Recap: A Little Kiss

 Posted by on March 25, 2012 at 11:05 pm  Season 5
Mar 252012

Megan knows about Dick Whitman.

Say what you will about this episode, discuss the meaning and the symbolism and the complexity and whatever else you like, but it all boils down to just one thing.

Megan knows about Dick Whitman.

At the end of Season 4, the Surprise Marriage Proposal prompted an awful lot of people to say that Don would never have married Faye, because Faye knew his secret. I may be the only writer on Mad Men in all of cyberspace who didn’t say, when Don revealed Dick-in-a-Box to Faye, “Well, that’s over.” Honestly, I felt kind of stupid, like all the other writers had more insight than me. But I still couldn’t bring myself to say it. It felt too simple, too much of an equation: This, then that, and therefore…and that’s not Matthew Weiner’s style.

So just a wee little bit, I feel vindicated. (A wee bit? Like Pete looking out a big window!)

In Episode 4.10, Don said to Faye, “I’m tired of running,” and told her his secret. Then he said, “Now I think that’s over.” And now? Now he’s decided it was a good idea. He really was tired of running, really was relieved when he thought it was all over, and despite his terror that day, despite his hand being forced, it seems it has become a decision. Eight months later we see him living the results.

For those of you keeping score, A Little Kiss* takes place May 30 through June 6, 1966, seven months after the Season 4 finale, Tomorrowland.

About Megan, Don says to Peggy, “You don’t know her at all.” It almost doesn’t matter why he says it; what matters is that he really does know his second wife, as he never knew Betty. And Megan knows Dick Whitman. She has a lot to learn about her husband, and she made a real miscalculation with the party, but he’s given her the means to know more: something he never gave to Betty until she forced his hand.

Looking at the broader themes of this episode, let’s start with babies. There are an awful lot of babies in this episode: Tammy Campbell is just off-screen, Kevin Harris gets passed around, Gene Draper is with his siblings (I guess now that Don has a wife, he’s not afraid of having the baby along with the older kids), and there’s a hint that Megan is next (Joan says it outright, plus Megan feels inexplicably sick—maybe it’s morning sickness, maybe it’s foreshadowing, maybe it’s just a hangover—we’ll have to wait and see). Does it symbolize renewal? Rebirth? Is it Mattew Weiner winking at the audience since his series is “reborn”? We’ll have to wait and see, but the motif is plain enough.

Thematically, we’re looking at the interplay of work and domesticity. Consider: The Drapers come to work together, leave together, and finally, the show ends with a discussion of that intersection. Joan, coming to work with a baby, also provides a clear illustration of home and work intermixed. The visual references (couples at work, babies at work) open the door for a wide-ranging exploration. Joan misses work, and she doesn’t even have the language to express that. She tells her mother she wants to go back to work because “I don’t want to break my promise.” Like Peggy, I’m inclined to say “bullshit.” She wants to go back to work because it’s interesting, and diaper rash just isn’t. I’ve been there, honey.

Don is happy at home and nice to clients, while Pete is frustrated at home and surly at work, even in response to success. Lane and Rebecca are unhappy at home, and Lane is lost at work, missing Joan (who is something like his “work wife,” in the most positive sense of that phrase), fantasizing about having something, or someone, different. He refuses to allow money to be spent on pranks at work (but is overruled) and refuses to allow his wife to write checks (and isn’t). Roger is miserable at home and increasingly meaningless at work. He’s trying to buy his way out of emptiness. (He should try actually working and see if that’s satisfying, but I may be asking too much.)

Two quotes encapsulate this theme: Trudy says to Pete, “This becomes a home the minute you walk through that door.” Later, Lane says to Joan, “It’s home but it’s not everything.” In truth, both work and home need to be satisfying, and when one is broken, it drags down the other.

Matt Weiner likes to start us in the middle, teasing the audience into catching up. By making the party the centerpiece of everything, the episode accomplishes so much. It plays on the theme, as coworkers interact in a home environment. It sets a lot of the conflicts of the era: It’s 1966, Megan is in a mini-dress. Look around the party and you can see the beginning of the “Generation Gap;” more than in past decades, people are dividing into age-specific groups (“key demographics,” Harry might say), and you can see it in the clothes, makeup, and dance styles. And it re-introduces most of the key players and their current situations. We hit the ground running, which is fun, without the structural tedium a re-introduction could have in weaker hands.

Rebecca: “Don’t forget to get the name of Megan’s real estate agent.”
Lane: “Yes dear.”
Rebecca: “And her decorator.”

Because that’s what makes a happy home. Rebecca wants a piece of that happy marriage and that exciting life, and she’s hoping the surfaces will somehow provide it. Lane is going for the surface too, falling for a picture in a wallet. Do you think we ever meet Dolores? I bet we don’t, but that Lane has an affair with someone else. Dolores is like the mechanic that Betty encounters at the beginning of Season 2; the beginning of a sexual experiment, not its culmination. (Infidelity of a different magnitude than what Lane did while his wife was out of the country and when he believed his marriage was over.)

I haven’t even talked about Pete. He is an inflamed cyst of dissatisfaction right now, and is also Don Draper minus ten years (and a lot of charm). He doesn’t like the suburbs, he doesn’t like the way Trudy has changed post-baby, and nothing satisfies, not even winning. Pete gets the client, he gets the bigger office, he even gets to successfully prank Roger, but none of it is the same as feeling good.

By the end of Season 3, it was hard to remember that Pete was very much the villain of Season 1, but after A Little Kiss, I feel confident that Pete Campbell’s Bitchface will have plenty of material. My goodness, what a petulant little brat. Talk about “love to hate”!

There are a lot more subjects worth exploring in these two hours. In a little over a thousand words, I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface, and I’ll be writing a lot more about this episode on my own site.

  • The racial subplot is going to become very important. I predict a new cast member, hired as a result of this improbable prank. Tanner Colby wrote a recent article in Slate about race, Mad Men, and Madison Avenue. He got the year wrong, but I think he got the trajectory right. Predictions?
  • Speaking of getting the year wrong, most people did. I’ve been saying since Season 2 that things won’t continue to skip too far ahead, because Matt Weiner loves the sixties and doesn’t want to see their end too soon.
  • A lot of money changed hands in a lot of different ways, and serves as a secondary motif, after babies and domestic life.
  • At this moment, I have no idea what the title means. Thoughts?
  • Don Draper is so sexually complex. I can’t even.
  • No Betty this week. Don’t forget they were working around January Jones’s pregnancy.

*For the sake of cohesiveness, I’m treating A Little Kiss Part 1 and A Little Kiss Part 2 as a single episode.

(Originally published at Indiewire Press Play.)


  394 Responses to “Recap: A Little Kiss”

  1. Awesome opener!

    All in all, it had some great moments for all the characters (save the Francis’)

    Much more of a Megan show than I would’ve expected. I feel vindicated now, for being decidely pro-megan in the face of vocal opposition last season.

    And most importantly:

    Lane dancing! I may have found something to dethrone the campbells dancing the charleston on my list of all time most smile inducing MM moments.

    Also, is it just me or do the Francis’ live in stately Wayne Manor?

    I say again, good, good stuff.

    • Count me in. I’m admittedly smitten –from the get-go–with Megan even before I saw her in less clothing. She’s beautiful. I am also glad to see Megan and Don “happy” as a married couple; with a wife to spice things up like that on a regular basis, Don SHOULD stay happy, but likely there are rougher waters ahead.

    • Well, I confess I was anti-Megan last year, but we really didn’t get to see much of her, did we? As in temper and personality and depth. She just felt too perfect.

      In this opener, Megan, Pare and Weiner let us see quite a bit more, in many different interactions, and she now feels more like part of the ensemble than a Don Draper fantasy.

      She’s ok. Maybe a little tragic, as foreshadowed in the last scene of first half on the balcony.

      • The cool thing about Megan on the balcony to me, is that that scene felt like the sort of scene Don used to (and probably will again) have at the ends of episodes. It’s kind of like Megan is now in the territory formerly occupied by Don.

      • I agree that it bodes well. Megan is starting out as both her own person and part of a team with Don. I love that he’s smitten with her. At least for now.

    • Everyone hates Megan, and I like her – I think she’s going to be an agent of change. Look how dull and old fashioned Peggy and Joan are (please note – I LOVE Joan and Peggy, AND their clothes; I’m just talking about how they are slightly staid in how they dress – Megan is very young and modern, and you can see how the rest of the women in the office are dressing more modish, and yet P & J are sticking to shirtwaists and those early 60’s styles); they are used to fighting their way through office sexism and politics, and Megan isn’t going to stand for it. I think she’s going to change a lot of things. Also, youth culture became very important as the post-war baby boomers started growing up and becoming consumers and Madison ave recognized that and started marketing to younger people, and ALSO started trying to get older people to act younger…for example car advertising changed radically in these years, from selling quality and luxury in ads to selling power, speed and youth and hipness. This episode is a year before the Summer of Love – all about being young and giving your parents and that older generation the fingah.

      • I don’t think Peggy is dull, although she’s always been a bit of a dork; she’s just responsible. Last season she made Megan look dull, as she ran around with the new group she met through Joyce. I don’t dislike Megan, although I really dislike her with Don, but I have to say it really irks me to think that Megan is going to represent the changes for women in the office when she essentially used all the same old tired stereotypical tricks to get there while Peggy has done all the actual fighting and work.
        It is strange to see Joan as older and out of touch, but she does seem that way in this episode! In season one, she was the Megan, the girl who knew everyone, how to throw the hippest parties, where to get the coolest haircut, etc, and how to use her wiles to get where she wanted to go.

        • Multipony, remember Megan is an actress…She totally manipulated Don into saying (albiet after thier little dominatrix induced romp on the dirty white carpet), that he WANTS her at work, double entendre intended, after she so coquettishly says, “I don’t think they like me at work..maybe I shouldn’t be there??” So now it’s totally his idea for her to be there, because he said so. She made him think it was his idea. Any time he gets mad at her, she turns it around and gets mad at him, strip and he’s a sucker for the dominatrix thing, remember the happy Thanksgiving hooker? Megan has aspirations, Harry, the shmuck, better look out. I agree the comparison Joan/Roger,Megan/Don, but Roger didn’t marry Joan he married Jane, yuounger than Joanie. Anyone ? if Joan was a hooker in the past?

          • I saw Matt Weiner’s comments of season 4 finale and he claims Megan did not have a hidden agenda. I think time iwll tell if it is really manipulation

    • I completely agree! I loved Megan last season, even in the face of hostile opposition to her, and I still like her now. 🙂 I am glad not to be the only one because she is fabulous, and I think a great match for Dick.

  2. That episode was just amazing, and the most amazing things to me was that I……*liked* Megan. She’s got real personality –personality that I never saw in Season 4! She’s even smart. And sexy. And complex. The Megan part of this season just got a lot more interesting.

    • The way Don “resolved” his arguement with Megan at the end was a total WTF moment for me (even by Don standards), but it may have been the coolest scene in MM history for me. Bodes well for the new season.

    • Betty was smart too.

      • Never during the first 4 seasons of MM did Betty ever say or do anything demonstrating she had been well educated. Several times it was mentioned that the graduated from Bryn Mawr, which is convenient to The Main Line, but in the 1950s was considered the most academic of the Seven Sister colleges. But of course early in Season 1 it was mentioned that Betty was a member of a sorority. Only after that episode aired did Maggie Sift (who played Rachel) tell MW that as a Bryn Mawr grad she knew that college has no sororities.

    • Sooo disappointed Megan is a twit. Smart? Are you kidding?! “Who doesn’t like a surprise party? Whaaaa. I want to go home.”. Is she 12? Don Draper, What happened to you? They turned him into a dirty old man. No banter. No interesting conversation. Just hey Megan show me your boobs. The other characters were brilliant but those two are idiots. It is hard to believe they have any real conversations or relationship beyond sex. Don and Megan lost me at Zoobie Zoobie zoo.

      • We thought what we were seeing last season was Don hitting rock bottom. I actually think we are seeing this now, with him thinking an impulsive marriage to a woman probably 15 years his junior who he seems completely out of touch with is going to fix everything. He clearly “fell in love” with all the same archetypes that drew him to Betty, and it seems possible to me that this season Don is going to learn the definition of crazy. You can’t keep doing the exact same thing over and over again and expect different results.

      • Right, and that’s what has Peggy nervous, too. Where’d the old (smarter? edgier?), unhappy Don go? She doesn’t trust this.

  3. You’re right Elizabeth, Megan does seem more complex (and imo, somewhat darker) than we saw in Season 4.

    It’s great that she knows Don’s past, but I also think he learned his lesson with Betty. A lot of people have said that Betty would never have accepted him if she had known who he was from the start. Maybe so. But, now we’ll never know for sure, and I can’t blame Betty for feeling betrayed by the years of lies and deception.

    Back to Megan. He’s letting her in more than he did Betty, but the way he acted to her after the party, so cold and distant, reminded me of the way he acted when Betty bought & wore a bikini. He seemed intent on humiliating her.

    But, if things were perfect, it wouldn’t be very interesting to watch. I like the dynamic that’s been established so far. And the episode was brilliant and hilarious.

    • True, but in their conversation at the end of the episode, Don also seemed to make more of a genuine and sincere attempt to explain his feelings and apologize for being an ass than he ever did with Betty.

    • Don’s response to Megan’s sexy singing brought to mind his response to Betty in a bikini for me as well, but there’s one key difference here: Although both women are his wife, one is the mother of his children, which I think is a significant factor for him. Not to oversimplify this to a Madonna/Whore kinda thing, but we have evidence that Don is more comfortable with sexy women who are not his children’s mother. For example, we’ve never seen him in sadomasochistic activities with Betty, only with Bobbie, the prostitute he hired to slap him around, and Megan. Also note his and Megan’s non-reactions to Joan implying the two will soon have a baby. I sensed some subtext there, like maybe Don and Megan had discussed having there own children before – and maybe they disagree on whether they want them? I think maybe Don can see women one of two ways, and I predict there will be trouble in paradise if Megan has his baby and expects to carry on with their spicy sex life after it’s born.

      • Good points Tasha.

        I too wonder about what Don & Megan and children. My guess is she’ll definitely want to have at least one. She’s still young and seems to have great maternal instincts. Of course, it’s great that she gets along well with Don’s kids, but they already have a mother.

  4. One small(?) thing I noticed was that when Don dropped his kids off at home, he said “Goodbye, animals.” He got that from Megan, who called them “Les animaux” in “Tomorrowland.” I think this shows that Megan is influencing him in pretty deep ways.

    • Great catch! As someone who often misspells her own name on official government documents, I can only marvel at this type of attention to detail.


    • Agree with Tasha; really great catch. (Tasfa =D) The line though is “Goodnight, animals. I can’t quote the episode, I just happened to love that line.

  5. Boy, the new layout of this site is an eyesore, & not very user friendly.

    • I agree. I miss the old layout.

      • It was nice to be able to remember the last comment number you read, and scroll down to there on the next visit, instead of having to re-read the entire post to see new replies.

    • If you have any specific comments about what is not working for you and what you can’t find, perhaps we could help.

      • Linking responses to former messages means that we have to scroll through ALL the messages to see whether there are new ones. Yes, I know that the box on the side shows the latest five or six messages, but there may have been 20 we missed since our last look.

        • So threaded comments is your major issue? Most people consider that a feature, not a flaw, but you’re not the first to complain.

          • I wouldn’t mind if the “Recent Comments” list was a little longer.

            Also–if you could access the “Recent Comments” links more easily from the bottom of the page, that woudl be helpful.

  6. In the last scene Megan seduced Don in a sado-masochistic scenario. Don’s (Dick’s) mother was a prostitute, and it seems clear that he reacts badly in situations where his wife, whether Betty or Megan, is publicly displaying sexuality. But in private he takes the bait and goes for the who is dominating/degrading whom scenario.

    • Two lines on that theme:

      “Awwww…nobody loves Dick Whitman. But I love you. That’s why I threw you a party.”

      “You’re not allowed to look at me. You only get to watch.”

    • >>Don’s (Dick’s) mother was a prostitute, and it seems clear that he reacts badly in situations where
      >>his wife, whether Betty or Megan, is publicly displaying sexuality.

      … and in S1 Pete Campbell told Peggy “I don’t like you like this” but had no issues throwing his wife in a publisher’s lap to get his story published. 😛

  7. Recap just a couple thoughts

    1) The end of first episode theme for season(s)? “The party’s over and left a mess” That about sums up the late 60s as opposed to the early 60s. It was pretty awful.

    2) Megan, Pete, and Joan got the spotlight to start. I didn’t think Kartheiser got enough to do last year, and Megan was a cypher. Good start, but Peggy will get her episodes.

    3) The second half had so much *awkwardness*. Embarrassment, but more I would call awkwardness. Somebody could make a list, but it might be too long. Just the phone conversation alone between Lane and Delores was full of repeated instances of awkwardness. It was everywhere, in everything. I’m afraid to start.

    • Lane’s gonna get fitted for a pair of cement shoes if he’s not careful. It looks like the first truly extensive storyline for Lane might be in the offing, which is nice, because he’s never really had all that much to do.

