Mad Men: A Day’s Work

Posted on April 21, 2014

Mad-Men-Season-7-Episode-2-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLORobert Morse, Christina Hendricks, Christine Garver, John Slattery, and Harry Hamlin in AMC’s Mad Men

 

 

“Keep pretending. That’s your job.” - Dawn

“Just cash the checks. You’re gonna die some day.” – Ted

There you go. The Mad Men Mission Statement in a nutshell. But honestly, the episode wasn’t as dark as those quotes suggest. The bleakness of last week’s episode wasn’t really evident here, a storytelling choice we welcomed gladly. It’s not that everyone’s existential angst suddenly lifted; more like everyone was just getting on with things (“Life goes on,” says Don rather tritely and impotently to Sally), with occasional bursts of righteous self-assertion and even a stroke of luck or two.

In fact, this is our favorite kind of Mad Men episode. Because we were not particularly in love with season 6, we wonder if this isn’t our favorite Mad Men episode in quite a long time. Everyone remembers the really seismic episodes of the series, like when the Sterling Cooper partners blew up the agency and started Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce or when Betty threw Don out for good or when Peggy got promoted to copy writer and celebrated by unexpectedly giving birth. But we’ve realized, as the show is winding down and there’s a feel of things heading toward whatever sort of non-conclusion Matthew Weiner is likely to have planned, that as we look back on the series, it was always the episodes like this one that were the most satisfying to watch over and over again; the ones that had a series of tiny but sudden micro-shifts in the status quo.  Events that ripple outward. Sally’s roommate’s mother dies and because of that one event, Dawn gets a promotion, Joan gives herself a promotion and Don gets something only the truly charmed and/or privileged (and you could argue that Don is both) ever get in life: a second chance.

It’s become something of a cliche to pick up on pretty much any metaphor or motif on this show and say, “This is the theme of Mad Men.” But even if no one will ever fully agree on what the for-real, final, absolute theme of Mad Men is, it’s hard to deny that the show has at least spent a significant amount of time obliquely examining the idea of change; how it plays out and how it affects people. Weiner & Co. set out to, not so much rewrite the ’60s as a decade as to challenge the dominant story being told about it. For the vast majority of people, it wasn’t a decade of free love and political protests. Again and again, the show tells a story where change happens on the periphery or under people’s feet without them realizing it. Again and again, it does this on scales both large and small. Small-scale: Don and Sally’s reconciliation. Large-scale: The civil rights movement causes drastic changes in how black people are perceived and interacted with by the main, white characters.

One recurring motif in the show’s story is where women advance suddenly and unexpectedly because of some sort of drama happening independent of them. Peggy basically got promoted to copywriter because Don got into a pissing match with Pete. Joan wouldn’t have thought to ask for a partnership in exchange for prostitution if Lane hadn’t been desperate to convince her not to ask for money, which would have revealed his embezzlement to the rest of the partners. Dawn got an initial promotion (in her eyes, at least) to managing the time cards and supply closet because Joan got into an argument with Harry over Scarlett’s time card and had the prostitution thing thrown in her face in the middle of a partner’s meeting, making her realize she needed to stop thinking like a secretary herself and start thinking like a partner. We’re not exactly sure why the creators choose to have women’s career advancements occur in this way, but they did it twice again with this episode. Dawn finds herself sitting in her own office because Don tells too many lies for any one person to keep track of (and because Lou Avery is essentially the Joffrey Baratheon of SC&P) and Joan finds herself in a big fat account “man’s” office, right next to Roger’s office, because Jim Cutler is plotting and scheming like crazy and he’s got his eyes set on Roger at the moment.

In fact, there’s something a little telling about the events and decisions that landed these two women in their brand new offices. Jim, it would seem, has a Machiavellian-like ability to suss out people’s weak spots. Essentially telling Joan to promote herself and take the office next to Roger’s could indicate that he’s figured out the extent of their history with each other and knows that her presence as an executive right outside his door is going to serious unnerve Roger. And we kind of wonder if Joan didn’t hand Dawn the means to eavesdrop on any conversation happening in the conference room because she figured out the extent to which Dawn is still Don’s girl and doing his bidding in the office. Earlier, Roger tried to joke with Lou in the office the way he used to with Don and found it to be a wholly unsatisfying experience in comparison. We wonder if some of the partners actually miss Don and want him back.

Don himself is adrift, an “ex-wife” still getting alimony from the agency he helped create; unable to look for new work because of his contract and slowly coming to the realization that, while the industry is still intrigued by him, his outburst of honesty at the exact wrong moment in his life may have permanently damaged his reputation on Madison Avenue. He’s a lonely, powerless middle-aged man in an apartment that’s looking increasingly run down, marking the liquor bottle in the vain hope he can somehow control that which he’s never been able to control.

Meanwhile, the show suddenly discovers black people. Or at least, that’s how it felt. Dawn has been, for the most part, a disappointingly undeveloped character with little in the way of motivations except to be a good girl and keep her head down. Apparently, what she needed was a Shirley in the office. Watching these two women have a highly entertaining breakroom chat that was half bitching about their bosses and half acting as a Greek chorus for the rest of the story was the best part of the hour. “Who the hell is buying her flowers?” We loved the obvious in-joke of them calling each other by their own names; an indication of just how much all the white people in the office tend to mix the two of them up.

And in maybe not the most satisfying ways, the show finally attempted to address racism, which is something it’s largely failed to do effectively over the length of its run. We joked on twitter that this was the “Everyone yells at black people” episode of Mad Men. Shirley and Dawn both got (figuratively) slapped around by their respective bosses, but the show seemed to back off the suggestion that either Lou or Peggy are outright racists. In other words, both the black characters got treated like shit by their bosses, but only because their bosses were acting like assholes, not because of any real racism. We wouldn’t have noticed or cared about that much, except that the story ultimately decided to make the “real” racist Bert Cooper, thereby giving it a somewhat toothless, ineffectual, outmoded feel. We actually think Peggy does have some latent race issues. She once made it clear to Dawn that she was uncomfortable leaving her purse out all night in front of her. And instead of drunkenly embarrassing herself in the office (Oh, is she ever Don 2.0), Peggy might want to examine why she never once thought to consider that the roses on her secretary’s desk might actually be for her secretary. Because honestly, you put a white girl at that desk and the story wouldn’t play out that way. To simply lift a gift off a person’s desk in the assumption that it must be yours indicates that you don’t quite see that person as on your level or worthy of consideration.

Then again, and (sort of) in her defense, Peggy’s clearly pretty rough to work with at the moment. It’s not exactly shining the best light on her to have things play out this way, but without a mentor like Don or Ted in her professional life, she seems to be falling apart. Ginsberg seems to hate her and we actually feel bad for Stan, who seems to get the brunt of her frustrations all the time. This was not her finest hour by a long shot. But while we appreciate the idea of showing a darker, less perfect side of Peggy’s personality, the “falling apart because A MAN” thing is such a cliche. If she could rebuff Pete’s daily office cruelty back when she was barely post-virginity, we think she should be able to handle the idea of Ted still existing somewhere thousands of miles away without completely losing her shit. We think we’d have liked the idea of exploring this Brooklyn working class girl’s latent, subtle racist tendencies despite all her advancements and sophistication. Instead we got “pathetic spinster.” Oh, well. They gave us the Dawn & Shirley show, which makes up for it.

But what really made this episode for us was another highly satisfying exploration of the greatest, most important relationship Don Draper’s life; the one he has with his daughter Sally. All of the most poignant, infuriating, and heartbreaking episodes have centered around this relationship. And to Don’s amazement (and that was a look of raw amazement on his face at the end), it turns out that the only thing he needed to repair what looked like an irreparably damaged relationship was some actual, no-bullshit honesty for once. That moment of Hershey-whorehouse conference room honesty of last season cost him everything; making manifest that which he always feared the most: If people found out the truth about him, his life would be destroyed. But here’s Sally, the only person in his life willing to angrily point out his bullshit and get him to actually listen to her. We think the central question of these season was the one posed in its opening seconds by Freddie Rumsen: “Do you have time to change your life?” With one short moment of honesty, Don managed to do that. “Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you” is the most loving, beautiful thing anyone has ever said to him, loaded as it was with forgiveness of his many flaws and transgressions. He’s too reserved and repressed to truly show it, but we’re pretty sure that look of amazement on his face hid a much deeper feeling of ecstasy. If Sally can love him, even after all the shit he’s put her through, then maybe change really is possible. It’s what he wanted to believe in that moment, as he watched her walk away from him.

Much more to come in our Mad Style post on Wednesday, including the rather disarming side of Miss Bonnie Whiteside.

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/AMC]

    • MilaXX

      I felt for Shirley and Dawn tonight so I’m happy things worked out for them in the end. Peggy has always been socially awkward, but oy was she in rare form tonight. Honestly I’d rather see and exploration of Peggy’s more subtle form of racism than the obvious old school version that Bert displayed. I have to admit it was refreshing to see Don have a moment of honesty with Sally and more importantly for it to pay off in a positive way.
      I can see the show ending with Peggy in Bert’s role reflecting back on her life. I think Don has pretty much reached the end of his rope professionally speaking. I can’t see him being more than either a figurehead at SCP or a ghostwriter via Freddy unless Peggy somehow obtains more authority ad keeps him around.
      Alan Sepinwall gave gave a shout out to T & Lo’s style analysis and mentioned the many pink & reds tones in tonight’s episode. That’s not surprising in an episode that takes place on Valentines day, but I need to rewatch before I have anything more thoughtful to ad.

      • P M

        There’s the threat of the beginnings of the partnership falling apart. Pete + Don? Pete+Ted? Jim+ who knows? So in all that potential turmoil, Don may find a way somehow. Or just decamp to Cali and become a hippie – who knows….

        • jrcsfo

          Pete&Peggy.

      • Eric Stott

        Peggy’s veneer of Madison Avenue sophistication is very very thin, and the Catholic Schoolgirl keeps showing through.

        • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

          “These flowers are cursed!”

        • JMWilder

          I just misread “Peggy” as “Pete.” I laughed for a solid minute before I realized my mistake. Pete as a Catholic schoolgirl is the funniest thing I’ve imagined so far today.

          • Eric Stott

            Who knows what sort of kinky cosplay he’s into? “Mother Superior, I’ve been very VERY bad and need your correction”

        • P M

          Or do you mean the girl from Bay Ridge?

          • Eric Stott

            Both

      • jen_vasm

        Peggy is so self-absorbed right now, with both Don and Ted out of the picture and no one to act as a mentor/mirror. She’s always operated with a powerful man to be father/lover/boss to swim towards or away from, and Lou will most definitely not play that game with her. She’s flailing and emotionally blind to the world around her. She’s got to get over herself to learn to rely on herself. As for her racism, I’d put her in the same category of most of the people in the office: overall faint good intentions, but still not willing to deal with the prevalent racism of the time. Cooper, however, has always cloaked his rancid belief of rich white male superiority in politeness – his thought that having the dumbest of the dumb white receptionist is a better image than a smart & capable black one is at least an anachronism that is not shared by most of his colleagues.

        • Vanessa

          Agree about Peggy, but I also think that this is the flip side of the “women advancing because of random events” scenario that characterizes the extent to which advancement for women still depended on men. Instead of a male ally in the office helping her to move forward past the general sexism of the time, she has instead a more typical male boss, who completely blocks her from succeeding and she can’t get around him.

          • jen_vasm

            Exactly. Lou is that type of soul sucking boss that doesn’t appreciate talent or creativity, just getting stuff off of his desk. Interesting that the biggest rise we’ve seen from him was related to Don – Sally’s visit and Dawn’s reaction to it.

            • MartyBellerMask

              Turns out he’s incredibly threatened by Don. I don’t blame him really. But it’s probably going to be his downfall.

            • decormaven

              And it can’t come soon enough.

            • Alloy Jane

              It says something about the show (or me) that I can’t stop thinking about this episode. But your comment, about Lou being threatened by Don really explains why he lost it on Dawn and probably why he totally dismisses Peggy. They are both Don’s girls. One is his gate-keeper and protector, the other is his protégé. And you can attribute his chumminess with Shirley at the end to the fact that Shirley has no fondness for Peggy and now those two women are at direct odds. He has no reason to not play nice with Shirley at this point. Lou may be mediocre but I’m sure he knows the value of a good mole. Or maybe I’m just stretching, but there’s so much insidious behavior occuring that it’s hard to not see scheming everywhere. And Cutler? There must be a joke in his name because he sure knows how to unravel a situation to his advantage.

            • MartyBellerMask

              Even the jerks (especially the jerks!) have layers. I didn’t even think about how Shirley will fit into everything. I was thinking, oh he’s a racist, it will be miserable for her. BUT… the writers are so good. Man, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

      • Chris

        I disagree completely about Don. He’s definitely been in a downward spiral the last couple of months but I think everyone is really exaggerating how bad his situation is. He made a scene in a pitch that is already being confused about the industry whether it involved “punching a guy” or something along the lines of what really happened. He’s still a partner in a very successful agency which means he has made a lot of money and is worth a lot of money if they want to force him out. He’s still got his talent as shown last week with his Freddy pitch, and he keeps up to date on the shows, ads and what’s going on at SC&P (thanks to Dawn) as much as he can. He’s a former Clio winner whose name still means a lot in higher circles. He may not be a young guy, but even a middle aged Don Draper still looks like John Hamm and has charm and brains. If some old hack like Lou without charm, talent and people skills can land a cushy position as SC&P I don’t think Don is at the end of his rope. Roger is slowly waking up to the fact he handed the reigns of his agency over to Cutler and that he has no friends or allies right now. I’m not sure what is going to happen with Don, but he’s being set up, as surely as Peggy is, for a resurgence in some way.

        • UsedtobeEP

          I think the fact that he’s still dressing well and keeping up with what’s going on, and having meetings, is a sign that he’s still in the game, too. He’s deceiving others but he hasn’t thrown in the towel.

          • Chris

            Plus, to be realistic he’s a white male with a ton of money, experience and prestige who in many ways is seen as being in his “prime” working age. He will never be as vulnerable as Peggy or Joan on their best day. He also has talent and incredible resilience. He needs to have an outlet and he will find one. His ego will always demand a certain amount of power. Also, can anyone imagine the show ending without some kind of rapprochement between him and Peggy?

            • P M

              EXACTLY. The men will never be as vulnerable as the women are. Someone somewhere on the internet (was it TLo?) imagined Joanie and Peggy running off and forming their own agency – would it be too much to hope this will come true?

        • MichelleRafter

          Like this. I wouldn’t be surprised if the season – or series – ended with Don and a few of the others peeling off to start another agency.

          • MRC210

            Yes, my thoughts too. I see an upswing for Don and (maybe wishful thinking here) Peggy too. Of the three, I think Roger will be the one who flat-lines or keeps going down.

            • MichelleRafter

              Peggy’s always had a mentor, either Don or Ted. Now she has Lou, who’s made it clear he’s not mentor material. She’s left to go it alone, and is obviously struggling. Will she tap into her inner girl power – with a nudge from the feminist movement, which we really haven’t seen MM address yet at all – or wait for her knights in shining armor to return? That’s a story line I’m looking forward to.

            • PaintingChef

              I feel like Peggy has always needed, even depended on, that validation from a mentor to keep going, be it Don, Ted, or even Joan to some degree. Without that, I think she’s floundering and losing her confidence quickly, just like you said. I’m wondering if that is more a result of a lack of confidence in her abilities to do her job or as a woman in the time period. And like you, I’m very intrigued to see where it goes.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              I’m sure it’s partly a result of her lack of confidence as a woman at that time, but maybe even more than that, she didn’t have confidence instilled in her as a child. Her mother is very critical, her teachers were probably very critical, so she tends to doubt herself, especially at low moments like this one. Ted and Don are gone, her love life is in shambles, and Lou is actively hostile to her. No wonder she’s been such a crabby b****.

              She doesn’t seem to have any support from her family or any friends from “back home” in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn people don’t get her creative, ambitious side, the Manhattan/Madison Avenue people don’t get her Catholic schoolgirl side, so she doesn’t quite belong in either world. Not surprising that she feels isolated.

              This would be a good time for her to find a consciousness-raising group or some other feminist support, but since Joyce seems to be out of the picture, I doubt she’s going to mingle with that sort of crowd.

        • TeraBat

          I agree; the guy from McCann was definitely a shark circling the waters, hoping to snatch Don up. I think Don’s plan is to be seen having lunch with rival firms, have that get back to the people at SC&P and then have them do the jealous-lover thing and drag him back.

          • Kit_W

            I don’t think he was so much shark like, more like bemused and confused at the offer of a lunch with Don because the first thing he mentioned was the amount of time that had passed, and of course, what had happened. It was, once again, the instance of an unexpected consequence of actions (this meeting in a random restaurant in a city chocked to the brim with restaurants) that a Senior Partner from McCann just happens to also show up at that actually lets them both know that this may be something more when he offers to pick up the check.
            But should the tab being picked up be seen as a proverbial legitimate crack in the closed door or was it just one of those everyday affectations that those in sales often perform? Who knows.
            But seriously, they’re no dummies at SCP and although when they sent Don on “hiatus” it had the thin veneer of ‘…oh we still love ya’ and want ya’, much respect an all but you just maybe need to take a lil’ time off…’ we all know the real reason they keep paying him is only so he can’t work for anyone else because they don’t ever want to be in competition with the Draper. They’re also pretty secure in the knowledge that being he has two households – no….three really since he still has the place in NYC – to support he’s not going anywhere anytime soon as long as there’s an income, which I think that whole bit in the restaurant with Sally and the check was a nod to. Even when he “plays” with Sally there’s such a hard edge to it – there’s no fun to it at all – only sweet relief when it’s over. But OH Lordy don’t even get me started on Sally…who never EVER hardly
            cracks a smile….HOW DOES THIS GIRL EVEN HAVE ANY FRIENDS???….

            He told her that “you know the truth” when she asked and all I could think was ‘Really Don? She knows that you were raised in a whorehouse and that her last name really belongs to some guy who died beside you in the army?
            That’s more lies Don. Nice lie.’

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              “..don’t even get me started on Sally…who never EVER hardly cracks a smile….HOW DOES THIS GIRL EVEN HAVE ANY FRIENDS???….”

              It’s probably not cool to smile at Miss Porter’s, and with parents like Betty and Don, what’s there to smile about?

      • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

        Egads what happened to the text over there at Hitfix? I like the font but the letters are way too big to be able to read the post. :(

        I was so glad to see Kiernan back on the screen.. yay.

        What an evil nasty piece of work Lou is. I am thrilled Dawn is no longer his secretary and I love that Joan gave him clearly the least clueful secretary in the building. Joan works in wonderful ways.. :) fingers crossed Lou never gets his coffee the way he likes because she can’t remember how he has it.

        • TeraBat

          I laughed so hard when I figured out what Joan had done!

          • sojourneryouth

            Yep. Joan Mrs. Blankenshipped him! :D

          • GinAndPopcorn

            That was one of the highlights of the show for me! Can’t wait to watch that play out.

        • Eric827

          Joan didn’t actually end up assigning Meredith to Lou, though.

          We saw Lou and Shirley talking to each other as they walked down the hall, so it looks like Shirley will be working for him. And Cooper wouldn’t be okay with Shirley working up front. Presumably Meredith will remain where she was.

      • Vanessa

        I have been afraid that last week’s episode was about people finding out that they are never going to achieve their utopia, no matter how they imagine it–sort of what happens to many of us in middle age. The conflicts Don spelled out for Sally perfectly illustrate how things get less and less simple as we get older. What you want and what you can do to get it don’t always jive.

    • GeoDiva

      Love the Dawn and Shirley sideshow! I wonder if this half-season’s theme is the downward spiral of Peggy only to go up for the final half?

      • Janice Bartels

        Good lord, I hope so! It was painful to watch her tonight!

      • MartyBellerMask

        It was painful, but I think we all needed to see it.
        But yeah, I will be pissed if she doesn’t get her shit back together by the end of the series. I think Peggy hitting bottom and never rising back up, would cause the biggest uproar among the audience as a whole.

      • Linlighthouse

        Interesting idea, especially if Peggy is supposed to be, as some critics say, a female version of Don. Then for her to spiral down the way Don has been doing, and face herself, as Don is doing, would be wonderful.

        • Lady Bug

          In a recent interview with MW over at Vulture about Vincent Kartheiser/Pete Campbell, there is a mention that Peggy and Don’s stories are parallel.

          • Kit_W

            Yeah, they captured it perfectly in the scene where the camera lingered a few extra moments longer on Peggy in a close up laying on the couch with a good stiff drink in one hand on her chest and a cigarette in the other as she stared off into the distance.

          • Linlighthouse

            I’ll look that one up. In this episode, I thought the theme was “looking for love” for both Don and Peggy. Don discovered that he is more likely to find love if he is honest with himself and others. Peggy needs to find that out (Father Cutie told her that).

          • MartyBellerMask

            That was a REALLY good interview!! And the accompanying interview with Kartheiser had some really interesting photos.

            • Lady Bug

              ITA, both the interviews with Weiner and Kartheiser were great.

      • sojourneryouth

        I loved how accurate it was, and how they stopped talking when the other woman entered the room, Dawn smiling politely and continuing to busy herself with the coffee until she left again. My mother (born in the Forties) laughed and laughed at that scene. You still had to be careful who could hear real sista talk! Although, they do each have plausible deniability, since no one can tell them apart, and thus suss out who actually said what.

        • Erika Cephus

          I was thinking the same thing! Also, notice the different attitudes that were represented via the way that they dressed. One with the old 60′s cut and “keep your head down” mentality, while the one with the afro (which was a act of defiance back in those days) had more of an assertive personality. Hoping to see more of this culture shift in future episodes.

          • Doris Allen

            I was there, and by 1969, afros were old news.

            • Erika Cephus

              So was my mom…….she would beg to differ, lol. :-)

            • Doris Allen

              It’s so long ago. Probably I misremember.

            • sojourneryouth

              I agree. I think there may have been some regional variations, but Afros in the corporate workplace in 69? Rare, according to my older relatives. Most of them pressed their hair or wore wigs still, and we are all in the Bay Area of California, which one would think was a more liberal environment, but not so much.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Even today, you hear about African-American women getting reprimanded or fired for wearing certain hairstyles that are deemed “unprofessional.” I’m thinking of cornrows and other styles that involve braids, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a really big Afro were called “unprofessional,” too. And you don’t hear about styles based on straightened hair called “unprofessional.”

            • marlie

              This happened LAST WEEK. My hair doesn’t even ‘fro when it’s natural – it’s just curly, but someone actually said “isn’t it nice that you work someplace where they’re so relaxed that you can wear your hair this way.”

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Good grief!

        • Alloy Jane

          Shit, that STILL happens. Last place I worked, the establishment was quite openly setting my office up for failure, so there was a certain level of collusion required to get work done effectively. Race didn’t have too much to do with it, but gender absolutely was a factor and we would “run into” each other all over the damned office trying to sneak moments of privacy so that we could plan and debrief. “Why are we all in the break room? We’re waiting for the microwave. Oatmeal takes forever, plus the last batch exploded, stupid microwave. Why did they buy this one? It goes from ‘still cold’ to ‘nuclear fission’ in two seconds and you have to babysit anything you put in I can’t even go to the bathroom while my tea is heating up without melting my travel mug.” Or, “What are we looking at on the computer? SHOES. Would you like to settle an argument? I think these are too yellow gold and that the rose gold look better with the dress she bought wanna see it it’s super cute but yea SHE likes the studded sandals and I think that’s all together too call girl when the dress is that tight but the nice crystal studs are waaay too expensive even though they are the best pick but this party isn’t worth $400 shoes and what if one falls off? What a waste of money plus then they feel too precious to wear out for anything else and there isn’t time to buy a different dress to go with the makeup she wants to do because really, this look is all about the face and in order to get to the face you have to start with the shoes or else people will only see ‘tight dress’ and that’s not the point.”

          By the way, I can talk people to death à la Ted Stryker. From zero to nonsense in .02 seconds.

          • sojourneryouth

            You are very powerful, my dear! :)

      • Chris

        Peggy is definitely primed for an upswing. This episode reminded me a lot of her in “Faraway Places” where she was having a tough time with another older male, the beans and sauces guy from Heinz. She tried to act like Don then and it didn’t work for her then like acting like one of the male bosses didn’t work for her here. She even wears a similar outfit in both episodes, a short sleeved beige color top with a tied scarf accent. I think her personal and professional life will turn around in some way. Unlike Joan, Peggy usually goes after what she wants even if she does it in a bullish fashion.

      • Kathryn Sanderson

        I think that may have been the first scene ever in “Mad Men” where two black characters interact exclusively with one another. (The woman walking in to the coffee room doesn’t count precisely because they don’t interact with her, or do so only minimally.) The show could have gone in some interesting directions with Dawn and her family, but so far it hasn’t. Maybe they’ll develop Dawn and Shirley a little more. I hope so. They’re more interesting that, say, Sylvia Rosen.

        • MK03

          No, there was also the scene last season or the season before when Dawn met her friend after work and her friend was complaining about Dawn’s schedule getting in the way of her wedding plans.

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            That’s correct. Forgot about that one. Well, hopefully, we’ll see more of Dawn and Shirley’s relationship.

        • KinoEye

          Yes, yes, yes. I would so much rather watch them than another version of the vaguely prophetic, middle-aged cougar that helps Don confront his Madonna-Whore issues. It didn’t help that Sylvia was the most boring of the lot. Please, Matthew Weiner, no more.

          • Lady Bug

            ITA.

    • Lianne S

      Yeah, is Peggy regressing? She has always had a bit of a temper, but the way she acted this episode was ridiculous. Why do they have to make everyone less and less likable? No Harry, no Bob Benson, no Betty yet. I wonder when they’ll be back in. I honestly will be upset if the end of this show is “Don gets his shit together”… After what a terrible human he’s been for at least a decade, I just don’t believe he is capable of figuring it out. The scenes with him and Sally were great. I wish we’d just get more of Sally without Don, as I am more interested in her character independent of her father. Shirley is awesome, and Dawn speaking her mind to Lou was the best part of the episode. Lou is the worst! he is like a caricature of a mean boss. Is he supposed to be amazing at his job or something? It seems like not one character likes him!

      • bxbourgie

        I really was expecting her to apologize to Shirley for her erratic behavior, but instead she tells Joan to take Shirley off her desk! Was so disappointed in Peggy tonight. I know she has a tendency to be a bit racist, which I guess was and still is to be expected, even today, but that was just deplorable.

        • Gatto Nero

          I think that Peggy was just feeling too humiliated at that point to redeem the situation. And she’s fighting at this point to maintain some semblance of authority in an office where she’s getting no respect.
          Definitely not her finest hour, though.

          • siriuslover

            I agree. I also agree with her latent racism. I think both played a role here. If I were Peggy, and I had behaved like that / had an experience like that (thinking something was mine and then finally being told it wasn’t) I would be too embarrassed to work with the person again. The shame would eat at me. But I say this knowing that there is a lot more going on in this series of scenes than mere humiliation.

          • L’Anne

            Yeah, I knida wished the end song was “Go Now” both to reference Don’s feelings and Peggy’s.

        • Chris

          I think racism definitely played a part with Peggy, but I also think her past as a secretary did as much. Remember everything she did for Don, up to and including bailing him out and housing his mistress while she recuperated? She was trained by Joan to be the silent ally and support for the man she worked for. Peggy, who is clearly not at her best, is used to being the subject of trick, gags etc that a man would never have to put up with in that position. I think she felt the way Shirley handled it was a deliberate humiliation. She thinks her secretary is supposed to be a loyal ally. Shirley did handle the flowers in the worst way possible. I am not saying the situation was her fault but who at that point wouldn’t see how bad it was to tell Peggy after a whole day based around the flowers and Peggy’s obsession with them that they weren’t for her. Peggy’s first thought was that the flowers were a joke on her and they ended up feeling that way by the time Shirley spoke up.

          • Lianne S

            Excellent points about her working as a secretary! She also was a secretary many years ago at this point when the job may have been even more so one of “mother/waitress” (as Joan put it in the first episode)..

          • MRC210

            Yes, exactly. Shirley didn’t handle the situation well, although it would have been tough to make that first step — walking into your boss’s office and saying “Uh, those flowers? …” I thought at the time that had Peggy been in her place, she would have managed it so that her boss would save face and so she probably instinctively expected Shirley to be as supportive as well. But to Shirley it’s a job and she doesn’t particularly like or respect her boss.

            • Susan Velazquez

              The only way Shirley could have salvaged the situation was to either a) have told Peggy the flowers were hers when Peggy asked her about the card or b) secretly kept the roses after Peggy told her to throw them away

              But apparently she has a fiancée who wouldn’t mind if she didn’t work so she has less stake in the job.

            • MartyBellerMask

              The fact that she left them on the desk at the end of the day showed she really didn’t care about the flowers after all. And it was a “suck it, Peggy” move.
              And then I thought about the last time flowers were left on a desk. But I doubt there are ANY parallels with Joan’s roses.

            • Chris

              I posted something else about this but I think it didn’t go through. While I am sure there was a level of prejudice and racism in Peggy’s behavior it’s also clear Shirley doesn’t like Peggy. Was it because of some other interaction that had racist overtones? We don’t know. We do know Phyllis and Peggy had a great relationship and that Phyllis felt Peggy had really supported her. It may be Shirley also doesn’t like Peggy or doesn’t like working for a woman. The stuff she was griping about, making copies and making coffee is something every other secretary there does without blinking. It’s all part of what one would do for any male boss. I wonder how she is going to like working for Lou, when even perfect Dawn couldn’t please him by skipping lunch to do his shopping.

            • Lianne S

              I think she was only griping about getting the coffee because she was already upset about losing her flowers. It was immediately after the initial flower confusion. I think Peggy is extremely demanding of her secretary partly because she was Don’s secretary and he was extremely demanding of her. Both Peggy and Don always threw themselves into work and Peggy never had much of a social life. The way Shirley dresses and the fact that she has a fiance all indicate to me that Shirley has a life. So I think she and Peggy are just different kinds of people. Peggy also strikes me as someone who would want other people to struggle to succeed because she had to struggle. She could have gone the other way and learned to be kind and helpful to people below her, since she knows what it is like to have difficult and demanding bosses who have a lot of power over you. Instead she seems more aiming to emulate them and assimilate into the established structure, not change it. (I still love Peggy and just want her to be happy though!)

            • Chris

              I think if she liked Peggy she would have stopped her before. Her resentment seemed genuine “who would be sending flowers to her!?” Peggy has been shown being nice to Phyllis, hiring Ginsberg and helping Megan. I think that Shirley never cared for her and Peggy, who isn’t always great with people never noticed.

            • Lianne S

              totally agree!!! i was just commenting on some reasons why they wouldn’t take to each other. Their costuming seems to really highlight that they are completely different kinds of people.

            • P M

              Good catch – that’s an interesting exercise: Boss vs secretary – whose costumes are having a conversation?

            • Alloy Jane

              The thing that really bothered me about Peggy this episode is that she WANTS to be better. She knows her limitations and she doesn’t want to be held back by them, so to see her reduced to yet another childish tantrum and this trend of constantly belittling people, it makes me despair for her. When she worked with Phyllis, she was happy. She had struck out on her own and was making it, and she wanted to help others like her succeed as well. It’s also why despite her knee-jerk racist reaction to the fat wad of cash in her purse and Dawn in her living room, she left the purse out. She was feeling happy and successful and generous, but her current “failures” are making her a petty, bitter person. An unhappy Peggy is an unpleasant Peggy and I don’t think Shirley had an opportunity to interact with the person Phyllis worked with. Plus you slap a ring on Shirley’s finger post-Ted and that makes Peggy extra bitter towards her secretary.

            • L’Anne

              Agree, and I didn’t get a sense that Shirley was griping about making copies. She was noting why she was away from her desk that Peggy could come in and assume flowers with no card were meant for her. Had she been sitting there, they probably would’ve had an exchange.

              Also, given how much we saw last season of Peggy dressing down her subordinates in front of others– Abe, Phyllis– it seems likely that Shirley has seen it too. Even if Peggy is nicer to Shirley, like she was to Phyllis, she’s probably seen Peggy give a river of shit to other people. Hence why she’d ask “who’d send her flowers?” She can’t imagine Peggy acting nicer to people.

            • P M

              Well, exactly. What can you say when you may be in a delicate position (black, secretary) and have to make your boss feel bad (female, single)?

          • gefeylich

            You’re assuming that Shirley isn’t constrained by her race, but she is. She hasn’t been clued in about the “ally” part of being a secretary, mainly because in the 1960s African-American women were still trying to find a way to deal with white bosses in the business world. Acting like a servant was no good; being overly familiar was no good, being pro-active was no good. It was a no-win situation and Shirley AND Dawn both knew it. There was no talking to Peggy.

