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ANOTHER SCORCHER
Aug 12, 2018


This is all one big thing.


I actually thought Don was overreacting to the likelihood he would be found out - we've never seen a Draper family member come looking for him, Anna is dead, Betty covered. Even the age thing, would it really be that weird for an ad man to lie about his age and presumably say he's younger than he really is? Pete saying he hadn't been flagged yet seemed to support this idea.

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WampaLord
Jan 14, 2010



ANOTHER SCORCHER posted:

I actually thought Don was overreacting to the likelihood he would be found out - we've never seen a Draper family member come looking for him, Anna is dead, Betty covered. Even the age thing, would it really be that weird for an ad man to lie about his age and presumably say he's younger than he really is? Pete saying he hadn't been flagged yet seemed to support this idea.

Yeah, I always got the feeling that he'd have a pretty decent chance of passing the background check anyway, but it makes perfect sense for his character that he'd panic hard about even a small chance of being found out.

Yoshi Wins
Jul 14, 2013



The fact that Lt. Draper was an engineer is a problem. If the background check is really just a formality, Don would just have to remember what school Lt. Draper went to. But if they ask him, like, one question about engineering, he's toast.

Solkanar512
Dec 28, 2006



Yoshi Wins posted:

The fact that Lt. Draper was an engineer is a problem. If the background check is really just a formality, Don would just have to remember what school Lt. Draper went to. But if they ask him, like, one question about engineering, he's toast.

I agree with this anyway, but even without it the fear Don must feel of going back to what he came from must be immense. We've already seen strong hints of it, we know that the circles he runs around with out cast him out in an instant, so such a fall would likely break him.

It also makes sense to me that he wouldn't think to try and get a lawyer to fix things - he's still relatively new to this social class (Betty's old, "you don't know how money works" is telling on so many levels) and wouldn't innately understand the power that comes with being "invited to the club" (to paraphrase Cooper).

ANOTHER SCORCHER
Aug 12, 2018


This is all one big thing.


Don's reaction is perfectly in character, maybe even more so if the danger was not as serious as he thought.

misguided rage
Jun 15, 2010

:shepface:God I fucking love Diablo 3 gold, it even paid for this shitty title:shepface:

Yoshi Wins posted:

The fact that Lt. Draper was an engineer is a problem. If the background check is really just a formality, Don would just have to remember what school Lt. Draper went to. But if they ask him, like, one question about engineering, he's toast.
I don't think that's too big a problem, it's been years since the war and it's not like he's kept up with it, forgetting some technical knowledge isn't a huge red flag. The bigger problem is that Anna's sister knows him as Dick, if they think to talk to her since Anna is gone then he's instantly hosed. Or if there are any direct Draper relatives around and they show them a picture.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Yeah, I believe I mentioned it in the write-up, but even if Don got found out but managed to skate by without being imprisoned, he'd be done in the eyes of the people whose respect he "cares" about... cares in the sense that he needs it and expects it even if he often looks down on them himself.

Pete mentions that he didn't think anybody cared about that kind of thing anymore, and it's true that the fervent patriotism/willingness to sign up for military duty had waned by this time and would only continue to do so... but desertion and stolen valor (I'm sure he would have still gotten a purple heart as Dick Whitman, but that's besides the point) would still be a big loving deal even in the late 60s. Dudes were fleeing to Canada to escape getting drafted knowing if they stayed in the US and refused to go to war then they'd go to prison: a guy asking for access to classified information being revealed as a deserter who knowingly took on the identity of a guy who died in the line of duty? That's gonna have major repercussions, even if Don is rich and increasingly well-connected in the right places.

The Klowner posted:

You failed to mention what happens immediately after Jr. leaves, arguably just as shocking as the news that Lucky Strike is firing them: when he thinks he's alone, Roger pulls a capsule from his coat pocket and sticks it between his teeth. End scene. Big "holy poo poo!" moment, because we don't see him again until a few scenes later when he's perusing his Rolodex.

I had assumed this was just heart medication (and holy poo poo he should NOT be drinking and smoking like he does after TWO heart attacks), and that he waited for Lee Jr. to be gone because he feels that it would make him look even weaker in Lee Jr's eyes. Is there a further significance/connection between those two scenes I'm missing?

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 21:56 on Aug 3, 2021

Solkanar512
Dec 28, 2006



Jerusalem posted:

Yeah, I believe I mentioned it in the write-up, but even if Don got found out but managed to skate by without being imprisoned, he'd be done in the eyes of the people whose respect he "cares" about... cares in the sense that he needs it and expects it even if he often looks down on them himself.

Pete mentions that he didn't think anybody cared about that kind of thing anymore, and it's true that the fervent patriotism/willingness to sign up for military duty had waned by this time and would only continue to do so... but desertion and stolen valor (I'm sure he would have still gotten a purple heart as Dick Whitman, but that's besides the point) would still be a big loving deal even in the late 60s. Dudes were fleeing to Canada to escape getting drafted knowing if they stayed in the US and refused to go to war then they'd go to prison: a guy asking for access to classified information being revealed as a deserter who knowingly took on the identity of a guy who died in the line of duty? That's gonna have major repercussions, even if Don is rich and increasingly well-connected in the right places.

I had assumed this was just heart medication (and holy poo poo he should NOT be drinking and smoking like he does after TWO heart attacks), and that he waited for Lee Jr. to be gone because he feels that it would make him look even weaker in Lee Jr's eyes. Is there a further significance/connection between those two scenes I'm missing?

I think some could wonder if he was taking a cyanide pill after hearing such news. But it would be weird to just have something like that on your person, especially if you're rich and otherwise have a great life.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Solkanar512 posted:

I think some could wonder if he was taking a cyanide pill after hearing such news. But it would be weird to just have something like that on your person, especially if you're rich and otherwise have a great life.

... that's certainly a take!

brushwad
Dec 25, 2009


Jerusalem posted:

I had assumed this was just heart medication

It's a nitroglycerin tablet.

UNRULY_HOUSEGUEST
Jul 19, 2006

mea culpa


Solkanar512 posted:

I think some could wonder if he was taking a cyanide pill after hearing such news. But it would be weird to just have something like that on your person, especially if you're rich and otherwise have a great life.

I want to live in the world where account executives have cyanide pills to eat after losing their key client like they're a spy who just got their cover blown

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Cooper: Look, we all did this in the Great Depression, it's just how the advertising industry works :colbert:

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







UNRULY_HOUSEGUEST posted:

I want to live in the world where account executives have cyanide pills to eat after losing their key client like they're a spy who just got their cover blown

If caught, miss blankenship will deny all knowledge

Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



Jerusalem posted:

Goddammit, Don.

Mad Men Blindwatch Thread: Goddammit, Don.

I've commented on this before in the thread, but it's so interesting how Don's plot slides so gracefully into being about how he's essentially just an addict. At first, it seems like it's a story about ennui, about how money doesn't buy happiness or about how the midcentury American dream is existentially empty. But very quickly, it becomes clear that Don's issues aren't society's...they're pathological. Everybody drinks, but Don is an alcoholic, doing it way too much and for terrible reasons. Everybody cheats, but Don is a love addict, pursuing one intense and unsustainable affair after another even after he's divorced and then re-married. Eventually, it feels like we're watching Don reach crossroads after crossroads, and picking the worst and most self-destructive path nearly every time.

The period setting matters because the social change of the 60's reveals how normative Don's dysfunction looked until suddenly it stood out. But "1960 Cool Guy" Don Draper becoming "1970 Pathetic Guy" Don Draper is a loving incredible feat of writing.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Still love that at the start of this episode I thought the major storyline was gonna be Don frantically trying to get Beatles tickets for Sally when Harry hosed up and then suddenly it's,"Federal Agents are asking questions and your military desertion may be about to be exposed, Don" AND Lucky Strike dumps Roger, AND Joan gets an abortion, AND Lane gets beaten up by his pensioner father. :allears:

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


sebmojo posted:

... that's certainly a take!

I'll be honest, this is exactly where my brain went. It's probably definitely heart medication, probably, but the way that he meticulously sticks it right in the back of his teeth between his molars...

Yoshi Wins
Jul 14, 2013



misguided rage posted:

I don't think that's too big a problem, it's been years since the war and it's not like he's kept up with it, forgetting some technical knowledge isn't a huge red flag. The bigger problem is that Anna's sister knows him as Dick, if they think to talk to her since Anna is gone then he's instantly hosed. Or if there are any direct Draper relatives around and they show them a picture.

I think Anna's sister knows. Stephanie calls Don's office on Anna's last day alive and doesn't leave a last name, so she knows. And we don't see the moment Stephanie learns that secret, so it probably didn't get revealed to her the night that Don visited.

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

Coal Jobs for the Coal God



Jerusalem posted:


Remember, this is the man who had no idea how their cigarettes were actually made, who wanted to dump the tobacco business entirely and sell aluminum. He's right that he clearly doesn't particularly care about the day to day financial affairs of the family business... but he's also full of bullshit when he says it wasn't his choice. He has power and always will, and if he wanted to he could have kicked up a stink and overridden the board. What he really means is that he didn't care enough (or at all) to do anything more but take Roger out for one last big dinner, as if Roger doesn't detest him on a personal level.... though whether Jr. realizes that is another matter. Probably not, he's grown up his entire life getting whatever he wanted and taking it as just the way the world is.


I think the other quote about Daddy's stroke and his inability to change things is true. Lee Jr. would have no way to actually change things because he only had power because his dad was behind him. There is the irony in talking about inheritance, and that fits Lee's and Rogers personality to a T.

The other thing.. when Roger brings up the lies he told for him...I think Roger knows, and has known for a while, about Lee and his... peccadilloes. We think of Sal, but never is just one. And the 30 days comes from that getting out.

Devorum
Jul 30, 2005


I'm currently going through my fourth security clearance investigation, and have held both Secret and Top Secret clearance.

If the clearance was Secret or lower, Don would get through with no problems at all. A Secret clearance investigation is basically a fancy background check + credit check.

A Top Secret clearance, which it looks like this is, would be trickier. They send agents to interview your friends and family, and try to get more names to interview from them. They dig much deeper into your past and they very well might have gone to Real Don's professors and asked about him.

