- Downton Abbey
- House of Cards
- Mad Men
- McLeod's Daughters
- Mr. Selfridge
- Pushing Daisies
- Remington Steele
- The Tudors
- Three's Company
- White Collar
- Wild Card
- Canceled TV Show
- TV Show Trivia
- TV Show News
- Watch Full Episodes
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Mad Men – Episode Summaries
Episode summaries of Mad Men, the series set in 1960s that follows the lives of ad executives, their wives, lovers and co-workers. I began watching this show starting in Season 1, but did not fully appreciate it until I watched a marathon of the first season. Due to this TV show’s serialized nature it is quite difficult to catch up if you’ve missed one much more multiple episodes. These episode summaries should help you with that. Honestly, I haven’t watched the pilot episode until now, and boy did I miss a lot of character grounding.
Update: Just added the episode summary for the season 5 finale The Phantom. Follow Comprehensive Episode Guides for updates on newly added episode summaries.
If you like Mad Men then you might also like Downton Abbey.
Mad Men Episode Summaries
1.1 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Summary of the Smoke Gets In Your Eyes episode where Don Draper, the creative director of Sterling Cooper, is having trouble finding a solution that would rescue their client Lucky Strike from the current tobacco crisis. His anxiety at having to compete against young ad executives like Pete Campbell adds to his worry. Meanwhile, office manager Joan Holloway shows Don’s new secretary Peggy Olson around the office, and provides her with bits of both professional and personal advice. Also, the mad men at Sterling Cooper throws Pete Campbell a bachelor party.
1.2 Ladies Room
When Betty Draper runs into an accident after losing faculty of her hands, and the physicians cannot find anything physically wrong with her, they suggest that she see a psychiatrist. Don Draper becomes upset and disturbed at the thought of her wife having to see a shrink. Meanwhile, it is Peggy Olson’s second week at the office, and the young woman is ecstatic at having gotten her first paycheck. Her happiness is short-lived after learning the harsh truth of how men treat the women at their workplace.
1.3 Marriage of Figaro
Pete Campbell returns to the office fresh from his honeymoon, and he like many newlyweds find marriage life refreshing. Don Draper, on the other hand, feels trapped, and appears longing to live a life other the one he has now. He falls for his client, but the woman stops whatever affair they were to have after learning that he is married. So, Don comes home to his wife and kids to continue to play the role of good husband and father. A job he is expected to perform especially at his daughter’s birthday party.
1.4 New Amsterdam
Mad Men episode summary where Pete Campbell pays a visit to his parents to ask for their help in financing the purchase of an apartment in the city. Unfortunately, his father who disapproves of his career turns him down. Following his father’s remarks about his job, it appears that Pete Campbell is trying to be more than just an account executive as he tries to pitch his own ideas to the client neglecting the consequences of his actions. Meanwhile, Betty Draper babysits for her neighbor Helen Bishop, and gets a strange request from her son.
Episode summary where Don Draper’s picture appears on a magazine after winning an award. It is a proud moment for him, and one he modestly relishes. However, Don did not anticipate his brother seeing his picture, and recognizing him for who he truly is – Dick Whitman. The sudden entrance of his brother into his life troubles Don, and he hatches up a plan to escape his past. Meanwhile, the ad men at Sterling Cooper, Pete Campbell and Paul Kinsley in particular are envious of Ken Cosgrove’s fifteen minutes of fame. This after the young man’s short story gets published in a well-respected magazine.
Mad Men episode where Israel Tourism wants Sterling Cooper to create ads that would bring people with money to their country. Don Draper uses this to get Rachel Menken to meet with him again. Meanwhile, while Joan Holloway is busy sneaking with Roger Sterling, Peggy Olson had innocently started to climb up the ladder following the brainstorming for their client Belle Jolie.
1.7 Red in the Face
Episode summary where Roger Sterling having no plans for the night after learning that Joan Holloway is unavailable convinces Don Draper to go drinking with him. Showing no signs of going home, Don decides to invite him to dinner. All is well until an inebriated Roger makes a pass at Betty. This angers Don Draper causing him to cook up a scheme against his boss. Meanwhile, Pete Campbell begins his streak of embarrassment after his wife orders him to return a duplicate wedding present they received.
