“I have sand in the weirdest places.” Pretty great way to start any TV show if you ask me. Peggy has just been to the beach with Joyce, which is cute, cause I’m glad they didn’t just forget their “Peggy hangs out with the hipsters” plotline. That conflict is eventually going to get pretty significant for her at work, no matter how many articles she rips into shreds. And speaking of! Sliding up to her awkwardly is Abe, of the shredded manifesto of hyperbole. And of course there are like seventeen kids piling up in the backseat of this car, and Peggy has to sit on Abe’s lap, and he brushes some sand off her bare arm, and hey, bygones, right? The next thing we see is the two of them stumbling into her filthy apartment, tumbling into bed. “God, I love your shoulders,” Abe says, all wide-eyed with awe. It’s cute, and Peggy is having SO MUCH FUN.
“…And then he was all like ‘NO NO Not my daughter!’ and he jumped on the casket like a drama queen, and long story short, it turns out he was possessed by a guy named Bob the entire time! Isn’t that right, darling?”
Ken is not having quite as much fun, but he’s having a nice dinner with his fiancée and her parents. And her dad is Ray Wise! Squeee! I’m trying to figure out how they’re going to work him into the plot, because come on, you don’t just get Ray Wise for a few lines, do you? Anyway, they’re talking about the adorable story of how Trudy went into labor at a rhododendron lecture. Yay! Some random ad guy walks by to say hi to Ken, and while he’s at it he offers his condolences. Kenny’s like “arooo?” The guy covers it up by pretending he was talking about a David Montgomery, a recently deceased industry giant Ken used to work for, but when Ken pulls him aside he confesses that American Tobacco is consolidating, and they’re not doing it with SCDP. Ken is gobsmacked. He excuses himself from dinner to find Pete, who he knows is sitting around a hospital waiting room. Ha, remember when you had to like, go find people if they weren’t at home by their phone? Some of you don’t, I guess, which is hilarious. Anyway, They immediately find a pay phone and call Don, who can surely clear up this obvious misunderstanding. Don’s with Faye, and apologizes for having to answer. “Of course, the kids.” Faye says. Uh, yeah. That’s totally why. Don’s response to the news is “Bullshit. Call Roger.” Roger’s not answering, so Don tells them to wake up Bert, the poor guy, and meet him at the office.
They’re all sitting around in Roger’s office like an intervention. When they tell him what Ken heard, Roger’s all “Why, that’s preposterous! Well I never!” etc. Roger asked for those extra 30 days so he could have a chance to get things in order and brace for the fallout, but apparently all he did was call a few dead guys from a Rolodex. Roger, showman/salesman that he is, has a loud, angry conversation with a dead phone line. I’m expecting someone to notice the line isn’t lit up, but nobody does. The performance goes off without a hitch! “How can you do this after 30 years? You don’t have to listen to the board! Lee? Lee?” Bewildered sad face. “He hung up.” It’s kind of hilarious, in a really pathetic sort of way. Don tells Roger he better be on the first flight to Raleigh-Durham to repair this. “I need a drink.” Bert says. He’s just been plunked down at Roger’s desk in his pajamas this whole time. He’s too old for this crap.
”It’s okay, Roger. This is a safe place. We’re all here because we love you, and we can’t just stand by and watch you asshole yourself to death anymore. ”
It’s midnight by the time Don comes home to Faye, all dressed up asleep on the couch. “Want one?” he asks her, pouring a drink. “Looks like you need both,” she says. I also like her response to the Lucky Strike news: “Holy crap.” Don sighs. “Every day I tried not to think about what would happen, if this happened.” That’s true of the shit that happened last week, too. Maybe you should start thinking about stuff happening more often, huh? Faye tells him he’s the most hireable man on Madison Avenue, but he’s quick to protest that he’s not there yet.
