While Don is the hero of the show, I am inclined to argue that Peggy is Mad Men's real star. The show has always been about Peggy's rise and Don's decline. When we meet Don, he already has everything: career, family, clout. It's all built on a web of deceit and lies, sure, but he's at the top of his game. He's already Don Freaking Draper, advertising legend. Peggy on the other hand, is the hero whose journey we've followed intently. Our first day at Sterling Cooper is hers too, so in many ways, we've been seeing the show through her eyes all along.
That's why it was so hard when she left for another agency and viewers went for a little too long without a Peggy fix. It's also no coincidence that in that time without Peggy, the Sterling Cooper gang was just hanging on by a thread (Don's talent), made weaker by poor decision making. Thankfully, we've got our Peggy back and in her rightful spot, too boot. For a show that started as one about men in the high stakes world of advertising, it quickly morphed into one about women finding their voices both in the workplace and in their personal lives, with Peggy leading the charge.
Here's what we want to see Ms. Olson do as Mad Man prepares to draw the curtain on its characters.
1. She Takes Over Sterling Cooper
This is where the show seems to be leading up to. As Don self-destructs, Peggy ascends, and she's the only rightful heir to the throne of SC&P. While the men are screwing it up by dicking around and letting their egos do the navigating, Peggy is the only one hungry enough to take the reins and steer it right. We predict that she's going to be Madison Avenue's first lady kingpin and that it's going to be awesome.
2. She and Stan Get It On
Come on, we're all waiting for this one, right? Their chemistry is beyond charming, and you can tell they absolutely get each other. Stan respects her, which is important, and something she hasn't gotten from past lovers. Ted, as gentlemanly as he is, doesn't respect her enough to either leave his wife or not jerk her around. Counter-culture boyfriend Abe was a civil rights activist who couldn't wrap his head around women's rights. It's inevitable. These two are made for each other.
3. Peggy and Joan Become Better Besties
Peggy and Joan definitely started out on the wrong foot. Make no mistake, Season 1 Joan could have eaten Season 1 Peggy in one bite. It's so delightful to see these women grow into each other over the years, even if it's just an occasional "Can you believe this bullshit?" smoke break. If Peggy properly takes over Sterling Cooper, I can't wait to see what sort of power alliance she makes with Joan.
4. She Hires More Women
As the show moves into the '70s, things are going to get really weird. Culture is quickly moving from the era of Chubby Checker to that of Deep Throat and Gloria Steinem. Basically, the world around SC&P is getting way less conservative. Peggy worked hard to rise to her current position, (she's also crazy talented, which helps). But it would be nice to see her surround herself with more talented women and break up the bro vibe of the creative trenches. Plus, as women's lib becomes a larger part of the national consciousness, it would be great to see women workers in the office as a fact and not a fluke.
5. She Wins The Clio
From her Glo-coat win going to Don to having her latest idea attributed to the departed Frank Gleason, Peggy has had an awful time getting credit for her fantastic work. Finally wrapping her hands around a Clio would make up for all of the crap she's put up with, and be the ultimate celebration of her meteoric rise.