Episode 1.07: Red in the Face


Late May or early June, 1960

Day One: A Thursday
Sterling Cooper
Don, in his office, has a brief conversation with Dr. Wayne while he packs up
his briefcase. Betty is “consumed by petty jealousies” and is “overwhelmed with everyday activities”, and has “the emotions of a child”.

Roger is in his own office, pouring vodka into his milk (he drinks milk for his ulcer), finalizing the weekend plans; his wife and daughter will be out of town nursing Mona’s mother, who fell down the stairs. Roger will join them on Sunday. Then Bertram Cooper walks in to tell him that they will be greeting “the Nixon boys” at the end of the week. Bert berates him for smoking too much, “It’s a sign of weakness”. Roger teases Bert for the randomness of his Hitler anecdote, and Bert leaves; “Goodnight, Peanut”, he says to Roger.

In the central office area, Paul announces they’re heading to Chumley’s. It seems it’s around 5pm. Roger comes out of his office and sees the movement of people heading out. Roger spots Joan, and tries to get her to spend the weekend at his house, since Mona and Margaret will be out of town, but she is heading out for a weekend with her roommate Carol (this is the first time Roger meets her). She makes it clear that regardless of the quality of the offer, she is a woman who needs more notice. Roger complains that she’s “got a lot of rules.”

At Peggy’s desk, Don and Peggy discuss her working late. Roger comes up and demands that Don have a drink with him even though Don tells him he has to be home. Pete comes up; Roger brushes him off and calls him Paul, then Roger and Don leave.

Pete chats up Peggy and learns she’s writing copy for Belle Jolie. Hildy comes up, mentions Pete’s wife, leaves. Pete offers to look at Peggy’s copy.

A crowded bar
Roger covets two young girls–he complains that once a woman hits 30 it’s like a light goes out. Then he sees the girls gazing at Don and is annoyed. He pushes Don into an invite back to the Draper’s for dinner.

Ossining, the Draper home
Betty in pin curls and underwear, is taking Bobby out of the bath as the phone rings. It’s Don saying that Roger is coming for dinner. Betty doesn’t know if there’s enough food.

Betty has turned her and Don’s dinner for two into a dinner for three, but she plays a most gracious hostess, giving Roger her steak, feigning part-time vegetarianism, eating a plateful of iceberg-based salad, and drinking wine. Betty keeps the conversation lively, mostly by putting attention on Roger; flattering him and encouraging him to tell stories.

They men also drink. A lot. Roger takes a swipe at Don while elevating his own powers of observation; “From the way you drop your G’s every once in a while, I always thought you were raised on a farm.” Don looks angry.

Over dessert, Roger tells several (literal) war stories. When Roger says he was bored, Don says “what about scared?” and when Roger finishes the story, Don says “Bet they gave you a medal.” It’s edgy, a little angry. Roger points out they’ve finished a bottle of vodka, Don goes out to the garage for more.

While Don is out in the garage, Roger hits on Betty, and she does her best to fend him off. Don comes in and they separate awkwardly. Roger finally leaves. In his car. Shitfaced. With a full glass in his hand.

Once they are alone, Don attacks Betty for having virtually thrown herself at Roger. He has no interest in hearing her version of the story. The fight gets heated, as Betty looks at Don and challenges, “You want to bounce me off the walls? Will that make you feel better?” and he draws from Dr. Wayne, accusing her of being a little girl, in a distinctly not little-girl moment.

Day Two
Sterling Cooper
Paul and Ken come into Pete’s office. They tease Pete over the chip-and-dip platter he’s received as a wedding gift. He had it with him because they’d received two, and he was charged with returning it. He thought the platter was cool; the boys thought it held his testicles.

Don sits in his office, smoking. Roger comes in, brings him a bottle, spins a roundabout apology for hitting on Betty. Don acts confused about what Roger is apologizing for, but ultimately gives the All is Forgiven signal.

A department store
Chip-and-dip gift-box in hand, Pete, as practically the only man on the Customer Service line, gets some attention from the other customers, who identify him as a newlywed. One woman, whose husband is also in advertising, goes so far as to intimate that Pete’s engaging in such a domestic chore is a career mistake; his lunchtimes would be better spent drinking and networking.

