The Francis Mausoleum And Other S5 Observations

 Posted by on April 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm  Season 5
Apr 102012

“Francis Residence.”

When we first saw the Francis Mansion in A Little Kiss, all I could think was “Oh. My. God.”

I  wanted to modify The Addams Family Theme Song , trading Francis for Addams.  No surprise when Don referred to its inhabitants as Morticia and Lurch.  But I sense that this great mausoleum is not nearly as fun as the Addams residence. It’s huge and claustrophobic at the same time, all heavy woods, narrow windows, and dark passages.  And as cleverly mentioned by some Basketcases, a creepy portrait of Betty’s mother watches over her,  ala Rebecca.   It’s more Thornfield than South Fork. You can see  that Betty did not  export the modern living room suite from Ossining, but the fainting couch must be somewhere here.  The Francis’ have traded 20th mid-century modern for 19th century Victorian.  No wonder Sally hates it.  Yet this gothic mansion may have been less a choice by Betty and Henry’s than one of a historic committee.  Maybe Betty went along because it’s literally a castle for a princess.  But castles have dungeon cells; Betty’s parlor may have Bugles and Andy Griffith, but it’s still a cell.  It makes me long for the ol’ Draper Place in Ossining with its cozy kitchen, big living room and pink powder room!  It may not have been the happiest residence in town, but it was a hell of a lot  more  homey and accessible.

Betty  —  Okay. Betty’s fat.  I agree with almost everything everyone has said about Betty’s weight gain and JJ’s pregnancy.  The only thing I want to clarify is that JJ was not pregnant when she filmed this, her first episode of the season.  It was a month or so after she had little X.  See article here

Sally — This poor child. Now we’ve seen more of her hellish life with The Francis Family, with a domineering, frightening step-grandmother who’s in denial of her own abuse and who casually passed a partial sleeping pill  to Sally.  All I can say is Sally–Run. Now.  Get out the house of Dark Shadows and run to Don and Megan and never come back.  You’ve escaped before, you can do it again. 

Peggy  — Peggy!  You’ve come a long way, baby! I am so proud of the way she got Roger to compensate her for his shortcomings.  He’s not aware that she’s learned his manipulations, and business-wise, she’s owning it.  I have no doubt that she’ll continue to rise, perhaps take over Roger’s place if he eventually dies from a third heart attack.  Yet despite her business success, fashion-wise, she’s reverted back to peter pan collars on plain button-down shirts, plaid skirts and sensible shoes.  Add a skinny ribbon bow at her neck and she’ll be ready for 8th grade at St. Olaf’s!  C’mon Pegs, it’s one thing to dress like a man, it’s another to deny your maturity! Bring back the color and the sleek! I have no doubt that Peggy will love pantsuits, but that won’t be until at least 1970! As of episode 4, she was starting to get some color back, so there’s hope that she’ll catch her own version of the 60s Mod bug.

Michael Ginsberg    The new kid a SCDP.  We’ve just met him, but he’s going to make a big impression.  I mentioned in a comment recently that to me, his voice and inflections remind me a lot of Jimmy Barrett.  Deb reminded me that this a common, Jewish Brooklyn-ese accent, and I agree, but now that I’ve seen how his mind works (with the Cinderella scenario and his disgust at the gawking over the nurse murders,) I am beginning to see that he’s not just a comic.   He’s going to bring more grit into the shiny SCDP offices, and definitely a taste of reality.  Some are hinting that he and Peggy have an affair. Maybe, but I hope not, I like Abe too much!

Dawn  Can’t wait to see more of her and what she’ll make of unavoidable awkward situations. With her hoop earrings and receptions skills, she is the Lt. Uhura of SCDP. (Star Trek will premiere on September 8, 1966) When we met her last week,  I hoped she’d make many  true friendships at SCDP, and work her way up, like Peggy. But now we know that  she’s quite happy to be where she is, and handled Peggy’s awkwardness about the purse very calmly.  I liked it when Peggy told her that “I started out as a secretary!” and even though Dawn wasn’t interested in moving up, it was good to see Peggy open up to someone new. I still hope they will become friends, maybe even roommates. 

Joan  What a good mommy, but she knows what she needs.   Rock On Joan!  I was hating her mother at first, but now that Joan has kicked Greg out, I think these two will bond closer since they’ve now both seen that they are better off without the men who neglected (and in Joanie’s case) abused them.   And this leaves an opening for a friendship with Lane.  I truly don’t think Roger and Joan will get back together, and Joan has known this since she decided to keep little  Kevin.

Greg  So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersen,Good Riddance! Dr. McRapist has left the building.  Now there were a LOT of creepy, scary elements in Mystery Date, but did any of you notice that when Greg was in uniform he bore a startling resemblance to Marlon Brando’s character in Reflections of a Golden Eye? Check out this side by side.  Now Brando’s character in Reflections… was a troubled, closeted Army officer who neglected his beautiful wife (Elizabeth Taylor) and lusted after a young soldier.  Some here have mentioned that Greg might be gay because of his commitment to the Army.  I don’t think he is, I just think he loved himself more than he ever loved or acknowleged Joanie.  She deserves MUCH better.





 Harry— Oh Harry.   You have evolved from a clueless, sort of sweet doofus in a baby bonnet to a full-blown clueless douche bag doofus!  He’s mishandled so many opportunities in the past couple years I’m amazed he’s still employed.  But the worst part is he’s gone totally Hollywood, or at least what he thinks Hollywood is, and his ego’s as big as Priscilla Presley’s bouffant.  Wife Jennifer is of little consequence to him and he’s always on the prowl for swinging chicks.    I was so glad when he embarrassed himself in front of Megan, I’m glad he lost his office, they should ship him off to LA permanently.  Indeed, Harry’s getting so bad that Stan is starting to look good to me!  I suspect Harry will take his foolishness one step too far this season.


I totally love Megan.  She’s smart, if not completely proficient as a copywriter yet. Gorgeous, elegant, playful, loving to Don’s kids, and mostly, she loves Don for himself, regardless of his past identity.  Generational Friction? Understandable.  But  Don is totally in love with her, and happy to the point of not finding work as terribly important as he used to. What?  Don happy?  Is it too good to be true? Well, being Mad Men and considering Dons baggage, I can’t help but feel an ominous cloud over Megan. I’m now worried for Megan because of the horrific dream Don had of murdering his ex-lover.  If Megan knew Don was capable of such thoughts in his subconscious, woud she fear for her life? I hope I’m wrong, but  I think that for the sake of MM, that Don can’t be personally happy and  professionally successful. When I see Don with Megan, I want them to run off with the kids to a tropical island and spend the rest of their lives in paradise, away from the hell of advertising. (they can afford it)  I just want them to stay happy with each other, but we wouldn’t have a show if this were the case.  But if anything happens, we’ll always have Zu Bisou Bisou!  (And that dress!)

