"Mad Men" - "The Summer Man" - Sept. 12, 2010
Don is swimming laps in a pool.He seems winded after just one. As he changes in the locker room a man puts down a transistor radio playing "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." The song shifts to the soundtrack as we watch him depart the gym and have a smoke and people watch as he prepares to start the day.
We also hear a voiceover as this is happening and see him writing in a journal including an entry in which he says as soon as you realize you need to cut down on your drinking you have a drinking problem. He laments not finishing high school.
He talks about summer coming and smelling corn. He talks/writes about smelling perfume as girls walk by.
He enters the office and asks Mrs. Blankenship about her cataract surgery which she says was a nightmare. She jokingly calls him Roger. He asks her to get the number of Bethany Van Nuys.
Ken, Harry, Joey, and Stan are rocking the vending machine trying to retrieve Joey's watch as Peggy and another girl look on. Joan comes out angry that they're making so much noise. Joey explains about losing his watch after trying to retrieve something Ken bought that got stuck. Joan berates them and Joey calls her "mom." She tells him to call the complaint number. Pete comes out to complain about the noise also. Joan calls Joey into her office and tells her this behavior is not tolerated here. He wonders why she's always on his case. She says he's particularly disrespectful. He says Stan is worse. She says maybe Stan is better at his job. She calls him arrogant. He says she's one to talk, asking what she does around here other than walking around looking like she wants to be raped. He adds he doesn't need advice from the madame of a Shanghai whorehouse. After he leaves Peggy comes in not realizing Joan is there - the office is a thoroughfare of sorts which drives Joan crazy. She looks over and sees the boys yukking it up.
Peggy runs into Mrs. Blankenship who has four bottles of booze for Don. He tells her to take them back to the storeroom and get him smokes instead. She says Betty called saying he couldn't have the kids this weekend because it's Bobby's birthday. Actually it's Gene's birthday points out Don. She wants to know if he wants her to buy "him or her" a gift. He says no.
Joan heads home to her hubby and sees his suitcase on the sofa. They kiss. She's sad he's leaving and worried that they use live ammunition at basic training. They sit on the bed and she laments how lonely she'll be. He says she can talk to her friends at the office. This makes her break down into sobs given the day's events. He asks if this is how she wants to spend this time, crying? He thinks they should make love instead. She says she can't and tells her to pretend they're in some hotel and they've snuck away for the afternoon.
Don fixes some beef stew and watches a news report about Vietnam and writes in his journal about it. He hopes it's not another Korea. He feels girly keeping a diary. He notes that Sunday is Gene's birthday and that he can't go. He says he keeps thinking about it, that he was conceived in a moment of desperation and born into a mess.
The next day swimming again he journals about a list of things he wants to do: climb Mt.Kilamanjaro, or go to Africa at all and gain a modicum of control over how he feels.
In a meeting about the Mountain Dew account Ken says they don't like the creative ideas. Don tells Stan to start over. Peggy says she did it with Joey and wonders if he wants Stan to take over. Stan says he's spread pretty thin. Ken wonders if they should ask Joan to figure it out. Don says Ken doesn't even know what "it" is. Don asks Mrs. Blankeship to call Joan in. As he waits he watches as the other drink and then takes a drink of his own. Joan enters and Don says he wants to make Joey full time for a few weeks. Joan wonders if he's the best fit and says that there have been complaints about him not being a gentleman with the girls. Don says boys will be boys and Joan says fine.
Harry is trying to convince Joey to go to Hollywood and screen test for "Peyton Place," he has the right fresh-faced, wholesome, but mischievous quality they're looking for. Joey's flattered but he passes. Peggy interrupts to talk to Joey. He comes out and complains that every firm has some old fairy that hits on him but that was particularly weird. She asks about what he did to Joan. He says he told her off and that she's an overblown secretary always telling everybody what to do. Peggy says Joan is important around here and to not piss her off.
Betty and Henry arrive at a fancy restaurant and meet political operative Ralph Steuben who says congressman Lindsey wanted to talk right away. Betty spies Don and Bethany at a table.
Don and Bethany chat. She asks if he's a Felix or an Oscar. He says he's a Felix. She says every date feels like a first date with him. She says she wants to get to know him better,that she wants intense, prolonged contact to get to know someone. She asks if he wants to be close to anyone. He says he does. She says she knows they're from different generations but she needs more from him. He says they are since he doesn't remember pushing this hard.... call her
Henry and Betty stop by to say hello. Don explains who they are. Bethany seems impressed by Betty.
Betty, Henry, and Steuben sit and Betty smokes angrily. Steuben says Lindsey wants to go all the way in the next election in '72 and he wants Henry to help make that happen. Betty is distracted by a seemingly chipper Don and Bethany. She excuses herself. She shuts herself in a stall in the bathroom and smokes deeply.
On the ride home Betty sulks but Henry isn't having it and berates her behavior and her need to have a drink. He tells her "I need a drink" is not something she's allowed to say. She says she was in a marriage like that before. Henry says she needs to get used to the idea of running into Don. She says she hates him. He gets mad and says he hates Nazis. He doesn't love his ex-wife and but he doesn't hate her, that's too strong a word. He says Lindsey wants Henry to take him all the way and Don doesn't have a say in that. She says he's right and says "who cares about him." He points out she obviously does and that Don is taking up too much room in her life, and maybe her heart. She says that's crazy. He wonders if they rushed into this. She says "we" incredulously and points out she was 6 months pregnant when they met. She tells him to pull over and then says to let her out at the house where he doesn't want to live anyway and maybe he should go back to his estate with his servants. He tells her to shut up, that she's drunk.
