Not-So-Live Blogging “The Other Woman”

 Posted by on May 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm  Season 5
May 302012
 

Funny, because earlier in the day The Other Woman aired, I watched episode 2.01 For Those Who Think Young, which is the other Mad Men episode to make such overt references to Valentine’s Day (1962, as opposed to 1967).

FTWTY has many instances of gift-giving (Duck referencing his chocolates to the secretaries, Don and Betty’s date at the Savoy, Harry leading the witness Peggy to admit all women really want chocolates, and of course Ken revealing he gives nothing “to keep them guessing”.)  It’s all very prescribed, like a societal courtship.  Of course the promise of sex hangs about, but it ends up contorted … Don cannot have sex; Juanita Carson, Betty’s old roommate is now a call-girl – “Be mine for $100,” Betty imagines.

After re-watching the “Previously On Mad Men” clips for The Other Woman, I half-expected to see a distant call-back from FTWTY, where Pete sneakily points to one of Trudy’s Valentine’s chocolates for her to pass to him, but she pops it in her mouth.  They share a laugh.

Or, as that great sage Lois Sadler remarked about the behemoth new Xerox machine: “I think it looks good now, but I think it will become messy.”

SCDP Conference Room

Weak taglines.  Weak creative.  Don’s fed up.

On the word mistress – “The salesmen can use it, but the campaign can’t.”  Don, you don’t know how right you are.

Hallway

Peggy’s working on everything but the sexy account.  If weren’t sure about that, she’s running around with Secor Laxative copy.  Ouch.  Oh, and take a look at that lobster through the glass, Pegster ….

Draper’s Apartment

“It’ll come to you.  It always does.”

“Unless it comes to you.”

“Do you really want help, or do you want to yell at me?”

“I don’t know yet.” (smirks)

This seems a tied to the sexual games from the beginning of the season, no?  Don never yelled at Megan at work, or about work, at least that we saw.  We can surmise Don’s resentment at Megan’s leaving advertising (“No one’s made a stronger stand against advertising than you.”), but we have not seen him be overtly cruel or abusive to her.  Also, he does not seem to be angry at her being in acting (her potential absence notwithstanding), but for leaving advertising.

There was something flirtatious in the question.

He then proceeds to be a prick and she, being the child of an alcoholic, deftly maneuvers out of his way and moves along.

This line has gotten no attention that I’ve seen … any other interpretations?

Joan’s Office

Passive-aggressive Rule #1: NEVER start out talking about what you are really about to talk about.

Herb Rennett’s the handsome guy … remember?  You’re a smooth one, Pete.

“I hope I haven’t insulted you.  That’s all that matters to me.”

Pete walks out of there fully aware that a) she did not throw him out, and b) there’s a price.  It was clear from this scene on that the incident would most definitely come to pass.

We all know that by today’s standards, even bringing the proposal to Joan is beyond all semblance of decency.  And by 1967 standards, it’s not much better.  However we know Joan to be a pragmatist.  There is a part of her, this character, that is interested to know what the highest price might be.

And while we’re on the subject, it’s interesting to note that Salvatore Romano was fired for not making this exact sacrifice.  It’s further interesting that Don was the one to pull the trigger in that instance.

So, by logic, a gay man is expected to “take one for the team”, but a woman’s honor is to be protected, despite the fact that once she’s informed of the request, she has free will to make her own decisions.  Sal was expected to instinctively submit without a moment’s thought.

Pete’s Office

This is a FASCINATING scene, for a number of reasons …

1)      I love Pete here.  Or, put more accurately, I love how the character is written in this scene.  His naked ambition is on display.  He’s no longer trying to figure out what kind of businessperson (or for that matter, what kind of person) he’s trying to be … he is.  He dismisses Don as a lightweight.  He drives forward ruthlessly, attacking the situation, removing barriers, developing solutions.  Like it or not (okay, not), this is Pete Campbell, and I can’t take my eyes off him in this scene.

2)      The men in the room, all of them, see it as a proposal to make to Joan.  As we will see later, she resents their talking about it, their what-will-she-take approach as more repugnant than the proposition itself.  Pete describes the $50,000 as a flattering offer.  Is that what he thinks this is about … flattery?

3)      As Lane leaves, a slight smile registers on his face.  I see it as a touch of admiration, despite having shut his lights a few months ago.  Misguided though the entire situation may be, he is thinking about the firm above all.  Lane, of all people, can appreciate that.

