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episode 8: the summer man


Last week's episode was easily in the top 5 of all Mad Men episodes. Words cannot express just how much I enjoyed that episode.

So the big question is how will Weiner follow up last week's epic episode? 

(And how long until Weiner finds a way to fire the person who accidentally posted the clips to episode 8 on the AMC website instead of episode 7.)


Episode 8: The Summer Man

Joan and Peggy deal with high-jinx in the office.



Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
gatsbyfan
Sep. 13th, 2010 04:51 am (UTC)
I am so disappointed in Joey. He showed such promise but turned out to be a misogynistic ass.

"all you’ve done is prove to them that I’m a meaningless secretary, and you’re a humorless bitch.”
Sadly, Joan is right. Peggy exerted her authority and fired Joey but it might not have been the right move. I'm not arguing that he didn't deserve to be fired (at least in today's world) but I think doing so is going to change things for Peggy. You saw a little bit of it in the reaction from the Harry, Stan and that other guy. Her relationships with the boys are going to change.

Joan would have quietly found a way to deal with him. It might have taken a bit longer, but Joan would have gotten rid of him. Poor Peggy thinks she's doing something good for Joan and once again it backfires.
gatsbyfan
Sep. 13th, 2010 05:19 am (UTC)
I know a lot of people aren't fans of voice-overs but I thought it worked well in tonight's episode. We learn quickly that Don is trying to change his life and get a handle on his drinking. And really any vehicle that allows us to see Don swimming or without a shirt on is okay with me. ;-)

I really liked the use of "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones.


Also, we learned another thing about Don. He didn't finish high school. Interesting. He really is a self-taught man.

Don goes on a date with Bethany and bumps into Betty and Henry. Awkward. But whereas Don moves on, Betty obsesses about it. And then proceeds to drink to much and behave like a child. Interesting that Henry tells her she behaved like a child. I know he is older than her but more and more I feel like he's the grown up and she's one of the children.

Speaking of children... please for the love of god Don, don't date Bethany. She's a younger version of Betty and that's not what you need. You need an adult.

Interesting that he didn't sleep with Faye. That's big for Don. He really is trying to change his ways.

The last scene was fascinating. Don looked so happy playing with Baby Gene. Betty behaved as an adult for once. But I thought the look on her face while she was watching Don to be interesting. "We have everything." Was Betty trying to convince herself? The look on her face made me wonder if she wasn't regretting things, even just a little.
amycurl
Sep. 13th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
I thought the use of voice-over was interesting, because we so much of what we understand to be Don's motivation has be inferred entirely by the action of the scene. Hearing his internal monologue--it kinda shocked me for moment. Who knew that Don was actually that self-aware?

In some ways I can see Joan's point, but I also think Peggy made the right move. Don would have fired him; why would Peggy act any differently? Being feared as a humorless bitch might not be that bad of a deal for Peggy; there are other potholes for being seen as "one of the guys" for her, too.

What I find interesting is the stepping-up of overtly misogynistic and hostile-workplace-environment behavior. As we move into the mid-sixties, and the role of women is slowly changing, it's as if the men who might most be threatened by this (men like Joey, in particular) seem like they need to lash out more and more overtly.

Also, Joey's mother issues? Go take it somewhere else; we're all filled up here. :P
tomfoolery815
Sep. 13th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)
I think doing so is going to change things for Peggy. You saw a little bit of it in the reaction from the Harry, Stan and that other guy. Her relationships with the boys are going to change.
The relationships will change, Gatzy, but I think for the better. Whatshisname from the Waldorf, the liberated one? He said "the power of the poontang," which while vulgar and insulting, does acknowledge that Peggy has power in the office.

Joan was trying to chip away at getting rid of Joey, but she wasn't getting anywhere, and the demeaning, disrespectul behavior would've continued in the meantime. Joan was trying to get someone else to fire Joey, too. The difference is, she was trying to get it done without her fingerprints on it.

I wonder if her reaction to Peggy isn't about Joan's control issues, insisting that things be done her way. Peggy found a way to change an unacceptable situation that, evidently, isn't open to Joan, and Joan doesn't like that. So instead of thanking Peggy for reducing sexual harassment at SDCP -- really, introducing the concept of sexual harassment, and that it's unacceptable -- she demeans Peggy's actions.
tomfoolery815
Sep. 13th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
Hey, I didn't hate Betty in this episode! That's progress for me. ;-)

Don goes on a date with Bethany and bumps into Betty and Henry. Awkward. But whereas Don moves on, Betty obsesses about it. And then proceeds to drink to much and behave like a child.
Betty gave us some insight the morning after, when she was apologetic and Henry was still cool to her. She told him that Don was the only man she'd ever been with. That's significant, I think, because all of Don's affairs happened outside her presence. (Naturally.) So she was furious that she wasn't enough for him, but also jealous, because she loved Don deeply and couldn't stand the thought of another woman getting his attention.

So here she is, confronted by Don out with another woman. Even though she's married to Henry, her old feelings for Don -- the jealousy, specifically -- bubble back to the surface.

She actually handled Don's arrival at the party remarkably well, defusing the situation by bringing Gene to Don and walking back over to Henry's side.

