Mad Men Recap: A Woman’s Worth

Peggy and Joan ruled this week’s Mad Men, which examined the price two very different women could command as they did what was necessary to move ahead — and it all played out in what was, hands down, the season’s best episode. Let’s take a look at the series-changing events of “The Other Woman.”

RELATED | 100 Summer Premiere Dates

Seeing red | A night with Joan has long been like climbing Mount Everest for male SCDP staffers: a few have achieved it, but far more have failed mightily in the attempt and suffered a severe case of frostbite in the process. But when a few hours of the rockin’ redhead’s company became pivotal to helping the firm land the coveted Jaguar account, we learned a lot about the partners’ priorities. (Newsflash: Being morally upright isn’t high on the list.) It all began when Herb Rennet, head of the Jaguar dealers’ association, told Ken and Pete that a night with the agency’s “dynamite redhead” might be enough to buy his vote for SCDP’s pitch. That sent Pete simpering into Joan’s office, where he tested the waters. The waters, predictably, were incensed and insulted. “You’re unbelievable. I’m married. How would you feel if someone asked Trudy?” she said sharply. Pete’s whiny reply was funny in its lameness: “We’ve all had nights in our lives we’ve made mistakes for free!” he said, comparing her predicament to Cleopatra’s. “She was a queen. What would it take to make you a queen?” he said, clearly thinking he was slick. “You couldn’t afford it,” she snapped back. (In scenes like this, I always feel like Pete is trying to do his best Don impression, and it’s so entertaining to see how surprised he is when it never ends well.) When Pete gathered the partners to talk about how much moolah might sway Mrs. Harris, Don steadfastly refused to discuss the matter and left the room. But the rest of the partners, Roger included, got over their distaste rather quickly and decided to offer Joan a finder’s fee on the Jaguar commission in exchange for letting Herb take her for a test drive. “Don’t fool yourself — this is some very dirty business,” Sterling told Pete on his way out. Yeah, Rog, dirty business that you just condoned. And Bert, I have no words for you. Take your bare feet and Colonel Sanders goatee back to your office and THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’VE DONE. At least Lane had the consideration to coach Joan to ask for a five percent stake in the agency instead of a one-time payout… oh wait, no, that was just to avoid asking for more credit, thus saving his own embezzling behind. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but when Don Draper is the most moral man in the bunch, we’re in trouble. Speaking of Don, news about Joan’s pending partnership sent him to her home, where he told her not to go through with the plan. “I wanted to tell you it’s not worth it. If we don’t get Jaguar, so what? Who wants to be in business with people like that?” Aw, I love sweet Don. As we watched moments from her evening with hairy Herb intercut with SCDP’s excellent, Ginsberg-penned Jaguar pitch — “Jaguar: At last, something beautiful you can truly own.” — it became clear that Joan had already tamed the jaguar (ick) before Don even arrived at her apartment. In just a few looks — with disgust and resignation at Herb, with friendship and regret at Don — Christina Hendricks owned those scenes. And whether it was because of the pitch or the prostitution (Joanie, I love you, but that’s what that was), SCDP eventually won the automotive account. Roger called all of the partners into his office to hear the news; Joan’s arrival, and what it implied, clearly hit Don like a cold martini to the face. As the firm celebrated, Pete and Bert talked about hiring some more help and quashed the ideas of holiday bonuses, driving Lane directly to the bar cart after the others had left the room. No longer in the mood to celebrate, Don retreated to his office, where an even bigger shock awaited him.

PHOTOS & VIDEO | Your Guide to What’s New This Fall

Nobody puts Peggy in a corner | Here’s what you need to know about what happened to Peggy prior to her life-changing meeting with Don at the end of the episode: She’d nailed a pitch on the fly, only to have Don be a major jerk to her (“You want to go to Paris? Here, go to Paris.”). She’d had lunch with Freddy (I love seeing these familiar faces pop up as the season goes by), who’d reminded her that she was awesome, and met with Cutler Gleason and Chaough’s Ted Chaough, who offered her $1,000 more than her asking price to join his team. So when Draper and his work wife were alone at the end of the episode, something big was going to go down. I’m pretty convinced that she might’ve backed out if she hadn’t learned right then about Joan’s sudden promotion. But she did, and Elisabeth Moss was perfect. “I want you to know that the day you saw something in me, my whole life changed. And since then, it’s been my privilege to not only be at your side but to be treated like a protégé and for you to be my mentor and my champion,” Peggy said before letting Don know she was leaving. When he finally realized she wasn’t just fishing for a raise and was actually going to work for his nemesis, Don’s reaction started out nasty (“Let’s pretend that I’m not responsible for every good thing that’s happened to you”) but wound up tender and reverential, evoking memories of the final scene of last season’s “The Suitcase.” Don softened when Peggy quietly said, “I’m sorry, but you know this is what you would do.” When Peggy extended her hand for a shake, her boss instead grabbed it and bent his head to kiss it. Of course the gesture broke her — it damn near broke me — and the tears continued as she wrestled her hand out of his grasp, collected her things from her office, and waited for the elevator to come. When it opened, though, Peggy stared into the next phase of her life with a triumphant smile and The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” rolled in the background. I think our girl is gonna be all right.