    • Great point about the awkwardness.
      -passing the baby around the office
      -the scene at the end with the African American applicants looking at all the white SCDP executives

      • Peggy’s ackwardness with the baby especially. It just fired on so many levels (like most everything on this show.)

    • The Lane/Dolores phone call was outright weird. It didn’t seem like a conversation anyone would have in real life. I’m hoping it doesn’t lead to anything, just a sign that Lane is discontent.

      • The guy who showed up to collect the wallet struck me as odd also, he was almost cartoony in his characterization.

        • Anybody else think Polito, who came to claim his wallet, was a goodfella? I wonder if Lane will be getting unwittingly involved wit da mob?? His creepy attempt at phone sex with a mobsters girl, ooh nooo!

      • Not sure it if meant anything that Lane held on to Dolores’ picture. Maybe. I think there was more going on in the encounter with Joann than with Dolores, though. The bigger issue (or maybe just additional) that happened with Lane is his money troubles. Where is that going to take him?

        • Wasn’t Lolita’s real name “Dolores” – does that make Lane a Humbert Humbert European adrift in the American land of naive plenty?

        • I am wondering if Lane has been using some of his own money to keep SCDP afloat. Or if others have been ignoring his advice and have splurged and splurged without gettting his consent?

          He made the comment about being a sham to Joan. Up until this point, I never thought he was a sham. But is he?

          Or maybe he can only control so many things–and he needs Joan to help him control expenses and to know “the right people” to order things from.

          But it just seems weird that Lane is the only one worried about money. Don and Megan just got married and are redecorating a great new place. Don’t see them worrying about money. Roger was carrying over $1000 in his pocket and just handed it over to Harry without blinking to try to get him to change offices. Pete just moved into a new house and has a new baby. He seems concerned about getting accounts (could be about money) but he didn’t seem to be voicing immense financial strain.

          The fact that Lane is unable to afford tuition seems very different from the other partners.

          • I’ve been thinking about that since last night. 🙂 All of the other partners have money of their own without drawing from SCDP (Roger and Bert have always been loaded, and Don probably still has his share of the profits from the sale of SC working for him) The only exception is Pete, and he’s probably getting help from Trudy’s parents still. Lane may not have as manuy independent resources as the others. Of course, with this show, maybe he’s begun to bet the horses or something in the offseason.

          • There was also the comment Lane’s wife made about Lane not wanting her to write checks. She asked him for grocery money and that’s when we saw Dolores’s photo in his wallet.

          • Sterling, Cooper, and Draper were well paid when PP&L bought 51% of Sterling Cooper. According to Sterling, Draper got slightly more than $1/2-million.

            Pryce is a partner of SCDP because none of the other partners could do what he does. Pete is a “junior partner” because he brought his accounts with him at the formation/heist.

            Pryce is squeezing pennies because the firm is still shaky – only nine/ten months after the $2-million/month Lucky Strike money was cut off. Because of this, the partners are getting nominal salaries compared to the PP&L days.

            Bottom line – S, C, and D have money in the bank. Pryce much less.

          • And don’t forget that Pete never paid his share of the collateral. Pryce told him that Don paid it for him. Maybe Pryce did it instead? Either way Pete’s finances were never dipped into but Pryce’s were.

          • Late in Ep 412 Pete acknowledged Don’s payment with a nod. Don nodded back. Lane’s contribution was $50k not $100k – still a big hit for a former globe-hopping middle manager for PP&L/SC.

      • I thought the same thing about the guy who came to get his wallet. He didn’t ring true for me. Interesting to see Lane, the ever proper gentleman, with chinks in his armor. I missed a bit of the scene when he found the wallet. Did he lift $100 from it?

        • He left the money where it was and stole the picture of Dolores. When he later gave Rebecca cash, we saw that he now carries Dolores’s picture in his own wallet.

          • When the guy showed up to collect his wallet, and called Lane a gentleman, all I could think was that a gentleman doesn’t steal a picture of another man’s ‘girl’ so that he can jack to it later. *shudder*

  8. For West Coasters (like me): perhaps not everyone is aware that the HD feed is the AMC Eastern Time feed, and so shows three hours earlier out west. Tonight that was 6:00 pm. other weeks at 7:00. Watching that feed live allows you to participate live in the open thread without spoilers. AMC is an a 3-hour repeat cycle Sundays, so indeed it also shows (repeats) at the official (and Western SD feed) time of 10 pm (9 pm tonight). So it’s just possible that some people are not aware of the earlier HD show time. Last year – probably this year too – the repeats – including the 10 pm HD showing – omit 2 minutes in order to fit into exactly an hour.

    I think all cable companies now, unlike the last time around, show AMC in HD on basic extended cable. Some companies might charge a few dollars extra for HD, and all charge extra for an HD box. But you can probably get the HD feed if you want it.

  9. Betty-FREE episode. Ahhhh. Francis residence looks like it was played by my junior high school. Pete is going to EXPLODE. Greenwich, the Metro-North? Hooo-boy. Next stop: Cheap Affair.

    If Joanie puts on glasses and my head will blow out like that new angry bird. Sexiest woman alive. Numbers 2, 3, & 4 can’t be seen for miles and miles.

    • There was an interview with January Jones earlier this week (can’t remember where) where she implied Betty won’t be around much this year. Of course, I’m sure her absence is at least partially due to the fact that she had her baby right around the time they started filming, she was likely on maternity leave.

      • I know that Betty won’t be around a lot because of Jones’ pregnancy, but I was so disappointed in how little she was in LAST season. I felt like she had been written out of the show the way she was written off by society for not living up the the impossible social contract she had bought into. I felt like she was being punished somehow. I didn’t expect her to get it all together,but we walked with this character for three years. The story of why she isn’t getting it together emotionally is just as important to me as the rest of the characters are.

        • Oh, and that crushed look on Betty’s face when Don told her in their old, empty kitchen that he was marrying Megan. Brilliant piece of acting.

  10. What’s the name of the song used in the scene with the Lane taking the applications? Thank you.

  11. “Megan knows about Dick Whitman.”

    That must mean that the identity theft won’t be an important theme this season.

    On the other hand, important will be:
    the age difference between Don and Megan and the parallelism between Roger (and Jane) and Don (and Megan);
    the high stakes sex relationship between Don and Megan, and the fact that many people in the office are aware of it ;
    the way that Megan loves spending (Don’s money) – this is an amazing apartment!

    • You are right about the identity theft not being important. Shoot, Don’s temporarily happy (Megan is already restless) so why not tell everyone?? No secret anymore – who cares? They tell people…and then they tell people….

      Perfect way for Matthew Wiener to end the show. Don in hand cuffs escorted by the Feds.

      Pretty tough to watch the “Rogerization” of Don. Megan and Don…..a bad joke at the office. Once again he dumped it all on Peggy.

      Advice to Peggy (and to quote Don himself) : “Move forward!”
      As long as Don keeps dumping everything on you, now including his own inexperienced wife in your creative pool, you will never be able to move forward. Put a resume’ together honey, interview, and move on.

      • The “Rogerization” of Don. Nice.

        Peggy does need to move on, even if her bean campaign did indeed miss the mark. The client was right in this case: the beans alone aren’t appetizing, so close-up, slow-mo photography of slimy, kidney-shaped beans isn’t really arresting, cute, ironic–just unappetizing. I’m in marketing and have worked with so many agency creatives who just want to use the latest technique/director/etc., even if it doesn’t make sense for the client/product. She pitched well, but it wasn’t right for the brand.

    • Many have commented on how Don/Dick really needs to be able to come clean with a woman before he can have a closer, more genuine relationship.

      So here we have some evidence that Megan knows at least PART of the Dick story.

      It seems like a step toward maturity–a step in the right direction.

      But one thing that is very important if you are going ot be emotionally intimate, spill your deepest secrets, and let someone know you’ve committed a crime of impersonating an officer to get out of military service (which would call into question the accidental nature of the death)– is that the person you confide in should be SAFE and TRUSTWORTHY.

      Now that Megan knows (and Faye, Bert, Pete, Stephanie, Betty, and possibly Trudy), it seems that Don is less nervous. He is “facing his past.” Unfortunately, though, he may really be more and more at risk as more people know–even as he feels less nervous.

      Megan may not intend to harm Don, but she may not be very good at protecting his secret. By not celebrating his birthday, Don avoided questions about his age. It was a discrete way of keeping attention off a possible inconsistency. Megan didn’t seem to care that he didn’t want to celebrate his birthday, and she didn’t seem to think there was any reason to hide his age. Just like she just filled out all of his info on the government form and didn’t clearly highlight to DD how important it was. She also just casually threw out comments about him being Dick Whitman. Of course, they were in the privacy of their home, but if she gets a little too comfortable throwing that around there could be an accidental slip when someone can hear.

      Also–Megan handles her anger and rage differently than Betty. Betty was possibly concerned for how Don’s secret could impact her children or Henry’s political career. Plus–as angry as she was at Don–in the end Betty didn’t seem to want to dig the knife into him (figuratively). If things are not always smooth sailing between Don and Megan, there is some risk that Megan might use her information in an unfortunate way for Don.

      • I’d always thought in a moment of absolute blind fury/anger, Betty would reveal the secret of Dick Whitman to Sally, but after reading this comment, maybe it will be Megan who reveals it in a moment of absolute rage.

      • Interesting point about Don possibly becoming too complacent/relaxed about his secret. On one hand, I’m happy for him that he can relax a bit. But those who ever served would not take his crime lightly. . .the Heinz client who made reference to serving in Korea (comparing the look of kidney beans to that of guts he’d seen in war there) shot a critical look at the soft, goofball art director guy w/Peggy during the pitch. How’d he feel if he knew Don’s secret? How would Roger regard him, if he knew? Or even Bert, who doesn’t know the whole story?

      • Who is Stephanie? When was she told about his true identity?

        • sr,

          Stephanie is the beloved niece of the late Anna Draper.

          We were never told how Stephanie connected Dick Whitman, as she always called him to his face when meeting him at Anna’s home, and “Don Draper” of SCDP.

          Nevertheless, during “The Suitcase” Stephanie phoned Don several times. By the time he returned Stephanie’s call, Don had seen a vision of Anna with a suitcase, so he concluded Anna had died. That was the message Stephanie want to give to Don.

        • Anna’s niece in CA. She and Anna hung out with him as Dick. However, she called his office to tell him about Anna. Donald Draper is the name of her dead uncle, soeven if she doesn’t know all the details she knows enough to ask difficult Qs.

  12. Great post, Deb.

    I think it was a terrific episode. I feel like an old friend came back tonight.

    • It’s impossible to not love the chemistry between Joan and Lane. I love how they relate to each other now.

      • agreed.

      • Agree, but I was a little disappointed when after Lane related the sexy song and dance by Megan at the party and how Don was obviously chagrined, Joan said “I can’t even imagine how handsome that man is when he’s embarrassed”. Lane looked a little let down, I guess maybe thinking himself not in the running for Joan’s affection since he knows he’s not very good-looking.

  13. I have accepted that Jon will probably always be in love with Roger. When she brought Kevin into the office and Roger walked down the hall saying “there’s my baby” she pretty much lit up and looked at him like she loved him. Plus she made that comment to Clara that she once knew a girl in her position (Jane) that ended up with everything.

    Lane was both racist and creepy this episode. It was clear he didn’t trust the black cabbie with the wallet and his phone call and obsession with Delores seemed more like something Roger would do.

    • I thought Joan was referring to Megan with that comment to Clara.

      • Yes, I thought she meant Megan, too. Jane was never a receptionist. And it’s hard to believe that Joan is really all that goony about Roger anymore. He was a total dickhead to her about the pregnancy, after all, not to mention the whole business with Lucky Strike. But of course, he’s the kid’s father, she’s never going to forget that.

        • Joan seems to still be pretty goony to me. Or at least, that’s the way Christina played it when Roger came to hold the baby.

          • I would have to rewatch it. My initial reaction was that she got sort of a panicked smile when Roger said “there’s my baby.” It was an unsettling thing to say in public like that when the baby REALLY was his and Joan was hiding that fact. Of course, he played it all off as a joke and went to greet Joan as his “baby.” I thought she was just trying to play along with his scene and get through a tough meeting.

            Considering the weight of the situation, Roger did the typical Roger thing and played it off lightly.

            Lane seemed far more interested in holding the baby…

    • Re: Lane and the wallet, I interpreted it as Lane was tempted with the contents of the wallet. It seems he is having financial problems as evidenced by the phone call with his wife about their son’s unpaid tuition. However, the ambiguity is what makes the show’s writing so brilliant and spurns so much discussion!

      • la – good point. Also the off-putting dude that was the owner of the wallet sticks $10 in Lane’s breast pocket as a reward for returning the wallet and later he gives his wife $10 to buy groceries.

        • I thought it was more than a $10, but I couldn’t really tell. If he was truly a wiseguy, it would have been a 100 bucks.

      • First time posting 🙂

        Also, she asks for the cash because Lane told her not to write any checks. What’s that about?

    • Interesting, I was sure it was Peggy that Joan was referring to.

      I don’t believe Joan is in love with Roger. But there is love and affection there, and she is lacking in attention. She has a baby who needs her, a mother who drains her and a husband far away. Roger lights up around Joan–always has–and of course that lights her up.

  14. Some interesting quotes from this episode
    Joan: I knew a girl that was in your position once and she ended up getting everything.
    Was that about Jane or Megan? I assume Jane.

    Roger: Thank you for not inviting Joan, I would have had to wear earplugs all the way home.
    I know Jane and Joan never really got along but they haven’t shared a scene since season two. Does Jane suspect there was something between Roger and Joan?

    • I really doubt Jane wouldn’t have some notion of Roger’s various sidelines. She’s dim, but not that dim. I think Roger’s comment was more about the fact that Jane simply hates Joan. Joan did fire her after all, plus Roger’s not exactly subtle when he’s around women who strike his fancy, which would probably gall any wife, affair or not.

    • See My Old Kentucky Home, where there was a notable Jane/Joan scene, in which Jane’s subtext was basically “nyaah nyaah, I bagged him and you didn’t.” Jane is not completely without clue, and Roger is not exactly good at hiding how he feels. She knows. (Oh, and having been fired by Joan, only to have the decision revoked by Roger, just made her want to rub it in even more.)

    • Joan hired Jane fresh out of college as Don’s secretary at SC in Season 2.

      Joan hired Megan who is a university graduate to be the front desk receptionist for SCDP and also her assistant in Season 4.

      I assume when Joan was talking to the new receptionist she had not hired that the remark about starting on that desk and eventually having it all referred to Megan.

  15. I must be the only person who likes Megan even less than I did last year. If everything mentioned above is inherent in the writing, then the actress isn’t conveying it.

    • I like her less too. The ultra-sexy song and dance she did for her husband in front of all those people was verging on the trashy. And that is obviously how Don saw it too. I have to admit I enjoyed the hyper drama of it though.
      It remains to be seen how she is going to work out at the office when half the men there have hard-ons thinking about it, and the women are all jealous. It sure will be interesting though.

      • I don’t get the impression that any women are jealous, Peggy and Joan really don’t like it when people are unprofessional.

    • Megan is young, fresh, and hip. Shes going with the times of the late 60s (in a mod way, not a hippie way). I dont think she exactly LOOOOOVES Don but she adores what he represents. She sees him as smart, different, RICH, talented,handsome. She does whatever she can to please. I have a good feeling Megan is going to have an affair. I wouldnt be surprised.Theres something about her that convinces me that she wants to be free. I dont exactly see her as bad or awful, shes just someone who is young and wants to be her own person. I can be totally wrong. This is the first episode where we saw her blossom. Who knows what will happen later.

      Btw, since shes no longer the secretary. What exactly does she do now? She did express interest in a career in what he does last season.

    • I didn’t like Megan last year.

      But I vastly prefer beehive Megan over Antonioni-Megan.

      I didn’t like her during the Pond’s focus group. All that fiction about how she splashes cold water on her face to clean it. What crap. Anybody who wears any makeup at all (As Megan does and did) would know she was lying. Makeup needs to be got off with more than a dainty splash of tap water and a pat of a washcloth.

      Coming from a woman wearing a foot tall beehive and false eyelashes all that “I’m just naturally beautiful” stuff seemed like a writers attempt to skew the character Manic Pixie.

      It went on from there..

      Either the writers are trying to get us to like her – and aren’t being sophisticated about it, or we really are supposed to vette each Megan comment for authenticity.

  16. I don’t like Megan either. I don’t feel chemistry between she and Don. He will tire of her soon.

    • I didn’t like her either. Nope. She’s just a fantasy to him and he when she starts standing up for herself more Don won’t like it. Not a healthy relationship. And remember when we all had fits over the rape scene between Joan and her fiancee? Well, I found this one disturbing too. No means no unless it doesn’t . . . eeeewwww. Disturbing. I don’t get it.

      • Thanks, I feared I was the only one who didn’t think Megan was wonderful.

        There was an old song “Your lips tell me No No but there’s Yes Yes in your eyes,” Megan obviously orchestrated that whole makeup “rape” scene. I am aware that many women used to clean house in their underwear so as not to ruin their clothes, but she was being deliberately provocative.

