Apr 212014
Mad Men-A Day's Work-Peggy


About halfway through Mad Men episode 7.02: A Day’s Work, I wondered if we weren’t looking at an episode primarily concerned with communication and miscommunication. By the end, I understood this was an episode about wanting to be loved. Not about being loved, but about the desire for it, and all the permutations thereof. Valentine’s Day is a rich field to mine for that theme, always a wretched day for those who want love but don’t have it. We’ll circle back to communication, and other motifs as well, but love must come first.

Obviously, the first point to discuss is Peggy’s roses. “Peggy’s.” Basketcases in the open thread have already called out the mix-up as a sitcom device. The problem is, on Mad Men, it becomes gravely serious. I feel it’s worth reminding ourselves that, while it’s been a year since we’ve seen Ted and Peggy, for her, Ted promised to leave his wife for her, and then discarded her and moved cross-country, a mere three months ago. Peggy behaved horribly to Shirley, but her feelings are still terribly raw. Her social skills being what they are (which is to say, lacking), she naturally sees the roses and thinks only of herself, and suddenly it’s all so bitter.

It’s not just that Peggy is angry at Ted, and obviously longing for him, it’s that she longs for anyone to love her. There they are, at the office, mocking Peggy for being unloved, gossiping about it in the kitchen, Stan and Abe Ginsberg joking about it to her face, and Shirley’s engagement ring, in Peggy’s irrational tirade, is just one more insult, one more means by which Peggy is being told she cannot have the love she wants.

Pete, too, wants to be loved, although Pete’s version of “love” is very different. He wants someone, somehow, to acknowledge his existence. He and Bonnie, we learn, purport to be in love, but he wants something that makes him feel alive, and that’s a something he doesn’t have.

Sometimes I think maybe I died and I’m in some kind of—I don’t know if it’s heaven or hell or limbo, but I don’t seem to exist. No one feels my existence.

There’s an honesty to Pete’s mean-spirited, spoiled brat aspirations. People want to be loved, so very often, because they want an Other to acknowledge their existence. Pete’s kind of cutting out the middle man; he wants the acknowledgement and cares less about the love. He wants to achieve, to aim higher, to fight against something, but Ted will readily give up his larger office—so what’s the point? He doesn’t just love Bonnie, or want to screw her, he wants her to throw away work for him so that the sex is a sacrifice that acknowledges Pete the King. She’s not having it.

The most poignant, the most staggering, expression of the desire for love is Don’s reaction to Sally’s simple “I love you.” He crumples. (No one crumples like Jon Hamm crumples.) His desire for his daughter’s love is so intense he can barely stand to feel it.

Also touching, in a completely different way, is Jim to Roger: “I’d hate to think of you as an adversary.” From the beginning, from Man With a Plan, these two have been thick as Accounts thieves. They understand each other. They’ve lived much the same lives. This, too, is a kind of love.

The opposite side of the desire for love is the fear of rejection. In this episode, rejection was rife. Lou rejects Dawn. Peggy rejects Shirley. Pete is thoroughly rejected: Jim rejects Pete’s desire to sign the account immediately, Roger rejects Pete’s desire to go to Detroit, and Bonnie rejects Pete’s desire for a nooner.

The death motif, never far away in Mad Men world, appears, with Pete talking about being dead, and Ted answering that we all die, and Sally going to a funeral, while wishing Betty dead. Love is the opposite of death; it lets us know we’re alive, it gives us a feeling of immortality. Eros and Thanatos. Death is the ultimate rejection.

But it’s not so much love, remember, as the desire for love, which is why Jim describes the personnel job as hinging on not caring whether or not you’re liked. (Forgive me, I don’t have the exact quote—I’ll get it later.) Dawn doesn’t care if anyone at SC&P likes her, because she sees it as just a job; a job she can do well at or not. She smiles to have Joan’s old office. I’m sure we can expect more delightful racism now that she has authority over people.

The thing about the desire to be loved is, we want someone who thinks we’re awesome. Pete nakedly wants it, in his sniveling and transparent way, but everyone wants it. Why? Because we’re all full of shame, and running from it as fast as we can, no matter what the cost. Lou is embarrassed by Sally and reacts by getting rid of Dawn. Peggy is embarrassed by herself, to be honest, but she can’t face that, so she blames Shirley and gets rid of her. A black face at the front desk would embarrass Bert. Don and Sally have one of the most painful conversations about shame and embarrassment I’ve ever heard. Sally has to tiptoe between the shame of a father who lies to her and the shame of calling him out on his lies. And she’s afraid to go into his building because Sylvia lives there. Riding the elevator is potentially a huge, almost insurmountable, embarrassment for her. Good thing she doesn’t know he shtupped her teacher!

And then, at last, there’s the constant, relentless miscommunication. I wrote recently that Matt Weiner is very interested in the ways that people fail to communicate with one another. Consider, then, that a central scene in this episode (literally central; my sense is it falls about at the halfway point) is structured around a bad phone connection. Obviously, there’s also Peggy’s funny-if-it-wasn’t-awful misunderstanding about the roses, and her coded message to Ted, which he doesn’t understand at all. Jim and Roger can’t communicate levelly about Chevy. Sally and Don at first can’t communicate through the web of lies, and Sally lies to her girlfriends as well, making up a story about her purse so that she can see her father.

Some other stuff:

  • Dawn and Shirley call each other by the other name; Dawn calls Shirley “Dawn,” and Shirley calls Dawn “Shirley”. I assume this running joke started when people at the office confused the names of the only two black women there. It’s a bitter little joke, but at least they have each other.
  • Quote of the week is uncontested. I thought Sally’s remark about Betty would win, until I heard Ginsberg say, “She has plans. Look at her calendar: Febuary 14, masturbate gloomily.”
  • Did you recognize Jim Hobart? They got the same actor (H. Richard Greene) who tried to woo Don to McCann in Season 1.
  • Don has lunch with Dave Wooster of Wells Green Rich, and they talk about “Mary.” They mean Mary Wells, founder of that iconic agency. (Wooster, as far as I can tell, is a fictional character.)

  236 Responses to “A Day’s Work: “I’d hate to think of you as an adversary.””

  1. Fantastic lines, Deborah. One of the things I’m gonna miss the most when MM is done, for sure, is reading about it in this site. All we need is love.

    • Word.

    • We will continue to write about Mad Men after it’s over, Ender. There’s plenty of material to mine. Plus we already write about other shows and I will be able to add more interesting TV to my repetoire once Mad Men is no longer on-air. AND we will follow Matt Weiner to his next ventures and write about them.

      • Deborah, will you be writing about the new “Fargo”? Have you seen it?

        • I haven’t seen it, and I’d like to. I don’t know if I’m going to write about it. I intended to write about True Detective and never did. My schedule got a little overwhelming.

          • You should. I don’t want to take up space here, but in short it seems to echo the characters and situations from the movie. Seems to. Its really lulling you into a false sense of familiarity.Billy bob is having a blast.

        • Fargo – underwhelming and lacking the black humor of the film

          • I don’t want to rush to judgment — I’m distracted much of the time now, so the show could be better than I thought — but this was my take too.

            It’s unfortunate, because I loved the movie.

        • I’m interested in watching this Fargo show, but I’ll probably just wait until it’s available on Netflix or something so that I could binge-watch it. When Mad Men’s in season, that’s the only show I like to concentrate on.

      • I haven’t seen Andre And Maria Jacquemetton in the credits. Are they out of the writer’s room? Off to do their own project?

        • They’re working on their own project, and aren’t on the Mad Men writing staff this season.

