Stray thoughts on Six Month Leave

 Posted by on October 1, 2008 at 6:17 am  Season 2
Oct 012008
 

Peggy did her best to react “like a man;” she is more comfortable expressing her feelings in a business context. While women wept, Peggy saw the business implication and mentioned the Playtex account.

What is truly driving Betty’s depression now is the one secret she can’t unlock: The desk drawer. It will become a Damn Spot for her, she will not be able to let it go. It is all of Don’s secrecy embodied. Notice how she observed the lie Don created for Betty to tell Sally; all it is, for Betty, is more evidence of his skill at lying.

Pete was right again. Pete is a dick and everyone hates his vile suggestions, but they are right. Freddy cannot keep his job. He cannot be allowed to drink and fall apart as a Sterling Cooper employee. He can go to rehab or he can go. Pete is truly the wave of the future again, just in the slimiest form possible.

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  88 Responses to “Stray thoughts on Six Month Leave”

  1. Don punched Jimmy because he called him"garbage." That's why it felt so satisfying (to me, anyway). Paradoxically, a matter of defending his honor by calling up his inner Archibald Whitman, as in "Garbage?! I'll give you Garbage!" POW!!! Here's an above-the-neck for your below-the-belt!

    No one messes like that with the Draper. (Or is it the Don?)

  2. I really do find Peggy to be a most interesting character!

    I have some books from a Secretarial school. They were published in 1960. The Nancy Taylor School it is called. Who posted on here saying they are finishing a book on the secretarial pool in the 60's? Did you look at them? I would also be interested to real a home EC book from the time. What were they telling those girls!
    My mom can't watch this show, too close to home for her!

  3. Peggy also tried to comfort Freddy the next day after Peegate by telling him "it will be forgotten" (I'm paraphrasing here). She figured the pitch to the client was successful, and if Freddy's secret were kept in-house, things would go on as usual. She didn't know that Pete was telling Duck and Roger all about Freddy.

    Pete's presentation of Peegate to Duck and Roger is also interesting because it affected how they perceived it. If Pete had told it like it was amusing or a minor SNAFU, Freddy might have kept his job a little longer. But Pete's contempt was so clear that it made both his superiors see Freddy as a serious liability. Duck would have already been disposed to regard Freddy's drinking as a problem, but I think Roger would have been more lenient if not for Pete's obvious disgust and concern for the firm's reputation.

  4. "Peggy did her best to react “like a man;” she is more comfortable expressing her feelings in a business context. While women wept, Peggy saw the business implication and mentioned the Playtex account."

    I don't think she was trying, really. It just seemed like her natural reaction. It was certainly striking in that she was seeing it from the same perspective as the men (her colleagues) rather than getting all weepy over it like the rest of the women in the office. But I think it's just a matter of Marilyn being a woman she doesn't connect with. Peggy doesn't use her sexuality to earn the respect and attention of the men around her (much), and I don't think she understands women who do — i.e. Marilyn, Joan, and Jane.

    "Pete was right again. Pete is a dick and everyone hates his vile suggestions, but they are right."

    As irksome as it is, I have to agree. The way he presents himself and his ideas makes Pete annoying, but it doesn't make him wrong. The difference between Pete/Duck/Roger and Peggy/Don is that the former are looking out for the good of the company as a whole, while the latter are looking out for the wellbeing of their friend and colleague as an individual. In the real world, this is probably a healthy balance to have within a business so that neither personality type takes over completely.

    My random quibble: Why does Pete insist on wearing that bright blue suit so much? It looks so very tacky to me.

  5. I don't know… she really admired Marilyn, as shown in The New Girl. And she did say 'it's very upsetting… my mother and sister keep calling me'. (I totally am paraphrasing from memory.)

    Pete's outfit: It's because he's about 12 years old.

  6. Peegate! :::snort:::

    Why does Pete insist on wearing that bright blue suit so much? It looks so very tacky to me.

    Janie Bryant gives Pete very few suits so that we know he doesn't make that much money. And she gives Pete brighter colors because he is younger and more forward thinking than Don in his typical gray or Roger in black or navy.

  7. Pete may be "right," at least by today's standards, but he didn't do it for that reason. He did it to get rid of someone that irked him, and to suck up to his superiors. Please don't give him any credit where it isn't due.

    I love Pete, he's such a great character. There's no ambivalence about whether to root for him or not, we all hate him.

  8. It's a finger-on-the-pulse sort of right. The world is moving in that direction.

  9. Right (!), but he doesn't have his finger on that pulse. It's all just happenstance that he's in the flow with the trend. His motivation is pure selfishness.

  10. Peggy has to react "like a man." She can't risk being lumped in with the secretaries. It's the other side of Joan's reaction, who did her crying in private; the sense that public grief is unseemly and inappropriate for those in positions of power, perhaps?

    all it is, for Betty, is more evidence of his skill at lying.

    Yes, this, exactly. Don really doesn't get it, does he?

    Deborah @6: the bright blue suit of today is the leisure suit of the future?

  11. Peggy did her best to react “like a man;” she is more comfortable expressing her feelings in a business context. While women wept, Peggy saw the business implication and mentioned the Playtex account.

