Let’s talk about expectations, because right about now I’m expecting Megan Draper to get killed.
I don’t mean just straight up shot or strangled; I mean I’m expecting her to be brutally murdered by the Manson Family the way they killed Sharon Tate in some twisted Matthew Weiner historical fiction sort of way, because that is what the entire internet is getting me to think is about to happen. This whole theory that Don’s wife is somehow connected with the murdered wife of Roman Polanski has cast an even darker and more mysterious shadow over a show that already is all about being weird and filled with possible symbolism.
But like Abe Vigoda, Megan Draper isn’t dead yet. I need to remove this fixation I have and concentrate on the episode at hand, because there was just so much good going on in “A Tale of Two Cities” that it is only right for me to cast aside any death fantasies I have to pay it homage.
Since I’m off the Megan death trip for the time being, let’s take a moment to appreciate Joan doing a little Sheryl Sandberg leaning in, and going over Pete’s receding hairline to nab Avon. Let’s also appreciate the fact that while Peggy starts out acting like a little church mouse that wants nothing to do with it, soon enough she’s on Team Joan, and all of a sudden I’m wondering if there could be some sort of spinoff show starring the pair of two take no prisoner ladies running a Manhattan ad firm in the 1970s. (I’ll also gladly take an 80s Don Draper show.)
There’s so much in this episode that it’s hard to pick out other highlights, but obviously the backdrop of the 1968 Democratic National Convention taking place, and one of the Carnation bosses kvetching about the hippies that were getting beaten being a disgrace to the country, and how “Dutch Reagen is a patriot,” and not future president Nixon. There’s Bob Benson getting psyched up to go into his first big meeting with a client by listening to some motivational record, but then having to play the part of the motivator by yelling at a timid Ginsberg, “Manischewitz are good people; they’re your people!” That was great.
People smoke drugs (Don: hashish, Pete: weed), Roger gets punched in the balls (amazing), and there is trouble in paradise between the two firms because they can’t seem to play nice together.
And the descent into the Inferno continues…