  2. I was thinking so much about another Valentine’s Day episode, s2e1, and Don bringing out the pink construction paper and Cheerios Valentine heart Sally made him, which inspired Peggy’s line For Mohawk airlines, that I was half expecting tonight’s title to be “What did you bring me Daddy?”

    There was a lot of giving and taking away this episode.

    • I agree. Sally couldn’t eat with Don until he had given her something of himself. Until then she was keeping herself as contained as possible. The scenes between Don and Sally were wonderfully done. It seems that they have talked before and so there has been some reconnection since the end S6. And this takes things a big step forward. I thought Sally was sounding more like her father, phrases like ‘spectacular’ and the way she got off the phone with her friends.

  3. Sally made up the story about her purse?? How do you know she made it up? I’m confused.

    • She said she had to go back and find her purse where she lost it in the train station. Granted, Don’s office is just around the block from Grand Central, still, she didn’t need to go there to find her purse!

      • I got the impression that she never found her purse, so had no way of getting back to the school without asking her father for help (to buy a ticket), although she never actually asked him for money when she was about to leave, so maybe you’re right. Did she have her purse with her when she arrived at his office and apartment? I forgot to look.

        • It makes me happy to think that the “purse” story was a ruse. If Sally did lose her address book — a critical item back then — her connection to Glen might be lost as well.

          Those two kids are good for each other. I hope the address book is safe.

          • “R-o-o-s-e” reminds me of Sallys dear Santa letter to Don 🙂

            I was confused too. I was like if she lost her purse how did she have cab fare to get back to the Village, up to SC&P and then up to his apartment?

        • She did ask Don for money for train fare and a note for being late to school. That is when Don offered to drive her

      • I thought she really did lose her purse, and needed money, so she went to Don’s office to get money. But I could be wrong … her classmates said they’d pay her train fare.

        • She told her classmate she had to get the purse for her address book.

        • She did really loose her purse. She got off the train before it left and went to the office to get money. It wasn’t a ruse.
          She wanted her address book, but she still needed money.

          • She did really lose her purse. She got off the train before it left and went to the office to get money. It wasn’t a ruse.
            She wanted her address book, but she still needed money.

        • She walked into the office and his apartment without carrying anything. She said she was looking for her address book/purse and the next train is in 2 hours. I think she really did lose her purse and could not find it. Her classmates stayed on the original train so she had no one to pay the fare and went to get it from her father. She said she felt uncomfortable riding the elevator so there had to be a pretty good reason for her to seek Don out.

      • Can we be sure the Time-Life Building on Sixth Avenue across from the West End of Rockefeller Center is just around the corner from Grand Central Station at Park Avenue and 42nd Street.

        My memory is that is a comprehensive walk.

    • I felt like Sally’s “acting” of losing her purse was so obvious that I was disappionted in Kiernan, having it be a ruse made much more sense.

      • Well, I thought she really did lose her purse so I guess it’s one of those how-you-interpret-it kind of things. Insofar as how she got from Grand Central station to Greenwich Village — maybe she walked? I will ask my native New Yorker spouse how difficult that would have been.

        • Where did Greenwich Village figure into this? She went from Grand Central Terminal to the Time Life Building–a shortish walk, and then to Don’s apartment on the Upper East Side–a much longer walk (about a mile and a half).

          • The girls’ plan was to skip the cemetary and go shopping in the village. On the train Sally said she lost her purse. Maybe it was at the coffee shop. The other girl says “the head shop?” Knowingly.

            So I guess I assumed that Sally had a lot of places to check and those places were in the village. But I hadn’t picked up on that it was a lie so she could see her Dad…

          • She walked from Grand Central to Don’s office. She didn’t find the purse at the station so she went to his office to get money. The idea that she intentionally “lost” her purse to see Don doesn’t make any sense at all.
            She needed her purse, couldn’t find it, went to the office to get money to get back to school. There was no ruse.

            • That’s what I think. She checked the coffee shop at Grand Central, and when it wasn’t there, went to her dad’s office for train fare. She had no plans to see him. I think she was smart to go to him for money, instead of trying to do something really stupid to get money.

            • There was no ruse. Sally arrives at Don’s office with no purse. She’s in Don’s home with no purse. She goes into the school after telling Don she loves him with no purse. She actually did misplace her purse.

              As for the walk–she never goes back to the Village to look for it. She just walks to Don’s office, which is nearby. And from there she walks to his home. Yes, she’s been raised in the burbs, but for a while there after her mother’s divorce she goes back and forth from household to household and stays in the city as well as the burbs. She’s known her way around the city for a long time.

        • That is a looooong walk – almost 40 blocks (I’m a native New Yorker).

          • I was responding to the “Grand Central station to Greenwich Village.”

          • Sally was flushed, even limping a bit, as she searched for her father at SC&P. She was walking the way you walk when there’s a blister on one of your heels and you’re favoring the other foot.

            Damn, that kid can act.

            • I felt like the sound of her shoes in the hall echoed the sound of her sandals when she runs abd then falls in The Beautiful Women (was that the title of the episode where she sneaks on the train to see Don)

              Again, the call backs to earlier episodes are so many and dense it makes my brain reel)

          • I asked my spouse and he said it would have taken a half-hour to walk from Grand Central to the Village — but then he’s a maniac urban walker. He also suggested she could have taken the subway and ducked under or over the turnstile to avoid paying the fare (since she didn’t have any money). But Sally is essentially a child of the suburbs and might not have thought of doing that. In any case, I don’t think she was faking losing her purse. I think she either walked from the station to the Village, looked for her purse and couldn’t find it so then had no choice but to walk back uptown to find her dad because she had no money OR when she got off the train, she decided it would be easier to get to the Village if she had cab fare so went looking for her dad first. You make a good point about her limping Anne B.

            Whenever I see a scene with Sally and her prep school friends in the city, I am always reminded of “Catcher in the Rye.” (Well, I guess there have been two such scenes so far. Only two I can think of now anyway.)

    • Whether that losing the purse story was true or just a ruse, Don certainly didn’t seem to buy it.

  4. Stan and “Abe”? I think you mean Michael. But great analysis otherwise!

    • Thanks, I’ll correct it. I make that mistake every single time and usually catch it in edits.

      • I thought that comment by Michael to Peggy was pretty viscous…isn’t she still his boss? If so, I know he’s unfiltered but I can’t imagine taking it that far. I literally winced.

        • And what’s worse, is that Stan was actually trying to help her avert embarrassment, then later at the flowers he was actually being soft and nice and *not* sarcastic, but Peggy took it out on him!

          Oh Peggy


          • Stan’s comment about her cat was sweet, now we know Peggy still has the cat and even talks about it at work. Maybe we’ll learn the name.

  5. Sally is the first person since Anna who knows all aboyt him and still loves him.

      • Do not discount Megan’s love for him.
        Do not discount Faye’s earlier love for him, so much so that, unlike Megan, Faye actually risked her job for Don ( e.g. “Chinese Wall” ).

        • Megan doesn’t know that he lost his job and she definitely doesn’t know about Sylvia–Sally knows about both of those things and still loves him. It’s not that Megan wouldn’t love him if she knew the truth (about the job–NOT Sylvia) it’s just that Sally keeps walking in on him and he has no choice but to tell the truth or risk losing her. When Betty found out about his true identity it was the beginning of the end for her–she lost respect. Faye may have loved him but he didn’t feel the same way since he dropped her in a few days away in Disney Land with his secretary.

        • No one mentioned last week….but when Megan threw Don the Playboy it was a dig… to masturbate while she was away. They are done, or nearly…

    • Does Sally know about his taking a false identity? I missed that?

      • Don told Sally that he didn’t say anything to Hershey “that you don’t already know.”

