Mad Men: Favors

Posted on June 10, 2013

Pardon us while we do a victory dance. It’s obnoxious; we admit it, but we think we’ve earned it.

We’ll put some spoiler space here, just so it doesn’t pop up on the front page.

Mad+Men+S6E11+2Okay. Are you ready for our victory dance? Please hear the following in an annoying sing-song voice.

HE GAY HE GAY BOB BENSON IS A BIG OL’ GAY

Sorry about that, y’all, but in a season where attempts to thoughtfully read and analyze the story seemingly got hand-waved away while people spent way too much time on silly theories that were never going to pan out, we would like to take this opportunity – of us being right. Did we mention that part? About how we were right when we pointed out that Bob might be gay? – to let people know that with Mad Men, taking time to look at the text thoughtfully and analytically is always going to be a more accurate and more enjoyable experience than spinning off silly theories that sound like they came off the back of a cereal box. You would not believe the high-fiving going on in our living room the moment those knees touched. We actually had to pause the show just to savor the moment.

We’ve seen some attempts around the internet this morning to hang onto the theory that Bob is some sort of mole, con man or spy, but it’s time to give that one up, folks. People can – and will – quibble about where Bob fits on the Kinsey scale and whether or not he’s bisexual, but the point is and always has been that Bob’s sometimes odd behavior was explained away in the most mundane, real-world manner possible: he’s a man with a secret and that secret is he’s in love with his boss. In other words, Bob Benson fits perfectly into the world of Mad Men, after all.Mad+Men+S6E11+14

Having said that, despite Matthew Weiner’s attempts to be coy about it in the “Inside Mad Men” post-show video, we think it’s fairly clear that Bob is gay and not bisexual. Or at least, the story is going out of its way to give that impression. It’s hard to put our finger on it exactly, but Bob comes across “culturally gay,” as in, he isn’t like Sal Romano, who was a totally closeted gay man. His friendship with Manolo indicates someone who socializes in the gay community (such as it was in 1968) and the lengths the story went to to indicate his utter lack of sexual interest in Joan do not help paint a picture of someone in the middle of the Kinsey scale.

Can we just point out the UTTER WEIRDNESS that the two gay male characters on the show are named Sal and Bob? As in … Sally and Bobby? Weiner likes his little name games but that’s just … odd.

Okay, enough back-patting. Other things happened this episode besides the revelation that Bob Benson has taste in men just as bad as Peggy and Joan (those three SERIOUSLY need to go out for drinks and dish). To be honest, in the light of day, despite the massive shift in the relationship between Don and Sally, we find so much of what happened last night in the world of Don Draper to be of the “Oh. We’re here again?” variety. That’s not perhaps fair, since we thought this was easily among the best episodes of the season, but we simply can’t reiterate just how much we dislike the Sylvia character and we found ourselves quite annoyed to be back in the orbit of the Rosen apartment. To our thinking, Season 6 has been the most uneven, least satisfying season of the series, due almost entirely to Matthew Weiner’s insistence on spending the entire first half of it on yet another one of Don’s affairs. And despite the attempts to make her appear fascinating, Sylvia isn’t even in the top five of Don’s most interesting women. She’s dull, hypocritical and judgmental. We couldn’t roll our eyes at her hard enough when she was pounding the bed in the throes of her Catholic guilt – not over what she Mad+Men+S6E11+7did, but over the fact that she got caught. Give us the ladies who know themselves well and confidently make their way through the world, like Bobbie, Rachel and even Midge. Those were always the best, most interesting of Don’s mistresses. Sylvia’s just another bored housewife in a show that’s sometimes heavy with that type of character.

Her purpose as a character was made a little more clear in the phone conversation with Don. It turns out she actually broke his heart. We knew she hurt him – and that does tend to make her a rarity among Don’s women – but we didn’t realize until they talked about it how much she hurt him and how much this relationship was a reversal of pretty much every sexual relationship Don ever had. “You were good to me, better than I was to you,” she says. It still doesn’t make her fascinating, but at least it explains what Weiner was trying to do with this character. Apparently, she rocked his world like practically no other lady has. We find that a little hard to swallow, given Don’s romantic history, but we suppose what’s happened with Sylvia is less about her and more about Don’s pathetic wheel-spinning and compulsion to make the same mistakes over and over again. It’s not so much that she rocked his world as it is that she happened to be the one standing there while his world got rocked. Like Betty sleeping with him again, a whole bunch of emotional factors needed to be in place for Don to wind up in this place; a sense of failure, disappointment and loneliness worse than at any other time in his life. We’d like to say we felt sorry for him in that elevator scene, when he pretty much fell apart, but we can’t say we do.

But at least Sylvia was used as an agent of change in this episode. We’d be a lot more annoyed with the show if Don simply fell back into bed with her for no reason. Instead, his obsession with her paid off by both healing his rift with Ted (inadvertently on Don’s part; deliberately on Ted’s) and opening up a huge, unlikely-to-ever-heal rift between him and one of a tiny handful of people who matter to him: Sally. To steal a line from Betty, “That poor girl.” It’s been a running joke for years among the show’s fandom that Sally going to have some massive therapy bills in the ’80s, but now it seems sadly inevitable. Mad+Men+S6E11+10

Interestingly, there was a bit of a theme of children being repulsed by the sexual natures of their parents. Sally’s  absolutely glorious – and LONG overdue – “YOU MAKE ME SICK!” was an echo of Pete’s laughing “You’re making me sick!” at the thought of his mother experiencing pleasure at the *ahem* hands of her nurse. Of course that scene was all about someone’s parents having a bit of a moment, wasn’t it? A long overdue moment. There have been times when we thought Peggy’s and Pete’s relationship – years of working side by side, knowing they had a child together that neither of them have ever met – sometimes strained credulity. It was nice to see them have this moment, not because we entertain thoughts of them getting together, but because it was human and realistic. “Because you really know me,” he says to her, and for the second time that day (the first being Dorothy Campbell’s inadvertent bomb drop of “the child you and Peter have together” into an innocuous conversation) her eyes fill with tears as the ache resurfaces. “I do,” she squeaks. It’s good that Mad Men doesn’t wallow in the histories of its characters because it would be tedious and unrealistic if they did. Besides, it gives the audience these beautiful, graceful moments where two characters can connect deeply without every saying anything overtly.

This was the episode for Peggy to cycle through all the possible men in her life, post-Abe – and boy, did she get over that one quickly or what? She’s clearly still infatuated, if not in love with Ted (and he clearly still feels the same about her), she had a lovely moment with the father of her child, and then she wound up calling good old Stan to come and save her from the violent, bloody home invasion the fans have been salivating for all season. Except instead of Manson Family members somehow finding themselves in NYC penthouses, it was merely a bloodied rat under Peggy’s couch. But when none of these men panned out for her – Ted, because he recommitted himself to his wife and family; Pete, because … well, she’d be a fool, and besides, she’d have to fight Bob Benson for him and Bob outweighs her by about a hundred pounds; and Stan, because as he reminded her, he’s not her boyfriend, and his night was booked – she finally took the advice her mother gave her years ago and got herself a cat. Mad+Men+S6E11+4

And finally, Ted and Don ended their long war and each of them got to be reunited with their families at the end of it. But Ted, as we’ve seen again and again this season, isn’t really like Don at all and he got to go home to a loving family and make amends to a wife he’s seemingly more committed to. Don just walked into another kind of war zone, because for him, the war goes ever on, fueled entirely by his own demons and bullshit.

Much, MUCH more in our Mad Style post on Wednesday. For now, have some bullets:

  • We think if AMC had any brains at all, they’d have a “Name Peggy’s Cat” contest, but since that’s not likely, we’re instituting one here. You won’t win anything except our respect. Throw out names in the comments section. We’re going with either Ralph, Waldo, or Emerson; possibly Napoleon.
  •  Since we’ve trained you all so well to look for color and costuming motifs and you’re already throwing out observations, we’ll just say that in an episode dealing with orange juice vs. cranberry juice, there was a sudden explosion of oranges and reds.
  • “What’s the point of having a mansion if you’re going to spend all your time in here?” was actually a funny little meta moment.
  • “I don’t want his juice, I want my juice!” They really are a bunch of toddlers having temper tantrums and playing with themselves, aren’t they?
  • Sally’s friend Julie is quite smooth. “Are you a musician? What’s a good place to eat around here?” Quite the player at 14. Also: “You smell like Prell. ” MY GOD, did that bring us right back.
  • “Tuesday” is clearly an agreed-upon code phrase for Stan and Peggy. “Tuesday morning’s great,” he said to her this episode, a callback to the hilarious  “Your wig will be ready on Tuesday, ma’am” when Ted walked in on them talking on the phone.
  • Don did a favor for Sylvia, Ted did a favor for Don, Stan refused to do a favor for Peggy, Pete turned down Bob’s offer for favors, and Julie thought she was doing Sally a favor. THEMES!
  • We thought it was kind of darkly hilarious that after Dorothy said cruelly to Pete, “You were a sour little boy and you’re a sour little man. You’ve always been unlovable,” he let her wander out onto the streets alone, which in 1968 was a highly dangerous prospect in NYC for a woman dressed like Dorothy.
  • “Like everything else in this country, Diplomacy Club is just an excuse to make out!” And with that, Betty’s transformation to perfect Republican candidate’s wife is complete.

 

 

 

[Stills: tomandlorenzo.com]

    • Nan Little Kirkpatrick

      When it happened, I turned to my husband and said, “TOM AND LORENZO CALLED IT!”

      • bxbourgie

        Me too!!!! As soon as Bob downed that entire drink and started speaking I KNEW what was coming because TLO had already prepared me!

        • hellkell

          As soon as the camera cut to Bob after Pete said “degenerate,” I was all, “YEP, Bob’s gay.”

          • juliamargaret

            Me too. That pregnant pause said it all.

          • AudreysMom

            Absolutely. That slight pause on his saddened eyes sealed the deal.

          • Rose_H_Tyler

            That’s when I knew TLo was right too! I felt so sad for him. I don’t understand why he’s in love with Pete, but Bob really seems like a decent guy.

            • flightier

              Maybe he’s in love with Pete because Pete is the one who needs him. Pete’s the one who had him buy toilet paper, Pete’s the one who wanted company at the brothel, etc. If Ken had accepted the deli trays sent to the funeral he might be in love with Ken instead.

            • Rose_H_Tyler

              I think you’ve got it exactly right!

            • Munchkn

              Didn’t Sal have an un-unspoken thing for Ken? IIRC, it involved Ken leaving his lighter at Sal and Kitty’s place after dinner. Sal pocketed the lighter and Kitty noticed that.

            • bxbourgie

              Kitty didn’t notice the lighter. She did however, notice Sal’s enactment of the Patio commercial he was about to direct. The look on her face told me that she suspected her husband was gay before that, but him running up to her, pushing his shoulder together, and waving while saying “Hello Patio!” pretty much confirmed her suspicions.

            • Elizabetta1022

              That was an amazing scene. I so wish we could catch up with Sal!!

            • Topaz

              Now Ken, I get.

            • Ally08

              Bob would have restocked his Raisin Bran, too.

            • Travelgrrl

              You mean “Roger had accepted the deli trays”? It was Roger’s mother’s funeral…?

            • Topaz

              He definitely likes having a guy around who isn’t repulsed by him. Which begs the question. WHY ISN’T BOB REPULSED BY HIM?

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

              Why wasn’t Trudy? Or Peggy? Or Beth? Or that neighbor who became infatuated with him?

            • Topaz

              Well, yeah. I wonder that often.

            • quitasarah

              Pete can be very charming, he’s a sales man. We’ve seen him at his worst moments, we know what an asshole he can be, Bob doesn’t. And I think flightier has it right — Bob loves Pete because Pete’s the one who needs him, who needs to be loved.

            • DawnMarie76

              If Bob is really in love with Pete, it is kind of the like the Don-Sylvia love relationship in the lack of foundation in the writing …there was not enough explanation for me about how it happened, or what the attraction is.

            • Kate

              It’s the SIDEBURNS

            • DawnMarie76

              Don’t worry Bob, a little electroshock will make you forget the sideburns and the deep sky blue eyes.

            • Guest

              That receding hairline and sweaty forehead, the permanent scowl, the endless preppy negative whine. It just really does it for some people.

            • buddy100

              Maybe Bob wants to prepare and serve Pete’s freshly skinned meat…log cabin included, of course.

          • Patricia Biswanger

            The hurt just flitted across his face, briefly but deeply.

          • fursa_saida

            What I couldn’t understand was why Bob went ahead and made a move directly after that comment. Like, if there’s a bigger “DANGER, DO NOT ENTER” sign Pete could have (unknowingly) hung out at that moment, I don’t know what it is. BOB, YOU’RE CUTE AND YOU HAVE GAME. (Seriously, I even fell a little in love staring into those Bambi eyes.) TURN BACK.

      • P M

        And what did he turn to you and reply?

      • rag254

        Me too. Other reviewers were clearly disappointed Bob wasn’t a Martian spy mole, but I feel so vindicated in this. TLO seriously has the best Mad Men recaps.

        • JosephLamour

          “Martian Spy Mole From The Planet ZON” would be a great title for a B movie.

      • theotherTLO

        Yes! Me too!! I did a little dance. Tom and Lorenzo, you guys rock

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

        As soon as Bob started making with the puppy dog eyes, I heard a gleeful chorus of Bitter Kittens saying together: Tom and Lorenzo were right!

        Congratulations, guys.

        • Glammie

          Yeah, as an early supporter of the Bob-is-gay theory and arguing earlier that his knowing a male nurse was evidence, I do feel smug as all get-out. So big congrats to TLo.

          I’m also happy Bob is gay because there are a good set of potential story lines for the show. Unlike Sal and Kurt, Bob isn’t hidden away in creative, he works directly with clients. Unlike Sal, his closet’s substantially more transparent. It’s pretty clear that he’s gay outside of work.

          Also we’ve gone from–unspeakable, immediately fireable if at all discovered with Sal to more of a don’t-ask, don’t-tell. Manolo’s going to get a month’s severance–so an honorable discharge as it were–and Pete’s going to pretend he doesn’t know what Bob was really saying. There’s going to be a tacet acceptance of Bob’s otherness as long as he pretends that he has no personal life.

          This reminds me of my conservative god-awful aunt saying in the mid-70s how some homosexual people were all right–they could be quite good at decorating and entertaining. At the same time, her son went from using his first name to his middle when they realized that the friend for whom they named him was gay.

          Anyway, Boys in the Band (1968) is on Youtube and I watched it because of the whole discussion here–and the one putatively straight character says something about not minding homosexuals as long as they didn’t actually flaunt it. That pretty much sums up the “sophisticated” attitude of the time.

          • Heather

            A question though: I took Pete’s speech about letting go Manolo with a month’s pay to be a metaphor for Bob Benson – ie, he was indirectly firing Bob in that scene. I also found it somewhat implausible that Bob would go ahead with his confession after Pete used the word ‘degenerate.’ Hmmmm….

            • 3hares

              Bob didn’t get fired, but I think Pete’s firing Manolo was Pete’s way of turning Bob down. “It’s disgusting” meaning “No, you and I are not going to happen. I’m not ever going to do that.” Up until then Pete was probably going to keep Manolo and let his mother have her fantasy. Bob brought it into reality and linked it to the two of them.

            • Toby Worthington

              Precisely my reaction, Heather. Bob should’ve instinctively realized that he was barking
              up the wrong tree, then and there. But then love makes fools of everyone. Still, there

              was something decidedly cringe-making about that scene, specially when Bob moved his
              knee closer. That would not have happened in 1968 in broad daylight—Bob’s character would have been far more circumspect.

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

              “That would not have happened in 1968 in broad daylight”

              This happened privately, behind closed doors, which is exactly how gay people sought each other out back then, when they weren’t seeking each other out in somewhat seedy backalleys and parks, which is decidedly not Bob’s style. This absolutely would have and did happen in 1968.

              And Bob, like all people, “should instinctively realize” when he’s doing something ill-advised, but Bob, like all people, went ahead and did it anyway. This isn’t as remarkable a thing as people are making it out to be, in our opinion. It’s very much in keeping with Mad Men’s major themes.

            • Topaz

              It’s certainly more plausible than Downton Abbey’s Thomas “there is definitely nothing bad that could happen if I kiss you in your sleep” Barrow.

            • Glammie

              I think, too, Pete let Bob do some rather intimate things for him–buy his toilet paper, bring in his buddy as his mother’s nurse. It had gone past a work relationship. And Bob doesn’t know Pete is separated from his wife because he was catting around. I could also see Pete’s upper-class mannerisms being misread by a hopeful Bob.

              Bob probably thinks Pete is cute, boyish with big blue eyes. He doesn’t know he’s a creep.

            • wayout46

              I think the camera shot-and-linger gave the whole knee-play much more emphasis than it would have gotten in a real-life scenario. As a teen, I remember doing exactly that with the object of my affection (another male) in Biology class, and this was in 1976! We’ve been lucky enough to remain friends and were able to discuss my crush later in life. No issues, but he told me he made sure not to encourage me. Though, at the time, this did evolve into a somewhat hurtful estrangement from his part, that’s how high school kids rolled in the 70’s. My point is that the scenario was very realistic but perhaps the way the scene was shot wasn’t.
              (I also caught my father making out with my mom’s friend…but that’s another MM parallelism for another day)

            • Glammie

              And I remember getting one of the girl versions of those passes back in college–a lingering hug. It was more a bit awkward than anything. Very late 70s–this kind of thing was I think pretty typical. Still is, I’d expect.

            • fursa_saida

              Yeah, a close friend of mine casually let her hand fall onto my leg a while back, and all I did was lean away a little bit and pretend not to notice. We’ve never talked about it, everything’s fine. I’m sure if someone had filmed it as part of the movie of my life, that hand would have gotten a pretty lingering shot (note: this scene would not make it in, but theoretically–yes, I spend time thinking about the movie of my life, it’s actually a great decision-making mechanism), but in the moment it’s not like it went on for ten minutes and we were both staring at her hand.

              (When I say it’s a great decision-making mechanism, I mean that assuming safety isn’t an issue, and other things being equal, I ask myself, “would doing this improve the movie of my life?” and if the answer’s yes, then I do it. It’s worked pretty excellently for me so far! Hailee Steinfeld’s going to play me, it’s gonna be great.)

            • Kathy G

              I had the suspicion/fantasy there were hidden cameras filming my life when I was in about 5/6 grade. That explains my melodramatic sighs, staged moodiness, tears and impressive reading list. I had a weird imagination. What can I say, 5 stepsiblings were thrust upon me during that time. In the movie of my life, I thought I was Sarah Crewe.

            • fursa_saida

              I mean, Sarah Crewe is a great character to fantasize about being.

            • ankali

              Your decision-making mechanism is pretty brilliant, and I plan to start using it.

            • Topaz

              I kind of read it that way too. Well, I read it as “you are in serious deep water, friend. Get paddling.” I don’t think Bob was fired there and then, but I think he is in very risky territory. Pete was obviously really upset by what happened too – my guess is he was clearly delighted to have a real male friend and now he feels like the last refuge of his self esteem has been taken away. 1968 is a long way off someone being able to feel flattered about a gay friend having a crush on them.

            • Sweetpea176

              I can see why Bob chose that moment — First, if he said nothing, he would be accepting that the object of his affections considers him a “degenerate,” which could be a more painful prospect than being rejected. More than anything else, I think that humans have a compelling drive to be seen and understood for who we are, and I think that drive often trumps whatever we believe the outcome will be. Maybe I’m just projecting from my own experience(s) with unrequited love or attraction, but I’m not sure Bob was trying to seduce Pete as much as he was asking Pete to really see him. But also, the “degenerate” remark gave him a context for bringing up his feelings for Pete — a rarely opened window that would close very quickly if he didn’t act.

            • Glammie

              I don’t think you can fire someone by metaphor. I think Pete was rejecting Bob, we’ll see how much Pete can deal with him now.

        • sleepycat

          Of the screen shots I have seen of this moment and others, I want to say that James Wolk is a great actor. There is a tenderness, an understanding of all the emotions that go through his mind at moments like these. I would also like to marry someone like Bob (or at least the chronic nonsexualized (although not neutered), I am gay and other then that I am “normal”). Honestly, my gaydar pings at most of the guys I find attractive, so I can’t give a clear yes or no that James is gay or not, but like I said he is just right in what I am looking for.

          • editrixie

            Did you see him on Happy Endings, by any chance? He played Max’s perfect boyfriend, and I was so heartbroken when they ended that relationship. James Wolk is just really wonderful; I want him to be in all my TV shows now.

          • fursa_saida

            His face was a painting during that whole speech. The last time I saw Bambi eyes that intense on a live-action face, I was watching Hugh Dancy lose his mind on Hannibal. Which is saying a lot, because he may actually be Bambi.

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

        Same here. Only I think I said, “Crap. They’re going to be insufferable tomorrow,” and my husband knew exactly who I was talking about. :)

      • soniabe

        Pete humilliated Bob exactly like he did to Peggy at the start. Don’t you think Peter, “you were a sour little boy and you’re a sour little man”, may just be an unhappy and frustrated 1960 long time closeted gay? I mean, he didn’t say NO right away, he took his time and said it in his frustrated little voice

        • Topaz

          Oh, I’m sure Pete’s got all KINDS of sexual hang-ups but I don’t think he’s gay. I mean, lots of straight/slightly bisexual/very bisexual people have crushes on members of the same sex and maybe Pete has too. But I don’t think Pete would ever, ever be able to acknowledge it to himself

        • Thundar99

          Totally!

    • decormaven

      Peggy’s cat is named Morris. And he’s going to earn her a bazillion bucks when she writes that ad….

      • JulieTy

        Genius. I’ll stop trying to think of one now: You NAILED it! :-)

        • decormaven

          I’m flabbergasted by the response. Thanks to you & all the BKs.

      • formerlyAnon

        Genius indeed. Though I think that’s his stage name . . .

        • marishka1

          Perhaps Peggy’s cat “Morris” inspires the character “Morris”.

      • Lisa

        Peggy’s cat: “Something.”

        • gabbilevy

          That’s my vote.

          • Pennymac

            Mine too.

        • katchwa

          You’ve got my vote!

        • NiseiShonagon

          Lineage of sire Ralph Waldo and dam Cherbrook Farm’s Emerson.

      • Rhonda Shore

        Wish I’d thought of that!

      • CozyCat

        How about “Belle Jolie”?

      • cpjones79

        It’s clearly not a coincidence that Peggy’s cat is orange/yellow, and not blue, green, or cranberry red in this episode. I expect a very thorough dissection of this color choice on Wednesday. Since the cat is orange/yellow, I’m guessing they went with Sunkist? THEMES!

        • Wellworn

          Yes but the bloody rat is cranberry red.

          • Sean Gill

            THIS

        • Kathryn Sanderson

          Maybe she should name the cat Sunkist. Why not? Or just Sunny.

        • omg_dora

          Hee! Actually, I can seriously suggest one possible meaning for the cat’s color — ginger cats are mostly male and she adopted the cat after going through her potential love interests and seeing they’re no good. The cat’s her new boyfriend.

      • Judy_J

        Purrrr-fect!

      • MK03

        Peggy’s cat: “Cat.”

        • purpleprose78

          Or Miss Kitty or Tom (if it is a boy cat.) I don’t see Peggy as a creative cat namer.

          • Glammie

            But she’s a copywriter–she’s got a flair for words, she’ll name it something. And it’s gotta be a boy cat. Cat is the guy in her life.

            That said, I have no idea what she’d name it. I’m always naming cats something mundane.

            Maybe she can just name it “Don” if he’s not fixed.

            • Munchkn

              She’s better get it fixed! Unneutered tom spray all over the place and cat pee really stinks! Don would be a good choice though since Don cats around so much.

            • Glammie

              Fixing cats wasn’t so pervasive then, so . . . .

              But, yes, I was thinking about Don catting around.;-)

              Hmmm, maybe Don should be fixed, He’d gain a little weight, but he’d behave much better.

            • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

              I think that Don’s promiscuity wouldn’t be so pervasive if he’d quit drinking. Then he might stop and think about what he’s doing.

            • fursa_saida

              Well, now Sally’s friend’s assertion that the floor in the apartment smells like piss takes on a whole new meaning.

            • ThaliaMenninger

              I said Topaz somewhere below, as befitting her life as a copywriter. (That would be for her pantyhose gig.) I really want Topaz, not some generic Holly Golightly “cat.” Although “something” would be amusing.

            • Topaz

              Wow, I’m honoured

            • Heather

              Yes, plus 99% of orange tabbies are male. Anyway, that was a SUPER cute cat actor.

            • FayeMac

              Maybe she could give her cat her mother’s nickname for her “Peaches”

          • Munchkn

            It’s almost certainly a tom. Orange cats almost always are.

            • editrixie

              I have one of the rare female orange tabbies, named Olive. The best thing about marmies is that they are almost always these really mellow, whatevs dude kinds of cats. Anyways, I guess females are one in three births; the really rare ones are apparently male tortoiseshells, which are like 1 in some high number and always sterile.

            • Rebecca Zmarzly

              Yeah, male tortiseshells are sterile because they have an extra chromosome. Cat hair color is determined by skin color, which is determined on the X chromosome. Cats have three sex chromosomes: females are XXX and males are XXY. This means that a cat with three hair colors is usually female. However, a male cat that has a chromosomal anomaly (XXXY) can have three colors due to a genetic disorder. Much like Kleinfelter’s Syndrome in human males, men who have a genotype of XXY.

            • editrixie

              I love how smart people are on this site. This is really fascinating.

            • fursa_saida

              Hmmm. Marmalade, mellow, whatevs dude…the cat should obviously be named Stan.

        • SonOfSaradoc

          A la Holly Golightly? Yes, that was my first thought also, or ‘Fred-darling.’ [Posted above]

        • Munchkn

          Peggy sitting there with her cat while she was smoking a cigarette reminded me so much of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys. The cat in BaT was named Cat and was an orange (or ginger) cat whose real name was Orangey.

        • misscellaneous

          Cat’s good. Very Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

        • Christine R. Peña

          I agree. “Cat” would be my choice too because it was pretty clear that Peggy had no interest or affection in or for the cat. My second choice would be “Ratso” because it’s obvious his purpose is purely functional rather than emotional.

          • Sweetpea176

            Or “Ratso” because she doesn’t know yet that she’s actually in love with Stan. She’d subconsciously connect Ratso with Ratso Rizzo (Midnight Cowboy the movie isn’t out yet in in-show time, but the book is) which she’d connect with Stan Rizzo. Her subconscious would have her name her new guy, the cat, after Stan without her realizing it.

        • Froide

          PEACHES

      • LindaLu Allen

        Well played!

      • EveEve

        Brilliant! I thought Dante would be an appropriate moniker too, given this season’s influences.

        • Michelle Rose

          I have an orange cat named Dante (I’ve had him for 16 years). He is an awesome cat, and I thoroughly approve of Peggy’s orange kitty also being named Dante.

          • QuincyTKatz

            Michelle! good to hear Dante is still going!
            how’s your auxiliary cat?
            I have 2 buffs -Quincy and Achilles- so I am all for Peggy choosing either name.
            Scottie

            • Michelle Rose

              Holy shit! Scottie–it’s been years! And yes, Dante is definitely still going–he’s Dante! (Isn’t Quincy about the same age as him?) Is there a PM function on this board? ;) :P

      • PowerfulBusiness

        I love that the biggest vote getter in the post-ep convo is about Peggy’s cat. Everyone on this board rocks.

      • netdivaweb

        this is fantastic. the first Morris the Cat commercial was in 1969.

        http://www.hinsdalehumanesociety.org/about/morris-the-cat/

      • DawnMarie76

        Ah, you got here first with Morris. Really the only answer!

      • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

        Great call!

      • charlotte

        Peggy should transfer to Leo Burnett and not only invent the Morris commercials, but also come up with the Virginia Slims ads (a Phillip MORRIS product by the way). Girl would own it!

        • Kathryn Sanderson

          Oh, goody, then she’d have to move to Chicago!

          • fursa_saida

            Peggy would NEVER. (ETA: I lived in Chicago for years and love the city, but Peggy’s a Brooklyn girl and she’s not going anywhere too far. Not slagging on Chicago at all!)

    • decormaven

      I thought it was an utter hoot when “Stranger on the Shore” played in the background when Arnold and Don were talking in the bar. Flashing right back to Don’s ad concept for the Hawaiian hotel.

      • Lynn Landry

        ooo, that makes me think maybe there will be a “death” and a resurrection for Don in some way. Maybe that’s what the ad at the beginning of the season pointed to. Not a real death, but a complete crumbling and loss of everything so he can start over???

        • Glammie

          He can’t start over. He already did, but where ever Don goes, there he is. His one chance, in my opinion, was to have a decent relationship with his kids, but he’s now blown that. He got caught and then he lied about it. Can’t do that with kids.

          Don was betrayed by the prostitute at 14 and now he’s betrayed Sally. And it’s not like she can go to Betty for an adult perspective on the whole thing. And he does love her–the whole “explosion” monologue about Bobby also pertains to Sally. Don doesn’t expect to love his kids, but he actually does.

          Don’s stuck with being Dick Whitman. The irony of this episode is that his downfall came about through his actually trying to do a good thing–get the Rosen son out of the draft. I don’t think he even did it because he was trying to get back into Sylvia’s pants, but once the opportunity was there, he was right back in. Don’s the guy who just can’t say “no.”

          • siriuslover

            Honestly, how could Don have thought “I was comforting Mrs. Rosen” would work with Sally. He knows his kids far less than they know him–I think Sally now knows all she needs to know about her father.

            • Glammie

              Because, emotionally, Don’s always that little frightened kid who will come up with the most desperate lies to get out of trouble. Being a top ad man, he’s usually a very, very good liar.

              Won’t work with Sally, though it might be enough to keep her from saying anything. Poor kid, stuck with a secret she doesn’t want.

              Also, what *can* Don say? Seriously. He admits it, there goes his marriage AND the Rosen marriage. Admitting it to Sally, but telling her not to tell, just pulls her more deeply into a toxic form of complicity.

              So all Don had left was a stupid, inadequate lie. And both he and Sally knew it. I think that’s why we don’t see her screaming at him at the end, but crying on the bed. She’s heartbroken.

            • KTBSN

              Can’t wait til she tells Bets.

            • TeraBat

              My money is on Sally hopping into bed with Mitchell as soon as humanly possible next episode.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              I don’t think so. Mitch is in college and Sally’s a high school freshman, maybe. How many college guys get it on with high school girls. (Probably more than I think, but still…he’s too old for Sally, and he knows it.) If he found that letter, he was probably flattered but dismissive of it.

            • fursa_saida

              I don’t think he’d go for it. The age difference is HUGE at that age (14 vs. ~19? Only if they want to set Mitchell up to be an awful creep), and he didn’t seem like he was even registering the girls’ reaction to him in the lobby.

            • Glammie

              She won’t though, at least not directly. Sally has a rivalry going with her mother–she won’t want to give her mother ammo. She might let it slip though.

          • ldancer

            Sally Draper: the latest in an ever-growing line of women who Don thinks isn’t smart enough to know what she saw. “I was comforting Mrs. Rosen”? Ha! Well, that’s one way to put it.

            She is so going punk in about seven years.

            • fursa_saida

              OH MY GOD I WOULD KILL TO SEE THAT. Sally with a mohawk is now a cherished dream.

      • caber

        Strangers on the Shore also plays in the Season 2 finale when Betty has the drink at the bar and sleeps with a stranger…

        • decormaven

          Great call! Completely forgot that one.

      • Qitkat

        One of my favorite songs of the era. Perfect choice. Gives me nostalgia.

        Makes me wish that instrumental songs could make a comeback, not that there aren’t any now, but that they would become big hits as often as they did in the sixties.

        • Munchkn

          I wish that instrumentals would make a comeback. too. I listened to a lot of Herb Alpert’s music growing up and I’ve been listening to it a lot a it again lately -both the old stuff and the new. It’s just wonderful.

    • decormaven

      Now I’m looking at the screen cap of Pete & Bob’s Special Moment, what the heck is that statue/mockup of a dog in the corner?

      • GinAndPopcorn

        I didn’t notice the dog until looked at the screen cap, either. Now I want that statue. I love random kitsch. Bob does have big brown spaniel eyes, and he was doing his best to fetch everything for Pete that was needed. Dog = man’s best friend and Bob certainly wants to be Pete’s best friend. There could be some loyalty thing going on too. Pete stays with SC&P even though he’s feeling undervalued, he took care of his mother – or did until she kicked him once too often, and…

        Apparently I need to switch to decaf.

      • Ally08

        Seriously, what the… good eye. Maybe it’s the equivalent of Peggy’s cat — a porcelain dog who’ll always stare lovingly at him.

    • teensmom99

      Much to say about this great episode–but for the moment, a comment on Prell. I always think of the 2,000 man saying that the greatest modern discovery is liquid prell because it brings families together. It goes something like this: “Dear, don’t use too much liquid Prell.” “Don’t worry, Ma. It’s concentrated.”

      • decormaven

        Prell- talk about a shampoo that could strip the color right out of the hair. Wasn’t its commercial where they drop a pearl in the bottle?

        • formerlyAnon

          Yup. Hard on the hair. But that stuff would suds up gloriously no matter how hard your water was. Loved it.

          • FloridaLlamaLover

            LOVED that it came in a tube. I still use Prell occasionally, when all these so-called miracle products designed to fluff, soothe, and save my hair creates messy product residue. Prell strips that crap right on out.

            • Munchkn

              The tube was a big selling point. I recall ads for Prell where the unbreakability of the tube was paramount.

        • FloridaLlamaLover

          Oh my, be still my beating heart. Just stumbled upon a treasure chest of Prell and other ads over at Duke University Library’s archives. TOTALLY forgot about the ads in which lovely ladies were given glamorous coiffures made of Prell shampoo foam!

        • LANDRU3000

          I once had a hairdresser tell me you could set a perm with it.

        • EricaVee

          I actually learned about Prell from a magazine that billed it as an old-school trick for stripping dye out of your hair if it came out too vibrant!

      • Sagecreek

        Teensmom, I had forgotten all about that commercial!

    • Latin Buddy

      Bob Benson…swoon. I’m now in love with that little bottom :)

      • bxbourgie

        Can I be in love with Bob too, as a straight woman? He was so adorable in that scene with Pete! I felt so sorry for him when he turned to leave the office, he looked like Pete broke his heart into a million little pieces.

        • Latin Buddy

          Of course! A gay without his female bestie is like a body without spirit.

          • par3182

            But Joan’s already claimed him.

            • Heather

              Yes, and I would NOT want to get between Joan and her new gay boyfriend.

      • editrixie

        Back of the line, sister!

      • fursa_saida

        THE BAMBI EYES. THE UPTURNED BROWS. THE HOPEFUL SMILE. THE TINY SHORTS. I’m in love with him in a 100% romantic and 0% sexual way, i.e. I will gladly be one of his harem of lady-besties.

    • sweetlilvoice

      Have to agree with all points-I’m sick of Sylvia and I’m glad Don got caught. He deserved it, he was playing was too close to home. Such a douche. I think this will finally really drive Don and Sylvia apart for good. And poor Bob-he goes after Pete of all people? Not that Pete didn’t look hot during that drunk dinner…I wonder what will happen to Bob now, will Pete blow the whistle? Will he ruin his career? Or will he just keep quiet? Hard to tell anymore. I loved Peggy smoking with that big tom cat–finally a good man in her life! And episode without Joan is a sad one for me especially after last week’s great episode. I still hope she gets Avon.

      • decormaven

        I think Pete is going to flip Bob off the Chevy account. He needs a big account, and he knows Bob won’t fight, because Pete has his number. Sad, but true.

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

          That’s a good call.

          • decormaven

            God, I wish it were not so. This episode gut punched me like no other.

            • UsedtobeEP

              Or, could Pete use Bob’s feelings to his advantage in a different way? “Hey Bob, you are so new at this. Maybe I should mentor you on this Chevy account. We should work together.” I can see him worming his way in that way.

            • MK03

              Pete’s not that charitable.

          • Latin Buddy

            It will be interesting how the chips fall. Pete has already had a run-in with Joan. Joan may or may not know about Bob. Will Joan back Bob?

            • formerlyAnon

              I’d say Joan backs Bob.

            • CozyCat

              Yup. Joan has just had a big blow out with Pete. But Bob owes her big time for saving his job, and it’s always good to keep the people who owe you around.

              How much she is going to be able to help him will depend on how Avon works out.

            • formerlyAnon

              I think you’re right about Avon. My fingers are crossed.

            • Glammie

              Wouldn’t it be cute if Joan and Bob were paired on Avon? With Peggy as creative? Purr-fect.

            • P M

              A match made in heaven.

