Recap: The Other Woman

 Posted by on May 28, 2012 at 1:00 am  Season 5
May 282012

Mad Men The Other Woman Joan and Herb

Girl, you really got me going, you got me so I don’t know what I’m doing.

The Other Woman may be the most disturbing episode of Mad Men we’ve ever seen. We’ve seen bad things happen to characters we love, some of their own doing. We’ve seen Don drink himself into a stupor, Roger lie the company almost into ruin, and Lane embezzle. We’ve seen the way both ambition and love can cause people to sacrifice themselves, but has anyone suffered more than Joan, or sacrificed more?

The fans have gone back and forth on Pete this season. In my recap for Signal 30 I called Pete a shit. I got some blowback from fans for that, and indeed, in subsequent episodes, Pete has again appeared more sympathetic. His pathetic adoration of Howard’s wife, Beth, in Dark Shadows, touched people’s hearts. But now I think more people will agree with my earlier assessment. Pete is a low-life and a shit, not just because he asked Joan to prostitute herself, but because he insisted there was nothing wrong with asking.

When Joan said “You couldn’t afford it,” it was not, in fact, a counter-offer, but a way of shutting Pete down; only Pete’s insensitivity made him think otherwise. Pete takes seriously the old joke, often attributed to Winston Churchill: Churchill is said to have approached a lady at a party and ask, “Madame, would you sleep with me for one million pounds?” She agreed that she would. “Would you sleep with me for ten pounds?” he asked.  “Certainly not! What kind of girl do you think I am?” “Madame,” he answered “We have already established what you are. Now we are merely discussing price.” (I’ve read various versions of this story, with different price points.)

The joke has a serious underpinning, as so many jokes do. All women are whores, we are being told, and are merely negotiating price. Joan literally prostitutes herself for a partnership, but Gail, who “raised her to be admired,” has been prostituting herself in her own way to Apollo, in exchange for household repairs. Megan must prostitute herself in a small way, by being displayed. Turning around and showing her ass has little or nothing to do with the callback; she thought she was safe because the director was “a fairy,” but with three men on the couch it’s clear she doesn’t feel safe at all. At the office, her friend Julia is happy to sexually display herself to a roomful of writers in the hopes of getting a job as a Jaguar girl.

Even Peggy had money thrown at her, quite literally, and even Peggy knows she has to sell a woman’s sexuality (Lady Godiva, “as naked as we are allowed to make her”) to keep an account.

The most telling, most obvious, quote about the theme of this episode is what Don says in the Jaguar pitch, right down to the tagline:

Oh, this car. This thing, gentlemen. What price would we pay, what behavior would we forgive, if they weren’t pretty, if they weren’t temperamental, if they weren’t beyond our reach and a little out of our control? Would we love them like we do? Jaguar: At last something beautiful you can truly own.

While women are being prostituted, bought, and sold because they are things,the way beautiful, temperamental cars are things, men imagine they are the ones who suffer, because sometimes they can’t quite control the transaction. The tagline itself is shown as being born from anger at women: Ginsberg sees Julia prancing and says “She just comes and goes as she pleases. Huh.”

Why shouldn’t she? I mean, she’s human, isn’t she? Isn’t that what humans do—use self-will to make their own decisions? But to Ginsberg and many other men, a woman isn’t a human, she’s an object of desire, and her ability to make herself desirable and then still have self-will is enraging. To Ginsberg, the lyrics of the closing song (You Really Got Me by the Kinks) make him mad: “You really got me going” is something women do to men, which men can’t control.

It’s disturbing. The whole episode is disturbing, and Semi Chellas and Matt Weiner pull no punches, juxtaposing every inner cringe Joan experiences with the pitch so that there is no doubt they are the same thing. Don wants to control Megan and keep her home, Pete wants to control Trudy and ‘put his foot down’, his greatest anger being simply that he cannot get her to obey him, that she wants things he doesn’t want. Pete, who wants a prostitute in a brothel to treat him like her king, cannot abide the fact that any woman has self-will. This is the same Pete who, in Episode 1.05: 5G, asked Trudy to sleep with an editor in order to get him published—no wonder he thinks Joan shouldn’t be insulted.

But there’s another quote that speaks to the heart of women being bought and sold. In the conference call about Chevalier Blanc, the client asks, “Why would a woman buy a man anything for Valentine’s Day?”

Why indeed? Valentine’s Day is transactional: A man buys flowers or perfume or jewelry, a woman responds with sex. Men are the subjects, they have self-will; they make their selection and choose the purchase price, while women are the objects being purchased.

I could write for hours about this episode, but we really have to talk about Peggy.

Her decision has been a long time coming, and may be necessary. I mean, people didn’t job-hop in the 1960s the way they do now, but advertising was its own animal, and as a career decision this was probably one hundred percent right.

Here’s the thing: in business, you sell yourself. Ted Chauogh wants to hire Don’s protégé, and he negotiates with Peggy over price and title. It’s not sexual; Peggy’s gender is not part of the transaction. Yet the negotiation perfectly parallels what Joan did with a percentage and a partnership. We alldo sell ourselves for work, for ambition, to succeed.

Certainly a lot of feminist and other theory would tell us it’s all prostitution: Marriage, dating, Valentine’s Day, casting couches, and every other transaction in which men are the buyers. But when we look at it that way, we can forget how painful this particular act of prostitution is for Joan, and let’snot forget that. Last episode we saw her say she has some control at work, and how important that’s been for her. This wasn’t just a sexual transaction, it was one that stripped Joan of her sense of control, of self-ownership, and left a dark place behind her eyes, brilliant portrayed by Christina Hendricks.

Meanwhile, Peggy sacrificed love for ambition, because truly, she and Don love each other: He kisses her hand, and she chokes up in response. This  parallels the end of episode 4.07: The Suitcase. Don kisses the hand that he held then, he honors the love they share. But as Roger said last episode, it’s every man for himself, there can be no loyalty in business.

Some additional thoughts:

  • Welcome back, Dale! Mark Kelly played copywriter Dale in one episode of each of the first three seasons, and was last seen stripped to his t-shirt after getting spattered with blood in Episode 3.06: Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency.
  • I’m giving quote of the week to Pete, because “It’s an epic poem for me to get home” is a gorgeous bit of hyperbole.
  • Ted Chaough, Freddy Rumsen, and a call back to Tom Vogel all in one episode(plus Dale). This season has been so great about connecting the dots to past seasons.

Originally published at Indiewire Press Play.


  498 Responses to “Recap: The Other Woman”

  1. WOW… Ms. Lipp, fantastic as usual.

    I have tons I would like to say, but I think I should let this episode and your essay ruminate in my brain before I respond.

    I will say, “disturbing” certainly; however, I think when we look back on it, this may be a watershed episode in the series.

    • Absolutely a watershed moment. Mad Men’s most noble character left the building today, and another new day for people left behind. Not happy with your life? Change it. “It’s what Don would do,” and Peggy is Don and us. We are happy for Peggy.

      Peggy’s arc was once tragic. “One day you’re there and there’s less of you. And you wonder where that part went. If it’s living somewhere outside of you. And you keep thinking maybe you’ll get it back. And then you realize, it’s just gone.”

      Come the third season finale, Don asks her to build the new agency: “There are people out there who buy things. People like you and me. And something happened. Something terrible. And the way that they saw themselves is gone. And nobody understands that. But you do. And that’s very valuable…. With you or without you I’m moving on. And I don’t know if I can do it alone. Will you help me? … I will spend the rest of my life trying to hire you.”

      Mad Men’s very first scene had us follow Peggy into the lion’s den of Sterling Cooper. From secretary to pregnancy to smoking marijuana to creative heavyweight to hiring (her successor?) in Ginsberg. For six years now the greatest pleasure of Mad Men has been growing up alongside Peggy.

      I hope that like Betty, we still follow her life at the new agency.

      • As pivotal an episode as the last episode of season 3 (Shut the Door, Have a Seat) where both Pete and Lane became partners in the newly configured SCDP and Don got news that Betty was divorcing him.This episode will have ramifications for many future episodes and even perhaps to the end of the series.

    • Just watched! Ginsberg is NOT responding to seeing Julia prancing when he says “She just comes and goes as she pleases. Huh.” He is talking about Megan. He gets it. Don doestn own her… which is why he buys the tagline so deeply.

      • I agree.
        Ginsberg’s line, “At last. Something beautiful you can truly OWN”, reflects Don’s life. He probably feels that he really truly “owns” nothing at the moment. He doesn’t “own” Megan who’s turning up to be less dependent on him than he imagined, he doesn’t “own” Peggy who’s leaving him, he doesn’t “own” Joan because he wasn’t able to dissuade her to spend the night with the guy, he doesn’t “own” the agency because the partners decide against his will.

        • And I also appreciated Pete’s line “conversation doesn’t end just because you leave the room”

        • Beautifully said. I swear all you guys on here are shrinks the way you psychoanalyze these characters!

      • Agree, Ginsberg’s observation of Megan is what prompted the line, and yes, why Don buys into it, because he completely “gets” it.

      • From a positive point of view, should Don own anybody? Perhaps Peggy’s leaving the firm abruptly is an object lesson to him that he can influence people but he cannot ultimately control how they perceive things, how they react to certain events or circumstances and what decisions they arrive at.

        By the same token no one owns Don either which I think his colleagues at SCDP are soon to find out.

        • It would be something if Don is so repulsed by the abuse of Joan that Don leaves SCDP. And the possibilities are endless. Draper, Draper, Olsen, Ginsburg?

          • I see Don deciding to go in one of three directions:

            1) Set up his own independent agency

            2) Only agree to come back to SCDP if Pete is somehow ousted (I don’t know how feasible that is)

            Of course, Don has to be concerned Pete will rat him out to the authorities because he knows Dons’ true identity.

            3) Take a lengthy sabbatical, leave SCDP and not return to work to the beginning of season 6 (could Don be able to wriggle out of his partnership, withdraw his investment he has sunk into the company and come out a huge financial winner as a result?)

  2. Certainly going to miss Peggy. Makes me wonder if her departure in ep. 11 was the real reason behind her absence on Inside the Actors Studio. She was no longer under contract.

    I liked the juxtaposition of Peggy at the elevator vs Don a couple episodes ago. Don’s elevator arrives and he is greeted by the shaft. Peggy’s arrives, the doors open, and she is bathed in a celestial light. She smiles and steps into the light.

    • I assumed we would see Peggy at her new job a bit, hope so! I want to see her really be on her own as a career woman she’s ready

      • I remember a couple of weeks ago i suggested an alternative story line of former SCDP employees working at rival firms and the idea was scoffed at by most posters because the feeling was Matt Weiner would never want to take the focus of SCDP and Don Draper. I think now that scenario is quite possible with Peggy now with Ted Chaough.

    • “You never forget when you land your first car” — it will also be remembered as the day he lost his work protege, and (perhaps) his work wife. A truly bittersweet moment. After all, we were introduced to the world of Sterling Cooper through Peggy’s eyes. Hopefully she’s not leaving so much as she’s creating new competition for Don.

      • Due to Joan standing in Roger’s office when he calls in all the partners, Don realizes what Joan has done. He will never know if his work was truly the reason he landed the car, or Joan’s decision that sealed the deal. Bitter….even before Peggy breaks the news.

        • So when Roger was told that the competition “wasnt even close” was that because Joan put them ahead or because the pitch was so much better? And Don cant celebrate a win at the expense of Joan.

          • SR, yes that’s how I saw it. I’m sure Joan set them up to succeed, so to speak, but Don will always know that the win did not come at a price, and that his pitch did not stand alone.

          • I definitely took Roger’s comment to mean that Joan was the reason they won Jaguar.

          • I call it a hollow victory for Don and a win he wants no or little part of.

            Don has some tough decisions to make in the next two episodes. If he becomes a free agent he would be a hot commodity.

        • It wasn’t his work. It was Ginzo’s

          • I would quote Don, when Peggy complained about the Glo-Coat work but I cannot remember it 🙂

            My point is: it’s the agency’s work, NOT Ginzo’s. He had the original idea that was then built upon by others. Even with his tag line, would he be able to pull off the presentation at the same level. No, he wouldn’t….

            Also, let us not forget Ginzo may appear to be soaring high right now but it was Peggy who had to step in and save the golden boy’s Hard Days Night campaign. In other words, he is not nearly as good as he thinks he is and clients are fickle beasts.

        • Don knows that his stellar presentation did not mean a thing, because he hears it said that it was a done deal before it even started. He is humiliated and abandoned three times, first when Megan announces she will be working in Boston, again when he realizes it was not his brilliance but Joan’s body that won the big account, and finally when Peggy left.

    • I had a sixth sense this was about to happen. In the AMC promo, it talked about Peggy taking a trip.Yea, trip over to the competition. In addition, Mad Men since the premiere episode this season has been building to a morbid climax. Look up the definition of morbid: it can mean invoking death or horror or it can mean inspiring disgust or fascinated or indulging in gloomy or unwholesome things. Peggy is an example of the latter. Could Matt Weiner be saving the former for the last episode of the season?

  3. Herb Rennett referred to Joan as a B-52, when if fact, this aircraft is apropos of his character. The B-52’s nickname is “BUFF” which stands for Big, Ugly, Fat Fella.

  4. It was telling to me that Joan corrected Herb about the two stories not going together. Had that been a date that Joan wanted to be on, she either would have let it slide or somehow played dumb so as to not offend. She didn’t even dance around it by phrasing it as a question. Nope, just “those are two different stories” flatly laid out there for the sultan of sexbomb. As I’m sure he thought of himself at the time.

    • Good observation. I thought that quote (“those are two different stories”) perfectly spelled ot her disdain.

      • Plus it showed that she’s no dummy — Joan is a college educated woman, not a girl from the steno pool

        • Has it actually ever been revealed that Joan is college educated? I don’t remember that?

          • I don’t either. When Peggy was searching for a roommate and Joan said her ad sounded like the stage directions forr an Ibsen play I thought it was such an odd comment. Hardly anyone would understand what she meant and I have never heard a description like that–people refer to characters not stage directions. Back then however kids learned classics a lot more in school….

          • In Season 1 when Joan and her girlfriend get together for their night on the town, isn’t there a mention of “back when we were at school” or maybe she told Joanie that she had been in love with her since she saw her walking on campus…

            I don’t know….after last night, everything’s a bit hazy.

          • I don’t remember the exact episode but she referenced her college days in season one and I think her lesbian friend who was in love with her was a college friend/ roommate.

          • Thanks, DP. I was beginning to think I had imagined it.

          • Yeah, I remember her ex-roommate saying she remembers her first day at college, and seeing Joan walking across the quad…

          • Thanks for the feedback. I seem to remember that now that you mention it.

          • It was the episode “The Long Weekend”.

      • Later that line made me think of Joan and Peggy’s respective stories in this episode. They have sort of bonded in these past couple of seasons, but each comes from a different place and is going in a different direction, and taking different paths to get there. One had a “number,” one didn’t. Those are two different stories.

      • The exquisite irony of the line is that it’s spoken during the cross-cuts between the Don’s pitch and the hotel room – which are one and the same story.

    • Helen of Troy was the face “that launched a thousand ships”. Joan played the opposite role. She was the young virgin sacrificed by the partners of SCDP except for Don and thrown in the fire to appease the gods (Jaguar).

  5. This was mindblowing, shattering. Best one since The Suitcase, if only a tiny notch below it, for my money.

    Peggy walking out of there without saying goodbye to anyone except Don was what killed me. After almost 7 years there, no going-away party for her, not even an announcement. Nothing. She was there, and then she was gone. You know Ted Chau-guh-guh is never, ever going to kiss Peggy’s hand, he’ll be as much of an asshole to her as he was to Smitty. But he gave her copy chief, the real deal, not some position of pseudo-authority where she has all the responsibilities of being in charge and none of the advantages. She won’t have to watch anyone else eat lobster while she does all the grunt work. Good for her. I hope this isn’t the last we get to see of her.

    As for Joan, my jaw is on the floor, and may not ever come up. She endured one night of sleaze in exchange for never having to drop trou for anyone else ever again. It’s hideous that that’s the choice she was given. But now she doesn’t need a man for anything.

    • i don’t know about one night sacrifice…now, all the men are clear that joan has a price. any type of elusive alpha female air she held is now out the window. i imagine that that sort of sleaze factor will stick to the ribs.

      • I also think that Joan’s reputation (and unique position in the office) is forever tainted- especially in her own eyes.
        A saying in my native language goes something like- “a good name over good oil” and Joan spent years building that formidable presona.
        Though the SCDP male partners have all “been bad” in al sorts of ways, the gender double standard still allows them to do so and maintain their self respect and self worth but it has damaged Joan’s. I love Joan’s character and I know her position as single providing parent is difficult, I still feel she made a llife altering mistake.

        • agreed. though she gains the title of partner, she will forever be looked at as the woman who slept her way to the top…a mule in horse’s harnesses.

          • I keep seeing Gone with the Wind this season. Mammy referred to Scarlett as a mule in horse’s harness, I believe, after Scarlett married Rhett and took on his cloak of money rather than struggle in the post-war mud of self-improvement, as all her family and friends were doing.

            Scarlett married three men for everything but love. She did what she had to do to get ahead. It made her hard, though.

          • It could work the other way ’round. “Every agency on Madison Avenue is defined by the moment they got their car.” (paraphrasing) — this is a huge game changer for SCDP. Joan held her head up high in the partner’s meeting. She knows what she has brought them and she’s not about to be backed into a corner about it, ever. When those checks start coming in, not just for Joan as partner but for the agency and all that it means to them, they may look at her as their savior, sick as that seems to 2012’s sensibilities.

          • Love the Gone with the Wind illusion. I had vibes of Dr Zhvargo when the young girl is dolled up by her mom and sent off with the older man,,totally altered and somewhat destroyed her life and others around her.

        • I’m not sure that some of the partners don’t understand the sacrifice here. Joan commands a shitload of respect in that office, and I think more than one or two other than Don understands the equation of business and prostitution very well. Cooper takes the long view. Roger might throw a dart every now and then, but I think he gets it too–he’s seen a lot over the years. Pete? Well, he still hasn’t figured out the extent of his own compartmentalizing business and life, has he? And will he ever?

          • Joan was already Roger’s mistress. Sleeping with someone doesn’t mar her reputation. I wonder what happens to them now.

      • One night’s disgrace? Hardly. Like many here, I was astounded by Joan’s ability to maintain her dignity and keep her head. But she has got some serious trouble ahead.

        First, with the partners: how much influence do you think Joan will ever have in the company? Yes, she’s a voting partner now, and they afford her tactful silence on what she did to land that account. But tomorrow is another day. I can’t imagine the respectful treatment would last far beyond the first sign of anything but deference on her part. Don has never had trouble calling a woman a whore before (He saw Joan as special … before.). Pete put her up to this in the first place, scoffing really at the thought that others might have seen it as some kind of ethical conflict. Roger was disappointed that they were in this position, but could look the other way as long as he didn’t have to pay for it, in whatever sense might have applied. Cooper’s got a soft heart, but he’s pragmatic. And Lane, poor lovelorn Lane, once his embezzlement comes to light, will not likely be around to stand up for her. So, heaven help Joan if she ever has to stand up for anything in the boardroom; she has her steady income, but in a significant sense her partnership will have to be a “silent” one after all.

        As for her services rendered: why are we presuming this is going to be the end of Herb’s demands? After all, the pitch he so warmly received from Don is that this is a beauty he can own. As long as Jaguar has SCDP, Joan is on retainer for further “business on a very high level.”

        The darkness behind her eyes, as Deborah so beautifully put it, will grow darker indeed.

    • Why do we have to see Joan as not needing a man for anything? Is the mad men world only about money, status and sex? Maybe Joan could use the love (real love) of a man. Like Ellen Benes wanted on Seinfeld – this, that and the other. I’m not sure that MM exhibits this kind of real love between men and women in any of relationships on the show, at least not with any real consistency. Ken seem’s to love his wife in a real way, but we haven’t seen much of that relationship.

    • After almost 7 years there, no going-away party for her, not even an announcement. Nothing. She was there, and then she was gone.

      I wish I’d been able to do that. There are 1967 companies and 2012 companies, but the same stuff still happens. Peggy’s been through a lot — almost as much as Joan (being told how to provide for the men in the office; having to wait to eat; late nights, low pay; getting yelled at by her boss; having money thrown at her head; etc.) — and we all know it. There wasn’t enough money on Madison Avenue to make her stay.

      When you feel like that, all you want is to be gone. Parties are for people who’ve enjoyed being where they are. Peggy hasn’t, not for a long time.

      • Peggy also left to join a competitor.

      • And let’s not forget that Don basically ordered Peggy out immediately. Peggy gave the professional 2 week notice but Don was having none of it – so if there should have/could have been a party moment, it wasn’t given a chance to happen. Even Joan offered a ‘lunch with the girls’ for Megan when she left.

        I admire Peggy for what she did – she was unhappy, but even with her insecurity intact, she went out and got another offer. And she left on the highest level. She was talented, worked hard, and exhibited grace under pressure, generally, with mentors whose behavior was less than stellar toward her. When she had taken enough, she moved on. It’s gutsy.

        I found Don’s throwing money at her totally disgusting. As chivalric as his last moment with her was, he did not deserve Peggy’s loyalty another minute. She may not get treated better at the new place, but setting the limit with Draper was important for her self-respect. The last scene between them was devastating, fraught – but her jaunty half-smile at the end was completely about her. Bravo, Peggy.

        • “Don basically ordered Peggy out immediately”

          I read this differently. When you’ve gotten (and given) notice – both employer and employee are just marking time – may as well avoid the long goodbyes. Not only that, the Don/Peggy relationship is the most important one for them both – a lot of pain going on there. You don’t give your ex-lover two weeks’ notice.

          • I agree. Remember, he did the same thing with Megan. For both his real wife and his work wife, it was too painful to let them draw it out.

    • It is so much more than one night of sleeze. In fact, it is a wall of sleeze that will forever exist in the minds of everyone who know about it.

      For one, Pete is not above spitting it out of his filthy little mouth in a moment of bitterness when it will hurt the most.

    • I really think Joan’s mother and the fridge being on the blink sealed the deal as much as the partnership offer. Her mom is driving her nuts. I also think the partnership made her feel less used. If she had just wanted money and to be taken care of, she would have let Roger pay her a monthly check. She wanted status and independence.

      • Agree, the financial issues (and options more money would offer – such as not having her mother live with her) are what pushed Joan. Also, I think Joan made a choice that many women (in history) have had to make. There were (and in some places still are) few choices for a woman to be financially stable on her own. .

    • Not extending an invitation for Peggy to joing the celebration was a gross insult to Peggy but Matt Weiner also using the scene as symbolic of how far Peggy had fallen in the totem pole at SCDP an was no longer an integral part of the team.

      And it was also indicative of how self-centered Don is. Instead of inviting Peggy in to join in the celebrations (after all he is a partner) he told Peggy he wasn’t in the mood to celebrate in which Peggy then said, “You really have no idea when things are good.”

      • I must be watching a different show again, techno. What invitations? No one was given invitations. The entire company could go celebrate including Peggy because it was a win for the entire firm. It was a tainted victory so Don was not in the mood. Peggy was not there not because she wasnt invited. She was not there because she told Don immediately prior to hearing about the win that she wanted to talk to him. Then the news broke out. Since he was not celebrating, he called her in. Totem pole symbolism does not apply here

      • If Don had been treating Peggy well, he would have said something like thank you Peggy for holding down the entire fort while we went after this car client, this is your victory too please join us or something like that. Don was too disgusted to be thinking of much celebrating, but even if they had won the account fair and square, Don was never much of a mentor or supporter in my opinion.

    • Why is everyone so impressed by Don kissing Peggy’s hand? It was a cheap ploy to manipulate her emotions.

      • Ha! Very Don – he’s crap at relationships even when he truly loves someone, so sincerity is often mixed with manipulation!

  6. I was so incredibly uncomfortable during this whole episode. I agree Deb, for me this was the most disturbing hour of Mad Men and that’s saying a lot.
    Im not sure I find it believable that Joan would actually go through with it.
    And I’m very worried we won’t be seeing as much of Peggy.

    Did others find Joan’s actions believable?

    • Yeah, sad to say I could see Joan going through with it. If you haven’t had the world’s most ideal romantic life you can get used to making compromises.

    • I thought Joan’s decision was pretty well set-up. She has her mother as one example and her attempt at acquiring comfort through marriage was a disaster. She doesn’t want to be beholden to Roger and she wants a voice. This gave her both.

      It made sense. Sickening, but I believed it.

    • While it definitely makes me sick to my stomach, yes, I find it believable — because I’ve seen it happen. This is 1967, not 2012. You can’t/won’t understand the mindset of women then if you didn’t live it then. Watching TV shows, documentaries, movies and reading books is not going to really help anyone understand it. This was so much more of a man’s world than it is now, and women had so little power that it really isn’t comprehensible from the mindset of 2012. It just isn’t.

      This is coming from someone who adores the character Joan; she’s one of my top three favorites on this show. I really do adore her. And I feel like I see her clearly.

      Joan’s been exchanging herself for things she’s wanted since season one, and if you remember, she suggested to Peggy in S1E1 that she do this also. Throughout five seasons, she’s given herself away, in exchange for dinners, for nights out, for jewels, furs, for birds, and for nothing. We’ve seen so many, many examples of this.

      This was what she was taught, by her mother and by the culture she grew up and lived in still in 1967. Her “value,” her “skill set,” her thing to offer in the marketplace was/is her extraordinary beauty, her body and her sexuality. This was what men — the power players and the power brokers — always responded to and what they gave value to. Joan knows her value in the marketplace.

      No judgment here from me. It was the way it was. Joan is in her mid-30’s, she has a new baby, she’s unexpectedly a single mother, she lives and works at the whims of men. We may not be seeing it on screen, but you can bet that Joan has seen her first lines, gray hairs and the beginning of sagging of certain body parts. She knows her value is going to start to diminish. Now before anyone blows a gasket — I’m NOT referring to what I see as her value, or we as viewers see as her value, but what Joan HERSELF sees as her value, and what she sees and has confirmed each and every day.

      Joan made a good deal, when offered the chance, by her life experiences. Would I have made it in 1967? I didn’t make that particular decision but I made many that were based on similar cultural mindsets and beliefs of the times I lived in, in those years. Would you? Maybe, maybe not. It’s 2012, and we’re not walking in her shoes living her life.

      Was she sick before, during and afterward? I’ll bet you everything I own that she was. Was she diminished by this decision? Yes. Undoubtedly. Would she make it again, given the chance? Probably. Joan is doing the best she knows to do, living in the world that existed in 1967, given what she knew, what she was taught about her value, and in a world dominated and driven by men.

