Great Moments in Mad Men: Season 6
The time has finally come to pop a squat with an old fashioned and light up those cigarettes. Season 6 has arrived and I gotta say the 2 hour long premiere was everything I could have hoped for. There are new looks for days and that Mad Men charm we have all grown to love hasn’t worn off yet.
It’s not just the hair and wardrobe that have changed for Draper and friends. Each character has taken some leaps into a different world. Yet, even with all the change there are still a few that remain familiar in particular areas. It should be an eventful season as we move into summer and I think I’ll devour every minute of it.
That being said, let’s get started with some of the great moments in season 6 of Mad Men
PEGGY LANDS ON HER FEET
When we last saw Peggy she was sneaking away from her brand new job during working hours to catch a flick in the movie theater. Her departure from the agency was a scary move even for many viewers. Throughout the entire premiere of season 6 we get glimpses into her new world, one that seems to be treating her very nicely. Her boss offers compliments rather than insults and she’s got people working under her now.
But let’s not miss something very important here. While Peggy may be doing her own thing and attempting apply all the knowledge she gained with Don to her new position some things can’t be escaped. Let’s face it, Peggy has essentially become Don. The way she sweet talks and calms the nerves of her Koss headphones clients is something we have seen him do many times. She truly does have a gift for this profession.
With the good comes the bad and we also see her boss around copywriters and completely disregard their personal lives. Anybody remember season 4 and The Suitcase episode? It’s always nerve racking for a show to split the main characters up in different locations (Yes, I’m talking to you Dawson’s Creek) but from the presentation we got in the first 2 episodes I’d say Mad Men will do just fine.
DON IS DON
Something disturbing was happening by the end of season 5, I began to become uncomfortable watching Don be monogamous. I know, I know it’s a damn shame. Anybody who thought that would last needed a serious dose of reality. I walked away from the end of the premiere shaking my head but smiling saying, “Always, always, always.” Don is clearly going through “some things” as many of our emo friends have been known to say and has gone right back into his old ways of shacking up with randos.
But honestly, he is losing his grip as his struggle with his secret past is starting to tear away at him one thread at a time. Even after an amazing vacation with his attractive perky wife we discover he has been sleeping around. I know, the room is spinning. With none other than Linda Cardellini I might add. Can I get a fist pump from all my Freaks and Geeks lovers out there?
His new lover asks what he wants for the new year and he says simply, “I want to stop doing this.” Ugh, we have heard this before Don! As he tries to fill the growing void his secret has created over the years I have a feeling a few lucky ladies will be there to try and work through his issues. Also, I have one more thought as a final note. How desperately is he trying to get caught sleeping with a woman in the same building right down stairs? Just saying.
THE REAL TRUDY IS REVEALED
I’ve never really had a problem with the character of Trudy mostly because it was like she wasn’t even there. When we do see her she’s living what I imagine was the life she was told all her existence she was going to and deserved to have. She was constantly trying to get her and Pete the perfect something, whatever was key to her happiness and fulfillment in that minute. Honestly, I don’t think in the seasons previous that she had any clue just what a little weasel Pete could be.
Even when she returns from a summer vacation with her parents and realizes Pete has made a bad decision of the female persuasion she shakes it off a day later. Last season we left off with her perfect new suburban home complete with dinner parties and a new baby. However, something interesting happened in episode 3 of the latest season…Trudy became Trudy.
After realizing that Pete has been sleeping with a woman in his city apartment that lives on their block she’s had a enough. As she makes very clear she let him have that apartment because she thought that acknowledging infidelity had dignity. Naturally, she asked he keep his flings to city gals, not the next door neighbor. Her solution to end his bad behavior? She will draw a 50 mile radius around the house, only ask that he be at the house when she requests it and if he opens his fly to urinate she will destroy him. That about clears things up.
I always knew there was more to her and while she may seem clueless and as if she thinks there is no evil in the world that can harm her she is more aware than anybody. Her behavior recently is reminiscent of Joan in that she knows her place in Pete’s world but if she is crossed there will be hell to pay. I hope you’ve learned your lesson Pete Campbell.
HARRY AND HIS BIG MOUTH
Harry has gone from a dopey, overweight side character to someone that really thinks he is worth a second look. I don’t think he is the same guy that timidly had sex with his Pete’s secretary Hildy back in season 3. I don’t think he actually likes or respects the Rogers or Dons of the world but he is certainly making every step necessary to become them, I just don’t think he does it in a suave way.
In episode 4 we see the obviously naughty relationship he has with his secretary Scarlett, a very familiar scene for the males of Mad Men. After Scarlett tries to falsify her timecard Joan immediately fires her after realizing she is a total scammer. When Harry finds this out he will have none of it. Somewhere along the way of straying from his wife and drinking more he thinks he’s grown a pair of balls.
Harry busts into a partners meeting where he thinks Scarlett is being discussed (Harry always thinks he is being discussed in random rooms) only to make himself seem like the biggest asshole. Having just come from a meeting where he came up with an idea worth $150,000 he feels under appreciated and demands to be made partner based on his accomplishments….yeah sure Harry.
