I’ll have an old-fashioned

 Posted by on August 2, 2010 at 8:06 pm  Characters, Season 4
Aug 022010
 

Mark called Peggy old-fashioned. He thinks she’s a virgin. She’s not. Peggy hasn’t just had one bad affair gone very, very wrong, but she’s had dirty sex with an older man in broad daylight. It stung her to be called old-fashioned. The lie she’s telling him stung her, maybe some sadness for the old-fashioned girl she used to be, and maybe anger at Mark for needing her to be something she just ain’t.

The next day, she lets it out all over Freddy Rumsen. Everything she said to him was correct, but it was cruel. You’re old-fashioned, (I paraphrase from memory) she says to him, disgusted.

Last week in Public Relations, we watched Don not say to Betty and Henry, You people get the hell out of my house. In the very next scene, Don told (soon-to-be former) clients to get the hell out of his office. The scenes between Peggy and Mark right into Peggy and Freddy felt like a similar thing. Only this time it was herself she was yelling at, herself she was disgusted with; her own dissatisfaction with the role she’s set herself up to play for this boy that she cannot stomach. (I’m saying she can’t stomach the role, not the boy.)

But what was clear in Christmas Comes But Once a Year was that Don Draper is the most old-fashioned of all, and it is really starting to show. And it is not his prettiest look.

I love the writing on Mad Men so, so much. One little comment from the side can reveal so much about a character. Henry’s mother referring to Betty as “a silly woman” (in PR) gave me so much insight–reminded me once again that this isn’t like other television. That the reasons I don’t much like Betty or respect her are valid–I’m not the only one who feels this way. She is starting to look like a ridiculous person to people who meet her. And last night, Joey called Don pathetic. ohh!… interesting. And then of course, the scene with Allison. Suddenly Don is a dinosaur. Drunken, pawing his secretary. This is who he’s become. He didn’t act on Phoebe’s advances. Phoebe, I gotta tell you, and despite her nurse’s uniform from way back when (oh right, way back then), feels like the future. And at this moment Don ain’t going for that.

Folks, it’s only episode 2. This is where we are. But this is Mad Men, and I have a lot of faith that this is not where we stay.

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  62 Responses to “I’ll have an old-fashioned”

  1. It will be very interesting to watch whether Don be able to re-reinvent himself, this time to achieve what he wants, rather than what he thinks is expected of him (to paraphrase the focus group lady). His current trajectory has no happy ending. Will he be able to acquire enough self-awareness to pull himself up before he crashes, or will he have to be rescued?

  2. Betty called Gloria "a silly woman" when talking to Don about her father Gene's situation, way back when… I'm new to this series and have been catching up on previous 3 seasons in warp speed, so I just watched THAT scene this past week, and the phrase echoed in my mind because of season 4 premiere!

  3. mimiteacher, that is just cool. And why I love this show.

  4. Interesting comments. Funny how such a progessive thinker at work, Don is really a man who wants a family, and wants to be surrounded by his children and some woman to love him and for him to love.

    I know Don is a man who reinvents himself, but I hope that he does soon, because seriously, these 2 episodes have been hard to watch. Don is falling and fast. Question is – what or who will be the catalyst for him to reinvent himself again.

  5. I was frustrated and even irritated at Peggy feeling that she had to pretend to be a virgin. (Whether she told her boyfriend she's one or just let him believe it is no matter.) It just goes to show how limited the times were toward single women enjoying a healthy sex life just as single men could. Who cares that the pill was available & that Peggy had had several lovers? In the end, if she wanted to be "respected" by a potential husband, she had to go along with the charade that he was her "first." I look forward to the day that Peggy and others like her can be as strong about their personal lives as they are in the professional lives. And I look forward to the day that she can speak up to the Freddy Rumsons of the world who dismiss her single state as one that therefore makes her an "angry" young woman.

  6. @Middle, I agree with your sentiments, but as a youngish woman of today, sadly, in some ways, not that much has changed, not so much about having several lovers, but being single still leaves you somewhat dismissed and if you point certain things out you are considered angry and some men still don't respect you if you seem to have too much experience or "give in" too fast.

