Everyone who’s worked in a company that has gone through a merger knows the drill. It’s like when a young couple decides to move in together and combine two households. Everything that is duplicated – television, sofa, salad spinner – is at risk. Which TV has the bigger screen? Which sofa
is more comfortable? Whose salad spinner achieves higher RPM? In theory the decision on what to keep is based on quality, but other factors come into play, most usually there is:
• Emotion: is there an heirloom? Grandma’s bed may have to stay. The cat your ex- gave you? Not so sure.
• Power: are the deciders on truly equal footing, or does one hold more sway?
And so it goes with people. Based on what we know about quality of work, emotional favorites and power in the merger decision, who is going to prosper in the days to come, and who may find themselves holding the short end of the stick? Here are some ideas:
Frank Gleason: he’s already revealed he has cancer and he is on the way out. He’s a Creative and leaves an opening.
Burt Peterson: Draw a chalk circle around him.
Margie: She called her own demise. They don’t need two “woman’s angle” creatives.
Bert Cooper: increasingly out of touch (“spirits of elderflower” “asperine”?) with the times, it may be too crowded at the top for him to remain. Loses power.
Ted Chough and Don Draper: the old Spanish saying “A él que parte y reparte, le toca la mejor parte” means “He who does the dividing gets the best part” and will come into play. Don and Ted will fight for senior creative but both are safe as principals in the merger. Ted can’t figure Don out, does Don even think about Ted?
Roger Sterling: earlier Roger seemed an unnecessary appendage, drinking and cracking wise. But he was instrumental in unearthing the Chevy lead, and as he reminds Pete “I close. That’s what I do.” Uncertain future.
Jim Cutler: Roger’s doppelganger – will the town be large enough for the both of them? I think he’s the stained sofa — garage sale.
Joan Harris: We don’t know who her counterpart is at CGC, but we saw that her books were impeccable and she has the support of SC&D. Expect her to rule the roost.
Harry Crane: It was thinking about Harry that got me started on this. He’s played the “I’ll walk if I don’t get partner” card, and the merger makes any new partnerships highly unlikely. He lost political support in needless confrontations with Joan (over her partnership) and Pete (the King assassination’s impact on the work day). Bert was privy to both, and Bert likes a peaceful, professional environment. If CGC has any kind of a good TV man, Harry’s on a banana peel.
Peggy Olson: As the only person who has worked in both companies, Peggy has a huge advantage. And no one at SCDP filled the void she left. If she can stand the disappointment of failing to reach escape velocity from Don’s influence, she stands to gain the most of all. We already see her speaking from power to Don: “Move forward.”
And that leaves Pete Campbell: For a man who once wondered, “Why can’t I get everything good all at once?” he seems to be getting everything bad all at once. Trudy discovered his cheating within her territorial waters and threw him out. He was spotted in the “party house” by Trudy’s father, who then pulled his Vicks account from the agency. Furious at the loss of Jaguar, he made a comic scene in the office and proceeded to attack Don’s impetuous decision right before Chevy came in and made it look like a master stroke. Now, in Man With a Plan, Pete’s mother requires constant care, he can’t get a seat at the table, it is all causing him more worries.
Pete is not heeding Roger’s advice to show eternal gratitude to Don for saving his job in season one, and now he may find himself on the outs with all three of the principles. He once asked “Why do they get to decide what’s going to happen?” but he hasn’t seemed to remember Harry’s reply: “They just do.”