The Collaborators: The Coca-Cola of Condiments

 Posted by on April 15, 2013 at 12:38 am  Season 6
Apr 152013

Mad Men, The Collaborators, Don Draper

Arnie: You know, we’re losing the war.”
Don: “You wouldn’t know it from looking around here.”

One of the themes running through The Collaborators is appearances. Pete is especially bitter on the notion of appearances when speaking with go-getter Bob Benson; deeply sarcastic about the notion that if things look good, they must be good. It looks like we’re winning the war from a ritzy New York City restaurant. Marriages look good from the outside. Abigail Whitman looks the very picture of Christian piety (my sister pointed that one out, and will be posting more about it later). Most painfully, Trudy wanted Pete to keep up appearances; she is angry, not about the adultery, but about Pete’s refusal to do a good job of hiding it. She lives on our block!

Here’s where I’m at with this episode: First, I want to watch it again, and second, I don’t think it’s destined to be a favorite (although my feelings about these things sometimes change on second viewing). It’s a second-of-the-season, ground-laying piece. Like Love Among the Ruins or Tea Leaves, it’s building towards later episodes more than a masterpiece in its own right. But there are themes worth exploring here.

I’m wandering through an criss-crossed maze of adultery, consequences, and “handling” people/things. Everyone is sleeping with everyone; adultery is a poison that infects them all. There is no question, at the Campbell’s party, that both of the other husbands were flirting with Trudy while both wives were flirting with Pete. Brenda (the woman Pete ultimately slept with) is clearly experienced at adultery–she wants to make a game of it. Sylvia, as Don points out, wants to feel shitty about it right up until he takes off her dress. She wants it to be French, which I take to mean, like a romantic foreign movie–Sylvia, like Brenda, wants the game of adultery as much, or more, than the adultery itself.

I’m thinking Sylvia has seen Belle du Jour, a major French release of 1967. Belle du Jour is a luminous French fantasy about prostitution, but Don and Joan have seen the real thing, and it’s much less pleasant.

Joan treats the man who prostituted her with cold fury. Don, the “whore-son” who “grew up in” a whorehouse (as we learned in Signal 30), doesn’t want Joan treated that way. He doesn’t want her demeaned, but he recognizes adultery as demeaning. When he learns his wife was pregnant, perhaps she became, not someone he was drifting apart from, but the Madonna side of his Madonna/Whore Complex.

Consequences. Pregnancy is a consequence (they always tell you that in high school sex ed, anyway). Violence. Separation. There are repercussions, and so you try like hell to handle things.

Don Draper: I wish you were handling the clients as well as you are handling me.

Everybody is handling somebody in this episode. “Handling” people; managing them so that their behavior will be predictable. Peggy is laughably bad at this, and the assholes at work who are pranking her are equally bad. Joan handles Herb by cutting him down, and Don handles him by appearing to give him what he wants. Megan fires the maid–she handles the problem, although she “doesn’t know how” to do it.

The opposite of “handling” sounds like it could be honesty, but honesty, too, has consequences. Brenda may have been honest with her husband, or Trudy, or both, and no one much likes those results. Megan tries to handle Don by not telling him about her pregnancy or miscarriage, but then tells him. For a moment it’s the Don and Megan of old; they spoke honestly about Dick Whitman at one time. But her honesty doesn’t bring him home–in fact, it leaves him sitting outside the door, feeling unable to come in. Peggy has an honest, let-your-hair-down conversation with Stan, and then honestly shared about it, and that moment of relaxation, of plain ol’ talking instead of “handling,” had consequences. Ted is cut-throat and competitive, and Peggy may just have burned some bridges. Don may be furious, but what I really hope is that she doesn’t lose her friendship with Stan.

In the end, it all comes back to prostitution and commerce. Everyone is paying for something, somehow. Don gives Sylvia money. Herb Rennet, the mercenary prick who “bought” Joan, tries to buy the entire ad campaign away from Jaguar. Tim of Heinz ketchup tries to buy away the prestige that Raymond brought to Heinz beans.

Some other points:

  • Morgan Rusler played Uncle Mack in three episodes in S1; yep, same actor.
  • Trudy’s lost her baby weight.
  • It seems to me that Megan has a real depressive illness. We saw her spend a day in bed, and then drinking, in The Phantom, and now she’s in bed in her robe, feigning illness, after her miscarriage.
  • There was some wondering, last week, about a big cross in Sylvia’s bedroom when her husband is Jewish. Now we understand it’s the maid’s room, not her own.
  • The Tet Offensive was January 30, 1968.
  • Quote of the week goes to Kenny: It’s Heinz ketchup, Don, it’s the Coca-Cola of condiments!

  244 Responses to “The Collaborators: The Coca-Cola of Condiments”

  1. More articulate thoughts later…. But I have to say, this felt like classic mad men to me and I really enjoyed this one. I was prepared for a “lull” episode, being the second week, but I loved it.

    • I thought it was particularly strong in the second half. The Don and Pete storylines and the Jaguar sabotage were, as you said, bordering classic MM. But the Peggy stuff I didn’t think worked quite as well as it did the opening episode. Still, a strong one, I thought.

    • Me too, it was Vintage Mad Men.

    • Loved this episode! Was chock full of the stuff that got me hooked on MM in the beginning. I love that we’re seeing the old Don, unable to resist his compulsion for self-sabotage. Can’t wait to see how the Don/Sylia affair plays out. As slimy as Don is, I don’t want him to get caught! I think this affair is on a new level – the risk factor has been upped with the close proximity and friendships between all of them.

    • I know the first episode was The Doorway, but the prevalence of doors really struck me in this episode: back doors, peepholes, doors you don’t go thru, doors you close or leave open. Lots of secrets and significances to those doors.

      Doors and whores.

      Who took money for sex? Joan, Don’s new home, Sylvia..

  2. Uhh, Megan just had miscarriage… is it not normal for a woman to have complicated, overwhelming emotional distress/sickness after such an event, even if the pregnancy was not planned…? I mean, I know she is the devil incarnate for a lot of female fans, but really?

    • I agree, although she is prone to, as her mother put it, and “artistic temperament”. Sad drinking, throwing plates at walls, etc. on a somewhat related note, I feel she was somewhat dishonest with Don in their conversation- she said “of course” it’s something she would want, but we know she was thinking about an abortion…. Which even today would still be fairly extreme for a childless, married woman.

    • Am I the only one who thinks Megan actually did have an abortion? The amount of guilt she was experiencing really was not consistent with “just” having a miscarriage. And at six weeks, if she was miscarrying after an unintentional pregnancy and didn’t want a kid, wouldn’t she have been more relieved than guilty? By then, she’d probably have just noticed she had missed a period. I can’t believe she’d have that degree of shame and guilt over just thinking about an abortion.

      • My post just disappeared so I’ll post again. If the first shows up also, apologies.

        You’re not the only one who believes Megan actually did have an abortion, Meowser! I also believe the guilt she was exhibiting was not consistent with just having an miscarriage or having kept the pregnancy from Don or relief at her inconvenient “problem” going away by itself, OR having had thoughts of wanting an abortion — though I can certainly understand all these feelings/thoughts.

        In addition, as Madmanda said, Megan’s mother believes Megan has an “artistic temperment” or as I would put it (lol), Megan is a drama queen and tends to be overly dramatic. Megan (the character) may have been adding her drama queen flair to the situation or it may be JA the actor’s mediocre acting and cloudy interpretation of the script and Matt’s direction.

        Of course, as Taylor suggested, she may also be feeling complicated, overwheling emotional reactions after a miscarriage. If Megan was an uncomplicated, straightforward character in this drama I could go with this. But she’s not ever that.

        I watched this episode 3 times ( yeah I know lol) to see a couple of scenes in particular over and over — and this was one of them. And at the end, I was still feeling as I did on first watching: Megan had an abortion. Matt is very, very clear when he wants a scene and an actor’s part to be clear.

        I believe Matt wrote and directed this scene to be ambiguous purposely and it was not an accident that some of the things said between Megan and Silvia(sp) were unclear and difficult to hear or understand. And I don’t believe this will be cleared up in the next episode(s). There has been ambiguity about Megan having/wanting children since last season. Is that an accident of script or interpretation by actor OR intentional writing and direction by Matt?

        Of course, Megan’s acting in this episode, as in many from last season, was ambiguous, unclear and just mediocre IMO. So it will be interesting to see where this issue goes in the next few episodes.

        Megan gets pregnant, doesn’t tell her husband about this happy albeit surprising event, then just happens to have a miscarriage when her part in her soap opera is just opening up and getting bigger? Hmmm….

      • If Megan did have an abortion, I think she had it during their trip to Hawaii.California,Colorado and Hawaii all legalized abortion in 1967. She may have decided that she does not want a child with Don. She also has her acting career.Not every woman is cut out to be a mother; Megan may realize she is one of those women. That in no way means that she cannot love and nurture Don’s children; she has shown she can. I don’t think that Megan sees her marriage to Don as doomed but her acting career is very important. I also think she knows Don is unfaithful and with whom. Megan is a skilled actress; she knows Sylvia is sleeping with Don. She may be trying to guilt and shame Sylvia.

        • No, Megan was/is on the pill. She explained to Sylvia that taking her pill on time got messed up and sloppy while on vacation. She was there for a week or two and got home right around Christmas Day. She says she was six weeks pregnant when she miscarried. She probably arrived in Hawaii exactly six weeks before this episode.

          If you look closely, it’s a little implausible that she’d even have known she miscarried. She’s missed, at most, one period. It was almost certainly too early to have a pregnancy test in the days before peeing on a stick.

          That early on, a miscarriage would resemble a very heavy, painful period, and many women assume, oh, I wasn’t pregnant after all. Lots of miscarriages are undetected for that reason.

