Obviously this is the most talked-about episode on this show in a while. And it should be - it's painful, flawed, and brilliant. That said, before I get lost in the Joan stuff, I want to say I think the show has done episodes about three women in distress at the hands of men better -- I'd put "A Night To Remember" ahead of this effort no question and although smaller in ambition you could even make a case for "The Beautiful Girls". I would not, however, put many things ahead of certain performances in this episode, particularly Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss in the last scene and Christina Hendricks all the way through. So without further ado:
In the conference room, we get our first signal that they are going hardcore on this Jaguar thing by the fact that Don is sitting around the big table with his team and he chastises Stan for a (joking) pitchline involving the word "mistress" explaining, "The salesman can use it, but the campaign can't." Don then gets up to take a break, leaving Ginzo, Stan and two Creative members I'm shocked survived last year's big purge inside. (One of them was even from SCDP -- picture him with blood and paper all over him.) Or maybe these guys are freelancing now, which makes sense during a cash crunch.
Cut to Don coming out of his office with a bottle of what's presumably pain reliever, when Peggy catches him so he can sign off on Secor. Don, however, rather impatiently reminds her that she's in charge of all non-Jaguar business for the time being (...really? That seems like a lot of responsibility even for Peggy) and then Joan appears with two cart-pushing secretaries in tow, informing them that Roger bought the Creative boys lobster from the Palm. As the team whoops appreciatively, the women bring the lobster in and Peggy stares like she's considering trying to lick the shellfish through the glass. I mean, I'm not sure anyone would begrudge her popping in and nicking a bit of it, but whatever you may say about this episode it's not exactly subtle in the points it's trying to make.
Speaking of lack of nuance, this gross, overweight, middle-aged pig who is at dinner with Pete and Ken is, as we'll learn, the head of the Dealers' Association and part of Jaguar's selection committee and he cautions the boys that Creative has to be "pretty spectacular" to make the product stand out. Ken and Pete aren't worried, not with the XK-E in their pocket, but Gross Pig (given the level of subtlety in this episode, the name seems to fit) talks about people going the extra mile and whatever and doesn't drag it out too much longer before mentioning that "dynamite redhead" he saw at the SCDP offices and how he sure would love to get to know her better. Ken at least starts to shut that line of inquiry down, but Pete, grimy little pimp that he is, keeps the guy's hopes up although he doesn't go so far as to promise anything. Gross Pig says that if it were to happen, it would make him happy and then he gets up to go eat some corpses for a mob boss or whatever else pigs do. Ken asks if that was what he thinks it was and Pete, aiming for a seat in the slophouse himself, grossly says that yes, it suuuuure was. Ken asks why Pete didn't let him tell the guy Joan's married and Pete counters that it's because Gross Pig is too and he's sure it wouldn't matter to him. Ken sighs, "Well, we wanted to be in the car business" and it's not a bad line but I'm assuming he's being this blithe because there's NO WAY he's going to be the one to approach Joan about this.