Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mad Men, "The New Girl": Freddie the zipper

Spoilers for "Mad Men" season two, episode five, "The New Girl," coming up just as soon as I plan a route to the airport...

"Peggy, listen to me. Get out of here and move forward. This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened." -Don Draper

Who exactly is The New Girl? Is it Jane Siegel, Don's comely new secretary? Is it Bobbie Barrett, whom Rachel Menken clearly views as Don's new girl? Or is it Peggy? And, if so, does the title of this episode -- easily the best hour of season two, and already one of my favorite "Mad Men"s to date -- refer to the way Peggy is reinventing herself under the tutelage of both Don and now Bobbie, or does it suggest that Peggy might one day succeed Midge, Rachel and Bobbie as Don's new girl?

On many other shows, I would rail against the idea of romantically pairing off the male and female lead if they had a pre-existing, interesting platonic (or professional) relationship, as it's a writer's crutch. But the more I watch "Mad Men" season two, the more I think the idea of Peggy becoming the kind of woman Don might want to sleep with is a really interesting one -- even if they never actually get together.

Peggy was already Don's protege before she gave birth, but when he confronts her in the hospital, he teaches her the fundamental lessons of his life, the ones he learned from the hobo: No problem is so bad that it can't be denied, ignored or plain run away from. You do not have to be bound by the identity society has created for you. You are the shaper of your own future, even if that future is built on a foundation of lies.

With that conversation (as good a moment as Jon Hamm has had on this show, and he's had a lot of them), Don sets Peggy on a path towards becoming more like him, but as we've seen in his past relationships, and as we see here in his conversations with Bobbie Barrett, Don is drawn to women who in some way knew the hobo's lesson without having to be told it. Midge and Rachel defy what's expected of them by their families and/or society, though neither is as ruthless about it as Don. And here, Don's opinion of Bobbie -- whom he found attractive and yet loathsome -- changes significantly when she delivers the "This is America: Pick a job and become the person that does it" line. (She offers similar advice to Peggy -- "You have to start living the life of the person you want to be" -- who both appreciates it and better understands what her boss sees in this obnoxious woman.) So even though Peggy now insists that she's not Bobbie's competition -- and means it -- and even though Don clearly doesn't look at her that way now, I wonder what's going to happen as she continues to evolve in front of his eyes.

The flashbacks to Peggy's time in the hospital changes how I've viewed a number of things, both this season and in this episode. For one thing, it would seem that Anita isn't raising Peggy's baby, as she was very pregnant at the time Peggy gave birth, and as there's only one baby in the household. It's possible, I suppose, that Anita's baby died or was stillborn, but that would make her less resentful of Peggy, not more, and if we assume that Pete Jr. was given up for adoption, then Anita's feelings towards Peggy are much more out of jealousy than they are justified griping over having to raise her irresponsible kid sister's offspring.

For another, it changes the Don/Peggy dynamic, whether or not all of this leads to romance. Don takes a huge risk in showing Peggy his true face for a moment. Pete and Bert Cooper may know more details, but the only people in Don's adult life who understand who he truly is -- not his real name, but his real personality -- are Rachel and Peggy. Getting a good look at Dick Whitman scared Rachel off, and it seems to have changed Peggy's opinion of her boss. She still respects him, and is protective of him, but you can see that she's aware of his limitations as a human being. Her line in the car where she promises to forget the car crash in exchange for him not blaming her for knowing about it makes much more sense in context of the final flashback, as does her line to Bobbie: "I never expect him to be anything other than what he is."

And an episode like "The New Girl" illustrates the limitations of the hobo's philosophy. Don has escaped his past, escaped his old persona, established an idealized life for himself, but he's so busy forgetting things and moving on that he sometimes forgets about things he doesn't want to. As he tells Peggy when apologizing about the non-repayment of the bail money, "I guess when you try to forget something, you have to forget everything." You can see in that final scene at the dinner table that Don keeps forgetting how much he genuinely cares for Betty and the kids, which in turn leads him to embarrassing places like the sergeant's desk at a Long Island police station.

Because of the car crash and its long aftermath, I'm tempted to draw a comparison to "Sopranos" episodes like "Kennedy and Heidi" (adios, Christopher) or "Irregular Around the Margins" (Tony and Adriana almost hook up) but the one it really reminded me of was season four's "Whoever Did This," where Tony kills Ralphie and he and Christopher spend the rest of the episode (literally) cleaning up the mess. "The New Girl" wasn't quite as focused -- we kept cutting back to the subplots with Pete and Joan -- but the amount of time the episode spent on the crash's immediate aftermath and the way it used an unexpected, violent incident to expose the main character for who he really is (and the lengths his protege will go to for him) really evoked Ralphie losing his head. That's one of those "Sopranos" episodes that immediately comes to mind when I think of that show, and no matter how long "Mad Men" winds up running, I imagine "The New Girl" will hold similar status in my memories.

Some other thoughts on "The New Girl":

• Well, now we know why Maggie Siff (at a press conference for her new FX show, "Sons of Anarchy") was being so evasive about whether she would return to "Mad Men" this season. So, do you think Rachel's re-appearance was a one-time thing to fit the themes of the episode, or will she be back for more? Was she the recipient of Don's hand-me-down poetry book from the season premiere? Running into Don and his new mistress while out on a date with her new husband (and good on her for at least finding a guy who, based on our limited intro, seems to like her and doesn't seem like a golddigger) doesn't seem the ideal time for her to say, "Hey, thanks for the Frank O'Hara, man," but she did seem shocked to be running into him again.

• Because most of these characters are so repressed, opportunities for them to bare their souls come at unexpected moments, with unexpected people. Last week, it was Don telling Bobby and then Betty a little bit about his father. This time, it's Pete using the fertility doctor as an impromptu therapist, opening up about his anxieties in a way he never would to an actual shrink. (Not that he'd ever actually go see one, but if forced to, he would be determined to make himself appear as confident and well-adjusted as possible.)

• Just as the episode sort of answers a mystery about Peggy's baby (or, rather, tells us that what we thought was the answer wasn't), Pete finds out what we've known all along: he's not the infertile one. Pete being Pete, he has to respond to the news in the rudest, most narcisisstic manner possible. And please don't think less of me for this confession: I had never felt the tug of the show's nostalgia-by-proxy while watching the way the men get away with behaving towards the women -- until I watched Pete, in mid-fight, order his wife return to the table and apologize for getting mad when he was the one being an ass.

• Joan getting engaged was overshadowed by other developments within the episode, but is Roger right to question the wisdom of her marrying her doctor friend? Obviously, he's jealous, but looking at it objectively, how happy is Joan going to be when she actually has the husband, and the house in the country, and all the other things she tells the secretaries they can attain one day? Her interaction with Sally Draper last week suggested a woman without much of a maternal side, and I can see her getting bored if she were to leave her job as Sterling Cooper's queen bee. As Paul reminded everyone a few episodes back, Joan's over 30, which makes her an old maid in 1962 years. If she really wanted to get married, wouldn't she have done it long before now? And if Roger is right that she'll hate marriage as much as he does, will we see Joan going to Peggy for advice on how to reinvent herself? (Okay, probably not.)

• I also liked that, even while distracted by showing off her gaudy ring ("You'd like to think it doesn't matter"), Joan is still good at her job. She knows to shut the door when Don takes a call from Bobbie, and she doesn't tolerate young Jane's attempts to hoochify the office. Joan's outfits, while skintight, rarely show much skin; she knows the difference between putting your goods on display and simply giving them away.

• There was some question a couple of weeks back over what foreign film Don was seeing when Jimmy was insulting Mr. & Mrs. Utz. Here, Don mentions loving "La Notte." I'm not much of a foreign film guy; can any film buffs tell me whether that could have been the movie Don was watching? Also, when told of Don's fondness for "La Notte," Dan Fienberg rolled his metaphorical eyes at the notion that Don would enjoy the work of a director (Antonioni) whom he (Dan, not Don) feels is drowning in pretentiousness. Agree? Disagree? Ready for a knife fight?

• The funniest moment of Joel Murray's career by a long stretch (and I say this as somewhat of a fan of Murray the younger): Freddie Rumsen emerging from his office to play "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" with the zipper on his pants, driving the final nail in the coffin for Ken's fumbling attempt to impress Jane. (His desperate "I'm Ken!" sounded eerily like the "I'm Taye Diggs!" incident from press tour.) How long do you think Freddy spent in his office working on that routine before he decided the world was ready for it?

• And yet I'm still not sure the zipper gag was the funniest juvenile joke of the episode, considering it also featured the brilliant transition from Pete about to give a sperm sample to Roger furiously whacking his paddle ball. Apparently, writer Robin Veith has an inner 12-year-old boy she hasn't told anyone about, and he is awesome.

• Bobbie tells Jimmy that she checked into a fat farm, which was one of the many theories around the Sterling Cooper offices about why Fat Peggy disappeared for three months and returned as Slim Peggy. (Pete from the season premiere: "I thought we had verification!")

• The music over the closing credits sounded very much like something you might have heard in a movie from the period, but it was actually an original piece, called "We Love You, Daddy," written by "Mad Men" composer David Carbonara.

