"Mad Men: The Mountain King (#2.12)"
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Synopsis for
"Mad Men" The Mountain King (2008)

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"Mad Men" - "The Mountain King" - Oct. 19, 2008

Previously On: Don had a memory of running into an old friend of the real Don Draper; Joan was engaged to Roger's dismay; Freddy Rumsen pissed his pants in a meeting and was fired; Betty set up her friends Sara Beth and the engaged dude Arthur on a lunch date; Trudy tried to convince Pete to consider adoption; Duck tried to do a deal to sell a controlling interest in Sterling Cooper to his old buddies from the U.K.; Betty accused Don of having an affair.

Betty is making a ruckus in the Draper kitchen and yelling at the kids. She goes into Don's office and forges his name on the back of his paycheck. She's down to her last cigarette and goes to look for more. She goes upstairs sniffing and catches Sally smoking a cigarette in the bathroom. She grabs her by the hair offers up a litany of punishments: no TV, taking Barbie away and then shoves her in the closet. Sally calls her mean and says she's telling daddy when he gets home. Betty tells her to go ahead. Sally says daddy left her because she's stupid and mean. Betty threatens to make her sleep in there. Sally says she wishes Betty would let daddy come home. She opens the door and Sally says she wants to call daddy. Betty threatens that daddy would be mad about her smoking. Sally begs her not to tell.

Don disembarks from a bus with "San Pedro" in the destination slot. It is a seaside locale.

In Peggy's office, Cosgrove, Peggy, and Sal are trying to come up with a campaign to sell Popsicles in the winter. Ken says he can't think in Peggy's noisy office. She says she called the meeting. So Sal wants to know where the refreshments are. Peggy pulls out some booze and serves it in paper cups. Peggy notes that everyone breaks Popsicles in half, it's a ritual like communion. Ken says that sounds Catholic. Peggy corrects that it's Christian, as in the behavior and that the Catholic Church certainly knows how to sell things.

Pete asks his secretary if he's gotten any calls. Accounting is questioning one of his business dinners and Trudy has made an appointment at an adoption agency. Pete's secretary wishes him luck and says that she thinks one of the most blessed things someone can do is give a home to an abandoned child.

Bert Cooper meets his sister Alice for lunch in his office. She's looked at the U.K. offer and thinks it's generous. She wonders what Bert's hesitation is about the offer. He says he promised to take care of Roger Sterling. She says to let Roger die in the arms of a 20-year-old like he's always wanted. She says Bert's old, older than her and he should retire to his cattle ranch in Montana. He says he does love his cattle but is worried you can't trust the Brits.

Don goes up to a little yellow house where someone is practicing the piano. As he knocks we flash back to a younger Don entering a room with the blond we saw from the earlier episode who knew he wasn't actually Don Draper. She warns him she left a letter on her bureau that informs someone that if she's not back in two days to call the police. He wonders why she's telling him that. Because she doesn't want him to hurt her, she just wants to know where her husband is. He says it's a simple misunderstanding, that it's a common name and she says he's the only one who used her husband's serial number to get a driver's license. He shows her a car title and an apartment lease. She asks for a birth certificate. He says he has one in a safe deposit box. She tells him to stop, she knows he's lying and asks him to be a human being and tell her what her husband asked him to do, she needs to know the truth. He says he has to get back to work. She tells him to stop lying again, that he's been caught. Don tells her that the real Don died and apologizes, twice. She asks if he's sure. He has her sit and pours her a drink. He says Real Don never said he had a wife. Seven years. He apologizes and says Real Don was killed in combat and there was a mistaken identity issue and he had to get out of there. He asks what she's going to do to him. She still can't believe Real Don never mentioned her. He says he didn't know him long, maybe, what's her name. Anna. Nope. He offers her money saying he knows he owes her more than that. He offers his purple heart and dog tags. She says Real Don wanted to marry her sister. She asks his real name. He tells her. She says "well Dick, what do I do with you?"

We flash back to the present and she greets him with a smile and a hug calling it a welcome surprise. A child is playing the piano. Don watches. The boy finishes and Don claps. The boy asks if he's next. Anna introduces her friend Dick. The boy, Mrs. Draper's student, takes off. She notes his tan and wonders if he's on vacation. Nope, business. She wonders where his things are or if he's just here for the day. He says he didn't even think about that. She wonders if he's in trouble. He says he's not but asks if he can shower and lie down. She warmly says of course.

