Mad Men, Season 4

Week 10: The Mysterious Nature of Joan
Talking television.
Sept. 29 2010 3:52 PM

Mad Men, Season 4

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Week 10: The Mysterious Nature of Joan

Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) and Roger Sterling (John Slattery).
Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) and Roger Sterling (John Slattery)

Michael, John:

Julia Turner Julia Turner

Julia Turner is the editor in chief of Slate and a regular on Slate's Culture Gabfest podcast.

I'm surprised to hear that you both—along with many of our commenters—believe that Joan decided to abort the planned abortion and keep Roger's baby. It's certainly possible; Joan's interaction with the other woman in the waiting room could well have reminded her that she's not getting any younger, and that having a child would give her a sense of family and community that she no longer derives from the office, and that she can't have with Greg while he's away. (Also, did anyone else notice Joan's interlocutor was played by the girl who played Maureen, the anorexic ballerina from Center Stage? Oops, I guess that's just my love of dance movies talking.)

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But I still think Joan went through with the abortion. Joan is a consummately sensible woman. She's not given to impulsive, impetuous, or sentimental decisions. She's the anti-Betty. And while she certainly knows how to orchestrate events to get the results she wants, she has recently seemed averse to underhanded dealings, especially where Roger is concerned. Plus, a pregnancy plot would be very soapy, even for Mad Men. So I believe she went through with her plan to terminate Roger's spawn. Still, I'm curious to get a sense of how our readers' opinions on this question break down, so take our poll about whether Joan kept the baby.

Michael, I also liked your point that Toni was awfully naive for a Bunny. But I keep returning to the moment where she called Lane "just so damned dashing"—which he's really not. A better description would be "sweet and befuddled" or "hapless but kind." Perhaps Toni was just fooled by the accent? 

Off to Shea,

Julia

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