Now it’s your turn. What do you think Joan’s promotion and Peggy’s departure mean for SCDP? What do you make of Megan and Don’s tabled disagreement about her acting career? And how long do you think it’ll be before someone figures out what Lane’s up to? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

115 Comments
  1. I feel that this will have repercussions for Joan in a big emotional way. It was an act of prostitution after all.

    Does Peggy quitting mean Elizabeth Moss could be leaving? She’s one of the show’s essential characters so I don’t think it would be a smart decision, but if Peggy has actually left SCDP, how are they gonna fit her character into the show next season?

    • niks says:

      I don’t think they can afford to loose Peggy. After Don, she is the most important character of the show. But her moving to another firm does present some logistic problems. Lets see how they handle it.

      • umbrella says:

        I think that Don is going to leave SCDP and start a new firm with Peggy.

        He’s not too happy with a) what Joan did and b) that Joan has been made a partner

        • Benny says:

          I don’t think he cares that Joan has been made a partner. He cares because of HOW and WHY she was made a partner.

        • Daniela says:

          We just saw last week that he cares for Joan as a friend. I don’t think he has a problem with her being a partner. He’s concerned about how she became one.

        • rowan77 says:

          You misinterpreted his not wanting her to go through with it and the shocked look on his face when he saw her with the other parters. He cares about her too much to condone the prostitution (please note that Roger didn’t try to stop her and she’s the mother of his only son) and was shocked that she went through with it. That’s all. I’m betting that had he gotten to her before she slept with that sleaze, she wouldn’t have gone through with it.

          • grammapauline says:

            Joan is a practical woman who has been used and hurt by men before. She was pissed at all of them, but determined to go thru with it for her $$security, just incase the only guys she can find for husband material are fat hairy combover types, for her baby, and NOW, as a partner she can screw them all over if she wants. Cannot wait to see how she sets up Pete. She’s totally done with Roger, but Don would not have been able to talk her out of it, had he gotten there earlier,IMHO. And he’d better not judge her now, either.

        • Kavita Thavundayil says:

          I would love if Peggy and Don started their own firm. Good call, umbrella…

          • Stephanie says:

            That’s ridiculous. Don and Peggy are not going to start their own firm. You’ve been reading too many fairy tales. And Mad Men is not a fairy tale with happy endings.

  2. niks says:

    Welcome back Mad Men. We have been waiting for a long time. Elisabeth Moss was totally awesome in this episode. The scene between Peggy and Don made me cry. It was such a heart felt moment.

    • DJ says:

      In the behind-the-scenes video, Elisabeth Moss related that she was not aware that Jon Hamm was directed to cling to her hand as if he wouldn’t let her go. Her tears and raw voice at the end were real.

    • Liz says:

      I think both actions–Joan’s “promotion” and Peggy’s resignation will create dramatic story lines for the next season. Who knows how Peggy will do in her new job? Or how well she will be treated. And will the partners really treat Joan with respect? Not likely. That said, I thought this was one of the best episodes ever. Cudos for that scene when Peggy departs…very gripping. And Christina Hendricks is really amazing at conveying so much with so few words. And Pete—well, he is the sleaziest of sleaze over and over again. Great job by the whole cast.

  3. TV Gord says:

    The Joan situation made me sick (though in a thoroughly entertaining way). I want to travel back in time and punch Pete Campbell.

    Peggy’s departure immediately reminded me of Cary leaving the firm on The Good Wife…she’ll be back. I also tried to remember how many times Larry Tate fired Darren Stephens on Bewitched ;-). I think something will bring Peggy back. (BTW, it was great to see Joel Murray back as Freddy.)

    One of my friends was complaining a couple of weeks ago that nothing is happening on Mad Men this season. I can’t wait to hear the reaction to last night’s show!

  4. Amy D says:

    I think our Mad Men are really going to regret making Peggy and Joan mad too. As for the women they have waited a long time to move up. They are going to have a blast, at least for a little while. Great episode.

  5. Diane Wilshere says:

    I also felt that there was more to Megan’s callback audition and her not getting the job. When they asked her to turn around it implied heavily casting couch especially given what Joan faced and did. Did Megan turn down the job because she wouldn’t play that game?

    • Lan says:

      That’s exactly what I thought. In the least, the leering men on the couch were trying to objectify Megan, something she rejected resulting in her not getting the Boston job.

    • Stephanie says:

      To me, it just underlined the theme of prostituting yourself that one could argue every character has to one degree or another (and possibly every one of us). You know the joke: Would you have sex with that person for $20? No, but I would for a million. Oh, so you’re just quibbling about price.

  6. Samy says:

    That guy Peggy is going to work for is a total jerk — she’ll be back

    • grammapauline says:

      Peggy pimped herself out to Ted, knowing Don hates Ted, does’nt care that he got Peggy for Peggy, more that he stole Don’s protege. I see a scene where the two firms battle over an account, and Peggy has to go, head to head with Don. Even if she felt used and taken for granted by Don, she still loves him, admires him, and when Ted starts using her to jerk Don around, I do not think Peggy will be able to do it. Just saying. So I think she’ll be back. I saw the behind the scenes w Elizabeth Moss, saying her tears were real, maybe Hamms were too, mayebe she is leaving the show. Hope not for long. I read somewhere she’s doing a movie in the UK. I don’t think she dropped down the elevator shaft, but I was scared for a moment there. There was light shining on her face, as in the light from the cab, otherwise it’d be dark. Peggy did have to try to make it elsewhere, but working for Don’s nemesis may not have been the best choice.

