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girltrouble
i think it goes both ways-- i think joan always saw herself with roger, but when he married someone else, she went to that horrible doctor. the last few weeks they were showing their history and how she was the one who gave don the chance and nudged roger into things....
stargazer
Kittenb, my mom thought the exact same thing. smile.gif
roseviolet
[tip-toes back into Lounge] Hi, gang! Long time, no see! I've been missin' my Bust time lately, so I thought I'd pop in and see what you fabulous people have been thinking about Mad Men this season.

First of all, I have to say that "The Suitcase" was my favorite episode this season. Probably one of my top 2 episodes of all time. It was the episode that took place on Peggy's birthday and focused on one long night wit Don and Peggy. Their relationship is my favorite on this show and I loved to see the way it grew. I really love the way they trust and respect one another ... and that there's not the slightest tint of sexual overtones. They remind me more of siblings than anything else.

As for this week's episode, I have to admit that I was a wee bit disappointed in how it handled Joan and Roger. It felt like one enormous cliché to me. Far too predictable. This annoys me because I always felt that Mad Men made a point of avoiding classic clichés. Sheff had some choice thoughts on the matter, too. Spoilers below ...

The pregnancy. Tons of people predicted it and, in my mind, that meant that surely the writers on Mad Men would not let it happen. I'm glad they got it out there quickly, though. No need to beat about the bush and be mysterious. They just laid it out there at the top of the episode. Kudos.

Now, as for the abortion. I don't think Joan got one. I really hope she did, but I suspect she didn't because she was walking about the office too smoothly the next morning. If she'd had a bit less of a sashay to her stride than usual, I might have bought it, but now I'm thinking she changed her mind (or decided to take some time to think about her options some more).

This brings up one of my and Sheff's BIGGEST pet peeves about television: main characters never get abortions during the run of the show. Maybe, like Joan, they had one (or two) in the past, but if a character in a TV show gets knocked up along the course of the show, she ALWAYS keeps the pregnancy. This is so damn unrealistic it drives me nuts. And I think it may annoy Sheff even more than it annoys me (he was seriously disappointed last night). It's lazy, wimpy writing and I expect better from Mad Men than that.

That said, I will admit that I can see why the writers might choose for her to keep the pregnancy. Everything else is imploding and going to shit, so they might as well throw this on the pile, right? Plus, this could be Joan's way of getting out of her marriage. We've learned recently that she's not good at plainly asking for what she wants now. Instead, she'd rather manipulate men into doing what she pleases. If she gives birth to another man's child, maybe her husband will leave her and she won't have to ASK for a divorce. But frankly, I think that's taking things too far. Joan isn't *that* lacking in agency. If she really wanted a divorce, I think she could go out and get one. And if she really wanted to be with Roger, she could easily make that happen, too. But I don't think she wants that. She doesn't want to marry Roger. And she doesn't really want to be a single mother. And I don't think she really wants to divorce her husband right now. So I'm seriously hoping I was wrong and she really did have an abortion afterall.
stargazer
Hi Rose!!! smile.gif

If I said it once, I'll say it again. Gawker has the best recaps about Mad Men.

I have a feeling some characters are falling back into old behaviors. It felt like most of the characters were taking risks and doing some things differently. It felt like the characters of this episode were still taking risks: Don telling Dr. Faye about his true identity; Lane introducing his new love to his father; Joan and Roger talking openly about what should be done about the pregnancy; Pete talking with his wife; Betty telling Henry about the Feds coming to their home. BUT, it is almost like the tension became this big clusterfuck for them and they started to fall back into lying. I think Joan did not have an abortion. I think Don will take the secretary to the Beatles, shag her, and simultaneously disappointment Sally and Dr. Fay. I could go on, but, I just didn't have the triumph feeling I had the prior episode.

If the writers have all of the characters fall back into old behaviors, is it sloppy writing? I felt like it was a cliche turnaround like with some movies where we want the lead to make the right and moral decision (like Brad Pitt in Seven and Mickey Rourke in the Wrestler).

I wonder if our need to have these characters make the right decision with their old behaviors speak about our own desire for change and hope. Not to get too interpretative here. But, this episode reminded me about Tony Soprano in the end of the series of the Sopranos....he is who he is and he accepted his life and fate...secrets and all. Live by the sword, die by the sword...if you will.


Btw, Kittenb and my mom FTW! They called it correctly. smile.gif
kittenb
I'm suprised at how many people think that Joan didn't have an abortion. It never ocurred to me. Now I am beginning to wonder. I would be suprised. It isn't a secret she could easily keep for long. While I think that most people would assume that it was her husband's child, Roger would know and that is a kind of power I don't think that Joan wants him to have over her. But time will tell.
I wasn't at all suprised that Don banged his secretary (although I was impressed w/how forward & direct Megan was about it. Is the sexual revolution beginning?) I would be furious if he took her to the Beatles, though. Another character who needs a boot to the head is (as always) Pete. I get that men did not attend deliveries in the 60's but would it have killed him to be present for a few minutes? Joining the boot to the head list would be Ken for coming to get Pete in the first place (although it says something about the times that Ken knew Pete would go.)
Jan Brady
I saw nothing to suggest Joan lied and did not have an abortion.

