'Mad Men' Recap: Why I'm Quitting Tobacco

Cary Fagan

draperDon Draper and all of the other Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce partners are in a tizzy. The fallout from losing Lucky Strike continues and the admen are wildly scrambling for new business. The Heinz referral from Dr. Faye doesn't pan out and a lead to market a cigarette aimed at women turns out to be a leverage play by Philip Morris to sweeten their deal with another agency. Don et al need cash STAT.

Money guy Lane Pryce comes to the rescue with a last-minute reprieve: Each partner needs to cough up cash ($100K for senior partners; $50K for juniors). That coupled with substantial layoffs would buy them six more months with the bank.

The guys all agree. Pete goes home and tells Trudy that he is contractually obligated to ante up or lose his partnership. Mama Grizzly Trudy will have none of that. She likens SCDP to the Titanic and forbids Pete to sink any money into the train wreck of an agency.

 "And don't even think about asking my father."


Don's desperate and pulls a predictably Draper left turn when he sits down, lights a cigarette, and proceeds to write ... an ad. An ad denouncing the tobacco industry and claiming that SCDP is damn proud that it no longer represent such a filthy, reprehensible product. When his words hit The New York Times the next morning, the partners are not happy. Not. At. All. Don is of course stunned that they don't recognize his genius. It seems to him that his secretary Megan is the only one who gets it when she muses, "I know that it's about, he didn't dump me, I dumped him."

The competition has a field day, pulling pranks ("RFK calling") and leaving thank-you-for-the-extra-business messages. But even worse, Bertram Cooper asks for his shoes! He's done.

A sliver of a silver lining: The American Cancer Society calls with business. It's a PSA, but hell, beggars can't be choosers. And Don secretly ponies up Pete's $50K. Sometimes payback is not a bitch.

There are lots of "meanwhiles":

Dr. Edna feels that Sally only needs to come see her once a week. Because smart Dr. Edna realizes that it's in fact Betty who's the nut-job, not her daughter. The good doc tries to get the elder Draper into real therapy -- with a real shrink --  but to no avail. Betty discovers Sally's covert relationship with Glen and is not happy. (Gotta say, I agree. Creepy kid.) Like, really not happy. She tells Henry that they need to move. Henry's thrilled. Sally's not. She runs upstairs to her bed, crying. Betty, true to form, states warmly, "She'll get over it."

Bad news: Dr. Faye's market research company values the tobacco industry and would very much like to do business with it someday, so they've pulled the plug on their relationship with SDCP. The good news? She and Draper can now date openly.

Midge is back! Don bumps into his artist amour from Season 1 in the lobby. She invites him to come over to her place and meet her new husband. (Nah ... it's not romantic. They just got married for the bread.) Don accepts and arrives to an overly exuberant welcome from Midge's playwright hubby Harry, who immediately tries to pressure Don to buy one of his wife's paintings, in the process letting it slip that Midge purposely tracked him down. Don demurs, but provides 10 bucks for Harry to go food shopping for dinner. (Chicken Cordon Bleu!) While he's out, Midge confesses that Harry is just going to use the money to score drugs. Turns out the couple are both junkies. Don pities her and gives her $120 for one of her pieces. (Sigh ... I loved Midge. This breaks my heart.)

And that's all she wrote.

What did you think of this week's episode?

Image via amc.com

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