1.8 The Hobo Code
Mad Men episode summary where Pete Campbell and Peggy Olson arrive to work early only to end up having an affair. Their office tryst did little to calm her nerves in anticipation of the Belle Jolie meeting where her ad copy is to be presented. Her worry was for nothing for the client bought the pitch. The whole office to celebrate her success spend the night drinking and dancing at P.J. Clarke’s. Meanwhile, Don Draper decides to spend his bonus in Paris with his lover Midge. Unfortunately, the woman would rather get high with her friends, and so Don obeys. While in the state of intoxication, he recalls the time when his stepmother takes in a hobo.
Episode where Jim Hobart, an executive from a competing advertising agency woos Don Draper into joining his company. Aside from bribing Don with expensive gifts, Mr. Hobart decides to use Betty Draper as well by giving her a job as an ad model hoping that this might encourage Don. Meanwhile, Peggy Olson is progressively gaining weight that her coworkers especially the men begin to notice.
1.10 Long Weekend
Betty and her children are getting an early start on the long weekend by going with her father and his new girlfriend whom Betty dislikes. Don Draper promises to drive down the shore to join them the very next day. Since office is still not closed, he has to work on the troubled Nixon campaign, and assist in the Menken account. Roger Sterling after being turned down by Joan Holloway decides to pick out an impromptu date with twin models. Don Draper was forced to accompany Roger, and spend a night with the twins. All is well until Roger Sterling suffers a heart attack.
1.11 Indian Summer
Peggy Olson is tasked with writing copy for a device that claims to help women lose weight. Meanwhile, Bertram Cooper pulls Roger Sterling out of his sick leave to rebuild confidence with their client Lucky Strike who has become overly concerned about Roger’s absence.
1.12 Nixon vs. Kennedy
With Roger Sterling still recovering from his heart attack, Sterling Cooper is in search of a new head of account services. Don Draper parades the candidate Herman “Duck” Phillips, irritating ambitious young ad executive Pete Campbell who has his eye set on the job. He becomes even more annoyed at learning that Don is not even considering him for the position, and decides to threaten the creative director with divulging his secret to the senior partner. Meanwhile, it is Election Day, and except for a few everybody decided to stay at the office to follow the returns.
1.13 The Wheel
Betty Draper learns that her friend’s husband has been having an affair making her wonder about her own situation. Meanwhile, Duck Phillips orders the mad men of Sterling Cooper to bring new business to the company, the way he is about to with Kodak. Don Draper works on the ad for Kodak’s new product called The Wheel, while Peggy Olsen starts to climb up the ladder having given the authority to choose the right girl for the weight loss ad. Pete Campbell is being pressured by his in-laws to start a family, and uses his measly salary as an excuse not to have child.
Season 2 | Season 1 | Season 3 | Season 4 | Season 5
2.1 For Those Who Think Young
Duck Phillips convinces Roger Sterling into forcing Don Draper to hire young talent for the Martinson’s Coffee account he has been trying to grab. Paul Kinsey more than anyone else is troubled with the direction Sterling Cooper is going more so for he was the one to give Roger the list of young creative. Meanwhile, the massive copier Duck had requested also arrives giving Joan Holloway a headache as she struggles to find a place for it. Valentine’s Day arrives, and everyone celebrates it in their own way, but most spent the night watching Jacqueline Kennedy’s tour of the White House.
2.2 Flight 1
Pete Campbell receives news that his father was aboard the American Airlines plane that crashed in Jamaica Bay. Meanwhile, Duck Phillips sees a golden opportunity with the tragedy as he sells the senior partners on the idea of getting business from the troubled airline company. This, however, requires that they end their relationship with Mohawk Airlines, a condition that infuriates Don Draper.
2.3 The Benefactor
Jimmy Barrett has a field day with the overweight woman who happens to be his benefactor, Edith Schilling. Don Draper is left to do damage control, and in his quest begins an affair with the comedian’s wife and manager, Bobbie Barrett. Meanwhile, Harry Crane is in pursuit for a higher salary having learned that Ken Cosgrove makes more money than he does. An opportunity is presented to him after learning that the TV show “The Defenders” has lost its major sponsors following their refusal to fund the controversial episode “The Benefactor” that centers on the abortion issue.
2.4 Three Sundays
Sterling Cooper’s meeting with American Airlines was moved up to Good Friday creating the need to call all their staff to work on Palm Sunday. Meanwhile, there is a young, new priest in Peggy Olson’s parish, and he has taken an interest in her causing her sister to worry.
