Open Thread: At the Codfish Ball

 Posted by on April 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm  Season 5
Apr 292012

I especially love the above video because Shirley Temple’s dance partner is Buddy Ebsen, name-checked at least once on Mad Men (his signed photo is also seen in Harry’s office).

My recap will be up by 8 am tomorrow, and probably sooner.


  600 Responses to “Open Thread: At the Codfish Ball”

  1. T-4 hours.

  2. You beat me to your introduction, Karl. Hump episode tonight. Making the turn down the homestretch. Already? Wow.

  3. T-3 hours.

  4. My friend Lee and I are morbidly anxious to see if someone finally dies in THIS episode. She bets Roger, I think Pete (though I have to give Roger a push forward after his character seemed to have that sudden mood shift last week.)

    • I have been having that morbid, disturbing feeling all season! I see the balcony in Megan and Don’s apartment as an omen of some bad accident. I thought from the start that something bad would happen to one of the children. I am obsessed with thinking about when a death will happen!

      • Every man (woman) for himself (herself) indicates to me that the key theme for the season will be survival, but survival not necessarily in the sense of an actual life and death struggle but survival in the sense of being in control of one’s destiny, self-fulfilled in pursuing one’s happiness, or selfishly or in a self-serving manner taking steps to ensure one’s longevity at an enterprise.

        And this will be attempted or done regardless of what anybody else thinks or what anyone else does.

  5. Buddy Ebson is from my hometown, Belleville, IL. Fun video!

  6. OMG, that video is all kinds of adorable. Shirley Temple was seriously supernatural.

  7. So, does anyone want to guess what are the three threads this episode (almost all have 3 stories)? My guesses;
    1) New business with more of an ensemble feel than one character. It matches the description and It’s about time.
    2) Sally helps a relative storyline.
    3) Another Don and Megan story (about her family)

    Am I right or all wet?

    • Could be also what Roger plans to do for the rest of his life.

      • Could be but it seems like they steer away from the last episode’s topic (except maybe Don’s storyline). Could be wrong tho.

    • One week its Pete, the next its Roger. We haven’t had Red in a couple weeks, do I guess she steps up tonight. Harry was MIA last week too. Betty has had only 1 ep this year. So I guess the Betty lover’s (why?) will be happy tonight.
      Also, please, no more Megan. Please.

    • I agree with these three points, and throw in a little Peggy and Abe drama.

    • Hmmm. I’m trying to figure out how Sally will help a relative. The only family we’ve seen is Betty’s brother, sister-in-law, and their children. I’m wondering what kind of help any of them would need.

    • Brilliant, SueB…..Megan’s family……!

  8. T-2 hours.

  9. From a football standpoint the first 6 episodes were the first half of the season where you are finding out about what kind of team you have, how the veterans are performing a year older and how the rookies (Megan) will blend in and influence or impact the team’s chemistry and the success of the team in a new season.

    But in a general sense you want to find out how the team performs as a team and you soon find out “It’s every man for himself” rather than a cohesive outfit. (Matthew Weiner already told us that is the theme for the entire season). And then you want to isolate the strengths and weaknesses of each player to better evaluate how each one might progress in the future and to construct a game plan which highlights them in order to find out how it will influence how they play the game. That was imho what the first six episodes was all about. Finding out what you have.

    But going into the second half of the season you know what you have and that will not change. Many team members because of their past history are bound and determined never to be friendly or cooperative with each other. But you realize you have to play the cards you are dealt and the last 7 episodes imho will demonstrate what business and personal impact this lack of esprit de corps will have on the firm SCDP and the members of the team themselves.

    And with that in mind I think you will see some team members getting more playing time and gaining the favor of the head coach and you will see other team members perhaps fall by the wayside or from grace. In a spirit of “every man for himself” dog-eat-dog tends to take over. The last 7 episodes imho will show the jockeying that is bound to take place among the members of the firm to keep their roster spots or to gain more cachet. And Megan will definitely one of the team members striving to move to the top of the food chain.

    • In addition Matt Weiner has also said that episode 1 and 2 will pretty well lay out what is going to happen for the remainder of the season. So what happened in these two episodes:

      a) Don is not as focused on work

      b) Megan wants to focus on work but Don won’t let her.

      c) Some folks at the firm clearly do NOT like Megan (Peggy and Joan).

      d) Roger feels less valuable to the firm and that he more unhappy in his marriage.

      e) Joan is adjusting to life as a single parent.

      f) Lane is slowly starting to feel better about himself at the firm but is unhappy in his marriage.

      g) Peggy is not yet Don and struggling with the social changes in the 1960’s because of her relationship with Abe.

      h) Will Pete Campbell continue down the road of personal self-destruction or will he suck it up and try to live the life of a normal suburban husband?

      i) Betty Francis is NOT a happy camper and neither are her children with Pauline being a huge problem. (was not in episode 1 and 2 but in episode 3 Tea Leaves)

      So I believe these questions will be answered in the last 7 episodes:

      a) Will Don regain his mojo and rededicate himself and his talents to the firm?

      b) Will Don allow Megan to do her job without any outside unwarranted interference from him and what kind of performance will she turn in?

      c) Will Megan gain more respect from her co-workers?

      d) Will Roger re-invent himself and with whom?

      e) How will Kevin impact Joan’s life at the firm and her private life?

      f) Will Lane assert even more authority at the firm as he becomes perhaps even more confident and what happens to his marriage?

      g) Will Peggy’s involvement perhaps in more social causes impact her work at the firm?

      h) Will Pete Campbell bury himself in work to forget about his personal demons?

      i) Will Pauline still be around to make life horrible for Betty and her children? And will Betty be able to turn it around and drop some weight and feel better about herself?

      But the underlying theme of the season is “every man for himself” and by inference survival and anything the characters say or do has to be seen in this context.

  10. I have never seen Buddy Ebsen without white hair. (Slattery neither.) Breakfast at Tiffany’s was 51 yrs ago and he was already salt and pepper.

  11. I have to admit, although I’m always excited about a new Mad Men episode, I feel like the weeks have been going well lately…not dragging for me. What I mean is, in between episodes, I don’t have that sensation that time is going too slowly. Rather the week seems to move along quite quickly.

    I credit our lively discussions and also the fact that there’s been some other good television on lately (I love “Revenge”)

    Don’t get me wrong, though…..I’m still super-excited on Sundays!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • For the first time MM isn’t playing during the summer rerun season, so Modern Family 30 Rock and Parks & Recreation help me get by. But a Mad Men Sunday is anticipated like nothing else. Its like watching a different Super Bowl 13 straight weeks. Aaaahhhhh.

      • This winter I bought streaming Netflix. I watched the first three seasons of Parks & Rec in about three weeks. I could NOT believe how hard I laughed. Very funny show. Nothing like MM but the deadpan humor and the kooky, appealing characters kept me coming back. Definitely good filler for the down months.

  12. How old was Shirley Temple in this video? Oh my gosh. She is the cutest thing ever but all I can picture is someone constantly telling her, “There’s no time to play, we need to rehearse!!!!”

    • The movie was from 1936, released around the time of Shirley’s 8th birthday, so she was 7 when she shot it.

      So who would be around the right age to have been a Shirley Temple fan when they were little? Betty and Joan, anyone else? Maybe Sally liked her movies on TV when she was little, too. So…Joan sings that song to Kevin to get him to sleep? Sally is taking tap dancing and has to learn that number?

      Also, “ball” is a reminder of another ball, Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball in late November ’66. Event of the season, from what I gather. David Ogilvy was one of the guests. Anyone want to bet that someone from SCDP tries to wangle an invite? Maybe star-humpin’ Harry?

      • I think Sally is still the age that she’d like the movies, most likely….I saw some of them when I was around her age.

      • P.S. Trying to wrangle an invite….certainly sounds like something Harry would do.

        “We’re on the list.”

        “There is no list.”

      • My 85-year old mother saw her movies in the theater.

        • in the 70’s i watched shirley temple movies on tv Saturday mornings.

          • In Venezuela in the 70s, I watched Shirley Temple movies just about every day in the afternoons. I totally thought all Americans broke out into song and dance at the drop of a hat. I was in for a rude awakening.

  13. T-54 minutes.

    My PC security system opted to start a full scan just now, so I may have to be more judicious with my CPU cycles.

  14. T-30 minutes.

  15. I’m going to throw this out there just in case I’m right and will then appear brilliant – I think “Codfish Ball” refers to a dinner that Peggy attends with Abe at his family’s house. We’re approaching Fall 1966 now, maybe she’s going to Rosh Hoshana dinner!

  16. Over the weekend I was watching TCM – my other favorite network and saw Paula Prentice. She reminds me SO much of the actress who plays Megan. Does anyone agree?

  17. At The Codfish Ball has such happy lyrics:

    Next Friday night your all invited
    To dance from eight to five
    All the fishes still alive
    Are having a ball

    Its some affair, they’ll all be there
    From the herring to the whale
    They’ll turn out to shake a scale
    In Neptune’s Hall

    Come along and follow me
    To the bottom of the sea
    We’ll join in the Jamboree
    At the Codfish Ball

    Lobsters dancing in a row
    Shuffle off to Buffalo
    Jelly fish sway to and fro
    At the Codfish Ball

    Finnan haddie leads the eel
    Through an Irish reel
    The catfish is a dancing man
    But he can’t can-can like the sardine can

    Tunas trucking left and right
    Minnows mooching, what a night
    There won’t be a hook in site
    At the Codfish Ball

    Come along and follow me
    To the bottom of the sea
    We’ll join in the Jamboree
    At the Codfish Ball

    An unusually happy title for a Mad Men episode. Since it’s a song from a Shirley Temple movie, I imagine this has something to do with Sally. The only relative I can imagine Sally helping at this point might be Pauline, since she’s the only member of her new family we’ve seen her really intact with. Pauline probably isn’t in the best of health,and Iwonder if Sally will be helping her?

    Also, here’s a little tidbit about Shirley Temple:
    In 1967, Temple ran for Congress on a platform urging more American involvement in the war in Vietnam. She lost the election, and attributes this to political cartoons that showed the child Shirley Temple facing off against big grown-up politicians. She was 39 at the time. Shirley Temple Black remained active in Republican politics, and was named by Richard M. Nixon to serve as a US representative the United Nations.

    • Another little bit of Shirley Temple trivia: they lied about her age for years, and she wrote in her (first) autobiography that she was devastated to discover when she was celebrating her 12th (I think) birthday, that she was actually one year older. She had lost a year!

  18. Just about T-3 hours (for many of us West Coasters).

    Maybe SCDP gets the Mrs Paul’s Fish Sticks account.

  19. Karl 1 minute!!!

  20. …and Here. We. Go.

  21. Creepy Glen is a good kid.

  22. Glenn…….I missed you!

  23. Bluto! LOL

  24. Glenn!

  25. Mona!

  26. You guys know he’s MW’s son, right?

      • he’s started to look remarkably like MW over the years. I guess he always did, but now that he’s getting older, the resemblance is really striking.

        Glenn is practically a man! our little boy is growing up 😉

        • I always liked Glenn. I wonder where he is in college. If he’s in the city, Sally will hook up with him there. That will be fun to watch!

          • I think Glen must be in a private high school, not college. I don’t think he’s six years older than Sally.

  27. Julia Ormond!

  28. Calvets!


  29. Mona!

    • That was a great call by the person who spotted that in the 31 second preview.

      • Techno—I was one of them. (blushes) Didn’t post about it here….but I did on another website. I thought it looked like her (half of a) profile.

        • I get annoyed when people assume so I said it COULD be her. I prefer to wait and see. Not part of the BoK prediction squad.

  30. Roger’s ex-wife looks so sexy. What’s happenning here?

    • She really does look phenomenal. She was acting kind of sexy, too. I don’t know—-I’ve always loved Mona, but she seemed different tonight. Maybe getting some distance from Roger over these past few years (and now he’s divorcing Jane) gave her more confidence.

    • Blue eye shadow?

  31. Don not paranoid about the French-speaking. Who knew?

    • That’s because he’s studying a dictionary!

      • yeah but he didn’t pick up on Megan’s mom saying “goodnight animals” to Sally and Bobby…

        • That’s exactly what Megan said to the kids on their trip to California when they were going to sleep. It’s apparently a pet name for kids her mom used with her. So harmless.

  32. One of Gene’s toys? Ha!!!!!!

  33. Who is the actor playing Dr. Calvet? Something about him seems familiar.

  34. Let me make sure Mom isn’t choking on her own vomit.

  35. She’s French.

  36. She’s French.

    No. That’s not what that is.

  37. First time I’ve ever felt any like for Megan.

  38. Sorry guys, but Megan’s mom does not sound French. She speaks with an accent, and it is not a québécois accent.

    • Back to who speaks what version of French and when?

      In Season 4 Megan explained that although her professor father is a native of Montreal, he prefers to speak English or a more generic form of French Canadian that Quebecois.

      It was also explained by Megan that her mother is a native of Paris and prefers to use Parisian French.

      Maria Calvet is played by the English actress Julia Ormond, the daughter of wealthy parents. Almost certainly Ormond has been speaking Parisian French much of her life.

      In 1995 Ormond played Sabrina Fairchild in the re-make of “Sabrina” which included many scenes set in Paris. During those Ormond spoke French frequently. Back then there was no hue and cry that her French was poor.

