Mad Men (2007–2015)
3 user 7 critic

A Little Kiss, Part 1 

Megan throws Don a surprise birthday party, the war between Pete Campbell and Roger Sterling intensifies, and new mother Joan begins to wonder if she still has a job when she's ready to come back.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Betty Francis (credit only)
Henry Francis (credit only)


The finances at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce are stable, although not overly flush. There are some staff changes, including Megan, now Mrs. Draper, moving into a junior creative position. But most of those staff changes are the result of Joan being on a temporary leave having just given birth. With Greg still in military service, Joan has some assistance from her visiting mother, who often doesn't provide Joan with the support she wants or needs. One change that Pete, as account manager, would like to see is Roger having less control and say in the day to day operations, especially in front line dealings with customers. Pete is especially bothered when Roger shows up unannounced and uninvited to client meetings. Meanwhile, Don's fortieth birthday is approaching. Going through his Rolodex for potential invitees, Megan, at the last minute, plans a surprise birthday party for him, despite advice from Peggy that Don doesn't like such surprises. At the party, Megan's gift to Don causes a ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




TV-14 | See all certifications »





Release Date:

25 March 2012 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place in May 1966. See more »


While Peggy is talking to Megan, the pencil Peggy puts behind her ear changes from red to blue and red again. See more »


Stan Rizzo: Big weekend plans?
Don Draper: It's Tuesday. I don't know.
Stan Rizzo: I was talking about me. My cousin's coming in.
Don Draper: Stan, assume that you're working.
See more »


References The Addams Family (1964) See more »


Ebb Tide
Music by Robert Maxwell
Lyrics by Carl Sigman
Performed by Ken Griffin
Courtesy of Columbia Records
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User Reviews

Surprise birthday party
24 April 2012 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

If you ever want to be in good terms with Don Draper, do not throw him a birthday party, much less wish him a regular "Happy Birthday", the man hates it! The new season opens in the 1966 with a protest outside one of a big advertising agency. It is clear blacks want to be recognized after all the struggles of the beginning of the decade about equality, but the point raised in the episode is that most whites, even in New York, have not embraced the cause, as shown by some young workers making fun of the protesters.

In the home front, Don has settled to a new routine with Megan. The kids are with him and his new wife every other week in an arrangement that is not welcomed, especially by Sally, who shows she is not at all satisfied with the new set-up in her life and her siblings. Megan is still an attraction, but toward the end of the chapter it shows that not everything is all right between her and Don.

At the office, Roger Sterling is getting in Pete Campbell's nerves as he annoys the younger man for meddling into his work. Peggy Olson is seen doing a presentation that does not go too well with the Heinz people. Joan is now a new mother, but staying home is not exactly what she was made for.

The first installment of the series keeps the story line flowing, although in comparison with past seasons it looked somewhat weaker, being it because of the direction of Jennifer Getzinger, who has been connected with the series, or Matthew Weiner's writing. We get a bit of what will follow as the episode ends with a pensive Megan standing near the edge of her Manhattan apartment's terrace.

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