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3 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I don't think Roger is intending it to be an open secret.  I doubt he would do that to Joan, and I don't think Joan would do that to Kevin.  Roger's behavior is a lot more bohemian after he and Jane divorce, but he's still an upper class wasp and appearances do matter. 

But he's coming over and taking the kid out for outings and putting him in his will. That's what I mean about it being an open secret. Why would Roger be randomly spending time with this boy and making sure he's supported in style when he's not even with his mother...anymore. I'd be surprised if everybody didn't just assume he was his father, and it's not like there's anything particularly embarrassing to Emory  (or Mona given the timing) about it. The appearances here all say, "This is my illegitimate son." Kevin himself might accept whatever he's told for a long time, but if he asked I'd guess they'd be truthful to him. Joan's story in the past was that it was better for Greg to be his father, but now it's the opposite. And that was Joan's choice before, not Roger's.

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But he's coming over and taking the kid out for outings and putting him in his will. That's what I mean about it being an open secret. Why would Roger be randomly spending time with this boy and making sure he's supported in style when he's not even with his mother...anymore.

I doubt anyone would know about the will (outside of Joan and Roger's lawyer) until Roger is dead.  Even then, unless Margaret is back in the picture, how would anyone know who inherited anything from Roger?  As to the outings, I just presume Roger would tell people he was doing something nice for Joan and her fatherless child.  Most people won't question that.     

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24 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I doubt anyone would know about the will (outside of Joan and Roger's lawyer) until Roger is dead.  Even then, unless Margaret is back in the picture, how would anyone know who inherited anything from Roger?  As to the outings, I just presume Roger would tell people he was doing something nice for Joan and her fatherless child.  Most people won't question that.     

I think everybody would question that! Especially anybody who knew Roger at all, even by reputation. This is not a guy who spends whole afternoons acting as a father figure to random children of hot ex-co-workers. The best I could imagine would be people agreeing not to question it officially and publically--which would make it an open secret.

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I think everybody would question that! Especially anybody who knew Roger at all, even by reputation. This is not a guy who spends whole afternoons acting as a father figure to random children of hot ex-co-workers. The best I could imagine would be people agreeing not to question it officially and publicly--which would make it an open secret.

Maybe those who were very close to Roger and knew it was happening may wonder, but otherwise, no.  If it had been me, I probably would have just thought he mellowed with age, and not really given it such scrutiny.  I really wouldn't look at the situation and immediately presume it was actually a soap opera I was observing.  After all, that old saying about hearing hooves and not thinking zebras exists for a reason.   

Also, look at Peggy.  She had all the telltale signs of having had been pregnant (i.e. large weight gain, suddenly vanishing for a month or two and returning back as a slimmer version of herself), but it seemed the rumor with regards to her was that she went to a fat farm.  

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1 hour ago, txhorns79 said:

Maybe those who were very close to Roger and knew it was happening may wonder, but otherwise, no.  If it had been me, I probably would have just thought he mellowed with age, and not really given it such scrutiny.  I really wouldn't look at the situation and immediately presume it was actually a soap opera I was observing.  After all, that old saying about hearing hooves and not thinking zebras exists for a reason.   

Also, look at Peggy.  She had all the telltale signs of having had been pregnant (i.e. large weight gain, suddenly vanishing for a month or two and returning back as a slimmer version of herself), but it seemed the rumor with regards to her was that she went to a fat farm.  

MMV, but to me in the Roger situation Kevin being his illegitimate child would be the horses and him deciding to become an "uncle" for life to a child unrelated to him on a whim is the zebras. He's not just taking the kid to a park once or twice. He's committing to being part of Kevin's life in a stable way as he wanted. I don't think people would be focused on it like it's a big mystery, but I can't imagine anybody being surprised if they found out that Roger had an illegitimate child. That's something that's happened with rich guys forever, and Roger isn't even married. (He's also known by several for sure and plenty by rumor to have had an affair with Kevin's mother.)

In Peggy's case, people *did* speculate that she was pregnant! In the discussion about it I think Ken says Don knocked her up and that her promotion came from sleeping with him--that second part dogged her throughout her career. And that was Peggy, who was known as the no-fun secretary who didn't flirt back to the guys and was in such denial that even she didn't know she was pregnant, so there was no behavior to give it away. So the fat farm was also a speculation--I think Pete said he thought they had "confirmation" on that which may have come from Peggy herself, but then, Pete was one person with the best reason to think she couldn't have been pregnant and didn't sleep with Don.

TBF, Peggy's probably much more difficult for people to read than Roger as well, since she was never a type people could peg like bon vivant Roger.

 

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I don't know.  Roger's retired, and I doubt he will even see the people from "the office" again, and if Joan sees them, it will be rarely, and probably something to do with her new business, not a personal thing.

Even so?  Who would really care, it's the seventies now, and if Margaret DID find out I doubt she would care, she might even be proud of her dad for finally caring more about a person than about image.  Peggy wouldn't care, and isn't in a position to point fingers either, not that she would.  Don?  Again, would not care.  Mona has also moved on, and was well aware that Roger cheated, and probably knew long ago about Joan, but Joan was discreet and deferential which probably helped.