      Previously here we have discussed theories why Matt Weiner has French Canadians speaking Parisian French. As series creator that is his choice.

      • Megan’s father did have the very slightest of “highly educated class Quebecois” touches. Barely a touch, but enough that a true Parisian would not own up to it.

        • Dr. Emile Calvet is played by the well respected Belgian actor Ronald Guttman. who is represented by the Agence Elisabeth Simon agency of Paris, France.

          Is it possible that a Belgian French accent is similar to “highly educated class Québecois”?

          When I worked with Guttman on “The Hunt for Red October” he was playing a Russian submarine officer. Nobody complained his Russian was bad. Frankly I hardly recognized him since that was 1989 during filming.

  39. Dads astute “his manners are studied”.

    • Yes, that was astute, also snobby and a put-down, but he’s right. Don plays a role. Almost nothing is natural.

  40. Red in the Face. The Gold Violin. 723. The Suitcase. 7th episodes. This ep looks weak in comparison. Lets hope I’m wrong.

  41. So:
    1) The in-law visit
    2) Roger going after Firestone
    3) The Codfish (Cancer Society) ball

    That’s what I’m guessing.

    Thus far:
    1) LOVE LOVE LOVE the return of Glen. I may be alone in my liking him but I do and I love his friendship with Sally.
    2) Sally! You lied….I’ll have to think about that.
    3) I liked the Megan/Don bed exchange.
    4) Mona! I’m so excited.

    • Sally’s calls to Glen would show up on their phone bill. Unless nobody bothers to check each call and pays the bill without looking it over. Can you imagine Betty’s reaction if she finds out Sally and Glen are still in touch?

      • Do we know if it’s a local call or a long distance call? A local call would be less expensive, and would probably not raise much suspicion. Betty (assuming that she’s the one who pays the phone bills) might think she’s talking to a classmate from school. I doubt Betty would have the phone numbers of all Sally’s friends memorized. Betty will be furious if she finds out that Sally and Glen are still friends.

        • He appears to be away at boarding school. As in, out of town, as in toll call. That’s why I mentioned it. I suppose he could be at a boarding school close to home but that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why would he ask “How’s New York?” if he’s in the area?

        • The name of the city or town you called showed (or shows) up on the bill. She will be wondering who they know in that town. Of course, Henry probably makes millions of calls all over the place. It was just a passing thought — “What if Betty finds out…”

          • But Henry has his own phone line, remember? He was on it in the second episode (talking about George Romney) when Betty got the call about her tests. Unless Sally was cleverly using Henry’s phone…

  42. Wow, is that Julia Ormand?!

  43. Aha…so, Megan won’t make love with her parents in the house but Don’s kids sleeping over, not a problem! Hussy 🙂

  44. Oh My God……Heinz Baked Beans by Megan?????? Peggy is going to KILL her…….!

  45. Don is taking this seriously? He has jumped the shark.

  46. Hey, I thought all ’60’s TV couples slept in twin beds.

  47. Why is Peggy back in those ridiculous, high school clothes??????

  48. Someone dumped you?


  50. I am surprised Roger told Don about the LSD trip.

  51. Is there anyone Roger hasn’t told about his trip?

    Yes, that’s rhetorical.

  52. 3 zingers from Rog. That ‘s it for this ep.

  53. “or better yet go shopping” ha. Love Joan. So many great lines in this episode.

  54. Yay Megan! It IS a good idea. And I like how gracious Don, Stan, Ginsberg & Peggy are.

    Joan is awesomesauce. I’m going to be so disappointed if Abe doesn’t propose. What if this is him telling her he’s going to go cover Vietnam. I’m so scared for her. She looked momentarily happy.

    Grrrrr… I thought Pete was mentioned in the “getting new accounts” thing and he’s not been on our screens yet.

    • This one of the main lessons of the show, as verbalized in “The Suitcase”: The best idea wins.

  55. “Jesus was after the loaves and fishes account”

    Second best line of tthe week (after “Someone dumped you?”) 🙂

  56. “My father-in-law is a Communist, socialist or Maoist.” Don Draper

    Megan is definitely NOT a chip off the old block.

    It appears that Don has learned his lesson and now takes Megan’s work seriously.

    How is it going to look if Megan becomes to go-to person for Heinz? Could be major development in her career.

  57. Peggy will only say yes to Abe if she comes from being disappointed by Don. Wait till she finds out about Megan’s idea. Hello Mrs. Abe!

    • I hate Abe.

    • i thought abe was getting mad/annoyed/uncomfortable with how stan and ginzo were talking to her. what was the purpose of that scene? he did not seem happy with her work relationships at all.

      • My guess is that Abe hadn’t realized that she was one of the guys.

      • He was really uncomfortable. I think he wants her to himself and isn’t interested in hanging out with her at work, only seeing her at dinner if he grabs a bite at her office with her and her workmates. I don’t see how living together is going to solve this exactly. She’ll still be at the office all the time.

        Must have been easy to get an apartment in 1966. You don’t give up a good apartment these days so easily.

  58. Many references to fish so far. I count 3 so far. Are there more?

  59. Is this the same show we watched last week and the week before? It’s so light-hearted (well, Megan’s dad is a mean old bummer — abusive to his wife — and we now know that her childhood wasn’t so perfect). Roger’s line, “You’ll be like an Italian bride…” had me howling.

    There are so many ads that I have plenty of time to go to another room, get online and type without even rushing.

    • Roger is the ultimate WASP. How on earth did he know about the Italian wedding custom? Roger did have a lot of great lines this week.

      • And The Godfather (which made that custom well-known) wasn’t published until 1969, and the movie came out in ’72. How did he know that?

  60. The pink dress!

  61. Better yet, go shopping. Read you don’t have anything at home that works.

  62. Twigged that was coming about 30 secs in advance.

  63. I do. Instead of yes. She is Don’s daughter.

  64. Heinz dumping SCDP. Ouch.

  65. Megan tries to save this by prompting the pitch. Clutch play.

  66. Ooh – Megan’s really good at this!

  67. Shhhhhhhhhhhh.

  68. All Heinz wanted was the Moon, Don.

  69. Here comes Peggy.

  70. The beginning of the power couple Don and Megan.

  71. Auntie Joan is speaking the truth!

  72. It’s the Sisterhood of SCDP episode.


      Peggy, Megan & Joan were rocking!

      How generous of Joan to make Peggy feel good, it IS a huge step and I was disappointed. But Joan made Peggy feel good about it and that makes me happy.

      And Megan is the real deal! So…why the sorrowful look?

      And I was so pleased with Peggy being generous too.

      Hey… for the first time they are WORKING TOGETHER. It’s the opposite of “everyman for himself”. I’m so glad to see that change. PLEASE keep in this direction.

      • Yes, I just loved those two scenes! Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.

      • Maybe it’s only every man for himself, but every woman is a different story. That would be such a Weiner ploy, wouldn’t it?

      • peggy told Dawn that she was the only one like her in the office. Now there is another female who is doing big things too. We would all be better if we could support each other’s accomplishmnets like Peggy did for Megan.

        Peggy broke down a barrier for other women.

  73. “It is what it is”……..Really? Nobody would ever have used what I regard as an EXTREME cliche’ (or however you spell it) at that time! I cry, “Cock-a-doody” foul… Annie Wilkes said in “Misery”!!!!

    • I never even heard that phrase until a few years ago.

      • Right, nobody heard it before a few years ago. And now you hear it fourteen times a day!

      • Probably weird that I recall this – but first time I heard it was during the first season of Top Chef. A few of the chefs used it ALL the time and I found it *so* irritating because it is such a lazy thing to say – and I had NEVER heard anyone use that phrase before then. Now I hear it constantly.

    • I thought the exact same thing! We never heard that term in the ’60s!

      • Really echoes the advice Joan got from her gynecologist last season “just like the song says, whatever will be will be”

        • que sera, sera….ungrammatical Spanish, Doris Day, 1956 Hitchcock movie

          people did say that back in the day, but not “it is what it is…” that I can recall

  74. Why isn’t Megan happier?

    • She’s probably still working out the conflict that comes from being Don’s wife and their colleague.

    • Could being successful as a copywriter not be as great as she thought it would be?

    • Is she disappointed the idea had to be pitched as Don’s instead of hers?

    • Matt Weiner discusses this point on Inside Mad Men at It’s interesting, but I don’t want to do anything spoilerish here.

  75. That was weird, I wonder what Megan thought Peggy would do. Probably the opposite of be happy.

  76. No Best Drama emmy this year. Too much dialogue, no metaphors playing on different levels. I. Am. Sad.

    • Yes, why was the dialogue so on the nose? Everyone was just blatantly expressing themselves. Joan HUGS Peggy??? What? I love those two, but…what?

      • MyPeopleAreNordic:

        The notion that people on Mad Men don’t change – expressed by Matt Weiner himself – is true within certain parameters, but it’s not as though these are static characters, and I think that the idea that “people don’t change” gets oversold at times.

        Joan’s experience with Greg has changed her and given her a new measure of perspective. She has changed in her relationship with Lane. Joan has seen Peggy become more aware of her surroundings, enough to call bullshit on Joan when she was dishonest with herself. That’s a relationship which has grown, and this was yet another context in which Joan and Peggy became even closer to each other.

        Don’s marriage to Megan in “Tomorrowland” — that felt like a forced moment, although Weiner is now performing the necessary character development Don Draper’s wife demands.

        Peggy and Joan last night? That felt like an entirely organic moment.

  77. So now Megan is an ad genius? Oh, please. Matt Weiner, stop trying to make Megan happen.

    • kinda like fetch, eh?

    • Truth to be told, concepts aren’t always that hard to develop if you have a feeling for the product.

    • You can compare Megan’s brainchild with a professional golfer winning his first PGA tournament. As there are three ways a pro golfer can go, there are three ways Megan can go. The golfer can become a one-hit wonder and never win again, can win occasionally or intermittently or can leverage that one victory to have amazing success and win quite often.

      So Megan could rest of her laurels or be out of original ideas, she could go months without hitting pay dirt again or she could take her recently acclaimed promise and turn it into a permanent cachet. It is still too early to tell which direction this is headed but I do know which direction Don thinks this is headed. And with the word leaked to Don he is considered “poison” to a lot of large corporations, I think Don will do everything in his power to nurture whatever talent Megan possesses. After all it is in his vested interest to do so. What is overlooked in Megan’s brainchild is that it allowed Don to find his mojo again. And for someone like Don who is already a creative genius, that is all he might need to take SCDP to the top of the world.

  78. Aw. Peggy needs Joan reassurance and acceptance “I thought you would be disappointed in me” and then so proud of herself when Joan was happy for her.

    • When she said, “Shacking up?” I had a total flashback to my father talking about someone’s young adult child “shacking up” circa 1972. Very disapprovingly. Haven’t heard that expression since forever.

      Sally is SOOOOO adorable. But I’m afraid she’s about to puke from eating that fish.

      Pete just played Emile—-hilarious.

      • Sally looked like a little gogo dancer. I do think it’s a good sign that she was willing to compromise on the outfit (no makeup and different footwear). Don looked so shocked and horrified. He finally realized his little girl is growing up, and that terrifies him.

        • I think that is a huge cliche, the lightbulb going off in Daddy’s head that his little girl is growing up and is about to become someone who fends off men and has sex (or as Emile said, rather hilariously, spread her legs). I am disappointed that MW put it into the show. It’s extremely trite and I wonder if it’s even really something Dads experience. Mine never seemed to.

        • Here again is why I think Megan is so brilliant.

          She buys the dress and boots for Sally and then prompts Sally to ask her dad if she can accompany Don and Megan to the Cancer Society award dinner. And she starts off with papa, that changes the tone of the question and basically convinces Don to say yes.

          It is only when Emile makes the cheap comment of Sally “spreading her legs and flying away” that Don tells Sally to amend what she will be wearing to the dinner but to show you how far he has come he gives her two options: she can either comply with his wishes and still attend the dinner or she can stay at home and not comply.

          Where Megan comes into the picture is that she initially praised Sally’s attire but instead of arguing with Don about his decision in front of Sally, Roger and her parents, she remained mute and let Don have his way. This had the potential for a major blow-up if Megan had challenged Don here. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

          • Excellent observations, Techno! I always (and immensely) enjoy what you have to say.

          • She’s not Sally’s mother. In this situation Don has to make the decision. Megan can only subtly advise (which we know she does very well). Megan is a wise stepmom.

  79. Peggy rocks. She always tries to handle the unexpected with such grace, and, yes, she IS brave.

  80. Note: Most shows would have built to the scene we just saw as the big finish.

  81. When Don used Peggy’s idea and got all the glory (she didn’t even get to go to the award ceremony). Now Megan gets the credit with Don for Heinz. Megan gets the marriage proposal–Peggy gets asked to “shack up.” Poor Peggy. 🙁

    • I was referring to Glow Coat–She didn’t get credit–that’s that’s what the money is for.”

      • Peggy paved the way for Megan and schooled Don in sharing the credit. Let’s just hope Peggy’s mom isn’t correct that she’ll be paving the way for Abe’s future wife.

