A touch of sand
It’s just an innocent ride home from Jones Beach, right? A little bit of sand clinging to Peggy’s skin. A crowded car. Peggy is jammed onto Abe’s lap as he strokes her arm, brushing off the sand. Is that sunburn on her face, or the undeniable color of chemistry?
Right. They tumble into bed. Act goofy in the morning. Go at it again.
Peggy walks into the office late, with a bounce in her step.
Plenty of sex
Don and Faye remain an item. Thus far, Don’s disclosure as a Dick has yet to send her screaming into the night. Um. Let me rephrase. Out of his life, that is.
But naturally, Don is Don and Don is a dick. He can’t keep it zipped when secretary Megan initiates his latest fidelity fail. We knew it was coming, but did it have to happen so predictably?
Then again, Megan has a few tricks – and ambitions – up her pretty little sleeve.
As for propriety? Or lessons learned? Oh right. Don’t screw your secretary. Especially when you’re already sleeping with the Consumer Behavior Psychologist. And you all work in the same office.
As all hell breaks loose at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce with the defection of Lucky Strike, what next?
If the Chinese Wall is defined as appropriate ethical barriers maintained to protect client confidentiality, we can watch the tenets of that principle slighted, stretched, and broadly breached. Scene after scene illustrate confidences withheld where they ought to be shared, and secrets spilled where they don’t belong.
And could we add a bit of questionable ambulance chasing – or rather, hearse chasing – at a memorial service for an ad man where they hope to pick up a few new clients?
Utterly unable to disclose the Lucky Strike situation to his partners, Roger feigns ignorance, fakes phone calls, and likewise a trip to Winston-Salem. But he tells Joan everything. She is not impressed.
Our intrepid ad men scramble to save existing accounts (jumping ship), not to mention throwing ethical behavior out the window to snatch up some new ones. And while Roger turns to Joan for comfort, she gently (but firmly) says no, summing things up:
I’m not a solution to your problems. I’m another problem.”
Oh baby. Another sign there’s still a baby?
Don, Faye, Megan
Fight? Right. And then Faye caves, but only after Don has fallen into bed… uh, couch… with Meghan.
And just how easy is it to get Dapper Don to stray? Pretty damn easy as Megan manipulates.
Don: “I don’t think this is a good idea… I can’t make any mistakes right now.”
Megan: “Let’s be clear I’m not going to run out of here crying tomorrow. I just want you right now.”
Faye? Faye who? Any doubts the the rugged rogue we’ve come to know isn’t still alive and well? And Faye, believing in their relationship, breaks her standards of professional conduct and secures Don a meeting with a competitor’s client.
Peggy, Abe, Stan
Peggy’s oozing the sweet smell of sex, and Stan responds like a dog in heat. He crosses the barrier of propriety (again), and puts the moves on. She rebukes him, but ass that he is, he lets her present with lipstick on her teeth. Way go to sophomoric Stan!
Not to worry, her glow carries her through as she nails the Playtex gloves account. Score one for Peggy. Make that score another one. Wasn’t that Abe leaving the office with a satisfied grin?
Pete, Ted, Trudy
Pete isn’t immune to the goings on, though surprisingly, he isn’t giving in. Yet. He confides in his father-in-law about the disastrous happenings at SCDP, and Daddio pulls in tacky Ted of competitive Clio fame. Ted offers Pete a position, as the father-in-law says “don’t go down with the ship.”
Trudy ultimately has a baby girl, while Pete is in a pow-wow at the office. Another tale of an ad man away from home, away from family, away from a daughter. Like Don? Like the eulogized David Montgomery? Like all of these Mad Men?
Lovely symmetry, poignant close
Did we experience enough echoes of moral relativism, of lies and cowardice, of “just business as usual” among these characters?
Roger wearily heads home to Jane. She greets him sweetly and suspects nothing. She’s clueless, and he’s lost. She takes his hand, wraps his arm around her shoulder, places her own across his chest, and lowers her head. He rests his chin in her hair, and stares straight ahead. He looks older. Defeated.
Guilty? Doubt it.
In a parallel scene, Faye is waiting for Don as he arrives late after their fight and his stumble with Megan. They sit on the couch as she wraps his arm around her, settles into his body, lowers her head onto his chest and he rests his in her hair. She’s none the wiser. He stares straight ahead.
Guilty? We’d like to think so. But more probable – worried.