I think Joan will tell the little one when it's time, she's certainly not the first to be involved with this kind of situation, and by the seventies shrinks were advising age appropriate honesty with children.  There would be no need to mention the gory details for years, and even then?  Greg was gone, Greg has a new family now, etc. etc.

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14 minutes ago, Umbelina said:

I don't know.  Roger's retired, and I doubt he will even see the people from "the office" again, and if Joan sees them, it will be rarely, and probably something to do with her new business, not a personal thing.

Even so?  Who would really care, it's the seventies now, and if Margaret DID find out I doubt she would care, she might even be proud of her dad for finally caring more about a person than about image.  Peggy wouldn't care, and isn't in a position to point fingers either, not that she would.  Don?  Again, would not care.  Mona has also moved on, and was well aware that Roger cheated, and probably knew long ago about Joan, but Joan was discreet and deferential which probably helped.

I think Joan will tell the little one when it's time, she's certainly not the first to be involved with this kind of situation, and by the seventies shrinks were advising age appropriate honesty with children.  There would be no need to mention the gory details for years, and even then?  Greg was gone, Greg has a new family now, etc. etc.

That's basically how I see it. Not that Roger would feel the need to make some announcement proclaiming this kid his son or anything, so it would only even register with people who happened to interact with him personally in retirement enough to know of Kevin's existence. I just don't think he seems to be trying to hide anything or setting up an elaborate cover story if someone asks. So if somebody does happen to know about this kid Roger always has out in Nantucket with Emory in the summer or whatever, and they cared enough to inquire or think any further than "family friend" or "cousin" of some kind, they would probably put two and two together and Roger wouldn't care. If Roger had a connection he thought could help Kevin he wouldn't hesitate to use it for fear that somebody might really wonder who he was. And if Joan decides to tell Kevin when he's still young, I think Roger would be fine with that too. After all, it would be much better for Kevin to think that his father was Uncle Roger who loved him than Greg who clearly does not. And I can't see anybody else really seeing it as a scandal, especially by the time the kid's going to be entering the adult world. That's why when Roger said he wanted to put Kevin in the will he asked if it would cause Joan problems with Greg--he's not worried about it causing any problems in his life or family.

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The only person I could see having a problem with Roger putting Kevin in his will is Margaret/Marigold.  No amount of hippie commune living would erase her sense of entitlement.  I can easily see Margaret coming back in a few years, expecting to have a relationship with Ellery and being all pissed that Kevin exists, and is in Roger's will.  Seems right up her alley.

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This conversation about Roger acknowledging Kevin in his will amuses me.  I do agree that Margaret is not going to like sharing her inheritance with Kevin and will likely pitch a fit during the reading of the will.  I do wonder though how many other kids Roger fathered during his decades of sleeping around NYC.  Roger was a manwhore and has to have at least one other bastard living in the city or farther afield.   

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Roger definitely had many affairs but Roger always had a soft spot for Joan. They had a long term affair before the show started. They were work spouses when they weren't together romantically. I think they even became friends so he would feel much more invested in their son than any other of his dalliances. I always thought that after Jane, he'd have gone back to Joan if she had wanted him. Actually their relationship sorta reminds me of the Pete/Peggy one. While they never became friends, they understood each other. I think Roger understood Joan a bit less than Pete did Peggy, but I think Roger loved (or loves when the show ended) Joan in his way.

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4 hours ago, Athena said:

Roger definitely had many affairs but Roger always had a soft spot for Joan. They had a long term affair before the show started. They were work spouses when they weren't together romantically. I think they even became friends so he would feel much more invested in their son than any other of his dalliances. I always thought that after Jane, he'd have gone back to Joan if she had wanted him. Actually their relationship sorta reminds me of the Pete/Peggy one. While they never became friends, they understood each other. I think Roger understood Joan a bit less than Pete did Peggy, but I think Roger loved (or loves when the show ended) Joan in his way.

Also Kevin came along around when Roger wanted a kid. He'd had his "experience" with LSD etc. He even tried to be a good grandpa to Margaret's son and screwed that up and felt bad--that's when Joan decided to let him back into Kevin's life.

Margaret would probably not only be ticked off about Kevin being in the will (probably claiming she was angry on her son's behalf), she'd also be furious that Roger was interested in spending time with both of them in ways he wasn't with her.

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On 9/3/2020 at 9:23 AM, Ohiopirate02 said:

I do agree that Margaret is not going to like sharing her inheritance with Kevin and will likely pitch a fit during the reading of the will. 

The reality is that will readings mostly only exist in television and movies, unless you have a family that is just into drama.  What generally happens is a lawyer or the administrator of the estate may contact you to tell you that you were left something, and a person who is a beneficiary can request and review a copy of the will.  My impression from Roger was that he was leaving his inheritance to Kevin because he viewed Margaret as a lost cause.   I do wonder if Margaret comes back into the fold, whether Kevin is back out again.  Or heck, maybe Marie will figure out a way to get everything if she and Roger are still married when he dies.       

