Mad Men: Ladies Room   Rewatch 
June 4, 2014 8:44 AM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Don continues to conceal his increasingly complicated personal life. Meanwhile, Peggy pines for the absent Pete - still on his honeymoon - while fending off the advances of several of the men of Sterling Cooper. Spoilers within.

As a reminder, we're posting new episodes every Sunday and Wednesday at @10 a.m. Eastern time. You can see the full schedule here.
posted by Sweetie Darling (98 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't think I've ever noticed the aerosol deodorant fire ball before. They're really hammering the boyish hijinx nail in this first season.
posted by donajo at 9:06 AM on June 4, 2014


I lurve Betty's station wagon. Looking at the contrast between Mona (matronly) and Betty (spring fresh, if a little youngly dressed? not a period expert) and Midge (dangly skull earrings and dark colors) and Betty (light bright colors, pearls and opal colors) is really a great feast from Janie Bryant (show designer). Since it's no longer a hopeful pilot, you can see the difference in the clothes now - better clothes on Don and Roger than "the boys".

Mona and Betty in the Ladies Room - confessing, Joan and Peggy - chatting and "not seeing" things that are invisible, then Peggy on her own, about to be invisible, silently confessing to the mirror (crying) and then squaring her shoulders and her newly accessorized neck scarf and changing her attitude.

I always thought they were making some kind of gross alcoholic drink with the raw egg and lemon at the opening. Looking more closely - Caesar Salad?
posted by tilde at 9:11 AM on June 4, 2014


Re-watching these early episodes, it really reminds me of why I saw Betty as such a sympathetic character. I mean, what a terrible world Betty must live in that her daughter getting a scar on her face is the worse than dying. Or the way she and Francine talk about Helen being divorced, as if it's this ultimate, life-ruining, scandalous tragedy. And it must be exhausting to feel like every second of every day you're putting on a performance, but I imagine that's how Betty feels. That certainly is how she acts.

Then there's Don's response to all of this. I forgot just how much of a dick he is to her in these early episodes. Like with the accident, when his first response is, "I hate the way you drive." Nice, Don. very helpful.

Or his response to the doctors saying Betty might have a "nervous condition." He has a line in that scene where he's like, "Why not open the hood and poke around?" It's just like, ugh, way to really hammer home the objectification of your wife.

Also, that line when they're in bed, and he says, "I look at you and this and them and that and I think, 'Are you unhappy'?" It's so invalidating (to use more modern psychological parlance), even if it's said in a slightly backhanded way.

Maybe worst of all, the scene where Don talks to her psychoanalyst never fails to make my blood boil.

Speaking of the analyst, did anyone else feel there was some symbolism with the watch when Betty's talking to him? She has it on in the beginning of the session, and then takes it off just before she starts to really dive in.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:20 AM on June 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


How suffocating.

This episode reminded me so much of the Bell Jar, and just now I looked it up and yup, that was published in 1963.

If I were a braver soul, I would be reading Plath in conjunction with this rewatch, because I think her work would actually be a great complement to the show. But I'm not that brave, I could barely get through the early seasons of Mad Men and/or the Bell Jar as it was. Not because I didn't like them, but they're just so grim.
posted by rue72 at 9:21 AM on June 4, 2014


At this point, we know that our Don and Betty've been together long enough to have a soon to be kindergartner in their lives, but she's never met his parents. Not that odd for then socially, economically, distance wise (especially if he's given out they're estranged or something), but what we can guess ATP is they've been together maybe seven years.

Don really wants to control his women / the perception of the women in his life. Guilts Midge into tossing the television out the window; previous episode he'd offered her a car somewhat jokingly, and matrimony as well (before we were shown Betty and his house in Ossining and children). Gets tired of playing what if with Betty but also gets some concern about it; decides to try to give her "more happiness" with a new watch "you have to be young to read" and gets her to a psychiatrist he can get regular reports from. She's had this nerve condition (hand numbness) and lots of tests, so try psychiatry, I wonder if it's also so he doesn't have to listen to "it" - someone who can talk her out of being irrational when his sternness fails.

And WTF with the nerve condition? Maybe it's depression from the death of her mom and some bits of "Is that all there is ..." and "wtf do I really know about this guy now that I think about it."
posted by tilde at 9:27 AM on June 4, 2014


Ken seems much different in this episode than he's portrayed later. He tries hitting on Peggy, and comes across as the one everyone picks on when the other employees hold him down to spray deodorant on him.

So far in the re-watch, Don seems more like a jerk than the mysterious figure he was the first time through.
posted by drezdn at 9:35 AM on June 4, 2014


This episode reminded me so much of the Bell Jar

I hadn't thought of that, but I can definitely see it.

Also, speaking of literary callbacks, did anyone catch that "Someone threw themselves in front of the train" line? I guess that's not a super rare occurrence in NYC, but still, it made me think of Anna Karenina, and the foreshadowing of the peasant who falls in front of the train at the beginning of the book. Although maybe I'm reading too much in to it.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:36 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


And WTF with the nerve condition? Maybe it's depression from the death of her mom and some bits of "Is that all there is ..." and "wtf do I really know about this guy now that I think about it."

It's her anxiety. Anxiety causes a lot of physical conditions, including tremors, random nerve pain, stomach pain, digestive problems...I never understand why this is such a big mystery, except that people might not know much about anxiety.

I have a few women friends who lost their moms but also had very complex, often difficult relationships with them, and it can be really hard. Betty's mother seems to have been as hard, or harder, on Betty than Betty is on Sally (calling her a prostitute for modeling, making her walk behind the car to lose weight), but it's clear that Betty's feelings about her are complex and there's a void.

My heart breaks for her when she tries to talk to Mona about it in the bathroom and Mona's not really interested. Betty's just a pretty thing who has everything. She's not allowed to have real emotions. No one's listening when she does try to talk about anything.
posted by sweetkid at 9:40 AM on June 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


Yeah, for me it's edema related, I think - since anxiety manifests for me in lucid reoccurring dreams I just didn't make the connection. I just recently learned the anxiety = massive farts connection that was very helpful to a friend of mine with her kid.
posted by tilde at 9:47 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


This episode reminded me so much of the Bell Jar

I hadn't thought of that, but I can definitely see it.