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


  119 Responses to “The Francis Mausoleum And Other S5 Observations”

  1. As much as we’d like to see Sally’s circumstances improve, it won’t be because she’s staying full time with Dad and Stepmom (there was no child’s Underground Railroad back then). In Ep 503 I (last week) it seemed the overt tension between Sally and her depressed mother had cooled – a good thing – even if caused by Betty’s low mood.

    Basketcases have typically disregarded the more tender moments between Betty and Sally and Weiner’s contention that Betty is not all that bad or atypical. I think (hope) that there will be plenty of dramatic mother/daughter tension without all the ugliness of Season Four.

    • I’m more concerned for Sally with her step-grandmother, but yeah, neither household is healthy. Although we’ve heard Megan say “I love Sally” and I think at least Sally would feel less alone in the Draper apartment.

      • But she would be more exposed to the overt sexuality between Don and Megan. Or else they would have to restrain themselves in front of her and it would strain their relationship.

        • Well, yes and no. I think Don knows when to lock the door.

          • Therese, Not necessarily. Remember in one of the earlier seasons when the kids barged in when Don and Betty were in the act, and Don said “we’re sleeping?” -) I always thought it was kind of funny that even though Betty was so prim and proper, there was a relatively loose attitude toward the kids seeing both Don and Betty at least partially clothed, and Betty doesn’t seem to have any problem employing the kids to help her get dressed. Not exactly the same as the sex act, I know.

  2. I’ve seen the Francis mansion discussed a lot in relation to whether Henry could afford such a place. But were these sort of homes cheaper during this time period…because everyone wanted the suburban dream instead? Maybe I imagined it, but I thought Henry was less well-off than Don.

    • I got the impression that Henry was not as well-off as Don either–I seem to remember when he was first getting involved with Betty him talking about how he’d grown up and stayed in the Ossining area his whole life and that he’d worked during college, but I’m not sure. Also, at least in that era, government employees weren’t so well paid as private industry. Yes, Henry’s house probably would have gone for a song during that time as it undoubtedly would have been considered a white elephant for all the reasons so many other things seem to be going by the wayside–too Victorian, too fussy, too dark, too mired in the past–at a time when America, still believing the future’s limitless, is going for the new, the clean-lined, the modern. Not to mention,that then, as now, it would have cost a fortune to heat! For that time, it’s probably the last place anyone forward- thinking would want to have as an emblem of their taste, and yes, it’s undeniably creepy. I remember that in St. Louis, where I grew up, homes like that went begging, and San Francisco, where I live now, started gutting whole neighborhoods of Victorians, which mercifully, they didn’t complete. But the incredible irony is that if you fast foward to the eighties and nineties, when America begins to learn that the future has limits and you can’t just throw everything out and start all over, Henry’s house is going to be very desirable–and probably priced in the stratosphere.

      • You’re both completely right — these were considered white elephants at the time, although in a scant 15-20 years they’d be considered historical treasures. I have no doubt that the real Stimson Mansion is beautiful, but it’s photographed in a very dismal way.
        Here’s a link about the house.

        • OMG @ the drawing of the full house on Wiki. They have *a lot* to work with…I hope we get to see more than just the main common rooms.

      • SFCaramia, St. Louis and its suburbs continue have a glut of homes like this (and less-grandiose homes, and strip malls, and and and). Things have only gotten worse.

        • Kathy,
          I haven’t been back there in years, but may be coming back in the summer or fall for my high school reunion. That’s sad to hear, because St. Louis has so many beautiful old buildings and wonderful housing stock in general–especially when you compare it to what you get in the stratospherically priced Bay Area! And I know with the sale of Anheiser Busch, they’ve lost yet another major employer. Sad. 🙁

    • Back in 1966 Rye was a very desired address, so home there held value better than communities such as Ossining. In the case of “Casa Francis” in addition to the price of the land and building, there would be major operating expenses. Apparently there is no air conditioning but winter heating would be a major expense, as would snow removal.

      It is not valid to compare the situation of large homes in Rye, NY with the Stimson House in Los Angeles. The word is “Location, Location, Location” and to put it as mildly as possible, the Stimson House is in a crime driven area. For years the most productive use of the Stimson House has been rental for entertainment location. For that the rough neighborhood is a good thing. There are no close neighbors to complain about into the night filming schedules. During lacation work the producer brings in private security, mostly retired and off-duty Los Angeles Police Officers and Sheriff Deputies. The Stimson House has been restored and is beautiful inside and out.

  3. My interest in the characters has nothing to do with how nice or cool I find them to be. Megan is a sweet girl, but she has no oomph, or dramatic force. Same for happy Don. Happy is not dramatic, see the opening lines of Anna Karenina. Harry is a jerk, and he is now a fantastic character. His foolishness can play out in a myriad of situations. Sweet, lovable Harry is zzzzzzzzzz. Much prefer a Cheshire cat grin than a dopey l, harmless one.
    Where is the tension with DD? What is he at risk of losing/gaining? He is boring me to tears. When is his inner demon gonna come out and play? He’s making me miss the balls-to-the-wall craziness of Walter White. When does Breaking Bad premiere again?

    • Well tilden, we saw that inner demon with his murder dream and even a bit in his angry sex with Megan, but yes, being nice and happy rarely gets you far plit-wise in a drama. I think even Ken at this point is getting grumpy. MW said that you’ll see the continued decay in NYC and SCDP this season, and when Don hardly blinked twice at the brown water at the office before downing his aspirin with it (cringe). You know all these characters have baggage, and with the 60’s coming to a revolutionary head, I’m sure we’ll see more anger and revolt in the characters. I’m betting that Roger and Pete are going to have a hell of a fight soon.

    • I think the difficulty you (and others) may be having with happiness could have everything to do with what normally happens to it.

      Of course there are optimists, whose resilient sunniness can often weather the storms they encounter in life. Then there are the rest of us, who know as well as we know anything that the defining feature of happiness is its brevity.

      Great happiness — the thrill of new love, the joy of a little kid’s laugh, a beautiful day when we don’t have to work — simply does not last. Worse, we don’t always know we’re inside the happiness when we find it: we’re still looking forward to something else, waiting for a perfect day with more money to spend, or whatever. A person has to be really mindful to recognize happiness when it finds her, and I for one am not terribly mindful, most of the time.

      I am uncomfortable with Happy Don because I like him this way, and I like him with Megan, and I have a feeling that his halcyon days will not last.

      They never do, for anyone.

