After last week's blockbuster episode, I suppose I was expecting a slower outing to reset things just a bit. While it was definitely slower and more moody, there was still plenty to love from the get-go, which featured a visual representation of the dichotomy of women the episode would later present in a Playtex idea meeting: Joan and Betty were getting dressed in sexy lingerie while Peggy pulls on her pantyhose.
The dichotomy, Paul Kinsey says, is the difference between Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. He wins Don over with the idea by pointing out the different types of women around the office (while wonderfully noting that "Marilyn is really a Joan"). Poor Peggy, who was not invited out to the bar where this idea was hatched, not only gets left behind on the account, but also insulted when she asks what kind of woman she is. "Gertrude Stein," Ken Cosgrove replies to a laugh. Don rescues the moment saying she's more of an Irene Dunne, but Peggy is still left out of Kinsey's classification in much the same way the fellas continue to leave her out of meetings and off the memos.
Peggy seeks out Joan to ask that she scold the boys' secretaries for not giving her the memos (or maybe to help find her inner Marilyn), and she gets a little bit of both. Joan reminds her that since she chose to be a part of that world (something Joan never wanted) she had to "learn to speak the language." Of course, part of that language is spoken with the body, prompting Joan to tell Peggy to "stop dressing like a little girl." When the boys take the Playtex clients (despite them sticking with their original, less sexy answer to Maidenform's campaign) to the Tom Tom cabaret, Peggy (who was again not invited) takes Joan's message to heart, strolling in with her hair down, her lips shiny red and her neckline plunging. Sadly, the attention she got from Playtex's old man ("Tell Santa what you want for Christmas," he said) wasn't exactly the satisfying result she had hoped for. Worse, Pete Campbell sneered disapprovingly with a sour glare that made his ruining Peggy's fun last season seem gentle.
Meanwhile, Duck, who suggested Don put some effort into the ultimately rejected Playtex campaign, played daddy to his two children, on loan from his ex-wife for Memorial Day weekend. However, he was much more excited to see his beautiful dog Chauncey, who he proudly drug around the office for a few days. Because Duck was again at odds with Don (who didn't see the need to once again mess with a perfectly well-performing campaign) Sterling suggests Don make nice and bury the hatchet over lunch. Though they don't quite get that far, Duck does tell Don that he knows he made a blunder with American Airlines. (I loved Don's "18 months in?" response to Duck's "It's been hard to figure things out around here." I have no clue how he's managed to hold onto his job after so many missteps.) Duck admits that Don has an "I told you so," but simply wants to move forward, which Don obliges. (Though I don't think we've seen the last of their squabbles. At least I hope not, as I laughed aloud when Don openly mocked Duck's poor copy idea when he was suggesting ways to make Playtex more like Maidenform: "Thank you for
Duck's biggest battle in this episode, however, was not with Don, but with himself after learning that his ex was planning to get remarried. His kids informed him that the reason for their visit was to bring Chauncey back to him, returning what he had previously sacrificed so the kids could have consistency. (Of course he later tells his Pete that he demanded to have the dog given back to him.) When caught in a stare-down with the dog at the end of the day, Duck picks up a bottle of booze, prepared to drown his sorrows, despite giving up his seat on the wagon. To avoid the dog's shaming stare, Duck grabs Chauncey, leads him into the lobby, unleashes him on Madison Avenue, and coldly walks away.
Don treated the women his life in a similar icy way in this episode. After Betty buys a teeny-weeny yellow bikini (minus the polka dots), Don, who noticed her chatting up former stable pal Arthur Crane at the country club, tears her down for wanting to be seen in public wearing such attire. "Do you want to be ogled?... It's desperate," he said, visibly crushing her. But Bobbie (who Don rushed out from his Memorial Day country clubbing with the wife and kids to see, only to be rejected because her son - son?!? - was in town) got a little extra physical attention from Don. When he learned that Bobbie (who also revealed she had a daughter) had sought out the "Full Don Draper treatment" because his other conquests had been touting his reputation, he was not pleased. Having already told her to stop talking during their "tie me up" foreplay, Bobbie couldn't resist letting him know that he was "known as a connoisseur." Don tightened the scarves, and put his hand around Bobbie's throat, muttering "Does it make you feel better to think I'm like you?" (Um, aren't you?) He got dressed and left her tied up, reminding her that he "told [her] to stop talking." (So how many of you are jumping for joy that this arc is winding itself up? Speak up, Bobbie haters. I know you're out there!)
Even though Don played it macho as always, the cracks are still clearly there, as it takes only an "I won't talk to you, Daddy," while he's shaving to completely wreck him. He isn't the war hero his family was applauding earlier in the episode, yet he also doesn't want to be the piece of meat he's apparently become. (Or perhaps he's just not happy with the way he's tried to reconcile those two halves.) Either way, it's clear that he's not interested in staring into the face of the man he sees in the mirror.
A few other thoughts:
" Pete was quite proud of the man he sees in his hallway mirror, slinking home after a romp with a model he met in the elevator after a casting call at the office. Good thing they turned the TV up so her mom in the next room couldn't hear everything. (Ick!)
" Before giving Peggy a scowl at the cabaret, Pete stumbled all lover himself when recounting his long weekend. (He also dissed Peggy: "The libraries were closed. Where were you?" he said.) He also rambled his way through obliviously spoiling a movie, something he hates when other people do on his way to complimenting Peggy's work on the Clearasil ad, despite his addition of a crappy tagline, "Thanks, Clearasil." But the client (his father-in-law) liked it, which again allowed Pete to ruin one of Peggy's finer moments. (Anyone see a little Don Draper in her as she was mapping out the pitch with Sal and Pete?)
" Loved the sunburned Jane. It was a quick throw away moment (mostly to set up a classic Roger Sterling moment of admiration), but it was awesome.
" I've already mentioned Pete and Don's mirror scenes, but let's not forget the opening, in which Peggy (at least the Peggy we used to know) was dressing without a mirror while Joan and Betty were admiring themselves. The mirrors in this episode are less about what the person using them is seeing, but rather, picking up on what everyone else sees. This notion was echoed in Paul's Playtex pitch, that women wear bras for their husbands and their friend's husbands. When do we think Betty might start wearing hers for another man?
So what did you think of the show? Glad to see Bobbie tied up and left behind? Now that Don's watching Betty a little more closely, do you predict even more tension in their marriage? Do you like the new Peggy? Did anyone else loose sleep worrying about poor Chauncey wandering down Madison Avenue alone? Share your thoughts in the comments and check back next week for more!
After last weeks blockbuster episode I suppose I was expecting a slower outing to reset things just a bit While it was definitely slower and more moody there was still plenty to love from the get-go which featured a visual representation of the dichotomy of women the episode would later present in a Playtex idea meeting Joan and Betty were getting dressed in sexy lingerie while Peggy pulls on her pantyhose The dichotomy Paul Kinsey says is the difference between Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy He wins Don over with the idea by pointing out the different types of women around the office while wonderfully noting that Marilyn is really a Joan Poor Peggy who was not invited out to the bar where this idea was hatched not only gets left behind on the account but also insulted when she asks what kind of woman she is Gertrude Stein Ken Cosgrove replies to a laugh Don rescues the moment saying shes more of an Irene Dunne but Peggy is still left out of Kinseys clas