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Megan Calvet Draper: Doesn't Cry over Spilled Milkshakes


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#1

sunworshipper

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 3:54 PM

To sum up what little we know of the soon-to-be new Mrs. Don Draper:

She's a bilingual French-Canadian from Montreal. Her mother is French (and maybe not French-Canadian) and doesn't speak English. Her father is a professor. She has numerous nieces and nephews so probably comes from a large Catholic family. She seems to have vague artistic or professonal aspirations. She told Don that she wants to be a copywriter but has shown no aptitude so far for this.

Is she a sweet, unpretentious girl, a venal gold-digger, or a career gal determined to sleep her way to the top? (I think the corporate spy speculations are ridiculously out-of-place for this show.)

I would say the first except for that episode where she first slept with Don. Her actions there (although perhaps not her manner) seemed calculating and her words lies. On the other hand, she is genuinely good with kids and has never been clearly anything but honest and kind with everyone else. I think I'll take her to be who she says she is until some contrary evidence appears.

I don't have a strong opinion on her intelligence at this point. She has a great temperament but appears naive.

I like her and think the actress is very beautiful, even with the horse teeth. And Don will be cheating on her very soon. I was surprised that he didn't do Betty in that kitchen scene. I don't think she was lying about wanting a copywriter job but she seems to be a dabbler and maybe will change her mind.
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#2

Constantinople

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 4:06 PM

To sum up what little we know of the soon-to-be new Mrs. Don Draper


She doesn't use Ponds or any type of facial cream, but just uses water.

She had motive, means and opportunity to knock off Miss Blankenship.

When she filled out Don's request for a security clearance she wrote 8 bits of information and, as Don said to Pete, 3 of them were lies.

ETA: She was smart enough to get Don to break-up with Faye ASAP.

When Sally ran and fell down in the office, Megan lied to her and said that she, Megan, fell down all the time.

If she and Don do get married, she'll be the third Mrs. Draper. Hopefully, third time's a charm.

Edited by Constantinople, Oct 19, 2010 @ 4:08 PM.

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#3

Inquisitionist

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 4:25 PM

Love the thread title. I was trying to think up a play on Maria von Trapp, but this is better. :-)

She told Don that she wants to be a copywriter but has shown no aptitude so far for this.

Actually, she said something like "I think I'd like to do what you do or what Miss Olson does." I don't recall her using the word copywriter.

We also know:

She is willing (even eager) to accept responsibility for her mistakes, even though she appears to be quite efficient at her duties.
She took elocution lessons upon arriving in New York.
She tried to read a book at the front desk of SCDP, but was told to switch to magazines.
She turned down an invitation to join Peggy and her "bohemian" friends after work.

I'm also inclined to accept Megan as she has been portrayed: someone who is competent and well-adjusted and a generally nice, thoughtful, loving person. But it will be very interesting to see where Weiner & Co take her (and Don) next year.

And if the 10 nieces and nephews do signify a large, Catholic family, I wonder what mŤre et pŤre will think of her marrying a divorced man 14 years her senior who has no discernable religious inclinations. (I also think it would be lovely for Sally, Bobby and Gene to have some well-adjusted French Canadian step-cousins!)
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#4

sordidheart88

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 4:32 PM

third time's a charm.


Could have been a good alternate title or third time's a charm?

I actually like her maybe because as stated above she does appear to be the antithesis of Betty who was at her absolute worst in this finale. I don't think she's all sweetness and light. Showing up with her friend in that outfit? She knew exactly what she was doing and apparently she knew about Faye (poor Faye!). But she does seem like a genuinely kind person and I'm strangely hopeful that this union could work out for the sake of the Draper kids. She was so good with them during the trip and think that a loving step mother (for Sally in particular) would be a godsend for them.
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#5

sunworshipper

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 4:47 PM

I was trying to think up a play on Maria von Trapp

You mean something like "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Megan?" :-)

I don't think she's all sweetness and light. Showing up with her friend in that outfit? She knew exactly what she was doing and apparently she knew about Faye (poor Faye!).

