This has been a fantastic season, and this episode was probably one of the better ones of the season. It actually made me tear up a little at the end. Naturally when something good happens at SCDP, then obviously something bad will happen to Don Draper.
The firm seems to be on the verge of getting the Jaguar account, then Pete learns that one of the three voters will give them his support if he can sleep with Joan. Pete brings this to the partners. Naturally, Don objects because he believes the work is good enough to win the account.
Ginsberg comes to Draper with a fantastic idea. Oddly enough it was similar to the idea that Megan jokingly tossed out to Don in bed. Anyways, after Don storms out of the partners meeting, the rest of them agree to talk to Joan.
Joan is not up for it at first and in fact she is appalled that Pete would bring it up. Then, she thinks about it and the $50,000 they offered her would pretty much take care of all her financial problems. Then Lane talks to her and tells her that she should try to get a 5% partnership. Obviously Lane is going that route because he cannot afford for her to get the $50,000, because he was probably hoping to use his bonus money to pay the company back.
Joan agrees to sleep with the guy and we see the nastiness happen. There was a nice twist though, Don went to tell Joan not to do it and we are led to believe she was getting ready for the deed. Instead, she had already done it and then she learned that Don had not voted on it.
The episode ends with SCDP getting the Jaguar contract and there being a huge celebration. That is when Peggy wants to tell Don that she is leaving the company. He tries to convince her to stay, also to apologize for his idiotic behavior earlier in the episode (he threw money at her and insulted her in front of everyone).
Seriously, when Don kisses her hand and she leaves, it was probably one of the saddest television moments in years. After all these seasons of Don hurting the women around him, he gets his heart crushed by Joan and Peggy.
I have a feeling Don will no longer see Joan the way he did before. It will be sad times at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce…