One of the more curious things about Don Draper's life (aside from the whole robotic detachment from humanity thing) is his modest surroundings. Eschewing the allure of both champagne wishes AND caviar dreams, Don seems pretty content with his suburban spread a normal sized house that doesn't even have a roller coaster in the backyard. Keep in mind this guy has been a partner at a major Madison Avenue ad agency for at least a year now, so the fact that the Drapers weren't even members of that country club they visited last week just seems
a little odd. But forget all that, because this week Don Draper is moving on up. Not into some dee-luxe apartment in the sky, mind you, but by purchasing a BRAND! NEW! CAR!!
He's at a Cadillac dealership where, on Roger's advice, he's checking out a 1962 Coupe DeVille that, according to the salesman, "does everything except make breakfast." Really. Tell it I'll have the steak and shrimp then. This salesman is busting out all his best lines. The Draper family's Dodge, he says, is "fine if you're going somewhere. This is for when you've already arrived." Poetic.
And in perhaps the unlikeliest flashback cue in this show's history, we're transported to where a slightly younger Don is seated at a much less prestigious desk sometime in the 1950s. Oh man. I bet we're about to get another deep insight into Don's dark past. Here it comes. He
He sold used cars. Yeah, apparently our hero's first foray into the business world involved using sellspeak just as cheesy and hackneyed as the Cadillac stooge, hence the nostalgia. So we're at this dealership a decade prior, and just when you thought the whole Dick Whitman saga had been laid to rest forever, it rears its blonde head in the form of a lady who strolls in looking for "Donald Draper." Once she gets a good look at Don, however, she decides it's not really him, and exits. Interesting.
Back in the present, this flashback for whatever reason makes Don say "no" to the salesman.
"I don't hear that often," the man says, forgetting to add "when I'm at work, at least."
At Sterling Cooper, Roger is outside of Don's office, talking to his hot new receptionist, Jane. He makes a crack about her ugly outfit, because if "The Pick-Up Artist" has taught us anything, it's that women love to be mildly insulted, even by guys in ridiculous hats.
Anyway this may seems like typical Roger behavior at first, but pay attention, because this is actually interoffice flirtation with a side of foreshadowing.
In other news, those (allegedly) hotshot young ad guys from earlier this season are back around the office, so that's pretty irritating. (P.S. You can tell they're hip because they talk like Tobey Maguire during that jazz club scene in "Spider-Man 3.")
Don walks out to meet them, interrupting their harassment of Jane, which was much less suave than Roger's harassment of Jane. Also worth mentioning is that at this point it's about 10 minutes into the episode and Jane has been hit on no less than 34 times, which still doesn't seem like enough.
The little twerps are meeting with Don about some coffee account, and their ideas sound atrocious. (Then again, the client ends up loving it, so what the fuck do I know? I'm just an advertising copywriter.)
Later, Harry Crane is bragging to the boys about an upcoming meeting with Bertram Cooper over his fancy new job title, being in charge of what Cooper calls "that flickering picture box that shows moving images of cowboys," or "Head of Television" for short. The conversation eventually turns to an expensive new painting that's hanging in Cooper's office. Revealing a heretofore unseen mischievous streak, Jane tells the guys she's gonna sneak in there to see it, as Cooper has gone home for the evening. Intrigued, and very turned on (Sal notwithstanding), they all follow her. "I feel like we're skinny dipping!" one of them says. Only no one takes off their clothes and DOESN'T EVEN HAVE SEX WITH ANYBODY ALL SUMMER STREETER WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.
Anyway, they stand around and discuss the painting (Jane's accurate review: "It's a bunch of smudgy squares."), unable to decide if Bertram really likes it, or if he just put it there to mess with people who SAY they like it. Meanwhile the fact that this is even something to legitimately ponder is proof of just how awesome Bertram is.
The troublemakers make it back out of the office safely, and Sal, Ken and Jane take the elevator down together. Jane laments "We could have stolen that, you know," apparently unaware that for a heist like that, you need at least eleven people. Cosgrove brags to Jane about being a published author, and Sal reveals that he love, love, LOVED Ken's FABULOUS short story about that maple tree or whatever. Sal is smitten with Kenneth Cosgrove. Not the most sensible choice, but the heart wants what the heart wants, I guess.
The next day at the office, Joan interrogates Paul about their little caper. He claims he had nothing to do with it.
Flattered by his positive review, Cosgrove approaches Sal to critique another story he's written. Sal said he'll do it as long as Ken comes over for dinner. "You're not like everyone else around here, are you?" Ken says, making him the first person at Sterling Cooper to ever, ever notice that.
Next is the big meeting with the coffee execs. Time for these young guys to shine, right? Not really. Like I said, everything they do is lame and horrible and un-Draper-like. "It's delicious and it's hot and it's brown!" one of them says, which sounds less like a coffee slogan than a quote from Two Girls, One Cup. Then they play everyone this terrible, terrible song that's supposed to convey the coffee's "mood." The execs are left pretty baffled by the entire presentation, but eventually kind of concede that they're old and possibly no longer understand kids these days.