            • wayout46

              Do we know for certain that Bob’s even aware Joan saved his job? I think the way the favor scoreboard stands in that relationship is, from Bob’s perspective, Bob 1 Joan 0, from Joan’s: Bob 1 Joan 1

            • bellesprit

              With the friendly ease they had together while preparing to go to the beach, I’m sure Joan knows about Bob.

            • Wellworn

              And the fact that in the next episode she was on what she thought was a “date” with the man from Avon. If she thought she had a chance with Bob, she wouldn’t be asking for fix ups from a friend.

            • Melanie

              I don’t think she asked Kate for a “fix-up ” that resulted in her meeting with the Avon guy, which she initially mistook for a date. I think Kate set the whole thing up on her own. Also, I don’t think it’s so much “if she thought she had a chance with Bob” as “if she were actually interested in Bob.”

            • Heather

              I sense that Joan knows, and that was why they were hanging out together. Also, remember she picked up on Sal early on – I think in Season 1, they were acting out one of Paul Kinsey’s plays and she and Sal had to kiss. The look that crossed her face read, “oh. that’s how it is with him.”

            • AViewer44

              Wow, I think you are right and had forgotten about that Sal kissing moment!

        • A Shiny O’Connor

          Nobody listens to Pete anymore. BUT an accusation would be enough to taint him. However if Bob makes a move on Joan, and makes it public knowledge in the office, he might have a get-back-in-the-closet free card.

          • snarkykitten

            I wonder if Joan would back his play. Everyone sees her as a useless sex object, so I don’t know if she would appreciate it.

          • Lisa_Co

            I think he’s probably still too in love with Pete to do that.

            • fursa_saida

              I also don’t think he has it in him to be that cruel to Joan. I don’t think she’d be willing to go with it at all.

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

          He said he’s going hunting, and he has his big manly gun out apparently next week.

        • Glammie

          Hmmm, but Ken’s the main guy on Chevy, Bob’s just a no. 2. Pete’s not going to be no. 2 on an account. I agree he’ll manipulate Bob, just not sure it’s structured to work that way on Chevy.

          • editrixie

            Well, Ken has already expressed his intense dislike for Bob. So there’s that.

            • Redlanta

              He was put off by Sal also-Homophobe? Our Ken…tsk

            • editrixie

              I don’t think he was put off by Sal — he was oblivious to Sal’s love, unless I missed an episode or have forgetten something. Sal and Kitty had Ken over for dinner, and that was where she began to have doubts, when Sal pocketed Ken’s lighter.

        • housefulofboys

          I think that’s quite possible. Pete has made several comments about not having Chevy/not having a big account. Could he possibly have been thinking this through while the knees were touching? A delayed reaction due to his mind being elsewhere.

          • Sweetpea176

            I did notice that it seemed to take a little while for him to move his knee away. Or you could chalk that up to Pete’s being too shocked to react for a few moments.

            • Mary Stone

              Or, is it completely outside of the realm of possibility that sour little Pete Campbell is himself so deep in the closet he doesn’t know he’s closeted???

            • Sweetpea176

              No, it’s not. Not at all. You could go back and replay his relationship with Trudy and interpret the sort of stilted and artificial quality he had — like he was playing the role of husband — to his being deeply closeted. I just didn’t want to read too much into it and go there too quickly without waiting and seeing how the story develops.

              It’s also entirely possible he didn’t pull his leg away sooner because he was being polite in a way. Or because he’s starved for genuine human contact. Or realized and on some level appreciated the warmth and concern that Bob was expressing. People often have multiple reasons why we do things, and we often don’t even know what they are.

              I can bet you Pete has no idea why he let his leg linger there, and he’s wondering about it just as much as we are.

            • fursa_saida

              I honestly thought it just took him a minute to twig to what that was about, since it’s not like he was prepared for it the way someone might be now. That, and the camera wanted us to be really, really clear on what we were seeing.

              I get what you guys are saying about Pete and I wouldn’t rule it out, but I wouldn’t bolster it based on that one shot. I just feel like there are more straightforward reasons for why it went the way it did.

            • Sweetpea176

              Of course. That’s what I was trying to say the first time around — the simplest explanation is probably the right one. That, and that we, the audience, don’t really know yet what Pete was thinking exactly — we have to wait and see, because the storytellers want us to wait and see. And even when we find out more, there might not be just one right answer. (This isn’t so much directed at you as a comment on my general frustration sometimes when we all try to get ahead of the story or try to come up with A + B = C formulas for things. Of course, I could probably go a long way toward alleviating my frustration if I spent less time on the boards.) ; )

        • chatroulette

          I think Bob knew what he was doing and it was calculated. Still mysterious.

        • Liz

          I think Pete is actually not entirely convinced of what he said about “degenerates” and such. I think we saw the glimmer of some sort of feeling there, if covered up by his socialized repulsion. What I mean is- would he have reacted with such disgust if he didn’t reciprocate a bit? And what was with the angry flinging of the raisin bran box at the end?

          I think we’re going to see Pete a little conflicted, and struggling between the confusing personal and the obvious professional advantage. We’ve seen his choices before when the personal is pitted against professional, but he hasn’t ever been this alone and vulnerable.

      • Amy Hughes

        I don’t know about you, but even skipping through the commercials with my Tivo, I got plenty of Joan in the Johnny Walker ads!

        • dbaser

          Every time I see the commercial, I cringe just a little because it always looks to me like her right eye has much more in the way of eyelashes and mascara than the left. It’s possible there’s more lighting on the left side of her, but I always think whoever shot this and made her up did her a disservice.

          Am I nuts? Has anyone else noticed this?

          • Ally08

            They also filmed her feet oddly unflatteringly. Much like your pic, they made her look a bit Addams overall.

      • FayeMac

        I missed Joan too, I read on another post somewhere that last weeks ep could have been called “A Tale of Two Titties” because she had such a large presence in the story.

        • editrixie

          Oh wow. Fuck the fucking fuckball who said that.

      • Glammie

        Yeah, Don deserved it, but Sally didn’t. So I am sorry Don got caught–for Sally’s sake.

        • Heather

          But… ack. Seeing your dad bonking the neighbor lady would screw up anyone for life. And of course it recalled Don seeing his stepmother with the whorehouse owner.

      • fursa_saida

        My gut says she gets it, just because Joan is due for a win this season. She’s spent the entire season having crappy things happen to her at work and having crappy realizations about those things, and most of the time most characters–especially ones who are centers of their own narratives, like Joan, Peggy, or Don (not, say, Pete, Ken, Bob, any of the creatives, or even Roger)–have to have at least a bit of a mix in their storylines. But I’m sure a bit of wishful thinking is influencing that feeling.

    • http://www.what-the-frock.com Dana WhatTheFrock

      I found it interesting that Sylvia thought that Don helped Mitchell because of her. Because that’s not what it looked like to me. To me, it seemed like Don helped Mitchell because he’s been there himself, in a matter of speaking. He knows what it feels like to want/need to run away. But then when Sylvia made it clear that she thought he did it for her, he jumped right back on that opportunity.

      Did anyone notice that Sally said “You don’t get to talk to me anymore” it mirrored when Megan said “You don’t get to look at me” in the premiere of season 5 when she was cleaning the apartment in her undies? Interesting.

      When Mad Men ends, there should be a spin-off, and it should just be Peggy and Stan on the phone for an hour every week. I’d watch the shit out of that.

      • Nicola Anna Molly Page

        ditto. I love me some Peggy and Stan.

        • http://www.what-the-frock.com Dana WhatTheFrock

          I’m usually not much of a shipper, but I ship them like crazy.

          • Nicola Anna Molly Page

            yup – I stopped shipping people when I realised 99% of the time I was gonna get my tru wuv heart broken – but from the scene in the hotel room I just NEED them to declare their undying love for each other. Or have a dirty weekend. Whatever.

            • http://www.what-the-frock.com Dana WhatTheFrock

              Yeah, I don’t really ship them having true love forever, but I want them to be friends with super-hot benefits.

            • fursa_saida

              YES. Why would someone downvote what is the obvious truth?

          • bxbourgie

            Since we’re asking for Spin-offs, I’d love a new series starring Joan and Bob, sharing an apartment and looking for love in the big city.

            • Rhonda Shore

              There would be benefits for both in such an arrangement…

            • A Shiny O’Connor

              Who are the ‘Karen’ and ‘Jack’ in the current set up? :P

            • Wellworn

              If we set this far enough into the future – Sally is Karen, and Jack is Pete.

            • Sweetbetty

              I see Meridith as Karen, but she needs to become more of a snark.

            • Big Fan

              Roger and the mother.

            • A Shiny O’Connor

              Oh yes. Roger and Marie Calvet!

            • marishka1

              I think that series was done. It was called “Love, Sidney”.

            • Sweetbetty

              An earlier version of Will & Grace.

            • Munchkn

              That sounds a lot like Tales of the City! Bob would be Mouse, of course, but Joanie’s been around too much to be MaryAnne. (MaryAnne’s supposed to be much younger.) Mona maybe?

          • CozyCat

            Peggy’s running into the classic single successful woman’s problem: most of the men she meets are thru work. And the co workers she gets along with best are also the ones she works with best. So initiating a romantic relationship means endangering an important work relationship.

            That said: I think she was desperate for help and tried to exploit Stan’s attraction to her (remember the kiss)

            • bawoman

              I think it wasnt just about wanting to get rid of the half dead rat.I think Pegs was a little lonely.Not saying she would have slept with him, but she missed having male companionship

              And I do think if their kiss in “The crash” proved anything was that the attraction comes from both sides

          • MK03

            Right?? It’s kind of ridiculous how much I want them to get together. And isn’t it amazing how Stan has grown on us? I never would have thought I’d like him so much.

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

            I *friend*ship them, but their scenes are basically my favorite of any episode they’re in together.

          • Adelaidey

            The only couple I ship on Mad Men is Peggy’s mom and Ginsberg’s dad.

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

              That’s about as likely a pairing as Dawn and Bert Cooper.

            • Adelaidey

              Fine. The only two couples I ship on Mad Men are Peggy’s mom/Ginsberg’s dad, and Dawn/Bert Cooper.

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

          Stan-shtupporters!

        • PowerfulBusiness

          It’s funny how in a show of such intense drama that simple phone call scenes between those two are always my favorite. I’m glad I’m not alone!! Their chemistry is problematic to the whole, “Peggy’s in love with Chaough” thing for me, because after seeing her with Stan it just pales. If Stan wasn’t there, yes, but with the hot, funny, artistic lumberjack…is it getting hot in here?

          • Nicole R

            I agree, the strength of their chemistry really struck me in their kiss scene.

      • Krafty_L

        I thought that Don really made the decision to help out Mitchell after his conversation with Dr. Rosen. When Megan told him about the issue, Don seemed cold and indifferent, but after his conversation with Dr. Rosen (blocking on his first name!), Don became motivated to help, even risking the business relationship with GM to seek out a solution. I think the Dr. Rosen represents the kind of man Don wants to me, and maybe his affair with Sylvia is less about her (after all, as TLo said, she is nothing special, the least interesting of all Don’s affairs) and more about being closer to Dr. Rosen, in a sick way.

        • Chris

          I think he was guilty because he really does respect Dr. Rosen and wanted to help at first but some part of him also wanted to be the hero again for Sylvia. Don really is the creepiest. Fooling around with Sylvia under those circumstances was as bad as Pete and the au pair in its own way.

          • SChristian

            Right. I think it was an all around win for Don (in his twisted head). He got to look like a hero to the hero-surgeon, plus a BIGGER hero to the surgeon’s wife. “look, I can do things your husband can’t – he can save lives, but I can save the life of your son.”

            • Chris

              Yes his affair with Sylvia is creepy, particularly because he always seems more interested in Arnold Rosen than Sylvia in a way. He wants to fool around with Sylvia but it’s Arnie he wants to talk to and whom he admires yet he always wants to be one up on him. Don really has no friends and doesn’t know how to be one, at work or at home.

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

              His entire relationship with the good doctor is guilt, I’m pretty sure.

            • fursa_saida

              I completely agree–his relationship with Sylvia was obviously very sexual, but the relationship with Arnie always felt more romantic to me (and I don’t mean that in the sense that Don’s secretly bi or something–it’s possible to separate sexual and romantic undertones in a relationship). It’s been bugging me ever since Arnie came to the office to get the camera.

          • Angela_the_Librarian

            Agree with everything except for the comparison between Pete and the au pair. What Don did was gross, but Sylvia was a willing participant. Pete raped the au pair.

            • Glammie

              Yeah, I think Sylvia needs to be called on the carpet as well, since she pretty much turned Don’s call into the booty call it became. And felt guilty only once she got caught. She’s way more of a hypocrite than Don’s other girlfriends.

            • Chris

              I don’t know. Sylvia really told Don to get lost in the strongest terms possible. Now he has the power of life and death practically over her son. Just because she slept with him before doesn’t mean she automatically wanted to sleep with him again. We can’t see inside Sylvia’s head but Don had enormous leverage because from what we saw she could have been on the verge of a nervous breakdown over it. How do we know (and how does Don know) she didn’t feel like she had to sleep with him again to make sure everything went through. It could be gratitude, because she missed him, or something else entirely. All we know is Mitchell is her world and according to her husband’s point of view far more important to her than he is.

            • Angela_the_Librarian

              I still don’t see that as the same level as rape though. I don’t think Don pressured her into sex at all. Actually during their conversation it was Sylvia that brought up their relationship (it seemed like Don was going to hang up after reporting his news). He was also originally calling her husband, so he wasn’t likely expecting to speak to Sylvia or receive any favors from her. During their conversation (at least what the audience was privy to), there was no indication that Don was threatening to withdraw help, etc., and he initiated the process of helping Mitch by himself with no prodding from her. If she felt like she had to have sex with Don in exchange for his help that was not really indicated at all in the story (and doesn’t really fit the nature of their relationship).

            • Glammie

              And Don did get lost after his meltdown. There was nothing on the phone he said that sounded like coercion. His first comment was that he was trying to get a hold of Arnold. Sylvia re-opened the can of worms.

            • ybbed

              Your comment about life and death calls back to the conversation Don had with Arnie on New Years Eve, when Arnie went off to work on his skis. “How does it feel to have the power, to have someones’s life in your hands?” (paraphrasing). In this case it was Don who had that power, I feel really motivated by Arnie’s desperation.

        • jen_wang

          Totally agree about Dr. Rosen. It was kind of like he had a knee-jerk lack of empathy when he met Mitchell because he doesn’t like to be reminded that Mitchell exists (forbidding Sylvia from talking about him, for instance). It’s only when he’s not looking at Mitchell and instead dealing with Arnold that he really feels for the family.

        • Glammie

          Yep, I think you’re on to something. He wasn’t trying to reel Sylvia back in at that point–it’s clear Dr. Rosen made him think of his desperation as Dick Whitman.

          Sigh, Don was on his way to being so decent this episode–and, then, kaput!

        • editrixie

          And I think Ted really called it — he said that Don probably didn’t have many friends (or any, let’s face it), and I think the fact that Arnold treats him as a friend, and he’s fucking his friend over, leads to all sorts of issues for Don. Not that I care anymore about his issues, but I care about Dr. Rosen as a character.

        • housefulofboys

          I think it was his conversation with Arnold that turned things around for Don, but only partly because of their friendship. I think what also spoke to him was the talk about Don/Dick’s time in Korea as a willing subject (and the hidden knowledge of how that worked out for him), and their agreement that 19-year-old kids don’t have any idea of the reality of war and human vulnerability.

          • Mary Stone

            Also, watch the fact that Arnold Rosen was a surgeon in Korea at the same time. Don’s paranoia is going to chew on that big time…

            • Sean Gill

              Wow, I never thought about that. That may just be a way to make the characters seem relatable, but may be a small detail that turns out to be important.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              …in an army hospital near Pusan. There’s an episode of MASH where a young Edward Hermann guest stars as a surgeon who comes to the 4077th to fill in for someone (Winchester?). He’s worked near the Pusan perimeter, where there was heavy fighting. At first he does a great job at the 4077th, but by the end of the episode he freaks out because being in the OR triggers his PTSD.

              Hmm…speaking of MASH crossovers, maybe Arnold knows Sidney Friedman, the psychiatrist who turned up at the 4077th from time to time. Maybe he even hung out in Seoul with Hawkeye and BJ.

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            I thought it was ironic when Don said of Mitchell, “He can’t keep running all his life,” yet that’s exactly what Don’s been doing for the better part of two decades now. Maybe Don is trying to save Mitchell from having to live a lie all the time.

            • Sweetpea176

              This ^. Possibly a moment of actual empathy from Don.

            • Write On

              Yes! That’s how I took it, too.

      • jennmarie19

        Agree that Don appeared to start off by doing Mitchell the favor for the right reasons. Interesting how both Sylvia and Ted thought that Don’s actions were primarily motivated with them in mind. (Getting Mitchell out of the draft & sabotaging accounts, respectively), when we the viewer knows that Don operates firmly in his little sphere of narcissism.

        • jennmarie19

          Also, count me in as a devoted viewer of The Peggy & Stan Hour.

      • SFCaramia

        I think that in a way it had less to do with Sylvia than it did with Arnie. True, it would indirectly be a favor to Sylvia, but helping Mitchell would also be a way of assuaging his guilt about cuckholding Arnie.

        • jen_wang

          That’s what I thought, too. But then, I was really surprised when he ended up back with Sylvia; I had thought that conversation sounded like closure. Whoops.

          • Melissa Brogan

            Yeah, I really thought, for a split second there, that their phone call was going to be closure for them. But as soon as I saw Sally at the Rosens’ back door, I knew Don was in there.

          • The Biscuit

            You can see the moment it turns for him in the phone conversation. Sylvia brings up the affair; I don’t remember exactly what she’s just said, but Don’s face changes to that look he gets when he’s in this territory with a woman. He sits back and picks up a cigarette, and from that point it’s a different conversation. The one has nothing to do with the other. He wants to save Mitchell because he knows what Mitchell’s going to go through if he goes to Vietnam, and what he’ll go through, and be, if he runs. Arnold triggers the empathy, and it’s empathy for him as well as for Mitchell. But I don’t think Sylvia enters into it. He didn’t do it for her. He’s happy to let her think that he did, though, if that allows her to get back into bed. I think this is perhaps the crux of their bond—they both feel guilt and self-loathing for their behavior, and those emotions in fact drive the behavior. They’re addicts together.

      • Wellworn

        To me it was amazing the lightning speed in which Don was back in Sylvia’s crotch. When Sally and her friend were having the conversation in the cab, I though oh no, she’s going to go to Sylvia’s apt. But I figured there was no way that Don would get there that quickly. His dick has incredible transportative skills. Beam me up!

      • katchwa

        Great observation – I believe she affected Don (or Dick – another commenter has pointed out it seems to be more Dick that relates to her) as deeply as he can be affected. But he was out of the game after The Crash: on the one occasion we saw them together he was stone, and on the phone in Favours all business.
        It all pivoted in a second when she says on the phone, ‘I hope you know I was just frustrated with you’. His reply, ‘I do now’ sounds completely sinister, and he KNOWS he’s back in.

        If there;s one thing that’ll repulse Don Draper it’s loving him, and if there’s on thing that’ll set him on fire it’s being pushed away.

        • fursa_saida

          The fact that he also lit a cigarette at that moment really clinched it to me. He was back in his Don Draper pose.

        • The Biscuit

          Should have read down one more comment before I posted; I just repeated your point about the phone conversation.

          I agree that Sylvia’s power comes from the way that she relates to Dick, as well as to Don.

          • katchwa

            No way! I think you said a LOT more than I did.

            • The Biscuit

              And then watched the post-episode interview with Weiner and found out that he thinks Don did it out of guilt over betraying Arnold and in hopes of getting Sylvia back. Hm. I still agree with us.

            • katchwa

              Classic Weiner misdirection I reckon! Totally don’t think Don did it for any reason more than self-pity, i.e. identifying with Mitchell himself as the military evader. Maybe a droplet of guilt or admiration for Arnold, but nothing to do with Sylvia IMO.

      • Denise Alden

        I think Don helped Mitchell to assuage his guilt. He was all “It’s not our problem” to Megan, and then after drinking with Arnold at the bar, he’s pathetically dropping hints to GM. When he and Sylvia were on the phone, I knew no good could come of it. And yes, Peggy and Stan on the phone would be a fantastic show!

      • Kate

        When the series is over the Bitter Kittens can have fun writing fan fiction that consists entirely of telephone conversations between Peggy and Stan.

    • Emily Smith

      So am I going to have to wait for the start of the next season in order to watch this one on netflix? I don’t understand why they do that.

      • bxbourgie

        Possibly. Season 5 didn’t show up on Netflix until the week of this season’s premiere.

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

        I think it’s usually timed for after the DVD release. After all, Netflix gets its licenses more on a time scale of Blockbuster (rentals) than Hulu (immediate gratification). You could buy them on iTunes or Amazon, I believe, but I suppose you don’t want to pay more than your Netflix subscription. If you have cable, you might be able to watch it through your cable provider’s site (or that of a close friend/family member) – I know Comcast has Xfinity which often has Mad Men episodes a bit later.

        • MartyBellerMask

          It’s $1.99/episode on amazon. Cheaper if you buy the whole season upfront. Well worth it IMO. You can watch whenever you want.

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

            Yep. Netflix has never been a “TV-on-Demand” site. It’s always had a video-rental oriented timeline.

        • Emily Smith

          I think I’ll just be waiting for it to come out on Netflix, we don’t have cable. Sigh.

      • Mike R

        I’ll say it again: Buy a season pass on iTunes (choose SD, not HD), and watch it from 4 a.m. Monday morning. Or I guess Amazon sells it too. There’s NO reason to wait for the DVDs.

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

          Well, except for extras, I suppose. I’ve been thinking about investing in a full box set when the series is over.

        • MK03

          The DVDs are worth it for the commentaries. The mini-documentaries they include are good too, but the commentaries are seriously worth the price by themselves.

        • Emily Smith

          I do the streaming on netflix not the DVD’s. I don’t use itunes. I might consider Amazon but I prefer to buy seasons of shows like GoT on amazon that I can’t get on netflix which I already pay for. I would rather just wait and complain about it lol.

      • quitasarah

        Netflix streaming is just DVD rental on your computer. They release last season’s DVDs around next season’s start so they can cross-promote each.

    • jenno1013

      Poor Sally indeed. I wonder if she even understood what she saw. I mean I KNOW she understood what she saw, but I’m thinking to a barely-teenaged girl in 1968, the actual missionary position/tangled limbs/disheveled clothing aspect of the mechanics of sex would have been confusing and ghastly, magnifying the horror of seeing one’s father so tangled with a stranger. Seeing him kiss another woman would have been bad enough, but seeing him in flagrante delicto would have been almost beyond her ability to process.

      • decormaven

        She’s seen oral sex, thanks to Roger and Marie. And she got “the man pees inside the woman” way back when Don was living in the Village apartment. Even given that, I’m intoning the spirit of Dr. Edna to come down. I felt so bad for this child.

        • jenno1013

          “The man pees inside the woman” is *exactly* the kind of non-understanding understanding that I mean she was experiencing.

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

            Yeah but she was around 11 when she said that. She’s 14 now.

          • 3hares

            But that was years ago she said that. She’s 14 now.

            • jenno1013

              She may be 14, but in a pre-cable-television, pre-internet era, where the Hays obscenity code was only just being replaced by the MPAA ratings. Playboy hadn’t even shown pubic hair at this point in history. She would be far less worldly in that way than a 14-year-old now, who would be lucky to arrive at that age not having seen graphic sex on a screen somewhere. Sally is really pretty naive, and so are her friends despite their posturing, and while there’s no question to me she knew she was seeing sex, I believe that the reality of sex magnified the horror of seeing her dad do it with a stranger.

            • Mary Stone

              I was a kid a little younger than Sally’s age in the 70s, and one of our neighbors (whose daughter was friends with me) had a lovely coffee table edition of the Kama Sutra illustrated with photos of temple carvings, zooowwiieeee. Of course the parents had no idea that we knew where they stashed it, or that we giggled over the pictures in it. Sally might have garnered more “understanding” of mechanics on the down low than the adults in her orbit would give her credit for that way. I think it’s still to early for “The Joy of Sex” but there were other books that were similarly celebratory/earthy. But her father’s obvious shock/shame/distress would have gone right through her. She knows enough to know just how wrong this is, she I am certain overheard fights between her mother and Don about his womanizing, and her it is, quite literally in her face. I wonder if dropping the huge bunch of keys was entirely involuntary on her part. Yep, they are each behind their own door, and their relationshiop is irretrievably broken. Give it 2 more years and Sally will be hanging out at the clubs (eventually the Roxy and Studio 54) engaging in wild recreational sex and snorting line after line of coke. She is going to be the quintessential hot mess, if only to get back at her father in the most distressing way possible.

            • Heather

              My thoughts exactly – she may now know *exactly,* but she knows *enough.*

      • Mike R

        I feel the director made the lovemaking details especially vivid and real to drive home there was no ambiguity and Sally couldn’t pretend she mis-saw. DD’s buttocks!

      • Travelgrrl

        I walked in on a couple in flagrante delicto when I was a veteran of many a clinch myself and it was still completely embarassing and jarring. They looked so awkward!

      • TeraBat

        Right before this scene, Sally had a conversation with her friend Julie, where they mention ‘second base.’ Given that, plus the fact that everything Sally likes about Mitchell are his physical characteristics, I think she’s savvy enough that even if she doesn’t yet know the actual mechanics of sex, she nevertheless knows what sex is, what it generally looks like, and that her dad was getting there with Sylvia.

        • Mary Stone

          And yeah,Dad’s bare ass, and Mrs. Rosen’s feet in the air are kinda hard to misunderstand. Very traumatic for the poor kid.

    • UsedtobeEP

      It was interesting that they had Pete’s mom tell him he was unlovable, then have Peggy and Bob remind him that no, he’s not. I am glad that he didn’t run across the room after the nudge from Bob. He handled it a little better than I thought he would have.

      • Marta Lilly

        Now it’s up to Pete to decide if he is in fact lovable, and will he accept love, even if it’s not from a mother or a wife. Does he even know what love feels like?

        • Adelaidey

          Sad thing is, Trudy really, really wanted to be in love with Pete. Maybe she even was. I saw the same desperation in their interactions as I did when Kitty would dote on Sal. Not because Pete’s gay, I mean, but because he’s about as capable of returning Trudy’s affections and, perhaps more importantly, interest.

      • Melanie

        See, and Bob’s confession came after his mom said that, so I’m hoping he isn’t taking her words to heart. Both Pete and Bob broke my heart last night.

    • formerlyAnon

      There is no cat name better than the suggestions already made. I’m down with Ralph Morris Emerson – Ralph at home & Morris as his stage name. (Credit to T, Lo & decormaven).

      • MoHub

        I immediately thought Morris.

        • testingwithfire

          Topaz! Kitty is orange, after all.

          • Jaialaibean

            It’s kind of dangerous to name your cat after an account, though … it’s like having your girlfriend’s name tattooed on your arm. Then again, many cats don’t come when called by name, anyway, so it would be a lot easier to change than the tattoo.

            • FemaleOnTheInterwebs

              Hey, some cats do! My little Tesla takes offense to that :).

            • Heather

              Me too. My kitty Rexie (who is otherwise dumb as a bag of rocks, bless her heart) comes when called.

      • SonOfSaradoc

        If he’s not named ‘cat,’ he could be ‘Fred-darling.’

    • bxbourgie

      I’m surprised Bob took THAT time to reveal his love for Pete, especially since 1. I don’t remember Pete ever giving him any indication he’s be interested in pursuing a relationship with Bob and 2. Pete is his boss, and a man… in 1968 where homophobia was like THE THING. After seeming to be so interested in doing well at his job, as well as what looked like, up until now, a professional interest in Pete and Joan, why would be put himself in a situation where his job could be in jeopardy?

      • MissMariRose

        I agree. I found that weird too. Everything we’ve seen from Bob so far is about his need to ingratiate himself to his bosses and get ahead in the firm. It doesn’t make much sense to me that he would nearly throw it away to ever-so-subtly come on to the supervisor that just said he thinks homosexuals are “degenerates.”

        Until now, Bob has seemed far to careful for that.

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

          But he’s in love. It wasn’t a come-on; it was a declaration.

          • Just Me

            I actually thought it was the most real Bob has been on the show. He was vulnerable and laid it all on the line in eloquent prose. When he was rejected, he pulled himself up and retreated back behind his mask. It was actually rather haunting, lovely and sad. And to me, he is good for the people around him…becoming whatever they need most in that moment, but he only revealed himself, as he is, to Pete.

            • Frank_821

              I agree it with himing being real at that moment. It’s very sad and foolish nonetheless.

            • Just Me

              “Love makes you do the wacky.”

            • Aurumgirl

              We can’t choose who we fall in love with. Obviously. Bob somehow managed to “misread” and idealize Pete entirely, I think he even glossed over the part where Pete calls gay men “degenerates” and uses it as his cue to declare his love! Poor Bob.

            • Melanie

              I don’t even think Bob “misread” Pete. He knows Pete’s straight, but his whole speech – ostensibly about the relationship between Manolo and Dorothy – was about how, when it’s really true love, it doesn’t matter who the other person is. He’s saying, “I know this is unexpected, but won’t you give it a shot?”

            • Aurumgirl

              Yes, but, immediately after Pete called Manolo a “degenerate” because he’s homosexual? That’s some serious and dedicated denial of the reality of Pete.

            • Sweetpea176

              I don’t think it was denial as much as it was a rebuttal. He’s saying, ok, you can be freaked out by your mother being in love with Manolo, and you can think Manolo is a degenerate for being gay, but look at it from this point of view and it might not look so crazy/disgusting/reprehensible. In a way, Pete’s calling Manolo a “degenerate” not only opened the door to Bob’s declaration, I could see how it could make it urgent for Bob in that moment. If he stays silent, he accepts being considered a degenerate himself, and thus will continue to be silenced. If he explains to Pete how an improbable attraction can happen in very human terms, he at least pushes Pete into seeing him as human.

              Even without the overlay of Bob’s homosexuality, the yearning to want someone you love to at the very least see you as someone who loves them can be very powerful. Even (or maybe especially?) if you know the other person doesn’t love you back. I think it was brilliantly done by Weiner and the actor.

            • Observer

              It bookended nicely with Pete’s declaration to Peggy earlier about how she “knows” him.

            • formerlyAnon

              I’d go beyond “haunting, lovely and sad.” I’d call it fucking heartbreaking. Because, unlike Bob, *we* really get what a nasty shit Pete Campbell can be. He now has leverage over Bob – both on a personal level and in the larger “I can reveal your secret” sense. Sooner or later he’s going to use it.

            • Just Me

              Pete Campbell is never going to be in a relationship with Bob and Bob knows it. But, maybe Bob could have something from Pete, some acknowledgement of the role that Bob could play in his life…the bit of contentment they could share, even in a non-sexual way. This was a brave move for Bob, (even if fruitless and ultimately damaging to the career is his carefully crafting) and will be a (another) test of character for Pete. If he uses it, knowing who and what he is (and remembering who “knows” him and why), then he is 3/4 of the way to being a poor man’s Don Draper. He just better have Sally’s phone number on speed dial for Tammy when he gets caught with his pants around his ankles. She will know the best therapist to call.

            • MDubz

              There’s something that makes me think Pete won’t actually use this information against Bob. The fact that Pete gave Manolo a month’s severance pay, the fact that he’s always been a decent sort when it comes to Civil Rights, and the fact that he didn’t throw a hissy fit in the moment. I feel like Pete’s problem is that he is utterly incapable of treating women decently, but in other spheres, he tends to have a bit more moral character.

            • 3hares

              It’s probably like with most characters, it could go either way now. In the right situation Pete might say something, but this very ep reminded us that Pete’s privy to two pretty huge secrets already: Don’s and Peggy’s. He tried to use Don’s once and Peggy’s is his secret too, so they’re not guarantees that Pete would never do that, but he’s capable of keeping his mouth shut. It’s like Joan’s line before about Pete keeping promises. He’s got the capacity for loyalty.

            • Alice Teeple

              It’s interesting that Pete also has guessed Peggy’s secret about her and Ted being in love with each other. It played out as somewhat cute in the dinner scene, but that secret is a huge deal when it comes to office inter-politics.

            • Commenty

              Reminds me of how things ended on Downton Abbey with Thomas…

            • marishka1

              I don’t know…Pete has know Don’s secret for years and never revealed it…and has he ever used it as leverage against Don except right after he found out? As Bert Cooper may counsel, “One never knows how loyalty is born.”

            • decormaven

              One of the sagest bits of wisdom he’s ever offered.

            • formerlyAnon

              I hope you’re right. But Don’s above Pete in the pecking order, Bob’s below. The risk/benefit ratio is different.

              [I'd love to be optimistic. In my sky-blue-pink ending, Pete quietly accepts Bob's helpful friendship (because he's fucking desperate for help) and learns to be a decent friend, while Bob climbs at work and finds someone who'll love him back. But come on. It's Mad Men.]

            • MK03

              He hasn’t used Don’s secret against him again because he saw that it wouldn’t get him anywhere. But Bob’s secret…now that could be used to his advantage all over the office. Hell, being gay is still a fireable offense in certain parts of the country. Imagine the fallout from that in 1968…

            • UsedtobeEP

              That’s why I think he might start by worming his way into Chevy, rather than getting Bob just taken off the account. But who knows? This is the first time in a while Pete hasn’t been made to look nasty in every scene. It would be very disturbing to find out that info about his mom. I will take a hopeful “Wait-and-see” attitude. Maybe Pete will keep his mouth shut. (Now, let’s see how long it takes Pete to let me down!)

            • fursa_saida

              Yeah, I feel like because the show in general loves to exploit Pete being a little shit (which he totally is), his unhappiness at his mother’s happiness came off a bit mean, but in a terribly darkly funny coincidence, the rapist is right about the consent issues here. She’s in no mental state to give full, informed consent.

            • 3hares

              But was he unhappy about her happiness? I thought he was freaked out about her inappropriate sexual talk but he didn’t seem to be just spitefully seething about her being happy. He was giving Manolo tips for treating her so well. He didn’t seem to need to make her see that Manolo couldn’t want her because she was “unlovable” or anything.

            • fursa_saida

              Sorry, you’re right, I didn’t phrase that well. I meant specifically that he was unhappy about the sexual dimension of it, which did seem to make her VERY happy.

            • Lilithcat

              What advantage could he get? Bob has no power to give him anything (professionally, that is).

            • MK03

              Maybe not a business advantage, but Pete is vindictive and quick to use any advantage he perceives himself as having. And I think he’s vindictive enough to use Bob’s pass against him when the opportunity is right. Like if he wants to get on the Chevy account…

            • Travelgrrl

              I almost felt like Pete was tempted by the thought of someone declaring that they wanted to devote their entire energy to promoting his career and wants and needs. It seemed to take him an awfully long time to move his knee.

              His squeamishness about his mom conflated into freakoutedness about gays. VK’s pinched little mouth: “Degenerates!”

            • formerlyAnon

              I don’t know if Pete was tempted, but I think he liked the idea that someone wanted to be in his corner. I can see him half-consciously exploiting Bob to help him even more, now. Exploiting because he (Pete) isn’t really offering even a real friendship. (ETA: Have I said “poor Bob” enough in these comments, or can I say it again?)

            • verve

              “Poor Bob” is set to be the new “Poor Kitty.”

            • lilyvonschtupp

              I just hope that they don’t dog him the way they dogged Sal.

            • testingwithfire

              I wondered about that myself. If we hadn’t already seen a lot of enthusiastic het behavior on Pete’s part, I’d wonder a little more. We certainly are in John Cheever-land especially with regard to Pete and his family so who knows where that will go…

            • TeraBat

              I suspect that will backfire, the same way it does every time Pete tries to be sneaky. The question would be, how does Pete know Bob’s gay? Oh, because he came on to you? Why did you wait so long to say anything about it? You know, Bob’s been hanging around Joan an awful lot…

            • Denise Alden

              Nicely said.

        • Commenty

          Nowadays we tend to take vocal homophobes as closeted self-haters, no? Maybe that’s what Bob thought about Pete’s comment. That went through my head while watching. The lady doth protest too much, and all that.

      • Chris

        Poor Bob isn’t very good at reading people. I can’t believe he opened himself up to Pete a second after Pete called Manolo a degenerate or something. Bob and Peggy need to start a book club and talk about their poor taste in men.

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

          They can start with the book Joan wrote on falling for terrible men.

          • snarkykitten

            Peggy add in write her own chapter.

      • formerlyAnon

        I think it was somewhat impulsive (that it came at that particular moment, it was going to happen eventually) and came out of his recognition of Pete’s need. He really wants to support/care for Pete, God help him.

