Mad Men: Lost Horizon
May 4, 2015 3:20 AM - Season 7, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Don is rewarded for his work; Joan butts heads with a co-worker over an account.
posted by crossoverman (194 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
From the opening shot of the young executive Don Draper walking into the elevator on the way into the office to the closing panoramic of young hobo Dick Whitman along for the ride on the way out west, I loved every bit of this episode.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:53 AM on May 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


Sometimes this show frustrates me when characters seem to be stuck in a cycle - and then it gives me an episode like this, where they all do exactly as I expect and I love them for it. Of course Peggy & Roger at the nostalgic ones. Of course Don runs away. Of course Joan takes the money and runs - sure, she threatens to get Betty Friedan and the women who marched down Fifth Avenue, but that's not really what Joan is about. Joan is for Joan and good on her. Her fate was sealed last episode, when Jim Hobart didn't look at her in the meeting. Then it got worse and worse. I'm glad Roger was there for her in the end. I'm disappointed she's out of the office, but I can't wait to see a hint of what happens to her next.

I don't care for Diana, but I do care for Don's obsessions and always have. I like that after leaving an office where he learned he's only a cog in the machine, he also learns he's not the only guy who has been searching for Diana. He's not even special to her. He's not the knight in shining armour. He's just another body in the wreckage she's left behind.

Peggy, as always, was glorious. From trying to get Ed to do some fucking work, to drinking with Roger, to accepting the painting of an "octopus going down on a lady" - and walking into McCann like she's going to tear it up. She won't, of course. This machine is probably going to eat her alive. Or, as opposed to Joan, she's join the women's club and they'll support each other whatever happens next.
posted by crossoverman at 4:03 AM on May 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


Peggy's too selfish to join that woman's club (said with love). She's never really supported or nurtured anyone, male or female - in fact, she is terribly threatened by anyone who shows talent on par with hers. The look the two McCann women gave each other at Joan's mention of Peggy's name speaks volumes for what she's in for.

OTOH, that scene of her walking into the office is going to be the FB cover page for half the women I know because who doesn't want to feel like that, if only for a minute?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:24 AM on May 4, 2015 [13 favorites]


Lollerskates, Pegs. Lollerskates.

Permit me to remind the room that Peggy's legal name is Margret.

~'This is the most attention you've ever focused on me'.~

Lots of room and groundwork for Olsen Harris and Asso to take off.
posted by tilde at 4:26 AM on May 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


and walking into McCann like she's going to tear it up. She won't, of course.

Oh, she will! She's going to tear it up and then she's going to bide her time and burn it down. It might be a little rocky, but she's done it before: She started out at Sterling Cooper as a member of the secretarial pool, lost in the crowd, and she has gained confidence every season. But Joan. Oh, Joanie! She really didn't have a choice. I was so proud of her in that green dress and those sharp words, cool as icewater. But she's got her rolodex. Funny how Joan and Peggy always end up in opposite trajectories. Which for right now means things seem like they're going right for Peggy.

So much to think about! The skating! The cigarette! The paining! I howled with laughter for a good five minutes at the end.

The beer meeting. Ted looked so comfortable, so relieved to be in that room. That whole Conley scene was just wonderful: Using Don's conjuring tricks to come up with a concept so broad-stroked and banal that Bill finds the fact that "we all know guys like this; there's millions of 'em" inspiring. Don and Peggy have always been about making the messaging personal. Peggy even knew the importance of this during her basket of kisses days, where she picked up on the fact that people want to be unique, not one of dozens or millions.

Peggy may get knocked down at McCann here and there, but she's a fighter. She stood up to the account boys, she stood up to Lou, she stood up to Roger, she stood up to Don. This is not the same woman who wept on her living room floor during 7a.

How lovely to see Cooper again! His spirit lives on, and Peggy could use a little Cooper in her life.
posted by mochapickle at 4:38 AM on May 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


Lots of stray details I don't know where to put:
  • The McCann offices are so narrow and cramped; it's all hallways, like long elevators going sideways.
  • Merediths chipper "Does it still smell in here?!" She's such a great foil to Dons bleakness.
  • Harry's "McCann is mission control." as they wheel the computer away. Re: closing credit song. Also, "5 men and 10 women, just handling data!" Twice as many women than men programmers, until the 80s and computer science takes its gender flip and dive.
  • Note Peggy meekly walking down the hallway of SC&P with her box of things, in the solid green dress. This exact scene is replicated in the end, in stripes at McCann, with cig and tentacle porn. Its such a different Peggy in two days.
  • Don in Hobarts office with Ferg(?) … "And your old friend Conrad Hilton. He bought you a gift." Don: "Thats never good." Ends with "Just drop our name into ours." And Don is forced to pitch it back: "Don Draper, from McCann Erickson."
  • When Don walks into the executive boardroom, the research guy (Bill Phillips, the one who pitches the everyday man narrative) is standing directly in front of a round, white "Truth well told" sign on the back wall. It frames his head perfectly, giving him a bright, angel-like halo.
  • Looking around that meeting, I think that part of the reason Hobart and Ferg tell Don to relax and wear white shirts is that only the person pitching the campaign and the very senior staff get to wear the suit jackets. As outdated as he dresses for 1970 in general, Don is out of his station in that company culture and he needs to toe the line, sandwich box and coca cola and pen poised for taking notes. It was almost military-like, and hes well beyond that. But still, after he deserts the meeting, he assumes the suits identity and goes rogue westward.
  • "He went to take his daughter to school. Im not concerned." Nomadic army-brat Meredith contains multitudes and like Don, I dont know how I never realized this before. Shes a damn good admin.
  • Peggy: "Would you drink vermouth?" Roger: "Yes, Im afraid I would." Also, Peggy (while her and Roger are drinking in the salvage/wreckage): "It looks good now, but it was miserable when you were in it."
  • Throughout this episode Peggy went from solid colors and collars to spots & stripes (at the same time!) to vertical red and black stripe, to outrageously bold horizontal stripes. Its excellent.
  • Hobart actually says that would rather give his money to a lawyer [than to a woman]. I can't even go near articulating my thoughts about Joan's suffering in this episode. It's just too damned much.
  • Don's second ruse (tax collector) with Mr. Bauer and his new wife was super clever, allowing Mr. Bauer to save face and Mrs. Bauer to not be angry at him. And gave Mr. Bauer a way to shoo Don away (with info of her whereabouts; info which Don already knew, but Mr. Bauer could easily see that Don was NYC people anyway).
  • Mr. Bauer: "She is a tornado." Every time I hear the word tornado, I think of "horse tornado" as a way of describing a carousel (it came up in a Reddit thread about people learning English and coming up with clever ways to describe words they couldnt remember). And then I thought, "OMG, its a throwback to the Kodak carousel episode! Matthew Weiner is so damn clever." Then I realized this connection only existed in my head. (Maybe hes in all of our heads; hes that good.)
  • Mr. Bauer telling Don that only Jesus can save her, and him too … it was so reminiscent to me of his upbringing and the message from (his dad? A preacher? cant remember) on the porch at the old house. It was a turning point for him then, maybe so now. So many callbacks to the Hobo Code episode.
  • Did the last shot look like a Diebenkorn to anyone else?

posted by iamkimiam at 4:53 AM on May 4, 2015 [23 favorites]


Sorry about all the typos and grammar — I enabled the MeFi markdown editor and it did horrible things to my formatting and I couldn't fix it all in time. Eek.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:59 AM on May 4, 2015


This was such a good episode! All the buildup in the past episodes was worth it!

I wouldn't expect anything to go right with Peggy at McCann, though. I wish it would, but it's hard to imagine. Though the creative wing is probably slightly less toxic than the executives? There are women copywriters after all.
posted by ipsative at 5:00 AM on May 4, 2015


Holy crap this episode was epic. A top five Mad Men episode for me. Would anyone have been disappointed if that was the finale?

There will be lots of time to worship Peggy and Joan in this thread (sooooo good!), but a couple of other things jumped out at me.

The callbacks: everything about the McCann Erickson offices called back to season one. Don's office looked so much like his Sterling Cooper office. The wood panelling, the desk. Also, the thick musk of misogyny. I remember the first time I tried to watch Mad Men, the sexism was so intense it turned me off. I only came back to it a couple of years later. The atmosphere in the office felt exactly like that. Also, Don with Betty, asking where the boys were and so on.

Don showing up at someone's door with a new name and a fresh face. Not so subtle that when Don turned off the road back to manhattan, the highway sign said "Pennsylvania", where he's from.

And the shedding of the trappings of Don Draper continue. Last week was the firm with his name on it. This week, New York City (and possibly the name of Don Draper itself).
posted by dry white toast at 5:19 AM on May 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, and the preacher callback is from the end of Season 6, when Mac throws the missionary out of the brothel and says to Dick "the only truly unpardonable sin is to believe that God cannot forgive you."
posted by dry white toast at 5:21 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Joan stuff was painful to watch. That asshole who couldn't be bothered to read her notes and then insulted the Avon client. Ugh. She was so awesome facing up to Hobart, but yeah, I think the best thing she could do was take the money and go.

Peggy - I have to think that the fact they couldn't be bothered to have an office ready for her does not bode well in terms of respecting and valuing her. I'm afraid she's in for a taste of what Joan got.

That place is the Death Star. Endless narrow hallways of looming dark grey walls, with an army of anonymous white shirted soldiers.