• God, I love the compositions the production team comes up with on a regular basis. In this case, it's director Jennifer Getzinger and director of photography Chris Manley on the scene in the Draper bedroom after Don comes home from the crash. Don spends the bulk of the scene with his back to his wife. Don (returning from the scene of several crimes, including one against his wife) is concealed in shadow; Betty (for once totally innocent) is bathed in light. He looks very grown-up; she (scrubbed of makeup and hair products, and wearing a baby doll nightie) almost looks like a little girl, and the way Don tries to reassure her when she talks about her father's high blood pressure is very paternal. Just a beautifully shot (and played) scene.

What did everybody else think?


Phil Freeman said...

This episode was amazing. Don's scene with Peggy in the hospital was masterfully played; on any other show, a speech like that would be given by the villain. The interplay between Roger and Joan had me laughing out loud, especially when he asked/offered to "give you a few paddles for luck."

Nicole said...

I hope Don and Peggy never get together because I think it would ruin the show. She will probably be more assertive (and started this process by asking for the money) and take Bobbi's advice of acting as Don's equal, but I don't think an equal is what Don is really looking for, at least in a sexual partner.

Pete is and has always been an ass, so I didn't take his behaviour toward his wife as a commentary on husband/wife relations in the 1960s but as another example of how Pete is an ass. I'm sure it probably happened like that for some couples back then, but it happens now in some cases too, and in both times, the behaviour demonstrates extreme insecurity on the part of the husband, which of course fits Pete to a tee.

I thought Peggy's sister was faking her pregnancy to fit in with the story, as she would have had to show a bit toward the end to placate the churchgoers. I didn't read it as another pregnancy.

The transition from Pete and the magazines to the paddle was very juvenile, but funny.

Don's advice to Peggy in the hospital was important in that it goes to the heart of the show, that being the theme of illusion and reality, and so I think the New Girl mostly relates to Peggy moving on from the pregnancy.

bobviegas said...

I was also impressed by the barrage of backhanded compliments between Peggy and Bobbie. Great writing for two self-confident characters, and great delivery.

I was also disturbed because halfway through the second zip I knew what song was being performed.

Anonymous said...

Well, La Notte is Italian, not French.

Josh said...

Maybe I'm way off here, or missed something, but: Didn't Pete Campbell say to the doctor that he just landed Sterling Cooper a big account? Did they possibly get American Airlines after all?

Anonymous said...

I had the same thought as Nicole about Peggy's sister faking the pregnancy. Of course faking the pregnancy would be a huge sacrifice to make publicly for Peggy's sister. Because to my knowledge she is also unmarried and a pregnancy out of wedlock would be very frowned upon. Although it could explain her feelings of resentment and actions toward Peggy.

I don't see a romance between Don and Peggy either. I see Don getting pissed at Peggy when she asserts herself because he will think it is a result of Peggy feeling she has something on Don after the incident.

It's good to see my juvenile sense of humor is still sharp. I laughed out loud at the juxtaposition of the Pete bathroom scene and the ping pong paddle.

I wonder if Don's new secretary will have a significant role? Her initial interaction with Joan was received very positively by Joan. After she showed off the goods to the chipmunks that initial conversation seems somewhat calculated. She certainly is easy on the eyes.

I really enjoyed the flashbacks of Peggy. But I am also a Lost fan. I forgot how fat they made her look last year.

Gotta love the fertility Doc taking a drag off his cig at the end of his consult with Pete.

Anonymous said...


I think the "huge account" is the one from his father in law

Nicole said...

I had to laugh at the advisory at the end of the show to not drink and drive. I would think the Mad Men audience is old enough to know that chugging liquor in a car is incredibly stupid, and if someone is that sad to emulate a fictional character once over the age of 12, that person shouldn't be driving a car anyway

Anonymous said...

Second week in a row where a line just stopped me in my tracks. Last week I cried when Bobby said "we have to find you a new daddy" and this week Don's line that Alan quoted about being shocked at how much it never happened- so perfectly written and so unbelievably true. I literally smiled and said "wow" alone in my living room.

Anonymous said...

If I had money down on the "of *course* Don knew about Peggy's time in the hospital" line, I'd be cashing in big now.... *sigh*

In any case, now we know why Bobbie is valuable to the narrative -- she's the broad who has no shame, who will ask anything of anybody, and the one broad who can get both Don and Peggy to open up.

Good to know Peggy no longer has a roommate; if someone can't help her in her life, they shouldn't be privy to her secrets. Also good to know Don did step up and help Peggy explain away her illness -- that way, both of them have someone to confide in, in their completely unconfiding way.

Bobbie and Peggy shouldn't be bosom buddies, but it was nice for someone to acknowledge just how hard Peggy works to keep things together, to keep herself together, and just how much harder she'll have to work, just to get ahead. She doesn't need to live Bobbie's life, but she sure in hell deserves to call Mr. Draper Don, after all they've been through.

No one gives equality to you.

arrabbiata said...

My first reaction to the car crash was to flash back to Tony and Adriana. Lucky for Don and Bobbi that Peggy is not as gossipy as Tony's crew.

I was a little shocked when Peggy addressed Don by his first name, late in the episode as he was repaying her loan. (He seemed to have a little reaction to it, or maybe her tone, as well) Had it ever happened before? I don't think it's improper, since most of the guys in the office also do it. I guess she's took Bobbi's advice to heart.

The hidden salt shaker at the end was a nice call back to last season.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a great episode. I loved the scene with Don and Peggy in the hospital, and all the scenes with Peggy and Bobbi. Fascinating.

For now, put me in the Don-and-Peggy-won't -and-shouldn't-hook-up column. I feel like her conversation with Bobbi was addressing that head on, but I guess things like that are never so simple on TV (and actually, making a declarative statement about something makes the opposite more likely to occur).

The sperm sample/paddle transition was absolutely hilarious. And I love that it was part of Roger "mystique." Does Roger actually do any work?

Beautiful scene at the end with the Drapers. Cannot wait to see what's next.

R.A. Porter said...

If Peggy followed Don's advice and just did whatever the doctors wanted to move forward, did she ever actually accept that she'd given birth? Or has she been going through the motions for over a year, smiling and nodding whenever her mother or sister bring it up?

Maybe when she told Pete she'd like kids someday, she had no hidden secret because she doesn't believe/know she gave birth.

Alanna said...

I really enjoyed this episode much more than the rest of the series, perhaps because of the female focus.

I loved the simple-but-cutting "Don" at the end. The scenes in the apartment were fascinating. I wondered just how much of Bobbie's advice was sincere. Because I'm an optimist, I like to think that Bobbie really did want to play mentor, but I don't trust her at all.

I have a feeling Joan's engagement is about much more than suddenly wanting to be married, though right now I haven't a clue just what her motives might be.

Anonymous said...

I think Bobbie's a perfect mentor for Peggy, in that Bobbie has lived a life negotiating for everything, and Peggy shouldn't trust her as far as she could throw her -- which is an appropriate attitude for the pre-second-wave feminism era.

After the post-WWII drive back into the kitchen made professional careers harder for women to pursue, there was a lot of enforced cattiness and internalized misogyny going around.

I'm not so sure Bobbie is a step up from Joan, but at least Bobbie knows one trades involvement in someone else's secrets for access to something better. A technique more subtle than blackmail, but closer to the lifeblood of business in a big city with pockets of small-town attitudes.

Sorry I'm babbling on, but I'm waiting on the season finale of the *second* best TV show on right now -- the Venture Bros.

Oh, Brock, oh, Don....

Jeff L said...

Best episode of the entire run, hands down.

Hamm & Moss were both amazing. And the writing was so, so good -- the "pick a job" line said so very much, as did the "have to forget everything" line. Both lines worked on so many levels.

But, I gotta say, Vincent Kartheiser didn't come off looking too good here. He's just not in the same league with the rest of the cast. He was passable talking to the doctor, but the living room scene was sort of painful to watch.

And Alan, I can't believe you didn't lead off with "...coming up just as soon as I practice my paddle ball."

Anonymous said...

RE: Dan Fienberg's reaction

I'll see Fienberg's metaphorical eyes and will raise him a cocked eyebrow.

Assuming Dan's familiar enough with La Notte to have a specific distaste for Antonioni's overly symbolic style, he'll also know that many of the themes of that movie (Bosley Crowther's 1962 review) resonate with quite a few of the themes of Mad Men. It's a very...symbolic...choice of movie, and that's not an accident. I want to thank Dan for picking on this detail, because while I didn't think of it at the time, I often find Mad Men pretentious in ways similar to Antonioni.

Would Fienberg deny that Mad Men is a "Come-Dressed-as-the-Sick-Soul-of-America" kind of a show? (Indirect explanation via Glenn Kenny, since the direct reference seems sadly unavailable.)


Anonymous said...

I agree with Jeff L. that the living room scene between Pete and Trudy was not of the same caliber as the rest of the show, but I'm not sure it was the performance(s). I found the writing in that scene on the clunky side.

Until this episode I thought Joan was making up the doctor fiance. Now there's a ring, but I still don't think there's ever going to be a wedding.