I recommend the book Pain, Parties, Work, about Sylvia Plath's time as an intern/writer at Mademoiselle in summer 1953. Sylvia is the same age as Betty, and the book provides some intriguing context around the summer that preceded Sylvia Plath's first suicide attempt.

I saw a lot of parallels between Betty and Sylvia in the book, and actually exchanged some thoughts with the writer about it (over Twitter). It's a great book, highly recommend if you're interested in young women in the 50s struggling with being happy with the domestic ideal. Or just young women at any time struggling to be happy at all.
posted by sweetkid at 9:48 AM on June 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


Betty's invisibility behind the Pretty Young Wife mask makes me wonder about her getting fat when she remarried. Maybe that was about visibility? And actually wanting to be *more* visible? I don't remember those episodes too well off the top of my head, but seeing her situation now and thinking of her situation with her new husband being a *public* figure and her mother-in-law and the wait gain later makes me wonder.

Also, Midge's ~bohemian~ life and the way that Don sort of...draws life from her and her situation reminds me of Betty and how she tried to track down Sally's friend to that squat, and also seemed to draw some life from it.

But yeah, poor Betty. I felt like *I* couldn't breathe by the time Don called her analyst. And, as far as she could know, this was as good as it would get! This was the most she'd ever have! Thank goodness she's too well bred to have a temper.
posted by rue72 at 9:49 AM on June 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't think I had realized how recently Betty's mom had died before the beginning of the show. Given that we've now been "living" with these characters for almost a decade, it was shocking to me to hear Betty tell Mona that her mom had passed only "two or three months" before the beginning of the show. That's nothing, especially for this show! Look at Sally after Grandpa Gene dies, or Don, still being haunted by Layne. What a fresh trauma for her to be processing, even - especially, as sweetkid points out - given their complicated relationship. And to have such an opaque "partner" and terrible "friends"...no wonder her anxiety is manifesting itself physically.


And, tilde, your comment about the wardrobe at dinner is totally on point with what Tom and Lorenzo's early early Mad Style posts offer up:
Mona’s getup ages her a bit and if anything, Betty’s makes her look younger than she is. Mona is all dark and Betty is all light and floral and delicate. In fact, a lot of Betty’s S1 costumes deliberately set off her doll-like demeanor as well as her youth. Unsurprisingly, this gorgeous confection of a dress is what they chose to recreate when it came time to make a Betty Draper Barbie.
posted by kickingthecrap at 9:50 AM on June 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, for me it's edema related, I think - since anxiety manifests for me in lucid reoccurring dreams I just didn't make the connection.

Anxiety gave me shingles before the age of 30. It can do anything, it's a terrible disease.
posted by sweetkid at 9:50 AM on June 4, 2014


Two doses of foreshadowing:

The first time Don mentions Freddy Rumsen, he's talking about needing to carry him out of a bar.

Roger Sterling talks about never needing a psychologist.
posted by drezdn at 9:55 AM on June 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


Rumsen, yeah - pay off is in the season, but Sterling; I think that's more force-shadowing as in they had a plotline and could reach back for that. There are many things that drop off as unresloved, hell, Pete's rifle is the most famous, I think.
posted by tilde at 10:05 AM on June 4, 2014


For future reference, New Amsterdam is the first episode with spaghetti (Betty is cooking spaghetti when Helen calls).
posted by drezdn at 10:15 AM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Speaking of the analyst, did anyone else feel there was some symbolism with the watch when Betty's talking to him?

Yes, definitely! The watch was what Don bought Betty to "fix" her when he'd finally come to understand that she had a problem. "What do women want? More." I think she subconsciously understood that it symbolized the role she plays in Don's life - a decoration for a decoration. She absentmindedly took it off as a momentary rejection of that role.
posted by pajamazon at 10:15 AM on June 4, 2014


For future reference, New Amsterdam is the first episode with spaghetti (Betty is cooking spaghetti when Helen calls).

You're officially our Spaghetti Recorder.
posted by sweetkid at 10:18 AM on June 4, 2014 [8 favorites]


I wonder if there's supposed to be a connection between that watch and Bert Cooper saying that New York runs like a watch (and a meat factory)? in New Amsterdam?
posted by drezdn at 10:20 AM on June 4, 2014


Possibly Betty suspects his infidelities but is in denial over them. It was common for men to buy their wives guilt gifts and understood if she accepted it, she would look the other way.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 10:23 AM on June 4, 2014


I totally missed the TLO connection I made with Mona and Betty. My original train of thought was contrasting Betty and Midge because I'm FINALLY watching it on a big screen instead of my bananaphone. I threw in Mona later because of her perceived age (If Don is 36 and Roger has a post Lindbergh Nanny, he's likely in his mid forties or late forties (not sure how he and Mona fit in with his WWII service).

And Mona might be just naturally reserved, with Roger joking how he knows more about Betty than Mona. More likely Mona is aware of the gulf between her and Betty (boss wife and underling wife, though senior underling) and doesn't want to be her new best friend???
posted by tilde at 10:25 AM on June 4, 2014


Regarding Mona being unreceptive to Betty in the ladies' room, I think it was about Mona knowing exactly what was going on with her. It's the problem that has no name, and Mona knew the best and only option was to ignore and hide it. She helped Betty with her lipstick and so helped her keep it under wraps.
posted by pajamazon at 10:37 AM on June 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


Ahhhh ... yeah, which ties into the whole bit later about it being better for Sally to be dead than be horribly disfigured or both kids to be dead than horribly maimed.

I actually just had that same conversation last week with someone who was related to a 2 year old who was shot - "better that he were dead because his mama would not have been able to keep up with his needs all injured like that even if all he lost was a kidney." Surprised me but also probably true given the socioeconomic levels of the victims, their friends and family.
posted by tilde at 10:44 AM on June 4, 2014


I think that Mona ignored Betty for the same reason that Joan ignored the crying woman in the bathroom and laid it to Peggy straight -- I think the older women think they're actually doing a kindness. And in a way, they are, they're letting the other women preserve some dignity.

At the end of the episode, when Peggy squares her shoulders and goes back into work, I think that she was realizing how valuable dignity and pride are -- especially for a woman. Contrast Joan or Mona's savoir faire, dignity, and sophistication with the loutish, childish hijinx of all the admen.

