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Mad Men Open Thread: The Fog

Mad-menSorry about missing last week's episode, Mad Men super fans! We sure have a lot to dig into this week, though. MANY, MANY WEIRD THINGS.

So just to start us off, some thought-provoking(ish) questions:

Don-sally-ep5

  • Hangover from last week's missed ep: Do you guys feel as guilty as I do about poor Grandpa? Not a potentially dirty old man after all! Oh creepy Grandpa, we hardly knew ye.
  • What do you make of the whole thing with Sally's teacher? A set-up for Sally's impending descent into white girl hooliganism, Don's next speshal "lady friend," or something else?
  • Did they give PCP to women in labor in the 60s?
  • Relatedly: what did you make of those hallucinations Betty had? I mean besides that her parents must've spent a FORTUNE on stain remover(s) back in the day.
  • How do you think things are going to go down with Pete and Peggy? And I mean both between them personally and relative to Sterling Cooper. Duel to the death, anyone?
  • Relatedly: do you love Peggy as much as I do? I could kiss her full on the mouth.
  • Eugene? Really? OOF.
  • Every time someone on the show says "Negro" I feel like I need to cross myself or something. Just me?

What else? Predictions, fears, hopes, dreams? 

Discuss.







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Comments

Josh

Strange. I can't figure out where they are going with the hallucinations. My other votes: Sally's teacher - Don's next lady friend, Pete and Peggy - both leave.

Darla

First of all, let me ask: Is it just me, or was that the Mad Men we know and love? The one we've been waiting for this season? Sure, they've been good, but last night felt like old times. All the curve balls flying at me and making me go, hold on, wait a minute...rewind that! Wow! I loved every single moment of it!

Okay, now, Grandpa last week-total shock, both in the vain that he wasn't the ped creep we/I thought. Also that I really thought they were going to take that character/relationship with Betty a long way, so shocker, he's dead. But wow, isn't that real life? You think you have while with someone and then wham! Gone! So, once again, the writers proved to me that they don't need to abuse letting a character linger too long just for his sake. They can let go.

Yes, me thinks the teacher is a future Don girl. Betty, I'm worried about, and the baby--really worried. Post-partum?

Pete, I think, is so wanting Peggy but will never admit it. Her casual cold shoulders to him make him hurt all over. Stay strong, Peggy!

Missed Joan last night-next week looks great!
Just my thoughts...can't wait to ready everyone's.

Darla

opps! "read" not "ready" LOL

Sweetney

So you think they'll both leave... and therefore leave the show?

Don't make me cry, Josh.

Sweetney

I agree that the show was back up to the subtle, curve-ball-throwing greatness of yore in this episode. I like all the question marks left dangling in the air.

The only thing I didn't get (or maybe I just nodded out) was the whole Male Bonding In The Hospital Waiting Room BS. Might just not have been my thing, but I didn't get a whole lot out of that and YAAAAAWN.

Darla

That scene was pretty long. Not quite sure there either; we know Don's not going to become the "better man" as his newly found friend proclaimed. Later though when he passed the guy in the hall and there was no recognition, I wondered if that whole episode was Don's hallucination? Could he have drank with the guy but nodded off? His conscience trying to work on him? After all, the first thing the guy said that mattered was how could he love the baby if birthing it killed his love? Hmmmmm....Don knows about that.

I just really enjoyed the way the episode was once again an ensemble but individuals too. With problems. Lots.

Josh

I agree with Darla. I have been waiting for this episode. This was why I liked the show, and it was grinding a bit for me the first two episodes.

I do think they will both leave but still be a "part" of the show (sorry) but they also foreshadowed some splits in the next episode preview? Next week looks interesting.

Darla - Don hallucinating? Again - I never thought about that, interesting, but I didn't get it when they passed in the hallway.

Paul

I think everything is building up to a grand crash. There are so many threads being carried along, all of which have their own way of pulling down one house of cards or another. I'm curious to see what the wreckage will look like.

Keli

There's something about that teacher lady that rubs me the wrong way. Like maybe she's emotionally or mentally off. Like she'll have sex with Don a couple of times and when he's done with her she'll come to his house and boil his bunny.

I feel like Peggy's going to work for someone else. She'll be awesome and then Sterling Cooper will want her back. At least I hope that's how it goes down.

Kelly

I can't help but feel that they won't let Peggy succeed, these guys are messing with her. Pete has all this freedom and he just takes it for granted, while she is making diddly squat and has to watch her own back plus people take all the credit. She perfectly captures what a stifling time it must have been, catalysing the womens movement.
Also, as a mother of four this episode terrified me and prompted me to call my mother and ask, "was it really like that?!?!" and my mom was all, "well they gave you something so you didn't feel anything!". hmmm..... anyway I see some dark foreshadowing in the postpartum mentality of Betts for sure.
Another thing they may have been revisiting with the whole Betty hallucination was how her dad tried to tell her she could do anything and her mother just wanted her to settle down and get married, which she did. Thats what I got from Grandpas relationship with Sally, he was trying to instill in her a belief in her self that she could be anything she wanted to be. All in all a very feministy type episode. I also didnt understand why Hobart didnt acknowledge Don in the hallway of the hospital, maybe it was an hallucination!! I never thought of that. I cant wait for the next ep.

