Four weekdays from August 9 through 13, 1965 (The Beatles played Shea on Sunday, August 15. It is clear that all of this is the same week; the tickets are for “Sunday,” not a week or two weeks in the future. Since Don apologizes to Sally for the weekend, it appears that the episode opens on Monday, but perhaps it’s Tuesday. Days three and four are definitely consecutive. Day four might be Thursday or Friday.)
Day One: Monday, August 9 or Tuesday, August 10
Joan enters Rogers office, locks the door, and tells him she’s “late” (pregnant). He says he’ll take care of it.
Betty answers Don’s call; he wants to talk to Sally. He tells Sally that he has Beatles tickets for her. She screams with delight.
Lane’s secretary announces a guest; thinking it’s his son, Nigel, Lane brings a Mickey Mouse doll to reception, instead, it’s his father. Robert Pryce tells Lane he’s come to bring Lane home, Nigel isn’t with him. After saying he won’t be going, Lane invites his father to dinner that night.
In the conference room, Pete, Harry, and Don meet with North American Aviation. The Minute Man Missile they’re working on is confidential and much of the material is blacked out. Lane joins them as they say that NAA has increased their advertising budget by 60%, to four million dollars. After the meeting, Lane practically begs Don to join him and his father for dinner.
The Playboy Club
Don, Lane, and Robert are seated. Lane asks their waitress to send over Toni, an African-American bunny.
Day Two: Tuesday or Wednesday
Two Department of Defense agents arrive to speak with Betty and question her about Don as part of a background check for security clearance.
Don takes a call from Betty, who tells him what just happened. Don had no idea about the security clearance, they’re both intensely nervous. He thanks her and then asks Megan, who is now his secretary, about the security check. She explains that she filled out the form and had him sign it routinely. She’s embarrassed, he is so upset he barely notices her distress. He wants to see Pete as soon as he’s back from lunch. He goes into his office and pours a drink.
Lane has bribed someone to get into the club during off-hours so he can see Toni. They are in love. He’s upset about Nigel not coming.
A doctor’s office
Roger and Joan sit with a doctor, who is giving a nasty, judgmental lecture to Roger about “ruining” Joan. He then gives them the contact information for a doctor in Morristown who will do the abortion.
When Pete enters Don’s office he quickly brings Pete up to speed about how dangerous the background check is. He asks Pete to get in touch with his friend at the Department of Defense and either kill the investigation or find out how far it’s gone. He intimates that he’ll run if he has to.
Joan and Roger discuss her pregnancy. She chain-smokes. She will have the abortion alone.
Betty gets into bed with Henry, who is apologizing; things have clearly been snippy this evening. She tells him about Don’s background check, implying that’s why she’s tense.
Day Three: Wednesday or Thursday
In the elevator, Pete and Don discuss the background check situation. Don says to get rid of the account. When Don gets upstairs, Megan tells him his accountant is there. Don is urgently setting up a trust account for the children that Betty could access in an emergency. His accountant is alarmed, but Don is insistent.
A woman and a teenage girl sit opposite Joan in the waiting room. When the nurse calls the girl in, the woman, her mother, begins to cry. She assumes Joan is also there for her daughter. Joan allows her to think so.
Faye arrives to see Don. He has been ducking her and now cancels their plans. She feels his forehead and finds he has a fever. He kisses her hand and lets her take him home.
Roger and Lee Garner Jr. are having after-dinner drinks. Lee tells Roger their business relationship is over; the board is consolidating all their brands with BBDO. Roger is incredulous, shocked, angry, and then pleading. Ultimately he gets Garner to give him thirty days to get SCDP’s affairs in order before revealing the news. Garner shakes hands and leaves, then Roger gropes for nitroglycerin pills.
Two men in suits are looking around; Don is so alarmed his hands shake. They turn out to be in the wrong place, but Don has a full blown panic attack, including puking.
Robert Pryce arrives and Lane introduces Toni as his girlfriend. Robert then refuses to join them for dinner. Lane sends Toni ahead to the restaurant and says he’ll join her shortly. He pointedly kisses her goodbye. After she leaves, Robert whacks him across the face with his cane, knocking him to the floor, then steps on his hand, not allowing him up until he says “Yes sir” to doing what he’s told, which is returning to London to get his affairs in order. His father leaves him alone on the floor. After he’s gone, Lane touches his head and sees there’s blood on his fingers.
Pete is watching Hazel. Trudy comes out to see why he’s up. Pete lets her know that he’s upset about something he can’t share, but it’s not about her.
Joan rides home alone, at night.
Roger is on the phone with an old friend. Eventually he says he wants to talk to “Larry” about business, and learns that Larry has died. Even while expressing condolences, he’s looking through his Rolodex for the next call to make.
Don lies awake. Faye offers him a Valium. He brings her close to him. When she asks what’s wrong, he tells her why he fears the background check and that he deserted. He pulls her close again and spoons with her.
Day Four: Thursday or Friday
Pete arrives to speak with Don privately, and everyone is embarrassed that Pete sees Faye as she’s leaving. Pete looks at the state of the apartment in disgust. He tells Don that they can stop the investigation by canceling the account; Pete is disgusted but compliant.
Roger arrives and sees Joan is at work. In her office he expresses concern. She says she’s fine and ushers him into a partners meeting.
In the conference room, Pete announces they’ve lost North American Aviation, taking the blame himself. Roger curses him out viciously. Bert tells Roger to apologize. Lane announces he’s taking a leave of absence to return to London for two weeks or more, and says the company is in good shape financially. Roger laughs hysterically, seemingly for no reason. In reviewing the account status, Roger indicates Lucky Strike is in great shape.
Later, Faye arrives to check up on Don. He says he’s fine but asks for a night alone and suggests they see each other tomorrow.
After Faye leaves, Megan gives Don his Beatles tickets and asks if she can leave. With his door open, he watches her put on lipstick at her desk, and seems suddenly to notice her.
We hear the instrumental strains of the Beatles’ Do You Want to Know a Secret?