For anybody who watches Hannibal, I wish there were a crossover with Bedelia just thrown into this milieu. She bluffs just like some of these women do, puffed up big and standing her ground like a cat in front of a Rottweiler off its leash. It's a survival technique, and I love watching these women do it. Poor Betty and Peggy are still learning how not to flinch, though, at this point in the show.
posted by rue72 at 10:47 AM on June 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


A couple more random thoughts based on my notes from watching this episode, in no particular order:

Sal is really laying it on thick. Every scene with him is like "HOT WOMEN, AMIRITE???" as he makes eyes at all the attractive men. Although in that frat boy scene with the deodorant spray, there's a somewhat more subtle tell in that everyone else is wearing white shirts and plain suits/ties, while Sal is dressed in a blue shirt with a flashier tie. But I guess he could just pass that off as him being Italian.

I think it's interesting how Don is the one man who refrains from really overt sexual harassment, and yet he's the biggest "player" of them all. It goes even deeper than his many sexual conquests, though. It's clear in his need to control these women (as tilde already mentioned), not to mention the way his sexism really shows through in his interactions with Rachel.

This show makes me want to smoke all of the cigarettes. Damn it.

"What do women want?" TO NOT HEAR THAT QUESTION ANYMORE. At least, that's what this woman wants.
posted by litera scripta manet at 12:08 PM on June 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


there's a somewhat more subtle tell in that everyone else is wearing white shirts and plain suits/ties, while Sal is dressed in a blue shirt with a flashier tie.

Doesn't he have to dress relatively "flashy" (in his *blue* shirt, lol) because he's the art director anyway? Isn't that about keeping up appearances in and of itself?

Honest question, I don't know enough about the culture to know if that's true, I just would figure that as the visual artist of the group he would be expected to be an especially good dresser/have especially good taste. My dad was a cartoonist/graphic designer and he's definitely always been mindful of his clothes and aesthetics in that way, anyway.
posted by rue72 at 12:18 PM on June 4, 2014


I think that Mona ignored Betty for the same reason that Joan ignored the crying woman in the bathroom and laid it to Peggy straight -- I think the older women think they're actually doing a kindness. And in a way, they are, they're letting the other women preserve some dignity.

I agree with this and think it's very nicely phrased - what's heartbreaking to me isn't that Mona is being actively cruel, but Betty is so brittle and reaching for a connection and she doesn't know where to get it - mentioning her mother's death to Mona is like a stab in the dark. She's just looking so hard to make a connection, somewhere, anywhere - interesting that "connection" is also the soul of the BurgerChef pitch in the most recent episode.
posted by sweetkid at 12:20 PM on June 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


But yeah, I do feel they're laying it on a bit thick with Sal. I mean JEEZ he's a grown man you'd think he could play it cooler than this. But the men are all very childish/childlike in these early episodes, so *shrug* I guess it fits that he's acting like a thirteen-year-old, just like the rest of them.
posted by rue72 at 12:20 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


My choice for line of the episode was tough this time. First place is narrowly won by Roger, speaking of Pete's honeymoon: "Niagra Falls. Boy redefines lack of imagination."

Close runner up was the exchange between Don and Midge litera scripta magnet mentions
- Don: "What do women want?" Midge: "Well, one of the things has to be not being asked something like that."
posted by tilde at 12:21 PM on June 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


I always thought that Betty had no idea how to relate to other women. Certainly her mother was a disaster, and she always compares herself to other women, and competes with them, even when there's nothing to win.

I think there's something off about this whole generation, my own mother, and all of my contemporaries's mothers are narcissistic like this. Very obsessed with attractiveness (I had eye-surgery today and am wearing no makeup and I feel VERY naked and undone out in public where others can see and judge me. Thanks mom.) Betty believes that her appearance is all that's important and she can't connnect because connections are about who you are, not what you look like, and who is Betty other than her beauty?

Don is in the same boat, he can't connect because he's fronting. Even if he did connect, it's as Don, not Dick, so it's not him anyway. That's why Megan was so important, she loved Dick and Don. Don just doesn't know what to do with her love.

Sally is important because she does make true connections, with her brother, with Glen, with other girls, with Megan even. She sees how flawed Don and Betty are, and she knows she's better than they are. That's why she can't WAIT to get the hell away from them.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:52 PM on June 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Doesn't he have to dress relatively "flashy" (in his *blue* shirt, lol) because he's the art director anyway? Isn't that about keeping up appearances in and of itself?

Fair point. I don't really know enough about those different roles to say for sure either, but I could definitely see that being the case. Either way, there definitely seemed to be a marked difference in his wardrobe versus everyone else, and I guess I automatically linked it to him being gay because they already made such a big deal about that.
posted by litera scripta manet at 12:57 PM on June 4, 2014


Also, I just want to say a big THANK YOU to donajo, Sweetie Darling, and everyone else who helped plan out and get us started on this whole rewatch thing. Even though only watching two episodes per week really tests the limits of my self control, I think this is the perfect way to pass the time until we get to watch season 7, part II.
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:07 PM on June 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


Anyone else creeped out by the constant use of "girl"? "It's the girl.." "We have a girl.." I AM A PERSON WITH A NAME AND AN OCCUPATION
posted by bleep at 1:11 PM on June 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Not as much as I'm creeped out by Sally running around with a plastic dry cleaning bag over her head.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:16 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


The best thing about the dry cleaning bag scene is Betty's "I better not find my dress on the floor."
posted by drezdn at 1:18 PM on June 4, 2014 [5 favorites]



Not as much as I'm creeped out by Sally running around with a plastic dry cleaning bag over her head.


But that introduced the long running theme of SPACE!

Also, never understood why people were so horrified by that scene.

