Mad Men Mondays: I’ve had a tough year


During the third season of Mad Men Feministing writers will offer some of our thoughts on feminist moments, scenes, and themes in the new episodes in order to start a discussion about these topics in our community. *WARNING: Lots of spoilers follow.
And now the season finale of our most mistitled Tuesday column.


Don’s flashbacks.

Outside of his general denial that Betty is leaving him, I think these scenes partly explain why Don chooses to prioritize saving his company over his marriage. It wasn’t just growing up poverty-stricken, but potentially blaming his father’s death on the fact that they went broke (after all, he wouldn’t have been so drunk had things been better) drives Don to save his own business, and hence his life. -Vanessa
Don’s arc has been strikingly Oedipal this season. This continued with seeing the death of his father in the same episode where major challenges to his power lead Don to reevaluate his priorities and begin to create a life on his own terms. -Jos
As one of my Mad Men-watching buddies pointed out, yes, these childhood flashbacks point Don toward re-evaluating his life. But it’s always his work life, not his home life, where he decides to make changes -Ann
The end of Sterling Cooper, the beginning of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Cooper: “I lost my business last year!” Don: “Well do something about it.”
This illuminates the difference between the Connies and Coopers of this world, and the Roger Sterlings. Don obviously took to heart what Connie said about building something himself — and was not only inspired himself, but was able to awaken that motivation in Cooper, too. This scene, along with so many in this episode, really shows what a brilliant salesman Don is, despite his comment to Roger that he “learned his lesson” about his shortcomings in managing clients. -Ann
Betty: “I made an appointment with a divorce attorney and I suggest you do the same.” Don: “Maybe you should see a doctor. A good one this time.” Betty: “I’ve had a tough year. I felt I should tell you rather than let you get a phone call at work.” Don: “Well forget it. i’m not going to let you break up this family.” Betty: “I didn’t break up this family.”
So many power dynamics shifted in this episode, and in a number of cases we were shown a linked gaining of power by a woman and loss of power by a man. Betty, in pants again, is taking control of the situation. Much of the power regarding her marriage is now in her hands. Don’s attempts to stop this process felt like the angry, potentially (and later actually) violent lashing out of someone who knows how little power they have. Trying to medicalize a woman actually taking a stand, trying to put all the blame on Betty are pretty standard responses, but they’re also not very intelligent reactions. It was really satisfying to watch Betty work to liberate herself from this marriage. -Jos
Agreed. This episode could have been called “Don Eats Crow.” -Ann
Gawd, I loved watching Betty say all of this to him. Especially when Don suggested that she needed to see a doctor. Amazing. -Jessica
I thought it was so interesting that he brought up the idea of Betty going to see a doctor, because the last time Betty went to see a doctor, Don blatantly betrayed her trust by receiving updates from her doctor on what were supposed to be private sessions. Now, he’s bringing up the idea of seeing another doctor to invalidate her feelings, but in reality he’s just providing another piece of evidence for why she should leave. -Lori
I had that thought, too, Lori. It’s like, wow Don, perhaps referencing one of the many points when you broke Betty’s trust is not the best way to convince her not to divorce you. -Ann


