John, there’s no way Greg Harris will die in Vietnam. If Joan’s husband bites it in the jungle, he’ll never come home and meet Joan’s baby, which means he’ll never wonder whether that baby is really his, which means he’ll never inspect it suspiciously for silver hair and laceratingly witty burbles. Too many dramatic possibilities disappear if Greg never comes home.
As for Lane’s finances, he might be broke because he’s spending all his cash at the Playboy Club. But that doesn’t sound like Lane to me. He’s such a funny mix of propriety and perviness. But proper Lane always wins. See how he backs down sheepishly when Polito’s “girl”—“I’m like his wife, but I can’t call myself that”—resists his offer to come over and drop the wallet off. I think it’s more likely that Lane, who keeps the books, is paying himself last, and that his poverty is a sign of just how tight things are at SCDP.
Patrick, you called Megan “accommodating”—getting her work done, throwing Don’s party, cleaning the house. But I’m not sure that’s the right word. The person Megan accommodates most often is Megan. She throws the party for Don, but mostly because she wants to show off her sex appeal and her chic new white carpet. When Don demands, “Don’t waste money on things like that,” she responds. “It’s my money, and you don’t get to decide what I do with it.” Can you imagine Betty saying such a thing? The fact that Megan works gives her unprecedented independence in her dealings with Don. Indeed, the episode could have been called Who’s the Boss?, given the way Don and Megan tussled for control. (Don at the office: “I could make you go home. I have that power.” Megan on the carpet: “You don’t get to have this.”)
Where does Megan derive this power? Here we see yet another microgenerational fissure. For Joan, Peggy, and Dr. Faye Miller, working is something surprising, something unexpected, something their mothers give them flak for. Megan, though, seems to take for granted that she can work as a professional, ooze sex appeal, marry the boss, and not skip a beat. She knows what she likes—black coffee for breakfast, being taken seriously by her colleagues, sex in the wreckage of a cocktail party—and she goes after it. She’s a slightly new breed of woman. Or a new iteration of the new breed. It’ll be fascinating to see how far her ambitions take her.
Do I suddenly appear to be wearing a skirt?
TODAY IN SLATE
Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case
The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race
How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster
The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented
Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada
You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney
Or at least trade it for something.
- Texas Lab Worker on Cruise Tests Negative for Ebola as Dallas Hospital Apologizes
- Police Use Tear Gas to Break Up College Pumpkin Festival Turned Violent
- Racist Rancher Cliven Bundy Challenges Eric Holder in Bizarre Campaign Ad
- Supreme Court Allows Texas Law That Accepts Handgun Permits but not College IDs to Vote
An All-Female Mission to Mars
As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.