Early reaction (not nearly just from me) puts this episode up on trial to determine if it's the worst the series has offered to date. It's not helped by incredibly obvious and clunky metaphors, nor by Don, realizing that Sylvia is falling more and more under his spell, creepily dipping his toe in the S&M pool by giving her orders he makes it clear he expects her to obey. She's just as grossly into it, full of servile passion, but the saving grace is a dream she has that convinces her to dump not just the role-play but also Don, which is good because I was just about at the point where I was going to have to start fast-forwarding through their scenes. That poor red dress, is all I can say.
The CGC employees move into SCDP's digs, and at the first combined partners' meeting we see, Cutler and Roger announce that Fleischmann's Margarine is interested in being the first new business for the bigger agency. Another primary order of business is for Roger to rather dickishly fire Burt Peterson, again, some more, although he's hardly the only one, as no sooner do we get a name for the older Creative lady -- "Margie" -- than does she get the axe as well. Pete worries about his own skin as too, afraid that he'll be slowly pushed out in the coming months -- his inability to get a chair at the partners' meeting hits that home VERY SUBTLY -- but he gets a little distracted when his mother turns up to his apartment, and it's clear she's got some early-onset dementia even before he hears from his brother that she's been living like she's in Grey Gardens. This causes him to miss a trip upstate to try to salvage a client, which isn't going to help his prospects, as he takes pains to convey to his secretary... like there's a lot she can do about it.
Joan gets a terrible pain in her side, so Benson, who just happened to catch her in that moment, takes her to the hospital and even pulls a sneaky move to get Joan seen more quickly. It's just an ovarian cyst, but Benson comes to check on her, and afterward, Gail pushes Benson on her daughter, which is not nearly the worst idea she's ever had and also proves her eyes still work fine.
With Don off telling Sylvia's vagina where and how high to jump, Chaough meets with the combined Creative team, and it's clear that his freewheeling style is going to clash with Don, as well as is his propensity to start meetings on time. However, when it's just the two of them, they seem to work rather well together, which is no surprise given their triumph with Chevrolet, but Peggy certainly is not thrilled when a side effect of their brainstorming is Chaough passing out right in front of the entire Creative team, to the point where she actually gives Don a piece of her mind about it. Once he sobers up, Chaough realizes in a talk with Gleason, who is not doing so hot, that Don won this round, but Gleason assures Chaough that he'll outlast Don in the end. Chaough gets a bit of revenge when he takes a terrified Don upstate in his little two-seater, which doesn't really have enough room to squeeze in a tired metaphor about weathering storms, and yet it ends up happening anyway.
Oh, and Bobby Kennedy gets shot, don't you know.
In his home elevator, Don presses the "lobby" button, but the car stops on a different floor -- that of Rosen and Sylvia. There are a couple bags in front of the elevator, so apparently Rosen summoned the elevator and then returned to the apartment to fight with his wife, which actually isn't that credible at all -- she's been a surgeon's wife for how long, and now that Don's within earshot she's conveniently flipping out? -- not to mention the fact that having grown up in an apartment building it still drive me bazoo whenever people ring for the car before they're actually ready to go. It's a civic nuisance almost on par with parking on a curb that can fit two people in such a manner that you block anyone else from joining. Anyway, speaking of not credible, Sylvia is shrieking about Rosen going to Minnesota and how he doesn't take care of her even though he pretends to or some such nonsense, and given how distractingly artificial everything in the scene is, it's not helping that we're not even hearing Rosen's responses. It's obviously a cost-saving measure so they don't have to pay Brian Markinson, but voice work alone isn't that expensive, and it would at least bring the scene up a little bit to make it sound like Sylvia isn't just running lines like she's Megan. Don eavesdrops for a bit but hastily presses the "close" button when it "sounds" like Rosen might be heading out...
...whereupon we cut to a pair of feet walking as jaunty music plays, and then we pan up -- not too far -- to reveal Chaough, a satisfied smile on his face. We see via the wall clock that it's 9:20 AM, and Peggy comes bustling in behind Chaough with a box of stuff in her hands. They chat a bit as they walk, but Peggy stops at the Creative door to say hello to "everyone" -- that being Stan, Ginzo, and the older woman -- and to introduce them to Ted. Yes, "Ted" -- he's in too many scenes now for me to keep spelling "Chaough" out all the time. Speaking of first names, Stan FINALLY gives us a name for the older woman -- "Margie" -- and Ted tells them it's nice to put faces with names.
While I'm here, I might as well point out that Stan seems friendly enough to Peggy, not that I really expected him to hold a grudge. That's mostly because I think he's doing enough drugs that he doesn't remember why he should, but still. Ginzo, in that inimitable straight delivery that makes you unsure enough that you can't quite accuse him of shade, tells Ted that when he saw him taking a tour the other week, he looked pretty tall, "but now I see you're about my height!" Hee. In case it's not clear on screen, they're both teeny. Not a deal-breaker for either one. Ted comes right back -- "I hope you can still look up to me" -- and Stan is rightly impressed with the quick bon mot. After a few more pleasantries, Peggy and Ted take off, whereupon Margie snarks, "Nice knowin' ya." Seems unfair what happens later, but she kind of does it to herself with that one.