For Dear Television at The New Republic, I argue that Mad Men‘s eleventh episode reveals Sally as the show’s secret protagonist and Don Draper as a certain disgraced ex-president.
“If Walter White is ‘the one who knocks,’ Don Draper is the one who watches. And, in this way, Don Draper’s particular kink becomes emblematic of the sexist and racist culture at Mad Men’s core. The ability of white men to lay claim to the position of the spectator, observer, and overseer—and thus to control the way they are themselves seen—is the key to their social dominance. And, of course, big things happen when that position is compromised. The founding crisis of Mad Men may well have been the moment Peggy Olson got to stand on the other side of the one-way mirror in the Sterling Cooper testing room.”