The Rejected: “He’s renting it”

 Posted by on August 16, 2010 at 8:19 am  Season 4
Aug 162010

Joyce: He doesn’t own your vagina.
Peggy: No, but he’s renting it.

I’m getting the feeling that prostitution is a theme of Season 4. No, there were no call girls in The Rejected, but, in addition to the above quote, everything seemed to point to the price that women pay for male attention, and the way we sell ourselves in the marketplace for that attention. The goal, as Dr. Miller concluded, is matrimony, and feminists have been saying for decades that marriage and prostitution are not that far apart. I’m a believer in marriage—I’ve done it more than once—but a traditional, old-fashioned marriage is a cultural exchange: feminine services, including sex, for male financial support. That’s why a certain era of women were told to silently tolerate sex as part of the cost of having a husband.

We look at a lot of women at a lot of different points along the scale; Peggy and Allison primarily, but also Dotty, and then there’s Joyce, Joan, and Trudy; all part of the marketplace as well (Dr. Miller explicitly excludes herself; she is only pretending to be part of the market, as we see when she theatrically takes off her engagement ring for Peggy to keep hidden). We also look at men, and how they engage in the commodities market of finding a woman: At Pete, Ken (welcome back, dude!), and Don.

The Rejected-Allison & Peggy

The Rejected-Allison & Peggy (AMC)

I know this is a sideways angle; I should be talking about rejection, right? But, perhaps perversely, this aspect of the episode stands out for me. It’s the focus group; the women desperately trying to market themselves so that men will buy; Allison finally breaking down because her goodness and her beauty are simply not enough—she offered the finest goods available and Don still didn’t buy. Dotty, too, has been rejected. She’s not a beauty, and no amount of cold cream is going to change that. Cold cream, of course, is another purchase-for-matrimony, as Freddy knew.

Peggy was infuriated at Freddy’s campaign idea, nonetheless, Peggy wants to get married. She toys with the ring. But she’s very clear with Allison: “Your problem is not my problem.” And then in floats her problem, in the form of Pete’s stork card. In between, she declares her vagina rented; the problem is comodification as well as rejection. And longing. Wanting to play the matrimonial game and also NOT wanting to play it. Don spells this out explicitly to Dr. Miller: How can anyone know a new idea until it’s presented to them? This isn’t 1925, he says: Just because women want marriage now doesn’t mean we can’t change that.

Peggy wants to be of the generation trying to change that.

Pete bangs his head on his pillar. Later, Peggy bangs her head on her desk (and I laughed aloud). Their stories run parallel. I’m sure some want to say, ‘oh, another “new generation” story, as heavy-handed as the introduction of Stephanie.’ This time I would disagree. It’s pretty organic for Peggy to meet people in the building, and she has a long history of being willing to experiment, of trying out new things and new modes of being.

But the real reason it’s not heavy-handed is the experience itself. It’s not just a time capsule of youth culture circa 1965. Peggy continues to explore the sexual conundrum; she’s hit on by a lesbian (which she handles deftly and without a bunch of fuss), and she experiments a little with a man (who would make a much more appropriate partner than Mark McBland). She’s trying not to sacrifice herself to the matrimonial marketplace while still wanting to be married. Trying not to sell her soul, just like the obnoxious photographer.

Meanwhile, Pete is fully invested in the matrimonial marketplace, finally achieving the goal Trudy had set for them years ago (I was just wondering the other day if this was the next storyline for Pete & Trudy). Trudy’s pregnancy is all tied up with Pete’s business relationship with his father-in-law: Coincidence? HA!

The two stories come together outside the elevator. Pete waiting with a bunch of middle aged men in neutral-colored suits; Peggy waiting with younger, more diverse, more colorful people. Peggy and Pete’s eyes meet, music swells. We’re hearing not romance, but loss. They’ve both banged their heads. Peggy hears Pete’s news and lays down on her own office couch. Before she had an office of her own, she slept with Pete on his office couch. Once, Peggy and Pete sat on his office couch together and she told him she gave up his baby for adoption. Now, Pete sits alone on his office couch and she remains standing to congratulate him about his baby. Now, they both reap the rewards of their choices; Pete is rewarded with the business lunch, the big account, the accouterments of the successful life of a successful married man. Peggy is rewarded for choosing her independence by going out with an experimental group; being free to discover herself and work creatively. Both are dealing with a cost-benefit analysis of marriage and child-rearing, very different for men than for women.

Marriage isn’t just a marketplace, it’s a bargain. You hope for it, you gain it, maybe you lose it. But in the end, fifty years later, you’re still saying “Did you get pears?” to the point where your spouse is really pissed off. Is that what they’re all working for? You’ve got to wonder.


  149 Responses to “The Rejected: “He’s renting it””

  1. This episode blew me away! And bravo to John Slattery for his excellent direction! Excellent, excellent analysis Deb! I think you've hit on every important aspect of this episode, and I think this episode and your post here were just extraordinary. Especially the last paragraph. Great job!

    Also, I had a hell of a time falling asleep after this episode –so much to contemplate and absorb. I'm full of ideas for articles! Here's the rejections I noticed so far:

    Pete (and the baby) rejected by Peggy

    Joyce rejected by Peggy

    Don rejected by Allison

    Dr. Miller’s focus groups rejected by Don

    Joan and the other secretary rejected from the 'youth' group' because "they're old and married"

    Don rejected from happy old married couple existence.

  2. Women as a commodity…yes! Trudy's dad further backed that thought process up with his '$1000 if it's a boy, $500 if it's a girl!' statement.

  3. There is one other element of Pete and Peggy's parallel lives: seeing how others perceive them. For Peggy it came when Allison assume she'd slept with Don. For Pete it came when Ken accused him of saying all sorts of things he'd never said.

    For both it was a bit of a wakeup call: this is what people think of you. It'll be interesting to see how they each use that moving forward.

  4. Of course the great irony in the episode is that Don rejects the idea that women need to be married to be happy – even though being a bachelor is making him miserable!

  5. Deborah, a brilliant analysis and this is the best episode of the season so far. I have only one thing to add. As you noted:

    The goal, as Dr. Miller concluded, is matrimony, and feminists have been saying for decades that marriage and prostitution are not that far apart

    And Faye reinforced this further with the coldest of responses when Megan enquires if Allison is ok and she says "Who?"

    Allison, just another unmarried member of the focus group! Gee her relationship Don just another of those marriage/prostitution synergies?!?

    The other line I quite liked was Peggy telling Allison, "people cry at these things all the time" – I thought immediately just like they cry at weddings!? An incredible episode, bravo John Slattery!

  6. According to the IMDB cast list it's "Alison" (one l). Not Allison.

    And now that it looks like she's gone for good I feel bad that we never got to know her last name.

  7. OOps. Too bad we can't delete posts.

    Double checked IMDB and it IS Allison (2 l's).

  8. your "new generation" above = Pepsi Generation!

    "It's Pepsi!" – Harry Crane

  9. Great post! I'm really excited to find out where the relationships with Peggy's new friends will take her. Also, I was surprised how square cute Joey seemed when she told him aout these new people.

    The link between the marriage market and the meat market is superb. That's the crux of Betty's problems, isn't it? She wants to be more than a perfect doll but doesn't know how because she was never expected to be anything but that.

    I was very surprised that Dr. Miller's engaged. She has no problem flirting with Don. I wonder if she'll cheat on her fiance with him.

    Also, it was so sad that Allison assumed Peggy had slept with DOn. It shows how limited her opinions are on how women can access workplace advancement. Also, I wonder how many others think the the same thing about Peggy and Don.

  10. Do they ever really say who Ken Cosgrove is working for now? He made some sort of reference to being a "slave to creative". Is he working for PKL or DDB? I think they mentioned the name of his agency in the beginning but it wasn't really clear.

  11. Great insight Deborah. This thing about looking for a husband was perceived to be so crucial for young women back then.

    Another rejection thought in regard to Allison – she probably heard about Ken's engagement – adding to her intense feelings. I seem to remember they were paired up at one time – also wan't she the one that Ken tackled to see what color panties she was wearing. She has finally had enough.

    This may not be last time we she her – after all she knows alot about SCDP's sensitive business.

  12. The focus group is such a great device in this episode–what we learn isn't about cold cream so much as it is about the truth of Allison's embarrassment, the way Peggy plays with that ring, Don having to face into own perfidy with his secretary, the manipulation of the group by Faye. So rich! Really admiring the layers that have built up in all these characters.

  13. I must admit that I wasn't loving this episode. "He's renting it" sounded a little too clever for Peggy – more a Roger-ish comment.

    However, Pete's father-in-law calling him an SOB – followed by Pete's shrug – won me back 🙂 That was the father-in-law acknowledging that Pete just beat him. So it was "SOB" in a good way.

    Also, it seems to me that VK is always pitch-perfect with Pete, 1965 with an occasional lapse back to 1955, understands the 60's but won't be a part of it. Anyway, I'm liking the new and improved Peter Campbell.

  14. 4:"seeing how others perceive them."

    This is terrific. Misperceptions and miscommunications everywhere

    I noticed that Ken at lunch was saying that Pete had a big mouth while Pete was keeping his counsel and taking in everything Ken was saying.

    Roger & Lane really misjudge Pete about "taking one for the team."

    Allison & Don;Pete and his father-in-law;Joyce & Peggy;Peggy & filmmaker

    And competent Joan:"Really?" Don:"No"

    Re:prostitution theme…filmmaker.

    "Why would I want to do that after Warhol?" Didn't quite get that.

  15. A minor observation I haven't seen anywhere yet, but the elevators in the Time Life building are self-service. A nice, subtle reference to changing times.

    I wonder if Hollis still has his job at the old SC building?

  16. # 15 bob mcmanus Says:

    “'Why would I want to do that after Warhol?' Didn’t quite get that."

