In my Review of Season 4, which I wrote back in 2010, I said:
“I enjoyed seeing Ted Chaough emerge as an adversary for Don. We’ve never before seen so much focus on a rival who has never worked with Don at the same agency. Chaough is at times charming and persuasive, although mostly he comes across as an obnoxious jerk. We get the sense that he doesn’t have as much creative talent as Don, but he’s extremely calculating and ambitious. I think we’ll see more of him.”
Indeed we did see more of him, in The Other Woman. He made Peggy a job offer, and she accepted it. Will Peggy enjoy working for him? That remains to be seen. Chaough didn’t seem so nice to poor Smitty in Season 4’s The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, but it was just a quick scene, and Smitty made the mistake of telling his current boss (Chaough) that his former boss (Don) was a genius. Hopefully Peggy won’t do that. Chaough knows that Don doesn’t like him; he told Peggy, “You must have heard some pretty terrible things about me from Don Draper’s mouth.” He’s just hired Peggy to be his new Copy Chief. For all we know, Chaough and Peggy could go on to have a very good working relationship. (Or, she could be miserable.)
Peggy took a new job because she knew it was time to move on. If she’s smart, she won’t expect things at her new job to be perfect. She’ll just expect them to be different. Or at least, somewhat different. Peggy’s had two mentors: Don, and Freddy. Don’s been the main one, but Freddy helped her get the meeting with Chaough. He helped her negotiate. Hopefully he told her, don’t expect perfection. Change is change, it’s not a miracle.
If Chaough is smart, he won’t make her miserable from the get-go. He’ll know how to ease her in, and make her comfortable. He’ll give her some good opportunities and won’t keep her away from choice accounts just because she’s a woman. But, will her female status be an issue? Most likely it will, to some extent. In Season 3, Duck Philips tried to woo her to Grey to work on accounts like Macy’s and Hermes.
“You need someone in a skirt,” Peggy said.
“Everybody does,” Duck pointed out.
The times they are a changing….but how much? Female vs. male copywriters were still an issue at SCDP as of recently (Don said, “We can’t put a girl on Jaguar,”), so it’s not impossible to think that it won’t be an issue at Cutler, Gleason, and Chaough (CGC), as well.
But again, Peggy’s looking for change. Sometimes that just means a change of pace. A change of environment. Not radical change. No job is perfect.
Hopefully she finds forward movement at CGC, and that Teddy Chaough will be a decent-enough boss. Hopefully we also get lots of scenes of her new work life.
And if the new job doesn’t work out….here’s hoping Don doesn’t get so happy with his “roomful of freelancers” that he can’t take Peggy back. He did once say he’d spend the rest of his life trying to hire her. He can talk a good game, we know. But hopefully that was more than just a good pitch.