        I never liked Faye or Megan .Faye was so phony and manipulative in her group sessions, and your could see through Megan from the beginning. Megan knew what Don wanted and she figured out how to give it to him. It was just her luck that the California trip played right into her hands.

        That dewy-eyed ingenue in Don’s Greenwich Village bed is turning into another Jane, only wilder.

        • @ruthie – while I don’t think that this was ‘rape’, I agree with your comment that it was orchestrated by Megan. I’ll go even further that the entire relationship starting with the first sexual encounter in Don’s office was orchestrated. Megan has a dark side, and I don’t think we can assume that Don knows her or that we do either. As one of her mod friends at the party noted, ‘she’s a good actress’. Compare what we see of her character from Season 4 to the Season 5 opener. Quite a divergence, don’t you think?
          Also, in the Tomorrowland episode, it seemed to me that Don’s proposal to Megan was an attempt to control some part of his (personal) life as his business was in a shambles. Now with Megan on the scene and in both his work and personal lives, it looks like he has lost all control. Megan is in control.

          Last comment: Any thoughts on why Megan guilted Peggy into feeling badly about her comment at the party? The cynical side of me thinks that this is a manipulative act by Megan to put a wedge into the relationship between Peggy and Don.

          • I don’t really like Megan either. I agree the line “she’s a great actress” is very telling. I think she has definitely acted to get everything she has so far…motives unclear. Someone else said she is eager to please…but what are the real reasons for what she does?

          • I agree, Ruthie. Megan is manipultaive. She knows when and how to get Don to do what she wants AND make him think it was his idea. After she yells at him, tells him he’s old, that he isn’t getting any, (she’s slapping him verbally, just like the Thanksgiving hooker), after, she bats her lashes and says, “I love going to work with you, but I don’t know, those people don’t like me…??” So Don falls for it, thinks he’s taking control, and tells her, “You are there because I WANT you there” Quite a change from Maria Von Trapp. l look for Harry, the shmuck to, be in more trouble. Megan wants Peggy’s job, and she’s jealous of their prof. closeness, so that will be interesting to watch. I think Megan will get pregnant, against Don’s wishes. Remember he told Joan he was going to “quit while he was ahead,” as Megan cooed to the baby. Megan will have her way.

      • That was consensual sex-play with some light BDSM and nothing like rape.

        • Thank you. I always think I have a rather mundane life until there is what I consider a mildly naughty scene on TV, and people act like it was full-on kink or in some way wrong.

          I think the scene shows a dynamic that may or may not be healthy, but it was pretty clear that they’d played a variation on this scene before.

          Don knew if Betty ever found out about Dick that she wouldn’t be able to accept it, that she’d think him unworthy. I argued that there might have been a time when she could have — who knows? But that theme is still there in the sex-play with Megan. (You can’t have this, you don’t deserve this…) The validation is in knowing she does know who he is — and he can still “have it.”

          Nothing here should be surprising — not after he begged the hooker to strike him repeatedly, not after pretty much the whole Bobbi Barrett thing.

          • I agree that at a certain time it could have been very possible for Betty to accept Don as Dick Whitman–in a way it’s kind of romantic and may have appealed to these small urges Betty has been shown to get to buck the system. As I rewatched season 4, and there is a scene where Don tells Anna that what he always feared had happened, Betty found out who he was and couldn’t accept him, I thought, that’s crap! You’re projecting your fear onto her instead of being accountable for the fact that you LIED to her for eleven years. I know lots of people, myself included, who would be much more upset about being lied to in the first place, than over what the lie actually was. Don consistently lacks accountability for his effect on other people and I am sure that is going to play out with Megan, too, whether she knows his secret or not. Kinky sex isn’t going to fix everything forever.

      • I did not have the courage to say I’m not “feeling” Megan either until I saw the comments here. Not trying to be mean, but she’s not that easy on the eyes to me. Why did they cast an actress who did not have perfect teeth? Something is disturbing. Also….and this is crazy….but when she walked out on the balcony while upset after the party, for a moment I thought she was going to fall over it or jump or do something bizzare. Okay, I said it was crazy!

        • My guess is that the realism is part of the draw, since the show takes place in a time when people didn’t correct every perceived flaw. Why wouldn’t they cast someone with “imperfect” teeth?

        • You’re not the only one, Cindy. I had the same sinking feeling for a split second when Megan stepped onto the balcony.

          Yes, Megan was calculating. She knew what she wanted and went after it. I don’t find anything sinister about this. And I think her anger and disgust at the smirking cynicism prevalent at SCDP was genuine. I don’t think she’ll last in advertising, and good for her.

          I found that “light” S&M scene genuinely moving. That sort of thing requires either anonymity (Don getting slapped by the prostitute) or complete trust. The fact that Don can do it with Megan shows that he’s matured a lot. I think they have a very strong relationship, although it’s clearly going to be tested.

          • Yes….and I can’t wait for the test of the Don/Megan relationship. She is smart enough and mature enough to discern what it takes to keep her man interested and do it. She did not sulk like Betty would have. She pressed on. She has potential, but I can’t help but remember what the blond girlfriend Don dumped (can’t think of her name) said, “Wait until she finds out you only love what’s new”.

        • Jessica Paré has better than average teeth in most of her photos and clips prior to starting on MM in Season 4.

          My own assumption is that Matt Weiner asked her to either remove her tooth veneers or that they paint the edges of her crowns to increase the gaps.

        • I thought the same thing!! I literally thought she was going to jump. I thought later on she was going to go home (after saying she wasnt feeling good) and kill herslf. Don already has had a suicide happen very close to him. Imagine that happening to his wife? Don would go into a very very dark place.

      • I think this was definitely a consensual act and that it was set-up by Megan. I think Don knew what she was up to and that’s why he left the office 5 seconds after hearing she had gone home. He could have called her to see if she was alright, but I don’t think he was really concerned to begin with. There were song strong hints that there was some S&M or at least rough play or domination going on with Don and Bobbie Barrett’s relationship as well.

      • I can’t speak for anyone else, but the reason that scene didn’t bother me like the Joan/Dr. Rapist one did, is that I read it as consentual rough sex between Don and Megan. We know from the past that he likes a bit of light kink, apparently she’s at least ok with that.

      • I think there are two different ways that this can be disturbing.

        The first: If Megan really did not want to have sex, and Don “told her” she did and “overcame her” though she really didn’t really want to–that would be disturbing. I started to think this scene was going that way–and I started to think about the Joan scene. But some factors made me change my mind. First–it was the way Megan wrapped her legs around Don so quickly and willingly. As soon as she did that, I started thinking–“oh, that was all their form of foreplay.” After I saw her be so willing, I decided that Megan was really being intentionally provacative with the black lace underwear, the getting down on the floor and showing him her rear, taunting him and the like.

        However, this scene can be disturbing in a different way. If you really worry about people like Joan getting raped because men insist that even when they say “no” they mean “yes”–then it is frustrating when women are portrayed as playfully saying “no” when they actually really do mean “yes.’ If some girls do it one way and other girls do it a different way–it is frustrating and distrubing, because some girls who really do mean “no” can get hurt. How is a guy supposed to know the difference?

        However, I am willing to cut both Don and Megan some slack on this second issue because this was not their first, second, or third encounter. They are married and they seemed–in retrospect–to both know where this was all going. In fact, Megan sent “the girl” home and communicated that info to Don. In retrospect, it seemed like she hoped things would go the way they did.

        In this case, they seemed to have worked up to an understanding of one another over time.

        • It struck me as symbolic that they were rolling around in the dirt.

        • I read the scene as consentual with maybe a little planning ahead for it by Megan. She had sent the “girl” home in anticipation that Don would follow her home. Clearly, the “girl” was still needed from the looks of the place. They had lived in that filth for several days by then.

      • But Joan was disgusted, miserable and just laid there while her fiance indeed raped her. Megan was a seductress and this was a sex game between them and they spoke tenderly after. My heart broke for Joan during that unforgettable scene. The Don/Megan scene was unforgettable for totally different–genuinely erotic, healthy or not–reasons.

  17. They were actually going to use “The Look of Love” in that final scene instead of “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”? I’m a Dusty freak, but those two songs are about as radically different as you can get, other than both being love ballads. “Life seems dead and so unreal,” indeed. (“Goin’ Back” might have been more appropriate than either one, actually, but that’s probably why they didn’t use it.) I am so looking forward to an African-American secretary.

    Roger is such an asshole. I thought Jane was going to dump a drink over his head at that party. I really wished she had. Pete’s prank on him might have been pure frat-boy, but Roger totally deserved it.

    And speaking of frat boys, I love seeing Harry become more of a dumbass with each passing year. Stan pwning him was hilarious. More, please! I’d rather see him take it out on Harry than Peggy. And the scene with Roger had me in stitches. I guess both Roger and Stan’s entire raison d’etre now is making Harry trip all over himself. Not that Harry needs the help.

    And oh…Megan. Well, of course she would have to be more of a real person this year to justify keeping her around. That song! That song! Don looked like he was about to crap himself. The question is, what will Don do to mess this up? He’s going to, right?

    • Harry’s always been a dumbass, he just thinks he’s more sophisticated now. 🙂

    • Roger is an asshole. A pathetic asshole, but an asshole nonetheless. I think the most piercing moment of all his assholeness was when he was getting ready for the (prank on him) Coca Cola mtg on Staten Island to supposedly take place at 6a. Jane innocently asks him where he’s going and then what time it is and he snaps, “Shut up”. Ouch. Awful.

  18. More:

    The baked beans scene was some funny shit. I only wish we had video of the proposed animation, because I would have gotten intractable hiccups from laughing so hard. Bean ballet! Peggy is a genius!

    The only thing I thought rang a little false was that they would have held Joan’s job for her, and that she would have been hanging around the office just before giving birth, after all the noise she made in the past about quitting the minute she had a positive rabbit test. Thought it was just a wee bit anachronistic. But I can totally believe that Joan would get bored with diapers after just two months (not to mention getting bored with her infantile husband, which has been too long in coming). Commuting from Fort Dix, really? That’s like two hours each way! I don’t see that working out.

    • Meowser: unless I misunderstood (will check again when I watch the episode again), I don’t think Joan is living in Fort Dix now…I think she said that was a future possibility (when Greg comes back)

      but again, I could be wrong….

      • No, she’s still in the Village, but she said it was part of her future plans. And she doesn’t seem to care whether Greg likes it or not. That is a departure for her, and a welcome one.

        • Not the Village, Morningside Heights.

          • Deborah,

            I lived in Greenwich Village from 1932 until 1948 at 40 Commerce Street above the Chery Lane Theatre, and from 1948 to 1950 in an apartment on Waverly Place just east of Macdougal Street across from Washington Square while attending NYU. I still have a map of Manhattan from 1962 which I got while on a business trip and a current one from the auto club.

            I do not remember anyone mentioning Morningside Heights, nor is it shown on these maps. Could you tell me the boundaries?

            • Morningside Heights is the neighborhood of Columbia University, just south of Harlem. It is mentioned in episode 3.03, My Old Kentucky Home. Joan tells Jane that’s where she and Greg live, to be near the hospital, and Jane makes a disparaging remark. A simple Google search will show you boundary maps.

          • Actually, I just rewatched MOKH, and Joan says they’re living in the “same old place, but we’re thinking about Riverdale. It’s near Columbia Pres and Greg wants a yard.” And Jane says, “I don’t know, I get a nosebleed anywhere above 86th Street.” But Joan was (and still is) still living in the same apartment she’s been in since S2. And I thought I remembered that apartment being in the West Village. Anyone else remember differently?

            • Good catch Meowser. I don’t recall ever getting a Joan address other than that conversation, which I got wrong–it was Jane who lived in the Village (Jane from Jane Street).

          • Meowser: you are correct about that MOKH scene. Joan said they were thinking about Riverdale. (Of course, this was before they learned that Greg would not be chief resident, after which a lot of moving plans probably went out the window.)

            And yes, she told Jane she was living in the “same old place.” But for the life of me I don’t recall her ever saying what neighborhood that was.

            The only other thing I can recall about Joan’s living situation is her telling Peggy that if she played her cards right she’d end in Manhattan “like the rest of us.” Where in Manhattan I don’t know….

    • Joan was just making noise. In several espisodes, she reveals how much she loves her work. Even Peggy says, “That’s bullshit” when Joan tries to convince her she doesn’t.

      • I agree, she was just giving her mom some attitude. Joan treated her mom pretty crappy. Joan is like the men in the office, she gets her validation through work, so she had to go in to make sure someone validated her and missed her. No Greg home to give her that, she just wanted someone to beg her to come back. She knows Greggie will not want her to work, but they will need the money. I don’t think he likes her around all those men, he’s a bit psychotic, and insecure, he did rape her to control her, marking his territory in the office, making her submit. Christina gave a heart-rending performance without saying a world.

  19. I just can’t seem to warm up to Megan. I’m not sure exactly why, and it’s pretty unfair when we’ve really only had one episode where we get to see her as a more full character……there is a chemistry lacking. When I think of the kind of airless tension that builds between Don and characters like Rachel Menken and even over his arc with Betty, this just doesn’t seem to match those relationships at all. I always forget about Suzanne, because she had a similar flatness to me. I find myself wishing the scenes with Megan would hurry up and be over already so we can get to the real stuff. The weird thing is, as I type this I realize I don’t ACTUALLY dislike Megan. I just dislike her with Don. Who knows how my opinion will change over the season………..

  20. And Oh! OMG! A few short scenes between Joan and her mother explained everything about her, ever.

    • It was painful to watch them together, but yes, explained a great deal. Poor Joan 🙁

      • I agree, but how AMAZING to see her stand up for herself amidst the VERY values that her mother taught her!

        “Allow me?”

        “And how’d that work out for you?”


        • I sometimes think Joan is the smartest person in the entire show. It takes an amazing amount of brains not to play out the patterns you were raised with. And because she is so capable it makes her vulnerable scenes so poignant. She knows how to be vulnerable and hold it all together at the same time.

        • Contrariwise, I thought Joan was rude to her mother.

          • I have about ten thousand things to say about Gail Holloway, but I’m saving the post for another writer. Joan was, yes, rude, snippy, short-tempered. But I think there’s a lot of history there, and I think Gail is kind of a monster.

          • The scenes with Gail did imply she might have been an alcoholic and run after younger men. But not sure it shows that she was a monster – have we heard or seen anything of Gail before this to imply that? I’ve watched all prior seasons 2-3 times before but don’t recall…

          • I thought Joan was snippy with her mother, whatever gramma Holloway did, I’m thinking Joan maybe blames mom for her dad leaving? Maybe mom’s drinking the reason her dad left,and why Joan wants an older man, father figure/’Roger? Though to Roger, Joan is his mother more than lover. Anyhoo…I think the real monster mommy must be Betty’s mother, and possibly her dad molested her and her mom never told anyone or helped her. I so hope Betty’s backstory is addressed this year, clearly Henry is getting pissed at her childish behavior.

        • It was a triumph of sorts but the language, ” and how”d that work out for you”? laced in sarcasm sounded very 2010 to me.

          LOVED the introduction of Gail. There will be much to chew over, no doubt!

          • i agree that there must be lots of history there…i think one of the more telling things about mother holloway was when she and joan went toe-to-toe over the presence of the beautiful apollo! hmmmmm…a little “like mother, like daughter.”

  21. I feel zero chemistry between Megan’s and Don. Is it because I’m shallow, and don’t find her all that hot and minxy(?), therefore, I feel nothing is there? She flashes DD in his office, and all I could think was, ‘If someone else ( try me) in the office was doing this right now’…………….never mind.
    Darling Sally’s compass is pointing south on Megan. Not a good sign. Eve Harrington? Misunderstood mod chick? Just don’t find her interesting enough to care.

    Someone explain Roger’s purpose to me again? No accounts, no Red. Man in Decline is his bit now? How does that move the plot forward?

    • “Someone explain Roger’s purpose to me again?”

      Not much purpose in the office but it does seem he has some old contacts/old relationships that can still be useful from time to time, and also the natural charm/ability to put people at ease that comes with an accounts man’s personality. He’s good at charming, schmoozing, etc.

      His obsession with Pete’s calendar was interesting, of course, and I’m sure as time goes on we’ll see more of this play out….Pete becoming more powerful, gaining more clients…Roger being threatened to see the ‘new guard’ rise up.

      • Explanation of Roger’s purpose: his father co-founded the business and he owns part of it. Otherwise he’d be long gone. I wonder if Don’s loyalty to him is really that deep, especially since we now know it was based on a lie:that Roger was too drunk to remember whether or not he promised Don a job. But Don isn’t paying attention to work right now.

        • I’m not sure Don’s ever had loyalty to Roger. There’s always been tension between them, and at this point Roger is clearly jealous of Don and the new Mrs. Draper. The only people Don has showed any signs of loyalty to in the office are Pete (for saving his ass from the feds last year) and Peggy (though that dynamic seems to have shifted a bit now.)

        • The fact the name of the original agency was “Sterling Cooper” founded under that name in 1923 (the same year Young & Rubicam was formed) strongly suggests that Roger’s father, “the tallest and most hansom ad man in NYC, was the better known name partner. Bert’s sister Alice stated that it was Roger’s father who saved Bert from bankruptcy.

