I stand by my assertion 1000 percent and will LAY DOWN MY LIFE in its defense that the first double-length episode of this season of Mad Men; was just straight up Bad Television. The pacing was off, the plotting was dull, the edits were weird, the acting was stiff, and the Zou Bisou Bisou centerpiece was just plain bizarre. Not to mention the fact that characters drew attention to Don Draper’s attractiveness, and there was an over-emphasis on the “periodness” of it all. It wasn’t good! I’m sorry! It’s not your fault! But things have slowly improved since then, and last night’s episode was a cold knock out. Joan! Ahhhhhhh JOAN! Joan. Mostly Joan. But also Peggy! Ahhhhhhh! Peggy! Peggy, too. But Joan! Oh, Joan. OH ALL THE MEN IN THE OFFICE! Oh Herb! What a world we used to live in. Luckily nothing like that could ever happen today. There is no such thing as sexism, misogyny, violent aggression, inhuman business practices, sexual barter, prostitution. Everything at this point is peaches and equality. But back then! Don’t even get me or Joan started. What it took for a woman to make it, oh brother! (If I can drop the sardonic tone for two seconds, it actually IS a real “oh brother” situation to learn how hard it used to be for women in this world, and it is still kind of hard in a lot of ways but not nearly as hard as it used to be! OK, and now back to the wink winks and eyerolls.) Anyway, Joan is a Real Housewife Of Asshole County now. Don is one of the good ones. And Peggy is just doing what Don would do. The Peggy thing kind of came out of left field though, right? Like, Don throwing the money in her face was NOT COOL (I thought he was supposed to be one of the good ones!) and he always goes back and forth between treating her like shit and spending all night getting hammered with her, and OK, Heinz, and stuff, so I know the vague dissatisfaction element has been there for a couple seasons but for her to just up and leave is intense. Also, she kind of did a bad job negotiating. He said he would beat the offer she got, so she should have at least played a couple of rounds of What’s My Rate?! Then again, women back then didn’t know anything about BUSINESS. Bye Peggy! Enjoy whatever is in your thermos! Soup? It’s probably soup. Two episodes left! AHHHHHHH!