She isn't stupid. However, being clever and catching Don's eye isn't exactly manipulative or sneaky. In the finale, Don was making all the first moves. He asked her to babysit, he knocked on her door, he asked for more than a one-night stand, and then he proposed. It might be true that she anticipated all this by playing it cool but if so, she's a real Machiavelli. There were no obvious moves she made other than dressing up and teaching the kids adorable French songs.

Sleeping with Don while she knows about his girlfriend is the one clear piece of evidence of un-goodness. But when did she first know about Faye? Before their first time, before the California trip, or after the proposal? It may not be so clearcut to Megan that she's the other woman.

To sum up what little we know

College graduate (with degree in literature?)
25 years old
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#6

Constantinople

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 4:48 PM

She's a bilingual French-Canadian from Montreal


Megan's not the only Mad Men character with a connection to Montreal.

Kitty -- aka Mrs Sal Romano -- has a cousin who owns an advertising agency in Montreal. At least, that's what I remember Kitty telling Ken when he was over for dinner in The Golden Violin (S2?).

ETA: I'm not saying that Megan knows Kitty's cousin, but you never know.

Edited by Constantinople, Oct 19, 2010 @ 4:50 PM.

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#7

kinescope

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 4:51 PM

I vote for gold digger. I think if Don were a rich undertaker, she'd say she's always wanted to work on corpses. I don't see her working at all if they get married. If the term had been in use then, I think she'd be called a trophy wife.
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#8

sordidheart88

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 4:55 PM

However, being clever and catching Don's eye isn't exactly manipulative or sneaky.


I wouldn't go so far as to call her manipulative and I hope I didn't give the impression that I think she is I just think that scene proved that she's got some hidden depths that I look forward to seeing in season 5.

In my previous post I failed to mention my favorite bit in the entire episode which was Roger's reaction to the engagement:

Megan who? Megan out there?

I vote for gold digger.


I don't get gold digger vibes from her at all. I think for the most part she is what she says she is and feels what she says she feels. A major part of her appeal is that she comes off as so genuine and I believe she loves Don right now. We'll see how well it lasts once she gets to know him.

Edited by sordidheart88, Oct 19, 2010 @ 5:01 PM.

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#9

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 5:16 PM

I don't see her working at all if they get married.


I hope she doesn't work. I already dislike the character and the actress - if she's put into direct competition with Peggy at SCDP as a copywriter, my dislike will be cranked up to loathing.
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#10

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 5:31 PM

I don't think she's a gold-digger. If she were she would be marrying him only for money, and I don't see that. I think she is in love with him and attracted to him. Still, his success is probably part of what attracts her and makes him marriage material. There's nothing unusual about that.

LOL at the Maria Von Trapp comparison. She's like MVT, except she gives quickies in the office! I really have no problem with the way she managed to win Don. She showed him who she was, even if it was only the best parts of herself. She didn't pursue him relentlessly. And while I personally would never have a one night stand with my boss, she seemed to handle the aftermath just fine, so to each her own.
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#11

Carlita09

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 5:44 PM

I take her as what she says she is, too. Since her first appearance, she's been nothing but kind, even a little boring. The accusations of gold-diggery strike me as a little--I don't know, maybe a little sexist? She really hasn't pursued Don relentlessly; she had a one-night stand, told him she wouldn't cry about it, and didn't. She didn't finagle her way into going to California, and she seemed as shocked as anybody when Don proposed.

As for the possibility of simply becoming a trophy wife, I hope not. We already have Jane (and Betty, I guess) in that role, so it would be rather boring for Megan's character to go in the same direction.

(I think the corporate spy speculations are ridiculously out-of-place for this show.)

I emphatically agree!
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#12

Inquisitionist

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 5:51 PM

She's like MVT, except she gives quickies in the office!