  7. sindella says:

    Well, Pete did pimp his wife for a book deal back in season 1. And honestly, not wanting to go to bed with Alison Brie…let him walk the elevator shaft already…

  8. Joe says:

    They trashed Joan’s character, turned her into nothing more than a high- priced call girl, sleeping her way to the top. Bad move. If Peggy is really leaving the show, then that might kill it for me. All the characters will be the same business cut throats.

    • Lyn says:

      Joan’s a great character, but pimping herself out for self-aggrandizing reasons — to establish a place as the office queen bee, to marry a promising surgeon — is nothing new for her! But I agree with you about the potential loss of Peggy. Her story, with its little victories, conflicts, and zigzag route to a meaningful career, has been one of the most interesting aspects of the show.

  9. Joel says:

    “And Bert, I have no words for you. Take your bare feet and Colonel Sanders goatee back to your office and THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’VE DONE.”

    Except Bert STILL doesn’t have his own office. He’ll go to the couch in the lobby and think about Doctor Lyle Evans instead.

  10. I do not believe it is what some think. Note some hints in the
    careful dialog. Joan comes home. It is only 8, her mother says
    so. In the second scene with Don in Joan’s apartment, we get what
    really happened. Joan is taking off the necklace that Herb gave
    her. She puts a rob over her dress and was not “taking a shower.”
    She did not “spend the night” with Herb, but she did meet with him.
    She already had the SCDP contract partnership in her pocket. She
    told Pete she “could not guarantee a result.” Herb was only 1 of
    serveral votes on the Jaguar deal. SCDP got the business without
    Joan selling herself out

    • Sorry, and I wish that were true… but they showed her getting out of Herb’s bed and Herb telling her she was good. I think we have to assume she actually went through with her part of the ‘bargain’.

      • tripoli says:

        Yeah, it was pretty obvious that she did in fact sleep with the guy. The second go round with Don was to show that she went into it thinking that everyone, including Don was okay with her sleeping with the guy. Based on her reaction, she may not have gone through with it if she had known Don was against it.

        • Gregr says:

          Joan just said she was taking a shower, just to say something. Joan had sex with the guy. She didn’t “sleep” with him.

    • Stephanie says:

      She still sold herself out. One can only hope it ends up being worth it to her in the end.

  11. Remember, Joan thought Don was in on her selling herself.
    In that second scene in the apartment, she may have wanted
    Don to think she was “fulfilling her end” of the deal. She
    already had her partnership contract, demanded before the end of
    the day. She did not want Don to know she was already home.
    So, the only ones who know what Joan actually did are
    Herb and Joan. SCDP got the business when Herb got out voted
    or Joan set him straight. Joan never has to say if she gave in
    and knows that she did not. When SCDP got the contract and Don
    asks Joan to join them for a drink. Joan says “maybe later.”
    She is the only one who knows the truth and is the smartest one
    in the room.

    • bkwrm says:

      You clearly missed the scene when she was getting out of Herb’s bed and he said something to her like “You are a really great girl.”

      • No. I saw that scene. But there were TWO scenes of
        Don visiting Joan’s apartment. Between them, there are
        the scenes of Don pitching the Jaguar people and Joan
        with Herb. Don’s TWO scenes of his ONE visit leaves two
        possibilities of what Joan actually did. Or, so it
        seems to me.

        • ElKabong says:

          It was the same scene from two different perspectives. How could you not comprehend that?

          • Perspective, yes. Joan leaves the office at 6 and is
            home by 8. (why would her mother make a point of saying
            the time?) Meanwhile, Joan also found time to drink,
            have sex and worry about fixing a refrigerator when she
            just got 5% of an ad agency? Joan is amarter than all
            of them. Her embrace of Lane at the end was her thanks
            for the seed of an idea, of which SHE became the author.

        • Sarah says:

          Wow, you really don’t want her to have gone through with it to have created such a convoluted theory. I think you are alone with this crazy idea.

        • Mhill says:

          Joan slept with Herb. There is no doubt about that. I am not sure how you can not see that.

          • It may be as obvious as you say.
            I’d me interested to hear why there
            had to be TWO scenes of Don in her
            apartment. It is interesting to
            discuss the possibilities of fiction.
            The SECOND Don scene in the apartment
            added WHAT exactly?

          • Nick says:

            They showed the scene twice because the first time, we were to think that Joan hadn’t gone to see herb yet and that Don was giving her another reason not to go (he was against it)….the 2nd time they showed the scene was to show us that Joan had in fact already gone, but if she had heard the news from don that he was against it BEFORE she had gone that she probably wouldn’t have gone trough with it

          • If it was already “too late” at Don’s first scene
            in Joan’s apartment, Followed By the scene of Joan
            selling herself to Herb, then Don’s SECOND scene
            in the apartment adds nothing. If Joan is home by
            8 and the dialogue had to tell us it was only 8,
            then I think Joan set herself up for a free 5%
            partnership. She promised no “result” but got
            the SCDP commitment to herself in advance.