    When Andy Warhol first came to New York in the 1950s he worked as a commercial artist for advertising agencies. He left Madison Avenue for fine art around 1960-61. I guess the pretentious filmmaker in "The Rejected" would see working for an ad agency as a step backward.

  17. Deb this is one of your best. I couldn’t get to the bottom of the elevator scene (so to speak) and you crystallized it so beautifully.

    This episode fleshes out a recurring theme – what is marriage and family?(and what isn’t it). We see marriage as a prize, a status step with pregnancy being yet another step forward. And at least in my peer group these status steps are as real today as ever.

    As you say Deb, MM has also provided plenty of versions of marriage as just a bargain and sometimes a bad one. It can be bland, routine, boring and uninspired. Roger sees his life slipping away during his marriage to Mona. When things can no longer be repaired the relationship can become poisonous, obsessive and even violent.

    We see marriage offset against two versions of freedom – the Don version and the Peggy version. Peggy uses her status to experiment boldly with fresh eyes and untethered excitement – the world is hers right now. Don too is experimenting with his new unencumbered status but his is bitter, lonely and destructive (not just self-destructive either as Allison will attest)

    By the way, I’ve noticed that Don aint bringing much to the party lately at SCPD. Glo Coat was a long time ago now. One likely plot line is SCDP coming right to the brink along with Don. I’m certain that his drinking and destructiveness will result in a near miss or major blow to the company.

    Occasionally we get to see marriage and kids providing true companionship, meaning, and a sense of something at least a little bigger than yourself (as Ken’s cameo highlights). It seemed to me that Don looked a little wistfully at the old couple bickering without real heat about the small things. And last season, Roger sees very clearly that he scratched one itch with Jane but his trophy does not provide the easy companionship of Mona or Joan.

    I love that this show does not need car crashes – there is plenty of drama in the little things that aren't really so little.

  18. bob mcmanus,

    “Why would I want to do that after Warhol?”

    Imho, Davey is saying that Warhol got his 15 minutes and more out of treating advertising as art — and, thus, it has been done. In Davey's mind, mixing advertising and art is not a path to fame as an artist, because Warhol already owns that space.

    Big S Ranch,

    To me, “He’s renting it” did not sound too clever for Peggy. First, Peggy's whole arc on the show has been becoming more clever, going back at least as far as the "Babylon" focus group, but accelerating (based on what we have seen this season) between seasons 3 and 4. Second, we have seen Peggy think a great deal about her relationship with Mark, and how it might change upon sleeping with him (esp. in terms of an eventual marriage). Peggy's comment may be exactly the way she now sees the relationship. Or the half-joking comment meant to politely push away a lesbian advance may have revealed something to Peggy about her realtions with Mark in that moment.

  19. It is totally a reversal of fortunes between Pete and Don. Although now that Pete is becoming the person he always wanted to be, he’s not quite sure what to do with himself!

    It’s going to be interesting to see where his character goes, and where he goes in relation to Peggy. No one can deny that they have at least a little chemistry if not a lot. That will be a sad day for Trudy though. At that point Trudy’s father will probably kill Pete!

    Another great recap is… it has a few additional things to add to this one!

  20. Oh and just a thought about Beno's comment, I don't think it's really irony at all. Don really doesn't have any respect for the institution of marriage, so I couldn't see him agreeing with the thought that women need to be married. He's been with women who are single, married, and in every situation, and I think he likes the unmarried ones more since it makes it a lot less complicated.

  21. Hi Deb,

    Your review is wonderful. I loved this episode so much. This year is really clear in my memory and Matt and John have hit brilliant notes here. It was startling how time just started accelerating in the mid-60s.

    I had a great thought a while ago that disappeared as soon as I scrolled down to the comment box. Don't you hate it when that happens!

    Not myself today – home with the flu. And I've been listening to Lou Reed on YouTube all morning ever since I saw Peggy Olson take a walk on the wild side. (Yeah, I know it wasn't recorded until 1970, but Lou Reed & John Cale were playing music in Warhol's Factory then, and Max's Kansas City.)

    I'll let you know if that brilliant thought returns.

    P.S. John Slattery, I love you.

  22. One little thing that bugged me about this episode. I cringed when Joey said "I'd get her so pregnant". Partially because the insensitivity of it, but mostly because it sounded anachronistic. The whole usage of "so" is very eighties, nineties, and current, it hearkens back to the episode in S1 where Joan said '1960, I'm so over you'. It's just not the correct vernacular of the era. I hope that MM writers will be more aware of this and avoid similar gaffs in the future. It would have been more realistic if Joey said something like "I would have had her pregnant two years ago" or something like that. (His hair is wrong again, too spikey) Otherwise, this was a great, perfect episode.

  23. # 23 Therese Says:

    One little thing that bugged me about this episode. I cringed when Joey said “I’d get her so pregnant”. Partially because the insensitivity of it, but mostly because it sounded anachronistic. The whole usage of “so” is very eighties, nineties, and current, it hearkens back to the episode in S1 where Joan said ’1960, I’m so over you’. It’s just not the correct vernacular of the era.

    Therese, sorry but I disagree. I was 16 in March of 1965 and I remember the vernacular very well. We said things like this. But I do agree about Joey's hair. It bothers me too. =)

  24. And Mark was no where to be seen in this episode. Rejected? I think it was a reflection on what might have been and what is to come. Peggy and Pete reflecting on what pasted and can not be recaptured, too far into the hole. Don viewing the old couple and knowing he will never be there.

  25. I thought it was so fascinating the way everyone seems to read into the cold cream problem and bring so much of their own agenda to it.

    Megan is obviously beautiful and seems to be the only one besides Peggy who really loves to stare into the mirror, and she finds water is sufficient for that activity. And Joyce who is not looking for a husband…it's pretty hard to imagine her buying something and enjoying the sensual pleasures of the slathering ritual. The first thing Dottie thinks of when asked about the ritual is the humiliation of knowing she was the cow that gave away the milk for free which sets off Alison.

    There was a lot of other stuff too like Peggy and Joyce looking at the nudes and Joyce snapping it shut as if to say "enough for you, dirty girl!" and the way Joyce looks at Peggy and Megan. It's just interesting to me to have them looking at females in the way a man might to compliment the idea that Peggy wants to recast cold cream as being part of a ritual of admiring your own beauty. It just shows how it's so false, it's such a shell game of trying to figure out women's anxieties and convince them a jar of moisturizer is going to help. Peggy's anxiety is just that she doesn't like everyone rubbing it in her face that she wants a husband and that it makes her old fashioned and pathetic. As valid as that is, she is taking it and trying to create this message of dignity with the same jar of product. As times change the anxieties will change and someday it WILL be sold to old ladies as some kind of balm against mortality. The same generation in fact. These days that's how it's marketed because that's the big market.

    It comes up in the party scene that the artist doesn't think advertising as art is original or viable any more…I took it he was saying this was already explored by Warhol and he's not interested in it. This episode makes me think about Don and Peggy's creative talents and the purpose it serves for them. Are they uncovering a truth or are they just creating a big lie?

  26. Another thing that struck me as prostitution imagery was Roger's offer to Lee, to "have Lane Pryce at the foot of your bed in half an hour" to talk about money.

    In the same conversation, he mentions buying a bot with a motor, and "one of those, too." I got the idea he meant a girl.

    Re: vagina – can someone who was around in 1965 help me on that? It was my impression that when discussing that particular part of the anatomy, using the technical term didn't really come into vogue until the 1980's. Am I off-base on that?

  27. I don't think I was very coherant now that I reread that but in terms of the show being about women bought and sold, I think there was a lot about women reacting to themselves as commodities and then creating business out of the entire phenomenon. Now Peggy is conscious that she does not want to be bought but her way to express the problem is to repackage it as some kind of selling herself to herself. But it ignores the problem of being a commodity in the first place.

  28. @ # 11 Mayor MacDougal: Ken did say where he was working. When I watched again on the DVR with captions, it was something like "Heyer". I'm not sure if I've got that right – I'll check when I watch again later in the week. Later, in the celebration meeting of the SCDP partners, Pete suggests they give the Clearasil account to this same company [Heyer, or whatever it was] – he's giving it to Ken. Very magnanimous of him. Ken will never know that his talk about not pulling the whole Pepsi account through Mountain Dew is what gave Pete the idea for his big coup, so Pete sort of owes it in part to Ken. Anyway, this will make Pete feel good about it.

  29. Alison mentioned her flight to a magazine job saying "it would be interesting to work for a woman" – Cosmopolitan? Helen Gurley Brown joined Cosmo in 1965.

    Kudos to Slattery for his directing effort. I'll bet he had to give up some scenes/lines to get behind the camera – one of which Peggy got – "renting it". We get a hint that she may soon be "renting" to a fellow writer (without the copy prefix). The self-described "fiancee" is sunk.

    Draper shows that he is the true visionary: "let me advertize for a year – then run the focus group and see what they say"

    Pete's premature bragging, complete with LBJ reference – turning chicken sh#t into chicken salad – led me to think "the chicken hasn't hatched yet".

    Great opening shot – Draper as a chain-smoker – a stress-indicator given that they are all talking down Mr. Lucky Strike in the context of new (original) FTC cigarette ad restrictions.

    The thawing of Pryce continues – his second-thought (and genuine) congratulations for Pete.

    Has anyone ID'ed the party music (film soundtrack)?

  30. Great summary and comments!

    I want to comment on Pete. I know the guy is far from being a good person, and I still think he'd stab anyone in the back if it served his needs, and I can't forget his awful behavior with the young, foreign au pair. But he has illustrated that he has some sensitivity at least in a social conscious kind of way. For example:

    1. On last night's episode, he said about a brassiere ad that apparently showed a Puerto Rican woman or a woman who looked of Puerto Rican descent: So what? Puerto Rican women wear brassiers too, or something like that.