Pete stumbles back to the hospital and wants to see Trudy, but her dad, in those ridiculous ubiquitous golf pants I will never understand, says he needs to relax. “I was at a ballgame when Trudy was born!” Right, well, you’ve also pretty much admitted to being disappointed that she was female, so I guess that’s no real loss. But he notices something else is up with Pete, who tells him about Lucky Strike, and boy howdy, good old Tom does not miss a beat. Not even a “yikes” or anything, just “I’m sure this agency was a thrill, but you’ve had your folly.” Pete is quick to defend his loyalty – he’s a partner after all – but Tom tells him sure, yes, whatever, but! You’re about to have a family, and you’re a frequent topic at CBC. One of those Cs is for Chauugugh, and Pete blows it off. “He’s not interested in me, he’s just trying to hobble Don.” Tom just says that going down with the ship is way overrated.
It’s morning at Peggy’s apartment, and Abe is dressing to leave. He’s supposed to meet a repair guy at 8, but wait, does she want him to stay? Peggy says he should do whatever he usually does. “I don’t usually do anything. Can’t you tell by how badly I’m leaving?” Heh. He’s cute. Well in that case, Peggy’s not letting him leave. Reowr! I love sex kitten Peggy. You go, girl! Or something. But seriously, I’m glad someone’s having a good time around here.
Speaking of things that are incredibly fun: Everybody’s sitting around waiting for Roger to call from Raleigh. Bert answers, and Roger breaks the news: He’s just leaving their meeting, and it’s no good. They’re gone. Well, shit. “Our clients need to hear this from us,” Bert says wisely, and Roger agrees. “Don’t wait for me,” he says, sitting outside of American Tobacco’s conference room on a bed in a hotel room next to an unpacked suitcase. Because of course he didn’t go to Raleigh. This has been a done deal for weeks. Roger slumps over, defeated, ashamed, looking ten years older than he did at the beginning of the season. It’s pretty depressing.
Looks like someone’s been using her Relaxiciser™!
At the office, everybody’s assembled – and by “everybody” I mean EVERYBODY. Stan and Danny know that a meeting like this is never good news. And Don and Pete both look like they’re about to throw up, so that’s not really a good sign either. Danny guesses that Lane’s not coming back, but Freddy Rumsen says they’d do that in a memo. Stan thinks it’s Cooper retiring, but Freddy points out that the atmosphere isn’t especially celebratory. His money’s on cancer. But Bert reads a sugarcoated prepared statement, then hands the floor over to Don, who says they’ve had a good year because their work is thoughtful and effective, and that won’t change. “We’re going to push ourselves, shoulder to shoulder, and we’re going to overcome this and succeed tenfold, and it will be exhilarating.” Sir yes sir! Peggy, oblivious and afterglowy, glides down the hallway, smiling at nothing, ready for another day at her awesome job where everything is great! She rounds the corner just in time to hear the guy who’s filling in for Lane reassuring everybody that they’ll get paid. Eek. “Any questions?” Danny’s hand goes up, all the way in the back. Accounting guy doesn’t see. “Nothing? Okay.”
That’s it, Danny Strong! You just take all these short jokes, and you run with them, and you buy a house with them, and godspeed to you sir!
Don calls his Creative team into his office. They’re in some trouble here, which goes without saying, but actually did go unsaid in the big meeting. Don says the account guys are going to be scrambling, but Creative’s job is to just hang on to everything they’ve got. “Clients’ ideas should sound better than they usually do, and the only words you know are ‘yes sir.’” Danny: “Yes sir.” And Peggy’s Playtex (not that kind of Playtex) presentation will go on as scheduled, with Peggy delivering it solo. Once the boys are gone, Don confides in her that they don’t actually know how bad this is going to be till Lane gets back. “Every time something good happens, something bad happens,” Peggy gripes, reminding me of one of my favorite Pete lines of all time: “Why can’t anything good happen to me all at once?” He tells her he’s counting on her, and he means it. But this time he wants the door shut, all symbolic-like.