The Diana thing - she doesn't interest me, but the whole Don disappearing on an aimless road trip does. If I heard right, he's taking that hitchhiker to St. Paul, Minnesota? Is he ever going back to New York? I'm starting to think he's not.
posted by dnash at 5:31 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


*the missionary, not Mac, says that to Dick.
posted by dry white toast at 5:32 AM on May 4, 2015


I think it's possible that we don't see Don again in New York. Which is why we may have gotten that scene with Roger last week. I'm going to be upset if we don't get a proper scene between Don and Peggy, though.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:39 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Every time we see the characters I feel like we're saying goodbye, even when we maybe aren't. But this episode felt like a goodbye to Betty, for sure. And maybe to Joan, too.

I'm still terrified of Roger having a heart attack, so thanks for putting that thought in my head.

Don had even bought a new suit, I think -- those stitched seams are new on him. But when Ferg says shirtsleeves, it's definitely not just for show. It's an order. I didn't get that on the first watch. I was only half-watching the first time and so when Bill gives his "All American guy" spiel, I thought at first Don was overwhelmed by the size of the group, the efficiency and orderliness. But there's no heart, no emotion, and everyone is moving in unison to look at facts and figures in black and white, something Don has always avoided, and I can't see how he can bring them up a notch from automaton.

Go sell furs door to door or something, Don!

Those two shots: Don pressing his hands against the glass and the same sound of infinity through the gaps that we heard in The Monolith; Don gazing up at the plane.
posted by tracicle at 5:40 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


this episode felt like a goodbye to Betty, for sure.

It felt like it, yes, but she's in the "next week on Mad Men" clips.
posted by dnash at 5:42 AM on May 4, 2015


I saw Jessica Pare's name in the opening credits and my heart sank. I was always OK with Megan, but I thought they'd ended everything with Megan perfectly and I didn't want another scene to linger.

I loved the last scene with Betty. That was a good place to be.

I want another scene with Don and Peggy and Don and Sally. Peggy could just be a phone call. But Sally. So last week's episode, she was off with her roommates on the bus tour. And when I was watching 7a last week, Don calls them her friends and she corrects him, saying that they're her roommates.

And I keep thinking about that: Sally really doesn't have any friends. She hangs out with people. Glen was the closest thing she had to a friend and now he's gone. And then I thought more: No one in this universe really has friends. They have partners and business associates and lovers, but very seldom do we see actual friendships in relaxed environments. Peggy seems to be the exception, but it makes the whole Mad Men universe feel so stark and lonely.
posted by mochapickle at 5:47 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


When Jim Hobart told Don, “You’re my white whale.”, I figured he is out of here. What are his options, to be harpooned? Ahab didn't hunt down Moby Dick to work collaboratively with him.
posted by readery at 5:52 AM on May 4, 2015 [41 favorites]


If Sally was going back to school, that makes it late August? I wonder if we're heading for another Thanksgiving finale.
posted by dry white toast at 6:07 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


A few random observations (I'm still processing - there's just so much).

- IIRC, when Don arrived at the Bauer residence, he introduced himself as Bill Phillips and handed Mrs. Bauer a business card. Does that mean he already had them printed with his new name on it? That tiny act really jumped out at me.

- Throughout the first part of the episode, the crease between Don's eyebrows, a sign of worry/dismay, grew more and more prominent. Like he knew he was reaching his jump-ship point.

- So fabulous to see Dawn, and what a great goodbye from her!! And I loved Roger's attempt to keep her. And her final assessment: "You were very amusing."

- Can't wait to see Sally in the next episode. I was so hoping we hadn't seen the last of her.

- Sadly, I do think Roger's ticket is going to be cashed. We haven't rewatched it yet, but didn't he say something very early on in this episode about death? And later he mentions his heart condition to Peggy. :-(

- "Knock 'em dead, Bertie." Perfect.

- I never in a million kerjillion years thought I'd say this, but I missed Pete in this episode.

- I really like the relationship between Joan and Capt. Pike/President Kennedy. It feels genuine and balanced to me.

- And this is something I've been meaning to ask forever. Is it me, or has the black saturation of the final shot in the opening montage - showing the silhouette of Don's back sitting on the couch - been gradually lightened over time, as if some of the black has been scratched away? Compare the S1 opener to now. He's fading away, literally.

Two more episodes. WAH.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 6:14 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


New Business card: He'd pockted it from getting it from the "Let's talk about the millions of guys we know who drinks beer." And you mean Shirley, flyingsquirrel or being funny like they were? ;)

Don pushing on that whistling window. What a freaking tease.

Meredith with the army brat background. Layers upon layers.

I love looking at what is left behind in that office. Peggy's door cartoons. Her sign (we always took our cube/door signs with us from place to place - otherwise they went to the goulish guy who papered his office in the names of us who were no longer with The Company). A broken drinks cart. Lollerskates. Random chairs.
posted by tilde at 6:17 AM on May 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


So fabulous to see Dawn

That was Shirley in that scene, not Dawn.
posted by ladybird at 6:17 AM on May 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


I love that scene in the Valentines Day episode where Dawn and Shirley call each other Shirley and Dawn.
posted by mochapickle at 6:19 AM on May 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


I loved Meredith! She's every bit as efficient and discreet as Joan was in Season 1.
posted by mochapickle at 6:20 AM on May 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


Whoops. And yes about the business card! Need coffee. And a rewatch.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 6:22 AM on May 4, 2015


It said a lot to me that Roger's lasting impression on Shirley is that he was amusing. And not in a good way.
posted by dry white toast at 6:24 AM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is this the last of Pete? I think I would be okay if it was. He fades off, a Vice President among Vice Presidents.
posted by dame at 6:32 AM on May 4, 2015


They are not going to get their SC&P security deposit back.
posted by drezdn at 6:34 AM on May 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


Is it me, or has the black saturation of the final shot in the opening montage - showing the silhouette of Don's back sitting on the couch - been gradually lightened over time, as if some of the black has been scratched away?

No, it's been somewhat "scratchy" for a good long time. I don't recall it ever being a solid black. It seems to me it's always looked more like an over-lit piece of black paper where you can make out the texture at the fringes.

I felt so bad for Joan throughout the episode. In some ways, though, it's really the only way her advertising "career" could have ended. Even at SCDletters, her elevated position had little to do with any real talent for advertising, and more because they had to. Still, McCann is a boat-load of ripe assholes, and I was really wanting Joan to, maybe, kill the guy and then enlist the help of the other former SCDletters gang to dispose of the body.

Pete is simply absorbed into the McCann ooze. It pretty much is his kind of place.

Peggy is going to be swallowed alive at McCann, I'm afraid. Talent (which she has a ton of) notwithstanding, she got to where she was at SCDletters because it was a relatively small shop. It's pretty apparent where McCann puts the women. It's a boys' club, and there aren't enough episodes to show Peggy succeeding there. Peggy's always been about her career, and moving to McCann is just another chapter.

Now, that said, Minneapolis/St.Paul is sort of a mini-Chicago when it comes to really creative advertising work. It would be cool to see Don open up shop there and steal Peggy. But, I'm pretty sure Don is headed to California.

Also...That envelope Meredith handed Don, had all his Don Draper things, including money and his Social Security card. In the end, it was like she was handing him his go-bag, telling him to get out of town.

That wasn't Betty's engagement ring in the envelope, was it? Megan's?
posted by Thorzdad at 6:35 AM on May 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ted is sooo relaxed. He's also the only one with a mustache. But his eyes get thoughtful when Don walks out.

When Cap'n Pike said he'd "call a guy" I figured she'd show him off around the office as her fiance to tell the guys (FERG) to back the hell off. Good on her for trying to talk to Hobart and get the full value of her money. I assume this also means she's out of her contract (and non-compete).

Meredith! Oh Meredith. Such depths. I agree with your assessment, Thorzdad that she gave him his "go bag".

The goodbye between Betty and Don. I still favor the wrap Henry around a tree and Betty steps into the seat and is successful in politics with a supportive ex-husband.

Peggy with Don and Joan in Minnesota. Huh. And Bert keeping him awake on the road out West.
posted by tilde at 6:38 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


In terms of direction this episode has to be one of my favourites ever. It was beautifully composed and I sooo much loved the loving way the camera gently roved over the iconic modernist interior design, even as a series of perspectives showed its ruin. The seventies have arrived and that whole pared back elegance was going.

Each scene was a piece of theatre stamped with so many layers. Some of those scenes seemed like Coen Brothers territory and some seemed Hitchcock - Peggy walking through the office calling 'hello?' to a ghostly Sterling playing a funereal organ. Gah. So good.

The poise of Joan with Hobart - her whole body composure was amazing and although completely shit, she has learned from her new lover that this is a 'business decision' not one that is requiring a irrational defending her ego. She can leave on her terms and do the next thing. The black and white suit she wore highlighted both her awareness of fragility at a woman aping male bosses, and her actually taking on their power.

Meredith was amazing. I love that character.
posted by honey-barbara at 6:39 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I never liked the casting of Hobart. I really think that Ken's Father in Law would have played the part better. Also a call back to the Snoball campaign.
posted by tilde at 6:40 AM on May 4, 2015


I'd have to check to make sure, but the IBM employee dressed similarly to the McCann employees. Maybe Don's hostility towards him was partially future shocks of the merger.
posted by drezdn at 6:47 AM on May 4, 2015


Here's hoping Joan starts her own agency (and poaches Peggy).
posted by drezdn at 6:55 AM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


The IBM guy did dress in shirt sleeves, but short shirt sleeves. Cuffs get caught in tape reels and card readers. So do ties (he probably had a tie clip).

