Tag Archives: McCann

Mad Men S07E11 – Time & Life

After the strangeness of “New Business“, it looks like Mad Men is back on track coming down the backstretch as “The Forecast” was solid and then goes to a new level with “Time & Life”, where the firm gets some bad news and as a group, they wonder something most of them have thought about on an individual level: can I survive this new era?

Also, before I go on, this episode was directed by Jared Harris, also known as Lane Pryce, a former partner in the firm before he brought on his own ending. Personally, I remember him more for this GIF and if you think there is no irony or coincidence that he, who played a former partner, is directing this episode, you haven’t been paying attention to Mad Men. Let’s go….

-Pete and Ken are at dinner, with Ken going on about an expensive wine while Pete is tryna talk about a campaign and Ken is not giving him any answers at all, basically just stringing him along because he can. Then Don shows up late and tells Ken not to worry about it, and Ken is like, okay. Pete is looking around like, the fuck just happened? This goes back to last episode where Mathis yelled at Don for being Don before he was fired. Pete has been around Don enough to know how this goes.

-Don calls his harem answering service to find out that Diana called, but asked not to leave messages and there is no number. I’m wondering if this is some kind of swerve, like she didn’t exist or she was a different person or something. They’re still tryna keep her in your (and Don’s) mind.

-Roger gets some mail and calls his first secretary, who kinda looks like Howard from The Big Bang Theory, then it becomes a secretary party in Roger’s office, although Joan is not here for being called (yelled) for like a secretary by Roger. The rent hasn’t been paid, but that is because there is a problem: McCann seems to have ended the lease and didn’t tell anyone. Roger wants to speak to someone at McCann while Don arrives at the office, along with an elevator full of women and their children.

-Pete gets a call from Trudy and that’s awesome because it’s always good to see Alison Brie. Their daughter didn’t get into Greenwich County Day, which sounds like some prestigious boarding school for kids. They have a meeting tomorrow to speak to the head of the school, but Trudy wasn’t even gon’ tell Pete about it, which seems kinda messed up. He’s an asshole, but he’s still Tammy’s father.

-Peggy, Stan and some other woman are in a room with some kids, and Peggy instructs them to play with some toys like no one is watching, but these kids know someone is watching, so they don’t do much. Peggy doesn’t seem to understand why and Stan gets through to them, then makes a comment about Peggy hating kids. He knows nothing about her past, but it’s a fair conclusion to come to after watching Peggy interact with this group.

-Roger is on the phone with Ferg Donnelly, who breaks the news that they’re moving the SCDWhateverOtherLettersYouCanThinkOf into the building where McCann is now and while he tries to smooth things over, Roger knows what is going on: they’re being absorbed. Joan sees it as well and puts her head on Roger’s shoulder. This is how it all starts as they’re losing their autonomy and next, the name goes.

-Roger, Joan, Ted and Pete all go into Don’s office and Roger breaks the news, while Don breaks his “no drinking at work” rule to pour out a round. Shoutout to him lasting as long as he did. Pete is putting up a fuss and says that they have clients that are conflicts of interest and that he isn’t going, but Joan brings up their contracts and really, in the world of business, that doesn’t matter, they can break whatever they need to break to make this happen. Roger tells them to keep it a secret until they have their meeting with Jim Hobarth tomorrow, but Pete storms out.

-Pete walks by Peggy and looks at her with the children, and he breaks the news to her about what is happening, because fuck secrets. However, he looks at her for a long minute with the children and I can’t remember if he knows about her past in regards to the son she gave up for adoption. Hell, if I’m not mistaken (and I very well could be), the baby was Pete’s, which is why he felt some kinda way about Peggy and the kids, and why he chose to break the secret to her. She deserved to know anyway, but still, he didn’t have to. She even ends up consoling him; it’s all coming back full circle.

-Joan tells Richard that she had a bad day at work, to which he tells his secretary to get him on a redye to New York, so this is serious, apparently.

-Meredith tells Don that he has to go look at apartments and has some other work stuff to do, but Don tells her to cancel everything as he is taking a personal day, because he can. Then he gets a call from Lou, who is tryna gloat about his cartoon being picked up and he is moving to Tokyo. He is so pressed to make Don jealous, while Don looks like he couldn’t give any less of a fuck about Lou and his life. If anything, Don looks happy to have Lou out of his life for good. Lou couldn’t even gloat right. What a dickbag. But then we get the “Don lying on the couch in deep thought” shot and he has an idea, so he calls to Meredith.

-He gets the crew together in a boardroom to tell them his idea: Sterling Cooper West. They still have an office in California that won’t be in use after Lou leaves and they have some clients they can fight for, like Burger Chef, Sunkist and Dow (Ken’s company). Ted doesn’t want to go to California, while Joan is fighting for Avon (her account), but Don is like, meh, can’t do it. But this is Don at his best, being at work, running shit. It is really the only place and time where he is happy, or at least content. Meanwhile, Meredith knows something is going on and looks anxious. She be tryna help and shit.

-Peggy meets a headhunter to figure out her job prospects in case she gets let go (Pete said she’s probably going, they need her) and while she doesn’t wanna hear it, her best direction is with McCann, where she can get more money in a short amount of time and probably not take a step backward. Why doesn’t she just wait and talk to Don, or someone about what’s going on?