Betty and Henry Francis meet with a divorce attorney. “You think the governor needs another scandal on the ticket?” “I know it’s hard to understand, but the state of New York doesn’t want anyone to get divorced. That’s why people go to Reno.”
…But of course Betty is not OK with the possibility of being a single mother. She needs to be married, anything else would be too far outside the realm of possibility. She’s making smart decisions from a very practical and capitalist standpoint, finding a man with status who can make the divorce process easier and provide for Betty and the children. I wonder how much Betty has actually thought about being married to Henry Francis – I think she’s chosen assumed honesty and respect instead of a relationship grounded in emotions. -Jos
This is the downside to the whole Betty-getting-a-backbone theme. She’s leaving one man she doesn’t really know for another she doesn’t really know. And I have to say, I found Henry’s insistence that she not try to fight for any money kind of unsettling. She’s supposed to depend entirely on him? -Jessica
Does anyone else think that Betty is going to spend six weeks with Henry in Nevada and realize this is a really bad idea? I don’t trust Henry at all. Yes, Don was bad. He might be worse, in different ways. -Ann
Peggy: “You just assume I’ll do whatever you say. Just follow you like some nervous poodle.” Don: “I’m not going to beg you.” Peggy: “Beg me? You didn’t even ask me.” Peggy: “I don’t want to make a career out of being there so you can kick me when you fail.”
This scene was full of win. -Vanessa
Could I possibly love Peggy any more? -Jos
The best part of Peggy not taking Don’s shit was that it worked and he came back begging. -Jessica
Don to Pete: “In fact, you’ve been ahead on a lot of things: aeronautics, teenagers, the Negro market. we need you to keep us looking forward. I do, anyway.”
OMG, how big was the boner Pete popped when Don said this? He was SO satisfied. I thought this and the convo with Peggy made for interesting parallels to Don’s conversation with Connie at the beginning of the episode. Both Pete and Peggy look up to Don so much — if not quite as a father figure, then as a big brother. Don telling them how much he respects and values them was what Don wanted (and didn’t get) out of his talk with Connie. -Ann
Don: “I need an attorney. Divorce.” Roger: “So it’s true, huh?” Don: “What are you talking about?” Roger: “Henry Francis.” Don: “Who?”
Just another example of how oblivious his is to Betty’s existence as a real person. It’s like the possibility of her having an identity outside of the Draper residence just isn’t fathomable to him, let alone her have someone else mean something to her. -Vanessa
I also love how the first question Don asks is if Betty slept with him. Uh, hello?! He’s been banging his way across this series for years and he’s concerned about her infidelity? Not to mention, Betty was unfaithful (remember her quickie in the bar?) but that wasn’t the real danger to their relationship. -Jessica
You misunderstand, Jess. Don is a man. It’s practically his birthright to screw any woman he wants to. Betty, on the other hand, is a woman. Her cheating is, like, an actual problem. -Ann
Yeah, I think it’s interesting that she’s choosing not to sleep with Henry until after she ends things with Don, especially considering she has been unfaithful to Don in the past. I think in her mind, waiting to have sex with Henry makes it more of a “respectable” transition (remember her reaction whenthe divorce lawyer assumes that she and Henry were already sleeping together), but it is also emblematic of how little she and Henry know each other (See Jess’ post on premarital sex). -Lori
Don is physically violent with Betty. Don: “Who the hell is Henry Francis?” Betty: “Why do you care?” Don: “Because you’re good and everyone else in the world is bad.” Don: “You’re so hurt, so brave with your little white nose in the air. All along you’ve been building a life raft.” Betty: “Get out.” Don: “You never forgave me.” Betty: “Forgave what? That I’ve never been enough?” Don: “You got everything you ever wanted. Everything, and you loved it. And now I’m not good enough for some spoiled mainline brat.” Don: “I’ll take the kids. God knows they’ll be better off.” Don: “You’re a whore.” Baby Gene cries. Betty: “I want you out of the house.”
The threat of violence has long been a part of the Draper’s marriage, being drunk and angry is not atypical behavior for Don, but watching him grab Betty and forcefully move her body was still jarring and incredibly painful to watch. I was impressed by how we got to see both character’s experience of this scene. Don’s actions almost made sense to him as he tried to bury everyone he’d done to Betty and rationalize away all the problems in their relationship as being about their class dynamic and Betty’s infidelity. From a pure storytelling perspective we now know why baby Gene cried at exactly the right moment so often this season – to prepare us for him crying, in the same room no less, when Betty needed it the most. -Jos
This scene was frightening. -Ann

Lane: “No one knows how this works.” Roger: “Let me make a phone call.”