  7. Lianne- Born into shame, with his mother dying. Abused and neglected by his birthfather. Traumatized by war, the accident and "his new beginning"….Any wonder Dick Whitman's desire for hearth and home, such as they may be, supersede any creative, progressive drive he shows at work?

    And now it's all gone and Don Draper doesn't know how to begin yet again.

  8. I think Peggy is trying in her own way to make amends for what she feels are her past mistakes. From the little bit we've gotten, I definitely don't get the sense that Mark is right for Peggy – she doesn't seem comfortable enough around him to truly be herself. Her hesitation towards him seemed really strange to me at first, but then I realized maybe this is her first real boyfriend. Although she's had sexual experiences, I don't think any of the past men could be considered a "boyfriend" — even when she was seeing Duck, I'm not sure if she really categorized him as such.

    Loved the scenes between Peggy and Freddy as always. It was great to see Peggy so human and confiding that she didn't want to be totally lost in work. When she told Freddy she did want to get married, she meant she wanted to get married but she didn't want that to be the only thing in her life. She wants to find a way to have it all, which is never easy for women. I think now that she's getting a little older, she's starting to realize the importance of having some balance in her life.

    As for Freddy — I think she really has genuine affection for him, she knows he's old-fashioned and sexist but he's also a really good guy at heart. He's kind of like an older uncle who is somewhat out-of-touch but also really sweet.

  9. Let's go back to Peggy and Freddy – about the cold cream ad. Remember how she says that nothing can make an older woman look good? I think she isn't saying to Freddy that he's old fashioned (even though she's using that phrase – what she's saying is "you're OLD". 1964 is the beginning of the end of the whole worshiping of 'being an adult'. Young people are looking at adults and not wanting to be that. Remember The Who? "Want to die before I get old". Respect for older people really folded up in the last half of the 60s.

  10. OH, ROBERTA. Thank you. :)

    Words to my aching heart. All of them!

    God, I feel better.

    And yes, #5 Middle — I caught all of that. And I am feeling, like, grrrrrruuuugghhh! today. Because I saw Peggy "acting" like a rye-muddled-orange drink she'd never even order in a bar, you know?!? All for some twelve-year-old Dawson's Creek reject, some cookie-bearing pretend Swede. Does. Not. Compute.

    And WHAT WAS IT with all the cookies last night? Are cookies MONEY now? Is this 1964, or kindergarten?

    Another thing: why did no one call Peggy Olson by her NAME last night? I swear, if I were Pegs, I'd have gone all slappy-hooker with Rumson when he called me "Precious". I'd have knocked the cigarette or the sandwich out of his hands. Maybe both.

    Okay. Breathing: out, in.

    Thanks for letting me vent, and sorry for going all-caps-yelly, a la Draper, up there. :)

  11. I don't think Peggy's boyfriend will stick around for long, either. He's a very forgettable character (I can't remember his name). Also, the actor they cast doesn't have a presence, making him all the more forgettable. I'm guessing Joey will be sticking around. When I first saw him, he had a face I recognized but couldn't remember from where. So right away I look him up and found out that Matt Long recently canceled "The Deep End" ABC (not a good show, but liked watching the anti-Mad Men bad writing). Then again, I thought the Suzanne Farrell character was forgettable and the acting was so-so, but she had a big story arch, so maybe Peggy's beau is here to stay.

    As to Don, I mentioned last season that with each affair, he becomes less discreet w/ his choices. The flight attendant on a business trip where Sal saw them exiting the same floor. Then, an affair in his own backyard w/ Sally's teacher. Now, in his new backyard (SCDP) w/ his long time secretary.

    I always thought of him as old-fashioned character. You can see it during the pilot, during his exchange with Rachel Menken. Sure he had some insightful ideas, but until this season, his campaigns were more or less, traditional (despite what he told the Israeli tourism board). He has to be an old-fashioned character for the show to work. If he were already a modern man, he'd just cruise through the 60s like any other hippie. But the crux of the show is how he deals with the upheavals of his time as epitomized in his personal life.

