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Glen Bishop: Lock Up Your Daughters (and Your Bathrooms)


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#1

Sister Magpie

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Posted Oct 12, 2010 @ 9:36 AM

Glen's always gotten strong reactions, but after Blowing Smoke it seemed like he deserved his own topic because there is some real disagreement.

He comes across as creepy to me, but I feel like if he were the main character we'd just see him as treated unfairly. I can see how it looked to Betty to see Sally ducking into some bushes to meet someone, but we saw what the two of them actually do when they're together and it's pretty innocent. Their entire relationship seems to consist of talking about their lives, especially their lives as children of divorce in a town where they are the only ones.

Glen wanted to be Betty's savior and he seems to be doing the same for Sally, but in Sally's case the "saving" seems to consist of being more of a mentor. He tells her things he's learned based on his experience, he treats her like an equal, he listens to her complain about her mom. The cigarette, as I said in the ep thread, doesn't seem to be about tempting her into vice so much as treating her like his idea of a grown up.

Otoh, he's done some creepy things. Vandalizing the house and walking in on Betty in the bathroom. The vandalizing of the house seems like the most violent thing he's done, but even there I don't think he really crossed the line into something disturbing. We know why he did it and what he considered his mission to be. He doesn't seem to be portrayed as a loner or someone socially on the fringe. He's a football player, he works at the Christmas tree lot. He just has a lot of knowledge of adult things he seems to want to share.

So while he still often comes across as creepy to me, I also always wonder if that's not just making me be suspicious in ways he doesn't deserve. When people react to him the way Betty does it sort of encourages him to be even more out there so it becomes a bit of a vicious cycle. And I think it's interesting--and believable--that where years ago Betty told Helen that Glen was lonely and she should pay more attention to him, he's now reached the age where he doesn't get that kind of understanding. Now he's bad.
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#2

Justine2003

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Posted Oct 12, 2010 @ 12:05 PM

I find Glen's scenes hilarious. I don't think he's a great "mentor" for different reasons--smoking cigarettes at a young age and telling Sally she should lie in therapy sessions (to name just a couple of things). I wouldn't say he's a "bad" kid necessarily, but seems to be a pretty messed-up one.

The football thing is fine, as far working on the Christmas tree lot, I assumed he just wanted to make some extra pocket money. His mother works and probably doesn't have a lot left over after paying bills, and we don't know much about the father but I wouldn't be surprised if he's not someone with a lot of money (or not very generous with it). So I see Glen working with the Christmas trees more as a way to make some money (which is fine) then him being extremely responsible.

I noticed in the last episode that he is getting big and really starting to look grown-up! He looks a lot like his dad (Matt Weiner) now.

Edited by Justine2003, Oct 12, 2010 @ 12:06 PM.

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#3

BBDi

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Posted Oct 12, 2010 @ 2:09 PM

Otoh, he's done some creepy things. Vandalizing the house and walking in on Betty in the bathroom. The vandalizing of the house seems like the most violent thing he's done, but even there I don't think he really crossed the line into something disturbing. We know why he did it and what he considered his mission to be. He doesn't seem to be portrayed as a loner or someone socially on the fringe. He's a football player, he works at the Christmas tree lot. He just has a lot of knowledge of adult things he seems to want to share


In a lot of ways, he and Sally seem to be trying to find ways to fill the void left in their lives by the adults who won't act like adults or who aren't there for them (ie, Betty, Don, etc.). Yes, Glen is creepy, but they are doing a very good job having him walk the line between weird kid who's a little creepy and future sociopath/killer (which he doesn't seem to be).

One thing about that time period...the gulf between childhood and adulthood was clearly demarcated. Kids knew they were kids, and most grownups acted like it. You couldn't find out about grownup stuff on the internets. We all had friends who were older, 'faster,' or whatever. Having it be someone of the opposite sex, who's weird to boot, makes it riskier. Where Betty is concerned, I think she is very childlike and it is typical that she is scared or anxious about things without really knowing or naming what it is that frightens her. Glen definitely plays into that for her.
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#4

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Posted Oct 12, 2010 @ 5:01 PM

Glen's creepiness, to me, is in his affect and appearance. It's weird to watch Betty on the toilet and not go away when ordered, and it was sadly distasteful when he clung to her when she, I believe, patted him on the shoulder that time on Helen's couch. It was juvenile when he broke in; perhaps it was a gateway crime.