This is the moment I jumped out of my seat and excitedly threw my arms in the air. -Jos
Jos, same here. I yelled, “Get Joan!!!” -Jessica
Don and Betty tell Bobby and Sally. Sally: “You said you’d always come home.” “Did you make him leave?” “You made him sleep in Gene’s room and it’s scary in there.”
I was struck by the fact that divorce falls far outside Sally and Bobby’s experience and knowledge of the world. Glenn is probably the only kid they know whose parents are divorced, and they never saw that process. Many of the characters on Mad Men are early adopters for their socioeconomic bracket, which means they’re moving forward without a road map. And this has been wreaking havoc on Sally and Bobby’s lives for a while now. -Jos
Don goes to Peggy. “I think I see you as an extension of myself.” “Because there are people out there who buy things, people like you and me. And something happened, something terrible, and the way that they saw themselves is gone. And nobody understands that, but you do. and that’s very valuable.”
Possibly the best sales pitch we’ve ever seen from Don? Yes. But I think he was being honest. In a position where all the power he worked for could be lost Don actually has to think about who he values and what he needs from other people. Peggy and Don are connected in many ways, but beyond that Peggy has proved her talent despite all the roadblocks that exist because of her gender. This is something Don identifies with to a certain degree, especially since he is thinking more and more consciously about the role his class history plays in his personal journey. Don is no feminist (duh!) but he identifies with the experience of overcoming major obstacles and succeeding based on talent and determination. -Jos
“Mrs. Harris, what a pleasure to see you.”
I could not agree more! -Jos
This. That is all. -Ann
Roger: “Peggy, can you get me some coffee?” Peggy: “No.”
LOVE. They’re in this new endeavor together and on equal ground. This is not to say that Peggy would have got Roger’s coffee if they were still at the office, but I don’t think she would have said no so bluntly – she knows they need her, and the office gender dynamics no longer apply. At least for now. -Vanessa
Amazing. I just hope that’s a marker for what office relationships are going to be like moving forward. -Jessica
It was interesting he didn’t ask Joan. Somehow, I don’t think she would have had the same answer as Peggy. -Ann
Trudy listens in on Pete, Don, and Roger’s conversation, brings lunch.
In an episode that emphasized Peggy, Betty, and Joan’s processes of liberation from some aspects of gender oppression it was an interesting reminder to see Trudy playing the devoted, supportive wife, completely committed to her husband’s career. I was reminded of the Heineken dinner party and the extreme contrast with the Betty we’ve seen lately. And I’m not just talking about the switch from Wonder Bread dress to pants! -Jos
Agreed, Jos. Though I did think that scene showed how Trudy is – at least to some extent – involved in Pete’s decision-making. Her calling from the room to speak to him when he was being nasty to Roger and Don was a not-so-subtle hint on her part. -Jessica
Her calling from the other room was amazing! Did anyone else catch the knowing glance that Roger and Don exchanged after that? -Ann
Don to Betty: “I hope you get what you’ve always wanted.”
What does Betty want? She feels like she’s been liberated right now, but I am really curious to watch her process next season. She knows the marriage to Don was not acceptable, but I don’t see Henry Francis making her happy either. Betty has taken huge steps this season, and in the context of her life she’s gone through an incredible feminist awakening, at least as it relates to her personal needs. But that doesn’t mean she’s not still a problematic character, not still attached to certain markers of class privilege. More and more I’m hoping we get to see Mad Men continue into the 70s so we can following Betty’s process (and that of many other characters – I still want to see more of Sal in queer New York!) -Jos
In the same vein, I think the point of this statement is that Betty has no clue what she really wants. She has been raised to want certain things. She knows she doesn’t want other things. But her true self and her real goals and desires are something she seems pretty alienated from, except in fleeting moments. -Ann
Check out this fascinating interview with Matthew Weiner. A preview:

The Daily Beast: While there have been cracks in Don and Betty’s (January Jones) marriage before, their marriage appears now to be well and truly over; is there any hope for the two of them to mend the wounds they’ve inflicted on each other?

