Mad Men S03E13: Step Into My Office, I Am Fired

Don meets with Connie Hilton, who tells him that Powell, Putnam, and Loeb is being sold to McCann Erickson (I’ve heard of them! This show is so accurate in how it uses names that I have heard of!), and for some reason that means that Connie can’t work with Don anymore? I’m not sure I completely understand what is going on with Don and Connie, businesswise. But I do understand what is going on with them man-relationship-wise. Don begins to get very angry at Connie, just as Don has been getting angry at everyone lately. He blames Connie for toying with him, and Connie is like “I really thought you were not such a crybaby who cried and wore diapers.” Me too! Don seems at the end of his rope! Maybe he is just so tired from sleeping in the dog house every night. Don wipes his baby tears off of his baby face and goes back to the office, but now he is ready to stir up some trouble!

But first, a flashback to Don’s dad getting kicked in the face by a horse. Dead.

OK, so, Don goes to see Bert Cooper and tells him what is up, and Bert Cooper is like, “well, that’s not going to stop me from taking this nap.” So Don starts yelling again. Always with the yelling, that guy. He explains that if they don’t get their company back, Bert Cooper is going to be professionally finished, which must be a very compelling argument to someone like Cooper, who is only 102 years old and still very much (not at all) in his prime. Don says that he wants to do something with his life, and surely Bert Cooper should understand that. And Bert Cooper is like “of course I understand that, I want to do something with my life, too, which is TAKE THIS NAP!” But Don does finally convince him that they should try and get the company back. But in order to do that they are going to need Roger Sterling. Uh oh!

They go down to Roger Sterling’s office and Roger Sterling is like “Don and I are in a fight, and I’m not going to help you guys until he apologizes for DeFriendstering me.” It is a very good scene, though. Roger Sterling, most enjoyable character on Mad Men to watch? Y/Y? His TONGUE is almost as silver as his HAIR! He explains that he doesn’t want to help them because he is going to go sit in a chair on a cruise. But eventually he does want to help them. But how?!

Putnam Powell and Loeb turn down their offer to buy back the company at the purchase price plus 12 percent. Sterling Cooper is worth much more than that now. So they’re stuck. Or are they?! They make a deal with the British guy to fire all of them so that they can start their own advertising agency. OMG! Sterling will bring his Lucky Strike account, which is the biggest account the agency has. But they will need more accounts! Will this plan even work? It is so crazy it just might, etc. But they will have to act fast. Wait a second. Hold on. Am I getting excited about a small group of middle-aged men…leaving an advertising agency…to start another advertising agency…45 years ago? SOMEHOW I AM! Television is magic.

They begin to round up their Street Team. Pete is out “sick.” Don calls Peggy into his office, and Peggy is like “I don’t want to make a career out of being there for you to kick me when you fail.” ZING! ZING MEN! STERZING AND COOPZING! PEGGY OLZING!

Don and Roger finally go over to Pete’s house, and he puts on a very convincing (not that convincing) “sick” costume, which consists of a bath robe (cough cough!) and Tobey Maguire’s bangs from Spider-Man 3.

Pete tries to play all coy, but come on, Pete, we all know what is going to happen. You are a little nerd, so eager to not be picked last for dodgeball! He wants to be made a partner and have his name in the lobby. RELAX, PETE! There’s not even going to be a lobby, he is told. Yikes! No lobby? Maybe they should rethink this whole thing. Anyway, Pete springs into action. It’s go time, guys!

After the successful recruitment of Pete, Don and Roger have a drink just like old times. Except that it used to be Roger complaining about his woman problems, and now it is Don complaining about his woman problems. What a revolving door of woman problems! A virtual lazy susan of marital unhappiness! Could you pass the divorce! Etc! Anyway, Roger kind of lets slip about Betty and Henry Francis. Uh oh. Even I don’t like hearing about it this way. Don goes home and oh, oh is he so mad.

