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44 minutes ago, izabella said:

It's interesting you say that because Don said that to Peggy.  And I never saw Peggy remotely working through her pregnancy and giving the baby up for adoption.  It seemed like she put it behind her and that was that.  It certainly didn't haunt her the way Don was haunted by Dick Whitman.

I thought the same after I saw that episode but I was pleased that Peggy told Pete about it at the end of S02 and later, she confided it to Stan in the S07.

To Pete in “Meditations in an Emergency”:

Quote

“I could have had you in my life forever if I wanted to. I could have had you. I could have shamed you into being with me. But I didn’t want to. I had your baby, and I gave it away. I wanted other things."

To Stan Season 7, Episode 11 — "Time and Life":

Quote

"I’m here, and… he’s with a family… somewhere. I don’t know, but it’s not because I don’t care. I don’t know because you’re not supposed to know or you can’t go on with your life.”

These conversations indicate that she did think about what happened and the baby. It's deeply private and there is probably shame and guilt mixed in there considering her family and background. It doesn't haunt her the way it does Don. She seemed to have understood and made peace with it in a way that Dick/Don could never reconcile about himself.

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1 hour ago, izabella said:

It's interesting you say that because Don said that to Peggy.  And I never saw Peggy remotely working through her pregnancy and giving the baby up for adoption.  It seemed like she put it behind her and that was that.  It certainly didn't haunt her the way Don was haunted by Dick Whitman.

I think she wasn't haunted by it because she did work through it explicitly. She told Pete about it, told him her feelings about it. She told Stan later that it was important to let yourself feel what you were feeling in The Crash--I think that was a reference to it. And then before she and Stan got together she told him about it.

She didn't go into therapy or anything, but she made her baby and the decision she made about it part of who she was.

I felt like the last season had a lot of people rejecting this idea of Don's. There was Peggy telling Stan. Stephanie telling Don she didn't think life worked that way. And there was that convo between Pete and Don in the car where Pete says, "You want to start over. Get it right this time. But what if you never get past the beginning again?" which is, of course, exactly the trouble Don has run into with Megan. Don just tells him to keep his eye on the road, but Pete winds up wanting to be with the woman who knows what a piece of shit he's been.

ETA: Just saw that these scenes were even quoted above--I didn't turn the page.

Edited by sistermagpie
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1 hour ago, Athena said:

I thought the same after I saw that episode but I was pleased that Peggy told Pete about it at the end of S02 and later, she confided it to Stan in the S07.

To Pete in “Meditations in an Emergency”:

To Stan Season 7, Episode 11 — "Time and Life":

These conversations indicate that she did think about what happened and the baby. It's deeply private and there is probably shame and guilt mixed in there considering her family and background. It doesn't haunt her the way it does Don. She seemed to have understood and made peace with it in a way that Dick/Don could never reconcile about himself.

So that first quote when she told Pete was far more about her wanting to forget it as though it never happened and wanting to move on and wanting other things, meaning she wasn't all that concerned about the baby.  Yup, had a baby, gave it up because she wanted other things and just moved on.  That didn't sound like her working through any pain or anguish.

When she told Stan she didn't know where the baby was because you weren't supposed to know or you wouldn't be able to move on with your life, again, sounds like she put it behind her as soon as she gave the baby up.  She was able to just move on because she didn't know where the baby was.

I know this is all open to interpretation, but to me, Peggy completely put the truth to Don's words about how much it never happened.

Edited by izabella
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20 minutes ago, izabella said:

I know this is all open to interpretation, but to me, Peggy completely put the truth to Don's words about how much it never happened.

But if it never happened she wouldn't have to be saying anything about it--especially not to Pete or Stan years after the fact. She doesn't tell either of them looking for absolution or because she got caught. Plus she told two people who understood exactly what she was saying and might have reacted badly to it.

I don't think she's supposed to be working through great pain and anguish over it. It's more that she's just accepting it. After all, why does she need to be feeling anything so bad about it? She had a baby and gave it up for adoption. It's always going to be with her in terms of it being her past, but she doesn't fee terrible about it and that's part of what she's admitting to and accepting. She wanted something else and doesn't feel like she's forever unworthy or ashamed.

It as in S2 where she was more burdened by it

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58 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

I don't think she's supposed to be working through great pain and anguish over it. It's more that she's just accepting it. After all, why does she need to be feeling anything so bad about it?

I brought Peggy up because someone said this:

Quote

It's like the central issue Don has--he keeps telling himself and others that it will shock you how much something didn't happen if you just focus on the now, but over and over it's proved that it doesn't work. You have to work through the thing and make it part of you to really move forward.

I thought Peggy was the perfect example of Don's statement that you could just move on as if something never happened, but the OP in the post I quoted was saying that doesn't work.  I think that worked for Peggy perfectly.  I'm not saying she needed to feel bad about it.  She clearly didn't, thus proving that Don wasn't wrong.

Another way to put it, we spent how many seasons on Don's unresolved issues, whereas Peggy didn't have unresolved issues about the baby at all.  His statement didn't work for Don but it sure worked for Peggy.

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Don's advice to Peggy about "this never happened" was good advice for Peggy, but not so much for Don.  Peggy could, forever, tell herself that she did the best thing for the baby and she doesn't know what happened to him because you're not supposed to - it's in the best interest of the child for the birth parent to be uninvolved (at the time - whether that would be the advice today is not for me to say).  But for Dick Whitman to live, the real Donald Draper had to die.  There's no way to square that circle for Don.

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1 hour ago, izabella said:

Another way to put it, we spent how many seasons on Don's unresolved issues, whereas Peggy didn't have unresolved issues about the baby at all.  His statement didn't work for Don but it sure worked for Peggy.

