Mad Men: The Crash

Posted on May 20, 2013

Anyone else feel like they need a couple Alka-Seltzers and aspirins this morning? Feeling disoriented? Lost your creative focus, energy and confidence? Tell you what. Let’s not think about it too much just this one time. Let’s put some soothing Sergio Mendes Bossa Nova on our Admiral radio, unwind, and let this one MadMenS6E8+3wash over us, mkay?

Shit. That’s not gonna work, is it?

Fine. We’ll give it a shot. But in looking around the Mad Men-o-sphere this morning, we see we’re not the first or only ones to think this episode was deliberately constructed to defy the kind of feverish, obsessive critical analysis the show inspires. We’re having no problem at all envisioning Weiner & Co. gleefully rubbing their hands together and saying “Analyze THIS, freaks!” before collapsing into laughter at the idea of Ken Cosgrove doing a tap routine (or Stan doing a St. Sebastian routine) in the middle of the office. In fact, any time we do dig down into the script and uncover a thematic nugget, it tends to be either banal or something that’s been endlessly debated already.

Don has madonna/whore issues. Well, duh.

Don needs to feel in control and does so by essentially ignoring everyone else’s needs. Pfft.

The late ’60s were a brief, insane period where society lost its bearings and people took the moment to break out of their own routines before immediately retreating back to conformity. Okay, maybe that one has legs.

Unfettered creativity is pointless without discipline and control to guide it. Ah, now that one has some meat to it.

If you’ve ever listened to the Matthew Weiner commentary tracks on the show’s DVDs, you’ll quickly find out that Don Draper is (unsurprisingly) a Matthew Weiner stand-in, and that the show often uses the advertising world to make points about marrying creativity to mass media and corporate concerns. In other words, advertising is being used as a stand-in for television production. Weiner & Co. are using their own experiences in their careers to make observations about the careers of the people in the show. Looking at the episode from that perspective, it then becomes a study in creativity under pressure, a topic any television writer or show runner would be intimately familiar with. How insane does the creative process get when one is tapped out, exhausted, and under enormous pressure? What darkness bubbles to the surface?

Like we said: banal.

On the other hand, there was a small bit about how all that unleashed creativity amounted to nothing more than pages and pages of crap. That was something we wish the episode had delved into a little deeper. There was a fantastically subtle moment when Peggy was listening to Stan and that baby-faced copywriter, whose name we still don’t know, rattling off, well, nothing but crap, really. Peggy dutifully took notes of their ramblings and when Ginsberg asked for her pen so he could take notes, he realized it was “unclicked” and she hadn’t been writing anything at all. Peggy once again is the character in this inferno who comes out looking semi-decent (although Ted’s giving her a run, which explains their attraction to each other) and somewhat on top of her game. We wish more could have been made of her disgust during this whole clusterfuck. The best parts of the episode came when she was interacting with Don and, unlike everyone else in the room, could see that he was spouting pure drivel and nonsense. More of that and less of Wendy, the freaky, mourning hippy, please.

Look, this was probably one of the most enjoyable hours of the series, simply because evMadMenS6E8+1erything was so unexpected and out-of-left-field that it couldn’t help but hold your attention. But when it was over, we, like roughly 98% of the audience (we’re guessing), turned to each other and said, “What the hell did I just watch?” And in the harsh light of day, as we’re treating our hangovers, this one just doesn’t hold up well to scrutiny. Enjoyable, yes; but hardly revelatory. When the upshot of the episode is that Don has whore issues and advertising is nothing but a different kind of whorehouse, then the hour was, in some ways, a waste. But only if you think an episode of Mad Men needs to aspire to literary pretensions and offer up weighty, important, theme-laden hours of television each week.

We mentioned last season that we rate the WTF factor on Mad Men using the lawnmower scale. Guy gets his foot cut off: 5 out of 5 lawnmowers. Don’s wife unexpectedly breaks into a sexy song routine: 3.5 out of 5. Betty gained 40 pounds since we last saw her: 3/5. You get the idea. Our point is, the show likes to offer up these surprises and shocks on a fairly routine basis. You can point to one episode every season that could rightly be called the “WTF?!?!” episode. It’s just that when you place the “WTF?!?!?!” episode in 1968, it’s likely to be manic, trippy, and crazy. On that level, it couldn’t help but entertain. And it has the bonus of being accurate to the period in that it exposes the lie that the drug culture was purely a baby boomer thing. By this point in the ’60s, drug usage really was rampant, but not just among the hippies and college kids. The middle and upper-middle classes were a sea of Miltown‘d wives and juiced-up corporate husbands. The idea of the walls between culture and counter-culture breaking down is something the show’s been playing around with for a while and this is one more in a line of moments (from “I’m Peggy Olson and I’d like to smoke some marijuana,” to Roger’s first acid trip) demonstrating the growing pervasiveness of drug use in all strata of society. We wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find out that Betty’s dramatic weight loss was at least partially speed-fueled. She was certainly on fire and spitting nails last night, wasn’t she? Not that we blame her.

In the middle of all this drugs-and-whores drama (which almost sounds like a rebuke from Weiner to all those fans who elevated Don to rock star status; as if he’s showing them all the downside of it) was one freaking bizarre-as-hell episode involving an African-American woman breaking into the Draper apartment and briefly holding Sally and Bobby hostage. Mad Men has dealt with the growing crime and declining quality of life in NYC around this period before. Like Don racing through the offices of SCDP speeding his ass off, this is another example of the tenor of the times invading the unlikely spaces of the characters. New York City is a pit and one of the denizens rose up and walked right into Sally’s living room. The racial undertones here are problematic to say the least, when you consider just how few black characters have ever appeared on the show (and given that Grandma Ida is now the second of that small pool of characters to be a criminal). AMadMenS6E8+2nd we’re not sure why this bit was placed in this episode, except it served to snap Don out of his dangerous obsession with Sylvia. Still, it was one of the oddest things we’ve ever seen on the show, which, now that we think about it, must be why it was inserted here. It fight right in with all the unlikely stuff already going on. We can’t have been the only ones who found the sequence so bizarre and dream-like that we were wondering if Sally was on drugs herself.

Besides, it gave Betty the opportunity to pay Megan back for this scene, and on that level, we couldn’t help but cheer a little that Betty got her mojo back, and by that we don’t mean her weight loss necessarily. She’s clearly back to the polished Betty of the Ossining years; putting the effort in because she gets to be a trophy wife again. Standing in her kitchen, she was more made up and accessorized than we’ve seen her in several seasons. And because she has her armor back on and a husband that excites her again (“HENRY IS RUNNING FOR OFFICE, DON! DID YOU HEAR ME SAY THAT? DID YOU HEAR THAT PART ABOUT MY SUCCESSFUL, IMPORTANT HUSBAND?”) she’s got something that can pass for self-confidence to take the place of that mousey, Weight Watchers-attending, Mama Francis-lite version of herself. She had every reason to be angry at both Don and Megan, even if the primary responsibility for the kids rests on Don. On the other hand, there was definitely a sense of triumph in her fury, but like we said, we really can’t blame her for it.

What made this episode not-so-great in retrospect was the heavy focus once again on Don Fucking Draper and his Big Bag of Fucking Bullshit. Pardon our French. Show of hands: who found it shocking and revelatory that Don got his cherry popped by a blonde prostitute? Or that his stepmother abused him? There is nothing new to be found here and we found ourselves getting quite annoyed by the heavyMadMenS6E8+5-handedness of it all. For once, the meticulous costuming and styling details felt … almost crude, once you notice that Aimee, Sylvia AND the mother figure in the oatmeal ad all wore head scarves. And every time we wallow around in the recesses of Don’s psyche, we hope that this is the episode where the creators get it out of their systems for the season so we can move on to all the far more fascinating things going on around him, from Ted Chaough’s increasing anxiety that he might have hooked his cart to a runaway horse, to Jim Cutler and Roger Sterling embracing their similarities (because after all, who would Roger rather spend time with than another Roger? It’s easier than lugging a mirror around), to Peggy Goddamn Olson turning into the most desirable woman in the office and deftly handling the men around her in a way that would have made 1960 Joan Holloway arch an eyebrow and mutter, “I’m impressed.”

The scenes with Stan were some of the most enjoyable of the episode, partially because he’s relatively undefined as a character, and partially because he’s so charming a character. The scene with Peggy was awesome not just because the low-level sexual tension finally burst to the surface (aided by amphetamines and alcohol, of course) but because we find out that he’s in pain over the death of his cousin (who we met at Don’s birthday party last season) and that the constant shots of him smoking pot in the office this season might not be so charming in retrospect as it’s clear now that he’s self-medicating to a dangerous degree. Now that we’ve added the death of (admittedly, a very minor) character in Vietnam, the death of a character from a drug overdose seems almost inevitable what with the increasing number of scenes depicting drug use this season.

And with that, we just scared the shit out of a whole legion of Stan fans. Hopefully we’re wrong on that one. At any rate, we’ll have much more to say in our Mad Style post on Wednesday.

Also:

giOntby

Because how could we not?

 

 

[Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC]

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  • DaveUWSNYC

    I was shocked to see Oprah robbing the Drapers!

    • toastedink

      You’re confusing your black people.

      • Eric Stott

        and the episode was confusing enough.

    • Chris

      At first I thought it was jarring and somewhat racist to see one of the few people of color on the show as a robber. Later I realized they were using it to show what Sally said- his kids do not know him at all. So much so a random stranger of a different race can convince them, even temporarily, she is his mother. Don is a complete stranger to them as much as Ida was.

      • Pennymac

        It was her offer to make fried chicken that really offended…

        • Sobaika

          REALLY. I was cringing so hard.

          • Steph Wright

            Yeah I mean I love Mad Men but it’s clear Weiner does NOT know how to write for people of color (which is true for a lot of white writers).

        • sarahjane1912

          And when she wanted to hug Sally and asked her to come over and give her ‘some sugar’. Sorry, that really had me shuddering the most. I was scared and revolted and cringing all at the same time. :-(

          • TheDivineMissAnn

            Well, here in the south that expression is still used by both races.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

            Yeah, I never quite catch on to fried chicken and those sorts of things as being black stereotypes because here in the south those things apply to everyone. I associate them more so as being (fairly accurate) southern stereotypes.

          • not_Bridget

            Yeah, fried chicken is a Grandma thing….

          • golden_valley

            Both my white grandmas made fried chicken frequently. I always thought it was a Midwestern thing.

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

            My grandmother made fried chicken frequently too. I always thought it was a Mexican thing. Clearly, fried chicken is an everyone thing because it is damn delicious.

          • macwell

            Okkkaayyy?! I would do an ad for fried chicken for free, because it is damn delicious. And yeah – I’m Blk – what?!….LOL! :)

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QFW22QV426LUOEPGASPZJWJMDE MishaFoomin

            My grandma was always making fried chicken and she was from Poland.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

            “Grandma Ida” could have very easily been my grandma in every way, from the way she talked to the food she offered to make, with the difference being her race.

          • Heather

            Was your grandma also a burglar? (No judgement.)

          • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

            Not that I know of, but I could see my grandpa pulling that kind of stunt.

          • Froide

            ROFL

          • Lisa_Co

            The way she was rifling through the cabinets when Sally came in did clue me in immediately that she was no Grandma but a thief.

          • sarahjane1912

            That’s interesting. A few years ago, American news and talk shows got themselves incredibly worked up over an Australian advertisement showing an Aussie sports [cricket] fan offering the fans from the visiting team [West Indies] buckets of KFC so they’d stop making noise, and just sit back and enjoy the game.

            In Australia, that was seen as a fun ad with one fan offering food to his rivals as a friendly gesture. In the US? We were lambasted for somehow perpetuating a ‘feed the blacks fried chicken and they’ll keep quiet’ meme. Since we don’t have the history of slavery [or indeed, KFC/fried chicken; that's an American import!] it came as quite a shock to us that we were being called racist as a result of this ad. It wasn’t as if it was going to show in the US, and Australia and the Windies have a long and fantastic relationship as rival cricket teams. :-(

            Sorry. Bit of a digression, but it’s enlightening to read the comments here that fried chicken isn’t what I’d been led to believe following that outcry.

          • ideated_eyot

            Fired chicken is a basic race signifier in media when it’s deployed out of nowhere like that.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

            Yeah, I know that now, but for the longest time I never made the connection because like I said, fried chicken knows no specific race in the south. White or black, we all love it here. To be honest, we’ll fry pretty much anything that’s even remotely edible here, but fried chicken is definitely a pretty universal favorite.

          • sarahjane1912

            Oh I wasn’t shuddering because I thought the phrase was racist. Not being from the South [or even the US]
            I thought the phrase had a more modern translation ie the sort in the Urban Dictionary. Gimme some sugar is a term used to ask for a kiss, where the girl is hot and the kiss is sweet.

            It seemed a strange thing for an older woman to ask from a child, especially one she didn’t know. Sorry, I’m not trying to be obtuse. :-)

          • http://www.facebook.com/johnny.neill28 Johnny Neill

            My mother says “Give me some sugar,” to all of her grandchildren, and has since as far back as I can remember. I also think the reason Ida was able to get into the building is because she looked the part of a housekeeper, and at that hour the doorman was probably not paying attention. The best way to be invisible is to not be someone anyone cares to see,

          • Froide

            It’s a phrase people of Ida’s generation used with anyone – platonic or romantic – to signify, “Give me a kiss.” In this case, Ida was posing as Sally’s grandmotherly figure (e.g., as Don’s version of Carla), so under the terms of that ruse, it wouldn’t be a strange request at all.

          • Robyn Garrett

            I thought she was just trying to be as generic as possible. Everyone likes fried chicken, so she asked about fried chicken. “Is your daddy still handsome?” “Is your momma still a piece of work?” She’s conning Sally.

          • grouchywif

            My grandpa, a southern white man who died in 1988 at the age of around 75 used to say that to me all the time. My own mom, 79 years old now (and white), says it to my young daughter. It’s more of a southern thing than a race thing. and I associate it with that generation as well.

        • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

          I liked the fried chicken part. She said it was his favorite, which is a good trick for a con artist, because fried chicken could be many people’s favorite. Black folk do not have the market on fried chicken. And I don’t think it’s racist to have a old black lady as a hustler and thief. Times were/are hard. I think anyone who “owns property” participates in theft of some sort, so that’s most people.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Growing up in a very racially integrated city, it wasn’t til my late teens that I heard anyone refer to basic things (like fried chicken, “give me some sugar”) as being stereotypes. It was a little shocking that people saw them as stereotypes because it was just what everyone did. Still kind of baffling.

          • http://twitter.com/starrika starrika

            I agree. As a treat, my mom would make us fried chicken and waffles (she grew up in the south). We’re white – had no idea it was a racist thing until I was much older, perhaps late teens/early twenties. It was just a good meal.

          • http://www.facebook.com/vlasta.bubinka Vlasta Bubinka

            Yeah, my dad’s family is Southern white, and “sugar” was always colloquial for a hug/ kiss. And fried chicken was a staple.

          • DogintheParthenon

            I agree. I’m a white southerner, and did not see it as racially stereotypical.

          • FloridaLlamaLover

            You know, this whole fried chicken and waffles being a southern thing: I grew up in Decatur, GA; had relatives in Alabama, south Georgia, Florida, Texas, and Tennessee and never, ever, ever did I hear of fried chicken being served with waffles til recently. And trust me, there was a LOT of fried chicken, fried fish, cornbread, fried chicken livers, etc. in our house, but waffles were strictly a breakfast thing and ONLY made on Sundays.

          • UsedtobeEP

            Yeah, I think that’s new, too.

          • Aurumgirl

            New. Someone in NY made it up, I think, and now people are selling it as “southern”. But even I know it’s not, and I’m from Canada.

          • lobsterlen

            My husband and I had the same discussion. His family is from Georgia. He grew up in Virgina. His mother is from Kentucky. He went to college in South Carolina. I went to college in Decatur GA and spent a better part of my childhood on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I have never heard of waffles and fried chicken. Now fried chicken was always a constant. I love fried chicken but honestly this combination sounds disgusting and gluttonous.

          • Zaftiguana

            I think the point is not that it’s problematic that any show would have a hustler and a thief be black. It’s problematic to have a show run for multiple seasons with only a handful of black people ever appearing on screen AND then have two of them be criminals. Not to mention the percentage of the others who are/were servants. Some of this can be explained by Weiner trying to paint what the world was like for this very specific group of Madison Avenue people. But some of it can’t.

            (And then there’s the whole question of why our popular entertainment keeps almost exclusively exploring the lives of only one color of people, but that’s a wildebeest of a conversation for another time.)

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

            Okay, wait. Do you mean a handful of speaking black characters, or a handful of black people ever? Because there have been a ton of black people on this show; the problem is, they’ve always been in the background. They’re sitting silently in waiting rooms, passing silently quietly by on the street, unobtrusively cleaning in the background. It’s sad, but I suppose it’s also reflective of the white characters’ point of view. People of color are there, they just aren’t there.

            Hell, I waited six seasons to finally see a Latina on this show, even just in the background, and she was just a lazy, incompetent maid. Thanks, Matt! Super classy of you! :D

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

            Actually, Don had a latina maid when he was a bachelor, and she seemed pretty sharp and attentive to him in the brief scene we saw.

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

            Really? Cool. Two, then. Both maids, but I’ll take what I can get. :)

          • Froide

            And Don was insufferable to both of them.

          • Zaftiguana

            Yeah, speaking. Although Even non-speaking I’d guess that they’re pretty dramatically underrepresented and still high on the servants and low-lifes ratios.

            You’re right that it’s crazy that we don’t see more Latinos, though. Maybe even crazier than the black underrepresentation. They’re in New York City, for god’s sake.

          • lilyvonschtupp

            I ran into a nitwit on the Facebook website who declared she’d never watch MM again because of all of the black people she saw on the MLK epi. Apparently she hypothesized that Jesse Jackson was blackmailing Weiner&Co and AMC to use black actors for the first time EVER.

            I responded to her to pull the white sheet back over her face because nobody wanted to see that ugly puss of hers.

          • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

            It seems to make sense to me that popular entertainment reflects the most populous.

          • Zaftiguana

            I’m sorry, that excuse needs to be retired. If we want to pretend that diversity in entertainment should correspond to census information or something, that still wouldn’t explain why non-white people don’t make up about 40% of the characters who populate U.S. TV shows and films, including leading characters. And that number would have to be growing rapidly all the time.

          • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

            Mad Men is the story of ad men in the 60s- the upper crust, so to speak. Do we want to see the other marginalized groups because we think that their story is more important? We want to tell Matt Weiner what to write on his wonderfully executed show that we can’t wait to watch each week? Everyone has a story, and a pretty similar one. Race is a social construct. Don is defined by his abandonment/molestation/mother issues so much that it cripples his future relationships with his wives, his children, his friends. Don has no friends; his brother killed himself. Everyone is struggling- not just the poor people or the gay people or the people with vaginas. I don’t believe life is about how we are marginalized victims of the greater society, or about how the man won’t give us enough airtime on entertainment tv; it’s about relationships. Money is nothing. I’m more defined by my relationships than by my race. Did you know there’s more genetic variation in Africa than any where else? African Americans were enslaved based on superficiality and now we can’t let that superficiality go, because it’s hard for the ego to let go of an identity, however weak. I say Don is the poorest man on this show. His story is worth being told, not just Peggys. He is a victim of childhood sexual and physical abuse. Dawn probably has more love in her house. We shouldn’t pigeonhole or victimize people and say they deserve more airtime just because they’re darker in tone; or think they’re story is better for the show because they’re part of some false minority. I hope we get more of The Beatles on the show. People have to “come together”.

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

            You are arguing for a version of the show that has never existed. From the very beginning of the series, the show has tackled issues of misogyny, anti-gay prejudice, racism, classism, and anti-semitism.

            And this:

            “Everyone has a story, and a pretty similar one. ”

            Is quite clearly and obviously false.

          • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

            I don’t disagree with you that the show tackles these issues…

            Why doesn’t everyone have the same story? Just because you say it’s false obviously false and give no further explanation? We don’t have to think the same way, my friend. :) Personally I think you and I have the same story. We all came from vaginas. We all endure adolescence and adopt strange complexes from our mother/father relationships. We all struggle to find the meaning of life, or a way to live life with meaning. We want love. We all age and then die. All that stuff. That’s deep stuff. For me that’s the real stuff of stories, which is why stories have archetypes. Everything else is details, not unimportant, but transitory manifestations of the way these universal truths play out in our lives.

            I really enjoy reading your recaps, but I notice you often reply to people in this comments forum in a snappy, short manner. Dismissive almost. People will be discussing their opinions and feelings, and then the moderator might pop in with a “fact”. I’m sure I’m guilty of this too, but damn.

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

            “We all came from vaginas. We all endure adolescence and adopt strange complexes from our mother/father relationships. We all struggle to find the meaning of life, or a way to live life with meaning. We want love. We all age and then die. All that stuff. ”

            This is both so broad as to be relatively meaningless and clearly specific to your own point of view in ways you don’t seem to realize.

            There is far more to life than mommy, daddy, love, sex, aging and death. You are expressing a personal preference for stories that deal with these broad themes, which is fine. But when you claim your preferences are the way things are supposed to be and anything else is just pointless window-dressing, you’re being rather obnoxiously dismissive, both of other people’s points of view, as well as other people’s experiences.

          • Zaftiguana

            I’m not going to even touch that first paragraph, but re. the second…it’s their site. I’ve been spanked by Daddy T and Papa Lo once or twice myself, but at the end of the day, our presence here indicates that we do think their opinons are relevant and that we’re agreeing to use their site on their terms. And honestly, given your body of comments in this thread, this is coming across as a big hypocritical whine.

          • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

            You edited your original reply… To answer your added post-script, I think we hear calls for more diverse representations because many of us have difficulty identifying with people beyond our superficial, transitory identities. I believe we have infinitely more in common with each other than what we choose to focus on. I am a what is considered a Black woman in this society, and I grew up watching TV that, I thought, didn’t have satisfying images of myself. I always loved Crooklyn because it was the story of a young Black girl. This year I met a White male who loved Crooklyn just as much as I did. I found out (spoiler alert) that his mother died when he was very young, just as the main character’s mother died. There’s more at work between humans. It’s difficult to get my OPINION across because so many of us are clinging to our identity as Black, White, Male, Female, Gay, etc. We don’t see the forest for the trees. I don’t believe the line of thinking that asks for more diverse representation is bad, but I do think that there are (as far as humans are concerned) 7 billion current variations of the same story, and everyone will not be represented fairly in the physical dimension because we are all physically unique, but they can be represented metaphorically on the level of human relationships of love, loss, family, search for meaning, etc which we all share.

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

            I have to say I’m not surprised that you completely misunderstood what the post-script was about. Let me rephrase:

            I think you should examine why calls for diverse representation automatically have you launching into diatribes about victimhood.

            In other words, I think the very premise and starting point of your argument is flawed and prejudicial.

          • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

            I disagree. In my mind, the cry for diverse representation in the mainstream media comes from a victim standpoint. It’s the standpoint of “The mainstream media won’t portray me equally or fairly. I have no control and no voice. I will complain about it and at the same time ask them to portray me more fairly.”

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

            You’re just trolling now.

          • Zaftiguana

            Oh, dude. Look.

            I am not trying to tell Weiner etc. how to write their show. I’m not telling them what show they should have set out to make in the first place. Neither I nor anyone else is saying that NOTHING about these characters or stories is relevant to people outside of their personal societal strata. But this shit?

            “Everyone has a story, and a pretty similar one. Race is a social construct.”

            “Money is nothing.”

            “Did you know there’s more genetic variation in Africa than any where else? African Americans were enslaved based on superficiality and now we can’t let that superficiality go, because it’s hard for the ego to let go of an identity, however weak.”

            “We shouldn’t pigeonhole or victimize people and say they deserve more airtime just because they’re darker in tone; or think they’re story is better for the show because they’re part of some false minority.”

            Just stop. Seriously. Because I can’t even with this. This is not the oppression olympics. Problems don’t have to be the biggest problems or the only problems to be problems. And the fact that over and over and over again we have creative storytellers choosing to tell the stories of one kind of people (and no, our stories are not all “pretty similar” and I’m floored that in the 21st century anyone is still trying to claim this with a straight face) is a problem. Just because you’ve gotten so used to it that you don’t even recognize it anymore doesn’t make it empirically irrelevant.

          • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

            When I studied film in school I was exposed to visual stories from all over the world. My exposure to something other than mainstream American movies and TV helped ease my anger at the the mainstream media makers for not portraying me as I wanted to see myself (as if they could, only I can). If we really want to see it, we have to make it, and there are people making it. But they will not always end up in the mainstream, and that’s OK.

          • Zaftiguana

            Are you thinking critically at all about why women and people of color and other non-dominant groups are so poorly represented among the writers and directors and producers of the world? In film school and in the world? And why successful artists in those groups have a much harder time getting their projects greenlit? Because it’s not a coincidence, so to act like that’s just how it is is to continue to ignore or erase the problem

            And you know what? It’s not okay. It’s not okay that people who are not white, straight, able-bodied men, usually middle class or higher are not getting the same opportunities to tell or watch their stories in mainstream media. It makes me genuinely sad that you not only feel that this kind of inequity based in prejudice is okay but that you’re going to lengths to *defend* it.

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

            No, that’s not okay at all. And the idea that people shouldn’t point out lack of diversity in mainstream media because they should instead produce it themselves is a classic technique used to silence and dismiss any form of social criticism, whether you intend it or not.

            In the end, you are arguing that all people are the same, that there is no diversity, that the white male point of view is simply the default position of people, that anyone who complains about or points out this lack of diversity is claiming victimhood and should just go and make their own TV shows about black people, if that’s what they want to see.

            It’s kind of a stunning series of arguments for one person to make, actually.

          • clairdelune

            Tom and Lorenzo, thank you for your insights. I just don’t think we can IGNORE the mammy/criminal stereotype (ultimate white person’s nightmare??). I have loved Mad Men from the start, but I’m tired of making excuses for Matt Weiner and his willful ignoring/diminishing/stereotyping of black people – and the people and themes that a huge part of that era – and always have been in America – but particularly in NYC in the late 60′s. He’s losing his credibility, and betraying his own limited artistic vision.

            Watching Mad Men is becoming like watching “Gone With the Wind.” Enjoy what you can, hold your nose with the rest, and look away if you must.

            Sadly, with this “black hole” in Mad Men, Matt Weiner is splashing a stain on his artistry – and his legacy.

          • Froide

            As Don would say (to something either ri-fucking-diculous or incomprehensible): “What?”

          • Aurumgirl

            Yes, that wildebeest of a question. Toni Morrison just recently published a book about the same era as Mad Men, and I remember her saying in an interview that the whole idea that we’re getting a glimpse of what that era was like, in Mad Men, is just not true unless you were in a certain social strata and white. This is a pretty rarified view of the world, quite a privileged one that certainly doesn’t give you a big picture: yet it so easily becomes the “big” official picture, the only one we consider “real”. And there’s a ton of racism in that fact alone.

            I still can’t decide on this one. Yes, there is so little diversity in this show, so few non white characters and when they do come up they are minimal or somehow deviant often enough for it to touch a nerve. But are we watching a portrayal of an institutionalized racism in this story? If so, those of us who are white and middle class and from that era originated there–so even our own view can’t help but be racist, no matter how informed we are of racism in our culture.

          • Zaftiguana

            “This is a pretty rarified view of the world, quite a privileged one that certainly doesn’t give you a big picture: yet it so easily becomes the “big” official picture, the only one we consider “real”. And there’s a ton of racism in that fact alone.”

            Exactly. And that, to me, is one of the big reasons that this issue matters and is worth discussing, even in a show that is amazingly well-done and sometimes gets some of these issues right*. Whether or not this *should* be the case, what is represented in our popular culture becomes a considerable factor in the dominant understanding of various issues and people and times. We can’t keep pretending that it doesn’t matter that in a culture that still wrestles with inequality (racial, sexual, sexual identity, religious, socio-economic, etc.) that this doesn’t matter.

            *I do think that MM has played a meaningful role in de-romanticizing people’s ideas about “the good ol’ days” of Midcentury America when it comes to some issues, women’s issues in particular. I’d guess the show has actually changed that conversation considerably, and when we have something of a culture war still raging and some of the basis for its ideas about conservatism are rooted in that romanticized view, that’s huge.

          • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

            I think this storyline would have been more compelling with a white “Grandma” because we viewers would be wondering who she was. We pretty much knew that Don couldn’t have a black Grandma–even though his past has had surprises.

            I was working at the phone company in a California suburb in 1968. We had no black employees, but only three black seniors in my high school. When I worked in San Francisco by 1969 or 1970, I found my first black friends. But not many. None in management. No women in upper management. Oh, maybe one. A few supervisors. I’d think that New York would be more advanced at diversity of population. But this portrayal is probably about right. The Grandma should be white, though.

            I forget, did the children have a maid or nanny who was black? They didn’t seem frightened.

          • lilyvonschtupp

            I’m black, and I don’t often eat fried chicken. It often makes me sick.

            But I’ll tell ya, whenever I go to a KFC there are MAD white and MAD Asian people up in there!

          • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

            I don’t care who eats it as long as I get to eat it too.

          • lilyvonschtupp

            I hear ya, brother:o)

          • Lisa_Co

            First, Sally lived with Don until she was about 10. Did Betty ever make fried chicken? I doubt it. That’s probably one reason Sally was suspicious.

            Also, Manhattan in the ’60′s and 70′s was diverse socio-economically and racially. There were plenty of poor and middle class white people. There were plenty of white thieves and addicts. So to make Grandma Ida black was, for me, offensive.

          • Heather

            I don’t see Betty making friend anything. I remember she made chicken salad once, and seemed to do a lot of meatloaf.

          • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

            I tried imagining the scene with a White character and it doesn’t have the same oddness. It isn’t as funny. Bobby doesn’t ask “Are we Negroes?” in the scene I’m imagining. It’s also doesn’t make a commentary on how many older African American women actually did raise White children (and still do, along with Hispanics. I see it every day in NYC). It also doesn’t highlight just how little Sally knows about her father that it’s ridiculous, which was awesome.

        • Chris

          The whole character and how she was presented really made me cringe- the chicken was almost farce at that point. Were we supposed to think she was playing a role for them?

          • http://twitter.com/HeckYeahHeckNo KC

            I’m assuming she was playing a role for them. And honestly, I don’t mind it. I’m a black female and unless I sense something truly racist about something, I don’t get offended by it. Even I thought “Did Don, in his stupor, call this woman from his childhood and ask her to come over? Maybe we’ll see her in a flashback!” but after a while it was clear she wasn’t anyone to him. But it does highlight that they really truly don’t know him.

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

            Right. I scrambled to think the same thing — would the real DD have known her, maybe? How? Etc.

            The scene did its job, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s meant to be edgy, knowing we’d prickle with our current sensibilities. Sally had Carla for years at home, why wouldn’t Don have had Grandma Ida? It would make sense to an innocent in that time period — I am Sally’s age, and boy, I remember being so naive and vulnerable and willing to believe anything anyone told me. Kiernan Shipka played it just right. And Grandma Ida? Perfect. Right down to, “You’ve hurt my feelings…”

          • not_Bridget

            Sally did wise up & call the police. But Ida heard & defused the threat…

          • Sweetpea176

            For just a tiny moment, I thought that Grandma Ida might have been the real Don Draper’s nanny or something, tracking him down after many years, and was getting excited by the idea of her opening the drama of Don’s assumed identity to his kids. (Part of me thinks that the series can’t end without his kids finding out about Dick Whitman — that it would be incomplete or unresolved in some way without that revelation.) I was a little disappointed when the story took the con artist turn. Sally’s going to start asking more questions, though, now that she realizes how little she knows about her father.

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

            I thought that too for a minute, once I stopped thinking that maybe Sally was dreaming.

          • Redlanta

            Betty has already told some of Don/Dick’s past to Sally. Remember when she told Sally Don had been married before. I can’t remember if she said he had a different name at the time…

          • Froide

            Yes. And don’t forget, Betty had “a Carla” (I forgot her name). There’s no reason for the Draper kids to think Don didn’t have “a Carla” in his life, too.

          • Zaftiguana

            “I’m assuming she was playing a role for them.” – Exactly. That part didn’t bother me. It was a racist portrayal, but she was the one portraying herself that way in order to dupe racist white people.

          • CozyCat

            I had a similar reaction. Given Dick/Don’s background, it is quite possible that there may have been someone like Ida in his childhood. So, like Sally, I was half wondering if her story might have been true.

          • Stephanie

            For a moment I thought that she picked the keys off Don because he fell asleep (*crashed*) in the hallway outside of Sylvia’s door. Maybe a wallet, which is how she knew his name and that he was handsome? Which kind of explains why Don made a point to tell Sally that it was his fault…

          • MartyBellerMask

            ABSOLUTELY she was playing a role for them. She was a con artist. “Grandma Ida” is just probably one of many roles she pulls out.

            Just like most character on this show play roles. Don himself addressed that in his speech to Ken (just prior to the tap-dancing bit). Ad men, Megan, Sylvia, Betty. Even Sally pretending to be grown up.

          • Aurumgirl

            I think you were supposed to think that she was a fairly skilled con artist, who used a stereotype about the black nanny servant (like the one Sally and Bobby were raised with) against a group of victims who would most likely fall for the story simply because of their racism. I’m not so sure that this is racist writing as I think there is a possibility it may be writing that demonstrates how the race issue in America has become so divisive and detrimental and can even be used against those who persist in being racist.

            There is also no shortage of criminals altogether, in this series. We’ve seen thieves, pimps, deserters, and rapists abound. The vast majority of them were white.

          • Froide

            Must you ask? Of COURSE Ida was playing a role; she was conning them.

        • purkoy28

          lol, if u get offended so easily maybe u should stick to daytime t.v.

          • Pennymac

            Troll much?

        • T_A_R

          Problematic? Sure. But she was a con artist and she seemed to be playing into a stereotype to persuade Sally.

        • katchwa

          You know what I thought about the fried chicken part?

          Roger, back in
          S1 talked about how his Nanny Belva, made him fried chicken and wrapped
          it in waxed paper. As soon as she said that it threw on an extra layer of confusion – knowing that _someone_ had talked of childhood fried chicken but not being able to piece together who or when.

          So I read it as deliberate.

          • decormaven

            Good memory!

          • katchwa

            Thanks! Don’t know if it makes it less problematic if it was a 1968 black woman echoing a viewer’s memory of a c.1920 black woman but…

          • FloridaLlamaLover

            I am EXTREMELY impressed that you remembered that. I have trouble remem…what was I going to say?

        • Redlanta

          Written before the Garcia/ Tiger episode, to be sure!

      • VanessaDK

        She made clear to Sally at the beginning of the encounter that she wasn’t saying she was their “real” grandmother, but that she was the one that “raised her dad” which would have been a fairly common scenario on the UES. In other words–the family maid.

        It was cringeworthy and I just stopped watching.

        • par3182

          Of course Sally was pretty much raised by Carla (I wonder what she’s up to?)

          • MartyBellerMask

            Wasn’t Betty also raised by a black housekeeper? There was no reason for Sally to think that Don wasn’t.

          • http://www.facebook.com/vlasta.bubinka Vlasta Bubinka

            Yes, Viola. “We don’t all know each other.” (to Grandpa Gene)

          • Lisa_Co

            If I remember correctly Don has told them he was raised on a farm. Not too many nannies on a farm methinks.

