Mad Style: A Tale of Two Cities

Posted on June 05, 2013

Once again, too much ground to cover for foreplay, kids. Let’s get to it.
 

For once, we’re seeing them both in the apartment at the same time, dressed roughly equivalently, i.e., one isn’t way more formally dressed than the other or one isn’t wearing pajamas or underwear. That’s become an increasingly rare thing to see in the Draper apartment this season. There’s been a recurring motif of depicting one of them more “powerfully” dressed than the other, going back to their hate-sex on the living room floor last season. We’re bringing this up because we felt like this scene did more to depict the wasteland of the current Draper marriage than a thousand shots of Don mournfully staring ahead and regretting his sins. Megan is so brittle, clipped, and defensive with him now. It’s almost like she expects at any moment to get her feelings hurt or get slapped. And they both did that whole “Haha I’m joking about this but really I’m not” thing; she called marrying Don the biggest mistake of her life and Don said that he hated actresses. Ha. Ha.

We just realized we used “clipped” last week to describe how Don and Peggy interact now. Megan and Peggy are both exhausted by Don’s bullshit and used to the mistreatment they get from him. Neither woman hates Don – in fact, they’d both easily admit their love and respect for him – but you can tell they just can’t deal with him right now. Too much bullshit under the bridge.

But Megan specifically seems quite vulnerable and high-stress lately. Lots of hand-wringing over work issues and even weeping over current events. Neither of these things are notable in a real-life way, but the creators of a scripted ensemble drama only get so many opportunities to make points about characters, and looking at the whole of Megan’s scenes this season, we see that a lot of her screen time was spent depicting her anxious and depressed, in very much the same ways the previous Mrs. Draper was at the late stages of her marriage to Don. “That poor girl,” said Betty a couple of weeks back; probably the kindest and most insightful words to ever come out of her mouth. Not coincidentally, Megan has been smoking up a storm this season.

Anyway, to take it back to the clothes, there’s still a clear and obvious power differential on display here. He is every inch “Daddy home from work” and she is every inch “Daddy’s little girl” in her trendy and youthful poorboy sweater. This short scene establishes two motifs for this episode: “colorless, neutral Don paired with a colorful, more trendy figure,” and a less-obvious “figure in yellow/pink/blue.”

Just briefly, to talk about color again: we’ve been poring over past Mad Styles and past episodes and it’s really not our imagination. For whatever reasons, Janie Bryant really restricted her color palette this season. It’s not that other colors don’t appear, but the persistence of blue, green, and yellow (with an occasional assist by pink) is off the charts in comparison to previous color motifs. We’ve been documenting and analyzing the costuming of this show for every episode and character and it’s definitely something new this season. Back in the days of the Sterling Cooper steno pool, for instance, you could look across a scene and literally pick out every color in the rainbow (in muted early ’60s shades, of course). For 1968, inarguably the most colorful year of the decade, the same three colors keep recurring over and over again with extreme consistency. Make of that what you will. We’ve certainly been having fun with it.

 

So here’s Joan, making a declarative statement, in more ways than one. Every single female character in this episode will wear the colors found in this dress (with one notable, and hilarious, exception). If anything, we think this is why Janie restricts the color palette; not so much to apply strict meanings to each color, but to allow one character to set the tone (literally and figuratively) and let all the other characters call back to it in some way. Joan’s story is very much a woman’s story and thus all the other women in the story, in effect, turn toward her as her tale is told.

We caught glimpse of this look first in the partner’s meeting, where it really stood out like crazy. With this scene we find out why: she’s dressed somewhat more provocatively and attention-seeking because she thought she was going on a date; bright colors, a wild, feminine  pattern, a bow at the sleeve, and quite a bit of jewelry.

 

And here’s where we see this dress start to have a conversation with the other costuming. Peggy and Joan’s outfits “go with” each other the way you’d pair a dress and a handbag, say. They don’t match, exactly, but Peggy’s definitely drawing the yellows out of Joan’s dress and somewhat mimicking the bow at the sleeve with the scarf around her neck. But on the flip side, these costumes exist to illustrate the differences in each character. Joan is an explosion of femininity and female form; all curves and flowers. Peggy is slightly more business-like, and much less frivolous; more straight up and down, with less fussiness. Her dress almost looks masculine in comparison to Joan’s; the pleats and short sleeves contrasting with the flounces and bows on Joan’s dress. This entire story is about two women seeking power using different tools and how that puts a wall up between them. We’re seeing that literally here, with the pillar of the room and the costumes themselves serving to illustrate the divide between them.

Golden yellows have traditionally been Peggy’s career power color, but that hasn’t been quite so true this season and we think a lot of that has to do with Ted Chaough.

 

Because a golden yellow is also Ted’s power color. And ever since she’s found herself in Ted’s orbit, she’s worn it less and less. In fact, she’s worn it very little this season when in previous seasons it was always her most dominant and persistent color. Ted has somewhat overwhelmed her and even now, after he treated her kinda badly last episode, she’s still thinking she has some special inside knowledge about who Ted really is as a person and she keeps getting proven wrong. She keeps trying to connect with him and he keeps blowing her off, which makes the matching yellows of their outfits somewhat ironic.

But really, this scene is all about positioning Joan directly between Peggy, the executive Joan wants to be, and Moira, the secretary she’s trying desperately to leave behind. It’s not just that Moira’s and Peggy’s outfits match Joan’s; it’s that they’re both in loosely fitted or A-line solids, which stand in huge contrast to Joan’s curvy floral, allowing her both to stand out and to look a little frivolous in comparison to the other women, because frivolous and pointless was how she was made to feel here. It’s a nice touch to have them both in print scarves, calling back to Joan’s print; a little bit of sisterly solidarity.

We have to admit, that one empathetic look from Moira did a lot to make us like her.

 

Just a quick snapshot of Pete to illustrate … well, how bad he looks this season. It’s not just the shaved head or the amusingly short tie. It’s that Vincent Kartheiser’s whole affect has become even more unpleasant. Look at his face. It looks like that all the time now. He’s in a permanent scowl or sneer.

 

Okay, so here’s what Joan wears when she knows she has a business meeting and not a date. The differences are stark. She’s mimicking menswear, for one. This suit is very similar to one she wore last season, right after Lane died. We note that because there are some callbacks to Lane in Joan’s story. Lane pursued an accounts relationship with Jaguar, a client particularly well-suited to his persona (as Avon is to Joan), to the consternation and resistance of the other partners. We also note it because it’s one of several instances this season of Joan wearing outfits very similar to ones she wore as little as a year ago, but not the same. We think with her pay upgrade, she naturally got a wardrobe upgrade, and in typical Joan fashion, she stuck with the things that work best for her figure and coloring, just rendered in more expensive pieces. This suit has those fabulous flower buttons on it, making it look more expensive and stylish than the previous one. Joan’s also wearing way more gold jewelry than she used to in the past; again, speaking to her greater earnings.

What’s also notable here is the re-emergence of the yellow-and-blue motif, which tends to refer to Don and Ted’s relationship and speaks of a lack of connection between characters. Peggy’s former schoolgirl plaids are now executive plaids and her suit speaks of power and experience in a different way than Joan’s does.

 

And here’s Moira, entering the scene once again so that the three women can stand both in opposition with each other, and somehow, in solidarity with each other. She’s rendered in solid feminine simplicity with large buttons, just like Joan, and feminine touches  (her gloves to Joan’s scarf tied around her purse), but she’s also in yellow, white and black, like Peggy.

Say, what’s Moira doing getting off an elevator with Jim? Remember, the first time we saw her was with Jim trailing after her asking, “Is that Shalimar?” Hmmm.

Please take note of Joan’s yellow pumps. We’ll come back to them. No, really.

Since Peggy and Joan both referenced the good old days in their argument, let’s take a look at one of those scenes, because it illustrates something about the trajectory of their relationship. Look at the last shot above, keep it in your mind, and compare it to this:

 

Joan+Holloway+Mad+Men+Mad+Style+Season+1+Episode+5B

Back in the day, whenever Joan was in a scene with Peggy, she was shot, styled, and positioned to look ominously huge standing next to her; literally towering over her and overwhelming her with the size difference. More examples here, here, here, here, and here. They’re still the same size they were eight years ago, but the power dynamic is entirely different now and Peggy never looks small or mousey standing next to Joan anymore. Peggy has gotten bigger while, in some sad ways, Joan has gotten smaller in this world. She’s certainly not the powerful and confident Queen Bee of Sterling Cooper, circa 1960.

 

Okay, we laughed and clapped at the sight of Meredith. Janie’s been having an awful lot of fun with the ’60s trend of dressing women in infantile clothing, but this is just hilarious.  All you need is to see that dress and hear that actress’s voice and you pretty much know all you need to know about Meredith. Love those flower earrings.

Wouldn’t it be HILARIOUS if, after all the fevered speculation about Bob Benson , it turns out that Meredith is actually the corporate spy/government agent/long-lost child of X that so many insist is in the story? Like she rips off her wig and suddenly she’s a deep-voiced brunette government agent hauling Dick Whitman off to prison? Matthew Weiner, please make that happen.

Anyway, to get back to it, Meredith is the one woman in this story not wearing any of the colors from Joan’s floral dress. Which is as it should be, because Joan, Peggy, Megan, and even Moira have quite a bit more going on than ditzy little Meredith, who can’t even read a nine-word fake phone message without making it sound fake. “JOAN. ANDREW. HAYES. FROM AVON. IS ON. THE PHONE.”

But oddly enough, she and Joan are both wearing prominent bows on the front of their dresses. Of course Joan’s is exuberant and attention-seeking while Meredith’s is small and limp.

 

Okay, so Joan is not only in the blue–and-green color combination that has completely dominated her costumes this season …

 

But Peggy and Ted have their own blue and green moment, which calls back somewhat ironically to all the previous ones this season, which generally had to do with them flirting with each other if not outright making out. Here, they are clearly no longer a “thing,” and Ted is essentially done with her. She kept saying throughout the story that she knew how Ted would react and insisted that he was a better man than his behavior actually showed. Kicking her out of this meeting was basically the impetus for what Peggy did next; a bit of sisterly solidarity sabotage she might not have done if Ted had just paid her some respect.

 

And to illustrate that sisterly solidarity, she is dressed in a blue suit with yellow pumps, just as Joan was earlier in the episode. That is a highly specific look and a costume designer simply wouldn’t accidentally dress two characters in the story that similarly.

But even more subtle and more fabulously deep, this scene calls directly back to this scene from last season:

MSS5E30+23 MSS5E30+24

Which is when Lane and Pete wound up fist-fighting in the conference room over Lane’s desire to be involved in the Jaguar account and the partners’ resistance to the idea. Joan is in a blue dress with a bright green flounce at the neckline and Peggy’s in blue and yellow, just like their 1968 outfits. But things are reversed this time, as Peggy does the shushing and Joan becomes the partner trying to land an account and causing Pete to blow up.

Okay, enough with the women’s libbers. Let’s see what the boys are doing. We’re just gonna give you the following smorgasbord to scroll through and enjoy:

Okay, Harry is utterly ridiculous, but he’s absolutely of-the-moment trendy for L.A. 1968. Granted, even then he would have been seen as something of a douchebag, but in that crowd of entertainment industry executives, performers and hangers-on in which he spends his time, his look places him firmly inside the tribe. He’s groovy and he belongs here. We think the story is heading toward the opening of an L.A. branch of SC&P, which is probably when Harry will make his play to become a partner.

Anyway, here he is, working that blue-and-yellow theme all by himself. Interestingly, almost all the background characters are working the blues, yellows and pinks that dominate the palette this week. Don and Roger, of course, look completely out of place in their NYC greys.

 

Even their attempts to get groovy fall flat. Roger looks like Thurston Howell and Don looks like a New Yorker on vacation. But here’s Harry, in yellow and pink, once again fitting in perfectly with his surroundings. He doesn’t need a tie or an ascot like those New York squares; he’s got a far out shirt and groovy yellow pants. But we reiterate; as ridiculous as Harry looks to us…

He’s absolutely in his element and dressed appropriately. This is 1968 in California. Janie Bryant pretty much nailed it to the wall and wrestled it to the floor. You can tell she had a blast with this scene and it’s absolutely, perfectly of its time and place:

 

Yellow, pink, and blue dominated these scenes as well. You can see a range of styles here, from actual hippies, to Beautiful People types (like the hostess or the gal in the gladiator sandals; fabulously well-appointed trendsters), to various executives and professionals, to ridiculous posers (like Danny) or desperate climbers, and even to possible burnouts or runaways or hookers, like Lotus. It really was a social free-for-all at this time and place. The idle wealthy and the creative class gave themselves free rein to indulge in the excesses of the counterculture while remaining steadfastly committed to the capitalism that grants them their privilege, which allowed for actual drug addicts and runaways – not to mention all manner of social climbers and hangers-on – to party with socialites and powerful executives.

Danny would have looked ridiculous even for the time. His look was acceptably on trend for the time, but he’s clearly not suited to it; sort of like Sonny Bono, which makes Lotus his Cher. Her excessive jewelry is a whole smorgasbord of hippie, surfer, and eastern styles. She’s clearly no runaway, but she strikes us one of those burnouts who get passed around at industry parties. Not quite a hooker, but a party girl, for sure.

 

The perfect maternal figure, in pink, here once again to save Don. As we saw with his whorehouse flashbacks, he associates pink with mother figures, going back to Aimee, the mother figure who really set off Don’s women issues with a bang.

This scene continued a motif of brunette women vs. blonde women (Betty’s competing hair colors, Corinne vs. Colette on To Have and to Hold). The California hippie style suits her amazingly well.

 

Ginsberg always has been a volatile and socially inappropriate person, but this was definitely the worst he’s ever been. He’s always been dressed in disheveled, wrinkled, poorly fitted clothing and he’s usually wearing at least two clashing prints; in this case, his tie and shirt. His costuming reflects his inability to fit in and the obvious turmoil he’s feeling.

It’s interesting to note that Bob seems to have gotten a signature color this episode: brown.

 

Here’s where we get the first glimpse of Bob Benson’s inner life. It’s … spartan. And full of platitudes. He goes through life trying to be whatever any situation asks him to be and thus, he’s pretty much nobody when he’s by himself. Just sitting in an empty room, repeating his platitudes and waiting for opportunity to strike.

As odd as that might come off, we don’t think he’s nuts or even all that weird. We think we’re seeing what it must be like to be an ambitious outsider in a place as volatile as SCDPCGC. He’s just trying desperately to keep his head down and be all things to all people; the perfect corporate striver, pumped up on Dale Carnegie/Norman Vincent Peale -style positive thinking. As we saw this episode, it finally worked to his advantage.

 

 

As we also saw this episode, he really doesn’t seem to be all that bad a guy. He may not have recognized what Ginsberg is going through and tried to bolster him with positive-thinking platitudes about being the kind of man he knows he can be, but then again, we think pretty much nobody is recognizing what Ginsberg is going through.

Michael’s having a serious mental health crisis and because he’s surrounded by a bunch of lunatics already, no one can see the signs, except maybe Stan, who doesn’t seem to know what to do about it. It’s not just the inappropriate outbursts, or the silent rocking on the floor, but the admissions of auditory hallucinations; once last season when he told Peggy that he received a message from Mars telling him “Stay where you are,” and then again this episode when he said, “I can’t turn off the transmissions to do harm; they’re beaming them right into my head.” This isn’t colorful language or joking. People were far less well-informed about mental illness back then than they are now. See this for an idea of how it was viewed in the popular imagination at the time; it was Napolean hats, pink elephants and little green men, according to the conventional wisdom. People did not know enough about it to be able to make jokes about “receiving transmissions into my head.” That’s too specific and knowledgeable a choice of words for him to be merely colorfully talking about how stressed out he is over Dow Chemical. For such wording to be used twice in the very few scenes we’ve seen of him is highly notable. Again, you only have so many minutes of screen time to define a character in an ensemble drama. All choices are highly deliberate ones. Taking these quotes, looking at his general affect, lack of social ability, and a parent who seems to hover and fuss over him, we think it’s clear that Ginsberg is suffering from serious mental illness.

Not coincidentally, his clothes have gotten much worse this season and in this scene, he’s sporting both a plaid and a stripe, giving him that feeling of turmoil.

 

Bob the ultimate brown-noser gets his payoff while wearing yet another brown suit. This is one in a long line of promotions or career triumphs on Mad Men that arise out of office or personal politics and being in the right place at the right time. Is Bob gay, like we hypothesized last week? Maybe. Ginsberg obviously wondered about it. And Joan clearly isn’t dating him. It would have been pretty odd for a divorced mother to be going to the beach with a younger man she’s not dating, but considerably less odd for someone like Joan to have a cute gay pal. Still just a theory, though. We suspect if there is some sort of reveal about the “true” Bob Benson, a great deal of the internet is going to be disappointed.

Ted and Jim in blue and green, which has been a color combo that denotes both confrontation and cheating this season. We don’t know what the hell’s going on, but it can’t be good for the original SCDP crew, all of whom seem to be caught up in their own stories to see what’s going on right under them.

All of them but one, that is:

And he just gave up on the whole thing.

 

 

[Photo Credit: AMC - Stills: tomandlorenzo.com]

    • FashionShowAtLunch

      I am wearing those exact flower earrings today. LOVE them.

      • decormaven

        How funny! I have them in reverse colors- the petals are yellow, with a white center. They’re clip-ons, so I don’t wear them as much.

        • FashionShowAtLunch

          Yep, mine are clip-on too, but I got these amazing little felt pads that really minimize the ear/headache that goes along with wearing clip-ons.

    • Chris

      I thought this episode was also a callback to Peggy and Joan in the episode when they both dealt with Joey in their own ways. Again Joan is in feminine aqua and Peggy is wearing navy blue for the meeting just as they did in their confrontations with Joey. Just as before Peggy’s look is much more tailored and “masculine” while Joan is more traditionally feminine. Unlike last time Peggy ends up in Joan’s aqua and Joan in Peggy’s navy. They are finally meeting on common ground.

    • decormaven

      Great job, as usual. Love that palazzo-pant jumpsuit worn by the California hostess. That was one of the best looks this season.

      • hellkell

        I have one of those of the same era from Hilo Hatie’s. It’s awesome, but hard to go to the bathroom in.

    • Chris

      I thought that last scene with all the male partners together was very significant. On one side is all of the SCDP men blending in together and almost indistinguishable in a sea of grey suits. Opposite them is Cutler and Chaough- one in blue and one in green. This is not going to end well.

      • 1tsplove

        Yes. And I found it interesting that they all acquiesced when Pete insisted they not include Joan. Another indication of how tenuous the status that comes with her partnership is.

        • Chris

          Yes and Cooper is the only one that even thought of her to begin with. If she and Pete hadn’t had their falling out she probably would have been in that meeting. Pete saw her as an ally before. I really hope that Avon deal works out for her. As creepy as Pete is, he was some sort of ally on the board for her and there is strength in numbers.

    • Joan Arkham

      Bob Benson = proto yuppie.

      • http://theargiehome.blogspot.com/ Gus Casals

        I was just writing exactly the same in my comment.

      • Sobaika

        Bob Benson IS Alex P. Keaton.

        • Joan Arkham

          OMG, yes!!!

        • MilaXX

          Dating myself, but he reminds me of Robert Morse’s character in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

          • Sobaika

            I love How to Succeed :) I never saw the film with Robert Morse but onstage with Daniel Radcliffe.

          • Mollye Readinger-Scott

            see my post above!

          • LadyJaneRageyPants

            I have the biggest crush on Bobby because of that movie!

        • 3hares

          He seems nothing like Alex to me. Alex had loud opinions and identified who he was (Reagan guy) all the time. Plus he was really good at what he did. Bob seems the opposite–empty. He’s never been shown to be a good go-getter at accounts, just good at making personal connections that benefit him. Even in this ep he automatically covers for Cutler regarding losing the account.

          • Sobaika

            Yeahh, I wouldn’t read too much into that joke or Family Ties ;)

            They just have the same fabulous hair and corporatist/yuppie leanings. So many have remarked that BB comes across as 80s.

          • fursa_saida

            Well, he hasn’t had much chance at being a go-getter on accounts–it seems he’s been doing a lot of back room work. He’s very junior, not the guy who’s taking a client to lunch.

      • NiseiShonagon

        I have nothing of value to contribute to this thread but I MUST express my love for your icon.

    • jennmarie19

      Mad Style! Best part of my Wednesday. Here’s a thought—if Ginsberg’s mental illness turns violent, would Bob Benson be his victim? He might be a proxy for all of the things that are causing Ginsberg’s anxiety (capitalism, respect for authority, play-by-the rules, etc.). They seem to have developed some kind of a rapport/relationship, which could set the stage for a confrontation that either intentionally or inadvertently gets out of hand.

      • Joan Arkham

        I can’t get the image of Peggy gut-stabbing Abe out of my head. Someone else is getting stabbed before this is over and I hope I’m wrong but I’m thinking Ginsburg is going to be holding the (X-acto?) knife.

