Sure, lots of Mad Men watchers were beginning to wonder where this season was going. (SPOILER ALERT) It is now May 1968. In a few weeks Robert F. Kennedy will be assassinated, throwing the election into chaos. Thus far, we’ve heard two endorsements for Eugene McCarthy (one from Paul Newman and the other from Abe, Peggy’s live-in). Will the firm bet on Nixon as it did eight years ago? Of course then it was just Sterling Cooper. Then it became SCDP. And now … SCDP-CGC?
Seriously, what didn’t happen last night?
Tired of being beaten out as the little guys, both Don Draper and Ted Chaough have joined forces. Do you know what this means? More Harry Hamlin! While Ted was regretting the loss of Alfa Romeo, Don had blown up the Jaguar contract, ridding themselves of perhaps the most loathsome character in the show to date, Herb the car dealer. This leads to Pete Campbell in yet another tirade followed by Joan’s vitriol also aimed at Don—why did she prostitute herself (for a partnership, that’s why)? But then Pete inadvertently loses the Dow Chemical account after catching his father-in-law at the same whorehouse he was frequenting. So much for the theory of Mutual Assured Destruction: “You pressed the button!” Pete exclaims, before telling his soon-to-be-ex-wife that her loving Daddy had sex with a large black woman.
But who comes to save the day? None other than Roger Sterling, author of Sterling’s Gold. And so the combined forces of Sterling, Draper, Chaough, and Cutler win Chevy—a powerful creative force backed by a large agency. (Wasn’t Don’s pitch of a commercial without a car what Infiniti did 20 years later?) But was it legally possible? Now comes the hard part—establishing a new chain of command. At least I got that sense from the coming attractions. Of course those end teasers have been mostly useless: On the next Mad Men, “What?” “You’re kidding!” “Oh, great.” “Who?” “Really?” “Just perfect.”
Photo credit: Michael Yarish / AMC