Mad Men
For Immediate Release

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 8 USERS: A
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Strange Bedfellows
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

At night at SCDP, a dude with thick glasses is blithely plugging away at an adding machine as Joan (her hair down at the office; that's a first, I think),Bertram, and Pete watch him intently, and Joan breaks the tension by asking the guy if he's sure he wouldn't like them to order in some food. The guy addresses the underlying issue by apologizing for taking so long before counseling them that it's "a common mistake not to ask questions when you want something because you're afraid of the answers." You all can take this one from here. Pete grins that the guy wants something, then, and he affirms that he's interested: "Considering the precedent for small agencies, this is how we might take you public." Well, now we know why at least two of the SCDP folks in the room were watching him like expectant fathers. (One of them's too old to freak out about anything, as we'll see.) The guy tells them that, with 1.5 million shares outstanding (the complete partnership interest, presumably), his concern would sell an additional 400,000 at $9 a share. Bertram thinks 12 would be more like it, and when the guy tells him their figure was arrived at "after careful analysis," Bertram finishes, "Of papers you spent twenty minutes with?" Well, I'm guessing he's exaggerating, otherwise these people really can't sit still in a crisis, but it's good to be assured he's a tough negotiator, not that we didn't know that already.

Speaking of which, Bertram tosses out the threat of approaching other underwriters, so the guy, who it might amuse you to learn was a series regular on Herman's Head, counters that he needs twenty-four hours with the documents. Joan and Bertram wordlessly agree, so the meeting breaks up, but not without the guy telling the room that the financial papers are "spotless. My compliments to the chef." Joan nods her thanks, but after Bertram has walked the guy out, Joan exhales the ten breaths she's been holding as she wonders if Bertram pushed the guy too hard. Pete assures her it's all going according to plan before fixing Joan with a half-skeezy (his baseline setting) smile: "Everyone wants you, don't they?" Joan's voice drops as she cuts that little line of conversation off like she's reprimanding a dog, fittingly enough, but it's worth noting that despite Pete veering and leering into fairly lascivious territory here, Joan treats him entirely normally. She's not holding any kind of grudge over Pete's hand in the Jaguar bargain, and maybe she's feeling generous since she stands to make so much money in the deal, but that's really the point -- she did what she did to reach this goal to achieve this end, which gives extra weight to her speech to Don later, not that it needs it.

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Mad Men

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