          • Gregr says:

            @nicholas guarente. The second scene was the same exact scene but from a different point of view. Why do you think there would be the same scene twice? The first scene was from Don’s POV. The second scene showed us what Joan was doing right before Don arrived and what was said when her mother went into the room and closed the door. That is what it added. The first time we see the scene, we didn’t know Joan had sex with Herb already and Don saying what he did, we hope that Joan would change her mind. The second time we see the scene, we see that she had already done the deed and now it is too late.

        • cathiecat says:

          The key to the second scene with Don was the necklace. She got it from the slime dude at the hotel. This showed us that by the time Don got to Joan’s apartment, the deed had already been done. And as for the partners knowing if she did it, Don’s look said it all. At least HE knows. I see big ramifications to the other partners going behind his back.

          • Anonymous says:

            @Nicholas Guarante:
            Joan’s mother says “it’s eight, where were you?” when Joan comes home on the day that Pete initially tells Joan about the option. Joan is wearing a blue dress.
            The next day Joan tells Pete she will prostitute herself for a 5% partnership. She is wearing a brown dress.
            On the day when Joan prostitutes herself and is wearing the evening gown and the necklace her mother DOES NOT say “it’s eight where were you?”
            So you have completely mixed up the events in the episode.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      The point to the first scene was to give the audience hope she wouldn’t go through with it, because we didn’t know the deed was already done. The point to the second scene was to crush our hopes and show the deed was already done. Go back and rewatch the scene for the look of horror on Joan’s face when Don tells her she doesn’t have to do it. That poor woman is going to have to live with some horrible guilt the rest of her life, and she knows it.

      • grammapauline says:

        Oh, please. Joan HAD A CHOICE! Don or no Don, she maybe thought she could take the partnership and maybe get away with not doing the deed, but steeled herself and went through with it. ICKIE!! The look of surprise on her face was that Don was not it on the pimping witht the rest of them, that he wanted her to keep her self worth, the hell with Jaguar. She gives him a look then like, poor Don, I’m way ahead of you, and gives him a loving caress on the cheek. Remember in the bedroom, with mom, she takes off the necklace, and puts on the robe before she goes out to see Don,tells him she about to jump in the shower. Yah, with clorox! The third argument that she did it, is at the end of the pitch, Pete looks over at Herb, and he’s chuckling, because, he got his shiny red mistress. (retch!)
        Now there is a possibility that herb um, couldn’t perform, which would be some consolation to Joan, but only Joan knows, and the end result is the same. I hope Joanie ends up sticking it to the partners big time, but those guys will either be in awe, or be disgusted when they use to admire her awesome Joan-ness. Does anyone else wonder if Joan had a call girl past?? I remember all her savvy advice to Peggy, about the pill, etc. Not too many women gave advice like that at the time. Most “decent” women assumed young, unmarried girls were virgins, at the time. I think in season 2? there is a scene in Joans apt with the icky former college roomie, and two old,icky men, and Joan trots right into the bedroom with him, like a pro.

    • Gregr says:

      You are totally trying to change the episode the way you want it to be. When Joan told her mother, “why did you say I was home?”, she just didn’t want to see him or anybody. There was no clue as to when the act was to take place. I was surprised it happened as soon as it did. I thought that she hadn’t done it yet when I saw the first scene of Don’s visit. But as we could tell from the second scene, she had already had sex with the guy. She didn’t “sleep” with him, she had sex with him. We, the audience, also knew what Joan had done.

  12. Valerie says:

    Does Matt Weiner really hate all women? Peggy – looking strong as she leaves
    SCDP for a new agency, but a worrisome past as an unwed mother who had to give up her beautiful baby boy so she could pursue her career, Joan reduced to prostitution because she wants financial security, prestige, and does not want to acknowledge the father of her son, Betty – no growth, no happiness, cranky with her children and husband and jealous of the (supposed) happiness Don has found. Megan is a wooden character who has never really seemed to fit in, however it appears she is on the threshold of doing whatever it takes to become a working actress. Maybe there will be some kind of redemption in the next two episodes – somehow doubt it.

    • Gertrude says:

      He’s illustrating what life was like for women at that time. Do you really think he’s writing these stories because he hates women?!

      • DanielleZ says:

        Agree. Makes one appreciate sexual harrassment laws in the year 2012 even though this kind of stuff still goes on. In my opinion Joan continues to be a badass for that era. I’ve thought that about her from the first time I saw her on Mad Men. The only other female character I consider like her is Samantha Jones from Sex and the City although Samantha slept around 1000 X more than Joan has.

      • Liz says:

        Agree. Some of us have been there. Weiner is getting to the heart of the issues women in business faced in those years. I suspect he really has tremendous respect for women!

      • Jessica says:

        I agree with you 100%! For the generations who were not on the work place during this era, it is inconceivable that this was “part” of how the women were recognized and advanced in the work place. Fortunately, I was never faced with the decision but it doesn’t mean I was not aware of what was “understood” in order to advance my career OR get a job.