SCDP Conference Room

Don rips them – the mistress angle is vulgar.  Don always carries over the last scene into the next.  Plus, he calls them out for goofing.  He used to defend it (“We’re unproductive, until we are productive,” he once told Lane)

Peggy’s Office

Love this scene.  Peggy’s a big girl – she belittles Ken, who’s genuinely hurt.

Joan’s Office

“Alright, get out.”  Is she upset at the proposition, or at having to discuss it?  One of the overriding themes of the show is secrets and discretion, both of which Joan values highly.  She’s a tough broad, and is not easily offended by the crudeness she encounters in the world.  But she knows how delicate the line between self-respect and self-preservation can be, and knows the dangers of walking it too closely.

Lane’s actions are fascinating here too – he’s self-serving by steering her toward an equity stake, because that will reduce the likelihood of his theft being discovered.  But it also increases the likelihood of her doing it.

Lane needs to wipe his mouth after the discussion – dirty business indeed.

Joan’s Apartment

Joan and her mother argue.

“Have you been drinking?”

“Yes.”

That she understands.

Draper Apartment

Like her or not, Megan knows how to communicate.  She catches a ton of shit for being boring or whatever, but I don’t see it.  She’s actually able to share what she’s feeling in a way Don never experienced with Betty.  Don could bully Betty, but Megan will not be pushed around.

Pete’s Office

There’s a huge difference between “what will she take,” and “what is it worth?”  When you focus on the former, you devalue yourself, when you focus on the latter, you are working from a position of strength.

The fact that Pete asks Joan how to arrange it is hilariously tragic.

Don’s Office

If Mad Men does one thing insanely well, it’s demonstrate the creative process.  From the Western Union idea session with Paul and Peggy, to the toke-fest for Bacardi Rum, it shows how ideas work in an organic environment – and how the characters react and respond in the face of pressure to develop winning ideas.  That moment when Don smiles and Ginsberg claps – it’s a universal feeling, beautifully portrayed.

Restaurant

Raise your hand if you don’t love, LOVE, LOVE this scene between Freddie and Peggy.  Okay, you are dismissed from the show.

Joan’s Apartment

Don puts his hat on as he leaves.  He’s a good one, and old fashioned.

Jaguar Lobby

LOVE seeing the two teams pass one another …

Restaurant

“You must have heard some pretty terrible things about me from Don Draper’s mouth.”

“Look, I need a writer.  They don’t have to be like me, but …”

The old, enough about me – what do you think about me?

We know Ted’s a charming asshole.  He and Don are different flavors, but both are still ice cream.  However Peggy may miss the affection she knows her boss has for her.  Ted is absolutely respecting her, and treating her like the asset she is.  But once inside, how will they get along?  Food for thought.

Peggy – like Joan – takes care of it in writing.

When Duck made his pitch to Peggy to join him at Grey, he could not offer her anything but a job – no status attached.  She can command a real position now, with a real title conveying her value.

“I think I need a chocolate shake.”  Pegs, you’re beautiful.

Draper Apartment

More good communication from Megan.

Roger’s Office

Joan walks in to looks from Don, and probably the others.  This is why she didn’t want it to be a topic of discussion.  Like firing Joey, there are ways to make things happen.  If the right way is not taken, you’re just another [gold-digger/whore/humorless bitch].  But Joan made her choice and keeps her head high, no matter who knows.  I don’t think Don – or the others, for that matter – has caught up to that.

Hallway

“You really have no idea when things are good, do you?”  Possibly my favorite line from Peggy to Don ever.

Don’s Office

I don’t know if I have anything to add.  This is the soul of the show.  These two.  Alone.  Talking.

The obvious parallel is that he offers her more money, and she turns it down, the opposite of the Joan scenario.  It does not make Peggy more virtuous, or Joan any less magnificent.  They did what they did, they can only judge themselves.

I keep thinking of Nixon vs. Kennedy, as Peggy leaves another party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  83 Responses to “Not-So-Live Blogging “The Other Woman””

  1. i’m sure Lane’s smile might be a reminder to Pete that he’s just confirmed that he is a grimy little pimp, and that Lane punched him.