Also SPACE!
posted by sweetkid at 1:18 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


a big THANK YOU to donajo, Sweetie Darling, and everyone else

Seconded, although dammit this takes away from other project productivity. It is going to be really neat to collect thoughts and discussions in writing this way before THE END PART II
posted by sweetkid at 1:19 PM on June 4, 2014


Don shoots down the space idea for Right Guard. Does it seem like he's dislike of the idea has more to do with him being in a bad mood than that it's a bad idea?
posted by drezdn at 1:21 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


It does fit in with the running theme of Paul and the team trying to put a facile jokey coat of paint on the product ("It's like astronauts! Its like Space! It's like Indians! It's like twins! Get it? Hardy har har!" Or Freddy's "Do it if you want to get a man? Or do it or you'll never get a man?") and Don trying to get them to go deeper like let's think about why people might actually want this thing deep down and convince them of that. Peggy gets that but the others need way more coaching.
posted by bleep at 1:31 PM on June 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Though Don is pretty yelly these first few episodes, it might be that he was having a bad, long day/days. I missed the fireball, too, the first time around. And it was all going on while Cooper was out there, not just Roger.

Paul, at least, still has his novel. :P Though he brings on Peggy's drooping and tiredness of being "the dessert" when she thought she was making a friend, he seems to plant a seed for copy writing:

- encouraging her to check out his work submitted to Don
- pointing out that there are women copy writers that are indeed somewhat good
- and that sometimes women copywriters are what is needed, even if Sterling Cooper is "cromagnon".
posted by tilde at 1:40 PM on June 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


I felt like Paul's comment about Don - "Don't think just because he's good looking hes not a writer" was a meta comment from the writers room.
posted by sweetkid at 1:42 PM on June 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


Money, Pete, and Joan ....

Peggy is making $35 ($277.44 buying power) a week minus $6.75 for FICA. From this she needs subway fare, rent split with Marge her roommate, and food/incidentals. And Enovid $11 a month - 3ish work days a month to pay for that. That's like 19% for FICA. And it hasn't even gone up yet to pay for Medicare (that comes in 1966) so it must be a continuity error or she's having her federal and city taxes taken out too and all of it pooling under FICA. Minimum wage was $1.00 an hour in 1960, so she's theoretically making under that or working less than 35 hours a week. Nothing in there about unions, though I only have some second hand information on that, and it's from Chicago.

Lunch cart - Egg Salad and coffee .35 cents ($2.77 in 2014) though Kinsey suggests it's not the best option out there. The stamp on Pete's postcard is unreadable to me but should be a .03 cent stamp.

Don "charges" Betty $35 for "talk therapy" after asking her if she's happy and getting an affirmative after he's front loaded her with his opinion that it's for people who aren't happy.

Pete, this episode, isn't really around, though a postcard comes through implying he's still the frat boy they expect him to be.

Joan, this episode is still guiding Peggy but trying to keep her from getting too far out of control. House mother/cooler wiser older sister meh-toring. Guiding Peggy through ladies room crying (not seen or heard) which helps Peg swallow her own tears later. Smart on the extending Peggy's newness while ostensibly chaperoning her out to lunch with the guys, but also not putting up with any crap from Peggy on her shoddy workmanship. Showing her a bit of improvisation and Jr Exec manipulation and reprimand when needed "I'll save my thank yous till you correct that correspondence".
posted by tilde at 2:31 PM on June 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


The moment where Betty tells Mona about her mothers death was really horrible. Or specifically, Mona's failure to respond to it in any way. I was surprised at how much of a punch in the gut that scene was. I don't remember feeling that way when I saw it the first time. This go around it was really awful to see that Mona didn't even give a cursory condolence. It just hangs in the air, limp.

And WTF with the nerve condition?

I've said it before in other MM threads, but I actually hate the idea that the show implies her hand issue is caused by mental distress. Maybe that's what Weiner meant, but historically, physical problems are too frequently blamed on women's frail mental state and not taken seriously. So if that is the intended message, I'm really disappointed.

It makes sense in context of the show, especially on watching ep 2 again. But I remember on first viewing thinking that the show was going to make a statement about how women were particularly marginalized and lead to believe their illness was all in their heads. Generations of women have been gaslit into believing their physical illness isn't real and is some character flaw.

It's a personal issue; I've had health problems myself and a reoccurring fear is that it won't be taken seriously. My mother nearly died because doctors said her problem was nerves, and it wasn't until she was quite literally at deaths door did she find a doctor who took her seriously and discovered the physical problem. I myself have had similar problems with trying to get help with physical ailments. And because of that, I've spoken to or read about more women than I can name cast aside as hypochondriacs and only years (and frequently decades) after symptoms present actually being taken seriously and properly diagnosed.

This mefi thread isn't about misdiagnoses specifically, but has numerous anecdotes along those lines.

My point being, this is nothing new. Whether it be Betty's "true" condition, or just Weiner choosing to fall into the trap that women are fragile things who's constitution is such that it manifests in physical symptoms, I don't know.

But I'd like to propose an alternate theory; it's her thyroid. Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause hand pain and numbness, mimicking carpal tunnel. Later in the series she has a cancer scare and gains a lot of weight from thyroid problems. In context of her symptoms, she probably had hyperthyroidism (making having a model figure easy) that progressed to hypothyroidism. Eventually, she was treated with thyroid hormone which helps with the weight loss. Many people speculated she was taking something to help with the weight loss; but it doesn't have to be and in this scenario wouldn't have been diet pills.

I googled it after making that connection and I'm not the only one to make the connection. But there also don't seem to be a lot of people who had made that. And in fairness, I suspect that's not what Weiner meant, as they thyroid plot line was to hide January Jones' pregnancy. Then again, Weiner often says that nothing in the show is that simple.

I think there's something off about this whole generation, my own mother, and all of my contemporaries's mothers are narcissistic like this. Very obsessed with attractiveness (I had eye-surgery today and am wearing no makeup and I feel VERY naked and undone out in public where others can see and judge me. Thanks mom.)

It's funny that you says that. I was speaking about this to a friend of mine. We both fall in the "only getting made up when we feel like it" camp, while a few of our close friends fall in the "Can't leave the house without doing their hair, make-up" and we agreed we're both lucky and jealous. The make-up always (maybe not literally make up, but hair, nice clothes, etc) friends always look fabulous everywhere they go. Me and her, not so much, and it sucks at times. I wish I had the routine of always making sure I looked good in the morning. I've tried to overcome it and force it into my routine, but it ends up failing at some point.