28 minutes ago, Eeksquire said:

Don's advice to Peggy about "this never happened" was good advice for Peggy, but not so much for Don.  Peggy could, forever, tell herself that she did the best thing for the baby and she doesn't know what happened to him because you're not supposed to - it's in the best interest of the child for the birth parent to be uninvolved (at the time - whether that would be the advice today is not for me to say).  But for Dick Whitman to live, the real Donald Draper had to die.  There's no way to square that circle for Don.

But Peggy didn't move forward as if it hadn't happened. At least, not for long. That's what she did in S2 when she didn't feel good about it. Don's advice was good for her in the moment. It did get her out of the hospital. But after a while, in S2, she's looking uncomfortable holding the baby at church and seeming to not want to say good-bye to her nephew etc. But at the end of the season she throws away Don's advice and tells Pete that this thing happened. She got pregnant with his baby, she gave it away, she wanted something else, and now part of herself is gone forever and she's far from perfect. And years later when Stan was talking about her potentially not liking kids she told him she'd given a kid up for adoption and that she cared about its welfare but didn't obsess over it. Those are both times when Peggy could have acted as if this never happened, but she did the opposite.

She also tells Stan in The Crash: "I've had loss in my life. You have to let yourself feel it. You can't dampen it with drugs and sex. It won't get you through." Don's constantly trying to dampen things with drugs and sex so he doesn't feel it--that's how you make it so it never happened, but Peggy's saying that she's learned you have to do the opposite.

Don keeps trying to run away from things and then having it chase him so he feels like he had to run away again. Even when he told the truth he made sure it was to somebody who wouldn't actually make him think it through--when Faye Miller found out the truth it was basically over between them because she wanted him to look at it closely. Peggy wasn't afraid to look closely at her pregnancy.

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9 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

Yes! It's a similar conflict with Megan herself. He knew it would be safe to tell her these things because she wouldn't think they were a big deal. But since she doesn't think they're a big deal, she can't respond to them correctly. It's like telling a secret to someone in a language they don't speak and then expecting to feel unburdened as if you confessed it.

It's like the central issue Don has--he keeps telling himself and others that it will shock you how much something didn't happen if you just focus on the now, but over and over it's proved that it doesn't work. You have to work through the thing and make it part of you to really move forward. But Megan doesn't have a past she's leaving behind. For her, the man Don is now actually is the only one there is. She's very young--not in age, but in attitude. (She's the same age as Peggy almost.)

6 hours ago, izabella said:

It's interesting you say that because Don said that to Peggy.  And I never saw Peggy remotely working through her pregnancy and giving the baby up for adoption.  It seemed like she put it behind her and that was that.  It certainly didn't haunt her the way Don was haunted by Dick Whitman.

In some ways it DID really work for Don though, and for Peggy as well.

Neither let their pasts define them, neither let a traumatic experience keep them down forever.  

While Don's system may not work well for everything, and certainly won't work well for many people?  As far as their careers, and livelihoods?  It did work.  Both were successful, and while money isn't everything, it's certainly better than not having money, or a job you enjoy, or a nice place to live.  Money does matter, and fulfillment through work is a rare thing.  Don and Peggy both had that, they LOVED their jobs, and were good at them.  Since we spend most of our waking hours at a job for our prime years of living?  That's HUGE.

True, neither Don nor Peggy dealt with their respective traumas emotionally, but hey, even if you do that?  The navel gazing and shrinks and soul searching?  It's not a fix-all, and frankly, it would be a hard call for me to choose which method actually leads to a happier life.  For sure, neither option is a sure thing.

Obviously a balance of the two methods is probably the healthiest option.

Then again, Peggy had basically one thing to get through, giving birth, giving away her child...which is of course a major thing, but it still didn't compare to Don's life long traumas (at least in time.)  She was nearly catatonic, and Don's lifeline to her saved her.  Get up, don't let this define your future, put your boots on, and go on living was, to me anyway, the right advice at the right time for the right person.

Don's issues were much deeper, from childhood abuse (quite a few abuse issues there) to his poverty, to watching/partially causing his fellow soldier's death, to the choice to switch ID's and get the hell out of Korea, and then the subsequent hiding of that, and fears of exposure.  Had he not switched those ID's?  He could have easily died there, or been horribly wounded.  Sure, he may have survived as well, but he wasn't willing to take that chance and carried that badge of coward shame along with the many burdens he was already carrying from childhood.

He went on to do pretty well in most things in life, but he was living a lie.  That lie, THOSE lies, took their toll.  

Now for someone like Stephanie?  That advice was out of step with the times, and wouldn't have worked for her.  She was also living in California, and Esalen and awareness was all the rage, as was raising consciousness, and knowing yourself, and blah blah all of it.  For her, various self help and therapies might be needed, and yes, she might emerge from all of that "healed" or at least better.  Or she may just wallow in herself and her problem forever.  It's a toss up.

Basically, I think I'm trying to say that neither method is a guarantee of a happy life, and "happy" isn't a one size fits all thing anyway.  Will Stephanie's "doing the work" result in a happier life than Peggy's "put it behind you and live your life" method?  Maybe, but maybe not.  Neither will ever forget about their child, but I think Peggy accepts her decision emotionally as well as Stephanie ever will with therapy.  For both, that pain will always exist, no amount of "put it behind you" or "therapy" will make it go away.

Don?  His problems are far deeper, and much more complicated, and there are also legal implications to deal with.

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: the dreaded there/their typo
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What was great about Peggy in the early years was her single-minded rejection of traditional female roles in favor of a career. She was shown as something of an unlikely pioneer in that regard. 