2.5 The New Girl
Trudy and Pete Campbell have difficulty conceiving a child, and therefore visit a fertility doctor. Don Draper receives a surprise visit from Bobbie Barrett asking his help to sell an idea for a television show. Having sold the idea, both Don and Bobbie indiscreetly celebrate, and fall victim to a car accident. Meanwhile, Joan Holloway accepted her boyfriend’s proposal, and is now engaged to a doctor. In anticipation of her wedding preparations, Joan hires a new girl to become Don Draper’s secretary.
Duck Phillips informs the mad men of Sterling Cooper that their client Playtex is looking to change their campaign to follow that of their competitor Maidenform. Peggy Olson is assigned to work on the account, but is put aside when Paul Kinsey comes up with an impressive idea for the ad. Don Draper continues his trysts with Bobbie Barrett, and learns that he has built himself a reputation. Meanwhile, Duck Phillips gets a visit from his kids only to learn that his wife is planning on marrying another man.
2.7 The Gold Violin
Don Draper is replacing his old car with a flashy, expensive Cadillac. A flashy new car might just be in order to match his joining the big leagues after the success of the pitch with Martinson’s Coffee. Meanwhile, word that Bertram Cooper had purchased a ten thousand dollar painting, and had been calling employees to ask for their opinion about it has been flying around Sterling Cooper. Only Harry Crane knows nothing about this, and is surprised to learn from his colleagues that what he thought to be a big meeting to discuss expansion of his department might turn out to be just a conversation about the painting. Jane Siegel finds it hard to understand why the mad men of Sterling Cooper are making a big deal out of being called to admire the painting such that she along with some of the creative team marches up to Cooper’s office to view it. Inspired by their adventure, Ken Cosgrove finds the urge to write about it stirring conversation about his writing talent that impressed no one else but Salvatore Romano. It was then that he decides to ask his opinion about his new story, “The Gold Violin”.
2.8 A Night To Remember
The flyer for a dance at her parish that Peggy entitled as “A Night To Remember” is causing quite a stir among the older parishioners, while Joan Holloway learns that she has a knack managing broadcast operations. Meanwhile, an incident at the dinner party that the Draper’s hosted became the catalyst for Betty Draper to confront Don about his affair with Bobbie Barrett.
2.9 Six Month Leave
Don and Betty Draper are still separated, and the uncertainty of their separation is starting to cause trouble. Freddie Rumsen’s drinking problem has started to affect his job resulting in his forced six-month leave.
2.10 The Inheritance
Pete Campbell learns that his father has squandered his inheritance, while Betty Draper learns that her father has suffered a stroke. Don and Betty put on a false pretense to hide their separation from her family. Their charade seemed to have brought them back together. At the office, Don Draper bumps off Paul Kinsey from the business trip, and decides to fly to Los Angeles.
2.11 The Jet Set
In the midst of his messy divorce with his wife Mona, Roger Sterling proposes marriage to his mistress Jane Siegel. Don Draper and Pete Campbell arrive in California. Don who intends on keeping their trip to be all-about business foregoes his own rule, and decides to escape with a young, beautiful, self-indulgent aristocrat. Meanwhile, Kurt invites Peggy to go out with him, and later learns that he is a homosexual
2.12 The Mountain King
Don Draper gets off a bus in California, and knocks on the door of Anna Draper. Bertram Cooper calls a meeting of the partners to vote on the merger with Putnam, Powell and Lowe. With Don Draper away, Peggy Olson steps in to pitch for the Popsicle account, and demands that she move-in Freddie Rumsen’s office. Meanwhile, Joan Holloway parades her seemingly perfect doctor fiancé, and learns that the young man is a rapist.
2.13 Meditations in an Emergency
All at Sterling Cooper are anxious given the ongoing Cuban missile crisis. To add to their disquiet, rumors of a British agency taking over their company have been floating around. Don Draper finally returns after weeks of absence, and is surprised to learn that Sterling Cooper has merged with Putnam, Powell & Lowe. Meanwhile, Betty Draper learns that she is pregnant, and gets a surprise visit from her absentee husband.
Season 3 | Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 4 | Season 5
3.1 Out of Town
Don Draper flies to Baltimore with Salvatore Romano to meet with the owners of London Fog, and discovers Sal’s secret. Meanwhile, Putnam, Powell, & Lowe is causing a stir with firing the new head of accounts, and pitting Pete Campbell and Ken Cosgrove for the coveted position.
