Some MAD MEN questions about Betty & Peggy

Spoilers likely, but not from me.

Mad Men won the Emmy for Best Dramatic Series lat night, which pleases me so much I am cancelling* three of the seventeen acts of bloodcurdling evil I had planned for this today. As I only began watching the show this season, I have a couple of questions I’m hoping one of you guys can answer.

  1. I saw a snippet of a scene from a first season episode in which Betty Draper comes to visit him at the office. From the context it’s clealy the weekend, and she is clearly in the midst of some sort of emotional upset. She talks to a young boy sitting in a car outside the office, who says that he is not permitted to talk to her. Presumably this was the child of one of Don’s coworkers. What’s the background on this scene?

  2. In last night’s rerun, Peggy Olson’s harridan of a sister goes to confession and tells her priest she hates Peggy because the latter never has to pay for her sins. (Yes, I get that the sister is just trying to ruin Peggy’s nascent friendship with the priest.) Among other things, the harridan aves Peggy had a child out of wedlock by a married man. It’s been my impression that Peggy’s child was sired by Pete Campbell before his marriage. Am I wrong there? Also, does the sister believe that Peggy was knocked up by Don?

*Well, not so much cancelling as postponing until Tuesday. As for the rest–sorry, but my minion have orders to continue giving Ann Coulter hourly wet willies until we get some Christina Hendricks nakedity.

I think you’re misremembering the scene with Betty and the boy in the car. The boy was Glenn, the son of a neighbor, and the car was in the parking lot of a grocery store. Previously, Betty was babysitting Glenn and he walked in on her when she was in the bathroom. And he had a little crush on Betty. Glenn’s mom was the attractive single (divorced? separated?) brunette who was busy campaigning for Kennedy. Anyway, Betty and the mom ran into each other at the store. The mom said something, Betty took umbrage and smacked her. I wish I could remember what she said – I think she accused Betty of being inappropriate with Glenn.

As for Peggy and the baby, it’s my impression too that Pete is the father. Pete wasn’t married yet when he slept with Peggy. But maybe that’s what Peggy told her family so they wouldn’t pester her to name the father. “He’s married, leave me alone.”

Glenn’s mom did, quite correctly, accuse Betty of being inappropriate with Glenn. Specifically, after the bathroom thing, he went on to Betty about how pretty she is, and asked her for a lock of her hair, and she gave it to him. The whole thing was profoundly icky. And yet still not as profoundly icky as her leaning on a random ten year old for emotional support.

They’ve never explicitly stated that Pete is Peggy’s baby’s father, but I can’t imagine that he’s not. It was the night of his bachellor party that they slept together.

Did Peggy’s sister specifically say that the man was married? I don’t remember that.

Quite possible. I have never seen the entire scene.

What is the bathroom thing? And why was Betty in need of emotional support at that point? Was she already suspecting Don’s serial infidelity at that point?


Aye. In the confessional, she very clearly says, “She seduced a married man.” Of course, the sister is clearly a vile bitch, so it’s conceivable she added that bit to make Peggy look worse.

As **AuntiePam **mentioned, Glenn walked in on Betty in the bathroom when she was babysitting him. It wasn’t an accidental thing, he walked in and wouldn’t leave until she got off the toilet and nudged him out of the room.

As for the incident with the kid in the car, I don’t know if she was suspicious of Don at that point, so much as just generally dissatisfied with her life.

And yeah, Peggy’s sister is a vile bitch indeed.

…acts of evil?

Are you saying that getting Christina Hendricks naked is not an evil aim, or that giving Coulter wet willies is not an evil means?

Back to the thread topic: has Don’s relationship with Peggy raised any eyebrows around the office? I get a vibe that, apart from his children, she’s the only person he’s incontrovertibly good to, but I could also see how people might assume he’s doing her, or has done her, on the sly.

I’m a heterosexual woman, and I still think that naked Christina Hendricks is a purely good thing.

Christina Hendricks naked is never an evil aim. :wink: (And wet willies? Evil wet willies? Needs more explosives!)

They’re keeping quiet about their assumptions. I think a lot of them are half scared of Don, even when they’re not face to face with him.

There was more speculation and open talk about Peggy in S1. I don’t remember the details, but didn’t Pete take a poke at one of the guys and it had something to do with Peggy?

Speaking of fear of the show’s resident anti-hero:

Does anyone else get a potential wife & child abuser vibe from him? I don’t mean that the show is necessarily heading in that direction; I mean that sometimes you can practically see the geas turning in his head as he does the mental gymnastics necessary to keep himself from lashing out? It’s not just the scene with Betty pushing him, and then Don pushing back much harder, that I refer to. It’s any time he’s frustrated with her or the kids.

Once when Betty asked him to discipline the children, Don told her that his father used to hit him, and he’d never do that to his kids. I think he was sincere. He may have a hard time holding back, but the desire to not be like his father, and to leave all that behind, will probably always keep him from doing anything worse than throwing a toy at the wall.

I don’t get that vibe. The American Dream life that Don has built for himself wouldn’t allow for wife-beating. When I see him restraining himself, it feels like he’s just trying to hold it all together and not blurt it all out, get out from under all the lies.

In this season’s first episode, the other Mad Men were speculating that Peggy & Don had a “special” relationship because he allowed her some time off just after her promotion. (And the birth of her baby.) Idiot Pete speculated she’d gone to a fat farm. The relationship* is* special. We saw a flashback to Don visiting her in the hospital & he called her after he wrecked his car on that drunken jaunt with Bobbie. But it’s not a sexual and/or romantic relationship.

One remaining mystery: After we visited Peggy’s family, many of us thought they were raising her kid. But the flashback also showed Anita heavily pregnant. So the toddler may be Peggy’s nephew.

Something that is not a mystery: Anita’s “confession” was made to convince the new priest that Peggy was an evil seductress. Bitch.

And here’s Christina Hendricks on the red carpet.

My impression as well. But given the show’s subtlety, there may be more to it than that. It’s conceivable that she THINKS she was telling the truth–that she has deceived herself into believing what she told the priest, because she cannot bear to think of herself as being that bitchy. My distinct impression of this show is that no one in this story has simple motivations.

Yeah, that’s nice & all, but she still has clothes on. I’m afraid that I’ll have to continue giving Coulter those wet willies. :frowning:

I agree that Anita isn’t only a bitch. All of us can be bitches at times.

But the show even managed to make me like Bobbie. Just a little bit…

I don’t think would beat Betty or the kids. As mentioned, he said he’ll never hit his kids since his father beat him, and all he could do was dream about the day he could kill him. I do think Don’s guilty of mentally abusing Betty though- he is needlessly cruel and antagonistic to her, and it almost seems like he delights in f*cking with her head- belittling her therapy sessions and complaining that she’s “a child”, but then holding her emotionally at arm’s length and showing her no warmth. The only real love we’ve seen him show her is in snapshots, during his Carousel presentation to the Kodak executives. There was one episode in S1 where the two of them are in bed and Betty sort of poured her heart out about how much she loves him, how she thinks about him all day and can’t wait until they’re laying in bed together, etc. He basically rolled over and fell asleep.

Speak for yourself. I am the very exemplar of nobility, generosity, mercifulness, and lovingkindness, and anyone who says otherwise will be beaten to death.