          • I noticed that, too, Deborah. I thought it was implausible that she would have known she was pregnant at six weeks. That’s barely a late period.

          • For now, I’m going with the abortion theory. When she told Don about the miscarriage, he asked at one point if she had seen a doctor, she answered yes. I agree that six weeks is barely enough time to realize you are knocked up even if you are on the pill. Didn’t the “rabbit test” take a bit of time? A week or so? Does anyone know?

          • It’s also likely she didn’t know she had been pregnant (let alone miscarried) until she visited the doctor and was given all the news at once.

          • Rabbit tests could give results immediately if they were done in-office. Turnaround time was for sending the results out to a lab, so it depends if the doctor had an in-house lab.

            In a rabbit test, the rabbit is injected with the woman’s urine, then killed and dissected. The animal’s ovaries would show whether or not the woman was pregnant.

            Pee-sticks are one of the first successful products of biotechnology, and were not available then.

            Here’s a great little history of pregnancy tests:

          • I agree with you, especially during that time frame. Now having said that, in that time frame women generally spoke of being “months” pregnant. The general population was not as informed as they are now, and weeks was a term used primarily by MD’s. When Megan missed her period, she was probably concerned, and when she was four weeks late she had a miscarriage. As I remember it, we generally told patients to come in when they missed two periods. I think she was afraid she was pregnant and when she had a miscarriage or a really heavy period she went to see the doctor. They probably said something to the effect of it could have been or might have been, but what she heard was miscarriage. And it doesn’t really matter what actually happened, it is what the patient believes happened. I doubt she had time to get a confirmation of pregnancy, find a doctor and have an abortion in that time frame. Plus back then it was a D&C, requiring an overnight stay…… Very different than today.

          • Didnt she also mention last season that she COULDN’T have kids? I have to find and rewatch that episode but she didnt even have a career yet.

          • Pamela, she never said she couldn’t have kids. She said it was impossible to make a baby right then — probably because she was on the pill.

          • I didn’t know what a rabbit test was until Roger used that phrase with Joan in season four… How the hell did human beings figure that out exactly?

        • Bob K,

          I also think Megan knows about Don and Syliva, and moreover Megan’s trying to guilt and shame Sylvia.

          It makes me wonder if Megan was pregnant at all, or was it just a story she made up to guilt Sylvia.

          The whole Megan/Syvlia scene plus Sylvia’s guilt at the restaurant reminded me of the end of Edith Wharton’s “Age of Innocence.” Megan telling Sylvia about the “miscarriage” could be a parallel to May telling Ellen she’s pregnant in order to guilt her into ending the affair w/her husband and returning to her estranged husband in Europe.

          There may be an Edith Wharton theme to this season. Bob Bensen tells Don he went to Wharton, and Basketcase elle noted that it sounded fake (like Megan’s fake miscarriage?). And the whole stigma of divorce and maintaining a marriage for appearances (Trudy) is very AoI. The theme of AoI is infidelity, as is the episode. And there is the New York theme of AoI, as is there w/other Wharton novels.

      • Not to get too technical about it, but a woman who was taking the pill would certainly notice a miscarriage and would likely seek out a doctor’s opinion because the event would be strikingly different from what a typical period would look like while taking that drug. Yes, a rabbit test would have taken about 2 weeks back then to confirm or deny pregnancy; but the pill did (and still does) make the start of a period, its length and characteristics very predictable. I don’t think it’s implausible that a woman who missed dosing for a day or two on the pill would be alarmed by what would happen if she’d had an accidental pregnancy and miscarriage. Naturally she’d want to go to a doctor to confirm it was only that (and not a side effect of the medicine itself, or an indication of something more troubling than that). And certainly a doctor would be able to trace back the time of conception and miscarriage based on the “missed dose” of the pill.

        So I don’t think it necessarily points to Megan going out to get an abortion. As for great and complicated feelings of guilt, sadness, etc–no one knows what they’d feel should they become pregnant until they become pregnant. People plan all the time to chart the direction of their lives in whatever way they wish–but events like pregnancies have an impact like nothing else. I think whatever Megan felt is totally understandable, and doesn’t indicate that she’s got some kind of chemical “imbalance” with depression or that she’s guilty of having an abortion she doesn’t want to admit to.

        • I agree with you NAS. Especially about the feelings of guilt, etc. Even if she didn’t have an abortion, she could feel very guilty about wanting one, if she hadn’t miscarried. This was the 60’s and I don’t think women – even career women – felt comfortable admitting that they don’t want children. Heck, it’s 2013 and I know women who still aren’t comfortable admitting that, even to themselves. I think she is probably feeling very confused about her feelings. Like NAS said, you don’t know how you’re going to feel when you become pregnant, even if you thought you would know, you don’t know, until it happens.

          • I really agree. Especially about the guilt of being relieved and even thinking about abortion. She is Catholic and when she said to Sylvia, “we were raised the same way” and we were pretty sure last week that Sylvia was Catholic, so even the thought of abortion would be a very scary/”sinful” thing for her, especially at that time. Even Sylvia’s reaction seemed to be, “yes I had a miscarriage, I was sad and understand that you are probably sad too but no I wasn’t relieved and I can’t believe you even thought about thinking about the possibility of an abortion if you hadn’t had that miscarriage as a Catholic” Of course Sylvia isn’t so consistent of a Catholic what with her obviously breaking the commandments against adultery, and covetousness, and breaking her wedding vows which she may have taken in the church (or maybe not since her husband is Jewish).

        • In Jessica Pare’s interview on, Inside Mad Men it is quite clear that Megan had a miscarriage, or thought she had one.

        • Without (hopefully) getting into TMI, I’ve been on the pill for many years and it has produced a very predictable cycle… If I was even a couple days late, I would become suspicious/concerned… so perhaps Megan had a similar experience. Even without formal pregnancy testing, she certainly could be placed in a position to wonder, and then if she experienced a heavier-than-usual period some time later, would perhaps be justified in assuming she had miscarried. My job involves working with pregnant women, and even with today’s technology, determining when conception occurred is a guessing game, but women always have instinct, which is often quite accurate.

          And I expect that Megan, in spite of her “modern” attitudes about career and ambition, would nonetheless be brought up quite short by the prospect of falling pregnant, especially to a man with whom she is clearly very much in love. I don’t see that abortion is in any way necessary to provoke these extremes of emotion.

        • I actually was in this situation. Six weeks on, you notice when things go wrong. I won’t go into details, but I was sick. I believe Megan.

        • When you are on the Pill, you get a period every 28 days like clockwork if you are not in perimenopause yet. But Megan said she had gotten sloppy about taking the Pill on time, and six weeks in those days was way too soon to confirm a pregnancy.

          It’s far more likely that either a) she started bleeding heavily and then went to the doctor, who told her she was miscarrying, or b) she went to the doctor in full freakout after missing a period, and then had an abortion, or c) she made the whole thing up because she suspected something funny was going on between Don and Sylvia and this was her passive-aggresive way of throwing a monkey wrench into the whole thing. (She is an actress, right? So she’d know how to fake something like that, even the tears.)

          Either way, I’m finding it hard to swallow that Megan would have known it was a miscarriage before going to the doctor, and that she would really have that degree of shame and self-loathing over simply considering an abortion that she wound up not having to have. It just doesn’t pass the smell test for me. Something else has to be up.

      • I think it’s quite possible, for sure.

      • I thought it too, meowser! 🙂

      • In rewatching the epi, it’s very clear that Megan was thinking about having an abortion, but then didn’t have to go through with it when she miscarried. She was feeling guilty about considering the abortion, guilty about being relieved about the miscarriage and probably not feeling very well because of the miscarriage (mentally and physcially).

    • I agree. Going through a miscarriage can be very painful and confusing. Megan’s reactions are not over the top but seem pretty within normal range.

    • I think that Megan is the daughter of an alcoholic, has mood swings, and is prone to depression. This doesn’t make her the devil incarnate; lots of people, especially people who grew up in alcoholic families, have those symptoms. Naturally, the symptoms come out during a time of emotional distress.

      • Those things are not the reason why lots of women think she is the devil incarnate, but they are “reasons” given, among many others, to “support” why they think she is a terrible and/or dysfunctional person. Even though none of them are true.

        The incidents in which we see Megan depressed or distressed emotionally are attached to a couple of major events – unemployment, miscarriage. I don’t disagree that she might be prone to ACUTE depression, since it’s attached to catalysts, but it certainly is not chronic (Don’s is chronic) or in any way out of the ordinary range of normal human emotional response (For a miscarriage! and Catholic guilt over not wanting to be pregnant!).

        Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t make a judgment about any woman here who has had a miscarriage that something must be wrong with her or she must have a major depressive illness based on her emotional response to it. Or to not being able to find a job in the field she loves. Or losing a parent. Or a divorce. Or any other major life change along those lines.

        • I don’t see suspecting this character to have a depressive illness as judgmental. If I saw her wheezing and said I suspected she had asthma, would that be judgmental? Illness is illness.

          Don has chronic low-level depressive symptoms, Megan has peaks and valleys, but that is also a characteristic of some depressive illnesses. In neither my above comment nor my original post did I use the word “chronic” — you did.

          I am not obligated to describe Megan with kid gloves because “lots of women” say things about her. Please re-read our comment policy–it’s not a good idea to focus on what other commenters say.

          Here’s the thing….people have resources and they use those resources in a crisis. We have twice seen Megan’s crisis resource: She stays in bed in her pajamas and drinks. My take is this is a behavior she draws on as needed. Someone else might shut down and go numb, or become angry, or put on a happy face, or cry all night and then move on. All of those behaviors are resources that a person might learn and then use as needed. Megan’s resources are depressive ones.

