Mad Men 3.1 “Out of Town”

Previously on Mad Men: Betty kicked Don’s cheating ass out, Roger left his wife for Don’s secretary Jane (who’s 20), Joan was engaged to a Dr. who raped her on the floor of Don’s office, Duck orchestrated the sale of Sterling Cooper in an effort to get the better of Don Draper but was the one who was slapped when he found out Don didn’t have contract and therefore no non-compete clause, Peggy annihilated Pete when she confessed she had his baby and gave it away, and speaking of babies, Betty let Don back in the house after finding out she was pregnant and receiving a touching letter from him.

Don Draper smokes while warming some milk in a pan on the stove as the ghosts of Dick Whitman’s past visit him one by one. First we see his adopted mother, exhausted on a bed that’s suddenly appeared in the kitchen. At her side is a midwife, who consoles her after yet another stillbirth. Don(Dick’s) father is unsympathetic, but the midwife gets right back in his face, berating him that maybe his wife wouldn’t have such a hard time of it if he would stay off her once in awhile. The ghosts of beginnings past part two shows us Don(Dick’s) father taking the midwife’s advice to heart by visiting a whore. He offers her the princely sum of $0.85. She tells him he needs a sheath (condom), and he says he doesn’t have one, and furthermore, if he has to buy one, then that’s only $0.65 for her. Wanting to be rid of him, she agrees, but threatens if he gets her in trouble, she’s going to cut his dick off and boil it in hog fat. Flash forward, and there’s Don(Dick’s) birth mom, the whore, in the throes of dying after giving birth to him. Her dying words? “I’m gonna cut his dick off and boil it in hog fat.” The milk boils over on the stove. Don attends to it just as there’s a knock at the door. He look down the hall and sees his adopted mother coming with an oil lamp to open it. Outside is the midwife, who tells her, “I told you God would give you a child.” When asked who’s it is, the midwife replies, “Is your husband home?” Adopted mom immediately gets the drift. “His name is Dick, after a wish his mother should have lived to see.” Don delicately removes the skin of milk that’s formed in the pan while looking lost in the past.

Turns out the milk is for Betty, who’s having trouble sleeping, what with being eight months pregnant at all. Betty packed his valise for his trip tomorrow, at which point little Sally Draper attacked the clasp with a hammer. “She’s taking to your tools like a little lesbian,” Betty quips, causing Don to smile and Betty to give a little laugh, pleased at her own audacity. Don tells her she should rest, to which Betty replies she just wants everything to be perfect for the birth of their next child, which she’s convinced is a girl. I don’t know Betty, somehow I think perfection is an unattainable goal. Don tries sweetly to lull her to sleep with some beach imagary. “You’re good at this,” Betty murmurs. We know, Betty.

Cut to Peggy in her office the next morning. She calls for her seretary, who ignores her pages. Peggy finally gets up to find out why, and what is this? It’s the annoying British know-it-all guy from last season on Bones! Oh, joy. As long as they’re only using the actors and not the writers, all is well. Anyway, Lola, Peggy’s secretary, thinks the new guy’s accent is just dreamy.

Don heads to Cooper’s office, where Bert Cooper and the other new British guy are waiting. Cooper got some more new art. It’s geisha being ravished by an octopus, which he compares to the takeover of Sterling Cooper. “Burt’s on his way,” Don says, “Where’s Roger?” “Probably unloading another Greecian treasure,” opines Cooper. Looks like they’ve been spending the spoils of the sale of Sterling Cooper. New British Guy apologizes to Don about having to send him to Baltimore, but the London Fog account needs some face time. He also informs us that there is no such thing as London Fog, to disbelief from the Americans. Burt Peterson, head of accounts, shows up and is fired. He thought he was safe, but it turns out they were trying to be kind and wait while his wife had radiation treatments for cancer. Roger shows up, pithy as ever, wondering what the meeting is about. “Oh, it’s that meeting,” he says, after spotting Bert Peterson. He says some kind words that no one believes he means, and this sets Bert off. “You make me sick,” he says to the new British guy . “You’re the dying empire! We’re the future!”

Burt gets a big send off scene where he tells everyone to go straight to hell, smashing stuff off secretaries desks as he passes. Harry says he heard he’s going in house at Nabisco, but Paul thinks the firings are starting again. Pete comes out with his coat just as the conversation is ending. His secretary gets a call and lets him know Mr. Price wants to see him. Pete tries to get out of it, but Harry won’t let him. Pete berates his secretary for not pulling him aside (btw, his secretary is Anna the Angel from Supernatural. I like her better on here.), to which she replies she’s sure it’s nothing.

