Mad Men
Man With A Plan

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

And look, I have no problem with the show exploring S&M per se. The issue is that Don is just so bad at it; he's coming off like he just read and thought he'd give it a whirl. His characterization has been all over the place this season, so I'm not shocked that there's no discernible motivation for this happening now, but he had far more magnetism even as recently as a couple seasons ago and could have pulled this off without question. Now, though, it's just embarrassing -- not least because he clearly doesn't really believe in what he's doing -- and if the show acknowledged that, it would be one thing, but having Sylvia -- talk about characterizations that make no sense; this is the same woman who supposedly lies awake at night worrying about Don's salvation -- be so easily and creepily turned on by it isn't credible to me at all. But for now, she gets his shoes and puts them on his feet, whereupon he tells her to get undressed and back into bed. Once she's obeyed, he gets to his feet, tells her not to go anywhere, and leaves, and she's like, TF? Seriously, don't you wonder how these two even got together in the first place?

Back at the Creative meeting, Ted notes that he's hearing a lot about bread, like, I know you're trying to foster ideas here, but did you think Napoleon III's soldiers used it to polish their boots? And even if they did, would that translate into an appealing marketing campaign? After Stan walks into the bread basket again and Ginzo is like, "What did he just say?" Don appears, and Peggy acts natural, but Ted, not used to the SCDP Cult Of Don's Tardiness we saw on display earlier, fixes Don with a disapproving look. Don's explanation is that he got "held up," not that "his slave was slow with his shoes," and he grabs some toast with more authority than he conveyed giving Sylvia those commands earlier. For his own power play, Ted calls the meeting to a close, saying they'll be ready for research later in the week, but Don isn't one to be embarrassed in a work environment, as he tells Peggy to set the meeting and bails. Ted heads off after Don, and we don't see it, but I'm pretty sure Peggy's conferring with Ginzo and Stan as to how much earlier they should tell Don the next meeting is than the actual start to get him there exactly on time.

Ted catches up to Don and cuts right through his attitude to tell him the meeting was at one, and being five or ten minutes late is one thing, but delaying everyone for forty minutes is unacceptable. "I've got better things to do! But obviously you did too." Don's going to have to up his game now that he's got an equal in both rank and verbal ability here. He wordlessly enters his office and closes the door, and we stay with Ted for about fifteen seconds as he walks to his office across the way and closes the door in an approaching Moira's face. I get it, but it seems like a lot of camera time to back up the idea that these two are opposites. But I suppose when it's the only time you make that point, you can afford to be a little indulgent.

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Mad Men

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