          Apparently Bert had blind loyalty to Roger’s father and Alice Cooper used to babysit Roger, years before he met Ida Blankenship. Roger dictated that he always felt Bert did not trust of value him, because he inherited his partnership. It was Roger’s father who took Lucky Strike away from its previous ad agency, not Roger in about 1935. That was a time of many clients going with different ad agencies.

          Of course in the real world from 1900 until 1946 the mega ad agency Lord and Thomas, owned by Albert Lasker, handled not only Lucky Strike but all the other brands of American Tobacco. In 1941 Lasker sold his agency to his three key managers: Fairfield Cone, who ran the NYC branch; Emerson Foot, who ran the Chicago branch and was the account man handling American Tobacco; Don Belding, who ran the West Coast offices from San Francisco. A condition of the sale was that the agency name be changed. It became Foot, Cone. Belding, FCB. It was Emerson Foot who resigned from FCB in 1946, took out a large ad in several newspapers announcing he would no longer do advertising for tobacco.

          Does any of that sound like something from Season 4?

      • Does anybody remember Jane and Roger ever making a reference to trying to have a baby? She’s so young. It seems reasonable that they might try.

    • If nothing else, he’s now a foil for Pete. And his jealously of Don seems a lot more pronounced. Both of those threads could serve a function in the S5 narrative if played well.

  22. Couplea things: Did anyone notice that Roger was smoking Not Lucky? I forgot the brand but it was this really obvious centering of the camera right on the fact that he was tapping out a new smoke and it wasn’t Lucky!
    And about awkwardness – Even that snippet at the party, where Abe and Bert are arguing over politics: Awkward! Things seemed really stilted in this episode.
    Also: Joan crying in front of Lane? I know there was probably some major discussion at the writer’s table about how Joan Doesn’t Cry At The Office and they had to add in that line about how she cries a lot since the baby.

    • I did notice–he now smokes Camel.

    • Joan just had a baby. She’s gone hormonal stuff going on. I thought the crying made sense. And it was a vehicle for a certain kind of moment between her and Lane.

    • I thought it was beautiful that Lane was the first person in the office to EVER see Joan break down, and connected powerfully to their deepening understandings.

      I also LOVE Abe and Burt arguing!! How else would one get those two in a room together except by an unfortunately-planned surprise party? I love situations where characters who would NEVER seek each other out are made to spend time together.

      • Me too. That’s why I was hoping for a black-out episode with two characters who wouldn’t ordinarily have an extended scene together stuck in an elevator.

    • They’ve probably also cleared the SCDP storeroom of Lucky Strikes, since nobody wants to be reminded of the loss of a key client.

      Roger switching to Camels made me think of an issue that cropped up back when I Love Lucy was in its initial network run on CBS, in the 1950s. The show was sponsored by Philip Morris, but in real life, Lucy smoked Chesterfields, so on the show and the set, her regular brand was put in the sponsor’s pack. You probably never heard the word “lucky” in the show’s dialogue, since Lucky Strike was also a competitor to Philip Morris.

    • Joan cried in private in Roger’s office when Marilyn Monroe died.

  23. Can’t believe I just bought the Jessica Pare single “Zou Bisou Bisou” on iTunes. I only wish I could get a Scopitones video!

    • When she was singing, I heard it as, “Zoo be doo be doo.” LOL!

      • It was Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo for me. Right pronunciation, wrong spelling. Priceless scene. The first time they cut to Don’s face …. I could hear him saying “What?” inside his head. My husband was laughing so hard that I thought he was going to cramp up. And then when Lane imitated her dance, we laughed even harder.

    • In both Canadian and Paris French “Bisou” means “a little kiss” which is the title of the episode.

      Jessica Paré has often sung in previous parts.

    • I’m sure it’s near the top of the itunes chart today. 🙂

  24. Above, bob macmanus writes:

    “1) The end of first episode theme for season(s)? ‘The party’s over and left a mess’ That about sums up the late 60s as opposed to the early 60s. It was pretty awful.”

    The New York streets were really filthy too. That’s new too, are very true to the late 60s. In fact, it made me wonder if it wasn’t a little early still for that degree of mess. But, knowing Mad Men, they must have that right. I trust their research department more than my own “looking back” at this point.

    • I noticed the dirty streets too. It was ridiculous for there to be that amount of trash in front of a first-class white-collar prestige office building. The building maintenance crew would be cleaning that off all day long. Even if the city sanitation department was corrupt and inept the building guys would be out there sweeping frequently, and certainly before the building opened up each day. Sometimes adding “telling” period detail means putting it in places where you wouldn’t have actually seen it, IRL. Of course this is just a TV show.

      I thought Megan & Don were a train wreck. WHAT does she want? Is following Don around playing Mrs Draper at the office going to do it? We all know the answer. It’s just how it’s going to play out. As for a baby — OMG, no.

      Megan was right, she doesn’t belong there. And the work they’ve given her is … almost nothing. Coupons? Let’s see if she comes up with a strategy for beans.

      I was fascinated by what Joan said about nobody coming to visit her or sending a personal gift (the lower echelons). She realized they aren’t her friends, really. But at the same time she lives for the social dynamic as well as the satisfaction of working. The paradox of the office and the people in it.

  25. Don has survived for four seasons because he has been able to compartmentalize his life.That will be much more difficult now he is married to Megan. She is at work with him.Don hated it when Betty took the modeling job,why has he allowed Megan to work after they were married? Draper is a control freak.Peggy has got to be doing a slow burn about Megan being in the creative department.Peggy and Don have an extremely close business relationship bordering on symbiotic.

    • I dont think he hated that Betty took the modeling job. I think he knew the agency was using her to get to him. She was excited about it and I think he was very supportive. He is much more street smart than Betty.

  26. Things that struck me:

    1. Most of the characters on the show feel like some sort of “type.” Not that they are boring, not that they are cliche, not that they are always predictable….but I feel like I “get” them in some way. I am still having a hard time getting Megan. If I had only seen last night’s episode, I would go one way about her. Since this is the most we’ve seen of her–perhaps this is the closest to the “real Megan.” But the vixen Megan doesn’t seem a bit like the sweet Megan shyly discussing her beauty routine in the focus group, or the Megan who worried about Alison. The Megan who refused to join Peggy and Joyce and friends when they invited her? Considering her friends we just met, why would she have declined the invite with Peggy and friends? Nor did she seem–anymore–like “Maria von Trapp” teaching songs to the kids. Don got the kids breakfast—Megan lay naked in bed and came down for black coffee and we didn’t even see if she came at sat with them. I don’t dislike Megan–but I don’t quite understand her. The line that sticks in my head is when her friend said something like “Megan is a very good actress.” I wondered if that was a loaded comment about how she lives her personal life, or if it just meant she is good on the stage (her singing performance, etc.)? I do not deny for a second that Don seems to be getting along with Megan far better than Betty. However, the fact that we are starting in “sex paradise” makes me think that if this is where we are STARTING the season, it won’t be where we are ending the season. It was very interesting to hear that Megan knew about Dick Witman. At the same time, it seems like their relationship is still in the honeymoon phase–when it is all about sex, sex, and more sex. I think Don made Betty feel lonely. After the party, Megan seemed very lonely. They worked it out through sex, as many couples do. But I do not think that Megan will put up with as much cold distance as Betty did. I just don’t think Megan will handle it the same way. For a second there–Don almost seemed to miss (just a tiny bit) the way Betty respected his request not to do birthdays.

    2. I feel like I have to get to know Don all over again. I think that Peggy feels the same way. Who is this happy guy who lets things go? It is hard to know who Don is without his terrible secret poisoning his romantic life, and without his philandering, and with him happily bringing his wife to work with him. All I could think about during Megan’s performance was how Don hated Betty’s bikini, how Don seemed to want Betty to stay home with the kids instead of get back into modeling, and how Don freaked at Betty when Roger made moves on her. I don’t necessarily want him to go BACK to being that way, but I am having a hard time recognizing him this new way. I am left wondering: has Don really changed so deeply and profoundly so quickly–or is he “drunk” in love and sex, in a way that will eventually pass? It is just interesting to me that Don had such differnent “rules” for Betty. Also–Don explicitly told Joan that having a baby wasn’t a good enough reason for her to stay away from working. Again–why this sentiment to Joan, when he seemed against Betty working? I’m just a little confused. In one way, there is some consistency. Betty was a woman that Don could show off. Other men always drooled over Betty. Megan is turning out to be another wife that Don can show off–but times are changing and the style has changed. Betty was more “classic” when classic was fashionable. Megan is far more modern, and even Lane’s wife of all people wants to mimic her (asking for her real estate agent and decorator). As others mentioned, it is possible that Don had different rules for Betty as the “mother of his children”. Megan seems far more like a lover or girlfriend than his wife. Right now, I think he wants to maintain the pleasure he is having with Megan. Also–he wants to avoid anything that reminds him of feeling trapped, smothered, and confined the way he felt with Betty.

    3. Joan’s comment about a girl who got “everything.” It could have meant either Jane or Megan, but I am leaning toward Megan. Didn’t Joan say something in her conversation with Lane about how handsome Don was? And it doesn’t seem to be any secret that Roger and Jane aren’t in the honeymoon phase anymore. Even Joan would know that. Plus–Jane got married and disappeared from the office. Megan started out in the exact position of receptionist. Megan got married to the handsomest partner, stayed in the office, and got promoted to a job that Joan would never have been considered eligible for a few years back. Remember how hard it was for Joan to watch Peggy get noticed and promoted? And Peggy actually earned it all the hard way. Joan was “allowed” to read scripts for a few months, and then her fun job got taken away. And now here’s Megan who not only gets sexy Don–she gets his money and her money and she gets to keep her job and she gets promoted to a creative job! Unlike Greg–Don hasn’t been pressuring Megan to stay home now that she’s married. We still really don’t know exactly how talented Megan is–is she in creative to keep her happy so Don can have sexy time at work? Or because she is really good? More on that below…

    4. It seemed like they spent way too much time on Lane and the wallet for that not to lead to something later. What that something is–I have no idea. I agree that the conversations and characters were very strange. Something seemed off.

    5. Will there soon be an African American secretary? Will we really see how hard it probably would be for someone in that position? Even though Lane stepped out to take the resumes, the show clearly made the whole process a joke that suddenly turned into something that needed to be done to protect image.

    6. Pete seems so dissatisfied. He always has been up to a point, but I agree that this is the lowest we’ve seen him since season 1. I certainly could see some sort of affair–but are we supposed to read anything into the card playing? Is that a no money game just to kill time, or are they gambling?

    7. We got to see Sally early on–but that was it. She shot Megan some glances–is she jealous? Can’t say, yet. I did get the sense from the music played as Sally stumbled down the hall that all the changes are starting to seem surreal.

    8. Peggy/Megan/Stan at work. Peggy let out the comment at the party–which she didn’t seem to understand was a downer at a party (believable enough for her). She also eventually did apologize to both Megan and Don. However, her apology to Don seemed far more heartfelt and worried. I get the impression that she knows she can’t piss Don off by pissing his wife off. However, Peggy has always worked long and hard. It is hard for her to see Megan waltzing in, walzing out, planning parties, and leaving work in tears. It doesn’t seem professional the way Peggy expects. However, she can’t say much to Don about it. Peggy is not one to gush compliments. When she belatedly told Megan her work was very good, I wasn’t sure if she was trying to patch things up so Megan wouldn’t get too upset and complain to Don–or if Peggy was being totally genuine. It could have been some of each. The way she was handing things over to Stan to fix wasn’t exactly stroking Megan’s ego, but it could have just been Peggy’s style–not a diss on Megan’s work. Peggy seemed genuinely glad to see Joan, and the bonding they had at the end of season 4 seemed to stick. I’d love to hear Peggy bring Joan up to date on the Megan situation.

    9. It was very strange to see so many different people assembled together in Don and Megan’s house. It seemed like another big change.

    • You always make good points, Lady K.

      I agree that Megan seems different. Of course, leaving a job (receptionist, then secretary) and marrying one of the bosses/partners does change the way that someone behaves. I’m thinking now of Jane. She acted a certain way when she was Don’s secretary. She could be a bit arrogant at times (going to look at Coop’s picture, etc.), but most of the time she was the helpful secretary. I don’t want to use the word “submissive,” but she was a bit more submissive then. Quite a change from the Jane we saw coming to her husband in the office in Season 3’s My Old Kentucky Home. She was much loftier and more confident then. (Acted more confident, anyway)

      So, I think helpful-receptionist/secretary Megan has somewhat been replaced by the more poised, self-assured Mrs. Draper. Like Jane, she knows she’s something of office royalty…with the added dichotomy of having a low-level copy assistant job. (Still though, all in all she knows she doesn’t really have to answer to anyone, except Don.)

      You’re right though that she seems a bit different with Don and the kids. We’re seeing the sexy side, more than the maternal side. I agree with you that if they’re in the honeymoon phase now, we can expect things to change a lot as the season unfolds.

      • I completely understand your point about the marriage changing the power dynamic. I think that it is totally spot on for Jane. It is possible that the same is true for Megan.

        But my gut (which could be wrong) just feels like the situation with Megan is a bigger contrast.

    • Lady K, great musings. Your questions/observations about those topics tracked my own almost exactly.

    • Lots of people have commented (in this post and last night’s) that MEGAN KNOWS (about Don/Dick). But I don’t get why people keep bringing it up.

      If memory serves me correctly, this is not news. Megan found out last season early in her secretarial career because she mistakenly filled out some forms that would have spilled the beans — I forget what the forms were, maybe a security clearance for one of their accounts…and to Don’s amazement and relief, she didn’t care or make much of it when he told her about Don/Dick.

      Well she’s finding out right now that a man with two identities is a man who does not necessarily have them well-integrated.

      • I think people comment because it is such a huge change from most of his relationships with other women. Betty was only told –after years of marriage–after she basically discovered it on her own.

        Don told Faye–but it was so highly emotional, difficult, and different for him then. And it wasn’t entirely voluntary on Don’s part. He couldn’t control his freak out, and Faye obviously saw something was up.

        So to have it just be casually thrown out by Megan in a teasing kind of way was very different.

        I think you are right, though, that Megan had good reason to know something was up after Don freaked about the government security clearance documents. She acted like it didn’t matter and she didn’t care at the time–but she was only a secretary not his wife. However, she doesn’t strike me as a bimbo. If she was going to marry him, she may have just asked him to explain. Or maybe Don realized she already knew too much, there wasn’t any point in pretending everything was the way he wanted it to appear on the outside.

        Even if she did fill out those security docs though–I can’t imagine anything she found lying around the office would have given her the name “Dick Witman”.

        He may have shared all the significant details, or perhaps only a few.

      • She didn’t “find out” anything per se. She filled out the background check form for the feds and Don got much more agitated over it than a rational person with nothing to hide should’ve.

    • re #6: I loved how the writing shows us that Pete needs affluence and material gain to assuage his feelings of being “less than” — it was so clear to me when he mentioned the in-ground swimming pool that he was using it as a token of his success, bragging to his commuter buddies. He doesn’t care about having a pool. He cares about being the kind of man who owns a pool.

  27. I like Megan enough, but I LOATHE her working at SCDP. She doesnt fit in with them and she never will. I was so happy when she started telling Don about maybe quitting, until I realized she may have been totally manipulating him. Come to think of it, I dont like Megan at all, if shes the one at fault for turning Don into that zombie that graced my screen last night. I want someone to wake that man up already.

  28. One other clear compare and contrast.

    a) Pete just sends Roger away from the table, clear and confidant, and nails the Mohawk. Pete is good at his job.

    b) Peggy blows the campaign and the presentation, leaves the client unhappy, blames the client, and complains that Don didn’t save her or punish the client for rejecting her.

    I keep waiting for Peggy to step up and star and get Roger and Pete to say “wow” and it just isn’t happening. I think Draper is also waiting and getting tired and fed up with waiting.

    The show doesn’t have to fulfill our fantasies. I’m beginning to think Peggy just isn’t good enough.

    • I don’t know if it’s as clearcut as that. Everyone has good days & bad days. Hits and misses. Pete is doing well now (and yes, he is good at his job) but we’ve also seen many times that Pete sometimes rubs people the wrong way. He works hard and he’s ambitious, but he doesn’t always have the ability to charm people & put them at ease. Which is a big reason why Ken was selected over Pete in Season 3. (For head of accounts)

      Peggy had a miss with Heinz, but she’s had other hits/successes. Peggy’s biggest strength is in her writing—more so than personality–but we’ve seen her nail campaigns before. (Remember the Popsicle account?)

    • I didnt love Peggy this episode. She was way to passive aggresive and seemed to blame Don for some reason that her Heinz pitch bombed. I understand her being resentfull about Megan, as I would be, but I wanted Peggy to own it, as she always has, instead of trying to make nice while making back handed compliments to Megan.

    • I think Peggy seemed like she was in a low funk all episode. I think there are several complicated reasons behind this.

      When Peggy is annoyed with Don about Heinz, I don’t think that is the REAL source of her bitterness. I think the real source of it is that Don has changed so much since he got together with Megan.