Pete comes home and takes on Trudy about the adoption agency. He says he's not going. She says he's shouting. He says to listen carefully that they are not adopting a child, and that's final. She yells back saying he doesn't speak to her that way. He yells, "Hell's bells, Trudy!" and grabs the chicken off the table and heaves it off the balcony. She says he has lost his mind and stalks off to the bedroom.

Joan and her doctor fianc get it on in bed. She's glad he's not tired anymore. She gets on top and- from what I can tell, she's also pleasuring herself- she says since he's tired she'll do the driving. He is uncomfortable with this and tells her to stop and says he's tired after all. They lie together and she asks if something's wrong. He asks where she picked "that" up. She tells him to stop and that he knows there was no "before." He apologizes for not knowing all the ways to make her happy. She says it's alright. He says he's on call again on Wednesday and turns over to sleep.

It's night at SC and Peggy is going into someone's desk to steal a smoke. She stretches as she smokes, burning the midnight oil.

Don is sitting on Anna's porch wearing the pants of one of her old boyfriends. He compliments the house. She says he should like the porch since he paid for it. She says she thinks about him sometimes. She asks about his kids. She says if he doesn't want to talk about what happened it's fine, but he can. She feels like they met so both of their lives could be better. He says he ruined everything, his family, his wife, his kids. She's sure that's not true. He admits he told his brother to go away. She didn't know he had a brother. He says he's told her things he's never told Betty. He wonders why it has to be that way. She says because he loves Betty, he doesn't have to tell her everything and there are probably things about Betty that he doesn't know. He is teary. She asks if he wants to call her. He says that would just confuse things. She asks what he's going to do. He doesn't know. He says he's been watching his life, scratching at it, trying to get into it. He can't. She offers her sympathy.

Roger goes into Bert's office saying he got the U.K. offer and that they have 72 hours to mull it over. Bert says he's not sure he's comfortable selling out his life's work because Roger now has more "overhead." He points out that his late wife introduced Roger and Mona. Roger snarks, "well let her know it didn't work out." Bert doesn't like that. Roger says he knows Bert doesn't think he got his hands dirty but that he's served this company for 20 years and the only thing the merger means is that when they come to work now there will be diamonds on the doorknobs. Bert says they'll have a meeting of the partners. Roger slightly ruffled gets up and says for Bert's information Jane makes Roger very happy. Bert says that's good to know.

Pete is making an audio recording about Congressmen voting for aerospace issues since it brings new jobs to their districts. He's interrupted by a call from his father-in-law Tom. Tom is not so happy with Pete and says he's going to have to put Clearasil up for review. Pete is mad and says it's a shock and wonders why Tom would take his business from SC since sales have been spectacular. (Man this show has some crazy power plays. This is one way to get a grandchild). Tom tells him to calm down and that he has 90 days to turn this around. Pete asks what they're talking about. Tom says every good businessman knows that if his wife is unhappy their work suffers. Pete notes icily that those things do seem very directly related in this case. Tom says Trudy's happiness should be Pete's first priority. Pete says he should pull Clearasil right now since Tom isn't going to get what he wants. Tom asks what about Trudy? Pete says that's between him and his wife. Pete says he was in love with Trudy when he met her but then Tom filled her head with these baby notions and ruined her. Tom caught the past tense and Pete tries to backpedal but Tom says Pete's right, hes pulling Clearasil from SC. Pete hangs up. Yikes.

Anna awakens Don on her couch with a bag of clothes she bought for him. We flashback to the same living room during a Christmas past, we notice that Anna has some kind of issue with her legs. A happy Don and Anna sit on the couch and he presents her with a gift. He says there's something else. He met a beautiful, happy girl, from a good family - Elizabeth- and he wants Anna to meet her. She's happy for him. He says he wants to marry her. But for that he needs Anna to give him a "divorce." She says of course, she never thought of that. He'll pay for it and offers to take care of her forever, he feels like he owes her that. She says he doesn't. He says he does, he owes her his whole life. She's amused that there will be another Mrs. Draper. She thinks having a family will be good for him. She says with a touch of melancholy that this will be their last Christmas together. He says why? She can be his cousin. She says it's a chance for a whole new life. He kisses her cheek and thanks her. We come back to present day Don on the couch.