But he looks creepy. His affect conveys that he is "off." He actually looks, to me, both creepy and sort of effeminate, like a little Sicilian grandmother.

I hope for Marten Weiner's sake that it is a great makeup job.
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#5

michellems

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Posted Oct 12, 2010 @ 9:19 PM

I hope for Marten Weiner's sake that it is a great makeup job.


Doubtful. More likely what we have here is a young boy, more talented than the average child, less talented than Kiernan, whose weight problem, pallor, and "interesting" features look a little shocking on TV next to all the kid models and stars we're used to seeing.

I suspect it's the actor playing Glenn, more than the character, that is actually creeping people out, because he isn't a thin, pretty Haley Joel Osment or Alexander Gould type. He's more of a Pugsley Addams type, so people interpret him just sitting there as being creepy.

But the character of Glen is practically a male version of Sally. His peering at Betty in the bathroom and asking for a lock of her hair, is really no weirder than Sally informing Joan "You have big ones. So does my Mom. I'm going to have big ones, too," or cutting her hair in hopes that it will make her father spend more time with her.

His breaking into the house is no more a "gateway crime" than Sally's theft of Grandpa Gene's dollar. These are normal things normal kids do. That's why they need adult supervision, and socialization.

I find Glen and Sally remarkably innocent, compared to the suburban neighbors I grew up with as a child. It seemed to me at the time that just about every little boy (ages 5-13) wanted to show you his wiener, or see you naked, or beat you up, or gross you out. Little boys in particular all seemed to think they were in the mafia or something. Parents seemed blissfully oblivious, in those days. In my neighborhood, a 14-year-old of either gender, who spent a lot of time with a kid under age 12, was called a babysitter, and given fifty cents an hour and parental gratitude.

Any parent nowadays would be quick to remove her 11-year-old daughter from the company of a 14-year-old boy she found her alone with. But it's very sad, because Glenn really is Sally's "support group" right now. He's a real friend. Too bad Sally has had to hide the friendship from Betty.

Edited by michellems, Oct 12, 2010 @ 9:22 PM.

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#6

Sister Magpie

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Posted Oct 12, 2010 @ 9:57 PM

But the character of Glen is practically a male version of Sally. His peering at Betty in the bathroom and asking for a lock of her hair, is really no weirder than Sally informing Joan "You have big ones. So does my Mom. I'm going to have big ones, too," or cutting her hair in hopes that it will make her father spend more time with her.


That's how it seems to me too. And also about the actor just coming across as creepy without it necessarily being in the writing.

Any parent nowadays would be quick to remove her 11-year-old daughter from the company of a 14-year-old boy she found her alone with. But it's very sad, because Glenn really is Sally's "support group" right now. He's a real friend. Too bad Sally has had to hide the friendship from Betty.


I was thinking about that scene today wrt my own childhood. I was a kid in the 70s when divorce was a really common topic in movies, tv and books for kids, and while in those books the kids were usually the same age (because nobody wants the power/maturity imbalance that comes with one being older), Glen and Sally's conversations actually remind me a lot of the kinds of friendships they used to show in those stories. That cynical, jaded look at the adults, talking about all the things they don't see, seeing how to behave around mom and her new boyfriend, knowing that shrinks aren't omniscient.

But nowadays it's not so usual to see kids have that kind of "us against the adults" friendship at that age. It's unusual for kids to even be shown walking somewhere alone, much less having a special spot hidden from the road where you talk with your friend without making a playdate through your mom's.
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#7

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Posted Oct 13, 2010 @ 1:45 PM

Agree, Sister Magpie, that Glenn, and what he and Sally do together seem vaguely familiar from another era. Maybe that's why he doesn't creep me out. I see him as sort of a lost boy, product of divorce, maybe no father figure or uncles around (not sure if his mother is remarried?) and somewhat precocious in that he had a crush on and rescue fantasies about Betty at a young age. Maybe those fantasies would just have faded and his attention transferred to girls closer his age, but Betty, in her own weird neediness, encouraged him.