Weiner:
It’s so unambiguous to me that this marriage is over, but the audience seems to cling to the idea that they should be together because we want to believe in those things. The marriage was not good. It was built on a lie and the lie was exposed. In the end, Don coming clean really damaged his relationship with her, more than the lying, her seeing who he actually was. I do believe when he says his mother was a 22-year-old prostitute that Betty is looking at something that is very far from what she had planned for herself… That was the whole story of the season. When Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley) came on to her… a switch went off in her head of what was missing in her life, which was a true, romantic attachment. In the end, that combination with her gut feeling that something wasn’t right in her marriage and finding out the truth, they don’t belong together anymore, kids or not. You’ve got to take it pretty seriously when someone’s flying to Reno to get a divorce.

Carla stays with Bobby and Sally.
Betty goes away for six weeks but Don is still around – and the person who takes care of the Draper children is Carla. Probably the most consistent presence in their lives and someone whose parenting role is completely undervalued. Again, I’m expecting a lot for Carla’s storyline in the future. -Jos
“Shahdaroba means the future is much better than the past.”
Now I have a better understanding of why Mad Men played so much with genre this season – to prepare us for a major stylistic shift to accompany the shift in our character’s lived reality. The show has luxuriated in long pauses, open spaces reminiscent of film sets that looked more like theater sets, as we’ve watched emotions slowly fight through extreme repression and come to the surface. This episode was fast, witty (has Roger Sterling ever been funnier?), and immediate (plus it paid homage to The Apartment, one of my favorite films). That end of the world I’ve been talking about all season? As Cooper pointed out it happened at the end of last season, but now the aftermath has finally fallen into place and our characters are standing on different ground, seeing from different perspectives, and approaching their world in a new way. Miss Farrell would fit right in now (if we actually got to know her instead of see her through the eyes of characters who weren’t there yet). Welcome to the 60s – capitalism style. We’re still following some incredibly privileged characters, and their experience of 1963 on will be very different from the history of hippies that fills the pop culture imagination. Betty, Joan, and Peggy have all gone through some form of liberation struggle, but they are all still very much within a capitalist system, filling new but acceptable roles. I’m really excited to watch them navigate these new positions and discover that parts of their psychic pain and experience of oppression have not gone away and new challenges will continue to be revealed. -Jos

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38 Comments

  1. Posted November 10, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I think the look on Betty’s face was really telling when Henry told her not to persue a settlement from Don. She did not look convinced, and I think she’s at the point where she might not want to be dependent on the man in her life anymore. It left her almost stranded the first time. Once bitten, twice shy and all that. I know it’s horrible, but I want her to make things work with Don. Call me a sucker, but I see him changing, and I think she would love the man he’s turing in to. Unfortunetly there’s a tonne of toxic history between the two of them, so it’d be nigh impossible to overcome. le sigh.
    I thought it was interesting in the totally different ways Don approached Peggy and Peter to join in the “revolution”. I think Don assumed Peggy would come, because anything will be better for her than where she is. She has everything to gain and nothing to lose. But he was dead wrong, and she made sure he knew it. I pretty much squealed when she told him so… and then started secretly hoping he would come back and persuade her to stay. That scene was touching… I thought he was going to cry… and then Peggy looked about to cry, and then I wanted to cry. Jeez.
    Pete was just easy. Ego stroke –> done. But I love that Trudy is like, secretly his puppet master. She’s gently guided him through the last 3 years of his career, and they both know it. I can only imagine the ripples in the business world if Trudy was unleashed fully into it. She’s an amazing politcal player, and never ceases to amaze me.

  2. Rubbersoul4163
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I LOVED Peggy’s coffee refusal. I think the reason Sterling did not ask Joan is because Joan is probably the only woman he truly respects, despite his past sexual relationship with her. Joan understands him, and he understands her. Peggy is seen as just another woman to boss around. Glad she doesn’t take that shit.
    Jos, loved your analysis of Don’s pitch to Peggy. I felt the same way. He does see their commonality, even if he doesn’t express it in feminist terms.

