Mad Men Recap
Season 7, Episode 6
In this week’s episode, “The Strategy,” we are very near to the culmination of the season leaving us only with one more episode, we are now at the point where the future has come alive and the characters are beginning to be less scared of it than in past episodes. The future in this episode really highlighted women overall and their role as working women. With Peggy, we see that women are at the point where they can take the reins and the men are becoming more comfortable with this new tactic. In Joan, we are able to understand that women are starting to feel much more independent and less self-reliant on men to take care of them; they can now make their own future with or without a man. For the men of this time period, in Don we see an unabashed ability to see women as his equals and in Pete we see how some men are still stuck in the past. They see women as having the role of mom, keeper of the house and as frivolous things who can easily be swayed with the promise of a shopping spree. Although, we also see the duality of him, he does have faith in his co-workers who are women like Peggy, but only to an extent and that extent does not exceed to far yet.
Let’s sit down and talk, maybe at our nearby old school Burger Chef-like restaurant and talk about what went down.
Peggy and her subordinate go to Burger Chef to poll women on why they eat there. What she gets is pissed off moms, who just want to feed their kids and get home. They almost feel like bad wives or mothers for getting fast food, but the convenience of Burger Chef overrides that factor. Taking that idea, Peggy spins it and uses it for her campaign. The meeting goes fabulous, but she still wrestles with her ideas and knows there can be something better.
Pete is in town from California as well and suggests Don lead the meeting and then Peggy can chime in. Here we see that at times the men are still stuck in the feeling that women can only carry the company so far, but Peggy is a force to be reckoned with and can’t be quieted that easily.
Bob Benson is finally back in town and this time with his Chevy pals, who he brings in for a meeting. One of them makes an outward, flirtatious remark to Joan, which is the norm on the show. Once at home, we see him get a call from one of the Chevy executives, apparently he is in jail and was also beat up. He tells him he is the only guy he can trust and reveals that they are taking their ad campaign in-house and will be offering him a job with Buick. Now in the back seat of the taxi, there is a weird, sexual tension that is felt, and it is obvious what we have been thinking for a while that Bob is most likely gay. In the executive, we see how men had to hide their sexuality by overtly flirting with women to hide the truth.
Now Bob is the sweetest guy ever and he goes over to visit Joan and her family, bringing flowers and toys in tow. Upon arriving back from their date he proposes to her, to which she tells him is ridiculous considering he is gay. He basically tells her that she is a single mother living with her own mother in a small apartment, life could be better for her if she married him. Plus since he will be an executive he needs to appear as a married man and keep up that façade. She goes on to tell him that she will not marry him; she is content with her life and wants love, not an arrangement. Joan is independent now and realizes she doesn’t need anyone in her life simply for a paycheck, not Bob and definitely not Roger, she can do it on her own now.
Megan also comes in to the office for a surprise visit. Once at home, we see her packing up a lot of her belongings to take back to California. She uses the excuse that she misses her stuff, but really it feels like she is on the verge of asking Don for a divorce.
Peggy goes back to the office to stew over her Burger Chef ideas. She starts pouring some whisky and brooding and ends up calling Don and telling her that she is unhappy with her idea. Alone in the office, Don comes in and together they start discussing a new strategy. She asks him for advice and tells him how does he do it? He tells her to start from scratch and see where you end up.
Peggy’s new idea is that the commercial should be shot on location at Burger Chef, so that families can eat together there. She considers that anyone who sits around a table, breaking bread together is a family.
Suddenly they are in deep with booze and ideas and they start to reform their bond. Frank Sinatra’s song “My Way” comes on and the two start dancing, at this point it feels as if Peggy has forgiven Don, conceded and realized that he is not too bad. This moment was endearing and sweet and I am sure every Mad Men fan out there was saying “Awww.”
The dynamics of family are shifting at this time and her idea is right on point. Peggy, Pete and Don go to one of the Burger Chef’s sit down, order burgers together, talk about the idea and literally break bread together. Three of the original characters back together again, what a great scene I loved it!
Can’t wait to see what happens next week and if Burger Chef will love or hate their idea. What will happen with all of our beloved characters? Only one more episode to find out, then we will back to wondering and waiting for another year when it all ends. Wahhh!!!