  12. @Toby Wollin, good points but a minor nitpick, The Who said, "hope I die before I get old."

  13. This whole Peggy pretending to be a virgin thing reminds me a lot of her tension with Father Gill and just her faith in general. She is definitely the character most emblematic of the revolutionary changes of the Sixties. But like the demographic survey woman said (can't think of her name right now…), her biggest challenge is what she wants vs. what is expected of her. Just living her life, she and women like her are changing those expectations, but it was so sad to me that she felt like she had to pretend she was a virgin for that guy.

  14. Well, ahem, being 'of a certain age', this is still the period when there are 'good girls' and 'bad girls' and Peggy is struggling. She doesn't think of herself as a 'bad girl' even though for the period, that is exactly who she is. the only way to get the guy, though, is to make him think she's a good girl – and she's blown that. So this guy will disappear pretty quickly. If someone were to write the sequel to this, circa 1980, Peggy will be the head of her own agency, will never have married, and Pete will have spent the last 25 years trying to find who adopted the baby.

  15. @ MadChick #8

    I love the Freddy/Peggy relationship, too. Much more open affection than her relationship with Don (though I was startled when Don addressed her as "sweetheart" when he was leaving the party). Remember the scene in The Hobo Code at PJ Clarke's, where we see Peggy teaching Freddy how to cha-cha? I can't imagine her doing the same with Don. Nor can I see her embracing him as she does Freddy on his return (Love his response: "I feel like The Tin Man.")

    And I love Freddy's perfectly-in-character old-fashioned advice. When he tells Peggy that she can either keep seeing her boyfriend without sex if she's serious, or leave him if she's not, because leading him on is wrong, it never even occurs to him that Peggy actually having sex could be an option. To him, Peggy is a Good Girl, and the idea of a Good Girl having sex with her boyfriend is outside his frame of reference.

  16. Yes, I do remember that Peggy/Freddy cha-cha scene -very cute!

    Despite his old-fashioned ideas, Freddy really was instrumental in helping Peggy get started in copywriting. I think she appreciated how nurturing he was — I remember how kind he was when she first came in to do a presentation to the staff for the Relax-aciser, he told her where to stand and later on said "Home run, ballerina." I think he's always been really supportive of her in his own way — she obviously doesn't need him for her future career success, but I think she is grateful for the friendliness he provided when she was still very green.

    #11 Empress Rouge – Peggy's boyfriend is named Mark. I agree that he comes across as very bland and forgettable. I would still love to see her with Smitty. I liked their past interactions and last season I thought he had developed a lot of respect & admiration for her. I know we don't know too much about him yet, but I get the feeling that he would want to really know Peggy, not just have some idea or illusion of her the way Mark seems to have.

  17. But what was clear … was that Don Draper is the most old-fashioned of all, and it is really starting to show. And it is not his prettiest look.

    Summary of 4.01 and 4.02.

    Seriously – this is one of, if not the, key theme from S4 thus far. It's not his mojo – he's cranking out good ads, hitting on the babes, etc. – he's lacking.

    He's more like a boxer knocked out and the canvas is rising as he falls. His time as the strong-silent-leading-man-type perhaps is past and rather than having a marriage to shield him from the reality, he's "out there" dating and, as Roberta nicely termed it, pawing.

    My prediction is that Don will turn this into even better advertising. He may not be our moral hero, or even a standard anti-hero. But he is our creative hero at SCDP (for the time being). He maintains great judgment and instincts as CD, and all these frayed ends will merge with the ongoing creative revolution. Don't ask me how, but it will.

  18. That's my hope too, Coop. But here's my question.

    If the firm "has no clients" — aside from Ponds and Lucky Strike — what was Don writing, in scene 1 of this episode?

    I keep going back to that.

    What the hell.

  19. Dunno. A Lucky Strike ad? An early draft of Alison's Christmas card inscription? Something for one of the clients that makes up the other 30% of billings for the agency?