They would definitely want to talk to Anna's family, but Meghan wouldn't have known to put them on the form so it would take a bit to get to them. But once they discovered Don was married once before and didn't mention that or list Anna (you have to list people even if they're deceased) on the form, they'd start to wonder why...and start to pull at threads.

Now, it being the 60s, they may never have discovered that unless they went to California and pulled records, but I think Don had reason to be worried. He probably could have headed it off by being honest with the investigators.

"I was young, I was stupid, I woke up in an Army hospital and they thought I was someone else and I saw a chance to escape my life as a destitute farmer's son and just went with it."

That honestly looks better than trying to hide it.

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Jerusalem posted:

Pete mentions that he didn't think anybody cared about that kind of thing anymore, and it's true that the fervent patriotism/willingness to sign up for military duty had waned by this time and would only continue to do so... but desertion and stolen valor (I'm sure he would have still gotten a purple heart as Dick Whitman, but that's besides the point) would still be a big loving deal even in the late 60s. Dudes were fleeing to Canada to escape getting drafted knowing if they stayed in the US and refused to go to war then they'd go to prison: a guy asking for access to classified information being revealed as a deserter who knowingly took on the identity of a guy who died in the line of duty? That's gonna have major repercussions, even if Don is rich and increasingly well-connected in the right places.

in the throes of the cold war and the space race, don should also be concerned about being mistakenly called out as a foreign spy. is there anyone left who can prove he's really dick whitman?

Yoshi Wins
Jul 14, 2013



Devorum posted:

He probably could have headed it off by being honest with the investigators.

"I was young, I was stupid, I woke up in an Army hospital and they thought I was someone else and I saw a chance to escape my life as a destitute farmer's son and just went with it."

That honestly looks better than trying to hide it.

Really? Even for a felony with no statute of limitations?

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



For clearance being honest is always better. Coming clean means your trustworthy, hide something and they find out, well someone else Ina foreign government could've done the same and used it to flip you.

Devorum
Jul 30, 2005


Yoshi Wins posted:

Really? Even for a felony with no statute of limitations?

It would have cost him the clearance, but they likely wouldn't have pursued it further. They're not there to prosecute, they're there to determine if you're a security risk. I admitted to a fair amount of drug use, and to, technically, falsifying my enlistment contract by lying to my recruiter about that drug use. All they did was thank me for my honesty.

My bad credit during my second investigation was a much larger hurdle to clear.

pentyne
Nov 7, 2012

I just couldn't look at your old avatar anymore
Fucking nauseating!


Devorum posted:

It would have cost him the clearance, but they likely wouldn't have pursued it further. They're not there to prosecute, they're there to determine if you're a security risk. I admitted to a fair amount of drug use, and to, technically, falsifying my enlistment contract by lying to my recruiter about that drug use. All they did was thank me for my honesty.

My bad credit during my second investigation was a much larger hurdle to clear.

During the 1960s at the height of the red scare?

He'd be clamped in irons by sundown.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Mr. Fall Down Terror posted:

is there anyone left who can prove he's really dick whitman?

Ironically, the shoebox of photographs that helped Pete and later Betty discover his past would actually prove his Dick Whitman identity.

Extra ironically, if that shoebox had never shown up and they'd ended up in roughly the same position (whether at Sterling Cooper, PPL, SCDP or elsewhere) then Don wouldn't have known about Pete's DoD friend or had an ally to help him find out just how hosed he might have been.

brushwad
Dec 25, 2009


Also worth noting: this episode was directed by Lynn Shelton, who died suddenly/tragically a little over a year ago. :(

Boxman
Sep 27, 2004

Big fan of :frog:




Gaius Marius posted:

For clearance being honest is always better. Coming clean means your trustworthy, hide something and they find out, well someone else Ina foreign government could've done the same and used it to flip you.

Of course, the fact that he was sent flailing at the idea that the government might find out indicates he really shouldn't have been granted that clearance anyway.

Shageletic
Jul 25, 2007






Jerusalem posted:

Still love that at the start of this episode I thought the major storyline was gonna be Don frantically trying to get Beatles tickets for Sally when Harry hosed up and then suddenly it's,"Federal Agents are asking questions and your military desertion may be about to be exposed, Don" AND Lucky Strike dumps Roger, AND Joan gets an abortion, AND Lane gets beaten up by his pensioner father. :allears:

Still can't find a show that leaves me as belly full satisfied as Mad Men. They put in so much every episode.

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004




I love Roger's laughing outburst in the partner's meeting in this scene, Slattery completely nails that reaction.

"I'm sorry...is there more business?"

I also really like how (unless i'm misremembering the recap i just read 3 minutes ago) there isn't any kind of dramatic or inciting incident that causes Lucky Strike to bail. Like throughout the whole show, they keep stressing how important the Lucky Strike business is and how it's the keystone of their entire balance sheet, and when they finally do leave, it isn't because of anything interesting or exciting, it's just that offscreen, some unnamed accountant did some math and concluded that they'd make more money with another agency. Completely boring and impersonal capitalist bullshit that has the potential to completely ruin the agency that was depending on them.

Ainsley McTree fucked around with this message at 17:08 on Aug 4, 2021

Yoshi Wins
Jul 14, 2013



There are a few signs of trouble throughout the season, like when Lee Garner Jr. asks Don when he's going to make an ad as good as Glo-Coat for them, and when Don and Roger blow him off on that phone call, but it does seem like even if they'd made a Clio-worthy ad for Lucky Strike and did a better job kissing Garner's rear end, the outcome probably still would have been the same. Lee Garner Jr. was never going to go to bat for them in the boardroom. He's a man who stands out as selfish and apathetic to the needs of others even by the standards of corporate executives.

Sash!
Mar 16, 2001




pentyne posted:

During the 1960s at the height of the red scare?

He'd be clamped in irons by sundown.

The Red Scare was way over by this point.

North American still had some large Air Force projects on the books, but they were quickly becoming a space company. Having been cleared for similar reasons, he isn't even being cleared for technical purposes. It is almost a formality because he needs to see pre-release imagery and so on. Despite how fancy it sounds, he's clearing a low bar and the real espionage threats have already had access years beforehand.

If he fails the checks, you just wash your hands. There are bigger fish to fry.

Yoshi Wins
Jul 14, 2013



Man, this background check discussion is fascinating. I always assumed Don was right and that he'd be thrown in prison if it had continued. The possibility that he would have been fine if he'd just stayed calm and gotten more info about how in-depth the check was really has an impact on the story.

Grammarchist
Jan 28, 2013



Part of me wants to start watching again, but I just don't have the time. Also, these breakdowns are amazing and I still go back to the Wire and Sopranos threads when I need to decompress.

Sash!
Mar 16, 2001




Yoshi Wins posted:

Man, this background check discussion is fascinating. I always assumed Don was right and that he'd be thrown in prison if it had continued. The possibility that he would have been fine if he'd just stayed calm and gotten more info about how in-depth the check was really has an impact on the story.

The important thing is this:

Boxman posted:

Of course, the fact that he was sent flailing at the idea that the government might find out indicates he really shouldn't have been granted that clearance anyway.

One of the things that hasn't changed between the 1960s and the 2020s is that they're not really hunting what you've done in a criminal sense (of course, having a criminal history is a Bad Thing too). They're looking for how you can be compromised. Even in the back then days, Don's drinking and affairs would have at least raised an eyebrow. Those are potential blackmail points. That's also why they fixate on finances. Debt is a big driver behind a lot of guys working for the other team.

Don freaking out like he did means that the whole stolen identity thing, likely combined with his general fear of 'getting caught' in any of his other dealings, means that he was very sensitive to being exposed. He's almost a perfect target to coerce. The only reason that he resisted Pete's blackmail is because he had tools to resist it in his professional leverage over Pete combined with Bert being an odd dude. That sort of defense vanishes when the blackmailer is a foreign agent. Like Boxman said, that's not the kind of guy you want to clear.

Despite the talk of the nukes and ICBMs and generals around the time of the California trip and their various DoD dealings, North American Aviation's most important and visual contract at the time was far more interesting. I don't know if the writers knew it or just selected a random defense contractor. But, at the time, North American was developing the Apollo Command and Service Module. Had SCDP continued the work for North American, they'd have been doing the early promotional work for the Space Shuttle in just three year's time.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Sash! posted:

Had SCDP continued the work for North American, they'd have been doing the early promotional work for the Space Shuttle in just three year's time.

I don't know where the show will go over the remaining three seasons, but I'm laughing my rear end off thinking of the moon landing happening and Pete just GLARING at Don the entire time.

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






this is one of the episodes of the show that always gave me the biggest sopranos vibes. a privileged/powerful person potentially seeing any consequences for his actions and crimes, careening around violently with no real solution other than treating people around him like poo poo, getting what he wants because everyone else folds, and then ending on a note making it clear he got everything he wanted but it still just can't fill that hole inside of him and it just won't be enough.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Season 4, Episode 11 - Chinese Wall
Written by Erin Levy, Directed by Phil Abraham

Jane Sterling posted:

I'm so proud of you.

Late at night in Jones Beach, Peggy Olson and Joyce Ramsay clamber into Joyce's car after a late night swim, Peggy complaining about having sand everywhere and Joyce remarking that she should hope it's ONLY sand. Before they can drive away though, a bunch of people show up and start clambering in, Joyce shrugging that she guesses they have hitchers, taking it all in stride: this is just how things work.

Among the people hoping to catch a free ride back to the city though is Abe Drexler, who takes momentary pause when he spots Peggy in the back seat. He climbs in, promising Peggy this wasn't planned, while Joyce mutters for everybody to be quiet since she's stoned (none of the multiple people climbing into the small car are alarmed that their driver is impaired). Peggy allows it though, even accepting that she has to sit on Abe's lap when more and more people pile in and there isn't enough space for everybody.