Unknown said...

'Of course faking the pregnancy would be a huge sacrifice to make publicly for Peggy's sister. Because to my knowledge she is also unmarried and a pregnancy out of wedlock would be very frowned upon.'

Anita's last name is Respola, and there's a character namedGerry Respola in the credits. Also, Peggy said she picked them up in her brother-in-law's car...

Question Mark said...

I swear, this series is going to end with the firm being named Sterling Cooper Olsen.

Anonymous said...

Tommy B said...
Peggy's sister ... to my knowledge she is also unmarried

We know that Peggy's sister is married and has at least one child That was her husband laying on the sofa with a bad back last week.

I was also disturbed because halfway through the second zip I knew what song was being performed.

Me, too! I laughed like a maniac all alone in my house during that scene. Well played!

The interplay between Roger and Joan had me laughing out loud, especially when he asked/offered to "give you a few paddles for luck."

Word. I absolutely love that they give Roger at least one hilariously despicable line each week.

Anonymous said...

bobviegas said...

I was also disturbed because halfway through the second zip I knew what song was being performed.

LOL! You read my mind!

Anonymous said...

I think we know the Mad Men formula now. Episode five is golden. Last year, episode 5 was 5G; this year, The New Girl. Episodes one through four seem to lay the bait, and then in the fifth installment, Weiner hooks the viewers and reels us in. Next Sunday can't get here fast enough.

Anonymous said...

I actually think Vincent Kartheiser was great in this episode and has been great throughout. For me, Don, Peggy, and Pete are the reason to watch (with Joan and Roger Sterling as the next level of interest.)

That all said, while I thought this episode was miles better than last week, I do wish there was more of an ongoing dramatic arc to this season. Last season we had Don's pursuit of Rachel, Peggy's maturation, and the mystery of Don's past.

This season... um...? Still waiting...

pixelwax said...

Yes, another good episode.

I've never seen how others can think Don will fall for Peggy. If she is anything to Don, she is his little sister. He treats her well for numerous reasons with one of them being out of guilt for, again, numerous reasons: his wife and his brother being two examples.

Somebody please point me to a scene that even vaguely suggests Don would look at Peggy in a romantic and/or lustful manner. I've not seen one. I can see how people my want to construe some scenes that imply such a scene will come down the road, but foreshadowing of foreshadowing is too much of a leap for me to accept at this point. It's just not there for Don. All it ever has been is a one-way road, Peggy looking at Don in such a manner.

It's possible, I suppose, that Anita's baby died or was stillborn, but that would make her less resentful of Peggy, not more,

I believe you have got that backwards, Mr. Sepinwall. Wouldn't Anita be EXTREMELY resentful if she lost a baby and was now taking care of her sister's baby, a baby unwanted and unloved by its mother, Peggy? Women who lose babies tend to be quite resentful of those who have abortions or give their babies up for adoption.


How many episodes have ended in the Draper home?! It reminds of an interview with Jackie Gleason about the success of the Honeymooners despite the "violence". He said that no matter what happened in the first 29 minutes, Ralph and Alice always made up in the end. Or something like that. Don't know why the Draper family endings remind me of that interview but now they do.


anonymous, i agree with you to an extent, but i believe that is due to how they are writing/editing the shows. it seems the pacing of the more dramatic stories are touched on every other episode. MM writers may be countering the soap opera accusations the show received toward the end of season one. i'm also thinking that this season is being setup slowly and will end in one helluva thunderstorm, lightning, hail, fire, brimstone, and all that. That or it is setting up season three in which every single episode will be fire and brimstone. Whatever it is they are thinking, they'd have to do something pretty bad to lose me. MM has already built up enough credit with me that I'll be watching up through the premiere of season four.

Anonymous said...

There wasn't enough time for the sister to fake a pregnancy. If you wait until after the baby has arrived, it's too late. To be believable, you'd have to start while the real baby was still in utero - and during that time, the sister didn't know that Peggy was pregnant, much less that Peggy would need someone to cover. Anita was legitimately very pregnant. So either one of the babies died, Peggy's kid was given away, or there are "twins," but we only ever see one of them at a time.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Somebody please point me to a scene that even vaguely suggests Don would look at Peggy in a romantic and/or lustful manner. I've not seen one.

There hasn't been one yet. My point is that Don, without realizing it, is turning Peggy into the sort of woman he might one day look at in a romantic and/or lustful manner.

I could be way off on this, but I've been thinking about this for much of season two, ever since it first occurred to me (in my review of the premiere) that Don probably covered for her three-month absence.

Anonymous said...

I felt Pete's scene with his wife at the aptartment were highly stylized ( very similiar to the Woman's Film of the time)to indicate that they do not really communicate honestly, at least until she admits she really wants a baby and that the lifestyle the apartment and the perks are not enough. Of course, Pete is unable to respond to this, perhaps unable to even comprehend it at a gut level.


Anonymous said...

Everytime I think that Jon Hamm cannot possibly be any better, he takes it up another notch. The scene at the hospital - perfection!!

His incredible and steady performance is up there in the "Andre Braugher as Frank Pembleton" stratosphere. And believe me, I would never say that lightly.

Anonymous said...

Besides denying Don salt, Betty made a dinner that Don could eat one-handed-meatloaf. These blink-and-you-miss them details are part of what makes this show so good!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Nicole and all the other theorists -- Peggy's sister was absolutely faking a pregnancy to cover for the sudden appearance of the baby.

LOVED Peggy coming to Don's rescue, and the first-name use at the end.

What was the magazine that Pete eventually picked up in the doctor's office? I saw the naughy mags on top, but then thought I saw some WWII magazines underneath...? Forgot to rewind to check as I was laughing too hard about the quick transition to the paddle.

Tom said...

I've got to dissent from the accolades here. The episode dragged. Unmotivated flashbacks. Clunky plotting. (Bobbi Barrett hasn't the resources to find a place to hide out for a few days that's more her speed than Peggy's Brooklyn apartment? Really?) And, for the first time ever, a nagging sense that the writers are spinning their wheels. For instance, despite Jon Hamm's excellent performance, the flashback of his visit to Peggy's hospital room was redundant. The fact that something like this visit happened is implied in the show's plot. If you're going to actually show the scene, I want more than a restatement of the man's already well-established personal credo, no matter how well performed.

Loved the scene in the Nassau cop-shop, though. Really had me sparking to Cary Grant in "North by Northwest." A much darker, creepier version of good ol' R.O.T. And I also find Vincent Kartheiser's performance as a spoiled, privileged man-child beautifully accurate. So that's all good.

Anonymous said...

Wow - I feel like the lone voice in the wilderness, but I was slightly disappointed in the episode. When a show that thrives on subtlety has too many on the nose moments (ie, when Don says - forget your past! or I don't feel anything - he actually says it. Out loud. Come on - did the writers think we actually might have missed that earlier?) it's bit of a let down. I'll rewatch it tonight, and Im sure I"ll be blown away, but for right's not bad, but just....a little let down. One question, though - why did Peggy have to stay home with Bobbie for 3 days?

Garrett said...

My favorite detail: Along with the other magazines, Pete grabs a newsmagazine with a cover story on Pearl Harbor. Considering his hunting fantasy from last year, it's hard to say which one he was "paddling" to.

And I too was mortified at how quickly I picked the Mozart song.

KendraWM said...

I don't think Peggy's sister was faking. I see her and her confession as reason for her real disdain of Peggy.

Here she is the good sister, the catholic sister who lives by the church rule, who has the children (whether she wants them or not) and then there is her sister. Who lives alone, works in the city, does not go to church and lives her life with abandonment even going so far as to give up her child.

While she is stuck home playing the role of dutiful daughter, wife and mother.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I loved, LOVED this episode. Without a doubt. I thought the interplay between Peggy and Bobbi was spot on and fairly intriguing.

Also, I think the stilted nature of the scenes between Pete and his wife were truthful. They ARE a stilted couple who did not seem to marry for any sort of passionate love, but rather for retention of their respective social positions.

Furthermore, I don't think Peggy's sister (who IS married) was faking her pregnancy - her sister was way too far along in that pregnancy to be faking.. That story is not complete - either her own baby died or they are passing two children off as twins.

Finally, I do not think that Don and Peggy are destined for some sort of affair, nor do I think either of them would ever want that. I think their connection is on a different level. Besides, I would be very disappointed in the writers if they went that route. Anyway, I think Don has a sort of sympathy/feeling for Peggy considering her situation with having an unplanned pregnancy with a married man. After all, his OWN mother was in that very same position.

Anonymous said...

There certainly seemed to be a heavenly glow around Peggy's head when Bobbie asked her, "Why are you doing this?" as we transitioned to her hospital stay. Quite the angel, that Peggy.

The show's first scene had Pete walking the perimeter of the fertility doc's office and the first shot had the model of the woman's body on the shelf. No arms, no legs, almost as if it was the "Venus" model. The woman objectified and shelved.

Am I seeing too much?

Alan Sepinwall said...

People (here and elsewhere) keep mentioning the twin hypothesis, but Anita only has one baby boy, not two, which has been established repeatedly (only one crib, references to her husband watching "the baby," etc.).

jana said...