  20. Interesting points… Given that one of this show's strengths is its ability to avoid the twin traps of nostalgia for the "good old days" and "look how far we've come" smugness, I'd be surprised if "old-fashioned" on Mad Men came to be considered a uniformly bad thing, nor that "modern" or "new" will always be synonymous with something positive. At least, I hope that remains the case. That sort of nuanced approach to storytelling is part of why this show is so engaging, regardless of the viewer's personal views of the world.

  21. This episode is filled with references to finding the way back home. Don keeps dropping his keys to an apartment that is clearly no home. Phoebe notices that Don grunts when he puts his keys in the door.

    Glen, the boy who has lost faith in the concept of home, laments that he now must live at his new stepfather’s house. He has lost all respect for keys and locks, breaking in and vandalizing a home that once seemed ideal, from the outside at least.

    Freddy is looking for some way to feel at home again in the world of advertising. He even gives us a reference to “The Wizard of Oz”, a story about the longing to return home.

    Peggy perpetuates a lie as she continues in a relationship that clearly neither fits nor excites her, all in pursuit of the possibility of home, of sharing life, of not being alone.

    Sally is miserable in the house that was once her home and wishes that her father could be home on Christmas morning.

    Yet, for all of this pining for home, no one seems to be staying put for Christmas. Everyone, like Dorothy, is running away from home.

    The dream of home is strong at Christmas. Phoebe mentions the increase in suicide attempts that the holidays inevitably bring. Don does not hate Christmas, just this one, the first one on his own, separated from his old life, his old home.

    No place like home, indeed.

  22. Roberta you’re making me fall for S4 after only two episodes. Indeed the cast of characters and their comments are the ones leaving the bread crumbs for us to follow – this feels especially true this season.

    To Henry’s mom Betty IS silly because that’s the version of Betty she sees (and probably some preconceived ideas too). We know better because we know Betty better than she does and she is a lot of things – but not silly. All Joey has seen is pathetic Don but again, we know better.

    The question that follows is: What happens when we run out of people who really know us? Adam?

    Betts has Henry but I’m not sure he’s getting the best version of Betty possible. Don has the office – his coworkers. He has no family. Does he have friends? Who is left can attest to the fact that is really NOT pathetic? Anna? Or maybe he is really pathetic.

    So this is good – maybe not for Don but, wow, this is good TV.

  23. Nice insights – I didn't even catch the double use of "Old fashioned."

    However, my take was it was more Phoebe who turned Don down, at least for now. He groped (even though drunk), and she denied and quickly left. I don't think that'll last, but I don't think Don was denying anything then. He was just too drunk to get his normal mojo working.

    His is getting more and more pathetic, though ….

    bd

    @bdunc1

  24. Intersting evaluation of Peggy. She is probably confused about her feelings and about what she wants from Mark. I didn't really see that she was disgusted with her role, just that she wasn't willing to play it anymore. I think she thinks she can have whatever she wants (Don Jr.).

    I posted this mext thought on another thread and I seem to be alone on this. I think Don's doing fine and I predict that we'll see him rebound (at least professionally). Okay, maybe he's not fine, but he has moved on from prostitutes to sectretaries. A move up in my opinion. Also, it's his first Christmas alone since the Anna Draper days. Why is it so hard to beleive that it's breaking his heart to be away from his kids during the holidays. "It's not that I hate Christmas. It's that I hate this Christmas." He said something like that. Take him at his word, realize that Lucky Strike is the only client that matters right now, and we can see that he isn't necessarily worried about work and that's what keeps him afloat. He doesn't care if "artboy" Joey thinks he's pathetic. He fires guys like that. Don is keeping up with the industry. Remember the close of Episode one. He's reinventing himself as the maverick with the PR people.

  25. Don losing Betty is like Elvis losing Priscilla.

    In both cases, they screwed around with impunity, but they wanted that anchor of the "little woman" home with the kid(s), who would never even think about flirting with another man, let alone actually cheating. They NEEDED that in order to function; when their wives got fed up with that arrangement and found someone else, they couldn't take it. Why did she have to leave me? Why did she need someone else? Why why why? It's like they didn't even consider their wives to be members of their own species.

