Now fully aware that I missed my self-imposed blogging deadline of finishing up on both episodes 12 and 13 prior to the series finale, I’m going to rush a bit through this post, which shouldn’t be difficult as I’ve got three main points to cover. Two of which are frankly minimal, one of which had me ready to hurtle my dinner at the television screen.
Let’s start with the least pleasant and most aggravating. Joan. Countless times during the episode I either muttered under my breath or shouted at my screen “Stay strong Joan!”. But alas, her strengths were used against her. Before I was brutally reminded that this period of time was about as friendly to women in business as… well nothing, because businesses weren’t friendly to women, at least the men weren’t, I found myself instantly disliking the women (who’s names I can’t, and refuse to recall) who gave Joan the plant. There was something about their presentation that I can only now in retrospect put my finger on. One was feminine, the one clearly more… erm, business oriented. Two common stereotypes that women (wittingly or not) often present. Joan however, Joan fits neither of their categories. She’s not meek, but she’s still feminine. Basically she’s a beautiful and brilliant ball-buster and the wrong kind of woman, for that time or those men. Which is ridiculous because a woman shouldn’t have to be the “right” kind of woman, a woman in business should simply be capable, and Joan is far beyond that. I detested every scene with her and one of the men from the company. With lines like “I thought you’d be fun.” I found myself bristling in my seat. It was a disgrace to see one of the most powerful women we may ever get to know through a television show be put through the humiliation that Joan endured. After all, she’s already endured years of sexism and misogyny to get to her position. A position that was swept away, simply because she was a woman. Her final scene with Roger nearly brought me to tears. I suppose it was naive of me to hope for happy endings for everyone though.
What was slightly happier though were the scenes with Roger and Peggy. They’ve never shared much screen time together and to see them commiserate was quite lovely. Peggy, skating around the empty offices while Roger played was perhaps one of the most pleasant scenes we’ve had all season, and like scenes from last week’s episode, will likely be a series favorite. Because of everything that happened with Joan, I began to worry that Peggy though meek enough not to cause a stir might last longer than Joan, but that she’d be ruined in the process. Seeing her walking into her new office, cigarette in her mouth, and the erotic octopus picture under her shoulder she seemed to have actually finally arrived at who she needs to be. Realizing that she may never be taken seriously, she might as well not take herself seriously, and it reminded me of all the reasons I love her and the journey she’s been on.
Speaking of journeys, let’s get to Don, who, and maybe this is a bit sexist (though after this episode I feel it’s deserved), is yet again walking away from opportunities because he doesn’t see meaning in them, and may be entering yet another self destructive spiral. To some degree though I detest him, I can understand McCann’s buyer’s remorse considering almost no SCP employees have shown up, and those that have, have either left unexpectedly or threatened to sue within days of the merger. That being said when McCann told Roger that Don disappeared Roger’s response of “Yeah, he does that” was brilliant.
Now then getting back to Don, he’s going nowhere at this point, and I really don’t get what was so special about Diana to make him leave in the first place. Perhaps it was seeing Betty and being reminded of the fulfillment he could have had in a family life. Though if Diana’s abandoned husband and daughter are anything to go by, clearly he could have ended up just at alone. Perhaps it was simply the knowledge that advertising would never bring him happiness.
So on to episode 13!