said he just turned four, only that he was four. Anyway, seemed like an intentional golden easter egg for the year-obsessed like me.

      • Alice Teeple

        Wow, that’s quite a feat of Baby Math! I never even thought about that! That would make an interesting twist for her, and would partly explain why she was having a serious meltdown. She’s a brat in general, but that was some Grade-A freakout on her part.

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

        Her engagement lasted well over a year and the planning of her wedding was an ongoing plot point during that period. It’s possible she was pregnant on her wedding day but she definitely didn’t get married because she was pregnant.

      • http://twitter.com/Eurotrash_Freak Miss Disco

        it depends whether you think margaret was the sort who waited for the wedding night.

      • Joy

        I had a baby in August that was conceived early December. So, she could have delivered early, or already been pregnant.

    • Mike R

      I really was not into that red-star T-shirt. Nothing to do with Macy’s and whether or not that was its logo then. (It didn’t even occur to me either way.) It just seemed like too much of a historical anomaly, that T-shirt. The logo T-shirt was in its infancy, still in the 70s in its iron-on/press-on stage, and it just didn’t seem believable for ’68. I’d like the show’s designer to prove to me otherwise, which I imagine she probably could. Still!

      • decormaven

        Yes, that t-shirt was just a little bit of a disconnect to me as well. It does sort of remind me of something Leon Russell or Joe Cocker wore on the Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour, but that is about a year or two out.

      • Alice Teeple

        They definitely did have mass-produced screenprinted t-shirts with graphics in the late 60s-early 70s, but they weren’t as ubiquitous as now. Usually they’d be concert shirts, or something with a political slogan, or advertising a bar or YMCA camp or something. I thought Megan’s shirt seemed anachronistic in the cut of it, not the image on it. It was probably an actual vintage t-shirt, but I’ve personally never run across anything like it.

      • Kwei-lin Lum

        The first thing I thought of when I saw that shirt was Red Star over China (book title, subject is the communist rise in the People’s Republic of China). Hearing communist ideology during those times in certain enclaves was not uncommon (I was at UC Berkeley then and there were several asian radicals on campus–I’m sure NYC had its share too). My first reaction to the huge red star Macy’s logo was gagging in total disbelief. But that Macy’s big red star didn’t come out until the mid 2000s and times had changed by then.

        • desertwind

          I immmediately thought Communist China red star (her father), but maybe it was just a You’re-A-Star! tee made up by a friend.

      • sagecreek

        I had the same thought, Mike R! I was around in 68 and that shirt looked very 80s to me…at least (And y es, I thought of Macy’s, too).

      • bianca28

        Saw this on twitter (sharon tate in same shirt– creepy) https://twitter.com/BHisaRockstar/status/338862602350391296

        • KTBSN

          Find of the week!

          • bianca28

            It can’t be a coincidence right?! Amazing that she remembered her father’s photo.

        • Alice Teeple

          Holy. Shit.

        • siriuslover

          Wow. What will TLo have dug up on this I wonder? Can’t wait until tomorrow to read their style post.

        • Chris

          OH. MY. GOD. That is *crazy*. I cannot believe that is a coincidence. Now I’m scared for Megan (and she was never one of my favorite characters). Is this like the noose/death imagery Mad Men planted all along last year for Lane? Is the stabbing and violence and the shirt foreshadowing something awful for Megan?

        • MisScarlett

          Daaaaaamn!

    • anotherintro

      My initial irrational dislike of Megan has given way to me now wanting to give her the world’s largest hug.

      • sagecreek

        Honestly, I like her so much better without makeup.

    • http://twitter.com/Eurotrash_Freak Miss Disco

      am i the only person who thought of Most Popular Girls in School’s Saison Marguerite with Megan’s soap acting.

      ‘She’s so from Montreal.’

    • the_valkyrie

      Are the producerand his actress wife both gay and in a marriage of convenience? Cause she obviously likes Megan and her husband obviously liked Don when they had dinner together.

      • decormaven

        I think they’re both poly-sex. Everyone, everything… they’re just “karmis and sense-enjoyers,” like Lakshmi pegged Harry in “The Christmas Waltz.”

      • Laylalola

        The show is already almost a year past the Summer of Love. The couple is at the very least part of NYC’s artistic community if not members of the full-on counterculture free love social movement. (That is, there’s no reason for it to be a marriage of convenience.)

