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New Show Recap: Mad Men, Season 6 Ep. 6, “For Immediate Release”

This week Don gets an epic dressing down for failing to take others into consideration when he makes big decisions. He absorbs all of this, and promptly makes a big decision without taking anyone else into consideration. Who says TV characters are static?

Roger has taken up with a very young flight attendant, Daisy, who is feeding him leads on potential clients. After arranging a meeting with Don, Megan, Marie, and Herb the Jaguar guy, Roger runs off to Detroit on the trail of a possible big fish. Don is angry, Marie is furious, but Roger is redeemed when it turns out that the mystery man was an executive at Chevy who has given SCDP the chance to pitch them on an ad for a new mystery car. And it looks like our accounts wiz is back in the saddle in more ways than one, thanks to his young flight attendant friend, although he was still very interested in spending an evening with the more mature Marie. Roger is clearly a man of varied and discerning tastes.

Pete has been plotting with Joan and Cooper to get SCDP ready for an IPO, which would make all the partners very rich people. Joan gets some great news in the form of both a compliment to her spotless bookkeeping skills and the news that with the estimated valuation she would be worth a million dollars. They are worried about Don’s reaction, but figure they’ll cross that bridge when they come to it. High on his impending success, Pete attempts to get romantic with Trudy who’s having none of it. Sidebar: women in the ’60s apparently had the best nightgowns, and I don’t even like nightgowns.

Pete takes Benson out to a brothel to celebrate the good news about the IPO and unfortunately runs into his father-in-law. He goes to Ken for advice, and Ken tells him to keep it under his hat. Just at that moment, the news from Jaguar comes into Ken and as Pete rushes downstairs to confront Don, he slips and bumps down the stairs which looks like a genuine fall. Good on Vincent Kartheiser for going with it. Pete blurts out the news about the IPO, and Joan ushers them into a conference room where Don spills the beans about Jaguar. Roger takes the sting out with his Chevy news, but Joan still refuses to let Don get away with his shit and gives him a dressing down that’s been coming for a few seasons: “If I could deal with him, you could deal with him. And what now, I went through all of that for nothing? Just once, I would like to hear you use the word “˜we.’ Because we’re all rooting for you from the sidelines. Hoping that you’ll decide whatever you think is right for our lives.”

Pete’s father-in-law ends up pulling Vick’s account from SCDP because he’s disgusted that Pete would treat his “princess” that way. (i.e., exactly the same way he’s treating his wife). Pete asks why the man doesn’t think Pete will retaliate because “you’ll do the right thing” even after he called Pete a lowlife. Pete, however, continues his race to the bottom and goes to tell Trudy exactly what he saw her father doing. She throws him out, but it’s clear that Trudy’s shaken by the news and the fact that Pete actually told her.

Don has Megan’s mother, Marie, for the weekend and it looks like he’s not particularly enjoying a few days of listening to his wife and in-law babble in French while he stands there in ignorance. Don gets a potential out when he has to go meet with Herb from Jaguar, but Roger presses to bring Megan and Marie to try and lessen whatever damage is coming. While getting ready, Marie and Megan have a conversation about how Megan feels like Don is pulling away from her. Marie encourages Megan to spice up her wardrobe a bit to get his attention back on her. It works, but it doesn’t help put Don in a better mood when Herb suggests that Don run his advertising copy by a kid who’s writing local ads for Herb’s dealership to “get his take on it.” Don passes over a card and says, “That’s the name of the guy who’s going to be handling your account from now on,” which isn’t really surprising. But it looks like SCDP has lost Jaguar even though only one of the three heads is there. It also looks like Megan has achieved her goal with Don, and Roger has lost Marie for the time being. Eventful evening! Don shrugs off the news of Jaguar and Joan’s absurdly insightful take down thanks to Roger’s Chevy news which Don reacts to like it’s Christmas morning. He and Roger head to Detroit.

In Detroit, Don runs into Ted at the hotel bar and they discuss the situation. Ted is convinced that Chevy is going to take the ideas SCDP and CGC present and hand them off to a larger agency. They exchange pitches, and then come up with an idea. An awful idea. They get a wonderful, awful idea: to pitch Chevy together as a combined agency.

We see a CGC partners meeting for the first time ever, to establish that they’re working on a Chevy campaign and that one of the partners (Gleason) has terminal pancreatic cancer and the firm will be in trouble when they have to buy out his share. Ted is moping in his office later, and Peggy comes in to check on him. She ends up telling him that she admires his strength and he kisses her. Both of them are surprised, and Ted apologizes. Peggy doesn’t look unhappy about what happened, but Ted quickly says goodnight to cover.

Peggy and Abe have moved into the Upper West Side fixer-upper of Abe’s dreams and Peggy’s nightmares. Turns out our young professional lady has gotten quite attached to certain comforts that their new apartment complex and neighborhood don’t offer. As they’re arguing about the state of the apartment, Peggy slips into fantasizing that Abe is Ted holding a book titled Something by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Props to the”¦ prop department there.

Back in New York, Peggy hears that Ted is back and primps a bit before walking into his office with a flirty “So, how’d it go?” Then Don tells her they won Chevy and Peggy’s face looks like she can’t figure out if she’s dreaming or having a nightmare. And it turns out that SCDP and CGC are merging 100%. Don offers Peggy the chance to come along, and Ted points out that she’ll be the copy chief at one of the top 25 agencies in the country before her 30th birthday. They tell her to write up a press release, and to “make it sound like the agency you want to work for.”

She wanders back to her office in a daze, takes a deep breath, and beings typing. And so the next chapter begins.

Other tidbits: Dr. Rosen quit his job after his hospital passed up the chance to be the first U.S. hospital to complete a heart transplant. Marie’s facial expressions while she’s out to dinner with Herb and his wife are hilarious. Roger is using the shoe-shine kit from his dear, departed shoe-shiner, which is sort of adorable.

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