By what they do together, I mean that I too can recall that what we often talked about at that age, far from adult ears, was our allegiances against our parents, how we tested out our independence from them. But not too much, as when Glenn critiques Betty, Sally backs away from it--we can criticize our parents, but our friends can't.

I agree, it's pretty innocent. On the other hand, I can see why Betty is now eager to get away from him. She probably recalls all too well all their inappropriate exchanges and wants to put as much distance as she can between them. All of a sudden, Rye is looking really good!
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#8

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Posted Oct 14, 2010 @ 9:32 AM

In my neighborhood, a 14-year-old of either gender, who spent a lot of time with a kid under age 12, was called a babysitter, and given fifty cents an hour and parental gratitude.

A 14-year-old of the parents' choosing -- and not to babysit an 11-year-old girl. I started babysitting other kids myself when I was 11 or 12.

Any parent nowadays would be quick to remove her 11-year-old daughter from the company of a 14-year-old boy she found her alone with.

And I think most of them would have been concerned about an 11-year-old daughter meeting in an out-of-the-way hiding place with a 14-year-old boy. My parents and those of my friends certainly spoke to us in the '60s about the dangers of older boys, and while not outright forbidding the meetings, would have required that they occur in a safer, public location. (As a reference point, when I was 9 or 10, all the girls of my Catholic grade school were encouraged to go see a movie about St. Maria Goretti, a young Italian girl who chose death over letting a boy "violate" her.)
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#9

SuzN

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 1:47 PM

Creepy. I can't get away from that word either when I think about Glen. His behavior toward Betty when he was much younger was not normal, but not necessarily anything pathological. He was and is always a bit weird, lost and inappropriate.

There is really nothing wrong going on between Glen and Sally in their meetings and yet it feels wrong somehow. The age difference is part of it - it is a vast gap between 14 and 11. It seems so unlikely that a 14 year old boy would want to hang around with an 11 year old girl if there wasn't a least a little something wrong with him.

Here's a puzzler to me: Glen is so lacking in affect - is it because Marten Weiner is not a very good actor or is it that he is very good and that is purposeful acting?

More likely what we have here is a young boy, more talented than the average child, less talented than Kiernan, whose weight problem, pallor, and "interesting" features look a little shocking on TV next to all the kid models and stars we're used to seeing.


I agree that his looks and size contribute to the creepy impression.

I don't think Glen is a future serial-killer, but just likely to grow to be a slightly odd man, always a few hairs off.

Edited by SuzN, Oct 16, 2010 @ 10:53 PM.

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#10

michellems

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Posted Oct 15, 2010 @ 11:58 PM

It seems so unlikely that a 14 year old boy would want to hang around with an 11 year old girl if there wasn't a least a little something wrong with him.


There is something wrong with him. His parents are divorced.
At this time, a lot of parents would have forbidden their kids to play with him on that basis alone.

Not only that, but in a given neighborhood, you don't always have kids who are the right ages to play together. The Draper kids were expected to play with Glenn when he was 9 and Sally was 6. That suggests that there weren't any 9 year old boys for him to play with, or any 6-year-old girls around for her to play with, at the time. It suggests that Sally was the oldest girl, and Glenn the oldest boy, in their neighborhood.

This was before parents were into driving their kids to age-appropriate play groups or arranging play dates. You played with whomever lived close enough, that would play with you. And you walked around or rode around randomly looking for them.

Finally, Glenn's not a stranger who just happens to want to play with an 11 year old. He's a boy who's known Sally Draper since she was 6, and used to play at her house. That's half her life. It's over a third of his. Since Sally's masturbation incident, probably most girls are forbidden to play with her, as well-assuming that any girls close to her age live in the neighborhood.

