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7 Responses to “Mindless Mad Men #10 – The Other Woman”

  1. Zig Zag Zig Says:

    This was easily the best episode of the season thus far, and a real climax for much of what has come before. Peggy will transition over to a Betty-esque position in the series now, her story surfacing from time to time. We’ll probably get to see Peggy vs. Don for an account. Student vs. Teacher. That’ll be interesting to watch play out.

    Not sure why anyone would be upset with MAD MEN being ‘on the nose’ since, even in its on-the-nose-ness, the show never approaches its theme(s) in a simplistic manner. The pitch obviously, yes, but it is dramatized, inverted, reverted, imploded, etc, like it was beamed through a hall of fun house mirrors. The result is often crystalline and worth every moment of the viewers time.

    Some people just need their mouth washed out with knuckles.

    I was especially taken with the glow of the elevator shining brightly on Peggy’s face as she entered into it. Taking a cue from your earlier discussion about the role of the elevator this season, its ghostly liminality, we’re watching Peggy, her thermos, mug, dossier, and new work colours, transcend rather than descend. From now on she’s the spirit over and above the life of SCDP, and thus Don himself.

    Thanks guys!

  2. Lanmao, the Blue Cat Says:

    This was such a gut punch of an episode, up there with “Carousel” and “The Suitcase.”

    Speaking of Tom & Lorenzon, they point out that, when Joan goes to meet the Jaguar executive, she’s wearing the fur that Roger gave her in 1954, when she said “When I wear it, I’ll always remember the night I got it.” It’s great attention to detail on the show’s part, and it really drives home the way that Roger has ruined whatever they had together, a lot like he also ruined the newest ex-Mrs. Sterling’s new apartment (also, T&L noticed that Chaough crossed out the SDCP letterhead on Peggy’s notepad. What a dick!)

    One of the cruelest parts of the episode was when the Jaguar sleezeball drops all pretense of flirting with Joan to say, “So let’s see ‘em.” The scene was a great take on sexual objectification and dehumanization. There’s the reduction of a person to a body to the extent that the “them” doesn’t even require an antecedent for the sentence to be intelligible. Joan, and the viewer, knows exactly what he’s talking about, and all her competence and talent doesn’t count for shit. She’s just tits.

    This, I think, also reflects the way the Christina Hendricks, who is a fine actress (especially in this episode, her dramatic restraint is killer), is constantly reduced to a body and a sex object rather than an actress and artist. I thought that the “Let’s see ‘em” line had a kind of Sopranos-y effect of turning things back on the viewer. (David Chase had a fraught relationship with Sopranos fans, who always wanted more mob violence. So a lot of times, like in Ralphie’s death, the violence had a brutal, terribly unglamorous quality, as if to say, “You want to see someone die? Here. This is what it looks like when somebody gets murdered. It isn’t badasses making one-liners and walking away from explosions, it’s a couple of middle-aged dudes rolling around in a kitchen ’til one beats the other to death.”)

    Anyway! What I’m getting at is, I think the scene with the Jaguar exec turned things back around on the audience like that. Most everyone sexually interested in women (and maybe even some who aren’t) has wanted to “see ‘em”, and the episode seemed to be saying, “Yeah, this creep? That’s you. He is to Joan as you are to Christina Hendricks.”

  3. Ad Mindless Says:

    We’re (men) not being told off for feeling fetishistic desire (women want to see ‘em too, you know!), we’re being told off for how that desire plays out in a culture where women and their bodies are heavily commodified. We’re being told off for allowing that culture to pertain.

  4. Carnival of souls: Spurgeon on San Diego, Perpetua on 2006, CAKE BOOK, more « Attentiondeficitdisorderly by Sean T. Collins Says:

    [...] * Not that I expected any less, but I sure am glad to see the Mindless Ones avoid the new “Wolverine wouldn’t do that!” school of Mad Men criticism in their review of last week’s pivotal episode “The Other Woman.” [...]

  5. RetroWarbird Says:

    I don’t see Don and Megan’s relationship as any more precarious than anyone else. We the audience have the burden of knowing his past, so the idea that he could change seems like a loaded concept.

    But imagine all the perfectly working relationships of the real world, with their issues but working through them, and how utterly doomed they’d seem if either person had as complete an idea of the other’s back-story as we do regarding Don. The only reason we sympathize with Megan is because we haven’t known her as long.

  6. RetroWarbird Says:

    I also think the on-the-noseness of Joan contrasted with the Jaguar is probably apropos for Joan. It’d be on-the-nose with any woman, sure. The imagery is well in the modern hive-mind. But because it’s Joan, “Red”, a woman who has gone to great lengths to stealthily and cannily mind the gender gap between what men want, expect, and what she wants, and where to give versus where to take – she gets it. She’s always been willing to be what they want her to be if it means getting ahead (So Peggy leaving was certainly almost a rejection of some of Joan’s original sage advice.) and attain a level of prestige and self-worth, glamour and what-not for doing what would just be dirty business for everyone else. She’s the one elevating the situation. She is a sportscar, sure, the body, but more importantly (and often forgotten), in how she handles men, not the other way around.

    She drives them when they think they’re driving her.

    In retrospect after having seen the next episode, there’s some even weirder connotations to Joan/Jaguar.

  7. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Mindless Mad Men #11 – Commissions and Fees Says:

    [...] The Other Woman Joan’s fee for selling her body was a five percent stake in the company and a partnership. In [...]

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