Episode 4.05: The Chrysanthemum and the Sword


March 12–sometime after March 23, 1965 (On the first day, the news reports on the death of James Reeb “yesterday.” Don’s check is dated March 23. Sally’s appointment is soon thereafter.)

Friday, March 12, 1965
Mrs. Blankenship is doing a crossword puzzle.

Don is meeting with Dr. Miller and a young guy we haven’t seen before. His phone rings, there is no one, rings again, no one, and then Mrs. Blankenship comes in to tell him that Walter Hoffman, the advertising columnist from the New York Times, is on the phone. He ends the meeting and takes the call. Hoffman says Cutler Gleason and Chaough have signed Clearasil and Jai Alai, and Ted Chauogh is positioning himself as Don’s rival. Don doesn’t take the bait.

Roger is reading the New York Times about the civil rights unrest in Selma. He, Pete, and Bert briefly discuss civil rights. When Don walks in, Joan opens the partners meeting. Pete first talks about Secor and then tells the partners that he has gotten them a chance to present to the Honda Motorcycle Company. Roger refuses to deal with the Japanese, harboring anger over World War II. Roger storms out of the meeting. With him gone, the rest of the partners agree they will present to Honda. Everyone is to read The Chrysanthemum and the Sword.

Don’s apartment
That night, Don is home with his kids, who are watching the news. Phoebe arrives to babysit. Don has a date with Bethany at Benihana’s, which Sally states she doesn’t like.

Later, Bobby and Phoebe are watching a cartoon (Top Cat), and Sally comes in, having cut off a lot of her hair. Sally wants to talk about sex but Phoebe isn’t letting her change the subject.

Bethany isn’t enjoying the hibachi experience and is complaining to Don when Ted Chaough comes up and plays a little oneupsmanship, which irritates Don. Bethany tries to jolly him, and Don gets her to teach him how to use chopsticks.

Don’s apartment

When Don gets in, Phoebe immediately confesses about Sally’s hair. Don is furious, and tells her he’s done with her as he pays her and shows her the door.

March 13 or 14
Henry and Betty are cuddling in the living room while baby Gene plays on the floor. Don arrives with Sally and Bobby. When Betty sees Sally’s hair she slaps her across the face. Don and Henry both object to the slap, then Don and Betty argue, Don vainly trying to calm Betty down. When Don leaves, Betty screams her frustrations about Don to Henry, who finally calms her and persuades her not to punish Sally for the haircut.

Monday, March 15
Pete greets Don in a tizzy; the Honda meeting is today and there’s a lot to do. Don tells Pete about his encounter with Ted Chaough.

Later, we see Bert, Pete and Don greet two men from Honda and their translator. They give an office tour. In the conference room there is a formal giving of gifts. Roger then comes in and makes a series of veiled and not so veiled angry comments about Pearl Harbor and World War II, then leaves. Bert expresses deep embarrassment, and then Honda leaves.

Don angrily confronts Roger in his office, then Pete storms in, even angrier and more confrontational. Roger moves to get physical with Pete, Don stops him. After Pete leaves, Don tells Roger that Pete is right.

Sally is at a sleepover. Her friend Laura is asleep on the couch while Sally watches The Man from U.N.C.L.E. In a reverie, she touches herself. Laura’s mother catches her and brings Sally immediately home, interrupting Henry and Betty’s lovemaking. Laura’s mother asks for privacy with Betty and tells her what happened. Betty is appalled, apologizes and then confronts Sally. She goes to bed and tells Henry that she’s mortified, and then explains. Henry wants Sally to see a psychiatrist. Betty tells him she went to a psychiatrist once and she doesn’t think it helps. Henry gently persists.

Tuesday, March 16
Don learns from Mrs. Blankenship that his call to California isn’t reaching anyone. Then Lane and Pete come in and tell Don they think Honda is okay; Honda called to set the appointment for the presentation. Then Bert brings Roger in, practically on a leash, and Roger stammers out an apology. Bert says the fact that Honda set a meeting means nothing and notes that SCDP hasn’t received a gift, although there is a bottle from Ted Chaough mocking them about the Honda account.

Don thinks a dazzling commercial could save them, but there is no money for it and the rules say it’s not allowed anyway. Everyone agrees it’s all over (looking at Roger) and leaves.

Don’s apartment
That evening, Don is reading the Chrysanthemum and the Sword when Betty phones to tell him what Sally did and that they want Sally to see a psychiatrist. Betty blames Don for Sally acting out sexually, suggesting he has untold number of women in front of her. Don points out that Betty has a man in her bed.

Wednesday, March 17
Joan, Pete, Peggy, Joey and the new guy are excited watching a water-drinking bird. Don arrives and pulls Joan, Pete, and Peggy into his office. He explains to them that they can fake out CGC.

That day or a subsequent day
Joan meets with Howard Moss, whom Ted Chaough had mentioned to Don at Benihana. Joan suggests she wants to hire Howard to shoot a commercial.

Another day
Offices of CGC
Howard Moss tells Chaough that he’d rather shoot CGC’s Honda commercial than SCDP’s, but CGC doesn’t have a commercial. Chaough immediately starts planning a commercial, although he’s told he doesn’t have the budget. He has a “kid who worked for Draper,” who turns out to be Smitty, whom he asks if Don would break the rules. Smitty affirms that Don thinks the rules don’t apply to him, and calls Don “a genius.” This annoys Chaough, who kicks Smitty out and decides to shoot a commercial.

A soundstage
Peggy and Joey allow themselves to be seen with a motorcycle. Howard and the CGC guy try to walk into the soundstage, Joey keeps them out. Peggy is riding the motorcycle around inside to create noise; nothing is being filmed.

It’s evening. Don works, alone, and looks at the bottle from Chaough. He takes it into the kitchen to open it. Faye Miller is cleaning up after a focus group. Don sees it’s saké and shares it with her. They have an intimate conversation in which Faye reveals she’s not really married, and Don reveals how troubled he is about Sally and his sons.

March 23
Office of Dr. Edna Keener
Betty is meeting with the child psychiatrist, Edna Keener. Betty talks about her father’s death and chokes up. She begins talking about her mother and her childhood. When Edna suggests that perhaps Betty see someone, Betty says no. Edna says that she will keep both Sally’s and Betty’s sessions private, which relieves Betty. Betty notices a dollhouse in Edna’s office and smiles.

A Manhattan hotel
Don sits in the waiting room of a hotel conference suite. Ted Chaough comes out with his film in hand, brimming with confidence. Don confronts the Honda men people with the fact that they did not honor their own rules, resigns from the competition, and hands them a personal check for the $3,000 budget SCDP was given for their presentation.

Roger is brooding in his office when Joan comes in. She confronts him about feeling sorry for himself.

Don arrives. Mrs. Blankenship loudly announces “Your daughter’s psychiatrist called,” which embarrasses Don. Pete and Lane come in and congratulate Don. They don’t get the motorcycle account, but they get the “little car.”

Another day
Dr. Keener’s office
Carla waits with Sally. “Dr. Edna” greets Sally and they goes in.

I Enjoy Being a Girl plays over the closing credits.

Back to Season 4 Episode list.