Ad Man Versus G-Man

Living with a name stolen from a dead man gets tough for Don Draper on the latest episode of AMC’s Mad Men titled “Hands and Knees.”

Don sweats bullets on the phone with his ex-wife Betty as he questions her as to if she gave away his darkest secret to “G-Men.” A secret that would not only out him as a liar, but worse yet, as a deserter. A man, who, when given the choice between duty and treachery, chose treachery and prospered afterward.

Roger Sterling also feels the sting of unexpected news as his ace in the hole, Lucky Strike pulls their account from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. An indication, if nothing else, that although Sterling remains the same (drinking, impregnating coworkers etc) the business needs of his clients are rapidly changing.

All the while, the hypocritically self-righteous and prestige-hungry Pete Campbell continues to turn cocktail lunches into big money accounts, as Sterling’s influence on the cash flow of the company diminishes. In an unexpected show of character in this episode, Pete shows a great deal of intelligence in take a proverbial bullet for Don, in the form of the verbal abuse that comes with losing a big account.

Lane Pryce also was also under immense pressure in this episode, which took a gander into the life of the insecure middle-aged man. The close of his most promising scene ends with him literally under the heel of his very senior father’s boot, as he orders him back to London to “get his house in order.” All hope should be lost at this point that he will ever escape his nerdy demeanor.

These series of events however, are probably indicative of big changes coming to the entire firm, if Don is ousted; the firm would be, without a doubt on shaky legs, its creative maverick lost. Lane Pryce, who almost serves as the headmaster of the business, is thoroughly distracted, Joan by the end of the season is set to either explode or implode and Burton Cooper is hopelessly out of the loop.

Most importantly a big question should echo through viewers heads; has the firm grown enough since it’s inception to survive without Lucky Strike?

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