Joan answers her phone, but first she does that totally fantastic thing where she has to swipe her giant earring off first. There’s some famous character on some famous show I’m thinking of that used to do that move all the time, but I’m blanking. Anybody? Anyway, it’s Roger. He’s miserable. “I’m so sorry,” Joan says sincerely. Roger says he needs to see her. Joan sighs and says she’s not going to Raleigh, then Roger sheepishly confesses that he’s at the Statler. “You KNEW about it?” Joan says incredulously. Roger: “Don’t yell at me!” Joan doesn’t know what to do with this information, and Roger doesn’t either. He just needed her to know why he needs to see her. She doesn’t exactly say no, but she’s clearly furious. And a little hurt. He can lie to her just like he can lie to absolutely everyone else in his life. She’s special, but not special enough for the truth.
Peggy is prepping for the Playtex meeting, trying to get her Draper on – she needs some poetic little codas like Don’s always using to make clients swoon and bend to his will. “Playtex gloves protect a woman’s hands so they’re soft enough to touch all the things a woman wants to touch.” Stan and Danny are amused when she starts getting a little more specific than the situation calls for: “his lips…the tuft of hair on his chest…the small of his back…” she continues dreamily. And hey, speak of the devil: Abe shows up at the office door. “I have a delivery for…” he checks the package he brought along. “Peggy Olson.” Peggy’s like “Yup, I’ll take that! If you know what I mean! And I think you do!” Stan confides to Danny that he’s seen this before – the agency goes down, the women get sex-crazed. Oh Stan. I wouldn’t be too terribly surprised if you and your polo shirts have never gotten laid, ever. You should thank Peggy for that prolonged glimpse of boob you got a few weeks ago.
This is how boring Harry’s storyline has been this season.
At the conference table, Don, Harry, Pete and Bert are going over the state of each account. Pete is all maternity-ward unshaven and asleep in his chair. Aww. Joan reports that Lane called from London, and he thinks their billings without Lucky Strike are around $22million. Bert looks up from the paper: “David Montgomery’s memorial service is tomorrow afternoon.” Ken: “In case we need cheering up?” Oh no, it’s much more morally questionable than that! I mean, the world lost David Montgomery, which means there are orphaned clients running around, most of whom will be memorializing him. Hey, it’s not pretty, but you do what you gotta do. They’d have to show their faces there anyway, might as well keep their eyes peeled for ripe pickins while they’re at it. Megan interrupts: The Glo Coat guy is on the phone. Eek. Pete just talked to them this morning, so this can’t be good, and it isn’t. The guy tells Don they’re “going another direction.” Don loses his cool after about two seconds. Glo Coat guy says Lucky Strike is just a coincidence, but Don can’t understand why they’d want to move on. “That commercial, that cowboy kid, was the first successful strategy you’ve been near since you sponsored Fibber McGee & Molly! We won the Clio!” Glo Coat guy is sorry, it’s just business, he hopes they can work together again. If they’re still around, that is. Yikes, how does everybody know how big of a deal this is? Don spies the Clio on his shelf, then smashes it against his desk and hurls it across the room. “What was that?” Megan runs in. “Nothing,” Don says, and means it. He asks Megan to stop him at 3 drinks. That’s an impressively severe limit for an Olympic caliber drunk like Don.
When he returns, Pete’s telling everybody about Trudy’s small pelvis and the baby’s big shoulders. “They should cut it out,” suggests Bert, who apparently knows more about pelvises than any of us gave him credit for. I think we all know who we can thank for that. **pours one out for Ida Blankenship** “You should go to the hospital,” Don tells Pete. Aww, that’s sweet! “There’s nothing to do here. It’s obviously what matters to you.” He says this with enough snark to write a TVgasm recap. Like the (medically complicated!) birth of his firstborn might as well be a white sale at Macy’s or a Guys and Dolls matinee, because those things all fall into the category of “stuff that is not this.” Don says he doesn’t know what the hell Pete said this morning, but they’re gone. He erases them neatly from the chalkboard and we’re down to $20million, just like that. “All you had to do was tell them everything’s fine!” Don yells at Pete. He thinks Pete’s distracted, and because of that he scared the shit out of them. “Who the hell do you think you’re talking to?” Pete the Partner responds, then leaves, because hey, that’s what Don said, isn’t it?