    As for Mark, he's not in Peggy's league. She knows that, but the men who are in her league all seem to want women for wives who are not, or at least are able to act like they're not, and put beauty first. Young Betty, not Peggy, is who they're looking for. "Power couples" hardly even exist yet. So Peggy, if she wants to continue her career, has a choice: She can go it alone as a serial monogamist, knowing that all her relationships will end eventually, or she can life-partner up with a man who's not especially ambitious and doesn't mind his wife being more successful than he is. (Even if she wants to try women — and I don't think it's impossible that she will go there sooner or later — she still has to be discreet about it.) Or she can try to become "less threatening," going back to the secretarial pool. Then she gets to be…Allison?

  26. Mohawk, when you give your secretary two fifties after saying thanks for bringing your keys, you haven't moved upward from whore; you've confused the woman who reads your children's Christmas wishes with the one who slaps your face in bed.

    Also, why does everyone keep saying it's his first Christmas alone? Betty was Reno bound with Henry and baby in tow before Christmas of '63.

  27. LuLu,

    What a beautiful comment: the search for "home". In other people, especially.

    Thank you. :)

  28. Don's facade is cracking. No amount of Ponds, booze or women will prevent the continued crumbling of the mask Dick Whitman has been wearing at least since Korea. Like a building, if the foundation is not solid it cannot stand. Like the show's animated opening scene of the Ad Man falling amongst the skyscrapers, Don Draper is doomed to come crashing down. This man's salvation depends on one thing – letting go. The guilt and shame he feels about his childhood – the feelings he tried to bury when he placed Dick Whitman's dog-tag on Don Draper's dead body, haunt him and undermine every relationship. Don / Dick's self loathing is evident in the new home he has created for himself – a dark apartment – fittingly the complete inverse of the glass office he inhabits – stripped of familial responsibility where he can drink away the pain (until the next day) or bask in it with hookers who will validate his low self esteem. Until he goes back to the roots and repairs the foundation on which his world rests, this darkness will swallow Don's talent – his growing dependency on alcohol will dull his tools and leave him, as Joey said, a "pathetic" man, completely without bearings in the fast approaching tempest of the late sixties.

  29. Love that being old-fashioned carries such a negative impact in late 1964-early 1965.

    Type that number into Google images for fun and see what a psychedelic batch of photos and art pop up. I think it says a lot.

    Dig Faye's houndstooth suit in the board room!

  30. [...]  Basket of Kisses: Mark called Peggy old-fashioned. He thinks she’s a virgin. She’s not. Peggy hasn’t just had [...]

  31. In earlier seasons wouldn't Don have been drawn to a strong, in-control woman like Faye in a nanosecond? A real grown-up (age aside), like Rachel Menken and Bobbie Barrett and even Suzanne Farrell; and Midge?

    Now that he's officially "free," his choices have been uninteresting. Similar to Peggy going from an adult affair with a real adult like Duck to the adolescent Mark.

  32. Btw, what on earth did Freddy mean by calling Roger’s pop art white office “an Italian hospital”? I can’t find a reference! And whose black and white pop art piece is that?

  33. I think Don is lonely and perhaps regretting his serial cheating which definitely helped lead to the downfall of his marriage. He's alone every night, with only a housekeeper to care if he eats or not. His children are living with their step-father and are very unhappy, and his ex-wife has yet to tire of busting his balls. Who WOULDN'T be depressed?

    Yes, the nurse down the hall definitely seems like someone that could be a viable love interest for Don, but he's still wallowing in his failures from his first marriage, and even Don Draper must be feeling a lack of confidence that he can make a good choice romantically.

    Don being slapped around by a prostitute didn't cause me a moment's pause, but him sleeping with his secretary??! I couldn't believe it, no matter how drunk he was. I literally said aloud "Don, no!" but he didn't listen.

    At least he didn't fire her afterwards.