            Peggy was incredibly presumptuous to assume those roses were for her (because fundamentally she still couldn’t see how anyone would send expensive flowers to a black girl). T&L are right: if her secretary had been white, the whole mix-up would not have happened. And I’m sorry, but her outraged reaction to the truth about them WAS racist – how DARE a black underling embarrass her in front of everyone? Yep, you can take the girl out of Brooklyn but you can’t take the Brooklyn out of the girl (and remember, in the 1960s and 1970s the borough was mostly a repository for conservative working class white people – Netflix “Saturday Night Fever” for corroboration)..

            • SMST22

              Um – my read of this was so opposite of yours gefelich. She’s still the plain jane at the end of the day. Shirley is a babe, and engaged, and has a man to give her flowers. That’s what Peggy is mad about. I did not see it as a race thing, nor a brooklyn thing. I’m from the same neighborhood as Peggy! I’m telling you, she was pissy that the boys don’t like her.

      • Vanessa

        In some ways I think Peggy’s reaction to the flowers is more simple–she *wanted* them to be for her, and she made that true in her mind. She might have thought twice if her secretary were white, but the misperception came from a deep need/hope.

        • Chris

          I agree, I think the way they showed her kind of desperately questioning Stan whether it was a joke really drove home how deep a need this was. We can all talk about how its making Peggy into a stereotype but the truth is in the 1960′s this would be hammered into her daily that she didn’t have a man and was therefore a failure in some way. It would be far more out of place if it didn’t bother her.

          • Qitkat

            Having been there in the sixties workplace, I don’t really agree with the “hammered into her daily that she didn’t have a man,” which made her a failure. Single women were starting to succeed all over the place.

            • Chris

              Well I don’t necessarily mean her bosses would be saying it, but she would be hearing it all the time. I was barely born at this time and I’ve heard it all my adult life. I have relatives who have told me many times they were called an old maid at this time when they were 18-24 years old. I know women were succeeding more by the late 60′s but this attitude still hasn’t changed for a lot of people. And we have seen Peggy really wants this part of her life too which is why she jumped at buying that place she hates when Abe said “kids”.

            • Qitkat

              Interesting. I’m just suggesting this was not as universal for all women. Although I did marry at 23, never did anyone I know call anyone my age an old maid. Although the norms then were many women married younger than they do now, I didn’t see evidence among my peers that they were being pressured into relationships if they didn’t choose them for themselves.

          • Lianne S

            She’s also not doing great at work these days! If her personal life was ever crappy before, she could always throw herself at work as a distraction and feel a sense of success and accomplishment. Right now though, her loneliness is really showing.

      • buddy100

        I would just like to point out that we can’t be entirely sure that Peggy was acting out of racism. I, for one, thought she was just still heartsick over Ted and felt like Shirley was rubbing her engagement in her face. It’s not implausible, but not explicitly conveyed either. /Peggydefense

    • Andrew Schroeder

      Kind of OT, but is Joan’s divorce ever going to be resolved? Or was it and I’ve just forgotten?

      • P M

        I thought it was kinda implied that he went away and never came back??? Although I agree, it’s odd that he never fought for visitation rights / custody to see his son, who wasn’t his son, etc.

        • Andrew Schroeder

          But there was that big scene where she was served the papers and smashed the plane, and then we never heard about it again.

        • Lilithcat

          It’s odd that he never fought for visitation rights / custody to see his son

          Well, we don’t know that he doesn’t have visitation rights. However, at this period it would be unusual for a father to sue for custody, unless mom was pretty much walking the streets. In any case, Greg may be good enough at math to realize that he’s not the dad.

          • Doris Allen

            He’s in Vietnam, isn’t he?

            • L’Anne

              I’ve always assumed he was still there.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Yep, he re-enlisted. That was one of the things that precipitated the final fight between him and Joan. Really, I don’t understand what Joan saw in him, ever. I’ve been watching the whole series again, one or two episodes a night, and Joan and Greg are just not a convincing couple. I think I’d say the same thing even if I didn’t know what was coming.

          • P M

            Well, I had wondered whether Greg would kick up a fuss just to get back at Joan.
            Interesting about the custody thing – didn’t know that.

          • MK03

            But he had been gone only two weeks when Joan and Roger had their tryst, right? You could easily fudge the timeline when it’s that close.

            • L’Anne

              When she told Roger she “was late,” she said “He’s been gone seven weeks. It can’t be his.” I’ve always thought it could seem to be his, if he was only gone a few weeks when they had sex.

      • MilaXX

        I think it’s assumed that she is divorced and living as a single parent.

      • Chris

        I thought it was interesting that now it’s shown all Joan gets is yellow (not red) flowers for Valentine’s Day from her son. No red passionate flowers like in the days of “Ali Khan” but yellow maternal ones sent almost like a Mother’s Day offering from Roger as surrogate for her son. Joan is no longer competing on the level of the young secretaries but is firmly “middle aged”.

        • Adibug

          Also note Joan’s flowers were in “full bloom” while the other flowers were still buds or not yet fully opened.

          • Max Bree

            Mixed with mums.

            • Chris

              They did a great thing on the behind the scenes extra on AMC TV. They researched exactly what flowers, arrangements and ferns were used at the time so even the flower arrangements were accurate. (No baby’s breath yet!). I love that level of detail and commitment.

            • decormaven

              Yes, I loved that as well- they even chose period cards to place on the deliveries. I still fantasize AMC will have an Ultimate Fan contest where some lucky viewer gets a tour of the costumers’ and set decorators’ spaces. That would be heavenly!

      • Azaelia Bearson

        He went back to Vietnam (or at least the army), but I also have a pet theory that he figured out Kevin wasn’t really his son, but was so obsessed with the army that instead of getting mad at Joan, he had even less incentive to stay. Plus, by not acknowledging it, she’s still tied to him because he’ll always know he’s “Kevin’s” son and so forth. So no, Greg isn’t going to bother asking for anything, but he’s not going to completely release Joan either. Because he’s a creep.

    • P M

      Too many fragmented comments in my brain:

      …..Dear God, Dawn’s like a surrogate mother. How does Don get them to do that? And speaking of prostitution, there was the line about Dawn not feeling comfortable accepting extra money from him for doing unethical things.

      ……I’m adding to the chorus of comments about Peggy’s latent racism. Is it because of her own background – didn’t TLo or Peggy herself say something to the effect that if she could work hard and come up, so could they?

      …..Ah that Lou. He’s no fool, and I think would have worked out at least the possibility that Dawn is …. double-agenting him? But he really is a petulant child, a jerk, a tool.

      ……. It’s almost comforting to think that Pete is, well, still the Pete we loathe :D. Oh, and Pete darling, stop acting like a homophobe + jilted lover + princess all in one. Bob Benson is over you, so there’s no point pouting!

      …. Am I the only one who mistook Bonnie Whiteside for Bethany van Nuys?

      ….Dawn’s gone up a rung on the ladder, or made a move onto a tightrope? Either way, she looked delighted to have an office. It’s so interesting to contrast her and Peggy, both ‘good girls’ on their own. We’re seeing Peggy’s dark side, so where’s Dawn’s, I wonder?

      ….Where’s Betty and her mini-skirts, bouffant and bitchface?!

      ….. Ah Sally. I wonder how she’ll navigate the new conservatism, burgeoning feminism and the therapy she’ll potentially be going through.

      ……. I had a good chuckle at the Roger+Jim moment in the lift. How good a schemer is Roger, do you guys think?

      ……. Joanie! With her badass leather and her office! (Please Jebus please let her have more power and awesomeness)

      (wow, TLo were right. This episode *did* have many ripples)

      • decormaven

        Well, Bethany Van Nuys was Don’s first non-paid date after his divorce. Maybe Bonnie is Pete’s transition woman.

      • Tracy M

        …The line that really got me was Don saying to Sally, when she asked what he said at the wrong time and the wrong place, was “Nothing you don’t know.”
        That implies a level of intimacy and openness that gives me hope for both of them, frankly. It shows that he followed up on the season-ender last year when he showed them where he grew up, and has talked with her about personal details. And using shorthand with her- shorthand she clearly got- was key to the level of trust building between them. He still has a long way to go, and he could still totally screw up it up, but there’s some shred of redemption there for him.

        • Gatto Nero

          Don has survived through deception. He has created an entire life from lies. But he’s realizing more and more that the key to earning his daughter’s love is honesty. This seems to be a slow-dawning revelation for him, and it may be what saves him ultimately.

        • Azaelia Bearson

          Possibly! I wondered about that, but honestly felt he was referring more to the house bit, since that’s really all he told his kids AND the Hershey guys. Still, you’re right that he is opening up to her more.

      • AZU403

        I didn’t catch Wavy Hair’s character name in the credits, but I would imagine she’s Jewish. (That fabulous hair…)

        • Munchkn

          Some of us WASPy girls have wavy/curly hair, too.

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

            And some of us Jewish girls have straight blond hair and blue eyes.

            • Munchkn

              My Jewish niece has gorgeous straight red hair. She must have gotten the red gene from both sides of the family.

        • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

          She had some sort of accent, particularly noticeable when she was talking about the roomie’s mom being “a great beauty.”

          • Sue Shea

            on the train she made a comment about going to school in england/being english something like that. after making a comment that one of her teachers is always correcting her papers? i’d have to go back and re-watch.

          • Lisa_Co

            Yes. Up thread that’s why I speculated she might be North African or Persian.

          • Jessy_N

            Sally referred to her as Yolanda. Latina, then. ; )

            • greenwich_matron

              Maybe not, Jolanta is a Polish name. I think it’s a south central European name, too.

            • MartyBellerMask

              Or Iolanda, which could be Italian. But I don’t necessarily think she’s that either… So intriguing.

          • decormaven

            I was interested in how she described the deceased girl’s mother as being a “great beauty.” The way she pronounced “beauty” was the same as how Emily, Megan’s actress friend, said it in S5 “The Phantom.”

        • Lisa_Co

          I thought she might be North African (Algerian?) or Persian especially since she had faint accent.

        • Jessy_N

          I think Sally referred to her as Yolanda.

      • MartyBellerMask

        “And speaking of prostitution.” LOL

      • Jessy_N

        Miss Porter’s was and is still full of international (probably weathy) kids. Sally referred to her as Yolanda, and she was complaining about their English teacher correcting her despite her “going to school in England.” So she fits that international/wealthy bill.

        • P M

          It’s a real school? Ah, I didn’t realize.

      • pop_top

        “Am I the only one who mistook Bonnie Whiteside for Bethany van Nuys?”

        THIS. I kept waiting for Don to either say “you’re in real estate now” or for there to be a scene with the two of them later.
        That said, it’s actually incredibly fitting that Pete’s Betty-esque looking girl is nearly identical to Don’s Betty-lite. Remember even Betty was threatened by her?

    • P M

      Oh, hello, Moira is wearing green against a blue background. And there’s Jim Cutler in blue. Well, well….

      • L’Anne

        “Is that Shalimar?”

        • MartyBellerMask

          Still my favorite line from last season. Well, that and “Not great, Bob.”

          • L’Anne

            Up there with: “Is that Chanel no. 5?”

            Man’s a scent-man.

            • Gatto Nero

              Gotta love that.

            • L’Anne

              I does seem less objectifying than “ass man” or “leg man.” (etc.)

            • Gatto Nero

              I’m a fragrance fanatic, though, so I guess I can relate.

      • Chris

        It wouldn’t surprise me to learn Cutler was involved with Moira, not just because she is young and attractive, but as a way to be in control of Ted’s office as well. He is manipulating every facet of that agency.

        • P M

          It’s like a well-hatched master plan. How very Steerpike (Gormenghast, by Mervyn Peake) of him.

          • Eric Stott

            Oh, YES

    • P M

      The exchange in Pete’s office between Pete/Ted/Bonnie was hilarious. ‘How’d it go?’ ‘Great!’ ‘Good night Bonnie!’ ‘Good night!’ LOL

      • UsedtobeEP

        My favorite part of the whole show. Good for Ted for being a grownup, even if he can’t accomplish it in his own personal life. I think Bonnie may be very, very good for Pete. I hope so. When he’s likeable, he’s very much so, and even those pissy Pete is more fun, since it is the end of the series, I am anxious for things to resolve well.

        • siriuslover

          I loved how she called him on his BS that his job was so much different (and therefore superior) to hers, especially in the financial problems. Her description of the year-long wooing just to lose her commission at the last minute was powerful.

          • MartyBellerMask

            And that was the second reference (in as many episodes) to California wildfires. And their being started by cigarettes. Wonder wehre this is going…

            • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

              I don’t think it’s foreshadowing a fire so much as another blow at the cigarettes’n’drinks at the office establishment.

            • siriuslover

              I’m not sure it was a wildfire or just a house fire (the only wildfire in the area in the few years preceding 1969 was in the hills above Glendora–close, but not too close). In any case, the reference to CA and fires and cigarettes is there. Good catch.

            • Alloy Jane

              I wonder if it was a nod to the firefighter arsonist John Leonard Orr? He’d have been 20 at the time and probably just entering the academy.

          • Susan Velazquez

            Kinda like Trudy, she reminds him to check his temper. He’s getting a Betty clone like he wants but she has the Trudy-ness he needs

            • Lady Bug

              I love that. Speaking of Trudy, I hope Alison Brie makes a cameo appearance at least once (hopefully more!) during season 7. How great would it be to have Trudy Campbell and Bonnie Whiteside actually meet each other?

            • Heather

              A question related to thread about Joan above: are Pete and Trudy actually divorced? Or just living separate lives (as people so often did – and still do! – to maintain the status quo!)?

            • 3hares

              Last we heard, separated. Pete referred to her parents as his in-laws as late as last week (and he’s spending Xmas with them).

            • MartyBellerMask

              I don’t think they’ll get divorced until she’s ready to move on. I remember a Bitter Kitten saying their situation was much like her parents’. And they were separated for YEARS.

      • jen_vasm

        Poor Ted is sleepwalking through life. It’s like he’s doing a zombie walk in the background of every scene he’s in. What’s going to shake him out of it, I wonder?

        • decormaven

          I liked that Ted wrote “stay out of it” on a note to get Pete to stop yammering to the NY office. Even if he is in a funk, Ted still knows how the Big Machine works.

          • jen_vasm

            That, and his goodnight to Pete & Bonnie was hilarious. He might be a zombie, but he is a highly functioning one!

          • Vanessa

            And “…you can have my office” to Pete, as if that would help. He just doesn’t care.

            • Chris

              It’s one part Ted being the nice guy he is and a huge part that he just doesn’t care anymore. I was trying to look and see if his office was all impersonal or if he had imported any of his airplane paraphernalia which was his other big passion. He is so listless. Ted’s best qualities were always his enthusiasm and optimism.

            • P M

              He just wants Pete to shut. Up. PLEASE!!

            • MartyBellerMask

              Good point. Pete does love the sound of his own voice.

          • Chris

            I just realized Ted is building a model airplane at his desk during all of this. He has really checked out of work and life at this point if he’s building toys during a conference call. Airplanes are the one love he still has at this point.

        • Chris

          Ted is almost worse off than Don in a way, because failure makes Don come out fighting, Ted was always the voice of hope and optimism, the “let’s put on a show” guy like in the old musicals. He was going to help Gleason beat cancer and have an agency of brains, talent and beauty that competed with the big guys. Now he is just advising Pete to cash the checks and not care. His whole life was the creative work and now he doesn’t seem to care about anything, I wonder if an crisis in the agency or some personal epiphany will wake him up.

          • jen_vasm

            Ted is the type of creative that thrives on an environment with other creatives. Even when he & Don were competitors, he was always up in Don’s face. I originally thought he was just a jerk, but he wanted a relationship with Don to feed his creative flow. Don never got this (he doesn’t need that environment as his spark usually jumps fully formed from his head), which stymied Don. It’s too bad that he & Peggy didn’t work out because he would really respond to a fellow creative life partner. Now, Ted is stuck in a room with no one to interact with, like a plant in a dark room getting no sun.

            • Chris

              I agree, Ted, unlike Don or Peggy, never seemed threatened by other people’s talent. It invigorated him. He was in many ways a great boss and mentor to Peggy. I know a lot of people want Peggy to be with Stan, but I don’t feel like she ever thinks of him as her equal. He doesn’t have her drive. Ted really could be Peggy’s perfect partner in every way if he could work his personal life out.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Agree

            • Qitkat

              Good point with your last sentence, but truthfully I’ve never really cared about Ted, or his pairing with Peggy, or what becomes of him now. I absolutely don’t want them together. I do agree that many creatives thrive and are invigorated by interactions with other creative people.

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

              Brainstorming with another creative person is the best. Sometimes the other person only has to be present to stimulate creativity. I was often given the assignment to work with a copywriter to come up with some ideas for a client. There was something about that man that made my creative (and only my creative) juices flow. I’d pace in front of him and come up with the greatest ideas and he’d just sit there and think about lunch.

            • Qitkat

              I’m alone in my creativity these days, and it’s to my detriment. My husband doesn’t seem to “get” this. I miss it desperately and need to do something about it. Taking workshops helps those creative juices flow.

            • VictoriaDiNardo

              I totally understand that frustration. I’ve gone through that isolated creative feeling or working in a vacuum. I’ve been working alone in my studio for years now and not getting a buzz like I did when I had a shop and a public interface. I just recently decided to throw back in – I’m in the process of moving my studio to a shop with space for workshops and exhibits and I am so motivated again. Some of us just need to bounce off of other people to get that creative juice. Keep reaching out!

            • 3hares

              I think that’s also about Ted’s attitude than the lack of other creatives. Pete isn’t creative so it’s not the same, but he obviously could be bouncing things off him as a person. (And the guy’s not clueless when it comes to this stuff–he pitched a successful ad campaign without knowing it back in S1 with Bethlehem Steel.) When Pete comes into his office he obviously wants to commiserate and get creative about their situation vis a vis NYC. But Ted isn’t interested. I think he’d be equally passive if it was Ginsberg trying to get him to talk about a campaign.

            • Chris

              Ted seems like he is in a depression. He needs to take a page from Don and use his work to help him climb out of it. Ted barely seems like the same person, his enthusiasm was his most dominate trait. Along with his optimism.

            • P M

              Can we just admit he misses Peggy?

            • Diva in 4 Inch Heels

              Exactly. Ted’s going through the motions of his daily life, because he’s not able to destroy his wife and family, to be with Peggy.

              In the season premiere, he only had one scene with Peggy (and Stan) and that was all kinds of awkward for all of them.

      • Rhonda Shore

        Pete really was fantastic last night, he has great comic timing.

        • MartyBellerMask

          He always does!
          (But Kartheiser is never going to get his Emmy, is he?)

          • Lady Bug

            It’s a damn shame too, because he is such as amazing actor, and arguably should have been at least nominated at least a couple times in the past. I’m not sure where Pete’s storyline is headed for this last season, but I would love to see VK win an Emmy.

            I realize that there are many deserving actors in the Best Supporting Actor category, but I still find it mind boggling that Kartheiser has never even been nominated.

            • MartyBellerMask

              Interview with Matthew Weiner over on Vulture. He wonders the same thing!

    • teensmom99

      Malibu Betty is giving me a new perspective on the white shoe trend.

      • Not applicable

        I still think she looks identical to the woman who played Bethanny VanNies… Don’s 25 y/o hook up via Jane Sterling.

    • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

      That chair Harry Hamlin is in is gorgeous.

      • decormaven

        Seriously! And the way it was framed, center in the shot. Almost like a throne- there’s the tell.

        • Vanessa

          I think that a lot of the bad behavior from Pete/Peggy/Roger, etc. is just illustrating how this merger went terribly wrong. The last big break, where they split off their firm was a high point. This merger was instead a big spontaneous error, and the old SCDP guard is being pushed out.

    • Anderguyil

      It’s not just the SC&P employees who mix up Dawn & Shirley. I am a little embarrassed to admit that last week when we first met Shirley that I thought Dawn had gone “natural” with her hair.

      • MilaXX

        I think that’s the point. The SC & P employees don’t see them as people. Otherwise it would be fairly easy to tell they look nothing alike.

        • Doris Allen

          And casual racism is the norm in society. Roger was called a “kike” by a total stranger.

          • MilaXX

            For me it’s those small micro-aggressions that are often harder to deal with. You see the big, overt instances of racism, but those low key ones can often sneak up on you.

            • decormaven

              It’s not the big ropes, it’s the twist ties that are the hardest to break.

            • bxbourgie

              Sometimes I think I’d rather prefer the overt kind. At least you know what you’re getting up front and can act accordingly.

            • MilaXX

              oh hells yes! The low key stuff always makes you go, “wait what?” and then you run the risk of being called overly sensitive for call the person out.

          • ConnieBV

            “If I wanted to see two negroes fight, I’d throw a dollar bill out of my window.” RIP, Ida Blankenship.

            • Gatto Nero

              God, I miss her.

          • Chris

            And he didn’t have Don to share the big “joke” with when it happened.

        • ConnieBV

          Not only do they look nothing alike, they are styled at polar opposites of the style spectrum of the day. It would have been like confusing Jane Fonda and Sandra Dee.

          • Spicytomato1

            Yes I think the difference in the length of their hems alone was a good 12 inches! Shirley’s dress looked more like a tunic to me.

            • Heather

              I was blown away by the shortness of Shirley’s and also Bonnie’s dresses…. they barely covered their panties (and we got a glimpse of Bonnie’s panties when she was freshining up the “dump” for the open house). Bonnie is in freewheelin’ California, but would Shirley’s dress have been considered appropriate for an office in NYC?

            • Chris

              Peggy’s was pretty darn short (for Peggy) too. I think 1969 is the year of the micro mini.

      • sweetlilvoice

        For several minutes last episode, I thought Shirley was Peggy’s old secretary was the old office. The one who told her to try to be nicer to the jr. copy editors.

        • jen_vasm

          This is the second time we’ve seen Dawn contrasted with a hipper, engaged black female she’s friendly with. Where is Wiener going with this?

          • Doris Allen

            Black people aren’t a monolith? They come in different varieties too?

            • jen_vasm

              Uh, if you compare the situation from the episode last year when Dawn was at the diner with her friend to this episode, some of the same issues come up. Getting married, role-playing and featured a more contemporary-dressed associate than our conservative Dawn. Black people come in more varieties than these 2, so I’m left scratching my head at the repetition (unless it’s somehow enforcing a connection between Peggy & Dawn, but their career paths are not similar). As for old vs new guard, Dawn proved herself the newest of the new guard by standing up to Lou, which might’ve helped empower Joan, and earned her promotion. Shirley, as a newer less confident hire maybe, took more time than she should’ve to correct Peggy’s mistake. The hipper clothes of Shirley did not reflect a fresher attitude than Dawn’s, actually quite the opposite.

            • Azaelia Bearson

              I wonder if this isn’t so much about race as it is television’s tendency to replace Character A with Character B, giving them a similar function, because the previous actor wasn’t available or because they realized a different situation might make more sense? So for example, if this season they’d had another ditzy receptionist, but a different actress with a different name playing her. I’m inclined to think it might be more like that, where they sort of wanted to follow on the lead they’d had before, but in a way that fit the story better.

            • jen_vasm

              But Mad Med isn’t sloppy like that – it’s a really precise show. But you’re right, this issue is not about race,it’s about Dawn. Of course she will be interacting socially with black people, but either her arc is about her not taking the work until you marry path like Peggy, or something else we as viewers haven’t been shown yet.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Isn’t Meredith sort of “the new Lois”? A ditzy secretary/receptionist. A different kind of ditzy, but still…

          • Gatto Nero

            The show is partly about old versus new guard — maybe this is a subtler example of that.

            • Chris

              Yes, Dawn was the first person of color hired at that agency. It can be assumed of that room full of people who applied after the ad Roger put in the paper, hers was the best resume and interview of everyone’s. Dawn has had to be better than perfect to get ahead. She is the pioneer. Shirley is perhaps younger and more political. Dawn doesn’t often have the luxury of being offended even when she is. Plus Shirley has the economic strength of a fiancé, Dawn is on her own and/or helping her family as I recall.

        • bxbourgie

          Initially I was surprised to see Shirley and not Nikki, but Nikki was getting married last time we saw her. I’d imagine she left to be a housewife.

      • Froide

        But Dawn and Shirley’s complexions and features are very different!

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          Plus Dawn dresses more conservative and Shirley is a fashion plate

      • Azaelia Bearson

        I think the difference is that the employees should know by now. I mean, I have a REALLY hard time telling people apart at first sometimes, I’ve gone up to people before and had conversations with them thinking they were someone else (this is regardless of what they look like), and “do I know you from somewhere?” is NOT flirting if it’s coming from me…. and with a show like Mad Men, there’s only ever BEEN Dawn as far as black secretaries go until now (except Phyllis, who was never at SCDP/SC&P anyway). But if someone like Peggy really doesn’t know Shirley from Dawn by now, that’s a bit of a stretch.

    • Janice Bartels

      For all of the many many flaws Don has (and believe me, 70% of the time I hate him), he has often been more able than any other male in the office to see past the surface of his female coworkers. His relationship with Peggy the first few seasons, for example. His relationship with Joan, pretty much always (one of my favorite dynamics in the series). And here we have his awesome secretary undervalued by the vile Lou, but Don makes the effort to get in a suit for the two minutes when she is dropping off her report. He can’t be bothered to get up and kill a roach in his own home, but Dawn is his only tie to the office, and he is willing to give her the respect of a professional facade.

      • Sobaika

        I feel like you’re giving him too much credit. Wasn’t Freddy the one who noticed Peggy’s potential?

        • Janice Bartels

          I was thinking more about the baby and helping her move on. It is hard to picture anyone else in that office encouraging her to recover from that, and as many times as they have butted heads, has he ever thrown that back in her face?

          • http://bidonica.wordpress.com/ Poggy

            Yeah, I think we should give Don some credit about how he dealt with Peggy’s pregnancy. Not that his “compartimentalize, forget about it and move on” school of thought is particularly healthy or commendable… But I liked how he basically didn’t judge her. I think it’s because he never saw Peggy as a sexual/romantic partner, because otherwise he might not have been so open minded about it – I still feel the urge to smack him repeatedly on the head for when he dared calling BETTY a whore for a single infidelity when he cheated on her countless times.

            • Glammie

              That’s not why he called Betty a whore. It’s because she had her next marriage already set up and also that she was rejecting “Dick Whitman” because he was white trash and not good enough for her anymore. Not entirely fair, but given Don’s background and self-loathing, not surprising. And Betty certainly didn’t love Don’s real identity, though Don had long burned-up any good will.

        • 3hares

          Yes, I think Don’s certainly had moments of appreciating the talents of women, but most of the men at the firm admire Peggy’s talents and Don still has plenty of old-fashioned ideas about other women in his life.

        • Eric Stott

          Freddie did notice her, but at first it was in a “hey, that’s clever” way. I’m glad to see him back.

        • Bev Wiesner

          freedy is the one who said, its kind of like a dog talking !

          • Anton

            Freddie said, “It was like watching a dog playing the piano”.

      • Heather

        Yes and also – he doesn’t want her or anyone else knowing what a slacker slob he’s become.

        • Janice Bartels

          I agree that he is trying to work his way back into the office, but that suit said that Dawn’s opinion of him mattered. It seemed like there was a theme of subtle and overt racism in this episode. I guess I just read that moment with Don as well as Joan’s exasperation with the secretary shuffling as glimmers that maybe Shirley and Dawn have some subtle support in (and out of) the office as well.

        • Eric Stott

          He’ll confide in Freddy only because Freddy won’t call him out on it.

          • Ek

            Also, was it just me or did Don only have a root beer when he and Freddie met in his apartment in the last episode? I wonder if Don hasn’t confided in Freddie about his drinking problem?

            • 3hares

              Don doesn’t really have to confide in Freddie about that. Freddie’s noticed. But yes, I thought the show made it clear that Don was served/drank liquor in the scenes with Megan and the woman on the plane. In the scenes where he had lunch with Freddie and Pete the other men were drinking non-alcoholic things so he didn’t drink either. Seemed important to me.

      • Twix

        I agree with your sentiment regarding Don and his female coworkers, but I mostly think he cleaned up because he wanted to give off an impression of having his shit together.

      • SylviaFowler

        He is also the one who went out of his way to warmly wish Dawn a “Happy Thanksgiving” after the Hershey’s meeting last year.

        • Denise Alden

          That’s one of my favorite moments of the show, and one of the tenderest. It’s like for a brief moment, all of his facade gone, he just sees everyone as they are: fragile beings who deserve some sweetness.

        • MavisJarvis

          Yes, and I believe his exact words were “Happy Thanksgiving Sweetheart” Reminiscent of his Christmas greeting to Peggy at the season four X-mas party.

    • Tanya Wade

      The episode started out rocky for me, but by the end it all came together. It’s only two weeks but watching the asshattery that is Lou Avery sets my teeth on edge because I’ve worked for so many creeps like him — from the 90s till today. I will give the writers credit for nailing that “type.”

      I see your hat, Sally. And I love it.

      • teensmom99

        I had that hat.

      • MK03

        Lou can fuck right off.

    • bxbourgie

      “Hello, Dawn.” “Hello, Shirley.” As a woman of color in the workplace (with other woman of color who look nothing like me) that is the story of my life.

      • UsedtobeEP

        I am glad that was explained to me by TLo; I had no idea what they were talking about!! : ) Ugh, how annoying.

      • jen_vasm

        I was wondering if everyone would get that. It’s the story of most people of color who work/go to school in a predominately white environment. The other subtle indicator was the mini-tense moment in the coffee room when the woman came in as S & D were chatting. There was a feeling that too much black ‘fraternizing’ was a problem, like a plot was underfoot.

        • Anna Vasquez

          I work in an environment with a lot of other people of color, but it’s still very segregated– upper managers tend to be mainly white– and they pretty much think all of us assistants look the same, even though we’re many different races and ethnicities. It’s like they’ve never two people with brown hair and brown eyes before. Anyway, got a good chuckle out of the scene.

          • Grumpy Girl

            I get what you’re saying: I’ve seen it myself, working in some fairly majority-minority systems. But I have had the exact same experience as a blonde woman: “you blondes all look alike”, blah blah. I always figured it was just as much a gender thing as a race thing?

            • MissKimP

              And don’t get me started about all of us over-50, silver-haired ladies getting mistaken for one another…. :-)

            • Anna Vasquez

              Dunno. Do you get it mainly from men, then? It’s hard not to see what happens to me & my coworkers as pertaining to race when it’s always white people mixing up anyone of Hispanic or Asian/East Asian or mixed heritage. But it’s a complicated discussion that is probably not for this thread.

            • Grumpy Girl

              Agree it’s a bigger convo. But no, it’s not just from men. Probably all part of why I have the Grumpy in my name. :-)

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Well…I’m a white woman, and I’m not so good at remembering faces, any faces. When I was a TA in grad school, I had a class where there were three blue-eyed women with long blond hair, though their features and build were different. It took me (no kidding) about a month to attach the right name to the right face. Outside of class I referred to them as “the Barbies.”

        • jonnyf8

          I get called the names of other Gay men I work with. I’ve made the mistake myself with women of color so I try not to get too upset when it happens to me. Its a horrible feeling though when you realize that you committed this faux pas.

      • Jaeda Laurez

        I laughed out loud. I became friends a few years ago in a company with this woman because they kept calling me her name ALL the time, even though I’d worked there 6 months before she came.

      • Betsy

        I once called a black girl by the wrong name at a party (a dim, drunken party) and was mortified when she corrected me. I could never face her after that, so I understand why Peggy would want a new secretary.

      • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

        I was reading the I, too, am Oxford tumblr and there were a couple of pieces on that.

      • Trent

        @bxbourgie, it happens to men of color in the workplace too. And I was stunned at the number of people on Twitter last night who either didn’t understand Dawn and Shirley’s inside joke or assumed the show had made some sort of editing flub. SMDH…

        • teensmom99

          There was a great piece on NPR about how this shows the intersection between race and gender politics . . . while as many bks have pointed out, this happens to different groups, it happens more (and means more) when it happens to people who are both African American AND women.

      • Darren Nesbitt

        I got that as soon as they said it lol.

    • Frank_821

      Yowza Peggy! I am willing to give her a tiny bit of slack since it was Valentine’s Day and we know what a mess her personal life is. Makes me more than sad to see her like this. I hope she take s step back and she sees what is happening to her. It also shows how few friends she’s got. Stop pissing on Stan girl. He’s 1 of the few you got

      • Rhonda Shore

        she needs to sublet that dump and move downtown.

        • MK03

          Or uptown, where she wanted to go in the first place.

          • Lisa_Co

            Specifically the Upper East Side.

    • Sobaika

      Oh, Peggy certainly has racial issues. She’s not walking around in a white hood but you can have one without the other. I wish the show had gone about it more artfully (the scene where she leaves her purse out was pretty clunky) but I think they’ve tried to make a specific point of it.

      Our gal isn’t as open-minded as she’d like to believe. Most people aren’t.