In fact Peggy herself actually apologizes for the inconvenience of having to sit on his lap, despite it being caused by Abe's presence, and he wins brownie points for assuring her she weighs "like a pound, or less." He notices her wet hair and comments that she went for a swim, and she agrees that she likes the water. He asks if he can quote her on that, pointing out with a little smile that he's learning... a tacit admission that he hosed up assuming he could just write about her in an article that could have cost her heavily. This earns him even more brownie points, and when he softly brushes sand away from her arm well.... memories of that closet at the loft party are surely overriding the memories of chewing him out in the lobby of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

Next thing you know, they're in her apartment, moving quickly into her room but he can't help but gasp with delight that she's a slob as he takes in the mess of clothes everywhere. She shushes him, reminding him she has a roommate, but she's giggling as she says it. Maybe she's a little stoned too, but probably it's the euphoria of the thrill of bringing him back to her place, something he shares in as he giggles happily as well.

They begin making out and are on the bed in a flash, Abe pulling her top off to reveal the swimsuit underneath, making an unusual but genuine compliment of her shoulders, saying she looks like she's in the Olympics. Peggy isn't here for chatting and she sure as hell doesn't need seducing right now, as she points out he never stops talking and encourages him to put his mouth to better use. The night swim with a whole bunch of friends was fun, but this is an entirely different kind of excitement.



Also excited is Cynthia Baxter, though in a far different way. At dinner with her fiance Ken Cosgrove and her parents Ed and Lillian, she's breathlessly telling them about how she and Trudy Campbell were at a lecture on rhododendrons when Trudy went into labor and had to be rushed to the hospital. She exclaims it was just like something out of a movie, it was clearly the most exciting thing that has happened to her in a looooong time (if her usual day out is attending a lecture on flowers well.... yeah!).

Ken points out that at the same time Pete was on the back nine of the golf course with his father-in-law, which Ed Baxter (played by Ray Wise!) appreciates, figuring that learning you're about to become a father (and a grandfather) is a great way to finish a round.

They're interrupted by a smiling, handsome man who pops over to say hello to Ken, telling him not to get up. Ken does of course, shaking the man's hand and introducing him to Cynthia, Ed and Lillian. He's John Flory, another Ad Man from a different Agency, who admits he's slightly jealous since his own dinner is with representatives from Dodge. He tells him it was nice to see him, but before he goes he just wanted to offer his condolences about... well, you know.

Ken does, assuring Flory that though he worked for a time at Geyer he didn't really know David Montgomery, who recently passed away. Flory's face falls as he realizes they're talking about two different things, and whatever HE was talking about is suddenly something he absolutely does NOT want to talk about anymore: it's one thing to commiserate over bad news, something entirely different to break it. He quickly tries to beat a retreat, but Ken is no fool and has belatedly figured out that they were on separate pages.

Before Flory can get too far, he steps after him and calls him back around, wanting an explanation. Wincing, Flory tells Ken something so out of left-field that it refuses to really take purchase in his mind: Lucky Strike cigarettes have left Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and are moving over to Flory's own Agency: BBDO.

Oh shiiiiiit.

Ken refuses to accept it, at first assuming Flory is trying to wind him up, then just outright going into denial and proclaiming it simply isn't true. But Flory knows what he saw, and what he saw was American Tobacco coming in to BBDO earlier in the week and telling them they were moving all their brands to the Agency. He gives Ken a little pat on the shoulder of solidarity, but he can't quite keep the smirk of his face: American Tobacco is a BIG get for even as powerful an Ad Agency as BBDO, and knowing that it's at Ken's expense is something he can't quite help but revel in.

Left alone for a moment, Ken's eyes dart about as he mentally races through the various world of horrible possibilities that have just opened up before him: so many pitfalls it might as well be a yawning chasm of professional ruin. He makes his way back to the table, mind still reeling, still running through the permutations, but he can't bear to hold up the pretense for more than a few seconds. Apologizing sincerely to his fiance and soon-to-be in-laws, promising he would never dream of doing this if it wasn't hugely important, he abandons them to seek answers from the Partners of an Agency he only recently came on to, leaving behind a solid and secure position at Geyer... even if it was dull as dishwater.

His first stop is at the hospital, because he knows Pete best AND he knows that Pete will be there. Indeed he is, half asleep sitting up in a chair waiting for the word that he's become a father at last. Pete is initially pleased at the distraction, shaking Pete's hand and explaining that the doctors actually wanted to send Trudy home but her mother refused and insisted she stay till she gives birth.

Ken lets Pete babble for a bit, then quietly takes his aside and explains that John Flory - "some prick over at BBDO" - just told him Lucky Strike was going there. Pete's reaction says a lot about him. Unlike Ken he doesn't laugh it off as a bad joke, or latch on to denial. No, Pete always lives in anticipation of the worst happening, so when he asks,"What!?!" it isn't to claim this isn't real, but more an anguished immediate acceptance of fate yanking the floor out from under him just when he was supposed to be at his happiest.

The next step is a call to Don Draper, who is happily making out with Dr. Faye Miller in his apartment after a night out. She's eager for sex and he's certainly got no objections to that, but he figures if somebody is calling it's important so he takes the call, expecting some minor bullshit or maybe a little unimportant family drama from Betty or something... and gets the news from a frantic Pete about Lucky Strike, who wants to know if HE has heard anything about them leaving?

Don's reaction is also different to either Ken or Pete's. His face goes hard, the sloppy smile on his face from making out with Faye gone in an instant as he leaps into stern authoritarian mode: when he doesn't know something, when something catches him off guard, he retreats to the patrician image of a person in complete control. But this is a BIG one, and the mask starts to slip as he demands Pete call Roger and learns Pete already tried and couldn't get him. So he takes what action he can, telling Pete to wake Cooper and met him in the office as soon as possible.

Faye is privy only to Don's end of the call, but it is clear that something very, very bad has happened. She asks what, and Don straight up admits he doesn't know. "I have to make a call," he proclaims, picking up the phone, a not particularly subtle signal that the night is over and she should probably leave. There will be no sex tonight, no fun, no temporary forgetting of minor issues to just enjoy each other's company. There's trouble afoot at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and the fun times are over... perhaps permanently.



Not long after, Don, Pete and Ken sit glumly in Roger's office at SCDP, drinks in hand. The man himself arrives, having finally been reached and called in, and he's full of cheer despite the obvious tension in the room. Cooper is settled behind Roger's desk, still in his pajamas and robe, not even bothering to get dressed the implications of losing Lucky Strike were so monstrous.

Roger asks what is going on and they fill him in: BBDO claims to have Lucky Strike coming over to them... no scratch that, they claim Lucky Strike is ALREADY with them. Roger absorbs the news that now they know his horrible secret, and reacts the only way he can... by loudly proclaiming this isn't true, it's impossible!

Oh God, Roger.

Don quietly, authoritatively tells Roger to call "him", meaning Lee Garner Jr. Roger moves straight to the phone, but still protesting that it is impossible. How far is he willing to push his bullshit? Will he hesitate at the phone? No, he picks it up, not even using the opening of Cooper warning him not to lose his temper to stall.

Will he stall for time before calling? Perhaps, as he asks about Lane (yes he's been called, but he's still in London and can do nothing but stress out over there) and requests a drink... but still he dials the number.

Will he finally hang up and admit the truth? Yes! He hangs up.... surreptitiously, jamming his thumb down on the receiver switch to cut off the call before it can complete. And then... yes Roger Sterling - middle-aged millionaire advertising executive and partner - puts on a loud pantomime conversation where he has a yelling match with an imaginary Lee Garner Jr as he "discovers" that Lucky Strike are shifting to BBDO.

Oh my God, Roger.

The others simply stand and stare, all of them hoping and praying that Roger can pull some magic out of the hat with the benefit of long years of experience managing this one particular client. He rants and raves, quietly telling them that the imaginary Lee Garner Jr is drunk, insisting that American Tobacco can consolidate with SCDP instead of BBDO, railing at the board and insisting he shouldn't listen to them just because his father is "non compos mentis".

In short, he yells all the things he ranted to the real Lee Jr about during their dinner last episode.... and then just never told anybody else about, seemingly thinking he could just keep pretending everything was all right and it somehow magically would be. Finally he puts his performance to bed, going quiet before softly telling the others in disbelief that the imaginary Lee Garner Jr. just imaginary hung-up on him.

He accepts a drink from a stunned Pete and takes a seat himself, pretending to be more blown away than any of them. But when Don declares firmly that tomorrow at 6am the two of them will get on a train to Raleigh-Durham, Roger is quick to insist that he and he alone will go. He absolutely cannot let Don discover the truth, it would be the end of him at SCDP even if he is a Partner.

Of course, there may not be a SCDP to be a partner at very much longer. Just to showcase just how real a threat this is, Bert Cooper of all people softly declares that HE needs a drink, and Ken - not a partner but with his own livelihood on the line - is quick to pour him one.



Don returns home to his apartment to find Faye, who quickly wakes from sleeping poorly on his couch. Clearly she was waiting up for him to return, she could have easily gone home or even slept in his bed, but instead she waited because she wanted to be there to support him, to find out what was wrong and offer what help she could. It's a thoughtful gesture, but not one that Don is really in a headspace to appreciate... and to be fair, he's been hit with a body blow, it's one of the few times being wrapped up entirely in himself is a completely understandable mindset.

He offers her a drink as he pours himself but makes no move to actually pour her one, immediately downing his own before telling her that Lucky Strike may have gone... and he'd like that kept quiet. She gives him a,"Really?" look that he doesn't acknowledge or even really notice at the thought she'd spill business secrets like this. But she doesn't get offended, he's clearly shaken, and she warns him off immediately downing another drink, pointing out he's going to need a clear head.

"Every day I tried not to think about what would happen if... this happened," he admits, joining her on the couch at last after she reaches out for him. She tries to play it light at first, fussing over his sour face, but when that doesn't land well she offers what she thinks is a compliment: he's the most hire-able man on Madison Avenue. "I'm not at that point yet," he warns, which could just as easily mean he's not quite established enough to be able to go wherever he wants, but which I assume means he isn't quite in despair enough yet to be thinking about applying for work elsewhere. More to the point, after finally getting what he wanted he isn't going to be able to go back: he's been a partner/owner now, he can't return to the days of working for somebody else and not getting to set (most of) the rules.

