While keeping a tight lip on all things Mad Men Season Four-related when talking to Diane Sawyer via Skype, Matthew Weiner let a bomb slip: given the choice between demure blonde Betty and redhead bombshell Joan, he opted for ...Trudy.
Trudy, as in Mrs. Pete Campbell, as in actress Alison Brie (who also doubles as Annie Edison on another TV triumph, Community). Who's lovely, really (have a looksee). But in the scheme of things -- "things" meaning cut-out perfections of womanly glory a la Esquire's 2010 "Sexiest Woman Alive" Christina Hendricks and cover-girl-of -every-other-magazine-this-past-year January Jones -- she's almost mousy.
Weiner's confounding selection got us stroking our chins on our fainting couch and boy, do those things put you right to bed! In other words, it's time to dream.
With Trudy on our minds (thanks to Weiner) and Betty and Joan already there (thanks to an abundance of posters, reviews, reminders, and interviews), we began to consider how the three would go head-to-head in a series of totally plausible scenarios, basing our predictions on past actions and underlying motivations. Yep, we're getting all Freudian on this mess.
Now you may be thinking, "Where's Peggy?" Well, even the deepest corners of our subconscious couldn't tap into the psyche of the female Don Draper. And besides, a four-way is just messy.
Stealing candy from a baby
Joan: Back in the first season, vicious Joan left no piece of green carpet unturned when marking her territory in perfumed piss all over Sterling Cooper. Begrudgingly, she couldn't get Don. But she got her hands on pretty much everybody else and made sure to inspire fear into her secretarial underlings. She was far from a sympathetic character in those early '60s days, and she'd seem just the type to sic her talons on a toddler slobbering on a Jolly Rancher, but we know Joan better now. She's the kind of gal that can salvage a severed foot (or at least attempt to), put the office together for an impromptu visit from the big wigs, and offer good advice (not just the "sleep around, do what you must" kind of rhetoric). No, the most this redhead would do when confronted with a toddler and a hard candy is criticize: watermelon or not, that's a choking hazard.
Trudy: Doe-eyed Trudy is a needy only child who dotes on her cheating, needy husband, and if stealing a candy from a baby would insure security for her little Petey, maybe she would do it. But then again, she wants kids too badly (even considering adoption -- in the '60s!) to consider making one cry.
Betty: So then there's Betty. An actual mother, most wouldn't think she would have the heart to snatch joy from a child. Wrong. Woman is a child, and if she sees something red and shiny, you better believe game is on.
Robbing a bank
Betty: When Betty and Don took a trip to Italy, we realized just how much we underestimated the docile homemaker. Even years after college, she was still fluent in Italian and role-played so effectively while Don sat away just far enough to downplay their spousal ties, that it seemed plausible that Betty was pulling a Don Draper of her own. But ultimately, she's the kind of woman who needs a man and while that kind of thinking could lead to some sticky situations, chances are those the infidelity-kind, not larceny.
Trudy: Trudy is the stick-by-your-man type, so for her husband, she might consider bank robbery. But so far she's stuck to her values (or it seems, you never know what season four may bring!) so she's probably not morally bankrupt enough to bankrupt others (although she would soooo be the Ruth Madoff type, right??).
Joan: Joan is the most cunning of the three and a place as testosterone-less as prison would probably make her think twice about commiting a serious crime, but she'd probably come up with the best conceived robbery plot and avoid jail time too.
Killing a vampire
Joan: Joan is not afraid of blood, and she's probably capable of murder (remember when she whacked her rapist husband into unconsciousness with a vase?), but she would sooner bed a vampire than kill one.
Betty: All that psychological trauma Betty got as a kid left her hands immobile for a season, so it's doubtful she'd be able to lift a stake long enough to pierce a heart. Also, have you seen those manicured fingers? Those hands are the fanning one-self, smoking-a-cigarette kind. No thanks, manual labor.
Trudy: Trudy may seem like the odd choice, but her loyalty would make Joan's approach to vampire relations repugnant in her eyes, and have you seen the meals she whips out for two? I mean, a whole chicken for one married couple? That kind of work has left the little lady surging with some super housewife strength (and probably a desensitization to gore).