3.2 Love Among the Ruins
Sterling Cooper is going after new businesses with Ken Cosgrove eyeing Pepsi and Pete Campbell going after Madison Square Garden. Complications arise when Paul Kinsey’s activist tendencies comes in full display as he and Pete meet with the executives of Madison Square Garden. Meanwhile, Betty Draper learns that her father’s girlfriend has left him, and is now living alone with only her irresponsible brother to check on him. She and Don come to a decision that they may soon regret.
3.3 My Old Kentucky Home
Roger and Jane Sterling hold a lavish garden party at the country club, and invite a select few people from the office. Meanwhile, Peggy, Paul and Smitty were asked to spend a weekend at the office to work on the Bacardi account.
3.4 The Arrangements
Pete Campbell brings his affluent, but dimwitted friend Hoho to the office to discuss his plans of promoting Jai Alai in the United States. The mad men of Sterling Cooper take advantage of the gullible young man with money to burn. Meanwhile, Sally Draper is enjoying the company of grandpa Gene when tragedy strikes.
3.5 The Fog
Betty Draper struggles to deliver her third child, while Don Draper wait for hours in anticipation of his newborn. Meanwhile, Duck Phillips who now works at Grey Advertising woos Pete Campbell and Peggy Olson. The young man rejects Duck’s offer, while Peggy gives it some thought.
3.6 Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency
Executives from Putnam, Powell and Lowe are paying a visit to Sterling Cooper over the July 4th holiday throwing a wrench at everybody’s vacation plans. Their visit happens to coincide on Joan Holloway’s last day at the office for she has decided to become a full-time housewife to her soon-to-be a chief resident doctor husband.
3.7 Seven Twenty Three
Conrad Hilton makes Don Draper in charge of the ad campaigns for three of his hotels in New York, but the deal is dependent on Don’s agreement to sign a contract with Sterling Cooper. Betty Draper accepts the role of secretary of the Junior League at Tarrytown, and her first task is to get Henry Francis of the governor’s office to help them stop the water tank project. Duck Phillips continues to woo Peggy Olson into joining him at Grey Advertising.
It’s the middle of summer, and most people are out on vacation. Conrad Hilton sends Don Draper to Rome, and Betty goes with him. It was a reprieve both husband and wife needed. Meanwhile, Pete Campbell stays at home while his wife goes on vacation with her family, and carries on an affair with his next-door neighbor’s housekeeper.
3.9 Wee Small Hours
Conrad Hilton has made it a habit to call Don Draper in the wee small hours of the morning. Finding the need to please the client, Don kowtows to the legendary businessman. Lee Garner Jr. makes a curious demand to Harry Crane putting him in a precarious position where his misjudgment might cost Sterling Cooper the Lucky Strike account. Meanwhile, Betty Draper gives in the urge to resume contact with Henry Francis knowing very well that this could lead to an affair.
3.10 The Color Blue
Don Draper has been spending his evenings with Suzanne Farrell, but the arrival of the woman’s troubled younger brother put a stop to their tryst. Meanwhile, Paul Kinsey has made it a point to compete with Peggy Olson, this after the young copywriter enhanced his idea on the Aqua Net ad that gained Don Draper’s approval. Betty Draper happens upon the key to Don’s top drawer, and discovers his secret.
3.11 The Gypsy and the Hobo
On the day Don Draper and Suzanne Farrell were supposed to spend time together as a real couple, Don arrives home only to find that his wife and kids have returned earlier than planned. Moreover, Betty reveals that she has uncovered his deep, dark secret. Meanwhile, the women from Roger’s past have come to haunt him with the re-emergence of Annabelle Mathis and Joan Holloway. Both women want something from Roger, but he is only willing to help one of them.
3.12 The Grown-Ups
3.13 Shut the Door. Have A Seat
Don Draper learns from Conrad Hilton that McCann Erickson is buying Putnam, Powell & Lowe and Sterling Cooper along with it. He hatches a plan with Bert Cooper to buy back the agency, and learns the many obstacles of doing so. Meanwhile, on the home front, Betty has asked him for a divorce.