As far as Peggy's baby goes...I think that her sister was pregnant and they passed off the two children as twins, but Peggy's sister's baby died as a little toddler. Remember when Peggy asked Bobbi if she had a headache and went on to tell her about the little child who fell off the swingset, bumped his head, and died? I think that was her sister's baby and now her own baby is left. Maybe too much conspiracy...

Anonymous said...


I think the mag Pete picked out was "Jaybird USA" as in "Naked as a..."

Anonymous said...

Alan, agreed. This is BY FAR the best ep of season two, A couple of thoughts:

-I really wanted Rachel back with Don. Clearly, she means more to him than the art chick or that other older broad. Nice seeing her, though.

-Is this how it is gonig t obe on the show? If something major happens between seasons, is there gonig to be a lot of flashback stuff? In this ep, it was done masterfully, but too much is too much. Let's hope this isn't a habit in the new.

-LOVED the scene with Don visiting Pegs in the crazyhouse. F'n amazing. Don Draper the motherf'r!

-Last week, or the week before, someone mentioned on this board that maybe the show is about the downfall of Don Draper. We will watch him slowly errode over he course of the show. Maybe so.

-Yeah, Pegs will have Don's job by the last ep of the sow. I proclaim it! Go and make it thus!

Anonymous said...

I see Don and Peggy's relationship as that of mutual admiration that will progress to a deep friendship -- but that's all. That is not to say that there won't be whispering and gossip, their workplace being what it is.

I'm so relieved that I wasn't the only one who hooted at the sperm donation/paddle segue.

Finally, I think the 'new girl' reference included Peggy, Bobbie, Don's secretary-of-the-week, AND Joan.

Anonymous said...

I thought movie Don was watching in the theater was "Last Year in Marienbad".

Daniel said...

Anon - I never doubted for a second that, as a show, "Mad Men" would be a fan of Antonioni and find "La Notte" resonant (Matt Weiner, mostly). My rolling of the eyes was directed at making Don Draper a fan.

Don's relationships with "artistes" have always been conflicted and he has generally displayed a low tolerance for youthful puffery and pretentiousness (unless he happens to be banging the artiste in question, I guess). Plus, I don't think of him as being particularly ahead-of-the-artistic-curve. I mean, much was made of his reading "Meditations in an Emergency" in the season premiere, but the book had been published five years earlier. For him to be in the "La Notte" fan at this moment -- we're just a couple weeks past Valentine's Day, 1962, right? -- would mean that he'd pretty much rushed out to see it as it was released. And that, to me, doesn't sound like Don, at least not without an extenuating excuse.

Meanwhile, I need to emphasize that I haven't seen this week's episode (I'll watch it in hi-def tonight), so it may make more sense in context. Sepinwall didn't give me much context. He just told me Draper was lovin' himself some Antonioni. And so I rolled my eyes...


Anonymous said...

jana - I think you nailed it. Anita's baby will turn out to be the one Peggy mentioned to Bobbie who died. That would also explain the depth of Anita's "troubles" she spoke of in the confession booth.

Nicole said...

I think eventually Don and Peggy will form their own firm: Olsen and Draper. And Pete will run the out of touch Sterling Cooper.

R.A. Porter said...

@nicole, I do like that theory, but I'd like it even more if Don and Peggy realized that for all his bloviating and whining, Pete's not a maroon, and formed Draper-Olson-Campbell.

The war for Pete's soul between Don and Duck means a lot more if that's the endgame.

Anonymous said...

So okay, Alan, you said it first about Don covering for Peggy.

My bad.

(still shoulda put money down on it, though ....)

Anonymous said...

Pinpointing the zipper piece by the first few beats is one thing, but I had the show on mute (wife and babies sleeping in next room) and still knew the piece just by watching the motions.

Don's new secretary is gonna be a force, fresh out of college and she didn't blink at this behavior at her first job?

Anonymous said...

and ain't it funny that now we have another baby mystery, just when we thought the first mystery was solved?

What if *Peggy's* baby died, and Anita's baby lived? How would we know the diff, with Peggy busily forgetting?

Anonymous said...

One point cleared up: Anita, in AMC's view in this episode, is preggers:

"In a flashback, she's seen in the hospital a short time after giving birth being visited by her mother and then-pregnant sister."

Anonymous said...

I"m glad someone else noticed the meatloaf dinner waiting for Don. Little things like this show the detail we have grown to love in this show! As he walks in the door, closeup shot of Betty lifting a slice of meatloaf to a plate. He just needs that fork and starts eating.

Seeing him in the shadow by Peggy's hospital bed was great. We KNEW it was him, but still held our breath til she said "what are you doing here?". Perfect!

My favorite part of the show was when Peggy called him Don. Each of their faces showed surprise, her's was "I've earned this", his was "This woman is someone to be reckoned with". It was like at that moment, he realized they really shared a trusting bond. I am sure we will see this bond tested many times as this show progresses.

The camera pulling back at the end of Draper dinner table was so telling as to how Don craves family life, but doesn't feel comfortable when he has it.

Sundays have become great TV again!

Anonymous said...

For me, the line of the episode was when Don returned home and Betty asked how his day was and he said "I made it." Beautiful double entendre.

Anonymous said...

I think they flashed back to Don and Peggy in the hospital not just to show they are kindred, but more pragmatically speaking, Peggy owes him one. They both know what the consequences of leaking the truth behind what's happened to them.

I recall on Peggy's first day on the job, her tentatively reaching out her hand to Don. who lets her know immediately that it isn't going to happen.

Not knowing Don yet, I thought it was proof of what a straight arrow he was, especially compared to Pete. Later, I realized Don can't mess with his secretaries because then who's going to cover for him when he's not around?

I think it was a lucky chance that he has championed Peggy professionally. I think he's been doing it to mess with Pete's head because he dislikes him so much. Another poster mentioned previously that even though Pete has undermined Don, he clearly wants his friendship and approval.
Kind of like Don's little brother.
Whom Don also kicked to the curb...

Anonymous said...

Riveting episode. Don called Peggy because he knows her big secret so there's little chance she's going to expose his indescretions.

Love the Bobbie character. She's strong and independent and gives Peggy valuable career advice.

Don and Peggy will never get together.

Nerd said...

I don't think Pete's reference to the "big account" he recently landed is Clearasil (via his father-in-law), as someone suggested. In the show's timeline, that account was landed more than 18 months ago. Probably just Pete trying to make himself seem important to the Doc.

Anonymous said...

This was the Mad Men that hooked me last year: the city stories of Don and Peggy and Pete and the consequences of their actions. I agree it was one of the best of the entire series so far and it's telling in that Betty was only on-screen for about five minutes, total. I understand what she represents, but dramatically the suburbs are a dead end.

Anonymous said...

It's all about pressure. Characters that have chosen it and those that are deciding against it... the pressures of family, jobs, and time. The men are getting weaker while the women are getting stronger,all except those women who have tied themselves to men - they are on a sinking ship.

It's all about those who are living in the past and those who have changed their thinking. How sad you feel for Rachel when you see she is married, as if her heartbreak drove her to it. How she succumbed to the pressure.

The doom at the thought of children for Pete, the pressures of his job. His childlike excitement about his virility, despite the fact he doesn't want the pressure of having children. He wants to remain the child and the man. Ordering his wife around like a child and having her care for him like one.

Don exposing his weakness to Peggy, Bobbie taking Don down and building Peggy up, not to be his love interest, but to take his job. The way Bobby puts pressure on him to come to that resteraunt and for the first time you really see him controlled. Just the way Bobbie tells Don how she was always negotiating - how he is amazed that she actually manages Jimmy in every way.

After the accident Bobbie demonstrates her resilience, while Don seems to be weighed down by his forgetting, Bobbie is really able to move forward. I think that fat farm reference was to this effect - demonstrating how Peggy, like Bobbie can learn to casually learn to move on, not by forgetting but by dealing with it. Her casual approach is in direct contrast to Don's strict and serious bedside orders. Bobbie's lies make her life easier, Don's lies make his life such a dismal drag.

The zipper scene is all about showing men in their juvenile state, fucking around like children, and trying to make moves on the girls, when they don't realize that females they are so reliant on are sharks in the water, harder working, driven, humble and well aware of their weaknesses. I say in the next episode this shit is going to come to a head, some things are going to happen that are going to push the women over the edge. What does Joan say to the new girl when she's walking her in? "You're a college girl", she's no idiot, she act humble with the new excitement of being a secretary, but she's a shark - a new breed - not looking for a husband like the other girls, she's looking for an office - maybe Freddie's (whom she's sitting right outside of).

Even the way the new secretary isn't resisting the advances of the men, she is promoting it as a way to control them. Don doesn't even take the time to know her name "until she's been here a month", and when Ken sets up the Jimmy meeting, Jimmy utterly ignores him and takes notice of the secretary, displaying even further the power women have over men to be noticed, and how blind these office guys are to it. Just like Bobbie tells Peggy, don't try and be a man, be a woman. She is telling her that professionally, being a woman is far more powerful than being a man.