    2. In the first episode of this season, Pete was the only one who showed any kind of respect to the wounded Korean War vet that was interviewing Don. He at least told him, "Thank you for your service."

    3. In an earlier season, Pete was open-mind enough to embrace the "Negro" market on the television brand — I forget which brand. I know that was a business decision, but I think he also showed maturity in that respect.

    4. JFK's assassination: Pete and Trudy seemed to be the hardest hit by it, and Pete did not worry about showing up for his boss' daughter's wedding.

  31. #30 Exploding Plastic Inevitable-Velvet Underground I assume. Sure sounds Velvet-esque anyhow.

  32. Just a couple of quick observations:

    1) Before the camera pans up from Peggy lying on the couch, the framing of the shot and the dark color of the couch give the scene a distinct coffin effect. I don't know if that was intended or what it might mean. (Of course, it could mean a hundred things, knowing the character and the situation(s).)

    2) The very last scene where the elderly woman would not answer the simple, thrice-asked question, "Did you get any pears?" made me think back to the scene in Don's office where he is critiquing Dr. Miller's take on things. At one point he says something to the effect of "It's nobody's business." Somehow, I think, that elderly woman would have answered her husband's question had not a "stranger" been within earshot. It was, to her, "nobody's business" regardless of the innocuousness of the question.

  33. 30 Jahn Ghalt Says:

    Thanks JG, this is the thought I had earlier this morning that dropped out of my head! Allison wants to work for Helen Gurley Brown at Cosmo!

  34. Good insights Deborah.

    Peggy's at the loft party, but Don's alone (once again) at the office on the couch, drinking. Don hears the floor being waxed.

    Did anyone see the Glo-Coat commercial reference here? Don's life of quiet desperation–you know he's screaming "Let me out of here!" inside–he hears the floor wax machine turn on, he exits, and instead of a Betty like figure, it's a janitor cleaning the floor.

  35. # 27 Melissa Says:

    Re: vagina – can someone who was around in 1965 help me on that? It was my impression that when discussing that particular part of the anatomy, using the technical term didn’t really come into vogue until the 1980′s. Am I off-base on that?

    I guess I'm the resident "someone who was around in 1965" this afternoon.

    To answer your question:

    Most women wouldn't have said vagina. Joan wouldn't, Betty wouldn't. But if you wanted shock-value, then yes someone like Joyce would definitely say that. So it was exactly right given the circumstances.

  36. @ #41

    Then again, there's always the tiny possibility that he was inquiring about Pears Cold Cream, Ponds' competitor. Very unlikely, I know, but with MM, even the choice of (canned) fruit may not be meaningless. Though I don't think that SCDP had this particular demographic in mind as an alternative to the snare-a-husband-for-22-year-old-women approach for Ponds.

  37. So far season four is about ritual: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and with episode four, marriage.

    Erikson once wrote that children must be "familiarized by ritualization with a particular version of human existence." Rituals help us identify with a particular segment of society. Peggy got her real start with her insight into the importance of ritual on the Popsicle account.

    With Ponds she got the ritual part right, she just got the wrong ritual. She was focused on a private ritual – grooming, washing, self-nurturing. The ritual for the focus group was the more public, shared ritual of marriage. Not surprising giving the group they assembled were all early 20's and unmarried.

    Allison – I'm just now realizing the connection between the Cosgrove wedding announcement in the Sunday paper and her meltdown in the focus group. Allison has to be late 20's now – she's been with SC since 1960 (Basket of Kisses). Two office "romances" (for lack of a better term) aren't panning out.

    Little wonder Don doesn’t want to go with the marriage ritual. All season he's failed to satisfy the ritual expectations.

  38. To #42 – Peggy, elegant?

    Respectfully, I disagree. She dressed like she'd first checked an ad for "what to wear when mingling with the hip scene". Oh, it was a very cute and appropriate outfit, but I felt that Joyce was making fun of how 'together' Peggy looked.

    Elegant: The dancing teacher when Don first saw her. The beauty at the reception desk (who doesn't wash her face). Betty in Italy.

    A note about Joyce: First thought that came to mind: Zelda Gilroy (extra points for the first to identify that name from the 1960s).

  39. ps, Joyce said Peggy looked 'swellegant'. Loved that in so many ways:

    – Joyce is creative and that must appeal to Pegs

    – Swell is a newish, young word while Elegant is older

    – Perfect description of where Peggy's falling between her old-fashioned sensibilities and emerging curiosity and willingness to try new things

  40. #48 Duck, Duck:

    Zelda Gilroy was from "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis". Zelda was madly in love with Dobie, but he was always chasing after Tuesday Weld. Bob Denver played his buddy, Maynard G. Krebs.

  41. #40 SFC: Great observation – totally agree. Echoed again by Don at the typewriter unable to complete the apology maybe because it hit too close to home?

  42. This was another good episode, but the season as a whole is starting to feel misconceived. Don already lost everything we cared about in S3. Every additional cut is smaller, but crueler. I mean, examining who is willing to whore themselves out to whom and for how much is not exactly an uplifting subject to meditate on.

    With the Draper marriage dissolved along with the old Sterling Cooper, the new Don Draper needed to have some promise of being improved. Instead, a new guy is happily sleeping in his house and a healthy percentage of the cast to whom we were attached have been jettisoned. Taking away Don's creative and sexual mojo on top of those losses has sucked a lot of the fun out of the show. Don, the Drunken and Abusive Loser, is bordering on farce at this point. I love the rest of the characters, but if it crosses that line I am not sure how long I will continue to care about the show itself.

    The irony is that taken in isolation, this was a very good episode.

    The Don-Allison story line paid off very nicely. It is a shame to lose yet another strong supporting character, but Allison went out about as well as you could hope.

    Dr. Faye Miller has become much more interesting. She really is a peer to Don (or at least to old Don). I loved her slipping into and out of character. It makes it very difficult to peg which version (if any) is the "real" Dr. Faye. She offers SCDP something valuable, but Don has not figured out how to properly use it. She is a great addition on the work side, but is not overly promising as a love interest given the state of Don's life.

    Peggy had an great story. Her new lesibi-friend was right on the edge of being a pretentious bore without crossing over. She reminded me of Paul Kinsey in that regard. The introduction of the Boom-era bohemians is going to be difficult. They were young, fresh and new … THEN. After 40 years of Boomer triumphalism, they feel older than the guys in the Sinatra hats in a way. This was surer footed than Berkley Stephanie, but Peggy is younger and in a better place in her life than Don.

    Pete had a fun reversal with his bully of a father-in-law. Seeing Pete and Peggy not just learning, but what they are learning is always a treat.

  43. #40, #52…

    Perhaps Allison was beginning to write a resignation letter, but couldn't finish the process of resigning until this episode. Don was beginning to write an apology letter, but perhaps he won't be able to finish the process until an episode in the future?

  44. @31, I though the same thing about Pete with the Puerto Rican comment. I think he's a pragmatist at heart rather than a true elitist, like his mother. I instantly thought back to his desire to catch African American consumers. It's moments like these when you can see his connections to Peggy. It's almost as if they are both surprise/ secret progressives, despite their upbringings. great line from Peggy last night, "I'm Catholic. I don't think I should like it", referring to the art film.

  45. @55 toni

    "I'm Catholic. I don't think I should like it" – is either naive Peggy or wry Peggy … or maybe it was simply stoned Peggy?

  46. #54, If what you're saying is true–and it very well could be–it gives weight to the fact that Allison was stewing about this throughout the holidays when it had its genesis. The violence of her reaction seems to be saying that was the case, and the focus group was just the last straw. As for Don…like I said, I don't believe there are any "accidents" on MM. No detail seems to be too small, there's not a wasted moment and virtually everything gets replayed in one form or another, even if it takes a whole season…or longer.

    I think that right now, however, Don's caught between two worlds, the ethos of the fifties, and the new one that's emerging that he hasn't yet had to figure out how to deal with. He's literally caught in limbo and that's why he can't finish the letter.

  47. I don't think it was naive, but she definitely seemed a bit blitzed!

  48. # 57:

    The way that I took it was that the letter from California and the photo of Anna Draper were the last straw. Allison was drawn in by her increased intimacy with Don (the letter from Santa, being familiar with his apartment) and felt betrayed that after having sex with him that she had been shut out. She felt like she had been demoted from "work wife" to secretary.

    It warrants mentioning that Anna Draper was likely the last straw with Don's actual wife as well.

  49. SFCaramia, I think you're right. If Don does make amends with Allison (be it directly to her or truly admitting to himself how far he's sunk) it probably won't happen for quite a while.

    There was some discussion here, when Freddy was reintroduced, about AA and the need for recovering alcoholics to make amends to those they had harmed. Whether one believes Don to be an alcoholic or not, I will be curious to see what sort of redemptive process he goes through and if it involves making amends to those he has harmed. Who will Don believe those people to be?

  50. With regard to prostitution, I also can't help but remember Betty's early remark (Season 1?) about as long as men are interested in looking at her, "…I feel I'm earning my keep." How I cringed at that one. Oddly though (or somewhat hypocritically), whenever Don felt that she was inspiring too much male attention, he either said she was a whore or that she was coming across as desperate. (Offhand I can think of at least three instances where that happened)

    I loved how the focus group spiraled from something cheery + positive into something much darker. As Freddy said, "How did this get so sad so fast?" (I'm paraphrasing) I saw it coming though — from the beginning, Allison was sitting with a depressed look on her face. It was clear she didn't want to be in this group.

    Just as the focus group was showing that single women's feelings are much more complicated than they might at first appear, it also seems recent episodes have attempted to take the lid off marriages. For instance, last week Peggy told Joan that it was so nice to see a happy marriage. But the flowers weren't from Greg, and Peggy has no idea what's under the surface of Joan's marriage.

