Long before the Kardashians began their rightfully earned coups of America’s finest cities, the men of Sterling Cooper Draper Price Cutler Gleason and Chaough (name discussion later) departed from the realm of New York City for the carefree Los Angeles. And while Don, Roger, and Harry (the core SCDP group) head off to the West Coast, the former CGC executives, headed by Cutler, start to make some changes to the newly merged firm. Much like the Kardashians, Roger states, “Our biggest challenge is not getting syphilis!”
Early on, Joan is introduced to and has lunch with a mysterious executive, whom we discover later is high up in the ranks at Avon Cosmetics. Knowing that he is only in town for the next day, Joan, with the help of Peggy, takes it upon herself to secure this account – but Pete Campbell will not allow Joan, an apparent figurehead at the firm, to take on an account. Joan being Joan, however, disobeys orders and “forgets” to invite Peter to her lunch with Avon. After a scuffle and a catfight back in the office, Peggy saves face, both for herself and for Joan, by lying about a phone call from Avon directed to Joan. This shuts up Peter.
Meanwhile in LA, Harry introduces Don and Roger to the West Coast way of life. After a few rounds of drinks and a try at the hookah, Don hallucinates a pregnant Megan, followed by the ghost of a fallen soldier. The soldier tells Don, “Dying doesn’t make you whole – you should see what you look like,” which adds another tally to my “Don Draper is Dead” theory. Soon the partygoers’ attentions turn towards the pool where someone had fallen in, motionless. Flash to Roger resuscitating Don. Please, somebody, tell me I’m not crazy for saying Don is already dead. Please.
Back in New York, Cutler assigns the mysterious Bob Benson to take the Manischewitz account with the aid of Ginsberg in creative. In a weird turn of events, Ginsberg falls ill, but Benson coaches him through his nerves to deliver the pitch – Manischewitz doesn’t go for.
The company does receive some good news, though. Ted announces that Chevy has released models of their new car and has put their firm into the final pool of applicants for their business. Just to piss us off, Cutler assigns Benson to the case. I wonder if the writers even meant to make Bob a mysterious character, or if all us viewers are simply blowing his lack of backstory out of proportion.
When Don, Roger, and Harry return, the Cutler and Ted make a pitch to call the company Sterling, Cooper, and Partners – thus sacrificing their own names, as well as Don’s. The partners all agree that it’s in the best interest of securing the solidarity and future of the company.
The episode ends with Pete taking a joint out of Stan’s mouth in the creative office and smoking it himself. As the smoke floats around him in slow motion, Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart” echoes through the walls of Sterling, Cooper, and Partners. Peter has nothing else to lose, so a little puff in the office couldn’t hurt.