Megan Calvert: Maria von Trapp... with Benefits
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#13

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 5:56 PM

Not in tune with the prior posts, but on subject -- I find it interesting to see her in an office and engaged to one of Roger Sterling's colleagues when he used to be her dad (on the too briefly lived show Jack & Bobby)
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#14

JudyObscure

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 6:15 PM

I (meanly) wish there was some way for Bethany to find out that Megan slept with Don several times before the first date. I just hated the calculated way Bethany doled out her sexual favors.
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#15

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 7:22 PM

Frankly, I'm just depressed that we'll probably spend a good chunk of time next season following Don's new bed partner around. We already have plenty of characters to spend time on (oh god, Peggy, who can't the camera just follow you around much of the time?!) but since Megan's barely been established as a character in season 4 (besides being shown to be oh-so-perfect and sophisticated and talented and wonderful with children and la di da, I'm surprised we didn't find little birds helping her into her dress before she dazzled Don and his children with her Whiskey-A-Go-Go demenaor), I have no doubt we'll spend a lot of time with her.

Unless, of course, she happens to be summarily disposed of during the gap between Season 4 and 5 and never alluded to again, like Suzanne, her predecessor in earth-mother perfection.

But I have a feeling we won't get nearly so lucky with two underdeveloped, poorly acted love interests for Don in a row so we'll probably be stuck with her. I bet she'll either manage to convert Don into being a good husband and father by the powers of her French-Canadian hoo-hah or he'll end up cheating on her and making her into Betty 2.0, though probably with fewer clinical psychological disorders.

Either way, I seriously doubt she or the wooden actress playing her could convincingly portray Megan as being terribly nuanced, especially since I could practically see forests growing in the background whenever she tried to convey anything more a general sense of Megan being "kind" and "sweet" and "bland as oatmeal." We'll see how it goes, however.
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#16

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 8:23 PM

I heard Megan described as a proto-feminist on a podcast ad nearly had a cow. Not because Megan herself has expressed any anti-feminist views, exactly, but her entire world at this point is Don Draper. Whens he brings up a personal interest or life outside him it's usually to dismiss it and refocus on Don asap. So far, at least.

He's in her head all day long and he doesn't know her at all. (I know she was referring to being his secretary, but that's a pretty anvilicious line.) As someone quoted on the ep thread, Joan said they all want a combination mother and waitress and nobody could ask for more than Milkshake Megan!
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#17

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 8:41 PM

I'm iffy on my opinion of Megan (I'm praying to whatever God is out there that she turns out to be evil), but let me make this much clear:

Megan is not lucky, nor is she to be envied. Megan is throwing her life away for a man who's an identity thief, war deserter, liar, and serial philanderer. I shake my head in wonder at those who think Megan is "the one" for Don. Megan is no different from Betty. Why? Megan is beautiful and happy. Need I remind you all that Betty was called, by Don himself, "beautiful and happy" in the beginning. Don can't handle women when they're ugly and miserable. For all you happily married ladies out there, admit it: don't your husbands continue to love you even when you're cranky and wearing your dumpiest sweatpants and messiest hair?

Make no mistake, in due course, Don will accuse Megan of "looking desperate" when she wears a bikini (or, since it's almost the '70s, hot pants), blame her if some drunken colleague makes a pass at her, and will hold her beneath contempt when her saintly patience with the children begins to wear thin. She didn't freak out over a spilled milkshake? Big flippin' deal. That proves nothing. How do we know she won't blow up over something else? Mothers are entitled to get annoyed once in a while, it's called being human.

Wake up, folks. Don will cheat on Megan. He will. Don thought Betty was special at some point, but that sure as hell didn't last, and wasn't enough to keep him from cheating. Megan isn't that special, so Don will cheat on her (he'll probably move on to redheads).
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#18

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 8:59 PM

New York Magazine interviewed Jessica Pare. This portion struck me in particular.

So how much did you know about Megan when you first got the role?
I didnít know a thing. I honestly did not know a thing. Even from the first episode, I was sort of unclear as to what her job was ó because she was a receptionist, but in the first episode I did, I was just helping with the Christmas party, so I didnít even sit at the receptionistís desk. It was an excellent exercise for me as an actor, because itís so not the way I normally work. Certainly with features, and in anything where you have a character arc, you usually know what that arc is and are able to play every part of it. And in this, I had no idea! So it was an amazing exercise to play only what youíre given, and not try to add more or to make it into something else, to just wait to see how it develops.

I canít imagine there are many circumstances where youíd be expected to work like that.
Honestly, it would have scared the crap out of me, but Iím in such capable hands on that show. So it was more exciting than anything else.