Oh, that's Anna's ring in Don's Go Bag. He gave it to Megan after he inherited it from Anna. Megan gave it back when Don wrote her a check for $1M.
posted by tilde at 7:06 AM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Some other random thoughts...

Don checking out his new office, and noticing the windows leak air. They've given him a broken office. A chink in the McCann armor? A sign that this isn't at all what it seems? An escape hatch?

Don in the Miller meeting...
~ Don and the consulting guy, in suits, echoing each other. Two pitch-men. Bookends? The young guy basically doing his best Don Draper imitation...telling a story...only, instead of it being an authentic, from-the-heart, personal story aimed at the individual (ala Carousel) it's a numbers-driven, marketing position aimed outwardly at millions. Back in, I think, the first season, Don had a minor argument with one of the other characters that revealed his deep disdain for marketing. Yet, here he was in this meeting, having his "style" being used by marketing.

~ And no one taking notes through the story. As if saying the pitch meant nothing. We assume they'll start paying attention once actual numbers are mentioned? Another message to Don that he's unnecessary?

~ Was that a fly on the window? Maybe Bert's spirit telling Don to fly away?

I'm somehow not surprised in the least that Bert never read On The Road.

Harry and Roger. The most courteous "fuck off" I ever saw.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:09 AM on May 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


The scenes with Peggy and Roger could have gone on for three hours, and I would not have had enough.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:23 AM on May 4, 2015 [26 favorites]


Ed (other copywriter guy) looks unnervingly like Weird Al in the "White and Nerdy" video.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:38 AM on May 4, 2015


accepting the painting of an "octopus going down on a lady"

When it appeared onscreen, I yelled out "The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife!" ...to the general confusion of my viewing companions. But how nice that it wasn't the only memory of Bert to crop up in this episode.

I missed Pete in this episode.

I thought it was very telling that Pete seemed to be the ony partner from SC&P who managed to blend seamlessly into McCann.

a ghostly Sterling playing a funereal organ.

I love that her reaction started out so subtle that you couldn't be sure if it was diegetic or not. Made me think of Cheryl on Archer suddenly realizing she can hear the show's soundtrack and flipping out.
posted by psoas at 8:42 AM on May 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


So we're all noticing how happy Ted and Pete are. How game Peggy is trying to be, how unsurprisingly disappointed Joan is. And Roger's trying to make it right.

Peggy's comment to Ed about how he might work for Dow or Ken Cosgrove again ...

Olsen, Harris, Rizzo & Asso ... picture Ken making good on his pact with Peggy and bringing the Sterling Cooper & Partners Dow piece to OHRA (close to O'Hara, hmmm).
posted by tilde at 8:42 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Curse you live-tv viewers! No promos for me. No commercials, though ...

By the way, in case you didn't know, Apple TV flips the bit on new episodes at 3am Eastern.
posted by tilde at 9:03 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Scenes from next week's Mad Men" is really half the fun of the show. They are as insanely cryptic and misleading as the show summaries.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:12 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


This seemed like a callback to the first episode, where Don throws the research material in the trash and scolds Pete when he goes back for it. I think it represents a lot of the romance (what there ever was of it) leaking out of the advertising world. The romantic version is that Joan pulls together a legal team and burns McCann to the ground. The realistic version is that she realizes that money = freedom, and just takes the buy-out.

Bill's speech about the average beer drinker was telling. He's talking about finding the statistical central tendency of a group of consumers. Don has always been about trying to make people feel like the outliers, but this was about creating a cluster of normal so that they could sell a product to it. There's symmetry in the fact that Don goes to the center of the country to chase down his (hopefully) one last attempt to find the romantic ending, where he saves a disgraced woman from herself.

One way to look at the arc of the show is that it's the victory story of the Harry Cranes of the world. As the coastal fervor of the radical movements of the early 70s give way to the tired return to normal with Regan's America in the 80s, there is a feeling of a loss of romance and a desire to maximize efficiency through technocratic hyper-rationalism, which is Harry 'Technocractic Hyper-rationalism' Crane's middle name.
posted by codacorolla at 9:16 AM on May 4, 2015 [12 favorites]


Also, I'm not sure about the provenance of that print that Roger gave Peggy, but that thing is potentially worth millions of dollars in today's money.
posted by codacorolla at 9:19 AM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


What is an organ doing in SC&P anyway? Have we ever seen the organ before?
posted by .kobayashi. at 9:22 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, the organ was featured in the last episode, wherein Peggy commanded some non-actor children to play. A child was playing the organ and Peggy shut that shit down.
posted by tilde at 9:31 AM on May 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


Organ-playing was another of Meredith's secret talents.
posted by drezdn at 9:33 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love that Harry says McCann is mission control and then we fade out to David Bowie at the end of the episode.

This world is starting to look and sound like home.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 9:33 AM on May 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


codacorolla: "which is Harry 'Technocractic Hyper-rationalism' Crane's middle name."

I think that's Dutch-Irish. His mother was from Wales.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:34 AM on May 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


Usually after an episode of Mad Men, I need to process, talk, debate, analyse what happened, and think about the deeper meaning of what the characters went through.

With this episode, I don't feel like I need to do any of that. It was all so beautifully laid out. Usually the characters are always pondering, thinking about whether they should be where they are. This episode was all about action and transition. Loved it.
posted by dry white toast at 9:43 AM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is fifty years old this year.

I was hollering at Joan to take the money and run. If she'd sued, it's likely she would have been left with substantially less than $250K after attorney fees, expenses, what have you. (I guess there would always have been the possibility of punitive damages, though.) Not to mention the soul suck of litigation where one's past sexual behavior would no doubt have been called into question. I had to wonder if Hobart and company knew somehow about how Joan was made a partner.

It certainly would have been nice if Roger had quietly added a few $10K on top of the $250K, since it's his damn fault that McCann is running the show now. Also, you know, the mother of his only child. But he would have had to do it surreptitiously since I don't think she takes gifts from him any more.

Anyone else think of "Carnival of Souls" when Peggy was trying to find the source of the ghostly organ music?
posted by Sheydem-tants at 9:46 AM on May 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


You have to think that Roger will always watch out for Joan and Kevin, financially.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:49 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I spent this whole episode so anxious. So much Don-death foreshadowing, from the "previously" onward. He's saying his goodbyes throughout. I realized about halfway through that we'd be seeing only the metaphorical death of Don, and that seems to be proved right. I don't think he'll be in next week's episode at all--instead, we'll get the aftermath of his disappearance.

It will shock you, how much it never happened.

"It" being his entire life as Don Draper, I think.

I'm not sure if the show wants us to think that he's leaving Sally and the boys in good hands--she's independent, they have Henry. But man, your father just vanishes on a day when he was supposed to pick you up and take you to school and you leave without him and that's got to leave a deep, deep stain.

McCann is a kafkaesque nightmare space. So claustrophobic. The women there will never get on with Peggy, for sure. They're not talking women's lib, just chatting! What shits. But she might be able to make them all fear her. So good to see her so bad ass.

And Joan. Joan joan joan. She loves her work, but she's trapped in her body. Just like Shirley is, really.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:56 AM on May 4, 2015 [14 favorites]


I loved that during their phone call meeting, Joan never really tried the soft manipulation of her early Holloway years on Dennis. Hobart might be the first man we've seen who was utterly uninterested in Joan as sex object. When he mentioned that someone might have left Joan her partnership in his will, I thought he might be making a smarmy allusion to Lane Pryce's suicide. I do hope Joan's ending isn't just with Richard.

Peggy is going to be swallowed alive at McCann, I'm afraid. Talent (which she has a ton of) notwithstanding, she got to where she was at SCDletters because it was a relatively small shop. It's pretty apparent where McCann puts the women. It's a boys' club, and there aren't enough episodes to show Peggy succeeding there.

The only way Peggy could survive at McCann would be under Don's protection, which would still probably breed enough resentment that she'd be miserable, and I'm not sure Don will ever work a day for McCann in his life. I wonder if the McCann copywriters who showed up in Joan's office were there because they have to fight for scraps of work.

I think Don's headed to California too. Ferg's Nixonian impression and having to choke out "I'm Don Draper from McCann-Erickson" would have sent me running.
posted by gladly at 9:56 AM on May 4, 2015


Also this is the metaphorical death Don's been wanting to die since he pitched walking off into the water into oblivion.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:57 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Peggy and Roger and Bert's painting, the whole thing was perfect.
"You know I need to make men feel at ease."
"Who told you that?"
posted by almostmanda at 10:10 AM on May 4, 2015 [27 favorites]


That last scene with Betty was so good, too. Her hands tremble and Don remembers her episode of anxiety and depression in season 1--but it's because she has been carrying a thick stack of books. In a way, Don led her here even as he was trying to keep her in a cage. The talk therapists. The trauma.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:29 AM on May 4, 2015




Tom & Lorenzo review
posted by tracicle at 10:42 AM on May 4, 2015


It certainly would have been nice if Roger had quietly added a few $10K on top of the $250K, since it's his damn fault that McCann is running the show now. Also, you know, the mother of his only child.