  34. [...] We could discuss the kiss-ass approach toward the biggest client. Or the constant struggle between old-fashioned and modern, regardless of the era. We could even talk about Don breaking one of his very few principles of [...]

  35. #31–Re the "Italian Hospital" reference, that's a good question. I laughed out loud, when I heard it. Don't know the answer, but possibly it's because Roger's new office has many '60's icons–the mushroom lamp, the dramatic Arco floor lamp for instance– that were either created or made popular by Italian designers and manufacturers of the era. And modern Italian interiors, like hospitals, can look very sterile; while I love Roger's up-to-the-moment circa 1964 look, its white sterility does conjure up the image of a hospital. Just a thought, I'm not an expert on this—any design mavens care to enlighten us?

  36. #34 – I literally did the same – saying "No, Don, that's so cliche!" when he went after his secretary. But then he did it anyway. Don of past seasons would have seduced the nurse down the hall one evening with his good looks and Faye the next with his charm and smarts. But this Don is too drunk to do either.

    So Don keeps "falling" into a darker and darker place. #4 above asked what will be the catalyst to get him off the bottom? #22 had a great take on the theme of looking for "home." I have a feeling at some point this season, Don is headed back to California to Mrs. Whitman as the catalyst for a re-invention and a visit to maybe the only "home" where has ever felt comfortable.

  37. One other thought re: Peggy and Mark.

    My take on Mark is that he is positioning himself as sexaully experienced vs. the virginal Peggy. We know Peggy is certainly not virginal, but we know less about Mark.

    Not to be too graphic, but if Mark is the experienced man he would have Peggy believe he is, and presumably de-flowered earlier virgins, or at least had sex with another young woman or two…wouldn't he has noticed that Peggy is very far from being a virgin (or even a relatively inexperienced non-virgin) during the sex act? This is either sort of an oversight on the part of the writers (which I highly doubt)…or perhaps Mark was a virgin himself and thus didn't know the difference.

  38. Re: #38

    Ha. Since you said it, I'll chime in too. During Ep 2, I thought that Peggy put herself in a corner because if/when they made love, Mark would surely find out the truth (for multiple reasons). When that didn't happen, I just figured those aspects were just a bit too clinical for entertainment.

    I like your theory much better. Mark was the virgin!

    "Do you feel different?"

  39. #36 – My guess about the Italian hospital is that it's a reference to their mutual experience in WWII.

  40. @ #38 and 39…love it! All Mark's talk about the article (really?!) on Swedish love-making? That's a guy who is a virgin, but desperate to come off as sexually experienced; he gets his "experience" from Playboy and articles on Swedish love-making.

    And the look on Peggy's face in the final scene? Methinks Mark will not be with us long. She knows what she's missing, even if he doesn't.

  41. 38, 39 – I thought the same but figured that either mark is just naive enough to not know some physical symptoms of de-flowering or that the viewers could presume that because not all women experience the same things, it was an issue that didn't need addressing.

    Some have commented that Peggy looked unhappy/unsatisfied afterwards but I thought I saw a smile form on her face – pretty much echoing the "I'm going to do what I'm going to do, and you can't stop me" theme of this episode. Remiscent of "I want what I want…" eh?

  42. #38 et al. That was my take as well. The pressure on women is to be a virgin, the pressure on men is to be experienced. Remember how Mark called himself Peggy's fiance in front of Don? I'm betting on a role reversal – Peggy will end up with a stalker.

  43. Re: the "Italian hospital" remark — I think it's mixing the fact that the design is Italian and everything is white — as most things used to be in hospitals.

  44. I would probably kill myself if this is where we stay. It would be too much tragedy even though I like tragedy. We've all invested that much in Don Draper to see him self-destruct like this.

    #37 Somehow I felt really cliche if Don went back to California to Anna for redemption. I think this is something even Anna couldn't solve… Even though at least 90% of us know he's going back next episode.

  45. #32 Don *is* interested in Faye, and I'm sure we'll be seeing more of her.

