Peggy Olson All Wrapped Up

 Posted by on September 9, 2014 at 9:55 am  Characters, Mad Men, Season 5, Season 6  3 Responses »
Sep 092014
 

[Here's another reprint of a lost article. It garnered lively discussion last spring.]

When Peggy Olson wants to dress up, she wraps herself up in a bow. Well, not “dress up” exactly. I think it’s specifically when she wants to please a man, or be sexy or beautiful. She doesn’t wear bows to church or for “Ma.” She likes a pussy bow at the collar for work, and she learned in Season 1 that “men like scarves.” The dressy bow, though, is particular.

In Mad Men Episode 5.07: At the Codfish Ball, Peggy thinks Abe is going to propose, and, at Joan’s prompting, goes shopping.

Mad Men, At the Codfish Ball, Peggy in Pink

Image: AMC TV

It’s almost a joke: Here I am in my pretty pink package. Open me! Peggy behaves, before Abe drops his “living together” bombshell, in broad strokes of girlishness. And there’s that bow, right smack in the middle of her: Open me! Open me!

Mad Men: The Flood, Peggy at the Awards dinner

Image: AMC TV

A year and a half later, Episode 6.05: The Flood. Peggy is at an award dinner. She’s with Abe, but well into the flirtatious crush portion of her relationship with Ted–at one point she’s literally between them. In addition, she’s up for an award. Once again, she’s wrapped up with a bow at the middle. You could get metaphorical and say she’s divided—between Ted and Abe, and between the top pink half and the bottom green half. But the girly pink is there, as is the bow. Open me!

Finally, there’s Mad Men Episode 6.13: In Care Of. The scenario here is that Ted has declared his love for Peggy, but then insisted they can’t act on it. His wife and kids have just visited the office, making Peggy uncomfortable and jealous. Now she’s going to get ready to go out on a date straight from work, and make sure Ted sees exactly how delicious she looks.

With a pink bow, right at her middle.
in-care-of-peggy-black-dress

Open me!

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Sep 162013
 

You should read the rest of that poem, you boob.

– Stan Rizzo to Michael Ginsberg, Mad Men, Dark Shadows

Like his fellow schlubby wannabe-alpha-male-at-heart, Michael Ginsberg, Walter White conducts himself like the only words of Shelley’s “Ozymandias” he remembers are, “I am Ozymandias, king of kings/Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair.” (Above is an AMC promotional video of Bryan Cranston reading the poem; the poem itself is here.) But Ginz couldn’t even begin to have night terrors about the things Walt has done, and seen done, out of his screaming need to wear the silver stripe on his back just once before he dies. Through all of it, he has somehow maintained the fantasy that he’s doing it all for his family, in spite of the fact that he’s had innumerable opportunities to quit while he was ahead and spurned them all because he just had to have more more more, now now now. But in Ozymandias, the shattering third to last episode of Breaking Bad, it becomes clear that even he can delude himself no longer that he’s any kind of a hero, or any kind of family man. Continue reading »

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