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Mad Men

Episode 4.01 : Public Relations

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TV Info


Episode Premiere

July 25, 2010

Distributor

AMC

Genre

Drama

Show Period

2007 - now

Production Company

AMC

Cast and Crew


Director

Phil Abraham

Screenwriter

Matthew Weiner

Main Cast

Synopsis


"Who is Don Draper?" a reporter from Advertising Age asks Don over lunch. Don evades the question; Midwesterners don't like talking about themselves, he maintains. He does, however, explain the movielike scenario behind his acclaimed Glo-Coat Floor Wax commercial.

Pete arranges a meeting for Roger and Don with two executives from Jantzen swimwear, a potential client. Bikinis are grabbing market share from the company's two-piece suits. They want to compete, says one executive, but "without playing in the gutter."

In Don's office, Cooper disparages Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce's new headquarters. It's tiny, he says, and he refuses to pretend to outsiders, as Pete does, that the agency occupies two floors. Don scolds Pete about the Jantzen meeting. "They're prudes," Don says. "Get me in a room where I have a chance."

Pete frets to Peggy about losing the Sugarberry Ham account. Peggy suggests that they hire actresses to fight over the product at a grocery store. Publicity stunts aren't billable, says Pete, though he concedes that the event might generate news coverage.

Don's accountant, meanwhile, tells him that allowing Betty and Henry to remain in the Ossining home past the date stipulated in the divorce settlement is straining his finances. "Leave it alone," says Don. Shifting gears, the accountant asks, "How are your balls?" "Come on," replies Don.

Roger interrupts Don's afternoon nap to invite him to Thanksgiving dinner. Don declines. Roger offers to arrange a blind date with Jane's friend Bethany. "You hit it off," says Roger with a leer, "come Turkey Day, maybe you can stuff her."

In his apartment that evening, Don views his successful Glo-Coat ad. A boy appears to be imprisoned in a Wild West jail cell. He's actually in a kitchen. "Footprints on a wet floor — that's no longer a hanging offense" is the spot's punch line.

Don takes Bethany to a restaurant, where they chat about the civil-rights movement and her career as an opera extra. In the cab afterward, Bethany permits a kiss but requests that Don accept her "weak no" when he presses further.

At a diner, Peggy and Pete congratulate two actresses for their convincing skirmish over the ham. The women start fighting again, each accusing the other of striking too hard at the store.

Harry, just back from Los Angeles, announces to Joan that he sold a Jai Alai special to ABC.

The Advertising Age article describes Don as a "handsome cipher," prompting Roger to complain, "You turned all the sizzle from Glo-Coat into a wet fart.” Bethany enjoyed the date, though, Roger adds.

Pete gleefully recounts to Peggy and Joey, a junior creative staff member, how much Sugarberry liked the stunt. Peggy envisions a campaign with the slogan, "Our hams are worth fighting for."

Pete informs the partners that his college pal Ho-Ho is pulling the Jai Alai account because Don didn't mention the client in his interview. "That's the reporter's job," snaps Don.

Lucky Strike is now "71 percent of our billings," Lane points out glumly.

Cooper proposes a Wall Street Journal interview for Don to counter the negative Ad Age piece. "Turning creative success into business is your work," says Cooper. "And you've failed."

Betty and the kids attend Thanksgiving dinner at Henry's mother's house. Sally balks at eating sweet potatoes. Conversation halts after Betty forces a spoonful into her mouth and Sally spits it out.

Don, meanwhile, hosts a call girl. "Do it," he tells her during sex. She slaps his face. "Harder," he demands.

Peggy calls Don. One of the actresses in the publicity stunt is pressing assault charges against the other. Peggy needs bail and hush money.

Peggy and a young man, Mark, arrive at Don's apartment to pick up the cash. "Do you want people to think we're idiots?" Don asks Peggy. Mark defends her. "Who are you?" asks Don. "I'm her fiancé," Mark says.

"Fiance?" Peggy asks later. "It just came out," Mark explains.

That night, Henry and Betty snuggle in bed. The mood is broken when they hear Sally dialing the hall phone. Sally says she’s calling Don. "You want to call him to complain how awful I am?" Betty asks Sally.

Don takes Sally and Bobby to his apartment the next day. Baby Gene is with Carla, so that Henry and Betty can have an outing. Henry kisses Betty passionately while they're still in the garage.

Henry and Betty keep Don waiting the following evening. He requests that they move out or start paying rent. "It's temporary," says Henry. "Trust me, everybody thinks this is temporary," Don snaps.

Betty fumes after Don departs, but Henry says that they should move. Betty wants to spare the kids further upheaval.

Peggy and Don argue about Sugarberry. Sales are up, boasts Peggy. She risked harming the agency's reputation, Don chastises. "Nobody knows about the ham stunt," counters Peggy, "so our image remains pretty much where you left it," an allusion to the interview. "All we want to do is please you," Peggy reminds him later.

Pauline, Henry's mother, tells him that Betty's children are "terrified of her" and that Henry could have gotten what he wanted from Betty without marrying her.

Meeting again with Jantzen, Don presents a provocative swimwear layout. A black bar covers the model's breasts. "So well built, we can't show you the second floor" is the slogan. Jantzen is a family company, the executives protest. "You're too scared of the skin your two-piece was designed to show off," Don replies.

Don stalks away but returns to kick the executives out of his office. "Call Bert Cooper's man at the Wall Street Journal," Don tells Allison.

At lunch with the reporter, Don abandons modesty. "Last year, our agency was being swallowed whole," he says. "I could die of boredom or holster up my guns. So I walked into Lane Pryce's office and I said, 'Fire us.' Within a year, we'd taken over two floors of the Time-Life Building."

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