      • ConnieBV

        Add the scene where she is arguing with the Hispanic boy. C’mon, Weiner, just put her in a slap fight with some Asians next. Way to hammer it home.

        • Gatto Nero

          Well, it makes sense that her tenants at that time would have been black or Latino. And her response to him wasn’t racist; she was frustrated about having to deal with the plumbing problem.

        • Alloy Jane

          As annoying as it was to have a brown person represented as an indication of societal decay (those damned immigrants and their lousy english), I thought the confrontation between her and Julio was more about infantilizing her and showing her lack of power. Her comment about not understanding the mom was the “racist” bit. Honestly though, you’d think she’d at least be relieved to be living with other Catholics.

          • greenwich_matron

            See all the comments about Irish and Italians. Once we’re done hating everyone else, we start hating each other.

      • Froide

        “These roses make my office smell like an Italian funeral.” (Peggy’s prejudices aren’t just race-based.)

        • Nicole Price

          I would add that at least culturally this was the norm for the time. For example, even through the 80s, my (white German/Dutch heritage) grandmother complained about the Irish girls who immigrated and worked in service out in the Hamptons. In the 60s we were so much closer to prevalent immigration into NYC (not to say there isn’t immigration now, but not to the level it was in the first half of the century). It was not uncommon for one cultural group to be prejudiced amongst others from another cultural group with the same skin color. Peggy (Irish heritage) complaining about the roses smelling like an Italian funeral reminded me of this.

          • Shug

            Sorry to split hairs but isn’t Peggy Norwegian heritage? Or is she Irish too? I just don’t remember the reference to being Irish.

            • bawoman

              I think her father was Norwegian, and her mom Irish.

          • JasmineAM

            I think Peggy is either Norwegian or Swedish. I can’t remember, but I know she’s not Irish.

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

              Her father was Norwegian and her mother is Irish Catholic.

            • Nicole Price

              My point remains the same. And yeah… Prob Norwegian of sorts with Olsen as the last name. Don’t know why I thought Irish.

            • Munchkn

              Because most Norwegians aren’t Catholic while most Irish are RC?

        • MK03

          Italians and Irish were very much at each others’ throats in the early 20th century in NYC. My mom’s mother was Irish and her dad was Italian, and his mother wore black to their wedding and considered it a mixed-race marriage. She was not a very nice woman.

          • smayer

            Also, there was a lot of tension between Irish and African American communities in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries over which group was “lower” on the societal race-o-meter. I remember reading some articles about riots between the two groups in Milwaukee as well as the book “How the Irish Became White” by Noel Ignatiev.

            • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

              In Australia too, there are stories about boarding houses having “No blacks, no Irish, no dogs” signs in the window.

          • librarygrrl64

            Not just in NYC. My Italian grandfather told stories about him and his brother and friends fighting the Irish boys at school in Philly.

        • Chris

          Yes, this was an age when people would and could openly say anything, repeat any stereotypes of any race, ethnicity, religion, color or creed. There is a sense that there is some kind of legal professional repercussions if you are caught openly discriminating about a job, hence Joan’s comment to Bert and his response, but no one would think twice about talking about Jews, Italians, Irish, Asians, Hispanics etc.

    • larrythesandboy

      For me Don and Sally’s conversation in the restaurant contrasted with the one between Betty and Sally as they drove back from Sally’s school interview. Betty treated Sally like an adult by letting her smoke. Their relationship hasn’t improved – Sally wants to put Betty in the ground. Don still thinks of Sally as his child and wants to protect her. He didn’t offer Sally a cigarette, he bought her a coke;and he didn’t think she should have been exposed to the traumas of the funeral. Her response is not to rebel, but to tell Don she loves him (aka forgives him; shades also of the less convincing reconciliation between Margaret and Roger last week).

      • L’Anne

        I may be going against the grain, but at Sally’s age, I don’t think there’s a benefit to keeping her from funerals. She’s in high school. Learning how to navigate death and loss is a part of becoming an adult. I’ve always wondered what kind of impression it left on her that she wasn’t allowed to attend grandpa Gene’s funeral. From her perspective, he drove her to school one day and never came back. Instead, some police officer tells the family he was found dead. There was no good-bye, no nothing for her. I remember her outburst when Betty, Don, and her brother were telling stories about her grandfather, one funny, and broke out laughing. Her anger was powerful, in part because she was so protected from experiencing the loss.

        Also, I don’t necessarily doubt she has a bad relationship with Betty, but I wonder if some of her snark about her mother is shaped by the snark other girls have for their mothers. Her interview at the school had Milicent and Mandy making snide comments about mothers, after all. Last season, Sally really seemed to be getting closer to Betty. I wonder if the “in the ground” comment is related to a degree by teen angst.

        Oh, and what happened to Phyllis?

        • 3hares

          Yeah, I don’t see anything traumatic about a funeral, myself. Sally chose to go to it. I think her relationship with Betty is bitchy but not necessarily in the worst way. When Sally was younger and talking to Glen, with whom she’s honest, she would try to be objective in how she judged Betty. Talking to her girlfriends she’s going to take the pose that she hates her mother no matter what.

          • Doris Allen

            Sally chose to take the opportunity to get off campus so she could shop; the funeral was an excuse.

            • 3hares

              Sure, but she still chose to attend a funeral to get there. she wasn’t traumatized by it.

            • siriuslover

              I think Sally caved to peer pressure there. Her conversations with her friends show she’s actually in a much different place than either of them.

            • MK03

              Sally is proving to be a lot more mature than her peers. Last season, she wasn’t at all comfortable with the impromptu dorm party and Glen’s obnoxious friend hitting on her. And remember the look of disgust on her face when her roommate gushed about the skeezy old man that tried to pick them up on the train? It makes me hopeful that she’ll get through her adolescence relatively unharmed.

            • siriuslover

              Yeah, when I saw that, I could imagine Sally imagining her father hitting on teenage girls and she was rather disgusted.

            • Chris

              Matthew Weiner gave an interview recently where he said kids like Sally don’t end up delinquents from their experience, they often end up Senators. They become overachievers. I think Sally will get in some scrapes but she is so incredibly smart and ahead of her peers in many ways. Combine that with her inherited good looks, money and the opportunities that will open up for women and I see a bright future for Sally.

            • Gatto Nero

              I think she was a little. She talked about the deceased’s yellow skin and wig (probably a cancer death) and seemed disturbed by it.

            • decormaven

              Yes, her comment to Don – “I’m so many people” – makes me believe she was conflicted about the funeral, and so many other things.

            • L’Anne

              I thought she said “AND so many people.” After all, the Draper/ Hofstadt family is just her parents and her siblings and her Betty’s brother and his family. There doesn’t seem to be anyone else. Sally seemed grossed out by the appearance of the corpse (her first) and stunned by all the mourners.

            • Trent

              No, she definitely said “I’m so many people” (I use closed-captioning). It obviously hit home with Don, as that’s basically been the story of his entire adult life.

            • L’Anne

              Thanks, trent! I wasn’t sure what she said, but I thought it was And so many people. Both make sense on the context. Sally’s family is pretty small now (for “and so many people” to make sense), and she’s becoming even more aware how she shifts her behavior depending on context (for “I’m so many” to make sense).

            • Chris

              Yes, I thought it was because she is playing so many parts with so many people. She has to be the hip, wry sophisticated girl to her roommates while pretending to be the “good girl” to her mother. Don got to see the “real” Sally for a minute, who was freaked out by the funeral and her whole day She didn’t have to pretend to be cool and impervious to him. I liked how she told Don he didn’t have to make up a story for the note, and at the end she didn’t need him to come in. She had the note with “the truth” and it would be all she needed. I took it to mean that Sally may feel comfortable being herself more often. I think she is sophisticated enough to understand what Don meant when he told her he picked the wrong time to tell the truth. Telling the truth is good, but it can also hurt you if you choose the wrong time and people.

            • Alloy Jane

              She’s definitely showing herself to be Sally Whitman. I am glad of the reconciliation between them, even though I don’t think this is going to be Don’s redemption. He’s too one-note for that, but at least Sally had a chance to be herself with him.

            • Chris

              What I took out of it was that Sally gave him some hope. He probably thought their relationship was irreparable. Now he feels like he at least has a toe hold. Maybe this will inspire him a bit in all aspects of his life.

            • Alloy Jane

              Maybe, but he had that same hope with Megan and Betty, but that didn’t last. I feel like Sally will “disappoint” him because he’s always expecting the women in his life to fail him. Betty failed him by not happily putting up with his bullshit and having her own expectations. Megan failed him by wanting her own life and career. And Sally will fail him just by eventually growing up and seeking independence. My outlook for Don is not terribly hopeful.

            • Dot Brooke

              That line broke my heart.

            • MK03

              I think it’s pretty much impossible to go to a funeral and not be at least a little shaken up by an open-casket viewing, especially the first time. I still vividly remember going to my grandmother’s funeral when I was 8 and being completely unprepared for the shock of seeing her as we walked past the casket. My parents had to hold me up and help me walk out.

        • Gatto Nero

          I think that because Don/Dick witnessed so much pain and loss in his youth, he wants to spare his daughter from this as much as possible. It seemed to be a more protective, instinctive response to her attending the funeral as opposed to a well-reasoned one.

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

            He’s always had issues with grieving. He was particularly cruel and dismissive of Betty’s grief after both of her parents died and couldn’t understand at all anyone’s reaction to the Kennedy assassination.

            • L’Anne

              I was always struck by how he dismissed Betty’s feelings about her mother’s death. Didn’t he call it extended self pity?
              And then he and Betty both learned that Sally was asking questions about Medgar Evers.

              Part of the issue is likely that he doesn’t value relationships, and it seems likely that Sally doesn’t. She seemed ambivalent about Sandy leaving and running away. Her roommate isn’t her friend. She used Glenn, first, to impress the girls at Miss Porter’s and then to get back at Rolo.

            • Gatto Nero

              Sally has been hurt, repeatedly, from a very young age. She idolized her father, who said he would never leave her, and then he moved out. She was kept away from her only friend, Glen. She lost her grandpa Gene, who valued her. She is ultra-cautious now about opening up. Which is why her breakthrough with Don was so significant.

            • L’Anne

              I never said she hadn’t been. That likely contributes to why they both don’t really value relationships. If you don’t really value it, it hurts less, or not at all, if/ when you lose it.

            • Gatto Nero

              Yes — I wasn’t disagreeing; just proposing a reason.

            • Gatto Nero

              I agree, and this strikes me as avoidance of pain as opposed to just coldheartedness. It reminds me also of his conversation with Peggy after the birth of her baby about moving on: “This never happened.” Sometimes the most sensitive people are the ones with the toughest armor.

            • Glammie

              Let’s not forget the biggest one of all–his own brother’s suicide. Don’s never fully dealt with either the grief or the guilt over that. Or, heck, his culpability and witnessing of the death of the original Don Draper. Only close-up death I think he’s managed at all reasonably is Anna’s.

            • MK03

              I get the distinct impression that Don was not allowed to express himself growing up. His parents were abusive to begin with, and once his father died, his stepmother abandoned any pretense of tolerating him. Growing up without learning how to express your emotions, and being punished when you do, pretty much destroys that facet of someone’s personality. It’s a miracle he didn’t turn into a serial killer.

          • decormaven

            I was wondering if Don was being protective since Sally had a such a tough time when Grandpa Gene died. It was a long time ago, but it did make a big impact on Sally.

        • Eric Stott

          Sally is also at the age where her viewpoint can quickly switch from “Mom is Glamorous” to “Mom’s a Bitch”

          • L’Anne

            “I wish my mother would die.”
            “I’d stay here ’til ’75 if it would put Betty in the ground.”

            • Chris

              I think that is another instance of Sally being one of “all those people”. I’m sure she and Betty are still having problems but this was part of her cool act for the roommates.

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          I wondered if the one she went to was sort of an odd replacement. It was her first. Don wants to protect her. She’ll always be his little girl, and he wants to protect her.

        • Zoey

          I think that was normal for the time. I am younger than Sally Draper, but I recall that kids weren’t allowed in the hospital. My mother almost died when I was probably about 5 and we never visited her. It was rare to get invited to a wedding. Kids didn’t go to funerals. You maybe would go to the wake if it was someone very close to you, but more than likely you would stay home with a sitter. Those things were adult events and kids didn’t belong there where they might cry or distract others. Society was a lot less kid-centric than it is today.

          • L’Anne

            I’m not sure how old you are. I’m about 10 years younger than Sally. Whether or not I (or my close in age cousins) could attend weddings was very much related to the bride. I went to several weddings before I was 5, but there were several others that specified no children, and I stayed with a sitter. As for funerals, it was expected, on both sides of my family, that funerals should be attended by children (unless someone specified otherwise) starting in 3rd grade. I agree that society is more kid-centric. But Sally is around 15-16. She’d hardly at the age of being a distracting child for attending a funeral.

            • Zoey

              I guess I’m speaking specifically to your comments about needing to help Sally grieve about Grandpa Gene. They didn’t think about things like that with children. I interpreted Don’s comments to be more like “I hate the fact that you are almost an adult and have to face things like death.” It was a protective move on his part.

            • Not applicable

              My childhood was more like yours Zoey- I was born in the 70s The only reason I would have gone to a wedding was because I was in it as the flower girl. And when my mom was very ill in the hospital when I was 10 I was not allowed to visit and no one would tell me what was wrong. It wasn’t considered appropriate. I recall that people did not talk about illness or funerals in front of me- and it was even a big deal for me to go to my great grandmother’s funeral when I was 16 years old. This was much the same for my peers- so I thought the same as you- that Don was just thinking that it was not appropriate for a child. (even if he is just being protective)

          • housefulofboys

            I am Sally’s age, and I was a “preacher’s kid” which meant there weren’t many events I did not attend at church. But, I can only remember going to 2 funerals growing up (one was my brother, and the other was a family friend who helped raise me), and I’m trying hard to remember going to a wedding when I was school age (even high school age). Just wasn’t done.

      • Azaelia Bearson

        I was a bit startled at Sally saying she wants to put Betty in the ground (especially given Betty’s scare, though obviously Sally doesn’t know)… I mean, I like to think that if something actually happened to Betty Sally would still be devastated, but it’s a pretty dark thing to joke about out of left field.

    • Heather

      Don and Sally Dine and Dash! Loved the pleasure both of them took in that small act of naughtiness… and also that Don still left a tip so the waitress wouldn’t be stiffed.

      Was in awe at the way Kiernan Shipka has clearly learned to mimic the mannerisms of both Betty (as TLo have pointed out previously) AND Don… she miraculously went back and forth between the two of them in this episode, like a shape-shifter. Astounding.

      • housefulofboys

        I didn’t read the money on the table the same way. I thought Don was teasing Sally with the idea of a dine and dash, but when Sally said, “Really?”, he put the money on the table to pay the check after all. I was thinking, does Don not have the money to pay for dinner? And was he teasing Sally the same thing?

        • BayTampaBay

          I read the scene as you did!!!! Don is many things but he is not a thief or cheapskate

        • UsedtobeEP

          I also read it as his way of reassuring her that he is not hurting for money, despite the fact that he isn’t working. Clever of him.

        • Doris Allen

          Yes. Someone, somewhere, saw this and posted that Don at least tipped the waitress. As a former waitress, I know that the establishment would likely have charged the waitress for the jumped check. But he paid the bill; he was joking.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Yeah, I couldn’t make out the bill but it was definitely large enough to cover the meal.

        • Froide

          Don left enough to cover the bill and a tip. He was just teasing.

        • AZU403

          Sally looked pretty horrified at the idea, to my eyes.

        • MK03

          Sally’s reaction is what convinced him to pay the check. If she hadn’t been there, I’m sure he would have skipped out on it.

          • 3hares

            I think that’s something Don would never ever do, actually, is screw over a waitress in a diner by not paying or not leaving a tip. (He might screw her in other ways, but not that one.)

            • teensmom99

              I loved that they shared the joke. They were almost outlaws together–but he’s not really going to help her be an outlaw and they both know that.

        • Azaelia Bearson

          Yeah, I read it as a joke as well, though it took a minute. Don was trying to be the fun cool Dad (which sort of surprised me, in a good way).

      • decormaven

        She’s got amazing acting chops. The reaction scene in the car – “Do you know how hard it was for me to go to your apartment?” – that was a master class, right there.

        • ConnieBV

          And I loved that he knew exactly what she was talking about. Peggy used to call Don on his BS, but she has become him. Now it’s Sally.

      • Gatto Nero

        As I read the scene, they didn’t actually dine and dash. After teasing Sally with the idea Don pulled out his wallet and paid the bill. They both seemed to enjoy that moment of collusion.

      • John G. Hill

        He was playing off Sally’s fear of her dad going broke. That’s what made the threat of stiffing the waitress remotely plausible. Don would never do that under any circumstance because he can see the consequences, like the waitress having to make up the theft.

      • Javacat7

        I read that scene, coming as it did immediately after Sally said, I’m so many people, as Don demonstrating how to play act or role play. He played it dead serious. Sally’s eyes got big and she said Really? In a horrified way. Then Don grinned to show her how he too was being “so many people” by acting likesomeone who would do that. IMy feeling was that Sally recognized the game of being other people and that Don reflecting back what she said with tremendous understanding of what she meant forged a deeper connection. Betty would never get a comment like that. She could never say something like that to her pals at school. Dob showed that he really gets her.

    • Doris Allen

      It’s odd that Peggy assumed that Ted had sent her flowers. That would be a total asshole thing to do. Does he strike her as the kind of man who would “keep her hanging on” like that?

      He moved to California so as to make a clean break! I mean, he has this whole Newland Archer thing going on; too honorable to conduct an affair. It’s his.chief charm; he’s decent and kind.

      She seems to have no clue what he’s about.

      • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

        I think she knows that on some level, she was just feeling down and hopeful

        • BayTampaBay

          Yea! She wanted the flowers to be from Ted.

          • decormaven

            That way, the cutty comments Ginsberg made in the elevator wouldn’t be true.

            • UsedtobeEP

              And, hey, I wonder what Ginsburg was doing for Valentine’s Day. Throw us a bone, there, writers.

            • Gatto Nero

              Eating soup at home with his Dad.

            • Eric Stott

              while Hanging his jacket in the bathroom after a shower to save on dry cleaning.

            • siriuslover

              I know, right? That would have been the perfect come back line for Peggy after his totally assholian comments.

            • UsedtobeEP

              Exactly what I was thinking. What’s he got to be so smug about?

            • MartyBellerMask

              Ugh, but what if he DID have a date? Then Peggy would feel extra-stupid. And it shows you that she really doesn’t know him well enough to know.

            • MK03

              Even Stan was like “Ginsberg…shut up.”

            • Azaelia Bearson

              I wanted Stan to punch him. Damn it.

          • Doris Allen

            So she could act the fool? She didn’t behave as though she was grateful or felt valued.

            • Susan Velazquez

              I think she wanted them to be from Ted so she could have the relationship on HER terms again. You know, Ted dumped HER so she wanted a small sense of power so SHE could be the one to say it’s over. When she thought they were from Ted, she sent passive aggressive messages through Moira: “It’s over!” But Ted’s the one that called it off. “The business is gone!” Yeah, because Ted’s the one who left.

              She was trying to be that woman who won’t take back her loser boyfriend because she’s too good but it failed since no one else was playing the part.

            • Alice Teeple

              It’s interesting that for a brief second that she thought they could have been from Stan. and he might have been needling her in some way. That snarling “if this is a joke I’ll fire you” meant some kind of paranoia that Stan had picked up on the Ted Debacle and might be teasing her for it. Also interesting that Stan stuck around for a minute, wondering about those flowers, while Ginsburg kept on walking. Why would Stan be curious about that? I think he wanted to know if they were from Ted, himself.

            • Susan Velazquez

              Setting up for Peggy/Stan maybe???

            • Spicytomato1

              I don’t know, for the first time I sensed a pulling away from Peggy on Stan’s part and was thinking damn, she’s hitting a new level of low if even Stan is giving her the side-eye (and not in a joking way).

            • Alice Teeple

              I’m not sure! Personally, I like Stan a lot, but at this point, Peggy isn’t even fit to be around her cat. She needs some kind of positive work thing to happen to her to get her out of this funk. I think the point of this flower debacle was to hammer in how lonely and isolated she feels, and that she is unable to disguise that as well as Don Draper had. It’s a quicker slope than Don because he had a string of distractions. Peggy has no distractions at the moment, so I think every little thing would set her off into one big snowball. As much as I’d like for her and Stan to hook up, he doesn’t deserve to be a rebound for Ted. Maybe down the road or something. I’m afraid her attitude will backfire. I’d love for her to give up and say she can do her own thing, and nab the right people to start an alternative agency. Or at least take off a week to go down the shore.

      • http://twitter.com/lauriekalmanson laurie kalmanson

        Newland Archer reference!!!

        • Frankie Carter

          Yes, but Joan got the yellow roses! hahahaha Age of Innocence major geeking over here right now….

          • Doris Allen

            Yellow roses stand for “forever.” It’s cool to get the yellow roses.

            • Qitkat

              My wedding flowers.

      • ConnieBV

        Plus it seems he has been gone quite some time. Goes to show Peggy’s head is not in the real world. She has been dressing more and more like a child, and now her behavior is a series of tantrums. Her yell of “GROW UP!” made me laugh out loud, and her assertion that Shirley had done it to humiliate her shows both insight into Shirley (Shirley doesn’t like her and thinks no one else does or could) and terrible insight into her own psyche (Peggy still expects to be bullied-she frankly almost craves it since she is creating the situation). Peggy was Don’s pet, and just like him, the otherness that originally caused her to connect to humanity on an almost preternatural level, that made her so intuitive and her connections so easy, is now becoming unbearable to herself and others.

        • Rhonda Shore

          T-LO sort of nailed it, that it wouldn’t have even OCCURRED to Peggy that someone had sent Shirley the flowers. And she didn’t listen when Shirley tried to tell her. The whole thing was sort of sad and pathetic.

          • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

            Exactly — all of Peggy’s assumptions were self-centered. It’s telling that when Shirley began, “Actually, they’re –” Peggy immediately assumed Ted had done an un-Ted-like thing, rather than that the flowers weren’t meant for her.

          • Chris

            After rewatching part of it another thing struck me as racist about Peggy assuming the flowers were hers: all of the other secretaries seem to have more modest arrangements with carnations and smaller vases. Those are very extravagant, expensive flowers and a lot of them. The fact that Peggy dismissed the idea of their being Shirley’s despite her having a fiancé is even more glaring. As if they were so expensive they must be from someone wealthy like partner Ted. There may have been an underlying assumption that Shirley’s fiancé couldn’t afford or wouldn’t send such an expensive arrangement.

            • WaterGhost

              Peggy was poor as a secretary. She would never have been sent expensive red roses while working as a secretary. She might naturally assume the same about her current secretary, albeit incorrectly. “Not working” was never an option for Peggy, as it seems to be for Shirley.

        • http://bidonica.wordpress.com/ Poggy

          To be honest, while I totally agree that Peggy is at a low point righ now and that her racism is playing a part in this dynamic with Shirley… as a single woman in her early thirties I sort of got where she came from. It’s that point in life where it begins to feel like there’s a secret code you’re unable to crack, and even if you didn’t use to be relationship/romance focused when you were younger and didn’t mind being alone, now it starts being a bit grating. I mean, her “we all already know you are engaged!” retort at Shirley? It’s petty! It’s mean! It’s immature! But it’s also very real to those moments when the negativity you feel about yourself projects onto others, and people who are in (seemingly) successful relationships look like they’re flaunting it. Again: it’s obviously your problem, not theirs, but it’s a gut reaction that rings true to me. Even professionally, Peggy is at some sort of a dead end right now, so she feels stuck in every aspect of her life. I’m not entirely surprised she is lashing out in such a nasty way.

      • MartyBellerMask

        Yeah, I couldn’t buy that at all. And then not allowing Shirley to explain– very sitcom. Not a shining moment with the writing, but it served its purpose.

      • Shug

        Comparing Ted to Newland Archer = I love you

        • Doris Allen

          Love you back!

      • abby536

        Interesting. I would never compare someone to Newland Archer as a compliment. I love the Age of Innocence but he’s the definition of a coward.

        Ted has children, that’s the rationale for staying married. Ted’s not Don. Right now Peggy is very reminiscent of Don herself though.

        • Doris Allen

          Newland is a total twit, but the issue at hand is, once you’ve made the choice to stay with your wife, you do so. You don’t search out opportunities to re-establish the relationship with the other woman.

          Newland is a victim of his upbringing, but he is honorable. “Coward” is harsh.

          “Where is that country (where we would be happy together despite the destruction left in our wake)?”

          • abby536

            I suppose I meant to be harsh. I am genuinely not a fan of the character, that’s one of the reasons I love the book. I don’t believe that keeping your word is automatically the most honorable choice in all scenarios. I see the book as illuminating that fact.

            That said, once he knew his wife was pregnant his options dwindled. I fault him for marrying May in the first place and for staying married up until the pregnancy. Ted, on the other hand, didn’t meet Peggy until he had children so I agree he is making the honorable choice.

            • Doris Allen

              Abby, very much enjoying this conversation but this is probably the wrong forum. Edith Wharton fans are not that easy to come up on.

        • Kathryn Sanderson

          Ted’s staying in the marriage because of the kids for sure. I think he also cares about his wife or feels an obligation to her because they did take those vows, and she’s the mother of his children….he owes it to her to stay with her, even if it makes him miserable. Of course, in the late 60s and into the 70s, there were lots of divorces when people started getting into the mindset that their personal happiness trumped their family or spousal obligations. Plus, a lot of people who got married in the 50s and early 60s married young, and/or for the wrong reasons, buying into a very 50s model of domestic bliss. Then all the social changes of the 60s shattered that ideal, and people who’d married at, say 20, were seeing others not much younger than themselves having fun and adventure and discovering themselves and wondered “Why can’t I do that?” I may sound judgmental, but I don’t mean to be. Also, it may sound like I’m bitter about my own parents’ divorce, but in fact, my parents stayed together and were married for 50 years.

          • 3hares

            I don’t think she makes him miserable, actually. It seems like they have a good marriage and he’s right to see actual value in staying with her. He just also happens to be in love with somebody else at the moment and he hurt her and feels terrible about it.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Right, Ted’s wife doesn’t make him miserable, he’s miserable because he’s in love with Peggy and has decided he can’t be with her.

              OTOH, there’s likely something missing in Ted’s relationship with his wife, or he wouldn’t have acted on his attraction to Peggy. What’s missing isn’t necessarily sex, but probably that creative connection, the meeting of minds.

            • Chris

              I agree with all of this. Peggy really seems to be his other half. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that she is young and attractive but I do think it’s her talent and drive that made him fall for her when he seems to have resisted all the young secretaries etc.

            • Chris

              Well they were having some problems long before he kissed Peggy. They were on some retreat on New Years Day when Peggy kept trying to get a hold of him about the Koss earphone account and I thought it was implied they were working on their marriage. I think they care for and respect each other but the spark is gone in the marriage. As the saying goes, I think Peggy was a symptom of the problem, not the problem. Ted tries very hard to be moral and good and if he hadn’t met Peggy and fallen for her, the marriage probably just would have eked along and he would have just kept channeling his energy into work like he had been doing. They weren’t miserable like Don and Betty.

      • Chris

        I don’t think there was anyone else they could have been from, plus that was only about three months ago he left and dumped her. I don’t think it would be completely out of character. He kept pulling her back and forth for a while. Three months sounds about right between one of his overtures.

    • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

      Pete having to answer to/or consult with Bob…Does everyone remember when Pete told Don last season that this wasn’t the same agency? A fact that Don overlooked at the time. He was right. The agency has changed in a huge way. Cutler seems to be running the place. Him threatening Roger in the elevators makes me wonder…Roger didn’t seem to realize at the time, him getting rid of Don also lost him a huge ally.

      • decormaven

        Yes, the doors of perception are swinging wide open now.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          Right. And now Cutler is the person basically giving Joan her shot. Not that she doesn’t deserve it.

          • Janice Bartels

            Giving Joan her shot, but also possibly buying her support in the future. Joan remembers who takes her seriously and who doesn’t.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              exactly. Her loyalty will probably be with the person that rewarded her hard work.

          • 3hares

            Not really giving her her shot, though. Joan earned her shot. By advising her to take what she earned, though, he’s trying to get her loyalty so that she’ll think of him as the person who gave her a shot.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Joan may have earned it, but he is still the person telling her to take it (also let me add, he has worked with her the shortest amount of time). I too agree that this is a strategic maneuver.

            • UsedtobeEP

              And juxtaposed with Roger having Kevin send her flowers. I wonder if we are being set up for a little competition. Former romance versus current workplace respect? If I were Joan I know which one I would pick, all things considered…

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              I agree with you. Roger is the guy that didn’t protest about Jaguar. Cutler is the person telling her to take an office.

            • 3hares

              Exactly. He saw a place where everyone else was overlooking her and, with absolutely no sacrifice to himself, gets her to feel like she owes him. That shark never stops swimming.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              He is also the person that picked an agency name that means all of them can be disposable. He’s crafty.

            • Janice Bartels

              I’m rewatching, and catching the look on Cutler’s face when Cooper stopped Joan from leaving the conference call meeting after Roger. Knowing how the episode ends, it definitely reads “How do I get HER on my side?”

            • Denise Alden

              Good catch!

            • Qitkat

              Which brings the point, why didn’t it ever occur to Joan herself to take it? As a partner and a person who has now apparently brought in several accounts, although do we know of the others, besides Avon?, she ought to have been able to take a better office, and to pass the HR position onto someone else. This points to her still having some basic insecurity in how she earned her partnership, and in being the only female partner. It still is a sign of the times that she waited to get “permission” from a man to make this move.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Yes. That is a huge difference between Peggy and Joan. Peggy asks for the big office. Joan waits for someone to tell her to take it. It may be a result of the way she got the promotion or it may just be her. Plenty of people have trouble speaking up when they are not recognized at work.

            • Spicytomato1

              It wasn’t surprising to me that even though Joan had made partner, she was not considered at the same level as the male partners (literally and otherwise). As recently as the late 80s and 90s, the company (an ad agency, actually) I worked for had only one woman on the senior staff when I joined and she always had the worst office, was often overlooked/not invited for important meetings, was the last to get an “S” in front of “VP” in her title, etc. And she was always the last one to leave at night. I ran into similar issues as I worked my way up. I’ve been on my own freelancing for nearly 15 years now but something tells me things might not have changed all that much now, either.

            • greenwich_matron

              Also, Joan was a very junior partner.

            • decormaven

              Joining you in this chorus.

            • Qitkat

              I am sad to learn this. I’ve been out of the work force for some years now, so I learn a lot from the BKs on here about current work environments.

      • Eric Stott

        As an outsider Cutler hasn’t any ties to Roger and sees him for what he is – increasingly worthless.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          Roger can be worthless, he also is basically who got them Chevy, right?

          • Eric Stott

            Yes- that was a definite coup, but it was also a piece of pure luck that he was in the right place at the right time. His liabilities are outweighing his strengths. I think he might just get bought out with a nice payment to keep his family name.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Agreed

            • Travelgrrl

              Roger wasn’t just ‘in the right place at the right time” – he set up the entire Chevy meeting by engaging in skullduggery with the Stew, showed up at the airport, faked a chance meeting, and got the account. Roger CAN be clever, he usually can’t be bothered.

            • Eric Stott

              Ah yes, you DO have it right. Still, If I recall correctly now, Roger mostly did it to show everyone else up.

            • L’Anne

              Ezzactly.

            • greenwich_matron

              He also seems a little preoccupied right now. Serious decadence is very time consuming.

            • Spicytomato1

              I totally agree with you on Roger getting lucky with Chevy. To me I saw that as more evidence that his facade of cool and control was on shakier ground than ever.

          • MartyBellerMask

            So then this isn’t really about Pete, is it? Or Chevy. It’s about Roger. Cutler is willing to toy with Pete to screw with Roger.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              No it’s about control of the agency. I think Cutler assessed them when they first merged and found them all to be lacking. Bob has Chevy and Chevy is happy. End story. Any new chevy business belongs to Bob

            • Qitkat

              I laugh every time I think about the coup of the Chevy account. Discussions last season indicated that this will be the rollout of the Vega. We owned one of those early Vegas, and the aluminum engine went bust just before 50K miles. We had a heck of a time getting them to live up to the warranty. They replaced the engine and made us pay for the labor. It then ran for 110k total miles, and fell apart after being rear-ended, being held together with spit, chewing gum, and a shat ton of rust.

