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Mad Men:

And then there were 3. This season is going by very quickly! 

Season 5, Episode 11: The Other Woman
Don's challenged by a pitch and Peggy contemplates a trip.

Share your thoughts when you get a chance. 

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
marymary
May. 28th, 2012 05:24 am (UTC)
The only scene I really loved in that whole episode was the one where Peggy quit.

It was a classic romantic breakup. The man doesn't see it coming, and then when he realizes what's happening, he thinks there's still time on the clock. He negotiates and tries to stop it. But it's already over. And if he'd been paying attention, he would have realized what was happening way before it happened -- while she was trying to tell him and before she made the final decision. He could have done something about it then, but not now.

We see many on-screen breakups like this; I don't think I've ever seen a quitting scene that played like this one. But it's exactly right...I think Don and Peggy's relationship has always been pretty muddled in this way. The fact that he's a man and she's a woman -- maybe that alone is what's imbued their work relationship with aspects of a romantic partnership. So I thought this final (?) scene between them was sort of perfect.
tomfoolery815
May. 28th, 2012 04:01 pm (UTC)
That was a great scene, Mary. Extremely well done.

EM said that they didn't tell her that Don was going to grab Peggy's hand: "And then he did and I really sort of lost it… and I will say that every single one of those tears was actually absolutely real."

Theirs is a complicated relationship. They have a great deal of love for each other, so if one feels wronged by the other, it's not merely two pissed-off co-workers. Don's reaction to her leaving is "you ungrateful little shit" on the surface, but there's also quite a bit of "how can you do this to me?" hurt.

And Don't hold on Peggy -- again, not romantic, but one of a certain kind of love -- is such that takes a nudge from Freddy to make Peggy realize that she truly doesn't need Don anymore.
gatsbyfan
May. 28th, 2012 04:01 pm (UTC)
The only scene I really loved in that whole episode was the one where Peggy quit.
Me too.

I really didn't like this episode. It didn't feel right. Pete is an asshole and him pimping Joan out isn't beyond the realm but the others... I just don't know. It makes sense that Don would be so upset by the thought considering his past. He respects Joan.

The look on Don's face at the end when Joan walks in to hear the announcement from Jaguar... it was telling. I think it's a bit disappointment that they had to pimp her out and a bit disappointment that they will never know if the pitch could have won the job on its own.

I was surprised by the reaction of the other partners. I guess Lane's dire financial situation explains why he would be in favor of doing it. And I guess you can say he was helpful in telling her to think of the bigger picture and get ownership in the agency, but really it just made me sick.

If the title sequence foretells something in the future, I really hope Pete is the one falling out the window. And I hope that several people help by giving him a good shove.
tomfoolery815
May. 28th, 2012 04:05 pm (UTC)
But ... I loved the final shot, where Peggy smiles as "You Really Got Me" revs up. I don't see a hidden meaning behind the lyrics; just that the song rocks, and at the time the song came out nothing else on the radio sounded quite like it.
tomfoolery815
May. 28th, 2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
Of course, the song's opening line in full is ...

Girl, you really got me now

... so suddenly there's a meaning behind the curtain over there. ;)

gatsbyfan
May. 28th, 2012 04:14 pm (UTC)
I'm really hoping that scene with Peggy and Don is not the last we see Peggy.

Peggy really had no choice. She had to leave. Don has taken her for granted for a long time. Throwing money at her both literally and with an offer to increase her salary or beat the offer wasn't going to do it this time. I give Peggy a lot of credit. She could have made more money but she would ultimately still be unhappy with the job because nothing would change.

When Don kissed her hand, it was a little heartbreaking. He really doesn't want her to go.

It will be interesting to see where they go from here.
tomfoolery815
May. 28th, 2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
I'm really hoping that scene with Peggy and Don is not the last we see Peggy.
I hope not either, Gatzy.

But I'm left to wonder where Peggy goes from here. They're not going to have a Jim Halpert-in-Stamford situation, IMO, if only because that doesn't seem like a move Weiner would make. There are several standing domestic settings, and locations for trysts, but there's always been just a single workplace.

The most likely outcomes seem to be that either Peggy comes back to SDCP at some point ... or goes to hang out with Sal.
tomfoolery815
May. 28th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
It's just awful that the partners would even ask, isn't it? Craven and disloyal.

At least Don said no from the outset, and tried to persuade her not to do it, but he (and, initially, we) didn't know that he was too late.

Pete ... well, I just read a comment saying that this is where Pete finally owned up to his Machiavellian nature. Putting it all to Joan in terms of "We won't get Jaguar unless you agree to be whored out." Thus, it would be her fault if she declined.

He's fumbled with his nature before, but -- and this was well done by VK -- when he initially asks Joan, and she's filled with cold fury, Pete's maintaining the I-hate-to-ask pretense and turns toward the door. The camera moves to the opposite side of the room, and we see Pete's "I've got her now" smile, but Joan does not. Amy's bus is revving up, and I'm ready to drive it.

I can't help but draw a comparison to Joan agreeing to do this for a stake in the company, and her staying with Greg after he raped her. The connection seems to be that Joan's sexuality is a source of power for her, and hers to control ... except in significant, awful moments, it is not.
amycurl
May. 29th, 2012 02:53 am (UTC)
Amy's bus is revving up, and I'm ready to drive it.

I actually paused the TiVo and screamed "WHERE'S MY BUS?!?!" the minute he opened the door to her office.


