Mad Men

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Hitting The Fan

Ken pipes up that Pete and his father-in-law were obliviously off playing golf when it happened, and then gets up when some guy, "John Flory," stops at the table to say hello. After introductions are made, Flory tells Ken that he's sorry about "you know," which Ken misinterprets as condolences over the death of a "David Montgomery," whom I'm assuming was an employee of either Geyer or McCann, given that Ken waves off the sympathy by saying he was only "there" for about six months. When Flory is like, "...right," though, Ken realizes something bigger is up, and even though Flory tries to make a clean getaway, Ken chases after him and asks what's really going on. Turns out Flory is at BBDO, and as such is in the position to tell Ken about Lucky Strike's defection. Ken tells him that can't be true, but sounds like he wants to believe it more than he really does, and Flory, sincerely enough, tells him he's sorry before getting the hell out of there. Ken, for his part, takes a long moment to recover from the shock before returning and apologizing to the table and then vanishing. And what fiancée doesn't love to see her man demonstrating his ability to rush out unexpectedly?

Ken turns up to the hospital in which Pete is awaiting developments, and Pete exclaims, "What a pleasant surprise!" Like this isn't going to be tough enough for our Kenny. After Pete jovially tells him there's nothing much going on yet, Ken lets him know what he just heard...

...and then we cut to Don and Faye, just having kissily entered the former's apartment, being interrupted by the phone ringing. With Ken hovering over him, Pete, in a pay booth, desperately blurts out the news, and when Don tells him to call Roger, Pete tells him he wasn't home. Don orders him to wake Bertram and then convene in the office, and then makes a call, presumably either to Jane or to whatever watering hole he thinks Roger frequents...

...which leads to Roger later entering his office to find the partners, minus Pryce and plus Ken, anxiously arrayed. After Ken once again repeats what he heard, Roger pretends he has no idea what they're talking about, which really isn't going to make him look any better even if everyone buys it. In other words, a classic Roger Sterling move. Roger goes to the phone and dials, asking if anyone's informed Pryce while he does, and Don tells him yes: "I don't think he'll be going back to sleep." Not only that, I'd bet not coming back to the States is seeming like a more attractive option. Anyway, Roger picks up the phone and surreptitiously disconnects the call (seems hard to believe no one noticed this, but it's true that people are fixated on his face, given the situation) before completely faking an exchange with Garner, and while the conversation from his end is credible - he even gives the group an "aside" that Garner is drunk - the fact that they cannot hear any muffled shouting from the other end should tip them off, no? Anyway, despite the lying and the performance, Roger surely must be feeling a renewed sense of shock and loss now that it's all out on the open, so I believe that his need to sit down is fairly genuine, and when Don tells him they need to get on the first plane down to North Carolina, Roger tells him he'll do it, as he's known Garner half his life. Bertram manages to croak that he needs a drink, and while that's always a momentous occasion, Don is too busy staring appraisingly at Roger even to notice.

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