          • MartyBellerMask

            But Sally doesn’t know that.

          • Froide

            True, but that’s so far out of Sally’s frame of reference that she wouldn’t know that.

      • fnarf

        You gotta love in-the-clouds Bobby asking “are we Negroes?”, though.

        • PastryGoddess

          Best frickin line of the night.

      • AP

        Ha ha, I just posted something similar to this. You beat me to it…

      • Guest

        Interesting that the burglar/con artist was the person who actually made Sally dinner that night, while Don was busy working and Megan didn’t have time. There were a lot of loaded references to feeding in this episode, from the prostitute spoon-feeding soup to Dick Whitman and the whole thing with the soup campaign, to Don overhearing Sylvia telling her husband to eat something, someone telling Ted to just eat the sandwich, the awful Chevy clients wining and dining Ken and bullying him, and maybe even the drugs they’re given, a scene that had a force-feeding vibe, I thought. The feeding is sometimes caring and nurturing, and sometimes manipulative and dangerous.

    • harlowish

      That actress looked nothing like Oprah outside of being black and a woman. “I was shocked to see Lindsay Lohan having sex with Stan!” “I was shocked to see Mitt Romney giving everyone amphetamine injections!”

      • http://www.facebook.com/vlasta.bubinka Vlasta Bubinka

        Oh, c’mon now, that was clearly Jennifer Aniston playing baby Gene. Also, she was the model airplane last season.

        • lilyvonschtupp

          And Chow Yun Fat subbed for Ginsberg this week.

          • http://www.facebook.com/vlasta.bubinka Vlasta Bubinka

            And he learned that with great mustache comes great responsibility.

      • Chris

        You thought the doctor looked like Mitt Romney?? He looked like Francis Ford Coppola on my TV.

      • TheDivineMissAnn

        Well, I feel bad now, because the woman did give me a older Sofia (The Color Purple) vibe, particularly in the way she was dressed. I think Dave, UWSNYC was just trying to make a joke that fell flat.

        • girliecue

          I’m with you, Divine One. Since I don’t personally know Dave U– and it was a simple statement, there isn’t really anything to form much of an opinion on. Good call!

    • MK03

      Because all black people look alike, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sunlover Jenny Ziv Scott

      I agree. That actress really did look like Oprah when she was in the Color Purple.

    • Jordan Brodley

      It took me a while to decide that it was not, in fact, Octavia Spencer.

      • http://www.facebook.com/asheslaree Ashes Laree

        It did look like they costumed and casted ‘grandma ida’ in a way that very much resembled a very disshevled octavia spencer in the help.

        • calliopejane

          That’s it!! I kept racking my brains to figure out who she reminded me of — it is indeed Octavia Spencer. Thank you, that was driving me nuts!

  • Golfkat

    This episode definitely goes down among my favourites from the show. Definitely not a wheel-spinning episode! I was expecting more of Don’s back story to be revealed this season, and lo and behold.. Things are falling into place!

    • http://kingderella.tumblr.com/ kingderella

      stan is so sexy. always has been, but this seals the deal.
      not sure if i want to see him with peggy… but why the hell not, actually.

      • Crystal

        I have a big old crush on Stan. I love him.

        • sarahjane1912

          *Whispers* Ditto. That William Tell scene was to die. Kinda agree with Pegs on the beard thing though. Not madly me. ;-)

          • Golfkat

            Me three ;) Loved those scenes. The one in the office afterwards was cute as hell and sad at the same time. Beautiful really. I do hope they ‘end up together’, at least for a little while. That Abe guy is no competition for Stan (at least to me).

            Also, Peggy said she’s not into beards, but Abe has a moustache..? So was that a bad excuse from Peggy, or was she telling the truth? Was she into Abe in the beginning of their relationship (sans ‘stache), but pretty much over him now that he pretty much looks like a glorified hobo?

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

            Peggy said she wasnt into beards…but she seemed to like them enough that she went in for a second kiss with Stan. And Peggys whole body language in that scene also reflected otherwise.

            There is an attraction there.Not sure if that means they will ever happen, but its there.

          • Golfkat

            It definitely seemed like she was into Stan, but didn’t want to just ‘jump in’ for some reason. But she’s a smart girl and was all about being the responsible ‘adult’ in the kindergarten that was SCDPCPCPLWC (I don’t know what it’s called anymore) last night. Makes sense really. But I definitely think there’s an attraction there.

          • Glammie

            She has a live-in boyfriend and Peggy’s not a cheater, unlike the rest of the gang. Well she and the virginal Ginsberg.

          • http://twitter.com/Trey7672 Trey Edrington

            Except she was ready to jump Teds bones a few episodes back. Even fantasizing about Ted when she was with Abe.

          • CozyCat

            To me her feelings about Ted looked more like a grown up crush. Her fantasy about him was more like what a teenager would invent than a grown woman contemplating an affair. And haven’t we all worked with someone that we would never actually DO anything with, but we freshen up the makeup a little bit when we’re about to talk to them….

          • Chris

            I think the beard comment was a nice way of trying to deflect him at first (if she can put up with that Frank Zappa look from Abe she can handle Stan’s beard). She obviously likes and is attracted to Stan but knows he is an immature player when it comes to women. Plus she is not going to jump into a mess at work with a co worker and friend who is high as a kite. The beard comment was about as real as the “brother” remark. There’s no way she thinks of him in a strictly brotherly fashion but it was a nice way to try to reign him in gently.

          • Golfkat

            Yes, that’s what I read from the situation too. But do we know that he’s an immature player? I don’t recall anything that would suggest that, apart from of course him doing it with that hippie chick, but that was only after Peggy said no to him.

          • Chris

            I can’t remember the specifics but doesn’t he always talk about all the “chicks” he gets? Or picks up? I just have a memory of him going on like that in the creative offices. He has never been presented as having a girlfriend and he’s not all that young anymore. He at least likes to present himself as a “player” (but that could change or we could find out it was a front).

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            There was one episode where he was going on about a date he was on with some hilarious big-chested woman, but he was trying to get Peggy’s attention while she was rooting around in her desk for her violet candy. The story devolved into his fears about photography taking over his profession. That’s the only real story we’ve ever heard from him about dates. I’m not sure if his ladies’ man thing is a front or what; we don’t have that much actual information about him. He has been presented as a guy who brags a lot (last episode’s KKK ad reference), so it might just be a front. It’s clear he’s in love with Peggy, but he’s got a lot of shit to work through.

          • TropiCarla

            As I recall, he was pretty obnoxious about ‘chicks’ when he first started working at SCDP. He had a few conversations with Peggy and the guys that covered this. There were signals – explicit and subtle that he was a player.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            Oh yeah, you know, you’re right, I do remember now in that episode where Peggy hooks up with Abe at the office, he was like “I was at an agency that went under and the chicks were sex crazy” or something along those lines. I don’t remember much indicating he was actually a player, though. He actually always struck me as the opposite, like all talk but no action – he goes on about women to other guys, but ultimately he’s been seen to be fairly lonely and works constantly. If he were an actual player, I don’t think he would have been at work on New Years Eve, yapping to Peggy on the office phone. I think I might have thought this because I rewatched Zou Bisou to try and remember the dead cousin, and in the background you can see Stan and Robbie trying to talk up the girls there and failing miserably. The chicks stomp off at one point. I think Stan is actually pretty shy and talks up his prowess to sound more manly or something.

          • Heather

            In my experience, guys who need to brag about ‘how much they’re getting’ aren’t actually getting very much.

          • TropiCarla

            You are right of course – I tend to lump all playas/wannabes into the same pile to piss on. Their relative degree of ‘success’ matters little. Stan’s convos at that time were damn pitiful – whether he was actually getting some or not.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            Bingo!

          • girliecue

            Remember Stan’s first season? He behaved like a textbook Male Chauvinist Pig. He was a continual stream of smirks and sexual remarks. When he and Peggy had to share a hotel room on an overnight trip she had all she could take. She stripped down her drawers and told him to put his money where his mouth was or shut up. He backed down and we saw how insecure he was. The next season they were best buds and I love how they each can get the other one to relax and be themselves about the things they each are most uptight about. I’ve been on Team Peggy + Stan ever since and can’t stop squee’ing about their kiss. And Ken’s tap dancing.

          • Golfkat

            Yes, that does ring a bell! Man that was far back in my mind, I only vaguely remember it now. Thanks :)

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            I think they’re the only two people on the show who really do know each other. They’ve spent the most time together.

          • http://twitter.com/almcafee Alison McAfee

            The whole ‘seeing Stan having sex with Wendy’ was also a nice little rebuttal to the hurt he felt when he saw her at the Heinz pitch. I think that little jab (right after he came on to Peggy) knocked her right back down another proverbial peg (I’m sorry that pun wasn’t on purpose). Hope to see them getting back to normal friends, especially now that the sexual tension is broken.

          • Heather

            I was just grossed out by the age difference – assume Stan is meant to be early 30s (I think the actor is a bit older) and Wendy was, what, 18?

          • Kianna

            Interesting. I thought it was just Peggy realizing that Stan wasn’t going to take her (hard-won) advice and actually feel his pain. She’s come a long way by ignoring Don’s advice (“This never happened”) and Stan seems to be following Don’s lead, not hers. And he distracted himself with the daughter of the dead man, who was grieving in her own way. So they got to heal each other, somewhat.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            Oh, that’s a great point! I hadn’t thought of that. Yeah, that’s possible he did that to her, even if it wasn’t purposeful. He looked pretty out of it while they were getting it on in the office.

          • Zaftiguana

            Oh, see that’s when I decided he was hot. Although I think the wardrobe and hair change might have done it for me anyway.

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

      I think Stan and Peggy was a one-time-only kind of thing. Peggy has her (possibly misguided) loyalty to her boyfriend, and I think that she’s too career savvy to get involved with someone at work at this point.

      ETA: I expected that they were going to have a “moment” at some point, just for the sake of getting it out of their systems. Also the fact that she found him banging the hippie woman not too long after probably served as some sort of confirmation for her that she did the right thing to walk away.

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

        Peggy doesnt seem to care about possibly hooking up with Teddy, and he is her BOSS.
        If shes going to screw someone from work, I would prefer it to be someone who is not her boss and who is not married.

        • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

          I think she had a fantasy about hooking up with Ted. She has a crush on him – she might even be in love with him, but she’s still not going to risk her career for a fling with him. And also, remember that when HE kissed her, she walked away from that as well.

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

            But she later fantazised about him

          • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

            So? She had a fantasy about hooking up with him. She not the first, nor will she be the last, person to *fantasize* about sleeping with a married coworker/boss.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Exactly. Fantasies are not the same as sex. Healthier than actually going through with it. We rarely if ever see Don fantasize, and when we do, he ends up killing the woman.

      • flamingoNW

        Well the fact that she later saw her screwing that hippie girl whose name I can’t remember pretty much means that’s not going to go anywhere

        • Golfkat

          I don’t necessarily think that’s the case. It just helped show how broken he was in that moment, and maybe otherwise. I wouldn’t rule those two out as of yet.

          • Chris

            I agree. There is a lot to their relationship.

        • MK03

          Yeah, I sat there thinking “well, he just blew his chances with Pegs.” I hope I’m wrong, because I ship Stan/Peggy SO HARD. I actually squealed when they kissed.

        • Topaz

          I think he’s far too obviously dysfunctional for things to go anywhere. I’m sure Peggy finds a lot of things to love about Stan and they’re obviously great friends, but in the end he went for her when she was taking on a “maternal” role, dressing his injury, and he wanted someone to look after him because he was emotionally vulnerable and wasted. This wasn’t a romantic moment and she knew it. And the fact that he fell straight into the arms of the other “caring” woman in the building just confirmed it. He lacks any emotional maturity and if they ended up together she’d end up as a surrogate mother. And I don’t think that’s what she wants.

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

            Maybe, but I think Stan has the capacity of growing, and maturing.God knows hes already grown leaps and bounds from who he was initially.
            There is an attraction there, and an affection.The only thing in my mind that is keeping Stan from being a viable love interest in Peggys eyes is a bit more maturity.Laying off the pot a little bit and dealing with pain like Peggy said could go a long way.
            What can I say, I have faith in the guy.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            At this point, yeah. I hope Stan can move forward instead of plummet. Their relationship isn’t based on her playing mommy to him, though. Stan’s been in love with her since their first encounter, and weirdly, he seems to get off on her being somewhat paternalistic. I was more surprised that he let down his guard and told her how he really was feeling about his cousin’s death. That was the most honest we’ve ever seen Stan, and frankly, it was a rare Peggy guard letdown, too. Her taking his hand and keeping it on her leg while she told him of her own grief was telling. It was a more intimate callback to Don and her holding hands in “The Suitcase.”

            Also of note: that song on Sylvia’s radio played directly before that scene: “I must think of a way into your heart//There’s no reason why my being shy should keep us apart.” Heartbreaker. That’s the stuff of fanfiction, folks!

      • Chris

        Yes, but it doesn’t preclude her and Stan from having a relationship in the future. I’m not saying she will, and I am sure she is disillusioned a bit with Stan but he did say he was looking for a hookup to dull the pain and he was under the influence of some pretty powerful drugs. Peggy has seen enough that an office hookup (and she had them with a married co-worker for a while) isn’t necessarily an all time deal breaker. If he knew she was poor deceased Gleason’s daughter at the time of the hookup, that might affect Peggy’s opinion of Stan more than anything.

        • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

          I don’t think that Pete was married when he and Peggy slept together. And that Peggy was a different woman than we see today.

          • Heather

            Yes, he was – when they had sex on the couch in his office (2nd time). And their first time together was the night before his wedding, so that’s “mostly married’ in my opinion.

          • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

            My bad. I didn’t remember. My point was that the Peggy of the “here and now” won’t have an office hookup. I don’t see it happening, anyway.

          • Chris

            My point is Peggy has done things she obviously regrets . I don’t think Stan’s hookup alone is enough for her to write him off, especially knowing what he was going through. Peggy is wise enough now to see if people’s motivations are malicious or misguided. It’s why she gets so mad about Don. Everything he does is calculated and with malice. Stan just seems kind of messed up.

          • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

            I don’t think she’s going to write him off as a friend. I wouldn’t be surprised if things go back to “normal” for them, as if the kiss never happened. She already has a soft spot for him, and I don’t think that’s going to change.

          • Chris

            I meant write him off as a potential romantic interest somewhere down the line. It would take a lot for her to write him off as a friend. They weathered the Heinz thing very smoothly- they have a very real and sold friendship. The Ted kiss was probably a much bigger deal than Stan’s and they regained their work equilibrium almost instantly. Joan would be proud of Peggy.

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

            I think you’re absolutely correct. Peggy doesn’t get too hung up on stuff like this.

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

            I like how they seem to have picked up with the same ease as they left off, work-wise. I’d love to see a gif of Stan swaying and reciting the first lines to “Annabel Lee” in the work room.

          • Golfkat

            Yesyesyesyes. I 100 % agree. She’s not going to write him off for this. I’m not saying that she loved it, but it helped her see just how broken he is.

        • MartyBellerMask

          She probably knew it was Gleason’s daughter. Peggy was at the funeral, and has worked with him for months. It was Don that didn’t know. No idea if Stan did.

          • Chris

            Yes, I’m not sure if Stan knew either- or if Peggy knew if Stan knew who she was. I think his taking advantage of the daughter (if he knew) would be more likely to alienate Peggy than just the idea of his hooking up with someone.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            He was off manically writing his 666 ideas when Wendy was playing I-Ching. If they were introduced, he was so bombed on drugs he probably wouldn’t have remembered or cared. Remember how Wendy just sort of appeared in Don’s office like the Cheshire cat and started going on about existing to make people feel good? That was probably the line she used on Stan, too, and he was just manic and dejected enough to be like, “sure, what the hell, I’m horny!” I couldn’t tell how old she was. The actress is 21, but she looked 15.

          • Chris

            Yes, I thought the implication was that Harry had brought her in. It seemed like something he would do and I just assumed his hookup with the Hare Krishna woman gave him a taste for the counterculture types. He would be looking for “free love” wherever he could get it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/vlasta.bubinka Vlasta Bubinka

            I think Cutler brought her after the funeral. I think Harry just met her in the lounge.

          • Chris

            Yes, that is what actually happened, but when she was introduced by Harry I assumed he brought her in. I think we were meant to think that at first and be surprised (as I was) when it turns out she is poor Gleason’s daughter.

          • 3hares

            She did say the funeral was beautiful–that did make me suspect early on that she was something like his daughter. But it was quick and Harry did introduce her so it was easy to think Harry had just brought her in randomly.

          • MartyBellerMask

            He smelled her in the air and came looking.

          • http://www.facebook.com/vlasta.bubinka Vlasta Bubinka

            wouldn’t be surprised. After Mother Lakshmi, he has hippie-dar.

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            Yeah, it was definitely a quickie to dull the pain. I wasn’t shocked at all by Stan, but Cutler! Shudder! I think Peggy was more alarmed by Cutler’s voyeurism than she was with Stan, to be honest. It was strange that she walked down the hall and shouted, “I’M GOING HOME!” – it seemed more like a warning to Stan that he was being watched. Also, Peggy probably would have known that was Gleason’s daughter, I imagine?

          • Glammie

            Yeah, I thought the real reveal of the episode is how creepy Cutler is. *He* knew it was Gleason’s daughter when he was watching Stan and Wendy get it on–had probably known Wendy as a little girl. Then, of course, it was his “Dr. Roberts” who got them all whacked out. Roger, despite all his many, many transgressions, has never quite stooped that low.

            Basically, Chaough looks more honorable and upright than Don, but that’s to some extent balanced out by Cutler being more unsavory than Roger.

            I sort of feel like Ted, Peggy and Ken Cosgrove should make a run for it–hide out until about 1972 or so.

          • PastryGoddess

            Stan and Ginsberg should also be invited as well

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            Bingo!

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            Ohhh I’m sorry! I thought you meant Stan! I see now you meant Harry…yeah! I thought it was Mother Lakshmi again!

          • siriuslover

            you know, I’m going to have to pay attention to the devil allusions again this episode. Stan had 666 ideas (I picked up on that), Sally was reading Rosemary’s baby (I picked up on that too). We could stretch the St. Sebastian allusion to include the devil. Did anyone else pick up other references, direct or indirect?

          • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

            The apple drawn over Stan before he runs off alone with Peggy in their old office. Stan had drawn Don as the Devil in the Sno-Ball ad.

          • Girl_With_a_Pearl

            I’m sure they all knew who Wendy was. The shock was that we, the audience and Don didn’t know. (Harry Crane only tells Don that the girl’s name is Wendy.) However, with the speed and whatever else Stan had taken, he might not have had the judgement to not have sex with the recently deceased partner’s daughter who was a minor.

        • Inspector_Gidget

          Stan and Peggy push each other’s buttons, and have from the beginning. I think that is the actual source of their sexual tension, not any sort of real romantic interest. If they did hook up, it would probably be a wham-bam-back-to-being-friends-maam.

      • lilyvonschtupp

        I would’ve tolerated for a Stan and Peggy two seasons ago, even though TLo proclaimed:

        “Don’t do it, Peggy! He hates women!”

        But now he looks like a hairy chubby slob. How many times is he going to wear that green shirt? Abe is cuter, anyhow.

    • zenobar

      I’ve loved Ken Cosgrove all along, and now that love has grown a thousandfold.

      • http://twitter.com/janedonuts Jane Donuts

        Me too, me toooooo!

        Also, is it just me, or did he lose a lot of weight?

        • Golfkat

          I noticed that too. Makes me think that maybe it’s not Stan that people should be worried about. He did nearly die in the beginning of the episode RACING A CAR filled with drunk idiots with A GUN. I mean, if that doesn’t forebode something bad happening, what will?

          • Heather

            And an Impala from that period has a SERIOUS engine – the only reason he wasn’t killed, I’m sure, is that it’s also a freaking steel cage.

          • Glammie

            No, no, no–nothing bad can happen to Ken Cosgrove–he’s going to write the prize-winning novel based on all of them 20 years later.

            Poor Kenny, worn to skin and bones by the nutjobs in Detroit.

          • SJ

            This is funny timing–I just read this April interview with Vincent Kartheiser today about how he was supposed to have hung onto the weight and lost it doing other stage work. Of course when S6 started I assumed Weiner “let” him lose it, heh. http://www.vulture.com/2013/04/mad-men-vincent-kartheiser-interview.html

      • Heather

        Me too – would love to hear what Aaron Stanton has to say about his tapdancing skills.

        • Glammie

          Somebody’s done musical theatre.

          • Lisa_Co

            Yup. He did Mama Mia.

        • Lisa_Co

          There was an interview with him in Monday’s NYT that focused on the tap dance scene.

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

        You know that the actor probably told someone he can tap dance while they were doing casting and they’ve been sitting on this for 7 seasons, waiting for the right moment to have Ken Cosgrove *literally* tap dance for his job.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

          Much like Christina Hendricks and the accordion.

        • Girl_With_a_Pearl

          That sort of thing is on an actor’s resume under “special talents”. Loved that scene.

        • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

          And they worked it in so he could tap dance with a cane too! Perfect.

      • Froide

        Ken was a pig in season 1; the Chevy guys seem like more extreme, older versions of early Ken.

        I only began to like Ken when he began respecting Peggy’s talent. From that point on, he gradually became less of a frat boy/misogynist/hound. I like him now, and am sorry to see him getting eaten alive by his job.

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

      My husband and I both were squealing and jumping around like a pair of 12-year-old girls. Which is weird, because I didn’t think I shipped them that much until I saw them together. Way better than Peggy and Ted, which continues to bum me out for so many reasons. Team Steggy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

        Lol, I like both. I’m Team Peggy-Getting-Action-with-Awesome-Guys-Who-Are-Not-Abe

        • siriuslover

          YES! This exactly!

  • Heather

    Can’t remember – did Ken’s tap dancing routine occur before, or after, Don got his ‘vitamin shot’?

    • Golfkat

      After.

    • bxbourgie

      After. Don asked him how he was feeling because he was FEELING something. Then it turned into a Broadway performance. Dawn’s face was priceless. It was one of those “what the HELL is wrong with these people?” faces.

      • sagecreek

        Dawn was incredible last night…all with very few lines, we knew exactly what she was thinking.

      • Crystal

        Yes. Dawn was glorious last night. “What in the actual fuck is happening right now?”

        • sarahjane1912

          But she handled herself and every situation thrown at her PERFECTLY and waltzed through all her scenes in that trim little pink gingham outfit with aplomb. She is one great personal assistant.

          • Crystal

            She really was wonderful. I just loved her “I have no idea what these people are doing but I am going to keep a level head and try to make sure no one dies today” attitude.

          • sarahjane1912

            *Applauds* Oh yes. I love that bit: “..and try to make sure no one dies today”. Classic! :-)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

            Also love that she was notably absent the next day. She’s like, “To hell with this insanity!”

          • sarahjane1912

            Er … she was absent the next day because it was Saturday. Only the creatives working on Chevy did the overnighter/work thing over the weekend. Don had his black-out and when he ‘came to’, Dawn’s typewriter had a cover on it. That’s because it was the next day [the day of the funeral as well]. ;-)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

            Okay, I thought usually the admins would work whenever their bosses were working, but perhaps that’s not always the case.

          • sarahjane1912

            I think it’s fair to say that when the creatives are having all-night pow-wows the secretaries would be going home. There was one scene in this ep showing Peggy et al all sitting around and you could see the secretaries with bags over their arms readying themselves to go home. And Peggy soon afterwards [same scene] suggests that the team all get dinner … :-)

          • lilyvonschtupp

            But that was a Saturday.

          • DogintheParthenon

            Totally in control. Just like Joan has been in the past…

          • sekushinonyanko

            Joan did pass on the mantle to her in a lot of ways.

          • http://www.facebook.com/vlasta.bubinka Vlasta Bubinka

            At least she’ll have more stories the next time she meets her friend at the coffee shop.

          • MartyBellerMask

            “White people be crazy.”

          • lilyvonschtupp

            Gotta love Kenan Thompson

          • Kianna

            Agreed. I’m almost hoping Don hits on her just so she can tactfully yet mercilessly shoot him down.

          • https://www.facebook.com/suzanne.szlaius Dicegirl72

            I loved that outfit and it was so cute on her. Maybe she’s stepped up her look a bit now that she has more responsibility, Most of what I’ve seen her wear before at the office I would term “nun who is not wearing her habit at the moment” or in other words, bland clothes, trying not to stand out or call attention to herself. I loved the episode so much, and that outfit was one of my favorite things about it…even with all of the other wacky stuff going on.

          • Froide

            Now that Dawn’s doing double duty keeping the time cards and supplies, she’s probably earning a bit more money (I hope) and she may be getting fashion pointers from Joan. Also, Dawn’s engaged friend may have told her to step up her game, if she wants a date to the wedding and better yet, a man.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000905542323 Rhonda Shore

          Maybe Dawn’s character was supposed to be a metaphor for us, the audience…

      • Jennifer Coleman

        I would have loved to see Dawn back in the diner with her friend recapping the events in this episode.

        • Crystal

          YES PLEASE.

        • Sobaika

          We need those webisodes asap.

        • http://www.facebook.com/vlasta.bubinka Vlasta Bubinka

          “And then this gangly accounts man Ken busts out a Bill Bojangles Robinson act- and he’s got himself a cane- just tappin’ away about hunting and cars and eating crab legs… “

          • http://www.facebook.com/ellen.quinn.14 Ellen Quinn

            YES, this. You made me laugh so hard.

          • PastryGoddess

            Thank you for this mental image

          • Froide

            Anybody else feel that scene called back to Roger’s blackface act in “Kentucky Derby”?

        • MK03

          I would love to see her just storm into the diner, slam her stuff down and say “You think it’s soooo hard to plan a wedding?! Well, get a load of the heapin’ helpin’ of HORSESHIT that I had to put up with today!!”

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        I really wish they give Dawn an opportunity to talk to her friend (sister? cousin?) about what goes on at the office. I’d love to hear her relax and say “WTF?” out loud.

        • Froide

          Agreed. But I think Dawn’s too much of a goody two-shoes to say WTF. Instead, she’ll say something contemporary but not profane like what my parents would have said, like: “Good googala moogala”.

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

      Stan’s tapdancing monologue about his job was GORGEOUS.

      • sarahjane1912

        YES! And when he bounced his cane and caught it before he stalked off; absolute magic.

        • Angela Langdale

          I think all the actors must have hidden talents that the writers find a way to squeeze into the story, like Joan playing the accordion and singing C’est Magnifique…

          • sarahjane1912

            Indeed. Like when Aaron Sorkin worked out that Olivia Munn could speak conversational Japanese so he made her a pivotal role in the Japan nuclear ep of ‘The Newsroom’. Then again, Pete and Trudy DID have to learn the whole Charleston schtick they did for the Kentucky ep, so it’s not unlikely that Ken was taught that whole tap-dancing thing just for this episode.

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

            Tap dancing is harder than it looks. (Or exactly as hard as it looks if you’re as uncoordinated as I am.) To tap that well, he’d probably need more than just a few lessons right before the episode.

          • siriuslover

            Yes, I tapped for several years through middle childhood, and those shuffle ball changes are a bit tricky (and yes, I’m being serious)

      • DogintheParthenon

        Ken, not Stan

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

          Whoopsidaisy. You are correct.

          • DogintheParthenon

            :-)

    • PastryGoddess

      After the shot. All of that happened after the shots

  • http://twitter.com/AbbottRabbit Emily Dagger

    Crap, now you’ve got me paranoid about Stan, and I don’t think I even would’ve cared that much before last night.

    Factual question? They said someone had had to be taken to the hospital because his heart stopped after the shot? Who was it? Baby Faced Copywriter #2? (the bespectacled, non-Frederick Crane one)

    • bxbourgie

      I believe so.

    • Crystal

      Do we know what his name is? What is his name?

      • http://twitter.com/AbbottRabbit Emily Dagger

        That’s what threw me — it sounded like someone asked where “Ed” was, and I was like “there’s an Ed now?”

        • Crystal

          Ah. Ed. Well, if he is Ed, I’m glad he at least gets a name that we hear spoken out loud. Congrats, copywriter guy.

    • http://twitter.com/PilatesNinja Donna Luder

      Could it have been Roger? (Noooooo!)

      • http://twitter.com/AbbottRabbit Emily Dagger

        I feel like it being Roger would’ve caused more of a reaction.

        Also: IT HAD BETTER NOT BE ROGER. The fact that he wasn’t in the episode after “I’m next, and I have a heart condition.” “Not a problem!” had me WORRIED.

        • Crystal

          I was yelling at my television. I adore Roger, even though he’s a hot mess.

          • Zaftiguana

            Right? I had an obnoxious moviegoer at a horror flick moment. “No! Don’t go in there! What are you doing?!?” I’m starting to wonder if Roger is going to survive the series finale with all of his drug use and the heart problem.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judith-Dara-Epstein/741967265 Judith Dara Epstein

          I was worried about Roger from that moment on. I guess he’s ok, or we would have heard about it.

    • Chris

      Yes, it had me worried for Roger with the heart condition! If the young copywriter had to be taken to the hospital how did the man with the previous heart attacks fare?

  • hellkell

    Jim Cutler seems to be Dark Roger. Mr. Sterling would get everyone shitfaced drunk, but he’d never bring in a doc to shoot them up with speed.

    • VanessaDK

      Dr. Feelgood was at his peak during the late 1960′s and had an office on the Upper East Side. It makes perfect sense that he would be servicing top ad agency execs with his methamphetamine cocktail. Most people who signed on to the shots say they never really knew what it was and the Doc said it was “vitamins” just as he did with Don.

      • sarahjane1912

        Not discounting the Dr Feelgood reference, but what was THIS doctor’s name? I could have sworn he called himself ‘Dr X’. What the …? And I watched this ep twice!

        • Czarina5 Czarina5

          Dr, Hecht is the character’s name.

          • sarahjane1912

            Eyethangyew. It wouldn’t have surprised me, given what he was dolling out [no pun intended] that he DID call himself ‘Dr X’ though! ;-)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1540233153 Malve Lyborg

            Well, “Hecht” is the german word for a fish (I had to look it up, it’s Pickerel in english). Has this a deeper meaning and if so then which?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

          I thought I heard “Dr. Hecht.” I was thinking it was Dr. Feelgood, but it seems he’s just a copycat of the actual one (Max Jacobson, who had his medical license revoked.)

          • sarahjane1912

            Must do some research on this period. I’d heard of Dr Feelgood obvs, but it’s still a little out of my knowledge centre. Being Australian and all. *GRIN*

          • Froide

            There are numerous Dr. Feelgoods who Dr. Hecht could be a stand in for. “Miracle Max” Jacobson and “Doctor Robert” Freymann are but two of them.

        • MK03

          I heard Dr. X too. I wonder, since his name was Hecht, if it was meant to invoke a “fishiness” in what he was doing. I mean, he was an unknown entity who was there to give the staff injections of God only knows what. Nope, nothing fishy about that…

          • sarahjane1912

            Ha ha! True. ;-)

      • EveEve

        I believe Dr. Feelgood (Max Jacobson) used amphetamines, not methamphetamines – a difference without a distinction for this show’s purposes.

        • http://twitter.com/keristars ★ keri ★

          Right – and amphetamines (Adderall, Ritalin) are still used like this and were really big in the 60s. Meth was both earlier and later, iirc. But Don’s blackouts surprised me – I don’t think I’ve heard of that being common at all. Unless it’s in combination with booze?

          • http://twitter.com/NoNeinNyet NoNeinNyet

            Or sleep deprivation and illness. So many bad things were going on in Don’s body this episode.

          • http://twitter.com/keristars ★ keri ★

            Good point!

            And a bit of googling came up that blackouts are actually more common than I thought when you combine Adderall and alcohol, so my surprise was unwarranted.

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

            No kidding. This explains a lot about a former friend of mine.

          • Spicytomato1

            Seriously. I was thinking he was/is headed for a true psychotic break, or a heart attack. Or both.

          • MK03

            I was sure Don would have a heart attack and faceplant down the stairs.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ellen.quinn.14 Ellen Quinn

            I didn’t take it as a blackout as much as how time compresses/speeds up under the influence of stimulants. He was in his office, working (and having flashbacks) for what seemed a moment but was really overnight and into the next day.

          • Froide

            Besides being sleep deprived and alcohol fueled, Don might still have been taking the phenobarbitol (sp?) barbituates his physician gave him in season 2.

      • CatherineRhodes

        The Andy Warhol crowd used to get their Vitamin B shots from Dr. Robert.

        • Chris

          The movie studios used to do it back in the 1940′s and 50′s that’s how stars like Judy Garland etc got hooked on stuff.The studio doctors would just come and inject them- so they could work longer, lose weight, get some sleep etc.etc. Don’t worry because it’s the doctor doing it.

          • Spicytomato1

            I thought I’d heard or read about JFK getting the same kinds of “treatments,” although that would have been at least a few years prior to ’68 of course.

          • PastryGoddess

            He did get them, from the real Dr. Feelgood. I think by the late 60′s Dr. Feelgood was on the decline. He died in the 70′s I think

    • Crystal

      I was worried about Roger last night. I was screaming “YOU IDIOT!!! YOU HAVE A HEART CONDITION!!!! DO NOT LET HIM INJECT YOU WITH SPEED!!!!”

      • flamingoNW

        it was a stressful episode in that regard, with the title being Crash, I thought they were going to off someone….

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

        And the doctor just completely brushed it off! My jaw still has a bruise from hitting the floor.

    • Pennymac

      Dark Roger. I LOVE this.

      • lilyvonschtupp

        BIZARRO Roger

    • the_archandroid

      Roger with bad breath. i.e. Roger but with a rotten core. Similar on the outside, different on the inside, but both vastly entertaining.

    • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

      You know what really skeeved me out about Jim Cutler? At the end, when Ted yells at him for bringing Wendy to the ad agency – I remembered the whole Roger-pretending-Sally-was-his-date thing from ‘Codfish Ball.’ This was a callback to that weirdness, amplified to horrific levels. Wendy’s relationship to Jim Cutler is like Sally’s to Roger, 1000x skeevier. It could be a really scary parallel in the future.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ellen.quinn.14 Ellen Quinn

        Somehow Roger pretending to be Sally’s ‘date’ rang true to me, as sweetly paternalistic and of its time (along with the grown up pretense of a Shirley Temple drink, which was a big thing back then), and not creepy at all.

        The blow job scene was hella creepy, though.

        • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

          Yeah, whoops – I think what I wrote was kind of misleading. Yes, I do think Roger really was being paternalistic with Sally in that cute way, but it got turned upside down when she saw him getting a blow job from Grandma Calvet. This was a twisted version of that scene, where instead of accidentally walking in on the blowjob, Cutler was seeking it out and watching the young girl instead.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judith-Dara-Epstein/741967265 Judith Dara Epstein

      When I was really little, right around the time of this episode, my mom used to go to “The Diet Doctor,” who gave her injections of what must have been some sort of amphetamine. It certainly wasn’t as powerful as what this guy was doling out. She only went once or twice, but in LA in the late 60′s it seemed to be a bit of a fad, as the waiting room was full of women about her age. I wonder if Betty has been seeing a “Diet Doctor”…

      • SuzyQuzey

        She asked the first doctor she saw about her weight for pills. He refused. There are other doctors.