          Let’s get real here, there is NO WAY an emotionally healthy person would marry Don Draper. By the time he proposed, she’d seen his alcoholism, she’d seen him ask her to control and monitor his drinking. She’d seen Alison throw a paperweight at him, and she’d seen a very problematic relationship with his kids and his ex-wife. Why marry that guy?

          Well, then we meet those parents, and we see how familiar it all feels. Yeah, she’s lovely, she’s Maria von Trapp, but she’s also playing out a script, like most people.

          • I agree completely. I understood why Don would want to marry Megan* but didn’t really see why she would marry him. The man she (and we) saw in S4 had lost a lot of the smooth Don-Draper appeal. As Joey said to Allison, “He’s pathetic.” I remember being young enough to romanticize an older man’s problems, but I still didn’t really understand her motivations.

            Then her parents showed up and I actually said “OHHH” out loud. All the pieces fell into place. Like so many of us do, Megan was acting out a familiar pattern.

            * and especially why he would drop Dr. Faye Miller, a delightfully clear-headed realist, in favor of someone who works so hard to make it all better. I knew Faye wasn’t a long-term love interest for Don even before they started sleeping together; in “The Rejected,” she says (of the research from the secretarial pool focus group) “I can’t change the truth!” That’s never been what Don wants to hear, in business or in life.

      • Did I miss something? How do we know Megan is the daughter of an alcoholic? From what we’ve seen of her parents, they actually seemed less attached to alcohol than any other character on the show.

        I think, if anything, Megan’s character is written to be “enviable”, she’s the girl who has everything and is always right and correct about it all. Like Joan says of her to Peggy: she’s just one of those girls who is good at everything, seemingly without even trying to be. She’s placed in contrast to characters like Joan and Peggy, who we know had to struggle all the way on their journeys to become who they are. Megan easily marries her boss (where Joan can only manage an ongoing, unsatisfying affair with hers, that ultimately nets her a baby but not much more). Peggy works hard at becoming assertive and confident in her talent as a copy writer: Megan gets it instinctively, pulling a tagline out of her head over dinner that wins over a client no one else even came close to satisfying. So, yes, we’re manipulated a little bit into disliking Megan for these reasons. But if you look closely, it’s not all that easy for her when it comes to what she finds important and what she wants to accomplish for herself. She’s on the same path as Joan and Peggy, we’re just seeing it later, and we’re looking at it through a veil of disapproval because we don’t want to sympathize with her at all.

        • Thank you, NAS. Very well put.

        • Megan is the baby of the family who says she was her parents’ favorite. Probably things did come easily to her. When you are so blessed that you don’t have to work hard for anything, disappointment or rejection comes as a shock.

          In regard to being the child of an alcoholic, when Marie and Emile first appeared, Marie went to bed without dinner because she had too much to drink. Megan implied that this wasn’t unusual.

        • Quite insightful!! Megan is “one of those girls” and we probably have been set up a bit to dislike her. When Megan is disappointed about her professional life, it seems she is played as or regarded as immature or selfish or some other negative attribute when really she has just as much right to be concerned and affected by her progress in her chosen career as anyone else. Most of us love Peggy and rarely fault her for being consumed with her career. I think you are correct that we don’t know for certain that Megan is the daughter of an alcoholic. We did see that Megan’s Mom was doing quite a bit of drinking in that episode where Megan had to put Mom to bed (in the Draper’s apartment when the Calvet’s were visiting). We also saw that Megan’s parents’ marriage was troubled, at the least. I got the impression that Mr. Calvet carried on a series of affairs with his students, and that Mrs. Calvet was bitter about life.

          • I got the impression that Madame Calvet was the prof second wife and to marry her when she got her pregs with megean.

        • He, he, he, he, you are in awe of the pretty girls.

        • Watch At the Codfish Ball again. Megan notices her mother getting drunk and discreetly goes and prevents her from setting the bed on fire. She’s observant and practiced–it’s something she’s done many times. Marie is a bitter drunk and Megan has taken care of her and managed her for a long time.

        • In the S-5 episode, when Megan’s parents visit the Drapers’ apartment, her mother has had too much to drink and she staggers off to bed. A little later, Megan goes to check on her and she has passed out, fully dressed, onto the bed with a it cigarette in her hand. It apparently isn’t the first time Megan has encountered such a scene.

          Yeah. I’d say she has issues surrounding alcohol consumption.

        • Betty is written to be disliked. Megan is written to be perfect. Think about this past episode. Even when she is bad (she contemplated an abortion) she is shown to be good (she sobs and scolds herself for having such a sinful thought). Contrast that with Betty, Joan and Peggy — all of whom contemplated abortions but never openly petitioned for our sympathies (at least that I recall). Likewise, neither had hypocritical Sylvia attempting to make them even feel more guilty. (And yes that moment felt way too heavy-handed by MM’s standards.)

          Should be an interesting year for Megs. I’ve never been convinced Don loved/loves her — sorry, the speed of their office toss/Disneyland trip/marriage proposal felt like a Vegas “what was I thinking?” moment more than anything else. And even a guy like Don, I suspect, secretly likes to earn it. And Megan made him earn nothing.

          Though, conversely, I could envision them in an unhappy co-dependent relationship right up until S7e13.


    • Megan has a problem with tellling Don things. She had to sneak around before telling him she wanted to go back to acting and she didn’t tell him about the miscarriage. Maybe she naturally is as devious as him.

      • She DID tell him about those things, just not the moment they happened. Maybe she is just hesitant to disappoint someone she loves very much, and maybe a lot of fans are unwilling to even entertain the idea that she is not a deviant jerk.

  3. Random thoughts while watching tonight:
    1. The comment at our house during the Campbell’s party was “Are the other two couples swingers? Cuz there’s some heavy signals being sent all around.”
    2. You go Trudy! If i could summarize her rant it would be “don’t sh*t where you eat.”
    3. If Peggy is Don’s shining protege, learning at the master’s feet and then improving on it, then Pete is the vague shadow of Don. Don coolly has conversations with the doctor in the elevator; Pete has the neighbor he has the fling with thrown at his doorstep. Don is the master adman; Pete can’t even handle/contain his client’s expectations/demands.
    4. Roger’s face during Don’s “pitch” to Jaguar.
    5. Don’s face when he shakes Herb’s hand.

  4. Am I the only one that thinks Megan is having an affair with the doctor and that the call was from her?

    • Thought came up between my mother, sister and I. Especially as it explains Megan’s roller coaster mood and her agitation at the pregnancy/miscarriage. Having the good doctor at hand might also explain how she knew she was pregant so early on- 6 weeks means it’s unlikely she expereienced any pregnancy sympthoms other than those that can also be attributed to PMS. On the other hand, i would be too soap opera-ish and too direct for this show, so I doubt it.

      • Perhaps he was the one doing the procedure. That could explain his attitude last episode.

        • I thought Dr. Rosen was a heart surgeon that worked on the building’s doorman, not OB/GYN.

    • I didn’t think of it, and I hope it’s not so, that would be too much soap opera. I think the call was authentic: the poor man doesn’t get a moment’s rest, is he the only doctor in New York? 🙂

      • He is probably one of the few cardiovascular surgeons associated with a particular hospital, big population area, few in his speciality, lots of call and backup call…..

        • And therefore unlikely to be doing abortions as a sideline.

          Funny then, that Sylvia was asking him for money in a scene that paralleled Rebecca and Lane.

          • The issues about money didn’t really ring true for me. I figured a cardiac surgeon would likely make a decent to significant income.

          • I noticed that scene being similar to Lane and Rebecca also. Her bathrobe, the way they were standing together. Was very striking

          • He mentioned to Don while in the elevator that he gives her money but she sent it to their son. Amazing to me she just can’t write a check for cash when she wants.

          • Not uncommon for the times. Men generally handled banking, check writing, all things financial. A woman couldn’t get credit or a loan in her own name until the mid 1970s and even when the laws changed banks were loathe to welcome women other than as spouses. Charge cards were routinely issued to Mrs John Smith, not Mrs (or Miss) Jane Smith.

          • The doctor said, “I give her money. And she sends it all to her kid.”

            Interesting, the “her” kid.

          • @Team Trudy

            I thought he said “her kid” too, but on re-watching he said “the kid”, or something that was definitely not “her”.

          • I heard “our kid,” when I watched it again last night.

          • Linda, bathtub fabric queen,

            Great point about how a cardiac surgeon shouldn’t have money issues. May be he has an “other apartment” in the city and a long term mistress. If he’s supporting 2 “households” that could explain the money problems. It could also explain why he may know about Don/Sylvia but pretends to be oblivious. Because it gives him a window to see his mistress (both occasions Don and Sylvia are together the doctor “has to go to the hospital”).

    • I’m certain the doc knows about his wife and Don.

      • So do I, can’t say why, but it is something in the way he talks to Don and almost observes him and is evaluating him.

    • Risky. It wouldn’t be so unlikely that Don and Sylvia would make quick work of dinner and come home – even after the doc’s admonition to eat for four.

  5. “Joan treats the man who prostituted her with cold fury.”

    Joan prostituted herself.

    • Herb offered to buy Joan. Joan, yes, consented, but are you suggesting Herb is blameless? What verb form would you use for what he did?

      • The Munich reference was very apt. Essentially: “If we give this guy what he wants, we’ll get what we want and he’ll leave us alone.”

        Until he doesn’t. Only now he knows you’ll cave if he makes enough of a nuisance of himself. Joan was the Sudetenland.

        • Joan was INCREDIBLY gutsy- the comment about- the part he hasnt seen in years ? Wowsa- he wont forget that in a hurry ! LOVE Joan . Nobody owns her.

        • I was startled to see Herb, thought he’d disappear but no such luck. They may have backed themselves into a corner.. He got what he wanted from SCDP by playing dirty and seems quite ready to do it again.