        • bxbourgie

          Very impulsive. And is that really love? He may THINK he’s in love with Pete, but it honestly feels more like pity or a need to take care of him. Bob seems like a caretaker, I mean look at what he did for Joan, who he’s not in love with, AND for Pete. It’s so easy to pity Pete, especially for someone like Bob who doesn’t know Pete’s backstory. All Bob sees is that Pete’s marriage is over, he’s living in an studio apartment alone, has a mother in decline, a career in jeopardy, a receding hairline and no Raisin Bran. NO RAISIN BRAN. I feel sorry for Pete, and I don’t even LIKE him.

          • Wellworn

            Nah, I still don’t feel sorry for his little pimp ass, not one teeny tiny bit.

          • Jaialaibean

            The only thing worse than no Raisin Bran is no milk.

          • Alice Teeple

            Bob Benson would have gone out and bought him milk. (And, suitably, more toilet paper.)

        • UsedtobeEP

          This. Pete was upset. Bob wanted to comfort him. He forgot himself in the moment. And he has no idea what a nasty person Pete can be. No back story. He has seen a man worried about his mother, and possibly about his standing in the company.

          • Mike R

            A good rebuttal that also makes sense.

            • UsedtobeEP

              I think Bob is in love with Pete. Looks don’t matter when you love someone. Bob found himself alone with a vulnerable Pete, and he seized the opportunity. Was he really just trying to help when he gave Pete Manolo’s card? Was Don really trying to win Sylvia back when he helped her son? I say yes, but help like that can bring feelings of obligation from the recipient.

            • Sweetbetty

              I’m still not sure I’m buying into Bob being gay. Maybe I’m a conspiracy nut, but I can’t help but feel he has more secrets to hide. He keeps referring to “digging” and maybe he senses that Pete, vulnerable as he is right now, would be a good place to dig. The fact that he made his move after Pete said homosexuality was disgusting leads me to believe he knew the outcome wouldn’t be positive and it was just a little show he put on. I felt it was something he did to try to get a reading on Pete. I can’t say I have any idea what he thought he’d accomplish but it seems like he’s trying to worm his way in with various employees to win their confidence.

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

              These theories that Bob pretended to be gay for some ulterior motive completely ignores the reality of homosexuality in 1968. You could be institutionalized for it.

              The reason so many people find this so hard to accept is because there were so many erroneous and wildly overheated theories as to who Bob is when the truth of it turned out to be mundane. This doesn’t mean he’s not a schemer and a climber in some ways, but we truly don’t believe there’s any possible way to interpret the scene in question but as Bob professing real love for Pete.

            • TeraBat

              I knew Bob was for-sure gay as soon as I saw his face fall when Pete said ‘degenerate.’ That’s not a reaction that a straight man would have; that’s the look of someone who’s just been deeply hurt (the person he loves thinks he’s a degenerate) but can’t do anything about it (to say anything would be to out himself directly).

              I think Bob tried to take a roundabout way to convince Pete he wasn’t a “degenerate,” that his love was just as valid as a woman’s would have been.

              Not to mention, Bob’s been listening to self-help and motivational records. Seize every opportunity, don’t be afraid to take risks, etc.

      • juliamargaret

        I think the reason he’s so interested in doing so well at his job is BECAUSE he has a thing for his boss.

      • lonestarliberal

        I agree completely!!! I thought the whole idea of dreamy Bob Benson being in love with Pete Campbell was unrealistic. Bob’s a looker. There are plenty of hot guys in New York that he could have a crush on–like Manolo, for example. If he’s going to obsess over anyone in the office, it would have been Don. Not realistic, I know, but someone like Bob would only get excited about someone who is that physically impressive.

        Plus, there is no way he would have come onto Pete in that way. I was a young professional gay man–closeted, or, if you would like to be charitable, extra discreet–15 years after 1968. Even after Stonewall, and the 70s, I would have been FAR too terrified to act on an office crush. Of course Bob would want to be friendly with Joan–she’s fabulous! But I don’t think there is any way that he would come onto his boss like that–particularly after he had just been so judgmental about Manolo. It may be hard for people today to imagine how strong the fear would have been in that situation but let me tell you, it would have snapped Bob out of any crush he had on Pete.

        • Mike R

          Yes, this is what I want to say too.

        • bxbourgie

          THIS is why I find it so hard to believe he’d do that. I get that he’s in love, or thinks he’s in love and found Pete in a very vulnerable moment, I’m like why would he do this? Why would he put his career in jeopardy like this, especially after seeing no indication that Pete would be receptive to his advance.

          • ccinnc

            Maybe he sees something in Pete that we don’t see.

          • par3182

            The heart wants what it wants….and apparently sometimes what it wants is a grimy little pimp.

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

              Hearts are assholes that way.

        • Wellworn

          It is completely realistic for Bob to want Pete. Haven’t we all had bad taste in men from time to time? Pete has such a neediness vibe this season that Bob, being the excellent care giver, picked up on that. Maybe at first it was just opportunity for career advancement but then turned into a crush, but lots of us choose a person who needs us, because we like to be needed. I do agree that it was a bad time, and maybe there never would have been a good time, for him to touch that knee. Maybe to say the words, but the knee made it a come-on. Not a good play in an office situation, gay or straight. But we have seen lots of that sexual drama in the office here before.

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

            It’s as realistic for Bob Benson to fall in love with Pete as it was for Trudy Vogel or Peggy Olson to do so.

            • Chris

              But Pete isn’t the same young, handsome and ambitious go getter he was when Peggy and Trudy fell in love with him. Pete was a good looking guy who acted like he owned the world then. In fact the big changes in him may be partly why Bob loves him, Bob needs to be needed and Pete is the neediest person around.

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

              Pete was a sour, spoiled misogynist in 1960. He was no better then than he is now. And people tend to make a bit too much of his receding hairline. He’s a trim, successful reasonably good-looking executive in his early 30s; exactly the kind of guy the Bob Bensons of the world tend to fall for.

            • bxbourgie

              **sigh** And Pete can be sympathetic when he’s not being a total shit. I can’t see them hooking up, but maybe they’ll come to some kind of understanding. I need Bob to stay on the show because he’s adorable, because Pete needs someone to take care of him, and because Joan needs someone to go to the beach with.

            • not_Bridget

              Even back when he was cuter, I wondered why Trudy fell in love with him. And stayed with him after several troubling episodes–until he finally tried to turn her against her father.

              As Jaime Lannister said “we don’t get to choose who we love.”

            • Chris

              Well it isn’t just the hairline it’s how they have presented Pete this season. Falling down the stairs like a buffoon and making people laugh, the way the secretaries just stared at him for so long when he said he needed a chair for the partner’s meeting. I don’t get the sense that any of the secretaries are harboring secret crushes on him as he’s been presented as a pathetic figure. Compared to how he used to strut around the halls of SC with his band of young rising or future execs. he’s not as dashing a figure anymore. I agree the personality hasn’t changed much. I felt Bob was responding to his vulnerability more than just his looks.

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

              But even when he was strutting around the SC offices he was awkward and sour and most people didn’t like or trust him. If you throw Beth Dawes into the mix, Bob is just one in a line of people who fell for Pete over the years, as unlikely as that might seem to us as viewers.

            • Chris

              I’m not arguing that Pete hasn’t had people love him (although I don’t think Beth Dawes’s feelings were anything like Bob’s. His were so lovely, and loving and generous I think only Trudy and Peggy are on his level of really loving Pete.) And I’m not trying to say he is unlovable, just that Bob’s very tender and caring kind of love seems to have arisen partly from Pete needing him and not being that BMOC anymore where as Peggy’s was probably part awe in her day.

            • Latin Buddy

              I have to agree with my gay uncles…my dating life offers a sad trajectory of assholes I tolerated simply because they were successful. You would be amazed (I surprised myself sometimes) at how much you can deceive yourself into thinking a guy is right for you…ugh (singing Adele, you could have had it aaaaaaall)

            • Hellene Jakinovich

              Successful, (seemingly) powerful men are sexy; frustrating as I find it. Even if they’re assholes. I think this is a case of falling in love with one’s boss.

            • asympt

              Less trim than Vincent Kartheiser, though, since they made him gain 25 pounds for this season.

              The moment he had with Peggy in the diner was a reminder that, on the increasingly rare occasions he lets his guard down, Pete can be likeable. But he’s so needy and angry we don’t see that a lot, and you wouldn’t advise anyone to chance a relationship with him. He had a good thing for a couple of years with Trudy (if they’d stayed childless and urban–if her needs hadn’t come into conflict with his wants–it probably would have lasted longer), but his demons put paid to that.

            • Adelaidey

              Bingo. Somebody said upthread that if Ken Cosgrove had been grateful for that deli tray, maybe Bob Benson would be in love with Ken Cosgrove.

            • Sweetbetty

              Was Peggy ever really in love with him, though? I always felt she was flattered that an executive at her new place of employment would take an interest in mousey little her but I never thought “love” developed.

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

              She was, at the very least deeply infatuated with him, stealing his postcard off the bulletin board to keep in her desk drawer and constantly staring at him from across the office.

              In other words, she was roughly as in love with him as Bob Benson is.

        • 3hares

          Isn’t that selling gay people a little short, that a good-looking gay man can’t have a weird crush on a sour little man the way a woman could? Nothing in Bob’s speech really indicated that he was excited over Pete’s looks. I agree that the declaration is pretty amazing given all the reasons he had to be afraid, but surely it’s possible for him to crush on anybody.

    • A Shiny O’Connor

      “Not all surprises are bad”, says Roger with three oranges in the air. Nice hors d’ouvres for Don’s woman juggling resulting in his teenage daughter catching him slobbering all over the neighbor in her drab adultery room.

      • UsedtobeEP

        Ha! Yes, that was clever.

      • And Finally…

        And Don said the exact same thing to Sally (“not all surprises are bad”) several years ago when she found him cooking in the middle of the night in Ossining. I think just after baby Gene was born. I don’t know why I remember that…

        • testingwithfire

          The baby Gene speech was one of the few times we see Don actually parenting one of his children (actually, two of them) in an appropriate way. It’s a great monologue all on its own.

        • mlurve

          He was saying something along the lines of thinking Sally was going to be born a boy. Then was “surprised” when she was a girl, but it was a good surprise. I loved that parallel.

    • MissMariRose

      Give us the ladies who know themselves well and confidently make their
      way through the world, like Bobbie, Rachel and even Midge.

      Amen to this.

      • Travelgrrl

        But Sylvia, she’s all Catholic and a good cook and Motherly. She seemed to fill a void that none of his other mistresses or wives reached. They’ve been younger (Bethany, Sally’s teacher, Midge), career women (Faye, Bobbie, Rachel), and Megan is childless and no one can accuse Betty of being terribly motherly.

        Sylvia’s the Madonna AND the Whore.

        • verve

          I think Betty’s actually weaker on the Whore side of that dichotomy, or at least she was circa her marriage to Don. Don at least superficially called her a great mother (admittedly in part to discourage her return to modeling), and she really wasn’t terrible prior to discovering Don’s various infidelities. (Interestingly, now that she’s got a handle on life again, she’s returned to her not-stellar-but-not-horrible-either state of motherhood.) She dropped modeling to be Don’s wife and mother to his children, and he kept a rather tight fist on her sexuality or perceived sexuality for anyone who wasn’t him.

          • Travelgrrl

            No, she’s not a whore, but she has always been kind of a terrible mother, long before and after she found out about All Don’s Secrets.

            Sylvia seem(ed) more nurturing, I guess.

            • Chris

              I don’t think I would classify Betty as a “terrible” mother. She’s had her moments, but to be fair those are mostly period appropriate. Parenting was very different and Betty is often repeating the parenting she was used to. Betty has always held up her end of the parenting and is the one to provide all the day to day care those kids receive. She would never drive off with the cake for Sally’s party or leave them unattended. Even with her remarriage her life and Henry’s is built a lot around the children. When Sally needed comforting she knew to go to Betty who handled her getting her period in a very loving and motherly way.

            • Denise Alden

              Yes, I agree. I think sometimes we view Betty’s parenting through our modern eyes, and she comes out looking bad. But really, I think she’s a very average, acceptable mother. It’s interesting, too, how fewer judgments are made about the smoking and drinking in the office (“Well, it was like that then”) but when it comes to Betty being perfectly of her time, she gets the bad mother rap.

            • Chris

              Betty isn’t a saint but she wasn’t a devil either. For some reason mothers always seem to be judged harsher than fathers. Can you imagine if Betty had said anything akin to what Don said a few weeks ago about not automatically loving his kids? Betty had all the day to day parenting responsibilities and Don, because he wasn’t around all day could come home and be “the good guy” when he felt like it-like a lot of Dads at the time. Sally has always blamed Betty for the marriage breaking up but if Don had even met Betty half way I don’t think she would have divorced him and I think we know who the real villain in that marriage was.

            • Glammie

              Whoa, no, gotta disagree. There were plenty of warm, empathetic mothers in the 1960s who didn’t make rape jokes about their daughter’s friends. You can’t blame Betty’s cold weirdness on the time period. As a mother, she makes me shudder. Even her more maternal moments, such as the one about Sally’s period have a weird artificiality about them–like Betty’s a little girl pretending to be a grown-up.

            • LauraAgain

              I agree with you about Betty. I don’t have a good memory, but all I can remember from the early seasons of Mad Men is Betty telling the children to “go watch television.” Back then TV was, I guess, the “ultimate babysitter.”

            • Glammie

              No, it wasn’t. It actually became more so later.

            • verve

              Oh yeah, Sylvia is definitely more nurturing and seems overall much happier in the mother role than Betty ever was. But Don did at least used to find Betty motherly– ooh ooh, over-analysis time! The beauty mark on the cheek tied together his various mother/whore figures… Betty, too, has a beauty mark, but it’s smaller, less noticeable, and in the “wrong” place. She was close but not quite the mother he was looking for.

              Ahem.

        • Nicole R

          Megan is childless but she’s rather motherly, in a baby-sitting kind of way, and that’s why Don married her.

          • Angela

            I think she was that way when they married, but now that she’s off doing her own career as an actress, she’s away from home more and seems less able to take care of Don’s kids. She’s become less rooted to their household.

            • Nicole R

              True in a general, big picture way, but her scolding the girls when they wouldn’t go to sleep was a nice way of showing that she can display some authority, which is what parenting is about. Up until now she was the friend, but she showed that she could be more than that. But you’re right on the detachment thing.

    • NDC_IPCentral

      Your Mad Men commentary makes my Monday mornings.

      Poor Sally; this on top of seeing step-grand-mère & Roger last season. The rift between her and Don will make the Marianas Trench look like a sidewalk crack. Jon Hamm does a fine job of portraying sweaty, frantic falling-apart. How he salvages what he’s torn apart – beats me. No good deed goes unpunished, and boy, he brought the punishment here on himself with the potential for terrible, spreading repercussions. Destroy 2, 3 families, perhaps.

      Ted seems awfully boyish. The competition between him and Don sure erupted, and the little-kid “my juice” battle was amusing. Not sure I entirely trust Ted, either, but he’s got a much stronger moral foundation than Don. interesting how the Chaough bedroom’s decor was pretty similar in colors and textures (flocked bedspreads) to that of chez Draper.

      I actually thought Bob’s overture to Pete seemed a little stilted, but what was interesting to me was Pete’s initial reaction, which appeared to me to be “Maybe I’ll think this over – someone wants ME.” Both Don and Pete were sweaty faced and unkempt coiffed for portions of this episode.

      Got to get to paying work here at IP Central, but I’ll enjoy surfing the comments. Only two episodes to go… alas and alack.

      • Rhonda Shore

        If Sally tells Betty, Don could lose all parental rights.

        • Lynn Landry

          I don’t think she’ll say anything. I think she’ll withdraw and just use Don so she can escape to New York when she wants. Don has no power over her anymore, at least on the surface. She’s going to be angry and want nothing to do with any of them. I see Sally having serious relationship and addiction issues in the 70s and maybe she’ll hang out with the New York Dolls as opposed to becoming a hippy. She’s more mod/punk than hippy.

          • Rhonda Shore

            That does make sense…Sally will try to get into the Factory.

          • MK03

            Does anyone else think Sally might be put off sex forever after seeing that? Between seeing Marie blow Roger and her dad having sex with the neighbor, that poor kid has a very damaged view of sex.

          • Commenty

            My childhood was much worse, and I’ve never had therapy, a drug addiction, a predilection for “bad boys,” sexual dysfunction, an eating disorder, or the desire to be a stripper. In fact, I have a graduate degree and am an average person who pays rent and taxes and has a healthy relationship. I get so tired of this stereotype. But I bet they go that way with the Sally character.

            • editrixie

              I’m glad you mentioned this. I met someone recently who had quite possibly the worst childhood I had ever heard of, worse even than most of the really terrible memoirs that have been published in the last ten years or so. And outside of a few hiccups here and there, she’s incredibly successful, grounded, and a ton of fun to be around. So I raise my virtual glass to you both for rising above that cliche.

            • Sweetpea176

              I’m glad you mentioned this, too. But also I’m not so sure that they will take Sally’s character into the screwed-up end of the spectrum. I’ve actually been thinking that since Sally comes across as pretty grounded and together, she may very well stay that way. And it would make some narrative sense for the series to conclude with Sally learning some very valuable life lessons from her crazy parents that she uses to move beyond their brand of crazy and have a very functional life.

          • Travelgrrl

            Or I could see her at Smith, protesting the war.

            • masspatriot

              ????? Why Smith?

            • Munchkn

              Why not Smith?

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Did Betty go to Smith? Or Bryn Mawr? Seems like Sally would go where her mom went…or not. So she’d go to Smith because Betty went there *or* because Betty didn’t go there.

          • makeityourself

            My husband thinks she’ll tell Betty, but I don’t know how she would get around the fact that she used the doorman’s key to get into Mitchell’s apartment. There just isn’t any way to make that work. BUT, I think Sally has learned something about manipulation from her mother over the years, so once she sorts this out, I can see her using the information in what she perceives as a beneficial way, in essence to blackmail her father. We shall see.

          • not_Bridget

            Or she’ll be an upper-middle-class chick with a touch of neurosis.

            Besides, Betty doesn’t want Don to lose his parental rights. She really needs the occasional child-free weekend.

        • SFCaramia

          Which, after the episode with Grandma Ida, is amazing he already hasn’t. If that incident had happened in today’s ethos, you can bet your bottom dollar they’d both be back in court with Betty insisting Don’s visitation rights be severely curtailed or cut off outright. Betty being Betty, I’m sure is only too happy to foist the kids on Don when she needs a break. A more attentive Mom would surely already be crying foul. That said, I’m not so sure Sally’s going to spill the beans. Being the child of Don and Betty, she’s already well versed in secrets and lies and knowing how to use them to her advantage.

      • formerlyAnon

        Yeah, re: “someone wants ME” on Pete’s part. I think Pete’s need is why Bob made his bid – Pete’s clearly been spiraling for months and through the eyes of his crush/love (I hate to think Bob might really love Pete, so I conflate it with crush) he wants to step up the support/caretaking. I think it’s a sincere, maybe even impulsive outgrowth of his affection for Pete.

        • CozyCat

          Sometimes when you’re really lonely you miss physical contact so much that you do (or think about doing) something that you would never normally consider. (I’ve made a mistake or two that way….)

          • formerlyAnon

            Yes.

          • bxbourgie

            A mistake or two… or three… Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

          • Elizabetta1022

            Just thinking about my “greatest mistake” the other day. I’m with you.

      • Travelgrrl

        I definitely think Pete thought it over for several beats before he moved his knee.

        • Sweetbetty

          I’m with you. It would be hard to resist the offer that Bob made of loving and caring for and seeing that the person’s every need is met, especially when you’re in the isolated position Pete’s in.

          • not_Bridget

            Pete’s marriage did well when his wife put her desire for a kid on hold & devoted herself to him & his career. Then she got pregnant & went back to her suburban middle-class roots. (A woman truly of his class would have gone for a bigger apartment & a full-time nanny.)

    • acevedob

      So Bob Benson has a thing for older guys. Interesting…

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

        Pete’s probably no more than 8 years older than him.

        • acevedob

          Lol that’s true. I forgot that Pete is deteriorating fast, so he just looks and acts older. Do you think that Bob has been with/in a relationship with/ or is just friends with Manolo?

      • jen_vasm

        Maybe he thinks that Pete needs the most fixing. Because he seems to be the most unhappy person at work, he is the most attractive to Bob.

    • Chris

      Ted had the best lines of the night- first with his Fred Astaire punching Ginger Rogers in the face comment (interesting that he sees himself as Ginger) which made me laugh out loud. Second, Ted got the line we as the audience have been dying to say to Don for years “Don’t be an asshole.” Genius.

      • lockmm

        Ted’s “I can’t image you have many friends” to Don seriously had me laughing.

        • Chris

          That was fantastic, more so because he meant it seriously too. (As well as the put down it was.) It’s clear that even in the short time Ted has been there he really is getting to know Don better than so many others. I think he was in awe of Don for a long time and when the rose colored glasses came off he was really able to see and understand Don in ways people like Pete couldn’t.

        • Sweetbetty

          And Don didn’t dispute it since he knows it’s true. That fact was even discussed here by the BKs when discussing Dawn’s reaction to Arnie showing up at Don’s office; that she was probably acting strangely since Don never had “friends” dropping by.

      • mlurve

        Also his line about “Wait, is it your kid?” as if Don might have an illegitimate child old enough to be drafted that Ted doesn’t know about

        • Chris

          I assume Ted didn’t know anything about Don’s kids (or his life) so he just assumed Don wasn’t talking about his own son then had to backpedal and ask because he really didn’t know. Don’s not the type to sit down and tell people anything about himself or tell cute stories about his kids. Don could easily have a son old enough for the draft. I think it’s another example of how distant Don is. I’m sure Ted knew everything about Cutler and Gleason’s lives before they ever became partners.

          • omg_dora

            Don mentioned in the meeting that he has two sons much too young to be drafted. When Ted asked the next day if the draft dodger was Don’s own son, he was definitely implying a secret/illegitimate son.

            • Chris

              Or for all Ted knew Don could have been married three times (which technically he was- Anna). Don always plays everything so close to his vest that what he said over dinner may be all Ted knows about his family.

    • LauraAgain

      Even Peggy’s cat is orange!!!

      • MartyBellerMask

        NO! Please don’t back the orange ship; it’s sinking, Pegs!!

      • Wellworn

        And the bloody rat is red. Red and orange conflict in Peggy’s apartment. Choose the bloody rat, Peggy!

    • Violaine

      The interesting thing about the favors is that everyone doing them had ulterior motives. Don did Dr. Rosen a favor (in that he was the one who asked) but it was really because of his love for Sylvia, Ted did a favor for Don in order to get the truce, Peggy offered Stan an ulterior motive, though he didn’t take her up on it, Bob’s favor of a nurse recommendation had the ulterior motive of bringing him closer to Pete, and Julie did Megan a favor (took out the trash) because she wanted to slide the note to Mitchell under the Rosen’s door.

      • SonOfSaradoc

        Totally missed the move that Julie took out the trash in order to slip the note under the Rosen apartment service door. Nice catch!

    • Donna Tabor

      Ooh, I can totally see Joan in the “fag hag” role, can’t you? She has all the characteristics, if she cares to accept that role in life. And just think, she could finally have a man in her life who doesn’t want anything from her but her fabulousness. For someone like Joan, who has attracted largely unwanted (but wanted, too) male attention her whole life, it must be such a relief to spend time with Bob.

      • not_Bridget

        That’s a rather rude way to put it. I can see Joan still hoping for true love.

        In the meantime, she’s got her career, her son–and the occasional low-pressure date with Bob….

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      Ooh, just wanted to chime in with how much I enjoyed this episode. Poor Sally! It’s the 2nd time she has walked in on parental figures in the middle of sexual acts. Seeing Roger with Megan’s mom was bad enough, but seeing her dad cheat on Megan has got to be truly traumatizing. You can tell by Don’s nearly breaking down in the elevator that he must know how traumatizing it will be on her. His tired trope of pretending something didn’t happen won’t quite scrub that image from Sally’s mind. I’m guessing that she won’t be too eager to return to NYC anytime soon.

      I loved that moment between Peggy and Stan. I don’t think I would be able to handle a dying, bloody rat either, so I totally understood why she would call on Stan for help. Her sad attempt at offering something to make it worth his while was also pretty funny. I think those two will stay firmly in the friend zone (at least for the foreseeable future).

      My cat name nomination: Muffy, the rat slayer!

      • Amy Hughes

        I thought that Sally was maybe more mad at Don for potentially driving away Megan, the best thing in her life, than anything else.

        • bxbourgie

          I don’t even think Sally’s all that into Megan. Earlier in the episode she said to her mother that her father doesn’t think of her as a pain in the ass. She thought her father was cool, laid back, not uptight like Betty. Now she’s seen how “laid back” Don REALLY is.

          • Angela_the_Librarian

            I agree that Sally’s probably not that vested in Megan, especially lately when she has made Sally a de facto babysitter whenever her younger siblings are around. However, seeing her dad and Sylvia together would have shattered any illusions she had about her father, and probably made her realize that it wasn’t Betty’s fault that her parents divorced.

            • theotherTLO

              Oh, good call about realizing that Betty’s not sole person responsible for that divorce! I bet this might change her relationship with Betty. I wonder if Sally’s going to be able to hold this secret inside. I was so with her when she exploded at the dinner. I’m sick of Don’s hypocritical bull-you-know-what too.

    • LauraAgain

      Any thoughts about why Stan has a poster of Moshe Dayan over his bed? Did I miss something from previous episodes/seasons?

      • Lynn Landry

        I didn’t wonder or speculate why, but I loved it!

      • Travelgrrl

        THANK YOU . I did not recognize him but I knew it had to be someone relevant.

      • Chris

        All I could think of was Peggy telling Ginsberg not to hit Stan’s eye with the X-acto knife.

      • editrixie

        I was REALLY curious about that. I think because I was hyperventilating about Bob all episode I stopped thinking about some things, so I’m glad you mentioned that… I’m really curious. I mean, I knew a lot of younger, Gentile guys who thought he was really the man, but the poster was kind of something else…

      • housefulofboys

        Not sure why, but I was a 14 year old blond blue-eyed southern Presbyterian shiksa who (having just read Leon Uris’ Exodus’) thought Moshe Dayan was all kinds of badass-sexy. I know, kinda weird, first in a long series of crushes on bald men, married one too!

    • tvmovielover

      Morris is obvious. How about Ratso Rizzo? Oops, I guess that was 1969. Okay Ralph W Emerson.

      • Munchkn

        Ratso Rizzo might be perfect as the novel the film was based on came out in ’65. Both the book and the film are explorations of loneliness. Peggy is at a pretty lonely place herself right now.

        • Sweetpea176

          I didn’t read through all the comments first, so upthread I also said (entirely facetiously) that Pegs would subconsciously connect Ratso Rizzo with Stan Rizzo, who she doesn’t realize she loves yet. So she’d name the cat Ratso as a way of subconsiously naming her cat Stan. Sorry for repeating myself, but since someone else mentioned Ratso Rizzo, I couldn’t resist pointing out that Stan’s last name is also Rizzo.

    • Lisa

      I’m still thinking that if anybody gets stabbed in this show, it’s going to be Sylvia. There’s no other reason for them to be spending this much time on her, and they’ve set up Don to totally fall apart if it happens.

      The alternative of Stan being stabbed by Ginsburg seems to be plausible too though.

      • bxbourgie

        I think this episode is the reason Sylvia was so heavily featured on this season. Don thinks he loves her, so when he saw that she’d be distressed over her son possibly going to Vietnam (and he already knew she stressed out about him when he was in Paris during the riots), he decided to help her. They hooked up again, and Sally caught them, changing that father/daughter relationship forever.

        • Travelgrrl

          Right. To me this was the big payoff with the Sylvia storyline. That and the acknowledgement that she broke his heart, and not the other way around.

          • ldancer

            Yes. Sylvia is more device than character. Which is fine.

      • Jaialaibean

        He’s already been stabbed by Ginsberg. Or doesn’t being impaled with an X-Acto knife count as a stabbing?

    • jen_vasm

      Sally’s little friend was, as my mom used to say, fast!
      I understand why Sylvia is the most annoying & dull of all of his mistresses: to show how far he has fallen, he can’t go head to head with another creative, strong, exciting woman. She reflects him in her self-loathing. And of course, she is the one that wounds him.
      I adored the scene with Pete, Peggy & Ted. Lots of love floating around the table.
      I’m not sure that all is well in the Chaough house. The wife can’t even bring herself to say Peggy’s name, just calling her a ‘young copyrighter’. He does appreciate his family, though and there is much tome to improve his home life.
      I totally agree about Bob and squealed with the kneeplay. I wouldn’t be surprised if somehow her communicated to Joan that he is gay. Instead of being denying his sexuality out of fear, he has vowed to make himself invaluable in his work environment. His speech to Pete was sweet, but ill-advised after Pete’s ‘deviant’ comment.

      • A Shiny O’Connor

        It’s interesting though that on the ‘things I like about Mitchell’ list, Sally’s were all body parts. Her friend liked his shirt.

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

          I noticed that. There’s always been a slight indication that Sally’s a bit oversexualized at a young age.

          • A Shiny O’Connor

            It is also interesting that the ‘normal’ thing for a girl of this age (her friend) is to obsess about the boy. Sally sees him as an object, and quickly gets head in her work the next morning – hello Mini-Don.

          • A Shiny O’Connor

            Yes, the sleepover goings-on in Ossining, as well as the undertones of her relationship with Glen.

          • sweetlilvoice

            Ah interesting point….remember her time watching The Man from U.N.C.L.E.? Not that I blame her there….yummy David McCallum.

          • jen_vasm

            The thin bubble that has separated Sally from her dad’s unsavory life has finally burst. Her life has been a series of Dick-type vignettes of exposure to adult situations (but thankfully not as bad as Dick). She already has lots of stories to tell the analyst. And not just from Don, but Betty, Granpa Gene (that book about the fall of Rome).

          • Aurumgirl

            I’m not so sure she’s “over sexualized”, I’m more sure of the fact that people have reacted to her developing sexuality as if it were something they had to shut down. Sally got caught masturbating at a young age during a sleepover, when she thought everyone was asleep–but the girl’s mother was horrified by her. Then, remember how Betty made such a huge threat to Sally–that she would cut her fingers off if she caught her doing it again? That was not so much about Sally as it was about sneakily-sexy-Betty–whose vibrator of choice is a washing machine, no less–being embarrassed by the other mother. Kids start masturbating often as very young toddlers–it’s not unusual at all for little boys and girls to do this when they’re just starting to walk, or when they start kindergarten. Ask teachers who teach kids this young, they’ll tell you how often they have to tell parents not to freak out but to take the phenomenon as an opportunity to tell their kids about sex and to approach the whole masturbation thing carefully so as to protect the child’s whole experience of sexuality. Back then, I think people would have just been horrified and embarrassed, as Betty was, because kids were so often thought of as just miniature extensions of one’s self.

            As for walking in on avuncular dates and fathers in flagrante dilecto…she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but something similar happens to everyone.

          • SFCaramia

            I think that even before she witnessed the “primal scene(s)” with Roger and Marie and now, Don and Sylvia, there was evidence in years past that Sally was exposed to sex scenes at home. Back in Ossining I noticed neither Don or Betty were particularly careful about “covering up” and at least once that we saw, the kids walked in on Don and Betty doing the deed.

            • SFCaramia

              And another thought, remember when she was sent home for masturbating at a friend’s sleepover. Not that there was anything wrong with that–the mother was totally off the deep end as far as I was concerned–but that it just illustrated that Sally was unself-conscious about masturbating in an environment other than her own bedroom–possibly a sign of being oversexulized at a young age?

            • TeraBat

              I’m not sure… lots of girls start masturbating at a young age. They might not reach orgasm, but there are still a lot of pleasurable nerve endings in that area. Sally at the sleepover was generally age-appropriate (though maybe not the indulging where someone could catch her).

              Sally was also quite shy around Mitchell – she’ll admit to her friend that she thinks he’s hot, but she doesn’t talk much to him and doesn’t want him to know how she feels. Plenty of fourteen year old girls obsess over cute boys.

          • Jaialaibean

            But Sally wasn’t thinking of doing anything about it. Her friend’s overt advances seemed a little more … precocious.

      • Chris

        I thought the writers did a great job with Nan. It would have been very easy to go down the “Ted’s wife is a mean old shrew road” to make it “OK” for Peggy and Ted to get together. Nan clearly cares about her husband and very realistically didn’t want to upset him over the phone before he was set to fly. Her points were all valid and sad- she wished he was as happy being home with the family as he was at his work. I thought the scene at the end with his boys (made all the more poignant with all the Vietnam draft talk in the episode) was sweet. While there are problems there at home, he seems to have a close relationship with his sons.

        • UsedtobeEP

          That’s very realistic for the family of someone who works at an ad agency, too. Not only are the hours long, they are completely unpredictable. You can make all the plans you want but they are constantly pushed aside for clients’ needs and agency meetings called at dinnertime. Vacations are worked through or cancelled altogether, anniversaries are ignored, holidays are just like any other day. It’s a hard life. Agency spouses sometimes have very little power in their relationships.

          • ccinnc

            Ugh so true. My sister is VP for an agency and was called back from vacation in the middle of it to help negotiate a new contract. There were no flights – she had to rent a car and drive 6 hours overnight.

          • Travelgrrl

            I thought she meant that once he was home, he was disconnected with his family life, and really preferred the office grind.

            • UsedtobeEP

              That would sort of fall under the same umbrella. After a while, it feels like you are choosing those long hours over family. Because if you come home while others are still there working, then you might miss something. And at this agency, someone is sure to undermine you in your absence.

            • Alice Teeple

              I think Ted is a classic workaholic who happens to also be in an incredibly demanding career. It’s clear the Chaoughs have been struggling for at least a year – that retreat was back in December, and he hasn’t changed his tune. It sounds like Ted’s actually gotten worse since the merger, and poor Nan is probably bored out of her mind. That lady needs something to do.

              One thing I am wondering about is if they’re modeling the Chaough marriage somewhat on that of ad man Draper Daniels and his first wife, Cort. It’s a similar story: Daniels was kind of a prankster; Cort has been described as a sweet church lady, they had some kids, then ended up getting divorced. She “started a new chapter in her life” with her own career, while Draper moved to Chicago and got together with Myra Janco (one of the inspirations for Peggy). Daniels was more of a ladies’ man, but I can see a small parallel here.

          • Chris

            Yes, and you get the sense Nan feels like it’s starting all over again. They probably reached a point of stability with CGC and now it’s starting from scratch in a way building up the new firm. Furthermore, poor Ted seems to be doing the lion share of the creative work and management. No wonder he admires Peggy so much, she is a great employee and probably the only help he has in that department.

        • bxbourgie

          The piggyback ride to the bedroom, complete with the little tap on the head made me swoon. Oh Ted, I love you so.

          • Chris

            That was very sweet, and after Ted’s day helping someone else’s son who was facing going to Vietnam I am sure the sons seemed all the more precious to him.

          • Heather

            It’s a great contrast to Don, who just scarred his daughter for life. Before, we were all going: “Why doesn’t he get together with Peggy?”. Now it’s “Oh, right.”

        • jen_vasm

          Nan seems justifiably frustrated. She was a little brittle at that party a few episodes ago, but she talked to Ted in a concerned but loving manner last night. They are both warm characters that reflect a generally balanced life. Ted can be self-centered, but is not at all a deeply flawed character. His juice tantrum was more funny than annoying.

          • Chris

            As I say somewhere else, Ted had the best lines of the night. The juice line was petulant but funny. The Ginger Rogers analogy was hilarious- and who doesn’t want to tell Don Draper “Don’t be an asshole.”

    • Meg0GayGuys6

      AHH I can’t watch the episode until tonight! I’m tortured by the decision to hold off and not read this recap or cave and start reading.

    • Frank_821

      I have to say I was a little surprised so many people thought Pete was being a douche with Bob. It’s 1968 where homosexuality was still officially labeled as a mental illness by the AMA and gays are predators. Hell even today there are people in the US who still think being gay = child molester. I think his behavior throughout the whole episode was pretty understandable

      To me Pete’s problem is he’s a needy little boy who is hungry for validation and love. This episode sure reminds us how he got that way. Regardless of her dementia, Mama Campbell always struck me as a selfish, self-absorbed woman who could give Betty lessons on hoe to lower the temperature in a room

      Also that was the worst possible moment for Bob to come onto Pete. He was justifiably worked up about his mother and Manolo. he did try to see as her just being deluded but the way she was carrying on with conviction really brought home the possibility it might be happening. If it was happening he needed to be sacked. Pete’s paying Manolo to attend to her medical needs. I still think it was mostly her imagination since Manolo seems to be a very affectionate and attentive person

      Further I thought Bob’s move was a little selfish. If he hadn’t come onto Pete, I think he would have managed to convince Pete to keep Manolo on and not to worry about an impropriety going on.