  2. Sal/Joan– No comparison. In Don’s mind Sal put a 25 Million dollar account at risk ( an account that was at least 2/3rds of the firm’s revenue. Joan’s action/inaction might put at risk one potential client. In light of how Don handled Honda, to turn the tables on the account, I was shocked that he was not creative enough to manipulate the “indecent proposal” to the firm’s advantage. There were creative ways he could have done so, while at the same time letting us see the sleeze of Pete, and the equivocation of the other partner’s. A badger in the bush game could have secured the client, or at least Rennet’s vote

    Don/Megan– Someone most have missed the earlier episodes where Don was abusive to Megan ( or perhaps leaving your wife stranded at a HOJO hours from home does not qualify as being abusive ).

    • yeah, but Don just doesn’t give a shit about anyone other than himself. Pete is right to tell him that a conversation doesn’t end because you leave. Don, what were you doing all day that you never popped in on Joan to find out what was going on, or noticed that there was paperwork giving her a 5% stake ASAP (which reduced whose stake exactly? Or did they all give up 1%?)

    • The Sal/Joan comparison is simple: sleep with the client (the one responsible for the firm’s financial well-being), or pay the consequences.

      The nature of the proposition or circumstances in effect are irrelevant.

  3. I’m not following your logic on Sal/ Joan comparison.

    Two very different situations:
    SAL: client came on to him and was refused. The client insisted he be gone. If client came on to Joan in the same manner she would have deftly avoided a direct refusal, and the client would not demand her firing. This also in part because there was a lot less taboo attached to heterosexual sex. If Sal or even Harry had brought this up earlier it might have been resolved differently, but finding out as they did they absolutely had to get rid of Sal to keep the big bucks client happy.

    JOAN: her “potential services” were propositioned via other people. The client did not approach Joan directly, but instead put Ken and Pete in a position of pimps. Joan was given a choice and obviously she would not have been fired if she said no.

    • There was no need for Don to be aware of written documents, nor was he required to sign them. BUT, or someone so “creative” his inaction and his pathetic delayed approach to Joan was inexcusable!

      I assume Ken was totally in the dark as to Pete’s follow up to the client’s request. or was Ken playing Sgt. Schultz?

      • What does your first statement have to do with what I’ve said about Joan/Sal comparison?

        I presume Ken was in the dark, he is a subordinate- there was no reason why Pete would confide in him about what he plans to do about it. Especially since Ken was about to stop it in it’s tracks at client dinner and Pete interrupted him there already.

    • Here’s how I personally see the Sal/Joan comparison. Sal was fired because he would not take one for the team. Joan would not have been fired, but she could conceivably have been tarred with the same brush. She isn’t loyal enough to SCDP to take one for the team. One thing we don’t know is how big a client Jaguar would be. The whole “we need to staff up immediately” line indicates that they are big. SCDP has been looking for new business; Don has been told that the really major companies from the anti-smoking forces are afraid to do business with him. Joan tells Lane that she sees getting Jaguar as “a defining moment” for the company. And she is happier and more powerful at the office right now than she is at home. So she is stepping up and taking one for the team, repulsive as it is. The men will never be able to say that she didn’t want SCDP to succeed, that she didn’t care about it. She might have to make a terrible choice to prove it, but she makes that choice not only for her future, but for the future of the company. Sal made the other choice and got canned for it.

  4. B.

    This line has gotten no attention that I’ve seen … any other interpretations? You mean the line “Do you really want help, or do you want to yell at me?”

    I thought it was another reference to their understanding of the friction-passion cycle they have going. Cf last week’s episode where Don comes home drunk and he says he knows the arguing ‘gets you started’ or something like that. She replies along the lines ‘it’s not about that’ implying (this time).

    Re Sal, I was trying to remember. Is not one difference that Lee comes on to Sal, he declines, and Lee demands they fire him, without disclosing his own gayness? Maybe six of one, half dozen of another but there was no board meeting to figure out whether they would ask Sal to do it. ew, must stop writing about this now. Slimy.

    • I may be remembering wrong too but many posters are saying that Don wanted Sal to be with the client but I dont think it went that way. I remember Sal being in a studio and Lee, who is also married for appearances, locks the door but Sal declines his advances. Lee then asks that Sal be fired because he was humiliated. I dont recall any of the partners knowing exactly why this request was made but because Lucky Strike was a huge part of their business, they complied. Again, maybe I am wrong but I dont think Don or any of the partners truly knew what went down. It was certainly not a proposition for the future like Joan’s was.

