August 10, 2010

Mad Women: You’re Just A Man In A Room With A Checkbook

Filed under: Gender,Media — Tags: — Rachel @ 7:02 pm

We found out Joan’s OB-GYN is a total progressive, and has helped her “take care of” an unplanned pregnancy in the past, and isn’t offended when he finds out that she had one prior to that as well, performed by a midwife.  I think he understands somewhat that Joan isn’t a typical woman of the time, and she wants a life beyond the role of wife/mother – that she may not want the “mom” title at all.  Despite her fierce, independent attitude we’ve seen in the past, I think she still feels a need to fall in line with the expectations set forth to her by society, as a woman, as she corrects herself in saying “If……when we can start a family”  I’m curious if some part of her hoped that the procedures had done damage – making motherhood an issue that she wouldn’t have to address at all.

Unfortunately we saw Lane, for the first time ever act like a sexist, condescending asshole.  While I was so disappointed in her for not going off on him when he told her to not go and cry about him denying her a holiday vacation, she completely redeemed herself when she threw the box of flowers at him, quickly and smartly fired the secretary, and handled the entire situation perfectly.

We saw Mr. Asshole being incredibly sweet to his wife, and saw Joan worried about him going off to war.  She saw for the first time ever, him doing his job, and how good he is at it, while he learned that his wife is no longer the girl who just does filling at the office.  I couldn’t help but wonder, with the way he treated her throughout last night’s episode, if her smashing a vase across the back of his head had some kind of an effect on him – not that it any way put them on equal footing, or makes him a good guy now or anything, but that he’s somehow internalized an attitude to not mess with her or be Mr. Asshole all the time?

Betty
No thoughts on Betty – she was absent this week.

Peggy
We only saw Peggy for a second, and learned she won’t be alone on New Years after all, and has plans with her boyfriend.

Anna, Patty, Stephanie, and More Hookers
While it feels weirdly out of place for Don to be in California, the moments with him and Anne are the best, most real moments we get to see of him.  She calls him by his real name, and as she told him “I know everything about you, and I love you anyway.”  While I’ve seen conflicting feelings in other recaps about Don not telling Anna about her illness – that it was the same old Draper – running when he might actually have to deal with and confront something bad or upsetting, I don’t agree with that sentiment.  I think in his conversation with her sister Patty, he realized, as much as he loves Anna, it wasn’t his place to tell her, and that he wanted his last time with her to be happy.  He couldn’t stay forever, and wanted to leave her peaceful, rather than waiting for her own eventual passing.  It was absolutely heartbreaking though when he told her he would bring the kids to see her in the spring.

When Anna’s niece asked Don in the car, “what are you doing?” I thought, “striking out for the billionth time this season.”  She told him directly that some people see him clearly, no matter what kind of facade he thinks he’s putting out to the world.  She’s not wooed by his mysterious-ad-man-from-New-York personality that has worked so well for him the past.

Anna’s sister is DEFINITELY not impressed by Don, and in fact, is the only woman we’ve seen on the show who is not only beyond uninterested in him, but thinks he’s disgusting and a bad influence as well.  Although I think he tried to shrug off her “You’re just a man in a room with a checkbook” comment, I think it’s what ultimately led him to hide the truth from Anna too.

It wasn’t until after Don pulled off the sheets, and laid on the bed, that I realized Lane’s “thank you” for the previous night, to help him take his mind off of things, was as much for Don’s benefit as it was for Lane’s.  Lane is dealing with the possibility of divorce with his family across the Atlantic, while Don is, I think, secretly mourning the eventual loss of Anna.


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