            • Chris

              Cutler is controlling everyone and has had a plan since the beginning. Bob is “his” person because he gave him the shot at Chevy despite him being a SCDP person originally. Cutler is trying to control all the partners which is why he is giving Joan her deserved office. Joan is still hesitant and secretary like in her behavior and can obviously be “controlled” as Cooper ordered her not to follow Roger so she stayed. Cutler already forced Don out, using his own “friends” and partners to do it. Don was the only one who would go against everyone in partners meetings if he felt he was right. Pete has been completely marginalized and even when Roger wants to ally with him he learns he threw his influence away when he went against Don. Ted is a shell of himself and Cooper is completely amoral and doean’t care who he algns with.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Yes to all of this. Cutler thinks the old team were unprofessional and unorganized. He used Don’s outburst to get rid of him. Cooper will go along with whatever as long as he is still making a profit. Roger and Pete have been marginalized. What do you bet that he engineered Pete going to the west coast? They don’t need two people in that office. So he has a bigger agency with clout he wanted and total control.

            • teensmom99

              I can’t believe that in my joy for Joan & Dawn, I missed that the consolidation of Jim’s power may not be great for Don’s future . . . What can I saw? I’ve always had a soft spot for Harry Hamlin–and he is so great in this role.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              It’s not great for Don’s future because Cutler views him as a liability. This is someone who is used to Ted-like creative person.

            • 3hares

              I don’t get the impression that Cutler’s problem was anything to do with unprofessionalism. He just wanted the whole thing to be his company. He chooses people he can control over people who are good at what they do.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              I disagree. From the moment they merged, Don was blowing meetings, missing appointments, etc. All stuff that impacted the business. Roger works ocassionally. Both are expendable. I think that is how he views them. He worked with both Ted and the guy who passed away and wasn’t controlling either one of them from that we saw.

            • 3hares

              But Pete and Peggy are hard-working and they’re both hitting brick walls with Cutler’s hired creative director (who sucks) and Cutler himself, who hired Bob Benson because he was obedient to Cutler. He practically announced this was his plan before he sent Bob to Chevy.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Cutler is doing anything to Peggy directly. His actions indirectly affect her. He just hired a creative lead stand-in and she answers to the new person. But he isn’t deliberately keeping her down. I agree he moved Pete on purpose.

            • 3hares

              But whether or not he’s doing anything to Peggy directly, he’s choosing a guy that does shoddy work but is very controllable in an important position. That, to me, goes along with his earlier indications that he’s trying to take over the company, and his moves to get people loyal to him. That’s just a different motivation that I think’s been laid out than him looking at people who are unprofessional and getting rid of them for quality purposes.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Yes, but Cutler didn’t choose Lou alone. Roger, Cooper, Cutler all chose him. And Duck vetted him. In addition, Ted is looking at Lou’s work as well. Hence the scene where he says to Peggy that Lou is doing a great job. Cutler is ruthless but he is pretty accurate in what he’s seen from Don and Roger.

            • 3hares

              Yes, but Cutler pretty much outright said that he wanted to take over, that this was us vs. them. So changing it to be about Cutler being a consummate professional who just won’t deal with people who take too many naps etc. (but is just fine with people like Lou who do sub-par work because they don’t care) is going down a blind alley imo.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Yes, but I said that in additional to him being ruthless he views Don and Roger as expendable.

            • greenwich_matron

              I also think he sees this more as a war between creative and accounts. Right now, Ted and Don are the creative partners and all other partners are in accounts (not too sure about Burt). He likes Lou because he will keep spewing out product that he can sell without causing too much drama or deserving a partnership. Unless Roger gets in the game, he has already won accounts. I think the McCann Erickson millionaire was thrown in to add some validity to his point.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Yeah it will be interesting to see is Lou is a permanent hire. We never saw the interview, we don’t know he was hired as a stand-in for Don or told it was permanent.

            • greenwich_matron

              Yeah, wasn’t Don’s breakdown at Thanksgiving? That meant he was hired after a pretty abrupt search that couldn’t have lasted a month.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Yes. It was. They brought him in to interview, the day they told Don he needed a break. For all I know, they plan to hire someone permanent and he is just there temporarily which may be why he cares so little

            • 3hares

              I think he views them as more than expendable. They’re threats (even if they’re minor ones in Roger’s case) and he wants them out.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              Yeah I will give you that. I think that’s why he threatened Roger on the elevator. I also think the only way Don will be back is if somehow Roger gets Cooper on his side. Cooper can be ruthless as well.

            • MartyBellerMask

              What I don’t understand right now is Pete’s loyalty. I’m pretty sure he could have moved on by now.

            • Chris

              Pete is still a partner, though a junior one. He probably thought he would be building a branch that would someday equal the NY one and he was a pioneer. Now he’s seeing it as being marginalized and shuffled off to the boonies. In his mind Don was still there in charge. Pete just got smacked in the face with how things are going under Cutler’s regime.

    • Salasalu

      Great recap (again!) I must admit, I bawled when Sally told her father she loved him….they slay me (do I have issues?) Peggy better check herself.

      • Froide

        Before she wrecks herself.

    • AnotherJulie

      I loved this episode, my favorite in a while. Don and Sally’s conversation, esp. Sally telling Don she loved him, absolutely killed me. There were so many little moments I can’t even begin to comment adequately.
      But Burt Cooper’s overt racism… wow. That really brings the viewer back to the reality of the 60s… Also, I was felling really bad for Peggy last week but she was such a huge jerk this week I lost all sympathy.

      • BayTampaBay

        Is Bert Cooper really a racist or is he just worried about the perception of the general public. I have not yet made up my mind.

        • decormaven

          Consider his response in S4/E5 “Chrysanthemum and the Sword”: in a brief boardroom discussion of the Selma violence and Lyndon Johnson’s proposed Civil Rights Act, Roger is sympathetic to the protesting blacks, but Bert Cooper wonders, “Why aren’t they happy?”

          • L’Anne

            Because Lassi can stay at the Ritz and they can’t.

        • PastryGoddess

          It makes absolute sense for Bert to be racist. He’s what, in is 60′s or 70′s? He’s not only from a different generation, but from a different era. While the north didn’t have Jim Crow laws like the south. Blacks were still seen as “other” Very few people, especially not the oh so privileged and WASP’y Bert would have had anything to do with a black person unless they were some kind of servant.

          Expecting him to suddenly “get with the program” regarding black people wouldn’t have rang true at all.

          • bxbourgie

            Exactly. Cringeworthy for sure, but totally in character for Bert. He didn’t want “one of them” in the lobby before, nothing has changed in his mind since then..

          • Qitkat

            In 1969, my dad was 55. He and mom had both grown up in Alabama, had black maids and workers in their families. Looking back on this era, I can see how there might have been a bit of a struggle for them not to be racist, but they never acted overtly so around us kids. Occasionally comments would come through that showed their upbringings, but these were always people who were kind to everyone, and who knew in their hearts that racism was wrong. I think they even went out of their way to overcome these feelings, it is difficult to shake a lifetime of treating people as “others” and I think they did an admirable job of it. Dad worked with many black men in his last job, and as a result, learned that they were just regular people too, with all the hopes and dreams, and struggles that people have, outside of their skin color. Which isn’t meant to suggest that he knew how it felt to walk a mile in their shoes.

        • Ginger Thomas

          In the early ’80s, I had a hard time convincing the PTB to let me hire a black receptionist. The two most opposed had never seemed racist (to white me anyway), but they had strong opinions about who “represented” the company on the front desk.

          • Denise Alden

            And in the late ’80s, the architectural/engineering firm I worked for LOVED the fact that the two receptionists at the front desk were African American! It felt like they couldn’t stop patting themselves on the back for being so “progressive.”

        • AnotherJulie

          You’re right, probably a combination. As accustomed as I have become to watching the constant smoking, drinking, sexism, driving drunk, littering and countless other 60s stereotypical behaviors – every now and then something still shocks me. This was one of those examples

        • MK03

          “People can see her from the elevator.” Yeah, he’s absolutely racist.

        • MDubz

          Why can’t it be both?

        • AnotherJulie

          Perhaps both, but the way he said something like “You can see her (Dawn) from the hallway” was despicable.

    • Angela_the_Librarian

      The scenes with Don and Sally at the restaurant were absolute perfection. Don seemed almost relieved to tell the truth about his situation, and his suggestion to dine-n-dash was just rebellious enough to capture the attention of his teenage daughter. I really hope he doesn’t screw up their relationship moving forward, and I am interested to see if Sally’s relationship with her mother changed at all after learning the truth about her father’s past.

      Peggy was definitely acting like a tool last night, but I wonder if she was set off in part because Stan and Ginsberg were ribbing her about Valentine’s Day in the elevator. Not making excuses for her behavior (Don 2.0 indeed), but I think she was probably feeling bummed out about the day and secretly wished that Ted had actually sent her flowers.

      I was fist pumping for Joan last night. Sure, she probably got her new office to further someone else’s agenda, but she’s finally in a place where she can get some respect and transition into a different role. I thought Dawn was going to get shuffled to Peggy’s secretary, but was so glad to see her in Joan’s position now.

      • decormaven

        Well, Dawn’s been dressing the part- blazers, etc. May it be a good move for her.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I think that Dawn impressed Joan when she stood up to Lou. He is such a douche.

        • Froide

          Dawn also impressed Joan long ago, when Joan caught Dawn falsifying Scarlett’s time card by punching her in when Scarlett was not in the office; Dawn “manned up” about it and promised to be loyal to Joan. Remember, Joan then put Dawn in charge of the time cards at that point? I knew then, that Joan would promote Dawn eventually (and likely when Joan herself acquired more clout).

    • decormaven

      I also see glimmers of hope in this episode, much more than any in S6. And I loved the song selections: “The Warmth of the Sun” by the Zombies and “Elenore” by the Turtles. Perfect for both scenes.

      • Rhonda Shore

        Elenore was the song they used to introduce January Jones in “Pirate Radio.” Seemed like an interesting choice.

    • Guest

      That necklace that Sally was wearin

    • Lisa Petrison

      That necklace that Sally was wearing is the one that Don gave her years ago, back when Allison was still his secretary, I think. The disc with her initials on it.

      • decormaven

        Yes, it’s the SBD necklace, Sally Beth Draper.

      • MDubz

        I think she usually wears it.

        • MK03

          She’s worn it in every episode until she walked in on Don and Sylvia last season. It was noticeably missing in her scenes after that.

    • Jennifer

      So this is random – last week my husband and I saw The Zombies in concert. They are my husband’s favorite 60′s band and this led to a discussion of 60′s music and me trying to convince him to watch Mad Men by talking about all the great 60′s music they’ve used in the show over the years. This then led to me googling to see if I could figure out if they’ve ever used any of the Zombies’ music in the show, but couldn’t find anything. So I’m watching last night, the credits roll, and what do they play? A Zombies song, This Will Be Our Year. I start sputtering and yelling to my husband in the kitchen, and then he comes in and we have a good giggle over this very weird coincidence.

      In other news, I very much enjoyed the episode! I’m watching this season live although in my original Netflix watching of the show I’ve only made it to Season 5, specifically so I can better understand and enjoy the TLo recaps and Mad Style posts! So I haven’t seen everything that’s led to the current situation, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless.

      • yllas

        I love the Zombies, too! An unfortunate name for such a great band, a step above most of the 60′s bands. We felt rather sophisticated listening to The Zombies, back in the day.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I am totally jealous that you saw The Zombies. My husband introduced me to them and we both love them even though they were before our time (like so many great bands). How are they not in the rock and roll hall of fame? I called the song as soon as I heard it and my husband gave me the title….he’s great with stuff like that. I really hope it will be The Year of Mad Men!

        • Jennifer

          It was a great show, they still sound great! They are on tour right now, not sure where you’re located, but look them up, they might be coming to your area!

        • MartyBellerMask

          They keep getting passed up, don’t they?? It’s criminal.

      • Travelgrrl

        That’s the Baader Meinhoff syndrome, right there!

      • Alice Teeple

        They did mention the Zombies in S4 when they were talking about the different British bands that would have all sounded the same to the older set. I loved that they used this song. Perfect.

    • UsedtobeEP

      I think Cutler is dangerous, but I am glad to see him give Joan her shot. I hope she starts acting more like a partner and less unsure of herself. It was nice to get that little reference to Butler in the elevator so we know they still have the account.

      • Tracy M

        I think Cutler is dangerous only if we want to things to stay exactly the same.

        • 3hares

          I think the kind of changes Cutler brings are clearly not good ones, though. He seems to want to be in control more than he wants good work. With Joan his methods happened to include giving a well-deserved compliment to Joan, but he’s often happier with people who aren’t that great but do what he wants.

          • UsedtobeEP

            Good points, both. First, a nod to above comments that yes, Joan earned her shot—he didn’t give it to her. By dangerous, I mean that he seems to be moving things along by finding a target (Roger) and taking aim. I don’t know that being an agent for change is a good thing if your means (Joan’s office) are good but your end is taking someone down. He seems a real puppet master to me. He accomplished getting Don out of the way, and maybe Pete, so Roger is next? He’s out in the open so gray suits are gone and now here’s a blue one?

            • somebody blonde

              I’m kind of wondering if that tactic will backfire, though. Roger’s proximity to Joan and their history together might realign and strengthen their work bonds rather than unnerving Roger, as is undoubtedly Cutler’s plan.

            • UsedtobeEP

              Yep, and if they both miss Don enough, that’s another way to spoil Jim’s fun.

          • siriuslover

            By the end of the show, it seemed that he thought the company was his entirely–not even Ted’s. And that very eery, “I wouldn’t want you as an enemy” line to Roger. OMG. Don’t get caught in the office alone with him.

    • Scimommy

      Not much to add except that I LOVED this episode. Hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. You dissected Peggy pretty thoroughly except that I am not sure that she would have reacted better if it was a white girl at her desk. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe she would have been as bitter as she was because she is obviously falling apart at the seams and losing all perspective. It’s interesting that Ted is not faring well on the other side of the country. Not to narrow this down to “OMG, do you think till they get together eventually?” because clearly Peggy’s desperation stems from professional as well as personal frustrations, but still… “Do you think they will get together eventually?”

      I love the idea of Dawn managing personnel, except I think she is going to get so much crap for it, it’ll be painful to watch. On the other hand, she showed that she can stand up for herself just fine – both to Don and to Lou – so I hope (fingers crossed) that she will weather the inevitable backlash. Because it’s coming.

      • Frankie Carter

        I wonder if it will come from Shirley, which will be highly interesting. Then again she does have seniority, so probably not.

        • Scimommy

          My guess is that most of the backlash would come not from the senior people but from the secretarial pool. There are several secretaries who’ve been with SC longer than Dawn. I can imagine that they might be miffed that she got promoted.

          • Doris Allen

            She was already promoted last year, so she was already dealing with the secretaries in a mangerial position. She’ll be okay. She’s good with people and not unable to stand up for herself.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Scarlett will be pissed– but now it’s got me thinking. If she’s Harry’s secretary, why aren’t they in LA? Shouldn’t Harry be in California? Or have I forgotten plot elements from last season….

            • MK03

              I think Harry is still in the NYC office. But even if he was in LA, we saw this week that Moira is still in NYC even though Ted is in LA. Which I thought was weird, but I guess it was common practice.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Do Ted and Pete even have a secretary or receptionist in LA? They must, but it they do, I’ve been totally oblivious to her.

            • Cabernet7

              Yes, she was in the room during the conference call. I think her name was Dee.

          • Azaelia Bearson

            Very true, and even Joan – who may or may not have been promoted ahead of the game, I don’t know if the show’s ever told us – was often reminded that she wasn’t really liked. Wasn’t there an episode where someone “leaked” her real age by posting it on the bulletin board? I don’t remember the specifics, but it was pretty upsetting. I think it was back in season one when Peggy was still the secretary, it seems to me she got blamed for it in part, even though it wasn’t really her fault. I know I’m getting the details wrong, but it seems to me it was something like that.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Joan isn’t liked, but she definitely commands respect (in spite of the “leak” about her real age). She has a very “take charge” persona and a commanding presence. People usally listen to her. They may resent her, but they listen.

            • Chris

              Paul did it in retaliation for Joan treating him poorly in the office and dumping him (for being indiscreet) but everyone else sure seemed to enjoy it. Joan did like to lord it over everyone and she had a lot of sharp comments for everyone back then so there was a lot of schadenfreude when she got publicly laughed at.

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            I think there will be at least some tension, partly because Dawn was promoted (again) over secretaries who’ve been there longer, and partly some racial tension. I think also Shirley might have an issue with Dawn getting “a big head” …they’re not so equal anymore. But as far as we can see, Dawn hasn’t had too many problems so far in a supervisory role, so she’ll probably come out OK, as others have said.

      • UsedtobeEP

        I dunno. Dawn is pretty people savvy, and very likable. Maybe this will be less painful to watch than it threatens to be. Dawn seems very well liked; Lou is a jerk to everyone, so we can’t gauge by his reactions.

    • http://www.dinnerisserved1972.com DinnerIsServed1972

      Dear Jesus,
      Please have everyone stop talking about him and just bring back Bob Benson.
      Thanks!
      -Me

      • UsedtobeEP

        I won’t be surprised if we see him. I keep expecting Pete to walk into a room and Bob to be there. “Not good, Bob!”

        • http://www.dinnerisserved1972.com DinnerIsServed1972

          Especially if Bob’s show on CBS gets cancelled.
          Poor Buffy.

          • Linlighthouse

            I’m enjoying The Crazy Ones, but yeah, it might not last.

            • http://www.dinnerisserved1972.com DinnerIsServed1972

              I like it, too (I watch it OnDemand). But last I heard it was still on the bubble and had not yet been picked up for renewal. Crossing my fingers for that and Hannibal. I’ll be mega-sad if Hannibal doesn’t get a season 3.

            • AvaLehra

              I think if Hannibal gets canceled by NBC, Amazon would be waiting in the wings to pick it right up.

            • http://www.dinnerisserved1972.com DinnerIsServed1972

              From your lips to god’s ears. LOL.

          • French_Swede

            I’m very sure that CBS has already cancelled “The Crazy Ones”.

            • Alloy Jane

              WHAT??? How could they? It’s absolutely the funniest show on the air. I watch episodes repeatedly and that St. Patrick’s Day episode nearly killed my sister.

    • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

      I don’t think Peggy’s behavior and general downward spiral is really over Ted, specifically. I think this is a broader crisis over feeling so horribly alone and single and adrift at work, with no support for her creativity. She’s at an age where being single/childless would really hit hard and feel like a permanent status, especially in that era, with a lot of judgment carried with it by her peers, and she can’t look at her career right now and feel that the sacrifice was worth it. So yeah, she’s just generally unhappy — it’s not because she desperately wants Ted back, specifically.

      • siriuslover

        And besides Stan, I’m not sure she has any real friends. And that’s a sad moment.

        • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

          Exactly! It’s terrible when you’re looking at your life and can’t see anything you’re proud of or that brings you comfort. Where the hell is that CAT, for instance?

          • Azaelia Bearson

            I have no idea, actually… I know she was in the Abe crowd (although she was the one who introduced him to Peggy), so it’s possible when Peggy dumped Abe, she sort of dumped their mutual friends too? I think Peggy had Joyce and Abe as sort of her experiment with the counterculture movement, but she’s kind of past that now. I would like to see Joyce again, I really hope we do, but I’m not sure Joyce is even on her radar anymore.

        • MartyBellerMask

          I miss Joyce!

      • http://bidonica.wordpress.com/ Poggy

        My thoughts exactly. I guess this is mirrored by Peter venting to Ted about how he needs to have something to look forward and aspire to, professionally, but I think it really applies to these characters’ lives in general. As I said a few comments above, Peggy is in the middle of a perfect storm of negativity where she feels she just isn’t going anywhere whatever direction she points to.

        • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

          POGGYYYYYYYYYY ::glomps you, in the spirit of the old FA shipping forums*

          Seriously, you know I first discovered TLo by the quotes you’d post on tumblr? Can’t thank you enough for that inadvertent rec. :) And I feel like we’ve come full circle!

          • http://bidonica.wordpress.com/ Poggy

            Awwww the internet is such a small place XD

      • jk47

        Peggy is definitely feeling the judgment from being single/childless. And if you look at the secretaries’ desks, every other woman in the office has Valentine’s flowers on her desk (with the telling exception of Dawn). There’s a wide range in the price ranges too – smaller carnation arrangements for the older long-married ladies, more pricey from the wooing boyfriends, etc. Moira has a nice yellow arrangement, similar to Joan’s in some ways, though not as luxe, I think. Even spacey Meredith has a nice arrangement, which she is careful to box up when she leaves reception. Shirley’s roses are by far the most luxurious, over the top and red/red/roses romantic of all the flowers, though, which makes Peggy’s assumptions even more embarrassing.

        • Logo Girl

          Moira’s was pink and white carnations.

          • jk47

            Huh. I totally thought they were yellow! Thx.

    • leighanne

      Agree that Peggy should be better able to handle the idea of Ted out there somewhere without going into a total funk. Not quite the same Peggy who used to share an office with Stan. I miss their comradery – too bad she doesn’t feel she can go to him or anyone else in the office as a close confidant. The shot of her smoking lying on the couch is reminiscent of Don in his office.
      I had forgotten about Meredith, I always crack up when she reappears..

      • L’Anne

        Perhaps I should get a pencil?

        • Frankie Carter

          I was dying at this point. Dawn’s face was just like……”Is this real life?”

          • MK03

            Her face just screamed “how the hell did this idiot get in here??”

        • MartyBellerMask

          Oh, that’s when I realized, Joan knew EXACTLY what she was doing.

          • L’Anne

            She likes to give people the secretaries they deserve.

            • sweetlilvoice

              Yes, Don totally deserved Miss Blankenship after he screwed Allison and she lost her shit. RIP Miss B! “Are you going to the toilet?” God, I loved her lines.

        • Roz

          And then….the only thing Dawn takes from her desk is a pencil! HAHAHA

      • MK03

        God, I love Joan. “Okay, you want a new girl? Fine, you’ll get the stupidest girl we have.”

    • Frankie Carter

      AHHHHHH this episode was too much for life. Loved it.

      Cutler gives me the chills. He looks like he was cryrogenically (sp?) frozen and came to life. I feel like you’d touch his skin and it’d just be ice. That being said, I’m watching his shenanigans with interest.

      Guess this settles the “Is Joan a racist or not” argument from season one with that bitchy little comment she made to Shelia? Then again, there are many who’ll work with other races but won’t date them…..idk. Bert made me cringe, and not just because of the rcism angle; it was how it was presented. I mean, I would have expected Matt and the writers to approach it more from a “Look, I personally don’t care where black people sit, but the clients will,” kind of in keeping with Season One’s Bert being all, “Pete Campbell is a trifling prick, but we need his connections, so you can’t fire him.” This casual racism makes Bert look much more simplistic and less pragmatic than we’ve seen him in the past.

      I find it interesting that the secretaries seem to be calling their bosses by their first names this season. Is this a new thing?

      Lou made my hair stand up. That speech impediment he’s got drives me crazy, too.

      Dawn needs to take the (presumed) salary jump with her new position to burn that wig and buy herself a better one or get a curl and press if she likes the straight look. That ‘fro Shirley’s rocking just makes Dawn’s head look destitute.

      Sally has teenage brat nailed. I wanted to smack her several times even as I felt for her. That being said, I love her funeral outfit, with the knee socks and all. She looks like the model on the cover of a first-edition Judy Blume novel– that sort of thing was standard for schoolgirls up until the eighties, I think.

      • L’Anne

        Bert did say “people can see her from the elevator.” So anyone who is on that elevator would see a “colored” face as THEIR face, client or not.

        • Frankie Carter

          True, true. I guess I just wanted more clarification as to what his personal angle was. It’s racist either way.

        • Doris Allen

          For what it’s worth, I tried out for Jeopardy in the sixties and Merv Griffin’s office in the Time Life building had a black receptionist.

          • L’Anne

            THAT is freakin’ sweet.

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

        ” I mean, I would have expected Matt and the writers to approach it more from a “Look, I personally don’t care where black people sit, but the clients will,”

        I think that’s pretty close to how it was approached, actually. Bert started off with “I’m all for the national advancement of colored people” and ended with “You can see her from the elevator.”

        • Frankie Carter

          True. I initially read it as sarcasm, but this is the same Bert Cooper who realized *immediately* that the agency would be in deep s*it if they didn’t make good on their “open to everyone” ad after the statue was walked through the lobby last season.

          Unfortunate and unfair, but practical and quite of the times.

        • BayTampaBay

          Which is my take exactly regarding my comment above.

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

            Not quite. I firmly consider Bert to be racist.

            • Eric Stott

              I believe he made some anti-semitic remarks in the past.

            • Shawn EH

              It’s just so disappointing. I’d have liked for the wise old guy in the seersucker suit to be actually wise, and not closer to Col. Sanders or Big Daddy/Burl Ives.

            • sweetlilvoice

              He really looked like Col. Sanders last night too…it was creepy. Burt has always been conservative.

      • L’Anne

        What happened to my comment?

        • Frankie Carter

          I think I had one of Deenie in a jumper, with her hair styled similarly.

      • 3hares

        I think racism’s too complicated to just be settled with “is she or is she not.” Her comment to Sheila was blatantly racist. Her promotion of Dawn and willingness to let her sit at reception was not racist. Bert basically did say exactly what you think he should have said. It would be unlikely to any of these white people to never reflect the racist world they all grew up in.

        • MK03

          Yeah, but she was taking a swipe at Paul through Sheila. I read her remark more as “he’s only dating you to look progressive, he doesn’t really give a shit about you or civil rights”.

    • otterbird

      I don’t take Peggy’s behavior as being a cliché. Here’s where Peggy is:

      1. Boss she hates who doesn’t like her
      2. Supervising employees who hate her.
      3. Living in an apartment she hates that she bought basically to placate a man who later told her he despised her.
      4. Has tenants who hate her.
      5. The man she was in love with, who was the only professional mentor who openly valued her, left her just a few months ago.
      6. It’s Valentine’s Day.

      I think Valentine’s Day just triggered it all, especially with Ginsberg’s comment in the elevator. It’s a tough day for singles; I remember. And it hurts to have your heart broken. It’s been a year for us, but only a few months for Peggy, and she’s in her 20s. Love in your 20s is a different beast than in your 30s or 40s or 50s. And back then working vs. being married was an actual choice (as in, one or the other). My first boss post-college was a woman who had been a producer for TV commercials (she was an agent for TV commercial directors by the time I worked for her- definitely on the downward curve of her career). She was also a product of Catholic school, and had produced on some pretty big projects (the first 3-D commercial, for Diet Coke, remember, those of us who are Olds?). She had great, great stories about the annual Christmas party she held every year (and how the staff of her apartment building had to be generously tipped afterwards, heh). But, in her late 50s, she was never married, though she really would have liked to have been, and was genuinely hopeful when it looked like someone was showing interest. I adored her, but she reminded me that things really were different in the 1960s, and 1970s, and frankly, the 1980s, too. She died in 2000, and Mad Men makes me think of her, because I could see Peggy having the same path- successful for a while, then struggling as she gets older, and living alone. I also think of how much my old boss, who had great taste in entertainment, would have adored this show.

      Other than that, Dawn’s and Joan’s satisfaction with their new offices sent me to sleep with a warm fuzzy. :) I was also amused by Joan giving Lou the worst secretary in the company as a big FU to him, and sorry that Bert Cooper’s racism cut short Lou discovering it.

      • UsedtobeEP

        I think Lou is going to LOVE his new secretary. Long live mediocrity.

        • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

          Is he going to end up with Shirley, though, as Meredith is put back on the front desk?

        • decormaven

          Lou has Shirley now. Meredith is back to the receptionist desk, as per Cooper’s request for a non-African American.

          • otterbird

            Reminding us once again, than in the world of Mad Men, nothing is EVER FAIR. God, I wanted at least a few episodes of the Lou-Meredith sh*t show. Now he’s got a good secretary. AGAIN.

            • Doris Allen

              Can’t imagine how the feistier Shirley will make out with Lou. Bound to be another change.

            • MK03

              Yeah, I can’t see her quietly taking his shit like Dawn did. I get the distinct impression she’ll be out of there once her fiance has a good job.

            • teensmom99

              Yes–but things also happen really fast in that office–at least once the decision is made. Come in; close the door.

          • Grumpy Girl

            Back then the front desk was a big impression for workplaces. My mother worked the front desk at a small company, and they gave her no end of micromanagement about her appearance, etc. Some of it worked out well, where the owner’s wife took her shopping and bought her really nice stuff to wear, but some of it was very demeaning, too–especially because my mother considered herself to be an administrative professional. Big debate about keeping her on staff once she married, and the first day they could visibly tell she was pregnant, she was fired.

            So yeah, racism at play in the show. But the front desk was a BIG step in how the firm would have wanted to be perceived, and I am not sure how the culture would have rocked that, quite yet? (Not an apologist; just going for context.)

          • Doris Allen

            Who has Peggy got? Curious about this.

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              Me too! We’ll have to wait and see.

          • UsedtobeEP

            Dang, you’re right. I couldn’t keep up! Shirley’s not going to put up with his nonsense though.

            • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

              I don’t know about that, for all Shirley’s talk Dawn is the only one who wound up back-talking her boss this episode.

          • MartyBellerMask

            Is that clear though? Maybe Scarlett is at the front, or Clara. Or Caroline. Hey, where is Caroline? She is hilarious.

            • decormaven

              At the end of the episode, we see Lou chatting with Shirley, saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and Dawn is placing her things in Joan’s office. That leaves Meredith returning to the receptionist desk. That was the quickest way for Joan to shuffle the deck and play the cards in the hand.

      • L’Anne

        This brings up 2 questions I had: If Lou got Shirley, who is Peggy’s secretary? And when did Peggy get power to fire anyone she wanted in the creative department? I can see as Copy Chief, she’d be able to fire copy writers. But Stan is Art Director. How is she able to fire him? Wouldn’t that require the CReative Director (Lou)? Or someone else higher up the food chain?

        • otterbird

          Excellent question- Dawn’s promotion leaves a space. Maybe Joan will leave Peggy waiting. Or actually, it’ll be Dawn leaving her waiting. It’s also possible Dawn may fill in for her from her NEW OFFICE until they get someone else.

          • Kit Jackson 1967

            I want Peggy to have secretaries ala “Murphy Brown”-a revolving door/a new one each week. This show wouldn’t do that, but it would be funny.

            • hunt3002

              They did something similar with the revolving secretaries with Don until Meghan and then Dawn. So it’s already been played.

            • Kit Jackson 1967

              True, but I think it would be funnier with Peggy. You’re probably right-it’s a been there done that scenario for the show.

            • L’Anne

              Did they? Peggy- promoted (1 season- 1st). Jane- married (most of a season- 2nd). Alison- major issue (season 3 and part of 4). Miss Blankenship- died at the desk (part of 4). Megan- promoted and married (remainder of 4). Shared Caroline with Roger (5) until Dawn came on (5 and 6). Outside of season 4, he’s pretty stable and when he’s lost secretaries the circumstances have been other than he’s horrid to work with/for.

            • MavisJarvis

              Don’t forget poor Lois’s brief tenure with Don, just before Allison.

            • L’Anne

              OMG, she was awful. But wasn’t she start of season 2? Before Jane? Then he Joan relocate her, and Jane came on, and then Alison?

            • MavisJarvis

              Hmm, not sure. You may have it right.

            • L’Anne

              Not sure either, but “you don’t cover for me. You manage expectations.”

            • Gatto Nero

              RIP Miss Blankenship.

          • L’Anne

            Stan and Peggy’s relationship seems more strained now than it was when Joey was around.

            And where is Phyllis?

            • otterbird

              Who was Phyllis? Was she the female writer when Peggy wasn’t working there? They let her go. But if that wasn’t Phyllis, I don’t remember who Phyllis was!

            • L’Anne

              Phyllis was Peggy’s secretary when she was at CGC, who told Peggy she could be nicer to the juniors. I figured she would have gone with Peggy after the merger. They seemed to have good rapport, especially after MLK’s assassination.

            • otterbird

              Oh! Lord, I can’t keep characters straight. I will choose to think the character (and the actress) got some better opportunity elsewhere.

            • MartyBellerMask

              The writer was Margie. She got fired.

            • gogobooty

              And remember Margie saying everyone called her “Peggy” the whole time she was there?

              Interchangeable. Same as Dawn and Shirley.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              …and in fact, “Margie” and “Peggy” are both nicknames for Margaret. They most likely actually have the same name. A little joke.

            • Logo Girl

              Megan too. And Midge. And Margaret Sterling. Also ever notice both Pete and Betty have sisters in law named Judy? Lots of matches.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              I didn’t notice about the Judys. Good catch! Also, there’s Betty Francis, Bethany Van Nuys, and Beth what-her-name, Alexis Bledel’s character. Thee variations on Elizabeth (that I can think of). That may or may not mean something. Or it may just mean that a lot of women born in the 30s and 40s were named Margaret, Elizabeth, and Judy (or Judith) and the show is going for realism. OTOH, I wonder how many francophone people in Quebec named their daughters Megan in the forties, if any…

            • Lady Bug

              Phyllis, IIRC, was Peggy’s secretary back when she worked for CGC. She’s the one that Peggy hugged after the MLK assassination.

