Those last two scenes of the show, folks: whoa.
And pretty much, Peggy is awesome.
Ok, so the way she reacted to Allison, Don's secretary, weeping after sleeping with Don and him being a complete douchebag about it, was not very sisterly. At the same time, it's understandable why Peggy would be angry. I think I might be immediately, too - Allison's belief that Peggy must have slept with Don implied that Peggy got to where she is ONLY because she fucked to get there. That is undoubtedly something Peggy has to face a lot - no one can believe she could have been promoted on her talent, because, well, she's a woman, so she must have slept with someone to get ahead. It erases the fact that Peggy works really hard, and is really fucking good - it objectifies her, no less than the men objectified her when she first started working at Sterling Cooper and was repeatedly hit on. I wish she hadn't been mean, but Peggy isn't, at her core, mean - I think she was just really insulted and lashed out.
If Peggy is anything, it's that she is a continually evolving, complex character. Can you imagine her in the first season now doing what she is doing? Going to loft parties thrown by artists that get busted by the cops, smoking pot and watching arty iconoclastic movies and hanging out with a queer girl, and then kissing some strange dude in a closet where they are hiding from said cops? She's incredibly quick, too: when the queer girl tries to kiss her, and then points out Peggy's boyfriend doesn't own her vagina, Peggy responds with, "No, but he's renting my vagina for a while." She watches the arty movies stoned and notices how rhythmic it is, and when asked if she likes it, she says, "I'm Catholic; I don't think I'm supposed to like it." She is unoffended by the drugs, the ridiculous artist, the girl trying to kiss her - she doesn't judge. Considering that she grew up in a very conservative, Catholic family, it's pretty amazing.
And then there's that second to last scene. Peggy's new friend, the queer chick (what is her name? I have to re-watch the episode later) calls her up for a spontaneous lunch. Peggy has just gone to congratulate Pete on the news that he and Trudy are going to have a baby - this obviously brings up all kinds of emotions for her. But she faces them, and makes a point to congratulate him to his face. As she is running out to meet her new friends, there is that great juxtaposition between one generation and the next. All these suited (white) men are standing in the lobby, smiling and shaking hands, but still very stiff and proper. Peggy's friends, behind the glass doors of the levator, come giggling and laughing and running up to the office door, men and women dressed far more loosely and colorfully, energetic and looking like they are ready to go play. Pete is standing with the men in the lobby - he and Peggy lock eyes as she joins her friends waiting for the elevator. They smile - Pete is genuinely smilling, but Peggy looks sad for a moment. Then she REALLY smiles, drops her eyes, and heads into the elevator with the Cool Kids. Pete does not look away - he watches her go, stuck with the men in the lobby, part of the Old Guard, the last generation.
It says a lot about the generation gap, obviously, but also about the amount of struggle both of them have had to face, and the choices they have had to make. Pete can just walk into that Old Boys Club - he has to the class status, the right gender, the right color - Peggy can't do that. And it looks like she is choosing not to try - she kisses a strange boy in a closet, so she's not single-mindedly set, obviously, on traditional courting (and maybe marriage - she said she wanted to get married in the last episode, but made it clear she mostly just doesn't want to be lonely). She's hanging out with the counterculture now, and that makes sense - if anything, Peggy has seen very clearly that it isn't merit that gets you anywhere, but who you are and who you know. She's seen the man behind the curtain. It will be incredibly interesting to watch how her new experiences outside the office start to conflict with inside the office.
Now, that last scene with Don, where he watches the very old couple re-enact a pretty sad scene - what do we think of that. Does he see marriage inevitably ending up there? Does he dislike what he sees? Is he indifferent? It's interesting when he shouts at the psychologist, because he's right, she isn't forward looking enough - women have always been taught to want marriage as the ultimate goal. But if women are introduced to different ideas, different ways of thinking, that won't necessarily remain true - Don is basically arguing that social narratives change, and the ad agency needs to change with them. We know he turns out right, so we can cheer for him in that scene, but it's a pretty progressive moment for Don. Of course, he is drinking a tremendous amount. That is worrisome, his drinking in the office alone late at night. When he starts the letter to apologize to Allison, he stops at, "My life right now is very" and is unable to complete the sentence. He knows something is very wrong; we'll see if he is able to address it, though, or continue with his epic Don Draper avoidance.
Also, points to Joan for making me laugh this episode. Because Don has made things a mess by sleeping with his secretary and then being a cad, Joan has rebuked him - by giving him the secretary he is least likely to sleep with. His "girl," as they call the women secretaries, is now a matronly grandmother, and people in the office are snickering at him. Which is pretty brilliant, but also shows how much respect and clout Don has been losing.
Alright, folks, the discussion is yours. What did that last scene with Don and the old married couple mean? What do you see happening with Peggy? Don't you just love Pete and Trudy's relationship, even if you don't love Pete? Have at it, loves!