In spite of working together, each of the characters on last night's Mad Men episode went on a manic ego trip without any regard for the consequences of their actions.
We saw Don nix Jaguar over dinner, Pete, Joan, and Bert secretly plan an IPO, Pete out his father-in-law's prostitution habit to Trudy, and Peggy do the wrong kind of leaning in. For seasoned Mad Men viewers, this episode will leave you with a flood of emotions. Plus, for the third time in the series, we'll see the agency undergo a transformation. SCDP and CGC are combining forces and creating a new identity--no wonder Don is so excited about it, he's already done that for himself.
I have no idea where the rest of the season will go, we'll just have to tune in to find out. Click through to see the fashions from this week, and sound off in the comments about your favorite looks and reactions to the episode.
Don Don is on a power trip like no other in this episode. He gets a bit shaken at home when he hears a knock on the back door--is it Sylvia looking for love? No, it's just Dr. Rosen looking for some wrapping paper. Don is in one of his "Dad" outfits: a blue sweater, khakis, and a button down. He carries around a trench coat during every work scene, though it's never shown to be raining... Maybe it's a sign that Don needs a little protection. He acts without any regard for the possible repercussions, shrugging off Pete's suggestion they have dinner, axing Jaguar without telling anyone, and bossing Joan around like she's a secretary. Megan's new technique of constantly seducing Don isn't helping lessen his ego either. After making a deal with the devil--I mean Ted Chaough--Don is all-business in a black suit and diagonally striped red, navy, and white tie. Back in New York, he's wearing the same suit without the jacket to welcome Peggy back into his life and under his rule. Their relationship seemed very forced; the transition to working together again won't be smooth, I suspect.
Megan At the behest of her mother of all people, Megan decides to tart it up this episode in an attempt to keep Don focused on her. She starts the episode cooking in a black tank and striped trousers, and later goes shopping with her mother in an ivory suit and circular sunglasses--both pretty conservative options for Megan. But then she does a complete 180 and shows up to dinner in a lamé gold dress with a full, Jane Jetson-style skirt. Lamé gold is also the fabric of Megan's go-to audition dress; in a sense, that dinner was her re-auditioning to get Don's attention. It worked, clearly, since she spends the rest of the episode in negligées.
Marie Marie is one of the more self-involved characters on Mad Men--her personality parallels Don's in a way. She can't tolerate Herb and his wife at all, doesn't care much about Megan's acting career, and her only marriage advice has to do with sex. Her first outfit is a green twinset and pearls, definitely her most matronly look ever. To go shopping she's in purple and orange, while Megan is in ivory--it's clear she trying to stand out beside her beautiful young daughter. Attending dinner, she wears a black lacy dress, very reminiscent of the dress she wore during her ballroom tryst with Roger, except this time Roger doesn't show. They're kind of perfect for each other, though, so I'm hoping they get it together.
Roger Roger is in full-on silver fox mode this episode, using his stewardess girlfriend to get intel about Chevy. He wears only three piece suits, and looks more dapper than ever as he jets to JFK to meet his mark in a vest, no jacket, and fedora tipped on his head.
Daisy I think Daisy is supposed to be a TWA flight attendant in red, white, and blue. Her hat is perfectly absurd, just the sort of nostalgic-meets-space age accessory you would expect to see on flight staffs of that time.
Joan I'm pretty sure this is the first time we've ever seen Joan with her hair down outside of her apartment. During the meeting with the banker she's in a light floral blouse and a black pencil skirt, a total departure from her usual jewel-hued looks. When she learns that Jaguar was dropped, she's wearing an emerald green dress with gold accessories and a gold charm bracelet that clangs as she points her finger at Don. Her and Don have been pretty buddy-buddy of late which has been great to watch, but it still felt wonderful for her to stick it to him for being such a prick. Green on Joan always reminds me of two things: the emerald necklace she got from Herb as a gift, and the kelly green dress she wears the following day when her partnership is announced. In one of the special features from Season Five, costume designer Janie Bryant mentions that Joan wears green at that moment because it's the color of money. In last night's episode, I guess that green stands for money lost. Her last outfit is a navy and red dot dress that's very cutesy.