Things get more flaccid when Rosemary, the pretty store clerk, gives him nothing but a stone face and a hard time, despite his best flirting efforts.

Mid-transaction, he is greeted by a handsome single friend, Matherton, who calls Pete “Humps.” Matherton does much better with Rosemary. Pete tells Rosemary that Matherton has “the clap.” Rosemary gives Pete only a store credit for the $22.

Sterling Cooper
Paul, Harry, Ken come into Pete’s office. Pete shows them his brand new, testicle-releasing, 22-caliber rifle. He points it at everyone, stepping out of his office to do so. Hildy, ever unimpressed with him, disarms him and sends him to his 4:30 prep meeting for Nixon. In the meeting, Pete aptly compares Kennedy to Elvis, only to be cut down by Cooper and then Roger. Pete shows them his new rifle.

Don is home in time for a roast beef dinner, but makes it clear to Betty that all is not forgiven. There’s no mention of Roger’s admittance of guilt.

The Campbell apartment
Trudy rips Pete a new one for the selfish exchange of their wedding gift, which had come from her aunt. (But they got two–they can’t both have been from her aunt.)

Day Three: A Friday
Sterling Cooper
Pete comes up the elevator with the rifle.

Don approaches Hollis, the elevator operator at the office building. He asks for a favor and money changes hands.

Peggy brings Pete copy to look at in his office. Peggy sees gun, he asks her if she’s ever been hunting. Pete tells Peggy all about his hunting fantasy; about killing the deer, bringing it into the cabin on the lake, and having a woman there to cook it and serve it to him. He is deep in it while telling her about it.

She gets extremely aroused by Pete’s hunting fantasy. She quells her overstimulation with a ham sandwich and a big cherry danish. She appears, for the first time, to be putting on weight.

A supermarket
Betty runs into Helen Bishop. Helen insinuates that Betty was deviant by giving Glen the lock of hair. Betty slaps Helen’s face and walks out of the store.

A restaurant
The following day, Don and Roger have a grand lunch. Martinis (several), oysters (two dozen apiece) and cheesecake. Don is goading Roger about keeping up with him.

Betty is drinking wine at home when the doorbell rings. It’s Francine. She has heard about the incident and offers support. While they talk, and topics shift, Betty says she enjoys male attention, and Francine agrees.

Sterling Cooper
Hollis informs the two drunk men that the elevator is out of order. They are already late to meet with Nixon’s folks, so they are forced to walk up the 23 flights of stairs. Roger refuses to admit that he is struggling, though it is obvious. Don smokes the whole time.

Roger finally falls behind, pretending he lost his tie clip. At 20, Roger stops and sends Don ahead. The clients, Bert Cooper, and other Sterling Cooper staff are in the reception area, handling introductions. Don explains about the elevator, and assures everyone that Roger is close behind.

Roger comes in, opens his mouth to greet, and vomits all over the floor.

As the rest of the men head to the conference room, Don lingers behind to assist Roger, but looks notably satisfied.

Rosemary Clooney sings Bacha Mi over credits.

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  2 Responses to “Episode 1.07: Red in the Face”

  1. I've got to say that for someone who can be overly accomodating (as far as marrying a man she barely knows as well as in other situations) , Betty did not back down an inch when it came to the aftermath of the Roger evening. She told Don that his drunk boss ruined their evening, and calmly asked if he wanted to hit her with absolutely no fear that he would. She's got more steel in her spine than I thought upon first watching the season. Don had better sleep with eye open if his cheating comes to light.

  2. I'd add Woman vs. Woman to that list… Betty Draper vs. Helen Bishop. Not so much a "manly power" theme as a more general "power struggles" montage of sorts.

    Also felt like pointing out a couple of other interesting things:
    Title: Red in the Face
    *Roger drinks himself red in the face more than once this episode
    *We already know by now that he calls Joan "Red", but this episode also says time and again how much he likes redheads.
    *Peggy's flush at listening to Pete's hunting fantasy
    *Pete's humiliation during the Nixon account meeting and by his peers over the chip-and-dip
    *Betty's angry slap at Helen Bishop, and ensuing embarrassment
    *Roger's near-death climb up 23 stories (thought he was going to have a heart attack the way he was huffing and puffing!)

    Red, red, red red!
    There's probably more… help me find them all 😉