      • No, Sal told Don what happened. Like all straight men of the time, Don knows gay men will have sex with almost any other gay man – even bellhops, so Don thinks Sal was telling the company to go to hell when he declined Lee.

        • You have to rewatch the scene with what Don knows and nothing else: Don knows Sal is gay (saw the bellhop) and that Lee is a married man (he knows Sal is married too, but whatever). Lee wants Sal fired and won’t say why. Sal says it’s because the big “bully” hit on him and Sal refused him.

          Why should Don believe any of that?

          The more I watch the scene, the more convinced I am that Don believes that Sal hit on Lee, Lee turned him down and then demanded that Sal be fired.

          Before gay people were as visible as they are today–say up until the mid 1990s–every straight man I knew had a certain amount of anxiety about gay men hitting on them. Why the fear of locker rooms, of showers? Because, they fear, gay men won’t take no for an answer (to which I said to a friend, ‘Honey, that’s not gay men, that’s men‘). Why the fear about gay teachers? Gay roommates? Gays in the military? Because of the fear that gay men will hit on straight men and boys all the time, indiscriminately, and straight men will be abused by them.

          When Don said “You people,” he was saying, “You abusive people that won’t take no for an answer.” He never believed Lee was the aggressor.

          • Interesting. When I’ve watched it, I didn’t think that Don thought Sal made the first move. However, based on the experience with the bellhop, I saw it that Don figured that Sal, in addition to being gay, should be “easy,” and shouldn’t have any problem saying no to any other man who approached him.

            • Yeah, that requires Don believing that Lee is also gay and I think that’s a stretch. Why should he?

          • So, is it possible that Don ( or others ) think Lee Jr. pulled the LS account because:

            Roger hit on Lee Jr.; or
            Lee Jr. hit on Roger and Roger rebuffed Lee Jr.
            Why else would a loyal client unexpectedly and unceremoniously jerk an account?

          • You know, I think you’re absolutely right and now the Don/Sal thing makes a lot more sense.

  5. I think Don came down hard about Joan not doing this because he may have remembered what he did to Sal. Also, wasn’t he in his tryst with Bobbie Barrett at the time? I don’t think Don was with Bobbie because he liked her. He wasn’t with a lot of women because of some overwhelming urge to romance. His ethics were different at the time.

    Plus, let’s face it — if Sal had been directly propositioned by Lucky Strike Jr. at a dinner setting with Pete and Ken, that announcement would have never made it to the partners. Roger heard “fire Sal” with sparse explanation for why, and Sal was fired. It wasn’t Don’s to reverse.

    • My recollection is that Don fired Sal, not Roger. Am I forgetful?

      • Don did the talking because he is creative, but if I remember correctly.

        1. Sal refuses Lee’s advances and doesn’t mention it to anyone
        2. Lee drunkenly calls Harry asking Sal to be fired
        3. Harry doesn’t mention it
        4. Lee finds out Sal is still there, blows a gasket
        5. Harry stumbles threw telling Roger about the drunken call
        6. Roger gives Harry shit for not telling anyone so they can handle it and says to fire Sal
        7. Don talks to Sal firing him, explaining how Sal cannot just lay low on this one because Lucky Strike is a big account

        • Yes. That. Thank you, Ivona. Don did not want to fire Sal, necessarily. And The Other Woman would have been an entirely different episode if BUFF had propositioned Joan in the office directly, without any of the partners knowing about it.

  6. Your mentioning Don putting his hat back on when he leaves Joan’s apartment reminded me of the scene in the elevator (Season 1 or 2) where two creeps go on with their sex talk while a woman is standing right in front of them. Don towers over the two creeps, gives them his stoniest look, and tells them “take off your hats.”

    A Gentleman always takes off his hat for a Lady.

  7. I’m not so sure Megan’s a great communicator. She’s very young and somewhat hot-headed. It’s interesting that she didn’t think to mention to Don that this play she’s auditioning for would take her out of town for almost three months. She springs this on him in her rush to think about how it might be if she gets the part, and then she’s pissy because he says no.

    I don’t blame Don for saying no to something that felt sprung on him out of nowhere. And how does she handle it? She snarks, “Well, this is how it works!” and storms away.

