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A Tale of Two Cities - Recap

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The episode opens with Don having a drink and watching the '72 Democratic National Convention while Megan packs for his trip in the other room. The two squabble over political matters, with Megan up in arms that the war is not being discussed openly and protesters silenced while Don suggests it will all be talked about after primetime. Don suggests that Megan come with him on his trip to Los Angeles, but she insists she can't get away and tells her husband playfully to "stay away from actresses." The two kiss after Don feigns ignorance, joking that he hates actresses.



At the office, Roger, Pete, Ted, Cutler and the crew have a meeting to discuss Ken's stressful experiences at a Chevy trade show and Ted relates that he will attempt to smooth things over with a slighted executive with the company. As Don arrives, the subject turns to the post-merger company's mouthful of a name "SCDPCGC." Roger proposes shortening to SCDC, while Bert offers to give up his own initial and those of the deceased partners. The issue is put on the backburner for now, as Don and Roger head to Los Angeles while Jim and Ted leave for Detroit.

On the flight to LA, Roger attempts to get Don to loosen up, insisting that their meeting with Carnation executives will be a cakewalk. While Don prefers to be prepared for the discussion, Roger sees it as a matter of style over substance.

The firm creative team is transfixed by radio coverage of the DNC. When Cutler inquires about the status of a project, Michael is enraged that he seems to take no care in real world issues like the war, calling him a fascist before Bob interjects to stop the argument. Cutler relays the conversation to Ted, stating that they fired the wrong people and suggesting they fire the SDC creative staff while Roger and Don are on their trip. Ted declines, imploring Cutler to stop seeing the merger as "us vs them."

Joan takes lunch with a man she initially thought was a date, set up by Kate, but turns out to be a prospective client. Joan sells the man on Harry Crane's genius at finding the right means to get the company's product in front of the right people, telling him that she is in charge of thinking of the things people need before they know they need them.




Bob attempts to mend fences with Cutler, stating that he only interrupted the heated argument because he saw a lack of respect. Cutler is seemingly undeterred by the argument, and gives Bob a chance to shine at a meeting with client. Bob is caught off guard, but thanks Cutler for allowing him an opportunity.

Joan talks to Peggy about her date-turned-business meeting with the man who turned out to be the head of marketing at Avon. Joan is eager to move forward but is unsure of how to go about it, as the man is only in town for the day while Draper and Sterling are out of town. Peggy suggests setting up a meeting with Ted, though Joan is worried that he may strongarm her off a potentially big project. Ted, in a hurry to leave for Detroit, instead passes the account off to Pete. While Peggy and Joan insist that the latter should be at the dinner meeting, Pete shoots down the idea and assures her that she will get all the credit. Joan is noticeably offended, but walks off silently.

Draper and Sterling arrive in Los Angeles, meeting up with Harry at their hotel. Again, Don and Roger have different approaches, with Don needing to get some sleep while Roger wants to get dinner on the Sunset Strip. Joan, Don and Megan watch footage of an anti-war protest turned violent in their respective locales -- while Megan and Joan are affected by the police crackdown, Don is unaffected.

At the dinner meeting, Peggy sits by herself and is surprised when Joan arrives claiming that Pete couldn't make it. Peggy apologizes for how Ted handled their earlier encounter, and Joan admits that she is going behind Pete's back and never invited him to the dinner. When the client arrives, Joan interrupts Peggy and attempts to take charge of the meeting. Avon has experienced a sales slump thanks to women migrating from home to the workplace, and Peggy promises to reinvigorate their advertising approach.

The next morning in Los Angeles, Don, Roger and Harry are at the meeting with their client talking politics. Things get off on the wrong foot when the new client expresses anger at the violence and Roger's suggestion that Nixon is a patriot who could put a stop to it. The Carnation executives relate bad experiences with New York firms in the past, a big part of it stemming from the big city attitude Roger had been telling Don was their biggest selling point. Don tells the clients that the firm believes in the wholesomeness of Carnation's products and assure them they will get that across to consumers.



Back in New York, Peggy tells Joan that she potentially threw the Avon account away with her underhanded tactics. She relates that Joan should work her way up the corporate ladder the way she did, allowing experienced players to take charge of the account. Joan suggests Peggy got to where she is by sleeping with Don, and that she is now "just like the rest of them." The two part ways in a huff.

In his office, Bob gets a call from Michael, claiming he is too sick to attend the two's upcoming meeting with Manischewitz. Bob successfully calms down an obviously agitated Michael, who seems to be nervous from both stage fright and a fear that he is a corporate sell out.



Don, Roger and Harry attend a party where they stand out from the largely hippie crowd. Sterling recognizes Danny, a former employee who is now a player in the film business. Harry and Don excuse themselves to the bar while Roger cracks wise about Danny's height and brief stint in advertising. At the bar, Don is transfixed by a brunette beauty emerging from the pool, and follows her into the house to a room where a group of people are smoking hashish from a hookah. Don partakes.

Later in the evening, Roger attempts to get Danny's girlfriend Lotus to leave with him. Danny punches Roger in the groin after one too many wisecracks about his height and leaves with Lotus. Don, meanwhile, is high and wooing the party host before hallucinating that Megan is pregnant and has quit her job. Megan leads Don to another room, saying that everybody is looking for him. The Megan hallucination turns into an injured serviceman, who lights Don's cigarette as the two talk. Suddenly Don is looking at a body floating face down in the pool, before waking up soaking wet with an also-wet Roger hovering over him. Evidently, Don had fallen into the pool unconscious and Roger had to drag him out.

Back at the office, Ted tells Cutler of his success with the Chevrolet meeting before the two are interrupted by Bob. He informs the two that the Manischewitz meeting was a courtesy, and that the company's executives hadn't liked the firm's work for several months. Ted feels that Cutler dropped the ball by having Bob lead the meeting, but this is brushed off by Cutler who puts Bob on the Chevy account instead. After Bob leaves, Cutler shifts blame to Don and Roger for abandoning their clients for the Los Angeles trip while the New York crew was bringing in Chevy and Avon. Ted is agitated and says that they won't see it in such a positive light.

On the flight back to New York, Don is suffering from a cold after his near drowning. Roger tells him that the trip has taught him two things: New York is the center of the universe and Don is a terrible swimmer.

Pete calls Joan to the conference room to discuss the Avon account. Avon samples are set on the conference table for the girls in the office, making Pete aware that he was ditched from their meeting. Pete is furious that Peggy and Joan went behind his back and brings Ted in on the conversation. Peggy listens in as Pete and Ted come down on Joan for breaking protocol, eventually sending the secretary into the room to rescue Joan with a message about a fake phone call from Avon. The two listen in as Ted is far less angry about Joan's transgression than Pete, saying that one way or another they brought in a major client. Pete is left to seeth as Joan thanks Peggy for her help.

Don and Roger return to the office to a still flustered Pete, who attempts to fill them in on what they missed before being interrupted by the rest of the firm's partners. Ted puts things in more positive terms than Pete would have, saying Chevy is a done deal and Joan is on the verge of bringing in Avon. Bert also informs them of the new name: Sterling, Cooper and Partners. After the rest of the partners leave, Pete laments to Don about the changing of the business. Don tells him flatly that if he doesn't like it, then it might be time for him to leave the business.



Pete heads down to creative to find Stan smoking a joint. The episode closes with Pete smoking the weed by himself while leering at a woman walking by.

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