        • I agree about the Munich reference. I’ve been listening off and on (in and out of falling asleep) to a mamouth set of audio books on the life of Winston Churchill and it spend hours and hours on appeasement in the lead up to WWII so that reference really hit home. What Pete doesn’t get is that even though we “won” the war eventually it was at great, great cost and it might (might) have been avoided if we hadn’t appeased Hitler in the first place with his ridiculous, extreme and growing demands, much like Herb’s.

          Just as a caveat, not to fully compare Herb to Hitler since what Hitler did was so beyond the pale and sick, but the comparison of giving into a bully who is asking for something unreasonable and then dealing with the monster you allowed to grow by giving in to his sense of entitlement in the first place is apt; you might win ultimately but you and many others will go through hell to win.

    • The firm prostituted it self and today we saw what happends next.

    • The other partners did make it clear that Joan had a choice. Roger told her that she didn’t have to.

      I think Joan has slowly developed into an independent woman, but she’s often used sex or sex appeal for her personal gain.

      In her early career, she was the boss’ mistress who got a fur coat out of their affair. She was clearly disappointed that her marriage to a doctor, the doctor who had raped her, didn’t bring her the financial success she had hoped for. She also tried to use sexual appeal instead of simply asking Lane for time off. He might have been the first man ever to tell her that using sex instead of being professional is beneath her. When her mother said that she needed to feed and chat with the building superintendent to get his attention, Joan answered that she was perfectly capable of doing so herself, suggesting that she used her looks rather than food. Then she was offered the chance of a lot of money (the kind of amount that would tempt anybody) to sleep with a man, and she even accepted his expensive necklace as a present.

      She’s taken several steps forward towards full independence, including her professional accomplishments and developing a respectful professional relationship with Don that doesn’t rely on sex at all, but she’s also had those steps back. She also lived in a time where the Virgin/Wife/Whore complex was much stronger, plus she was adventurous and active sexually at a time when that alone would make a single woman be considered a “whore” or at least a “slut.”

      So I see Joan much more ambivalent about the exact location of the line between using her body and selling her body.

      • It wasn’t Roger that told her she had to do the deed with Jagcreep. It was Don.

        • Nobody told her she HAD to do it. Pete was the one who encouraged her to do it, Lane suggested she should make it worth her while, and Don told her not to do it.

        • Don told her she DIDN’T have to do it, but she’d already done it by then. Roger never talked to her about it. Bert told Pete to let her know it was her choice, but we never saw him relay that message. Pete originally brought it up with Joan, then Lane encouraged her to bargain for a partnership (to cover his own ass).

        • But now Don is her safety net. Joan goes to Don’s office and immediately says “He’s here” and hits the mini-bar. This has happened before, and if Slimy Herb is turning up in Joan’s office door every time there’s a meeting, we can see why this particular case of using her body to get ahead is eating at Joan.

          So where does this place Joan in Don’s Madonna/Whore complex? Joan has elements of both figures…in S5 Don even shoots down the notion of Herb’s offer by saying “She has a husband in Vietnam and a baby at home.” Now, in S6, Joan can’t be considered the wounded Madonna, but neither is she Sylvia, Bobby, any of the women that Don has treated like whores over the years.

          Is Joan possibly one of the few women Don actually sees as a whole person?

      • “and she even accepted his expensive necklace as a present”

        I’ll bet (and hope) that she sold it – the last thing she’d want to see in her jewelry box.

  6. Matt co-wrote this episode, but Jon Hamm directed it.

    That said, I don’t agree that Megan had an abortion. I think she actually did miscarry.

    I’m sure it can be devastating, along with whatever hormonal changes that would’ve been going on, in even a pregnancy of such a short duration. Add that to any underlying emotional issues she may already have and the uncertain employment security realities in the acting profession, along with a Catholic upbringing in the 1950s and I think you’d see the kind of reaction she displayed.

    There’s also the human tendency sometimes, to worry over consequences of actions or events that never happened in the first place. I recall a line by Sal Romano in the S-3 opener in Out of Town, when he says, “Our worst fears lie in anticipation.” Megan was upset by the miscarriage – but there’s an added twist. I think that was magnified by feeling guilty and beating herself up over considering an abortion, so a pregnancy wouldn’t derail her budding acting career. She was really over-thinking a scenario that never actually happened.

    Not a good sign, in terms of the state of her emotional stability.

  7. What did Sylvia mean when she told Megan that she understands about the miscarriage but not about everything else?

    • I though Sylvia was saying that she could understand Megan’s mixed emotions towards the miscarriage,* including her sense of relief* but could not identify with even thinking about abortion, which seemed to be hinted by Megan as a possibility that entered her mind.

      • I also thought it was a reference to Megan feeling guilty for feeling relieved. after all, with their shared Catholic school background, the loss could’ve been treated as “G-d’s will.” You’d feel sad, but not guilty if this was part of G-d’s plan.

      • Yes. That’s exactly what I thought. Megan says she was so relieved she didn’t “have to do anything.” And then Sylvia says “I See.” There’s a slight bit of judgement there…

        As a housewife with her back ground at that time, Sylvia wouldn’t even consider what Megan is only willing to insinuate. It just isn’t an option. Maybe she cannot even relate to her sense of relief over it. The conversation gets awkward and then Don enters…

      • Agree, I think you stated it exactly right!

  8. Did Trudy really kick Pete to the curb?According to some recaps I read, it seems to be a common notion. I thought she just seemed to lay down ground rules:There will be no divorce, but an appearance of a continuing marriage. Pete is not allowed to hook up with anyone within a 50 mile radius but she doesn’t really care what he does in the City. He is sent out to the dog house for a bit, but eventually things will go back to normal.
    I’d love to see Trudy get rid of Pete but is she ready for that?

    • I want to see Pete’s in-laws again! I’m curious to know how they will react to this.

      • I think Trudy’s parents are going to make things very difficult for Pete. She is their little jelly bean (loved when her father said that)

    • You have it exactly right, Dear Me. She won’t “fail” so she won’t divorce. She likes the appearances as they are.

    • I think he’s exiled to his city pad, allowed back to their home when Trudy deems it necessary for appearances, maybe weekends or when her parents visit? She has a caregiver for Tammy, Pete will make deposits into her bank account, she has no real need of him other than that. I don’t think she’s going to tell her parents, for appearances. It will be a sham marriage.

    • I see on the Internet that there’s a lot of praise for Trudy (like, she kicked Pete’s a**, go Trudy!, etc): I don’t like the character much, so I might be biased, but I don’t see her behavior as particularly strong or honorable (I mean the morning after, she was great helping the woman), she still thinks divorce would mean her personal failure, she basically wants to keep up appearances, “just do what you want, as long as I and the people we know don’t see it”.

      Many people compare her with Betty, saying she has a stronger attitude: well, Betty DID threw Don out of the house, back then, and didn’t accept a “fake” marriage.

      • Chiara,

        I think your observation adds a lot to the discussion of this episode and the show. It’s a good insight, but one should realize that within the confusing times of 1968 – and given Trudy’s upbringing and situation – it represented an act of strength. Yes, it’s not the portrait of complete wisdom or virtue, but it’s more self-realized than what Trudy might have allowed from/within herself two or three years earlier.

        It’s probably best to view Trudy’s act not as an enlightened act — I think you’d agree with that — but as a bold one. Trudy is, like almost every character on the show (aka, every character who doesn’t have a firm sense of self; only a few do… Cosgrove, Henry Francis), wondering what it means to be a fully realized person in 1968, tossed about by changing sexual habits in society and disturbed by the instability of the times. Your comment is great because it challenges assumptions and blanket reactions. It’s a counter to the easy, reflexive position to unabashedly cheer Trudy for her actions when they’re a bit more complicated underneath the surface.

        Discussions of events such as Trudy’s hardball stance with Pete are exactly why this show is so rich with meaning and value… not just right now, but well after it will leave the air in 15 months.

      • Betty had 10 years of Don’s affairs and no real proof. Lots of suspicions and circumstantial evidence. She herself had been unfaithful at least once which we learned. She finally kicked him out of the house when shocked by his false identity and belief that he had previously been married to Anna.

        This is no way is comparable to Trudy’s situation or knowledge prior to the events we saw last night.

        The amazing thing about this show is thaspouses can frequently return to the other spouse, just after having sex with another and the spouse at home in bed cannot “sense” that sexual activity.

        ” Darlin’ do you believe me, or my lieing thighs?”

      • That’s only because Betty had already secured her life raft. If she didn’t have another husband-to-be waiting in the wings, she wouldn’t have divorced either.

    • Yes, she made it pretty clear, I thought, that the appearance of the marriage had to be intact. Which means Pete has to be there at least enough that the whole neighborhood doesn’t consider her single.

    • This is going to be Pete’s arc for the season… It started here and I’m not sure where it’s going. Once again Joan got short-shrifted with screen time. I hope that haven’t run out of things for her to do…

  9. While sincerely hoping that new toady Bob Benson does not become a full-time character, I did some digging into last night’s episode and found Dr. Faye Miller’s fingerprints all over it. Check out my recap:

    Follow me on Twitter: @scarylawyerguy

    • mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

      I do like your exegesis of Dons psychological makeup- i love it that the actor playing Don-as-child is so”dorky” that alarmingy new-low pitched voice, that nose, the haircut. hes such a hopeless romantic. I felt so sad for him, sitting outside his apartment. he doesnt hate women the way Pete does, but he cant figure “them”out.

    • Bob is the new pete

  10. My Theories:

    Megan firing the maid will come back in some way. Maybe she hires the Doctor and Silvia’s maid who knows that the affair is going on in her room.

