Mad Men delivered a taut episode this week that gave us a bigger taste of things to come as well as answering the questions of where Don Draper stands in the firm after having been placed on leave.
Don gets a call from Megan's agent saying that she had begged for a second reading from a director and that it could be taken as inappropriate. His concern is to get Don to help him so Don takes the first flight out (and knows the attendant by name no less) and surprises Megan at home. Their quickie turned into an incredible scene between them as she asks him to leave. I truly thought this was the end of them as a couple and we would see Don spiral out of control like he did back in Season 4. Although not telling her something that big when she decided to up and move to LA was a big mistake Don and she has every right to be angry at you for you. Don gets a job offer from a rival firm and takes it to Roger. Don asks him if he should take it or return to SC&P and Roger caves and asks him to come back. Don reports to work on Monday but Roger actually didn't tell anybody else about his decision which led to some profoundly difficult moments between characters. I'm surprised that Joan was so unwilling to let Don come back after only having done the one Hershey mishap. No matter how much they billed as an account I don't buy in the slightest that she would have any reason to be so cold about letting Don return to work given their friendship in previous times. Avery is still a slimy dude, but one that is kind of rightfully concerned about his job having seen Don return to the fold. I really don't care for Avery at all but he did after all sign a contract. The generational differences really show here as Peggy was ice cold to Don. "We can't say we missed While Ginsberg, Stan, and the rest of the young blood were happy to see their fearless leader supposedly return (although with Avery in charge that's no surprise). The contrast comes in when Bert, Joan, and Cutler find out about Don's "return" and vote against it. Roger fighting so firmly for Don was nice to see given all they've been through together over the years and that Don hasn't burned every bridge in his professional life. Roger manages to convince them that if they do fire Don then as a partner they would have to buy him out of his shares and in the long run that would be financially unwise for the firm. Kind of funny how everyone thought Don's "leave" meant entirely different things and how the subject was just left hanging for so long with no changes. They draft an addendum to Don's contract saying he can't be left alone with clients, drink during work hours, and that he gets Lane Pryce's old office (lucky him), and that he now works under Avery (poor him). Don gives a what-the-hell approach and agrees. It'll be nice to see Don, if he's up to it, take SC&P by storm again by being in a creative capacity again after having given Freddy Rumsen some of his great copy in the season premiere and whether he can prove that he'd still worth a damn to his co-workers (some of which have forsaken him to no end such as Peggy). But this new climate change is something Don needs in addition to his newfound no cheating and other things about his life he is trying to turn around. I like that Megan and he end up unresolved (at least not totally broken up given their phone conversation) at the end of the episode and that it seems like Don is trying his best to "get back to work" as he says. Also, Betty went on a field trip and Betty-ed it up as usual so I'm not going to go into it.
In closing, Mad Men delivered the best new episode in quite some time as we saw Don's job status get discussed and we as well as him truly returned to the fold of SC&P for the close-out of 1969 and this incredible show.
-Harry Crane's a pathological liar. I wish they could mine some more out of that in the future.
-Also Harry Crane's office looks like it belongs to a history professor at a university, not the head of the media department.