*Only recently I had a conversation about why Alexis Bledel isn’t more famous. I loved her in Gilmore Girls and she’s a stunning woman. I surmised that maybe she got typecast in the goody-two-shoes type role and had trouble getting good roles. Hopefully her spot on an esteemed show like Mad Men will help her find some better roles. She’s 30 years old now, but her angelic looks make her seem much younger.
“Lady Lazarus” had a lot to do with Megan, which I’m usually OK with. She’s been a polarizing character this season – some people really dislike her presence, but I find her and her relationship with Don quite fascinating. We also had a pretty good Pete Campbell storyline, some good material for Peggy, and some classic Joan cattiness.
“No one can keep up; it’s always changing.”
That’s what Megan said to Don about pop culture, but it’s true for so much more during that era. Everything is changing, fast. Peggy began as the only woman in her position in the office, but now she has Megan (well, not anymore) and Joan has risen in recognized importance as well. Remember what a shock Sal’s sexuality was? (Poor Sal. I keep wishing Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce would hire him back.) Well now, a client is quite obviously gay and the attitude (jokes that wouldn’t fly today) is clearly different than it was six years prior.
Another interesting change in culture that we heard about in this episode? New pictures of what the earth looks like from outer space. I can’t imagine how that would seem, as I’ve grown up knowing what the world looks like. But I can understand how that would change your outlook on the world and your existence. I liked how it was tied into Pete and Rory Gilmore’s affair.
“That’s the kind of girl Don Draper marries.”
We’ve been building towards Megan leaving the advertising world for a little while, and I found myself wishing it had been dragged out a little longer. However, it is a testament to how secure and smart Megan is. Betty never truly realized why she was so miserable, or really did anything about it. Megan figured that out pretty quickly, and she did something about it. She’s unhappy working in advertising, she knows she’ll never like it, and she decided to quit so she could give acting another try. And Don, after seeing what happened to Betty after giving up her dreams, didn’t want to stand in her way. He was supportive, even though he wasn’t happy.
The most fascinating part of this was Don and Peggy’s reactions. They both got roped into Megan’s internal struggle when she lied to them to hide that she was going to a call-back for an audition. It was a stupid lie, because of course Don would call the office once he got home from his business dinner.
I loved the conversation Peggy and Joan had about Megan. Joan hasn’t engaged a lot with Megan, she was at home with the baby for a long time and even now doesn’t work side by side with Megan. She had low expectations and, despite Megan’s success in the office, sees her as just another pretty girl with dreams of modeling or acting or singing that Don has bedded and betrothed. But Peggy knows better. Peggy sees Megan as one of those girls who’s good at everything. Megan is the girl from high school that was your worst nightmare because she was head cheerleader and student body president. She was popular and had clear skin and she was nice to everyone.
The Cool Whip pitch was a quite literal example of how Peggy cannot fill Megan’s shoes. She botched the lines badly and didn’t have the sweet charm needed to sell the product. Megan’s “Just taste it” was winsome and loving. Peggy’s “Just try it” was nagging and annoyed. They argued – Peggy thinks Megan quit because she thinks advertising is stupid, Don thinks she quit because she thinks everyone who works in advertising is jaded and mean. They’re both wrong, but Peggy is less so.
Megan holds all the cards right now. Don needs her to make him seem cool, and without her he seems lost. When she left the office (for good, as an employee anyway) he almost stepped into an empty elevator shaft. At the end of the episode he tried listening to the Beatles record she recommended, but he hated it. He was alone and out of touch, and she was off at her acting class being young and beautiful.
“After two years, it covers suicide.”
The foreshadowing for a potential Pete Campbell suicide continues to mount. This week, he discusses death, suicide and insurance with his train buddy Howard – and then he sleeps with his wife, Beth. This was Pete in his Creepy Mode, the way he just came into Beth’s home to make sure she wasn’t “hysterical” and later invited himself over for dinner with Howard.
Pete knows Howard is unfaithful to Beth, which perhaps helps him feel less guilty. It was about the way he treated Beth, a vulnerable woman who was like a child in adult clothing. He wants someone he thinks he can control, and that’s not Trudy.
Beth wanted it to, the first time, but she did not want an ongoing affair. That wasn’t what she signed up for, and when she didn’t show up to the hotel room Pete was furious. Once again, Pete and his desires are thwarted.
- Alexis Bledel was a bit wooden here, wasn’t she? I still hope the role helps her find more work, but she didn’t dazzle. I think part of the problem was how melancholy her character was, though.
- PIZZAHOUSE!!!! Amazing.
- Don saying “Yes, we’re playing a hilarious joke on you,” when he calls for Megan and Peggy says she’s with him, was almost as amazing.
- Roger and the skis – do we think he’s messing with Pete? I hope so.
- The “scenes” from next week really only indicate who will be in the episode, but I’m looking forward to spending some more time with Sally Draper.