In season four we see her parallel Don in trying to find a mate. Peggy dates Mark, gets to be friends with Stan, and has good, age-appropriate sex with Abe. 

In season seven, she becomes a star ad person with the Burger King account, and presumably finds her soul mate in long-time friend Stan Rizzo. That's great. She has it all. And she's entitled to it. 

But in the process, the writers have softened her up. It seemed they wanted to make her more acceptable for the general audience. She was no longer the interesting, unlikely pioneer. In my opinion they could have written her much differently. I would have been happier with her as an independent, career driven, sexually active professional, and I think that would have been more consistent with her original portrayal. 

I predict she and Stan will have a marriage similar to that of Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter. 

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When you think about it though, was Don's actual life really THAT much worse than other men's on the show?  Obviously he had major issues, legal and psychological from his life's traumas, but...

This is not comprehensive and I'm sure I'll leave out some characters inadvertently but...

Infidelity:  Don, Roger, Pete, Lane, Duck, Harry, Ted

Booze and/or Drugs:  Don, Roger, Duck, Pete (naming those where it caused issues)

Divorces:  Don, Roger, Pete, Lane, Duck, Ted

Issues with their children:  Don, Roger  (probably more)

Really, Ken was probably the most "well adjusted" of all of them.  I can't remember if Harry got divorced too.

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8 minutes ago, Old Man Neil said:

But in the process, the writers have softened her up. It seemed they wanted to make her more acceptable for the general audience. She was no longer the interesting, unlikely pioneer. In my opinion they could have written her much differently. I would have been happier with her as an independent, career driven, sexually active professional, and I think that would have been more consistent with her original portrayal. 

How so? Peggy was interested in finding love from her very first day on the show, but also mostly finds her purpose at work. She's exactly the same way at the end--with a better guy for her.

6 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Really, Ken was probably the most "well adjusted" of all of them.  I can't remember if Harry got divorced too.

I think Harry says he's getting divorced in S7.

But I don't think the idea is that Don is so much worse than other men on the show--and he's actually come a long way, imo, by the end of it. He's not in quite as good a place as some of the others who have gotten to a place of actual contentment, but I think he's working towards it.

I think the thing with Don isn't that his philosophy of moving forward like it never happened is supposed to be completely terrible. It got Peggy out of the hospital. It got Don into a better life. It would have helped Lane had he been able to take it. It's not terrible, it's just that it's like a defense that he leans on too much to the point where it stops being helpful, where he only likes the beginning of things and always feels like he has to be ready to run rather than face the truth. But the truth is face-able even for Don. That's maybe why Sally is so important. This is someone who saw him as a hero, then saw him as entirely too human, but who still loved him. He has a relationship with her after she saw him at his total worst. And his relationships with Peggy, Pete and Roger are better at the end of the series too now that they see him as something less than a superstar.

I mean, what Don literally says to Peggy is "This never happened. It will shock you how much this never happened" and I think there he's referring to how other people can't see the thing. If you move forward with confidence people will react to the person you're showing them. The only trouble is when it becomes actually important to *you* that it happened/never happened. If there's a philosophy of the show, it's that you have to know and accept yourself honestly and then try to be happy as that person and Don's obviously got the most challenges in that area because of his backstory. But that philosophy was the thing that originally saved him.

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Just now, sistermagpie said:

How so? Peggy was interested in finding love from her very first day on the show, but also mostly finds her purpose at work. She's exactly the same way at the end--with a better guy for her.

She isn't very interesting as just another girl looking for love and a family. If Peggy is just another girl looking for the same things as all the other girls, well that is an entirely different story than Mad Men presented at first. She wasn't That Girl. She was Peggy Olson and she wanted to smoke some marijuana. 

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10 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

I mean, what Don literally says to Peggy is "This never happened. It will shock you how much this never happened" and I think there he's referring to how other people can't see the thing. If you move forward with confidence people will react to the person you're showing them. The only trouble is when it becomes actually important to *you* that it happened/never happened. If there's a philosophy of the show, it's that you have to know and accept yourself honestly and then try to be happy as that person and Don's obviously got the most challenges in that area because of his backstory. But that philosophy was the thing that originally saved him.

That's true, and a very good point.

Still, it is exactly what Peggy needed at that moment, in order to face the world, to walk back into that office, to deal with her mother and sister, to face Pete and his wife.

Truthfully though, "it never happened" was never true for either Don or Peggy.  It was a way to function through the worst of it.  They both knew, and felt, all that happened to them at times when they had survived the worst, they both knew what had happened.

10 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

That's maybe why Sally is so important. This is someone who saw him as a hero, then saw him as entirely too human, but who still loved him. He has a relationship with her after she saw him at his total worst.

I don't think she did.  Don's lowest lows, being rolled by that young couple, being repeatedly slapped by a hooker on a holiday, that disastrous Hershey's meeting, SD&P firing him, his brother's suicide, and then Lane's suicide, both partially his fault...

Sally only found out he was an adulterer, which frankly, big whoop at that time, most men were.

3 minutes ago, Old Man Neil said:

She isn't very interesting as just another girl looking for love and a family. If Peggy is just another girl looking for the same things as all the other girls, well that is an entirely different story than Mad Men presented at first. She wasn't That Girl. She was Peggy Olson and she wanted to smoke some marijuana. 

Love it!

Yeah, she was one of the dream women "who can have it all" and by the end, it looked like she might accomplish that.  We didn't get to the part about what having a child or a few of them would do to her career and relationship.  For now though?  She's the perfect Cosmo magazine success story.

10 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

He's not in quite as good a place as some of the others who have gotten to a place of actual contentment, but I think he's working towards it.

