The Elusive Mr. Chaough

 Posted by on May 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm  Season 4, Season 5
May 292012

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.


  71 Responses to “The Elusive Mr. Chaough”

  1. MM has never given us clarity on how good he is – it’s unclear if he’s just a wannabe/schmuck or if he indeed has some talents other than his drive and is an up and comer, looking for more talent like himself. I don’t think we’ll find that out this season.

    As an aside, given that people jump around so much in the ad business, the return of Peggy is completely possible, though in another season it sounds like. It would be interesting to see her return with a little more juice based on work she’s done outside of SCDP.

    • In Chrysanthemum and the Sword, he did a pitch for the Honda motorcycle commercial that sounded pretty contemporary for its time. That’s the only real insight for his talent we have… that, and his telling Smitty to give him word ideas/synonyms for another account.

  2. Chaough definitely seems good at prospecting. He knows how to schmooze potential employees, he knows the right words to say. He told Peggy he liked the way she personalized her accounts. He makes it out like he will give her personal attention—and he was quick to say, “You don’t have to be like me.”

    His conversation with Pete last season (at the hospital) was also impressive. He made Pete think he was really interested in grooming him for it all. Even a partnership. He said something like, “I’m not Don. This isn’t the Wild West.”

    He definitely seems to have a gift for wooing employees. What he’s like when you actually work for him remains to be seen.

    I hope really Peggy gets her lunch at “La Caravelle” on her first day. I remember at one of my jobs, my boss told me she’d take me out to lunch. That first week kept getting busier, and the lunch kept getting put off. Eventually she just forgot about it and I didn’t feel comfortable reminding her. Now, obviously she wasn’t obligated to take me out to lunch–not at all! But, she was the one who had brought it up. If she had never made the offer, I wouldn’t have really cared. 🙂

  3. I don’t like Ted.

    Perhaps that’s a function of the way he has been presented in the context of the storylines; perhaps he is the obnoxious sleazeball that he seems to be. For Peggy’s sake, I hope it is the former. You don’t have to like the people you work with….but, for most of us, you need to be treated with respect and have your value as an employee (and a human) appreciated. That certainly was not the case for Peggy at SCDP.

    I want to be wrong…boy, I want to be wrong; but, I got the same feeling from Ted’s meeting with Peggy as I did with his persuit of Pete. It is much more about beating Don… than it is about wanting to work with either of them.

    • Sorry…”pursuit” of Pete

    • I don’t like Ted.

      He seems pushy, right? I remember him showing up at Benihana’s just as Don did, and Ted’s wife even said to him, “What are you doing, Ted?” (after Ted approached Don). Ted’s answer: “My job.”

      I know some level of pushiness comes in handy for people who work in a field like theirs. It can be off-putting, though. Pete has certainly come across as very pushy on several occasions–although he’s also good at his job.

    • I don’t like him either. I have wondered if he would not have schmoozed her so much if she wasnt working for Don. Did he hire her with more money than she asked for just to hurt Don or is he really interested in having a new copy chief? Unfortunately I think it is the former. By him giving her more money with the condition that she make a decision right then and there, Ted was ensuring the Don would not be able to counter. I never recall Don saying anything bad about Ted to Peggy. So it is possible that Peg did not know about this rivallry beforehand. This incident reminds of the so-called modeling job that Betty got which immediately got cancelled when Don did not accept her employer’s offer. Betty only got the job because of Don but did not know it. Did Peggy only get this job because of Don too? Unfortunately I think so.

  4. Yes..MC.

    Maybe Don, Roger, Freddie, and Ken are this way too ( I don’t think so) and are just much better at it; but, Ted reminds of Pete in that he “always” seems to be “doing his job”.

    Remember earlier in this season when the Drapers and Cosgroves were invited to the Campbells. Trudy, though she knows it’s part of business and has said so; treated it as a social event. Pete, on the other hand, seemed like he was entertaining a client. Everything seemed so forced.

  5. I’m going to put my money on the praough-Chaough side.

    His deal with Peggy seemed to parallel Lane’s partnership deal with Joan: Lane got to hide his financial secret, while boosting the value of Joan’s take from the prostitution deal.