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24 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

The reality is that will readings mostly only exist in television and movies, unless you have a family that is just into drama.  What generally happens is a lawyer or the administrator of the estate may contact you to tell you that you were left something, and a person who is a beneficiary can request and review a copy of the will.  My impression from Roger was that he was leaving his inheritance to Kevin because he viewed Margaret as a lost cause.   I do wonder if Margaret comes back into the fold, whether Kevin is back out again.  Or heck, maybe Marie will figure out a way to get everything if she and Roger are still married when he dies.       

I thought Roger was re-writing his will because Margaret was lost and therefore he wanted to leave things directly to his grandson and Kevin rather than Emory needing to get money through Margaret. Now that I think about it, I would bet he still provided for her with something in the will so he wouldn't even have to rewrite it if she came back or if she didn't reappear until after he died. Because it didn't seem like he resented her and wanted to punish her, he just saw that it was impractical to leave her a lot of money, much less leave money for Emory (or is it Ellery?) through Margaret. Better to just have it go straight to him, probably in a trust he can't touch until he hits a certain age. And then the same with Kevin. He wouldn't take Kevin out, though, I'm sure, whether or not Margaret reappeared. He's probably got a trust just like the grandson. (Wouldn't be surprised if he left something in there for Joan too without telling her.)

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On 9/1/2020 at 12:01 PM, Umbelina said:

As far as Joan "passing off" her baby (because of one horrifying night's error) as Greg's?  To me?  Big whoop.  Honestly women have been doing that since time began, and legally, any child born during a marriage IS the husband's child anyway.  Greg wanted a baby (again, probably more for societal norms and proof of manhood than wanting to change diapers) and they were trying.  Joan might not have been able to conceive again.  It wasn't a "mean" decision on her part, it was a practical one, and Joan is nothing if not practical.  It's not as if Joan had been cheating on him all along, or planned this.  I believe that in her mind, this was the best decision of all of them at the time, including Greg.

Just because people have behaved poorly from time immemorial doesn't mean it's okay to still act poorly. If anything, looking upon history should impart lessons to the observer, but it usually doesn't. Committing paternity fraud is MAJORLY poor behaviour. It's an enormous lie with far-reaching consequences and implications - wrapped up in this lie are medical, historical, identity, and inheritance issues, plus a ton more. The child deserves to know his true parentage, for starters; he deserves to know who he is and where he comes from. We all look to our family histories, or rather what we know (or don't know) of them, to help us figure out where we came from. Kevin deserves no less. And just because something is legal doesn't make it morally right. History is rife with laws that stank morally. There are recent stories here in the US of men whose wives committed paternity fraud and who were forced by the courts to support the child anyway, even after proving via DNA that the child wasn't theirs. This is disgraceful and outrageous.

As for Joan's motivations - I don't think the paternity fraud was done out of spite, either, but again, it was not morally right. Greg is a rapist and should have been thrown in jail, but he still has a right to know whether he has actually fathered a child. The reasons for this are numerous and presumably self-explanatory. Joan should not have married him after he raped her; her marrying him was tacit approval of his actions. How could it be construed in any other way? "You raped me, and I'm so angry about it that I'm going to marry you" is the dynamic there. It's beyond messed up. She was that desperate for a man that she settled for the man who raped her. In this regard she's even more desperate for a man than Peggy is. I can't envision Peggy marrying a man who coldly raped her in her boss's office.

Joan's decision was selfish in that it made her image in the eyes of others run perfectly according to plan, but it did not take into account what was best for Kevin (more on that below). I don't feel it was practical because what really would be practical would be to divorce the cretin who raped you and have the child on your own, rather than pumping life support into what is, and has been from the beginning, a failing marriage. It would be so much simpler and drama-free to have the child on your own, keeping the paternity a secret except from the one man who deserves to know. Except Joan's primary concern is to do with how other people perceive her. Hence, she would never dare to have a child on her own, out of wedlock. She talks a glamorous game and certainly looks the part, but she's too smallminded and insecure to go against the grain in this way.

What about Kevin, long-term? People who are raised thinking Bob is their father but find out it was really Otis the Mailman are inevitably confused and feel a sense of betrayal. What Joan has done is to guarantee that either A) Kevin will have trust issues and grapple with a great deal of confusion and uncertainty, especially regarding how he views himself, once he learns of his true paternity; or B) he will never know his true history or where he comes from. This was not a decision made out of Kevin's best interest but of Joan's.

The essence of Joan is someone who humped her way to a fortune but still feels like a victim. She could really do with some introspection at some point. Maybe that would help curb her selfish, petty nature a little bit.

@txhorns79 "I do think the show cheated its way out of the real moral implications of Greg being lied to about his paternity by having him essentially abandon Kevin once he and Joan divorced.  That way, we the audience can overlook what Joan has done because Greg doesn't even care that he has a child with Joan."  I agree with you completely! It would have been an interesting topic for the show to address, but to do so would have interrupted the show's subliminal messaging.

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It's not "paternity fraud" because legally, any child born in a marriage belongs to that husband.  Additionally, Joan never got a dime in support from Greg (other than some marital support while they were still married and Joan was sincerely trying to make that marriage work and be a good one.