        Considering how last season ended — with Don showing the kids his whorehouse childhood home — I think we can conclude that Sally knows about her father’s fractured identity now. And, yes, loves him anyway.

        • I think (hope) that Betty loves him anyway, too – in an ex- sort of way.

        • I thought he was alluding to him growing up in a cathouse – not about him not being Don Draper.

          • Well, his answer “that you don’t already know” was truthful in a roundabout way. He showed his kids the house where the incidents he described to Hershey took place, yes, but I don’t think he told them it was a whorehouse.

            • It was a typical open ended response that Weiner likes to write so that you don’t know what she actually knows. We know she knows something, but what? It is left unclear.

            • It was the typically open ended response that Weiner likes to write so that you don’t know what she actually knows. We know she knows something, but what? It is left unclear.

            • Sorry about the duplicate comment, I apparently am having difficulty doing this today.

            • Well, he’s not lying about the “nothing you don’t already know”. He told the clients about his childhood, but he didn’t tell them anything about his identity switching, his real experience in Korea, and his ongoing duplicity. Sally doesn’t know about those things either.

          • Once he shared that with her, he opened it up to questions. Sally already knows there was a wife in California and there was a “Dick.” Once Don started talking, I think she’d have pushed.

            • I think it was significant when he said (in reference to the funeral) “I hate that you had to see that” but It could have also been his way of apologizing to her that she had to see him with Sylvia and when she said “I love you” that was her way of forgiving him.

          • That’s what I thought as well Anne and MMM. God I loved every bit of that scene.
            Sally seems to have grown up in an instant…no longer interested in the nonsense going on back at school. She does love Don unconditionally, never more so then when he reveals himself truthfully to her. Hope on the horizon…

        • Don gets mixed up about people knowing things because he has so many secrets. He told Rachel Menken and Megan that they knew all about him and neither of them did. It doesn’t seem like Megan knew about the whorehouse. Even Anna Draper didn’t know about Don deliberately switching the dog tags.

    • I don’t think this true.

      Actually, we see over and over that people still accept him after they learn about him.

      Even Pete loves Don!

      Even Betty was tender to Don when learning the truth. It just eventually overwhelmed her. All the lies! Don has always said it was because she learned he was poor or whatever, but he’s an unreliable narrator.

      He even started down this path with Salky in the car. Saying she was just laying in wait fir him like her mother. But what Sally says is true for Salky, is also true for Betty. It’s less embarrassing to let him go on with a lie than to confront him. Betty spent ten years holding in that kind of humiliation and shame if being lied to, and knowing it.

      It’s the new lies that hurt him the most.

      And maybe even losing his job was more than the Hershy pitch. He was all over the place and unreliable and irresponsible to his other partners. Too many times.

      That line be says in s1e1 you’re born alone and you due alone. It’s his acting as if he’s alone (also echoed by Anna later) that keeps him alone.

      He has to work with people. Whether in a marriage or at work. Joan says it: just once I’d like to hear you say “we.”

    • Barbara,

      That is the central insight to be gained from last night’s show (at least its most powerful scenes, which Don and Sally owned). It’s also at the heart of what Mad Men is about, which is why last night’s episode was such a magnificent one. I think “the story of Mad Men,” everything it has been trying to communicate since the beginning, was substantially advanced by this episode. I so dearly hope that this level of writing and storytelling accompanies us to the finish line next year.

      • I agree. This was a much more satisfying episode than last week’s “Time Zones” I hope they’ll be more like it.

  6. Peggy is slowly morphing into a sour, less creative version of Don (notice the napping on the couch, drinking and cigarettes), Pete is still a “sour little boy,” and it takes Don an hour to realize that his daughter is now a teenager that he can speak to (and not lie to) and get rewarded. Joan stole the show, IMO. My full recap is here:


    Follow me on Twitter – @scarylawyerguy

    • It’s fascinating how much Joan has grown into a business professional, from what she used to be. While she’s no pushover (to put it mildly), I can’t imagine this Joan being as unnecessarily catty and dismissive of her underlings as she was in the first seasons; or using sexual persuasion methods first and then reasoning when that doesn’t work, as she did with Lane Pryce and the vacation time she wanted to take (“Breast? Thigh?”). I’m not sure about whether financially she has to work, but certainly this Joan doesn’t aspire to become a wealthy surgeon’s wife and would demand that a partner or husband respect her.

      I’d been wondering early on if Joan would end up empowered or embittered by feminism, changing fashions and ideas of what’s beautiful, etc.., and there is no doubt that she is becoming her own powerful and effective woman.

      • I was so thrilled when Cutler finally saw the two-job problem and fixed it, just like that – like he snapped his fingers last week. But, Joan’s first response to his recognition was to say ‘I’m not complaining’. To which he said, perhaps you should. So, despite everything, Joan’s automatic response wasn’t to say what she wanted but to keep coping.

        But, again, it was good to see some women standing up to men : Dawn to Don and the ghastly Avery; Sally to Don.

        There’s a shuffle up the hierarchy: Shirley replaces Dawn who replaces Joan who gets an account man’s office.

        • And by promoting Joan, Cutler gains another ally. In the short term the promotion works for both parties; Joan receives recognition and a burgeoning account exec is moved closer to her nominal boss. Long term I am not so sure, because I don’t trust Cutler.

        • Cutler seems to have a knack for making quick decisions. He sees the problem, immediately comes up with the solution, and simply acts on it.

  7. I thought it so funny that Don feels the need to get dressed in suit and tie when Dawn comes to his apartment to report on the latest news and then starts to take his tie off when she leaves.

    • Really? I found it sad. He sleeps till past noon, watches cartoons or whatever, keeping the TV on for company, and cleans up the apartment and himself for a two minute visit from Dawn lest she think he’s a pathetic slob. Perhaps he feels that she’s the only person still in his life who respects him.

      • I saw it the same way. “That Girl” doesn’t seem like something Don would sit down and watch– it was just on for background noise/distraction.

        • Don watches TV to see the commercials.

          • I wonder. He probably won’t go out to movies during the day when he’s not really escaping work… I bet. Pride….

            So maybe he’s watching TV, like he used to watch movies, to knock out cobwebs, but also recharge his creativity.

          • Normally, yes.

            However, I think his present existence is quite lonely (even for Don/Dick); he misses daily interaction with people and television is a way to connect to the outside world.

        • I thought the choice of That Girl was telling because Marlo Thomas’s character says “Oh Daddy” all the time in the show and here it was again. Maybe echoing that Sally was coming.

        • It seemed a little odd that he’d be watching a Little Rascals short, but, of course, he was a kid when those films were shown in theaters.

          • I thought it was interesting in the context of what we see later, “That Girl”

            Something from his bleak childhood contrasted with both Sally and Peggy’s present, as Marko can kind if stand in for both.

            Marlo Thomas’ sunny happy go lucky (oh wait is she also an aspiring actress? Is she a stand in for Megan too?) is such a contrast to the truth of these young girl’s lives.

            I guess as were the Little Rascals such a contrast to the real lives of children in the depression.

            They both express an Adventurous, funny time. With minor problems. Silly misunderstandings being a plot staple.

      • Putting on a suit so as to appear to be what he really is–is his basic MO!

    • I thought it was a good sign and quite smart that he was dressed up in the a suit and tie. He has to play the part. He wants Dawn to keep him in her mind as the professional she knew him to be in the office. When he returns to the office things can go on as usual.

    • It broke my heart that he dressed in his suit and tie for the short visit from Dawn. It was the only professional moment in his day, and the only meaningful interaction.

