By Miz J
THE NIGHT’S EPISODE, “To Have and To Hold,” takes a long view of promises and deception, and the gap between the things we say and what we mean.
First, there’s the continuation of last week’s bit of news about the Heinz ketchup business. The ketchup clients meets Don and Pete at Pete’s city apartment, the source of so many torrid affairs. They agree to carefully move forward with a pitch, spelling out where they’ll meet and how they’ll handle the beans client, before Ketchup Guy pulls off his wedding ring to meet his mistress for a date.
The next morning at the office, Don and Stan meet in a janitors’ closet to hammer out some initial designs for the pitch, now dubbed “Project K” — because code names and locked doors always make people LESS suspicious. After splitting a doob and talking for a few minutes about hot dogs, the guys laugh about how they should order lunch, even though it’s like 10 in the morning.
Elsewhere at SCDP, tensions are thickening over Joan’s partnership. As she tries to flex muscle to prove she has worth and isn’t a prostitute, men like Harry are constantly challenging her authority because they refuse to take her seriously. When Joan fires Harry’s secretary for having Dawn (Don’ secretary) punch her out, Harry goes on the extreme offensive and demands to be a partner because he actually does work that earns him that title (never mind that no one knows exactly what the hell he does). All this makes it that much more difficult for Joan when her old friend Kate comes to town and commiserates with her about the stress of success. Kate works for Mary Kay but can’t seem to go any higher up the ladder, while Joan is at the top rung and still manages to get looked down upon. Of course, she’ll never reveal that, or the truth about how she climbed there to begin with.
Megan’s workday includes a new, extended storyline. Now, instead of a few lines here and there as a maid, Megan will be doing a love scene with the lead actor on her soap opera. The actor and his wife invite Megan and Don for dinner, where it becomes very, very clear that they want to have a three-or foursome with the Drapers, who are very, very uncomfortable with that idea. In the cab on the way home, Megan wonders if she only got the new part because of their attraction to her.
The next morning, Roger and Bert offer Harry a full commission on the “Broadway Joe” idea he was ranting about the day before, and Harry still argues about being a partner: “Joan isn’t even IN yet.” Well, Harry, that’s because she was super busy having girl talk with her buddy about the executive life, which you are still not privy to. You might learn something about career success by doing as she does: shutting up and cashing the check.
We get a glimpse into Dawn’s life as the only black person at SCDP. She’s trying to fit in, and this is probably why she agrees to punch out Harry’s secretary in the first place. Clearly still reeling about the whole scene, Dawn pays Joan a visit and asks to have her pay docked to make up for it, to which Joan responds by giving Dawn more responsibility — monitoring the supply closet and the timeclock. Dawn thanks her, and Joan says, “Don’t thank me, you don’t realize yet that this is a punishment.” Clearly, Joan is still reeling too — from Harry’s shitty comment.
In a hotel room near the agency, Pete and Don present their concept to the Ketchup Guy. He says it’s bold work but still asks to “chew on it.” As they prepare to leave the meeting, they run into Peggy and her crew in the hallway, including boss Ted, Don’s nemesis, ready to make the same pitch to Ketchup Guy. Hey, he never said he wasn’t talking to other agencies; the SCDP crew just assumed it. I’ll bet that’s the last we’ll see of Stan and his big mouth, though. Listening through the door, Don hears Peggy use his old line, “If you don’t like what they’re saying, change the conversation.” Later, the two agency teams commiserate over a shared loss; Ketchup Guy went with a third agency, leaving both shops without “the prestige of ketchup” in their client rosters. As they order a round, Ken tracks down Pete and Don to inform them of the loss of the beans business as a result of their decision to pitch ketchup, since that client had specifically asked them not to pursue it. Ken barks at the partners about loyalty and betrayal; this was his client and he hadn’t a clue about what was happening.
Later, Don acts all butthurt about the fact that Megan has a love scene with the lead actor on her soap — so much so that he makes sure to be there while it filmed, unbeknownst to Megan. Given Don’s affair with Sylvia, it’s shitty, and shittier still that he picks a fight with her about it in her dressing room, where he essentially calls her a prostitute. “Were you at least going to brush your teeth before you came home?,” he sneers. “You kiss people for money. You know who does that?” He leaves her bawling in front of her lighted mirror — only to go home to bang Sylvia again. You know it’s bad when your mistress says she prays when you leave — so that you’ll find peace.
Miz J has an attitude. Deal with it. Check out her NSFW comedy podcast, I SAID IT, on iTunes or follow her on Facebook or on Twitter @askmizj