Kevin is too young to even remember Greg, and remember also that HE walked away from what he thought was his child, when he left the marriage, and after that never even considered sending support for what he though was his child.  He's no "victim" here, he turned away from Kevin in a heartbeat, remarried before the kid was out of diapers, and had twins with his new wife.

I agree a child deserves to know their real parentage, and honestly, I saw nothing in the show that indicated to me that Joan would never tell Kevin about Roger.  He is still much too little to know or care, but she will obviously have to face that by the time he goes to school.  I think it's likely she will tell him the truth when he's old enough to ask or care (or the child-understandable version of the truth, with details added as he grows up.)

Legally though, Kevin IS Greg's child, which doesn't matter at all to Greg, he's never called or asked about him, let alone sent child support.  So Joan isn't breaking any laws here.

Every case is different.  I prefer cultures who trace through the mother, much more accurate.  😉

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7 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Kevin is too young to even remember Greg, and remember also that HE walked away from what he thought was his child, when he left the marriage, and after that never even considered sending support for what he though was his child.  He's no "victim" here, he turned away from Kevin in a heartbeat, remarried before the kid was out of diapers, and had twins with his new wife.

In this particular situation, Greg was the victim of his wife's deception.  His later actions don't change what Joan did.  The writers just made it very easy to let her off the hook by having him abandon his son.  

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22 hours ago, Ralphster said:

She was that desperate for a man that she settled for the man who raped her. In this regard she's even more desperate for a man than Peggy is. I can't envision Peggy marrying a man who coldly raped her in her boss's office.

That comparison surprised me since Peggy isn't somebody I'd describe as desperate for a man anyway. Joan, to be more specific, was desperate to be married more so than a man. She could have lots of men, but she was getting to the point where by her own rules she was an old maid.

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Joan's decision was selfish in that it made her image in the eyes of others run perfectly according to plan, but it did not take into account what was best for Kevin (more on that below). I don't feel it was practical because what really would be practical would be to divorce the cretin who raped you and have the child on your own, rather than pumping life support into what is, and has been from the beginning, a failing marriage. It would be so much simpler and drama-free to have the child on your own, keeping the paternity a secret except from the one man who deserves to know. Except Joan's primary concern is to do with how other people perceive her. Hence, she would never dare to have a child on her own, out of wedlock. She talks a glamorous game and certainly looks the part, but she's too smallminded and insecure to go against the grain in this way.

She wasn't pumping life support into her marriage at that point. However clearly a bad choice Greg was, at the point Joan got pregnant her marriage was not on life support. She was being a regular wife and the two of them were trying to have a child, which Greg also wanted.

As for giving tacit approval to the rape yes, of course she did--as she was probably raised to do and most people on the show probably would have done as well. Saying he belonged in jail is meaningless because he would never have gone to jail for such a thing no matter what.

No, she wasn't a woman in 2020 who simply wanted a child and doing it alone was an obvious choice but when did she ever pretend she wanted to be some trailblazer who just wanted a child and didn't care what society thought? She wasn't just baby-crazy, she wanted to get married and have a child, just like Betty and Trudy. So she was a married woman having a child with her husband who was going to be away for a limited period of time but then come back and have a normal life with them. It wasn't until after Kevin was born that Greg made yet another decision on his own to go back to Vietnam. Before then Joan had every reason to think her marriage was working fine. Once she saw what it was going to be she pulled the plug pretty decisively.

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The essence of Joan is someone who humped her way to a fortune but still feels like a victim. She could really do with some introspection at some point. Maybe that would help curb her selfish, petty nature a little bit.

@txhorns79 "I do think the show cheated its way out of the real moral implications of Greg being lied to about his paternity by having him essentially abandon Kevin once he and Joan divorced.  That way, we the audience can overlook what Joan has done because Greg doesn't even care that he has a child with Joan."  I agree with you completely! It would have been an interesting topic for the show to address, but to do so would have interrupted the show's subliminal messaging.

So why not just take the fact that Joan's husband dumped her as the punishment Joan got? Because I really don't think Greg getting up on a high horse and calling her a hussy and a liar would have made Joan look bad. I'm not sure how else the show was supposed to be addressing this interesting topic of, I guess, women lying about paternity. A flashforward to Kevin doing a 23 and me in 2019 and calling Joan a lying whore? Greg coming back from Vietnam and suddenly being a wonderful father who then, in a soapy twist, turns out to somehow be biologically proved that he can't be Kevin's father and tearfully vows to be Kevin's father anyway while Joan looks ashamed? A different soapy twist where Roger blurts out the truth and Kevin looks wounded in his high chair?

If Greg's being a terrible person protects Joan from the moral implications of lying about Kevin, so does Joan's being a terrible person protect Greg from the moral implications of abandoning his child, obviously. So what's the problem? Neither of them is getting away with anything or getting to be the victim. Both of them can be judged by the audience for exactly what they did. Joan's never shown as a victim in terms of her lie, as if it was something she was forced into by society. On the contrary, it's shown to be completely something she does because it lines up with what she wants.

 

Edited by sistermagpie
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One other little comment about the Joan and Greg thing.  @txhorns79 and @sistermagpie.