Honestly, "actual contentment" is pretty rare in real life, so again, Don's actual life would still be envied by a LOT of men, back then, and now.  Issues/smishes, he's talented, he's filthy rich, he calls his own shots at work, and he can get almost any women he wants, and he already has children as well.

Don's life isn't sad, it's just a life, with ups/downs, a pretty remarkable life at that.

Will Roger be pretty content?  Probably, but he's in his final years, he can chill, and doesn't seem to care that he has no relationship with his only child.  He's settling in for the final days with an age appropriate woman and "putting the rest behind him." 

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15 minutes ago, Old Man Neil said:

She isn't very interesting as just another girl looking for love and a family. If Peggy is just another girl looking for the same things as all the other girls, well that is an entirely different story than Mad Men presented at first. She wasn't That Girl. She was Peggy Olson and she wanted to smoke some marijuana. 

But she's still not that girl. She ends the series wondering if she should take Joan's offer just to get her name on the company and then realizes that she's a copywriter through and through and, according to Pete who's got a very good track record on these things, she'll be Creative Director by 1980. Her main goal is still to be a great copywriter and she still smokes marijuana and has hentai porn on her wall and is kicking ass at McCann. She just is also in what's clearly the best romantic relationship she's had so far on the show at the end. How is that a change? She wasn't suddenly putting love and a family above her career. She still wanted both.

7 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Truthfully though, "it never happened" was never true for either Don or Peggy.  It was a way to function through the worst of it.  They both knew, and felt, all that happened to them at times when they had survived the worst, they both knew what had happened.

Yes, exactly. Of course they both know what happened, but they make the choice to move forward as if it didn't and fake it till they make it.

8 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Sally only found out he was an adulterer, which frankly, big whoop at that time, most men were.

But I think from Don's pov that moment was far more humiliating to him than getting rolled by hippies. His daughter's seeing him sweatily humping a woman not his wife with his pants around his ankles and he looks up and sees in his mind what she's seeing--yuck. I think for him that was Sally seeing him as the terrible person he feared he was, even if of course there's far worse things Don could have actually been doing objectively than having consensual sex with a married neighbor. It's not that she's literally seen him at his worst, but there's a shattering of an image there.

9 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Honestly, "actual contentment" is pretty rare in real life, so again, Don's actual life would still be envied by a LOT of men, back then, and now.  Issues/smishes, he's talented, he's filthy rich, he calls his own shots at work, and he can get almost any women he wants, and he already has children as well.

Exactly. I just mean at the end of the show the other characters are taking their next step with confidence where Don is getting ready to decide what his step will be. Don goes chasing after Diana at the time the other characters all seem to be happy with the real people they're with etc. So yeah, I think other characters' last moments are showing us contentment in a different way--but of course any contentment is fleeting and Don seems to have just as much potential to be just as content with his next step. It's not like the show ultimately repudiates Don or has him in a bad place. He's in a good place.

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Don's ready to release the biggest campaign ad of decades, and become an even bigger superstar.

In my fantasy he also does get custody of all the kids, hires the most fantastic nanny ever, and they all live in NYC, and Sally comes home for holidays and summers.  He has decent relationships with them, as decent as any other man of that era, maybe more with all the great songs that will emerge about dads not being present.  

Will he remarry?  Let's hope not, he's not good at marriage, and the kids don't need another parent at this point.  Hopefully he finds a busy career woman who doesn't want to marry and they "keep company" and she knows, but doesn't try to parent his kids.  In reality, he may still need to be slapped by hookers wearing kerchiefs on their heads, but not at home.

Of course it was humiliating for Don, but that doesn't mean that Sally has seen him at his worst.  I think it would have felt much worse for Don, and been worse for Sally, if, for example, she'd seen the Hershey meltdown, or the whore repeatedly slapping him while he begged for more.

Sally, in other words, still doesn't really "know" Don, not even close, but that's also normal in many ways, children rarely truly know all about their parent's most embarrassing or personal moments.

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11 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

But she's still not that girl. She ends the series wondering if she should take Joan's offer just to get her name on the company and then realizes that she's a copywriter through and through and, according to Pete who's got a very good track record on these things, she'll be Creative Director by 1980. Her main goal is still to be a great copywriter and she still smokes marijuana and has hentai porn on her wall and is kicking ass at McCann. She just is also in what's clearly the best romantic relationship she's had so far on the show at the end. How is that a change? She wasn't suddenly putting love and a family above her career. She still wanted both.

Yeah, I was just thinking of her badass entrance down the hallway at McCann. Even so, I think they tried to soften her up and show her with some maternal impulses that might not have been consistent with the original character. 

I don't think Stan is her best romantic relationship. I thought Abe was a better match. It doesn't matter to me that she wasn't putting love and family above her career. I'm saying she's more interesting to me as someone who doesn't care about love and family in the first place. 

I think they did the same thing with Joan. They would not allow her to have an abortion. Cute as the little guy was, I saw the plot line as a cop out. 

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4 minutes ago, Old Man Neil said:

I think they did the same thing with Joan. They would not allow her to have an abortion. Cute as the little guy was, I saw the plot line as a cop out. 

Joan had already HAD two abortions.

She's at the end of her possible child bearing years on the show (modern fertility treatments didn't exist yet) and this was her "now or never" choice.  

I completely understand why she chose to keep the baby, I think she always wanted a husband and kids.  Now she wants career and kid.  

Joan's story ended well for her character I think.

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35 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Sally, in other words, still doesn't really "know" Don, not even close, but that's also normal in many ways, children rarely truly know all about their parent's most embarrassing or personal moments. 

