Mad-Men: 4.09 "The Beautiful Girls" (open spoilers)

Spoiler-free first post.

Poor Mrs. Blankenship. tsk.

During this episode, I found myself thinking “we’re really about due for a Pete episode”. And then I thought “whoah, when did that become an interesting idea?”

I’m a little surprised that Peggy’s lesbian friend was so open about it to Stan.

Was anyone else thinking what I was thinking during Roger & Joan’s public sexing? Joan’s gone off the pill, doesn’t look Roger stopped to put a condom on, is Weiner really going there? :eek: It’s so predictable it’s gotta be a red herring, right?

I’m really going to miss Mrs. Blankenship and her old lady ways, but if taking her out of the picture means more Megan, I have to say I’m for it.

I had a kind of strange thought as I watched the scene in which most of the major female cast was standing in reception as Betty retrieved Peggy: “Original series Star Trek uniforms make a lot of sense, looking at these costumes.” Especially Megan and Joan- their yellow and red dresses, respectively, plus brooches, were like the office wear versions of command and operations Trek outfits.

I just realized, this is the first time since season 1 (when Don was late on family portrait day) that Peggy & Betty have been in the same scene. Betty & Joan haven’t been onscreen together since last season (pregnant Betty visited the office). I think this is the first time in the entire series that all 3 lead actresses have actually been in the same scene. And it’s probally the last time too since it’s really hard to think of a logical reason why Betty, Joan, & Peggy would all be in the same room at the same time.

Favorite line: “I’d ask my secretary to do it, but she’s dead.”

Hadn’t noticed before what a swan neck Megan has. I wonder why Sally liked her so much when she didn’t like Faye.

For that matter why does Sally hate being at home so much? Just a drama queen, or confused child of divorce, or do you think there are other things at play?

I wonder if Joan will be pregnant now. And did anybody else think she’s even sexier with the librarian glasses? And great gift, btw.

I think they are going there. Big question will be whether Joan has a third abortion or has the baby and tries to pass it off as hubby’s. Depending on how long ago he left for basic* the timing of the conception could be suspicious. I doubt very much that Joan or Roger would be leaving their current spouses, at least in the short term.

  • Hard to tell how much time has passed since the last episode, though judging by the post-coital scene Don does seem to have had the time to work off a good portion of his mid-section.

Because she’s not blonde. Mom is blonde.

Because her mother is a cold fish who doesn’t love her and who abuses her physically. Because the man living in her house is not her dad - the parent she really loves.

Perhaps Henry is not the saint that Betty thinks he is. Sally very strongly expressed a desire to stay with Don and not go home.

That was good, but my favorite was:

“She died the way she lived- surrounded by the people she answered phones for.”

You think she’s afraid of Henry, when BETTY is there?

I loved the final couple of scenes at the end, with Don surrounded by all those women taking care of his daughter, and then the final scene of Joan, Peggy, and Faye in the elevator. It was sort of a retort to the first season’s postulation that every woman is one of two types: Jackie or Marilyn. All of those women have different personalities and can’t be crammed into a binary.

I also thought it was notable that Peggy asked Joan and Faye to hold the door for her. Those last few scenes were packed pretty full with symbolism, and in their own ways both Joan and Faye contributed to opening the doors that Peggy would later pass through.

And that concludes my Media Studies 101 assignment.

Was I alone in thinking Sally was subtly, oddly, and inappropriately sexualized in this episode. It was the way she was shot showing her legs, I think. It made me a little uncomfortable and made me wonder what is going on in her life in the suburbs. (Though unlike Sampiro I won’t say anything against Henry.)

I agree, Blankenship made me laugh, but Megan makes me quiver.

“Other” things? No. Sally’s problems are very very common.

That’s a good observation. I was just going to say it’s because it’s a woman who is neither her mother, nor her father’s girlfriend.

This is a good answer, and this kind of thing is pretty common for divorce situations. There’s no mystery here.

Exactly. These kinds of difficulties are so common for divorce. You really have to reach for the child-molesting-step-father right away?

I didn’t notice that. Since everyone is going Freudian here, let me paraphrase and say that sometimes a kid is just a kid.

Sally liked Megan because she wasn’t telling Sally things that Sally did not want to hear (i.e., that she had to go home), and because she doesn’t perceive Megan as one of the women her dad is sleeping with.

That child psych has her work cut out for her.

Guessing from the notoriously misleading preview blips Joan goes to visit Dr. Rape at basic training, via bus, next episode. With that and the Roger thing this episode, I’m now convinced he’s doomed. It’ll leave widowed, pregnant Joan behind, forced to keep working at SCDP of course.

The title of this one should have been Bad Day At The Office.

I’m a little surprised Dr. Faye “isn’t good with kids”. One would think she would come to the rescue, and she didn’t. Or couldn’t But that’s what’s interesting about MM, it’s not a typical soapy series and the stories don’t always go where you think they will.

Do you think Don and Dr. Faye’s thing is over? She’s going to ‘call him’ with plans for the weekend - do you think she will?

Sally DID look older in this episode, she’s not a little kid anymore. But I don’t think she has any problem with Henry, other than he’s not daddy - Don is Princess’ Daddy, who has the power to whisk her away from her mother’s domain. How many times in movies and on TV have we seen daddy’s girls fantasizing about just dad and her, living together alone, fending for themselves, and having a life of fun? I hope MM is on long enough for us to find out what becomes of Sally.

Ms. Blankenship indeed did come a long, long way from her birth in a barn in 1898. She really was ‘an astronaut’. But all she had in the end was a niece, and Bert. Died in harness. RIP, Ms. B.

Peggy brushed off her lesbian friend - is that the end of that relationship?

You weren’t the only one who noticed. Maybe we’re both equally weird, but that’s exactly what I thought during the breakfast scene in those words–subtly, oddly, and inappropriately sexualized.

They had a lot more makeup on the actress; pinker, glossier lips…

I noticed it.

Sally also came out wearing what looked like one of Don’s tshirts as a pajama top. That’s usually a morning after typething. Presumably she does visit Don’s place enough to have at least pajamas there.