'Mad Men' Recap: Don & Peggy's Agencies Head For A Merger
Mad Men returned on Sunday with Don Draper (Jon Hamm) at a dinner meeting with Herb from Jaguar. The dinner, which was meant to mend the often tumultuous relationship, instead ends with Don cutting the relationship all together. Megan's mother, who attended the dinner in the hopes of meeting Roger (John Slattery), is miffed that he never showed up. When Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) learns of the Jaguar loss he throws a tantrum, incensed at what he believes is Don's recklessness. Pete's own recklessness, however, has its own consequences. When he runs into his father-in-law, who also happens to head Stirling Cooper Draper Pryce client Vicks, at a whorehouse, the agency looses another major account.
When Roger's absence from the Jaguar dinner is explained, the loss of the two accounts is partially made up. After seducing a flight attendant and doing some recon, he manages to sweet talk a Chevrolet executive into letting SCDP pitch an ad campaign for the car manufacturer's new vehicle. Don is uncharacteristically enthusiastic upon hearing the good news, while Pete is still stewing about Don's impulsive decision about the Jaguar account. Joan (Christina Hendricks), who slept with Herb to become a partner at the firm, tells Don she is tired of him making decisions for all of them.
At Cutler Gleason and Chaough, Ted (Kevin Rahm) tells Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) that Frank's (Jack Laufer) cancer diagnosis has him worried about the prospects of the firm, and his own creative process. After the confession, he briefly lands a kiss on Peggy.
Don and Megan's (Jessica Pare) marriage continues to be on the rocks. In an attempt to reignite their sex life, Megan, on advice from her mother, uses her sexuality to win back Don's interest. Megan isn't aware that Don has returned to his philandering ways, and his mistress is noticeably absent throughout the episode. Although the mistress' husband, Dr. Rosen (Brian Markinson), confides in Don on an elevator ride up to their apartments that he's quitting his current position. When Rosen reveals that his reason for leaving has to do with a lack of opportunity to perform cutting-edge operations, Don unpityingly replies that life's about making your own opportunities.
While Don and Megan might be headed for a return to marital bliss, Pete and Trudy's (Alison Brie) marriage seems to be nearing its end. When Pete tries to explain away his whorehouse visit, Trudy doesn't buy his excuses – he's made his own choices, and he'll have to deal with the consequences.
When Don runs into Ted at a Detroit hotel bar, Ted reveals that CGC is also in talks with Chevrolet. They come to the realization that both of their petite agencies have similar strengths that make them a natural competitor. In order for either agency to get the business they want, they come to the conclusion that with their joint creative strengths and a bigger firm to pitch them they'd have more success. Don and Ted decide to merge and pitch the merger to Chevy, who bites at the prospect.
The closing scene is Peggy typing up a press release to announce the new firm, hence the episode's title, "For Immediate Release."
Mad Men airs on AMC Sundays at 10/9c.
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