Mad Men – Recap & Review – To Have and To Hold

photo: amc

photo: amc

Mad Men
To Have and To Hold

Original Air Date: Apr 21, 2013

Ryan O – Staff Writer

This episode shows the increasing possibilities for women while still showing there are significant limits, both professionally and socially. Both aspects are shown in sharp relief by Joan.

A couple new things in this episode: Peggy gives her first pitch at her new job. A conversation between two African-American characters.


Don, Pete, and Mr. Heinz Ketchup are taking a meeting in Pete’s apartment, which is where Pete lives full-time now. Mr. Ketchup promises to keep the meeting a secret from the Heinz Beans guy, who swore he’d leave SCDP if they showed any interest in getting Heinz Ketchup. There will be a presentation and it will take place in a hotel room. Pete and Don decide that only Stan will be in on the creative work and they won’t tell anyone else.

Sylvia gets on the elevator with Don and tells him Artie is on call Thursday or Friday. She’ll leave a penny under the mat as a signal.

Don meets with Stan in a private room. They talk about Heinz and smoke weed.

When he gets home, Don finds out Megan will be getting more scenes, including love scenes. Megan is excited about it and wants Don’s approval. Don says he “needs to think about it.” He does say he’d be happy for her if he weren’t her husband. Also, they have to go to dinner with the writer and his wife.

Don and Megan are at dinner with the writer and the wife. Megan tries hard to get the writer to downplay the love scenes she has to do but he’s not playing along. Then, the couple propositions Megan and Don. Both of them say they have to get up early the next morning. Later, they can’t believe that happened. Also, in this scene we find out Don opposes the Vietnam War.

Don pitches Heinz Ketchup. It goes pretty well. He talks about getting in the imagination space of the consumer. The clients like it but might want to see it again with the bottle in the ad. Don, Pete, and Stan leave but, hey, Ted, Peggy, and another guy from CGC are waiting outside the hotel room. It is beyond super-awkward. Don listens at the door as Peggy pitches their work. He seems both impressed and annoyed.

Don, Pete, and Stan are drowning their sorrows at a bar. Ted and Peggy show up at the same bar. There’s some awkward talk, Ken comes in and tells them Heinz Beans dropped SCDP like a bad habit, and Stan gives Peggy the finger.

Don goes from the bar to Megan’s set. He stands there, watching like a disapproving father, as Megan performs her love scene. The scene concludes with her on a bed and her co-star on top of her. Megan does well. Don and Megan go into Megan’s dressing room. Don is pissed. Megan doesn’t know why he came. It’s the first time he’s gone to the set. She’s angry about having to tip-toe around him; it’s her career. “You kiss people for money. You know who does that?” Wow, way to crap on things, Don.

Don goes straight to Sylvia’s because Don’s nothing if not a raging hypocrite when it comes to sexual politics. The penny is under the mat. Don climbs on top of Sylvia in exactly the same position that the male actor was on top of Megan. Don asks Sylvia to take her cross off. She says she won’t and she prays for Don. Prays for him to find peace.


Joan arrives home to find Kate, a friend from home in Spokane, Washington, and sales director for Mary Kay, and her mom there. Joan’s mom cancels Joan’s plans to go out with her friend and they stay in. Joan and her mom admire the watch Mary Kay gave Kate for great sales. Joan’s mom is actually proud of Joan for being a partner at SDCP, which is nice. Kate has an interview with Avon. Joan, holding up the watch, says that at least someone somewhere appreciates her.

Joan fires Scarlett for the shenanigans involving the time card (mentioned below). Harry shows up, marches into Joan’s office, and unfires Scarlett. Then, Joan goes into the partners meeting and Harry sees her in there. Harry bursts in and utters the most cutting line to the partners right in front of Joan: “I’m sorry my accomplishments happened in broad daylight and I can’t be given the same rewards.” Joan barely bats an eye at that initially but then looks a bit crestfallen. Unlike Mary Kay, people do not appreciate Joan at SCDP.

Joan and Kate go to a soda fountain that has a telephone on each table. It’s full of high school students and Joan feels a bit out of place. Kate wanted to try it after hearing about it from a friend, who said many men go there who favor a “certain kind of girl.” (Which is to say a woman in her 30s.) All of the women at the restaurant just have to wait for the phone on their table to ring. The young waiter comes over, clearly interested in Kate. Joan gets the guy to “test” their phone, which ends up with him inviting Kate and Joan to a place he knows.

Joan sits on the end of a couch while Kate and the new guy make out at the other end in a club. Colored lights swirl. Kate’s guy’s friend sits next to Joan. They kiss and the new guy tells her his friend said he would want Joan. Joan seems coolly flattered and they make out.

The next morning, Kate and Joan wake up in Joan’s bed. Kate confesses her admiration for Joan and her partnership. Joan says she’s been there for 15 years and they still treat her like a secretary. Kate says that doesn’t matter. She’s there and that’s what matters.

Everyone else

Here’s a first for the show: two African-American characters holding a conversation. Dawn meets a friend in a diner to talk about the friend’s wedding plans. Dawn’s date for the wedding fell through. She’s a bit sad about that and about how she’ll probably never get married.

Ken goes into Harry’s office to complain about Dow and Dow’s image problem, as relayed to him by his father-in-law, a Dow executive: “If he wants people to stop hating him, he should stop dropping napalm on children.” Harry says he has an idea for a solution.

Scarlett asks Dawn to punch her time card so that Scarlett can leave early. Dawn balks at first but gives in.

Harry’s meeting with Dow goes really well. His idea is for Dow to sponsor an hour-long TV special with Joe Namath and a bunch of Broadway stars, which will help people make a more positive association with Dow.

Dawn meets her friend for dinner again. Dawn gives her friend the most penetrating assessment of SCDP possible. “Everybody’s scared there. Women crying in ladies room. Men crying in the elevator. Sounds like New Year’s Eve when they empty the garbage there’s so many bottles. And I told you about that poor man hanging himself.” Her friend has no sympathy for the people there.

Best Lines:

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

“I’m sorry my accomplishments happened in broad daylight and I can’t be given the same rewards.” Harry to the partners

“Church is impossible. You can’t stand out in that crowd of harlots.” Dawn, talking about the possibility of meeting a man at church

Best Shots:

Don standing in the doorway of the elevator as the doors close on him.

The scene in the club as Joan sits on one end of a couch while her friend makes out on the other end as colors swirl all over the screen

As Don, Pete, and Stan exit from the Heinz presentation, and stand opposite Peggy, Ted, and another guy from CGC.

Song over the end credits:

I don’t know. Any thoughts? Leave them in the comments!

What do you expect to happen in the coming weeks? Let’s hear your Two Cents!

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3 Responses to Mad Men – Recap & Review – To Have and To Hold

  1. rojo says:

    “Song over the end credits:” ? I have no idea and while I did not care for it I am still curious as to what it was. My friend thought Scott Walker but I don’t think so.

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