Mad Men: Season 5, Episode 11 – ‘The Other Woman’ Review and Synopsis

The episode opens with SCDP throwing around ideas about the Jaguar advertising campaign. Peggy is left out of the action and watches as her male counterparts feast on lobster courtesy of Roger. One of the reps from Jaguar wants to sleep with Joan in exchange for throwing business SCDP’s way.

‘Why didn’t you tell him she was married? … Because so is he, and he already knows that.’

Pete broached the topic with Joan and conveys to her that ‘Herb’ basically said SCDP would not get the business if Joan did not sleep with him. He truly has no shame. In a demonstration of her worth to the company, Peggy saves the Chevalier Blanc account from leaving SCDP.

‘He’s one guy and we can win it without him. End of discussion.’

As if this scenario should actually be taken seriously, Pete tells Lane to extend the company’s credit line to offer Joan money to sleep with Herb to win over the Jaguar business. No one thinks the idea is becoming but no one protests enough to shoot it down. As ever, Don’s response is to leave the room.

When Don gives the business back to Ginsberg, Peggy is somewhat miffed and his response is to throw money in her face. Thus far, this is one of the most histrionic episodes of the season. Lane tries to change the tact from giving Joan $50,000 to a percentage of ownership in the company instead.

The theme of objectification of women continues when Megan’s actress friend begins to act like a tigress on the conference room table during a stopover so Megan can have a quickie Don.

‘Just keep doing whatever the hell you want.’

‘Jaguar – Something beautiful you can truly own.’

Peggy has a meeting with Freddy Rumsen, one of the old Sterling Cooper people. The discussion turns to Peggy’s leaving and going elsewhere. This would be in response to Don’s behavior toward her about Chevalier Blanc. Joan goes through with her pact to sleep with the nasty Jaguar guy, Herb. Herb gives her an emerald necklace as a memento to remember their magic night.

Scenes of Joan’s prostituting herself are intercut with those showing Don’s presentation to Jaguar. We find out later that Don’s attempt to intercept and stop Joan from sleeping with Herb was too late and what she and Herb did actually occurred prior to SCDP’s presentation.

Peggy is given an offer by a competing firm with more money than she is being paid. While SCDP won Jaguar’s business, Don is losing Peggy. He thinks it is all a ruse for her to try and get a raise, but Peggy is quite earnest about her decision to go to Cutler Gleason and Chaough.

‘Let’s pretend I’m not responsible for every good thing that has ever happened to you and name a number.’

Now that Peggy has left SCDP it will be intriguing to see how much the show continues to follow her. It is truly a different era for Mad Men without Peggy working with Don. It may be the beginning of the grand unraveling of the Don Draper persona as built over the preceding four seasons.


All photos courtesy of