            • bawoman

              Thought it was sweet how happy he was for her when they saw the flowers.
              And I also doubt Peggy would be able to fire Stan…he may be slightly inferior than her in rank, but only the creative director would be able to do so. No wonder Stan glared at Peggy as if telling her to fuck off when she said that.

        • lisbeth borden

          I think Peggy will get Moira, Ted’s secretary—She’s in NY, and she’s been in some screaming blue & green–with Ted & by herself. She & Peggy together would be fun. Also you know Moira’s already acting as Ted’s eyes & ears in NY.
          Or is she someone else’s secretary now? I forget.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I was waiting for that too….I love Meredith-she is the perfect ditz. The actress cracks me up with her little girl dresses and baby voice. She’s the Peaches of the office!

      • Shawn EH

        Well, at least Ginsberg seems to be on his meds. On a better day, Peggy could have dealt with it easily, as they all talk to each other that way.

      • Zoey

        And as she realized talking with Joan, #7 a lot of the secretarial pool hate her too.

      • SylviaFowler

        You know what the common denominator is of 1-5 in your list?

        • otterbird

          Everybody hates Peggy?

    • TLJezebel

      I cannot wait to see how Miss Kiernan evolves as an actress. Her performance last night was flawless.

      • Frankie Carter

        I was too distracted by the perfection that was her (subtle, but there) eye makeup. Her lashes were Audrey-Hepburn status.

        • Teresa

          Her eyebrows may start a new style trend, too.

      • Alice Teeple

        That moment when she was trying not to cry really struck me. She was so good in that episode.

    • Gatto Nero

      Great episode and incisive post.

      Two things strike me. Peggy has time after time sacrificed her personal relationships (and even her child) for the sake of her career. I believe that she’s frustrated and miserable now not because she doesn’t have a man but because her status at SC&P is slipping and she has no professional supporters left. Still, I’m sure that seeing Ted last week didn’t help, and Valentine’s Day can be an ordeal for anyone who’s feeling emotionally raw.

      And about Don and Sally, as the uncles said: “‘Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you’ is the most loving, beautiful thing anyone has ever said to him, loaded as it was with forgiveness of his many flaws and transgressions.” I agree, and would add that Anna Draper may have been the only other person in the world who knew Don/Dick for who he was and loved him unreservedly. And she’s gone.

    • Teresa

      Great episode with so much to savor. One of the little touches I liked…Joan is moving to her new office and thanks Roger for the roses he sent her “from her son.” Then I was entranced by the whole dynamic between Don and Sally. Perhaps because if we spun back in time, I would be at exactly the same age as Sally and had a father who was hard to live with at time. The change in Sally’s face ( and Don’s, too) when they finally started speaking honestly at the diner was some of the best acting yet on this show. I may be one of the few, but I want to see Don come through all his demons and deplorable behavior. Could that line by Pete last night “we might as well start our own agency?” foreshadow Don stepping away from the NY agency and out on his own? Finally, spot on about Lou being the Joffrey Baratheon of Mad Men.

      • siriuslover

        Me too. It seems that Sally is the key to his salvation. Just like the end of last season. I liked how he said to her “nothing you don’t already know,” as it alludes to the fact that he probably did MORE than just show them the house he grew up in. And Sally saying, almost to herself, “I’m so many people” (at least that’s what I think she said), may have awakened in Don the parental desire to ensure that his kids don’t turn out just like him (or Betty, which he accused her of being earlier).

        • Shawn EH

          That Betty comment was the meanest thing he said to her, worse than accusing her of not going to a funeral at all.

    • Lady Bug

      1). LOVE all of the references to Bob Benson. I wonder if this will be a sort of inside joke on the show-all episodes having mentions of Bob, but we don’t actually get to see him? Or, will Pete and his California oranges finally make the trek to Detroit somewhere down the line?

      2). PML at the interaction between Dawn & Shirley “who would send her flowers?” LOL.

      3). Bonnie Whiteside is no Betty Draper 2.0 and I adore her.

      4). “Our collective ex-wife who still receives alimony” Oh, Cutler you have me in stitches

      5). I hope we get more trans-continental meetings between Pete & the NY Office

      6). Whatever happened to the long-suffering, yet always fabulously dressed, Clara?

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

        Clara was working Ken’s desk last week – I suppose that she got reassigned to him after Pete left for L.A.

        And they mentioned that Scarlett is still working for Harry, although we haven’t seen either of them yet this season.

        • Lady Bug

          Thanks! :) I remember the reference to Scarlett last episode, I just missed seeing Clara in the first episode

        • Chris

          According to Joan, Scarlett and Harry are “practically married”.

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        3). Bonnie Whiteside is amazing. Pete doesn’t know how to deal with her, other than the fact that he is attracted to her.

        5. Was a bit silly, and kind of wonderful. I was born after the 1960s. Were trans-continental that difficult or was the problem that speaker-phone technology was so new, they didn’t have all of the problems worked out yet?

        • siriuslover

          re: 5. I don’t know. As a kid growing up in the ’70s watching reruns of Star Trek, all that stuff seemed very remote.

        • decormaven

          It probably had more to do with the speakerphone technology at the time. The amplification signal and how it was transmitted- don’t think there was digital transmission quite yet.

        • Travelgrrl

          Well into the 90′s, I remember conference calls like that. I was dying laughing. “What?” “What???”

    • betty draper

      I just LOVED that restaurant. Used to go to restaurants like that all
      the time as a kid. Even the water tasted good then, out of those amber
      glasses, with the tiny ice cubes melting and the waitress coming by with
      the metal pitcher every once in awhile to fill up the glass. I could
      just smell Don’s hamburger. YUM!

      Yay for Dawn. She’s great.
      Incorruptible. Love the fact that she actually cares about Don Draper.
      She has character and integrity and can see the reality of every
      situation.

      Yay for Joanie, too. I was really getting tired of
      her still being treated like a secretary. Stupid Lou ordering her
      around; ugh. He’s so gross. And shame on Roger for disparaging
      Joanie’s promotion. Prick.

      The whole vibe of the office has
      changed. When Sally walked in, it was like it wasn’t even the same
      place anymore. No longer fun; just an office.

      Loved this episode.

      • decormaven

        I loved seeing those white hobnail glass lamps in that restaurant. Great period pieces.

        • siriuslover

          Beyond the restaurant (which brought back many fine memories), Don’s alarm clock reminded me of the very first alarm clock I ever had. I received it as a hand-me-down from one of my older brothers. I loved the rolodex style of the changing of the minutes, hours, days.

          • Travelgrrl

            Still have one knocking around somewhere, if you want one.

      • DeniseSchipani

        I thought that same thing about how the office has changed, when Sally went down the hall and Joan wasn’t there, and then Lou slammed his door; that whole wall kind of shook. Same vibe when Roger tried to engage Lou in his story about being called a Jewish slur on the street and Lou didn’t bite. Lou’s not Don, and the office isn’t the same.

    • Roz

      Really seems as if Peggy is channeling her new boss–she’s become Lou, Junior! She’s a total pain in the ass, disliked by all, doesn’t listen, demands her own way….

    • Justine

      Shot with the style and pacing and stories of a romantic comedy of the era (misunderstandings, etc.), like That Girl in the background. What makes the show so special to me is how he integrates the dominate genres of the time, like that film Far From Heaven, but comments on them too. Oy an amazing episode.

      • Lady Bug

        Great point, I thought the episode was great, but I didn’t even put together the connection between the theme of “A Day’s Work” and the rom-com shows of the era.

    • shopgirl716

      “I would stay here until 1975 if I could get Betty in the ground.” I laughed out loud on that one. Looks like things aren’t going well between Sally and Betty, surprise, surprise. It also occurred to me that Dawn and Joan put up with enough bullshit that it finally paid off. Promoting Dawn was a great way to give Lou the finger for being a jerk and Joan did get Dawn off Lou’s desk. I also liked it when Bonnie wouldn’t blow off her open house to hang out with Pete and set him straight. I wish I were as skilled at playing people off of each other as some of the people in this show.

      • Lady Bug

        That line had me LOLing too. Sally Draper is all kinds of awesome.

        • Doris Allen

          It’s tough when your parents change from gods into real people; you don ‘t learn to make allowances for them until you grow up yourself. and once you’re a teenager, groping your way to adulthood, your parents are in the way, so you act out hostility. Pretty common.

        • shopgirl716

          Sally is a piece of work. I could not imagine ever saying that about my mother. But the way she just kind of threw it out there, she might as well have been musing about a cupcake.

          • AZU403

            It’s been building up all her life. I must have been very fortunate, because my mother and I thought that it was nuts that there were mothers and daughters at war with each other.

            • Frankie Carter

              I took it more as a “my comment can top yours” kind of thing, not so much a “I actually want my mother to die.” We’ve seen Sally willing to go the extra mile to impress her mates before.

            • somebody blonde

              It’s not just that, though- there’s a profound sense of (totally understandable) disrespect there. Even when I was at odds with my mother as a teenager, I was always shocked by other girls who would say bad things about their mothers in front of other people- I had one friend who called her mother a bitch and it made me really uncomfortable, because I couldn’t imagine how mad my father would’ve been if I’d said something like that.

            • Gatto Nero

              There will always be mothers and daughters at war with each other.
              You were fortunate!

          • Travelgrrl

            She is also affecting the sarcastic, all knowing demeanor of the other Miss Porter’s girls we’ve seen since last season.

        • malarson2

          I scared my kids in bed because I laughed so loud when she said that line. Didn’t we ALL have that moment when we started referring to our mothers by their given first names?Loved it.

      • bawoman

        Meh…Sally was just being a surly teen, Im sure she and Betty are fine..well, as fine as they can be. For all of Sallys protest, she is still the one that
        she wants to go home to after Don effes up. I love their mutual bitchy relationship, and think its filled with way more love than people think.

    • bxbourgie

      Was it just me or did Joan look absolutely STUNNING this episode AND in the preview for next week? Can’t wait for Mad Style. She’s finally embracing late 60s dress and I’m living!

      • Lady Bug

        ITA that Joan looked amazing in this outfit, and I know nothing about fashion, but I thought the style of dress (the cut, profile, etc) was a bit similar to the style she typically wears? The material might have been a bit different though. But yes, her outfit was gorgeous!

        • Gatto Nero

          Check out the video with costume designer Janie Bryant on the AMC website. Some elements of Joan’s current wardrobe are a bit more modern, but overall she’s sticking to the late ’50s hourglass shape that she knows works for her.

          • bxbourgie

            Maybe it was the hair? I’m not sure what it was, but it didn’t look so typically Joan to me. The silhouette was, but the accessories, hair and embellishments looked way more modern than her usual dress.

      • hunt3002

        That coat she wore in the preview! You can see the 70s coming.

      • Chris

        I was surprised in the preview to see Joan wearing boots to the office. I would have thought she would dress more formally now that she is an “ad man”.

    • Marjean Fieldhouse

      Not happy about Peggy’s behavior, but seriously – nobody thought the guys in the elevator were vile to her and should have been reamed/fired on the spot

      • AnotherJulie

        Women obviously had a worse time in the workplace in the 60s. But unfortunately comments made by jerks in an elevator aren’t necessary any better today.

      • Gatto Nero

        Yes, those were nasty comments, but the whole creative team has a history of jabbing at each other in this way. In the past Peggy has given it right back to them. Ginsburg was especially cruel in this instance, though.

        • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

          Wouldn’t it be something if Peggy and Ginsburg got together?

          • ShaoLinKitten

            I thought they would when Ginsberg was first introduced, but at this point it seems unlikely.

          • MK03

            They wouldn’t make it through dinner. Stan, on the other hand…. :D

          • UsedtobeEP

            I totally shipped them after that episode where you see him talking with her and he’s looking at his reflection in the window. I do not see her with Stan. Does nothing for me. I am in the (vast) minority.

        • Chris

          Peggy has always taken more hits for being a woman. Remember back at CGC when the two young guys left the feminine deodorant powder as a “joke” for her, with accompanying comments and even Ted expected her to laugh it off? There may be joking around but there is no way a male boss would be treated that way.

      • PastryGoddess

        That comment probably wasn’t even the worst that she’s heard. And certainly the guys were used to making those comments whenever they felt like it. Google Joan and scorched earth

      • bawoman

        I thought Ginsberg was vile….I have a high tolerance for being offended, but I would have chewed him the fuck out..well, maybe not, that would probably make him think he was right.
        Its something Stan would have said 3 seasons ago, and even he looked a bit disgusted. Good to see how hes matured. And who is Ginzo to speak anyway, as far as we know, he is still a virgin!

        • Alice Teeple

          I think Stan really does care about Peggy as his friend. Instead of calling her affectionate terms like “shitbird” now or accusing her of farting in the office, he calls her “Chief” and “Boss” and still tries to give her advice. I was really impressed with how he tried to tell her how to handle Lou before she had her outburst. Stan has matured considerably since S4, having worked with Peggy so closely for so long. He’s the only one really sticking up for her, but you can tell that he’s getting tired of her bullshit. I don’t know if the show will go the direction of putting Stan and Peggy together, but she really needs a friend more than anything right now, and he’s the only one she’s got.

          • somebody blonde

            Yeah, I think they’re going to have to get into a fight before Peggy realizes she’s going to have to get out of her rut.

            • Alice Teeple

              I think it’s high time they have a fight. (And hopefully a nice make-up scene.)

      • MartyBellerMask

        At least he waited til the other (female) passengers were out of the elevator.

    • housefulofboys

      Did anyone else have the fleeting thought when the elevator door closed on Roger and Cutler, that it would go crashing to the ground floor? So glad it didn’t, cause I would miss what’s to come with them.

      • Shawn EH

        Let’s hope Weiner avoids the pitfalls (sorry!) of LA Law, even with Harry Hamlin taking a more prominent role!

        • Kathryn Sanderson

          Weiner doesn’t do silly jokey stuff like David E. Kelly (who was producing LA Law by the time the elevator incident happened). He’s not going to have anyone fall down the elevator shaft. Well, probably not.

          • Gatto Nero

            Weiner’s much more into symbolism (sometimes heavy handed) than actual disasters.

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              Falling down the elevator shaft could be symbolic (falling from grace, falling out of power, even getting shafted). But I don’t think it’s going to happen partly because so many people see it coming…it’s too obvious. Then again, maybe someone will fall down the elevator because it’s so obvious we expect Weiner *not* to use it, so using it would be the surprise. Or something like that. Reverse psychology.

          • Chris

            Probably not, although who saw that lawn mower incident coming? The elevator has been done before so I’d say no to that.

      • MK03

        It was definitely ominous, but more in the sense that the doors are closing on Roger. I really don’t think he’ll live to see the end of the show.

    • lifetime_student

      I am about two years younger than Sally. I am the oldest of three with two younger brothers and a father who was both an alcoholic and a serial adulterer. My parents didn’t divorce until I was fifteen and my mother was nothing like Betty, but I have always felt a strong kinship with Sally. That moment at the end of last night’s episode when she tells Don that she loves him, and the look of, as you so accurately describe it, amazement on his face, left me weeping. Whenever I get frustrated with the show, I remember moments like that.

      • Lady Bug

        MM is so brilliant at these brief-but so important moments, like the scene at the end of Season 6 when Don shows Sally and the boys his childhood home.

    • Frank_821

      Oh someone earlier made a good point. What happened to Phyllis. She and Peggy seemed to make a good team

      • Lady Bug

        I wonder why she didn’t join Peggy after the CGC & SCDP merger?

    • MartyBellerMask

      I likes me some Bonnie Whiteside. She ain’t calling him King.

      • Lady Bug

        She’s the best thing to happen to Pete Campbell since the chip & dip. ;) As much as I adore Trudy “you unzip your fly so much as to urinate and I will destroy you” Campbell, I hope we get to see more of Pete and his future former wife.

        • Gatto Nero

          I’m guessing that Bonnie would never marry Pete. But maybe I underestimate his charms.

        • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

          its a chip and dip, LOL

          • http://instagram.com/gioioio gioioio

            We got two.

            • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

              what do you have your fingers in your ear? Its a chip and dip… LOL still funny after all this time

      • Chris

        Bonnie is like Pete in a way Trudy never was. Trudy was a good wife but she always had her agenda. She wanted the child and the house in the suburbs and Pete was the means to those ends. Her loyalty was always to her father over Pete. Pete admired Peggy when she started to shine at work. He may do very well with a woman who wants to achieve, live in the city and have her own career.

        • MartyBellerMask

          Not sure I totally agree about Peggy. He was a huge jerk to her when her career started to take off. He had to mature a bit to be able to respect Peggy.
          But I agree Bonnie is good for him, and I think he knows that. If nothing else, he knows he will NEVER be a slave to his father in law’s whims. ;)

          • Chris

            Pete’s relationship with Peggy was very tumultuous when they were fooling around together plus Pete was insecure at his job at first and wanted the status of a seasoned copywriter working on his accounts. When Peggy really began climb the ladder Pete was in awe of her and they worked well together for years, even after he found out about the baby (once he emotionally got past it). Pete is someone I could see appreciating a more modern career woman. I think he would find it exciting.

    • NDC_IPCentral

      No time, unfortunately, to write a long post, but an observation from a woman about 10 years younger than our heroines in SC&P. I think Peggy’s frustration, anger and anxiety may stem, at least in part, from her not having a boyfriend/fiance at the ready. She’s now in her very early 30s, with work chewing her up and absorbing all of her time. What does she have to show for it now? A new, supercilious and dismissive boss, Lou, friction with her co-workers, and no traditional, conventional expressions of affection on Valentine’s Day. V-Day has been a pretty big day for tokens for women for many years (I think it’s a gormless event concocted by the florist/greeting card/confectioners’ cabal). Her misinterpretation of the vase of roses compounds throughout the episode, with the denoument being rejection/indifference – Peggy’s no one’s Valentine. She’s young enough to feel the hurt and rejection, and possibly old enough to realize that this may be her future, and she’s not happy about it.

      Thanks for the thoughtful recap, Tom and Lorenzo. These brighten my manic Mondays.

      • AZU403

        I must be fortunate, too, that I’ve never been devastated by a solitary Valentine’s Day. I’ll just get my own chocolates.

      • Shawn EH

        You know she wasn’t even mad at Shirley’s “deception.” She was mad at being embarrassed in front of everyone (including Ted, if he understood what the hell her messages must have meant), at being a lonely fool in public. She even said (echoing Dawn) that she wished Shirley had never corrected her.

      • Qitkat

        I don’t recall feeling so desperately devastated by having no boyfriend and being single during various Valentine’s Days of the past. Totally agree with your amusing assessment of the day as a gormless event concocted by the florist/greeting card/confectioners’ cabal. Well put!

        • Chris

          Peggy is considerably older, especially by 1960′s standards than you were ( I think you said you were 23 when you married?) Hitting 30 without a boyfriend or husband is a MUCH bigger deal than early 20s.

          • Qitkat

            I can see that we may not be in total agreement here, and that’s OK; but I did know older single women in the workplace, whom I thought were secure and content without BFs. And certainly, weren’t there a few feminists coming along who were determined to make it without having to rely on a personal relationship with a man to feel whole? Although it’s possible that my memory is playing tricks on me, and I’m thinking of later decades :)

            • somebody blonde

              There were those feminists, but Peggy sure isn’t one of them. She’s something of a Catholic schoolgirl at heart, and she only pushes against the boundaries of that identity when she really wants to do something outside them. She pushed that boundary to take on more work than the traditional woman would, but Abe was clearly too much of a radical liberal for her. I wouldn’t be surprised if she were deeply bitter about having work frustration in addition to a complete dearth of romantic prospects. She wants to be successful at work, but she wants a home life too, like most women of this time. The ones saying that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle existed, but they were the radical avant-garde, which isn’t who Peggy really is.

            • Qitkat

              I agree, and I didn’t mean to imply Peggy is a feminist. I quite realize she is far from that spectrum.

            • housefulofboys

              I think, more than missing a BF per se, Peggy is missing any sort of a support system: her family has never approved of her career or her single status, her work mentors are out of the picture for a variety of reasons, her boss doesn’t value her, her creative guyfriends have lives of their own and aren’t interested in hanging out in the office on Valentine’s Day, AND she has no boyfriend. I think it’s very rare for anyone to be able to forge their own destiny without support from somewhere. Those with more radical feminist tendencies in New York at the time sought each other out from different professions forming some camaraderie of like-minded individuals. Peggy used to have friends and acquaintances with different viewpoints (I’m thinking of Zosia Mamet’s character from several seasons ago) and, while we surely don’t see all of her life on the screen in Mad Men, her life is certainly being portrayed now as much narrower than it used to be. You don’t see Peggy burning her bra or joining NOW or protesting for equal rights in the workplace; she is very much the conservative Catholic schoolgirl who doesn’t have the skill set to blaze the trail on her own, if anything, she is caught between the old way and the new without the support of either.

            • breathlss79

              Whatever happened to her friend Joyce? (She got cast on GIRLS). That was a happy time, when Peggy actually had friends.

            • Gatto Nero

              Exactly. Interpreting her behavior as stemming from lack of a man is far too narrow. She has in essence sacrificed everything for her career, and now suddenly she’s invisible at work — and alone in the world. It must be devastating.

            • Chris

              I don’t mean to sound like I am dismissing your experience. I agree that Peggy is completely over the top here. IMHO they made her seem too silly- it was almost farce. I’m decades behind Peggy and no matter how secure and happy you are, passing 30 without a husband or boyfriend is still a big deal to a lot of people who remark upon it freely. It’s been a point of vulnerability to Peggy before and the whole business with Abe then Ted really seems to have done a number on her.

    • Lisa Petrison

      I think that Ted has changed just as much as Peggy has. Pete: “Why are you here? All you do is answer the phone and mope around.” He didn’t get involved in the discussion about who would be in charge of the new Chevy dealers’ business (when he could have likely influenced Cutler) because he was too distracted being generally unhappy. He was never anything like that before.

      I thought last week when he seemed off that he was just unnerved because he was in NYC for the first time after moving, but in watching this again, I think he is just as upset about the breakup with Peggy as she is. Just handling it slightly differently. And I also think that the reason that she is so upset is not because of her fears of being a spinster, but because she is still in love with Ted. That relationship does not seem to be over, I don’t think.

      • Chris

        I really think Peggy and Ted will end up back together. I don’t know if it will be their “happy ending” but they are both so miserable and obsessed with each other it cannot be over. Apart from Pete, Ted may be the only guy Peggy has ever really loved.

        • Travelgrrl

          I never go the feeling Peggy ever LOVED Pete – he was singular because he took her virginity, and because he fathered her child, and then she had to constantly watch him play Happy Families with Trudy. They have a kinship, but if she loved anyone before Ted, I would have pegged her love/admiration/disgust/hate thing with Don.

          • Chris

            I think she loved Pete. It was a more immature love but she was really heartbroken over him and Ted in a way she never was with any other guy she was involved with, even Abe. If you watch season one she is really enamored with Pete. With Ted it was the perfect meeting of the minds and her only real “adult” love. I don’t disagree that she loves Don but it’s familial. He’s disappointed her and inspired her alternately as much as he has Sally.

            • L’Anne

              Remember, she took the postcard Pete sent from his honeymoon and kept it.

            • Chris

              Yes, that was a very sentimental and romantic gesture by her. It’s one of the main reasons I think her feelings for Pete were love. Also the way she would gaze adoringly at him, even through his crazy cabin fantasies.

    • Yolanda13

      I got misty when Sally told Don, “Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you.” Every scene with Jon Hamm And Kiernan Shipka was gold. Each of them calling the other out on each other’s bullshit was fabulous. And The Dawn & Shirley Show in the SC&P breakroom was fantastic. This episode made up for the dour S7 premiere last week. Can’t wait for T&Lo’s take on Bonnie aka Malibu Betty.

    • Jennifer Schiller

      I actually thought Lou’s racism was fairly obvious in his statement that he knew Joan couldn’t fire her (because of any civil rights litigation) so just move her to someone else.

      Peggy, not surprisingly given her ethnic background, seems to have a very complicated relationship with race. It will be interesting to see how that continues to play out as the series wraps.

      • DeniseSchipani

        I was wondering about Lou’s comment about not firing Dawn. She got pretty mouthy (totally justified, btw!) back at him, so I was thinking maybe there was some kind of deal with Don that his secretary wouldn’t be punished for his sins. Dunno. Maybe he was referring to the possibility of being sued, but how likely is it that Dawn would feel empowered enough to sue for racism/civil rights anyway?

        As for Peggy, I’ve always seen her as struggling both with her upbringing (Catholic/working class Brooklyn) and their reflexive racist attitudes (I know of what I speak, let’s just say); and her former-secretary-self who can’t relax in her new status because there’s a level on which she may feel like the rug can be pulled out from under her. She can’t find a good way to interact with her secretary no matter what race she is, because that used to BE her.

      • Lady Bug

        With Lou I think it was a combination of casual racism and just being a jerk. With a white secretary, he probably wouldn’t have made that little retort of how “I know you can’t fire her” but he would be just as rude and off-putting towards her. At the end of the episode Shirley does seem happy to work as his secretary as oppose to Peggy.

        • Shawn EH

          And he seems happy to have Shirley rather than Dawn. Maybe he’ll even remember their actual names!

          I think he just didn’t have an actionable reason to fire Dawn; he just couldn’t trust “Don’s Girl” which is a real conflict of interest, and her loyalty had become clear. Joan was the one caught between so many competing priorities, not wanting to fire anyone (her taunt to get Peggy to do so herself was just a way of calling out cowardice), and then to have Bert object to Dawn (surely the friendliest of faces one might see in the whole agency) at the front desk? It’d be a comedy of errors if it wasn’t all so horrible and petty. I’m glad Joan found a solution that worked for everyone.

      • Travelgrrl

        Oftentimes middle class people of Peggy’s background are more racist than people poorer or richer than they. (And I say that as someone of that class.) Not everyone, obviously. But immigrants often look down on other groups quite strongly and certainly did in the 60′s. And that’s Peggy’s origins.

    • bawoman

      Meh….I dont think Peggy would have thought anything differently had her secretary being white. Peggy has always been entitled and thought she was sometimes better than she was, and , even though she was a secretary, shes never really treated them as they were on the same level as her. She has always been self involved..so I never read race as being a part of it.
      Also, re: her moment of doubt of leaving her purse next to Dawn when she slept over, I never thought that was racist, but common sense..remember Dawn was a stranger still, and Peggy had like 600$ in there…I would think twice of leaving that kind of money next to anyone I didnt know, no matter the race.

      • hunt3002

        The purse exchange was clearly meant to be read as racist. It’s extraneous to the story otherwise.

        • bawoman

          I thought it had more to do with “white guilt” than anything…it wouldnt have been a problem if Peggy hadnt been awkward about it and took the purse like she would have done if Dawn had been any other race (something I suspect she would have done, and I know I would have)

          Instead, and this is where Peggy was wrong, she was so unable to forget Dawns race, and that lead her to hesitate, because she didnt want to appear racist, making it all the more awkward for poor Dawn.
          In a way, I guess you could say she was being racist, but not in the way you think. If she had been racist, she certainly wouldnt have left her purse there anyway,

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

            Actually, that’s exactly what we think and how we think the scene was meant to be read: that the moment was tinged with racism because Peggy never would have had that awkward moment of hesitation (which embarrassed Dawn) if there was a white girl staying over her house. White liberal guilt can quite often lead to acts of racism.

            • bawoman

              I guess I could agree with that assesment..still not sure I would call it racism, though. Maybe “racially insensitive”?The fact that we call everything “racist” could be what causes these problem to begin with.

            • somebody blonde

              Dawn noticed that Peggy was treating her differently because of her race. That is racism. It’s not the most racist thing ever. It probably wasn’t that different than thousands of situations Dawn experienced in her life before. But it was most certainly racist, because Peggy wouldn’t have had the problem if she hadn’t been thinking that Dawn was black and needed to be treated differently than a white girl.

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

              I couldn’t disagree more strongly. It’s the attempt to define racism solely as lynchings and cross-burnings that has tended to make society blind to the various subtle forms of racism that occur constantly around us.

            • bawoman

              I tend to think it shouldnt be one way or the other….racism is a problem that shouldnt be ignored, no matter how casual it may be…but obsesively focusing on it isnt the answer either, as, I believe, the purse incident demonstrated.

            • somebody blonde

              To be honest, I think we’ve over-demonized racism/racist as terms. Because so many people (white people) basically believe that the worst thing that you could possibly be is racist, their first response to protest innocence of racism and deny that whatever they did was racist. If we (again: white people) stopped thinking of being called racist as the equivalent of being called a terrible person, then we’d probably be better at hearing criticism of our continuing racism, however minor our racist behavior seems to us. Saying something is racist should mean that it treats a racial group differently based on that alone, no more, no less. Some behaviors, words, and people are both racist and evil. Some are racist and merely insensitive. But I don’t think we should stop calling those things racist. It ignores the gravity of all the racist actions building up, grinding people down with small, daily examples of oppression.

            • greenwich_matron

              Agreed. Peggy strikes me as the type who wouldn’t leave that much money in the same room with her mother, let alone a co-worker.

      • Lisa Petrison

        On the episode with the purse: I think if it had been a white secretary staying over at Peggy’s place, Peggy would have taken the purse to her bedroom without a moment’s thought. (I certainly would have.) But then she looked at Dawn and thought, if I take the purse, she will think I’m a racist, so I’d better not. So she left it on the table.

        I don’t think in this episode Peggy seems to be concerned about whether people think she is a racist. That seems to be the last thing on her mind. Possibly it could be true that she would have made an assumption in the back of her mind that the black secretary’s assumedly black (and thus assumedly, in 1969, not very well-paid) fiance would not have sent such a very large expensive bouquet of flowers, but that doesn’t seem to be the driver here.

        Peggy is just periodically bad at managing people who work for her, in impulsive ways. So I feel like unlike in that first scene (where race was on her mind), here she seems to have gotten beyond thinking about race and is treating Shirley no more and no less badly than she treats other people who work for her. Which is, in a way, progress.

        • WaterGhost

          I would have done the little dance of embarrassed hesitation whether the stranger was white or black. I’ve been in this situation before so I know. These awkward moments are not that uncommon. You’re having coffee with someone you just met – do you leave your purse and bags with the relative stranger while you go to the washroom? And so on.
          The mistake with that scene was that it occurred in isolation. There wasn’t really a parallel incident involving other players that we could contrast it to, to help us better understand Peggy – at least as far I can remember.

    • jk47

      It seemed to me that so much happened in mirroring pairs last night. Joan/Dawn, Dawn/Shirley, Peggy/Lou, Don/Sally, Roger/Jim, even to some extent Ted/Pete. And each pair demonstrated a specific amount of recognition or acknowledgement of their similar purgatorial situation. On one end of the spectrum, you get Dawn/Shirley, so intensely aware of their similarity that they know they are interchangeable. Roger/Jim, framed in that elevator shot, both aware of their well-matched personas – weirdness lightly draped over vicious business savvy – kind of like opposing bishops facing off on a chessboard. Don/Sally, who can’t help acknowledging their similar urges to break societal rules and get away with shit, just to see if they can. Although Sally is teaching Don that sometimes people get hurt, and that it matters. As for Peggy/Lou, it seems almost as though Peggy tries to transform herself into whoever is sitting in Don’s office at the moment, consciously or not.

      • Spicytomato1

        Yes, nice observations. And while Betty wasn’t in this episode, I thought the scene of Don lounging in front of he TV mindlessly consuming Ritz crackers was eerily reminiscent of Betty and her Bugles. Betty managed to pull herself out of her funk, could this be a clue that Don is in fact capable of redeeming himself?

        • jk47

          Did you catch Don’s line to Dawn about making her some coffee? He’d just watched a sitcom on tv – I don’t know what show it was, but a woman is explaining to a man why she’d just made a full pot of coffee. It’s a telling vignette. Don’s watching and borrowing from tv shows to teach himself about social interaction.

          • Chris

            It was “That Girl” with Marlo Thomas.

          • 28fairplay

            On the sit com, That Girl, , Ann was offering coffee to her father.
            Dawn brought Sweet’n Low and Coffee Mate to Don because she had seen he was out. He asked her if that was an elaborate way plea for coffee.

    • Linlighthouse

      Regarding Peggy and the roses: I did think Peggy had a point in all that. It was wrong for Shirley to not be more forceful in explaining the origin of the roses. Peggy overreacted, but all Shirley had to do as Peggy grabbed the roses from her desk was say, “Excuse me, Miss Olson, but those roses were given to me by my fiancé.” Did she really believe she’d lose her job for that? Peggy is not far off in believing her relationship with Shirley is fragile after Shirley’s action. Now I hope Peggy gets a secretary who likes her.

      • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

        When Shirley started to correct her, Peggy cut her off by mistakenly assuming she knew the forthcoming explanation; then when Shirley was about to correct her, Peggy pushed her coat into Shirley’s arms and asked for coffee. It was a very awkward moment, and it’s understandable that Shirley felt overrun. Give some credit for how difficult it can be to be assertive in that situation, especially telling your boss, “No, you didn’t get flowers, I did.” I don’t think she had to be afraid for her job to feel unable to speak up again in that moment.

        Peggy has to behave better in order to get a secretary to like her. Not much to like her for right now.

        • Chris

          Peggy has had secretaries that liked her before. I don’t think Shirley is going to think she made such a great swap working for Lou. Dawn didn’t even get lunch with him. If she didn’t like getting coffee for peggy I’m sure she won’t enjoy doing it for Mr. “Gladys Knight and the Pips” joker.

          • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

            Peggy hasn’t behaved like this with other secretaries, though. And it wasn’t Shirley who wanted to swap positions.

            • Chris

              Peggy is a tough boss at times as we saw at CGC and SC&P. She also takes more flak and open jokes about it than any male boss ever would. I don’t think there is a male there who has to worry about “getting a secretary to like them” because that’s not the way it works. The male bosses don’t feel like they have to make friends with the secretaries, neither does Joan for that matter. Peggy didn’t always like who she worked for and they certainly didn’t worry about being friends. In her eyes a secretary is paid to do the work and be loyal. Right or wrong, Peggy feels like Shirley embarrassed her and wants someone she feels comfortable with.

            • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

              I agree with you up until the last two sentences — and I still agree partially with them, but you’d think that her own experience as a secretary would keep her from lashing out at Shirley over a simple understanding, especially once it became clear how much Peggy overreacted to the situation, and she knew she was the cause of the whole mess. Getting a new secretary is not going to solve Peggy’s problems right now or prevent the problem from happening again — it doesn’t do anything to address what actually happened, but just sweeps her embarrassment under a rug.

            • Chris

              I think Peggy is acting like most other male bosses there do- like a jerk. Ted was the first boss she had that said “hey, you need to think about the feelings of the people working for you” and she was totally shocked because she never had a boss who thought like that before. No one ever cared about her feelings and she was kind of groomed to be that way. We have seen she can have a good relationship with a secretary but she just doesn’t with Shirley apart from the flowers. Peggy didn’t seem to know Shirley didn’t like her, she mentioned she should get her flowers just because she was great, not because of valentines day. No doubt Peggy has to get herself together and a secretary won’t solve things but I think she feels so alone and embarrassed about how Shirley didn’t correct her then did after an entire day of her obsessing about the flowers she will never feel comfortable around Shirley. In Peggy’s mind it’s the boss’s world and if she’s not comfortable she has the right to switch.

            • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

              That’s very insightful and accurate, I think! It’s a shame how it played out, and it made all her fans cringe so hard, because it’s hard for the modern audience to like that behavior, but you’re right that it’s pretty in-character for her. That’s the downside of having Don as a mentor. :/ Never forget “You never say thank you!” “That’s what the money is for!”

            • Chris

              Yes, I’m not trying to “defend” Peggy because she was clearly self absorbed and obnoxious but I did want to point out she is acting like almost everyone else. I think because we all like Peggy and sympathize with her we want her to be perfect. I know I do. But it seems when she does something crummy she gets judged more because of it. It’s the same with Joan, I want her to be nicer than she is sometimes because my expectations of her are higher.

            • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

              You’re right — we shouldn’t hold her to different standards or higher expectations than we hold the guys of that time. (Though we have been yelling at Lou and Bert and Don too, when they’re dicks to their secretaries.)

            • Chris

              Agreed, although I don’t think Peggy is as bad as they are. Or maybe I just like her better and that colors my view of her.

        • Travelgrrl

          I agree. Peggy would have been humiliated at the point anyway (though she wouldn’t have been bitch slapping Ted’s secretaries all day).

      • the_valkyrie

        Why should Shirley like her if she’s acting like a bitch towards her?

    • Lady Bug

      Now that Dawn is head of personnel (WTG Dawn!), Shirley is with Lou, is Peggy now stuck with Meredith?

      • ImpertinentVixen

        She’s going to shaire Moira.

        • Doris Allen

          They hate each other!

          • ImpertinentVixen

            More firewiorks!

        • Lady Bug

          Thanks, is Moira the secretary who was on call during the cross-continental phone call between NY and LA?

          • ImpertinentVixen

            I think so; she’s Ted’s secretary in NY. She has little to do while he’s in LA, so she’ll be helping Peggy out now.

          • Travelgrrl

            She’s the one who smells like Shalimar! She always has the snit face going.

      • decormaven

        Maybe it’s “Now it’s time for something completely different!” Let’s look for a new employee in the next episode: that sets Dawn up for carrying out the role of her new position.

        • MartyBellerMask

          And Dawn has little in the way of baggage, so she will get shit done. I love Joan, but she has way too much history with everyone and everyone’s business to conduct personnel duties effectively, while maintaining her sanity.

      • Glammie

        I hope so. Peggy behaved very badly and deserves a dingbat for a secretary. That said, with Burt’s concerns, it sounds like Meredith goes back to the front desk. So, instead it’s up to Dawn to decide on Peggy’s new secretary.

        • Chris

          If everybody in that place got the secretary they deserved everyone but Ted would have a Meredith!

    • juliamargaret

      My husband and I both started to cry when Sally said her parting words to Don. That was a really big moment. So curious how the writers are going to end Don’s arc and Peggy’s arc over this last season. I think Don is actually in a better place for a redemptive comeback now than Peggy.

      • Lady Bug

        I loved that moment, and Don’s reaction at the end was beautiful and pitch-perfect. After Peggy and her pantsuit sitting in Don’s office at the end of season six, she has had a rather rough 1969. At this point, it looks like the characters most likely to achieve a redemptive comeback and possibly end 1969 better than how they began the year are Don, Joan and Pete. I think Roger is pretty much stuck in the minutia right now, increasingly losing power & influence at SC&P, and maybe not even caring about his loss of power?

        • Shawn EH

          I nearly teared up myself at Sally’s goodbye to Don. And I loved the little things like how she refused to eat, but he finally got her to nibble on a sandwich when she let him buy her a coke. She was absolutely right to be angry at being stuck in such a position at his office (she was just as upset as Lou, in her way, with much more reason); but then to sort of thaw and let him in to her life was so nice, with no discussion of Betty at all. When she asked “What did you say?” and he said “Nothing you don’t already know” — wow.

          • MK03

            It makes me wonder just how much Don has told the kids about himself. I think they have a general idea (ie: that he grew up in the whorehouse) but I think there’s still a lot he hasn’t told them yet.

            • Travelgrrl

              Sally knows he’s a boozer, a womanizer, and a cad. Finding out he grew up in a whorehouse at the end of season 6 might have been enough (without any other details) for him to say “Nothing you don’t already know” (ie, I’m an effed up guy) and for her to know what he meant.

    • 1tsplove

      I am curious what peoples theories are about what Cutler is up to. Is it just part of his asserting himself as the alphadog thing or something more?

      • ImpertinentVixen

        I think he’s engaged in some Machiavellian maneuvering with Burt but for what ultimate purpose, I’ve not a clue.

        • somebody blonde

          Honestly, I don’t think his purpose is actually that complicated. I think his Machiavellian maneuvering is what Machiavellian maneuvering is usually about: being in control of things. Right now, I think he’s focusing on weakening other powers in the business so that he’ll have more of the power. Ultimately, I think his goal is that no one will be able to question his judgments about things.

        • Qitkat

          Isn’t Burt just a paper tiger, or there for “comic relief”? He hasn’t been shown to do anything significant for ages, Robert Morse is in only very few scenes a season. He is the Old Guard who will stay on til he is carried out like Miss Blankenship.

      • Chris

        Cutler has been setting himself up to be the power at SC&P since they merged. Every decision has been about getting “his” people in line, gaining alliances, moving out people who may oppose him and solidifying his position. It was his idea to change the name to pacify Sterling and Cooper while getting what he really wanted. He made Bob “his” man, pushed Don out, is working on Joan, dominates Roger and is enjoying Pete and Ted on the other end of the country. With Ted’s apathy and Cooper’s willingness to along with whatever seems to make a buck he has positioned himself to pretty much run the agency. He’s feeling so powerful he effectively threatened Roger in the elevator.

    • Joe Mitstein

      In the late 70s, my mom had EXACTLY the same alarm clock that Don has at the beginning of the episode. Same alarm sound too! Anyone else?

      • Travelgrrl

        My Mom had and HAS it. Now taking bids, LOL.

    • egurl

      I really like your point about how women get ahead on the show as a result of men having pissing contests with each other! You can also see that in how Dawn was hired, after SCD&P published a “fuck you” ad to their rival company, mocking them for being racist but also mocking the civil rights movement in way. They weren’t expecting black people to actually apply to their firm and they felt like they had to hire Dawn to save face.

    • Logo Girl

      Pete is looking more and more like Murray Slaughter every episode.

      • Kathryn Sanderson

        So who’s Ted Baxter? I vote for Roger!

        • Logo Girl

          Good point! He already hallucinated he was Ted Knight from an ad on the acid party episode. (The black/white hair)

    • latina fey

      that last moment with Don and Sally just killed me. i think it showed that shred of hope that Don can get out of this downward spiral and make things right in his life. from the time he showed up back at his apartment and started lying to her, i was mentally screaming at him to just be honest with her. i was so relieved when he finally told her the truth. i think her saying that “happy valentine’s day. i love you,” showed him there still is hope for him. really fantastic episode!

    • Elana Bryan

      Who the heck is Joffrey Baratheon?

      • Shawn EH

        It’s the other big sunday night show, the science fiction one with all the swords. How you watch both I’ll never know.

        • ShaoLinKitten

          It’s fantasy, not science fiction.

          • Shawn EH

            Like a bookstore, I make no distinction.

            • ShaoLinKitten

              Not sure which bookstore you go to, but I feel like mine has more subgenres than even I acknowledge. Also, science fiction and fantasy are completely different. It costs you nothing to make the distinction for clarity’s sake.

            • Shawn EH

              Except the efficiency of a generalization.

            • ShaoLinKitten

              It’s inaccurate, though. Feel free to persist in your inaccuracy if it somehow makes you happy, but science fiction and fantasy are not the same. Both are under the umbrella of “speculative fiction.” Beyond that, not the same at all.

            • Shawn EH

              But doesn’t the series take place on another world? Can’t be Earth if the seasons last decades and with unknown continents, can it?

            • somebody blonde

              But it’s a fantastical world, not necessarily another planet. The people aren’t aliens or anything. The plotlines are based off of European monarchies and legends rather than being made wholly new. Unless you’re somehow calling Tolkien sci-fi, I think you’ve got a pretty weak case for putting Game of Thrones in that category, since it’s a pretty direct descendant.

            • Shawn EH

              Except the Tolkein is our world, only long long long ago; it’s an alternate mythological history, with humans slowly becoming more prominent players and hobbits and elves and the like shuffling off to the West. The dragons even are much different, much more Pern than Smaug.

            • somebody blonde

              Au contraire, most bookstores do make a distinction, even if they have a combined section labeled “Sci-fi/Fantasy”. They put both labels on the section. I’ve never seen a bookstore with a combined section that’s just labeled “Sci-fi.” They’re sorted together because honestly, the same sorts of people tend to read them and neither one is really extensive enough to have its own section, but they are very different. There are essentially no science elements in Game of Thrones, so I find it pretty weird to call it sci-fi.

              (This might’ve been an over-serious comment, sorry :P)

        • somebody blonde

          There’s these technologies, I believe they’re called “DVR” and “the Internet” that I think allow people to watch one show, then travel back in time to watch a different show so they can watch them simultaneously. We live in an age of wonders.

          • Shawn EH

            Literal humor is always amusing, but I was thinking more about getting your mind around two such emotional dramas on the same night. I suppose there are people that also fit in Walking Dead too, but it’s about all I can do to keep up with the jokes on Veep once Mad Men has distracted my senses for the evening.

            • Chris

              I get what you mean. I follow both shows but because I have read the Martin books, I watch GOT on another night as I am not always in the mood to switch from that at ’9pm to the mindset and pace of Mad Men at 10pm. I’d rather be in Mad Men mindset on Sunday night before bed and a new work week.

            • Shawn EH

              This.

            • somebody blonde

              Yeah, I get that. I only watch Mad Men and GoT, and they’re so utterly different in tone that it’s not terribly difficult. Mad Men is emotional, but it’s also much more of a slow burn. GoT is very different- lots of smacking the audience around emotionally. Mad Men is a much better show than GoT, but I want to know what happens in certain GoT plotlines so I can’t stop watching.

            • Logo Girl

              I watch both but actually wish they were on different nights because I going to such a different space with both. I’d prefer GoT on a Saturday.

      • Zoey

        Game of Thrones reference. He’s a very hated character that’s whiny and vindictive. It’s a great reference! I got a chuckle.

      • the_valkyrie

        One of the antagonists in Game of Thrones. Basically a real asshole.

    • decormaven

      A thought: when Dawn was briefing Don on current activities at SDP, she mentioned that Glad Wrap was a new client, and Don said “More Dow? How long has that been going on?” Dawn said “It’s Mr. Cosgrove.” Remember how Ken didn’t want to do business with his father-in-law, and protested so in S4 “Tomorrowland”? Impending parenthood, and the swapoff from Chevy, has made a deep imprint on Ken.

      • Lady Bug

        Speaking of Ken and his impending fatherhood, if the baby is a boy, I hope they name him Ben after Ken’s nom de plume

      • Dana Aquino

        I totally missed that…makes sense though, as Ken has somewhat evolved into Pete. Pete had no shame asking his former father in law for business…

      • MartyBellerMask

        Aha! Thanks! I couldn’t place why Dow was relevant. Totally forgot the connection. Oh, geez.

        • decormaven

          No prob- this show is detail-heavy. Too bad there’s not a Mad Men trivia contest; the BKs could give it a run for the money.

    • John G. Hill

      I think the last few moments in the story will change everything. Don will now do everything in his power to win back the complete faith his daughter had in him. Now he knows she still loves him, that will be the basis for all future action. It does not mean he’s going to become a Master of the Universe again, (though that MIGHT happen) it just means that he wants to put himself in a place where Sally will again respect and love him completely.

      • Gatto Nero

        Agree. As I wrote below, I think she’s the key to his redemption.
        Don has created his entire life through deception; he believed that lying was essential to survival. He is only now learning that the only way his daughter will love and trust him is if he is an honest man.

        • Lady Bug

          I can see a scenario at the end where Don get’s back into the advertising business, maybe working for himself or maybe working with Pete or Peggy, but not as Donald Draper but as Dick Whitman.

          • John G. Hill

            And the last shot will be Don’s real name on the agency door, Whitman & Associates (or whoever follows him to the new agency).

          • oat327

            I think it’s important to remember that Don Draper CAN’T become Dick Whitman again, at least in name–Dick is, quite literally, dead. And to think that his reputation on Madison Avenue could survive under a different name–with that scandal coming to light–is ridiculous. It might not even survive an awkward meeting with Hershey’s right now.

            Besides, the story isn’t about Don re-becoming Dick. It’s about him learning to live with himself–both the Don and the Dick. Like Henry said to Betty when she fired Carla, “There are no fresh starts; lives carry over.” Shedding off Don to become Dick is no different than shedding off Dick to become Don–it’s running away from a difficult life. He has to make peace with his entire life, not just the pre-Korea past.

            • Gatto Nero

              Yes — at this point he has been Don Draper probably as long as was Dick Whitman. These identities are fused. There’s no going back.

            • Lady Bug

              That’s such a good point, I didn’t even think of that. I guess I just liked the symbolism of Don still working in advertising, but with ‘clean slate’ so to speak.

    • MichelleRafter

      When Peggy walked into her office and said “Grow up” she was saying it to Shirley….but really to herself.

      Don has never been honest with his wives, but he has been honest — or almost completely honest — about himself or how he feels with a couple women in the past, Anna, Rachel Menken, and Peggy to some extent (“The Suitcase” episode)…and now Sally. Will be interesting to see how that small validation plays out in future episodes.

      • oat327

        I wouldn’t put Rachel Menken in that group. He only wanted to run away with her because he though he was going to have to go on the run once Pete exposed Dick Whitman. She really knew very little about him.

        • decormaven

          Rachel was the first person Don told about his “whore mother” background. It was a big breakthrough for him.

      • DeniseSchipani

        Hi, Michelle! I think you’re right in that Don, having told the truth to Sally (last season when he told her and her brothers about his childhood, and now when he comes clean about not actually being at work thanks to a blow up with a client) realizes that being truthful with someone you love actually makes you feel better, not worse. Baby steps, of course, but he may get there.

      • Lady Bug

        Speaking of Anna, I wonder if she will make an another appearance on the show now that Don is flying out every so often to California to see Megan?

        • Zoey

          From beyond the grave? Or a flashback?

          • Lady Bug

            OMG, oops that right… LOL. Well, it would make for a great Halloween episode ;)

            • Zoey

              A Walking Dead Mad Men mash up? LOL

        • MichelleRafter

          Spoiler alert — don’t read this unless you’ve seen past seasons….

          Anna had cancer and died — rewatch “The Suitcase” (season 4, episode 7)

        • Kit Jackson 1967

          Anna is dead, but maybe her neice could appear.

      • malarson2

        Totally I actually said out loud…’projecting much?’

    • Glammie

      I’ve thought for a long time that Don-as-father and his relationship with Sally were the real make or break emotional ties in his life. His only real shot at redemption. I think Megan’s gotta be down the tubes. Or should be.

      • NMMagpie

        After the first episode, I was thinking that Don is way too “establishment” for Megan, or he will be seen as such soon. She’s going to cut and run, I am thinking.

        • Glammie

          Yeah, I think she’ll meet someone closer to her age or more deeply involved in Hollywood. I just don’t see what Don and Megan have in common at this point. He’s chosen not to tell her about his job situation and, thus, given himself a way not to live with her without breaking up the marriage immediately. It just seems like a starter marriage for her.

          • sweetlilvoice

            After his behavior last season, I don’t think he deserves her and I find it astounding that they are “together.” Although our wonderful bloggers called it based on their outfits in the last episode! I’m so glad that Sally asked if he still loved Megan…that’s a question I’ve been wondering about for a long time.

            • Glammie

              No, he’s been a bad husband. Megan has a sophisticated veneer, but she’s very young. She’ll be better off with someone who’s more of her equal and when she has a better idea of who she is and what she really needs in a marriage.

          • NMMagpie

            Man, that’s a harsh term: starter marriage. It infers that divorce is inevitable.

            • Chris

              It also seems to imply Megan used it as a stepping stone marriage and I think she was truly dazzled and in love with Don. It is true that the marriage helped her and her career in many ways, supporting her while looking for jobs, acting classes, getting the job with Butler shoes but she didn’t plan it.

            • Glammie

              I don’t think Megan married Don as a stepping stone, but I think she was very young and didn’t have a mature view of marriage. She’s learned a lot and seems like she’d make a wiser choice next time around. She was basically too unformed as a person to figure out what she’d need in a husband. Meanwhile Don, who was old enough to know better, married Megan because she fit into his fantasy of what his life was supposed to be. Well, until she didn’t–and the marriage has had issues ever since. I think Megan will be better off without it.

            • Columbinia

              It might be a bridge marriage for Don between real wives like Betty and whatever lies ahead for him.

    • http://fray.slate.com/discuss/forums/3945/ShowForum.aspx nancykelley

      can somebody please explain (was hoping Tom and Lorenzo would) what exactly happened in the restaurant, when Don got the check? Did I not hear correctly or did Don say to Sally that he was going to walk out to the car and they weren’t going to pay the check? It didn’t make sense to me because right at the moment when Don was being 100% honest with Sally about himself, why would he skip out on a restaurant check, which would be the epitome of dishonesty? I was half asleep, can anyone clarify what happened in this scene?

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

        He was teasing her. He did actually pay the check. There was a motif of Don giving or withholding money in this episode, with Dawn and later with Sally asking for change for the phone.

        • http://fray.slate.com/discuss/forums/3945/ShowForum.aspx nancykelley

          thanks for your reply and for clarifying – I was confused because bolting a check just didn’t jive with her plaintive need for honesty from him.

          • Shawn EH

            It makes them co-conspirators, though. Honesty for each other but no one else, as in his (twisted) version of father-daughter bonding.

            • http://fray.slate.com/discuss/forums/3945/ShowForum.aspx nancykelley

              Not necessarily, at least not on Sally’s part – she told him a couple of times – directly and indirectly – just to tell the truth. At one point last night, Sally asked Don directly why Megan didn’t know he was not working, and why didn’t he just tell Megan he wanted to stay in New York? He looked kind of surprised, as if it had never occurred to him to be honest with Megan.

            • Shawn EH

              Which is why his relationship with Megan is a sham while his with his daughter is probably the realest in his life.

    • MK03

      For the season break, I would love to see Joan, Peggy and Don start their own agency. And bring Dawn and Stan with them. I’m sure it’s not gonna happen but it would be awesome.

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        I like it. You have accounts, creative, and the office manager covered.

      • http://www.paolathomas.com/ PaolaT

        And Ken PLEASE.

        • Lady Bug

          I can’t really see Ken being a full partner in an ad agency. I can see Ken at the end leaving the ad world all together to focus on creative-writing, maybe even teaching. I do think that Don, Peggy and Pete will end up forming their own agency in California at the end of the series. I can’t really see Joan joining them, but I think she will be a full partner to SC&P in New York. I can see Stan & Dawn joining Don and co in CA.

          • Columbinia

            Joan might like that California house and yard for her son.

        • MK03

          As long as he and Joan split the clients…

        • Gatto Nero

          I love Ken, but I hope for the sake of the character that he leaves Madison Avenue behind and focuses on his fiction writing.

      • Kathryn Sanderson

        Maybe they could even bring back Sal!

      • Columbinia

        Shed the dinosaurs (Cooper, Sterling and Cutler).

        • Kathryn Sanderson

          Sterling and Cooper are definitely dinosaurs, but Cutler is still very much in the game. Maybe a really clever old T. Rex?

    • NMMagpie

      Man, I LOVED the dine and dash part of the episode. An aunt of mine had it down whenever she took my sisters and brother out to eat.

    • ShaoLinKitten

      Sally is the only woman Don Draper can or will ever love. Her “I love you” and his reaction were perfect.

    • Malia C.

      Just out of curiosity, did anyone think at the end that Shirley was going to be Lou’s “girl” and dingaling Meredith was likely headed back to reception?

      • NMMagpie

        I think Joan was/is getting some back on Lou giving him Meredith. He’s an ass.

        • Malia C.

          That guy can’t fall down an elevator shaft fast enough, for sure (with or without the assistance of a shove from behind). But Shirley has to go somewhere and Bert won’t let her at the front desk, right? :/

          • NMMagpie

            I am not so sure about that. Bert, with that crap speech about the elevator, placed himself firmly in the past. SC&P needs to be “progressive” to keep current whether to nor it is fueled by social consciousness or basic ol’ office machinations. Cutler’s move with Joan is related to that rationale, in my mind.

            Then again, Shirley is decidedly attractive. That is always good advertising.

            It made me think of an old Lenny Bruce routine: “a white white woman and a black black woman,” a funny and searing commentary on racism only going so far when it comes to attractiveness.

            • Gatto Nero

              Yes, the subtext of Bert’s comment about Dawn being visible at reception — racism (sort of) aside — is his ongoing conservative view of the business. He never even considered that it might be in SC&P’s best interest to be viewed as a progressive agency.

      • Dana Aquino

        That’s what I thought happened…leading me to realize Lou (although I still cant stand him) wasn’t being racist toward Dawn…he just really did not want to be sharing her with Don…he seemed to be somewhat polite to Shirley…

        • Chris

          Oh he’s racist, that’s why he said he knew they “couldn’t” fire Dawn. Also all his “Gladys Knight and the Pips” type jokes. That’s why Dawn was so offended, she’s a fantastic worker and he made it sound like they should fire her but couldn’t because of her race.

          • Dana Aquino

            Thanks for pointing that out…goes to show much I pay attention when that man talks…

            • Chris

              I hate him too. I agree he also was mad about Dawn being loyal to Don. It’s just he is racist too. The Don thing is what prompted him to fire Dawn or gave him an excuse to, or both.

    • Qitkat

      In this episode it is suggested that the only females Don has in his life who place any value on him whatsoever are Sally and Dawn. One is a young woman, his daughter, who has no power to help his career, but who can powerfully affect his emotional outlook on life. The other is a secretary, going behind the backs of the other people at the firm, empathetically giving him minor information so that he is not entirely out of the professional loop, but who also really has no power to help him get back on his feet professionally. It is refreshing to see absolutely no evidence of racism in Don, given all his other failings, it is significant that this is not one of them.

      When he spent his entire day sleeping, drinking, watching mindless television, only to put on a suit and tie, just to answer the door for Dawn, when he knew she was coming, told me that he still has an element of self-respect left in him. It was funny, and sad to see him try to present himself as pulled together for this brief encounter. Not that Dawn probably didn’t see through it, with the apartment most likely in disarray behind him. I haven’t given up on Don, but he is a severely impaired man, and may not be able to pull himself up by his bootstraps again, all by himself. He may have reinvented himself several times in his lifetime, but we are seeing the unraveling of all that. I do hope there is someone out there to give him the boost he needs, someone who may come out of left field. But it is entirely possible that won’t happen.

      Oh, Peggy, Peggy, Peggy. Get yourself together girl! Ted is so not worth this level of angst. Lou is an overly entitled management drone. Stop being so self-unaware. Someone needs to slap her (figuratively) back into personal and career achievement mold. She needs a change, and fast. But I’m damned if I know what might accomplish it.

      • Kit Jackson 1967

        I’m thinking Joan might play a role in helping Peggy, but I have no idea how.

      • Teresa

        Didn’t Dawn tell Don (just realized they have the same name…Dawn-Don) that the cleaning people will be there tomorrow. I think she knows about everything that’s going on but knows how to be discreet.

        • Qitkat

          While she may not know about everything going on at the office,( she did answer ‘I don’t know’ to a couple of his questions), she is certainly a great person to have on his side, very astute and observant and discreet, as you said.

      • somebody blonde

        Honestly, I think Peggy needs to have a fight with Stan or Ginsburg or Joan. Those are the only people in the office who could really affect her self-outlook.

      • Glammie

        Don has always had a natural empathy for outsiders (having been one), so he doesn’t fall into the trap of turning them into the “other” who doesn’t really exist. He likes Don, doesn’t like Ginsburg (though what really happened with that relationship after Don undermined him?), has mixed feelings about Peggy.

        I think it’s the Peggy/Don relationship that needs to be straightened out. What we’re seeing with Lou, through its absence, is the way Don was actually a sometimes good boss for Peggy. Or rather, Don actually cared about Peggy in his fucked-up way.

        • Qitkat

          I would be thrilled to see the writers come up with a realistic combining of Don and Peggy in their current situations. There is a chemistry there (non-sexual) where each one has the possibility of becoming their best self with the help of the other. These two have had some honest moments together in the past, even while fucked-up, and it would be exciting to see this happen again.

          • Glammie

            I think it’s heading that way. Peggy/Don has always been one of the show’s main dynamics. I wonder, given Sally this episode, whether Don making amends in his Don way is going to be a major theme this season. And Peggy could learn a few things from Don or Don’s mistakes.

    • Frank_821

      I keep going back about Phyllis and they implied that she was still around working for Peggy after the merger.

      With the current storyline/situation with Peggy, it now seems obvious they had to cut Phyllis out of the picture. In the brief amount of time they showed Phylliss last season, it’s clear she had Peggy’s back and was very encouraging. For Peggy to be as miserable as she is now, she needs to be stripped of her entire support system.

      If Phyllis was still around she probably wouldn’t nearly be as bad or surly

    • http://tvblogster.blogspot.com Boop

      I love how the longevity of this series has allowed us to see Sally grow from a little girl lost in a very adult world, to a young, smart and authentic human being. Here we are, several years later, and the Don Draper who once walked out of this girl’s birthday party to get drunk due to his disconnect, now finds redemption and hopeful salvation from her.

      • French_Swede

        Yes! I was watching some episodes from the first season and I can’t get over how young Kiernan Shipka was! Maybe 6 or 7? I love that “we” have watched her growing up.

    • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

      Loved seeing my inkling that Bonnie is not Betty, but California Blonde Trudy 2.0 borne out. I don’t know how the actress managed it, but she came off as shrewd in only a few syllables in the last episode. Seeing her tell Pete that he could just wait until she was finished working was sweet indeed, Trudy had to have a baby before she let that side of her take over.

      Cutler’s kinda scary, but I think he has misjudged the outcome of Roger and Joan working more directly with each other. Both have a deep sense of loyalty.

      • Lady Bug

        I can see Cutler and (Bob Benson!) scheming together to overtake SC&P and leave Roger and possibly Burt out in the cold.

        • MartyBellerMask

          Part of me thinks Bert will die before giving up his stake in the company. Yet he appears to be in excellent health. He’s not racing with Stan in the halls or anything, but he’s solid as a rock.

      • Candigirl1968

        I’m not sure that the issue is loyalty versus disloyalty. I think Cutler’s message to Roger was, “you think you still are steering the ship, but I actually am holding the wheel; don’t eff with me.” A lot of the episode showed just how much “Sterling Cooper” is receding and the “and Partners” are in charge.

        • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

          I think Cutler is has a good feel for power dynamics and knows both that Joan’s presence as an “ad man” could throw Roger further off his game as well as securing Joan as an ally. And Joan is potentially a very powerful ally. What he may not count on is exactly how well Joan and Roger know each other, and their loyalty to one another. Joan is herself very perceptive, and I’m sure she’s already noticed that Roger is being edged out. It will be interesting to see how all of that unfolds.

    • HiddenMickey

      I honestly didn’t see Peggy as any more racist that the rest of the SC&P people, with the exception of Pete. I think the lashing out at a secretary had nothing to do with that considering she was so nice to Phyllis(?) back at CGC. She really WAS just a pathetic spinster on that episode, that’s what it highlights in her character.

      • Glammie

        But the thing is, she’s nice when she’s conscious about it. When she’s upset, she falls back into a mode of not really seeing the black women as real with real lives and feelings. She knew her secretary was engaged, but didn’t consider the obvious idea that the roses were for her secretary from her fiance. Because Shirley’s not a full-fledged person for Peggy, she’s more of an object lesson. To be fair, Peggy has a problem really connecting with people anyway.

        Joan, who has been more overtly racist, has actually done a better job of relating to the black women as real people. Dawn showed she was competent and moral and Joan promoted her. Twice. Joan, who seemed the most caught up in stereotypes at the beginning of the show has actually moved with the times better than most (all?) of the other characters. I kind of refuse to believe though, that someone who looks like that wouldn’t have a boyfriend. Weiner ought to do right by Joanie and give her one.

    • n2whyteguyz

      No mention of Don’s apparent switch to Old Gold? The brand he tried to get someone else to switch from (to Lucky Strike) in the opening scene of the first episode?

      • decormaven

        I saw the pack on the nightstand- wasn’t sure about make. The circular shape of the logo made me think Lucky Strike but the way the lettering on the package looked different. Is there a scene with a clearer shot? Old Gold is the brand the black waiter in the S1E1 episode opening scene smoked; Don quizzed him about his brand preference.

    • Liza Ortiz

      Hasn’t Peggy always been a bit mentally unstable in her own way. Christ, she gave birth and barely acknowledged it. She slept with Duck. She stabbed her boyfriend instead of breaking up with him. She’s harboring just as big of a secret as Don was. Don’s reckless behavior is mentally unstable and he finally cracked during the Hershey’s pitch, Peggy is coming to her own breaking point. She’s working at an agency that she left, (one of her better decisions) only to get sucked back in again, where not only the Father of her secret love child works but a man (whom she admired greatly) has rejected her, after having an affair with her, of course. On top of that, her work is not recognized for what is it (the one aspect of her life that was good has fallen to shit). If you had to work under those conditions you’d be at your breaking point to. Frankly I would have had a mental breakdown ages ago or I would be a drunk or some other sort of addict or participating in other types of destructive behavior. I don’t see her as a “pathetic spinster” at all I see her as woman on the edge of nervous break down.

      • greenwich_matron

        Good point. Peggy’s epic denial skills have never really played much of a role.

      • Lady Bug

        I never thought of that before, but that is such a good point about Peggy

      • sojourneryouth

        I agree–Peggy has always struggled, and I still don’t think that we ever got a very good explanation as to how she was so completely checked-out mentally that she went into labor surprised (or in such deep denial? Still, I don’t get it).

        • Gatto Nero

          She had slept with Pete right after she started taking the pill and figured she was safe. And denial is Peggy’s best friend. Still, it’s hard to comprehend that she didn’t know.