Oh yes, I didn't mean to imply that Sally really knew him in any complete way. Just that he faced this moment where Don and Sally both felt like he'd let her down in a big way and shattered some of the illusions she would have had of him as a child. Then she even discovered him lying about losing his job! But it didn't destroy their relationship. She could still love him and she didn't reject him forever. For somebody like Don who'd been told he was so terrible from a young age, I think that had to be a very healthy thing to have.

1 minute ago, Umbelina said:

Joan had already HAD two abortions.

She's at the end of her possible child bearing years on the show (modern fertility treatments didn't exist yet) and this was her "now or never" choice.   

I completely understand why she chose to keep the baby, I think she always wanted a husband and kids.  Now she wants career and kid.  

Joan's story ended well for her character I think.

That was my feeling about Joan too. On the one hand I do hate how TV seems to like women just not being able to have an abortion. But in this case it just made far too much sense for the character to keep the child--she was already trying to get pregnant and was pretty old, plus had already been open about terminating pregnancies in the past.

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30 minutes ago, Old Man Neil said:

Yeah, I was just thinking of her badass entrance down the hallway at McCann. Even so, I think they tried to soften her up and show her with some maternal impulses that might not have been consistent with the original character. 

I don't think Peggy having those feelings in Season 7 is inconsistent with who she was in the earlier seasons, so much as it's the difference between being in her early 20s, with her first real job and chance to be independent (and having discovered something she loves to do), and being 30 and considering what her future might hold outside her career as well as in it.

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50 minutes ago, caitmcg said:

I don't think Peggy having those feelings in Season 7 is inconsistent with who she was in the earlier seasons, so much as it's the difference between being in her early 20s, with her first real job and chance to be independent (and having discovered something she loves to do), and being 30 and considering what her future might hold outside her career as well as in it.

Of course. No argument here. I'm just stating my own likes and dislikes. 

1 hour ago, Umbelina said:

Joan's story ended well for her character I think.

Actually, I agree. 

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1 hour ago, sistermagpie said:

That was my feeling about Joan too. On the one hand I do hate how TV seems to like women just not being able to have an abortion. But in this case it just made far too much sense for the character to keep the child--she was already trying to get pregnant and was pretty old, plus had already been open about terminating pregnancies in the past.

Yeah, and I also don't think it was just "a pregnancy" to her.  This was Roger's baby, and I think she loved Roger, probably more than any other man ever in her life.  It moved on to a friend-love thing because that's who Joan is, mature enough to have that.

Those scenes where it was obvious that neither Roger nor Joan really wanted to go ahead with an abortion, but both were being who they thought the other one needed them to be?  Very poignant, frustrating but not in an overly annoying way.

I appreciated a few of the endings Weiner wrote, even if I didn't care much for the final season, let alone that this all came down to the Coke ad.  I get it.  It works.  I just expected more.

It's funny, even going back to watch the first season again hasn't been all that easy for me (and I love rewatching shows, and have lots of DVD's.)  It's just strange.  For example, his lovely affair with the modern beatnik girl and her free spirited ways just lands completely differently now.

It worked so well in the pilot, because after all of that he goes home to the stunning wife we didn't realize he had.  Now though, when it comes on my screen I know how her life will turn out, and the bleakness of the later seasons hits me hard.  The junkie with the creepy boyfriend trying to bilk Don, and I'm just so very sad for her.

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11 hours ago, Umbelina said:

It worked so well in the pilot, because after all of that he goes home to the stunning wife we didn't realize he had.  Now though, when it comes on my screen I know how her life will turn out, and the bleakness of the later seasons hits me hard.  The junkie with the creepy boyfriend trying to bilk Don, and I'm just so very sad for her.

Yeah, Midge was one of the saddest things on the show. It was believable because anybody could become an addict, but it's not like there was anything in her early appearances that hinted that she'd ever fall that far. And she maintains a lot of her old personality, tossing off that line about how heroin is like drinking a thousand pints of whisky while someone licks your tits.

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15 hours ago, Umbelina said:

his brother's suicide, and then Lane's suicide, both partially his fault...

I totally blame Don for his brother's suicide.  That storyline is so heartbreaking, and I can't imagine what kind of emotional roller coaster it must have been to discover your beloved brother isn't dead, but wants nothing to do with you and is willing to pay you to go away forever. 

I don't blame Don at all for Lane's suicide.  I thought Don was extremely fair to Lane given what Lane had actually done.  From what I recall, he offers to let Lane make up a reason for his sudden departure, and I think he even agrees to repay the money Lane had stolen.

14 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Joan's story ended well for her character I think. 

I agree.  She gets to be her own boss, and knowing her, will probably build her one man operation into something huge. 

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I understand Don's guilt about Lane.  They had actually become friends, or had as much of a friendship as Don is capable of having.

Had he spared a few thoughts about Lane, or paid attention?  He would have realized that Lane did NOT have the kind of money he needed for the shortfall, he would have looked at him when he was so desperate for the bonuses and realized something was up.  As usual though, Don was oblivious to others, even the reticent Lane.

So Don goes out and drops $5K on a new car.  Had he taken a moment to pay attention, or even think about someone else for a few minutes?  He could have loaned Lane that money for 3 months, and Lane would be alive.  Then, when he finds out what Lane did?  He treats Lane as if Lane is Don, and gives his same go-to advice "pretend it never happened" to someone with vastly different circumstances than his own.  Even when Lane tries to explain what it will be like back in England for him, Don basically doesn't listen, doesn't pay attention, and throws out a cliche solution that Lane tries to explain WILL NOT WORK back there.

I don't blame Don for firing Lane, but I can easily see why Don blames himself for how he handled it, not the firing, but because he ignored the obvious clues that Lane was in trouble, and brushed him off when he tried to explain what would become of him when Don fired him.

