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Episode 11: Will Joan or Won't Joan?

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If you were too busy doing kegstands in a American flag-print bikini over Memorial Day weekend to watch the 11th episode of Mad Men, then consider this your Cliff Notes. And you'll need them, because last weekend's episode sure was a doozy. As in, so much happened! Or maybe more accurately, two big things happened involving Peggy and Joan, yielding very different results. But first: What do Pete and car salesmen have in common? They're both creeps.

The episode opens with a lot of crappy puns about mistresses and Jaguars. The team is still trying to land this Jaguar account, and even though they spent the past five or so weekends working on a pitch, it appears they still have nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. Except for things like, "Jaguar. The mistress who will do things your wife won't." Or, "Jaguar. You'll love it when you're in it," which ends up sounding worse.

Don leaves this shitshow of a meeting and bumps into Peggy, who needs him to sign off on Secor Laxatives. Don reminds her that he put her in charge of everything except Jaguar. She revels in this for exactly .5 seconds before watching Joan usher in a giant cart of lobster into the Jaguar brainstorming room. Oh well, Peggy, back to your laxatives you go.

That evening, Pete and Ken take Herb Rennet out to dinner. He's the head of the Dealers Association, a member of Jaguar's selection committee, and an all around sleazeball. He also appears to be doing his best wiseguy impersonation. He tells Ken and Pete that what he really wants is a night with that "dynamite red head" who's "built like a B-52." So, Joan. Ken is about to tell him that Joan is married, but Pete steps in and tells him she's an "interesting girl." Herb "Not Gonna Fugetaboutit" Rennet makes it clear that it's Joan, or no Jaguar deal.

So what does Pete do? Why naturally, he just comes right out and asks her. Except instead of coming right out and asking her, he tells her that they're going to lose the Jaguar account unless she sleeps with Herb, and if she's not going to do that, maybe she can find a way to tell everyone the deal fell through.

And then it gets better. Pete argues that some things could be worth the sacrifice. Also, that this is just one night in her life and it's not like she'd be doing it for free. When Joan reminds him that they're now officially talking about prostitution, he really kicks it up a notch with this one: "I'm talking about business at a very high level. Do you consider Cleopatra a prostitute? She was a queen. What would it take to make you a queen?" She lets him know that he couldn't afford it.

Over in Harry's office, a less dramatic business proposal takes place. Peggy and Ken have a conference call with a rep from Chevalier Blanc. They want to pull their ads since sales have dropped, but Peggy comes up with this wackadoodle idea about Lady Godiva and Paris and berets and a man in a leather jacket that totally sways them. Sometimes, that's all it takes. The trio gleefully skips into Don's office to give him the good news. Don reminds Peggy that it's Ginsberg's account, and that he'll be the one going to Paris in that beret. When Peggy protests, he throws money in her face.

Pete continues his pimp scheme in a meeting with the partners. Everyone seems pretty appalled by the idea—particularly Don, who storms out. Pete suggests offering Joan a 10% "finder's fee." Gross. Lane is still worried about getting his Christmas bonus, and doesn't want to extend the company's line of credit for the payout, because well, he's already done that. To predominantly save his own ass, Lane gives Joan the idea to ask for a partnership with a 5% stake in the company. He then spills his guts on how he's underpaid, which doesn't exactly change the fact that they're still talking about prostitution.

Megan surprises Don at the office while he's working late on the Jaguar account with Ginsberg, Stan, and those other guys. She goes with him into his office, and her friend, Julia, stays in the conference room. In more ways than one, she suggests they have sex so that she can walk into her audition with confidence. Meanwhile, Julia crawls around on the table suggesting she wear a bikini and they paint her in spots. You know, like a Jaguar! This prompts a few more tag lines about "taming it."

Out in the burbs, Pete asks Trudy how she can stand "living in this cemetery." He then demands an apartment in Manhattan if they land the Jaguar account, presumably, to turn it into a brothel for car salesmen. He also misses the "goodnight noises" in the city. He continues to spit out more one-liners ("I'm using all my energy to put my foot down!") until Trudy storms out, wearing, of course, a decadent pair of pajamas.

Megan returns from her audition with news that 1.) she got a call back and 2.) if she gets the part, she'll have to move to Boston for three months. How do we think Don is going to take this? Not very well. His exact words were, "Forget it." And then, "Just keep doing whatever the hell you want." Turns out, marrying a semi-frivolous twenty-something when you are in your forties doesn't always bode well for compromises.