  3. ticker
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone else ever feel like Pete and Trudy are about to either 1) burst into a stylized song and dance number or 2) suddenly find themselves caught up in a madcap caper where they have to solve a mystery and possibly go undercover or 3) both?
    I love these roundups–to me Mad Men has to be seen through this lens and I’m so happy Feministing provides it. (And that I finally got registered! For years it would not let me.) I live for the day Betty picks up a copy of Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen. Maybe she and Joan become nice N.O.W. ladies and Peggy joins W.I.T.C.H.
    Dear god am I about to write feminist fan fiction?

  4. Chelsa
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Let’s be clear though: I don’t think Don’s an awesome dude, I just love the idea of the anti-hero finding redemption. You know, “the good in all of us” kind of thinking.
    A little cliché, but it makes my insides warm to think we can become better people through the lessons of life.

  5. rose0red
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    “…Don obviously took to heart what Connie said about building something himself –”
    I was reminded of the hallucination scene a few episodes ago where Don’s father berates him for “selling bullshit,” not making anything. Looks like Don has found a way to do this job and still feel okay about it. But will it be enough when essentially he is *still* spinning bullshit for a living, in spite of the fact that his name is on the letterhead.

  6. rose0red
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    “…And I have to say, I found Henry’s insistence that she not try to fight for any money kind of unsettling. She’s supposed to depend entirely on him?”
    I’m sure that’s the plan, which says a lot about Henry’s attitude going into this marriage. Didn’t Betty receive a large estate from her dad? The lawyer made it a point of saying that Gene didn’t want any of his money to go to Don. Between the estate and spousal/child support, she might have been independent. It’s just a guess, but I’ll bet Mr. Francis couldn’t handle that.

  7. rose0red
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    “…anyone else think that Betty is going to spend six weeks with Henry in Nevada and realize this is a really bad idea?”
    No, I think she’ll go through with it. Even if she could be independent, she is looking for a man to take care of her. Don’s out, Gene’s dead, Henry Francis is it.
    “…Don was bad. [Henry] might be worse, in different ways…”
    He might be worse in all the same ways. Because politicians are totally known for never lying or cheating on their wives.

  8. rose0red
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    “Don goes to Peggy. “I think I see you as an extension of myself.”"
    … then says, “And you’re NOT.”
    I wonder if this realization came from his marital difficulty. One could argue that he finally realized that Betty was not merely and extension of himself, and applied that knowledge to his relationship with Peggy.
    Of course one could also argue that Don’s perspective regarding his work life has always been clearer than home life, and that he was able to mentally separate Peggy’s identity from his when she verbally smacked him down, while his attitudes about his wife (and wives in general) might have remained less changed.

  9. rose0red
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    “…It was interesting he didn’t ask Joan [to get him coffee]. Somehow, I don’t think she would have had the same answer as Peggy.”
    I think he knew that wouldn’t fly with Joan in this situation. She’d find a charming, flirtatious way to say “Get it yourself, jackass.” ;)

  10. Chelsa
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Agreed. As soon as Don said that to Peggy, my first thought was “He’s saying all the things to her he should be saying to Betty…”

  11. DRush76
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what Matt Weiner has in store for Betty, next season. Nor do I dislike Henry Francis, like many other fans (check out the vitriol on TWOP site and many other blogs). So, I’m not going to assume that Betty will not find happiness with Henry. Nor will I assume that she will. I’ll just to see what Season 4 will bring.
    Both Pete and Peggy look up to Don so much — if not quite as a father figure, then as a big brother.
    This is why I am NOT happy that both of them are still working under Don. Despite Pete’s manuever to encourage his clients to follow him and Peggy’s bold accusation of Don’s mistreatment of her . . . they STILL want his approval or respect. Frankly, I don’t think that Don Draper is worth the desire. I really wish they had accepted Duck’s offer back in “The Fog”. God only knows how many seasons will pass before they realize they do not need Don to emotionally fulfill them in the workplace.
    Even if Don has temporarily acknowledged that he needs them, who knows how long this attitude will last. It never lasted with Betty, when he tried to play the good husband twice.