Suzy Q

I like this, and you've put into words something I was thinking about that teacher. I think we will see more of her, as will Don.

Peggy's caught in a conundrum, professionally. She's got some balls, but they're a pretty small set, so far. I can totally relate, as I am overdue for a raise, and I just KNOW I'll get some of that same bullshit when I bring it up (and I have a lady boss!).

It's a fucking miracle that any of us born in the '60s or before came out okay. All of our moms smoked and/or drank and gave birth under the influence of major drugs and most didn't breast-feed. Seems like the newest generation has more problems than we do in spite of our better prenatal education.

Sally: now, there's a problem child.

Their use of the word "Negro" doesn't bother me at all. It was part of the times, just like the 4-martini lunch and smoking everywhere. (If I can brag a bit, though, my mother was the first white female writer ever to be published in Ebony magazine - I still have the pay stub!)

Darla

So, what do y'all think about the blood in Betty's hallucination? Could she have had a miscarriage? One she's blocked? Or have I just forgotten it said somewhere that Don was her first? Help me out...can't remember.

Agree with you all--can't wait for next week!

Michael Sippey

agree - that teacher's a bunny boiler. but don's attracted to bunny boilers...

Sweetney

"Bunny boiler." BWAHAHAHAAAA!

Michael Sippey

if i were into combining show timelines, i'd figure out a way to have the passengers of oceanic 815 go waaay back in time to the early 60s with a DVD player and a copy of fatal attraction so that they could show it to don and tell him "yes! i know she's hot with the bra strap off the shoulder and the alcohol dependence, but STAY AWAY."

Keli

Ha. "Don, stay away, SHE WON'T BE IGNORED!"

Sally Epp

I think the reason the waiting room dad didn't smile at or acknowledge Don might have something to do with the fact that he and his wife were walking down the hall without a baby. I didn't record the episode though, and it's the sort of thing I'd have to watch again to figure out. Were they sad? Could their baby have died? I don't know. I just noticed that the couples seemed to mirror each other only the other couple didn't have a baby with them.

helenel

When Betty was struggling with the nurse, wondering where Don was, it reminded me of my mother describing the straps they would have to hold you down on the table during childbirth.

I thought it was interesting that they've really been focusing on what a completely disinterested mother Betty is, and then giving her this new child to cope with. I fear for little Eugene, too.

Erin

I figured the blood was from Medgar Evers' murder (he was the guy sitting at the kitchen table, no)? She dreams about him after he was mentioned earlier by Hot-Teach.

cagey

re: Betty's hallucinations - they did give her something that causes hallucinations. Ack - I cannot remember the name of the medication though. Apparently, it was popularly used during the 60s and there are some nasty side effects, which may or may not figure into Betty's story.

I was not a big fan of this episode, I thought some of symbolism was a little heavy-handed - the caterpillar (Betty literally squashing her own metamorphsis and going back to the same-old, same-old), the endless allusions to time and watches and clocks, Baby Gene moving into Grandpa Gene's room. I did appreciate the shadows appearing to be prison bars across Betty's back in that closing scene. Ultimately, nothing will really change for the Drapers and as most folks know, having a baby does not necessarily solve a damned thing.

It is not clear whether Dennis Hobart's baby died or not - but it is not improbably that the wife was staying in the hospital a little longer since she had the difficult labor and lost so much blood. Also, they were going in the OPPOSITE direction of the Drapers, maybe the Hobarts were going down the hall to see their baby in the nursery. Regarding his change in expression when he saw Don, I think Dennis was just embarrassed how much he had revealed emotionally to Don - that is all.

There has been a lot of talk about whether Dennis and Don' interactions were a hallucination on Don's part. Eh, I am not buying that - Mad Men is usually pretty clear in what is a dream or flashback sequence. It would be odd for them to break with one of their "rules" now.

Erin

This is the stuff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_sleep (I know, reliable source and all, but the gist at least is true.)

Did anyone catch the great last shot of the scene where Betty's naming the baby Eugene and Don's not buying it? It shows Betty holding Gene (in profile, in bed), and Don facing her, and on the right side of the TV screen, there's a door with a pane of glass in it that is reflecting the scene, but is placed and sized to show only Betty--no Don, no Gene.

ooooOOOOOOOooooo!! Ominous, or just moving? I loved it either way.

cagey

I wanted to follow up with on my own comment. I just re-watched the hall scene where Dennis and Don pass each other. Dennis and his wife were definitely, absolutely smiling as they were coming down the hall. When Dennis caught Don's eye, his expression immediately changed. I think the answer is simple, though - Dennis was embarrassed that he had laid his soul bare to Don - his fears of losing his wife, his fears of being a father. And here, Dennis was supposed to be a big, burly prison guard. Men in the 60s simply did not confide to each other like Dennis had.




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