Sometimes when you’re flying you think you’re right-side-up, but you’re really upside-down” – Ted Chaough
I always consult with Matthew Weiner before I write these recaps, and he’s assured me that “Man with a Plan” is about power. Throughout the episode our characters are grasping for it; wielding it in both responsible and irresponsible ways, and ultimately left without it.
Don is on an elevator again, no surprise here. But at a routine stop on the Rosens’ floor he’s privy to another tiff between the two. Sylvia orders Arnold to leave as his bags sit in front of the elevator. Later that morning, Peggy arrives at SCDH headquarters where everyone exchanges pleasantries but remains skeptical of the inevitable changes on the horizon. Joan directs the CGC transplants to their new spaces, but walks her old friend Peggy to her office personally. She winces as she welcomes her, massaging a sharp pain in her side.
Later still, Pete bursts into a partner’s meeting demanding a seat at the table. When Ted’s assistant Moira offers up hers, he erases chivalry from his vocabulary and gladly takes it. Ted adds further emphasis to his douchebaggery, then insisting she take his seat and hopping onto the credenza. The team discusses new business – Fleischmann’s wants in with the new merger. On the old business front, the NYS Thruway feels threatened by Mohawk Air, and the team must develop a way for both accounts to coexist. Don insists he and Pete (and Ted, an afterthought provided by Joan) will visit Mohawk and put out the fire. Ted; a pilot, says he’ll fly them up there. Pete is called out of the meeting to attend to his mother who appears to be suffering from dementia and/or Alzheimer’s.
Sylvia summons Don from the office. “I need you and nothing else will do,” she purrs. He tells her to meet him at the Sherry-Netherland. Roger calls Burt Peterson into his office and promptly lets him go again. “No one fought for you,” he states with subdued joy. Poor Bob Benson; who’s been instructed to report to him, introduces himself on the staircase. “…stick your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye,” Peterson advises.
Turned on by the fact that Sylvia “needs” him, Don blows off the creative meeting at 1:00pm. Meanwhile the creative team free associates on Margarine after Peggy fails to crack Dawn for Don’s whereabouts. “She’s an excellent secretary,” she observes. “She wouldn’t tell me anything.” Still reeling from their morning argument, Sylvia complains to Don about Arnold, which turns him all the way off. A power trip ensues. –next page—More Recap–