Wow, this was an incredibly bizarre episode, and I honestly am not sure what to make of it or even how to discuss it, but here goes. A cousin of Jane's named Danny, better known as Jonathan from Buffy, cluelessly and horribly interviews for a position in Creative, but Roger wants Don to hire him anyway so he doesn't catch any shade at home. This prompts a flashback to when Roger found Don in that fur shop and picked him up and shook him up and turned him into someone new. Or that's what Roger would like you to believe, but actually, he was buying a fur for Joan when Don discovered that he worked in an ad agency and doggedly pursued him, only to be met with unflagging disinterest.
Back in the present, Don is up for a Clio for the Glo-Coat commercial; at the pre-ceremony, he and Roger get to watch the drunken stylings of Duck Phillips, who's apparently gone back on the sauce with extreme prejudice. Don and SCDP win the award, but he and Roger, while not quite as bombed as Duck, have not exactly been pacing themselves, so when new account Life Cereal shows up after initially being delayed due to weather, Pete wisely tries to postpone the meeting but is overruled by the louder, more inebriated members of the party. Don's presentation devolves into drunken babbling that includes stealing a concept that Danny had pitched to them, but the kicker is that the Life people love it. Peggy, already fuming from her perception that Don has been taking her for granted, is livid at what she sees as another example of him taking all the credit for other people's work, not that she's in a good mood to begin with, since she's having problems working with the new art director, Stan, a total jerk who talks about how uptight she is and calls her "toots," which is probably all you need to know. Well, except for the part when the two of them get naked to brainstorm ideas together, and I don't know how I'm going to explain how this came to pass even in the recap so I'm not even going to try here.
Going back to the awards ceremony, Joan and Pete see Ken with an exec from Bird's Eye, an account I believe Ken used to manage at the old SC. The exec alludes to the old team getting back together, and later, when Pete confronts Pryce, he confirms that Ken is indeed going to be bringing his accounts over to SCDP. Pete is understandably furious, but Pryce seems to mollify him a bit by telling him that he knows Pete's been shouldering all the Accounts work due to the fact that Roger is, for all intents and purposes, a child. However, Pete won't rest easy until he efficiently and awesomely lets Ken know who the boss between them is, and I'm starting to think Pete Campbell getting his name on the door might not have to wait until Season Five.
Don, Roger, and Joan go out to celebrate their win, and Don ends up spending a lost weekend full of cheap booze and cheaper women that's only interrupted by an irate phone call from Betty, who chews him out for flaking on picking up the kids when she and Henry had an important brunch to go to. When Don realizes that he basically doesn't remember anything for the last two days, he…drinks some more, and then Peggy shows up at his door and informs him of what he did in the meeting and orders him to fix it. When Don gets in on Monday, Danny's there waiting for him, and he basically leaves Don little choice but to hire him if he wants to keep his idea. The thing that ties it all together is one last flashback that tells us Roger only hired Don when he was blackout drunk himself, and if this episode is to be believed, Don is following right behind Roger on the path to obscurity. Well, obscurity and cirrhosis, but you already knew that second part.
Anyway, the sadly proud author of these, er, "campaigns" is named Danny Siegel, but you may well better know him as Danny Strong, the actor who played the always nerdy, often hilarious, and eventually doomed Jonathan on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and it's been around eight years since I recapped him in that role. Well, if I'm going to be all nostalgic, it's a good thing I picked a flashback episode.
Don basically shows off to Peggy in making fun of Danny, who's too clueless to notice, and Peggy tries to take him seriously in asking if he has any experience, but Danny instead is like "Roger Roger Sterling Roger Sterling Sterling Roger," so we can take the point that he's not exactly here on his own power. Don then notices that Danny has the famous Volkswagen "Lemon" ad in his book, and Danny tells him that everyone loves it, because it's the opposite of what you would expect. "That's what I'm interested in." Well, I will admit that your particular combination of being simultaneously pompous and pathetic is pretty far off the beaten track.
He goes on to ask if they never tear things out of magazines, and Don tells him sure, but he doesn't put them in his book, and at this point even Peggy is having a hard time keeping a straight face, so Danny adopts more of a pleading tone and says he's a "twenty-four-year-old kid," and Peggy saves me the trouble by casting a "He's twenty-four like I'm confirmation age" side-eye Don's way. Danny goes on that he knows he's got a lot to learn, but he's a hard worker and would even sweep up the floors around there. "I don't know if Roger told you that -- did he talk to you?" Sorry, Danny, but Roger was too busy trying to find the cure for the common vodka.