Damn You Don Draper: Sex, Mirrors, And Mad Men
Last night’s episode of Mad Men really pissed me off. Oh, Don Draper, and your wiley, sexual ways. And damn you, Duck, for doing what you did to Chauncey! The episode was all about the two sides to women that men see and the two sides to Don that WE see. While Sterling Cooper works on putting together a new ad campaign for Playtex, centered around every woman have a Jackie (Kennedy) side and a Marilyn (Monroe) side — for the record, according to the boys, Peggy is all Gertrude Stein — Don is in way too deep with Bobbie Barrett. Don is not immune to viewing women through these two lenses as well — while he’s happy to have Bobbie as his whore on the side, when Betty buys a chic new bikini to wear at the pool, Don is quick to demean her as “desperate”. Both sides of Amelia wanted to smack the s–t out of him for that one. Peggy, meanwhile, is trying to make headway as a woman in a man’s world. When the men at Sterling Cooper continue to do business out on the town without her, Peggy realizes she needs to take Bobbie’s prior advice — “You can’t be a man. Be a woman. It’s a powerful business, when done right” — and Joan’s latest pearl of wisdom — “Stop dressing like a little girl” — and assert herself. On a night out at a titty bar with the Playtex execs, Peggy shows up and attempts to fit right in, under Pete’s judgmental eye (Pete, who cheated on wife only the night before with a model). It’s unclear whether this route will have much long-term success for Peggy, but I just frickin’ adore her for the badassness.
As for Don? Bobbie has always drawn out the uglier side of him, but it seems Don finally is seeing his own reflection (mirrors were a big theme in this episode) and not liking it very much. When Bobbie dares to tell Don that his reputation as a himbo is well-known, he leaves her tied to a bedpost. I’m not sure if this is the last we’ll see of Bobbie, and I certainly don’t think it’s the last we’ll see if Don’s not-so-endearing side, but I hope for little Sally’s sake — who starred at her father adoringly at the beginning of the episode — that he cultivates the side that she sees with a little more dedication.
[Note: Chauncey is Duck’s dog. When the dog made Duck think twice about falling off the wagon — he’s an alcoholic or whatever they called people who drank too much in those days — Duck let him go. That dude is such a wimp.]