He very roughly wakes Betty up from her sleep of the just. And then they have their big moment. No offense to this show, which I love, and which is great, but I liked this scene better when it was on The Sopranos.

That’s OK, this was still “very good,” which is not really the way you want to describe it, what with it being actually kind of horrible, but you know what I mean. Betty wants Don to leave the house. She also wants a divorce. Oh no! It’s like Pam and Jim’s wedding all over again, but reversed and opposite. Also, what is Betty thinking with this whole Henry Francis thing? She has spent 15 minutes with him! That’s going to work out great. They’re going to be super happy and there are never going to be any problems in that relationship at all. (Ummmmmmm.) Anyway, Don eventually relents and stops calling her a whore and says that he is not going to fight her anymore. They sit down with the kids and explain everything, not that the kids don’t already know what is up, since they are in THE LIVING ROOM. Kids always know more than you think they know about what it means to talk about something in the living room. This scene, incidentally, does NOT have a precedent in an episode of The Sopranos. Although it would have been hilarious if AJ had hugged Tony’s legs and been like “don’t goooooooo!” AJ was kind of a punk, you guys.

Don realizes that Something’s Gotta Give (2003?), and he goes to Peggy’s house and apologizes to her for being such a whatever the 1960s equivalent of “douchebag” was before they had “douchebag.” He asks her to join him in this new adventure, and she is like, “if I say no, you will never talk to me again,” and he’s like “no, I will spend the rest of my life trying to hire you.” I knew she’d eventually say yes, but I kind of hoped she’d say no just so that in season 12 of Mad Men Don Draper is 970 years old, trying to hire her from his hospice bed, but she is like “no way, Don,” from her hospice bed.

So Don brings Peggy with him (yay!) back to the Sterling Cooper offices, where they are pulling all of the relevant files. Pete sees Harry Crane in the elevator and Harry Crane is like “isn’t it crazy that they’re calling us in to help clean the carpets or whatever?” Get ready, Harry Crane! You’re hardly going to even believe what is about to happen. Anyway, they’ve got a good headstart on this business, but something is missing. Oh, I know what is missing. JOAN IS MISSING.

BAMN! You knew it. Come on, you knew. Raise your hand if you knew it. One…two…three…OK, all the hands. I’m also pretty sure that even though Sal was not in last night’s episode, Sal is going to be in next year’s episode, if you know what I mean. “Sterling Cooper Draper and British Guy Incorporated have the best gay art department in New York.” (Direct quote from next season’s premiere.) But they’re not taking Kinsey? Sorry, Kinsey. Good luck with the hippies, you hippie. “Has anyone seen Kinsey?” “I saw him doing devil sticks in Central Park.” (Direct quote from next season’s second episode.)

They move out of the office. It’s awesome how you can just hire movers to move some stuff out of an office on a Sunday afternoon, no questions asked. I’m sure their company was called Two Men And A Very Legitimate Above-Board Truck. Don goes to lock the door, and Roger is like “don’t bother.” IN YOUR FACE, ICONIC TELEVISION OFFICE.

When people come in to work on Monday they are like “We have been robbed.” No you haven’t. You’ve been JOAN’D! It’s just like that scene in The Game when they go into that office and it’s just got a phone on the floor. Sterling Cooper was a classic Long Con. Kinsey is like “I knew I should have shaved off my stupid beard.” Whoops, Kinsey! Putnam Powell and Loeb fire the British Guy before he can even have his morning tea. But actually, he WANTED to be fired, see. Everything is going according to plan! Meanwhile, the gang is over at the shop in a hotel room in the Pierre. Like a family.


Don moves into a new apartment.

Betty goes on an airplane.

The kids are left with the black maid (it was a different time back then, you guys).

Peggy and Pete exchange knowing glances over Trudy’s sandwiches.

Joan and Roger flirt again.

Sal gets ready to unsurprisingly return next season.

Kinsey batiks his peasant blouse.


Good night, and good luck, indeed!