    I think Don’s pitch to Jaguar was (in addition to the fabulous understory/intercutting of Joan’s scene with Herb) a summation of how he feels about Megan. He talks about the shiny, painted curves of this car… “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?”

    I think that’s precisely what’s keeping Don in the marriage game with Megan, and Megan knows it.

    • I find the Megan character fascinating because Jessica Pare, an experienced, confident actress, has to play Megan Draper as if she had little confidence pertaining to acting and is not as driven to succeed as the actress playing her is and may not be as talented either.

      Then she has to assume the role of showing herself to being competent in writing advertising copy while showing more confidence at work than she exhibited in season four. (During her pillow talk with Don telling her about how she felt about acting Megan did say she had grown more confident because of her time at the firm).

      And then as Don’s wife, she has to display a super-confidence which is born of being completely self-confident regarding her sexuality and also is brutally honest about how she feels about Don and his work.

      So the question then becomes how believable is it for anybody to act super-confident in one role but not so confident in another role? Imho it comes down to passion and talent. Megan imho is very passionate towards her marriage to Don and very talented in satisfying his needs in and out of bed, while I believe she lacks the passion and talent necessary to succeed in acting.

      • I wish Jessica Pare would enunciate. I didn’t catch her say “Little Murders” until someone pointed it out in comments somewhere. I often miss snippets of her dialogue.

        • I find MM’s audio quality in general to be sub-par. Always rewatch on DVD so I can display sub-titles.

          • What exactly would you want done differently producing the soundtrack for Mad Men?

            Are the background sound effects too intrusive? Is the music too loud? Should the performers speak more distinctly?

            The problem faced by Matt Weiner, the performers and the production sound recording staff is that in the real world people do not always talk as loudly as possible and they do not always speak distinctly.

            So the artistic choice comes down to directing everyone to shout to keep the voices louder than the background, dub certain scenes at the cost of performance quality, or expect some viewers to turn up the volume.

            BTW, the sound department on Mad Men is considered one of the best in cable TV.

          • I thought it was just me losing my hearing but I have a miserable time hearing the dialogue on MM. I don’t have trouble with other shows or maybe I just want to hear everything bit of the amazing writing on MM and other shows I don’t paid as much attention.

          • Cam, ditto here. Sometimes I fail to pick up dialogue despite replaying a scene repeatedly. Gotta admit MM is a show where I don’t want to miss anything. I don’t have any problems with hearing the dialogue in Death Wish 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 no matter how many times AMC shows them. 🙂

          • C. Carroll, I think the posters are complaining that the levels are too low. This might be a good sound team, but something happens to this show when it goes over the air. I miss dialogue, too, and usually have to watch iTunes to catch it.

          • I have only had a problem with the audio this season and have started to watch the episodes with closed captioning. I dont know how accurate cc is but I have caught much more of the dialog this way. One of the great things about MM is how much detail they pack into one show so if you miss a line or two it could make a difference

          • It is often hard to hear what the characters are saying. And very frustrating. I am not sure what it is. Other shows don’t have this problem. This is a show where I want to hear every word!

          • Could it be an issue with who’s providing the content? I had a terrible time with the audio when I used to watch MM on iTunes. I switched to Amazon streaming and the audio is much better.

            Although I still wonder whether in S4E10 “Hands and Knees” Pete is saying “There was a flag” or “There wasn’t a flag.” It kind of makes a difference!

        • JP seems to rush her words together a little more than necessary. Also I noticed she has a slight lisp.

    • The solution is headphones. Some shows have as many as 16 layers of sound tracks. With headphones you will even hear the rain on the window panes.

      • This is true. Recommended.

      • For years, I’ve fed all audio sources (TV, VCR, CD, Computer sound, etc.) through a wireless device that delivers it to two small receivers (about the size of a deck of cards). One feeds into regular speakers and the other, I carry in my shirt pocket and plug headphones into it. This is great for playing music as loud as I want, without disturbing anyone in the wee hours and for catching the subtleties of TV shows or film soundtracks.

    • Agreed. Don (a) don’t know that acting takes you away for months (“Visit me on weekends?” what the hell about the kids’ visits?!), and (b) didn’t marry someone who said anything about acting – he married a girl who said “yes sir I’ll be a copywhatwasiteragain sir.” Megan may be a good person but it doesn’t mean she can’t be an ass sometimes.

