In “Mad Men” Season 4 Episode 12 “Blowing Smoke,” Don Draper and the rest of the firm are still dealing with the blowback from losing the Lucky Strike account. The very fact that the firm is vulnerable is inhibiting getting new business.
Spoilers surely follow.
The meeting with Heinz, for instance, does not go as well as planned. Heinz is very interested in doing business, but perhaps in six months. Unfortunately, there may be no firm in six months if things do not shape up.
Tempers are starting to be frayed and fingers pointed. Blood is in the water as Don and the other partners search for ways to expand billable hours to keep the firm afloat. Eventually the partners have to put up money so that the bank will extend them credit. This proves to be an extreme hardship for Peter Campbell, who has a new baby and a wife who doesn’t understand why her husband is staying on board the Titanic.
As has been the case before, Peggy comes up, perhaps obliquely, with something of a solution. If the conversation is that the firm is going down because of the loss of Lucky Strike, change the conversation.
So Don, on his own initiative, takes out a full page ad in the New York Times with the following message: Cigarettes kill people and addict them to an unhealthy habit. Therefore the firm, out of pure principle, will no longer do business with cigarette companies. Mind, this is a cynical move on Don’s part, which he would never do if he had hopes of getting another tobacco account. And the other partners are furious with him to the point of incandescence.
But the women at the firm understand. “You didn’t dump me. I dumped you.” And the buzz on Madison Avenue changes overnight. There is even a prospect of an anti-smoking campaign courtesy of the American Cancer Society.
However, some pruning has to be made for the firm to keep afloat. Those given the royal order of the boot react in different fashions. Some sob uncontrollably. Some take the bad news manfully, perhaps not realizing the full extent of what unemployment is like.
In the meantime, things are bubbling just below the surface between Sally and Betty. Sally, on the advice of her shrink, is being a good little girl, at least outwardly. Mom is bubbling below the surface as well and really needs help herself.
Things come to a head when Betty catches Sally meeting with a boy whom she finds, with perhaps some good reason, as inappropriate for her daughter. Time to move to a new neighborhood, she informs her new husband. Don will be relieved that his wife will be vacating his house. Sally, however, is devastated.
Source: Mad Men, Blowing Smoke, TV.Rage