    I wonder how much time will pass before Peggy realizes that she cannot continue acting or reacting like someone she IS NOT. When will she finally realize that Bobbie was right.

  12. I am one of the 5 people who cannot hate Pete at all, even if he does the most evilish things. I don´t really know however if he was out to get rid of Freddy. As I recall, at the Don- Roger- Duck- Pete-meeting, Duck was the one saying that he couldn´t keep Freddy, in which Pete looked genuinly surprised for a second.

    As for Freddy, I always liked him, but if you drink yourself to oblivion right before a meeting with a client, maybe a six month leave is the best for you.

  13. I think Peggy is being genuine when her first response is business. Trying it Bobbie's way would be unnatural for her. I mean, the poor girl can hardly dress herself!

  14. I wonder if Peggy will get the make-over now that she's got the big job and the big office? Or maybe Matthew Weiner regards her as one of those characters who never change their hair or manner of dress, and maintain the same style for years and years and years. I hope it's the former.

  15. I've been a bit absent re this episode – here are some thoughts –

    I agree that Peggy is being genuine. She's thinks MM's death is upsetting, but it did not create any visceral reaction with her. But she did let her guard down a bit and showed genuine emotion in the closed-door conference in Don's office. She faltered for words, and finally said "but I love Freddie." (not in the romantic way, just expressing her genuine fondness for her mentor.) I love the nuances in Peggy and Don's scenes together!

    Also, I like how she dressed down Pete with one sharp phrase when they were exiting Freddie's office, when Pete said "that's disgusting." (I actually forget the phrase, but it was something like "that's not necessary" or "there'll be none of that.")

    I could relate to Peggy's reaction to MM. Personally, I compared it to when I found out Princess Diana had died. It was upsetting for many reasons similar to MM — on both emotional and intellectual levels. But I didn't weep…

    Totally agree that it was the presentation of Peegate that made the difference. That's why Don should have known about it. He would have been able to exert some control over the outcome, instead of walking into a meeting and being the last to know.

  16. Regarding Sal laughing, was anyone else reminded of the way Eliot described him "Loud but shy."?

    Like Cushionmover I cannot hate Pete even at his worst, and this was not close to it. I did not notice being surprised by Duck saying that they could not keep Freddy, but I don't think he was trying to get him fired. He was disgusted by what happened and let his superior know. He just did not see any reason to feel bad about benefitting from some that he saw as Freddy screwing himself over.

    Peggy really does not want to associate herself with Marilyn Monroe. I took the line about her mother and sister calling to be about them seeing her as a Marilyn type- at least thinking both of them as "love damaged." While Don does not see her as a Marilyn type, he does know her secret, and I would not be surprised if he thought of her as somewhat fragile. So he was surprised by the all business pragmatism in her playtex line, which was also Peggy's way of saying "I am not like her."

    Which is interesting as the two of them wanted fight Freddy being fired over his own substance abuse issues. Neither of them would call Freddy a substance abuser, but they showed the most friendship towards him. It is probably just because they know him, and it is harder to be harsh to people you know.

  17. I have been thinking about something for DAYS now — might as well post it.

    Why, when we are led to believe that Don is so important at SC, are his viewpoints repeatedly ignored/rejected? He did NOT want to drop Mohawk Airlines, and they did it anyway, making it clear that they were overruling his view. Again with the firing of Freddy this week.

    If he is so important, and is a partner now, why are other peoples' views repeatedly favored?

  18. I don't think anybody at the agency would call Freddy a "substance abuser" because the term hadn't been invented yet. Most of the MM guys abuse that particular substance–just not as much.

    Wrecking your car while drunk? Punching a guy out after boozing it up? Hey–didn't happen at work!

    Barfing all over a client's feet? Blame it on the oysters.

    Creepy Dog Abandoner fought that demon. (Has he started drinking again in secret?) But Manly Men don't feel compassion. One wonders about Pete's vehemence; Manly Men don't share, either. For both those guys, Freddy's situation was a good opportunity for a power play against Don.

    In today's touchy-feely world, interventions are made. Real Rehab can be prescribed before things go completely to shit–not just "6 month leave" as a more polite way of saying "and the horse you rode in on."

    Nobody had ever heard of PTSD, either. Freddy fought in The Last Good War, didn't he? I had a couple of uncles who lasted longer, but the drinking & smoking habits they picked up overseas didn't help their long term health. (My own father was a WWII vet but a victim of The Cold War–still happening during MM days. Dr Strangelove came out in 1964.)

    I love the show. But, nice suits aside, I'm glad to be here in 2008.

    (And I think Peggy did care about Marilyn. But she shared her feelings with her mother & sister. And her thoughts with Don.)

  19. Rosie, that doesn’t make sense to me. Bobbie told Peggy to pick the person she wants to be, and start acting like it. (I badly paraphrase.)

    As I recall, at the Don- Roger- Duck- Pete-meeting, Duck was the one saying that he couldn´t keep Freddy, in which Pete looked genuinly surprised for a second.

    Ahh, and therein lies Pete’s motivation. He knows where his duck is buttered.