    • nerdiest says:

      Disdain for women’s worth can come in many forms. For instance, assuming all women want a “beautiful baby boy” instead of a career or that women who stay at home shouldn’t be cranky. Seems to me the women in MM are perhaps more progressive than some other people.

  13. sarahfina7 says:

    I agree with the last comment, I don’t think Don knows that Joan actually met with the man from Jaguar. I think he believes he stopped her from going to the “meeting” and that he won the account based on his presentation alone. I do think there was something bad that happened to Megan – or was attempted – at the casting call. The only woman that got through last night on her own devices was Peggy and her innocence was made even made more plain with her comment, “I want a milkshake!” I loved it! Last night was sordid business indeed, but at least Peggy got out of it with her dignity in tact.

    • Gertrude says:

      When Joan came into the partner’s meeting after they won the Jag contract, Don realized she had gone through with it.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      Don knows what Joan did. The second she walked into the partner’s meeting (as a partner), he knew. This is why he didn’t feel like celebrating getting the account and snubbed the party. The look Joan gave him when she came into the office spoke volumes too. I loved it. They had an entire conversation without speaking a single word out loud.

  14. Karen says:

    pheew. That was a tear-jerker. But I’ve been waiting all season for Peggy and Don to have a poignant moment together, cause Jon Hamm and Elizabeth Moss just have amazing chemistry together, and I sincerely hope that there will be more of them, even though it’s gonna be mighty difficult given that they don’t work together any more. And I really hope they still keep Moss around as one of the major character. I wouldn’t want Mad Men without a dose of Peggy.
    Even though I like Meghan, I’m thrilled to see Joan and Peggy get their deserved spotlight in this episode – a spotlight they’ve gotten way to little of this season.
    And can we just give those Emmy’s to Hamm and Moss already?!

  15. Ann says:

    I agree with Nicholas. Joan didn’t sleep with Herb, and when Don is pitching the ad, we see Herb smiling like he really gets it; so he likely voted for SCDP because he realized personally how true the ad pitch was. In the scene with Herb and Joan, we see Joan stop Herb and then finishes her drink. At that point, Joan could have stopped Herb. When the scene continues and Joan turns her back to him to have him unzip her dress, it is simply playing out what a Jaguar owner would feel when they consummate the purchase of the automobile according to the SCDP ad line, “Jaguar, at last something beautiful you can truly own.” Joan doesn’t sell her soul, finds out who the good and bad guys really are at SCDP (she was interested in Roger’s reaction when speaking with Lane), and she turns the tables on them by scorching them for 5% and a partnership. Look for an upcoming conversation between Don and Joan when they finally have that drink, as she realizes he was the only one looking out for her best interest. Good for Joanie! And, Peggy, also does not sell herself out to get a higher dollar figure. She was unappreciated and is leaving SCDP, not just for a career move, but because Don showed no loyalty toward her. So, in both cases these two women were outmaneuvering men who wanted to take advantage of them and bested them at their own game!

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      Awww, that’s so cute.

    • tripoli says:

      You are so wrong it hurts. She slept with the creep, deal with it. It was blatantly obvious.

    • Ryan says:

      Joan rolled out of bed after Herb tells her what an “amazing woman” she is… denial is a waste of time, Joan slept with him, it was made painfully obvious. I don’t understand how some of you people can’t see that.

    • saladd says:

      Wow. How did you watch a scene with Joan in bed with Herb, obviously post-coital, and he tells her how amazing she was and almost boots her out the door, and decide she didn’t sleep with him? This isn’t a Disney movie.

    • Emily says:

      Imposing convoluted conspiracy theories on Mad Men is just… I don’t even know. But perhaps that’s why the show does it. To expose the ignorance of those who presently limit progress because they refuse to see terrible wrongs even when it’s happening right in front of their faces.

  16. Charley says:

    I believe the double staging of the scene in Joan’s apt was meant to suggest that if Don had actually arrived before her triste with “Jaguar” she may not have gone through with it. Knowing that someone was genuinely concerned and supportive may have made a difference. Remember, she originally asked about Roger’s role in the scheme. Of course, we will never know if Don’s words would have changed Joan’s mind but that was the point of the two scenes.

    Don’s raised eyebrows when Joan appears for the partners’ gathering about the Jaguar deal, confirmed for me his surprise that his conversation with Joan had not carried the weight that he thought they would. He just didn’t know that his outreach had come too late.

    • tripoli says:

      Exactly. Can’t believe people are so confused. The look on her face when Don told her she didn’t have to do it said it all. And she also said something along the lines of ” I was under the impression everyone was on board.” Implying that she may have chosen differently had she known Don didn’t want her to do it.

    • isg1997 says:

      Isn’t the word spelt “tryst”?

    • Gregr says:

      It’s funny how you cannot see that Joan went through with the agreement and had sex with Herb when though it is shown to us, but you can know what Don is thinking by his raised eyebrows. The second scene was the same reality, but from Joan’s point of view. It wasn’t to suggest an alternate scenario. The show did this other “point of view” storytelling earlier in the season during the Howard Johnson episode. That was also the same reality.

  17. susela says:

    The second time we see Don coming to Joan’s apartment, we realize that he was too late. Joan had already traded her body for a 5% partnership. And Don understands that the moment Joan is called in with the rest of the partners to hear the good news that they got the contract. *That* is why Don doesn’t join the champagne celebration. He realizes that they didn’t get the client on his good work alone, and he is disturbed and disappointed by what Joan has done. What a heartbreaking episode.
    .