Speaking of compromises, Joan makes an appointment to talk to Pete, and tells him that she'll only sleep with Herb if she can have that partnership. There's no negotiation, she wants documents by the end of the day, and she's not guaranteeing results. Pete assures her she'll be able to perform, which isn't what she meant.

And now: Ginsberg's breakthrough Jaguar idea, which took him well over a month to come up with. Partially inspired by when he saw Megan "come and go as she pleases" the other night, he pitches an idea with the tagline "At last. Something beautiful you can truly own." It sounds a little wordy, but Don loves it. You can tell by that face he made.

In a very different sequence of events, Peggy meets up with Freddy. Remember him? She's thinking of leaving Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce! And Freddy is egging her on! Freddy calls her ballerina, and says he can't tell if she's ambitious or if she just likes to complain. "Why can't I be both?" is her response, which is something she should probably have stitched on a pillow. Freddy offers to be her headhunter to help her find a new job, if she buys him a piece of pie.

Meanwhile, Pete tells Don that he was outnumbered in the vote, and that Joan is in fact going to do it with Herb. Don leaves the office immediately and shows up at Joan's apartment. Her mother, Gail answers the door, who a few scenes prior we learned is kind of a jerk. Don tells Joan that it's not worth it, though little does he know that she's already gone through with it.

The next scene splices Don's pitch to Jaguar with Joan's gross sexcapade with Herb. Let's start with the sexcapade. Joan enters his hotel room and he's wearing a robe and boasting a full chest of hair, plus a gold necklace. He gives her an emerald necklace, pours champagne, and compares himself to a Sultan of Arabia and that she's Helen of Troy. Joan corrects him that these are two different stories entirely. And then, he requests to see her boobs. Or, "let me see 'em." Thankfully, the only other thing we see is the two of them in bed afterwards.

Let's try and get that image out of our heads and move onto the pitch. Don begins by saying he's seen a lot of beautiful women in his life, and when deep beauty is encountered it arouses deep emotions, and yadi yadi yada. More adjectives and sentiments are thrown around about "unattainable objects," "beautiful things," and desire, and as it turns out, it's a really good pitch, and they probably could have won it without Joan's breasts.

At a crappy diner presumably no where nearby anything, Peggy takes a meeting with Ted Chaough from Cutler Gleason and Chaough—a rival agency! Ted flatters Peggy into giving him her dream salary. She picks $18,000 and he ups it to $19,000 and gives her the title of copy chief. She's so overwhelmed she needs to order a milkshake to process it all.

Later, Megan tells Don that she blew the audition, which was a weird one, because it seemed to consist of her mostly spinning around in a circle in her short little audition dress. Looks like no Boston for you. Don assures her that he doesn't want her to fail (he might a little), and she responds with, "Good. Because I'm not going to."

The next day at the office, before Peggy has a chance to quit, Ken finds out that one of the agencies have been eliminated from the Jaguar account, and Roger chimes in that another one has also been given a "big no thanks." And then—the phone rings. It's Jaguar calling, and hey, they loved the pitch and Herb really liked sleeping with Joan. Roger calls all the partners into his office, and when Joan walks in, Don realizes that she went through with it.

At the celebration in the conference room, Don doesn't feel like partying. So instead, he and Peggy go into his office, where she has to "talk about something kind of serious." Don thinks it's that she wants to be on the Jaguar account, or that she's mad Joan was made partner. Peggy didn't know that yet. She then enters a long speech about how she's grateful to have had Don as a mentor and a champion, but that she's leaving to go to CGC.

Now, Don thinks she wants a raise. And he's proud of her for finally picking the right moment! But she's sticking to her guns, despite his offer of, "Let's pretend I'm not responsible for every single good thing that's ever happened to you, and you tell me the number, or make one up, and I'll beat it." Peggy refuses, and Don says goodbye by kissing her hand for a very dramatic amount of time. She begins to cry, and on her way out, grabs her thermos, a mug, and doesn't say goodbye to anyone.

Luckily for Peggy, we've seen that some female leads stay on the show after they've left Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Ex-wives, though, like Betty, often aren't as lucky.

And now, next week! The previews will have you know that there are only two episodes left, but as usual, that's about all they'll let you know. Joan appears to be in a better mood, Don tells Megan something she can't tell anyone, and Burt is tired of someone being a little boy while the grandpas adults run the business.

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