The Orange Couch Does Mad Men: S6E10, “A Tale of Two Cities”

By Amanda Marcotte
Monday, June 3, 2013 16:55 EDT
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New Orange Couch: A little late because we are knee-deep in boxes from our recent move from one part of Brooklyn to another, but still just as good! Marc and I discuss the strong themes of rebirth, redemption, and revolt in this episode, all of which tie back to the famous novel from which the episode got its name.

One thing I thought the audience here at Pandagon would love is the Peggy/Joan storyline, which ably captured the way women in male-dominated space often have to choose between bad choices and worse ones. Peggy is the younger and hipper of the two, and a natural feminist, so her instinct has always been to try to support Joan in the spirit of sisterhood. Joan, on the other hand, is more old school and thus has a tendency to see other women as competition and not comrades. In the past, every attempt that Peggy has made to help Joan out has been perceived by Joan as a way for Peggy to insinuate that Joan isn’t smart enough or good enough, when of course, it’s always been more that Peggy thinks women have to hang together to get ahead. And finally, after eight years of knowing each other, Joan finally gets it. Not right away, of course. Their fight is a retread of the same old fight they’ve always had, with Peggy trying to express confidence in Joan, Joan taking that poorly, and their total inability to create a useful alliance. Now Peggy has shown Joan why sisterhood is powerful. Hopefully Joan is taking notes.

I’m increasingly convinced that Don is going to be asked to make a huge sacrifice. I have no idea if he’ll be up to the task.

Thoughts? Opinions? Predictions?

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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