  • hmariec19

    I freakin’ LOVED this episode. Yeah, we got to see more of Don’s Big Bag of Fucking Bullshit, but at least it was fun.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      Funny, I loved this epi BECAUSE of Don, or should I say Jon Hamm.

      This was the first time I saw him show off his comedic chops on the show.
      Him running around the office had me in stitches!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aldo-Alvarez/558696183 Aldo Alvarez

    “Who found it shocking and revelatory that Don got his cherry popped by a blonde prostitute? ” I found it revelatory that he was *molested*…

    • rag254

      I don’t understand the “molested” in quotes here.

      • http://twitter.com/jen_canary Jennifer Ford

        That might be because those are asterisks which are for emphasis.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aldo-Alvarez/558696183 Aldo Alvarez

        ” = quotation mark

        * = asterisk (used for emphasis when italics or underlining isn’t available.

        You read “molested” but I wrote *molested*.

        • PastryGoddess

          FYI you can use html tags in Disqus e.i. molested or molested

    • JeanProuvaire

      It takes a lot to make me feel sorry for Don, but knowing that his first sexual experience involved him being raped by the only woman ever to show him the maternal affection he craved was something we didn’t know before. So I found these particular flashbacks disturbing, but not tedious/repetitive like all the other ones.

      • MK03

        I thought the flashbacks were pretty revelatory. Sure, it’s been well-established that Don has deep-seated mother/whore issues, but now we know exactly why: The only woman in his youth who ever demonstrated any capacity to care for him was a prostitute, and she was his first sexual encounter. Not only that, his first sexual encounter was rape. This explains EVERYTHING about Don.

      • tg

        Agreed. I’d never thought it through before, but I always assumed he’d become curious and initiate something himself with one of the women. Now I feel like I finally understand why Don can be so passive towards aggressive women he’s not initially interested in. Yes, his passivity could be explained from his self-loathing, but this backstory added an extra level of explanation that pulls his character a little more together for me. And, of course, it follows that his own subsequent aggression is a backlash in order to feel powerful and in control, etc. I’ve been irritated by and bored of Don’s story line this whole season, but this episode made me a little more interested again.

      • MDubz

        Right, and then on top of it he gets beaten. What a freaking horror show.

    • Czarina5 Czarina5

      The fact that Don was molested explains so much more of his back story and why he is such a broken man who questions whether anyone loves him. If it was a female character who we saw being “molested” by an adult, would the reactions be different? Don was sexually molested as a child and the person who did this to him was the only one who tried to care for him while he was ill.

      • Amy B

        I was getting tired of the “poor dysfunctional Don” storylines this season but I take it all back after last night. I knew there was a “lost weekend” in Don’s future this season but I didn’t see it going in the direction it did.

        Very, very sad, especially when he admits his carelessness about the back door to Sally near the end (maybe she’s the only one in his eyes worth telling any truth to at this point) but he can’t say he loves her.

        Sometimes I think that the issue of abuse is overdone in teleplays, etc., but when it’s done well I think it’s still worthwhile pursuing.

        • Glammie

          Yes, it was as if he wanted to say “I love you,” but he couldn’t admit it to himself, so he took responsibility for the door.

          I knew we were due for Don’s first sexual experience–and that it was probably the blonde prostitute. I also assumed that the baby picture we saw was that of the prostitute’s child. So she was mothering Don in place of her own lost child, until he was well enough and she went back to business-as-usual.

          Sad.

    • Jean

      THANK YOU. The recaps/reviews I’ve read so far have referred to it as a deflowering when this encounter was clearly rape by any modern definition of the word. It might not be shocking but I think it’s revelatory and it informs Don’s treatment of sex. More than simply growing up in a brothel, where at least the sex going on was consensual (if transactional) this experience taught Don that it’s okay if only one person consents. The other party can just be told that they want it, and that counts. Or, that physiological signs of arousal confirm desire/imply consent.

      • Zaftiguana

        Yeah, there was never a point when Dick expressed interest or consent, or even any sort of arousal beyond the erection (and I’m sorry, he’s 14, that’s not a meaningful occurrence). And the way her whole demeanor toward him changed was jarring and creepy. When he was sick, she could see him for the child he was. When he was well again, he became a generic, impersonal John.

        I don’t know, between that and actually witnessing the beating from his step-mother and her callous response to his illness, I actually DO think this was significant content.

        • sarahjane1912

          The callous response to his illness, yes! Indeed! Who on EARTH would put a teen with suspected TB in the CELLAR?! Oh my word. Couldn’t believe the heartlessness of that.

    • VanessaDK

      But where can this go? There is not that much Mad men left, and I can’t imagine finding a “happy ending” for Don satisfying at the end of the next season.

      • http://twitter.com/janedonuts Jane Donuts

        Whatever happens, it certainly won’t be happy.

      • Glammie

        I expect it will be somewhat inconclusive, but the one shred of hope I see for him is that he might do better as a father. He’s not been a good one, but his kids matter enough to him that he snapped out of his self-pity/self-destruction regarding Sylvia.

        • Sally3000

          Did his kids snap him out of it? I’m going to have to watch this episode again. I just remember thinking the soup ad he thought was SO GREAT had a tagline that was all too similar to the BS spewed by the prostitute who claimed to know what young Dick really wanted after he clearly said no. And hasn’t Don said before that his job is to convince people they want things they don’t think or know they want? Between trying to convince Sylvia that she wanted him after multiple rejections, and wanting to convince Chevy that they loved the pitches they’d already declined, I thought maybe Don finally saw himself as the prostitute he’s been projecting onto others.

          • siriuslover

            I certainly thought it was rich that Don pulls the moral high ground with Ted about the place becoming a whorehouse when in fact, it was his bloody idea to merge just to get the damn contract in the first place. Who whored himself out? I had absolutely no fist pump or whatever for Don when he walked out of that room. I just called him an asshole who walks away because he’s not getting his way.

          • sarahjane1912

            This … at least up until the observation that Don was “an asshole who walks away because he’s not getting his way”.

            Actually, I thought he walked away because he had lost control. He lost control under the influence, he had lost control over his home environment, he’d lost control over Sylvia, his memories, his ability to ‘magick’ up the Big Idea … Don was only doing what any cornered creature DOES in these types of situations; he stepped back to a place where he felt safe, in control and comfortable. Very Don.

          • siriuslover

            Very good point. I do think he’s an asshole, but I will concede this point. :)

          • PastryGoddess

            I’m pissed off that Joan wasn’t there to defend herself after that comment

          • Glammie

            I don’t see the merger, itself, as whoring one’s self out. The merger makes them big enough to compete, not just for Chevy, but other accounts as well. I don’t think either side was selling themselves out. They both had reasons for wanting the merger.

          • Glammie

            I agree with this, but he didn’t see any of this until real life in the form of Grandma Ida threatening his kids.

            I’m not saying Don will be redeemed through his kids–just that it’s one of the few options.

        • Linlighthouse

          No, not a good father at all. His kids were traumatized by a thief in his apartment, and he showed no concern for them Sally is, as Megan said, just a kid, and should have received some comfort from her father.

    • convivialcoconut

      Yes! I am amazed this wasn’t brought up in the review. My jaw was on the floor during that scene. And not only was Don raped, he was punished and shamed for it by his caretaker.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

        And the molestation was ‘outed’ by his molestor: “I took that boy’s cherry for five dollars!” I can’t even imagine the huge psychological impacts of that whole scenario.

        • MartyBellerMask

          But Dick didn’t pay her. She demanded Mac pay her for it. But yeah, that’s really gotta sting.

          • Sally3000

            Maybe she did it at Mac’s request.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aldo-Alvarez/558696183 Aldo Alvarez

        TLo were probably looking at the fashions so they missed the context of the sexuality being non-consensual and predatory.

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

          Uh…no. If you’d like to scroll further down you can find our thoughts on the matter.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aldo-Alvarez/558696183 Aldo Alvarez

            There is nothing below the quote “Who found it shocking and revelatory that Don got his cherry popped by a blonde prostitute?” that states or implies that you saw it as sexual molestation.

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

            And if you scroll through this comments section, you will see our further thoughts on the topic.

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

          That was really unnecessary.

    • MartyBellerMask

      Thank you.

    • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

      This is extremely interesting! Some folks hesitate to empathize with the sufferers of sexual and physical abuse because if are White, male, and rich. But really, TRULY, “there is occasions why and wherefore in all things” to quote Shakespeare. And to quote Will Smith (lol) “Never underestimate the pain of a person, because in all honesty, everyone is struggling. Some people are better at hiding it than others.” Seriously, this is what I love about Mad Men. And it’s very very interesting to me so many of us want to see Black people (or any other marginalized group) given more airtime in the Mad Men world, as if to say because they are the real victims, or the real subjects of the story of the 60s. But why do we have to intrude on these rich and desperate people’s story? Everyone has a story. And it’s very interesting how some people want to see Don fall (as retribution for his victims). This episode says there are no victims. Or if there are victims then it is everyone.

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

    I loved this episode, but even if it was a piece of crap, I would have loved it anyway. Why, you ask?

    Stan Rizzo and Peggy Olson.

    That scene was so sexy and bittersweet.Friends, lovers or both..those 2 are meant to be.

    • Chris

      I rarely find the sex scenes on Mad Men to be at all sexy (because there is usually some ick factor to them) but the kiss between Stan and Peggy was genuinely sexy. And oddly sweet. Don’s scenes lately just make me want to change the channel.

    • girliecue

      Yes! They are SO meant to be together!! Whenever I get bored of watching Don I remind myself to hang in there and see what happens with Peggy and Stan.

    • Pennymac

      Neck kisses! *drops mike*

      • Beth513

        Exactly! It was so sweet, and familiar, and HOT. That scene was fab.

  • http://twitter.com/PilatesNinja Donna Luder

    I just hope we don’t lose Roger as a parallel to Chaough losing Frank Gleason. Didn’t Roger take a “vitamin” shot too?

    • sarahjane1912

      He did, he did. I guess there was so much going on we didn’t get a chance to see what Roger was like all dolled-up, but it was a wasted opportunity. Then again, why have a do-over? We’ve already seen him on acid. ;-)

      • flamingoNW

        Roger + Drugs = Win. Don + Drugs = Fail

        • Danielle

          Right. Remember when he picked up those hitchhikers who he smoked up with, then they drugged him, knocked him out and robbed him blind?

          • sarahjane1912

            Oh god. I’d forgotten about that! GOOD POINT!

      • TheDivineMissAnn

        I’m with you. I would have loved to see Roger hepped up. It would have been a goldmine of one-liners!

    • the_archandroid

      I don’t think so, Chaough and Gleason were a creative union. It’s not the same, none of the SCDP people are as close as Chaough and Gleason were to each other. I saw them as the older version of Stan and Peggy, especially with Peggy basically calling Stan her brother last night… her hot incestuous bearded drugged up brother…but her brother nonetheless.

    • Itsonreserve

      I see Gleason being more of Ted’s Peggy. It’s not exactly the same relationship, but both are creative unions that balance each other out and it helps give Ted’s admiration of Peggy some backbone.

  • bxbourgie

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who found Grandma Ida problematic from a race standpoint. I wasn’t amused at all about that.

    • the_archandroid

      I understand the problematic nature of this, but I think it had to be a black maternal figure. I think this, for Sally, is an echo of Carla, who was a strong maternal figure for her. Thus Sally is extrapolating from her own experience and thinking to herself, oh, Maybe my father had the same kind of experience and this is his Carla, this is a link to his history, and in wanting some kind of context or history Sally reflects the yearning that Don “captures” in the office w. Peggy and Ginsberg. I think that Grandma Ida being black was there to show the kids feeling of alienation. The real problem I had with it was that she was all “Lawdy Lawdy, les git sum Fuh-ried Chickun Chile” That was a little over the top.

      • http://twitter.com/jen_canary Jennifer Ford

        Ida was playing a role and pandering to her audience with that performance. She was playing into the comfy TV stereotypes they’d be used to seeing to disarm them.

        • decormaven

          There you go. She was saying all the TV-pablum kind of things that a young white girl- whom she figured had no reference points outside of sitcom land- would expect from a black woman. She’s playing to the stereotype. I thought it was genius when she said “Your mama is still a piece of work?” She even understood that any teen would see her mom as a “piece of work.”

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

            And, her voice changed when she was on the phone with the police. Gone was the servile, “honey-chile” stereo-type voice to lull Sally into submission, and in was the calm, I’m in charge, ” nothing suspicious here officer” voice.

        • Crystal

          That’s a good point, I didn’t think of that.

        • the_archandroid

          I desperately want this to be the case, because it would be a deft answer for the problematic presentation of that character. I’m going to make it a part of my personal head cannon

          • http://twitter.com/jen_canary Jennifer Ford

            She was a smart woman who rolled with every single punch. Sally surprises her? Make Sally question herself. Sally calls the cops? Tell the cops what they want to hear and put the kids back on the defensive. Sally won’t tell her where the good stuff is, get it out of Bobby.

            She never panics or stops working on doing what she came to do. She knows this world — maybe she’s an ex-maid or nanny herself — and she plays it like a master.

          • gogobooty

            I thought she was probably someone who had worked in another apartment in the building. She had some knowledge of the Draper household, perhaps gleaned through maids’ gossip, she was in the building, perhaps with a key, maybe wandering and trying her luck at back doors in the service hallways. She was not a completely random person in the house. And Sally woke up in the night, maybe was sleepy and confused, and took a while to pick up Ida’s ruse.

            MORE SALLY!

          • MK03

            Sally wasn’t asleep, though. She was reading Rosemary’s Baby.

          • gogobooty

            I am going to rewatch it tonight, but on first viewing my sense of timing was so scattered by the timing of the show and the back and forth. I may have still been puzzling over whether DD really stood outside Sylvia’s apartment, leaving his Brylcream head print on her door, WITHOUT EVEN CHECKING ON HIS HOME ALONE KIDS. (Way to prove, yet again, that you don’t give a shit, Don!) So yah, maybe I imagined Sally waking up, when she was just reading.

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        Maybe it’s nitpicky, but I was also a little put off by the fact that she looked so disheveled, almost like she was homeless.

        But I agree with you about the fried chicken part.

        • the_archandroid

          She WAS in dire need of a wash and set… and so am I :(

        • greenwich_matron

          cut her some slack, she just had a hard night of burglarizing!

    • Jennifer Coleman

      But Bobby asking ‘Are we Negroes?’ was a bit funny.

      Seriously, I get the other anvil being thrown at our heads last night that because of Don’s vague and evasive history and the proverbial leaving the back door unlocked/open, his family had no tools to counteract the threat of Grandma Ida. I get that these 1960s white people might assume an older black woman as someone that could easily have been a family caretaker, but this was still highly disturbing. Weiner is clearly using black characters as plot contrivances to be reacted to, which is wearing thin. Dawn has a little more use as the observer, but still not developed to the level as say, one of Don’s random mistresses. I’m a little peeved.

      That said, Grandma Ida had some thievery skills. I’m surprised she got caught, because she was seriously thinking on her feet!

      • gogobooty

        She “thought up a lie and she thought it up quick!”

        Grandma Ida is somehow related to the Grinch. I know it.

      • not_Bridget

        But we’ve just learned exactly why Don has been so vague & evasive about his background. Since season 1, we’ve known that Don took the ID of a dead guy to avoid dying in Korea. (He was probably concussed; by the time he realized what he’d done,it was too late tell the US Army “my bad.”) He also “lost” his past because his “folks”–a Bible-thumping, stern stepmother & the guy she married–were poor & uneducated.

        Last season, we heard him tell a Madam he was raised in “a place like this.” Which surprised everybody. This season we’re learning the full, sordid story. He saw his “mother figure” screwed by a pimp for a home. Then he was raped by a whore–and his “mother” beat him when she found out.

        I can criticize Don for his many failings but don’t blame him for wanting to bury his past. We find these flashbacks sordid & unpleasant. Don’s even sicker of them. Heck if his shrink girlfriend had learned the full story she would have remembered why she chose a career fleecing ad agencies–rather than doing therapy….

        • Jennifer Coleman

          Don’t get the knowledge that the viewing audience mixed up with the character’s knowledge. Don is still vague and evasive about his past to his children, who are reaching an age where they realize they don’t know much about him, as Sally told him at the end of the episode. Of course the whorehouse and the true nature of his parentage is a dicey subject, but it seems they know nothing – not even the non-spicy pasts. He felt comfortable talking with the prostitute because prostitutes are part of his past. It was not really a surprise to the audience because we had been hearing about his prostitute connection since the beginning of the series. He has willingly confided to only Megan, I believe. Betty found out on her own and his business colleague Pete snooped and found out parts and tried to blackmail him. I wouldn’t call that having a totally out in the open with his past and SURELY he has not himself reconciled with it. Don thinks he is ‘moving forward’ by evading his past, but until he realizes his relationships with women are doomed because of them, he’s just standing still.
          I’m not quite on board with the rape of young Dick. He seemed unwilling initially, but to me, the scene did not clearly indicate it was a rape. The beating seemed more traumatic, but it was typical treatment for him by his parents/stepparents. Whether it was for having sex or just being a ‘whoreson’ or some other perceived infraction really didn’t matter in his tragic young life.

  • Meg0GayGuys6

    “You’ve got a great ass”
    “Thanks”

    Yessssss!

    • sarahjane1912

      I was so so hoping she’d say that! You go girl!

      • Meg0GayGuys6

        Man, I love the two of them. I’m definitely one of those Stan fans TLo referred to. I hope he gets his shit together.

        • sarahjane1912

          *Big big sigh* Me too. :-)

    • Heather

      Reminds me of one of my favorite lines in ‘The Office’, from ‘Ben Franklin’:
      Stripper to Pam: You could strip too.
      Pam: …thanks.

  • teensmom99

    Please. No more flashbacks. And no more black women who are motherly (yet in this case also a thief).

    • Danielle

      Amen. I can’t stand the flashback scenes. We’ve been watching for 6 seasons now. Do we really need more background as to why Don’s so fucked up?

      • teensmom99

        Emily Nussbaum in the New Yorker pointed out that at this point, Don’s backstory should make him a serial killer and not just a hollow philanderer.

        • Aurumgirl

          Nussbaum is right. Which gives you some idea about the extent of the struggle the Don Draper character is personally living with.

          People make moral judgements about characters all the time but these flashbacks humanize the characters for us. Otherwise, this would all be just another shallow soap opera.

      • Jessica Stone

        In this case I do not think the flashback scenes were intended exclusively or even primarily to explain his issues with women, but to set in context his reaction to Sally after the robbery. Without those flashbacks, Don on the phone is typical can’t-express-love Don who takes the blame to make up for it; with the flashbacks, we see someone who has made the decision not to let the past repeat itself (at least in this instance). That he recognises her shame and refuses to let her blame herself for being vulnerable is, as I see it, a pretty momentous act in the Life of Don. It lightens his big bag of bs a little, too.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      Regarding the flashbacks, I have mixed feelings about them. This season, I found them annoying right up until last night when we learn why Don has such messed up feelings towards women: because he was molested and then beaten and shamed afterwards by his step-mother. I’m not sure though whether or not that could just have been inferred by his behavior without the flashback last night.

      Also, I’m not sure that Don’s backstory needed further embellishment. We already knew he was the unloved son of a prostitue who passed away and was being raised by his step-mother and abusive father without much money to be had. Wouldn’t that have been enough for Don to have mother and women issues, abandonment issues and his just wanting to get out of his home and make a new life for himself? I’m not sure that the flashbacks this season add anything new other than being a bit overkill. Don would have been messed up enough without adding that he grew up in a whore house too.

      • medijie

        I’m a little confused about Don’s backstory. I remember that his mother was a prostitute, but then I thought he came to live with his father and his father’s wife as a child. Where did the prostitute step-mother come from? I kinda remember episodes from the first few seasons where they show Dick Whitman being treated poorly by his step-mother on the farm because he was the son of a prostitute. Is the prostitute step-mother in-between when he went to live on the farm with his father? Anybody remember?

        • the_archandroid

          After his father was kicked in the head by a mule, Don and his step mother went to go live with his “Uncle” who ran the whore house. it’s implied that his step mother turned to whoring after archibald’s death to support the family.

          • OffAbroad

            I’d say it implies that Don’s stepmother took to cooking/cleaning at the brothel.

          • PastryGoddess

            Dick watched unseen as “Uncle” and stepmother had sex in one of the rooms. It was in the same episode that they moved into the house. She may have not been one of the “working girls” but she certainly had earn her and Dick’s keep in myriad ways

  • the_archandroid

    I don’t know how Jon Hamm, Aaron Staton and Teyonah Parris got through that scene without corpsing. That soft shoe by Ken was a whole new planetoid of ridiculous.

  • melissaisasnob

    Is it impossible for a black woman to rob the Draper’s? Many black women would have been housekeepers in that building. Therefore, a black woman would know enough about the the goings on there to rob the place. Black people are not just one big mass. As well as other races, there are crooks.

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

      You’ve missed the point. It’s not about whether it’s possible or even whether it’s likely. You’d have to try really hard to misinterpret us to come away thinking that’s what we’re arguing.

      But we’ll restate it anyway: You can count on two hands the number of speaking parts for black actors on this show and even then, the vast majority get no more than a scene or two and remain almost completely undefined. Two of those characters were depicted as criminals. That’s a problem.

      • melissaisasnob

        It is a problem based on today’s anti-racist sensibilities (usually pretentions of anti-racism vs. a true desire to end racism). However, this show has always gotten a free pass on presenting itself from a white person’s point of view from the time. Depicting black people as criminals, as well as white women as whores is in fact a depiction of a white man’s point of view for the time.

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

          I don’t buy that, really. The number of white female characters on this show is so large that it would take us most of a day to count them all. The percentage of them depicted as prostitutes is infinitesimal in comparison.

          • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

            And the ensemble of white female characters is so large that they represent a vast number of “types” of women (the career woman, the single mother, the whore, the trophy wife, etc…). The few Black characters thus far don’t even come close to representing a cross section of what “black people” or “black culture” was back then.

        • Sobaika

          It’s a problem, period. This show airs in the modern day and it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are plenty of reasons why Ida was portrayed the way she was (same for Carla, Sheila, etc.) but at a certain point you have to look at what the writers are putting out there over and over again.

        • http://kingderella.tumblr.com/ kingderella

          in fiction, every single thing is deliberate. everything is exactly how it is because the writer (or team of writers) chose it to be so.

          if a writer (or a team of writers) makes the deliberate choice to present a large percentage of their black characters as criminals, its problematic.

          • melissaisasnob

            Yes. Yet it only becomes a topic of concern when anti-racists want to express righteousness. Has it not been problematic that all women (white, of course) have been whores throughout the series? Racism is only noted when white people need an opportunity to pat themselves on their backs. In other words, racism has been re-purposed (once again) to center white people.

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

            Don’t even try to bring this shit here.

          • Sobaika

            I don’t know what line of thinking you’re heading down, but I am not white and I have often had issues with the show’s portrayal of PoC. So no, I’m not trying to be self-righteous about my overly liberal anti-racist views and pontificating on the internet or whatever.

            The key point you’re missing here (of many), is the not all women have been portrayed as prostitutes. Don views them as such, but when he throws money in Peggy’s face, the audience doesn’t literally think of her as a whore. In fact, we view her 3-dimensionally and understand her and go on the journey with her. The same can’t be said for any other black character on this show.

          • Glammie

            Yep, with Carla, I gave it a pass because of the place and time period–and we did see glimpses of Carla’s character in her role. With Dawn, though, I don’t get the sense that the writers know how to flesh her out. The view of non-whites feels really narrow. (or non-existent–we’ve seen one latina getting fired and some Japanese businessman. It was a whiter country demographically back then, but still . . .)

            I didn’t mind Grandma Ida just because it felt like she was a con woman playing a role, it’s the lack of other folk of color that bothers.

          • lilyvonschtupp

            She’s heading down towards the theory that racism is an anomaly that only exists in black people’s minds.

          • http://kingderella.tumblr.com/ kingderella

            no, its a concern always, which is why it should be pointed out if it happens.

            “all women have been whores throughout”? have we been watching the same show? even if you take the term “whore” in its widest sense, that statement is absurd. and, besides, changing the subject.

          • teensmom99

            Grandma Ida was problematic as a character because of all that’s been said–and it can’t be justified as a valid artistic choice because IT DIDN’T WORK. It was so crazy to have this thieving black grandma that it removed me from the reality of the show. Ken’s soft shoe was great surreal tv. Grandma Ida was a stupid and boring cliche that didn’t ring true.

          • vidacelina

            i guess i missed the moment when disqus user “melissaisasnob” became the arbiter of when racism should be noted. sit down; you don’t speak for me.

          • not_Bridget

            “Anti-racist” is a really odd phrase. Do you call people anti-murderers or anti-child molesters? Another board I like was invaded by folks bleating about “anti-racists.” We sent them back to Stormftont…

          • melissaisasnob

            In general, it is assumed that most people are not molesters are murderers. However, history has proven that the majority of the white population is in fact racist. Therefore, the ones who drop little phases like “problematic” are assumed to be anti-racist. Yet, that is the extent of their anti-racism, pointing out potentially problematic situations with little explanation while garnering massive praise for doing so.

          • Cherielabombe

            Hiya – long time lurker, love MM, love T-Lo, been lurking nigh on 3 years now without feeling the need comment, but I feel compelled to respond to troll melissaisasnob. I like to stand up against racism not because I am more righteous than thou – indeed as a white girl originally from the Midwest I have certainly said and done some things which, I must admit, to my shame, (Christ I sound like Pete) were racist. No I stand up to decry racism not to make myself feel any better, but because racism is wrong. Racism KILLS. So, melissaisasnob, please STFU and go back to whatever little hovel on the internet welcomes people who like sticking up for racists. We don’t need your commentary here.

            Now back to the topic at hand. I have been trying to mentally excuse the use of a black actor to portray Grandma Ida the thief, but as has been said on this thread, everything the writers do is a conscious choice, and given the few black actors that have been the show and the lack of fleshing out of any of them, it is inexcusable at this point. If they want to make the point that Bobby and Sally don’t know Don at all they could very easily have made Grandma Ida a white woman and it would have been just as effective on that score.

        • Zaftiguana

          The show has NEVER gotten a free pass about racial issues or women’s issues. It’s received sharp criticism since day one. Some valid, some (in my opinion) not, but it’s been copious.

      • deitybox

        It was the fact that Sally and Bobby had been raised by Carla, and now the Black “mammy” has come back, with malicious intent, in their own sheltered home.

      • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

        Who was the other black character depicted as a criminal? I can’t remember. I always attributed the lack of black characters on this show to the time period. I think the thief scene could have worked with any race, I wonder if there was a particular reason for that choice.

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

          Joan and Roger’s mugger.

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            that’s right, thanks

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

          One way to look at it is that Weiner & Co wanted to depict how Don’s recklessness and secrecy endangers his own children and alienates them. So, in order to accomplish this, an intruder gains access via an unlocked door (left unlocked by Don) who can convince Sally, even momentarily, that she’s not a threat. Any man, or young woman of any race who broke in would have been immediately suspect. But a (grand)motherly black woman would likely remind Sally of Carla, and the housekeeper’s at friend’s houses, and so when she said she’d raised Sally’s Dad, Mr. Don Draper, it didn’t seem far-fetched to Sally; she “fit” in with her life experience. And so, Sally can say the important line of “I realize I don’t know you at all” or whatever it was, thus opening the door to knowledge for Sally to ask the next question – why don’t I know you, Daddy?

          Does all this mean the casting decision is not problematic, no, probably not. I agree with whoever above said they wanted to see a scene with Dawn re-telling the office story to her friend at the diner. I think a scene like that would have been funny and also help to balance things a bit.

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            I don’t know I feel that has been depicted before with Betty’s intentional slip about Anna. At first viewing, I wasn’t crazy about this episode. I need to re-watch it again. I don’t necessarily believe there was an issue with the casting either…the whole scene was just curious. Because this show is always so meticulous…It just made me wonder if the thief’s race was chose for a reason.

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

            Well, that’s true, about Anna. Yeah, I have no idea either, just grasping!

          • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

            I mean it’s a valid guess and you could be right.

      • anon

        I’ve read theories that the show’s portrayal of black characters is
        supposed to reflect how white, upper-middle class ad people would have viewed blacks during the time period: when not invisible, then stirring up trouble.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashleigh.weatherill Ashleigh Weatherill

    The only things I found remotely enjoyable about this episode were the robber, and the Stan/Peggy thing. Otherwise, blah. I could not be more over Don (not to mention their casting choice for young Don…not even in a million years would that kid grow up to look like Don).

    • zenobar

      THANK YOU. It’s been bugging me since they first trotted out Young Teen Don…he doesn’t look remotely like Don.

      • sarahjane1912

        He doesn’t, agree. But he acted better by a country MILE compared to the brief appearances he had earlier in this series. He’s been working on the voice/mannerisms and looked less like a bowl-cutted idiot with an IQ in the single digits and more like a potential Don to me [looks aside].

        • MK03

          This is the first time he’s really had something to do. In the other flashbacks, he had one or two lines at most, and was there mostly to react to the other characters.

          • sarahjane1912

            True. But I was worried in the earlier eps that — if we ever DID get to see young Don do anything more than look through keyholes — that we might have another actor of Glenn proportions. Shudder. ;-)

      • raininmai

        Not to mention, they didn’t even get the eye color right.

        • sarahjane1912

          *Gnashes teeth* That happens in SO many films/TV shows. Must be a ‘thing’. I mean, how hard IS it to do a casting call armed with a pic of the actual actor [eg Jon Hamm] and get the kid who can act the best who looks the most like the actor as a young person?

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

      Thank you. I hate the casting for young Don too.

    • the_archandroid

      With the exception of Kiernan Shipka, Mad Men doesn’t have that great a track record for casting young actors…I mean Marten Weiner as Glen is a wound I am still nursing..

      • Spicytomato1

        Aw, I know I’m in the minority but I like(d) Glen.

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

          Well, then we’re in that minority together, I didn’t mind Glen in the least and didn’t find him to be creepy. Just sad.

      • MK03

        Don’t say that name! If you say it too many times, you’ll summon him like Beetlejuice!

    • flamingoNW

      Was arguing with a friend re Don and his big f*cking bag of bullshit and being over it, last week. I agree that nothing he’s been doing has been particularly revelatory or new this season, but I think there’s a long game point to it that we haven’t reached yet. I could deal with Don’s game with Sylvia last week because Sylvia’s reaction in the end was so satisfying. Don passing out in the face of his 2 families plus the police and his fault in it – dude’s gonna blow soon. This is likely going somewhere by the end of the season. Sylvia’s reaction is new (unless someone with one of those photographic episodic memories can correct me…) Peggy has become the adult, one of the ONLY adults in the story, and the contrast is interesting. So I’m okay with Don’s Big F*cking Bag of Bullshit.

      Honestly, I’m not sure I’d buy a Don that was a changed man and still a loving husband to Megan and all moving with the times, etc. That would be false to me. But if Weiner ends the season without a point to it, then I’ll feel differently…

      • http://twitter.com/janedonuts Jane Donuts

        Well, the season did start off with him reading Dante’s Inferno, as TLo has noted. We’re following the trajectory of the book and delving deeper into hell, so I expect we’ll end at rock bottom.

        • sarahjane1912

          Heh. And now his daughter’s reading ‘Rosemary’s Baby’. Talk about a segue!

          • Heather

            Yes I LOVED that. The last thing we saw Sally reading was Nancy Drew. Nice way to show how ‘grown up’ she is.

          • sarahjane1912

            I bet she nicked it off Megan, whaddya reckon? I mean, the book was released in 1967 and the film came out in ’68. What’s the bet [I know I'm reaching here lol!] that Megan bought the book thinking she might try out for it? Still … it was a bestseller. I can’t see Betty buying it for her though, and — I could be wrong — but would Sally even have been able to purchase it for herself at her age in those days?

          • Heather

            Not sure about purchase but I do think you’re right that she probably nicked it off Megan. She seems to see Megan as a cooler ‘big sister’ of sorts… ie bargaining over shopping (“If you babysit again you can earn yourself some boots,” etc.). It makes sense that Sally would want to investigate Megan’s reading choice, even if she didn’t understand much of it.

            (I remember reading ‘adult’ books with lots of sex scenes as a young teenager — thick, Danielle Steele-type paperbacks — not understanding 99% of what was being discussed, but knowing it was somehow… for grownups.)

          • sarahjane1912

            Oh WORD! Me too. I was an ‘early reader’ and after I’d run out of everything I’d been given, I absolutely delved into the parents’ reads, stuffed into shelves and forgotten. Or so they thought!

            I’m pretty sure they were okay about me reading The Decameron, the O’Henry stories, Machievelli’s The Prince and other tomes … not so sure about the Harold Robbins stuff. ‘The Betsy’ was just … gob-smacking! *GRIN*

          • Glammie

            Of course she could have. I was reading and buying adult books at 14. That said, I’m guessing it was Megan’s copy. We had the same copy at home, which I read around that age of 12 or so, so I had a little squee of recognition when I saw it.

          • sarahjane1912

            Ah! Okay. I wasn’t sure — given what is admittedly my narrow understanding of 60s social/cultural mores in the US — whether Sally could just walk into a bookstore and buy something like ‘Rosemary’s Baby’. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to do the same. I just checked stuff out from my parents’ bookcases. Without permission. ;-)

          • not_Bridget

            Yes, indeed. Real porn would have been sold under the counter–or not at all. Teens could & did buy the “hot” bestsellers. But it’s even more likely they would have “borrowed” them from their mothers. Or stepmothers……

          • sarahjane1912

            *Chuckles* Reminds me of when — in high school — we passed around an extremely-battered copy of ‘Lace’ around my boarding school. Could never view guinea pigs in quite the same way. ;-)

          • DogintheParthenon

            I’m in my 40′s and there’s no way in HELL I would read that book at night!

        • Jessica Stone

          Yes on delving deeper into hell! There are, to my mind, three memorable scenes from this episode that link to each other in this respect: the opening scene with poor Ken forced to drive at top speed, blindfolded and with a gun held to his head; Ken (again) in one of the show’s best scenes ever, frenetically tap dancing out his misery; and Don, with Sylvia, in the elevator as it descends (clank, whrrrr, clank …) and descends… And all I could think, watching them in the elevator, was Descent into Hell. The episode was a masterpiece of madness and torment.

          I loved it.

      • jen_wang

        I have mixed feelings. We aren’t learning much new about Don from the flashbacks, but it feels inevitable to me (or obligatory?) that they’d have to make all these connections explicit. But I hope it pays off with something more surprising. Hope hope hope.

    • Spicytomato1

      I know the young Don is terrible casting…MM needs a lesson from the folks at Lost, who were geniuses at casting the young versions of their characters. Every time I see Young Don, I think of Alfalfa from the Little Rascals.

      • DogintheParthenon

        I know! All he needs is that little sprig of hair popping up from the crown of his hair.

      • Heather

        OMG YES. That poor kid!

    • MK03

      The only thing I really don’t like with the Young Dick flashbacks is that it’s created a huge continuity error. They’ve used the same kid since season 1. The very first flashback, about halfway through season 1, was the day Adam was born. Dick looked to be about 8 or so, 10 at the oldest. Skip ahead to this season, and the actor is now in his mid-teens. But these flashbacks predate the earlier ones, because his stepmom was still pregnant with Adam. I find it kind of shocking that they would let such a big mistake make it onto the show.

