Mad Men recap: Flowers and a Funeral

Don and Sally bond while Peggy struggles through Valentine's Day in 'A Day's Work'
Ep. 02 | Aired Apr 20, 2014

Out in Los Angeles, Pete has a line on some new business with Chevy's SoCal dealer's association. With the help of his own Betty Francis doppelganger, real-estate hawk Bonnie Whiteside, he charmed the right guy. And he wants the new Chevy-related account, Bob Benson be darned. Not everyone at SCP agrees, during a comical partners-meeting conference call that demonstrates the limitations of "modern" communication technology -- though Roger steals the show with repeated sexual innuendo that he alternates with sincere apologies to the secretary taking notes. He thinks Pete earned the right to "mount" the catch, but he's outnumbered by those, led by Cutler, who think Bob should be SPC's sole intermediary with Chevrolet. Roger doesn't put up too much of a fight, which Pete and a morose Ted can hear on the line even though New York thinks the call has been dropped.

Pete is outraged by the lack of respect and recognition, and can't stop talking about it, to Ted or to the beautiful Bonnie. "I don't know if it's heaven or hell or limbo, but I don't seem to exist," he wails to Ted. "No one feels my existence." Nearly as miserable as Peggy, Ted seems literally to be counting the hours until his own death. His advice to the agitated Pete, who threatens to open up his own shop: "Just cash the checks. You're going to die one day."

Bonnie, on the other hand, is a different breed of female than the ladies in New York. She's not asking to be invited into the boys' club; she's making her own path right through them, albeit in real estate. Why she's with Pete at this point, and why's she's whispering "You're such a big deal," into his ear while he mounts her on his desk, is anyone's guess. When he tries to muscle in on her open-house and sweep her off her feet, she quickly puts him in his place. He seems to like her drive, telling her, "I want to chew you up and spit you out." On the contrary, Pete; I suspect those roles will be reversed at the appropriate time. But enjoy the fun while you can.

In contrast to Bonnie Whiteside, Dawn and Shirley are having a rough go of it in the SCP offices. The only two African-Americans in the office, they're often confused for each other by their white co-workers -- at least according to their own private inside joke. Shirley works Peggy's desk, but she's at the Xerox machine Friday morning when Peggy sees the beautiful roses waiting outside her office, presumably sent from a secret admirer. After her nightmare elevator ride up, this is a welcome development. But they're not from a secret admirer; they're from Shirley's fiancé... for Shirley. Peggy proudly brings the flowers into her office, and when Shirley begins to explain the misunderstanding, Peggy interprets her assistant's awkwardness as confirmation that the bouquet is from Ted -- that presumptuous bastard. She quickly fires off a cryptic message to Ted in L.A. that "the business is gone." No, this is not Peggy's lowest point yet.

Dawn is juggling the demands of working for Don and Lou -- including arranging Valentine's Day gifts to their wives -- and those worlds collide at her feet when Sally Draper comes to the office to find her father after losing her purse in the city. Her roommate's mother had died, and she and two classmates used the funeral as an excuse to do some shopping -- or so she says. But when she walks in, she finds Lou Avery in her dad's office, and Lou Avery's name on the door. She leaves without seeing anyone she knows, but when Dawn returns, Lou rips into her for his uncomfortable encounter with Sally. He subsequently demands that Joan reassign Dawn; Lou wants his own assistant.

Joan shifts Dawn to reception, but Bert Cooper points out that -- gasp -- "people can see her from the elevator" and suggests "a rearrangement of [Joan's] rearrangement." Bert Cooper, you broke my heart.

NEXT: "Happy Valentine's Day. I love you"

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