    • I saw both scenarios exactly the same way Good Sally.
      Megan said something like,” you come and go as you please for your work.” Really? I haven’t seen Don travel anywhere besides upstate NY since they are married. Three months in Boston would bear discussion in any marriage. I thought she was acting childishly.

  8. I’ve read a lot of people saying that Peggy “had to” move on, “had to” get away from Don, like he was some sort of abusive husband, but I don’t really understand that. Yes, Don (like a lot of hard-driving bosses) could be mean and insulting, but not just towards Peggy. And he also could be pretty nice and complementary to her. In the goodbye scene, he did seem ready to make his previous behavior up to her.

    I’m not saying she owed it to him to stay—he did a lot for her, but she repaid him in many ways, I think. But I don’t think Don was stifling her career or suffocating her soul either. Maybe this will all work out well for her, but I don’t she had no choice but to move on, either.

    • I don’t think it was an abusive husband relationship, more like a parent/child. Peggy and Don both care about each other, but Peggy is “growing up” and Don doesn’t really want to see it yet, just like the relationship many young adults have with their parents. Peggy gave Don a clearly articulated, professional exit speech yet initially Don doesn’t take her seriously, i.e., still treating her like a child. If she doesn’t move on, she’ll never be fully able to realize her potential.

      • On the nose.

        • Don’s constantly crapping on Peggy, whether anyone else is around to see it or not. Creative people, professional people, need freedom, responsibility, and recognition, which she won’t get from Don. Don doesn’t work well with anyone; he’ll spend his whole career seeing new faces.

    • Oh, the “Do you want to go to Paris” and the money in the face was simply intolerable and unforgivable, even though I might grant just a little that Peggy shouldn’t have questioned Don’s staffing decisions in front of others.

      Don, or the writers and showrunners, simply forced Peggy out. I think it was too much.

      • And Don’s line at the end, “Let’s pretend I’m not responsible for every good thing that’s happened to you” summed it up. He’s still under the impression that she’s an extension of him, meaning, all of her ideas have almost symbiotically gone through him to her, and he hasn’t given her full autonomy of her success yet. She needed to get respect from him in a way of being independent of him, and of course, that can’t happen unless she walks away. That’s a tough constraint to work under – someone never fully giving you credit for your ideas because they think it all relates back to them.

    • The irony may be that Don helped give Peggy the power to leave him. It’s true that Peggy worked hard on her own and Freddy discovered her. But it was Don who championed her in S1, helped her out of the mental ward after that, guided her career, took her w/him to SCDP, and made her second in command there. All that support helped put Peggy in a position where she could easily get an offer from another firm and no longer have to put up with Don’s abusive behavior.

  9. I remember Roger and his old flame, Dog food lady. She clearly wanted to give him ALL her business, and the fact that Roger was still a newlywed at that time kept him from responding the way he normally would. If the other partners knew that that’s all it would have taken in advance, I’d bet they would have encouraged him to bed her, and Rog probably would have liked thinking of himself as a he-whore.

    • he-whore. I laughed out loud.

    • Forgot about that one!

      I remember his line about “Do you know how many hand-jobs I’m going to have to give?” so he obviously understands it from a metaphorical level.

    • You know, it’s kind of a shame that the Roger-Dog food Dame thing didn’t work out. How much of a blast might that have been, Rog married to a girl who’s not old enough to legally drink, and screwing around with a woman his own age?

  10. If this is kinda open, I found the opening scene at the restaurant interesting, for Pete’s expressions and reactions. He seems oddly pleased and fascinated by being put in the position be the sleazeball. It might just be that at that point Pete knows the account is theirs for the taking, but it might be that he enjoys what it could do to Roger. (The office might not know all the details of the affair, but they would be idiots not to see a closeness between Joan and Roger).

    Or something else. Pete really looks like the cat who swallowed the canary, in what should be a scarey situation. And Ken is useless.

    • Interesting thought. Someone else mentioned that scene in Pete’s office where he just took total control of the situation — that was masterful as well.

      Speaking of Pete, I love the scene between Pete and Trudy with those fabulous lines:

      “It’s an epic poem for me to get home! And you’re dressed for bed at dinner!”

      “How can you stand living out here in this cemetery! There’s nothing to do. There’s no ‘goodnight noises’ anywhere!”

      “I’m using all my energy putting my foot down!”