      • Heather

        Good point, but here’s a thought: we see Young Don in Don’s own memories. It’s rare that anyone actually remembers what we looked like at a specific time in our lives – rather, we have a sort of generic stand-in for ‘self’ that may or may not actually change over time. Does this make sense?

        Maybe it’s just me but I often question the specificity of memories – for example, when people claim to have very detailed, narrative memories of things that happened when they were very young.

    • girliecue

      Exactly. When he first appeared I wondered if Matthew Weiner had another son….

      • Girl_With_a_Pearl

        He does have another son. He was a piano student of Anna Draper’s.

    • Melanie

      I said this in another forum, but I’ll repeat it here: If you don’t think that kid could grow into Don Drape, you’ve clearly never seen grown up Neville Longbottom.

    • anon

      I believe that the actor is supposed to reflect Don’s memory of what he must have looked like at that age, as opposed to a literal interpretation that that is what he looked like. He’s relatively plain compared to what Jon Hamm actually looked like as a teen, not to mention sickly looking (played up by hair and make-up, I’m sure).

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

      I don’t have a problem with the looks thing. After all, Don re-created himself because of his self-loathing, so his flashbacks would include a version of himself that would be very different from the man we see now. Are these flashbacks meant to be absolute reality based or his own self-perception? I think the latter. Have you seen the Dove commercial where they ask a series of women to describe themselves and a sketch artist draws them as described? They all look less attractive, squashed, fat and/or otherwise flawed. I think I would have found it more disconcerting if young Don were depicted as handsome and suave, it would seem more out of place for his own memories. I would think the truth is somewhere in between – the young Don would be good looking under a layer of dirt, insecurity and bad posture.

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

        That is an excellent point. But I worry you’re giving far too much credit to casting.

  • Chris

    The scene with Peggy and Stan was genius. In that short time it showed there is mutual attraction there, told about Stan’s cousin and his personal pain and finally allowed Peggy to be the anti-Don. The advice she gave Stan was perfect and hard won (only after Peggy’s “confession” to Pete did she seem to heal over giving up her baby)- let yourself feel and work through the pain. The exact opposite of Don’s “This never happened” or his advice to Sally “forget about it”. Also the line “You have a great ass” and Peggy’s sweet reaction to it showed for all she loved to be recognized for her work, that was the first time she was shown with someone admiring her “Joan style” for just being personally attractive. And she liked it.

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

      This. So many other characters are shortchanged so we can see more (repetitive) Don Draper. Do these other, stellar, characters even have real storylines? Are there subplots? We see Ginsberg’s backstory, then we don’t. Etc. We get such small glimpses of such rich possibilities.

      I know the series is about Don, but I’ve stopped caring about Don. He bores me. The scene you mention with Peggy and Stan was pure gold — well written, well acted. And then we get more Don doing the same Don things over and over again, expecting different results.

      • http://twitter.com/NoNeinNyet NoNeinNyet

        I still maintain that Mad Men is largely the story of Peggy. Yes, we focus on Don’s life but Peggy has made the most change over time. Don’s decline only serves to show just how much better Peggy is doing in that world.

        • http://thatswhatthemoneyisfor.wordpress.com/ lizlemonglasses

          Yes!

        • Chris

          Well Matthew Weiner has always said there is a reason the show begins on Peggy’s first day a Sterling Cooper.

          • Zaftiguana

            I wonder if we finish with Peggy as creative director. A new generation of creative artist who understands that a work ethic is as important to the work as talent.

        • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

          Don went from being the illegitimate son of a prostitute, to a war deserter, to hugely successful ad man, to a scared human suffering from an existential crisis. That is change! Peggy’s change is on the upswing in the story, so we attach to her. She is climbing the corporate ladder. We like to win and feel triumph and catharsis through her. The writers could have easily written the story of Don Draper beginning with his childhood, as a victim of abandonment and rape, who ends up finding success and love with Megan, and then stopped before the existential crisis and affair with Sylvia. It would have been a different story. All stories might be the same story, just told from different starting points. Remember Peggy is being unfaithful to her man, who she just bought a building with. Should we applaud her at this time? She doesn’t really want Stan; she wants Ted. If Ted turns to Peggy in his grief for Frank’s cancer and his marital troubles she may not turn him down with some advice about feeling the pain.

          • http://twitter.com/NoNeinNyet NoNeinNyet

            Most of Don’s change happened prior to the start of the series and he still approaches most things in the same Don Draper way we’ve seen since season 1. Peggy has gone from virginal Catholic secretary to high-powered executive that lives with her Jewish boyfriend. Don may have gotten divorced and re-married but he doesn’t act all that differently than he did in 1960.

          • http://twitter.com/FelinGood Felin Good

            That is part of what I’m saying. Because we weren’t with him during all of his changes, plot-wise, we have difficulty empathizing with him. But the writers give us his back story. So what is that? That shows us how much he has changed. Now, in the sixties, he is still changing. His story in the chronological narrative is of his downfall. “Happiness is just a moment before you want more happiness”. Where is Don now. He is in an existential crisis. Some of us viewers are unable to attach empathy to that storyline. Some of us prefer the part of the human story that consists of climbing ladders, breaking down barriers, and fighting dragons, which is where Peggy has been. Actually, Peggy is almost past that point, so the unrest is starting to show through.

      • EveEve

        Yes. More Ginzo, less Don, please! Joan is just floating in and out – without much purpose these days. Betty only shows up to scold and whine; Trudy and Tammy have left the house. Megan’s character doesn’t interest me enough to care about anything except what the latest fashions are. Don’s whorehouse flashback scenes are trite and overwrought. If that’s all they’re going to write for his childhood, we can move on.

    • jen_wang

      I took Peggy’s reaction to “you have a great ass” somewhat differently–less about her genuinely taking it to heart, so much as understanding that that’s Stan’s only way to give her a compliment and express affection. Sort of a weird version of a thanks-man-you’re-a-great-friend moment.

      • Chris

        I think it was all of that, they are good friends (secure enough that the Heinz pitch didn’t derail their friendship) and Stan is a womanizer (or a wannabe womanizer maybe) so that is his way of expressing admiration- but Peggy did still enjoy hearing that she was personally attractive even in such a crude way. The way she and Stan sold it made it seem kind of sweet.

      • VanessaDK

        Well–I thought it was pretty clear that she was telling him that his libido was being driven by things other than real attraction (speed; pain; need for escape) and his comment was a way of saying–it’s not just the drugs–I really do think you are attractive, and her acknowledging it.

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

        I loved that Peggy wasn’t offended, or embarrased or mad, or shy, about what he said. She liked being looked that in that way, and wasnt going to apologize for it either. The “Thank you” was an admittance of that to Stan, and also her basically telling him “Sorry I turned you down, but know that I am flattered”.

      • Zaftiguana

        It was one of many moments that made me feel like Peggy’s a post-feminist living in a pre-feminist world.

    • MartyBellerMask

      I took the “great ass” comment as a compliment, and as a “no hard feelings” moment.

  • Annette Nelson

    I SAW THE YELLOW & BLUE! :) can’t wait for Wednesday! :)

  • http://twitter.com/keristars ★ keri ★

    The cinematography surrounding Stan’s William Tell act was very deliberate and referential, but it is driving me batty that I can’t drudge it up out of the recesses of my memory. Can someone pinpoint it for me?

    Also, TLo didn’t mention it directly, but I thought the whole point of the Grandma Ida thing and the Aimée thing was to drive home that Don associates sex with punishment. So he got punished for sex with Aimée, and now he’s getting punished for doing it with Sylvia. It’s suuuuper blunt and obvious, but that’s kind of how Weiner & Co have been doing these things, with the “I left the door open” bit, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually had it confirmed for me. Though I never did watch the first three seasons, so.

    • MyrtleUrkel

      I thought the point of the Grandma Ida episode was to highlight how little Don’s kids (and everyone else in his life, save maybe Anna) know about him. From Bobby’s “Are we Negros?” and “She said she was your mother” and Sally’s “I don’t know anything about you,” it seemed like that was the point. But, I agree with TLo that the racial undertones, or rather, overtones are problematic.

      • http://twitter.com/keristars ★ keri ★

        Right. I guess “the whole point” was overstating matters, but it seems to have been a pretty big element, and something that was New to me (or newish, or not confirmed for me before) whereas no one knowing anything about Don is old hat.

        I also think that the punishment aspect would have worked with anyone coming in to rob the place. I did cringe at the hamhanded racial stereotypes!

        • the_archandroid

          But this is the first time where knowing nothing of his history has directly placed his children in serious danger. Before it was the emotional pain of not knowing your roots, now for the kids it’s actual physical ramifications…that’s kind of not a ho hum thing, at least for me.

          • http://twitter.com/keristars ★ keri ★

            Oh!

            That didn’t occur to me. I was still thinking of it as his affair with Sylvia being the thing that placed the kids in danger, not the lack of knowledge about his history (and, really, would it have changed much if Sally knew for sure that the woman wasn’t who she said she was? as soon as Sally cottoned on, the woman got threatening – I imagine she would have just done so sooner).

            I think I’ll look at it as a combination thing, because the sex => punishment bit resonated with me, and of course there was that mild spanking stuff with the prostitute a few seasons back.

          • MK03

            Not mild spanking; she was smacking him, hard, in the face.

    • Jessica Stone

      You know, I keep seeing accusations that Weiner et al. are being ‘super blunt and obvious’ or repetitive or too ‘on the nose’, but I kinda think, if all we’re seeing is what’s super obvious, maybe we’re missing other layers and nuance. Is it possible we sometimes train ourselves to look for specific things that have come up already, congratulate ourselves when we spot them again, and then feel the writers have failed us for not showing us something new? (Rabbit trail: Reminds me of listening and reading. Both of those most people do without paying attention to every word because what we expect to hear/see is what our minds take in. It’s why operating in a second language can be so tiring, because when the language is foreign–at least in the beginning–you’re having to pay attention to every word, and confusion about just one of those words can throw off your confidence in ‘filling in the blanks’.)

      Sorry if I sound like I’m chiding or lecturing–I don’t mean to; I’m just frustrated with a lot of the ‘we get it, move on’ kinds of comments (which is not how your comment reads to me). I actually find your comment really valuable because while I saw Grandma Ida serving a few functions, punishment for sex was not one of them. So what was super obvious to you was an extra layer for me. I always find things in the comments that deepen my understanding of and appreciation for the storytelling in Mad Men. And I love that that there is something out there for everyone’s attention level: whatever we notice, there’s always more.

  • sarahjane1912

    Oh joy oh joy oh joy. I thought — what with SO much going on, much of it innocuous, lots of it laboured, some of it effin’ bizarre — that you guys wouldn’t post this until a few hours from now there was so much work to do. Thrilled to be proven incorrect.

    Thoughts:

    No wonder Pegs treats everyone from her workmates in Creative to her bosses like recalcitrant children. It must be like working with a bunch of toddlers. Seriously. But it did give her some great lines.

    Peggy to Don: “That was very inspiring” [NOT!]

    Peggy to Jim Cutler: “You see the mess you made?” [which, together with The LOOK she gave him when he, like some horny teenager, pointed out Stan/Wendy getting it on, really showed she's Got The Power].

    Betty’s hair. They really nailed it. She obviously had to have it stripped of the black and taken ‘back’ to blonde … only it ended up looking completely brassy and all dried out. Perfect politician’s wife helmet though. Snaps for that.

    Apart from Don [sheesh! I've had enough of that crap!], there was something about ALL the boys to love in this episode.

    Stan getting stabbed in the arm in the William Tell bit!

    Stan on speed! Bliss!

    Kenny tapdancing [oh rapture]!

    Ginzo: “I wanna write stuff down so it looks like I’m working”!

    Everyone speeding off their tits around the office. Wonderful stuff. Sorry, I just loved it [laughed and laughed and laughed].

    PS. The music I thought was especially well chosen this ep, from the stuff soundtracking Don — Dream A Little Dream Of Me — to his pathetic mourning of Sylvia, listening to her radio play Going Out Of My Head. TV shows that use source cues like this ALWAYS rock my boat. The Wire did it best, but MM nailed it in this ep especially, I thought.
    Loved Mamas and the Papas to close the ep. Magic stuff.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      Especially loved Peggy when she said to Don: “Have you been working on Chevy at all?”

  • decormaven

    Wowza! So much to take in. Is this the first time we have heard Sally address Henry as “Daddy”? She called him that when she was speaking to Betty prior to leaving for NYC. Also, what were those action figures Bobby was playing with? I didn’t recognize them immediately. GI Joes, or something else? I was playing with my Honey West doll by that time.
    Cutler is beyond beyond. But I KNEW we’d see a Dr. Feelgood pop up this season. Those shots were no joke.

    • Golfkat

      Pretty sure that Sally was talking about Don when she said ‘Daddy’? I could be wrong, but when she calls her mom ‘Betty’, it seems strange that she’d call her step-dad ‘Daddy’.

      • sarahjane1912

        Agree. She was expecting Don to be picking them up. Then Betty said SHE was taking them. So she wasn’t calling Henry ‘Daddy’ at all.

        • decormaven

          I would think the same thing, but when she asks Betty, and Betty says she is taking them, Sally replies “Were you sitting under the hair dryer and just remember that?” It kind of threw me.

          I loved how Sally said “I want to go home” after Megan apologized. The apartment – and Don, and Megan – are never going to seem the same for her.

          • Frank_821

            Yes Sally comment was very powerful in that context. Betty is a major pain to Sally but it’s something she understands and is part of an environment she’s never felt unsafe in.

          • par3182

            Except that time around the Speck murders when she slept under the sofa (thanks to Henry’s mother).

          • Pennymac

            And takes drugs…

          • http://www.facebook.com/vlasta.bubinka Vlasta Bubinka

            Also– Rosemary’s Baby. In the context of her family, hilarity.

            And I think the whole Grandma Ida- the burglar- was meant to push a bunch of buttons. 1- Don’s kids don’t know anything about him. 2- Racial stereotypes. 3- The last time Sally woke up after reading something scary, she encountered Grandma Pauline, who filled her head with more fearful stories about the Speck murders. Now she encountered Grandma Ida- a figure she doesn’t know at all- but tries to put her at more ease than the woman she actually does know. 4- The phone call afterward had Sally responding to her father in almost identical tones and expressions to phone calls between Don and Betty when they were estranged. 5- her yellow outfit was similar to Betty’s yellow bikini and cover up from season 2 “Maidenform,” when Don humiliated Betty, or the white robe set Betty often wore, especially in “Indian Summer,” when Don treated Betty like a child because she had a salesman briefly in the house. I wonder if we’re supposed to see Sally starting to understand her mother more than she has? 6- the casting couch reference and the look on Megan’s face. Was that a tell? How long was this play? What was Megan doing afterward? Certainly at 14, Sally would be prime babysitting age, but not into the really late hours, like after midnight. What times are we looking at?

            Other dynamics: Don seemed to fall in love with Megan in part because she was so good with the kids. Does he still think of her that way? Megan wanted Don to love his work last season. Does she think he is working so hard? And if so, does she wish she’d never said that?

          • Chris

            Yes the whole Ida situation reminded me a lot of the episode that dealt with the Richard Speck murders. The older woman (Pauline and Ida) who are both frightening and “motherly.” Sally’s fear of being in her own “home.” It’s also the last time we saw Sally in those type of baby-doll pajamas. They have a way of making her look even more vulnerable somehow.

          • jen_wang

            I assumed that Don had backed out of picking up the kids to work the weekend, and that Betty was covering for him. Which makes Sally’s comment even more unfair–Betty’s awful in a lot of ways, but she doesn’t neglect the kids in the same way Don does.

          • MartyBellerMask

            I don’t think she’s ever covered up for Don. If she used to, she doesn’t now.
            I think she wanted to show off her new look. :)

          • jen_wang

            Not covering up; just covering as in giving the kids a ride to the city when he was supposed to.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Oh, right. Gotcha.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AdriannaGrezak Adrianna Grężak

    I think the housekeeper was African American precisely because it made us uncomfortable. My thought process was literally “Is she a robber? Wait, am I thinking that just because she’s black? Am I being racist? I shouldn’t stereotype based on her skin color and speech, maybe she isn’t a robber.” I think that is line with the times, that more people were conscious of racism, so Sally was struggling with the same thought process.

    • Itsonreserve

      See, that works but to me the show was trying to make this a scary thing and an older woman just isn’t scary. I would have much preferred some younger guy from the village. His excuse for being there could be as thin as hers and a 20 something vagrant with 14 year old Sally would have been nerve-wracking enough when you weren’t watching it to give some paranoia heft to the speed scenes.

      • sagecreek

        Good point, as that would have introduced the possibility of sexual assault (not that that’s a good thing, but you know what I mean), but I did think the actress playing Grandma Ida did a wonderful job of mixing menace with weird ole benign lady fogginess…we actually looked at each other at one point and said, “we haven’t seen her before, right?”

        • http://www.facebook.com/AdriannaGrezak Adrianna Grężak

          I totally thought I saw her before too

      • http://www.facebook.com/AdriannaGrezak Adrianna Grężak

        I don’t agree that the show was trying to make this a scary thing. I thought Weiner & Co. wanted the audience to be confused and conflicted, and I was.

        • Spicytomato1

          Yes. I first I was buying her story and thought she might actually be the surrogate grandmother to the REAL Don Draper and thought our Don would be exposed as the imposter in front of his kids. I couldn’t figure out why they would rehash that…until I realized they weren’t.

          • http://www.facebook.com/AdriannaGrezak Adrianna Grężak

            I thought back to the real Don Draper too

          • DogintheParthenon

            My thoughts exactly, but then she said, “Is your mamma still a piece of work?” That blew her cover for me.

        • http://www.facebook.com/vlasta.bubinka Vlasta Bubinka

          For me, it was both confusing and scary. Any time you find someone you don’t know in your house, it is a scary event, especially if you don’t know if the person has a weapon or what the intentions are. The dialog was confusing, but the scenario itself was scary. Anytime a stranger enters the home– regardless of the person’s race, age, sex– fear will be involved.

      • Jessica Stone

        It had to be a female character because it had to be a maternal character in order to parallel Don’s flashback experience. I don’t really see how a person different in sex, age, or race could have fulfilled the requirements of this role. It was not just about being sinister or scary. It’s about being duped and exploited by a maternal figure.

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

      One thing that is somewhat interesting about Grandma Ida is how she played into stereotypes to help her cause. Once Sally found her, she intentionally switched into the Mammy figure, knowing that Sally would be more comfortable with a maternal black woman figure. She made eggs and used a specific cadence and signals of affection because she understood that the white children knew and trusted that mammy stereotype. Grandma Ida knew how white folks stereotyped and thought about black people, and she used those assumptions against them. (Of course, it helped that Sally has no knowledge of her father’s history.)

      • DogintheParthenon

        Agreed; excellent analysis!

  • JP

    At about the tap-dancing scene, I turned to my husband and said, “Did I drop acid without knowing it?” About five minutes later, I asked instead, “Should I drop acid so this shit makes sense?”

  • Sobaika

    At least the show finally found something useful to do with Bobby Draper.

    • zenobar

      Yep. Bobby Draper is displaying some classic Middle Child Syndrom traits lately.

  • http://kingderella.tumblr.com/ kingderella

    for just a split second, when don was pompously ranting about the old soup capain to peggy and ginsberg, and how theyre all tacking advertising on at the end of the movies, “but what if the audience doesnt make the bargain” (paraphrasing), i thought hed come up with the concept of product placement. (i dont know anything about the history of product placement wihout looking it up.) did anybody else have that thought?

    • Spicytomato1

      Yes, totally.

    • Glammie

      You can place the history of product placement to E.T. Spielberg wanted M&Ms (at this point, film makers paid to use a product in a film). Mars said no. The makers of Reese’s Pieces said yes. Film was a huge hit and sales of Reese’s Pieces skyrocketed.

      And the rest is history.

  • VanessaDK

    Random Stan thought: I rather cynically thought that Stan was using his cousin’s death as a pick up line, to convince Peggy after she initially turned him down. But maybe it can be true and be a line at the same time.

    • sagecreek

      I thought the same.

    • http://kingderella.tumblr.com/ kingderella

      i wasnt sure if stan even had a cousin (didnt remember the sailor boy until a review brought him up), and therefore wasnt sure if hes supposed to be in real pain here, or if hes just putting up an act. im also still not entirely sure if peggy is supposed to be drunk in that scene. it doesnt make any sense for her character, but she sure seems to overreact about that cut. the whole scene was a little confusing to me, although i think it works better now that ive thought about it a little (and read other peoples take on it).

      • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

        Yeah, Stan brought the cousin when he was on shore leave to the Zou Bisou party, and Abe and Bert Cooper were going on about him coming back in a body bag. It freaked out the kid and pissed off Stan. I was wondering if we were going to hear about the cousin again. One thing I’m not sure about, and granted, this was a really wacky episode to review – it sounded to me like Stan’s family had only *just* found out about his cousin’s death, because of the “16 unread letters” line. So I’m not entirely sure that all along he’s been self-medicating, unless it was out of worry and loneliness and work stress. I think this incident could be the catalyst that makes him do dangerous shit, though. I just hope he doesn’t die. Thanks for the paranoia, @TomandLorenzo:disqus!

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

      It was all true. His cousin showed up at last seasons premiere in Dons suprise party, right before he was shipped of to Nam.

    • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

      yes it can and I thought so too

  • erinberry3232

    I’m surprised that no one had commented on the similarity in affect and manner between Aimee and Betty. Am I totally off on that one?

    • http://kingderella.tumblr.com/ kingderella

      youre right on.

      i think nobody mentions it because its so bash-me-over-the-head-with-it obvious.
      as is all the business with the moles.

    • Chris

      Yes! Her voice sounded so much like January Jones when she was talking to young Don. Even her lips and lipstick reminded me of how Betty’s used to be. Also she had a Nordic last name- wasn’t that one of Betty’s lines “I’m not sad my people are Nordic.” That was great casting on the show’s part.

  • Girl_With_a_Pearl

    When Ginsberg is the only one sober in the whole Time Life building, things are not going to go well.

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

      And Peggy.

      • the_archandroid

        At one point though Ginsberg was literally the only clear headed one b/c Peggy got drunk and give us 2 glorious minutes of Steggy…before it all crashed…hey!

        • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

          I forgot that Peggy was drinking.

        • Lattis

          “Steggy “hahahaha love that

    • VanessaDK

      Since he was sober–why was he the one to throw an exacto knife at Stan?

      • the_archandroid

        According to Peggy Ginsberg hates Stan. Which sort of makes sense, Stan is a ladies man, Ginsberg is hopeless, Stan gets to work with the big name creatives (Peggy and Don) Ginsberg is still somewhat of a jr. player. And to Ginsberg Stan seems untouched by tragedy, when Ginsberg is characterized by it.

        • Eric Stott

          It’s all very High School – Stan is the big athletic jock type & Ginsberg is the little nerd with an arm full of books. Ginsberg probably hated him on sight – and Stan was something of an ass when he first arrived.

      • Crystal

        GOOD POINT.

      • Chris

        Because Ginsberg can be a little sinister all on his own. He’s not dangerous but there is something a little dark, cynical and cold about him at times. He’s sympathetic but not a “warm” character.

        • Eric Stott

          He’s something of a stereotype – the New Yorker (and a Jewish one) who’s cynical and has something of a chip on his shoulder.

        • deitybox

          Well he was born in a goddamn concentration camp. That’ll mess anyone up.

          • Chris

            Yes exactly, there is a lot to Ginsberg simmering under the surface. He has had a hard life and I almost think they are presenting him with a borderline personality disorder. Not in a big way but just in a subtle undertone. He seems to have a hard time relating directly with people. He can analyze them and study them but doesn’t seem to have relationships with them. His reactions to Don’s crazy pitches were very telling.

          • the_archandroid

            Wouldn’t Ginsberg be more likely to have shizoid or avoidant personality disorder? and given his jealousy of Stan probably avoidant. He just doesn’t strike me as having the impulsivity i would associate with BPD

          • Chris

            I’m not familiar enough with the terminology. I was trying to say he had a mild case of whatever it is he has. My use of “borderline,” probably incorrectly, was to say he was on the line of having some kind of disorder not that he had “BPD” per se.

          • the_archandroid

            Regardless of the terminology, he definitely has difficulty playing well with others, I fully agree with that assessment.

          • lilyvonschtupp

            Ginsberg needs some ass. That way little things wouldn’t bother him so much.

          • http://www.facebook.com/AdriannaGrezak Adrianna Grężak

            Yeah, I wish they would develop his character more.

      • Crystal

        THAT BASTARD. I literally watched that episode TWICE and just thought “Oh of course they are doing something this stupid, they’re all tripping balls.”

        But Ginsberg was SOBER. He needs to leave Stan alone. I’ll cut him. lol

      • par3182

        That’s the way they do things on Mars.

      • Girl_With_a_Pearl

        Because Ginsberg is Ginsberg, i.e. on his own wavelength or from another planet to paraphrase him.

  • janierainie

    When Sally caught the woman in the apartment I was really thinking it was a dream too!
    And I seriously had a Twin Peaks flashback when Ken was doing his tap dance, and not in a good way.

  • mommyca

    I loved the episode… and yes, it was more of Don’s story, but Weiner had already said that this season we would learn more about Don’s (Dick’s) past, so I’m not surprised about the flashbacks… and he is the man with a secret (even his daughter says so), so who are we going to hear more about in the show? and even when his initiation with the hooker and his abusive stepmother were expected, it was nice to get a confirmation about it…

    also, Aimee, Sylvia and the woman in the oatmeal ad had a mole in their cheeks…

    • http://twitter.com/chylde chylde

      Yes, pointed out the moles and headscarves to my husband.

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

      What’s interesting is Don never actually *saw* Sylvia wearing that outfit. She was behind the door. He imagined it.

      • http://twitter.com/NoNeinNyet NoNeinNyet

        In this episode, he didn’t see it but he did see it previously when Sylvia and Dr. Rosen were having an argument when the elevator got to their floor in a previous episode.

  • Scimommy

    Peggy’s disgust with the whole clusterfuck, as you put it, was subtle yet crystal clear. It was masterful and perfect. Everything Peggy was perfect in this episode. I don’t ship her with Stan and I thought their scene was right on point. There is no chance she will consider him in that light after witnessing his hook-up with the (real, as it turns out) grieving hippie.

    In other news, who else worried for a second during the opening scene that they were going to kill Kenny?!

    (See how I have nothing to say about Don? Trying to pretend he was not in the episode.)

    • sagecreek

      Yes, I was worried about Ken.
      Yes, I am bored of Don.

      • http://twitter.com/chylde chylde

        So bored of Don. Either dude dies, or has an epiphany. There’s nothing left for viewers.

    • the_archandroid

      I think this is yet another man in Peggy’s life who has disappointed her when she previously had a high opinion/expectation of them. To add to the running tally:
      Pete
      Duck
      Don
      Abe
      Stan

      Along with other minor professional disappointments along the way. But Ted Chaough hasn’t failed her yet, and that scares me bc it’s the last thing Peggy needs.

      • Scimommy

        Yes, I am on pins and needs with the Peggy-Ted storyline. So many possibilities, including Ted being a prick like every other man in her life. But maybe not??

        • the_archandroid

          I don’t know… the whole show seems to be “It’s all just a little bit of history repeating” So if Peggy and Ted get involved…it just doesn’t bode well. none of her workplace romances has gone well.

          • EveEve

            Yes, but aren’t the writers also adding a few things they will inject into next season’s story line?

      • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

        Did anybody catch something in the episode about something going on with Ted’s wife/I didn’t but then I saw it in a review?

    • Melanie

      When that scene cut to black, I turned to my husband and said, “Did those fuckers just kill Ken Cosgrove?” So yes, I was worried. :)

  • MartyBellerMask

    “I don’t even like beards.” Snicker. Oh, Peggy. That’s the best you got?

    • http://twitter.com/jen_canary Jennifer Ford

      So she needs a reason to say no?

      • MartyBellerMask

        Yes, she needed an excuse. But it was totally lame, and Stan wasn’t buying it. :)
        (Neither was I!)

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

          No one needs a reason to say no other than that they don’t want to.

        • http://twitter.com/jen_canary Jennifer Ford

          Oh, hai, Rape Culture!

        • MartyBellerMask

          Oh goodness, you all completely misinterpreted that!
          No is no. Of course.

          The beard had nothing to do with anything, and it was silly of her to act like it did.
          She got better results when she was direct about it. That’s all I meant.

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      I actually liked that. It wasn’t a hurtful rejection. And remember, Stan hasn’t had his beard for very long – just since the start of this season.

  • Angela_the_Librarian

    A few random thoughts about this very random episode (which I mostly enjoyed, but left me confused):

    - There was an overall very ominous tone to the show: Ken’s car accident, Frank’s death, Don’s coughing attack, Stan’s mock execution, and the break-in at the Draper residence. It all left me feeling very uneasy.

    - I think, in part, they had a black woman as thief to demonstrate how little Sally knew about her father’s history (and she tells this to him on the phone). Growing up Sally had a black woman practically raise her and for all she knew her father may have had the same experience (I’m not sure how much she knows about him growing up on a farm etc.).

    -One of my favorite moments was the fevered discussion between Don and Ken. Not just for the tap dance routine (which was genius) but also when Don said that he needed to be at the pitch to Chevy, that it was the timbre of his voice or presence that was required to sell an idea. Don’s talents truly lay on the surface.

    -Finally, I loved the conversation Peggy had with Stan about how pain needs to be lived and dealt with and not suppressed with drugs/alcohol and sex. Best life lesson she has learned from Don’s example!

    • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

      Re: the conversation with Ken and Don needing to be at the pitch… I agree with you 100%. Don realized that he couldn’t put together a campaign, and he wants to rely (yet again) on his charisma and his ability to bully people into doing what he wants them to do. Whatever talent he may have had in the past is nonexistent now.

    • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

      Was anyone else reminded of The Deer Hunter Russian roulette scene in the mock execution?

      • not_Bridget

        Nope, William Burroughs and his wife. Unfortunately, he had a gun….

        • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

          I think I’m in company with Vulture and Esquire! The scene with the tie around his head and the green shirt gave me terrifying flashbacks to watching “The Deer Hunter” in 7th grade. I know I sound ignorant here, but I’m not familiar with William Burroughs’s story. Gonna go look it up now!

      • Angela_the_Librarian

        I’ve never seen The Deer Hunter, but (after looking it up) I can totally understand the reference. I thought the scene was a disturbing reminder of what was going on in Vietnam (and then hearing about Stan’s cousin just made the scene more disturbing)

        • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

          Oh man. “The Deer Hunter” is terribly disturbing. I actually felt sick to my stomach seeing Stan with the tie around his head in a smoky haze playing execution, because it brought flashbacks of seeing that movie’s Russian roulette scene way too young. It’s really, really messed up and sad. Vulture or Esquire or something brought up the Muhammad Ali “St. Sebastian” magazine cover with the arrows for him getting arrested for avoiding the draft. I wasn’t aware of that connection, but the two combined was pretty powerful imagery. I was more disturbed by the mock execution than I was amused.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      “One of my favorite moments was the fevered discussion between Don and Ken. Not just for the tap dance routine (which was genius) but also when Don said that he needed to be at the pitch to Chevy, that it was the timbre of his voice…”

      That was my favorite little speech of the entire episode

  • http://twitter.com/NJedwina Edwina

    Sorry, that was a hot mess of creative indulgence. I’m so over Don Draper and don’t get me started on the teenage Dick Whitman who distractingly looks nothing at all like the young Jon Hamm. This is not satisfying television, but fortunately Sunday night has other dramatic and comedic options that deliver where MM fails.

  • http://twitter.com/LadyMoppet J. L. A.

    Stan’s been wearing green this whole season. He’s screwed.

    • sarahjane1912

      Is that the equivalent of the Star Trek/Red Shirt ultimatum?

    • flamingoNW

      Ted was wearing a green jacket at the end, to Don’s blue suit jacket…. ?!

      • http://twitter.com/LadyMoppet J. L. A.

        My theory is that the person in green is the fool or the one getting screwed. I think that Ted’s wearing green as he’s losing control in the whole merger situation. Usually, the blue/green are in the scene together. But Stan’s been out there in green for a lot of this season, which makes me think he’s doomed. Could just be that he’s been struggling day to day, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it meant something worse for him.

  • Crystal

    Can we talk about how Peggy protested to Stan that she had a boyfriend…. but didn’t protest to Ted that she had a boyfriend or that he was married. Ted was the one who apologized after that kiss, and Peggy was the one who put the brakes on with Stan. Discuss?

    I love Stan. I hope we get to see more of him.

    • sagecreek

      Well, yeah. She’s into Ted (and who wouldn’t be?). Stan is just a pal.

      • Crystal

        Oh dreamy Ted and his sweaters.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          lol

      • flamingoNW

        Stan’s a dog. That’s the reason she won’t end up with him.

        • sarahjane1912

          And she’s seen him already in his tighty-whities. And maybe that was enough for her …?

          • Beth513

            He dropped those tighty-whities if I recall and had an obvious erection because she was bra-less. That’s when their friendship started, when she called his bluff on all of his big sexist player talk, and he figured out she deserved his respect.

  • the_archandroid

    I think I’m most pleased that within SCDPCGCALPHABETSOUP, the women were largely left out of the drug haze. Peggy got a little drunk but she was competent and wonderful throughout, and Dawn was this bright little sailboat zipping by while everyone was drowning. I think that in prior episodes that would sort of be Joan’s place, but since she’s moving out of the secretarial role, Dawn is filling that space.

    • http://twitter.com/chylde chylde

      Where was Joan, anyway?

      • sweetlilvoice

        Always a sad episode without Joan. And was Pete even there? Or was he off taking care of his Momma?

        • Angela_the_Librarian

          Pete made a brief appearance. When they were shooting off ideas about a father giving his son a car one of the writers asked about what kind of father would just give a car to their kid, and I think Ginsberg pointed to Pete and said that he was the type. I think Pete also offered condolences about Frank’s death and that was when the writers from his firm mentioned that they didn’t really like him all that much and he was becoming a saint in death

        • Girl_With_a_Pearl

          Pete wasn’t there (other than a quick check-in) because he was busy finding a place to put his mother in: either a senior citizen’s home or an asylum, wherever he can dump her first. Joan wasn’t there because she was still taking it easy after her recent medical scare. Bob Benson wasn’t there because he was either bringing coffee to Pete, checking that Joan was O.K. or taking the weekend off and a break from sucking up to the partners.

          Oh, and the other real reason is that Chevy isn’t Pete’s account and Joan does Laynes’ old job and is not involved with keeping Chevy happy. Looks like both will be back next week.

      • SassieCassy

        yes! where was joan!!!! any episode without her is a little bit off

      • EveEve

        It was the weekend. She doesn’t work on the weekends any more.

