An evening and three weekdays (all consecutive) in April or May 1960
Betty and Don come home dressy and drunk after Don wins an award.
They wake up at 8 a.m., still dressed, hung over. Sally comes in. When Don closes the bathroom door, the horseshoe-shaped award comes lose and turns over ominously.
Don arrives at work, getting congratulated as he walks to his desk. Peggy, who’d been talking with Ken, greets Don, congratulates him, then congratulates Ken, which allows Ken to announce that he’s been published in the Atlantic Monthly. Peggy tells Don that Pete and Paul waited but then left; she’ll get them.
In the meeting, Paul starts talking about Liberty Capital Savings. Don comes up with the idea of pitching a bank account to men instead of women. An “executive” account to keep a man’s business private (from his wife).
Midge calls Don, and insists he come see her. Peggy overhears. Don goes out to meet Midge.
In Pete’s office, Pete, Paul, and Harry bitch about Ken getting published. Paul says he has an unpublished story about hanging out with Negroes. Pete is angry that Ken is a nobody with unimportant parentage, but the others don’t see the point of that.
After making love at Midge’s apartment, Don tells Midge she can’t call him at work. They have a talk that dances around feelings and attachment, but doesn’t really go anywhere.
Pete & Trudy’s apartment
In bed, Pete watches Trudy read the story he’s written. Pete almost says he wants to be published because of jealousy. He tells Trudy to call Charlie Fidditch, who is influential in publishing, to get his story published. Trudy is uncomfortable because Charlie was her “first,” which had made Pete angry in the past.
When Don arrives, Peggy sends him to the traffic meeting in conference room. Peggy is clearly uncomfortable with Don following her new knowledge of his private life. When Don arrives in the meeting, Roger is discussing Ken’s story, praising Ken for the initiative in getting published. Then the business starts. Mentioned are: Maytag, Rio de Janeiro running an ad in Life, Town & Country, and Reader’s Digest, and Lucky Strike.
Peggy arrives to hand Don a note from Adam Whitman, Don is visibly upset. He touches Peggy’s shoulder as a he leaves.
In the reception area, Don greets Adam as a stranger. He’s an incredibly smooth liar. Don walks him to the elevator, still lying. He agrees to meet Adam at noon and goes back to meeting but pays little attention and runs out at noon.
At the Dee-Light Diner, Adam is happy to see him, but Don is distant and cold. They discuss someone who was Adam’s mother but not Don’s.
Charlie Fidditch’s office
Trudy meets Charlie. He propositions her. She says no, but with a lot of regret, hoping that perhaps “when we’re old” He asks again and she says no again.
Betty and kids arrive at the office for a portrait. Peggy panics. Although Don is out with Adam, she thinks he’s with Midge.
Peggy asks Joan for advice, but Joan will only give advice if Peggy tells her where Don is. Peggy realizes she shouldn’t have told Joan (and Joan agrees) and that she could have figured out what to do herself if she hadn’t panicked (and Joan agrees).
The Dee-Light Diner
Adam and Don continue to talk. Adam starts questioning Don about his current life, Don looks panicky and says he’s going to leave. Adam wants to be treated as family. Don walks out, saying this never happened, and this is it, it’s over.
Peggy is entertaining Betty and the children in Don’s office. It’s awkward. Don arrives, remembers the portrait, and rushes out with the family, pausing long enough to tell Peggy not to worry about it.
Betty and Francine discuss the portraits. Betty is unhappy and wants them retaken. She says “Sally looks fat.” They discuss the lives their husbands lead in Manhattan.
Don allows Paul to do the Liberty Capital presentation, which is a success.
Adam sends Don a picture of the two of them with a note, on hotel stationery, reading “If you change your mind, 5G.”
Ken is in break room telling all the women about his novels. Paul walks in and rips up the Atlantic Monthly from Ken’s pocket, and leaves, returning the magazine to Ken’s pocket. The women giggle.
Although it seems like it’s still morning, Don leaves for the day.
Paul comes up to Ken, at what appears to be closing time (both are carrying coats). Paul apologizes, saying he didn’t know he was competing with Ken. Ken says “I won.”
Pete & Trudy’s apartment
Pete comes home to a nice dinner. Trudy says she got the story into Boy’s Life. Pete is angry. He wanted a classier publication and he suggests that Trudy should have slept with Charlie to get him what he wanted.
Don and Betty have a late dinner. They discuss Peggy. Betty tells Don she’ll spend August in Cape May with her father. Don goes into his home office, staring at the photo of Adam and himself. He burns it. Then he phones Adam, sets up a meeting, unlocks a drawer, opens a case, puts something in it, and brings the case with him to meet Adam.
Adam is so happy to see Don. After a lot of ominous talk, Don gives Adam five thousand dollars (5G) from the case. He tells Adam to leave New York and disappear. Adam cries and the two hug.
In bed that night, Betty suggests to Don that they buy a summer home so they don’t have to go to Cape May. Don says they don’t have plentiful funds this year, and Betty says good, she likes seeing her father.