Exploring the world of film with Jonathan R. Lack
Peggy's work was for chevalier blanc, not sauvignon blanc
Thank you very much. It's been fixed.
Your review is the first I've read that mentions the lobster - I thought it significant that Peggy was looking at the freelancers through a glass wall. Not quite a ceiling, but she's hit it, nonetheless.
You have brilliantly expressed exactly what I was feeling during this episode...bravo!
I like your analysis, but I have to disagree about one thing -- I do not see Peggy as the most talented copy writer in the bunch. Ginsberg is a jerk and a loose cannon at times...but I find him much more talented than Peggy. His ideas seem more intuitive and inspired. Unlike what the guy (forget his name, the guy who hired her) said, I do see Peggy as someone who is very calculated in her work, like it is something technical.Also, for all the overtime Peggy was working, why did it seem like we saw so little finished products? That said, it was a good move for her to leave and I think she'll do well in her next job.
That's fair. It comes down to taste, I suppose, and I just don't see Ginsberg's work as more impressive. I, for one, don't think he could ever have come up with the on-the-fly Chevalier pitch the way Peggy did. As for Peggy's overtime, we don't see the finished products because most of that overtime was for Heinz, which she got kicked off of, and then for Mowhawk, which Roger replaced with Ginsberg. So all her work was literally for naught as other people took over or got the credit.
Excellent review. I agree on many levels, but I think, and this might just be my own opinion, when it came to how Don treated Megan's news of leaving for 3 months... yes, you can say that he doesn't think his woman should just be running freely in Boston for 3 months (like she is his property) and that he doesn't really respect her dreams and wishes, but on the other hand, it could possibly simply be one spouse not wanting to have the other spouse gone for 3 long months, and without even discussing it over with him first. I don't think, necessarily, that just because Don doesn't want her gone for 3 months, that it means he's not being supportive of her dreams. I mean, for any spouse to just tell the other one (maybe not literally but figuratively), "If I get this job, I'll be gone for 3 months... and if you don't like it, too bad," just shows that they are not really thinking of the other person. Would she like it if Don said he had to leave for 3 months because of his job, and he didn't even talk it over with her first? I mean, this IS a marriage and yes, even though it's 1966 and women were only just starting to exhibit more independence, I still think that Don's reaction was not just because he was trying to control his wife or doesn't think a wife should have a real career, but simply that he really doesn't want to be without her for 3 months. Which I think would be a normal reaction at any time in history and from either sex. He loves her and likes to be with her, unlike his situation with Betty. So I don't think it's so black & white as Don just simply dismissing her dreams. As far as the situation with Peggy... yes, it was very disrespectful of him to throw money at her, especially in front of others, and yes, she definitely deserves more respect for all the hard work she does there, and yes, maybe she's simply reached the limit of how far she can go in that company (then again, she might find the same problem at the next company since it's still only 1966 and women still didn't have the kind of respect and power they would get in the ensuing decades)... but maybe Don simply doesn't think that Peggy should be always trying to take credit for her work, even when she's done great work. What I mean is, and I don't know how ad agencies run in real life, but I would assume that everyone throws in ideas, and maybe to Don, that's just part of your job and you shouldn't be always looking to be recognized for that work or be given praise, and like he said in an earlier episode, "that's what the pay is for." But I DO think that he takes her for granted many times and yes, maybe being that she's a woman she will never get true respect in that company, but I DO think that Don respects her work. Again, it's always kind of a gray area on this show. Nothing is ever as strictly black & white as it seems on the surface. Anyhow, I agree with all the other comments you made and I think it was a brilliant episode.
I agree in theory with both of the things you said. When it comes to Don and Megan, yes, Don should have a say in where she goes, just as SHE should have a say in him spending every weekend at work on the Jaguar pitch. Why I feel he was cruel to her is the way he spoke to her. Instead of saying "I love you, I would rather you not be away for weeks, can we talk about this and figure out a good middle ground compromise?" He said "Absolutely not" and shouted. THAT's the problem. He isn't treating her as a partner in that moment, but as an underling. And with Peggy, I totally agree. Don loves her. Don respects her deeply. But time and time again, he mistreats her when he feels bad, no matter how many times they hang out and make up. Peggy's never treated him like that. There's something that will always be fundamentally unfulfilling about SCDP for Peggy, and I think that's the realization she came to tonight. It's tough for her, because she knows Don respects her, and she respects him even more. But actions, sadly, speak louder than thoughts.
I was so distusted at the beginning of this episode. I almost turned it off. But I'm glad I kept watching. The depth of Mad Men is staggering. The range of emotion I experienced as a viewer in this one episode was incredible. I agree with you about the quality of this show. It compares to great literature!
I thank you for your excellent review and analysis. I am in awe that someone can write such a marvelous review just an hour or two after airing. I did have one question....what did you make of Ginsberg's comment, "She just comes in as she pleases" (I may have not remembered the quote accurately), as Megan came in to surprise Don. I feel that the visit aided Ginsberg in his pitch for Jaguar, but I am not able to make the connection entirely. Any thoughts on your end? Thank you again.
"She just comes and goes as she pleases." I think it's supposed to be another case of Ginsberg misreading a situation. He's applying an idea of 'freedom' to Megan, saying she can do whatever she wants and Don is at her will, when in fact Megan is in many ways shackled by Don, as we see in later scenes. But Ginsberg's misreading of Megan's supposed coming and going gives him the idea for the pitch, the idea of women being out of man's control (which, again, is a misreading of social norms).