He runs over to the hospital, but before he can get halfway into the waiting room, Trudy’s dad ambushes him with “Don’t blow a gasket, he called looking for me and my secretary told him where I was.” And there on the couch, flirting with Trudy’s mom, is Ted Chauagugh. “Unbelievable.” Pete groans. Ted pulls him aside and hands him a generic little “I barely know you, but I hear babies like things that rattle” gift. “You’re about to have everything, the minute that baby comes.” He reminds Pete, with the help of a prepared index card in his pocket, that he’s brought in some new accounts since he’s been at SCDP. “As far as I’m concerned, you’re what’s missing from CGC.” The C that isn’t for Chaugughhh is about to retire. He’s just saying! “You’ll have a full voting third. I’m not Don.” He smiles. Pete’s just really not in the mood. He lets Chaugughgh leave it hanging there.
“I’ll think of you fondly whenever I smell Stoli and failure.”
Joan and her ADORABLE pajamas let Roger into her apartment, at which point he pounces on her immediately. “I let you come here because you said you needed to talk.” She says. They can talk. “Is that what you sleep in now?” Roger says about her pajamas, presumably not even aware of how dicky he’s being, or indeed how freaking adorable she looks. “What do you want? I’m exhausted!” Joan says, pretty close to the end of her Roger rope. He’s just so pathetic, and worse, clueless. He waited for her at the hotel. “Why didn’t you come? Are you mad at me?” Sigh. Joan tells him she can’t do this anymore. Roger waves her off. “You always say that! Then you come back, because we belong together.” Joan keeps taking his hands off of her, and Roger’s getting more desperate. “I need you!” Joan: “Why, because I’m a port in a storm?” Roger: “Because I feel like shit and you care about me!” Yes, those things are both true, but it doesn’t matter. She looks him in the eye: “I’m not a solution to your problems. I’m another problem.” For the second time, she tells him “I can’t do this anymore,” and for the second time he dismisses her, saying she’ll change her mind. “Roger.” She says sadly, and just stares till he finally gets it. He opens his hands and offers a really really sad hug. No more roaming those hillsides. At the door, he turns around. “So that night we got mugged, that was the last time?” Joan says nothing. “I wish I’d known that.” Me too, Roger. But it helps that you’re being such a dick; that really takes the sting out of it.
Faye finds Don still at work at 8. He offers her a drink and confesses that he’s one over for the day. “It was miserable,” he tells her. He’s used to having his ideas rejected, not him personally. “How do you do it?” He asks her. She shrugs and says her job is to present facts. If they’re unhappy with the agency it’s not her problem. “Who’s unhappy?” Don asks her, cartoon light bulb appearing over his head. Of course she can’t answer that! Her clients depend on her discretion. So she tries to brush it off, but he keeps after her. “I’m drowning here!” She’s getting mad now. He wants her to ruin her business to save his? “It’s not your business, it’s Atherton’s! This is different! This is everything to me!” She can’t believe he’s giving her shit for this. “I would do it for you,” Don says. “I would never ask.” Faye responds. “I wouldn’t use you like that. Because I know the difference between what we have and this stupid office.” To prove her point, she storms out. Of the stupid office.
Stan, fascinated by Peggy’s Rome-is-burning sex-craziness, watches her practice her Playtex pitch, and wants to show her a yoga trick to help her relax. For some reason Peggy doesn’t see this coming. Peggy, honestly. He tells her to close her eyes and he moves in to kiss her. She has to struggle quite a bit to get him off of her, which is unnerving. He’s like “Come on! I saw you with the delivery boy.” “That’s my boyfriend!” Peggy says, because “That’s the guy I met in a closet at a police raid then took home from the beach and cannot stop having sex with!” is sort of awkward and also doesn’t really help her case against Stan’s “sex-crazed” theory. Stan just thinks the whole thing is hilarious, because he’s a tool.
“If I didn’t already know that Lee Garner Jr. likes ‘em swarthy and not twinky, this kid would have been on that account ages ago!”