  12. Toongrrl
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I hope Mad Men even goes all the way to the 90′s!!!

  13. littlearthistorian
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m still holding onto the last scene on the plane, where Betty is a seat or so away from Henry holding the baby. I’ve said this before— they look so detached from one another, almost like strangers on the plane instead of two people who aren’t very far away from getting to be together despite previously impossible conditions. Their body language doesn’t even link them together. Is this intentional? Are they afraid of being seen together in public before her divorce is over with? I don’t know. I have always seen the baby as a symbol of Betty and Don’s commitment– they got back together when she got pregnant– and I think it’s telling that she did take the baby with her, but left the other kids home. Yes, yes, I understand that in the 60s, babies couldn’t be away from mothers for that long, but still. It felt like she was on autopilot, sitting there with the baby perfectly perched in her lap, vacant look behind her eyes and everything. I don’t know if this was evident for anyone else, but didn’t it just seem like she was disappointed when Don said he wasn’t going to fight her during that phone call? And speaking of Carla, there was talk last week about how she was sitting on the couch with Betty, something she otherwise wouldn’t have been allowed to do. I thought it was telling that Carla was left in charge of the kids, and was sitting right on the couch with them watching television. She even had a certain swagger about her, I think– like hey, you know what, I’m in charge and I’m gonna do everything in my power to care for them. Kiss my grits.

  14. Hara
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    “I found Henry’s insistence that she not try to fight for any money kind of unsettling. She’s supposed to depend entirely on him? -Jessica”
    Me too, it’s a set up for abuse.
    I can see Betty running to Don at some point in the future after being subjected to worse, more controlling abuse from the politician. Politicians and Ad men…Betty is attracted to professional liars!
    The props in this episode, in particular Betty’s ashtray and cigarette case, gave me flashbacks.
    Loved the not getting coffee bit, it reminded me of 9 to 5 (the movie) and the era when women were refusing to take on domestic chores and food / drink service as part of their office work.

  15. Hara
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    re Trudy
    I confess I have been jealous of the men I have worked with who have lovely sweet wives that bring cookies they baked for us.
    The world still has plenty of Trudy’s
    I’d like that kind of caring, sweet support from a male partner.
    oh, but, then I also realize that Trudy might just be adding herself to the scene because she doesn’t trust Pete to handle the situation on his own..
    That, coming form a male partner, would piss me off.

  16. conductress
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I think Henry Francis’ comments on the divorce settlement may have been Betty’s first real feminist awakening, or at least a nudge in that direction. She says she wants what Don “owes” her, because she views her marriage as a partnership and her tasks as housewife and mother as work. Henry Francis say he doesn’t want her to owe Don anything, because he clearly thinks Betty has contributed nothing worth financial compensation to the marriage. And the look on her face, to me, said that she understood that and didn’t like it.

  17. rose0red
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Another thing I thought of: do we know nothing at all about Henry’s relationship history? He is an older guy- I’m curious if he is a divorcee, a widower, or if he has remained single all this time. If he was married before, I wonder how he treated his wives. And if he’s single, I wonder if that was a career related decision, or something else.
    He was awfully willing to take on this woman and another man’s three children, seemingly without knowing them very well. Along with the fact that he seems to want her to be completely dependent on him… well it just seems extremely suspicious to me.

