Episode 4.03: The Good News


December 29, 1964 through January 4, 1965

Tuesday, December 29, 1964
Dr. Emerson’s office
Joan visits her gynecologist. They discuss her marriage and her fertility. She has stopped taking the Pill, but she’s concerned that her two abortions have caused fertility problems. He assures her she’s fine.

Don arrives. Allison greets him as “Mr. Draper” and offers him coffee. Harry immediately comes in to persuade Don to have a meeting in Los Angeles while he’s on vacation. (Don flies at 12:30 for Acapulco, with a 24 hour layover in LA.) Don ignores him. Lane comes in, they discuss that Lane is going to England. Lane has papers for Don to sign, which he hands off to Allison when she arrives with the coffee. Don makes small talk with Allison.

Joan offers to order lunch for Lane and then asks for time off in mid-January. Lane refuses. They argue and Joan is insulted.

Flight to LA
Don looks out the window.

Wednesday, December 30
(Don could not have flown from New York at 12:30 and arrived in LA in bright sunshine. He must have gotten a motel near the airport and rented the car the following morning.)

San Pedro, CA
Don drives a red convertible to Anna Draper’s home. He greets her with a loving hug. Her leg is broken. He immediately tells her to sit and gets her a drink. He remarks that her living room needs painting. Anna’s sister, Patty, arrives with her daughter, Stephanie. Patty is a little scandalized that “Dick” is spending the night. We learn that Stephanie is at Berkeley; they briefly discuss politics.

Anna invites Patty and Stephanie to stay for dinner; Patty declines so they offer to keep Stephanie for dinner and get her home. As soon as Patty is gone, Anna asks Stephanie for grass.

Manhattan: The Harris apartment
Joan arrives home as Greg is leaving for work. They argue because the future is so uncertain.

San Pedro
Anna, “Dick,” and Stephanie are out to dinner, drinking beer. Stephanie is talking about a roommate who went God-crazy. They briefly discuss Don. Stephanie excuses herself. Don and Anna discuss the end of his marriage to Betty.

Stephanie plays Old Cape Cod by Patti Page on the jukebox, and Don and Stephanie dance.

Later they arrive home, all pretty drunk. Don offers to drive Stephanie home.

In the car, Stephanie asks Don if he dates. When he gets her home, he hits on her. He assures her that he and Anna are not romantic, although he loves her. She reveals that, although she promised she wouldn’t tell, she feels he should know that Anna has advanced cancer; bad enough to have caused the broken leg. Further, Anna doesn’t know. Don is stricken.

When he gets back to San Pedro, he sees Anna asleep on the couch. He carries her to bed and then sits on the couch, pensive, all night, still there at sunrise.

Thursday, December 31
San Pedro
Having sat up all night, Don gets up and starts repainting the living room in his underwear. Anna comes in and lights a joint, which “Dick” shares. She tells him she’s seen a UFO. Patty arrives, upset because she thinks Don slept with Stephanie. Outside, he confronts her about Anna’s cancer. Patty implies that perhaps Anna knows, but she “hasn’t let on.” She lets him know that this is not his family and not his decision.

Don and Anna talk about family. He begins to tell her the truth, his face is pained, finally he simply says he’s leaving.

Joan is cleaning the office when Peggy brings her a flower delivery that has arrived. Suddenly Joan is upset and storms into Lane’s office. The note reads, “Darling, I’ve been an ass. Kisses, Lane.” Joan is insulted and demeaned. Lane reveals he sent flowers to both Joan and his wife. The note that Lane’s wife received says “Joan, Forgive me. Lane.” Joan fires Lane’s secretary for the mix-up.

San Pedro
Don, suited up and ready to travel, finds Anna painting a flower on the freshly-painted wall. She asks Don to ‘sign his work.’ He paints “Dick + Anna ’64” They hug goodbye; he’s choked up.

Flight to NY
The stewardess brings Don a New Year’s blower with his drink.

Harris apartment
Greg arrives home, apparently well after midnight, to find that Joan has prepared a Hawaiian New Year’s for him. He’s already eaten so she offers to squeeze fresh orange juice. Joan cuts herself badly in the kitchen. Greg gets his medical kit to stitch her up. She wants to go to the hospital and questions if he should operate on his wife; she seems not to trust his ability to do it. He tells her a hillbilly joke about donkey dick while he’s giving her stitches. Joan starts to cry.

New Year’s Day
Don arrives at the office, thinking he’ll be alone, but Lane is there. He offers Don a sandwich, which Don declines, but asks if he can have a drink. Lane offers Don a drink from a special bottle his father sent, which is amazingly smooth.

Later, Lane is laying on his office couch. Don shouts across to him, he shouts back. Don tells Lane they’re going to the movies and they begin reading off movie listings, deciding what to see. Don fills a flask with the special liquor.

A movie theater
Don and Lane see a Japanese monster movie.

A restaurant
At dinner, Lane tells Don that his marriage has ended. He asks Don about his own divorce. Don offers to get a woman for Lane.

A club
A comedian riffs on Don and Lane being “queers” until Candace arrives with a friend, Janine. Then the four leave as a folk singer plays “The House of the Rising Sun.”

Don’s apartment
The four relax. Janine takes Lane off alone; Don steers them away from the kid’s room, but they quickly get down to it in Don’s room.

Don also doesn’t want to use the kid’s room with Candace, and they get to it in the living room.

January 2, 1965
Don’s apartment
Don is brewing coffee when Lane comes out of the bedroom, fully dressed and buttoned up. He insists on repaying Don for Janine, whose company cost $25.

After Lane leaves, Don strips his bed and lays on the mattress.

January 4
Joan, Harry, Pete, Don, Roger, Lane begin the first traffic meeting of 1965.

Back to Season 4 Episode list.