Season 4 | Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 5
4.1 Public Relations
Don Draper’s interview with the journalist from Ad Age was a failure with unforeseen consequences for the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce agency. Pete Campbell works very hard to keep the agency afloat, and sees an opportunity with the Jantzen swimwear account. In danger of losing one of their very few clients, Peggy comes up with a stunt with Pete’s blessing that would make their client Sugarberry ham happy.
4.2 Christmas Comes But Once A Year
Roger Sterling invites Lee Garner Jr. to their office Christmas party, and ended up being humiliated in front of his employees. Freddie Rumsen left JWT, but brought with him the Ponds account, and is now seeking the help of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce that is more than happy to help him given the two million dollar account he is about to bring in the agency. Meanwhile, the troubled boy Glen Bishop befriends Sally Draper.
4.3 The Good News
Don Draper makes a stop to Los Angeles on his way to Acapulco to visit his good friend Anna Draper. He learns from the woman’s niece that she has cancer. The news greatly troubles Don especially the fact that her family has kept her illness from her. Meanwhile, Lane and Joan have an argument that is rooted with Lane disallowing Joan to take time off after the holiday. Their shaky relationship is aggravated even more when Lane’s secretary mistakenly switches the messages on the box of roses he sent out to Joan and his wife.
4.4 The Rejected
Pete Campbell frets over having to tell his father-in-law that the agency has decided to drop the Clearasil account, but news of Trudy being pregnant erases his worries. Dr. Faye Miller conducts a focus group for the Pond’s account, which results in Allison breaking down to tears and coming to a decision to leave Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Meanwhile, Peggy makes a new friend, and becomes acquainted with artists.
4.5 The Chrysanthemum and the Sword
CGC has been snatching Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s former clients, and Don Draper soon finds himself vying against Ted Chaough for Honda’s attention. Roger Sterling, however, ruins any chance they have to get the Honda account, and it is once again up to Don to clean up his mess. Meanwhile, Sally Draper’s unbecoming behavior has made Betty agree to Henry’s advice to send her to a child psychiatrist.
4.6 Waldorf Stories
4.7 The Suitcase
An urgent message from California throws Don Draper off balance and causes him to bury himself with work. He foregoes watching the much-awaited fight between Sonny Liston and Cassius Clay to work on the Samsonite ad, and he reels in Peggy Olson at the last minute to stay at the office to work on it as well. Because of this, Peggy misses her birthday dinner with her boyfriend and her family. She spends the night with Don at the office, and they learn a few things about each other.
4.8 The Summer Man
Don Draper starts to keep a diary that has his innermost thoughts including that of his youngest son Gene whose birthday is coming up, and one he is advised not to attend. Joey Baird blatantly disrespects Joan Harris causing the otherwise tough woman to be brought to tears.
4.9 The Beautiful Girls
Abe Drexler, the writer whom Peggy Olson met at a party some time ago, decides to court her. However, the two seem to be from different worlds for Peggy has made use of her talent to help capitalists, a type of people Abe abhors. Meanwhile, Don Draper has taken a new lover in the person of Faye Miller, and their relationship is quickly tested with the sudden entrance of his daughter who has run away from home. The unexpected death of Miss Blankenship reminds Roger Sterling of his own mortality bringing him and Joan back together.
4.10 Hands and Knees
Don Draper learns that the US government is conducting background checks on him as a result of their agency being in business with a defense contractor. Lane Pryce receives a surprise visit from his father who has come to bring him home to London to set his family affairs in order. Meanwhile, Roger Sterling learns that his brief moment of lust with Joan Harris bore fruit.
4.11 Chinese Wall
4.12 Blowing Smoke
Season 5 | Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4
5.1 A Little Kiss, Part 1
pitches the ad they plan to run for Heinz Beans only to have the client reject it. Much to her dismay, Don Draper does not put up a fight with the client and accepts the rejection leaving Peggy and her team to redo the creative. Don still has the air of a newlywed whose bliss could not be broken; he is unlike his old self. Megan then decides to throw her husband a surprise party for his 40th birthday and invites friends and coworkers to the party.
5.2 A Little Kiss, Part 2
5.3 Tea Leaves
5.4 Mystery Date
5.5 Signal 30
5.6 Far Away Places
5.7 At the Codfish Ball
5.8 Lady Lazarus
5.9 Dark Shadows
5.10 Christmas Waltz
5.11 The Other Woman
5.12 Commission and Fees
5.13 The Phantom
Posted by comprehensive episode guides at 3:26 PM