      Peggy is jealous of Megan, and it is just bringing her down all around. First, I think she’s a little jealous that Megan is so sexy and driving all the men crazy. Second, Megan has Don wrapped around her finger. Third, Megan got a copy job without any of the pain and hard work Peggy put in. Forth, Peggy has always labored long over her work–and Megan can waltz in and out, flash, Don, and keep her own hours. Fifth–Peggy has to find a way to include Megan –whether she an Megan are a good team or not. Peggy flirted with Don and was rejected. Peggy sort of decided to be “the smart girl who got the real work” instead of the party girl. Then along comes Megan who gets it all: party girl status, wife of Don, and a copy job.

      It is hard to be Don’s “work wife” when his real wife is working right next to you. She’s lost her work partnership with Don.

      On top of it all–she’s forced to work with Megan every single day, and she can’t just get mad or vent because if Megan gets upset Don will get upset.

      She may or may not be brilliant 100% of the time, but Peggy does enough good work enough of the time, I don’t think this temporary funk will be the end of her.

      • Lady K, well put!

      • Great observation, Lady K! Peggy was the “work wife”. Things will never be the same for her now that she has to filter what she says around the Megan. This is a tough situation for everybody. Some interesting storylines should come out of this.

      • I think you’re spot-on in this interpretation, Lady K!

        I saw an ad for the show recently, in which Don and Roger are seated, Pete is the tallest standing person behind them, Lyle and Bert are tucked behind Pete, and Joan and Peggy bracket the outside edges of the group. Joan leans into Roger, but the most interesting – and obvious – image is that Peggy’s body is turning away from the group. I take this to be a sly suggestion that she is either discontent, planning to leave, or somehow is just not gonna bond with the team this season.

    • Peggy does not need approval from Pete or Roger; she does not care what they think. She does,however,care what Don thinks.Don has known since”Basket of Kisses” that Peggy is good enough.

    • Her creative was new and up to the minute, and the clients had asked for something new and different. But as clients sometimes do, what they said was not really what they meant. BTDT in my advertising days. What surprised me is that Don and his creative staff didn’t seem to have gone through any run-throughs of the pitch — Don didn’t seem to know what Peggy’s idea even was (or care). That’s just odd. I hope I’m wrong and reading too much into it. As CD, he should be all over his staff and not coming in after the pitch to tsk at them.

      • Yeah, that’s the part that got me. Don didn’t even seem familiar with the pitch, let alone have anything to do with it creatively, and let Peggy go ahead with something decidedly cutting-edge without any input at all, even though he had met with the client previously and she hadn’t. That is very unlike him. All he seems to care about is getting to see Megan’s cleavage at work. So if Don doesn’t give a shit any more, and Roger doesn’t give a shit any more, are they ever going to? Or will they be squeezed out first?

  29. So excited that this show is back, even if I thought the episode last night was a bit off, but perhaps that’s in keeping with the times the characters are now in. In addition to the “awkwardness” that bob mcmanus@8 above, I noticed a lot of misunderstandings and misinterpretations – Joan and her mother misreading the cues from the company about Joan’s job, the conversation between Harry and Stan with Meghan behind them, the resulting conversation between Harry and Roger, the flirtation between Lane and Delores on the phone, and, most importantly, the late invitations from Meghan to the party. Joan, Pete (really Trudy) and Peggy all thought their invitation being so late was a sign of some kind of trouble, when it was simply Meghan’s informality, a real sign about how radically the culture is changing around these people.

    The sense I got was of a world full of people who suddenly aren’t sure where they belong or how to react to the changes around them. The culture is moving swiftly, and suddenly Roger is not sure he has a role to play, Joan is not seeing her motherhood as the satisfaction it should be, Peggy is stuck between Don and Meghan, Meghan is trying to find her place in the creative team, Pete is not happy with the suburbs, Harry and Pete aren’t even sure what their respective places are at the company – and of course it all ends with the biggest misunderstanding: that the childish joke between SCDP and Y&R was really a move by SCDP to hire minorities.

    The party scene really drove it all home. Not only was it period perfect, especially the band, but the dislocation of the old world, which in the first season of Mad Men was so set and ordered, and the rise of the new generation couldn’t have been clearer. Don and Roger looked completely out of place, Trudy is clueless as to the urban problems to which Abe refers, Meghan and her friends were in her element, no one knew how to deal with the obviously gay party planner or how to react to Meghan’s dance – you could see the ground shifting beneath all of them. Given the prominance of Kiernan Shipka in the credits and in the promotions for the season, I can only presume that same shifting ground will be expressed through Sally Draper as well.

    In the meantime, as we wait for the season’s themes to develop, so many great little moments to love in the episode. Bert Cooper insisting the meeting, which just happened in the hall, shouldn’t start without him, the look on Peggy’s face when forced to handle Joan’s son – and the look that passed between her and Pete when she handed the kid off to him (so much history in one glance), the breakdown of the Sterling marriage (who couldn’t see that coming), especially when Roger was getting up for the fake Coca-Cola meeting, all pure gold.

    • I don’t think SCDP wanted to hire minorities. It was meant to be a dig at the other company. and it backfired.

      Did anyone else find that odd as an opening scene with the other agency. The show has rarely spent time away from the SCDP crew.

      • Agreed. When it was mentioned that they should get rid of the new receptionist and hire one of the applicants, I believe it was Lane who said “We can’t have one of them there!” God forbid clients should see a black face welcoming them to SCDP.

        • I think it was a joke that backfired. I don’t think they really meant to hire. The “gift” sent by the other firm pushed them over the edge into action.

          I thought Roger said the line about “not having one of them out there.” I could be wrong, though.

        • In another year though, it could make them appear very, very hip and connected to the desirable youth market. And there were some super-frosty,super-savvy black secretaries in NYC back in the day. Not many, but one did find them.

    • Re: Pete not happy with the ‘burbs…. Remember the last time we saw him eating cereal on his own?

      • I was kind of shocked at Pete and Trudy’s house. This was a small house on a tiny piece of property close to the train station (we heard the whistle). When Trudy waxed on about Greenwich, I picture a rolling green lawn and a brick house, subsidized of course by Daddy. Doesn’t feel like a trade up to me. They will both soon be unhappy.

        • I thought she said they had “an acre of land.” Hard to tell how tiny the house was, as we only saw the kitchen. Also, just because you heard a train whistle, doesn’t mean they are close to the station. Trains whistle at every grade crossing.

        • Another thing– when Pete was riding the train on his way to work, the conductor said the next station was Greenwich, so it would seem they are farther out than Greenwich.

    • “Roger was getting up for the fake Coca-Cola meeting,” – pure Sterling’s Gold ! I loved his line to his wife at 5am:

      “Shut up” he explained.

    • I agree 100 percent CPT_D. It is not surprising that in June 1966 we see familiar characters behaving off balance. We see the consequences of the decisions they have made and environmental changes, starting with Sally who is out of her comfort zone (but still mighty curious).

      On top of the cultural changes demonstrated through the protests, the D&Y prank, the party, there are many new homes and new relationships. The firm is almost like new because it has to be rebuilt from scratch without a Lucky Strike net (nice filterless Camels, Roger) Much of what we loyal viewers are reacting to are familiar characters in uncomfortable environments – fish out of water. Joan’s radar is off. She is new at being a Mom and away from the world that really makes sense to her. Don is in love (or at least in some serious lust) and not obsessed with work right which throws Peggy off. I suspect Dons is trying to act differently with Megan than with Betty because (1) he doesn’t want to be the same guy again and (2) he is in public. Maybe he wants to be looser but we all knew that Peggy was dead right – that party was a bad idea. Poor Peggy misses the work spouse that pushed her and is off her game a bit (she also has no idea how to “manage” Megan in a way that will not harm her relationship with Don and her career). Not everyone behaves inconsistently. Pete is Pete, petulant and bitter – but happens to also be work-confident and the most effective guy at the firm right now.

      We saw a lot of fear from the old guard about no longer being relevant – especially Joan and Roger. The old messages are not always working on a new or unfamiliar audience and the old guard does not speak the new language (Megan does). A new client with an old product wants a new message and gets – bean ballet? Pranks backfire when there is an unintended audience (SCDP/D&Y) but with a familiar audience they work (Pete/Roger). Conversations about one thing quickly stray into something else in this new world (Lane). Very much like a guy turning 40, (ah, I remember it well) we are afraid that things are passing us by and we may be too old to learn the new tricks. It does appear that Don and Megan have established some interesting choreography with their love life. That whole thing was a set up and they are on the same kinky wavelength.

      We’ve seen this before with MM. When the old rules and language don’t work you often can’t discern appearances from reality and lots of fun ensues. If you don’t like the conversation (or the carpet) change it and keep trying – “move again.”

  30. I know this isn’t the forum for asking, but has anybody found a place to view the episode online? For some reason I thought AMC posted the episodes shortly after initial airing, but I’m wrong or they changed their policy. I’m going to miss the second half of the season as I’ll be out of the country, so I’m desperate!

    • I am not sure about FREE places to watch it. I know you can watch episodes on your computer through “A Little Kiss” is already available. I believe the episodes are $1.99 per episode, unless you buy some sort of pass.

      • Thank you, Lady K. I decided to just buy the whole season through iTunes. Worth it to not have to pirate it through bitTorrent.

    • Sorry I missed this. Xfinity is streaming Season 5 free to customers and non-customers, iirc, via the website.

      • Now you tell me, after I already bought the episode! Oh well. We have high-speed Net with them but not cable; does this mean they will stream at the same time the episode is playing, or will it only be available the next day?

    • Not sure where you are writing from but I get it free 2 days after it airs “Free on Demand”

  31. I believe Matt Weiner said that at some point someone on the show has the line “when is everything going to get back to normal” or something along those lines. That basically sums up my feelings on the episode. Loved it, but was so uncomfortable with new don.
    Give me more Peggy!
    And that last scene with the African American secretary applicants and that song playing …. Kinda broke my heart a little.
    Thanks lipp sisters for helping to arrange a great party at paley!

  32. Am I wrong in thinking that nobody in the office but Don and Bert know about Joan and Roger? Don and Bert got a hint that there was something between them in season 1 after Roger’s heart attack. Joan walked in the room, Roger said “Hey Honey” and Bert and Don both looked up, at each other, and then walked out. I know that the “There’s my baby” was meant to be a clever moment from the writers, but since nobody knows about Joan and Roger it seemed odd he would say that to her in front of Peggy and Megan.

    • I don’t think it was common knowledge around the office. I think it was only Don and Bert that knew.

      However, it is well known that Roger is a flirt. The fact that he called her “baby” so openly could easily be played off as “oh, that Roger….” I don’t think others would conclude anything specific–just that Roger is always flattering attractive women.

      I think it was a loaded comment for Roger to drop, though, and I didn’t find it at all relaxing.

    • I thought it was quite forward of Roger to say that in the office, unless he’s been loosening up with the flirting lately (as witness him hitting on the secretary).

      • I think Peggy sensed something during that scene. Or maybe she was just uncomfortable because of the baby’s presence.

  33. Oh man, I totally woke up with that French song in my head!!!!! That is the joke that will keep on giving-Roger imitating it in the office the next day nearly made me wet my pants, I’m not even kidding. Harry going full on with his feelings for Megan and the Stan bent over saying he thinks he’s gonna die because it was so funny. Pete asking Roger is he should add an air sickness bag to the “one he’s already in”, and then setting him up for the Coca Cola meeting-my mom kept shouting at me from the other room “Is this a comedy?” because I could not stop laughing my ass off.

    Thank you thank you thank you Matt Weiner and company for making my whole weekend wonderful with just two hours of entertainment. You all are the masters, i bow down to you in awe. Thank you for sharing all of your geniuses with all of us.

    • I was right there with your Rowan. Those scenes were hilarious. Sooo loved Stan’s reaction. I died from Rogers rendition for Don…but good for Don for nearly dislocating his arm and setting him straight.

  34. Great blog Roberta and Deborah (nice shout out for you guys on the Times Talk MW/cast interview)…

    My feeling about the episode: also unimpressed w/Megan. Whether it is her acting or her looks, I’m still trying to figure that out. Interesting that they used the same music in her balcony scene from hers/Don’s in Tomorrowland. I am intrigued w/where the writers will take us.

    My other strongest impression of the episode (like others), is that the dialogue was flat. I hope that this was a table-setting episode for the season (sort of a character overview/semi rehash of season 4), and that the writers will not let us down w/the brilliant dialogue. I also hope that MM doesn’t devolve into a sex-laden soap opera which it has never been in the past…one more thing: don’t like the new Bobby (he was a little jarring given his blond hair and the old one’s darker hair)….and what about Sally/Kiernan’s deepening of her voice?

    BTW….NYT did a really weak analysis of the show this AM….nice job ladies!

  35. I’m probably wrong about this, but–has anyone else considered that Megan may know that Don’s real name is Dick Whitman, but may not know the entire story? Of course, it’s kind of hard to explain why she would also know that the birthday he’s celebrating isn’t his real birthday–I think she made a remark about that….But I just wonder if Weiner is leading us down the primrose path!

    I agree with many who have said that almost everything in these first two episodes related to or made the viewer *feel* the shifting times. Brilliant.

    Here’s one of those nit-picky things, just because they’re kind of fun to discuss: I was struck when one of the secretaries replied (to Roger, I think) “Really?” It was said in a sarcastic way. I have no recollection of that word being used in exactly that way until the last several years. I think in the 1960’s, one might have said, sarcastically, “Oh, really?”–stated more as a wry question. The punchy “Really?” of recent years is slightly different in intonation, etc.

    • We obviously don’t have enough to go on, but, yes, I wondered if Megan knows the true, full story or if she has been told some tamer or more palatable version. (For example, Anna knew almost everything, but she didn’t know that Don intentionally switched the tags.)

      I could believe it either way.

      Perhaps Don didn’t want a repeat of the lies and secrets he lived with Betty. Perhaps he really wanted to come clean–and after telling Faye, he realized he could.

      Perhaps he knew that Megan knew about his “freak out” over the government job when she filled out all of his information. He knew she already had a lot of clues if she wanted to take them seriously. Maybe she asked him point blank before they got married “why did you get so mad about the information I put on the govenment form?”

      Also–there could be people who might try to taint his new romance by “telling Megan the truth” about her husband-to-be. Bert, Pete, Betty, or Faye could try to drop something to her out of a variety of motives.

      He may have come completely clean, or maybe only partially clean.

      Megan obviously knows his real name. She knows that his “paper birthday” and his real birthday are not the same.

      We have no idea if she knows about the war, about the accident, about Dick choosing to become Don.

      • Somebody needs to rewatch the Megan-finds-out episode and relate what took place and what we know that she knows. Help.

        • Okay–some of the other threads from previous years say that when Pete confronts Don (“Nixon v. Kennedy” in Season 1) that Pete states that RealDon would actually be 43 in November of 1960 (RealDon died in Korea in 1950.)

          Dick/Don would have to pretend to be 49 if he were consistently going all the way with Real Don’s birthdate.

          So Dick/Don may be using Real Don’s birthday–but did Megan royally mess up by telling everyone that Don was turning 40?

          I mean, she obviously knows the real Dick Witman’s birthday. She obviously knows that the real Dick is turning 40–actually that Dick has been 40 for 6 months.

          But she doesn’t seem to know that Dick/Don is trying to maintain the illusion (without drawing attention to it) that he is a different person who ought to be a 49-year-old if anyone bothers to get curious?

          Or maybe Don has always pretended around the office that there was a typo in the birth year?

          • In “Out Of Town,” which takes place in April 1963, Don tells Shelley the stewardess that it’s his birthday, but then declines to show her his driver’s license, which made us assume that it was his real (i.e. Dick Whitman’s) birthday. So, unless you think he was lying to get her in bed (which hardly seemed necessary at that point), he has been marking the Real Don Draper’s birthday, June 1st, as his birthday since Korea.

            The question of age is what had me muddled last night, I like the idea that he has always just said he’s his “real” (Dick Whitman’s) age, all this time, making sure that nobody got a good look at the year 1917 on any official document.

          • I don’t mean just his birthday. I meant what ALL did he tell her. I can’t recall and I don’t like to rewatch episodes (sorry, I know that’s heresy). Does she know only that he took someone else’s personal identifying info in a limited way, or has Don told her everything — what happened in Korea, with Adam and the Whitman family afterwards, Anna, the details of his childhood or just that it was lonely and abusive? And that when Betty found out that was the last straw in their marriage. I know some of this hasn’t been seen/shown yet, but what I can’t recall is what he did tell her when the paperwork thing made it necessary for him to confess about his two legal identities. I’ll just have to find out, won’t I…

            • We NEVER saw Don tell Megan anything about his identity. The conversation they had about Dick Whitman was a reveal. He never said anything about the paperwork other than that it was a problem, without specifying why.

        • There is no Megan-finds-out episode. It is implied in the conversation they have post-party.

          • What about the episode with the (security clearance) paperwork that causes him so much anxiety? He does tell her some explanation about his Don/Dick identities, doesn’t he? I am SO confused.