The Popsicle peeps are in the SC conference room wondering where Don is. Ken says Peggy will be walking them through it. Ken says Don has signed off on all of this. Peggy starts in on her ritual idea: take it, break it, share it, love it. The Popsicle people like it saying people do do that. Peggy goes on to say that it's not about the ice cream truck or hot summer days, that it's the same ritual from the freezer in a snow storm. The Popsicle peep also likes the art but say the mom reminds him of something. (The mom has an orange halo and her two hands are down by her side in kind of a Mother Mary/Jesus ministering to the flock-vaguely crucifix-like pose). Peggy assures him it's original art. The Popsicle peep lets it be known that they were hoping for something with "love" in the slogan since that's what people say "I love Popsicles."

Betty is making a call in the kitchen. Sara Beth answers. Betty apologizes and says she's at her wit's end with Sally and is thinking about private school. She notes she hasn't seen Sara Beth at the stables and that she saw in the paper that Tara and Arthur are getting married next weekend. Sara Beth heard that too. Betty hopes they're happy. Sara Beth is tearful and says she's sick about it. Betty says that's why they call them crushes. Sara Beth says it was more than that and she made a "terrible mistake" and she thinks her husband knows. Betty gets all judgey about it asking Sara Beth how she could do that. Sara Beth says Betty wanted him too and knows that she told Arthur all about Sara Beth's crush and that Betty encouraged it. Betty says there's a difference between wanting and having and that no one made Sara Beth sleep with him. Sara Beth calls her an awful woman and hangs up on her.

Peggy goes back to her office and the Xerox repair man yells at her about treating the machine with respect. She eyes the machine evilly. She goes to Roger Sterling and mans up and asks for Freddy Rumsen's vacant office since she brought in the Popsicle account on her own today. He gives it to her and notes that today's young women are aggressive. She apologizes for being impolite and he says he likes it, he thinks it's cute and that she was braver than the 30 odd men at SC who also wanted that office been didn't have the stones to ask for it. Joan walks up with her fianc, Dr. Greg Harris, and introduces him. Roger calls him the "one who got our Joanie." He calls him a lucky man. Peggy congratulates him, thanks Sterling and departs. Sterling mentions a dinner reservation and Joan says they have one too at a French restaurant. Sterling casually notes that he thought Joan hated French food. Joan says there's a new chef. Dr. Greg does not miss the subtext of this exchange. Roger departs.

Joan goes to get her purse and Greg opens Don's door and tells Joan to fix him a drink, to pretend like Greg is her boss. She goes to pour the drink and he comes up from behind her and grabs her suggestively. He says that Roger seemed to know an awful lot about her. She points out that she's been working there nine years. He starts to kiss and caress her more forcefully and she asks him to stop saying it's not her office. He pins her arms behind her and pushes her up against the low credenza with the bottles on it. She says no again, saying she means it. He grabs her arms and pushes her onto the carpet and himself on top of her. She says no again and that this isn't fun. He says this is what she wants right? She says no again but he undoes his pants and fights her off and rapes her. She focuses her eyes on the far wall as he puts his hand over her face. After, he is waiting outside Don's office. She emerges and he says he doesn't want to miss their reservation. She says of course not, she's ready to go.

In the SC conference room Bert calls to order a partner meeting to discuss the merger with Putnam, Powell, and Lowe with their attorney, a stenographer, Roger, himself, his sister- Alice. (Alice Cooper! Ha I missed that before.) Don is absent. Alice wants to know where Don is since he's very savvy. Bert says his 12 percent interest makes his vote mathematically insignificant. Bert is curious where Don is. Roger says he took a business trip to California and that he's taking some time, marital troubles, and that he's sure he'd be on board since he stands to make a half million dollars.

Don is carrying a grocery bag when he notices some guys working on a hot rod. He asks what they've done to this '34 sedan. They talk car parts. He used to sell these kinds of cars. He introduces himself to the car guys. He offers to help saying he's looking for work. The hot rod guys say there's no money in that. Don -who introduced himself as Dick- wants to see them race. They say there'll be one soon on a drag strip in Long Beach. He promises to look into that. He runs his hand along the car as he walks away.