      • Anne, I’m a cockeyed optimist, but I suspect it can’t last at this point, yet maybe by the end of the series they will all find happiness, But drama wise, there probably has to be turmoil until then. But what I love about MM is that all the drama you see here isn’t from contrived dramatic means that happen in soap operas and other shows ,like an evil twin, murder, or conspiracies. MM has always derived its drama from real-life occurances, birth, death, change, puberty, illness, etc, and has dealt with them in realistic ways. If this were any other series, I bet the murder in last week’s episode would have been real, not a dream!

      • Reminds me of that line from The Hours (paraphrasing roughly) “I thought this was the beginning of happiness…that it would go on and on…what I didn’t know was that it WAS happiness.”

        • I was thinking of exactly that line. Nice catch!

          It’s not my favorite book, but that thought will stay with me for the rest of my life.

    • Personally I am always entertained by Mad Men.

      If I ever wanted to spend time with “BB” and similar shows, all I need to do is use a few keystrokes and Amazon will ship them to me to add to my collection.

      However, during the run of Mad Men, who has the spare time to watch many other series? I mean already I needed to beg off an assignment to Las Vegas the last week of May because none of the hotels there have AMC. Sure I can record the 20 May episode, but what if the recorder or cable fails? Dame Judi Dench as a well-reviewed movie opening on 4 May, which is a Friday, but what will I do if the pre-opening screening at AMPAS is 8 PM on Sunday 29 April. Here in Hollywood we get the AMC-HD feed at 7 PM.

      So many choices, so little time.

    • Pete is less interesting when he isn’t acting the conniving sneak, as well. Even Stan seems tamed. Feh.

  4. Does anybody know where the real house is located? I recall that the exterior of the Ossining house is located in L.A.

    • Yes, it’s in LA.

    • Hey, susan F! I did some poking around and could not find the Frances house location. But I did discover that the house from “the Jet Set” is Farralone, the former home of Frank Sinatra. Oh, and the Bob’s Big Boy from “Tomorrowland” has been torn down. Not any kind of answer, but interesting, in an idiotic sort of way. Give my regards to Dedham!

    • Last week a link was provided to the Stimson House – here’s a wiki-link:

    • The Stimson House in Los Angeles, CA is located on a wide street close to the University of Southern California campus.

      The home used as the exterior of the Draper Ossining house is at 675 Arden Road in Pasadena, CA. That is convenient to the Pasadena Freeway, making it an easy commute from Man Men’s home base, the LA Center Studio which includes the former Union Oil high rise building.

    • Bugles were pretty good. They had a strong corn flavor that was quite different from other snack foods of the time (potato chips and Fritos kind of ruled the day). Anyone remember Screaming Yellow Zonkers? The box had “hip” artwork by noted illustrators and witty text all over the box. I would think that was a 68-69 product. It has that New York magazine look to it (NY magazine first came out in 63 as a supplement to the NYHerald Tribune, then it stopped when the Trib ceased publication, then it came back on its own in 1968 and is still going strong).

      I could see Joyce preferring to work at “hip” NY mag over stodgy Life, but Time-Life probably paid far better. Paid men better anyway.

      • I remember Screaming Yellow Zonkers! They were still around in the 80’s, for sure.

        What I remember better are Munchos, sort of a sad predecessor to the almighty Pringle. Worse, they still exist.

        • Fiddle Faddle, a similar product introduced in 1967, is still around, but after Screaming Yellow Zonkers was purchased by ConAgra (that also owns the Fiddle Faddle brand), the product was discontinued in 2007.

          Here’s a Zonkers ad, featuring the voice of Mel Brooks …

        • Screaming Yellow Zonkers were kind of like Crunch and Munch, weren’t they? Candy popcorn? All I remember is the packaging.

          • Yes — a heavily sugared kettle corn. I don’t recall if it had “bits” in it or if it was 100% sugar-coated popped corn. It was good, though. Bugles had a rich flavor — probably lots of added fat. If Betty’s craving is for fat, she’d like Bugles for sure.

          • They had a kind of butterscotch coating with peanuts.

          • When I was a middle school teacher the kids used to sneak them into class. Kind of a loud food to eat on the sly, I find.

  5. An moment that we caught at our house that I haven’t seen anyone comment on yet (forgive me if I missed it!) –when Joyce walks into the office she walks up to Peggy and kisses her ON THE LIPS!? In the office? In front of her co-workers? Like it was no big thing? I mean, I hug my friends hello and all, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a person being greeted with a mouth-kiss in a professional setting when they weren’t a “couple” of some sort. That really jumped out at me.

    • Yeah, that surprised me too, but it seemed so nonchalant!

    • HI DANCE! 🙂

      I wasn’t really taken aback by Joyce’s entrance, and here is where I am imposing my modern view on the show. If I saw that kiss in a movie made in 1966, I would think it was brave, groundbreaking, entirely new. In the context of this show, I just think, “That’s Joyce.”

      She’s familiar to many in the office, she’s a friend to Peggy and Megan (and “Ginzo”?), and this is critical: she’s often carrying something they can’t get anywhere else.

      I see Abe go to where the stories are, to “cover” them. But the real stories just seem to come to Joyce: an amazing thing.

      • Exactly! From a modern view it’s (kinda) not a big deal, but at that time? And even now, I don’t think that I would greet my best friend like that IN FRONT OF her co-workers, nor would I want her to greet me like that.

        Going home home now, will expand in a few!

      • Anne, Anne, Anne. This again? Alas, I feel a blossom of disappointment stir within.

        Scare quotes around “cover”? The real stories just seem to come to Joyce? (The easily sensationalized stories for sure, but the Division Street riots isn’t a real story? You’ve made the ghost of Mike Wallace cry.)

        Abe didn’t even show his face in this episode. Why the slanderous gossip about him?

        And for the record, it’s interesting this week Peggy seems to possibly be questioning some of that unbridled ambition you so intently speculated about not seeing in Abe last week. That’s attributable to straw-Abe’s straw-mooching and straw-poser influence I presume?

        Cease and desist please. Don’t force us to seek an injunction here.

        • Under my agreement with the County of Abe, I am not at liberty to discuss the distance I am keeping from the named individual at this time.

          And also, you’re right. 🙂

    • People were more hip in those days than you give them credit for. And they had certain freedoms because they were “creatives.”

  6. That kiss is what had some of us thinking that beloved Pegs was going to try to rub fuzzies with Dawn. Pegs sexuality has a mysterious open quality to it. Who’d be shocked if she played for the other team for a little while? Not moi.

