Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword – Mad Men Episode Summary 4.5

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword Mad Men episode summarySynopsis: CGC has been snatching Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s former clients, and Don Draper soon finds himself vying against Ted Chaough for Honda’s attention.  Roger Sterling, however, ruins any chance they have to get the Honda account, and it is once again up to Don to clean up his mess.  Meanwhile, Sally Draper’s unbecoming behavior has made Betty agree to Henry’s advice to send her to a child psychiatrist.

Episode Summary: Don Draper receives a call from Walter Hoffman, a reporter from The New York Times with news that Cutler Gleason and Chaough has signed their former client Clearasil.  It is the same ad agency that snatched the Jai Alai Association from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce insinuating that CGC has become one of their toughest competitors.  Soon after, Don attends a meeting of the partners and hears that Pete Campbell has managed to get them an appointment with the Honda Motorcycle Company whom he heard to be looking for new agencies following their dissatisfaction with Grey.  Roger Sterling, having fought in the war, refuses to do business with the Japanese company that could bring them three million dollars in potential billings.  However, the other partners are not in agreement with Roger, and Don has instructed Pete to pursue the meeting.  Hearing that Honda has a different way of doing business, Pete shares with the partners an advice given to him; he is to read The Chrysanthemum and the Sword.  Moreover, Pete turns to Bert Cooper, a man knowledgeable of Japanese culture, and receives orders to keep Roger out of the loop.Continue reading...

Don Draper leaves his kids in the care of his neighbor Phoebe who finds herself in a quandary after Sally cut her hair by herself.  She finds herself in an even more precarious situation when Sally asks her if she is sleeping with her father, and is shocked to learn that the young girl has some knowledge of sexual intercourse.  Meanwhile, Don is with Bethany at Benihana’s, and finds that the young woman is not enjoying the knife show that comes with the dinner.  To add to the less than satisfactory evening he has been having, Ted Chaough with his wife comes up to him to rub it in that his agency now has the Clearasil account.  To make things worse, Don learns that CGC is angling for the Honda account as well hence their attendance at Benihana’s.  Don returns home only to learn that Sally cut her hair, and becomes fretful of the wrath he will receive when Betty finds out.  Phoebe begins to tell him of the conversation she had with the young girl, but Don is too furious with her to listen that he cuts her off and terminates her as his children’s babysitter.

Don brings the kids home, and he and Henry become witness to Betty’s fury.  Betty slaps Sally the moment she learns that the young girl cut her hair.  Although Henry is upset with Don as well for leaving his children in the care of a babysitter instead of spending a few days with them, Henry points out that Sally should not have been the recipient of Betty’s fury.  Henry, a divorce with a daughter as well, could not imagine passing off a few days to be with her daughter.  Moreover, Henry has managed to convince Betty to reward Sally instead of punishing her for what she had done.

Don arrives at the office, and learns that Honda has decided to meet with them that day.  Pete fully aware that they are not prepared advises that all they have to do is to avoid providing criticisms or advice.  The Japanese men from Honda arrive, and Don gives them a tour of the offices.  Although most of what have been said is lost in translation, one thing is clear, the men ogle at Joan Harris’ breasts.  Despite a few stumbles, the meeting has been amicable until Roger arrives and finds the Japanese men from Honda in the conference room with the other partners.  Although the Japanese men with the exception of the translator could not understand a word Roger has said, it is very clear with his actions and intonation that all of them are insults.  Despite the disrespectful reception they received from Roger, the Japanese men from Honda inform them that they still look forward to seeing their presentation.

Don barges in Roger’s office to berate him for single-handedly ruining their chances to acquire the Honda account.  Pete arrives soon after, and presents another explanation as to Roger’s behavior.  He believes that Roger has been using his gripe against the Japanese as a ruse to mask the true motives of his objection.  Roger is preventing Pete from bringing in a new major account for it will make the agency less dependent on the one client Roger brought in, Lucky Strike.  Having clients other than Lucky Strike would make Sterling Cooper Draper and Pryce less dependent on Roger.  Pete has struck a chord that would have resulted in a bloody altercation if not for Don.  Don, however, agrees with Pete.

Sally goes on a sleepover with her friend Laura, and while her friend sleeps, Sally decides to gratify herself.  Regretfully, her friend’s mother walks in and finds her in the act.  The woman decides to end the sleepover, and brings Sally back home in the middle of the night interrupting Henry and Betty’s sexual intercourse.  The woman speaks privately with Betty to inform her having caught Sally in the act of pleasure.  Betty is in shock and mortified to hear of what Sally had done.  Although Henry has always been patient with Sally, the young woman’s recent behavior has convinced him that it is time for them to have the child see a psychiatrist.  Betty is against the idea having been to one, and not seeing any results.  Henry, on the other hand, having sent her daughter to a psychiatrist is convinced that doing so has helped her cope through the consequences of having a broken home.