    Likewise, Chaough gets to buy a large chunk of Don Draper’s talent AND gets to stick it to Draper in the process. At the same time, he boosts the value of Peggy’s career.

    Even if Chaough is an obnoxious snake, as he’s been portrayed, can it be worse than the exceptionally abusive and caustic work relationship that she’s leaving? I don’t see Chaough throwing money at her face anytime soon.

    I see Peggy’s new life to be a valued commodity and hotshot talent at CGC: free of the intimidation and cruelty that she’s received this season at SDCP.

    I imagine that we’ll see her back on the show occasionally as a formidable opponent (a classic “student vs. master” plot) to SDCP in future pitches.

    • Agree.

      We could see all of this when Peggy told Don she was leaving. When she told him her destination, Don was enraged. Just furious. (And Jon Hamm played that moment beautifully.)

      That was a nice twist of the knife, for Peggy and for Ted.

    • Would love for Sal to show up at Ted’s agency.

  6. Don taking credit for discovering Peggy and giving her ‘everything’ struck me as weirdly reminiscent of Roger taking credit for discovering Don and asking for thanks for giving him everything. Remember it was Freddy who discovered Peggy’s talent, and Don who was only concerned that her copywriting on the side wouldn’t interfere with her job as his secretary. He promoted her to junior copywriter specifically to spite Pete. I know he has been her mentor all along the way, but I feel that Peggy’s success is at least as much credit to her and Freddy as it is to Don.

  7. I thought Ted seemed utterly charmed by Peggy. He beamed when she said she wanted a chocolate milk shake and promised drinks at La Caravelle after her first day at work. Am I the only one who sees Ted pursuing Peggy romantically in the future?

    • He is married, not that this would stop him from having “the other woman” but he is married. Before Megan, Don was on a date at a japanese restaurant and Ted was there with his wife. I believe it was the Chrysamtheum episode and both agencies were bidding on Honda. So the restaurant was research for both

      • Good catch. I had forgotten that.

        • Me too. Though that didn’t stop our beloved Peg from bedding Pete (can’t recall if he was married or engaged, but that’s splitting hairs).

    • I agree with DivaDebbi that Ted was totally charmed by Peggy. I think he needs a copy chief. I think he’s a businessman who would not hire Peggy just to spite Don. The fact that she has a great book (I believe he meant what he said to her about her book), that’s she’s available, and that he can appreciate what she brings to the table takes precedence over the fact that she’s coming from SCDP and his rival. That’s some icing on the cake, but it isn’t the cake.

  8. I’d really like there to be a positive storyline on something outside of the SCDP group, especially after Paul’s decline. And yeah, who knows, Chaough might be a pushy poacher who hates DD, but that doesn’t mean CGC might not be better.

    I especially want to see more of Chaough, another Desperate Housewives crossover — so many of them them, Duck, new Bobby, Gail —

  9. I think Ted knows how to treat Peggy. Seeing her write down “Copy Chief” told him all he needed to know…as far as Don not giving her any credit or respect. He may not have Don’s talent, but he now has a piece of Don’s brain on his creative team, which is the next best thing.

    I don’t buy into this theory that Peggy will be so prominent, but I do think this whole thing sets up the amazing possibility of Don vs. Peggy next season. Sort of like how they’re doing it on Damages with Ellen and Patty.

    • Don’s talent has been sporatic in recent times, don’t you think? Hey, maybe Ted is good at his job!

    • Agreed, JS: “I think Ted knows how to treat Peggy.”

      And I wonder, what is a “copy chief” exactly? Or, what was a copy chief in 1967?

      • The copy chief is the supervisor of the copywriting department. The “old” Sterling Cooper agency apparently had one–or at least, on Guy Kendrick’s organizational chart, he listed “Adam Rowe” as the Copy Chief.

        When Don, Roger, and the others started the new agency, they only had room for one copywriter–Peggy. So there was really no copy chief or even much of a copywriting department, other than Peggy, until they started bringing in other people–Jane’s cousin Danny, and later Mike Ginsberg.

        I’d assume that many medium-size and large ad agencies in the ’60s had copy chiefs, since Peggy brought it up when she met with Duck to discuss opportunities at Grey. “Copy chief?” she said to Duck, suggesting that she could be hired for that position.

