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Have a Seat: “The Other Woman”

Posted on May 28, 2012 by

Sacrifices. There’s been plenty made on “Mad Men”, and many this season. We’ve seen Don, Megan, Roger, Lane and Joan give up something in order to get what they want. And with the Jaguar account back in their hands,  it wouldn’t be long before Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce made some of their own sacrifices to land it.

But how far is too far? A leader of the Dealer’s Association involved with Jaguar has his sights set on Joan, and not just a “dinner and dancing” way. Pete and Ken are hesitant to comply with such a shocking request, but later Pete brings it by Joan only to be rebuked. To say the least.

But after discussion amongst the partners, the pleas of Lane and her own troubles at home, Joan reluctantly agrees. Disgusted with the moves of his other partners, Don tries to talk Joan out of it. But as we later see in the episode, Don is too late to make a difference. Joan does appreciates his thoughtfulness.

Peggy is also someone who has made sacrifices this season. First it was being the only woman in the Boys Club of creative. The loss of Megan and addition of Ginsburg only made it worse. And as she peered on the Jaguar crack team feasting on lobster, she began to think it was the end of her tenure at SCDP.

A meeting with old chum Freddy Rumsen only seems to confirm that. He tells her to meet with different agencies and have Don realize what he’s missing. After one meeting, Peggy shows her demands and is surprised to have them not just denied — but increased. (Adjusted for inflation, going from $18 to 19K a year in 1966 would be going from about $120 to 126K a year today.)

At the end of the episode, everything falls into place. Don gives a fantastic pitch, and Joan does her dirty deed. SCDP lands Jaguar. But in the midst of the celebration, a tearful Peggy announces to Don that she is giving her notice. Don acts like she’s asking for a raise. She says she serious. And while Don says he’ll get by with his freelancers, his goodbye to Peggy while choking back tears shows how much she meant to him. And the keyword there is meant.

This spells the end of Peggy at the agency, but does it also mean the show? I hope not. Not only is Moss a terrific actress, her character has been a focal point since the pilot. Here’s to Peggy’s future endeavors.

There was also a plotline here about Megan and Don fighting over her acting auditions. Megan berates Don for not believing in her dreams and their possible reality. But as she’s poke and prodded in front of three glum gentlemen, it seems like she needs to come to terms with her own dreams as well. Perhaps neither of them are right.

BAMF: Don, who gives an excellent pitch for Jaguar that’s almost Carousel-esque.

Maddest Man: Joan, who is disgusted by the offer but who’s hand is ultimately forced. Her mom is a bitch.

They’re Back!: Last week it was the Hare Kinsey. This week we are treated to the return of former alcoholic Freddy Rumsen. (Played by Joel Murray, aka Bill Murray’s younger brother.)

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