Don had become even more selfish and absorbed in sick sexual fantasies as time went on.  He didn't have TIME for Lane, he had the important adultery business to deal with.

Contrast that with Don when Pete needed the money.  True, Don "owed" Pete big time by then, so Don paid attention and paid Pete's bill.  Lane didn't need Don to pay his unexpected bill, but he needed a very short term loan to avoid bankruptcy.  A loan which Don could have easily given without any problem at all, and if he had simply paid attention to all of the desperate clues Lane was giving out?  

Lane would be alive.

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16 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Had he spared a few thoughts about Lane, or paid attention?  He would have realized that Lane did NOT have the kind of money he needed for the shortfall, he would have looked at him when he was so desperate for the bonuses and realized something was up.  As usual though, Don was oblivious to others, even the reticent Lane. 

I'll put it this way.  Joan was portrayed as being close to Lane, and she was present for most of those moments when Lane got upset over the lack of a bonus.  She's also been shown to be fairly observant and had a good understanding of how people tended to operate.  She didn't notice anything either.  

I understand why Don felt guilty, as people often feel guilty when someone they are close with commits suicide.  There is a lot of self-recrimination and doubt in that type of situation.  It doesn't actually mean they did anything wrong, or they are to blame.   

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I agree @txhorns79.

However, with only the slightest bit of effort on Don's part?  Lane WOULD still be alive.

Joan didn't have a spare $5K to loan Lane, but Don did.  Also, Joan, IIRC, was slightly put off of her friendship with Lane, and he with her, because he tried to kiss her.  Don was his closest male friend, and I'm pretty sure Don was more aware of Lane's financial situation in general from when they decided to start the company.

Also, that whole "pretend it never happened" thing was thoughtless and useless.  Lane explained to Don, or tried to, that losing his VISA and going back, no matter how he tried to spin it there, would be an utter disgrace.

So it's a two-fold situation.  I don't think Don feels guilty for firing Lane, he had to do that.  I think he guilt stems from not giving a shit about Lane, so brushing him off all of the times Lane TRIED to talk to him before the embezzlement, and the second is how he handled it when Lane tried to explain to him that his life would be over, about what he would face back in the UK. 

He may also feel a bit of guilt about what Lane's wife said to him, that DON was the one who talked him into all of this to begin with, and the Lane was not a high-roller rich man who didn't give a shit if all his "security" went up in smoke.  Lane was not Don, but Don, being an extremely selfish man, ignored all of that.  Which?  Fine in many ways, Don was not Lane's parent, Lane WAS an adult, but there was still some truth in her words.  Don giving Lane the advice to basically "be like me" was no help, no solution, and required no thought or compassion on Don's part.

I'm not blaming Don for Lane's death.  However, I can see quite clearly where his guilt comes from, and I think that guilt is justified.

Edited by Umbelina
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1 minute ago, Umbelina said:

Joan didn't have a spare $5K to loan Lane, but Don did.  Also, Joan, IIRC, was slightly put off of her friendship with Lane, and he with her, because he tried to kiss her.  Don was his closest male friend, and I'm pretty sure Don was more aware of Lane's financial situation in general from when they decided to start the company.

That's a big part of the tragedy on Lane's part since Don did cover the money he took from the company and said he'd have happily lent him the money he needed--and Lane just said he chose the 13 day loan over the humiliation. Pete was open about not having the money to pay his share but Lane hid his problems from everyone including his wife so even people who would have helped him ended up making it worse--especially his poor wife buying him that car! 

I don't know that Don would have had any way of knowing Lane's financial situation at all. Lane's the finance guy and he himself forgot to consider all the taxes he'd owe in England so it probably never occurred to Don. Even Lane's wife didn't know about it or consider it.

3 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

 Also, that whole "pretend it never happened" thing was thoughtless and useless.  Lane explained to Don, or tried to, that losing his VISA and going back, no matter how he tried to spin it there, would be an utter disgrace.

There's a similar thing that happens when he drives Suzanne's brother to his next job. Danny opts to just get out of the car and go off on his own and Don basically tells him that he can become whatever he wants to as if everyone is him. And Danny just tells him no, he can't, because he has epilepsy and he always will. Don doesn't recognize the advantages that he has that other people don't have. It's like he sees his own success as so improbable and unexpected and even relatively easy that he thinks that advice applies to anybody no matter what their situation or their character. (In Lane's case he not only knew what he would be facing back in England--something Jared Harris apparently also understood in ways the American actors didn't--but he just doesn't have Don's talent for self-promotion.)

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25 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

Joan didn't have a spare $5K to loan Lane, but Don did.  Also, Joan, IIRC, was slightly put off of her friendship with Lane, and he with her, because he tried to kiss her.  Don was his closest male friend, and I'm pretty sure Don was more aware of Lane's financial situation in general from when they decided to start the company.

My point was more that Joan is someone who notices this kind of thing, and if she didn't see it, it's hard for me to think Don would have.   

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If Don Draper is your closest male friend, you're probably in trouble. 

Joan had her own problems at the time and might not have been at her best in terms of observing the needs of others. 

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1 hour ago, Old Man Neil said:

If Don Draper is your closest male friend, you're probably in trouble. 

Joan had her own problems at the time and might not have been at her best in terms of observing the needs of others. 

Well, Lane was new to the USA, he probably had friends back in England.  He was friends with that one Englishman as well, until his wife found bubblegum in his pubes.

😉

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On 9/4/2019 at 8:45 AM, Umbelina said:

Well, Lane was new to the USA, he probably had friends back in England.  

I am not at all sure about it. It was clearly told in the show that Lane liked to live in the US because nobody asked which school he had attended at. That is, he hadn't the "right" background and therefore he probably hadn't friends with "right" background, either. 