    Lisa, it’s definitely changed for him since S1. Which is part of his sorrow, I think. He’s been usurped; by Duck, by the times, by his own old-fashioned nature.

  20. but he doesn’t have his finger on that pulse. It’s all just happenstance that he’s in the flow with the trend. His motivation is pure selfishness

    I disagree. He's moving into a world that cares less and less about individuals, and more and more about "good for business." Freddy is a well-liked individiual who is arguably bad for business. Pete's selfish desire to overlook the humanity of the equation is, in fact, the wave of the future.

    And hey, are we really assuming that Peggy got promoted and gets a better office? I don't feel like I know that. I live in a world where someone gets fired and someone else gets their duties (in Freddy's case, his accounts), but not a promotion, title, or raise.

  21. Hi, everybody. It's been a long while.

    I am concerned about the conversation Don had with Peggy, announcing Freddy's firing and her resulting promotion. It almost seemed as if Don was blaming Peggy for Freddy getting fired or at least not coming to Don about it to keep him in the loop vs. Duck-Pete. It was very curious. His demeanor toward her was icy and she seemed to try and deflect what she didn't even suspect would be coming her way.

    That Pete would go to Duck with this first is a no-brainer–not just the ancient history with Don but also Don's recent brush-off after Pete's father's death, coupled with Duck's fatherly suck-up to Pete over American Airlines. The question is, when is the axe going to fall on Duck, because his instincts are for shit? Don is partner after all.

    All hail to Joel Murray for such a compassionate portrayal of Freddy Rumsen. He gave a falling apart drunk humor and dignity, with a light touch. His farewell to Don was truly heartbreaking. Rock on, Joel!

  22. Deb, it looks to me like you're agreeing with me. Pete's desire is selfish, it happens to be the "wave of the future." He' doing it for his own reasons, not because he's looking around for trends and trying to ride them out.

    Pete's actions may look like he "cares about the business," but I think he cares only about #1. And pretty much everyone else knows this about him. Remember Freddy saying, "I wouldn't have thought I was in Pete's way" meaning that it's common knowledge that Pete would sell out his own grandmother to move up a notch.

    The tragedy of Pete, as I see it, is that he actually does have talent ("Thanks, Clearsil") but his higher-ups don't see it. So, instead of finding opportunities to show that talent, like Peggy has managed to do, he resorts to political scheming. The brain trust at SC made him an exec ("They told me I was good with people.") so he doesn't trust them. Like Dad, they don't see his potential.

    I have compassion for him, but I still think he's a destable little sh*t.

  23. Max! We've missed you!

  24. Deb, it looks to me like you’re agreeing with me. Pete’s desire is selfish, it happens to be the “wave of the future.” He’ doing it for his own reasons, not because he’s looking around for trends and trying to ride them out.

    Sometimes he looks for waves of the future ("You know who else doesn't wear a hat?"), but I think mostly he just is the wave of the future. Ew, ugly thought. We live in Pete-world.

  25. Don gets overruled because he's Creative Director. Duck and Pete are in Accounts and Accounts rules on business decisions. OTOH, clients love Creative guys for all the cool ads they make for them and hate their Acct Execs for asking them to pay their bills. This is why Creative and Accounts hate each other; always have, always will. The show gets this dynamic exactly right, I think.

    I can't wait for the axe to fall on Duck. He has made some embarrassingly bad calls . . .

    Odd pet theory of mine: Harry Crain, head of media department, has a meteoric rise as tv ads become increasingly important. Either SC realizes this and cultivates him or he goes elsewhere and buries SC.

  26. It's great to be back. Last 8 months have been rough. Later about that.

    Pete is self-absorbed and amoral–it's just curious that he is also obsessed with business, when there are a thousand other ways to be selfish. Like wanting to bring a dog into work to make the workplace seem friendlier to clients. Why should he care so much about that?

    I confess, I liked the rawer, nastier behaving Pete of 1960–this more-well-behaved-but-still-weaselly Pete makes me nauseous.

  27. MAXXXXXXXXXX!!!

    Glad you're back; we've been genuinely concerned.

  28. I don't think Pete ever figured out that a dog made the place friendlier for clients (unless Roberta or I were clients). I think he was just trying to baldly imitate success.

  29. #24 See, I told you we were in agreement.

    If Don is Creative, not Accounts, then why is he sent to talk to the guy from Mohawk? I never understood that. Was Roger punishing him? Did he think it would look better coming from Don? Why should they care?

    I agree with Lisa, something isn't right. Perhaps all of this (listening to Duck, sleeping with his secretary) is Roger's way of getting back at Don for making him puke. I could see Roger as the kind of guy to hold a grudge.

    Still, it seems like overkill. Maybe Roger is jealous that Bert seems to like Don more than his little Peanut. Roger is extremely entitled, never letting anyone forget whose name is on the door. Since Bert made Don a partner, he's become more of a threat to Roger's authority.

    Next time, instead of taking Roger's excuse of "he hates germs" for keeping Coop out of the loop, Don should make sure Bert's in on those meetings. Fur will fly, but Bert would make it right.