Mad Men's Megan Speaks.

Granted, I have virtually no acting experience. But I would imagine it would be hard to give dimensions to a character when you have nothing to go on but the present moment and what's on screen. This makes me think that Megan's cipher-like quality was very much intentional. We know nothing about her because her own actor was given virtually nothing to portray.
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#19

Mariagonerlj

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 9:09 PM

I heard Megan described as a proto-feminist on a podcast ad nearly had a cow. Not because Megan herself has expressed any anti-feminist views, exactly, but her entire world at this point is Don Draper. Whens he brings up a personal interest or life outside him it's usually to dismiss it and refocus on Don asap. So far, at least.


Wait... what, seriously?!

In a show with women like Peggy and Joan and Faye and Rachel and even Horribly Desperate Housewife Betty... the proto-feminist character in the show is Megan?!

Megan, the character we know almost nothing about, have barely seen up on screen for half an hour, has only 40 or 50 lines total, and spends almost all of her scenes orbiting around Don, making him feel better, only vaguely dropping hints about her personality (but even then, using that to entice Don into her panties)?

Seriously?

I am dying right now, SisterMagpie. You have officially done a number on me.

Granted, I have virtually no acting experience. But I would imagine it would be hard to give dimensions to a character when you have nothing to go on but the present moment and what's on screen. This makes me think that Megan's cipher-like quality was very much intentional. We know nothing about her because her own actor was given virtually nothing to portray.


Oh God, that does not make me feel better about her screen-time. It's like they're

trying

to make her as vacuous and one-dimensional a person as possible, the perfect ingenue that will entice Don with her wonderful, giving, maternal, utterly-without-flaws-or-internal-conflict love until he gives in to her inevitably for a happy ending.

It's just... gross. I don't want to think about some Pure Mary Sue coming onto Mad Men and my fear is now building!
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#20

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 9:34 PM

I hope Megan turns out to be, if not evil, flawed somehow (the horsy teeth don't count). The biggest strength of this show is that nobody's all good or all bad--they're all in the gray range, like real people. Even Betty had a few moments of sweetness and happiness this season amidst her overall miserable nastiness. Right now Megan is just too good to be true. I'll await further developments with interest. Don will almost definitely cheat again; deep down he doesn't believe he deserves the love of a good woman.
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#21

Nell Huxleigh

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 9:51 PM

I think it would be rather bold if Megan turned out to be perfectly sweet and kind and even intelligent - and Don still was Don Draper. Because there are no fresh starts. I always felt he had a big hand in making Betty ... Betty. She is a little too nice, but it is definitely easier to keep it together when it is your job.
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#22

WaltzinSpringTm

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 10:57 PM

I think she was really miscast. I looked up Jessica Pare, first photos, and in the photos I saw, she's really pretty - resembles Jessica Biel. But I don't think she's right for who Megan is supposed to be. Whether or not we know her, she's supposed to have certain qualities - a "spark". Spark is the last thing I think she has. She's very kind of low key. Her past acting jobs seem to have mostly been T&A - Denise Richards type things, but nothing as memorable as Wild Things. When I saw her photos I thought a Megan type is so out of her element. I could actually seeing her playing some flower child friend of Stephanie's much more naturally.

Although the actress who plays Stephanie is a bit too precious for me (the way she speaks) I could see her being a much likelier type for Megan. It's just hard for me to see a very tall, very angular, very limited actress pulling off this whole Maria Von Trapp only she looks like a really tall Liesl routine (that whole thing was just ridiculous - the French songs, the whole deal - I felt bad for all the actors).

The right look would help. Instead it just looks ridiculous - to me anyway. She CAN'T be all those things, and I don't think she even projects all those things. And yet they were trying to shove all this stuff onto a blank slate. She has the elegant upscale wife look - FINE. She's practically taller than Don in heels. She doesn't have the shining, sparky, warm, maternal ingenue thing going on - not in persona, not in look. I'm only harping on look because if you're going to underwrite a character, and then cast somebody who is not the most adroit actress on the planet, then it helps to get a "type" -- and I think they got the wrong type.

