mad men season 6 joan

Linda Sue Strong is the founder of entertainment blog TerribleTelevision.com and an occasional attorney. Her life has not yet been turned into a reality television show. Follow her at @themisslinda. 

Don overhears his mistress, Silvia, fighting with her husband. It’s messy, and it makes him uncomfortable, because he would rather his affair stay neat and clean and tidy.

It’s the first day of the merged agencies, and Joan shows Peggy to Harry’s old office. (You remember, the one with the laughably large structural beam in the way.)  At the board meeting for the new merged agency, Roger announces an introduction with Fleischmann’s Margarine, and Pete Campell explains that the New York State Thruway account is a conflict with Mohawk Airlines because they are both transportation. Ted volunteers to fly Don and Pete up to meet with the client and smooth things over because he’s a pilot.

Peggy and Bert Peterson (Not Cooper), who had been previously fired from Sterling Cooper, meet with Don, but he gets a call from his mistress and cuts the meeting short. She’s in an orange terrycloth bathrobe and her hair is a mess, tied up in a red scarf. She tells him to come over immediately, with an ill-advised, “I need you, and nothing else will do.” He declines, but arranges a rendezvous at a hotel. After what Don heard that morning, he needs something a little less personal. Following an afternoon in bed, Silvia starts rambling on about her problems. Don tells her, “You can talk about your kid, but I don’t want to hear about your husband.” He orders her to look for his shoes, and she should “crawl on your hands and knees until you find them.” Then, he tells her to get undressed and get back into bed. She complies, because all women do whatever Don tells them to do. He takes the hotel’s key and tells her not to go anywhere. He could be back in a minute, an hour, a day…he’s Don Draper.

mad men episode 7Back at the office, Bert Peterson (Not Cooper) meets with Roger Sterling, and Roger immediately fires Bert. Again. And he lets Bert know that nobody fought for him. Bert threatens that his clients will leave with him, but Roger laughs it off. Something tells me that this is going to come back to bite them all in the ass.

Ted does some free-association about margarine with the creatives. “Greasy, it’s not butter, it’s cheap, it has no smell, people hate it.” On a positive note, “it spreads easy because it’s soft,” and in walks Don. From the hotel. He just…left Silvia, alone in a hotel room, for an indeterminate amount of time. After the meeting, Ted chastises Don for being forty minutes late to the meeting. Don shuts his office door in Ted’s face and calls Silvia. “Are you still in bed?” he asks. He tells her that she’s going to wait there and not know when he’s coming back, and she is not to answer the phone again.

Okay, I need to have some real talk with Silvia: Lady, he’s a control freak. It’s all fun and games right now, but he’s going to keep pushing and pushing to see how far you’ll go, and eventually, he’ll tell you to take a long walk off of a short pier and you’ll find yourself clinging to a buoy in the Hudson River, wondering how you ever got there. Put your clothes on and go home while you still have one and consider this a bullet dodged.

Don brings Ted a bottle of something as a peace offering and they drink and talk margarine. Ted explains the margarine business in terms of Gilligan’s Island. Blue Bonnet is the Maryanne, and Don wonders which one is the Ginger.  Then, Don does his storytelling thing. “It’s morning. We know because we see the rooster crow. A farmer’s wife sets pancakes on the kitchen table, she puts a pat of margarine on the top…syrup…a smile….” Done. Except Ted is now drunk and wobbling all over the creative department. Not everyone can hold their liquor like Don Draper, and Peggy knows that getting Ted sloshed is all part of Don’s plan.

Silvia eventually emerges from the hotel room to find a Saks Fifth Avenue box waiting for her on the doorstep. It’s a red dress, and though it’s skimpy, it’s actually a tad on the fuddy-duddy side. She puts it on and continues the long wait. Don eventually arrives and she asks where they are going. Oh, silly woman. “Why would you think you’re going anywhere? You are for me. You exist in this room for my pleasure. Don’t ask me any more questions. Take off your dress. Take off everything for me.” Silvia, honey. No. Sigh.

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Joan is vomiting in her office and she’s having pains in her non-appendix side. The account guy, Bob, walks her out so that nobody sees because Joan is all about never showing weakness. He takes her to a hospital and coordinates a babysitter for Joan’s son. She tries to get Bob to leave, but he explains that he has no place to go.

Don returns from his umpteenth roll in the hay to find Peggy in his office. She closes the door and tells him that she had hoped Ted would rub off on Don, and not the other way around. She then suggests that the merger was all about getting her back, and Don appropriately laughs it off because really, it’s not about you, Peggy. And that has always been Peggy’s problem—it’s never about her. She then tells Don to “move forward”, which is like asking a giraffe to shorten its neck. But she does it all in the most professional outfit we’ve ever seen on Peggy, which is a navy blue jacket with white piping on the lapels, white buckles for closures, and a matching (but not too matchy) pencil skirt with a navy and white geometric pattern. It’s a little stuffy looking, but it definitely puts Peggy in charge.

Don returns to the hotel, and Silvia asks what she is supposed to do next. He says that he has to go upstate and expects her to be there when he gets back, and he takes her book with him so that she can’t think about anything other than him while he’s gone.  When he returns to the office, he learns that Pete Campbell wants to move the meeting that’s supposed to show the client how important they are to another day because his mother has gone a little batty and may have burned down his apartment. He and Ted decide to go without Pete, in a rainstorm. With Ted flying the tiny plane. Like, really tiny. Shoulder-to-shoulder, with a backseat no bigger than the backseat of a Mini Cooper. The meeting goes well, which irritates Pete to no end.

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Bob visit Joan at home to see if she is feeling any better and brings a gift for her son. Joan’s mother is, of course, thrilled to see a handsome gentleman caller. Joan does seem fairly charmed. When the partners meet to sort out who stays and who goes, Bob is on the kill list, and Joan saves him by offering up another head for the chopping block. I guess we’ll see whether Bob’s affection for Joan was genuine, or merely job-savingly convenient.

Don returns to the hotel room again to find Silvia dressed in her regular clothes, with the red dress he sent her strewn on the bed. “I think it’s time to go home, I think this is over.” She’s going back to her husband, to focus on her marriage, and wants Don to do the same. He begs, which is not a good look on Don. “Let’s go.” Now it’s Silvia calling the shots, as it should be. They return to the apartment building, each to their respective spouses. Megan chatters on and on about her day, but Don tunes her out because to him, she’s just a pretty face. Megan flips the television on and there’s footage of Senator Kennedy’s assassination. Megan is in tears, and Don looks annoyed that he now has to deal with this new development.

Next week, Don, Peggy, Roger, Don sleeping on his office couch, Pete, Ted, Roger, Ginsberg, and Megan in a very hot mini dress.


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