An evening and then August 4–6, 1970. The evening could be August 3, or earlier.
An evening in the summer of 1970
Pete and Ken are drinking a fine wine, waiting for Don. Ken toys with Pete, saying he hasn’t decided if SC&P would get a new account from Down, and complaining about the bathroom cleaner strategy. When Don arrives, Ken is much more agreeable.
Don’s apartment, 72nd and Park
In his furniture-less apartment, Don calls his answering service. He’s told that Trish called, and that Diana Bauer called twice. The service then says that she wasn’t supposed to have given him either message, and the messages should have been thrown away. Don tells her that he’ll answer his own phone for the rest of the night.
Tuesday, August 4, 1970
Roger is going through a large stack of paperwork when he yells for Caroline. He says the lease wasn’t paid, which Caroline says is Dawn Chambers’ responsibility. He calls for Joan, who says she’ll look into it.
Don is in the elevator with a bunch of families—mothers with kids who also enter the SC&P offices.
Pete takes a call from Trudy. She tells him that Tammy didn’t get into Greenwich Country Day school; she thinks because they’re divorced. She wants him to meet with the headmaster tomorrow to straighten it out.
Joan, Shirley, Caroline, and Dawn come back into Roger’s office. Joan says that McCann Erickson gave notice in writing cancelling their lease. Roger says he’ll phone Ferg Donnelly at McCann. Joan warns the other women not to say anything to anyone until after they find out what’s going on.
Peggy and Stan are in a casting session with children. Peggy is awkward with the children. Stan says “you hate kids” to her and gets the kids to laugh and play.
Ferg Donnelly, on the phone with Roger, says that McCann is moving SC&P into McCann’s building. Roger is devastated, asking if SC&P is being dissolved. Ferg spins it as positive, as SC&P “coming home.” He sets a meeting with the partners and Jim Hobart for tomorrow. After hanging up, Roger is at a loss. Joan hugs him.
Roger goes to see Don, but Joan brings in the rest of the partners, saying he can’t tell Don only. She makes Roger announce what has happened to the partners. Pete storms out. They all share a drink. Roger apologizes to everyone.
Pete walks through the offices and sees a child (who is there to audition) hug Peggy. Looking at this, he tells Peggy he needs to talk with her.
In her office, with the door closed, Pete tells her they’re being absorbed. He indicates he’s telling her in order to help her, but then he reveals his fear, and she comforts him.
Joan calls Richard. She tells him something bad happened at work. She becomes tearful. He tells her he’ll see her tomorrow and books a redeye.
Don is lying on the couch. He tells Meredith to cancel everything, saying only it’s for personal reasons. Then Lou Avery calls from the California office. He says he’s moving to Tokyo to have his cartoon made by Tatsunoko Productions, and he gives notice.
After the call, Don lays back down, but then realizes something and calls Meredith in.
In the conference room, Don meets with the partners. He explains that, with the California office empty, they can move out there (letting go of the Time Life building), and service all the clients that McCann would lose due to conflict. They will hand-deliver all non-conflict clients, being fully cooperative with McCann, and only working on clients McCann would otherwise lose.
Peggy’s Upper West Side apartment
That night, Peggy meets with a headhunter (credited as Gerald Brady). He wants to make sure they’re not seen together. He tells her that staying with McCann for three years will build her resume and do better for her career than going anywhere else.
Ken meets with Roger and Pete. They try to persuade him to participate in the plan to stay with SC&P. Ken enjoys toying with them for a few minutes, but then says no out of revenge.
Don and Ted are working on presentation materials and talking. Ted doesn’t want to go to California, which Don says will help them with McCann. He apologizes for taking Don’s spot out there. He was wrong to imagine he could save his marriage. Then Ted then says he’s met someone. Joan comes in with Roger’s news; Dow’s a no. Don sends her to get the files to see if they can cobble a couple of million together from smaller accounts.
Wednesday, August 5
Greenwich Country Day School
Pete and Trudy meet with the school headmaster, Mr. McDonald. First he tells the Campbells that Tammy did badly on her “draw a man test”. Then he says Trudy was arrogant not to apply anywhere else. Finally he says he’s angry because of a three-hundred year-old feud between the Campbells and the McDonalds. When McDonald insults Trudy, Pete punches him.
Peggy and Stan see a girl still hanging around after the auditions. Her mother left her there to wait while she picked up her brother at a different audition. As they see that no one is there to watch her, they all hear Harry shouting and cursing on the phone. They take the girl, Susie, downstairs.
Cos Cob, the Campbell home
Pete and Trudy arrive to find Verna and Tammy out. She reveals that she was hit on at another school, which is why she didn’t apply there. She’s hit on by husbands of friends all the time, so she has no friends. Pete is admiring and protective of her. He says he’ll handle things at Greenwich and she is impressed.
He asks if he can make a call.
The other partners are getting ready to go to the meeting with Hobart when Pete rushes in. He got Secor Laxatives.
In Peggy’s office, Susie plays at the desk while Stan and Peggy review headshots and discuss casting. Peggy tells Stan they’re being absorbed. Susie staples her finger and begins to shriek. Peggy sends Marsha (her secretary) for a first aid kit as Susie’s mother arrives. Peggy fights with the mother over “abandoning” her child at the office.
Offices of McCann-Erickson
The SC&P partners have arrived early. Jim Hobart and Ferg Donnelly join them in a conference room. Don begins a presentation about “SC&P West: A Division of McCann-Erickson”. Hobart interrupts. The absorption is a done deal and they should think of it as heaven. He dangles a wonderful account in front of each of the male partners: Ortho Pharmaceutical for Ted, Buick for Roger, Nabisco for Pete, Coca-Cola for Don. The partners sit there, defeated and bleak.
The partners have been drinking for a while. Roger toast Bert Cooper and Joan says she’s glad he missed this. She gets up to leave, hugging Ted, Don, then Roger. Pete offers to drop her off.
Pete and Joan talk. He wants her to be the one cheering him up, but she knows she won’t be taken seriously at McCann.
Peggy tells Stan she’s too upset to work. She starts by complaining about Susie’s mother, but when Stan says the woman shouldn’t be a mother, Peggy is suddenly angry about anyone impugning a woman’s choice. Before she realizes it, she’s talking about her own choice, and finally, at Stan’s prompting, reveals that she gave up a son for adoption. He’s gentle with her. She pulls herself together before leaving.
Roger and Don are the last ones left. Roger is sad that his family name will not be carried on, and now it won’t be a company name either. Roger prepares to leave to meet a woman, and then confesses that it’s Don’s former mother-in-law, Marie. Don warns Roger that she’s crazy, but then wishes him happiness. Roger kisses him.
A Manhattan apartment
Don knocks on Diana’s door, but the apartment is now occupied by a gay couple, who tell him she left her furniture behind.
Thursday, August 6
Dawn and Shirley are talking about the merger in the kitchen. Meredith comes up but they won’t tell her what is going on.
When Don comes in, Meredith follows, demanding answers about the rumors. Don tells her what’s happened and says she can go with him if she wants to.
Peggy takes a call from Stan, they’re each in their own office. She tells him she’s going to McCann. She wants him to come with her. She asks him to stay on the phone with her.
Meanwhile, the partners gather everyone to announce they’re moving to McCann. Harry looks pleased. People immediately begin chattering, and then walk away, ignoring Don and Roger’s efforts to make a speech.
The closing song plays: Money Burns a Hole in My Pocket.