Even Roger speaks to Joan like a man about marriage - and she tells him she won't stop having fun - it never stopped you. She is the one in charge, free to do as she wishes. He makes fun of the sex she'll be getting after the first year - when it's usually assumed the women are the ones to go cold - in this case he is insinuating her husband is the one who's going to fail. When Joan says I thought it was your wife you had a problem with not marriage itself. Even Roger (who has seemed weak and behind the times in past episodes) seems much stronger and much more ahead of the game than his compatriots.

The men's sexual appetite for the women is going to bring them down in a new way - not like in the past where they are trying to keep up the lies... but in a way where the women, callus, cold, and worn down from putting up with men's shit use the sexuality that suppressed them to now control the men and force them into pathetic submission.

I mean the end scene was chilling. "Why can't daddy have salt? Because we love him." - bullshit!!! Because daddy is an cheating lying asshole and I don't give a fuck about him anymore and he is going to work every goddamn day of his life and support me in doing whatever the fuck I please. Betty has Don where she wants him, he has become "the father" with his high blood pressure. He is now an old broken man and he feels it. That horrendous sinking feeling of being loved, being possessed, doomed, and dead. Just like Pete says - who wants to bring a child into this? Heartbreaking.

Maultsby said...

Wasn't it the Clearasil they were discussing in the last scene in Don's office when Pete said that the father-in-law would ask? Still, he could have been referring to American (technically, he was the one who "brought them in" at least for the presentation) -- who played that doctor? He looks familiar.

The best attention to detail imho in the last scene with the meatloaf was Bobby kicking his legs under the table for the whole fadeway -- although 1962 is probably too early for an ADHD diagnosis?

One more -- surprised nobody has mentioned how dismal Don's attempt at "negotiation" with the cop turned out. Not only that it was so lame it didn't work but that he would offer $500? And was the cop's question as to whether his "wife" had a "friend" also a negotiation, an insult, or serious?

Anonymous said...

I like to think that David Isaacs(Ken Levine's writing partner),who is now listed as a consulting producer, came up with the Mozart zipper bit.

Susan said...

One detail I found interesting - that in 1962, Don could get out of jail for driving under the influence for the bargain price of $150, no mention of jail time.

Loved this episode. So many great moments between characters, and that amazing scene between Don and Peggy in the hospital. And I found the scenes between Roger and Joan to be oddly moving - it's clear that they care about each other, more than a simple office fling. And the thought of Joan becoming a housewife - someone like Trudy, perhaps - is terrifying to me as a viewer, as I'm sure it is for Joan.

Anonymous said...

I was also disturbed because halfway through the second zip I knew what song was being performed.

Darn it! I had the captions on at the time! (captions do have their drawbacks - mostly the timing on jokes.)

Vincent Kartheiser - isn't it his job to be slime? Has he had any other roles? He was fairly despicable on Angel most of the time as well (although I didn't see some of it till a year after the series ended)

And yes, Anita's husband was lying on the couch.
I was confused by the *number* of children I saw sleeping in the bedroom in the first visit to Mom's (or sister's - not to mention I thought Sister was a friend of Mom's - she just seemed so much older)

If Sis was pregnant, then the baby would be hers and the older boy Peggy's... (obviously)

In any case, I loved the flashback, and
*Is* Elisabeth the female lead? I can't think of anyone else who could be, but still... (which reminds me that I'm about two seasons behind on Psych) I don't know why her age and relative position to the rest of the dwellers at Sterling Cooper (or Don's home) should make me think she's not the lead, but somehow it did.

Good for her, anyway. She has a guest role on Grey's in season... 3, I think.

The paddle joke went right over my head (oops) but then again, when I was young and those things were sold, it was my experience that they were mostly used by parents...

Anonymous said...

btw - probably already asked and answered long ago, but - didn't the Decorated Don Draper's family wonder what happened to him. It's not like they ever saw him again, great war hero that he was (so to speak - was that a purple heart? wait... is there a purple heart in my house? maybe my aunt has it...)

Anonymous said...

Dan Fienberg said: "For him to be in the "La Notte" fan at this moment -- we're just a couple weeks past Valentine's Day, 1962, right? -- would mean that he'd pretty much rushed out to see it as it was released. And that, to me, doesn't sound like Don, at least not without an extenuating excuse."

Well, we're well past Easter at this point ("Three Sundays" episode last week), so it's more than a couple of weeks after Valentine's Day. Still, I also don't see Don as a art house cinemaphile, unless he's cultivating another persona for himself around his confidante-of-the-moment. All good relationships expand one's horizon's, so this shouldn't be nefarious an idea that he would've picked up a taste for foreign films from some woman or other with whom he formed an attachment. Then again, Don has this way of life of wearing masks, living only in persona, so it's a little symptomatic of that pathological side of him, too.

I speculate he had another affair somewhere between Rachel and Bobbi:
Maybe Jane was in town and they went to see "La Notte" together. :)

PS - I totally called it on just why DF rolled his eyes on the recap page last night. Tee hee.

qrter said...

Great episode. Just beautifully written throughout.

I loved the little detail of the salt, at the end - from the beginning of this season it seems like Betty is punishing Don for previous mistakes, the salt seemed to me to be his punishment for the crash incident, yet another "vice" taken away by Betty.

Anonymous said...


I thought Don's softening attitude towards "artistes" was meant to be a character point this season. Unlike you, I find the La Notte reference more plausible than the O'Hara. To pick up the latter Don had to run into a poetry fan at a bar counter. For the former I imagine all he had to do was go to an art cinema. Antonioni was already a known quantity in '62, after all, and would be expected to be reasonably prominent on the art house circuit. I think Don's just going to see whatever movies are playing at his nearest art house. Don't get me wrong -- I would have been happy with a more obscure shout out (like Sundays and Cybele or The Given Word, best foreign film nominees which could also be seen as sort of symbolic), but La Notte actually seems kind of right. Maybe later in the year Don will get around to Divorce, Italian Style.


Anonymous said...

At first I was happy to hear Peggy call Don by his first name, but then I realized it wasn't equal, because he had just called her "Miss Olson" rather than "Peggy." Of course, there is a big difference between "mister" and "miss" in their levels of power and respect. We still have this problem today, I think, and we just need to call everyone "sir" like on Battlestar Gallactica.

cgeye said...
What if *Peggy's* baby died, and Anita's baby lived? How would we know the diff, with Peggy busily forgetting?

When Peggy was with the family in the first episode of the season, her sister made a big deal about Peggy leaving without saying hello. Peggy then went into the children's room. Her sister was forcing her to interact with and acknowledge her child. If Peggy's baby had died, her sister would not have said anything.

I would like someone to post a screencap of the scene so we can see how many kids were in that room.

Anonymous said...

re the above comment from me, it wasn't the first episode. Sorry! I think it was the second.

Anonymous said...

the famous JFK birthday party at Madison Square Garden was on May 19, 1962, so we're close to Summer, now....

Anonymous said...

okay - here's a theory re: the extra baby. In the last episode, when the priest came to Peggy's mom's apartment, a relative (Peggy's aunt (?)) came in right after the priest and said she just got back from visiting "Bobby" at the cemetery. Was she visiting Peggy's sister's stillborn baby?

Hey, it's worth a shot.

Chris Davis said...

" I also liked that, even while distracted by showing off her gaudy ring ("You'd like to think it doesn't matter"), Joan is still good at her job."

Her scathing "You've had your chance!" slap down, whilst in mid-display of her new bauble, of the secretary who offered to answer Don's phone was classic Joan & laugh-out loud funny. Professional to a tee.

My Tivo's 7-second-back button got a workout on this episode. Loved it.

Anonymous said...

Pinpointing the zipper piece by the first few beats is one thing, but I had the show on mute (wife and babies sleeping in next room) and still knew the piece just by watching the motions.

Whatever you say, Pete ;-)

The thing that struck me most about Freddie's zipper serenade is that I know guys in today's workplace who still do crap like that, thinking they're funny. The more things change....

Anonymous said...

OK it took me three zips/beats to get it...

I can't believe no one is loving the line when one of the chicks tells Joan they'd be happy to take over some of her stuff so she can focus on the wedding and Joan gives her dripping with honey icicle response of "You had your chance."

Hooyah! Not even sure ALL of the nuances there, but it's something!

I also agree with Pixel in that it's more likely the sisters baby died but she takes Peggy's on as her own while Peggy gets to forget and go on to live a fabulous life- definitely MORE resentment there.

Don is finally facing some real consequences of his choices and the women in his life are finally establishing boundaries (Peggy getting her money, Betty deciding on the diet)- I honestly think Don is NOT going to be happy with Peggys assertions and it might bite her a bit. He IS still her benefactor in many ways.

While Bobbie is totally psycho and poison in so many ways, I am really excited about the bondage sex next week :)

justjoan123 said...

Blogger Alan Sepinwall said...

People (here and elsewhere) keep mentioning the twin hypothesis, but Anita only has one baby boy, not two, which has been established repeatedly (only one crib, references to her husband watching "the baby," etc.).

But Alan, Anita does have another child, an older boy. He was in the room when Peggy was virtually coerced into going in to visit the baby during the vacuum cleaner visit. That child greeted her as "Aunt Peggy."

