Mad Men s2e6: Maidenform

“I went to sleep in my bra, and thought I was so-and-so.”

“Thank you for that.”

The Decemberists’ ‘The Infanta’ blares as this episode opens with our ladies getting ready for the day. 1962 means a fuckton of undergarments.

Duck’s ex-wife and kids pop into the office, with their gorgeous family dog Chauncey in tow. Their interaction is incredibly tense, and his ex-wife looks very on edge; she remarks that Duck isn’t good in the afternoons, referring to his alcoholism.. shots fired. The kids clearly aren’t thrilled to be there, and it all appears to be a formality. Duck is a weird guy, but maybe this will shed some light as to why.

His kids let it slip that their mother is remarrying, to some dude that Duck actually knows. He takes the news serenely and has positive and uplifting things to say to his kids, but you can see the panic and sadness in his eyes. On top of apologising and admitting to Don that he really fucked it up with American Airlines, his personal life is a complete mess.

Post-weekend after his kids leave, Duck runs off to sneak some booze in a back office; Chauncey’s adoring brown eyes are on him, and he puts the bottle down. Angry about everything that’s gone wrong, he walks Chauncey outside and closes the door behind him. He doesn’t look back as he barks at the glass doors. U G H poor Chauncey. Duck is obvi a powder keg, and things just are not going right.

chauncey

GOODNIGHT SWEET PRINCE

image courtesy of Imgur

Rewind back to Memorial Day weekend. Don and Betty are at the country club, and Don is chatting with a guy named Crab. Arthur spots Betty, and they have a short exchange; he feels uncomfortable and responsible since she changed her times at the stables to avoid him. She doesn’t confirm or deny but tries to be sunny about it, emphasising they should be friends. His hardon evaporates once Sally and Bobby run up to Betty and hug her, shrieking “mommy”. Betty looks strangely disappointed.

Similarly, Don is later disappointed to find out Bobbie has (adult) children. I’ll yap about their sweatbang in a bit.

At one point during the Memorial Day country club lunch, the host takes a moment to honour the veterans in the room, and Don stands up for his service in Korea. Sally looks up at him with nothing but sincere love and admiration in her eyes, and Don feels like a fraud, like trash, for just a moment. It stays with him and he splits during the bikini fashion show, making up an excuse about going to the office.

Feeling low and wanting to indulge that emotion, he rings Bobbie and she’s got plans with her son. Ah, shit. She remarks on the car accident, he doesn’t think about it at all. Time to head back to the house and drink milk alone. Anything seems better than being in that country club.

The Playtex campaign revolves around the idea that women fall into two categories; you’re either a Marilyn Monroe or a Jackie Kennedy. Men want them, women want to be them, et cetera, yadda yadda yadda. Apparently this all came to be in a booze-soaked after work sesh at a bar, and Peggy wonders why she wasn’t invited out with the guys. She gets left out of a casting session for Playtex as well, the last straw.

Peggy goes to Joan for advice on how to get the guys to invite her to shit, not knowing if she was maybe left off of a memo. “You’re in their country, learn to speak the language.” Joan has never had her job, nor has she wanted it, but she parts with some very Joan-esque advice: “You want to be taken seriously? Stop dressing like a little girl.” Go out and get that respect for yourself, like Bobbie Barrett told ya.

Pete trying to interact with Peggy in a playful manner is kind of hilarious. He’s working with her on Clearasil, and she’s very different from the girl she was just a couple of years ago. He tries to talk to her as if she’s some bookish loner, but that is definitely not the case. He thinks he’s got a great idea for a Clearasil tag, Peggy doesn’t agree. Pete tries to remind her that he’s in control of the account and the father in law connection — she’s not attempting to defy him, but she is on the creative team.

Post-Playtex presentation, Peggy overhears the guys are all planning on taking the clients out to the Tom Tom for some titties and cocktails. She puts on a new dress, gets her hair set and shows up on the sly – they’re all thrilled to see her, save for Pete Campbell, making a weird sourpuss face. Whatevs Pete, Pegs is in your world now.

nicholsondealwithit

image courtesy of TheFW

Don is pissed that Betty chooses to wear a bikini to the pool, calling her desperate and wanting to be ogled. Yikes on bikes. In other news, he’s telling Bobbie to stop talking in a sexy context. Then she lets it slip that other ladies are talking about Don and his dick that’s been dragged across Times Square. Apparently he has a reputation, which is something of a nightmare. He’s not pleased, and leaves her tied to the headboard.

The next morning. Don wakes up to have a shave. Sally sits in the bathroom and watches him, admiring. “I’m not gonna talk, I don’t want you to cut yourself”.

He smiles at her, then catches his reflection and who he is. Don stares into the void for a Kubrick moment, entirely lost in self-loathing. He asks Sally to leave him alone; we focus on his image. What kind of man is he? He’s certainly not the real Don Draper. Contrasting with our ladies at the beginning of the episode, he can’t look at himself in the mirror anymore.

donreflection

image courtesy of Tumblr

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2 thoughts on “Mad Men s2e6: Maidenform

  1. Pingback: Mad Men s3e12: The Grown-Ups | the MARS DEN

  2. Pingback: Mad Men s4e11: Chinese Wall | the MARS DEN

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