Wow. Both Don and the show disappear down a rabbit hole this episode, and I'm not at all sure they're coming back. It's going to be enough of a chore just explaining what happened, so I'll try to save the commentary for the full recap, but as far as I could tell -- I'm a little exhausted myself -- here's what's going on at the outset: Don is stalking Sylvia to the best of his ability, which entails standing by her back door for hours on end and smoking cigarettes, the butts of which he leaves for Rosen to find, because that will obviously get him what he wants. Also, he explains to Sylvia that he's "feeling emotions." Between this, the fact that Chevy doesn't like any of SCDPCGC's ideas, and Gleason's death, which takes Ted out of action for a bit, Don's exhausted -- so much so that he gets a cough, which apparently has nothing to do with smoking and everything to do with whorehouse childhoods.
Perceiving that Don and others are going to need an energy boost, as they're going to be working nonstop through the weekend to try to jump through more of Chevy's innumerable hoops, Cutler brings in a "doctor" who gives the employees what seems like a B12 shot combined with No-Doz, which basically sends half the SCDPCGC employees, onto the equivalent of a cocaine trip. No one feels the effects more than Don, as aside from the many coughing whorehouse flashbacks, he runs around the office manically searching for an old soup campaign that doesn't exist and ends up babbling some gibberish to Ginzo and Peggy that he thinks will solve their Chevy problem. Unfortunately, Don's supposed to be at home watching the kids, so Megan's forced to leave Sally in charge. Soon, Sally discovers an African-American woman in the place who pretends to be a friend of Don's as she robs them blind; Sally's take-away from the experience is a realization that the woman was able to dupe her because she knows absolutely nothing about her father. After five and a half seasons, I'm not sure the rest of us are that much better off.
In the end, after the walking fever dream fades, Don takes another interminable elevator ride with Sylvia, again, some more -- but this time he's ignoring her, so everything's chill? Also, Don kind of withdraws from Chevy, because apparently it's like a whorehouse, so I guess he's afraid working on it would cause him to cough himself to death. I'm not seeing the problem there, I must admit.
We open on a car horn, dissonant even by industry standards, before panning up to show Ken. He's driving with a carful of drunken yahoos, and if the horror-movie lighting and jumpier-than-usual camerawork don't clue you in to Ken's terror, the unkempt state of his hair should. Oblivious to, or turned on by, the mortal danger they're in (from all the honking from passing cars, it seems very likely that they're driving on the wrong side of the road), one of the drunken idiots in the back seat raises the stakes by pulling out a gun and then covering Ken's eyes. The squeal of brakes makes us wonder if this is actually happening, but Ken's not a major enough character for the show to display his nightmares, I don't think. So take a good look at what we bailed out forty years later, I guess.
In far, far, far less interesting news, Don has taken to standing outside Sylvia's back door for minutes (hours)? at a time (the collection of cigarette butts he thoughtfully has left on the floor is the evidence of his lingering presence) as inside Sylvia calls to the yet-again-absent "Rosen" about dinner or whatever. These people really need to get out of the building more.
Cross-fade to Don in the CSGDPCC (I think that's right) conference room staring up at the ceiling as Ted, looking a bit crazy-eyed, sniffs at a sandwich like he's on something. Jumping the gun, there, Ted, but not by much. Cutler and Roger are playing checkers, and it's not clear why they're all sitting around like minimum-security prisoners until Ken limps in -- literally; he's using a cane, and his face is at least minimally banged up. He delivers the news that Chevy didn't like their last round of ideas, which is a dance that apparently has been going on for a while. Don half-barks that it's Ken's job to make the Chevy execs like the ideas, as if anything he's churned out in recent memory has been fit for life outside a porcelain bowl. Roger tries to get Don to back off, but Don, sounding a bit hoarse -- stalking is hard on your throat, don't you know -- goes on that they've given Chevy seven rounds of ideas, and they haven't even gotten to talk to their people. "We have to depend on this cripple?" Charming. Roger defends his fellow Accounts man, and Ken adds that he needs to sit down, but he won't bother if Don's just going to insult him. I guess he's too nice and/or on too many painkillers to add that Don's got an awful lot of nerve, given that he fucked up both Jaguar and Beans, acted like Chevrolet was his idea, and now is pointing fingers at a guy who's not even a partner.