Do either of you really think Greg was faithful to Joan the entire time he was in the Army, or especially in Vietnam?  Because IMO, there is no chance in hell he was, zip, none, and probably multiple times.

The real difference is that men can't get pregnant.  Joan slipped once, after a mugging, and voila.  Baby.

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2 hours ago, Umbelina said:

One other little comment about the Joan and Greg thing.  @txhorns79 and @sistermagpie.

Do either of you really think Greg was faithful to Joan the entire time he was in the Army, or especially in Vietnam?  Because IMO, there is no change in hell he was, zip, none, and probably multiple times.

The real difference is that men can't get pregnant.  Joan slipped once, after a mugging, and voila.  Baby.

Of course, we don't know for sure, but I would say that if Greg didn't sleep with anybody else it was only because an easy opportunity didn't present himself. It's already such a default for people on the show to sleep with someone else if it's unlikely they'll be caught and there's nothing about Greg that would suggest he was different or took his vows that much more seriously.

Ironically, both Joan and her mother seem to take this as a possibility--and Greg too, really. Iirc--and if I don't somebody correct me!--Joan's mother starts warning her about caring too much about the fact that he's slept with somebody else before he comes home. Then when Greg is telling her that he's going back to Vietnam Joan starts to stop him, telling him that she doesn't need to know everything, assuming that he's confessing to her that he had some encounter in Vietnam. Greg says no, it's not that, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen, just that it's not the difficult thing he's telling her about, and of course Greg knows what she means as well. So for the women in this family, at least, it seems it was assumed that Greg had every right to cheat on Joan while he was away and she'd be foolish to even want to know about it. They seem to see it as a normal hazard of a husband being away for a long time.

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58 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

Greg says no, it's not that, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen, just that it's not the difficult thing he's telling her about, and of course Greg knows what she means as well. So for the women in this family, at least, it seems it was assumed that Greg had every right to cheat on Joan while he was away and she'd be foolish to even want to know about it. They seem to see it as a normal hazard of a husband being away for a long time.

I think it's less that "Greg has every right to cheat on Joan," and more an understanding that things happen in a war zone, and what happens there can stay there.   

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31 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I think it's less that "Greg has every right to cheat on Joan," and more an understanding that things happen in a war zone, and what happens there can stay there.   

True, that's a better way to put it. Though it does still mean that both women assume that while Greg was away for a year, however close or not to fighting he was--he quite probably slept with somebody else and the best thing for everybody to do about it is to not acknowledge it and forgive it. If the situations were reversed I doubt if the same assumptions would be made about Joan.

Hey, I just realized that Joan and Roger had sex after being held at gunpoint and getting freaked out.

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I don't remember a conversation about what Greg might have done in Vietnam ever coming up.  When did that happen?  Did I blink and miss it?

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2 hours ago, Billina said:

I don't remember a conversation about what Greg might have done in Vietnam ever coming up.  When did that happen?  Did I blink and miss it?

Right before he gets home (I think) her mother brings it up.

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14 hours ago, Billina said:

I don't remember a conversation about what Greg might have done in Vietnam ever coming up.  When did that happen?  Did I blink and miss it?

 

11 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Right before he gets home (I think) her mother brings it up.

Yes, that's the one. Joan's Mom says everything's going to be unfamiliar, then adds, "And who knows what he's seen? Who knows what he's done?"

Joan reminds her that Greg wasn't in combat, he was a surgeon just like he was in NY. Her mom says, "Well, there are other things that happen
when men are away, especially at war."

Joan tells her to stop talking about men in general when she's really talking about "Daddy." Then her mom says, "Even if there haven't been other women, he's not used to listening to a woman."

And then the later conversation is where Greg's starting to tell her about going back and Joan says that if "something happened" over there and he feels the need to tell her, he shouldn't--especially not while holding her hand.
 

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On 9/12/2020 at 9:56 AM, sistermagpie said:

That comparison surprised me since Peggy isn't somebody I'd describe as desperate for a man anyway. Joan, to be more specific, was desperate to be married more so than a man. She could have lots of men, but she was getting to the point where by her own rules she was an old maid.

She wasn't pumping life support into her marriage at that point. However clearly a bad choice Greg was, at the point Joan got pregnant her marriage was not on life support. She was being a regular wife and the two of them were trying to have a child, which Greg also wanted.

As for giving tacit approval to the rape yes, of course she did--as she was probably raised to do and most people on the show probably would have done as well. Saying he belonged in jail is meaningless because he would never have gone to jail for such a thing no matter what.

No, she wasn't a woman in 2020 who simply wanted a child and doing it alone was an obvious choice but when did she ever pretend she wanted to be some trailblazer who just wanted a child and didn't care what society thought? She wasn't just baby-crazy, she wanted to get married and have a child, just like Betty and Trudy. So she was a married woman having a child with her husband who was going to be away for a limited period of time but then come back and have a normal life with them. It wasn't until after Kevin was born that Greg made yet another decision on his own to go back to Vietnam. Before then Joan had every reason to think her marriage was working fine. Once she saw what it was going to be she pulled the plug pretty decisively.

