Mad Men: Passing Off the Love Child As His

I’ve found it intriguing how the idea of military service hovers just on the periphery of Mad Men.  Roger can’t stand to work with a Japanese client because of his experiences in World War II.  Don acquired his false identity when his officer was killed in Korea.  And like that conflict, much was swept under the rug in Don’s life.  Duck, who did some real fighting as opposed to Don who took one look at the battlefield and took his first chance to get out of there, is able to clobber Don.

And now, Joan’s husband, Greg, takes his best opportunity at becoming a working doctor and signs up for a tour of duty in Vietnam.

By 1960s standards, Joan is getting on in years and wants to have a baby so they try to conceive before he leaves–to no avail.  In a moment of weakness, following the rush of surviving a mugging, Joan and her former lover Roger, have a steamy encounter.  When Joan discovers she is pregnant, she makes an appointment to abort the baby, as she has in the past during youthful indiscretions.  In the waiting room, however, she realizes this may be her last chance at motherhood.  In the season finale we discover that she is keeping the baby and tells Greg, who deployed 7 weeks before she conceived, that the baby is his.

Before I get to the cheating / love child issue, I loved that phone call Joan made to Greg!  I think it perfectly illustrated the frustration of distance and bad telephone connections.  Whenever Joan spoke lovingly to Greg, he couldn’t hear her and she was forced to repeat herself in a short, clipped tone.  I remember those calls–having so much to say and so little time.

But what did my fellow military spouses think of the whole storyline of conceiving the child by another man and passing it off as the soldier’s?  Was this more realistic during previous conflicts?  He *is* a doctor and while a few weeks earlier is believable…is seven weeks late?

It is sort of a stereotype of military relationships that infidelity is a common feature–do you think it is any more so than any other profession where couples spend a lot of time apart?  As a 100% faithful Army Wife, I do get a bit tired of this stereotype.  As fun as Mad Men is and as much as I enjoy this plot point, it would occasionally be nice to see military characters where no one is cheating!

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.