Who Had The Worst Day At Work On Mad Men Last Night?
1:30 pm, June 3rd | by Sarah Devlin
Was it Don, who was headed to a meeting in California with executives from Carnation, prepared to dazzle them with his New York wit and Brylcreemed hair, only to find that the execs were no longer so impressed by the city slicker act? Part of what has been so interesting about this season on Mad Men has been the professional decline of Don — he really seems to have lost his mojo, and is getting increasingly rattled by it as his personal life falls apart (just not rattled enough to, you know, do anything to fix it). Things get even darker when Roger and Harry accompany him to some kind of Hollywood party where he has a little bit too much to drink and smoke and ends up facedown in the pool. Roger is his white knight and resuscitates him, and he ends up being fine, but he seems unsettled on the flight home (not least because he hallucinated Megan in full hippie garb at the party). Still, this is depressingly par for the course for dear old Don this season.
Was it Ginsberg, who goes H.A.M. on Harry Hamlin over his indifference to the Democrats’ nay vote to include a peace plank in their election platform? He’s very unsettled by the ongoing war, and seems to be drawing parallels between the conflict and his own family history — at least, that’s the only reason I can see for why he calls Cutler a Nazi. Not even Bob Benson’s eternal optimism and sunny disposition can clear the black clouds over Ginsberg’s head, although he does come through with a pep talk for a presentation to Manieschewitz. Unfortunately, they decide they aren’t loving the work that SCDPCGC (which continues to have an naming crisis this week) is producing, and put the agency “under review.” Poor Ginzo.
But also, forget Ginzo — poor Bob Benson! For the nicest man in the office, he certainly takes a lot of abuse. Compared to everyone else who works at the agency he’s a saint, which is perhaps why nobody seems to trust him. Still, he didn’t need to be called a “homo” by Ginsberg after taking the time to give him a serious pep talk.
Pete had a pretty bad week, but not as bad as others he’s had this season. He spent most of his time being offended that he was left out of the process of acquiring an Avon account, as he is supposed to be in charge of new business (a mantle he declined until he realized that he was getting left out of meetings). Between this and the increasing feeling of being ignored by the new partners at the hybrid firm, it’s no wonder he’s meeting with headhunters and pondering an exit strategy. I don’t think he’ll ever really end up leaving, though — more than anything else he seems to want to be liked by those guys. It’s the ultimate emotionally abusive relationship.
Peggy continues to be disappointed by Ted, when Joan brings in a lead and then he immediately hands the reins over to Pete. Why doesn’t Joan get the respect she deserves? She is a PARTNER, for heaven’s sake! Though this admittedly stinks, it’s way better than Ted’s ultra-cold rejection of Peggy last week.
The person who wins the “worst day” award definitively, however, is Joan. Despite earning a partnership and becoming equal to the men of SCDP, she continues to be treated like a secretary. Her awesome friend Kate networked her a connection with Avon, and as soon as she brings it to the partners they snatch it away from her. Luckily, she’s able to wrest control of the interaction (since she controls everyone’s calendars — don’t mess with the person who manages the calendars, office people everywhere!) and meets with the Avon rep herself. Eventually the higher ups, with the exception of Pete, come around to the idea of her handling the account…especially when Peggy comes through with a fake call from Avon right when it seems like she’s going to get booted off the account. She had better hope the phone rings, though — and it’s that anxiety that puts her over the top.