Granted that Margaret ran off to a hippie commune and wasn't going to carry the Sterling name on anyway, but she's still Roger's (legit) daughter.
posted by psoas at 10:43 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I also find myself wondering what sort of deal McCann NY struck with the Mad Men producers to allow themselves to be portrayed as a big bag of misogynistic assholes? I know it's 1970 in the show, but still...
posted by Thorzdad at 10:48 AM on May 4, 2015 [8 favorites]


If McCann had placed any restrictions on how they were presented in the show, I can't believe Weiner would have agreed. He'd have just made up a name for a big firm. He's not writing promotional material for them.
posted by dry white toast at 10:55 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I found it extra poignant that Peggy has come full circle: She spent S2 fighting for an office at SC, and now she's having to do it again at McCann, just like so many U.S. women who have to have the same fight, over and over again, to be paid what a man would earn in the same position.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:56 AM on May 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


I found it extra poignant that Peggy has come full circle: She spent S2 fighting for an office at SC, and now she's having to do it again at McCann, just like so many U.S. women who have to have the same fight, over and over again, to be paid what a man would earn in the same position.

QFT. I'm in an industry where women are supposedly paid on parity with men. I've not seen it but I also have hampered myself with a lack of a degree.

And she's using her words and her tools. ~'I'm not working in the pool' 'They can reach me here/at SCDP until I get an office' 'I'm not making the call, you do it'~
posted by tilde at 11:01 AM on May 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


People seem to have a short memory re Peggy. She's not expecting to set the world on fire at McCann. She knows she's going to be a cog. She's going for three years because "at some point in [her] career [she] has to work at a place like McCann". I don't think she has any expectations beyond that. And unlike the partners, she's used to being a step in the process. Will they be the best years of her career? Of course not, but again, she knows that going in.

The whole point of that last shot of her is showing that she doesn't care about making a good impression at McCann. It's just a stepping stone.

Peggy will be fine.
posted by dry white toast at 11:03 AM on May 4, 2015 [33 favorites]


We need a spin-off; When your marketing is in the dumps, "Better Call Peggy"
posted by Mick at 11:07 AM on May 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


And she's using her words and her tools. ~'I'm not working in the pool' 'They can reach me here/at SCDP until I get an office' 'I'm not making the call, you do it'~

Imagine how it would have played out if she had no backbone. She'd be at McCann, sitting in the typing pool among the secretaries, all her boxes in a basement somewhere until the end of time. I love Peggy.
posted by tracicle at 11:09 AM on May 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


From TLO:

Joan’s working alongside men who have whorehouses and escort service numbers in their business rolodexes because that’s a standard way of wooing clients.

Also, I believe that "Augusta" doesn't allow women, nor do a lot of golf courses, so there's that, her putting 1000.
posted by tilde at 11:19 AM on May 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was thinking about how much Don's office looks like his old SC office, and how this is probably how SC would have looked had it survived this long--that big open space subdivided into claustrophobic cubicles. The workflow and design of SC&P really was extraordinary.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:51 AM on May 4, 2015


I like how Don's office tied in with their ongoing symmetry and mirror images . Don started and (I am sure finishes) in an office with the desk and the window and the dark paneling. Except at McCann, the layout is opposite, with the desk to the right of the door instead of to the left as it was back in the old days at the original Sterling Cooper.
posted by mochapickle at 12:18 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


After its first inception as "Gablinger's Diet Beer," developed in 1967 by Joseph L. Owades, PhD, a biochemist working for New York's Rheingold Brewery, the recipe was given (by the inventor of the light beer process) to one of Miller's competing breweries, Chicago's Meister Brau, which came out with the Meister Brau "Lite" brand in the late 1960s. When Meister Brau ran into financial problems and sold its labels to Miller in 1972, the recipe was relaunched as "Lite Beer from Miller" (which was its official name until the mid 80s) in the test markets of Springfield, IL, Knoxville, TN and San Diego, CA in 1973, and heavily marketed using masculine pro sports players and other, so-called, macho figures of the day in an effort to sell to the key beer-drinking male demographic. Miller Lite was introduced nationally in 1975.

Emphasis mine. What year are we in again?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:21 PM on May 4, 2015


Late summer 1970.
posted by tilde at 12:52 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


They may have sold the labels to Miller but it doesn't mean that Miller hadn't brewed up their own version.
posted by tilde at 12:53 PM on May 4, 2015


Adjusted for inflation, to settle for 250,000, Joan was accepting about 1.5 million dollars instead of 3 million. The buying power of a dollar in 1970 was equivalent to a little over six dollars now.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:19 PM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I love Shirley's outfit. I wish I could wear those colors.

I looked very verry carefully at lunch. No sombrero. Why wasn't Peggy wearing it?

We still have no idea how he got it. Cinco De Mayo was not even close to the nationwide beershit party it is now.

I gotta say, the organ music setup at 3:20 am was pretty effing effective.
posted by tilde at 1:29 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's hard to put into words what this show is doing, but it's something I haven't felt with another show before. Much of the show up until now has been filtered through the glimmer of the novelty of a world previously unseen, with an aesthetic and art direction and framing of the problems that is still a step removed from our reality -- by time, by the way that the show is presented. So, you could revel in the stories and problems as art, one step removed from our lives. It was typical catharsis in a way, in which you experience emotions that you don't have to really address further. You leave the theater, so to speak, and you feel better that their problems are not your problems. This is a pretty typical understanding of one purpose of theater that has been observed since the ancients.

As it moves closer to us in time, however, something is changing. It seems to be removing the sheen and novelty that isn't exactly like removing the fourth wall, but it still feels personal, like it's starting to invade the space of real life without being overt about it, and I'm not quite sure how it's doing it so effectively. We are losing the sheen of the show in a way that feels like finding the excitement of a new adventure in real life, but then you get past the honeymoon stage. But we aren't observing a show that is about moving past the honeymoon stage. It's a show in which you thought you could keep this other world of detachment, but now it draws you in in a way that you feel like you are losing something, too. Somehow it sneaks you into their world a little bit, where we are feeling like we've lost the boundaries of detached catharsis. It's similar to how someone might lose the sheen of a real life excitement and find the inevitable underlying disappointments of reality starting to surface.

Or something like that. Whatever it's doing, it's doing it pretty brilliantly.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:36 PM on May 4, 2015 [18 favorites]


It's September, 1970. Peggy was watching an episode of McCloud, starring Dennis Weaver.
posted by crossoverman at 1:52 PM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I like how Don's office tied in with their ongoing symmetry and mirror images . Don started and (I am sure finishes) in an office with the desk and the window and the dark paneling. Except at McCann, the layout is opposite, with the desk to the right of the door instead of to the left as it was back in the old days at the original Sterling Cooper.

Even better - it was to the left at SC, directly in front facing forward at SC*P, and now to the right - it's rotated through a full 180 degrees.
posted by anazgnos at 2:09 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


As it moves closer to us in time, however, something is changing. It seems to be removing the sheen and novelty that isn't exactly like removing the fourth wall, but it still feels personal, like it's starting to invade the space of real life…

I felt very much this with the shots of the Empire State Building and the church outside Draper's apartment. I think it's the first time that any of the Mad Men cast has appeared next to an actual NY landmark and not a set.
posted by Omon Ra at 2:18 PM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also unless I'm remembering wrong, Joan got $1.5 Million for her shares. $500k was just what she was still owed. So if that's right, she's only lost 1/6th of her share value.
posted by dry white toast at 3:43 PM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


THERMOS.

I love that everyone sees through Don's shit now, even his ruse-within-a-ruse. Also, how creepily horror-movie-esque was Diana's angry daughter, lurking in the hallway?

The hallways are extremely original agency-esque. It's like moving back in time.

I so wish that Joan could have burned the place down. I actually cried out "Flip the table, Joanie!" when she was being skeeved by Ferg. But though I hate that she took the money, it's incredible she did so by threatening to sue for sexual harassment.
posted by mynameisluka at 5:13 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is easily one of my favorite episodes of Mad Men. I absolutely loved the short scene between Don and Betty - their easy rappor, them both shrugging at Sally hitching a ride with a friend instead of twisting it into accusations, Don looking around the kitchen wanting a reason to stay. I loved Betty and Don joking around and her letting him give her the briefest of massages. Not out of attention seeking or passivity, but out of kinship. I'm sure there's a large part of Don that finds Betty's return to school ridiculous, but the genuine affection and encouragement of "give 'em hell, Birdie" and Betty's beaming smile just filled my heart.
posted by missmary6 at 6:15 PM on May 4, 2015 [7 favorites]


SO. Damn. Good.