  18. Tara K.
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Re: The scene where Don & Betty fight after he finds out about Henry Francis
    I understand why a lot of people found this jarring, but I thought underneath the action of the violence there was a really soiled, awesome truth: these are two despicable people. They ‘re not always horrible; they are often quite likeable. But they are both selfish and bad in some ways. To see Betty rumpled, uncoifed and throwing class in Don’s face (he says she thinks she’s too good for him and she replies, “That’s right!”) and Don degrading her — this was an undoing of them that I appreciated.
    Re: Don goes to Peggy’s apartment to make his pitch.
    What an amazing scene to parallel the scene with Betty! He approaches both of them as women in his life who are defying his authority, but the exchange he had with Peggy was almost a do-over of his scene with Betty. Similarly, Peggy responds to Don with more emotion than Betty has ever shown. Both women are angry with him for abusing his power in some way, but yet we see such different sides of him. In many ways, I think Betty & Don are both learning to have human connections.
    Re: Genres
    Didn’t this episode feel like an espionage thriller?
    Betty’s desires & moving from one emotionless marriage to another
    What Betty wants, as far as I can see, is image; she has yet to form internal desires because she has yet to develop an identity that is not externally projected. And Henry Francis is clearly going to use her and her three cherubic children for political theatre; she will continue to be a prop in staging just as she was with Don. (Baby Gene rings too familiar with Baby Palin.) Similarly, she wants that stage — it’s an extension of her modeling. Husbands are her prop. Again, it’s the issue of marital currency for the women in the show.

  19. rose0red
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Trudy is similar to Joan in these tactics: she is using the traditional feminine role to exert subtle control in the situation.
    Peggy correctly pointed out a few episodes ago that not all women are able take that path (to Joan: “We can’t all be you”). If the woman in question isn’t born conventionally beautiful, if she doesn’t/can’t adhere to the culture’s beauty standards, if she doesn’t possess a good amount of charisma she’s not likely to get far with the “Joan method”. And while Trudy is no Joan she has her own charm and enough privilege to pull it off.
    I get the impression that if Trudy were born later, she’d be using her formidable instincts to further her own career as opposed to her husband’s.

  20. rose0red
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    I was disappointed about this, too. I was expecting/hoping for a cliffhanger in which Don loses everything- Pete, Peggy, and Betty (with all three characters returning next season, of course). Granted, that might have made it difficult for the writers for next season…

  21. Yekaterina
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    I wonder where the next season will pick up (and when?? when is the next season, does anybody know??).
    On one hand they can pick up right where they left off, but they can also skip ahead. I almost wish they do – I bet they’ll be showing Don, back in his successful dysfunctional exec position (diff agency), and Betty, internally dissatisfied in an unequal, crumbling marriage (diff husband). Somehow I want to see it all over again.
    PS – I was totally in Francis’ camp until the “I don’t want you to owe him anything” (AKA: I want you to owe me everything)comment. This does not bode well for Betty.

  22. mltmlt
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I love Trudy and I love Pete and I don’t care what anyone says…when Pete took the dress from the Au Pair – he put that shit on. And those two can dance.
    God Bless Pete

  23. rose0red
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    I have a soft spot for Pete and Trudy, too.

  24. DRush76
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    “This does not bode well for Betty.”
    That depends upon how Weiner handles the Betty/Henry romance, doesn’t it? It’s amazing how everyone is predicting that it will end in disaster, because a) they wanted Betty to become a single, divorced woman or b) they want Betty to reconcile with Don. I wonder if Weiner will satisfy the viewers’ dislike of Henry . . . or take the story in another direction.
    By the way, I read these passages from THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR blog about the Draper breakup:
    Later, when Betty musters the initiative to demand a divorce, she cites this kiss as evidence that she no longer loves him; it becomes clear that it’s not the lying, cheating and mistreatment that’s breaking up the Draper household. It’s that Betty can’t love Dick Whitman. We’ve been waiting for Don’s bravado, philandering and arrogance to get him in trouble, but ultimately it is his frailties and vulnerabilities that cost him his marriage. This may not condone some of Don’s actions, but it does give us a glimpse at the reasons why Dick Whitman had to become Donald Draper.”
    I am at a loss, here. Is Luke de Smet trying to blame Betty’s inability to accept the “Dick Whitman” persona as the reason for the Draper breakup, instead of Don’s marital mistakes? But she has been dealing with “Dick Whitman” since the beginning of their marriage – namely a man incapable of maintaining an emotional tie with her, the lying, intimidation, the condescending manner and especially the infidelity. That was Dick Whitman as much as the cowardice and vulnerability. Don Draper is simply a name he had stolen to get out of the Army.