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

    If you are a motherless child and you sleep with a whore who just finished mothering you…and then you get beat up for it…yup, you are basically f#$%ed for life. Pauvre Don. Needs a team of therapists but I agree that I was hoping for an episode about Joan or Peggy or anyone else this time. Still, it about the sixties and I was certainly entertained. If this whole mess snapped Don out of his depression/downward spiral (as temporary as it might be) then perhaps next week is someone else’s turn.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amy.barnett.3954 Amy Barnett

    I felt like this most recent look into Dick Whitman’s past was the final piece of the fucked-up puzzle. With Aimee feeding him soup as his first “motherly” experience, then molesting him as his first sexual experience (C’mon, there was a pretty severe power imbalance going on when that happened. Consent was extremely dubious), and Stepmother Abigail screaming about how “shameful” and “disgusting” he was when she found out, Dick became basically unable to separate women (and his interactions with them) from the continuum of mother–>object of desire–>whore–>his own sense of shame and worthlessness. It’s not NEW information, exactly, but it does finally show us exactly HOW entrenched Don is in this worldview, and WHY.

    Ken Cosgrove summed it up best during his tap routine:

    Don: Where’d you learn that?

    Ken: My mother. No! First girlfriend.

    • sagecreek

      Great comments, Amy, but I do feel like we have been beaten over the head with this puzzle. Honestly, it’s all I can do not to tune out when the flashbacks come on. Yeah, yeah, whores. Yeah, yeah, abuse. We get it.

      • MilaXX

        Exactly! I think I posted something similar.

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

        I think the sexual abuse is new, though.

    • sweetlilvoice

      Great comment, especially the Ken bit. I didn’t realize that whole mother=girlfriend issue.

    • VanessaDK

      And wow! Matthew Weiner gives all these attributes to his doppelganger in the show? That’s even scarier.

    • Chris

      The whole episode is full of these either incestuous or just plain weird family references, Don obviously and the mother/whore thing, Ken and the mother/girlfriend comment, Peggy telling Stan he is like “a brother” to her before kissing him back, Ida referencing herself as a mother figure to Don, Sally acting like a mother to the younger brothers, Creepy, horrible Jim Cutler who is supposed to be acting as a parental figure to Gleason’s daughter but spies on her having sex instead. Even Meagan who is usually a great step mother leaves the kids at night without a babysitter and without checking to see the doors are locked. It’s complete parental breakdown.

  • http://twitter.com/wednesdaydreams ♕ Natalie ♕

    I thought this was one of the strongest episodes of the season! A bit messy yes, but it dished out some interesting themes, plus I thought Sally’s story was one of the highlights, especially with her starting off reading Rosemary’s Baby— foreshadowing the horror of her personal space being violated.

  • d4divine

    I loved last nights episode! It was weird, like David Lynch was a guest writer, and funny as hell!!

    • MissKimP

      (Love your shoe, BTW!)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

    Just loved the scenes with Stan. And it might be really cruel of me, but I bust out laughing when Stan got stuck in the arm! It was gross and hysterical all at the same time. Also appreciate Ken Cosgrove’s hidden talents.

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

    There’s the scene where Don goes back to the apartment building and presses his face against Sylvia’s back door while her radio plays… did he even go home then at all? Was this at the same time his kids were being held hostage? The cut away is vague and confusing… or I am vague and confused.

    • mommyca

      I noticed the same thing… i guess he just went back to the office…

      • MartyBellerMask

        That’s fucked up. Don’t even pop in on your kids.

    • sagecreek

      No, it was pretty clear that he mooned over Sylvia’s door and then went right back to work.

      There was sputtering here from my H, who is a Good Good Dad.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

      I’m wondering at what point he left the back door open. Perhaps he went into his apartment, marched out the back door leaving it open (with the kids asleep), went downstairs to press his ear against Sylvia’s door, and went back to work.

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

        I like this explanation. Something that makes sense. :>

        • sarahjane1912

          He was completely trashed. I don’t even think he knew how he got there or that he left the door open or anything. Not that this excuses his awful behaviour [nothing does now] but it certainly gives the situation context.

    • Crystal

      Another time I shouted at the screen. “GO HOME, YOU BASTARD. GO THE FUCK HOME.”

  • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

    About the robber… aside from the implications of one of the few Black characters being a criminal, I thought it was an interesting encounter because it DOES highlight that Sally knows nothing about her father’s upbringing. I think she kind of accepted the idea that he might have been raised by Grandma Ida, just as Carla was a mother figure for Sally when she was still working for the Drapers. But what Sally doesn’t know – and has no way of knowing – is that her father didn’t have the same privileged upbringing that she has, and couldn’t have had housekeepers or nannies as pseudo-mother figures.

    Do I think the writers could have made this point differently, without the Grandma Ida being a thief? Certainly. But it just reminds us (again, and again, and again) that the people who are supposed to be the closest to Don really don’t know a damn thing about him.

    • MilaXX

      True, but here’s the thing; there is a genuine problem in the US with people placing the blame on an unknown black person. Sue Smith, the woman who drowned her babies said a black man carjacked her. There was a recent incident in NYC where the sketch the police posted was for a black male & when the man was caught it was a pale, white guy. Mad Men has been criticized for it’s lack of African American characters and on the rare occasions that we get them, they are criminals. Now I can appreciate the humour in Bobbie’s line, but I still call BS on the need of the woman being black.

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        I agree with you that this is a problem that’s pervasive in our society. There are COUNTLESS cases of “blame the black person” in real life and in TV/film. But for some reason, I can’t find the energy to get up in arms about Mad Men not having an accurate and diverse portrayal of Black people. There are painfully few shows that do.

        • MilaXX

          I’m not up in arms about the lack of diversity on Mad Men. I am however, slightly annoyed that on a show that rarely shows POC in any significant way, this is the 2nd time we’ve had “blame the black person”. Aunt Ida could have been any race and the point could still have been made that Sally knows nothing about Don.

          • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

            This is absolutely true. I wonder, was this the writers’ heavy-handed way of saying that this person clearly didn’t really know Don? Who knows.

    • deitybox

      It actually made me think for a minute that Grandma Ida had raised the actual Don Draper, not Dick Whitman, and had somehow found him in NYC.

      • http://twitter.com/PhDKnitter marlie

        That would certainly be a mind f*ck, wouldn’t it?

      • Spicytomato1

        I thought the same thing for a minute, too.

      • Joy

        Yes, I was thinking at first, yes she came to rob them, but that she had tracked down the real don draper to come look for some money since she raised him and maybe he would want to help her.

        Then I knew she was just the crazy lady down the street playing these kids for booboo the fool!

      • Zaftiguana

        I had a flash of that, too. It became crystal clear a bit later that she was a burglar, but for a minute there I though things might get really interesting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=644302181 Rachel McDowell

    Stan is my favorite.

  • MissCamille

    Has anyone commented on the visual link between Sylvia, Aimee, and the oatmeal ad mom? They all have a beauty mark on their right cheek.

    • mommyca

      I just mentioned that a few minutes ago…

    • MilaXX

      It’s in the recap. TLo mentioned how they all wear head scarves.

    • http://twitter.com/StellaTex StellaTex

      Betty has one, too.

  • zenobar

    Anyone else notice, as Don sat on the edge of his bed in the dark at the end of the ep, his unnerving resemblance to a depressed Harry Dean Stanton in Pretty In Pink?

    • http://twitter.com/StellaTex StellaTex

      Yes, actually. But then I connect all visuals to Pretty in Pink.

      • Spicytomato1

        Ah the field day TLo could have with the fashions in PIP, lol.

    • MartyBellerMask

      That’s a bad sign when Don Draper looks like Harry Dean Stanton. Like the most disheveled Harry Dean Stanton character at that.
      I guess Sally is Molly Ringwald? Will she make her own boots that Megan didn’t get to buy her? :p

    • Qitkat

      I didn’t relate him to that character, but Don did look dreadful, *rode too hard and put away wet* awful.

  • Perditax

    Didn’t one of the junior copywriters say something about death turning people into saints? Wonder if that will turn out to be foreshadowy…

    • decormaven

      There aren’t any wasted lines in Mad Men. Good call.

    • Qitkat

      I thought that referred to Gleason. Several people said what an a..hole he had always been at the office, then Peggy piped up that she had liked him.

      • not_Bridget

        Gleason’s (and Peggy’s) underlings didn’t “like” him. I’ve found them quite unimpressive & think Peggy shares my opinion. Yet another reason to like Gleason…..

  • Lilithcat

    who found it shocking and revelatory that Don got his cherry popped by a blonde prostitute?

    Heck, for a minute there I thought January Jones was doubling parts.

    • sagecreek

      See, everyone else sees that, but I just don’t. Besides the fact that they are both blonde, where is the similarity? One is motherly (initially), sexy and aggressive — the other is very non-maternal and generally an ice queen.

      • MissKimP

        Agreed. I thought she gave off more of a Bobbie Barrett-ish vibe.

        • sagecreek

          Oh, bingo, Miss Kim. BINGO.

      • purkoy28

        i dont see a connection either, if she was brunette would she be compared to megan? the haircolor is the only thing i can see.

      • Lilithcat

        I wasn’t thinking of character traits. They aren’t only both blond, but their facial features and, particularly, voices are extremely similar.

    • MasterandServant

      Yes! I looked over at my husband and said, so all the women he has relationships with either resemble Aimee or Abigail? But yes, Aimee looked SO MUCH like Betty.

    • girliecue

      I misheard her name the first time and thought she said Emme, pronounced “Em-May”. As in M.A. As in “Ma”. It’s always the mommy issues, isn’t it?

      • tg

        I think Aimee herself pronounced her name differently the first time. Not sure how well I heard this bit of dialogue, but I remembered her introducing herself as Aimee Mae (or at least something ending in “mae”), and then later telling Don to just call her Aimee and that she’d added on the “Mae” because she liked how it sounded.

        • Cheryl

          No, she first pronounced it as “Aim-may” explaining that it was spelled “Aimee” with an accent over the first “e.” She thought it sounded fancier that way. Later she explained that it was just pronounced “Amy.”

  • Tafadhali

    I joined this episode already in progress (gotta be able to fast forward through the commercial breaks) and when the first thing I saw upon turning on my tv was Kenny Cosgrove tapping and rapping, I knew I was going to be in for a trip.

  • Dana

    I may have read the scene wrong, but I think Stan had found out about his cousin’s death fairly recently. Stan says that his cousin died three months ago, which means his aunt sent 16 letters that were never read.

    • MartyBellerMask

      Oh, good point. He’s been stoned since Christmas.

  • BobStPaul

    Personally I found this to be one of the least entertaining episodes ever. I couldn’t believe it when I looked at my watch and realized the show had another half hour left. Have to admit, though, I loved Ken’s dance routine. I also have to disagree about the notion of drug usage being quite so pervasive in 1968 (though I recognize that as part of the mythology of the sixties). I found it to be much more pervasive in the seventies and eighties than in 1968 – though it certainly was integral to a relatively small minority of the population at that time

    • lobsterlen

      My Father was not a Madison Ave Ad man but was a sales executive and spent a lot of time in NY City entertaining clients. He would never touch those long haired hippie drugs. However all these middle and upper executives types had their special doctors who prescribed all sorts of uppers, downers and everything in between. Certainly among the more creative types living in NYC at the time I am sure they took all sorts of drugs before it was popular.

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

        Valley of the Dolls. I remember seeing that novel at my grandparents with all the pills on the cover.

    • Lisa_Co

      Watch or read The Panic in Needle Park, set in 1964, and you will change your mind. Injectable hard drugs were everywhere in NYC.

  • lilyvonschtupp

    Remember when The Love Boat always had an all-musical episode each season (complete with cameos by Charo and Ethel Merman)?

    This was MM’s seasonal drugged-craze/drunken/lost weekend episode, and I thought it was hilarious!

    BTW, thanks for the Ken.gif That was the cherry on top!

  • sweetlilvoice

    Thanks for the insightful review gentlemen, I’m always glad for your perspective on the show. The episode was especially strange for me, maybe it will improve upon another viewing. Ken dancing was pretty great though. And I too called Dick Whitman losing his virginity to a hooker within the first three minutes of the show. I had totally forgot about Stan’s cousin being in last season, too sad. Stan and Peggy’s kiss was really hot, I still hope they get together although without the substances. I think that was the main reason Peggy said no. And Peg–I don’t like beards either! Although Stan is cute enough to pull one off. Also, please no more hippie dirty girl either. She looked smelly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

      See, I really don’t think Peggy and Stan are meant to be, and I think the fact that he went and screwed Gleason’s daughter and that look of disgust on Peggy’s face put an end to that possibility for her. I’m much more concerned about all of the touchy-feeliness that’s continuing to go on with Ted Chaough. I’m afraid she’s much more likely to become involved with him, and I don’t think it would be good for either of them.

      • sagecreek

        Really? See, I think they’re perfect…while Weiner introduced us to Chaough from Don’s point of view, it’s quickly becoming apparent that he’s a good guy. Albeit a married one.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

          I do like Ted, and I like the way he treats Peggy, but I think she would always regret it if they fooled around while he was her boss and he’s still married. Maybe at some point in the future they can be equals and both be available (and Peggy really isn’t available right now, either) but until that time I think it would only cause damage and regret.

          • sagecreek

            True, Celeste…she is still a Catholic girl at heart.

          • EveEve

            lol. OK, then a Catholic girl at heart who got pregnant out of wedlock, does not attend church regularly (if at all, except for funerals), and is now living in sin with a man who is not Catholic. Other than that, a Catholic girl at heart.

          • sagecreek

            Doesn’t matter. Still a Catholic girl at heart. And your judgmentalness is kind of offensive.

          • EveEve

            I live to judge. :) And it is a tee vee show full of fictitious characters…who am I offending?

          • sweetlilvoice

            Sounds like a good Catholic girl to me. :) I speak from experience (not the pregnant out of wedlock part though). I believe that Peggy does have good values and I hope she winds up happy (either with or without a partner).

      • Melanie

        I think the look of disgust was for Cutler spying on them, not Stan, who she knows is self-medicating his pain, since they literally *just* talked about it.

  • Pennymac

    I loved the frenetic weirdness of this episode. I hated the portrayal of Ida the Home Invader as a fried chicken making, egg scrambling 1960′s negro. It was one step below having her sing Bobby back to sleep with a lullaby rendition of “Old Man River”. Most disturbing, however, was the accurate portrayal of the 72 hour high. Those who have never experienced that “rush” followed by the “crash” might think it overblown. Nope. It was uncannily accurate. (Clean and sober 11 years, and still felt it in my gut during those scenes.) Well played, Weiner, et al.

    • http://twitter.com/jen_canary Jennifer Ford

      As I said below, Ida was playing a role and playing into the kids’ stereotypes of what someone who looks like her would be like. By playing the mammy (and then the authority figure on the phone with the cops), she disoriented kids whose house was invaded by a stranger in the middle of the night to such an extent that she had them (Bobby) helping her rob them.

      Reading that encounter at face-value is robbing her of her epic baddassery.

      • Pennymac

        Point taken. And well said!

      • purkoy28

        well put

      • Joy

        Yes. She knew exactly what she was doing!

      • http://twitter.com/mxmstrmnn max mustermann

        Good point. She was checking off too many stereotypes, it had to be a role to make her believable.

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

        I really don’t see her that way at all. She was sloppy, dirty and crude, and the only reason her clearly false attempts to make it sound like she knew Don almost worked is because she stumbled on kids who don’t know a thing about their father at all.

        And I don’t think it’s all that badass for an African-American woman born some time around 1910 or so to know how to put on a mammy act for white people when she’s feeling threatened or cornered. That’s a classic survival technique that a lot of African-Americans of her generation were forced to resort to.

        • http://twitter.com/jen_canary Jennifer Ford

          But she didn’t feel threatened. She never once tried to leave or stop what she was doing until she was done. She was constantly working to figure the lay of the land and keep the kids confused and off-balance and extract information from them all while lying to them and making them doubt their own reality. She walked into a high-priced high-rise probably without batting an eye because she knew someone like her going in the back would be dismissed as the help and then she worked her way through that building pilfering like a pro. Being physically sloppy, dirty, and crude doesn’t really come into whether she was in charge of the situation.

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

            She high-tailed it out of there as soon as she hung up the phone.

            Everything else that you’re talking about just strikes us as common thievery and con artist tricks; hardly anything that made her come across as brilliant or complex.

          • http://twitter.com/jen_canary Jennifer Ford

            Right, and at that point she had the watches.

            I wasn’t arguing that she was Catwoman, but a lot of the commentary on her was that she was a cartoon and she wasn’t. She was putting on a performance for her victims and other commenters seemed to be taking her act at face value as how Weiner was portraying her. Epic badassery probably was overstating it, but there was a layered character there — not just someone who was intended to be seen as a mammy cartoon.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ellen.quinn.14 Ellen Quinn

            I agree with all your points on how skeevy the use of a black stereotypical character was – but what makes you think she hightailed it out of there as soon as the call was made? It was daylight out by the time Megan returned, the cops and Henry and Francis arrived. I got the sense Bobby and Sally were stuck there with her for a frighteningly long time after the call – long enough for her to ‘rob them blind’ and for the sun to rise before she left.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ellen.quinn.14 Ellen Quinn

            Henry and BETTY arrived. Sheesh.

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

            She said she was going out to get some fresh air and left, followed by Sally leaping out of her chair. Obviously she went to lock the door and obviously Ida had no expectation that she would be let back in.

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

            I need to watch it again – but wasn’t the TV missing from the room in the scene with the cops? I didn’t catch her leaving for fresh air either. I’m not quite sure how she could rob them quite that blind unless she had a shopping cart out there in the hall. . . . .

          • 3hares

            But that didn’t really make her that exceptional as a criminal. She was facing down three children using not very sophisticated techniques. A run of the mill heroin addict could have pulled off a similar level of control. She was smart enough to leave when she still had some control–iow, right after the kid called the police.

          • http://twitter.com/jen_canary Jennifer Ford

            You and TLo are overreading my argument — in part my fault as I chose my final words poorly in my first comment on this thread. See my reply to them, please.

        • lilyvonschtupp

          Lots of us young folks had “Big Mamas” in our lives after the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    • http://twitter.com/mxmstrmnn max mustermann

      11 years, great accomplishment!

  • Meg0GayGuys6

    I’m curious on the BKs opinion about the babies. Does anyone have an idea or thought about Roger and Joan’s baby? Do you guys think this will ever come up again? And Peggy and Pete’s baby? I was on the edge of my seat last night when Peggy told Stan she’s had loss, but I knew she wouldn’t mention it. I’m just wondering if anything will come of these babies.

    Thoughts?

    • Sobaika

      I think Pete & Peggy’s baby story is over and done with. As for Roger and Joan’s, I think they have a mutual and unspoken understanding. It’s probably over and done with as well.

      • Meg0GayGuys6

        Yea, you’re probably right, that makes me sad. I know this isn’t real life or anything, but I have to imagine Pete thinks about the fact that he has a child somewhere somewhat often. I wonder if he’ll ever bring it up. Now that his marriage is ending, I wonder if he thinks about how different things would have been if Peggy did, in her words, trap him.

        I think too much about this stuff hahaa

        • sagecreek

          Probably more than Pete does, honestly :)

        • http://twitter.com/mxmstrmnn max mustermann

          Pete never seems to be too concerned with Tammy, so I doubt he gives much of a damn about Peggy’s baby.

        • http://twitter.com/NoNeinNyet NoNeinNyet

          I don’t know that Pete thinks about his child with Peggy ever but I could see him spewing that piece of information at Trudy in a bitter, spiteful fight at some point.

        • 3hares

          He probably does think about the child sometimes. There seems to be a general consensus that he doesn’t care about Tammy, but given the limited screen time any of these men get to think about their kids Pete’s been shown as probably more hands-on and aware than Don is. I can’t imagine Don showing up with spit-up on his suit.

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

      I thought it was more referencing that she saw her father die than the baby. She didn’t really “lose” the baby, she “gave it away.”

      • MartyBellerMask

        She gave it away, but there was a loss. Even if she has kids later, she won’t have the “first pregnancy” “first time motherhood” feeling. And she never even got to experience it with Pete’s.

      • Zaftiguana

        Yeah, but the degree to which she was allowed to freely consent to that arrangement has been debated at great length. We know that the State of New York declared her incompetent at some point, and we also know what side her mom came down on and how possible it would have been for someone like Peggy to go back to work to support herself and a child without help from family. It felt clear to me that she was referring to the baby.

      • Beth513

        I think making the decision to give a child you gave birth to up for adoption so that he or she will have a better life and because you know you cannot be a good mother right now is an amazing act of love and sacrifice, and to suggest that she would not have experienced that as a loss is completely wrong.

    • Melanie

      I really think Peggy’s “I’ve had loss” comment to Stan was about losing her father, not the baby. I don’t think Peggy regrets that AT ALL.

      • Beth513

        I agree she does not regret her decision to put her child up for adoption, but that does not mean it was not a loss, and one that affects her deeply. Remember when Don went to her apartment to get her to go with when they left to form SCDP – Don basically told her that that loss is what makes her brilliant at her job and that is why he needs her, because she get’s it and she cried. That one thing has had a huge impact on her life and who she is, so even if she does not regret it, she clearly would see it as a loss.

  • Frank_821

    Yes I was thrown by this episode. I made the mistake of coming in the middle with Stan and Peggy’s beautiful scene. When we switched to Sally and the robber, I was thrown and scared for her and confused. Only seeing the episode in the full context did the rhythmn make any sense to me

    Betty was at her primo bitch-dom but I too had to cheer her on. Despite the venom she made some valid points

    1) Her kids were in danger and it was Megan and Don’s fault not to have adult supervision there

    2) Betty is right. Sally shouldn’t there to be the babysitter. It’s clear she’s been saddled with the job more than once already. Doesn’t Megan have any friends that she can trust to spend some time with the kids when she went out?

    3) Betty’s comments about what Megan and Don were doing that evening while seething with acid was kind of on the nose. Megan spent the night “selling” herself to get a job and Don’s so called weekend of work had nothing to do with work.

    • sagecreek

      Yes. Betty was horribly bitchy, but she was not wrong.

    • http://frederickvegetarian.wordpress.com sixgables

      While I, almost certainly, would have reacted in much the same way, even today it’s not THAT unusual for a 14 year old to be in charge of younger siblings for a few hours. That’s kind of prime baby-sitter age, as they’re not old enough to get “real” jobs yet.
      So had nothing happened, Betty would just be annoyed that Sally was getting paid. I’m confident she leaves Sally with the boys too, she just doesn’t compensate her for it because “you’re their sister.”

      • Spicytomato1

        I’d go so far as to say it would be unusual for a 14-year-old to be watched by a sitter unless the parents were going out of town or somewhere else not easily reachabl

      • http://twitter.com/mxmstrmnn max mustermann

        I agree. It’s the payment that makes her mad. Another thing that Megan has going for herself.

    • http://twitter.com/NoNeinNyet NoNeinNyet

      The way Sally kind of runs herd over Bobby would suggest that she is often left to watch her younger brothers by both parents. It’s just that Betty expects her to do it no matter what while Megan compensates her for it. She also asks Sally if she will babysit (even if the assumption is that she will have to as Megan needs to leave) while I’m sure that Betty would just tell her that she’s leaving and to keep an eye on her brothers.

      • Spicytomato1

        Yes, I’m sure it’s one thing when Betty asks Sally to watch her brothers — she probably sees it as helping to instill responsibility. But if Megan does the same thing Betty can only see it as negligence.

      • siriuslover

        I also think part of the issue for Betty (aside from the whole city thing) is that the kids wen to NYC to see their father, and there was no one there. So why even bother sending the kids to the city if they’re just left to their own devices?

    • MartyBellerMask

      I half expected Megan to ask Sylvia to watch them.

    • Zaftiguana

      I think the whole “You’re not a babysitter, you’re their sister” thing was about Sally being paid, not about her caring for her siblings. She’s 14, and that’s plenty old enough to babysit (in a secured home). Betty clearly has Sally help out a lot with the kids, Gene especially. That’s not a criticism of Betty, I think it’s fine to expect older kids to help out at home, and in homes with kids that includes childcare. But it is hypocritical. Also, working to promote your career is not the same as exchanging sex for a role on a casting couch, her clear implication is that Don was out cheating when he wasn’t, and Megan doesn’t share equal responsibility with Don OR Betty for Don and Betty’s kids.

      I can agree that Betty’s anger and venom was understandable given what had just happened to her kids, but yes, she IS wrong. And then focusing commentary on Henry’s run for office and how this might affect appearances when her kids were just held hostage in their home? Classic Betty narcissism. One of the many things she and Don have in common and maybe why they were so drawn to each other at first.

      • Brad Watson

        Add to that Betty’s response to Sally’s new skirt, and that any money she might have made must have been made on a street corner.

        • sarahjane1912

          Well, the dress was pretty darn short! I’m stunned Betty let her leave the house in it to be honest.

          • sweetlilvoice

            Me too! Hemlines from that time still surprise me.

          • Spicytomato1

            Hemlines, for girls that age anyway, are still that short! My son had a piano recital yesterday and the girls all wore dresses. The teenagers’ skirts had almost zero coverage. I was trying to imagine how they felt on the piano bench!

          • sarahjane1912

            Heh. They must be taking tips from the guests on Jimmy Fallon et al. I swear, DH and I — when we learn about the upcoming female guests — do a inch-count on said guests’ hems given their relative hotness and popularity. And yes, the hotter the female star, the shorter the hem [and the more uncomfortable the star looks when sitting down!].

          • sarahjane1912

            Me too. We had sports tunics in the ’70s that were that short but we had great horrible ‘bloomers’ that went underneath. What Sally was wearing seemed … excessive to me, even now!

          • Girl_With_a_Pearl

            Megan’s dress that she wore to the party was incredibly short too (although not too short for the time). Can’t wait to hear about TLO’s assessment of it on Wednesday. I thought it was great, BTW.

        • Zaftiguana

          Lol, right? Man, Betty says some shit on this show.

  • purkoy28

    lol, “the second sons have faced worst odds and run”, GoT quote last night was so funny : )

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

    Did anybody else notice the subtle little moment between Peggy & Pete? Where Pete admonishes the junior copywriter for being disrespectful about Frank (“that was in bad taste”) and Peggy showing solidarity (“I liked him”). I wonder if the writers will expand upon their relationship at all during the remainder of this season… Peggy certainly has enough unsuitable men in her life at this point but Pete is single now and did, quite tenderly, ask Peggy to marry him at one point. I’m very interested to see how their connection will unfold over the next few years. For me, their relationship is one of, if not the, most exquisitely written of the show, given their tangled, disturbing history. They have both come so far since season one and two, diverging onto almost completely separate paths in their personal lives, yet they work in the same office every day. Very compelling.

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

      Peggy has waaaaay too much stuff on her plate to deal with in regards to men.Don, her mentor, Stan, her BFF, Ted, her boss and crush, not to mention her boyfriend Abe…..I doubt she would be able to deal with Petes ass at all.

      • Angela_the_Librarian

        And if the “next time on Mad Men” previews are to be believed it looks like Pete is going to have some sort of story arc with Joan (hopefully not romantic)

        • sagecreek

          Joan would eat him alive and spit him out.

        • Lilithcat

          if the “next time on Mad Men” previews are to be believed

          That would be a first!

          • sweetlilvoice

            Exactly. I normally skip those because they are such a jumble of lies. I do appreciate Weiner’s obsession with secrecy though.

        • Chris

          I said last week that I thought Pete was developing some kind of relationship (or trying) with Joan. In his own mind at least. The way he was trying to get her to have more drinks with him after the “taking SCDP public” meeting and his taking her saving Bob as being his co-conspirator. It seems he may turn to Joan (please God, let it be for friendship in a non-creepy way) in some way for advice/help. I would like Pete to have just one friend and be a real friend to someone but on Mad Men I fear it may never be. Joan is smart and experienced in life and could give him some good advice if he were wise enough to ask for it.

          • MartyBellerMask

            He’s just trying to sleep with her. Nothing more.

          • Chris

            We’ll see what happens next week. Pete gets more alienated by the day. Maybe Joan can help straighten him out.

          • shelley514

            Joan would kick Pete’s skinny behind out the room if he tried to make a move.

    • sagecreek

      Peggy is about 300 % more man than Pete is. And I love Peggy.

    • EveEve

      “I’m very interested to see how their connection will unfold over the next few years.”

      Next season is the last MM season. And there’s been virtually no mention of their old relationship in the last few seasons. Peggy has made some passing references (that could possibly be) to her baby, but zilch from Pete. Almost as though their relationship never happened. In true soap-opera style.

    • Zaftiguana

      Neeeeeever going to happen. Pete may be single, but he’s still a shitty person, and if there was anything that was confirmed about Peggy in this episode, it’s that she’s gotten way too smart to deal with Pete’s bullshit.

    • 3hares

      Yes, I noticed that nod. Which to me seemed like it was setting up that theme of Peggy’s advice about dealing with things vs. numbing with alcohol and sex. Pete was only there for a second, but in that second he was one of the sober people who was speaking directly about death (as opposed to Roger/Stan’s “don’t think about it”) moment. So it wasn’t significant as a Peggy/Pete moment primarily, but they do have a history that included coming to an understanding by dealing with things. They both always know what happened between them and feel comfortable with it. They’ve processed and accepted it and each other. So it fit, imo, that in this ep they had a little moment where they were the two people speaking the same language there.

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

    The whorehouse flashbacks need to stop. It’s hit saturation point. WRITERS: WE GET IT.

    • Jessica Stone

      But I don’t think this is like a game show where you’re thrown clues until you figure it out. “Hey Pat, I guessed the phrase already. I don’t need any more vowels!” The flashbacks do not serve just to fill in missing pieces or to explain Don’s behavior. The flashbacks shade how he (and we) react to the events playing out in the present. Without seeing the flashback of Don being taken advantage of by a maternal figure and then blamed, beaten and shamed for it, we would not have realised how Big a Deal it was that he made sure Sally knew that what happened to her was not her fault. That was a bigger ‘I love you’ than an actual ‘I love you’ would have been. That’s as close to redemption for Don’s character as I’ve seen happen on this show.

  • deitybox

    I thought it was pretty clear, actually – The Crash. The craziness of the 60s has fully seeped into the sheltered Mad Men world – the drugs, the I Ching hippie, the disorientation, rich white kids being threatened by people of a type they heretofore regarded as harmless servants — and for Don, he can either be beaten down by endless change or decide to shave, ignore Sylvia, and move forward. Hopefully.

    • pattycap11

      I agree. I thought, finally, this whole Inferno motif was coming to an end. The episode was like being in one of those Bosch paintings. After Don comes crashing down, he wakes up and is seemingly moving forward. I really hope so, anyway! I’m looking forward to next week.

  • purkoy28

    don sitting on the bed is just like when bobby kennedy died and he was sitting on the bed. this time though, he was realizing the harm of his obsession for sylvia and that it almost could have killed his kids, last time he was thinking how great it would be to have her.

  • http://twitter.com/flight_risk_ Shawn Taylor

    Not sure I’ve made it through all of the comments in case this has been mentioned but particularly last night I wondered if Don sees Sylvia as both whore and mother and unattainable and willing to be submissive although she’s really very much the one in charge…she’s the everything. He seemed to be just reacting last night without any sort of thought process. But then I could stand to watch it again :)

    • sagecreek

      Well, sure. He sees all women as both whore and madonna. Our problem is that it’s been done to death.

  • http://twitter.com/PilatesNinja Donna Luder

    The SCDPCGC marriage is sputtering … like Burt Cooper’s unfinished press release petered out. (I think Burt is the Greek chorus).

  • Katherine

    Was I the only person who spent the entire episode thinking that “Grandma Ida” was the maid that Megan fired earlier this season? An irate, vindictive ex-maid (from whom I believe Megan commented that she forgot to get the key) makes more sense than “random person enters the house” … but perhaps that is of a piece with the everything else in this nonsensical, upside-down episode.

    • deitybox

      No, you saw Megan firing her. And she wasn’t black.

      • Katherine

        You’re absolutely right … whoops.

    • Onirica

      Wasn’t Megan’s maid latino and not black?

    • http://twitter.com/mxmstrmnn max mustermann

      The kids would have known her though.

      • MartyBellerMask

        Well, then they wouldn’t have been surprised to see her.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=60708357 Tamani Green

      I’m not usually like this, but….LOL.

      Megan’s maid was latino, not black. But, hey, what does it matter when they’re all in uniform?

      • Katherine

        Aaaaah! Tamani, I realize how that sounded … totally not what I meant! :)

        … when I went back and looked at T&L’s recap, I realized that I missed the scene when Megan fired the maid (I didn’t ever see her, I just came in during the scene when Megan was talking about the firing.) Weiner would be appalled that I missed even a few minutes, but such are the hazards of watching MM with an 11-month old in the house. :)

  • Danielle

    Curse you, TLo. I was all set to never watch this episode again (pretend it never happened), and now after reading that I want to go back and see what subtle things I missed.

    • http://thatswhatthemoneyisfor.wordpress.com/ lizlemonglasses

      I missed the thing with Ginsberg and Peggy’s pen. I actually liked the episode, but it was so demanding. I think I need a couple days before I try it again!

  • SassieCassy

    you guys… i get that the burglar was playing the mammy stereotype on purpose and it highlighted how little sallie knows about her family and all the other excuses.

    but you all realize that those excuses exist within the context of the show? like matthew weiner and people thought it was totally okay to put another halfassed black character in their world and its cool bc bobby would get a funny negro line thrown in.

    the homosexual characters like peggys lesbian friend, sal, and the swede were given stronger narratives. as are all the female characters. things that make you go ‘hmmm’

  • Heather

    This episode recalled, for me, the Palm Springs episode – Don fainting, in that episode refusing the ‘vitamin’ shot, in this one, accepting it passively.

    • decormaven

      That’s an interesting premise. I see it sort of on parallel timelines. In “The Jet Set” he’s out of his element, disoriented from the heat, has a type of fever dream encounter with Willy, Rocky, and Joy, and then comes to and goes to see Anna in the following episode, “The Mountain King,” That’s where she uses the Tarot cards to tell his destiny, and he is “reborn” in the ocean. If in this episode, he is again out of his element, disoriented, and has a fever dream encounter, who will tell his destiny and what will be his rebirth? Part of me feels we saw him reborn at the end of this episode. He cleaned up, told Sylvia he was busy, and told Cutler and Gleason he’s holding steady as director and refuses to get pulled into the “whorehouse.” We’ll see.

  • http://twitter.com/democracydiva Democracy Diva

    While the “Grandma” scene was weird, I actually thought the point of it was going to be that Don leaves Megan at the end of the episode. The only reason he married her in the first place was because of how she interacted with his kids. Since she left them alone in the house, I thought Don was going to blame her for the whole thing and use it as an excuse to leave her.

    • sagecreek

      And see, I thought she was going to call her downstairs confidant Sylvia to watch the kids for a bit, which would lead to a whole ‘nother mess… :)

  • http://thatswhatthemoneyisfor.wordpress.com/ lizlemonglasses

    I thought it was interesting that someone (I forget who — Dr. Feelgood?) mentioned that the new agency *still* doesn’t have a name. Were they waiting for Gleason to die? Or just too obsessed with finding the perfect ad for Chevy to be bothered?

    • MartyBellerMask

      What are they calling themselves now??

      • http://thatswhatthemoneyisfor.wordpress.com/ lizlemonglasses

        I need to go back and rewatch it. (I’m working up the courage.) I think he just referenced SCDPCGC, and said it was a mouthful? Maybe another BK has better recall.

        • http://twitter.com/NoNeinNyet NoNeinNyet

          There was some joking about SCDPCGC but I don’t think it was meant to actually be the name. Even if you take out the deceased named partner from each, some combination of SCDCC is still a bit of a mouthful.

