Monday through Friday, January 16 through 20, 1967
Monday, January 16
The Jaguar creative team meets, including Ginsberg, Dale, Stan, and a number of freelancers. Don says they can work on the idea of a mistress but cannot use the word. Don comes out into the offices and Peggy asks for signoff on Secor; Don says she’s in charge of ongoing business until Jaguar is done. Joan arrives with lunch; lobster From The Palm for the Jaguar team; Peggy’s face shows what it’s like to be left out of the car work.
Pete and Ken are having dinner with the head of the dealership association, Herb Rennet. Herb wants to be catered to if SCDP is to win Jaguar. What he wants, explicitly, is for Joan to spend the night with him. Ken tries to shut it down but Pete is open to it and looks pleased.
Megan is reading a script. Don comes in. She has an audition tomorrow. She asks about his day. They discuss Jaguar. Megan is uncomfortable with the mistress approach; she doesn’t like a wife being likened to a Buick in the garage.
Pete presents Herb’s offer to Joan, acting like he’s reluctant and offended, but she sees through him. He says he hopes he didn’t offend her but she sees through that as well.
Peggy, Ken and Harry take a call from Chevalier Blanc cologne. Ginsberg can’t be pulled out of Jaguar and Harry wants to present Peggy as junior to him, but she says no, she’s his supervisor. Chevalier wants to pull their ad; Peggy creates a twist on the ad on the spot, struggling for an idea and then bam, she has Lady Godiva, the campaign is saved, and Ken silently applauds.
In a partners meeting, Pete presents whoring Joan; they’re all offended. Don, horrified, says the work will sell itself without this, walks out and slams the door. Pete insists the discussion continue and suggests they pay Joan with $50,000 out of their bonuses, at which point Lane really wants out. We learn there are three votes on the decision as to what agency gets Jaguar, and Herb is one of the votes, but Pete feels he is the most influential one. As upset as everyone was, once Don has walked out, they concede that Joan can be offered the amount. Pete suggests Lane get an extension on the credit line, but Lane alone knows he’s already done that—we see him sinking deeper.
Back in the Jaguar creative room, Don suddenly feels the mistress idea is vulgar, yells at the writers, and grabs a drink.
Peggy, Harry, and Ken go to Don to tell him the good news about Chevalier Blanc. Don wants Ginsberg on it because it’s his account, but Peggy came up with the idea. Don takes a handful of money out of his pocket and throws it at her. She flinches. The three walk out.
Ken goes into Peggy’s office; she’s bitter and dejected. He is upbeat; Jaguar isn’t going to happen (he thinks) and he’ll get her to Paris or get them both out of SCDP, but she can’t be cheered up.
Lane comes to see Joan; she’s offended that the partners have discussed it, offended that he’s come to her with this. He tells her that $50,000 might turn her head, and she allows that it’s four years’ salary and it just might. He advises her to ask for a partnership. We see he’s relieved when he leaves her office—the money he stole won’t be found out if she asks for a partnership instead of cash.
Pete reads Goodnight Moon to Tammy. Trudy comes in to watch at the door.
It’s late, the creative team is still at work, and Don is asleep in his chair when Megan and Julia show up; Megan wants to talk to Don privately. She’s wearing her audition dress. She seduces him in order to have confidence for the audition.
Meanwhile, Julia is playing at being a jaguar, crawling on the conference table and growling.
Pete is listening to music, Trudy comes in. They fight; he’s exhausted by the commute, she insists he cannot have an apartment in the city.
Joan comes in and her mother immediately picks a fight; tells Joan she’s drying up inside, then gets them both drinks.
Megan tells Don she got a callback; if she gets the job it’ll be Boston for eight weeks. He tells her no, but she says this is what acting is and walks out. He’s angry but cannot stop her.
Joan goes to Pete’s office and tells him she wants 5% of the budget and a voting partnership, no negotiations, and paperwork by the end of the day. Her body language is defeated and sad.
Ginsberg goes to see Don. He presents the line: “Jaguar: At last something beautiful you can truly own.” Don lights up; this is it.
Peggy and Freddie have lunch, she’s complaining about Don. Fred suggests she leave; he’s giving fatherly advice and she’s listening; her loyalty to Don is such that at first she thinks she can’t leave, but gradually she understands that what Fred is saying makes sense. He offers to make connections for her.
It’s night and Pete comes to tell Don the campaign is great, then tells him about Joan’s offer. Don wants to talk to Joan right away but she’s gone for the day. Don then gets up to leave, furious at Pete.
Don goes immediately to Joan’s apartment; she comes out in a bathrobe. He tells her not to do it; she says she was told everyone was on board, but he tells her he said no and they voted when he left the room. She is touched by him, and when he says good night she touches his cheek with a loving thank you gesture.
SCDP walks in as another agency is walking out. Don’s presentation to Jaguar is intercut with Joan and Herb’s grotesque encounter. Herb is already in a robe when Joan arrives. He gives her an emerald necklace. We can hear Don’s presentation fading in and out of the scene with Herb and Joan. Her eyes are empty, staring straight ahead, as Don talks about the desire for beautiful women.
In the presentation, Herb smiles smugly at the tag line.
We see Joan take off the emerald necklace, and then her mother comes in and tells her that Don is there. She puts on the robe, comes out, and now we see him say again not to do it; we realize this is a flashback: the earlier scene happened too late, and her sorrowful face is full of that knowledge.
The team goes happily back into the office, Don thinks it went well.
A Broadway Office
At Megan’s call back, the producers ask her to turn around for them, she smiles but looks uncomfortable.
Peggy is dolled up for her meeting with Ted Chaough. Freddie has sung her praises to Ted, and Ted says that they now have Clearasil and Tom Vogel (Pete’s father-in-law) also praises her work. Ted loves her writing and wants her price. She asks for $18,000 a year. He offers 19 and the title of Copy Chief.
Don comes home, sees right away that Megan is down; her callback went badly. She says she doesn’t want to choose him over work, she tells him she’ll hate him for it if she has to; they kiss and hold each other.
Don arrives, Dawn says Peggy wants to see him. He calls her to come in and before she does, the office buzzes with the news that Jaguar is calling everyone. Peggy goes into Don’s office. As the phone rings, Roger says he wants all the partners in his office for the call. Don sees that means Joan too, and he exchanges looks with her, a little sad. They get the account, and the partners are all happy, except Don, who now knows how they got it. Pete wants to staff up right away for the account, but Lane is hesitant. Bert says to Lane to stop worrying about bonuses—there won’t be any.
As the partners leave to address the staff, Don sees that Joan is triumphant, that she is proud to be a partner despite what happened, and he accepts that for her—it’s all in the faces.
Lane stays behind to pour himself a drink —he knows he’s doomed.
Peggy congratulates Don; he is ready to talk; he’s not in the mood to celebrate. They go into his office.
He pours them each a drink. She tells him how grateful she is to have worked with him and to be his protégé. She gives her notice, and says that with the “customary two weeks,” her last day will be the third.
He can’t believe her; he wants to make a counter offer, but she’s adamant that it’s time to go. He is choking up with loss and anger and tells her to leave right away, she offers her hand to shake, he kisses it and doesn’t let go. She chokes up, blinks back tears, finally pulls her hand away and leaves.
The whole office is celebrating and she goes into her office to pack up, takes her thermos and mug and leaves the party behind. Joan sees her go.
She gives a long, sorrowful look back, and then as she’s about to get into the elevator she grins.
The closing song plays; Girl, You Really Got Me Now, The Kinks.