While I didn’t love this episode, the young versus old, male versus female conflicts we’ve been observing all season come into full focus. And as Walton mentioned, the season-long “the education of Peggy Olson” continues…
I was especially struck by what Walton observed in his “wounded knee” post regarding the gradual disappearance of people like Bert and Roger this season. Just last week he wrote:
It is significant that Roger and Cooper have been absent, invisible. They are part of the fading, receding mode.
And in this episode, good ol’ Ida Blankenship (who we were all getting sick of anyway) ACTUALLY ‘RECEDES’ in death. How prescient of our gimpy co-blogger to basically predict this. And my god, watching the secretaries put the blanket over her in the background of that meeting - what a great use of the glass conference room.
But this episode was really about the girls. Photographer Joyce describes at the end of the episode the idea of a woman being a container for a man. But finally, now that we’re in 1965 and in the midst of great social change, women get a chance to turn their backs on being someone else’s container. But with great difficulty or sacrifice. Faye can’t deal with children well because she chose work over family (signaling that she believes it’s a linear choice); Peggy compares her professional struggle with the plight of blacks, and she’s not wrong.
Ever the traditionalists, Ida spent her life answering phones for other people and dies in that position. Joan was the “container” to Roger’s “vegetable soup,” holding him and warming him all these years, but what did she get out of it in her real life? He married another secretary while she got stuck with an absent failure of a doctor who will probably die in Southeast Asia.
Sally’s story is sadder than ever; her situation has basically set her up to be someone who either hates men or seeking the attention of men for the rest of her life. Sure is tough being a girl.
-Besides that rum-topped french toast, Don didn’t have a drink all episode, did he?
-Is anyone actually going to publish Roger’s book?
-Let’s say the mugging didn’t happen. Would Joan have hooked up with Roger? I wish we knew how their affair ended. It seemed she basically let Jane have him, but would he have left his wife for Joan as he did Jane? I realize I’ve fallen into a hypothetical abyss here…
To devoted caretakers everywhere,