        “Maybe when they get used to you [being there],” Duck said. (And he then went on to add that she wasn’t going to move up at all if she stayed at Sterling Cooper)

        • Thanks, MadChick. I’d forgotten about the conversation with Duck, so that’s extra texture to add to the idea of Peggy being copy chief.

          I remember the Bobby Kennedy practical joke! I hope we get to see some of Teddy Chaough in action (and in relationship to Peggy). So far I like him a whole lot more than I like Don, but I don’t know him as well, either.

          I like how he dresses, too. I wonder if he’s near Don’s age, but has better-embraced the sixties, is more “with it” and maybe has less baggage to carry around…

          • I’d forgotten about the Bobby Kennedy practical joke. Depending on what happens, I could totally see Ted talking Peggy into playing a prank on SCDP, and then having her say stop when she feels it’s going too far.

  10. While your opening paragraph has a qualifier intended to exclude Duck ( as he and Don had worked together, the “qualities” you ascribed to Ted are similar to many of Duck’s, including professional and personal jealousy.

    • My mention of Duck was mostly to show that it is true that advertising often seems to favor male copywriters or female copywriters for certain accounts. Duck was very determined to get a female copywriter for accounts like Macy’s and Hermes. But, he also wanted a talented female copywriter. Certainly I’d include Duck among the others (Don, Freddy, and now Ted) who have recognized Peggy’s skills and talents.

      Like Freddy, Duck also encouraged her to strike while the iron is hot.

  11. I posted a piece in 2010 stating that, if I HAD to pick, Ted Chaough is the best salesperson depicted on Mad Men.

    As I discussed it with Old Fashioned in the thread for Deb’s recap, I won’t rehash it here. Instead, I’ll play devil’s advocate and take the OPPOSITE stance on Peggy’s move to work for Chaough.

    I’m sure as we watched Peggy get into the elevator at the end of The Other Women we alll braced ourselves for her to tumble down into an open shaft (like the one Don saw in a previous episode). Since the staging of Peggy’s exit scene made so much of her getting into that same elevator, I wonder if it was meant to foreshadow Chaough metaphorically giving Peggy the shaft?

    Just thinking out loud…

    • Matt, I remember your “Closing Time” piece (and just looked at it again). It was a good one!!! 🙂

  12. Ted is a good rival for Don, and might be a decent man, after all. Duck was like a bizarro Don, and definitely the morosest character on the Joan lubricated-to-morose scale. He is also very untrustworthy. Pete is a vicious guy, and doesn’t pull his punches; but as we have seen many times, he lacks the ad-men’s peculiar sense of humour (he doesn’t get the point of the Y&R joke – even Lane, the (then) penny-pincher gets it! And even when he sends Roger to an early morning ‘meeting’ with Coke in Staten Island, it’s more about taking revenge than having a laugh) and he is altogether a very uninspired guy. (I feel like I’m talking about the Ninja Turtles. ‘Roger is cool, but rude.’) Throughout S4, Ted played the foil masterfully, that’s one of the things I missed this season -and expect seeing in the upcoming episodes/season. There’s no need to jump to conclusions; we’ve seen Ted’s dynamic with his colleagues only once, and admittedly tensions were a bit high since they were competing for a potentially lucrative account, and we have seen Don treat his people much worse (*cough*money-throwing*cough*). Chaough might be a good boss, and even if he isn’t, he is a hilarious character. Looking forward to seeing more of him.

    • Good points, Linus. Ted has an “in your face” quality at times, but it’s still not totally clear what he’s like on the day-to-day.

      I’ll say this for him too–he definitely knows how to play a good practical joke (the Bobby Kennedy thing).

      • P.S. If Harry and Paul were working for him, they’d never get any work done. Remember their practical joke on Peggy, when she was apartment-hunting? (Ken and Lois were in on that one too) 🙂

        • I think between SCDP’s Y&R joke (which Don co-wrote) and the Honda commercial prank and Ted’s Bobby Kennedy and ‘Help, Help Me Honda’ I think the two were destined to be rivals.