Alan Sepinwall said...

JustJoan, the other kid is way, waaaayyy older than Peggy's baby would be. Only about 15 months passed between seasons.

Anonymous said...

Peggy's baby would only be about 18 months old. We have only seen one child in that family that fits that age. I was shocked to see Anita pregnant in the hospital visit. Just when we thought we knew exactly what was going on, our expectations are completely shattered.

Great comments on the board for this episode. I love how this show gets people talking.

Every week I'm surprised by the pacing of the show. It really takes its time and I love it. The dinner scene between Bobbie and Don in an other program would probably have been a quarter of that length. Instead things are revealed inch by inch and it is so much more satisfying.

justjoan123 said...

No, Alan, I'm not being clear. I only meant that Anita does have a child already, the fruit of her union with the couch potato (in his more mobile days.) So when you said she had only one baby boy, I was thinking there were two boys in the room. And I do know mothers who refer to their 30 year olds as baby boys.

I tend to think that the actual baby is Anita's, simply a) because if she were faking the pregnancy she would have stopped doing so once Peggy's child was born, b) if Peggy did not know she was pregnant, how on earth would Anita know she needed to fake a bump. And c), given how short a tolerance Anita has for cutting Peggy any slack, I believe she would long since have said -- when dumping him in her resistant lap, for example -- "He's your son, after all."

Unknown said...


Love reading everyone's comments.

I believe the baby IS Peggy's. There's no other way to explain Peggy's reaction to him when Anita insists she go in and say hello (episode 2). Peggy wouldn't have been so apprehensive if the baby was Anita's. Nor, do I believe Anita would have insisted Peggy go in and say hello to her own baby knowing that Peggy's baby had died.

Also, if Anita's baby died, it would go a long way towards explaining her resentment toward Peggy. Anita would probably be deeply mourning the loss of her own child and yet her own sister show's no remorse over the "loss" of her's.

It's all just a guessing game right now though. Which is what makes the show so great!

leor said...

ok, I know it would have been an obvious one, but I think it would have totally been within Pete's character, when asked if he'd ever fathered a child before, to respond with a smug "not that I know of!"

Anonymous said...

Love your analysis of Mad Men episodes, thanks so much.

I wanted to say regarding Don going to an art house pic now, La Notte let's say, I can imagine many reasons, for example, he can "get lost" in there, and unconsciously connect to his self who was left over in Europe, in another time...very Antonioni like. On the other hand, he would not bump into anyone he knows there, and that would be a relief for him when he needs some down time.
Finally if it does fit into his plans, it would be because Don would be tending more towards the authenticity of a certain "cinema" versus "television" which is about selling ads and shows like "Grin and Bear it". Maybe he's a future producer.

As for his relation to the arts, or poetry, or "artistes", I think he even does mean it when he explains to the comedian he knows he's a "nice guy" and shows him respect. He understands what it means to both take on a character, live it, and on the other side to convince people of it in a specific way.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone find it odd that there are 2 characters named Bobby/Bobbie in this show?

Anonymous said...

Anyway, I think Don has a sort of sympathy/feeling for Peggy considering her situation with having an unplanned pregnancy with a married man.

Even if Don did know she'd been pregnant - how would he know whose child it was?

The doctor was played by John Getz, but I had to imdb him - I didn't recognize him with the white hair, I guess. I couldn't tell you where you've seen him before (I'd guess many places). I first noticed him in a really crappy movie with Scott Bakula & Chelsea Field.

And I could have sworn I saw *3* children in that bedroom... will have to go back and look.

How long was Bobbi at Peggy's, and why did she stay home with her?

And finally - how does one succeed in business "as a woman"? Feminine wiles (what are those anyway?) Sleeping your way to the top, or using a woman's strengths in those things that men are not as good at?
(and did Bobbie mean one thing and the writers another? (Bobbie is a woman of the 60's (maybe) the writers have additional 40 years perspective))
I know I read things about women and business before, but it's been a while (and I forget the source).

Anonymous said...

One detail I found interesting - that in 1962, Don could get out of jail for driving under the influence for the bargain price of $150, no mention of jail time.

I was surprised they even had a law against it, considering smoking doctors and drinking pregnant women..

some things I still find baffling. I grw up in a small suburb of Boston. My parents moved to FL in the 80's. Some time after this, my father was arrested for driving drunk, and later my mother complained "why didn't the cop just follow us home like they did back in (suburb of Boston)?"

a lot of parents worry about their kids drinking and driving, but of course, in our family it was the opposite (although at the time, neither parent was alcoholic)

I can't *imagine* a police officer following a drunk driver "to see that they got home safely"! perhaps it was the times?

and I didn't get "does your wife have a *friend*?" Sorry. Still naive at 49 I guess. What good would a "friend" do? Why not "do *you* have a friend?"

Anonymous said...

okay, having gotten the correct ep and the correct scene - and then finding when I switch away and then back to the player the screen is black (making it hard to get a screen cap) - it's actually not possible to get *one* screencap of the three children in the bedroom when Peggy says goodnight (or doesn;t say it)

first, there's a crib, then a sleeping child of indeterminate (to me) gender, then a little one that says "Hi Aunt Peggy" (irony being what it is, that is probably the one that is hers)
but to show all three, the camera had to pan, so they aren't all in one shot (and I don't think I can cap from a mythtv window in my laptop as I could had i thought to use VLC instead)

and sorry for the reruns. I thought I checked as to whether I'd posted (here) before, but apparently I hadn't (checked)
(as usual, a case of "oh, was it *you* I told about that? sorry. thought it was someone else")

Anonymous said...

I was wrong. I can grab them
(not great and not in one shot, but...

Anita's kids

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the screencap. I knew there were three kids, darnit!

As for Bobby and Bobbie, I don't think it's weird. (Bobbie's name is likely Barbara.) Now, if ascot is right and the relative in the cemetery is named Bobby, too, then that's a bit much.

StickUpKid said...

Too many good comments for me to compete with bu I had a couple insights.

1. Susan, I also found the no mention of jail time was startling. I know I got pulled over for a seatbelt and asked if I could pay for the offense there on the spot. I thought he was going to cuff me up on the spot. SO yeah, that was definetley interesting.

2. Did Mad Men just create a new name for a non-combat jack? Pete-ing the paddle. It has nice ring to it I think. Forget what everyone else thinks, I'm using it!

Anonymous said...

I'd bought Three Sundays on iTunes--the lady (whoever she is--Peggy's aunt or a friend of her mother's, I guess, or maybe just a fellow prominent member of the congregation) simply says "I went by Greenwood to visit my son." Something tells me THAT woman didn't fake a pregnancy to cover for Peggy.

If the baby we've seen this season isn't Peggy's, I'll eat my hat. And I'll eat ten hats if Anita was faking a pregnancy. I'm not saying it didn't occur to me, but there's just no way.

Anonymous said...

I too loved this episode, and I really liked how the events not only moved the characters along, but the whole show.

Up until now, we've seen all the characters smoking, drinking and carousing like it was 1959, and existing completely in the world that they've created. It's their world. It's only in the last few episodes that we're starting to see the consequences of these behaviors start to kick in. Don's health and the drunk-driving accident symbolize, to me anyway, that they're not going to get away with this forever.

It would be interesting to explore the arrival of consequences of the womanizing, too, beyond one of the ducks getting caught by their wives. It would be interesting to see a sexual harassment complaint, if the term had even been coined at that point, and the effect it would have on an office like this.

It hadn't occurred to me that the producers were setting up Peggy and Don as romantic partners, Alan. I like the idea, actually, but only if they can establish her as his equal first. It seems like a Season 3 storyline to me.

That said, I'm finding Peggy's arc this season (and between the two) the most interesting of any of the characters. It's fascinating to see her harden before our eyes, and though I can't speak for the show's authenticity overall (I was born in '82), I keep thinking of the actual women who had to be the Peggy -- or Bobby, or Rachel -- in a world that wasn't ready for them.

Anonymous said...

Well you guys have said just about all the things I loved about the episode. Wanted to also praise the composition of the episode as a whole. I thought the ending scene of Don sitting uncomfortably in his chair from the back, was a striking contrast to the ending shot from the opening credits where you see "Don" sitting comfortably in a chair from the back with his cig in hand.

Anonymous said...

More notes:
My guess on the police saying "your wife's FRIEND" is that he's guessing she's really a whore and has a pimp or other whore friends to call for cash at that time of night.

Bobbie could also be Roberta, it was still somewhat common to feminize the name of firstborns so they could have the fathers name. (My mother narrowly escaped being Thomasina in 51).

Anonymous said...

I loved the fact that Betty wont let Don have salt but meanwhile did anyone notice that the meatloaf was already drenched with high sodium ketchup?

Anonymous said...