        • jennmarie19

          Also, Stan got impaled by the pen!

          • Caitlin O’Brien

            Wow great point, I forgot about that!

          • Lisa

            The idea that Ginsberg would end up stabbing Stan sounds right to me. There’s a reason that the writers have been going out of their way to make Stan likable this season, and it doesn’t seem to be that there’s a romance between him and Peggy in the cards. I think it’s so they can kill off what was previously a minor character and have us be upset about it.

            • Glammie

              I’m kind of hoping he goes for Cutler instead.

            • Shug

              Please gawd no! I <3 Stan. But yeah, this theory is totally plausible.

        • jdens

          Now that the menacing Cutler is showing his cards, I’m starting to wonder if the stabbing motif culminates, not in a physical stabbing, but the metaphorical back-stabbing, which could pack far more of a punch (just to extend violent metaphors!) story-wise.

          • Joan Arkham

            CUT-ler? Hmm.

            • jdens

              Yeah . . . it’s a sinister name even without all the additional stabbing scenes in the psyche. Funny, of all the characters I’ve seen on the show, he’s the only one I thought seemed . . . evil. We’ve seen slimy and shady and weaselly and a$$hole, but this dude seems heartless.

      • nonsensicallyrics

        Good god they better not, there’s enough of that kind of depiction of mental illness, we don’t need another. People with mental illness tend to be much bigger threats to themselves than others, though you wouldn’t know it from tv or movies. Mad Men is a better show than that. If anything Bob or Stan would be the ones to actually recognize he needs help.

        And I am extremely wary about people starting to attribute every single thing Ginsberg does to schizophrenia if that turns out to be true. He doesn’t think drugs make you crazy because he’s mentally ill, he thinks drugs makes you crazy because they actually do have a tendency to make a lot of people crazy. And he didn’t stab Stan because he’s mentally ill, he stabbed Stan because he has shitty aim. And he’s not a virgin because he has psychotic delusions, he’s a virgin because he simply hasn’t had sex yet. He’s a weird neurotic guy, and he’d probably be a weird neurotic guy with or without schitzophrenia.

        • jennmarie19

          Yeah, but this is a TV show. Agree that mental illness is woefully misrepresented in popular culture. People with mental illness are far more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators in the real world, but this ain’t the real world.

          • fursa_saida

            Most viewers hold Mad Men to an incredibly high standard of accuracy. Why should it suddenly be okay to deviate from that when it comes to mental illness?

            • jennmarie19

              Accuracy in what terms? Most ad men don’t have a secret identity; most actresses don’t make it big on a soap opera; most women don’t go into labor without knowing they’re pregnant; most people from schizophrenia don’t harm people. They use extremes of behavior for dramatic effect.

            • jennmarie19

              To be clear, I’m not advocating that it would be a good thing to show yet another depiction of someone who is violently mentally ill on TV; I’m just saying it’s a narrative possibility.

            • fursa_saida

              Thanks for clarifying that. I agree that of course they’re not going for hyperrealism all the time (for one thing, if Don can smoke a joint without hallucinating, a little happy hookah with hash rather than weed is not going to do it). But it’s amazing how often the fans are looking for confirmation that robberies like the one in Don and Megan’s apartment, or I forget which actor’s speech at the Cleo, actually happened or at least are based on a real event. But I think there’s a difference between surrealism and stereotyping, and there’s a difference between using inaccurate or at least…I’m looking for a word here and all I can come up with is “unusual”…traits and plot points to elaborate a character and using them for cheap drama (which is what Ginzo offing somebody would be).

            • Shug

              Historical accuracy and physical possibility – not necessarily “likelihood of real life occurrence” :)

            • Alice Teeple

              One of my family members suffered from schizophrenia, and he exhibited plenty of bizarre outbursts of violent behavior. He’d sit at the kitchen table throwing knives at the screen door to the backyard, or lapse into thinking he was still a POW in Japan. He’d have spells where he talked to the ceiling. He couldn’t hold down a job or finish college. He was also charming, highly intelligent, and wrote poetry – and even dressed weird, like Ginsberg. If they’re going that route with the character, I would find this depiction a completely realistic tragedy of someone suffering from mental illness, and not insulting or clichéd. Insulting and clichéd would be to make Ginsberg a “brilliant but tortured savant.”

            • fursa_saida

              I’m very sorry to hear that, and I certainly can’t speak to your experience. I still think it would be a lame story choice to have a character you’ve barely touched on all season suddenly go nuts and stab somebody to give you your big late-season event, but at that point it’s subjective.

            • frazer

              There was the poor British guy getting his foot chopped off by the lawnmower.

          • nonsensicallyrics

            Like I said, Mad Men is better than that. And not being real life does not in anyway excuse perpetuating a stigmatizing and inaccurate image of mental illness.

            • fursa_saida

              LIKED TIMES A MILLION

        • fursa_saida

          If they turn my Ginzo into some kind of walking poster boy/stereotype for The Crazy I will probably have to ragequit.

      • Pamela

        I think he might end up stabbing Megan. I don’t know how it will go down, I just think that it will.

    • Sobaika

      The final shot of Pete lighting up was so well done – almost as fabulous as Don walking away from the brightly lit Megan in Snow White drag. This show speaks volumes in its cinematography.

      • http://twitter.com/PlethoraOfBooks Jennifer Swegler

        Yes! And I love TLo’s point about how he is the only one who sees all the problems, and simply gives up. I thought it – but to have it confirmed in the Mad Style piece is ridiculously exciting :)

        • Elizabetta1022

          I also wondered if it was an “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” moment for Pete. He’s banging his head against the wall and nothing is working, no one is listening to him. Might as well get high like everyone else seems to be doing!

        • Little_Olive

          Oh yes, and I loved it for, in a certain way, vindicating Pete as more than a seedy want-it-all. I was missing his character in the early show, more nuanced and less obvious; these past episodes I’ve felt have dwelled too much on the sexual aspect of his life and made him a bit one-dimensional in the workplace.

          • Joan Arkham

            Remember that brief, shining moment after the Kennedy assassination when it looked like Pete was going to become a decent guy? Now, even though he’s right, he just comes off as bitter and hateful.

      • pajmahal

        Yes, absolutely. I love the music choices with the final shots – like when Don sat alone in his living room listening to “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Watching Pete with his too-short tie and receding hairline and crappy sideburns while “Piece of my Heart” played – it makes me wonder if Weiner is hinting that Pete is going to draw a few even shittier hands in the next episodes.

      • Anne

        I thought it was particularly notable because of how obvious the themes have been lately. One of the most amazing things about this show to me has always been how much they could say about a character or situation with one visual, and they’ve lost a lot of that lately. But they didn’t even need words to get the point across here–Pete lighting up a joint was all we needed to see. Bravi!

        • Sobaika

          Around last season or so (when pretty much everyone knew Lane was going to snuff it) I lamented the lack of subtlety as well. And while there’s still something to be said for the different approach used in the early seasons, I’m okay with the direction they’re heading in. It’s a new time with new themes and issues. A sirens-blaring-in-your-ear sort of time.

          What I don’t like is the the lack of finesse displayed sometimes – like Megan’s voice fading out as Don pretends to listen to her. Feels very ‘Screenwriting for Dummies’. And some of the uncomfortable places they tread when trying to hammer home the point, like Thieving Grandma Ida.

          • Anne

            Agreed. Honestly, it’s still so much better and more interesting (if sometimes only for the clothes!) than most of the other shows on TV right now. I’ll keep watching till the end.

          • Little_Olive

            “What I don’t like is the the lack of finesse displayed sometimes …”

            Word. What first drew me to this show was precisely the un-emphasizing of events; everything simply happened, flowed like running water, was not played to reveal *the purpose* but only a tone.

            I hope it is not a result of MW becoming greedy to have the show be “everything” (which is the fear I had when they announced S5).

    • http://theargiehome.blogspot.com/ Gus Casals

      Great insights on the Peggy/ted dynamic, and I loved those before and afters of Peggy and Joan.
      The yellow pumps…you guys kill me.

      As for Bob, more and more I see him as a 80s character. He would be fortysomething by them, perfectly fitting in the yuppie environment.

      • Elizabetta1022

        So true. Definitely has that “young Republican” vibe, no?

        • mcpierogipazza

          Maybe he’s secretly in “Up with People”

      • Kate

        Wasn’t Peggy wearing the same scarf she wore in her salary negotiation with Ted, right before she left SCDP?

        • verve

          I believe she is! Good catch.

          • Kate

            It’s almost like her clothes are showing her regression back to the role she used to play at SCDP–trying all the time to please and failing because Don was such an ass.

    • Frank_821

      Great underscoring with the Peggy/Joan dynamic

      Thinking more and more about their scenes, it’s clear to me if Joan wants to ultimately be taken seriously and secure some power she has to start thinking and acting like an “accounts man”. She’s got the potential and the talent to be as good as Ken but she needs an attitude adjustment. The fact she didn’t realize her friend was setting up a contact with her is key.

      She needs to start going after new business. Despite whatever breaks and help Pete got from his scumbag father-in-law, he got a great instinct for finding new markets and clients. Roger used his charms to snag Chevy. Joan needs to start doing that. She doesn’t have to go to the extremes Roger did, but she as a former secretary and a woman would have avenues to find out potential leads that the male executives would not. These are avenues she’s not even aware she has available to her. She didn’t even think that her friend might be useful to pick up any tidbits of info.

      • janierainie

        I agree. This episode was Joan’s turning point to change her thinking of herself as someone who would only date men, to someone who is a partner and can do business with them.

      • decormaven

        I loved how she was carrying a white briefcase when she wore that bright blue suit. Notice the scene where she is talking with Peggy outside the elevators. She’s carrying a purse (with a scarf tied on it, naturally!) and wearing the briefcase strap on her shoulder. Yes, it may be an oversized purse to some, but that probably is Joan’s take on a briefcase.

        • Chris

          Joan looked stunning in that aqua suit. I think it’s the most flattering thing she has worn in years, like Betty last week she got the “glamour” treatment. I also thought it was very in character that her “business suit” had a bit of an evening feel to it. It reminded me a bit of a dinner suit with the fabric and the button detail. It was so much more attractive on her than the (IMHO) kind of dowdy floral dress. She looked like a movie star walking into that breakfast meeting. It was as much of a rebirth for me as Betty was in her yellow evening gown.

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

            I thought the navy dress with the green bow was one of the most flattering things I’ve seen on Joan or Christina.

            • Chris

              She looked lovely in that as well. That silhouette is so flattering on her.

    • Anne

      I usually don’t catch the call backs to previous seasons, but when Peggy went to turn on the intercom to eavesdrop, I thought immediately of the scene when Lane and Pete were fighting. I’m always proud when you guys validate something I thought of!

      I also gasped aloud at Joan’s dress in the opening scenes. I don’t think we’ve ever seen her wear something like that. And I loooooved the navy and lime-green combination on the dress in the eavesdropping scene.

      Bob Benson is pretty much J. Pierpont Finch from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. So, Bob Benson = Finch = Robert Morse?

      • Girl_With_a_Pearl

        I agree that there may be a nod to How to Succeed in Business with Bob’s listening to the record with its peptalk for young executives who want to move up in business, but J. Pierpont Finch gleefully backstabbed his superiors left and right on his rise to power. We haven’t seen Bob Benson do that…yet.

        • not_Bridget

          Bob’s certainly been trying to better himself. But he’s done it by doing good. Helping Joan when she was in pain, finding a nurse for Pete, talking Ginsburg down.

          So far, at least.

        • medijie

          Bob Benson … what is so disturbing about Bob I think, is that he can lie so very quickly, smoothly and easily. He hasn’t backstabbed, but he has lied several times in efforts to “help” Joan, Pete and Jim. I get more of an All-about-Eve vibe from him than How to Succeed

          • maretha2

            I agree — and he seems very eager to help the partners. The scene with Ginsburg was a small exception, but even that seemed more about protecting his own assignment to meet with Manischewitz rather than just being nice to Ginsburg. I’m just waiting for him to start darning socks for Cooper and babysit Don’s kids.

          • nonsensicallyrics

            I don’t know, I would imagine that be input in his personal life and closeted in his professional he would get very good at lying and learn to turn to that well whenever anything needed smoothing over – if he is in fact gay.

          • http://SkyDancingBlog.com/ Minkoff Minx

            I find it interesting that Bob is the one who seems to always try and “anticipate” what everyone needs before they know they need it…kind of what Joan said her job description was to the dude from Avon. It just feels like there is a underhanded shady, like you say Eve Harrington feel, about Bob Benson…but I don’t think he is in anyway Don’s long lost kid or a crazy serial killer.

            However, I do think he is gay.

    • Frank_821

      Forgot to mention I agree Bob probably won’t be much in terms of harboring any great secrets-I mean beyond possibly being gay. It would be cool if he was. And that was a great call about he’s such a chameleon that the real bob benson has nothing to him

      • http://twitter.com/susanpcollier Susan Collier

        Once Bob was revealed as someone intent on working his way up the corporate ladder, I got bored—nothing subversive or malicious. Sigh.

      • Sorena

        Yeah, it’s a nice affirmation of the early observations on here that Bob Benson is in some ways the younger Don Draper (signaled by name similarity). But while Don built his persona around a deep well of pathos and trauma, Bob may likely be building it on a standard 1950s childhood of middle or upper-middle (but not blue blood) class privilege, symbolizing a kind of second generation corporate class. Being gay would add a lot more depth there, but if he’s not gay the point may well be a larger one about shifts in American class identity across these generations (contrast also Pete/Roger, who have taken their advantages for granted, and Bob, who is consciously honing his persona).

        Speaking of which, what does it mean that the younger guys on the show have avoided the draft. Lottery luck? Wealth/college? More evidence Bob is gay? Maybe this has something to do with the comparative anxiety differential between Stan/Ginsberg and Bob.

        • Lisa

          If being gay was enough to get men out of going to Vietnam, why didn’t more men use that as their strategy? Or did they?

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

            You could be institutionalized or sent to prison for being gay back then. Not the best way to get out of it, although some men did use it as an excuse.

            • Munchkn

              Randy Shilts talked about men using being gay to get out of the draft in Conduct Unbecoming: Gays, Lesbians and the US Military. He said that it was rare for actual gay men to use that as a way of getting out of military service. Straight men, like Chevy Chase, might but not gay men. Lots of gay men served in the military during the Vietnam War: Leonard Matlovich, Armistead Maupin, and (maybe) Gilbert Baker, designer of the Rainbow Flag to name a few. Don’t recall if Gilbert was actually in ‘Nam or not, but he served then.

          • Joan Arkham

            It would be a huge black mark on your record. Even today, in many (most?) states it’s legal to fire someone for being gay.

            • FemaleOnTheInterwebs

              Depressingly (and disgustingly), it’s most. It’s legal to fire someone for being gay in 29 states. Protections exist pretty much where you’d expect: every Northeastern state and district (starting with Washington, DC and heading north) with the exception of Pennsylvania, most of the “bluer” midwestern states (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin), the “bluer” parts of the Southwest (Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada), the West Coast, and Hawaii. :/

        • desertwind

          It was pretty clear that single guys like Stan & Ginsberg know it’s on the horizon. The lottery didn’t start up until 1969 (1970). My husband (Zappa/Beefheart musician freak) got a definetly-be-drafted number and tried to fudge his physical by raising his blood-pressure, but the examiner sent him out to lunch and he flunked the fudge when he came back. He joined the Coast Guard because that meant a six-month delay during which he starved his 5’10″ frame to 108 pounds and got off when he went back. Friends had little hunting accidents, etc. No joke.

          Husband still gets palpitations when he recites his number.

          • http://completeflake.com/ LaVonne Ellis

            I had a friend who took acid before going in for his physical. It worked. Another friend tried the conscientious objecter route and wound up in federal prison for six months.

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

            A lot of guys went to Canada to avoid the draft and others appealed to their Congressman to keep them out of the Army.

        • lubilu

          I think Bob might be gay, and purely because Stonewall will be coming up soon and it makes sense to have a character who might be intimately involved/affected. In the same way that they introduced black characters as a way to illustrate MLK and the civil rights movement (and have done nothing with them since).

          • 3hares

            Seems like they almost never do things about people who are intimately involved or effected by things like that. They barely used the black characters to comment on MLK.

          • rottenkitty

            Stonewall is about a year away if this season is happening in summer/fall 1968.

        • Munchkn

          It depends on when exactly during the war that your were exempt from the draft. Married men weren’t drafted initially, IIRC, and then it was just married fathers. That’s was how Dick Cheney escaped the draft. Some professions may have been exempt. My uncle was exempt during WWII because he was a farmer. He was probably near the age cut-off too.

    • Musicologie

      At our viewing party, one of my friends pointed out how Joan and Peggy were being shot to appear the same height (not so much when they’re both in the frame, but on single shots–they were at the same level). Thanks for all the counter-examples from previous seasons, where Joan looms large and is usually in the center while Peggy is pushed off to the side. Good on John Slattery for making something subtle stand out for people who’ve been paying attention to this show for so long!

    • NDC_IPCentral

      Brilliant, brilliant, Tom and Lorenzo. You’re an oasis of wit, wisdom and insights mid-week. Great connections made here – boy, would I love to see Matt Weiner’s and Janie Bryant’s story boards/workrooms. You’re tying a lot of themes over episodes and seasons together. We know that little to nothing is random or without subtext in “Mad Men,” and you are the sleuths who make the connections.

      Now, back to a far less fraught (and many gigamegs less stylish) real world IP Central. Boy, could some of the cast here use with a Jane Bryant and TLo intervention or twelve. (Present Bitter Kitten excepted, of course!)

    • sarahjane1912

      My dad had a navy sports jacket with gold buttons which he wore with fawn trousers and a red cravat. Seriously.

      That is all.

      PS. Loved the recap. It’s getting so I can’t keep up at all; you guys just get everything. Sigh. Love it. Thank you.

      • FloridaLlamaLover

        Better that than the powder blue leisure suit and ankle-high side-zip boots my Dad would wear in about six years! lol

        • Wendi126

          Yeah well, MY dad drove a powder blue Cadillac in the 70′s and he was a Jewish accountant not a pimp!

          • FloridaLlamaLover

            Did he have the giant boat-sized Caddy? Sadly, we had no schemxy cars in the 70′s. My Mom’s very sturdy and reliable 1970 Chevy Impala (which could haul ass, btw) and an awful Ford
            Pinto station wagon (two-tone in brown with faux wood panels).

            • Wendi126

              He did have the boat sized model and I learned to drive in it. I parallel park better than anyone! My mother had a purple Dodge Dart. Ah the 70′s

            • Aurumgirl

              My dad had the boat sized caddy; my mom had the same damned Pinto station wagon but ours was two tone avocado with faux wood panels. OOOh. But before that Pinto, she had a little red Austin mini. She’d use it to pick us up from school, on occasion, and then it would always need either a boost or a push from whole groups of kids. It was the car that was always powered by children!

            • Munchkn

              Cool that your mom had a Mini! I’d love to have a vintage one. I do have a 2003 MINI that is still got lots of life in her.

        • Aurumgirl

          Years ago I found an old copy of Fortune magazine from about 1975 featuring CEOs of some of the largest corporations in full articles, complete with photos. One head honcho is shown wearing–get ready, because maybe we’ve forgotten this–a grey flannel Business jumpsuit. And a cravat, if I recall correctly.

      • deathandthestrawberry

        My father could be a stand-in for Stan. Same hair style, same beard, although the beard didn’t come until after he got out of the army in 1969. He even owned the same fringed suede coat that Stan wore a few episodes ago.

        • theotherTLO

          My dad totally had Harry Crane hair!

          • Alice Teeple

            My dad looked eerily like Bob Benson in 1968! He was super clean-cut until the mid-70s, then he grew out a moustache and started wearing overalls like Abe. And he’s never looked back.

        • fursa_saida

          A close friend of mine looks almost EXACTLY like Stan and it freaks me out every time. Plus he’s a graphic designer. It’s too much.

    • Heidi/FranticButFab

      Looking at the screen grabs of Joan from past seasons I was surprised to see how many different ways she’d worn her hair. I never noticed at the time. And her hair color is a much brighter red now; any significance there, I wonder?

      • sarahjane1912

        I *always* notice Joan’s hair. In the early seasons, it was just so beautifully looped and coiffed, and now? There’s been lots of different looks. I still notice when she backtracks to the super-sets she rocked in the early 60s though. Love them. Not sure about the brightness though; it looks the same to me [sorry].

        I do think that her make-up might change the way her hair appears though … when she’s pale and brittle, it looks much brighter, but when she’s flushed and on the spot, the redness seems to recede somewhat. And she’s had to go through more than a few mood changes in season 6, right?

        • vandeventer

          Yeah, I prefer some of her hairstyles from the earlier seasons. I always pay attention to her hair, and some of the wigs she wears are more flattering than others. I don’t like the ones with the really short fringe-y bangs. I really liked the more full and curled up-do’s she used to sport.

        • MartyBellerMask

          She simply isn’t trying to be showy anymore. That’s what I think anyway. :)

      • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

        I assumed that she’s getting older and maybe a little grey. She’s started dying it.