  46. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this before, but at the beginning of episode 1, I kind of assumed that (now I know his name is ) Joey would be Peggy’s current or potential love interest. There was something about the playful chemistry of the Nichols & May routine. I was sort of pissed off when John Q. Glassofmilk turned up outside Don’s apartment with her, because by then I was already all about the Joey love.

    The funny thing was, when we first saw Joey, I thought “what are they teaming her up with this little boy for? Peggy is a grown woman!” And then I realized: no, actually, they’re probably about the same age. I keep forgetting, Peggy is maybe all of 25 at this point. She just seems so much more grown up (and I’m sorry but that “haircomb,” as my grandmother would have said, is not exactly the Fountain of Youth either).

    Anyway, it just seems like if she does decide to dump the unbuttered slice of white bread that is (Mark, was it?), there’s a nice little rebound all lined up for her there. Unless of course the writers pull another fast one on us midway through the season, and we’re suddenly all WTF MARK!!?!? You are AWESOME! We LOVE YOU, Mark!!

    Which, you know. Could happen.

    Although I doubt it.

  47. #46: Yeah, I think Don is, too. Did you see the expression of pure annoyance on his face when "Dr. Faye" told him "everybody hates to think they're a type?" (paraphrasing here). It's a milder version of the same reaction he had when he first met Rachel–and we know where that lead. Anger/annoyance often indicates interest.

    Just hope Janie and the makeup crew refashion her a bit, I agree with those who think the character comes off as a little 2010.

  48. Semantics… we often use “sleep with” when we mean “have sex with”. I’ve been noticing a lot of people using the phrase talking about the scene with Allison. I think it’s interesting because Don WANTS somebody to sleep with, but all he’s getting is sex.

    (He’s also, up to now, always been the one who left…now the women he has sex with leave him.)

  49. #45 – I just now watched the extended trailer on AMC and saw the part about California. I guess I'm not as clever as I thought in coming up with that…still, will be interested to see what happens there — maybe he doesn't make it Acupoclo (sp?) at all?

  50. #36, #40, #44 — Thanks for the input on the Italian hospital imagery. I was wondering if he was referring to some film or something that came out, like a Fellini film featuring a hospital.

    Roger's office is fascinating. He said that Jane designed it. That op art piece is pretty groovy!

    I have done a little research and I'm convinced it's "Pause" by Bridget Riley 1964

    She was a British Op artist who had a show in NY in 1965. You can see her work here:

    http://www.op-art.co.uk/bridget-riley/

  51. #45 jd…So am I and I'm starting to dislike this season with a vengence. Apparently Weiner & co. have decided that every character on the show has to be miserable 24/7. Wonder what humiliation they will dream up for Ken C.?

    After a very ho-hum start to season 3 it did bounce back with the last few eps especially "Close the Door…", that was one of my favorite MM eps of all time, and I had really high hopes for S4.

    Mr. Weiner if you're reading this you had better get this season in gear. Right now it's just boring. You can't convince everyone that a rotten egg smells like a rose forever.

  52. #51 — it's not boring. It's fascinating how such a slow pace, so much can happen to advance the plot.

    No, he's not "Dapper Don" this year, is he? He's losing his Mo-Jo, but I think he'll get it back in Acapulco. Remember when he went to California and disappeared with the swinging jet setters? He needs an escape like that.

  53. #52 I liked "jet Set" very much…it is one of my favorite eps. It had some dash and flair as well as some mystery and we learned new things about Don/Dick when he was in Cali.

    Having Allison hook up with Don didn't advance the plot one bit IMO. It only pulled another character's life down into the blackness. It wasn't necessary at all. We already knew that Don was becoming pathetic and that Allison obviously felt pity for him at the begining of the ep. Allison's character has always been a breath of fresh air(Trudy too) on a show that is growing so pitch black that it's just depressing to watch.

    I had such high hopes that after last season's finale the show would go in a whole new direction, become lighter, give us some positive energy. I guess no one should expext that MM could stay on their great run forever but Mr Weiner has let the show down creatively…more of the same old gloom and doom, IMO, IS boring. The show is getting so creapy that it's turning into a bad horror movie instead of great TV. Making ALL of your characters suffer isn't "art" it's just unimajinative writing.

