Why Everything Will Turn Out Just Fine For Peggy Olson on 'Mad Men'
It would be easy to feel sorry for Peggy Olson after the series of unfortunate events that unfolded for her over the course of Season 6 of Mad Men . She's been batted around personally, professionally, and romantically, sometimes all at once.
She's watched the dream of her very own Cleo — something she's been working for her entire career — disappear right before her eyes as Don credited her brilliant idea for the juice campaign to the deceased Frank Gleason, all while he not-so-subtly called out her blossoming relationship with a smitten Ted. Speaking of, the perpetual downfall of Don has caused her to lose faith in a former friend and mentor. She stabbed her boyfriend Abe by accident, and on the way to the hospital in an ambulance, he broke up with her. (Though, in Peggy's defense, we all wanted sort of wanted to stab Abe.)
How much more could the woman who has already endured enough abuse at work and beyond? Oh, funny you should ask... because it's, by having her newfound — albeit married — love decide to take off to California and leave her behind to make his family life work. You see, he loves her so much he simply can't stand to be around her. Yeah, it's a bullshit excuse, and if anyone can see through bullshit from an ad man, it's Peggy. If Ted thought Peggy was going to tearfully thank him for making their lives easier, he clearly didn't know her as well as he thought he did. (For the love of all that is good, give Elisabeth Moss an Emmy this year, she's earned it!)
An enraged (and rightfully so, as they'd only slept together but the night before) Peggy told him to get out, and in a remark that felt like a real stab to the gut for all us Peggy fans, told him, "Well, aren't you lucky to have decisions?" Ouch. We've watched, for six often agonizing seasons, our beloved, hardworking Peggy be at the mercy of pigheaded men. She's had enough, dammit.
But even after the world of shit she's had to put up with from the men in her life, I still believe, in the end, Peggy is going to be alright. As Uproxx.com gloriously pointed out, Peggy is still going strong and now sitting pretty with an uncanny resemblance to her fallen former idol Don.
Peggy never relied on a man to get her to the top in her (Duck and Pete can hardly be considered career boosters), and certainly not one worthy to rely on in her life. If Ted hadn't been married with children, maybe he could have been the man to break that cycle, but even deep down Peggy knew better. That anger towards the end of last night's "In Care Of" wasn't just towards Ted, but a little bit with herself for expecting anything to be different this time around.
Maybe Peggy will have a happily ever after with a man (I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for that man to be Stan), but that's not what Peggy's looking for in this life. She's looking for the respect and accolades she deserves at work. She's looking to take over the world, one advertising campaign at a time. Peggy perpetually gets kicked at work (and outside of work, for that matter), but she's the only one who continually gets back up, better than ever. Don, Ted, Pete, and all the other men who have let her down over the past six seasons will only be left with a world of regret, as Peggy looks at them from her rear view mirror as she drives off into the sunset (Matthew Weiner willing, with fellow ass-kicker Joanie at her side).
Put that in your ad and smoke it, gentleman.
Image: Jessica Brooks/AMC