      I love how they pulled in Goodnight Moon, the book he had just read to Tammy, and how Pete equates goodnight noises with the sounds of the city. So much was said in under a minute, by both of them, even a commentary on how dangerous and dirty NYC was in the late sixties.

      • Oh, that was you, Coop (talking about how Pete handled the partners in his office, nekkid ambition and all), and it was in the body of the post! Well said.

      • I thought Pete sounded like a 5-year old, quoting a children’s book. Unintentionally (or not) hilarious!

        The *juvenile* theme again.

        • I thought it was totally intentional. “There’s no ‘goodnight noises’ anywhere!” hahaha.

          His delivery of those two words was terrific, and I’ll bet in the same voice he read it to Tammy. The last line of Goodnight Moon is “Goodnight noises, everywhere.”

  11. When Pete goes into Don’s office to tell him about the deal being sealed, did anyone notice the full- on Grinch smile, just before he launched? Seriously, chin down, corners of the mouth curling up , brows arching. I swear, I saw his heart shrink 3 sizes. V.K. is soooo good.

    • Pete is now like a military general who senses that one of his enemy’s flanks is exposed or vulnerable and is now taking steps to expose it even further and make it more vulnerable so he can penetrate enemy lines and eventually defeat him.

  12. I’m sure this was mentioned elsewhere, but I haven’t seen it. Rather, I haven’t dug around for it. It has to be a common interpretation by the great bunch here at BoK. I don’t think Joan and Sal are much related at all. If Don was associating anything with Joan and prostitution, it was Don seeing Joan as a motherly figure, and he was quick to protect her because his prostitute mother continues to affect him. Maybe he didn’t want Joan to suffer the same stigma. Maybe he didn’t want to see Joan fall from grace because his own mother never held a position of grace. For me, this entire episode was about parental and family vibes. Not to mention how conservatively Don approaches business. The one place he is ethical is with his business. One could argue against this because of the way he treated Rachel Menken, but for the most part, Don doesn’t have much use for backroom, under the table games when it comes to business. He’s firmly loyal and interested in sportsmanship over winning or losing.

    • YodaBert told Don; “I don’t think you have the stomach for the REALITIES of a partnership”. Don can’t deal with how the sausage gets made, and like all other times he ‘runs’ from responsibility. “You’re just a man in a room, writing a check”. Stealth involvement. Clean way to deal with the dirt of harsh truths. The back room deal that sewed up Jaguar was just the ugly way the sausage got made.
      REALITIES.

      • I don’t feel they are necessary “realities”, and neither does Don. There isn’t one “reality”. There are options, particularly in the context we’re discussing here. He was the standout with Joan. He was the standout with the airlines. He was the standout with the tobacco letter. If you ask me, this is the one area where Don has character, and he runs into the fire rather than away from it. These choices weren’t the easy ones. These were against the grain. I’m certainly not claiming he isn’t flawed, inconsistent, and without influence even in business, but in certain situations, he doesn’t dilly-dally. He’s quick, confident, and steadfast. This guy doesn’t understand or know himself for beans, but in these moments, he’s healthy and there.

        • There should be more options. Face it, when it comes to money, its obvious that anyrhing goes. The immorality of men who are rich and will not bear the consequences of not getting richer. There is no defeating their cadre, you can only walk away. Take your ball, and go home. Peggy isn’t about grasping fuck-everybody ambition. Her only winning move was not to play. She won.

          • Which is why she’s Don’s protege. I think Don faced a watershed moment when she said that if he were in her position, she’d leave. I wouldn’t be surprised if he does leave in the finale (that’s about the only thing shocking I can guess for this season’s end, beyond Joan getting pregnant AGAIN); but where would he go?

      • Tilden:

        I disagree.
        Don conceived the sausage; He made the sausage that is now SCDP;He discovered a way for avoiding the McCann acquisition ( Lane firing/releasing them from their contracts and non-competes);He executed the sausage by putting together the dream team ( with the foresight to include Pete and Peggy and Harry).

  13. I really believe Don may give the firm an ultimatum: Either I go or Pete goes despite that Pete knows about Dick Whitman. Don could not stand him before but what he did in Don’s mind to convince Joan to sell her body for profit was unconscionable. How can Don deal with Pete any longer?

    • Because Pete is responsible for over 90% of the business? With Don on “love leave” he’s been less valuable. With Peggy there, they might have been able to handle Don leave more than Pete. OTOH, with Peggy gone, neither Don nor Pete can leave without collapsing the company.

