Season 1, Episode 2: “Ladies Room”
Here we learn a little more about the women in Don’s life—Betty, Peggy, Midge. One way to try to find out more about Don is to look at the people around him. How do they react to him? How does he influence them? What kind of role does he play in their lives?
Think of the people with whom your main character interacts. What are their stories? How do their stories intersect with your main character’s story? What effect does your main character have upon other characters? This may be a negative effect or positive effect. In Don’s case, he negatively affects Betty but he ultimately exerts a positive effect upon Peggy. (This is also a good reminder that characters are not all good or all bad.). Is there a compelling storyline that shows up that tells readers something not only about a secondary character, but sheds light on a main character as well? The more perspectives from which you can examine your main character, the richer the portrait will be.
Notable metaphor: Mirrors
This episode is full of mirrors. Betty and Mona excuse themselves to the “powder room” during dinner with their husbands, and they stand in front of a mirror to apply lipstick. Peggy goes into the ladies room at work and sees a woman crying. But we only see the women’s face in the mirror.
What does a mirror say? When we look into it, is it a true reflection? A mirror shows only the surface, not what’s underneath. Also, mirrors can help us see things we otherwise may not see. They offer a new perspective. Peggy would not have seen that woman’s face if not for the mirror.