Sorry, folks, I was weeks behind. Took a mini-marathon this weekend to catch-up.
tomfoolery815
May. 29th, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
I actually paused the TiVo and screamed "WHERE'S MY BUS?!?!" the minute he opened the door to her office.
I have no trouble believing this, Amybabe. None whatsoever. :)
marymary
May. 29th, 2012 03:06 am (UTC)
The connection seems to be that Joan's sexuality is a source of power for her, and hers to control ... except in significant, awful moments, it is not.

Well...I guess I see this episode as a strange victory for all three women. Peggy, Megan and Joan were all treated poorly because they were women. But each of them took control of the situation and got what they wanted (or needed) out of the horrible situation.

The offense against Megan was mild (as far as we know), and she was rejected (as far as we know), instead of turning them down. She's probably better off not working for those three, so I guess at best she dodged a bullet.

But in Peggy's and Joan's cases, they made decisions and moved forward on their own terms. Sure, Pete was trying to guilt Joan into it, but I don't believe for a second that's why she did it. I don't believe she thought she would suffer repercussions from the partners if she didn't sleep with the Jaguar guy. She wanted to be a partner and she wanted financial independence for herself and her son, so she made the deal.

The show has always made a nice distinction between Peggy's life as a woman and Joan's. Joan (old school) made the move Joan would have made. Peggy (new world) made the Peggy move.

Pete ... well, I just read a comment saying that this is where Pete finally owned up to his Machiavellian nature. Putting it all to Joan in terms of "We won't get Jaguar unless you agree to be whored out." Thus, it would be her fault if she declined.

Right, Tom, Macchiavellian and oddly stupid. It's such a weird combination! I think VK is doing a brilliant job with Pete.

- The scene with Trudy -- he has no view of the big picture of his life and what will really make him happy, he's just all ham-handed with the "You're in your pajamas...I need an apartment in the city!"

- Likewise, with Joan. I was wide-eyed and laughing that Pete was sitting in front of Joan like a magician with a smug face and a rabbit wriggling under his jacket. She saw through him instantly and effortlessly. Sure she was mad, but not because he had har at a disadvantage - because he was such a vile little pig to try to do it.

He's sort of a child, still -- his only advantage is his determination.

And he says "Jag-wire," which is a huge pet peeve. :) So yeah, gatz, I agree -- he can go off the ledge as far as I'm concerned.

Edited at 2012-05-29 03:08 am (UTC)
tomfoolery815
May. 31st, 2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
I guess I see this episode as a strange victory for all three women ... I don't believe she thought she would suffer repercussions from the partners if she didn't sleep with the Jaguar guy. She wanted to be a partner and she wanted financial independence for herself and her son, so she made the deal.
Mary, someone I read pointed out that Lane told her to get the best deal for herself, and she took that advice. She parlayed the awful situation into something positive, and that part of it was, of course, was her choice. So yeah, I can certainly see it from your point of view. It's a victory of sorts, certainly a strange victory, and I would suggest a Pyrrhic victory.

The show has always made a nice distinction between Peggy's life as a woman and Joan's. Joan (old school) made the move Joan would have made. Peggy (new world) made the Peggy move.
ITA.
gatsbyfan
May. 30th, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
marymary
May. 31st, 2012 03:43 am (UTC)
The Linda Holmes piece is great, gatz! While I don't side with her POV 100%, I think she makse a lot of great points and eleoquently.

My favorite is her rundown of the Roger problem:

But (1) that requires you to assume Roger knows nothing about Joan and therefore believes she would willingly do this, and (2) everybody believes that Pete Campbell is such a reliable narrator that if he says Joan is willing to sleep with the guy for money, it must be true. That's not believable in the slightest. Roger wouldn't trust Pete Campbell if he said logs roll downhill, let alone taking him at his word when he says, "Joan is totally up for sleeping with this guy in exchange for enough money." I firmly believe that if that were to happen, Roger would march right up to Joan and say, at the very least, "Explain this to me." Even if I believed these guys would go along with this, I absolutely don't believe they'd go along with it, on the theory that she was up for it, on Pete Campbell's say-so, without talking to her.

And she puts her finger on something that was eluding me, which is why the Don revelation (that he had arrived "too late") didn't quite work for me. Linda's right -- it's because I didn't believe Joan would have thought Don had agreed AND, even if she did, I don't believe it would have made the difference.

I don't see Joan's propriety as Linda describes it, exactly. I think Joan has a strict code of conduct for herself, but I don't think it's a simple one. The key, for me, is that she did what she did on her OWN terms. The equation worked for her -- the partnership was a factor way beyond what she had considered when Pete approached her. So she set aside the bad behavior of the partners (which, on its own, would have earned her rejection) and looked at the situation pragmatically. I'm imagining her inner shock/horror/chagrin as she realized she agreed with Pete and Lane -- it's one night for a lifetime changed.

Again, I love the Joan/Peggy juxtaposition. Joan has always acknowledged and owned the power of her sexuality. Whereas Peggy has rejected hers, in a sense. That's why Joan is old school. She accepts "the rules" and works them as best she can. She's like, "Fine, you want this? Let me shine it up for you so I can get the most for it." Peggy wants to change the rules. She insists that the men ignore what female appeal she has, and change their view of their whole world. Joan is an artisan and Peggy is a revolutionary.

ETA: Just read Goodman, and apparently I agree with him on the Joan/Peggy thing. And he has some interesting things to say about Peggy and Don.

Edited at 2012-05-31 03:52 am (UTC)
marymary
Jun. 3rd, 2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
Here's a really interesting and thorough post on this episode by Jim Emerson, Sun Times. Really cool observations in here, like what the open elevator shaft might have meant.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/scanners/2012/05/mad_men_the_long_walk.html
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