        • It’s great that she’s paving the way but when is it HER turn? She likes Pete but he just has sex with her and marries someone else. She has his baby and gives it away but he has and keeps a baby with Trudy. She touches Don’s hand in the very first episode and he tells her that he’s her boss but years later he does end up marrying his secretary. She doesn’t get any of the glory from Glow Coat. He tells her “that’s what the money is for.” She worked so hard on Heinz and gets kicked off the account and then Megan “hits a home run” and saves the day. She save the firm with the Topaz panty hose account and it’s overshadowed by Don and Megan’s BIG news. She really wants a marriage proposal but settles for an offer to “shack up.” because deep inside she feels it’s the best she can do. She once said to Don “you have everything and so much of it.” (or something like that) after Gene was born. When is it going to be her turn to get everything she wants without settling?!!!

          • And she was giving a handjob to a stranger in a movie theater last week and being deceitful to Abe. Maybe Pegs needs a little “practice” herself before tying the knot.

    • Publicly, Don still will get the credit for Heinz. It is only behind the scenes at SCDP where the truth will be known. Even the Raymond and his wife don’t know it was originally Megan’s idea.

    • Did Peggy come up with the idea that earned don his previous award? I know Peggy was over shadowed by Don and Megan’s enganemnet when she and Ken landed the big account.

      • I seem to remember that when Don won the award for the Glow Coat commericial Peggy was upset because the original idea was hers and then Don expanded on it and got all the glory and he never mentioned her. She didn’t ever get to go to the award ceremony. I think that’s when Don said his famous line “That’s what the money is for.”

  82. uh oh, that white carpet is pretty dirty….

  83. Gonna need 3 or 4 of those white carpets.

  84. Will the French mom make an embarrassing play for Don?

  85. Oh…right.

  86. I don’t think MW is saying Megan is an ad genius, just that Peggy is not the only female who can have an idea.

  87. Abe likes ham? huh?

    • He’s Jewish, but that doesn’t mean he has to eat kosher…..however, Mrs. Olson obviously knows he’s Jewish and was surprised to hear him saying he loves to eat it.

      • It was a mean dig.

      • Ginsburg also recomended clams (shellfish) to Megan and Don when they went to Howard Johnsons. I was surprised by that remark as well.

        • There are no firm figures on the percentage of North American Jews who keep Kosher, but according to something I found online, 20 years ago the highest percentage was in Toronto where it was 30%. It’s far lower — more like 20% outside of NYC area, and even lower (approx 10%) in areas with low concentrations of Jews.

          There is nothing surprising about Abe not being Kosher. Most of us aren’t, and weren’t. According to a cite on Wikipedia, about 16% of Jews today are Kosher.

          Hey, I think I’d like a ham and cheese on rye.

  88. Hi Ma. PRECIOUS!

  89. Oh god — Mrs Calvet/Roger hookup? GOD I HOPE SO

  90. Rodger……

  91. Ham’s his favorite? LOL Boy, Abe is trying too hard!

    • To be fair, we have no idea how observant Abe is or isn’t. I’m disappointed we never got to see Abe and Katherine first meeting each other, or the moment Peggy told her mother she was dating someone Jewish. I had really wanted to see those two moments.

    • could be Reform…

  92. Roger laughs when Emile is Roger.

  93. Janie Jetson.

  94. roger and sally. lol

  95. I don’t like Roger relating to Sally that way. It seems creepy.

    • Ah, he just wants to use her cuteness to drum up business.

      • Yeah. He isn’t doing it as a creepy thing. He is like an uncle to her. It’s cute.

      • I was enjoying it.

        • What did Sally see when she opened the door and saw Roger? What happened…….. Please…….!

          • She saw Mrs. Calvet giving Roger oral sex.

          • Thank you. I gathered it from subsequent posts, but I guess I looked away for a moment too long and missed almost everything but the back of Roger’s head.

            Still, I hate the way he was so charming to a pre-teen at her first dress up, grown up occassion. That explains the look on Sally’s face. She acted so mature, but she was intrigued (inapproriately) by Roger. …..Not her fault! She is a child!

    • I don’t think Roger and Sally were creepy. I thought it was cute. It was like getting to see what Roger may have been like with his own daughter. Roger and Sally need more scenes together.

      • The avuncular “date” thing didn’t bother me either, but I think it’s legitimate to explore the idea that Sally got a little over-excited (in a normal way) to be treated so gallantly by a charming adult male. Her being his “date” and all that. Then she sees what a grownup man and woman, who aren’t married, might actually get up to, and it’s squalid. Her first date, ruined. Don’t forget, that woman she saw is her step-grandmother, with whom she just shared a happy shopping trip. Poor Sally.

        Wish she was still seeing that therapist!

    • i’m sure sally loved the attention of roger. he’s talking to her like a grown up, and he’s getting her in his “conspiracy” sort of mind-set. sally knew he was kidding with her. i didn’t think there was anything ‘dirty old man’ about it. i burst out laughing when he called her a “mean drunk.”

    • Remember that Roger is also the father of a daughter.

    • Roger is good at relating to young girls. She is just a few years younger than the 20 year old Jane he married.

  96. Awesome Pete moment there.

    • ..that is what I do.


      And ….and napalm.

      There are some good one liners and I’m glad this episode is not such a downer.

      I’m scared of what Ma Olson is going to say.

    • I agree. For all his shortcomings, he actually is a pretty good at what he does.

    • Calvet should’ve punched him.

  97. I love this episode. Some emotional relief from the last 3.

  98. Flattery. No job for a white man. (Pete ‘s dad.)

    • At least Pete can joke about it now.

    • My recollection is that Pete’s dad’s comment, “no job for a white man,” referred to the part of the job that involved procuring prostitutes for clients.

  99. The scene with Don and Megan playing off each other was absolutely brilliant not only in the execution for the screen but the slight reluctance of Don still NOT to trust Megan’s judgment but then changing his mind in a split second and deciding to go on faith that she was contributing to keep Heinz in the SCDP tent.

  100. So, is Sally Shirley Temple at this ball?

  101. The Napalm/Dow line is the best of Rogers’s many great lines tonight!

  102. Roger’s “date” is too old for him. 😉 In terms of maturity.

  103. Margaret Dumont HAHAHAHAHA!

    This ep is brilliantly written!

  104. If you’re a pre-teen, Megan would be a cool stepmom to have.

    • Totally. Fun step-grandma, too. Henry’s mother is no fun at all, and she’s not even wholesome to make up for it.
      I noticed that they bought Sally high white crinkly patent leather go-go boots, not the lower-cut Courreges style. A nice detail/choice.

    • In the years to come, I see tension as Sally goes to Megan with questions that Betty should be going to her. I have a feeling that clothes may become a battlefield, “Megan bought it for me/Megan lets me wear it”

      • I agree. Eventually I knew Megan and Betty would come into conflict with each other over Sally.

        In episode 3 Tea Leaves, Betty refers to Megan as a 20 year old. Actually Megan was 25 when she married Don. In 1966, a person of 20 was NOT considered an adult and that was the impression Betty tried to leave with her friend. But a woman of 25 could have gone to college, graduated and spent 2-3 years in the work force, which I believe sums up what Megan did before she met and married Don. In other words Don married an adult, not a teeny-bopper.

        Ironically when Betty married Don by my best calculations she was somewhere between 22-24.

  105. If Mrs. Olson didn’t like Peggy moving to Manhattan, she’s NOT going to like her moving in with her boyfriend. 😮

  106. I LOVE MEGAN. Am I the only one?!

    • No. Don does. I like her alright.

    • No, I have loved her from day one. She is so talented and smart and beautiful.

    • I also love her. I’m glad to see some others here agree. 🙂

    • I’m a Megan fan, too.

    • I think Megan brings a change of pace to Mad Men as rookie football players bring youthful enthusiasm to a team full of veterans. It’s called new blood.

    • I am liking Megan more each episode as the layers of the onion are slowly peeled away and we get to learn a bit more about her. I think there is still a lot more we don’t know about her, though — like why she wasn’t that happy that she won the Heinz account, what her “real passion” is that her father was berating her about, etc.

      I’m glad that she’s much more complex than she seemed last season.

  107. Did Don see a bit of Betty in Sally, all dressed up?

  108. Is Peggy nuts? Anita does not like this!

  109. If not for Roger, this ep would be below par. Heinz scene you could see coming from a galaxy away.

    • That’s true, but I’m so relieved that there was no overt violence that I’m practically ecstatic. Plenty of other kinds of nastiness, though.

  110. Love Peggy’s mother and she is taking the cake, too!

  111. Bye, Maaaaaaa.

  112. Practice. Wow, ugly.

    • That’s how people used to think. Nice girls from Brooklyn didn’t’ do that in 1966. The ham remark was amusing, too.

    • Maybe so, but I think Ma was only trying to look out for Peggy’s best interests, telling her daughter that she can do better than be someone’s ‘practice wife’. And Peggy really can do better (I think she’s a catch and should hold out for someone better than Abe).

      Peggy is so successful at work it would be a shame for her to be so down over a guy. I kind of liked Ma’s idea about the cats – rather than settling for a boyfriend/husband (who would only let her down in the end). Peggy’s a visionary, why tie herself down to the wrong person?

      • We’ve come a long way from the surprise birthday dinner in The Suitcase. Then, Katherine told Peggy she “should be grateful,” presumably because Mark wanted to date damaged goods. Now suddenly Katherine is telling her she’s better than this and should want more? Gosh, Ma, make up your mind.

        • If there had been an engagement announcement, Katherine would have criticized that as well. Katherine may be right in this instance, but nothing would please her. Nothing. She didn’t say to Peggy, “Ask for more. Tell him marriage or nothing.” She didn’t say to Peggy, “You’ll find someone who will give you everything.” She didn’t say to Peggy, “Don’t worry, Peaches, you won’t be alone.” She said “Get a cat.” Maybe she’s reading the situation right, but she has nothing but contempt for her daughter and that’s more significant.

          • Yes, I totally agree, nothing would have pleased Katherine when it comes to Peggy, her too-independent daughter. I found Katherine’s emotionally sabotaging comments painful and I’m not sure she’s right about Abe ‘practicing’ with Peggy.

            Sure what they were doing – living together w/o marriage – was unconventional for the time, as was women wanting success in the work place. I know quite a few people from that period who were ‘shacking up’ and it didn’t necessarily lead to the guy leaving for another woman. Sometimes the women ended things, and sometimes it continued – and sometimes it led to the altar. That was the 60s, everything was up for grabs.

            Katherine is just a mean narcissistic mother, as far as I can tell. I think her ‘concern’ for Peggy’s future was a cover for her anger that her daughter wanted more than to live at home, taking care of her.

      • The “cat” comment was way over the top imho. It is one thing to remind your daughter of how she was raised but to recommend she punish herself and be alone with a cat all her life rather than live with Abe was so backward even for 1966.

    • Shicksas are for practice.

  113. Go get ’em, tiger!

  114. Oh, Roger.

  115. And there’s Shirley!

  116. Well, I’ve gotten a lot of rejection, so who knows what I’m full of.

  117. I think the actor who plays Dr. Calvet was in The Hunt for Red October. I recognized the way he smokes. It’s been driving me nuts.

  118. So, parental approval and disapproval of daughters.

  119. I was afraid of that…

  120. Well Sally…

  121. Boy am I glad I looked up.

  122. Poor Sally – scarred for life!

  123. Poor Sally.

  124. Don just got a version of the talk he gave Pete in the pilot.

    • To some extent. Don was talking more about having a personality that turns people off–making stupid jokes, being generally obnoxious. Ken’s FIL was saying that those men can’t trust Don with their business, because they already saw him show disloyalty.

      • I think the guy was spot on, too. CEOs of Fortune 100 companies weren’t going to take that kind of risk. I guess Heinz and Playtex are in a different league, even though they are national brand names.

      • Yes, that’s why I said a version of it.

      • Having said that Bert Cooper did say in the final scene of episode 6 Far Away Places that essentially the business was still doing fairly well despite Don’s mental absence during “love leave.”

        In other words, the business may not have thrived as much with Don absent or in the wake of “the letter, but despite that SCDP is not about to go under.

        And with Heinz now secured long-term, SCDP has a much rosier future.

        Don is like an actor who has fallen on hard times because he has gotten a bad rep in the industry. But it only takes one major studio to take a risk and sign him to a picture. And once that picture meets with public acclaim and success, he will soon rebound to where he previously was. That is exactly what happened in the movie career of Frank Sinatra where his career went in the tank in the early 1950’s only to be resurrected by him winning Oscar for best supporting actor in From Here to Eternity. I see Don following the same path and returning to his former glory, but this time with Megan by his side.

  125. Sally’s got some intersting grandmas!

  126. How’s the city?



    • Yes, the cut-off after “Dirty” was perfectly timed, wasn’t it?

    • Where is this season headed? I still feel a little lost. Not that I’m not enjoying it…

      • whoops! Not supposed to be a reply. oh well.

      • Weiner has said one of the main themes is Every Man For Himself (and I assume he means women also). That may be part of why we don’t see a major arc like Don grappling with the aftermath of his divorce this year.

        • The “Every Man (Woman) for Him(Her)self” motif is perfectly expressed by the five lonely-beneath-the-surface individuals sitting at that table: Emile, Marie, Megan, Don, and Sally. I frankly thought that should have been the end of the episode, but that’s a minor bit of nitpicking on my part. Sally’s closing line was marvelous in its own right.





          • Yes! I was reminded of Don and Betty, each in their own shocked world, after dinner with the Barretts.