      None of us here, now, have the right to judge her. The fact that I’m still sick to my stomach at 3:35 am and not sleeping is more to do with the powerful reminders that MW gave us in tonight’s show about the world that existed then for women, that was even worse in the years before that, and that still exists today. Matt did a superb job. And it’s good that it’s so disturbing for so many of us tonight.

      • Thanks, Jan. This is exactly how I feel about this exchange.

        • A better deal would have been the cash. A 5% partnership carries no vote clout, but does expose her to personal liability and capital calls which she could not afford. I understand why Lane preferred the “other than cash” option, but Joan’s choice was not the best.


          • I believe that Joan did it because she wanted the guys to aknowledge that after 13 year she is one of them.

            The exact same thing Peggy wanted.

          • She did get voting rights. She is not a silent partner.

          • Joan gets 5% – she’s one of seven? partners. There’s Roger, B.Cooper, Cooper’s sister?, Don, Lane, Pete then her. If everyone gets an equal share/vote, which I am pretty sure is not the case, then that would be around14% to each with equal say on voting matters. I think Cooper’s sister is silent and it’s unclear, or I can’t remember what Pete gets. So Joan’s not an equal partner financially, assuming the math works out, I would assume that the named partners take away more than 5%. But, she might, in fact have more power with the voting rights than say Pete or Cooper’s sister.

            I really don’t remember what happened to the sister. She cold be gone altogether, but Joan’s vote is worth at least a seventh on all pertinent company business if not a fifth. Right?

            Someone out there knows. Please help.

          • I believe that Bert, Roger, and Don are senior partners. Pete, Lane, and now Joan, are juniors.

            Bert’s sister sold her interest in Sterling Cooper to PP & L, and has no interest in SCDP.

            I don’t think exact percentages of partners has been revealed.

          • Pete said “We’re 75% of this company” to Coop, Roger, and Lane, after Don walked out. Don is a Sr. partner of which there are 3. So Don ,Coop, and Roger each own 25%, leaving the Jr. partners Pete and Lane 12.5% each. Joan’s 5% probably got taken out of each partner equally so 1% from each partner.
            So its now:
            Draper 24% Sterling 24% Cooper 24% Pryce 11.5% Campbell 11.5% Harris 5%. Or Sr. partners 23.75% each. Jr. partners 11.875% Harris 5%.

          • Taking 5% was the best choice. It got her foot in the door in a world that wasn’t available to women at that time. She is in “the club” and I think she will have a big influence, more that 5%, over accounts, new and old. Her brains are as powerful as her looks. She is very talented, as she showed previously with Harry in television, and she will get to show it more with accounts.

            The episode was quite disturbing to me and my wife. It took a while for all the disturbing aspects to sink in. Thanks to all for their comments.

      • Very well said, Brooklyn Jan. Yours in sleepless solidarity, Miss Kim…

      • And part of what disturbs me about it is how passively Joan is written this episode; In the past, I feel, if Joan were in such a position she herself would have set up the terms and conditions! Instead, we’re left with Pimpin’ Pete Campbell setting up the meeting and even Lane setting up the price!

        • I know what you mean, but perhaps more so than passive, she seemed to me to be just plain tired and resigned. She’s exhausted from all the bullshit she’s dealt with over the years. After putting up with all of the office/other men shenanigans, she married the doc and STILL couldn’t get to what she life she was reaching for. She knows she can’t –and, more importantly, doesn’t want to– rely on Greg, so this is sort of the final thing she has to do in order to secure her independence. Joan is certainly practical and I feel like she sadly but knowingly (ie., not passively) made this decision.
          Very disturbing, as Deb said.

        • Respectfully, I have to disagree with the idea of Joan being passive. Joan stood up for herself with every man who spoke with her the entire episode. To Pete it was: “Where do you get this stuff?” and “Do I have to do everything myself?” To Lane it was: “And I thought you had feelings for me.” To the sleaze from Jaguar it was: “Those are two different stories.” To Don it was: “You’re one of the good ones.”

          I believe Joan thought carefully about all the options. A partnership share in the agency was a step it would have been nearly impossible to obtain otherwise. And she’s a woman who married the man who raped her on the floor of Don’s office; she understands compromise as few other women do. Her future is SCDP. She knows the financial position as well as anyone else in the office. When she says to Lane that getting Jaguar will be a defining moment in the life of the agency, she knows exactly what she is saying. She may guess that if they don’t get the account, despite her saying to Pete that she cannot guarantee results, she may be blamed for not taking one for the team. (Remember that Don fired Sal for not taking one for the team.) Yes, she may have compromised the respect she had from these men who were willing to have her sacrifice her body (like the twins Roger slept with in Season 1, who only wanted a modelling job in one of the ads), but also – accurate for the time – women were routinely trading sexual favors for something. Joan’s price was high indeed, and she has the power to make the men respect that.

          Joan may have sold her body (nobody sells them*selves* – the self is something very different), but she did not sell it short. Selling it short might have made her passive. I believe she understands herself not only better than any of the men understand her, but better than any of the men understands himself. Joan may well be my favorite character in the entire series, and while I cringe for her (I confronted a comparable decision some years later, and I fled from it, for which I am not sorry), I don’t believe she’ll be sorry she did it.

          As to the men, I see it as more likely that they would have resented her refusal in a way that made her time at SCDP, which is precious to her, where she feels more at home than she does in her apartment, a misery for her. It could be that that factored into her decision as much as the financial reward.

          But she did make the decision herself, Ron, and, to me, that means she was not passive. Not at all.

          • Very well said, Pele. And I totally agree. And thank you for the clarification of selling her body versus selling “herself.” I think I used the term selling herself or “giving herself away” in my post above when I was actually meaning selling her body/beauty/sexuality. Good point.

          • Best comment on the thread. I totally got why Joan would sleep with the creep – and she gets a 5% partnership whether they win the business or not.
            And it’s pretty clear the rest of the partners are only interested in getting what they can out of her (and anyone else at SCDP). After all, she recreated all of the past client info when they were huddled in that hotel room, just starting out the new agency and they still think of her as a sex kitten. She smoothly manages the office staff and the finances – Lane has said so several times – but he’s still willing to encourage her to trade her body for the good of the company. There a bunch of d-bags.

        • I disagree—Joan was anything but passive in this episode. She had to do something to both improve the company’s chances of landing a lucrative account and improve her own tenuous financial position (remember–she wouldn’t accept Roger’s help). After Lane suggests long-term security vs. a one-time payout, she at least will have some equity in the firm, something Peggy didn’t achieve by this time. Of course, she will always know what she had to do to acquire partnership, but everything comes with a price. Joan is used to longtime relationship with Roger, marrying Greg, etc. Joan understands the power of feminine whiles combined with savvy, and this wasn’t the first time she’s used it at the firm (besides Roger, there was also Lee Garner Jr. and others clients for sure, even if it didn’t involve actual sexual favors). But, she made a decision and, in my opinion, should not be judged harshly for it…given all she has been through.

          • When folks refer to Joan being too passive, they might mean she was IMPASSSIVE when Pete and Lane were presenting her options to her.

            In the five seasons I have watched Joan on screen, I have rarely seen her go overboard on emotion except when she is not in control of a situation: reaction to Greg volunteering, reacting to Greg serving her with divorce papers, crying to Lane at the beginning of the season fearing she might lose her job.

            Even though Joan was caught off-guard by Pete’s proposal she soon realized she was still in control. And that was why she did not fly off the handle or become irrational. Instead her decision to sleep with Herb was a rational decision she made to further her self-interest. Joan knew what she was doing. The partners made her an offer she could not turn down.

          • Yes, Joan definitely takes pride in controlling her emotions in the office. In S1 “Ladies Room”, Joan forbade the ladies from crying or carrying their emotional baggage into the workplace. Joan didn’t bat an eyelash when her roommate confessed her true feelings. It was Joan who kept her cool and quickly assisted poor Guy’s smashed, bloody foot. Joan doesn’t need to be a feminist…she doesn’t want to be equal with men, because she knows she has what men never will. Her sense of control is her only form of one-upsmanship in what is still a man’s world.

        • I understand the objections being raised to what I have written…..and perhaps the word “passive” is not what I’m going for here. What I mean is that Joan is not directly setting out her own terms here, but merely adopting Lane’s suggestion to Pete’s proposal, and that’s what seems “unJoanlike” to me. Merely standing up to Pete is not enough, and note, that she doesn’t even express her own “price”. (Pete’s sleazy assumptions about her “cant afford me” remark aside!) Much of what I see as the competence of Joan is her ‘proactive’ nature about things, and that seems oddly missing here. I mean no judgement of her decision, but perhaps the notion of her being tired is relevant.

          As an aside, between “Christmas Waltz” and this episode, I wonder more about whether Don and Joan will get closer still (maybe even just professionally?) before the end of the year.

      • Hey Brooklyn Jan – I couldn’t sleep either. I thought your summation was very true. Agree about judging her.

      • Excellent, Brooklyn Jan. I have been in Joan’s shoes. I understand her choice completely.

      • The moment we see Joan own soul through her eyes as she removes her dress (What a performance Christina Hendrick’s) was the most gut wrenching of moments!! This was “The Suitcase” episode for S5!

      • I’m with Jan on the believability meter. Plus, Weiner does nothing on this show that he doesn’t check out. I bet this kind of transaction happened a lot!

      • Thank you, Brooklyn Jan, for articulating what I am still too upset to say myself. Last night’s show hit me hard, in a very vulnerable spot. What you wrote is utterly, inarguably true.

        It is true in terms of what women faced then; it is true today, albeit in different ways. As compared to men, a woman’s power is derived from entirely different sources, ones which are more regulated, and less accessible, and more fleeting and fragile and susceptible to attrition, indeed, to complete system failure.

      • Brooklyn Jan, Joan’s story upset me so much that I had nightmares and woke up feeling very anxious. I still feel like I’m in shock about the story line — to the point where I’m not ready yet to really articulate coherent thoughts about it.

        What an absolutely awful thing for those men to do to Joan. Regardless of whether she said yes or no, the fact that they asked her to do it was like a rape.

        And the look in her eyes when she took off her dress was the same look of disassociation she had on the floor of Roger’s office when Greg raped her.

        Joan’s beauty and voluptousness has been a curse to her all her life — I don’t think any man has ever seen past it.

        • I agree with everything you said, Elizabeth. Just because I understand Joan’s decision does not mean that I don’t bleed for her making it, or don’t have feelings that I can’t express on this or any website about what/how the partners did what they did.

          I won’t say it was a rape, because I think that makes less of any experience of rape that any woman has ever had. But it certainly had some attributes of a rape, you’re absolutely right about that. And the times and culture and environment she lived and worked in created the scenario that let this happen. One might argue that she was “at choice” in this matter so it was not, could not be, even “like” a rape. Some might say that what Joan experienced on the floor in Don’s office wasn’t like a rape either. And many women might also say they’ve had many experiences that were in many ways “like” rape while not fitting the dictionary definition of “rape.” I know I have.

          And omg, the look in her eyes. As some have said, you could see her soul. And it was like watching her soul die in some way. Many of us have done some things during our lifetimes that diminished our soul or killed our spirit. And still have to get up the next morning and get on with life. And smile.

          • Rape, as I understand it, is not about sex; it’s about power. What happened to Joan, to Peggy, and to Megan in this episode was all about power–who controls what your value is. And those of you who say this is nearly incomprehensible in 2012 are very lucky. In my experience, women are still viewed as commodities, as things with a price. And still dealing with the asymmetry of power in almost every arena here today–work, healthcare, domestic life, even a woman’s shirts cost more to dry clean than a man’s.
            I’m terribly sad for Joan, but I could never condemn her decision. I also know you do indeed get up and go on the next day, and even sometimes smile.

      • yeah.

    • Joan’s actions may be believable. But I don’t think the request or the offer would ever have been made. Do people really believe this sort of thing happened? If you say “oh yeah that could happen”, have you ever heard of such a thing happening? I’ve been around a long time and have never heard of it except in the movie “An Indecent Proposal”. Remember how shocking that movie was when it came out? Why? Because they’d never heard of it before.
      I’m sorry to say that I think MW and company wants higher ratings and is willing to get them at the expense of respect for women.
      Also look at that silly scene where Megan’s friend is waving her ass on the table for all the guys. I’m so sure that would happen. Looks to me like some of the male writers were getting their rocks off with that.
      Sickening I call it.

      • People may sell themselves, ok. But this way? With the buyer going through colleagues and not simply asking the woman he wants? With the partners discussing it and taking a vote? With them deciding to give her either a whole lot of money or partnership for that? Really?

        Honestly, the writers should have spent the time they wasted on Megan and Don having sex on carpets, couches and car seats setting the stage for a plausible way to make Joan partner.

        I think that the writers have a long time ago given up any pretense on realism and deciding to go the way of sensationalism.

        • that’s what i feel, as well, bling. there is just something that lacks believability in the whole set up. do i think men did / do talk like women in the way in which the jaguar guy did? of course. however, i don’t think the buyer would negotiate a deal based on sleeping with a woman who he knows was not in the business, and i don’t think that the partners (particularly the father of her child) would even consider that joan was on the same level as the party girls of past episodes. further, after selling herself in that manner, would they want her for partner? would one account be something for which they were willing to give over a permanent partnership?

          something just doesn’t quell with me on this one.

          • ooops…gel with me on this one…

          • I’m with you guys, although I feel like I’m in the minority. I absolutely hated this episode. The whole Joan plot was so contrived. And Pete’s turned into almost this caricature of a bad guy, with his clunky, heavy-handed and barely credible manipulation thing that would have failed had a single character just asked the right questions.

            Specifically, I can’t believe that Joan wouldn’t have gone into Don or Roger’s office after that conversation with Pete and just asked point blank, “What the hell is going on?” and gotten the real story, instead of saying nothing and allowing Pete to manipulate the situation and turn it into “She wants this” to them and “They want this” to her.

            I feel that when the show is into its long decline (as all shows must eventually before ending), we will look back and say this was the episode that started it.

            After the episode ended, I felt dirty, gross and in need of a shower. I think it’s interesting when people just shrug and say things like, “Well, it was hard back then for women” and “that’s just what people had to do.” It’s one thing to say that, but to exploit it like that for this story just rings false to me, and smacks of sensationalism. I wish the writers just hadn’t gone there with Joan.

          • If it hadn’t involved a full, not-silent, partnership I might have agreed with you. But one partner, full or junior, cannot offer an employee even as vaulable as Joan 5% of the company without everyone’s knowledge and vote on the matter. And it wasn’t just a question of, suddenly, “well she’s been a great and loyal employee for 13 years so we should make her partner” — under the financial circumstances, without Jaguar, not doable (so to speak., sorry.)

          • Bling/claudia/d.j. — interesting perspectives. My BS detector went off too, but I quickly suspended disbelief and bought into the Joan storyline, and having bought in, I thought it worked wonderfully in regard to Lane’s and Don’s interactions with her, as well as the manner in which she handled it. But yeah, I could/can see the contrivance aspect.

            I’m actually in the minority on the Peggy storyline as I think she will be back (at some point) and thus believe we were teased a bit, and that this episode won’t seem all that earth-shattering in retrospect.

          • You and dj said everything I was feeling. I’m not saying Joan wouldn’t have believably taken this route, but the setup was extremely clunky and forced (even as back as Lane’s $50k embezzlement plot, which just so happens to be Pete’s first offer to Joan?). Joan has so much pride- even at the beginning of the episode she’s horrified that the others even knew the offer was made to her, and of course last season Joey called her a whore. No way would she have done what she did with everyone knowing it afterwards.

          • A car is a ‘defining moment’ for an ad agency. Yeah, its worth a partnership.
            For those who think this stuff didn’t/couldn’t go on back then, that stuff happened in the 90’s when I worked on the financial industry. Twice. Both times it led to lawsuits, that were settled out of court with hush money. Its called playing HARDBALL, for more reasons than one.

        • For what it’s worth, my thought on this is that the scenario was created more as a heartbreaking and provocative metaphor–as theatrical shorthand for what women had to do in order to clasp their fingers around the levers of power–than as actual, real-life, step-by-step narrative involving a pimping male colleague; a smugly controlling “John” seemingly blessed with the ability to turn the fortunes of an advertising agency either northward or southward on his word; an ambitious and intelligent woman who’s watching her perceived worth diminish as the years go by and who has a child in the back of her apartment and the front of her mind; and an agency full of patriarchy-affected men so caricature-like in their various flavors of sexism it defies belief.

          • I agree, Deborah. Matt et al had to blow this scenario up BIG and make it very, very “heartbreaking and provocative” in the hope that viewers would really GET it. And Matt was genius in the way he set this scenario.

            Make no mistake, this type of bargaining is what has always gone on, in both big and little ways. ALWAYS. This was — and in so many ways, still is — a male dominated world. They are the power players and the power brokers. There will probably is a lot of disagreement about this statement. Women on the other side of age 50-60 will tell you that nothing much has changed, in spite of the women’s movement of the 70s. The only thing that has changed is that most people today believe that things HAVE CHANGED. For the most part, they have not, imo.

            And it’s no surprise — and VERY IRONIC — that this scenario takes place in the advertising world of MM. For anyone wanting a great read — and more sleepless nights — I highly recommend reading Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi. (I still don’t know how to underline or use italics on the site :).)

            This mindset that created the environment that this scenario with Joan took place in all starts with everything that we see and hear in every print, TV and radio ad from our very first memories as human beings. The ad men on MM control the advertising of all products that we use to maintain life. The men who are the power behind the products — the advertising directors of the multinational corporations that manufacture and sell these products — are all themselves controlled by the men, money and power behind these worldwide conglomerates of media/products. In the end, the media is controlled by what I call the “money men” who control and make all decisions.

            And make no mistake, there are very few women in these rooms when those decisions are made. I would go so far as to say there are NO women in those rooms.

            And that in the end is what creates my sleepless nights. I thank MW for putting this out there on TV in such a stomach-churning, thought-provoking, and hopefully, mind-altering way.

      • I actually thought the more gratuitous and less believable sexual escapades in MM are in examples like Peggy and the theatre hand job, Harry and the Hari Krishna girl, Megan’s friend on the table, eg.

        I’ll go with Brooklyn Jan’s real life knowledge here, as disturbing as it is.

        I saw “The Apartment” on cable, fully watched it for the first time this last year. I wonder how much WM et al were influenced by that film. That was rather frank for its time.

        And good on Peggy. She would have hated herself had she not left. She was eloquent and gracious to Don. Yes, they share a love too, mutual regard, though Don took her too much for granted. He seems to have more respect for the 2 women he would not sleep with (Peg & Joan) than others.

        Pete, what a twisted man he’s becoming.

        • There was the scene where Pete was asked if he would ever make his wife do what he was asking of Joan. The answer was yes, back when he sent her with his story to her old boyfriend and was mad when she didn’t go all the way so he could get published. He has no scruples and is only self serving.

          Anyone else notice the fur Joan wore to the “date” was the one Roger gave her?

          • Jon Hamm goes out of his way to say Don is the not a nice guy. Well, Jon you don’t have to apologize for Don any longer. Pete is now 10 times as despicable as you are.

        • Pete saw an opportunity, from a situation he did not create, and took it from there. Accounts. Do ANYTHING to make it happen.
          Coop, once told DD: “I don’t think you have the stomach for the REALITIES, of a partnership”. Anyone notice how pragmatic YodaBert was during the meeting in Pete’s office? No outrage. The sausage got made in the back room. Ugly. Realities.

      • Of course this happens. Back then and probably today (although I would think a woman would think of this on her own).

        Men are men.

      • I worked for a steel hauling firm in the early 1970s run by three…shall we say…guys who got around. A heard this story straight from the one I worked for: One of the other boys kept a couple women who were paid good money by the company to entertain various steel executives on a regular basis and thus guarantee that business kept coming our way.

        The first job I had out of college had some kind of “arrangement”with a local woman, but I never heard the details.

        My guess is that this was a pretty common practice.

      • We now have laws against sexual harassment not only because it happened, but because it commonly happened. Generally, it could be a male manager in a company saying to his female subordinate, “If you want a raise . . . if you want to keep your job . . . if you want a good evaluation, then you’ll play ball, sweetheart.” Or it could be a teacher saying to a student, “If you want good grades . . . if you want a recommendation on your college application . . . if you want a scholarship . . .” In this case, it was put to the woman indirectly, and frankly, I believe that was because the car guy was more comfortable dealing with a man when it came to expressing his lust.

        I’ve been comparing Joan in this episode with Mother Lakshmi. Mother Lakshmi played her hand very badly, but the incident reminded us of the theme of sex as bargaining power. I didn’t read anyone saying they didn’t believe that that wouldn’t have happened, and yet I found it less credible than what happened this week.

        I think the Jaguar guy was a pig, but he really was a very believable pig. The men of SCDP might have been interested in getting the Jaguar account to the detriment of everything else, but their self-interest was very believable. They know how the business works. And so does Joan.

        • Concur 100%. Sexual Harrassment laws evolved because of inappropriate behavior in the workplace. I still see sexual harrassment happening, however. I saw it just 2 weeks ago, even though that person has several complaints about his behavior on the record.

          This stuff happens people. It is not just an enhanced story line to grab the viewer. It may have been dramatically (after all it *is* a dramatic TV show), but it is based in fact.

      • Megan’s friend is a fellow actress who was performing for the guys. Actresses are not inhibited. There were party girls in the sixties. Sex for advancement happened all the time in the business world. This episode was not unique in that respect. The ad men frequently entertained clients by taking them to parties with hookers. This was unique in that the car executive requested one of their own—not a hooker. That presented a dilemma for Ken and Pete. It also made me think that the car exec had had enough hookers and wanted something special and it was clearly a way to exercise his power and control.

      • It happened, it still happens. I worked in Corporate America for 25+ years, and yes this stuff happens.

    • “Joan’s actions believable?”

      Repeating something I wrote on the Open thread, starting from Season 1 Joan was always the one who believed in Playing The Game. She knew all the rules and played it masterfully. When Peggy came along and refused to, she was baffled and angry. They came to learn some mutual respect, but they never changed sides. In this episode, Joan decided (for ill or good) to go on Playing The Game. Peggy didn’t.

      So I definitely think it was believable. That’s Joan’s tragedy, even more tragic in that she understands it. That last look as she saw Peggy leaving showed it. There she was on the inside, part of the success, but what she had to do for it … ? That look on her face. How great is Christina Hendricks? Really? All of it, the regret, the understanding, all in a single expression.

      • Melville-


      • Hendricks just earned her Emmy.

      • Exactly. Joan is a worldly woman and she is used to being pursued, but she did not sleep with men that she found repulsive or did not know until this incident. It was her choice, though, and it was for the security and the clout it would give her and because she wants the company to succeed.

        • Actually, remember those men she and her roommate went with back in the first season? (She rather inveigled her roommate into it.) They were pretty repulsive, too, and she had not met them before. But that was her choice, too. (The impression was that it was done for a reason, meant to put an end to her roommate’s tentative lesbian approaches.)

    • Yes I did. I think people are so disturbed by this episode because of its stark realism.

    • It seems really strange to me that Joan would sacrifice the respect that she has worked so hard for over the years. She won’t ever be respected as a partner. They think she is still married which makes it worse. After the untold number of propositions she must have received from clients and everyone else at SCDP…..Joan could have been a kept woman if she wanted to be. Very strange. I think Joan has been a call girl in the past and didn’t think she would be back there. There has always been a sadness to Joan, wonder if this will lead to us finding out why.

      • Just thinking out loud here….

        Anna B, I wonder if that aspect of Joan may has been hinted at before. In Season 3’s Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency, Joan takes a jab at the sycophantic John Hooker (remember him) by referring to a news story about the British Secretary of War’s penchant for prostitutes and, in effect, comparing Hooker to the prostitute. Furthermore, the initials of the two top “secretaries” are conveniently the same, John Hooker and Joan Holloway/Harris. Thus, in my mind, linking the two.

      • Joan has made a number of comments…some to Peggy… regarding the fact that she (in fact all the women that work there) are treated in the same negative manner no matter how good they are at their jobs.

        She even cautioned Peggy about thinking that she was an equal with the male copywriters way back in Season 1.

        Our Joanie is very practical and calculating (not usually in a bad way). Perhaps she thought that despite all she has accomplished, if the partners still think of her that way….it will not change, and it is time to make the best of the situation.

        • Joan always liked the prestige of working there. It means a lot to her. I don’t think they will fault her. It means a lot to the viability of the company. Advertising is a dirty business. They all prostitute themselves in one way or another.

      • That’s right. Didn’t she entertain clients way back in seasons 1 and 2? I kinda remember her and another girl at an apartment with a couple of unattractive men, and the one girl couldn’t go through with or was it Joan who couldn’t go through with it? I have a hazy memory of a scene or two revolving around that.

        Also didn’t Roger suggest she sleep with the Lucky Strike guy (whose name now escapes me) if it meant keeping the client although it turned out the guy was more interested in Sal than Joan? Or do I have that wrong too?

        • I think you’re thinking about season 1- Long Weekend, when she and her room mate have a night out and bring some men back to their place. Joan takes one to her room, and they are interrupted at some point by the news of Roger’s heart attack. Those men weren’t clients, they were just some guys they met.

      • Anne B., I agree – “There has always been a sadness to Joan, wonder if this will lead to us finding out why.”

        Well, we have met her mother this season.

        Also, I think more people than just Don are in on the pending divorce information. That receptionist probably told a few people. Office gossip travels fast.

        I am tempted to interject some male thinking into the conversation. I think that Joan probably wasn’t “respected” by the male partners in any way that didn’t include some constant speculation about her sexuality and its potential. She’s a knockout punch in everyway to any male. Whether it was fantasy, intimidation, or in Roger’s case, actual experience the partners were going to have a hard time not letting her looks get in the way. Those men are men. I believe they set Joan apart regardless of how competent she was, and in a different way than they do Peggy. So, in the end I don’t think Joan gave up any respect. That line stays the same. What she may have given up was personal integrity, assuming that she hadn[‘t already given that up way back when she started out on her affair with Roger. But, I’d always read Joanie and Roger as soulmates until this season. So, what do I know?

      • “They think she is still married”

        They do now, but the news will come out soon enough, and it will be a bit of an “AH-ha” moment for her fellow partners.

    • Having just read through all of the comments on this thread (at least up to the point where I started writing), I’m a little bit surprised at so many people’s reactions. In 2012 we live in a world in which people seem to be capable of doing the most shocking things in front of millions of people on TV or on the internet. They seem willing to do these things for fame (an unbelievably overrated commodity in my view) and absolutely for money or other material gain. I found this episode completely believable even though I really like Joan as a character. I wouldn’t do what Joan did, but it’s one reason why I’m relatively poor. I compare people’s actions in this episode with what we see in our everyday world. People sell themselves for SO much less than Joan did.

