'Mad Men' Recap: Joan's Big Break Changes Everything for Good

joan harris tale of two citiesAll season long, there's been buzz that we were swiftly approaching a revolution on Mad Men. One in which the women would finally be stepping up to the plate in a major way. But so far, the ways in which Peggy, Joan, Megan, and even Betty have asserted themselves have been fairly subtle -- like Joan working her way up the corporate ladder, becoming a partner, asserting her right to be a married and working woman, walking away from a bad marriage and then wrapping her ex around her little finger respectively -- until now. Until this week's episode, "A Tale of Two Cities" and ... Joan's big deal!

Upon taking what she thought was supposed to be a date lunch with a connection via Mary Kay rep/friend Kate, she discovered it was actually a business lunch -- with Andy, the new head of marketing at Avon Cosmetics. Score one pretty, amazing lead for SDCP SDCPCGC. (That is an unfortunate mouthful!)


After hooking the possible business, Joan decided she wasn't willing to shrink into the wallpaper and let Pete step in to officially "reel in" the account. It's her connection after all. Her business. Her big break to BE the "account man." And she's sure as hell earned the right to!

Nonetheless, she knew she'd have to take a risk to get the outcome she was hoping for. She had to squeeze Pete out of the followup meeting order to keep from getting "knocked off the diving board," as she put it. Annoyingly, Peggy is no fan of rule-breaking -- at least initially. Just like she was calling Abe out for not siding with the cops when he was mugged last week, she called Joan out for taking an unconventional road. Ugh, I just wanted to shake her! But when of course Pete threw a hissy fit upon learning he was squeezed out and called Ted in to give Joan a talking-to, Peggy redeemed herself by sending Meredith in with a fake message that Avon called for Joan. Amaaaazing!

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Telling her to go for it and being left in the conference room with a pouty Pete, Ted told him, "Possession is 9/10 of the law" and "All agency business is your business." The boys' club this office used to be is clearly NO MORE. Hallelujah! Amazing -- and also, oh-so-entertaining to watch.

Speaking of entertaining, how 'bout when Don -- out in L.A. (the second city referenced by the title) with Roger and Harry to do biz with Sunkist, Carnation, and "Big Avocado" -- tripped on hashish and imagined Hippie Megan showed up, said she didn't mind him making out with a blonde, because "everyone shares" in California, and proceeded to tell him she was pregnant? (OMG, anyone looking for more Sharon Tate evidence is gonna have a FIELD day with that!) Also loved Roger's nonstop, backasswards sexist-albeit-hilarious witticisms, like how he'd like to eat that hot blonde in a hot pink mini-dress for lunch, ha!

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, Pete Campbell and his toke off what Bob Benson (who it seems Ginsberg thinks is gay, by the way ... ?!) would call a "funny cigarette," set to the tune of "Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin! Classic moment right there. I'm thinking Weiner's song choice had something to do with a certain lyric ... "I'm gonna show you, baby, that a woman can be tough." Because that's exactly what Joan did to Pete. BOOM!

Did you find this episode one of the most entertaining of the season? Were you applauding Joan, too?


Image via AMC

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