Air Date: 11/8/09
As a rule, cable dramas (or the best ones, anyway) don't sit still. Plot developments that broadcast television would have teased out for as many seasons as possible back in the day, instead play out in a timely fashion, if not even sooner. And so Mad Men adheres to the new world order in grand fashion by essentially blowing its world up. Days after JFK's assassination, the Draper marriage crumbles, complete with the heartbreaking "Dad Won't Be Living Here Anymore" conversation with the kids and nasty shouting matches before shared history gives way to an amicable split.
Meanwhile, Don (Jon Hamm) decides to at least regain control in his professional life, marshaling the agency's best, brightest, and most necessary (Harry Crane, accidentally winning yet again) to take back the reigns of their agency under the oppressive British owners and take on Madison Avenue as the newly formed Sterling Cooper Draper Price.
Contrasting with the domestic ugliness, the rest of "Shut the Door. Have a Seat" has a cool, '60s-caper feel as Don and Roger (John Slattery) covertly assemble the new team one at a time. And while Don ultimately fails at keeping one of the women in his life, he succeeds at maintaining his relationship with another, delivering a heartfelt speech to protégé-turned-punching bag Peggy Olson (Elizabeth Moss) to stay with the home team. The revitalizing shake-up teed the Emmy darling up for its fourth, and best season yet.