This case re: a 2004 car crash gives a pretty good historical background on NYS law on drunk driving:

Here's a relevant quote which would relate to the show's timeframe:

"A 1960 amendment added a new offense to section 1192 — driving "while ability to operate is impaired by the consumption of alcohol" (L 1960, ch 184). The new subdivision 1 was enacted so that an impaired driver — one whose blood alcohol content was .10% or less — could receive a traffic infraction and not be criminally liable. The language prohibiting driving while intoxicated was kept intact, became subdivision 2 and remained a misdemeanor. Underlying the amendment were vast medical and scientific data — including laboratory and field investigations — to confirm that the amount of alcohol content would be an accurate showing of impairment (Sponsor's Mem and Appendix, Bill Jacket, L 1960, ch 184, at 1-6).

Opposed to the amendment, the American Automobile Association found fault with the difficulty of enforcement for such low amounts of alcohol in the blood and wondered why "little mention is made of the impairment produced by fatigue, tension, the taking of medicines or even indisposition caused by indigestion" (Letter from New York State Automobile Assn., Bill Jacket, at 12). The Governor's memorandum, however, indicated that the amendment "provides a realistic approach towards reducing the tragic toll of death and injury caused by the drinking driver. Existing law has proved inadequate in this regard in that it is directed towards only the most serious offender, the driver with a blood-alcohol level of at least 0.15%. In requiring that the drinking driver be classified as a criminal, present law has not proved adequate to remove the drinking driver from our highways" (Governor's Mem approving L 1960, ch 184, 1960 McKinney's Session Laws of NY, at 2002). The Legislature was focusing on "drinking drivers," the more serious ones designated "intoxicated." "

oSoFine said...

I wish I'd gotten here sooner, as I've had to read/skim all 93 previous posts to make sure no one else had the same thing to say as I do (plus I'm a bit doubtful that anyone will even read this post it's so far down).

First, I love this blog!! It's great to have an intelligent forum for a television show - I waste too much time on the idiocy spewed on the IMDb boards!

Ok, here was my impression at seeing Peggy's sister, Anita, pregnant in the flashback scene: Peggy was hallucinating. Period. Either a) Anita wasn't there at all - Peggy only barely looked up and said, "Hey Mama," and though she saw pregnant Anita, she didn't greet her. Anita only has one line that is directed at the mother and the mother doesn't respond. The doctor only addresses the mother and not Anita. Or (and it doesn't really matter - all that matters is that Peggy saw Anita pregnant, or injected a pregnant Anita into her memory), b) Anita was standing there, but Peggy, who was all drugged up and in massive denial, projected her own wish that Anita was the one having the baby. Some part of Peggy at that point knew that she had had a baby. The doctor said he had already told her. He probably had also told her that Anita was caring for the child. She has to rationalize this situation while creating a plausible delusion - that Anita is having a baby, it's Anita's baby, not mine.

The flashback was, in no uncertain terms, from Peggy's POV - she was "remembering" it as she goes to lie down after being up all night bailing out Don and Bobbie. So cinematically, it is perfectly justifiable for that "memory" to be tainted.

While we know Anita's opinion of Peggy is that she is just faking the whole thing, that doesn't mean Anita is correct. Every time Peggy has interacted with the baby (her baby) she has seemed to me to be a bit puzzled. At the end of "Three Sundays", when the priest hands her the egg, "for the little one" she doesn't (to me) look as much like someone who is upset that her secret has been found out, but rather, she looks at the egg, again, puzzled. I don't think she would be functioning if she hadn't taken Don's advice "This never happened". That can only be achieved by Peggy convincing herself that it is Anita's baby.

Don's words about, "do what they want" make me think of the way that Anita describes (and we see) their mother and everyone else tiptoeing around Peggy and acting like it Never Happened. Most likely, that was the doctor's orders after he realized that Peggy wasn't coming out of denial and probably shouldn't. (Remember, this is the era when Betty's psychiatrist reports to Don.)

I'm sorry if this has come out a bit fumble-footed (lack of sleep). I want to be clear that while I think Peggy is in full-on denial mode, she is not crazy. She is purposefully living her lie and whenever the truth tries to impinge on that lie (usually via Anita's machinations) she goes into a kind of fugue state. When forced to hold her child in church, she can barely contain the baby on her lap - she cannot soothe it or interact with it (him) in any way - yet surely she would have had experience with babies as she had been an aunt to Anita's other children prior to her own pregnancy (not to mention that most girls growing up in a tight-knit, Catholic community in Brooklyn at that time would be very used to interacting with lots and lots of kids).

There's my 2 cents. I'd love to hear anyone else's response. I was frankly surprised that no one else seems to have seen it that way, yet there is a "twin theory" running around....

[Oh, and as for Anita's "problems" that she refers to in confession, she has a husband who can't get off the couch to so much as answer the door! I don't think she's grieving over any dead children.]

Alan Sepinwall said...

Welcome, Osofine, and thanks for freaking me right the hell out with your theory. I'm not sure I go with it, as the show has yet to feature any kind of unreliable narrator tricks, but it's early enough in the run that I suppose they could.

Anonymous said...

Ketchup's high in sodium?! I learn all kinds of things from this blog...

oSoFine said...

Thank you for replying to my post, Alan! I agree that they haven't previously used any narrative trickery, but at the same time I think this was the first time they have thrown something out there that was so absolutely mysterious. Unfortunately, I don't have any of the first season episodes saved so that I could go back and evaluate how they presented the flashbacks of Don/Dick's early life. As I recall, those definitely seemed to be straight up and not colored by Don's interpretation. I just wish I could re-watch to see how they transitioned to the flashback scene. To me, the setup of Peggy saying how tired she was, and unused to being up all night and then the shot of her walking into the bright light of her bedroom made the flashback feel almost like a dream sequence. Of course, this was just how I interpreted it right off the bat... the "fake pregnancy" theory could possibly hold some water if the child had remained in state custody for the first month or so - after all, we couldn't tell for sure (at all) that Peggy was pregnant herself by the way she looked. Back then pregnant women didn't flaunt their baby bellies the way we do now. It's possible that Anita could get away with only looking visibly pregnant for a short time. I really doubt it, though. If the doctor(s) were trying to get Peggy to remember/accept that she had had a baby at the point in which that scene took place, it would just confuse her more to have her sister visiting the hospital in "baby drag".

It might be helpful to try to make a timeline to establish the age of the child. Don's reference to her Christmas present still being on her desk? What was the date of the season finale?

If the baby really is her sister's, it would be even younger - and the baby we've seen looks at least 5 months old, I think. If Peggy's baby was put up for adoption, and Anita's anger at her is purely based on her own resentment at having to care for her own children, their mother, and her husband, than she is a really evil bitch to keep pushing her own baby in Peggy's face! And, if that is the case, I'm actually annoyed with the writers for implying that it was Peggy's baby that Anita was caring for in "Three Sundays" as it was the major plot element in that episode.

The whole thing was so odd, and hopefully they will explain it soon! Thanks again for this great blog and for welcoming me! :)

FilmFan said...

The cut to the paddle and ball and the zipper gag were both brilliant, but I'm surprised no-one else has mentioned the pther line that made me laugh out loud - Joan telling the men to "Go and pitch your tents elsewhere".

Anonymous said...

Weep for me, for although they are but a few light-rail stops away from me, I am stuck, like you, to a computer, working whilst my colleagues ditch the joint for DNC events... and they just might see these guys on the 16th Street Mall.


Anonymous said...

>>Back then pregnant women didn't flaunt their baby bellies the way we do now. <<

Not quite sure that was true. I remember reading an article in the 60s about how married pregnant women had more back problems than unmarried pregnant women... the married women were pushing out their bellies to brag, while the unmarried ones were standing up straight to hide their condition.

And I was amazed at the level of intoxication needed to be considered DUI... the cop mentioned 1.5%. According to an online blood alcohol calculator, 1.5% is more than 7 highballs over a 3 hour period for a 180 lb man!!

Anonymous said...

more dish on the boys from MAD MEN, during their whirlwind tour of the DNC....

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying the links, cgeye. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm, of course, highly curious about how Peggy's story is going to play out. But after this episode, I'm done assuming anything about where Mad Men will take us.

I won't say that Peggy and Don will never become romantically involved, only that I hope it doesn't happen. In fact, I wouldn't mind if Peggy never marries. I could see her and Don becoming professional partners though. I think Don gets Peggy, as much as that is possible.

The "ick" factor on Bobbie has gone way down for me after "The New Girl". After seeing her with Peggy, and getting a much needed look into her personality, I'm looking forward to more Bobbie. Who knew that could happen?

Good scenes between Pete and Trudy. He behaved like a frat boy, and she was acting like a spoiled teenager who wasn't asked to the prom. I think they were both redeemed a little. She admitted that she sincerely wants a child, and Pete seemed to finally understand her anguish.

And I feel kind of bad for both of them being stuck married to someone they don't understand, and don't seem to even like very much. But I have to admit, I'm not a Trudy fan. I think she's a simp.

Anonymous said...

Re La Notte, I'm not at all surprised it would resonate with Don-- after all (from what I recall) it's about the existential crisis of a married couple (basically observing them throughout the course of a party), their distance/alienation from/bitterness toward each other (the melancholy of faded love, yet still perhaps-- open question-- some remnants of their old love, and an attempt, perhaps to no avail?, of renewal at the end), during the course of which the husband is enchanted by & considers an affair with a "new girl", who seems to represent a kind of life/pleasure/joy that he (a deadened, jaded soul) lacks... I mean it's *obvious* to me Don is undergoing precisely such an existential crisis (it's thematized in the first episode of the season!), so I don't find it hard to believe Don would identify with the Mastroianni character here (even just on an aesthetic/personal style level... ah those beautiful stoically tormented men in their beautiful suits)...

