She was always at the periphery of Don Draper’s world, but if we watched faithfully, we could see her circling closer and closer. Finally, in Mad Men’s fourth season, she assumed her place, however briefly, at the center.
The first time we encountered Allison by name, she was office prey at Sterling Cooper, albeit not for Don. No, in “Nixon vs. Kennedy,” she was Ken Cosgrove’s quarry in the game to guess which color panties she wore …
… a situation that gave Peggy and the Progressive Insurance girl some pause.
Maybe it was the creme de menthe in the watercooler, but it was always kind of surprising to me that she didn’t smack Cosgrove’s smug face right off his skull. After he “walks her home,” she’s next seen doing the scurry of shame away from his office the following morning.
Was this her first office encounter? Has she always had a thing for the strapping hunks of Mad Ave? If so, shouldn’t she expect no more from Don than the brooming he ultimately gave her in episode 402? After all, it took him a while to even learn her name.
Granted, that was Season 2, when Don had a lot on his mind, like fleeing to Palm Springs with the bohemians. He also had plenty of secretarial trouble of his own, having booted Peggy Olson up the ladder only to be saddled with Switchboard Lois the Foot Reaper, then the future Mrs. Sterling.
What did Allison know when she agreed to Don’s advance? From her position in the secretarial pool for the firs two seasons and at Don’s desk in particular throughout the third … probably everything, short of his real name.
And she tried to love him anyway.