Burt Peterson continues his rampage, telling the annoying British know it all from Bones to “Drop Dead.” Joan appears, and deftly insults the annoying British know it all from Bones on his people skills. While they’re on the subject of decorum, he’s not happy with the way he’s being addressed. He’s not “John (which he says with an overly nasal American accent), he’s Mr. Hooker. “That’s the way they’ve (the switchboard) been taught to address secretaries.” “Yes, well, as I’ve explained, in Great Britian,” “A truck is a lory, and an elevator is a lift. I’ve got it, Mr. Hooker,” Joan cooly interrupts. A secretary by any other name is still a secretary.

Pete shows up at Mr. Price’s office. Hey, that other new British guy is Mr. Price! After some awkward conversation, Mr. Price tells Pete he’s now head of accounts. Pete’s thrilled. He heads back to his office where he’s all sweetness to his secretary, who he asks to get his wife on the phone. After happy dancing and grabbing a drink, Trudy is on the line for him. Trudy’s having lunch with the ladies from the Met’s docent committee, but she’s thrilled to hear his news. “I love the sound of your voice right now,” she coos. “That’s because I’m already drunk!” Pete replies. “Good for you!” Trudy cheers. My favorite line of the night.

Ken shows up in Mr. Price’s office. Guess what? He’s head of accounts too. He’s pleased as punch, though slightly disappointed it only pays $21,000 a year. Wonder what Pete will make, since he forgot to even ask.

Sal and Don are on the plane to Baltimore, dissecting magazine ads. Shelly the stewardess wonders if they need refills before the plane lands. She took the liberty of looking at Don’s luggage, and calls him Mr. Hoftstadt. Don’s caught off guard for a moment, but quickly recovers, telling her to call him Bill, and this is his associate Mr. Fleishman. “Sal-Sam, Sam Fleishman,” Sal quickly covers. Shelly does some major flirting, and invites them to join her, the other stewardess and the pilot at a swanky restaurant for dinner. Sal is surprised, telling Don that’s the first stewardess that’s flirted with him. Don (not surprisingly) is used to this behavior. The mistaken identity is courtesy of having loaned his extra suitcase to his brother in law, who enjoys putting his name on things that aren’t his.

Ken and Pete are leaving for the day. They pay each other compliments, not knowing that they’re each others competition now.

Shelly the stewardess, Lorelei the other stewardess, the pilot, Don/Bill and Sal/Sam are all at dinner. The flight crew believe Bill and Sam are accountants. The pilot thinks this is a boring job, but Don/Bill leads them to believe they’re in fact accountants for the FBI. Sal/Sam is impressed by how easily Don/Bill comes up with this stuff. Shelly tell Don/Bill she’s based in New York, but it’s her job to travel. Don/Bill says, “I keep going to a lot of places and ending up somewhere I’ve already been.” I think I know where he’s headed soon.


Don/Bill, Sal/Sam, and Shelly are on the elevator. A bellhop enters, only to get off after a couple floors. Sal/Sam gets off, bidding goodnight. Shelly makes excuses to get off on Don/Bill’s floor. She kisses him, then pulls back, saying she has a fiancee, but then wonders if this might be her last chance? “I’ve been married a long time, and you get plenty of chances,” Don replies. “It’s my birthday,” he says. Ah ha, that’s what that opening scene was about. Happy Birthday, Dick Whitman. Shelly decides to give him a present.

Sal collapses drunk on his bed. But wait, it’s too hot. He calls the front desk for help.

Don/Bill orders Shelly to disrobe, and we get to see the variety of support garments women had to wear in the 60’s.

The bellhop from the elevator arrives to help Sal with his A/C. He gets it fixed right up and moves on to his real agenda – hooking up with Sal. He moves right in for a kiss. Sal is too shocked to put up his defenses, and the bellhop starts taking off Sal’s clothes. There’s a giant pen mark on his shirt where the pen has burst, providing a subtle visual. “Airplane,” he says to the bellhop’s questioning look. Things move quickly a long, with the bellhop in charge and Sal in complete disbelief that this is happening. They’ve moved to the bed just as a bell rings. “What is that?!” Sal cries. “Fire alarm,” the bellhop replies.

A shirtless Don/Bill grabs his suit jacket and throws his overcoat to mostly nude Shelly. “C’mon, let’s go.” He won’t even let her grab her shoes – he’s already out the window and moving down the fire escape. He pauses to check on her and looks in lower window to see Sal, doing up his fly. “C’mon!” Don orders Sal. Sal is motionless as the bellhop runs out of the bathroom, pulling on his shirt, and into Don’s view. Don stands stunned and blinking, but snaps out of it as Shelly catches up. They make their way down. As they stand there, Don eyes Sal.