    Megan didn’t want to go to dinner with the Doctor and Silvia because she asked the Doctor where to get an abortion.

    Those might be reaching though…

    • I don’t get the whole maid’s room thing. It’s the maid’s room, which apparently means she lives there? And yet she is never around. The maid’s room seems to be available for Don and Sylvia to have sex in at all hours of the day and night.

      • Maybe there is no actual maid. Just a designated room. If there is a maid, then Sylvia would have to change those sheets herself.

        • Maybe they HAD a maid when their son was still living in the household? Doesnt Sylvia stay at home, wouldnt she do all of the chores herself? She was doing her own laundry but so was Megan (who HAD a maid).

        • There is a maid, apparently. Sylvia said that the maid smokes.

          • That’s right. Missed that the first viewing.

          • I took the statement that “I just learned that the maid smokes” as Sylvia’s little joke.

          • Sylvia smokes secretly. Her husband is a heart doctor who has nagged Don about quitting. He has probably warned her not to smoke as well. She came up with the line about the maid smoking, referring to what she’d tell her husband, should he ever discover that someone has been smoking in the apartment.

      • All I know is that no good has ever come from having a separate maid’s quarters in one’s home.

        Just ask former Governnor Schwarzeneggar (better yet, ask Maria Shriver).

    • I had the exact same thought about the maid situation. Megan will hire Sylvia’s maid, who will also mess up the laundry. Don’s drawers will end up in Dr. Cohen’s drawers; Sylvia’s brassiere will end up in Megan’s laundry basket….

    • The idea that Megan plays a “bad maid” role in her soap opera while in real life she actually HAS a bad maid was amusing.

      • Snort! But let’s hope only one bad maid pushes old ladies down the stairs!

  11. I loved this episode! It felt like vintage MM to me. Don was the “old Don” at the restaurant with Sylvia. And he was right. He likes being bad, and then going home and being good. But now it’s catching up to him when you see him outside his door. Makes me wonder what the heck happened to Don in that whorehouse, and what he saw/heard? Pete is becoming more bitter with each episode, and s*it will hit the fan with Ketchup.

    I thought Jon’s directing was nicely done. And this episode set us up for potentially great episodes to come.

    I did wonder what “nice to me”meant to Don after seeing his Uncle at the whorehouse with him. Don. The son of whore; living in a whorehouse. Was he ever loved?

  12. Re: Sylvia “repurposing” the maid’s quarters, she may have been heeding this classic NYTimes piece:

  13. I also think that Don was the “old Don” at the restaurant with Sylvia, but did it strike anyone else that he seemed like the old Don because he appeared to be pitching an ad? He might have been sitting in a public place with a woman he’s sleeping with, but his attitude was all business.

    As Deborah said, “it all comes down to prostitution and commerce”. Don pitched a concept to Sylvia, the goal of which was to change her behaviour. He won, her behaviour changed, and (later) money was exchanged.

    I enjoyed this episode, but just felt so sad for Don at the end.

    • It certainly felt like a business transaction, Reebs! But Don was always treating things like a transaction those early seasons. Sexy, slick and smooth. I know I fell for it every time 🙂

      Don is certainly sadder these last couple of episodes. Where I used to get mad at him in spite of his past, this feels so different. I feel like he’s aware of what he’s doing; knows it’s wrong, enjoys it in the moment, but when it’s over, he’s so sad. I’m still trying to figure out why it feels so much sadder now than before.

      • It feels to me like Don had a peek at real love and real commitment, so much closer to the real thing than his relationship with Betty. But it slipped away from him. In the honeymoon phase, he thought perhaps Megan could make him a better man, but now he knows nobody can.

  14. I think this episode also explored the dangers of being given everything you want and what that does to a person – it doesn’t make you grateful, it makes you spoiled and greedy. There were plenty of mentions of the Tet holiday, Munich, Castro, and the appeasement of Herb. But there’s repercussions to these selfish desires- not just Pete’s hookup’s bloodied and broken face, but how it creates monsters i.e. Herb. Do Pete, Sylvia, and Don see the dangers to themselves and not just their marriages?

    I have to say I really enjoyed this episode. Not one of the best but it felt a lot lighter without the heavy handed death imagery. Also, love any episode with Abigail and bowl-cut Dick Whitman flashbacks (just when you thought Don’s childhood couldn’t get anymore f’d up!!!)

    • I had to do a double take, I thought the actress playing Abigail was Joan Allen. If that was her, she’d probably have more screen time.

    • I was happy to see bowl cut Dick too. He sure has grown, it’s been a while.

  15. But one thing, I am very happy over that Trudy knew about what happends regurlarly in Pete’s appartement and stood up for herself when he took a shit in his on nest. And she is smarter then Pete think so I believe when this arrangement goes on, she will makes plans for her self and the child and eventually get out of the marriage.

  16. Brenda’s bloody nose calls to mind all the bloody noses Pete has received in the past. And the bloody rag Trudy finds the next day echoes Megan’s miscarriage.

  17. A question that may or may not have an answer:

    Is there a widely accepted definition/understanding of what “vintage Mad Men” means, and is there a post here which explores the topic?

    Over the course of the show’s run — and certainly when the series does end about 15-16 months from now — I’m sure that the central identity/style of Mad Men will remain a primary topic of exploration. I’d not only like to see some responses, but in particular, I’d like to get a sense of the elasticity, shelf life, and transmutability of the quality of being “vintage.” Can it exist in multiple forms, textures and situations?

  18. We’re just barely past the first month of 1968 and we’re seeing relationships fall apart. That’s just the personal part of the picture.

    The year was truly a hellish one. In each month that followed, some new outrage or tragedy, worse than the one before, be will inflicted upon the the national consciousness – and the Mad Men characters.

    If you weren’t around then, you can check out what might be in store for us in Season 6, here …'68&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QQ5sUeiaIoegiQKj44GoDg&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q

    • Just a small personal note to what 1968 was like. It was right around that time when I got home from school, (I was 7) my mom was on the phone with somebody. She informed me that some noteworthy politician/world leader had died. My response was “Really? Who shot him?” Apparently, that shocked her, but from my point of view, it was a natural assumption that this person had been assassinated.

  19. My initial thoughts on this episode (before a second viewing, which is pretty much a requirement for me):

    Plenty will be said about the Don-Pete-Joan-Herb storyline, and plenty more will be said about Don-Sylvia-Dr. Rosen-Megan as well. I don’t have too many fresh insights on these clusters of characters other than this: The episode did a nice job of fleshing out the notion of what’s worth fighting for and what’s not, and as always in Mad Men, the answers are complex, contradictory, and disturbing.

    Don is willing to go to the wall for Joan – he’s at his best in standing up for her – but that makes his “Bobbie Barrett” self, unsheathed in this episode with Sylvia, all the more appalling (well acted and dramatic, but appalling nevertheless). Dr. Rosen seems, to this point, like one of the more fully realized/actualized moral beings on the show (alongside Ken Cosgrove and Henry Francis). This could very well mean that in Matt Weiner’s world – where things aren’t what they first seem – a dark revelation about the doctor is soon to come. (More will definitely be revealed about the Rosens’ marriage; the only question is if it will cast both partners in a negative light, or only Sylvia.) At any rate, though, for now, we’re left with the unsettling reality that Dr. Rosen, for all the emotional intelligence and life understanding he possesses, is clearly not in harmony with his wife. When I re-watched the Season Six premiere, it did indeed seem likely that Dr. Rosen – if not knowing that Don was sleeping with Sylvia – certainly SENSED something was amiss. Allowing Sylvia to stay with Don in the restaurant seems like the act of a person who isn’t really fighting for his marriage, or who – at the very least – feels emotionally distant from his wife. When Don and Sylvia agree that Dr. Rosen and Megan are good company, the reality of their mutual infidelity to those two persons becomes that much more disturbing. Don and Sylvia are giving in to their urges instead of fighting to restrain them. This episode is so much about impulse control in the swirling, changing, unsettled times of 1968 and finding something – someone, some principle – worth fighting for…

    … all while this useless land war in Vietnam shows the characters on Mad Men how futile one particular fight is in fact becoming.

    Oh, and PS — Ted Chaough is still a jerk… which makes for great television and sets up so much with Peggy.

    • While Don and Sylvia were having sex she mentioned something about not falling in love (which made me think that she is falling for Don) – further evidence that her marriage is out of whack.

    • I also think it’s interesting that on the one hand, Sylvia took the moral high ground with her comments to Megan about not being able to consider abortion for herself, given her Catholic upbringing, and chastising Megan for even considering it, yet she has no compunction about having an affair – with Megan’s husband!

      • So much about Sylvia is about putting out a convincing appearance. I think her subtle moralizing about abortion is the equivalent to the obvious crucifixes she with which she surrounds herself. Ooooh, sure, abortion is Wrong in Catholicism, and I’m telling you this like the faithful and religious good wife that I am…(but I’m fucking your husband while I tell you this and my husband, who is Jewish, is clearly convinced of my avowed Catholicism like a good cuckold because my crucifix shows my religious commitment to be true).

      • Yep, and accepting cash for it.

        • Taylor, that scene made my skin crawl. For some reason, Don handing Sylvia that money was right up there among the very worst things we’ve seen Don do. I know his childhood is part of that, but still. Sick-making and creepy, even though she accepted it, happily too.

          Don was upset that Joan engaged in this, but he’s perfectly fine–fine handing over his own money, even–with Sylvia’s behavior.

          So messed-up.

          • That was just creepy. Maybe Don wanted to make himself feel more like Sylvia was a prostitute instead of someones wife.

