“Cheers to our guest.. to not being carried out in a box.”
Ah, post-bang poetry by Jane, partially inspired by being 20 years old, mostly inspired by drugs. Roger wants to marry her, he believes Jane is the key part of life he was always meant to have. Mona is gonna give him hell in the divorce proceedings.
Duck has been at Sterling Cooper for about 2 years now, and is expecting a partnership in return for his work with them. Roger does not agree, tells him to go out and make it rain if he wants to move up in the ranks.
So, Duck takes a meeting with Sinjin Powell, an old Putnam Powell and Lowe buddy from his days living in London. He falls off the wagon straight into a gibson, then takes their temperature on buying out Sterling Cooper. Duck knows Roger is in a compromising position as Mona is about to bankrupt him, so he’ll be able to force their hand. He wants to have Creative reporting to him, as President Duck. Fascinating..
image courtesy of Not Great Pod
Like his luggage (no thanks to TWA), Don is lost. Squinting by the pool in the stark Los Angeles sunlight, Donald Draper grey suit uniform intact, he looks distinctly out of place. He chides Pete for treating it as vacation, and tells him to go out and make some connections pre-rocket fair, really make an impact. Once he’s changed into some new clothes, he sees a vision of Betty at the bar, breezing right past him.
Just then, Don encounters some absurdly attractive Eurotrash nomads. There’s Willy (with a very complex name), his wife Rocky, and a young lady named Joy. They seem magnetically drawn to Don, but when Pete shows up they can’t get away fast enough. A thing like that!
The rocket fair has begun, and it’s The End of The World presentation. Don and Pete watch slides about missiles being launched at the USSR, about how the USA could knock out the entire country if need be. “Total annihilation”. Don is wholly rattled by this idea, this intense escalation.
Back in the sunshine, Don runs into the exceedingly young (and aptly named) Joy at the valet pool. Suddenly, he decides to take her up on an impromptu trip to Palm Springs to some stunning, palatial flophouse she and her hot companions are crashing at; Pete is left poolside with some potential clients. He’s really up shit creek in LA, because the guy can’t drive.. thanks for that, Don. And there’s no taxi that will take you to Pasadena, Pete.
Once they arrive in (very hot) Palm Springs, Don falls over poolside. He’s collapsed from heat exhaustion, and comes to surrounded by Euros in expensive threads. “Who are these people?”
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Dinnertime. Don makes the mistake of verbally assuming they’re all well off, and is met with dead silence. He fits in with them aesthetically, but the actual lifestyle part of it? Not so sure. Are they con artists? Gypsies? Simply evading taxes? On the lam? Don impresses them when it comes to the city capital word game, at least. Then Joy locks onto his face like Alien in front of everyone and then drags him inside for a bang, claiming she’s 21 when he asks.
Who makes out at the fucking dinner table, anyway? Teenagers, that’s who. Gross. Damn kids.
Like most teenagers acting more Grown Up, Joy is pretty much intolerable, with her “I like sex” tryhard garbage pillowtalk. She talks about school in vague terms, and Don picks up that she’s younger than 21 but at least in high school. And then, it’s revealed that Willy is her father making everything infinitely weirder, during a morning-after still-in-bed conversation with him. “I make beautiful babies, don’t I?” He doesn’t want people thinking he’s old. How about N O P E.
Word gets out that Kurt and Peggy are going to see Bob Dylan together, much to everyone’s surprise and delight. Is it a date?? Adorable. While he gets a good natured ribbing, Kurt doesn’t see the humour and casually lets it drop that he’s a homosexual. Record scratch. Most are shocked, Sal raises an eyebrow then averts his eyes, there’s some bizarre homophobic comments, and Peggy isn’t ruffled. They keep their date. Sal is hurt by Kenny’s instant aversion to Kurt’s admission.
Kurt heads over to Peggy’s place. She lets him know that if he would rather take a man to the concert, she gets it; “I don’t know why I pick the wrong boys”. Sensing she needs some friendly advice, Kurt lets her know she’s a touch old-fashioned in the looks department, gesturing at her bangs and curled ponytail. Peggy is sort of resistant, but then she lets Kurt hack a a bunch of her ponytail off with a pair of kitchen scissors. And what do you know, it looks great! Much more modern. Fresher start for Pegs.
Joy invites Don to run off with her and her band of nomads, and though it’s realistically what he yearns for in life, he’s hesitant. Methinks he’s a man who wants to do it on his own terms. A gentleman shows up with a little boy and girl, and Don is suddenly brought back to a splash of reality, his own kids and marriage. The guy is going through some shit, referencing attorneys and how awful everything is. Holding a cracked glass in the pool, Don knows he’s gotta split.
Duck receives a box of Tanqueray, presumably from Sinjin over at PPL. Chewing on a lifesaver, he heads to Cooper’s office to share the news. Putnam Powell and Lowe want to open a New York office to service the American clients, and Sterling Cooper is just the place to do it. Bert is exceedingly pleased that the man he’d heard so much about has finally shown up; looks like Duck needs the sauce to be a more effective, ballsy businessman.
The next morning, Don rings someone from Palm Springs. He identifies himself as ~Dick Whitman~ to the caller. He notes down an address in the very back of Joy’s copy of The Sound and The Fury, tearing out the page after. Where is he headed?
Back home in Ossining, Don’s suitcase shows up at the front door. Nobody’s home.
“He likes having you around. You’re beautiful, and you don’t talk too much.”