          • http://thatswhatthemoneyisfor.wordpress.com/ lizlemonglasses

            I couldn’t believe they haven’t named it yet!

  • MilaXX

    The test of whether I have enjoyed an episode is how I rewatch. The eps I like I rewatch immediately, often watching the same ep 3 or 4 times in one evening. Some I rewatch after reading blogs & recaps to catch any small details I may have missed. This is going to be one of those that I only watch once again. It had some interesting bits, but this really felt like a throw away ep or one of those eps that just serves to move pieces in place for a bigger move later on down the line. And yes, as funny as I thought I Ida was, Bobbie’s line in particular, I am disappointed in Weiner using a AA character in this way yet again.

  • deitybox

    I thought the writing in this episode was brilliant in that it made you feel disoriented and disturbed, as if you yourself were experiencing a bad trip.

    • http://thatswhatthemoneyisfor.wordpress.com/ lizlemonglasses

      Me too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sunlover Jenny Ziv Scott

    I missed Joan last night. At least Pete wandered through the office. Joan didn’t sashay around the office, even in the background.

    • http://thatswhatthemoneyisfor.wordpress.com/ lizlemonglasses

      Pete was leaving on Friday evening, and the rest of the scenes were over the weekend, with just the creative types present. (Well, they were *supposed* to be creative!) At least that was my interpretation. I would’ve enjoyed watching Joan sashay through. I can’t imagine she’d have condoned those shenanigans.

  • appliquer

    I usually watch the episode twice – but I couldn’t last night! I definitely felt like I was in a different universe. And I thought that Sally must be hallucinating as well until Bobby came out.

  • http://twitter.com/otterbird otterbird

    I really loved the part with the home intruder, because I think, in an attempt to be racially sensitive, many television shows actually do more harm than good with diverse casting, because the actual actors of color hired to play characters don’t get interesting people to play. Flawed characters are the interesting, meaty ones as roles. The home intruder was AMAZING. She was a very smart, sharp. con woman who thought on her feet. And what a great role for an older, African American actress. And frankly, that an older, grandmotherly looking character could convey such menace, while doing NOTHING violent, was marvelous, and a testament to the actress’s talent and the writers upending the “home intruder” stereotype of a young man breaking in with violent intent. It was a really daring choice, I thought, and made for a storyline that had me chewing my nails in anxiety the whole way through.

    • sagecreek

      That actress was great.

    • MilaXX

      But what’s the point on a show that barely manages to incorporate POC into their world of making this one suddenly be a POC? I saw it as lazy more than daring.

      • vandeventer

        I do think it worked to drive home the point that Sally knows so little about her father that she is willing to believe that he was raised by a woman of a different race, and yet never told them the story behind it – because she barely knows *anything* about her father’s life or his upbringing. I suppose it would have worked with any race.

        That actress was awesome though.

        • shelley514

          Sally was raised by Carla. It’s not a stretch that Don might have had a black “mammy” figure in his life. So it makes sense that Sally might have believed her; it doesn’t really speak at all to Sally’s lack of knowledged about her dad’s life.

          • vandeventer

            Except that is exactly what Sally told Don – she didn’t know enough about him to know whether Ida was a con or not. She asked every question she could think of to verify Ida’s claims, and in asking those questions, realized she knows almost nothing about her own father.

      • http://twitter.com/otterbird otterbird

        The problem is that the world these characters inhabit is not an integrated one- much of the series, I think, has focused on the decline of this world of white privilege, and it’s been set up from the very beginning- the very first scene was of Don Draper asking a black busboy what he thought about his brand of cigarette and the maitre d’ running in to break up the conversation. Race relations are very present in the show, but, for the characters, as something to fear and avoid- hell, avoidance is one of the major themes of the series.

        I think there is a case to be made that, in a time when “Girls” having four white girls as the central characters raises eyebrows, that there may indeed be unconscious racism behind the sudden popularity among whites of period shows- no need to feel guilty about watching “Downton Abbey!” They didn’t have black people in England then anyway, right? “Game of Thrones”- well, it’s based on medieval Europe, so it makes sense the darker skinned characters are only periphery ones! I don’t really follow “Boardwalk Empire,” so I don’t know what the casting on that show is like, but the previews for this season are the only ones in which I remember seeing a black actor in what appears to be a prominent role. And yes, it’s a problem on “Mad Men” from a contemporary viewer’s standpoint, but, in the world created, it would be inaccurate to have a diverse cast interacting as equals. And this is a problem with our current fascination with period dramas, more than anything else, I think.

        And I totally get the concern over the kind of roles offered, but in this case, the burglar was so sophisticated, and so competent, and so complex that what I saw was a woman doing a role that didn’t fit what she looked like. Let’s face it, most female cat burglars are cast to look like Anne Hathaway.- young, white, sexy. This was a great character to play, with good, chunky scenes and a lot of dialogue. It was a memorable role. And that’s the other tough thing as television, I hope, continues to address a lack of diversity- that a fear of casting actors of color to play less-than-noble characters deprives talented actors of work- work that ends up then going to white actors, even if the reasons for being “bad” have nothing to do with race.

        I’m the first to say I’m a dumb white girl and what I don’t understand about race would fill a book, even though my family itself is mixed-race (my stepmom is a refugee and survivor of genocide). But I think of Hattie McDaniel’s famous line, “Why should I complain about making $700 a week playing a maid? If I didn’t, I’d be making $7 a week being one.” and I think about how hard it is for older actresses to get work, and what an great role this was- smart, savvy and cold. I feel like the writers created a great guest role that fit within the world they’d created and I hope the very next audition that actress goes into, the casting directors all say, “You were GREAT on Mad Men!” Because she was.

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

          I really don’t understand why people keep saying how incredibly intelligent and complex she was. She was a common thief who relied on a few common thief tricks to get through the situation – and then failed at it.

          And while it’s true that these characters don’t inhabit an integrated world, it doesn’t necessarily follow from that their few interactions with African-Americans would necessarily be criminal or threatening. It was a choice on the part of the creators to do that, and that choice deserves some scrutiny.

          And it should be noted that Hattie McDaniel uttered that line about 70 years ago, which makes it an especially poor line to cite when talking about modern racial depictions.

        • MilaXX

          I don’t expect Mad Men or Girls to be integrated. The creators of both shows have said that is not the world they are writing. FINE, then don’t. But then don’t let the rare occasions when you do fall into the cliche “blame the black people” roles. Hattie McDaniel won her award in 1940 or something when there truly were very few POC in movies and tv. We are in 2013 and there are other options.

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

            Jinx. You owe me a Coke.

        • SassieCassy

          wow. you really went and pulled a hattie mcdaniel quote to explain this characterization lol

        • Zaftiguana

          I don’t think you understand that quote, even in the context of when she said it. She’s talking about why it’s okay for black actors to accept those roles, not why it’s okay for white people to keep shoe-horning black actors into those roles and otherwise render them invisible. Black actors aren’t to blame when white writers and directors marginalize them

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

    The William Tell scene reminded me of William Burrough’s shooting his wife in the face while trying to play William Tell. His wife was coincidentally hooked on benzedrine at the time. I was terrified Stan was going to die right then and there. Between that, the general feel of the episode, and the burglary, I spent the entire episode in anxiety and felt like I had a contact-high at the end.

  • shelley514

    “The racial undertones here are problematic to say the least, when you
    consider just how few black characters have ever appeared on the show
    (and given that Grandma Ida is now the second of that small pool of characters to be a criminal).”

    Thanks for saying this. I’ve noted on blogs the consistent negative undertones associated with black americans running throughout this season of Mad Men, but get shot down and accused of pulling “the race card.” But now since T & Lo noticed it maybe others might pay some attention and not simply state that Matthew Weiner is simply portraying blacks (and white’s views of them) accurately and “true to the time period.” There’s no balance in how blacks are portrayed on the show given the limited number of black characters. So far this season, we had a black prostitute (who I thought was quite attractive but who was referred to throughout the episode as “fat” and the “biggest blackest woman”), and now a black woman thief. And then we have Dawn, the very nice, competent quiet secretary with her head down just trying to get by. This is uninspiring at best, and downright racially insensitive and hostile at worst. Also, I don’t know how we’ve made it through 6 seasons of Mad Men encompassing almost the full decade of the 60s with no Motown music incorporated into the show. SMH at that one.

    • sagecreek

      I agree, although I do think Dawn is being portrayed as one of the wisest people in the company.

      Given that Weiner does nothing by accident, I can only hope that this is building up to some big denouement that includes race. If I’m wrong? Well, then, screw you, Weiner, because the neglect of 60s-era racial issues is starting to grate.

      • shelley514

        That’s my hope too. Keeping fingers crossed.

    • sarahjane1912

      Not everyone listened to Motown music though, and I’d hazard a guess that the majority of the white MM characters didn’t have it as their background music on the radio at home or in the car. Anything that WAS a big enough hit to be heard on both mainstream and black stations and thereby accessible/known to the white cast may also have been too expensive for the production to purchase.

      Mad Men uses its own soundtrack plus the rare source cue here and there, a ‘statement’ song for important scenes and a track for the closing credits. That’s not a lot. Tonight, for example, the old recording of ‘Dream A Little Dream Of Me’ that young Don was listening to in Aimee’s room was just right for the scene, as was the Sergio Mendes track on Sylvia’s radio. Buying music costs a LOT so MW is very choosy. Remember when he really wanted to use ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ [The Beatles]. That cost a cool 250K. And ‘Satisfaction’? That would have been cheaper [but still in the same bracket]. Most songs a licensed for under 100K but it does eat into the budget.

      I think a lot of care has gone into the choices of music in Mad Men. But I don’t think we’ll get much in the way of true ‘black’ music until the next decade because of the characters we’re watching. Happy to be proven wrong though. :-)

      • shelley514

        No sorry completely disagree with you. EVERYONE listened to Motown in the 1960s,
        black, white, alien. And it wasn’t “black
        music”, whatever you mean by that. The
        label had 20+ number 1 hits on the POP CHARTS in the decade of the 1960s. It was crossover music that appealed to blacks
        and whites equally. Mad Men characters
        would have been familiar with Baby Love, My Guy, My Girl, Where Did Our Love
        Go?, Please Mr. Postman, to name a few.
        And white stations played these songs, they were staples in constant
        rotation. So perhaps Weiner doesn’t have
        the budget and that’s the reason Mad Men 60s are Motownless. LOL. But it certainly cannot be argued that Mad
        Men characters weren’t familiar with Motown music. Next thing I know someone will be claiming
        white kids didn’t download 2Pac and Biggie off Napster in record numbers in the
        early 2000s. SMDH.

        • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

          I agree. Motown crossed over into the “white” airwaves on Top 50 (that’s what it was then, not Top 40) AM radio stations in about 1963 in Florida where I grew up. By 1968 it was EVERYWHERE, and had been for at least 3 solid years. In ’68, by the way, I was living in Manhattan myself, and trust me, Motown, Chess and Stax/Volt were all-pervasive.

          • shelley514

            Thank you. That’s exactly what I thought was happening in 1968 even though I wasn’t
            born until well into the 70s. There’s no way Meghan Draper wasn’t listening to the Supremes! Some people need a history lesson.

          • Glammie

            Sorry, I *was* there in 1968 and while we all knew who the Supremes were, there were no Motown records in our house–we did have the Mamas and the Papas–who were *huge* for a short period of time. My mother also had Janis Joplin for some reason.

            There were crossover acts, but there was a still a bit split in what was played on a given radio station. If you were into psychadelic music, the Supremes were too lightweight and dance music. If you were older, you weren’t listening to rock that much–some, but it was pretty noisy to the “grown-ups.”

            My parents were more likely to listen to Dionne Warwick and the Fifth Dimension than, say, the Temptations. There’s very much a generational split on who was listening to what.

          • Logo Girl

            I agree. My mom was about Megan’s age and had similar cultural references (artistic leanings, intellectual father, a variety of friends who were artists and musicians, similar taste in clothes, though she was not rich) and she listened to Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder… She was a big R&B as well as folk/country/hard rock fan.

        • Cheryl

          But we’re not watching “kids.” I was a teenager then and of course I knew all the Motown songs. But my parents, who were basically Don and Betty’s age, were completely unaware of them. They had “their” radio stations, which played what was called “Middle-of-the-Road” — Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, etc. On family trips that was what was on the car radio, unless in very special circumstances I was able to get a few minutes of WINS-1010 or WABC. Don and Megan are even more high-brow than my parents were; they would be listening to jazz or classical, maybe some Frank Sinatra (who also hasn’t been represented on the show). Sally most likely listened to Motown, but not her parents.

          • sarahjane1912

            Thank you. That’s exactly what I thought would be happening. :-)

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

            Yeah, music in our home was mostly albums and my parents had no cool music. They had jazz, 50′s sock hop songs and the Kingston Trio. Later in the early 70s there was Chicago, Three Dog Night, Carly Simon and The Carpenters… One of my friend’s parents had Hank Williams and other country music type records. I was a toddler in 1968 so my memories of media at that time contain mostly stuff like black and white Captain Kangaroo tv shows.

        • sarahjane1912

          Calm down. *Smiles*

          I come to this topic as someone with an interest in musicology and the period, not as someone who was totally invested in what was happening ‘on the ground’ in 60s New York. I’m an outsider whose childhood was contemporaneous with the period, but which occurred a gazillion miles away in Australia. Of course I am interested in All The Viewpoints, but my viewpoint is somewhat skewed by my own experience and research.

          It is my understanding though, despite your insistence to the contrary, that a lot of white narrowminded New Yorkers did not have Mowtown music playing in the background as a soundtrack to their lives. Certainly the music was there and yes, it WAS ‘black music’ regardless of how broad you might paint it, but it wasn’t necessarily something that the white cast of Mad Men were listening to regularly. Moreover, as I intimated, when one has limited opportunities in terms of soundtrack — be it from financial or merely due to the vagaries of plot devices — one uses the music that is most appropriate.

          Now … YOU and many like you may not feel this music representative of the time, but what you want or need or assume to be true is not necessarily what Weiner et al consider to be true for their reading of the period. I reiterate: I think the music works beautifully for the period and the characters portrayed. And I actually think that a good part of the Mowtown oeuvre would grate, given the whitebread nature of the large part of the action onscreen.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=60708357 Tamani Green

        No, no, and no.

        “Anything that WAS a big enough hit to be heard on both mainstream and black stations and thereby accessible/known to the white cast may also have been too expensive for the production to purchase.”

        “Buying music costs a LOT so MW is very choosy. Remember when he really wanted to use ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ [The Beatles]. That cost a cool 250K. And ‘Satisfaction’? That would have been cheaper [but still in the same bracket].”

        If Weiner & Co wanted to use a Motown song, they would have done. And not just a half-hearted “Twist” either. There are a number of Supremes songs that would have done just fine for a final coda.

        • sarahjane1912

          Perhaps. But they chose not to. And the closing Mamas and the Papas track slid neatly into the credits just as ALL such songs have tended to do. I honestly don’t see that sticking in a Mowtown track would make up for the fact that there’s a paucity of black characters on MM and those that ARE ‘visible’ aren’t exactly positively portrayed [not all of them anyway]
          .
          Read @disqus_vah48mCjCn:disqus’s response above for more background on this. It’s good. :-)

          • shelley514

            Read @TigerLaverada response below which comes from someone who lived in Manhattan in the 60s who’s certainly in the best position to know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000060490093 Anita Freiler Palmer

    This was the first time my husband ever watched the show. LOL. He kept asking is this supposed to be adream sequence?”

    • Spicytomato1

      Yes, this would be a weird one to start with!

  • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

    This whole episode was completely crazy…I’m still not sure if I liked it or not…

    It did inspire to download a biography about Dr. Feelgood on Amazon

    It seems like this whole season has been on the precipice of something…not sure what yet…

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    I’d like to go on record as saying Dawn categorically proved her prowess as an executive secretary this episode. She was taking care of things before Don even knew they needed taking care of. Not that you could tell with all the madness going on.

    • sagecreek

      Dawn was AMAZING. All in her little pink gingham dress.

      • sweetlilvoice

        Dawn, I will join you on a picnic whenever you like! You are a lovely person. Plus, you like cats.

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

    Kiernan Shipka was so dead on in her Betty impersonation this episode. The way she responded to Grandma Ida was completely Betty, it was hard to believe that Kiernan isn’t really January Jones’ daughter.

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    This is kinda OT, but I saw a very young Kiernan Shipka on a cereal commercial the other day. She was as adorable then as she is now.

    • sagecreek

      I know Hollywood would never do this, but it would be interesting to see Don cope with having an unattractive daughter.

      • Laylalola

        Don might not be the best character for such a test scenario. It’s more likely such a daughter would provoke the same amount of interest from Don as his sons, which was zero interest at all until one episode this season.

  • HobbitGirl

    Did I miss a Betty moment last episode, or has a whole lot of time passed? Last time I saw her, which I could swear was only a few episodes ago, she was still “reducing” and had just gone brunette. Now she’s slim and blonde again – WHEN DID IT HAPPEN?!? I’m so confused.

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

      A couple of months have passed since then.

    • Laylalola

      Stan said his cousin died in March, three months ago — so we’re already into June. I don’t really recall the timeframe for the last time we saw Betty but it was a while ago.

      • Cheryl

        We saw her in the MLK episode, because that was the one where Henry decided to run for office. After their conversation in the bedroom, she held the dress up to her mirror and you could see the determination to get “back in shape.” That was early April, 1968; we didn’t see her last week, early June, 1968. This is probably later in June, so it’s at least 2 months. If she really went on a crash diet, she could have dropped about 10-15 pounds in 2 months.

    • Wellworn

      Betty is on time warp politician wife makeover mode. What I mean is, she would have huge motivation to change her appearance now, and renewed confidence also. Betty’s back, baby.

    • vandeventer

      Well Betty has been losing weight little by little, if you look closely enough you will see that the fat suits are gradually getting smaller and her face has been getting thinner. Even in last night’s episode it looked like they still had just the slightest bit of padding around her middle. I think they have been really realistic in the time it has taken her to lose weight – she has obviously been working at it, and Henry’s plans to run for office must have kicked her into high gear over these last 4 months! I think we are in July now. It is usually a month between episodes.

      • Chris

        Yes, it’s been gradual before but Betty is much smaller (this season) than she was last year. She was losing weight all along but since the bombshell about her husband running for office Betty has obviously been on a crash diet (in addition to going back to blonde) as she is significantly smaller than even a few months ago. As you mentioned she is still not back to her old weight- her waist etc. was still padded but she is much smaller than we have seen since season 4. She is also wearing a much more “youthful” and stylish dress than we have seen on her since she put on weight.

    • sweetlilvoice

      I am just glad she is out of the Mama Francis drag and back to her beautiful blonde self. Go Betty! Loved her insulting Don and Megan. And when Sally said I want to go home–home means with her mom and dad, not Don and Megan. I do like Megan paying Sally to watch the kids though…a nice touch.

  • texashistorian

    I’m not the brightest or wittiest here, but I thought Don’s flashbacks to be revelatory and relevant. He was pretty much raped by someone who treated him like a mother! Then, he was beaten and shamed by the one woman who was supposed to be his maternal figure. No wonder that man is so sick and twisted. Tom & Lorenzo mentioned that the new episodes seemed to be re-telling the previous season… as if characters are spinning in place. This episode was similar, with a clear nod to Roger’s weird LSD experiences of the past season. I enjoyed the newer episode much better, however. The decline of NYC is becoming more and more obvious, whether in the workplace or at home, because personal responsibility is declining, too.

    • vandeventer

      I don’t know, I felt like I have been expecting to see this scene since we first saw him move into the whorehouse. It all played out in a totally predictable manner. I am not sure if this was supposed to be much of a revelation or not. All the scenes between young Dick and Aimee thus far have hinted at this, have they not?

  • Orange Girl

    Does anyone else think Don might have lung cancer?

    • sagecreek

      I did, briefly, but it’s too obvious.

      • Orange Girl

        It is obvious. But it might make Don’s story more interesting. Faced with death, could Don actually change? Or would he do nothing at all?

    • Spicytomato1

      They showed him getting sick from smoking in an earlier season, too. Which resulted in a short health kick for Don. He swam and cut down on booze and presumably smokes. I think it lasted about a week.

      As for lung cancer, I don’t know. My parents were heavy smokers in the 60s and 70s and my mom especially would get horrible coughing fits and fight bronchitis on a yearly basis. Then she quit and hasn’t had a single lung issue in over 30 years.

    • deitybox

      At this rate, anything’s possible. Maybe he’ll get lung cancer and become a meth (or ass-speed) dealer to support his family.

      • Cheryl

        That would be a Bad Break.

  • salymander

    Don didn’t lose his virginity to that prostitute. He was raped. He was a child, and he said he didn’t want to do it. Then she did it anyway. THAT is the heart of Don’s brokenness. Why are so many people missing this?

    • Sobaika

      I don’t think anyone is missing this. We’ve just seen a lot of Don’s backstory over the years. And personally, it feels like several steps backward from a plot perspective. We didn’t spend nearly as much time in Don’s childhood the last two seasons and suddenly we’re back there again..

      • AutumnInNY

        Yes, enough with the whorehouse flashbacks, we get it.

      • vandeventer

        Yeah, I think we all knew what was going to happen with him and the prostitute. And if this was supposed to be a big reveal, it was definitely anti-climactic. I think we have all read between the lines and “got” what was going on and how this has affected him…the show seems to be a few steps behind and just insists on beating this thing into the ground.

      • NoGovernmentName

        Maybe the point of it was that Don was finally connecting the dots between his past and his current behavior? Just because we, the audience, get it, doesn’t mean he does. In fact, Don would say that it would shock you how much it never happened. He actively strives not to reflect on his past.

    • dickylarue

      I think in the way the scene was written and performed, it just isn’t coming across as “rape” to some of us. They’ve shown him leering at that particular hooker in previous episodes. I always had the feeling that he was attracted to her just from the get go. I get it that he’s underage and he resisted a bit. I just think the way the scene played out and the set up that came before it has some of us interpreting that moment differently. I also know that this is what happens in the media today. The underage boys who have sex with their older female teachers aren’t looked at as victims. They actually made a big central joke out of it in the Sandler movie “That’s My Boy”. I think many of us who would freak out if an older man took Sally’s virginity aren’t reacting the same way with it happening young Don.

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

        In fact, we’d go so far as to argue that Don being exploited (which is about as far as we can take it, because we truly don’t see the scene as a rape) by that prostitute was potentially far less damaging to him than the beating and humiliation that followed it.

        • MilaXX

          I’d say they were both equally damaging. Don’t entire childhood has been effed up. It’s not only confusing to lose your virginity that way, but the psychological damage is then further compounded by the beating & humiliation.

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

            I don’t know…I think in the context of the time and place – rural Appalachia circa 1940 – it would have been seen as far less shocking or damaging for a 14 year old to have sex with a local prostitute. I think it was confusing for Dick and it clearly combined with a whole host of other factors in his head to fuck him up for life, but on its own, I don’t think the act was as malicious, damaging, or clear-cut an act of rape as some of the commenters are saying.

          • Jasmaree

            I’m curious: why don’t you think it’s a clear-cut act of rape?

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

            For the reasons I’ve stated, for the fact that Dick was clearly attracted to her and that he did, in fact, want to have sex with her, and for the reason that I’ve known men, gay and straight, who were initiated into sex at around 14 or 15 by a slightly older person and I’ve never heard one of them refer to it as a rape.

            I’m not saying it can’t be rape. I’m saying I question whether this particular instance counts as rape.

          • dickylarue

            I’d be curious to find out what Aimee’s age is in the story at that point. Would it make a difference to some viewers if you found out she was a 16-17 year old prostitute who felt a kinship with Don/Dick because of the way older people were abusing/using him like they did her? I don’t think her age was established (unless I missed it) but it never felt, to me, like she was some sexual predator out to molest him. I mean if this is really rape, then I missed it. And I guess a movie like Summer of 42 would also be considered rape to some here.

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

            I took her to be no more than 18 or 19, and I took her overtures to Dick as a misplaced maternal affection because of the implication that she had a baby at some point and her realization that he had a mother who didn’t take care of him. Fucked up; yes. Rape; not so clear cut, in our opinion.

          • Glammie

            Hmmm, she seemed older than that to me–somewhere in her 20s. Certainly old enough for their to be a power differential–and to be both maternal and sexual.

            As for the sex–certainly some sort of coercion was involved–emotional rather than physical force.

          • Sally3000

            I agree. The actress playing Aimee is roughly 30 years old (born in 1983), so I would guess Aimee is meant to be around that age (late 20s or 30). If she was meant to be 18, I think they would’ve cast a younger looking actress.

          • Glammie

            Oh boy, in other words around the age of Betty when Don literally ran away from his marriage. Remember, she dressed up in her sexy black lingerie and he had *no* interest in having sex with her?

            And, then, post-divorce–the one time we’ve seen Don as an actual john was when he had a call-girl hired to have sex with him and hit him. Don was re-enacting both parts of his trauma.

            I think Weiner’s had this little backstory going all this time. All sorts of aspects of Don’s story change with this info.

          • Sobaika

            I was with you until I thought twice about the kid’s age – didn’t Don’s father die when he was 10/11? But the actor they have currently as Young Don seems a lot older than that. Or is he older and Don’s dad is dead, and that’s some other guy in the flashbacks..?

            Basically if anyone has a Whitman family timeline lying around I would be interested in it.

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

            Abigail isn’t pregnant in this week’s flashback, so it’s entirely up in the air as to how old Dick is. I’m going on the actor’s apparent age, but if Dick’s any younger than 14 in the scene, obviously you can forget everything I said because that would be a more clear cut case of child molestation.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ellen.quinn.14 Ellen Quinn

            To me, he looked about 12?

            Most saliently, he lost his virginity to a prostitute who had left her own child (as his mother did him), then was beaten by his quasi mother figure.

            All things considered, I’m surprised he’s not more fucked up. He’s actually a pretty stellar parent (for the 60′s) when you realize how little parenting he had.

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

            The actor playing him is 15.

          • Glammie

            I think your first guess is right–that he’s supposed to be around 14–that way, Dick’s loss of innocence parallels the Grandma Ida incident with 14-year-old Sally. In a sick way, Aimee had the role in Dick’s life Grandma Ida claimed to have had.

          • Glammie

            He looks older than 12 (my kid is 12.). I think he’s 14 because Sally is 14 and I’m quite sure a parallel is being drawn between Sally and Dick in the episode. In both cases there’s a violation of innocence by a false maternal figure.

          • Kate

            The more I think about the timing, the more confused I get.

            Don turned 40 in 1966 (Zou Bisou party aftermath includes Don reminding Megan he’s been 40 for a while)
            If Don turned 40 in 1966, then he was born in 1926.
            Adam looked to be about 8 or 9 in that picture of Adam and Dick where Adam is astride the horse (the picture Pete stole).
            Don served in Korea.
            Korean war was from 1950-1953.

            I always assumed the picture referenced above was taken around the time Don left for Korea because the kid in the picture and the kid at the train station who insisted Dick was on the train (when he was supposed to be in the coffin being delivered for burial) seemed the same age.

            We seem to be assuming that Dick and Adam had the same father.

            If Sobaika is right and Archie died when Dick/Don was 10/11, and if Don was born in 1926, then Archie would have died in 1937 at the latest. If Archie was Adam’s father and Adam was born at the whorehouse, then Adam would have been born in 1936, 1937 or 1938 at the latest. BUT that would mean Adam had to have been at least 12 in 1950 (if that’s the year Don went to Korea) or as old as 14. And the kid who receives Dick/Don’s coffin is way younger.

            I don’t buy the idea that it’s “entirely up in the air” how old Dick is based solely on Abigail’s having given birth; the Dick who gets molested looks the same age as the Dick Abigail told to keep his head down when they arrived at the whorehouse. So, to me, there are two possibilities: either Dick and Adam have different fathers or Dick is scandalously young in the scenes in question.

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

            The problem is that they’ve used the same actor to play Dick Whitman all along and put him in scenes that are supposed to be roughly around the same time (Archie’s death, moving into the whorehouse) but shot years apart, forcing them to pretend that there isn’t a huge physical difference because of the difference in age.

          • Kate

            Okay, but why then do you assume based on the actor’s apparent age that Dick is old enough to consent to sex?

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

            Because I think 15 is old enough to consent to sex, obviously.

          • Kate

            I’m sorry…maybe I misunderstood your previous comment about the problem being the actor. It seemed like you were saying the actor looks older than the character is actually supposed to be. Is the character supposed to be 11? 15?

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

            That’s the problem. It’s hard to tell when this is supposed to have taken place.

          • 3hares

            Why add an another complication to Adam? They’re half-brothers. They have the same father. Don has been played by the same kid throughout the series and kids age, so he looks whatever age he is in that season. We know it can’t be accurate because he already looks several years older and several inches taller in the scene where Abigail is pregnant with Adam than he did back when we saw Adam being born. We just can’t really know how old Dick is when he’s molested by the prostitute except that it’s after he’s established his life at the whorehouse.

          • Kate

            It’s fun for me to try to figure out how old Dick was when his bro was born and what that means for his ability to consent. I just like logic puzzles. Shoot me.

          • greenwich_matron

            I’ve learned to stop trying to figure out time lines, and I’ve come to accept that they are not internally consistent. It’s like watching a science fiction movie: just accept that it’s possible in their world and enjoy the story.

          • Zaftiguana

            I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it rape (I feel certain Don wouldn’t) and I think the points about how Dick would perceive it in that time and place are good ones. I’m uncomfortable with treating his curiosity about Aimee or attraction to her as a mitigating factor, though. Teen kids are frequently attracted to older people by whom they don’t actually want to be coerced into sex (yet). It feels uncomfrotably close to some of the justifications for actual rape that get thrown around all the time, i.e. assuming attraction (or accepting a date or a drink or whatever)=consent.

            Anyway, again, I agree that this doesn’t feel like a clear cut case of rape, but just my $.02.

          • MilaXX

            I think I agree? The combination of sex with the embarrassing beating by his not!mother while living in a whore house is the bigger source of eff upness.

          • deborah wolff

            Agree. In some way you could almost say this is the first time Don felt any loving or caring for him at all. He kind of mildly protested, perhaps from shyness, but it is difficult to put this incident into the category of rape.
            She showed love for him which why years later when he created the oatmeal ad, he remembered it as “soup” (which she fed him) and the prostitute as a nurturer.

          • http://www.facebook.com/bela.rafti Bela Rafti

            Isn’t that exactly the problem? You are contextualizing the sexual assault in terms of how “it would have been seen” by society circa 1940 and not how the victim would have experienced it, which misses the point.

            Don articulated that he did not want to participate and said “no.” He was frozen. He was cringing. He was pulling the covers over himself and his eyes glazed over, so that he could disassociate from the act.

            Would you feel the same way if the genders were reversed?

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

            You haven’t explained why that’s “the problem” or what “the point” is that I’m missing. You’re just saying “that’s the problem” and “you’re missing the point.”

            I think how the participants view the act is entirely important in determining whether something is rape or not.

            No, I would not feel the same way if the genders were reversed because there’s a whole host of cultural, social and even physical issues that arise when an older male attempts sex with a younger female.

    • pattycap11

      i agree with you, salymander. and i am thinking all the flashbacks this week were maybe helpful to him, as he’s tripping on speed and they are coming at him pretty relentlessly and intrusively, and i wonder if he can get over some of these obsessions by really remembering and starting to process what happened to him back then. and climb out of his inferno and all that.

    • MilaXX

      I agree it is rape, but when you give the viewing public 89670934877865083 versions of Don’s effed up childhood in such a heavy handed manner, it’s hard to give a darn. It’s not surprising that he would loose his virginity in such a way but a lot of the viewers are at the point when their eyes just mentally glaze over at any Don childhood flashback scenes.

      • vandeventer

        Yes, i agree – total mental glaze.

      • KTBSN

        This scene during the first or second season would have given more context but now- glaze it is.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bela.rafti Bela Rafti

        I think it’s difficult to watch the flashbacks, and they become banal at times, but it is sort of like the subconscious film we have playing in our heads at all times. It’s always there, and never shuts off. People are always trying to make sense of their past.

  • dickylarue

    I’m sure Weiner & company pay attention to what fans say, specifically here, in comments. I just don’t understand why he feels the need to keep flashing back to Don’s backstory. Nothing in flashbacks has really added a layer to the character. It all feels somewhat underwhelming. The whole “My mother was a whore” line works enough in our imaginations that showing these tidbits don’t add anything. I’m just wondering at what point is all this backstory into Don’s adolescence going to move the story and character forward? I usually bristle at the fans who clamor for more Dawn scenes or bring back Sal or whatever tertiary character they’ve latched on to that they put their focus on…but I’m starting to wonder what exactly are we gaining with the continued Don flashbacks? We could have more scenes with other characters and still maintain Don’s position as the lead. I love the show, but I think it’s getting bogged down in Don Draper minutiae. He lost his virginity to a hooker that I feel they intentionally cast to look like Betty? Okay. Great. That tidbit didn’t move the story an inch though. I hope there’s a payoff coming soon to explain the use of the flashbacks this season.

    • EveEve

      You put it all so well. The flashback scenes are a big “well, that was no surprise.” A boy grows up in a house full of prostitutes – how many variations on losing his virginity would you expect?

    • http://twitter.com/LadyMoppet J. L. A.

      I think we hit the big moment in the flashbacks this episode. He lost his virginity to Aimee, but she was also the first woman to mothering him and care for him. Tie in the ad with Aimee’s face on the mother and you’ve got Don’s biggest complex and what he’s been looking for in all these women. Hopefully, this will be a turn around with him.

      • Chris

        I think you hit on an important point- WE the viewers knew Don had this whole complex but Don never did. The big revelation in this episode is not to the audience but to Don. He finally looks at his obsession head on in that advertisement/illustration that may as well have been a caricature of Sylvia and Aimee. Don has finally made the connection but needed the drugs to take him there. I also thought his saying to Sally “it was my fault” was significant. At least I hope it means Don can finally recognize and take some personal responsibility for his problems.

      • sweetlilvoice

        Thank you! I think this is a major point and really makes the episode make more sense. I feel things have gelled more now in my head. As an observer, it’s easy to point out the issues of others–but it’s hard to figure out your own. It usually takes a good therapist (which I can’t see Don doing) or some other major push. I guess for Don the ‘vitamin shot’ did it.

      • dickylarue

        JLA-I hope you’re right but I feel like we’ve had these kind of “breakthroughs” before with Don and he just reverts to being Don which is what I think part of the message of Med Men is; that we never change despite knowing our flaws. That being said, if last night’s episode was truly about his have a revelation about himself and it signifies real change, then it was important one. However, if they don’t pay that off then it was just a bunch of flashbacks to me. We’ll where this goes.

        • http://twitter.com/LadyMoppet J. L. A.

          I just never want to see young Don again. Would it kill them to get someone who looks remotely like Jon Hamm?

    • Chris

      I think there is a difference though between the fans like “us” here and the people who watch who don’t necessarily interpret every piece of information that is shown. It seems very obvious to people who examine, recap and study the show that Don has a glaring Mother/whore complex, but for other, more “casual” viewers it takes something this obvious to spell it out. I’m always amazed when I read things on different boards or websites how much people miss or misinterpret. How many people here noticed all the minute costuming/set design decisions and what they meant before reading TLo’s analyses?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1567631327 Midge Andrews

    How is nobody talking about the mole on Sylvia’s cheek?

