Seminal Television: The Suitcase
Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) has nowhere else to go. As the right hand woman of the Creative department in Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce, she’s Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) target of emotional abuse. Look at her alternatives, however. She is offered earlier in the episode to become a partner in an in-the-works new agency to be formed by Duck (Mark Moses), a worse-off alcoholic than Don. She can’t form her own agency – since Don gives her no credit, she’s unknown to clients. She can’t go back to being a secretary. And she isn’t the marrying kind – yet.
Don also tells her that she ‘should be thanking me along with Jesus for giving you another day.’ I shouldn’t give the ungrateful Don more credit, but Peggy starting out as a secretary may not have pictured herself as a workaholic copyrighter. Don has helped spark Peggy’s love for advertising, and there’s a part of her that believes that. The hardest part about being the heir apparent is waiting for and watching the wrath and demise of the man who inspired her, and that’s the only way she can come out on top.
He also sarcastically apologizes for being partly why she broke up with her boyfriend.
Later on, they listen to a draft of Roger Sterling’s (Jon Slattery) autobiography, ‘Sterling’s Gold,’ where he reveals his struggle against Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) in the early days. They find a mouse and he reveals that his childhood was spent on a farm and that he’s a witness to his father’s death. Peggy opens up that she has the latter in common with him. Those are the few things the learn about each other as they strengthen their vulnerable relationship.
Enough erudition, I just wanna point out two things – as Allison would say, this happened. The picture below is the best I can do for the screen cap, sorry. For a self-confessed plain lookin’ gal, Peggy sure has a lot of guys fighting because of her.
And Peggy Olson stars in Where the Wild Things Are, and Don plays the James Gandolfini character, obviously.