      At first i wondered about those bits with peggy but then I realized we needed those comic relief moments with the lawnmower moments coming down the path. Her phone call with Stan was priceless especially when she said for him to bring his “date” along too.

      I loved that scene with Pete and Peggy though. It shows them in a decent place with each other. It also showed Pete as a damaged and unhappy person but not the total shit that Don is

      • Aurumgirl

        See, I don’t get this. How does Pete become “understandable” just because his mother tells him he’s “always been unloveable”, yet Don is a “total shit” when we’ve seen his entire childhood as one where almost each adult involved not only told Don he was unloveable but irredeemably sinful to boot? He does some despicable things, just as Pete does, but the writers are basically painting the same picture with different characters. Maybe the fact that Don is the centre of the story means people concentrate their revulsion on him more than they do on others who have been subjected to very much the same things, only in mitigated circumstances. Pete, for example, didn’t suffer the lovelessness AND poverty that Don did.

        I wonder how anyone can get anything done when they’re raised in such horrendously dangerous homes, let alone function well enough to be partner in a multi-million dollar ad firm.

        • Frank_821

          I did not say Pete behaviour is understandable because his mother called him unlovable. I said Pete’s behaviour in this episode was understandable.

          His mother is claiming to have sexual relations with the nurse Pete hired to care for her. This is a man young enough to be her son and she has dementia. I think a lot of people in Pete’s situation would react the same. He at first assumes it’s all her imagiantion and tries to deal with it by talking to her. She’s insistent that she and Manolo are actually lovers and says it with enough conviction and enough antagonsim to freak Pete out that it might be true. He naturally yells at Bob since Bob was the one who referred Manolo. he makes a slur against Manolo that reflects the general attitude at the time against gay men. Just when he’s softening to the whole situation Bob makes a declaration of love and gives hints of a come on. Pete gets stressed out and decides to still fire Manolo. Pete has enough composure not to verbally or physically attack Bob but lets him know, his declaration was not appreciated

          Pete’s done plenty of shitty things in his life. I am not excusing any of that. But I can understand the root cause for much of his self-destructive behaviour without condoning it. Pete ultimately made his choices and has to live the consequences. However I stand by my view that his mother had some responsibility in molding his personality. Even before she started losing it, his own brother showed a lack of affection for her

          • Nicole R

            I don’t remember his mother mentioning sex. I think Peggy misunderstood that (although she did mention the “spa treatment that creates fire in her loin”. She was all excited about having a physical relationship but I understood it as Manolo being able to take her to a happy place with his massages or whatever hand contact he is giving her. I loved the idea that both her and Bob thought the same way: why reject someone who consistently makes you feel happy? I was pissed at Pete for reacting that way. Just let your Mom be happy for heaven’s sake. Plus, she was rejecting all the other nurses they tried before, so that was a stupid and selfish move to fire him.

            • 3hares

              We didn’t see the whole conversation between Peggy and Mrs. Campbell. She didn’t misunderstand what Mrs. Campbell was saying. She was very clearly telling her that the guy was pleasuring her sexually–whether or not it was true. Pete eventually did agree with Bob that his mom being happy (and presumably Manolo not actually seducing her) it was fine. He fired him when Bob attached it to the larger question of Bob’s pass at him.

            • Nicole R

              Yeah, stupid and selfish move.

        • verve

          This is an excellent point. After thinking about it a bit, the two most prominent differences between Don and Pete that I can come up with is that Don is 1)more handsome, and 2)more suave/charming. That does count for a lot in people’s impressions. Though more importantly we see their vulnerabilities presented differently. Don, when he has his break-downs and moments of tenderness, is, well, vulnerable. We see how fragile he is in contrast to his normal attitude. Pete’s breakdowns tend to be more petulant and selfish.

          Compare Don/Betty final marriage collapse to the Pete/Trudy one. After Don finally gets over being a gaslighting asshole, he surrenders and contritely tells Betty he isn’t going to fight her. Pete, in a slightly less tenuous position than Don was in, doubles down to rub Trudy’s face in her father’s adultery. They’re both sad, lost little boys at heart, but Don seems to genuinely wish he could make himself whole with someone’s love; Pete just wants someone’s tireless adoration (make that tireless adoration from as many people as possible, whether or not it’s for anything he’s done to actually entitle him to praise). And going back to the charm thing, Pete is not charming when he feels aggrieved, and he can’t even muster Don’s alpha-male appearance-of-strength-when-weak thing. He’s Don Lite, but without even the vaguely endearing bits.

          • Glammie

            I think, too, Don doesn’t take all of his privilege for granted. He’s more straightforward when dealing with working class people. Pete is liberal in theory and pushed for buying ads in Ebony. Don’s the one with the black secretary that he seems to treat like a secretary not a symbol.

            • 3hares

              I think Don’s attitude is that he identifies with outsiders, but also sees himself as proof that if he can do it, so can anyone else. So he often doesn’t really see a lot of the privilege he has. Suzanne’s brother said that flat-out when he reminded him that he would always have epilepsy.

            • Glammie

              True, but Don also accepted that. I don’t get the sense Don thinks if he can do it anyone can. I’m not sure that’s clear one way or another. He’s pretty apolitical. No issues working for Nixon, now he opposes the war, but not a lot of passion.

        • UsedtobeEP

          I don’t disagree with you. I guess it’s for a few reasons. First, we have seen Don do awful things to others and to himself ad infinitum, and be especially callous to his children and to Megan, who clearly was Don’s last chance to redeem himself. We haven’t seen that as much from Pete. Second, Don is much more in command of his actions. Pete is a bumbler, whereas Don is calculated. Third, we are shown that Pete is modeling himself after Don in many ways, and the original sinner is much worse than the pretender to the throne, I guess. It’s as if Don has led Pete astray, although Pete clearly went willingly.

          I was talking with my husband about this. He doesn’t care for the show, and it’s mainly because it is too much like a soap opera. He gets tired of Don Draper. We are all tired of Don Draper. With Pete, there is still something left in him for us to root for (scene with Peggy) or else we can love to hate the character. With Don, we are just tired of seeing him screw up. Intentional by the writers, no doubt. He’s a tragically flawed character, whereas Pete isn’t.

          • Aurumgirl

            I’m not tired of Don Draper. I like the humanity of the character, I like the way he’s written–it’s very realistic and he’s a complex creation. I also see that a great deal of his misogyny comes out of the exaggerated white male privilege that men of that era enjoyed (it’s slightly less so now, but not by much). I love to see that illustrated so starkly because people like to think it just isn’t that way anymore (not true, any “awareness” that has come from the small changes has come with increased anger now), and they’ve forgotten that it was that bad. We’re part of an ahistorical, anti-intellectual culture here in North America, I think it’s brilliant work to get history and ideas across so effectively this way because it doesn’t happen often in entertainment, let alone TV. And entertainment plays a huge role in how we see ourselves as a culture, and how we treat each other within it.

            So, when TLo wrote this:
            “with Mad Men, taking time to look at the text thoughtfully and analytically is always going to be a more accurate and more enjoyable experience than spinning off silly theories that sound like they came off the back of a cereal box.”

            all I could think of was that some people still don’t see the value of analyzing this show, or really any show or movie or play or book, for that matter, as being worthwhile, largely because they aren’t seeing the value of that mental work. I think that TLo have been able to do so so well, and become so well known for what they do here, because they’ve made a connection with people who still want to do this. They’re appealing to those who “get” what it means to analyze this work–and god knows, that doesn’t get done very often.

            • UsedtobeEP

              Husband and I were talking about that exact point yesterday, the analysis and how much fun it is. I do think covering this ground (Don’s affairs) repeatedly is intentional; and what’s so clever about it is that Sylvia’s seemingly so mundane compared to his former conquests (but not really, since Don cares for her so much that he did this huge favor for her and for her husband) and that he’s gotten caught—by his daughter. Suddenly, this old story is a whole new ball game. It’s genius writing. Unfortunately, many viewers have gotten so invested in the other characters that we are impatient with all of this time spent on Don. I think that’s where the theories come from—that impatience of wanting more time in the office and more back story for other characters. Mad Men could easily have been a book series.

            • somebody blonde

              I’m tired of Don Draper; yes, he’s a fascinating character, but we’re in the sixth season, and he’s the same fascinating character he always has been. The fact is, I know who he is now and I do not like him. I find pretty much every other character more fun to watch than Don at this point (except maybe Harry Crane).

            • filmcricket

              It’s the sixth season and they’re not telling us anything they haven’t for the previous five, when it comes to Don. Weiner & co want to illustrate the power of white male privilege, fine, but as far as I’m concerned they need to find another way to do it. The completist in me will probably watch S7, but I am sick to death of Don Draper’s Cavalcade of Bullshit. It may be historically accurate but it’s dramatically tedious.

          • Glammie

            Whoa. Pete forced himself on the au pair. Black mail or rape, take your pick. Don’s partners are are a willing lot, sometimes (Bobbie Barrett) aggressively so.

            Also, Pete’s petulant–always complaining that the world doesn’t treat him better. Part of Don knows he’s no good.

            Both have moments of decency, but that’s amid all sorts of bad behavior.

        • somebody blonde

          Honestly, I think that Don is just a lot less relatable than Pete. It’s very hard for the audience to relate to a guy who’s closed off to the world even when he’s breaking down. Pete wears all of his frustrations and unhappinesses on his face and fights them, whereas Don just gives up and tries to be as unobtrusive as possible. Moreover, the problems Pete is facing are new to him; Don’s are the same problems he’s always had, and at this point, there’s no reason to believe he’ll ever stop having these same ones.

      • Wellworn

        I agree. I think Pete handled Bob’s veiled declaration pretty well for that time and for the circumstances. He could have gone all apeshit, screaming, or physically abusive, ( we have seen his over the top reactions to things in the past) and he could have fired Bob, but he was pretty tame. Bob was heartbreaking to me though. I think many of us felt so badly for Bob that many saw Pete as douchey with the response, but he really wasn’t. I also think that Pete truly appreciates how Bob has been there for him when really, no one else has this season.

    • formerlyAnon

      God love you and help you Bob Benson. Your life is going to suck worse, now that Pete Campbell knows he has leverage over you.

    • Observer

      Loved how the Doorway motif was prevalent again this episode. Sally “breaks in” through the kitchen doorway, observes her father and Sylvia through the bedroom doorway and then will only speak with Don through her closed doorway. The scene ends with a shot of the Draper hall with all the doors closed. Also, the doorman character is an active participant in this weeks story line. Sally’s first interaction with Sylvia is when Sylvia rather rudely brushes the girls off as she heads out the doorway to the street. Again at SC&P there is door slamming and Ted’s story ends with him standing in the doorway of his bedroom where his wife and kids are. Then of course there are Pete’s blue and green bedroom sliding doors, open to his bed when he discusses with his mother her “situation” with her nurse. And all the locks on Peggy’s doors.

      • Jaialaibean

        Do any of them swing both ways? There are a couple of distinct possibilities here.

      • decormaven

        Speaking of doorways, I hope Sally carves a sickle on Don’s back door to show a dishonest man lives there.

        • PowerfulBusiness

          Genius.

          • decormaven

            Merci!

      • EveEve

        Great scene of Peggy desperately trying to unlock her apartment door – from the inside- to escape from the rat!

    • Danielle

      I felt like Stan saying, “I am not your boyfriend,” was more of a direct line from the writers to the audience, saying no, Peggy and Stan are not going to end up together. It reminded me of just after when Joan got pregnant by Roger (after her husband went to Vietnam), and people were thinking that maybe he would get killed and they could end up together, and Joan said something like, “Greg dying is not a solution for this.”

      • Chris

        I think it was a way of showing again, that Peggy does not have a man to rely on and that in the end she can solve her problems herself. I don’t think that Stan is out of the running indefinitely but now wouldn’t be a great time for them anyway as Peggy is still in love with Ted. The Stan-Peggy friendship is fantastic however and one of the healthiest relationships on the show.

        • Mary Nease

          Yeah, I’ve kind of been rooting for Steggy because they’re actually legitimately friends. He respects her talent and sees her as more than a sex object (especially compared to where their working relationship started) and I think that if more people (in general, but definitely on this show) were friends before fucking, a lot more relationships would pan out well.

    • Chris

      This was a great episode as a complete compare and contrast between Ted and Don. How do you handle temptation, competition, marital issues, a friend in need etc. Every action of Ted’s was practically a counterpoint to Don’s. They both have been tempted or fallen in love outside their marriage, they are both competitive, they both love their work and the challenge of it (or Don used to) and they both are trying to help a “friend.” In every instance we see Ted face the same struggle and make better choices than Don. He’s clearly not perfect, but he always tries to do the right thing.

      • Sagecreek

        Thank you! From the other member of the impossibly tiny Ted Chaough fan club :)

        • Chris

          I really like Ted and never bought into the “fooling around with Moira” business. If he had already been fooling around he wouldn’t have been so upset about kissing Peggy. He’s the better version of Don. He is by no means perfect, he did kiss Peggy and handled it badly with her but I always saw it as self protection not his being deliberately cruel. I respect that he has feelings he doesn’t want but is truly trying to do what is right.

          • Travelgrrl

            It’s Cutler that is rumored to be fooling around with Moira, not Ted.

            • Chris

              There were a lot of theories on these boards weeks ago based on Moira’s territorial ways that Ted had something going on with her. I just thought Moira was a busybody. Now that Moira walked in with Cutler, the suspicion has shifted to him.

        • bxbourgie

          Third member here! The TCFC needs a weekly newsletter complete with posters to put up on our bedroom walls.

          • Jaialaibean

            Fourth member. I’ve liked him from the beginning.

            • Alice Teeple

              Fifth. He won me over with “Help Me Honda.”

          • editrixie

            I really want the poster to be of him in the smoking jacket. (Although, can I be in two fan clubs at once? Because I also have to be a member in good standing of the Bob Benson fan club)

      • Wellworn

        He does seem to be the “golden boy” of the 2 of them. He even dresses often in golden hues. Maybe Moira is so loyal to him because she sees what a good guy he is and is trying to protect that. What a contrast to Don he is.

        • Commenty

          I think Moira’s clearly sleeping with Harry Hamlin.

          • Chris

            Or he’s after her. He definitely liked her Shalimar perfume.

            • Aurumgirl

              I just took that scene as an illustration of how any man could feel perfectly at ease to comment on a woman’s appearance or the way he feels attracted to her even in a business setting where she’s clearly there to work. Now there are laws against this kind of thing, which you can see enforced if you have lots of money to pay lawyers. But back then a girl had to put up with it.

            • Chris

              In both scenes, he seems to be trailing after her or walking alongside her. We could infer he does this to all the women there, or suspect there is something going on/he’s after her.

            • Jaialaibean

              “Some men love women; some love memos.”

            • Aurumgirl

              Exactly. Which, you know, ugh. What some people have to put up with just to earn a living.

            • Chris

              So true, and those days are not all long gone, sadly.

          • Adelaidey

            Yup. I suspect that eight years ago, Moira was Season 1 Joan, shtupping the head accounts man and managing the office perfectly. But instead of constantly adapting to her setbacks (marry a surgeon! pull off a paternity switcheroo! make partner! grab accounts!), she’s still doing the same old thing. Just as Ted is Don if Don could make good choices, Moira is Joan if Joan made no choices. Maybe.

            • Jaialaibean

              That’s what I’ve been thinking, too: Maybe Moira is Joan version 1.0, the one who stayed with Roger, remained queen of the office, and never had a baby.

    • Amy Hughes

      Thank god it was a cat. Because I thought the episode was setting us up for Peggy calling Pete to help her out at the end!

      • LauraAgain

        That thought occurred to me, too!

      • meowing

        Hmm, a rat catching a rat–could work, kinda like “takes one to know one.”

        • testingwithfire

          Peggy’s “flipping around under the couch” comment to Stan and her anxious hand movements had me roaring. (I’ve been on the receiving end of one of those late-night rodent phone calls – and I’m a chick!) Looks like Peg’s on her way to being a cat lady as Mom suggested – kitty is more useful than Abe, that’s for sure. And I hope she holds on to that building so I can dream about Peggy Olson, Real Estate Mogul of the Year, 1980.

          • CozyCat

            Strangely, the apartment feels safer without Abe running around “fixing” things.

            • sweetlilvoice

              I thought it looked cleaner too than the last time we saw it. But we know Peggy is a slob. I’m glad Abe isn’t there blowing up fuses in his overalls anymore.

            • bxbourgie

              When they showed the promo for this episode last week I thought it looked alot cleaner too. I actually thought it was so clean because Peggy was showing it because she wanted to sell. Now I see she’s decided to stay.

    • siriuslover

      I think the app ate my comment. I tip my hat to you boys. I gasped audibly several times last night and screamed “don’t do it Bob Benson! You’ll be fired!” his speech was so tender and heartfelt

      • ccinnc

        Maybe for that reason (the “tender and heartfelt” part), he won’t be fired? Unlike everyone else in his life, Bob has been showing Pete some kindness and concern. Would that matter to him?

        • formerlyAnon

          I think Pete would only want him fired outright if he’d been wildly freaked out – which he clearly wasn’t. If he’s being ‘decent Pete’ he has no reason to fire someone who wants to be “on his team,” if he’s being ‘slimy Pete’ he can save the threat of exposure to use to manipulate Bob in the future.

        • siriuslover

          you know, I felt that Pete’s frustration in throwing the cereal box at the end reflected just that kind of turmoil you mention. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

    • lac87

      On the topic of Mrs. Campbell, Manolo, and her pleasure..I feel that all of her phrasing left the possibility wide open that SHE was the one actually giving herself the happies. She mentioned that he had awakened a “side” of her that had been dormant, but I don’t remember her specifically saying that he was actually the one giving it to her. Would it have just been out of the realm of the imaginable for anyone else to consider this as a potential explanation?

      • Frank_821

        Oh i agree I think Manolo is probably innocent. But imagine being Pete or even Peggy and being in that conversation! Most of us would be pretty freaked out

      • Travelgrrl

        She clearly told Peggy that they were lovers. And her two ensembles in this episode were far and above the most lovely and accessorized she’s ever been. However, she did think Peggy was Trudy, so there’s that.

      • somebody blonde

        Personally, I think he was giving her massages and that turned her on. I’m pretty sure Manolo was completely innocent of actual wrongdoing.

        • Nicole R

          Yes, I’m pretty sure of that too, and that makes the whole firing of Manolo a shame in my opinion.

    • Gale

      Peggy’s cat looks like a “Rufus” to me.

      • sweetlilvoice

        Maybe Bobby–as a RKFK tribute? Although, perhaps that’s too soon. I vote for Stan.

        • Jaialaibean

          Too many Bobbys. (Would that be Bobby 7 or Bobby 8, since Don’s son calls himself Bobby 5, even though he’s actually Bobby 4, and we also had Bobbie Barrett and we now have Bob? And, as you mentioned, there’s Bobby Kennedy.)

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

      I worry Bob’s not long for the Mad Men world, if only because I saw a commercial for a new TV series with that actor in it and that’s generally a death knell to supporting character roles – not that I think Bob’s going to die, but I think an exit is coming, which saddens me because I’ll miss his pair of coffee cups. Also, because he was a refreshingly asshattery-free piece of eye-candy this season.

      For the cat, well, given the theme of the episode I know it’s probably a male cat, but I want to say either Belle or Jolie, to commemorate her first account.

      Or maybe just Ratter.

      • MartyBellerMask

        As creative as she is, it will still be a boring name. Or nameless. I do like “Ratter”. Haha- how about “Boyfriend”??

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

        Allison Brie has managed to juggle both a network sitcom and a supporting role on Mad Men for several years now.

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

          That’s true. I hope it’s just a baseless worry then. I really like Bob and, though Sal is a totally different character/person, I didn’t realize how much I missed a gay presence on the show. I hope Bob gets fleshed out more.

        • sweetlilvoice

          And it’s nice to see her actually happy for once on Community! It’s a joy to watch her play two such different characters.

      • CozyCat

        You owe me a coke on the cat name–I picked “Belle Jolie” a few minutes ago… :-)

    • NMMagpie

      The moment those two knees touched, both me and my daughter just screamed. (She just had a rant about WHO this Bob-guy is.)

      My cat name vote is: Walt.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I had a scream too!

        • Jaialaibean

          So did I.

      • LaurieS

        I screamed like this: “EEEEE!! EEEE!!”. I was so uncomfortable and I thought “GOD POOR BOB!” My toddler thought it was hilarious.

    • Mike R

      I truly loved this episode–one of the best of all time–but to take a devil’s advocate approach to one part: Is it realistic that Bob would come on to Pete in such an obvious way? Bob is a perfectly drawn gay man for his time — see the Best Little Boy in the World or even the Boys in the Band (imagine Bob letting his hair down and you have one of the butcher characters there) — but who comes on to their straight boss? Not even an 100% out gay man in 2013 would do that. It just isn’t the done thing, not in the office, not in such a transparent way, especially not after your boss has just called your kind a “degenerate.” Edit: I can see Bob trying to confide in and come out to Pete, but the knee-touching was a come-on, no?

      And of all people to crush on: Pete? Ew.

      Vote for the cat’s name: Stokely.

      • formerlyAnon

        “The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing.” -Blaise Pascal

        People do things that make no sense all. the. time. Crushing on Pete seems terrible to US, but Bob hasn’t known him as long, and the need to be needed seems to be part of Bob’s personality. God knows Pete’s needy.

        • Matthew Vella

          The problem isn’t that he had a crush on Pete, its that he acted on his crush. Like MikeR said, even today that would be a risque thing to do.

          • formerlyAnon

            I agree. And stupid. But people do do such things (expanded thinking in my preceding reply to Elizabetta1022), and Mad Men isn’t known for sticking to things that are necessarily likely. (Reference: lawnmower incident).

        • Elizabetta1022

          Bob must have thought there was some chance of his feelings being reciprocated, no?

          • formerlyAnon

            I think that once he let himself imagine the possibility that Pete might not reject him (however much of a fantasy that might be), it became somehow plausible within the frame of the Pete he thinks he knows – and the need in the moment to offer support and to declare himself (however obliquely) overwhelmed good sense, even in the face of Pete’s preceding comment. I very much see it as acting out on impulse something he’s thought about many times before. I’ve seen people (and done myself, though not in the declaration-of-love department) do dreadfully unwise, stupid, emotionally and practically dangerous things in a rush of feeling.

      • SGee

        I agree. I think as soon as Bob heard the “degenerate” comment he made a conscious decision to let Pete know what he was all about. I don’t think it was a declaration of love as much as it was a power play to let Pete know that he won’t stand for name-calling.

        • Mike R

          You know, that scene would have worked for me if it was a coming-out scene. The knee-touching is what messed it up.

        • quitasarah

          I completely disagree. First, Bob’s not confrontational, and that isn’t how you tell someone that you won’t stand for their name calling. Plus the look on Bob’s face as he left Pete’s office was more “oh god, what did I just do” than triumph or even the usual Bob smirk.

          • Sweetpea176

            It’s actually a pretty brilliant, and often effective, way to tell someone you won’t stand for their name-calling — making the group being denigrated human: “If you’re going to consider Manolo a degenerate, Pete, then you will have to look me in the face and consider me a degenerate for caring about you.” At the same time, I don’t think it was necessarily a power-play exactly, but it was his taking a sort of stand, and “oh god, what did I just do” would be a pretty normal reaction to having done so. In other words, I think you’re both right.

      • MissKimP

        Bob’s “pitch” to Pete doesn’t seem too far-fetched to me, given last week’s episode where we see him listening to the motivational sales record and then giving that pep talk to Ginsberg. Bob sadly learns that the power of positive thinking has its limits. :-( (Agreed about Pete as a crush: ew)

      • quitasarah

        I think Bob sees Pete as someone who needs to be taken care of, and we’ve already seen that Bob loves taking care of people. I think this really was a declaration of love and not a power play, manipulation or a signal to Pete that Bob won’t stand for name calling. I think he really does care about Pete and he’s attracted to Pete’s vulnerability. But he doesn’t know Pete as we do…

    • Onirica

      Can someone clarify for me if Pete did fire Manolo? I understood that he said ‘I’ll give him a month’s pay’ but does that mean he did fire him?

      • formerlyAnon

        I’d say yes. If he didn’t change his mind when faced with replacing Manolo. There’s no other reason to give an employee a month’s pay – but it’s a decent thing to do if firing someone on the spot without warning.

    • MartyBellerMask

      I’m assuming Mrs. Campbell wasn’t completely offbase. I’m assuming Manolo was providing some thoroughly enjoyable massages. And what is the harm in that, Pete Campbell??? Let your mom enjoy herself.

      Now she’s his problem again. Pete’s just addicted to problems.

      • Frank_821

        In theory nothing, if nothing is going on that inappropriate on his part. But think about the conversation Peggy relayed. The woman thinks of her and Manolo as lovers. She talking in sexual terms and is convinced that is the nature of their relationship. Even with her dementia, the way she’s been talking about Manolo would make any one wonder if something is going on. This guy is on Pete’s payroll and that’s not what he hired him for. I think Pete’s reaction is pretty normal. How many of us want to think of our parents in those terms

        also if it really is all innocent, Manolo ought to be made aware of it.

        • MartyBellerMask

          That’s true. He could have at least let Manolo explain himself. But Pete is an ass.

          • Frank_821

            Actually I saw that as the fault of the writers not the character. This was the day after his blow up with his mom. He assumed it was all in her head and he tried to straighten her out. after all why embarrass Manolo. I wondered why he didn’t have a scene talking with Manolo. Pete’s never been labeled as non-confrontational. Presumably he would have confronted Manolo eventually if not for Bob’s ill-timed “declaration”

            • masspatriot

              Manolo will nurse his wounds, then decide to branch out in to the shoe design business. A few decades later, he’il be fitting Sally and Tammy for some of his $500 stilletos.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Not to mention that Mrs. Campbell will probably tell other people all about her lover and that will get all around Manhattan. The scandal!

        • Jaialaibean

          Even if it is innocent, Mrs. Campbell’s affection for her nurse could definitely lead to some financial shenanigans with whatever money she has left. That’s what I’d be worried about … unless Pete’s father left her entirely destitute.

          • decormaven

            She is already destitute. Pete’s dad frittered away the fortune on golf memberships and good times- Bob and Bud discussed this back after their father was killed in the American Airlines crash.

            • Jaialaibean

              Yes, I remember that, but did he leave her with absolutely nothing, or is it just a rich person’s version of “nothing,” i.e., with a small amount left that she can live on?

        • testingwithfire

          If you have an elderly parent under someone else’s care (nursing homes anyone???), I think you can probably understand Pete’s line of thinking even if you wouldn’t do exactly what he did with regard to the firing (which, considering the month’s severance, actually wasn’t that terrible). Mom’s possibly being abused and now I’m getting an unwanted romantic advance as a result of my discussing that? Bob’s lucky HE didn’t get fired. (I felt for Bob, but that was a REALLY bad move on his part with respect to his career.)

          Mrs. Campbell would probably have been better off with a female nurse, all things taken into account, but try to tell someone with mild dementia that they’re being manipulated or that they don’t really “get” what’s going on (Pete’s comment to Mrs. Campbell to that effect gave rise to her tirade about his being “unlovable”). I also didn’t completely blame him for letting her take a cab home on her own, although the right thing to do would have been to go with her. I feel for Pete’s character more and more each season and I think the writers are doing right by the character, completely.

        • 3hares

          Yes, what stuck out to me was that she seemed so specific about how she was finally, for the first time, experiencing good sex, and according to her it was with this guy. Could be fantasy, could be that she just found her own clitoris during those “spa treatments” that set fire to her loins, but if it was really going on it’s not okay that this nurse is making that part of his therapy for senile older women.

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

            She also thought her husband was still alive and that Peggy is Trudy. It’s hard to say either way what happened, but she’s about as unreliable a witness as you could imagine.

            • 3hares

              Oh, absolutely. I definitely thought it all being in her imagination was possible. But the details gave both Peggy and Pete a reason to wonder.

            • editrixie

              Yeah. Things seem VERY real to people with dementia. My dad would tell me about the horrible things the aides did to him at the nursing home, like abandoning him on the second floor to make him walk back to his room, when there was no second floor and he couldn’t walk, and I’d have to spend hours trying to piece together narratives from him to make sure he wasn’t being abused, and that it was as much his imagination as the visits he made to my cousin who lives a few hours away.

      • CozyCat

        Pete’s life is really spinning out of control. His career is in trouble–he’s definitely on the outside with both the SCDP and the new crowd and he just reeks of desperation. His personal life is falling apart too. And he’s making rash emotional moves that sabotage his own position. The guy’s in big trouble.

    • bawoman

      I agree that Sylvia is completely uninteresting compared to the other women in his past like Rachel, Midge or Bobbie.I dont agree that this is the most uneven season though. I still prefer his affair with hypocritical and judgemental Sylvia over the overhaul of Mary-Sue Megan and her overall perfection that was last season. Not to mention that Dons only role last season was run around like a neutered love puppy either. Not that I condone any of his actions this past season, but there just seems to be so much more going on inside him now.

      I thought it was interesting that the conversation Stan and Peggy had sort of mirrored the one they had in “The crash”. Both were looking for companionship with a pretext (Stan telling her he needed her for comfort sex, which ultimately made Peggy reject him, Peggy saying she would sex him up if he did her the favor of coming over and getting rid of the rat, and Stans rejection of her afterwards). Not that I think Pegs would have really given it up for Stan had he gone over, but the offer was made, and Stan could have easily exploited it for whatever it was worth.

      but it was Stan this time that called Peggy on her bullshit, like Peggy did to him in “The crash”. If those 2 crazy kids ever decide to just come right out and say “I like you, I want to be with you” instead of playing it out as something else, they might stand a chance. But on a show like this, its a bit unlikely,

      • BKagainwiththesweatpants

        Re: there seems to be so much more going on inside Don/Mary Sue Megan. It seems that way because more has been revealed than we saw last season, when he was “on love leave.” Remember, Don’s primary reason (such as it was) for marrying Megan was because she appeared to be the nurturing mom he’d always wanted, the one that Betty didn’t turn out to be: Megan didn’t yell at the kids for spilling the milkshake, she comforted Sally after she fell at the office, she slept with Don with no strings attached. Faye didn’t get chosen as wife #2 (or #3, as the case may be) because she wasn’t a nurturing mom type; she wanted him to face his demons, which is not something he believes his idealized mother figure would ask from him, and she was uncomfortable around children. Don being the biggest child of them all. Megan has since shown herself not to be the nurturing mother he thought he was getting, which eventually led to Don cheating with Sylvia, and somehow finding what he really had been looking for all along. Don may be stuck in the same old spiral, but on one level he is working through his issues, not in a healthy way at all, but considering he has so few, if any, internal tools to work with, he’s doing the best he can. It’s just very sad that he’s leaving so very much destruction in his wake.

        • filmcricket

          That’s very interesting and makes me a bit more sympathetic to what the writers are doing… I still do wish they could have sped it up a bit, though. I get that Betty finding out about Dick at the end of S2 might have been too fast, but her getting pregnant and taking him back meant that we had to live through a third year of the Don/Betty drama, then endure his year-long lost weekend in S4, just to get to Megan and see the cycle begin all over again.

    • A Shiny O’Connor

      I don’t think Pegs would get too deep with her cat’s name. It has a purpose. I imagine she’ll give it a name that makes her feel that it will do it’s job and protect her – like Tiger or, hilariously, Stan.

      Also I think the cat is a play on the cliche that executive women end up alone with a cat, and no mans. If only she could get written into Sex And The City season six.

      • Jennifer Ford

        Well, it is that, but also it’s that you can rely on a cat when you have rats (if you get the right cat and I’m betting orange tabby is a mighty hunter), but not so much on your so-called friends. In this case, Stan’s the latest dude to let Peggy down in a pinch.

        I’m not saying he was bad to do so — their relationship is complicated and funny and not quite to the “I’ll come save you from the dying rat” level since it’s based on their working together — but still, he was the guy she thought might be able to help her in that fix, and he didn’t come through. Ergo, cat.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Cats are normally more useful in a pinch! Of course, they also sometimes have bad breath and leave stinky messes so maybe not a whole lot of difference….

          • A Shiny O’Connor

            At least cats can kiss their own asses.

        • CozyCat

          You can’t always rely on men. But you can always rely on your cat. Look at him(?) there–quietly laying next to her on the sofa. Just waiting to be petted and cuddled, and to defend her against the evil rats!

      • sekushinonyanko

        This is like when Samantha gets sick and needs to put the curtain rod back up. After calling a million lovers, she goes “fuck it” and just hires a handy man. Moral of the story: you don’t have to be in a relationship to get practical matters taken care of, even if you’re not personally gifted in dealing with them yourself.

    • lynn4290

      My vote for the cat’s name is “Ginger.” But hope she/he won’t get punched in the face.

    • Noodles

      Is the cat male ? If it’s female, I vote for Irene Dunne.

      • Jennifer Ford

        It’s an orange tabby so odds are it’s male (which is true about 80% of the time).

        …But I think this cat is special because it’s Peggy’s so I’m calling her Irene!

      • Wellworn

        I say Tab Hunter would be a perfect name.

    • Sobaika

      “It’s good that Mad Men doesn’t wallow in the histories of its characters because it would be tedious and unrealistic if they did.”

      I feel cruddy saying this, but the show does wallow and get tedious with the history and overall psyche of a character – Don. There was some payoff with Sally, but I kind of hate that it was coming through Sylvia.

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

        Absolute agreement on that one.

      • Chris

        Maybe I’m reading too much into it but I’m guessing the whole reason Sylvia is so blah and housewifely is that the writers are trying to show this is Don’s personal set of issues. He’s not out fooling around because his wives aren’t beautiful enough, or nice enough. He has perfect, young Megan at home. His attraction to Sylvia is due to his own personal neuroses not because she is exciting or funny or glamorous the way any of his previous mistresses were yet she is the one he fell in love with. The one he risked getting caught with in “his own backyard” despite his admiration for her husband. Sylvia is the living embodiment of everything wrong with Don Draper, or really Dick Whitman.

        • Sobaika

          You’re not wrong. I just don’t think the Mad Men audience needed an atomic bomb in the form of Madonna/whore imagery, Sylvia, and screentime, especially when we’ve already had 5 seasons dipping in and out of Don’s issues.

          • Chris

            Oh I agree, every time Sylvia comes on the screen I groan. The only time Don is interesting now is when he is at work and that is only because of how he affects the people there.

        • Travelgrrl

          She is “Motherly” in a way his other mistresses haven’t been. That’s why she broke his heart.

          • Violina23

            Interesting point because it was Megan being motherly to his kids in California that convinced Don he wanted to marry her

            • sekushinonyanko

              And Megan has been shown to be considerably less motherly after that, which I think is directly tied to him losing interest in her. I imagined that he expected she’d be a more useful version of Betty, able to charm clients, model in shoots from time to time (Snow White as a repeat of Coca Cola), and help come up with advertising angles (Cool Whip as an improved version of Heineken.) And besides tossing her hat in the ring subtly, she’d be at home with the kids. Her having her own entire career that is not only unrelated to him, but influences her to actively avoid becoming a mother cause her to just be the woman in red to him, not the woman in red that feeds him soup and loves her widdle babies. In a sense you have Megan leaving him already, with her having to be away for work and the fact that her blossoming career and flirty castmates make it look increasingly likely he’ll either have to cut down his career to ride shotgun with hers (as if!), she’ll have to give up/scale her career way back just as it’s getting good, or they’ll just get further and further apart. He knows that, even if she’s not ready to admit to herself that she can’t be a busy and successful actress married to a busy and successful ad man who really does have more need for a stay at home wife. If she keeps working like that and they do have children together, they’ll have to get full-time help and/or look into boarding school, unless they want more Grandma Ida-type shit.

        • makeityourself

          If Sylvia were married to someone other than Dr. Rosen and lived two floors below Don instead of directly downstairs, he probably wouldn’t have given her a second look. He’s so screwed up that her apparent lack of emotional interest in him is exactly what made him “fall in love” with her. If she had fallen hard for him, he would have kicked her to the door.

          Frankly, he’s so ill that it’s difficult to watch.

          • SFCaramia

            It’s just like Betty said–the worst way to get close to Don is to be in love with him.

        • Elizabetta1022

          I think Don and Dick are coming together before they break apart for good, possibly with the (physical or psychological) death of Don.

    • OrigamiRose

      For the cat: Whiskers Meowington (though I stole that from Jon Stewart circa 2009).

    • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

      Pete to Peggy…at least one of us turned out important-highlight of the episode

      • CommentsByKatie

        So true..can you imagine a Season 1 Pete saying that to Peggy? Yet I hardly blinked an eye when he said it in this episode. Such fantastic writing to take a character from A to B like that.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          No I can’t. Agreed the writing is amazing.

    • Girl In Crowd

      She’ll name the cat “Teddy”.

      She’ll tell people, “Oh, I named him after that poor Kennedy boy”.

