May 25 & 26, 1965
May 25, 1965
Harry has tickets for the Liston-Clay fight that night. He gives two each to Ken and Pete, and charges Danny, Stan, and Joey $10 each. When Don comes in, there’s a ticket for him as well. They’re all betting. Pete favors Clay, Don puts $100 on Liston.
Don calls the Samsonite team into his office. Peggy, Stan, Joey, and Danny do a presentation of a Joe Namath Samsonite spot. Don speaks to Peggy alone about how much he doesn’t like it.
When she returns to her office, Peggy finds flowers for her birthday from Duck. She calls him and we see he looks slovenly. Her present is business cards for Philips-Olson agency, with Peggy Olson as Creative Director. As he tells her about the plan, she’s at first excited, and then doubtful. He’s drinking and she begins to notice that, and he reveals he’s no longer at Gray. He wants to see her but she puts him off. He becomes morose and insistent, she hangs up when the guys come in. They ask her to join them for lunch.
Don comes back to his office from the men’s room; Stephanie has called, it’s urgent. Don picks up the phone to call, looks at the picture of Anna which she sent him, and hangs up. He can’t do it. Roger comes in, complaining that the “brotherhood of Alcoholics Anonymous” will ruin their evening out. Don backs out of the prizefight, saying he has to work on Samsonite even though it’s not due for two weeks. With Roger gone, he stares at the phone message from Stephanie.
In the bullpen, the Samsonite team sits, trying to think. Peggy is wearing a paper birthday crown, apparently from them. As they all are leaving, Joan comes out to complain about the mess they’ve made; Joey says he’s not a janitor but Stan and Danny clean up.
In the ladies room, Peggy tells Megan that Mark is taking her out for dinner. Megan admires how far Peggy’s come at her age. As Megan leaves, Trudy comes in, very pregnant. Megan steps back in to tell Peggy that Don wants her. As they leave, Trudy wishes her a happy birthday and “reassures” her about her youth. Joey, Stan, and Danny see that Peggy is heading into Don’s office and they run out before they can get sucked in.
Peggy says she’s on her way out, but Don insists on seeing something on Samsonite. She carefully keeps her hat and coat on before coming back in. Don doesn’t like the several ideas she shows him. Disgusted, she takes off her coat, then calls Mark at the restaurant and tells him she’ll be about fifteen minutes late. When Mark hangs up we see that Peggy’s whole family is at the restaurant, although she was expecting a romantic dinner.
In Don’s office, they work while Don gets drunker. Roger calls and begs Don to rescue him from Freddie Rumsen and Cal Rutledge. Don hangs up. Then Peggy’s phone rings, it’s Mark; it’s been almost an hour. When she says she can’t leave, he finally reveals the surprise so that she’ll come. Peggy says she’s coming right away. She goes into Don’s office with her coat on but he keeps talking Samsonite. They argue as he tells her to leave. She calls the elevator but, as it opens, she goes back into the office. She calls Mark and tells him she’s not coming at all. Her mother takes the phone and berates her, then gives the phone back to Mark. In the course of their arguing about her not coming, they break up.
Peggy goes back into Don’s office, furious, and pours herself a drink. She insists they work but also picks a fight. They go at it about Glo-Coat, about her ambition, and about her wanting to be thanked. Peggy chokes up, pushes her way past the janitor into the ladies room, and breaks down in sobs.
Don’s alone in his office, dictating ideas into a tape. When he gets up to get a new tape, he sees a mouse.
Peggy is alone in her office reading. Don calls her in. She’s pouty. When she gets to his office, he’s laughing. The tape he found is Roger dictating his book, giving juicy details about Bert Cooper’s orchiectomy and Ida Blankenship, “the Queen of Perversions.” She can’t help but laugh. He wants her to ‘stay and visit;” she’s reluctant to have a personal conversation, but quickly opens up about her anger at Mark. She’s disgusted with being single. Don gets Peggy to laugh, then she screams when she sees a mouse. Don offers to buy her dinner for her birthday.
A Greek diner
Don and Peggy continue to chat. Don reveals he’s a yokel and that he was in Korea; Peggy says she’s never been on a plane. They talk about work and Peggy says she’s so much more interested in work than in the rest of her life. They each talk about seeing their fathers die. Don suggests they go to a bar.
Don and Peggy drink and listen to the prizefight. Peggy talks about dating and men, Don tells her she’s “cute as hell.” She says everyone thinks she slept with him for the job. He tells her she’s attractive, she gives him a dig about Allison. Then she tells him that her mother thinks he’s the father of her child. They talk about the pregnancy, then Ali knocks out Liston and Don joins everyone in yelling “Get up!” With the fight over, Don suggests they go back to the office and pack up to go home.
At the office, the elevator ride has made Don sick, she helps him into the men’s room and he pukes copiously. Then she hears someone shouting for her and discovers that a very drunk Duck is in the office. Duck again says he needs her as she walks him out. Peggy tries to keep Don and Duck apart but that doesn’t work. Duck becomes belligerent and tells Don that Peggy’s a whore. Don swings at him but Duck gets him down. Don says “uncle” and Peggy walks out with him while Don heads to his office.
Peggy comes back in, having gotten rid of Duck. She’s embarrassed but Don tells her she doesn’t have to explain, to her relief. He asks her for a drink, and tells her he has to make a phone call. He doesn’t want to be alone, he just wants a drink. When she brings it to him, he passes out in her lap. She sips his drink.
Time passes; we see they’re both asleep with Don still in Peggy’s lap. Don sees a ghostly image of Anna, carrying a suitcase, smiling. She walks without a limp.
May 25, 1965
It’s around dawn. Don wakes up, sees Peggy is asleep, and calls Stephanie. She tells him Anna is gone. There are no arrangements to make, and Stephanie wants to stay at the house so he doesn’t need to sell it right away. He has nothing to do. He begins to tear up. Stephanie gets off the phone before he can say one last thing. He’s still tearing up, looks at Peggy, who is awake and watching him, and breaks down weeping. Peggy comes to him and asks him what happened. He says Anna was the only person in the world who really knew him, and as Don continues to cry, she says “that’s not true” while stroking his back. He tells her to go home, but she curls up to sleep on her office couch.
At 10:30, the guys wake her up, loud and joking. She gets up and knocks on Don’s door. He looks fresh; he spruced up at the office. He shows her his Samsonite idea; she criticizes it, then admits it’s good. He takes her hand and they just look at each other. He sends her home to shower and change and come back. He tells her to leave his door open.
Bleecker Street plays as the credits roll.