  51. @ # 57 SFCaramia:

    "I think that right now, however, Don’s caught between two worlds, the ethos of the fifties, and the new one that’s emerging that he hasn’t yet had to figure out how to deal with. He’s literally caught in limbo and that’s why he can’t finish the letter."

    I agree that the "personal Don" is muddling through – in limbo as you say. But some have noted that he was sober (first time in how long?) coming home to end to show last night – a hopeful sign (?)

    Don the Professional is up on step, however. He avoids the focus-group disaster by rejecting "science" (sold as such by "Dr." Miller – without peer review or even replication) in favor of his (and Peggy's) keen read on youth culture.

    He will continue to get ego-feeding positive feedback as a Pro – and this will get better if he figures out not to soil his bed at work.

  52. In response to an earlier comment concerning Pete not being part of the upcoming youth movement, I feel he will do a complete 180 in a few years. Can anyone see him having an epiphany concerning advertising vs living a counterculture lifestyle? I believe that ole' Pete will end up telling everyone to go to hell, after a few very dramatic years of marriage.

  53. The character played by Alexa Alemanni has always been spelled in credits as a 2 ii Allison.

    The actress playing Trudy Campbell spells her first name as a one i Allison Brie.

    Just because Faye (or Fay) Miller, PhD takes off a wedding ring, can we safely assume she actually has a husband? This is Mad Men.

  54. I may be in the minority, but my concern is that Don may be getting closer to becoming a caricature of himself if this continues on. I think he's learning some things, but his fall isn't finished.

  55. # 64:

    With Dr. Faye Miller, it is genuinely impossible to tell. She shifts from one identity to another and back over the course of the focus group. It is entirely possible that both are equally calculated. The ring might be mean there is a Mr. Miller, or that she uses it as garlic against the Don Drapers of the ad world.

    Dr. Faye seems to be both a lot like Don and even more controlled.

  56. You know, I also think there is something of a theme in "rubbing your face in it." That's what women did with Ponds, and what teenagers did with Clearasil. That's certainly what Allison did to Don in her "resignation." After several months of his trying to act as if it never happened, she told him it really HAD happened, and then made the kind of scene that attracted attention. Rubbing his face in it is what Pete did to Tom by finally succeeding in both getting Trudy pregnant and in standing up for what he wanted, which is likely why Tom called him an SOB. It's certainly what Pete could have done to Peggy, but it seems he still has enough affection for her not to do that. It seems also that by giving Don Mrs. Blankenship, Joan was rubbing his face in it to some extent.

    I really don't see it as a major theme, but once I put the whole idea of what Peggy was suggesting with the mirror campaign together with the other things going on the episode, there seemed to be a connection.

  57. "Don't fight it, Dobie. You can't beat science. "

    -Zelda Gilroy

  58. #3 & 4 — I can't believe that so quickly appeared two comments that I'd have included had I only thought of them!

    And #16, the self-service elevator is a very good observation as well!

    #20, please note that this is not a recap. In general, I do not write recap reviews. Instead, I focus on a single motif (or perhaps two) and explore it. Later in the week, I might explore a different motif, or perhaps a scene, or a side observation. Recaps are appropriate when your site is about television and you discuss each show once per week. This site is about Mad Men and the entire week's worth of posts, to my mind, makes a recap review a redundancy.

    #47, the notion of this season being about ritual is absolutely fascinating.

    Language things:

    “I’d get her so pregnant.”

    When I was interview by Ben Zimmer for the New York Times, we discussed "1960 I am so over you." There's a particular use of "so" that is very '90s ("The Gen X so"), and this usage sort of straddled the border between acceptable and anachronistic. It passes. The earlier use of "so" applies to adjectives, adverbs, and perhaps prepositions (like "over"). The Gen X version of "so" applies to verbs and nouns. "So pregnant" is Gen X and I'm not buying it.

    Re: vagina – can someone who was around in 1965 help me on that? It was my impression that when discussing that particular part of the anatomy, using the technical term didn’t really come into vogue until the 1980′s. Am I off-base on that?

    The slang for a woman's parts was (and is) FAR more vulgar than the equivalent for men. Joyce obviously wanted to be shocking, but saying "pussy" or "c***" would have been beyond the pale.

  59. But Deb (#70), the word pregnant is an adjective.

  60. @ # 64 C Carroll Adams

    I think Faye Miller's ring is an engagement ring (with a diamond or other stone), not a wedding ring. No particular reason I can think of why she'd be wearing a false one deceptively for the SCDP execs, but you never know.

  61. Of course, Zelda Gilroy was played by Sheila James Kuehl (I believe with the stage name Sheild James), who is now an out lesbian and member of the California State Legislature. Perhaps the resemblance was more than intentional.

  62. You know, if I refreshed this page more often I wouldn't have been so late to the Zelda Gilroy party. 😉

  63. @56 DuckDuckGoose-I'm going with wry Peggy. While she had a way with words going back to season 1, she seems to be picking up Roger Sterling's wit.

  64. A lot of things hit Allison at once — including an undefined sense that she was being taken advantage of at her job. In the opening scene, she was really good at her job, professional — but look at her slight reaction when Peggy and Faye walked in and Faye wanted to "grab" some of the girls. She snaps at Don, (You drank it) and calls Roger "Roger" when he didn't listen to her the first time. She was beginning to lose respect for them. She probably heard about Ken's marriage; she told Joan she didn't want to be in the focus group; she felt patronized there (and this also fits in with the male gaze, as Don was watching). She opened the letter from Anna, and tried to get some balance by asking Don who it was; perhaps they could be friends. And finally, Peggy was a total ASS — weather she slept with Don or not, how could she take Don's 180 turns — alternately charming and chewing her out. Allison is beginning to change but maybe she can't define it — imagine her in the 1970s, 1980s looking back at all this. The secretary's job was horrible, and Faye and Peggy can be cruel.

  65. This is just one theme among many in this episode and season, but really well analyzed. I’m sure others will be discussing other themes over the coming week.

    I really like the last paragraph, fitting the “pears” scene into context. Yeah, is that all that marriage is going to end up as? Also, the old woman’s refusal to talk about something so trivial in public, needing to be in private behind closed doors, is maybe also something for Don to think about.

  66. Great analysis. So great to see Ken – honest, as usual. It was so clever how Pete used his conversation with Ken to turn things around on his Father-in-Law and Lane. Cheers, Pete. I also loved that the Mad Men writers came back around on the Don & Allison storyline and the Pete and Peggy storyline. My favorite moment was seeing Peggy’s head pop in the window of Don’s office and pop right back down at the right time. The “renting it” comment was also a “laugh out loud” moment. No one has mentioned Harry’s creepy description of the girl on the subway. Pete’s return comment was great – “I’m not in the mood.” And #1 Therese, I had trouble sleeping, too. The ending with the pears? Please tell me this is not a comment on marriage?

  67. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cantara Christopher, Claudine Wolk. Claudine Wolk said: BasketCase's analysis of Mad Men's latest, "The Rejected" […]

  68. You know, this episode is just proof positive that there are no “accidents” on this show. Never, ever, reject a seemingly minor detail on MM out of hand. Case in point: remember the last scene of “Xmas” when Allison was seen putting a piece of paper in the typewriter? A very, very small moment, which was forgotten with the interjection of “The Good News” but now in retrospect can be seen to be fraught with meaning. Some of us thought she was typing out a resignation notice, some of us thought she was just sucking it up after being completely unacknowledged by Don and getting back to work. We’ll never know for sure, but in light of what happened in this episode, that small act now seems very weighted; she could have been typing a letter of inquiry (maybe to Cosmopolitan?) or a letter of resignation. At any rate, when she had her culminating blow-out with Don, it seems like she already had one foot out the door and had been giving the matter quite a lot of thought, which may have been set in motion by her final moment in “Xmas.” A beautifully realized denouement.

  69. #70, I'm not sure Joyce wanted to be shocking. Assuming she's a feminist, using that word also makes a political/social point. "Vagina" is the medical term, medicine was dominated by men (for ex., so far as I recall we've only seen male gynecologists), feminists "take back" the word and the power and control its use by men represents.

    In just a few years, "The Personal Is Political" will be written. Feminists thought a LOT about the implications of just about everything in their lives, including language.

  70. Pears …

    Don drags back to the dreary apartment building, fumbles with the keys at his door (bet he hasn’t forgotten the keys since Allison’s visit), rumpled, weary, feeling like he’s in his own horror movie… and his neighbors are chattering on about the most inane topic possible. “Did you get the pears?”

    Was Don thinking “… is this all there is to life? Will I end up like that guy, in a cramped apartment, addled, confused, no longer able to put a cogent sentence together? If that’s the case, why bother getting up tomorrow?”

    I would say that Don is about to hit the lowest point in his life, but he’s been there, over and over and over. And if the series drags on a few more years, he’ll hit bottom repeatedly.

    Having said that – I enjoyed the episode. Work-centered rather than the boring Betty story lines – that’s always a good thing. Plus, Peggy making friends with a few people her age who work for Time Life (who would certainly NOT have been hippies. Hip, maybe, but not ‘tune in turn on and drop out’ at all).

  71. Re: music. Just re-watched and I'm still sorta sure the party music (when peggy first enters ) is the Velvet Underground, but the song during a later scene while watching the film "I'm enjoying this more than I thought I would" I'm positive is the Animals. I'd know Eric Burdon's voice anywhere. Also noticed when Joyce steals a kiss from Peg, she is startled, but not so much that she stops hitting on that doobie. Heh.

