There are lots of things changing at Sterling Cooper and Partners, and I'm not just talking about Roger's amazing new mustache. In Mad Men's mid-season opener, "Severance" it turns out that someone actually find themselves in need of a severance package. Ken Cosgrove is fired from the advertising firm before the end of the episode, and it's like you can hear hearts breaking across America. Not our eye-patch wearing Ken! Say it isn't so, SC&P. Is this the end of Ken?
Ken has always had a little bit of a love-hate relationship with advertizing, and the entire firm. He's gone back and forth a few times about leaving, and as his wife points out, he's already given them his eye, so what more can he even offer?
Ken's wife suggested that he straight up quit so he can write a novel. (If you've forgotten, Ken's actually a published author.) He had a short story published in The Atlantic Monthly, and also write science fiction stories under a pen name. So him quitting to write full time — and be a little bit happier with his life, too — doesn't sound like the worst idea. However, being fired? Yeah, that's bad. And that's what happens. Sterling Cooper and Partners want him off all accounts, and he'll be given a nice severance package if he helps the transition between Pete and his clients.
But is this really the end of Ken? How will we carry on without his eye-patch? Does this mean we're never going to see him tap dance again?
Actually, it's all just the opposite. Ken's fired, but he's also offered a job at Dow Chemical, and Dow's still very much a client of Sterling Cooper and Partners. So yes, Ken is gone, but he's can't be gone for long. He has a pretty heated discussion with Pete, where Pete asks, "So you're going to fire us?" Ken is quick to shoot back that what he has planned is a much worse fate for Pete, because now he's their client. Ooof. But also, awesome, because that means Ken isn't going anywhere. Now it's like Pete works for him.
Also, he's probably going to be a whole lot happier not being on the Sterling Cooper and Partners payroll. Is this the perfect time to tap dance? Most certainly.
Image: Jamie Trueblood/AMC