  25. Jackson
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    This show has dropped in quality over the past seasons. The final episode did show some hope, though.
    At least that obnoxious child (Betty) is out of the picture.

  26. MarissaAO
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I wanted to yell at Francis and Don: Child and spousal support is not a favour, it’s a legal entitlement! P

  27. Renee
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I gotta say I agree with you 100% on Peggys refusal to fetch coffee. I actually cheered out loud. Throughout the entire show we have watched her gain confidence in herself and make decisions that make her happy. By saying no she was asserting her personhood in a way not other character on the show does.

  28. k8
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Am I the only one who thought Roger was trying to get Peggy out of the room so he could have a little privacy with Joan?

  29. Brittany
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I really need to watch this show!
    Is there any place online to watch it? Can I buy it on DVD?

  30. DRush76
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I have discovered something disturbing on other blogs and message boards about Betty and Don’s divorce. Many people – especially men – are placing the blame on Betty’s shoulders. Their reactions reminded me of children who blame their mothers and excuse their fathers for ending a marriage.
    It’s like the same old tale, isn’t it? In the case of adultery (especially among celebrities), the woman gets most of the blame, whether she is married or not. And now, it’s the woman, namely Betty, who is receiving most of the blame for the Draper breakup, while many are trying to make excuses for Don.

  31. DRush76
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    At least that obnoxious child (Betty) is out of the picture.
    No, she’s not. And the other obnoxious children – Don, Roger, Joan, Pete and Peggy – are still on the show.

  32. Elizabeth
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand why people keep referring to Betty as “an obnoxious child” and a “spoiled brat”. Most of the time when she acts with childish behaviour, it is in reaction to people (mostly Don) treating her with disrespect, and she doesn’t have any other way to respond. She hasn’t been taught how to communicate in her interpersonal relationships, because no one did that back then. When she acts this way I feel sorry for her because no one has ever taught her any alternative.
    And it is NOT spoiled to want your husband to communicate with you, or to want to do something other than sit around and look pretty. I don’t believe she’s asking for anything else.

  33. LexiconLuthor
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    OH YES.
    fantastic cross-exit on that scene prior to Pete gathering his accounts…they are really a fun duo to watch, even if I hate Pete.

  34. LexiconLuthor
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    It had an “oceans 11″ feel to it…the quick banter, the coming together of the plot, every one seeing this fantastic opportunity and bartering for their place in it (pete wants part of the glory, peggy wants the respect)
    it was whirlwind and fantastic and a very satisfying end to this season.

  35. YouCan2
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    You can download on iTunes.

  36. DRush76
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    “Most of the time when she acts with childish behaviour, it is in reaction to people (mostly Don) treating her with disrespect, and she doesn’t have any other way to respond.”
    To be honest, just about all of the major characters have engaged in childish behavior more than once. I just never understood why characters like Betty and Pete were the only ones accused of behaving in such a manner.

  37. darwinfox
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    I think what he’s saying is that the only thing that changed right before she decided to divorce him is that she found out who he was and where he came from. Don had always been a philandering, distant, condescending ass, and Betty had always known it to one degree or another.
    There’s something to be said for the idea that she’d finally just had enough of his shit. But what I think he’s saying, and I agree, is that status and class are very important to Betty, and she could not overlook for Dick Whitman what she always has for Don Draper.

  38. Fresh Peaches
    Posted November 12, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    He has a grown daughter who is friends with Roger’s daughter, so he was probably married. It hasn’t been revealed if he’s widowed or divorced.

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