  18. Lan says:

    The episode illustrated what a woman is worth, beautifully echoed in the Jaguar pitches. First, Jaguar is a mistress (like Joan has been in the past). Then, the pitch is changed to a beautiful woman a man can finally own (Joan). It’s ironic that Don acts so indignant at the partners’ willingness to pimp out Joan, but embraces the new pitch of owning a high-priced prostitute. And Don’s own mother was a whore.

    Peggy in her last scene with Don, rejects the idea she can be bought. Loved him kissing and not releasing her hand. That was another Emmy worthy moment and call-back to his hand over hers in “The Suitcase,” and way back to the pilot when she puts her hand over his in her mistaken attempt to be a “good” secretary.

    Megan is the third woman who choses her own worth. Is she refusing to be objectified by the men on the couch or has she chosen to be a good wife to Don Draper by remaining in New York? In the end, this episode is about women determining their own worth. Joan believes the partners see her as a high-priced prostitute and acts accordingly. Peggy refuses to be bought. Megan’s trying to decide what her “role” will be.

    • rubytu says:

      A lot of women sign a contract so they can be taken care of for the rest of their life, and spend many years fulfilling their part of the bargain. Joan got it in one night. It wasn’t something she had aspired to, but when the offer came in, she made the right choice.
      The episode was about the value of women. What men thought of them, how men treated them, and how they value themselves.
      When Don threw the money in Peggy’s face (!!!) I was reminded of how badly he treated Betty. He’s nice enough to his arm candy, but seeing a woman as an equal, he sees Megan as a child or a pet to keep around to make himself happy — Peggy and Joan are on their way to being independent even if it means standing up to men in a man’s world. Two different ways, but certainly they are both very strong and intelligent women.

  19. SGR says:

    Am I the only one who noticed that random little scene with Campbell reading to his kid? What was the symbolism there?

    • Kavita Thavundayil says:

      That Campbell is a hypocrite. He’s a family man who cheats on his wife and convinces single mothers to bend to prostitution. He acts like an upstanding citizen, when in reality – he’s a snake in the grass.

    • Amy D says:

      I’m pretty sure Campbell is the Devil in this Garden of Ad Men.

    • kanesmummy says:

      It was a creepy little scene. He is just the worse. I suppose it was symbolic in that although he has a daughter, he has no problem with asking a woman to prostitute herself…and serving as the pimp, no less. Trudy was right to lay into him about asking for an apartment in the city. She knows what it would really be for.

      • grammapauline says:

        I don’t think Trudy has a clue. She thinks he’s just a city boy who can’t get used to the quiet of the countryside. Good night moon. If Trudy knew, she’d let him have it. He would be totally lost without her.

  20. Amanda says:

    More Megan and now less Peggy? You’ve lost me forever.

  21. robyn says:

    The best episode this season. The scene with Peggy and Don was great. It had me screaming at the tv WTF. They have to figure some way to bring Peggy back, she is an essential part of the show.

  22. Britta Unfiltered says:

    This was a excellent, albeit heartbreaking, episode. It’s the first time this season I’ve been able to say, this is the Mad Men I remember. It felt like everyone got the focus they deserved. There’s so much to say about it. I can’t figure out if Peggy is really gone from the show or not. She might be. They definitely need a character in the feminist career woman role, but they could easily put Joan in that role now that she is a partner, and they could always bring back Megan to SDCP if they wanted (barf). I worry Elisabeth Moss thinks it’s time to move on or maybe the show just can’t afford to keep all the main actors anymore. Sigh. We’ll have to see. My personal hope is that she goes to the new agency and is miserable because they treat her like crap and she ends up back with Don where she belongs by the end of the season.
    .
    It was surprising to me see how just how sleazy Pete could get. This is a new low for him. And the line about Trudy, he definitely tried to pimp Trudy out in the first or second season to try and get his story published in a magazine. She wouldn’t do it though, which made him angry with her. That Pete really has no conscience. I was surprised by the lack of consciences in the other males at SDCP this episode too. I’m guessing Lane would have forbade the whole thing if he wasn’t in a pickle with his embezzling problems, so that at least was his motivation for pimping his friend. I was kind of surprised about Cooper. And it seemed like Roger wasn’t cool with the idea, but didn’t want to go against the other partners and say no. Didn’t he just say he didn’t want any part of it?
    .
    Now for Peggy….Don always surprises me with how he can be so sweet and so horrendous in a matter of minutes. I think him throwing the wads of cash at Peggy was so demeaning and awful, nearly as bad as what they were doing to Joan. I am impressed she didn’t cry. I would have.

  23. Chloe says:

    I’m disappointed that Joan did what she did but I think she did it to ensure a good future for her son. That’s NOT an okay reason to prostitute yourself; I’m just trying to understand her decision. I just hope she doesn’t get pregnant.

    The last two episodes have shown Don & Joan having great conversations, sharing feelings and growing closer. Could we be headed for a relationship between the two? I really don’t see the marriage with Megan lasting & I think Don & Joan together might be interesting.