Back at the partner meeting they all say "Yea" to the merger but will make a counteroffer. Roger is happy and as Alice departs she notes this is good for Roger too since he has his children to think of. He says he just has the one. She responds with a withering "really?" For some reason we pull back on Bert Cooper sitting alone in the conference room.

Peggy is moving in to her new office. She stops outside and asks Joan if she's heard from Don. She has not. Peggy wonders if Joan thinks it's odd. Joan says she doesn't think about it at all. She then, it would seem sincerely, congratulates Peggy. Peggy compliments Dr. Greg's movie star good looks. Joan is at first somewhat blank in her thanks but then psychs herself up and shares that he's specializing in thoracic surgery which is very difficult and he volunteers at the Harlem hospital "stitching up Negro children." Peggy calls him a keeper and asks about the wedding date but is interrupted by the return of Kinsey with Harry and Cosgrove in tow.

Kinsey wonders what's different about Peggy. She says nothing and quickly asks how Mississippi was. He says it was the adventure of a lifetime and he thinks they made a difference. Harry lets drop that Sheila dropped him 3 days into it. Peggy directs the man helping her move to get a banker's box from her old office and the guys wonder what's up. Peggy says its her office now. They are all pissed. Kinsey wonders why she doesn't just put on Draper's pants. Harry is incensed that he's the head of television and he doesn't have his own office. Peggy gracefully goes to unpack. Cosgrove asks if anyone's heard from Don. Joan says yes and that he wants them all to get back to work. As Cosgrove departs he calls out to Peggy to get a new couch and Kinsey slouches away with a glare at Joan. Peggy comes out and asks Joan how she can change the name on the door. Joan says she'll take care of it and, answering Peggy's last question, she's getting married at Christmas. Peggy thinks that's wonderful and shuts the door admiring it as she does. Joan looks distant.

Betty sits on the couch in her riding gear. The door opens and she calls Sally in. She has her sit. She says she knows she hasn't been completely fair to Sally and if there's something she wants she wants to give it to her. Sally's getting to be a big girl and someday Betty won't be around to give her what she wants. She unveils riding boots for Sally who is thrilled and hugs her and wants to go riding now. Betty says that now that Sally is a big girl she wants to tell her that she and her father are having a disagreement and he went away. Sally wonders where he went. Betty says she's not sure. Sally wonders when he's coming home. Betty doesn't know. She says she knows it's hard to understand but everything's going to be okay. Sally accepts this. Betty stands up quickly and Sally sees a stain on the couch and notices that Betty is bleeding. (My guess either Aunt Flo is in town or somebody got pregnant from the quickie when they went to visit Daddy and Betty is spotting). Betty sends Sally off for a snack and goes to change.

Don is fixing up a chair at Anna's house. She holds out a deck of tarot cards and starts to lay them out. He notices on her bookshelf the copy of "Meditations in an Emergency" that he had sent her (several episodes ago). She says she did read it, it made her think of New York and worry about him. He wonders if he should be worried about the cards. She says it's strange but points out a "sun" card. He's more worried about the "judgment" card. She asks if he wants to know what the cards say. He says he doesn't. He notices he can smell the ocean. She starts to explain the cards anyway. The bottom line: the only thing keeping him from being happy is the belief that he's alone. He asks what if that's true? She says then he can change. Don says people don't change. She makes a comment about a card standing for living and learning.

Peggy stands in her new office with a drink admiring her new view. Pete comes in and admires her celebration. He wonders if she'll get a secretary. She will. He thinks she should put up some pictures. She's considering the art from her campaigns. He wonders how she managed it. As dry as the desert she quips "I'm sleeping with Don. It's really working out." He smiles. He tells her about Clearasil pulling out. She wonders why since sales are good and what about his connection with his father-in-law? Pete says he's not doing his job. Peggy's sure that's not true. Pete says Don will likely dance on his grave if he ever comes back. Peggy asks if something happened in Los Angeles. Pete says yes he disappeared, he almost called the police. Peggy wonders why he didn't. Pete says he wasn't totally surprised since he knows some "things" about him. Peggy says she's not interested in gossip. His point is, he says, he may not be coming back, he's done it before. Peggy says whatever Don does or doesn't do she's sure it's for a good reason. Pete congratulates Peggy. She sits back and sips her drink.

Footprints in the sand lead to Don wading in the surf. He closes his eyes as the waves wash over him, as if baptizing himself.


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