Don could pull of this kind of stunt because in reality he has nothing to lose or Roger could simply by being Roger, but Harry is different. His tirade comes off as a whiny kid. Not to mention the best parts as Roger insists he continues (this seems like the same experience he had with Harry when asking him to switch offices) and Ken lights up a cigarette for the show. Everybody knows Harry is a joke. He pulls a completely dick move tossing in the comment, “I’m sorry my accomplishments happened in broad daylight.” referring to Joan and her sexy time with a client. The sad thing is none of the men in the room can rebut as each squirm in their seat at the reminder of their horrid act.
BOBBY’S MIND IS BLOWN
One of the things I love about Mad Men is watching the characters experience things are such large parts of pop culture today. Take Planet of the Apes for example, that one shot (that most of us know ) which can’t be a spoiler in this day and age was once experienced for the first time by countless unknowing audience members nationwide. Here we have Bobby watching Planet of the Apes for the first time with his father as they both stare memorized at the screen.
The best part is at the end of the movie when Bobby asks his dad to clarify what the hell he just saw his only response is, “Jesus!” Given all the crazy things we see in movies these days this revelation may not hold the same weight for us that it does for Bobby but that’s what so great. This is a friendly reminder that there was once a time when something felt fresh and original at the cinema rather than carbon copies.
Not to mention this is one of the VERY few times we see Don act like a father. There is some form of Draper love in the way he suggests they stay and watch it one more time. Although, I’m sure Don just wants to hide a little longer from his wife and 2 other children. His outing with Bobby leads to a drunken revelation later with Megan that confirms something we’ve all known as audience members for a long while. Don is completely clueless on how to be a father or love his children. It seems to be he is just going through the motions surviving on mere seconds of fatherly moments with his offspring.
JOAN IS PISSED
We have seen Joan be a lot of things over the course of Mad Men and angry is one of them. However, when Don announces that the agency will no longer be doing business with Jaguar she brings it to another level. I understand that Don made the right choice and Herb was the scuzziest of men but I sympathize with Joan. The woman handed her last shred of dignity over to the man in order to guarantee the agency wouldn’t crumble. And now…that was all for nothing.
Already on shaky ground with her move up to partner, now anybody could argue against her that the contribution essentially means nothing. Not to mention as she expresses her anger at Don he looks at her like a complete fool. Again, acting as if he did everybody a favor and they just don’t understand. Joan and Pete dig their nails into Don calling him on all the bullshit.
This whole season is really a breakdown of Don and how horrible he can truly be. He might actually be a worse case of narcissism than Tom Cruise in Rain Main.
Ted Chaough is a breath of fresh air. Seriously. I think all of the ladies out there can agree that every male character on Mad Men has creeped them out at least once. Almost all of them have started off or are now naughty as hell making bad behavior feel normal. But then there is Ted. He’s a sweet, caring a compassionate individual.
The relationship he has built with Peggy is something to desire especially when compared to her relationship with Don. He tends to treat people with respect which is something missing in many of the relationships in Mad Men. During a meeting after yet another merger Pete arrives late and can’t find a seat.
Given that nobody really likes him there is an awkward moment where everyone stares at each other wondering who will make a move, if any. A nice young gal from the other agency offers her seat, which Pete takes (of course) as the rest of the men in the group just watch.
Ted immediately gives up his seat for her opting to sit on the furniture behind him, and I must say he looks quite comfortable. Not only that but he pushes in her chair and for me this meant the room was spinning. What is his chivalrous behavior? The best part is at the end of it all there are shots of all the faces in the room. The men look confused and annoyed while the women seemed utterly pleased.
KEN COSGROVE DANCES
Whatever that magic shot was that many of the agency peeps were injected with one thing is clear, Ken Cosgrove can dance. Honestly, where the hell did that come from? Not to mention that he continues to have a conversation with Don while tapping away. In order to give the agency a much needed inspirational boost a strange man with a needle is brought in to poke the butts of all.
While some decide to live above the influence others take on an entirely different personality. We start off the episode seeing Ken almost killed in a car while trying to entertain some foolish clients. It’s his job to keep clients happy but not to risk his life in a moving vehicle. Once he receives the shot of a lifetime his foot injury goes right out the window.
His feet move so quickly it’s hard to keep up and Don being zonked out of his mind and completely unaware what day it is just watches calmly. Ultimately, he asks where Ken learned that and we find out it was his first girlfriend. What a super lady.
BETTY IS SMART
Hate and lust really do walk a fine line and that brings us to Betty and Don. We start the episode seeing Betty looking as beautiful as she did when we first met her at the beginning of the series, even she is impressed with her figure. Betty is desirable once again which means she and Henry make a kinky game out it in the back seat.
Don has been dicking around this season (quite literally) coming to terms with the fact that he isn’t happy while Betty appears completely content. Her new joy not only means smiles for days but she seems incredibly wise. Betty and Don visit Bobby’s camp to please the little fella and from the moment he sees her backside the fireworks are quite evident.
It doesn’t take long to realize these two will do the nasty. They are both behaving badly but for some reason it seemed necessary. Betty can’t wait to hop in the sack with Don only because she’s in a place now where he can’t negatively affect her. She just wants some old familiar Hamm. And Don, well he just needs a woman that isn’t Megan.