Anyone else creeped out by the constant use of "girl"? "It's the girl.." "We have a girl.." I AM A PERSON WITH A NAME AND AN OCCUPATION

I was just reading a fascinating take on how the history of hair dye advertising, and one small aside was the tale of one of the ad women would have copy changed from 'woman' to 'girl' by the men in the office. (Unfortunately I can't remember any of the specifics about the article and for all googles creepy creeper tracking, it's not coming up in my history.)
posted by [insert clever name here] at 4:17 PM on June 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's a personal issue; I've had health problems myself and a reoccurring fear is that it won't be taken seriously. My mother nearly died because doctors said her problem was nerves, and it wasn't until she was quite literally at deaths door did she find a doctor who took her seriously and discovered the physical problem. I myself have had similar problems with trying to get help with physical ailments. And because of that, I've spoken to or read about more women than I can name cast aside as hypochondriacs and only years (and frequently decades) after symptoms present actually being taken seriously and properly diagnosed.

I understand this and it's a real concern that people dismiss some other women's health issues as "just anxiety," but I don't think that was the show's intention at all. The whole episode is about her anxieties over different things, divorce, the loss of her mother, etc. The show reveals her to have a lot going on emotionally.

Also I don't think the show is saying she was imagining things or a hypochondriac - anxiety & stress really can make your hands shake without knowing why. There are a lot of chemical reactions that go on with anxiety and those have a physical effect.
posted by sweetkid at 4:32 PM on June 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


I just rewatched even though I rewatched four days ago. How meta.

The dry cleaning bag scene is one of those ridiculous "Look! We're in the 60s! Values have changed!" things that Mad Men doesn't do anymore. This episode lays it on thick: the kids crawling around the car, Francine smoking while pregnant. I'm glad they gave that up because it's pretty tired.

This episode is where Joan's attitude toward Peggy starts to shift. She was a touch catty at times but still generally gently guiding Peggy toward a life like hers. But the moment that Peggy complains about the advances of the men around her, it's all over. She can't deal with someone genuinely rejecting that. Also, Peggy says she feels sick. I suppose in retrospect it could be the first instance of morning sickness.

I actually think Paul's friendship with Peggy is kind of sweet and part of me feels disappointed in retrospect that she didn't go that way. In some ways, they could have been an interesting couple. Sort of politically obnoxious, I'm sure, but not altogether bad together. Also Paul plants the seed of the idea about copywriting here even though Peggy's given no indication it's something she'd be interested in.

I keep thinking about Don's relationship with Betty. The first time I watched, I hated Betty. She seemed so cold. The second time, I hated Don--such a manipulative cad.

Now, with almost the whole show to reflect upon, I can see how the whole thing was more a disaster of time and upbringing and circumstance than a result of either of their organic personalities. Don essentially personifies that generation's attitude toward masculine stoicism and ambition. He truly believes that you don't talk about yourself, that mourning is for the weak-willed. He thinks he's giving Betty good advice. The reason therapy is so scary to him is because he sees Betty as an extension of himself, and if she's falling apart, it means that his theories about life may very well not work. It's why he has to check in on her with the doctor, too. Her talking to someone makes him vulnerable. When he kisses her here and essentially gives her permission to go to the doctor, I think it's a genuine, loving act. That doesn't make his crimes against her any less fucked up, but it's a cycle of abuse, isn't it? Don is who Uncle Mack and his father made him, and he tries to make Betty like that, too.

Also kinda bored with Midge already. I think she's the weakest female character this season.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:41 PM on June 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


Betty's problem isn't mental or physical--it's spiritual. Don is using her as a Petri dish for his experiements in the manipulation of the human heart and it's starting to kill her (and almost does and him too).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:48 PM on June 4, 2014


But not until her mother dies.

Her mother also taught her not to talk about herself. Don and her mother abuse her in remarkably similar ways.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:58 PM on June 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


A lot of people marry their abusers, whether parent clones or just like ex whatevers.

She can't try to appease her mother anymore (not that we have dived too deep into that yet) & she feels she can't appease him either despite following all her mother's rules.

Sal is head of his department; I think that & his personal Italian style contribute & camouflage the closet door?
posted by tilde at 5:13 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also kinda bored with Midge already. I think she's the weakest female character this season.

I agree, she actually seems like the most cliched character to me. I guess because she doesn't really seem to have any contradictions, let alone paradoxes, about her? It makes her feel one-dimensional.

As a whole, I think they're still going too "big" at the moment. Everyone and everything is just a touch OTT, a bit too desperate to make an impression. But eventually I guess everyone will figure out that the audience isn't watching this while doing their chores or whatever and there's no need to play to the nosebleed seats. It's not annoying me *too* much, because I'd rather they go too big than too small, but it's annoying me a bit because I feel like it glosses characters who *would* and *should* (and maybe become) interesting into sort of caricatures.

I wish they would let Sal's character *breathe* a little, because he's in an interesting position, where he's "passing" with these overgrown prep schoolers, 98% successfully, too, and that's going to echo with Don's even more successful "passing" coming out later in the season/show, but they're going sooooo broad with Sal at the moment that it's kind of impossible to even see this as playing on that show-wide theme of what it feels like to be an imposter, because his whole character seems reduced to *solely* being a closet case.

That makes me think, though, also about Megan, and her wanting to be an actress. Aside from the "imposter" theme, it's also kind of funny that Don's first wife is a print model and his second wants to be on TV, because of the evolution of advertising over those years. Especially since Megan and Betty are so close in age. I know a lot of people aren't big on Megan, but I kind of wish she were already a character now so that we could see her life at the moment in comparison with Betty's and Peggy's. All of their lives are very different.