      • I wonder if she was told the whole story because of her comment on the first episode that no one loves Dick Whitman but I do. That seemed strange to me. I dont think she knows the severity of the situation

    • I’m 51 and I have heard and said the sarcastic “really??” all, and I do mean ALL of my life. There has been a distinct uptick in the use of the word in this way for a while now, however.

    • “Really”? Yes, I caught that, too. Sounded like something a teen would say circa 2008.

  36. Peggy is beginning to resent Don.
    Megan is beginning to resent Don, she knows too much about him, though.

    Don is growing old, a hot new wife in office is not that cool and it is getting obvious.

    The episodes theme seems to be: Be careful about what you wish, you might get it too….

  37. did anyone comment on the references from megan’s friend at what a great actress megan is/was? i wondered if she was implying that megan is the type to play a part to get what she wants. peggy seemed completely (and rightfully) put off to see megan sitting at her desk.

    • Last seasons: I want to do what you do, should tell us all we know about Megan.

    • Yes, I wondered about that comment. Did the friend mean she is an actress in her personal relationships or just on stage?

      • I believe that she is staging her relationship and faking the sex. And cleaning in underwear.. For how long willl he not see through her manipulations? Don has not a history of putting up with sexually aggressive and demanding women (Bobbie B).

        Don will try to paint her in his image, just as he did with Betty. The question is: How resilient is she and what will happend with the office while the “Don and Megan show” goes on?

        Because the truth is: Don is useless when he is happy, pain is his motivator.

  38. …also, it would somewhat connect to don’s desire/ skill to “play a part,” in his role as don draper, rather than dick whitman.

  39. Did anyone else find issues with the sound? I think a few lines were garbled or swallowed, to the extent that I had to rewind to be sure I could understand them. One was at the party, and one where Don’s head hits the zebra-skin pillow as he talks about the damaged people at SCDP. At least one more I can’t remember . . .

    • Yes, some techie friends commented that the mix on the party sound wasn’t good. In techie terms, the levels were too “hot” — that means they’re turned up too high. (I can bore you with more details, but this should have been fixed in post-production. They had enough time.)

  40. It’s still Don Draper, so are two theories on Dick Whitman. First, we have to remember that about six months have gone by between last season and this one.

    1) One of the kids (Bobby or Sally) said something to Don in Megan’s presence about his nickname being Dick. Megan then followed up, and Don told her a version of what he wanted her to know.

    2) Before they went for the marriage license, Don told her that his legal name was Dick Whitman, and that’s the name that would be on the license. Don told her a version of what he wanted her to know.

    • The name on any license would be don draper. Dick Whitman is dead as far as the authorities are concerned.

    • I think Don told her the truth, period. He lived in fear for years that Betty would find out and dump him, and that’s exactly what happened. He’s not an idiot and didn’t want to have a repeat, worrying about what will happen when his new, young, adoring wife finds out he isn’t who he says he is.

  41. Sally and kids remembered Don’s “birthday” and got him a gift in advance. I wonder how old Sally and Bobby think their dad is? Did Don pretend to be Real Don’s age with Betty and the kids?

    It could be weird if the kids think he is 49 and Megan says he is 40…

    • Bobby asked him how old he would be on his birthday, in the car when they arrived home to the Francis’ castle or whatever the heck that place is, and he said 40. He didn’t seem to question his answer.

      • Thanks–I’d forgotten that. I was only wondering because I assumed when Don married Betty that he’d had to use RealDon’s birthday (which would have made him 49).

    • I thought when Pete originally found stuff out that Don Draper was older, he said something like ‘you’re looking remarkably good for your age’ so i assumed that Don Draper was using his Whitman age. Plus, the clearance thing had Don panicked because there were 3 lies on the form, his age presumably being one.


    Sigh…be still my heart

    • Really? Does this mean you’d like to see them together? Actually I have a fantasy of them living happily ever after too. *sigh*

      Also – I was laughing/ aghast at the cigarette in his mouth as he held the baby! Ah, the 60’s! 😉 MM does it again – yet another fun realistic touch to show the times, they have a chang-ed…

  43. Oakland Julie brought up the balcony music that seems to have become Megan’s theme. Moody, Hitchcockian, first heard against a foreboding, cloudy??? LA background. When is it ever cloudy in la-la land? I know the difference between smog and overcast. Sharp contrast to DD and Betty’s love theme first heard when darling Sally spent her booze filled day at the office in S2.
    Megan’s is just screaming Eve Harrington to me louder and louder. Or is it just me? She’s a kinder, more subtle version of the title character in All About Eve, who was cartoonishly evil, and manipulative.

    • Totally. In “Tomorrowland” the Don/Megan scenes had a distinct vampire theme, which is what the moonlit background reminded me of. And they talked about her teeth, and how she needed to get back before the sun came up.

    • Also, that music is the same one used for Joy, the cutie who tried to lure Don into the decadant abyss.

  44. I thought it was interesting that megan asked Peggy if she was allowed to go home. I was thinking, yeah, you the wife of the boss. you can do whatever you want. Clearly megan does not think this.

    I also loved the fashions of the show. Joan looked similar and Peggy wore a conservative white button up blouse and plaid skirt.

    One more thing. Lane said that they could not have a one of “them” work up front but he was not so shy when he was dating his bunny.

    • It wasn’t Lane who said that it was Roger. Lane said we couldn’t afford to hire ANYONE.

    • As someone who once worked in an office where my dad was “the boss”. This part rang true to me. Megan is not stupid, if she wants to ever become fully accepted into the office and the creative team, she’s got to play somewhat by the rules and not piss everyone else off by pulling (Don’s) rank on them. Peggy is technically her immidiate superior (as the ranking creative under Don), and Megan doesn’t want to rock the boat too much.

    • But he wasn’t bringing Shelia, I think that was the name of the bunny, to the office or work-related functions. She was a semi-secret girlfriend.

  45. Can’t help but think that unless Megan removes herself, Peggy will chafe to the point of burning, and enlist ever frustrated Pete to break off and create their own firm. The last 3 season finales have dealt with some form of agency in peril theme. Pete is now 100% of accounts at SCDP, giving him the muscle to make that play. It would test both their loyalties to that zombie who passes for Don now.

    The party was terrific. All the guys in it brought their mates except Stan, YodaBert, and Hollywood Harry. Would’ve killed to see Harry become the party poon hound, and break out an “Irving baby, where you been?!!!” line. But alas, acutely awkward Harry is still the pimply faced nerd, who can only fantasize.

  46. Is it me or did that scene with the black undies and the “You don’t get to have this…I don’t need an old man” bit seem a bit too dark and psychological? I mean we have all seen that Don has a bit of a bondage fetish… it has been glimpsed a few times before, but do we really want to see that much of his psyche?

    • if the old Don is going to resurface, it will do so with Megan…that whole scene was a little too close to marital rape for me.

      • That wasn’t anything close to rape. That was Megan daring Don to take her, and him obliging.

        Sometimes no means no, and sometimes it doesn’t. Earlier in the thread, someone asked how a man is supposed to know the difference. I don’t think there’s a specific answer; it’s more of a feel thing. The tough part is when you’re not quite sure. In those cases, I suggest erring on the side of caution.

        But if a woman is on her hands and knees in front of you, shaking her black-lace butt in your face, and taunting you in a sexy voice, telling you you’re not allowed to touch, only watch…I don’t think there’s much ambiguity there. She’s begging for it! : )

    • Also: “Nobody loves Dick Whitman.” Same theme.

  47. S5 looks like S2 redux. Youth is the overarching theme, with change (S3) thrown in. This time youth will be served. Pete and beloved Pegs are the youth in the firm, irregardless of their dowdy attire, thoughts. Looks like they will make their play, and be on the move. DD is moving toward irrelevancy with lightning speed. Sad. Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?

    • There are more parallels betwn eps 201& 202 and 501-02 beyond the rise of youth culture. A lot of exposition that only fell into place later. And people gave S2 a harder time at the time than they do now.

  48. I saved the new episodes from last night on DVR because I need to see them again. A couple of comments: Rachel Menken is still my favorite of the women who were involved with Don — I still miss her — she was so classy. However she was not available to him — she had too much sense to continue the relationship. I also thought Faye Miller was a good match for him. I don’t have a good feeling about Don and Megan, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Megan is what Don has needed all along. Very interesting that Megan knows about Dick Whitman — I’m intrigued to see how this one will play out.

    A couple of general remarks — I have always loved the art direction and costumes on Mad Men — even when an episode falls below the standard, I still love watching the show. Betty’s old kitchen in the house she and Don shared was so much like my late mother-in-law’s kitchen. The show is visually stunning. Also I think my favorite character has always been Joan — I like her the most but I find Don the most fascinating. I also think John Slattery is pitch perfect as Roger. The cast has always been strong — I like Peggy and her story a lot as well. I keep wondering if we have heard the last of her baby with Pete. Everybody looks terrific, but January Jones really suits the costumes and hair styles. Rachel Menken was the most high fashion character and looked terrific as well. Trudy looks perfect as an up and coming young matron. I’m glad MM is back!

  49. Agree with how heavy the subtext was in this opener. More in my opinion than any episode so far. S2 is by far the most fun season, Imho. I also think its the weakest of the 4. No hook, like Don sending Meditations to someone. S2 is the one that grows more watchable through time than any of the others. Duck’s power play served as the coda. Will his ‘proteges’ Pete and Peggy (ducklings) complete the job for him this season?
    Megan will make one hell of an ex-wife.

    • And will turn the “it is all your fault”-card over to Peggy, even she did warned her about Don did not like surprises….

    • Duck–interesting that he was up to six phone numbers. Where is Duck now?

  50. Did anybody else note how much Don and Megan’s party setup (penthouse, band, etc.) was somewhat reminiscent of “Playboy After Dark”?

    • Yes my hubby did! It reminded me also of the “party” bit they always did on Laugh-In. (Look that up in your Funk & Wagnall’s…)

  51. I know this has been said, but it was eerie how much Pete is going to turn into don (albeit less charming). A lonely, slightly oblivious, spoiled wife in the suburb with a draperesque kichen Taking the train in. Staying later. And living with a secret- that Olsen-dyckman-Campbell baby is out there somewhere!

    • He’s turning into the “man with a little bit of hair in the corner office who women go home with out of pity”, just like Don warned him.

  52. Although I’m sure Pete is perfectly aware the child he had with Peggy would be almost six right now, that instinctive, horrified reaction he had when he saw Peggy pushing Kevin in the baby carriage was priceless.

    • Agreed!

      Also, I think when a woman is warm and nurturing to children by nature, they are that way with all of them. Interesting how warm Megan is with Don’s children, but had zero coo interest in Joan’s infant son. I can’t remember, was Don present in that scene? I could be wrong, but I would guess not.

      • Watch it again Debi! Don was there and Megan cooed to and rocked the baby in her arms, seemingly oblivous to Joan and Don’s conversation. Joan, smiling, looking at Megan rocking the bably, says to Don, “It’s just a matter of time, Don, just a matter of time..”, Don relplys, ” I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.”, and he exits, stage right, after giving Joan another quick little kiss on the cheek. Megan is still oblivios, or acting that way, to the response of her husband. Anyone bet that the actress may already be pregnant, hence feeling queasy, or did she just want to go home and make a power play with don?? I have no doubt that Megan would get pregnant to keep Don if things start going south in the marriage. I love the totally besotten look Hamm gets on his face when he’s looking at Megan. Someone commented it’s the pain that drives Don, when he’s happy/satisfied, he’s umm flaccid, useless, pun intended. 😉 .

  53. Playboy After Dark, ha!! Great call dirigentin. Need to have Kinsey lend his pipe to Don to complete the picture.

  54. So why was it called “A Little Kiss”? The episode title usually refers both to something specific on the show and to some deeper symbolism/theme/motif? I don’t think I caught it, though.

  55. Zoubi zoubi zou, is a little kiss, somewhat, in French.

  56. There was sooooo much packed into these two hours, and the endless hours I’ve neglected my job to read blogs and comments, that I don’t feel like there’s any more I could say, except that I’m REALLY SURPRISED I have not seen (or I’ve missed) other comments that reflect my first gut reaction, which is: That has GOT to be some of the sexiest stuff ever put on TV! The in-office peep show, the hallway foreplay, Megan’s flirting for sport, and watching Don’s notice, the song, the dance, and the final living room scene….I’ve read some of the comments about their lack of chemistry, or their lack of lingering looks…..I did not get that at all. I saw the smoking hot passion of people in new love that can’t get enough of each other, and nothing stands in their way of getting to each other. Those previous long looks between Don and his previous lovers were all about the danger/risk of should we/shouldn’t we, we must, but then we must not be ALL in it, because of a basic dishonesty that is between us. With Don and Megan its all out there, and it’s hot. Its legal, it’s appropriate, and it’s still hot, which makes it so amazing to watch. I was a skeptic about the marriage, and I’m not naive to think it might not still crash and burn, but for now, it’s super sexy to see these hot people living out their passions.

    • Yes, I agree. Very sexy, which is hard to pull off, but they did it. Someone earlier said that besides Rachel Menken (great chemistry there, too, when it FINALLY happened on her couch!), they thought Dr. Faye would have been a good match for Don. Don was never really that into Faye, though–not nearly the erotic heat he has with Megan.

  57. Hey there. Do I need to read the entire recap at Press Play and then come back to BOK to post a comment? I know I can comment at PP, but I’m comfortable here and love this community. I bet I missed something in a “going forward we’re gonna do it this way” post.

    • Good Sally, you can comment at either or both places. I never did recaps in the past, but I have contracted with Press Play to do recaps that appear exclusively on their site. I will recap there and put up a thread like this one, with a partial post, each week.

      It will not reduce the content my sister, the other writers, and I produce. In fact, we hope to bring you more this year than ever! And I hope you will continue to consider the community here, which we love and value, your home.

      • Great community here for sure…you guys are so damn smart and insightful.

        If you and your sister don’t know this Deborah, than no one does; in the larger publicity shows/events w/the cast/MW (like Today Show, TimesTalk), never once did I see Elizabeth Moss or was it mentioned as to why she wasn’t there. Do you know why she was MIA?

        And to Bridget—jeez, I’ve barely gotten any work done today as well….and to your point about the sex scene between Don & Megan, I thought it was pretty hot too. Didn’t you all have sex after the party (just as Megan said everyone would)?

        • Oakland Julie, several times during those media events it has been explained that Lizzy Moss is making a mini-series for the BBC in New Zealand. As a consequence she could not return to the USA for the recent Mad Men publicity tour.

          Only at the last moment for the New York Times event on 20 March 2012 did Christina Hendricks return from London. So, on the West Coast we missed her at the PaleyFest on 13 March and the AMC Mad Men premiere party at Cinarama Dome on 14 March.

        • Also, Oakland Julie,

          Jessica Paré could not return to Los Angeles in time for the PaleyFest, but did attend and was especially lovely, the next evening for the AMC premiere. Jessica was there for many of the Mad Men NYC publicity events.

        • Elisabeth is in New Zealand filming a movie.

        • Didn’t you all have sex after the party (just as Megan said everyone would)?

          As a matter of fact, yes.

        • oh, I had some Zooby zooby zoo, that’s for sure!

      • Deborah, it’s all good then. :> All good news. Thanks. Congratulations on the gig.

  58. Joanie can burn an entire landscape with her sexual joi de vivre. Megan? Meh. Guess the fact we’ve had Joanie for so long, that a reaction to Megan’s would be muted amongst those of us who have witnessed true greatness.

  59. I think Megan is playing Don to further her own ambitions, which are multi-faceted. Notice how she wanted to be ‘like’ Don and got that career promotion by marrying him? Notice how quickly she went from a loving baby sitter of Don’s children to someone who clearly had no interest in spending time with Don and the kids on the kids’ weekend visit? Notice how she has changed from sweet to sultry, after the ring was on her finger? Notice how she’s using his own sexual kinks to seduce him when she appears to be at a disadvantage with him? She even throws ‘Dick Whitman’ up to his face, without any concern how it might make him feel.

    Don’s getting long in the tooth and his comment about wanting her on his arm reveals how blind he is to what’s going on. I think Don’s got a whole lot of trouble to look forward to from this babe. If, as Lady K said, pain is Don’s motivator, stay tuned!

    • …..and don’t forget, her friend called her a ‘great actress’ at the party – wasn’t this the same friend who said she couldn’t act and that her teeth would prevent her from getting parts? So was this just a compliment at a party where she’s introduced to Don, or was it a comment on what Megan is really about?

      • wasn’t this the same friend who said she couldn’t act and that her teeth would prevent her from getting parts?

        No. The friend who said she had bad teeth was a blond with a foreign accent, and was almost as tall as Megan. The party guest was a short redhead with an American accent. Plus, the blond lives in California.

    • Tammi, I don’t know where you’re getting some of this stuff. Don popped the question suddenly and impulsively, she may have wanted to marry him, and may have had hopes for the future, but she didn’t maneuver that. She didn’t even maneuver going to California as the nanny–it was his suggestion after she’d already made other arrangements for him.

      She certainly didn’t “change from sweet to sultry, after the ring was on her finger” — she seduced him in the office! She was sultry all along.