I always watch twice so a couple observations, and there's so many moments I can't even describe!
- Don got Bill's card at the lunch meeting. Bill handed it to him and Don put it in his jacket.
- During Don's meeting with the new wife in Wisconsin, she said "It must be fun going around giving out prizes!." And Don responds, "Well I also have to give some boring presentations." (In reference to Bill's presentation. I caught it more the second time and clapped.)
- When you watch a second time, it's even creepier seeing everyone in white shirts.
- Ferg is a super creep, and I ache for Joan in this episode. It so painfully heartbreaking, plus gross. These small companies were more progressive, but this huge company is stuck in 1960 still.
- It's clear how little they give to the women with the copywriter's reference to getting the crumbs when introducing themselves to Joan. So sad. I work in marketing, and it's often pretty dominated by creative women now! I had so many classes in college where the majority was women, plus my last workplace was 80% women in the marketing department.
- I agree that I would watch hours of Peggy and Roger in the office together. It was so wonderful and heartwarming.
- I'm so curious where Don may end up and I loved how Meredith covered for him but then looked concerned. Like this wasn't like the other times he disappeared somehow.
- Peggy wins this episode with that walk down the hallway. Such swagger and beautifully framed.
posted by Crystalinne at 6:23 PM on May 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


Speaking of the hobo code, a Reddit user noticed that the next episode, titled "The Milk and Honey Route", seems to be referencing this book.
posted by good in a vacuum at 6:24 PM on May 4, 2015 [5 favorites]


crossoverman had Reddit beat! :)

I am so slow on the uptake: That Dennis guy who blew the call with Joan was one of the same awful McCann guys who harassed her in Severance. The big jerk.

Also, Diana's husband was Mackenzie Astin! I had no idea.

The Atlantic recap points out that the airplane leaving a trail behind the Empire state building makes the shape of a cross and plays up the point of the religious symbol, especially in light of Mr. Baur's call for Don to find religion. I'm not sure about that. Where some people see a cross, but Don sees a compass.
posted by mochapickle at 6:38 PM on May 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


crossoverman had Reddit beat! :)

Oh jeez, I read the whole discussion here and yet missed that. Apologies, crossoverman!
posted by good in a vacuum at 7:08 PM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Presumably, Don will still be on the road the whole next episode, at least? Although I do love the idea someone gave in the earlier thread - that Don would mark the McCann offices with the hobo code for "dishonest man lives here".
posted by crossoverman at 7:26 PM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, are we due a flashback to Don's childhood before the end?
posted by crossoverman at 7:30 PM on May 4, 2015


I know I'm dating myself with this, but if there has ever been a single image that would justify turning images back on in MeFi, it's this. So much.
posted by signal at 7:32 PM on May 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


I am going to throw in this article about the Japanese art in Cooper's office, including the Dream of the Fisherman's Wife. Yow, I thought it was going to be a genuine Hokusai that Peggy was strolling down the corridor with but the article states that it is too large to be an authentic piece. Pity. I like pricy porn.
posted by jadepearl at 8:06 PM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm so disappointed in Joan for picking legal action over hiring a goon. I hate that McCann bested her.
posted by donajo at 8:12 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was hoping that Joan would tell Hobart that, fine, she'll just work out her contract then.

And show up every day doing whatever minimum of positive work is required by the contract while subtly encouraging the women to sue through the EEOC, and to get black people, Jews, and other people McCann doesn't hire to apply for jobs and then sue through EEOC when they're rejected, and let Ferg get as far as an unambiguous advance she can rebuff in a formal letter to Hobart (maybe cc'd to the agency's attorneys or to Ferg's home so Wifey McFerg can read it), and all the other ways she surely knows to blamelessly sow dissension and terror.

But I get that doing that sort of battle is bad for the soul.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:29 PM on May 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Stan's story will end with us seeing him dressed up in the white dress shirt of the McCann employee. Peggy will promptly smothering him with a pillow, "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"-style, so he doesn't have to live as a broken wreck of a man.
posted by drezdn at 8:34 PM on May 4, 2015 [11 favorites]


I did see *some* people in non-white shirt+tie, presumably they were creatives. Even McCann may give those folks a bit of space.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:45 PM on May 4, 2015


Stan will be in a white shirt, but it will be a white denim shirt.
posted by Crystalinne at 9:19 PM on May 4, 2015 [10 favorites]


Were they implying that Joan's new boyfriend has mob connections?

If so, that would be the third time where the show has hinted at the mafia, but where it really hasn't played a larger part in the story. The first was Fay's dad's connection, and the second was the wallet Lane found.
posted by drezdn at 9:52 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm coming to the conclusion the sombrero was a decoy all along. How long has that organ been there? Where was it?

Because I'm retrospectively implanting it into scenes of seasons past. Tucked under the stairs when Blankenship died. In the writers room smelling of second-hand farts. Hiding behind Crane's HAL processors. Does anyone have a confirmed first siting?
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 11:16 PM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I also implanted the stairs and second floor to the Blankenship death scene I now realise. This is really messing with my mind!
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 11:18 PM on May 4, 2015


In watching the obviously obtuse promo for next week, there's a younger, blonde woman I just can not place -- I know we've seen her before. She's at second 12 of this promo. Who is she? It's driving me crazy!
posted by missmary6 at 11:46 PM on May 4, 2015


Don is beginning to gray at the temples.

Is Diana's ex supposed to be Mormon? The prize of a fridge full of beer would be a huge faux pas.
posted by brujita at 3:36 AM on May 5, 2015


Anyone else think of "Carnival of Souls" when Peggy was trying to find the source of the ghostly organ music?

Yes, immediately! It's a great movie, about being frightened of ghosts and wondering if you are a ghost. It also has a carousel that the main character is drawn to, over and over again.
posted by heatvision at 3:57 AM on May 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Who is she?

I don't know, but that appears to be Trudy's kitchen. Pete is probably talking to Tammy and her friend/classmate and the woman may be the friend's mom.
posted by gubo at 4:50 AM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Looked like a babysitter to me. Like Pete and Trudy go on a date and Pete flirts with the babysitter. Pete being Pete.
posted by readery at 5:47 AM on May 5, 2015


Probably a misunderstanding after she sat on a gummy Venus de Milo.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:00 AM on May 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


So "what are you doing here" from Sally is to Glen who broke into her room, is my guess.

The blonde girl is probably a temporary baby sitter while Verna is out of town (for the baby) and maybe Pete is putting the moves on her or her on him. And I'm guessing despite her light colored hair she's Beth's daughter and she and or mom are stalking him.

Don't know about who the brown pony tail girl is. It was cut close to the front of Sally and friend at school, trying to put them together but that friend has non pony hair and it's long.


Betty's not done, nor is Henry, though they are fighting, hmmmmmm.
posted by tilde at 6:44 AM on May 5, 2015


Weiner and co. must have a blast (and a ton of laughs) stitching together the previews. They've never, ever, ever been accurate to what really happens in the next episode, and seem to be the producers' little "aw, I'm just messin' with you" joke.

Someone should stitch together every "next time on MadMen" preview, just to see if they somehow make their own little storyline.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:04 AM on May 5, 2015 [15 favorites]


Another possible ending: Dick Whitman is sitting in his small California apartment. The first episode of "Mash" appears on the tv. Dick throws the telephone into the tv. Fade to black as "Suicide is Painless" plays.
posted by drezdn at 8:17 AM on May 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was looking up the Miller Light "Tastes great, less filling" campaign, which was indeed coined by McCann-Erickson, albeit not until 1974.
But what caught my eye was the fact that McCann-Erickson also developed Coca-Cola's "It's the Real Thing" tag line...in 1970!

I don't expect to see much of the creative goings-on at McCann with only two episodes left, but it would be cool if they gave a nod to the Coke line, maybe in a way that hints that it came from Peggy, launching her to future stardom in the industry.
posted by rocket88 at 8:22 AM on May 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ideal ending: we replay the opening credits, with the man falling from the skyscraper. The figure slowly turns from solid black to full color; we can finally see that it's Duck Phillips, drunk and screaming. The camera pans up to the roof of the building, and we realize this was no suicide. Blurry reddish gold comes into focus: Chauncey.

CREDITS.
posted by almostmanda at 8:35 AM on May 5, 2015 [27 favorites]


The final scene, Dick and Sally are diner. Sally looks into her dad's eyes and asks "Whatever happened to that dog we had?"
posted by drezdn at 8:57 AM on May 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


But what caught my eye was the fact that McCann-Erickson also developed Coca-Cola's "It's the Real Thing" tag line...in 1970!

McCann was pretty much the 500-lb gorilla of advertising at the time. About the only agency even close to challenging them was probably J. Walter Thomson.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:16 AM on May 5, 2015


Dick Whitman, Sally Draper, Harry Crane, and Tom Vogel all go back to their home planet.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:23 AM on May 5, 2015 [3 favorites]




In watching the obviously obtuse promo for next week, there's a younger, blonde woman I just can not place -- I know we've seen her before. She's at second 12 of this promo yt . Who is she? It's driving me crazy!

Pete's real estate agent girlfriend in CA?
posted by vitabellosi at 9:33 AM on May 5, 2015


Given that they mess with the timing of certain things (when the Miller Lite campaign came out, etc.), I wonder if Don and his hitchhiker will end up at the Jimi Hendrix concert. Here's a description of it, from when someone discovered a lost bootleg recording. The guy who taped it describes his experience (ha!) further down the page.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:47 AM on May 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


No, the unknown blonde in the preview is a kid an a totally different blonde. The real estate girlfriend was about Peggy's age if not younger.
posted by tilde at 9:50 AM on May 5, 2015


Is Diana's ex supposed to be Mormon? The prize of a fridge full of beer would be a huge faux pas.

I'd imagine you could throw a stone in most parts of the U.S.--outside NYC--around this time and probably hit someone who was religiously conservative enough to preach Jesus & temperance at you without much prompting. (This is also the time of the Fourth Great Awakening, coincidentally.)
posted by psoas at 10:31 AM on May 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


In case you missed it, Diana's ex was played by Mackenzie Astin. FROM THE FACTS OF LIFE.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:41 AM on May 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


I still think the next episode will be Don-less. From the previews, I'm guessing that Pete goes looking for Don at Sally's school or something. Episode split between Betty's POV, Pete and Sally's. Ponytail is one of Sally's school acquaintances. Or something.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:48 AM on May 5, 2015


I still think the next episode will be Don-less.