I think it's amusing that people consider it scary that a 14-year-old might want to converse with an 11-year-old, and find it "creepy," but didn't find it creepy for a 30-year-old to burden a 10-year-old she barely knew, with her problems, even after he told her his parents didn't want him talking to her.
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#11

SuzN

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Posted Oct 16, 2010 @ 10:52 PM

I think it's amusing that people consider it scary that a 14-year-old might want to converse with an 11-year-old, and find it "creepy," but didn't find it creepy for a 30-year-old to burden a 10-year-old she barely knew, with her problems, even after he told her his parents didn't want him talking to her.


I don't think it's either/or - of course Betty's behavior was creepy. In fact, I think Betty's reaction to Glen all along would have tended to reinforce his questionable behavior. As the adult, she could have encouraged him in a healthier direction.
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#12

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Posted Oct 17, 2010 @ 8:04 AM

Every time I think of the "lock of hair" scene, I want to rewrite a bit of dialogue in the Marx Brothers' "Duck Soup" with Glen and Betty in place of Groucho and Margaret Dumont:

Glen: Mrs. Draper, may I have a lock of your hair?
Betty: A lock of my hair? Oh Glen, I had no idea!
Glen: I'm letting you off easy. I was going to ask for the whole wig!

Anyhow, I think Glen is meant to be odd and troubled, though not dangerous. If Weiner and Co. had wanted a more wholesome looking kid in the role, they could certainly have found one. The show generally doesn't have violence erupt where the audience expects it to (which makes scenes where something gory does happen, like the John Deere one, all the more shocking). Glen at this point seems like a juvenile version of the early Pete Campbell: trying to do the things his successful peers do (play football), while coming across as "off" and therefore untrustworthy. Remember when Pete seemed so weird that people were convinced he was going to shoot up the office with that rifle? I think Glen is similar: We're set up to expect him to do someone harm, but he won't.
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#13

Friscalating

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Posted Oct 17, 2010 @ 11:42 PM

I think it's amusing that people consider it scary that a 14-year-old might want to converse with an 11-year-old, and find it "creepy," but didn't find it creepy for a 30-year-old to burden a 10-year-old she barely knew, with her problems, even after he told her his parents didn't want him talking to her.


That's what I came here to say. Over in the "Blowing Smoke" and "Tomorrowland" threads people have been like, "Betty did say she didn't want Glenn seeing Sally, and neither would I, he's creepy, ewwww," but doesn't anyone remember that Betty snuck to see Glenn, at her most childlike behind his mother's back, to hold his hand and tell him she was miserable and couldn't talk to anyone? (And he replied, IIRC, that he didn't know what to tell her and he wished he was older. Which are not the sentiments of a psychopath.)

The whole point of Glenn's character is to illustrate the fucked-upness of his and Betty's comparative maturity levels. In season one she was a little girl playing house who didn't know why she was so unhappy, and he was an essentially innocent kid who had been exposed to only the wrong examples of adult life/marriage. Now she's divorced and remarried and thinks of herself as having been around the block and doesn't understand why her giant emotional blind spot bothers anyone in her life (and, as of the season finale, is back to realizing she's not happy), and he's apparently raising himself according to his unfortunately acquired, depressingly accurate cynicism about people like the one she turned into.

And he's not a bad influence on Sally, he's a balancing influence. From what we've seen, she's not his disciple, assimilating every little thing he says; she's smarter and more self-determined than that. She likes her therapist and listens to her advice, and then she hangs out with Glenn who decontructs both the mother and the therapist, and she likes him too -- and takes his advice about her mother but not her therapist. She's fine.
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#14

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Posted Oct 18, 2010 @ 1:24 AM

The whole point of Glenn's character is to illustrate the fucked-upness of his and Betty's comparative maturity levels. In season one she was a little girl playing house who didn't know why she was so unhappy, and he was an essentially innocent kid who had been exposed to only the wrong examples of adult life/marriage


Even at age 9, Glenn was more mature and compassionate than Betty, and my heart just broke for the kid when he cried out, "why do you hate me?"

There's no reason for Betty to treat Glenn the way she does, or act as suspicious as she does. It's been 5 years since he walked in on her in the bathroom. He was a child. He's grown. Betty, OTOH, has not.

