06 May 2013

Mad Men Recap: "For Immediate Release"

When it rains, it pours. The second that a few partners at SCDP decide to take the company public, every single solitary thing that could possibly happen to the business happens to the business: Don cuts Jaguar loose. Roger scores a presentation with Chevy. Pete loses Vicks at a whorehouse. Cutler, Gleason, and Chaousugha join forces with Sterling, Cooper, Draper, and Price. CGCSCDP wins Chevy. Bob Benson burns the whole thing to the ground as he gallops around in maniacal laughter. (That part happens next week.) In the course of an hour, the agency runs the gamut of existence, and it feels a lot like the day SCDP was created in the first place.

Despite last week's reminder of his Cos Cob exile, Pete slips into bed with Trudy like it never happened. He's about to get rich by taking the company public, so obviously he deserves to have sex with his nonconsenting wife, who's wearing her most fabulous nightgown yet. Once rebuffed, Pete visits a whorehouse to celebrate plan-B style. It is there that he spies Trudy's father (and head of Vicks, one of SCDP's most important clients) with "the biggest, blackest prostitute you've ever seen." It's hilarious...until Trudy's father pulls his business from the agency the next day.

Pete visits Mr. ExplainsItAll to make sure he understands the idea of mutually assured destruction. Now that Pete's secret is out, the "biggest, blackest prostitute" secret is sure to follow. Trudy's father basically dares him to tell, and when Pete lays it all out on the table for Trudy, he doesn't gain much. Trudy's like "GET YOUR THINGS AND GO." I guess Pete's fully going through a divorce now. Poor, dumb baldy.

Peggy's West 80s apartment is cute and everything, and the neighborhood's totally vibrant and all, but the human shit on the staircase is getting a little old. I'm starting to reexamine Abe's "where our kids should grow up" shtick from last week. He said it so easily then, like manipulation was the farthest thing from his mind, but this week Abe seems distant and pissy. His late-60s shaggy mustache makes him look like college-aged Nick from New Girl. These mustaches don't want kids. They just want shitty marimba music at all hours of the night.

And so I'm forced to reexamine that other thing from last week's episode, the thing where Ted and Peggy shared a look at the awards dinner. "That's not what that is," I assured myself then. "He just admires her talent." But no, here are Ted and Peggy, each coming up with a paper-thin excuse to stay late at work. The aftermath of their inevitable kiss is far from what I expected; Ted seems happy to end it there while Peggy's ready for more. Our girl Peggy's got Lonely-Girlitis, such that she falls in love with any man who shows one iota of interest. Her giddiness about carrying Abe's future children pales in comparison to her willing participation in movie theater hand-jobs and late night boss-kissing. She's as horny and unfaithful as Don, Pete, and Pete's father-in-law, and I doubt she's going to stay in the West 80s for much longer.

Pete, Joan, and Bert Cooper have chosen to keep Don and Roger out of the going-public discussion, and I'm not sure why. The two absent partners have opposite responses to being kept in the dark: Don quits an old client while Roger picks up a new one. Jaguar's close to leaving the agency, and Don can sense it. Roger wants to take Herb the Prostitute-Maker out to a "spouse-packed" dinner to soften the blow, so Don brings Megan and her mother Marie (as Roger's date). Unfortunately, Roger bails completely and the ladies all go to the bathroom at the same time, leaving Don alone with Herb. Disgusted with Herb since the Joan debacle, Don gives him the what-for. While I can appreciate his moral outrage, Don just single-handedly sank the company without even checking with anyone first. Pete's so mad, he falls down the stairs. And, understandably, Joan is also VERY. PISSED. OFF.

Luckily for everyone, Roger's dating a stewardess! She tips him off whenever important-looking businessmen come into the airport, and Roger ends up getting a presentation with Chevy that way. SCDP gets to pitch the Car of the Future, and little do they know, CGC is pitching as well. Don and Roger find out about losing Vicks while they're on route to their meeting in Detroit. It casts a pretty dark shadow* over their pitch.
*Dark Shadows, get it?!

That night, a restless Don finds his way (yet again) to the hotel bar. Ted Chaoueullgh walks in with a loud "Damn it!" and ends up sharing a drink with his suave competitor. Their small agencies are always losing clients to the big guys, who end up stealing their ideas anyway. "Heyyyyyyy, waitttt a minutttteee!!!" Ted and Don say in unison, "What if WE become da big guy?!?!?! And steal our OWN ideas?!?!?!?!?!" From this point on, Ted and Don speak exclusively in unison for the rest of their lives.

"Wwweeeeeee arreeeeee combinnningggg compannieesssss," they explain to Peggy, whose Ted-boner deflates faster than a slashed tire. "Wrriiiiitee ourrr pressssssss releeeease!!!" She types up a notice set "for immediate release," and just like that, she's back to working with Don. LET'S JUST HOPE HE NEVER TRIES TO KISS HER!!!!

photos courtesy AMCTV.com and tumblr

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