'Mad Men' Recap: Can Peggy Olson Have It All?

A national tragedy has Don Draper and the gang pondering the meaning of fatherhood.

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"You like kids?" Ginsberg asks a pretty young woman his father has set him up with, before bumbling into a full-on Woody Allen-like confession about his virginity. It's a question viewers have wanted to ask Don for seasons, his feelings for his own children often been left on the back burner. By the end of "The Flood," Don gives us answer far more explicitly than we have come to expect from the man of many words, but few about himself.

[MORE: Read Season 6 'Mad Men' Recaps]

"You want to love them, but you don't, and the fact that you're faking that feeling makes you wonder if your own father had the same problem," Don tells Megan. But the assassination of Martin Luther King has forced Don to bond with his son Bobby (who up to this point had been so ignored by "Man Men's" plotlines that producers thought they could switch the actor who plays him multiple times without anyone noticing). He now finally feels the love and the pain of fatherhood. "It feels like your heart is going to explode."

The episode's title refers to Noah and the great flood – the animals lining up two by two to board the ark, which is why Ginsberg's father says his son must find a wife, to weather the storms like the King shooting rocking the "Mad Men" world. And "The Flood" presents various stage of that process – pairing up and becoming parents. Ginsberg's date is its first step. Don is rediscovering it, years into the storm, in his newfound affection for his son. And Pete is realizing he is losing it, as Trudy turns down his offer to return home comfort her and their daughter through the MLK tragedy.

Peggy Olson is taking the next step aboard the ark, looking to buy an apartment and settle down with Abe. She loses the bid on upper east side condo, but when Abe mentions the prospect of them having children together, she lights as if she has won already everything else. The once lowly secretary now has it all, or most of it, anyway: a boyfriend, financial security, a career, a boss who adores her (whether Ted's fondness for Peggy is more than just professional is still unclear).

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"Don't apologize – you deserve this," Megan tells Peggy when she sees her at an ad agency awards ceremony. Megan and Peggy are the only nominees from SCDP and CGC, respectively, reflective of season 6 thus far: the mad women's succeed in the shadows of the med men's struggles. (Megan wins the award, an accolade presumably overshadowed by the news of King's death).

At the ceremony, Don meets an acquaintance of Roger — a loopy insurance salesman named Randy, and prospective client for SCDP. The next day, meeting again at the office, Randy tells the ad men, shaken by MLK's death but also his nihilistic campaign pitch, "This is an opportunity. The heavens are telling us to change." Don doesn't need a matinee showing of "Planet of the Apes" to realize the world is changing around him. But with his mistress gone for the weekend – and whether or not his rediscovery of fatherhood was an earnest development – it's still not clear whether Don will be able to truly change with it. Before leaving for DC for with her husband, Sylvia hinted he may not be able to. "Come Monday morning, it will all be a dream," she muses.

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