So she settles for the simplest thing she can, curling up on the couch beside him. She reaches out to take his hand, having to do all the work herself. Don is unresponsive, not even really noticing that she's there, still wrapped up entirely in himself and a mind racing with the very real chance that all his hard work of the last year - and everything he willingly lost in pursuit of it - is just going to fall apart, and all because of the sudden (to Don) whim of a prick like Lee Garner Jr.

Pete returns to the hospital where he finds his father-in-law Tom in the waiting room. Tom is not irritated by Pete's absence, if anything he seems amused by all the fuss, proclaiming that Jeannie has Trudy all worked up for nothing because the baby is at least a day away. Even when he smells the alcohol on Pete's breath he's not upset, taking it as new father nerves and assuring him he just needs to relax and go about his business... hell, he was at a ball game when Trudy was born!

But something penetrates his own happy fog at the fact he's soon to be a grandfather himself, realizing that there's something wrong with Pete beyond the normal stereotypical new dad panic. When Pete admits it's to do with business, Tom tries to gently remind him that now is not the time for business... until Pete hits him with the bombshell: he may be losing Lucky Strike as a client.

Tom - a successful businessman himself - understands the significance of this, but he also sees it as an opportunity of sorts. As gently as possible - more gently than Pete perhaps deserves, given his treatment of Tom in the past - he points out that SCDP was a nice dream but ultimately a folly, and now that Pete has his own family coming it is time to set this vision of being a partner in his own Agency aside. He points out that he hasn't stayed at Vick Chemical for nearly 30 years because he loves the job, but because he has a family to support, and now it's Pete's turn to take on a similar responsibility.

Pete of course is horrified at the idea of giving up, he has poured blood, sweat and tears into making SCDP work. But while Tom insists he is still rooting for him to succeed (pointing out that Vick is with SCDP after all) he is also pushing for a sensible alternative: CGC took over Clearasil and apparently they haven't been quite able to keep up with the quality of work that SCDP provided, which means Ted Chaough in particular has become very interested in Pete Campbell as a possible hire.

The thought doesn't exactly excite Pete, who dislikes Ted (hates him, he goes so far as to claim) and also probably quite accurately guesses that Ted's major interest is that hiring Pete might in some way negatively affect Don Draper. Before they can continue though, Jeannie arrives, Tom covering for Pete's absence by claiming he found him dozed off by the candy machines. Jeannie doesn't particularly seem to buy it (she can presumably smell the alcohol too) but she's not overly bothered, beyond insisting Pete can't see Trudy as she's finally gotten to sleep. Tartly she suggest he go back to the "candy machines" and they'll let him know when something happens.

It's a sad thing to consider, Pete has in Tom and Jeannie well meaning in-laws that actually do seem invested in their son-in-law as a member of the family. Tom in particular, though he'd been overbearing at times in throwing money at them and slightly undermining Pete as a result (in Pete's mind at least), actually does want him to do well. Even in spite of Pete's rather cruel mockery of him when Trudy got pregnant and he saw the chance to flex his own muscle on his father-in-law, Tom is genuinely thinking about what is best for them as a couple even if not for the best for Pete in particular.

That his driving motivation behind this concern is because Pete's success will benefit his daughter doesn't actually matter. Tom is providing the father-figure that Pete never really had: the wisdom and kindness and gentleness that Pete's own father certainly never provided. And not only does Pete not acknowledge this he doesn't even seem to recognize it. If anything, he views everything Tom does with either suspicion or contempt... much like his father treated him. Pete has not only a role model for how to be with his own child, but a surrogate father of sorts to bond with... and to say he doesn't appreciate it would be an understatement, because he's so caught up in his own bullshit he doesn't even realize there is something there to appreciate.



The next morning at Peggy Olson's sloppy apartment bedroom, Abe is pulling on his beach wear from the night before and stumbling through a weak explanation about why he has to go home because the air conditioning guy is coming or something.

Peggy lays in bed, enjoying watching him, but also facing up to the awkwardness of the morning after the night before. Straining mightily to be casual and "cool", she shrugs with too forced a smile that she guesses she'll see him, clearly thinking that now he's had his fun he'll have lost interest.

But just as awkward is Abe, already a bit of a klutz with women and made worse by how badly he got burned by their last encounter. Trying to read between the lines, he stammers out a question on whether she wants him to go or not, and Peggy looks horrified at the idea of having to put herself on the line and coming across too eager, so tries way too hard to flippantly tell him he can do whatever he usually does.

"I don't usually do... anything," he admits, chuckling self-consciously that she should be able to tell by how badly he is botching this attempted leaving... and that gets Peggy bold, as she throws caution to the wind and declares that she will not let him leave. THAT is a signal that Abe can't help but interpret correctly, and he returns to the bed.

"What about your air?" she asks, even now half-considerate of his rambling story about the air conditioning man. He clearly doesn't give a gently caress about air conditioning right now, as he strips his shirt back off and they're back to making out on the bed, Peggy offering a final timid,"I'm not usually like this" before both just abandon themselves to the bliss of putting their bullshit aside and just doing what comes naturally.

At SCDP, Cooper, Don and Pete wait on high alert by the phone in Don's office. When it rings Cooper immediately snatches it up. It's Roger calling from Raleigh-Durham, informing them sadly that he just walked out of a meeting with Lee Garner Jr and can confirm it really, irrevocably is over. He explains that Sr getting sick allowed the board to take control, and they aren't interested and don't care in the Agency's long-standing relationship with them. The only panacea he can offer is that Lee Jr agreed they did good work.

Cooper's heart sinks, and when he tells Roger that their clients need to hear this news from them, Pete and Don's hearts sink as well as they too realize it really is over. Roger agrees with Cooper, telling him to get started straight away and not wait for him. That's sensible, he is off in Raleigh-Durham after all.

Well, except he's not. He's sitting in a hotel room, presumably right there in New York City, because he hasn't gone anywhere or spoken to anyone. He goes so far as to say he's standing by the desk of Lee's receptionist because he didn't want to pay for a long distance call. Yes, even now, Roger is running through the motions of a shock he's had time to get used to, leaving everybody else spinning.

His inability to admit to anybody that for the first time in his life he's powerless has gone so far now that he is past the point where he could feasibly admit the actual timeline of events. So he just does what he (and Don) always do: he puts up the front and relies on the image of his authority and control and power to carry him through the tough times.

So what must happen, happens. A stunned Don stands between Cooper and Pete before the assembled, mildly confused employees of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce for an all-staff meeting. The energy is not negative at the moment, this differentiation from the norm is in its own way exciting for the staff who have no idea what is coming.

Towards the back, Danny stands with Stan and Freddy and they speculate on what the news could be. Danny assumes that Pryce has decided not to return from London. Stan figures that Cooper is retiring. Freddy - an old hand - notes the former would go out as a memo and the latter would be accompanied by champagne. No, he knows what is going on: Cooper has cancer!

Joan brings Cooper prepared remarks, having had to rewrite them in larger typeface because even with his glasses he couldn't read the initial version, which has caused the announcement to be delayed and the crowd to have time to speculate. Now is the moment of truth though, as Cooper explains that American Tobacco have reluctantly decided to consolidate all their business through BBDO.

NOW the atmosphere plummets. All of them know that Lucky Strike was their biggest client, and all of them know that losing it means the loss of a gigantic proportion of the Agency's income that is required for all of them to keep their jobs. Cooper, having delivered this staggering news, is relieved to now hand over the dirty business of explaining what happens next to Don.

Don, as always, projects calm and confidence. Barking orders like a general, he explains Pete and Ken will be handling ALL the calls to clients and nobody else is to speak to clients about anything to do with this until they have. He reminds them all that they've had a good year, and gained far more clients than they have lost because their work is thoughtful and effective, and none of that should change. On that last he quickly corrects himself, none of that WILL change.

But while he gives a rallying speech about how exhilarating it is going to be for all of them to band together shoulder-to-shoulder to push past this setback and succeed tenfold... that is undercut somewhat by then calling in Joe Simonds, the Head of Accounting, to also assure them nothing is going to change. You don't bring the Head of Accounting - never seen before this episode and clearly not comfortable in front of a crowd - into a meeting unless some serious money poo poo is going down.

Into this assemblage of stunned gloom walks a beaming, glowing Peggy Olson who is practically floating through the air she is so happy. Belatedly she realizes that nobody is in their offices or at their desks, and finds them all gathered together. She quietly asks Freddy what is going on, and he motions to the Head of Accounting being there and rhetorically asks her what SHE thinks is happening.

Having explained they can come see him about paychecks and that all out-of-ordinary expenses must be cleared by himself, Joan or Lane, Joe asks if there are any questions. Danny frantically lifts his hand high, but he's so short and at the back of the room that he goes unseen, and the meeting is called to an end.

Peggy finally gets filled in, they've lost Lucky Strike, though Stan shrugs that it seems everything is under control. He can't honestly believe that, and if he does it gets undermined by Don striding past them towards his office and ordering them all to come with him. An all Creative hands on deck meeting is not something that happens when everything is "under control".



Don gives the barest inkling of the trouble they're in, telling his team that they'll need to stay on their toes. Danny's first thought, of course, is that as the most recent hire he could be the first on the chopping block. Don's response is probably the most sincere way he can think of to inspire confidence: he's in THIS room, and that means something.

His directives are clear: he and the other Partners are going to be beating the bushes looking for new clients, and that means THEIR job is to hold onto the clients they already have. That means making them feel good, making them feel involved creatively and like their own ideas have merit. It means Stan has to be present every step of the way as they film the Samsonite commercial, and Peggy has to nail the Playtex presentation tomorrow.

Peggy offers to bring her notes in and run through it with Don, but he waves that off, noting that the Creative Director suddenly jumping into the meeting out of nowhere so soon after the Lucky Strike news would look desperate. This confuses Peggy though, if he doesn't want to be involved... then what does he want her to do that is any different to what she was already going to do? It's not a dumb question, it's a confident one, as she responds to his exhortation to "be successful" that she isn't worried. She has faith in the quality of her work, in other words, and being Peggy Olson she was probably already bringing her A Game in the first place.

