Monday, May 4, 2015

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This week we focus more on what the lives of our Scooby gang are like at McCann. The big flashy office is at first exciting to Joan and Don. They feel like maybe things will really be okay.

But it is jus a mirage. It is the horror that they thought it would be.

Don gets sweet talked by Jim -- eluding that Don is going to be the star at the company. That Jim chased him and finally has him and he couldn't be more excited.

Don walks into the Miller Lite room with his chest puffed out -- the star is here! He is quickly deflated as he realizes he is not special. He is one of a dozen ad men in the room. All rank and file. All with very sad lunch boxes. Jim just wanted him off the competition's roster. The despair in the room is palpable for Don. He stares out the window looking for freedom -- perhaps the same freedom he looked for in Korea when he took on his new identity. Don, in great Draper fashion, simply stands up and leaves. Ted takes notice and smiles. Ted knows that he himself will be happy there -- he doesn't crave the spotlight. Ted doesn't want to be in charge. Don does. That's why the smile from Ted, he knows exactly why Don gets up and leaves. He doesn't fault him for it. He doesn't judge him for it. It is just Don Draper.

Then there is poor Joan. She has been cut down most of all. She is completely unvalued at McCann. She is a prize, much like Don, but for her beauty, not her talent. Joan is completely discredited by all she crosses paths with. Her work is misrepresented by a man who can't do it as well as her, but despite knowing this,  he is the one given the leniency. He is a man, after all. How could he possibly be expected to answer to Joan, a woman? A woman who looks like she does no less.

To Joan's credit, she tries to go through the proper channels, but she is essentially laughed at for even trying. Worse, she is put in a sexual harassment situation in which the only reason someone is helping her is to sleep with her.

When she tries to assert herself, she is quickly rebuffed, chastised for having even considered herself a talent at the company. It inflames Joan's anger, as it should, for being spoken down to. She has been put in her place. She fights like hell to win the battle, but in the end, she can't win. Roger is the one that gets through to her. Yes, she has a right to be mad, but being right doesn't always mean that it is in your best interest to fight. She will lose more than she will gain from taking on the men at McCann.

The women's revolution wasn't won overnight, nor has it really, even in this day age, completely won out. Women still get paid less than men for the same job. Roger really does have Joan's best interests at heart, despite whether or not it is right for the women's movement that Joan steps down from the battle. It's a tough call. $250,000 is a lot of money in the 70's to just walk away from.

As for where we left it with Don, he is not making his way back to New York City, so what does this mean?

Who knows, but with two episodes left, I hope we find out and that it makes sense.

On a side note, it really does seem like slippery Pete always comes out on top ...

Until next week.

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