      • Don is still very aware of what happened with Allison in season 4. Don has done some soul searching and he knows that he must have a strictly professional relationship with Dawn; even for his own self serving reasons. Dawn is important to Don and he will do everything to keep it that way. Dawn is also loyal to Don. Dawn is much more clever than Joan thinks and will use her new job as office manager to her advantage and shine.

  8. I think it speaks to the show’s qualities that it doesn’t treat Peggy as a mere representation of women in the workplace. There was a time when minorities (women obviously aren’t minorities, but in a 60’s workplace they were) were always treated as saints instead of fully formed characters in entertainment, but I do feel that Peggy has been very lucky, and doesn’t get it. Good for her that she got a job at a new agency, and I felt for her when the agencies merged, but she was not in the right in the Ted-situation last year. I get it, the heart wants what it wants, but her anger at Ted not leaving his wife and children behind because of his chemistry with her was not appealing, and I like that we’re seeing some of her darker sides now. At the moment it seems like Joan is the real pioneer at the company, but of course things can and will still change on the show. I predict some form of creative reunion between Peggy and Don, based on a mutual admiration for each other’s creative ambition, and I actually expect Don and Megan to hear the Manson murders because of the weird acoustics at the Hollywood hills. And I’m guessing based on everything Weiner has said that Don will get his life back, then get cancer in ep 7 and deal with his spiritual life or whatever next year. The worst part of Mad Men is the green screen whenever they drive a car. They should avoid all car scenes from now on, as they make the show look cheap. Good episode

    • I kinda like the green screen car scenes because it seems like a nice homage to the 60’s movies and their distractingly rudimentary technology with car scenes. I know it can seem cheap, but I think that cheapness is intentional.

    • MAGGA,

      I think it’s quite telling how Season 7 has treated (or perhaps, shown) Peggy.

      She is most deeply and painfully… alone. Her struggle is Don’s struggle, even though she’s inside the gates at SC&P while Don is currently outside them. It’s a typical piece of Matt Weiner inversion, conveying one of the central truths of Mad Men: The power, the trappings, the status — they mean nothing without self-love and self-acceptance. The desperation of Peggy’s longings reflects the extent to which she is not comfortable in her own skin… not necessarily as a professional, but as a whole person, a whole emotional being.

      I’m particularly interested in how Don’s and Peggy’s journeys will (and won’t) intersect as they’re both led toward moments of truth.

      • Excellent points mzemek. Peggy was very mean in this episode but I still had to feel for her and was embarrassed for her, though I didn’t appreciate how she took it on on Shirley, especially since they seemed to have had a good relationship before. Of course we have seen Don take his misery out on his employees before and she is definitely following in his footsteps in many ways, even in loneliness. Poor Pegs. I’d really like to see her and Don happy.

      • mzemek,

        Great observations, especially about being inside versus outside.

  9. Loved the Dawn/Shirley inside joke. You just know it was Harry who confused them. Not that Harry’s a racist, he’s just … Harry. 🙂

    • Dawn and Shirley’s coffee break was far and away my favorite scene in the episode. I liked it even more than Don and Sally in the diner.

      The “Hello” exchange, the honesty, the silence when a white colleague passes them, the difference in their voices when they speak to each other: it was beautiful. I could watch a whole show unfold from this perspective.

      I hope AMC knows what they have here.

      • It was good but I really hope MM makes them real people with unattractive flaws and not just portray them as the wise outsiders who work hard and never have wrong motives.

      • I hope AMC knows what they have here

        Suggesting a spinoff?

          • The real question – will it be worth it? I suppose Weiner’s writing team would be a good place to start for the most essential part (nothing can save mediocre writing) – Weiner himself woudn’t be interested. Janie Bryant would likely be up for it. Directors always need the work. Who would be there to resist meddling by the suits?

        • Question for everyone:

          Breaking Bad got a spinoff.

          What’s the general sense of whether MM will create a spinoff, and if so, which character or cluster of characters will be part of it (and in what subsequent decade)?

          • I seriously doubt there’ll ever be a spinoff, but there are some characters I’d like to see on the show again, before it ends.

            In no particular order …

            • Father Gill
            • Conrad Hilton
            • The hobo in Hobo Code
            • Sal Romano
            • Bobbie & Jimmy Barrett
            • Sally’s teacher, Suzanne Farrell
            • Paul Kinsey

            • Oops! I forgot one …

              • Lois Sadler, of John Deere tractor mishap fame, who brought us the funniest horrific moment so far, in the show’s history!

            • It’s a pipe dream – and perhaps one that should not come true. But…..

              I’d love to see Joan and Peggy in a Wells Rich Greene circumstance. To make it viable, Joan would be the managing partner (Peggy doesn’t have the “people skills”).

              Yes! Salvatore Romano!

              Ginz and Stan – leave the drones behind.

              Ken of course – and give him some accounts underlings.

          • I’d kind of like to see a spin-off with Faye. I hated her and Don together and I was relieved that didn’t pan out, but I always thought she was an interesting character in her own right and I’d like to see her outside SCDP.

            I’d also be interested in a show set at Sterling Cooper in the 20s or 30s with Bert, Roger’s father, and Miss Blankenship.

            The character I most want to see again before this show ends is Francine. I miss her! She was so wonderfully awful!

      • Your comment wanting a show around Dawn and Shirley reminded me of the show Julia (starring Diahann Carroll) which was on the air around this time (premiered in Sept. 1968). One of my favorites as a child.

    • I also think it’s going to be hilarious when Harry still thinks Dawn is on Lou’s desk … even though Shirley’s there now.

      Harry sees what Harry needs to see, right?

      • LOL – I can totally see that happening!

      • Harry’s not enough of a horndog to tell the difference – one lovely woman from another?

      • By the way, where is Harry?

        Unless I missed something, January Jones, Mason Vale Cotton, and Rich Sommer are the only actors in the opening credits not to have made an appearance in the first two episodes.

  10. The Don/Sally scenes were extraordinary. It’s something to see: actual honest communication (there’s that word again.) between members of the Draper family! I sometimes think of Sally as a brat, but I was so with her when she said how calling her father on his lies is even more embarassing that knowing that he’s lying, and of her terrible fear of seeing Sylvia. And Don heard her!!! He rssponded just the way he should have. Sally’s final “I love you” wrecked me, and Don’s response wrecked me some more.

    • Yes. I remember thinking that if she hugged her father while wishing him a happy valentine’s day, he would burst into tears. I HATE it when Don cries.

    • That scene was amazing. Directing, writing, acting, everything hit it out of the park. There wasn’t too much or too little of anything.

      • I loved the irony when Don asked Sally what to write on her excuse letter and she replied, “Just tell the truth”. It never occurred to him.

        • Reminded me of the time Allison wanted Don to write her a recommendation letter and Don told her to write it herself for his signature. A different Don now.

        • I thought that “Just Tell the Truth” would have been a better title for this episode.

          I was so hoping that Don – however awkwardly – would try to kiss Sally’s cheek or hug her. But he didn’t and then she said two nice things to him and he just folded.

          And that little joke he played on her – pretending they would not pay the check and make a run for it – was brilliant.

          Also, Don’s concern over her going to the funeral was a nice touch. It seems weird that the school would not tell the parents of the other roommates about what happened (but maybe they told Betty – and WHERE’s Betty?)

          • I tell myself that Betty is at the longest law-and-order-Democrat fundraiser of all time: looking beautiful and remote, smoking, occasionally nibbling a piece of melba toast.

            Come back to us, Betty Draper Francis.

    • I also liked how it was true to Don – he spent so much effort on ‘managing’ the situation in a way that wasn’t mature. He cozied up to Sally with a joking offer to skip out on the check. But ultimately showing authentic parenting was what got through to her.

