This week has been insanely busy for me, with friends visiting and finals approaching, so it took me a long time to finally watch this Sunday's Mad Men and even more to find some free time to write about it. Nevertheless, I did find the time and here are some quick late thoughts on "Man With a Plan".
The Rise and Fall of Don Draper
Last week we so the ultimate expression of Don's ability to mold his life on the spot no matter what. His most impulsive ways both nearly killed the firm when he fired Jaguar and then saved it when he proposed the merger with CGC. This week, on the other hand, we a get the fallout this kind of behavior has on someone like Don Draper. He is an enormously talented man when it comes to find creative ways to get out of trouble, but he is also well aware of his talents which makes him a very narcissistic and selfish person. He might seem like the coolest guy in the room (or at least he looked like it in the first couple seasons of the show), but by now we know everything with Don is about being great all the time. It's all about the moment and it's all about him being the greatest. In that sense he is not that far away from Pete Campbell.
When the agencies merge, he feels like he is the man making it happen, like he is in full control and his ego bursts. He is not only getting Chevy, he is also getting a bigger agency and he is also getting Peggy. He needs to feel in control at all costs, so when he sees how Teddy is such a nice guy while being a really competent boss, he decides to get him drunk so that he'll make a fool of himself (just like he got Roger drunk after he flirted with Betty back in Season One's "Red in the Face"). When Peggy left the agency, she chose Teddy over Don and now that Don sees how different, yet great and successful Ted is when compared to him...
I guess Don is out to take all of his omnipotent feelings with Sylvia. He gets particularly kinky and rough in that hotel room, letting her trapped there waiting for him. Does he want to have complete control over her? Just last week he got incredibly aroused when Megan called him "superman". Don is at his most narcissistic and his little game of power leaves him without Sylvia. As she leaves after dreaming about Don dying and she going back to her husband, he holds on to her hand just like he held on to Peggy's when she left last season. More than ever control is slipping from Don's hands. His new agency has an incredible new leader in Teddy, one approved by his own protégée. His lover is leaving him and at the end of the day he sits and tunes out while listening to Megan, whom he thought would cure all his problems when he married her, but is now just a woman he doesn't care about.
Bob and Joan?
Bob Benson finally got something to do this week, as he took Joan to the hospital and some sparks of romance were clearly visible. Now, Joan might very well be right when she says he just did it to secure his job (and the deed actually ended up securing him his job when Joan spoke well of him at the partners' meeting). The possibility of him being a sociopath just wanting to move up at all cost is possible, but he seems like such a nice guy in those scenes, I can't help but just hope that Joan could find love in him, because if there's anything I always root for in this series, is for Joan to be happy.