      • CatherineRhodes

        They’re probably “swingers” or “wife-swappers.” The keys parties of the 1970s are just around the corner.

    • Roberta Lipp

      “Peggy would never have a problem with a revolutionary boyfriend with
      radical politics so long as he could excite her and treat her well.”

      I know he grosses you out, but it only just occurred to me that Duck’s presence in this specific episode is a reflection of Peggy’s desires.

      • Qitkat

        I would be really sorry to see Peggy return to Duck. It would completely feel like stepping backwards. Someone here reminded us that Matthew Weiner has mentioned that there is a reason that the show began on Peggy’s first day at the office. I think that is a thought worth exploring. Putting it in very simplistic terms, the intention of the arc of the show has been to follow Don’s downward spiral, and Peggy’s upward ascension. Peggy is nothing if not a smart learner; sadder, but wiser, she will continue to navigate these advertising waters, becoming more and more professional, and not repeating the mistakes of the past.

        • Roberta Lipp

          Oh, I surely never meant to imply a return to Duck. It was simply one of Matt’s subliminal reminders of who Peggy has been in the past, sexually.

          • Qitkat

            I didn’t really think you meant that. You and your sister are far too attentive to details, and analysis to not say exactly what you mean. Which reminded me that I needed to check in with BoK, as I’ve always enjoyed your particular take on the show, and the extras such as links to interviews that MW has given.

            • Roberta Lipp

              =)

          • Chris

            Yes, and that is one of the great things about this show. They are willing to get a guest star back even for such a small amount of screen time. They could have gotten anyone to play a headhunter but having Duck give Pete that advice made it so poignant and having Duck there just made me think of all of Peggy’s bad relationship decisions.

        • sekushinonyanko

          She seems to be making a play for Ted, who hilariously is just throwing a lot of competing signals. That seems like a repeat. Pete, Duck, Ted. Here we go again.

    • Alice Teeple

      Peggy’s too middle of the road to join a radical political group, especially after three years of Abe’s sanctimoniousness. Also, I don’t think she’d want to be labeled as a troublemaker at work, since she’s too much of a people pleaser. It’s more her style to suss out a situation and adapt to it as peaceably as possible.

    • Joy

      Sorry if this was already discussed, but could Bob Benson be the baby in the picture that the prostitute, Aimee had up in her room? I just can’t figure out how old Bob is. I just remember him saying he did have anywhere else to be in the episode with Joan.

      Even when I think conspiracy theories, he dresses very nice and seems to come from some money, so maybe he really is just a young Pete. Is he going to turn out to be related to Benson & Hedges cigarettes and they try and get back into the cigarette game?

      • sagecreek

        Fret not, he’s not that baby. Weiner would never go for anything so pat.

      • Alice Teeple

        Doubtful…although that’s a wild poetic justice theory. Bob isn’t old enough to be the baby in the picture with the prostitute. That photo looked more late 1920s/early 1930s, and Bob would have been born in the mid-1940s. I think he’s just a young Don sneaking into the ad game from behind, just like Don did.

        • Cheryl

          Bob Benson is about 26, so he was born in 1942. Dick Whitman is 41, so he was born around 1937. Bob Benson could have been Roger’s illegitimate son (or Bert’s grandson? or Pete’s brother?) but he doesn’t look anything like any of them. I can’t see him related to anyone in the present cast. But there has to be some reason he’s attached himself to this firm.

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

            “But there has to be some reason he’s attached himself to this firm.”

            Why? Why can’t the reason be that he wanted a job there, just like everyone else working there?

            And your math is off. Dick Whitman was born in 1926.

            • Joy

              You are probably right. It really is the same way that Megan was always around the season she married Don. She just got a job in the sec. pool there. No other back story about why she was there. They just had to have him lurking around a few episodes so we can’t say, “who is that” when Joan shows up at work, calls in all of the partners and announces she just eloped with Bob Benson from accounts. How awesome would that be!!

              It will be another opportunity for everyone to have that WTF look on their faces, like they did with Megan.

            • Cheryl

              Right, sorry, my math was off. He turned 40 at the beginning of Season 5.