  30. Interesting: Pete wants to keep the dog (or at least a dog) and Duck throws him out.

    Duck's dry drunk is all over his firing of Freddy Rumsen. He's wound so tight, it's just a matter of time before he falls off the wagon in a way that everyone will notice. No mention of AA at this time–although it's definitely in existence.

    Deb, Roberta–y'all are so sweet. I've been watching and reading and getting ready to write some more.

  31. The scene after the elevator where Peggy brings up the Playtex account was cut from the CTV showing on sunday it went straight to Hildy and Jane crying…but I saw a snatch of the dialogue on the closed captioning. I went to regular video-on-demand and the episode had the scene in it.

    The question is then "Why did CTV cut the scene out?"

    Also, Pete's a douchebag. I really felt sorry for Freddy. He was a good guy.

  32. There were good guy things about Freddy, but like everyone on Mad Men, he's complicated. Sure, he said "home run, ballerina." He also said, "It was like watching a dog play the piano."

    And somehow I feel Violet may have something to say about how good he is. Somehow I think being married to someone that soaked in booze has a downside.

  33. 1) Donny Brook (#29) – best I can reason is that Don's now a partner and since he had the best relationship with the client, he's the natural choice to represent the firm's decision;

    2) Pete is going to run S-C one day. He's right on many important issues and will learn over time how to communicate his thoughts more persuasively. Also, the S-C elders respect experience above all, and Pete's will grow over time. He's a shit right now, but yeah, he'll ripen.

    But I noticed something else about Pete's reaction to Freddy. In contrast to Peggy, who reacted from the heart, Pete was judgmental. "People like that …"

    Peggy rejected that approach: "There's no need for that." This was partially out of her fondness for Fred, but also out of the urgency of the matter.

    I saw it more about passing judgment than about Pete, per se.

  34. Regarding the Accounts versus Creative tension. Don summed up his side once with Pete ("He did not like it because you did not prepare him to like it.") and once to Duck ("You spend more time pitching the clients ideas to me than mine to the clients.") Ironically the counter argument was best expressed by Rachel: "This place reminds me of Czarist Russia; even when it is your decision you don't feel like it is yours." And her reminder that the customer (or client) should always be right during her first meeting. Besides didn't they loose Dr. Schools account because they did not like creative and had a hard time meeting with accounts? Duck was right to set up the meeting with Playtex even without them going for the new add. It was a necessary means of keeping the client involved and happy.

  35. Deborah @20, I assumed that Peggy's getting something other than more work due to the conversation with Pete, where he says she'd "still be a junior copywriter" if Freddy hadn't been ousted.

  36. Yay Max! Hi Max [waves].

    Anybody think that Pete and Peggy may…

  37. I also got the sense that Don was somewhat chastizing Peggy for not warning Don of what had happened with Freddy. Peggy didn't realize what Pete and Duck were up to, or she likely would have.

  38. The first thing she said after Fred passed out, was we need to talk to Don, Pete said no no no. She handled the presentation. I love love love her. She is Don's gal.

  39. Yes, I remember that now. But I think if Peggy knew what those two were up to, she may not have listened to Peter and may have told Don after the presentation. I think Peggy was blindsided by Pete and Duck's rat out to the big bosses.

  40. After lurking for some time now, I'm finally posting.

    As someone said earlier, Pete is amoral. He doesn't know how to be human, so he's mimicking the human behavior around him. That's why he seems so genuinely confused and surprised when others react negatively to him. Because he can only mimick decency and empathy and other human qualities, he's capable of just about anything (the "wave of the future" in business that Deborah so rightly mentions). I pity him, I'm repulsed by him, and I fear him. So, I'd say that Vincent Kartheiser is doing an outstanding job.

  41. "Trying it Bobbie’s way would be unnatural for her. I mean, the poor girl can hardly dress herself!"

    What exactly is Bobbie's way? All she had suggested was that Peggy stop trying to act like a man and be what she was – a woman.

  42. Rosie, that doesn’t make sense to me. Bobbie told Peggy to pick the person she wants to be, and start acting like it. (I badly paraphrase.)

    Bobbie also said this to Peggy:

    “You’re never going to get that corner office until you start treating Don as an equal. And don’t try to be a man–it won’t work.”

  43. Oh. Oh yeah, she did say that.

  44. @ hulabaloo – YES I do think so. When Pete touched Peggy's arm like that and she looked at it, that was very sexually charged moment (or maybe I am just desperate to find these moments)

  45. hullaballoo, sorry about my horrid spelling

  46. Pete said he and Peggy both get raises.
    And i think this might shatter the truce between Don and Duck, nobody F-'s with Don Draper. Look what happened after Roger made a pass at Bett's he was hurling oysters in front of the clients
    BTW does anyone remember when Bush (the father) hurled in the lap of the Japanese Primeminister? maybe that was the broken elevator bit

  47. That scene in the bar with Roger and Don…seminal. There was one line in particular that seemed to put Roger over the top in terms of gaining the courage to leave his wife, but no matter how many times I replay the line on my recording – and believe me, I'm talking about many times – I simply can't understand what Roger says. It's driving me nuts. What, in your collective opinion, might Roger have said? The genius of that scene – and I'm sure I'm stating the obvious for you experienced MM bloggers, but please cut me some slack as this is my first post ever on this incredible blog – is that you think Roger's giving Don advice about his broken marriage, but it turns out it's the other way around. And Don has no idea how Roger is taking his words and is about to use them to blow up his life.

