Mad Men, Season 4

Week 11: What Will Happen to Roger?
Talking television.
Oct. 5 2010 12:36 PM

Mad Men, Season 4

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Week 11: What Will Happen to Roger?

My favorite detail from this week is that Pete doesn't drive. Makes me that much more impressed he was this close to landing Honda.

Can I complain about Stan for a minute? I wish the series would have paused once or twice this season to establish that, despite being profoundly lazy and grossly impertinent, he's actually pretty good at what he does. It would make him a more interesting character. Instead, week in and week out, I find myself wishing he'd go away. He's too easy to dislike. And I agree, Michael, it was hard to believe that the Peggy who bested Stan in that game of Co-Ed Naked Advertising earlier this season would have fallen for his relaxation gag.

John Swansburg John Swansburg

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.

Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) and Harry Crane (Rich Sommer). Click image to expand.
Advertisement

Was that a Jantzen bathing suit Peggy was wearing? Or do they not make one-pieces? In any event, I'm also with you, Michael, in not quite buying Peggy and Abe. One self-deprecating quip on the way home from Jones Beach and all is forgiven? We don't know exactly what was in that essay Abe whipped up a little while back, but it infuriated Peggy, and it scared her. And what about their pained conversation at P.J. Clarke's, in which they realized they've not exactly been making donations to the same PACs? What do these two see in each other? Mad Men often uses elision really well, forcing viewers to stay on their toes and fill in the blanks. But here I don't think it was a matter of there being some interaction between Abe and Peggy that we weren't privy to. Peggy is none too pleased to see Abe get in that car. This felt like an abrupt turn, not unlike the one in which Faye went from lone resistor to Don's latest intramural affair. There's surprise, and then there's inconsistency, and these two examples feel more to me like the latter.

Several of our commenters are concerned for Sterling's fate, among them our colleague Jess Grose, who correctly predicted that Faye Miller was a member of the Chosen People. As for me: I'm not ready to put Roger on suicide watch. While I did think that the scene between Roger and Joan had a sense of finality to it, I meant only that it seemed to me that Joan had found the resolve to cut Roger out of her life for good. He's in rough shape, and will be in rougher shape still when he sees Sterling's Gold's Amazon sales rank. And I suppose I could see him eating, drinking, and smoking himself to death—given his heart condition, it wouldn't take much. But I don't see him as the self-annihilation type.

That said, he's been left behind by the times even more so than Cooper, who punctuates his dotty behavior with lucid observations about the firm's business (even if I didn't agree with his assessment of Roger's failings this week) and plays a role in mediating among the partners (I liked when he made Roger apologize to Pete last week after cursing him out). Roger has no accounts. He tried to deep-six the Honda deal and got the recovering alcoholic from Pond's drunk. He's become more trouble than he's worth. Something tells me that we're in for a surprise before this season is out, and maybe bidding Roger farewell, in one way or another, will indeed be it. It'd make losing Paul Kinsey and his beard seem like a trifle.

I can't believe I got outbid on this.

One over for the day,
John

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.