      • Vanessa

        I hate to say this but she is starting to look like a caricature of herself–bustier, curvier, brighter hair. Maybe it is intended to reflect her fight against getting older?

        • NoveltyRocker

          Seems to happen with a lot of shows over time—more budget, more locked-down character traits, etc. create the signature looks popular characters become known for, sometimes in a cartoony way.

        • Lauren Hall

          Well a lot of the clothes she’s wearing are a lot less suited to her body shape than in the early 60s, which is why I think she looks curvier and bustier (the latter is also due to some of those menswear shapes and buttons, which is the time’s power suit). Some of that is the style.

      • vandeventer

        In the very earliest episodes you can tell that it is Christina Hendricks’ own hair, rather than the wigs we are used to seeing her wear (on and off the show). The red color of her natural hair wasn’t quite as vibrant. Especially apparent when you re-watch the first episode.

        • vedachamisa

          Christina Hendricks is a natural blonde and dyes her hair red. It’s a great look for her but that was never her natural hair color.

          • vandeventer

            I’m not referring to her natural hair color, but rather her natural hair (as opposed to the wigs she wears). Early on, we were seeing her natural hair (dyed red), and the difference is quite apparent. The red color that her natural hair was dyed (in those early episodes) is not the same orangey-red we associate with Joan. I am aware she is a natural blond – for some reason, much has been made of this since the beginning of MM. Not sure why.

            • Alice Teeple

              I have very fine, straight wispy hair like Christina Hendricks’. That hair type is very difficult to style – it never holds when it’s put up because it’s so slippery and thin. In real life she uses a lot of hair pieces and wigs in photo shoots and events to augment it – which works great for a character the 1960s, because that practice was common. I think they wanted her hair to really be vibrant and full for Joan, and the best way to make Christina’s hair stand out is to use pieces. It’s also possible that they’re implying that as the character of Joan ages, it becomes more apparent that she heads for the Miss Clairol to keep from looking older, so that could explain the color change.

    • janierainie

      I think Bob is gay. You guys point out that he is trying to be all things to all people, I would take it a step farther- he’s doing that because he doesn’t understand who he is. He looks so lonely and isolated all the time. People treat him like furniture because he is never himself. He can’t be himself.

      • Anne

        Wasn’t there a scene once where Roger was reminiscing about Don’s early days at the firm, about how he kind of appeared one day and persisted until he made it somewhere? (Or am I misremembering, and it was Joan who said that?) I wonder if Bob isn’t sort of the new Don Draper model, with a serious secret to keep–though in this case, it might be homosexuality rather than a stolen identity.

        • janierainie

          I know what you’re talking about, and I sorta remember Roger reminiscing. I think they even had some scenes about that. Wish I had a better memory.

        • leighanne

          I was thinking about that too. I seem to recall an elevator scene with Roger, Don, and a third person in which Roger reminisces about how Don kept trying to get his foot in the door. Finally Roger gave him a chance. It lends credence to idea that Bob is the “new” Don working his way up. Pretty soon we’ll be seeing Bob in the conference room and stepping on Pete’s toes.

        • janierainie

          Since I have no life, l looked it up. Roger met Don at a fur store while buying Joan a fur. Don pestered him for a job, but Roger just wanted to get a drink together. Don got Roger really drunk and showed up for work the next day telling Roger he hired him. Or something like that. (if wikipedia is right)

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

            This was all depicted in Season 4′s “Waldorf Stories.”

            • Anne

              Thank you! I knew I remembered that.

          • juven

            This makes me think of a theory that I saw in a comment in this week’s episode commentary about Bob. The theory was that he just showed up at SCDP and pretended he had a job. That that would explain why he’s been so eager to be useful to the partners.

            I like the theory because it would give more significance to various scenes like when Ken yelled at Bob for sitting around the accounts lobby “looking like he doesn’t have any work to do”, seeming to be always walking around with those coffee cups, and Roger not knowing his name. And apparently hanging out around the creative department all the time. It would also explain why his office is so spartan.

            And now he’s the account executive on Manischewitz and Chevy.

            Of course, the problem with the theory is that if anybody would know who was a real employee or not, it would be Joan. And he was on the employee list when they were discussing who to layoff. Could he have somehow gotten on the employee record by then?

            Anyway, I still like the theory since it’s more interesting than him just being a corporate striver and less over the top than him being a spy/mole/secret love child. And it has parallels to how Don started.

            But if the theory is true, how would they handle the reveal? I can’t imagine them doing some sort of Sixth Sense-like replay. Especially for a side character.

        • fursa_saida

          I was thinking about that in the scene where Cutler gave Bob the reins on Manischewitz. Cutler’s been made out to be a near-perfect analog to Roger up until this episode; I may be reading too much into it, but it felt like an echo.

      • OrigamiRose

        The “all things to all people” thing is why I think Bob’s contradiction regarding his father (telling Cosgrove he’s dead and Campbell he’s been nursed back to heath) happened. I don’t think it was a malicious lie; he’s looking for ways to connect to those around him.

    • 3hares

      I was so eager to hear what you all thought of the party scene. I saw it criticized elsewhere as “cliche” but it seems like it’s impossible to do anything late 60s that’s accurate without it coming across as a parody or a cliche.

      I love how Don and Roger also look so rumpled and hot in their scenes where Harry looks comfortable. Don’s always been at home in California, but not this California.

      I couldn’t help but wonder when I saw the pictures for this ep about Pete’s lack of waistcoat as well. It seems like he started wearing it this season thinking of himself as quite the chairman of the board, and now he seems to be reverting back to no waistcoat. He wore it on the day he met with Duck but in this ep it never made an appearance. Seems not a coincidence since Pete seemed to be back to his former position of ignored and barely tolerated employee.

      • Chris

        I thought that party was a big contrast to the (Palm Beach was it?) party with Joy Don had a few seasons ago. He was treated like a movie star then from the moment he made it to the hotel. (Are you an astronaut?) The colors of the blonde’s dress remind me of some of Joy’s outfits but this time Don makes a far different “splash.” Although looking back he did faint in that other episode so maybe CA isn’t that healthy for Don.

        • BigShamu

          Yes, instead of Don being mistaken for an astronaut he’s nailed as “the guy who came in a cab”.

          • Chris

            And instead of walking into the lobby like a movie idol, he looks rumpled and sweaty thanks to Harry and the convertible. Remember Don driving around with the top down in his shirtsleeves looking like the coolest person in the world before?

          • Rhonda Shore

            Random thoughts: In the late 60s Don is about as hip as somebody’s parents and I was disappointed in Roger for all of those short jokes. “Is that Shalimar” might be the best line of the season.

            • Chris

              I’m repeating myself but the bottom line is Roger is mean. I love the character and John Slattery is perfection in the role. Roger gets away with it because of Slattery’s charm but Roger is cruel. I was embarrassed for him in the scenes with Danny. His firing of Bert Peterson was really nasty in spite of being funny. Roger has been so privileged his whole life he seems to have developed no compassion whatsoever.

            • ldancer

              SO mean. I knew that cockpunch was coming because when you relentlessly taunt a man for being short, while also claiming to have once been a boxer, that is what you get. Any short person knows that sometimes you have no choice but to go for the balls.

            • Froide

              There seemed to be a parallel between – on one hand – establishment-Roger’s constant needling and provoking love-beads-wearing, peace-gesturing-Danny to have violent outburst, and – on the other – the clash between the police in Chicago and the protestors who’d planned a peaceful demonstration but ended up throwing rocks.

            • fursa_saida

              To me, the major point of all the party scenes was about how out of touch Roger is and how he continually refuses to recognize it. His whole speech about being the cool city slickers who’d overawe the rubes was wrong from the client meeting to every moment of the party. He’s used to being in a position where cutting remarks bring you power (even if it’s petty power); that doesn’t work at all in this environment, and he has no interest in adapting.

              I suppose he was lucky Don was there to embarrass himself more.

            • Rhonda Shore

              I tried to reply to you last night but Disqus was wonky on iPad…he may be mean but above all, the jokes about height were CHEAP, and cheap isn’t something i usually associate with Roger.

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

              He’s made jokes about women, black people, Jews, the disabled, and the elderly. The short jokes were just another in a long line of cruel Roger-isms.

            • Rhonda Shore

              OK, I’m rethinking this…and may I say that I find it really touching that you read and respond to our comments the way you do, even when they are posted a bit late! Also, i think you guys should consider a YouTube channel! I’d watch!

          • Sean Gill

            That line was perfect for so many reasons – one it showed Harry hadn’t traded in the rental mustang for a chevy and that Don was still upset about it. Don is oddly loyal to the client at times. Secondly, it denoted them as New Yorkers. Yes it might be superficial to think yellow cab and think New York, but truly no one who lived in LA would be taking a cab to a house party “in the hills”. Even today, if you took a cab to a house party in LA it would be remarked upon.

      • Travelgrrl

        The party scene made me think of Terry Melcher and Dennis Wilson having a big ol’ mixer with the Manson family, so it made me nervous.

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

        I tend to agree with that criticism in terms of how the party scenes were shot, which were one cliche after another. Especially cringeworthy was Danny’s peace-out, timed perfectly to “Harper Valley P.T.A.”

        But the costuming and art direction was dead-on.

        • Travelgrrl

          Of all the songs from that era that would have perfectly encapsulated that scene, I found Harper Valley PTA to be awfully jarring and discordant. Was it just so they could highlight “and you’re all Harper Valley hypocrites”?

          • Joan Arkham

            It really threw me out of the scene/era because I remember a TV series from the mid-70s that was based on that song. (Or did I dream that?)

            • decormaven

              Nope, it was a series. Barbara Eden was the star.

            • Chris

              First it was a theatrical movie with Barbara Eden, then they made it into a TV series.

            • Travelgrrl

              A TV movie with Barbara Eden as the mother?

            • sarahjane1912

              Yup. That’s it. :-)

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

            Sort of. I think it was to show that these people, despite the hippies and hangers-on in the background, are mostly establishment types; not really as hip as they want to be seen.

            • not_Bridget

              The song was a giant hit–on the pop charts, not just the country ones. And the party is for show business types. And their hangers on, eager not-quite-hooker chicks & probably a dealer or two. Some of the listeners may be enjoying the tune ironically–”see, those salt-of-the-earth types aren’t perfect, either”….

              I’m sure a San Francisco gathering would have more tasteful music. But some of the conversation would be about how to get a record deal or money for that film. Without having to move to Evil LA…

            • Glammie

              I was a kid in the Bay Area in the late 60s and saw a few things. What I really remember about SF at that time is that there were particular areas where you’d see the hippies and that the all-over vibe was kind of messy mixed colors in the clothes and kind of dark backgrounds. There was this dirty, messy feel to things. A lot of it, I think was the stringy, unkempt hair and also the rapid diminishment of undergarments. People kind of spilled out of their clothing.

              I’m sure L.A. was a bit different, but one thing MM can’t really get is that soft unmuscled look that even thin women had because everyone works out now–well, every actor.

              MM is getting into the chaos of the period, but the real deal was even more so.

          • jinco

            I think these ‘songs that tell a story’ were pretty trendy then. Bobby Gentry’s ‘Ode to Billy Jo’ was another one from the same time. ‘Harper Valley PTA’ seems super dorky now, but at the time I think it was considered pretty clever by people who maybe were just a little too old or not quite cool enough for Janis. And I think that would describe most of the people at that party. I thought it was really funny that they would listen to that, and get high!

            • Elizabetta1022

              Sort of the poor man’s “Son of a Preacherman”, don’t you think?

        • sarahjane1912

          I had to re-watch that scene because I was listening too closely to the lyrics of the song! And remembering that Barbara Eden vehicle where they brought the song to life … but I digress. ;-)

        • $11431954

          Too dead-on for my taste. Plus, the party scene was reminiscent of the CA party in Annie Hall with Danny instead of Paul Simon.

      • MilaXX

        Don comments on the plane ride home that “California usually relaxes me.” Clearly this is not Don California of old.

    • DinnerIsServed1972

      “…there is an idea of a Bob Benson, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.”

    • decormaven

      Gotta love that poorboy sweater Megan wore in the apartment. She definitely is fashion-forward.

      • dashransome

        Gah – I look at that sweater and cringe a little. I can pull at least 2 of my elementary school class pictures in which I’m wearing a sweater like that. When you see vintage fashion and have a memory of wearing it too long – until it’s out of style – you know you’re getting old. Gotta love it is right!

    • Travelgrrl

      THAT DRESS – Lotus’s dress with all the jewelry. My little sister (and I mean she was about 7 in 1969) had that dress, in hot pink. Hers was a simple A-line dress, but it had an overlay of gold chains around the waist, neck and hips with a large gold medallion in the middle, connecting the chains. If you look closely at the photos of her dress, you can see that what seems like a lot of jewelry is the gold medallion and chains of the dress underneath (well, still quite a few) pieces of jewelry.

      I remember my older brother (18) wincing at that dress (and believe it or not, its matching hot pink fishnets) on our baby sister, and spluttering something about her impending tryout with the Rockettes.

      • not_Bridget

        The dress almost looks like a breechclout. Perhaps she considers it a tribute to our Native American Brothers & Sisters. Even though the jewelry looks rather Made in Japan. Or made by Topanga Canyon Hippies. Not bought in Santa Fe.

        • Chris

          It’s about the time Native American movements began which culminated in the Wounded Knee standoff with Dennis Banks and Russell Means. I think that was 1973 maybe? Remember Marlon Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather to accept his Oscar in 1974 (?) Plus Cher was wearing a lot of Native American influenced looks at this time or in the near future.

        • Travelgrrl

          The underdress is different from my sisters (in styling and cloth) but the gold medallion and chains overlay is dead on. So this look had moved from “Adults in California” to “Children in the Midwest” in a year or two.

      • Spicytomato1

        The dress reminded me of Cher’s Half Breed album, which I believe didn’t come out until the early 70s. I used to gaze at her outlandish, provocative costumes in a kind of awe.

    • UsedtobeEP

      Poor Ginzo. I love him, but I am afraid you are right. I hope they don’t breakdown him right out of the show. And poor Pete. He is shouting into a room full of people with their fingers stuffed into their ears. I imagine the two of them represent how many people felt during this time—like the world was spinning dangerously out of control and they were the only ones to notice and were powerless to stop it.

      Great recap. Thank you as always!

      • http://twitter.com/susanpcollier Susan Collier

        I know. I worry that things are building to a fever pitch between Ginsberg’s character and the symbolism around Meghan

        • not_Bridget

          It’s Megan. And I don’t think the “symbolism” is that pointed.

          • http://twitter.com/susanpcollier Susan Collier

            Apologies for the typo.

      • Jaialaibean

        The problem with Pete right now is that he’s offering no solutions. He can’t stop the world from swirling, so the best he can do is swirl with it. Maybe after his tune-out drug moment, he’ll relax his grip on the old world long enough to realize that his best chance of success now is to ally himself with the new crowd, and that means Joan, Peggy, Stan, Ginzo (if his mental state holds up) and the rest.

      • testingwithfire

        T & L have made a solid case for Ginzo’s showing signs of full-blown psychosis. I was a doubter before I read this post. Like UsedtobeEP, I don’t want that to happen to the character, so I hope we’re wrong.

        To me, T & L provide the best commentaries on Mad Men around, bar none. So much context brought into the discussion. The comments section is one of the best as well. So happy this community is here.

    • Judy_J

      I think this may be your best recap yet. Very insightful. And I laughed for a different reason when I saw Meredith’s lavender dress. I had a similar one when I was in jr. high school. We called that style a “granny dress” and they were all the rage, limp bow and all.

      • decormaven

        Looks like a Young Edwardian dress with the leg o’ mutton sleeves and empire waist.

        • Travelgrrl

          We called those “Juliet” sleeves.

          • Glammie

            Yep, because Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet had come out and was a big fashion influence. Juliet sleeves, empire waists and velvet.

            And now the theme song is in my brain.

      • Chris

        Meredith’s entire look from dress to hair was spot on. She could have come right off the illustration on the side a box of Avon perfume or a Barbie doll of the time.

      • BrooklynBomber

        Judy, when I read your comment, my first thought was, “What?! Granny dress??” Then I looked back at the picture and I realized you’re absolutely right: high neck, leg-o-mutton sleeves, little ribbon at empire waist. It’s just that where I grew up, a granny dress was always long, so it didn’t click at first glance. But other than that, yep, it’s exactly what I think of as a granny dress! Remember granny glasses? (Simply wire rims. . . )

        • Judy_J

          I had granny glasses, too! Mine had rectangular frames, others were round or oval as I recall. Why it was considered stylish for a 14 year old to look like Granny Clampett, I’ll never know. Remember suspender skirts? They were popular around that same time.

          • BrooklynBomber

            Oh, god, yes, suspenders skirts. I also loved seeing the reference in the post to poorboy shirts. And now I’m thinking about sweater vests that you pulled over a shirt. And I think the party hostess (the blonde woman is the hostess, right?) is wearing a fall.

            • Judy_J

              I think she is. I had a fall in high school. Most of my friends had a fall or wiglet to augment their regular hairdo. I also had a pair of palazzo pants similar to those worn by the blonde at the party, but that wasn’t till 1970.

            • BrooklynBomber

              My mother had one, and she dressed like that for certain occasions. In fact, if she was brunette, that could be a picture of my mother. A few of those fabulous outfits are in a closet at her house but, to my dismay, they don’t fit me.

        • AmeliaEve

          Yes, I also remember granny dresses as being maxi-length, but the styling is pretty accurate. I remember those semi-sheer floral prints over a stiff acetate lining very well. You see a lot of that “little girl” styling in the film On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. That was 1970, but Barbra Streisand’s outfits are extremely lolita-ish, right down to the white knee socks.

          • BrooklynBomber

            Oh, my, yes. I remember I had a chiffon-over-acetate dress, a mixed pastel op-art-y print and the entire overlay was wide vertical pleats (plus the little “built in” neck scarf, the same shape as the scarf Peggy’s wearing in her short sleeved yellow skirt-suit).

    • the_archandroid

      I’ve been wondering about Ginsberg’s Wardrobe for a while. I remember him telling Peggy in the beginning that his interview outfit was the only “professional” outfit he had. I had expected his look to evolve as the steady income of being a creative came in, but if anything Ginsberg doesn’t look that different from when he first came in to interview, which means his clothing choices are less about having enough $$ and more about him just kind of culling together whatever works for clothing. He almost never looks put together, whether it’s in pitches or in the creative pit.

      • Chris

        I had thought the same thing and wrote about it in the recap post of this episode. It had been frustrating me that Ginsberg’s clothes were so noticeably and outrageously bad even now. We had seen secretaries at much lower salaries (presumably) buy better quality and more stylish clothes the longer they worked at SCDP. I thought it was silly that someone as intelligent as Ginsberg obviously is wouldn’t know his clothes were mismatched and out of place, especially for a person who meets with clients. As more clues were given about Ginsberg’s mental state I realized these were very specific costume choices showing how he is outside of society in many ways. And not in an accepted “counter culture” style. He is just off in many ways.

        • golden_valley

          I wrote off his clothing style to being the creative type who lives in his own head so much that he just doesn’t care. I think he wears his dad’s shirts because they’re there. But I can see that a costumer might use his clothing to show what is going on in his head…turmoil.

          • ldancer

            “Creative types who live in their own heads so much that they just don’t care” abound in the comics industry; they are often men on the spectrum. Though this doesn’t appear to be Ginsberg’s issue.

            • fursa_saida

              I think that before whatever stressors are bringing on the impending breakdown, Ginsburg was already neuroatypical in some way, whether he’s on the autistic spectrum or something else. He clearly has trouble with small talk, propriety, social cues, fitting into an environment…these things aren’t mental illness–at least, not in the sense that schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, bipolar, etc. are–and they were there long before any overt weirdness.

            • Thistle

              He reminds me of someone I know on the spectrum, who has issues with the “small talk, social cues, fitting in,” and just generally being appropriate. Another similarity is the almost over the top emotional reactions–it goes against the usual image of “robotic, unemotional” autistic people.

            • fursa_saida

              And that image, from what I understand, is hugely inaccurate for many. I can’t remember the technical name for the behavior, but I’ve talked to several people who share obsessions with particular TV shows about moments when they got so emotionally overwhelmed they did “the flappy hand autistic thing.” (I really apologize to anyone on the spectrum or who’s knowledgeable for not knowing the term! I just can’t remember right now.) Basically, feeling emotion so strongly that it has to be let out through some channel, in this case physical.

            • much2learn

              fursa_saida; it is called self stimulation; people with sensory disorders, including those on the spectrum, deal with sensory overload by self stimulating behaviours like hand flapping, tics, repetitive tapping, humming, etc. Ginsberg doesn’t show much of these and other characteristics that would be expected on the spectrum, but there could definitely be something to the boy ; )

        • not_Bridget

          When Abe was “dressed up”–not sweating in that crummy apartment–he dressed well. Not in a 3-piece suit, but a leather jacket & and a unwrinkled shirt. With–I’m not sure–decent slacks or newish jeans. it was quite possible for the counter culture types to look decent.

