"You know I need to make men feel at ease," says Peggy Olson in Sunday night's episode of "Mad Men." Roger Sterling has offered her a painting from Bert Cooper's old office of an octopus sexually pleasuring a woman. Peggy doesn't think it will be appropriate for her new job at the chauvinist McCann Erickson.
"Who told you that?" responds Roger.
While waiting for her office to be set up at McCann, Peggy experiences a kind of emotional liberation that only can only come from the help of a crazy drunk like Roger. Peggy had expected to have her first day at McCann, so she dressed professionally in a dark vest, an orange-red blouse with a tie neck and matching mini skirt. But after a few drinks with Roger — and safe knowing that her new office still isn't set up — she permits herself to let loose and even laces up a pair of white roller skates to dance around the office while Sterling plays somber organ music. It's a delightfully kooky way to say goodbye to the old agency and to one of the most important sets from the show. It's an important moment of closure for Peggy as she realizes she is more than ready for the next step up in her career.
As such, her actual first day outfit at McCann ends up being much less restrained than her original one. The next day she shows up hungover, sunglasses on with cigarette dangling from her lip. Instead of a long-sleeve blouse, she's wearing a graphic striped t-shirt tucked into a short and fitted skirt, complete with bold yellow buttons. Tucked under her arm is the sexual octopus painting. The men at McCann stare at her as she walks by, but she acknowledges nothing. Peggy is cool, confident and ready for anything — hangover be damned.
Joan has a different experience during her first few days at McCann. After meeting some fellow female coworkers, she is pleasantly surprised that women seem to have clout at the firm. On her first day she shines in a bright pink form-fitting dress with, you guessed it, a long neck bow.
But after several meetings with her new male colleagues, Joan realizes the sexism she is facing will be untenable. In a somber dark teal dress (not pictured), she threatens the agency head with a sexual harassment suit. He does not hide his disdain for her and Joan leaves disgusted but resolute. When Roger convinces her later to take a payout and leave, she dons a conservative black and white ensemble in lieu of her usual bright colors and patterns. She wishes she could fight the injustice at McCann but with a son to worry about, the risk is too great.
Meanwhile, Betty catches up on her Sigmund Freud in a lavender dress covered in sophisticated fleur-de-lis, finished off with a tie belt. Has a psychology student ever had such perfect barrel curls in her hair? No glimpse of Sally this episode, or Megan. Our opportunities for saying goodbye to the Draper women are narrowing.
Meredith continues to stand out sartorially on this show, this time by tying a dark brown belt beneath the bust of a sweet daffodil-covered babydoll dress. It's as if she's trying to put a more professional spin on her youthful style now that she and Don work at a much larger company. Thankfully she hasn't abandoned her voluminous bangs.
Before we wrap this recap up, we'd like to give a shout out to Roger's supreme style this season. His horseshoe moustache, coupled with his increasingly unkempt white hair, are as trendy as they are markers of just how much he's accepted his role as the wildcard grandfather of the agency. And yet he does not lose his sharp sense of style, complete with three-piece suit and pinky ring. Where did he learn to play the organ? Where did this organ come from? Roger, we will miss you.
Just two episodes to go.