'Mad Men': Lust and Loss at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce



The fourth season of Mad Men is in full swing, exploring the aftermath of the creation of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and the dissolution of the Draper marriage.Richard Drew, Danielle Robinson, and Catie Cambria—to provide their takes on all the sex, the clothes, and of course, the drama.They weigh in on this week's episode, in which an agency-wide meeting shakes up Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

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Richard Drew (TV producer and creator of the blog Remote Patrolled): Tough times at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce this week as the lost Lucky Strikes account puts the fledging company on the verge of financial ruin. And of course when the pressure's on people's true natures are revealed.

For Don that meant a return to his womanizing ways, this time hooking up with his latest secretary Megan (sleeping with the boss seems to be a requirement for being Don's assistant). I actually debated with my partner why these women seemed so intent on hooking up with Draper—and then moments later received my answer—in the shape of Sterling's wife (and former Draper secretary), Jane, reclining on her sofa, now a lady of leisure.

And speaking of Roger, it was interesting how weak he became when backed into a corner, lying to his colleagues and turning once again to his soul-mate, Joan. Over the course of a season Sterling has gone from an advertising world "legend" to a company punch line. As Cooper correctly observed, Lucky Strike didn't take him seriously, as he never took himself seriously. A key theme of this season has been the crumbling of the old icons.

And then there was Peggy, still saddled with the loathsome director Stan, who allowed her to make an entire Playtex presentation with smudged lipstick on her teeth. But I was most surprised by Peggy's nonchalant reaction after the truth was revealed. I was expecting fireworks but Peggy simply shrugged the incident off, displaying a maturity in the face of pressure not shown by her (male) colleagues. I can't wait for the day when Peggy gets to call the shots...

Catie Cambria (fashion publicist at Donna Karan New York): Isn't it delightfully ironic that the only one who seems blissfully unaware to SCDP's crumbling is Peggy? The episode opens with her fresh off the beach, looking lovely and undone when the scorned Abe appears in Joyce's car. She beds him and refuses to let him to leave until she has him again, and even submits to having sex with him in the office after she hears the news about Lucky Strike. Where is the anxious, workaholic Peggy we know and love? Regardless, it's refreshing to a see a character on this show do something unexpected, especially since this episode reminded us that Don will continue to be Don and Roger will continue to be Roger.

We all knew after last week's episode what the Beatles fade-out music and Don's longing glance at Megan signified. I was only surprised by her brazen pursuit of Don after-hours, and how quickly he submits to it. Megan talks about herself as "artist," though her description of makes her sound more so like a dilettante. Megan usually seems like the pretty, helpful secretary; in the scene with Don, she never seemed less pretty or more desperate. I even felt her clothes, which are usually impeccable, looked cheap and garish (the orange and hot pink blouse made me cringe.)

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