    • Lisser

      Stan cares for and respects Peggy more than Don, Ted and Abe combined. Peggy doesn’t have chemistry with anyone like she does with Stan. Okay…maybe with Joan :)

      Don and Betty. The most moving and emotional scene I have seen in some time. Perfection.

    • k op

      Did anyone else feel suspicious of the moment when the other Bobby ignored Bobby Draper? “He’s shy” might be the total of it, or has Bobby Draper developed some nasty habits that make other kids avoid him?

      • siriuslover

        I didn’t think about that, but there has to be a reason for showing us his obsession with straight wall paper (though that would bug me too), aside from being punished by his mom.

      • Alice Teeple

        I did notice that! We’ve never really seen Bobby interacting with other children, and he seems kind of off in his own weird little world. We’re seeing Bobby through his parents’ eyes, but it’s possible that other kids think he’s creepy. He seems awfully eager to please, just like another Bob…Benson.

      • Laylalola

        Honestly, I wondered if not one but two of the other boys who played Bobby over the years were in that scene.

    • rottenkitty

      I’m sort of surprised you didn’t mention the last shot of the with Peggy caught between both Don and Ted. Her expression was a mixture of frustration, anger, sadness, and hopelessness. She’s trapped between these two men who are using her as a proxy for their power struggle.

      • mollypop

        I wish Elisabeth Moss’s face could be nominated for Best Actor. That scene was excruciating to watch, and she was phenomenal.

    • JDK_COCO

      I don’t know if anyone has added this, but I saw a couple posts about Megan’s red star t-shirt, and I just couldn’t help but wonder if her costume was a callback to Abe’s when Peggy stabbed him? They were both in essentially the same outfit, white shirt, white underwear….the red star as a reference to his red stab wound, both characters expressing to their respective partners the problems they see in their relationships. I think the sadness is that Megan has hope that things can change for the better.

      • alex

        And, if one goes back to Season 1 and the very first episode, when Sal brings his drawings of possible illustrations for the Lucky Strike ad, Sal points out the graphic of the cigarette package and says “All we have is a white box with a red spot on it.” Is there anything to be made of this comment now?

    • mollypop

      Want a little dopey overanalysis? :) Here you go!

      I was struck by what seemed to be almost a throwaway line (not that those exist on Mad Men) during Pete’s bitter conversation with Harry in the first scene: When Harry asks, “You know what this place looks like to the outside world?” Pete responds, “A mess. We don’t even have a name!” Who’s our favorite nameless character? Don Draper. It’s true that, technically, the man has two names (and you could make the argument that the nameless agency actually has too many names), but these two dueling identities seem to have almost canceled each other out this season, leaving Don more and more unsure of who he is and what he values. It would seem, thematically, that the success or failure of the merger is inextricably tied to whether Don succeeds or fails at merging his two selves/personas (though that’s probably a little too neat and tidy). Also: too many Bobbys at camp; too many characters (and glasses of wine) for Megan; too many shots of Abe in his tighty whities. This is getting to be one overcrowded world.

    • sekushinonyanko

      Did anyone else think of that dress that Olivia Wilde had on with the cape when they saw the dress Megan’s boss’s wife had on?

    • Redlanta

      On another note, there has been frequent referencing to the gun in
      act one being shot by the end of the play. I think the series will end
      with Don having lung cancer and seeing the reflection of his lives and
      times. The show began with Lucky Strike and smoking. His cough and
      consumption come up just about every time he gets mentally and
      physically down. This episode, he and Betty share a cigarette just to
      have him basically spit it out because it’s Menthol. The times are a
      changin and Don will go down in the end….

    • PowerfulBusiness

      I’m already excited for the Mad Style post. Polka dots…Megan’s Sharon Tate T-shirt…Betty’s earrings…so much good stuff this week!

      • SonOfSaradoc

        I had to look up the Sharon Tate star-t-shirt. It’s in google images and a bit too racy to post, but that’s definitely the shirt. Gulp.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      I want to know what was the idea about everyone being neutral and not taking sides on anything this episode.

      I’m not that bright,

      • siriuslover

        and I’m sure Mad Style will talk about this, but as soon as I read your post, I realized that Peggy was in that neutral beige when being asked her opinion by Don and Ted, then again by Don in her office.

