McCann has finally won: they’re absorbing Sterling Cooper and closing the offices. Even a last minute Hail Mary presentation can’t save them. Everyone tries to figure out their next step, and you can feel the chaos seconds away from breaking. Meanwhile, we get to see Trudy and Pete team up one last time to be the Super WASPs, and Peggy tells Stan about the child she gave up for adoption.
Don Draper has never been the most exciting character to cover for this blog, fashion-wise, but with the 70s in full swing he’s definitely the odd man out. Don’s big fashion moment is this striped shirt and khakis work ensemble:
I’d like to imagine that after he bought this shirt, he walked down the street feeling proud of himself for how edgy his new style is.
On a non-style note, this is at least the second time this season we’ve seen Don lying on the couch all coffin-like. I don’t think it’s a hint about Don dying, but rather, Weiner & Co reminding that the end is nigh.
As Don and Ted work through the night to find accounts to salvage, Don really kicks back and unwinds. He rolls up his sleeves and then he…LOOSENS HIS TIE!
Yes, this is Don Draper burning the midnight oil in a tie. You can take Don out of 1961, but you can’t take 1961 out of Don.
It’s no secret that colors are a big thing on this show. Last week, fellow YKYLF staffer Constance made a solid argument that brown tones represented Don’s past and blue the future. This week, I’d say they represent the opposites: after the McCann merger is discovered, blues and greys are Team SC&P, browns are Team McCann. The past versus the inevitable future, yet again.
Ted’s going to settle in happily at McCann because he’s never happier than when he doesn’t have to make a choice for himself. But Pete, Don, and Joan are all holding strong in their blues. The odd man out is Roger in grey, but we see him in blue later and Don in grey so I’m going to label the cool tones as interchangeable.
Here, we have Don, looking more desperate during the presentation than he’s ever looked (except maybe for the Hershey pitch).
Blue tones without a hint of 70s brown. The silhouette is definitely more modern, with wider lapels to match the wide tie. I hadn’t noticed before how much larger the collar on his shirt has gotten. I guess this is Don trying to embrace 1970 on his terms?
When they make the announcement to the staff the next day, color lines are clearly drawn. Ted stands out like a sore thumb in brown while Joan, realizing there’s no place for her at McCann, is in shades of vibrant blue. Don is in a bluish-grey suit similar to the one he wore for his failed pitch, and Pete is dressed like he’s about to dine at Downton Abbey.
Come to think of it, I’d like to hear what the Dowager Countess would say about him.
The character most in flux this episode is Peggy. She gets an early warning from Pete about the merger, in a shot we’ve seen before:
I love the path these two have taken together, and I’m so grateful to the show for rewarding viewers with this scene. We get a reminder of how tied together they are in this episode, as Peggy tries to wrangle children then finally confesses to Stan that she gave a child up for adoption. Visually, Peggy and Pete are tied together in this scene with the matching blue tones. Of course, this is before Peggy meets with the headhunter.
Peggy meets with the headhunter at her brownstone, and gets the bad news: without an Ivy League degree (or any degree) her best option is to put in a few years at McCann.
1970 really is Peggy’s year, fashion-wise. Look at how cute flattering this outfit is! One day, Peggy’s closet will make for a fantastic vintage Etsy shop.
The next day at work, Peggy’s accepted that she’ll probably be headed to McCann. Gone are the blues from the first few scenes; Peggy’s in brown tones now.
Meanwhile, Stan’s in almost all blue except for the brown kerchief which links him to Peggy in this scene. He doesn’t know what he’s going to do, but given the reminder of his photography a few episodes ago, I’d be surprised if he follows Peggy to McCann.
Before he knew about the merger, though, Stan was all about the brown tones. Janie Bryant described this outfit as having a modern cowboy vibe. I just love it for all the jewelry Stan’s rocking.
That cuff is fabulous. He’s worn it a few times this season, but this is the best glimpse we’ve gotten, and I can’t wait for someone to knock it off so it can be mine.
More brown tones, this time from Ken as he rejects Pete and Roger’s offer to take Dow Chemical to their boutique west coast agency.
Dow Chemical stays with McCann, and Ken finally gets his revenge (!!!).
With rumors swirling, Meredith demands that Don tell her what’s going on. She doesn’t tolerate his patronizing “Sweetheart,” which makes me love her even more. It’s nice to see why she’s lasted as Don’s secretary.
I don’t see her headed to McCann, though. She’s just a little too…special.
The color scheme for these costumes don’t count for the blue vs. brown because it’s from before everyone knew the agency was closing. However, I love this shot solely for the hemlines.
Caroline’s dug a dress out of her closet from 1964 and belted it to be with the times. Dawn’s conservative and practical, as Dawn always has been. Then there’s Shirley, proving she has the best legs at Sterling Cooper. I will always feel like we didn’t get enough Dawn and Shirley, because short of a spinoff, there will never be enough Dawn and Shirley.
Joan has been making 1970 work for her. More money has meant Joan’s wardrobe is spectacular. Look at how fabulous she is in this polka dot top and floral printed skirt:
Snaps for the gold chains going all the way down to her gold belt buckle, drawing the eye to the giant ring on her index finger. Joan now lives the way she thought she would back when being married to a successful doctor was a possibility. The skirt is definitely the wildest print we’ve ever seen her in, but it’s surprisingly flattering and I’m 100% on board.
I’m also on board with this great two-shot of Joan and Roger, and yes, it’s meant to remind you of those days when they were a couple (or a shot from a 1960s Doris Day movie). Windmill snaps for Jared Harris’s (Lane Pryce) ace job directing this episode.
I think it’s safe to say that Roger’s mustache is the best part of this season, by the way. It’s like the mustache is the physical embodiement of all that is Roger Sterling.
Let’s gape a Joan’s jewelry one more time, particularly this oversized pearl and gold set. Joan, being Joan, didn’t just get a matching earring and pin. Oh no.
Joan got the pin, the earrings, at least one ring (but she’s wearing two) and quite possibly a watch that if not matches, at least compliments, the whole set. Where does she keep all this jewelry in her tiny apartment? Does Joan have the 1970 version of Vanessa from Gossip Girl’s Magical Accessories Storage compartment system? Does Kevin just sleep in an armoire? Joan’s hair must be so big because it’s full of fashion secret.
Matt Weiner brought back all the greats to wrap up the show, which means we got one more chance to bask in the glorious light of Trudy Campbell, who’s blending almost completely into the walls of her home here.
Yes, she looks a little distressed, but you’d better believe that if she wrapped a kerchief around her hair, Trudy would be able to work the floral housecoat like it’s couture, because she’s Trudy Freaking Campbell and that’s how she does.
Pete’s right — Trudy is timeless. Even as she’s working a That Girl hat and a very of-the-moment center part, she’s wearing a silhouette that I could see her in 30 years from now.
Trudy is going to be the chicest old woman one day. She will move back to the city after her daughter graduates high school, she will die never having seen the inside of a New York subway, and she will be fabulous.
Let’s close things out with the shot of the episode: drunk Don about to be kissed by Roger. Shine on, you crazy drunk diamonds in your complimentary grey suits.