Mad Men
Man With A Plan

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: C | 11 USERS: C+
Mergers And Yak-Quisitions

Ted is nodding in a hospital-room chair, looking disheveled and exhausted, when Gleason, who looks like he's going down rapidly, comes to and remarks that Ted looks worse than he does. I wouldn't go that far, but the fact that it's close says something, and Ted confesses he slept on the floor of his office because he couldn't find the couch. Hee. Ted goes on that Don seems more interested in him than he is in their work, and Gleason replies, "But you're not very interesting!" Ted: "He doesn't know that!" Hee. This, I liked; it's a quick moment, but real friends and business associates who make their living with words and humor can't let an opportunity to bust on each other like that pass, no matter the circumstances. Gleason asks what Don's like, and it seems odd to me that they apparently never got the entirety of both sets of partners together even as hurried as the merger was, but Ted tells him Don's mysterious, "but I can't tell if he's putting it on. He doesn't talk for long stretches and then he's incredibly eloquent." After a bit more deprecating humor, Gleason quotes, "If I wait patiently by the river, the body of my enemy will float by," and I wonder how Sun Tzu would feel about his wisdom being used in regard to dick-measuring strategy among ad men. Kind of feeling me, Ted sighs that it's all such a waste of energy, but Gleason counsels him to give Don the early rounds and he'll tire himself out. Ted looks like he appreciates the advice, but also realizes he doesn't know what he's going to do without Gleason. Also, his liver is quaking in fear of this "Round Two."

Pete's about to leave for work when his mother calls him out for obviously living there full-time, and wonders if Trudy's done with him. And she got the name of his soon-to-be-ex-wife right this time! Of course, moments later she's thinking her husband is still alive, but Pete tells her to stay put, as her place is being sprayed due to all the vermin infesting it, and when she asks if she can go get her things, he tells her lies that make her think she's even more confused than she actually is. It's not worth getting upset about how this family treats its members since they're all horrible, but it's an instinct that's still hard to resist.

Don enters the office and once again finds that Dawn is not at her desk, and again, I understand they can't have Teyonah Parris every episode, but there are ways to fix it to it's not so crazy obvious. I mean, if Don looks askance at her empty desk, how are we supposed to take it in stride? When Don enters his office, he finds Peggy and gruffly wonders why she didn't wait outside, but she tells him the entire visit is confidential. Don is like, what, you want to quit already? There's enough of an edge to come off as unfriendly, but Peggy's not there to make friends! It's just too bad there's no throwing wine handy. She tells Don that she hoped Ted would rub off on him, not the other way around. Don, of course, is unimpressed, eventually snarking that SCDP risked itself "just so I could have you in this office complaining again," but Peggy snaps back that Ted can't drink like Don. "And you must know that, because nobody can." It does make you wonder exactly how much he's imbibed the times we've seen him wasted, and if SCDP has a line item in its budget for such supplies. Don tells Peggy Ted's a grown man, but she points out he is too. "Move forward." I feel like Peggy's the Cassandra of this episode, which I guess explains why I agree with her so strongly.

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Mad Men




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