Mad Men chat: Slate readers on Lane’s death and Don’s culpability.

Where Does Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Go From Here?

Where Does Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Go From Here?

Real-time discussions with Slate writers.
June 4 2012 5:59 PM

A Letter Gone From SCDP

John Swansburg chats with readers about the latest episode of Mad Men.

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John Swansburg: What did people make of Ken Cosgrove's exchange with Roger? I don't think I'd quite realized that Ken had such disdain for Pete.

Marc Naimark: ‎Ken and Pete: They have long been competitors. Pete was in a position to push in as a partner, while Ken wasn't.

John Swansburg: Ken's comment that he doesn't want to be a partner because he's seen what it entails was kind of puzzling. What does it entail? For Pete and Lane it was a lot of work. For Don, Roger, and Bert it wasn't all that grueling. Or was that a reference to Joan —that is, Ken was saying he won't sell himself for a seat at the table?


Marc Naimark: It could just mean working alongside Pete!

Julie Kramer: I thought Ken's remark about partnership was a reference to Joan. He may not know explicitly the bargain they struck, but he was there when the Jaguar guy asked about her, and he's sharp. Much as I loathed that storyline, I do get a kick out of Joan as a partner.

Jessica Vosgerchian: Ken might have been so adamant about keeping Pete off the Doc account because he witnessed just how grimy a pimp Pete can be in his handling of the Jaguar dealer's proposition. Ken doesn't want Pete to taint his relationship with his in-laws. I don't think Ken feels competitive toward Pete as much as he just wants to keep from getting mixed up in the seediest elements of SCDP. He made that objective pretty clear when he refused Roger's suggestion of a partnership with thinly veiled disdain.


John Swansburg: Any thoughts on Don's performance at Dow? Did he wow them—or weird them out? He was a little overheated!

about an hour ago.

Marc Naimark: It was kind of scorched earth, but that goes well with napalm.

John Swansburg: Yep.

Jeanette Morrison: I thought he came off as crazy. Don seems to be unable to find his way back to the glory days of his Kodak Carousel pitch; lately he's either hands-off or way over the top, with his best work (like Jaguar) being inspired by other SCDPers.

John Swansburg: That's a really good point. He made a killer pitch to Jaguar, but that was Ginsberg's idea, not his. Left to his own devices, Don didn't quite have the goods. At the end of the day, his come on to Dow was: We'll try harder. Not sure a company of that size and sophistication is going to go for that.

Karim Renno: I disagree. I think Don's pitch to Dow was perfect in the sense that getting work from a client that is satisfied by its current service provider involves, first and foremost, convincing it of the importance of reevaluating its needs and satisfaction level. Don's emotional plea to never be satisfied is exactly what the situation called for.


Marsha Boutelle: Am I the only one wondering if we'll all have to wait 18 months again before we see the next season of this show?

John Swansburg: OK, I need to get back to my Nat Turner book report. Next week is the season finale, and Julia Turner and I will both be here to talk about the last episode and this exciting season. See you then!