          Ginsberg’s look reflects the turmoil in his mind. TLo reminded us how mental health was viewed in the past. But, just yesterday, President Obama spoke at the National Conference on Mental Health–about the need to reduce the “stigma” related to mental health problems….

          • Chris

            Yes Stan and Abe wear stereotypical “counterculture” clothes with Abe’s leather and bell bottoms and Stan’s fringed jacket. Even the counterculture had a “uniform” of sorts with hair and styles. Ginsberg is just clashing and out of sync with everyone.

          • formerlyAnon

            Yes, the “stigma” is lessened but not gone. Just in the last week a friend in a stressful home and work situation was told “unofficially” by several professionals that if she wanted to take leave for a few months to sort things out, she should make the sorting out of her parents’ care the official reason, and not the need for time to deal with her own stress-induced problems, because “even though it’s supposed to be confidential it will get out” and having taken leave for “mental health reasons” could be held against her. Irony? She is a hospital administrator.

          • fursa_saida

            The stigma is very real. You can see it in this very comments section. (Not anyone in this thread, but it’s around–all the “Ginsburg’s gonna stab somebody!” stuff is just…not good.)

            • UsedtobeEP

              Well, to be fair to those who think that, the character is talking about “transmissions to harm” and there have been two stabbings already and a lot of violence this season. I tend to think it’s a red herring and that Ginsburg has already done his stabbing (of Stan). I am actually just worried about him leaving the show. He’s my favorite male character. I think he is more likely to have a breakdown that the rest of the office will finally recognize, or to harm himself, if there is any big development with him that furthers the mental illness theory. It would be an interesting parallel to Peggy’s earlier visit from Don, the “This never happened” visit, if she were to visit Ginsburg in a hospital. I like my functioning, sloppy, office-dwelling Ginsburg better, thanks.

            • fursa_saida

              I’m not saying it came from nowhere, just that the ease and comfort with which people leap to the conclusion looks awfully familiar. On every other point, though, SAMESIES. I NEED MY GINZO. If they get rid of him (after shafting him all season) I will go into mourning. All I really need at this point is a show entirely about the women, with Ginsburg and Stan riding along. (PS if that’s a thing you want too, consider checking out The Hour.)

            • UsedtobeEP

              Was talking to the husband about MM. He watches with me once in a blue moon. It’s not his thing. Anyway, I was telling him one of the characters might have schizophrenia, and he said, “Oh yeah, that copywriter Ginsburg.” Now, he hasn’t seen Ginsburg since the scene where he was talking to Peggy when they were working late at night, and they were alone in the office. He said he could tell something was off by the Mars comment and by the way they shot his reflection in the window. Ouch, I feel slow on the uptake.

      • fursa_saida

        I’ve often thought that in some ways it was a manner of holding onto his identity, whether it was conscious or not. He may work with these people, he may make their kind of money, but every time he walks into that office he announces that he’s not really one of them. If I can digress slightly by way of an example: I don’t know if you’ve seen The Hour, but Freddie, a similarly firecracker-y, fractious, sometimes unpleasant, yet wildly talented character–also a skinny guy from a poor background–seems to make a point, in the first season, of dressing less well than he could and should. He’s not in the same league as Ginsburg (nor is he as awkward–when he’s abrasive it’s usually on purpose), but his suits don’t fit well, he deliberately goes to formal dinners in a country manor without dressing for it, his shoes aren’t shined, etc.

        In the second season, when he a) has been around the world finding himself and b) gets to step in front of the camera as a presenter (the show’s about a BBC news program in the 50s, and is not unlike Mad Men in many ways–really worth checking out!), all of a sudden he dresses much better. He’s far more comfortable belonging in that environment than he was before, and it’s announced through his costuming.

        So, yeah, my little pet theory about Ginzo’s clothes was reinforced by his shockhorror at realizing how much a part of the problem he really was. He’d been using superficial markers to distinguish himself (he could also, theoretically, have moved out of his father’s house, no? Oh god, more Freddie parallels) without noticing how much like the others he was becoming. Like I said, this may have been subconscious in terms of the clothes, but it seems like the general idea has been pretty important to him thus far.

        • Supernumerary

          I just wanted to comment and say that you made my whole week using costuming references from The Hour. Still crushed that it was cancelled — especially since the creator mentioned there had only been three seasons planned.

          • fursa_saida

            I KNOW. It was a tragedy. And that cliffhanger!

            I honestly had no idea how well those two characters go together until I started typing the comment. It’s a little eerie, though I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised given that the two shows are often compared.

            (Spoilers, I guess?) Hey, at least Ginzo’s unlikely to actually get the entire company shut down! Freddie, I’m looking at you.

    • http://viridianpostcard.blogspot.com/ viridian61

      A question off topic, please bear with me. It seemed to me that the background noise in this ep (office, party,etc.) was louder than usual and I had to really listen for the dialog. Or should I get a hearing test?
      TLo thank you for all these insights, gives me so much to think about.

      • MilaXX

        I think the background noises in a lot of scenes this season have been loud. I take it as an indication of the turmoil of the times.

      • meowing

        I always have to turn up the volume to hear the dialog. Thought it was just me and my aging ears!

      • fursa_saida

        There were a lot of party scenes, which probably didn’t help.

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

        I have taken to using closed captioning for many of the dramas I watch, especially The Newsroom. It could be my rapidly advancing age, but it seems like a lot of actors are using the Brando mumble.

        • testingwithfire

          Acting diction ain’t what it used to be. I saw an interview with Peter O’Toole on TCM where he was asked for advice for young actors. He suggested that they learn how to handle the spoken word properly and elegantly (I’m paraphrasing but that was the gist). With O’Toole’s generation of actors, you rarely need closed captioning unless there is tons of background noise.

    • janierainie

      The Ginsberg storyline is so sad. In the 70s when we were in our 20s, one of our good friends started having episodes like Ginsberg and even in 73-74 people still didn’t know what to do. He was a hyper creative type and always very clever. We didn’t know if he was just taking it to the next level, or what. He was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.
      It is a cruel and horrible thing to happen to someone.

      • http://twitter.com/susanpcollier Susan Collier

        It reminded me of the autobiography by Kurt Vonnegut’s son (Mark) called The Eden Express. It was all crazy time, but he’s flying without a net

      • EveEve

        It was an era of so much mind-altering drug use that it was hard to tell if somebody was mentally ill or suffering the effects of excess drugging/drinking, or a combination. Few of us knew what paranoid schizophrenia looked and sounded like so it was easy to for someone to sort of blend in as stoned on one substance or another – uppers, downers, halluncinigens, weed, shrooms, etc.

    • UsedtobeEP

      Oh, also, good call about Moira. She is being inserted very prominently into our line of vision, isn’t she. Hmm, indeed.

      • janierainie

        Maybe Moira will blow the whistle to Joan about what’s going on with the new partners as an act of solidarity.

        • UsedtobeEP

          Or maybe she’s spying for Jim and telling him whom to cut and whom to keep when the agency splits and takes all the clients with them. I am not one hundred percent convinced she’s on their side. She’s dressed in Peggy’s opposite color, she’s from Jim’s team, she’s getting off the elevator with him, and she’s a secretary who may be interested in what she can get from using the methods that Joan would have once used. Hope I am wrong but I am keeping an eye on her. Up to now, I kept thinking “Quit showing her to me!” I need to pay more attention.

          • janierainie

            I hope you’re wrong too, but what you say makes more sense. Back then, it would be more logical for her to feel loyalty to the guy she’s having an affair with. Also, he would have no qualms about using her like that.

            • OrigamiRose

              In the scene set at CGC – where Gleason tells Ted about the cancer – wasn’t it Moira to whom Cutler made the, “Is that Shalimar?” remark? I remember thinking that seemed like an oddly intimate comment.

          • OrigamiRose

            And in the first post-merger episode, Joan dissed Moira during the announcement of office assignments. I wouldn’t put it past Moira to look for her chance to return the ‘favor.’

          • Lisa

            I went back and looked at the scene where Moira overheard the conversation between Pete, Peggy and Joan. I didn’t think that the glance that Moira gave Joan was empathetic the first time I saw it, and I still don’t think it seems empathetic. It more just seems like she was interested in what happened and uncomfortable at having been caught watching.

          • Alice Teeple

            I’m wondering about her relationship with Jim, too. It makes way more sense for her to be with him, than having an affair or being secretly in love with Ted. It would be a good parallel to the Jane Siegel storyline, as well – we were all being led to believe she was after Don, but ended up with Roger instead. The fact that Moira is always in opposite colors of Peggy and gives her strange looks is worrisome; as is Peggy’s reaction to Ted spouting off at her in the office – she side-eye glances straight at Moira’s direction. One thing that sticks in my memory: that extreme close-up of Moira’s mouth when Don has his weird spell on the stairs. At the time, I thought it was just Don’s mind being weird, but maybe it’s a visual alluding to her being a gossip.

      • MartyBellerMask

        I love TLo because they validate a lot of my theories. (Except of course, for when I am totally wrong!) I KNEW something was up with her. I don’t know what, and don’t care to guess. But I am curious to see where it goes.

    • Travelgrrl

      Meredith’s dress was still popular in the Midwest through the early 70′s – the Juliet sleeves, long sleeves on a miniskirt (!), the fussy bows and buttons and floral prints. And cut to the wazoo.

      My sisters had matching ones that were so short my Mom sewed matching rhumba pants to go underneath, just in case.

      • ThaliaMenninger

        That hideous shade of lavender was also popular. In dotted swiss, no less. I had a yellow dotted swiss dress shaped just like that in 69 and a paler lavender shift, too. But I was 13.

        • Travelgrrl

          One of the aforementioned dresses my mom sewed for my sisters was yellow dotted swiss, too. I can remember the sheer excitement when I inherited it, and its matching bloomers.

      • BrooklynBomber

        Egad, yes. Same with the baby doll nighties.

        If the show moves into the early ’70s we’ll be seeing its evolutions, like the peasant dress (scoop neck, puff sleeves, wide smocked or belted waist) and the granny dress. I don’t even watch the show, but I love the Mad Style posts!

      • Spicytomato1

        Tell me about it. My mom made me a first communion dress in that style — all those details but rendered in all white — and cut it so short. In photos where I stand next to my classmates who are all wearing traditional, old-school dresses, I look sinfully ridiculous!

    • veriance

      Mother Megan had a head wrap. Does she know what Don needs? Wishful thinking on his part?

      Also, could Betty be pregnant from the camp weekend?

    • http://pleasewelcomeyourjudges.com/ Brian @ PWYJudges

      Which scene do you think was more fun for Janie Bryant: the Weight Watchers meeting last season or this week’s LA hippie fest?

      • decormaven

        The LA hippie fest, for sure. There was a treasure trove of period looks in those scenes. I’ve been eyeing them in watching the reruns- tons of vintage materials. Love!

        • sweetlilvoice

          Loved how the girl with the gladiator sandals still had them on while they were smoking the hookah. I wonder how long it took to tie those things just right!

      • UsedtobeEP

        I think the hippie fest would be more fun for me. Sheer hedonism.

        • Spicytomato1

          Yes, and I was imagining how fun it would have been to be an actor in that scene. I’ll bet they had a blast.

    • silly little thumb

      Pete smoking weed is the greatest scene of this entire season!

    • MartyBellerMask

      Lotus reminded me of Shelly Duvall in the movie “Nashville”.

      Something I was noticing about the new name, SC&P- it’s the same initials as before (P for Partners instead of Pryce) except without D. As in Don Draper is getting shut out? Well, I think they S & C are going down too, but it is a noticeable little potshot to remove Don’s name from his company. Noticeable to me anyway, but certainly not to Don.

      Anyway, Harry’s foot is out the door. If they don’t open a branch in L.A., he will find a reason to move there anyway. He can geta job anywhere, I’d think.

      And who knows what is going to happen with Pete, but I am DYING to find out!

      • Travelgrrl

        Thank you for the Nashville comment. Dead on!

        • decormaven

          Another BK in the episode pose noted a Nashville tie-in as well. This film definitely is in Weiner’s cinema library.

          • NDC_IPCentral

            I was in Nashville, TN when “Nashville” the movie was being filmed, and some scenes were shot in a music bar right across the street from my apartment. Pretty thrilling back in 1974. The Altman-Weiner connection is astute. There was a lot of dissonance in the movie, and there certainly is increasing dissonance in the SC&P/Draper et al. world of 1968.

            • decormaven

              Lucky duck! I loved that movie- one of Lily Tomlin’s best acting jobs. And there were so many spectacular performances in that ensemble.

            • MartyBellerMask

              She was so good! And Keith Carradine- HAWT!

            • decormaven

              Ain’t that the truth. “I’m Easy.”

      • BrooklynBomber

        Yes! I knew she looked familiar.

      • ThaliaMenninger

        Nashville is the perfect reference from the period to reflect the unease and unhappiness of everybody trying to connect or find success and not getting anywhere. Plus, of course, it ends in violence. So… No, I am not going to suggest somebody getting shot at a concert or a car accident or whatever else happens at the end of the movie. But people wandering around looking for something is certainly on the money.

    • BrooklynBomber

      I miss my dashiki. Sigh.

      Love the link to “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Ha” — for the young ‘uns around here, it was a big novelty hit of the time. It engendered several catch phrases, like the title, “funny farm,” and “those nice young men in their clean white suits.”

      • decormaven

        Yes. Hard to believe that actually got airplay, much less charted.

        • Chris

          That lasted for a long while. I remember hearing it on “Dr. Demento’s” show in the 1980′s.

          • Supernumerary

            I can remember it on Dr Demento’s show from well into the ’90s, as well.

          • ldancer

            I heard it on Z100 in the 80′s when I was a kid and of course thought it was brilliant. That was before I discovered Leonard Nimoy albums and worse.

        • Travelgrrl

          Heard it a thousand times on the way to out of town meets on the bus circa 1976. Until I thought the men in their funny white suits would come to take ME away, he he he ho ho ho hey hey hey.

      • Judy_J

        The flip side of that record is the entire song played backwards.

      • sweetlilvoice

        It was also on those classic Fun Rock tapes of the 80s along with other funny songs-Alley Oop, Charlie Brown, Monster Mash, Splish Splash etc. I loved those tapes!

        • BrooklynBomber

          Oh, yeah, I remember those songs!

      • Alice Teeple

        My mom had the 45 when she was a little kid, and when I was young she used to play it because I found it so hilarious. I still have it! The sirens were the best part, and I like that he was singing it to his dog. Bonus! It’s all backwards on the back!

    • Frank_821

      It’s interesting you mention disillusion with Ted was part of Peggy’s motive for helping out Joan.

      It brings up a frustrating element with her. She has struggled years with getting respect and achievement, yet she forgets the male dominated status quo at times

      As Joan point out, Don did have a big influence in her career success. If Freddy hadn’t taken notice of her or Don not taken a chance, she’d still be a secretary. She wouldn’t even realize she had a talent for creative or even that she might want such a career path. But at the same time it took her leaving Don to finally put to rest any rumors that she rode on Don’s coattails.

      Her first wave of post-Don success however had her forgetting it’s still a man’s world and she’s got to do everything she can to help Joan because no one else will. Peggy’s a inspiration whether she wants to be or not. Her relationship with Phyllis shows what she represents to other women

      • Chris

        I think Peggy had a great year at CGC working under Ted and hasn’t adjusted to the “new” Ted and how he has changed after the merger and after he has examined his feelings for her. Ted was very encouraging with Peggy and helped her to become a better manager of people but his attention is not on her anymore and stress is making a very different Ted come out.

        • MilaXX

          Yes but now she has to deal with the Ted that is seemingly actively competing with Don at every turn. It’s almost as if he no longer can afford to be kind and nurturing to Peggy.

          • Chris

            Yes, he’s at war with Don and with himself over Peggy. It’s not only that his civility is gone due to the wars it’s like he can’t allow himself to be friendly with Peggy or even be around her without a chance of relapse. He can’t trust himself so he has to use his professional position as armor to keep himself in line. I think he is also missing Frank Gleason who used to “balance him out.”

            • Thistle

              I think you sussed out Ted perfectly. He’s not being mean or maliciously callous to Peggy–he’s protecting himself from relapse; he won’t allow himself to continue their relationship.

              I just read an interview with Janie Bryant, who described Ted as being like a modern Don, “but that character [Ted] is really nice. I think he does have that work position in common with Don, but [he's] different in personality.” She’s done a great job showing the opposite personalities by dressing them so very differently.

        • Frank_821

          That’s a fair point. I meant to add that during her job interview, Ted being an outsider was in a better place to appreciate Peggy’s talent. His comment about a former client always raving about her work being better than what they produced was proof of that

          • Chris

            Yes and during their time together he was admiring her professionally the same time he probably didn’t realize he was falling in love with her. I’m sure that colored how he treated her as well. We have seen that under happy circumstances he is openly chivalrous to women. It must have been a very nice change for Peggy from the treatment she was used to with Don and SCDP. Plus she was a valued prize Ted won from Don. To Don she was a secretary he generously raised up.

      • Aurumgirl

        Yes, well, Peggy’s still in her 20′s. In that decade, lots of young women still think that when they’ve shown their competence, the boys will let them “into the club”. They’re in a kind of denial about the sexism, especially at work. They often go around saying, “Oh, I’m like one of the guys!”, just as Peggy does when she says, “trust me, Ted won’t do that to you” to Joan. Joan is suspicious where Peggy’s naive because she’s not in that age group where women still think like Peggy does.

        (this refers to an old saying: in their 20′s, women are in denial about sexism: in their 30′s, they’re in depression about it; in their 40′s, they’re in discovery (about themselves); in their 50′s, they experience delight).

    • Joy

      Goodness, your bringing up how emotional and depressed Megan is makes me realize she is totally in her 1st Trimester but doesn’t even know she is pregnant yet. Great.

      • TobeyGal

        Good point. But I have to say I have never seen a flatter stomach on a pregnant woman. I realize the embryo is small but it’s still somewhat contradictory. More mind messing..

        • not_Bridget

          I’m pretty sure that she’s being very careful since the miscarriage. This is not a good time for her to get pregnant. There’s the job & her uncertainty about Don. When she told him I don’t think that she got the sense he would have been thrilled about being a father again. Even if he would be….

        • ldancer

          I read the Pregnant Hippie Megan as just part of Don’s fantasy as he smoked hash and fell in the pool. But, on the subject in general, in early pregnancy the belly can appear to grow almost right away, because hormones cause abdominal muscles to relax almost right away. Sigh.

          • DeniseSchipani

            Not on someone that young, and that thin, so early in a pregnancy. I don’t think she is pregnant, by the way, but in my first pregnancy (MUCH older than Megan!) I had zero pooch until month 4, though i did kinda lose my waist around month 3.

            • ldancer

              It depends on the woman and I think it’s more about the chemicals than the build, though that plays a role. I could tell that a very skinny, flat-bellied friend of mine was pregnant very early, before she even said anything. Her shape changed subtly. We were in a dance setting and her belly was bare so it was very visible to me – I’m also a student of bodies and look at them very closely. I’m very short-waisted and curvy, so I pretty much felt like I looked pregnant almost immediately both times, but more than that, I could FEEL that change in my ability to hold my muscles in a certain way. That said, I doubt Megan is pregnant. That was Don’s pathetic control fantasy. “She’s pregnant AND she wants to share me!” Barf.

        • Joy

          I lost 15lbs in my first trimester because I was so sick, depressed and scared of losing the baby, so trying to eat, but then couldn’t etc.

      • ikillplants

        Or she’s depressed that her marriage is failing.

      • http://SkyDancingBlog.com/ Minkoff Minx

        I don’t think Megan is emotional because she is pregnant. Who wouldn’t be depressed living her life? Honestly, I would not doubt if she ends up uterine cancer…or something that makes her infertile. That would completely ruin and “second chances” either Don or Megan may think they have.

    • crash1212

      Brilliant. You guys are brilliant. Thanks for yet another in-depth, thought provoking recap.

    • http://angrynerdgirl.net/ Jessi03

      So so brilliant, you guys! Thank you! Also, a note on Ginsberg. I watched the episode with my fiance who has never seen Mad Men before. During that scene, he just looked at me and said “So they know he’s schizophrenic, right? That’s why everyone is acting like this is normal?”

      • MilaXX

        When I rewatched this episode when they got to the part where Ginsberg is on the floor rocking, I immediately thought of Sally Field saying “The people, the people.”

      • Kathryn Sanderson

        I don’t think they necessarily realize he’s schizophrenic, but they know he “always acts like this” before a big meeting (or other stressful situation) and have evolved strategies to get him to focus and do his job.

    • imakeart

      That party reminded me so much of the parties in Boogie Nights, I expected someone to whiz by on roller skates. The styling in this episode was of the highest caliber – even on the Mad Men scale.

