Mad Men Season 5 Episode 11 Recap – ‘The Other Woman’
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A lot has been going on on last night’s episode of Mad Men, The Other Woman. Somehow the Jaguar account placed itself right in the heart of the company, and triggered many changes. When Don told Joan that “it isn’t worth it”, I was thinking about the two remaining episodes for the season, and that it may be not worth it, but Don was talking about himself – certainly not about Joan.
One of Jaguar’s managers asks for a night with Joan, or the deal is off. Who else will tell Joan about it if not Pete. And Joan answers it in a very ‘Joan’ way, telling him the company couldn’t even afford it. When Pete discusses it with the partners Don is leaving the room angry – this is not the kind of business he wants to do (it’s all morals with this guy). The room without Don is a better atmosphere for such ‘dirty business’, and they agree on a price.
It’s tempting, and like Joan says – it’s four times what she makes in a year. Lane can’t argue much against it, but he tells Joan to ask for a partnership instead. Working in an advertisement company does affect the way you think I guess – everything is for sell.
I loved the way they edited this episode – you couldn’t quite guess Joan has already done it when Don came to see her at her house and told her it wasn’t worth it. She was in a traumatic state when he came by, but it’s Joan – and it takes more then that to break her. In fact, when later they celebrated the Jaguar account and Joan’s partnership in the meeting rrom – and Joan looked at Peggy who was leaving – I’ll get to that in a sec – you couldn’t know what Joan was thinking: was she feeling bad, seeing Peggy asa woman who made it the hard way while she ‘sleep her way to the top’? And what kind of top would that be, now without Peggy in the company, with Don as the only “good one” around?
Oh, so Peggy was leaving the company, and like she said – Don would have done the same if he were she. But he’s not, and he was so bothered with Jaguar, Joan, and Magen’s acting career – that he allowed himself acting quite nasty to Peggy, who will now be working for another advertisement company, Teddy Chow-guh-guh, and you had to see Don’s face when he heard that name. The way he said goodbye to Peggy – once he’s realised this wasn’t her asking for a raise (“you’ve finally picked up the perfect timing to ask for a raise!”) – was so pretty and sad and desperate, you all of a sudden remembered: this wasn’t a show about Peggy, or Joan, or Magen – it’s Don. And The Other Woman is all of those three – all of them who did what he didn’t want them to do. Who would leave him for their career, or play prostitute for the night – again, for some kind of a career, or a future.
And Don is growing sadder, darker. He reminded me a lot of Tony Soprano during this episode, being the last good man in a very dirty world. Only Tony Soprano kept playing the game – I don’t see Don staying in this game for much longer. Don needs a change – will it happen in the next two episodes, the last in this season of Mad Men?