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On 9/3/2019 at 3:02 AM, Umbelina said:

As far as their careers, and livelihoods?  It did work.  Both were successful, and while money isn't everything, it's certainly better than not having money, or a job you enjoy, or a nice place to live.  Money does matter, and fulfillment through work is a rare thing.  Don and Peggy both had that, they LOVED their jobs, and were good at them.  Since we spend most of our waking hours at a job for our prime years of living?  That's HUGE.

Yes, both Don and Peggy love their work but their work is also constantly evaluated by the clients. They can't create anything that has lasting value. Whatever successed they had had in the past, it doesn't mean anything if they don't succeed the next time.

A four-time-Olympic-champion said: "If I loose a contest, I loose a contest. I don't loose myself." I think he succeeded to live a normal life after he quitted his sport career, because he loved running but he wasn't dependent on the people's adulation. 

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@Roseanna True, but some people LOVE to live on that edge, to have the highs and lows, to rely only on one's wits and talent, to have the confidence to know that they are enough to pull it off.

I think both Don and Peggy preferred that life to a "sure and safe and reliable" life.  Some do.

Obviously either of them could do a regular boring job and dabble in art or making ads just for the hell of it if they chose to.  

They don't want that, they are happy with that edge.

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I'm doing a rewatch now, for the first time. I have cried many times throughout this series, mostly during the episodes when historical events that I recall, are depicted.  But  in Season 7, episode 5 where Bobby tells Sally "My stomach hurts all the time" my heart broke for Bobby. I wonder what kind of man he grew up to be?  He was a lot like Don (denying things he'd clearly done, cheerfully engaging strangers in conversation, feeling unloved by his mother) - I would hope that he found happiness. 

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I am binge watching  for like the 5th time and I gotta stop after season 3, it's just so sad. But I tell ya, this is my favorite television series in the entire world, And Honey, I have lived a very long time. It truly is flawless. Peggy and Joan are my total heroes. 

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On 9/3/2019 at 1:56 PM, Umbelina said:

Had he spared a few thoughts about Lane, or paid attention?  He would have realized that Lane did NOT have the kind of money he needed for the shortfall, he would have looked at him when he was so desperate for the bonuses and realized something was up.  As usual though, Don was oblivious to others, even the reticent Lane.

Nothing about Lane screamed that he was in financial trouble. He was the CFO and performed well enough (and was anal retentive regarding waste and company resources) to impress Bert Cooper to bring him along to SCDP.  Don met his father, knew his family, was aware Lane’s son was in private school and that Lane lived in a decent enough area.  Lane hid his weaknesses in the name of extreme pride.  He didn’t even let on to his own wife that he’d neglected to plan for their taxes properly.

He and Don weren’t even really friends. They spent one night together with plenty of alcohol and prostitutes and shared one awkward dinner with Lane’s father.

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On 11/28/2019 at 8:33 AM, BetyBee said:

I wonder what kind of man he grew up to be?  He was a lot like Don (denying things he'd clearly done, cheerfully engaging strangers in conversation, feeling unloved by his mother) - I would hope that he found happiness. 

I think the issue was more that Don acted like an immature little boy, rather than Bobby emulating his father's behavior.  I would guess Bobby ended up with a tough childhood, i.e. with a mother who died when he was young, a father who was generally loving, but not around much and growing up in his aunt and uncle's household.   

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2 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I think the issue was more that Don acted like an immature little boy, rather than Bobby emulating his father's behavior.  I would guess Bobby ended up with a tough childhood, i.e. with a mother who died when he was young, a father who was generally loving, but not around much and growing up in his aunt and uncle's household.   

Or with Henry. Not sure that would happen, but presumably Henry would consider it his responsibility to stay a consistent figure in his life, having lived with him since he was pretty young--not to mention being the father Gene grew up with. So I would like to think that Bobby did okay with a stepfather who would be there as a stable force and a dad who would be kinder to him than he was ever able to be to adults. (Also, he's lucky to have Sally and Gene.)

Though I wonder if it would sometimes be difficult for Don given his relationship with Betty. I mean, if Bobby ever said anything that touched on the awkward parts of Don's marriage.

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4 hours ago, LydiaE said:

Nothing about Lane screamed that he was in financial trouble. He was the CFO and performed well enough (and was anal retentive regarding waste and company resources) to impress Bert Cooper to bring him along to SCDP.  Don met his father, knew his family, was aware Lane’s son was in private school and that Lane lived in a decent enough area.  Lane hid his weaknesses in the name of extreme pride.  He didn’t even let on to his own wife that he’d neglected to plan for their taxes properly.

He and Don weren’t even really friends. They spent one night together with plenty of alcohol and prostitutes and shared one awkward dinner with Lane’s father.

Lane was telegraphing his distress with the frantic and repetitive questioning (and near whining) about the bonuses.

I honestly can't remember what had Don's attention at the time, probably a brunette who reminding him of his rapist (the wife of his friend or that waitress.) but all he had to do was PAY ATTENTION, pull Lane aside, and ask him.

All it would have taken was a "what's up?" when Lane brought it up, both personally and in groups.

1 hour ago, sistermagpie said:

Or with Henry. Not sure that would happen, but presumably Henry would consider it his responsibility to stay a consistent figure in his life, having lived with him since he was pretty young--not to mention being the father Gene grew up with. So I would like to think that Bobby did okay with a stepfather who would be there as a stable force and a dad who would be kinder to him than he was ever able to be to adults. (Also, he's lucky to have Sally and Gene.)

Though I wonder if it would sometimes be difficult for Don given his relationship with Betty. I mean, if Bobby ever said anything that touched on the awkward parts of Don's marriage.