Roger, back from his pretend trip to Raleigh, explains what happened in his pretend meeting with American Tobacco. “He said they were terrified about the British banning cigarette ads for TV, and they need to cut costs.” Joan rolls her eyes but manages not to call him out. “Maybe it’s a good time to get out of this business,” Roger says. Pete: “That’s crap! Sales were up 10%!” Joan reminds them that David Montgomery’s memorial is in a few minutes. “There’s your silver lining!” Roger laughs assily. “We’re trying to get new accounts,” Pete says. “Remember how to do that?” Don adds. Oooh, button pushed! Roger says saving the account was impossible. “Because you ignored it!” Don roars. Roger wouldn’t let Pete help – he wanted Lucky Strike all to himself. “He never would have let this happen!” Don says, gesturing toward Pete. HA! Oh wow. Even bigger button. Roger hates Pete. “You’re the one who dragged me into your amateur hour,” Roger snarls. “I was perfectly happy where I was!” He only did it out of friendship, “but I guess now that the account’s gone, that went with it.” I always forget how good Roger is at feeling sorry for himself. “Get out of here, all of you. Go chase a hearse.” Before they can storm out, Megan runs in to tell Pete that his father in law called. “Your wife and your daughter are resting comfortably,” she grins. Aww. “Congratulations,” everyone mutters reluctantly, then it’s right back to the hearse-chasing. Ha. Nobody cares what her name is or anything, I guess? Plenty of time for that later! David Montgomery doesn’t just die every day, you know! Bert’s parting shot on his way out hits Roger in the gut. “Lee Garner Jr. never took you seriously because you never took yourself seriously.” Bert’s a real ad man. Roger’s the charming, privileged spawn of a real ad man. Every now and then that distinction rears its ugly head.
Peggy’s fixing herself up for her Playtex presentation, and Stan wants a truce. “No hard feelings?” He says. “None at all,” she finally relents, smiling with lipstick on her teeth. Stan fails to mention this. Those seem like hard feelings, asshole.
It’s not like they’re ambulance chasers or anything. They’re just comforting wealthy CEOs with holes in their ad budgets. It’s a public service.
At the memorial, Don and Pete are sitting next to each other, watching as this guy is eulogized for his work. His wife and daughter are up there, and his colleagues pay lip service to them, and thank them for sharing him, and tell anecdotes about how important his family was, but it’s pretty clear that he was all business. “Beth, his beautiful wife: You were there before he made partner, then you gave him to us.” Oh, and you too, daughter, he like, bought you a necklace that one time, or whatever. Don’s got a daughter. Now Pete does too. So is this what it’ll look like when the job eventually kills them? Meanwhile, Freddy cranes his neck around, pointing out vulnerable accounts in the crowd. There’s the Purina guy! “He’s always ripe.” Pete: “I got him.”
We can’t tell how Peggy’s Playtex Pitch is going, because all we can do is stare at her teeth. She does a great job presenting it, though, and the client seems to like it. He has to admit, he wasn’t sure how she was going to make gloves romantic, but that’s pretty close. “These are about the moments after the housework is done,” Peggy explains. The Playtex guy runs his tongue across his teeth, trying to tip her off about her lipstick, but she just thinks “holy crap, I’m totally radiating sex!” Luckily she doesn’t say anything to ruin it, which I totally thought she would, and that’s that. “We’re thrilled to get this on the first try!” Ken announces, so yay Peggy! Ken leads them out for the “steak and a show” portion of the presentation, and Peggy relaxes. “That went well!” She says, proud and relieved. Harry: “You have lipstick all over your teeth.” Sad trombone!
“Gosh, I can’t remember the last time I slept with my secretary! No, seriously, I literally have no memory of that entire month.”
