With all the mergers and mind games going on in Mad Men, one can’t help but think that margarine is the only real deal.

Margarine: a product that is pretending to be butter. How exactly do you sell something that’s not the original? Can margarine be passed off as butter? Who better to think of something creative than the guys at SCDP —or whatever they plan to call themselves now that they’ve merged with CGC. But even they can’t really come up with something good. Maybe it’s because they’re all pretending to be something their not. Does Bob Benson even belong there?

When the creative folks get together with Peggy, smug at the head of the creative table, to think of a campaign for Fleischmann’s Margarine, things don’t go as planned when Don doesn’t show. When Don walks in late, Ted lets him have it saying that being late is not acceptable. Really, it was just a way to flex his muscles in front of Don, with whom he’s always been competitive. It may have been one sided at one time, but now, Ted is bating Don in the game of “anything you can do, I can do better.” How long is it going to take these two to realize they’re now on the same side?

MM_607_MY_0122_0658After Ted scolds him, Don reaches for the bottle and decides to put Ted in his place by challenging him to an unspoken drinking match disguised as a creative meeting about margarine. Of course, Don wins that pissing match. No one messes with Don and his booze. (Remember that episode when he got Roger back for hitting on Betty by getting him smashed and making him walk several flights of stairs forcing him to puke in front of clients?) As I said, don’t mess with Don and scotch.

But just when Don thinks he’s got the last say, on this day anyway, Ted gets a point when he pilots his own plane to a Mohawk airline meeting during a storm. Don breaks out in a sweat and Ted loves every minute of it.

More rivalry at the office comes between Roger and Cutler, who are both at odds as to whom to fire. No matter what, Roger gets a leg up on his end of things by firing Burt Peterson, again, with biting sarcasm that only Roger can pull off with hilarity.

One guy that does make the cut is Bob Benson. The guy who Costanza’d his way into SCDP. After taken care of Joan by taking her to the hospital and sucking up by bringing her son a football, Joan basically saves his butt in the boardroom just when he was about to get chopped. Having Joanie on your side is key so this guy has some cunning ambition.

So what’s going on with poor Pete? He’s been punched out, kicked out, and has literally fallen on his ass. Is it worse this time around that there was no chair for him? With his mom sick at his tiny apartment, he also misses out on the Mohawk airline meeting. But hey, Pete Campbell on the verge of collapse makes for some good T.V. That, and Harry losing his office, again!

With Peggy taking over Harry’s old office, once again her ego takes the front seat. She prances into Don’s office to rip him a new one, telling him to lay off Ted. At one point she even alludes to the merger being a way to get her back at SCDP. Right, Peggy. Something is brewing with Peggy and one can’t help but wonder what will happen to her place at this new agency, especially if she “goes there” with Ted.

All in all, it was a decent episode with things steering back to the agency antics. It will be interesting to see how this merger plays out. Of course, we’ll have to continue to endure “Sad Don” who, this episode,  showed some weird controlling sexual behaviors with Sylvia. When she’s smart enough to finally break it off with Don at the end of the episode, it really seemed to push Don off his game. Even Megan’s account of her day couldn’t snap him out of it.

To make matters worse, news of Bobby Kennedy’s assassination sends everyone over the edge. Gosh, those ‘60s were trying times.


Mad Men airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. on AMC.


—Toni-Marie Ippolito


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