Hey Mad Men viewers who have complained that the pilot episode and others so far have played out too slowly, this week's episode was the antidote for you, huh? The ep was so ADD that it was almost impossible for there to really be much emotional development in each storyline. But hey, at least we got a much more diverse glimpse of everyone's issues. And as it turns out, just about everyone this week -- from Peggy to Sally Draper -- shared one emotion in common: Disappointment.
Most intriguing to me was Peggy's disappointment.
Ever since we met her, it seems like she's been pushing to succeed at work, while at the same time, facing a majorly bumpy road with relationships. Something that's completely frustrating for any woman of any time -- to think you can't necessarily have it all or you can only have one cylinder (career or love) firing well at once. But we're reminded that in Peggy's era, it was especially taxing, when society really expected you to be accomplishing certain things over your career -- like getting married.
But marriage isn't in the cards for our girl P right now. Instead, her BF Abe (who I totally thought was a goner last week, but guess not!) asks her not to marry him ... but to move in together. She's noticeably let down -- especially after Joan had gotten her hopes up that he was going to pop the Q at their special dinner -- but she decides it's what she wants and she says, "I do" (to champagne, but you know, it's a fitting choice of words). Now, she's got to stand her ground and defend her decision of living with Abe and basically pioneering a frontier into the latter half of the 20th century. No pressure. But it was a really unconventional, defiant move to "live in sin" with someone then.
At least you knew Peggy's Catholic mother was not going to be cool with it. And she wasn't. She shows up to Peggy's apartment with a cake for what she thinks is going to be an engagement announcement, and when she hears the truth, she gives her daughter an earful about how Abe is probably just going to use her for practice and go off to marry someone else. And how if she's lonely she ought to get a cat. Ugh!
Thankfully, Joan came to the rescue, reassuring Peggy that the idea is romantic, and she thinks she's "brave." Plus, marriage really is nothing but a piece of paper. (And she should know.) Aww.
Seems like in addition to disappointment, Weiner was trying to make a point about about women's lib, nodding to different eye-opening experiences women of the era were having about their careers (Megan's successful pitch to Heinz followed by her father's disdainful remarks about her pursuing a career in advertising versus her "dream"), relationships (Peggy's revolutionary decision to move in with Abe), and how downright dishonest the world can be (poor little Sally being thrust into adulthood by accidentally spying Roger and Megan's mother getting it on -- eww!). And as tough as they might be, sometimes it's a sad, "dirty" world out there for our favorite Mad women.
How did you feel about the way Peggy handled her situation with Abe? Whose disappointment did you resonate the most with?
Image via AMC