Mad Men Recap: Ladies and Ungentlemen
Mad Men Recap: Ladies and Ungentlemen
I wanted more Joan in my Mad Men, and in this week’s episode, I got it. Now the question is: Will the redhead reach out and grab the golden, albeit slightly tarnished, ring that’s floating in front of her?
The same can be asked of several of the show’s females — burgeoning soap star Megan, secretarial pool standout Dawn, Mad gal on the move Peggy – who find out that getting what they want doesn’t necessarily play out the way that they had planned. In related news, Harry acts like a total ass. Let’s review the major developments of “To Have and to Hold.”
LET’S PLAY KETCHUP | Don and Pete meet in secret with Heinz ketchup’s Timmy, the co-worker Raymond explicitly asked them to ignore last week. He’s unhappy with his current ad firm and interested in hearing Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s pitch for his product. Don wants total secrecy surrounding “Project K” – only Stan is assigned to work on it, and he does so in a windowless room at the back of the office. (Don and Stan sharing a joint back there, by the way, was pretty great; I think that’s the closest we’ve ever seen Draper come to giggling.) They come up with a tagline (“Pass the Heinz”) pared with art of food, implying that Heinz is the only ketchup. Timmy likes it but wants to see the bottle somewhere in the ad; SCDP leaves the clandestine meeting promising to test it both ways… and run right into Peggy and Ted, who are also there to angle for the account.
You can tell Peggy is the last person Don expects to see horning in on his tip. His curiosity is so great that he stoops to listening at the closed door while she’s making her pitch. She tells the Heinz people, “If you don’t like what they’re saying, change the conversation” – you devoted Mad Men fans will remember it as Don’s own advice, parroted back to him by Pegs herself, just before he writes the “Why I Quit Tobacco” letter in Season 4. The student has become the philandering, boozing, self-hating teacher! Her ad concept (“Heinz. The only ketchup.”) is very similar to her former boss’, too, except hers depicts the bottle the way that the potential client wants.
It’s all to no avail, though. While the SCDP trio is licking its wounds at a nearby bar, Ted and Peggy come in to do the same: Heinz went with another firm. Ken soon arrives and angrily informs his boss that Raymond found out and is bailing with his beans account. Stan conveys his feelings with a middle finger directed squarely at his erstwhile phone date, who looks sheepish at the other end of the bar.
GET IT, GIRL | At the office, Joan fires Harry’s secretary after it’s discovered that Dawn clocked out for her the night before. Harry and his stupid sideburns are livid; he angrily rehires his receptionist, Scarlett, then gets into it with Joan as she’s on her way into a partners’ meeting. He watches, assuming she’s telling Don, Roger & Co. about the argument (she’s not), then bursts into the meeting and basically demands that they make him a partner. He may have a leg to stand on – after all, he just convinced Dow to pony up for an hour-long variety show starring Joe Namath and friends (long story) – but the way he goes about it is a study in how to be The Guy Everyone Can’t Stand. “I’m sorry my accomplishments happened in broad daylight and I can’t be given the same rewards,” he says, referring to Joan’s sleeping with Jaguar Herb to land an account. (Side note: As if he wouldn’t have done something equally icky – or worse! – to get a seat at the big kids’ table.) After he leaves and it’s resolved that no one’s getting fired, the meeting continues… and I’m left to wonder why Partner Joan is still dealing with secretary miscellany the way that Office Manager Joan had to.