Episode 4.01: Public Relations


November 20-30, and perhaps into early December, 1964

Friday, November 20, 1964 (one week before Thanksgiving)
A bar/restaurant in Manhattan
Don is being interviewed by a reporter—Jack Hammond from Advertising Age. Don is stymied by personal questions, and finally says he was raised in the Midwest and “we were taught that it’s not polite to talk about yourself.” Don has gotten this media attention because of a Glo-Coat commercial. Roger and Pete come up. We see that Hammond has a prosthetic leg.

After Hammond leaves, the three go to the Sheraton for a meeting with Jantzen Swim. Jantzen is impressed by Don’s reputation because of Glo-Coat. Their concern is to have a “family,” non-lewd, swimsuit commercial.

SCDP offices
The three return to the office, greeted by Bert Cooper, and jazzy music plays as we see the new SCDP offices and staff (including the return of Allison as Don’s secretary.)

Cooper begins discussing a potential client. We learn that they routinely pretend they have a second floor, and also that they can’t afford a conference table.

After Cooper leaves, Don and Pete argue. Don is angry about the meeting they just had with Jantzen.

Peggy and an artist in her office—a new part-timer whom we later learn is named Joey—are joking around. Pete comes in with a ham. He explains that the Sugarberry Ham account is going to leave; they only sent one ham instead of one for everyone.

In his office, Don is meeting with his accountant, Frank Keller. We learn that Betty is still living in the house and she and Henry should have been out October 1. Financially he should sell the house, but he doesn’t want a fight with Betty.

Peggy, Joey, and Pete are bitching about Sugarberry in Peggy’s office. Peggy starts brainstorming ideas. Finally they decide to stage a PR stunt; two women getting into a fight over ham, in order to get media coverage for the ham.

Don is lying down on his couch when Roger comes in. He invites Don for Thanksgiving, apparently for a second (or more) time. Roger wants Don to go on a date with Bethany, a friend of Jane’s. Don declines but Roger won’t take no for an answer and has Alison book it.

Don’s apartment
That night, Don arrives home to a somewhat dark apartment and is greeted by a housekeeper named Celia. Although she cooked him dinner, she remarks that he never eats anything. He is irritable. Suddenly he is transfixed by the TV. We see what appears to be a Western; after a while we realize it’s the Glo-Coat commercial. He smiles with pleasure.

Saturday, November 21
Don’s apartment
Don comes in dressed casually, even disheveled, with a hot dog, and opens his briefcase, working with the TV on.

That night, he preens before the mirror prior to his date.

Don is having drinks with Bethany, at Jimmy’s La Grange. She’s flirty and yet has a serious streak. There is something appealing and passionate about her. He is charmed. He takes her home in a cab to the Barbizon. He kisses her and she responds, but declines to sleep with him that night. He tells the driver to take him to Waverly and Sixth Avenue (presumably his home).

Sunday, November 22
Peggy is talking with two middle-aged women—the actresses who staged the fight. They are angry and complaining about each other. Pete comes in and pays them. They begin to fight again as they leave, Pete and Peggy break it up.

Monday, November 23
SCDP offices
Joan is on the phone when Harry comes in. She welcomes him back from Los Angeles, where he met with “Lucy and Desi;” he is very sunburnt. He is calling a meeting to announce that he sold the Jai Alai special to ABC. He asks if there’s a conference table yet.

Don arrives at work and Roger immediately grabs him. Roger shows him the Ad Age interview, “A Man from a Town with No Name.” The article is dark about how mysterious Don is. Roger points out that this is a missed opportunity for good publicity.

Peggy and Joey come to Pete. Pete is thrilled with the Sugarberry reaction. Peggy starts thinking of tag lines to accompany the news. Peggy leaves when Ho-Ho (of Jai Alai) calls.

The afternoon meeting is about to start. Pete comes in to say that Ho-Ho has cancelled the Jai Alai account. They are all deeply dejected. Bert tells Don to do another interview, this time with the Wall Street Journal. Don doesn’t know what he should have done differently. Bert insists.

Thursday, November 26: Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving at Henry’s mother’s; the table full of guests, including Betty and Henry Francis, and Sally and Bobby Draper. Henry’s daughter Pauline arrives with a man, Jamie (date or husband). Pauline and Jamie brought presents for Sally and Bobby. Sally won’t eat. She doesn’t like the cranberry sauce. Betty shoves a spoonful of sweet potatoes in her mouth; Sally spits it up and Betty drags her away from the table.

Don’s apartment
A woman, obviously a prostitute and obviously a regular, arrives. In bed, on top of him, she begins slapping Don across the face while he asks for more. Later she answers his phone. It’s Peggy asking for bail money. One of the Sugarberry actresses pressed charges against the other. She needs bail plus money to silence the two women. Peggy comes to Don’s apartment with a male friend, he yells at her and then gives her the money. (It’s apartment 3R).

Betty and Henry are in bed. Betty begins to initiate lovemaking, but then she hears something in the hall and finds Sally trying to call Don. She sends Sally to bed and then goes back to Henry. He suggests they go away for the weekend and then puts off the sex.

Friday, November 27
Don arrives ito pick up the kids. The baby isn’t there. Don wanted to see him, although he won’t take him. Betty shrugs.

After Don and the kids leave, Henry begins to make love to Betty in the car while it’s in the garage.

Don’s apartment

Don puts the kids to sleep in bunk beds he has for them. With the lights out, he stops and takes a long look at them.

Saturday, November 28
Don’s apartment
The kids watch TV while Don works.

Sunday, November 29
Don arrives with the kids at 9pm as Betty asked. The house is empty. Don puts the kids to bed and waits in the den, watching football. He looks at his watch in disgust when Henry and Betty arrive. Don asks Henry to leave so he can speak to Betty, she wants Henry to stay. He asks when they’re moving out, and she says she hasn’t found the right place. He insists they move out, pay rent, or buy the house. Then he leaves. Henry points out that Don is right and that Betty isn’t even looking for a house.

Monday, November 30
SCDP offices
Don is laying on his office couch. Peggy arrives with a ham; Sugarberry sent one for everyone. Their conversation is tense yet affectionate and professional; she takes a shot at the article. There is definite anger.

Henry is helping his mother put the house back together. They argue. She says Betty’s children are terrified of her, and calls Betty “a silly woman.”

SCDP offices
Don presents to Jantzen. “So well built, we can’t show you the second floor.” Jantzen is unhappy that the ad is at all suggestive. They complain that “it’s not wholesome.” Don gets angry. He walks out. Roger goes after him, but when he explains to Don that Pete will make peace, Don loudly kicks Jantzen out of the office. Then he tells Allison to “call Bert Cooper’s man at the Wall Street Journal.”

Sometime later
A bar/restaurant in Manhattan
The setting is the same as the Ad Age interview, but the seats are reversed. Don boldly tells the story of SCDP’s success.

Tobacco Road plays as the credits roll.

Back to Season 4 Episode list.


  One Response to “Episode 4.01: Public Relations”

  1. Enjoyed….love the way they're showing the aftermath of Betty and Don's divorce and the way the adults and children are adjusting. Initially, was a little put off by the scaled down agency but by the end of the episode realized that the office is smaller but the characters are bigger….