    • I don’t think I’d be too shocked either, she always giggled when Joyce flirted with her last season. I was wondering for a second if she’d try to kiss Dawn in her drunkeness too,but I’m glad she didn’t — I’d leave that stunt to Network Television. MM knows better than to go for salaciousness. But I do think Peggy’s sexuality is an open book at this point. She has been surrounded by lots of gorgeous men. Ken, Michael and even Stan, and although she seems committed to Abe, who knows how the times and her social life may affect her? She may experiment, and I’m sure Joyce wouldn’t mind.

      And I fixed your typo!

  7. Nice post Therese. I never saw that Brando film, interesting plot for that time period. Was it based on a novel? I wonder if it had any influence on Tennessee Williams. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was similiarly themed. Loved how Joan handled giving Greg the well deserved boot.

    I am confused about Henry’s backstory. In my minds eye, he was a buttoned up WASP from an moneyed family, and that was part of his appeal to Betty. Given that, his Mother, brash and a bit rough around the edges, made no sense. Did I invent that for him? 🙂

    That line from The Hours always resonated with me too…

    • Reflections in a Golden Eye was adapted from a novel by Carson McCullers, written in 1941, which means it pre-dates anything by Tennessee Williams (I don’t doubt he was familiar with it). It was directed by John Huston, and though I wouldn’t rank it among his greats, it’s worth seeing if only for Brando’s performance. Those side-by-side pics of him and Greg in uniform makes me think that someone involved with this ep might have seen the movie.

    • Regards Joan’s orders for Greg, my son called it “playing the rape card” – that really resonated with him, me, and a fellow (male) MM fan.

      Joan rocks – what a fabulous future mate for a deserving self-assured man (I tend to think Joan knows Roger too well to marry him).

      Despite his self-assured bearing, I got a different feeling about Henry’s past – more of a self-made one. Not poor, but not privileged. Did he get an Ivy League law degree? If so, it implies parental sacrifice, a lot of work and savings by Henry, scholarships, his father’s premature life-insurance “death benefit”, combinations of all.

      • There are many things about Henry Francis that suggests he is not what he pretends to be.

        Until Sally’s phone to Don in “Mystery Date” in which she acted sarcastic as she called Henry “Important” Sally had seemed to trust Henry. So far Mad Men has shown Sally to have an exceptional ability to judge character.

        Perhaps Henry has been living beyond his means, which could have been a factor in his divorce from his first wife. Maybe it was her money that funded Henry’s career as a political operative.

        Then there is the issue of Pauline talking to Sally about her father so as to suggest Pauline grew up far below affluent. Her home we saw in “Public Relations” seemed very small to require all those servants. The way Pauline snapped her finger and spoke to those servants suggests strongly to me she somehow acquired some money without acquiring any class. Only a total phony boor is rude to servants.

        So my theory is that Henry’s father was a low-level elected public official, a promotion from being a lower-level Republican party employee. Suddenly being the wife of an elected official would explain Pauline’s over-sized sense of entitlement. It also would explain that although Henry delivered furniture at some point in his life, Republican friends of Henry’s dad could have arranged Henry’s scholarship to an Ivy League university and law school. Who knows, Henry might have graduated from Harvard Law without gaining a Boston accent. That has happened. Or, Henry could be Columbia Law.

        Mad Men has not shown us that Henry ever was a practicing attorney. Many law grads never sit for a bar exam because they are going into politics or being an agent.

        Then too, Henry must have suffered financial losses from his divorce and support of his daughter Eleanor. Maybe his first wife was born wealthy, supported Henry’s efforts to become a Republican big shot and then caught him doing self-destructive odd things, as Henry did during “My Old Kentucky Home” when he rubbed Betty’s pregnant belly.

        So, when Henry told Betty that Mayor John Lindsay has bigger secrets than her thyroid condition, Henry could also be talking about his own dark secrets.

        • C Carrol Adams, I still don’t get why you think that one story about Pauline’s father kicking her means they were poor or uncultured. I’m sure you have more experience with the wealthy than I do, but child abuse and saying things behind closed doors that you’d never say elsewhere, is pretty common across the board and not just something that poor people do. Why couldn’t a well to-do man kick his kid and tell them it was just because? Also, despite her prurient interest in the Speck murders, I haven’t seen much that makes her seem like she’s rough around the edges. I guess we’ve gotten conflicted messages about Henry but I don’t think the story about his grandmom makes it a slam dunk. But you could be right and maybe we’ll find out more later.

      • The way to make sure no one ever plays the rape card on you is to not rape anybody. Greg slipped on that one.

  8. So, I just realized that the interior of the Francis house reminds me an awful lot of the interior of the Hofstadt house, although the brief time we saw it in The Inheritance, it seemed brighter. But the style seemed similar, same dark woods, giant plans everywhere, huge yet cloying rooms, probably not too far apart in age (Betty remarks Eugene bought it in the 20s). It makes me wonder about a possible connection between that and Betty’s condition this season, her reaching out for comfort in the same overeating that comforted her, and punished her as a child.

    • Many classic stately homes in some regions tend to look alike. My take on the Hofstadt house is that it must have been built long before WWI, but Eugene ran a construction business so he must have remodeled it at least once. That set was far more modern and open that the practical location of the Stimson House, where for Season 5 (according to published lists of location permits) apparently most of the interior scenes were filmed. That is a well-known advantage of renting the Stimson House for location filming. Many of the rooms are so large you do not need to build a set on a sound stage with removable wild walls.

    • oops, giant plants everywhere, not plans

  9. Also, I agree about Michael. His distance from and respect of the crime scene photos, as well as other clues, point to him having a deeper understanding of how real and terrible life can be (as many people have discussed this could be from having a Holocaust survivor father/relative) and this really reminds me of Don. Don came from a place where hardship and darkness were very very real, and I always thought that his character was written to imply that this gives him a special window into how people work that really explains his genius with advertising–I saw glimpses of this with Michael in the last two episodes.

    • I would find it very disturbing to have Michael be shown to be insightful about people because his family was affected by the Holocaust. Very disturbing. And not in a good way. I can’t even begin to explain the complexities of my feeling this way.

      • Yes, of course it is disturbing, and so sadly in not a good way! I think I just meant that if this is true about him (and honestly I am only going off speculation from others here), he would have a better sense of thinking, look, this is real, people died here in a horrible way, and it’s not something to gawk at. There is a respect there, and kind of an awareness that you can’t take back, and probably not even something that you would use purposefully to be insightful about others. I think maybe I personally relate to that kind of feeling (I can relate very much to the hardship of Don’s childhood) so it has made me read both characters in the light of sometimes feeling alone in a room full of people, knowing things about the world nobody else there does. It can bring disturbing insights, whether you want them or not.

        • See your point. It depends on how MW uses Michael’s “special insights.” The couple of times I encountered people who used their personal knowledge of the Holocaust in business, it was incredibly awkward and sad.