It's Henry who was marking his territory. Pushing Don around about the boxes, then leaving them at the curb and refusing to acknowledge Don when he shows up. It can't make Henry feel too good to realize Don has any kind of hold on Betty, especially when Don isn't even trying to have a hold on her.
tomfoolery815
Sep. 13th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
What I find interesting is the stepping-up of overtly misogynistic and hostile-workplace-environment behavior. As we move into the mid-sixties, and the role of women is slowly changing, it's as if the men who might most be threatened by this (men like Joey, in particular) seem like they need to lash out more and more overtly.
Excellent point, A. In Season 1, early 1960, the men at Sterling Cooper knew that all the women were subordinate to them, and that that was the way of the world. Here in '65 it's starting to change. It's a nonviolent parallel to white-black relations in the South at the same time: Those who'd had primacy reacting with hostility to the idea that the lesser ones now have equal footing. It could get worse for working women before it gets better.
gatsbyfan
Sep. 13th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
Being feared as a humorless bitch might not be that bad of a deal for Peggy; there are other potholes for being seen as "one of the guys" for her, too.
does acknowledge that Peggy has power in the office.
I would have preferred her to fire him for his work, not his behavior.

If memory serves it sounded like Joey wasn't doing great work anyway. I think if Joey were delivering the goods, he might have been able to stick around. But to not be delivering and be an ass, there's no incentive to keep you around.

This is still early in the days when sexism was something that women just had to deal with even if they had power. (My comment is based on my aunt's stories from working at Leo Burnett)

Also, Joey's mother issues? Go take it somewhere else
Yeah, that was a bit much. I have a feeling that if Joey ever finds a woman and ever manages to get managed it won't last. Or she's be some poor woman without a spine.
tomfoolery815
Sep. 13th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)
I would have preferred her to fire him for his work, not his behavior.
I respect that.

This is still early in the days when sexism was something that women just had to deal with even if they had power. (My comment is based on my aunt's stories from working at Leo Burnett)
No doubt. I know that I should always be mindful that it's 1965, not 2010.
marymary
Sep. 19th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
FINALLY catching up. Hi, guys!

In some ways I can see Joan's point, but I also think Peggy made the right move. Don would have fired him; why would Peggy act any differently? Being feared as a humorless bitch might not be that bad of a deal for Peggy; there are other potholes for being seen as "one of the guys" for her, too.

This is exactly how I felt about it, amy. And, on further reflection, I think maybe Joan and Peggy are equally "right" but that Joan is using an older perspective. As a secretary, she has learned how to weild a lot of power, but in less direct ways. She plants seeds, she goes through Lane. (As you said, Tom, "without her fingerprints on it.") Don reminded Peggy that she's an executive. She can execute. :) Too bad for Peggy that she wholly swallowed Joan's POV in that elevator, and now feels bad about her decision.

By the way, did Joey suddenly and drastically become a lazy, sexist asshole? Like, for the purposes of this episode? If so, I'm not pleased. But it could be that his cuteness had blinded me to his bad qualities (more mildly displayed) until now. What do you think? The mother stuff reeked of retcon to me.

gatz I agree that you'd much rather fire him for his poor work. It's so hard to decide what to think because this is the 60s -- faced with that behavior TODAY, I would find it HIGHLY relevant to job performance. Someone who's refusing to follow orders of his supervisor and harrassing co-workers? But then I'd also fire him for drinking in the office. :) See what I mean? I still think he was pretty firable. All of a sudden. :)

Tom, I agree with your take on Betty's feelings at the restaurant. And I thought it was interesting that, though Henry said the problem was Betty's reaction to Don, Betty then let it go. Henry was the one holding onto it -- he disinvited Don to Gene's birthday without telling Betty.

Best line of the episode: "I feel like I'm Margaret Mead."
tomfoolery815
Sep. 19th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
MARY! I'm glad you made it. :)

Best line of the episode: "I feel like I'm Margaret Mead."
That was a fantastic line, wasn't it? It happened so early in the episode that I forgot about it until you repeated it, apparently. EM's delivery was perfect, too.

By the way, did Joey suddenly and drastically become a lazy, sexist asshole? Like, for the purposes of this episode?
He gave Joan some backtalk in the previous episode, IIRC. But it escalated considerably in this one, to be sure. He had not been that guy from the start, the way Freddie Rumsen was The Drunk or Paul Kinsey was The Pretentious One, where that aspect of their personality was established early.

And I thought it was interesting that, though Henry said the problem was Betty's reaction to Don, Betty then let it go. Henry was the one holding onto it
That was interesting, wasn't it? We'd expect Betty to cling to the jealousy, wouldn't we? I would have, anyway.

It appears as though Henry thought about the implications of Betty's response, and got pissed about it. They passed the jealousy baton.


gatsbyfan
Sep. 19th, 2010 03:39 am (UTC)
id Joey suddenly and drastically become a lazy, sexist asshole? Like, for the purposes of this episode? If so, I'm not pleased. But it could be that his cuteness had blinded me to his bad qualities (more mildly displayed) until now.
He showed small signs in an earlier episode but they went really heavy handed on this one.

I was sort of disappointed because of the cuteness. And because Stan sort of annoys me.
marymary
Sep. 19th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
It appears as though Henry thought about the implications of Betty's response, and got pissed about it. They passed the jealousy baton.

Yes, I think that's precisely it. Betty reacted to Don and Henry reacted to Betty's reaction to Don.

I was sort of disappointed because of the cuteness. And because Stan sort of annoys me.

Right, I was like, "Stan's already an asshole -- can't we just fire him?" Though they had sort of established Peggy and Stan as peers previously. Then again I didn't realize Peggy could fire Joey either.

I'm not just disappointed because of the cuteness vacuum (Joan's hubby is cute but I still find him a bit creepy) but because it was really nice to see Peggy have some chemistry and fun with a co-worker...who SEEMED to respect her. Honestly, I have a bone to pick with Weiner. (Hmmm, I think I deserve to be fired for that last line.)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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