There were a number of things I was eager to write about in regards to last night's episode of Mad Men. And then there was a nipple in a box. Michael Ginsberg's nipple, specifically.
Ginsberg's role on the show has often been relegated to a bit of comic relief, but there was a mystery about him that often made viewers suspect that Matt Weiner was hinting at something more. At Jewcy last year, Dov Friedman wrote that "Mad Men watchers have always wondered how things will end up for Don Draper; the fifth season strongly suggests that answer may be delivered through Michael Ginsberg."
But in "The Runaways," Michael Ginsberg, once so promising, is carted out of the office on a gurney after cutting off his nipple and giving it to Peggy. Over the course of the episode, Ginsberg progressively becomes more hysterical over the office's new computer. The noise getting to him, for starters. When he sees Jim Cutler and Lou Avery meeting in the room and watches their lips move—in another one of the show's explicit homages to Kubrick—he suspects the machine has turned them gay, which he admits to Peggy when he goes over to her apartment to work. "That machine makes men do unnatural things," he says. When she wakes up from a nap, he suggests that they procreate. The next day, he confesses that he has feelings for Peggy and presents her with a gift. "I removed the pressure," he explains. His nipple. In a box. "It's the valve," he says.