Other actors have described a similar intro to Mad Men - no info whatsoever, no clue where the story was going, nothing but words on a page. Cara Bueno said the same thing, but she took matters into her own hands, had a backstory in her own mind (whether or not it lined up with MW's ideas) - just to animate her scenes. If the script doesn't give you information, you don't play "no information" you decide for yourself. You decide if you're a person who likes Christmas, or enjoys reception (the phones, the meet and greet), someone who likes to be organized. Sometimes actors just have words on a page, period, no direction, no stage directions in the script, and then they have to do it themselves.

I think possibly the method behind this for Mad Men is they have the story, in general, but they want to see who the actor is, what they bring to it, and then they write towards it - not plotwise, but dialogue. Cara Bueno took the material and did her own thing with it and then they sort of wrote Faye towards what she was doing. It looks like Jessica Pare didn't do anything, was scared (scared isn't the word exactly) to do anything, so she was just there, and here we are, in WTF land. She wasn't giving the writers stuff to write towards, she was already established so no recasting, and there you go. I don't think she has more in her as an actress than what she's shown - not in this role anyway.

We're going to see very little of her next season and I think they'll get her off screen and off the show as soon as they can manage. They cast her to introduce her bit by bit, nothing happened with the actress, nothing built, and the finale was farcical and apparently a manic edit job. They're not going to build her role off of that when they let her get her feet wet bit by bit and by her last episode it was still coming off a bit like her first day on the set and her first day working with Jon Hamm. Unless MW has some type of show runner infatuation with her, which I doubt (and hope isn't true). If Don were going to marry Megan, they'd have married in the finale'. He's not Roger - he wouldn't marry off screen to a character like this. I actually think this whole thing was some kind of Don/Peggy plot point.

Edited by WaltzinSpringTm, Oct 19, 2010 @ 11:09 PM.

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#23

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Posted Oct 19, 2010 @ 11:17 PM

It isn't going to end well. She and Betty might be opposites in many, many ways but they're both naive. It won't just be the affairs, things like Betty supposedly leading on Roger, the bikini incident, falling for what the man at McCann's selling will probably repeat themselves. Sally's temper doesn't come solely from her mother.

I didn't really have a problem with the actress, though, in terms of looks or ability. The latest episode confirmed what I thought about her gummy teeth which was that the makeup and hair were exacerbating it. She looked amazing throughout it. But I lived through the Elizabeth Rohm years of Law & Order...

Edited by boewyr, Oct 19, 2010 @ 11:22 PM.

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#24

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Posted Oct 20, 2010 @ 2:37 AM

I was surprised they mentioned her big teeth which had to have only have been written in after the actress was cast! Like if it was someone else cast they would have brought up a noticeable flaw in that person! I honestly didn't notice them until the recent episodes. Maybe when she started to wear her hair down.

I thought she said yes pretty damn fast and that makes me suspect her.
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#25

boewyr

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Posted Oct 20, 2010 @ 5:57 AM

I think possibly the method behind this for Mad Men is they have the story, in general, but they want to see who the actor is, what they bring to it, and then they write towards it - not plotwise, but dialogue. Cara Bueno took the material and did her own thing with it and then they sort of wrote Faye towards what she was doing. It looks like Jessica Pare didn't do anything, was scared (scared isn't the word exactly) to do anything, so she was just there, and here we are, in WTF land. She wasn't giving the writers stuff to write towards, she was already established so no recasting, and there you go. I don't think she has more in her as an actress than what she's shown - not in this role anyway.

We're going to see very little of her next season and I think they'll get her off screen and off the show as soon as they can manage. They cast her to introduce her bit by bit, nothing happened with the actress, nothing built, and the finale was farcical and apparently a manic edit job. They're not going to build her role off of that when they let her get her feet wet bit by bit and by her last episode it was still coming off a bit like her first day on the set and her first day working with Jon Hamm. Unless MW has some type of show runner infatuation with her, which I doubt (and hope isn't true). If Don were going to marry Megan, they'd have married in the finale'. He's not Roger - he wouldn't marry off screen to a character like this. I actually think this whole thing was some kind of Don/Peggy plot point.


