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'Mad Men': The whole world is watching

By Marisa Nadolny

Publication:

Published June 03. 2013 1:00PM   Updated June 03. 2013 2:37PM

Kathleen Edgecomb is away on vacation. Her blog partner Marisa Nadolny soldiers on alone this week.

KE,

I really can't wait for you to get back into the office so we can talk about last night's wild ride on Mad Men. Luckily, our colleague Julianne Hanckel is officially caught up, so our think-tank has expanded!

Speaking of super-cool femme dream teams, I'll start with what I consider the best part of last night's episode: Peggy and Joan: Super Execs.

Remember how we were JUST talking about the prospect of a Peggy-Joan agency? Well, as soon as Joan took her accidental meeting with Mr. Avon Guy, I was riveted. More accustomed to gross ogling, Joan didn't expect to be treated like a businesswoman at this power lunch. Not a problem: Joan being Joan, a consummate professional, lobbed that serve right back into Avon's court. I was thrilled when she took the news to Peggy and super-duper thrilled when Peggy supported it right away and took it to Ted. I was over the moon when Ted greenlighted this blossoming super-group in fabulous fashion: "Very groovy," he said. I love this guy!

Of course, he's a company guy who follows the rules for whatever reason, and he instructs Team: Lean In to bring in the very capable client services boss Pete Campbell. It's a reasonable request.

Still, I get why Joan disinvited Pete to the next power-lunch. As she tells Peggy, "I have to do it myself." (And how about the implication that Peggy slept her way to the top, too?) Joan knows the business inside out—which includes knowing that gals like her, in the '60s, need to make their own luck and seize the day when a smackeral of opportunity lands in one's lap. To the men-folk, Joan was lucky to land her role as professional schoolmarm; a necessary thing in a wild business like the ad game—but Joan wants more. And that's a good thing. She clearly proved that she has the chops to work a client (with a little support).

Which is why I was a little surprised when Peggy freaked out about the big disinvite. She reverted to ponytailed Peggy the secretary at the prospect of rocking the corporate boat, particularly rattled at the notion of HER being the one to tell Joan how to conduct business. Peggy's a pioneer, but she's also a rule-follower. And, once again, Joan schools her in the fine art of The Way Things Really Are—one shouldn't always play by the rules (written by men). That was a fabulous exchange, and points to Peggy for shaking it off and rescuing her colleague in the conference room. LOVE this whole plot device.

Another champ shaker-offer? Mr. Campbell. Yes, he threw a full-on hissy about the Avon account (how funny was he when he stomped back into the conference room after fetching Ted to yell at Joan?), and yes, he's disrespectful to Joan, but I think he's learning. Pete, my favorite source of pleasant surprises, made me smile a mile-wide last night after he grabbed Stan's joint, plopped onto the creative couch, and started toking. And who sings him out? The wonderful Janis Joplin with "Piece of My Heart."

Did Pete just lose another piece of his heart? Maybe, but that choice of song reflects the overall tenor of the episode: things are heating up all across the board: the music's getting harder, edgier and trippier; the war is freaking everyone out; cops are beating on demonstrators at the DNC; and formerly useless Danny is a movie producer in a dashiki. Plus, the ad game is quickly moving into more of a TV business. God forbid that lands Harry as a partner.

Despite all that California dreamin', it's getting dark in "Mad Men" land, the agency's got a neutered new name in which only Sterling and Cooper's names survive; Don hallucinates in hashish hell and almost drowns; and Megan's on blogger death watch (see Megan-as-Sharon-Tate theories circling the blogosphere).

Oh, and Bob Benson's on Chevy. Suddenly everyone knows his name.

Translation: Up is down, black is white, Carnation powder is breakfast.

I think this is more than even Dylan bargained for when he warned us how times were a-changin'. Maybe that's why he wrote this.

Let's cheer up with the quote of the night, courtesy of Jim Cutler to an agitated, war-weary Ginsberg: "So, I'm a fascist for giving you a deadline?"

Touché, Mr. Cutler. He absolutely would've won that debate if he hadn't screamed at Bob Benson the peacemaker. That exchange is worth a re-watch. It happens about 7 minutes into the episode.

Second place: "Our biggest challenge is not to get syphilis." — Roger to Don en route to L.A.

Until next week, KE.

Luv,

M.

We're on Twitter: @TheMDesk and @edgecombday.

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