      • I secretly wanted him to go through with the dine & dash.

        Once upon a time, that was among the most specialized and critical of all teen skills. Then the era of the helicopter parent descended.

        Things just haven’t been as risky, or as much fun, since.

        • I was really hoping he didn’t. That would have been a new low even for Don.

        • At the end of season 6 Betty was concerned about Sally getting in trouble in school and said something like “the bad is winning over the good, she’s just bad because she’s a product of a broken home.” When Sally “passed” the “dine and dash” test she proved to Don that she really is “good” and the bad is not winning as Betty had feared.

          • They also stared each other down, father and daughter — kind of a mirror “really?” / “really” moment — as Don slowly reached for his wallet.

            It was a moment that lightened the mood, and put Don and Sally back in the ballpark of that loving, gently kidding relationship they always had. Terrific way to end the scene.

            • Will we hear him intone the name Salamander again? He still calls Betty – “Birdie” and “Betts”.

    • Yes! Honesty/Truth was a theme that carried through the episode. Dawn asks Shirley why she didn’t tell Peggy the truth about the flowers. Sally tells Don to write the truth in the note. Lou being “honest” about Don to Sally. Dawn telling Don Sally knows the truth about his job. Pete being honest about his frustration with the firm. Sally telling Don the truth about how ending him with Sylvia made her feel…still makes her feel. And then, finally, Don telling Sally the truth. I loved that Don answered all of Sally’s questions honestly…another good sign for Don. Sally rewarded him with her matter-of-fact exclamation of “unconditional” love.

      Regarding Sally’s brattiness, I have two teenage daughters and they behave exactly like Sally when they feel they are not being told the truth or let in on something. They have no power at that age except to withhold their affection, their attention, and to refuse to eat. Notice how Sally dove right in to the patty melt after she knew Don shared the truth?

      • Also– Shirley finally telling Peggy the truth about the flowers, effectively sending Peggy into a tailspin.

        • This is what I saw with Peggy:

          Peggy saw the flowers, and immediately believed they were hers. She took them into her office, asked Shirley who sent them, decided that she knew, and placed a call on the strength of that knowledge.

          This “knowledge” bothered her so much that she then gave the flowers back. When a call came in about her accounts, she decided it was about her personally, declined it, and instructed Shirley to “throw away” the flowers. Because, again, they were about her. When Shirley told her the flowers were actually hers, she got angry: at Shirley. For getting the flowers, for being engaged, for wearing a ring.

          Peggy then stews in her office for a while, emerging to make her only business decision of the day: telling Joan to “move” Shirley, but refusing to say why. Peggy, who is not a partner, informs Joan (who is one) that she “should not have to tell” her why she’s making this request. But she absolutely should, if only so that Operations can record the change accurately.

          Peggy Olson sent HERSELF into a tailspin. She could have done everything she did in the office on Valentine’s Day at home, and perhaps she should have.

          Poor Shirley didn’t need to be part of the Peggy Drama at all.

          • I love that Meredith is still employed. She is staring to be the star of the agency.

            • “Maybe I should get a pencil.”

              Dawn’s thought bubble: “Girl, PLEASE.”

            • Meredith is great for her comic turns. Mrs. Blankenship was great in the same way – with a completely different style.

              Now Lou gets his Blankenship.

            • I love Meredith. She’s such a straight-up ditz that I can’t help but imagine her working on complex mathematical equations in her spare time. Just because.

          • Well, I agree– it’s just Shirley’s perceived happiness (SHE got flowers, SHE is engaged, SHE wears a ring) that pushes Peggy over the edge and into her tirade. Stan and Ginsberg lit the fuse in the elevator, as it was clear from Peggy’s reaction that she didn’t even realize it was Valentine’s Day. Poor Shirley was just there when the powder keg went off.

            • The irony is that Shirley’s fiance does not want her to be working (her conversation with Dawn made clear that he’s, shall we say, traditional) — so there’s already trouble in that blooming relationship.

              Perhaps Shirley and Peggy want what each other has. It wouldn’t be the first time.

      • I loved that Dawn took Lou to the woodshed over the flowers that she picked up for him – talk about honesty and truth – even if frustrated. He deserved that – even as he also deserved his “own girl”.

      • help4newmoms:

        Really good thoughts.

        A small but important nuance worth adding, especially with respect to Don connecting with Sally:

        In the car, the two of them were using the truth to beat each other up.

        In the restaurant, Don used truth (honest self-exposition) as a vehicle of healing, and that’s what gave Sally the peace and reassurance to meet Don halfway.

        Telling the truth is the core of things, but the added detail is that telling the truth must be used for healing, not as a weapon (Lou Avery, Roger, others).

        Gosh, this episode was (is) so great! 🙂

    • I wished Don could have told Sally he loved her back, she is still the adult in that relationship.

      • To be fair to Don, I don’t think he had a chance. She shut that car door pretty fast.

      • Sally was Don’s Valentines date. She’s the true love of his life. The only person he can’t seem to lie to and the idea of losing her love and respect was the final straw that caused his facade to crack. He’s never known the unconditional love of a parent or grandparent. Sally is it and his fear of losing her is stronger than his fear of being honest.

        • I loved that Don got to spend Valentine’s Day with Sally. She will always remember that day, the same way Bobby will always remember seeing “Planet of the Apes.”

    • Maybe its me… but, there are times during the Don/Sally scenes where I ask myself, “Now, who is the parent and who is the child in this relationship”. In addition to each of them being marvelous actors, it’s another reason I enjoy their one on one scenes so much.

  11. I think acerbic Peggy will find herself out of a job before too long. She might find herself seeking Don out just as Freddie Rumsen did.
    I think that Dave Wooster had a business lunch with Don to find out among other things; that does Don still have his creative talent and whether he is damaged goods( who might be available cheap). I think Don knows that he will never return to the agency again.
    I enjoyed watching Sally and Don interact; Sally might be the only reason Don might quit drinking. I don’t think that Don lied to Sally about Megan; he still loves her but Megan is beyond Don in her life.

    • I think that’s where Peg is heading, out the door on her ass. You know that she was sold to Lou as super impressive, and he’s not impressed. Until now she has been unstoppable, she is now hitting the wall in slo mo, although faster than Don did. In short order, Peg has lost her boyfriend, her lover, her security (alone in a shit neighborhood she cant just move out of) her only friend ( Stan) and her golden girl status at work. Perhaps Peggy is headed for her own reinvention.

      • And on top of that, Peggy’s not going to find much love in the “traffic” office anymore. Even if she didn’t actually fire Shirley in her fit of pique (and it looks to me like she did), I can’t see Dawn left with a motive to do her any favors.

      • I was one of the hope Peggy and Stan get together and now I’ve given up. She is too mean and rude. Stan has a life away from the office and he is not going to change that.

        • Stan also figured it out about Peggy and Ted in the last episode.

          • I don’t remember everyone who was around but Peggy and Ted were so loopy with each other (Ep 613) that they must have figured out Peggy and Ted.

      • Kturk,
        I agree she IS hitting the wall, out of frustration from not being appreciated and acknowledged at work, and especially from her personal relationships! Anger, frustration, and let’s not forget, “Catholic Guilt”, that can really do a girl in!!! 🙁

      • I fear that too, especially if that extremely poorly coded message she was trying to send to Ted when she thought he sent her flowers blows up in her face. I can see her getting into hot water or having some serious ‘splaining to do about why she’d lead a partner to believe they lost a client. Hopefully, she’ll pick up the phone and and talk to Ted or his secretary before it gets up the food chain and potentially gets her into trouble or puts her professional credibility at risk.