-Roger and Pete meet Ken with wine and caviar to discuss him staying with the firm, and Ken seems like he is down with it all, but you can just see it in his eyes as he has been dying to tell them “no”, which he does and leaves right away. Oh, this ain’t over. You don’t fuck over Roger Sterling and get away with it. Pete, maybe, but not Roger.

-Don and Ted are in the boardroom, and Ted apologizes for taking his spot in California, which was just a terrible place for Ted and his ex-wife is still there, so he isn’t too psyched to go, but he understands why Don wants to go (even though his ex-wife is there as well). Don says that’s okay if Ted doesn’t want to go and it might help them if he stays, while Joan tells them about Ken, so now they have to start looking at the smaller accounts to make up for Dow. Another example of Joan being treated like a secretary, which is the opposite of what she’s tryna do.

-Pete and Trudy go to the meeting about Tammy, where they learn that she didn’t pass the test and Trudy didn’t have a backup plan. But as it turns out, the headmaster of the school has beef with Pete’s family from like, way back in the day on some Hatfield and McCoy shit, and Pete ends up punching dude in the face after he insults Trudy one too many times. Look at Pete, having morals and values and shit. Dude deserved it, though.

-Peggy and Stan see a little girl waiting outside to audition, but there are no parents to speak of there and everyone is too busy to watch her, so she goes downstairs with Peggy and Stan. Shoutout once again to Stan’s neckwear game.

-Pete and Trudy return home and they’re actually being civil as it turns out, Pete can dial it back on being an asshole when his job is at stake. Meanwhile, Trudy is going on about how being a divorced woman sucks and she has no friends and she is always getting hit on by dirtbags, but in ten years no one will be doing it anymore and I’m like, she’s about to give Pete some. Instead, he uses the phone to call a client, some laxative people.

-Peggy and Stan are going over work when the little girl they’re watching staples her finger just in time for her mom to show up. Her mom is pissed, but Peggy is like, watch your damn kids because you’re running them into the ground. The mom tells her to do what she wants with her own kids, which is a low blow to Peggy, while Stan is in the background like, the fuck is happening right now? Both women had valid points, but Stan, just stay out of it.

-The crew goes to make a presentation about SC West to Ferg and Jim, who don’t even give Don the satisfaction of finishing it. He goes by all the men and names off accounts they’ll be working on (which leaves Joan ass out), and that they’re with a bigger name that has an international presence, and to stop fighting it: they won. The shot at the five of them at that table after the meeting is priceless, and it reminds me of when they were in the office they’re at now, at the end of Season 5. Damn, Mad Men is so good at this.

-So in true fashion, they go to get drunk as the McCann people told them to have the day off, with Roger giving a toast to Bert, but Joan is happy he wasn’t here to see this. Joan and Pete dip out, while Ted stays for one more round because he has a date. There was something in that hug between Joan and Roger. I’m sticking with my prediction, even with Richard in the picture now.

-In the cab, Joan notes to Pete that they skipped over her when it came to the accounts and while Pete says they don’t know who they’re dealing with, Joan knows that no matter what she does, they’ll never take her seriously.

-Then we get a quick cut to Peggy, which is great considering their confrontation from “Severance“. She is still pissed about the woman from earlier, then she gets on Stan for him saying she hates kids. She keeps dropping hints and Stan picks up on them, asking what happen, to which she tells him about the son she gave up and he shouldn’t be so judgmental because you don’t know what people have gone through. Being judgmental is human nature and there isn’t anything we can do about it, all you can do is the best you can. They gotta get together, bruh. I think Stan mentions in this episode that he and his random girlfriend had broken up recently anyway.

-Also, I think Peggy is going to find that child over the next three episodes, just to say what’s up.

-Roger and Don are now beyond drunk and Roger is going on about his legacy, then he has to go to meet a woman, which turns out to be Marie (Megan’s mom) and Don is like, say what? Roger knows that she is crazy, but he married his secretary and it went badly, yet Don still did it anyway and Don is like, you’re absolutely right. So Roger leaves Don by himself, which is sad because he doesn’t have anyone. Also, during this scene, one of the two says, “what’s in a name?” because I think sometimes, we forget about the whole Dick Whitman thing that Don has going on.

-So of course, he goes to visit where Diana was the last time he saw her, but she is gone and a gay couple now lives there. They invite Don in and he’s like, nah, I’m good.

-At the firm, Meredith storms into Don’s office and demands to know what is going on because all she has seen over the last couple of days is secret meetings and whispers among the partners. Basically, she says that the natives are starting to get restless and someone needs to say something, and she’s right, so everyone goes to the lobby.

-Meanwhile, Peggy and Stan are in their offices and she tells him that she is going to McCann and he can too, and he’ll go wherever she goes. They both stay on the phone, in their offices, working in silence. Yep, they gon’ be together.

-Don and Roger try to break the news as smoothly as possible, but the office is like, NOAP, and everyone starts walking out, leaving the five partners standing there, wondering what is going to happen next.

Another excellent episode of Mad Men as the series is starting to find its groove, so now it seems to be a matter of who goes to McCann or tries to go their own way. I’d like to see one more episode with Betty and Sally, while Peggy has a lot of personal stuff to sort out. I’m ready for it.