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[Trigger Warning, as well as Mad Men spoiler for 2.12 ahead. ]

Dear Couch Baron,
I usually appreciate the depth of your recaps – quite often you’ll catch on to something that I haven’t, especially with a show as subtle as Mad Men. However, I was taken aback by this phrase in your recaplet:

Joan’s fiancé is having trouble with her proficiency in bed, and when she brings him into SC, he borderline rapes her on the floor of Don’s office.

There is nothing “borderline”  about that scene; that was flat-out rape. In fact, in the “Inside Mad Men: The Mountain King” clip on the AMC website, Matthew Weiner specifically states that is was intended to have no debate about whether it was violent and that he was forcing himself on her. Something like 84% of rapes are committed by someone the woman knows, in very similar situation to the one depicted in the episode.

This may seem like a small thing to you, but in a world where headlines crop up in national newspapers like “Man has sex with 12 year old” and “Man keeps daughter in cave as sex slave” and bend themselves over backward to not use the word “rape” in situations that are very clearly rape, it bothers me that you could watch that scene and not call it rape, and write a recaplet telling people that what they saw wasn’t really a rape.  Because it was.

Thank you for your time,



You’re absolutely right, and I do apologize — I write the recaplets very quickly and obviously didn’t give that bit of language near enough thought. I have more than one female friend who’s suffered an experience similar to what was depicted on screen. I’ve asked my editor to change it, and I will certainly make it clear in the full recap that that description wasn’t my intention.

Couch Baron

It’s already been changed on the recaplet  –  and it’s not like I was able to get the Wall Street Journal to issue a retraction or anything, but, hey, teaspoons, right?