As promised, here are my outtakes from the second episode of the season, "A Day's Work."
Episode 7.2: “A Day’s Work”
It’s the second episode of the season, and it’s beginning to seem like the film It’s a Wonderful Life. What is life like without Don Draper in it? What is the office like? One thing’s for sure—there’s clutter, clutter everywhere, both at SC&P and in Don’s swank apartment (or formerly swank). One of the opening scenes of this episode shows Don with his hand in a box of Ritz crackers, watching The Little Rascals on TV. According to my sources, who actually lived through this time period, snacking out of a box like that was relatively unheard of. And yet today you can pop into almost any deli or bodega and be overwhelmed by the vast variety of snack options.
In February 1969, it was just the beginning…
Several women get promoted at work, seemingly randomly, this episode. But I think what lies at the heart of these promotions is their loyalty to the company. Dawn ends up with Joan’s old job by episode’s end, and by then we’ve learned that she’s still updating Don at home on the goings on of the company and wants to do so without extra pay (though Don insists otherwise). Joan, it turns out, has been working two jobs, and finally gets her promotion to ad man.
Peggy, on the other hand, is capsized by the weight of Valentine’s Day and the sheer number of women in the office with flowers on their desks, especially her very own secretary, whose roses she mistakes for her own. “Look at you, every inch a girl,” her employee Stan teases her.
While she seems embarrassed about her meltdown, there’s really very little she can do about it.
And is it just me, or do those roses seem to multiply in size throughout the episode? They look like a dozen at first, and I'm pretty sure someone, Dawn or Peggy, says there are a dozen of them. But by episode's end, there are definitely at least three dozen roses in that vase.
We get an interesting look at race relations of the time period this episode, too. The only two black secretaries in the office, Dawn and Shirley, refer to each other by their own names, a nod to how often their coworkers mix them up. And in an office that has become more and more conservative in the absence of their fearless leader, Shirley is anything but:
But check out her dress doppelganger in the February 1969 GH:
Incidentally, another Shirley, Shirley Chisholm, was the first black woman to join the House of Representatives in 1968, and yet Bert Cooper can’t handle having a black woman work the reception desk at SC&P because “someone might see her.”
Ponder that one.
Until next time, as Sally Draper would say, "Just tell the truth."