October 11th, 2010
12:49 PM ET
Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, October 10 episode of AMC’s “Mad Men.”
The future of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce remains uncertain as last night’s episode brought considerable changes for the fledgling agency.
Don met with Dr. Faye’s contact from Heinz. The star of the brand, ketchup, had representation elsewhere, so the meeting was to discuss the future of Heinz’s vinegars, beans and sauces and the company’s desire for a funny - not farty - campaign for their beans.
The Heinz representative was upfront with Don and expressed doubt over SCDP’s longevity. Don’s attempt to woo the rep was fruitless and the meeting ended as another notch on the agency’s bedpost of fail.
During an agency meeting, Dr. Faye’s research partner, Dr. Atherton, suggested that SCDP stick to what they were good at – marketing cigarettes – and pointed them in the direction of Philip Morris. The tobacco giant was on the hunt for an ad firm for their new brand of cigarettes aimed at young women.
Unfortunately, the firm’s run of bad luck continued when Philip Morris backed out of the meeting, again citing SCDP’s instability. How sad were all of the guys standing there huddled together in anticipation only to be told the meeting was off?
Matters only snowballed from there. After meeting with the bank, Lane told the partners that their line of credit had been extended on the condition that each partner put up a considerable sum of money as collateral. Then there were the layoffs; the agency also had to reduce staff size to stay afloat. The writers answered my prayers and Danny was given the boot. Who would be the first to go if you were calling the shots?
Pete, meanwhile, confronted Don about the $50,000 he was expected to contribute and expressed displeasure at being punished for the agency’s failure to retain clients. We found out later in the episode that Don put up Pete’s share in what I took to be a gesture of goodwill and gratitude. After all, many of the firm’s successful accounts belong to Pete.
We also said hello to a couple of familiar faces this week starting with Creepy Glen’s resurfacing. His strange friendship with Sally continued to blossom as they bonded over their troubled childhoods - that is until Betty discovered them together and forbade Sally to see him again. I’m firmly Team Betty on this one as the Weird Bathroom Encounter from season one is filed away in my Things I Can’t Unsee drawer. The run-in with Glen lit a fire under Betty to finally – FINALLY – move out of the house and away from Ossining, much to Sally’s disappointment. That kid is in desperate need of a hug and an ice cream cone, no?
It wasn’t all bad news for Sally, as her considerable progress in therapy resulted in Dr. Keener’s decision to scale back her appointments. Betty was predictably awful when the doctor delivered the news and insisted that Sally was still in need of aggressive treatment. Dr. Keener saw Betty’s plea for what it was – an attempt to keep poor Sally in therapy so she could have a place to discuss her problems without officially being under the care of a psychiatrist. In summary, Betty remains an immature, spoiled brat. Perhaps a child psychiatrist is right on her level.
Now, think about the last person you’d ever expect to see back on “Mad Men” – Sal, perhaps, or maybe Rachel Menken? What about zombie Anna Draper? We weren’t that lucky, but it was a genuine surprise nonetheless when flaky artist and season one conquest Midge reappeared. What at first seemed like a chance meeting with Don in the Time & Life lobby was actually a clumsily orchestrated shakedown for drug money.
At her apartment, Midge confessed to Don that she and her husband were heroin addicts. Out of pity, or maybe because he just wanted to get the heck out of that squalid hellhole of an apartment, Don bought one of her paintings that featured a penguin wearing a top hat and went on his way.
However terrible it might have been, Midge’s painting and what it represented inspired Don to pen a full-page ad for the New York Times spinning the dissolution with Lucky Strike to SCDP’s advantage. The ad stated that the firm would no longer take on tobacco companies as clients as cigarettes were evil and addictive.
Reaction to the ad was mixed. The partners were furious – Bert even quit over the matter – while CGC’s Terrible Ted Chaough delighted in the Times mention. Megan and Peggy supported Don, as did Dr. Faye, even though her research firm was forced to resign to avoid future conflicts of interest. The silver lining? Don and Dr. Faye can take their relationship public. Huzzah! There’s still one episode left though, so there’s plenty of time for Don to send a good thing spiraling straight into the toilet.
Can’t wait for the finale next week! What did you think of last night’s episode?
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