    • dashransome

      Off topic, but those scenes of Joan and Avon made me think of how advertising for women’s products changed during the 70s. The image of the American housewife went from Tupperware and Avon (“ding-dong, Avon calling…”) to Charlie perfume and Virginia Slims (“you’ve come a long way baby!”). I cannot imagine Don and the old guard at SCDP even conceiving of those more modern ads. We’re clearly being set up for some drama with these cultural changes.

      • charlotte

        Time for Peggy to turn the world on with her ads!

        • formerlyAnon

          misplaced

    • sweetlilvoice

      Thank you for the excellent recap! This episode was jammed packed with so much information, I’m always glad to have such excellent reviews to read. And insightful comments too!

    • Adrianna Grężak

      Can we discuss how awesome those slate-blue chairs are in the season 5 screenshots?

    • Miss Disco

      These are my favourite Mad Men discussions anywhere on the internet. :) I seriously wait for these on Wednesday, it’s so sad.

      • LaurieS

        It’s not sad, it’s freaking AWESOME! :)

        • PowerfulBusiness

          The only sad thing is we only get to do this three more times this year!

    • Vanessa

      “Peggy and Ted have their own blue and green moment”
      I actually saw this as representing a subtle shift in Peggy away from Ted back to old SCDP alliances. Her mustard yellow seemed to evolve from just being Peggy’s color to being the signal of Ted/Peggy as the “non-SCDP” group. In previous episodes this year (and even earlier in this episode) she has been in the yellow, but in her switch to ally with Joan vs. ted, she is now wearing Sterling Cooper blue.

      • Jaialaibean

        I saw Ted’s green as being more of a gold (he’s usually dressed in some form of worker-bee yellow), which would drive home the point about alliances even more strongly.

    • Joy

      Also, if Bob is gay, that could be the second chance that Don has, since he fired Sal, and may have regrets about that like he did when Peggy left. Although, there is no way that Bob would be out as an accounts man at a conservative firm in 1968 or 1969. I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.

      • Travelgrrl

        Sterling Cooper had the gay European guy (who gave Peggy a makeover) after Sal.

        • Joy

          That is right!! I forgot about him.

        • MartyBellerMask

          He was an artist though, big difference.

          • vandeventer

            Sal was the artist; Kurt (the European) was a copywriter.

          • nonsensicallyrics

            He was also freelance, not a permanent SC employee. And copywriter or artist, it was still creative – accounts is an entirely different ballpark. And, even then, there were still mumbles from some of the men about not feeling comfortable working with a homosexual.

      • LaurieS

        I never got the sense that Don gave a shit when he fired Sal. Don seems a little too self-centered to think really hard about actions like that.

        I’m a little peeved that we got to find out what happened to Danny but not Sal. Seriously, who gives a crap about Danny?

        • Shug

          We will see Sal. Oh yes, we will…

          (U HEAR ME WEINER?)

          • UsedtobeEP

            Actually, maybe we will. We are seeing some other old characters.

            • Shug

              Yeah, I really do think we will be rewarded for our patience at some point.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Personally, I’d like to see that crazy lawnmower riding secretary again myself.

          • Shug

            Ohhhh Lois. How I miss her dumb ass. Love that scene where the guys are putting her up to prank calling Peggy in response to her “seeking roommate” posting in what…season 2 or 3? Classic.

            • sweetlilvoice

              Thank you. I couldn’t remember her name. Hopefully, she is now a homemaker where she will only be a danger to her husband and kids!

          • Chris

            Oh Lois, you can only find her on the Progressive insurance ads now. I noticed Clara, Pete’s secretary is in a Verizon commercial that played a couple times during Mad Men last week.

            • Eric827

              The actress who plays Flo the Progressive Lady was on Mad Men in the early days, but she wasn’t Lois. That was a different actress – who posed for Playboy.

        • janierainie

          It would have been great if Sal had been at the party.

        • bxbourgie

          I thought the same thing when Danny reappeared. Who cares about that guy! Where’s Sal???

        • Chris

          Danny was there solely to make a point about Roger. Roger couldn’t accept that someone who couldn’t make it in NY was succeeding in LA. MW seems to get annoyed when people even mention Sal I- have given up hope of ever seeing him on the show again.

          • Frank_821

            I understand any possibly annoyance. People loved Sal and they want him, from our 21 century perspective, an out, proud, successful gay man. And as ridiculous as we know that scenario is, we still want it. Same situation with Joan. We cheer her on even though we know she was risking everything by her actions and she took some very foolish risks

            • Chris

              I get that we aren’t going to see Sal out and proud as a middle aged guy in 1968. I do think it’s odd that when you look at all the people who have turned up again: Paul, Duck, Smitty, Freddy Rumson, Burt Peterson, now Danny all the way out in CA, that no one has ever even mentioned Sal again. It’s like no one was friends with him and he dropped off the face of the earth. Even Rachel Menken showed up briefly a season later with her new hubby to cross paths with Don.

            • MartyBellerMask

              And Midge! Sad, heroin addict Midge. This is why I am not pining for a Sal return, because I fear it would be more like Midge than the others.

            • mixedupfiles

              Yeah, he keeps saying: Sal isn’t the guy you want him to be. And it’s true. He would not have been at Stonewall, no way no how. No out-and-proud for Sal, or maybe not ’til he’s like 65 years old.

            • SFree

              Sal went far, far away. Where he could be Sal. Where would that have been in the 60′s? Paris?

        • nosniveling

          I think maybe this could come around to bite the firm in the ass later due to Roger’s bullying of Danny.

      • Mike R

        He would not be out in the way we think of it today, no.

    • Leah Elzinga

      couple little things: a LOT of red in the “establishment” guys ties, no? And the matching rings on both Joanie and the California hostess…

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

        Yes, about the red ties. We noticed it at some point, but it never made it into the final draft. Thoughts as to meaning? Blood on their hands or is that too obvious? Carnation red?

        • Chris

          Is it too early for a red “power tie?” Or a nod to red and white Carnation colors?

        • Adrianna Grężak

          I think it could reference power. I quickly looked over the screenshots again – Pete’s tie was bright red when he’s assigned Avon (before the meeting), but it’s burgundy (or a more muted red) when he finds out he was excluded from the meeting. He still has some power over Joan in the scene, but not completely.

        • TobeyGal

          I seem to recall Lane wearing red ties the most in season 5. But I would need to check.

        • Leah Elzinga

          I’m not sure I would be ready to guess a meaning just yet, but with the overwhelming blue/green/yellow palette (plus pink/red, but that’s been kept to the ladies) it just struck me as very traditionally businesslike. Very old school. Almost like it was splitting the men into new school/old school camps. Then again, maybe it’s a tie back to red=prostitution? I don’t see that one, but it’s a possibility, I suppose.

        • Glammie

          There’s also been this ongoing red, white and blue thing. Peggy during the Heinz pitch, Joanie going to the beach, Bobbie in the apartment. It always kind of pops, but the significance of it isn’t obvious to me, but wonder if the red ties, along with the blue suits and white shirts we’re seeing ties into that motif somehow. Maybe it is some kind of assertion /power things–standing tall with primary red against the muddled blue-greens and toned-down yellow-greens of everything else.

        • SFree

          OK, red has been the color for whores. Ad men as whores is not an uncommon analogy. Look at who is wearing the red tie … certainly not poor Ginsberg, who is becoming more and more aware of “selling out.”

        • SFree

          Scrolled back up to see who wore red ties. Pete, Bob, Roger (a tie and a red ascot!), and yes, Ginsberg. His first tie, when he was hearing the voices, was red plaid.

        • Alice Teeple

          Frank Gleason wore a red ascot the day he said he had cancer. Maybe it’s about stress, worry?

      • leighanne

        and Bob has a bit of power red in his tie for the first time, I think.

        • TobeyGal

          I thought Bob had many colors in his tie – trying to match everyone

    • Vanessa

      THANK YOU TLo! “the creative class gave themselves free rein to indulge in the excesses
      of the counterculture while remaining steadfastly committed to the
      capitalism that grants them their privilege”

      It has been said that MM does not do the “counterculture” very well (and that may be true of their East Village flophouses), but as you point out, what they are presenting here is *not* the counterculture–it is the adoption by the most privileged classes of the time of the fun parts of the counterculture without rejecting their basic capitalist values. Indulgent is the perfect word!

      • quitasarah

        I thought the same thing when I read comments (can’t recall if it was here or elsewhere) complaining about the use of “Harper Valley PTA” as music over the party scene when other more psychedelic/groovy music was going on in the counter culture. This is NOT the counter-culture of the summer of love. This is people playing at being counter culture (and enjoying the drugs and free love of the counter culture) but still entrenched in capitalism and “square” society. None of these people (save maybe Lotus) are going to run out and join a commune any time soon.

      • abby536

        With all the Sharon Tate references going on I think it’s awesome they nailed this.

        There’s a reason Manson was able to hang out and live for months with an honest to God Beach Boy and that party was it.

        Lotus could just have easily have been one of the Family.

    • masspatriot

      From someone who was there at the time: Joan’s “gold” jewelry is really pretty inexpensive costume stuff, made by companies like “Monet.” She wants the look of gold, but can’t afford it. So she outfits herself in brooches, bracelets and rings that she thinks make her look wealthy,, but really signal “Korvette’s.” You can find this kind of jewelry at tag sales and flea markets everywhere nowadays. It, thankfully, has gone the way of the beehive hairdo and matching shoes and pocketbook.
      Speaking as a professional woman in the ’60s, I don’t remember anyone by “68 wearing gloves or hats — such as Meredith and Peggy do. That’s the only wrong note in all of this intensely thought-out costume story.

      Just checked the “Monet” website: they’re still in business, still selling “gold-tone” and “silver-tone” jewelry. Still made of some sort of base metal with a coating of color.

      • golden_valley

        I suspect Meredith and Peggy were raised to be good little girls. Such girls wore gloves; it was part of being dressed up. They probably hung on to gloves out of habit. I was 8 in 1968 and clearly remember having to wear white gloves at Easter services, a stupid thing to put on a kid which led to endless admonitions to not touch anything.

        • Chris

          Yes, it’s like when the Catholic church (with Vatican II I think) declared women didn’t need to cover their heads for Mass anymore, but it took a while for the women used to it to give it up. I had little white gloves to go with my Easter dresses in the early 70′s as a child.

        • Thistle

          I remember wearing gloves on Easter Sunday at age 6 in the late 60s; my mom had a glove drawer until around 1972 when she was 30ish. Her hands are now far less weathered looking than mine too…

          ETA: And I wish she had kept the elbow-length black cotton stretch gloves that I loved so much! Where can you even find such things now?

          • Alice Teeple

            There were boxes and boxes of gloves at the vintage store where I worked! You couldn’t even give them away. The only people who bought them were people going to parties, and the occasional theatre production.

      • mixedupfiles

        I totally want gloves back. How great would it be, year-round, to go out into the world protected from the germs on door handles and subway poles and whatnot?

        • ldancer

          My grandparents kept pairs of white gloves around for the sole purpose of reading the NY Times.

          • fursa_saida

            That’s the most amazing thing I’ve heard since I found out my ex’s dad insisted on eating salad with chopsticks. I love it.

            • ldancer

              Haha! Come to think of it, I never met anyone else who read the Times that way…

        • abby536

          Do it! Start a trend Mrs. Basil E.

      • ldancer

        I remember seeing the Monet counter at Bloomingdale’s when I was little (am I remembering that right?) and wondering, even at the age of 9, why anyone would ever want to bother wearing such boring jewelry.

        • EricaVee

          There’s still a Monet counter at my local Macy’s; even my mom calls it “old lady jewelry”, heh. Not all of it is bad, just kind of bland, the sort of innocuous thing you might wear to work.

          As masspatriot said, the actual vintage Monet items are everywhere at garage sales. Some of them have a bit of vintage appeal but again, even the vintage pieces seem like middle-of-the-road stuff to wear in settings wear you have to be “appropriate” and not flashy: work, church, ect.

      • oat327

        The jewelry might be fake in real life, but “real” in the show’s universe, just for budget reasons.

        Because Joan owns ~2.5% of a major ad agency, with hundreds of millions in billings a year. Even if profit is only a few million a year, she’s probably close to six figures a year in 1968 dollars. Peggy, by comparison, only makes $19,000 and just bought an apartment building. She doesn’t have to resort to cheap, tacky jewelry to make herself look wealthy–she has the income to buy literally anything she wants.

    • Shug

      Okay, did not want to buy into Ginzo being schizophrenic but the points you made today – his father hovering, the lack of knowledge surrounding it at the time, and the unlikelihood that he’d use “transmissions in his head” as a metaphor…yeah. You’re probably right. (Damn it.)

      • fursa_saida

        Honestly, I’ll still stan for the Martian speech not being a sign of The Crazy but rather a dissociative way of talking about his sense of alienation that made him feel safe (adaptive response to trauma =/= mental illness), but I agree that there’s no way to explain this ep’s breakdown without saying there’s something seriously wrong here. (Not sure I want to go for schizophrenia, just because I try to avoid armchair diagnoses, but there is definitely something up.)

        • Shug

          Right- as a psychology lay person I won’t pretend to be the authority, but it’s clear something is wrong. Mentally healthy people do not have panic attacks rocking back and forth on the floor, and like TLo pointed out it’d probably be anachronistic for him to talk about transmissions in his head symbolically.

    • Farewell Trustees

      Love your post but I beg to differ on just two points. I didn’t see the Drapers’ interaction as proof of the wasteland of their marriage but more of mixing things up toward evolving their style of partnership and rapport. They have a history of trying on different roles of interaction together (boss-secretary, work place lovers, dad-baby sitter, old guy-mod catch, creative power-partners etc.) and this seemed like “juevenille 8th grade sarcasm exchange.” But they were both in it, both engaged, both playing off each other and picking up cues on the other’s riff, and more importantly, Megan was Don’s equal here. Most of the season their polarity has had one superior and one subordinate, as you’ve noticed. But in the opening scene I recall that their body language was unified and engaged and Megan did seem comfortable in her own skin – not hurt/overly sensitive/or aggressive as she often does. Second point where I differ is that Moira’s look toward Joan was one of empathy. I think it was an enigmatic look – disdain, curiosity, boldness, poker face, pity, confrontation, “I’m watching you,” “so what’s your next move?” etc., but I wouldn’t jump to empathy with Moire yet. She’s no Peggy. I think perhaps she’s the more likely candidate for a Bensonian twist. Thanks for all your great insights, though!

      • Chris

        I think the difference with Don and Megan is they are both sarcastic now. It just used to be Don being rude, distant or dismissive to Megan and Megan overcompensating. Now it seems like Megan has given up too, she is no longer compromising and trying to hold things together. A couple of months ago she would have jumped at a chance to go to CA with Don, now she is remembering it as “the worst mistake of her life.” She’s not going to jeopardize her job to try to resuscitate that feeble relationship.

      • Frank_821

        Odd about Pt #2. I genuinely took that look for her feeling bad for Joan. a small show of understanding if not solidarity. I contrast that with the look she gave Peggy last week when she went into Ted’s office

        • siriuslover

          or really embarrassed to have had to witness the entire exchange. I know that would be my look.

      • czarina

        I absolutely agree with both of your points. With respect to Don and Megan, later on during his hallucination she mentions a second chance, which seems to suggest, as does the first scene, that he is trying to reconnect and recommit to this relationship. It may still fail, but it looks like Don is at least trying and there was a higher level of commitment between the two of them shown throughout the episode by their numerous phone chats. Also, I didn’t think Moira’s look was empathy at all, and as TLo pointed out, Moira could very well be Cutler’s mole.

        • Chris

          I found Don was halfheartedly trying (he couldn’t even allow himself to go out because he knew he couldn’t handle it without cheating) but Megan isn’t making the effort anymore. She is noticeably disengaged from Don.

          • SFree

            It’s really hard to see Don as the victim here.

            • siriuslover

              I don’t think Don is the victim in Chris’ statement. Just that Don seems to be “a day late and a dollar short” in this marriage. He’s being “good” but doesn’t recognize he already f’ed it up.

            • Chris

              Oh Don isn’t the victim *anytime* in that marriage, my point is it’s too little too late on his part. Megan was trying so hard for so long and he gave her nothing. I think she has finally given up. And no one would blame her. He was downright rotten to her about her acting and she doesn’t even know the worst of what he’s done.

        • UsedtobeEP

          Yeah, I said above I think we need to keep an eye on Ms. Moira.

        • NoveltyRocker

          Don just showed us what it’d take for him to believe committing to Megan is worth it: 1. She quits her job. 2. She’s pregnant with his kid.

          • Chris

            It just shows how self delusional Don is. That worked out *really* well for Betty.

        • SFree

          Don also does not sleep with anyone on this trip. Even though the opportunity seems to be there. (Though even that kiss with the blonde could have been part of his hallucination.) It seems like he was trying to be “good” for Megan.

          • siriuslover

            I noticed that the first thing he did when he got back to the office was to ask Dawn to “get my wife on the phone.” Would he have done that earlier in the season? Has Don put some of his demons to rest even while at the same time the marriage is all but over on Megan’s end?

            • Glammie

              I don’t think Don’s demons are ever fully put to rest, but I do think he has them down for a nap occasionally. And, yes, Megan’s only half in the marriage at this point. Though she doesn’t know how bad a husband Don’s been.

    • nonsensicallyrics

      I’m surprised there was no mention of the way the stripes in Bob’s tie echoed Cutler and Ted’s, which I actually read as silver and gold (making Bob’s browns equal bronze to finish the set?) – I was ridiculously proud of myself for picking up on it. Incidentally, Bob’s tie also picked up the colors in Ginsberg’s jacket, albeit in bolder and more vibrant iterations, perhaps speaking of a connection between them. Not a romantic one, I don’t think, but if Bob is indeed gay, then they’re both outsiders of a kind.

      I was very very skeptical of the schizophrenia theory, thinking he was just very neurotic rather than psychotic (as a very neurotic person myself who’s best case scenario if I’d been around in the 60s would have been electroshock therapy) but then I remembered the way he seemed genuinely interested and didnt seem to find it at all unusual when Roger’s friend talked about MLK speaking to him in his dreams. At the time I thought it was just quirky Ginsberg, but now I’m wondering if he doesn’t have some early stage of schizophrenia.

      • bxbourgie

        I forgot about that!!! He did seem very interested in talking to that guy after he said MLK came to him in a dream. I wondered why he’d even entertain that guy and his foolishness, because he was either very high or just totally OUT THERE, but maybe he wanted to feel like he wasn’t the only one hearing “voices”.

        • Chris

          And Ginsberg keeps making the point to everyone he doesn’t drink or indulge in drugs, ever. Nothing he says is the result of being drunk or high, it’s just how he thinks.

          • UsedtobeEP

            In retrospect, maybe we are being hit over the head a little bit with it, no?

    • siriuslover

      BRILLIANCE! TLo said: “We’ve been documenting and analyzing the costuming of this show for every episode and character and it’s definitely something new this season”
      I’d really, really love to see your notebooks, excel sheets, or whatever your system is for noting all of this material. Any chance you can provide a snapshot of that in your new book?

      And I’m totally with you on this whole review. One of the (many) things I love about Mad Style is that you don’t just talk about the clothes, but how the clothes tie into the story line that you examined on Monday. And I always feel enlightened after a Mad Style post. Thank you so much for this site!

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      With all the violence of 1968, will Pete’s gun make an appearance this season?

      • Laylalola

        I think that was eight years ago, and at a different corporate headquarters.

        • Chris

          Didn’t they show it when they moved? Didn’t he have it in his office last season? Or am I making that up?

          • Danielle

            He did take it with him when they all were walking out of Sterling Cooper for the last time.

          • vandeventer

            I think we last saw Pete’s gun when he and Harry switched offices (at the current building).

      • mollypop

        The gun was last mentioned in season 5′s Signal 30, during the dinner party at Pete and Trudy’s. Trudy discovers he still has it and says, “There will be no guns in this house.” Guessing it’s tucked away somewhere in his apartment. If this were a different, less nuanced show, Pete’s mother would find the gun and accidentally kill either him or herself. “Run, children!! Dot Campbell’s loose!!”

        • vandeventer

          I don’t like the idea of Pete’s gun around the office (assuming it’s still there) when we are seeing
          evidence that Ginzo is Schizo. Voices are telling him to do harm?
          Great! Recall the conversation about schizophrenic Charles Whitman
          shooting all those people at the University of Texas – they were all talking
          about that at Pete and Trudy’s dinner party.

          • janierainie

            I don’t think Charles Whitman was schizophrenic. Didn’t he have a brain tumor?

            • vandeventer

              Yes! That’s right, I totally forgot! He did have a brain tumor.

          • fursa_saida

            He doesn’t necessarily mean “harm” in the sense of violence. Given the context of his anxiety and personal crisis about selling out and becoming part of the problem (especially re: Dow Chemical), I thought he was talking more about compromising his values and participating in the system that is supportive of the very war he so hates. He’s already doing harm in that sense, and what I took from that was that he feels trapped into that position now–that he doesn’t know how to get out of it, that he didn’t quite realize, somehow, that this was what he’d signed up for. It was only after Bob specifically cited the positive qualities of Manischewitz that Ginsburg really started listening and was able to get up off the floor: it was basically a (very temporary) way out of the dilemma.

