This Week on ‘Mad Men’: Blowing Smoke

Posted by Jon Wiener on October 11, 2010

This week’s cleverly titled episode of Mad Men focuses on the aftermath of Lucky Strike cigarettes leaving Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce after 25 cancerous years of loyal advertising.  Once the company flew the coop (not a bad nickname for the company, eh?), our favorite ad men are left scrounging desperately for any big ticket account they can get their hands on.  Left with few options, Don decides to take matters into his own hands.

Don Draper: In the main lobby of SCDP HQ, Don runs into Midge, an old flame from season one – you remember – the artist in the village.  Turns out she’s addicted to smack now, and trying to squeeze some cash from ol’ Don.  Since he is a kind man (now…all of the sudden), Don dishes over some cash in exchange for one of her paintings.  After studying the brush-strokes, Don decides to get creative…he posts a full page testimony in the New York Times about why he is quitting tobacco.  He explains how his company will no longer be associated with deadly habits (which would be a great title for a The Town sequel, starring Jon Hamm) and lists the ad companies that will soullessly promote lung cancer.  I think it’s a pretty genius method, but Don gets a lot of flack from…everybody.  Cooper actually announces his resignation from the firm.  Many jobs were lost this week, but the beach is the most void of water during the minutes proceeding a tidal wave.

Pete Campbell: With the loss of Lucky Strike, SCDP is in danger of losing their loan.  In an effort to gain collateral for the bank, the heads of the company must put up $100k.  Pete and Lane need to put up $50k.  This freaks Pete out because he certainly cannot afford such a thing!  Lucky for him, Don secretly put up Pete’s share of the money.  It seems that Pete’s knowledge of “Dick Whitman” has put him in a pretty sweet position…and Don knows it.  Still, he does it all with a smile.

Sally Draper: Sally hates Betty…and she has every reason for such a thing.  Even her therapist agrees.  She agrees to the point that she advises Betty to see a psychiatrist on a more regular basis.  As it turns out, Sally has actually been chumming it up with Glen (GLEN!), who wears a football uniform, which is baffling because the kid can’t run 15 feet without wheezing.  During a luxurious drive, Betty catches Sally meeting with Glen (GLEN!) and forbids her to see him again.  To pour salt on the wound, Betty decides that the time is right for the family to move to a different town.  Upon hearing this news, Sally cries while clutching the lanyard that Glen made for her.

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