Don and Bethany make out in the cab on the way home. And then, shockingly, she performs oral sex on him. He allows it. At her house she gets out and says "to be continued."
He journals that she's a sweet girl and she wants him to know her but he already knows her. He says people tell you who they are and but you ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.
He says he likes sleeping alone and we see this, him "stretching out like a skydiver" with cool patches to roll onto.
The next morning Don enters the office and he hears Dr. Miller angrily breaking up with her boyfriend on a pay phone, asking for her key back and telling him to "go shit in the ocean!"
In their bedroom Betty apologizes to Henry. He tells her to get some sleep. She points out that Don was the only man she'd ever been with looking for sympathy for her reaction. He says he'll call her later. She slumps back into the bed. He gets into his car in the garage and sees some boxes marked "Draper" against the back wall. He drives into them with purpose and then pulls out.
Peggy and Joey mix Mountain Dew with vodka and dub it "rocket fuel." They like it. Peggy says cocktails are a good way to draw the hip young crowd but that they need three ingredients though and that vodka and Mountain Dew is an emergency.
Joan tells Lane about Don's desire to hire Joey for three weeks. Lane says it's none of his business. Joan complains about the vending machine.
The gang wonder what Lane and Joan are doing in his office. Joey draws an explicit drawing of what he thinks they're doing in there. Peggy tells him not to do it.
Don sits at his desk and Henry calls. He asks Don to get his boxes out of the garage so he can put the new boat that he bought in there. He asks him to do it Saturday since Gene's party is on Sunday, with the implication that he's not invited to the party. Don hangs up and seethes. He looks at his bar and then asks Mrs. Blankenship to get him some coffee.
Peggy comes in to tell Joan she just lost money in the machine. Joan is annoyed. Joan looks up and sees the explicit drawing taped to her window. She grabs it and goes into the other room and asks who did it. They all giggle and mock her. She says she can't wait until the next year when all of them are in Vietnam and they're pining for the day when someone was trying to make their life easier. She tells them when they're cowering in the jungle being shot at to remember "you're not dying for me because I never liked you."
Peggy goes to tattle to Don. She shows the drawing to Don who actually is surprised Joey did it since it's a good drawing. He tells her to fire him. If Don does it people will think she's a tattle tale and if she wants respect she should go get some.
Dr. Miller enters Don's office.
Peggy calls Joey into her office and first asks him to apologize to Joan. He says this is why he doesn't like working with women since they have no sense of humor. She fires him. He wonders what Don will think about that. She says Don doesn't know who he is. Joey collects his stuff and dumps some of Peggy's files and says goodbye to the boys.
Dr. Miller and Don go over some of her research which he calls boring. He says he's hungry and awkwardly asks her out to dinner. She makes him do it the right way, not just tack it onto the end of a work day. He asks after Saturday. She says yes.
Betty is prepping for the party when Francine enters with some potato salad bowls. Betty explains that Henry is mad at her. She wonders if Don is coming. She says she told him but hopes he won't show up and ruin it. She explains about seeing him on his date and her subsequent misbehavior. Francine says she shouldn't let it bother her, Betty has it all and thus everything to lose and Don has nothing.
Joan breaks it down for Peggy in the elevator at the end of the day. Peggy is all pleased that she fired Joey. Joan said she had it handled and if she wanted Joey gone, one dinner with Sugarberry Ham and he would've been and that all that Peggy did was prove that Joan is a meaningless secretary and Peggy a humorless bitch. She wishes Peggy a nice weekend.
Don journals/voices over about a man bringing his whole life into a room with him as he picks up his boxes that Henry has helpfully put on the curb. Henry mows the lawn and ignores him. He opines about men dreaming of being angels but realizing that life isn't perfect and that we're all flawed because we want so much more. He tosses the boxes in a dumpster. Don pours a pre-dinner drink, it's small.
He meets Dr. Miller at an outdoor Italian restaurant. She notes that he smells like chlorine. He says he's been swimming because he's been out of sorts. He says it's great to be weightless in water and when you get out you're wrung out even though you didn't even sweat. She says she's been looking forward to this. He says it was hard to get a reservation. She said she should've asked him since she "knows a guy." Her dad. He asks if he's connected. Nope, she says, he runs a candy store and has "friends" that he has a simpatico relationship with. He asks what her dad is like. She says "he's a.handsome 2 bit gangster like you." Don smiles. She says when she feels out of sorts she often finds that she looks at her calendar and sees that something is on the horizon. He explains about Gene's birthday and how he's not welcome. He wonders if it's better that Gene think Henry is his dad. She says "all he knows of the world is what you show him." They toast. He says contrary to his blustering he admires her work. She likes this. He asks her for a trade secret, how does she get the focus groups to what she wants. She tells him an Aesop's fable about the wind and sun competing to get a traveler's coat off. The wind blows fiercely only causing the travel to pull his coat tighter. The sun amps up it's warmth causing the traveler to doff it. The moral? Kindness, gentleness, and persuasion win out over force. He sees that the real moral is she wants his jacket. She smiles.
In the cab on the way home they make out. She asks where Don lives, clearly wanting to get it on. He says he lives around the corner but he's dropping her at her doorstep because that's as far he can go right now. She -- and the entire viewing audience- is surprised.
On Sunday morning he wakes up and swims. He goes to Gene's party, giant stuffed elephant in tow. Henry is annoyed he's there but Betty smiles, scoops up Gene and gives him to Don who plays with him. She returns to Henry who raises his eyebrows to her. In a rare moment of clarity and charity she says to Henry by way of explanation "we have everything." They kiss. Don plays with the baby. Betty looks over at Don with a face that simultaneously is sweet, hurt, confused, and satisfied.