Peggy Is it just us or does Peggy look very J. Crew Spring 2013 in her first scene in her new apartment? She's wearing a painter's jacket, denim shirt, and trousers--her version of workwear. At CGC she wears a pale blue dress to help Ted lift his TV back onto the stand and suffer an awkward kiss from him, although we later find out that she liked it during a daydream sequence she has while wearing a rainbow nightie and red kerchief. Those paint fumes are going right to her head. In her last scene, Peggy repeats the eggplant dress she wore earlier this season when she discovered the feminine powder left for her as a prank. She meets Ted in his office expecting a follow up to their make-out session, and instead finds Don, a distant Ted, and the news that SCDP and CGC are merging. That's the second time she's been embarrassed in that outfit. Plus, she wore another eggplant dress to quit SCDP, so it's only fitting that the color has come full circle.
Ted I was reading Vulture's wonderful recap this morning, and noticed a commenter pointed out that Ted dresses like Bert from The Muppets. I couldn't have said it better myself. He has a sort of Glenn Bishop-style weirdness about him, very boyish and yet sinister, like he can't be trusted. His mustard, plaid, double breasted jacket is just horrible, his green turtleneck is childish, and his velvet sportcoat and navy turtleneck in Peggy's fantasy are very Hugh Hefner-like, to say the least. Bottom line: he gives me the creeps.
Abe I don't know what's going on with Abe. It's like he's finally locked Peggy down as his woman (or so he thinks) and thus has descended into sartorial hell. The overalls without a shirt ensemble is pure ridiculousness and his all-white undies look isn't much better. If Abe is going to keep Peggy, he's going to have to start dressing way better.
Pete Pete is by far one of the swarmiest characters on TV. His opening look is sinister Mr. Rogers, in a green cardigan over a button down and skinny tie. Then he tries to put the moves on Trudy, after removing his mustard pants and red polka dot boxers. No wonder she's not into it. The next day in the office, Pete talks to Don about the Jaguar dinner being cancelled in a black three piece suit with a teal and gold tie and teal pocket square--the same outfit he wears to the "party house" later that night. When he spots his father-in-law, Tom Vogel, at the brothel, I couldn't help but gasp. The following morning, Pete is in a grey three piece suit and more conservative tie to do damage control. His three piece suits recall Roger's adherence to the style, though while Roger uses a distinct form of sexual espionage to benefit the firm, Pete's sexual endeavors only end up harming SCDP.
Trudy Just when Trudy had started to trust Pete again, he betrays her. She starts the episode in a shocking pink nightie and balloon-sleeved cover up, and later wears a pink dress underneath her checkerboard jacket to face Pete's embarrassing accusations. She's looking girlier than ever, which ties back to her father's line, "My daughter is a princess." Everyone underestimates Trudy's power; her pink wardrobe this episode is just a reflection of that. Her blue check jacket is very Prada Pre-Fall 2013, in my opinion.
Pete's Prostitute Pretty woman, 1968 edition.
Tom Vogel's Prostitute Let's all remember that Pete once slept with a lady-of-the-night in leopard print undies too.
Peaches & Herb First of all, they are named Peaches and Herb? Clever, Matt Weiner. Anyway, Herb's wife Peaches is a real gem, completely vapid, and decked out in tacky jewels and a cherry red dress. Herb looks as he normally does in a black suit and tie with a gold tie pin.
Bert We saw more Bert in this episode than we have in a long time. His argyle sweater vest and plaid bow tie is just the perfect combo. Later he's in a dark grey suit, pink bow tie, and his signature pointy pocket square. I'm curious to know how he makes those every morning. He has quite a collection going on. When he hears about Vick Chemical's departure he's in a light grey suit, black bow tie, and red pocket square--his most dramatic color combo of the episode.
Jim Cutler Can Harry Hamlin dress like this all the time? He looks sharp in thick-rimmed glasses, slim black suits, and the occasional blue tie. You can tell he's the straight man to Ted Chaough's funny (looking) one.
Bob Bob is just a straight up frat boy, right down to the navy blazer with gold buttons. Some things never change.