    • A Shiny O’Connor

      And how much is Sally’s viewpoint of Don and Sylvia like young Dick’s whorehouse peep-hole discovery of his mother?

      • SonOfSaradoc

        Stepmother … and yes, I saw the same perspective going on, except for the sleeveless t-shirt (wifebeater tee) in the 1940s.

        • A Shiny O’Connor

          Of course, Step-mother.

      • Travelgrrl

        Also harkens back to the Codfish Ball when Sally views Megan’s mother and Roger in a compromising position. What an incestuous little bunch, she must be thinking.

        • formerlyAnon

          Yes, except the tragedy is instead of thinking of it as “an incestuous little bunch,” that is, abnormal; given that it’s people she likes/loves and she sees it relatively young, she’s more likely to internalize it as within the realm of “what people really do behind the facade.” Even though she’s grossed out.

      • Kathryn Sanderson

        The difference is that Don/Dick was curious about what was going on and actively looked through the peephole and kept looking. Sally was completely taken by surprise and got the hell out of there.

        • Alice Teeple

          An interesting callback to Sally and Grandma Marie/Cutler and Stan.

    • Dorothy & Michael n/a

      I might be wrong about this. But – re Pete & Peggy’s baby: Didn’t her sister adopt the baby? And wasn’t there an episode when Peggy was visiting her family when the baby was fussing, and someone (Peggy’s mother?) thrust the crying baby into Peggy’s arms, and then left the room quickly to do something elsewhere in the house. I remember Peggy awkwardly holding the baby at arm’s length, like she didn’t know how to comfort the baby, and wanted no part of holding it.

      • Noodles

        That was a red herring. It was confirmed (sometime in s2 or 3) that Peggy gave up the baby for adoption. The baby she held was just her sister’s baby.

        • Dorothy & Michael n/a

          Thank you for that.

      • formerlyAnon

        No. Her sister had her own baby. Peggy’s was adopted out.

      • Agatha Guilluame

        This is the only reason I want this show to last through to the 80s. Just to see the moment when Peggy’s son knocks on her front door and says “Mom?” But of course that would just reduce the show to a soap opera because don’t things like that happen on those long running soaps all the time…

      • Travelgrrl

        Her sister was clearly pregnant in scenes before Peggy found out about her impending bundle of joy. The baby in later scenes is always her sisters.

        • Dorothy & Michael n/a

          Thanks. It’s been a number of years since I saw the first two seasons of course, and I did say “I might be wrong about this.” Plus I’m an old fart and my memory is not what it used to be.

          • Travelgrrl

            You’re not alone – TONS of people still think that Peggy’s sister adopted her baby!

    • Agatha Guilluame

      I just wanna say that I CALLED IT. Not simply that Bob was gay but that he was interested in Pete. Last week on Slate, writer Hanna Rosin compared Bob and Don to Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby. And I called bullshit. Here’s a snippet what I said.

      “If Bob is the Carraway to Don’s Gatsby then where is the reciprocal fascination Carraway and Gatsby experienced for each other? Isn’t that closer to Don and Ted’s relationship?

      I don’t even think Bob exists to Don and vice versa. Bob seems more focused on Pete, his direct superior.”

      I’m feeling oddly satisfied with myself.

    • Mike R

      The cat’s name should be Goldie (as in Hawn), currently a big deal in Day-Glo paint.

      • Jaialaibean

        Or Sunkist.

        • Jaialaibean

          Or possibly Orangey, after the most famous orange tabby cat actor of the era. He was in seven movies, including “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” and one TV series.

      • Susan_El

        Completely inappropriate cat name: Playgrounds
        Mildly inappropriate cat name: Father Gil
        Boring but Peg-worthily appropriate cat name: Ballerina

        • GinAndPopcorn

          Extremely inappropriate cat name: Oswald

    • jessie_louise

      Mitchell looked like another Weiner kid and I didn’t pay attention to the credits. What’s his name?

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

        He’s Hudson Thames, most recently the next door neighbor on “Malibu Country.” He told the girls that he was gay so they’d “practice” kissing with him. Should I be embarrassed I know that?

        • editrixie

          HUDSON THAMES??? Seriously?

        • Alice Teeple

          Hudson Thames? Man, his parents must have been really into rivers. What an amazing name.

    • Alice Teeple

      I’m glad we got a little more insight to the Chaough household in this episode, without making it heavy-handed. I felt bad for Nan. Making her sympathetic threw a whole new dynamic between her and Ted (and Ted and Peggy) than her just hanging on at dinners, being smug and drunk-y. Also, Ted’s boys are cute. It’ll be interesting to see what happens at Chez Chaough.

    • Melissa

      It’s interesting that everyone seems to hate on Sylvia. I find her hypocritical and schlumpy too. However, she is exactly what Don Draper’s f-ed up psyche is looking for.

      Sylvia is the ‘mother’ type of woman that Don never knew he wanted (Anna notwithstanding) but never seems to go for. A bit of a play on the Madonna/whore thing Don always seems to have. Don has had mommy issues since day one when his whore mother gave him away and his stepmother never let him forget it. He chooses women he can control and never lets them get close to him. Sylvia was an exception because she was a mom and had the mom vibe going already. I think Don seemed surprised he was into her. When she tells Don “I want to save you from yourself” she is both mother and lover to him and it suits him perfectly. When she rejects him, it’s like his mother rejecting him all over again and he’s crushed. Notice how relieved he is to find out she still cares. I like the Sylvia actually seems to care about Don in spite of herself and her Catholic guilt. Yes—she is upset she got caught but I think she’s more upset she allowed herself to be with Don again at all.

      I’ll be interested to see how that plays out—maybe the Rosens will end up moving to MN if he works at Mayo and Sylvia will be gone.

      • decormaven

        Bet a dollar now that Sylvia will press Arnie to go for that job at Mayo. She is not going to want to see Don again due to the guilt and will be afraid to run into Megan in case the beans got spilled from Sally about what she saw in the Rosens’ apartment. And Don will be left alone with his mess. I could get behind that storyline.

      • jhedman

        I thought Don’s birth mother died in childbirth?

        • Elizabetta1022

          Yes, that’s what I thought.

        • Melissa

          She did but I believe before she died she told the woman who delivered the baby to give it to his father as she didn’t want him. I could be wrong, but that’s what I remember.

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

            She told the woman to give the baby to his father because she knew she was dying.

    • Edwina3

      My father worked for a prominent magazine in Manhattan in the sixties. He was a tall, thin, handsome guy with beautiful blue eyes who loved the ladies. According to my mother, he got hit on a fair amount by gay men and also in the army during WW2. She says my dad didn’t judge his admirers and let them down easily. So, back then, not everyone had the same horrified reaction as Pete.

      • Jaialaibean

        Pete was horrified, but note that it took him a few seconds to respond. I’m wondering if that horror isn’t of something in himself, and not of Bob.

        • Eric Stott

          I think Pete might get a charge out of stringing Bob along & subtly abusing him – Bob seems like a puppy who’d keep coming back even if you kick it.

          • formerlyAnon

            I can see this. And if it plays this way, I want Joan to pass one of her come-to-Jesus-ish comments over a cigarette with Bob. The kind of comments she used to give out to Peggy. (Though my interest in Bob’s well being at this point is unlikely to be matched by the writers.)

        • Chris

          Well Peggy did jokingly say HE was the one in love with Ted, not her.

          • Alice Teeple

            Oh man. If they make Pete a secret closet case, that would be one hell of a twist. We’ve seen a lot of his interactions with various women, though, and it’s all been about power and control over being in love. He certainly doesn’t like women, but that doesn’t necessarily make him gay. Part of me, though, wonders if Bob makes a good quiche! And all Pete wants is to be idolized.

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

          I took the pause to mean that Pete was trying to figure out how to respond.

          • Melissa Brogan

            Me too. I think he was taking a beat to dial down his visceral disgust. Let’s not forget he called Manolo a degenerate barely a minute before the kneeplay.

            • 3hares

              I think if he’d been truly that disgusted it would have been a lot harder to dial it down. Pete’s disgust broadcasts on his face immediately.

      • sekushinonyanko

        I wouldn’t go so far as to say Pete was horrified. I just didn’t take that to be a particularly strong reaction. It wasn’t graceful, he seemed a bit rattled, but it certainly wasn’t some disgusted fit of homophobic drama. I imagine that may very well be the first time Pete’s been hit on by a male acquaintance. If someone else does that I imagine he might be smoother about it, since he won’t see it as so far out of left field.

        • 3hares

          Yeah, there’s no doubt Pete could do homophobic drama–he could probably have tipped over the entire couch in some spastic pratfall if necessary and still be in character. Bob didn’t even get an immediate lemon mouth twist that I remember.

    • MissKimP

      Cat’s name should be Karma. Don’t ask me why….

    • Mani @ Iz and Oz

      I have to admit, I don’t think we’re done with Bob. I HOPE we’re not done with him, because he’s been really starting to grow on me! I feel like there’s more to the story – he’s obviously a brown noser, but I’m curious about his history and hope they take the Gins route, where they occasionally focus on him and his personal life. I can’t really wrap my head around how he was sitting in an empty office, and when Joan told him to leave her at the hospital, he said, “I’ve got no place else to go.” Or was that just some sort of twisted symbolism/foreshadowing to his gentle reveal tonight? Bob is empty because he’s deceiving others, and feels alone in this process? James Wolk is just too hot (*cough*SHORTS*cough*) to be written off … swoon.

      Poor Sally. I was definitely sick to my stomach when she nailed her innocence in her coffin walking in on daddy getting on. Pretty sure she’ll be scarred for life, and who knows how she’ll act out or perceive men from this point forward. She comes from a pretty screwed of family who don’t – at the end of the day – act beyond their own selfish interests. The minute you turn 18, hightail outta there and don’t look back, girl.

      Other moments – ARGH, some part of me is still magnetized to Ted & Peggy! They seem to be slowly burying this one, but I feel it MIGHT rear it’s ugly(?) head in the future some time. So it’s true then – he was just compartmentalizing when he put on a bright and cheery face a few Mondays ago. He DOES love her, and she loves him. And he clearly was a little heartbroken seeing something between Pegs & Pete there … which I guiltily LOVED. They’ve come a long way from the way Pegs who used to idolize Pete like a god – she’s grown out of him, he knows it, so I think that door is permanently shut. “At least one of us ended up important,” he says wistfully. “Please don’t say you pity me.” Aw shucks, Pete may be scum, but he certainly has his moments, and I do feel for his character on occasion. Though my heart really went out to Bob last night, I just wanted to give him a Teddy Bear hug.

      And my favorite moment of the night – the exchange between Pegs and Stan: Her calling him to take care of a bleeding rat, him telling her he’s not her boyfriend, her sad attempt at seduction, then sad attempt at a three-way. Then finally getting a cat. Oh Peggy girl, how can I not love ya. You deserve a nice, nice man who will treat you like gold. Please don’t settle for any more Abes.

      • Jennifer Ford

        I honestly don’t think that was an attempt at a three-way — I think she was simply working her way through obstacles to her getting this dying rat taken care of, and when Stan ended up having a girl with him, Peggy was like, “well, just bring her along!” She’d already switched gears by then.

        • Mani @ Iz and Oz

          Ahhh OK, I read that some where and thought it wasn’t sitting right.

        • Travelgrrl

          Bingo. She was backpedaling.

    • Joy

      I don’t understand all the Sylvia hate. I don’t LOVE her, but I am fascinated by Don’s being in love with her. Like for real not for fakes, like with past mistresses. When they were on the phone, I was thinking, is he about to cry over this woman? Lord have mercy, she must have really put a spell on him!

      Also, T&L no mention of Megan and her secret affair. What is she up to? She is totally sleeping with someone to get a new gig.

      • Melissa

        Yes—I thought it was strange that Megan is rushing out at all hours of the day and when Sally’s friend suggested agent she immediately agreed as if that wasn’t who it was.

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

          She’s not “rushing out at all hours of the day,” she’s going to work.

          I would never rule out the likelihood of anyone having an affair on this show, but I think we were meant to notice Megan’s reaction to Julie’s question because it implies that Julie and Sally talked about Megan being out with her agent the night Grandma Ida broke in. Julie’s clearly a troublemaker.

          • VermillionSky

            Loved the interactions between Sally and Julie. My husband asked me during the show if girls really play those silly games. I said absolutely, and told him that Julie was more like her frenemy because she was going to cause her nothing but trouble.

            • Chris

              Ugh, hasn’t every woman had a “Julie” as friend in their lives at one point or another. I know I did.

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

              I regretted it!

            • editrixie

              I kept saying to the screen, “Girl is not your friend! Get away, Sally!” Also, girl is a classic mean girl.

            • Sweetpea176

              It’s making me CRAZY that Sally didn’t at least get that damned letter back for all her troubles. It’s all Julie’s fault!

        • JulieTy

          Julie’s question was impertinent and inappropriate. I think Megan responded as she did to cut her off.

      • sekushinonyanko

        I think it would have helped had we seen Sylvia doing something other than being at turns bored, guilty, irritated and pouty.

    • AutumnInNY

      I agree with you TLo re: Sylvia’s character. She is the least interesting of Don’s women.

      I don’t care for any of the Rosen’s and the storyline. Every time I see he and Don together I think this is going to be the part where Arnie calls him on the affair, but it never pans out. Despite the affair I don’t see he and Don hanging out either, don’t see that friend chemistry even without Sylvia being involved. Now the son? Who cares? MM has spent way too much time on them this season in my opinion.

      • CozyCat

        I think Sylvia is purposely less interesting than Don’s other women. Could he attract a Rachel at this point in his life? I don’t think so. He was the epitome of the desirable male when he was with Rachel, but now he is tired and out of touch and seems to be getting sick (all the coughing fits). So he gets a bored housewife who is a bit of a throwback to his glory days (look how she dresses).

        And I think part of her attraction is that Don feels inferior to her husband, a man who literally saves lives by holding someone’s heart in his hands! BUT DD can have his wife, so he moves up the alpha male scale.

        What isn’t clear is why Don is so emotionally invested in this affair. I think it has less to do with Sylvia than with Don and how lonely he feels as Megan grows away from him.

        • Bob Ross

          Well, I do not think he is chopped liver..lol Don Draper is a multi-millionaire with a great apartment and still looks good for a 42 year old. He just pulled a smoking 20-something wife a year or two ago. I do not see how he is out of touch, although people constantly say that, he seems to hit more than he misses at the ad game and even Ted still sees him as a great ad man. There are no snarky comments from others at the office about him being less than on his game. The only snarky comments we have seen from others at the office is about his womanizing and drinking. I do not think Rachel would lose interest just because he was eight years older. The coughing is troubling, I think he is sick, and not just a cold.

          • Sweetbetty

            The coughing is troubling, I think he is sick, and not just a cold.
            ********************
            It’s troubling to me, too; I’m waiting to see what it portends.

      • Travelgrrl

        Arnie is sort of a non-work friend, and as Ted says “I can guess you don’t have too many friends”.

    • GinnyThePainter

      Wow, Tom and Lorenzo are like gay Nostradamuses!

      For today’s creative writing challenge, I’d like a quatrain about Bob Benson.

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

        His chin dimple flashes, and his knee
        Brushes Pete, who pretends not to see
        Bob and his short-shorts are worth more
        Than this weasely, early-middle-age bore.

        (I spent way too much time on this.)

    • OliviaD

      Does anyone else think there might be something going on between Megan and her “agent”? She went out with him the night Grandma Ida broke in and when she was in the kitchen with Julie she told her she needed to make a phone call to her agent. I thought I saw a twinkle in her eye when she spoke about him but maybe it’s just wishful thinking. I don’t necessarily think she’s sleeping with him but perhaps he’s giving her the care and attention Don isn’t and she’s falling for him?? I just want her to screw Don over so bad….

      • Mani @ Iz and Oz

        It would be appropriately symmetric. I don’t love Megan, but I like Don even less. He deserves someone socking it to him for once.

        • EveEve

          There hasn’t been much romantic chemistry between Don and Megan for the entire season – which is almost a year in Mad Men time. Maybe setting up for a separation using an affair with the agent as the reason…which would be entirely boring and predictable.

      • Sweetbetty

        I definately caught that look when she replied to Julie’s question but I thought it was more like, it wasn’t really her agent she was calling but since Julie provided that excuse she jumped on it.

        • feathered_head

          yes — caught that too, although I am not sure its a romantic liaison. Maybe calling her ob/gyn?

        • CommentsByKatie

          Yes, the line about the agent seemed out of place – without a reason, you know? And we know Mad Men doesn’t have throwaway lines. I think we could be on to something here. Maybe this is one of those lines that is ominously foreshadowing a future event; one of those lines that reads as a bright red flag upon re-watch. I just re-watched the first 5 seasons and there are SO many of these little innocuous lines that mean something completely different the second time through. I agree that an affair seems obvious, but we’ll see!

      • CozyCat

        It would be a lot more interesting if Megan were rushing out to meet her lesbian (bi?) coworker. That would be the ultimate blow to Don.

      • ccinnc

        I thought it was odd that Mitchell, son of Sylvia/Arnold, was confiding in her. And she seemed guilty about him being there. Maybe nothing.

        • Adelaidey

          She’s younger, hipper, and infinitely less “establishment” than his parents. And, lest we forget, she’s Canadian. She probably looked like a beacon of hope.

          • ccinnc

            That makes sense, thanks. I’d forgotten about the Canada connection.

        • sekushinonyanko

          Her kind of guilty nervous actions had me a little like “this isn’t….no….can’t be…?”

      • Bob Ross

        I think she is cheating on him, or at least would not be surprised at all if she was. I also caught the fact she did not volunteer the agent, but seemed to just say yes when Julie said is that your agent. I am always wrong predicting this show, but I do not think Sally will tell anyone what she saw and Don’s marriage will end when he finds her cheating on him and not the other way around.

    • ThePirateBee

      Peggy should name the cat Isaac, because he’s what comes after Abe. A biblical joke would be just like Peggy.

      • Travelgrrl

        St. Patrick, who drove the snakes out of Ireland – and hopefully this Patrick will drive the rats out of Peggy’s building.

      • Write On

        Morris got my vote, but this is a close second because it’s so clever. Bravo!

    • Alice Dennard

      I too paused last nights Mad Men to text everyone I know and say “SEE- HE’S GAY!” and in love with Pete Campbell no less…

      As for the cat- I’m in agreement that it should be something Biblical or Catholic. It better be something good after the Catholic guilt mess we’ve had to put up with all season!

    • Just Me

      I have to to say: I have watched Mad Men since day one…haven’t missed an episode. Last night I realized I am done with Don Draper. I used to love his dysfunctional, tragic self and root for his redemption and the triumph of his better angels. Now I just don’t care…that man is so far on the dark side even Darth Vadar is afraid for him and it is not tragic…it is self-inflicted for no good reason other than his desperation to believe his own lies. Don Draper is not the problem…Dick Whitman is the problem. Can be redeem himself? Don’t know and don’t care. I will still watch the show because well, I still love good writing and acting that doesn’t assume I am stupid, but Don is not the focus for me anymore. The planets will orbit a different sun. *whew* I feel better now.

      • Sagecreek

        Same here! I now care more about Pete than I do about Don, and I really don’t care much about Pete.

        • Frank_821

          I agree, I don’t care anymore about. There is still some hope for Pete. and what a great call about the problem being Dick Whitman not Don

        • LaurieS

          At this point Pete is more *interesting* to me than Don is. We’ve been to this rodeo before with Don- we’ve been to EVERY rodeo with Don. There’s not much more to see with him.

      • Chris

        I have to think that was MW’s intention this season (either that or he doesn’t have the pulse of the audience). Like I said before, Don is like Michael Corleone in the Godfather movies. He is so charismatic and you have been on his side for so long you still root for him when he is messing around (or shooting people or taking over a massive crime syndicate) and lying to his wife. It’s not until he starts doing things like whacking Fredo that you have to step back and realize you cannot root for him anymore. We’re in the Godfather II section of Mad Men now.

        • Glammie

          I don’t think that’s it. Don is no worse than he was in Season One, when he abandoned his brother and cheated on his wife.

          Don tried to do a good thing–help the Rosen son for what seemed to start out as empathy. But then Sylvia re-opened the conversation and Don, as always, slid right back into his old behavior. He just got caught this time by a complete innocent.

          The longer Don continues to be in thrall to his demons, the more people he hurts. He doesn’t have to get worse; he just has to fail to get better.

          More like life than a Michael Corleone or a Walter on Breaking Bad.

          • Chris

            I see your point but I would argue Don has gotten worse. Before there was always a line around his house and home he didn’t cross. Whatever he did used to be kept away from his office but he broke that rule with Allison then Megan. He pushed his brother over the edge and learned nothing from it and having no pity for Lane, was a catalyst for his suicide. This season he is not only breaking a rule about keeping his affairs separate from his home, he is cheating with a friend’s wife and his wife’s friend. One of the only men he has any respect for and one of possibly two friends he has (if you count Roger). Don is no longer productive in any aspect of his life. What is his last successful pitch? Bringing Ted on board and making him his rival/enemy. Don could always charm the audience and the people around him by creating an amazing emotional pitch. Now he’s just a sad red eyed drunk who has hurt and alienated one of if not the most important female in his life, Sally. Peggy is effectively gone and Anna is literally gone. Once Megan goes he will be truly alone. Even Betty has moved past him and found a modicum of happiness.

            • Glammie

              Rachel was a client. Bobbie also had a work connection. Suzanne was his daughter’s *teacher*–that one was very close to home. Think if Sally had walked in on that!

              Don *did* have pity for Lane–this is why he was willing to let him resign instead of firing him and having him arrested. He also, as I recall, covered some of the missing funds. But Lane was embezzling from the company. He *couldn’t* keep his job. For Don to have let it go on would have put everyone else at risk.

              Last successful pitch? He and Ted went in and bagged Chevy together. That’s a big success. He and Roger also got themselves in play for Sunkist, even if they can’t keep it. We’re not seeing a lot of pitches because we’re not seeing many pitches, period. That said. “Pass the Heinz” looked like a good campaign and that was Don’s work.

              Yes, Don’s no longer so pretty, but morally he’s still what Jon Hamm described him as years ago–one step forward, two steps back. He’s always late in realizing things.

              He has an affair with Sally’s teacher, but he does help out her brother. This time, he helps out the Rosen’s son, but this leads to his downfall with his own child.

            • Chris

              Well Don has never had a problem sleeping with a client but he never fooled around at his office before or with anyone he had to work with and see day after day until Allison and Megan. That’s a big change. He may have fooled around with Sally’s teacher but it never happened under the same roof as his wife. Unlike Pete, he never went after a neighbor before and he never ever slept with the wife of a co-worker let alone a man he respects and in his twisted way thinks of as a friend. He also never got involved with any of Betty’s friends or acquaintances. He’s getting drunker, sloppier and more pathetic by the day. And the one place he always managed to shine was at work. We didn’t see the Chevy pitch but it was stated by Don that Ted was the one who was going to figure out what they were going to pitch. His ideas have been a disaster mostly with the client thinking they symbolized suicide or the all out mess when he was on “the vitamins.” It seems like he is not even doing any work or coming up with any creative as he only “reviews” other people’s work. He’s destroying his relationship with Megan and he has destroyed Sally’s regard for him. Ted has replaced him in Peggy’s eyes at work. Even Betty pities him instead of envying him now.

      • katchwa

        I feel ya. This season actually, I can’t pinpoint when.

        Maybe in Ep1 when he lay in Sylvia’s bed and said ‘I want to stop doing this’.
        Maybe when it became so beat-about-the-head bleeding obvious where his whole whore thing came from.
        Maybe when he did the shitty Hawaii advert that – YES looked like suicide – but ALSO was just shitty and unexciting.
        Maybe its was his little D&S session with Sylvia – Don, it doesn’t work if you are ACTUALLY being cruel.

        Maybe it was his incredibly boring near-drowning. How can you make near death boring??

        Even if none of these things, it was DEFINITELY when he gaslighted his daughter into sucking up her horror and shame at catching him shagging the bored and boring housewife downstairs.

        I am SO tired of watching him repeat himself and maybe that’s the point, but like a bad boyfriend I will never see him the same again.

    • missinmass

      Don has to have Sylvia because he has his whore in the same house/building just like his Uncle.

      Cat name…The Rat Cat

    • Virginia McMurdo

      Sally is gonna be a feathered hair, frosted eye-shadow and platforms wearing, disco dancing, coked up young woman.

      • testingwithfire

        Oh dear no. I hope it’s shag haircuts and rubber skirts instead – think Chrissie Hynde in London in the early 70’s.

      • Jaialaibean

        I think she’ll go the other way and be a nerd girl, pouring her energy into achievement at school. Having a messed-up family life doesn’t always drive a kid to sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

        • CommentsByKatie

          Margaret!

    • Guest

      Maybe Peggy needs some street cred in her UWS hellhole building–call the cat ‘Killer’.

      • SonOfSaradoc

        Or “Fang”

      • Jennifer Ford

        I thought she moved — is it the same apartment?

        • Chris

          It is but for some reason they are shooting it from a different angle mostly. Before with Abe, it seemed like it was being shot straight on as if you just walked in the front door. Now it seems like they are shooting it from the side. Also, Peggy may have moved some things around.

        • Melissa Brogan

          I’m not sure it is. Wasn’t the UWS apartment at least a one bedroom? The bedroom in the place she shared with Abe definitely seemed to be a separate room. In the last shot of Peggy on the couch in this ep with her cat, it’s pretty clear she’s in a large studio.

    • terwin

      Doesn’t anyone think it’s Incongruous that Bob would make a pass at Pete right after the, “oh, so he’s a degenerate!” comment?

      • Mike R

        Yes. Coming out to, no problem. Coming on to, eh.

      • LaurieS

        Love makes you do stupid, nonsensical things.

      • Sweetbetty

        YES! And that’s part of the reason I just don’t quite believe that Bob is really gay and that his come-on to Pete was sincere. I think he wears a constant mask of being the nice guy and trying to ingratiate himself to people at the firm but is really a big phoney and has some other agenda.

        • 3hares

          But how would he be ingratiating himself by coming onto him? That could so easily have been a quick ticket out of the firm entirely.

      • sekushinonyanko

        There was a bit of creepy desperation in his wording there. It was kind of “Yes! I am degenerate for Pete Campbell! Degenerate like that guy is for your mom! Degenerate with LOVE!!!! Wanna do bad things?”

        • formerlyAnon

          He’s been living in the emotion tightly held inside his head for too long.

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

          That’s not what we got out of it at all:

          “Is it really so impossible to imagine? Couldn’t it be that if someone took care of you, very good care of you; if this person would do anything for you; if their well-being was your only thought… when it’s true love, does it matter who it is?”

          • bxbourgie

            Just seeing it typed out like that. Awwww Bob! You’re such a sweetie! Shit. If a cute lesbian who looked like Bob but in girl form wanted to take care of me, and was as concerned about my well being as Bob is for Pete’s, I wouldn’t pull my knee away if she said those words to me in my office.

            • formerlyAnon

              Unless she was an extremely asexual lesbian, I’d have to move my knee. It’s not fair to let someone try to make something work with you if there’s a big piece of the puzzle you can’t give back & the gut physical response is what it is. So I think Pete was right, I just don’t trust what he’ll do with the situation going forward.

          • Mike R

            I was and am totally down with it, but only up until the knee-touching, which I wish hadn’t occurred. A subtle coming out: perfect sense. Hitting on Pete, not so much.

          • sekushinonyanko

            I was referring mostly to the timing, since they were talking about Manolo being inappropriate with his mom (possibly.) That was not a great area for a segue into that. I can’t imagine discussing with an acquaintance or friend that I’m worried my senile mother’s nurse is raping her and having them tell me that they’re in that sort of love with me while putting their leg against mine. I would officially feel a million times worse about the chances of things being kosher with my mom, particularly considering this person sent me this nurse and knows him personally.

          • quitasarah

            I feel like Bob’s face as he walked out of Pete’s office said it all. (Well, actually, since this is MM, it probably could say different things to different people…) But what I saw there was “oh god, what did I just do?” I watched the episode twice and he didn’t have the usual Bob Benson smile or smirk, which I think speaks volumes.

      • Sweetpea176

        I’m still trying to read all the comments like a good, obsessive fangirl, but I’m still a day behind. So you may already have read this sort of response in the thread several times before, because I and others have made this point elsewhere. So if I’m beating a dead horse here, I’m sorry.

        But to me Bob’s timing makes perfect sense. This is possibly the one opening there will ever be for him to put a human face on his “degeneracy.” Kind a of teachable moment, if you will. If he says nothing, then he accepts that the man he loves believes the very fact that he loves him is disgusting. Once a moment like that passes, you can’t ever get it back. Maybe this is just my own stuff I’m projecting, but I have a hard time imaging anything more devaluing than someone being disgusted by your love for them. How would he ever be able to face Pete ever again with his self-esteem intact if he didn’t stand in his own truth in that moment? (Revisioninst, post-self-help era way of putting that, I know, but I don’t know how else to say it.)

        Having said that, let me also say that the fact that the timing made perfect sense to me does not mean that Bob’s declaration wasn’t also desperate, reckless, impulsive, risky, ill-fated, “oh my god, what did I just do” kind of thing or whatever else you want to say about it. To me it was mostly brave and heartbreaking. None of those things are mutually exclusive of any other.

    • Jeremy

      Not only will Sally need therapy in the 80s, but after attending Sarah Lawrence, she will pen an unflattering biography about her father titled, “A Mad Man’s Daughter.”

      • Glammie

        Sigh. Not only am I an ad man’s daughter, I’m also an SLC grad. You’re making me feel like a cliche.

        Wonder if Sally made it to the reunion last weekend.

        • Jeremy

          Wow, didn’t think I’d actually get it completely right! :P I’m an ad man myself – copywriter. And a gay one at that. When someone asks what I do I say, “I’m Peggy Olson with a penis.”

          • Glammie

            Yeah, I find it incredibly weird as a woman of a certain age that the character with whom I most identify is a young teenager and that every now and then Don Draper will remind me of my *father*. Makes for a strange viewing experience.

            No memoir yet.

            • Sweetpea176

              And entirely intentional by Weiner, I think. I think Sally is meant to be a stand-in for the audience.

    • Cynthia Gallaher

      Ted’s airplane may not be more than a fancier version of the paper ones folks throw around in offices like Sterling Cooper & Partners. Might characters (Don and Pete, as examples) be scared to take a ride for a reason? I predict Ted will go down in that crate with at least one arm-twisted passenger in a forthcoming episode.

      • feathered_head

        Lots of allusions to Ted going down in the plane. His wife talked about the fleetingness of life and how Ted would probably die at work.

        • Alice Teeple

          Nan was vague in her language, though. She said something like, “it’s lights out anytime and you’re going to be in the office.” That could also just be an allusion to the death of their marriage because of the office. I saw his closing scene as being more about coming home for the boys’s sake, than it was about being there for his wife. The Chaough marriage seems to be a sad, boring one.

      • Chris

        Maybe, but Pete’s gun has been around for several seasons and it hasn’t been used yet. On Mad Men they never seem to go for the obvious. They zig when you think they will zag.

      • Jennifer Ford

        Just like Lane killed himself by throwing himself down the elevator shaft last year which is what all the foreshadowing seemed to imply would happen to someone?

        The plane is a metaphor for something, very likely, but I’m not sure it should be seen as too literal a device considering the shows history with its foreshadowing metaphors.

        • Alice Teeple

          Agreed! There’s been so many foreshadowing metaphors over and over again from the get-go, of Ted’s impending death in a plane crash. It’s not Mad Men’s usual style to be like “hey guys! Hey guys! Plane crash worries! Crash mentions! Crash memories! Crash title! Ted flies! Crashity-crash-crash!!” and then follow through on it literally. I have a feeling someone else will meet a bad fate and it’s going to be someone from the old guard; perhaps someone reasonable. Concerned about Ken all of a sudden.

          • Heather

            If they do anything to Ken, I will have a meltdown

            • Alice Teeple

              Me too. I freaked out just during that crash opening scene. I don’t know if I could take an actual Ken demise. :(

    • FloridaLlamaLover

      And the cat shall be named: GREG. Because ALL of my male orange kitties have been named GREG, all the way back to 1968, when our Siamese was murdered by awful, brutal dogs. If you want to hear the tangential thinking process of a 7 year old girl which explains the name, lemme know, Otherwise, be content in knowing that he shall be Greg.

      • Travelgrrl

        Our orange cat was named Saturday, because we found it on a Saturday. Like you do, when you’re 10.

        • FloridaLlamaLover

          Ok, I’ll (mis)construe that as your way of asking me to tell the story: We had adopted the lil orange kitty, whose true color was closer to butterscotch vs. orange. A rare treat in our home was Callard & Bowser Butterscotch. Being 7, I figured that butterscotch was made in Scotland –> Macgregor is a Scottish name –> can’t stand on the porch hollering “MacGregor! MacGregor!” to get the cat in at night –> GREG. Boom!

          • Travelgrrl

            I was too shy to ask, yes!

    • somebody blonde

      Caesar. It’s a good name for a cat.

    • Inspector_Gidget

      I, too, was beyond disappointed to spend so much time with Sylvia again. Don’s “broken heart” is complete and utter bullshit. That’s what was so great about Betty calling him on his BS a couple of episodes back. He “falls in love” with whomever he’s boffing at the moment. Unconvincing all the way round.

      “I know you think you saw something. I was consoling her.” What an asshole! He was caught red-handed, piledriving her into the mattress. Did he really think he could do anything but own up to it and apologize?

      • Travelgrrl

        He was going for Plausible Deniability. Just any cover story.

        • Inspector_Gidget

          I guess. But when your daughter catches you in mid-thrust, what can you deny?

          • Glammie

            But what can you admit?

            • SFree

              I think it’s unusual to say anything. And especially for Don. Just pretend that it never happened. And he would have, too, if Sally hadn’t run out of the room.

            • Glammie

              He was ashamed enough that he didn’t want to face her. I don’t know that it’s unusual to say something. People say all sorts of damn stuff around their kids.

              Mine did. Unfortunately.

    • Angel O’Leary

      I I think they are setting it up for Don to create the death of Don Draper. And return to being Dick Whitman, probably next season.

      • Commenty

        This is my theory, too. He’ll go to California.

        • Glammie

          “Going to California with an aching in my heart,” and Led Zeppelin plays in the background as the years shoot forward.

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            Except that’s on Zep IV (the one with the symbols), which didn’t come out till 1971…

      • Elizabetta1022

        That’s what I think, too. What will Don’s afterlife look like? California as Dick Whitman, possibly in Anna’s house/neighborhood. New York is the dream/sham/game…sadly, his children are part of that mess. (And maybe the only part that is truly genuine for Don/Dick. Hard to know with narcissists what, if anything, is genuine.) But I do think Don needs to “die” in order for an authentic Dick to live. (That doesn’t sound quite right, but I hope you know what I mean!)

        • siriuslover

          To quote Harry Potter: “Neither can live while the other survives.”

          • Elizabetta1022

            Love the Harry Potter shout out! Nice.

      • CommentsByKatie

        Next episode’s preview has a California-dressed Harry on the phone. Maybe they will finally open that California office, giving Don the perfect opportunity to escape as his life is imploding? Running away is what he does best.

    • Adelaidey

      So we know Bob is a romantic, he’s impulsive, optimistic, and won’t let potential blowback stop him from declaring love… wonder if he was actually forced to leave his previous career in finance because of a similar confession.

    • ★ keri ★

      After seeing the hallway last night, I have got a huge need to find a floorplan for Don’s apartment. We also saw the dining area from a different perspective – for the first time? and i can’t quite figure out where the hallway is, or the maid’s room would be. It was really interesting that we were suddenly shown these two perspectives that I can’t ever remember seeing before, like the whole place was topsy-turvy, and it strikes me that it must be reflecting the state of the family at that time? (or, at least, the way Don and Sally feel in there)

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

        Assuming the Draper apartment is positioned directly above the Rosen one, with the same orientation, the maid’s room is where the Drapers’ dining room is situated.

        The hallway in Don’s apartment runs parallel to the wall with the TV mounted on it. It’s just behind it. You can exit it into the living room at both ends.

        • ★ keri ★

          Thank you! I’ve been googling and the most promising site I found won’t load for me.

          I figured that was where the hallway is, but wasn’t entirely sure I had it at the wrong angle – I was going through my memory and kept getting confused with Don’s last sad little place. I also wondered if maybe the maid’s room was used as the boys’ room, as I couldn’t be sure, and since the Drapers are A and the Rosens are B, I thought their floorplans might be mirrored, at opposite sides of the elevator landing.

        • masspatriot

          One of them is in the “A” line and one is in “B.” So there wouldn’t be a direct correlation between the two apartments. Plus, perhaps the Rosen’s apartment has a maid’s room and the Draper’s does not.
          Maybe their extra money went to having a balcony, and one or two guest bedrooms down the hall, behind the living room.

