Mad Men
The Other Woman

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 5 USERS: B-
Company Woman

Everyone's whooping it up in the conference room, but before Don can trudge his way in there, Peggy appears with congratulations. And of course he's upset about Joan, but the fact that even now he can treat her like something he just scraped off his shoe really drives home the idea that she's doing the right thing here. Peggy thinks their conversation can wait, but Don's not in the mood for celebration prompting her to observe, "You really have no idea when things are good, do you?" I'm not sure I'd agree with that, but now is SO not the time, as Peggy -- already starting to sniffle a bit -- leads the way into his office. He asks her to drink with him, which signals to me that he's looking for some emotional solace, so this is obviously going to be even more of a blow than you'd normally expect. She tells him she has to discuss something serious and he tries to be conciliatory, but given that he babbles about how (a) he can't put a girl on Jaguar and (b) Joan just got made partner, he's not helping his case. Whether because of this news or not, Peggy steels herself with a long sip from her drink before stepping forward and telling Don that the day he saw something in her, her whole life changed and since then, it's been her privilege that he treated her like a protégé. Don leans back in his chair with a wry grin like he knows how to handle this, but the way the color drained from his face during the speech was the telling moment. When she concludes that she needs a new experience and has accepted another offer, he, with AMAZING fake amused condescension -- one second he looks like he's actually smiling and another his mouth looks like a dead clown rictus -- asks if she's done, but when she plows on about her notice and last day, he heaves an ersatz sigh and tries to tell her he knows it's been crazy and she's been feeling unappreciated and what's more, he's impressed: "You finally picked the right moment to ask for a raise." Don, you're missing the point; she doesn't want money and even if she did, she'd probably be afraid you'd pelt her in the face with it.

Peggy, however, seems like she prepared herself for the Draper charm, as she assures him she's serious about moving on and once he believes the nice-guy angle isn't going to work, he clenches and grits his teeth and makes just the most horrible faces anyone who looks like Jon Hamm could make before asking where she's going. The answer of course earns a bitter "Of course" chuckle before he suggests, "Let's pretend I'm not responsible for every good thing that's ever happened to you. Tell me the number or make one up, and I'll beat it." But Peggy, it turns out, anticipated the meaner form of condescension as well and simply replies that he'd do the same thing in her shoes. (Although maybe not with Ted Chaough, I will say.) Don tries one more tack, saying that Peggy doesn't need to wait two weeks, as he's got a room full of freelancers out there, but it too fails as Peggy nods and mistily says she understands. She takes a long moment before stepping forward and sticking out her hand and oh my God, this is amazing; Don takes it and presses his lips to it and the moment goes on waaaaay past any level of comfort, not to mention after the way Joan touched him earlier it creates this unspoken three-way-bond between them and Peggy just almost loses it and after fifteen seconds -- FIFTEEN SECONDS! -- she gently pulls her hand away and tells him not to be a stranger. She leaves and Don's face does other things of which I didn't think it was capable as he wonders how many more people who really know him he can lose...

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Mad Men




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