          • Wow. Actually thinking of people using it in the context you just brought up makes me feel nauseous too! It really hadn’t occurred to me that people might use that in a way that wasn’t subconscious. In the case of Don I think his hardships have shown him just to what extent the illusion they’re selling is an illusion, which makes him so good. But I still think that is largely subconscious with him as well.

      • My first time commenting at the new site. Enjoy the recaps and discussion.
        Michael may have the Holocaust experience of his family to affect his sensibilities about the murder photos. But, to me, the key difference between Michael and the rest of the folks at SCDP is that Michael is a religious person from a religiously-active household, as we saw in the blessing from Pop that he did not refuse. The rest of the folks at SCDP, are apparently inactive WASPs. Peggy seems to have abandoned her Catholic faith, as it seems not to figure in her life too much any more. We’ve only glimpsed religious practices by Peggy and Michael I think over the course of the show. [Actually, I would expect that Megan a French Canadian is Catholic. I wonder how Don and Megan’s marriage occurred. Did they have a civil ceremony? Her parents were okay with a marriage to an older non-Catholic man? She seemed to retain good relations with her parents.]

        A religiously active person like Michael G is more sensitive to human suffering and has scruples that a-religious folks do not consider.

        Also, I am sorry that MW wants us to see Peggy as racist and ‘bad’ because she thought about removing her purse from a room where an unfamiliar person would be sleeping in her home. She can’t be too racist if in 1966 she’s invited a black woman to stay at her place one night.

        I am glad that it is not presumed that Greg must be gay if he can’t have a decent relationship with Joan. There are a variety of reasons for people to have ego, self-image problems.

        • “A religiously active person like Michael G is more sensitive to human suffering and has scruples that a-religious folks do not consider.”

          I’d like to point out the statement above is an assertion without any actual proof.

          Atheists, agnostics, and all variety of secularists and the non-religious have as much capacity for experiencing empathy with their fellow human beings and for constructing and adhering to a just and fair morality, as any practicing believer of any religion.

          The Basket is probably not the appropriate place to argue in detail about this topic so I extend an invitation. If anyone has verifiable proof that the religious are more empathetic and moral than non-believers, please click on the hyperlink to my blog and either post it in my current comment section or email it to me. I am always interested in refuting these claims and pushing back against this type of anti-secularist bias. Only serious humans need respond. No trolls please. Thank you.

          I return you to your regular Mad Men programming.

        • Welcome, Peggy. No one is saying that “MW wants us to see Peggy as racist and ‘bad’”–least of all Matt himself. The discussion we’re having about what Peggy thought and how she is perceived is far more nuanced than that.

          A religiously active person like Michael G is more sensitive to human suffering and has scruples that a-religious folks do not consider.

          This is deeply insulting to non-religious people and I’m shocked that anyone would think such an obviously false thing.

          • I am sorry the offense taken. Religious practice is characterized by being very scrupulous. A religious person has restrictions that his religious leaders call on him to consider. Yes, non-religious people can be compassionate and scrupulous, of course, but they are not called upon to act in certain ways or to restrict themselves from certain things in a way that people active in a faith are restricted. Religious people are more restricted and are reminded by outside forces, ie, the religious leader, of how to live in a way that a-religious people are not called to live. (if you don’t go to a house of worship, you don’t hear certain things. We all know that.) Maybe Michael didn’t want to look at dead women out of respect for women’s bodies. (Maybe he doesn’t think he should look at naked women either.) The body is holy in Judeo-Christian tradition. There would be a Jewish rationale for this.

            Today, eg, most pro-life people are active religious folks–not just Catholics, and some atheists like Nat Hentoff are also pro-life.

            Religious participation does affect how a person lives. Whether the show wants to explore this more or not, I don’t know. It’s really kept religion limited throughout the show. Most of society was still pretty religious in the 60s.

            • You’re making a lot of assumptions here, and I am challenging you on them.

              “Religious practice is characterized by being very scrupulous.”

              Ideally, this is true. There are many religious people who are not scrupulous. There are many people in jail today who were deeply religious when they committed their crimes. Religious practice does not necessarily speak to the goodness of a person.

              Yes, non-religious people can be compassionate and scrupulous, of course, but they are not called upon to act in certain ways or to restrict themselves from certain things in a way that people active in a faith are restricted.

              Several assumptions here. First, you are assuming that all religions have leaders who restrict or direct the behavior of practitioners. This is not true. If you mean “Christians and Jews,” you shoud say “Christians and Jews,” you should not say “religious people,” as the list of world religions is much longer than two. Second, you assume that religion is about restriction, which it is for some people. Third, you assume that such restrictions work, when in many cases they do not. For one of many dozens of possible examples, the rate of birth control use among devout Catholics is the same as the rate for the general population. The fact that their religion restricts this activity does not in any statistical way impact the way practitioners actually restrict themselves. Finally, you assume, and this is the big one, that if restrictions are not imposed from outside (by a leader or a religion) that they are less compelling. There is no evidence at all to suggest that people who choose their own morality are less moral or less scrupulous than those who have it imposed from outside.

              if you don’t go to a house of worship, you don’t hear certain things

              And again, not all religions have houses of worship. But what are these certain things? Are you suggesting that “houses of worship” are the only place one might get guidance as to how to be good? That’s demonstrably false.

              (Maybe he doesn’t think he should look at naked women either.) The body is holy in Judeo-Christian tradition.

              The body is holy in many traditions, and this is interpreted in many ways. In Orthodox Judaism, it is interpreted to mean a man shouldn’t look at a woman’s naked body. (It is extremely unlikely that Michael is Orthodox since he wears neither yarmulke nor tzitzit.) In my religion, by contrast, because the body is holy we encourage nudism, since covering it is an act of shame.

              Today, eg, most pro-life people are active religious folks

              And many pro-choice people are also active religious folks. This particular conversation isn’t about abortion. Are you revealing an agenda, or do you want to discuss Mad Men?

              Religious participation does affect how a person lives. Whether the show wants to explore this more or not, I don’t know. It’s really kept religion limited throughout the show. Most of society was still pretty religious in the 60s.

              Many things affect how a person lives. If you think Mad Men isn’t exploring religion, I question what show you’re watching. Most of Season 2 had an important subplot involving a priest, and addressing redemption and confession. We got an up-close look at some of Don’s religious upbringing, and a symbolic baptism to a gospel song.

          • I apologize for presuming about the nature of The Basket’s venue appropriateness-ness above.

            Very nicely unpacked and rebutted.

