Sunday, September 27 through Monday, October 5, 1970
Sunday, September 27, 1970
Don is driving at night and is pulled over by a cop who tells him he’s caught. It’s a dream; he wakes up in a hotel room.
Cos Cob, CT, the Campbell home
Pete is in the kitchen with Tammy; he treats a bee sting with toothpaste; Trudy and her friend Sherry come in from playing tennis. After Pete leaves, Trudy and Sherry discuss Pete and being divorced.
Kansas, a motel
Don is on the phone with Sally (who is at school). They discuss his route and where he’s been, as well as her life; he recommends she sell her field hockey equipment to help pay for a planned trip to Madrid. It’s obvious they speak regularly. He gets off the phone saying he wants to reach her brothers before their bedtime.
Somewhere between Monday, September 28 and Wednesday, September 30
Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT
Betty is climbing the stairs, obviously struggling. She falls.
Pete meets Duck Philips in the elevator. They discuss that Duck is there to help replace Don, but then Duck follows Pete out. Pete brags about how well he’s doing at McCann. Duck wants to speak with Pete privately.
In Pete’s office, Duck takes a drink from Pete’s bar. Pete’s uncomfortable; he doesn’t want people at McCann to see him with a headhunter. Duck asks Pete to help him place an in-house senior marketing executive at Learjet; he wants Pete to have dinner with a Learjet rep, recommend a strategy, and recommend Duck as the person who can find the person to execute that strategy. He can also extoll McCann as an agency.
Pete doesn’t want to help. Duck reminds him he’s done favors for Pete in the past, and he’s desperate. He uses the phrase “for old time’s sake”.
Don is driving, feels something wrong with the car, and pulls over.
Fairfield, CT, a hospital
Betty is being seen by a Dr. Buckley. He says there is something that may be serious but won’t tell her what’s wrong, insisting she call her husband.
Later, we see Henry and Betty in the car after having seen the doctor. Henry is furious, he wants to sue the hospital, then decides he’ll call “Rocky’s” (Governor Rockefeller’s) office. He tells her she’ll be just fine, and takes her cigarettes out of her hands.
The Sharon Motel, Oklahoma
Don arrives in a tow truck saying his car’s rocker arm has failed. The proprietor’s wife (Sharon) offers her leftovers to Don as room service.
A New York restaurant
Pete and the Learjet guy have steak. They discuss Hollywood stars who use Learjet, Pete recommends a strategy that veers away from Hollywood; they should have corporate executives as customers—Hollywood makes Learjet seem exotic and impractical. Then Pete realizes Duck has set this up as a job interview and he declines.
Thursday, October 1, 1970
A doctor’s office
Betty is diagnosed with lung cancer. The doctor is speaking to Henry while Betty stares at her x-ray. The doctor says she has nine months to a year, and treatments are palliative.
Don is reading when a young man (Andy) comes to clean the room. We learn Don is waiting for a car part that has to come from Tulsa. It’s a dry town but Andy offers to get Don a bottle.
Don goes to the pool. He sees a beautiful woman in a bikini by the pool, reading, then her husband and kids join. Don goes swimming.
Duck calls Pete from Grand Central Terminal. Learjet wants to hire him; they’re offering $100,000 per year and unlimited air travel; Duck wants to have dinner with “the wives” at the Four Seasons on Saturday. Pete doesn’t say yes but writes it down.
Rye, NY, the Francis home
Henry and Betty argue. He demands she work to fight the disease aggressively, but Betty accepts that she’ll die, all she cares about is what to tell the kids.
When Don gets back to his room he sees Andy has brought a few paperbacks as well as the bottle. Andy demands an extra ten dollars for his trouble. Don drinks with Andy and corrects his grammar, learning Andy has no family around.
Pete puts Tammy to bed. Trudy tells him to take the pie Tammy made him. Pete gives Trudy a longing look.
Don’s TV dies. He goes to the office and they give him a replacement. Don helps fix the typewriter. Sharon invites him to the American Legion on Saturday night.
Pete eats Tammy’s pie. He asks Trudy to be his wife at dinner with Learjet as a favor, “for old time’s sake”.
Saturday, October 3
Miss Porter’s School, Farmington, CT
Henry arrives in Sally’s room. He sits with her and tells her about Betty’s illness. Sally covers her ears. Henry tells Sally that there’s a chance Betty can have more time, and wants Sally to talk her into it. He weeps.
Don has his car back. He’s not interested in staying for the party Saturday night. The motel owner asks him to fix the Coke machine.
Betty is cooking when Henry comes in with Sally. Betty sees Sally and silently walks out.
Oklahoma, a Legionnaire’s Club
Don arrives at the party, and learns it’s a fundraiser. Don drops $40 into the collection jar. He is hesitant when asked where he served and his rank.
A New York restaurant
Pete has dinner with his brother Bud. He asked Bud to dinner instead of going to the Learjet thing. Bud has a tryst after dinner, Pete’s his alibi. They discuss business, infidelity, and their father. Pete is bitter about infidelity, and after listening to him, Bud gets up to cancel his date.
Don drinks with the veterans. When Korean vet comes up, Don is afraid to be seen, but they quickly realize they served at different times.
Pete is watching TV in his apartment or possibly a hotel. Duck shows up drunk, complaining about Pete not showing up for dinner. Duck is getting him the Learjet job and has already talked to Jim Hobart.
The drunk vets convince Don that they are all brothers and can speak freely. After a World War II vet tells a shameful story, Don, very drunk, tells his own story, about killing his CO. They accept him and all sing Over There.
Sally is in bed awake when Betty comes in. Sally is angry that Betty won’t get treatment. Betty tells her that she knows it’s over, and she doesn’t want to make Sally watch her die. She gives Sally instructions to open when she dies, and tells her to go back to school in the morning.
The vets he drank with break into Don’s room and say he stole all the money raised that night, they beat him up, take his car keys, and say they’ll keep the keys until they get the money back.
Sunday, October 4
Pete comes to see Trudy in the middle of the night (4 am). He asks her to remarry him and move to Wichita. They kiss.
Don is in his room with ice on his eye. Andy comes in and Don confronts him, sending him to get the money he stole from the veterans. He tells the kid he can’t steal from locals without leaving town.
Later, Don hands the money to the hotel owner without saying a word. He takes his keys, leaves. He offers Andy a ride to the bus stop.
Monday October 5 and Sunday October 4
Betty is getting ready to go to school. She still wants to live her life with the time she has left.
Sally reads the instructions Betty gave her. As the scene intercuts with Betty at school, we hear Betty’s voiceover describing her wishes. Sally cries.
Don drives Andy to the bus stop. He gives Andy advice and then hands him the car keys and the papers for the car. Don takes his shopping bag of belongings and waits for the bus, smiling. The closing song, Buddy Holly’s Everyday, plays.