Wow. So much to say, right? Where should we start?
How ’bout with Peggy, since I seem to be the only one not feelin’ her this season? This week, Peggy continued, *ahem,* “furthering her ambitions,” first by trying to put in a bid for a creative spot on the tentative Hilton account, then by—OMG!—sleeping with Duck!!! (Ew, squared.)
If you’ll recall, I was part of the minority who wasn’t emotionally compelled by Peggy’s impassioned plea for a raise a couple weeks ago. So I was on Team Don when he snapped at her in his office. Yes, he’s a tool for reasons that were very clearly elucidated this week (and we’ll get there, shortly), but let’s face it: he’s right. It’s 1963. Peggy’s a junior copywriter. And aside from “basket of kisses,” and her “hammock between the clotheslines on a rooftop” Daiquiri Beach (h)idea, has she ever been the savior of an account? I could be forgetting.
I think she’s skirting dangerously close to an overinflated sense of self—and so does Don. “You’re good. Get better. Stop asking for things!” Word.
I’m worried that her burgeoning sense of entitlement will topple her before she really rises. By succumbing to Duck’s flattery and… other sundry advances, she’s becoming the girl who shirks any version of the truth that doesn’t paint her as the promising ingenue. Did y’all peep her asking if she’d get to go to Paris for Hermes?! Wow. A little ahead of yourself there, aren’t you, Peggy. If Kinsey couldn’t even get invited to Sterling’s dinner party, how does she think she’s going to Paris for an account? Duck couldn’t even promise her a better-sounding title.
I know it seems like I’m being hard on Peggy—and I am—but, for whatever reason, I expect a bit more from her. More what, I don’t know. Integrity? Humility? Gratitude?
Speaking of gratitude, Don’s trippin’ with this contract thing, isn’t he? Though I did quietly cheer at his Peggy-scolding, that’s where my support for his opinion ended in this episode. I get that Don’s “thing” is being a free agent and a coveted commodity and, most importantly (to him) not being owned, but come on. How long did he think this would last? He, who prides himself on being two steps ahead of the game, should’ve seen this coming. The higher profile the accounts, the more urgent Sterling Cooper’s need to lock in his loyalty and commitment. Why would they risk Don falling out with them and taking an account like Hilton (along with half their staff) with him when he left?
This contract tug-of-war isn’t the only place where common sense would’ve helped him. What was up with the hitchhiker scenes? I really do hate Don’s “Dick Moments,” complete with hallucinations/waking dreams. And again, the Vietnam reference seemed shoehorned in. (MESSAGE! “The times, they are a-changin’!”)
Was the point there to further illustrate Don’s loss of control?
And was that even necessary, with Betty’s verbal smackdown in the kitchen? Her backbone seems to be growing at lightning speed right now. Between pointing out Don’s absurdity re: the contract and shamelessly flirting with this Henry dude (who, clearly, seems to be the affair that sticks for her), she’s really starting to come into her own. This episode, more than any other so far, outlined the shift in marital power dynamics Betty set in motion by kicking Don out last year. I’m almost impressed–even though her whole Junior League involvement came kind of out of the blue.
Also impressive: Betty’s degree in anthropology and the parallel between her extramarital attractions and Don’s. Don prefers educated independent women; Betty presents herself as just that to the kind of man she wants. They’re both attracted to power; just as Don is losing his in their marriage, she’s preparing to step out with someone whose social and political standing eclipses Don’s.
About that eclipse. I’m not sure I want Don with Sally’s teacher anymore. And interestingly, it seems, neither is Don.
I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of vital info: like the significance of July 23, 1963. And the escalation of the Don-Roger beef. And Bertram’s quietly awesome, rank-pulling blackmail and emotional coercion. So I’m counting on you guys to fill in all those blanks.