  72. I continue to be fascinated by Peggy. She’s self-assured in the office, but less so when she dips her toe into the emerging youth-culture of the time. She dresses “elegantly” (so said someone at the party) – indeed, I was very taken with her as she made her way up the stairs.

    She drinks the scene in, somewhat fascinated herself by the goings on. This is somewhat like being sober at a party where everyone else is drinking. Of course, a couple tokes on Joyce’s joint, and she soon becomes a participant. Not completely. She attempts to reel in an obviously talented photographer – this, just after she pleads for approval from her future writer lover – defending her copywriter living: “I’m a writer, too”.

    I look forward to the writer coming back for a followup to that kiss. I look forward to another similar party scene (though THAT would be less essential to the series). If she does (go to another party) will she still be “elegant”? Or will she conform to the “scene”?

    (Of course, she will be very elegant for that upcoming first date).

  73. "Marriage isn’t just a marketplace, it’s a bargain. You hope for it, you gain it, maybe you lose it. But in the end, fifty years later, you’re still saying “Did you get pears?” to the point where your spouse is really pissed off. Is that what they’re all working for? You’ve got to wonder."

    I see this event differently. An elderly wife with enough presence to withhold her answer, possibly an upsetting answer, is a demonstration of respect. Fifty years of marriage with complete respect for privacy is no mean accomplishment. It is a goal all can aspire to.

    "By endurance we conquer."

    E. Shackleton

  74. Thanks, Patti!

    Mr. and Mrs. Pears were like something out of a Silent Hill game.

  75. It’s great to have our old Pete Campbell back! Sure, it was nice to see him being such a team player these last few episodes, but that glance & shrug in response to his father-in-law calling him an SOB was one of the best lines ever. Thank you John Slattery for letting someone else get a zinger in!!
    Allison was no doubt smarting from Ken’s engagement as well – they’d been seeing each other for YEARS: they slept together the night Kennedy was elected, flirted continuously in Season 2, and she was sitting on his lap when Smitty drove the lawnmower through the office in Season 3. She’s been rejected by the best prospect she had, presumably b’c she didn’t have the money of Ken’s new lady, and she can’t even get treated decently by the nasty old drunk whom she works so hard for. I’d cry too.

    Still trying to figure out Peggy tho’: she told Pete she passed over having him b’c she “wanted other things”; she was annoyed at Mark McBland announcing himself as her fiance so she clearly is not interested in marrying him, but she still tries to keep him around; she tells Freddy she wants to get married and tries on Faye’s ring, but she Abe and goes out with the beatnik crowd, who are probably the furthest possible prospects for marriage. WHAT DOES SHE WANT?!?

  76. #44: I think she’s still trying to figure that out herself. 🙂

  77. # 54 – "Don was beginning to write an apology letter, but perhaps he won’t be able to finish the process until an episode in the future"

    A fine example of Don being truly stuck in/by a distinction of his own creation!

    Back when Don and Duck had their showdown at the end of Season Two, Don made it clear that he doesn’t sell advertising – he sells products.

    That's true professionally and I think it's also true with Don personally.

    All along, his "product" has been "Don Draper" – something he has, so far, been selling successfully, to the world.

    His uncompleted (barely started, really) letter to Allison, was a futile attempt at advertising his "product," but how truthful or effective can he really be in this endeavor? He's not "Don Draper". He's Dick Whitman!

    Last week's episode had Anna telling Dick, “I know everything about you, and I still love you". For him to have that level of acceptance (by Allison, or anybody) will be a long time in coming.

    It might be in a future episode, but more likely, it'll be in some future season – if it happens at all!

  78. Zelda Gilroy from Dobie Gillis. *That’s* why she looked familiar!

  79. #71, yes, I left that unfinished. "So" is an intensifier. You can't intensify pregnancy. You can say "so beautiful" and that is more beautiful than "beautiful," or "so hungry" and that is hungrier than "hungry." But you can't be more or less pregnant.

    The use of "so" as emphasizing without intensifying is, I think, a Gen X thing.

  80. #53 Dean

    "…examining who is willing to whore themselves out to whom and for how much is not exactly an uplifting subject to meditate on."

    I've been thinking for some time that one of the themes of MM, not just this season, is prostitution. Don's mother was a prostitute. Don seems to be able to find sexual honesty now only with a prostitute. As pointed out above, Don has criticized Betty by comparing her to a whore. And as was also pointed out above, men are just as often seen figuratively whoring themselves out. It's sort of the nature of advertising, isn't it? It may not be an uplifting subject to meditate on but I think it's no accident it is such a prominent metaphor in the show. Prostitution is all about turning intimacy into merchandise. It seeks to substitute commerce for a genuine, personal experience. Isn't that the real goal of advertising? Especially the "cutting edge" of Don Draper. He excels in creating a story to appeal to the emotions of the consumer, not to really satisfy the desire underlying the emotion, but to substitute a craving for merchandise as a substitute for the consumer's subconscious desire. We've heard him expound on this point more than once and Peggy has certainly learned his lesson.

    But I think the theme is much deeper than just "advertising as prostitution." It's certainly no accident that the fictitious creation "Don Draper" found advertising as his professional calling. Even if we don't take pleasure in MM's exploration of the dark depths of Don's character, I think the whole point of the series is to dramatize for us a mid-20th century everyman in the throes of true existential crisis. We can bemoan his slide into alcoholism, his betrayal of his own code of conduct and his loss of "mojo" but all of this is mere appendage for a man who is, and has always been, alienated from his true self. Existential crisis was something that was taken very seriously a generation ago. The narcissism of our present age (which is argueably a direct result of the changes we see developing in MM & which continued through the '70s & even the '80s) works hard to ignore the struggles required for an authentic life but I like to think that great stories like MM are a reminder that we do so at our own peril. Until Don accepts Socrates' injunction to know himself & to live authentically, there will be no redemption for him.

  81. #49 Maggie

    "Swellegant" was coined, I think, by Cole Porter in his song "What a Swell Party This Is" a LONG time before 1965. I was a little surprised that Joyce would use a word that was something she might have heard from her parents. Perhaps she was poking a little fun at Peggy's "put together" look.

  82. Poor Allison. To sit there, in a fishbowl, on display, for all to see.

    She may have had flights of fancy, picturing herself as Mrs. Don Draper. Jane managed to snag Roger, right ?

    "This actually happened!" She screams,. Don's "This Never Happened" magic trick failed miserably.

    When Don told her to type her own recommendation, she took it as yet another slap.

    I can understand Peggy's anger about the assumption she had slept with the boss. Peggy's "Get Over It", might not seem too harsh, especially if Peggy knows that Allison and Ken had been intimate.

    Peggy has had several sexual partners now and knows of some of the sexual dalliances of several current and former coworkers, she probably thought Allison was overreacting. Granted it was with their boss, Don, but intraoffice sex all the same.

    Joan was pissed. Don was doing the hired help and it obviously had blown up in his face. After the Jane/Roger meltdown too ! Joan hadn't forgotten Don barking that he wanted Jane ," Off of my desk". Her choice of Allison's replacement is hilarious.

  83. #85 I'm much younger than Joyce, but a lot of friends in college (some gay, some not) used terms from the songbooks of Noel Coward, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Sondheim, etc. It's just being droll, sophisticated, glib and kind of camp.

  84. Good observations on prostitution and women as commodities. However, in this episode, more men than women are whores: Pete with his father-in-law is one example. Ken marries a rich girl, and is suspected of doing it for the money. As somebody noted, SDCP catering to Lee Garner’s whims smells like prostitution. In fact in MM, the whole ad biz is more than once compared to prostitution, especially on the accounts side.

    For me, the issue brought out by the focus group was not so much prostitution than the male gaze – another feminist concept. The women begin to articulate the difference between how they see themselves, vs how men see them, and how they feel compelled to live their lives under the male gaze. Saying that they are trying to market themselves (and implying that it really is mainly for the money) is perhaps an overstatement – or simply a capitalist metaphor that we end up taking a bit too literally.

    Obviously, the focus group scene mirrors the earlier basket of kisses one. Peggy is now on the other side of the glass, while Allison is still among the “girls”. But now she knows that she is being watched, and she uses this knowledge to tell Don what he refuses to hear, that she was hurt by the fling and its aftermath. Peggy peeking and watching Don who does not know he is being watched puts her even closer to the male position in S1.

  85. Did anyone else like that little moment where Don was watching Peggy try Faye's ring on, with a small amused, indulgent smile on his face? He thinks he knows about Peggy's personal life — especially since Mark the Drip introduced himself as her fiancee in the Thanksgiving ep. I wonder just how surprised Don would be if he knew about Peggy's real private life adventures… and just how shocked he will be when/if his little protege blows his mind with what she has learned about HIS lately.

    I loved this ep. There was not one misstep, in my opinion. And I personally hope Joan's temp for Don stays awhile — the looks on all those men's faces, for all their distinct reasons, were pure comic gold.


  86. It figures that Dr. Miller, no doubt giddy about her own impending nuptials, would mistake the focus group members' longing to be respected, loved, and appreciated (which pretty much everyone wants, in one form or another) with longing to be married.

    At first, it was a little bewildering to see Don, of all people, making the feminist argument that young women only want marriage because they've been told over and over again they should want it, but Don is the one who's been married and knows just how much it does guarantee a woman's happiness (i.e., it doesn't at all) once the wedding is over and they actually have to be married.

    In my early 20s, I was as much of a feminist as anyone, and yet, I still craved marriage, and was terrified no one would ever want me. But I still think it was the wanting to be loved and respected thing I really craved, and I thought the ring symbolized that someone thought I was beautiful and wanted me forever. I actually had to experience a terrible marriage (in my 30s) in order to realize that they were two entirely different things, despite all the evidence in front of my face before that.

