You know how certain pretentious people pretend to be into jazz because they want to appear cool? “It’s not the notes you hear”, they’ll say, “It’s the notes you don’t hear.” I usually scoff at that logic. But I guess Don Draper can say anything and I’ll be all on board, because that is essentially his pitch to Heinz ketchup and I think it is fantastic. It’s great because it’s “tantalizing” and “incomplete.” The fact that you don’t see the ketchup bottle will only make Heinz more present, burrowing its way inside the imagination of the consumer. “You’ll be thinking about ketchup all day”, says Pete tying the presentation up. I’m sure I will Pete.

I guess it is this same reasoning why Don shows up to the set of Megan’s soap opera: He doesn’t want the nebulous notion of Megan kissing another man to commandeer the real estate of his imagination. This however, only seems to make things worse for both of them. Megan views it as Don sullying the exhilaration of her job. He even goes as far to say, “You kiss people for money. You know who does that?” Megan replies, “Would you rather have not known? You never watch the show. It would be like it never happened.”

That’s just the thing Megan: You’ve already told him it is happening and he doesn’t want to be thinking about ketchup all day.

This fight drives Don once again in the bed of Sylvia. He tells her to take off her crucifix but she refuses. They compromise: Don flips the crucifix so it lies on her back as they copulate. It’s there yet it’s not there.

Kind of like the room where Don and Stan smoke week and come up with copy for Heinz ketchup. There are no windows. No one is supposed to talk about this room. This is great imagery for the episode. Stan later says, “I think everything should be done in secret.” That would be nice wouldn’t it? But eventually, Raymond finds out about your meeting with ketchup because your good friend sabotaged you and you flip the bird as you make your exit. It happens every time.

Peggy’s pitch to Heinz ketchup is more audacious. Like the good people at Heinz, she’s sick of people “selling their watered down flavorless sauce by pretending that they’re you.” Her pitch is to change the conversation. “Heinz: the only ketchup.” As she gives this speech—even though I like Don’s better—I know Peggy will win. Don is listening at the door [1] and we get that feeling that he knows this too. Don is catsup; Peggy is ketchup. That surely doesn’t bode well for Don looking further ahead into this season. Is his creativity becoming watered down?

Joan’s friend Kate is catsup too: She is trying to be like Joan. She wants to hold a high position like Joan and she wants to have all of the hot sexy fun Joan must be having being single in Manhattan: going to restaurants with telephones at the table, making out in taxicabs, etc. But she wakes up the next morning feeling awful and wistfully says, “I’m not you am I?”

Meanwhile, Joan just wants to feel wanted, and if she won’t garner the respect of people at her job like Harry, she’ll settle for some guy in a stoner club. It’s hard to see Joan like this. I just remember that confident woman, giving Peggy advice and knowing how to get everything done. Now she’s older and divorced. She goes out and is a million miles away. She still knows how social dynamics work, but she seems too jaded and weary to participate anymore. She basically just plays along for the satisfaction of Kate. Joan is an awesome wing-woman.

Dawn is also, figuratively and literally, looking for someone to want her. She’s looking for a man but she is either too intimated or people just won’t give her the time of day. She’ll help Scarlet cheat on her time card. She’ll apologize to Joan afterwards and act grateful when Joan dispenses punishment. "I don't care if everyone hates me here, as long as you don't”, she says before making her leave. Now these two should be having girls’ night out. Too bad Joan dismisses her. Can’t you see that what you want is “right in front of you for the taking” Joan?

This was an excellent episode. If I’ m ranking these episodes so far I would place it behind the premier and ahead of last week’s episode. Now I’m going to listen to some jazz and try not to think about ketchup. Do you like jazz? It’s the notes you don’t hear man.

Additional notes:

Harry is inclined to Peggy’s sensibility here: He changes the conversation with DOW Chemical. Let’s not even talk about war, let’s have “Broadway Joe on Broadway”, whatever makes people smile. Don actually provides the logic for this at the dinner with Megan’s co-workers: It is best for people to be in a good mood when they hear your message.

Harry also bemoans the fact that Joan is rewarded for her dealings with Herb that nobody dares to talk about, while his accomplishments “happened in broad daylight.”

Roger Sterling one-liner of the night: “Should we fire him before he cashes that check?”

Don is against Vietnam.

The best laugh of the episode: After Don compliments Pete’s apartment, Pete says, “It’s available to you, you know, if you ever have to spend the night in the city.” “I live here Pete.”

[1] Turns out that Don not only—like Arlene accuses him—likes to watch, but he also likes to listen.