Mad Men
The Better Half

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 10 USERS: A
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Toeing The Line
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

In the conference room, Don and Ted are arguing about the best strategic points to emphasize in regard to Fleischmann's, with Ted wanting to focus on its premiere status among margarines and Don being of the opinion that they have to fight the notion that even good margarine is high-quality shit compared to butter. Pete chimes in that even if Fleischmann's is the most expensive margarine, the price difference -- while significant on a percentage basis -- is still only pennies. But the low price does mean that margarine has a seventy percent market share over butter. He wraps up by saying that "seeing as I have the ear of the client," his recommendation is to emphasize taste. When Don calls to a passing Peggy, Pete wants to make sure that Don doesn't miss the fact that he just agreed with him, but Don's not satisfied with that; he has to call Peggy in to try to get someone whose opinion Ted cares about to take Don's side. Being presented with a hypothetical (?) margarine-purchase scenario, she unwittingly blows up Ted's spot by saying she'd buy the cheaper one, but when he's like, so you don't think the one that's more expensive might taste better, she backs off and tells them both their approaches sound good.

Neither Ted nor Don will let that stand, but it seems likely to me that she's holding back her opinion because she agrees with Don, so Ted eventually backs down and says they'll go with Don's approach. Don, however, isn't going to be content with "I'll let you have this one" when he wants to hear "I was wrong" or "You're a genius," not to mention the fact that he wanted Peggy to openly agree with him, so he offhandedly says no, he's not even going to be at the meeting, so Ted should do "whatever you're most comfortable with." I'm sure you're not surprised to hear that Peggy is about as enamored of this ongoing pissing match between her two bosses as she is of her new neighborhood. As they leave the room, she and Don exchange a disgusted look before heading in opposite directions. Ted -- no fan of how that went either -- follows them out, whereupon Pete berates Harry for only having said about two words so far this scene. Harry replies that he's not dumb enough to get caught in the middle of whatever that just was. "You suddenly dumber than Peggy?" Hee. Pete condescendingly snits that Harry is content in silence, but Harry tells him that to the outside world, the merged company is like the Yankees in their Murderers' Row years, and if Pete wants an ego boost, he should check in with a headhunter. Pete wonders if Harry's leaving, but Harry tells him no -- it's just nice to know he's in demand. A few weeks ago, I was involved in a Twitter discussion in which the participants imagined Mad Men set to cartoon sound effects, and my buddy Daniel offered, "Pizzicato violins every time weaselly Pete is up to something." If only that were a reality, because once Harry leaves, Pete's face is practically begging for it.

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