I wonder if this will be intentional in the way that they handle the growth of Don's character. He's been restless throughout, needing to be the center of the action. Last season we saw him taken down a few notches as he was fired and worked his way back. He seemed to start to embrace the humility of it (in a good way) . Maybe we'll see him eventually being comfortable in his own skin, in relatively anonymity, fading out of view through the lens of the final narrative. Prior to now, his identity issues, especially those related to his stolen identity, have caused him a truckload of anxiety.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:42 AM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


What is happiness? It's the moment before you want more happiness. - D Draper

The 10s aren't banded but it looks like nearly a grand in the Go Bag envelope if it's all 10s. Enough for a fridge full of Miller Beer if he had to put out.

I think Don has spent the last 20 or so years rejecting reality and substituting his own but it's just not working any more.

- Dick Whitman, Army private, blown up in Korea
- Don Draper, car sales man, busted by Anna
- Don Draper, fur sales man, "hired" by Roger Sterling Jr
- Don Draper, head of creative at Sterling Cooper
- Don Draper, creative director and partner at Sterling Cooper, a division of PPL
- Don Draper, creative director and founding partner of SCDP
- Don Draper, creative director and founding partner of SC&P
- Don Draper, creative director and cog at McCann-Erikson

His wives and kids are doing fine without him, they are out of his control and he's nostalgic in their successes into what might have been (but could not have been with him remaining in the picture).

He doesn't want to be a cog. He's resisted it for good reason.

He's trying to create happiness for himself, with more happiness to come, but it never quite works out the way he wants when he sets up all the beginnings of things.

He can't create it anymore, and everyone who was in his magic bubble is seeing that. Harry, whom he hates, loves cogging it at McCann. Pete, who he found annoying and hated, is growing and liking the cog system for now. Peggy and Joan are figuring things out on their own. Roger has found happiness with Don's former Mother In Law. Stan is going to be alright. Ted is going to be alright, doing the creative part and picking up checks as a cog. Diana is gone, his daughter and sons are growing up alright, Betty's thriving in a life / mess of her own making.

No one needs him to be Don. And being Don isn't enough anymore. We skipped summer, and moving to the McCann building took more than a month, it took most of the summer. Maybe he will take a plane ride and try something new.
posted by tilde at 12:50 PM on May 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


There is nothing in Joan quitting that precludes her from going to The Oyster Bar regularly to sow dissension among the ranks.
posted by tilde at 12:58 PM on May 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


But that's not good for the soul, either, just like how dragging through a lawsuit for years would have held her back from doing something new and better.

That said, she should totally hire a guy. Jim Hobart is totally the devil.

I keep thinking about this scene where Don and Roger are meeting with Dow, trying to get them to come to SCDP:
Even though success is a reality, its effects are temporary. You get hungry even though you've just eaten. You're happy because you're successful for now. But what is happiness? It's a moment before you need more happiness.
That's Don. So in the end, either he finds a way to redefine happiness, he keeps spinning, or he stops altogether. Part of me wants to see him pull over to drop off the hitchhiker, give him the keys, and walk west with nothing but the clothes on his back.
posted by mochapickle at 1:22 PM on May 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


And if Don does drop off the face of the earth, he'll leave the apartment to Meredith.
posted by tilde at 1:46 PM on May 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Real word McCann is playing it cool about all of this.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:58 PM on May 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


As well as getting Joan's last name wrong. She kept her married name, which was the style at the time along with onions on their belts.
posted by tilde at 3:24 PM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Duh! Anna's ring was in the Go Envelope/bag.

He wanted to find Diana to propose.
posted by tilde at 3:53 PM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


He wanted to find Diana to propose.

NO.
posted by crossoverman at 4:14 PM on May 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


Well he wasn't going to propose to Meredith.
posted by tilde at 4:22 PM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd have to re-watch it, but the first time through I got the impression that the envelope was stuff that almost got left behind.
posted by drezdn at 4:27 PM on May 5, 2015


Meredith seems like she's starting to come into her own, and while she doesn't have the spark of Peggy, she's starting to blossom just like the other person whose advances Don shot down.
posted by drezdn at 4:28 PM on May 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I kind of like the idea of Don somehow just disappearing at the end. I think I've mostly viewed this show as a sort of allegory or commentary on American culture as a whole, so to the extent that Don is a metaphor for a certain kind of classically American Manhood, it would be fitting for him to just somehow vanish.
posted by dnash at 5:24 PM on May 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


What if he never came back to the show the rest of the eps are just characters looking for him but they never find him. They only find "Diana" (played by Don in a wig)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:44 PM on May 5, 2015 [12 favorites]


What if that girl on the next ep is Peggy's kid?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:44 PM on May 5, 2015


SCDPletters is literally just outdated typography in a pile on the floor.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:46 PM on May 5, 2015


I hated this episode because I don't want to die.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:48 PM on May 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


Potomac Avenue: too old and Peggy had a boy.
posted by tilde at 6:57 PM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's okay, Potomac Avenue, I hear you're up for immortality. Don, too.
posted by crossoverman at 7:20 PM on May 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


This entire series, all eight years of it, was worth it just for the scene of Peggy drunkenly rollerskating in the abandoned halls of SCP's former offices.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:15 PM on May 5, 2015 [15 favorites]


Peggy has now assumed the role of Bert Cooper, another Creative director affecting a bohemian don't-give-a-fuck pose. She's the Sixties version, the spitting image of a French New Wave heroine (basically she was a Jeanne Moreau type), rather than the Twenties version, a barefoot dandy with Oriental artwork. Roger gave her the idea, not only with that hentai print, but with the implicit comparison to Cooper in "maybe you too will have your name on the door of an agency someday."

This is not an option that's open to Joan: she's Accounts, where glad-handing popularity is the key, not Creative. Joan's no social-justice warrior, either. She's a millionaire who wants the last fraction of her payout, and threatening Hobart with Betty Friedan is just her attempt at "call up a guy." Unlike the women who fought the real strikes and office battles of the Seventies (Ladies Home Journal, NYT, Newsweek), Joan has no investment in her career at McCann-Ericson at this point -- she makes it clear in her confrontation that she'd be happy to take all the money and run.

Lot of people in these Mad Men discussions really want to cast the characters as frontline activist heroes. But this has always been a show about the people who take advantage of the progress made by others to make a little more space for themselves in the world.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 1:26 AM on May 6, 2015 [14 favorites]


tilde: Also, I believe that "Augusta" doesn't allow women

Holy moly. I hadn't realized that. This means that Dennis was not just being a boor in that scene -- he was literally appropriating Joan's accounts away from her.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 1:42 AM on May 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Augusta didn't allow women members until 2012.
posted by crossoverman at 3:24 AM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


We love us some Meredith, and we would scream like little girls and lose our damn mind at this house if Don proposed.
She's FEISTY and she knows how to wrangle him.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 5:49 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Peggy = Bert

I think she's a conglomeration of Bert, Sterling, and Draper. Bert was Harry Crane, remember.

With that all, she and Rizzo plus Joan with her financial backing and existing clients can go make it happen.
posted by tilde at 6:14 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyone else think of "Carnival of Souls" when Peggy was trying to find the source of the ghostly organ music?

OMG, TOTALLY!

Roger may be a philandering, alcoholic Peter Pan with an unfortunate mustache, but any man who can make the electric organ sing like that is always gonna be the coolest cat in the room.

The roller skating scene made my sides hurt, and I really hope I didn't wake up the neighbors. It reminded me of the time Peggy rode the Honda motorbike around and around the room when they were pretending to film a TV commercial (hmm, a callback to Cooper and his Japonisme?)

Skates GIF
Motorbike GIF
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:23 AM on May 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


tilde: "Bert was Harry Crane, remember."

Harry *thinks* he's the same as Bert, Bert certainly saw it differently.
Harry: Bert, you know how important I am to this company, you were me.
Bert: I was different than you, Mr. Crane, in every way.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:20 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


True dat. But Bert combed through the media projections and used to do the hard work of that back in the day.

Spreadsheets! On paper! In pen! Oh, Accounting II and I got along so poorly. It's a wonder I got out of high school alive. Thank you Grace Hopper!
posted by tilde at 7:24 AM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Meredith and Don play house. Roger and Peggy party, bonding over porn. Joan gets her women's lib on.
posted by tilde at 7:41 AM on May 6, 2015


Don wears a jacket. An octopus pleasures a lady. Nothing burns down.
posted by tracicle at 7:53 AM on May 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


Peggy is wearing red and black in both the skates scene and the motorbike scene.

Incidentally, the dress she wears in the motorbike scene is one of my favorite dresses of the series.
posted by aabbbiee at 8:02 AM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don offers Diana beer. Peggy offers Roger vermouth. Roger plays with his organ.
posted by tilde at 8:14 AM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Meredith finds an envelope. Don visits the Midwest. Ted takes a meeting.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:20 AM on May 6, 2015


Ed-san quits. Shirley quits. Don tests the movability tolerance of his 19th floor office window.
posted by tilde at 8:34 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have to say, last week's Pete ("The king ordered it!") and this week's Roger/Peggy party have really turned around my feelings on this half-season (though the earlier episodes are still lacking in many ways). And Peggy's entrance to McCann was amazing.

