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'Mad Men' recap, 'To Have and to Hold'

April 22, 2013|By Karmen Fox

To add to the sleaze factor, they meet in Pete’s wife-approved (well, soon-to-be ex wife) bachelor pad. Even worse? Pete tries peddling it off to Don, who shoots it down: “I live in Manhattan.” You can almost hear the “duh,” especially since he doesn’t even have to leave his building for a booty call.

Back at the office, Don meets Stan in a private room to work on the secret campaign for Heinz Ketchup. Stan lights up a joint and passes it to Don, insisting that it clears out the cobwebs. “I think we should order lunch,” Stan says with a stoner laugh.

Their munchies gluttony clearly inspired their pitch, filled with mouthwatering burgers and fries. But just like with the Royal Hawaiian pitch, Don and company leave out a key element in the ad: the product they’re selling. No ketchup bottle, no dice.

“Let me chew on it,” Teddy says.

The SCDP gang walks outside shocked to see Ted, Peggy and another CGC employee. The standoff was tense. I was waiting for sagebrush to drift across the screen. A few exchange of words and the second ad team is off to pitch their idea. Pete and Stan walk to the elevator, but Don stays to eavesdrop.

Peggy, never sharper or more confident, gives her pitch, adding, “I always say, ‘if you don’t like the conversation, change it.’”

Don is dumbstruck. That’s his line! She’s channeling Don better than Don is. And their ad is much better: A big bottle of ketchup with the promise of a 50-foot billboard in Times Square. Just what Heinz was looking for.

Not to sound like a narc, but grass isn’t your thing, Don. Just stick to your creative naps and movie theater outings. It certainly works for your former protégé Pegs. Proof? Heinz bought CGC pitch right on the spot.

Don, Pete and Stan are at a bar nearby feeling dejected and spat out. Later Ted and Peggy walk in to boast about their big win. Then Ken rushes to tell them that Raymond found out they were courting Heinz Ketchup. Yes, there is something worse than someone else getting what you want: Losing what you already had for your archrival to swoop up. Don storms off in typical Don fashion.

As Stan leaves, he flips off Peggy behind Ted’s back. So goes her last friend at SCDP. You can tell it stings, but with each sip of her midday victory drink, her eyes say, “Eat your heart out, Don. This is what you’ve been missing.”

While Peggy’s been adding a win to the women’s workforce column, Joan’s stuck in a glorified secretarial position. Sure, she’s still a partner. But none of that of matters when your colleagues knows how you really climbed to the top. All she has to show is the title without the authority.

When finding out Scarlet, Harry’s secretary, left early and had Dawn clock her out, Joan fired her. Harry came back to the office to find a tearful Scarlet carrying her boxes. He tells Joan that she’s not firing her, and he won’t take her “petty dictatorship.” Harsh, but Joan keeps her cool and heads to the partner’s meeting.

(Side note: That’s the second time a man has undermined Joan firing a secretary. The first was Jane when Roger came to her rescue. At least that time it was a partner overturning her decision when she wasn’t a partner. This time Harry isn’t a partner and she is.)

You’d think Harry would have had enough questioning Joan’s authority, but no. He goes to the partners meeting, saying he’s earned a partnership, unlike Joan. “I’m sorry my accomplishments happened in broad daylight,” he says. Ouch. It’s what every Joan fan was dreading, but knew had to happen eventually.

She then drowns her sorrows by heading to a Mod bar with a friend, and making out with a turtleneck/vest-wearing guy named Johnny (somehow that combo works on the kid -- maybe it’s the psychedelic lights or his name is so similar to Joan’s). The best part? He says he wants her. Sweet recognition at last.

Later Dawn tries to make amends with the timecard debacle. Joan then puts her in charge of the timecards and supply closet. No, that’s not a promotion; it’s a punishment, Joan says.

“I don’t care if everybody hates me here,” Dawn confesses, “as long as you don’t.”

“We’ll see,” Joan says coolly. Here’s hoping. SCDP needs another Peggy. With Joan as a mentor, Dawn just might fit the bill.

MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM "TO HAVE AND TO HOLD"

BEST ROGER LINE: “Should we fire him before he cashes his check?” Roger says to Bert after Harry proclaims his value to the company.

MOST PLAUSIBLE CONSPIRACY THEORY: Stan’s sneaking off to the secret boardroom has Ginsberg suspicious. He suspects Stan of putting aluminum foil up in his office. Is that to keep aliens like Ginsy from reading his thoughts?

MOST OBLIVIOUS EMPLOYEE: “Where were we?” one of the partners asks after Harry’s hissy fit. Meredith reads the minutes: “‘Meredith, why don’t you step out?’” The partners stare at her. “Oh,” she says, finally getting the hint, and awkwardly steps out of the boardroom.

BIGGEST SUCK UP: After the copywriters question Stan’s ethics and possible spy affiliations, Bobby asks Don, “How are you, Don?” Don walks away. What’s Bobby up to? I don’t trust someone so young and clean-cut in a room with grass-smoking, fringe-wearing hippies.

SECOND BIGGEST SUCK UP: “Harry has great ideas,” Scarlet beams. Maybe that’s why he wanted to keep her so bad.

BEST LINE THAT SUMS UP SCDP: “Everybody keeps their head down.” – Dawn

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