      • pattie capet

        i think it had something to do with multiplication and division. divided loyalties, multiple or wavering identities. only betty came out on top because she was both mom and girlfriend, madonna and well, you know. she was both slices of the pie this time. family was the other strong theme here. family as a grounding force and a way to fix your identity and keep it from floating away. anyway, that’s the way it came off to me. i still think last week’s crash episode was the 9th circle of hell and we’re coming back up now. don is learning stuff. or i hope so.

        • lilyvonschtupp

          Thank you for explaining it to me. This was really messing with me!;0)

          • pattycap11

            :) just my perspective, and glad to share it. anyway, i thought this episode was a lot of fun. i really like it when this show makes me laugh.

    • CatherineRhodes

      Many of the kittens think that Bob Benson is a corporate spy or Aimee the whore’s love child or the heir to the Benson & Hedges tobacco fortune.

      Those exotic theories may turn out to be true, but more likely he’s just an over-zealous climber who is very good at office politics. Consider that he would have been laid off two episodes ago if not for Joan’s intervention after he ingratiated himself with her.

      • Cheryl

        We know that he started in the first episode of the season, which was New Year’s Eve, 1967. So he’s been working at SCDP + for about 7 months. But what has he been doing all that time? We only saw him in a meeting once, with Ketchup, when he was taking notes and someone told him to stop taking notes. Then, I believe, he escorted Ketchup out. We saw other newbies, like Ginsberg, get into the fray almost immediately. But is it different for an Accounts man? Is there a long training process, where he starts out small, just taking notes and driving people to whorehouses, before he can be trusted to drive drunk clients at night on dark roads blindfolded?

    • pattie capet

      the more i think about it, the more i see bob bensen as a kind of shady doppelganger of don draper. don is smooth and hides the truth about himself. bob, while a younger version of don, is something worse: he doesn’t seem to have any identity at all and his principal characteristic so far seems to be deceit. at first i thought he was just really good at taking advantage of a situation, but when i think of his phony niceness, his easy lies, i don’t know. it’s weird how he can be both bland and sinister at the same time. i want to see more of this guy!

      • MisScarlett

        Interesting theory! Were there more lies besides the story about his sick father? I need to rewatch this episode!

        • pattycap11

          i just mean, how easily he came up with the lie to the nurse. and his lies gets progressively worse. how easily he can lie to pete about his dad. we don’t know if he’s alive or dead. people don’t usually tell even white lies about something like that, unless it’s really important for some reason. what do you call someone who lies easily and often, even when they don’t have to? a sociopath.

          it starts out with minor moves, like he’s got two coffee cups, in case somebody else wants one, right, who does that? and then it just goes on. and ken doesn’t like him, and ken likes everybody. i think viewers don’t know what it is, but they know there’s something wrong with the guy, that he’s not quite trustworthy. maybe he’s a metaphor for advertising itself. the big lie. with a smile.

          • MisScarlett

            Gotcha! Point taken, and thanks for clarifying… “big lie/big smile” is a great way to put it!

    • lilyvonschtupp

      Another hilarious moment: the look on Roger’s face when Good Ol’ Bob answers Joanie’s door.

      Can you believe it? Roger actually JEALOUS over Joanie?????

    • snarkykitten

      I literally gasped when Abe got stabbed. Hands up to my mouth and everything. But I’m so glad they’re over now!

      on the subject of Pete, I know you like to compare him to Don, but I think he’s equal parts Roger. After all, he’s used to being handed things because of his wealth. Now that he has to work for it, he’s becoming more like Don. They might not be handing him things anymore, but by god did he work for those things.

    • mhleta

      “We wonder if Peggy’s going to ditch that house she bought. If she was too scared to be there with only a one-handed Abe to protect her, she’s definitely not going to want to stay there by herself, especially when she can afford something quite a bit safer.” Are you sure? Can she really afford something much safer now that she’s sunken her entire savings into this godforsaken tenement house? She may well be trapped in limbo and completely hamstrung now, financially, romantically and professionally.

    • http://instagram.com/gioioio gioioio

      This might have been addressed already but:

      Did Betty and Don make make another Sally? Would love to see how ‘in control of her emotions’ Betty would deal with that curveball.

      If so, I totally called it. Unless someone else called it first..