I think I’m going to save the recapping to the others and focus instead on the idea lingering with me since the episode’s end. Did Roger Sterling ever really hire Don Draper?
We explore in this episode the continuation of Don’s total free fall. His drunkenness is now all out in the open, and seriously affecting his work and personal life. When we saw that glimpse of known-drunk Duck Phillips at the awards ceremony, I thought, it won’t be long before Don lets his dog out into the Madison Avenue. (I’m still so sad about poor Chauncey.)
The parallel narrative throughout the episode is the story of how Roger met Don and how Don worked his way into a job at the old Sterling Coo. At the end, it appears Sterling has hired young Draper, but Sterling doesn’t remember it, possibly because he was in a drunken stupor, but - dare I say - was it because Don conned him into it? I know it’s extreme, but Don/Dick’s already created a new identity for himself, it wouldn’t be unthinkable for him to con his way into a job using the boss’ blackouts. No?
Speaking of blackout, the director and writers did a great job of making me feel a bit disoriented as Don was living through his lost weekend. Let me see if I can piece this together correctly. During his binge, Don presents to Life a stolen idea, makes Peggy lock herself into a hotel room with the douchey art director, beds a pretty brunette but then gets rid of her and beds a waitress named Doris, starts going as Dick instead of Don, somehow sleeps until Sunday (thereby forgetting his kids) and then comes to with no knowledge that any of it had happened.
Note, of course, it was Peggy who showed up at his door to snap him out of his stupor. The reflexivity between their two characters continues. It was Don who rescued Peggy from her post-Pete’s-baby stupor, and Peggy who rescued Don from jail after he drunkenly crashed his car while going away with Bobbie Barrett.
Ultimately, Don ends up hiring someone he doesn’t want to because of a drunken mistake. Is that what Roger did too? Did Don just TELL Roger he hired him, since Don’s exactly cunning enough to know that Roger goes from “lubricated to morose” enough to make a drunken hire believable? Don’s whole personal and professional genius is selling a different version of reality, isn’t it? Looking forward to your responses.
-We finally find out just how far back Joan and Roger’s relationship goes. That couple was together for years! I loved Joan’s late fifties ‘do.
-While we were watching this episode, over on NBC the show was winning more Emmys, including best drama on TV. Word.
-Bravo, Peggy. Not only was the award-winning Glo Coat idea actually yours, you made Don clean up the “cure for the common cereal” mess honorably AND your naked take down of the chauvinist art director made me feel proud for womankind.
-Did y’all notice that John Aniston, father of Jenn Aniston and “Victor Kiriakis” on Days of our Lives, was the awards emcee? Oh, the good ol’ ‘Days.’
Aspiration’s as good as perspiration,