If Joan has a secret, it's that she has a 15 y.o. daughter somewhere.
kittenb
QUOTE
If Joan has a secret, it's that she has a 15 y.o. daughter somewhere.


Agreed! I forgot about that but that was what I was thinking that night.
nickclick
after seeing this past week's epi i changed my mind about Joan lying about the (recent) abortion. it wasn't that she felt ridiculous being in the same situation as a 15-year old girl, but being in the same situation with Roger after all this time. i love them together but i'm glad she dumped him after his childish and needy display.
stargazer
The one scene I loved the most this epi was when Pete found out Don paid his half to remain a partner. Yes, Pete. You are still Don's bitch. At the same time, I'm not sure Don did it as a power over dynamic as much as I think we saw Don wanting to support the newbies like Peggy and Pete.

Next week is the season finale! I don't know about anyone else, but, I have really enjoyed this season.
Divala
I actually interpreted that scene as Don paying Pete's way because Pete has covered for Don more than once, so he kind of owed him. Now they're kind of even, although Pete still has Don's secret to hang over his head.
stargazer
Divala, yeah, that's a good point.
nickclick
Why do the Mad Men Writers Make Betty Draper Such a Monster?

hmmm... what do you think?
stargazer
Interesting article, nickclick.

When I think of Betty, I actually think of my grandmother. My grandmother has been known to have said some pretty awful things to my mother (who would be about Sally's age in that era) in relation to sexuality, boys, and autonomy. So, unfortunately, that character has some truth to her. I don't think Betty has ever individuated or developed past childhood; hence, her childish behavior. Adolescence can be a scary time for parents and resurface a lot of unaddressed childhood issues. It is no coincidence that Betty manipulated Sally's child psychologist to address her own needs. Betty is a selfish, narcissistic character, but, I feel she is searching for her own identity just like the other characters on the show. I'm not sure it is necessarily that the writers are doing a poor job of writing her character, but, more the viewers reactions towards her character as a privileged stay at home mother/wife.
ketto
I've actually been really surprised at the criticism of her character. I've never thought of her as the show's "monster" and most of the time I feel sympathy for her, and just sad. I think the character is a perfect illustration of a very real woman that could have occurred at that time. We've had a little insight into Betty's past and I don't think it's surprising, given what we DO know, that she's so incredibly repressed.

She has virtually no trust and every time we occasionally see her coming out and being honest with herself or someone else she gets scared and retreats again. She has no idea how to deal with her emotions but I think there were some subtle changes this season. I got really excited that the therapist was actually a good therapist and made a connection with Betty, even though it was small. That scene last episode (i think) was actually a pretty good example of her developing enough trust to be honest, but then when the doctor suggested she see a colleague she got scared and retreated, only agreeing to the monthly meeting. I find her character really complex and I agree with you Star, she is trying to find her own identity.
nickclick
as much as i want her to come across a copy of The Feminine Mystique, i don't think it's going to happen. which makes her character all that more realistic, well-written, and well-played.
auralpoison
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sybarite
Further thoughts on the Futureland finale anyone? (Sorry, I couldn't resist the alliteration...)

Don's proposal to Megan totally floored me and I was gratified to see it floored her too! It seemed inconsistent of her character to accept given her earlier independent stance on their first shag, so I expected her to refuse.

I do like that the show emphasised what a predictable result their engagement is, though. I loved it when Peggy went into Joan's office and Joan looked and asked dryly, 'whatever might be on your mind?'

I was disappointed that Don was therefore such a shit to Dr Faye--but impressed at how she dealt with him. (Also I loved her apricot knit two piece...)

I dunno: sure, Don's gone for the lazy option. being with Dr Faye would mean continuing to excavate himself and who he really is, whereas with Megan he doesn't have to do any of that work. Megan's no fool though, so it could be worse.

I also get he's obviously marrying hr at least in part because of how she is with the kids, and to some extent that's justified. If you have kids, how your future partner feels about them (and they her/him) can (and maybe should) be a dealbreaker. But added to this are all Don's gendered expectations that Megan will simply step in and do most of the work with them.

crazyoldcatlady
i have this overwhelming feeling that don proposed to whatsherface because he's going to fake his/"don's" death, and he'd rather have whf take care of his kids than betty.

or is that too melodramatic?
Divala
I have to wonder if Dr. Faye is going to do anything to retaliate against Don for what he did to her, since she knows all the dirt on him now. I kind of hope she does.
sybarite
And of course she has those gangster connections... you might be on to something.
nickclick
gangster connections?

damn ima miss sitting down at 10 tonite to watch sad.gif
ketto
I was thinking the same thing, nick.

She mentioned that her father was involved with gangster's or the mafia or something like that in one of the first episodes this season.
DistrictLady
I was so sad there wasn't a new episode last night sad.gif
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