    • I thought that was such a telling word to end on. It’s a metaphor for what’s about to happen to/in New York City in the coming years.

  127. 1) Pete was right again — about clients being afraid you’ll turn on them. Did anyone else notice that?
    2) I’m not sure I disagree with Peggy’s mom. I think Abe will leave her.
    3) Roger… I’m sorry, I’m done with your “charm”. I know you didn’t plan for Sally to see that but … seriously?

    • Peggy’s mom (forgot her name) never takes into account that Peggy is making a choice (not taking sloppy seconds) or that maybe Peggy will be the one to decide to move on. She see it as a man’s world. Mom is talking about how women had to play it when they had no power. Peggy is choosing.

      Or is she. Did she really want to get married? I actually don’t think she did.

      • I don’t know, Joan told her to have her decision to a marriage proposal ready and she did buy a new dress. I think she wanted the proposal..and oh, the comment, “do you want me to be alone, Ma?” I think she is settling.

      • From the looks of that dress she brought, it seemed she really wanted to be asked.

      • i think peggy was truly disappointed. youthful, forward thinking, etc., but peggy is still the person who slipped on dr. fay’s engagement ring for her own fantasy. even though peggy’s mom is antiquated and opinionated, she does touch into something peggy feels. it’s like she hit on the secret insecurity in peggy’s heart.

        • In Inside Mad Men for this episode Matthew Weiner claims the episode is about “disappointment on some level” and you can interpret that to mean Peggy is disappointed Abe did not ask her to marry him.

          And then Elisabeth Moss even claims Peggy “is disappointed in what happened” implying Peggy was expecting a marriage proposal.

          • I thought Roger and Sally were cute too. Margaret was a teenager when the show started but this made me think Roger must have been a pretty good Dad. Roger is like a big kid and people like that usualy get along with kids. Roger would be upset if he knew Sally saw, Don would just tell her to go watch TV. Don barely relates to his kids.

            Peggy is letting herself down by living with Abe. It was a very uncommon thing to do at that time and she isn’t like that. It will affect her reputation in the business world and she is avoiding thinking about that. I think Joan’s first response to Peggy was to question if she had made the right choice and Peggy asked Joan for her opinion! It’s clear that Peggy isn’t sure and Joan knows that but Peggy needs to make her own choice

            She may feel guilty about the baby on some level and think she doesn’t deserve to be married. Mom Olson has now given up hope.

      • I think she is both disappointed and relieved. It was obvious she was excited when she thought that Abe would propose–but I took it seriously when she told Joan “it was something even better”. Marriage is not the kind of commitment someone like Peggy would take lightly–and the social standards of the day (divorce/separations of the characters around her notwithstanding) still might make Peggy feel like marriage could mean signing her life away. I think living with someone, understanding the kind of love and companionship that can be felt without a “piece of paper” or a life-time commitment is the kind of exploration Peggy could do really well with. But of course she struggles with social and family expectations, and just like a lot of us, really wants to have it both ways. I know I mostly felt like I was relatively unconcerned with getting married to my now husband for the three years of our cohabitation–but would at the same time have occasional feeling of wanting him to WANT to marry me, even if he or I personally weren’t ready at the time. I just couldn’t help it, it had to do with something more deep-seated than my specific situation at the time. Those feelings can definitely co-exist, and I think at times we don’t let ourselves acknowledge that. I agree with Claudia that Peggy has a secret insecurity and that her mother touched on it–I just don’t know if I think it’s because she wanted Abe to ask her, or because she just wants to be asked.

      • When Peggy tells her mom something to the effect of, “I thought you’d like the fact that I wasn’t marrying that Jew,” she felt that living together was the perfect compromise. I really did not sense disappointment from Peggy. I think she was expecting a flat-out marriage proposal, but she did not seem to be knocked off balance by Abe’s offer to live together. She was still quite enthusiastic, in a manner that carried over into the workplace. Peggy thought she could play the “I’m not going to marry a Jew” card with her mom, but she badly miscalculated. I wouldn’t have expected her mom to act any differently from how she did. Of course she’d think Peggy was living in sin. That’s a pre-Vatican II Catholic for you. (I say this as a Catholic whose mom experienced this generational tension for herself in the 1960s.)

        • I thought that was kind of an off-the-wall comment by Peggy that a little kid would make. I didn’t jaywalk so it’s OK to cross a busy thoroughfare by yourself at rush hour when you’re only 6 years old.

          The comment tells me somewhere deep-seated in Peggy is the idea that an inter-faith marriage might not be advisable although she would never admit to that. In a way by living with Abe rather than marrying him she can avoid having to confront the issue on how the children would be raised (assuming Peggy continues to use birth control).

    • Was that Pete’s original point, or Bert’s? I may have to re-view “Blowing Smoke” now.

  128. How’s the city? Dirty. ..hahaha! Sally is great.

  129. Not an incredible episode, but not bad either.

  130. Is there a Megan socialist plot?

    • This is the number one question on the show: What exactly is it that Megan gave up, according to Emile? What is it that Emile expected Megan to do in and with her life, that she has veered away from? There is no more urgent question in Mad Men season five, and I LOVED how Megan’s character is being bathed in ample contextual development. The series feels so much more whole after these past two episodes… as I expected it would. Plenty of Don-Megan essays to come on TV blogs and websites this week.

      • I think Emile in invoking the idea that he thought Megan would be “single-minded with her dreams” was referring to Megan’s upbringing in a “socialist” household and the previous intention of Megan to exploit her artistic talents (Season 4 episode 11 Chinese Wall) in terms of raising social awareness and influencing the social consciousness of the time.

        In moving into advertising and marrying Don, Emile is suggesting that Megan has sold out by not living the life of a struggling artist. Emile refers to it as abandoning the struggle for the end, the end being wealth and security. And like Midge’s Bohemian friends in season 1 who criticized advertising, Emile is following the same path as advertising is seen as the fuel that keeps the capitalist system going. Emile did NOT raise Megan to become a part of corporate America.

        Notice early in the episode when Megan is speaking French with her parents in the apartment she mentions that Don started with nothing after her father comments on the lavishness (and decadence from his point of view) of the apartment.

        And to put the notion to rest that Megan is some sort of Communist spy, Megan does mention at the dinner table when she is alone with Emile that she is NOT as political as her father is. If you are a spy, being totally committed to political objectives is one of the pre-requisites for the job.

        And finally Jessica Pare in Inside Mad Men comments on parents reminding adult children of their dreams and how painful that can be but then summarizes the idea by stating, “I think she (Megan) still wants to make a successful career for herself.”

  131. Living together is so common now that I don’t remember see the plot line speculated on in the relationship of Peggy and Abe. I thought that scene with Peggy’s mother was so true-to-life especially with it being 1966.

    I speculated that Peggy was going to become more active in social causes but living together was pretty risque back then and could be interpreted as radical and promoting an alternative lifestyle.

    • Living together was very daring back then! The couple (especially the woman, of course) faced all kinds of scorn. I had forgotten all about it. I first lived with a boyfriend in 1973, and I did everything I could to keep it a secret from my family.

      • In 1979 my husband-then-boyfriend started a grad program at (insert name of world famous science research university in Cambridge, MA). I was not allowed into the off-campus housing office because we weren’t married. I had to stand in the hall so he could hold up apartment listings I could look at. Beyond humiliating. Imagine how nasty people were about it in 1966.

        Actually people did live together, but they tended to keep quiet about it until the early 70s.

  132. #126 Sue–we don’t know yet exactly what will happen between Peggy and Abe, but part of the reason Mrs. Olson’s speech hurt was that there was some truth in it. Peggy does think she’s selling herself short—I saw it at the restaurant. She acted thrilled, but then she said, “I do.” (When he asked her if she still wanted to eat) She was thinking that this might be her only chance to say those words.

    • I think Abe is boring and we really haven’t seen Peggy with many romantic partners, so I think she needs to see what else is out there.

    • All I can think of is “this can only end in tears.”

    • that’s exactly how i saw it, as well…like she’s trying to convince herself that she’s happy with this…remember when peggy wore dr. fay’s engagement ring…

      • Good catch, Claudia, I’d forgotten about that. Although I have always remembered her saying to Freddy, “I do want to get married.” (After he said “I’m sorry I said you wanted to get married.”)

    • Mad Chick,

      I had not considered that when Peggy said, “I do,” she was thinking that might be the only time she’d get to say those words. Fantastic observation! It makes me less convinced in what I’m about to say… but not enough (yet! 😉 to lead me to think I’m wrong. 😉

      I think Mrs. Olson is way off when she says that Abe doesn’t have Peggy’s best interests at heart. Abe has been the more emotionally invested one in this relationship, with Peggy returning to Abe last week in “Far Away Places” when she was moved by Ginsberg’s poignant autobiographical account. It’s Peggy who was more distant within the relationship, and her worries about Abe calling the relationship “over” were more a reflection of what she had failed to do than anything Abe had failed to do. Therefore, Mrs. Olson’s slamming of Abe strikes me as being perpendicularly different from Peggy’s mindset and expectations. I’d expect this relationship to get stronger, not weaker, if Peggy is not disheartened by what her mom told her. (If she’s plunged into fresh self-doubt and negativity, then the relationship will weaken.)

      I think Abe represents a certain kind of person (a socially conscious and politically active one) who represents a (worthwhile, holistic-growth-offering) challenge for Peggy, given her field of work. It’s notable that Abe tells Peggy he can’t talk to her in the office; that’s significant for any of several obvious reasons. Abe – what he represents more than who he is – has stretched Peggy as a person. I hope that Matt Weiner will go deeper into this character so that Peggy will dip her toes into 1966/’67 activism before too long. That’s the kind of moment I expect a series like this to deliver at some point.

      • I definitely don’t think Abe is deliberately trying to use Peggy. I think he’s not in a place in his life (or in his relationship with Peggy) where he’s thinking about marriage yet. I don’t think she was, either, until Joan put the idea in her head.

        Peggy does want to get married (I remember her conversation with Freddy last season), but up until the dinner plans, I don’t think she’s been thinking to herself, ‘Hmm, I wonder when Abe will pop the question.’

        • I see Abe as a counter-culture proponent and nonconformist who considers marriage as well as several other traditions as outmoded or something he opposes or wants no part of.

          From what I have seen of Abe, he is NOT a hypocrite. The question then becomes how much of Abe’s influence will he be able to bring to bear to change Peggy’s focus? I would suggest since they will be now living together that Peggy would become more socially aware and socially conscious and participate more directly in various causes.

          And in turn that could bring her on a collision course with what she does for a living and the upper management of SCDP who are seen as defenders of the capitalist system.

          Finally I think Katherine could have Abe all wrong. Abe may never want to get married once he ages and becomes more radicalized if that occurs.

  133. Not tonight her pahpah tells her. What? Is this your passion? As opposed to what I trained you for my little Nikita. Ummmm……..

  134. What I want to know is what Megan and her dad are conspiring on?

    • Yeah, was she supposed to follow in his footsteps. God, I hate those armchair Marxist professor types. I don’t mind real Marxists but the professor types are loathsome. Total killjoys. Meanwhile what has he done for the masses lately? And he’s a shit to his wife.

      • As one of those “killjoy Marxist [and feminist…and cultural studies…etc.] professor types,” I didn’t see Emile expecting Megan to follow in his footsteps at all. It seemed that he was either referring to her acting aspirations or perhaps something else that will later be revealed.

        • Megan’s father seems like a chip off the old Marxist intellectual block: an elite who paternalistically knows what’s best for those silly common folk. I don’t think the writers needed to show him being an ass to his wife for the audience to be hostile to this character.

          [Please review the comment policy. –Deborah]

    • I think Emile was referring to the fact that Megan went to NYC with dreams of becoming an artist of some sort. While I’m not a fan of Emile from his debut, I think he was calling Megan out a bit for perhaps selling herself short.

      Not unlike Anita Olsen’s rap to Peggy.

      • Oh, total bookends, Anita/Peggy and Emile/Megan. Same problem, just different flavors?

        I’d like to know more about how Don perceives his wife after learning more about her parents’ real relationship. I’m surprised he didn’t already know that Papa has grad student girlfriends, is nasty to his wife, who drinks, and Maman is bitter/a flirt. Seems like newlywed pillow talk conversation.

        • I was surprised by that, too. Did Megan not tell Don anything about her parents’ relationship — which seems pretty lousy on most levels.

          • Could Megan’s dad’s cheating on Marie and then the constant bickering over that fact cause Don to look at his own cheating from a different viewpoint and perhaps realize his marriage to Megan will end up the same way if he ever cheats on her.

      • Is her name Anita??? I thought Anita was the name of Peggy’s sister.

        edited: The mother’s name is actually Katherine.

        • I didn’t know her name but someone further up said Anita so I picked it up. You’re correct, it’s Katherine or some variant spelling thereof (I didn’t check the exact spelling).

      • Peggy’s mother’s name is not Anita. Anita is Peggy’s sister. Abe called her mother Catherine in tonight’s episode.

        • Yup-he did mention the name, but before I remembered that, I googled:

          Myra Turley plays Katherine Olson. (The show uses that spelling)

    • I thought Megan’s father was referring to her following her passion, which is singing and acting – not advertising.