          Also Michael’s Chevalier ‘Hard Day’s Night‘ Blanc pitch which ends with the shot of a bar full of girls in ‘Lady Lazarus’ shows similar thinking to Ted’s Honda commercial idea with the incognito blonde rider. I think Michael would thrive in CG&C.

  13. Anagrams for: Ted Chaough:

    Caught Hoed
    Death Cough
    Aced Though
    Cheat Dough
    Cad He Tough
    Coda Eh Thug
    Go Ache Thud
    Cheat God Uh
    Ad Chute Hog

    coincidence? not in the Weiner-verse

    • Interesting!!! Good catch(es) 🙂

    • Shades of Rosemary’s Baby…anagrams giving me the creeps LOL

      Somebody paid a visit to (anagram solver)

      Don’t forget:
      Teach Dough
      Acted Ugh Oh
      Hate Cog Duh
      Hatch Due Go
      Ache Do Thug

      etc etc etc

      • I watched Rosemary’s Baby on Monday and thought watching “The Other Woman” afterwards would keep me from having the willies all night. I was so wrong.

    • Since we are playing with names, the “cheesy” Jag guy’s last name is Rennet which is defined as “a complex of enzymes produced in any mammalian stomach, and is often used in the production of cheese” acc to Wikipedia.

      Is that a coincidence?

  14. If I can posit a question, what is the likelihood that Ken might end up with a meeting at CGC?

    He obviously wants to quit. Even though Peggy dissed “the pact” after the money throwing scene with her “save it for your fiction” line, I would imagine that he would still be contacting her about the possibility.

    I could imagine some sort of scenario in which Ken moves over to CGC and Ken’s father-in-law helps unlock some bigger clients for Ken/Peggy (which he apparently won’t do for Ken as long as Don “The Letter” Draper is involved).

    • It’s certainly possible that Ken could have a meeting with CGC, but I get the feeling that with Ken, he’s just open to new opportunities–not necessarily eager to find one right now. Whereas with Peggy, she realized she was at a point where she needed to move on.

    • I was wondering about the Ken angle on this one too… I think that its very obvious that he was sincere on his assertion that they would stick together and he’s going to be taken aback when he realizes that Peggy left without him. I think that will be interesting fallout.

      • I always thought that Peggy and Ken’s “deal” was childish and kind of stupid. If Peggy had packaged herself with an artist, she might have wanted to bring him or her (and his or her book) along with her to Chaugh’s, but an account exec? That makes no sense to me. A creative teaming with a sales exec? ??? Don’t see it. A writer and a designer team? That makes some sense.

        • Writer-designer teams were far more common, but bringing an account exec does add something to the deal. Not only do they get Peggy’s talent, they also get new accounts, and what agency doesn’t want new clients?

    • I’ve been thinking about this, and I don’t really believe she was dissing the pact so much as Ken’s lack of intention of actually following through. He’s perfectly fine – he does a good job and gets the respect he needs. It went from something they said to each other in order to ease the bad days to something Peggy was actually starting to count on.

      I am not sure if Ken was beginning to understand that Peggy was finally done with that place, or if he could just tell that she was not in a mood for the usual conciliatory pep talk. Less “how could you say that” and more “nothing to be done here”. He’s always been remarkably good at not letting the bastards get him down.

    • Peggy “dissed” the pact, but did she call it off? I’m not convinced she would leave Ken at SCDP.

  15. Peggy helped make Ted Chaough look like a fool, with SCDP’s phony Honda motorcycle ad scheme in S-4.

    If he’s unaware of her role, it’s bound to eventually be revealed and Peggy will suffer for it. If it is something he does know about, his hiring her could well be a ploy to remove her from Don’s team and then simply let her languish at his agency, as pay back. He seems just that conniving and petty.

    • Or he could have the ability to laugh at himself and think “good one”. Maybe even appreciate her a little bit more.

      • The phony Honda ad and the dig disguised as a plug for his agency in the Tobacco Letter, made Chaough look like a fool. His call to Don after the Tobacco Letter, posing as Bobby Kennedy, shows that he’s not the magnanimous type. He’s vindictive and always eager to hurt Don any way he can.

        In S-4, he was unable to lure Pete Campbell, but now he’s snagged Peggy. She’s merely a pawn and while she doesn’t recognize it, she’s really not in a good place. Ultimately, Peggy will come to rue the day that she jumped ship.