As everybody leaves though, Don does take a moment to speak with her alone: she's his protege, or the nearest thing to one, and he wants to make sure she understand the gravity of the situation. Is she REALLY not worried? At first Peggy assures him she isn't, since he has everything under control... but then needling doubt sets in that wouldn't have if he hadn't asked her.... is there a reason she SHOULD be worried?

Don admits he doesn't know for sure how bad things are for the Agency financially, and he won't know for certain until Lane returns and provides them with the finer details that only he seems capable of (I wonder how true that is, and whether Joan has just a strong grip on things?). Now Peggy IS worried, muttering to herself that she should have known she couldn't have something good (Abe) without something bad coming along too to punish her.

But now Don, having knocked her off-kilter, puts her back on balance when he assures her this is certainly not a problem caused by her, and that he is relying on her. That vote of confidence pleases her, it's the kind of positive feedback she craves from him even more than the money she's paid to work for him. She leaves, closing the door behind her at his request, and that leaves Don with a choice to make. He stares longingly at the bottles of liquor sitting enticingly nearby... then moves past them and to his desk to look at boring paperwork instead. The Agency is in danger, and unlike his marriage this is something he actually can't bear to lose.

Joan takes a call in her office, it's Roger. She's immediately sympathetic, telling him how sorry she is, assuring him it's not his fault when he admits he feels guilty. He's desperate to see her, asking her to come down and see him, and she dismisses that as him being his usual over-the-top self, noting that she's not going to fly down to Raleigh... at which point he openly admits he didn't go to Raleigh.

Jesus Christ, Roger.

Horrified, she demands he get his rear end down to Raleigh at once, reminding him how persuasive he can be in person (her recent need for a 3rd abortion is testament to that), and the groans pitifully that there's no point, it's been over for weeks and he's pissed off that Garner couldn't even give him the month he promised before making the split official.

Jesus Christ, Roger.

If she was horrified before, she's mortified now. It... he.... they.... what!?! HE KNEW ABOUT IT!?! Unbelievably, a pained Roger complains that she shouldn't yell at him because she doesn't know how hard it has been for him walking around with the stress of this little secret. Yes, poor Roger, burdened by a secret he chose to keep rather than face up to reality, man up, and tell his friends and business partners who have their entire livelihoods wrapped up in this venture the truth!

If Joan being angry is scary, then Joan being cold is terrifying (as Stan and Joey could attest after her Vietnam bomb). Shifting from the wider implications for the Agency, she points out that he could have at least told HER, asking why he didn't. He comes as close to the truth as he is really capable of without deep introspection, admitting that he kept wanting to believe he had more time before it had to come out.

He begs her once again to come and see him, he's staying at the Statler, and she mutters that she'll have to see. Hanging up, she stares at the phone, considering it and the man so recently on the other end, and everything he has been and still is to her on a professional and personal level. Without looking, she nimbly extracts a cigarette from its package, eyes fixed on nothing now, thinking about her past, present and future.



In the Creative Lounge, Peggy is more talking to herself than anybody else, Danny present as basically a sounding board as she considers the Playtex pitch. She's happy with the solid foundation of her idea, but considers how Don has such a way with words to bring everything into focus in an almost poetic way. Danny's solution to that is simple enough: she should get Don to write the pitch then!

Stan arrives, noting they have donuts (Danny sighs that the condemned man always gets a last meal), and lets them know that Pete warned him and others that anybody causing making up their resumes to send out would get fired... good ol' diplomatic Pete! Peggy doesn't like hearing this kind of talk, either about the Agency's stability or Pete himself, and quietly reminds them they're working on an Account right now.

She muses out loud some more, trying to find the poetry that Don makes look so simple: something about Playtex gloves protecting a woman's hands so she can touch all the things a woman wants to touch. Danny and Stan snicker over this, assuming the hint of suggestive sexuality by Peggy was unintended when she knows EXACTLY what she is doing. She plays on that now, leaving Stan and Danny both spellbound as she softly talks about running her fingertips over a man's lips, the tuft of hair on his chest, the small of his back.

"I can't imagine Don saying that...." Danny finally manages to get out, at which point the source of Peggy's current good mood and playful attitude arrives on the scene himself. Abe has infiltrated SCDP pretending to be a deliveryman, explaining he has a package (!) to deliver to a Miss Peggy Olson. She's startled to see him, doing a little double-take to see the man she had passionate sex with just last night (and this morning!) leaning casually in the door-frame holding a package and asking if she's Peggy Olson, because the package is cash on delivery.

But this time she doesn't react with shock or anger to his arrival, this time she's thrilled. They're not have a painful quasi-courting anymore, they're lovers now, and she quickly announces to Stan and Danny to go on without her because she's going to take care of this delivery and then practice for her pitch in her office. She leads Abe off down the corridor, once again glowing with excitement, the thrill of seeing him overwhelming all else. They're in the honeymoon period, having taken the plunge the previous night now they can't bear to be apart for very long and can't keep their hands off of each other.

That leaves behind a dazzled Stan and Danny, completely unaware of Abe's significance but very much enthused by Peggy's obvious sexual energy. Stan assures Danny he knows the cause, it's "the last days of Rome" and he's seen it before, in an Agency that is sinking the women get sex-crazed, and he figures Peggy is no exception. "The energy," he whispers, hunched over at the table,"Is very good."

In the conference room, Pete has dozed off in his seat as Harry runs through his own client dealings with Cooper and Don, while a bright-eyed and wide-awake Ken takes notes. Harry, proving once again that he was lucky to form his own media position because he clearly doesn't fully grasp how a client Account works, assumes that existing clients will be happy to be getting more attention from them now that Lucky Strike is gone. Don firmly explains that their existing clients are going to be worried that SCDP won't exist much longer. That means they might start looking to get out early, which could cause a stampede of exiting clients, which would doom SCDP beyond any hope of salvation.

Don yells at Pete to wake up when Joan enters the room to let them know she's had a report from Lane. He needs to go over the figures in person once he's back, but he roughly feels they have about 22 million in billings left over now that Lucky Strike has gone. That's less than they started the Agency with, but back then the bulk of the money came from ONE client: Lucky Strike, and Lane's efforts to lessen that reliance have paid off somewhat - they are going to be short on day-to-day operational money unless they can bring in new clients, but they also have enough to keep the lights on and the place running at least.

Joan takes a seat, and Cooper proves he hasn't just been idly reading the newspaper, he's spotted a potential goldmine: David Montgomery's memorial is tomorrow. He was the Senior Vice President of Accounts for one of the world's top four Ad Agencies, which means the memorial is going to be attended by a lot of clients... a lot of VULNERABLE clients. Cooper intends for them to be the vultures, hoping to turn them from the ones being stalked by death into the stalkers.

Megan pops her head into the room and lets Don know that Al Weaver from Glo-Coat has called to speak to him. Don is surprised, why would he be calling? Pete asks if he should sit in on the call, but once he confirms to Don he already spoke to him this morning during the flurry of client calls, Don declines: putting two partners on a call after one already spoke in the morning will look desperate (which they are).

Don walks into the office, hesitates a moment, then picks up the call and tries to put on a hearty hello, only for his heart to sink when he hears the words nobody ever wants to hear from a client: they appreciate everything he's done, but they've decided to take the account in a different direction.

In other words: you're a sinking ship and we're happy to be rats.

Trying to take control, Don attempts to move into pitch mode, to work that Don Draper magic... but he's on a phone with a bad connection talking to a man who has already made his mind up. That would be shaky ground at the best of times, but the Lucky Strike news has made it into an ongoing earthquake. He tries to push past, refusing to accept Weaver's insistence that it's pure coincidence they made this decision shortly after Lucky Strike ran for BBDO. So Weaver puts aside the bullshit niceties for a moment to make the point that this is the obvious decision that anybody would make, he can't blame them for doing this.

Don disagrees on that, getting angry now, taking it personally, reminding them that his commercial for them was the first successful advertising strategy Glo-Coat had since they sponsored Fibber McGee and Molly! Outraged, he reminds them that "we" won the Clio for the cowboy commercial, and gets an unwelcome splash of water to the face when Weaver correctly points out that HE won the commercial. It was exciting and validating and seemingly an endorsement of Don's career to date... but it was also an insular award presented by ad men to other ad men, a self congratulation that does more to improve an Ad Agency's profile than it does to financially benefit the client the ad was made for.

"It's just business, plain and simple," Weaver insists, and Don faces one of the most crushing realizations of his professional career. For most of his time as an ad man, and especially since becoming Creative Director, Don Draper has either been in a position to fire clients or to not care if they went elsewhere. But now he's not only had a client dump him, it's one he produced work for that was both financially AND creatively stimulating, and it's a body blow he and the Agency can't afford to take. He finds himself reduced to the pitiful effort of straining out niceties to Weaver after being told not to waste his time coming down to argue his case in person, emptily declaring he'll want another shot at Glo-Coat in the future and suffering the indignity of being told non-maliciously,"If you're still around."

He hangs up with a dazed,"Goodbye", a client he literally had listed in the Conference Room under the "EXISTING" category they assumed weren't going anywhere having just up and abandoned ship. One who he personally produced work for that he felt like he put a little bit of his soul into. And they just dumped him like it was nothing, like he and the Agency he took such pride in co-founding were already dead and just don't know it yet.

Spotting the Clio that once represented the culmination of his dream of leading an Agency via Creative work, it now surely must represent the hollowness of that dream, a cruel reminder of what he almost had only for Lee Garner Jr to destroy it all without a thought. He hurls it across the room, breaking it in two, with such violence that Megan pops her head into the door to see if anything is wrong.

NOW he doesn't hesitate in pouring himself a drink, though he does warn her that he needs her to make sure he doesn't overdo it. Without malice, she offers up an admission that says a lot about how bad he had let his drinking get until recently, admitting she isn't entirely sure what overdoing it means with him. That is simple enough, he holds up the glass and notes that this is one... and she needs to stop him at 3.

Back in the conference room, Pete is explaining the current situation with Trudy to the others when Don returns. Don takes a moment to listen to what is to him pointless and unimportant details (Trudy's pelvis is too small, but the doctors are leaving a c-section to a last resort) and then coldly tells Pete to go to the hospital because there is nothing for him to do here... and clearly he doesn't really want to be here.