  87. “So” is an intensifier. You can’t intensify pregnancy. You can say “so beautiful” and that is more beautiful than “beautiful,” or “so hungry” and that is hungrier than “hungry.” But you can’t be more or less pregnant

    The use of “so” as emphasizing without intensifying is, I think, a Gen X thing.

    I agree. Like you & Therese, I noticed that line of Joey's right away because it didn't seem right to me. (I thought it was funny that he felt that way about Trudy, but it sounded too contemporary.)

  88. @ # 71

    So it is.

  89. # 84:

    I don't mind actual and metaphorical prostitution as a theme, nor do I mind exploring the darkness in Don's soul. It is just that there needs to be some balance.

    When Don Draper was a guy who sold his soul for the picture perfect '50s home life with the professional life of James Bond, it made sense why he was in an existential crisis. His true self was less appealing on the surface than his invented self. He may have sold his soul, but at least it had fetched a pretty good price.

    Well, that is all gone. The wife dumped him. His kids barely see him. Some old dude is living in the house that was the primary signifier of his professional success with his former family. His firm is struggling and his creative skills are of minimal use. His skill with women has deserted him to the point that he cannot manage a post-Christmas Party tryst with his faithful secretary without it blowing up in his face.

    In other words, Don has sold his soul for nothing.

    That makes the existential crisis meaningless. Don is currently alienated … well … just because. It both more sad and less interesting.

  90. I love reading all these incredibly insightful comments. What struck me most in this episode is Peggy as the ultimate transitional figure. She is the one making the leap from the '50s to the 60's and leaving everyone in her wake. She is ready to leave Pete behind and follow the wave of the '60s social revolution – but she still keeps her feet on the ground and her goals firmly in sight. The scene at the elevators, with Pete and the men in suits in one corner and Peggy with her young and stylish newfound friends in the other, perfectly counterposes the old with the new – and Peggy is the thread that binds them together.

  91. @55 toni


    @56 DuckDuckGoose

    RE: “I’m Catholic. I don’t think I should like it” – is either naive Peggy or wry Peggy … or maybe it was simply stoned Peggy?

    If Peggy had said that she shouldn't like the film, then I might have inferred that she did like, but felt conflicted/guilty about it because of her Catholicism (which is what I take to be Toni's 'budding progressive' gloss on the remark). I thought that Peggy probably didn't like it, although she may have appreciated that it had artistic intent (if not merit). She told Joyce that it was 'more interesting' than she expected – which is hardly an endorsement- and (while stoned) called it "rhythmic".

    After introducing herself as a Catholic (!), the artist asked if she liked it, and she said, "I don't think I'm supposed to," almost apologetically. I think that in saying that she isn't "supposed" to like it, she is implying that the artist intended for her (as a Catholic), not to like it (and that in that regard he was scessful). The fact that she immediately points out that she _does_ like his photographs, supports this interpretation.

  92. #87 25framesaminute

    Point well taken; I should have thought about that. I still think Joyce might be a little ironic with the comment though.

    #91 Dean

    Love your analysis. You make some of my points much more concisely than I did. Then, just when I thought we were seeing eye to eye came your last paragraph. Yikes! Rather than making his existential crisis meaningless, I think this is the trigger for it. We can go about our every day lives, living inauthentically but never giving it a thought as long as we feel successful & everything is all sunshine & roses. (Well, except when we wake up late at night, sweating & feeling like frauds about to be exposed.) But when we lose everything we can no longer deny the alienation that we previously only acknowledged in the dark. Everything you say about Don is true but all his losses are the direct consequence of his fraudulent existence. Everyone to his own taste but I think this show has been constructed like a brilliant novel & I'm anxious to see whether Don will find redemption. I'm not sure he will but I'm pretty sure that even if he does, he's got a long way to go. It was fun watching him when he was the James Bond of Madison Ave. but I think his current struggle is just as interesting and doesn't require "balance." He doesn't even know what his life is right now (and, just so, couldn't explain himself in his attempted letter to Allison) so I think that means he's a long way from self realization. I'm pretty sure he's going lower before he can rise.

  93. @49 Maggie


    @85 Steve D Swellegan

    RE: Swellegant & I was a little "surprised that Joyce would use a word… she might have heard from her parents. Perhaps she was poking a little fun at Peggy’s “put together” look."

    “Swellegant” was used (and probably originated by) by Cole Porter in the song 'Well, Did You Evah!' way back in 1939. Joyce would likely know the term from the 1956 film, 'High Society', with Bing Crosby & Frank Sinatra (probably the epitome of bourgeois culture from Joyce's point of view). She probably used that word to make fun of Peggy without being obvious about it. (Peggy takes it as a compliment not realizing that the implication is that she's a 'square'.)

  94. #95


  95. # 81:

    I love the idea of “Don Draper” as a product that Dick Whitman is selling. The show needs to take a cue from advertising and release a “New and Improved Don Draper!” in the near future.

  96. # 11 Mayor MacDougal


    # 29 berkowit28

    RE: Ken Cosgrove's firm & Pete's good deed

    I wondered about that too. I thought that since Pete and Ken had their rapprochement and aren't competitors anymore (& Harry reminded Pete that networking is a smart move), that Pete might arrange for Ken to get Clearasil. (Ken will likely know that he has Pete to thank- even if Pete uncharacteristically fails to mention it- since Ken knew about Trudy's dad.)

    Originally I wasn't sure because whereas Pete says "I thought I'd kick Clearasil over to Geyer" pretty clearly, it's almost impossible to make out the name of Ken's firm the only time it's mentioned… and for good reason – Harry says, "[mumble] is twice our size" with his mouth full of chocolate donut!

    I looked it up on a subtitle site, and it was indeed Geyer in both instances.

    Hooray for Pete – doing something nice & (finally) trying to make friends with Ken.

    PS: Regarding Pete's coup with Vick's, there's the following from Advertising Age (link=… )

    "Historical note: In 1965, the company that had been Vicks Chemical was called Richardson Merrell. It would be renamed Richardson-Vicks in 1980.) The $6 million account on its way to the agency would be worth $41.5 million in today's terms. Not too shabby. The relationship would also set the agency on a path to become an important roster shop for Procter & Gamble, which purchased Richardson-Vicks in 1985. "

  97. #84, 94

    Holy Crow, Steve I love everything you said and agree completely.

    I have thought from the start that Don will have redemption in some kind of use of his creativity because as far as I can figure Matthew Weiner gets a lot of joy and meaning out of his work. If he doesn't then I am just frigging lost.

    I am about 75% sure that I read something from Matthew Weiner when I started to watch the show where he talked about how you can wake up in mid life with a great family and a great job and wonder why you're still not happy. It completely intrigued me, I guess it struck a chord. Now that it's the 4th season I am completely amazed at how this problem has been described so honestly and I am more curious than ever about every aspect of Don's struggle. The more deep and complex it gets the more satisfying I find it. The problem is just being so well attended to. The more I think about the show the more I trust it and have faith that it's going somewhere worth going.

  98. I read BOK Monday night or Tuesday. I enjoy MM on Sunday night and watch it again on Monday morning. I need to watch it a few times, and then come here to read the threads.

    I Just wanted to say that I find this site enjoyable and stimulating, and is an important part of my MM week.

  99. I wonder if Matt Weiner, or someone close to him, ever had a bad experience with McCann-Erickson. That shaft of Ken's "McCann-Erickson is the worst company I've ever worked for" (or was it worse than that?), on top of all the little needles over 3 seasons, really seemed it have it in for them.

  100. In the scene where Peggy was at the party, she said "I'm Catholic." It seemed very random and I'm not really sure what that had to do with the conversation. Any thoughts?

  101. #101 Barbara

    I too found that "I"m Catholic" comment somewhat out of place, especially when one is already IN the lions den!

  102. Does "Advertising Age" review Mad Men every week?

  103. This episode was just brilliant, I'll be watching it a few times for sure. I think the point needs to be spelled out that marriage and family was still pretty much the only 'career' option women had then, so the mainstream ad people's view is not surprising. This was underlined by Pete and Trudy's apparent oldschool fulfilment and success contrasted with Peggy's flirting with the 'turn on, tune in, drop out' scene. Perhaps Don will have another epiphany and become a pioneer of 'equal opportunities' in advertising.

  104. Two quick points to make:

    1) Re: Faye's ring(s) – I thought I saw both an engagement and wedding ring when Peggy was trying them on, but perhaps that was a trick of light and shadow? The room was dark.

    2) Did anyone else catch Mrs. B's comment "It's a girl" to Don when she's buzzing in Faye near the end of the episode? I can't tell if she's shocked or disapproves that a "Dr" could be female, is upset Don didn't warn her Dr. Miller was not a man, or thinks that Don might not know and is trying to tell him before Faye walks into the room. I hope Mrs. B sticks around. She could provide some much-needed comic relief. Thank you, Joan!

    (I wonder if "it's a girl" is foreshadowing the sex of Pete and Trudy's baby?)

  105. The Catholic comment: Peggy compared to a lot of other people has a "self" that has weight to it. I don't think she is entirely sure of what she wants, but she doesn't race around following all the latest fads "just because all the other girls are doing it." I appreciate that Peggy has modernized slowly, in fits and starts, through experimentation, and in her own way. She is proceeding through trial and error, and sometimes she makes mistakes.

    However, here at the party–where it would have been fashionable to hide her Catholocism and to pretend to be something she's not–she owns it pointedly to the film maker without rancor or taking offense.

    I think it was out-of-character for the party to bring it up like that, but I do not think it was out-of-character for Peggy.

    And perhaps that's what always makes her a little different and a little more interesting than many of the other girls her age.

    I thought that Peggy was a bit harsh to Allison, but I think I understand her harshness in light of her back story.

    First–Peggy was "initiated" at SC with one of the worst experiences of her life. She knows first hand what it is like to be picked up and totally dropped by someone who initially thought of her as something he was entitled to –something without feelings.