      It is always tough to be a single mother, but it was way tougher in 1967 than it is now, and that’s what Joan is looking forward to. Fortunately, she has her rather unappealing mother for childcare. I thought that the message of her receiving papers from Greg was an indication that he thought she was at fault since there was no no-fault divorce in that time and place. In other words, he’s been using his medical training to count up the months between his departure and the birth of Kevin. This could mean she will get very little in a divorce settlement. She didn’t want to take money from Roger BEFORE the papers were served, nor did she want her child to be outed as not having the father whose name he has. I think she’s feeling a lot more desperate than she was, and the conversation between Don and her in the last episode let us know that she feels pretty pessimistic about finding a desirable new husband.

      I actually felt like this was the first episode of season 5 that really wowed with its writing, acting and overall message. It’s not a good message about people and life in general, but it’s about the world that really exists out there.

      It seems to me that the amount of self-selling that went on in the 60’s was way less than it is now for ordinary people. It was just a little drip drip drip. It’s a torrent now. That’s one of the reasons why Mad Men is one of the few entertainment related shows I watch on TV. But, in a work of art (or at least creativity) like Mad Men, I expect this kind of ‘gray’ way of looking at human behavior. That’s what gives it texture and depth. And we’re talking about the advertising, right? MW works in the entertainment business, a world of compromised values, so he knows all about this stuff.

    • Absolutely! Joan understands her value. Joan KNOWS that she is competent and that she deserves to have a higher status in the company. Joan also understands the time she is living in, and knows that it is very unlikely she will ever get higher then where she is.

      I forget if she said that 50 000 was 3 or 4 times her yearly pay but either way she is a soon to be a divorced single mother and it is probably weighing heavily on her….

      Women are objectified today still, and it was sooo much worse in that time period. In today’s age no one would probably openly say it but that doesn’t mean it is not thought.

      And with her rapist husband serving her divorce papers and Joan already stating that all the men in the office are just boys, if it truly so difficult to believe that she would say screw it I am taking care of myself and my kid in a way that presented itself, because I sure as hell cannot rely on any men to do it for me.

      I want to believe that she might have changed her mind if Don had reached her in time, but alas…

  7. That episode was like a kick in the stomach.

    For whatever reason, Peggy selling herself to Ted Chaough was nearly as troubling as Joan selling herself to Jaguar. It was not as though Don had earned her loyalty in this episode, but the price really struck me. Chaough bought Peggy for $16,000 a year and little flattery. Earlier in the episode, Lane had treated $50,000 as foolish amount for Joan’s “virtue”. It reminds me of the non-proposal in “At The Codfish Ball” in a way. Like Abe, Chaough isn’t making a permeant commitment.

    Unlike a lot of folks, I like the Don-Meagan relationship. She is so different from Betty and has really become a rich character in her own right over the course of the season. Her audition made an uncomfortable parallel with Joan’s decision.

    Oh my what a decision Joan made. She deserved better than she got from every single partner in the room when that grimy little pimp unveiled his plan. Lane betrayed her to keep his embezzlement a secret for another week-or-two. Roger betrayed her out of laziness. Bert apparently never saw her as anything else. Even Don was a bit too busy being furious to make any real difference.

    • I thought she wrote she wanted $18,000 and title of “chief”, and he gave her $19,000 and title of “chief”.

    • Old Fashioned is right about the terms, but your parallel with the non-proposal here is very telling.

      Don’t forget, though, that Joan says she makes $50k in 4 years. That means that Peggy has asked for and gotten much more.

      • The $50K was four times what she makes in a year, $12,500. Peggy got $19,000 from Ted C – and I don’t see that transaction anywhere near Joan’s. Ken would have made the same deal (but probably asked for $20K or even $25K, not that he would necessarily get it.) It was a business deal and Ted was not smarmy about it. He knew Peggy’s work, Peggy named her price and he met it, plus the extra. He showed her respect. Whether it continues at her new job is unlikely but he gave her what she asked for, no quibbling.

        BTW in 1967 $19K is equivalent today to about $130,000. Joan, at $12,500, was making the equivalent of $86,000. I think it’s time Joan moved into a better place and got someone other than Mom to care for Kevin. I wonder if Carla is available?

        • “Whether it continues at her new job is unlikely but he gave her what she asked for, no quibbling.”

          I really liked Teddy in that scene and I do think she’ll be treated well by him. I didn’t get the feeling that he was the type of guy to throw money in her face, which, in my opinion, was truly unforgivable. He spoke highly of her talent and he knew immediately that was something Don clearly was not doing anymore.

        • Fabulous episode!!!! from the back-tracking of Don in Joan’s apartment, to Peggy’s goodbye to Don, and the light at the elevator shaft, glorious!

    • Peggy was negotiating for a salary and title. Utterly different. That contrast between her and Joan was poignant.

      • To me, what is interesting is how little Peggy got out of the transaction.

        Leave Joan aside, every other character with leverage has demanded a piece of the business. Don did it when he was being courted in S1. Pete did it in “Shut the Door. Have a Seat.” Even Duck did it in the negotiation with Putnam, Powell and Lowe. From a certain perspective, even Betty did it with Henry Francis. She wouldn’t give him what he wanted until he agreed to make her his partner.

        • How little? $19,000 and copy chief were great accomplishments.

          • Agreed. Becoming a partner is also a big commitment which Peggy may not have wanted until she knew more about the company from working with them. They are also unlikely to give her a partnership without having her work for them first.

    • I don’t see how that was troubling. It is business, he knows her worth, she knows her worth. She stated her price and he exceeded it. It was actually a respectful way of doing business on his part, he could have strung her along and toy with her to lower her asking salary. She was obviously naive about it….

      Even with Joan, I think it’s more troubling how the “men” around her reacted to the “proposal” than how Joan handled it. Joan, after all made her decision for herself. She was breaking inside but she made it, she named her price and they met it. People are always weird when it comes to sex and body selling, but Joan had more control over this situation then over her fiance raping her. SHE made the choice.

      The troubling part is that all of those “men” didn’t stop in its tracks when the little weasel first said it. They should have had him grovel in front of her in apology, and give her a promotion as a way of apology, instead of a payment.

    • I didn’t see Lane’s actions as betraying her. He actually gave her advice on what she should ask for. I saw it as him being in her corner, letting her make the decision BUT just in case she decide to go through with it, he was giving her a bit of advice on what he thought she should ask for.

      Roger was the one who truly betrayed her. Really Roger, the most important thing you had to say was that you will not pay for it? Shithead

    • All three women were looked upon as products in this episode. Megan is ask to spin around for the guys casting the play. Her friend pretends to be acting out the parts of the ad ideas to the amusement of the men in creative at the office, Peggy is purchased for a good price and Joan is the asking price for a client’s contract. Women as chattel.

    • I don’t know how one can see Peggy smiling at the very end of this episode – amidst the profound (and abundant) moral wreckage strewn about SCDP – and come to the conclusion that Peggy’s decision and life trajectory are troubling in any way, shape or form. Peggy, the heroine of Mad Men, becomes very much a heroine in this episode. It’s a moment of triumph, and everything about that final smile at the elevator conveys not only that she made the right decision, but that she KNOWS she made the right decision.

      • Thank you. I totally agree.

      • Peggy’s arc this season has been:
        – Flubbed the first Heinz pitch and then was fired from the account.
        – Hired Ginsberg, who promptly surpassed here at SCDP.
        – Couldn’t match Meagan with Cool Whip.
        – Quit to go to work for Ted Chaough, who was depicted as a Draper obsessed loser all last season.

        Despite a couple gif worthy moments (e.g. – counting the money, smirking at the elevator), this season could scarcely have gone worse for Peggy.

        • Yeah, good counterpoint.

          I also wondered if her smile and the subsequent Kinks’ song felt “off” in terms of tone. Personally, I’d love for her to thrive at Chaough (or another firm) and never step foot in SCDP again, but would she really be that upbeat about leaving after that final office scene with Don? Nitpicking, I know, but I would think the happiness and relief would be delayed/come later. Came off as a cool moment — reminded me of Don’s “Tobacco Road” final scene in E1/S4 — but felt a little forced.

          • The exit has me worried that Peggy is really gone. It felt discordant with the rest of the episode and made me wonder if MW was deliberately giving Peggy an upbeat “final moment”.

          • Dean – yeah, I’m worried about that too. As a fan of Peggy, as much as I care for the character and want good things to happen to her, I also want to see lots of her every week! When characters leave SCDP (and previously SC), they aren’t featured as much. I hope this is only a temporary thing on Peggy’s part, and the storyline works so that she comes back to SCDP. Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?

        • In this very episode we saw her score a “home run” improvising a save of the account that was about to disappear, in full view of her colleagues Ken, Stan, and Harry, who all celebrated her for it and even venturing to point that out to Dom before fading away when he wouldn’t listen. That was just about as high a point in her professional life arc we have ever seen. And being won away by Ted Chaough, putting down a higher, not lower, salary on her pad, was a coup that confirmed it.

    • Great comparison between Megan and Joan.

      Excluding moral considerations, the reason Megan would never consider sleeping with producers and/or directors is she doesn’t have to; Megan is married to a rich husband as Joan mentioned a few episodes ago. Joan is not. Joan’s decision was based on her current status as a single parent raising a young child. That’s the bottom line.

  8. $50,000 in 1967 = $344,000 in 2012. That’s an incredible thought! At what price would anybody be willing to sell out, just for one time.

  9. Don’s really going to have to step up his game now. If he fumbles, Teddy Chaugh is going to be right there hollering about how Don was never anything, Peggy did all the work and how he’s stripped the king of his crown by poaching Peggy over to his agency.

  10. I liked how multiple characters referred to the car advertising biz as sleazy bookended by the Slattery /Hamm car ads.

  11. “Yet the negotiation perfectly parallels what Joan did with a percentage and a partnership. We all do sell ourselves for work, for ambition, to succeed.”

    Investing one’s creative work and skill in a business is not an idea easily paralleled with the sale of bodies. To me, these things are opposites.

    I can’t disagree more that “we all do sell ourselves.” The only people who say this are those who have chosen to do work they don’t believe in, work that doesn’t respect or advance anything they hold dear. It’s similar to when prostitutes claim that marriage is the same thing as prostitution, only on a long-term payment plan; one has to remind them that there’s this whole “love” aspect to it they are unwilling or unable to plug into, and love happens to be the point of the entire enterprise. If you’re selling yourself, stop. Stop today.

    Joan refused to take payment from Roger Sterling for sex she already had, despite the welfare of the child that resulted being a consideration. A few months later, she is pimped to a stranger and accepts the idea in exchange for a junior partnership at a mid-range ad agency. Circumstantially, what was different except for the asking price? I deeply wanted to believe the Joan character was better than this.

    • “Well it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but your gonna have to serve somebody.”-
      R. Zimmerman

      • I’ve been thinking about that song all night. Even Don has to serve somebody. If it’s not Big Tobacco, it’s going to be a shady automobile dealer.

      • C-A-P-I-T-A-L-I-S-M. Wonderful to live in an ideal world. I wanted to be the starting shortstop for the New York Mets. Unless you are Bono, no one is doing what they absolutely wish they could do. If you’re independently wealthy, congrats. Why is anyone judged for anything they do in order to put food on the table? Don Corleone on down, JUST GET IT DONE. Joan is the same person to me as she was before.

        • Why is she judged? Let’s see: because it was immoral, illegal, and made her cry. Because even scumbag Don Draper didn’t want her to. Because Lane only suggested it to hide his own illegal and immoral actions.

          Your version of capitalism comes out of Mao’s Little Red Book. Actual capitalism is something with which you don’t seem well acquainted. Your suggestion is that to feel this way, I must be Don Corleone or live in an ideal world. While you’re way off, I do feel comfortable saying that my version seems to be working for me a lot better than yours does for you.

          After all, I wasn’t watching the show for years, thinking Joan was smart and capable, so I could say “I hope when she prostitutes herself, it’s for a great payday!” You, apparently, were. You look in the mirror and see Pete Campbell and think that’s okay because “why is anyone judged?” Do you think the point of the program was to feel nothing about Joan’s decision? That scenes of Joan in tears and Don trying to convince her not to do it were included not once, but twice, because you were supposed to believe they were wrongheaded?

          • The Don is only a metaphor for the dubious choices that sometimes are made in order to improve one’s lot in life. I do not see it as an all or nothing at all proposition. There is an ideal, and then there is the pragmatism of making your way, if you fall short of the fantasy. Not advancing or promoting a rogue lifestyle, as a counter to the disillusion of not having what you want. Simplistic interpretation. My apologies if that is how I came across.
            What Joanie did was not as irredeamable as murder. It is something that chips away at your soul. “And one day, there is less of you”. I am not happy about it, if that’s the impression I gave you.
            The choices we make, define us. I don’t think in a pragmatic sense, what our Joanie did was either all bad, or all good.
            Obtw; I’ve seen capitalism in its purest form on the floor of the NYSE, its neither all good, or bad, its simply the way we choose to conduct business in this society. Mao would not understand.

      • OF – Love the RZ reference. Pretty much captures the action.

        those hillsides – Don is always serving. He’s just screwed up enough to think he isn’t. When you live a double life, it’s your serve a lot.

        tk – You obviously live in the real world.

    • J, I had similar feelings except I wanted to believe that Joan felt better about herself than that. The points people made about her getting older make sense. I do have a question about Roger and child support, I thought Joan was refusing it while she was married to Greg, she wanted to raise Kevin with Greg. The scene where she and Roger spoke about it was before Greg served her with papers. I think she’ll change her mind, Joan is practical and she wants Kevin to be taken care of . I thought that scene with Roger was actually touching, he wants to do the right thing which we don’t see that much with him.

    • On the contrary…prostitution takes many forms. People sell themselves out for many things other than money: fame, survival, respect, power, jealousy, paternalism, etc. While we should always strive for ideals and live by an ethical code, human transactions always involve a buyer and a seller.

      A famous Winston Churchill anecdote:

      Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?
      Socialite: My goodness, Mr. Churchill. Well, I suppose. We would have to discuss terms, of course.
      Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
      Socialite: Mr. Churchill..what kind of woman do you think I am?!
      Churchill: Madam, we have already established that. Now we are just haggling about the price.

      Churchill wasn’t in denial about human nature.

  12. From day one Pete Campbell has taken a one-way ticket to hell and he’s not about to buy a return ticket.

    It started with ridiculing Peggy on her first day on the job, being a creep by knocking on Peggy’s door and sleeping with her, exchanging a chip and dip for a rifle, having Trudy prostitute herself so he could get a short story published, telling Trudy he will not agree to the adoption, telling Peggy that Trudy is like a stranger to him, sleeping with Peggy in episode 8 and then later in the episode refusing to dance the twist with her as is celebrating helping the firm win the Belle Jolie account, stealing the package from Adam Whitman meant for Don and ratting Don out to Bert Cooper. And that was only season one.

    So was what happened in tonight’s episode really that much out of character for Pete. Pete doesn’t care anything about Joan except she has a commodity which he cannot personally supply and which clients want. And Pete is the classic pimp who will do anything to bring both sides together. And unlike most ambitious people. Pete is not motivated by money but by power, status and recognition.

    The ends justify the means. And Pete can go home to Trudy and sleep at night because he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong. He is a man without a conscience; if he has a soul, it is so deep within that it will take years to find it if he happens to be looking for it.

    I don’t think Pete will die this season. It’s only the good who die young.

    • I think the scene with Pete reading to Tammy was great because he is such a sleazebag but we saw one nice moment. Pete is always so dissatisfied and he seems to actually like spending time with his daughter–though I’m sure it doesn’t happen often

      • One thing that makes MM so wonderful Anna B. No matter how good a character is …we are shown a bad side. No matter how horrid they appear…we are shown something good or touching.

        The major characters are multi dimensional….not caricatures.

      • Yes, but look how in the next moment he tells Trudy, “There aren’t even any good night noises here…” like the ones he’s just read about in a child’s good night book… Geesh! Talk about childish, petulant Pete!

    • I don’t think Pete will die this season. It’s only the good who die young.


      And to me, the writers’ working in of the scene with Pete reading Goodnight, Moon was akin to someone pointing out that Hitler painted pretty landscapes and still-lifes.

      In the very first episode of MM, didn’t Pete fish that smoking study out of the wastebasket and bring it up, thus making Don look bad? He is a completely venal, self-serving, childish, sociopathic man. He was then; he is now.

      • LOL, Deborah. That was my immediate thought when watching the “Goodnight Moon” scene with Pete: Hitler and painting and his macabre henchmen doing horrendous things to Jews and loving babies (their own). Great scene for MW et al to include — and it does nothing whatsoever to change my view of Pete’s character. You summed him up perfectly.

      • Pete is now the H word? (I can’t abide to even spell that name.) Call Pete every adjective in the book, to illustrate how much hatred you feel for the character, but H, come on!

        You’re killing a flea with a sledgehammer. Its overwrought.

        Only the good die young, huh? What is Megan’s date of birth? 🙂

        • Hear Hear, Tilden, times two:)

        • Yeah, likening Pete to Hitler seems a bit much. That sort of thing, devoid of humor, reveals a perspective I have a hard time fathoming.

          Good one about Megan, TK, but alas, I think she’ll be around for another year or two.

          • Me too.

            I think all the characters have shades of grey, some are darker than others but no one is Hitler or a mustache-twirling villain IMO.

  13. This recap did the impossible; that is, somewhat encapsulate the enormity of feelings I have about this episode. I have such a visceral, gut-tearing reaction knowing I am just one step removed from a time where choices like Joan’s were made–and I am not naive to the fact that women are still asked to make similar choices all the time.
    I have a sick lump in my throat worrying about backlash to this–a woman making a choice. I live by the motto “trust women” and damned if I won’t trust Joan on this. But there is no way my mind and my soul aren’t all tied up in knots thinking about the context of her decision.
    Hendricks made a good point on the Inside MM recap–Joan’s holding her head high among all the men knowing she’s all seen them do much worse over the years. What standards of purity will we hold Joan to in our reactions that we don’t hold others to? That’s a question I’m asking myself about my own reaction, as I have with other characters (for example, how often do I forgive Don because he’s the handsome “hero”?). MW has created something so fertile, and so scary, for us to examine about our world and ourselves in this episode.

    • Maybe tomorrow I can think about Peggy leaving. Right now all I can say is, good for her. Man is my head exploding.

      • When you start to think about it , don’t forget that Don threw cash in her face. I can’t forget that…what these poor women had to go through in the 1960’s..

        • I think that moment was the end for her. She wouldn’t have met with Freddy and vented if it weren’t for that, and she would not have had that meeting with Ted.

          I wonder how much more Don will have to lose before he learns to keep himself in line.

  14. With just two more episodes to go in the season, I’m not sure how Matt & Company will top this, but I’m sure they will. The 10th and 11th episodes usually set things up for the 12th one and then the season finale that follows.

    I won’t even guess how things will play out, but two loose threads are on my mind as S-5 begins to wind up: Can SCDP afford to even have this new account? Surely additional hands will now be needed on deck. Some are expecting Lane to ask for a credit extension for this purpose, but he’s already gotten $50,000 (minus the $8,000 check to pay the money he owes Her Majesty’s tax man) and the rest will go (or went) for bonuses for everybody but the partners. And tonight, didn’t he tell Joan that getting the Jaguar account would financially devastate the company? The other thread: When the partners and business press discover Lane’s embezzlement, what will that portend for the future of the firm? Last season, Don’s “Tobacco Letter” nearly killed the agency and ensured that Big Companies would never do business with a company that “bit the hand”. This year, the public disclosure of embezzlement by one of the partners, could bring everything down.

    • Well if Megan’s acting doesn’t pan out she could be asked to return temporarily to help out until they can replace Peggy. She already knows the ropes and has shown she’s got something to offer other than being the boss’s wife. Sorry for all you Megan-loathers but it is in the realm of possibility.

      • Great point, Floretta — that seems like a sure thing, that Megan’s talents will be sorely needed, begged for even. Especially by Don. She won’t do it, though. She made her decision, she’s going to act, and she’s going to be a success, come hell or high water. This week, she told Don that if he made her choose between acting and him, she’d choose him and hate him for making her choose. But I wonder, when the chips are down, if that’s actually the way things will go.

    • Peggy may have made the best decision in the history of Mad Men. Her goodbye with Don was moving, it was like that moment in the Suitcase but not a repeat, an extension

      • I dunno Anne. The guy she’s going to seemed really slimy to me. And his $1,000 bonus but only if she doesn’t check out any other options …. I just dunno. The grass is never as greener on the other side as we think.

        • Peggy is now Don’s equal, I believe, in that new job in terms of becoming a creative director. Wasn’t that the title she got. Maybe I missed something, but I think that was the case. Anyway, it was the right thing for her to do. Don was never going to take his thumb off of her. He loves her, but she was once his secretary. He can’t get past that. In a new job, she won’t feel the kind of emotional complications she feels with Don. Now she can be an adult with him instead of a daughter. The goodbye brought me to tears.

          • She got Copy Chief, still ways off from Creative Director but she made the first important step. She had to separate herself from Don, and she has done so.

      • Also, she has supporters at SCDP. We saw what Ken did. He followed her into her office, not to console so much as make sure she knew he was in her corner. And, even Harry, who is pretty much the personification of every man for himself, showed that he thought Don was out-of-line. If Peggy could have stepped back and looked around, she’d probably would have seen that Don doesn’t necessarily carry as much clout as he once did. Ginzo and Stan might respect Peggy more so than they do Don. IAnd, that’s like the entirety of creative.

        She’s decided to go ahead with a title and little more money, but she’s going to have to earn respect from those she works with. I doubt Ted respects her any more that Don. It’s just Don’s still angry with her and her with him about the recent past.

      • 100 percent agreed, Anna B.

        There’s one very simple comparison which illustrates why Peggy’s decision is so wise:

        Precisely when Don realizes that his talent had nothing to do with landing Jaguar – that his status and power had nothing to do with the quality of his work – Peggy makes a decision which will finally enable her career to be judged on the quality of its work.

        Whereas Peggy was trapped, she no longer is. Whereas Don once succeeded in the office on the basis of his work and its merits, he no longer does.

        There are powerful (and clear) reasons why Peggy smiles so broadly at the very end of the episode, why Matt Weiner left behind no ambiguity about the wisdom of her decision.

        • mzemek, I’m with you, except for one little thing. As a pitch man, Don’s still got it. The pitch was brilliant. It wasn’t his tag line; it was the one he was trying for days to come up with, but Ginsberg was the one who got it into words. Don sold the hell out it, though. His pitch still mattered.

          The thing is (OK, one thing among many is) that he knew it was sleazy. He had tried to back out of the whole line of thinking, troubled just enough by its tawdriness to try another tack. But then Megan came in to get her battery charged, Ginsberg had his moment of inspiration, and Don knew that it would work.

          It troubled him, but he made it work with that old Don Draper spark, diminished of course since the Carousel days, but he brought it home. And then, of course, he had to recognize that it the pitch worked only because of its real truth; Herb got to test drive the exquisite machine, and now he thinks he owns it.

          It has diminished him. Don has never been slow to call a woman a whore, but he really didn’t want to believe that Joan would do this, or that he would have had any part in putting her in this position.

  15. I’ve always been a feminist among feminists and I’ve never known one who thought that love or marriage was prostitution.

  16. Please note, there was a problem in editing. My editor at Press Play is absolutely fantastic and does a great job every week. But this week he inadvertently changed my meaning. Where I originally wrote “a lot of feminist and other theory,” we ended up with simply “feminist theory.” ADDED: Which has now been corrected.

    Naturally, feminist theory is not monolithic: There are multiple theories. In addition, I didn’t mean to imply that *only* feminists would make this assessment. My intention was that *some* feminist *and other* theorists think this. It is not a swipe at feminism: Those who read me regularly at BOK know that I am a feminist.

  17. Is Joan a feminist? Sheen’s character in Wall Street said: “You’ve got to get to the big time first. Then, you can be a pillar and do good things”.
    In the future will Joan be a champion for more women in their workplace? Try to nudge the guys into hiring to get a woman’s perspective? The number of women working full time went up almost threefold between the 50’s and 70’s. That’s an emerging market if I ever heard of one.
    This is assuming that SCD (no P, Lane will be in handcuffs soon) is still around in the foreseeable future. Will she have a real voice as a partner, or will she be held in low esteem by her gutter rat colleagues?
    Eagerly await her story arc down the road. Most importantly, will she be OK emotionally with what she did?

    • Maybe if Lane does hard time it will be Sterling Cooper Draper Holloway! (assuming Joan takes back her name! )

      • I hope Greg doesn’t find out about her becoming partner before the divorce is final — don’t know what NY laws were about then, but I don’t want him getting ANY of it.

        • New York State divorce takes a long time, even now. She could do a Betty, fly with Kevin to Reno for 6 weeks and countersue hubby. Since he’s alredy indicated he wants the divorce there should be no problem getting one, just on her terms rather than his. And just because she has been made partner doesn’t giver her any cash yet, or even a raise in salary so nothing’s changed in her bank account.

    • I know a few Joans so, from my experience:

      Yes, Joan is a feminist. She will be a virulent champion for merit based quality women in the workplace. She will nudge for hiring more women only when it’s evidence based to be profitable. She will have a real voice as partner, and she is not held in low esteem — in fact, it is the opposite, she is seen with respect as one of the boys by the boys.
      Most importantly, she will be emotionally fine with what she did; she’s not made of sugar and she’s earned her partnership fair and square. She’s an equal.

    • I think Joan’s views of gender roles are rooted too deeply in the 40’s-50’s and can not truely progress in to anything that is even pre-pre- feminism.
      I adore her character I, but seem to remember she was rather weary of Peggy’s promotion from secretary (a woman’s natural place) to the creative team and unless I am very much mistaken she assumed there was sex involved. I also thought it was interesting that Peggy (who was encouraged by Joan in S1 to “get the hang of things” in the office) left SCDP while Joan went even further with her own advice.
      I sympathise with Joan but I think she made a mistake, mostly because she will struggle emotionally with this decision. She may have been taught to see herself as an object, but she is in touch with herself and just like she knew Greg had raped her, I think this experience will linger in her mind and cause pain.

      • Joan was born in 1931, and thus is a child of the depression. I kind of suspect her childhood was no bed of roses.

    • I think, like Don once told Peggy, she’ll be “surprised by how much this never happened”.

      • Yes. And when Joan becomes involved with a man again (for love, I dearly hope), she will never, ever tell him the truth of how she was made partner.

        • But one of the male partners will tell. You can take that to the bank,

          • The only one that would tell, I think, is Pete. But, he has kept Don’s secret because it would be very very bad for the business if it got out, and I think the same is most likely in this case as well. It would reflect badly on him, and Pete is all about rep. It’s part of his relentless ambition.

          • Don’t forget Ken was at that dinner with the client when he asked for Joan. I think he will add two and two together. I don’t think he will tell. But I’m sure somehow it will eventually get out to all the staff.

