In Hobo Code she was still a party girl (witness The Twist, and also ‘we all work so hard’). By Nixon vs. Kennedy, not only was she a tight-ass, but she had a reputation as such.

Ken: Draper has plenty of booze.

They look towards Peggy, working at her desk despite the party around her.

Ken: (continues) We could ask her to join us. That might soften her up.

So what happened?

Okay. In Hobo Code she finally gets to have sex with Pete again. And I’m sorry folks, goodness knows I am not a fan of Mr. Campbell, but it was kind of beautiful. Evidenced by the tenderness between them afterwards… even from him. (more…)

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Roger Sterling is like a walking sense of entitlement. He was more or less born into his job. His name, as he says in Red in the Face, is on the building, and he even acknowledges that makes him feel entitled. He thinks he can and should have any woman just for the taking, so that he is disgusting with the twins in Long Weekend (suggesting incest is A Bad Thing) and angry at Don for being more attractive in the bar in Red in the Face. How dare anyone usurp his entitlement?

He’s also really insecure, maybe because he hasn’t actually earned anything. He wants to restrict Joan; keep her in a birdcage, and that feels like both: entitlement and insecurity. Right of ownership combined with fear of losing her.

The most telling thing of all is the dialogue with Don in Shoot; Don considers the McCann-Erickson offer, Roger says he’d be afraid of failure. Don is not afraid. Don says he might leave advertising, Roger says “What else is there?” Don runs away, true, but he also runs forward; he remakes himself. And Roger can’t do that, he can only hang back. And diddle women to persuade himself he isn’t full of fear. Roger is a guy who doesn’t know what else there is.

In Shoot, Sally gets in bed with Don and Betty, terrified of her dog being shot by the neighbor. After she’s back in bed, Betty says to Don: “Did you see those big tears? I really want to get a picture of her crying one day.”

Is there something insanely angry about being delighted with your kid’s tears? Something that emerges at the end of the episode that was there all along? It feels like roiling rage to me, to think that “big tears” are cute, especially under the circumstances.

In Shoot, Jim Hobart says: “Can you imagine the lifestyle that goes with handling Pan Am? It’s a panty dropper.”

What’s beautiful about that is that it’s not an anachronism, and it would be painfully easy to use the word “lifestyle” anachronistically. “Lifestyle” has been around since 1929, but when I was a child it was used to describe, well, your style of life. How much money you had, your marital status, whether you lived in the city or the suburbs, that sort of thing. From there it shifted into life choices; ultimately getting attached to subculture and community. The Religious Right refers to a “gay lifestyle” but you might also say a “religous lifestyle” or a “Green lifestyle” or whatever.

It’s got to be pretty tricky to write the script with a word like that, which has changed in subtle ways. So this is by way of kudos.

The other day, Roberta quoted Betty from Shoot, talking about modeling:

I remember he saw that I didn’t like giving the coat back. That’s always the hardest part.

The hardest part? Some models would say the hardest part is the hustling, going around knocking on doors, showing your book. Or the competition. Or showing up for job after job and not getting it. Or the inappropriate sexual advances. Or being called “a prostitute.” Or the hot lights.

For Betty, the hardest part is giving back the clothes. This kind of goes with what I was saying about Betty’s vision, Betty modeled because she had a fantasy about her beauty and the power it provided; when she gives back the clothes, it ends the fantasy and returns her to reality.

Just a thought.

I just figured something out: Betty has a clear vision of who she is. The thing is, she very rarely expresses that vision; she very rarely even allows herself to know she has that vision.

In Shoot, she has perhaps her most revealing therapy session. She talks about how important it was to her mother that Betty be beautiful, how she pushed her in that direction. But then, when Betty became a model, her mother disapproved strongly; called her “a prostitute” (which is holy shit, pretty nasty).

Now we see her anger at her mother, and also her anger at Don (although they don’t discuss that). Just as mother tried to stop her from modeling, Don succeeded at stopping her (by getting her pregnant and marrying her and moving her to the suburbs, away from the Manhattan modeling world). As she tells the story of the end of her modeling career, her voice gets flatter, less animated, sadder word-by-word (great acting, that).

(more…)

Okay, here’s a thing.

In Shoot, Jim Hobart, from McCann Erickson. He’s on the phone with Don, pitching the woo, and says, to show how much power they have:

“You want to sell corn, we do a show about Indians”.

The very next scene, Betty is talking to Dr. Wayne. (I included more of this than is necessary for my point; I just really like this monologue. I got a lot of it… not all, but a nice chunk.)

“He was just a copywriter at the fur company. I remember he saw that I didn’t like giving the coat back. That’s always the hardest part.

He asked me out. He wasn’t shy. I liked that. I said no. Then three weeks later the coat arrived at my apartment. Who knows what kind of Indian trading he had to do to get it.”

Hmm.

And in the final dinner scene between Don and Betty, there is corn on the cob on the table.

Does it have a secret meaning? Is it a subtler theme than even birds or trains?

Or maybe it’s just lyrical. Sometimes, I will place a word into a song (or a blog, for that matter), because it just sounds pretty. Maybe this painting just needed a touch of blue here, here and here, to have it be just so.