Julia Turner Chats With Readers About the Mad Men Episode “Lady Lazarus”

Real-time discussions with Slate writers.
May 7 2012 6:14 PM

Sylvia Plath in Mad Men

Julia Turner chats with readers about "Lady Lazarus."

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Tim Schmelzer: Re: Cool-Whip—Don's interaction with Megan vs. Peggy was fascinating. Don and Peggy once seemed so in sync, now they fight like an old married couple.

June Thomas: I agree, Tim. Don and Peggy's fight was full of frustration and long-warmed grudges. When Don and Megan fight, it's all sublimated passion and Don immediately feeling bad.

Cassie Djerf: What did you guys think about Peggy & Don's scene in the test kitchen?

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Julia Turner: Cassie, I enjoyed Peggy and Don's set-to. Although Peggy was underprepared for the scene, she was right when she told Don that he wasn't mad at her. She's earned the right to tell him to shut up.

Cassie Djerf: Absolutely, Julia. How about that look she gave with Stan's comment re: Megan finally seeing her future: beans.

Cassie Djerf: Peggy kept saying "Just try it" vs. "Just taste it"—Don needing to "try" out this new dynamic in his relationship with Megan?

Julia Turner: Cassie, good point about "Just taste it." Megan has been introducing Don to whole new worlds. We'll see how far he will follow her.

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Julie Kramer: Can we give a nod to Christina Hendricks, and to Joan. I just loved the way she handled Don in that moment, when he came to her about Megan leaving and he didn't know what to do in any way. Actress and character are just wonderfully underplayed.

Cassie Djerf: I completely agree Julie. Joan's slowly becoming head of SCDP's HR

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Cristie Ellis: Rory Gilmore made me miss the complexity of the Betty era. Rory's character—suburban housewife who speaks openly to a stranger about her husband's infidelities and then sleeps with the guy out of spite and to get in touch with her younger, "spontaneous" self—is just one of many examples this season of how the show seems to have given up on its initial ambition to give us not just psychological drama, but *historical* psychological drama. That was what was so fascinating about the show, originally—seeing how characters could be both recognizable and foreign, because they were navigating conventions and expectations which the events of the later decade would explode. But this year all the characters seem already modern, particularly the women. I realize it's 1964 now, and not 1959, but The Feminine Mystique was only 1963, whereas these women seem to have passed through second wave feminism.

Julia Turner: That's a good point about the writing, Cristie (although it's 1966 already!). Megan is at times more like a cleansing fire than a recognizable human. A few folks noted last week that her parents seemed more Parisian than French Canadian. They were conveniently boho, rather than the fur-trapping hick descendents one might expect.

Julia Turner: Thanks all for chatting.

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