      I don’t see any evidence that she’s disinterested in the kids and I am not sure what you base that on. In fact, as I said in my recap, Don had been unwilling to have Gene included in the visitation because taking care of babies was too difficult for him, and now we see that baby Gene was there with the other two. Megan got out of bed a little bit later than Don, but then interacted warmly with the kids as soon as she was up.

      Notice how she’s using his own sexual kinks to seduce him when she appears to be at a disadvantage with him?

      That’s an interpretation. Another is that she uses their shared sexual kinks to reconnect after a fight. They had make-up sex, like every couple ever.

      She even throws ‘Dick Whitman’ up to his face, without any concern how it might make him feel.

      That’s an interpretation. Another is that she was very concerned about Dick Whitman, which is why she said, “Aw, nobody loves Dick Whitman, but I love you, that’s why I threw you a party.” I don’t see that as unconcerned or unkind, even if it was too painful for him to see it. Again, as I said, she has a lot to learn–they haven’t been together long. Indeed, I’d contend they haven’t been together long enough for her to know that this would be painful for him, or that he would experience it as being “thrown up in his face.”

      Don’s getting long in the tooth and his comment about wanting her on his arm reveals how blind he is to what’s going on.

      When did he say that?

    • Don Draper long in the tooth? Maybe I need glasses. 🙂

    • It was me who said that. Pain is Dons motivator.

  60. Another night of great Father Daughter time and discussion at my House. I enjoyed the Story!

  61. I kept thinking about a parallel between Megan’s surprise party and Jane’s Kentucky Derby party. Don was so disgusted at Roger (mainly for leaving Mona for Jane). I know Don did not leave Betty for Megan, but in a sense he left Faye for her and I felt like Don was in the same shoes as Roger at the Derby party: playing the fool for the younger woman.

  62. i don’t know if anyone else commented on this, so please let me know if anyone has: i keep getting stuck on megan’s friend saying that megan got the best tips as a waitress because she was “such a good actress.” is this an implication that the friend knows that megan is completely capable of playing a role in order to get what she wants. further, it helps give connection to don in that he’s ‘acting’ the part of don draper, instead of dick whitman.

    finally, what was it that trudy said to pete about ambition? something along the lines of the discontent are the ones who strive for more, and it contributes to their ambition. while this is a significant thing to say to pete, it’s interesting to apply to don and his current content state of happiness.

  63. I wish there was a “like” button for comments, as I just read through all of them, nodding and nodding. It’s so nice to see everyone’s names in the comments again, and recognize your “voices,” too.

    I love Megan. I love what she’s bringing not only to Don, but to the show. She’s the embodiment of a younger generation, and, if my math is right, she was born in 1941, so is not a baby boomer. (Sally is, though.)

    I agree with Bridget #58 that Don and Megan have great chemistry. They are hot for each other and are figuring out this marriage thing. I think Megan is completely warm with Don’s kids and up for the whole “I’m a step-mom to three kids now” show. She’s happy, upbeat, and ready to move forward, which is what Don always wants. “Move forward!” He’s infatuated with her.

    And they live in the city! Just think how much Betty would have loved to live in the city. She missed it so, but maybe not until she found herself isolated in the suburbs doing what she thought she was supposed to do (and like). Love C Carroll Adams’ comment, “Never during the first 4 seasons of MM did Betty ever say or do anything demonstrating she had been well educated.” She’s not dumb, though (remember her reading The Feminine Mystique? Probably not a book Jane would care about reading).

    Megan IS smart. And savvy. I think it’s perfectly acceptable that she looked for a husband at work like so many young women in the ’60s. It doesn’t feel shallow to me how she and Don hooked up or decided to marry — it feels typical of the mid-sixties.

    This season is an entirely different story from the past season. Don is no longer the falling man. He wants his marriage to work. He has hope. And I didn’t notice him drinking himself to death. Megan has been good for him. I love what Michael Robertson Moore said, #17:

    “I found that ‘light’ S&M scene genuinely moving. That sort of thing requires either anonymity (Don getting slapped by the prostitute) or complete trust. The fact that Don can do it with Megan shows that he’s matured a lot. I think they have a very strong relationship, although it’s clearly going to be tested.”

    I agree. I think a bunch of other things, but that’s enough. I have missed the conversation! xoxo

    • I agree, a “like” button would be great! Good suggestion!

    • I actually “like” that we don’t have “like buttons”. This is not Facebook – and certainly not an ordinary blog.

      What I DO LIKE – is extended, literate, insightful comments, such as (like!) yours, GoodSally.

  64. okay,i missed the comments that tammi made. tammi, i completely agree with you. i think that she’s the same as don has been in that she is not who she says she is. it’s curious that now that he’s seemingly being direct, she seems to have an agenda. also, i have to disagree: i think that the “maternal” instinct was more placed upon her by don, when sally fell in the office more than any long term character trait. her truer self seems to be more in line with doing what she needs or wants in order to get what she wants. i didn’t see that she was truly connected to doting on joan’s son. she gave obligatory connection but passed the baby off rather quickly for someone who is being touted as really maternal.

  65. Bert, Stan and Abe’s chat about The Domino Theory and Vietnam was timely.

    By June 1965, as the first U.S. ground troops began arriving in Vietnam, U.S. troop strength stood at 50,000. By year’s end, it would be near 200,000. In 1966, the total U.S. death toll in Vietnam stood at 8,407 – with 6,143 dying in 1966 alone.

    The Domino Theory put forth the notion that after China and North Korea had fallen to the Communists, Vietnam would be the next to fall – with Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma and India the other “dominoes” in a row, poised to tumble. Some on the far Right back then, thought that Communists would storm the beaches of Southern California, if the U.S. did not contain the Red Menace in Southeast Asia.

    Not everyone concurred with this hawkish view. On May 15, 1966 a large antiwar demonstration took place, with 10,000 participants picketing outside the White House and near the Washington Monument. A Gallup Poll in June 1966 noted that support of U.S. involvement in Vietnam stood at 41%, with 37% opposing it and 22% having no opinion.

    • And Stan’s guest – (brother? cousin? – a sailor?) provided comic relief in reply to Abe’s dire disfigurement comment:

      “I thought there would be girls”

  66. Also…yes, I was kind of surprised that Megan knew about “Dick.” But since he already let slip to Sally and Bobby that “that’s my name sometimes,” and she probably hadn’t forgotten his freakout over the security clearance, she probably asked him what was up and he gave her a sanitized version of the story similar to the one he gave Anna and Betty (i.e. “they thought I was him and he was me,” but minus the admission that he had anything to do with it directly, which Faye got).

    And I have to wonder if she knows about just how grim his childhood and birth origins really were; Betty, after all, knew he grew up “poor,” but thought it meant the kind of lower-middle-class from which he pulled himself up by his bootstraps, not the kind of destitution he had to steal his way out of. Would she care? She’s certainly much less conservative than Betty, so who knows, maybe to her it sounds romantic rather than depressing.

    • I think he gave her the whole story. “I’m tired of running.” “I think that’s over now.” I think he’s made a step in the direction of authenticity. I don’t think he’s a whole new person, but I think it’s a legitimate step.

      • It will be interesting to learn whether he told her before or after the wedding. I think it was before.

  67. Not trying to be a jerk, but I’m suddenly, after 3 viewings of the premiere am tired of Megan. Really. I base this on nothing I can put my finger on. She doesn’t fit in the office, she is um……uninteresting, like Jimmy on Boardwalk Empire. A giggly, carefree girl unconcerned about………..the …………..future. Oh, man!!!! She is Jane 2.0.

    • i’m with you, tilden. i know that there are references to her being ‘young” and “fresh” and “new,” but frankly, that doesn’t make her interesting. it just makes her young, new, and fresh. character is developed and becomes more interesting when an individual is faced with challenges or conflicts or age.

    • You found Jimmy on Boardwalk Empire uninteresting? I loved him. I am still not over what happened to him. *stomps off in disgust* 🙂

    • I totally agree. I can see a few trajectories for the character, but frankly, I just don’t care about her. Now having said that, they’re all on the cusp of a big change, and maybe she is just a foreshadowing of the big changes to come? I just don’t “get” her at all.

    • Hi there Tilden, so please tell us how you and your charming wife Rachel really feel?

      Since you found Jimmy D on Boardwalk Empire uninteresting, why did you watch that series? But since you did watch, you must have loved the Season 2 ending.

      The marvelous thing is that Mad men and Boardwalk Empire are each shown many times the first few days of each episode, so even with only a single HDD or DVR watching both is possible. So why can’t we enjoy both series?

  68. I’m wondering about Betty and what will happen with her story line going forward. With the start of this season and the parallels we can start to draw between her/ her and Don and Megan/ Megan and Don, it’s got me thinking about what’s happened to that character over time. By the end of last season, she had developed into, essentially, a self-centered child. But that wasn’t always true. In the first season, she was portrayed as her dissatisfied woman classically portrayed by Betty Friedan in “The Feminist Mystique.” That Betty had depth. She wrestled with herself, being unhappy despite having ‘everything,’ (ok, including a cheating husband), and wanted ‘more’ even if she couldn’t quite put her finger on what that would look like. Over time, she deteriorated into, as I said, pretty much a spoiled brat. At the end of last season, she was shown to be, maybe, ‘growing up’ a bit, again, beginning to see that adult-life isn’t always perfect.

    I hope she keeps evolving and becomes more interesting again –albeit in a way that would make sense for a woman like her at that point in time (as Matthew Weiner is always so good about keeping to).

    What do others think?

    • That she is a battered child that needet to be selvsentered in order to survive.

    • I guess if the trend from previous seasons continues, she will mostly exist so that everyone can enjoy disliking her (Sally, Don, the audience, and possibly even Henry). Some trends do change, but that seems to be the role she’s played recently.

      My impression was that the writers sort of dropped Betty’s real story for Sally’s. Betty was always kind of a difficult character. She wasn’t ‘fun, fun, fun’ and she has always had some brooding, discontented aspects. However, in seasons 1 – 3, she seemed like she was trapped in a guilded cage and didn’t know what was wrong. That intereted me. Also, she really did have good reasons to suspect Don and to feel lonely.

      But it seemed like last year the writers decided that it wasn’t worth it to try to get people to sympathize with Betty or her story, and she just became a cliche angry lady that made both Don and Sally unhappy. The writers really didn’t show us any simple, relaxed, happy moments in the Francis household or between just Henry and Betty. There was always some sort of tension or struggle. Every time they showed Betty, she seemed to be angry.

      Instead, they spent a lot of time showing everything from Sally’s perspective, as Sally naturally attracted more sympathy.

      I would prefer that Betty be complicated –with both positives and negatives to her character. She certainly isn’t “all good”, but I really wish they would not make her “all bad.” I don’t think that her marriage with Don was working–but it wasn’t 100% her fault. He lied, cheated, withheld, controlled, abandoned Sally’s party and really wasn’t a very good partner to her. We will never know if she COULD have been a happier wife with him, because she never seemed to get enough real positive attention from him. I don’t think it’s fair to say ‘Don is great, but he did all of those not-so-nice things because Betty ‘deserved’ it because she was so cold.” Some of Betty’s anger was legitimate…

      In “The Wheel” when Don was looking at the old photos of his family–I thought I saw glimpses that they used to be a lot happier.

      Don is starting out happy with Megan. When Megan went out on the balcony, I thought “maybe Don really hasn’t changed so much–he’s shutting her out completely after she tried to do something fun, nice and sweet.”

      In the short run, Megan found a way to grapple with Don that worked a lot better than Betty’s former attempts. So maybe that’s enough–maybe she’ll manage the situation better than Betty. But maybe that is only a short-term fix, not a long term solution.

      I think it could be a lot more interesting now that there are more moms on the show: Joan, Trudy, and step-mom Megan. I don’t want it to be easy for all of them in a way that is unrealistic.

      Personally, I’d like some reason to emerge so that Don and Megan get the kids more and more, and Betty gets more time alone with Henry and away from the kids.

      • Yes, definitely would like a more complicated Betty. I think the viewers are shown some glimpses of her happier side (e.g., happy for Sally at word of Beatles tickets, happy when Henry showed hunger for her in the car/garage after the kids left for the weekend), but a more developed and ongoing happiness (or at least interest outside of herself?) would be most welcome.

        Also, just have to write that I’m cringing at my (above) typo on “Feminine Mystique.” Oh well.

      • How many of us would actively want to write about the character of Betty Draper Francis? Compared to most of the other Mad Men characters it seems like the writer who arrived late for the meeting is punished by writing Betty’s scenes for the episode in question. Sometimes, such as “Souvenir”, writing Betty could be a joy.

        • You’re seriously questioning who would want to write a character who is complex, unpredictable, and never communicates directly? It’s a writer’s dream! It’s all subtext and behavior and hints and clues.

    • You just explained why I liked Betty so much in the first season! I hadn’t quite realized it until your post, thanks! She was definitely written at first as the embodiment of a potential proto-feminist. I thought that if they’d continued that tack, our Betty, like Betty Freidan, might develop from a frustrated housewife feeling restricted in her proscribed (by society) domestic sphere into a feminist, or at least move towards such a role. Who knows but that she might still – I have hopes that as a politician’s wife she may become interested in working on women’s issues.

      • Betty might not grow. Weiner is committed to writing about what really happens, not what we hope happens. Bitterness and self-centeredness and lack of self-awareness (even in this day and age) can and do prevail sometimes. People can be stuck for a long time or even forever. Not everyone grows and develops like they do in Hollywood formulas, which Wiener eschews, thankfully.

  69. I enjoyed watching the groupings at the party. It was interesting that Don and Roger were sort of paired off for comparison and contrast about their similar choices/different ways of going about it/similar roles as “aging” leaders. And that Megan had her super hip, Jet-Set style friends, that the squaring off folks from the agency had a hard time relating to without “tea.” I especially loved the Pete/Trudy, Ken/wife (I can’t think of her name), and Peggy/Abe grouping. Despite all the history and and animosity between the co-workers, when forced into an awkward social setting, they suddenly circle the wagons and become allies, as though, at least for these characters, the constancy of work + alcohol supercedes all other aspects of their relationships when there is a perceived “other,” to go up against. For all the weird cross-history friction over the baby buggy later in the episode, Peggy and Pete have nothing weird between them at the party, having arrived with their game-faces in place, despite partners by their sides, and nothing real to say to each other.

  70. i don’t think don is happy…”i think he’s foolish.”

    • i think that’s the comment he made to roger in “my old kentucky home…” tee hee..words coming back to haunt him!

  71. Did anyone else think the Zhou Bisou Bisou scene was reminiscent of the Mad Men promo ad? (the diChirico-esque one with the naked female mannequin and the seated dressed man – almost looks like the female mannequin is about to give him a lap dance. ) Or will the meaning of that promo become even clearer as the season progresses?

    • Yea! Someone else here! I was considering the exact same thing.

      And later, the twist on that power dynamic when Don is standing watching Megan clean the floor. There’s a trunk full of sexual politics there to unpack.

  72. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the last scene with Don and Megan. What went on at home between Sat and Monday morning? Mehan was very cold and distant to Don when they walked in the office together. Was she puninshing him all weekend, so to speak?

    Don wouldn’t have scooted out of the office that fast for Betty, even the Ossining house was in timbers.
    Are we supposed to believe he has developed a sensitivity chip because he and his new wife had a tiff, or did he know he was coming home to fun and games? I’d bet on the latter.

    • I think Don had an idea that there might be fun and games at home, though no guarantee…

      Also–Don wouldn’t have scooted that fast for Betty toward the end of their marriage. But when he first wanted to marry Betty (and into the honeymoond stage), I bet he would have. He was so excited about her he told Anna all about her and went through all the hassel of getting the divorce.

    • Wow, I just posted about this down below. lol Totally agree with this. 🙂

  73. I’ve watched the show twice and both times have missed what Jane said after Megan’s performance at the party. Anybody catch it?

  74. One of my favorite lines of the episode was at the party, which went something like this:

    Roger, to Jane: “Why don’t you sing like that?”

    Jane: “Why don’t you look like him (Don)?”

    And then Roger goes out and totally humiliates his wife during his toast by saying “The only thing worse than not getting what you want is someone else getting it,” or something along those lines — making it clear that Roger wished he had Megan, who is a more interesting, talented, intelligent, vivacious and dynamic arm-charm than the one Mr. Sterling has dangling from his cufflink.

  75. I found this interesting.

    The work week beginning June 6, 1966 we find a receptionist named Meredith in a lobby full of black job applicants.

    Are the Mad Men writers this crafty?

    (Rhetorical question. I think I know the answer.)

  76. I read somewhere that MW said that after the season finale, go back and re watch episode 1, it will all become clear. I thought it was clear. Clearly not.So this will be like “The Others” or “Fight Club” where upon reviewing, you see all those little cues and hints you didn’t notice on the first go round, because now you know how it ends. So now, after 17 months of waiting, I’m dying to see how season 5 ends, rather than just savoring each episode. Damn you, Weiner.

    • Hi kturk!

      (First post here…)

      I saw the interview with Vincent Kartheiser (Pete) and Jared Harris (Lane) on GMA over the weekend.

