Welcome to your finale!
This week’s episode also opens with a grumpy-Don-in-the-morning scene. This time, it’s not a sassy competitor at the barber; it’s a toothache. It’s clearly hurting Don a lot, but he refuses to go the dentist: “It’ll go away. It always does.” Really? A sore tooth that allows Don to punish himself by avoiding the doctor? A pain inside that Don refuses to confront?
a man, jumping a shark?? (jk before you all kill me)
That plotline is a punt if I’ve ever seen one. More sophisticated metaphors have been known to be found on old Mary Kate and Ashley tapes. In an another rather lazy storytelling device, Don starts seeing his younger brother Adam – remember, that other guy who hung himself cause of Don – in various visages around the office. But I digress.
The tooth isn’t the only sore spot in the Draper household; Megan’s mother, Marie, is in town. When Megan discovers no agents bit on the screen test she sent out, her mother is characteristically helpful, referring to Megan as “hopeless”… oops, she means full of high hopes.
Pete’s not having the best morning either. Who should he run into on the morning train but Howard? Okay, that’s not the surprise. The surprise is that Beth is with him, heading downtown to “visit her sister”. When Beth sees Pete, she immediately takes off to the smoking car, leaving Pete staring longingly/grumpily out the window. Remember, last time we checked in with them Beth had stood Pete up at the hotel and then drew hearts at him. The boy’s confused.
Remember that exciting “so is it true or not” we saw Harry prod Joan with in last week’s teaser? I thought it would concern Lane’s death, or Joan’s ascension to partnerhood. No, it turns out be much more innocuous and, to my mind, boring. (My mom’s a real estate agent, so any discussion of square feet and interior decorating and stuff induces immediate brain fart.) With all the money the agency is suddenly raking in, they are considering moving into a bigger office, neutralizing all of the trading spaces drama.
Looking uncannily like used car salesmen, Ginsberg and Stan are making one of their first big Peggy-free pitches to Topaz. The client immediately hates that “cheap” is included in the tagline, even if it’s preceded by “never”.
you know, never cheap. like the opposite of our suits.
He barbs that he wants a woman’s opinion, which he always used to count on when Peggy was around. Don comes in to the room, but doesn’t come to the rescue, and jumps down Stansberg’s throats about doing research. Ginsberg freaks out defensively, while Stan just turns away muttering, “I’m so bored of this dynamic.” Hahaha I love Stan. He must feel like an awkward third wheel around those two.
Later that day, Pete gets a surprise call from Beth inviting him to join her in a hotel room. To get his secretary away from the phone, he orders her to fetch lifesavers – but not from vending machine: “I want them fresh.” I’m pretty sure those things have twinky-level stamina, but whatever. Pete threatens not to show up a the hotel, but of course he will.
We get our first post-SCDP glimpse of Peggy at her new firm, where she’s yelling at her minions in a Don-like fashion and looking rather Jackie O., for her at least. Her boss tosses her a carton – they’ve got a new cigarette client, so she’s a smoker now.
The partner meeting is a bit sad without Lane around, even with all the money pouring in from Jaguar. (Is it really “Jaguire”?? I feel like everyone pronounces it that way.) Joan brings up the exciting new space, but after meaningfully eying Lane’s chair, she feels compelled to be the “responsible” one and voice all the fiscal negatives. The partners agree to table the idea for now, and Pete bursts out of the meeting for what must appear to the others to be no apparent reason. They would probably think Pete would find partners meetings more pleasant without the threat of a punch in the face from Lane. Pete’s got to run, though, to meet Beth.