          • I don’t want to jump to assumptions about anyone based on their religion or lack thereof. Some “devout” people turn heavily to violence and justify their behavior through religion; other devout people practice amazing and extreme non-violent care for others because of their religion; some religious people don’t seem to understand or really think about their own religion; some people are amazingly powerful forces for the good who have no significant connection to religion.

            Some people are blatant hypocrites. Others cherry-pick snippets of a religion that justify a bunch of their behaviors–in a way that has very little to do with religion, but is merely is used to justify what they want to do.

            However, I do think that religion (in many different varieties) can be a very strong, deep, unpredictable, and active force that heavily impacts some people–sometimes for good and sometimes for ill. In some situations, the impact is obvious to those outside the faith. In other ways, the impact can be totally invisible or hidden to the casual outsider. Religion has the power to do that, and I don’t want to pretend that force doesn’t exist.

            Even though I agree that we should make no assumptions about anyone based on mere snippets of information about their religion or lack thereof, I also think that some people genuinely are heavily influenced by their beliefs.

            It isn’t impossible that Michael’s religious faith was partially linked to his reaction to the photos. We shouldn’t assume anything, but I don’t think we can entirely discount the possibility.

            There may be a simpler explanation–like he or a family member was a victim or a witness to a crime.

            It isn’t impossible that Joyce’s perspective on religion — or Stan’s or Peggy’s –colors their reaction to the photos. Is it the primary force? It’s impossible to tell.

            • Lady K, I’m a very religious person. I’m not opposed to religion or people being religious. I’m only opposed to stating that religious people are in some way superior (more “scrupulous,” more moral, more thoughtful) than people who are less religious or not religious at all.

          • Wow, I haven’t checked this post in a couple of days, and this is a fascinating discussion. I agree with you Deb on all of your points. I am Catholic by birth, and in my adulthood, I have never thought my faith more superior than anyone elses. (As I child I might have, but that’s typical of a child’s eye-view).
            Love and Kindness are taught to us not only by our faith, but by the parental and social influences in our lives. Many, if not most people who have not had a faith in their lives are perfectly scrupulous, moral, and thoughtful people.
            As to MM, Peggy was being very compassionate and kind when when offered shelter to Dawn This could have come from her upbringing as well as her faith, but it could also be just what Peggy is; a kind, friendly person. I didn’t see her as racist; just afraid of what she didn’t know or understand yet. It’s easy to be influenced by the news around you, and since the the advertising world has been lacking many people of color since Peggy started there, I found the scene a very accuate, if a little sad, depiction of race relations in the 60’s. And it still goes on today.

        • It’s not clear to me that religious practice, ritual, belief, makes one more sensitive to suffering. My feeling is that personality, experience, and upbringing are likely to be more significant.

          It *is* interesting, however, that Jewish Michael and Catholic Peggy* were that ones the writers chose to show disapproval of the photos’s eager consumption.

          *Peggy is not attending Mass much these days. And Michael might not be “actively” religious either – remember his tolerance of the Hebrew blessing

          • “Michael might not be ‘actively’ religious.”

            Exactly. We actually have no idea whether Michael is religious, and if so, how, or how much. All we know is that his father bestowed a blessing on him and he did not actively resist. That’s really all the information we have at this point.

        • Just because Peggy did something that could be construed as racist does not automatically make her a bad person. That is part of the problem with how race gets discussed in this country, any person can do something that is racist, or think something that is racist, or even be racist without being a “bad” person. Partly because there is good and bad in everyone, so we all do things that are bad or wrong even if we are an essentially good and also because in a society like this with its racialized history, it is nearly impossible to entirely escape the racialized, racist messages that casts blacks, and many other non-white individuals in a negative light when compared to predominately white population. Or as they said in “Avenue Q,” “everyone’s a little bit racist” And that doesn’t mean you are some horrible person. Automatically conflating a racist thought act or deed as making someone bad makes people less likely to examine whatever level of racism, conscious or subconscious, lies within oneself by thinking, “only bad people are racists so I cannot be racist because I’m a good person.” It tends to shut down discussions and helps maintain certain levels of institutional and societal racism because everyone ignores racist acts and thoughts large and small because only “bad” people are racist. Having Peggy be the one who betrays a racist impulse (on a small level) was a master stroke by Matt Weiner. It underlies how everyone, no matter how liberal, progressive, likeable or good can sometimes think the wrong thing or be awkward in a situation involving someone of another race.

          Steping off my soap box for now.

          • As I said in my recap, “racist” is properly an adjective, not a noun. When we call someone “a racist,” discussion ends. But a thought, feeling, or behavior can be racist.

            Here’s the thing. We’re all racist. And sexist. And homophobic. Because these things are part of the culture we soak up through our skin, all the time, from birth. Some of us choose to be different, to be, “open-minded” for lack of a better term, to turn ourselves into better versions of ourselves, to have values that don’t reflect hate. But that doesn’t mean that sometimes, unworthy thoughts or feelings or even behaviors won’t arise unbidden. Only by facing those thoughts and feelings honestly and choosing to rise above them can we change. If we just say, “I’m/She’s not a racist!” then we’re basically covering our ears and saying “La la la I can’t hear you.”

            I absolutely credit Peggy for seeing the racist thought arise and not acting on it. It isn’t going to rescue her relationship with Dawn, but it speaks to EXACTLY what I’m talking about: She’s a good person, choosing to rise above, noticing and facing the inner racism and doing something about it.

          • Isn’t that what I was saying? Are you disagreeing with me or re-emphasizing my point?

          • Agreeing. 🙂

          • this is a great point…and there was something i wanted to add to it…there was a point where greg discusses the role of african american soldiers in saigon and notes that they are “plenty brave.” in a sense, it shows the point in reverse: greg is not seeing the race element, yet this doesn’t indicate that greg is a ‘good’ person, either.

    • Well, he might also be insightful about people (and averse to violence) if he were raised by people who were affectionate with one another, and with him.

      There’s always that.

      • Absolutely. I’m reminded of his father (grandfather? Are we clear about which?) who seems unconcerned with his son’s day and yet grabs him and bestows a blessing on him whether he wants hit or not, which I found very touching.
        And yet I’m also reminded of Megan, with her sweet phone calls in French with apparently loving parents, who was practically drooling all over the photos.
        It’s certainly not always an either or, is it?

        • *wants it* or not, not hit (thankfully). bleh. major typing fails all over the place today

        • He’s Michael’s father, both from AMC’s site and from the fact Michael called him “Pop.”

    • Re- relationship to the Holocaust: Did anyone else notice that after Michael tells the others they are all “sick” for viewing the slaying photos– the scene immediately flashes to a view of Joan from inside her gas oven?

      • Oh. My. Gods.

      • Actually, what I noticed was the shot was Joan’s cleavage, wearing lingerie. But holy wow, what an observation.