    I’ve never really been a Peggy fan so if she’s gone, that will be fine with me

    • SGR says:

      I doubt she’ll get pregnant. In the very first episode of the show we learn she’s on the pill and it wouldn’t make sense in the show, too dramatic, soap like.

  24. Pearl says:

    Peggy won’t be miserable, would be too lousy of the writers make her come back broken, because the new firm didn’t treated her good, and would look like she couldn’t be amazing without Don. No, i think she will be brilliant, and earn some space very fast on the new agency. And people will start to buzz around about her work, and that will make Don really jealous. The clients will start to leave Don and go to Peggy, and then, our lovely Bert will be gone and they will offer her Bert’s partnership, so she can come back, as co-head of the creative team, and with her own accounts.

    • Jessica says:

      Completely and utterly agree 100%! I thought to myself, “I hope she gets to the new agency and pulls as many accounts away as she can!”

  25. Jim says:

    Jumped the shark.

  26. Coolio Jackson says:

    Don throwing the money at Peggy was a parallel to Pete’s Indecent Proposal to Joan…really showing how similar their lots were but also the diverse ways in which they handled their situations. I am still convinced that Weiner hates women. It was also interest to see how much more Peggy was makjng than Joan and how little Roger thinks of the mother of his child. Best episode of the season…too bad there are only 2 more to go.

  27. Nero theTVFiddler says:

    A fine episode; I think it is possible that MW and team could shoot the series next season/6 around the two competing firms – Cutler, Gleason and Chaough (CGC) and SCDP. Have that CGC-SCDP dynamic be the core of season 6 -I think that would make for a terrific story line; Peggy going up against Don in competing pitches to clients and so forth. By then, they’ll be more former SC/SCDP employees at CGC. Peggy’s gone, and I assume Ken will be at CGC as well by next season. Michael won’t be far behind. Stan? He’s a free-lancer – he could get a better deal at CGC; frankly, they probably all could. That might be the story-line for season 6…the slow unraveling of SCDP. Might be a chance to catch up on other characters on the series who might have wandered over to CGC – Allison, Sal, Hildy, Smitty, etc.

    And then, what happens to Don? Stay, or leave? In the end, the person who may end up convincing him to stay is Joan. She is, along w/Pete, the younger partners in the firm – they have the most to lose if SCDP goes down. SCDP is now her future, for better or for worse. For her well being as a single-mom who needs a good, steady job and income, that firm must succeed; hence, Don needs to stay, and he’ll realize that. That might well be the catalyst (Joan) that fires up both Roger and Don to push themselves to keep SCDP going.

    Great to see Freddy [JM] again – he’s the best. His relationship with Peggy is one of the most sincere friendships [along with the Ken-Peggy combo] on the show.

    Thumbs up to Megan’s friend, “Jaguar-Girl” – she’s got a future in commercials.

  28. Mark kreloff says:

    Joan removing the emerald necklace that was given to her by herb (when she is changing into a robe back at her apartment) is proof positive that she slept with him.

    • Gregr says:

      Joan had sex with Herb. She didn’t sleep with him. Why can’t people just call it what it is and say they had sex? What’s with this euphemism of calling it “sleeping”?

  29. Chloe says:

    Did anyone else expect Peggy to fall into the elevator shaft in her final scene? After that odd scene when Don peered down it a couple of weeks ago, I was sure that was what was going to happen. :(

    • Manuel says:

      Oh man, yes. I totally did. I actually gasped in horror as she pressed the button and then looked back at SCDP’s lobby. I thought she was about to walk into the elevator shaft without looking at it, and that the beautiful scene we had just witnessed at Don’s office were Peggy’s last words ever.

      I froze for a second there, and then The Kinks playing and her confident smile were such a relief.

      • SpaceOddity says:

        I was thinking the same thing. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Many years ago, there was a scene in the show L.A. Law where some lady fell to her death in an elevator shaft. Not sure if Mad Men would re-hash that event. Peggy is too vital to the series. I would lose interest if she were leaving the show. If I heard correctly, is the next show the season ending show? Can’t wait to see how things play out.

        • Gregr says:

          I thought the scene with Don and the empty elevator shaft was odd. I do remember the L.A. Law scene where that lady walked right into the shaft. How could anybody just walk into an elevator shaft? How could they not see the elevator is not there? Don noticed right away. The shaft is dark and empty. When the elevator is there, you can see it and there is a light inside. I hope the show doesn’t use that scenario to kill off a character because it would be totally unbelievable unless maybe a blind person happens to be the victim.

  30. Ann says:

    Joan didn’t sleep with him. He wanted to look, and she let him, that’s all. You can tell because at the time he was unzipping her dress, Don is saying in his presentation “you can look but don’t touch”. She bats Herbs hand away and you never see him touch him while she is in bed with him. Something happened, but they did not have sex. Her only reason for looking upset when Don arrives at her place is because she is home early and obviously didn’t spend the night with the guy, so she covers saying she was just getting in the shower (I.e. to get ready to go meet Herb). Then she realizes Don was looking out for her and she is grateful. Peggy wants Don to appreciate her as an equal, and figured out it won’t ever happen if she stays.

