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April 24, 2014

Mad Men: Maidenform - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 1st 2008 9:05AM
Mad Men
(S02E06) "If we were to take you to see some women in their underwear, would that be too much like work?" - Fred, to the Playtex guys

Is it just me or is Don's affair with Bobbie nastier than his affairs with Midge and Rachel from season one? Not just that it's rougher and more blunt, but the way that he's doing it. With Midge and Rachel, it seemed like a natural part of his life and it happened away from home and it was separate. This year it seems like he's making a lot of excuses to Betty about where he has to be, like tonight when he lies to her in the middle of the country club bash to call Bobbie. And there's also a meanness and a sadness to the entire relationship.

Having said that, I think I laughed more in this episode than any other episode of the show so far.

This episode could have also be titled "Mirrors," since they seem to play a big part in what happened, in the way that the characters see themselves. Mostly the characters of Don and Pete. The way Pete looks in his living room mirror after coming home from the blond model's apartment, and the way Don looks into his bathroom mirror (there's that sadness again) when he's shaving and talking to Sally. And Don mentions mirrors when he pitches the Marilyn/Jackie ad to Playtex (yet another client deciding not to use a campaign before they even hear the pitch). Heck, we could also extend the whole mirrors thing to Peggy, who decides to take Joan's advice and dress like a real woman, which Pete doesn't like at all.

More thoughts on this episode:

- This episode has a lot of funny stuff in it, from Ken saying that he finds that both Playtex and Maidenform "seem to open easily" to Roger saying "has your wife seen that yet?" to Don about the new secretary. I also get a kick out of Bobbie suddenly announcing to Don that she has a son and a daughter. He was surprised, probably thinking, "wow, even this whore has kids?" The subtle lines at the country club are clever too, Betty saying "As we used to say in college, let's be friends" and Don saying "Call me from the emergency room" when Betty said the kids would be playing with sparklers.

- Nice to see the Draper family still eating Utz chips. Nice old Ritz box on the fridge too.

- Don might be cheating on Betty, but he has moral standards. He's shocked that Betty would want to wear a skimpy bathing suit to the beach. I love it how he tells her not to wear and then he kisses her forehead goodbye. How dare you wear that bathing suit in public! Now if you'll excuse me I have to go have rough sex with Jimmy's wife.

- Speaking of, I find it interesting that Don actually has a reputation as a womanizer (I think the way Bobbie says it to him erases all of the good vibes I got from her in last week's episode). I'm going to pray that leaving Bobbie tied on the bed and then looking guilty in his bathroom mirror is going to make him smarten up a bit.

- Anyone else slightly put off by the use of a modern song in the opening, The Decemberists "The Infanta?" Sure, they used Amy Winehouse the first season but that was in the ads, away from actual episodes. Just seems a little jarring to me.

- Oh, and never mind the look on Don's face in the mirror or seeing how Duck's family acts or seeing the look that Pete and Peggy exchange at the end. The saddest part of this episode for me is when Duck opens the door and let Chauncy run away! That's heartbreaking.

For the women: are you a Jackie or a Marilyn?
Jackie58 (32.4%)
Marilyn30 (16.8%)
Actually, I'm Gertrude Stein91 (50.8%)

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mdaby3

I just caught up with this episode last night---one small issue. In the opening scenes when the women were getting dressed, it showed Peggy putting on pantyhose. Nope, couldn't happen. Panty hose were not widely available until the late 60s, and even then they were crazy expensive. Peggy never would have dropped her hard earned cash on that item!

September 03 2008 at 6:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nattyff

loved the look pete gave peggy at the end... ;), hope he find out soon that he has a son.

September 02 2008 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian

As my wife said, why does Don keep having affairs with nasty skanks and doesn't seem fazed by his smoking hot wife?

September 02 2008 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brian's comment
Karen

Because he's married to a Jackie (or a Grace Kelly), but what really turns him on is Marilyn.

September 03 2008 at 7:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Saragee

To me the significance of Duck letting the dog go was that he knows if he has that one drink, he will return to being an alcoholic and he couldn't take the "trusting" look that the dog was giving him. Just like Don couldn't take the trusting look his daughter gave him.

As for Don being turned off toward Bobbie, my feeling is that learning she is a mother puts her in the same category as his supposed mother.

September 02 2008 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
carrespondent

Clearly, Duck is now the most evil bastard on the show. Do what you want to the humans, but...

September 02 2008 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jessica

Seems the whole episodes was based on how people appear to themselves, to others, etc. Chancey knows Ducky isn't completely together while his co-workers don't. the way Don's daughter looked at him (twice) - if she only knew he is a cheater she wouldn't look at him that way, the way Peggy appears to the guys at work then at the bar, Betty before and after that guy (the one that has the hot for her) saw that she has children - the whole show was appearances - the two sides of the characters.

We always see the two sides of Don and Bobbie introduced Don's darker side to him. I was surprised that he was surprised that ladies talk. Did he think his philandering ways wouldn't eventually makes the rounds in certain circles of women? He was pissed to be called on his cheating - that dude spends a lot of time in denial.

September 02 2008 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

Ryan: Sometimes I wonder if they're going to make Peggy into a Mary Wells Lawrence-ish character:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Wells_Lawrence

September 01 2008 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan S.

I think that Peggy is going to be running Sterling Cooper by the end of show, she is slowly learning all of the ropes and all the things she is going to have to do to climb the corporate ladder, I think that was one of the more important things of the episode was Peggy getting all clamed up for a night on the town with the Playtex clients.

September 01 2008 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sage

Yeah, I definitely thought the opening music was out of place and jarring. Odd choice, for sure.

And what *was* that look in the mirror at the end? What did it mean? Very murky, that.

September 01 2008 at 3:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
julie

This show is so totally fascinating. @Chris Shifty - I read that Rich Sommer (Harry) will be on the season opener of the Office so the synergy is already there!

All I can say about this episode is wow, yet again. The duality of Don is slowly being exposed. Bobbie was his Marilyn; Betty is his Jackie. He wants Betty to remain pure and virginal, hence the nixing of the bikini. But the look he shot Arthur when he caught him talking to her was so understated yet so powerful.

I think Duck letting Chauncey go was symbolic of him letting go of the last vesitges of his former life. His wife and kids are moving on without him and the poor pup was the final reminder. It was a different time, but couldn't he have offered the dog to one of the secretaries? And now begins his decline back to alcoholism.

And Joan seems to have known all along that Peggy was made for more than the secretarial pool. In retrospect, I think she pushed her more than I thought. Glad to see Peggy took her advice, although a bit to the extreme.

Can't wait until next week.

September 01 2008 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to julie's comment
Gin

For that matter, Pete has his own Jackie/Marilyn...his wife is Jackie and that model was his Marilyn.

I found this episode to be incredibly jarring, for all of it's funny parts.

September 02 2008 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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