Anonymous said...

Osofine - Yes, if Peggy's child had been placed for adoption, then Anita shoving her baby into Peggy's face is indeed cruel, but I'm not that surprised it would happen. Back then, a dominant, if wrong, idea about birthmothers was that they were better off forgetting about the child and moving on, and they wouldn't suffer any trauma over the loss. As if!

(In addition, unwed mothers were treated badly - like second-class citizens - while married women giving birth were treated with respect.)

PamelaJaye said...

Bobbie could also be Roberta, it was still somewhat common to feminize the name of firstborns so they could have the fathers name. (My mother narrowly escaped being Thomasina in 51).

how odd... I narrowly escaped being Roberta, in 59. (also Debbie, which apparently only my father thought of as "a Jewish name" - witness the number of Debbies my age)

As for my middle name, obviously my father wanted a boy. My brother got it as well (minus the "e") and the Robert to boot.

-Pam, who is quite happy at the way it turned out.

oSoFine said...

To reply to all of this (imho, kind of odd) talk about Bobbys and Bobbies, here are some facts about those names. First off though, to the OP who first asked if it seems strange that there are two characters (as well as a third mention of a "Bobby" that had been visited at a cemetery), you'll find that is it absolutely *not* strange, as it was a tremendously popular name for boys, and Barbara, which is the most likely full name of "Bobbie" was also very popular.

As for "Bobbie's" most likely given name ("Bobbie is a nickname and is not within the top 1000 names for any of these decades, which makes it extremely probable that, while she goes by "Bobby", that is not her given name) is Barbara, though it might be Roberta.

Here is what had to say about "Bobbie":

"The boy's and girl's name Bobbie \b(ob)-bie\ is pronounced BAH-bee. It is of Contemporary origin. Pet form of Roberta (Old English, Old German) "bright fame", and Barbara (Greek) "stranger". Like Billie, a feminine version of a man's nickname. Bobbie is sometimes combined with other names, with or without a hyphen. " They even include a graph of popularity taken from the Social Security name site (which I'll get to in a moment).

According to the Social Security Baby Name site (which will give you all sorts of statistical information about names over the years - quite interesting, btw! I used it often when deciding on my daughter's name):

As we don't know Bobbie's age, I looked up the top 1000 names in the 1910's, 1920's, and 1930's and here is what I found:

•10's - Barbara - #76 Roberta - #157 Robert- #4
•20's - Barbara - 18 Roberta - 141 Robert - #1
•30's - Barbara - # 3, Roberta # 93, Robert, # 1

As well, I looked up the 1950's (when the Draper's son was born): Robert was #3.

I don't think any of this is particularly relevant to the show, but it is another example of Mad Men's historical accuracy.

Hope this helps anyone whose been interested in the name question (I am not saying that names isn't an interesting subject, as I obviously find name origins and popularity interesting personally as well, I just think that it is pretty far off topic here, lol! If this information helped anyone, I'd be happy to hear about it - am I fishing much? ;> lol


oSoFine said...

Oh, and to Pam - regarding your comment:
"how odd... I narrowly escaped being Roberta, in 59. (also Debbie, which apparently only my father thought of as "a Jewish name" - witness the number of Debbies my age)"

Debbie is a nickname for Deborah, which is a very Jewish name!! When your parents told you that you were almost a "Debbie" (because your father thought - correctly - that it was a Jewish name, they probably left out that it was the nickname they would have called you, not what they would have put on your birth certificate, which would most likely have been "Deborah".

Correction: I went back to the Social Security site and looked up the top 1000 for '59. Actually, "Debbie" as is was #20 in popularity, though still not as popular as "Debra" which was #7 and "Deborah" as #9. So, I apologize for assuming that your parents would have put the longer version on your birth certificate.

You might want to check out in which they state:
"The girl's name Debbie \d(eb)-bie\ is a variant of Deborah." and then link to Deborah and give this description:
"The girl's name Deborah \d(e)-bo-rah\ is pronounced DEB-er-ah. It is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is "bee". Biblical: a prophetess who summoned Barak to battle against an invading army. The victory song she wrote after the battle is part of the Book of Judges."

The "Debbie" page also includes a popularity graph that shows what a huge spike in popularity "Debbie" went through around the years you were born! You probably knew quite a few Debbies (whether being used as nicknames for Deborah or Debra or as an original first name) when you were in school!! Historically, it has been, because of it's Jewish and Biblical origins, a very Jewish name, but it seems that around the years you were born it was considered a nice first name for Gentiles, as well (it's the only real way to account for that level of popularity in the U.S. population).

I didn't look up "Pam" - I do wonder if that is your birth name or if it is "Pamela"? If your parents put "Pam" on your birth certificate, then it is even more likely that they would have put "Debbie" there if they had gone with that name.

My birth name is Samantha, but my parents planned to and always called me Sam (except when I was in trouble, lol! I still get uneasy when someone calls me "Samantha", LOL!). I think that they gave me the full name of "Samantha" even though they planned to never call me that was a) because it's just more common to put a "full" (that is, non-nickname) name as an official name, and b) because "Sam" was, at that point, still a much more common boy's name and they wanted me to be able to use "Samantha" if I got teased too much or otherwise hated having a "boy's name" (which I never did) - and also it would lessen confusion on things like class lists where the teacher might be looking out for a boy instead of a girl...

One last note: the only time I was ever uneasy about my name was when I met other girls named "Sam". It was a fairly rare occurrence back then, and for some reason always bothered me. I don't think I could have stood having a super-popular name, such as Jennifer was in girls born in the 1970's (there were always 2-5 Jennifers in each of my grades). Because of this, I wanted to make sure that my daughter didn't have a super-popular name. Funnily (is that a word? spell check says so...) enough, I named her "Jane" (which had long been my favorite female name), which was #471 (that's not a typo!)in 2005, the year she was born (funny for a name that is often thought of as one of the most popular names of all time!) That year, "Madison" (which has no real origin as a first name except for Daryl Hannah's character in the film, "Splash", which the character chose for herself after seeing a NYC street sign for Madison Ave.) was #3 after "Emily" and "Emma" and variations of "Madeline" fill up tons of spots up toward the top, so my Jane will probably be one of the few Janes her age that she will meet, yet she's already met quite a number of "Maddies"! She also has a lot of girl "Sams" her age, as my name has peaked in recent years (it doesn't bother me to meet kids with my name, but I have had more than one mishap at doctor's offices, etc. where people assume that I'm "Jane" and my daughter is the "Samantha"!) It almost a family trend, as my mother's name is Jennifer, which was fairly rare when she was born... if this trend continues, my grandchildren will probably have lot's of friends named "Jane" (by then, maybe my daughter will be able to name her daughter - if she has one - "Jennifer" after her grandmother, and have it bee fairly rare...).

Sorry to go on so long, I guess names are more of an interest of mine than I realized!

PamelaJaye said...

Seems so :-)
I went on for several long emails recently about my interest in the behind the scenes of television (mostly scripted)

it has been, because of it's Jewish and Biblical origins, a very Jewish name, but it seems that around the years you were born it was considered a nice first name for Gentiles, as well

that and Linda, I think.
I'm sure I would have been a long form, though I never asked which (Debra or Deborah), and my actual name is (not that it's a big secret on the internet)
Pamela Jaye Ashworth, which is much nicer than (and goes together better than) my married name (my apologies to anyone named Baker)

And guess what! I even knew about the judge :-)

It is funny about you and your daughter being mixed up, though. I ran into a woman a few years back, named Sally. I really had to ask her to make she wasn't like 70 years old. She was like 50.

Of course if I had to name a daughter (and didn't have to share the chore) she would be a Deanna. (friend I had during HS, who recently found me and emailed me, with a "remember me?" (as if I could forget her!))

I also had a friend in the 80's who hated her own name so much that she nicknamed all her friends. I was perfectly happy without being nicknamed (although in chat, when we are typing fast, I *will* answer to PJ (but never Pammy))

Perhaps we should get back to *last* week's ep... ;-)
It's almost Sunday again. How will we survive when... oh right, the regular network shows will be back. That should do it.

oSoFine said...

You're right, we should get back to last weeks episode, though this is the "board" for the week *before* last (which was far less interesting than this one, IMO)! Again, sorry to everyone for writing so much about the name thing, but at least it was at the end of the week before lasts!

I like your name a lot - "Pamela Jaye Ashworth", and PJ is cute - I also happen to HATE "Sammy" (always have). It's good that your parents didn't give you a middle name starting with "A" - Pamela A. Baker wouldn't have been very cool!!

One last question, are you Jewish?

Ok, bye for now - hope to see your post about tonight's ep!

-oSo- (also a nickname from school - Samantha "oSo" Fine)

Pamela Jaye said...

wow, i found that last post by googling myself.

no. not Jewish.
English, Irish, Scottish, and German