  135. I do. Was seriously heartbreaking.

  136. I’m still wondering what goals Megan had been working toward before meeting and marrying Don. Her father made it seem like she was such a different person now. Was she something so different before becoming Don’s receptionist? Maybe that’s why she was so lukewarm about coming up with the Heinz campaign, almost like she was a little ashamed of becoming a part of the whole thing.

    • I thought they were referring to her dreams of becoming an actress.

    • Being an actress would certainly seem more cultural/artist that being in advertising to her Father. Actually, tough I think it is a lot like acting.

      • Agreed. Also, his approval of her acting career would surely depend on what kinds of plays she was in. Serious, political plays about big sweeping ideas, avant garde stuff, or the great classics, sure. But what would he think of light Broadway fare? Musicals? No better than advertising, surely.

    • Megan came to NYC to be an actress, as I recall.

    • Interesting Megan’s parents visit inspired her idea for the Heinz campaign when Daddy dearest is so opposed to advertising.

  137. theme can also connect to perception that the husbands had for their wives…abilities, input, roles, equality in the union, skills…seen with mona, heinz, kenny, meghan, emile/marie, peggy/abe…

    • The wives made so much happen in this episode. Mona helped Roger with high-level connections, Megan came up with the Heinz idea and ensured it was pitched before they were fired, Heinz guy’s wife tipped off Megan to the imminent firing, Marie, well….etc.

  138. The first 50+ minutes were funny and light, then at the end … whack, everyone (Peggy, Don, Megan, Sally) gets hit between the eyes. Though, knowing Peggy’s mom, she should have seen that coming.

    • I know. That scene of them all sitting at the table, each shell-shocked for a different reason. That reminded me of a famous movie scene but I can’t think what. Somebody will come along and tell us.

      At Sally’s age (12?) had I seen what she did, I might not have grasped what it was about exactly. What is it with adults not locking doors?

  139. Great episode! Laughed out loud about 15 times. And many classic Mad Men twists of fate, people who seem like winners turning into losers and vice versa.

    Only complaint is Sally walking in on Roger was a soapy plot turn. Terrific hour, though.

    • Yes, what could be the reason that Sally need to see that. Dispel the mystery/romance of the city. Very upsetting for her to see that, she was having such a great time.

      • Obviously meant to type, needed to see that.

      • Yeah, it was pretty crushing to see her see that. Innocence lost in an instant.

        • Yup, no more Shirley Temple for Sally. Note how the waiter comes and whisks it away. Poor thing.

        • I’m not sure if what Sally saw goes into the “innocence lost” column or into the “confusion added to” column. In S-4, she told Don’s neighbor (the nurse, who babysat for Bobby and Sally) that she knew what adults did — “the man pees inside the woman”.

          • Although this was two people she knew: her new step-grandmother and her “uncle”/”date” Roger, both of whom she knows are married to others, in public, during a ball.

          • I vote for confusion added. She’s never had a chance to be innocent.

            She’s a liar and she’s busy inventing a persona for herself. Remember in the Richard Speck episode (yes it has a name and a number but to me it’s the Richard Speck episode) she told Pauline, “But I’m really a nice girl?” or something to that effect. She isn’t, actually, and it’s a good thing she’s not because she’d be in constant danger.

            She’s doing what she has to do.

          • Jzzy, pretty startling comment. But I think you’re right!

      • Gary Middleton and Help4NewMoms:

        Isn’t Mad Men *precisely* about having Sally see that? Isn’t it *precisely* about so-called adults being so preoccupied with their own physical and personal gratification that they fail to properly model what it means to be a grown-up to their children? Isn’t this *precisely* who and what Don was to Betty and the kids, thinking that he had the structure of his life figured out but never really being content enough or comfortable enough in his own skin to really commit to that kind of life as a family man?

        Sally saw Megan’s bare back in “A Little Kiss.” We’ve all seen her exposed to more and more sexuality and an understanding of what it is. In this episode, she gets a new sense of awareness – through personal observation – that sexuality is and can be used destructively, and one can see – through her father’s history and upbringing – how turbulent her sexual story is going to be. She will certainly have one self-destructive romp (quite possibly with Glenn, but perhaps with somebody else) before the series ends in season seven. This certainly seems to be a natural evolution of Sally’s story, one in which “adults” have rarely if ever been truly “grown up” in her presence. It’s poignant, and in a heartbreaking way, but it’s excellent storytelling in line with the tone and trajectory of this series.

        • I can see your point and I agree, but, call me naive, I also don’t think Mad Man purposefully adds scenes like this to point out the flaws in all of these characters and their horrible parenting/coping styles. I like to think instead that it points out what very often happens in almost everyone’s life at one time or another. For example, when Sally sees Megan’s rear-end, it is another clue in her discovering sexuality. I don’t think Sally’s story is particularly unique in this way, although it is unique to see it dramatized in such an honest way. Don’t you think every twelve year old is exposed to these kinds of sexual puzzle pieces in their life? It is hardly the fault of the parents because hopefully the parents are naturally sexual in some way. Doesn’t eveyone have that “catching their parents doing it” moment at about that age? The “catching Roger scene” however seemed different from the show’s treatment of Sally’s awakening thus far and I haven’t figured out why. I don’t automatically jump to the conclusion that this is going to make Sally
          promiscuous, thug, I suspect there is another lesson here.

          • One thing my husband pointed out – and which I felt silly for not having thought of myself – was the fact that this child actress is being subjected to these scenes (whether or not she actually sees anything is irrelevant – she knows what the character is supposed to be seeing). That’s another somewhat disturbing layer, here. I’m not so naive to think that the actress isn’t wise beyond her years, but, still…

          • The little actress in a recent interview said she was not allowed to watch certain episodes. And obviously she didn’t actually witness the scene with Roger and Marie. So hopefully she is not that affected by the seedier side of MM.

        • I know — this is one thought I have had in nearly every scene with Sally since Season One: this poor child has never gotten any real parenting. Except perhaps from Carla.

          • Rather naive– Even if Ms. Shipka is not allowed to watch ( or to be filmed in ) certain scenes, she has a real life; she has friends who likely have seen the show and asked her about it. Her interviews clearly demonstrate an awareness of her characters exposures to things “Dirty”.
            And she was personally involved in the sleepover/touching scene and its aftermath. Sally/Ms. Shipka wasn’t born yesterday, and knows what is going on. She just handles it very well and is to be commended.

  140. Oooh, Mama Olson scared the hell out of me! I wouldn’t shack up without a ring on my finger if I was Peggy! Those two are great together. I bet her mother just feels as if, first her daughter gets pregnant, then “lives in sin”. Poor Pegs.

  141. Peggy seems to be still wearing those poufy dresses. I remember what it took to wear those – a crinoline petticoat. Very, very scratchy, especially when one sat down!

  142. I almost want to see Stan and Peggy explore something…..and I still obsess over the Peggy and Pete plot line.

    • I like Stan a lot. He and Peggy do get along well now. Notice that she wasn’t even hurt or offended when he said the thing about, “He’s too good-looking for you.” (Abe) She looked amused, actually.

      • It seems comfortable with them. I like their connection.

      • Stan and Peggy have a great relationship. I am not sure Stan is straight though. I would rather see more Sam then Ginsberg.

        • I kind of had a hunch that Stan might be gay. Really just because I wish they would have a gay character and by a series of deductions in my mind I deduced it down to Stan. Who else could it be? But then I thought about the girlie magazines he had in that hotel room with Peggy when they were working together. Of course he might just be trying to convince everybody he’s not. I gotta keep my eye on him.

          • I feel like if that were the case he wouldn’t have gotten an erection the minute Peggy stripped.

    • Stan definitely has a hidden crush on Peggy.

    • Me too.I want to see more of Stan, and I dont understand why they dont give him a bit more storyline if he was promoted to series regular.I did love the barely concealed sarcasm in the smile he gave to Megan when congratulating her (NOT a Megan fan in the least).

      And I want a Peg and Stan pairing very badly. To me he is exactly what she needs, her complete opposite.

      • When they both dressed down to their undergarments in season four, their differences were revealed. That they get along now is the story in itself. Stan is a peripheral character. Abe is the man whose dimensions need to be unwrapped, in my mind.

        • I dont know, I think Abe has already shown layers.And Jay Ferguson (Stan) is in the main cast now.Guy who plays Abe isnt.So I would find it much more fitting that Stan get more focus than Abe.

    • Me too…Peggy and Pete! And forgive me…Peggy and Don

  143. At the end, the five at the banquet table looked like they’d had a dose of cod liver oil…

  144. Megan seemed to have less make-up on in the office or was I imagining that?

  145. Megan was made to feel a little bit awkward by Peggy’s congratulations “this is as good as this job gets.” Although she took it graciously, Peggy could tell.

    Peggy doesn’t understand that Megan wants so much more than copywriter, and is capable of so much more.

    And what was the thing Megan’s father referred to that she gave up on? Acting? Or something else?

    Is Don finished? He just found out his name is poison.

    • Yeah, so what did Megan give up on? Writing the great Canadian novel? Acting? His attitude does explain why she might not be able to enjoy her success. Peggy is saddled with different expectations and values than Megan, but they both have difficult parents who withhold affection and bully them with their values.

    • This is where Megan may come to the rescue. Folks may NOT like Don but they may get to like her as she becomes better known and recognized in the advertising community.

      Notice how Raymond (Heinz exec) was about to leave the table when Megan engaged him in a conversation which led to Don closing the deal to keep Heinz in the SCDP tent.

      • And she made it look like it was his idea. This woman is crazy smart. Just look at her parents. They’re both so smart they’re making each other miserable.

      • A very significant accomplishment by Matt Weiner, in terms of advancing the story and the larger narrative arc of Mad Men, emerged from this episode: It is now established, beyond any doubt, that Megan has the chops to work in this profession. That wasn’t quite clear from previous episodes. Glimpses of talent here and there, yes, but not something that could/would make a decisive difference. This episode put those uncertainties to rest. I think it’s good that Weiner and Co. didn’t wait multiple episodes to keep this question lingering. It shapes and will continue to shape the way Megan’s character is developed, especially within her relationship with Don and, moreover, her family.

    • Owsley, wasn’t her achievement much more than that of copywriter? She did the work of an account executive on this one too.

      • Yeah, but Peggy doesn’t get that yet. That’s why she doesn’t understand Megan’s reaction to her compliment. She thinks Megan wants to be like her, when really Megan wants to be like Don or even more than that.

        • Well said.

        • Nah, Megan is realizing that this gig isn’t for her. She’s embarrassed by it all, look how awkward she was at the party when introduced as a copywriter. If that was ‘as good as the job gets’ then she’s going to have an unfiufilling career.

          • I think she just figured out how easy it is for her not just to come up with copy ideas, but also to manipulate people, and that she’s damned good at it, and that’s not what she thought she’d be doing with herself if she lived out Daddy’s fantasy for her. She was supposed to be doing something honorable and pure in the arts, I guess. Actually Marxists consider art to be just another capitalist consumer product, unless it is used for political purposes.

          • Chris, jzzy55:

            Very astute analysis from both of you! Thank you!

          • These 2 comments make a lot of sense. Megan’s personality doesn’t seem to fit with the cynical, manipulative types at the office like Don, Roger and Pete (and to an increasing extent, Peggy). Along with her dad’s comments, she is probably realizing that this isnt what she wnats. She said as much to Don in the first episode on the carpet, that she was considering not working there. Her co-workers don’t seem to take her seriously either given her marriage to Don. And Peggy noticed she wasn’t happy about winning Heinz, maybe because she had to manipulate others to get there.

            Her dad also criticized her lifestyle with Don and the decadent apartment that was handed to her, and we’ve seen her dissatisfaction with Don a lot (lashing out in the diner, sulking on the balcony, phoning her mother to complain). So maybe she is rethinking her entire life with Don too.

        • Owsley, I like your name.

      • In season 4 episode 11 Chinese Wall, Don asked Megan to bring in Ken Cosgrove’s campaign strategies and then told her she could leave. It was only when Megan asked Don if she could help him by suggesting she could eliminate many of the mistakes she was making and also asserting her own dreams to do what Don did or Peggy did one day that Don relented and she stayed. And then after Don inquired where Megan was from and why she came to NYC, she told him about her background, her artistic nature and that she was a creative person.

        Don is the type of personality who pigeonholes people into various categories. And when he told Megan he had no clue that she felt this way he acted surprised because he was. In addition he had no way of knowing how creative Megan really was.

        And in Season 4 episode 12 Blowing Smoke when Megan complimented Don for “the letter” to the NYT, Don thought she didn’t understand the underlying purpose of it. When she told Don she fully understood what his strategy was, Don learned a little more about Megan.

        And even after Don married Megan, Don still didn’t realize the full extent of Megan’s talents even living under the same roof with her. This is like a head football coach having a player on his team who is playing wide receiver but not recognizing he is out of position and should be playing defensive back. So I am not just picking on Don here.

        And as an aside speaking of Don played by Jon Hamm, some executives at AMC TV did not think he was sexy enough to play Don Draper.

        Anyway season 5 episode 6 Far Away Places in terms of Don and Megan was all about Don not allowing Megan to do her own thing at work. After that episode Don realized he better allow Megan more freedom and opportunity to advance her career, but even at that point did not consider Megan as formidable.

        But Megan’s brilliance in saving the Heinz account in Don’s mind elevated Megan into a higher level of respect and as always Don was clued out until episode 7 to how brilliant Megan really was.