          • I don’t see it as something bad that he did. I don’t think he even realizes what he’s doing in the moment, and maybe not after. His entire view of sex and relationships was formed in the whore house and before, there could be no other way for him to know what was normal or healthy then. (Although one could argue that prostitution WAS considered normal in that time and place.) We all internalize and then unconsciously repeat behaviors that we learned at those tender, impressionable ages. Subconsciously, he is doing the right thing (as he learned it) – helping her financially, paying for services rendered, etc. You have to think about it from that perspective, and from one of- his mother was a prostitute because she HAD to be, to survive. She depended on her clients to pay up, to keep coming back. In this way, he is doing the ethical thing.

            Sylvia on the other hand – I don’t even know where she could be coming from or how SHE wouldn’t recognize the implications of the offering/accepting of the money. Mostly, though it just chaps my ass when people throw up the Christianity shield and do they holier than thou act when they know damn well they have no room to talk. If Don was a religion hypocrite, I’d have no patience for him.

    • Oh, and PS — Ted Chaough is still a jerk… which makes for great television and sets up so much with Peggy.

      This may mark the beginning of Peggy’s disenchantment with CGC. Sure, Ted treats her with courtesy and respect, where Don barked and could treat her like dirt. Ted goes off on religious retreats with his wife, while Don is … Don.

      But, in business matters at least, Don is surprisingly ethical. Though he’s not above using others cheating against them (as in “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword”), he hates cheating himself. The idea that they were winning the Jaguar account dishonestly, by pimping Joan, angered him as much as the actual pimping.

      Ted, OTOH, has no problem grabbing whatever advantage he can get, however gained and whatever the consequences and collateral damage. I can’t see Peggy, who weighs her moral decisions carefully. coming down on Ted’s side.

      Of course, this being Mad Men, there are ironies within this. The one time we did see Don acting unethically in business was to get the Heinz account in the first place, using his relationship with Faye to get the first meeting.

      Also, actually seeing how Dick Whitman learned the facts of life in a whorehouse adds a new layer of complexity to his attitudes toward whoring, money, and women. He’s always giving money to women for services rendered, from the cash he handed to Sylvia, to the money he threw at Peggy, to the Christmas-bonus cash he put in Alison’s envelope. I feel like there’s an answer to something in that, but I’m not sure what it is.

      • Since he is not acapable of loving them, he pays them, so they at least get something out of it.

      • Right about Don and money.

        In S-3, in The Gypsy and the Hobo, Betty tells him: “I see how you are with money. You don’t understand it.”

        Also, learning about the dynamics of relationships with women, in that setting, explains Don’s issues with ‘leaving/impermanence,’ as well as ‘always coming back for more.’

    • Great insights. I really like your comments in this thread and the last one. I agree that we might be seeing another side of Dr. Rosen soon, even though I don’t want it to happen. I really like him. Also, I agree about Ted. He seemed so unslimy last week but now he’s back. I guess that is what makes this show so wonderful, we get to see all sides of people not just the good, not just the bad, not just the grey but all of the wonderful human complexity.

  20. I hadn’t thought about an abortion instead of a miscarriage. Interesting. That certainly makes the Sylvia-Megan scene more complex. There is that moment when Sylvia says I was brought up that way, clearly coming out against the idea of an abortion. Megan’s response was one of pain.

    Brilliant insights into the theme of appearances vs reality.

    I also thought about desire. The Sylvia-Don dinner scene. Don knows and expresses what he wants. “I want you. All the time.” Then in the apartment with Megan, he has no desires. He only wants what Megan wants.

    All of those conversations are bracketed by the flashbacks. Why does Don want what he wants? The visual mimicry in the sex scenes speaks to the origins of Don’s wants. Sylvia is on her back on the bed, legs up around Don, knees bent. Then we see in the flashback, when young Dick Whitman is peeping through the key hole, that his Abigail Whitman lies flat on the bed in the same position.

    THoughts on the swinger’s lifestyle of that era. 1968 is the year that John Updike’s book Couples was published and was a sensation.

    • Hey there, can I ask you to change your username? Using the name of the site could confuse people and make them think this is an official moderator post or something.

      Thank you.

  21. I’m really confused. I thought that Dick’s farmer father adopted him because his prostitute mother died in childbirth. The farmer’s wife disliked Dick because he was living proof that her husband had sinned. She had a child of her own, the little brother who hanged himself in a NYC hotel room.
    Dick grew up on a hardscrabble farm, not in a whorehouse.
    Help, somebody, and please don’t suggest I cut back on the Chardonnay.

    • He grew up on a farm until his father died, at which point his pregnant stepmother took him to live with her sister who lived a whorehouse.

  22. Belle de Jour is a good catch! Reminds me of Betty and Francine romanticizing prostitution way back when with Butterfield 8.

  23. This was an episode where I seemed to recall every one of Don’s flashbacks.

    It made me feel like he was such an abused child. How horrible all of the things he witnessed and really, for the wrongs done to his mother and him, I am actually amazed that he is a functioning competent-at-his-job adult.

    He certainly has paid forward dishonesty toward women in his personal life, but at the same time, I have so much respect that he refused to beat his son (when Betty asked him to) because of how he was treated (it is a major thing to overcome since most abused kids do hit their kids later), and he also promoted Peggy and others in thw workplace who might not be championed in the workplace due to sexism or racism.

    Maybe you can only overcome a few things in your life, and in many ways I feel sorrier for him than any other person.

    and I stil despise Pete : )

    Megan I think hit a downer because I do genuinely think there is some mental illness there but I don;t know if it is bipolar.

    SHe may not have had time for a pregnancy/eventual baby so her miscarriage would be met with relief but perhaps she is wracked by guilt because women were not supposed to be ‘relieved’ then. If she earlier she couldnt have kids perhaps having a misscarriage made her feel incompetent as a woman (she was worried about Don’s reaction).

    I don’t know that she did have time for an abortion, but perhaps with aspirin and dieting and BC pills whichc an cause porblems too as most actresses did/took then, miscarriage was more likely.

    Good episode

    • I agree with – literally – everything in this comment. I wish there were more analyzing perspectives from adult children of abuse about MM because nobody who writes about the show ever EVER seems to realize what living that existence is like, what the lasting effects are. So this entire, enormous and fundamental facet of Don’s being goes unacknowledged and misunderstood.

      I will look for your comments around here from now on. 🙂

      • Actually, there have been many discussions about this over the last 3 years, I have read and made comments about this several times. Unless you have this type of family pattern in your background you can not even begin to appreciate how “normal” Don ” acts, and how adjusted he really is. I feel this represents his incredible drive to survive and his awareness of self, perhaps helped by Anna. I also think the reason he rarely says thank you to his coworkers or staff is because he just didn’t hear it growing up. We used to have our little patients practice saying “thank you” in normal ( to us) situations, like sayin ” you look nice, I like your dress”. They had to learn to say “thanks”. Not just because they had not heard this before, but because no one had said anything nice to them, , so they just listened and didn’t respond, it wasn’t real to them. If someone did something nice for them, they were afraid to says thanks for fear it would draw attention to the act and would be then taken away.

    • I feel exactly the same way about Don. I probably “forgive” a lot of his bad behavior because of what we know of his childhood. It just colors everything he does so much and he seems so doomed, and beautiful and flawed and destructive. Except maybe for My-So-Called Life for totally different reasons, I’ve never been fascinated by a show like I have with this and I am a long time tv junkie and have been a rabid hard core Doctor Who fan for 27 years but no show has the rich depth and complexity of this show and strikes me on such a leve. It is like a great novel.

      • Concur. I have tremendous sympathy, or acceptance of Don, due to the mental and physical hardships of his childhood. Growing up with a very dysfunctional mother, who physically beat all her children as well as emotionally abused us, I can understand and relate to trying to overcome those issues. Sometimes there’s only so much you can do. I think Don being successful at work is one part of his life where he succeeds, while interpersonal relationships may always be a challenge to him. I “get” that, as I’ve been able to succeed in some parts of my life, but not in others. It takes work and sometimes all the effort is useless when you can’t figure out how to succeed.

  24. Is Mack, to begin with, just the “rooster”/pimp of Dick’s stepmother’s (father’s wife’s) sister? Or is he her husband/boyfriend? I somehow got the impression that she (is her name Ernestine?) was more than just another prostitute in the brothel, but was the madam/proprietor or co-proprietor with Mack? It certainly wasn’t spelled out, but the two of them seemed quite “proprietary” together, with Ernestine (?) bossing [some of] the other whores about. It may be that she’s just a little older and senior to them, I guess.

    Was I reading too much in, more than I should?

    • It’s all unclear to me, but back in season 1 Don told Rachel a story about going to his aunt’s funeral. I guess Ernestine was that aunt? Mack and Ernestine do seem to be some kind of couple in this episode.

      • Maryann,

        I think you may be right about Ernestine being the Aunt whose funeral Don was a pallbearer. Ernestine was immediately nice to BCD, calling him something good Abigail got out of her marriage to Archie. So may be Aunt Ernestine was always nice to DW and he asked to be a pallbearer at her funeral (the “They’re LETTING me carry the box” comment).

    • I think that in the scene where Dick and Abigail first arrived at the whorehouse, Ernestine says something like “I’m your Aunt, and he’s with me, so he’s your uncle.” The “he’s with me” remark was referring to Mack, who was standing next to her. Ernestine is Abigail’s sister, and she was referring to herself as Dick’s aunt. Technically she is Dick’s “step-aunt,” since Abigail is Dick’s stepmother.

  25. Am I the only one that noticed how casualy nice Peggy was to the black secretary?

    • Well, the secretary rather spells it out, so it’s hard for anyone to ignore it, by suggesting to Peggy that she should try being nicer to the copywriters “as you are to me”.

      • Bur wasn’t it very unlikely in those days?

        • Nothing about Peggy Olsen is likely, is it?

