Mad Men Recap: Not Ready Yet

On Sunday night’s episode of Mad Men “The Tale of Two Cities,” Don and Roger head to the west coast to pitch to a few clients; and Joan tries to hold down the fort back at the newly named Sterling Cooper and Partners.

Don Draper and Roger Sterling find themselves on the west coast for a very unprepared pitch to a number of clients, carnation milk included. This week highlighted the totally different encountera Don and Roger dealt with on the West coast compared to back home in New York City. In California, we are introduced to the entire stereotype of 1969 – hippies, drugs, and free spirits. Yet, what transpires there is not nearly as bad as what’s happened back at home base…

Joan accidentally came in contact with a prospective client with large billings: AVON cosmetics. She thought she was on her way to a date, but instead got wrapped up in a client pitch. This season has been particularly harsh for Joan, as she is the number one victim to the glass ceiling. She is treated like a secretary despite being a partner at the agency — and is starting to reveal some jealousy towards Peggy, showing that she is certainly not content with her job description right now.

Pete Campbell tried to make his usual swoop in on the client, but Joan was highly resistant. She didn’t want to see her “big break” taken away from her – and can you blame her? This is the only opportunity she’s had to move on from her mundane work as a head secretary/babysitter/coffee maker (seriously, her job lacks excitement or importance).

In the end, Peggy’s not so amused by a management-free client lunch, and is far more supportive of having Pete there to really hone in on the agency details. It seemed like Joan was mistaken to have reled on Peggy at this client meeting.

Back on the West Coast, Don overdid it on the drugs in free spirited Cali livin’ and almost drowned… after having a hallucination about a pregnant Megan Draper leading him around. Does this foreshadow to something? Megan was pregnant earlier in the season and her miscarriage really upset her. Still, this would be the wrong time for those two to have a kid.

One of the more important things to take away from this episode is the level of unpreparedness everyone seemed to have. Joan went on a blind date only to find out it was a potential client, Don had no pitch or notes on any of the clients he saw in California and Peggy was taken to a lunch with a client without any real structure or guidance from an account manager.

Perhaps the “officialness” of the newly named Sterling Cooper and Partners hasn’t sunken in yet…

This post was originally written for SWAY the Blog

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