  48. Yes, and that it was still a genius scene before the reveal.

    You know, like how Sixth Sense was still great the second time around.

  49. I can’t wait for the axe to fall on Duck. He has made some embarrassingly bad calls . . .

    What other bad calls have Duck made, aside from the American Airlines fiasco? The whole Playtex matter was the fault of the clients. And in the end, it turned out to be fortunate for SC that they didn't use the Jackie/Marilyn ad.

    As for what happened to Freddie Rumsen . . . it was Roger who decided to get rid of him in the end. He didn't have to.

  50. And i think this might shatter the truce between Don and Duck, nobody F-’s with Don Draper.

    What did Duck do that was so horrible, regarding Freddie? Freddie wasn't a personal threat to him. He screwed up. Pete told Duck, who is his boss. Duck told Roger. And Roger . . . was the one who got rid of Freddie. In my opinion, the real blame falls on Roger's shoulders.

  51. What did Duck do that was so horrible, regarding Freddie? Freddie wasn’t a personal threat to him. He screwed up. Pete told Duck, who is his boss. Duck told Roger. And Roger . . . was the one who got rid of Freddie. In my opinion, the real blame falls on Roger’s shoulders.

    Freddie is/was a copywriter. Therefore, Don Draper, as head of Creative, is his boss. Pete told Duck–who should have discussed it with Don. But he went over his head to Roger.

    Peggy told Pete they should let Don know about Freddie but Pete refused. Sal suggested Peggy do the presentation & she aced it (after explaining the matter to Freddie's secretary). But Pete took credit for "saving" the situation–since he told Duck his version of the story & they both "explained" it to Roger.

    At which point, Don was called in. Later, he was cold to Peggy–who still has a lot to learn about office politics. But he also promoted her–he knows she won't cry. And she'll catch on–she's smart.

    So it was basically a chain of command thing. (Although the Creepy Dog Abandoner should have spoken to Freddie earlier about Getting Help. But they didn't do things that way in those days.)

  52. Hola, Hullaballoo! Como estas?

    Last season, Don was powerful at work but not terribly powerful or in control at home in his relationship with Betty.

    This season, Don's power at work is slipping and slipping even further with Betty. And he doesn't seem as enthused about work like he used to be–running off to watch a French film in the afternoon; Joan, when taking over as temporary secretary, has to practically collar him to make him fill out his correspondence. On some days, it seems as though Don is ready to move on.

    The conversation with Roger at the clandestine gambling club: is Don almost ready to move on from Betty?

    The whole firing of Freddy Rumsen, for Don, was about being out of the loop, and therefore out of control of the situation. Interesting how Freddy's alcoholism (and he's not the only alkie at SterlingCooper) was tolerated and covered for as long as he had some control over it. Pissing himself was the perfect symbol for no longer being in control–that, and passing out at his desk a second later. That kind of thing freaks out Duck because of his dry drunk temptations and Don because of the loss of control he's threatened with via Duck, Pete, Bobbie, and a bit by Roger.

    By the way, I think Pete allying himself with Duck is stooopid. Mostly because Duck doesn't know a trend from a hole in the ground.

  53. Self correcting #51. That's Freddy Rumsen, not Freddie. Just like it's Bobbie Barrett versus Bobby Draper. Gender boundaries were less fluid back then. (Has anybody ever called Sal "Salamander"?) And a "Bobbi" dots the "i" in her name with a heart or a daisy; definitely not Our Bobbie's style.

    Narrative correction: I didn't emphasize enough that Peggy should have told Don about the screw up. Not immediately–since she handled it. But as a warning, since Sneaky Pete & Duck might take advantage of the sad situation.

  54. I think Sal would love it if someone, the right someone, were to call him Salamander.

    Sal puts the 'man' in 'Salamander'!

  55. "Freddie is/was a copywriter. Therefore, Don Draper, as head of Creative, is his boss. Pete told Duck–who should have discussed it with Don. But he went over his head to Roger."

    It doesn't matter whether Duck told Roger or Don. The final decision rested in Roger's hands. Instead of giving Freddie another chance, Roger got rid of him. And yet, Duck is vilified for telling Roger. I don't get it. I didn't realize that letting one's dog loose onto the streets of Manhattan would make a guy so hated.

  56. "But as a warning, since Sneaky Pete & Duck might take advantage of the sad situation."

    What advantage would Sneaky Pete and Duck have over Freddie . . . or Freddy's dismissal? Yes, Pete got a raise. How did Duck benefitted? Made Don look bad? The only one who looked bad was Freddy.

    How did Duck become labeled as a villain for Don to overcome?

  57. One last thing . . .

    "As someone said earlier, Pete is amoral. He doesn’t know how to be human, so he’s mimicking the human behavior around him.

    Trust me. Pete is acting VERY MUCH like a human being.