So why not just take the fact that Joan's husband dumped her as the punishment Joan got? Because I really don't think Greg getting up on a high horse and calling her a hussy and a liar would have made Joan look bad. I'm not sure how else the show was supposed to be addressing this interesting topic of, I guess, women lying about paternity. A flashforward to Kevin doing a 23 and me in 2019 and calling Joan a lying whore? Greg coming back from Vietnam and suddenly being a wonderful father who then, in a soapy twist, turns out to somehow be biologically proved that he can't be Kevin's father and tearfully vows to be Kevin's father anyway while Joan looks ashamed? A different soapy twist where Roger blurts out the truth and Kevin looks wounded in his high chair?

If Greg's being a terrible person protects Joan from the moral implications of lying about Kevin, so does Joan's being a terrible person protect Greg from the moral implications of abandoning his child, obviously. So what's the problem? Neither of them is getting away with anything or getting to be the victim. Both of them can be judged by the audience for exactly what they did. Joan's never shown as a victim in terms of her lie, as if it was something she was forced into by society. On the contrary, it's shown to be completely something she does because it lines up with what she wants.

 

I think we just see things very differently.

Peggy was definitely desperate to be married. See: Guy who she pretended to be a virgin with, agreeing to move in with Abe when she clearly wanted a proposal instead, bitching at Shirley that "We all know you're engaged" and raging about the flowers, etc., etc. Peggy was one of those women who wants to be married just to be married, even if she and everyone else know the guy is a loser. She won't inconvenience her career to do it, but she is absolutely one of those women.

I think if you're willing to screw the guy who happened to be with you when you get robbed at gunpoint, your marriage is not on its strongest legs. Saying it's "on life support" per se (which weren't my original words, by the way, they're your words) is semantics in this situation. The marriage is crap if you're going to do that.

I don't think saying that Greg should have gone to jail was meaningless at all. He should have, and he could have. He and Joan weren't married yet, and it happened in a public place. These are two huge things that would have helped to get Greg thrown in jail, had Joan wanted to actually object to his treatment of her. But she didn't, because it would have spoiled her image and ruined her planned marriage to a rich doctor. (I know Greg wasn't rich yet, but that was the plan.) She wanted to be Sylvia, basically, but failed. That's not necessarily a bad thing, given how awful Sylvia is. But I digress. Joan refused to jeopardize her future marriage even though the guy raped her. That's some serious desperation to get married!

No, Joan never was a trailblazer, and that is exactly my point. She struts around all high and mighty, pretending to be worldly, but she has the mindset of a smalltown housewife. She wants everything to LOOK perfect, just as society expects, even if it is a lie. But that's just it: She treats other people as though they're smallminded and whatnot, because she's this big brave secretary in Manhattan, but she is a huge hypocrite. The instances of her hypocrisy in the show are legion and self-explanatory.

Since you apparently would like to judge the characters strictly within the 1960s milieu (which has its merits), then Joan was a big old whore-bag when she decided to sleep with that Jaguar creep. No one at that time could have or would have seen her in any other light, because that is exactly what she became when she accepted payment for sex. There is no defense of this behaviour. There is no wheedling the actions into "girl power" or "self preservation." What Joan did was the very definition of prostitution. Joan whored herself out and Harry, who deserved a partnership, got screwed in an entirely different way.

Joan's lie about Kevin's paternity is wrong for all the reasons I discussed, none of which you addressed. Joan is wrong to lie about the paternity and Greg is wrong to rape Joan. Period. They're terrible, awful people who deserve each other.

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54 minutes ago, Ralphster said:

Peggy was definitely desperate to be married. See: Guy who she pretended to be a virgin with, agreeing to move in with Abe when she clearly wanted a proposal instead, bitching at Shirley that "We all know you're engaged" and raging about the flowers, etc., etc. Peggy was one of those women who wants to be married just to be married, even if she and everyone else know the guy is a loser. She won't inconvenience her career to do it, but she is absolutely one of those women.

I disagree with this.  If Peggy were desperate to be married JUST to be married, the opportunity was right there, with Mark.  You could even make the case for Pete, even though Pete was married to Trudy, at the time (see, "I could have shamed you into being with me").  Hell, she even could have made a second date with the truck driver in season one if her goal was just to get a ring on her finger.  I don't think it was.  Peggy wanted to be married, sure, but she also wanted love, and she wanted her partner to understand her.  That's my take on it.

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4 hours ago, Ralphster said:

Peggy was definitely desperate to be married. See: Guy who she pretended to be a virgin with, agreeing to move in with Abe when she clearly wanted a proposal instead, bitching at Shirley that "We all know you're engaged" and raging about the flowers, etc., etc. Peggy was one of those women who wants to be married just to be married, even if she and everyone else know the guy is a loser. She won't inconvenience her career to do it, but she is absolutely one of those women.