        • I sadly have to agree. If Peggy had joined a firm w/o someone who is competitively obsessed w/Don I’d be more hopeful. But Ted’s main motive to hire Peggy may have been to humiliate Don, not to help Peggy.

          • No one pays big bucks to “help” an employee. Ted did what any employer would do, help himself. He hates Don and wants to stick it to him, but if his real motivation wasn’t simply to succeed, then he wouldn’t still be a player in the ad business.

          • The only way I see that being done is that Ted thought it would be ‘addition by subtraction’ and that Peggy was a key part of Don’s success, and that subtracting her would help him. But that nonetheless does show regard for her…

            I’m sure MW has a long term plan about this, but I think in the short term the decision was made for whatever reason that Peggy is leaving and putting her in Ted’s team was a way to get her out of the mix, but still retain some dramatic tension both now and make it easier to get her back into the mix later on in a way that’s realistic (i.e. competing for the same client).

          • Deborah,

            I think I chose words wrongly with “help.” What I meant was things may not be the way Ted presents them, a mutually beneficial situation based on Peggy’s talent. In the case of Peggy her talent may be irrelevant, Ted just wants to harm Don. I don’t think this is how Ted makes all his hires, he has to hire people based on talent in order to survive as a business. But with Peggy in particular the main motivation may be to humiliate Don.

            Ted seems to have had an obsession w/Don even before the Honda fiasco (his conversation w/Smitty). With the Honda stunt Don’s intention was not only to humiliate Ted but to blow out their filming budget for the year, seriously harming Ted’s firm. Which I assume Don accomplished. Then there’s the whole NYT thing about Ted calling himself the new Draper. And trying to poach Pete. And the fake Bobby Kennedy call.

            Ted seems fixated on Don. And stealing “Don’s girl” (especially if the Don/Peggy sleeping together rumors have reached Ted’s ear) would be a blow to Don from Ted’s point of view.

      • I agree with Donna. Peggy didn’t really do anything horrible…she was working for Don, so even if Ted did find out about it, he would just figure she was following her leader. Ted knows how it works, copywriters follow their creative director’s lead. That’s why Ted was pumping Smitty for information about Don. He figured the people who worked for Don would be able to tell him what makes Don tick.

  16. […] Basket of Kisses expounds on the elusive Mr. Chaough (I stumbled spelling on that — he really does have too many syllables in there!), and the […]

  17. I have very few criticisms of Mad Men over its five seasons but if there was one that stood out was that SC or SCDP seemed to operate in its own little world outside the reality of the cutthoat competition that exists in the marketplace. Yes other firms were constantly referred to in passing but it would have been interesting to see more of Ted Chaough and types like him and how their business was affected by the presence of Don Draper and SC (SCDP). Now in season six we may begin to see more of that with Peggy on the other side. And that in turn may get Don’s competitive juices flowing again.

    For those who don’t like Megan, just read on another thread the lead actors have all been signed to season six according to Entertainment Weekly And would Matt Weiner want to pit Peggy and Megan against each other in the competitive battle between the rival firms?

    • How fascinating! When the Season 5 contracts were all signed it was widely reported in the industry business publications that all principal cast and crew had agreed to Season 6 terms.

      So, which of the principal cast is signed for all episodes of Season 6 and which for a limited number?

  18. I love sports analogies because they so much to all other fields or occupations.

    Ted Chaough is like a general manager of a baseball team who wants to field the best team and is willing to pay whatever it takes to get the job done. The pursuit of individual creativity or excellence within the team is meaningless to him. Winning is everything to people like Chaough. Peggy is a a winner.

    And people like Chaough don’t care what gender you are. In fact he sees Peggy’s gender as a bonus. In Peggy he sees an opportunity to impress clients with a unique female copywriting presence which no other firm can offer.There is a good chance that Peggy will become in 1967 the only head female copywriter on Madison Avenue. The goal of any business is to have a monopoly on anything.

    Chaough is a bottom-line guy. You perform or your out. Peggy will soon see Chaough will not be buddy-buddy with her like Don was but the $19,000 yearly salary will go a long way to help her to adjust to the more business-like atmosphere over at her new firm imho.