  58. Pete reminds me of Matt Damon in The Departed.

  59. It doesn’t matter whether Duck told Roger or Don. The final decision rested in Roger’s hands. Instead of giving Freddie another chance, Roger got rid of him. And yet, Duck is vilified for telling Roger. I don’t get it. I didn’t realize that letting one’s dog loose onto the streets of Manhattan would make a guy so hated.

    Freddy worked for Don. Pete works for Duck. Don & Duck report to Roger–although Don, as a partner, does outrank Duck. (In fact, Don was in favor of hiring Duck–even with his damaged reputation.)

    Duck should have gone to Don with the distressing (if slightly inaccurate) story he'd heard from Pete. "For the good of the agency"–they could have then approached Roger. The outcome for Freddy might not have been any different. In a later decade, he might have been encouraged into meaningful Rehab earlier–although there's still no sure cure for alcoholism.

    Instead, Don walked in to find Duck & Pete (with his SE grin) already deep in discussion with Roger–who was probably too distracted about his love life to give much thought to the matter at hand, anyway. And it appeared that Duck had complained to Roger about one of "Don's people."

    Roger still likes Don as a drinking buddy. Depending on how well that "advice" he thought Don gave him works out, that is. The next shows promise more interesting developments.

    Perhaps we'll get to see Peggy tell Pete that, no, she did not go to a fat farm.

  60. Yeah I don't see why this is causing confusion. It was disrespectful to Don. At one time, 'Don Draper was Sterling Cooper.

    Freddy needed to be fired. No one here is doubting that. But it's everyone's agendas that are suspect… Pete is looking to score points with Duck and to move up the food chain, and Duck is playing out his own self-hatred by exercising power over a drunk, when he couldn't exercise power over his own life, neither when he was an active alcoholic, nor sober, making mistakes at work and watching his ex-wife remarry and his kids allegiance shift more to their mother and her new husband. And in the meantime, both were happy to not-too-passively usurp Don.

    It just didn't have much to do with Freddy.

  61. I'm sorry, but I refuse to label Duck and Pete as villains of the piece. I don't think there were any villains. Regardless of who told Roger . . . in the end, the latter got rid of Freddie. Considering that we're talking about the early 1960s, Freddie was bound to be forced to leave SC sooner or later. I feel sorry for the guy, but I'm not going to label Duck and Pete as villains over this, because they were "disrespectful" to Don. Don barely – if at all – suffered over the whole incident.

  62. And nce more I have to ask . . . why have many fans of the show began labeling Duck as some kind of moustache-twirling villain, whom Don has to defeat in order to emerge victorious. Don's only real enemy is himself.

  63. Moustache-twirling villain doesn't sound at all like what people are describing.

    The dog thing was really upsetting to people. Not as much to me… I don't know, I saw it as more metaphorical, plus–I mean the dog was a really good actor and all, but I never really felt like the dog was abandoned. It just didn't affect me that much.

    Pete actually comes closer to that than anyone on the show. Last season those were mostly ineffectual, so really he was more the 'curses! foiled again!' version.

    But Duck had definitely made a couple of dick moves. And again, those moves have been opposing Don, who is, again we'll mention, the protagonist in the series. The guy whose silhouette represents the show. So we notice, because, as was pointed out, we are Don. In many ways, though certainly not exclusively, we are watching this world through his eyes.

  64. In "For Those Who Think Young" we were presented with a conflict between Don & Duck. Duck wanted Don's Creative to hire younger talent–with Freddy as the prime example of "too old." Ken (I believe) noticed the conflict & said Don had "a rope under his desk with Duck's name on it." Roger has gotten tired of Duck's complaints & hoped Duck & Don could work things out between them. He's got stuff to think about–like, maybe an XKE will suit his swingin' divorcee life!

    Now, here's Duck again, running to Roger! Pee-gate was a good excuse to get rid of Freddy, but his clients went to Peggy. Who is actually young–but she's definitely on Don's side. And Duck, as a "Teetotaller," can't interact with Roger on a Man To Man basis. Will Don get out his rope?

    Is Pete even old enough to grow a mustache? (Horrible thought: Will we see our Mad Men into the era of mustaches, sideburns & leisure suits?)

  65. Horrible thought: Will we see our Mad Men into the era of mustaches, sideburns & leisure suits?

    Not if they keep smoking . . .

  66. Remember "New Amsterdam"? In that Season 1 episode, Pete nearly jeopardized the Bethlehem Steel account. Pissed off by Pete's actions, Don – who was NOT a Sterling Cooper partner at the time – immediately fired Pete. The interesting thing is that he did not simply tell Roger – who as Head of Accounts was Pete's immediate boss at the time – what Pete had done. He told Roger that he had fired Pete. Instead of being upset that Don may have superceeded his authority, Roger backed up Don's actions. It was Bert Cooper who insisted that Pete remain with the firm.

    If Duck had committed such a horrible act of telling Roger about Freddy's incident, instead of Don , why didn't Roger take him to task for failing to use the chain of authority? Why was it okay for Don to fire Pete without Roger even being around in Season 1, and not okay for Duck to tell Roger what Freddy had done?