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

      Why aren’t you?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1567631327 Midge Andrews

        All the reviews seem to be saying, “why Sylvia? Why is Don so obsessed with Sylvia?” and that was the answer to me. He found a motherly woman with a mole on her cheek and wasn’t ready to let her go. To me, this felt like a major episode in terms of Don’s development — he had art directed an oatmeal ad with a woman who looked like Aimee, ten years before. Did he know then that he was mining his psyche? I can’t even remember all the times Don has used his past for an ad. But this felt different — this time it wasn’t about Chevy. Now, Don thinks “history should not be ignored.”

        I have to think about this, but has there been another episode where every woman in Don’s life (minus Joan) intersected this much? We had Betty mocking Megan in Megan’s own living room, Megan apologizing, memories of Aimee, his stepmom beating him, his stepdad throwing his rapist out the door, Sylvia telling him he scared her, Peggy gazing at another creative director, a young stranger telling him his heart is broken and offering to sleep with him, Sally on the phone, a reference to Carla and his own children’s upbringing, and the lack of his role in it. Is his need to compartmentalize coming to an end?

        Granted, he was sleep deprived and on speed. But I’m very curious to see what he does for the rest of this season. I think it will be new.

    • Wellworn

      There was a mole on the woman in the soup ad also. Which to me seemed completely out of place. There is no way they would have had a mole on an illustrated woman in a print ad. You don’t add imperfections like that, and Don was never an illustrator, so he didn’t do it. Makes no sense, just over-reach.

      • sagecreek

        Imperfections? Like, you know, Marilyn Monroe?

        • Wellworn

          But the woman in the ad didn’t have a Marilyn Monroe vibe, more of a motherly one. Still I don’t see it as probable.

          • sagecreek

            Okay, we’re into metaland now, but I was just pointing out that a beauty mark (it wasn’t a mole, it was painted on) is something that MM did.

          • Wellworn

            Ok, I haven’t paid enough attention to the ads, but I am from that era and most of the illustrations of women in ads didn’t have imperfections like that. Just seemed anachronistic to me, Marilyn Monroe’s “beauty mark” aside. (My sister has one in the same place, she calls it a mole.)

        • vandeventer

          That’s the thing though, and it is an interesting point, because Marilyn had the painted on beauty mark. I had assumed that was what the prostitute had as well. Sylvia’s I had assumed was supposed to be a real mole. She doesn’t seem like the painted-on-beauty-mark type. And of course, the mother in the ad would have neither a mole or a beauty mark. Because a mole is an “imperfection” that would not be added to an idealized person in an ad, and the type of mother they are trying to portray in the ad wouldn’t have a painted on beauty mark. So yeah, it is a little odd.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ellen.quinn.14 Ellen Quinn

            In the first half of the 20th century, a mole or drawn in ‘beauty mark’ on the lower part of the face near the mouth was indeed considered attractive and not a flaw. Don working that into an oatmeal ad in 1958 was a little weirder, but it wasn’t that long after it was fashionable (30′s and 40′s)..

          • vandeventer

            Yes, it was considered sexy and was associated with vampy movie-star types. Not idealized mothers portrayed in “wholesome” oatmeal advertisements. Not in the 50′s. That is why it is odd.

          • silaria

            Remember that Don was drugged for the whole sequence. He may have been seeing a mole that reinforced the ad’s connection to Sylvia and Aimee, but that doesn’t mean the mole was actually there.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sejickah Jessica Alyse Klenk

      I noticed it too! Also, the common thread of the headscarf, and fierce-ass eyebrows.

  • Inspector_Gidget

    Once again, their main character threw a gigantic wet blanket over the entire episode. That’s becoming a problem. Edit out all the Don BS and you have a relatively funny episode, if a bit out of character. The horse of his women issues isn’t just flogged and beaten to death, it’s turning to paste.

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

    I thought that Don’s remark at the end had so much resonance. The way that Ken was treated by those execs was completely appalling. “I’m their TOY,” he says. Not much different than Joan and Herb. With a working wife and a modest lifestyle (he lives in Queens) and an alternative income stream from published writing, Ken is soon gone from this soul-destroying profession, I hope.

    • Spicytomato1

      Not much different from the Lucky Strike guy, too. Remember him? Ugh.

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

        It has resonance to the showrunners as well. The story is what the story is. Those who seek “redemption arcs” etc. are watching the wrong story. MW, like David Chase, has sought to tell a story with a basis in reality. People don’t change; they adjust, cope, maybe alter their circumstances, if they can. But real change is not in the cards without hard introspection and real committment.

        These showrunners who refuse to be pushed into a narrative comfortable enough for viewers are rare. Their visions are unique in that they won’t “whore” themselves in that way.

        I appreciate this story telling

    • Mani @ Iz and Oz

      I also was kind of appalled at how everyone (Ted included) treated him like dirt when he walked in, and leaning on a cane no less! No “how are you” or “what the hell happened”s … just “How did it go?” followed by anger and blame. Soul-less sometimes, those ad people.

      • sagecreek

        Sometimes? :)

        • Mani @ Iz and Oz

          Ha! Ted was giving me hope for a moment … and Ginsberg DOES oddly have my heart :)

          But yeah, that Bob Benson. With the way things run around here, he has “hack” written all over him, dude.

          • sagecreek

            Ginsberg has my heart as well! But I’m sure Weiner will break my heart.

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

        It definitely proved why Joan felt she had to hide her pain/weakness in the office. The underlying cruelty of the SCDP office makes me SO uneasy. Like any moment they might go full-on Lord of the Flies.

  • http://twitter.com/kerryev kerryev

    That dance routine cemented Ken Cosgrove as the agency’s Jiminy Cricket.

    • EveEve

      And Dawn in the background looking back and forth between Ken and Don in mute disbelief. Priceless.

  • golden_valley

    Has anyone noticed the recurrence of pasta in Don’s life? Doesn’t Meghan make spaghetti a lot and even threw it against the wall one night last season when she was mad at Don? In the current episode Sylvia, in her head scarf, is yelling to Arnold something about veal and past(a) for dinner. Did Betty make spaghetti?

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      Yes, I think there’s a secret message somewhere there about the flying spaghetti monster!! But seriously, I think pasta was just something easy to make for kids. Sylvia is Italian so it’s probably part of her usual repertoire.

      • sagecreek

        Yeah, I thnk that’s stretching. Megan makes it because it’s easy and kids like it. Been there, done that.

    • EveEve

      I’m imagining that if Betty made anything for the kids, it was SpaghettiO’s. They debuted in 1965.

    • http://twitter.com/LadyMoppet J. L. A.

      I suspect it’s the only thing Megan can make…

      • Girl_With_a_Pearl

        You’re forgetting that Megan can cook. She was making beef bourguignon in one episode and shown cooking in several other episodes in season 5. It was during season 5 that Peggy said something to the effect that Megan is just one of those girls that does everything perfectly. Cooking is another one of her skills, especially french cooking.

        • greenwich_matron

          I remember very few pots and a suspiciously clean kitchen in that scene.

        • http://twitter.com/LadyMoppet J. L. A.

          Ok, it seemed like she is always making spaghetti.

    • shelley514

      And Meghan makes spaghetti with NO SAUCE or other ingredients. Gag!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

    I need a reality check here. I had a somewhat peculiar upbringing, but did anyone else feel like Sally Draper, as a 14-year-old, should be way more adult than she is? I mean, at 9 years old I was making my own dinner, doing my homework, and putting myself to bed; at 12 I was babysitting multiple infants at once; at 13 I was allowed to stay the weekend on my own with no parental supervision. Is it my experience that’s odd or hers?

    • sagecreek

      Are you kidding? Did you see how calmly she dealt with the intruder, and how calmly she called the cops?

      I thought she did really well.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

        I thought she was a fool to have fallen for it at all, but then, my father wasn’t Donald Draper.

        • sagecreek

          She didn’t really fall for it at all…but she wasn’t sure. Sounds very realistic for a 14 year old.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

            Okay, clearly my 14-year-old experience was quite different. Thanks for answering my question.

          • Qitkat

            It’s always interesting to find out how differently kids are raised, in various parts of the country, during different decades, and simply due to wildly differing parenting styles. At 16, in 1962, my parents went out of town for a couple of days, and hired a sitter, a substitute teacher of mine, no less, probably 23, to be there for me and my 2 younger brothers, 15, and 9. I begged them to let us stay alone but to no avail. I was mortified and pissed that they had no trust in me. I had never been in trouble, we lived in a safe suburban neighborhood. And I was allowed to babysit for other people’s kids. I think I experienced a far more sheltered childhood than any of my peers, or my parents for that matter, who both grew up in large families, and had been given much responsibility. It really rankled. As a result, I was much more naive than I ought to have been, when I went off to college.

    • MilaXX

      Sally does all those things home at Betty’s house.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

        And yet Betty flips the f*** out when she finds out Sally’s been left alone at night, and not even the whole night. This makes zero sense to me.

        • MilaXX

          only because it happened on Don’s watch.

        • Chris

          Sally was left alone in the middle of NYC (not the “safe” suburbs in Betty’s eyes) with the door unlocked. I have to go along with Betty, there is no way I would leave a 14 year old and two smaller kids on their own all night no matter where it was. No one in my family would leave a 13 year old alone for the weekend without parental supervision, nor would anyone else I know with kids.

          • SonOfSaradoc

            Just another way that times have changed. In the sixties, I was 11 and babysitting for my own four young siblings (although not in NYC and not late at night), and sitting for neighbors with even more kids. I was amazed when the family with 6 young kids paid me 50 cents an hour – a fortune! The MM writers are not making this stuff up. (Other stuff – like the prevalence of drugs openly indulged in an office – I just cannot buy.)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1145236287 Celeste Copeland

            Thanks for making it so apparent how little regard you have for my parentage.

          • Chris

            Back when I was a kid people let kids stay out playing “until the streetlights came on” and the kids didn’t check in by phone/cell phone all day- but no parent nowadays (at least none I know) would go along with that. Ditto with leaving doors unlocked etc. I have heard a million people say they used to do that “back in the day.” I can honestly say I don’t know anyone then or now who would let a 13 year old stay on their own without parental supervision for an entire weekend. I personally think that is far too young to handle anything that could happen. I’m sorry if you disagree or find my opinion offensive. You asked for feedback and I do find your experience exceptional.

          • purkoy28

            the subarbs and nyc is very different, especially back then when the 2 were not easily accesable for the average criminal

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

            But they weren’t left alone for the weekend. Megan was only out for the night.

            My older sister was baby sitting us by the time she was 14, and that was in the mid-seventies. It really wasn’t as odd for the time as it seems. Especially since a high-rise with a doorman is normally a pretty secure place to be, if you’re in the city.

          • Glammie

            Hmmm, now I’m wondering how Grandma Ida got past the doorman.

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

            She came up the back stairs, using the service entrance, most likely.

          • Glammie

            Back stairs, back doors, service, Don and Sylvia using the maid’s room to service one another. There’s some giant metaphor going on here.

          • Eric Stott

            That was a service hall Don was smoking in.

          • Danielle

            I thought she could have even been a maid for another tenant in the building.

          • Chris

            The weekend comment was a response to the poster above who said she was allowed to stay on her own for a weekend at 13.

            I personally wouldn’t leave a 14 year old for that length of time, at night in a place where she didn’t know neighbors etc. with a child as small as a Gene, but I agree people did and do now babysit at 14.

            The doorman is something I was wondering about as well because, as you say security in those buildings, especially at night is usually quite tight.

            I think it’s ridiculous that with all Don’s money and resources available they can’t get a reliable sitter in the middle of NYC. Surely there were good agencies back then too.

          • Glammie

            Hmmm, not only did I start babysitting at 13-14, my own kid’s babysitters have been as young as 14. Gene looks old enough to be toilet-trained, which can be a deal breaker for some younger sitters.

            Some of the sitters have made slightly goofy decisions, but in many cases, I’ve preferred the teens to the adults. They have more energy for one thing and a good kid connection.

            Sally *is* a reliable sitter for her younger siblings. Though it’s also clear that Megan is young enough that she’s not going to let any child-minding get in the way of her career.

          • purkoy28

            i agree with chris 100 % i dont know any parent who would feel that was not a big deal.

        • 3hares

          She didn’t flip out originally to hear that Sally babysat for her brothers. On this night Betty would have gotten a call probably from Sally to inform her that she’d just spent the past hour with an intruder and tried to call the police only to be brushed off, and she has no idea how to get in touch with Don or Megan.

          So it wasn’t that Sally babysits at 14 but that she’s sent to stay with Don and Megan and instead she’s left alone with no supervision or anyone to even call if she needs help.

          • Danielle

            Remember when Sally cut her hair and Betty found out it happened when they were with a sitter? I think what pisses Betty off more is that they’re going into the city to visit their father (and step-mother) and he’s not spending any time with them when they’re there.

        • purkoy28

          having ur kids babysit during errand running and leaving them in an unlocked house alone till the next morning ( it was after midnight) with no phone numbers is a bit different.

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

          My Mom babysat her infant brother (he was born when she was 13) at 14–Sayville, NY. Her parents would go out of town for dog shows. She had the neighbors to call if there was a problem and they had a giant German Shepherd. When she was little (after 5 years old) she was left home alone in an apartment with the neighbor to call –this was in the 50′s in Queens and Bronx NY. She said it was not uncommon for poor-working class immigrants at that time. I think for kids as sheltered as Don and Betty’s kids, perhaps a weekend nanny/mother’s helper would have been more in line with their income/social level.

    • appliquer

      At 14 she is definitely old enough to be doing child-care. If she is 14 in 1968, she was born in 1954 – two years before me. I was already babysitting in 1967 and making my own meals as well!

    • Cheryl

      I wasn’t “left alone” overnight until I was 15 (1964). It was a huge thing for my parents — especially my father. He was terrified that something could happen to me. I did babysit for neighbors, but that was only locally, and only until about 1 a.m. My parents were always available by phone on those nights (probably worrying that something would happen to me!)

    • Logo Girl

      I think your experience is a tiny bit unusual – but not off the charts weird. My experience was similar but maybe offset by a year or two later. This was in the 70s with slightly overprotective parents.

  • Mani @ Iz and Oz

    Please, please, PLEASE Weiner & Co. Let this be the end of the Don-Draper-Sylvia variety hour. I am SO over the drilling on whorehouse Mommy issues. WHAT’S NEXT.

    Loved the bit where Don saw Peggy consoling Ted – just goes to show the gradual descent of influence and control Don has over his “women” – personally and professionally. But ack at the foreshadowing of him thinking of “getting back” at Ted by sleeping with Maora. Hands where I can see them, Draper.

    I can’t believe I almost fell for Grandma Ida’s con at first. Took me a minute to realize how brilliant it was. Still side-eying Wiener a little bit for regressing into the stereotype of POC characters being criminals, though I understood why he did it (to emphasize how little Sally did know about her dad, and thus drew from her own experiences to project her as no threat …initially.) Dawn was working it this episode, though. Request: More scenes with her, Joanie & Ginsberg (who was annoyingly charming, as usual!)

    And of course all of the other erratic bits – Stan & Peggy, Ken’s delightful tap dance, and creepy Cutler.

    A bit of a hot mess, this episode was. I’ll have to rewatch it to decide if I like it or not.

    • Inspector_Gidget

      It is pretty telling, isn’t it, that Don was the only character that got a serious dramatic story that moved forward, but people are mostly talking about the tapdancing, the thief and the drug tomfoolery? None of that really advances a story (other than “crazy random shit happens”) but it’s so much more interesting than the narrative bits at this point.

  • MilaXX

    Keirnan will be on The Chew today.

    • Wellworn

      I just watched, she was adorable as usual.

  • EEKstl

    I’m STILL digesting the episode, so all I’m capable of are random observations. Pithy to follow, or at least I can only hope. Loved hearing Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 wafting out of Sylvia’s kitchen radio – one of my fave cocktail party albums and something my mother played regularly in the late 60′s when I was a child…is it me or did the blonde prostitue who deflowered Dick/Don look awfully like January Jones?…the actress who played Grandma Ida was wonderful – a crazy combination of maternal warmth and menace…trippy!

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

    I guess I’m alone in this, but Stan + Peggy = Yuck for me. And I’ve never seen what the heck she saw in Abe. I was hoping to see her with Ginsburg, but not now that he’s all mustache and sloppy sweaters. I’d rather see her end up with Ted. At least he’s clean.

    • sagecreek

      Facial hair isn’t “clean”?

      • NoGovernmentName

        Women always SAY they don’t like beards, but it’s not true…

        • artsykelly

          No, no – it’s not true – beards are HOT. Like, immediate lust hot.

          • Lilithcat

            Depends on the beard. Stan’s is grungy. Not hot at all.

          • artsykelly

            His is thick, for sure, but those are my favorite kinds. A big, full, red beard! I don’t see it grungy at all – it’s shaped and combed – not long and shaggy. I’m sure there is something freudian going on here for me – my dad had a full, thick beard when I was little!

          • NoGovernmentName

            I’m just repeating what Stan said. If you disagree, take it up with him ;)

          • artsykelly

            I just rewatched the episode and caught that. Haha- I would probably agree with him.

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

      You’re not alone in this. I think is was a little yucky for Peggy too – nothing like being hit on physically by an intoxicated co-worker (again), getting a hand on your thigh as you refer to your own pain and what you learned from it, then have him not thank you, but thank your great ass as it leaves the room. What the heck do you respond to something like that? Professional women clawing their way through the glass ceiling just LOVE this kind of thing. I didn’t see her attraction to him – I saw her carefully handling a difficult situation with someone who she cared about, and worked with, and had to continue working with, so, yeah, “thanks” is really all she could say.

  • Donna Tabor

    T-Lo, your point about the way NYC was sliding into the sewer, between the whole city being filthy and the crime rates rising during that time period, made me think of how Times Square was also an XXX-rated area then (unlike the Disney-friendly place it is now). I’m kind of surprised there haven’t been any scenes about someone hiding out in a porn movie all day or someone getting picked up in one.

  • Laylalola

    Holy Crapola — I’ve seen people referring to Harry Hamlin making appearances on Mad Men but I wasn’t paying attention, I only now realized he’s Cutler!

    • Lattis

      Wow! I didn’t realize that until I read your comment!

    • NDC_IPCentral

      Thank you! I was realizing the face was somewhat familiar but I sure didn’t put it together.

    • Qitkat

      And what a dirty dog he has turned out to be!

    • NoGovernmentName

      I had the same experience with Linda Cardellini as Sylvia. I remember thinking, “I wonder who she is in the show?” and then, “Wow, Lindsay Weir is all grown up.” Something about the costumes makes these actors all but unrecognizable.

  • Girl_With_a_Pearl

    I may be in the minority here, but I loved this episode. I loved not really knowing what was going on. Up until the scene with Sally and Bobby, but even that was weird, I wasn’t sure if what we were seeing was really happening or was it someone’s (Don’s?) drug fueled trip we were witnessing (except for the flashbacks). The shifts between time were odd and disorienting like someone was on something. At one point, Don was talking to Peggy and she was wearing one outfit, he went down the hall, had a flashback and then the next moment Peggy was wearing black for the funeral and some hippy chick is predicting people’s futures with the I Ching. People, especially Stan and the other creatives weren’t making any sense, but was that because they were on speed or because someone else was watching them on their own trip?

    Or did Don have a heart attack and Don was on anesthesia? The word “heart” came up a lot. (Still think that the season might end with Don having a heart attack, imitating Roger.) Loved Ken dancing. Oh, and the whole feeling of not being sure about the timing of things goes back to the first episode of the season when it was unclear what month and year it was until the last scene when the newspaper was shown.

  • Chris

    I thought it was interesting how poleaxed Don was when he came down the stairs and saw Peggy with her hand on Ted’s arm. He is so tuned into Peggy’s every encounter with Ted. It was such a small thing her putting her hand on his arm when he just lost what may have been his best friend (the secretary very nonchalantly closed the door for them without seeming interested or scandalized in the least) but Don looked like he was hit by a car. Based on that and the previews for next week I think Don is going to start a professional tug of war with Ted over Peggy in the office.

    • sagecreek

      Oh, yes, OH YES.

      And given the new Peggy Strength, I hope she slaps him down, hard.

    • Orange Girl

      I thought that was interesting too! Why would that snap him into a flash back about the old whorehouse? And did you catch when he asked Peggy, after his soup-eating flashback with Aimee, “Remember when we had soup?”

    • MartyBellerMask

      I caught that. Moira is an excellent secretary… or something is up with her. Not sure yet, but I’d like to think she’s a good person who cares about her job and her employer.

    • Andrea

      It was quick, but I was also struck by young Don catching the baby photo in Aimee’s mirror, asking if it was her as a baby, and her slightly sad ” . . . no.” Anyone remember when Don and Peggy went out together in season 4 and he seemed affected by her revelation that she had given a child up for adoption? Remember that he immediately asked if she knew who the father was? I know people were quicker to make assumptions about unwed mothers in the 60′s in general, but that seemed like a crazy question for someone who knew Peggy relatively well to ask her.

      • SuzyQuzey

        Don is the only one at the agency who knew Peggy was pregnant. I don’t recall the conversation you are referencing.

        • Andrea

          In the episode “The Suitcase” Don and Peggy go to a late-night diner and a bar together. He is surprisingly open with her about having been a “yokel” and she tells him about her child, which is new information for him–he knew that she had spent time in the hospital, but not why. He asks if it’s hard for her and seems sympathetic, but does assume that she doesn’t know who the father was. Peggy mentions that Mrs. Olson assumes it was Don.

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

            Don already knew she’d had a child.

          • CatherineRhodes

            Don came to the hospital after Peggy had given birth and gave the speech regarding “you’ll be shocked to find out how easy it is to make this go away.”

          • SuzyQuzey

            Thanks for the clarification. Seems I need to re-watch the series.

          • Cheryl

            Don’t forget that Don visited her in the hospital after she had the baby. In that conversation in the diner, he asks her, “Do you ever think about him?” and she answers, “Playgrounds.” I had been one of those who was sure that her sister was raising the boy, but with that answer, it was confirmed that she doesn’t have contact with him, but each time she passes a playground it’s a reminder.

          • 3hares

            No, he absolutely knew that she had a child. In the bar he asked her if she thought about it ever and if she knew who the father was–he didn’t assume she didn’t know. He just knew it was a possibility that she might not know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ellen.quinn.14 Ellen Quinn

    This episode made me as sweaty, anxious and exhilarated as a speed rush. I had to stop it several times and come back to it.

    Sally reading “Rosemary’s Baby” harkened back to the Richard Speck episode – scary bedtime reading.

    I think Stan was channeling Willam Tell, not St Sebastan.

    Sally (getting her brothers ready) = Mini Betty.

    Don sent Ginsberg to find the old ‘soup’ ad (and tried to send Peggy) but it wasn’t soup at all, but oatmeal. Oatmeal, not nourishing whorehouse soup.

    I liked how the two nameless CGC creatives were right in line for the shots (which they’d had before) and the one guy got a whole bunch of lines as a result.

    Betty is now only half fat and her hair is no longer like Mama Francis’s. Henry is the peacemaker, as always. I bet he’s no happier in his choice of new wife than Don.

    Don actually WENT TO HIS APARTMENT BUILDING to stalk Sylvia (and listen to her radio) during the time he was AWOL from home. He didn’t stop by his house, but went back to the office.

    I died laughing when the Dr Feelgood asked Don about the name of the agency and said “Everybody’s wondering”.

    • siriuslover

      I think the reference to Sebastian was the fact that he was about to get stabbed by Ginsburg et al with a bunch of exacto knives.

  • dalgirl

    Re: the earlier comments concerning the lack of black characters, whether portrayed positively or negatively. I remember the Season 5 opener ‘A Little Kiss” in which Dawn was interviewed (later hired) as an indirect result of some nasty treatment of black protestors outside the offices of Young and Rubicam-a true story, by the way. (The protesters were water-bombed and heckled.) Just as bad, Don placed a mock ad in the paper listing Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce as an Equal Opportunity Employer, a ‘joke’ which came back to bite them in the butt the next day when they found their lobby swamped with black job applicants. It was a strong moment in the episode that was somewhat overshadowed by the fabulousness of ‘Zou Bisou Bisou’. TLo’s last line in their review read “And let’s all hope for a fabulous black secretary to come in and shake this world up even further.” Yes!

    I’m not mentioning this episode to argue against the fact that black people have been represented far too infrequently; it was just a powerful moment.

    • sagecreek

      Agreed….I think that this note meant that they haven’t forgotten the issue. I think it will explode.

      Of course, I’ve been wrong before.

  • Orange Girl

    OK, fine. Stan is kinda hot.

    • http://www.what-the-frock.com Dana WhatTheFrock

      I concur.

      • Eric Stott

        Teddy Bear

  • KayEmWhy

    I loved the loopiness of the show as it’s what drugs do to some people, especially “vitamin B shots” from Dr. Feel Good. As for Grandma Ida, I think I remember and actual Grandma Bandit back then in the New York Daily News.

    • http://twitter.com/jen_canary Jennifer Ford

      That is awesome — was she really real? I must go look that up.

      • KayEmWhy

        Yeah, I think I remember it, although I can’t remember if she was black, but so far it’s coming up zero in searching.

  • Talita Pessoa

    I read some recaps stressing all the symbols about how Don has ran out of time and that this signals the official beginning for Don’s fall. And then I remembered something: in the season art poster, there are two opposed Dons walking down the street and one of them is walking right into police cars with police men standing around them, seemingly looking for someone. We haven’t yet been reminded this season of how easy it could be for Don end up in jail, but I guess you can clearly say the tension is out there. There was something about the way grandma Ida said “Isn’t you father Don Draper?” that reminded me of how fragile is the base (Don’s persona) that connects everyone’s lives in the series… Something that we easily forget about since Don’s been able to get away from pretty much anything until now. Did anyone else had that feeling too?

    • sagecreek

      Nope. Nice reading, but nope. Don’s fall won’t come from the criminal justice system, but from within.

    • KTBSN

      I thought Ida was connected to the real Don Draper at first and her remark to Sally about her mother being a “piece of work” was referring to Anna. Then she asked where the watches were.

  • Lattis

    I loved some of the odd lines in this episode like:

    Bobby asking if they were negroes. It brought to mind an incident when I was 8. I went with my dad to a meeting he had on a reservation. Afterwards he was talking to some of the people there (all Native American) and he said that his wife was part Indian. I could not have been more thrilled. Turned out not to be true – but I kind of wondered when Bobby said that if he was kind of hoping he had a blood connection. The Draper kids’ family background (at least on Don’s side) is completely mysterious to them. They are free to imagine any background at all.

    I especially loved Don’s exchange with the hippy gal with the stethoscope. She is listening to his heart and says, “It’s broken.” Don (not getting that she’s talking about the stethoscope) says incredulously, “You can hear that?” God, I just love that. The idea that Don for a moment thinks that a person could hear that his broken heart. Maybe it was not incredulity that he responded with, though, but a little paranoid concern that any one could “read” him.

  • purkoy28

    did anyone else think don was going to take a header on the stairs after his shot

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1542185727 Barb Cooper

      First thing that came to my mind. And probably one of the only things (the tap dance being the other) that had me smiling at all in this episode.

    • Talita Pessoa

      Yes! I even felt like he was actually falling for a second or two!

      • Zaftiguana

        I saw that, too! I think it may have intentionally been shot that way.

      • Zaftiguana

        Watched it again tonight, definitely shot that way intentionally.

  • sarahjane1912

    Well, it had to happen. *Big Sigh*

    Dear Tom and Lorenzo, you’re finally on the radar in the UAE. It would now appear that I have to use a VPN to enjoy all the delights of your site because you’ve been blocked by the local Powers That Be. No matter! I have a VPN and you’re worth it.

    This is the message one sees if one tries to enter:

    “The internet is a powerful medium for communication, sharing
    and serving our daily learning needs. However, the site you are trying to
    access contains content that is prohibited under the Internet Access Regulatory
    Management Policy of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the United
    Arab Emirates.”

    So basically, anything gay, pro-Zionist or anti-UAE is blocked.

  • CatherineRhodes

    Am I the only one who has a grudging respect for Don? Given his abusive family history, he had no chance whatsoever. Yet, through sheer chutzpah and persistence, he was able to invent himself into a man who was successful and influential. Does that forgive his shitty treatment of women? Of course not. But the context of his personal history does inspire empathy.

    The “open back door” metaphor was really good. Don left the back door unlocked as a passageway to Sylvia, but instead the doorway provided an entry point to a dangerous intruder. After that incident, he seemed able to “shut the door” finally with Sylvia.

    How old do the kittens think he was when he was raped?

    • Lattis

      After reading all the comments, I have to conclude that you (and I) may be the only one who has grudging respect for Don. Also, there is considerable debate among the commenters over whether it was rape.

      I’m also at odds with the consensus here. I do have a certain admiration for Don. I think it is kind of like having admiration for Scarlet O’Hara. She, like Don, is a fierce junk yard dog survivor. They both will do whatever it takes to survive. I think there is something to admire in that – I certainly have empathy for that kind of person. But, I wish that Don could also rise above it – become enlightened. Otherwise, he’s just some one who (like maybe Stringer Bell) survives and even succeeds (succeed monetarily albeit criminally etc.) but doesn’t manage to be redeemed.

      Edited to add: Also, I must be in the minority when it comes to the flashbacks. I thought last night’s use of flashbacks was fascinating. When Don was under the influence it seemed like everything triggered flashbacks. It was like as soon as his guard was dropped his sub-conscience clobbered him with all his unresolved issues – all having to do with his troubled childhood and culminating in his memory of his first sexual encounter. I have only watched this ep once, so I could have missed something, but he didn’t consent did he? Doesn’t he tell her to stop? And since we don’t see the memory of his reaction to the experience, only the beginning of it, we don’t know how he felt about it at the time except that he resisted her advances. And we see is how it is revealed to his “family group” and how he is beaten and publicly shamed. So, regardless whether it is rape, it is a troubling, ambiguous, unresolved issue for adult Don.

      Also – I really like the comment on the “open back door.”

      • Glammie

        No, you two aren’t alone, I also have some respect for Don–always have. He comes from wretched circumstances, but he made something of himself. But the rotten thing about rotten childhoods is that you can’t just leave them behind. Don was made the person he is by his childhood. Not his fault and he’s tragically flawed as a result.

        He didn’t seem to consent and other posters have said he was 14. Hmmm, Sally’s age–I don’t think that that’s an accident.

        • Kate

          That’s interesting; Don and Sally are roughly the same age here. Don’s childhood flashbacks do seem to be connected to his children’s ages. Like when Gene was born, Don flashed back to his own birth.

          • Glammie

            Oh, good catch. I’m convinced that Don’s relationship (or lack thereof) with his kids is pivotal to his narrative arc. Sally, in particular (though I think that’s partly the strength of the actress.) Weiner’s spent a lot of time giving us a sense of who Sally is–we know quite a bit more about her, say, than Harry or Ken Cosgrove.

            Sally matters, even if Don doesn’t realize it yet.

          • Kate

            When she was little I wondered whether she was going to become a hippie. Now it seems like she might miss that era. Disco queen?

        • Jessica Stone

          (gasp) I didn’t even notice the age parallel! Oh the connections are flashing now! Sally tried to resist, tried to say no, and she was taken advantage of anyway by someone pretending to have a maternal concern for her, just like 14-yr-old Don was. But even though maybe what we wanted to hear Don say to Sally was something like, ‘I love you’, what he gave her was, at least in his view, more important. He gave her absolution. He was taken advantage of and then beaten and blamed for it. He made d*mn sure she knew it was not her fault, and suddenly I love this character even more.

          • Glammie

            Ahhh, yes, you’re right–it also seemed that he called her–or at least asked to talk to her when talking to Henry. We don’t see him initiate contact with his kids very often. In fact, he was avoiding his kids most of the episode. But there was enough of a connection (literally a phone connection) between Sally and his own past self that he reached out.

            Don has shown some good paternal instincts, but he avoids his kids–he’s afraid to love them, afraid to acknowledge his love for them. He’s done a better job parenting than his own parents, but there’s still a big gap between him and a good father. Henry has an easier time of it without even trying or caring that much–simply because he knows what to do and can do it. Don doesn’t know how to be a father–he knows what bad parenting is, but he doesn’t understand good parenting.

      • CatherineRhodes

        Don’s ability to survive and thrive is admirable.

        Roger Sterling and Pete Campbell are both cads, but they had every advantage in life and still turned out that way.

    • sagecreek

      Well, I don’t think he was raped.

      I also think he saved himself at the expense of his conscience and everyone else in his life (hi, Adam!).

      But I acknowledge that this is just me.

      • not_Bridget

        He was fourteen. If the whore had been a schoolteacher, she would have been charged with statutory rape. In modern times, he might have had a supportive family–not a stepmother who beat him….

        Don’s childhood was far worse than we’d supposed. No, he hasn’t explained every detail to everybody. Poor halfwit Adam would have dragged him back into that world. I don’t blame Don for any of that. He didn’t become a woman-beater or a suicide–as weaker men might. Alas, that’s not enough.

        Perhaps if he faces his dreadful past, he might be able to live a better life in the here & now…

      • the_valkyrie

        How is it not rape? He was sick and coming out of fever, so he was weak. He also told her no and she still forced herself on him. How is that not rape or sexual assault?

      • peggylarner

        What part about it is unclear to you? He was unwilling and she proceeded anyway. Is it that he’s male?

  • Sandra

    I liked the episode, even the flashbacks because those explained the Sylvia bit to me. I was wondering if Don realized the connection and therefore moved on?

    • Glammie

      No, because he’d madly flashbacked and was still planning to see her. It wasn’t until he literally crashed into the here and now that he pulled back and got himself together.

      But, hey, maybe he’s seeing enough of his past that he’s now going to move forward a bit–that would be following Peggy’s advice.

      So my take is that Don doesn’t really get why he’s a serial womanizer, but I think he sees, a small bit, that it’s destroying his life.

      • sagecreek

        Agreed. He doesn’t get the connection, not at all. He just blocks it out. As he has done his entire life.

      • Lattis

        I think we’ll have to wait and see if he gets the connection. After he “comes to” after his Mr-Toad’s-Wild-Adventure with drugs he says only one word to Sylvia in the elevator in response to her question of how he’s doing – “Busy.” (loved that loooooong awkward ride)

        When he gets to the office he announces that he’s done with working on the car account. Then he walks into his office and closes the door.

        I guess my question is what is he done with – what’s he closing the door on. Is he closing the door on seeing himself as ‘the kid who grew up in a whorehouse’ and moving on. Or is he saying he’s done with the introspection thing. Saying to himself ‘I’ll just repress these memories and feelings a little harder -push them down a little deeper into my id. It’s been working so well for me up to now.’

        • not_Bridget

          Long ago, Don told Peggy to forget it (her baby) ever happened & move on. It worked for her in the short run–she got out of the psych ward, signed the adoption papers & went back to work. However, in the long run, she had to think about what she’d done & accept it. (It wasn’t a bad decision for her, back then.)

          Don has hidden his truly horrific childhood for many years–but it’s bubbling up again and he needs to face it. I really can’t fault him for not sharing the details with his children: “My mother was as whore who bled out after I was born. The midwife took me to my father’s home–his wife hated me. After he died, she fucked a pimp to get us a home. A whore raped me when I was 14; when my stepmother found out, she beat me.” Don had far worse than the tough Depression childhood we’d supposed for years.