        • Unless she becomes involved with Lane, who would love her for herself.

      • Excellent catch Devon! And how soon we forget that Peggy indeed made an infinitely tough decision to sacrifice her child for her ambition. I frankly am more worried about the lasting emotional impact of that sacrifice for success than I ever would be for Joan’s. Joan has secured a future independent of conjugal-right-taking husbands or a promise-making married man who tells her she’s the best lay of his land and offers gallantly to take care of any mistakes. Joan made the decision to keep her baby boy and now she has figured out a way to secure their independent future together. Good on her.

        • In regard to Peggy’s “tough decision to give up her child for her ambition,” in 1960 society expected an unwed mother to give up her child for adoption. Pregnant girls often went to live in a “home for unwed mothers,” pretending they had gone to visit an out-of-state relative. If Peggy’s pregnancy had been apparent to the world, she might have taken that route.

          It would have been too shameful to keep the baby, whether or not mom had a career. Many of these mothers were never allowed to see or hold their babies.

          It still would have been painful, but it was the accepted decision. We didn’t use the term, bur it was a no-brainer.

          Now the culture has changed, most single moms keep their babies, and there are fewer babies availabe for adoption.

          • I worked as an OB nurse in L&D in the early ’70’s and you are totally correct. Society at that time did not accept unwed mothers, and sadly, the children were treated every bit as badly. The only hope for an anywhere near normal life was adoption, maybe by family members at best. After the babies were born, we wrapped them in white blankets so everyone knew we did not take them out of the nursery to their mom for feeding. It broke my heart. Unless you lived in the time, you can not believe how it was, and how no one, and I mean no one ,objected. The courage of those who finally stood up and said “this is not right” can not be underestimated.

      • No worries, I’m sure Pete will be there to remind her *cringe*

      • Devon,

        That’s a terrific point and a great piece of recall attached to it.

        Yet, it is possible to disagree with terrific points (and still acknowledge that they are terrific).

        Peggy really did block out her pregnancy. Joan cannot block out this event. Her regret – not situational regret, but the ache she feels at a soul level – will be written on her heart for the rest of her life. Oh, Joan will compartmentalize this event and learn from this event, but she will not, in my mind, be able to live as though it never happened.

        That’s a small distinction, perhaps, but a meaningful one.

        Still… you make a terrific point which substantially enhances this discussion. Thank you!

  18. I feel that Peggy had nothing to say to anyone except Don;especially Joan.Peggy left on her terms for a better job.Joan is still at SCDP. Peggy has taken a job where she will earn $6500 more than Joan in a year. Will Joan be happy in a partnership at SCDP? Does she want to work in the same office as Pete Campbell and Roger Sterling ? It would have been too painful for Joan for Peggy to say goodbye.Peggy has come a long way since 1960.Peggy could have flaunted it on Joan if she chose to.But Peggy is a decent person and saying nothing showed class.Joan is not in a very good spot right now.

    • I’d bet Joan’s partnership would be worth more than $6500 a year…

    • Peggy will come back to say goodbye, she needs to get more of her things. She needs her book. she wouldn’t not say goodbye to Stan and the others. She didn’t want to walk into the midst of a celebration and have everyones attention on her. Wonder if we’ll hear more about the pact she has with Kenny

    • The irony is … the partnership may not be worth much in a firm where the CFO is cooking the books, so to say

      • yes, on second thought, you’re right! And especially since Lane sold her on that idea….he wouldn’t exactly be her fav either!

  19. What is so odd, is that with this episode, I forget everything that happened in the past 10 episodes. Zu Bisou Bisou seemed like it happened on another planet.

    • Episode is unforgettable like Shut the Door, The Suitcase, Meditations. A Classic.
      Easily the most disturbing wtf episode in the series. Makes Mystery Date look a gaggle of laughs.

      • Thank God today is Memorial Day…if I had to go to work after that episode? Um, no. Mystery Date DOES look like a gaggle of laughs compared to this. I feel like Don now, post Peggy’s resignation – and that I’ve taken on all of the characters’ emotions and now I just need to go sit and stare at the sky for awhile to sort them out.

  20. I am still physically sick from the ep and I dont think that has ever happened to me with a television show before. In Christmas Waltz Don told Joan that men are all wanting but they don’t know what they want and Joan told him that men do know what they want and maybe the woman does too. All of the characters are wanting and know what they are wanting but is it worth the price? This ties in with Pete telling Joan it was a sacrifice for one night and Don’s pitch that Deborah quoted above “what price would we pay, what behavior would we forgive…” I wrote in the open thread that this line was the most haunting for me.Peg wanted respect and credit but in order to get it, she had to leave and make it doubly wrenching for Don that she picked the agency he HATES – Chauough. Lane wants the company to give out bonuses and to avoid Cooper’s directive to extend their credit in order to cover his ass but to do that he has to propose to Joan to ask for percentage instead. Pete (who now makes me just want to vomit everytime I see his face) wants to get the Jaguar account but he had to mislead the parters in retelling what Joan’s reaction was and pimp out Joan. And who knows maybe that 5% partnership, while hopefully good for Joan in the long term, will bite Pete and Lane and the other partners in the ass later on. Pete also wants Manhattan but in order for that to happen he would have to leave his family because Trudy is not budging. Megan wants an acting job but she has put herself in unsafe and compromising situations in order to do it. And Don wants Megan to be happy but not at the cost of her being absent from their marriage. He thought he wanted Jaguar until he found out about Joan. Finally Joan. She also said in the last ep that she was unclear how to move forward with a baby. She wanted security AND independence AND be in control. Roger would have given her security (provided Jane does not clean him out) but he could not give her independence. So she gave herself up and maybe she lost if not self-respect, respect of Don (did you see his expression when he saw Joan) afterward?) but she got security, independence and control from the partnership.
    When a married man has “the other woman” in his life, it is at the expense of his wife. All of the “wants” that the characters have are “the other woman” because it is at the expense of something else. Only time will tell if the expense was worth it.

  21. The “what’s your price” theme really put Roger’s little payouts throughout the season into better perspective. And all of the threads about ownership and prostitution, both literal and figurative, tie together so much of the season’s other exchanges – from Megan’s mother and Roger to Lakshmi and Harry. We now have a better idea of what the season’s promo poster is all about (and really, what the season is all about). This episode was season 5, and it’ll have people talking and thinking for a long time.

    • We need to do a list of every time someone paid someone off this season.

      • Let’s be real. Just make a list of all the times ROGER paid someone off. It will be faster! LOL!

  22. Now that she’s a partner, Joan is entitled to share in the firm’s profits AND is also responsible for her 5% share of its liabilities. She think she knows the firm’s financial condition but has not yet discovered Lane’s embezzlement. Be careful what you wish for, Joan.

    I agree; this was a very disturbing episode. I will certainly miss Peggy.

    • Even though Lane was just trying to get her to avoid taking the money because he’s embezzled, he was right to tell her not to just take hush-money, she should get something larger out of it. At least now the partners will have to know, all the time, what they did to get it, instead of being all Don Draper ‘this never happened.’

    • Assuming Lane’s embezzlement at 8000 dollars, five percent of that (Joan’s share) would be 400 dollars. On a salary of 12500, that’s about two weeks’ pay. Not a bankruptcy event, even if liability escalates from there.

      But let’s see how this plays out. Lane may still pull a rabbit.

  23. Loved Peggy’s face on departure, and the choice of music. Here’s hoping Peggy’s plotline continues in an upward stream of ‘Don Draper? Pfft, what a has-been.’

    Loved the Ted Chaough scene, seemed so different to how he was after Pete, with dolled up Joanie-dressed Peggy. Wonder if she really is going to get $19,000 dollars? The way he wrote that, it was like he was telling her, if you’re really bargaining with agencies, THAT’s the number to put.

    They’re the heroes of another story, but how do we know that CGC just genuinely isn’t a better agency?

    • It may be, but Mad Men isn’t about that agency. Peggy is gone, done for. Her tenure on this show is over. Everyone keeps saying their excited to see what happens to her, and we may get intermittent glimpses, but as for being a regular on this show, it’s over.

  24. Freddy Rumson has been a great friend to Peggy Olson. He discovered her talents in season one, told Don, which allowed to be promoted to junior copywriter at the end of season one. In season two Don gave her Freddy’s accounts once he was let go, which eventually helped her to get promoted to senior copywriter. And now Freddy was in at the end of Peggy’s career being associated with Don Draper. Poetic justice, if you ask me.

    But this post is about Peggy Olson and what happened last night. First Peggy’s decision to leave SCDP was not an impulsive or ill-considered decision but something which had been in the back of her mind for most if not all of season five which in real time spanned 7 1/2 months (end of May 1966-Memorial Day to mid-Jan 1967).

    But the seeds of her resignation from the firm were sown at the end of Tomorrowland when she first found out that Don had married Megan and secondly from Joan predicting that Don would not want to be married to his secretary and would eventually promote Megan to junior copywriter. I believe Peggy lost a little respect for Don then for Peggy believed that Don had either married Megan for the wrong reasons or Don closing in on 40 should have known better to marry someone 15 years his junior and was not on a par with him status-wise at the firm. And even though Don and Megan are still together and apparently happy she saw their union as detrimental to her career because he would obviously favor her and be more attentive towards her because of her “special status”.

    It started in the premiere episode (episode 1 and 2) where Don is shown not caring about work or not being as focused on it as he had done in the past and apparently more focused on spending time with Megan whether it was in the workplace or at home, often coming in late for work. And Peggy would have grown frustrated with Don not being as available to her as he once was. Peggy had always relied on Don to being there for her. And after The Suitcase, Peggy thought she had bonded with Don and become indispensable to him.

    In Peggy’s resignation speech, we gain insight from Peggy on her perception of their relationship. She knew Don considered her his discovery and protege and Peggy considered him her mentor and champion. But if there is one quality that Don or many parents have, it is they don’t recognize the person they knew as an infant is all grown up and should be treated differently. Not to the very end did Don realize that and by then it was too late.

    But getting back to Don’s domestic situation, he did not spend as much time encouraging her efforts and even more importantly a lot less time championing her cause, efforts and ability over season five.

    For Peggy, the beginning of the end really started with the Heinz account and her inability to please Raymond Geiger. Up to episode six, Peggy had floundered coming up with adequate copywriting but imho Don made a huge mistake in episode 6 Far Away Places by not only dragging Megan away from the Heinz presentation later that morning but also depriving Peggy of Megan and his expertise in making the presentation. And frankly she bombed in the presentation and was taken off the account per the request of Raymond Geiger. Abandoning a valuable team member is the opposite of championing her cause. Peggy was left with egg all over her face.

    And Stan Rizzo warned Peggy “to stay with mediocrity” and to not hire someone like Michael Ginsberg who could be a threat to her job status. And with Don championing Ginsberg in the office in episode 11 implying Peggy was trespassing on his account while downplaying she had saved the account, Don again proved he was not in Peggy’s corner. And by throwing money at Peggy in a sarcastic manner, Don simply added insult to injury.

    We also learned that Peggy was NOT part of the Jaguar account because in Don’s words, car companies are “funny people” and only want male input. In Peggy’s mind, Don may have acquiesced too easily to Jaguar’s demands and in addition how would Jaguar even know Peggy was working on the account or not on the side? Do Jaguar have spies at SCDP? And we see the lobster lunch brought into the office to feed male freelancers that don’t have the talent to shine Peggy’s shoes and Peggy not being invited in to dine with them. This was probably a courtesy Peggy didn’t deserve as she was not part of “the Jaguar team” but again if Don had championed her she may have felt better about her situation.Did Peggy leave because of this one event? No. But it was one more nail on the coffin.

    But when Megan saved the Heinz account in episode 7 Peggy really took stock of her position in the firm. And what allowed Megan to do that. Yes, her idea was brilliant but she had special access to the boss which she never had. Without that special access Megan, a junior copywriter, would never have gone over Peggy’s head to see Don. Yes, Megan did leave the firm in the next episode but I believe the damage had been done to Peggy’s credibility, who had worked for months to salvage Heinz only to be outshone by someone with far less experience in copywriting but who was championed for her efforts by her husband that did nothing for Peggy’s ego.

    And during the resignation, we get a glimpse into the psychology of Don Draper regarding Peggy. He never understood even though she was a senior copywriter that she was no longer “the little girl” who started as his secretary in 1960 who in Pete Campbell’s word dressed like she was Amish. I think Don had assumed since The Suitcase (season 4 episode 7) or the last episode of season 3 that Peggy was part of his team forever and he did not have to worry about her loyalty to him or the firm. And to that end Don misread the resignation as a power play to get the firm to pay Peggy more money. I may be in a minority here but I didn’t think it was crass for Don to say to Peggy, whatever they’re paying you, I’ll pay you more. That’s business. But Peggy remembered the indignity of Don throwing money in her face. He shouldn’t have done that. And furthermore Peggy was NOT resigning mostly because of money but because of a lack of appreciation or respect she felt was no longer as forthcoming from Don as it once was. But let’s not be naive. The $19,000 a year salary from Teddy Chaough also played a significant role in Peggy making the move now.

    In retrospect, could Don have made some different moves and kept Peggy in the fold? Hindsight is 20-20. Sure he could have included Peggy in the lobster lunch, not abandoned her on the day of the Heinz presentation, not gone on “love leave” and been more available to Peggy to encourage her and to help her out but two things really stand out: Don telling Peggy that Joan was now a partner and the smile on Peggy’s face walking towards the open elevator door.

    The news of the former simply reinforced Peggy’s decision of how unfair Joan’s rank was now in the firm and think about it–why was Peggy not asked to be a part of the Jaguar celebrations by Don or anybody after they had learned they had secured the account? Why did Don not insist that Peggy be a part of them as senior copywriter? Because Don was still distracted by Joan being made a partner and what she had to do to become one. Peggy was not uppermost in his mind then and generally over season five was never uppermost in his mind.


    Don now has to come to terms with how the Jaguar account was landed and who is going to replace Peggy. Look for that in episode 11.

    • I did forget the blow-up between Peggy and Don at the Cool-whip facilities when they were performing a commercial together. Another nail on the coffin.

    • Actually, I think Peggy has been thinking about a career life without Don going back to season 3. When he shut down her requests for a raise. When she saw everyone make a fuss over his third baby. When Duck tried to woo her to another agency. Then season 4 when Don berated her. Even Peggy herself knew their professional lives were oddly and intricately linked. In the final ep for season 3 she said she didn’t want to make a career of being there for Don to kick her.

      This equation didn’t need Megan as another variable though the Cool Whip fiasco certainly was just another instance of Peggy feeling Don’s kicks.

  25. Two more thoughts..Deborah mentioned the hand scene between Don and Peg was reminiscent of the hand scene in The Suitcase. I also thought of an ep ( I am terrible with remembering the actual names) when Peg was his secretary and she was trying to be sexy with Don and he pulled his hand away from her.

    Also I am reading that some people did not think that Pete lied through this whole deal because he is so self-absorbed. I think he had shades of lying. He certainly lied to Joan when he told her that the Jag shithead was a “handsome man”. Maybe he misinterpreted Joan’s response but I think he also misrepresented, if not lied, what her response was to the partners.

    • It was the very first episode of MM when Peggy approached Don and placed her hand on his as an offering of her body, as she felt a good secretary should.

      The other thing about hands is that Peggy works with hers. She writes, types, and sketches her thoughts with them. They’re how she makes her living. Can anyone higher-up or more senior at SCDP say the same?

      • Brings back that quote from when Don and Lane went to the movies — “You know what’s going on in here? Handjobs” — Peggy hasn’t backed off of that either, but she did hers for free. She was in control, and continues to be. (oh, and she didn’t honor her pact with Ken, she left him behind)

        • Agree that Peggy’s in control. That seems to be missing with all the hand-wringing for poor Joan. Peggy is running the show. Leaving Don (and Ken and Pete) behind and taking Roger’s money too.

  26. I haven’t seen the episode — just the two clips in Deb’s review — but I am now so angry at Don’s reaction to Peggy’s leaving that I can’t even speak.

    She took the high road in her carefully chosen words.

    How dare he?

    Don Draper has done SO many shitty things, but because I’ve seen Peggy from season one, episode one, I am furious.

    p.s. no schoolgirl, confused dress on Peggy in that last scene. She still had a bow on, but she looked like a woman in charge.

    • I thought Don’s reaction to Peggy leaving was very similar to the reaction he had when Betty told him she wanted a divorce.

      • You’re right. Don was not listening to Peggy either, until the very end. And I think after Peggy left the office or the next day or two, Don would have time to reflect on what he could have done differently.

      • Devon, I agree. Peggy just divorced Don.

        • …and as Don told Joan “most people don’t realize how bad it has to get for you to make that decision.”

    • Yes, Don was definitely being a shit, but I hated the way Peggy treated him and their relationship in that little speech she gave in resigning. By being so formal and proper about it –saying all the things one is supposed to say as a professional upon leaving a place of employment. . . — she demeaned the personal connection they have. Don revived it, despite her demeanor by kissing her hand, an appropriate move in responding to her leaving given their relationship. I know why she did what she did (needed to distance herself, not 100% sure what she’s doing is right, etc etc etc), but I wished she were capable of more. She didn’t have the confidence to speak to him as both a boss/mentor and a dear, dear friend all at the same time.

  27. As much as I am happy for Peggy and I do think she is moving on to a healthier situation…it sucks that her role will probably be scaled back. Even though she seems like a major lead, as we’ve seen with Betty, if you’re not in Don’s world…you’re not in the show full-time. So, it’s bittersweet. And perhaps makes sense now why Megan was increased so much, but I’m still bored by her acting story.

  28. What is a tryst if you remove emotion, attraction and mystery ? What is the decision to leave the only place you have worked because you have a better offer ? What is it when all parties pursue the same business goal ? In all instances, consenting adults bring something valuable to be exchanged for something else of value. All are transactions. The only difference is context.

    Joan has been selling herself in exchange for future security since her beginning at SC. She went to work to find a husband, which in her youth, she thought would be Roger. She allowed herself to be seduced and then made into a mistress, but he never married her. Then she found and married Greg, so she would become “A Doctor’s Wife”. Now she decided (and it was her decision) to spend one night with a man to secure her future. Again, the only difference was context. The depiction of what happened was tragic because of what we feel for Joan. We despise Pete because he is amoral. We both despise and admire Lane for how he turned the matter to both Joan’s and his mutual benefit. But no matter what we feel, it was ultimately a transaction.

    Peggy finally realized that what she brought to the table was not valued as much as it should be. Her ability to improvise on the spot saved an account, and she essentially had responsibility for every account that was not Jaguar. Rather than applauding her ability to perform well at such a high level, Don humiliated her in front of her coworkers. Peggy values Don’s ability and has been loyal to him since S1. She deeply appreciates what he has done for her and feels a deep bond with him. But she finally realized that she would never be appreciated on her own merit if she stayed under Don’s wing. What she has to offer would never be fully valued in the present at SCDP. It took Freddy Rumson to push her to leave, but how much of a push was it? Going to Chough and co was a slap in the face to Don given the enmity that exists between them. However, since Chough has accounts that were previously managed by SCDP, bringing in Peggy will provide continuity and likely improve the account relationships. This move wasn’t about money, but it was an exchange of intangible value and still very much a transaction. I do predict that Peggy will come back, but at a different level. “Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Olsen-Holloway” anyone ?

    Pete is amoral. No other way to describe him. (And I think Trudy knows this, which is one reason why she so quickly shoots down Pete’s desire for a Manhattan apartment- she knows what he is capable of). He doesn’t care who or what stands in his way, he will turn any situation to his advantage and manipulate anyone to do his bidding. His initial conversation with Joan was to find out if there was a price. And there was. If she had flatly said no, or that she had no price then the matter would have ended. But she said he couldn’t afford her price, meaning that negotiations had started. Notice his smile when he turned away from her. The partners were appalled and all except Don agreed to move forward (move forward, isn’t that Don’s Mantra?).

    If Pete is amoral, what is Lane ? In his “effort” to console Joan, he presents a way for her to accept with dignity while at the same time keeping his embezzlement a secret. The irony is that he has probably created the instrument of his own destruction. His embezzlement will be discovered and he will be fired, while Joan will succeed him as CFO. Yet at the end, Joan hugged Lane, which should be viewed as a tacit thank you. Lane correctly identified Joan’s dilemma as a potential transaction, and once she realized he was correct, she agreed. His council proved to be valuable, but even if his outward motivation was altruistic, his primary motivation was self-preservation. How is this really different than how Pete acted ? In some ways Lane is worse than Pete, in that he is not only amoral, but also a liar. Pete at least is very upfront about what he wants in the office.

    In the short term Michael Ginsberg will be promoted. We have seen how the most effective pitches have recently come from him and the moment he began the Jaguar tagline with “At last….” I knew they would win the account. It was interesting to watch how the pitch developed. First the look on Ginsberg’s face when the lobster is uncovered- something he desires but cannot have. Then his wistful contemplation of Megan when she visits the office- she comes and goes as she pleases. He recognized the power of what is desired but remains unattainable and the degree of aspiration that is sometimes contained in desire. But because you can actually purchase (own) a Jaguar, you can actually possess the object of your desire. Beautiful and it also served to show that he would be Peggy’s successor in the office.

    Only 2 more episodes. Knowing that the 4 previous season ending episodes have been spectacular, I can only wonder at what lengths MW and company have taken to ensure that the finale will surpass “The Other Women”.

    • “But she said he couldn’t afford her price, meaning that negotiations had started”

      I interpreted that line differently. Yes, she could have been more direct and said “no” but she was offended by the conversation. I took the line as shooting him down and because he is so manipulative, he turned it around and misrepresented his conversation with Joan to the partners.

      • Because Joan ultimately had a price that was met, her conversation with Pete was in fact the beginning of negotiations.

      • The line Joan had about “you couldn’t afford me” reminded me of “Dumb and Dumber”.
        – “What are the chances of a girl like you going for a guy like me?”
        – “One in a million.”
        – “So you’re saying there IS a chance.”

    • Agreed rl1856. Deborah, you amaze. My head is reeling. How you can so astutely and succintly put words to meaning each week astounds…this week in particular.
      Christina Hendricks? Emmy please. Extraordinary. The look on Don’s face when he realized what Joan CHOSE to do? Priceless. His stricken reaction was fascinating. Was he disappointed in Joan or the fact that the work, though brilliant, may not have been enough on it’s own.
      I don’t think we have seen the last of Peggy (and for a nano, I thought we might have as she spiraled down the elevator shaft). Didn’t Don once say something like he would spend all his time trying to get her back if she ever left? That look of confidence and optimism, mug and thermos in hand as she stepped on felt good. Her real future awaits and I see some Teddy in it too.

    • I have many ways of describing Pete. Amoral is not one of them.

      It’s so easy for everyone to hate on Pete — how is he any worse than Lane or Roger or Bert?

      • Right. What was their initial objection to the proposal? Not that it was Joan’s decision, not that he was asking this of a fellow employee. No, it was that SHE WAS MARRIED. She already “belonged” to some other man, and the client was poaching on someone’s else’s territory.

      • He’s charmless, thoughtless and has no compassion. That’s how he’s different. That they all, in the end, act the same is telling.

        I almost hate Roger the Cad as much as Pete. I recall thinking that there were two men in that office at the partners meeting who loved Joan and would say no. They were the first two to open their mouths to say yes.

  29. Now to Joan Harris. I have always considered Joan as intelligent, sophisticated and street-wise. She is NOT an idealist, knows the score and does not allow sentiment to cloud her reasoning when she makes a decision.

    Joan is NOT a slut but does consider her sexuality as an extremely important part of her persona. In episode 10, she mentioned to Don, “My mother brought me up to be admired.” But Joan has always wanted to be in control with who she goes to bed with. She will not give away her body for free. She always expects something in return. I realize that this may sound crass and that I am NOT judging Joan but telling it like it is. With Roger, it was being treated with rich elegance and with Greg it was to settle down and raise a family.

    But what has changed for Joan in the last several months is that she now has Kevin to take care of. Am I saying if Joan was without child or still living with Greg she may have not gone to bed with Herb, the Jaguar dealer? Or if Joan had allowed Roger to take care of Kevin. That is possible.

    But Joan gave us an indication where her head was at when in episode 10, she appreciated how precarious her situation now was being a single parent and that it would be difficult to convince any man to marry her with a child in tow. However, Joan would have also realized she was now on the wrong side of 30 (born in 1931) and that she should start to seriously think about her financial future.

    In Godfather language, Lane made Joan an offer of a partnership and a 5% stake in the firm which she could not refuse. Joan told Pete that the firm couldn’t afford to meet her demands. And she was proven wrong. That was how important Jaguar is to SCDP.

    Now some people claim that Joan sold out. Let me ask those people who are not single parents or were not single parents in 1967 raising a baby alone, are you scornful of Joan’s decision because she “prostituted herself” in her own words and morally repulsed or are you more angry that Joan set the woman’s movement back by agreeing to such an indecent proposal?

    As for me Joan did what she needed to do to survive and eventually thrive in “an every man for himself” American culture. In this way she is the female counterpart of Don Draper. Joan Harris decided what she needed to do to move forward, and she did it. She is now set for life and so is Kevin.

    • I hope you are right. Lane may have messed up everyone’s financial future

      • There are no guarantees in life with respect to the firm or company you are working for remains a going concern. But SC or SCDP has been in operation for 40 years. If the firm eventually goes under, even with Lane’s efforts to cook the books, Joan would imho discover the discrepancy eventually before the firm went under, especially now that she is a partner and has access to everything.

    • I disagree,Joan is still the basically the same character she was in 1960.Peggy, however is not. Peggy no longer wears her hair in a ponytail and she has changed so much since she walked into Sterling Cooper.Don, Roger,Bert and Pete are all still in 1960 too. In 1966 there were a lot of single moms in the workforce who would not have made the choice Joan made. They would have quit.Joan has a supportive mother and Joan has job skills.She has to tools for a life beyond Greg and Roger.Peggy knew it was time to move on.Joan should have too. She could have made it outside too.Joan was never going take a step down to move on.

      • I agree many women in Joan’s position would NOT have made the decision that Joan would have made but if you go back to 1960 and examine Joan’s words and actions, there is really nothing in her biography on screen which would indicate she would not at least contemplate such a decision.

        Watching Pete make the proposal made me squirm but Joan was NOT as outraged with Pete as you might expect her to be. And when Joan made the comment, “You can’t afford me” that was an invitation to Pete (and the other partners) to come up with a proposal that she could accept.

        From Joan’s point of view, she didn’t think that there was any way she would be made a partner but she was wrong. But in being wrong, Joan was right. She secured her financial future and that of her son.

        I wrote elsewhere Joan has always had a price for everything but the one thing you know about her, the price is extremely high. Most people can’t afford the price.

