Stoned, bearded Stan is your favorite Stan. Until Now. Did you know Stan was a Teenage Heartthrob in the 90's?
Adorable! Hit the jump for this week's Mad Men recappage.
"Man With a Plan" finds us in the wake of the SCDP/CGC merger, the respective staffs meeting up and butting heads and feeling the crunch of redundancies. A few points, the loss of Vick Chemical and Frank Gleason's illness, are unwelcome surprises, but Cutler and Sterling seem like old buddies already.
Don and Ted have some things to work out, though. Don's need to control everything and everyone becomes a source of conflict. This story is intertwined with Don taking advantage of Arnie leaving town to keep Sylvia as a personal sex slave in a hotel room.
Bob Benson gets his first little subplot. After running into an irate Bert Peterson, who gets fired again, Bob realizes he'll have to up the sycophant ante in order to save his job. To his credit, he achieves this by being a decent human being and helping Joan with a health problem. ("Just" a cyst on her ovary? Is that not a big deal?) Joan is suspicious of Bob, but she does save him from being cut. People don't seem to trust Bob. Why not? He's so cute!
After keeping his family at arm's length for four seasons, Pete's mom and brother show up! She is in the early stages of dementia and Pete has to put her up in his bachelor pad. Pete does seem good at keeping his mother calm, though his techniques are cruel. Pete is also suddenly down a few very important clients and feeling nervous about his position in the company.
Keeping Sylvia subjugated inspires Don's dickish mojo. In the office he embarrasses Ted by getting him wasted. But Peggy, now completely unafraid of Don, marches in and tells him to act like an adult. Ted then shakes off his hangover to fly Don upstate to meet a client. Like, Ted flies the plane. The sequence is priceless. Don freaking out. The clouds breaking. Ted throwing on his aviators. Maybe it was some kind of metaphor.
Finally Sylvia, who first plays along with Don's insanity, decides to end the affair. Don's domination fantasies turned a lot of people off, but they are nothing new. His psychological motivation is more disturbing than the sub/dom play. Don isn't doing this for some fun, sexy times, he's making Sylvia a function of his psychosis. As she leaves him, Sylvia tells Don she feels ashamed. He goes from stern alpha to lost little boy so smoothly you almost feel bad for him. But who could feel bad for Don at this point?
—Poor Margie, we hardly knew ye.
—Also Ted has a very motivated assistant named Moira.
—Peggy bought the whole building! My coworker was right and I owe her an apology.
—In just two scenes I totally love Frank Gleason. (The guy with cancer.)
—Harry and Pete seem chummy again after their blow up.
—Peggy got the office with the beam in it.
—Ending with the RFK assassination was a nice way to handle it. My friend Adam pointed out the closing montage's similarity to this Simon and Garfunkel track.