Mad Men – Recap & Review – Man with a Plan

photo: amc

photo: amc

Mad Men
Man with a Plan

Original Air Date: May 12, 2013

Ryan O – Staff Writer

The world spun out of control in 1968. But not just the world as a whole: Don Draper’s world is out of control, too, with the SCDP and CGC merger. People lost jobs and moved offices. Don has to, and can’t, deal with Ted. Instead, he deals with Sylvia.

Meanwhile, Pete has a lot going on, Roger meets with an old friend, and Bob does something nice and makes an ally.

The elevator opens. Don hears Sylvia and Arnie fighting. We don’t see them but we do see that Sylvia has packed a bag for Arnie and left it by the elevator.

Our first glimpse of the merging firms and it’s move-in day. Peggy and Ted enter SCDP together. They stop by creative to introduce themselves and it seems as if there’s no hard feelings from Stan toward Peggy leftover from Heinz, so that’s good news for her.

Former CGC employees are trying to find office space in the SCDP offices. There’s some bickering and Moira, the office manager from CGC, is bugging Joan about getting the information Joan has. Moira literally has to look up at Joan, who is standing on a higher stair than Moira. Teddy and Peggy come over and Joan is delighted. Joan tells Moira to handle Ted and Joan will get Peggy settled. Peggy has Pete/Harry’s old office — the one with the column. But, at least she doesn’t have to share. Joan and Peggy are really glad to see each other. They congratulate each on their new positions of partner and copy chief, respectively. I was worried we wouldn’t get any more Peggy-Joan scenes. Those have been some of my favorites throughout the series.

There’s a partner’s meeting that Don wanders into. Don will not be anywhere on time this whole episode. Pete comes in next and there is literally not a seat at the table for him. Moira eventually gets up for him. Ted then gives Moria his chair. They run down the accounts they have. Mohawk has a problem with the agency having the NY State Thruway. Ted says he can fly them up to visit Mohawk. There’s the tiniest hint of Don not liking Ted.

Pete has to leave the partner’s meeting when he gets a call from his mom. She’s in Pete’s bachelor pad and thinks Pete’s dad is fooling around. Pete’s dad, you’ll remember, has been dead for a number of years. She’s heading toward dementia.

Burt Petersen and Peggy walk down to see Don, who is standing near his desk wondering where Dawn is. They exchange pleasantries except Burt Petersen, who Don and Roger fired years ago, says “the worm has turned.” Dude, you can’t talk to a partner like that. The phone rings. Peggy, wryly, asks, “Want me to get that?” and smiles.

It’s Sylvia. She wants him to come over immediately. He’s busy with work. She says, “I need you and nothing else will do.” He makes a date for a hotel room at 12:30.

Roger calls Burt into his office. “A lot of times, you get to do something and you don’t realize ‘til it’s over how much you enjoyed it and you swear the next time it comes around you’re going to remember that.” Burt thinks he’s making amends. Nope. Roger’s firing him again. No one fought for him. Burt spits, “You’re a real prick, you know that?” Roger fires back, “Dammit, Burt, you stole my goodbye.”

Don gets to the hotel room. They go straight to bed. “What is it you said to me?” he asks. “I need you and nothing else will do.”

Ted sits with the creatives. He wants to rap about margarine since they’re working on Fleischmann’s. They bounce some stuff around. Eventually Peggy mentions it was invented for the French Army under Napoleon because they needed something that wouldn’t go bad.

Don sits imperiously in a chair and tells Sylvia to crawl on her hands and knees to find his shoes. She walks over and gets them. Then, however, she kneels down and puts them on his feet. He tells her to get undressed and get back in bed. She does. She beckons him over. He walks over, grabs the hotel key, says “Don’t go anywhere,” and leaves. Don is a dillhole, don’t forget.

Don shows up to the creative meeting. He asks what’s going on. No one really acknowledges him. Ted closes the meeting. Don gets up and leaves. Ted follows him. Don is annoyed Ted started the meeting without him. Ted tells him 40 minutes late is no good. Off to a roaring start!

Don calls Sylvia. “Are you still in bed?” “Are you on your way?” “You’re going to wait there and you’re not going to know when I’m coming back. Don’t answer the phone again.” The phone immediately rings again. Sylvia pleasures herself as it rings.

Don stops by Ted’s office with a bottle and two glasses. They have a couple drinks. They get to work on margarine. They have another drink.

Pete goes to his apartment. His brother is waiting for him. Pete’s brother says it’s Pete’s turn to take care of their mother since they’ve cared for her for a while and Pete’s brother’s wife can’t deal with her any more after they got into a fight.

Ted is comparing brands of margarine to characters on Gilligan’s Island. Don’s not into the idea. I wonder if he even watched Gilligan’s Island. Don brings up the idea of a farmer’s wife serving margaine with breakfast. Ted likes it.

A knock on Sylvia’s door. A package from Sak’s has been left at the door. A dress.

Joan isn’t feeling well. She’s sitting with a wastepaper basket on her lap. Bob comes in and says she looks ill. It’s not her appendix — it’s the other side. Bob helps her out of the office.