JoanPeggy and Joan have a conversation as they wait for the elevator to go up to work. Peggy complains about Lola. Joan blows her off, saying brides are very worried about their figures. “If she’s so worried about getting married, then why is she shamelessly flirting with Moneypenny all the time?” Peggy smirks. “Don’t call him that, he hates that!” Joan snaps. “Are you defending him?” “He’s repellent. He reminds me of a doorman,” Joan replies. Thank you, Joan! Don’t let that smarmy pommy besmirch my good screen name inspiration!

Pete’s secretary congratulates him, and tells him Mr. Price is waiting for the heads of accounts immediately. “What are you talking about?!” Pete seethes.

Don and Sal meet with London Fog. The business is being turned over to the owner’s son, who has ideas about expanding their line. They’re worried everyone who’s ever needed a raincoat has already bought one. “Our worst fears lie in anticipation,” Sal says, quoting Balzac. I think he’s talking about more than raincoats. Don works his magic with words, and they head out on their tour of the plant.

Meeting with Mr. Price, Harry, and the heads of accounts. Joan reads a list of who gets what accounts as Pete seethes. Ken looks pleased as punch, except he wonders why he didn’t get the Utz account. “Some of this was done based on accounts, and some of this was based on relationships, and you figure out what happened with Utz,” Harry replies. “And you decided all this?” Pete asks Harry. “$0.42 of every dollar at this agency is spent in the television department, but no, we did,” he replies, indicating Mr. Price. Looks like Harry is moving up in the world. Peggy is too, since her name is linked to many of the accounts. Mr. Price states explicitly what we’ve all suspected – that he expects one of them to “distinguish” himself. Pete confronts Ken after the meeting and throws a temper tantrum. I love to hate him. Ken refuses to play his games.

Don and Sal are flying home. Don has a question for Sal. Sal looks nervous, until he realizes Don is pitching a new ad idea for London Fog. It’s a woman in nothing but a short trenchcoat with her back to us, flashing a commuter waiting for the subway. The tagline? Limit Your Exposure. “That’s it,” Sal says, relieved. “Good,” replies Don. Good to know that stewardess in your overcoat was good for some inspiration, Don.

Joan lies a trap for Mr. Hooker. She’s set up Burt Peterson’s office for use for out of town guests, but thinks Mr. Hooker should use it in the meantime. She’ll even get him a secretary of his own. Mr. Hooker is so pleased.

Trudy comes to visit Pete at work. She looks fabulous in a checked suit with this adorable black hat. Seriously, it’s just a knockout outfit. I wish I had a reason to dress like that. Anyway, she’s brought him a present, but Pete just wants to whine about why can’t he have everything he wants right when he wants it? Trudy wisely interrupts his pity party, telling him, “They do not want to hear your outrage. They want you to beat Ken.” Be quiet and take her advice, Pete.

We see the mock up for the London Fog ad. Everyone loves it.

Don is typing (!!!) in his office. Roger barges in with a bottle of Stoli and Cuban cigars. He shipped them from Greece. Don wonders about Campbell vs. Cosgrove, thinking Cooper is playing God – or maybe Darwin, but Roger assures him it came from on high in London. Pete barges in as well, ready to rant, but then spots Roger. Instead, he thanks Don and Roger for the promotion. Cooper comes in as well. He wants Pete to run a campagin for Penn Station. Pete thanks him, saying, “It would be my pleasure. . . Bert.” The guys drink and smoke cigars. “I don’t care what they say,” Cooper muses. “London Fog is a great name.”

Mr. Hooker and Mr. Price are meeting as well, except they’re having tea. They’re in Mr. Hooker’s new office. He explains to Mr. Price that he thought it a good idea to have an office for superiors from London, and that he might as well use it when there’s no one to occupy it. Mr. Price thinks that’s a hairbrained idea, and reminds Mr. Hooker they just fired 1/3 of their workforce. A visitor’s office is good, but Mr. Price is ordered to sit out front. Just like all the other secretaries. Touche, Joan!

Don’s home. Bobby carries his suitcase up to Don and Betty’s bedroom, then is dismissed by Betty. Poor Bobby. Sally comes in and confesses to bashing the suitcase lock with a hammer. Don tells her to find out how much it costs to repair it, and it will come out of her allowance. “I don’t have an allowance,” Sally mopes. “Then don’t break things,” Don replies. I see this conversation in my future. Sally just didn’t want Don to leave. He assures him he’ll always come home, and she’ll always be his girl. Don and Betty relax, but then Sally runs back in with the stewardess’ wings. “Are these for me?” she asks, excitedly. Don is nonplussed, but manages a yes. Sally then asks about the day she was born. Don starts the story off, but then gets lost thinking about the fact that his darling daughter is wearing the wings of the stewardess he almost slept with the previous night. Betty takes the story over. As the music that played during the opening kitchen scene reprises, Don looks like his self loathing is about to boil over just like that milk on the stove.


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