        But I will say this about Don: He may be slow on the uptake but once he discovers something he updates his info in his memory bank real fast about that individual. Don will no longer look at Megan the same way as he did before. Note how happy Don was in the back of the cab with Megan as he processed that he was not only married to a woman who he was sexually attracted to but also one he totally respected for her creativity at work as well.

    • I don’t know if “so much more” is fair. Being a copywriter is a good job. I think her father was saying that she’s settling for someone else’s profession–Don’s. Rather than going for what she originally wanted.

    • Don’s been smacked down professionally two episodes in a row now…

  146. This show contrasted quite nicely with last week trippy episode with a big dose of reality. The expressions on everybody’s faces at the table at the end told you more than enough. Megan finally proves her worth but it suddenly feels shallow, Don gets to hear what everybody really thinks about his *bold* move from last season, Peggy really is selling herself short and then poor, poor Sally isn’t as ready to be a grown up as she thought.

    • And maman has a big secret. They looked less upset than anyone else. Papa had just ruined Megan’s evening — score! And maman had embraced life once again, and was feeling good about it. We didn’t see Roger there, though.

  147. In Tomorrowland, Megan told Don about her friend from college being too interested in her father who was a professor. I thought that was a throwaway line but I should known by now nothing is a throwaway line in Mad Men.

    And with her father being a philanderer, Megan is very aware of these tendencies and thus was not surprised she learned that about Don. In other words Megan has no reason to be naive about Don’s past affairs.

    • Nice catch.

    • Good point. Maybe Emile is the French academic equivalent of don draper. There’s that stereotype that women marry their fathers (men like their fathers).

      • Now that’s INteresting. VERY interesting. He’s a philanderer with whatever young lady is at hand. I wonder if Mrs Calvet was his student.

        • As the child of academic from that era, I could tell you so many stories like Emile’s….. It’s so common it’s a cliche.

          • Academics. Typo.

          • Like doctors and nurses — any situation where the sex roles were rigid and the male has the higher income/status.

            I live in academia and it’s totally different now. Fooling around with students is grounds for firing, and many profs are now women. Also many profs are now married to each other as well.

    • Yeah, it sounds like he has been doing it with one grad student after another. At least, that was the subtext.

    • In addition to Megan’s father being a well-known philanderer (apparently to his wife and daughter at least), Megan’s mother apparently is a big drinker. So Megan has witnessed the effects of a man’s cheating on his wife, and she has also apparently cleaned up after a drunken parent and made sure they were safe.

      Considering both those things, it’s not too surprising she chose to marry a man who she already knew was both a cheat and a drunk. She may have moved from Quebec to New York City, but Megan didn’t stray too far from “home” (the known) as she thought.

      • Very well said!

      • That’s exactly what I thought, Brooklyn Jan. Another layer we are seeing of Megan’s foundations is that she is playing out, or reacting to, her upbringing in her marriage.

        I feel like Megan’s childhood must have been a lot like Sally’s — her parents are completely self-centered, say and do inappropriate things in front of children, have a very hostile relationship, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if Megan walked in on her dad (and/or mom) getting an extra-martial BJ or something similar during her childhood.

      • That’s very insightful. Occasionally when I watch the show I’ll see a scene and wonder, “why did they show us that?” I thought this about the milkshake spilling in Tomorrowland and didn’t understand it until I read what others said about it later. And I thought this last night when I saw Megan go into Sally’s room where her mother was sleeping. Now I see, it was to show that her mother is a drinker and Megan knew to “clean up” after her, douse her cigarette, etc. It shows Megan has dealt with people like Don in her life before, with her parents. Maybe that is why she is good with appeasing him.

  148. Another contemporary cultural reference: During dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Baked Beans, they mention seeing “the new Edward Albee play.” That would have to be A Delicate Balance, which opened on Broadway on September 22nd, 1966.

    • Albee wrote Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, too, and Mr & Mrs Calvert are quite the George and Martha pair.

      “Martha, you have ugly talents.”

  149. Very well written episode, maybe my favorite this season as it is the tease for the payoffs coming in episodes 10-13. So many ways things can go. Roger and Megan’s mother, Peggy and Abe, Sally and…. Sally. Have a feeling that next week will set up additional stories; hopefully, ones with Joanie, Lane, and Pete.

    One complaint… I genuinely liked Megan last season. However, I too have the feeling that MW is forcing this character on us. I love Mad Men; not ” The Megan Show”. Not to be morbid (some seem convinced that a major character will meet their doom this season). Could it be that MW is making such a big deal about her and her role in Don’s life that he plans to do away with her… either by death or leaving Don, sending him back into the spiral that is his existence.

    • Tom,

      Megan’s character really hadn’t been developed that much before last week’s episode. The revelations tonight set up not “The Megan Show,” but abundant tensions that include Megan and will ripple through both Don’s life and the workings of SCDP. I think Megan’s being integrated into the larger whole of the series in such a way that the themes Mad Men is so good at exploring will continue to be presented in rich, artful ways. Megan’s father and the “what was it Emile Calvet expected his daughter to do?” question have provided a great subtext for much soul-searching and inner torment in Megan’s life, torment that will challenge her, Don, and the SCDP workplace. I can’t wait. 🙂

    • Last season was very much about Don’s downward spiral (for much of the season). This season, “Don and Megan” is a big part of Mad Men. Of course, we’re seeing other prominent storylines too (for Roger, Peggy, Joan, Pete, etc.), but it seems often one storyline prevails, at least for a while.

  150. Tonight everyone was misrepresenting themselves. Don taking an award for an insincere letter. Rodger feeling enlightened by his LSD trip, but not being. Peggy, despite being open with her mother, moving in with Abe when in fact she was hoping for marriage. Poor little Sally, with her makeup thinking she was older than she actually is, and lying about how her grandmother tripped. Megan, pretending to like the ad business when it seems she might actually not.

    Maybe that’s why “The Codfish Ball”? A fantasy?

    Glen, also, usually seems to make an appearance in the episode when someone’s true nature needs revealing. He calls ’em like he sees ’em.

  151. So what is Megan’s passion that her father thinks she is pushing aside to be married to the rich guy and work in advertising? He kept mentioning her passion. Could it be acting (“Megan is such a good actress”, her friend said).

    And I think we see some roots of Megan and don’s relationship– megan’s parents seem to have some of that fight like cats and dogs and then make up dynamic that don and megan do.

    Also, is Julia Ormand really old enough to be Megan’s mothher?

    • This is discussed upthread, but yes — acting or some other artistic field.

    • meghan’s father is awful…imposing his will on everyone…ick.

      • I enjoyed his interaction with Pete though. Pete was awfully proud of himself for that one and I was happy for him, he needs it.

        • The writing was very strong in that scene. As was the acting. A real golden little MM moment.

        • i also thought pete exposed him as a self-aggrandizing hypocrite…sort of like when his wife said his opinion of the apt. and his politics were at odds with one another.

      • Emile is the left bookend to Lane’s father’s right bookend

    • Julia O. Is 17 years older than Jessica Pare, so it’s mathematically possible, I guess…

      • Except in a previous episode, Megan said she was the youngest of five children in her family!

    • Elizabeth – Julia Ormond is 47. So yes, old enough to be Megan’s mother…I figure Marie is supposed to be somewhere between 45 and 50 and we’ve heard before that Megan is 26. (Although Jessica Pare is 29 IRL)

      • Didn’t Megan say something about coming from a big family? And she’s the baby… so I guess Mom is supposed to be a hot 50-something,

        • Yes, Megan said in Tomorrowland that she has seven nieces and nephews! So she must have several siblings who are quite a bit older than her. So although Julia Ormond is only about 20 years older than Jessica Pare, in order to have had all those siblings before Megan, Megan’s mom would need to be at least a few years older than the actress playing her.

          Just one more instance of any actress over 40 being lumped into the “I’m an old crone” vat. Hollywood has long tended to treat all women over 40 as essentially being 75. Angela Landsbury was almost the same age as the man whose mother she played in The Manchurian Candidate. Same with Sally Field playing Tom Hanks’ mother in Forrest Gump. And a thousand other instances. This pisses me off so much! The Julia Ormand instance is a little less egregious, but still part of that ongoing trend, I think. It sucks.

    • Or maybe the passion is not Megan’s at all. Maybe it’s a passion that belongs to her father and he is imposing it on his daughter. He disapproves of her lifestyle and her husband. He uses his belief system as an excuse to say very hurtful things to his daughter.

      Peggy is in a similar situation. Her mother is upset with her because Peggy will not live the way that Mrs. Olson wants her to live. She is using her belief system as an excuse to say very hurtful things to her daughter.

    • There’s something very important to be said about Megan’s mother. Even while Megan’s father became the focal point of the episode in some ways, it came across rather clearly that Megan is more her mother’s child than her father’s. Megan’s mother, in that revealing dialogue with Roger, is a “you have to get what you want” type of person, and that neatly expresses the way Megan went after Don.

      This underscores an important point about the Megan-Don relationship: Though it was indeed Don’s decision to ask for Megan’s hand in marriage, and Don who has acted with unpardonable anger and an entirely unacceptable quick-trigger temper (enough to abandon and endanger Megan at the HoJo last week), the process of courtship was advanced by that first encounter in Don’s office, when Megan wanted Don’s body and not anything else at the time. This episode completes the mother-daughter circle in the Calvet family, and it reminds us that Megan is also intent on getting what she wants. That’s not bad. It’s not sinful or value-negative, certainly not within the context of the series or the way it’s written. What it DOES show, though, is that Megan engaged in some game-playing and hardball to get Don’s attention, and that’s why – as horribly as Don has treated her – Megan would not seriously think of wanting to leave Don. She’s competitive, as are her parents; she wants to be expressive, not chained to a rigid set of expectations and the felt need to conform to them. She is her mother’s daughter, not her father’s. That’s a very important takeaway from this. Her father hates Don, and so that has made, is making, and will continue to make Megan Calvet Draper want to be with her husband, realizing that there will be blow-ups (such as the ones she’s experienced in her family over decades) and that they’ll be surmounted…….

      ……. at least in the short run. (Two more years of crap from Don — yeah, that would set up an explosive season 7 moment.)

      • Very, very interesting thoughts! It will be fascinating to see if the story development bears out this interpretation…

        I’m liking your thoughtful comments, mzemek.

      • I thought a fascinating scene was when Megan told Don that her mom Marie touched Don on six different occasions.

        And then Don responded he thought it was a French thing.

        And then Megan said, “It’s not that.

        Interpreted, I think Megan is fully aware of what her mother is like and by letting Don in on a habitual trait of her mother she was doing three things: Showing she trusted Don implicitly, secondly to subtly tell Don she was not like that herself and did not approve of her mother’s attentions to Don, and finally to let Don know that not too much ever escapes her attention and if Don think he can put something over on Megan he better think twice.

        • between touching Don and blowing Roger, Marie is flipping off Emile. He’s a cuckold.

  152. there’s a lot of prompting of conversations…kind of like the megan at the heinz meeting, and then there is the scene with sally being prompted by don about how she helped pauline…

  153. That sex scene in the back seat of the cab was absolutely beautiful. Don’s love for Megan was no longer just based on sex. You could tell by his ebullient reaction to her brilliance at work that he was in seventh heaven. Honestly Don never thought of Megan as close to a co-equal when it came to his work. After today’s episode there is no turning back.

    But that doesn’t mean their personal problems simply will disappear. But at least now Don won’t be objecting to Megan devoting herself to SCDP.

    Lost in the downer last few minutes of the episode was that SCDP secured the Heinz contract long-term. That is a huge deal. Nothing can overshadow that.

  154. One of the great comments ever on this blog was the week after Tomorrowland. Someone wrote that the look on Megan’s face after DD gets up to leave from her bed in Disneyland meant: ‘Comrade, I have infiltrated Capitalist dupe.’
    That Megan theme is playing louder and louder in my head. I know I’m being pedantic but Megan is a fraud. The biggest liar ever, Don will be the mark in a great deception. Megan (is that even her name?) was on assignment, but fell in love. Something that is so unlikely that it has to be true.
    There is lunatic conspiracy theory. You know I’m right. 🙂

    • Who’s she working for, the KGB?

    • Don, the big player with the dual identity finally met his match!! 🙂

      • Correct! The delicious irony.

      • Excellent point, Barbara. Who the hell is Megan Calvet, anyway?

        • and why did her uber-Frenchie parents name her Megan??

          • Groan. That question has flamed, died and been reborn several times here on BoK. I’m in the “it’s not a French name, not a 40s name, and just all wrong” camp but others disagree.

          • That’s her code name in the underground. 🙂 No one in Quebec was named Megan. Dead giveaway.

          • Yeah, I remember the big to-do over her name… kind of my reason for jokingly bringing it up. (Also agree it’s all wrong btw – my guess is that they named her before realizing they wanted to keep Jessica Pare on, and what back story they would give her, and by then they were stuck with the name.)

    • Wow! Now all kinds of ideas for how this could play out are running through my head! Megan as a stilted seems to be the key. To what door, who knows…

      • Stilted actress, I mean.

        • Hell of an actress. Last shot of The Beautiful Girls, Megan(?) is applying her make-up standing up at her desk with DD’s never opened office door, conveniently ajar at that moment and Don is paralyzed. Like ‘Ida is not definitely NOT my secretary anymore’.
          Well played hook by our fair maiden.