Given the disaster of a meeting they had with Honda, thanks to Roger, Pete is convinced that they stand no chance at giving a presentation.  However, Lane receives a call from the motorcycle company with a schedule for one.  At the same time, Lane and Pete informs Don of the good news, Bert and Roger arrives at his office with Roger’s apology and promise to provide full support on their next account.  Pete is in a forgiving mood following the call Lane received from Honda, but Bert aware of the Japanese culture is certain that Honda scheduled a meeting with them expecting Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce to withdraw.  Moreover, Bert points out that they should have received a gift from them, but not one of them received any.  Don learns that he had received a package, one that Ms. Blankenship, his new incompetent secretary failed to hand to him, but finds that it was only from Ted Chaough.  So it seems that Chaough wins another one of their clients by default, and Don has finally acknowledged CGC as a competitor.  Don has had it, and despite Bert’s resignation to the fact that Honda will never sign on with their agency following the disaster of a meeting they had, he wants to create something that will make Honda notice Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  Don plans on shooting an ostentatious commercial that as Lane points out breaks the specific rules asked of them, which strictly limits presentations to boards and copy.  Moreover, they were only given three thousand dollars in the budget for the pitch.  Bert adds that breaking the rules will not please the Japanese.  Even Pete who is the last person to disagree with Don in doing their all to win a client does not support Don’s plan for he believes Bert, and now understands that they stand no chance in winning the account.

Unfamiliar with the Japanese culture, Don spends the night reading The Chrysanthemum and the Sword.  He receives a call from Betty with news about her and Henry’s decision to send Sally to a psychiatrist.  Don finds the decision to be outrageous believing that this was brought about by Sally cutting her hair, and is stunned to learn that the cause was his daughter getting caught masturbating in public.  Regardless of the reason, Don is against sending Sally to a psychiatrist, but Betty has made up her mind and is merely informing him of her plan.  Betty blames Don for Sally’s unbecoming behavior, which Don finds to be ridiculous given that it was Betty who brought another man in her bed.

Don arrives in the office and calls Pete, Joan, and Peggy in a meeting.  He reads a quote from The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, one that states that a man is shamed when he is publicly ridiculed.  The quote led Don to a solution that will solve their CGC problem.  Having heard Lane’s argument of how putting together a full-blown commercial for Honda would bankrupt their agency, Don’s plan is to let Chaough believe that Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is making a commercial for the man is most likely going to follow suit consequently eating up his equally small agency’s budget preventing him to make any other pitch.  Don sets his plan in motion with Joan meeting with Howard Moses, the director CGC used to shoot their Clearasil commercial.  Don then interrupts their meeting with him hauling a Honda motorcycle piquing Howard’s interest even more.

Howard meets with Ted Chaough with news that Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is shooting a Honda commercial.  Immediately, Ted begins thinking of shooting a commercial as well, and brings in Smitty who is now working for CGC to understand if Don is known to break the rules.  Although Smitty could not tell for certain, he does see Don as someone who believes that the rules do not apply to him with him disappearing for a month.  In his remembrance of working with Don, he ends up inadvertently insulting Chaough.  Don’s plan seems to have worked, because Chaough has decided to shoot a grandiose commercial, one that involves the subway.  Chaough begins shooting a Honda commercial, and Peggy and Joey book the same studio bringing with them a motorcycle to help establish the hoax that they are shooting a commercial for Honda.  The guys at CGC hear a motorcycle running inside Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s set unaware that there is nothing there but Peggy riding the Honda in circles.

Don decides to open Chaough’s mocking gift to him, and finds a bottle of sake inside it.  He shares a drink with Faye Miller whom she learns has been wearing a wedding ring despite being single to avoid distracting conversations.  Faye seems to be very good with her job as she manages an unforthcoming Don to tell her that he does not spend enough time with his children, and when he does he is unsure with what to do with them that he is relieved to bring them home to their mother, but then misses them when they are gone.  Moreover, he tells her that his ex-wife believes that his daughter needs to see a psychiatrist.  Faye, however, believes that if Don makes it known to his daughter that he loves her then she will be fine.

Betty meets with Dr. Edna, the child psychiatrist, and shares with her that Sally has been acting up ever since her grandfather who lived with them briefly passed away.  The psychiatrist observes that Betty finds speaking about her late father tough, but the woman pushes on struggling to keep herself from crying.  Moreover, Betty goes on with her speculation that Sally did what she did to punish her for divorcing Don to marry another man.  Dr. Edna feels that Betty requires a session with a psychiatrist herself, but the woman believes that she has no need for one.

Unlike Chaough who brought with him a crew and a projector to present his commercial, Don arrives at the Honda pitch alone with nothing else but a statement of withdrawal from the competition learning that Honda has not honored the rules they set upon the competitors knowing full well that one of the candidates broke the rules by presenting a finished work.  Moreover, Don returns the three thousand dollar budget they gave them.  Meanwhile, Roger continues to gripe about the Japanese, and displays self-pity for putting aside his principles to allow their agency to pitch to Honda.  However, even Joan has had enough of his brooding and does not want to hear his sad war stories especially since Greg will be deployed to Vietnam in the near future.  Joan tells him that the world is safer because of the sacrifice of the men who fought in the war, and that it is time to move on.  Don returns to the office, and learns from both Pete and Lane that Honda truly had no plans of leaving Grey, but of all the three that pitched to them, Don is the one they remembered.  Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce becomes first on Honda’s list for their car commercial.  Moreover, CGC has lost any chance of being asked to pitch.  Meanwhile, Carla brings a frightened Sally Draper to see Dr. Edna.

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