Three days from June 3 through June 11, 1963. Pope John XXIII died on June 3, and Thich Quang Duc immolated himself on June 11, so this is the range, but it is not clear whether any of the days are consecutive.
Monday or Tuesday, June 3 or 4, 1963
Ossining, New York
Betty’s father, Gene, takes the Draper children for a ride in the Lincoln, allowing Sally to drive with Bobby in the back. Sally smiles as she drives.
Peggy visits with her sister, Anita and her mother, Katherine. Katherine is banging on the TV, trying to get good reception for news about the Holy Father’s death. Peggy explains in a whisper to Anita that she wants to move to Manhattan; her commute is long and her apartment has problems. We learn that Katherine has moved in with Anita.
Pete’s college friend and client, “Ho Ho,” presents Jai Alai as a thrilling new sport to be promoted. His ideas are grandiose but the staff indulge him because he’s throwing so much money around. After the meeting, Don points out that the client’s father is a shipping magnate deeply connected to to Bert Cooper, and maybe they should run this by the father. Pete objects. Lane tells Pete he’s done good.
Gene insists that Betty sit with him, and then he presents her with a folder with all his final arrangements. This upsets Betty, and she’s angry that he’s willing to upset her rather than keep the information to himself.
Ken tells Don that the director for the Patio commercial has dropped out and there’s no replacement. Don is annoyed that Ken didn’t have a backup plan and tells Ken to use Sal. Ken is nervous, Sal is delighted.
Peggy places an ad for a roommate on the Sterling Cooper bulletin board in the break room.
In the kitchen, Gene is showing Bobby a box of his old things, while Don is in the den, reading the paper. Don observes; seeing that Gene gives Bobby a big knife to open the box, and then shows Bobby an old Prussian helmet from a dead German. Gene puts the helmet on Bobby, Don objects and tells Bobby to take it off. Gene tells him to keep it on, Don gets up, takes the helmet off of Bobby, and walks out with it.
Home of Sal & Kitty Romano
Sal is in bed in his pajamas when Kitty comes in wearing an alluring baby doll nightie. She’s obviously nervous about wearing it, but comes in, shows it to Sal, and starts kissing him. He puts her off, he says he’s working. She insists that something is wrong. After considerable prodding, he starts talking about work anxiety. Then he performs the commercial for her. Kitty is stunned and speechless.
Day Two, the next day or two
Don walks into Bert’s office. Horace Cook Sr. is there with Bert and Lane. Cook Sr. thinks his son’s idea is crackpot but he wants them to take the account anyway; he realizes his son is spoiled by wealth; he didn’t earn his money as Horace Sr. did, and he believes his son should be given rein to fail. He is apparently ashamed of his son. Don walks out ready to sign Ho Ho.
Paul brings a list of ideas to Lois, who is sitting at a desk. Harry and Ken are there as well. The idea is to prank call Peggy, pretending to be a potential roommate. Eventually Peggy catches on and angrily hangs up.
Gene is eating ice cream out of the carton while Sally watches. He tells Sally she can “really do something” and she smiles. She is really having a good time with him. He smells oranges.
A Fancy Restaurant
Don, Pete, and Ho Ho have dinner. Ho Ho knows his idea sounds crazy, but he wants to achieve something lasting. Ultimately, he feels it will impress his father. Don tries briefly to dissuade him from this idea.
Peggy takes her ad down at the end of the day. Joan sees her and offers her advice on rewriting the ad and finding a roommate.
Don and Betty are in bed. She’s asleep, he’s pensive. He goes into the shoebox from his brother Adam, finds a picture of Archibald and Abigail (his father and step-mother), and studies his father’s face.
Tuesday, June 11
As Don arrives, Pete runs up with Horace Cook, Jr.’s signature on the contract. The guys are in Hooker’s sort-of office, playing with Jai Alai equipment; everyone, including Lane, is pleased. Don accidentally breaks the ant farm with the ball.
Gene drives the kids to school. We see that Gene is playing favorites; favoring Sally. He tells her to be ready for him to pick her up for ballet at 3 on the button, and he says he will buy peaches for her.
A bright yellow Karen Erickson stops by Peggy’s office regarding the roommate ad. She remarks on how “everyone on the first floor loved your humorous ad.” Peggy stiffly tries to make herself sound fun. They make plans to find an apartment.
Sally and Bobby wait alone for Gene; they are the last kids at school. Betty pulls up, she doesn’t know where Grandpa is.
Joan, her mouth covered with a hankie, sprays the ants that have escaped the ant farm.
In the conference room, they screen the Patio “Bye-Bye Sugar” commercial. The clients don’t like it and leave. Peggy shoots a smug look at Don as she leaves.
Sally sits on the stoop with her doll. A policeman pulls up. She calls Betty. The policeman tells her that Gene died at the A&P; Betty brings the policeman inside, leaving Sally alone to cry.
Sal comes into Don’s office to apologize. Allison steps in to say that Betty is on the phone and it’s urgent. Don expresses real sympathy to Betty, offers to call William, and says he’ll be right there. As he leaves, he tells Sal he did good despite the failure of the ad.
Peggy and Anita surprise Kathrine with a television (it’s from Peggy). Peggy then breaks the news about the apartment. Her mother turns away from her and rejects her utterly, not even saying goodnight.
Sally sits under the dining room table while Don, Betty, her brother William, and William’s wife Judy sit in the kitchen. Betty is still weepy. William makes a crack about Gloria, and they all laugh briefly. Sally comes in, accusing them of laughing and of not caring. Sally is angry that no one cares that he’s “really, really, really gone.” Betty sends her to watch TV. Sally watches the news of a Buddhist monk immolating himself in Vietnam.
Later, Don wakes up to find that he and Betty have fallen asleep fully dressed. He covers Betty, who has a tissue in her hand, and checks in on Sally, who is asleep in her pajamas, clinging to the book she’d been reading with Grandpa. Then Don goes into the spare attic room and puts away the cot Gene had slept on. The new baby’s crib is set up in the room.
Over There plays as the credits roll.