I can't get over Peggy's black refrigerator banana and her loudmouthed "have to wait until the first of the month." OMG PEGGY IF THAT'S ALL YOU'VE GOT TO EAT JUST SKIP LUNCH AND DON'T EMBARRASS YOURSELF. This isn't Bay Ridge goddamnit! I was happy that Joan took her by the hand, but poor Joan, she's got to be sick of doing this for every fresh-faced young thing who happens to come in the door. Especially if most of them leave within a couple years -- aka, by the time they actually know their jobs -- only to be replaced by yet another recent secretarial school grad who needs her hand held. (Well, I kind of think Joan likes being the office's Grand Dame, but I think she's also already a bit weary even by the time of the pilot. Maybe she's also even feeling a bit of what Peggy is feeling now, that distress of looking in the backs of so many station wagons and wondering what those women have that she doesn't?).
posted by rue72 at 5:19 PM on June 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Holy crap, little Kiernan was so adorable, I didn't even mind the YES SHE HAS A DRY CLEANER BAG OVER HER HEAD scene.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:21 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Kiernan is totally a Darla Jean clone.
posted by tilde at 5:27 PM on June 4, 2014


They really did luck out with Kiernan. She has grown up to not only be a very natural actress, but she resembles both her TV parents. It's like all the karma went to her and there was nothing left for the Bobbys.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:28 PM on June 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


(I for one am partial to Bobby #2 because of the "we have to get you a new daddy" scene. But I'm getting ahead of myself.)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:32 PM on June 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's the problem that has no name, and Mona knew the best and only option was to ignore and hide it.

And then go home and lock herself in the bathroom with a bottle of gin, as we recently learned.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:32 PM on June 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


That makes me think, though, also about Megan, and her wanting to be an actress. Aside from the "imposter" theme, it's also kind of funny that Don's first wife is a print model and his second wants to be on TV, because of the evolution of advertising over those years. Wow that's really really right.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:37 PM on June 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


So much good/horrifying stuff in this episode. Paul was so damn charming with Peggy, appealing to her brains as well as her body, until that terrible moment with the couch against the door/sit in somebody else’s chair comments.

And Joan was at her worst Unprofessional Bitch here; my mother quit secretarial jobs back in the day because of managers like Joan who couldn’t refrain from making everything personal like she did in her last scene. All she had to do was give the damn letter to Peggy and tell her not to leave without correcting it, but she just can’t be happy until someone else feels bad about themselves.

But the prize has to go to Don, making himself out to be some kind of hero for refusing to tell his own wife anything about himself. Simple yes-or-no question about whether he had a nanny, and instead of just saying yes or no he turns it around and makes her feel like she’s a horrible person for even asking, and a gauche blabbermouth for mentioning her own childhood. I really had forgotten how far he’s come since then.

The scene with Midge throwing the TV out the window seems just as pointless now as it did when it first aired.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:45 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I also realized that Don is only a few years older here than Peggy is in "Waterloo."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:49 PM on June 4, 2014


Don shoots down the space idea for Right Guard. Does it seem like he's dislike of the idea has more to do with him being in a bad mood than that it's a bad idea?

Yes, Don is in a bad mood. Is Betty unhappy? Why is Betty unhappy? What do women want? Don does take this confusion and frustration out on Paul and the Right Guard ad. But the ad is not very good and Paul doesn't sell it very well. And we get this:

DON: "Who is this moron flying around space? I mean, he pees in his pants."

PAUL: "...I feel like we're close here. I mean ... the can's right side up, but the guy's upside down."

Not much of a pitch, Paul.

Don abuses the people whose help he needs and then takes a nap. He did the abuse part, but skipped the nap and just kept sitting there drinking.
posted by cwest at 6:07 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I've never been a fan of Midge. Her whole "I'm a Bohemian free spirit who sleeps with everyone and throws TVs out of windows" thing really grates on me. I feel like she's actually not too far removed from the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype. I guess that impression is mostly based on the fact that she seems like this one dimensional character whose only purpose is to make an occasional appearance to shake Don out of the doldrums of suburban married life.

I'm totally on Team Rachel. Of all the women Don has had affairs with, I think she might be my favorite, although I may revise this opinion as we get into later seasons. I'm probably forgetting some of them.
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:24 PM on June 4, 2014


Her whole "I'm a Bohemian free spirit who sleeps with everyone and throws TVs out of windows" thing really grates on me.

I really wanted a cop, or at least a neighbor, to come chew her out for throwing the TV out the window. She could have killed somebody! I would have stormed my busybody self up there, for sure.

And now there's broken glass all over the street. I bet some kid needed stitches in her foot within an hour of Midge chucking that TV! Selfish.
posted by rue72 at 6:29 PM on June 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Another exchange I like from the episode.

Peggy knocks on Paul's door:

PAUL: "Bienvenue."

PEGGY: "...No, it's Peggy."

Wide-eyed indeed.

Ladies Room is the ep. that hooked me. It lets you know how important the women are going to be to this show. It's not all going to be slick admen and office shenanigans. And it turned out that the women are the heart of the show IMHO.
posted by cwest at 6:29 PM on June 4, 2014 [5 favorites]



Ladies Room is the ep. that hooked me. It lets you know how important the women are going to be to this show. It's not all going to be slick admen and office shenanigans. And it turned out that the women are the heart of the show IMHO.


I agree. I did this rewatch right before watching the first Halt and Catch Fire and it's so cliched about women, the contrast is startling, even though the show takes place 20+ years after Mad Men and was filmed seven years after Mad Men Season One.
posted by sweetkid at 6:41 PM on June 4, 2014


PAUL: "Bienvenue."

PEGGY: "...No, it's Peggy."


YES! That's right up there with "Pizza House," and "And also with you," in the Pantheon of Peggy's great one-liners. She has the perfect deadpan delivery of a Bob Newhart.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:34 PM on June 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


I always have captioning on and I still think they should have written it as PIZAHAUS!

Going back up thread to the hands and the thyroid. Matt could have told it that way, but he didn't. I can't believe that if the actor had not fallen pregnant, he would have "picked up" or used that as force-shadowing of her benign tumor.
posted by tilde at 8:55 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I agree with you, I just hoped for better treatment. Just unhappy house wife equals physical symptoms is too easy considering what we know today about "nerves" and "hysteria." Not to be down on anxiety, I know it's no cakewalk either. But in this context it seems lazy if that's all it is, and Weiner doesn't strike me as lazy. So many of his other story lines were subtle, thought out, and damning of the culture at the time that a case of "nerves" lacks anything intelligent to say about Betty as a person.

