This week's episode of Mad Men is all about tension boiling over, but I am left the most intrigued by the one who still hasn't quite done so yet.
Pete Campbell has been the secret lead this season when it comes to the office of SC&P (we got a name!) in that there has been a lot of moving and shaking for all, and Pete is the one on the most unstable ground. This week again we find him getting more and more uncertain about his future with the company, even with Ted telling him how important he is, and I can't figure out if he is going to be the saving grace for Don and the SCDP crowd or be their downfall. Those final shots of the episode were just fantastic with Pete a complete wild card as to what he is going to do next. He has had multiple people, Harry and now Don, tell him to think about leaving the company, but if he would just stop worrying about where his station is in the company he might just realize he is in pretty good shape. Sure getting the rug pulled out from under you on Avon by Joan has got to sting, but Pete has to stop worrying about who is going to stab him in the back and just move forward. I can't wait to see where he goes.
Speaking of Joan, she and Peggy have it out like they never have before as the two most senior ladies at the office have quite the row over how things are handled. Disrupting the system is also a running theme of the night, as the 68 Democratic Convention unfolds on everyone's television sets, and Joan is inspired to try and take matters into her own hands as she accidentally gets the company a shot at Avon. Instead of giving the account over to Accounts, Joan wants to step out from behind the desk for herself and try and land it. I understand her desire to branch out and earn her way in a way that can't be spun around that she slept her way to the top, but I also think she would know that she would ruffle as many feathers as she does. Also, why the hell would she go after Pete? I know Ted folded him into the situation, but just last week she was lamenting how he was the, “only one who never lied to me.” Her and Peggy's tussle is the more interesting one though and I think Joan is surprised at how far Peggy has come. Joan views Peggy as a threat and one of “them” and while it was electrifying to see the two of them go at it, verbally cutting each other with every knife in their pocket, I was happy to see them reconcile at the end; that is if Avon calls.
Don on the other hand has somewhat of a rather uneventful episode, besides the whole almost-dying thing, as he, Roger and Harry take a trip out to LA. Outside a contentious trip to Carnation, a Hollywood Hills party is the highlight of the trip. Roger is great, even if he is an asshole making fun of Danny the ex-SCDP copywriter, but it is Don's hashish trip that takes the cake. Hippie Megan gives Don a second chance and a possible child in his vision, while the dead vision of PFC Dinkins (the soldier Don was Best Man to in Hawaii) proves to be a sacrifice of the Vietnam War and the spiritual savior of Don's life. The physical savior of Don drowning in the pool is Roger, but I wonder what the subtext of Megan telling him to “go for a swim” plays into him ending up face first in a pool. Was Don in "heaven"?
-Drawing lines in the sand were also something extremely prevalent around the office and watching Cutler go at it with Ginsberg, and then try to fire him and all of the SCDP creatives, all while Don and Roger were MIA in LA, bold move. It did allow us to gain some respect back for Ted though as he is constantly playing mediator this week and I have to applaud him for that. Still, they seem on all right terms (outside Joan and Pete) at the end of the episode. Will it last?
-Bob Benson, just when we got to know thee. Is Bob off to Detroit for good or will he pop back up from time to time around the office? Are we going to get a SC&P: Detroit Chevy Unit. Please, I can't lose Bob Benson now, just when he was getting interesting. Hell of a pep talk to Ginsberg though. -What's up with Harry Crane getting all these props this week? Ever since getting into it with Pete over MLK, Harry has been moving nowhere but up in the eyes of everyone at SC&P. Joan gives him some accolades this week and he steps up in the Carnation meeting, is he going to buy out Pete's partnership?
The SC&P team surprisingly comes together in the end to finally give them that aforementioned name, but I can't help but wonder if a lot of the hidden agendas we saw in play tonight are bound to rear their heads in the season's final three episodes. All I can say is, watch out for Pete Campbell.
-"How do you get tot Heaven, something horrible has to happen." Eeeee, foreshadowing? (It was!)
-Are things better in the Draper household? I think yes.
-"Oh. Are we done here?"
-"The guy in charge, pick an eye and stick with it."
-Don and Roger's Excellent Vacation?
-"And you're, some other Mexican."
-"And send one to the pilot."
-Ginsberg! Stop, you are going to get fired.
-How does Bob get yelled at?
-Cutler, you will not clear out creative!
-Awe, Joan, looking for a man. What about Bob?
-"Harry Crane is a wizard," what!
-Why is the pole moving in Peggy's office.
-Pete is going to be PISSED!!!
-"I love you. You know that. You're a mother hen."
-Stan has walked out twice now.
-"I don't know yet."
-"I told you that's not my name." I'm Dick out here.
-"I'm a curious child, with a full head of hair and a thriving business."
-SC&P, I like it.
-I don't know what Pete is going to do, but I like it. Love the Joplin.