          Actually, we saw her humanity with SCDP’s black secretary last year, & her white guilt, too… Think about who she is dating for a second. She’s quite a progressive and open-minded individual. So… I don’t think so.

        • I don’t know. Don seems pretty nice to Dawn, and Kinsey at one time dated a black girl, so I can’t give Peggy too big of gold star on that front. Actually, the surprising one is always been Pete in regard to racism. He always seems a step or two ahead of others in terms of that particular liberal viewpoint. At least up till now.

        • If the her secretary is good at her job and does what she is supposed to, I can’t imagine Peggy being mean to her. She is somewhat open-minded. In season 2, she didn’t throw Kurt out of her apartment, even though she knew he was gay. She is dating someone Jewish, in an era when interfaith dating was somewhat unusual and often frowned on.

    • What I noticed is that Phyllis appears to be enjoying a protegee relationship with Peggy (e.g. stating that Peggy had been “encouraging” to her), and as such, Phyllis feels free to call Peggy out on what she thinks is Peggy’s too-harsh management style, and Peggy feels free to chide her back about what “book” Phyllis learned such things from. Phyllis is not 100% deferential to Peggy, and Peggy seems to like it just fine when coming from an African-American woman, but not so much from the white guys who work for her. I hope we get to see more Peggy-Phyllis interactions.

      • Peggy and Phyllis seem to get along fine, but Peggy really needs to sit her down and have a serious chat about her lipstick color choices.

        C’mon, Pegs! You got your first big break on a lipstick account. That mortuary-slab-whiter-shade-of-pale-looking color she’s wearing, could attract buzzards if she walks outside!

        Talk to the girl!

        • Um, not to be politically incorrect, but it looks like a minstrel show. I can’t believe they didn’t re-shoot that scene once they screened it and saw how her makeup looked.

          • You’re not incorrect with that assessment. It made me think back to Roger’s song in My Old Kentucky Home, in S-3.

            Those pale lipstick shades were popular back then, but they didn’t work on everybody.

          • Minstrel show did not occur to me… thought she looked 60’s cool.

        • I don;t suppose Janie Bryant is responsible for makeup decisions?

        • I actually love that they are not afraid for the characters to look ridiculous in authentic 60’s makeup. Megan always looks so awful in pale lipstick paired with heavy eye make-up, but that is how people really looked then! Everyone wore pale lipstick, or no lipstick. Pale pinks, silvery pinks, etc. They are also still using red lipstick on the women, and that just seems really off for 1968. Especially on Megan – too young, and too fashionable to be wearing “old lady” red.

  26. Am I the only one who thought that Megan didn’t want to go to dinner because she didn’t want to face Sylvia, because Sylvia disapproved when Megan confessed she’d considered abortion?

  27. Random thoughts:
    1. How ironic it was that both Pete and Don are going through the same exact thing now – both are stepping out on their wives with someone in their “neighborhood” but only Pete has gotten called out so far.
    2. Is Pete in denial or did the woman really not tell Trudy everything because Pete told Trudy she would change her mind once she spent the night alone iealize she had doubts?
    3.I thought all of talk about Catholic upbringing really hit hard as you saw a close up of Sylvia’s cross when she was with Don in bed.
    4. I liked that Sylvia ordered Steak Diablo and gave Don The Inferno to read.
    5. In last season, Pete was complaining that woman get what they want and this season Trudy was complaining that she is tired of not getting anything she wants.
    I liked the episode but it is probably the calm before the storm

    • Sylvia ordered Steak Diablo and gave Don The Inferno

      How diabolically perceptive of you!

    • How interesting that Don let Sylvia order for him, but he ordered for Bobbie in season 2. Steak tartar.

  28. 1. The Divine Comedy is significant in this season.
    2. In The Divine Comedy, there are 9 circles of hell.
    3. In Mad Men, Season 6, there are 10 episodes–one for each circle, one to wrap it up.
    4. Circle 1 is limbo.
    5. Episode 1 had the characters in limbo, with all Roger’s talk of doorways and neverending repeating events, and Don’s experience of Hawaii as the “jumping-off point.”
    6. MW has stated that this season is about the characters’ “chickens coming home to roost”–they’re going to have to deal with the consequences of their various actions.
    7. Circle 2 is lust.
    8. Episode 2 shows various characters dealing with the consequences of their lust and ill-conceived sexual adventures.
    9. As Megan’s mother, Deb, and others, have pointed out, Megan has an “artistic temperament”–is emotional bordering on volatile. That she works on a soap opera is appropriate.
    11. As he has been to all his other women, through his affair with Silvia, Don is now betraying Megan.
    10. The final circle of hell is treachery.
    12. With what she knows Megan is in a position to create some substantial “consequences of treachery” for Don. She doesn’t have the sense of duty to Don, the dependence on him, or the self-restraint that all of the other women who have known his secret have had. If she chooses to reveal his secret it would take episodes 9 and 10 and all of Season 7 to deal with the fallout.

    If I’m right next week’s gluttony. We’ll seeeeee . . .

    • Gluttony,,,, Herb and his not visible body part?

    • There are 13 episodes to a season; 12 if you count The Doorway as one instead of two.

      • Oh! I could’ve sworn I read somewhere that this season would only have ten. Never mind about the rough symmetry between circles of hell and episodes, but it still wouldn’t surprise me if we see the consequences of each deadly sin play out for Don & co. over the course of the season.

    • re 9 – this and other posts seem to be using Marie Calvet’s comment – that Megan has an “artistic temperament” – as a stand-alone descriptor of Megan’s personality. In my opinion this is a little off. The powerful remark Marie Calvet makes to Don in The Phantom is “this is what happens when you have the artistic temperament but are not an artist”. Powerful because it is in that distance, that agonizing void, between (i) having the artistic temperament and (ii) being an artist that Megan falls (fails). It means Megan is a tragic figure, doomed by her very nature.

  29. When Sylvia and Megan are talking, Megan states that Don didn’t know about the pregnancy because she didn’t tell him. “It’s been a hard couple of weeks,” says Megan. “I don’t know why.” “I mean, I do…,” she continues, and then they talk about the way they were raised.

    So, is Megan saying she didn’t tell Don because the hard couple of weeks have been because something is amiss in their marriage and she’s not sure why? Or the hard couple of weeks have been because she didn’t know what she was going to do: continue the pregnancy, even though her career is starting to take off, or abort the pregnancy?

    Then, when Don comes home and Megan tells him she miscarried, they go into a big conversation about what they want and she says, “I didn’t know what you would want.” and later, “I don’t even know if it was the right time to have a conversation about it.”

    Again, is she referring to what may be wrong in their relationship or having a baby?

    Some help here….I’m confused.

    • I think she’s had a hard couple of weeks wrestling with her desire for an abortion vs. her upbringing, didn’t want to tell Don because she was afraid he would judge her or feel strongly in favor of keeping the baby, and didn’t feel that it would necessarily have been the right time in their marriage to seriously discuss having children. I don’t think she has much of a sense yet that anything is wrong in the marriage itself.

  30. Does anyone know why Collaborators is not yet available on Amazon Instant Video?

  31. “One of the themes running through The Collaborator is appearances. Pete is especially bitter on the notion of appearances when speaking with go-getter Bob Benson; deeply sarcastic about the notion that if things look good, they must be good. It looks like we’re winning the war from a ritzy New York City restaurant. Marriages look good from the outside. Abigail Whitman looks the very picture of Christian piety (my sister pointed that one out, and will be posting more about it later). Most painfully, Trudy wanted Pete to keep up appearances; she is angry, not about the adultery, but about Pete’s refusal to do a good job of hiding it. She lives on our block!”

    You are so right and I also wonder if part of Megan’s conflict is that she feels she must appear to want a baby. She’s probably 27 now, or nearing it–still young, but not “too young” to have a baby and now that she’s married, people expect it from her. I think now that her acting career is going well she is questioning how motherhood will fit in and how much of an obstacle it could be for her. But it’s hard for her to voice that to anyone, because she’s a married woman and people expect her to have a baby.

    (Today’s actresses can wait until late thirties or even their forties, and explore in vitro or even adoption. But…that’s today, not the 1960s.)

  32. I think the flashbacks in this episode could be hinting at something much darker in Dick’s development. By all appearances, he is on the cusp of puberty by the time he and his stepmother arrive at the brothel. Is there some pattern of sexual abuse he will endure now that he is there? Uncle Mac may have been nice to him, but something that had happened or was happening to Dick was horrible enough to drive him to enlist in the Army just to escape, and then to falsify his identity to keep from having to go back. Up to this point, we haven’t been shown anything too overtly troubling; sure, his father was abusive, but he is dead now. What was going on to make young Dick so desperate? And how did he get from a shy yokel to the smooth Lothario that is Don Draper?

    • I agree that there could’ve been some sort of abuse towards Don from Uncle Mac. In the scene when Don was explaining his reluctance to pursue Heinz Ketchup over Raymond’s wishes, he told Ken, “sometimes you have to dance with the one who brung you.” In the flashback scene, “the one who brung you” were the very words Abigail’s sister used when referring to Mac. I’m thinking that Mac was nice to Don, perhaps too nice.

      • Good catch! Don’s language really stood out for me in that scene with Ken, I don’t think we’ve heard him speak that way before.

        • Don didn’t express himself that particular way about Mohawk Airlines when Duck proposed that SC go after American – but the sentiment was very similar.

      • What does the word brung means? Is it an older version of brought?

        • It’s just southern slang for brought.

          As one born and raised in Texas, it makes me giggle to see someone ask this. 🙂

        • From some of your posts I get the impression that English is not your first language. Yes, “brung” would be an illiterate form for brought, the past tense of “bring.”

          • I am a norwegian. And Brung is our past tens (an elder form) of “bring”.

