|By Clay N. Ferno|
There’s a shakeup at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.
Roger’s liaison with a stewardess may affect the company’s future as Mother’s Day approaches and Pete is left in the cold with his baby mama.
A well timed strategy from the top brass of these ad agencies shakes up the office by returning a prodigal daughter to the copy chief desk of a huge firm.
Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) Joan (Christina Hendricks) and Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) are having the firm audited to go public.
While they await the results, another partner, Roger (John Slattery) has shacked up with a Northwest Orient stewardess, Daisy (Danielle Panabaker). The charming blonde comforts Sterling (in a very adult manner) before leaving for work, as it is Mother’s Day weekend and his mum has just passed.
Pete returns home to Trudy (Alison Brie) to carry on the charade of his marriage and hopes for some comfort of his own. No dice, Petey.
Though Trudy seems to appreciate the effort he is putting in, sex with his wife is not in his future. Trudy in her full length flowy nightgown, though really is a thing of beauty.
Megan’s mother, Marie (Julia Ormond) continues the matriarchal theme upon visiting Don and Megan for the weekend from Montreal. She encourages Megan (Jessica Paré) to reinvigorate the heat between the sheets after she confides that something may be wrong in the Draper household. Maybe she can borrow some lace from Trudy?
Peggy’s (Elisabeth Moss) world is only grazed by any mother talk. No mention of kids with Abe this episode, quite the opposite. After a life affirming peck on the cheek from her boss Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm), she wishes that her boyfriend Abe (Charlie Hofheimer) was instead Ted in her fantasy. The two are settling into Peggy’s new apartment.
Ted and Peggy’s firm is in upheaval. One partner Frank has fallen sick with Pancreatic Cancer and does not have long to live. It seems to be at an inopportune time, as they try to hone in on the Chevy account.
Speaking of Chevy, there is a comedic sidebar with Pink Panther music as Roger and Daisy turn up the heat. Roger rushes to the airport to trap a client. A businessman headed for Detroit turns out to be a Chevrolet executive and is ensnared by Daisy and liquored up by Roger.
Later we find the both the SCDP and CC&G reps en route to the motor city to land the account. The car is not even revealed to the agencies, just a code name (XP-887). And this is to be the biggest car announcement in years. Both teams have their pitches.
Don (Jon Hamm) has just lost the Jaguar account over an hilarious and ill-fated dinner with Herb, his wife, Megan and Marie. Marie insults Herb’s ditzy wife in French before the ladies excuse themselves. Alone at the table to discuss business, Herb (Gary Basaraba) suggests bringing in someone else to help write copy. Don leaves the table, offended and down a major client.
This episode is fast paced and full of surprises. Pete encounters his father-in-law at a cathouse with a black prostitute, and loses that account (Vicks Chemical). It seems the firm is in trouble before going public and everyone is trying to save face.
After landing in Detroit, before the pitch meetings, Don does what he does best (or, arguably one of his finest traits) by sitting at the hotel bar downing scotches. He’s joined by Ted who stops the binge as the two leading men come to some realizations about their two companies. The reveal that comes in the third act may just land the Chevy account, but for which firm?
I’m happy to say that I fully enjoyed the action, comedy and the behind the scenes business acumen displayed in this episode. Sure, I’ll take a tawdry affair with the neighbor and noir drama and high fashion highlighted in the other episodes this season, but this episode is one of my favorites thus far. Don, Ted, Peggy and Roger’s confidence contrasts Pete, Joan and Bert’s conservatism to make the alliances within and without the firm stronger.
What can we expect for next episode?
The teaser foretells a darker, more serious tone. Peggy’s moving back into the SCDP offices, will she be welcome? And, what’s Ted doing there? Mad Men Season 6, you are continuing to keep us excited!