I somehow doubt this. If her performance was displeasing MW her role wouldn't have expanded after "The Rejected", or even "The Beautiful Girls" where she actually got lines. He's rewritten things before, and he's recast before. IIRC, somebody was supposed to die in the first season (I've read either Harry, guilt-ridden by his affair - or Roger with his heart attack) and an actress was deliberately written out of the show and her role reduced. Greg Harris was recast and his scenes completely cut from previous episodes.

And on the last point, this is Mad Men - when have they ever wasted time on something as predictable, sentimental and stale as a wedding?

Edited by boewyr, Oct 20, 2010 @ 5:58 AM.

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#26

JudyObscure

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Posted Oct 20, 2010 @ 6:18 AM

And on the last point, this is Mad Men - when have they ever wasted time on something as predictable, sentimental and stale as a wedding?

Exactly. I'm keeping the faith and looking forward to Miss Movie-Perfect Megan going from Doris Day to Jane Fonda in a matter of months, leaving Don bewildered and perhaps cuckolded. After all, she's young, impulsive, spongelike and "the sixties," are just starting.
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#27

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Posted Oct 20, 2010 @ 8:32 AM

I could be wrong, but I thought her last name was Calvet, not Calvert. I think it's in the credits to the episode. In my recollection, it was also pronounced more like Calvet in the show.
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#28

sunworshipper

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Posted Oct 20, 2010 @ 8:52 AM

I thought her last name was Calvet, not Calvert

You could be right. I thought I saw Calvert on close-captioning but when doing Google searches, I found both Calvert and Calvet. I had never heard of the name Calvet so I went for the other. I was going to start a thread for Megan last week but decided against it because the show had never divulged a last name, even in the credits. No last name on IMDB, AMC website acts like she doesn't exist, and Wikipedia spells it "Calvais"! (Which is probably also pronounced Kal-Vay which is what I heard Don say.) Can someone check the credits on this episode to see if they spelled Megan's last name?

Edited by sunworshipper, Oct 20, 2010 @ 8:55 AM.

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#29

Rickster

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Posted Oct 20, 2010 @ 9:05 AM

(Which is probably also pronounced Kal-Vay which is what I heard Don say.)


That's what I heard Don say too. Calvais and Calvet would be pronounced like Kal-Vay. Calvert would be pronounced like Kal-Ver.
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#30

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Posted Oct 20, 2010 @ 11:04 AM

in the first episode I did, I was just helping with the Christmas party, so I didnít even sit at the receptionistís desk

I happened to rewatch that episode recently. Megan's first moment on-screen is from behind as she is putting up some decorations for the last-minute party. We don't even see the back of her head, just her body in a bright red dress. Then Joan calls her by name and asks her to phone the caterer to move up the delivery time. Later, at the party, Joan again addresses Megan by name, instructing her to get Lee Garner, Jr. a drink. Throughout the party, Megan is in the background, wearing a more festive dress. She is right behind Roger in the conga line. She never interacts directly with Don.

The next time we see Megan is in The Rejected, where she is part of the Ponds focus group. She is the first one to offer an opinion, which she begins by astutely noting "I don't use Ponds, if that's what you're asking." When Dotty starts breaking down in the session, Megan reaches out to pat her shoulder in consolation. When Alison leaves in tears shortly after that, Megan's impulse is to go make sure she is alright. After the session ends, Megan sticks her head into the observation room and asks if "she" is OK, to which Faye reponds, "who?"

In this episode, we also see Megan at the reception desk when Joyce arrives to invite Peggy to the photographer's "thing" that evening. Joyce asks if Megan has read every magazine in the reception area. Megan responds that she brought a book once (we later find out she was a lit major in college), but was told it didn't look right. After Joyce leaves, Megan responds to a comments by Peggy by noting that Joyce seems a bit pretentious, an observation I adored.

After Joyce's friends later ogle Megan, Peggy invites her to join them for lunch but Megan says she can't. Others have asked "if she wants to be a copywriter, why didn't she jump at this?" But it probably was true that she couldn't just leave her post at that time. And besides, why would she want to join pretentious Joyce and her childish cohort? ;-)

I'll be catching up on Megan's other early scenes soon. I know she was in Waldorf Stories before her "breakthrough" in The Beautiful Girls.
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