    • Don’s lunch meeting was fascinating to watch. He didn’t need to tell Wooster the truth to be honest. Now I’m wondering what he could do, or would have to do, if he did get some love from one of the other agencies. Is he really bound by a noncompete clause? Would that require him to go back to SC&P and get their blessing to move on? Too much like a divorce … bound to get messy.

      • Pretty sure SC&P would let him go without a fight. They’re paying him now for nothing, and likely don’t see him as an asset going forward since they’d worry he’d drop another bomb in a meeting. Seems like something that could get worked out without too much effort.

        I see him a possibility of going the route of Duck – there are always places he could get in but he’d just be the guy who lost his touch and fell successively through less prestigious jobs, never being unemployed but never moving upward either. It’s hard to say because we don’t see the other DD’s of the world in this show – was Don successful because he was in places that accommodated his idiosyncratic talent – or do all agencies allow a certain amount of quirkiness.

        • Interesting. I noticed a new “accessory” in the draper apartment that was prominent in several important shots: a brass duck shaped planter.

          It’s seen over Don’s head when he’s at the table or when he talks to Sally…

          The funny thing is though- Don is actually escaping a McCann like agency he inadvertantly created, so he could actually do “materially” well as in land in a better creative space, with his shit marginally together…

          • Good eye catching the duck-shaped planter! The attention to detail of MM never ceases to amaze…

          • I don’t see Don accepting McCann, even the third time they throw themselves at him. (And they are throwing themselves: that comment about “the millionaires at McCann” was almost desperate.)

            Also, Don has said unkind things about McCann to his SC&P colleagues (“It’s a sausage factory!”). If your former colleagues become your competitors, that’s the kind of thing they would mention to your new employer.

            • Agreed. BIG time.

              The worst way to persuade Don is to tell him he should do something for the money.

        • Don, Peggy, Ken, and Stan could/should start thier own agency.

    • Bob K,

      This probably isn’t likely, but wouldn’t it be so MadMen-like for Matt Weiner to throw all of us the ultimate curveball and have the show end with Don gaining full self-realization and Peggy being unmoored and lost?

      Again, not likely, but merely entertaining the notion makes me stop in my tracks. Expect the unexpected and the inconvenient on this show, right?

      • I speculated several years ago that Don could end up as an est trainer in the 1970s.

        It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he becomes a guru in one of the many motivational/self-improvement/self-awareness groups that were big in the early 1970s. After all, he’s said that he doesn’t “sell advertising,” he “sells products”. In the Me Generation of the 70s, there wasn’t a bigger product line to be sold than the notion that people weren’t “all that they could be” – but for a price, we can show you how you can reach your highest potential.

        (For the record – While I never did the est training, I did participate in its 1980s version, The Forum, so I’m not knocking it at all.)

  12. I liked how Jim showed he has real emotional intelligence in sizing up things – he could easily be a clueless entitled person like Roger who misses things, but instead he’s actually observing. Nice.

    • Is he noticing that Lou is no substitute for either Don or Ted, and that he’s suppressing Peggy whom both Don and Ted valued? If we’re being shown that Lou’s work is as mundane as he himself is (and have we actually been shown that?), sooner or later the office is going to start losing clients when rival firms come up with better pitches. Will Jim notice that and put two and two other correctly, do you think?

      • It’s interesting you say that about Lou – I keep hearing people say how he just doesn’t care but to me he just seems more like a guy who’s no nonsense, doesn’t see advertising as a creative, artistic pursuit but just a place where the difference between fulfillment and creative growth and getting the job done doesn’t impact the bottom line enough to care about it. He may not be personally interesting to us, seems to not like boat rocking, but I don’t really get the sense he is incompetent. Even the watch campaign he chose could be seen as just choosing the straightforward, what the client wants, kind of approach.

        • Lou is treating “his” creatives and administrative staff with contempt, refusing to connect to the partners (Joan and Roger especially), and possibly losing business by not caring enough to act.

          The Butler Shoes account is about to literally walk out the door. Hershey already has: newspaper-reading Lou hears that news as if it’s a bulletin from another planet.

          I don’t think Lou cares what any client wants. I think he thinks HE’S the client: he only seems to react to what affects him personally.

          • When Lou was brought in, Hershey was already messed up. I doubt he spent any effort tracking that because it was so lost. And having worked in the financial industry for awhile myself I know that lots of things are learned through the news in one’s own industry. That’s not uncommon or a sign you’re out of touch.

            I’m not saying anyone here is wrong about Lou and people can disagree, I just think you could make the case that he’s not that out of touch. We could also consider he was brought in precisely because he isn’t mercurial and brilliant – maybe he was sold as a conventional alternative who would settle things down and remove all the fuss.

            • Remember who was responsible for bringing Lou to the firm; good ole’ Duck.

              Duck the accounts man who has nothing but vitriol and contempt for “creative”. Duck, who truly believes that the future of the business lies with account management as long as the overpaid and overpraised prima donnas in creative don’t get in the way and mess things up.

              Lou is the epitome of Duck’s idea of a perfect head of creative.

            • Agree, Old Fashioned. The fact that we haven’t seen Duck in person yet makes me all the more sure that he’s doing very well as a result of this placement.

              Also, on the loss of Hershey to Ogilvy: Roger mentioned it to Lou, right after Lou missed his joke about the Jewish slur. Lou was standing outside his own office, reading the newspaper, when Roger said it — and I’m sure he’d have shared the same detail with Don.

              Don (hell; even Ted) would have made a snide comment about Ogilvy, right there. I’m not sure Lou even looked up from the sports page.

            • Agree completely with what you say about Lou and Duck, Old Fashioned. I think Peggy misses Ted as a boss more than as a lover. She might even be re-thinking her “you’re a monster” comment to Don now. Lou is absolutely the worst sort of boss she could have. I would love it if Lou’s lack of creativity causes the agency to lose clients — although I doubt it will play out that neatly.

    • Oh no! I think Cutler is our Nixon figure on the show. Busy building his silent majority while everyone else is distracted.

    • On Lou I have noticed what I think are two, perhaps 3 or even 4, important moments pertaining to Don:

      1) In episode 1, Peggy is frustrated because Lou just does not care about doing good work.

      2) In episode 2, Roger attempts to engage Lou in the banter that he often did with Don.

      Possibly 3 and 4) Dawn is treated by Lou in a way that Don would never do (well the earlier Don might have when he went through secretaries on a regular basis). Joan is disgusted by Lou’s treatment of Dawn.

      It seems to me that the early episodes of season 7 might be about showing members of the firm that they actually need Don back and that Lou is just not up to the job. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few episodes. I am guessing that Don is back by episode 5. Interestingly, I looked at the description for Episode 3 (Field Trip) on AMC’s site and it says “the partners consider an asset”. Could that asset be Don? The key figure that needs to be convinced will almost certainly be Jim and perhaps Bert.

      The one lurking issue that might prevent the return of Don is the Dick Whitman/Don Draper stolen identity coming to a head. As an aside on the secret identity, I really hope that issue is completely dealt with by the end of the series. If I had to bet,Betty gets Henry Francis to use his influence to get Don a pardon (perhaps on the pretext that he is the father of her children).

      I enjoyed the article as always!

      • The earlier, married, Don had a strict policy against philandering within the agency. He fired Lois when it became clear that she didn’t “get” the job (this was even after a bit of coaching by Peggy).

        He broke his philandering rule, with his secretary who soon left to work at Cosmopolitan Magazine, after a drunken Christmas Party and unmoored/divorced.

        You are right – Don was completely happy with uber-compentent Dawn and would not have cast her out like that.

