Mad Men recap: Shall We Merge?

It's Mother's Day in 1968 and Matthew Weiner delivers another game-changer
Ep. 06 | Aired May 5, 2013

DRAPER? JUST MET HER Megan worries about not wearing pants.

Michael Yarish/AMC

This leads to Pete raging down the steps and then, you guys, taking the best fall I've ever seen. Seriously. I've re-watched it now about four or five times. It's just about the best two seconds of television I think I've ever seen. Oh internet, can't you please make a gif of this? (Oh you have: Thank you!) Pete then goes on to lose his damn mind in front of basically everyone in the office that Don has ruined the company's public offering -- something most of them knew nothing about -- and thankfully Joan is there to wisely pull these two into a conference room. Amidst the shouting, Roger arrives triumphantly  to let everyone know that thanks to drinking with Mikey O'Brien en route to Detroit, they will be presenting for Chevy in just a few days. Don is all, see? Things work out! But Pete will not be placated: "Don't act like you had a plan: You're like Tarzan swinging from vine to vine," he seethes. But the real surprise is Joan, who is even angrier than Pete. Don asks, "don't you feel 300 lbs lighter?" Uh, nope, she doesn't.

What was the point of it all if Don is allowed to claim the moral high ground? "If I could deal with him, you could deal with him," she says. She's not wrong, but I'm still glad to see the last of gross Herb. She's also not wrong that Don doesn't really ever think of himself as a "we." This becomes key to this episode by the end.

The creatives meet about Chevy's new secret car. Stan -- looking clear-eyed and lucid -- wants to know who they're competing against and he's pretty psyched to hear it's just "two steamships and a rowboat." Don is looking even happier than he did telling Herb to eff off. This doesn't seem to bode well, does it?

Peggy finds Ted on his office floor trying to watch TV. He's clearly spooked by the weight of the knowledge of his partner's illness and the amount riding on this Chevy account. After getting in her face and begging her not to call him nice, he kisses her -- and ugh, I've been sort of waiting for this to happen all season. Peggy doesn't pull away but Ted quickly does and apologizes.

Don gets into the elevator with a rough-looking Rosen (are there any other people in this building?) and he informs Don that he's quit his job after losing two patients. "I don't believe in fate," Don Draper/Dick Whitman tells him and then turns down the offer to go for a drink, which means he really does believe in free will 'cause I wouldn't have called that one. Megan, perhaps continuing on the thus far effective please-your-man-with-sex strategy, attacks him when he gets home.

The following morning at the airport we learn via Daisy that men from the competing agency, Dancer, are on the same flight as Don and Roger. One annoying dude comes over and, as the ad men banter nastily for a bit, lets the news drop that Vick's -- and their $9 million in billing -- is suddenly up for grabs. "Anybody have a cough drop? I know these guys don't." Burn. An unruffled Roger drinks a martini and gloats that Daisy will make sure to lose their luggage.

NEXT: The two tribes merge


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