  54. #27 Jimmy:

    Also, why does everyone keep saying it’s his first Christmas alone? Betty was Reno bound with Henry and baby in tow before Christmas of ’63.

    I assume Don spent last Christmas with the Sally & Bobby, either in Ossining (probably) or at his new apartment (less likely). There's just no way he would have left them alone with Carla while Betty was in Reno. So, I think this really IS his first Christmas alone, made all the more painful knowing that Betty and Henry are spending Christmas Day with his kids.

    I appreciate where they're taking Don this season — I think they really had to show him in complete despair. I just hope it isn't a 12-episode trip straight down the elevator shaft before we get a little redemption. I don't think I can take it. And Roger's going to have to be really damn funny to make up for that.

  55. Peggy is the new "Don Draper".

    I find it interesting that for so many folks the tension was rooted in "When is Don/Dick going to be found out?" Including me. But when it was all said and done…when Pete tried to unmask him, when Betty got wise…no one really seems to have cared all that much. Nothing happened that probably wasn't going to happen anyway. Tide/All/Gain/Cheer…no matter what label you slap on it, it's more or less the same thing. As long as the wash gets clean, who cares. Bert Cooper didn't really care whether it was Dick Whitman or Don Draper or Donald Duck who was handling his accounts. For Betty, the unmasking was just one more lie in a long string of dishonesty.

    Now Peggy on the other hand…I think she's woven a more fragile web than Don ever really did. I can think of so many ways this could all come tumbling down for her. Dick more or less "created" Don Draper…and fiction isn't really lying, is it? Peggy…well, she's just lying.

  56. I've always felt the first 4-6 episodes of the season are the set up for the rest of it. I'm not too bothered by the fact that I'm not adding to my list of favorite episodes, because I know the pay-off is right around the corner.

  57. I'm LOVING this season so far…. Just had to add that after reading some of us are not.

  58. Hear hear miss steere! I am enjoying this season too! It is full of possibilities.

  59. Had a couple of thoughts about Betty: Having married a well-bred advisor to Nelson Rockefeller, shouldn't she be more of a society doyenne by now? She was heading in that direction with all the charity work when she was still married to Don (which of course is how she met Henry in the first place). Now that she's Mrs. Francis, she doesn't seem to be doing much of anything (besides torturing poor Sally). Yes, Sally, who's headed into anorexia-bulimia territory, which can almost always be traced to a gal's issues with her mother … Sally, who will definitely end up smoking pot and dropping acid in the Village in just a few short years! That's thought number one. Number two, Henry's mother at first seems to be one of those uber-WASPy Connecticut women (or is it Westchester where she lives?) … If you knew any WASPs growing up, you know there's an emotional detachment factor. My WASPy friends' parents knew me, the Jewish gal, for years and years, and still didn't know my first name. That kind of thing. Maybe it was all the gin & tonics, or the lack of flavorful food in the house. My point is, Henry's mother seems to be one of those emotionally absent, Mr. Magoo-ish women – at first – but that line to Henry when she finally gets him alone: "They're terrified of her" – is SO telling. She doesn't miss a trick and has totally picked up on the fact that the kids (really just Sally, since Bobby is such a little ass-kisser who wants to please everybody) are scared of and hate their mother.

  60. Gypsy, spending time with his kids, which every time we've seen in the past involves them sitting in front of the TV while Don does something else should not strike anyone as being "with" them. If having a physical proximity is all Don's craving that's infinitely pathetic.

  61. Your longstanding Betty hate is…well. Interesting, I guess. You take the verdict of one character as a validation of your interpretation?

    I've always felt this show presented Betty and Don as equally flawed. If it moves away from that, I'm done with this show.

  62. [...]  Basket of Kisses: Mark called Peggy old-fashioned. He thinks she’s a virgin. She’s not. Peggy hasn’t just had [...]

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