Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rewatching Mad Men (cont.)

I believe this scene is key to understanding why Campbell shows up at Peggy's apartment that night. Here's the pattern. First, Draper thwarts Campbell's desire to engage in a sort of corporate-ladder-climbing intercourse. Clearly, given the way the scene is shot, and given the bile of Campbell's "f*ck you" at the end, sex is a weapon for Campbell. Later, when the other Sterling Cooper lads take him out for his stag party, Campbell brazenly puts the moves on one of the gals who joins the lads at the strip club. Here again he confuses force for flattery, and again he's rejected and humiliated, only this time in front of his peers.

Campbell mixes desire and power to the point that they're indistinguishable. Being humiliated by Draper in the afternoon, and in front of his peers at the strip club, forces his hand. He goes to Peggy's apartment not -- or not strictly -- because he wants some wanton nookie before he gets hitched, but to get something that Draper has (or so he thinks). Sleeping with Draper's secretary is Campbell's way of getting revenge. Again, sex to him is only a weapon. This is, in part, why Peggy's speech at the end of the second season -- the one that left me and probably you breathless -- is so powerful: what she tells Campbell shocks him; he's surprised; but it's not about the baby. It's about what she says and how she says it and the fact that she is a woman. And it's about Campbell's idea of who he is.

1 comment:

kellykelly1 said...