Everyone is busy juggling something in this episode of “Mad Men” - oranges, clients, spouses, kids.
We open with Roger trying to juggle oranges sent from Sunkist to inspire the team working on a pitch to secure the account. Don seems a little annoyed speaking of the prospective client because "it's pretty clear they're too cheap to get out of print." TV was the media darling of the late 60s, much like digital is today. I wonder how many similar conversations are going on in agencies right now regarding the migration to digital and mobile media from traditional. Seems the juggling of advertising dollars, media buys and placement lives on.
Meanwhile, back at SC&P there's always an undercurrent.
Pete is treated to a surprise office visit by his mother and her male nurse, Minolo. Minolo is a charming, dashing young fellow who dotes on Mrs. Campbell. Peggy and Mrs. C have a brief interesting conversation in which Mrs. C tells Peggy she and Pete should work it out for the sake of their child. Peggy's face is priceless as she whispers that she and Pete are just friends. Mrs. C goes on to say she has found a deep love with Minolo. Finally, after Mrs. C calls her "Trudy" Peggy lets out a sigh of relief realizing the old lady is confusing her with Pete's wife.
Peggy, Pete and Ted visit OceanSpray and enjoy a few too many cranberry cocktails. Peggy and Ted flirt until he goes to phone his wife. Pete calls her out on the mutual attraction between the two, which she wisely brushes aside. She relays the gist of the conversation with Pete’s mother to him. He is mortified at the thought of his mother having relations with the younger Minolo, and the two of them are still laughing when Ted returns. Ted, who always seems to feel like the odd man out, is uncomfortable and wants to head back to NYC. When Ted returns home, his wife is waiting up and complains about how much time he's spending at work. Different couple but same argument.
The next morning, things are in a tight squeeze at SC&P when it's revealed Roger and Don are working on a pitch for Sunkist and Ted is working on a pitch for OceanSpray. It’s the beginning of the juice wars. Lots of yelling and door slamming with poor Ted lamenting to Jim Cutler about "my juice" vs. "his juice." Jim reminds Ted that as of now they have zero juice accounts so they better figure out which one to pursue.
Don always has something else on his mind and it usually relates to a woman. This time it's Sylvia's son, Mitchell, who has just been classified 1A by the draft. Mitchell confides to Megan, who contemplates helping him run to Canada. Don quickly nixes that idea. Arnold comes to speak to Don about Mitchell and Sylvia, indicating he could tell something was up as he had caught Sylvia in little lies the past year.
Don the rescuer wants to help Sylvia by keeping Mitchell from getting drafted. He asks Pete for help but no go. Pete suggests asking the bigwigs from GM since Chevy is their account. At dinner with GM/Chevy and the partners, Don brings up his friend's son who is 1A. He talks about how the kid had his whole life ahead of him, how distraught his mother is and all but flat out asks them to intervene through their government connections. They murmur sympathies, the partners look incredulous and Don was just Don. The next morning, Ted barges into Don's office aghast at his behavior at dinner. Ted tells Don he should have said something to him because he knows the Brigadier General and will put in a call, but only if they agree to quit battling and move forward as one solid agency. Their handshake was a binding agreement. Ted holds up his end of the agreement and Mitchell will not be drafted.
While all of this is unfolding, Sally and her frenemy, Julie, are in NYC for a Model UN. They meet Mitchell in the lobby of the Draper building and the school girl crushes begin. They both think he is dreamy and write a "what I like about Mitchell" note. All young girls know these silly things are NOT to be shared with the boy.
Julie, who deliberately calls Megan "Mrs. Draper" to annoy her, helps take out the trash. In doing so, she sneaks downstairs to the Rosen apartment and slides the note to Mitchell under the door. Julie gleefully tells Sally what she did. Sally is mortified. She convinces the doorman to give her the apartment keys, again, and creeps into the Rosen kitchen via the back door. If you recall, off the kitchen is the maid's room. As she tiptoes across the kitchen floor she hears a moaning from the maid's room and sees her dad and Sylvia. Startled, she screams, drops the keys and flees. Daddy Don rushes after her but doesn’t catch her. Don is distressed and ends up in a bar. When he finally stumbles home, Megan and the girls are having dinner. Arnold stops by to offer his thanks for saving Mitch. Don is terrified Sally will say something about what she saw and convinces her, through a closed door, that he was just comforting Sylvia. Sally doesn't believe it but loves her dad and says it's fine. Ever notice how little these two talk face-to-face? It's always over the phone or through a door.
When Pete confronts his mother, she is very lucid and tells Pete, "You've always been unlovable." Ouch, that's pretty harsh for a mother to say, even if I do agree. Pete reprimands Bob Benson about referring Minolo, whom he feels is taking advantage of his mother. Bob indicates that Minolo is not interested in women, but is a kind, loving person who makes others feel special. Bob touches his knee with Pete's and leaves it there just long enough for Pete to get the message. He tells Bob to “tell Minolo he gets one month of pay and is disgusting." Well that puts to rest some of the Internet rumors about Bob.
Peggy is still in her dark, crummy apartment. She traps a rat and it drags itself under her sofa to die. I can't help but think the bloody trail across the wooden floor is foreshadowing of a murder scene to come. Remember last season when Don doodled the noose then Lane hung himself? With only two episodes left this season the puzzle pieces are starting to fit together.