Ted goes back into creative, more than a bit drunk. Don looks amused. Peggy helps Ted sit in a chair and Ted falls face first onto the table. Don tells everyone to call it a day. Peggy looks pissed.

In the ER waiting room, Bob is waiting with Joan. She’s worried what will happen to Kevin if she dies. She says it’s not food poisoning like she told Bob earlier. Bob walks her over to the nurse and spins a tale. The nurse sends her to a bed and calls a doctor over.

Sylvia is in the dress, reading. Don comes in. “Where are we going?” “We aren’t going anywhere.” Don tells her she exists in that room for Don. He tells her to get undressed. She does. Later, Don slips into bed next to Megan. Yes, Don is a raging dillhole. He can’t deal with Megan and her success or the chaos at the office, so he’s as controlling as he can possibly be with Sylvia.

Pete talks to his mom. She’s lucid now and wants to go home. Eventually, to keep her from leaving he says it’s St. Patrick’s Day, insisting even after she says, correctly, that it’s May. Remember, Pete, too, is an enormous dillhole.

Ted talks to Gleason, who is now in the hospital. Ted talks about how Don is more interested in Ted than in the work. Gleason eventually tells him to walk in the next day as if he owns half of the place.

Peggy is waiting for Don in his office when he gets in the next morning. She’s not angry but she’s direct with Don. “He can’t drink like you.” “He’s a grown man.” “So are you. Move forward.” She walks out and closes the door behind her. Don’s left with a stunned look on his face.

Don is with Sylvia again. On the floor in the hotel room again. He says he’s flying upstate and wants her ready for him when he gets back. And, he’s taking her book with him. Remember, Don is a raging dillhole.

Ted flies Don to the meeting. In the pouring rain. It’s pretty rough for a bit and Don looks stricken. Ted plays it cool. They talk about meeting the client. “No matter what I say, you’re the guy who flew us up here in his own plane.” Ted smiles at that.

Bob stops by Joan’s to make sure she’s okay, which she is. She had a cyst on her ovary. He has a football for Kevin that he drops off. He doesn’t want to stay since he has to get back to the office. Joan’s mom tells Joan that he’s adorable and that younger men aren’t intimidated by powerful women. Joan says he’s just trying to protect his job.

Don gets back to the hotel room. Sylvia is getting dressed. She’s getting ready to go home. Don says it’s over when he says it’s over. She tells him about a dream where he died and she went home. She’s done — with the hotel room and Don. “It’s easy to give up something when you’re satisfied.” “It’s easy to give up something when you’re ashamed.” He actually says, “Please.” She responds, “Let’s go.” They leave and he sees she left the dress he bought her on the bed. Pretty much his relationship with all of the women in his life in a nutshell.

Joan, Roger, Pete, and Jim Cutler (Harry Hamlin’s character) are meeting and discussing who CGC and SCDP lost in the merger. Jim wants to cut Bob. Joan mentions Bob has been involved with Ken’s accounts, which will be a help with Ken servicing Detroit. Jim says Bob stays. Joan smiles just a little and they move on to secretarial staff.

Pete’s mom comes in to Pete’s bedroom as Pete sleeps and wakes him up. “They shot that poor Kennedy boy.” Pete tells her, “That was years ago.”

Well, as you know, it was also right then. We cut to Megan, crying and heartbroken, watching coverage of Presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. Don comes in, getting dressed for work. He glances at the TV but he really doesn’t seem to care, lost in his own world of emotions about his breakup with Sylvia.

Best Lines:

“You’re a real prick, you know that?” “Dammit, Burt, you stole my goodbye.” — Burt and Roger as Roger fires him again

“It’s easy to give up something when you’re satisfied.” “It’s easy to give up something when you’re ashamed.” — Don and Sylvia as she ends their affair

Best Shot:

The chaotic scene at the start of the episode with people moving furniture looking for offices and, eventually, Joan leading Peggy out of the chaos and down the hall to her new office is pretty neat.

Pete standing in the conference room, looking at the table with no empty chairs, might’ve been a bit obvious but it was effective.

Song over the end credits: “Reach Out of the Darkness” from Friend and Lover plays as we continue to hear the news anchor talk about what happened to RFK. This song debuted June 4, 1968, the day before the assassination.

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

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6 Responses to Mad Men – Recap & Review – Man with a Plan

  1. I love Mad Men, and it’s filled with surprises!

    There will be major conflict between the Mad Men merger, and Pete will continue having his share of meltdowns, while Don continues to spiral downward into an abyss. I hope Sylvia doesn’t change her mind about stepping off his crazy train!

    Joan may have a new love interest, which is good. Peggy is definitely not happy about rejoining the firm, and dealing with Don.

    I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  2. bluerick says:

    Don is headed for several falls. Pete is about to grow up fast or be a complete asshole over his mother. The rest doesn’t matter

    • ryanoneil says:

      Don’s season-long descent into Hell definitely continues and will seemingly continue.

      The rest, I’d argue, is more interesting at this point.

  3. mrsrcd2010 says:

    As has been observed elsewhere, Mr Draper is definitely going to Hell.

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