          • Thanks for explaining that– and hope you weren’t offended. I should have said “brung” is illiterate in the English language, or should have said that it is dialect.

            Does being Norwegian make you feel any kinship with Peggy Olson ? 🙂

          • Some kind, there are not many native norwegian catholics, so I am not sure where that came from, but i recognised where she came from when she said: “I will never do what the swedish does” (or what the right expression was anyway), since Sweden is not always popular here.

            • The whole Norwegian Catholic thing was discussed endlessly here, but it is finally resolved as of The Doorway, when Peggy says her father was Norwegian, and her mother was Irish Catholic, and she was raised Catholic.

          • Peggy’s father was Norgwegian Lutheran, but her mother is Irish Catholic. She says as much in The Doorway.

    • I don’t agree about not seeing anything worthy of making him run away. He was raised by a step-mother who seemed to despise him. Yes she did make the huge sacrifice to take him in but she did it with a lot of (understandable) resentment. She seemed to be unable to have a child at the time (though she had one later) and a child who was the off-spring of a dead prostitute was brought to her to raise, and it seems clear that she made it very known to young Dick exactly whose child he was and what she thought of him. I can’t imagine growing up with someone seething in resentment towards you being your primary ‘caregiver’. Add to that an abusive father, who even if he was now gone, still had to be strongly associated in his mind with his step-mother, who he saw die in front of his very eyes. Then goes to a whore house where he saw God-knows what, and I think it is perfectly rational to get away from anything and everything associated with all of those things. I don’t see anything that we have seen so far as not a reason to run away. I agree that the whore house and whatever happened there might compound it but even if nothing happened there I see plenty of good reasons to run from anything associated with that upbringing as far and as fast away as humanely possible.

    • One of the unexplained time line events in this show is why Don, born in 1925, was not drafted into WWII when he was 18, in 1943. The Army was in full draft mode at that time, there was even a plan drawn up to draft women into non- combatant roles. There were exemptions for farm and other essential workers to avoid being called up, but I don’t see how Don could have avoided being drafted. So, even if he somehow missed being drafted into WWII, why did he stay with Mac? And then he gets drafted into the Army in1950 at age 30? Generally, the draft only extended from 18-26, unless there was a need for a given speciality such as medical officers or engineers, and of course there were always the reserves that could be deployed. This could be just a time line fluke thing or it could be an error on the writers part that can’t be corrected now, or it could be our information that comes from Don in his flashbacks is faulty. One of the more fascinating things about the human brain is what we think we remember and what actually happens.

      • He actually would have only be 25 in 1950 if he was actually born in 1925 so he’d have still been in the draft range. Still not an explanation for why he wasn’t drafted in WWII though since he’d have been about 18 by 1943.

        • They should have just made Don/Dick a WWII vet, then I think the timeline would work, including Adam being 8 yrs old when he sees Don/Dick on the train. It is so odd that a show so notorious for its attention to detail would have such a screwed up timeline! I don’t get it.

      • Dick was born in January of 1926.

        • Still, how did he not get drafted into WWII? One thing that did occur to me is after his stepmother died, there was no one who knew when he was really born, probably no birth certificate, just a sworn note from the midwife, if that. In fact, he had no real idea or proof of when he was born, what his biological mothers name was, only stories told to him by people who now dead. Maybe he has been searching for his true identity since he was born….

      • Speaking of Dick Whitman’s actual birthday, in Out of Town he tells the stewardess it’s his birthday. Although the date is not mentioned anywhere in the episode that I could see, I’m figuring it takes place around March. This, of course, does not jive with his real birthday being half a year before his adopted birthday at the beginning of June. Is he lying when he tells the stewardess it’s his birthday?

        • I’m inclined to think that when Don told Megan something like he’d been forty for half a year already, he was exaggerating for effect. I don’t think he was lying to the stewardess, but I could be wrong.

          • I hope you’re right. I’d like to think he was being truthful, since I find it poignant that he’s only able to celebrate his actual birthday with a one-night stand.

        • Out of Town takes place in April, and you’re right.

    • Peggy was lucky then.

  33. The topic I would like to focus on is how often in literature, tv or movies has an affair occurred between a man and a woman who is much older than his wife. I know it’s probably happened before but more often that not the affair occurs between a man and a much younger woman than his wife.

    Before the season started I commented that this would be equivalent to man bites dog and Matthew Weiner is to be congratulated for entering this relatively unchartered territory.

    • OK, memory test.

      Midge’s age about equal to Rachel’s = Betty’s.

      Bobbie Barret’s age – with grown children = Sylvia’s now – both older than Betty.

      School Teacher – possibly younger than Betty – but not much.

      Who else had a piece of Don before he left School Teacher to slink away from his car?

      • Sylvia is older than Megan, but II don’t think there is such a huge age gap between Sylvia and Betty. Sally is almost 14. If Betty had her at 23 or 24, Betty would be about 37 or 38. Sylvia could easily be under 40 and have a child of 18. The average age of marriage was much earlier in the 1940s and 50s than now.

        (And it was almost unheard of in the middle and upper classes to have a child before getting married.)

        • I don’t think Sylvia and Don are that far apart in age either. As you pointed out, there could only be a 4 or 5 year age difference between Sylvia’s child and Sally.

  34. Joan is doing well with the 60s fashion, she was working a sexy stewardess look.

    • Her outfit was lambasted at Tom and Lorenzo. I was expecting a big blue double breasted tent.

      When I finally got the chance to see for myself I did not see the problem.

      Just Joan’s signature princess line sheath with a double row of buttons down the front. Scarf to match the blouse, great colors and a tight belt. Her usual great.

      Is anyone else noticing, though that her breasts seem more padded this season?

      • I didn’t see that at T & L! they usually save it all for Mad Style. Her outfit was heavy polyester but so was everyone elses in the late 60s, the lighter fabrics from earlier are much nicer.

        • It was comments by the commenters.

          The commenters get so angry about CH dressed
          as CH, I think the antipathy is leaking out to Joan.

      • yes I noticed it in her purple outfit especially.

    • She looked great.

  35. […] is something I started writing in a comment, and want to expand upon […]

  36. I wonder if when Don says he wants what Megan wants, if that is for appearances as well. He said this about their white carpeting last season even though he knew better. Now he says it again about having a family with Megan. He must have an opinion. Is he saying this because it is true and he does not care either way or is he just saying this to appease her but down deep he has an opinion?

    • I don’t think he wants anymore kids. He’s what 42 now? And he already has three of them. Plus, his and Megan’s honeymoon is well past last call.

      Megan doesn’t want one now either. Unfortunately, each is hesitant to be honest to the other about the subject; otherwise, they would find common ground and momentarily have a bond based on truth. But it is a case of mutual misreading. Megan because of naivete and cultural expectation, Don because of indifference and habit. He’s cashed out on the relationship. It’s a pattern of his.

  37. Odd to see no mention of the opera aria playing during the Don-Sylvia dinner/liason, so I decided to dig (I’m classical but not a big opera person). It’s “Casta Diva” from Bellini’s Norma. From WQXR’s blog:

    ” ‘Casta Diva’ provides more than just a familiar soundtrack for a stuffy restaurant. It’s Norma’s prayer to the ‘chaste goddess’ of the moon to spread peace and ‘temper your bold zeal.’ It had been recorded in the 1960s by larger-than-life sopranos including Joan Sutherland and Maria Callas – a time when Don was dealing with his own diva issues.”

    If you’re interested —!/blogs/wqxr-blog/2013/apr/15/mad-men-recap-bellinis-norma-and-classical-radio-station/?utm_source=local&utm_media=treatment&utm_campaign=carousel&utm_content=item3

    • Loved the inter-splicing of their restaurant conversation with their subsequent lovemaking. And though an Italian aria might have been obvious choice, it worked wonderfully. A insta-classic MM moment.

      Also, enjoyed Sylvia ordering the Steak Diavolo after Don convinces her that it is okay to be “hungry”. 😉

  38. There’s some pretty obvious foreshadowing going on. Dr. Rosen lectured Don again on the danger of cigarettes. Last week Don fantasized about a heart attack with Rosen was trying to save him.

    I’d bet my 1960’s record collection that the series ends with Don dying of a heart attack. And what a great plot twist if Rosen DOES attempt to save him but decides to let him slip away because he knows about Don and Sylvia.

    The above may or may not be a spoiler alert.

    • I’m not 100% sure of the spoiler policy, but I’m pretty sure that speculation based on what has already aired does not count as a spoiler. If I’m wrong, someone can correct me.

  39. I wonder if “New Amsterdam” and “The Collaborators” could be bookend episodes for the Pete/Trudy marriage. In “New Amsterdam” they’ve just gotten married and are looking for a Manhattan apt. In “The Collaborators” the marriage had ended expect for appearances and Pete is thrown out to his Manhattan apt.

    • What saddens me is that Pete now is portrayed as the Worst Human Being ever: for all his negative traits, he used to have redeeming qualities (he was good at his job, had brilliant ideas and progressive views), now he’s a total jerk.

      About the Pete/Trudy marriage: quite a roller coaster! S1: great honeymoon, difficult first year, S2: horrible and full of tension, S3: happy and peaceful, S4: good harmony and birth of a daughter, S5: Pete unsatisfied and Trudy oblivious, now this.

    • Interesting bookends too in that neither property was something Pete wanted. He was reluctant to get their initial Manhattan apartment because of the expense. He didn’t want to move the country at all. I won’t really say season 3 was that great for Trudy and Pete– he slept with/ raped the au pair that season. Their relationship has been contentious and strained from the start.

  40. […] of Mad Men Season 6 established the season thematically. The Doorway was about sin and death, The Collaborators was about adultery and appearances, To Have and To Hold was about secrets and ambition. I think if […]

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