  67. When it comes to Don vs Duck and Pete. Don hasnt liked Pete since early season 1. As for Duck, Don couldnt even go to lunch with , they just managed to make a truce "for the good of SC". For Don its all about the power trip and your place in the heirarchy (for Pete n Duck also) He's a control freat to Don even said "im usually in the meetings befor the meetings" and Roger even got a shot in " your loyalty to may be becoming a liability) Plus Don has his morals, which are screwy, he's still pissed at having to dump Mohawk airlines for a slim chance at United. Don wants complete control at work if only cuz he has no control anywhere else

  68. Whoops! not the best grammar Ive ever seen. Sorry I had lunch with Rumsen

  69. I'm sorry, I see Don as a lot of things, but control freak is not among them.

  70. Sorry, hit 'submit' too soon.

    He is experiencing loss of power at work, and is reacting against it. He was a very powerful man in that office, and we watched him get even more power, and by 1962 it has been drained from him.

    Don was right to fire Pete in the way he fired him. Roger backed him on it, and Cooper presented a different agenda.

    When Pete told Duck about Freddy it was after the fact. And they should have gone to Don. Absolutely. And by absolutely I am saying that this is an absolute. Do I think Duck is evil for doing it this way? No. I don't hear anyone saying that, though you (Rosie) keep hearing it that way. But I do understand why Don perceives him as such, because it was he who was slighted.

  71. In "New Amsterdam" Don did not fire Pete & go complain to Bert. He went directly to Roger, who agreed with him. Freddy's screwup certainly indicated he was trouble but hadn't caused an immediate problem. Pete sabotaged Don's work with a client–because HE wanted to be creative.

    Bert told Don & Roger that Pete was valuable for his family connections, despite any deficiencies in talent or character. So Roger lied to Pete & said Don had supported him against Roger & Bert. The big guys worked together for the outcome they wanted.

    Nowadays, most places have more complex termination procedures. At Sterling Cooper, you apparently aren't "really" fired until you've left with your box. Jane figured that out!

    (Special cases get one last boozefest.)

  72. Control freak may b a little strong. With corperate America today, I dont know about62, its all about pissing matches, who is ahead of who. Those at the top, like Don, never, ever, voluntarily at least, relinquish any of that power.

  73. Greg, agreed. I think that most of Don's actions at the office have been culturally appropriate.

  74. 'most'.

    Maybe not so much the BBBJ (Bobbie Barrett Blowjob).

  75. Remember “New Amsterdam”? In that Season 1 episode, Pete nearly jeopardized the Bethlehem Steel account. Pissed off by Pete’s actions, Don – who was NOT a Sterling Cooper partner at the time – immediately fired Pete. The interesting thing is that he did not simply tell Roger – who as Head of Accounts was Pete’s immediate boss at the time – what Pete had done. He told Roger that he had fired Pete. Instead of being upset that Don may have superceeded his authority, Roger backed up Don’s actions.

    Actually, in season 1 Don was both Head of Accounts and Creative Director, which means he was Pete's immediate boss at the time. The protocol and chain of command in agencies is that account people DO NOT bring their own creative ideas to the client. Their job is to sell the client on the ideas that the creatives have developed, but they don't make creative decisions, and they certainly don't have the authority to fire creatives. Duck and Pete going directly to Roger without first consulting Don was a big no no, because Freddy was creative. They should have talked to Don first, and let Don approach Roger about what needed to be done about it. Even though Duck and Pete's concerns were justified, they were completely out of line in their approach, which left Don out of the loop.

  76. I don't think that Don was Head of Accounts… I think Roger was. Duck was replacing Roger in that capacity. But that is a lateral position to head of accounts… on that level, Roger and Don were equals, though Roger was also a partner, and now Don is.

    But Pete was a junior freaking executive, and someone as senior as Don had every right to fire him the way he did. Again, today it's a different environment and would have been handled differently.

    Fred was a long-term high ranking employee. And Don should not have been left out of the equation. Roger should have handled it differently, but by the time it was brought to him, it was already in motion, and Roger was just moving with it.

  77. I never said that Don complained about Pete to Bert Cooper.

    No, I didn't say that you did. I was trying to describe a situation similar to Duck & Sneaky Pete going over Don's head to complain to Roger about Freddy. We're not talking about abstract morality here, but about the rules of the agency. Like the military concept of Chain of Command. And like sports, where your position on the team might mean you pass the ball to someone else so he can score.

    These business rules were set up by guys, which is not to say that smart women can't learn them AND upgrade their wardrobes at the same time. Peggy has learned a lot & will be earning more money. (Although the effing bangs may not grow out until next season.)

    And there's nothing wrong with a healthy ego. I even have hopes that Joan will learn to speak up. Although nobody will EVER mistake her for a man.

  78. "No, I didn’t say that you did. I was trying to describe a situation similar to Duck & Sneaky Pete going over Don’s head to complain to Roger about Freddy. We’re not talking about abstract morality here, but about the rules of the agency. Like the military concept of Chain of Command. And like sports, where your position on the team might mean you pass the ball to someone else so he can score. "

    But if that was the case, then shouldn't Don have told Roger about how Pete had nearly troubled the Bethlehem Steel account . . . and allowed Roger, who was head of Accounts, fire him?