    Peggy paid a very high price, but because she endured it the hard way –she has a hard time sympathizing with Allison because Peggy already paid the high price and worked past it.

    That said, it was different because in a weird way Peggy had Freddy and Don looking out for her. In a way the knowledge of Allison/Don is hard for Peggy because Don never "wanted" her. She was rejected by Don back when she was most vulnerable to him. Yet, that rejection may have been a blessing for her, as we see what happened with Allison.

    But I think Peggy had a time when she really looked up to Don. He visited her in the hospital, he helped inspire her to get back on her feet. She spent a long time wanting to please him. I think she has been a little bit in love with him in her own way.

    In a way I think Anna and Peggy have a little in common. For whatever reason, Don does not use those two women. And in a way it preserves those relationships for him. But I thought that Anna may have wanted more from Don and I think Peggy may have, too.

    And if they got it, things may have fallen apart, too.

    It's strange.

  106. #'s 30, 32 and 79

    The music is by the band Love, I believe, and the song is called "Signed DC."

    That having been said, it seems incorrect, timing-wise, because it's from Love's first album, which came out in 1966. It also seems weird that it would be playing at a New York party, because I think most downtown, arty New Yorkers were somewhat anti-California at the time, but it IS possible that someone there was hip and had an advance copy or something like that.

  107. A few thoughts:

    Some movies get better when you're drunk or high: Last episode, Lane enthusing, "This movie's very good!" and this time, wide-eyed high Peggy saying "This movie's more interesting than I thought it was."

    I laughed out loud at Peggy's head appearing in the window of Don's office and then sliding away. And I'm looking forward to more of Mrs. B's comic injections.

    Pete & Ken: Did Pete say the things Ken accused him of saying, or not? Pete's denial seemed quite genuine to me — but once Ken said that his fiancee knew Trudy, it seemed to me that Pete realized he couldn't deny it, and said "mea culpa" and apologized. Or was he just pragmatically realizing that bickering about it was pointless, and apologizing would move things forward? Part of his evolution as a shrewd businessman, perhaps.

  108. #101 & #102: The film kept showing little snippets of text, some of which were religious phrases. I remember seeing, "HOLY EUCHARIST" and some other things.

    I assumed Peggy mentioned she was Catholic because she'd been watching it and got that the artist was making lots of religious references.

  109. Don/Dick needs to take Aunt Eller's advice to Laurey in Oklahoma to heart:

    "You got to get used to all kinds of things happenin to ya.

    You got to look at all the good on one side

    and all the bad on the other and say

    'Well, alright then to both of them.' "

    Until he can accept all he is and has happened to him, he will never be at peace with himself, and will always be on the outside looking in at the life he wants.

  110. Re Mrs Blankenship's surprise that Dr Miller was a "girl" – female doctors, whether MD or PhD, were still very uncommon in 1965.

    It was a period where women in what were traditionally considered male jobs were always called "lady__________" or "female_________" as in lady doctor or female engineer. You never got man dentist or male lawyer; the only exception I can think of to that is "male nurse" because there were so few and nursing was an almost exclusively female occupation. The "-ess" suffix got quite a workout too (poetess, stewardess.) Gender neutral job titles were rare and it became quite entertaining in the 1970s and 1980s as companies tried to create new titles that would be acceptable to all.

    Gone are the days of the separate Help Wanted: Male and Help Wanted: Female ads. They's be very instructive for today's kids who are clueless as to how far removed we are from that era (though not yet at economic parity.)

  111. Rebecca @105, all I saw was an engagement ring.

  112. Anyone else pick up that Jessica Pare (Megan) and Matt Long (Joey) both starred together in the short-lived TV series 'Jack & Bobby'?

    Just wondering!

  113. I've been wondering; if Don keeps going much longer down this path, where he's not able to articulate even to himself what's wrong in his life, where he keeps telling himself that everything'll be OK if he just has another drink and pushes on, will we have a scene where Peggy comes to sit by his hospital bed after his nervous breakdown?

  114. Something I just thought of….

    Wasn't part of the Popsicle campaign tied to the rite of Communion — the receiving of the Holy Eucharist?

  115. #101 Barbara




    #107 Lady K

    Peggy comes from a devout Catholic family, and while she ihas become less observant, it's obvious that she still respects the church a great deal. (Remember the Father Gill storyline.) The filmmaker juxtaposed the Eucharist and images from war, which would be intentionally offensive to Catholics. There's a long history of artists courting controversy and being deliberatively provocative ostensibly to challenge social conventions, but often to get publicity or seem 'edgy' or unconventional. Being viewed as 'scandalous' by people who are more conservative would be a pretty standard (& trite) way for the filmmaker to try to establish his bona fides as a cultural rebel.

    Peggy offers up that she is a Catholic before she says anything else to him as a way of letting him know that she's one of the people he meant to offend, and therefore wouldn't be expected to like his movie. (see #93) Imagine the reaction of someone who regards the Catholic church with reverence and affection to Serrano's 'Piss Christ' or Ofili's 'The Holy Virgin Mary'. Such a person might be able to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of the artwork, but they can't be expected to like something meant to offend them.

  116. Wow! I want to comment on several threads (there are so many interesting ones running through the terrific original post and the many great comments).

    Peggy's "renting it" comment – I agree with #14 – it seemed not at all something she would say, especially with how ambivalent she was over letting Mark "rent" her vagina at all (not that she's a prude, but just trying to decide who to be). I wondered if we're supposed to think that she's repeating something she heard to try to sound hip.

    Don's attitude toward marriage – #21 said Don has no respect for the institution, which is true in the sense that he wasn't faithful to his wife, but I think Don needs marriage to assist him in being not-Dick-Whitman. He doesn't value marriage in the romantic sense, but I think he does value it as a validation of a respectable life. And I don't think he's miserable because he's a bachelor (as suggested by #5) – I think he's miserable because he's miserable (because he hates himself, married or otherwise).

    Pete's reaction to Harry's description of the Puerto Rican girl – I didn't think that he was disapproving of Harry or above participating in such ogling. I thought he was just frustrated and annoyed at that moment and didn't want to engage in boyish banter ("I'm not in the mood" . . . right now). I definitely didn't extrapolate his comment to mean that he's so progressive or open minded as #31 and #55 did.

    Don's letter – I was thinking at the time and still think: How the heck do you finish *that* sentence ("my life is very . . ." )???

  117. I want to correct my own point about Don and marriage – he's miserable because he's miserable, but he's also miserable because he failed at marriage and therefore failed (at least partially) at establishing that respectable life that he wants to have to prove that he's Not-Dick-Whitman.

  118. This is a great analysis. Especially the end since I personally have been grappling with the "point" and pondering how "worth it" many things are, especially marriage and relationships, in the long run.

    Not exactly apropos of this thread, but is anyone else worried about Freddy? I assume that Ponds will now get the heave-ho (unless they change their minds about not feeling Clearasil is a conflict for the firm), so I guess poor Freddy is gone too? I felt a bit of doom for him when he made the comment about " a group of young girls with the fate of your career in their hands" or something, and then Don quipped it wasn't his career on the line. I hope this doesn't bump him off the wagon.

    Also, was anyone else surprised that Ken seemed so tetchy and almost complainy/whiny in his short scene? Just last week several people were commenting on how happy go-lucky/ let things slide off his back like water off a duck he is, and here he is complaining about something a former co-worker, who conceivably, he would not have to see again, or not see often, may or may not have said. It seemed so different from his usual sunny-self. I kept wondering why the heck he'd care what Campbell said in the past since they weren't friends or in the same office anymore, especially since they were such small petty unimportant things? I wonder if it means Ken isn't as confident and happy with his "hair" as we think, if t

  119. Really "Signed DC?" Are you sure?

    108:"Love started playing the Los Angeles clubs in April 1965 " …Wikipedia

    Still very very unlikely to me that New York would have a tape. And "Signed DC" wasn't written yet (I think). SDC is probably one of the first rock songs about a heroin junkie. It is a very slim possibility that it had been written, and the Velvets, who were uber-hip, were covering it. If so, that is uber-hip on the part of the MM crew.

    1st verse:

    Sometimes I feel so lonely

    My comedown I'm scared to face

    I've pierced my skin again, Lord

    No one cares

    For me

  120. Oh. If it is "Signed DC" what that could be is a sly signal, an anachronism that would be noticed, that they wanted "Heroin" but couldn't get or afford the rights.

  121. @ #115 melly-

    Re: 'Take it. Break it. Share it. Love it'. -Popsicles & the Eucharist


    James Poniewozik wrote about it at…

    [… ]

    During the ritual in which the priest consecrates the altar bread (communion wafers) and wine (which is when transubstantiation is supposed to take place) an oversize scored wafer is symbolically broken ('the breaking of the bread') in full view of the congregation. The priest shares pieces of the broken host (a consecrated wafer) with a few of the congregants, and smaller hosts are distributed to everyone else.

    Here's a picture of the two kinds of wafer where you can see the scoring on the large one…

    [… ]

    Here's Peggy making the pitch…

    [… ]

    and a close up of the artwork Sal (also a Catholic) made for her…

    [ ]

    Poniewozik suggested that the mother was depicted as a Christ figure. He probably had something like this in mind…

    [… ]

    I thought that it was a visual reference to traditional Catholic icons of the Virgin Mary…

    [… ]

  122. @ #119 Dark Peggy:

    Freddy won't be affected by Pete's maneuver. They're still keeping Pond's Cold Cream. Trudy's dad is giving Pete the Vick's products other than Clearasil, which Pete suggested be given to Ken's firm. As to Kenny – I think it's the fact that the gossip (including his 'marrying for money') was heard by his fiancee which ticked him off.