          Yes, the sleek Don who got away with everything was much more “fun.” Time marches on….

          • siriuslover

            you know, that’s an interesting analysis there. Clearly, we are haunted by the demons of our past and Don had some truly bad ones. Changing one’s identity isn’t enough because the history is always there. He was hitting on that point in this week’s episode, really trying to force a connection between him and Sylvia, but I think the real story is that you can’t walk away from history, no matter how you change the name or try to navigate the story line. And I think all the 1968 events serving as backdrop are bringing this to the foreground. That’s our history, no matter how we call it (war or conflict, for example), and it doesn’t change the events. At some point, we’ll have to face them critically and analyze them for what they are. As will Don. I still think he’s a pretty loathsome fellow, though.

  • Linlin

    It is af if they want every other episode now to have an epic gif moment! (Pete falling down the stairs, ken step-dancing).

    • CommentsByKatie

      Aviator shades!

  • Mary Johnston

    I thought that Matthew Weiner brilliantly used “bojangles” cosgrove to summarize the season’s obsession with Don’s neurosis. A lotta tapdancing to convey a simple thought: sometimes you cannot accurately attribute a learned behavior to your mother or an ex-girlfriend.

    • awesomesabrina

      This is a great insight! I think you’re 100% correct.

  • Damien W

    Your POV gave me a new perspective on the episode, and in a way it makes me like it less as a result. It’s fun to sit through, sure. And it’s Matt Weiner’s show, so he gets to decide what to do with it. Having said that…

    It’s not that I expect every episode to “aspire to literary pretensions and offer up weighty, important, theme-laden hours of television each week.” I agree that nobody should with almost any show, really, because it’s just a setup for chronic disappointment. But despite all the interesting ideas that are going on behind what we see each week, Matt has created (for the most part) a slew of finely drawn characters involved in an immensely interesting story. And he only gets 13 hours a year in which to do the storytelling, and we’re on the next-to-last cycle.

    Friends, M*A*S*H, and other shows with hundreds of episodes could afford to take the time to do “dream” / “what-if” / “alternate reality” shows. The West Wing had a strictly comic episode, “Gone Quiet” (and to make it even more surreal, it was the episode they were in the middle of shooting when 9/11 happened), as well as a faux-PBS documentary episode about CJ. This Mad Men ep doesn’t equate fully with these other ‘stunt’ shows, but in a way it feels like Matt Weiner took an hour to basically clear off his desk.

    Maybe this will mean the storytelling will become sharper and tauter as we head nearer to the end next year. Or maybe Matt was just in a mood the week this was being broken down in the writers room. We won’t know for a while, I guess.

  • NoGovernmentName

    I just want TLo to know that, today in my meeting with my boss, her colleague, and their boss, I was noticing that the three of them were wearing blue and I was wearing pink, and the big man was wearing yellow. I actually wondered for a moment what the significance of the yellow was when I remembered that, sadly, real life has no Janie Bryant.

    • VictoriaDiNardo

      That’s really funny….and sadly, true!

  • nycfan

    I liked it more on reflection, rather than less, but seem to be in the minority.
    * Grandma Ida was like the horror movie side-of-the-coin of The Grinch — that really freaked me out. The shift in her face to threatening was really frightening. There has been a lot of gnashing of teeth about casting an African American in this role and in a vacuum it did not need to be that way, but I think it is very much consistent with the story of race being told in this show — these folks are isolated from African Americans and even the most “liberal” of them (like Pete and Betty) have used the reference to a person’s status as a “Negro” as an ultimate insult (the Negro prostitute, the Negro thief — that modifier is meant in each instance to emphasize the person referred to is a savage) — I think that portrayal of the limits of the racial tolerance of most otherwise “liberal” white people of that time is dead-on.

    * Loved the unclicked pen joke.

    * Loved how they conveyed the amphetamine madness like some mellower Naked Lunch/Lost Weekend.

    * Roger better not have had a heart attack thanks to that quack.

    * I actually was more at peace with the entire Sylvia story-line through the lens of this episode and look forward to the style post that will no doubt capture all of the great (if unusually obvious) costuming leading up to and plastered all over this episode, especially the turban thing and the oatmeal ad/being beaten with the wooden oatmeal spoon. Sheesh.

    * Don is and remains weirdly elastic, even if he is getting increasingly brittle, but the bounce-back from the Sylvia self-pity thing at the end is not unlike how he has responded to existential and personal crisis before — he seems to be the man who always has to hit rock bottom to recover his persona and a lot of his trajectory reminds me of his sad, drunken bachelor pad trajectory that ended with the sudden proposal to Megan.

    • MyrtleUrkel

      I don’t think they’re using the word “Negro” as an ultimate insult, that’s the language that was used at the time. Using the term “Negro” is the least problematic of Mad Men’s issues regarding race. African American and even Black become more common usage in the 70s. It’s interesting that James Brown’s song “Say it Loud (I’m Black and I’m proud)” was released in 1968, but “Negro” was still a commonly used term. It was not offensive in 1968.

      • nycfan

        Negro was the acceptable term then, agreed, BUT as used in the circumstances by Pete and Betty was, in those cases, derogatory as well. The prostitute wasn’t just a prostitute, she was a Negro. Ditto the thief. In both cases, emphasized b/c it made it even worse. I think MM has been consistent and accurate in this portrayal of privileged, liberal behavior on race at the time. They used the proper word, but in certain contexts it was still very negative.

        In the 1970s I lived in, African-American wasn’t a commonly used term, I really more associate that developing wide sage in the 80s, but I was a kid in the 70s.

        • Glammie

          African-American was pretty much popularized by Jesse Jackson, around the time of his Rainbow Coalition and his running for president–so the late 80s.

        • Logo Girl

          The term I recall at my very race-conscious area in the 70s was “Afro-American”, which got lengthened in the 80s to “African-American”.

    • John Gregor

      From what I can remember of the late 60′s and early 70′s, “negro” was still the accepted-as-respectful term. “Black” was just beginning to be pushed into mainstream usage and any variant on the N-word was increasingly shamed. But mainstream media never seemed to get comfortable with “black” – too angry, too urban, too direct. I think they almost did handsprings when “african american” presented itself as an option.

    • http://www.facebook.com/VincentKV Todd Simmons

      re: “Roger better not have had a heart attack thanks to that quack.”

      They went to the hospital because “Roger’s heart stopped” (yikes), but then later we find out that the stethoscope was just broken (tee hee).

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

    It was a long series of trips to go through that led to the same point that has been made time and again: that no one, including Don, really knows anything about him. I think the flashback scenes function as a writer’s crutch for Weiner when he runs out of ways to make Don human in the present tense. We get it. We know already. Stop mashing it in our faces that Don Draper / Dick Whitman was raised in a bordello by morally compromised adults.

    Grandma Ida… I’ll just guess she was based on some story Weiner heard about actually happening. But it seemed like a vehicle designed so that Sally could express her revelation about not knowing her father. But that wasn’t exactly abnormal back then. Growing up around the same time Sally did, I never heard my Dad go over his rather poor childhood. He, like others of his generation, didn’t do too much dwelling, and they didn’t blame their parents for what they’d become. They got on with life, building businesses and building up the middle class. No more flashbacks. We’ve had enough. Let Don get to work and bring the show forward.

    Yup, I’m bored. I’m wanting to see more Joan, but it just seems she’s been shoved aside since having her kid.

  • Maria Gabriella Dutari

    Ok, just watched this episode for the second time. In that scene in the kitchen, when Sally is asking “where’s daddy?” is she talking about Henry?? It seems Henry is a good father figure since Bobby was worried about him, but his relationship with the kids must be great if Sally called him daddy.
    Also, I just love that word “Steggy”. Best couple name ever

    • http://www.facebook.com/candice.booth.79 Candice Booth

      I believe she meant Henry.

      • John Gregor

        I think Don. The kids were at Don’s apartment because it was his custody time, but he flaked on the pickup because of Chevy.

        • Eric Stott

          I think Sally calls Henry “Henry”.

    • Glammie

      She’s asking about Don–remember he’s supposed to pick them up–he and Betty have bickered about this before.

  • AP

    The woman who broke in had to be black so Sally and Bobby would really KNOW that she wasn’t their grandmother. It was so obvious but they still believed it a little, which like Megan said, kinda proved that Sally is still a child. The thought that Sally was unsure and then dropped the bomb on Don “I don’t really know you” hit home that she might just believe anything about Don, if only someone would take the time to explain something about him to her.

    • John Gregor

      I haven’t seen it addressed yet, but up until a couple years ago in her history, Sally was largely being raised by a black woman. Seing a black woman of that age more as a potential source of comfort rather than a threat isn’t so completely unbelievable.

  • Heather

    Great Sally/Betty moment:
    Betty: Where’d you get that skirt?
    Sally: I earned it!
    Betty: on what street corner?

    • CatherineRhodes

      Lots of prostitution references this episode.

      • Heather

        Definitely. I just loved this particular one because it was SO spot-on of a mother and teenage daughter with a contentious relationship.

  • jen_wang

    I think I’m in the minority here, but Ken’s tap dancing scene was creepy to me: the manic, frenetic quality while he talks about how dehumanizing his work with Chevy is. It’s pretty on-the-nose to be literally tap dancing while talking about tap dancing for a client, but that, coupled with his completely terrified face in the opening, still made me worry for him. It made me wish (not for the first time) that he writes the next Great American Novel and gets out of there.

    Although those there were good time steps.

  • wayout46

    OK – the baby-faced copywriter whose name you refuse to learn is Frasier’s little kid, all grown up.

  • wayout46

    Slamming Dr. Feelgood and Sally’s micro-skirt – the times, they have a-changed.

  • PowerfulBusiness

    I have “Words of Love” on a loop, and feel like I’m in a weird, tripped out Mad Men universe in my house. It’s kind of awesome. Great closing song.

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

    I’m way too late to this very crowded party, but I’d just like to say that:

    - I really enjoyed the hell out of most of this episode, because of its freaky disjointedness

    - I loved Sylvia talking to Don in a way that no woman ever has before. Not that it got through at all, but because it’s never happened before.

    - KEN COSGROVE! Vaudeville star. That was utterly delightful.

    - I had fun explaining to my husband the trend in that time period for affluent Manhattan people to have B12 & speed shot into their asses by irresponsible East Side doctors, something I’d previously only read about in Jim Carroll’s memoirs.

    - I didn’t mind the part where Dick loses his virginity to the prostitute, but the scene where he pays the consequences wasn’t necessary for the story and didn’t mean anything. They should have just let Don faint and have that be all for that part.

    - Love angry petty Betty.

    • Kate

      “petty Betty.” Hah.

    • not_Bridget

      Being beaten after being raped seems fairly necessary to Don’s story. For years we’ve had a picture of his tough childhood–that was actually a bit more wholesome than what actually happened…

      • Jessica Stone

        I agree, it was absolutely necessary. It was victim shaming and blaming, and it’s crucial in his decision to make sure Sally knows what happened was not her fault.

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

        I don’t disagree with you exactly, but from a writing perspective it felt a little forced. It may have been the way the scene was played – it went on a bit too long and got a little campy – or it may have been its placement. I still think we’ve seen enough, though, of Dick’s hard and hypocritical childhood. They’re starting to shoot the outline a little.

        I will say that one thing I like about the flashbacks is the contrast between rural Depression-era Dick Whitman in his home-made clothes and home-cut hair, living in a series of humble and unforgiving homes, and the suave urban mid-century man he becomes, moving so easily in worlds Dick Whitman could never have imagined existing. And married to women wearing fabrics he also could never have imagined existing. Ha. Polyester joke, there.

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

    - Where the hell is Dawn and why is she never at her desk in the afternoon?!?!?!
    - That black lady went into various apartments and was completely comfortable saying things like “Is that mother of yours still a piece of work?” It’s sad she knew that she had a high chance of finding little white kids alone meant their parents were “Bettys” and “Dons”.

    • nycfan

      I wonder if Dawn is increasingly focused on office management tasks, since the first step when Jan put her in charge of … something (supply cabinet?).

    • not_Bridget

      Much of the office action took place over the weekend. The “creatives” often work Saturday and/or Sunday on special projects. The secretarial staff usually don’t….

  • bobman59

    Speaking of Dante’s Inferno, Sally was reading Rosemary’s Baby when the burglar interrupted her. I find that more interesting than Grandma Burglar.

    • nycfan

      That reminded me of when she and Henry’s mom scared themselves reading about Richard Speck, for some reason. Maybe “grandma Ida” was lucky she didn’t get stabbed by Sally!

  • Glammie

    So driving about in my hot (no functioning AC) car today, I started to wonder about a couple of things . . .

    1) What is it about Don and cars? His first successful job as Don Draper seems to be as a car sales man. His new car was a big deal in season 3 and also was the scene of Betty’s infamous upchuck. He drives off to nowhere and then Anna that same season. He jumps through all sorts of hoops for Jaguar and then Chevy. Cars are a big deal for him–if he drives a car does that mean he won’t get kicked by a horse like his father?

    He walks away from cars at the end of the Chevy–but not as irresponsibly as he has done such things in the past. He’ll continue to be the creative director, but he’s no longer going to put his heart and soul in it. He’s going to treat the Chevy account as work, not as the fulfillment of a dream.

    2) What if Mad Men (and, boy, did this episode put the “Mad” back in Mad Men) isn’t simply about Don Draper’s fall and Peggy’s rise, but also about Dick Whitman’s redemption? What if that redemption means leaving Don Draper and advertising behind? Don’s in a business where all dreams are for sale, but Dick Whitman was nearly destroyed the emotional costs of love for sale.

    The show seems a little more complex and ambiguous for a simple rise and fall of Don. I don’t think it’s really as simple as “Don never changes.” Don does try to change, but he doesn’t do a very good job of it–because he has such a problem looking at his past.

    3) The generation gap between Don and Megan is quietly getting bigger and bigger. There’s always been an age difference, but just how young Megan is seems more and more apparent. She really is kind of a hip big sister to Sally, more so than she was last season.

    • Jessica Stone

      On cars and Don. I think you have something there, but I think it’s tied less to his father’s death-by-horse and more to women. Remember the pitch for Jaguar?
      “Then I thought about a man of some means reading Playboy or Esquire, flipping past the flesh to the shiny painted curves of this car. There’s no effort to stop his eye. The difference is, he can have a Jaguar. Oh, this car, this thing, gentlemen…what price would we pay? What behavior would we forgive? If they weren’t pretty, if they weren’t temperamental, if they weren’t beyond our reach and a little out of our control, would we love them like we do? Jaguar…at last something beautiful you can truly own.”

      Now he’s in an episode where he’s supposed to be jumping through hoops for Chevy, but is instead jumping through hoops of his own making for Sylvia. When he walks away from Chevy, it corresponds with his being done with Sylvia. He’s through being rejected; it’s his turn to reject. He consigns her to ‘just another whore’ who ultimately abandons and shames him, and this is reflected in his attitude to Chevy (who also made him feel foolish) at the end.

      • Glammie

        Oh, good memory of the Jaguar pitch. I think you’re right about cars and women, but I’m also inclined to think the car thing goes even deeper–cars are both a sign of status and a form of literal escape for Don. (He clearly doesn’t feel that way about flying.) Wouldn’t be the first time there was an overdetermined metaphor on Mad Men.

        Also, if MM is partially about how California supersedes New York–well, there’s no place more car-centric than SoCal . . .

        • Jessica Stone

          Agreed on all points!

  • Cheryl

    Thanks for the reference to Miltowns. Many young medical professionals have never heard of them. My dad started giving me half a pill on the nights when I couldn’t sleep – I would have been 9 or 10 at the time, so late 1950s. As an adult I’ve been told this was a form of child abuse and he could have been prosecuted! Ah, good times…

  • lulubella

    I really loved the Clockwork Orange-like tap dance by Ken. Highly disturbing.

  • http://twitter.com/merc80 Lionel Ratchie

    “who found it shocking and revelatory that Don got his cherry popped by a blonde prostitute?”

    It may not be a usual way to look at it when it involves males, but could it not be possible to see it that Don was basically sexually molested rather than “had his cherry popped”? It is a bit tiring but I think that if we see Don as having been sexually molested then it would explain some of his behavior.

    • not_Bridget

      Molested–and then beaten for having been molested.

    • peggylarner

      Well, and not molested. Raped.

  • Kate

    More WTF:

    Archie/Abigail/Adam/Aimee/Anna

    Betty/Bobby/Bobbi

    Megan/Menken (Rachel)

  • just3003

    Chevrolet is their Vietnam. There are a lot of specific references. Slate has a good article on it.

    • CatherineRhodes

      How interesting. What are the references?

  • buddy100

    Peggy’s outfits have gone from matching Don’s office to matching Ted’s.

  • http://twitter.com/AShinyOConnor A Shiny O’Connor

    I think I actually love Ken – like the way teenagers love fictional vampire boys. Even before the tap routine. Geek-hunkiness.

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

    Have we been told yet WHY his stepmother starts running a whore house? I don’t get why she would want to do that, after having Don thrust upon her from a prostitute after his father died. Maybe it’s not central to the story, but it seems kind of heavy-handed, and the “why” of it is driving me mad. HALP.

    Also: LOVE THE GIF.

    • rachel schiff

      It does seem heavy-handed. I think it’s supposed to be because they were so poor after his father died. She turned to her sister (or some close relative?) who was married to the guy who ran the place. They agreed to take her in, and she wound up working for them to earn her keep.

      • Eric Stott

        Saying that she’s “running” the whore house isn’t correct, more like a cook-housekeeper I think – and not a happy one.

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

          Okay! This makes sense now. I must have missed a bit of dialogue somewhere, because I couldn’t figure it out. Thank you, everyone!

    • not_Bridget

      We were told the stepmother moved into her sister’s whorehouse–newly widowed, pregnant & burdened with her whorechild stepson. She had to screw the pimp but it appears her responsibilities mostly include housekeeping–not servicing the customers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001998855370 Fatima Siddique

    I wonder if Stan volunteered for the dart throwing because he was hoping somebody would put him out of his misery. Also, there are basically two Rogers on the show now. I hardly know what to do with myself.

  • katiessh

    no! do not dare condemn Stan! I am so sick of don I would legit watch a Mad Men spinoff with Trudy, Joan, Stan and maybe Peggy. The black people are criminals was a bit jarring, I agree.

  • rachel schiff

    Interesting that the burglar/con artist was the person who actually made
    Sally dinner that night, when Megan didn’t
    have time. There were a lot of loaded references to feeding in this
    episode, from the prostitute spoon-feeding soup to Dick Whitman and the
    whole thing with the soup campaign, to Don overhearing Sylvia telling
    her husband to eat something, someone telling Ted to just eat the
    sandwich, the awful Chevy clients wining and dining Ken and bullying
    him, and maybe even the drugs they’re given, a scene that had a
    force-feeding vibe, I thought. The feeding is sometimes caring and
    nurturing, and sometimes manipulative and dangerous.

    • CatherineRhodes

      Really good analysis. Plus the oatmeal campaign.

  • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

    Why on earth didn’t they find a young actor who looks remotely like Don (or Dick)?

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

    Can we talk about how awesome Ken Cosgrove is getting? As the season goes on it appears he has fewer and fewer f*cks to give. That tap dance was amazing and taken with his earlier comments about his father in law napalming children in Vietnam, a not so subtle hint he’s just about over being part of “the establishment.” I’ve always had a slight bit of a lady-boner for Ken which is only increasing in size this season.

    Side note, curious to know what’s going on with Ted and Nan.

  • CatherineRhodes

    I just read through many of the comments, and wanted to add a few bullet points.

    • Was it rape? Rape is defined as having sex against one’s will, which was clearly the case. No means no, even when a boy says it.

    • Was Sally old enough at 14 to babysit her sibs? Absolutely. Girls at 13 and 14 were regularly left with young children late at night.

    • Was it shocking that Sally was conned by Grandma Ida? No. After all, she had been raised by Carla, so it’s plausible her dad would have had a “negro” nanny.

    • Is it odd that Sally doesn’t know anything about her Dad’s life? Not so much. People of that generation didn’t talk much about their experiences with the Depression and the war. The whole sharing and self-expression culture kicked in during the 70s.

    A note on Ken Cosgrove. I found the opening sequence to be horrifying. Drunk people forcing Ken to drive at high speeds with his eyes covered while they shot out streetlights is just plain psychotic. I also found the tap dance routine to be sad and pathetic — like the humanity is being sucked out of poor Ken and nobody cares. There are people who lament the PC environment of modern corporate culture, but compared to the racism, misogyny and bad boy behavior of the 1960s, I’m happy for the legal protections workers have now. Can anyone imagine being forced by your boss to have an amphetamine shot at work?

    • not_Bridget

      And the more we learn about Don’s early life, the more we understand his reticence…..

    • calliopejane

      Regarding the babysitting: I was a bit after these folks, born in 1966 (47 years ago today, as a matter of fact!) but still before children were the primary focus of adults’ attention, and when teenagers were not really still seen and treated as “child-like.” I babysat for as many as 4 young children at a time, for $1/hour, from age 13 on. And not out of any hard-times necessity; I was a relatively privileged white middle class kid living in the suburbs — that’s how I got money for things my parents didn’t buy me, like record albums and impractical clothing (e.g., Sally’s skirt!). In fact, I stopped doing much babysitting once I hit 16 and could drive a car (this also was typical) – then I got a “real” after-school job in a business. But before one could drive, you had to earn money around the neighborhood: boys did yard work, girls babysat.

      And regarding Sally knowing little about Don’s life: Most men just weren’t so involved with child-rearing nor very open with feelings at all back then. And children weren’t supposed to be their parents’ friends or confidants anyway, so it just wasn’t expected that he’d be talking to me about things long past and done with, especially if they were painful. I was probably 10 or 12 before I even learned my dad had been married before! The marriage had been brief, and there were no kids, so it just hadn’t ever come up before that. I know my dad loved me and I never felt neglected — that was just “normal” at the time.

      • vandeventer

        Husbands and fathers might have been more absent back then, but it was not normal to keep your entire life’s story a secret from your family. Sure parents keep secrets, even today that is normal. Don is something entirely different – he purposely keeps everyone at a distance, including his children, to keep the life of Dick Whitman a secret.

        • calliopejane

          Hm, now that I’m pondering it more, I think I do agree that Don’s past being such a mystery is not so normal. But I just realized that what makes it so isn’t that Don never talks about it, but that they have no contact with any relatives of his! My dad didn’t talk about his childhood much with us, but his mother (our grandmother) did tell us some stories. We also had regular contact with his father, aunt, and brother. So although my dad wasn’t much one to reminisce or discuss feelings and philosophies with us, and the family he came from was not large, we did still have some larger context for him, a context from which we knew he came. The Draper kids do not have any context for Don at all.

    • peggylarner

      Thanks. He was obviously unwilling, which is the definition.

    • vandeventer

      Yes, it might have been plausible that Ida was Don’s nanny – the point is that Sally doesn’t know. She doesn’t know anything about her father’s life, and therefore can’t suss out whether Ida is lying or not. And this lack of knowledge is really dawning on Sally now.

  • http://twitter.com/pamelajo444 Pamela

    I loved this episode. I think it was a Rorschach test for 1968. I have always felt that Matt Weiner has certain episodes every season in which his primary goal is to let the viewers experience what the characters would be feeling during that time period. Of course, all good art does that to some extent, but Mad Men occasionally seems specifically designed this way. When these episodes occur, I love reading the comment sections, not so much for the content but for the emotion expressed.

    I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many people are getting sick of Don this season, even though his behavior this season is no more egregious than previous seasons. That’s a very 1968 phenomenon, too. The Don Drapers of the world were losing their allure. The handsome/white/male genetic lottery ticket was no longer an automatic win.

    I really loved the “ghost of Christmas future” bookends of this episode. The first, when Don got the “Dr Rosen” call and Sylvia said she just wanted him to see how that would feel. The second was more powerful though. When Don walked into his apartment and saw Betty, Megan, his kids and the POLICE. You just know that his mind was reeling with the possibilities of what that meant and I think he passed out from sheer relief as much as exhaustion. If anything will ever make Don change, I think it is that moment.

    • Jessica Stone

      Funny, I also thought of ‘ghost of Christmas past/present/future’ watching this episode. Though without the Christmas, naturally.

  • http://twitter.com/creeple Alice

    This might just be me being overly scholarly, but I looked up St. Sebastian and found a really interesting connection.

    Don Draper says Peggy reminds him of Irene Dunne in “Maidenform.”

    In “Chinese Wall,” Stan tells Peggy it’s the fall of Rome, and that’s why they should totally make out.

    In “The Crash,” the glasses guy from CGC says that Stan is about to look like St. Sebastian, the saint who gets pierced by arrows.

    ….Want to know who saved St. Sebastian? IRENE OF ROME.

  • DocPooh

    As an African American I wasn’t offended by the portrayal of
    “thievin’ grandma”, nor am I offended by the heretofore relative paucity of
    Blacks and other minority characters.
    The show is about the lives of Madison Ave. ad execs in the 1950’s, now
    60’s. I feel pretty comfortable
    surmising that the vast majority of these folks’ lives were spent in the
    company of other white people. Now that
    we are into the 1960’s, there are and will probably be more (not a great deal
    more), but some more blacks and other groups interacting with them. When/if it gets to the 1970’s then things
    should be even more diverse. Mad Men is set in what would have been an almost
    exclusively WHITE world and I certainly don’t want the show engaging in revisionist
    history. I suppose they could have
    featured more black maids or shoe shine people, (wasn’t there an
    African-American elevator operator at one time?) but they would simply been
    peripheral, nonessential characters. (This
    is why we had the civil rights movement!) Racism and discrimination still exist
    today, but I believe that TV shows set in modern times ought to reflect a more diverse
    (possibly idealized) intermingling of individuals.

    As for thievin’ grandma, I think she showed moxie. And regarding her mannerisms, many, many
    blacks have Southern roots and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Southern whites eat the same food and “talk”
    the same way. Well-meaning others think
    that depicting southern mannerisms in any black person is negative. But since we know that black folks are as
    diverse as any other group, I don’t see grandma’s depiction as problematic.

  • panthertron

    so what the thief was black? would you rather it had been a gay beautiful mixed race 20 something? please.

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

      Congratulations. Of all the dumb, completely-misses-the-point responses to that one point, yours is the dumbest.

  • tintashoopa

    Is there any chance Don is going to end up with lung cancer? What was with all the coughing?

    It seems so literal or obvious and uninteresting to me, however, Weiner and Co. could probably make it clever and compelling.

  • desertwind

    I’m now more interested in Dick Whitman than in Don!

    When he and Abigail arrived at the whorehouse, she was familiar with the place and what’s expected of her. Were she and her sister prostitutes when she met Archibald? (I doubt they met in church…) Her sister greets her with, “I’m with Mack now,” meaning she’s moved up from prostitute to house-keeper, though Mack is still the rooster with access to all the hens. In this episode we see that Abigail is with Mack now. How qickly did that happen and where’s the sister?

    Don once said that his Uncle Mack was nice to him. Will we see how that was? Is it just that Mack lets him be?

    We’ll probably never learn any of that, but hope we’ll see how Dick went from the scared yokel in Korea to the superficially comfortable used-car salesman that Anna tracks down. How does he become so articulate and “The Don Draper”? Where does he get the drive?

    PS – How will Ken Cosgrove break the puppet strings?

  • Denise Robinson

    It was off-putting to see another African-American character, as a criminal again on the show, but she had access to the building. Yet, as T&L stated, it served the purpose in showing how Sally and Bobby don’t know anything about Don’s family background. When Bobby asked Sally, if they were Negroes, he really was serious with that question. Both of his oldest kids are at the age, in which they are going to want to know about their family.

    Sally’s slowly seeing how much of a cipher, her dad really is and how alone Megan is, in regards to her having to be a step-mom.

    The respect and love that she and Bobby have for Henry is what they need in their lives. He is the father figure that they’ll turn to during a crisis.

  • Denise Robinson

    Now, I enjoyed this episode immensely, because OF the drug and alcohol induced frenzy of it. I loved that Peter just got up and left the madness, because that’s not what he would participate in. This is 1968 and when the character (perfectly portrayed by Harry Hamlin), said he had a “doctor, who could fix them”, I knew we were in for some tripping. I just didn’t think that Don, would be the one to lose all sense in his journey this episode.

    The scene of Don and Dawn, watching Cosgrove do his tap dance and it all pertaining to his job and how it shames him, knowing that he’s at the beck and call of their clients: terrific.

    Dawn’s look of, ” this is what I’ve got to deal with, in order to make my place in this world” was so on point and she, also wasn’t on the “pep medicine”.

  • peggylarner

    Having a black woman invade the apartment was certainly problematic. As some have pointed out elsewhere (and probably here), that characteristic heightens the confusion of the audience because obviously she’s not Don’s mother, and that was effective, and could probably be justified.

    But the creepiness achieved in that scene really troubles me, because I think some of it really, really made use of terrible learned racism. The actor was obviously phenomenal and did a lot with it, but it seems to me there’s a lot of really scary cultural fears doing part of the work here (that Americans of all races/backgrounds would have been steeped in). If the writers were unaware of this it’s bad on one level, but if they were aware and were manipulating it, it seems pretty deeply unethical.

    This isn’t, to me, about PC/not PC, which is an easy thing people cite when they don’t want to have a more complex conversation. I think if you’re going to take advantage of racist tropes and ideas to pull off a scene in a show (not to comment on it, just to USE it, keeping it below the surface to reinforce the effect racist tropes have to begin with) that’s unethical.

    The show’s determined avoidance of major black characters/incorporation of black perspective really doesn’t help give the benefit of the doubt here.

  • ideated_eyot

    Three witches: Sylvia, Wendy, Ida. All manifestations of Amy, who is Dick’s real mother.

    That is why Ida can persuade his kids she is their grandmother. Note that Ida makes food for them , just like Amy made soup for Dick; and she robs their house, the way Amy stole his virginity. Also notice that Wendy uses a stethoscope on Don, just as Amy listened to Dick’s lungs and heart. Sylvia’s birthmark and domestic drag are obvious references to Amy—that we know—plus, I would guess, other things…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mythologicality DC Sheehan

    Was ‘Ida’ playing a stereotype of the sassy mothering black woman to better con Sally? O was sure Sally was dreaming it all until the second scene with Bobby in it. I thought Sally had constructed Ida using what she knew of black women – TV and movie maids and her own housekeeper(s) past. Once I realised it was real I assumed Ida was simply being ‘unthreatening’ and playing up to a well to do white girl.

    For me it was the best part of a boring episode. Apart from the Stan kissing Peggy scene which, as TLo point out, made us think of Stan’s behaviour differently. Stan’s the second sexiest man on the show so always happy to see him get screen time.

    Sexiest? Don? God no, i wouldn’t even notice him in a room. Dr Rosen gets my vote. Such a cutie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christy.hornecyr Christy Horne Cyr

    So, how many Adverse Childhood Experiences did the young Dick Whitman rack up so far? Death of a parent? Two! Plus bonus points for his mother dying in childbirth after conceiving him as a working girl AND witnessing the death of his drunken, alcoholic father. Physical, mental, and sexual abuse? The trifecta! Constant worry over money and security? Yep — got those, too! Being shamed and belittled for being a “whore child?” Yep! Dick Whitman didn’t have a single secure attachment as a child. Not one. If a kid has one such Adverse Childhood Experience, things are harder for him. For someone like Dick Whitman who has more than 6? Things are well nigh impossible.

    You can’t “yadda yadda” these kinds of things. Those who haven’t been through similar experiences can’t know just what this sort of constant horror does to a child. The emerging field of research delving into ACEs and the resultant effects of constant life-or-death stress upon a developing brain is truly eye opening — and sad making. Google it. Or go here: http://acestoohigh.com/got-your-ace-score/

    Mortality rates from all causes are higher for people with ACEs. Addiction and obesity? Ditto. Higher rates of suicide and mental illness? Yep!

    Also, if Mad Men has shown us anything, it has shown us that the patriarchy and misogyny hurt men just as much as women. In that culture, it would take a miracle for this character to ever become okay with women. Don Draper needs to spend time alone and in therapy. Not likely to happen. I’m pulling for him all the more after this week’s revelation. I thought that him finding the oatmeal ad was a really poignant moment that JH played beautifully. Will this be a spark to lead DD to try to redeem himself and stop looking for redemption in the form of a beautiful woman who can never live up to his needy ideal of her? A person can never “get over” this kind of horror. With hard work, determination, and self-forgiveness, it IS possible to learn acceptance and to build a wonderful life. I would like to see DD get that “happy ending.” I very seriously doubt the MW will give it to us, though!

  • Redlanta

    Wow! I’m late to the board this week. Sorry. Like 99% of others, I’m also tired of endless rehashes of Don’s Madonna/Whore issues. Get it-Done-Move on (I sound like Peggy!) One thing that really stood out to me is that our good little Catholic Sylvia is absolutely experienced in adultery. If her spouse ever moves to California, she’d be hooking up with a little pool boy in no time. Loved how she tried to school Don, over the phone, in how you pick someone out and then end it. Priceless! And yes, she had the mole. All the women in his life who dumped him do…
    How did the robber-mammie know so much about the Drapers? That made no sense to me. Loved Skinny Bitchy Betty!

  • ideated_eyot

    I guess this has turned out to be one of the most revelatory episodes, if I am interpreting it correctly. It seems that Don’s mother did not die giving birth to him at all, but lived on to continue working at Mack’s whorehouse… and she and Dick committed unwitting incest. The picture in her room was him. Could be way off, but it seems correct. Don had sold himself on a fiction to block out what actually happened.

    • 3hares

      No, you’re not interpreting it correctly. The picture in the room wasn’t him. Aimee wasn’t his mother. His mother did die in childbirth. She didn’t take any pictures of her baby.

  • librarygrrl64

    “What made this episode not-so-great in retrospect was the heavy focus once again on Don Fucking Draper and his Big Bag of Fucking Bullshit.”

    Jesus, amen to THAT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Ross/100000535030312 Bob Ross

    Dis anybody else notice Megan did not respond when Betty said she was on the casting couch? I am beginning to think Megan is the one fooling around. I know Betty was upset, but Don was right there and you would think a “that’s not true” would be natural, but she said nothing. She has not got pregnant yet, which is a little odd considering they have been married a while now. It would not surprise me if she is the one who leaves Don for another guy in her industry that can help her out in her career. Don being dumped would be a new low, he could not keep his trophy wife would be a twist. Being a step mom to three kids in a marriage not going well would be I think a hard thing to keep up and she is not invested enough anymore in that relationship to “make it work”. (Not in the same career anymore, no kids with him, etc..)

    • Noodles

      Megan did get pregnant. She suffered a miscarriage though, which she shared with Sylvia first, then Don, earlier in the season.

      I took her silence in that moment as her not wanting to pick a fight and feeling guilty about leaving the kids alone.

  • KTBSN

    How long until the flashback that shows adolescent Dick/Don prostituting himself at the whorehouse?

  • mhleta

    Where was Joan? Why no mention of “Dr. Feelgood”? And, every episode I ask, how is Roger not dead with all his drinking and smoking and carrying on with his serious heart condition? (In those days, with a heart condition like his, you either radically changed your lifestyle, or to died.) How could he possibly tolerate a shot of speed? And why did we not get to see him after the shot? Rhetorical, obviously, but this annoyed me. I’m a week behind. Obviously.