'Mad Men' Recap: Don Draper Is Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Jeanne Sager
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Mad MenEveryone at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce had a case of me first and the gimme gimmes this Sunday night on Mad Men.

Don Draper's interviewing a potential employee with Peggy Olson's help, and young Danny's portfolio is a handful of the same slogan, plus a few ads that belong to other people that he just sort of borrowed.

Be prepared for a whole lot of "who gets credit" story lines.

So what if he's Jane Siegel's cousin, every time Danny name-drops Roger, "Sterling" falls like a lead balloon. And in case Don doesn't understand the ramifications of saying no to hiring Jane's cousin, Roger lays it out for him -- he's going to have to buy baubles in the $500 to $1,000 range.

And since we're talking numbers, Peggy lets one slip -- she's just 25.

Roger, meanwhile, is old. Old enough to be writing his memoirs. Which focus heavily on his childhood and sad references to Laurel and Hardy vs. Charlie Chaplin. And flashbacks to a younger dapper Don Draper working Sterling over as a fur coat salesman who happens to dabble in making up the store's ads.

Roger the codger wants to buy a chinchilla to make up for being a bad boy, but Don talks up a mink shawl and Sterling walks out with it. He leaves behind his card, which the smiling Don (yes, we said he smiles) thinks is for him to talk up advertising, but Roger really wants him to use it to ship the coat.

The coat arrives, and it's for Joan Holloway -- remember, it's a flashback, this is pre-Mrs. Harris -- and she'll always remember the night she received it when she wore it. Wonder if that includes the mock-up ad for Play-Doh the scrambling fur salesman stuck in the box?

Back in the '60s, Don's up for a CLIO Award for his Glo-Coat ad, and he's bringing Roger, Joan, and Pete to the awards show. Not Peggy.

While they're waiting for the afternoon show to kick off, they plan to pitch the Quaker Oats company in LIFE, but the cereal makers are late, so it's time to break out the booze. Except for Peggy; she's got work to do with the new creative director.

It's bottoms up at the CLIOs, except Pete Campbell can't get over running into his old nemesis Ken Cosgrove, whose buddy lets slip something about the old team getting back together.

Pete's worried the first company he finally made partner in is merging without him, but Don's not in the mood to talk. He's holding Joan's one hand under the table while Roger squeezes the other, waiting for Duck Phillips to stop his inebriated rant and let the award announcements begin.

Surprise, surprise, Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce FTW! But there's no time to celebrate, the LIFE Cereal boys made it to town, and they want to meet. Sober Pete says no, but a drunken Don is all for it.

Peggy's not happy. She's stuck working with new art director Stanley Rizzo, who thinks his promo for President Johnson featuring the KKK was his finest work ever, and she's the one who did most of the work on Don's Glo-Coat ad. Now she's stuck working on Vick's all weekend, and no one has patted her on the back.

Alcohol finally catches up with Don. First he flubs the Life Cereal pitch, shooting them the Danny kid's tired advertising catchphrase -- "Life Cereal, the cure for the common breakfast" -- which they like (ouch). Then he turns on the Draper charm for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce's new marketing consultant, Dr. Miller, only to have the doctor shut him down. Sorry Don, the psychologist has your number.

Pete's still sober, and he seeks out the only other partner who is to find out the buzz on Cosgrove: Lane Pryce. The bean counter is hoping to bring back Cosgrove because Roger's increasingly useless, and Ken's got big accounts (Mountain Dew!).

In case carrying Pete's demon spawn wasn't enough, Peggy proves she's not a prude by stripping nude to get the attention of Rizzo. The point is to get some work done, but Rizzo can't handle Peggy picking on his boner. He calls her a smug bitch and hits the bathroom. She grins and offers to get some eats. 

An advertising exec who sought out Don at the bar goes home with him and gives him a hummer -- to the tune of "The Star Spangled Banner." But it's a party that must have gone on for two days, suddenly Betty's on the phone screaming at him for failing to show up to pick up the kids (she's got a do with Gramps), and there's someone new in the bed.

And she's calling him Dick?

Fortunately (?) Don gets some sleep before Peggy shows up to put the capper on the weekend -- she reminds him he stole the kid's crappy line. And LIFE loved it.

To make matters worse, he can't find his CLIO. And he now has to offer Danny money for his idea. But Danny says no go. He wants a job.

He's not the only one getting a new home at the firm. Pete makes nice with Cosgrove, but he wants credit for bringing him in -- he sends Lane out of the room.

Speaking of credit, Roger's still flashing back. He remembers a certain fur salesman showing up at the Sterling Cooper building and offering to take him out for a morning drink. And then showing up all ready for work, even though Sterling can't remember hiring him. Is this a temperance ad set in the '60s?

Roger's hiding Don's CLIO statuette, but he's not handing it over until he gets a little admission from Draper that he wouldn't be here without him.

Have you been waiting for the drinks to catch up with the Madison Avenue gang?

 

Image via AMC

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