  13. I saw Jim’s “I’d hate to think of you as an adversary” less as a touching, friend moment and more as a threat, as in “I’d hate to think of you as an adversary, because then I’d have to wipe the floor with you.”

    • They indeed may become adversaries if Pete follows through with his brainstorm to break away from the mother ship. Since Pete doesn’t like Ted’s “moping” or his “moral” behavior, he’d probably boot him back to New York, opening the doors for the triumphant return of Draper as head creative director and part owner of the new LA agency (Remember, had it been up to Pete, Don’s leave of absence would have been cut short.) And if this scenario plays out, I wouldn’t be surprised if Roger buys a one-way ticket to the West Coast. He doesn’t care for Lou, who seems as immune to his charms as he is to Peggy’s, and he is losing the battle for power with Jim. His only play may be to pull up stakes and try his luck in a warmer clime. This would put Roger and Jim not only on opposite coasts, but on opposing teams. Then they truly would be adversaries. So, depending on how the plot for this season unfolds, Jim’s words could come to seem eerily prescient.

      • Roger has several reasons to move to the West Coast!

        • He certainly does! He’s bored with the (s)experiment going on in his apartment; he’s estranged from his daughter; and Joan is still keeping him at arm’s length and shows no signs of softening. He’s on an island right now–and not the tropical paradise kind. His only hope may be a message in a bottle to the LA agency. But will they receive it? This episode demonstrated how fraught communication can be. A sea of static churns between the two coasts. The vagaries of 1960’s telecommunications, not to mention the rising tide of Jim Cutler, will ultimately determine Roger’s fate.

    • Yes! Or as some one once put it to me “… Because I like you, and I don’t want to have to kill you. “

      • I think he already is Roger’s adversary and has been all along. He’s just got enough people in his pocket now to let Roger know.

        Way back when they were in LA, he wanted to fire all “their people” but Ted stopped him, and so he settled with sneaking their people over to his side…

        Pete was right. Jim knew Ted was too moral to not try to stop him, and so he’s out in LA, out of touch with Jim’s maneuvers.

        And Roger lost Joan all because he can’t see her full professional worth. Or at least let her know.

        • Totally agree, Peggy Oh! “I’d hate to think of you as an adversary.” ==> I already do. Cutler is very savvy.

        • I view this season through a lens of ‘they only have 12 more episodes to go’ so in some ways I think about what do they have time to focus on. A lot of things could be done in that time but given they are wrapping up the series I think the focus will remain much on a Don comeback and less on the execution of some plot by Cutler. Anything’s possible but i see them keying more on the core group in a personal way, not in an organizational way.

          • Well, I think the show in many ways is an analogy to America, and this is the time America gets divided in to what we still have today: the red and blue states. And by analogy, I don’t mean history lesson, but to make us feel it.

            So dividing up “our” agency, which is really our core characters home, seems fitting. I don’t think it will be resolved in the end, because well we have yet to resolve these issues.

            But we may be in for watching some very difficult divides. And harsh choice making and loyalty pulling. And it doesn’t seem like anyone on the show sees it coming.

            They assume Cutler is like Roger. But he’s not. Not at all. While Roger was manipulative, priveleged, oblivious self centered and not always nice, he wasn’t cold hearted. At least no where near the level of where Cutler easily resides.

    • Oh, yes, he can become an adversary, but he really likes Roger.

    • I also remember Peggy describing Jim as “Roger with bad breath”. LOL

    • That’s exactly how I read it– full of malice. “You DON’T want to be on my bad side.”

  14. I didn’t realize it until now, but the front receptionist (name? cannot think of it right now) is like a Carol Burnett Show character.

    I didn’t care for how this episode was shot. There were almost no scenes with more than one character in them. Maybe there is a technical term for this. The back of the other character’s head(s) were in the shots, but you rarely see two or more faces and fluid, organic conversation between them. Line. Cut. Line. Cut. Line. Cut. The scenes with Don and Sally were particularly poor. After they say something, there is this unnatural split-second of added space as they switch to the other character, and the response doesn’t feel natural in time.

  15. Roger sending Joan flowers from Kevin was the sweetest Mad Men moment I can remember. It was a truely thoughtful thing to do. Her warm thank you made me think those two may actually wind up having a good relationship, not romantic but truely caring.

    • Which makes you think: the card probably said they were from Kevin. Roger would not have put his name to it. It was obvious they hadn’t spoken yet that day when she thanked him. She just knew the gesture was from him. So much unwritten makes for sensational writing.

    • To me, that made it all the MORE painful for what is happening that the two don’t see.

      Jim sees that there’s a connection between Roger and Joan, when Bert tells Joan not to go after Roger when he leaves the meeting.

      Then Jim gives Joan the respect and recognition that she’s been wanting from Roger above all, but from these men she’s worked with for 16 years!

      But Jim only gives it to her to her to have another pawn in his power plays.

      It’s like SCDP was really mostly innocent of power plays. (Or dirty business) It’s kind of sad.

      • Cutler reminds me of the Underwoods in House of Cards–noticing everything, “what’s in it for me” mindset, forging alliances, undercutting the competition. What is his end game, I wonder?

        I confess that I don’t pay as close attention to the SC&P business dealings as I do to the interpersonal stuff, so I’m asking those who may know better: will Cutler’s machinations benefit or hurt the agency? Is he operating only out of self-interest? Inquiring minds want to know!

        • I suppose the endgame will play out – within 14 months. The (chess) opening was not his choice – Chow-guh-guh twisted his arm behind the scenes.

          Roger: “if this doesn’t work, I’m against it”
          Cutler: “my sentiments exactly (but I don’t want the merger at all)”

          The writers glossed over the bomb with the SCDP partners – though I believe that Roger and Don collectively held slightly over 50% of the vote – which would have made resistance moot.

    • It may have been sweet but it was Cutler, not Roger, that got her somewhere with a mere snap of his fingers; in fact, Roger continually shows a less than chivalrous/protective side when it comes to Joan. Credit MW for that bit of honest writing.

  16. In a series full of exquisite lines, Sally got some of the best yet with Don in the penthouse. Such a combination of forthright maturity and frustrated shame. She got it off her chest yet signaled respect and intimacy. And it broke the ice for what followed.

    Last season Joan shed the timecard policing job saying ‘you don’t (yet) know this is a punishment not a promotion’ – to which Dawn made clear that she’s at SCP to be liked. Now she has a real promotion (and a pay raise one would think).

  17. “Sally lies to her girlfriends as well, making up a story about her purse so that she can see her father.”

    This wasn’t my take, but it makes sense and makes everything more interesting.

    • I think she really did loose her purse.

      • Why would Sally purposely seek her father’s companionship after all the disappointment he makes her feel? No way she made up a lie about a lost purse to see THAT guy?
        But then……………………………..
        I think of Betts, 1975, in the ground.
        Sally probably lied, in order to get the biggest liar she knows, to tell her some truth, because she loves him, and that’s enough to motivate/shame him into telling her what she wants to hear.