      • fantastic observation! when i was re-watching, i did note the line, but i couldn’t figure out where the writers were going with it! totally, that makes sense now!!! i also thought that michael’s reaction to the pictures was holocaust related, as in he was berating salacious viewing of the pain / suffering of others….much in the vain that he might be offended by some people who were strangely compelled by nazi memorabilia, etc.

        • It took four viewings before I caught it, and probably wouldn’t have made the connection if not for the postings about Michael here. It was an unusual viewpoint, the only other times I have seen such shots were in ads where the actor is seen from inside a refrigerator.

          The oven opening appears to have a rounded top like photos of the death camp ovens I have seen.

          And Gail makes a comment about the gas jets in the oven, so the writers are pointing out that it’s a gas stove.

          Don’t you love these details? That’s why we parse every scene.

  10. The mention of the Francis’ residence as Thornfield triggered the thought of another “Jane Eyre” parallel: Don as Mr. Rochester and Megan as Jane. Rochester is older, dark, brooding – he has many secrets in his past that he’s not proud of and/or hates himself for. He sees Jane’s youth, vitality and lack of corruption as his last chance to redeem himself. However, I don’t see MM ending with the (reasonably) happy ending of JE. I think Don’s id will rise again (as we almost saw this week); his demons are never far from the surface. Of course, we don’t know what kind of skeletons Megan has in her closet…

    • Hey Seeshaw, Great comparison! And Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books/movies. However, Megan is not as innocent as Jane, and much more worldly. But I’m curious about her closet too. In JE, Rochester only redeems himself after his life is literally stripped of its demon, the first Mrs. Rochester. I think Don will only be redeemed of his miseries after a great tragedy. Whether Megan is there to share his ultmate redemption is up to MW.

  11. The awesome Stan isnt listed here, but Ginsberg is ?Tsk tsk is all I have to say about that.

    • I mentioned Stan in the Harry section, but so far haven’t much to say about Stan yet, but he’s definitely growing on me — he’s becoming more likeable than Harry, that’s for sure! I’m curious to see how his story will evolve. Perhaps his cousin (the sailor) will die in Vietnam?

      • I am too. I really hope he is more than just comic relief this season.I did like how he almost seemed protective of Peggy regarding the new hire in “Tea Leaves”.We will see how it pans out for him.

      • Ever since Peggy nakedly called Stan’s bluff, he has reined in his hostile insults and I’ve liked him more, too.

        My guess: Stan’s Navy cousin was there as comic relief for the Abe and Bert dispute over the War (“I thought there’d be girls”). We won;t see him again.

    • I can envision Michael Ginsberg coming up with a clever campaign like Doyle Dane Bernbach’s “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s Rye Bread,” It’s # 58 on the Ad Age list of Top 100 Ad Campaigns.

      It spawned lots of clever and effective print and poster material in the 1960s …

      There isn’t a lot of Levy’s video online, but I did find this example …

      Also, while it’s not advertising, the mid 60s also saw two popular comedy albums by Bob Booker and George Foster, “You Don’t Have to Be Jewish” and “When You’re In Love, the Whole World is Jewish.” They were the guys who also brought us the JFK spoofing “First Family” albums, starring Vaughn Meader, in the early 60s)

      I can totally see Michael tapping into this cultural trend and creating advertising in a similar humorous vein, for SCDP.

      • My quirky grandfather had a You Don’t Have to Be Jewish to Love Levy’s poster taped to the inside of the door of his closet. It showed a very Irish looking gal with freckles and red hair chomping on a sandwich. Iconic advertising for sure.

        Vaughan Meader. I’m almost surprised we didn’t hear that record playing in one of the pre-JFK assassination episodes, although that would be too obvious, I suppose. It was hilarious but everyone threw them away (or put them away) on November 22. I remember my mother saying, “I can’t even look at this” and handing it to my dad to dispose of. I had taken it out of the record cabinet and asked what we should do with it.

        • I remember reading in a biography of Lenny Bruce, the remarkable way he addressed JFK’s assassination.

          Bruce was known as a “sick” comedian and nobody knew for sure what he might say, in his first performance not long after Kennedy’s death,

          He took the stage, sighed, then paused, then finally said, “Poor Vaughan Meader.”


      • I think I still have the LP of “When You’re in Love, the Whole World is Jewish.” I thought it was hilarious, but one of my Jewish friends was a little offended when I lent it to her.

        I just remember–

        Steve McQueen is Jewish would you believe it?
        He’s just like you and I, couldn’t you almost die?
        And Cary Grant is Jewish could you conceive it?
        Such a living doll in a prayer shawl
        Marlon Brando’s Jewish, Pat O’Brien and Richard Conte
        Not to mention that lovely couple, Harry and Belafonte

        Frank Sinatra’s Jewish would you believe it?
        Sean Connery and Lyndon Johnson too
        As a matter of fact the whole world is Jewish
        Since I fell in love with you
        (Rosie McGonegal!)
        Since I fell in love with you ”

        It was just an adorable little parody.

        And how about Alan Sherman? “Harvey and Sheila”?

  12. I’m still meh on Megan, I don’tt hate her like some people do, but her character needs a bit more dimension and depth to keep me interested. She just seems too nice and well adjusted, and well, that’s boring, She needs more sass. What’s worse is her personality seems to be rubbing off on Don, and THAT I don’t think I can forgive her for.

    I still love Harry, but in a love to hate kind of way.He’s become such a complete trainwreck, and I find it thoroughly entertaining.

    I don’t get why so many people are so gun ho about Peggy getting together with Mike. I just didn’t see that much chemistry between them. Granted, it’s too early to tell anything now, but so far, I’m not convinced.

    • I like the thought of Pegs with Ginzo…there is an earnestness about them both. I’d be interested in a side by side parallel of their lives. I think of Peggy in the first few seasons: her family (particularly her mom and sister) playing such an important part in her life and her Catholic upbringing. The first time we meet Mike, we meet his father (we assume living with him) and witness the Jewish blessing. Where the similarity ends however, is how their families view their ad agency jobs. Peggy’s family didn’t/doesn’t approve, Mike got a blessing.

      • My understanding is that even if you were a total delinquent (or JD as we used to say), you’d still get the blessing because it’s part of the Friday night Sabbath ritual.

  13. Meh-gan. Seriously, something has to happen with this character. She is slowly, but surely anesthesizing(?) the plot. She’s a supernumerary, a chorus character thrust undeservedly to the fore.
    More Stan, Ginsberg, and Hollywood Harry please. Less Von Trapp.