      • Chris

        It’s difficult because I don’t think we ever see inside the Rosen’s apartment from the front door like we do the Draper apartment. It’s always through the side door where Don creeps in.

        • ★ keri ★

          Exactly! And what we’ve seen of the two kitchens made me unsure if they’re mirrored floorplans or not. The angles and decorating are just different enough and put me off-balance (which, again, is what I think the whole purpose of the unusual angles and views of the apartment were about, so that worked).

        • Glammie

          No, no, it’s a back door, cuz it’s a back street relationship.

      • Lenora Dody

        Apparently, you can buy the floorplan along with many others from tv shows.

        http://www.fantasyfloorplans.com/Completed-Fantasy-Floorplans.html

        Not to steal but the cat looks like a Ralph to me but let me think about that.

        Of all of the people to be in love with, you choose Pete, Bob?? Really!?

      • Sweetbetty

        Speaking of topsy-turvy, was I the only one wondering what was going on with Don in the lobby after Sally ran out the door and the doorman got her a cab? Sure, he’d be torn about what to do next, but he seemed really out of it and disoriented. I was expecting him to have the heart attack in the lobby that was foreshadowed in Ep. 1. But apparently it was just confusion about how to fix this latest mess he made.

    • lockmm

      I honestly don’t think Peggy would actually name her cat. It would just be “the cat” to her.

      • Eric Stott

        She’d probably call it something blandly cute like “boo boo”

      • FloridaLlamaLover

        Or just plain “Cat.” That was the name of our neighbor’s big, fat orange marmalade of a cat. Cat Monroe. My cat, Greg Moore, who was also big and orange and fat, would sit in their respective driveways, and stare at each other for hours. Perhaps they, like Bob Benson, were crushing from afar.

      • SonOfSaradoc

        I, too, like the ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ vibe there, even though Peggy and Holly are completely different, and now in different ends of the ’60’s.

    • CatherineRhodes

      Were we watching the same show? I thought this episode was a big dud. After last week, I desperately wanted to find out whether Avon had called, and what happened between Joan, Peggy and Pete on that account. Instead, we got a story about the three most boring characters: Sylvia, Sally Draper and Pete Campbell’s mother.

      I was hoping the tryst between Don and Sylvia would not be discovered so that we as viewers would not have to be dragged through the aftermath of fights, break-ups, tears. We’ve been there and it’s a bore.

      The most interesting part of the show is what happens at the office: the politics, the creative work, the interactions with clients, the maneuvering for position between Don and Ted. Please, Weiner + Co., focus on that and leave the soap opera to Megan’s scripts.

      • Alice Teeple

        They rarely go back to an episode-to-episode storyline, though. Usually by every other story, they revisit it. Or, if it’s especially juicy, they wait a few episodes. I think the office politics and the interactions were masterfully woven in with the personal, here. If Ted’s favor hadn’t helped Don with Sylvia’s son, there wouldn’t have been the incident with Sally in the first place. I also think the office politics surrounding Pete/Peggy and Ted/Peggy and their personal lives is interwoven nicely.

        • Chris

          I was really missing the Peggy-Pete dynamic, not romantically of course but at work. Their work was tied together for so long and they seemed to work well together (remember their great ham promotion scheme?) They really knocked it out of the park in that one scene they had together. V.K. and E.M. are masters and play off each other so brilliantly I wish the writers would have them interact more. The scene back in season two where Peggy tells Pete about their child is some of the best acting and writing I have seen anywhere. Those two together are acting dynamite.

          • Alice Teeple

            I agree. They’re fantastic scene partners. That was some good acting on EM’s part last night with her conversation with Pete’s mother. That look of shock and then sadness on her face was subtle but so poignant. Gah, I hope they don’t put those characters back together romantically – I like them better as successful colleagues, and it makes their story more interesting that they have this tragic past but can still work together well.

            • Chris

              Yes they are great co-workers but no to the romance! I think Peggy always learns from her mistakes so I don’t see her going back there again. I do think it’s interesting how Pete’s reaction to Peggy is so much like Ted’s. They admire Peggy but what is important is how they look in her eyes, “Strong” or not pitiable. Peggy is the mirror they use to reflect what they need to see about themselves. Because they respect and admire her, they want her to see them in a certain way because it proves it is true if Peggy believes it. She knows the “real” Don, Ted and Pete. That is partly why they all love her in their own ways.

            • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

              at the same time, ted and pete will crave peggy’s attentions, but if she gets too close, they’ll cut her back down to preserve their power in the relationship. is that true of don, too?

            • Glammie

              Poor Peggy, she always hooks up with guys who aren’t good enough for her. I know there’s a lot of Pegistan worshippers, but he’s about 2/3’s her speed intellectually. There has yet to appear a great potential partner for her.

              Meanwhile, Trudy really was a great match for Pete and Mona was great for Roger and both men threw away a great partner.

              Let’s see if Ted can do better.

            • Chris

              I don’t know about Stan being 2/3 her speed- he always seems to have a quip ready to lob back at Peggy, particularly on the phone. He is also stoned 98% of the time so I’ll have to give him some leeway there. I just have a feeling that Stan might be the endgame for Peggy down the line. They have put in a lot of time over the past few years evolving the Peggy/Stan relationship. I keep thinking it will end up somewhere in the final season but who knows? I think Peggy and Ted could be great because they are both creative, driven and fundamentally kind but who wants to see Ted break up his family to be with Peggy?

            • Glammie

              I’m more thinking of pre-stoned Stan who was a sexist pig to Pegs before she got him into line with the nude creative session. He’s less of a jerk now, but he’s always had a bit of a doofus streak. Stoned Stan does crack me up though.

            • Alice Teeple

              Stan was only a sexist pig to Peggy in one episode, until she cut him down. He’s definitely had a doofus streak, but he’s no idiot. He clearly is well-read and informed politically; he is savvy when it comes to office politics, he’s good at his job. I think we’ve seen nothing but two people working on equal terms and respectful of each other from the ‘Waldorf Stories’ episode on. I don’t think Stan will cut Peggy down, after working to elevate her all these years. They’re a team, not rivals.

            • Glammie

              More than one episode. I don’t think he’s an idiot, but I also think he doesn’t cut it as a romantic partner for Peggy. I’m not convinced Stan thinks a lot.

            • siriuslover

              especially after that scene where he brought his boys to bed at the end of the episode. I love Ted, I love the Ted / Peggy dynamic (except when he crushed her a couple of episodes back), but he has a family. However, I will say this: it seems based on the little interaction we saw between them (this past episode and the MLK episode) Ted can’t really do right in his marriage no matte how hard he tried. But again, just a guess with little information.

            • formerlyAnon

              Stan’s bright enough to keep up with her. At 26 it seems more important your partner be good enough for you in the brains or career department. At 36, or (poor Pegs!) 46, good enough to treat you with kindness and make you laugh starts looking more important.

            • CommentsByKatie

              This. Someone very strong, independent, driven, self-focused tends to need a more laid back partner. It took me a lot of bad relationships to realize that I needed to stop looking for ambitious successful men and start looking for someone that made me happy and let me play lead.

            • asympt

              You’re saying she could use a Lloyd Dobler?

            • CommentsByKatie

              For me, the sweet spot was finding someone who was far more laid back than me, but that I still respected. That was really hard to find. I don’t think I’d respect a Lloyd Dobler! I’m not sure Peggy needs a man at all, but if she’s going to have one, I would hope that he would have those two qualities (Stan? Maybe.)

          • Qitkat

            I agree about the great acting and chemistry that VK and EM have together. Great scenes that you mentioned.

            I also loved that there was a second callback in as many episodes to Pete and Peggy’s child. The writers have been so clever in the way they have managed to remind us. The look on Peggy’s face was priceless when Dot was talking to her, as if she were Trudy. Peggy must at first have been wondering *how in the hell does she know?*

            One callback can be a nod to long-time viewers. Two mentions in two weeks? No coincidence there. Just as T&L had the feeling about Bob Benson being gay, I have the feeling that something very unexpected will move to the forefront about this now 7(?) year old child.

            • Chris

              I’ve always wondered if the baby would come back, not in a literal sense of him showing up, but as office gossip etc. No one apart from Peggy and Pete know who the father was, and Don is the only other one in the office who knows for certain that Peggy had a baby. I’m sure it’s been speculated about over the years though.

    • Angel O’Leary

      I think Peggy should name the cat Abe, so when she talks about all the fascinating cat thing it does like leaving a dead mouse on the rug or peeing in her shoes everyone will think she’s gone nuts and has an imaginary Abe with whom she has a sick imaginary relationship.

    • Kiki Reinecke

      At the risk of repeating myself (first try seems to have disappeared): What happened to the Sylvia character? In the opening scene of this season, Don was reading a copy of Dante’s Inferno that she had lent to him. They seemed to be setting her up as an intellectual with whom Don could have a real meeting of the minds. But, as the season went on, she seemed to be pushed her more and more into the standard bored housewife role. This kind of spiritual bond would explain Don’s deep feelings for her.

      Over the years, there have been suggestions of Don’s autodidactic side, but nothing much comes of it.

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

        To me, it seemed more like something she would be reading to convince herself that her faith is deep.

        I wish something *would* come of Don’s autodidactic side. In so many ways, he just doesn’t apply himself!

      • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

        what does autodidactic mean? i know, google……

        • sweetlilvoice

          Learning by self teaching…i.e. trying to better yourself.

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

      I think Peggy should name the cat Stan.
      Poor, lovesick Bob Benson. You can do so much better!

    • BendinIntheWind

      I don’t know if Peggy’s sentimental enough to even give her cat a name – I think it would be kind of hilarious if she only ever referred to him as “my cat” or “the cat”.

      • Jennifer Ford

        What’s sentimental about naming a pet — even a working pet? And if she did call it “Cat,” that could just be a literary reference that she might get (regardless of the fact that Peggy is not shown to be especially literarily inclined) thanks to the movie adaptation (Cat was also an orange tabby in the film of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”).

        • Alice Teeple

          Oh no, Peggy was a total bookworm! In the early episodes she was always at the library; I think she was reading ‘Horatio Hownblower’ or something. She’s brought up literary allusions and puns before in her copywriting, as well. I’d say she is definitely literarily inclined – but on that note, I still don’t see her coming up with a particularly creative name for her cat.

          • Jennifer Ford

            Ah, okay. I guess I got too stuck on “Something” by Emerson from her Ted daydream. Though, y’know, Emerson — I’m a Lit major and am not terribly conversant in his works, either.

            • Alice Teeple

              It is kind of boring, to be honest. I never could get into Emerson, although I love the imagery of “transparent eyeball.” Yeah – Peggy talked about Shakespeare in the “lend me your ears” campaign, and she quoted Alice in Wonderland during “The Crash.” She also seems to like it when guys talk poetry. She’s a total book nerd!

        • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

          when i was living in my first apartment alone, i named my cat “kitten” trying to emulate audrey hepburn. which is pretty funny , as i now realize he was a big ol’ intact tomcat.

      • urbantravels

        I think that’s dead-on right. She seems to have zero sentimentality about that cat. In fact I think the exaggerated sentimentality that people have about their pets these days is somewhat of a recent phenomenon.

        • 3hares

          Oh, I think people have had that for centuries.

    • OrigamiRose

      There was something so Homer Simpson-esque about Don’s weasally attempt to explain to Sally what she saw; it reminded me of this exchange with Bart.

      Homer: Okay, why do you think your mother and I sleep in the same bed?
      Bart: Because we’re poor?
      Homer: Exactly, and we’re poor because we have kids.

      • Sweetbetty

        The TV playing in the background here had an episode of Family Guy on just now where Stewie walked in on Lois and Peter having sex. It SO reminded me of Don Draper trying to explain to Sally:

        Lois Griffin What you saw was actually a very beautiful thing.

        Stewie Griffin Evidently, madam, you and I differ greatly in our conception of beauty.

        Stewie Griffin What I just witnessed was ghastlier than a thousand ghouls!

        Lois Griffin Stewie, mommies and daddies like to hug each other that way.

        Lois Griffin In fact, sweetie, that’s sort of how you were created.

        Stewie Griffin That is a vile and odious lie!

        Stewie Griffin How dare you fill my head with such loathsome propaganda?

        Stewie Griffin Get out, you horrid woman!

    • Ancient Geometer

      Why did Don’s floor smell like pee?

      • Mike R

        Who knows? I like having little unanswered/unanswerable questions in this show, just like life. Julie’s sense of smell is well developed; there are two little boys running around; it’s New York in the 60s. Any of the above.

        • Ancient Geometer

          Perhaps a reference back to Freddie Rumson. Don kind of looked like Freddie as he pathetically staggered away from Sally’s door.

      • Harrison

        I thought it might be a reference to Sally bedwetting. Like, reiterating how she’s still very much a kid, right before her innocence is really lost forever.

        • Mike R

          That’s probably it!

      • jhedman

        An ammonia-based floor cleaner, maybe?

    • SewingSiren

      “Can we just point out the UTTER WEIRDNESS that the two gay male characters on the show are named Sal and Bob? As in … Sally and Bobby? Weiner likes his little name games but that’s just … odd.”

      Now he MUST introduce a lesbian character named Jeanie and the trinity will be complete.

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

        “Joyce”?

        • SewingSiren

          I was thinking more along the lines of Sally- Sal, Bobby-Bob, so Gene-Jeanie.

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

            I know, I was just pointing out there was another lesbian character already. She was pretty forgettable, anyway. (I had to look up her character name.)

            • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

              oh, i didn’t find her forgettable at all. i thought she was a hot catch. that’s probably why we didn’t see more of her- somebody snatched her off the market. i loved it when she was coming upstairs to meet peggy and she said “my friends want to come up and look at megan” (who was the receptionist at the time.) also, my all time favorite line was delivered by peggy when joyce said, re: Peggy’s boyfriend, “he doesn’t own your vagina”. and peggy coolly replied “no, but he’s renting.”

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

            Also, now I have “Jean Genie” stuck in my head. :)

      • JulieTy

        What about the two guys with the same name? One was gay — he cut Peggy’s hair and took her to see Bob Dylan. What season was that??

    • Darren Nesbitt

      - STAN & PEGGY – They can say anything to each other and have the greatest connection ever. They both knew Peggy wasn’t really giving up the goods, especially when she says “She can come too”. Please more of them.
      – BOB & PETE – can someone explain why his oddness around the office equated to being gay. What does this say about guys in the office? why was TLO right?
      – SALLY’S FRIEND – whats up with her, “are you calling your agent?” and when she says “Sally has a crush on Mitchell” and pours Megan’s wine contently. Do kids do grown shit like that?
      – SCDPGCGXYZ – How many clients do they have? Is this agency doing really well with all these new business pitches or is this a scramble to stay afloat?
      – PEGGY’S BLUE & WHITE STRIPED JACKET – Yes.
      – DAWN – no more lines besides regular secretarial things? :(

      • Chris

        Stan and Peggy are fantastic together I agree. This is why I don’t mind that they haven’t developed a romantic relationship (yet). At the right time they could be amazing together.

        Sally’s friend is conniver, and sadly the type many of us ladies have dealt with in the past. As sophisticated as Sally thinks she is Julie is miles ahead of her and trouble to boot.

        • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

          peggy should wait til the time is right to complete the circle of their relationship by adding the sexual element. my husband and i were best friends, much like peggy and stan, for 10 years before we became lovers. suddenly, we were both single and the time was right. and we had both grown up enough over the years to really make it work. take my advice, peggy and all you girls, marry your best friend. it’s worked for me for 36 years (+10 for the warm-up.)

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

        “can someone explain why his oddness around the office equated to being gay. What does this say about guys in the office? why was TLO right? ”

        We’d say to go read “The Best Little Boy in the World,” but that sounds a bit dismissive of your question. We considered the possibility that Bob was gay because his eagerness to please and to be all things to all people is very much of a certain type of gay man back in the day; the type who poured all their energy into being seen as perfect by the people around them so that the stigma of being gay couldn’t stick to them.

        • Darren Nesbitt

          Ok I understand now. I still might check that book out. thanks.

        • Edwina3

          That is so interesting, I just googled and came up with an op-ed piece by Adam Chandler on the NYTimes website on this subject. It still makes me wonder why Bob would choose to risk it but perhaps it’s a case of hope springs eternal. (btw, why is disqu so wonky? I’m on my ipad and never had trouble before, is it just me?)

      • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

        re: sally’s friend, i thought her pouring the wine, and megan seeming so at ease with it, showed megan’s “frenchness” and her role as “the other”. but then i thought it called back to an earlier season, where don and betty were drinking all day on a sunday, and sally was mixing and serving their drinks. and sally was much younger then. and then, they were so loaded they forgot to feed their kids dinner before putting them to bed.

        i totally get what TLo are saying about bob. he’s hoping to make himself indispensable before the bomb drops.

        • sweetlilvoice

          I’d forgotten about how they got loaded and Sally kept making them drinks. Remember when Sally made pancakes for Don (when she ran away to NY) and instead of syrup she used rum?

    • Maurice

      Am I the only one who thought Bob Benson’s deceleration of love for Pete was completely out of left field and unrealistic? Especially right after Pete calls the male nurse a deviant for being gay. And there was never an indication Pete might be open to the idea. Bob has already been established as someone desperate to climb the corporate ladder, so his outing himself in a very homophobic environment to a partner who can put his entire career at the firm at risk just rings false for me. It seemed like outing Benson in this manner was done for the shock factor. Thoughts?

      • Darren Nesbitt

        I think so too. But then again Bob seems crazy to me, like really . . . crazy. But Pete almost always blows up about things. I’m surprised that he responded so well/slowly. I see Pete as a guy to jump away as if Bob had cooties (spelling?). Then the last scene of him angrily making cereal shows that he is thinking about this matter at home. What’s he contemplating. . . .

        • sekushinonyanko

          The idea of Pete getting a boyfriend for the home cooking…LOL!

      • Bob Ross

        He is Smithers. Of all the people to be secretly in love with, that is very sad in a funny way. I think he made up his mind to do that and was not going to be deterred regardless of Pete’s comment.

        • LaurieS

          ZOMG he IS Smithers! Is there any character on television that is as similar to Monty Burns as Pete? That is so apt it is perfection.

        • editrixie

          Oh that’s fucking brilliant! Or, uh, eeeexxxcellent

      • Sweetbetty

        I’ve already shared my thoughts on this. I’m not convinced that Bob really is gay but used it for some reason not clear to me to somehow make a connection with Pete even though he knew Pete wasn’t gay and even declared gays were disgusting just a moment before. As a matter of fact, I felt that that declaration by Pete was the impetus behind Bob’s actions. And rather than looking dejected, as some have mentioned, as he left I thought he looked satisfied that he had accomplished what he had hoped to. What that is, I haven’t a clue, though.

    • ToniMacAttack

      I really hope Pete doesn’t decide to give Bob a chance. Just because it would be for all the wrong reasons. Pete is feeling neglected and unloved, and I think if given a bit more time in his failed den of iniquity, he might decide to just let Bob worship him. Which would be mightily unfair to Bob, a seriously one-sided relationship and probably sexless.

      Wait, now I sorta want to see it. Oh I’m torn.

      • Darren Nesbitt

        1. Pete tells Peggy don’t pity me (or something like that).
        2. Mom tells Pete he is unlovable.
        3. Bob says he loves and would do anything for Pete.
        4. Pete thinks long and hard about this all the way home while eating cereal.
        DING DING DING. Let the one sided love flow begin, I can’t wait to see it. Sorry.

        • ToniMacAttack

          I think you’re right, there was a purposeful build to the narrative there that can’t be denied.

          AAAH. It’s going to be so horrible and wonderful all at once…

          • formerlyAnon

            I vote horrible. Not so much wonderful.

          • editrixie

            If that happens I will be curled up in a ball, screeching like a “Psycho” violin theme.

      • formerlyAnon

        I think it could happen and I think it would be dreadful to watch. It’d just be Pete allowing/asking Bob to do things for him, with CERTAINLY no affection or sex, at best a certain distant camaraderie. (ETA: I would anticipate a gut wrenching scene in which Bob & Pete hang out as if they were close friends, and Pete completely obliviously ignores/ditches Bob when someone else walks into the room with whom Pete can share a drink.) The subplot is just not important enough to the show’s focus on Don Draper and his retinue for it to be used to show Pete learning how to be a real friend.

    • Qitkat

      I was reminded of The Good Wife with the similar situations of character’s mothers having special feelings for their caregivers, and the sons being grossed out over possible misconduct from the male nurse companions. I don’t really believe Manolo has acted inappropriately (anymore than Jackie’s nurse did in TGW), it’s just that it has been a very long time since someone was as attentive to Dot as he has been. Along with the dementia, it makes perfect sense to me that she is probably reading much more into the relationship than actually exists. I wish Pete had talked to Manolo to get his own sense of what, if anything, might be going on. But that’s not his way. Because of the complex relationship Pete has with his mother, it’s too bad that he can’t see something that finally makes her happy. I’m not saying that he should be paying for a gigolo for her, but in a better world than this one, a child ideally would set aside his feelings, and at least find out what exactly is the relationship.

      Thus another mini-theme in this episode was a child’s reaction to their parent’s sexuality. Of course with Sally and Don, it was literally a child seeing sexual misconduct of their parent. Something with far more serious and far-flung consequences than Pete skeeved out over his mother, and her probably imaginary lover.

      Clearly with the highly charged, and touching scene between Bob and Pete, there was no way that Pete could be thinking rationally about how to approach Manolo, and Bob had so much on his own agenda that Manolo’s welfare took back stage. The actor who portrays Bob really nailed this scene perfectly, all with his eyes, and his non-verbal actions. And Vincent Kartheiser brought his usual impeccable touch.

      Just another one in the very perfect small scenes that can portend so much, in the world of MM.

      • formerlyAnon

        In old age my mother was very appreciative of particular nurses/aides and their massage skills. (Her kids’ lotion application was usually compared unfavorably, sometimes several times a day.) She was in complete command of her wits and there was never any question of her meaning anything “inappropriate,” but her life was at that point so physically uncomfortable, if not painful, that this was truly a big deal for her. I agree that Pete is not emotionally equipped to sort this one out. Pity.

      • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

        yes, imaginary affairs are very common in the lives of those afflicted with dementia. my friend’s mother thought she was having an affair with dan rather, and would get dressed to the nines before his show came on so he wouldn’t see her without “her face”. and she hated those hussies that shared the screen with him. then later, she was convinced that she was pregnant with twins by the retired gay priest who lived upstairs. it’s so sad that pete couldn’t see past his own narrow mind, and grant her some happiness in her final years.

        • 3hares

          It’s even sadder she couldn’t see past her own narrow mind and grant him some love in his first years!

          I know Pete is Pete, but I feel like he doesn’t get enough credit for his handling of his mother, whose “affair” with Manolo he at least originally brushed off as a fantasy. Even in his conversation with Bob he was coming around to exactly this view, that if his mother was happy that was a good thing–I think Bob threw a wrench in those works when he linked that to Pete also falling in love with Bob and “true love” etc.

          But Pete was basically restrained in the way he talked to her about it. He wasn’t cruel to her. While she reminded him that she deserves love and happiness and he, even as a child, did not.

          • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

            i think pete was exceedingly cruel to her, essentially ripping away the only chance she had for happiness, and indeed some sense of sanity in her confusion. manolo could have cared for her and been a sort of guide and interpreter in the real world. and this could have given pete relief from all the stress of his mother’s care. all he had to do was write that check every month, but he just couldn’t give her the satisfaction. my own mother was emotionally cold and distance, but it gave me a great sense of healing to see that she was well cared for during her process of dying.

            • 3hares

              Yes, I get that he’d found a good situation for her and it would have been better if he’d left it at that as long as the guy wasn’t actually some predator of old ladies, which he most probably wasn’t.

              But Pete still showed care for her happiness and safety, even though she’s the mother who never loved him and likes reminding him of that fact. She’s so unloving it’s not even a big dramatic scene when she blames him for her rejection. She does it all the time, even before she was senile. Now she’s just more direct.

              So she no longer thinks she has this particular hot Latin lover giving her orgasms. Pete will still be there making sure she’s well cared for during her process of dying since he and his brother haven’t actually abandoned her. Pete’ll still be there saying nothing not yelling back when she wishes he were never born. She’ll still be the obnoxious rich lady everyone’s catering to and thinking it her due. He’ll still pathetically perk up whenever she accidentally says something nice to him. I don’t think he’s going to get much satisfaction out of it either.

            • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

              i hear what you’re saying. i guess i got some satisfaction out of giving my mother what she couldn’t give me.

              it’s difficult to evaluate other people’s relationships with their parents. i worked in geriatrics for much of my life, and i remember this one lady whose family seemed to not be taking care of her. we were talking to her son one day about how she didn’t have any underwear, and he finally burst out with the fact she had beaten him as a child. to us, she was just a sweet little old lady, but to him she was a monster.

            • sekushinonyanko

              I think it’s fair enough to be concerned that someone is sexually taking advantage of your senile mother. There was a lot of confusion there, and I could see myself being unsure if I believe them or not, since people with dementia do slip in and out of making sense, and they are easy to take advantage of because of that. And by hitting on Pete, Bob did not make a good point of comparison to ease his worries at specifically that moment.

              Considering his mother never treated him with kindness, the fact that he didn’t just drop her on the state and entirely forget her ass is to his credit.

            • siriuslover

              I think they were both cruel to each other. If in her dementia his mom tells him he was always an unloveable child, imagine his childhood and the mental abuse he suffered. No wonder he’s an asshole. There are lots of people in similar situations to Pete where they had been abused in some way or another by a parent and then in the parents’ twilight, the parents need their help. I am no fan of Pete’s–in fact, I loathe him–but I kinda felt really really bad for him when his mother said that.

    • marlie

      I haven’t watched the episode yet (but it’s TiVo-ed and on the calendar for tonight!), but I just HAD to see what TLo were all “we were RIGHT!” about. Thanks for including it in the first paragraph. Now I’ll go back to avoiding everything Mad Men until I get home tonight.

    • masspatriot

      I nominate “Gertrude” for the cat. She’s the patron saint of cats, which perhaps Peggy knew, and hated rats.

      • EricaVee

        And didn’t the guys unfavorably compare Pegs to Gertrude Stein while they were putting together the Jackie/Marilyn Playtex ad?

    • DeniseSchipani

      The cat shall remain nameless, as lowercase cat, or maybe he’ll be Cat. I wonder if Pegs will stay on the UWS. I wish i could send her a from the future memo and tell her to stick it out and get real estate rich, but I also think she’d be happier in a nice high rise on the east side…

      • Aurumgirl

        Wish she’d just buy the place she wants on the east side, and keeps the brownstone for extra income and filthy lucre later. Also, I think she names the cat “Fitzgerald” or “Kennedy”.

        • formerlyAnon

          She’d have to be able to afford to pay someone to manage the place for her if she kept the brownstone as rental. (I don’t know what the limitations of the building’s “super” would be in that regard, if it has one.) Her job is too demanding (witness scenes with Ted & family) for her to manage even a small apartment building.

          • Glammie

            She’s got kind of a deadbeat brother-in-law she could hire as a super. But man, Abe left her in a fix. Good riddance to Abe.

            • sweetlilvoice

              I thought her BIL just had a bad back? I remember her sister apologizing to the young priest (Colin Hanks) as to why her husband couldn’t get up to great him. Of course, with the Olsen’s it’s hard to know.

            • Glammie

              Yeah, as I recall he’d been on disability for months and wasn’t trying real hard to get off it.

              Peggy’s way better off than the rest of her family, you know they’ll take her money while looking down their collective noses.

        • greenwich_matron

          She would either have to keep sinking money into it or become a slum-lord. She needs to cut her losses.

    • pat garrett

      Peggy’s new cat: Ratso (Rizzo)….although I do love the idea of it being Morris and making her bazillions… :)

    • Guest

      So I have a few practical questions about the affair: Why is the Rosens’ maid always out when Don and Sylvia are schtupping on her bed? Doesn’t she ever notice that the sheets have been disturbed, and more? (Even if Sylvia makes the bed afterwards, you’d still think she would notice–even more so if Sylvia put on clean sheets.) And since there are so many people coming into and out of that household, including the son, why oh why oh why would they do it with the door wide open? The whole thing smells of Mechanical Plot Device!!!

      • katchwa

        You’re a spoilsport.

        • AViewer44

          How does this make me a spoilsport exactly? I think they’re entirely valid things to wonder about.

          • Chris

            These are all practical things people watching think about. I saw one interviewer ask MW how Don gets away with coming home and not showering. MW tried to say he does and his hair is sometimes wet but as the interviewer pointed out with the brylcreem who can tell?

            • AViewer44

              Thank you. I wonder about that, too!

            • Sweetpea176

              When Betty finally saw what she already knew about Don’s affairs, she told her psychiatrist that he comes home smelling of perfume “and worse.” Maybe he’s taken to showering afterward, but it seems to me he’s getting more careless, not less.

          • wayout46

            Um If I may interfere here, AViewer44, you need to follow the thread sequence better. Katchwa was responding to Guest, not to you. That’s probably why (s)he also told you s(he) was not going to argue with you. Save your energy!

            • AViewer44

              Actually, *I* wrote that first post and was so shocked (and bummed) by the spoilsport comment that I deleted my original post, only to see later, when I kept getting responses, that it was still there (under Guest) along with my original response. So I decided c’est la vie.

            • wayout46

              Oh I see. Well while you were at it vesting all that energy on internet strangers’ reactions, you might as well have deleted all the other ones that had your name. But it’s really not worth getting worked up, hon. Enjoy la vie, hope it’s better today.

            • AViewer44

              I don’t think I did delete the others–they’re all still there, and I’ve seen the responses, some of which were nice (including yours). Thanks for chiming in.

        • katchwa

          Nope: ‘Mechanical Plot Device’, you aren’t wondering these things, you are picking the plot apart. It’s different and it’s bad form.

          • AViewer44

            Wow. When did critical thinking and curiosity become “bad form”? It’s not like I’m picking you and your opinions apart, although I do feel that’s what you’re doing to me.

            • katchwa

              I’m not going to argue with you.

      • Kiki Reinecke

        Have they ever actually shown a maid? There have been plenty of scenes showing Sylvia acting domestic.

        • AViewer44

          They’ve talked about the maid.

      • Glammie

        I think they don’t actually have a live-in maid. She has a room there and takes breaks, but I don’t think she lives there. Don Draper seems to be richer, but he doesn’t have a live-in maid either.

    • librarygrrl64

      I laughed and gasped at this episode. First of all, hell YEAH, Bob is gay! I expected that. I did NOT expect that he was in love with Pete, and that was an awesome moment. As were:
      *the restaurant scene with Pete, Peggy, and Ted
      *Peggy and Mrs. Campbell
      *Peggy’s phone call with Stan (she had all sorts of great little moments this week)
      *Manolo
      *Sally and Julie

      I don’t get some of the hate for Sylvia, but part of my liking her could be the Cardellini factor. However, I could not agree more with your comments about the whole first half of the season being about another one of Don’s affairs; been there, done that, move on.

      I was very nervous watching the previews for next week and seeing that both Pete’s gun and Ginsberg appear to be in the offices at the same time. That can’t be good.

      Re: Peggy’s cat, I cracked up a little that it is golden/marmalade colored, having established that gold is a “Ted color.” I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, but still. And do we know it’s male? If we find out the name, I would guess it might be something to do with one of her successful accounts. Or maybe the name of a Kennedy. ;-)

      • DeniseSchipani

        Isn’t it interesting that the coming attractions — Pete’s gun, etc. — get you (and probably others!) nervous, when it probably means exactly nothing. Think about the previews last week for this week’s show: We see Betty saying “She’s 25!” and all that was was a throwaway line about the youth of Sally’s teacher.

        • librarygrrl64

          Interesting, yes, and MM is full of red herrings, but one could argue that there has been some foreshadowing of Ginsberg + violence this season.

        • Kiki Reinecke

          They’ve been playing the Chekhov’s gun game since the first season. I think they just do it to taunt anyone who knows about Chekhov’s gun.

        • jhedman

          Don’t forget Megan’s “I wasn’t sure I should tell you,” line, which made me wonder if she was pregnant. The preview monkeys are always out to manipulate, nothing more.

        • greenwich_matron

          My husband managed to call the merger because the previous week’s preview showed Don being happy in Ted’s office! I assumed he was wrong because the previews always nonsense.

      • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

        marmalade cats are nearly always male – it’s the xy expression of a coat colour that in xx cats is tortoiseshell.

        • librarygrrl64

          I didn’t know that! My first cat was a tortie, so I knew that part.

          The more you know…… ;-)

        • editrixie

          Well, one in three — and my rescue group a while ago had a littler with four females out of six kittens — it was quite remarked upon!

        • sweetlilvoice

          It’s rare to have an orange marmalade female but I actually have one. She’s 5 pounds of attitude and she knows it! She hates everyone (especially vets and children) except for me.

    • anon33

      This episode was a total gut punch for me…I WAS Sally, with BOTH of my parents. Yes, I caught BOTH of my parents cheating at various times, in EXACTLY this way, in my adolescence. The show got it SO RIGHT. I literally burst into tears as the scene was playing out, and stayed upset for quite some time after the episode ended, because it was just that real.

      To the people wondering if Sally “even knew what she saw:” Yep. She’s supposed to be 14, not 8, and she has her period, for god’s sake. Her dad’s naked butt was thrusting on top of a woman and he was kissing her. It really doesn’t get any clearer than that. That’s why Sally was holding her head in dismay/disgust when Don was giving her the “I was ‘comforting’ Mrs. Rosen” speech through the door. She knows.

      “You don’t get to talk to me anymore.” God, I said almost the exact same thing to my dad when I caught him. It means, you can no longer parent me, you cannot ever tell me I did something wrong because look at how disgusting you are. I hate you.

      FInally, I would be VERY surprised if Sally said anything, to anyone. You don’t know what to do, you don’t know what to say, you know something bad and wrong happened, you have no idea what will happen if you do say something, you wonder if whatever adult you think of telling will even believe you, you don’t know who you can even trust anymore…

      However, neither of my parents EVER did what Don did-try to talk to me afterwards about it. They both acted like the respective situations had just never happened.

      • Qitkat

        I can’t even begin to imagine what you went through emotionally as a child, and still have these memories and feelings as an adult. Your comment makes it very clear that in the real world, such things have life-long consequences. It must color your perception of your parents to this day.

        • anon33

          Thanks. And yes, unfortunately, it does color my perceptions of them. For reasons I won’t get into here, I have forgiven my dad, but the way my mom’s situation went down…I don’t know if I can ever truly forgive her.

      • librarygrrl64

        How awful for you. I’m so sorry.

        • anon33

          Thanks :)

      • Frank_821

        Wow I am so sorry you went through that and with both parents.

        Sadly what you described that went on for you is what raced through my mind for poor Sally. I recall the hubby wondering what was up when I yelled out “Oh NO!” three times in a row. It was horrible to witness. small wonder there was no end song at the end of this episode. There was nothing you could put there after all that

        • anon33

          Thank you :). Luckily with my mom, I was in college (albeit still a teen) so it wasn’t quite as bad.

      • Glammie

        Sigh. Not quite in your situation, but close enough–and, ow, the Sally storyline just *hurt* in a particular way.

        That poor kid, she’s already got this cold, weird mother and now she has unrefutable evidence that her father will just lie and lie to her.

        For me, at least, it meant recognizing all sorts of patterns of behavior and what they meant. It made me feel like my whole childhood had been based on a lie. I don’t know if you ever get over it.

        • anon33

          Glammie, that’s exactly how I felt too! at this point as a married adult, I understand that things like that happen. But as a kid it was hard. it made me question everything that I thought I knew about the world, and no, I don’t think I will ever be truly “over it.”

          • Glammie

            Yeah, I was spared the audio-visual, but not the betrayal–and I don’t think the adults even realize that it is a betrayal of their children when they cheat. You’re blindingly hurt and it’s by *accident.*

            It does make me wonder about Weiner’s childhood–the show nails patterns of dysfunction like nobody’s business.

        • charlotte

          Sally’s stepparents treat her better than her actual parents. Although her stepgrandmothers are nothing but trouble as well. Seems like the only person who really cared about her was Grandpa Gene. Okay, and Glen Bishop.

        • verve

          It only just occurred to me when you said “that her father will just lie and lie to her,” but my, how far Don has fallen (but what else is new) from that time he woke up Bobby just to make him ask a question so that Don could reassure him that he’d never lie to him.

      • SFCaramia

        His “explanation” is so in keeping with his “this never happened” MO. Shame on him for trying to gaslight his daughter in this way–that’ almost as bad as her catching him with his pants down.

        • anon33

          Yes! gaslighting! Is it any surprise that my first relationship was abusive?

        • urbantravels

          He almost said “It’s not what it looks like” in so many words! The conventional thing to say when you’re caught in a situation that is *exactly* what it looks like.