    And why didn't Roger say anything about Duck telling him about Freddy, instead of Don?

  79. Bored now.

  80. I believe Pete, Harry and Ken all reported directly to Don last season, not to Roger. Roger's role was more of "managing partner," responsible for the meta management of the firm (and all the accounts), while Don seemed to take on some of the more mundane aspects of account management. For example, in Don's staff meetings last year, Harry, Pete or Ken were usually involved, as well as Sal and Paul or Freddy. This year, that doesn't seem to be the case. This year, Don's staff meetings (the smaller ones, in his office) consist primarily of creative, until they're ready to go to the client, in which case accounts is also included.

    Presumably, the firm has grown, so having a dedicated accounts person makes sense. The management structure seems to be as follows: Bert Cooper, Sr. Partner; Roger Sterling, Managing Partner; Don Draper, Jr. Partner and Creative Director; Duck Phillips, Head of Accounts.

  81. ” Don was right to fire Pete in the way he fired him. Roger backed him on it, and Cooper presented a different agenda. When Pete told Duck about Freddy it was after the fact. And they should have gone to Don. Absolutely.

    This does not sound right to me. Don, who was NOT a partner in the firm at the time and NOT Pete’s direct supervisor (Roger was) had a right to fire Pete . . . yet, Duck was supposed to go to Don and not Roger about Freddy. This does not sound right at all.

    I don’t recall Roger protesting when Duck revealed Freddy’s accident during the meeting. Again . . . why should we judge Duck’s actions as wrong and Don’s actions in “New Amsterdam” as right?

    ”Do I think Duck is evil for doing it this way? No. I don’t hear anyone saying that, though you (Rosie) keep hearing it that way. But I do understand why Don perceives him as such, because it was he who was slighted.”

    If Roger had no problems with Don firing Pete back in Season, yet Don had a problem with Duck telling Roger about Freddy in the recent episode . . . then the problem lies with Don, not Duck. I think he has an ego problem.

    Actually, in season 1 Don was both Head of Accounts and Creative Director, which means he was Pete’s immediate boss at the time.

    No, he wasn’t. Roger was Head of Accounts in Season 1 . . . until his second heart attack. Don briefly held the position, until he hired Duck in “Nixon vs. Kennedy”. When Don fired Pete, he was only Creative Director.

    But Pete was a junior freaking executive, and someone as senior as Don had every right to fire him the way he did. Again, today it’s a different environment and would have been handled differently.

    Fred was a long-term high ranking employee. And Don should not have been left out of the equation. Roger should have handled it differently, but by the time it was brought to him, it was already in motion, and Roger was just moving with it.

    You’re saying that it was okay for Don to fire Pete without Roger’s consent because Pete was a junior executive, whereas it wasn’t all right for Duck to tell Roger about Freddy, because the latter was a long time employee? I’m sorry, but I find that hard to accept. At all.

    ”In “New Amsterdam” Don did not fire Pete & go complain to Bert. He went directly to Roger, who agreed with him.

    I never said that Don complained about Pete to Bert Cooper.

  82. The real issue is that accounts don't make creative decisions. That includes the hiring and firing of creative people. Duck going directly to the managing partner of the firm to have a creative individual fired was overstepping his boundaries. No way he should have done that without consulting the Creative Director first.

    The primary difference between Freddy being fired this year, and Pete being fired last year was that Don had the authority to discipline Pete, whereas Duck didn't have the same authority over Freddy.

  83. "The real issue is that accounts don’t make creative decisions. That includes the hiring and firing of creative people. Duck going directly to the managing partner of the firm to have a creative individual fired was overstepping his boundaries. No way he should have done that without consulting the Creative Director first."

    Really? Roger didn't have a problem with Duck telling him about Freddy. And he seemed very eager to get rid of the latter.

    " The primary difference between Freddy being fired this year, and Pete being fired last year was that Don had the authority to discipline Pete, whereas Duck didn’t have the same authority over Freddy."

    How is it that Don, who was Creative Director and not a partner, had the authority to discipline Pete last year, and Duck, who is now Accounts Director, did NOT have the same authority to discipline Freddy? Because I find that a contradiction.

    By the way, Duck did not discipline Freddy. Roger did.

  84. I give up.

  85. 1.Look, Don is indispensable to the firm, not only a partner but as Freddy said VERY talented. Its all in how much of that power he chooses to exert. He wasnt willing to lock horns with Roger for a losing cause. You gotta pick your battles as they say.

    2.None of this matters cuz Don is goin to f-up somebody this week Duck, Pete, Roger somebody cuz the tension on the show has been tourqed up tighter then a guitar string

    3.As for what Don and Bobby did in Don's office its only inappropriate if he didnt return the favor

  86. As for what Don and Bobby did in Don’s office its only inappropriate if he didnt return the favor

    Hah!

  87. 3.As for what Don and Bobby did in Don’s office its only inappropriate if he didnt return the favor

    Yes!!! A male voice who gets it! Thank you Greg!

  88. It would be my pleasure, literally

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