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'Mad Men,' Recap: Season 7, Episode 3 'Field Trip'

By Ezekiel Hernandez,
Guess who's back at Sterling Cooper...

SCP is working on Mountain Dew. While at home, Don tries to get Dawn, his secretary, to fill him in on everything going on while he's away, but she seems to be too busy for Don.

Megan's studio representation, Alan Silver, gives Don a call at his office. Dawn passes the message on to Don. Silver says he's having problems with Megan out in Los Angeles. She's been chasing around directors after auditions, making tearful appeals to them in their own private time. He pleads for Don to go calm her down. Don decides to follow through and "surprise" Megan at her house. After a fervent kiss, Megan jokingly asks Don if he got fired.

Don tells Megan that Alan called, and she immediately becomes upset with Don. She sees an ulterior motive in his trip out west, and questions whether he really cares about her or misses her. Don comes clean that he hasn't been working. She gets even more upset and says she wants him gone and this is how it's going to end for them.

The writing is on the wall that Peggy hates her new Boss, Lou-- Don's replacement. She presents some ad copy with artwork and Lou quickly disregards her efforts.

This episode is titled "Field Trip," and highlights some quality time that Betty Draper (Don's ex-wife) spends with Don's son on a field trip. She has a productive time bonding during a tour of a farm, but finds herself questioning how she has done as a mother. Strange irony, considering Don Draper's level of commitment to fatherhood.

Don sets up a dinner with some guys from a rival ad agency in town. An unknown but beautiful woman comes by and introduces herself. Don tells the guys to save the hard sell. They hand him an envelope-- a written offer.

Viewers are led to believe that Don is knocking on the young woman's door, but instead he ends up at Roger Sterling's apartment. He hands him the envelope. The two have a verbal spat before Sterling tells Don that he misses him, and wants him back at the office on Monday.

Don then goes home and calls Megan, who was crying in her bed next to a tissue box. He apologizes for the way he has approached his relationship with her.

Don is extremely tense in the elevator on the way to the office. The first person he talks to is Lou.

Peggy's crew comes in to let her know Don is there, and she thinks they're talking about Dawn. She doesn't believe it. She stands in the hallway admiring his presence from afar. She has a brief reunion with Don and tells him that she can't say she missed him.

Sterling didn't tell any of the other partners about Don's return. Joan Harris tells Bertram Cooper that Don is downstairs, and he says he wants him out. Jim Cutler is taken by surprise as well. Sterling walks in late to the office, smelling like alcohol according to Don. Sterling says with cool confidence that SCP is his place after all, and as president of the agency he reassures Don that it'll all be fine.

Sterling heads into a partners' meeting to discuss Draper's fate. Cooper is upset Sterling didn't consult with the rest of them. They go back and forth. Since Don is still under contract, it'll cost a fortune to buy him out. Sterling is very stern in front of the partners, and asks them whether they want to see a rival Draper across the lobby while they deliver a pitch to a client. The partners go silent.

Don is summoned into the conference room with the partners. Cooper breaks the ice by saying they want him back. But he has to agree to stipulations:

-He's not allowed to be alone with clients.

-Aside from client hospitality, there is no drinking in the office.

-He has to "stick to the script," as approved by the partners. No more Hershey's debacles.

-He will report to Lou.

There's a paper on the table. If he breaks the agreement, he will be terminated and lose his partnership stake...

"Okay," as we cut to credits to the tune of Jimi Hendrix's "If 6 was 9."

 
 

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