“Did you get pears?” asked Don’s elderly neighbor at this episode’s end. He must’ve known that Mad Men’s pairs are falling apart.
Sunday’s featured players, Pete, Peggy, Don and Allison, showed us how to break up and move on, and the very different paths that will lead you. Let’s start with Peggy and Pete, whose longstanding relationship is ending up with something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
The old: Pete’s future. The end of the episode shows Pete inside SCDP offices with a crowd of older men while Peggy dashes off with The New, a group of young professionals going for some lunchtime fun. The borrowed may be their consistent composure and maturity, but The Blue is Pete’s wardrobe and life.
Pete’s opening suit is a whole new shade of blue–electric. He’s looking a little Bowie for 1965, but better Bowie than boring, I always say. He then retreats to his blue office, feeling blue all over for having to dump Clearasil. In his office he finds Harry wearing his first pair of black pants ever. They talk about bras and babes, mentioning Jean Seberg’s signature striped shirt.
Pete gets over his blue phase after finding out Trudy is pregnant, which helps him turn losing Clearasil into more money from his father-in-law’s company. Pete wears a black suit for the episode’s remainder, and pregnant Trudy is still chic in a New Look cut dress with a brown pattern that was like a non-digital McQueen and later an emerald green dress with statement buttons. She consistently has the world’s most perfect and elaborate twist in her hair. We hope the Campbell baby is a girl, only to see how Trudy dresses her little one.
Peggy starts out blue too, in a ruffled blouse, but later changes back into her yellow tie neck blouse and navy vest from a previous episode. She holds her own with the men and awkwardly tries on Faye’s wedding ring, maybe she wants to get hitched with her awkward boyfriend? Or maybe not. Peggy takes up Life Magazine’s Joyce on an offer to a downtown party featuring nude photos and experimental film. Peggy wears horizontal yellow and green stripes, with a knee length skirt and knee socks, while Joyce rocks a center part, which I hope catches on, and a white coat and slacks. Her lesbian vibe is apparent from the start, but Peggy turns her down to make out with Abe in the closet. (Oh the irony.)
At the episode’s end Peggy is seen darting off with her colorful group of friends, one of whom is a doppelgänger for Velma from Scooby Doo, into a bright, young 1965. Peggy may be the SCDP partner to “youthenize” the firm’s vibe and create a new kind of advertising, since, like jacket-without-shirt spokesman, David Kellogg said, “Art in advertising… who would do that after Warhol?” Overall our money’s on Peggy to be the breakout star of this season, and bring the rebellious movements of the ’60s into Mad Men‘s world.
Now on to troubled couple number two: Don and Allison.
Allison is not coping with sleeping with Don as well as she seemed to, which we should’ve immediately guessed from her horrendous brown sweater at the episode’s start. Depressed girls always wear brown.
Anyway, market researcher Faye comes to SCDP to run some experiments for Pond’s cold cream, using the secretaries as her guinea pigs. Faye’s wardrobe is classic flight attendant meets businesswoman, but she changes into a teal blue short sleeved sweater and pencil skirt to seem nonthreatening to the secretaries. Trying to find out some new information, all Faye learns is that women want to get married.
Dotty, the sad spokeswoman of the bunch, is the most distraught. She seems hopeless at keeping a man, probably because her multiple patterns of plaid dress is one of the more hideous costumes ever seen on Mad Men. The other secretaries have got it a little better off, one in a emerald green dress with bow accent and matching barrette, and Megan, Peggy’s secretary, in a red dress and winning smile.
Allison, in a brown plaid jumper and frilly white shirt, can’t keep her cool during the meeting and dashes back to Don’s office to cry, confront Don, and quit. Her tantrum might just be the moment of self realization Don needed, not only to get off the boring suits kick, but also to get his life back on track. He begins typing Allison an apology letter, but resigns to their coital couch for a nap instead.
Other than troubled Don, Allison, Pete, and Peggy, this episode’s looks were textbook Mad Men. Joan stayed sophisticated in a blue form-fitting dress, Lane continued to clash prints, and Roger was dapper in three piece suits.