          There’s a scene in “Shampoo” where Warren Beatty gets caught by his girlfriend (Goldie Hawn) in the very act with another woman – and there’s no coy camera angles leaving any doubt about it being full-on – and Beatty’s character starts in on “Baby, this isn’t what it looks like” BEFORE EVEN DISMOUNTING.

      • Alice Teeple

        Oh my god. What a horrible situation. I’m sorry you went through that.

        • anon33

          Thanks :)

      • decormaven

        I have a feeling that the writers of this episode (Chellas/Weiner) have had a similar experience, or been very close to someone who has caught a parent in a compromising position. That’s speculative on my part, but this was so visceral. I don’t need this to be verified, it doesn’t matter in the long run. I’m so sorry for what you have experienced. That is a wound that never completely heals.

      • wayout46

        I did talk to someone afterwards in my case, but mostly because I was confused. After all, I had caught my Dad sucking on a friend’s breasts and didn’t know exactly what that meant. So I told my older brother who told me to stop making stuff up. There was no confrontation as my Dad never saw me (neither did the lady; her eyes were closed :)
        But I don’t feel I’m as scarred as you/Sally perhaps were. Age may have something to do with it.

    • VioletFem

      What am I missing? I don’t get what’s weird about the two characters being named Bob and Sal. Is it because those are the same names as Don’s kids (sort of in the case of Sal/Sally)? I just figured that was a coincidence. Bobby, Sally and even Sal were fairly common names back then, no?

      • Qitkat

        Coincidences in the world of Mad Men are deliberate, it seems. Whether an inside joke, or writers messing with us (seeing how many watchers notice), or something coming in a future episode. I understand MM is the most analyzed show in the history of television.

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

        It’s a coincidence in the story; it’s a choice on the part of the creators.

    • http://shellystartsoveragain.blogspot.com/ Shelly

      Has anyone acknowledged the fact that Don and Sylvia’s sex scene in this episode was incredibly unsexy? Typically it’s sensual and the lighting makes them both look irresistible. When Sally caught them, the lighting was harsh, Don had his pants around his ankles, and Sylvia’s undergarments were more like an old lady than the black bustier we’re used to seeing.

      • Chris

        I’m sure it’s to make it as “ugly” as possible for Sally when she sees them. When have we ever seen Don Draper pulling his underpants up?

        • http://shellystartsoveragain.blogspot.com/ Shelly

          Only when he’s done sexing.

          EDIT: Well, wait. Maybe it’s only putting his shirt back on.

          • Chris

            I remember him buckling his pants etc. but have we ever seen him actually putting his boxers back on before? It was so deliberately un-sexy.

        • urbantravels

          Come to think of it, when have we ever seen Don Draper get caught in flagrante, never mind seeing him have to do that comical/pathetic thing of trying to scramble back into all his clothes at once?

          It’s not that Don’s never been found out or gotten in some form of trouble for his affairs, but I don’t remember anything involving him getting caught in the act.

        • wayout46

          And there’s something very symbolic about Don’s running after his daughter – sort of trying to get her back – in such a physically disheveled state.

      • Qitkat

        I’m suspecting that the viewers were also supposed to be grossed out. I’ve never ever seen one hint of chemistry between the Don and Sylvia characters. As others have said, Don has found his Madonna/Whore in Sylvia, and has created this intense romance in his head. I think that we as viewers are supposed to find his attraction inexplicable.

        • Heidi/FranticButFab

          I also think the scene was deliberately staged to appear as it would be seen through Sally’s eyes; there is nothing romantic about it. Don is literally caught with his pants down.

    • Guest

      So I have a few practical questions about the affair: Why is the Rosens’ maid always out when Don and Sylvia are schtupping on her bed? Doesn’t she ever notice that the sheets have been disturbed, and more? (Even if Sylvia makes the bed afterwards, you’d still think she would notice–even more so if Sylvia put on clean sheets.) And since there are so many people coming into and out of that household, including the son, why oh why oh why would they do it with the door wide open? The whole thing smells of Mechanical Plot Device!!!

      • Angela_the_Librarian

        They have never actually shown her maid, so maybe she doesn’t have one (I don’t think Megan ever replaced the maid she fired either). In the throws of passion I suppose they could have forgotten to close the door, and Dr. Rosen and their son were in upstate NY that day.

        • SuzyQuzey

          Sally had the keys from the doorman. She unlocked the door and let herself in.

          • wayout46

            I think Angela is referring to the bedroom door, which is the door Guest was inquiring about.

        • verve

          There was a maid at some point in this season. Sylvia and Don have a post-coital smoke after she says she discovered the maid does smoke (and therefore the odor from their smoking won’t be unusual).

      • Travelgrrl

        Sylvia and Arnie have a ‘maid’s room’ and a ‘maid’s entrance’ but I’ve never seen sign of an actual maid. Arnie and son were out of town so she felt safe.

        Surely SALLY was the last person either one of them expected to see using the Rosen’s rear entrance.

    • And Finally…

      Presumably, Peggy’s cat caught the wounded rat. We should call the cat “Sally.”

      • Harrison

        You win.

      • DeniseSchipani

        Yes. You totally win!

    • EEKstl

      Brilliant as always, TLo. I am STILL depressed after last night’s episode (one of Jon Hamm’s best of the season). As a child a few years younger than Sally growing up in Manhattan in the 60’s, I remember fondly that warm relationship between child and doorman. Sometimes I would hang out in the lobby and play with the old-fashioned switchboard; sometimes the elevator man would let me run the (still hand-operated) elevator. But I knew as soon as he handed over those keys to Sally what was going to happen and just started covering my eyes and murmuring “Noooooo!” I totally concur that Don’s Demons have been receiving a particularly heavy hand this season; with Weiner and Company’s deft touch I have to assume they’re leading up to…well, something, and am curious as to where this will lead in the two episodes which remain of the season. Either way I have a lump in my throat, it is not going to end well.

      On a lighter note, laughed out loud at Peggy and her cat; probably one of the healthiest relationships she’ll enjoy in her life. And a beanbag ashtray! My dad had those all over the house!

    • EveEve

      Observations

      This season hasn’t really focused on the creatives at the agency – at least not in their professional role as creatives. I miss those story boards and pitches. I really do.

      I will be surprised if Ginzo *doesn’t* get associated with real mental and/or physical mayhem before the season is over. To me it is a question of whether it will be in a lead or supporting role…outside chance as a victim.

      Remember all that wild Lounge speculation about the Megan character as her role was being written in the last two seasons before this? Was she evil? Was she a schemer? Well, it seems it wasn’t all that interesting – she’s just an aspiring actress married to an older rich dude. Gone are the bizou bizou and hot sex scenes, It’s more about being a step-mom and dinner party arm-candy than anything else now. Oh, and making her the voice of concern about current events. pity.

      Dante – the cat.

      • Qitkat

        Overall though, I think Megan is still much more interesting than Sylvia. We’ve still got two episodes to go for a possibly spectacular confrontation for either those two or Megan and Don.

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

          They’re both boring, but honestly at this point so is Don. Maybe the building will go up in flames, and they’ll all be dead in the season finale.

          • Qitkat

            *snort!*

        • Chris

          Plus whatever we know of Sylvia is largely unlikable: cheating on what seems to be a good man, betraying a friend with her husband, being a huge hypocrite etc. Megan has never been shown doing anything malicious or mean. Despite how Don has treated her she is still being a good wife to him and a good stepmother to his children. Sylvia is even presented as histrionic regarding her son- her reaction to his situation is not finding people to help but acting like it isn’t happening. She is the least appealing and humorless person Don has been with IMHO.

          • Qitkat

            Excellent description of Sylvia.

    • Lola Reed

      Cat names: Dorothy Parker, Helen Gurley Brown or Sylvia Plath!

      • Alice Teeple

        Peggy definitely wouldn’t be a Helen Gurley Brown kind of girl. That’s more Joan’s angle!

    • Qitkat

      I missed the lounge last night, but have found it fun to watch the preview after seeing the show, and understanding how everything actually developed. Makes me wish that movie and other TV previews didn’t give away all the best jokes and surprises. They didn’t used to.

    • MissKimP

      The cat AND the afghan draped over the couch: the one-two of spinsterhood!

      • etselec

        Sigh. I hate that her mother was right.

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

      The only thing more disappointing than the nail in the coffin on Bob’s potential spy career was the fact that when Bob did make it clear where his interests lie, the interest was Pete Campbell. *shudder* Of all people…

      • etselec

        There’s no accounting for taste!

      • OrigamiRose

        Love is blindness!

    • Meeken

      I am not convinced by Bob’s homosexuality, why would he come on to Pete immediately after Pete announces disgust? “Degenerate” isn’t exactly a come hither. Seems more likely he was trying to make him feel uncomfortable

      • Mike R

        Oy vey.

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

        Why would he do that?

      • katchwa

        That doesn’t make any sense in the context of the story – Bob wants to please people, not alienate them.
        I initially thought there was possiby more to it than a sincere declaration of love, as yet unknown, because of Bob’s smooth ability to lie to benefit others (eg with Joan in the hospital). But actually we’ve been shown that Bob is not great at obscuring his goals. AT ALL. Perhaps it’s just someone who normally has their eyes on the prize losing their normal focus because Pete Campbell’s got them all in a whirl.

      • mollypop

        I don’t think it makes any sense for Bob’s character to try to make Pete uncomfortable. What’s creating a sense of WTF here is our collective understanding of Pete as an essentially unlovable guy (just like his mother said), and our bewilderment that someone would actually be into him. That, combined with the perplexing notion that Bob would be so bold as to possibly out himself to someone who could make his life a lot harder because of it. There IS still a sense of mystery to him, just not to the extent that some of the conspiracy theorists have suggested.

      • Glammie

        Poor Bob was trying to justify the way he was–that it doesn’t matter if someone’s a “degenerate” if they’re doing someone some good. He reveals more than he meant to as a result.

        Poor Bob–and the scene makes no sense *unless* Bob is homosexual. (I’m using period terminology here.)

      • formerlyAnon

        Why would he make his feelings known?

        Ermahgerd! LERVE! For many, there’s a stage at which you just can’t trust yourself NOT to reveal your feelings.

        Honestly, have you never had a friend, or been that person yourself, who said “do
        not let me drink tonight because XX will be there and I can’t let him/her know how I feel?” Substitute a rush of emotion over what a shitty time Pete’s having and how much Bob wants to help for the tongue-loosening effects of alcohol. BINGO.

        ETA: I know this makes Bob sound like a hormonal teen rather than a grown man with serious career ambitions. But, um. How many persons with a lot to lose have lost it through unwise infatuations/love affairs? There was a decision point in every one of those where the dangerous-if-made-public step was taken.

      • OrigamiRose

        The Bob Benson Truthers aren’t going down without a fight to the end, it seems.

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

          I’m LOLing here.

      • oat327

        As a gay guy, I agree I don’t necessarily believe he would come on to Pete like that either. Everyone’s had their straight workplace crush. And, considering this was 1968, Pete reacted so poorly to Manolo, and Bob knows Pete’s gone to a brothel to seek out women to have sex with, that evidence is pretty overwhelming enough that your boss is straight and, thus, you shouldn’t make a pass on him.

        But it had to move the plot forward, so you have to suspend a little disbelief. Like when Sal (inexplicably, as well) did his swishy Ann-Margret routine after not performing in bed.

        It’s completely unbelievable, though, that he did it to “make Pete uncomfortable.” Aside from the fact that he’s been very kind to Pete even before this, the downside to this admission for Bob is too massive for it to be a mind game; he could lose everything over this. Pete’s the one in the position of strength–he could not just fire Bob, but essentially blacklist him down Madison Avenue.

    • solray*

      Name Peggy’s cat contest entry: Well, since almost all orange tabby cats are male (I passed Peggy on the cat nerd scale by the age of 8) and Peggy loved RFK, maybe she could call him Bobby in memoriam. That may be one too many Bobby’s on Mad Men, but, hey, it is one of the most common names in the world.

    • NMMagpie

      On the Sylvia situation: I have never cared for the character and have noted many times the lack of chemistry between her and Don. I have always kind of seen her as not a “Don” paramour but rather a “Dick” paramour. I really believe he is more Dick Whitman with her with his stupid fumbling power plays and posturing, almost as if those sharp suits he wears are somehow stolen for those moments, to give them some sort of allure. The thrill of their affair is cheap and without any real effort: they live close (no hotel rooms needed!) and are simply available through a sad back hallway.

      What makes this dime store paperback romance even less appealing is that Don came away with real feelings (for him) for this supposed siren in a housecoat. From my audience standpoint, this was always just outside the realm of believability. It was based in nothing. Megan, his unhappy wife, is all that he has been attracted to previously: she is attached to a glittering world, one that values appearance over substance, no real feelings required. It’s something the current Don should be running toward as people are ready to buy his brand.

      All that makes me miss Rachel Menken all the more; she was strong, confident and more than a foil for Don’s BS. He had to work to be with her (and yes, with Dr. Faye too) and revealed a much more compelling character in his triumphs and failures than he has been for the past two seasons. At this point, Don has stopped striving for much at all. I hope for much more from this character as the story winds down.

      • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

        yes. i love it that don enters this world through a shabby laundry room/janitor’s closet, and then he becomes a character in a cheap novel. don loves this role play because it’s what he’s done for most of his adult life, creating a character. but i don’t think don loves sylvia at all. i think she crushed his ego and now he’s struggling to reassert his power over her. if she takes him back, he’ll treat her like shit. it’s his style.

    • Lattis

      Cat Names: So I read somebody’s opinion that you should name your cat based on their behavior – which is really bad for me because I’d need to rename my cats Puker and Shedder. But, Peggy could name her cat Ratter, which is really bad ass.

      • sweetlilvoice

        Mine would be Bossy and Scaredy. And that’s the last cat comment from me today, promise! I vote for Bruiser for Peggy’s cat.

      • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

        my two main cats in my life were named princess and pink lady (my five year old daughter named princess of course), and each lived nearly twenty years and had personalities perfectly suited to their upper class names. when i commented to my vet that my cats always seem to think they’re royalty, he said “perhaps you should never have told them.”

      • Glammie

        My current cat is Willow, the last was Lily. Wanted to name current cat Grout because of how she settles into corners and the previous one should have been named PMS–she was a seriously moody cat.

      • ThaliaMenninger

        My cat’s name is Bigelow because it means Big Loaf and that’s what he is. Also I like tea.

      • OrigamiRose

        I’ve nicknamed mine “Maria Callas” thanks to his marathon meowing sessions that can be heard from one end of the house to the other.

        • Lattis

          Does your “Maria Callas” meow unexpectedly in the night? Our sweet sweet black cat has random “marathon meowing sessions” in the middle of the night – after we’re all deeply asleep. Wish I could figure out why. Lonely and wanting to wake us up? Some kind of cat practical joke? Bored? Don’t know. But, there is nothing like having a cat pacing the hall yowling at top volume to really jar me awake. Yeah, and it is just me – everybody else in the family sleeps through it like proverbial babies. :)

          • OrigamiRose

            Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yes. And of course, while I ignore it for a while, eventually I will get up and check on him just in case it’s a distress signal (which it has never been, of course). He will then proceed to lead me over to his dining area, look down at his dish, and resume meowing while batting the baby blues at me, appealing for a can of the good stuff to be cracked open and served.

            If I refuse to oblige, he tracks me down in bed and plops his butt on my head. He’s the Alex Forrest of felines, refusing to be ignored :)

      • lockmm

        My cats are Binx and Forrest because I’m a 90s kids and what else would you name your black cat and what else would be your favorite movie?

      • wayout46

        I once named a cat Rudy because he was beautiful, had an exotic allure, …and when he opened his mouth to meow, no sound would come out. Unfortunately he was not around long, just like his namesake Rudolph Valentino

    • nnbb

      Peggy must name her cat Clio or Addy

    • Paula Pertile

      I was struck by how much better Ted’s wife looked here at home, casual, than she did all done up at that awards dinner.

      Is it wrong that I want to see more of Manolo?

      Edited to add my vote for a Cat Name – Oscar.

      • Supernumerary

        It is never wrong to want to see more of Manolo.

    • msdamselfly

      Kudos to Jon Hamm and Kiernan Shipka for their incredible performances

    • editrixie

      FIne, fine. Break my heart all over again by putting Bob’s plaintive face on the front page thumbnail. I’m fine. I’ll just be over here where it’s not raining on my face.

      As in life, apparently my TV crushboys are always gay. Though I admit, he pinged my gaydar almost from the get-go, but I sure as hell never expected it to be Pete. Ack ptui!

    • chitowndg

      When I saw the cat last night, I thought Tiger, as in “go get-em…”. I like the suggestion below of Isaac because he came after Abe. I also like to think that kitty’s stage name will be Morris, and that Peggy will make $$$ from him. I found on the internet that Morris was the “spokescat” for Heinz’s 9 Lives (not beans nor ketchup but cat-food apparently) starting in 1968, so they do not have a lot of time but the Heinz connection would make it interesting.

      • Munchkn

        Morris is still is the spokescat for 9 Lives, but obviously the original cat is the not the current Morris. They’re on Morris III now. All have been rescues and all have been finicky. He and Lil Mo help promote cat adoption.

        9 Lives is now owned by Del Monte.

    • stephbellard

      To think, I used to hate Betty. And now she’s one of my four favorite characters on the show (with Joan, Peggy and Roger). Proximity to Don really increases or decreases her awesomeness.

      • CommentsByKatie

        This is true of so many characters. Don is just toxic. I feel so bad for his children, who HAVE to be in his life.

        • stephbellard

          Yeah Don has gotten progressively worse to the point where I now despise him even more than Pete.

      • wayout46

        Her allure as a character is also inversely proportional to her weight and hair shade. We all seem to like skinny, blonde, angry, bitchy Betty much more as a character.

    • Therese Bohn

      Your Neighbor is Mark Lindsay! lol!

      • Chris

        Paul Revere and the Raiders! That’s a blast from the past. I’m glad they don’t always go for the obvious references ie: Ringo Starr or something.

    • SFree

      I’m going to sing that little ditty for the rest of the day. Now, the question is … what will Pete do? He just looked flummoxed. And a little angry, but not as angry as I expected.

    • Damien W

      For Peggy’s cat: Topaz.

    • Lyra Byrnes

      I love that when Stan told Peggy he wasn’t her boyfriend, that triggered her cat-getting realization that she has no boyfriend. Then again, the puss is not much less furry than Stan.

      “Stranger on the Shore” is one of the rare 1950s-’60s instrumentals that doesn’t make me think of that era’s relics that carried over into my childhood–skating rinks and bluehairs in the beauty parlor getting their hair did. It’s a very pretty tune, unlike the horrifically maudlin “Theme From a Summer Place” and that other one that is driving me crazy, crazy, crazy but it was ubiquitous in late-1960s/early-1970s Los Angeles, at least, all strings and just dripping with cheese. “Silhouette” or “Midnight” or something? Wish I could hum it (badly) and get an ID from someone.

      • Cailleach Buidseach

        Acker Bilk! I so loved that tune when I was a very little girl. Poignant.

      • misscellaneous

        Wow I would love to know. Not Love is Blue…hmmm…do you know who played it? Percy or?

      • misscellaneous

        Midnight Lace? Ray Coniff? I tried to post a link but I dont think that’s allowed – sorry!

      • decormaven

        Try “Wonderland by Night” By Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra or “Midnight in Moscow” by Kenny Ball and His Jazz Men. (My first job was in a record shop.)

      • Lyra Byrnes

        “Wonderland by Night,” Midnight Lace” and “Midnight in Moscow” sound like Stockhausen next to this one. It was everywhere in beauty parlors and skating rinks. Really high-pitched and slow, all strings. Like, Waaaaah-waaaah/wah-wah-wah-wah wuh waaaaah-waaaaah … Best I can do without posting a video of me singing it.

    • avg7967

      Peggy’s cat: Lincoln

      • avg7967

        ‘Cuz he replaced Abe.

        • librarygrrl64

          Wouldn’t it be “Andrew” or “Johnson,” then? ;-)

    • ThaliaMenninger

      I think she should call the cat Topaz, for her first big success with the pantyhose as well as the 1967 book and 1969 movie (which hasn’t happened in her world yet, but will very soon), which involve lots of spies, just like so many of those dopey theories about Bob Benson. I don’t know what BOB BENSON IS NOT A FREAKING SPY has to do with the cat, but I’m still proposing Topaz as his name.)

      • asympt

        And kitty is one of the topaz colors, so not bad.

    • misscellaneous

      Peggy’s Tomcat is named Jimmy. Jimmy Olson.

    • misscellaneous

      OR her cat is named Stevens. Cat, Stevens.

    • Redlanta

      You did nail the Bob thing Gentlemen! For an even more skewed look-especially Pete’s possible latent homosexuality(?!) might I suggest a Vulture article written

      The Ballad of Don and Bob

      By

      Matt Zoller Seitz

      It blew me away, but did make some valid arguments…. I do disagree with his interpretation that Bob owned that moment, and walked out as the one “in charge”. I think he was crushed and in a daze about the possible ominous job implications

      • HelenNPN

        I was on my way to making a case for Pete’s latent tendencies, but I don’t know, I remembered how really horny he seemed with that affair he had with the neighbor’s wife, and that young girl he tried to pick up at the high school…and he was quite hot for Peggy back in the day and had no trouble conceiving with her, though he did seem to have troubles when it came to conceiving with Trudy….

        • Redlanta

          Excellent points! I don’t necessarily agree with this author’s position but love some of the justifications- especially Pete’s seemingly deep distrust of women (Mommy issues undoubtedly!)

        • 3hares

          Because Trudy had fertility issues. Being gay doesn’t affect your sperm count!

    • misscellaneous

      I liked Sylvia! But mostly because of Freaks and Geeks, so yeah. Her hysteria was perfect. Kind of woman that has affairs and freaks out EVERY TIME and says, “I can’t do this!”

    • Abigail Adams

      Couldn’t tell from the brief scene – has Peggy moved? The apartment looks a lot more settled, and not just because Morris is there.

      • Glammie

        No, the poor dear’s still in the apartment from hell.

        • urbantravels

          I wonder if she’s just going to be stuck there – she might have trouble finding a buyer, since there may not be that many people with Abe’s idealism about the neighborhood. Who knows, maybe she’ll make something out of it after all?

          • Glammie

            Well if she holds on to it, it will be worth something, but meanwhile, it’s quite the hellhole.

            • Abigail Adams

              Well if she holds on to it, it will be worth something, but meanwhile, it’s quite the hellhole.

              Possible parallel with SC&P?

    • roble ridge

      I love the black humour when Sally catches Don & Sylvia having sex.

      Before Sally sees them, she hears moans from Sylvia, “Oh God…”

      Then when Sally drops the doorman’s keys and Sylvia & Don realize that they’ve been caught, you hear Sylvia saying with horror, “Oh God!”

      And finally when Don and Sylvia are scrambling to get dressed and Don is pulling his boxer shorts up, you hear Sylvia freaking out, “Oh dear God!!”

      I thought that was hilarious since we all know how very Catholic Sylvia is!

      • katchwa

        Nice catch!

      • Sing4yursupper

        I was thinking the same thing, roble. Very dark humor indeed.

      • urbantravels

        With the crucifix on the wall very prominently in the shot!

    • Anderguyil

      May I humbly suggest “Pussy Galore” as the name of Peggy’s cat?

    • DesertDweller79

      Him?? Pete? Come on, Bob Benson. You are better than this. You deserve better than this. How could anyone fall for Pete this season? He is miserable and looks it. Yeesh, people on this show just have the worse taste in partners.

      • AutumnInNY

        Right? If you’re going to have an office crush Kenny is much more attractive and not so miserable, petty and self-centered.

        • snarkykitten

          And he’s a great dancer :p

          • 3hares

            Pete does a mean Charleston!

        • Glammie

          Nah, Ken was already the recipient of the gay crush with Sal. Ken appeared to be oblivious to the vibe, though he also told the story of the gold violin–beautiful, but couldn’t play music.

          Ken’s a funny character–on one hand he comes off as unsubtle and mundane, on the other he’s a perceptive writer of stories. His artistic soul’s never been for sale but *he* is ready for a literal song-and-dance when it comes to his job.

          • greenwich_matron

            I wonder if Ken picked up on the vibe: there was something hostile about the way he dressed down Bob a few episodes ago.

            • Glammie

              Yeah, Ken’s sensitive in some ways, but he’s also been a bit of a homophobe over the series.

            • sweetlilvoice

              I think that was more of get back to work bud vibe. You know, the co-worker who is always on break or getting coffee. Bob was making everyone notice him when they walked by.

        • HelenNPN

          I’d say rub up against Ginsburg. He’s caring about the world and things beyond the office, he’s a bit mad and lonely, and he might even go for it just to try it out. And he is much more attractive than Pete, but then, anybody is.

          My guess is that Bob is calculated – he watches and performs for those in power. That said, I believe he genuinely wanted to help Joan, he just makes sure he’s in the right place at the right time with the right people to be helpful. I’d like him to turn out bi, that’d be fresh yet still a believable story line for the late 60s.

      • quitasarah

        Others have said it but I’ll point it out here, Bob Benson likes to take care of other people. Who knows why. But I think he sees someone vulnerable in Pete, someone who needs taking care of. I have to say that I’ve been attracted to people in my life who give off a “I need to be taken care of” vibe for (almost) purely that reason. Plus Bob doesn’t know Pete the way we do — it’s not THAT surprising that Bob’s attracted to him.

    • snarkykitten

      I have to say, up until the crap with Sally walking in on Don, this episode is my favorite out of the whole season. That tender moment between Peggy & Pete. If he only weren’t such a worm, I think those two would make for a good friendship.

      But ugh, Sylvia is so dull.

    • Sing4yursupper

      In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly’s cat was named Cat. Peggy’s cat is a ginger tab, similar to Cat. Someone has probably thought of it already, but Catsup (with a C) would be a great name for her feline friend..

    • Christine R. Peña

      Themes! KEYS!
      I was hyperaware of the sound of the keys that were being jangled continuously at one point in this episode. First Sally had the keys, then Don had them and immediately after that we had the sound of Pete’s keys as he opened the door to his lonely bachelor pad and threw his empty box of Raisin Bran down in disgust.

      • CommentsByKatie

        Wow, great catch! I think I need to start watching these episodes 3 times instead of 2!

    • ailujailuj

      i think… that don’s infatuation with sylvia is nothing more than the ordinary “dick”ness of his true self and dick’s eternal yearning for the ordinary, maternal representation of a mid-century woman as mother and wife. He knows no normal, healthy relationship with women – the only emotion his mother shared was contempt and as a young impressionable kid he learned that extreme, forbidden sex is intimacy. Betty was neither wife nor mother nor sex object – she was a child he had to raise. Megan offers a normal, progressive and honest kind of intimacy, which he doesn’t recognize and has left him disinterested (I’m thinking Megan enters the “Anna Whitman” territory at that point) . But when women tell Don “no”, like sylvia did, it’s almost like this switch is triggered that makes him yearn for her – as a son would for a mother he never knew…

      Hmmm… Cat is kinda mangey. And is no match for Rat. and Pegs didn’t show much affection for him.

      • Alice Teeple

        I kind of remember Peggy being allergic to cats in her old “looking for a roommate” ad. Maybe she can’t pet him because it’ll cause hives or something.

    • Ally08

      As the season nears its end, three of the earlier motifs resounded for me in this episode:

      (1) In the amphetamine episode, Don schemed to develop a marketing campaign to woo Sylvia back. In this episode, he found it: fill her heart with gratitude for ‘saving’ her son so that she would feel inspired or obligated to sleep with him again. So I don’t buy it as Don being lovesick, but still working out his mother/abandonment/other-woman issues through Sylvia.

      (2) Don’s seduction-through-sense-of-obligation (as in, I owe you) essentially made him reenact the scene between the pimp landlord and Don’s stepmother in the flashback. Except now he was in the villain role and his daughter was the horrified/mortified observer. All season, I noticed Don and Sylvia were always in flagrante sideways on the maid’s bed, and their awkward half-clothed coitus here was all the more visually similar (mirror image right to left; and a similar bland, dingy color palette) to what young Don saw through the keyhole, much like Sally now saw her father. Don’s near-collapse in the elevator and lobby struck me as him reliving that trauma, with the added realization now that he has become the man he once abhorred. Less Don’s fantasy of slick romance/seduction, more grotesque manipulation/extortion.

      (3) Doors. I think the prostitute’s line about (paraphrasing) there being a separate room for everyone is about choices, as TLo mentioned at the start of the season, but also about Don’s crumbling Bill Clintonesque compartmentalization. There’s a room for Sylvia, a room for Sally, a room for him and Megan, a room at work, the rooms in the brothel… It’s getting harder and harder for him to keep people from bursting into other parts of his life/mind’s house.

      Re: the cat, “Mustard”, definitely; it’s the cat’s color, Peggy’s power color, and a secret ode to yellow-turtlenecked Ted.

      • Tara

        This is great.

      • Sagecreek

        “Mustard” is inspired!

      • Guest

        Exactly. A lot of people have mentioned they don’t see Sylvia’s appeal. I think her un-Meganlike rack and Anna Magnani slips remind him of the women of his youth. She almost kind of looks like his stepmother.

      • ailujailuj

        hmmm… i totally agree w/ #1. I had the same recollection w/ the peephole when poor sally stepped into the scene in #2 but I didn’t feel don’s remorse was for sally – I’m not sure he’s truly capable of empathy. I felt he was drunk and scared for himself (based on the bullshit he fed her at her door – “i know you think you saw something but I was comforting her and it’s complicated”). And then asked if she “heard” and she said yes, or in other words – she agreed not to tell. All he did was swoop in to try and save his ass. Maybe she shoots don in the balls in the last episode. #3 Doors – I see don in his own nightmare walking down a hallway of doors, each door opening one-by-one by the women and men and children he has violated… and then they close one by one just as he is rushed by a tidal wave of water, carrying him to his final peace. fucker.

    • TeraBat

      I think Sylvia’s dullness is what draws Don to her. Psychologically, Don’s in a place where he needs a mother more than he needs a mistress or even a wife. Megan is incapable of playing that role for him – her approach to marriage is far and away from what Don thinks marriage is (with Megan working and making her own money, I think Don feels like she doesn’t need him or depend on him, and so he has no idea how to relate to her). So he seeks out a maternal figure, in Sylvia who appears like the perfect housewife (and to Don, appearances are everything). He doesn’t want an exciting, challenging woman right now – he wants someone who will hand-feed him soup and be there whenever he needs her.

      That’s why Don doesn’t want to hear about Mitchell – it’s a twisted kind of sibling rivalry.

      • Kiki Reinecke

        A lot of people have mentioned they don’t see Sylvia’s appeal. I think this is part of it. She embodies the madonna-whore duality. I think her un-Meganlike rack and Anna Magnani slips remind him of the women of his youth. She almost kind of looks like his stepmother.

    • TeraBat

      I believe Weiner has said of Mad Men as a whole that it’s about the cultural shift from New York to California… what better way to show that than to have Sally run away to San Francisco. I’ve been waiting for the show to reach 1968 for a looong time, in large part because I want to see what Sally does.

      • not_Bridget

        1968 was already a bit late to run away to SF. I can see Megan getting a TV job in LA first.

        Sally’s friend already ran away from home–and Sally thought she was stupid. Sally will have some hangups but her upbringing has not been all that bad. She’s bright & upper middle class.

        • ThaliaMenninger

          And Woodstock will be on Sally’s coast next year (1969). I’ve always thought that’s where she’d run away to.

      • ailujailuj

        while a great way to start some juicy west coast story lines… I don’t see Sals running away, either. She’s too smart and grounded and engaged in school. In fact, with the chaos she grew up in it would have been easy to write her character as the problem child desperate for attention and security but she’s far more interesting. I think she’s disgusted by betty more than she is by don. ;) but, don breaks her heart. again. and again. and a few more times. fucker.

        she’s the only sane adult around.

        • Sweetpea176

          I think so, too. I’m so often wrong about these things, but I’m thinking that Sally finishes up Mad Men more or less intact. In some ways, Sally has been a stand-in for the audience in how she relates to Don and Betty, at least in my mind, and I’m predicting that the way Mad Men ends will hinge on what becomes of Sally Draper, because the audience is Sally Draper (or maybe Peggy. Or Sally and Peggy). If that’s her function in the story, then it would make sense for her to move into a bright future, having figured out (like we have) how screwed up her parents are. That would gratify the audience’s effort in having followed along. On the other hand, if she’s meant to stand-in for the audience, and her story ends with her being terribly screwed up, it would seem so depressing and ungratifying to me. Like Weiner saying to the audience, “See– this is why you’re all so screwed up. Now go deal with yourselves.” These characters have all gone through the wringer that some major character needs to come out triumphant to make it all have been worth it. Or I could be completely misinterpreting Sally’s function in the narrative.

          • ailujailuj

            Spot on – Sally could very well be the viewport of the audience in a lot of ways. And I think you’re on to something – perhaps her success will provide the much-needed resolution (from an emotional perspective) to the ultimate disappointment of her useless parents and in spite of them. But your alternative that The Wiener is sticking it to us is FAR more sensational! We deserve it… the audacity of our passive-agressive obsessing and gossiping and postulating and pontificating and probably a few other things no one will admit on a public blog. heh

          • ailujailuj

            Spot on – Sally could very well be the viewport of the audience in a lot of ways. And I think you’re on to something – perhaps her success will provide the much-needed resolution (from an emotional perspective) to the ultimate disappointment of her useless parents and in spite of them. But your alternative that The Wiener is sticking it to us is FAR more sensational! We deserve it… the audacity of our passive-agressive obsessing and gossiping and postulating and pontificating and probably a few other things no one will admit on a public blog. heh

    • ShaoLinKitten

      No one knows you like your mother, after all. Dorothy summed Pete up nicely. Boo to him for canning Manolo.

      • Ally08

        I thought this character was a bit of a lazy stereotype. I first saw the Spanish-speaking male nurse charming an older woman played by Antonio Banderas in Miami Rhapsody (“We need to use protection; I don’t know where you’ve been.” – “I’ve been with your mother!”). He’s currently being played by a Latino man on The Good Wife, also crush-tending to Peter (!) Florrick’s mother.

    • roble ridge

      Remember what Roger said in the season 6 premiere? “Life is a series of doors you go through, and they close behind you and you can’t go back through them.”

      This episode hammers home this theme with a heavy certainty. Don’s always been able to close doors and compartmentalize the dark areas of his life. But this time, with Sally, there was such a pathetic disconnectedness showing how far removed from the females in his life Don truly is. Sally and Don talking through a doorway. Sally not opening up the door to Don. Then the final shot of Don closing the door at the end of this episode.

      Don will be forever alone.

      • Heather

        Roger also said at the beginning of Season 1: “Whenever God closes a door, He opens a dress.”

    • HelenNPN

      The cat is Lovecraft.

      That writer had a really creepy short story “The Rats In The Wall” in which a whole world of rats lived behind the wall, just like in Peggy’s imagination. And Lovecraft’s worlds were dark, anxiety filled and morose, polka dotted with sheer mental terrors, just MM.

      It follows so many of the themes of Mad Men…the Crafters of what we Love, Those who are crafty in love. They love of their craft, those Mad Men…and women.

      I like Morris a lot too.

      • Doris Allen

        Not Lovecraft. Maybe Pyewacket or Mehitabel, famous fictional cats around that time.

    • CommentsByKatie

      Oh Oh Oh I think I’ve got something – someone made the comment about Sally collapsing on to the bed in a blue jumper again, just like she and Betty did in previous episodes. But this time, it was a blue and RED jumper. After seeing Don with Sylvia, she has become irrevocably tainted by Don’s sexual issues, just as Don was by his father and step-mother. Sad. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Sally lose her virginity in a red dress in a scene shot similar to these. Sad.

      • HelenNPN

        Losing your virginity isn’t always that sad ; )

        • CommentsByKatie

          No, of course not! :)

          But if they show it with her in a red dress collapsing on the bed, consistent with the blue and then blue/red imagery they are establishing, it will be sad.

          The blue dress collapse was about Betty forbidding her from seeing Creepy Glen, right? That was an innocent tantrum focused on childhood curiousity/friendship, as far as I can tell. The red/blue dress collapse shows that her sexual experiences have been ‘stained’, visually and metaphorically, by Don’s Bullshit. To fall on the bed with a man, in a fully red dress, would seem to represent that her sexual experiences are now irrevocably defined by Don’s Bullshit.

          Losing your virginity should be a confidence-gaining transformative moment, not a continuing legacy of sexual confusion and pain passed down by a loser father figure.

          • HelenNPN

            Glad you brought up Glen. I always thought he’d pop up again on the phone and Sally might hitchhike to join him somewhere during the Summer of Love.