  18. Random notes: Peggy felt the weight of her day long screw up the moment she shut her door with her own words “Grow up” ringing in her ears. The old pre-power Peggy would have apologized immediately. (Well, the old pre-power Peggy would never allow that to happen, period) This Peggy just skulked in her office until it was safe to come out and screech at Joan as though she was another underling. “I shouldn’t have to say why” is clearly code for “it’s too embarrassing, and if I say it aloud, I’ll have to take responsibility for it and I don’t wanna”. All this mere seconds after saying she should have bought Shirley roses “out of respect”. She’s on a roll. I continue to be mesmerized by the Don/Sally scenes. I love how he knew she would eat after he was honest with her and let her in on a secret. I’m glad she didn’t hug him, he would have shattered. And that poor kid has seen enough of her dad naked in one respect or another for quite a while. I find it fascinating how Pete keeps hooking up with really smart ladies, and the doesn’t quite know how to deal with them. Megan may have been right about Don wanting her to fail, as he has no intention of going west anymore, he wants her to come home to “fix it”. And another thing about the curdling of Miss. Olsen. Did anyone catch when Stan said he would have the artwork on Monday rather than Friday, and Peggy said tha he could have until Tuesday if he worked late and invited her out over the weekend? Be my friend and I’ll give you more rope at work. Using her authority at work to wheedle some kind of social life. Pretty shitty. Also, I have been aware of Harry Hamlin since at Clash of the Titans, but he has never completely disappeared into a role like he does with Cutler. I applaud you, sir.

    • Excellent observations kturk. I must say the plea by Peggy to Stan to be invited out in order for a grace period on the deadline went past me.

      • I caught it because it’s happened to me, so I’m sensitized to that kind of crap. My bosses weren’t so sly about it either. They pretty much flat out told me that if I go to church with them, I will advance quicker and easier, knowing I don’t go to church. When I politely declined, I was called a fornicator in front of my co workers. I told them they were just jealous. No, I don’t work there anymore 😀

    • Yes!

      Also, on Harry Hamlin. So true. I found myself staring at him during his scene with Joan looking for something recognizable and really, it’s all Cutler and no Hamlin!

  19. There was something about last night’s episode with Don and Sally that was very similar to the episode (the Suitcase) with Don and Peggy. A rare “real” and honest relationship between two people who really care about each other. It’s not often that Don is that honest.

    • I thought the same thing!

    • As well, in the diner, Don offers Sally a French fry like he did Peggy, and then says it’s cold. Drops it and says I’m going to order coffee.

      I think in their mirror diner scene he says “I need something stronger than water”

      They see a cockroach on the Parthenon painting and leave.

      Don sees a cockroach earlier in this episode, not unlike the mouse he saw in his office in The Suitcase…

  20. There was something about last night’s episode with Don and Sally that was very similar to the episode (the Suitcase) with Don and Peggy. A rare “real” and honest relationship between two people who really care about each other. It’s not often that Don is that honest.

    • Yes, and the cockroach in the apartment earlier reminded me of when he saw the mouse in his office in The Suitcase…

  21. Don’s Valentine’s gift from Sally (redemption) was so lovely and satisfying to see, playing on Don’s face. But thinking back on it, Don’s teasing Sally about skipping out on their bill was a really touching moment to me, too. Yeah, it was a sweet, slightly silly, daddy-ish kind of thing to do, but at the risk of overreading it, I also thought the gesture had this aura of brave truth to it, of reaching out to his daughter who wants the truth, because not paying for your meal is just the kind of thing some hungry hobo kid like Dick Whitman might be tempted to do. And in calling to this hard past, Don was touching on something shameful and real about himself, but in a light way, in a much better way than he had at the Hershey pitch, when he picked the “wrong time” (last week’s theme) for honesty. Sally knows her father, and through her, he is tentatively learning a way to be himself, one that won’t lead to ruin.

  22. Don was looking at an ad in a magazine that said “How do you feed a Hungry Man?” I am thinking this was an advertisement for Swanson Hungry Man dinners. Not sure if these frozen dinners are still made but this ties into the many comments about Don having a hefty appetite as of late.

  23. Just a few thoughts..
    In tying with the theme for love – Don said to Jim Hobart “I’m just looking for love”. In tying to the theme of communication, I thought it was interesting that the word interrogate” is used twice – once by Sally when Don is asking her too many questions in the car and once by Don to the ad guy at the restaurant who is trying to find out what Don’s status is. It was very appropriate that Cutler said one of the attributes to the personnel manager was a “lack of concern for being unliked” and then Dawn ends up with the job.

    Two questions: Why did Ted make a reference to the accounts that Peggy lost? Did she lose the Butler account? When did this happen? And why did Ginsberg not want to hold the elevator for Peggy?

    Lastly, I think Sally said “Sargent Snorkel”. Is this a reference to the comic strip Beetle Bailey?

    • Don did say “I’m just looking for love.” Very good! Ginsberg seems a bit worn out to me. He was frustrated with Don but exasperated with Peggy.

    • Ted thought a client was lost because of that cryptic message she left with his NYC secretary (Moira?) after she thought he’d sent her the flowers that were actually from Shirley’s fiance, Charles. She said in the message that we’ve lost a client. As for Ginseberg, I think the love is lost between them and they now have a pretty antagonistic relationship now.

  24. Just a few thoughts..
    In tying with the theme for love – Don said to Jim Hobart “I’m just looking for love”. In tying to the theme of communication, I thought it was interesting that the word interrogate” is used twice – once by Sally when Don is asking her too many questions in the car and once by Don to the ad guy at the restaurant who is trying to find out what Don’s status is. It was very appropriate that Cutler said one of the attributes to the personnel manager was a “lack of concern for being unliked” and then Dawn ends up with the job.

    Two questions: Why did Ted make a reference to the accounts that Peggy lost? Did she lose the Butler account? When did this happen? And why did Ginsberg not want to hold the elevator for Peggy?

    Lastly, I think Sally said “Sargent Snarkle”. Is this a reference to the comic strip Beetle Bailey?

    • The lost account thing is from Peggy’s coded message regarding the roses and her rejection of him and his smelly flowers though two secretarys. Which he didn’t send of course, so he took her message literally. And since she won’t talk to him on the phone, this has him perplexed.
      Ginsberg simply doesn’t like Peggy anymore. Stan is on the fence.

      • Ginsberg also has no social skills, that comment was really out of line. Would also be today, I think Peggy was too distracted to pay attention to him.

  25. Who remembers the last episode that took place over a single day?

    • Good question. Was it The Suitcase?

      • Technically, the Suitcase was also two days; as the final scene shows Don and Peggy the following morning. But yes, that was the last episode that was primarily one day.

        The only Mad Men episode that takes place entirely on one day has been 1.10: Long Weekend.

    • This episode actually doesn’t take place over a single day, as Don waking up, going back to sleep, and then meeting with Dawn,plus Sally making plans with the girls in the dorm, all take place on the 13th.

      • I don’t follow. Are you saying that those events you just named take place on the 13th while (all?) other events take place on another day? The following day, April 14? What is the indicator that another day has dawned?

        • There’s the scene of Dawn visiting Don at his apartment, which takes place the night of the 13th. This is followed by the scene of Peggy, Stan and Ginzo arriving to work, which is the next morning.

  26. I think I know how Don returns to SC&P. Lou will get into a dust up, and offend Cutler (who has the real power now). He will be asked to leave, but it will leave the agency in a lurch. The only person they can turn to is Don. Roger goes to bat for him, somehow. That’s my prediction.

    • I don’t know. Lou’s pretty copacetic (to use a term from the day) for Cutler’s version of the firm…

      More likely Roger, if he realizes the box he’s been put in by Cutler, might have to work to get Don back. Plus he also needs someone to tell his morning stories to! 🙂

      • Roger would also fit a pattern, Ep1 Freddy is the informer, Ep2 it’s Dawn, so Roger should be next or soon.

  27. Was Sally kicked out of her boarding school last season, or just suspended? Is the school she was in this last episode a different school than before?

  28. Deb,

    Great review! And great episode. The scene w/Jim Hobart was interesting. While Don is not welcome at his own firm, it still looks like other firms are after him. So some of the Draper mystique remains.

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