Then again, on rewatch, these two episodes do seem like they're hitting the audience over the head with cliches of the time period. Maybe that's why it disappeared.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:14 PM on June 4, 2014


The first half of the first season, and some later on, do have these occasional clunky HEY IT'S THE 60s moments. They dry up pretty quickly and later On-the-nose moments feel much more earned but there is a ...blunt weapon feel to some of the first few episodes.
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 PM on June 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


(Midge, even in the first viewing, seemed like a shallow character. Not that she was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but that she was all pretense and posing, and eventually ends up so pathetic. Compared to Rachel, a character I feel like is just so moral and upstanding and interesting, she's a ghost.)
posted by The Whelk at 10:24 PM on June 4, 2014


The first half of the first season, and some later on, do have these occasional clunky HEY IT'S THE 60s moments. They dry up pretty quickly and later On-the-nose moments feel much more earned but there is a ...blunt weapon feel to some of the first few episodes.

Yes. Some of the period references in this episode alone: Harold Hill, Ted Rogers, Stuart Symington, the Checkers speech, Toots Shor, the tv show "People Are Funny", the tv show "Shirley Temple's Storybook", the tv show "The Twilight Zone", and Jack Kerouac.

And those are just the ones I caught. I'm sure there's more.
posted by cwest at 10:51 PM on June 4, 2014


Other observations.

DON: "Just think of me as Moses. I was a baby in a basket." In S3 ep1 Out of Town, Don/Dick is delivered to Abigail Whitman in a small wooden crate (fruit crate? tomato crate?). All the world like a baby in a basket. However, Moses was raised a prince, and Dick was raised as a "whore child." oh the irony.

When Francine tells Betty a divorced woman with two small children is moving in down the street all by her lonesome, and then adds something along the lines of "Can you imagine worrying about money at this point in our lives?", the look on Betty's face was like Francine had just told her a bomb was about to go off down the street.

Don calls Betty "Birdie" for the first time. The bird in the golden cage.

"Mitch in media" is mentioned for the first time, by Paul. Do we ever see "Mitch?" I can't remember.

The music at the end of the episode. I had to look it up. The Great Divide by The Cardigans. It really threw me the first time I watched. Not using period music. I think they did it only one other time.

When we first encounter Midge, I thought she was like fresh air compared to the claustrophobia of Sterling Cooper and the Draper household. But it turns out she is just as trapped. Trapped by trying to live up to or embody what she thinks a nonconforming "free spirit" should be like. Trapped by the expectations of her beatnik friends. Trapped by her own version of pleasure seeking. Like someone said above, she turned out to be hollow. A ghost.
posted by cwest at 12:03 AM on June 5, 2014 [4 favorites]



When Francine tells Betty a divorced woman with two small children is moving in down the street all by her lonesome, and then adds something along the lines of "Can you imagine worrying about money at this point in our lives?", the look on Betty's face was like Francine had just told her a bomb was about to go off down the street.


It's like this double whammy of "Oh hey a harsh reminder of how fragile and dependent on the whims of a inconstant man are you!" and "Sexually available woman in your near area! Alert! Alert!" There is a lot of writing on how women of the period and class had to viciously police each other to uphold the idea that a divorced woman was The Worst in order to perversely make sure their husbands didn't just leave them and shack up with a new woman when the whim took them.
posted by The Whelk at 12:14 AM on June 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Exactly. Perfectly put.
posted by cwest at 12:21 AM on June 5, 2014


Francine can be a nasty bit of business, as well as Betty's other neighborhood "friends." It's depressing, but I sometimes get a devilish thrill out of the twistedness of it all.
posted by cwest at 12:35 AM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Don calls Betty "Birdie" for the first time. The bird in the golden cage.

I also think it would have been more interesting if the doctors had misdiagnosed Betty's ailment (she could also have had anxiety *and* something else) and it seemed unlikely to me that they'd already taken her so seriously that she'd had blood tests and all kinds of things. Even now, if she'd gone to the doctor with that problem I doubt she would get any traction, at least not without her husband yelling at everyone to help her.

But thematically, I think it works that she doesn't even have control over her own body (ie, hands), and feels incapable of even "touching herself up." I mean, she literally *doesn't* control her own body or self, even her analysis is controlled by her husband and even her anxiety is a reflection (in his POV, but also somewhat in the show's overall POV, I think) of *his* vulnerability to fragmentation (of his self, of his life).
posted by rue72 at 5:02 AM on June 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


it seemed unlikely to me that they'd already taken her so seriously that she'd had blood tests and all kinds of things.

Looking back, I wonder if it was Don who pushed Dr. Patterson into doing "the dye test." Betty mentioned that she thought he wanted her to see a psychiatrist as much as the ER doctor did, but hadn;t been as direct about it.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:50 AM on June 5, 2014


Mitch is the guy, iirc, who goes to lunch with Peggy and Joan who isn't Kenny or Harry.
posted by tilde at 5:58 AM on June 5, 2014


Nope, that's Dale.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:09 AM on June 5, 2014


Mona's reaction to Betty gibed perfectly with her relationship with Margaret, as Margaret would like it to be known. Emotionally distant, ignoring problems. I guess in this particular episode that is what therapy is for. I don't know culturally how it was in 1960, but Mona says Margaret is the last girl in their building to see a psychiatrist -- and Roger (although he won't say it to Don) apparently agrees. I wonder if Don's scepticism is more a fear of someone finding out about Dick Whitman, and afraid of straight-up honesty.

Peggy's last scene is a hint at the Peggy we know now. Go Pegs! Don't be the emotional secretary in the bathroom! Suck it up and save all that crying for NippleMania 1969.

I thought Betty's hand issues were connected to feeling like she has no control over her marriage. I know when she was in the restaurant, her hands were already "growing a set of thumbs" before Mona talked to her about keeping her man, but then she had her next occurrence when she drove past Helen Bishop, struggling alone with that big box (even though the movers were standing right there by the truck!) and was presumably imagining herself in that situation. In the restaurant, did her hands go numb after saying that Don doesn't like to talk about himself?

The episode focused a *lot* on her hands, I though, although it may have been confirmation bias.
posted by tracicle at 7:26 AM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't know culturally how it was in 1960, but Mona says Margaret is the last girl in their building to see a psychiatrist -- and Roger (although he won't say it to Don) apparently agrees.

I guess sending Margaret to a psychiatrist is another way of making her "another man's problem" even if she can't get married away yet. Just like having a nanny would be a way of making the children another woman's.