And when he said, "It's no big deal, I say goodbye to people all the time," I wanted to cry. I hope Sally does send Glenn those postcards.
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#15

Rosencrantz 13

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Posted Oct 18, 2010 @ 6:01 AM

Glen owned Betty with his "Just because you're sad it doesn't mean everyone else has to be". It was the perfect callback to Betty in the S1 finale, telling Glen how sad she was, clinging to his hand and burdening the kid with her troubles, even though Glen's mother had said that Betty wasn't allowed to talk to her child. Now Betty is projecting her own inappropriate screwed up behaviour onto Glen, pretending that he was solely responsible for their former creepy relationship and is now responsible for Sally's irratic behaviour. It's all bad little Glen's doing, not hers. Because nothing is ever Betty's own fault.

I felt like this episode really vindicated Glen. The kid has his own issues and he can lash out with bad behaviour (just like Sally can), but he's been a perfect young gentleman to Sally. She really appreciated his friendship without being beholden to him.

Edited by Rosencrantz 13, Oct 18, 2010 @ 6:01 AM.

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#16

Sister Magpie

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Posted Oct 18, 2010 @ 10:41 AM

Also nice callback to Glen's "I hate you!" when Helen came to take him away way back when. He had so many tragic lines in this ep.
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#17

stillshimpy

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Posted Oct 18, 2010 @ 11:05 AM

From Don and Betty's thread:

Way to send the kid the message that adult boundaries make no sense and aren't to be paid attention to anyway, Betty. She treated Glenn abominably.- michellems


I think that's an overstatement of what happened in season one, although I agree that Betty was in the wrong then when it came to Glen but she was troubled, isolated, and very sad. She wasn't particularly well and Glen did have an almost eerie affect at the time. He was preternaturally self-possessed and seemed to understand things that should have been far beyond his experience at that age.

He gave me the creeps then and now, but he's just a kid who can't really find a peer group, more than anything.

Betty really infuriated me last night though, I was willing to cut her some slack in the first season but now she's got no excuse other than her own self-centered misery. It's absolutely within Betty's rights, and probably a good call, to decide that Sally should not be friends with a boy who is older (and a little odd at the best of times) but treating Glen as if he is diseased is beyond the pale.

He's a kid, he's lonely more than anything, and Betty was just being the very worst version of herself. Screaming at Glen as if he is evil was ridiculous, and immature. I know he vandalized the house, and I admit, I don't like Glen much but holy Jesus, Betty, he's a kid. I couldn't believe she attacked him with such venom.

Edited by stillshimpy, Oct 18, 2010 @ 11:06 AM.

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#18

Tom Bomb

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Posted Dec 26, 2010 @ 12:12 AM

Glenn is creepy because he is a stand-in for Matt Weiner, his creator and the child actor's father, as a young child:

The enduring hope in the world of Mad Men is embodied in the women and children, not the men, Weiner contends. Peggy (the “new girl” at the office) “shows that a good idea, in the end, will overcome sex, race, everything.” Glenn, the young son of a divorced mother, is the other innocent. Glenn, played by Weiner’s real son Marten, walks in on a woman in the bathroom and then asks her for a lock of her hair. “That really happened in Baltimore when I was 7 or 8 years old,” Weiner says. “I had a crush on my babysitter and wanted to see her naked.”

When viewers started saying the character of Glenn was odd, Weiner told his son that the bathroom scene was true. Ten-year-old Marten replied, “Dad, that’s weird.”


From http://www.wesleyan.....cgi?item=70890

Hope this helps.

Edit to add, I was a boy who (like Sally) was ten in 1965, in the New York metro area. I walked to school, by myself after first grade. I hung out on the street and played with my peers. My mom would urge me to do so (go out and play, don't be a stick in the mud!) if I wanted to sit inside and read or watch TV. Kids were allowed to be with other kids and have free, unstructured time. There were errands you could do as a kid, without a car, too. You could go to the butcher up the corner and pick up a pound of chuck chopped, or go to the shoemaker around the corner and drop off shoes to be resoled. You could walk to the library, by yourself, or the local park and hang out and play, or play stickball on the street, or explore a "haunted house" (an old Victorian abandoned house) in the neighborhood. We had toy chemistry sets with real chemicals. The list goes on. It wasn't so much a nerf world but we survived (most of us did, anyway).