Sneering that he doesn't know what Pete said to Glo-Coat in his call, he strides over to the blackboard and wipes Glo-Coat out of the EXISTING category before turning to a stunned Joan and asking if this has dropped them down to 20 million and change? But Pete isn't letting this go, outraged at Don dumping this on HIS lap.... Don of all people, who only recently Pete willingly tanked a 4 million dollar account in order to protect him.... an account they could REALLY use about now.

Don accuses him of being distracted, and that scared the poo poo out of Glo-Coat. Pete isn't going to stand by and let himself take the blame for this though, even putting aside his recent sacrifice for Don he's the reason they have much of the 20 million that is left. He marches out of the room, not like a junior who has been kicked out of the adult's table by somebody he is intidimated by, but as an equal who has chosen to leave after standing up to what he sees as a bully. The truth, of course, being that both are posturing males who don't want to take the blame or admit how scared each is by the daunting situation they face. And as they beat their chests, everybody else at the table is left to consider the ongoing hits the Agency's financial position continues to take.

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 00:11 on Aug 14, 2021

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Abe leaves Peggy and Stan's office, doing his best to look calm and non-suspicious and hoping nobody noticed he's been in there getting his Cash-On-Delivery for quite some time. As he walks down the corridor, Stan passes by him, recognizing his face and getting a happy little smirk on his face as he correctly guesses what has been happening in his office if not WHY it happened.

Pete has returned to the hospital, Don's accusation probably ringing in his ear accompanied by a quiet echo of Tom's warning about what is important (and the ever present cruel little whisper of Pete's internal monologue telling him he's a unloved piece of poo poo). Tom spots him and quickly moves to intercept, asking him not to blow a gasket... and Pete realizes that somebody else is waiting with the Vogels.

Ted Chaough.

Tom is at pains to explain he didn't arrange this, Chaough called his secretary and learned where Tom was and has clearly decided to take advantage. Pete can't believe the audacity, but it's a public place and his wife is (eventually) giving birth down the corridor, so he forces himself to be polite and accept Ted's congratulations and handshake. Ted says a fond farewell to a thoroughly charmed Jeannie and makes his exit, Pete forced by the social contract to walk with him, especially since Ted came bearing a gift. Even that is a carefully calculated move, Ted explaining it's a rattle just like the one David Ogilvy sent HIM when his son was born.

This motherfucker doesn't just think he's Don Draper, he thinks he's David Ogilvy!

Pete is being polite, but he's also Pete, so he openly asks just what Ted wants from him. He doesn't get a straight answer of course, Ted saying that no it's about what HE wants. He talks up how Tom never stops singing his praises, and shows he has done his research by noting just how much business Pete has bought in since he struck out from Sterling Cooper: Glo-Coat, Life Cereal, Sugarberry Hams, Vick Chemical, Mountain Dew, Fillmore Auto, Birds Eye, Ponds etc. That's drat impressive, even if some of those had nothing to do with Pete (which Pete actually freely admits to), and even if Ted's own motivation is to gently caress over Don Draper, this is the kind of motivated and proven drive that he wants - and thinks is missing - at his own Agency.

Pete isn't moved of course, while it might be nice to be wanted, Ted is offering him a job as what? An Account Executive? A highly paid one perhaps, but at SCDP he's a partner... and then Ted offers him just that. Jim Cutler is retiring, which opens up a potential partnership spot with the benefit of keeping the initials: they can be Campbell, Gleason & Chaough!

THAT surprises Pete, as well as the fact Ted is willing to let Pete's surname go first in the order. Wouldn't he want to go first? Ted jumps on that gleefully, as this was probably a line he had in the little script in his head for how he saw this meeting going, if Pete is asking that then does that mean he's open to discussing a partnership? He tries to entice him with more, they just signed Alfa Romeo, suggesting he might be able to get one for Pete as part of that deal.

"I don't drive," notes Pete, a born-and-high-bred New York.

"I'll teach you," responds Ted without a moment's hesitation. He leaves it at that, he's dangled some pretty enticing bait Pete's way and pushing any harder might scare him off. So he says a final goodbye to Tom and Jeannie, reminding them that his offer of paying for them to stay in a hotel across the street still stands, yet another reminder of all the good things he's willing to offer to get Pete on board.

He leaves and Pete is left to ponder: he once turned down a chance at a high up role in a reorganized Sterling Cooper because he didn't respect the man who made the offer. He's turned down offers from that same man to work for Grey when he was headhunted. He put his neck on the line and formed a new Agency with men he respected even if he didn't like them, and until very recently they'd had a good track record of success. Now that's all turning to ash, and a man he doesn't like and doesn't seem to respect is making him an offer that seems to be too good to be true, and worse of all may primarily be driven by Chaough's obsession with Don Draper (Duck had a similar obsession)... but can beggars really be choosers?

Speaking of coming begging, Joan Harris answers the door at her apartment that night to find a pitiful Roger Sterling at the door. She lets him in and he's immediately all over her, kissing her before she breaks free and reminds him she let him come over because he begged to be able to talk to her. That's all she intends for tonight to be, talking. When Roger replies to that by moaning that he needs her and moving in to nuzzle her neck, she pushes him back and warns him that if he doesn't stop then they'll be talking over the phone instead.

She moves into the living room, and is fed-up when his next response is... to critique that she is wearing plain pajamas instead of something sexy.

Jesus Christ, Roger.

"What do you want!?!" she despairs, she's exhausted and mentally wrung out both by the events of the day and the discovery that Roger knew about all this weeks earlier. Unbelievably, Roger complains that he waited at the hotel for her all day and she never came, and has the utter audacity, the sheer temerity, to ask her if she's mad at him!

He tries to slide his arms around her waist but she pushes him away, bewildered and miserable and frustrated that he's seemingly not taking any of this seriously. She explains they can't do this type of thing anymore and even more maddeningly he actually laughs, saying she ALWAYS says that before trying to embrace her again and getting his hands slapped away. Again.

So he tries to get serious, telling her that he needs her now, and she offers back a question that she has probably asked herself numerous times over the course of their relationship/affairs: for what? To be a "port in a storm?" He actually seems offended by that, saying he needs her because he feels like poo poo and SHE cares about him. To him, this admission is probably hard to make, even if it just another example of his thinking being entirely selfish/focused on himself. Joan's response is kinder than it needs to be, and proof that she DOES care about him... as she cups the side of his face and explains as gently as she can that she isn't the solution to his problems.... she's another problem.

Some part of him understands, he makes a half-hearted attempt to embrace her again and insist she'll change her mind, but she pushes him away again and his face and body language is that of a frustrated child used to getting what he wants but knowing this is a rare instance where it isn't going to happen. She can't do this anymore, she explains sadly, and finally, unbelievably, he actually gets it.

He raises his arms in offer of a hug, and this she accepts. Because for the first time it's a hug without any other intent, especially not sexual. It's the hug of two close friends marking the end of something. He steps back and moves to her door, putting his hat on and pausing for a moment, reflecting that he wish he'd known the night they got mugged would be their last time. He's not happy, he clearly doesn't agree with how things have gone... but he is mature enough at least to accept that it HAS happened. There will be no more secret getaways, hotel stays, risky office encounters etc. The Roger Sterling/Joan Harris affair has finally come to an end.



Don sits drinking in his office looking over papers as a cleaner waxes the floor outside. Faye enters the room, expressing surprise that the place isn't packed given how much is at stake now, but Don just shrugs and notes it is 8pm and there is only so much they can all pretend to be working on.

She closes the door behind her and asks if he's okay, which he doesn't actually answer, simply asking her if she'd like a drink too. She replies that personally she'd prefer dinner, and Don makes a curious statement: "I'm one over for the day." That's... an interesting line. He's counting his drinks now? Even more so than he does in that specific instance with Megan earlier? And this is something he has shared with Faye, that he sets himself a limit on how much he can allow himself to drink? That exhibits a level of openness with her that is surprising, even if she does know the details (but what specifics?) of his origins as Don Draper.

They kiss and she notices the cleaner has stopped waxing outside, and grins that a single kiss from her has made the world quiet. She asks how the day went and he admits it was miserable, that he's used to having his ideas rejected but he himself has never been rejected by a client, and that wasn't fun. He does know that she's had to deal with that before, part of her job is presenting unwelcome ideas and facts to the clients of the Agencies she consults for (and sometimes the people working at those Agencies), so how does she deal with it?

She shrugs, simply saying she does her job and presents facts and if the clients aren't happy with the Agency then that isn't her problem. It's a smart play, getting emotionally or personally invested can have pretty big repercussions, but Don has latched on to a different part of that statement.... she knows what clients at various agencies are unhappy? Which ones?

Her answer is the pat one that should be expected, trying to play this question off by noting that clients are always unhappy, but now Don - despite putting on a playful face - is getting insistent for specifics. WHO is unhappy? Give him names! She smiles and cocks her head, looking hopefully for a sign that he's just loving about, but she also takes a physical step backwards before asking if he's kidding, not quite able to believe what he's just asked.

Don hasn't the slightest hesitation in admitting that no he is NOT kidding, and even seems flummoxed at the idea that she'd be offended by him asking, pointing out that he's drowning right now and she can throw him a lifeline. The smile never leaves his face but he sure as gently caress leaves his eyes as he starts getting louder and angrier, insisting she can tell him, first trying to play it off as nothing, then insisting it is in the clients best interests to tell him they're unhappy, then dismissing her warnings about ethics and killing her own business by reminding her it is Atherton's business and she just works for him.

Jesus Christ, RogerDon.

He outright says it, that HIS business is important and hers isn't. Outraged, she reminds him she came to give him a shoulder to cry on, not to put her neck on the line. She's even more offended when he snarls that he would do it for her (bullshit!) and she hits back that she would never ask him, because she knows the difference between their relationship and this stupid office.