        • Disagree. Joan’s “you can’t afford me”… is NOT an invitation to counteroffer. It is a statement on how ridiculous Pete and his offer was to begin with. It was her polite, succinct way of saying, “I will not consider this, and if I did, which I am not….you can’t afford me.” Most people would be put in their place, but Pete hears that line and spots a loophole. The way he presents it to the other partners is so underhanded and shitty. He is a liar. No one else would have even encouraged the discussion if Pete had not presented it in such a fashion. Finally, Lane, with his knowledge that he’s about to get caught, as he’s already extended the credit line, comes to Joan with a thought that a) buys him more time and b) puts her on more secure financial footing. Only time will tell if he planted the seed that helps or hinders.

          • That is what is so great about MM, each line a character utters is subject to various interpretations, the literal intepretation and the more subtle or obscure one.

            The way I took it from Joan: My price is way too high for you fellows, so don’t bother. Yes, Joan was being dismissive of the idea, but not dismissive of the idea of reconsidering the idea if her price was met.

          • Didn’t it have to be a “counter-proposal” of sorts given the fact that she accepted the counter-offer?

          • I’m sorry, she did not accept a counter-offer did she? She made a counter-proposal to Pete’s counter-offer which the Partners accepted. At least, that’s what I think occurred legally speaking. It’s all just legalistics anyway. My main point is that Joan could not have been shutting the door to the negotiations by saying “you can’t afford me” They obviously could afford her. They gave her enough to do the deed.

            Pete is shitty, but there is no way to read this as Joan being pushed by Pete. She knows what she’s doing. She goes to Pete and asks for more. Would she have done it for less. I doubt it, but she named her price and the Partners met it.

          • I agree with JvsJ and wrote something similar as a reply to post 28. She was seething when she responded to Pete. She could have been more direct in her response which was given with so much restraint but his approach was more than insulting. Pete lies to her about the guy being handsome and then misreprents her response to the partners. And if she doesnt go along with it, Pete wants her to figure out how to tell the troops! He puts it ALL on her shoulders. What kind of leader would say to someone if dont have a one night stand with this dude we lose the account so if you decide not to do it, tell everyone why since it is your fault Slime! No win situation either way but she turned to the best of her advantage as she could

    • Techno, for once I agree with you.

    • In agreement.

      Joan has lost all illusions and realized she cannot rely on men to take care of her. She is now taking care of herself, period.

      This is an old argument, but I for one do not see Joan’s choice as setting the “movement” back. Joan has made a choice, it was hers to make and she did. The fact that the she never even should have been presented with the choice is a different conversation and the responsibility for it lies solely on the sleazy shoulders of Pete Campbell and then in smaller part. the shoulders of the other partners, Don included.

    • Wonderful recap.

    • tk – I read your blogpost and really enjoyed it. I can’t say I agree with it all, but most of it. I do think that Don has begun to right himself in the last 2 episodes, and really do NOT think he was coming on to Peggy. Their physical contact has never been sexual, except for the very first episode when they didn’t even know each other. He has always been utterly insensitive to her and taken her completely for granted. They know the worst things about each other, but theirs is a father-daughter mentor/mentee relationship, and I saw him as unwilling to say goodbye even though he was finally accepting there was nothing he could do to convince her to stay. I don’t think DD is incapable of genuine emotion, which I guess makes me unlike a lot of other bloggers and posters whose words I’ve just started reading recently.

      MM obsessives seem to be sooo cynical about some of the characters and sooo adoring of others. I’m much more philosophical about them. They’re fun to watch because they’re full of the unpredictable and are truly complex. I think this is not just true about Peggy, but also about Don. I find him much more multi-dimensional – he actually does have some good qualities. He just can’t seem to draw on them in any consistent way.

  30. My next stop is Megan Draper. [edited]

    From the pillow talk that Megan had with Don about her intention of leaving the firm and to pursue a professional acting career full-time in Lady Lazurus to the end of episode 11, I have NOT been convinced that Megan really is driven to do what is necessary to become a professional actress.

    Metaphorically, just because you don’t like orange sherbet doesn’t necessarily mean you like pumpkin pie. Just because Megan wants to leave SCDP doesn’t necessarily mean she automatically is gung-ho about acting.

    During her pillow talk with Don, I never got the sense she was really passionate about pursuing acting but felt it was either her duty or responsbility to do so. Citing your childhood dream as a reason for you as an adult to change careers can be self-delusional. In childhood did you really understand what it took to become an actress? And furthermore did you really know if you had the aptitude or talent to become one? It’s different acting Shakespeare on a high school stage than competing for jobs and performing for pay under extreme pressure every night, knowing this may be your last performance in awhile. Julia, in a previous episode did mention she hadn’t worked for awhile.

    Imho, Megan is motivated by GUILT, the guilt trip her father laid on her for not pursuing her dreams and her belief she is letting herself down by not treating acting more seriously. And when you add in the GUILT of her saving the Heinz account so early in her career, feeling unworthy to have done so, you have a young woman who is saying all the right things, doing all the right things and going to audtions but I get the feeling Megan is more about PROCESS than results. She acts like osmosis will take over and suddenly one day she will wake up a successful professional actress. But anybody involved in the arts knows, success in the arts doesn’t work that way.

    Instead it takes a lot of work and dedication to even reach the status of a professional actress but if one is to have longevity in the profession one needs the raw talent to sustain it. And I am NOT convinced that Megan has the requisite talent to become a professional actress, and thus don’t agree with Peggy if Megan could be successful in copywriting she could be successful in her new pursuit. Instead I take the Joan Harris line of argument that Megan will be “another failed actress married to a rich husband.”

    Now why do I think Megan is not driven to succeed? Despite her father insisting she has lost her soul in the exqusite decadence of the Draper lifestyle or Julia’s comeback that Megan is sitting on her throne on 73rd and Park looking down on actors and actresses struggling to survive, she has made no attempt so far to treat acting like it was life and death and cut herself off from Don’s largesse and love.

    In addition Megan mentioned she has an audition teacher. Ask yourself why does anyone with loads of talent need with an audition teacher? Sure the teacher may point you in the right direction to how to dress, act or talk when auditioning but when it comes down to it, it comes down to performance or talent. Do you remember the scene in the first season where this young actress was attempting a radio commercial under Peggy’s tutelage. No matter how hard she tries, she may never gets it right. And bottom line, despite spending years with an audition teacher, Megan may never be able to perform up to a standard that gets her jobs consistently on Broadway, off-Broadway, TV or movies.

    And in Megan’s last scene in episode 11, we see Megan dejected over not getting the part, but we also know she is not happy with the “casting call approach” used by the three men in sizing her up for the part. I really get the impression there is no way in a hundred years Megan would sleep with any producer or director to get a part. The price would be way too high.

    And how do we know that? Megan told Don if she had to choose between acting and Don, she would choose Don. And she would furthermore remain supportive of him succeeding in advertising, even though she knows he is at best luke-warm about how he feels about her succeeding in acting.

    So where does this leave Megan in the final two episodes? Imho, an unhappy husband who tells her Peggy has left the firm and that he is short-handed because of her departure (more on that later when I explore Don) and whether she should re-evaluate her decision to pursue acting. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out the Mad Men Don and Megan story line for the last two episodes of the season.

    But what decision Megan makes and what Don says to her on Peggy’s departure and what it means is anybody’s guess.

    Bottom line: This cannot be said enough. Don is a survivor. If Megan doesn’t rejoin him at SCDP, Don will make other plans to move forward.

    • You’re mostly right, except I don’t agree about “no way Megan would sleep with a producer to get a part.” She certainly wormed her way onto Don’s sofa easily enough. “I want to do what you and Miss Olson do.”

      I can see this happening and ending their marriage, because only Don has the right to whore around.

      • But Don’s not doing that anymore….and is trying (at least somewhat valiantly) NOT to do it anymore.

        Was Don’s concern about Megan leaving for Boston if she got the part all about control? No, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. Though the exact amount of all possible motivations is unclear (this isn’t like a recipe, is it).

        Why did Don want Megan so involved in his life…I mean, they were rarely apart at the start of this season? I think a some of it was for Megan to help him “be good”…to commit to this marriage. Don’s really WANTS this to work…he doesn’t want it to fall apart like his first marriage did.

        So he’s concerned about would happen if Megan left him, all alone in that big apartment, for weeks at a time. Will he devolved back to incipient alcoholism, as in season 4? Will he restart the infidelities of his previous marriage.

        Don really wants to be good, and he is using Megan’s presence to help him. He doesn’t trust himself. I see his response to Megan as almost a cry for help as it was an attempt at control (a control he now knows just doesn’t exist).

        • Don wants to wake up with Megan every morning. He said that during his proposal.

          If Megan were to become successful in acting and consistently worked out of town, their marriage would be kaput. Don would cheat and Megan would divorce him.

          Don can’t go very long without female companionship. If anything after 5 seasons of MM we know that about DD.

    • Techno, many professional actors have audition coaches – especially if they can afford one-on-one instruction as Megan can. I don’t think that means she has no talent.

      • In the NFL they have something called the Combine for potential draftees. All these college players have agents who try to prepare their clients for what will happen but what it comes down to is performance during their audition for the scouts and GM’s.

        My point is audition coaches or enablers can only take you so far, then you either sink or swim. Or to put it another way, do you think any really talented actor or actress ever failed to succeed because they never had an audition coach?

  31. I was disgusted by the behavior of pretty much everybody at SCDP in last night’s episode except for Don, Peggy, and Joan. Now, people may wonder why I wasn’t disgusted by Joan’s behavior, but to me, she was presented with an almost irresistible opportunity for a soon-to-be single mother with potentially no child support. I wish she’d taken the 50 grand though, because who knows how much a partnership with these slime balls might be worth. Joan is smart and could have taken that 50K and turned it into something long lasting and viable for herself and her son. Lane suggesting to her that she take the partnership over the cash and implying that he was doing so to look out for her, instead of to keep his theft a secret, was pretty sickening too. Pete … nothing Pete does surprises me anymore. I was surprised that Roger didn’t kick up more of a fuss, and was astonished that Cooper didn’t join Don and exit the conversation.

    While I will miss Peggy, I’m so happy that she not only quit putting up with Don’s shit, but that she left for a really good opportunity. $19,000 is a LOT of money! That alone has got to make her feel valued. I’ve no idea what she was making at SCDP, but I doubt it was that much. Joan was making $12,500 and I can’t see them paying Peggy more than they did Joan. I did tear up when Don kissed her hand instead of shaking it, and I’m glad for Peggy that he did that because it confirms that he really does care about her as a person, and I think that must have meant a lot to her. Much more than the offer to beat whatever salary she was being promised elsewhere.

    This episode may well turn out to be a watershed event, but it won’t make me like it.

    • I agree with your watershed comment. It could turn out to be one of the three most pivotal episodes in the history of Mad Men.

    • This is a deceptively simple question, but one that I often find hard to gauge whenever a Mad Men episode is discussed:

      Did people who disliked this episode dislike it for its outcomes, or its deficient quality?

      (I loved this episode, but then again, I’ve disliked only one Mad Men episode to an appreciable degree in 4 and 11/13ths seasons.)

      • This is the first episode ever that I have disliked. Not due to writing or performances, but due to the content. The powers-that-be at SCDP made me sick to my stomach, excluding Don. When Don Draper is the champion for moral conduct, then those on the other side of the river have got serious problems!!

        Someone way up thread asked why Jon Hamm hasn’t won an emmy. In a word (or a name) .. Bryan Cranston.

        • Julie ATL – Re the Jon Hamm vs. Bryan Cranston question. That was a good part of the point of my question.

        • Julie ATL:

          I thought the irony of the episode was outstanding. Perhaps Don is NOT such a bad guy after all. Or perhaps over season 5 he has grown as an individual.

          Why is it so hard to accept that Don has become a better man while Pete Campbell has descended further into hell and become more despicabe than Don?

  32. I thought Ginsberg’s comment about Megan’s coming and going as she pleases was an indication that she may be the young, beautiful trophy wife, but Don doesn’t own her anymore than any man owns such a beautiful thing. He can own a beautiful car though.

    • Right, Julie. I thought Ginsberg was responding to Megan’s behavior, too, and that her behavior gave him the idea for the Jaguar tagline.

      • Me three. He watched Megan waltz into the office with Julia and ask Don if he had a minute — he goes right out with her and into his office with her. He’s in charge in the conference room, but Megan is in charge when she shows up. I think Ginsberg was responding to that dichotomy and that’s what helped him come up with the perfect line. Otherwise, why bother with that entire scene, what was its purpose? I think it was (in part) to show how Ginsberg came up with the tag line.

        • Yep, me four, though I’ll have to admit to chuckling at Megan’s friend playing the “jaguar” on top of the conference table.

        • The essential insight of that scene in my mind, GoodSally, is that what (little) degree of character development that was done with Ginsberg pays off in this episode.

          Ginsberg, the alien, the other, the weirdo, has the objective distance and outsider’s perspective needed to see Megan in this way, to see men’s possessiveness of women and relate it to the Jaguar pitch line. Ginsberg, from this outsider’s position and vantage point, can tell Don the pitch line and know that he’s speaking not only to a place deep in Don’s inner being, but to that place deep in the emotional center of the (chauvinistic, Herb-like) men who would choose the advertising firm for Jaguar.

  33. How do we think Peggy’s departure will affect Don? Will he unravel? Will he be forced to write more, produce GOOD and GREAT copy? I think Don’s reaction could be the real story here. What do you guys think?

    • In the clips of “next week on Mad Men,” I noticed Don saying something to the effect of, “This doesn’t mean anything anymore.”

      I think Weiner is setting up two final seasons in which feature Don really wrestling (genuinely) with defining his life in a deeper, more internal way, removed from his work — not valuing people or things because they are possessions he can control, but for their own intrinsic worth. Just speculation, though.

    • What if Megan agrees to help Don out with copy and creative ideas, but only at home? As a sort of silent partner?

      I’m seeing a Don Draper who’s increasingly hollow and bereft at work. He’s looked into the void at the center of SCDP — then turned around and gone back to work. But it continues to fall away from him. Without Peggy, he’s not going to have much to sustain him at work anymore. And she had to leave him for Clough! (Cough? chuff?) anyways, such a kick to Don’s head when she told him. It’s got to be hard for him to take. Not to say that he didn’t deserve it, and he would know it if he gave it a moment’s thought. But who wants to know a Don Draper capable of introspection?

      He needs Megan at work again, not just in his soul but as a writing talent. Ginsberg can’t do everything at the agency, and Draper lost his creative mojo sometime around The Suitcase. I just can’t imagine Megan coming back to the office. Not any more than I can imagine Don really accepting that he doesn’t own her. And he doesn’t.

    • This is a great question. When Betty left him, he went into a long deep downward spiral. Will he have a similar reaction from Peggy’s leaving since she’s his workwife? I worry for Peggy that she may find out that the only reason Ted Chaough wanted her at his firm was to spite Don, unless he’s gotten over his Don obsession. That could wreak havoc on Peggy’s self-esteem, maybe leaving her to regret leaving Don as Betty did.

    • I posed a similar question in Open thread (#285). It is not just Peggy’s departure. I am wondering what his mindset is given that he was the one who tried to talk Joan out of the Jag deal but found out she did it and the one who is missing Megan and Peg the most and the one who must be carrying some disdain for the partners right now because they did not stop the Jag deal. Given all of these things, how can he walk into the office and feel good about it? Just like Peg, he has to be thinking about other options.

  34. And finally to Don Draper. Episode 11 was all about the chickens coming home to roost for Don and being blindsided by events which seldom happens and what Peggy’s departure means to Don. (Joan’s ascension to partner is also significant but doesn’t impact Don directly).

    Let’s start with the immediate fallout of Peggy resigning from SCDP. Don told her she could leave right away and would not hold her to her two week’s notice. He told Peggy he could get by with the freelancers currently working for the firm. Frankly I don’t believe that for one second. There were two earlier scenes showing Don interacting with these men and in both scenes Don is expressing frustration with them over their lack of productive input or output. Yes, the argument then could be made if Peggy had been in the room, Don may not have been this apprehensive but now that Peggy has left, you really got a preview of how SCDP is going to look moving forward until Don replaces Peggy. Don is NOT stupid. There is only one reason these guys are freelancers: They’re not good enough to become permanent copywriters. You could compare them to a taxi squad in football or players who only get into the football game to play on special teams. Don’s outburst to Peggy is simply bluster or bravado. Deep down Don is worried about how his copywriting team will perform in the light of securing the Jaguar account. And I think you will see that in the next episode.

    In addition as I pointed out on another thread, Don would only promote Ginsberg as the last, last resort. We saw how they were at loggerheads in episode 9 where Don promoted his own “devil” pitch to Snoball rather than ptiching Ginsberg’s throw a snowball in your face idea.

    So Don is faced with two possibilities: Replace Peggy from the outside or convince Megan to return to the firm.

    Put yourself in Don’s shoes at the end of episode 11. He knows Megan is not happy with the rejection she has been receiving, is not happy staying around the apartment so much and vegetating waiting to be hired, and also Megan given a choice between Don and acting would choose Don.

    And Don also knows that he is now slightly desperate to fill Peggy’s shoes. And that he must find the right person to not only satisfy the Jaguar people but who can do the job. Just because you landed Jaguar doesn’t mean you’re home free. In Churchill’s words, this is the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning. Now the real work begins.

    And if Megan is brought in look for Don to convince Jaguar, Megan is qualified to work on their account despite their wished only men need apply.

    So Don imho is going to approach Megan in either the next episode or episode 13 and ask her to return to the firm on a temporary basis until the Jaguar account is up and running and to thus put her acting career on hold. He will stress it is temporary but that he really needs her help right now. Don has three powerful things going for him: Megan loves Don, Megan’s sense of guilt for Don’s largesse and her career has not taken off.

    Now if Megan says no, then she is telling her husband that she has no qualms abandoning her husband in time of need and that in fact he should hire someone else to fill Peggy’s shoes. In addition Megan would be passing up a golden opportunity to fill Peggy’s shoes and become if not immediately, eventually a senior copywriter. Was Megan partially prompted to leave the firm due to her guilt of feeling Peggy should have gotten more of the credit for Heinz? Remember the scene where Peggy congratulated Megan for hitting a home run. If that was the case, that obstacle has been removed.

    And Don is a closer. We know that. But who really knows what Megan will decide? But I do know if she says no to Don, in addition to Don’s guilt about what Joan did, and his problems in replacing Peggy that he is more likely than not to cheat on Megan. Don is at a very low point in his life right now despite the Jaguar coup. It would not take much to send him into a further despondency such as being rejected by his wife. Ironically we should see the old Don Draper in season four return by the end of this season.

    And season six may open up similar to season four showing Don floundering.

    • This seems completely wrong about Don. Don’s got his mojo back and that’s why he now feels comfortable simply judging Ginzo’s work on its merits as was always his approach before season 5. He did the same with Peggy and even with Pete in Season 1. Ginzo’s work made the Jaguar pitch good for them and Don is happy about it. I’m leaving Joan out of it right now – that’s another issue completely. Don was despondent before this episode, but has just regained his sense of purpose about work, so he doesn’t have to be insecure anymore. My God, he’s Don Draper. Again.

      • Each week gives us something different about Don getting his mojo back. For example in this week’s episode we see Don growing frustrated at his stable of male freelance copywriters, horrified that Pete would even consider approaching Joan to sleep with Herb, the Jaguar man, and angered with the prospects of Megan spending the next 3 months out of town, at least until he found out she didn’t get the part.

        Don loves to be in control. If anything this episode shows, he has none at the office or at home.

        Picking up Jaguar should have boosted Don’s morale, but I wonder if it has. Would Don clearly want Peggy to still be working at the firm and would he accept the tradeoff of not getting Jaguar in a heartbeat? I think he would.

        Episode 12 will show if Don has accepted the new reality of the firm (Jaguar the #1 account) or whether he will fight against it.

        And yes will Don ever accept that he and the creative team secured the account or will he always consider Jaguar as somehow tainted with the stain of Joan’s sacrifice of her body?

      • SDAgemate:

        I’ve been loving your comments the past week and a half and am really glad you have decided to join the conversations! 🙂

        I would only point out that since Don’s talent and/or skill likely had little (if anything) to do with landing the Jaguar account, Don could be very, very cynical in the near term and will be thrown into one more major period of disillusionment before the end of the series.

        We’ll see.

        • Thanks for the encouragement. As a real amateur in the posting game, I appreciate it. One thing though, I’m not so sure that the creative pitch was so meaningless to their Jaguar success. There were three car guys making that decision and only one of them demanded to be with Joan. He could have swayed the decision against SCDP, but as one of three, I don’t think it was HIS decision alone to make. Also, I agree with Joan. Just because she had sex with him didn’t necessarily mean he wouldn’t doublecross them after the pitch. You can give away the store and get nothing in return. But, I absolutely agree that the victory will always be tainted for Don.

  35. Joan’s and Peggy’s lives in counterpoint has always been one of the best things, as well as a main theme in MM, and now it has been featured front-and-center in “The Other Woman”. When Don threw the money at Peggy, my heart sank, but it shouldn’t have surprised anyone that it would impel Peggy to move forward to another agency. Don isn’t a cruel person, but what he did at that moment was very cruel. It was never just about the money for Peggy. We know that Peggy has always had options, and really believed it; Joan, never really believed she also had those options. The only way Joan could ‘move up’ and become more financially secure and independent was, sadly, using the one ‘talent’ that she was best known for (and no wonder it’s the ‘world’s oldest profession’–it never stops).

    SC/SCDP has always wooed clients with prostitution–nothing new here. Most people have a price at which a transaction can be closed. (Google the famous Churchill anecdote). This episode had many moments of heartbreak: Lane’s attempt to discourage, but then help Joan raise her price (those two have always understood the art of compromise); Don’s weak and futile realization of taking Peggy for granted and what he’s lost, all in that parting kiss on the hand; Don’s realization that Creative’s “brilliance” only went so far in the agency, and that the Account’s Dept’s .prostituting women over the years probably did as much for clients’ business; Roger ‘going along’ with the scheme to win Jaguar (although, amusingly, he finally announced something he wasn’t going to pay for); Megan, the free spirit, hitting a brick wall at the audition; even knowing what Joan’s mom had to do to get repairs in the apartment. Pete’s actions were not surprising…he always has a price and transaction in mind. Ginsberg, the truthteller, of course had the insight to come up with the definitive tagline, and theme of this episode…”at last, something beautiful you can truly own”. Bert Cooper once said that advertising is about people buying things to realize their aspirations, and Don’s Jaguar pitch perfectly reflected that…it’s just heartbreaking when you realize that people aren’t just buying things, they are buying other people, all the time.

    • Bert Cooper’s line “Make sure she knows she can say no” indicates to me despite his age BC is just as ruthless as Pete or Roger but hide it with his avuncular manner.

      • Yes, Bert Cooper is ruthless, opportunistic and venal. Remember his reason for keeping Pete on in S1? Pete’s Old Money family connections were more important than his business ethics. The Rothko painting? Abstract Expressionism be damned–it was bought purely as an investment. His admiration for Ayn Rand and objectivism is obvious. He is avuncular and has wisdom to share. I like his quirkiness, his appreciation of other cultures, how he is the one person who best knows Roger for what he is. (other than Joan and perhaps, Mona) After Miss Blankenship died, I loved his line, “She was born in a barn, she died in a skyscraper–.she’s an astronaut.” He is a results-oriented person, which you must be to be a business success–he admired Don for his self-reinvention, even if that included deception. He knows that sometimes the ends justify the means, which is his strength and his weakness. Yes, he keeps his cards closer to his chest than Roger, but I think he has more depth than Roger, and a little more decency.

    • I think Joan’s Mom was just flirting with the maintnance man. She was calling him on pretenses and I don’t believe money is so tight that she needs to sleep with him

    • “SC/SCDP has always wooed clients with prostitution–nothing new here.” Exactly, and now it’s time to feel bad about it? Those other prostitutes have families and virtues of their own, I’m sure, but Roger et al don’t feel bad about them.

  36. I feel so bad for everyone in this ep. Peg, for leaving her “home”, and she really, really had to, Pete, for leaving behind the last of his decency without a backward glance, Joan, for making a choice no one should have to make, and learning something about herself no one wants to know. Lane, for, pretty much the same reasons. Megan, for realizing that artistic merit is worth about as much as pounds of meat to many producers. And Don, for several reasons. He clearly has no idea which straw broke Peggy’s back. Fully regressed into thinking of her as an extention of himself, he abused Peg one time too many without conciousness, but much malice toward someone he actually loves. The look on his face when he thought he won the Jag account by being dazzling and brilliant ( his face read “Yes. I’m back.”) totally deflated and beaten when he realizes that another woman he loves (and maybe the closest thing he has to an old friend) debased herself to secure it. The pitch alone may well have been enough, but he will never know. Being the son of a prostitute will forever muddy his feelings for Joan.
    I have one question. Wasn’t Ginz looking toward Don’s office and thinking about Megan, when he said that bit about “she comes and goes as she pleases, doesn’t she?” and not miss pantyflasher? I thought the idea for the slogan was inspired by Megan’s not being owned or controlled by Don, or anyone else.

  37. Two thoughts as I continue to deal with this episode (I had a hard time sleeping last night, and I’m holding MW accountable.)

    1. Could MW’s negotiations regarding Season 5 and the future of the show have had an affect on this script? AND

    2. “The Other Woman”, particularly the last 20 mins. felt like an episode 13, not an episode 11. I think so much is going to happen in the last two episodes, that it is going to make our collective heads explode.
    ( My guess is that the Jaguar account is “fools gold”; and, that Peggy may be on her way to a reunion with some of her “former” SCDP colleagues before the end of the season.

    • I don’t quite understand the negativity on the Jaguar account. It’s one thing for SCDP to be denied the advertising gig because a Jaguar exec got caught with his pants down and his wife blamed SCDP for it but it’s entirely a different matter to outbid 4 other prominent advertising firms for the Jaguar account and win the battle.

      Does SCDP have to perform? Absolutely. But don’t you think Jaguar will become the firm’s #1 priority in 1967? The partners (including Joan now) aren’t stupid. And that is the reason I think Don will be under a lot of creative pressure to perform.

      As for Peggy, it’s anybody’s guess if she re-connects with her former colleagues at SCDP. But it appears she has burned her bridges. The smile at the end of the episode says it all.

      • Yeah, I need to see it to believe it — that Peggy’s truly gone. Or as the case might be, not see it/her.

        Remember, it’s hard to juggle these characters who aren’t employed at SC or SCDP. MW has done it for years with Betty, and he has begun to do it with Megan (since she resigned her SCDP position), but really that is it — DD’s wives. Could he follow Peggy at Chaogh for the final two years? I guess. But I’d also guess that if he follows her for any length of time it is to set the stage for her eventual return to SCDP.