    • Tilden, you are a little wackadoo, you know that, right? I love it.

  155. Could it be that Peg isn’t ready to be actually married, but would have loved to be asked?

    • I agree, there was plenty of Peggy ambivalence regarding either option. I think she isn’t ready to get married, but she also doesn’t want to be alone, and she is in love with Abe, although she’s not the type to go all head-over-heels. She doesn’t want to be a cat lady living alone in a small NYC apartment.

      Interesting that apparently Joan hasn’t gone public with her Greg problems yet.

      • Given Joan’s general personality, the shock is that she revealed there was a problem to anyone, including Peggy.

        • I totally agree, Karl. Speaks volumes about the way Peggy & Joan’s relationship has grown. Not that they’re BFFs, of course, but Joan is so much more open and honest with her than she ever was before.

        • Joanie is very generous with Peggy now. Is it because Kevin has softened her, and makes her less prone to giving ‘a Joan withering’ to anyone. Or is Peggy still a mess that she tries to guide?

          • Being a mother is probably part of it, but I think Joan has also been a little humbled by being in a marriage that didn’t work out.

          • Who’s Kevin?

          • Joan has definitely seen her dream of marrying a doctor not work out as she hoped, and I believe that has opened her mind to believing that she doesn’t know everything and doesn’t want to push her ideas on others as much as she did previously, especially with Peggy and the other women, earlier in this show.

            I thought it was significant that her first response was “you’re shacking up?” (Joan pre-marriage to Dr. Rapo and her belief that marriage to the “right” man would ensure her the life she wanted) — and then she quickly changed that to her more recent realization of the (possible) realities that dreams like that may come to.

          • Kevin is Joan’s baby.

        • Joan may feel she’s learned something from her marriage that informs her advice to Peggy. It may even be a sort of callback to the advice Joan gave Peggy about marrying a doctor in the pilot.

          Plus, for all of Peggy’s bossy moments, she usually doesn’t kick people when they’re down.

      • Oh my god, the cat thing – what a terrible, horrible thing for her mother to say.

        • And it’s so on target from the type of woman in that time period. The type who just accepted their lot. Widowed? Get a pet. Don’t disgrace yourself by having “needs.”

        • “The cat thing” – yup..sounds like my 1950s mother to a T. A Catholic convert, no less. (and sounds similar to my dad’s continual mantra “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free”… my entire life..and that of my 5 sisters’ lives).

        • and perfect. Mama O never changes. Maybe Peggy finally figured that out. Her Mom’s right, they didn’t need to tell her

  156. Hey, it worked!

  157. By the way Jonathan Igla who wrote this episode also wrote Tomorrowland. He seems to know exactly how to address the Megan character and have her come off as spectacular.

    And I loved it the way Megan made sure that Don got all the credit for the new Heinz strategy. Remember how Pete almost got fired in the first season for going off the reservation and talking ideas without running them by Don first.

    • True–although I think it was also a bit of “the woman behind the man.” A bit like Betty smoothing the way at the dinner with the Barretts and Schillings. Megan’s there as his wife as well as a copywriter, but maybe more in the wife role at those dinners.

  158. what letter did Don write???

  159. I liked how they showed that Ken was reading what was happening at the dinner an after an initial misstep ultimately made the timely suggestion (champagne) that closed the deal.

    Way to think on your feet Kenny!

    • I noticed that too. Ken’s awesome. (He’s always been one of my favorites)

      • I actually think Ken takes a big hit tonight. His father in law was a real douche to Don, yet you may recall when Kenny would not pitch SCDP to him, telling Don “I love Cynthia’s dad.” and Cynthia won’t take help from her parents because it comes with strings attached. Bad judgment call Ben Hargrove!

        • Ken is trying to keep his work-life and his professional life separate. He didn’t try to keep that choice a secret from anyone. It will be interesting to see how it plays out long term.

    • Yes, he has been a real asset lately. Becoming a strong character.

  160. A little off topic but I noticed they are really developing Kens character. He has been prominent in every episode this season. At the same time Harry’s character is dwindling. I love the scene in the office the morning after the Heinz dinner, Harry finishes Kens story about what happened and Ken says, off camera, “you weren’t even there”. I got a chuckle from that.

    • Me too. It was a bit of a Paul line, imo. (If Kinsey was still around, I could hear him saying that to Harry)

      Harry’s really good for comic relief. Ken’s just really good. 🙂

    • Love Kenny C! glad he is getting more time.
      and his wife seems like she would be more interesting than Megan and Trudy. Megan needs to do more than sell ad space for beans as a one off things.

  161. This season I noticed that Megan has been sitting at Don’s desk, twice….can’t remember specific episodes but she has been working at Don’s desk…

  162. We’re 7 episodes in and I don’t think Don and Peggy have had one meaningful scene together. So. Very. Weird. Especially since at this time last season it was The Suitcase.

  163. I’m not seeing comments about this yet…

    Megan’s brilliant Heinz pitch idea about daughters becoming their mothers throughout time and into the future. That is frightening, because we met Megan’s mother in the same episode.

    I don’t believe that her fling with Roger was a new experience. We see where Megan gets the skills at manipulating her husband, and we see what might be to come for Don & Megan.

    • Megan’s pitch was daughter’s becoming their mothers, but the ad Don pitched at the dinner was a mother serving food to her son.

      • Indeed, though the watching the encore makes me think they switched to a son before the dinner w/ Heinz.

    • I think the show often deals with the subject of people struggling with “Will we become our parents?” (or in Peggy’s case, her mentor.)

      Don. Betty. Sally. Lane. Possibly Megan.

  164. Is there still a restaurant on top of the Time-Life Building?

  165. I think the brilliance of episode 7 would not have manifested itself without the story development from the first 6 episodes.

    The relationship of Abe and Peggy evolving.

    Don recapturing his mojo.

    Megan being allowed to do her job and live up to her potential.

    Roger feeling more positive about himself.

    Sally and Megan bonding.

    I expect in the next episode we’ll see more about Joan and Pete.

    • This episode was a snoozer till those last 10 minutes. Then a blizzard of sturm and drang. Restored faith. Mama Olson, the co-conspiracy of Megan and daddy. The reveal of the letter. Sally opening the door was gratuitous. Weakest 7th episode ever. But, hey, look at the competition.

      Roger is the best character on television.

  166. Abe likes ham. Peggy’s mom is surprised. Funny.

  167. Paint by numbers ballerinas in Sally’s room.

    “Good night, you animals” that’s what Megan’s mom says to the kids before she retires early. That’s the same exact thing Megan said to the kids in Tomorrowland.

  168. Megan says she doesn’t know whether the idea is good or terrible. Not unlike Peggy in “The Suitcase.”

  169. Anyone else stunned by Megan’s father’s crack about Sally spreading her legs and flying away? I wanted Don to smack him.

    • It was wildly inappropriate. So of course, Roger laughed.

    • I think they all realized it was a bit of a “lost in translation” error – I have to admit I was laughing right along with Roger

      • My biggest laugh was when Ken’s wife asked for more coffee at the emotional peak of the pitch conversation. Saw it again just now and laughed so loud I think I woke my kid.

        • That was amusing. She works in a field (book publishing) that is a lot less smoke and mirrors. It got more big-business and marketing-oriented later on, but at that point it was still very genteel. Certainly wherever she works is likely very genteel.

      • Or was it. Hard to tell, the more we got to know Emile.
        Meanwhile, in audience land I laughed, then I frowned wondering if Emile only pretended to slip up.

        • I ABSOLUTELY thought Emile made the “gaffe” on purpose. He knew it would be ambiguous whether he was making a language mistake. But it wasn’t. Not a mistake at all.

      • No, he definitely said it on purpose. He’s quite an interesting fellow, this Emile. And he definitely does not like Don shagging his daughter.

        • Well, he can compare notes with Peggy’s mother, and see that at least HIS daughter is married. Maybe he didn’t want her to marry — he wanted her to avoid that trap. Lots of motives and feelings we’re not aware of yet.

          Hey, did anyone else think about “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” George/Emile, Martha/Mrs Calvet, Honey/Megan and Nick/Don. 1962

        • I just loved Mrs. Calvet – “What? It’s true…”

  170. Joan: “It is what it is?”

    Were people saying that back then, in that same way? Because it’s such a cliche right now, especially in offices.

    • They use so much current lingo on this show which was obviously not in use in the ’60s that I am wondering if it is on purpose. I mean come on – there is no way MW or anyone else wouldn’t have caught that one.

      • “It is what it is” is found in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke, from 1836.

  171. So much in this ep about success and failure, and how success is in the eye of the beholder.

    “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” –John Rohn

  172. So Megan saved the Heinz account, and Don cost them countless ones with his letter.

    • Someone pointed out above, very insightfully I think, that likely they can still get things like Heinz and Playtex, they just can’t get the really big fish like the ones they were hoping to meet at this event: Dow, GM, really big companies like that. So maybe it’s not the end of the world.

  173. Don getting an award is a pretty reliable sign that misfortune will befall him.

    • Exellent Point!
      Season 1- Don wins an award, and the published photo leads Adam to him. (“5G”)
      Season 3- Don wins an award just as Betty has discovered his secret and is confronted shortly thereafter (“The Color Blue”)
      Season 4- The Clio awards marked a big step in the descent of Don Draper (Doris. lol) (“Waldorf Stories”)

  174. Emile is played by Ronald Guttman.

  175. The last award he won, he got mad and threw it in the trash. And who fished it out? Was it Megan?

    • Yes. The actress began her entrapment with that gesture.

      • Has this Megan theory been mentioned previously? Fascinating…I need to go back and read up. Maybe she didn’t take the bus home from the Howard Johnson’s…

        • I don’t buy the entrapment scenario.

          In S-4 Megan told Don she wanted to move beyond a secretarial role at the firm. Was that merely a ploy in an elaborate plan to be invited to Disneyland, hit it off great with the kids and inspire Don to propose marriage? All that to be in a position to get set up in a modern Manhattan pad by night and be a junior copywriter by day? Then, to brilliantly win a major canned goods account for SCDP.

          Sorry, but I just don’t see how any of that works out to trap and to ultimately destroy Don Draper, personally or professionally.

          • I thought the moment of truth for Megan was when Don and Megan were lying in bed in her hotel room presumedly after having sex that Don opened the conversation by asking Megan if the thought had crossed her mind about having sex with him again after Don asked her to accompany him to CA to help him look after the kids.

            Many women would have played coy and lied that the thought never crossed their mind but Megan told the truth that it was the “first thing that crossed her mind” and she was going to miss him so much anyway. How do we know she told the truth? I think it’s quite obvious by the scene.

            If Megan had set out to trap Don you would have thought she would have been more subtle than “I want you now” (Chinese Wall) and the above admission to Don. Entrapment and being super-aggressive are mutually exclusive ideas.

            Thus Don reacted in an atypical way for him. He tried to talk Megan out of loving him. But she remained undeterred.

            The idea that Megan trapped Don is ludicrous. She made it crystal-clear to Don that she loved him but she left it up to Don to reflect on what her love for him meant to him. I’m convinced if Don wanted to have an affair with Megan or be his mistress Megan would have gone along with Don, just to be a part of his life. You can tell by her reaction to Don’s marriage proposal in Tomorrowland that she never thought Don would take their relationship this far. After all she wasn’t sure how much Don loved her and as she said after the proposal, “This is all so fast.”

            Months later if you asked Don if he felt that Megan had trapped him into marrying her, he would have a good laugh.

  176. Just noticed second time viewing Don was reading a Berlitz book on French when Megan enters Don’s office to talk to him about her Heinz idea.

    • I have that very same book! I shrieked when I saw it! It was published in the late 40s and has charming drawings and hilarious phonetic transcriptions.

  177. I love that they have not gone the obvious route and made Peggy jealous of Megan’s success.

  178. Little too much Megan happening on this series lately for my taste. The domestic semi-bliss stuff just doesn’t feel like Mad Men, and yet you knew it would have to get in its “everyone’s actually living lives of quiet desperation” punch at the end, so it’s hard to look forward to that.

    On the other hand, Roger’s interactions with Sally were just superb. John Slattery is luminous in these scenes. I don’t quite know what word to use about a man when he does this. Watching him play Roger’s dinner conversation is like watching Bruce Lee’s fight scenes. That’s the best I can do.

    The city is dirty.

  179. […] lyrics of the song “At the Codfish Ball” are about dancing fish. Twice we see Sally confronted with eating fish. The first time, […]

  180. Loved the sneak peek of coming attractions when Megan’s mom tied one on for Roger, pre-dinner, in the Draper’s apartment. With opera length gloves, no less. It’s hard enough to tie a bow on a man, much less do it so nimbly with gloves on.

    Did anyone identify the cover of the James Bond book Don was reading in bed? Deborah? It was a hardcover; I think the background was white and it seemed to have several vertical panels on the cover illustration.

  181. Just found it:

    So it wasn’t a Bond book after all. What was the dialogue between Don and Megan in that scene. I seem to recall Megan saying something about her dad would like seeing Don read James Bond. Perhaps I misheard.

    • As a major 007 fan, I would have LOVED a frame grab of Don reading Bond! The scene was about the fact that Don normally reads Bond, but was reading ‘The Fixer’ on this day to impress Megan’s political father. (She says “You can let my father see you reading James Bond”). He defends himself by saying he’s actually enjoying this book (“You should read it”). Interesting that The Fixer is about a persecuted Jewish man, in light of this season’s heavy emphasis on the Jewish experience.