Edited by Tom Bomb, Dec 26, 2010 @ 12:53 AM.

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#19

quentin312002

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Posted Dec 27, 2010 @ 12:22 AM

Heh, good for Marten.

Seriously though, the creepiest thing about the whole Glen situation, imo, in season one was not that Glen asked for a lock of Betty's hair (which to Glen's ears probably sounded chivalrous), it was that Betty complied. This wound up prolonging feelings that I think Glen would ahve been somewhat over years later if Betty had told him no.

Edited by quentin312002, Dec 27, 2010 @ 12:24 AM.

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#20

dynamic17

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Posted Aug 2, 2011 @ 1:03 AM

Seriously though, the creepiest thing about the whole Glen situation, imo, in season one was not that Glen asked for a lock of Betty's hair (which to Glen's ears probably sounded chivalrous), it was that Betty complied.


Absolutely! And then there was the episode where she started playing house with Glenn. It's Betty who is the sick one.

I see Glenn, not so much as a role model for Sally, but as a tour guide. He's been there (child of divorced parents), and is helping through through it.
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#21

Luciaphile

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Posted Feb 15, 2012 @ 7:54 AM

I see Glenn, not so much as a role model for Sally, but as a tour guide. He's been there (child of divorced parents), and is helping through through it.


A tour guide who is more than a little misinformed, but yes. I think that's how Glenn sees himself.

It's unsettling to me to hear him making his predictions and pronouncements to Sally about what is going to happen to her. I'm glad she's smart enough to listen to him, consider what he says, and reject or accept, but if she were my kid, I wouldn't want him within 40 feet of her.

I've spent the last 3 weeks rewatching Mad Men and I still think Glenn is disturbing. It has nothing to do with his appearance. Martin Weiner looks like a fairly ordinary kid to me. The steady unflinching stare he employs doesunnerve me - particularly when he is standing in the bathroom looking at Betty and not immediately leaving.
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#22

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Posted Feb 17, 2012 @ 10:11 AM

Hi, my name is SueB and I'm a fan of Glen Bishop.
*Hi SueB!* <<shuffles off to get a cup of coffee and sit on the metal chairs >>>

Is there anyone at this support group with me?

Here's why I like Glen: I think he is actually trying to generally do the right thing each step of the way (with one exception).

This is my version of the Glen story:
- First I think he got the "you have to be the man of the house" talk from his mother Helen when the divorce came. This is confusing. But he probably tried to step up a bit.
- Next he sees his mother's feet of clay as she struggles to maintain a decent household and have a life. It's a little early for a young man to see this. He should be in his Oedipal phase but his mother is not so ideal and Dad is already gone (e.g. "dead").
- Then he transfer the Oedipal bit to Betty. Now Betty handles this oddly. She actually encourages him with the cutting of the lock of hair. EVEN MORE... she comes to him for emotional support in the parking lot! Now she's a damsel in distress actively seeking his help.
- He spends months in offscreenville building up himself as the super hero, Betty as his princess in the tower.
- He is isolated from his mother as she is trying to make a new life and he runs away to take care of Betty. Betty first invites him in. Betty give's him Don's shirt and they have a date on the couch watching TV. No wonder this kid is confused. Then Betty relegates him to Sally's level and betrays him by calling Helen to come pick him up. So Betty has finally done the right things but not until after she kindof leached off something from the support he was offering. Glen feels betrayed and tells Betty he hates her. Glen realizes he's been played (not intentionally, Betty is an emotional child, but she's still the dang adult).
- Now it's a fair amount of time later and Glen has wised up alot. He's seen Betty's feet of clay and now looks to save Sally from the pain he suffered. Especially since he knows Betty is a bit whacked. So he becomes Sally's friend and adviser on how to be a child of divorce. Now he's crude but straightforward.
- When Sally tells him she hates her house and wants to leave, he comes to her rescue with vandalism to encourage Betty to move.
- Betty sees her old "boyfriend!Glen" as a perv who is too much like an adult and knows too much about her (Betty) to be around Sally. She has the freakout and keeps them separated.
- Betty ACTUALLY IS MOVING HOUSE to get Sally away from Glen. She also FIRES CARLA because of Glen. In this light... exactly who is the one who should be locked up?