        Even with Megan, he could be setting the stage for her to return to her copy writer position. MW has had three episodes now where we “look-in” on Megan’s acting pursuits, but I can’t see that lasting for another two years. So, she’ll either return to SCDP, or we will only get the occasional Megan acting storyline, just as we only get the occasional Betty storyline today, and we will see her more in purely domestic settings or social functions when she is with Don.

        A lof of these character decisions, I would guess, come down to logisitics. Start following a bunch of non-employees of SCDP and you kinda lose the foundation of the show. Fun for a few episdoses, I suppose, but after that you have too many characters demanding screen time and taking away from SCDP.

        • Don said he’d spend the rest of his life trying to hire Peggy. Now he has a couple of seasons to try.

      • I’m not sure how Peggy has burned bridges with anyone other than Ken. After Don’s anger subsided, it was clear he adores her. I doubt Joan will harbor ill will, and Peggy’s relationship with Pete has deeper issues than just she the firm, as was Peggy’s with Roger. I doubt her other creative colleagues– Ginzo and Stan– will resent her departure, especially if it opens opportunities for one or both of them.

        Oddly and sadly enough, I doubt that many people there will care all that much beyond Don and Ken.

        • She left to work for Don’s, and therefore SCDP’s, most bitter rival. She is done, at the agency and with the show. Sorry, I know it’s sad, but we all have to come to terms with this. Mad Men will continue, without Peggy Olson.

          • I’m perfectly fine with a Peggy-less MM. But I can see a return, a la Kinsey or MIdge or any number of others, as a periodic thing because I CAN see Stan remaining friends with her. Or I can see her and the SCDP folks navigating relationships at professional events. And I can see Don trying to woo her back.

            I guess I don’t see her as leaving scorched earth in her past.

    • I think we’ll hear about Peggy from time to time, maybe as some of the SCDP folks look at an ad and comment that it is Peggy’s work etc, and we may even see her from time to time. Other than that, I think she’s gone.

    • “the last 20 mins. felt like an episode 13, not an episode 11. I think so much is going to happen in the last two episodes, that it is going to make our collective heads explode.”

      I second that. What can Weiner follow THAT with? I can hardly wait.

  38. Did anybody else catch the counterpoint of Pete equating Joan to being a queen like Cleopatra and in signal 30 the prostitute saying to Pete, “You’re my king.”

    Pete’s ideal love scenario. I hope Pete loves asps.

  39. Terrific recap, Deb. I found Mr. Hamm’s acting particularly good in this episode especially in the Peggy scene. Many are faulting Don’s behavior for Peggy’s departure, but I think that it was established through their scene that it was simply the right time for her to move on, and no hard feelings – sad feelings, yes, hard feelings, no. Am I reading that right? I was so touched by Kenny’s loyalty to Peggy after the throwing money in Peggy’s face scene. I simply LOVE Kenny. He bowed to her after her “on the spot” pitch in Harry’s office, didn’t he? Gotta love that Kenny!

    Another quick observation – folks are also quick to judge Roger’s reaction to the Joan indecent proposal. It occurred to me, though, that on the heels of Joan rejecting HIS offer to help with Kevin, Roger may have wanted to leave the decision up to her for her financial security. Am I off the mark here?

    • Roger said it himself: “It’s every man for himself.”

      Roger didn’t want any part of giving Joan $50,000. Why? His divorce settlement with Jane will be expensive. And he is still supporting Mona, as we learned in episode 7.

    • If Don had made it a point to let everyone, including Peggy, know how much he valued her work, then Peggy wouldn’t be going anywhere. There are several reasons why it is the right time for her to move on, but I feel Don’s treatment of her is the biggest one.

  40. Is anyone else kind of irked by Peggy’s dismissal of Kenny, and the pact? She ditched him so hard and with such coldness, I was kind of crushed. He did not deserve that.

    • It’s strictly business for Peggy. Nothing personal.

      • But that’s just it. For Ken, it was personal. He knew how much that scene with Don hurt her, he knew something snapped, he instincively wanted to make it better, be a pal. And she lashed out at him and dismissed their whole friendship. Just like that.

        • I didn’t understand Peggy’s response to Ken either, kturk. I think the scene with Don throwing the money at her was a watershed moment for Peggy and deeply hurt her, more deeply even than the scene shows.

          And I think Peggy was, in turn, lashing out at the next person who comes within her personal space in the next moment, and that happened to be Ken. Very, very much like Don always does. She’s probably become more like Don than is good for her, and in that respect it’s good for her to get away from Don.

          Don may be “trying” to be a good man, but at core, he isn’t yet. And he constantly says and does very hurtful and mean-spirited things to the people he loves. And he will continue to lose people from his life for that very reason, until he learns to change in that way, if he ever does.

          Ken didn’t deserve that response from her — just like Peggy didn’t deserve that money-throwing response from Don when he was really upset with Joan and the partners — and I hope she does something really big to make amends to him quickly. Ken has been a good friend to Peggy and has in recent seasons been very respectful of her talents and position within the agency.

          • She knew she needet to leave, but he did not.

          • I said somewhere else in relation to Mystery Date that sometimes people hurt other just because they can. It can be to make someone else feel as bad as they do or because it feels good.

            Peggy was horrified and hurt by Don’s response, not just his angry money throwing but his refusal to acknowledge what she did to keep a client. That commercial was going to be Ginzburg’s even though she had the idea. If Paris was a trip, she wasn’t going to get it.

            When Ken came in, she lashed out, and I think part of it was because she just wanted to share the hurt. I can only imagine what she would have said if the next person in her line of fire had been Ginzo, Roger, or Pete.

            And I think too that she may have realized that she couldn’t wait for Ken to find an offer that could include her. Nor could she keep hitching her wagon to someone else. She’d been doing that for years with Don, being there for him to kick, as she described it in season 3. Her deal with Ken meant she was tied to him. And while Ken seems good at his job and wouldn’t be a liability, it IS harder to get a job offer for 2 people. I think she’ll come to regret how she spoke to Ken (if she doesn’t already), but it remains to be seen if she’ll regret renegging on the pact or the move itself.

            On another note, I can’t be the only person surprised that Harry didn’t pick up the money that Don was throwing at Peggy?

      • It was a temper tantrum, just as Don had just thrown. Don throws money at Peggy, turns to the window with drink in hand. Notice that Peggy is in the exact same pose when Ken walks in: turned towards the window, drink in hand. Nice positioning due to what many have said all along: Peggy is Don. That’s pointed out two more times: with Freddy in the diner (“Don’s a big boy. If he weren’t the subject, he’d tell you to do the same thing.”) and when she’s giving her goodbye speech (“…you’d do the same thing.)

        Maybe Ken didn’t deserve it, but Peggy didn’t need Ken to champion her, she needed Don to. I am so glad she had that look of joy as she left SCDP!

        • I loved it when Chaough was describing what made her work different from all the others, how she doesn’t depend on formulas and cliches but draws from herself, making every ad personal, as if she was the customer. That’s exactly what she learned from Don! And she knows it. When she responds “I had a lot of help,” she was absolutely thinking of Don.

          • I thought that “I had a lot of help” was so typically female. Many women can’t bring themselves to take all the credit for their work, whereas many men would never admit that they didn’t do it all by themselves.

        • Oops, jvsj, you already had said, very eloquently 🙂 what I just posted. I didn’t read your post before I just responded to kturk.

          I loved Peggy’s look of joy when she left also. It reminded me so much of her hop/skip/jump that we saw from behind in the scene in an early season/episode where she had either just gotten promoted or gotten her new office. Bookend scenes for me. 🙂

          • Thank you all, I understand now. Still hate it, tho.

          • Her look saved the show for me, Brooklyn Jan! I was bawling at the exit speech with Don…when he kissed her hand, and she blinked away those tears….but when that elevator opens and she beams and then the song….

            I was okay. MW is his right spot as “genius.” Thank you, Peggy Olson! 🙂

  41. Question for viewers who think Joan made a good/sensible/inevitable decision: why is Pete regarded a total sleazeball for raising the topic? If it is a legitimate “business” transaction, an oppurtunity for Joan to make a future for herself ,then Pete was within boundries to at least ask her. Pete presented her with an option and she chose to take it. We generally love Joan and dislike Pete, that colours our judgement on their actions.
    ( who would have thought I would even appear to be defending Pete, he’s been my least favourite character right from the get go- his night with Pegs before his wedding. Just goes to show, never say never)

    • My question: Why is Ken Cosgrove off the hook? He was there as well with the Jagaur exec. If he had felt so strongly about it, don’t you think he should have voiced his disapproval to a partner, other than Pete?

      • Too right. Again, because we generally like Ken and loath Pete so they get different reactions from us to similar acts.
        Having said that, Ken did try to put up an initial (very weak) decline and did not persue it as happily and agressively as Pete did.

      • Ken said to Peggy that he “knew for a fact” that they weren’t getting Jaguar. In other words, his takeaway from the meeting was that there would be no Jaguar account because such an awful thing would never happen. He didn’t think he needed to go any further. He underestimated how slimy the partners could be.

        • I agree, Ken dismissed it right of the bat and would have gone as far as to tell the client right then and there if Pete hadn’t stopped him mid- sentence.

      • My guess is Ken never considered that this was any kind of real possibility. I got a “well, there goes Jag down the shitter” kind of vibe from him. I don’t think he was consulted or anything on further evaluation on the whole “big pimpin'” apect because his opinon does not matter, not being a partner. But I do have to watch again. After todays beer swillin’ and pool swimmin’ that is.

        • I agree with you and DL; Ken never considered the possibility of “pimpin’ out” Joan.

          techno, That doesn’t make Kenny a saint. It just makes him different than the partners…something that has been very obvious since Season 1.

        • A reoccuring theme from the beginnings of MM has been the contrasting characters of Pete and Ken.

          A casual observer of the two…like the Jag dealer last night…would not see the distinction. But… the people who know them (including the audience) certainly do.

        • I think Kenny dismissed the idea from his mind. That’s why he wasn’t involved in the discurssions, and he’s not a partner

    • Pete IMO is regarded as a sleazeball because it’s easy to paint him that way. Pete=evil, Everyoneelse =ambiguous.

      Pete was more honest about the entire situation than anyone else IMO. I don’t know why people can’t see that.

      And Pete showed more respect and encouragement of Joan AFTER the fact (and before they knew they had the account).

      It’s just simple-minded IMO to let everyone off the hook and cast Pete as the “dirtball” or “little shit” or whatever Deborah said.

      • No, he is a little shit. Seriously, who asks someone to sell their body?!?! No decent person, that’s for sure. That’s probably why Ken Cosgrove, Accounts never thought it would go anywhere and Don Draper thought that once he pointed out the awfulness of the idea, the conversation would end. (I disagree with Pete. I don’t think Don thought the conversation eneded just because he left. He thought it ended because he as he left, he gave them a very good reason to end it. Reasonable people WOULD have ended the discussion at that point.) Also, what respect and encouragement did Pete show Joan? Please. He’s a sleaze, and he deserves every bit of hate he gets. He has a beautiful family that he works overtime to be away from, a wife who champions him that he cheats on, and a job that rewards his success, and yet the little f’er is still not happy and tries to make everyone’s life miserable. So yes, he’s a shit.

      • SueB — I agree. Pete deserves all criticism for this but let’s not let everyone else off the hook for it. And as someone pointed out last night, remember that Don suggested Sal should have done the same to keep Lee Garner Jr. happy. And with Sal, there certainly was no talk of 50K or a 5% stake and partnership. Don’s attitude was “what’s your problem/just do it to keep the client happy.” Also, Roger proved himself — yet again — less than chivalrous when it comes to Joan. Why she and viewers keep believing in the potential of that relationship will forever remain a mystery to me. Joan is basically Roger’s Peggy except he crosses the line and has sex with her, which kinda compromises the relationship. But at the end of the day, he only cares for her when it is convenient.

        • I think Don’s attitude was different with Sal because 1. Sal was a man and 2. In Don’s mind there is nothing to respect about a homosexual. He respected Sal as a co-worker, but was most likely squicked out about his being gay. Sure, he kept Sal’s secret, but because he felt Sal was valuable to the agency, and because keeping secrets is what Don does.

          Very different from his feelings about Joan.

      • The only reason Pete doesn’t see anything wrong with it is because in Pete’s little head EVERYthing is allowed in business, including propositioning an employee for a client.

        Pete shows no respect for anyone.

        I fail to see how everyone else is being left off the hook.

    • This is probably a huge, reverse double-standard, but it is not a legitimate business proposition. Pete should have never, ever presented Joan with the possibility. However, once he did, who can blame Joan for not walking away from it, especially considering her circumstances? If she were happily married to Dr. Harris, who wasn’t a racist creep who would rather be thousands of miles away from her and their child, then I don’t think she would have ever considered it.

      It reminds me of that movie Indecent Proposal. I would never even think of sleeping with a man who isn’t my husband, but if a gozillionaire offered me $1 MIL for one night, well heck I would have to think about it at least! What’s the tag line to the old joke? We’ve established you’re a whore, now we’re just negotiating the price?

      I STILL wish she’d taken the 50 grand though!

  42. Well, clearly Weiner wants Pete to be the most hated character on the Internet ever: hurting Saint Joan…

    • There is a direct correlation of Pete being more ruthless in business and wallowing in a poor love life and feeling rejected. The more he is rejected the more Machevellian he becomes.

      And that is the #1 reason I don’t think Pete will bump himself off. Business will continue provide an offsetting outlet for his negative feelings.

      But if Pete ever loses his job, then that’s a different matter.

      • If Pete is Machiavellian, he has ignored Machiavelli’s most important warning to the would-be prince: “You can be feared, or you can be loved. Both have their advantages. But, above all, you must never be hated.”

    • No surprises here…Pete has a history of being ruthless. He was willing to prostitute out Trudy to get a story published, blackmailed Don/Dick, blackmailed an au pair into sleeping with him, finagled his father-n-law’s business with the ‘payment’ of a grandchild, and most recently ‘pressured’ Joan to bolster the Jaguar acquisition. Whatever good qualities Pete has, they are dwarfed by his selfishness and sense of entitlement.

      • I know Pete’s never been everyone’s favourite, but until now all his misdeeds had been somewhat… compensated and forgivable (I’m talking in the context of the TV universe and keeping in mind that these are characters of fiction!). He tried to pimp Trudy back in Season 1, but back then she wasn’t portrayed as a sympathetic character but as a spoiled little girl. He blackmailed Don but it all ended up in a ridiculous disaster for him. He treated Peggy badly but then he declared his love to her in one of the best scenes of the show. What he did with Gudrun is yet unclear (he raped her? Or was she consentient? Even V. Kartheiser doesn’t know for sure!), but… speaking frankly, she was not a major character, and we’ve never seen her again, and TV audience easily forgets. He is whiny and contemptuos, but he works hard and is forward-thinking.
        But now… he’s done the Unspeakable, i.e. hurting (one of) the most beloved character(s) of the show, and that’s why the whole Internet literally wants his head on a plate right now (we already witnessed a case of “reductio ad Hitlerum” here)

        • Are you saying people are wrong to react the way they are? Pete got all of this rolling, and he deserves the bile expressed for him.

          Pete has never been a “good” character and has been inconsiderate and mean from episode 1, and has been on a decidedly downward spiral all of this season. Pete is being judged on his behavior, as Joan is on her.

          I have yet to hear anyone but you call her a saint, sarcastically or not.

          And NO, pimping out your wife is not ok EVER.

          • I did not mean to be offensive, I guess I have sounded so because you seem upset (I’m sorry). I’m saying that while the majority of MM fans disliked Pete, he still had some supporters (I’m one of them) that were willing to overlook his actions. But now it seems that Weiner is making a point of portraying him as the worst human being ever: no one is ever going to justify him now, *all the more* because Joan is a beloved character. And I find it exaggerated (I mean, Weiner’s treatment of the character) and quite hasty, and I don’t understand the purpose of that or what this will bring us to (because, there will either be some sort of redemption in the end or a retribution).

            About Trudy: I know, but I have said in my comment, this is TV and sometimes we even like the “villains”, which we certainly don’t do in real life (I mean, some things that we rightly consider inacceptable on real life we may accept on TV; I’ll make another example, like one man taking revenge of his evil enemies, like it happens in many movies).

          • I think Pete is a “good” character who, like the rest of them, has acted very very bad from time to time.

  43. I disagree with the simple “Pete is a low life and a shit.” theory.

    He’s far more compelling than that. In fact I think Pete, and Vincent Kartheiser, are soft targets to kick and make everyone else feel morally superior.

    It bothers me when such a simple description is given for the character. No wonder Vincent Kartheiser is never given any Emmy consideration. Pete is not a 2-D villain and painting him as such undervalues the writing and acting.

    • If he physically looked more like Don Draper, he’d get a lot more leeway.

      • And THAT is the sad truth.

        • SueB, this thread made me think of something.

          *Some* of the revulsion at Joan’s decision from other characters on the show, and in the viewing world at large, will come from those who are wistful that they would never have such an offer to consider.

      • Then, why hasn’t Jon Hamm gotten an Emmy?

        • At least he’s been nominated.

          Kartheiser hasn’t even been considered once he wasn’t nominated in the first two episodes.

          Don has done numerous reprehensible things (throwing MONEY at Peggy?) but It’s Pete Campbell who is hated. I DO think looks comes into play. And I’m sure it’s part of why they have him going bald. MW is playing that up.

          In fact sometimes I think Pete will survive JUST BECAUSE MW wants to make a point about beauty and facade.

        • Although Jon Hamm is a marvelous actor, in each year for which he received an Emmy nomination as best lead actor, the several thousand voting members felt someone else gave a better performance.

          • I don’t have a problem with that. I just think we can say the same thing about Vincent Kartheiser. The nominators and voters had other people that they chose more likely not based on looks, but on their own judgements about performances. Didn’t Bryan Cranston beat out Jon Hamm? I love Cranston’s performance in Breaking Bad – another exceptional show – I just think that if looks were such a deciding factor most would choose Hamm as the winner. I tend to wince for Jon Hamm when I hear people rave on and on about his looks; that can minimize recognition of your actual talent or performance and it doesn’t seem to be what he’s all about as a person/performer. I could barely continue watching Hamm’s interview on the Daily Show after the way Stewart couldn’t seem to get beyond the handsomeness thing. It may end up hurting his chances of getting challenging roles after DD.

            I think that Sue B’s original post here is more on point. Being a complex character is likely to get you noticed, but when you’re too close to actually being a villain, that probably counts against you.

          • I think Hamm’s looks probably work against him in Emmy voting. I always thought the same was true of Paul Newman too, whom they finally gave a make-up Oscar too for a sub-standard film (the Color of Money), and in terms of the rest of his career, a somewhat average performance.

            For that reason I wouldn’t think that Kartheiser’s lack of leading man looks would work against him in terms of Emmy nominations. But I do think his looks work against him in terms of sympathy for his character.

            Let’s face it, many women would have found the Jaguar “John” last night a little less objectionable if he looked like George Clooney. And btw, I’m not singling out women’s shallowness or biases here as we men are even worse. But to deny that such things don’t have, at least, a little influence on our reactions to characters is often a bit specious.

          • 2BG – You are so right about Paul Newman. I was very disappointed when he didn’t win for The Verdict.

            As a woman, I would absolutely agree that Jon Hamm or George Clooney are way more appealing choices if we’re talking sex, let’s just say (at least if you’re over 35). But in the discussion about Vincent Kartheiser’s looks bringing a bad reaction to his performance as Pete, I don’t know. I don’t think he’s unappealing, he just looks so young and also innocent for that matter. So, I tend to see his bad guy character playing against his looks, which is a good thing. Btw, I find him tremendously appealing as Vincent Kartheiser. When I saw him bowling on the Nerdist youtube channel, he was totally hilarious and appealing.

    • Karthaiser is brilliant as Pete.

      • I would agree that Karthaiser is excellent. I love the Pete character because he’s so Iago-like. He’s wonderful. It’s just that the story is about Don Draper, so Pete is really part of the supporting cast. Without Jon Hamm, Mad Men would not be the same show at all. I would say that comparing Kartheiser’s work to Christina Hendricks’ is a better comparison of looks playing a part than those of Jon Hamm. That’s all.

        • Sorry, Hildegerd, didn’t really intend to address this specificly to you, more the previous posters.

        • Pete is Richard Nixon! driven, obnoxious, creepy, riven with insecurities, willing to absorb any amount of punishment and humiliation for the sake of his ‘success.’ But also brilliant, focused, the hardest worker, and in some ways the clearest thinker. At least from his point of view, Don, Roger and Bert are the Kennedys — entitled aristocrats to whom everything comes easy, slackers who still get whatever they want. I think this dichotomy is loosely in the back of MW’s vision.

      • In response to your question about Desdemona on Mad Men: I think it’s Peggy. She didn’t sleep with anyone to get where she is, and yet many paint her success as a “business decision” similar to the one Joan had to make Sunday.

  44. FWIW, I just want to reiterate my long held position that professional shitheel Ted Chaough is the best salesperson depicted on Mad Men. 🙂

    • Perhaps…but he certainly is a major sleeeze. If Teddy told me the grass is green and the sky is blue; I would have to run outside and make sure things hadn’t changed. I’d call the guy a snake….but, I don’t like to insult snakes.

      • But Chaough pointedly DOES NOT paint a rosy picture. For instance, he describes how other ad agency execs will wonder if she plans to get married or have kids. Like him or not, it’s an honest exchange about the pragmatic realities of their business. Not sugar coated at all.

        • That might be a positive, if he wasn’t so slimey. What you see as honesty; I see as part of his “con”.
          It’s often not what you say…but, how you say it.

          • but why did he add an extra $1000 onto her figure, when he knew that she was dying to leave SCDP and would have settled for less?

          • Remember Missdisco…she hadn’t said yes yet. 1G is nothing to him and it made it look like he was so serious when he said how much he wanted her.

            Hey kid… I value you more than you do.

          • I’d also just add that Chaough was CLOSING the deal by making it clear to Peggy that the 19K was contingent on her accepting the offer right then and not talking to anyone else. Yes, Old Fashioned, he may come off as a slime, although after this episode of Mad Men, that’s a very relative term :). But Ted knows how to sell. Compare that with Don’s “negotiation” at the end.

  45. What’s the idea behind a john’s take on prostitution? You don’t pay to have sex with them, you pay to make them go away.

    Peggy’s going away.

    Joan stays, to be reminded every time of what happened she walks into SCDPH.

    • re: SCDPH? Would Joan be a name partner if Pete is not a name partner?

      • Hard to say. I included the H because Joan deserves that recognition. Of course, this means that I should have also included an extra C for Campbell, but I forgot. (Also, I think he’s a snake. :shrug:)

    • This reminds me of the Prostitute Song from South Park:
      A prostitute is someone who loves you no matter who you are or what you like…
      … …
      That’s not why you pay a prostitute, you don’t pay for her to stay, you pay her to leave afterwards… That’s why we thank the lord for prostitutes…

  46. Help me out here because I’m a little slow sometimes…so Joan had already had her encounter when Don arrives? Yes??? She thought Don was on board with all the other partners. Does anyone think knowing she had his support would have changed her decision? I don’t…
    So, when Don see’s her in Roger’s office the next day at that point does he think 1) he was too late and the deed was done or 2) He arrived before the “deal” and Joan chose to go through with it anyway?


    • Yes, Joan had already had the encounter with that man (no wonder she was going to take a shower… brr).

      Good questions: about the last one, when I watched the episode I thought the answer was #1, but thinking about it it could also be #2. It’s unclear.

  47. the stories of joan and peggy play a peripheral role to don’s story IMO.
    don FEELS
    don LOVES
    don CARES
    its the growth of don, the main character, that is changing, and that is beginning to be played out within the various relationships he has with these women, and megan has no small role in that change.

  48. Pete has always been this way from the beginning. I can’t say that he has done anything this egregious, but I feel from the beginning seasons, he’s demonstrated to me, that this is the essence of Pete for all to see in full bloom.

    I thought it noteworthy that Lane, Don were against Pete’s suggestion (driven[sic] no doubt by his lust for a car company)in the meeting but Burt seemed completely unruffled by the business calculation proposed. Even Roger was bothered as an initial response.

    Very uncomfortable episode, I can’t help think about SCDP losing their ‘innocent’ Peggy at the end as the office celebrates what Joan hath wrought for the company. It is past time for her to get her self under her and make this next step.

    I think this brings to mind secrets of the partners and how people deal with them and whether they suffer consequences of their secrets, Roger, Pete, Don and Lane.

    I think Pete’s going to get burned somehow by the Jaguar account down the road, I’m not sure if Lane’s embezzlement being discovered will lead to, or be involved with that.

    • Exactly– Pete has been this way from the beginning. He was totally obnoxious in Episode 1.1, both about Peggy and in his toadying to Don.

      We hear that 1.2 was filmed a year later, and the character was toned down a bit by then, but his behavior in 1.1 was just awful.

  49. Joan signed Jaguar. Joan is a partner now. It’s all as it should be. Tilden says it all better than I could.

    The money shot in this episode for me was the look on Don’s face when Peggy said she was going with Teddy. That’s the far more dubious “sale”, imo.

    • Dons face in that entire scene- from when he sat down at the beginning of their conversation to when he teared up as she left- was awesome to watch.

      • Jon Hamm’s acting in this entire episode was superb. And yes, Don’s face in this entire scene bears many watchings. He projected so much depth of conflicting feelings with so few words.

  50. No one seems to grasp that Peggy is gone. Like, really GONE. It’s sad, for sure, but I also think it was probably time. I think the move just makes sense for her character. I keep reading comments where people are saying things like they’re excited to see her at her new job, or maybe she’ll come back to SCDP after a time, but there’s just no way. No character has ever left the firm but remained on the show, it just doesn’t happen, and this show doesn’t work that way. Furthermore, she left for CGC, Don’s main rival, bitter enemy. There is just no way that the agency would have her back after that. No doubt Don still sees her decision to leave, and certainly her chosen new destination, as a betrayal. Fantastic episode, and I love Elisabeth Moss, so Peggy will be dearly missed.

    • Joan left to get married, and then when SC was sold, she came back. In later comments, Christina said that when she got the script for Guy Walks In ,Matt told her, don’t worry, you still have a job on MM.

    • I disagree- Peggy is more essential than any character on the show not named Don Draper or Dick Whitman. It is literally impossible for me to imagine MM without Peggy. She may not be back at SCDP, or even interact with Don et al. But, I predicte that she’ll be on the show. You could argue that it’s more her story than it is Dick’s.

      It’s worth noting that Betty is “followed” by the MM writers as her life changes with Henry and the kids. Also, Jane has been a subject of some focus and Mona too as they left the SC world, but maintained connections with the people who worked there and at SCDP. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Kenny, Kinsey and if I’m not mistake Smitty have all been kept around so to speak. The only “major” character to not return in some way has been Sal. I may be wrong on that. Please, correct if you know differently.