The way work is delegated out was pretty important in this episode, I thought. Don telling Betty to leave the dishes "for the girl," Roger wanting to make Margaret "another man's problem," Paul's explanations to Peggy about how the work and power is doled out at the office, Paul not wanting to "sit in another man's chair" with Peggy, Joan managing Peggy's management of Don's correspondence, Don hearing the results of Betty's psychoanalysis rather than Betty herself, Joan directing Peggy in how to manage the attentions of the men in order to successfully work/marry while Don directs the admen to pitch "what women want" because it's the women who will be buying for their husbands, etc.

Not very "cultivate one's own garden." But I guess that's modernism for ya.
posted by rue72 at 7:59 AM on June 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Maybe that's also what makes Helen Bishop's (relative) self-sufficiency so frightening.

She literally does have her own garden to cultivate, even, whereas none of the others do.
posted by rue72 at 8:00 AM on June 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I also think it would have been more interesting if the doctors had misdiagnosed Betty's ailment (she could also have had anxiety *and* something else) and it seemed unlikely to me that they'd already taken her so seriously that she'd had blood tests and all kinds of things.

Agreed. We know Betty is going to have a thyroid cancer scare in a few years - and that Don is going to be irrationally freaked out about it (to the point of ignoring Megan). So maybe that Don is being all dismissive of Betty's health concerns now is foreshadowy.
posted by hush at 10:01 AM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think Betty's symptoms being rooted in anxiety at this point in the series is a reference to The Feminine Mystique. The opening chapter (PDF) goes into detail about physical symptoms that Friedan imputes are tied to psychological issues, rather than something like thyroid problems. And she specifically mentions hands: "A number of women told me about great bleeding blisters that break out on their hands and arms. . . . 'But it isn't caused by detergent and it isn't cured by cortisone.'" Of course, that came out in 1963, but Friedan had been collecting the material for it for years.
posted by sallybrown at 10:45 AM on June 5, 2014


Francine can be a nasty bit of business, as well as Betty's other neighborhood "friends." It's depressing, but I sometimes get a devilish thrill out of the twistedness of it all.

I do, too. I also feel like Francine would like being called "a nasty bit of business."
posted by sweetkid at 11:27 AM on June 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Crap you're right that is Dale.
posted by tilde at 11:41 AM on June 5, 2014


One of the things that keeps in my mind about the entire series (and this is not a spoiler) is how, very often, a number of characters say "It's true" or "That's true". You'll notice it throughout the whole series.
posted by juiceCake at 12:11 PM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Crap you're right that is Dale.

"I thought you were Dale!"
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:14 PM on June 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


One of the things that keeps in my mind about the entire series (and this is not a spoiler) is how, very often, a number of characters say "It's true" or "That's true". You'll notice it throughout the whole series.

Same goes for "I don't know what to say."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:16 PM on June 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


We need a mad men prequel about this period. Bad. Real bad.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:20 PM on June 5, 2014


Same goes for "I don't know what to say."

But the king of them all, of course, is Don Draper Says 'What'
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:16 PM on June 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


One of the things that keeps in my mind about the entire series (and this is not a spoiler) is how, very often, a number of characters say "It's true" or "That's true". You'll notice it throughout the whole series.

Same goes for "I don't know what to say."


And introducing themselves as "I'm XXX, by the way." Although I've only noticed it in the past two seasons.
posted by donajo at 1:23 PM on June 5, 2014


One of the things that keeps in my mind about the entire series (and this is not a spoiler) is how, very often, a number of characters say "It's true" or "That's true". You'll notice it throughout the whole series.

Same goes for "I don't know what to say."


I think I haven't noticed this because I saw those things "that's true," and "I don't know what to say" all the time. I don't know if it's because I also work in advertising in New York, or if I'm secretly trapped in the 60s.
posted by sweetkid at 1:39 PM on June 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


*I say those things "that's true" and I don't know what to say," not I saw. Bleh.
posted by sweetkid at 5:11 PM on June 5, 2014


Finally getting around to re-watching for the IDK-how-many-th time. Lots of talk about women "having everything" and "being lucky" - conversations between Don and Betty, Don and Midge - in addition to "what women want." Later, of course, having everything comes between with Don and Peggy, right after Gene is born: "You have everything. And so much of it."

Also? I totally would have gone to the zoo with Ken Cosgrove.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:55 PM on June 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


But thematically, I think it works that she doesn't even have control over her own body (ie, hands), and feels incapable of even "touching herself up." I mean, she literally *doesn't* control her own body or self, even her analysis is controlled by her husband and even her anxiety is a reflection (in his POV, but also somewhat in the show's overall POV, I think) of *his* vulnerability to fragmentation (of his self, of his life).

That's a great point. I hadn't considered Betty's lack of control of her hands in that way.
posted by cwest at 1:42 AM on June 6, 2014


I don't know if it's because I also work in advertising in New York, or if I'm secretly trapped in the 60s.

Sweetkid, when I picture you at work it's going to be in the offices of SC&LETTERS, Time-Life Bldg. Which office do you want? Don's/Lou's corner office?
posted by cwest at 1:59 AM on June 6, 2014


Also? I totally would have gone to the zoo with Ken Cosgrove.

And I'd probably have gone for Ukrainian food with Paul Kinsey. Mmm, dumplings!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:02 AM on June 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm with The Underpants Monster but I'm also a sucker for 'oddball' tall guys with deep voices who watch sci fi.
posted by tilde at 6:13 AM on June 6, 2014


Nthing zoo with Ken Cosgrove.

And Francine is my favorite bit of nasty business EVER. She and Midge both seem to be the perfect side characters to highlight the extremes of the era.
posted by RainyJay at 5:51 PM on June 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


The way work is delegated out was pretty important in this episode, I thought. Don telling Betty to leave the dishes "for the girl," Roger wanting to make Margaret "another man's problem,"

And this also plays out when Bettie tells Mona her mother died recently, we hear "I'm sorry" as an apparent reply - before realising that the person speaking is the bathroom attendant trying to free up the mirror - or at generally hussle a tip - not from Mona.

(Noticing that I'm here on my first watch 12 years late for the original airing and 5 years after the re-watch. Late being better than never and all that)
posted by rongorongo at 4:57 AM on July 23 [1 favorite]


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