Mad Men-For Immediate Release-Jon Hamm and John Slattery

If you thought last week’s episode slowed momentum, you were wrong. Mad Men‘s barely giving you time to catch your breath. “For Immediate Release” changed the face of the business we love, in more ways than one. 

The Players:

  • Director: Jennifer Getzinger
  • Writer: Matthew Weiner
  • Cast: Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Elisabeth Moss, Robert Morse, Rich Sommer, Aaron Staton, Kiernan Shipka, Christopher Stanley, Jessica Parè, Jay R. Ferguson, Ben Feldman, James Wolk, Kevin Rahm, Julie Ormond, Alison Brie

Episode Title: “For Immediate Release”

Rogers new method to find clients is somewhat successful while Pete deal with family drama.

The Good:

  • The New World: What began with a clandestine meeting about a public offering for SCDP ended with a new agency.  That would have been an interesting avenue until the market cooled. It’s much better that Bert, Joan and Pete kept the news from Don long enough for him to fire Jaguar. Although he had no idea, Don exists in a professional bullet-proof bubble making Roger’s Chevy announcement as predictable as it was surprising. No one dreamed that CGC would merge with SCDP when Ted sat down with Don. It worked, Chevy belongs to their nameless agency, and now we’ll enjoy the drama as the two titans try to cohabitate.
  • For Naught: For those that find Joan’s contribution to the company a secretarial manager and Jaguar bedfellow, the first two minutes dispelled that misconception. Her books made the pursuit of the public offering an initial success and reminded others that without Joan SCDP wouldn’t exist. Her brief moment in the sun barely mattered once the Jaguar news set in. Take note: Joan is one of the few people that can effectively dress down the headstrong Draper. Knowing her sacrifice was pushed aside was a reminder that business is an ever changing beast. When you auction off your body for the company, you do so knowing that the weight of your contribution will be forgotten by everyone but you.
  • Cast Out: In Pete Campbell’s world, the only right thing to do is whatever best serves his interests. The seemingly achieved idea of a public offering was the stuff of his dreams and fire for his libido. Though Trudy seemed more amiable, her hesitancy drove him to a prostitute and the sight of his father-in-law engaging in the same proclivities. Ken’s idea of protection because of mutually assured destructions dissipated when his in-law pulled his business deal sans explanation. Outing his father-in-law got him kicked out of his house permanently, just like his public chastisement of Don was forgotten almost immediately. Though the company is still intact, Pete’s psyche took another bruising inching him closer to what we’ve yet to imagine.
  • Gratefulness: What began as content with her mismatched relationship has evolved into Peggy’s complete dissatisfaction with Abe.  They’ve already purchased a place more appeasing to Abe—with Peggy’s money—and already have a delinquent child filled stoop and a junky tenant to boot. Expectantly, Ted’s stress over his floundering company and Peggy’s changing heart drove them into each other’s arms. Their afterhours lip lock was passionate but brief; shame or uncertainty kept Ted from anything more. For Peggy, being kissed and dismissed fanned the flames of the new infatuation, but the surprising merger news was a big distraction. This time, she’ll have a title that matches her talent—copy chief—but battling Ginsberg, trying to exist with Stan, and being back under Don’s wing could cool the romance.
  • The Mrs.: With Sylvia Rosen busy with her son, Megan was able to make a few gains with her distant husband. In a surprising move, Megan’s mother gave advice on how to catch her husband eye. But once Mrs. Rosen turns her attention back on Don, Megan’s hold on Don will disintegrate. How long after that it’ll take for Megan to figure out what’s really wrong  with her marriage will be important. Her reaction to the future will be what defines her character, be it ignoring the truth like Betty, finding a lover of her own like her mother, or taking action like Trudy. This is a chance for Megan to distinguish herself, or to permanently exist in our minds as Don’s somewhat fascinating second wife.
  • Flying High: Roger’s new girl Daisy the flight attendant is more intriguing than Jane ever was. But his tryst with her has us wondering how much of her we’ll get to see. Daisy’s already proved useful, tipping Roger off to the big fish in the first class lounge netted him Chevy. Whether Roger continues to work this angle is less important now that the agency has a big fish to focus on. Still, Daisy deserves more screen time at least.

The Quotable:

  • Herb: “You never fail to overheat do you? You know the summersaults I’m doing ’cause you’re so touchy?” Don: “Really?  A man of your size.”
  • You know how this works, they’re going to take our creative and give it to one of the big boys. Second place, tied with last.” —Ted

Overall:

Most notable this week was the proper management of Don’s emotional nature. It’s a trick Herb never mastered and Bert and Roger learned long ago. Bob showed his face again, but the new company may or may not make the importance of his presence clear.

Rating: 10/10

Mad Men airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on AMC.

What did you think of the episode?