          • Lady Bug

            Well, there are all of those “I didn’t know I was pregnant” shows on TLC…

          • sojourneryouth

            Exactly. There just wasn’t enough info to go on in regards to what she did and didn’t know, and when. I believe it is possible to be pregnant and not know, but it was always hard to swallow, since that whole story arc was a bit opaque as to what is going on in her head.

        • somebody blonde

          Some people really don’t know they’re pregnant. They don’t get the stereotypical symptoms, and the ones they do get they attribute to something else- Peggy thought her weight gain was just because she was eating badly.

          • greenwich_matron

            I know someone who had a surprise baby. I saw here a couple of weeks before she delivered, and she did not look pregnant (she always had a thick waist and she gained about 12 pounds. She had a seven pound baby). Twenty years later, she agrees that she had epic denial skills

        • Laylalola

          She fucked Pete after the night of her very first day on the job. We never really got insight into what was going on mentally with her there, either. She definitely has issues.

          • Alice Teeple

            Her poor choices has a lot to do with a strict religious upbringing and the death of her father at a young age. She never had any kind of male role model in her life except priests and her brother in law, and probably what she’s seen in movies or heard at secretarial school. Seriously, she’s starting to act like her mother at this point: aggressive and miserable.

            • Chris

              Yes, Ted has just turned inward. He’s making model airplanes at work and doesn’t care about anything. Peggy is becoming a rage monster. Between Lou and Ted she’s just ready to explode. Her disappointments in life are making her bitter

      • JMWilder

        My fingers are crossed this season for some sort of explosion over Pete and Peggy’s secret love child. It will kill me if that story ends up as a red herring. It’s a giant skeleton in her closet that has never come back to haunt her.

        • Lady Bug

          May favorite Mad Men scene (and there are so many great scenes to choose from) is the one when Pete tells Peggy that he loves her and Peggy tells Pete the truth about her getting pregnant and giving up the baby. It’s one of the most heart-wrenching scenes I’ve seen on TV. So, yes, I would absolutely love for Pete & Peggy to revisit this issue and to have closure.

          • JMWilder

            I just rewatched that scene, trying to remember what exactly transpired. I forgot that she told him she gave the baby away! Geez, how could I have forgotten that!? It’s such an intense scene. I can’t believe they never talked about it again. Those two haven’t had a lot of interactions over the past couple seasons, have they?

            • somebody blonde

              Knowing these characters though, it makes perfect sense that they’d never talk about it again. Peggy wanted to pretend it never happened, and Pete couldn’t forgive her for doing it, so talking about it would be pointless. The only way they could continue working together was to never bring it up again and let time take care of the rawness of the situation.

            • 3hares

              I think there were things last season there specifically to show that Peggy didn’t pretend it never happened and Pete did forgive her for doing it, and that’s why they have a lot of affection for each other.

            • Lady Bug

              There was that wonderful scene towards the end of Season 6 when Peggy, Ted and Pete are having dinner. Pete asks Peggy “please tell me you don’t pity me, because you really know me.” I thought that scene was a nice recall of their baby scene from season 2, because Pete starts that scene by telling Peggy that she’s the only person who understands him.

            • 3hares

              Right–I though that scene was very much saying that these were two people who were dealing with each other and their history completely honestly. I thought that was also referenced very subtly in The Crash. In that ep Peggy talks to Stan about how you have to deal with grief and loss by letting yourself feel it. It was an ep where Pete appeared for all of 30 seconds when he didn’t really need to appear at all, and I felt like the main reason he was there (and briefly interacting with Peggy talking about the dead) was as a little set up for her later line.

              That’s also interesting in this ep where another recap pointed out how this ep was full of people being cut off or ignored when they tried to speak the truth and this leading nowhere good, with the counterexample of Don and Sally working through that to get to a better place.

            • malarson2

              This!!

          • Glammie

            I think they did have closure–or as much closure as one’s going to get–unless they move decades ahead and the now grown child contacts them. Pete and Peggy are very different people, I don’t see them getting back together.

            • Lady Bug

              I don’t think they’re going to have any contact with the child, at least not at this point, considering that it was a closed adoption. But like you said, maybe in the future the child could try to find his biological parents. I also don’t think Peggy & Pete are going to get together in a romantic way. But they both know each other in a way that few other people do, and their relationship has changed so much over the years from the sort of ‘insult-flirting’ in the first season to truly being equals and friends towards the end of the 6th. This all just wishful thinking on my part, but I just can’t imagine them ending MM without having a great Peggy-Pete scene that would recall, even in a very subtle way their past.

            • Glammie

              Oh I think we will get a Pete/Peggy scene, I just don’t think we’ll get a story arc.

          • artsykelly

            I feel like, while fans are interested in closure for Pete, Peggy, and their baby – Matt Weiner doesn’t care – in real life, we rarely get the closure we desire, because of that reason – I won’t be surprised when the baby is never mentioned again.

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

              I don’t think all the fans are hoping for closure on that. I know I’m not. It wouldn’t feel realistic. People gave up their babies and moved on with their lives. It’s the point to Peggy’s whole story.

            • artsykelly

              Agreed. I should have said *some* fans. Frankly, I would be disappointed if there is some sort of silly wrap up scene.

              (also, fangirling a little bit!!! TLo replied to me!!)

        • Gatto Nero

          It wouldn’t surprise me if Weiner never revisits this storyline. Any woman who gave up a baby for adoption in the early ’60s fully expected never to see or hear from that child again. Adoption records were closed, and Peggy had no interest in the child at the time.
          The pregnancy served its purpose for the plot — which was to show how closed off Peggy is and to reinforce Don’s philosophy of never looking back. “This never happened.”

          • decormaven

            I agree. I think Peggy and Pete closed their discussion on the child in S2′s Meditation on an Emergency.

        • Logo Girl

          They kind of already had a “moment” when they were at the airport and Pete told her he knew she was in love with Ted, and they agreed they really knew each other. There was a plaintive quality to it that they maybe both recognized “what could have been”

      • siriuslover

        In fairness, she didn’t stab what’s his face out of malice. She was freaked out about the neighborhood (during the ’68 riots), had a knife attached to the broom, heard a sound and accidentally stabbed him. I don’t think that situation says “mentally unstable” as much as “unfortunate accident.”

      • Laylalola

        Yeah for many of the reasons you’ve stated I’ve always thought she was far more unhinged (and a lot less the embodiment of the empowered woman) than most viewers seem to think.

      • Qitkat

        I appreciate the way you’ve laid out Peggy’s journey here. I may have occasionally thought of her as more empowered than the totality of her life on this series is in (TV) reality. I do hope she gets turned around so that she really doesn’t come to believe herself a pathetic spinster, but she is being portrayed as headed in that direction. What she needs is a strong wake-up call such as she had after giving birth and Don’s visit to her. While Don has been largely successful in his compartmentalization, I’ve always thought Peggy didn’t possess those skills, thus leading to these moments where she may indeed be on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

      • Synnamin

        This episode, more than any, reenforced the these of Don = Peggy and Peggy = Don. Peggy is a mess who can’t deal with her own issues – just like Don. By the series’ end, I wouldn’t be surprised if Don finds a way to crawl back on top, leaving Peggy to follow Don’s footsteps down into Hell and ultimately back into Purgatory – Don is Peggy’s Virgil (a la Dante), only not at all cognizant of the role as guide.

        To take the Divine Comedy analogy a bit further, Sally may be Don’s Beatrice.

        • Lisa Petrison

          >To take the Divine Comedy analogy a bit further, Sally may be Don’s Beatrice.

          I think there may be something to that. Sally would be the right age.

      • Alice Teeple

        I think you’re on the money here! Also, I’m sure her mother and sister have also probably needled her about her single status as well. Reminding her that she isn’t married; that all she does is work, work, work. Remember last week when her brother in law came to her crappy neighborhood to fix the toilet, only to say he didn’t want to leave Anita alone? That also seemed to trigger her breakdown in her apartment. Poor Peggy. We should be very worried about her.

        • Chris

          Yes, to all of this. You know her mother, who told her Abe would play house but never marry her, is rubbing salt in that wound every chance she gets. Especially after Peggy bought that rickety apartment her brother in law has to come out and help fix for her because Peggy doesn’t have her “own man” to do it.

          • Alice Teeple

            I bet her mother’s constantly on her ass for living in that ethnic neighborhood, too, and I’m sure she refuses to visit her. Peggy sounds exactly like her mother does and even takes on that frown and hunchy posture. She’s clinging to any scrap of power she can find and wield to combat how weak she really feels – classic bully syndrome. It gets really petty when she snaps at Stan about “firing” him; she yells at Julio and dismisses his mother for “not understanding her,” she bosses Joan around about Shirley. She keeps throwing around what little authority she has because she has no control over anything else.

            Peggy’s theme song right now: “Somebody to Love,” Jefferson Airplane. Hahaha

      • Columbinia

        Peggy is being denigrated by Lou in front of her subordinates. Now her subordinates are treating her with contempt. It’s a sexist double bind for her, getting disrespected from above and below. Her reaction is to become an angry, petty tyrant, which ironically makes her weaker. It doesn’t seem to destroy Ken, Pete or Lou when they bully secretaries, but Peggy loses her authority when she bullies.
        Peggy derived a lot of her power from Don’s backing, then Ted’s backing. She now has to learn to stand on her own and be powerful in her own right. She’s floundering. We’re seeing how much her life depended on her successful collaboration with men. The show has inadvertently become about the struggles of the first women who got promoted out of the job of secretary in the 1960s.

    • Lattis

      whatever sort of non-conclusion Matthew Weiner is likely to have planned,

      ouch. . . . but good heads up. I better prepare myself.

      • Laylalola

        Well, you know, the Sopranos ending and all. Though actually I have no clue how big a hand Weiner played in that. Still.

        • ShaoLinKitten

          The ending of The Sopranos was brilliant though. I hold it up as a counterpoint to all the feel-good lame endings that we usually get for series finales. I am dying to know what Weiner is going to do with this one. I’m sure it’s going to be magnificent.

    • BrooklynBomber

      I always like reading these recaps/explorations – and I don’t even watch the show.

      • Laylalola

        I started watching the show about season 3 because of the recaps and commentary on costuming. I still watch to be able to keep up with these posts — hell, I’m not even a fan pf the show itself. Pete of all people is probably my favorite character.

        • Shawn EH

          I started last season with the recaps providing me all the background I needed. But now I’m hooked!

        • BrooklynBomber

          I’m just not home enough on Sunday nights to make a commitment. . . and after reading so much here I did rent the 1st three episodes a few years ago, but, I don’t know, I didn’t love it. Maybe if I’d stuck with it I’d have gotten more involved, but I didn’t get drawn in enough to try. The TLo commentary gets my attention, though!

          • Javacat7

            Libraries will have all prior seasons on DVD to check out for free. Might have to put the most recently issued season on reserve.

    • Columbinia

      I thought it was the Petty Tyrant Boss episode. Lou wants his secretary guarding his door and taking care of his errands and he fires her if she can’t be in two places at once. Peggy fires her secretary for her own rudeness. Plus she bullies both Ted’s secretaries in NY and LA delivering her non-work revenge messages. This is what women resented about being secretaries, being treated like servants by unprofessional bosses. But there’s some artificiality here. The fact is that no firm would leave the reception desk vacant at lunch for visitors to be left ungreeted, phones unanswered or intruders to wander free. Sally’s encounter with Lou was based entirely on that improbability.

      Again, the set up for bringing Don back is being built. Jim is a danger, Lou is a nasty hack, and Peggy, Pete and now Roger need Don back in order to retain their power. Maybe even Joan needs him back.

      • decormaven

        Think it about it, though. In the time it took Sally to walk back to Don’s old office, have a brief exchange with Lou, rattle Joan’s door and return to the reception area when Meredith walked it- 5 minutes tops, maybe. Meredith may have run right outside the office building for a quick in and out errand. Yes, she should have the desk manned at all times, but Meredith is probably prone to all kinds of slips.

        • Columbinia

          Nope, the receptionist was taking off her coat and unloading her packages as Sally exited. If you’ve ever worked an office reception desk at a major firm, you know that desk is never vacant when the door is unlocked. Deliveries, phones, visitors, all these MUST be covered in some way during business hours.

          • CanIbeFrank

            I’ve worked at a receptionist desk in more than one office. You can’t so much as go pee or refill your coffee without finding someone to fill in for those 60 seconds.

          • decormaven

            As I mentioned, Meredith’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.

            • L’Anne

              From what we’ve seen of Meredith… she may be a dim bulb, but she’s not completely stupid. She seems to be taken for a ride on deliveries (Joan’s divorce papers), but she mastered parliamentary procedure to supplant Scarlet to take minutes, BEFORE the apparent Harry/Scarlet affair was a “thing.”

      • Laylalola

        Oh I really saw the show drawing parallels to Peggy and … Don again. Something about the mental contortions it took for Don to get pissed off (in a holier-than-thou way, no less) at Sally because … Jesus it’s so convoluted I can even articulate why, but because Sally was silent initially and didn’t speak up about the pretense/pretend little world/lie Don had going.

        • Columbinia

          Ever notice how much Sally and Peggy’s wardrobes have in common, starting with but not limited to the berets? I know that this is a Wednesday topic, but Don’s daughter and protégée have a lot of similar clothes. Not a good thing for Peggy.

          • Chris

            I posted somewhere else here this episode reminded me of “Far Away Places” where Peggy was acting like Don for the day and found it really didn’t work for her. Peggy is even dressed similarly in both episodes and does some sulking on her couch.

          • Travelgrrl

            Or… not boding well for Sally.

    • Serenity

      Okay… why is the treatment of Dawn and Shirley NOT racist????

      Why is it that Shirley could not have received flowers? Peggy knew that she was engaged and the flowers were on Shirley’s desk to begin with. What Black women don’t get flowers on Valentine’s Day from their beaus? Why did Peggy have to think the flowers were hers? Other secretaries had flowers on their desk for Valentine’s day. And BECAUSE Peggy embarrassed herself, she had to have Shirley reassigned????

      And why did Lou get all pissed with Dawn over something she clearly had no control over to the point that she had to leave? And Colonel Sanders was just clearly racist.

      • PastryGoddess

        Who said that their treatment was not racist? What exactly are you looking for?

      • Shawn EH

        All of it was racist, no need to apologize for what assholes Peggy and Lou and Bert were being. It was sad, but not inaccurate for the time and place. Which is what Dawn and Shirley’s water cooler chatting let us in on, briefly.

        • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

          I’m not so sure it is racism with Lou as much as it is sexism. We saw how he treated Peggy last week, did not care to hear her opinions or listen to her re the watch campaign. And at the heart of it all, I suspect this is why Peggy is so angry at the moment. She knows her new boss is old school sexist and likely believes she should be a secretary and not writing copy and if you have ever been allowed to spread your wings and fly only to be put back into the cage because the boss who allowed you to fly left and you got a new one.. then you likely know how angry-making and frustrating that is.

          Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but that is how it is coming across to me..

          • Shawn EH

            It could probably be both. Lou seems like an all-purpose old guard patriarch.

            • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

              He was also very unhappy about Dawn being faithful to her previous boss and doing work for her previous boss instead of being 100& completely focused on him and his wants and needs..

              Where she was all I better call Don and he was all What about ME.. truly I do not like this character at all and one of the reasons is I have seen elements of this character in so many people across my years on this planet. Not pleasant for anyone. I hope he crashes and burns, asap..

            • P M

              What Dawn was saying: OMG! Child could be missing! I must call the father!
              What Lou heard: ‘OMG! I’m not paying attention to you! You’re not important!’

            • malarson2

              Realistically, does anyone really believe that ANY kind of confrontation, anger, emotional
              mishap or anything else remotely like these scenarios would NOT have a racial component to it? It was 1969, for gods sakes. No matter the intent or outcome, I cannot in my wildest dreams imagine a situation like this in which race didn’t play some part. It was 2013 when an aging rock star called the President of the United States a subhuman mongrel. Think about it. It just seems like reality to think that if different races were in the situation together, then race had to play a part.

            • Candigirl1968

              Lou’s whining exclamation to Joan that he knows “she [Dawn] can’t be fired” was the signal that there was some race stuff swirled in with the general assholery.

      • Chris

        I think it’s both. It does seem odd and racist that Peggy wouldn’t think her secretary got flowers but I also think if Peggy embarrassed herself in front of any secretary, no matter what their race, she would believe she has the right to switch. Peggy was brought up under that idea the boss is all powerful and worked as a secretary in that situation. Now that she is a boss she feels entitled to the same rights. Lou is definitely a racist and his wanting to get rid of Dawn could be because of that AND/or because he feels her loyalties are divided. Bert is clearly a racist among other things.

      • http://www.snoskred.org/ Snoskred

        Truthfully.. if Lou’s secretary had been purple with pink polkadots, he would still have made a huge deal about it and asked her to be reassigned. He’s an entitled male pig who expects his secretary to do his bidding even on her own time, even if doing it means he is left unsheltered in the office while she runs his errands that he couldn’t be bothered with. You think putting a white woman behind that desk is going to change how he acts or how he treats her? I don’t think it would. Maybe we’ll see.

        What Peggy did also had nothing to do with who or what colour her secretary was. She saw those flowers and assumed Ted sent them for her. That is all about Peggy, nothing at all to do with the secretary. If Shirley had been white, she might have felt more comfortable speaking up when she first saw they were on Peggys desk. But then again, she might not have. Peggy has been treating everyone pretty badly lately and I would assume her secretary has been bearing the brunt of that. I’ll be honest, if I were Peggys secretary, and I thought that the roses would cheer her up and stop her yelling at me and everyone else in the office, even just for a day, I might have thought twice about speaking up too.

        I felt the one racist moment was Bert Cooper. But I can see that is all about him as well. He has certain expectations of how the firm should be presented to the public and to the clients, and he is not down with the civil rights movement to the extent that he is willing to change those expectations. He has always been old fashioned, not just in this way but many ways.

        • Candigirl1968

          It’s racism on a sliding scale.

          Lou made sure to throw in a little racism by saying “I know you can’t fire her [Dawn] but…” The ONLY reason he said that was because she was black. Think of it as a pie he would have thrown at another secretary to which he added race specific extra cherries and whipped cream.

          Shirley’s flowers were over the top. Notably, there are the only ones that really stand out during the entire Valentine’s episode. I’m not sure we see any on the other desks – if we do, they aren’t memorable. Peggy certainly may have assumed the flowers were for her had they been on the desk of a white secretary. However, the fact that the flowers were “that nice” and the secretary she took them from was African American does certainly leave the uncomfortable question whether Peggy assumed because the flowers were “too nice” for it to be possible that they were her secretary’s.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            Joan has flowers, but they are yellow I believe, not romance red, though it turned out they were from Roger after all. I’m sure there were others that were not emphasized. However, what does it say about Peggy’s state of delusion that she assumed that a huge bouquet of red roses on her secretary’s desk were not only for her but from Ted? Not sure if she would have done that if the secretary had been white. Probably. Also not sure how much of Shirley’s inability to get a word in edgewise, nor her impulse not to interrupt, was a race-based response. Probably fruitless to speculate. To me, the role of race in that scenario was mostly to give us the convo between Shirley and Dawn, one that likely wouldn’t have happened between a black secretary and a white one at the time.

            • Alice Teeple

              I am on the fence about Peggy’s assumption that the flowers were hers being a racist thing. Peggy’s had a lot of suspicion of black people ingrained in her from childhood, I’m sure – which would be in keeping with the pocketbook incident – but she’s been on friendly terms with Phyllis. I don’t think her response would have been any different if it were a white secretary at the desk. I think Peggy was hoping for a grand gesture from Ted, maybe an apology, because she sees herself as a victim instead of an equal hand of that Chaough hookup. Look how upset she got at the brief notion that Stan might have gotten them as a joke. She threatened to fire him. I think it boils down to this: Peggy watches a lot of movies, and my suspicion is that she is hoping her soured romance goes like a movie plot instead of real life. In a movie plot, she’d get flowers and an apology, so naturally she’d assume that giant bouquet is for her. Shirley wasn’t there to give it to her and there was no note, so in Peggy’s desperation she would assume Ted wanted it on the down-low….you know, just like Don’s old gestures for his string of women. I think that scene was more about Peggy’s emotional fragility and how vulnerable she is, than any kind of latent racism. As for Lou, I just think he’s a straight-up dick.

          • Gatto Nero

            It’s also possible that Dawn cannot be fired because she was assured that her job would remain secure during Draper’s leave. Or maybe Weiner intended for this to be ambiguous.

            • Columbinia

              Joan’s not going to fire a good, intelligent, discreet, reliable worker who handles the time cards. Hiring someone new is a pain. You never know if the good interview is going to be a good secretary or a problem employee.

      • Columbinia

        It’s not racist because it is sexist.

      • warontara

        It’s sometimes hard for people to acknowledge more subtle displays of racism.

    • judybrowni

      Have to disagree about Burt’s racism: it’s spot on for the old guard of the time.

      And, if you remember, when Don wrote the ad seemingly touting SCPD’s fair mindedness which bought in a slew of “negro” job applicants, Cooper was furious.

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

        I’m not sure how that disagrees with anything we wrote.

        • judybrowni

          Maybe my mistake: his racism feels real to me, and the colorblindness of Lou and Peggy as assholes seems possible in that period in NYC in advertising.

          (I worked in publishing from the early ’70s in NYC, and it didn’t seem to be an issue, at least, for relatively new hires in their 20s-30s, in both editorial and advertising departments, in the Conde Nast organization.

          Although there were no older African Americans, so it’s likely none were hired in the 1950s or early ’60s.)

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

            I think Bert’s racism is perfectly in line with his character. I would have preferred that the show not back down from showing Lou’s and Peggy’s actions as racist.

            • judybrowni

              Don’t agree, I think Lou and Peggy have been equal opportunity abusive to underlings.

              Peggy’s leftover liberal guilt pangs from the pocketbook incident unlikely to make this about race alone (and think she would have glommed onto flowers on her secretary’s desk, no matter her color), Lou is lazy and hates anything that would add half an ounce to his plate.

              In this incident, I think they’re both too self-involved for even reflective racism. Equal opportunity assholes.

              But, hey, it’s your blog, and you two are usually on the mark!

            • P M

              I think Lou is an equal opportunity asshole, but Peggy does seem like a stealth racist.

            • judybrowni

              Naw, but I may be wrong about Lou.

              I’d forgotten that he’d said to Joan about dawn, “I know you can’t fire her…” a stealth racist nod to Dawn supposedly keeping her job, not on her own merits.

            • 3hares

              Lou isn’t even stealth racist, usually. Dawn enters a room with a bunch of people and he announces they’re Gladys Knight and the Pips.

            • judybrowni

              And I’d forgotten that Pegs is rotten to her Hispanic neighbors.

              TLo is right, as usual.

            • 3hares

              I suspect she does have problems dealing with Hispanic people as well, but her neighbor apparently regularly flushes feminine hygiene products down the toilet and then calls the super to unclog it. I’m surprised she hasn’t stabbed her like she did Abe!

    • French_Swede

      Without reading through the 650+ comments here, I just have two comments:

      1. The look of delight on Stan’s face as Peggy was approaching the elevator, and how he reached across what’s-his-name’s body to make sure the elevator doors stayed open for her.

      2. Did anyone notice during the Nationwide commercial that the name on the Ogilvy & Mather memo from back in the ’60′s was “Ted Shaw”? Kind of close to Ted Chaough, though I know it’s just a coincidence.

      • P M

        Ah but is it a leftover affection for Peggy? Will she do something that sours his feelings for her, whatever they are? Will they get together?

        • French_Swede

          Maybe Stan was just happy that he wouldn’t have to talk to Ginsburg on the ride up.

          • Chris

            Stan is kind of the glue that holds creative together. He’s the one everyone likes. Ginsberg and Peggy are both competitive, have egos and can be snippy. Stan is the “mother hen” according to Ginsberg last season. He teases everyone but he also reasons with them and is pretty good natured.

    • Glammie

      This really was a love and death episode–all that red and black–I think Sally only let Don in emotionally because she’s becoming aware emotionally that she won’t always have her parents. I’m not sure she would have relented toward Don if she hadn’t been at that funeral. She pretty much chose to seek him out instead of borrowing train fare. Then she was angry with him over the deception, but forgiving when he was honest with her. And that hat–Sally wearing her heart upon her head instead of her sleeve.

      • P M

        I love that colour association.

        And does that mean that Sally will follow her heart but take her brains with her? I hope so, poor girl.

        • Glammie

          I actually think Sally will be okay, if wary of people. She’s got a brain and, in some ways, she’s Matt Weiner’s stand-in. I sometimes if he meant Bobby to be his stand-in, but went with Sally when Kiernan Shipka turned out to be a real actress. But Weiner’s basically writing about his parent’s generation, which is partly why I’ve thought for a few years that Don’s relationship with his children is kind of the make or break thing for his character. He’ll never be a good husband, though he may settle down enough to not be actively destructive, but he’s got some good moments as a father, enough so that he won’t necessarily destroy his kids.

          But, yeah, Sally in her bright red hat in the dark–Don’s valentine. Joan’s valentine was also from her child. Hmmm, and Don and Joan probably had two of the better Valentine’s Days on the show.

    • greenwich_matron

      After the first show, I was annoyed that Peggy was dressing like a little girl, but she really is acting like an obnoxious brat. She assumes that the flowers are about her, that Ted is making immature gestures, that her secretary is conspiring against her, and her hurt feelings are more important than anything else that could be happening. She is not even taking an adult approach to her job: Lou made it pretty clear that he wants to be presented with a tidy idea and then sold on it. She surrounded her campaigns with a dramatic routine that he clearly didn’t want and acted like a petulant child when he didn’t want any part of it. Either she really can’t do her job without a daddy figure or she is horrible at reading people.

      • P M

        It’s both.

      • gogobooty

        I think what obnoxious Lou may be responding to in Peggy and in the Accutron ad is the Don Draper stink that is all over both of them. Lou is a different guy, determined to do things a different way. Perhaps he sees his advertising style as straightforward and the Draper/Olson style as too dramatic and stylized.

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

          I think that’s pretty much exactly right.

          • Gatto Nero

            And I think that in Lou’s eyes, Dawn has the Draper “taint” too.

            • L’Anne

              Yes, and part of the reason he can’t fire her is that she is still Don’s secretary.

        • greenwich_matron

          I also think he is probably lazy, too. Making a considered decision or midwifing the creative process is a lot of work.

        • Columbinia

          Don is still a Madison Avenue star. Lou is a hack, but he’s going to force people to respect him by using his position and status.

    • Candigirl1968

      In 2014, Valentine’s Day at the office when you are “the single lady” is a day when you’d rather just call in sick. Thirty years ago, it had to be, even in the best circumstances, even more grating. There are only so many cat lady jokes you can take with good cheer. So, I didn’t mind that Peggy had the “girl without flowers” story, especially n light of last week. Before when things outside of the job weren’t working, Peggy could look to work for satisfaction and fulfillment of a sort, but Lou has taken a big ‘ol poop on that notion. I don’t think Peggy has any real interest in Ted at this point, but she’s clinging to that mess (or, more accurately the swooning mixed with anger it engenders) in the absence of any other real relationships in her life. She may joke with the copy guys, but she is their boss. As a result, she can’t be truly honest or but so vulnerable. She and Joan have a gentle detente, but when you see Dawn and Shirley and their easy camaraderie, you realize that Peggy and Joan will never really be those kinds of friends. Peggy is lonely. As crappy as Don was, he did love and respect her and would listen, even when the listening was followed by yelling.

      • Chris

        And Stan made that lousy crack about being surprised her cat had the money to send Peggy flowers.

        • Alice Teeple

          That wasn’t out of character for Stan, though. They’ve always had that kind of relationship. It suggests some intimacy between them that Stan knows about Peggy’s cat – that he’s been to her place, or she mentioned getting one. It was a subtle callback to the scene where she tried calling him to get the rat. Ginsburg was really out of line for making HIS crack in the elevator. I thought that Stan actually stuck around to see who sent the flowers because he was hoping something would cheer her out of her funk. It was telling that he stuck around and Ginsburg kept going.

          • Chris

            Oh Stan and Peggy will be fine, I have no doubt. He even flipped her off in the bar after the Heinz pitch and she just smirked. I posted it in response to Candigirl1968 saying there are only so many cat jokes you can take with good cheer on Valentine’s Day. Stan has really turned into a good guy and a good friend. The more time goes on the more I doubt he and Peggy will get together as she really sees him as her subordinate and he isn’t driven enough for her. Peggy has a definite type. Their relationship is almost fraternal. Unless they have a drunken night or something I just don’t see those two romantically paired. Ginsberg is just….off. He takes everything, even elevator teasing to a darker place. I’m afraid a breakdown is in his future.

            • Alice Teeple

              Yeah, Ginzo’s really weird. I know people like him in real life, and I try avoiding them as much as possible: always saying the most inappropriate and weirdly vulgar things. Stan does seem to have some ambition and drive; he took the initiative of trying to go out to California himself and got shot down by Don and later Ted. That seemed a little odd, that they’d establish a thread showing Stan as being eager to be an equal to Peggy and then dropping it later. I don’t sense a romantic partnership between them either, at least not at this point, but I get a sense of them continuing their creative one in another capacity. He’s interested in a bigger piece of the pie; she’s miserable; they have a crappy creative director. The one thing Stan and Peggy have had in common from the start is a desire to be recognized and appreciated. I don’t see how either of them would get that unless they split from SCP. I might be wrong, but I feel like they’ve been teasing at another company rift.

            • Chris

              I think that too about the company rift, and then I wonder if Weiner will “repeat” himself by having another ‘shut the door, have a seat” type spin off company. But it does happen a great deal in business. I know of a few companies that started that way within the last 20 years or so. I felt bad for Stan last season. He was so excited, which is not that common for Stan, about CA. Then he had two people take his idea over. I love the way Stan has evolved over the series. Who would have ever thought the male chauvinist would end up being called a “mother hen” by Ginsberg? He adds so much to the show with just a random line or two.

            • Alice Teeple

              Also of note: Stan’s “female-ization.” Love bead necklace, long hair, gossiping. As he’s become more feminine and soft, Peggy’s taken on more traditional male personality characteristics. I loved that she was wearing her military dress when she was yelling about everyone else slacking. She looked like a little toy soldier. It’s funny how her barking is contrasted with her little girl look. It just reflects that she has no power and that’s how people see her – precisely what Joan told her in 1960. She’s showing those darling little ankles, but she looks like Darla in “Our Gang.” Stan’s freewheeling hippie look is likewise contrasted with his semi-secret bubbling corporate aspirations. You’re the machine, Stan!

    • Laylalola

      I still don’t have a real handle on how the new partners think and react. Ted, for example: Peggy had at least two secretaries relay messages to him that she absolutely would not speak to him on Valentine’s. From his perspective (not having sent the flowers and not knowing anything that’s going on in NYC), is he as likely to read that as behavior suggesting she’s seriously not over him and thus there’s an opening? Then there’s Cutler to Sterling: “I’d hate to think of you as an adversary” — I mean that says so much right there (Cutler doesn’t see this as a team but as you’re either with him or against him). But I have no idea whether he was sincere, and yet part of me thinks he was perfectly sincere — and that he might be gay (do we know?), Roger would be willing, and there could be some total blow-out weekend mix of drugs and sex between them that neither would ever speak of again

      • ShaoLinKitten

        I laughed after the botched conference call when Ted said something like, “Funny, they never mentioned which of Peggy’s accounts they lost.” I took that to be a good sign for Peggy, that Ted was too clueless to read anything into her cryptic messages.

        • Chris

          Oh Ted has the protection of the naive and innocent here, he will never think Peggy’s message means anything apart from the literal sense. Ted, say what you like about him, is not a sneak and I believe Peggy was his only marital transgression. He’s not used to codes and secrets. He probably puzzled all day and night over what account she was talking about.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            I agree that Peggy was Ted’s only infidelity, and that he’s not one for secret affairs. That’s why Peggy’s belief that an ostentatious but anonymous bouquet was from him comes off as so bizarre.

            • Chris

              Well he did flip flop every few months with her. Kissed her, backed off. Professed his feelings, backed off. Flirted and encouraged her, backed off. Then he slept with her, offered to leave his wife and fled to CA. It’s only been three months and she ran into him in the office that early morning. If the flowers HAD been for her especially without a card, he would have been the smartest guess.

            • ShaoLinKitten

              He was conflicted and he jerked her around. That’s a fact. But the splashy public display was never going to be his calling card, and she could have known that if only she’d thought about it for a second.

          • Alice Teeple

            Yeah, all of Peggy’s interactions with men have had codes. When she was Don’s secretary, there was a certain decorum she had to follow to keep his transgressions secret. Even Stan has a code for when women are over. So she would naturally take on that behavior and try acting like them with her own code. I love how she stumbled over it when she was relaying it to Moira, trying to veil her words and failing. Moira didn’t pick up on the code either, she literally thought it was a lost account, so that tells me the old CGC office didn’t have codes and secrets, either.