It’s dark when Don gets back to the office, and looky there, Megan’s still at her desk. “I wasn’t sure if I should leave or not.” He tells her to get Peggy, and he notices his Clio standing proudly on his desk. Megan returns, saying Miss Olson’s gone for the night, and Don asks if she put it there. “I thought in the end you wouldn’t want to throw it away,” she says. “Well, you’re wrong,” he pouts. She tells him that commercial was great, and nothing can change that. Hmm. He tells her to hand over the files she’s holding and go home, but she offers to help, sheepishly admitting that she thinks she might want to do what he does, what Miss Olson does, someday. And I really do believe he. She goes on to tell us about how she’s from Montreal (French Extraction!) and she’s an artist and a writer and just a generally smart awesome gal. Cool! Except…Don’s getting played. The player has become the playee! I don’t think she’s Jane Sterling, typing up letters till she can land a rich husband. She probably does want to do more than answer phones – there was that moment in The Suitcase when she told Peggy “You’re doing all right, aren’t you?” with what I thought was pretty genuine admiration. But I don’t think she’s Peggy either. She does want a real career, and if it takes sleeping with a few handsome bosses, then hey, that’s what she’ll do. So she either expresses or feigns interest in what he’s doing, getting him to talk about himself, telling him how great the commercial was. She thinks it’s funny that she knows all about him but he doesn’t know anything about her. And he doesn’t know how long she’ll be around, so why bother? “I can see that’s what everybody must think,” Don says. But she’s fine with that. “You judge people on their work. I’m the same way. Everything else is sentimental.” So hey, no big deal, she’s just this smart cool hot chick who thinks he’s awesome and isn’t interested in any girly sentiment! And yeah, they’re sitting rather close, and there’s her hand on his arm, and yup, she kisses him. He pulls away and says it’s a bad idea, which for Don is this huge Herculean feat, but she’s not giving up. “This has nothing to do with work,” she tells him. “I’m not going to run out of here crying tomorrow. I just want you right now.” And it works! Like it’s worked for Don the other way around so many times. Ha! I mean, shit, stupid Don. But ha, stupid Don, you just got played.
“I am oblivious to your pain, because I am twelve years old!…”
Sad, old, pathetic Roger comes home to his child bride, who’s spread out on the couch like an empress, flipping through a magazine. The boys fanning her with palm leaves and feeding her grapes are presumably just offscreen. She got exactly what she wanted, so it’s worth a shot for Megan! Roger says he’s exhausted but she makes him sit down – she has a present for him! It is, at the absolute worst time ever, a box full of copies of Sterling’s Gold. I can’t think of too many things that would devastate Roger quite this perfectly. Here’s his life in this skinny little volume, this thing he’s been working on for years but could barely fill up, with a ridiculous faux-pensive sketch of him on the back cover. He looks like he’s about to puke. “Sign it!” she giggles. “To my loving wife,” he writes, which is just the phoneing innest thing I can imagine. Jane remains clueless. “I’m so proud of you!” she gushes, snuggling up beside him. Roger has never been less proud of himself in his life.
“…and I am oblivious to your man-whoredom, because I am implausibly naive for a mob daughter psychologist!”
Also feeling great about himself is Don, who comes home to find Faye writing a note to leave on his door. “I was going to call, but I didn’t want to do this over the phone.” “So you were going to write it on an envelope,” Don snarks. Well, you know, Don saw this coming. It’s half the reason he gave in to Megan. Cause they’re totally over, right? He asked her to compromise her principles for him and got angry when she wouldn’t. Of course she can’t be with him. “I got you a meeting with Heinz,” she says. **record scratchy sound** Wait, what? “I thought about what you said, and I thought about you, and I thought about whatever you are in my life right now.” Sigh. “You didn’t have to do this,” he tells her, but she says she wanted to. He invites her to stay, but warns her he might fall asleep on her. “Because I’m like 40 years old, and I’m spent, and I can’t just get erections left and right within the span of a couple hours, and besides, I smell like French Extraction,” he fails to add. She curls up with him on the sofa exactly like Jane does with Roger. Don’s not feeling especially proud of himself either, but he at least realizes what Faye’s done for him, and gives her a genuinely sweet kiss on the top of her head, even though I’m pretty sure there’s no way this relationship survives the season. Sorry, Dr. Faye. And watch your back for Jewish candy store mobsters, Don.