Mad Men
Commissions And Fees

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admin: A+ | 7 USERS: A+
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Birth and Death In The Same Episode
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Man, there is so much to say about this one. Might as well not waste time, given how -- as we'll see -- precious it is. But if you'd like to read Jared Harris's thoughts about his character and this episode, check this out.

Don's in the barbershop when some guy from one of the also-ran agencies in the Jaguar competition (It's "Jed Covington" from, I believe, "Dancer"), who good-naturedly tells the Italian barber about Don winning Jaguar before complaining that his own Creative didn't work to get the job done. Don doesn't pay that much attention until Covington tells him how impressed Jaguar was with Pete, whereupon he turns his head so quickly it's a good thing for us all that the barber didn't have scissors pointed in his direction.

In a restaurant, Lane is sitting with an older gentleman, who tells him that for those of them at the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies), Lane is completely American. And I'd love to avoid referencing the event that's coming all too quickly, but if I wait until it happens I'll end up spewing ten pages of nonsense, so better to mete it out: This is an interesting idea, because it's not like many Americans don't commit suicide, but Lane's preoccupation with other people discovering his shame seems a bit more British to me than this guy might have guessed. On the other hand... well, all in good time. The point is, the 4A's guy has been impressed with Lane's conduct or knowledge or something, to the point where he'd like to offer him an unelected position as Head of their Fiscal Control Committee. Lane, perhaps thinking of his crimes, suggests that there are others more deserving, but the guy asserts that Lane kept SCDP afloat after Lucky Strike left them and whatever he did, the 4A's could use some of it. He also tells Lane that he and his wife will get to go to the Greenbrier and I'm crying laughing that The Bachelorette chose a place mentioned on a show as retro as Mad Men for one of its "romantic" venues. Anyway, Lane happily accepts...

...while back at SCDP, as some freelancers file out from the conference room having presumably presented something, Joan tells Scarlett a.k.a. the New Joan (HAAAAAAA HA HA), a couple things of that she needs to be mindful if she's going to run the partners' meetings effectively and one of those is that there should be Danish for the attendees, a point with which Bertram vociferously and hilariously agrees. Scarlett at least keeps a smile on her face as she navigates these new waters and when they start in on "ongoing" business, Pete announces that Jaguar wants to explore the idea of going with a fee structure instead of the current commission setup. No one save Lane has the slightest idea what that means, so he explains that presently they get compensation from the fifteen percent commission on their media purchases plus the markup on production costs. Under a fee structure, the client only pays for the work being done, plus a small percentage of profit that's subject to negotiation. No one really follows this, but Don thinks if the client is asking for it, it can't be good for the agency and he's probably right. Pete asks what would happen if Dunlop Tires wanted that structure and everyone thinks he's being hypothetical, but no -- they called the night before and want a meeting. After some hilariously impatient discussion of whether they've moved on to new business, Joan asks what the billings would be and Pete smiles that they're only a little under a million, but "every Jaguar wears them so you know they've heard good things about us." Bertram thanks Pete, but when Scarlett asks if they don't need to have a vote on the fee vs. commission point, Don points out that he already said no. "Or should I leave so you all can do whatever you want?" It's kind of old-school now, but so is this show AND that remark, so: awkward. Even Joan looks down at that one, but Bertram pipes up to move they investigate what's involved, Joan seconds that and the motion is unanimously carried. Pete then sardonically wonders if they should go back to old business again or "do we have any birthdays?" Hee. But hey, running a meeting with this many people is hard! And that's it for the scene.

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