Hi – it's that anon again, responding to the mystery of Dan's potential offer (I should probably just get a Tumblr account). I think Dan is in the cab is the night after the second bar meeting, so probably still too quick a turnaround time to film something new. Still, it definitely seems to wake him up to the pathetic reality of his broadcasting career. But I agree that his general stress is Amy-related! she's definitely ghosting him in the immediate aftermath of their night together.
It’s probably worth walking through what I think the likely sequence of events was, to clarify my thinking here (I hadn’t realised there was a day between Dan’s scenes in the bar and the taxi, but it doesn’t change things substantially).
Amy’s costuming would seem to indicate that they spent the night at Dan’s place – which is why she ends up wearing the black dress she didn’t wear for their ‘not-a-date’ earlier in the season (which presumably she had left in her desk drawer somewhere).
When Amy introduces the subject of the night they slept together, she does it in a slightly odd way, asking Dan “Do you remember…?” Setting aside the question of whether it’s at all likely that Dan would forget the two of them having sex, the way she phrases it strongly suggests that they hadn’t discussed the night they spent together at any point before Amy brought it up in 6.10.
So, what I think happened is that Amy left before Dan woke up – we know she’s back in the office by 8.30 in the morning from the time stamps in the episode. (Bear in mind, he would have been getting up very early every morning to go to work, so getting an opportunity to sleep in wouldn’t happen often). Given how big a city New York is, it seems unlikely to me that Amy would have had time to go home (for a shower or whatever) before heading into work – which is why she puts on her ‘spare’ dress.
Of course, that same night Dan goes back to the bar to meet Kent and Ben, and nopes out of there at surprising speed, because, he says, he has a job offer and isn’t interested in the possible consultancy. Which… if he didn’t go to the bar for a potential professional opportunity, why did he go? This is Dan we’re talking about.
I think he wanted to run into Amy again, and decided to leave when it became clear she wasn’t going to show up.
Now, I don’t think Amy was ghosting him, exactly. She definitely ghosted him after they left the White House – I am absolutely certain that she would have been the first person Dan wanted to tell that he’d been offered a job at CBS, and equally certain that he got pissed off and petulant and grumpy when she ignored him.
I think for Amy, after they’d had sex, it was more of a… not really knowing how or if to proceed? She probably assumed that sex was all Dan wanted, that he wouldn’t want to hear from her afterwards, that if she did put herself out there again, he’d only make fun of her. You can’t ghost someone who doesn’t actually want you, you know?
From what we’ve seen in the show, Amy’s not particularly adept at navigating casual sexual relationships – she winds up engaged to Buddy, and I can’t imagine that was her aim when she invited him home with her – and Dan… knowing Dan as well as she does, and how easily he disregards women (especially women who’ve made the mistake of developing feelings for him)…it probably wouldn’t have crossed her mind to try communicating with him first.
But on Dan’s side of things, I think there was an element maybe of his…finally running out of patience? He’d had to do without Amy for nearly two years, he’d been lonely and low-level miserable without her, now they’ve finally been somewhat honest about what they want… and she pulls her disappearing act, again. (Hence the temper tantrum in the cab – it is probably more about broadcasting being so profoundly disappointing, but I think Amy being stand-offish definitely didn’t help – Dan had something that made him happy, and now it seems like she’s taking it away).
In other words, I suspect he hatched his ‘bring Amy back to work with me’ plan very, very shortly after telling Ben he was in. Which would also explain why he didn’t try to sleep with her again (that we know of) – he was holding off so he didn’t give her an excuse to ditch him all over again.
Dan may be lacking in empathy, but he is very intelligent, and I think he realised that Amy’s go-to move when she’s nervous or upset or angry at him is to hide. He also knows that 1) his sexual relationships tend to end badly (to put it mildly), and that 2) Amy is only able to pull off her disappearing act if he lets her. (Note, she starts to distance herself from him in season 5 when he’s in New Hampshire – physical separation makes it a hell of a lot easier for Amy to put him off. If he’d stayed in D.C. I think things would have played out very differently – I can’t see Dan standing by and watching Amy leave the Congressional Ball with Buddy).
So, I think for Dan, getting Amy to come work with him was a kind of stepping stone to getting the ongoing relationship with her he actually wants (which, to be clear, would still be casual and undefined and wouldn’t involve Dan ever expressing his actual feelings in any way). Once they work together, they’ll be around each other all the time – and the mere fact that Amy’s default response to Dan hurting her is to cut him out of her life indicates that she feels she can’t resist his actual presence.
My guess would be that he started to pressure her regarding the BKD job very soon after he committed to it himself – it gave him an excuse to talk to her that wouldn’t have anything to do with That Night (which would be bound to get Amy’s defences up), and thus an opportunity to slowly wear down her resistance.
But he almost certainly didn’t try to sleep with her again, because he wouldn’t want to run the risk of spooking her and having her vanish for a third time. From his perspective it’s much better to wait until Amy is working with him properly, they’re together all the time, and she won’t have a choice about whether to see him or not. At that point, any fuck-up Dan makes with her becomes a lot easier to solve (and as mentioned above, his relationships end badly, so some kind of fuck-up was more than likely).
In other words, if Amy hadn’t brought up the pregnancy, I think it is very, very likely that Dan would have made a move that night in Omaha – they’d be on a high from Selina’s successful speech, chances are the team would go for drinks afterwards, Amy would be trying to avoid Leon and her defences go down when she’s had a drink or two…