She storms out, enraged and justifiably so. Hell, it was only recently she explained about the Chinese Wall to him, and now here he is demanding she smash her way through it. Don slowly closes his eyes and sighs. He knows what he did was wrong, he knows he's just hosed up gigantically, but he also would probably do it all over again, because he's clutching at every single straw he can find now to try and save his business from the sudden financial predicament it has found itself in.

The next day, Stan watches amused in the office he shares with Peggy as she quietly mouths her prepared lines for the Playtex pitch. He's seeing her in a new, enticing light now, more aroused by her teasing yesterday than he was by sitting naked at a table with her in a hotel bedroom (though physically he was plenty aroused that night, as she kept gleefully pointing out).

She's startled out of her own hyper-concentration by a buzz on the intercom to let her know that Mr. Cosgrove has called to say Playtex have left their hotel. She stretches, barely able to sit still, and Stan tells her she needs to relax, suggesting that he has just the technique to take the nerves away, something he learned from a yogi. Willing to try anything, she stands and asks him to show her, so he has her close her eyes and fill her lungs (getting himself a good eyeful of those "lungs" as she does) before releasing it in a cool stream in his face.

As instructed, she exhales... and he leans forward and kisses her pursed lips. Shocked, she tries to pull away, but he has her by the wrists, grinning and telling her that she wanted to relax and this will relax her. Alarmed though not feeling physically threatened (at least not yet) she firmly tells him no, and is grossed out when he grins that she's so horny he can smell it on her breath, grunting at him to knock it off.

But he's insistent, explaining he saw her with the delivery boy yesterday (even if this was what he thought it was on face value... that doesn't mean HE gets to gently caress her too!) as she finally manages to pull clear. He laughs at her protest that the delivery boy is her boyfriend, assuming that she's just making excuses, and in what he thinks is a seductive tone reminds her it is the end of the world.

Oddly enough this doesn't cause her to swoon in ecstasy. Instead she marches to the door and opens it, then loudly asks him why he keeps making her have to reject him. Uneasy at the public nature of this showdown (she knows him well) he petulantly complains he was just trying to help her relax, and she complains that he helped in only one sense: she's not anxious now, she's just pissed off.

She returns to her desk and tries to go back to reading her cards, while Stan tries to pretend he's totally cool and unbothered as he attempts to read his paper, but can't help staring at her, more confused than ever by the fact he can't get a read on her, that she infuriates him, embarrasses him, but that he also desperately wants to bang her.



Don, Joan and Pete join Roger and Cooper in Roger's office for a post-mortem on the "meeting" that Roger had with Lee Garner Jr. Joan has to stand and listen to Roger talk complete bullshit as he runs through the major points of the fictitious meeting, including that American Tobacco was terrified after the British banned cigarette ads from television and decided to cut costs.

Roger tries to play up on this fear, quietly offering that maybe it isn't actually a bad time for them to be getting out of cigarette advertising themselves, as if this was their own choice rather than something that was foisted on them. Pete calls bullshit on that though, sales were up 10% this year, there isn't just still plenty of money in cigarette advertising, there's more money than ever!

Funnily enough, Roger's (kind of) right even if they could have had another few years of raking in cash (and building up the rest of their client list). In only a few years, the USA would also ban cigarette advertising on television and radio. Not that there wasn't still the potential to make plenty of money, American Tobacco itself would diversify into non-tobacco related brands before the end of the decade and survive well into the 21st Century.

In any case, Roger simply shrugs and says he did what he could do, all in front of Joan who silently fumes before reminding them all that David Montgomery's memorial starts in 40 minutes. Roger is surprised, he had no idea that Montgomery died, and actually chuckles and claims that at least is a silver lining (!) before asking who would want to go to that? They do, Pete grumpily pointing out they're trying to get new clients, and Don "jokingly" asking Roger if he remembers how to do that.

Like so many guilty people, Roger takes disproportionate offense, snapping that he doesn't want to get dog-piled on because the Account was impossible to save (which he could have told them several weeks ago!). But now Don snaps too, roaring that it was impossible to save because Roger ignored it... the ONE account he was responsible for and he ignored it!

It pays to remember at this point that Don was also happy to pretend there was a fire to get out of the tedium of a phone meeting with their biggest client. Maybe there's a reason nobody put up a fight at American Tobacco to keep them.

Funnily enough, Roger doesn't get offended by this like he did by the earlier jab, simply saying that Don doesn't understand how managing an Account works and telling Pete to explain it. Pete isn't backing Roger on this though (he surely remembers getting savaged by Roger over "losing" North American Aviation), reminding him that Roger wanted it all to himself and wouldn't let Pete help.

Don throws Roger's own words back at him, that he did what he could do... and that was nothing. Now Roger gets angry, complaining that it was Don who dragged him into this "amateur hour" of a new Agency when he was perfectly happy where he was (being rich and boning his 20-year-old wife). Demonstrating an incredible set of balls, he complains that he did it out of friendship, sneering that now he doesn't have the big account that friendship seems to have gone with it. He dismisses them with a contemptuous wave, telling them to go chase a hearse, while Joan's fixed face radiated utter derision for this bullshit little man and his bullshit little antics.

Into this drama arrives Megan, who apologizes but has an important message for Pete: his wife and daughter are resting comfortably. Delighted, Pete realizes he has a daughter... he is really, truly, finally a father himself. "Congratulations," murmur the others, knowing they have to say it even if all of them have other things on their minds. Pete thanks Megan and then... declares they better get going for the memorial service. If he had any thought of going to see Trudy, he quickly set it aside in favor of his business, he almost seems to have forgotten he just got the announcement!

They all leave, Joan staring a hole through Roger as she goes. As Cooper leaves, Roger bitches that he doesn't know where Don gets off with that attitude, and as usual Cooper cuts through Roger's own bullshit by simply stating that Lee Garner Jr. never took Roger seriously because Roger never took himself seriously. With that he leaves, a man who should be retired himself ready to hit the ground running and try to pull in new clients. That leaves Roger sitting facing an uncomfortable truth: he can't admit that he's already tried and failed to bring in new clients, because that would mean admitting he knew about American Tobacco long before this.

Roger Sterling is all alone, and as much as he might want to accuse Don of taking their friendship lightly or Pete of trying to steal his position... it's a situation entirely of his own making.



With Playtex soon to arrive, Peggy is making the final touches on her preparations, including checking her clothes, hair and make-up. Stan, still smarting from her rejection, notices that she has lipstick smeared over her teeth... and says nothing, happy to take a little petty "revenge" on her in spite of the importance of their upcoming pitch.

At the memorial, David Montgomery's wife and daughter sit miserably at the front of the room as speakers extol the virtues of their dead husband/father. Each of them speak warmly and fondly of the departed's great love for his wife and child, of how they were always on his mind, of how he would buy gifts for Lynn or search for thimbles to add to her collection. It's cold comfort to them, and none of those speaking or those listening (the other wives and daughters will) seem to really grasp the significant common factor of these stories: he was never home.

Yes he loved them, yes he thought of them often. But the stories are all about him being elsewhere and thinking of them. Of being in the United Kingdom for 3 months, of being on the road chasing Buick as a client. Of long absences where they were without him, and surely would have preferred his company to the gifts and loving thoughts that stood in his place.

At first Don and Pete are all business, working in tandem when Freddy points out a representative from Purina to note they too have dogfood experience and Pete singling them out to "bump into" later. But as the stories continue, both Don - whose own daughter flew into a rage of tears so recently over having to part from him - and Pete - whose new daughter was just born and he's here at a funeral doing business instead - both seem to register on some level that something's off. The stories and reminisces are all saying the right thing, but none of them mean a thing to wife and daughter left behind. Nobody ever died wishing they'd spent more time in the office, and if you're lucky nobody's loved ones wish the same about you either.

At SCDP, Peggy wraps up her presentation still feeling the confidence and energy she assured Don she had. The art shows women's touch being used in a variety of ways, from maternal care to loving embraces, all accompanied by Peggy's well thought-out ideas which in turn are bolstered by the fact that... hey, she's a woman too!

She takes a seat at the lead Playtex Exec admits that his first thought was that Peggy wouldn't be able to find a romance angle for latex gloves, but she's made a believer of him. Peggy, excited, elaborates on how this campaign focuses on those moments AFTER the housework is done and the women are still able to enjoy the touch of others. She smiles widely as she talks, the lipstick on her teeth clear as day.

The Playtex Exec can't help but spot it, and his reaction is a perfectly normal one that Peggy of course reads in entirely the wrong way, as from her perspective suddenly out of nowhere he prominently runs his tongue across his teeth in front of her. Taken aback but keeping her professionalism, Peggy barrels on, and it's a winner in spite of the distraction of her teeth. Playtex agrees that they have no complaints, they are impressed and eager to run with this campaign, and a pleased Ken Cosgrove declares he's getting them back to the hotel before taking them out for steaks and a show.

They all leave, and finally Harry - also present - gives Peggy the news: she has lipstick on her teeth. He leaves as she gasps and rubs her teeth, then looks up at a beaming Stan. He leaves and... Peggy simply shakes her head and smiles. After all, who gives a poo poo? The pitch was a roaring success, Playtex are happy, and if this is the level of Stan's petty revenge, then she can easily live with it. After all, she's got Abe probably waiting as eager as she is to go another few rounds in her mess of a bedroom. SCDP might be under strain, but for her life is good.

Late that night Don returns and is surprised to find Megan still at her desk. She admits she wasn't sure if she should leave or not, and asks how things went at the memorial, and if he'd need any assistance when he got back. He says they'll see whether the memorial bore any fruit, and tells her she can go once she'd brought him the campaign briefs on Ken's accounts... oh and send in Peggy to see him.

He takes a drink in his office, and notices that the Clio is sitting whole on his desk once more. Megan returns with the campaign briefs, explaining that Peggy has gone for the night. Don of course just kind of naturally assumed Peggy would be there beavering away long into the night, it never even occurred to him she'd have other stuff going on.

It isn't his major focus right now though, as he asks if she repaired the Clio. She did, assuming that in the end he wouldn't want to throw it away, but he sighs she's wrong. She immediately leaps to his defense, he made a great commercial and nothing anybody can say will change that.

