How appropriate and clever that Roger, the only partner who might still be on Team Don, finds out that Ogilvy signed Hershey on Valentine’s Day. Bittersweet, indeed.
This episode was a stalemate for the revival of Don’s missing mojo. But it was a major victory for the secretaries -- not that it was easy. The working ladies (that’s secretaries, not prostitutes to Sally’s snooty friend) had a few hard-fought battles.
Dawn stirs up a riff after revealing her true allegiance: her homophonic boss, Don. Can’t blame the girl. He does brush off the Ritz cracker crumbs, slick his hair and suit up for her daily correspondence deliveries, after all. That, and it’s not hard competing with Mr. Rogers' evil twin.
Lou Avery is as brutish as he is untalented. Outraged that Dawn calls Don before putting out the Sally flames, he blames the whole fiasco on her. Except it’s not her fault she wasn’t there to stop Sally from going into Lou’s office; he sent Dawn to get a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift for his wife that he was too inconsiderate to remember to do himself.
“None of this has anything to do with me,” he deflects. It’s never been easier missing Don at SC&P.
Dawn gets shuffled around from Don/Lou’s desk to front reception. It’s a little too out-in-the-open for some. Cooper pulls an unexpectedly racist move and insists – ahem, “suggests” – that Dawn go to the back. No, it’s not Rosa Parks-esque at all. Just a “rearrangement of your rearrangement,” he assures Joan.
Before Dawn has enough time to settle in, Peggy throws a temper tantrum – she learned well from Don – and insists that her secretary, Shirley, be moved.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t suit Miss Olsen. After Stan and Ginsy tease her for being a dateless cat lady, she’s beyond thrilled to see a dozen roses at her secretary’s desk. “See?!” her eyes exclaim, “Guys like me! They really, really like me.”
Except they don’t. Well, not the ones she’s thinking of, anyway. Those long-stem roses weren’t from Ted; they were from Shirley’s fiancé for Shirley (duh, Pegs). Peggy, starving for attention, swoops in and has Shirley take them to her office.
Then, angry with Ted for the assumed romantic gesture, she tosses them back to Shirley, their rightful owner. Shirley tells her the truth.
"You did not have to embarrass me. Grow up,” she snaps before storming into her office and grimacing behind the closed door. Yup, she knows what a jerk she’s been. Only, she doesn’t apologize, she demands a new secretary.
Joan recommends big-haired, small-brained Meredith. “She has the mind of a child!” Peggy snarls. This, coming from a woman-child who blames Shirley for embarrassing her. Not taking responsibility and blaming her underlings? Looks like Lou has rubbed off on her.
Cutler stops playing adversary to everyone (read: Don, Roger and Pete) for a second and looks out for Joan’s career. He tells her to lean in, or in ‘60s lingo, start complaining. Now, instead of juggling two jobs, she drops the secretary act and moves up to accounts. Attagirl, Joanie.
Joan packs up her files and flowers and moves into a spacious, low-traffic office on the second floor. Taking over her old spot and previous secretarial positions is Dawn.
The women are taking over the office. At this rate, I sense a Harris-Chambers firm on the horizon. Peggy can join if she plays nice.
MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM "A DAY’S WORK":
BEST ROGER ONE-LINER: “The snow’s melted, but not the heart of New Yorkers.”
BEST ONE-LINER THAT ISN’T FROM ROGER: “She has plans. Look at her calendar! February 14… masturbate gloomily.” – Ginsy about Forever-Alone Peggy
CALIFORNIA BLUES: It doesn’t matter how blond his mistress is, how killer his tan is or how sweet and juicy the SoCal oranges are. Pete can’t find happiness when he keeps getting pushed down the totem pole. The farther West you go, the less power you have, it seems. Even Ted’s been rendered useless at teleconference meetings. Not that he’d care, with a broken heart and ruined marriage.
PARTNERS IN PRIME (REAL ESTATE): Anyone else get a Bonnie-and-Clyde vibe from Bonnie and Pete? But instead of holding up banks, they swindle unsuspecting clients.
MORE REASONS TO HATE PETE: “Sorry, it’s not the same,” he scoffs at Bonnie’s Realtor woes. After putting him in his place, she tells him to put back the “For Sale” sign. Bonnie: 1, Pete: 0