I would honestly be OK if this had been the last episode. Joan makes it out, maybe not getting justice, but probably the best she could have hoped for -- and now she can go live the better life she deserves. Peggy gets the right perspective on where she is and where she can go, and has the right trajectory to use McCann and then get out. Roger lands about as on his feet as he's going to, fading away with his money and his booze. Pete is finally in the place he probably wanted to be all along. And Don? Don's just gonna disappear into the west.
posted by tocts at 8:35 AM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Mad Style!

I totally thought they were going to mention how Peggy was wearing black and red in both the motorbike and the skating scenes, and how the motorbike scene started a great arc for Peggy in the episodes that immediately followed (stripping down with Stan in Waldorf Stories, developing her friendship with Don in The Suitcase) but instead there's a Roger tangent. Ah well.
posted by mochapickle at 9:01 AM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Although I really liked this:

"He’s the only man in a jacket, which Ferg Donnelly urges him to take off because they’re a “shirtsleeves operation.” He never does. And while he’s not the only man at McCann wearing a jacket in some of the scenes, he’s one of the very few – and the only major or minor character wearing one. You tell someone to take off their jacket when you want them to stay. You refuse to take off your jacket when you know you’re only going to be there a short while before leaving."
posted by mochapickle at 9:03 AM on May 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


You guys, Meredith's hair is also an octopus. Maybe that's why she smiles a lot.
posted by tracicle at 9:23 AM on May 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


tracicle, I octopus you.
posted by tilde at 9:26 AM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was at the orthopedic surgeon's office on Tuesday morning, and I realized with a start that every office worker there was Meredith. Every girl Meredith of them. Is it a "pride" of Merediths or a "murder" of Merediths? I was standing on the Bridge to Meredithia. It was even impossible to tell who was the Dominant Meredith. She was probably in a back office somewhere choosing new furniture and sitting at the doctor's desk while the Drone Merediths went about their business with cheery efficiency.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:57 AM on May 6, 2015 [10 favorites]


I can imagine Don dropping out of the corporate world altogether, buying a house near the beach in Anna's old neighborhood (am I remembering correctly that Anna's place was eventually sold after Stephanie dropped out of school?), working on hot rods, taking in drifters, giving up on the "g's" in his final "ng's" for good, and chipping away at his memoirs. He's right that he needs to work, but maybe he doesn't need to work for The Man anymore.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:22 AM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, didn't Joan mention Avon Corporate had a New York City office? I bet if her contacts there knew how hard she worked for them and how much the bad meeting was due to Sir Doofalot not reading her brief, she might be able to leverage an executive position there if she wanted to.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:31 AM on May 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


am I remembering correctly that Anna's place was eventually sold after Stephanie dropped out of school?

IIRC, the reason he flew out to Cali with Megan was to sign the papers to sell it.
posted by drezdn at 10:40 AM on May 6, 2015


I actually feel like Avon would be a wonderful fit for Joan... if she wants to.

On the other hand, I also think its ok if she decides she just wants to be a mom for a while and maybe travel the world with Captain Pike.

Despite the ugliness at the end, I see both of those things as happy resolutions for her. An unhappy resolution would have been for her to stay behind that desk.
posted by anastasiav at 1:10 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Joan must have lots of options. Besides her very significant capital and considerable ability, she must have loads of contacts. She could also start her own business, or buy one. The way McCann treated her was appalling, but she's not exactly walking out the door with nothing either. I agree that she's better off walking away with what she can get than staying at McCann.

It made me very angry that Roger didn't stand up for her more. I know he doesn't have much say at McCann but surely he could have done something more than he did. Joan was so right to move on from that useless manchild. Time and time again Roger wasn't there for her when she needed him. Remember when Joan's night with Herb was being arranged for? Roger barely batted an eye at the proposition. Don was the one who fought against it.

I fear for Peggy, but she does have a few things going for her that Joan doesn't. Although she's attractive, she's not the showstopper Joan is and won't be subject to the same level of harassment, though I'm sure she'll have to deal with some (i.e., there was that guy checking out her ass as she finally walked in to McCann to begin work). She's in the creative side of the business as opposed to the executive/corporate side, and the atmosphere is likely to prove more liberal and progressive. She has a much longer and better track record than Joan. Joan went from being office manager to being an account exec only a year or two ago, and we saw she didn't know what she was doing at first and haven't since seen any indication that she was especially good at her job. Peggy, by contrast, has been a copywriter for nearly ten years and has earned a reputation for her work. I'm sure it won't be easy for her either, but she's got more leverage and is less of an easy mark.
posted by orange swan at 3:47 PM on May 6, 2015


Well, she took her Rolodex, which to me means she's ready and able to leverage her contacts into something different. But something tells me that the thought of starting over will prove to be just too exhausting for Joan. That said, I disagree about Roger. The evil overlord wanted her to take his bait so he could cut her off without a cent, and at least Roger made sure she was good for it. That said, the unspokenness between them just kills me. To have all that history, a child they can't acknowledge, and have it all come down to a work recommendation—ugh.
posted by mynameisluka at 4:29 PM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


There was never a sense that she absolutely loved handling accounts and that she was exceptional at it in any way. It was always very clear in the latter half of the series that the two things most important to her when it came to work was attaining enough money to secure her future and gaining the respect she always felt she was owed.

OMFG Tlo, but you completely misread the character of Joan.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:34 PM on May 6, 2015 [15 favorites]


Yeah, I agree. Joan was particularly gifted for accounts: insightful, purposeful, warm, smart, and very good at reading a room. She had sixteen years of experience navigating that environment and did the footwork to make sure she was on point. (Remember how when Ken refused to engage with a client because of status, she visited a professor to get the scoop on some basics so she could navigate and conquer the client's rookie MBA marketing guy back in 7a?)

Pete had nowhere near that level of experience or presence when he was named co-head of accounts waaaay back during the British acquisition, and no one said he didn't deserve it.

I keep wondering how different Joan's life might have been if she had been born just a few years later.
posted by mochapickle at 5:58 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


And I really don't think there's anything Roger could have done, materially. Hobart was fuming over Joan, Don (arguably Hobart's whole reason for the buy) was AWOL, Roger'd been relegated to the geriatric ward. Roger really didn't have a leg to stand on.

Roger could have found a way to chip in 250K to make Joan's payment whole, but Joan might have had too much pride for that. (Just as she keeps Roger at a distance regarding Kevin.)

It's just a terrible situation all around.
posted by mochapickle at 6:04 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


My big question regarding the show is, how much money does Weiner have to pay for his music licensing?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:46 PM on May 6, 2015


OMFG Tlo, but you completely misread the character of Joan.

THANK YOU, PhoBWanKenobi; I think TLo's been misreading Joan for years now. They always see her as more manipulative and bitchy, less competent and talented than I do.

Total bullshit to suggest she showed no particular talent for accounts and no real professional ambition. Grrrr.

Also I think all that analysis of the cut of her dresses in the various scenes of this last episode is a REAL stretch. I don't know what they're going on about with regard to differences in tightness; they are all fairly similarly form-fitting. And calling out the extremely modest v-necks of a couple of her dresses as being a "lower neckline" than some of her higher round collars is ridiculous. I mean technically true, but meaningless, as Joan's necklines in the office are all, always, very conservative.

Anyhow! Loved the analysis of Peggy, though!
posted by torticat at 7:42 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


My big question regarding the show is, how much money does Weiner have to pay for his music licensing?

The show paid $250,000 for the rights to use The Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows in the fifth season's "Lady Lazarus".
posted by crossoverman at 7:59 PM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Fun moment I forgot to mention - the ad on the radio when Don is driving past Cleveland is for Higbee's. You may remember it at the department store in A Christmas Story.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:05 PM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah Hobart was prepared to destroy Joan. Roger really helped her out by making sure she could get her $250k.
posted by dry white toast at 8:54 PM on May 6, 2015


I loved the Joan storyline so much. It showed both blatant sexist bullshit and the much more sly crap that Ferg was pulling. That stuff that you know it when you see it but has plausible deniability all over it.

To suggest that Joan wasn't good at her job or was limited in her trajectory is shenanigans. That assclown sitting across the desk from her couldn't be bothered to read information that was spoonfed to him. Why does that guy get the benefit of the doubt and the trajectory and the defense of his boss but we are just supposed to let Joan go with a little sniff and, "Well, I just don't know that she was very good"?

No way.

She was great and she brought her very own unique style and presence to her work and she could have done her job so much better if she'd had people going to bat for her, challenging her to go further instead of just using her for personal power plays.

Loved this whole episode. It was really like: wow, this is where we are going.
posted by amanda at 10:15 PM on May 6, 2015 [9 favorites]


Been thinking about Joan and I wonder if this wasn't her best possible outcome, and a triumph in that sense.

She got the power and money she deserved through sex because she couldn't have gotten it any other way. I really don't think there's any question that she deserved what she got, nor that she'd been shut down again and again in trying to work her way to it in a more "legitimate" way (cf. Peggy). Joan was always going to be pigeonholed and devalued as the sexpot.

In this last episode she forfeited some of that money so she could avoid a professional life in which she was evaluated only in terms of her face and breasts. She still walked away a very wealthy woman. And she got to tell the top dog at McCann to go fuck himself.