Taking a seat he asks her to bring him the briefs and tells her again she can go. But she stops on her way out, asking if he doesn't want some help? Amused, he points out that it is a little complicated (remember how none of these geniuses could figure out how the filing system worked until Joan Harris saved their asses during the Sterling Cooper heist?) but she doesn't mind that, saying she would like to know how this place works.

Megan - who liked to read books but was told it was more "proper" to read fashion magazines, and who was impressed by how much Peggy seemed to have accomplished - explains that knowing how things work would help prevent her making mistakes like she has (that security clearance was completely a Don issue!), plus she would like to eventually do what Don does... or at least what Miss Olson does.

Still amused, Don tells her to take a seat on the couch across from him, assuring her that he doesn't want to be alone when she's concerned she might be intruding/overstepping her bounds. She actually closes the door before she takes her seat, which could be read in a number of different ways, but for now it's all business as Don explains what a strategy statement is.

He laments that they won't be able to do what they usually do, as copywriters usually stray from the strategy statement as they come up with better ideas, but now they have to play it safe. Megan doesn't get that though, surely the clients would WANT better ideas? He's amused by that naivety, but he is interested, asking her what it was about the Glo-Coat commercial she liked so much.

Startled for a moment by the reveal that he latched on to her earlier praise, she takes a moment to gather herself and then explains it recaptured that sense she had as a child that whenever her mother cleaned the house it felt like she was being punished somehow. This of course prompts Don to ask where she's from (Montreal) which prompts him to ask why she came here (because it's New York!) which leads to his discovery that she's an artist, which leads to her revealing she majored in literature and has dabbled in writing, art, painting AND acting.

That's a lot of information to take in, and she can't help but laugh as she points out that she spends most of her day by necessity thinking about him, and a lot of her evenings doing the same as she plans for the next day. She knows everything about him (well, everything on record) but he knows next to nothing about her, and when he points out that she is fairly new she acknowledges that maybe he doesn't bother to learn anymore because he doesn't know how long she'll stick around.

He's slightly wounded by that, even if it is something he has told others before, though he agrees that others must see it this way too. But she is quick to point out she wasn't criticizing him, in fact she appreciates his philosophy, because she shares it: they judge people on their work, and she thinks that judging them on anything beyond that is purely sentimental.

He was amused before, now he's somewhat fascinated. Given her beauty, he probably assumed she had a personality an inch deep, but clearly he knew nothing about her (or most of the other secretaries, presumably). He goes to pour himself another drink, asking if she wants one, but she gently places a restraining hand on his wrist and asks him how many he has had, remembering his admonition to her earlier.

"Four," he admits, before noticing she still hasn't moved her hand from his wrist. She stares into his eyes, and tells him that she knows he is angry about the current situation, but she has faith that he will get through this. "You don't know that," he warns, a little uncomfortable about the naked trust she is offering up... but then gets surprised by her again when she grins and asks him why he cares what she thinks in the first place?

She leans forward and he is quick to reciprocate, and they kiss. Almost as quickly he pulls back, telling her it's a bad idea, probably remembering the Allison debacle. But Megan isn't Allison, and she's not Peggy. "This has nothing to do with work," she promises him, and they kiss again. Again he pulls away, telling her he doesn't want to make any mistakes, and happily she offers to make it as clear as possible: she isn't going to run out of the room crying tomorrow (poor Allison), SHE wants him right now, and that's all that matters.

That's all the clearance he needs, and soon they're on the couch together, making out, and not once in any of those protests did Don ever mention or seemingly consider Dr. Faye Miller.



What to make of this scene? What to make of Megan in fact?

There's a lot of interesting things happening, from her being there at all when he returned all the way through to her being as clear as possible that she wanted to have sex with him. Did she know Peggy wasn't there before she checked? Had she tried to engineer this late night meeting alone with him? Did she close the door as a matter of business or because she wanted them to be in a private space? How much of what she said was buttering up his ego and how much was genuine and very real admiration of him as an artist/creative person?

When she says she wants to do what he does or what "Miss Olson" does, is she running under the assumption - like so many others - that this is how Peggy got her start? We've seen her impressed by/admiring of Peggy in the past, and it must be galling to be an intelligent woman only considered (including by the likes of Joyce) for her physical beauty, told not to read books, initially kept away from Don's desk because she was too pretty etc.

Consider the arm on the wrist. Peggy made an ill-advised and badly received attempt to "seduce" Don all the way back in the first episode of the series, and for most of the show he was good about not making GBS threads where he ate despite a reputation for bedding secretaries. It was in this season that Don in a drunken stupor made a pass at an all too eager Allison, but all she wanted was to be with him. Megan here makes the same kind of pass at Don that Peggy did, but Don is far from the position of power he held in that first pass, vulnerable and exhausted (even then, he makes two attempts to control himself) but in control of his faculties in a way he wasn't with Allison.

So is Megan following a path she thinks is required for success? Or is she exactly what she appears to be: an intelligent and beautiful woman with a healthy sex drive who can differentiate between a sexual relationship and a working relationship. Is she too good to be true, or exactly what she claims to be? Did she deliberately engineer this encounter (which doesn't mean Don doesn't have agency, he chose to participate) or did it happen naturally? Has Don Draper just walked into another minefield.... well I mean yes, he can't have work-based affairs with TWO different women at the Agency, but a Megan-specific minefield? What is her endgame here? Is she modern and sexually free? Is she a manipulator using her sex appeal to get what she wants? Is she naive and simply thinks this is the way things should be done?

Whatever it turns out to be, she's certainly thrown yet another wrinkle into Don's already complicated life, though right at this moment he certainly isn't complaining.

While Don is banging his secretary back at the office, Roger Sterling returns home to the secretary he married. She's reading a magazine on the couch when she spots him - clearly at least tipsy if not outright drunk - stagger by and asks where he is going. He's exhausted he says, but she makes him join her on the couch after getting a kiss, asking how his day was and assuring him she can make it better when it's clear it was a rough one.

He assumes she means sex, but she has something else in mind. She brings over a box and he can barely keep the groan out of his voice as he asks what she's bought now. But no, this is something else entirely, and she eagerly shows off what's inside, making him take one out and look at it.

There is it, in his hands, the culmination of a life's work turned into a cruel and ironic joke: his memoirs. "Sterling's Gold: Wit & Wisdom of an Ad Man, presumably printed by a vanity publisher when nobody else was interested. The author holds it in his hands, considering all the garbage he's happily blurted out onto its pages that nobody will take seriously (they never would have) now that he'll be known as the guy who lost the ONE account he had and potentially destroyed his new start-up Agency in the process.

Turning the book, he looks at the back cover and the sketched art of himself cupping his chin and looking meaningfully back at the reader, the text beneath calling him a pioneer and a visionary.

gently caress.

Jane of course knows none of this, she's just beaming with love for her talented, wise and pioneering husband. She tells him to sign it, thrilling to him writing,"To my loving wife" on the inside front cover. She kisses him again, then pulls his arm around her and curls up against his chest. He couldn't possibly feel any lower than this, surely? And then she tells him openly and genuinely how proud she is of him.

Fucccccck.

Don and Megan finish getting dressed in the office, Megan saying he should go first before grinning that she should go first. Don asks if she wants to get something to eat, but true to her word she offers no complications, simply telling him what she wants is for him to go home and get some sleep, and not to drink any more tonight, and come to work fit and ready tomorrow.

Pleased, he kisses her then prepares to leave before smirking and asking who was it who was supposed to leave first? "Good night, Mr Draper," she grins, and a happy Don leaves, while a happy Megan is left behind. Everybody is happy!

Arriving at his building, Don is surprised to see Faye Miller at his door, about to slide something under the frame. If he feels even the slightest guilt he gives no indication, if anything he seems almost condescending when he notes that he didn't expect to see her there.

She was going to call but didn't want to do what she needed to do on the phone, though Don points to the envelope and asks if she meant to write what she couldn't say on the phone on the back of an envelope? Clearly he thinks this is a breakup, which cold as it sounds (and is!) he's probably relieved by, if he's got Megan and a suspiciously uncomplicated relationship to look forward to instead.

She asks to come inside and he gives her that at least, opening the door for her and following her in. What comes next isn't a screaming match or a sobbing break-up though. Instead she informs him she arranged him a meeting with Heinz, who are restless at their current agency of Ketchum & MacLeod.

Don is shocked, even more so when she explains that she weighed up her ethical dilemma against him and decided to go... with him. "You are my life now," she tells him, and NOW he looks guilty, because NOW he knows this won't be clean and he won't be able to pretend she is to blame for "abandoning" him.

"You didn't have to do this," he tells her.

"I wanted to," she responds, and kisses him. He doesn't kiss back, but he also doesn't tell her the truth or pull away. All he does is say thank you (that itself is a big deal, as Peggy will tell you) and ask if she wants to stay, though he has the loving gall to claim he's so tired that he'll probably fall right asleep, to explain away his inability to perform sexually due to being balls deep in Megan not too long ago.

Faye doesn't want sex though, she wants intimacy. She brings him to the couch as Welcome to My World starts to play. Just like Roger, Don finds himself seated with the woman who loves him curled up against his chest, content simply to be with him: a conniving, cheating, lying piece of poo poo who has to be hammered in the face over and over again with the consequences of his actions before he'll feel any guilt.



Episode Index

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Yay! What a wonderful gift to wake up to (and then read in bits and pieces throughout the day). This episode is a real roller coaster, but I want to comment on something relatively innocuous:

Jerusalem posted:

Ken points out that at the same time Pete was on the back nine of the golf course with his father-in-law, which Ed Baxter (played by Ray Wise!) appreciates, figuring that learning you're about to become a father (and a grandfather) is a great way to finish a round.

Every tv show has at least a handful of "oh, I know that guy/gal!" moments, and Mad men is no exception. Except, as someone who watched mad men first and twin peaks second, I didn't recognize him while watching the latter, but I was able to immediately point him out here on a rewatch of the former, having by then been made intimately familiar with Wise's face. And it turns out the guy has a pretty prolific career, the guy was in freaking Robocop!

Anyway, Ray Wise is awesome. That is all

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GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

Coal Jobs for the Coal God



Every Ed Baxter scene is a delightful romp.

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