Outside, Sal tries to get more information out of Harry, and then ends up following him into Don's office. Don is no less nonplussed than Roger over why Lee Jr. went to Harry, and no less angry about the end result: "That's a twenty-five million dollar account you stuck your nose in, Crane." Wow. Now I kind of want to fire Harry. Funny how money works. Don dismisses Harry, but Sal stays behind, and when Don asks for more information, and Sal babbles about what just happened and suggests if he stays away from Lucky Strike and Roger, everything will be fine, Don says he understands what happened that day, but what was Lee Jr.'s problem in the first place that resulted in this situation? Sal takes ages to get to it, which is not helping his case with Don, but he finally tells him that Lee Jr. was drunk and "cornered" him, and he "backed him off" and told him he was married, and "he was embarrassed" and left. Don takes a moment, and then opines, "You must have been really shocked." This is Sal's last chance, here, but not picking up on the dangerous tone in Don's voice, Sal too-eagerly agrees that he was. Don continues, the menace in his voice rising: "But nothing happened. Because nothing could have happened, because you're married." As often happens on this show, I think there are several things going on here, and they're really an echo of what was going on between Lee Jr. and Sal, because Sal is fucking up in the exact same way. One, Don doesn't appreciate Sal hiding behind his marriage on general principles, given that he and so many people of his generation are regular philanderers. Two, given what Don knows about Sal, both that he likes men and that he in fact has cheated on his wife, he doesn't appreciate Sal's disingenuous denials, taking them as one step away from being called an idiot. And three, tying the two points together, it's a twenty-five million-dollar account, and since we know Sal likes dick, Don thinks he should have, if you will, taken one for the team. Once again, Sal's self-loathing has bitten him in the ass, as he catches on way too late, asking if he should have just done what Lee Jr. wanted. "What if it was some girl?" Don icily says that that would depend on what kind of girl it was and what he knew about her, and wow, that is tough to watch, there. He adds, "You people," shaking his head, and my visceral reaction was that he was talking about gays, but I decided upon reflection that that makes no sense; I think, in light of his Peggy-bashing and his attitude in the earlier meeting, that he's talking about the Creative people -- in his view, this incident is confirming in his mind that he can't rely on them for anything. Sal, already halfway to Humpty Dumpty territory, quivers that he didn't do anything wrong, but Don, more evenly, says that Lucky Strike could shut off SC's lights, and when he stands, adds that he thinks Sal knows this is the way it has to be. He shakes Sal's hand and, seeming to mean it, says he'll do fine, and Sal, tears in his eyes, manages to nod before making his way out. Absolutely brutal exchange to watch, like getting punched in the gut, and incredibly acted as always. Once Sal's gone, Don tells Allison via intercom to get him Lee Garner Jr., and it would be poetic justice indeed if the client insisted that Don make up for Sal's failure to please him, no?
Episode Report CardCouch Baron: A- | 2058 USERS: B-
YOU GRADE IT