            • 3hares

              Or they did, but you have to understand the context. In Peggy’s case we know that she was making all this up in her head and that’s why nobody read it as a code. In other situations we’ve seen Moira look twice at the way Peggy and Ted interacted, for instance, and she would get what was going on. But here nothing was going on, so Peggy’s code was just taken literally. Even Ted was left wondering what client she lost.

    • Not applicable

      I thought Ginsburg’s comment about Peggy mastrobating was WAY out of line- and would never be said in mixed company– let alone in a public space like an elevator. That to me, is 2014 speak– and even then, that would be out of line in an office- especially to your supervisor.

      • judybrowni

        I’m with ya on that, in 2014.

        However, late ’60s sexism and the new “sexual freedom” included men feeling free to talk about sex to women at work in ways that wouldn’t be tolerated today.

        Just ask me.

        It took feminists another decade or two to get anyone to take sexual harassment seriously, no less the federal government. And even then (Clarence Thomas, I’m looking at you, Mr. Pubic Hair on the Coke can.)

        • Eric Stott

          Not to compare them directly, but Ginsberg might have been a Lenny Bruce fan. Sex talk had been getting pretty free, but you’re right- Ginsberg has no public filter.

      • Chris

        I can’t imagine someone saying that even 20 years ago. That’s post Sex And The City talk to my ears and I’m decades younger than they are. They could be my parents.

        • Kathryn Sanderson

          Did *anybody* talk about masturbation, especially women masturbating, at work in the 70s? I doubt it. That was the era when women were just discovering they could talk about it among themselves, in private. Was it even an idea floating around the culture that of course a single woman would masturbate if she didn’t have a partner? It seems to me (and I’m about Baby Gene’s age, so…) that the prevailing notion was that a single woman was frigid and frustrated and had *no* sexual outlets, not even that one.

          Sure, Ginsburg is nuts and says inappropriate things, but I just don’t think that that particular inappropriate thing was a notion in the culture that he would pick up on to make an inappropriate remark about. Maybe something about “fucking (or not)” or “getting laid (or not)” or “blow jobs” ….plenty of ways to be crude and inappropriate, but that particular one seems anachronistic to me as well.

          • 3hares

            I agree. The line struck me as incredibly anachronistic for him to say.

            • breathlss79

              Even if the line’s a little anachronistic, it struck me as the kind of thing Ginsberg would actually say to himself. I didn’t see it as directed at Peggy so much as a comedian’s approach to Valentine’s Day–making the best joke possible. I could see Woody Allen making that joke in the sixties.

          • greenwich_matron

            Very anachronistic. This is still the era when “clitoral orgasms” were bad and many women didn’t expect orgasms at all. Ginsburg doesn’t seem like he would be enlightened on female sexual satisfaction or the personal habits of women. He should absolutely be fired: someone who says that to his boss in a public space is a huge liability to a client driven business.

          • Alice Teeple

            Yeah, I agree. I don’t think I even heard the term “masturbate” until I was well into high school in the 90s. People wouldn’t have used the clinical term, that’s for sure. They would have used a euphemism like “playing with yourself” if it were even brought up at all. That line was very anachronistic. I collect old books, and have a lot of health textbooks from between the 1890s-50s. Even in those clinical books the term isn’t used. They use euphemisms like “self-loving.” Chris is right, it sounds too “Sex and the City.”

            • Kathryn Sanderson

              I heard it in junior high in the 70s. The first time I came across it was in Judy Blume’s “Deenie.” But it was confined to private conversations with my friends and maybe, *maybe* health class. I can’t imagine people (even inappropriate assholes) using it openly in the workplace. Of course, I wasn’t working at the time, but still.

          • sweetlilvoice

            Let’s not forget the infamous scene of Sally “playing with herself” during an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. that got her sent home early from a sleepover. Not that I blame her….some very attractive men.

        • Not applicable

          Yes that was why it struck me at first- that you just wouldn’t use that word…you might say ‘playing with yourself/herself’ but even that would be VERY inappropriate in mixed company. All you have to do is watch old movies- even when the “dirty” guys are referring to it’s always another term/phrase that’s used. (ie: choke the chicken) BUT they didn’t have a term like that for women, did they!? :)

      • mediapileup

        Yes, but it’s well established that Ginsburg is nuts and often says inappropriate things.

        • malarson2

          I was really, distractingly shocked at his comment. I’m not going to over-analyze it. I’m just going to just settle it out for myself by thinking that there is a 95% chance it never would have happened.

      • Kathryn Sanderson

        As I was watching the show with my husband, I said, “He should be fired for that.” Ginsburg was indeed WAY out of line.

        • Alice Teeple

          I thought it was strange that Peggy didn’t snap at Ginsburg for saying that, but when Stan made a joke about the cat getting her flowers she threw the “I’ll fire you” card at him. I have a feeling that Peggy might be a little afraid of Ginsburg and doesn’t want to set him off. I agree, that wouldn’t have been said in mixed company at that point, and even today that’s really out of line.

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            Maybe Peggy was too shocked and/or disgusted and/or insulted to frame a snappy reply. Or any reply.

            • Alice Teeple

              That too. She did look pretty stormy, though.

        • Not applicable

          yes- it was odd that she threatened to fire Stan for playing a joke on her- but nothing to Ginsburg for that very vulgar comment. Consider how she went to bat for Joan when Joey was making the dirty cartoon… at that point Peggy was ‘one of the guys’ and Joey didn’t see her as an authority. So, with that it could be that Gins. no longer sees her as an authority either. Just a “humorless bitch” as Joan predicted. So this really is the point that Peggy is powerless.

    • Michelle Lim

      BRAVO. What a write up!!!

    • AnnaleighBelle

      What is Lou Avery’s position exactly? What gives him the right to order Joan, a partner, around?

      • 3hares

        Well, he’s acting as creative director. But as long as he’s got the right to request a different secretary I guess he has the right to order the head of HR to get him one. Joan’s position is often in conflict with itself.

        • P M

          Which I think is Joan’s problem – she is still a cross between a mother and a waitress for the partners & execs. Which may change now that Dawn has apparently gotten a promotion.
          Wait – is Meredith going to work two desks? Or will it be Shirley?

      • Columbinia

        Joan is a partner and can vote on firing Lou. That Joan allowed him to speak to her like that without asserting her authority was her ceding power to his sexism. She fell into her old office manager role. Mad Men is showing us an imperfect world. She should have said that Dawn is an important part of my management team and will not be leaving the firm. She kept Dawn, but Joan does not automatically stand down older men. She has to stop and think about it before she pushes back. Nevertheless, she was on the team that put Don on hiatus. And the next time Lou has an HR issue he’ll be dealing with Dawn and Dawn’s supervisor, Joan. That could be an interesting scene if it happens.

        • Chris

          Joan rarely stands up for herself unless the male is younger and an inferior. When Bert told her to sit after Roger left, she sat. Now that Joan has finally divorced herself from the secretarial pool perhaps we will see her demand the respect her position demands.

          • Columbinia

            Let’s cheer on, girls … uh, women.

    • librarygrrl64

      “Hard to believe your cat has the money.” made me laugh WAY too hard. #TeamStan

      • Laylalola

        #TeamStan here, too! But he’s taken. Ginsberg didn’t bury the lede, but it went right over Peggy’s head in the elevator. Maybe that news will wind up jumpstarting something in her to take action before it’s too late.

        • Alice Teeple

          I think “she’s going to find out” just implied that she was going to find out it was Valentine’s Day and they were ribbing her for being single and a woman and totally clueless about such a thing. Anyway, Peggy knows Stan’s love life enough to know the code for “Tuesday morning’s great,” and if he were going to propose to someone she’d know what he meant by having plans on Valentine’s Day and tell him to take the weekend off. He didn’t protest too much when she told him to work the weekend. He asked nicely and she made him work anyway, so my guess is he didn’t care all that much.

        • Alice Teeple

          Also, who else noticed Stan’s green turtleneck under all those love beads and leather?

          • Lisa_Co

            I didn’t notice this week, but Stan wears green quite regularly.

            • Alice Teeple

              He was wearing almost identical color schemes to Ted last season. Green plaid blazer, green shirts. Now he’s moved to wearing green turtlenecks. I don’t know…

      • Lady Bug

        #TeamStan aka #TeamPonyboy all the way!

    • malarson2

      I’m sure I’m not the only one who shed a lone, single tear in response to Sally’s open heart. And there was only one tear because I sort of blinked and fought my way through more of them. It was just so much. So much love. I felt the same way Don’s face said he felt. And then that song just put me over. I felt so happy and so melancholy at the same exact time. Brava, Ms. Shipka.

      • KT

        Totally. I was bowled over — I can’t believe how much that struck a chord. So well done, and came in at the perfect time. Ahhh I love when the show is like this.

        • malarson2

          I don’t know why I’m surprised. When I first saw the episode when Betty’s Dad died and Sally b-slapped the ‘adults’ while in her little ballet outfit after she heard them laughing and was dismayed by their lack of outward sadness, I literally could not get enough of it. I played it over and over. I even had my three little boys – then all in grade school – come into the tv room so I could play it for them, too! They looked at me like I’d reached the Betty-level of crazy. I just tried to explain to them if they EVER decided to be actors – professional or otherwise – then that performance should always be their reference point. I still can’t believe how good she was in that moment. Does anyone remember the scene to which I refer? When she lets them have it and her little voice kept cracking? Amazing.

          • Kathryn Sanderson

            I’ve been rewatching the series from the beginning, so I know exactly which scene you’re talking about. And I agree with you. But the scene I remembered more is when the cop comes to the Draper house to tell Betty that her father is dead. Sally is sitting outside the house (in her ballet outfit) and sees and hears the whole conversation. Then Betty goes back in the house and shuts the door, literally shutting Sally out of the grieving…I’m pretty sure she forgot Sally. And Kiernan did a good job of portraying Sally’s desolation there. Of course the scene where she b-slaps the adults was more demanding, and she deserves all the props for that one, too.

            • malarson2

              I know exactly the one you’re talking about. And she just stands with her sad little forehead pressed against the front door. You are right…not as fierce but just as powerful. I might go rewatch that episode right now!

            • Qitkat

              You never know how someone may react, even yourself, when faced with the ultimate information of the death of a loved one. I was with a very close friend once, just hanging out. Her husband came to her to take a phone call while I waited. She came back calmly, and said she had some things to do now, so I left. Later I found out her mom had just called with the news her dad had died. She didn’t let on at all, whether it was in shock, or she needed time to process it, or was trying to hold herself together, and telling me would have made her break down—I don’t know. I don’t blame Betty at all for her initial reaction with the scene you are referencing. Poor Sally, forgotten. But understandable.

          • Chris

            I remember that one exactly, isn’t Betty’s brother there as well? Sally chews them all out for not being sad and she is just so fierce in the scene. It’s like the words are just coming out of her tiny body with such force. I was just stunned watching it the first time around.

            • malarson2

              Yes, Betty’s brother and sister-in-law are there and one of them says something about their Dad’s new wife taking over for their mother in heaven and it made them all chuckle. And then Sally came in with her tragic verbal beat down. I put the link in the last message in this thread if you’d like to see it again. It’s a heartbreaker.

          • Shawn EH

            The realism of it got to me. Apparently my mom did the same thing at her father’s funeral, when she was still a teenager.

          • Gatto Nero

            Thank you for reminding me. I just rewatched that scene and tears sprang to my eyes.
            I’ve lost two members of my family recently. This tiny girl says, “He’s really, really gone” with the force of someone who has full knowledge of what that means. Astonishing.

            • malarson2

              So sorry to hear it, GN. It’s an almost unbearable pain. It’s a cliche, and I’m sure you know it already, but time is the thing that got me through.

            • Gatto Nero

              Thank you. Very kind.

          • Lisa_Co

            We’re lucky MM shoots in LA. According to season 1 commentary, the daughter of one of the writers played Sally in the pilot (she looked very angelic with blond curly hair) because they were shooting in NY and a lot of the Sopranos crew was used. When they decided that MM would shoot in LA the writer didn’t want to uproot his daughter so they cast someone else (Kiernan) in the role and she’s worked out great.

      • Lady Bug

        She is a wonderful actress and Sally is one of my favorite characters on the show. I just love her scenes with Don.

      • P M

        Indeed. If Sally can forgive him, perhaps Don can find a way to muddle through.

      • http://stylingdutchman.blogspot.com/ annebeth

        that entire last bit was genius. I cried as well, and that song, jesus.

    • Alloy Jane

      This episode made me a hell of a lot more sad than last weeks. I absolutely cannot take watching Peggy turn into a bitter old spinster who takes her spleen out on other people. It’s like they’re taking all the optimism of what she symbolizes and YES–turning it into a cliche because she has no man. Didn’t they do that enough with Joan before she married Dr. Rapist? The Dawn & Shirley show was definitely the best part of this episode. Although again, that having “nothing to lose” by Shirley cuz she has a man who can take care of her? So tedious.

      Peggypeggypeggy. That’s all I can think about, how much she upsets me. She should’ve apologized to Shirley. No wait, she should never have lost her shit on her in the first place. And then to be a bitch to Joan? Jesus. You know, it would be nice if characters had some growth, rather than just movement. She took a lot of shit from Don, you would think rather than go and be just like him, she would strive to not be so demeaning to others. That’s just lack of maturity. It also pisses me off that without a “daddy” to keep her in line, Peggy is flailing. I would hope that not being treated like a doormat would contribute to her flourishing professional life. Argh.

      I love this Bonnie person. Like someone said, she has that Trudy-ness that is good for Pete. She’s like an M&M, Trudy inside with a Betty-colored coating. I have to admit, I really liked seeing him have a typical Pete tantrum and I LOVE that Roger hung up on him. He’s like Daria’s dad, Jake. “I’m happy! BUT MY HEAD’S GOING TO EXPLODE BECAUSE OF MY TEMPER!” Too funny.

      And Ted. Sad, mopey Ted. He’s just going through the motions. I think I’m going to start calling him Ted Swan from now on.

      • Lady Bug

        If it’s any consolation, I do think that Peggy will have redemptive arc this season. I can’t really imagine them ending the series with Peggy completely miserable.

      • golden_valley

        When underlings take “a lot of shit” from their bosses, it is not uncommon for them to absorb the lesson that this is the way bosses behave and then to behave accordingly when reaching the boss position. That’s what Peggy does here. It’s not a unusual occurrence.

      • Gatto Nero

        “I would hope that not being treated like a doormat would contribute to her flourishing professional life.”
        Instead, though, Lou is acting as though she’s invisible. That may be worse.

    • NeenaJ

      Ritz Crackers. That is all, LOL!

      • Karen

        With no one there to make him a Mock Apple Pie.

    • decormaven

      On the rewatch: Just like Cupid’s arrow, Sally’s words pierce her father’s heart. First with the pronouncement, “I’m so many people,” (because heaven knows, he GETS that concept) and “I love you” – sweetest words ever said.

      • Tricia Rose

        To me, that line: “I’m so many people” was a clincher of the show. A fitting tribute to all the characters and humanity in general. Loved it!

      • http://stylingdutchman.blogspot.com/ annebeth

        and that little smile he gave when she said both things! my heart, oh, it broke

    • suzq

      Lou Adler uttered the theme of this week’s show for me: “It’s not my problem!” Lou has an amazing ability to hyper focus on his swim lane and swim as fast as he can. Like a shark, his strokes are efficient and seemingly effortless. And they are effortless because he’s honed his ad formula to absolute perfection. Peggy is an out-of-the-box thinker and encouraged by both Don and Ted to be entrepreneurial. “Did you get the storyboard for Accutron?” She’s going to lower the boom in front of the client. Why? Because this was the episode where her wallowing turned to spite. “The contract is CANCELED,” she said in a message to Ted. Of course we don’t believe it, but here is where her she gets the anger that will fuel her next steps. I predict a crash and burn here because I think Peggy needs to hit professional bottom so that she can figure out where her strengths and weaknesses are on her own. Mentors are nice, but she has no more time for them. Time to stand on her own two feet.

      Lou, however, is coming off like a total jerk. The last guy who entered the fray all jerky to everyone ended up with his foot amputated. I’d watch my back if I were you, Lou!
      I’m fascinated with where Joan’s actual loyalties will be when the chips are down. Jim and Lou are pretty adamant that Don should not return. However, Don really did try to defend Joan’s honor and does value her as a partner. Jim’s interest in Joan is purely in getting to Roger, who is on a descent of his own that who knows how long he can keep going.

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but Don’s non-compete clause ends if he’s fired, no? Having some irons in the fire is a nice place to be. Funny how the one company exec seemed to think his Hershey outburst turned him into damaged goods. That the other company didn’t seem to mind seems to speak to a new paradigm in the ad industry. As Joan laid out last week: They’re moving from retainers to fee for service. Along with it, there seems more of a demand for creativity–out of the box ads–entrepreneurial ads. As Don sits in his apartment, he scrolls through some iconic slogans: “How do you handle a hungry man?” Some of us who are a certain age can sing that line to ourselves. How does the industry handle a hungry man? How does Don?

      I think the key to Don’s success, with his daughter and with his career, is honesty and authenticity. He is not brilliant because he is rich and successful. He is brilliant because he had to recreate himself from nothing. He understands ordinary people. He understands that people want to seem better than they are. Ads can sell a “better life.” So the meltdown before Hershey, maybe a 12-step program, divorce, etc… all of that will lead to greater authenticity. I don’t think another firm is going to be able to “handle a hungry Don.” I think the luncheon confirmed that. “I have a non-compete clause,” he stated. Why even bring that up if you’re confident you have a job? Why mention it at all? He’s feeling out his demand and his worth.

      Bert’s racism is along the lines of “I have no problem with it…but other people do.” It’s the last kind to go away. Peggy’s is a full-out mistrust. She can’t understand her Hispanic tenants, either. Pegs better lose the Brooklyn white-girl attitude because JLo’s family just moved down the street from her mom. There goes the neighborhood! The real racist is Roger! I don’t think LSD has changed him all that much.

      I loved Shirley and Dawn’s greater profile this week. Could they please get some better dialogue, however? That conversation between them was stilted and awkward.

      • Qitkat

        I have different take on the ‘I have a non-compete clause.’

        In the real world of course, such things are common enough, I always thought, to keep someone from working in the same industry AFTER they had left a job, maybe with severance pay, but no longer taking a salary, for a specified length of time, after which, they are free to do as they wish.

        Don, however, has a non-compete clause, while still retaining the possibility of re-joining the firm; ie, he seems to be on an indefinite leave of absence, he is still being paid a salary. The ONLY reason I can see for the clause in his case is for dramatic story reasons. He is such a brilliant adman that SCP absolutely do not want him as a competitor in the marketplace. They fear that some other ad agency would JUMP at the opportunity to hire him. He can’t go looking for another job, no reputable company would hire him with that sword hanging out there; SCP has legally handcuffed him.

        • oat327

          If he’s fired, his non-compete clause would be void. But they haven’t fired him–he’s still on contract. The non-compete clause would be in effect until they fire him officially, or until his contract expires.

          I don’t know if SC&P is so scared of losing him, though. Sure, he’s a great ad man, but they’re now a huge firm that, presumably off-screen, have a whole floor of creative–they don’t need him to put them on the map the way a small firm like Sterling Cooper or SCDP did. Also, remember, his compensation (as their collective ex-wife) must be bleeding them dry–on top of a presumably massive salary, he collects ~12% of the agency’s profits as a partner. So it’d be in everyone’s best interests to reach a settlement that buys him out of a partnership and nullifies his non-compete clause.

          • Qitkat

            I don’t have any legal background, I was trying to think logically about this situation. But the question remains, then why ARE they holding on to him since it is costing the company so dearly? Your last sentence is clearly true, no one is threatening to fire him, who knows how much longer until his contract runs out. It’s an odd situation that seems unlikely to play out just this way in the real world of advertising.

            • http://tootcomic.com/ Dick In A Bog

              What it means is he can’t leave to join another firm; if he does, he forfeits his shares as a violation of contract.

              THAT’S the key. They can’t fire him because then they’d have to buy him out as a partner, a very big partner, and they couldn’t afford that. They claim it would put them in the red for years, later.

              He’s costing the firm business, but he’s on leave because firing him would cost them much much more than his creative. The noncompete clause was written in when it was the worst thing in the world for him to jump ship. Now they are stuck with him, and he with them.

      • Karen

        I don’t see Roger as racist so much as he enjoyed the audacity of the whole exchange with the woman over her dog. To use that expletive about someone Jewish IS the racist part. Thus, I see Roger as MORE evolved in that he noticed it and could laugh about it later.

        The saddest part of all is that it is apparent that Roger truly misses Don–someone who would have yukked it up with him over it, too. (As opposed to Lou.) You could also see that Roger was sad over Hershey (because of Don, but not the business). Lou? As you said, it’s “not [his] problem.”

        • 3hares

          Roger’s pretty happily racist. He also finds blackface funny, racist jokes funny, jokes about Dawn being black funny and made a Civil Rights incident into a joke. Being called an anti-Semitic slur himself is funny because he’s not Jewish and he’s not particularly bothered by just hearing the slur. He’s really not very evolved at all.

          • breathlss79

            I don’t think Roger’s evolved, but it’s interesting that he was so antisemitic in the pilot (or second episode of the series) and now antisemitism is something he laughs at instead of with. Roger is being forced to move forward with the times, unlike Cooper.

            • 3hares

              I don’t think he’s laughing at it, exactly. He’s laughing at someone thinking he’s Jewish (“maybe it’s that hat”).

            • breathlss79

              Well, he was married to a Jewish woman (Jane). I think it’s a confused kind of laughter.

            • 3hares

              Yes, I’m not saying he’s so deeply anti-Semitic it stopped him from marrying a Jewish woman. He seems confused about why this woman would be calling him Jewish, and probably laughing at the woman’s OTT anger that she’s calling him a name at all. But there’s nothing about his delivery, imo, that shows him really registering the ugliness of the incident. I mean, Roger would never be hurling names or slurs that way (not his style–unless you’re Japanese), but he doesn’t really seem to get how that makes the story not funny at all.

            • breathlss79

              Maybe it’s just John Slatterly’s delivery, but I thought the idea of some woman calling Roger a kyke was funny (and I am Jewish). The incident would obviously be uglier if it had happened to a Jewish character, but something about a case of mistaken identity makes racism seem even more ridiculous. Which Roger may or may not get.

            • 3hares

              Right, sorry, then we agree. I thought Roger was laughing over the mistaken identity and since he wasn’t Jewish the word wasn’t hurtful to him, it was just absurd.

    • http://batman-news.com JLawGirl

      If Ginberg and Stan hadn’t called Peggy out on not having plans for Valentine’s Day I think the scene with Shirley would have played out differently. Peggy is so blinded by her “woe is me” attitude that she feels everything is about her. She’s competely self-absorbed and can’t get out of her own way. But, this is not to say there isn’t latent racism at play. I also feel as though Peggy has reached a precarious position in her career. In years past, she’s been willing to work hard and be original. Now, she’s reached a position of power, but seems both scared and entitled. Scared she’ll lose what she has, but so entitled that she thinks all her prior work is enough to keep her position. Like, do you know who I am/was two year ago? So, back to your point above, Don 2.0?

      • Gatto Nero

        She’s also finding that her creativity is not appreciated, and is even being quashed. If she can’t write good copy, she’s no longer sure who she is. Work — and therefore life — is not satisfying anymore.
        I think the whole Valentine mess was just the final straw.

        • P M

          Peggy without Don or Ted or Stan. That could be *very* interesting.

        • http://batman-news.com JLawGirl

          Great point. This job defines her…and in those times, as a woman, why wouldn’t it?

    • Laura Sassano

      Enjoyed the recap as always, thank you TLo! I had to pipe up and say I’m not at all bothered by Peggy’s reaction to Ted’s continued rejection of her (and this is coming from someone who loathes when women look for validation by men). Sure, Peggy is independent and a career woman and she may not have been that adversely affected by Pete, but why does that mean she would react to the rejection of a different man the same way? Also, Peggy/Pete was several years ago. Rejection gets harder for everyone (or most people, I would guess) as they get older—even now. I would imagine it was harder to be a single woman Peggy’s age in the ’60s than it is today. Her feelings about Ted are probably not just about Ted; it’s not just, “Ted doesn’t want me” it’s “Ted doesn’t want me and I’m 2(6?) and I have no other prospects.” The fact that she assumed those flowers were for her (and also telling, the fact that she said she had already noticed Shirley’s engagement ring) also indicates she wants a love life, she wants someone to want her—perhaps so badly that she jumped to a really embarrassing conclusion.

    • http://batman-news.com Nick Valenziano

      There were a few moments on Sunday night–marking the bottle, assesing his health, seeing the cockroach in his apartment, a deeper reflection on himself–that just gave me a moments thought: Is the show going to conclude with Don in AA, finally finding some peace? I don’t mean in a Hollywood kind of “the drunk gets sober after 2 meetings” sort of thing, but a real, honest-to-God, hard-fought recovery. Think about the reality of it. That high-flying, booze and broads kind of guy with a fat job in the 1960′s who finally decides he’s hit bottom–he still falls sometimes, but he knows-finally- that otherwise he will die. I know guys just like that who then go on to have a second life (in Dick/Don’s case, a third life?) and stay in recovery for 30-40 years. The more his assumed persona of “Don Draper” gets stripped away, the more he allows the world to know where he comes from. the more he “let’s go,” the less he needs the crutches. And could that iconic falling man in the opening simply be Don hurling eternally to his own “bottom?” And again, if you take away the seemingly contrived idea of Don as a long-term recovered drunk, the existential nature of the 12-steps is quite a bit like Mad Men itself.
      It won’t happen, but I just wanted to share the idea.

      • breathlss79

        I’ve always thought it could happen. Let’s pray for Don’s third life.

      • http://stylingdutchman.blogspot.com/ annebeth

        I would just like it to end on a hopeful note. This man has struggled for so long.

    • Thundar99

      Perhaps there was subtle racism at play with Peggy, but i disagree with the notion that had a white girl been at that desk that Peggy would have made a different assumption…mainly because i thought the bad behavior exhibited by Lou and Peggy were consistent with and a subtle statement about the institutionalized mistreatment of most secretaries/women in the workplace. What Dawn & Shirley experienced wasn’t too far off from the abuse most white secretaries endured. So in a way I thought we were witnessing equal opportunity jerkdom and I think the idea that Peggy had become one of the perpetrators of that mistreatment was to show the standard irony of the once-oppressed becoming the oppressor. Lou’s “get the door” to Dawn and general assholery were also standard male chauvinist workplace behavior…while a case can be made that his desire to just fire her, if he had his way, did veer into questionable territory it just goes to show how, once skin color/otherness becomes involved, everything becomes heighten with layers and complexity that’s sometimes hard to pin down as real vs. imagined. Bert Cooper though….is racist. Formerly cute, cuddly, no-balls Bert. So disappointing. =(

      • Lady Bug

        Bert Cooper was already revealed to have pretty regressive opinions regarding the civil rights movement earlier in the series as well.

      • SylviaFowler

        Burt was born in the 1890s; I don’t know why this is in any way distressing or surprising to anyone. People don’t grow up in vacuums.

      • http://tootcomic.com/ Dick In A Bog

        Bert is a grandpa. A guy you can like, even love, but he’s still got shitty opinions (his views on blacks and ayn rand come to mind)

    • cstat

      I’m so excited that I have finally watched every episode of Mad Men (in two weeks) and now I can finally join in on the T and Lo discussions. I love the blog guys. I REALLY want Lou gone. He made me uncomfortable in the first episode and even more so in this episode.

    • buddy100

      Shirley was completely at fault for what happened. She violated the most basic rule of secretary-dom at SC&P: protect thy boss’ ego.

      Flip the genders. Imagine Don figured out he was keeping roses intended for Ted on his desk for a whole work day. Imagine that he had learned that other people knew, laughed at him about it, and that his secretary had intentionally not told him. Her ass would have been booted from the top story window. Figuratively.

      Shirley would have known better than to pull that with an intimidating male boss. But with Peggy, she turned it into a private joke about the frumpish spinster who couldn’t get a man. Peggy rightly sensed that she being laughed at. Furthermore, having been Don’s devoted secretary herself, she knows that a good one protects their boss’ reputation above ALL ELSE. When Shirley didn’t look out for her interests, she took it personally and got rid of her.

      I really can’t blame her. It’s unfortunate, but reputation in an office like SC&P is everything. If Shirley can’t play the game with a female boss, then she isn’t doing her job.

    • Javacat7

      W/r/t Peggy and the Accutron ad, has it been commented upon that Peggy changed Freddy/Don’s pitch, which was very good. She seized on the clinching last line and modified it so it lost its impact. Freddy looked alarmed and sai, no, that’s not as good, and Peggy ran over him even as he was speaking. Then in her pitches to Lou, she sounded so desperate, trying to get across the impact of what she’d heard from Freddy, but failing, becuase Lou is a terrible, but also because she made it mediocre. Freddy remarked on it to Don a’t the end of the ep, saying, “Of course, Peggy had to piss all over it,”

      There’s a lot going on there including a lot of hubris. Peggy thinks her version is better and it isn’t. As others pointed out, she’s losing it all over the place in Work Day. The expression when her face crumples after yelling at Shirley; she knows how horrible she’s been and she feels bad about it. But does she see how she’s lost it with her work? Yes, Lou is awful. But she can’t even relay one of Don’s better ideas inside the agency. Be interesting to see if, and what, she pitches directly to the client, if it’s in a future ep at all.

    • K. Clark

      “But while we appreciate the idea of showing a darker, less perfect side of
      Peggy’s personality, the “falling apart because A MAN” thing is such a cliche.
      If she could rebuff Pete’s daily office cruelty back when she was barely
      post-virginity, we think she should be able to handle the idea of Ted still
      existing somewhere thousands of miles away without completely losing her shit.”

      I don’t totally agree with this. Yes, Peggy was the “I’m not gonna cry in the mirror” kind of girl back when things were turning sour with Pete. But that was before the surprise baby and giving it up. And before Duck. And before the guy who dumped her over the phone on her birthday (can’t think of his name–Mark maybe?) in front of her family. Before Katherine’s sugar-free “ya get a cat” speech. And before Abe broke it off by telling her her every action was an affront to his existence, taking his fantasies of marriage and children with him, leaving her in a crappy home she didn’t want in the first place. One emotional disaster after another has to buckle even the most together person, and Peggy’s no exception. Plus the Peggy who slept with Pete didn’t see herself as a creative person yet–she likely figured she’d be manning Don’s desk until she got married. Ted wasn’t just a lover, he was a mentor, one minus all the berating and bullying that came with one Don Draper. Now not only is she alone personally, her creative voice is not being heard, if outright silenced by Lou. Ick, no wonder she thinks those flowers are cursed.

      • http://stylingdutchman.blogspot.com/ annebeth

        I totally agree. She’s just in the type of place where everything is blowing up in her face.

    • jrcsfo

      Hmm. Surprised, first that there was no mention of the homoerotic banter during the episode – the rival adman taking Don out to lunch and being dropped in on by another suitor; the interplay between Roger and Jim. Second, by the fact that there was no mention of the lack of Betty/death of Sally’s roommate’s mother parallel. Her roommate is named Sara (or Sarah), for which Sally is often a diminutive, and Sally talks about how it would be if Betty died. I don’t think that this was a coincidence – I don’t see Betty’s death in the cards, but it was interesting.

    • decormaven

      Gotta love Don’s reply to his lunch “date” – “I didn’t know I was going to be interrogated by the Hooterville telephone operator!” Petticoat Junction! Don is getting caught up on every dopey sitcom on television. Let’s hope he backs off the remote and the Ritz crackers soon.

    • http://www.tragicsandwich.com/ Tragic Sandwich

      I was struck by the fact that Dawn calls Lou by his first name, and that she told him off for having her buy his wife’s gift instead of buying it earlier when she had told him to. Given that buying gifts for an organizational superior was a plot point in 9 to 5, I would think it would be kind of a given at this point in the working world timeline. Obviously Dawn was upset that Lou was blaming her for Sally’s visit to the office (which was hardly under Dawn’s control), but I was still kind of surprised that she was willing to speak that sharply to him at all.

      And while he’s clearly a lousy boss and not much use as a colleague, Lou actually did okay with Sally in the moment. Certainly better than I was expecting him to.

    • John Morrissey

      Oh Betty. It was a perfect day, then YOU ruined it.

      My hubby and I are going to be saying this to each other for at least the next two weeks.

    • OneBigPear

      Just catching up on this season!
      The Don/Sally relationship was amazing and the first thing I said after the episode was down was, “You can’t bullshit Sally!”
      She sees right through it and it’s at the heart of all her anger because she’s surrounded by bullshitters.

      The other thing is Sally is so much like Don (and I think he knows this). Don hates himself. And, as Ru Paul says, “If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” So if Sally can love him, maybe he can love himself… (sorry went down a bit of a rabbit hole here)