  182. In Emile’s quote to Don about Sally–legs, wings–on a chicken, they’re both dark pieces. Dark, juicy morsels. Dirty, even. Just like Emile’s intended message, rendered excusable by his lack of proficiency with the English language–which he actually appears to speak as well as Lane does.

  183. Remember as part of Bert Cooper’s advice to Don that love leave was over he did say this:

    “Amazing things are doing as well as they have been with as little as you have been doing.”

    This indicates to me that Don will find it easier to accept better than he is regarded by folks connected to the American Cancer Society as an advertising leper for “the letter” and to boot Heinz is now fully on board.

    If this had happened in episode 6 it may have been devastating because of his strained relationship with Megan. I think Don will move forward despite this news. Megan is now Don’s ace in the hole.

  184. An important distinction that many folks do not realize is that English-speaking folks (Anglos) and French-speaking folks (Frenchmen or Francophones) have a different cultural outlook on life.

    Notice the difference between Peggy’s mother and Marie Calvet. They couldn’t be more different but both are Roman Catholics. So religion does enter the picture but is a small part.

    I know this is generalizing but the English-speaking people are generally been more prudish towards sex and alcohol and having a good time while French-speak peoples have taken more open attitudes towards the subjects. Note that Megan does NOT possess a judgmental type of personality. That would be attributed to her upbringing in a French-speaking environment. And that is key to understanding why Don picked exactly the right woman to marry. Very few English-speaking women, especially in 1966, would have married Don Draper especially after they found out about Dick Whitman and that his mother had been a prostitute. They would instead have been repulsed by those facts.

    So was I surprised by a storyline would involve Megan’s father having affairs with his graduate students? No. French-speaking people tend to be more tolerant of extra-marital affairs. How often do you read of stories where Frenchmen remain married but have long-time mistresses on the side?

    But having said that would Megan tolerate Don having a mistress on the side? Yes, she was raised in a French-speaking home but she is not entirely Francophone. Megan has staked her claim on Don and he is now hers. In that sense she is more Anglo. But as a Francophone she was willing to accept he had affairs in his past and would not allow that to interfere with her love for Don. An interesting dichotomy indeed.

    • I’d go so far as to say that the difference between Peggy’s mother and Marie Calvet is so great that the only way Mrs Olson would be on her knees for Roger, is so she could say a rosary for his immortal soul.

    • Tolerant of affairs, yes, but not unscathed by them, obviously. I thought the Don/Megan conversation in the hallway was also telling. Megan mentioning her father was seeking solace with another woman and Don looking puzzled. Megan pointing out her should have gone to mother to comfort him. Don’s response, oh yeah, right. ha!

  185. Another great episode. My recap has just been posted:

    Twitter: @scarylawyerguy

  186. When Roger dropped in to talk about the award dinner, Don mentioned the name Mary Lasker.

    She was married to Albert Lasker, an early 20th century ad man, and she had quite an impressive resume herself.

  187. Joan’s interaction with Peggy left me with one question.Joan has had experience rejecting a marriage proposal.Did that marriage proposal come from Roger and Joan said no.I think it happened.Jane was Roger’s second choice.Peggy also would have rejected a marriage proposal from Abe I think.Living together gives Peggy options both about work and love.Peggy is ahead of her time in her thinking.Peggy and Joan will continue to interact.Their dynamic has changed so much since season one.

    • I don’t think Joan was talking about Roger when she referred to being dumped. When Joan & Roger were together, he was still married to Mona. Based on what we saw in “Babylon” and on a few other episodes, they never discussed marriage and Joan appeared to like things the way they were. (After his heart attacks, she started keeping more distance from him and then by next season she was dating/getting engaged to Greg)

      When Jane started working at SC, Joan showed Jane her engagement rings and said something to indicate that she’s received proposals from other men before.

      When she talked about getting dumped, I think she was just talking about some man from her past. She seems to have dated a lot of different people over the years.

  188. There won’t be a hook in sight…at the Codfish Ball. Oh really?
    Finally some background into Megan. Great theme about parents dominating their children and feeling they have a right to do so. This powerful emotional conflict eventually plays through these children even though they shudder at the thought of becoming their parents. Everyone goes to the award banquet hoping to hook new business from all the dancing fish. The only real success is the master manipulator, Megan’s mother. Like her mother, Megan has manipulated them all. Even a child can see it — dirty.

  189. No one caught that Megan’s father looks a lot like Jean Paul Sartre, the French Jewish intellectual/existentialist? In the scenes when he was sitting at the dinner table in the ballroom his eyes even looked like Sartre’s. And he was telling Megan about Marx and Sartre was a famous Marxist.

    • Great take.

    • I think that Emile is about one million times better looking than Sartre, who was extremely ugly.

      • But every bit as nasty.

        • Not to me. Sartre was small in size but a giant in literature, (he won a Nobel prize in 1964 or 65), philosophy (he was probably the best known proponent of existentialism), sociology, feminism (he was a life long companion and ally of Simone de Beauvoir). He was also an anti-militarist and a socialist, but an anti-stalinist. He also worked for the French resistance against the Nazis.

          Someone I admire.

      • The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir (1949)Introduction: Woman as Other (!?!) — ‘The Other Woman’ is episode 11 The Battle of Algiers: 1966 Film Depicting Algerian War of Independence Against French Occupation Parallels Brutal U.S. Occupation of Iraq *a film that been called one of the most influential political films in history–”The Battle of Algie…rs.” Released in 1966 by Italian filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo, the film vividly depicts the Algerian struggle for independence against the French occupation in the 1950s and early 60s.
        It recreates the brutal conflict between native Algerians and French colonists in which the two sides exchange acts of intensifying violence, leading to the introduction of French paratroopers to root out the Algerian National Liberation Front–known as the FLN. Paratroops are shown employing torture, intimidation, and murder to defeat the resistance.”The Battle of Algiers” was nominated for three Academy Awards. But the film was banned in France for many years following its release. ****Working on this theory with another Maddict and thought i’d share it with you– *he wrote:”I’m thinking, given dad’s disappointment, some kind of commune scenario where she teaches kids how to sing in French”
        *so I’m thinking mayb…e she wanted to join the Peace Corps? —and! **For fun I added : she still sellzzz advertising at the same time– &here is her work shown in this video….((((LOL))))
        ONLY IF YOUR BORED: Then found this on ‘Super High-Brow over thinking piece on Marxist politics/Sartre/Simone de Beauvoir ( 2 French existential philosopherz)’: ‘Sartre was heavily involved in Marxist politics -While he could never commit to communism himself, he attempted… to rework Marxism in such a way that would value existence as a project of self-making. Simone de Beauvoir (another brilliant French existential philosopher and companion to Sartre) said in her introduction to her philosophical dissertation ”The Second Sex” that, “There is no justification for present existence other than its expansion into an indefinitely open future,” meaning that the point of existence is only to make it better. While she doesn’t define what to aim for in bettering or “expanding” existence, Sartre does–freedom. Freedom is such an ambiguous term though, so I should like to replace “freedom” with “autonomy”, which Sartre continues to explain cannot be possible within an exploitative, capitalist, materialist society. One of the great similarities between Marxism and Existentialism is that they are pragmatic philosophies. The difference however is that Marx calls for the proletariat to rise against the bourgeois, whereas Sartre prefers a more personal approach, a sort of personal political activism which calls for the individual to commit themselves to the value of freedom.Sartre’s existential revival of Marxism was revolutionary in a time of…well, revolution. His philosophy called for a transformation of existence much reflecting Beauvoir’s concept, which, in the hands of rebels was a very useful and reinforcing idea. Where Sartre’s philosophy falls short is definitely visible in the conflicting opinions of the four section leaders of the rebellion. Ali is definitely a radical, Malcom X, Caliban strategist–calling, much like Caliban, for the world to turn completely upside down. His partner, (not M’Hidi, but the one that always had a cigarette–I can’t remember his name!) was a much more liberal, Ariel, Martin Luther King strategist. While neither MLKj or Ariel would’ve engaged in violent rebellion to begin with, ‘the cigarette guy’ saw it as a necessary beginning to a political, peace building, revolution. Regardless–a revolution was made much more feasible with Sartre’s contributions to philosophy during 1957-1962 (and beyond) because his existentialist approach to what he considered was the only “lucid theory of our alienated situation of concrete unfreedom, oriented toward the practical-political overcoming of that unfreedom” made it an accesible, practical, workable model for the instigation of social change.’
        *Authors note– Obviously I had to do some serious reading on critiques/histories/and actual works of Sartre/Marx/Beauvoir. I do not take credit for any of the above statements of existential/marxist/feminist philosophies and most of my commentary on those philosophies are heavily influenced and sometimes paraphrased from the following websites, books, and essays.
        “The Writings of Jean Paul Sartre: Volume 1, A Biographical History” by Michel Contat, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Michel Rybalka
        “Existentialism as Humanism” by Jean Paul Sartre
        “The Communist Manifesto” and “Alienation of Labor” by Karl Marx
        “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir

        • If anyone were to use Sartre to analyze Mad Men, I think his concept of “bad faith” (a kind of self-deception, and denial) would be the most applicable.

          There’s a lot of approaches to this: They are all caught up in playing roles/objects as opposed to being authentic/subject selves (like Betty’s housewife). They are ignorant and in denial of the oppression of others in society (racial minorities, women) like Roger is (is he really becoming more empathetic?). Peggy is in bad faith when she denies/detaches from her (pregnant) body like Sartre’s flirt in season 1. Joan was in bad faith in her marriage but her inner-directed authentic self emerges to dump Greg and outer-directed social dogma. Etc etc. I love the way Sartre discussed bad faith and authenticity.

    • It’s the glasses. Also worn by other intellectual “giants” of the time, eg Philip Johnson, the architect.

    • WC,

      Amazing catch w/Sartre! There could be so many aspects to this.

      With the Jewish/Holocaust thread of the season, there’s Sartre’s “Anti-Semite and Jew” which was written after the liberation of Paris and published a couple years afterwards.

      But what really struck me w/Sartre and MM are the plays “No Exit” and “The Flies.” In “No Exit,” three people are trapped with one another in an afterlife from which there is no exit, not even death since they are already dead. “The Flies” is a reworking of “The Oresteia” based on the myth of Orestes and his sister Electra. The basic plot is that Orestes and Electra’s father has been killed by their mother Clytemnestra and their father’s brother Aegisthus, who has begun an affair with Clytemnestra. The siblings plan to murder their mother and uncle in revenge, which Orestes eventually does. In Sartre’s version, the focus is more on accepting the consequences of one’s actions without remorse. The flies represent the original crime of the father’s murder and they become the Furies after the murders of Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.

      As I was thinking about this, I remembered something. The fly trapped in the ceiling light during the series pilot. So, “The Flies” + “No Exit” = the fly trapped in the ceiling light. This theme is reiterated during “The Suitcase” when Don tries to catch a mouse (another type of vermin) and realizes “there’s another way out of here.”

      So what could be the possible meanings? For Don, the Orestes myth could relate to his father/Abigail/Uncle Mack. There’s been a lot of speculation that Abigail and Mack started their affair before Archie died and that Adam is Mack’s son passed off as Archie’s. A 10 year old Don would not have understood the birds and the bees. But a 17 year old Don might have noticed how Adam looked like Mack and then did the math. Since Don gave Peggy a box of his father’s favorite violet candies, Don may have had more fondness of his father than he has previously mentioned. Perhaps realizing that his father’s friend betrayed his father by sleeping with his stepmother could have started the end of Don’s relationship with his family.

      Another meaning could have to do w/Peggy since Don sees her face after his “post fly trapped in light” nap and Peggy is integral to “The Suitcase.” Perhaps they are each trapped in their own boxes from which they can find no exit. For Peggy it could go back to the psychological implications of the Electra myth. Peggy lost her father at 12 in a graphic way. She seems almost stunted at that age and is looking for a father figure. Don fills that role from S1 and especially after he finds her in the hospital. But it’s a rocky relationship until Don meets Peggy in her apartment in “Shut the Door.” I’ve found Don’s “I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to hire you”as a way of cementing their adopted daughter/father relationship, that their relationship is permanent.

      Perhaps as a result, in S4 we see a Peggy who has finally grown up, she’s dressing like an adult and is full of confidence. In “The Suitcase” Peggy sees Don cry, something men of that era would only do in front of someone they considered like family. So Peggy might have finally found her exit out of her search for a father figure.

      For Don, the “No Exit” scenarios could be multiple. Perhaps he’s trapped in relationships with women that are sexually fulfilling but not emotionally so. And his strong non sexual relationship with Peggy gets him out of that box. Or there’s the original wound of being rejected by his adoptive mother. Perhaps by taking on Peggy as an adopted daughter of sorts Don is healing that wound and getting out of that box of pain. Whatever it may be, the fact that Don asks Peggy to leave the door open at the end of “The Suitcase,” thus giving himself an exit, could be of significance.

      • I forgot, Emile’s “Absurd!” at the beginning of the episode is a total nod to Sartre.

  190. I am not so sure that Don has burnt bridges with this organization. They are business people and know Don can make them money. If they really didn’t want anything to do with him they wouldn’t have given him the award.

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