Last night we settled in at 8:45 to get ready for Mad Men, only to discover that the artististic achievement that is the The Italian Job remake was on until 10. Has Mad Men always been on at 10/how goddamn sad is it that we’re groaning over having to watch the greatest show on television an hour later than we expected? So we caught up on Game of Thrones and then got down to business. This episode, titled “Collaborators,” looked at professional and personal infidelities and the overlap between these different two spheres of life. We almost feel like we need a Venn diagram or a scatter plot to place where each of these people and issues lie, but we honestly don’t have the time to fight out an agreed-upon graph that reconciles our values systems (What’s worse: Sylvia is acting as a friend to Megan while sleeping with her husband, or Megan keeping her pregnancy/miscarriage a secret?).
So we’ll settle for listing out what we see as the major infidelities:
Don and Sylvia are obviously cheating on their spouses, but Sylvia’s friendship with Megan is also laden with issues. She clearly feels uncomfortable letting Megan confide in her, but she allows it to happen nonetheless. We did like watching her get slapped with the reality that Don is still sleeping with his wife, even if he does tell Sylvia that they’re “drifting apart” (oldest trick in the book, girl!). Pete finally pushed Trudy past her breaking point by sleeping with a neighborhood housewife who clearly lives within literal shouting distance. Peggy betrays Stan both personally and professionally by spilling the beans (ha!) about Heinz, even if she doesn’t mean to do either.
Don, in a surprising display of loyalty, stays true to their Heinz client and tells Ken that they can’t go after “the Coca-Cola of condiments”. Shortly thereafter, he purposes and deftly tanks the idea to change the Jaguar campaign, and we’re left to wonder about his motivations. Is he really dedicated to the “high art” idea of the national campaign that he developed? Or is he being contrary to Herb because of his obvious effect on Joan, someone Don respects and likes both personally and professionally? Is this a vendetta, or a dedication to the purity of his work?
Don sums up what many of the characters are dealing with, when he asks ”And so we just keep saying yes, no matter what, because we didn’t say no to begin with?”
Favorite and noteworthy moments:
- Sassy Peggy to her copywriters: “Have a seat- no, don’t.”
- Don to Ken on Heinz: “Sometimes you gotta dance with the one that brought you.”
- Don throwing the Jaguar campaign retool by making it sound common.
- Megan in the Betty housecoat and laundry clothes. Terrifying, yet appropriate for an episode that highlights Megan’s immaturity.
- Trudy schooling Pete, asshat had it coming.
- Peggy’s chummy phone calls with Stan (which might be ending soon)
- Joan to Herb: “And I know there’s part of you you haven’t seen in years.”
- We’re dying to know what exactly is going on with Bob Benson. Now he’s taking notes at meetings and buying Pete’s toilet paper?? Who let this clown in?
And now our top 6 looks from this episode. We’re not sure if we’re going to settle on a static number for these or if it will just depend on how many looks we like. We’re whimsical like that. Keeps you on your toes! Also, in the light of day, these screencaps are looking a little dark. Hopefully next week’s batch will be a bit more properly adjusted.
6. Sylvia’s Drab Dinner Dress
Anya really enjoyed this look, although it might mostly be because she was imagining how much better it would look on her (Anya looks great in grays and silvers, and yes, it was the only reason I loved it). Paul agrees that this is one of Sylvia’s better looks and is a fan of her earrings, in a long line of dowdy doctor’s wife outfits. We both keep waiting to be wowed by the woman that Don is cheating on the vivacious Megan with, but her matronly appeal is lost on us.
5. Trudy’s Spousal Abuse Outfit
We were so glad for the return of Trudy and we were quite taken by her paisley frock as she endured emotional abuse from Pete as she dealt with the physical abuse of his neighborhood fling. Now that little Tammy is a few years old, Trudy is thankfully out of the housecoats and back to wearing fun little outfits (even on nights when she’s not hosting a party), although she may not be as fashionable as she was in her early twenties. We hope that she still pops up fairly frequently on the show and we really wish we could have been in the back seat for that car ride.
4. Don’s All-American Suit
It’s easy to pass over Don, who almost almost always looks great, but also almost always looks the same. This look jumped out at us with its small pop of color and the red, white, and blue color scheme. This did elicit a jointly audible gasp, like Joan’s later outfit with the same color scheme, but it helps us believe that Don is back on his game, persuading clients right and left that his way is the best way. As squirrelly Bob Benson mused about Pete, Don always looks the part of successful ad exec (despite being eternally unhappy).
3. Pete’s Neighborhood Mistress in the City
Pete’s neighborhood fling (Does she have a name? Does it matter?) surprised us last night with her stylish off-to-the-city-to-screw-scummy-Pete outfit. In the morning, we were less surprised and more amused by her sad attempts to impress Pete on her journey for “Hair tickets.” That hat is still adorable, but we can’t help but feel that this is the middle-class version of Jane’s luxurious funeral outfit. Sure, this is more practical, but that’s not really what we’re in it for, right?
2. Peggy’s Purple Quest Scarf
We were happy to see that great green coat again, but this purple dress with the funky printed scarf really wowed us. Peggy gets to keep her favored collar, but she looks all-grown up in this rich plum color. We also love the little detail on the back and think that Peggy would make a pretty decent boss. This is assuming that we’re less incompetent that her current staff, but we get Peggy, and are totally available for nights and weekends.
1. Joan’s Back-in-Business Businesswear