After an onslaught of highly dramatic episodes of Mad Men, episode 11 returned to the close and tense philosophy of seasons past. Sure the plot moved at supersonic speed, but the emotional reactions set off may take months to fully release.
Lucky Strike’s departure to BBDO was but the catalyst for everyone’s problems. Don goes off the wall, but instead of turning to alcoholism (he now has a three drink maximum) he turns to fury. Snapping first at Pete and later at Roger, Don is relentless in his desire to blame someone. Dashing into the office post-date with Faye, Don wears a tan overcoat with a white shirt, black pants, and a slim black tie, a look so perfect I had visions of his “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” sequence. That perfection was short lived, as Don later changes into his first brown suit ever to deliver the bad news to the SCDP employees. Don says nothing will change, meaning everything will change, and fast. Glo Coat leaves SCDP moments after Lucky Strike is announced as lost, causing Don to plead with Faye to compromise her morals and push clientele to SCDP. It’s a totally unreasonable request, and Faye knows it, waltzing out in a huff wearing an orange tie neck blouse and straight hair.
Roger, is, of course, the source of the problem. We can assume that if Roger had told the rest of SCDP about Lucky Strike’s decision to leave sooner, the matter could have been dealt with calmly. When Roger enters the emergency meeting of partners, he’s wearing a blue blazer and light colored pants, the first time he’s been out of a three piece suit this season. He feels guilty, but continues to lie, bailing on going to North Carolina, and hiding out instead in a hotel far from SCDP. He later tries to win back Joan in his full black, three piece suit attire, to no avail, and concedes to his tacky biography and Jane in a gray three piece suit.
Pete spends the episode waiting for his daughter’s birth, wearing a variety of blue outfits. I can only imagine that Trudy gave birth in hospital couture and her baby will be swaddled in the 1965 equivalent of Cynthia Rowley diapers. Ken switches off between gray plaids this episode, while his fiance looks lovely in cropped hair and a peachy toned dress, which brings up the curious case of the women’s wardrobes this episode.
Almost every woman wears only warm tones this episodes, apart from Peggy and Joan’s final teal outfit. The color of attraction: coral. Faye wears a coral hued dress on her date with Don, and an orange blouse when she visits him at SCDP. Megan’s ensemble while wooing Don is a coral pink, and Joan wears an orange blouse and red pencil skirt while Roger tries to seduce her into visiting his hotel room over the phone. Yellow offsets the coral. Megan starts the episode in a yellow minidress, but Faye ends it in her buttoned up yellow blouse and skirt ensemble. The swap in hues between Megan and Faye signals their switch in Don’s mind. Once he thinks Faye is over him, he welcomes Megan’s advances since she promises it’s “not business,” which begs the question: does he consider his relationship with Faye “business?” Apparently since, he’s mining her for clients.
Outside of Don’s love triangle we have Peggy.
Peggy seems to have some semblance of a relationship with Abe, but her workplace life is distressed when Stan tries to “relax” her. Her Playtex presentation goes perfectly, save the lipstick on her teeth. It really is something good, something bad with Peggy this episode. Unfazed, however, Peggy is becoming a truly independent woman now. Starting out with a day at the beach with Joyce et al. Peggy wears a red and white striped tank with a blue knee length skirt, looking a little patriotic, which may be an overt reference to her blossoming independence. But she’s not fully ready yet–her skirt is knee length and her bathing suit is a one-piece, quite demure compared to the other girls’ bikini tops and short-shorts. After a morning reprise with Abe, Peggy finally makes it to SCDP in a eggshell blue tie-neck blouse and a greenish-gray long skirt with a black belt, only to hear that Lucky Strike is gone. She’s not worried about her future though, confident that her presentation for Playtex will go smoothly. In her navy blue tee-dress with red panels inside the skirt’s pleats Peggy looks powerful and dominant in a room full of men in suits, even with her lipstick mishap.