            Mentally ill people are, the vast majority of the time, far more dangerous to themselves than to others–if they’re dangerous to anyone at all.

            • quitasarah

              I don’t really want to get into the whole thing here but I’ve seen how many times you’ve commented on this post/topic and I just want to remind you that while it might SEEM like MW & team are telegraphing or foreshadowing something, it’s almost NEVER what we in the comment sections think it’s going to be. So my advice (to all, not just you) is stop worrying about it and enjoy the ride…

            • fursa_saida

              The reason I’m all over this isn’t really about trying to figure out what they’re going to do. I’m just seeing a lot of assumptions that because Ginzo’s mentally ill he’s automatically dangerous, which is a pretty widespread and harmful stereotype of mentally ill people. I’m trying to challenge that. I actually don’t see anything in my above post that’s speculating about the future?

            • quitasarah

              I’m not trying to silence or attack you, so if you feel it’s important by all means post away. But, isn’t debating whether or not Ginsberg is going to hurt someone speculating about the future? Apologies if I misinterpreted something. Just trying to say that even if folks do think Ginsberg is going to harm himself/others, things almost never turn out the way we think they’re going to on MM…

    • quiltrx

      I just wanted to say…I don’t even watch the show, but I always read your ‘Mad Style’ posts. I always learn something about color interactions, the styles of the era, and the art of effective costuming. It’s a treat for someone like me who loves fabrics, fashion, and colors.
      I know these posts take a lot of time and effort, so I just wanted to say that even we non-MM types enjoy them.

    • ikillplants

      Great recap. TLo, I couldn’t wait to see your thoughts on Joan’s costuming. I noticed that her blue suit (with floral buttons) is cut to show a bit of cleavage; no babyheads, but definitely cleavage. I’m thinking about your Mad Style posts of previous seasons, where you noted that Joan manages her image impeccably: showing off that bod in form-fitting sheaths, but never showing skin in the workplace (her LBD in the SC office after Roger’s heart attack; unleashing holy hell on Jane Siegel for an unbuttoned blouse).

      It makes me sad to say it, but could Joanie have fallen back on her sex appeal just a smidge to clinch that breakfast meeting with the Avon exec? You know she would’ve agonized over what to wear, down to her jewelry and accessories, for her first big moment as an account executive.

      • MartyBellerMask

        I caught the cleavage too! It definitely stood out to me because she always manages to cover up.

        • sweetlilvoice

          It was subtle though….but a really change for her.

      • Chris

        I had two thoughts on that-first Joan is always going to bring the sex appeal to whatever she does. It’s one of the biggest weapons in her arsenal (she thinks) so she will always play up her looks and sex appeal. Second, the suit struck me as leaning towards an evening suit a bit more than a day suit due to the buttons and the fabric. Joan usually only allows a bit of cleavage to show for evening. This may have been something she owned thinking it would be good for a fancy dinner date and broke it out to impress the Avon exec. as it was one of her nicest and most flattering outfits. Also, as the client is Avon Joan would want to be as put together and glamorous as possible. It makes such a great contrast to Peggy in her Chanel inspired traditional plaid suit.

        • ikillplants

          These are great points. But wouldn’t Joan want to downplay her sexuality in this moment, especially after sleeping with the Jaguar slimeball? If not for her reputation, for her own self-worth?

          Also, she has great creative instincts. “There are no doorbells in an office.” LOVE.

    • Qitkat

      It’s taken this far in the season for me (last week actually) for the Mad Style posts to really gell and make the character points so very clear. Especially notable with the first outfits of Joanie and Peggy. That’s a beautiful vintage dress Janie Bryant found for Joan this week, it’s so flattering on her and so different from anything we ever see Christina wear in 2013. I didn’t specifically notice the callbacks with these two dresses and characters til this analysis, but I agree with all the talking points.

      As for the early scene with Megan and Don, isn’t it true that we can only make such terrible jokes with someone we really love?

      It took me a while to realize we had not met the Avon man before; I kept trying to place him, as the character types can often be so similar for many of these ad men.

      There is something about Moira that really makes me want to know more about her. I love the way she dresses, her professionalism, but we are lead to believe there are some secrets, some depth we are not yet privy to.

      I loved how all the women dressed this episode. The colors and styles, especially the blues I think reflect my own taste much stronger than all the pussy bow blouses ever could. Joan is stunning in these teal/turquoise blues. Good call on the similarity between her power suits, but the brooch on this current one is all wrong. It is way too close to the style of the buttons, which are like jewelry themselves. Peggy’s executive plaid is also spot on of the period.

      So much to take in. Loving it all. And I’m not even a quarter way into this post.

      • Chris

        Joan was always a bit of an “over accessorizer.” Even back in the early days she didn’t mind wearing a necklace, earrings and pin with a dress plus a scarf on her purse. The shape of the jewelry has changed and gotten bolder but it’s still 100% Joan style. I liked how even her jewelry switched from frivolous dangly charm bracelet for the “date” to the more “businesslike” cuff for the meeting.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Maybe I’m projecting but Joan is a lot of woman to take in and she has the body space and presence to pull off larger pieces. I’m similarly built and I wear a lot more jewelry-both in size and in scale versus my sis who is a petite small flower. Plus, I really like jewelry!

          • Glammie

            I’ve always assumed the accessorizing was about Joan’s stature. Plus, the large brooches say “look up at my face, not at my cleavage.”

      • quitasarah

        Regarding the scene with Megan & Don, I think it was more of a “just kidding, really mean it” type joking. There’s a truth under there that they don’t want to admit to, so joking about it is the only way to get it out right now.

        • Spicytomato1

          That’s exactly what I thought. I thought it was kind of shocking, actually. Their tone and their body language said “kidding” but their words were truly awful.

          • 3hares

            I thought it was one of those classic cases where they were clearly trying to joke but the truth was so obvious that it got into the tone. They tried to joke about it but really couldn’t.

        • Qitkat

          Oh, I know you’re right. After I commented I realized I had not quite made myself as clear as I meant to. Been gone all day, haven’t even finished reading the whole post.

      • Spicytomato1

        “I loved how all the women dressed this episode.”

        I was thinking the same thing. The symbolism, as always, is fascinating, but I enjoyed so many of the costumes from a purely aesthetic point of view this week. Much more so than usual. I loved Megan’s hippie style. And I think my favorite outfit might have been Peggy’s sleeveless aqua suit at the end. It’s so spot on for the era, I wonder if it’s new or vintage?

      • fursa_saida

        I was mad at the brooch too. It was like one of her buttons got rich and moved uptown.

      • SFree

        Moira … there’s something there that creeps me out. She has a “mean girl” vibe.

        • editrixie

          Yeah, I didn’t get an empathetic vibe from her look at Joan, either. It read completely differently to me. She seems like a snake in the grass.

    • lubilu

      This week in Blue = Power, Establishment, Control, Status Quo / Green = Independence, Free-Thinking,Rule-Breaking/New Ideas /Yellow = Innocence, Honesty, Essential Self Watch.

      Megan at the top is in yellow – she’s being her essential self at that moment, with a little bit of red for sex/passion and a bit of blue for wanting to maintain the status quo of her marriage.

      Joan has been dressing a lot in blue and green this season because she wants to create a true position of power and control and it doing it by thinking outside the box and taking risks and chances she never would before. It’s notable that she started wearing green and blue last season when she first decided to go for it regarding Jaguar and the partnership. The green of independence and free-thinking was very a much a motif back then.Much as she hated what she had to do, it was very much her independent decision.

      Peggy is back to yellow, because she is no longer in a powerful position and has gone back to being the essential Peggy. Ted Chaough wears it a often too, because most of the time he’s not really into the power games, but is just doing what he honestly thinks is best for the firm. Peggy is pushed back to neutrals for the lunch, which is all about Joan, in solid blue, trying to dominate and control proceedings. But she goes back to pale blue in the eavesdropping scene, when she’s the character who is actually controlling what’s going on, albeit behind the scenes.

      In the California scenes, Harry is in his element and we’re finally seeing his essential self wearing yellow, Don changes into pale yellow because he always feels more himself in California, Roger (who actually hasn’t been wearing much blue back in NYC) is wearing blue in California, because he thinks he’s the Madison Ave big shot who’s in control. The only other main character wearing blue is Danny, who ends up controlling Roger.There’s lots of green and yellow around, not just in the clothes, but in the decor (the Moroccan pouffes in the lounge).This party, and the California culture in general, is all about free spirits and free thinkers getting back to their essential selves (with what are presumably a few controlling industry execs in the mix, notably none of the women are in blue).

      In the first Ginsberg scene, the two men in blue (including, unusually, Stan) are both trying to control Ginsberg with little success. I think Red = Passion/Anger/Lust in Mad Men world and when the men are wearing it they are usually lustful or angry. Though I think Bob has it in his tie to signal his empathy with Ginsberg. In the later scene, Ginsberg then changes into the blue of control but with little success (it’s a very confusing blue), Stan goes back to the green of laissez faire independent thinking. Not sure why Bob is still wearing a red tie though.

      In the Cutler/Chaough plotting scene, they are plotting for very different reasons. Ted wearing green is doing it to regain his own personal liberty and freedom of thought and get away from the power games that don’t really suit him. Jim on the other hand is all about power and control. I love that they finally have a truly Machiavellian character playing the office politics.He’s going to run RINGS around Roger and Don.

      And in the end Pete only decides to tune out and go back to his essential self after catching a glimpse of a bright yellow dress.

      • SFree

        Or their illusion of their essential selves.

    • marlie

      This is perfect. Thanks, TLo!!

    • Mike R

      Some of the characters’ costumes at the Hollywood party struck me as a little bit too 1970s (the guy with the perm, for one), too early for 1968, but I trust you guys that everyone there was era-appropriate.

      • SonOfSaradoc

        You mean the guy who looked like Barry Gibb circa 1973? Standing next to Danny’s party girl? Yes, he was a little too fashion-future and stood out to me as such.

        • Mike R

          Yes, that’s the guy, and 1973 was exactly the year I was thinking of! Barry Gibb a perfect example. Actually that guy looks a lot like Tony Roberts circa 1977, in “Annie Hall,” at a similar party. Of course most of the other people at the MM party looked much too 60s for that ’77 party.

      • judybrowni

        It wouldn’t have been a perm, back then, but a white guy ‘fro (then called a Jew fro!!!) from a curly headed or kink haired guy letting his hair grow out as much as possible.

        • Glammie

          Harold in Boys in the Band (on stage 1968, film 1970, so filmed in ’69) has a serious Jewfro. I remember Jewfros as sort of indicative of lefty politics and solidarity with the black civil rights movement.

          I don’t miss Jewfros, but I sort of miss afros–a lot of my schoolmates had them and they really were pretty cool.

      • Jennifer Ford

        This shifted really fast post Sgt. Peppers — just look at (seriously) the Monkees episodes from season 1 vs. season 2 — it’s quite the major change. And Micky always had the white-boy ‘fro. Some white boys just have frizzy hair and wearing it long = ‘fro.

        • Mike R

          You’re right. Something about this guy’s fro seemed a little too….controlled, in a 70s way. Dolenz had a free-form hippie fro. But you make an excellent point.

      • Spicytomato1

        Ha, funny, I mentioned above that Lotus’s dress reminded me of Cher and Half Breed, which I just looked up. 1973.

      • formerlyAnon

        Well, I saw those styles in the ’70s, but I lived in a mid-sized city in the middle of North Carolina. It seems reasonable to me that that what I was saw was several years behind their origin in L.A., but I don’t know what *was* worn in L.A. mover & shaker circles at the time.

        (In the ’70s I did a lot of theater & those were the parties I went to and the words that popped into my mind as I saw those scenes were, literally, “Oh my god. Actors.”)

        • SFree

          That’s true, too. Took a while to move east.

        • Glammie

          Bwahahahaha!

      • SFree

        If your hair is naturally curly, no need for a perm and, for men, you just let it be and grew it out. Whatever “it” was.

    • El_D_El

      You know what I would love to see? (Perhaps when this season ends and you guys
      have the time?) A side by side comparison of all the major characters
      from season 1, and then this season. To see how their style has evolved
      in the nearly 9 years that have passed on the show. This occurred to me as I was looking at ridiculous Harry in this episode.

      • Frank_821

        luckily with Peggy, the direction she had to go was up over the years

      • Orange Girl

        The differences are staggering. And it’s funny that TLo mentioned how awful Pete looks by 1968, because I just watched “The Suitcase” last week and noticed that Pete looks positively handsome in comparison to now. That episode takes place in 1965, almost exactly 3 year before this episode. It’s amazing how all of the characters styles have changed in such a relatively short time.

        • 3hares

          The Suitcase was S4 so right before they started to intentionally ugly Pete up. But I agree with T&L that it’s not even just the outfits, it’s the performance. One of the ways VK looks so different out of character is his mouth–out of character his mouth is relaxed. As Pete he’s always got tension in it and this season it’s getting tighter and tighter. I could swear VK even made some comment about how having that face for a whole season and not smiling couldn’t help but make him feel short-tempered even off the show.

          • Laylalola

            The physical changes some of the actors go through is astonishing. VK in particular really looks almost nothing like Pete. I was just listening to Season 1 commentary track on the disc where Elizabeth Moss was saying he also behaves nothing like Pete and that the character he is creating is just a master performance.

            • fursa_saida

              He’s possibly the single most underrated actor on the show, IMO.

            • testingwithfire

              I’d put him up for best actor on the show, along with Christina Hendricks. They’re all good but to me those two are the standouts.

            • Glammie

              VK’s a wonderful actor. It’s from head to toe and every nuance of his voice. I think that’s why I liked him going head to head with Trudy so much. Alison Brie is also terrific. and their scenes are both awful and really funny. I think their twisted chemistry is partly why we’ve seen so much of that marriage. I think it would be a joy to write for them.

      • Paula Pertile

        “Roseanne” did a funny thing on her show – she showed herself morphing from season to season. It would be cool to see all these characters do the same thing.

      • Cheryl

        Do you know if there’s any way to search this site for Mad Style posts going back? I’ve only been following this season.

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

          Click the “Mad Style” tag at the bottom of the post.

    • Ediths_Head

      Thanks to T and Lo, as always.

      Don’t want to get political, but adding to the Bob-as-cipher notion is the recurring brown suit in an episode that mentioned Dutch Reagan. Say what you will about the Great Communicator, but he was all about fitting whatever the situation required him to be. That’s how he became president and stayed president even as he was essentially disappearing. Can’t be a coincidence. Ronald Reagan was the height of style over substance. Much like Bob Benson… and Don Draper, come to think of it.

    • Jaialaibean

      The aqua Joan and Peggy are wearing looks like swimming-pool blue. Joan wears it first, when she decides to ditch Pete, and then Peggy wears it when she decides to help Joan by fooling Pete and Ted. They’re jumping into the pool without a life preserver, but unlike Don, they’re in full possession of their faculties.

      • Chris

        And Peggy’s dress has a fish scale pattern on it like a Mermaid’s tail.

        • oat327

          Joan didn’t want to get pushed off the diving board, so she jumped in.

      • Chris

        Also, if you notice all through the party scenes there are bright aqua glasses everywhere particularly by the hookah. A very stoned Lotus is holding one as well. At the end when Pete starts taking his first puffs there is an aqua glass ashtray/bowl of the exact same color right in front of him. “There’s water in the pool,” Don carrying Peggy to the deep end etc.

        • Jaialaibean

          That’s amazing. I noticed the bowl in front of Pete, but wasn’t sure whether that was part of the theme.

    • ldancer

      Oh, you guys, thank you for all of this, but especially for laying out that fine fine spread of stills from the L.A. party scene. While we were watching the episode I just wanted to freeze over every tableau in that part. Every single detail is delicious. I noted many fabulously dressed extras – that gold dress! And Lotus’ necklace looks like a piece of reconstructed Egyptian dowry jewelry, something like this costume version – we wear these for folkloric dance:
      http://www.whirling-dervish.co.uk/shop/accessories.php?id=20

      Just another tiny element in the mashup of appropriations and approximations that were happening in that time period, in the spiritual and cultural climate and in fashion.

      I felt like Peggy and Joan (and I guess a lot of the other women too, now that I think about it) were wearing springy/Easter colors. But it’s not that time of year and maybe that was just on trend for the time. As for the menfolk in L.A., I laughed so hard at the obvious New Yorkers In The Sun story that was being told here. Don, Roger, I may not wear suits but I’ve been there. I’m always the girl in a black dress, black boots and a black leather jacket in California or Florida. Solidarity.

      And finally, Danny Siegel in a handkerchief-sleeved dashiki. Please have mercy on my soul.

    • Glammie

      The thing that caught me about Don in California is that even though he switched to Anna’s color of yellow he didn’t just sort of fit in the way he did the last time in California when he hooked up with the freewheeling protohippy Eurotrash. He was there, but he wasn’t. His jacket showed he sort of got the general direction, but even when joining in, couldn’t.

      • Chris

        Yes he never switched to his casual mode like he did previously. He kept his suit and tie. He would have looked better in his casual shirt and jacket he wore to Bobby’s camp.

    • JeanProuvaire

      Ginsberg’s blue plaid jacket looked so familiar–was it the same one he wore so often in his earlier scenes, including the Martian scene, or is it a different one? I suppose Janie might have been trying to call back to that scene by dressing him similarly, while he was talking about similar things–aliens and transmissions.

      Even now, I’m still leaning towards the idea that his mental breakdown is caused by maybe latent PTSD from the horrible trauma of his formative years, which is now being triggered by the horrors of war that he’s seeing on TV and compounded by the traumatic identity crisis caused by the realization that he truly is complicit in helping the people who napalm children. In terms of how mental illness is depicted, this is six months before Slaughterhouse Five was published, and Ginsberg’s storyline keeps reminding me more and more of it in some ways–he’s talking about aliens and transmissions to explain things that he can’t explain to people any other way, because what he sees happening in Vietnam is triggering mental breaks from his lingering WWII trauma.

      I don’t know if it’s possible for him to be helped or not, but aside from this alien scenario that seems to be a kind of coping mechanism for him–I truly don’t think he believes it as literally as Billy Pilgrim did, or as a lot of commenters seem to think he does–he’s functional and grounded in reality, and at this stage he’s still able and willing to be reassured by even Bob’s meaningless platitudes, and we’ve seen other characters receiving therapy (although they were all much wealthier than Ginsberg.) I still have hope for him.

      • janierainie

        Interesting point about ptsd. I hope it’s that and not schizophrenia.

        • Cheryl

          PTSD wasn’t even diagnosed until 1980 (in Vietnam veterans). What he has could have been a result of “childhood trauma,” which I think they would ascribe his illness to. (I don’t mind saying it, because it was a mis-diagnosis, but I was told I was a “paranoid schizophrenic” in 1966. I repeat, that was a MIS-diagnosis.) Of course in hindsight it certainly looks like PTSD.

      • fursa_saida

        This is exactly how I’ve always felt about the Martian scene, and I really, really hope we’re right. I think you make a great point about what the triggers might be that would be causing the PTSD to come out now–after all, “just doing your job” is a big part of what destroyed his family and his childhood.

    • SoulMo

      “Wouldn’t it be HILARIOUS if, after all the fevered speculation about Bob Benson , it turns out that Meredith is actually the corporate spy/government agent/long-lost child of X that so many insist is in the story? Like she rips off her wig and suddenly she’s a deep-voiced brunette government agent hauling Dick Whitman off to prison? ”

      Mad Men ends its run as an episode of Scooby Doo….

      • Kathryn Sanderson

        “….and I would have done it if it weren’t for these meddling….secretaries?” Ruh-roh!

    • melanie0866

      Was putting Bob on the Chevy account a real promotion? I thought Cutler was setting him up to fail – like he did by sending him out on Maneschewitz.

      • Judy_J

        I thought Cutler was deliberately using Bob, too. He wants the SCDP people to take a dive so his people can rescue and take over.

        • OrigamiRose

          But wouldn’t that require knowing what a dud the Vega would be?

          • Judy_J

            Well, last week they did say they’d seen a clay model of the car. Maybe Cutler took one look and knew it would be a dud.

            • quitasarah

              Except Ted saw it, not Cutler. I think this doesn’t have anything to do with Chevy in particular, but rather consolidating power for the old CGC crowd.

            • SFree

              The way the car looked wasn’t the problem. It was the engine and the rust. So, from their surface point of view, there would be no red flags.

            • Cheryl

              Yes, the car isn’t even in production yet. I’m not sure if we’ll get to the launch of the new car unless next season extends to 1970, and a few years beyond. They won’t know it’s a lemon until it’s been out on the road for a while.

    • AmeliaEve

      As a California native, my first thought on seeing Harry’s first outfit was “California Blue and Gold.” Those are the official state colors as well as the team colors for the University of California. It was a really literal message that anchored Harry in the Golden State.

