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"Mad Men": "Maidenform"

By admin Published: August 31, 2008


I never got around to posting about last week's episode, which was quite good, and was regretting it for quite a bit of tonight's show, which did not seem as strong. But "Mad Men" sure knows how to end an episode. ...

Not only did we find out that the ultra-private Don has a reputation among the ladies, but we saw that Peggy's social tone-deafness put her in about as awkward a situation as she could imagine -- less a lady than a tramp, hanging out in a strip club with the guys, who are seeing women in only one way.

Of course, she wasn't the only one who was deaf. Joan insists that she closes her ears to the boys' talk in the office, since it's not important to her way of operating. Pete is stone deaf to women, picking up absolutely the wrong girl from the bra-ditions, and ending up in a sordid little tryst with his woman's mother on the other side of a folding door. Of course, Peggy's appearance at the strip club just reinforced Pete's sense that women other than his wife are sluts. Which means he feels better about women than Don, who suspects even his wife; and Don's immediate reaction to Bobbie's talk about his rep is less a sense of humiliation over what he has done than anger that women are talking about him -- and by extension talking about sex. Only later, in the context of his daughter, does he feel regret and shame.

Then there's the Duck question. Is he about to take a big fall, probably involving drinking, and will Don be the beneficiary? Duck's far from the most sympathetic character in "Mad Men," but he had a moment or two when we saw the shambles that is his family life -- only to see him throw it away with his dog.

The episode still felt a bit ungainly to me, although that may be partly because I don't care about Duck. Still, I have to wonder why Peggy was so clueless in this episode, and why it took Joan telling her about her clothes for the message to get through; Bobbie had already told her the same thing.

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