This isn’t terribly original, but Peggy’s my favorite character. And because this episode was fairly Peggy-centric, it was my favorite installment in some time. There are several perfect Peggy moments in this episode: the sorta sad singing in the mirror, “We can do other things” and the most important, when she blurts out to that kid at the bar: “I work for a jerk!” This is the first time we ever hear her voice contempt for Don, and it’s almost an aside. Their relationship is completely bizarre. They’re not friends. He’s her boss. He knows her secret. And even when he condescends to her — that ‘this-is-the-way-it-is’ conversation as she points out her objections to the Pepsi ad — it’s in a different tone than the one he uses when he addresses almost anyone else.
I also loved the Madison Square Garden storyline for nerdy cityphile reasons. It was full of accurate historical details and plausible-sounding conversations; the Garden was plopped down in the middle of Manhattan despite vigorous public opposition, and even now it seems like a bad idea. It was built on top of the old Penn Station, which was grand and gorgeous, and replaced by the current incarnation, which is so ugly and so poorly laid out that it feels like it was all an accident.I was actually watching that scene with Paul and hoping that he’d win that argument and spare us from that monstrosity in present-day real life.
Real quick: I wanted to bring up this observation made by Amanda Marcotte a few days ago:
…I would argue that the dark joke of the show is that Don keeps cheating on Betty with intelligent, sophisticated women, and he doesn’t realize that Betty would be the kind of woman he finds exciting if he didn’t oppress her and make her feel small all the time.
I think this is right (even though Betty is my least favorite character on the show), but Don would never find her exciting because she’s not a brunette. That’s part of his type.
Have at it.