I don't think questions would bother Don, honestly, he was pretty damn good with his kids anytime he did interact with them (which frankly, was about the normal amount of time for dads in that era.)

I think he would handle questions about Betty extremely well, and probably either shoulder most of the blame, or say the age appropriate part of "we just didn't work well together as husband and wife."

Frankly, if anyone damage Bobby, it was Betty, she was even tougher and more unfair to him than she was to Sally.  I'm not even really faulting Betty, who was also pretty "normal" for a woman of her time in that situation.

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11 hours ago, Umbelina said:

I honestly can't remember what had Don's attention at the time, probably a brunette who reminding him of his rapist (the wife of his friend or that waitress.) but all he had to do was PAY ATTENTION, pull Lane aside, and ask him.

I think it was Megan - he was still in his Lavender Haze or whatever Bert called it. 

It's true that if Don had really looked at Lane and wondered tragedy would have been avoided, but then, Don himself probably feels that way too. As he said to Lane when he found out, he totally would have lent him the money. He did give him the money after the fact. But he honestly had no idea there was an issue before. Not because there were no clues in Lane's behavior that Don missed--in fact it was Don who really blew the whole thing up when he insisted on postponing the bonuses Lane had succeeded in getting because he (Don) didn't want to deal with Peggy being dissatisfied! But I can totally believe Don would think it was illogical for Lane to be having financial problems given where he was at. He never had a sophisticated view of money and would probably be totally clueless about the kind of tax issue Lane was having. Lane really should have been doing well--or at least doing well enough to hold him over until the money got to him.

Of course, there were even more obvious clues that Adam needed his emotional support--Adam comes right out and says that he just wants to be in his life, but Don never dreamed he'd commit suicide.

 

11 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Frankly, if anyone damage Bobby, it was Betty, she was even tougher and more unfair to him than she was to Sally.  I'm not even really faulting Betty, who was also pretty "normal" for a woman of her time in that situation.

Yeah, I can't remember any scenes where Don does anything that seems to really hurt Bobby (maybe when he smashes his robot because he's mad at Betty, but Don wasn't usually like that), but there are scenes where you can see how his relationship with Betty troubles him. Like that field trip. Yikes. I feel like it's definitely Betty Bobby would talk more about in therapy. He might have issues with Don too just because he's also his parent, but I think the Betty relationship is scarier for him.

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I thought Don was pretty good to Lane when he discovered the embezzlement.  He covered the money Lane stole from his personal account.  He didn’t report what Lane did to the partners or the police and have him fired/arrested. Don told Lane he had to make up an excuse to resign which was the mildest of the outcomes for Lane.  Maybe Don’s compassion made it worse because Lane was forced to see he didn’t have to steal and could have simply gotten a loan from Don.  

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Yeah, I agree Don would have given Lane the money. Hey, somebody out there in Mad Men Land, how much did Don give Megan to make her go away forever, he wrote a huge check, was it 100 thousand or a million?

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37 minutes ago, atlantaloves said:

Yeah, I agree Don would have given Lane the money. Hey, somebody out there in Mad Men Land, how much did Don give Megan to make her go away forever, he wrote a huge check, was it 100 thousand or a million?

One million.

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HOLY DOO DOO MAD BALLS! Boy, she really was a pain in the butt wasn't she? She made me cringe, but not as much as the elementary school teacher he shagged in season three, she was uber boring.

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"Love Among the Ruins" is one of my favorite Don-centric eps (the pitch to the Madison Square Garden guy -- wasted genius -- and his snark back to his FiL ("You were in the Army, Gene...Drop your socks & grab something") ).

The Gene sl was one of Betty's worst moments.  William had been his caretaker, ffs.  I mean, her brother had his dick moments, but his point that Betty conveniently forgot about  always fighting with their father was a twist I didn't see coming, but made perfect sense.  

Don and Judy -- not even his children -- are the only two who did right by him at the end.  Judy was sweet and thoughtful and sincere and Betty Mean Girl'd her to death.

And Don HATED Gene -- yet  opened their house to him.

I saw Gene be kind and thoughtful to his granddaughter.  He gave Sally some needed reassurance and insight.

The rest of the time: Fuck off old man.

 

 

 

 

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Was just watching Christmas Waltz (that's become a favorite of mine) and it's so painful when Don suggests they postpone the bonuses because watching it now it just seems like such a perfect opening for Lane to ask Don if he can have *his* bonus a bit early because of a tax situation. Because he doesn't want to let anyone know how desperate he is but in that moment he'd been given the bonus and the postponement was just a formality so he totally could have gotten the money without making it seem like anything was really up with him. And I keep hoping he'll do it even though I know he won't. LOL.

Of course I can understand why he does it--even the money he claims they have leftover is a lie so he just feels too vulnerable and besides he thinks he'll get it in a few days. But still I can't help but want him to save himself. Maybe even more now that I've been watching The Crown.

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Rewatching "A Tale of Two Cities", and remembering what I like best about it: the scene with Stan, Ginsberg, and Bob -- Stan's called Bob in to talk down a panicked Ginsberg.

I wonder if those three made it through without cracking up at least once!  They're so perfect together.  In the initial viewing, it was the first & only time I ever liked Bob.

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3 hours ago, voiceover said:

Rewatching "A Tale of Two Cities", and remembering what I like best about it: the scene with Stan, Ginsberg, and Bob -- Stan's called Bob in to talk down a panicked Ginsberg.

I wonder if those three made it through without cracking up at least once!  They're so perfect together.  In the initial viewing, it was the first & only time I ever liked Bob.

That's where Ginsberg says Stan's a mother hen, right? Looking back it's a little clue that he'll be good for Peggy, who's decidedly not.

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