      VK made a HUGE point of this – as you said, that fans need to watch THIS OPENING AGAIN at the close of Season 5. As I took almost an hour to read through BOK posts here, it seems many of these “allusions” may have been noted!

      To paraphrase, when asked for spoilers, VK said he could only put forth what MW had already said to fans – everything to happen in Season 5 is put into motion/alluded to in the season opener.

      Also, when pressed by VK, JH let the audience know he bases much of Lane’s fastidiousness on his stepfather – Rex Harrison (!)

      Most likely NOT news to readers here, but it WAS a great bit of MM trivia for me!

      Best, Marianne

      • Enlightening for me as well! Thank you ! Rex Harrison, no kidding.

        • So interesting, IMHO.

          During the interview, Jared Harris seemed reluctant to share that bit of info. Vincent K. seemed to “coax” him into sharing.

          JH told GMA that Rex Harrison would “write a letter wearing slacks and a sweater”, but then felt it necessary to change into a 3 piece suit and walk the dog to actually get the letter to a mailbox…

  77. Hi everyone. Lurking since episode 1, season 1. Love the brilliant insights and great, thought provoking essays. No one here’s mentioned it yet, but I was struck by the contrast between Megan’s performance and Joan’s total reluctance to perform at the house party she had for Greg’s colleagues and superiors. Joan seemed embarrassed and very self-conscious by Greg’s asking (passive/agressively demanding ?)her to perform, while Megan, it seems, was only too happy to show off (at least, I think she was showing off) her “talents” for an audience. What do you guys think?

    • i was brought to the same thought! the fact that both perform for groups, the foreign language element, and both are with the ‘husband’s’ co-workers…yes, i know megan works at scdp, but the group of work people is more don’s group than hers. so many parallels!

      • The big difference is that Megan chose to perform and planned her performance. Joan was pushed into it, spur of the moment, by her husband. Another sign of the changing times….

        • Belated thought: also relates to why “men hate surprises” (Peggy says this, I think)–they’re not in control.

          • Yes, it made me think of Joan’s living room performance of a song, also in French. It was charming and sweet and innocent. . .she even strapped on a big ol’ accordian, after being pushed into it by her pushy hubby (he pushed her face into Don’s office carpeted floor while raping her, too), as opposed to Megan’s planning the whole thing and laying on the sex, intentionally.

    • During that scene I couldn’t help but think about one of Rob & Laura Petrie’s parties. 🙂 The furniture, sunken living room, singing, capri pants – it was all there!

  78. I have to mention this, only because I’ve not read a similar comment from anyone else: When the office staff were playing “hot potato” with Baby Kevin, and he had come around to Peggy, she asked Megan what she was supposed to do with him. Megan said something like “Leave him on some church steps?” Peggy’s expression? That was some awesome acting right there.

    • Holy crap. I had heard that, but I didn’t really get it till now. Did Don snitch and betray Peggy’s confidence?

      • I don’t think Don would betray Peggy like that. I think Megan’s comment was just an off-hand witticism that unfortunately meant a great deal more to Peggy than Megan knows. Also, if Don had told Megan, I don’t think she’s a cruel enough person to jab Peggy like that.

        • You know what I have always wondered though? Joan MUST know about Peggy… don’t you think? I recently realized that there is no way she would have just not asked or wondered or researched that one, especially with Peggy just getting that promotion.

          • Peggy’s mother told people she had TB, remember? Joan might not have inquired further, especially since she didn’t really like Peggy.

      • Megan may have heard office gossip–she doesn’t necessarily need to get all the info from Don. Allison just assumed that Peggy and Don had an affair. Because of the baby? Or because Peggy got promoted or both? Anyway, Megan may have heard things, and who could blame her if she wanted to ask her husband-to-be about the baby rumors since many assumed he was the dad. In that context, it doesn’t really seem like snitching or betraying Peggy.

    • Interesting catch–I’d missed that.

      About the baby passing… I had wondered before the season if Joan might get some leeway and some help from people at the office that would enable her to return to her job.

      But seeing Kevin being passed around reminded me of Sally in the office. Everyone seemed a little awkward–it certainly seemed like “kids don’t belong at work.”

  79. I loved the sense of entering a new era this season. The three opening scenes featured places we’d never seen before: Y and R offices, Don and Megan’s new apartment (where Sally walked dreamlike through the hallway to her strange alarm clock music, and the new Francis home/castle. The Francis home of course looked from an older century – all it needed was a moat to keep out change.
    Pete also had a new home, new office but it looked like a step backwards in time as well.

    • Weiner had said early on that to be authentic, not everything should be of the day, or even the decade. Our homes and offices are filled with things that aren’t from 2012, or even just 2011 or 2010. Harry’s desk and some of the tchotchkes on it looked older. It’s the mix that’s authentic.

      • P.S. The Francis home. . .I was trying to figure out if it was supposed to be the Governor’s mansion or not. Either way, LOL moment when Don tells the kids, “Say hello to Morticia and Lurch”. Ha!

  80. I wonder what happened to Lane’s black girlfriend from the Playboy club? I never saw that coming. Lane has become a very sexual character. It was almost uncomfortable watching him get so turned on by looking at Delores’ picture because he is just so ugly! Ewww! Betty was unhappy with Don and now unhappy with Francis. I have no clue exactly what she wants. At the end of last season when Don and Betty were waiting for the Realtor to arrive, I saw a spark between them. Betty confuses me. I love Don and Megan’s spicy sexual relationship. I love that Megan’s character actually has depth but she is in my opinion to young for Don. The honeymoon phase will not last forever and I just don’t feel like they have much to discuss conversation wise. I hate that Pete Campbell and his family moved to the suburbs. It’s awful. I can see that he hates it too; its basically the beginning of the end. Trudy is the most obnoxious wife EVER! I’m happy to see how Peggy has evolved; she is so sophisticated now. I always wanted the relationship between Peggy and Peter to evolve into something serious, however I guess the writers decided to move past that. I really want to see Roger with Joan. They are meant to be. Greg seems like a psycho lunatic. He is very unstable and immature. I have no clue why Joan married him. Well—I know why. She wanted a wealthy husband. And look where that got her. I bet Roger’s ex-wife is laughing now! Don was so right…Roger was FOOLISH. I wonder what made him fall for Jane and not Joan. Well, I realize that he is truly in love with Joan, but at the time of their affair he never took it any further.

    • Lane’s “Chocolate Bunny” transferred to the Chicago Playboy club. She was one of the stars of the short-run NBC 2011 series “Playboy Club”

      Bummer that that show was in production at the same time as MM Season 5.

      • That’s cool how they overlapped the chocolate bunny from Mad Men to Playboy Club. I knew that show wasn’t going to last. I wonder if Pan Am is still on?

        • ABC stopped production of “Pan Am” long before they took it off the air, so every Pan Am episode produced has been shown. It is hardly likely it will return for more production ever.

          • Pan Am was boring. I enjoy period dramas but they can’t last forever (ex: American Dream).

          • Yup. Pan Am is cancelled, regardless of what ABC says. The actors have already moved onto other projects and the show’s time slot is already filled with another show.

            I really liked the idea of the show (stewardesses in the 60s), but the execution was muddled. It had strong and weak points, IMO, not completely awful. It didn’t retain numbers from Desperate Housewives (the show airing before it) so it got axed. I wish ABC had considered switching Pan Am to a new night rather than cancelling it outright.

  81. After seeing the episode I am surprised at Don’s change toward his respective spouse (now Megan). He seems more considerate and caring toward her than he ever was of Betty. He left work for Megan just because she was upset, she is occupying his thoughts to the point where work comes second. I don’t even know if he has another woman on the side because he is so enamored with his new wife.

    Don never seemed to be that loving toward Betty. The swimsuit scene is one example. Don humiliated Betty for wearing the outfit at home. Don sees Megan in her little outfit after the party and they instantly seem to make up.

    Don told Megan the truth from the beginning, something that he never bothered to do with Betty, and I find that unfair to her. Don never gave her a chance to be understanding – he literally kept her in the dark rather than treat her like his companion and confide in her (which was what she wanted – ex. the Benefactor episode ‘we make a good team’ speech at the end.)

    So has Don truly changed his ways or is he in the honeymoon phase still after six months? Will Don revert back to his dismissive attitude and will Megan put up with it? I don’t think she’d put up with half as much as Betty did.

    • Betty is the mother of his children, Megan is not. I think he runs around with a big Whore/Madonna dichotomy in his head. Besides, we never saw their honeymoon time and how they respond to eachother then….

  82. I will say one thing for Megan – she IS Jackie/Marilyn from the Maidenform campaign! Especially when cleaning house provocatively yet aggressively in her awesome black lace bra & undie set! She’s got it all…!

    ( p.s. I want a similar set ;))

  83. It seems that Don’s role at SCDP is becoming less central. He’s still “the big drum”, as Pete says, for the outside world, but his colleagues seem to respect him less (some of them, at least). And he’s not focused on his work: arrives late, goes away early, couldn’t care less to check on Megan’s work when she comes into his office, doesn’t have important meetings, seemed really uninterested. Doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad sign, but attracts criticisms from others (Pete and Peggy especially).

    As for Megan, I didn’t see much of a personality yet: she prepared the party, danced around, then looked disappointed and whiny, then angry. Still nothing interesting for me. She seems to think that they all have to be good friends and have fun together, while they’re essentialy co-workers and don’t really like to hang out together at all (everytime they’re forced to do so it’s awkward: that’s something other TV shows often forget, you have friends outside work). And honestly, I know she was drunk, but the “nobody loves Dick Whitman” line was really unpleasant (I’m not going into that because I think that having mentioned that so early in the season and en passant means that it’s not going to be really important: a way for the authors to say to the audience: “well, you didn’t expect that!”).

    Curiously enough, I was disturbed by a minor thing. I’ve never been a fan of Jane, but I have to say that her characterisation seems inconsistent lately, and that she’s being treated unfairly…I find Roger’s dissatisfaction and bitterness towards their marriage a bit hurried and unconvincing. In seasons 2 and 3 he was crazy about Jane (he rejected Annabelle’s avances without regrets, saying Jane was the right girl for him), still on the Xmas party on season 4 he was quite pissed off at the way Lee Garner Jr tried to grab her.
    Then, all of a sudden, because Roger “has to” go back to Joan, he can’t stand Jane any longer and now he’s bitterly jealous of Don & Megan…. but why?? I don’t think Jane is less good looking than Megan! And she was always portrayed as scheming, materialistic, ok… but utterly dumb as Roger describes her lately?? Never! She went to college, she’s moved by the Rothko’s painting in Cooper’s office, even in “A Little Kiss” she proves herself quite smart and witty (see how she quickly answers back to Roger at the party)… I don’t understand why the writers had to stereotype her character, and I don’t find Roger’s dissaffection believable or convincing, so all his actions seem to me quite illogical. And all the parallels like “Don and Roger have both younger wives BUT Megan is smart and modern and “has personality”” seem to me a bit forced and untrue.

    • “Big draw,” not “big drum.”

      I think everything changed for Roger and Jane around Margaret’s wedding. Suddenly, Jane’s immaturity wasn’t amusing anymore, suddenly, her lack of smarts wasn’t cute. Partly because of the fact that marrying off your daughter is a grown-up and serious family event, partly because the Kennedy assassination was life-altering for many people, and partly because Roger was inevitably going to experience some buyer’s remorse.

      • As Deborah said, Roger starting seeing Jane in a new light.

        That being said, I think there different sides of Jane. There’s the romantic, poetry-spouting Jane from Season 2, and she somewhat resurfaced (briefly) last season in a scene where she warmly showed Roger how she had had his book published and told him she was proud of him.

        At other times, she comes across petulant and childish. She drinks too much at parties (which I’m sure makes Roger miss the gracious, poised hostess that Mona always was), she doesn’t always think of others (doing things that upset Margaret, or watching TV in the banquet hall kitchen during the time that Roger is about to give a speech).

        I’m sure Roger likes “the beginnings of things,” the same way that Faye said that Don did. His marriage to Mona was presumably good for a while but in later years he became dissatisfied with her. He fell for Jane’s youth and beauty but didn’t know her very well.

        I don’t think he hates Jane. It’s just that he sees Megan at a party in the most positive light, fawning over her husband, and he’s understandably jealous.

        • I think you are right that Roger likes “the beginnings of things.”

          Also–sometimes I think that Roger really feels pressure to “keep up with the Jones” and to one-up others. He likes being “better” and “having more” than others.

          Yes, Betty was beautiful and charming when she hosted Roger, but she was also alluring because she wasn’t Roger’s she was Don’s.

          It’s kind of like the child that only wants the toy that his/her sibling is playing with–BECAUSE the sibling is enjoying it.

          Joan told him that the sneaking around was his favorite part. She knew if he could just have her whenever he wanted and stop sneaking around–he may lose interest. That wasn’t entirely a joke.

          Roger likes getting things he’s “not supposed to have.”

          For a year or so, Roger got to be the “lucky dog” with the hot wife. Now, his model is a couple of years old, and Don has the ‘lastest model.” The glamor of Jane has worn off and the reality has set in.

          So Roger starts wanting what Don has–because Don has it and Roger isn’t supposed to get it.

          He’s sure the reason he’s unhappy is that he doesn’t have the coolest toy–and Don does.

  84. Sunday’s premiere left many with the impression that there are money troubles in the Lane Pryce household.

    I wonder if it will come out that Lane has been secretly investing in the stock market, but his timing isn’t so good?

    There was a post-World War Two bull market from 1949 until early 1966. Starting at a level of about 150 in 1949, the Dow climbed steadily, reaching a record high of 995 on February 9, 1966. After that, it dropped significantly through the remainder of 1966 and didn’t really approach a sustained level close to its previous 1966 high, until near the end of 1968.

    If Lane jumped into the market near the 1966 high, thinking it would continue to climb, but instead became a victim of market volatility, that might explain it if he actually is having serious money issues.,%201966%20to%201982.gif

    • It might as simple as the $50k all the partners had to shell out to keep SCDP afloat in S4.

      • Yes, it could be something as simple as that.

        Of course, if Lane wanted to try to do something to change his money situation, he’d certainly have been aware of the bull market and the fast financial gains being made by others, in this “go-go” stock market of the period. As was demonstrated in the late 1920s, leading up to the big crash back in 1929, everyday folks, who had no business recklessly investing, had plunged into the market after seeing friends and neighbors making quick, easy money. And what if he not only unwisely put his money into the market, but also the funds of SDCP?

        Another possible reason for Lane’s money woes – In S-4, Don introduced Lane to the services of an “escort” (read: hooker). Having once tried that kind of forbidden fruit, it’s not impossible that he liked it and found he couldn’t control his urges, spending wildly that way. We already know that Lane and his wife were separated, and he apparently had also broken up with his chocolate bunny friend, Toni.


    We all knew Pete was going to pop out when Peggy was holding Joan’s baby! A bit… predictable, if you want, but still a great moment nevertheless! 😀

  86. I loved that the in the first shot we saw of Kevin Harris (his face, anyway, that is) he was wearing a white cap which I’m sure was a sly allusion on the part of the writers/Janie Bryant to his actual whitehaired father. (He’s later seen in a blue baby hat at the office.)

  87. I CANNOT believe that I heard Don say “I don’t care about work.” His _behavior_ also showed he didn’t care about work — rolling in at 11, not knowing what the Heinz pitch was, not telling Peggy which pitch meeting it was, etc. I don’t recall his words and his actions being so in sync before, and the fact that it’s about blowing off work troubles me. Work has been his life raft — what will happen if he’s careless about it? Not getting Heinz directly effects the business, as we heard from Lane in his conversation with Joan. SCDP is not established enough to have as many checked out senior partners as it does.

    In fact, the only time he seemed like the typical alive and in charge at work Don was when he greeted Joan. Hmm.

    Something about Megan makes my skin crawl. She reminds me of the people I’ve known with borderline personality disorder.

    This is a stretch, but do you think ‘a little kiss’ is Megan, and her debut at the office? She’s not in the basket full of kisses, that’s for sure. (Obviously it refers to the song…I just wonder…)

    • Didn’t Don give Joan a little kiss when he saw her?? There’s more to that scene than we know yet..Also when Joan’s mother said “sometimes life makes decisions for you” it scared me..I hope Greg doesn’t come home injured.

  88. I don’t think Megan was told the whole story because her few comments about Dick did not make sense to me. I also don’t get how he is not concerned how many people (especially those who do not like him) know about his past. With all of his money, you would think he would be seeking a lawyer at this point to help him stop the lies. I also thought it was weird that Cooper was there, with no office, after resigning.

  89. Did anyone notice that in the last scene when Lane was holding little Kevin, the baby farted? By the way Joan and Lane laughed, and the fact that the cut was so quick, I can only believe this really happened. Some laughter is good acting, but the way they cracked up seemed completely genuine. My husband and I watched it twice to confirm.

  90. Favorite quote of all time:

    Don: And when you’re 40, how old will I be?
    Bobby: You’ll be dead


  91. …. interesting factoid:

    The final new episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show aired on June 1, 1966.

    During the birthday party I couldn’t help but think about Rob & Laura Petrie. 🙂

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