Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 3 USERS: A-
There's That Past, Informing the Present Again

Don is waiting alone in an anteroom in what looks like Honda's hotel suite when Team CGC emerges from within. Chaough asks Don where his film is, and when Don tells him he didn't make one, Chaough's like, you're SOL, "because I wouldn't want to follow what I just showed them with a speech and a couple of posters." Good thing he doesn't have any posters, then. Don is shown in, and after informing Team Honda that the rest of the SCDP partners couldn't make it, he speechifies that they created the conditions of contest to even the playing field, and it specifically prohibits finished work. Since it's his understanding that not everyone has observed this condition, he's withdrawing SCDP from the competition. Takahashi translates as Don gets to writing something, which he places in front of Kamura and thanks him for thinking of them, and once he's gone, we see he's written Honda a check for three grand from his personal account. Ha! The only thing that would have made it more awesome is if he'd written how disappointed he is in the memo section.

Joan comes in to see Roger with a Lucky Strike issue, and Roger slurrily tells her to take it to Pete. She snaps at him to stop it already with the feeling sorry for himself, and when he starts to tell a war story about what sounds like a kid who died on his watch, Joan cuts him off, as Greg is going to be in uniform any day now, and as such she really doesn't want to hear it. Roger, however, wonders how Greg is going to feel someday "when some Pete Campbell goes to some Vietnamese doctor?" He asks when forgiveness became a better quality than loyalty, and I have a rule that I don't get dragged into such discussions with fewer than five minutes left in an episode, so I'll let Joan answer: She tells him she knows it was awful for him and the passage of time won't erase it like it will for people who weren't involved, but he fought to make the world a safer place and won. He asks if she really thinks so, and she simply replies, "I have to." They regard each other for a moment before she withdraws...

...and then Don is returning to SCDP to hear Miss Blankenship bark that his daughter's psychiatrist called. Well, it didn't take any special prognosticative powers to call that one. Don winces and asks her to lower her voice before heading into his office, but he doesn't even get a drink fully poured before Pete and Pryce enter with congratulations; Pryce informs him that he just heard from Saito that Honda was never actually going to leave Grey, "but of the three princes invited to meet their princess, you were the most charming," and as a result they've got first dibs on their car business, the presumption being that it's too small at this point to fit in at a huge agency like Grey. Don asks about CGC, and Pryce confirms that they're out of the running before telling him that the "stunt" he pulled was "unseemly." This from the man who pulled the trigger on the biggest stunt of 1963.

Pryce continues that Joan couldn't have rented stage space without bringing him into the little plan, and says the only reason he allowed the scheme to go on is that he "realized that our financial future was related to Mr. Chaough's demise." It actually doesn't sound much less unseemly when you say it in British, Pryce, and Don agrees: "Are you thanking me or reprimanding me?" Pryce accepts a drink as he says it was a big risk, but Pete, awesome as he's been lately, steps in: "We're thanking you." Heh. Don tells Pryce to send over what he has on the car, but Pryce tells him it redlines at 9,500 RPM but only has 57 HP. "It's a motorcycle with doors. The nice thing is, it has windows, so you can see your brains spatter against it when it crashes." Pete assures Don that Honda is working on it, and toasts the other two, but that's probably beside the point anyway -- they scored a victory over Chaough that will no doubt be reported in the press, not to mention the part where they dealt him a crippling financial blow. I'd imagine Don would call the Times reporter himself, if he could find a way to keep Miss Blankenship out of it.

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