      Anyway, I know Diane left Cheers to write a book or something and Henry Blake left the 4077 M*A*S*H unit to fly back home, dying tragically, but I can’t bring myself to believe that Peggy taking a job at CGC is the equivalent. MAybe I am in denial.

      • If you are in denial, MA, then I am also. I can’t/won’t believe that Peggy is truly gone either. I don’t care about any arguments about why she wasn’t part of all the pre-season publicity and whether or not her being out of the country shooting a movie was the real reason.

        Above all, MW is a pragmatist and realist and he knows better than we do how much of the positive comments/energy is generated by viewers who love Peggy and believe she is as essential to MM as Don is. I don’t believe he would write her completely out of the show, and I don’t believe that Peggy has willingly left for “greener” pastures/roles.

        Of course, we could both be totally wrong :). I sure hope not. I watch this show for Peggy and Joan, not for Don, not for the rest of the characters either. They all add to the excitement/interest/joy of the show. BUT the SHOW IS the WOMEN, not the men, for me at least (with the huge exception of Megan :)).

        I wonder what the audience breakdown is by gender? Lipp Sisters: do you know? 🙂

        • Season 7—- SCDP has gone under. Bert is dead, Roger is busy with wife No. 3 (whom he met at her high school graduation), Lane’s in jail, and Jaguar turned out to be fool’s gold.

          Margaret Olson.. Head of Creative and partner in (insert new name of firm), gets a call from a headhunter who has an experienced “m”ad man for her to interview. His name….Donald Draper.

          Bizarro World!

          • O.K., that must be the final scene of the series. I have to see it.

          • Hey, you. Get offa my cloud! This is EXACTLY the scenario that ran thru my head back at the birth of SCDP in Peg’s apartment, when Don said he would spend the rest of his life trying to hire her. I remember thinking, dude, if you don’t keep you head out of your ass, you’ll be lucky if one day she hires YOU.

        • By the way, BJ; I don’t think we have come close to seeing the last of Pegs.

        • We will hear “rumours” about her glorious victories around the office of SCDP. And they will meet occasionally as competitors.

          • I have a vision; A year two down the road, a very glammed up Peggy, out and about on the arm of Teddie Cheough, bumping into Don, solo. Teddie would then have what Don used to have, Peggy and equal of sorts, who shares his love of advertising. Double burn.

      • The first episode of the series was on Peggy’s first day of work. This show isn’t about Don Draper, it’s been about Peggy Olson the entire time. There is no way she is gone for good.

        • Exactly. This show has always been the Peggy show, whether people wanted to recognize it or not.

    • To be honest, I’ve never thought that Peggy leaving the agency meant that the character’s been written off the show: you might think I’m too optimistic, but that would be a suicide move on Weiner’s part.

  51. One of my favorite parts of this episode was the Chevalier pitch. Lady Godiva rides in to save the “hero’s” ass from the screaming fanatical fans. She may be sexed up, but she rescues him. Its a nice inversion of Ginzo’s “Cinderella” story, in which he has her shoe, and she allows herself to be caught– to be rescued or ravaged or both.

    It also nicely portends Joan’s story– who uses sex to save the agency by doing the one thing that seems to guarantee that the agency can be in the running for the campaign. She rescued them.

    What’s also interesting is that the Godiva legend is about a woman riding naked for the betterment of the commoners, to convince her husband to lessen their tax burden.

    • Wow, spectacular catch. The Lady Godiva commercial is definitely a reflection of what Joan does. It only seems right that it was a woman, Peggy, who comes up with the scenario.

      And, for those of us who like the meta, this episode was co-written (with Matt Weiner) by a woman, Semi Chellas.

      • Melville, I didn’t realize that Semi Chellas is a woman. Thanks for that info. Wonder how old she is? She’s written this episode from the cellular level of having lived through those years as a working woman or because of close connection/information from other women who have.

        • After reading Anne B’s piece, “On Not Having an Affair”

          where she says that she knew at one point during her first viewing of “Faraway Places” that it had to have been written by a woman, I IMDB’d Semi Chellas and she was right (as if Anne B is ever wrong 🙂 ). Unfortunately, her profile doesn’t give her age or any personal info at all

          I wouldn’t even know she’s female if her credits didn’t list her credits as an actress rather than an actor.

      • I think there are some other interesting parallels to Mystery Date as well. Michael (origin: Hebrew Micah- who is like god) is verging on prophetic status. His comments about the Speck photos- trussed up like meat– was what had happened to Speck’s victims and in this episode, the women were treated metaphorically as pieces of meat.

        The juxtaposition is especially striking given the inversion of his Cinderella story and his image of women’s freedom and independence he envisions.

        At the end of the day, the men can just draw a cartoon, drag women to the floor, and women learn they should be admired and earn they keep from the looks they get. As Luce Irigaray wrote- the marketplace is a sexually homosocial environment where men dicate the terms and women are the goods of exchange.

  52. Wow.What a totally blast.

  53. Wow, wow and wow!

    Some great parallels were drawn between all the women in this episode.

    I felt so deeply sad for Joan, I don’t think she will ever be get passed this and all the partner assholes will never be able to look at her again without knowing what she had to do to be called partner.

    Lane could have handled the visit to her office better but I still though it was sweet that he was looking out for her. I thought he understood more than anyone that she might not be able to refuse this “opportunity” and he wanted to make sure to give her the right bargaining chips.

    Don, I would have respected more if he added “I will make sure you get the partnership without doing this” on his visit to the apartment. Of course, we know it was already too late at that point but still.

    And I’m sorry I really don’t want to start another Megan bashing but was I the only one who go the impression of her as a teenage girl living on never-ending allowance, when she said how she would have to be in Boston for 8 weeks without even blinking. I mean, come on, you’re a married woman even in today’s age you cannot think it will go without even a conversation that you will just move to another city for 3 months.

    • Agreed about Megan’s reaction to Don’s reaction about her leaving for three months. Any husband would be surprised and a bit taken aback to find out that in a matter of days their wife would be gone for three months…especially when they are in the acting mecca of NYC. They’ve written Megan a bit more thinly as of late. She’s either, “yes Don, I love you” or throwing spaghetti against a wall. I can’t figure them out. Especially when with one silent gesture Don shows more true, raw emotion to Peggy than his entire marriage to Megan.

      • They try to make her happend.

      • Frankly, I don’t really pay attention during the Megan scenes any more. I literally turn my attention to something else. The writers’ attempt to create a realized character in Megan has failed. And, not to get too personal, but I don’t find Jessica Pare to be a good actress, and her speech defect annoys me. She had a couple of good episodes (mainly “Far Away Places”), but for the most part, her acting of this role is very one-note. The bottom line is that I can’t be bothered to watch her scenes with any attention any more. If they keep her as a “major” character, I may be done. Or I may wait until the seasons are over and then watch on Netflix and fast-forward through her scenes. I don’t “hate” Megan– I just don’t feel much of anything for the character except that she’s taking screen time away from the well-developed characters.

        • I know, I feel bad making it personal as well, but you just can’t have Pare up there with Hamm, Moss, and Hendricks. It’s just not fair to us or to her. Zu Bisou Bisou really did us all a disservice because that was what that character was good for, some campy, fun, sexy moments, but actual depth and drama? No.

    • I posted a similar thought last night. Megan threw a little tantrum bc don wasn’t all for her abruptly leaving for three months. She seems to be getting shorter and shorter with her temper.

      • She is also seems very insecure about her acting chops, she keeps throwing it back at Don that he doesn’t want her to succeed… and apparently the only way he can show here he wants her to succeed is to just agree with everything she wants to do. So not how a marriage works honey…

  54. Forgot to add, absolutely the right move for Peggy. She needed to get away from under Don

  55. Both Joan and Peggy did what they had to do to get ahead in their lives. No reason to feel sorry for none of them.

    • Agree 100%, hilde.

      The manner of Peggy’s departure, though, has a Joan Rivers leaving Johnny Carson for Fox kind of feel to it. I think it’ll end equally abruptly.

      Fitting since Don was going to watch Carson and cry himself to sleep 🙂

  56. Well, I’ve just read through everything up to and including #53. Everybody is talking about prostitution, but I only saw one or two quick references to Don’s mother. I think she’s the key to his behavior toward Joan and her dilemma. He doesn’t act like all the other men/partners on this issue, and I don’t think it’s just some kind of casual selfish thing on his part.

    One of the best things about Don, maybe THE best thing about Don, is the thing he did learn from his awful childhood.

    If you have been hated or discriminated against in your life, for reasons of race/ethnicity/religion/etc, there are 2 basic kinds of reactions to have. One is to become like the haters, and the other is to understand that hating is a terrible thing you don’t want to emulate. If you have been beaten or abused in some other way as a child, the same thing is true. You can become the new child abuser and continue the cycle, or you can choose to never raise your hand against your own children, which is the road Don took away from his childhood. I’ve always found that to be his most endearing quality.

    I think the reason that he has always been physically protective of the women he cares about is not just about being possesive and territorial. It’s also about having had a mother who probably didn’t choose to sell her body nor be physically hurt, but who was anyway. Having been reminded of his mother’s profession constantly and endlesssly throughout his whole childhood, I think again he drew the right lesson – stop this from happening if you have the power to do so. Obviously, he isn’t able to extend this understanding to the non-physical parts of his relationships, especially with women.

  57. I don’t believe that Peggy is really gone from the show because that wouldn’t make any sense. Her story is one of the two main stories of the show. Much of the story of the show has been told to us through her eyes. What would they replace her story with? The story of Megan going to auditions? Not even in the same league. Peggy’s story is the story of the women’s movement. Megan’s story is — not iconic. To say the least.

    Peggy is at least as important to the show as Don is. If MW cuts her out of the story, he is decapitating his own show. Why would he do that? I imagine that he has better judgment.

    There are a hundred ways the show can continue following Peggy’s story, whether she works at SCDP or not. If MW truly chooses to get rid of this character, then MM as we know it will be over and I doubt that most people would watch any more. And I imagine MW knows that.

  58. But Ginsbergs comments about Megan “comes and goes as she pleases” and the thing about “a beautiful thing you can own” about the car…

    Is he in love with Megan? His boss’ wife??

    • I saw Ginsberg’s comment as being more about the kind of man who would want a Jaguar (“I’m thinking about the asshole who’d buy one of these,” or something like that) than the kind of woman Megan — or anyone else — might be.

      One, Ginsberg’s idea for Jaguar is that the target customer is the kind of person who “has a lot of beautiful things … and what he has isn’t enough”. Very astute.

      In this episode, we see Ginsberg annoyed with Megan (for which he’d have some reason, having been her teammate and lunch-money taker). But that wasn’t all that annoys him: he keeps his back to Julia’s little display on the conference table for a reason. The guys even try to draw him into it (“Ginsberg!”), and he shuts them down: “Yeah. I got it.”

      Love Ginsberg. Just love him.

  59. But Ginsbergs comments about Megan “comes and goes as she pleases” and the thing about “a beautiful thing you can’t own” about the car…

    Is he in love with Megan? His boss’ wife??

    • Infatuated and covetous, me thinks, not in love.

      • But I wonder if what he envies is Megan and her apparent ability to do what she wants and come and go as she pleases? One thing I keep seeing in him is he looks out, almost as if he always feels confined and constrained. I think about he was so angry at Peggy hearing his call or seeing his father. The look on his face when he watches Don and Megan leave the conference room, as he’s stuck there, presumably working.

        • That’s it. That’s the essential insight into Ginsberg, who sees a freedom in and about Megan that he doesn’t see with Don.

          It’s also quite telling that Megan is the vehicle through which Ginsberg makes the series-defining Jaguar pitch… series-defining not for what it does FOR the Jaguar pitch or for any of the characters, but for what it says about men’s attitude toward women throughout the life of the series itself.

          I’m beginning to see what I think is the main point about Megan’s character: She is elusive, as elusive as meaning and certainty were for people in late 1966. Megan is a clear, resonant metaphor for just about everything that’s gone on in season five.

          • That is why I call her a catalyst to show the massive changes occurring in the 1960’s.

          • For me, I don’t think Ginzo’s interest is in Megan; it could be any character that has an apparent freedom to come and go and not be tethered. After all, Don is there working. And Megan swoops in and takes him away, leaving everyone else (and her friend) to wait for them. And then the women will leave, and the men will continue their work, in their cooped up conference room. I suspect if he saw secretaries coming and going he could have a similar reaction. It is an interesting contrast– his excitement at the lobster lunch with the fact that every scene he was in but the one in Don’s office was in the boxy, confined conference room, surrounded by people. His one respite in work and being surveilled comes from food. And by providing it, his captors ensure they can keep him and the other men there.

            Ginzberg’s life seems to be all about tethers– to the man who adopted him, to his past. The beautiful thing he can’t have is real freedom to be and do what he wants.

    • Yeah, there was some type of longing there — though the scene was primarily there to establish Ginzo’s Jaguar muse — but it is too early to tell if he is infatuated with Megan.

    • Then he says, “yeah, I got it”

      His pitch was all about Don and Megan, the asshole who has everything but now he can have something beautiful, that at last you can own.

      • And Don/Jon Hamm’s take on Ginsberg’s tag line was brilliant! We saw him filter it through his own situation, and acknowledge that ‘Yes, I’m that guy, and yes it’s spot on true.’ And, as Ted Chough (sp?) pointed out, misappropriating the hell out of Emerson, that’s what makes a great ad man/woman.

  60. I believe Don didnt have any clue that he did nothing to mentor Megan until Peggy and he had the Cool Whip fight and now Megan is gone from the agency. Similarly I dont think he has any clue on what he could have done differently in order to ensure Peggy stayed satisfied with the agency and now she is gone also. Peggy didnot complain to him when she left nor did she really speak up about all of her injustices. Did she do this to not burn bridges, after all she said to him to “not be a stranger”? So if this is the case I am wondering if there was something she could have said that would have given him a clue about his role in her departure and yet still not burned the bridge. For instance if she had said, I feel like I am continually passed over and given an example. Or if she said it would have been nice to get recognition for getting Topaz and for thinking so quick on her feet with Lady Godiva but instead money is thrown at her. It is clearly not about the money. And if she did speak up in a diplomatic fashion but still letting him know he had a hand in her leaving, maybe he would have responded differently and been able to keep her.

  61. I’m intrigued by Deborah’s idea that Peggy too ‘sacrificed love for ambition because she and Don truly love each other,’ furthering the theme this year of ‘every man for himself,’ that there is no loyalty in business. Please elaborate? As I interpret it, we are happy for Peggy in spite of that and as a character moment, even more important than that.

    Much of the joy of Mad Men is coming to know its characters as intimately as close friends. Even if Weiner succeeds David Chase and Mad ultimately arrives at some grand statement (The Sopranos ultimately equates mafia with capitalism and makes a pretty convincing case that the rise of individualism causes much of the world’s problems), Peggy walking out that door was a high point for the character. Her smile, “bathed in celestial light” as RSBuletz says, heralds a new day for Peggy and was a long time coming. On a primal human empathy level we are joyful for Peggy, only mourn our loss of (perhaps) not seeing her journey continue.

    Either way, as with The Suitcase it’s exciting this happened at Episode 11, to explore the emotional residue before season’s end.

    • Peggy was MM’s only employee of importance with some moral fiber – she worked hard, kept her head down, and learned as she grew professionally not to mix work with sex. With her gone, every character left at the firm is compromised in some way. Interestingly, only Don was ‘honorable’ in his intentions towards Joan, but now that she’s officially the company go-to girl for closing a deal with sex, I wonder how Don, who has a good woman-bad woman issue will react to Joan, who sold her body for ‘filthy lucre’.

      The one loyal person with some values, Peggy, has left the unloyal to muck about as they will, which will continue to be badly. I predict it will all descend into much much worse for the firm in future episodes, even with Joan, who is vulnerable and can make horrendous decisions that will affect the rest of her life, but who is also smart and tough.

  62. Obscure points about the episode:

    a) Don sleeping around the boardroom table with the freelancers looking on. I can’t ever remember that in an episode.

    b) No mention of who will look after the kids on the weekend if Megan is away for 3 months.

    c) That Megan needed “confidence” from Don by having quickie sex with him in the office perhaps showing she has a lack of confidence in her abilities.

    d) The possibility of Freddy Rumson returning to SC (SCDP) for at least the third time.

    e) Don is successful in landing the Jaguar account but feels like a failure while Megan isn’t successful landing an acting part but tells Don she is determined to succeed. Interesting dynamic.

    f) Joan’s insistence in not being a “silent partner”–perhaps telling us it’s not all about the money.

    g) No formal introduction or ceremony that Joan is now a partner

    h) Megan’s link of mistress to immorality in describing Jaguar

    i) Joan had been at the firm for 13 years (since either 1953 or 1954)

    • Gee, maybe their dad will have to look after the kids instead of foisting them off on Megan.

    • “Don sleeping around the boardroom table” – 40-yr-old guy (maybe 41 for Dick) – working long hours – a nap is just the ticket (though not his typical nap on the couch – behind his door).

      “who will look after the kids on the weekend” – Don will. He treasures his kids more. If work obligations conflict, there will always be the nanny-for-hire.

      “Joan’s insistence in not being a “silent partner”–’ – that was a rachet up from the seed Lane planted. Joan is a shrewd negotiator.

      “No formal introduction or ceremony that Joan is now a partner” – that will happen off-camera – and I trust the partners will keep mum. The biggest chance of a leak would be the big-shot dealer.

      “Joan had been at the firm for 13 years” – how about that tidbit! However, we knew from last episode that she pre-dated Don at the firm. So, she’s third most senior and Don’s fourth.

  63. Interesting points techno. What a shock it was to Peggy to hear that Joan was made a partner. It would have been interesting to see how that might have helped Peggy to advance. Joan knows Peggy’s worth.

  64. What horrified me:
    That piece of mincing nasty trash Pete. He’s worse than a pimp. Good acting–I hate Pete more than any human person I know in real life so he is a well written character : )

    What saddened me:
    Peggy leaving. She realy is the most interesting woman character in TV. I hope she isn;t leaving Mad Men.

    When Don had his head effectively bowed over his hand he was apologizing for every bad thing he ever did in his life since he realized the loss then and there. And he couldn’t fix it. Peggy was not a Bets who was going to ask “Say what you always say”, and he can’t use a snappy retort to get out of it. He f-d up.

    What unsettled me:

    with the exception of Betty/Bets, every Woman was “shown” where she is “positioned” in this unpleasant Man’s world–at home, work…almost always only veiwed as a sexual being to be controlled/used/taken/cast away always on a man’s whim. This show was before my time but to hear my Mom tell it women were given no good choices so you went for the choice, if you were smart, that would advance you enough where you wouldn’t have to put up with any more bad choices. COllege education wasn’t enough.

    So I might differ from many above in that I think, with the suggestion of Lane (thank heavens for putting the idea in her head) Joan made the best choice–she didn;t make a *mistake* at all.

    I think you can only make a mistake if you are fairly informed of all of your options and make a real choice–she wasn’t in any sense of the word. She was Pete’s intended pawn until he miscalculated because the other men in the little club of directors do not see Joan as a pawn but a critical chess piece in terms of value to the company. They may have been too sexist to promote her since she doesn;t golf, yacht or drink with them like a bud, but she still commands respect. And one man saw a way she could become indispensable–Lane. While trying to save his own butt (instead of offering Joan money which would expose sooner rather than later that he took his bonus already), Lane still is the only person in the place who has ever offered Joan a chance at REAL power. Roger had only ever offered to keep her/pay which is a still a position of dependency. I think Lane KNOWS her depth, smarts, and he, unlike Don, doesn;t have so much trouble with women/his zipper that he cannot see her as an intellectual equal. Lane’s wife kicks his ass but he also needs her opinion/support unlike most of the other men at the top.

    Well, anyway–Joan made the only choice, the right choice, and she knows she is capable. She won;t be a silent partner. Bravo Joan. Watch Pete get his can kicked now, I can;t wait for that little squint to get his comeuppance…the most enjoyable thing is Joan is now equal to Pete. Her shine will make him look weak and ineefective. Can’t wait.

    Doesn’t matter that Joan did not have a fanfare as a new partner…nor does it matter that Peggy left also without fanfare–women made the right choice to succeed and none of these unappreciative scumbags will be able to keep them in the shade any more.

    I hope Bets is still around…I want her to shine and grow. I think there is some ability for her and Sally as well to have a different life than the narrow confines presented to them both in different ways.

    Megan is at a different turning point that was alluded to toward the end of the episode. When she is asked to take off her jacket so her backside could be inspected and she is clearly uncomfortable, she may have said No at that time to any hanky-panky or COuch test–THAT TIME. It might be why she is so disappointed talking to Don, since she didn;t get the part. But she emphatically says she won;t fail–will she sign a devil’s deal in the future to get her Partnership? I think she might–she wants to succeed at any cost I think, finally.

    And I don;t get this biz about her needing to travel. My acting friends in NYC including my cousin who was (retired from it now) a stage actress/musical actress never had to leave NYC for the 30 yrs she was in it to win it. She was in many shows, did TV, ads, was successful. Never had to leave New York. Megan talking about being on tour for months tells me she wants to leave her current NY life. I mean I wouldn;t want my spouse leaving for months at a time. Her choices seem reactive at times and not solving the problems she has with Don…he’s a better husband for her than he was for Bets re. other women, but his manner and sexist bent on homelife aren’t getting better.

    What a great show…best episode of the season.

    • Broadway shows first do out-of-town tryouts, where they are revised and improved. (See Smash.) In this case all the rehearsals were going to be out of town too. That’s a bit unusual, but probably happened a fair bit too – probably cheaper for the producers.

      • It is cheaper to produce and tweak a play outside NYC. The Green Day play was entirely developed in Berkeley. Once it got good reviews, it moved over to Broadway.

  65. I doubt we’ve seen the last of Peggy. It’s no accident that she jumped to a fictitious firm; that way, they can show scenes of her there, whereas they’d be a lot more limited in what they could show if she went to a real firm like McCann or Y&R. (They did show that one scene with the water balloon at Y&R, but it was pretty much straight transcription of an actual event.) Also, how long before Peggy realizes Ted Of The Million Vowels has almost all of Don’s bad qualities and none of his good ones? I give her two weeks. Besides, they have to show her being Smitty’s boss, that would just be too rich.

    And Joan was pretty much damned if she did and damned if she didn’t. She could have refused, sure, and she’d have been well within her rights to do so. And Pete Campbell is an evil shit for putting that kind of pressure on her. But if they didn’t land Jaguar, she’d have taken the fall for it and quite possibly have been fired, or put the company out of business. (Don would have stuck up for Joan, but the rest of them? Feh. If Roger didn’t stick up for her when Pete made the original “proposal,” he wouldn’t stick up for her when it came to tossing her out on the sidewalk.) She’d have to start all over again, with a 6-month-old baby at home, with a company that wouldn’t have been anywhere near as flexible with her. (Believe me, in 1967 Joan would have had to have an extremely understanding employer to even allow her to work there with a little one at home, much less give her time off when the kid was sick. After all, she is technically still married. And in those days, they were allowed to ask.)

    And if she’d just acquiesced to Pete, without making it cost him much more than 4 years of Joan’s salary, she’d have become the company punchboard, with every potential client expecting a roll in the hay from her. Now that she has a controlling interest, she can refuse, and not have to worry about losing her job. Of course, that’s not going to help if a client wants to go to bed with one of the other non-partner women there; the bargain she struck helps no other woman but herself. And the company could still go kaputski thanks to Lane and his stupid pride. (The money he owed the Queen would have been Kleenex money for Roger.) But of all the shit options Joan was given, she took the one that was comparatively least shitty.

    What I want to know is, why Don thought Sal should have whored himself out to LGJ despite the fact that doing so would have ultimately cost Sal his career and his marriage, but Joan shouldn’t have had to.

    • Don is fond of Joan. I don’t think he gave two shits about Sal. Just as Pete doesn’t give two shits about Joan.

      The whole Teddy C angle mitigated, for me, some of the power of Peggy’s decision. I can’t see her sticking with him long either. And to me, Teddy C falls into the caricature-like creations as Greg, Joan’s soon-to-be-ex-husband, does. One of Weiner’s most admirable side characters, to me, is Henry Francis, precisely because Weiner avoided making him a target of weak comparison to one of our “heroes”. Henry’s not the most engaging character but he’s not painted as evil or sleazy or insubstantial. He is a decent guy and not without strength. Greg, and what I know of Teddy C, are not men we’re meant to like. They’re sort of one-trick ponies. So yeah, I’d be surprised if Peggy is with Chaough for the remaining three years (of fictitious MM time).

      One thing I wondered about: would Joan be expected to turn this trick again for the Jaguar guy in the near future? I guess it depends on what sort of binding contract a company signs with an ad agency and how long that contract lasts.

      • I have commented on this too. My thought is that for Joan this was a one time deal. Not so sure about everyone else.

        • Yeah, I’m sure that’s Joan’s thinking too. But I wonder if it’s the Jaguar guy’s, especially if the company is legally able to pull up stakes anytime soon; i.e., if you want to keep the account you’ll have to re-send Joanie over to the Sultan’s tent or whatever the hell his metaphor was.

          • My own personal opinion is that Joan is going to be asked to close every marginal or not-so-marginal deal with her body. That’s how she came in as a partner, and that’s how they’ll try to use her. Whether it works or not is another story.

            In taking this first step, trading her body for a partnership, Joan is more vulnerable to the guys in the office, but she also has claws and she can use some of the nasty secrets they all harbor against them very effectively.

          • I wouldn’t have thought that the Jaguar guy would want Joanie again. He had his fantasy, he’ll go look for someone else now.

  66. Maybe the guys will feel guilty that they let her do it for the company.
    Lane feels badly.
    Roger won’t participate in the “fee”.
    Burt always thought she could do better. Remember the night of Roger’s heart attack?
    Don is mortified that she would be asked never mind agreeing to it.
    And Pete, well, he won’t give it a second thought.

    She might be treated better for be used this way. Especially when news of the divorce breaks.
    Her mother will LOVE the money and will totally be on board with Joanie’s new life.

    That’s my take.

    By the way was that MM voice on the conference call in Harry’s office?

  67. I’ve rewatched this episode a few times now in wanting to better understand my own feelings and reactions to it. I just noticed something for the first time and wondered if anyone else has:

    In the second showing of the scene where Don shows up at Joan’s apartment, when her mother comes into her bedroom, Joan is very visibly upset that Don is there. Then when she looks in the mirror before leaving her bedroom Joan’s face very visibly reflects her feelings in a way nothing else she did and said about this situation had done before, during or afterward. She looks stricken to her very soul.

    Anyone else notice Joan’s reaction to Don showing up?