    Will Chaough eventually realize that he should lay off criticizing Don Draper in front of Peggy? Right at the outset, I think Peggy will make it perfectly clear that her time with Don and what they talked about is off limits. Peggy may give Chaough a general overview of SCDP but if he expects Peggy to turn informer, he hired the wrong person.

    • Techno, I don’t get the sense that the team’s success is the whole story with Teddy. I think there are aspects of what he does that are personal. I strongly believe we will find that Peggy’s big payday overlaps into that realm.

      • I didn’t mean to imply that Teddy is NOT driven and a highly motivated individual but he is all about production in respect to the team he has assembled. I see Teddy as more of a CEO than Don is who comes across as a rugged individualist, a nonconformist and less of a team player.

        Peggy may enjoy the more arm’s length, detached, less emotional approach of Teddy’s firm. Or she may yearn for the days of The Suitcase and her unique bonding with Don. Time will tell.

  19. And now since the fates of Ted and Peggy will now become intertwined what may we see differently in Peggy that we didn’t see at SCDP (assuming MM shows Peggy at work in season 6):

    a) As head copywriter, Peggy will never be shut out of working for companies who insist on a masculine presence. She will never accept that backseat role again.

    b) Peggy will hire her own people and will insist on no sexism in the office unlike what we saw at SCDP.

    c) Ted will not be paternalistic and never treat Peggy like she is a little girl but he will expect results.

    d) Peggy dressing sharper than she has in the past.

    e) Peggy will tell Ted after a while she expects to be made a partner (the elevation of Joan sticks in her craw).

    f) As I wrote in another thread I expect Ted to promote the unique feature of his firm-the first female head copywriter on Madison Avenue.

    g) Peggy and Abe will split in season 6. Remember he didn’t like it that she devoted so much time to work. He will like it less now.

    h) Ted wll use Peggy to try to steal other employees away from SCDP.

    i) Peggy and Joan will probably meet once a month over lunch to shoot the breeze and give the other an update on what is going on.

    j) Ted will try to steal Jaguar or another large account away from SCDP.

  20. During Peggy’s meeting with Teddy Chaough, he told her he saw something of Ralph Waldo Emerson in her work. He referred to Emerson’s notion of becoming a “transparent eyeball”.

    I wasn’t familiar with the reference and maybe you aren’t either. It’s from his 1836 essay, “Nature.”:

    “Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball. I am nothing. I see all. The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me ; I am part or particle of God. The name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign and accidental. To be brothers, to be acquaintances, master or servant, is then a trifle and a disturbance. I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.”

    Chaough noted that the passage means that you have to take in the world and pass it through you, adding that he was tired of people who approached the work in a formulaic manner, as with a static math problem. He suggested to Peggy that her book evoked the attitude of someone writing about products that were actually for her, and without clichés. homilies or formulas.

    Maybe he really did see and appreciate some special qualities in Peggy’s work – or maybe, he was just really pouring it on, to lure her away from SCDP, for his own nefarious ends.

    We shall see …

    • If Ted thinks Peggy’s ego disappears as she is engaged in the work, he has another thing coming. LOL

      • That scene with Peggy and Chaough made me think of the pitch Don gave to her in Shut the Door Have a Seat, in S-3. It’s a telling callback:

        Don Draper: Do you know why I don’t want to go to McCann?
        Peggy Olson: Because you can’t work for anyone else.
        Don Draper: No. Because 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.
        Peggy Olson: Is it?
        Don: With you or without you I’m moving on. And I don’t know if I can do it alone. Will you help me?
        Peggy: What if I say no? You’ll never speak to me again.
        Don: No. I will spend the rest of my life trying to hire you.

        Throughout S-4, Don was pretty much a hot, steaming mess, but Peggy was there for him, professionally and personally. Then in S-5, it’s as if he completely forgotten what made her so special and necessary to the success of the new firm or why he wanted her so badly in the first place, as he launched the new SCDP.

        I don’t think Don was blowing sunshine up Peggy’s skirt in his S-3 pitch to her, but I’m not ready to say that yet about Chaough’s S-5 pitch to her.

        • It does speak to what will happen next: Don spends the rest of his life trying to hire Peggy.

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