    • tripoli says:

      You are completely wrong. She was in bed, naked, with the dude. What else do you assume happened, if not sex? She batted his hand away because she was obviously somewhat uncomfortable with having anything happen, but did what she thought would provide a stable future for her and her son. Sex happened. Why is that so difficult to understand/accept?

    • Hayley says:

      Joan had Roger Sterling’s baby while married to the doctor. She isn’t a Girl Scout. ;)

    • Manuel says:

      What the hell is going on? How could so many people miss the scene in which Joan is lying naked in bed with the disgusting Jaguar guy? Could it be that AMC cut the scene on the episode’s broadcast of the East or West Coast?

    • Patty says:

      of course she had sex with him! why can’t some of you people understand that? Joan had sex with Herb, Don got to her apartment AFTER she had already come back from the quickie. Done deal! I don’t get the naivete of some people on here wanting it to be different.

  31. Manuel says:

    I think people are being completely unfair with Joanie.

    First, there was Pete coming into her office and telling her the deal with Jaguar was over, that the business that would rocket SCDP into stardom was about to be shredded to pieces and that SHE was the only one who could do something about it.

    Then Lane comes and tells her that the partners are about to offer her a $50,000 payment for her services to the company, but she is disgusted at Lane for even suggesting it. And only then Lane pulls the Kevin card on her. He reminds her that now she is a single mother living in the 60’s with a disgusting ex-husband and a baby son to take care of. She rejected the one-payment offer because it wasn’t enough to guarantee her future financial needs for ever, but (just as Lane said) the 5% stake partnership would “take care of a woman and a child for a lifetime”.

    I think that Joan would have never accepted if she didn’t have to worry about her son’s future.

    • rubytu says:

      yes, I agree, I think Joan made the right choice. A partner in the firm with a vote. Good for her!

    • grammapauline says:

      Ahh, yesss, clever of Lane to manipulate Joan into taking the 5% stake instead of his 50K, carefully covering his ass..Joan burshed fat guys hand away, to help her think she was in control of the situation. The guy may very well have not been able to do anything but admire joan, but she was ready to to do it, just the same, so the damage was done.

  32. Myke25 says:

    “I will spend the rest of my life trying to hire you.” – Don to Peggy in the Season 3 finale.

  33. What about ken? Didn’t he and Peggy have a pact?

  34. All Pete needs is a pencil thin mustache than he can twist at the ends like Snidley Whiplash or his pinky on the side of his mouth like Dr Evil.

  35. drush76 says:

    For the second time in her life, Joan sacrificed her self-respect for some kind of gain. It’s interesting that so many want to solely blame the men of SCDP for her decision to sleep with that Jaguar rep. But it was Joan who made the final decision to toss her self-respect to the wind for a piece of the agency’s pie. And this was not the first time she had deliberately ignored her self-respect.This happened the first time when she married Greg Harris. I want to make this clear. I AM NOT claiming that Joan’s actions had led Greg to rape her in “The Mountain King”. Nor am I claiming that she deserved it. She DID NOT deserve something like that to happen to her. And Greg is fully to blame. But Joan had decided to go ahead and marry Greg, after what he had done to her. I believe that she deliberately ignored what Greg had done to her in order to snag a husband with a future as a doctor. She wanted a future with a professional husband, expensive house in the suburbs and kids so badly that she was willing to go ahead and marry the man who had assaulted her. I found that sad. And I found her decision to go ahead and sleep with that Jaguar client on behalf of the agency another example of how Joan is willing to prostitute herself for some kind of gain.

  36. Dani says:

    Amazing ep and I loved that whilst everybody was focusing on the beautiful Jaguar (Joan), the reliable car in the garage (Peggy) went and found somewhere else to park herself. The only way Don was ever going to appreciate Peggy was if she left and somebody else saw her talent with fresh eyes. It was so nice to see somebody else realise her worth. As for Joan, yeah sure it was a really dubious way to buy herself some freedom, but it’s much better than her accepting handouts from Roger until Kevin’s an adult, especially as he was so prepared to let her prostitute herself out for the sake of the company. One way or another she’d always end up selling herself, but that was just the reality of someone in her situation during the era.

    Really beautiful scene with Peggy and Don at the end, and generally Moss, Hamm and Hendricks absolutely nailed it. Looking forward to the business end of this season. I just can’t see Don and Megan lasting into Season 6. They’ve been foreshadowing a break-up from the start with that white carpet.

  37. kanesmummy says:

    Clearly Joan went all the way with Herb. It was obvious to me that she was going to go through with it after the run in with her mother the day before. You could tell that she was sick of her mother and decided this was her chance to take control of her future instead of relying on her mother for help. It’s interesting that she she chose that option for financial independence over taking up Roger on his offer to help her financially with their son. In a way, I think she looked at accepting Roger’s help as being more of a prostitute than spending one night in bed with Herb.

    This whole episode was brilliant!

  38. charissa29 says:

    I will hate it if we are trading Peggy for Megan. Megan is fine and all but Peggy and Don’s complex, honest and complicit relationship is my favorite part of Mad Men. That and watching Peggy navigate the business world, without prostitution mind you, is mesmerizing. Damn it I hope this doesn’t mean that Elizabeth Moss is gone!!!!!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,393 other followers