That last sentence invalidates everything else, doesn't it? Women who are desperate to be married don't stay single for 10 years because it would inconvenience their career. If Peggy was so desperate to be married, why didn't she work harder to appeal to every guy who showed any interest? Why not go out with Paul? Or the truck driver her mom set her up with? Or the guy she pretended to be a virgin with? Why break up with the guy on her birthday? Why sleep with married men just because she was attracted to them? Why not try to please Abe more--and why move in with him when he didn't propose? Peggy could probably have married a loser by 1962 if that was her greatest desire, but a loser probably wouldn't have put up with her work focus. By her own admission she didn't use the baby to hold onto Pete because she wanted something else. She also said that nothing felt as important as what happened at the office.

Yes, Peggy obviously wanted to be loved enough to be proposed to and she wanted to be married. She definitely sometimes did things to avoid being alone, like buying that building with Abe when he seemed to hint at marriage. But she never arranged her life around her romantic relationships, even with Abe, which would probably set her apart from many of the other women in the office. That's not somebody desperate to be married.

4 hours ago, Ralphster said:

I think if you're willing to screw the guy who happened to be with you when you get robbed at gunpoint, your marriage is not on its strongest legs. Saying it's "on life support" per se (which weren't my original words, by the way, they're your words) is semantics in this situation. The marriage is crap if you're going to do that.

No, I quoted them from you here:

On 9/11/2020 at 3:25 PM, Ralphster said:

I don't feel it was practical because what really would be practical would be to divorce the cretin who raped you and have the child on your own, rather than pumping life support into what is, and has been from the beginning, a failing marriage.

I wasn't saying I thought the marriage was good, just that Joan did not see it as dying. She was making choices based on the premise that it could work. Yeah, I agree there were plenty of times earlier she should have seen the whole thing was a bad idea--and so should Greg. But characters on the show find themselves in situations like that all the time and don't realize it until later, like Roger when he married Jane.

4 hours ago, Ralphster said:

I don't think saying that Greg should have gone to jail was meaningless at all. He should have, and he could have. He and Joan weren't married yet, and it happened in a public place. These are two huge things that would have helped to get Greg thrown in jail, had Joan wanted to actually object to his treatment of her. But she didn't, because it would have spoiled her image and ruined her planned marriage to a rich doctor. (I know Greg wasn't rich yet, but that was the plan.) She wanted to be Sylvia, basically, but failed. That's not necessarily a bad thing, given how awful Sylvia is. But I digress. Joan refused to jeopardize her future marriage even though the guy raped her. That's some serious desperation to get married!

None of those things wouldn't have meant anything at all--I'm not sure how you think they would. Joan was Greg's girlfriend, she'd had sex with him before, she'd had sex with other men. There was 0% chance of Greg going to jail for raping Joan in Roger's empty office (which was not in public). Joan certainly could have broken up with him afterwards and should have, but she could never have gotten him thrown in jail and if she tried it probably would have hurt her more than him, far beyond just spoiling her image. It seems like you're saying they both did bad things but blame Joan for Greg getting away with rape but the writers for Joan getting away with lying about Kevin's paternity.

4 hours ago, Ralphster said:

Since you apparently would like to judge the characters strictly within the 1960s milieu (which has its merits), then Joan was a big old whore-bag when she decided to sleep with that Jaguar creep. No one at that time could have or would have seen her in any other light, because that is exactly what she became when she accepted payment for sex. There is no defense of this behaviour. There is no wheedling the actions into "girl power" or "self preservation." What Joan did was the very definition of prostitution. Joan whored herself out and Harry, who deserved a partnership, got screwed in an entirely different way.

I don't know what you mean by saying I would like to judge the characters strictly within the 60s milieu. I don't even know how I would do that, since I'm not from that time. When I imagine how Joan is looking at things of course I have to imagine her shaped by her time and not expect her to think like someone born 60 years later.

Of course I know that plenty of people at that time--and today--would judge her as a big old whore bag and not respect what she did. That doesn't mean I need to have react to it as anyone other but myself. Would I have slept with the guy to get that partnership? Probably not. Do I think badly of Joan for doing so? No, not at all. I don't have any big horror of someone exchanging sex for security. I don't see why Joan should feel like a fraud about how she got her partnership compared to somebody in the company who got their job through nepotism or college connections or because Don drunkenly plagiarized them. The company needed her to do something she didn't want to do that they were willing to pay for with a partnership so she did it. When Sal got in trouble for not sleeping with Lee Garner and asked if Don would ask the same of a woman Don basically said yes--if she was a woman he thought might sleep with a man she wasn't married to. The accounts department doesn't sleep with their clients but they regularly get them laid for business. That's also part of sex work.

I never said anything about girl power or self-preservation, since Joan didn't need that money to survive and didn't see herself as advancing the cause of women by doing it. She saw a chance to improve her position and was willing to do it so she did it, just as Don grabbed a chance at escape in Korea.

4 hours ago, Ralphster said:

Joan's lie about Kevin's paternity is wrong for all the reasons I discussed, none of which you addressed. Joan is wrong to lie about the paternity and Greg is wrong to rape Joan. Period. They're terrible, awful people who deserve each other.

I thought I addressed them by saying I didn't know how the show could have addressed them either way. What punishment were you looking forward to playing out if Greg hadn't signed up for a second year in Vietnam?

 

Edited by sistermagpie
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I don't call any women "big old ho bags" and I never have.