Harry meets with Bertram about his fancy new Head of TV job, where he opts to bring up the new painting. "What do you think of [the artist, Mark Rothko]?" Harry asks. "No one has ever asked me that," Bertram replies. Promising. Harry smiles. Then Cooper adds: "probably because it's none of their business." Whoops. Bertram lets on that the main reason he was interested in it is because it's supposed to double in value by next year. Also Ayn Rand probably breathed on it or something.
The phone rings at the Draper house, interrupting Betty from bitching at Sally about something. It's Jimmy Barrett, inviting the lady Draper (with or without her husband) to an event celebrating his new show. I thought they already had a party for that the one that ended with Don upside down and bleeding but I guess famous people like to celebrate a lot. Jimmy is pretty forward with Betty, so she gets off the phone. A paradigm of marital fidelity, she only likes to indulge the flirtations of strange men to a slightly uncomfortable extent. No further!
Duck comes into Don's office to let him know they've won the coffee account, thanks to the youth factor. These two really do seem to have put their differences behind them, which brings kind of an anticlimactic end to a plotline I kind of thought would last all season. Oh well.
Don then meets with Bertram and Roger, who inform him that "hobnobbing" just became part of his job description. "You're going to be wearing your tuxedo a lot more," Bertram says. Don immediately goes back to the dealership and buys the car, inconvenient flashbacks be damned. Betty loves it. "It's like the cockpit of a jet," she says. Obviously Betty has never seen the cockpit of a jet, because it looks a lot more like the driver's seat of a car.
Back at work, Joan corners Jane at her desk and questions her about breaking into Bertram's office. Jane insists, with surprising conviction and without missing a beat, that it was the guys who "made me do it." But Joan, also a woman, knows women always lie about everything. Jane not only denies involvement, but flashes some attitude, and is promptly fired for her trouble. "I'm going to the break room to find your replacement," Joan says. "See that you're gone by the time I return."
On her way out, Jane shrewdly takes a moment to drop by Roger's office, and ever so subtly lets him know that it was Joan who fired her. Clever girl. Roger says to come back on Monday, and that by then he will have smoothed everything over, hopefully by fucking some forgiveness out of Joan.
At Sal's house, his wife Kitty adjusts his tie while he complains that Ken is late. He's so nervous! (P.S. As beards go, she's a damn sight better-looking than that thing hanging off Paul's face.) When Ken finally arrives, he asks Sal if he liked the story. "Yes, he wouldn't stop talking about it!" Kitty says, opining that if Ken becomes a famous writer, they'll be able to say he dined in their home once. "I'm going to be eating here all the time!" Ken says, to which Sal smiles like the freaking Grinch. He can't stop staring at Ken over dinner, and as they finish he pours him the last of the wine. Ken complains a little about his current lot in life, like how he's stuck as an account exec while his heart longs to write. "My cousin has an advertising agency up in Montreal," Kitty offers. "Oh, he's not interested in that," Sal says, which sounds more like "Bitch!"
Cosgrove, either sensing something's slightly amiss or feeling Sal's hand creep up his thy, is all, "Hey how about I get the fuck out of here?" to which Sal is like, "YOU CAN'T!" (Seriously, he really did yell that.) Geez Salvatore, tone it down next time. Your erection is lifting up the table. After Ken runs away screaming, Kitty fusses at Sal about not letting her add to the conversation, and he's like "You're still here?"
The Draper family, meanwhile, decides to spend the next scene hanging out in a Norman Rockwell painting of a ridiculously idyllic picnic. Don complains that Sally isn't looking at the clouds. "I'd rather play with Silly Putty," Sally says. "YOU LOOK LIKE SILLY PUTTY YOU FAT FREAK!" Betty says in her mind. "Are we rich?" Sally asks. "It's not polite to talk about money," Betty says. "But yes. Very."
At work the next day, Sal tells Ken that he "enjoyed having him," while presumably imagining that that's what actually happened.
Joan slinks up to the somehow-still-working-here Jane's desk with her increasingly ridiculous walk. (Anybody else notice that Red is putting on a little weight?) "What on God's green Earth are you doing here?" she demands. Jane tells her about her talk with Roger, and Joan is furious. But hey, at least she has someone new to hate. Lois is long gone, and Peggy doesn't give her as much ammo as she used to.
Betty and Don hit up the party, and hey look, it's Bobbie. After Don left her hanky-tied to a bed frame last week, I assumed (hoped) she was a rat-eaten skeleton by now. Jimmy walks up to Betty and starts laying his schtick on her, in the hopes of laying his stick on her. From where they're sitting, they can see Don and Bobbie standing together at the bar. "What do you think happened between the two of them?" Jimmy asks. Betty doesn't like what he's implying, no matter how obviously true it may be. "I don't like people like you," she says before storming out. "You're ugly and cruel." "People like me?" he says. "You mean comedians??" Jimmy confronts Don and tells him that he hates him, "but it's OK, because you brought me everything that I wanted." Then he tells him he knows, and calls Don trash. Don doesn't look like he disagrees.
On the way home, everything Betty wants to say about Don's cheating comes up like word vomit, except that it's actual vomit. Betty throws up all over the brand new jet cockpit.
- First Peggy puts a boot in her face on the way up the corporate ladder, now she gets outsmarted by Jane? Joan really needs to start hiring dumber secretaries.
Jimmy to Don: "I laugh at you. I go home at night, and I laugh at you. You don't screw another man's wife. You're garbage, and you know it."