His lack of power coupled with the issues of the past, coupled with Jim Culter's somewhat bizarre desire to move away from creative and into computer-based advertising sets us up for the metaphorical battle of Waterloo. Like in all good battles, first an issue of war is declared. The day the team is due to fly out to Indiana and pitch to Burger Chef, a letter comes across Don's desk informing him that he is in breech of contract and that he is going to be fired. A few episodes back, Don walked into a big tobacco meeting and proceeded to undermine Jim and Lou by pitching himself, not an ad. The move was a way to save his career, as the meeting was a set up to in force Don out in the first place. But, Jim now feels it is adequate grounds to dismiss Don. So long as Don is around, SC&P will always be a Don Draper company. The clients, for now (we'll get to to why only now), flock to Don to hear Don's ideas and Don's pitches. So long as Don Draper can still burst into meetings, Jim will never have the kind of company he wants. I must say, I'm a little shocked at how little regard Jim has for creative. His closest ally and partner is Ted, who is exactly like Don: creative first, business second. Does Jim think there is really a place for Ted in this new sterile, technology driven agency? What's more shocking are the way the votes go down when Don summons the partners together to vote on if he should stay or go. This scene was laced with tension. The scoring of Mad Men is always important, but unless it's an actual lyrical song, the music is never in your face and is often muted or very low. The music as Don calls the partners, his comrades in arms as it were, together was much louder and intense than anything we've heard in awhile. It created a sense of drama, but it also created a sense of fear. Don's on edge and almost takes a swing at Jim (which Jim deserves for throwing Don's "impoverished childhood" in Don's face), everyone is angry at one another and angry at Jim. Like civilized men (and woman) they first attempt a vote. Not surprisingly Jim (and apparently Ted who is absent in more ways than one this season) wants Don out of the company.
Until next year...the moon and the stars belong to everyone. The best things in life are free.
--I know I skipped over everything with Sally but in short: despite her being a bit of a Betty clone this episode, she's still Sally and she still went for the nerdy boy in glasses instead of a the hot stud. Props to the actress who managed to embody bot her parents: forging her own path like her father, but dressed exactly like Betty. And check out how body language when she takes a drag on her cigarette: January Jones to a T.
--Meredith is officially my favorite secretary in the history of ever. That incredibly awkward attempt to hit on Don was deliciously silly.
--Can we have Nick come back and woo Peggy?
--"That is a very sensitive piece of horseflesh. He shouldn't be rattled"
--"I don't want to go to Newark!" "No one does..."
--"We have no liquor!"
--Harry Crane once again misses his chance to become a partner because he waited too long to sign the papers. He's now out several million dollars.
--I really need this show to not go off the air.