Peggy is also a genius in this episode, as sure-footed as we've seen her all season, turning issues with the Chevalier Blanc client into advertising gold. But when she tells of her win to Don, he responds that Ginsberg will take over with that client when Jaguar is done. Peggy, who earlier was put "in charge" by Don says, "I guess I'm not in charge of everything," and as a reward gets money thrown in her face by her boss. This is the beginning of the last straw: The end of it is effectively dissolving the pact with Ken.
Megan comes into the agency with her red-headed actress frenemy, Julia, who, in a scene that's shades of Antonioni's Blow-Up, "entertains" the copy guys by acting out the part of a jaguar on the table in front of them. Megan, who tells the guys that Jaguar is their problem, not hers, then pays a visit to Don in his office so that she goes into her audition "with confidence," causing Ginsberg to utter, "She just comes and goes as she pleases, huh?" This is a statement you could apply to Peggy and Joan, too; it's a bit like Pete Campbell complaining about women, "Why do they always get to decide?" and it's true and at the same time, it's not. Women are pushing for more control, more decision-making power, more of the ability to come and go as they please, the way the men—at least men like Don Draper—have been doing all their lives. But it's complicated, as later we see: If Megan gets the role she wants, for instance, she'll be in Boston for three months. Don is not happy with that, and says so. But it's not his choice, in the end. Yet it's not really her choice, either. In the audition, the men really only want to look her up and down; Megan's grasp for control in that situation is thwarted, though she's managing to hold on to it with Don. Later, she tells him that if she is forced to choose between him and acting, she'll choose him, but she'll hate him for it. All the norms our characters have known are in flux.
Pete ham-handedly sets up the arrangement between Herb and Joan, and Ginsberg comes through with the perfect Jaguar campaign, with Jaguar not as mistress but an unattainable woman (who, presumably, has come and gone as she pleased) who is finally attained: "At last, something beautiful you can truly own." Peggy has dinner with Freddy Rumson, who gives her career advice—stop acting like "some secretary from Brooklyn who's dying to help out," for one—and that she should leave. If Don wasn't her boss, he says, he'd tell her the same.
Don, the flawed man who may be the only good man in this show, save Ken Cosgrove, tries to intervene with the inevitable Joan and Herb rendezvous. He shows up at her apartment and tells her it's not worth it. She doesn't say it to him, but we know it's too late, the decision has been made, and Joan is going through with it, despite her obvious disgust. The scenes with Herb and Joan—he gives her an emerald necklace, compliments her, then gets to the point and she starts to undress, her face frozen—are spliced in with Don giving the pitch to Jaguar, and the lines he gives in that authoritative Don Draper voice that makes you believe anything he says are equally suitable to both situations: Both, in essence, are business.