The only thing I did not understand is when, at the end, as Peggy walked with her belongings to the elevator, Joan glanced at her and then continued listening to the man at the Jaguar celebration. Joan understood what was happening. What was her expression saying?
I think it's supposed to create contrast between the two. Peggy has an exit from this world to a brighter future, while Joan is stuck in this world, with financial security gained at a terrible cost. Joan understands that she doesn't have the opportunities Peggy does, and I think she feels crushed in that moment. That's how I interpreted it, anyway.
great right up/ i enjoyed reading your thoughts
This season's 'The Suitcase' for sure. Disturbing/affecting and memorable.
I just recently posted on my own review of the episode and was glad to see you that echoed some of my own thoughts/reactions in your posts. I've been reading your reviews for quite some time and am always happy when we agree, because you really have some interesting things to say. Thanks!
*posted my own
Just a brilliant and insightful analysis. Kudos! I am glad to read a thorough expression of my feelings about last night's great episode. Jon Hamm's performances continue to be revelation. His scene with Elizabeth Moss was absolutely heartbreaking in its authenticity. Clearly Don Draper loves her deeply and realizes his mistake. Moss's acting, especially the pain in her face as she expressed her feelings about his mentorship, was an iconic moment in the history of television drama. I also agree that Don's humanity has continued to develop and, in that vein, truly believe he will do everything he can to win Peggy back. As for his blow up with Megan, I consider her a spoiled child really unworthy of much respect about her new career choice. True, she is likable and, true, she is what Don needs in his life. However, unlike her husband, she has always lived the privileged life. Her desire to become an actress, while genuine, comes only as the product of having a rich and powerful husband who can afford to let her pursue her vanity. But at what cost to the marriage? And let's not forget she appeared happy (and was absolutely brilliant with the Heinz assist) working at SCDP until the man who had spoiled her in the first place, her father, whispered his disappointment of her in her ear. So instead of going with what she had earned, she just dropped her job because she knew she had choices and someone to pay for her new decision.But here's the rub. Don needs Megan's attention and support around 24/7. She is the reason that he has changed this year and that is why he wanted her with him at work. Since she left we have seen glimpses of the old Don, as was pointed out in the essay. Megan is Don's 12 step program and he will relapse if she is not careful.I believe that Megan's flighty behavior will cause Don's fragile ego to end up in Joan's bed (and I think if circumstances continue as they have been this season this is where things are going). All it will take is for Megan to hurt him and Joan will be waiting to repay his commitment to her honor.Let me conclude by saying that not only is Mad Men a great treatise on white male hegemony and its subjugation of the female, by default it is also a perfect representation of racism. At least women are visible in MM when they are marginalized. Blacks, despite the show now being set in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, continue to be invisible. Only when SCDP hires a black copy writer will it truly engage the sixties.See http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/features/2012/mad_men_and_race_the_series_handling_of_race_has_been_painfully_accurate_/mad_men_and_race_why_season_5_may_finally_put_the_civil_rights_movement_front_and_center_.html
Art is at its best when it makes us feel in ways beyond the logical and rational. It is one of the reasons the work of Bob Dylan is so powerful, and the reason he has steadfastly refused to explain it over the years. It is highly subjective and relative to the listener/viewer/reader. As you pointed out in your excellent review, the impact of The Other Woman on the viewer will vary, but it cannot be denied this is one of the most stirring and disturbing peaces of art ever seen on American television. Brilliant.
Great read - agree that it is one of the greatest episodes, due not only to the enormity of the Shakespearean themes, but also the use of humour. Another "other woman" you didn't mention, Joan's ("friend") mother, and her relationship with the plumber, revealed in the conversation about Joan "drying up". Hilarious, on one level, and craftily adding another layer of context to Joan's ultimate decision.
Love the review. Peter is the most despicable character maybe that is why he is in sales. Something I found interesting is only Don knows Joan's husband is divorcing her which made the conversation about pimping her even more interesting. Joan is facing a desparate period in her life and she has managed to maintain her poise. She played the role of the call girl perfectly. She did not face Herb as he placed the necklace. Herb wanted some foreplay, Joan turned for him to unzip her dress. After, as they lay in bed and Herb wanted some after sex talk, Joan summarily finished her job and got out of bed. To her it was a job to which later she displays her shame by distancing herself from the celebration. When you think back to the 60s Joan is about as strong a woman as you would expect in that era.
" Sleeping with Herb in exchange for a partnership is, in the world Joan has experienced her entire life, the only way she can permanently improve her status. She’ll lose her dignity, but given everything that’s happened to her recently, is that too steep a price to pay for financial stability and corporate influence? "I believe it is. You may have heard the famous story, attributed to either George Bernard Shaw or Winston Churchill, about a man who propositions a woman to sleep with him for 1 million pounds. She accepts. He then changes the offer to 1 pound. When she refuses and asks what kind of woman he thinks she is, he replies that they have already established that, and are now haggling over the price. Joan's situation is a difficult one to be sure, but it is not desperate; she and all the other partners (and Jaguar for that matter) will always know she got the partnership in the most sordid of ways. The difficult situation she was in was turned into a tragic one by her decision. However, remember she asked Pete whether Roger was on board with the idea. When Pete deceived her into thinking Roger was OK with her doing it, I think she was too hurt to care.