So--she got money/power through sex, and now she pays a part of that back to avoid having to continue to deal with it. There seems like there's some karmic equilibrium in there, not in terms of absolute justice, but in terms of the world in which she lives.

She's FREE. And wealthy. Peggy's statement, "You're filthy rich. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do" is absolutely true.

[still... I'd love to see her come back and burn the place down.]
posted by torticat at 12:05 AM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


there was that guy checking out her ass as she finally walked into McCann to begin work

I took that to mean he was looking at the octopus painting, which she was carrying with the art facing out. (Upon rewatch I paused it to look closely, and you can see the eye hook for the picture wire on the side facing her.) That seemed very significant to me, walking with that image facing out, like a "fuck you, just try and stop me" badge of fearlessness. It may be my favorite scene in the entire series, especially after rewatching the first season.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 6:23 AM on May 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


A friend of mine who works in advertising sent me this amusing column:
Don Draper, a copywriter and creative director whose ideas were some of the most thought-provoking and talked-about of the decades between the Sixties and Nineties, died Tuesday at his son’s home in Hudson, N.Y. He was 88.

The cause was cardiac arrest, according to his son, Robert Draper, who was his father’s caretaker during the last decade of his life.

“One of the world’s most-loved, most-hated and most-misunderstood advertising geniuses,” is how Peggy Olson-Levitt, former Worldwide Chief Creative Officer of McCann-Erickson, and one of Draper’s many protégés, described him. “I’d call him an enigma shrouded in mystery wrapped in a paradigm, but if I did he’d say, ‘What the hell does that mean?’ Let’s just say he was complicated.”

Draper’s co-workers included AAF president Roger Sterling (deceased since 1982), Pete Campbell, chairman emeritus of the Omnicom Group, and Harry Crane, retired partner of the United Talent Agency. His students also included Stan Rizzo, creator of the “Hippie, Trippy, Dippy Daddy” syndicated comic strip, and celebrated screenwriter and director Michael Ginsberg, a former copywriter.

“Don drove me to be better, think harder and write better. He drove me crazy. And when I got crazy, I got famous,” said Ginsberg. “Don also taught me a character’s 'moral center' isn’t a solid core but an amorphous, gassy blob.”
(The rest is good, but clearly must've been written by someone who hasn't watched in a while because he writes that "Draper-Campbell" only gets sold to McCann in the 80s.)
posted by dnash at 7:50 AM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I know it's silly, but I was a tiny bit disappointed that we never got to see Richard's "a guy."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:26 AM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


To suggest that Joan wasn't good at her job or was limited in her trajectory is shenanigans.

Mmm, I don't know if that's it. We all love her, and she was very good at internal management skills, but she came to Accounts very late in the game. Remember how everyone was fuming at the show back when she and Peggy first pitched Avon and we never (at least, within the next couple episodes) got explicit confirmation that she landed the account? That's because it could very plausibly have gone either way.

She's done her homework and is doing well at it now, but at this point in the timeline, I think it's only been about a year since she handed over office manager duties to Dawn? Joan was always a reluctant career woman, and despite being skilled at a lot of things she really was invested for a long time in marriage & family.
posted by psoas at 9:21 AM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Excuse me, but Joan has been a hard worker throughout her career, and to suggest that she has done otherwise is really bad. I think talking about her family is really bad form, because Joan never brought that to her work, despite the fact that her child was Roger's and she got raped at work and had to prostitute herself to get ahead. So "she's done her homework" just cheezes me off. Joan rules because she has worked so hard in her life, despite her hardships, given the time she was living in.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:28 PM on May 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


Elle Woods always has a scarf tied to her purse or her neck. Reminded me of Joan and Peggy to watch Legally Blonde.
posted by tilde at 6:35 PM on May 7, 2015


Remember how everyone was fuming at the show back when she and Peggy first pitched Avon and we never (at least, within the next couple episodes) got explicit confirmation that she landed the account?

Nah. It was clear in the episode that Joan had landed the account, as I argued at too much length at the time. The writers just got a little too clever on that one, and I think accidentally confused a lot of viewers. That Joan was good wasn't meant to be in question by the end of that episode. The point was she was also devious--and it worked out for her--typical Joan, doing what she had to do, because the normal channels for advancing weren't open to her.
posted by torticat at 6:52 PM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


It always struck me that Joan is effortlessly talented at many things--like every single work role she's had on the show. The problem is that both she and others often see her only for her sexual/physical value and so she'll never be taken seriously. It's happened again and again.

I don't think her taking the money and leaving is a triumph at all. If she wanted money, she could have just left when Captain Moneybags Pike came along. Those accounts, especially Avon, were really valuable to her but she'll never be able to admit that without losing face, and Joan isn't good at showing weakness.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:04 PM on May 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


I don't think her taking the money and leaving is a triumph at all.

You're probably right. Sigh.

She's still secure financially though, at the very least. And also the show's not over yet, and I don't think we're totally finished with Joan!
posted by torticat at 8:21 PM on May 7, 2015


I've been sitting with the idea mentioned above that there will be no Don at all next episode, and I think that would play really well. We'd get closure for Pete and Betty and Sally. We'd get a sense of how the universe continues without Don.

And then the last episode could be Don, just Don -- Those early shots we saw this season but haven't seen played out: Don in a windbreaker, Don traveling to somewhere with spiky plants and blue skies. A lot can happen in an hour.

I feel like it should end with Peggy, too, since the series started on her first day. But that shot of her walking down the McCann hallways like she was gonna set the world on fire was so wonderful that I kind of want that to be her parting shot.
posted by mochapickle at 10:15 PM on May 7, 2015


Wow, fascinating to see the way characters in the show condescend to Joan get replayed in this thread. Of course she wasn't as good at account management as Pete or Ken. She doesn't have nearly their experience. But she did a remarkable amount in a short time. She was determined and creative in solving problems. And she was good at dealing with clients.

To say she brought too much of her home life to her job is a sexist double standard, plain and simple.
posted by dry white toast at 10:23 PM on May 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


This week's Nerdist:

http://nerdist.com/nerdist-podcast-matthew-weiner-returns/
posted by vbfg at 3:39 PM on May 8, 2015




great discussion, all. I haven't liked this season much, but this was a top-5-all-time episode. wow.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 9:12 PM on May 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think Joan leaving with Richard would have really been a victory - that would have been what Joan of 1960 wanted not Joan of 1970. I think taking the money allows her to save face because the alternative would have been working under shitty conditions for four more years. I don't think she'll start a new agency in the next two episodes but I imagine she'll be able to do some damage with her rolodex. Is her non-compete clause still in effect?
posted by crossoverman at 1:05 AM on May 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Commemorative t-shirt.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:30 PM on May 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


Commemorative t-shirt

OH HEYyyyy I was the person who contacted the artist and asked if she could make that into a tee shirt and she did! I got my tee, glad it made it's way on here cause it's awesome.

She said she'll make one of bad-ass Peggy soon :D
posted by littlesq at 8:27 PM on May 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


I want!!!
posted by mochapickle at 9:09 PM on May 10, 2015


Rewatching and l lovvvvvve Merideth
posted by tilde at 5:04 PM on May 3, 2016


The poise of Joan with Hobart - her whole body composure was amazing and although completely shit, she has learned from her new lover that this is a 'business decision' not one that is requiring a irrational defending her ego. She can leave on her terms and do the next thing. The black and white suit she wore highlighted both her awareness of fragility at a woman aping male bosses, and her actually taking on their power.

I loved Joan in that scene.

So so so much grit. It was like watching the showdown in a Western.

But I wish she would have flipped a little at the end, and dragged a bigger payout out of him. He told her flat out that all he wanted was to never see her face again. OK, Mister, what are you REALLY willing to spend on that?

What was that show or book or musician or whatever that came up with that line, "you don't pay whores to come, you pay them to GO"? OK, Mister, if Joan is just a little nothing whore to you, then you already know you owe her something to make her leave. So you're already to pay up.

Even if she hadn't walked out with more money in the end, it would have been fun watching her twist the knife.

But as much as I love Joan's poise, that's exactly what would have kept her from a quick switch of tactics that way. She's very smart, but she's not especially cunning. She's not a trickster.

Honestly, I thought when she walked into that meeting that she would just say that Ferg was propositioning her and sending her romantic presents and things, and seeing how Ferg's boss would take that. I guess I figured she was going to humiliate Ferg, like he was acting like a little dumbass boy buying her too many wilted carnations from the SCA on Valentine's day, like he was a loser. But then she tried to approach it so professionally.

When will Joan learn that these men aren't professional? They don't care about the clients. They don't care about the pitches. They don't even seem to care about the money, judging how they trashed the West location pitch without a thought. And they've degraded her at every turn. Literally the only thing they seem to care about is their cocks. And she's just a walking pussy to them. So, personally, my impulse would have been to humiliate Ferg on that same level, and make him look like less of a man. All they care about is that she's a woman? Then OK, humiliate them as only a woman can humiliate him. That's probably the worse way to go. Definitely not as professional or sophisticated as what Joan really did, and probably would never have as good of an outcome as she got, either. Even just for the fact that letting your enemy choose the battleground is not a good idea -- so making it about sex, the way that Ferg was trying to do, was probably not a good idea. But I would have wanted to do it just as revenge.
posted by rue72 at 5:32 PM on January 15, 2017


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