Episode 6.01: The Doorway, Part One


Mid to late December through  December 26, 1967

Flashback: November or December 1967
Draper apartment building
We see a doctor resuscitating someone without knowing who, and Megan’s voice is heard saying “Oh my God.”

December 1967
Don and Megan relax on the beach; Don reads The Inferno while Megan tans.

Later (or another day), Megan comes back to their room with two joints, describing the seedy way she had to buy it; she wants to have sex high, telling Don it’s “so much more intense.”

Evening on the beach (that evening or another day), Don, Megan, and their hosts (Bob and Patty Grange) are at a luau watching a hula performance. We learn this trip, to The Royal Hawaiian, is a business occasion, introducing Don to the hotel for advertising purposes. Don and Megan are clearly enjoying themselves and Megan dances with the hula girls.

A woman comes up to Megan; she’s a fan of the soap opera, To Have and To Hold, on which Megan plays “Corinne.”

In their room that night, Megan brings a joint to bed, talking about the women who were her fans. After they make love, Megan sleeps and Don heads down to the bar.

In the bar, he meets a drunk young guy, PFC Dinkins, who notices they both have the same lighter, and realizes Don was in the service. Dinkins is in Honolulu on “R&R” (leave) from Vietnam. He’s getting married in the morning and asks Don to give away the bride.

Next day
Megan wakes up alone, looks out the balcony, and comes out to the beach to watch Don at the wedding. She takes a picture.

December 25, 1967
Note: This is Christmas Day, based on evidence later in the episode—Peggy’s phone call has to be the night before her meeting with Burt Peterson on the 26th. It is unclear if the wedding on the beach was also on Christmas Day.
New York
Pauline, Sally, Betty, and Sandy (a friend of Sally’s) are at the Nutcracker. On the way home, Betty gets pulled over for speeding. Pauline tries to use Henry’s influence to get a warning instead of a ticket but the cop is having none of it.

Rye, NY: The Francis home
They arrive home to Henry, Bobby, and Gene. Pauline wants Henry to fix the ticket.

Henry and Betty ask Sandy to play the violin for them, she’s going to Julliard next semester, she’s 15. The family is transfixed by her playing.

Draper apartment building
Don and Megan come in with their suitcases, the doorman greets them.

We see that it was the doorman having a heart attack. Don and Megan were there, as were a doctor and his wife who live in the building. The doctor performs CPR.

“Present day” (Christmas)
Apparently this is Jonesy the doorman’s first time back since his heart attack, or at least the first time the Drapers have seen him. We learn the doctor’s name is Rosen and that a script arrived for Megan.

The Francis home
Betty remarks on how Henry was looking at Sandy and does a long riff on how he should rape the girl and Betty will help.

Draper apartment
Megan is peeved there’s only one scene for her in the script.

The Francis home
Sandy and Betty, both unable to sleep, talk in the kitchen. Sandy is dissatisfied with the world. Her mother has died and Betty tells her that her mother is dead too and offers to be there for her. Sandy confesses she didn’t get into Julliard. She wants to live on St. Mark’s Place with hippies, living on nothing, cooperatively.

Peggy and Abe’s apartment
Peggy and Abe come in from a dinner and Abe runs to the bathroom. The phone rings. It’s Burt Peterson, telling Peggy there’s an emergency, a client wants to pull their Superbowl ad because of a comic on Carson that night, but he’s vague.

Tuesday, December 26
Draper apartment building
Don and Dr. Rosen meet in the elevator and make small talk. Rosen asks Don what camera it is he sells, and Don invites him to stop by the office and he’ll give him one.

An analyst’s office
Roger is complaining to his analyst; he feels like he’s just moving towards death and nothing changes.

Peggy arrives, Burt asks about her Christmas (making it the first business day after the holiday). The problem he alluded to on the phone was a comic on Carson making jokes about U.S. soldiers cutting off ears of the Viet Cong and wearing them as necklaces. The client’s tagline for their headphones is “Lend Me Your Ears” and now he’s horrified.

Although Peggy seems prepared to handle the client, Burt insists she reach Ted Chaough, and she is unable to.

In the elevator, Bob Benson of accounts says hello, and talks Don’s ear off. Don doesn’t remember him but he’s brownnosing like crazy.

Don comes in to the creative lounge. Ginsberg, Stan, and two others, including a middle-aged woman, are smoking reefer and working.

There are publicity photos being taken of the partners, mostly posing on the stairs. Roger asks after the shoe shine guy; although Caroline assures him that his shoes won’t show in the pictures, Roger insists she call.

Sheraton is coming in on Friday. Pete reminds Don of this and they bicker.

Harry walks through the photo shoot, interrupting without regard to the photographers in order to go upstairs.

Don discovers his office has been rearranged by the photographers. He looks out the widow and hears the beach surf.

The client has come in to meet about the “Lend Me Your Ears” campaign. Peggy at first doesn’t want to change the ads, but the client insists. Burt Peterson and the client are two older businessmen who just want a solution, and don’t understand Peggy’s commitment to excellence; to a great ad. Burt demands again that she reach Ted.

In the creative lounge, Don doesn’t like any of the work for Dow’s air freshener, he dislikes the word “love” being misused. Meredith leads Dr. Rosen in, he is impressed by Don’s eloquence about love. Don shows him around a little, brings him to the supply closet and gets a camera, meanwhile Rosen ogles a woman who walks past. Rosen mentions their wives are planning something for New Year’s Eve.

Dawn tells Don the photographers are ready for him, which is Rosen’s exit cue.

Roger is on the phone with a girlfriend, when Caroline comes in crying and tells him that his mother has died. Roger tells Caroline to talk to Joan about making arrangements. Caroline is distraught but Roger is calm.

Peggy continues her efforts to reach Ted. He’s at some kind of church retreat (she speaks to a pastor) and she has been unable to get a call back.

While Don is with the photographer, he lights a cigarette and realizes that he and Dinkins had switched lighters, he looks haunted as the photographer tells him to be himself.

Read The Doorway, Part Two
Back to Season 6 episode list


  4 Responses to “Episode 6.01: The Doorway, Part One”

  1. To prep myself for season 7, I re-watched this episode last night and perhaps I wasn’t paying close enough attention but I believe Don does not speak one word until he is at the bar with the the soldier. The soldier asks him what branch of the service he was in and he replies “Army.” In other words, the entire Hawaii sequence the show opens with is devoid of Don Draper talking (except in his head when he’s reading Dante’s Inferno) until this moment. Am I right here or did I miss something?

  2. I’ve been rewatching the series, and your site is a terrific supplement (particularly with keeping track of what dates the episodes are taking place).

    I think that this particular entry is a bit too literal-minded, insofar as it places the ‘Tonight Show’ catastrophe on Christmas Day. The rationale seems to be that Peggy tells Burt Peterson that her Christmas was ruined by work. I think that “Christmas” is used here in the sense of “Christmas vacation” (e.g., the way people say “the holidays” meaning not only Christmas Day, but the days surrounding it). It seems odd to me that Peggy would have gone to a restaurant with Abe on Christmas Day rather than spending the holiday with her very-Catholic family. (I also wonder if ‘The Tonight Show’ would broadcast a new episode on Christmas Day, but I’m not sure what the rerun practices were back then).

    For what it’s worth, this article says that Phyllis Diller hosted on Fri., 12/22/67: <a href="http://www.tvguide.com/news/mad-men-premiere-1063737/&quot;

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