THE LOOK ~ While we have yet to see very much about the Vietnam War –– or its protesters –– on 'Mad Men' so far, there have been references and plot lines connected with the war and the draft, and we saw Nixon taking office via Don's TV in 'Time Zones' (S7E1). This Examiner expects a great deal more on the topic to come in the final season, and refers to this look (pictured) as the 'spruced-up protester look' (or what someone like Megan Draper might wear, were she to go out and protest the Vietnam War.)
The vintage empire waist top is circa 1969-1970. The top features lace sleeves and delicate flower motif on its ribboning. The black bell-bottom pants are made of velveteen. And the vintage black boots are circa 1967. The look is both feminine and functional. And it's fine to walk in for hours on end.
THE ANECDOTE ~ When I was too young to know there was a word for it, I believed in reincarnation. Certain incidents point to it (and there has never been a better explanation.) When I went with my family to see 'Born on the 4th of July' in the theater, I started crying throughout, during random scenes not meant to be sad –– especially to a kid; scenes of protesters felt like memories, they triggered an intense reaction. I was crying so hard that I couldn't breathe and had to be taken out of the theater for a while. Other suggestive incidents in my youth, during high school, college, and even after college, sealed the notion. I felt a deep connection with the Vietnam War –– but particularly with its American protesters. Either I was an American soldier who desperately wanted to return, or someone killed during protest (perhaps even one of the four students who died at Kent State.)
THE RECAP ~ The second episode of Season 7 takes place on Valentine's Day and begins with Don's out-of-office life. It's very touching to see him dress up in his usual work suit for what seems to be a meeting –– when it's actually just to welcome Dawn, who is covertly delivering him information.
Speaking of Dawn, there's a great deal in 'A Day's Work' (S7E2) about race relations in the SCP office. Dawn and Shirley greet one another in the break room bemusedly with the other one's name. 'Hello Dawn.' And: 'Hello Shirley.' This says so much, and so simply. The oddest behavior in this episode belongs to Peggy, who is both irrational and unprofessional all day: she immediately assumes the flowers on Shirley's desk are hers, and takes them to her office; next, she assumes the flowers are from Ted; she calls and leaves a cryptic, confusing message for Ted; finally, upon listening to Shirley that the flowers are in fact from Shirley's fiance, Peggy has a fit, and demands (to Joan) that Shirley be removed from her post.
Meanwhile, Joan expertly shuffles the gals around the office (Dawn had also be forced to leave her desk) and moves upstairs to her own account executive office. Good thing Jim Cutler has his moments of clarity to simply offer her this deserved transition. Dawn's bad day results in her getting Joan's previous role, which is a huge coup for her –– and for Joan, having shown progressive wisdom in this decision. Equally progressive Pete feels ignored in LA.
But this episode really belongs to Don and Sally, who slowly rekindle their father-daughter relationship over the course of a short road trip. The result is beautiful and a real tearjerker. When Don drops Sally off at school, she gets out of the car, turns and says, 'Happy Valentine's Day. I love you.' And the Zombies' 'This Will Be Our Year' (from their wonderful Odessey & Oracle album) begins to play: 'The warmth of your love, is like the warmth of the sun, and this will be our year, took a long time to come.'