In short - Betty treats Glen like something other than a little boy. First she encourages his Oedipal fantasies. Then she rejects him. Now she's treating him like a threat.

I think Glen, for his part, tries to grow up and be a man when he's still a little boy. Gets betrayed in his mind by Betty, and then tries to save Sally. Honestly, I think he's reactions are more logical for his age than Betty for hers.

So I like Glen because I think he sincerely tries to be the hero. I think he likes Sally and looks out for her.

I hope we see him again someday -- and it'll drive Betty thru the roof. I don't think she's ever going to come to grips with her Glen-phase. I don't want it to be a big deal, just think it would be fun. OTOH, Betty will have shown REAL growth and maturity if she can deal w/ Glen honestly and appropriately. I think that won't happen for many years.
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#23

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 8:42 AM

From the Mystery Date thread

Did Glen and his friend wreck the Draper house before or after this? It's true that Betty did have an inappropriate relationship with a kid that behaved inappropriately (the bathroom stunt, asking for the lock of the hair) but as it turned out, Betty was right about Glen, there is something not right about him.


Do I have the chronology of Glen scenes right?

Bathroom
Lock of hair
Bank parking lot
Hiding in playhouse
Christmas tree lot
Wrecking the house
Hanging out with Sally
Coming by to say goodbye

Edited by Luciaphile, Apr 12, 2012 @ 8:42 AM.

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#24

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 8:45 AM

One smaller note, if you were a parent of a 10 or 11 year old and you found out that a friend of theirs at the same age was smoking, what parent would be cool with that? In Glen's case, this was on top of a few other things.
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#25

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 9:33 AM

Luciaphile, I think your chronology is correct.

There were many warning signs with Glen, but Betty's over-the-top reaction to his friendship with Sally was not (IMO) related to them.
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#26

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 9:56 AM

I've spent the last 3 weeks rewatching Mad Men and I still think Glenn is disturbing. It has nothing to do with his appearance. Martin Weiner looks like a fairly ordinary kid to me. The steady unflinching stare he employs doesunnerve me - particularly when he is standing in the bathroom looking at Betty and not immediately leaving.


He is disturbing, and I think that Betty added up a lot of the strange/inappropriate things going on with him and decided, rightly, that he was not someone her daughter should be around. Just as, rightly, Mrs. Bishop decided Glenn should not be hanging around with an adult woman given Glenn and Betty's strange dynamic. I wonder if somewhere down the road we are going to see something in flashback that really precipitated Betty putting her foot down about Glenn, because while her instincts about Glen are spot on, (no well adjusted kid destroys a neighbor's house the way he did) it was a rather abrupt decision.

- Betty ACTUALLY IS MOVING HOUSE to get Sally away from Glen

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Actually, they had to move because Don wanted to sell the house.
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#27

Sister Magpie

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 11:10 AM

Actually, they had to move because Don wanted to sell the house.


No, I think they made it pretty clear Betty moved on the house to get Sally away from Glen.

I do think Glen comes across as very creepy, but I don't think there's anything wrong with him in the least. He's inappropriate, when he is, because he's a confused kid. I heard MW actually say that he himself did that bathroom incident thing and the point was, in part, to show that kids do have a sexuality and can take a sexual interest in adults. When the interviewer said he walked in on Betty by accident he corrected her that he did it on purpose. I think it's a very disturbing moment--particularly, imo, because it shows a male character feeling entitled to try to sneak a peek even when he's 9 years old--but I don't think it's a warning sign of anything.