Their cuddle time chat about love and closeness reveals that Betty has had some time to think about her relationship with Don. She explains her pity for Megan since she isn’t aware loving Don is the worst way to get close to him.
WHAT WORLD IS THIS???? ONLY IN MAN MEN.
I honestly believe Betty when she says she’s happy and this was just something that happened. I also believe that Don truly thinks sex is not the way to get close to someone. Maybe it’s not, but it certainly helps. Judge me. This just seems to be his justification for constantly taking down the ladies. Whatever, he makes it work.
Also, let’s not overlook that classic Don Draper aggressive grab the hair maneuver. I gotta say, as a lady if he pulled that move on me I’d be toast.
DON ALMOST DIES
Or was he actually dead for mere moments? After reading many of the theories online I can only come to one conclusion about this mysterious hallucination scene, Megan is dead. Dustin Rowles dissects the scene in a way that really doesn’t leave room for any other conclusion. His comment that Don Draper will die this season but it will actually just be the process of Don reverting back to being Dick is key.
After 6 seasons viewers (at least I think) are dying to know what Dick Whitman is truly like. This entire season has been a character study of Don and how horrible he can be. I think even Don has become disgusted with himself at times. If Megan were to die this would be the perfect segue into becoming who he was all along. Being that season 7 will be the last it’s the perfect opportunity to shine light on all those flashbacks and strange encounters with Dick Whitman’s past.
Let’s not even get into the eerie similarities between Sharon Tate and Megan Draper. The show needs to go there for me now because it’s just so freaking perfect. This episode is a prime example of Mad Men being much deeper than most give it credit for. I urge you to watch this scene again after reading the two articles linked and not believe in Rowles theory. It’s impossible.
WHAT SALLY SAW
I don’t think Sally and Bobby thought their father was a saint but rather that he was just a guy around once and a while. I’m not sure they could have thoughts beyond that given that his children were never more than something he seemed terrified of. One thing leads to another and Sally finds herself in the Rosen’s apartment midday. Instead of finding a freaky Mr. and Mrs. Rosen in the bedroom she mistakenly walks in on Don and Sylvia breaking one of the ten commandments for the umpteenth time.
I can’t exactly pinpoint why this moment was incredibly hard to watch but I think it’s because Don immediately feels so frazzled. He tries to run after Sally and even after all the horrible things he does when he sheds some tears in the elevator my heart actually went out to him. He is a lost soul that I’m not sure will ever find his way and I really don’t think he is capable of stopping this behavior. There are many people that know about his cheating but his kids have always been too young to understand.
Sally is now at an age that this sort of thing is going to have an impact on her that will completely f*** her up. Between Betty and Don, her bartending on Sundays and Glen this girl has already been through so much. In a way I think it’s about time that Don get caught in the act by somebody that could make an impact on his next naughty decision. But then again this is Don Draper we’re talking about, I mean after all he was just “comforting” Mrs. Rosen. I would love NOTHING MORE than to be comforted by Don Draper.
DON IS A DICK
Over the course of the series a majority of the affairs we have seen on screen have been from Don. So much so that they became almost acceptable or I guess a better way to put it is expected. With that in mind it becomes easy to forget that others can behave badly too.
That brings us to Peggy and Ted. They take a more classy road than Don and try out a little flirting before diving in the sack. That is, if we are putting aside that one time Ted kissed Peggy. In this episode their affection for one another becomes even more apparent and you forget Ted even has a wife and kids. They are a couple I could root for because Ted is a man that would be good for Peggy. However as we have learned Peggy never gets anything good and if she does it’s not for long.
Don sees the developing relationship between the two and either out of jealousy or for the mere fact that someone wasn’t paying attention to him for 5 seconds he outs them. Not in a subtle way but rather in the most awkward fashion in a meeting with clients. He essentially highlights that Ted is showing favoritism for Peggy for “personal” reasons. Put an extra emphasis on personal why don’t ya.
Peggy and Ted look like they are going to throw up as each sit in silence and realize that Don is making them feel uncomfortable on purpose. After all the shenaegains he has pulled the least he could do was pull Ted aside for a man to man conversation. Instead, he screws the pooch.
This list couldn’t end with any other moment than Don being temporarily let go from the agency. Let’s face it, I’m not sure he’ll come back after getting completely owned. This is a huge moment in Mad Men because it seems more appropriate and logical for the 2nd to last or even last episode of the series. What does this mean for season 7? He’s not going to California anymore so will this mean a very dark winter full of bars and women?
Don has always fancied himself as the man running the show. Over the course of season 6 he has fallen off the deep end in terms of control and the agency needs a kick in the ass. That’s something he can’t provide for them. Missing meetings and sneaking off to literally screw around doesn’t make a great business man.
Not to mention after Peggy is abruptly dumped by Ted we now see her in Don’s office in a 70s “business suit” ready to take on the world! This could be the most amazing season to come. Without the agency what will Don find to occupy his time? We will have to wait until next year to find out
Curse you AMC!