On this week’s ep, DonDick is still out west being all weird and shabbily dressed, Peggy is even more the shit than before, Pete is even more of a shit than before, and Joan…poor Joan. (UPDATED.)
My friend Rakia and I were having an argument over Peggy’s career advancement. She thinks that Peggy’s worked hard to get where she is. I don’t deny that — she’s damn good — but I think Peggy’s rapid ascent at Sterling Cooper is starting to strain credibility. This is the early 60’s, and we’ve seen nary a real protest from any of her male colleagues? (Roger approved her taking the office, but he has completely checked out of the building.) What about the clients? No weirdness there? Rakia argues that she’s smart and they respect her; I think that may have been true up until she got Fred Rumsen’s office. They may not care about Peggy doing all the heavy lifting, but they may care when she starts wielding the spoils of her labor.
Hell’s bells, Trudy! Pete, on the other hand, is Peggy’s photo negative: he’s been given every conceivable advantage in the world, and his attempts at moving up at Sterling Cooper are thwarted by his complete lack of shrewdness. He knows Don’s secret, which results in a blackmail attempt that went disastrously awry. (He was on some real 8-year-old shit. Give me a raise or I’m telling on you!) He must be really good at his job, because that boneheaded pissing contest he got into with Trudy’s dad* should cost him his job. If the higher-ups at Sterling Cooper weren’t all distracted by their annoying navel-gazing, they would shitcan his ass. (Here’s hoping.)
I’d wondered about the logistics of Don assuming, um, Don’s identity. So now we know that he’s been paying a munificent ‘ex-wife’ to allow him to remain in that identity. I have no idea where this storyline is going. Dude clearly doesn’t want to go home to Betty, his son, and his nicotine-addict daughter.**
I won’t say anything about that scene, outside of noting that Christina Hendricks is a tremendous actress. I hadn’t really appreciated it before.
What say y’all?
*He’ll always be Clarissa’s dad to me.
Anyway, I thought the rape of Joan was one of the must agonizing scenes I’ve watched in recent memory–agonizing in a great way. Kenyatta on the other hand was extremely disturbed by it–in a bad way. Something about it really bothered her–she feels like they’re actively punishing Joan. I would be more sympathetic to that if there weren’t other women on the show, and other women who were sexual. I think they’re saying something about the limits of sex as power. I can’t help but to juxtapose Joan (and to some extent Bobby) with Peggy, who has grown in stature and is on the brink of passing all the junior people in the office.
It’s like in the past women were limited in how they could show power–limited to ways that basically affirmed what a men were comfortable with. Joan is threatening to men in a way that can be squelched–as we regrettably saw. But Peggy scares–or is starting to scare–the hell out of the men in the office, and they have no idea what to do about it. How can they stop her, short of killing her? Isn’t this about the limits of an “old” sort of power as compared with a “new” power that women have access to? And yet what gives Peggy her foot in the door is her insights as women–remember Belle Jolie?
A lot of this is me just talking. I’d love to hear from some women fans of the show. I could be off my rocker. But I do love the show. This will not be popular, but I think it’s first two seasons are as good as the first two seasons of The Wire.
Muhfuckah, what you say about my moms?