      And Don is no saint.

  14. Four things in the Jaguar boardroom of SCDP that I had never seen before in any episode:

    a) Don sleeping on the job sitting in a chair

    b) Don accusing copywriters of “horsing around”

    c) Copywriters building a house of cards in the room (I did not see it myself but it was mentioned on This Week on Mad Men)

    d) Eating lobster

    Four words come to mind: ennui, incompetence, illusion, decadence

    Add these words together and they spell trouble.

  15. ashe phoenix May 31, 2012 at 10:20 AM:

    10 considerations Don Draper would bear in mind before leaving SCDP:

    1) I do not know how this works but is there provision in the articles of the partnership for partners who leave the firm to receive back all the money they invested in the company? And because of Lane’s financial indiscretions, could he be found out? Is it possible Don may not be able to get his money back?

    2) And if Don didn’t want to go out on his own, who would hire him and would he really want to work for anyone else. He would have to fill out a standard biographical form and again lie about his identity. Would he want to take that chance again?

    3) Does Don have a non-compete clause in his contract which restricts him from working in the industry for a certain period, raiding SCDP accounts or stealing SCDP employees or does he still not have a contract at all? Earlier in the series he didn’t.(We know Peggy didn’t have this clause written in her contract because she was able to go over to Ted Chaough without a hitch).

    4) Would Don try to launch his own firm out of his apartment similar to how SCDP was started in the rooms of the Pierre hotel? And what would Don need in terms of personnel or infrastructure to launch his own firm?

    5) Would Megan go along with his plans and would she participate as an active partner?

    6) How much of a hot commodity is Don Draper still in the business/advertising world?

    7) If possible who would join Don’s firm from SCDP? Would Peggy return to the fold after a short stint at CGC?

    8) Could Don issue an ultimatum to SCDP first that it’s either him or Pete who has to go. And if it is Pete remember Don put in his $50,000 for him. If the other partners refuse, then he would leave.

    9) Would Don stay at SCDP if they were willing to pay his price whatever that is?

    10) Would Don decide simply to sit pat and not rock the boat and delay the inevitable?

    Frankly I simply don’t see Don just sitting back in his chair or lying on his office couch maintaining the status quo like nothing has happened. Yes, Don worked with Pete after the latter exposed his true identity but that only affected him. And with both Megan and Peggy both gone from the firm he feels more isolated than ever. Can he call any of the male partners his friends? I don’t think so. As for Joan, how can he look her in the face again? We know how Don feels about prostitutes from previous episodes.

    I see Don being proactive in seeking solutions and leaving the firm will imho definitely be an option he will explore. Whether it becomes feasible or not, we might find out in the final two episodes. I could be wrong but I can’t see risk-taker and alpha male Don sitting on his hands.

    • I see Peggy starting her own firm, not Don. (Still hoping for it, anyway.) And likely with Ken and Stan (and possibly, Ginsberg). With Ken’s FIL’s accounts and some of his clients from SCDP, as well as a bit of the money that Roger flung her way, and contributions from the guys, it’s certainly possible. She even has that extra room in her apartment, as Abe’s probably sharing hers.

      It just struck me that Peggy’s had money thrown at her more than once this season. When Roger bribed her to keep quiet on Mohawk, he literally tossed the cash onto her desk.

    • Techno, I hope you are right about Don kicking butt at SCDP. I think he may need to assume the role of the aggressor as I sense that Pete has taken the reins at SCDP. I could envision Pete arguing that it would be advantageous for SCDP to dump Don. After all, Don’s name alone was on the Lucky Strike letter. They promote Ginsberg who is SCDP’s rising star (and it doesn’t hurt that he has developed a hatred for Don). If they dump Don, the non-compete is null & void?? Don forms his own agency…Megan comes on board to save Don, Ken and Harry jump ship from SCDP, Don begs Peggy to join them…and Freddy and Sal. Not sure I want SCDP to survive at this point. Gotta admit I’ve grown especially tired of the Roger story at this point. Of course, Dick Whitman would be vulnerable to retaliation from the SCDP boys…whatever, a major change is needed to right this ship. Title? “Why I’m Quitting SCDP.”

  16. I don’t see how gratuitously insulting the innocent Ken makes Peggy a “big girl”.

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