“I hope she didn’t make any promises,” Joan says to her lunch date.
She could almost be referring to the incident with Jaguar. Understandably, Joan may be hesistant to the idea of other people making promises for her. But in this case, Joan’s lunch isn’t a date or someone she’s going to have to woo to win company business, it’s a potential client. The guy works at Avon and is looking for an agency. And Joan’s determined to reel him in on her own, without having to bed him.
Once Joan realizes this is a business transaction, she wisely plays herself as more important to the firm than she is. She even picks up the check.
When she gets back to the office, she checks in with Peggy, to see what she should do about the potential client. “I thought it was a date, but turned out to be better!”
Joan says she would take the Avon news to Don, but she wants in on this account. Peggy thinks Ted will understand and help, saying he’ll make Joan the account man, if she wants. Peggy, however, just made Joan a promise she can’t keep. Ted calls in Pete to take care of the account side, putting Peggy on the creative side. The men are still wrapped up in the traditional way of doing things and can’t understand why Joan needs to be involved, since she’s not an account executive. “Don’t worry, you’ll get all the credit.” Pete says, trying to placate Joan.
At the breakfast meeting with Avon, Joan arrives instead of Pete. Peggy wonders how they’ll conduct the meeting without him. Joan confesses he’s not coming, because he wasn’t invited. Peggy is shocked Joan would break the rules that way, but Joan gives her an out, telling her she can leave if she’s not comfortable.
When Peggy and Joan arrive back at the office, Peggy is not pleased with the way Joan handled the whole situation with Avon. While Peggy has confidence that Joan could do the job, she advises Joan to play into the system. “I worked my way up,” she tells Joan.
Joan makes a comment about how Don carried Peggy into the deep end of the pool. “I never slept with him,” Peggy tells her in a rather tense moment. Peggy’s disgust that people would think this of her comes through, but her response and tone almost seem accusatory about Joan’s past sin with Jaguar.
“Congratulations,” Joan replies tersely. Joan tells Peggy she’s just like them–“them” meaning the men at the firm–and it’s hard to disagree. Peggy seems more concerned about Joan breaking the rules than helping her friend get an account. Peggy could speak up on Joan’s behalf, but whenever she has the chance, she bows to the system of the boys’ club. In the past, Peggy has been vocal with Don about various issues at the firm, so it’s curious she won’t speak up more for Joan. (Of course, she and Don are not getting along, and he’s in California, anyway.)
“I have to do this myself, Peggy!” Joan tells her. “This is the only way I could do it. Because all that matters now is who has a relationship with that client. Who is the client going to call?”
Once again, Peggy states her worry for Joan’s breach of the rules.
“I’ll be fine,” Joan replies. And knowing Joan, there’s no doubt she will.
However, when she gets called into the conference room by Pete Campbell, she doesn’t seem as sure. Pete has found out about the Avon meeting, because Avon sent a box of free samples to the office with a note. Peggy arrives as back up for Joan, but again, doesn’t speak up for her.
Joan stands her ground with Pete. “Isn’t the point to make Avon happy?”
“Oh, I’m sure you’re making him very happy,” Pete replies, once again throwing Joan’s Jaguar incident in her face.
When Pete calls Ted in to mediate, he kicks Peggy out. But Peggy listens in via the PA in Joan’s office. Pete says he doesn’t even care if Joan takes the account, but he’s upset because of the breach of company etiquette. In this way, Peggy and Pete seem to be made from the same mold.
Just as Joan is drawing a blank on what to say, Peggy sends in the receptionist with a message saying Avon is calling Joan. Ted tells her to take the call. Via the PA, both Joan and Peggy hear Ted tell Pete that possession is 9/10ths of the law. “We’re all working together,” Ted tells him. “All agency business is your business.”
Joan thanks Peggy for tipping the scales in her favor. Peggy simply replies, “You better hope he really calls.”
ETA: I’m writing a whole post about Megan’s storyline and Don’s involvement/hallucinations from this week.
- Mad Men Recap: Signs and Blunders (tvline.com)