    • Don is an idealist. Joan is a cynic. She appreciated Don’s idealism but it was too late. As it was too late for Don to salvage his marriage to Betty. Moral of the story: cynicism usually wins the day.

      • I was referring to Joan’s reaction to the news that Don was there, BEFORE she even left her bedroom. Not to anything he said once she entered the living room. She had no idea what he was going to say before she left her bedroom.

        I don’t understand how your post is replying to my post, or maybe you hit “reply” without meaning to?

    • I think she was so upset to begin with, that the arrival of Don at her door just put the stink icing on the shitcake that was this day. Finally alone in her room, she could take off her mask of professional calm, take her “silkwood shower'(don’t you love that one?) have a deep, silent cry and put that episode in the past. But when Don shows up, she must hold it together for at least a while longer. The shame and humiliation she must have felt had to be close to overwhelming, and since she actually likes Don, hard to hide.

    • Remember, at this moment she still thinks that all the partners, Don included, had gone along with Pete’s plan. It’s no wonder that she wouldn’t want to see someone she’d thought of as a friend who she now believed had pimped her out.

  68. The morality of the three leading female characters on Mad Men in episode 11: Peggy, Joan, and Megan:

    Since episode 11 dealt a lot with the issue of morality or ethics I thought it would be interesting to examine the morality or ethics of each featured female lead in the context of the 1960’s.

    a) Peggy

    Peggy was brought up a devout Roman Catholic by her parents and was expected to follow the traditional role of women to bear children. By taking birth control pills, we see Peggy is determined not to follow this path, at least for quite a while. At the end of episode 1, Peggy reveals her true colors in the hospital by refusing to hold her baby. She does not consider the baby hers and treats him as such. Later she gives the baby up for adoption, another sign she has relinquished ownership. Peggy never claims something which is not her own. For example she acknowledges Pete is married to Trudy.

    She fantasizes about being a wife from time to time (trying on Faye’s wedding ring in The Rejected and wondering about Abe proposing to her) but she is now 26 and never been married, although she is living with Abe. Does Peggy really want to get married at this time in her life? I wonder.

    Peggy’s life is about succeeding in her career. She has few outside hobbies or interests as far as I can tell. She understands her career path is difficult for women but nevertheless with dogged determination she fights on. She doesn’t see herself as a trailblazer for other women or in terms of making a political statement but sees the world through the lens of advancing her own self-interest.

    Many folks might claim Peggy is selfish, self-centered, or self-serving but Peggy Olson is one of the most honest characters on Mad Men. Despite many people attempting to give her unsolicited advice, Peggy basically knows what she wants. She does not practice deception and abhors it when it is practiced against her or others. Many of her colleagues at SCDP see her as naive or treat her as slightly backward and someone who can be easily manipulated. But Peggy is neither. She is a decent, sensitive person pursuing the American dream, who if anything cannot understand why anyone would be mean-spirited or indulge in perverse or counterproductive acts or actions to hurt her or others. And she has a hard time understanding the psychological motivations or business machinations of others but by the same token is not judgmental or intolerant.

    Pete Campbell is the antithesis of Peggy Olson. Why she at one time felt attracted to him and felt compelled to sleep with him after the time he got her pregnant is beyond me. Perhaps there is a side of Peggy Olson which wants to explore the dark side of life, but I don’t think she wants to dwell there permanently.

    Finally Peggy hates unfairness and injustice and in season five she perceived that from Don and SCDP. Her decision to move on was motivated by financial concerns and moving up the ladder but imho Peggy made the move because she was honest with her own feelings. Having said that, there is no guarantee that Ted Chaough will not treat her the same way as SCDP. But if he does, at least she will be paid more in the bargain. And she probably can return to SCDP as long as Don is still there.

    b) Joan

    Joan went to college (Carol in season one), was born in 1931 (on bulletin board), and has been with SC or SCDP for 13 years (since either 1953 or Jan 1954). We don’t know if Joan graduated or not or if SC was her first job but it is quite possible that it was. Thus we know that Joan is intelligent, competent at SCDP, and knows where all the bodies are buried. Nothing much happens at the firm without her knowing about it. By the same token Joan knew little about Don’s extra-curricular activities because he never dated or slept with anybody in the employ of the firm until Megan (Faye was a contractor) so she doesn’t know everything that goes on there.

    In episode 10 of season five we learn from Joan she was brought up by her mother to be “admired” and from Don we learn at least when Don joined the firm in the mid 1950’s that she had a quite a few male admirers, Don dubbing them Aly Khan when they sent her flowers.

    In episode 5 of season 1 (5G) we are also given some insight on how she views Don when she speculates to Peggy on why Don has never come on to her and that a man that handsome can fulfill his pleasure outside the office while most men can’t. Reading between the lines she is either slightly offended that Don has never shown any interest in her or telling Peggy she would welcome the advance. That was 1960. In episode 10 of season 5 (Dec. 1966) we see a lot of water has gone under the bridge and that Joan, although she finds Don irresistable, is not inclined to go to bed with him.

    We are left to our own devices to speculate why Joan never married any of these admirers when she was in her 20’s at the office (1953/1954-1961) but we do know she has had an extended relationship with Roger Sterling since the mid-1950’s and may have felt she either needed to sow her wild oats first or may have grown accustomed to the lifestyle that Roger bestowed on her, at least when they met in hotel rooms. But the one thing Joan never did was to lead Roger on. She told Roger to his face he was married and that one day she would find someone to settle down with, thus eventually terminating their relationship. Furthermore Joan also mentioned to Roger that she would be faithful to her husband after she got married. And she never did break her marriage vows, until the episode where Roger and her were mugged and in the heat of passion Roger made her pregnant.

    Joan has always been a person who thrives on being in control. Thus the news that Greg had served divorce papers on her threw her for a loop. And we witnessed that in episode 10. And earlier in the season we see Joan crying to Lane about returning to SCDP. Joan is NOT as icy a personality as she lets on she is. Her decisions are mostly rational but not always.

    Now we come to Joan’s decision to sleep with the Jaguar dealer. In many posts I have dubbed Joan a cynic and that attitude permeates every aspect of her life, including sex. Does Joan believe in true love? Perhaps before Greg raped her in Don’s office or before Greg left her, but I don’t think she does anymore, if she ever did at all. But with sex I believe Joan has been pretty consistent. Sex is an instrument in the toolbox she can use to get her way on a temporary basis or to get what she wants long-term. But Joan is also monogamous. So she doesn’t sleep around with every Tom, Dick or Harry especially now she has a young son. She has pride. In addition she refuses to take anything from Roger in child support.

    However, Joan has always had a price, although a steep price for her affections. Sleeping with Herb, the Jaguar dealer violated her own sense of decency or code of honor, but on the other hand confirmed her own cynicism about life in general. Pete’s approach to her to make him happy was also part and parcel of confirming that cynicism she harbors as well as the partners agreeing to make her a partner if she went along. Joan knows how the game is played in a male-dominated business culture.

    Some would argue that Joan committed an immoral act and consequently judge her harshly. As for me, I believe Joan did what she needed to do to move forward (the female version of Don Draper) as a single parent with a little baby and Joan for the rest of her life will do whatever it takes to move forward for I believe, barring a major conversion on the road to Damascus, she will remain a cynic all her life, and even grow more cynical as she ages. But she will be a rich cynic.

    Will she ever remarry? Will any man have the price of admission and admire her enough as she moves along to middle age?

    c) Megan

    Megan is a French-Canadian born around 1940 in Quebec. At that time Quebec was dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. Yes, it is not clear that Megan was raised in the RC church or tradition but if you examine the history of Quebec, she would have been exposed to it sometime in her young life. And being raised by Francophone parents, she would have developed views on sex that were different than the greater majority of English-speaking folks in the USA brought up in a more Puritanical environment to think of sex as unclean, unsavory, and even degrading and certainly not to be undertaken unless the boy and girl were married to each other, which in turn caused many Americans in the 1960’s to have major hangups about sex and seek the couches of psychiatrists.

    Megan does not have any hangups about sex, is completely uninhibited, and freely expresses herself through making love with Don as we see as she seduces him in the office. And for that reason alone she is the ideal bed partner for Don. And as we know Don is usually game as well. If they ever get divorced it will not be because they are not good in bed with one another.

    If anything Megan’s life outside of bed currently as I have stated in other posts is motivated by GUILT. Whether it is the guilt trip laid on her by her dad to have abandoned the struggle for exquisite decadence and lost her soul, or her own self-guilt for having given up her dreams too easily or her feeling of unworthiness of succeeding with Heinz when she felt she didn’t deserve it, Megan has decided imho to delude herself into thinking she can pursue another lifestyle separate from Don and not pay a heavy price for doing so. Perhaps this assumption is a product of her age (26) or a new way of thinking (the late 1960’s) and therefore she doesn’t think she is doing anything wrong, unethical or immoral by pursuing an acting career but the three questions Megan needs to answer are: What price is she willing to pay to become a successful professional actress? Would she sleep with a producer or director to achieve her goal? Would she be willing to give up her marriage to reach her goal?

    And based on what I have observed so far on screen, Megan is not willing to embrace the struggle as her father suggested and abandon her comfortable lifestyle provided by Don, she rejected the casting call approach of those 3 men in Boston and felt morose sitting on the couch), and even more importantly given a choice between acting and Don she would choose Don by her own admission. This is not the same Megan Draper talking to Don in the wee hours of the morning expressing her dissatisfaction with what she was doing then. It has taken some time (Mad Men time,about 3-5 months) but Megan is starting to hedge her bets a bit.

    The one thing I think we all miss about Megan is that she would feel extremely GUILTY if she cheated on Don or she was the cause of their marriage breakup. Some people are speculating now that Megan will cheat on Don. I just don’t see it. But I do see Megan pursuing a path in her life apart from Don which could cause her immense emotional distress and a lot of unhappiness. The question now or eventually Megan will have to ask herself is whether she wants to risk losing Don’s affection and bringing that upon herself and along with it cause Don to be very unhappy as well or will she accept the role she has been assigned by virtue of her marriage to Don and seek to fulfill it.

    Imho, Don is right about Megan: He told Roger she is very sincere. And with that she is very honest on how she feels about Don. But she is still NOT imho intellectually honest with herself but she is gradually moving in that direction.

    But a line from Megan in episode 11 might tell us a lot about her: “Doesn’t comparing a mistress to a Jaguar make the car immoral?”

    Megan Draper is NOT an immoral person but she may be a foolish one.

  69. Proof that I am an idiot or Mad Men is so nuanced that I never picked up on this before tonight.

    When Don approaches Megan while she is sitting on the couch not in good spirits, Don initially comforts her after she tells him she did not get the part. Then Megan asks Don about Jaguar and his presentation went. Don says, “We’ll see.” Then Megan says, “I know you were good.” And he says the same thing to her.

    But then Megan brings up something out of left field comparing disappearing from work to spending time with Don and then says, “I choose you.” And then she says, I hate you when you do that.” Previously I didn’t catch the point but I think she is meaning she hates it when Don chooses to take time off from work and chooses not to be with her.

    In other words, I may be wrong but is Megan essentially saying to Don the only reason we should ever be apart is when we’re working and other than that, we should be together? Or in the modern vernacular, she will always be there for him if she is not working and she expects him to be there for her likewise.

    So this begs the question will Megan return to SCDP to keep Don’s nose to the grindstone, especially in light of Peggy’s departure so in theory they will never be apart?

    • In this scene, Megan is saying that she is resentful and will become more resentful if Don stands in her way of doing what she wants (acting). Her concern is the toll that this will take on her feelings for him. When someone isn’t generous enough to help you do what you really want and stands in your way it’s corroding.

  70. I think both Don and Megan are in interesting places in their lives right now in terms of their self-confidence.

    For Don he may be less confident in his desire to work for SCDP any longer or even in the advertising business but for Megan it is the complete opposite–she is less confident in her abilities to succeed as an actress. For Don it is a problem of attitude and focus and for Megan a problem of individual performance.

    Could we see an intersection of this lack of self-confidence emanating from both characters in the remaining two episodes–Don using Johnny Carson figuratively to cry himself to sleep while Megan agonizes while she is not being selected for parts?

    Possible scenarios as a result (some I admit are highly improbable):

    1) Don leaves advertising to become Megan’s personal manager (many husbands have done that in past to promote their wife’s career)

    2) Don and Megan starting their own independent advertising agency or Don starting one on his own.

    3) Don threatening to leave SCDP unless Megan is made a partner (Did anyone really think Joan would now be a partner?) or she is given Peggy’s old job.

    4) Don and Megan decide to split up because they are holding each other back. Megan decides she needs to embrace the struggle making her father happy.

    5) Don and Megan market their talents to a rival firm and will enter their new firm as a team.

    6) Don joining a new firm on his own.

    7) Megan finding out she is pregnant and puts her acting career on hold; Don stays with SCDP.

    8) A major event such as a death shakes both of them up and brings them back to reality.

    9) Don takes a sabbatical from SCDP and he and Megan take a trip around the world between season 5 and season 6.

    10) Don remaining status quo at SCDP and Megan still striving to become a professional actress

    • While I don’t think anyone anticipated Joan being made the offer she couldn’t refuse, there was some speculation last week about Joan being made partner. Megan being made partner? Now that would drive many BofK’ers to pull a Frank Pantangeli! Nah, no way…as Peggy’s replacement, absolutely!

    • i’ve money that megan’s ‘confidence sex’ will lead to a pregnancy.

  71. I believe in reincarnation . . .

    Pete Campbell = “Pete” Commodus

  72. Now that a lot of BOK posters are not on the “someone on Mad Men will die this season” bandwagon because of episode 11, would Matt Weiner suddenly do the unthinkable when we aren’t paying attention and kill a character off?

    • Lets start a ghoul pool. We all pick one. The winner gets drinks all around at the season finale party.

      • Love the “Ghoul Pool”! I’m game and there are so many possibilities.

        1. Lane (of course). I suspect Lane will confess his crime to Joan. If she helps him extricate himself, Lane lives on. If not, I think he is a goner. But I think Joan saves him.
        2. Beth? She’s a mental mess. Maybe her demise would wake Pete fom his downward spiral.
        3. Henry. He’s a mental mess about hooking himself to the wrong horse. His demise would open the door for Betty to turn to Don.
        4. Jane. She’s a mental mess. Maybe her demise would wake Roger from being an ass…nah. But it would save him bundles of $$$.
        5. Ginsberg. He’s a mental mess. What would SCDP do without him?
        6. Betty. She’s a mental mess. She decides to off herself after eating one too many stalks of celery.
        7. Megan. While it has been subtle, I think Megan is a mental mess. Her demise would throw Don’s story wide open.
        8. Roger. Isn’t he long overdue for “the big one”?
        9. Paul. If he didn’t take Harry’s advice his spiral is out of control.
        10. Pete. Another mental mess. Trudy is going to divorce him, Beth ignores him, and Joan will drive him crazy.
        I could go on but that’s my Top Ten.

        • If we’re talking natural deaths, I would say Roger because he does have heart trouble and is under a great deal of stress. Or possibly Cooper because of his age.

          If we’re talking suicide, my money is on Lane. I can totally see him offing himself once his theft is discovered.

          • My money is on Peggy. MW is going to Henry Blake her ass. He’s going to make sure there is no Peggy comeback by offing her. Don’t think she’s going to get shot down over the Sea of Japan. She might be the victim of violence that has been hinted at all season long. That would be so wrong.

          • We never saw Peggy on the elevator. What if she stepped into the shaft?

    • Oh, I’m still on that bandwagon. It’s just got momentarily sidetracked with the Joan/Jaguar and Peggy/Chaough storylines. I’m going chalk here, so my guess is still Lane, with Pete and Roger as second/third favorites.

  73. I haven’t seen anyone mention it, but as much as I think it’s great for Peggy to leave her doing so without Ken and bashing their “pact” was a shitty thing to do.

    • Deborah and Brooklyn, you’re both spot-on in your comments – blowing up the scene was also a reminder to me of how violent Mad Men is, not simply one or more brutal ‘scenes’, but truly violent.

  74. Has there even been an instance before that Don appears unannounced at someone’s home from work? Peg and Pete have appeared at his door, both for emergencies. Maybe Don will appear at Peg’s door now?

    • He has already done so, when he went to ask her to join the new SCDP firm.

      • I forgot that one. It was just really strange seeing him in someone else’s home but you are right. He also showed up with Roger I believe at Pete’s original home. Thanks

  75. There’s an interesting item playing out in my local media this morning that I feel links to this episode. Last week, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, was in town and while here, he invited our province’s Premier, Christy Clark, to accompany him for a ride on his kitesurf.

    Yesterday morning, this is what appeared on Branson’s blog:

    “When in British Columbia a few days ago, the delightful Premier Christy Clark accepted my invite to come for a kitesurf ride on my back. One thing though – I forgot to tell her about the dress code! Well, here it is”:

    (insert and imagine a picture of a beautiful swimsuit model, nude, well “as naked as they can show her to be” straddling him on the back of his “ride”).

    Below the photo the caption reads:

    “The offer still stands Christy!”

    Upon hearing this today, my husband turns to me and says, “I sure hope that Christy holds out for at least 5%”. Ha, no kidding!!.

    Of course Branson’s comments have got people buzzing about whether he’s just having a bit of fun or if he’s being offensive and sexist. What’s really telling to me is that 45 years later from the setting of “The Other Women”, here we are still having the same conversations about men in power and the appropriateness surrounding their expectations of women.

    • Perhaps Mr Branson will find that he has tax troubles in Canada very soon…that’s the way it goes whe you piss off powerful people.

  76. I was shocked by Roger’s reaction to the proposal at first. However, after thinking about it I wondered if this isn’t something Joan has done before and knowing that, the idea was not as unacceptable to Roger as it might have otherwise been.

  77. MM is great at using colors to highlight episode themes. Our favorite “red” Joan is rendered into a procurable feature, equal to the color of the car illustrations used in the pitch. Pete Campbell pimps his female co-worker the same day he reads to his redheaded daughter — with no awareness that he is unleashing his precious girl onto a world of Pete Campbells.

  78. Somehow Megan must be a credible actress as she has gotten two callbacks. One scenario I see is that Megan becomes a famous actress and that causes them to eventually divorce. I believe that their marriage will be short-lived and that somehow she will break his heart, just as he is learning how to navigate relationships a little better.

    • Based on what I have read on many blogs, many folks believe that Megan’s participation in episode 11 was gratuitous or did not add to the story line. I disagree.

      Here is a take from Paul MacInnes of The Guardian:

      “Other fantasies were to be dispelled at the callback, however as Megan, dressed plainly and neatly, was instructed by her auditioners not to read her part, but give them a twirl. Advertising may be a wheeze for shifting product, but the acting trade is NOT quite as high-minded as Megan might have convinced herself.”

      That was NOT my original take on that scene but the more I think about it, Megan sat morose on the couch for a reason. And it was not simply she had been rejected. It has now been 3 months since she made the decision to abandon SCDP and pursue an acting career. Sure one can argue it is early in the process, but at this point Megan could be asking herself, how long am I prepared to wait to be “discovered”?

      And along with that, Megan is now faced with the quandary of how far is she willing to go to land a part. Is she prepared or willing to play by the “casting couch rules” followed by many producers and directors (remember this is 1967) or in the extreme is she willing to prostitute herself to land a part? Although Matt Weiner focused most of the prostitution issue on Joan, Megan’s twirl left us with the same undertones.

      And finally after the blowup between Don and her over her potentially spending three months in Boston if she got the part, Megan is now faced with the proposition of causing a major breach in her marriage if she works out of town for any length of time. Up until now Don had been supportive in her efforts, but Megan realizes a line now has been crossed. I wrote on the Lady Lazurus blog as to the reason Don did not oppose her leaving the firm because he did not think she would be successful as an actress. And Megan has now come around to that line of thinking as well by telling Don he never considered the possibility of her working out of town for long stretches because he felt that way. But as it turns out Don may have been right. As yet she not secured any acting gigs.

      Is Megan willing to risk her marriage by becoming a professional actress, who by necessity will have to work out of town from time to time? I also wrote to this issue in several posts. I have always framed it in terms of Don’s proposal to Megan in Tomorrowland in which he tells her he couldn’t imagine not waking up with her every morning. To me, this was the deal: Don would love Megan, be faithful to her, be a good husband to her, and take care of her and provide her with a very comfortable lifestyle if she agreed to the idea of waking up with Don every morning. And we find out in the premiere episode, the Drapers have a girl come in to clean the apartment, so Don wasn’t even expecting Megan to do the housework. And because of the blowup, Megan has reached the crossroads. She can either tell Don to go to hell and she will accept any gigs wherever they take her or she will agree to only work in New York City or the surrounding area and restrict her opportunities for work. How realistic the latter is in 1967, I have no idea, but I do know if you limit your opportunities, being a fledgling actress, you are not doing yourself any favors.

      To summarize, Megan must come to terms with these three questions soon:

      a) How much time am I prepared to give or should I devote to the pursuit of an acting career, given I have not achieved my goal of becoming a successful professional actress? 3-6 more months, 9 months to a year, 2 years or what?

      b) What am I prepared to do to achieve my goal? Would I ever prostitute myself for a role? Should I confine myself to only working in NYC?

      c) At what point does my pursuit of an acting career put my marriage in jeopardy?

      I believe in the last 2 episodes of season five we will see Megan coming to terms with these three issues but as is usually the case in real life, she will not be able to consider her answer to each question in isolation from Don or real world events.

      With Peggy no longer at SCDP, will Don now lay out the facts of life to her that he needs her help more than ever at the firm? That is a strong possibility. If he asks, what will her answer be?

      Will Don bring up to Megan the fact that Joan slept with a client to secure the Jaguar deal and how disgusted he is with that? If he does, Megan will realize, if she has not already, that she cannot be unfaithful to Don under any circumstances including getting a job.

      And at what point will the Draper marriage become severely strained if she continues to pursue acting and Don is not happy at work with cast of copywriters or other issues that pop up? A surly husband bringing his work home with him to a home where his wife is absent consistently is a sure recipe for marriage breakup. Don could tolerate it when he was happy at work. Now that he is not a happy camper, watch for a major explosion if Megan does not realize this.

      But here is how I see the bottom line: Peggy has gone. Don has three choices: Promote from within, hire from outside, or ask Megan to fill Peggy’s role.

      Don does not like Ginsberg. End of story. Don could hire someone from the outside. After all he did bring in Duck Phillips at the end of season one as head of account services. But if Megan chooses not to return to the firm in this time of crisis in the copywriting department, she would have told Don all he needs to know: She will probably never return to advertising. And with that likelihood in place, how comfortable is Don going to be with that decision? And will that decision eventually lead the breakup of their marriage?

  79. I and many posters have come to the conclusion that after episode 11 that Don Draper is not a happy camper, even though SCDP landed the Jaguar account, and enhanced Don’s credibility with the staff when he promised them at the end of episode 10, he would do whatever it took to take “a great leap forward” in 1967 to have a car account on the books.

    Two lines in episode 11 stand out:

    When Peggy asks Don why he is not celebrating with everybody else Don says: “I’m not in the mood.”

    Peggy then says: “You really have no idea when things are good.”

    Look up the term hollow victory and that defines how Don is now feeling.

    Joan prostituted herself to enhance the possibility that the firm would win the Jaguar account. And we know how Don feels about prostitutes lest we forget he accused Betty of being one when he found out about Henry Francis at the end of season three. How will he now feel towards Joan? Will he view her differently now she is a partner? Will he respect her any less? Will his disappointment in her affect their long-term relationship personally (good friends) and at work? Quite possible.

    And now that Peggy has left the firm do Peggy’s words come back to haunt Don as he seeks to replace her? Not normally a man affected by guilt, will Don allow his guilt towards not seeing the writing on the wall and her dissatisfaction with her role at the firm affect his work or even his personal life with Megan?

    And will Don hate Pete even more as we move ahead? What could that lead to?

    Will Don withdraw into a shell, smoke and drink more, and become less focused on work in the remaining two episodes? And if he does, how will that affect his relationship with Megan?

    Or will Don rise again like the phoenix from the ashes with the support of Megan, get out of his funk and be even more determined to succeed? And where will Don land? Will he stay at SCDP or go off on his own?

  80. It looks like Don got “Professor Higginsed.” Don took a secretary from Brooklyn and gave her the skills to become a copywriter. But then he took all the credit and ignored her hard work. And when she’d had enough of his mistreatment, she realized her own worth and left him for Freddy (or rather left him via Freddy).

    And since this is the “Chaough/Shaw” version, Peggy may not come back that easily. “My Fair Peggy” indeed.

    I wrote earlier about how the S5 promo poster could be about “Pygmalion” and “My Fair Lady,” in particular the Don/Peggy relationship. Here’s the link if anyone is interested.

    • Also, I forgot some other parallels. Freddy basically = Col. Pickering. The scene where Don throws money at Peggy is reminiscent of how Eliza throws slippers at Higgins. The scene where Peggy watches the men eat lobster echos Eliza’s reaction to Higgins and Pickering singing “You Did It.” And Don’s line about being responsible for all of Peggy’s happiness could be a version of Higgins’ “There’s not an idea in your head or a word in your mouth that I haven’t put there.”

      Perhaps the title “The Other Woman” could have something to do with Higgins’ declaration, “I really did it, I did it, I did it, I said I’d make a woman and indeed I did,” as his protege Eliza is finally standing up to him.

  81. This is going to be my last comment on this episode (I think).

    What’s wrong with a ‘Buick in the garage’? My absolute favorite ’60’s car has always been the Buick Riviera, maybe ’63 or ’64. What a car! You’ve got to believe it would be reliable as well. I saw a pale yellow one from that era in a parking lot at work about 20 years ago, and still lust after that car. If only I had a garage.

    • Back in the early 1970s a friend of mine had one from 1963, the first year they came out. It had electric everything – including a button on the floor that changed the preset stations on the AM radio, a pretty nifty option.

      It looked just like the one in the picture, but it was golden colored, a real beauty!

      • Yes, exactly the right model. Fabulous. Thanks for the picture. (I just couldn’t resist one more comment for my dream car.)

  82. Edwin Baker “bazooka joe” could not clean up after himself causing SCDP, who had no competition for the account, to lose it before it even got started. The same Edwin Baker could not control his liquor and vomits on the head of Jag dealerships causing him to lose his job and his visa. This led to Jag hiring a new person looking for a new ad firm. So if Edwin only acted responsibly this story would have been very different. SCDP would have kept the account, would have never had to bid against competition, the partners would not have been tested with Herb Rennet’s request, and Joan would have never been faced with the decision that made her partner. It amazes me how one person’s (Edwin) actions affected every partner in SCDP, the finances of SCDP, and of course Joan. I also get a bit of thrill thinking that possibly the vomit ended up on Herb Rennet. Yes? If so, I could not ask for a better pairing!

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