Mad Men: Season 5, Episode 7

At the Codfish Ball (29 Apr. 2012)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama
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Don gets a visit from the in-laws and his children just as he's about to receive a prestigious award and tries to save the Heinz account. Meanwhile, Peggy and her boyfriend take the next step in their relationship.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Betty Francis (credit only)
Lane Pryce (credit only)
Henry Francis (credit only)
Bertram Cooper (credit only)


Don is receiving an award from the American Cancer Society for his anti-smoking editorial in the New York Times. He sees the award as a honor regardless of the fact that he has not quit smoking, that the editorial was purely a dig at Lucky Strike for pulling their business, and the people at the Society know none of this information. Roger and Pete plan on being at the awards ceremony to drum up business from the Society's wealthy Board members, who probably now see SCDP in a different league than all the other Madison Avenue agencies. Roger, still on a euphoric high (figuratively) after his LSD trip, turns to an unexpected source for help on this matter. Also attending the awards ceremony will be Megan's parents, Dr. Emile and Mrs. Marie Calvet, who have come to town partly on business, partly to see Megan and partly to meet Don and attend the ceremony. Upon meeting, Don knows that he has to do more than win a prestigious award to impress especially Dr. Calvet. A last minute attendee... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

29 April 2012 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


"At the Codfish Ball" is the name of a song performed by child actress Shirley Temple in the 1936 movie Captain January. So this episode's title refers obliquely to the non-alcoholic cocktail (a "Shirley Temple") that Roger gives Sally to drink at the awards banquet, and even more obliquely to the episode's theme of a little girl thrust prematurely into a world that is far more adult than she is ready for yet. See more »


Mona Sterling: I thought you married Jane because I had gotten old. And then I realized it was because you had.
See more »


Featured in The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards (2012) See more »


Meditation (Meditação)
Composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Newton Mendonça
English lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Arranged by Claus Ogerman
Performed by Antonio Carlos Jobim
Courtesy of Verve Records
By Arrangement with Universal Music Group
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User Reviews

"At the Codfish Ball"
30 April 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Five dissatisfied people sitting together in morose silence at Don's awards gala is an iconic image from this excellent mid season episode. In "At the Codfish Ball" we see Megan show off her advertising skills while at the same finding out how empty it all makes her. A progressive disillusionment in her life with Don has been building since the beginning of the season. Perhaps some of it has to do with the fact that Don is showing more and more how much he needs her.

In another of season five's coming of age stories Sally walks in on an intimate moment and attempts to enter the adult domain -- a double-edged sword of excitement and disappointment.. Slowly we see Sally experiencing the darker side of the 1960s (the Richard Speck news story and Roger's ballroom indiscretion to name a few). We are watching her bloom the young woman growing up amid radically shifting times. I just hope she makes it out unscathed.

A great episode in a stellar season. I can feel the anticipation for a fantastically emotional climax.

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