5Takeaways from Mad Men “For Immediate Release”

Last week we had a chock full Mad Men episode where we had our characters grappling with the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Don was concerned about Sylvia’s health, Henry Francis viewed it as an opportunity for a state Senate run and Pete Campbell was extremely emotional about him and his wife’s relationship. This week we had a very “business” dominated episode with Mother’s Day right around the corner!

Here are 5Takeaways from last night’s episode:

1. Business at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (SCDP) might not be as bad as I thought

Last week I was under the impression that SCDP was not a place where people in New York City wanted to work. It was only less than a year ago that Lane Pryce committed suicide in his office. Also, when Dawn is speaking with her friend, she tells her how people are depressed all the time and crying in her office. Even though mental toughness may be important as SCDP, business is quite good. They still have Vick’s chemical and Jaguar.

When the episode opens we are with Pete Campbell, Joan Holloway and Burt Cooper talking to an accountant about taking SCDP public. Campbell seems pretty excited about the opportunity and what it could mean for Joan. Joan could be worth $1 million at the end of the IPO. The accountant even compliments Joan on her record keeping. Halfway in the episode SCDP loses Jaguar, (more on that later) bad news, but Cooper tells Campbell they have an IPO of $11 a share (great news). Campbell feels great and Cooper is actually really proud of him. Cooper tells Campbell how great he was in creating SCDP, and pinching pennies to create a well-established business. I think it may be Campbell’s proudest moment on the show up to now.

2. Don shows how narcissistic he is.

It’s been a few weeks since Don’s run-in with Herb from Jaguar and they still are not on great terms. Roger tells Don they have to have a dinner meeting with Herb and his wife. Don is not thrilled. It’s no secret that although Don is happy to have Jaguar’s business, he doesn’t agree with what they had to do to get Jaguar’s business (pimp Joan out). Don agrees though and goes with Meghan and her mother Marie (remember its Mother Day). Marie comes because Roger (her ‘buddy’) will be there even though he ditches the dinner last weekend (more on that later).

The dinner is hilarious. Marie hates being there without Roger and starts talking in French about how terrible their dinner guests are. Herb and his wife play bridge and tunnel New Jersey people awesome. His wife talks about Saks and some puppies in oil stain. At one point the women leave to “powder their noses,” while the men talk business. Herb tells Don that he has a younger person working on his lot who makes flyers. Herb thinks the kid is pretty talented and wants Don to bring him in. Don frustrated gives him a business card with another account manager. Disgusted Herb fires Don. Don doesn’t even discuss his rash decision with the other partners. Although, he doesn’t know about the IPO yet.

3. Roger has been trying some new business techniques.

Surprise, surprise, Roger has a new girlfriend. This one serves a specific purpose. She is the head hostess at an airline first class club. When she sees prospective clients, she calls Roger and he runs to the airport. This time his girlfriend finds an auto executive for him to chat up. Named Mikey, he works for Chevrolet. At Chevy, they are making a new car (without even a name yet) and need an agency for the project. SCDP has an opportunity to make a pitch.

Back at the office, there is a scene which may be my favorite this season so far. Upon hearing the news of Jaguar leaving, Campbell is yelling at Don for being a jerk while hilariously falling down the stairs. What Don has done, puts the firm in jeopardy for their IPO. Roger comes in and tells them about the Chevy pitch and Don smiles at Campbell, saying, “See, I know what I was doing.” Campbell is still upset because he knows Don had no knowledge of the potential pitch. Joan is ultimately the most upset. She says, “If I can deal with him then you can.” Don says, “I KNOW I can win this pitch,” while Joan replies with (awesomely) “Just once I’d like you to say we.”

4. Peggy is having an interesting arc this year.

Even though Peggy seems really happy with Abe, I feel like she wants a man who is more powerful and important (almost a Don Draper) type figure. When we first see the couple, they are in a new apartment that is clearly a fixer upper. Peggy enters the room and says how she found poop on the stars and wonders why they can’t hire a handyman to make the repairs. Abe is not the type of person who wants help and continues (wearing awesome overalls).

There has been a lot of sexual tension between Peggy and her boss this year, which finally comes to fruition this episode. Ted is stressed about their pitch to Chevy and in a moment of weakness starts making out with Peggy. Peggy doesn’t make him stop. She likes it. Later Abe is on the bed and Peggy starts fantasizing and sees Ted in bed instead of Abe. In addition after Ted returns from Detroit (for the pitch) he calls her into the office. Before entering she starts putting on makeup(!). Peggy has thing for Ted. Poor Abe.

5. There is going to be huge changes at SCDP soon.

There are a lot of agencies pitching to Chevy. You have SCDP and Ted’s agency (who are relatively small), with a bunch of large agencies. At night, after they’ve pitched to Chevy. Ted runs into Don having a drink (what else) at a bar. Ted talks about they are in a terrible situation because in the end, Chevy will just go with a large agency and stealing their creative. Don thinks about this and tells them why not merge? Ted is surprised, but he understands the idea. They have some of the best creative minds in New York City and if they can get Chevy, why not?

Ted ends up agreeing and they win Chevy. Upon returning to New York City, Ted calls Peggy into her office and surprise there is Don. Peggy doesn’t seem excited about the new but is charged with writing the press release. So on May 17th 1968, a new chapter in SCDP’s history is started. Or will SCDP even exist anymore?

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