    • Yes please! to everything you said.Megan is taking way,way too much screentime for what is,imo,a thoroughly uninteresting character. Suprising for a show like Mad Men to do this.More focus on the great supporting characters like Harry, Stan and Ken would be quite welcome. I still haven’t made my mind up about Mike yet, but he seems to have potential.

      Also, in the scene when everyone is looking at the pictures of the murder victims, and Megan came in to look at them, was it just me or did it seem like they were trying too hard to go for the “Megan is just one of the guys now too” angle? Because I wasn’t at all convinced. She just doesn’t fit in with the crazy likes of Peggy, Joyce, Stan and Mike. And it’s been 3 (technically 4) episodes and all we have seen her do is paint coupons in one of them. What exactly is she getting paid for again?

      Megan=nice girl, crappy character.

    • I agree. Additionally I’d add, the food here is terrible and the portions are so small!

      And I like to see more Mad, less Men.

      Perhaps more rock, less talk.

      Maybe more for me, less of me. Or in this case Less Von Me. That’s my cue, exit stage left.

      😉 Good night folks!

    • Hear, hear!! Totally agree and love your “Meh-gan” and “a chorus character thrust undeservedly to the fore.”

      I’ve been trying (albeit halfheartedly) to see the Megan character, and the actress herself, in a new “light” (the one that Matt seems to see both of them in) and I still just don’t get it, or her. She just doesn’t come across to me as anything more than a mediocre actress playing the role of a young woman who is really nothing special in character, personality or looks The thing that bothers me the most is that Megan (or Jessica) sees to be constantly posing, rather than just “being” her role. Boring.

      And Don with Megan equals super boring IMO – with occasional moments that are nausea producing. There was a moment in the elevator at the beginning of the episode just before Andrea gets on when Megan says “I’m going to stand over here” and Don replies “fine, if you think you’ll be safe over there by yourself” when Don gives Megan such a simpering look that I cringed. Simpering is not the right word to describe how he looked at her but the best I can come up with. I’m calling this new Don “not-Don”. Don’t know who he is or who has taken over his body and mind, but this is not Don. At least not Don as we’ve come to know him, whether we loved him or not, respected him or not, at least we had an idea of who/what Don was. Not any more. He’s become Stepford Don or Don, The Stepford Husband.

      And though Megan’s fan club seems larger than last season (when it was almost nonexistant), I truly don’t get the almost worship of her and what some seem to think she represents about the changes coming. I lived those years and those times, in the same places, and Megan does not present, at least in my view, as the coming of the “light” or the new woman. Just boring.

      And I love how I can say that here without (hopefully) anyone getting upset. There are so many different people with different opinions about Megan and all the other characters – and many others have strong opinions about Megan that are the opposite of mine. And there is room for all.

      This Megan rant has been building and I had to get it out. Hope it wasn’t too “boring”! 🙂

    • “Meh-gan.” Hee!

      I’m with you there. On paper, she sounds pretty awesome, but in practice (not sure if it’s the writing, the acting or both), she seems cobbled together Weird-Science-style in order to create the Fresh!Perfect!Ideal! mate for Don. Other than the Zou Bisou Bisou bit, she really doesn’t do anything for me on screen. She’s just there, albeit in a fabulous wardrobe.

      I’m not feeling this idea that she’s a “breath of fresh air” so much as she’s more like Cousin Oliver or Scrappy Doo, the deliberately cute kid tacked on the “stale” cast in order to add excitement. Let’s add Ginsberg and his schtick to that list too.

      Mind you, I’m not part of the frothing hatedom that thinks she’s some evil schemer, and yes, some of the criticisms I’ve read of her border on misogynistic. But I don’t get the worship of her, and resent the idea that anyone who isn’t enchanted by her is some kind of pro-Establishment prude or a sexist who can’t handle female characters who don’t fit neatly on either side of the Virgin-Whore dichotomy.

      I also don’t like how in Season 4, Matt Weiner seemed to have had to demonize Betty in order to elevate Megan as the New!Better! Mrs. Draper.

  14. Why do you think MW has Peggy regressing in some ways this season? I don’t understand going back to the juvenile garb when she was starting to look more polished and professional. Certainly Megan coming in everyday looking fresh off the pages of Vogue, should be having an influence too. I also feel like she is acting more timid around Don than where the arc of their relationship has taken them.


    • I really like it when Peggy looks sharp at work. I hope they just chose to show some “bad clothes” days – where she’s busier, sleeping a bit longer, and choosing to dress quickly and not sharply.

      As for her timidity – she’s treading new ground with the new wife/apprentice copywriter – feeling a bit insecure.

      There’s hope – look how she played Roger! Everybody at home loved that scene on Sunday (I’m sure Moss and Slattery got a big kick out of it too).

      • Plus in that scene with Roger she had on those fabulous (with her feet up on the desk no less) green shoes….

  15. Grandma Pauline and Sally in the kitchen are great. She is the only adult that’s honest in Sally’s life, same as Grandpa Gene. Hope she sticks around.

    • Anna, Yeah, in a funny way, you’re right. Both Pauline and Grandpa Gene would make child psychologists throw up their hands in horror, but they have an unvarnished view of life and aren’t afraid to tell it like it is–something that’s sorely missing with today’s politically correct, helicopter parenting style. Of course, it would be much better if the other adults in Sally’s life provided some ballast to offset some of the more out-there things Pauline says and does (not to mention doing a better job of providing sex education) but she’s a refreshing balance to Betty’s crap. I hope she sticks around, too.

  16. They sure do have a lot of lights on while sitting outside of the Francis Manse as the sun sets on 4th of July. So maybe is Henry is rich after all if nearly every light in the house can be left on and it isn’t even fully dark out yet 😉

  17. I have to say I’m amazed Betty managed to completely decorate and furnish that huge house between October and June. Unless it came furnished, like Don’s bachelor pad. You’d think all that effort would have resulted in a weight loss.

  18. This is minor but did anyone think when the girl brought in the photos from the Speck murders, her pronunciation of massacre (with a long e at the end) was odd? I had never heard it pronounced that way and was wondering if the pronounciation changed over time. It reminded me of when Ken Cosgrove said “niche” in a different way.

    • “Massacree” — Just a corny attempt at humor to lighten the moment. (Do people say “corny” any more?) It’s an Old West pronunciation. In an early scene in the 1950s film “Calamity Jane,” Doris Day talks about a “massacree.”

      • Arlo Guthrie’s monologue “Alice’s Restaurant” is listed on the album as “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” and he uses that pronunciation all through it. Although the album didn’t come out until 1967, I think it was MW’s nod to the sort of anti-establishment/anti-war vernacular that was starting to makes its appearance at that time.

    • I saw it, maybe like Peggy would, as cute pretentiousness, with a dash of elitist detachment.

      Joyce and I would be great buds.

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