      • CatherineRhodes

        Good catch. As an Angeleno, whenever I see anyone in gold and blue, I think “Bruin.”

        • MartyBellerMask

          I’m from Michigan, so I think “Wolverine.” :)

        • AmeliaEve

          I’m a Golden Bear, but yeah. Harry looked like a wanna-be hip alum at Big Game.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14301272 Kate Gorton

      Aww, Moira & Jim is the new Joan & Roger! (Look out, Moira.)

    • Ancient Geometer

      Are those Lotus flowers on Joan’s dress? Any significance to Lotus at the party, or just a coincidence?

    • mickeymammoth

      That’s definitely a Nixon hairdo that Pete’s wearing, with longer sideburns. Who wants to look like Nixon??

      • Mike R

        Republicans?

        • Lisa

          Pete is a Democrat though.

          • Alice Teeple

            I think it’s less about Pete’s specific politics and mostly just a style commentary about how Pete has fallen behind the times and is aging rapidly, falling in step with the more conservative-with-a-small-C population. He’s only about five years older than Stan and Peggy, but he nearly looks like their father at this point! His whole demeanor is surrounded by stress, disappointment and paranoia, and the fact that the hair stylists are making him balding exaggerates that. If they’re making a style parallel to Nixon, Pete’s future is looking sadder and sadder.

    • Bonjour

      Another callback: Joan eating lunch at her desk, alone. When Peggy does that is S1 Joan essentially schools her in how to get a man to take her out to lunch, saying (condescendingly, to Peggy at her desk with her sandwich) ‘now that is just too sad,’ or sth close to that, in faux-sweet voice. Then they get the guys to treat for lunch essentially by promising sex. (Hinting at sexual availability, in 1963…)

      Season 6, tables have turned, ‘promise’ of sex wouldn’t work anymore and real career expertise is what Joan now needs from Peggy and she knows it.

      • Travelgrrl

        The season 1 sandwich was a limp little thing from the food cart. Joan’s looked delicious!

        • Jaialaibean

          That’s the benefit of being higher up on the food chain!

        • fursa_saida

          That was a damn fine-looking sandwich and it made me want one.

          • Travelgrrl

            All she needed was a damned fine piece of cherry pie from the RR Diner!

        • Lisa

          Not from the food cart. Peggy brought it from home because she was trying to save money.

    • masspatriot

      Bob Benson’s suit jacket looks a little too short, compared to the other men’s…. It emphasizes his boyishness.

    • Mike R

      “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” is a great comparison piece for the fashion of trendsetting, tuned-in, upper-middle-class California in 1968. It was released in September 1969 but probably filmed in early ’69 at the latest. I’d say MM got it pretty well right.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14301272 Kate Gorton

      I don’t think I’ve said this here before, but: DAMN, you guys are good. HOW do you remember all of these callbacks? That one with Peggy and Joan listening in is incredible. Well done!

    • charlotte

      One thing about bows: Joan’s bow reminded me of Peggy’s former outfits (and how you guys always said “sad bow” with a sigh) and also of the red dress that turned Joan into a living gift box. Those two definitely have bow history. I think in this case the bow turns Joan into a mere decoration and infantilizes her- in a scene in which she is desperate to be taken seriously as a partner.

      • Jaialaibean

        But it also still recalls the gift box; she’s presenting them with a gift in the form of Avon — that is, if she gets it.

      • fursa_saida

        Man, I loved that dress. Take off the bow (not because I particularly dislike it or think it didn’t work for Joan; just I personally don’t do bows) and use the same color as trim on the sleeves and hem and I’d wear it tomorrow.

      • Travelgrrl

        T & L: “Pussy bow”.

    • formerlyAnon

      This one rang so many bells! Others are exploring better than I can or have time for, but I have to say “Thanks” to Mad Men writers for showing us Joan & Peggy in juxtaposition (my favorite part of this episode), and to T and Lo for these awesome posts!

    • dashransome

      Is it wrong that I want to climb into Don Draper’s lap in that first montage of shots? I really think it is… *hides face* I can’t help it though.

      • Orange Girl

        I feel that way too. It probably is wrong. But that’s Don Draper for you.

    • Orange Girl

      I didn’t take Pete’s pot-smoking to mean that he’d given up. I took it to mean that he’s actually willing to change. He’s trying to understand what the fuss is about. He doesn’t want to be left behind.

      • Chris

        I don’t think Pete’s ever going to give up- it’s just not in his nature. He’s been knocked down a lot but he always keeps at it. MW had said he was surprised people thought Pete was going to commit suicide last year because to MW that is just not in Pete’s nature- he would think that was weak. I think Pete is going to have some kind of breakthrough by season’s end. The last time he was thinking about leaving SC he ended up getting recruited by Don and Roger for the new “Dream Team.”

        • 3hares

          Yeah, I can’t help but feel like that last moment, even if there’s a sense of giving in, is good because it’s different. Pete’s been stomping around like Rumpelstiltskin all ep and getting nowhere. He can’t control anything. He comes into creative and takes the joint. Seems set up to show Pete making one more pathetic stand at asserting control on the chaos, like at least he can put a stop to this one guy getting high when he’s working.

          But then once he’s got it, he decides to smoke it instead. And things slow down and he’s passive instead of kicking against everything. For Pete that just seems like a good thing.

          Also the song choice kind of emphasizes that, welcoming the pain.

          • dtiger

            Rumpelstiltskin! Brilliant.

      • SFree

        I just thought he was feeling frustrated and the opportunity presented itself and he took it (literally, he took the joint). His look at the woman in the bright yellow mini skirt was priceless!

        • fursa_saida

          Yeah, it seemed to me like pretty straightforward self-medication. Not so different from anytime someone says “I need a drink” in a world-weary voice.

      • librarygrrl64

        It did have a certain “turn on, tune in, drop out” vibe to it, though.

    • Alice Teeple

      This is truly one of the best analyses you’ve done, guys! Really enjoyed this. Especially the bit about Michael Ginsberg.

    • Froide

      Great job, as usual, TLo.

      I had a few observations, too, for those who care to read them.

      NY/DAY 1 – Pete’s tie reminded me of Megan’s shirt. My read: each is trying to make things work in his/her commitment, but it’s becoming an uphill climb and the shoe may no longer fit so well.

      NY/DAY 3 – Loved the fact that Joan’s empty, limp, purple sweater on the back of her door seemed to be a stand-in for purple-frocked, empty-headed Meredith, who when in Joan’s office, stood right in front of the sweater. As if to underscore that point, In one of your screenshots, the door was ajar and Megan stood on the outside of the door in direct counterpoint to the sweater hanging inside the door.

      Peggy’s aqua dress matched the sky and water in the painting behind Joan’s desk. The painting – a doorway of sorts – evoked constructs of “blue sky” (widening one’s horizons), flow toward a seat of power, and escape. Peggy helped Joan seek of those.

      CA/DAY 2 –

      At the pool party in the California canyons, TLo pointed out that one of the beautiful people (in the hash den) was wearing gladiator sandals. I noticed that, too. To me, those sandals evoked two vivid thoughts:

      (1) Not EVERYONE removed their shoes, so Don’s doing so recalled the barefooted Paul McCartney on the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album, which photo was incorrectly but famously interpreted by some as a clue that Paul McCartney was dead. See the associated article and photo at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_McCartney_Is_Dead.

      (2) The gladiator sandals reminded me of the bacchanalian election night party in episode 1.12: “Nixon vs. Kennedy”, that Joan cautioned should not be allowed to turn into “the sack of Rome”. But it did.

      The hash pipe had many “nipples” and served many “customers”. Don’s mother, stepmother, and Aimee bared their nipples for many customers, in addition to Don and their own children, too.

      Harry’s pink jacket matched Megan’s pink dashiki; as TLo pointed out that pink=maternal role for Don. As Roger and Don’s guide, he was their “mother hen”-parallel to Stan’s “mother hen” role with Ginsberg.

      BACK AT SC&P – The artwork on the wall behind Ginsberg, in the creative room where he confronted Cutler, was ominous. If you examine the screenshot in which Ginsberg’s standing, hands on hips, you’ll see the angry red streak to the left of his head, the eye watching hi from the right side, and splashes of bright, wild-angry colors to the middle and bottom right.

      THE NEXT DAY AT SC&P – Further down, in the screenshot of Ginsberg’s office, where Bob Benson is holding out his hand, the picture behind Benson seems to be one of a turbaned figure carrying someone else (sort of a “he’s not heavy, he’s my brother” picture). Behind Ginsberg, in contrast, is a jumble of templates with sharp angles and big gaping holes (just like those in Ginsberg’s sanity). Heh.

      In that same photo, Ginsberg’s wearing a plaid jacket reminiscent of the one Roger wore to Joan’s house, when he was thrown off-balance by seeing Benson there and by Joan’s kicking him out. He was already non-plussed because his daughter had told him he was a poor father and would not be allowed to see his grandson again, unless Mona unsupervised him.

      LAST FEW SCREENSHOTS AT SC&P – In the last set of screenshots, where Pete’s smoking dope, there’s a bottle on the table that says, “Hip”. Pete’s hip (or hep) to what’s going on, and the primary colors behind him make it seem as easy as A-B-C to figure it all out if you bother to look. Only, Pete’s alone (among the old SCDP gang) to see that. Plus, the artwork on that board is askew, just like everything else in Pete’s work life and personal life.

      • dtiger

        Good observations. The bottle looked like Hire’s Root Beer to me. I don’t think the brand exists today.

        • decormaven

          It was a Hires Root Beer bottle; I think it’s still available, but only in cans.

    • fursa_saida

      Are they styling Joan to look a bit heavier, or has Christina Hendricks gained weight? Or is it my imagination? (It was looking at the side-by-side comparisons with now vs. the early days that made me wonder.) I say this not to criticize at all–CHendricks and Joan are both total babes–I was just wondering if it was a deliberate choice, I assume due to having had a baby and getting older.

      • SFree

        Remember, in 68 the style was Twiggy and Cher. Almost all of the new women on the show reflect that change. So, in comparison, she looks bigger. In the early 60′s she was reflecting Marilyn Monroe. She just looks fabulous, but more out of place in 1968. But can you imagine her trying to fit the Twiggy mold? It’s ridiculous for everyone, but particularly someone as awesome as Joanie.

        • fursa_saida

          The thought was triggered less by comparing her to other characters than by comparing the screencaps of her in season 1 in that fawn-colored dress vs. the ones of her in the blue suit talking to Peggy in the hallway, but I completely agree that Joan trying to go with shift dresses would be a tragedy.

        • Lisa

          Marilyn Monroe had lost a lot of weight by the time she died in the early 1960′s, to try to fit into existing ideals of beauty. I would think that the fact that Joan’s body had become less in fashion would have to have an impact on her sense of herself.

      • Thistle

        I’ve noticed it too. To me she looks padded out a bit, probably to emphasize her age and motherhood, as you say. In real life, Hendricks doesn’t seem to have grown at all.

      • vandeventer

        I think everyone was a little thinner or fitter in those early episodes – I assumed that was because most of them probably followed strict exercise and diet routines before being cast on the show. They were supposed to stop doing working out and stuff once they started on MM, in order to appear more true to the times. I figure everyone filled out just a bit for that reason!

        • fursa_saida

          Oh, really? I didn’t know that, thanks!

        • siriuslover

          I just assumed it’s the kind of undergarments they had to wear in the earlier seasons. Wasn’t there a discussion at one point about the kinds of support women wore to keep everything “just so”? Things were relaxing by the end of the ’60s.

      • dtiger

        She was padded in the season after she had the baby.

      • abby536

        I think those specific outfits differ in the way they fit her body. A suit has a waistband and in that case big buttons and sort of a big lapel profile. All three add a little bulk.

        That light brown thin sweater dress is just stretched right over her girdle and bra. She used to wear a lot more of that type of thing. She finds the world’s most flattering suits for her figure but they are never going to be quite as tight as a jersey dress.

    • heidelia

      You guys are unbelievable. I can’t believe you tied back in to that Napoleon song, that was brilliant. Please, please write a book about fashion politics in television.

    • Lenora Dody

      I’m not sure if this already posted but I wanted to thank you guys for this. You make the show even more interesting. I especially love the callbacks since I tend to forget and it’s interesting to see the characters’ growth and/or destruction!

    • leighanne

      “Joan’s story is very much a woman’s story and thus all the other women
      in the story, in effect, turn toward her as her tale is told.” Thanks for addressing this point about all the other women’s dress colors, esp in the office. I lost count of the number of times I saw a woman in the background at the office in a pastel colored dress. Joan stands out among them in her bright floral dress, but she is not tied to the power colors early on in the episode and the separation between her and Peggy stands out.

      Whenever Ken reappears, I don’t think he’ll be too happy to see how Bob is rising in the ranks…

      • editrixie

        How about Bob going to Detroit to work on Chevy? That is going to send Ken through the roof. I can’t wait.

    • Helen C

      OMG Megan’s teeth, I can’t even…

      Pete actually looked somewhat cute in Earlier seasons, like a amle Rory Gilmore (funnynhow they are enegaged), and he and Trudy looked like a set of dolls dancing the Charleston. but they really destroyed his appearance this season.

    • larrythesandboy

      What struck me about Joan’s multi-coloured dress in her first scenes was that the sleeves didn’t match – one frilly and romantic, the other plain. I interpreted this as reflecting her transition from her earlier girly persona into a more serious one focused on her career. In similar vein I thought that the busy pattern of the fabric reflected some sort of inner turmoil as she came to terms with this.

    • SFree

      I make a point to try not to think about T&L while I’m watching MM (but of course waiting very impatiently for Wednesdays). But as soon as the party scene started, I jumped out of my seat. What fun this must have been for Janie! It was almost too much to bear. I laughed at the Sonny & Cher reference, but Lotus particularly cracked me up. I knew far too many women like her in 1968-1972 and they were definitely the fashion icons of my era. Every senior picture in my yearbook (the girls, that is) looks exactly the same. Long and straight. Whether we ironed it or, in my case, just let it grow down my back, there was very little originality going on.

      • Qitkat

        Hailee Steinfeld’s picture the other day reminded me of that long, long hair of the era. I never did anything much with mine either. Have you ever seen a picture of Crystal Gayle, the country singer who had hair so long she could almost step on it?

        • Cheryl

          It was the influence of the Beatles’ girlfriends who started the long, straight hair trend. In the early 1960s, we were still setting our hair on rollers to get that bouffant look. Jane Asher and George’s first wife (Patti?) had that long hair, and all the girls I knew in high school started growing their hair out.

          • Qitkat

            Well do I remember :)

          • janierainie

            There is a Vidal Sassoon video on Netflix that is really really good. Highly recommend.

    • AutumnInNY

      Brilliant analysis as always TLo. I so look forward to this every Wednesday.

      I’m really loving Harry Hamlin in this Jim Cutler role. One of my favorite moments of the season was his “Is that Shalimar?” delivery to Moira. It was so perfect it didn’t even seem scripted. Well done Harry.

      Also, I remember many of my sister’s friends wearing those daisy earrings that Meredith has on. They also had pins and necklaces that they all bought from their Mom’s Sarah Coventry parties. Anyone remember those?

      • http://www.facebook.com/dglassman1 Doug Glassman

        Mad Men is not a show known for its stunt casting and they could have made a big deal out of Harry Hamlin, but he’s almost unrecognizable as Cutler… and he does such a perfect job of it.

        • AutumnInNY

          Right? I love that they do that, which is one of the things that make this show so special. They’re not concerned with casting celebrities/big names but with creating interesting “characters” with solid actors that fill the bill and story lines.

      • Qitkat

        I still have a Sarah Coventry rose circle pin, haven’t worn it in years. I looked it up on a vintage site, it is worth very little, there must have been a lot of them. My roommate sold SC for a while, and she was just around 19. I still remember the jewelry sample case she had. I don’t know if she tried to sell door to door, like Avon, or had parties. Never at our apartment though.

        • AutumnInNY

          I know, they aren’t very valuable monetarily just sentimental. They certainly hold up tho, I have to say I have some of those pieces passed down to me and all the clasps, hooks and pin backs have never broken or fallen off. They are full of good vibes from the girls in my family/friends who wore them before me.

    • ashtangajunkie

      It was the scene of Pete at the bottom of the stairs when it really hit home for me how bad he looks now. I’ve always liked Pete’s character – I mean, he’s been a total shit and utterly terrible at times, but I’ve never been able to hate him until this season, and I have really hated him on more than one occasion. I think you guys hit the nail on the head when you pointed out his perma-sneer and that VK’s entire affect has changed. Every scene with Joan and Betty pleased me greatly, right down to the costuming. I love the contrast between Joan’s floral and Peggy’s yellow suit, but with the subtle connection shown in Peggy’s scarf. So good, and looking for things like that make the show even more fun to watch. Also, I love Stan; I can’t say it enough. Could he be cuter in his beard and denim shirt? No. He could not.

    • desertwind

      I don’t know what it means, but in an odd way Bob and Ginzo sorta match in their two scenes.

    • Jette Kernion

      Danny and Lotus reminded me strongly of Paul Simon and Shelley Duvall in Annie Hall (albeit in different scenes), and the big California party in that movie, even though this party is set about seven-ish years earlier. I fully expected to see Jeff Goldblum on the phone asking about his mantra.

      • LastOfFive

        Me, too! I flashed on the “if I get too mellow I ripen and eventually rot” the minute I saw Danny!

    • dtiger

      I think the Avon guy felt comfortable with Joan. He’s newly divorced and new to his job and he felt he could talk to her and trust her. Don’t underestimate that. I think he would have been disappointed and felt betrayed if Joan wasn’t the person handling the Avon account.

      • Travelgrrl

        I got that sense too – that he was a new marketing director, somewhat inexperienced at hiring an agency, and truly liked Joan.

        • Cheryl

          I just thought of this: would Joan use Avon products? I’ve never used them; I always thought of them as generic. I would imagine Joan buys her cosmetics at an expensive department store on Fifth Avenue, not through mail-order.

          • Alice Teeple

            Oh yeah! Most definitely. Avon was a big deal, because it was seen as exclusive, not generic. Mail order was a big deal all the way up through the 90s. When I was in high school one of our neighbors came by every month or so to drop off a catalogue and we’d gleefully look through it for skin care and jewelry. One of the first rings I bought with my own money was a garnet and marcasite ring through Avon, which I wore proudly for years. Joan would have been very familiar with Avon coming up as a secretary. Vintage Avon jewelry is also still in high demand at vintage shops, along with Sarah Coventry (who probably made the little flower brooch that Moira wore) and Monet, which is definitely in keeping with Joan’s jewelry style of brooches and dangly bracelets. Working women wore tasteful statement pieces made by those three jewelry companies. Janie has the look down really well. Even today, Avon’s cute little perfume bottles from the mid-late 60s are very collectible. You can see a box for one in the board room. You can find them at flea markets, sometimes even in those original boxes!

            • Travelgrrl

              Meredith’s daisy earrings scream Avon. And I’m not sure Joan’s partnership has yielded any actual Benjamins – she’s dressing a little fancier and her (high quality) costume jewelry is bigger, but she’s still in a poxy apartment (compared with the other executive’s residences).

              So I can see her using a little Avon.

            • Alice Teeple

              Oh those earrings! I thought they were adorable! Definitely Avon. And yeah, it’s very much a middle-class lady company. Season 6 Joan is trying to set herself apart from Secretary Joan, and her clothes and jewelry are adapting with that. But in earlier seasons, before that partnership? I’d certainly peg her for a Monet, Coro or Trifari jewelry person, with Avon makeup.

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

              Just because she’s stayed in the same apartment doesn’t mean she’s not making much more money. She’d have to be making more money. It would make no sense for her not to be.

            • editrixie

              The thing I loved most about the Avon sample boxes were the little tiny mini lipsticks. I adored those. I made a comment in the Monday post about them, but it looks like mine got eaten. I think a lot of my mom’s jewelry came from Avon after we were born. She had to be more practical!

          • Chris

            Joan probably always bought her cosmetics from Avon or the drugstore as most middle class women did in those days. She is probably used to her makeup and perfume choices. Some women bought the same lipstick or perfume their entire lives regardless of the changes in styles. My Mom’s makeup colors and choices are firmly set in the 1950′s even now and she wore the same perfume for decades until they discontinued it. Avon was tonier than buying drugstore makeup and most middle class women wouldn’t go to high end stores for makeup like they would nowadays.

          • SFree

            I don’t think she said she used them. Unlike Peggy, who remembered the Avon lady with her mother. But Peggy definitely came from a lower income class than Joan, don’t you think?

            • 3hares

              I think the make-up we think of as good started around the time the show’s out now. Avon didn’t used to seem as cheap, I don’t think. But I don’t think Peggy came from a lower income class. Joan was raised by a single mother who doesn’t seem to be wealthy. I would think she grew up struggling somewhat.

