I've long said that all I want from Mad Men is for Joan's name to be on the wall of the advertising firm. Unfortunately, there are bigger fish to fry at this point in the AMC series. On Sunday's episode on Mad Men , Sterling Cooper & Partners lost their lease thanks to McCann-Erikson. Don Draper put together a plan that involved gathering their loyal clients and moving into the office in Los Angeles and it doesn't seem like the craziest idea, but will Mad Men move to California in the end? That would be a fun twist and it would explain all the airplane imagery in the promotional images for the first half of the final season — the series has been rather obsessed with the Golden Coast out West for a while now. When all of this shakes out, there is no knowing who will be fired and who will be moving around. No matter where they end up, the firm is getting further away from Madison Avenue, which is fascinating.
The episode, appropriately titled "Time & Life" after the building where Sterling Cooper & Partners currently owns two floors, did not waste time getting to this revelation. Roger Sterling thought one of the secretaries had forgotten to pay the rent on their office space, and Joan quickly uncovered that McCann-Erikson had put notice on their lease and was planning to get rid of the extraneous office space.
Don checked in with Sterling Cooper West, and learned that their office was all but empty. The race was on to secure enough clients so that they could keep their dignity. Nothing like a new project to inject some life into an episode this late in the series! It also gives them the opportunity to name drop every major client from every season. Ah, the memories!
When the partners gathered with McCann-Erikson's executives all ready with a fancy presentation, they got shut down before Don could turn on the signature Draper pitch charm. Roger, Joan, Pete, Ken and Don were presented with top advertising jobs and top brands for everyone (except Joan — don't think I didn't notice that before she pointed it out). In theory, they've "won advertising" but we all know that isn't the case for our heroes.
The partners got drunk and mopey. The next morning, it was Meredith who finally voiced the loudest concern before Don assured her that her job was safe. At the end of the episode, Don announced the news to the office. After two consecutive episodes that ended in silence, this one ended in noise as they were unable to assure the Sterling Cooper & Partners employees that this was the beginning, not the end.
Image: Michael Yarish/AMC