    • pattycap11

      permit me to do a little victory dance all to myself for my suggestion last week that the impending sense of menace, paranoia and doom hanging over everything this season might have something to do with the atmosphere at the time over the vietnam draft. i hadn’t seen that anywhere. i was thinking weiner was trying to make the viewers feel the sense of dread back then, with the pointedly mysterious way they intro’d bob benson, the ubiquitous pot smoking, the bad highs, etc. i don’t think people think about that stuff much now, but if there were a draft today, everybody’d be freaking out over it. i thought the draft was something that should have been brought up, and so i’m glad it did.

      and re: bob benson, he’s heartbreaking because he has a secret, but also heartbreaking because his positive thinking mantra just failed him. he’s such a sweetheart. he’s like candide! i wish the actor’s pilot hadn’t been picked up. i’d love to see him next season.

      another weird thing, i thought i heard ginsberg in the previews saying the word “bitter,” but at first i thought he was saying, “bitte,” so i’m wondering if he’s regressed completely into german or yiddish!

      • quitasarah

        TLo pointed out elsewhere that Alison Brie has managed a supporting role on MM while starring in Community, so I don’t think we have to kiss good ole Bob goodbye just yet. Plus it helps that broadcast and cable have different schedules.

        • pattycap11

          oh, thank you! i feel better now! :)

    • pattycap11

      sally’s outfit reminded me of christmas, which made me even sadder.

    • buddy100

      I think that many reviewers are missing the point of Sylvia entirely. I believe that her character and her affair with Don are SUPPOSED to be grating and revolting. Their relationship is an instrument of mutual destruction. It seems like recycled material, but in actuality, I think it’s intended to be a deconstruction of everything that has gone down before.

      By stripping Don’s liaisons down to something ugly, raw, unappealing, and shameful, the audience can feel his descent on a far deeper and more profound level. Remember that this season began with a narration of The Inferno, and every following episode has punished each character in some fashion. Sylvia is faded and unattractive because she represents Don’s own immaturity and fixation. Besides, the final lap to Hell is seldom all that pretty.

      • anon33

        I agree with this. I have had a crush on Jon Hamm since the beginning of the show, and this season I haven’t found him attractive AT ALL, or enjoyed the sex scenes as much as I did in prior seasons. In fact they kind of disgust me. If that’s their intent, it’s working on me for sure.

        • HelenNPN

          There was one moment at the end where Don was facing towards us from a door. I swear in that moment his face looked a lot like Homer Simpson’s! Doh!

        • buddy100

          That seems to be very intentional. Look at his costuming and make-up this season. He’s a bit bloated (relatively), harried, pink in the face, and has developed dark circles under his eyes. Instead of seeing him conquering the boardroom, we see him flailing to stay relevant, and in the process isolating everyone around him. Rather than a sexy little affair that ends with no consequences, we see his bare ass humping his friend’s wife in front of his child. Hell, the season started off with him puking at his friend mothers’ EFFING FUNERAL.

          If that all doesn’t spell out how much the writers are damning Don and making him utterly repulsive, I don’t know what more could (short of punching Peggy in the ovaries).

      • ~Heather

        The injured ‘rat’ stumbling through Peggy’s apartment – the injured ‘Don’ stumbling through his apartment building. I thought Don was going to collapse in the foyer in front of the doorman!

        • ohayayay

          Callback to the heart attack scene in the season premiere, eh?

    • HairyBearyGuy

      I’m still laughing at all the people on the other blogs that still aren’t convinced that Bob is gay.

    • Guest

      If time travel were no issue, it would have been great to see a “Rushmore”-era Jason Schwartzman play Mitchell.

    • thesevenendless

      Oh Bob. Pete Campbell? Pete-slimy-git-receding-hairline-Campbell? Either you are DESPERATE for a lay or you have a mile wide masochist streak and fetish for neurotic whiny baby bastards with thinning hair. Look at your life, look at your choices.

    • MissAmynae

      My kitty Napoleon (Napster) just passed after 20 wonderful years. How random that y’all would mention that name! Well chosen, T&Lo!

      I vote Ringo for Peggy’s cat. She seems like a Ringo-is-my-favorite-Beatle kind of girl. Or Cat, Like Holly Golightly.

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

        Sorry to hear about your kitty, MissAmynae. That’s a long life, lucky him; we’re sure you made him very happy. L

        • MissAmynae

          y’all are so sweet. thanks **hugs**

    • Lorenzo

      What about all the doors?!

      p.s. cool name :)

    • Orange Girl

      Did anyone else get the impression that Nan is struggling with depression? The fact that she was in bed in both scenes, including her second scene where her boys are watching TV in her room while she slept, tipped me off. Also, during her conversation with Ted, it seemed to me that he wasn’t going to be able to make her happy, not for lack of trying, but because she just seemed very, very unhappy.

      I’ve been on board with TLO’s “Bob is just gay” theory since his scene in Joan’s apartment. He just didn’t seem interested in her in a romantic or sexual way. The deniers are hilariously delusional. People will go to great lengths to avoid admitting that they were wrong!

      Spiros for the cat’s name? Since she stabbed her ex with a spear?….. No?

      • Chris

        I can’t decide if it could be depression with Nan (is the cereal supposed to be the younger son’s supper or a late night snack?) or just that Ted is coming home so late she has already fallen asleep. Can anyone tell what the name of the book is she was reading? Sometimes that can be a clue too.

        • Lorelei

          I’m pretty sure the book was “Nicholas and Alexandra” by Robert Massie. It was the first “grown-up” biography I read around age 13 in the early 80s which I swiped from Mom’s bookshelf. She probably bought it when it was first published – it had the same cover.

          • Chris

            Great catch! That makes perfect sense- I thought I saw the Romanov eagle on the cover but I didn’t put two and two together. It was published in 1967 and the movie was made of it in the early 70’s (71 or 72). I don’t know if I’m reading too much into it but the Czar and Czarina were extremely devoted to each other and their family and eventually were all killed together because Alexandra refused to leave Nicholas. It may mean nothing or it may be a nod to Nan and Ted’s marriage. Kevin Rahm the actor who plays Ted said that he thought the audience would be “happy” with how things turn out for Peggy and Ted. I’m taking this to mean Ted stays faithful to Nan because I’m not sure after seeing his family the audience would be “happy” with Peggy and Ted cheating but who knows.

    • Jp

      Cat name: John Gill

    • DawnMarie76

      Peggy’s cat is obviously Morris, the grandaddy of all advertising cats.

    • DawnMarie76

      What if Bob is not really gay, but thinks Pete is? In any event, I don’t think Pete will retaliate in any way. Caveat – I am the world’s worst plot predictor.

      • Mike R

        Clearly.

      • sekushinonyanko

        That wouldn’t be entirely nonsensical. It could happen.

        • DawnMarie76

          Prostitution of all sorts is one of the running themes this season. If Bob saw that as his opportunity,would he take it?

    • rachel schiff

      Peggy’s cat should be named, “Something.”

    • BrittanyRL

      Sidenote – another tick in the ‘murder is happening this season’ column: oranges are frequently associated with death when used in film & TV. What did the ep open with? Roger juggling oranges…

      • Ally08

        Orange = death onscreen? Examples, please.

        • BrittanyRL

          The Godfather. Children of Men. Requiem for a Dream. Do a google search for ‘oranges + death’ and you’ll other examples pop up. TG is the most famous, but CoM is also frequently referenced because the film is so blatantly green & grey the whole time and then orange pops up right before some explosive action.

      • kassy

        I thought that was only true for The Godfather?

    • purkoy28

      *I think Sallys friend Julie is a little obsessed with Megan, the actress on a popular soap. The way she was acting around her and hinting to go to the set, even Megan looked weirded out by her. Possible future story line?

      • Chris

        It makes sense that Julie would be impressed by Megan. She is young, glamorous and in “show business.” I don’t think her friendship with Sally is going to survive for another outing to New York but who knows. Also, are Julie and Sally supposed to be great friends or is she just the only other girl who joined the club? I think Betty was right about why Julie joined anyway, unlike Sally she didn’t seem to know or care about any countries or why they were in NYC.

    • http://marshmallowjane.com/ marshmallowjane

      I think that Sylvia is stronger than you guys think. She had fallen apart at the inevitability of her son going to Vietnam. She’d been crying for days so when she and Don got caught by Sally, she just resumed her familiar fetal position.

      I’m baffled by this character Sylvia, although I can’t completely separate her from Linda Cardilini. Why the black wig (or black short hair)? is she supposed to be beautiful like Liz Taylor back then? She looks so strange that it took me an episode or so to recognize her. Linda from Freaks and Geeks and Scooby Doo and ER. I saw her on The View last week, and she looks better than ever. That black hair ages her 20 years. Sylvia isn’t as attractive as Don’s other women, but Linda Cardilini is stunning. She has a new baby and she is newly engaged. Everything is rosy for Linda, not for Sylvia so much.

      Did I miss what’s wrong with her marriage? I like her husband; she doesn’t seem to.

      Pete was likable in this episode. Poor Pete. Obviously, that’s the most vile and revealing thing a parent could EVER say to a child, grownup or otherwise. “You’re not lovable.” I’m surprised Pete isn’t a total loser. I’m surprised he passes for successful in the society he lives in. His mother is a terrible parent who left her son wounded and emotionally crippled by those words alone. One can imagine what else she might have said or done. So Pete is desperate to prove that he is lovable.

      Don is an inebriated (handsome) robot. He does everything in automatic, while drunk half the time. What could shake him out of this lifelong stupor? The world falls apart around him and he still refuses to grow.

      And there you have it. “Don” and the “agency” and the Vietnam war are the reasons for the cultural revolution (well, and maybe a few other things). Don and people like him are the opposite of what I wanted for myself during that time period. Keeping up with the Jones and pretending to be happy were abhorrent to me. My parents had their ice-filled drinks and their cigarettes (Mom had Old Gold Filters and Dad smoked Pall Malls). These drinks and cigs were their only enjoyment in life. Certainly they didn’t like each other. They’d fit into the show perfectly except that we could barely afford to live in the suberbs.

      • TeraBat

        At a guess, Dr Rosen is extremely invested in his work (as surgeons tend to be), and leaves Sylvia at home for long hours every day. He’s already blown her off a couple times, and that’s just within the brief period we’ve seen them in the show. Sylvia has probably had to deal with *decades* of her husband disappearing because someone needs emergency surgery.

        With Mitchell out of the house, and no other children, she has very little to do to fill her days. So she does things like have affairs, because they’re exciting and fun and a way to get revenge on her husband for ignoring her. But I think she largely does love her husband and her marriage, which is why she doesn’t want to get caught.

      • Chris

        Sylvia is really a blank page in a lot of ways. We have never heard her mention work, charity work, volunteering for her church etc. She is never seen with a friend or with anyone apart from her husband and now her son. Because her son was in Europe and she was angry with her husband she could disappear to a hotel for at least two days and no one seemed to miss her. The only neighbors she interacts with are Megan and Don. Compare that to Betty in Ossining with Francine, her riding friends and women’s groups. We know she reads but that is about it. She can have Don over almost any time during the day without fear someone (apart from Sally) will drop by. She is the epitome of the comfortable, bored housewife.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Exactly! Maybe that’s the issue here-she seems really one dimensional. His other ladies had jobs and other interests. Sylvia seems to existent just for Don. Perhaps that’s part of the appeal?

        • sekushinonyanko

          That sounds more like isolated and lonely housewife than a comfortable and bored one. I would find nothing about being alone all the time with nothing but a book or a very busy husband comfortable. Arnie is always on call, well was before quitting his job and will be once he gets his next one. Her son was away at college, then in France, and now possibly headed off to war. So really it’s just her in that apartment, unless she has a social life they have kept a secret from us.

    • Pamela

      If AMC had a “name Peggy’s cat” contest, the name Marmalade would win. There use to be a poster on the AMC board who used her cat, Marmalade, as her avatar. Then, every week, she would photoshop something from that week’s episode onto the cat. It sounds corny but she was talented and it was pretty funny. (My favorite was the cat with Miss Blakenship’s wig and glasses.) Anyway…Peggy’s cat is the spitting image of Marmalade. I wouldn’t even be surprised if it was a bit of a shout out. I’d bet money on the name Marmalade winning if AMC had a contest because I know the AMC forum members would all vote for that name.

    • soniabe

      How old must Peggy and Pete’s son be now? about 8?

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

        I think that’s right. Born around Thanksgiving, 1960.

      • Chris

        I would say seven because the show began in 1960, during the warm weather if I recall correctly. Assuming Peggy didn’t become pregnant immediately and a usual nine month pregnancy her child would have been born in 1961 sometime. That would make him seven in 1968.

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

          Peggy’s baby was born the week of Thanksgiving, November 1960.

          The series began in March 1960.

          • Chris

            When did Peggy start at SC? Do you remember the date? I really need to go back and re-watch those early episodes.
            ETA: found it online- March 1960. So Peggy does get pregnant almost immediately. For some reason I was thinking it was in a subsequent hook up with Pete at the office.

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

              No she got pregnant that first time because she’d only gotten her birth control prescription filled that day. The second time she slept with Pete her clothes were already getting a little tight on her.

            • Chris

              Thanks for this. Your explanation makes much more sense looking back. I had been thinking since Peggy was on the pill she fell into that very small percentage where the pill can be ineffective. I haven’t seen the first season since the year after it aired and I misremembered everything thinking it transpired in a much longer timetable. Poor Peggy got pregnant her first time at bat but still managed a promotion like that in under nine months. That’s even more impressive than I thought.

            • DeniseSchipani

              I always wondered about that. She visits Joan’s helpful doctor for her pills on her first day (or anyway, in the pilot episode, right?). So obviously if she slept with Pete that night or even that week, the Pill might not have been effective yet, that’s just basic biology. But since she didn’t know she was pregnant, presumably she was taking her pills the whole time, which you have to wonder about. Off to Google “effect of birth control pills on pregnancy” right now…

            • sweetlilvoice

              They aren’t good, I can tell you that. My sis had a friend whose brother was born with some developmental disabilities due to his mom not realizing she was pregnant. I’m not sure if he had other issues.

              My mom also told me that when the pill came out it ‘had enough estrogen to keep an elephant regular’ so I don’t know if the effects would have been worse then versus now.

          • mhleta

            My birthday, too. OMG, I’M PETE AND PEGGY’S CHILD!

    • Doris Allen

      For me, Bob’s scene with Pete rang totally true. I read Dale Carnegie and he said “ninety per cent of the world is hurting.” Bob tries to respond to needs. Joan needed friend to take her and her baby to the beach. Cutler needed to be relieved of dealing with Ginsberg. And of Ted’s rebukes. Pete needs to be loved. From the start, I wanted to take Pete in my arms and comfort him. I’m too old for him, but he triggered every motherly impulse in me. He’s misunderstood in every way and he needs to feel loved. Bob’s speech about love was right on point. And I loved him for reaching out. Nothing wrong with that. Sexual orientation is not the issue; feeling loved is the issue.

      • DeniseSchipani

        Yes. Exactly. I do think Bob is attracted to Pete (the heart has reasons…), but in the main, I think he’s attracted to the wounded soul. He wants to be there, he wants to help, he wants to fix things (and become indispensable.)

        • Doris Allen

          Some people just like to help. It’s a Yente thing; Dolly Levi. I’m that way.

    • urbantravels

      I can’t help wondering about Megan. Seems like in recent episodes she’s been SO cheerful and spunky and seemingly unaware when there’s radioactive vibes zooming around the room. Hi, honey! I’m going to pretend I didn’t notice Sally’s been freaked out of her mind while we’ve been sitting here, and I’m going to act like it’s cute that you’re completely stinking drunk and disheveled and seem to not notice that look like you’re being pursued by the Furies!

      I don’t think that Megan has anything deeply sinister going on, but I strongly suspect she’s adopted a facade to cover up the fact that she’s basically checked out of the marriage (well, they both did, a while ago) and is much more preoccupied with her own stuff. One possibility is that she’s gotten, or already accepted, a job offer that Don won’t approve of – possibly involving going to California. That would be a pretty benign secret compared to Don’s shenanigans; if she’s got a whiff of Don’s shenanigans it may give her relative moral high ground with her secret.

      We see her being fairly stagey as an actress, but then it’s a soap opera, so she couldn’t be otherwise. When Don saw her B&W film reel he, and we, noticed how perfectly she acted being hurt and sad, and then shut it right off when she’d provided enough of it. And I think there was a scene when she was teaching Sally how to cry. So we’ve seen that she can fake emotions quite well, with a strong suggestion that she may be shamming emotions in real life, at least part of the time.

      • Sagecreek

        Look at her parents. I suspect she learned to hide behind the happy-happy facade many years ago.

        • formerlyAnon

          This.

      • Chris

        I have two theories, one that she thinks Don is trying since coming back from camp and California. He did seem to be making some kind of effort before and maybe Megan is taking this to be real change. Two, they have a guest there and Sally so she is putting on “company manners” being bright and cheerful (she was much more reserved when Don was going to California) and by the end she is genuinely touched and impressed by Don’s “selfless” act in helping Mitchell. Plus maybe her work is going better now too.

      • mhleta

        “Hi, honey! I’m going to pretend I didn’t notice Sally’s been freaked out of her mind while we’ve been sitting here, and I’m going to act like it’s cute that you’re completely stinking drunk and disheveled and seem to not notice that (it) look(s) like you’re being pursued by the Furies!” Brilliantly stated. Remember how we left Megan at the end of last season (or was it the season before?) She was literally dressed up like Snow White surrounded by a warm glow of light (they stopped just short of the cartoon birds alighting on her shoulder) and the camera follows Don as he leaves her happily ensconced in her fantasy world, walking out into the vast darkness as she becomes a pin in his rearview. Her acting world is her escape. Her marriage provides the foundation, however shaky, that allows her to pursue her fantasy life. She’s clearly going to remain in denial about her marriage as long as it serves her. She wouldn’t be the first.

    • Kate

      I agree with previous posters that Don seemed to be doing the favor for Mitchell because he wanted to try to help him escape a life of running away. I think he was sincere and it didn’t even occur to him until he got whatsherface on the phone instead of her husband that he could use this to get back in her pants. I just want to do a shout out to Jon Hamm as an actor. He’s giving Don depth that could easily not be there.

      • quitasarah

        I agree. I think hooking back up with Sylvia was an after-the-fact bonus, not the reason he did it in the first place.

      • desertwind

        Agreed. So beautifully done by Jon Hamm.

        The range of emotions Don goes through during that phone call is so telling about his emotional triggers. He’s genuinely concerned about Mitchell, Arnold & Sylvia. When she starts crying, he’s still in that concerned emotional state. But, as soon as she switches gear to their relationship he looks surprised then faintly wary then hopeful then cold + cruel then needy.

        • mhleta

          You saw how he began to fall apart and then repressed the emotion by lighting a cigarette. He’s alarmingly fragile right now but Hamm continues to play the nuances brilliantly.

      • mhleta

        Oh, yes, John Hamm is showing really plumbing the depths of this character. As I’m watching this season, I’m also re-watching earlier seasons. It’s shocking to see the wear on Don/John’s face from Season 1 to now. The bags, the bloating–with this self-destructive lifestyle it could be nothing less.

    • pattycap11

      i wouldn’t name the cat just yet. maybe peggy will give her away.

    • puff

      Marmalade? Close, because that cat’s name is Margarine
      (as in, I’d buy the cheaper one)

      Oh damn it’ll be another hour of the Blue Bonnet jingle.

    • EyeJelly

      Cat names:

      Plaid
      Pop
      Cigar
      Empathy
      Lois

    • SJ

      Peggy’s cat’s name is Power Color.

      If Pete’s smart, he’ll treat Bob professionally and parlay that love into loyalty. And the secret need never be referred to again. I’d like to think Pete learned something from Don, even if he wasn’t a fly on the wall when Pegs was in the hospital.

    • EyeJelly

      More Cat Names:

      Flip
      Fringe
      Speck
      Lemon
      Kurt
      Satisfaction

      • http://facebook.com/VincentKV Todd Simmons

        Bobby or Jack. Or the full “President John F. Kennedy”

    • Brian Robinson

      This episode seemed to have more opening and closing of doors than normal. You know, it could have just been the HD on my TV, but did anyone notice how FILTHY Don’s office door is on both sides (right to left)? Either that’s just because the set dressers keep having to move props around and they reuse the door in other shots, or its a metaphor for Don’s soul. Probably the former, but it sure was obvious. Get some 409 ya humps!

      • Chris

        I’ve seen pointed out on another site that Don’s picture is never hung the same way. The artwork is never in the same direction, it’s up or down or towards the left or right. It’s like no one knows which way is up for the painting.

    • Kathryn Sanderson

      I totally believed you, T&L! Of course Bob’s gay, it all fit. You called it!

    • omg_dora

      My friends told me in advance that Moshe Dayan had a cameo in this episode, but I still LOLed when I saw the huge-ass poster over Stan’s bed. I’m sure Israeli fans all got a good giggle out of that.

      • mhleta

        Oooooooohhh! Thank you. I had no idea who that was!!

    • Stratos Bacalis

      Cat should be named Tigger of course. Or Garfield. ;)

    • kaycem

      Peggy’s cat should be named “Something.”

    • wayout46

      Congratulations TLo!! Once again you show why you are one of the best bloggers/fashion/TV analysts around. I had my suspicion about Bob from the moment I saw him in Joan’s apartment as well, but did not dare make any calls with my friends because I tend to be one of those cynics who roll their eyes at extreme Mad Men fan conjecture, as I don’t see it as that kind of show. In short, I was scared of bombing.
      But, strongly encouraged by your POV, I decided to venture into Facebook and post his picture in the now legendary shorts, while making a quick, easy comment on how men’s short shorts should come back to stay while board shorts and other slip-like gym shorts should burn forever. One of my friends asked what was up with Benson, so I casually mentioned my thoughts, aided by YOUR pointed analysis.
      Monday morning, I gave you the credit and well-deserved props. Some of my friends are already readers, hope many more join in.

    • wayout46

      Thanks for pointing out Julie’s brazen style. At first I thought we were being shown typical peer pressure coming from an alpha 14-yr old schoolgirl. But her comments about Sally at the dinner table, followed by her boldly picking up the wine bottle and serving another round to Megan, had me rolling on the floor. The girl is a soap bitch in training!

      • sweetlilvoice

        Exactly, I wouldn’t trust her at all. And I wouldn’t leave her alone with any male either, she seems the type to throw herself a guy and then make up a lot of stories. Notice how she was talking about Sally going all the way with Mitchell–he’s too old for you girl. He (was) in college and you two are children in his eyes. Sorry.

      • desertwind

        Thank god I hung around with a pretty nerdy group in high school … and beyond, because I pretty much missed the mean girl target thing.

    • Heather

      How can I join the Diplomacy Club?

    • stephbellard

      Peggy’s cat: Lady Tubbington, the great-grandmother of Lord Tubbington of Ohio.

    • wayout46

      For those of you still pondering why would Bob make a declaration (as it can hardly be called a “pass”) to someone who so despicably spoke about homosexuality just a few minutes before, someone in Datalounge half-jokingly offered what I think is actually a very plausible, very simple explanation – Bob is a very positive go-getter. He may have thought the object of his affections could be made to listen and change for the better. This certainly makes more sense to me than the millions of spy conspiracy/malice theories scattered all over the internet. Sometimes the simplest answer is the best. Just as the fact that it was a quick knee brush that could easily be explained away should his message bomb (which it did).

    • Karen

      Given the recent ad campaign, a good name for a red-haired cat might be Heinz

      • HairyBearyGuy

        You mean Morris, right?

    • orangechickenorange

      Tardy to the party on this one, so forgive me if it’s already been mentioned, but did anyone else notice that there was no contemporaneous music used in this episode, and that the tunes (at least the ones I recognized) came from earlier in the decade/the 50s (ie Stranger on the Shore, a favorite of mine btw)? I assume this was intentional but have no clue what it could signify.

    • Angelfood

      Cat names: “something”, “pizza house!” , Ted, Topaz,

      • wayout46

        LOL on Ted, sponsored by Purina Cat Chough (cue the can-can music)

    • wayout46

      Matt Weiner says ” “I don’t know that Bob is necessarily gay, but I think he is infatuated with Pete and wants to be Pete and I don’t think Pete is horrified or shocked, but he’s now in a situation in business where someone has really infiltrated his life … What I wanted to say was there’s this pure expression of love and who doesn’t need love and Bob is offering that to Pete and Pete is so needy at this point, so alone, but I think we get a sense of catastrophic results of expressing your real feelings.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/mad-men-bob-benson-pete-campbell_n_3416488.html)

      Sounds pretty gay to me, but Weiner is sticking to a purer love. I have to say I’m disappointed that Mr. Weiner is leaving it all very general. I did like that Bob’s was not as much a pass as a declaration of love, but I still wanted him to want the johnson. I wanted a young, gay ambitious noncreative – and eventually non-closeted – executive at SC&P (as there were/are prone to be in real life ad agencies) and it looks like the wait may be long.

      • HairyBearyGuy

        Yes, this is what most of the Bob Benson Truthers* are hitching their wagons to. I don’t see it and I certainly don’t think that being infatuated with someone manifests in that way. Weiner has had 8 characters who were gay or had gay tendencies thus far in the series. We finally get a nicely developed character and Weiner holds out on us. Why he is being so capricious with Bob is beyond me.

        For the record, here are the characters:

        Sal Romano
        Joyce Ramsay- friend of Peggy from Life Magazine
        Bob Benson
        Manolo
        Lee Garner Jr- Lucky Strike client, came on to Sal
        Kurt Smith- the Beatnik guy who was in creative
        Carol McCardy- Joan’s college roommate
        Elliot Lawrence- Belle Jolie client, came on to Sal
        Hotel Bell Hop- hooked up with Sal

        Boy, old Sal sure got around in that closet, didn’t he? LOL

        *credit to whomever coined this phrase down thread

        *edit- forgot to add Manolo

        • mhleta

          I’d like to see a little deeper (pardon) examination of what life was like for gay men in NYC during this time. There’s a great great book called The Motion of Light in Water: Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village. This is an autobiography by science fiction writer Samuel Delaney who was in an open marriage during those years. He talks about his gay cruising habits and anonymous hookups with men in subway restrooms and the loading docks by the Westside highway. Other fascinating accounts of the intellectual scene in the Village during that time.

    • appliquer

      I was watching the episode on my iPad using headphones, and when Bob started kneeing Pete, my DH must have thought I was crazy because I started laughing and saying, TLo called it!

    • http://www.facebook.com/dglassman1 Doug Glassman

      In this week’s Mad Style, can we please talk about Ted’s vagina wallpaper? Now it’s really getting distracting.

      • Ally08

        Now I can’t unsee it.

        • mhleta

          Yeah, what Ally08 said–That image will NOT go away now! At least he’s not a gynecologist.

    • Mike

      “Here…Copy, Copy, Copy.”

    • Mike

      Maybe the cat’s name is Phillip Morris.

    • psychoblonde

      Thank you, TLO, for pointing out how utterly lame (and annoying) Sylvia and her faux Catholic guilt are!

      Abe Jr. for the cat?

    • silaria

      My initial thoughts for the cat’s name were Something, Ralph, or Bobby (as in Kennedy). But since those have all already been suggested, I’ll submit RT – Rat Trap.

    • HairyBearyGuy

      I felt quite sad watching Bob walk out that office not knowing whether he blew it or not.

    • puff

      Of course that entire scene between Pete, Bob and the Tale of Two Knees was just an excuse to show Pete’s ceramic Cocker Spaniel in the corner of his office, behind the cocktail trolly.

    • mhleta

      Re: Sylvia- “You were good to me, better than I was to you.” I don’t see how dressing her up like a personal play thing, making her a psychological prisoner, playing sexual head games and demanding she crawl across the floor to fetch his shoes is being good to her. Theirs is an affair based on their twisted needs, self-delusion and physical proximity. (She lives next door and they literally have back-door access to each other’s homes. There’s a metaphor.) If she didn’t live right there, he wouldn’t think of her. Once again, they deceive themselves into believing they have some sort of elevated romantic purpose, when really it’s pretty pathetic.

    • mhleta

      If it’s a boy, the cat should be called Freddy after Freddy Rumsen, if a girl, Belle after Belle Jolie. If not for those two things Peggy might still be Don’s secretarial gatekeeper, or worse, his beleaguered wife.

    • Guest

      Can we call the cat Charles Manson?

      • AViewer44

        Yes!!! He does have an incredibly sinister, ominous look.

    • Nikki

      My boyfriend has been whining about how they don’t show Don closing deals any more, and I try to explain, well it’s because they are trying to show he is really just not as smooth as he used to be and is just in the pits. But really- they need to show them winning those clients again, it was masterful, we loved it.

      Also, he said, “Tom and Lorenzo totally called it!”

    • mhleta

      I’m saving up for my own personal victory dance. You noticed Pete fondling his shot gun in the previews? Again, Chekov famously said any time a gun shows up in Act I it’s got to go off in Act III. Pete’s filled with a certain amount of self-loathing so I’m not sure who the victim will be, him or someone else. I also think Burt is being set up for some version of the Japanese Businessman death. He’s so enamored with Japanese culture he’s bound to go out by Karoshi, or “death by overwork” though in Burt’s case he’s more likely to pass while napping with a blissful, Zenned out smile on his face.

      • susie111

        Hope not. We’ve already had a suicide and also a death by cancer. I was thinking Burt is getting Altz. so who knows? I was thinking for awhile that Don may go out by some smoking related disease – he was coughing again on the plane home from LA. I hope not though. Hate killing the protagonist in the end.

        • mhleta

          I think the coughing had more to do with his near-drowning than his smoking. But, he’s at risk. Season 1 had his blood pressure at 160 over something. That’s a pretty alarming number. I don’t know if Don will die in the end, but I don’t know how he’ll ever find redemption as long as the fabric of his life continues to be woven from deception and lies. HG Wells said, “Advertising is legal lying.” Yeah.

    • FancyPhilly

      Love the name Napoleon for a cat. My bohemian Aunt had a Napoleon, and when you think about it it fits cats so perfectly.

    • susie111

      switched threads

    • HairyBearyGuy

      Not looking good for our boy Bobbie. Then Pete somehow one ups him? I’m so confused that I had to check to make sure I took the right meds at dinner. o_O

    • FundamentalistChristianSiriano

      Regarding Don Draper’s affair with Sylvia Rosen, I always thought that affair was more about Sylvia’s husband. If you shift perspectives to the affair (at least initially) being about the husband rather than the wife, it makes sense. Dr. Rosen made Don feel either impotent (during the Doorman’s medical crisis) or like an idiot (“Don, we’re going to DC.”) several times. Dr. Rosen is educated and successful in a way that cannot be faked. Don was sticking it to Dr. Rosen by sticking it to his wife…this was enhanced by him being able to give her money Dr. Rosen could not afford to give her. Don doesn’t like it when anyone gets one over on him. I thought at least that’s why it started. Screwing around with the wife of the Doctor on the leading edge of heart transplant surgery, and doing it right under his nose, would be quite a coup for Don’s ego. Also, Sylvia’s persona is more “motherly” than the others, maybe that’s why he was so devastated when she rejected him. Sylvia is the only woman he’s ever had an affair with who actually appeared to “need” him (at least financially) the rest of his long term affairs were strong, independent women with their own careers. Of all the long term affairs he’s had, it was shocking (to him) that she was the one to reject him first. He may have actually cared for her at the end, but most everything starts out, and winds up being about ego for Don Draper.

    • maya s

      Peggy’s cat should be named Roger.

      He’s smooth, fluffy, selfish and has no loyalties, but at least she gets to be the owner of this one! :)

    • Ginny Crosthwait

      I’m wayyyy late on this post, but the cat contest: He should be called Mark, Your Man.

    • FLAMbop

      Cat name —-> Eucharist

    • Linlighthouse

      Maybe the cat’s a girl. Lois.

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

      Hey Einstein: read again. We never said we were geniuses. We said we were RIGHT. And no, it was not among the more common theories about Bob at the time we proposed it.

    • Mike R

      How DARE you!

    • misscellaneous

      Bob is Roberta. Or will be.

    • Ally08

      Yeah, and I’ll have you know that “gay” and “Martian spy mole”* are not mutually exclusive! (*h/t rag254 below)

      For someone as effectively intuitive and good at apparently guileless networking as Bob Benson, it did seem unlikely to me that he would proposition a sour married like Pete after the latter had just called Bob’s friend a degenerate.

      Perhaps Bob is so accommodating that he would help Pete out any way he liked, including this one… Gee whiz, what can I do to make you feel better. I almost thought Pete would go for it, just cause he was so grateful that someone loved him in this episode, since his wife, former flame and business partners are, respectively, calling him unlovable, friending him, and ignoring him.

    • Denise Alden

      You’re not from around here, are you?

    • Glammie

      Well, *I* think you’re brilliant. Can’t tell you how much I enjoy your Mad Men posts. When you first proposed Bob was gay, it was a definite “aha” moment and made more sense than all the other theories going about.

    • Alice Teeple

      This is true! Those recaps and forums generally quote you guys, anyway. I’m pretty sure you nailed it before everyone else, and your reasoning behind Bob’s character assessment was way more solid. I actually clapped and yelled “TLO STRIKES AGAIN!” last night when Bob did the knee touch!

    • asympt

      First place I saw it mooted, it immediately struck me as right even though it hadn’t occurred to me before.

      I think you get a moment in the sun for sure.

      Also, I love how you sounded like Maisie Williams’s Red Wedding gif while congratulating yourselves!

    • markopoulos1

      I absolutely LOVE your recaps/mad style analysis, but I gotta say, it
      was a heavily discussed theory out there on the forums. After every
      episode I obsessively read everything, and many people proposed the same
      theory that you did around the same time.

    • sweetlilvoice

      The whole Bob is gay makes much more sense than he’s a corporate spy. Or an alien. Or any of the other bizarre ideas out there.

    • Glammie

      Yep, I see the blogosphere is still going at it. Yes, of course there’s more to Bob than his simply being gay. There’s more to any character on Mad Men than one note.

      Well, I supposed paranoid theorizing is to be expected when we’re watching a show set in 1968.

    • HelenNPN

      ….take a walk on the wild side…

    • OrigamiRose

      Ha, my favorite new spin is that Bob is Tom Ripley and attempting to provoke Pete either into committing suicide or attacking Bob, who then kills Pete in self-defense and assumes Pete’s role at SC&P. Which, um, wouldn’t there be more tenured folks in line to replace a partner? But, I digress.

      The contortions they twist themselves into to stand by the theory that Bob is not gay (or is, but that’s not all there is) are out of this world.

    • Glammie

      I don’t really get it. Mad Men will throw in some major plot twists, but it’s not totally illogical and it does stick to its major themes. Bob being a spy wouldn’t tell us anything about the era. Bob being gay does.

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

      How wonderful for them. We hope they took the time to do their own little victory dances.

      It was not, however, a common theory among recappers and when we first posted it two weeks ago, it was so UNcommon (in the sea of theories about him being a time traveler or secret spy) that it got picked up (and credited to us) by the Huffington Post, Vulture, Towleroad, Jezebel, Gawker, and Maureen Ryan, among others.

      We are so loving the (totally predictable) dual blowback of “Everyone already knew he was gay” and “I’m not convinced he’s gay.”

    • OrigamiRose

      I guess one could argue, especially this season, and particularly with Don’s affair with Sylvia, the show has gotten really, really really soap opera-ish – at best, Dallas, at worst, One Life to Live. Yet it’s very much still a ‘thinking person’s’ drama, so perhaps to rationalize being caught up in a ‘smart’ soap opera, some people are falling over themselves to find intellectual intrigue and deeper meaning in every little detail, and refusing to fall for the straightforward narrative?

      It doesn’t help that Weiner throws all sorts of MacGuffins and red herrings in there, so everyone wants to scream “first!” at identifying them, I suppose. Even the Mark Lindsay reference on Sunday night stirred up more “Sharon Tate!” chatter.

      Really, if there was ever a time for “Bob the Brownnoser/Government Spy!” to ingratiate himself really well with a partner just to get ahead, it would have been to have played along with the “degenerate” rant and act as horrified, if not more, than Pete – not to try to put a friendly face on being gay and reason Pete off his bigoted ledge with a demonstration of Bob’s capacity for love.

      Something about that scene reminded me of the infamous “comparing guns” interlude in Red River. If you’ve never seen it, just Google “Red River Comparing Guns.” The pause and look Montgomery Clift does when asked by John Ireland (playing “Cherry” no less) to see his “good-looking gun”; Clift turns, stares at Ireland, very deliberately brushes the side of his (Clift’s) nose with his thumb, and hands the gun to Ireland. It’s so glaring to us, now, it seems insane to even call it subtext but at one time, of course, that caution and delicacy was required (both in life and to slip stuff through the Production Code).

      Bob was very much speaking in those same kinds of deliberate gestures and testing some learned cues (though with a much different reception).

      TL;dr, sorry!

    • wayout46

      Agree with everything you say. Well thought out and presented.