            • Chris

              I don’t think Joan came from higher class or more money than Peggy. Was she raised by a single Mom? I got that impression somehow. (And Joan’s mother never struck me as any fancier than Peggy’s Mom, just more of a coquette. It’s hard to imagine Peggy’s Mom sweet talking anyone.) Joan is a good bit older than Peggy- at least 10 years, so when they meet Joan is already established as head of all the secretaries and it’s Peggy’s first job. Joan dresses better and is far more sophisticated because she has a much higher income and has years of experience on Peggy. Joan’s friend sold Mary Kay and I got the feeling she and Joan were from the same background.

    • OrigamiRose

      TLo, I’ve no idea if you will *ever* see remark; this but increasingly I have sent your MadStyle links to a creative in advertising who was my mentor (he’s a Don/Ted, I’m a Joan/Peggy) and in reply to this one he said, “I feel like I’d completely missed the episode after reading this – it’s so fresh and illuminating.”

    • pattycap11

      though pete is giving up, hopefully it’s of the moment. i don’t know if someone’s mentioned it yet, but in the previews it looks like somebody comes to pete’s apt., someone with white hair? and pete is annoyed and says, what do you want? maybe it’s roger, come to find out what he knows. i’d love to see this season end with a cool plan, like when they broke off from the brits. but i don’t know. everyone we know and love this season seems to be just a little behind the curve.

    • KayEmWhy

      And now I have a Dr. Demento earworm, from the 6th grade. :-D Thanks for the reviews.

    • Katherine P.

      Does anyone know who was that woman walking by the conference room when Don asked Dawn to “Get my wife on the phone” just at the end? She was looking around in a quick, evasive and abrupt way and Don looked at the hall for an extra beat. She worries me.

      Going with the whole Ginsberg illness theme… When Peggy was recruiting a new copywriter and was looking through Ginsberg’s book she pointed out one ad as especially good. It was just a photo of eyes, staring straight out, life-size from newspaper. I think the eyes were vertical and the ad was something about people watching. You could argue that ad exemplifies an instance of someone trying to make their internal world transfer to their external.

      But does anyone know who that woman was?

      • siriuslover

        You know, I got the same vibe, but as a heavier person, I thought it was because she was rather heavy and you didn’t really see that around that office. Men yes, but not so much women. But that’s my own insecurities projecting onto the office politics of Mad Men.

    • gracedarling

      I think you two have finally convinced me about Ginsberg – up until now, given the way that the show has always been preoccupied with Jewish identity to a degree, I had felt that he was just being very, very ‘New York Jew’ – a counterpoint to the elegance of Rachel Menken and Jane Siegal, a schlemiel in the ad agency. This is the year that The Producers came out. Dark, dark humour is a touchpoint of Jewish identity, and a young guy like Ginsberg, modelling himself in the Woody Allen/Mel Brooks mode, would definitely be neurotic and weird and off the wall in parts. (There’s a good recent article in the National Post that gets into the Jewish ‘death schtick’ – you can find it here: http://arts.nationalpost.com/2013/05/28/fulford-the-schtick-of-time/.)

      This week’s episode seems to come straight from the paranoid schizophrenic playbook, though, which as a plot point is I suppose just as interesting. Mental illness has been a bit of a thread through the series as well, going back to Betty’s own neuroses, so it’ll be interesting to see how or whether Weiner and co. develop it a bit more explicitly.

    • PowerfulBusiness

      Since it is the late 60′s on the show, I never dreamed further than having a Draper Olson agency end the series. But now, gosh darn it, they’ve got me begging for Holloway Olson,and anything less is going to seem quaint and status quo. Don’t taunt me like this Mad Men!

      • Jaialaibean

        Give them half a chance, and those two will work well together.

    • EricaVee

      I just love how blatantly they mess with us and our theories. In this episode we got “Are you a homo?” to address the Bob Benson gay theory and Pete Campbell saying something like “What, are you two going off to start your own agency?” to Joan and Peggy.

      The best part is that they have to be anticipating our speculation ahead of time!

      But nothing will beat Joan’s “Your dying in Vietnam isn’t the solution” to Greg last season.

    • Darren Nesbitt

      I work as a jr. planner in advertising now (not client facing) and I get to wear jeans and sneakers to work often in 2013 but isn’t Meredith’s dress kind of over the top and sexy for an office secretary?

      • Cheryl

        It’s a mini but I don’t find it that sexy — it’s cute. I wore the same clothes at the time (and they are still in my closet, albeit sealed up in a large plastic bag. So cute, I couldn’t bear to part with them.)

      • Travelgrrl

        The long sleeves and high neck are positively Amish. Other than that’s it’s a mini, she’s a bonnet away from Rumspringa.

      • Chris

        It looks like a little girl’s dress to me. I have family pictures from that era where cousins who were kids at the time were wearing the exact same thing. She could be dressed for a 6th grade school picture, hair and all.

    • gefeylich

      I think Bob is a combo of Dick Whitman/Don Draper (without the pilfered dog tags and immense self-confidence) and J. Pierpont Finch, the role which made Robert Morse’s career. He still might also be a secret axe murderer.

      Excellent analysis, as always, and you’ve convinced me that Ginsberg is truly mentally ill and not just having PTSD flashbacks. I feel terrible for him.

      It’s amazing how unattractive I find Ted now. I was developing a little crush on him, but then the worm turned and started wearing all those butt-ugly sports coats. Ugh.

      • Jaialaibean

        In other words, you prefer your men in turtlenecks? That look does work a lot better for him. I’m wondering if he’ll return to it when the summer is over, or if SC&P is just never going to be that kind of place.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      There’s a reason Meredith is so far out of touch from Joan with her Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm. She’s scared shitless of her after Joanie went batshit on her last season.

      • Chris

        I don’t know if Meredith is that scared of Joan. Joan must have been the one who promoted her to handling the administrative end of the partners meetings although I cannot figure out why she was chosen. As I said somewhere else, there has to be someone in the secretarial staff there smarter than Meredith who could handle it. It puzzles me. Meredith was smart enough to let Joan know she didn’t open the Avon box though!

        • Jaialaibean

          Probably because Meredith, unlike Scarlett, who used to handle this, is the one person who would never pose a threat to Joan’s position as queen bee.

    • Li’l Sally

      Joan’s floral “date with Avon” dress reminded me of Betty’s floral “date with Henry at the Ossining bakery during the eclipse” dress. Same swirling floral and snug fit. The look paid off for Betty, who was pretending to have a business meeting but actually flirting. Joan was ready to flirt, only to be confronted with a real biz meeting.

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

      Sweet : ) Stephanie Drake (who plays Meredith) tweeted us: https://twitter.com/DrakeStephanieM/status/342475874899218432

      • siriuslover

        that’s awesome!

      • Chris

        That is phenomenal!

    • Farewell Trustees

      Speaking of Harry’s trendy style in LA, I’ve noticed that in the MM Season 6 promo pictures (featured on your site here: http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/2013/03/mad-men-season-6-promo-photos.html) in the final shot of the page, Harry still looks pretty old-school and square. (Also, Ginzberg wasn’t updated and has no moustache). Of the group of four men (including Ken), Stan was the only man updated with a new look and facial hair. So does this mean Janie changed her mind about updating Harry and Ginsberg’s look after the promo shots were created? Or did she want to give us an extra surprise this season by withholding their style changes on the promo shots? I’m intrigued by the possibility that Harry and Ginzberg’s style updates were an eleventh hour decision.

    • Jessica Daniels

      My mom had that same shirt Danny was wearing, back in the day. Not sure if that’s more damning toward my mom or Danny.

    • lilyvonschtupp

      I’m saving that last photo of Pete as my avy.

    • misscellaneous

      Snarfed up my wine when Madeleine came out in my dress from sixth grade! Too perfect.

      • masspatriot

        Meredith?

    • Cordelia_Gray

      I have that weird gold circle necklace Lotus is wearing! I got it from my mom, who in 1968, was a California hippie. :-)

    • Bridgette

      Has anyone noticed the amount of stripes used in this episode? Especially with the ties? The men who appeared to have some sort of turmoil appear to wear striped ties (Roger doesn’t have striped tie on at all during this episode when he is wearing one and Jim tie is always solid; all the other men ties are striped) Ginsberg appears to wear quite a bit of stripes in this episode which ties into the fact that he might have some type of mental illness going on. And even Megan wears stripes at the beginning of the episode. Maybe this means something….maybe it means nothing.

    • librarygrrl64

      “Bob the ultimate brown-noser gets his payoff while wearing yet another brown suit.”

      I noticed that, too, and wondered if it was a sign of him shifting his loyalties, reflected in his change from the cool grays and blues of Don and SCDP to the warm earth tones of Ted. Like switching uniforms when being traded from one team to another.

      • Chris

        It could be, my first thought was Cutler was trying to get him on “his team.”

        Love your avatar! Barbara Gordon is the best!

    • LastOfFive

      It occurs to me that Joan is wearing a bow when her old value as merely a petty package is at odds with her desire to be valued for her content.

    • Mollye Readinger-Scott

      The scene with Bob Benson listening to the album reminds me of the Opening scene in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” The film that was the big break for Robert Morse (Bert Cooper) playing J. Pierpont Finch – a very Bob Benson like character.

      • Froide

        Bob’s resting the album against his abdomen (filling himself with meaningful knowledge and inspiration, preparatory to being ready to seize opportunities where ever he and they found each other):
        …Reminded me of Megan’s holding her stomach (which was filling with a second chance) and
        …Seemed the antithesis of Abe’s stomach wound (killing any chance he and Peggy would bear children together), the emptiness Megan felt her marriage represented, and the loss of her pregnancy which she would have carried in the very spot covered by the red star on her white tee shirt, last episode.

    • gabrielamoralesperez

      you are so brilliantl the most brilliant ever in the whole wide world.

    • Donna B. Long

      Bob is Sal’s boyfriend. *fingers crossed*

    • HobbitGirl

      I would KILL for Joan’s aqua suit here. I really wish they made women’s businesswear like that these days.

    • desertwind

      Don’s Fantasy Hippie Megan sure is clean and neat. Look at how sharply ironed her shirt is!

    • Froide

      Meredith clearly aspires to emulate Joan, though she’s not up to the task.
      …Compare her silver bracelet, which sports a single charm (a heart), to Joan’s more expensive burnished gold one, resplendent with numerous charms, including multiple hearts.
      …Note how her dress style imitates Joan’s (though it’s more childish and (as I posted somewhere above), most resembles the empty sweater Joan has shed and hung on the back of the door. The sweater’s colors are darker/bolder and the fabric heavier and more autumnal/wintry than Meredith’s lighter-colored lilac dress with its spring/summer fabric. In other words, Joan’s always been smarter, stronger, more “seasoned” than Meredith will ever be.

      Meredith is also so NOT Peggy, though she’s trying:
      …Though Peggy’s dress, like Meredith’s (but not Joan’s) is summery, Peggy looks and acts like plucking her out of the Belle Jolie “Basket of Kisses” focus group to take on a more responsible job was the right thing to do Meredith, on the other hand, behaves like the more girly, shallow secretaries the advertisement was targeting.
      …During the Belle Jolie focus group, Peggy stated that she was particular about her colors. Since her color was already taken, she wasn’t interested in the others. Similarly, Meredith was seeking the right color and wanted Peggy’s advice.

    • Froide

      In Pete’s eyes, Joan = Bob Benson:
      - Last episode, Bob, revealed to Pete that Bob and Joan had a social relationship.
      - This episode, Pete told Joan: a senior accounts man and a creative meet with the client, and then if things go well, a junior accounts person is sent to show the client around. In Avon’s case, Pete saw himself and Peggy as that first pair, and Joan as the junior accounts person. In Jaguar’s case, Pete saw himself and Don as that first pair, and Bob Benson as the junior accounts person. Pete – who with Jaguar, denigrated the crucial roles Joan and Lane played in securing the business – is making the same mistake by denigrating Joan’s role in bringing in Avon.

      Joan’s dark purple sweater = the late Lane Pryce
      …The dark purple dresses Joan has worn in the past, associated with her becoming a partner came up again in this episode, in the form of her hanging her dark purple sweater on the back of her office door. Joan’s placement of her dangling, empty purple sweater recalls Lane’s dead body, hanging behind his office door.

    • Froide

      The bright yellow dress Pete saw in the very last frames is very meaningful:

      - It recalls the dress the hostess wore at the party in the California Canyons.
      IN CALIFORNIA: The hostess told Don and Roger how to fit in: drugs are in the candy dish, or make a friend. She also invited Don to suck from the hashish pipe nipple, but he first had to remove his shoes (get comfortable), and if he were thirsty, the pool was full of water (diving in would “kill” the uptight/anxious persona).
      IN NY: Pete got some drugs from a friend (Stan). If Pete wants to fit in, he must chill out.

      - It recalls the taxi or bus concept I mentioned earlier, from Tony Soprano’s insight: “mothers are like buses; they drop you off and then keep going”. Similarly, in each encounter the party hostess extended an invitation, made a comment, then walked away.
      RELEVANCE TO PETE: He’d better get on board (get with the program), or ship out, as Don advised. Getting on board can be seductive, but advice about how to do so is given in terse bursts.

      - It recalls the bright yellow jacket Harry wore the day he dropped Don and Roger off at their hotel in California.
      RELEVANCE: Harry, like a taxi, school bus, or hostess, took Don and Roger to their destinations; paved the way, made introductions, and offered Don/Roger advice, but he wasn’t an integral part of any of their adventures beyond that point; Don/Roger had to take it from there. Roger, in particular, was a stranger in a strange land the entire trip and seemed he always would be. Don, on the other hand, embraced his experiences but “got in over his head” and needed Roger to save him. [Not sure where that's going.]

    • DesertDweller79

      The California scenes were perfection! My parents were in their early 20s in the late 60s, living in Los Angeles. Oh, this scene was so reminiscent of old photographs of theirs.

    • Damien W

      Amazingly, right now AMC is showing last season’s “Signal 30″ (where Joan secretly listens in on the Lane/Pete fight) back-to-back with the rerun of “A Tale of Two CIties” — are they reading this site as closely as the rest of us?

    • LadyJaneRageyPants

      I’ve actually started to ,say, “critique,” my own outfit choices because of this wonderful column. Yeah, no shame.

    • andi56

      I would like to make a point about Bob Benson, since the guys almost nailed it: Bob Benson mentioned that he had been with BBH — Brown Brothers Harriman, the white-shoe, uber white guy, Ivy League banking firm. So his buttoned-up, private club persona is done perfectly well, as his strange chameleon-like behavior. He obviously didn’t fit into BBH, so why did he leave? He seemed chagrined that he was working there before SCDPetc.
      Also, Michael Ginsberg is exhibiting all of the symptoms of a Holocaust survivor of a certain age. Remember, he was born in a concentration camp, and his dissociative behavior and nature seems to be clashing in a big way. Mental illness? Maybe, but it’s really something much larger: survivor guilt, panic, and the idea that he is alien to his environment, which is altogether true. Last season, Peggy asked him if there were others. He looks off into space and says he hasn’t found any yet; he was most likely referring to survivors, like him.

    • Maya

      Danny in this episode really reminded me of Paul Simon standing next
      to Diane Keaton in Annie Hall:
      http://www.paul-simon.info/PHP/pictures/thumb2/755_AnnieHall.jpg

    • Stel Wolf

      Has anyone looked carefully at the
      background characters in the ‘ Two Cities” House Party arrival scene?! It was
      pretty clear pausing the DVR and even clearer here with the helpful sequence of
      stills: Jimmie Hendrix is likely sitting on the fireplace ledge next
      to his guitar.

      Jim Morrison is likely wearing an
      orange scarf and standing with his ornamental GF in front of the
      fireplace. There could be more coy references to ’68 Hollywood personalities via
      the yard party backdrops. These are subtle
      depictions by extras, but it is not too far fetched. It’s what makes Mad Men
      sort of extra fun.

      Better this than kvetching over which models of the
      IBM Selectric were produced in the early 1960′s -vs- later 1960′s.

      Cheers.

    • Travelgrrl

      See my comment below that a lot of it is part of her dress – a gigantic interconnected gold chain thingy over the dress, made to be worn together. Then a bunch of mismatching jewelry over that.

    • Travelgrrl

      My sister had that exact gold chain thingy on a dress in 1969 – a center medallion with chains going over the hips and waist and chest, and around the neck. (And she was 7!) All the other jewelry is typical hippie jewelry of the day, although that purplish necklace looks like mid-70′s pukka shells.

    • Chris

      Everyone used a tailor a lot more in those days. Clothes were well made and investment pieces. Women would not get rid of an expensive dress or suit if styles changed, they would have the hem raised or lowered. Same with shoes, cobblers did a big business repairing and re-soleing shoes. Things were made to last and people maintained things. If you watch Vertigo where Jimmy Stewart buys Kim Novac the grey suit they don’t walk out the door with it, the store has it tailored first.

    • sneakerup

      Every major department store had an alterations department.

    • judybrowni

      Actually, the dress is navy blue with a lime green tie: a recurring pairing of those colors in those years.

      Navy blue is also a standard business color for men’s suits — the lime green tie feminitiy injected. (And yet another pairing of blue and green.)

      Otherwise, right on the mark.

    • verve

      But Joan’s been wearing much more business-like attire this season (ever since she got the partnership)… all those little double-breasted jackets and vests with their matching skirts. Or just look at what she wore to the Avon breakfast: that’s much more business like in style, if not color, that that navy/green bow dress. To my mind, the fact that she had a prominent bow like Meredith reduces the seriousness of her attire. This is, after all, the outfit she wears to get chewed out by Pete and Ted, from which she’s rescued by an outside party to only slightly ‘safer’ ground.

    • http://twitter.com/susanpcollier Susan Collier

      They mentioned in the spying via intercom segment that Peggy was wearing same hues (including shoes) as Joan did the previous day.

    • OrigamiRose

      It’s in there as Susan Collier points out, but half the fun of these posts is really absorbing them over multiple reads as there is so much to take in (and so much incredible recall on display). I made some comment downthread wondering if it was Moira that Cutler was sniffing after and wondering if she was wearing Shalimar and it’s in this recap too! *facepalm*

    • DeniseSchipani

      They do — they note that when Peggy saves the day for Joan, she’s wearing a blue dress and yellow pumps, like Joan wore at the Avon breakfast meeting.

    • Kathryn Sanderson

      I think you can still get shoe paint on line. I looked into it once because I was looking for silver shoes to wear to a wedding and had found a style I liked that didn’t come in silver. But I ended up getting different shoes.

      Re: matching, yep, it’s just the opposite now. Being “too matchy-matchy” is the fashion crime.

    • dashransome

      I thought the same about the puka beads – I remember them from the 70s. Are those pukas in Danny’s bracelet? (or tourquoise maybe?)….Maybe they showed up later on the east coast. Other than that I feel like the jewelry is accurate. …I associate feather earrings with the eighties.

    • Paula Pertile

      This has reminded me that my mom used to take things to “the alterations lady”, often, it seemed to me. I think every (good) department store had one.

    • CatherineRhodes

      I completely agree. It was before globalization and clothes as a percentage of income were expensive.

    • Paula Pertile

      omg. I remember painting my tap shoes to match a costume. Those little spongey applicators.

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

      And Susan’s point was that you missed the point.

    • fursa_saida

      Many still do! Most people just can’t afford or don’t bother to take advantage of it; I also think a lot simply don’t know. The only reason I know about it is that when I was a kid my dad used to take me shopping with him when he had suits to buy, and anything he was getting got altered for sure. (Shortness is an expensive curse sometimes. Thank god for skinny jeans.)

    • Thistle

      I was at Nordstrom’s Rack recently and they had an alterations price list in the dressing room.

    • Jaialaibean

      It’s tied with a big, festive green bow. So yes, it’s a business tie, but it’s also a gift tie.

    • abby536

      If he takes off his coat and tie and leaves them he’s dead for sure.

      I kept waiting.

    • AmeliaEve

      Yes, and labor was relatively cheaper than today. A woman like Joan may have just had a dressmaker.

    • Chris

      Yes a lot of women used dressmakers in the 60′s. Joan doesn’t fall into this category- but women who were larger sized just didn’t have a lot of options, especially then. There were no Lane Bryants around. Even now when you go to stores like Lord and Taylor etc. many suits etc. don’t come above size 14. If you look at vintage clothing sites there are a lot of dresses that aren’t “name brands” or will be listed as made by a dressmaker. That blue satin one Betty wore when she found out about Bobbie Barrett and recently held up to herself in the mirror- TLO had mentioned it looked like something Betty would have had a dressmaker make for her. I have seen ones on vintage sites made out of almost identical materials from the time period listed as “dressmaker made.”

    • librarygrrl64

      Re: pukas, IIRC, they came out of west coast surf culture in the 60s, then they became popular here on the east coast in the 70s and early 80s.

    • AmeliaEve

      Actually, Lane Bryant was founded in 1904 in New York City. They offered the first commercially produced maternity wear, and quickly moved into other specialty markets for “stout” and tall women. They have always been a major presence in catalogue sales. Living in New York, Joan would have had access to more specialty shops than women in other parts of the country. But a dressmaker would still have been a moderately priced option compared to off-the-rack costs of the time.