Most of Glen's other behavior, while being somewhat delinquent, aren't any more delinquent than the actions of the adults. Once he's friends with Sally and is no longer really a child (since he's 13) he seemed fairly normal to me. His wrecking of the house was hostile, of course, but from where he was coming from it made perfect logical sense. He's one child of divorce making a show of understanding another child of divorce and trying to help her out. Smoking, talking smack about adults and counseling Sally to lie to keep from getting in trouble isn't all that surprising for a 13 year old with some resentments. Sally definitely didn't seem to be getting anything bad out of her relationship to Glen from me. As others have said, Betty didn't really seem to find Glen a problem because of his earlier behaviors. She accepted them as part of a childish crush on her that was kind of flattering and knew she killed that when she did the right (adult, responsible) thing by calling his mother to pick him up. After that Glen didn't come back into their lives for years, and he'd gone from being a child to an adolescent who responded to Betty much more appropriately. Betty's problem with him hanging out with Sally seemed to be more about her own feelings for Glen in the past than fears about Glen's feelings now. Their last scene, especially, came across to me as Glen being confused by Betty's weirdness.

Edited by Sister Magpie, Apr 12, 2012 @ 11:12 AM.

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#28

newyawk

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 11:37 AM

They were never going to be able to stay in that house. It was being sold, and that had been talked about for several episodes.

Betty was absolutely in the right to try to steer her daughter away from Glenn. He is clearly not a good influence. Also, his destruction of the house was unwarranted and very out of control behavior. He feels entitled to destroy other people's property when things don't go his way, not to mention the breaking and entering, that is abnormal and criminal behavior, it is more than just hostile. Glenn is disturbed and I think we will see, if he continues to be featured, his behavior become more extreme.

Edited by newyawk, Apr 12, 2012 @ 11:38 AM.

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#29

Rdnzl

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

I was never creeped out by Glenn, aside from the time he walked in on Betty in the bathroom. I always saw him as a lost kid who tried to straddle the adult world and the kid world after his parents' divorce, and didn't always do it successfully. I felt sorry for him more than anything.
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#30

Sister Magpie

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 12:09 PM

They were never going to be able to stay in that house. It was being sold, and that had been talked about for several episodes.


It had been talked about all season, but Betty was dragging her feet until she discovered Sally and Glen. Then she made a point of announcing that they were going to move in a way that told Sally she was taking her away from Glen. Sally understood and went upstairs to cry. That was why they finally moved.

Betty was absolutely in the right to try to steer her daughter away from Glenn. He is clearly not a good influence. Also, his destruction of the house was unwarranted and very out of control behavior. He feels entitled to destroy other people's property when things don't go his way, not to mention the breaking and entering, that is abnormal and criminal behavior, it is more than just hostile. Glenn is disturbed and I think we will see, if he continues to be featured, his behavior become more extreme.


I think Glen trashed it because Sally told him how upsetting it was for her that they weren't moving because she expected to see her Dad around every corner. So he took action to drive them out of the house, leaving his lanyard to let her know that he was her gallant savior. (He had earlier tried to play that role with Betty but couldn't; now he was in a situation that was actually on his level age-wise.) I think the incident intentionally brought up the possibility that Glen could be a full-out delinquent, and he could certainly go that way, but I don't think it showed he was straight on the road to violence. I think he was enjoying playing the role of the bad boy in that scene than he really was one all the time.

Criminal behavior, yes, basically. Breaking and entering and valdalism is. But I wouldn't call it abnormal--no more so than the behavior of any adult on the show at any given time. In his relationship with Sally I think Glen tried to play the role of the experienced older kid who knew all about adults and the way divorce worked and thumbed his nose at the rules as a result. In terms of his influence, though, it didn't seem that bad to me. Perhaps it's not so great that Sally had a friend who was so eager for her to be angrier at her mother than she was, but on the other side of it Glen was the one person Sally knew who understood her situation and she seemed to be happier having him in her corner. Which makes sense as her mother seemed less and less happy with her and her father was too busy dealing with his own downward spiral to be there that much. Glen didn't pressure Sally into any bad behavior.

Basically, I saw a lot of Glen's behavior with Sally to be a bit of a performance with him enjoying giving worldly advice. But Sally seemed the stronger of the two even then. And I thought Glen's final confrontation with Betty showed that, and showed that of the two of them she was actually less appropriate since she was the adult. For all his posturing when he was pouring cereal into the beds, I think the real Glen was the kid honestly asking Betty in an injured tone why she hated him (iirc) and saying she just wanted other people to be unhappy because she was.
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