Mad Men Season 6 Review “For Immediate Release” – The Big Merge

This just in: Don Draper is an inconsiderate ass. I feel like that could have been the alternate title of “For Immediate Release,” this week’s episode of Mad Men. It’s something that has always been known, but never acknowledged in the office, until Don put his foot down with Jaguar’s slimy sales guy and lost the account on the brink of the company going public.

If you’ve ever wanted to see Joan really mad, this was the episode for you. Yet even while she railed at Don for losing Jaguar and effectively nullifying her ultimate sacrifice for the company, she never lost her cool. Not so for Pete who flew off the handle, saying things to Don that he’d always wanted to say, but was never in a position to get away with. Well, for a shining moment, Pete was the righteous one, and Don screwed up. Until Roger saved Don and Pete screwed up and everything went back to normal.

Still, how great was it to see Joan accuse Don of caring more about his pride than his colleagues? It’s so true, but rather than reflect on the criticism and try to grow as a person, Don jumped to the other extreme and proved just how right she was by single-handedly merging SCDP with their rival agency (the one Peggy works for). He didn’t even bring Roger in on the decision, and Roger was in the same city, helping Don with the pitch to Chevy that would ultimately save them from the Jaguar fall out. Don is a one-man show and he will do everything in his power to keep it that way.

Meanwhile, Pete, the team player and company man, saw his decision to mix business with pleasure so many years ago when he brought his father-in-law’s account into the company, blow up in his face. After running into Trudy’s dad in a brothel, he thought their mutual interest in ignoring the awkward situation would save him, but Trudy’s dad was as sanctimonious as he was unfaithful. To punish Pete for cheating on his little girl, he fired SCDP and took his nine million dollar account elsewhere.

Really, it’s Roger who wins this round by using his stewardess girlfriend to help him land big clients like Chevrolet, but it will look like Don’s triumph in the eyes of the public. The merger will save both struggling companies and possibly turn them into a powerhouse, and Pete will continue to sulk on the sidelines, growing increasingly resentful of having victory continually snatched out of his hands. If anyone has the makings of a spree killer, it’s Pete.

On the plus side, Peggy is back working with Don. Theirs is the only truly functioning relationship in the entire show, now that she’s started to cheat on Abe with her boss. And with this merger, we might see more of Harry Hamlin. There’s possibilities all around, but one thing remains clear. Don will always be an ass.

What did you think about the episode? Let me know below. And remember you can always follow me on Twitter @krieli1 so you never miss a review.