Joan was approached with money to spend one night fucking that guy because the firm needed the account.  It was in January of 1967.  Sex and the Single Girl came out in 1957.  Sex for women was no longer such an unheard of thing, and it was encouraged in the office.  Men could use men-only clubs, both socially and for golf to get ahead, women did not have those options.

Even then, two things happened to make Joan, who initially refused outright, even though it was for more money that she makes in a year.  When Lane approached her about asking for a partnership, AND when she was told all the partners knew about it and agreed with her doing it, she took time, thought it over, and approached it as a business decision.

At that time she was a single mother, making almost nothing compared to any new man they brought into the firm, and she was getting older.  At any moment, for any reason, she COULD be fired, and she was left out of all decisions at the job she loved.  This was lifetime job security and income, which was huge for a woman then (and practically unheard of.)

She didn't just "sleep her way to the top" either.  She was the most competent person in that office, knew how everything ran, and ran it.  She also landed her own client later, AVON, and without her, they could have never started the new company at all, since the men had no clue what they needed, let alone where it was.  She was extremely valuable to the company, and always was.

Comparing her to Harry bugs me, because Harry was an ass everyone hated, while Joan was kind, competent, and nearly everyone in the company both liked and depended on her.  Harry didn't "invent" the TV/media position, he copied it from another company, and then, when he had an employee his clients absolutely adored and counted on (Joan) he immediately fired her and hired a know-nothing MALE whom Joan was expected to train.  Joan wasn't hand held, she was handed the scripts and the bare basics and made it on her own.

Would I have done what Joan did with the Jaguar guy?  I can't say, because I have never had a young child as a single mother, and worked for a company I loved that would never promote me on their own, let alone pay me what I was worth.  Maybe I would have, for the partnership, a voice, security.

 

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13 hours ago, Umbelina said:

Comparing her to Harry bugs me, because Harry was an ass everyone hated, while Joan was kind, competent, and nearly everyone in the company both liked and depended on her.  Harry didn't "invent" the TV/media position, he copied it from another company, and then, when he had an employee his clients absolutely adored and counted on (Joan) he immediately fired her and hired a know-nothing MALE whom Joan was expected to train.  Joan wasn't hand held, she was handed the scripts and the bare basics and made it on her own.

 

This conversation made me think of the other partners and how they got where they were. At SCDP only Bert, Don and Pete can really be said to have gotten their partnerships because they proved themselves through work--in Bert's case because he started the original company. (I believe his sister was maybe on the board of Sterling Cooper so maybe she put up money up for it too?)

But the other partners? Roger inherited his partnership from his father.

Lane got his because he betrayed his bosses by firing Don and Roger--very similar to Joan in that he found himself in a position to do something the others wanted and were willing to give him a partnership for. Something pretty sleazy, if satisfying.

Then, remember, there's Ken. Roger raised the idea of a partnership to him too. Why? Because they wanted to go after Dow chemical and didn't want Ken to interfere with his father in law. 

Joan's road to partnership really isn't that different from Lane's and Ken's, although Ken rejected his.

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16 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

This conversation made me think of the other partners and how they got where they were. At SCDP only Bert, Don and Pete can really be said to have gotten their partnerships because they proved themselves through work--in Bert's case because he started the original company. (I believe his sister was maybe on the board of Sterling Cooper so maybe she put up money up for it too?)

But the other partners? Roger inherited his partnership from his father.

Lane got his because he betrayed his bosses by firing Don and Roger--very similar to Joan in that he found himself in a position to do something the others wanted and were willing to give him a partnership for. Something pretty sleazy, if satisfying.

Then, remember, there's Ken. Roger raised the idea of a partnership to him too. Why? Because they wanted to go after Dow chemical and didn't want Ken to interfere with his father in law. 

Joan's road to partnership really isn't that different from Lane's and Ken's, although Ken rejected his.

Pete's interesting because he was almost fired back in episode one after he went around Don's back.  The only reason he wasn't--Pete is Old New York with his mother's family.  When SCDP was founded, there was debate about bringing either Pete or Ken.  They had the same position at the old firm and their job performances were pretty equal.  Pete was offered the partnership but the firm could not afford to take Ken with them.   The accounts department at SCDP back when it first opened was Pete and Roger.  How much Roger actually did back then is anyone's guess.  

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11 minutes ago, Ohiopirate02 said:

Pete's interesting because he was almost fired back in episode one after he went around Don's back.  The only reason he wasn't--Pete is Old New York with his mother's family.  When SCDP was founded, there was debate about bringing either Pete or Ken.  They had the same position at the old firm and their job performances were pretty equal.  Pete was offered the partnership but the firm could not afford to take Ken with them.   The accounts department at SCDP back when it first opened was Pete and Roger.  How much Roger actually did back then is anyone's guess.  

Yup. I think of it as Pete getting his job originally because of his contacts--as Bert says, every firm has a Pete who gives them access to his old schools and old money. But when they decided on who to take to the new place Don asked Pete rather than Ken, despite Ken getting the head of accounts job over Pete. I took Don at his word that he saw Pete as the one who saw the future over the two. 

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