  123. @ #112 Floretta-

    Actually studies of income for professional occupations indicate that we already have achieved economic parity. When you factor out the effects of leaving the job market to raise children (or when you compare women who never leave to have kids), there's no longer any significant difference in compensation attributable to gender. The difference now isn't about pay as much as it is that it's women who are expected to put their careers on hold for family, and when they do, their salary never catches up with those who stayed.

  124. #117: Danielle, you've given me a great idea for a post–for which of course I'll give you full credit 🙂

  125. # 123:

    It is a bit more than that.

    Women passed men in educational attainment over a decade ago. Educational attainment has a high correlation to income, so prior to maternity women out-earn men. That trend has accelerated during the current recession with its effects falling heavily on male-dominated sectors, like construction and manufacturing.

  126. Ponds isn't getting the heave-ho. It was spelled out, but it went by fast. Pete is throwing Clearasil over to Ken (at Geyer) and in exchange for it he's getting all of the Vicks cough line.

    She probably used that word to make fun of Peggy without being obvious about it. (Peggy takes it as a compliment not realizing that the implication is that she’s a ‘square’.)

    Disagree completely. She was hitting on Peggy.

  127. # 127:

    Both things could be true. There is a school of flirtation through patronization (or even insult). It is distressingly effective.

  128. #30, #32, #79 and #120 & #121:

    The first song playing as Peggy is walking into the party is…I dunno. I think they were trying to make it Velvet Undergroud-y, but I don't think it is.

    The second song is a COVER of a Love song, called Signed DC, but it is a group called Brave New World; here is their myspace page:
    The song from the show is here

  129. […] we were discussing “I would get her so pregnant,” I know Basketcases will be interested in Ben […]

  130. # 128 Dean

    I think you're right on with that one.

  131. I think Peggy would have said the renting line in those circumstances because it comes across as irreverent and she wanted to fit in. The adult nature of the quip overrode analyzing it too much. Peggy was acknowledging that she does, indeed, screw. Compare it to Dottie saying she played house with her boyfriend and seeing a little embarrassed. Whether the dude owns it, rents it, borrowed it, or just had a sleepover, Peggy is saying he has taken up space in her vagina and that's making a statement.

    Also,Peggy was reaching for it like a life raft rather than to just say she doesn't play with girls. Joan's technique would not have worked. On some board somewhere it was mentioned that the response to Peggy saying he was renting her vagina was to ask if he'd left a deposit.

    Joyce was clearly mocking and hitting on Peggy all at once. It happens. 🙂

  132. # 132 "Joyce was clearly mocking and hitting on Peggy all at once. It happens."

    Called teasing? I've heard of that.

  133. Also, I think Peggy accidentally teased/flirted with Joyce a little too. If it hasn't been mentioned, and it probably has been, I think Joyce was the brunette in the one nude Peggy admired (I took it from Joyce's reaction of doing that playful thing with the folder) and there seemed some chemistry. I can see why she tested the waters.

  134. I had no problem with Peggy's Adventure Downtown.

    The setting was just an arty event in a big, old building–such as one may still attend in various metropolitan areas–not The Factory. Warhol had won fame by showing his Campbell's Soup Can in 1964–and rendered complaints about "selling out" irrelevant to anyone with a brain.

    The music was just suggestive of the Velvets, although the embryonic band could have been playing dumps in the city by then. And there were other embryonic bands jamming around town who never amounted to much. (Of course Andy "adopted" the Velvets in 1966.)

    Peggy was introduced to pot last season & sexual libertinism has been around for quite a few centuries. The "beatniks" (who probably hated that word) also smoked–with Don. Back in the first season, which happened in 1960. The whole show has been set in the 60's.

    I don't see Peggy "going hippie." She's just getting hipper. I doubt she'll be moving to a commune in the country.

    Some places got hip faster than others: some cities–& even some areas within the same city. And some people are just slower to pick up on what's going on around them.

    It's been a few months since Allison & Don's encounter. If she'd been pregnant, Allison would probably have realized her condition by then & mentioned it.

  135. @ DuckDuckGoose.

    Hey, I'm a Houstonian, too. Within one year of Peggy's Adventure, The Red Krayola formed here & The Elevators came down from Austin to record. I was carless in the rural outskirts, listening to Folklore Society meetings on the radio & planning my escape.

    I'm pretty sure people were Up To Stuff even in 1965. Even in Houston!

  136. Is it just me, or was the “Factory” scene and the lesbian who is now
    Peggy’s buddy, waaaaay off? There were no uncloseted lesbians – and
    bold ones at that – even among friends in those days. I was there. But how interesting that she thought Peggy was worth a “turn.” I wonder if she is. So, Peggy is going to go all hippie on us, eh?

    And really, Warhol was a year away,the first Velvets record and sexual libertinism at least two years away. Same with pot. Weiner seems tone deaf on the sixties. He was better with beatniks.

    Don Knocked up Allison, right?

    And… Ken’s inside baseball rant (I was in the business) on McCann Erickson was so dead on and hilarious I almost choked to death on my Maker’s Mark.

  137. @135 Comfortzone

    Warhol – “In March 1965, Sedgwick met artist and avant-garde filmmaker Andy Warhol. She began going to The Factory regularly in March 1965” so that fits the time line. Source-the occasionally accurate Wikipedia

    Velvet Underground recorded their first album in 1966, sure, but maybe it wasn’t their record playing. Maybe it was someone else. Maybe it was a reel to reel tape of a live band show. Who knows?

    The whole vibe was correct, though. Dim halls, a maybe-abandoned building used as a party house, ‘Hey it’s the cops’ and people scatter like roaches…

    “There were no uncloseted lesbians – and bold ones at that – even among friends in those days.” Wow. Quite a sweeping statement.

    I knew uncloseted lesbians (and gays) in Houston in 1964-65 .. I’d bet NYC had a few then, too. And was pot available to the ‘art’ crowd in NYC in the early 60s? I bet it was.

  138. Even in 1964 if the membership of the H.O.G.R.A. can be believed …

  139. #126-

    I believe that you're right. I was just making the point that as far as economic parity goes, those who jump from 'the average woman makes X cents to every dollar a man makes' to the conclusion that this proves ongoing gender discrimination, aren't just using invalid reasoning (correlation v. causation), but are making a demonstrably false claim according to studies which show that differences in pay are attributable to factors that aren't a result of bias.

  140. #127





    She definitely hit on Peggy a great deal, but the choice of an overtly passe term like "swellegant" (particularly given the fact that Peggy had probably chosen her outfit expecting something more like an ordinary party or a night on the town- and would stand out a bit) definitely had a little snarkiness in it. Still, as Dean and Berkowit28 pointed, you can absolutely flirt/tease/mock all at once (saying Peggy's wardrobe is a bit square, but that she still looks good to you).

  141. I know that this is not part of the beginning thread, but can someone give me their take on why Pete's father-in-law called him a "sonuvabitch" (and seemed ticked off when he said it), over Pete asking for more business from him? It seemed like it came out of nowhere and was mostly unwarranted.

  142. […] posting is inspired by Danielle’s comment (#117). Thanks, […]

  143. Tom, Pete's father-in-law, has previously tied in Peter's success in giving him grandkids with giving him accounts. He gave Pete Clearisil in an episode where he not only discussed grandchildren, but pretty much told Pete not to nap too long because he had a job to do. When Pete didn't warm to the idea of adoption, Tom ended up pulling Clearisil, only giving it back when Pete needed it to take to the new company. When Tom yanked Clearisil Tom acted as if there personal and professional lives were separate and Pete told him that (paraphrase) from where he was sitting they seemed pretty tied together.

    Pete basically took the good news of Trudy's condition and used it as a bargaining chip with his father-in-law. The gloves were off. It actually was only slightly less subtle than what Tom had done all along, but the shoe was on the other foot.

  144. “Pete basically took the good news of Trudy’s condition and used it as a bargaining chip with his father-in-law. The gloves were off. It actually was only slightly less subtle than what Tom had done all along, but the shoe was on the other foot.”

    Agree that Pete used the pregnancy (skillfully) as a bargaining chip to add more advertising lines to SCDP, but Pete’s position is much weaker than his father-in-law’s position at the time Clearisil was provided to SC.

    Trudy is no Peggy, she is unlikely to give up the baby without ever holding it. Trudy is no Joan, who has used abortion several times as fallback to birth control.

    The Campbell baby is not a good bargaining chip, as there is likely no removal option – necessary to strengthen the position.

  145. We don’t know when Joan had the “procedures.” Could have been before the pill and her other form of BC failed. Also, my understanding was that it was twice which is perhaps too many times depending in your view on the topic, but it’s not several.

    The bargaining chip could well be access to the little blessing, not that Trudy would be on board.

  146. #29 – "Heyer" is undoubtedly meant to be "Ayer," as in N.W. Ayer.

  147. Trudy is no Peggy, she is unlikely to give up the baby without ever holding it. Trudy is no Joan, who has used abortion several times as fallback to birth control.

    Of course not. She's got a rich husband. (And rich parents, too. If her pre-Pete lover had impregnated her, her mother would have arranged a discreet "procedure" or her father would have arranged a hasty marriage.)

    Peggy's decision was the best one for her & the baby in those days. It was also the best one for Pete & Trudy; Trudy's current happiness is, in part, the result of Peggy's choice.

    Joan had two abortions. She does not appear to be the sort of woman who would make the choice lightly, but probably had no better option.

  148. #148-

    getting into flame prone territory, but…

    I think Peggy's choice was unimpeachable from any POV.

    With what little we know about Trudy and her family there's no basis for speculating about how she (or her mother) would react.

    Concluding that Joan had no better options is based entirely on a very controversial ideological interpretation of what constitutes 'better'. Moreover, Joan appears to me like exactly the sort of woman who would make the choice lightly.

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