Two ad agencies become one, and it’s not an easy thing to do. Plus Don Draper continues to flatline. Last episode, a big change hit Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, as Don Draper engineered a merger with rival agency Cutler Gleason Chaough to snag a big Chevrolet account. This obviously went counter to the plans of Joan, Pete and Bert Cooper to take the company public. This week’s episode was all about the fallout, with the two companies trying to squeeze into one office.
The best illustration of the chaos involved comes at the partner’s meeting, where there aren’t enough chairs for everybody. Pete Campbell, always a prick, demands a secretary give up her chair for him, and then Ted Chaough shows he’s a cool dude by giving up his instead. Don and Ted engage in a pretty fascinating game of one-upmanship throughout the show, climaxed by a hilarious scene in Ted’s plane where Draper almost yaks all over himself before a client meeting. We’ve seen a lot of Don with an upset stomach this season.
One person who didn’t end up happy with the merger was Peggy – after getting out from under Don’s shadow and establishing herself as a power player at CGC, she’s now right back where she started, in Harry Crane’s crappy office with the pole in the middle. What’s interesting is that she’s obviously much happier with Ted Chaough as a boss – a creative executive who can delegate – and not lead-from-the-top Don. As the years go by, Don’s seeming more and more like a relic and less like a visionary.
Meanwhile, Don’s relationship with his mistress Sylvia is starting to get a little out of control. The episode started with him eavesdropping on an argument between her and her husband, and then climaxed with a degrading scene at the Sherry-Netherland where he made her crawl on her knees to get his shoes. Things finally came to a close at the episode’s end with Sylvia breaking it off with him, telling him she’s had a dream of his death – followed by the real-life death of Bobby Kennedy.
My theory that Don will die this season is seeming stronger and stronger, but will the show really pull the trigger on such a drastic move? Or will Don Draper have some sort of mystical 1960s rebirth and come out the other side ready to deal with the issues of the age? I don’t know, but I’ll be there to watch.