Sunday, October 17, 2010

Six Month Leave – Mad Men Episode Summary 2.9

Six Month Leave Mad Men Episode SummarySynopsis: 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.

Episode Summary: Don Draper wakes up alone in his hotel room. He is greeted by the disturbing news of Marilyn Monroe’s suicide. The tragedy has made many women at Sterling Cooper emotional except for Peggy Olson. The mad men could not care less. Winning the upcoming blood drive takes precedence despite not knowing what the prize really is. Don Draper is fully committed to the point of paying people to participate. Seeing him in a good mood, but completely unaware of his current situation, Harry Crane takes the opportunity to invite him and Betty to a concert. Don Draper, of course, turns him down. Continue reading...

The only person at the office who knows of his predicament is Jane Siegel. The secretary learns of the separation by chance having received a call from Don’s daughter asking when his father will be back from a business trip. Jane, caught unaware, had given an answer she knew is not true, and would cause more problems. Seeing how it would eventually cause some confusion, she decides to confront her boss about the delicate personal matter she had come to learn. Don Draper though reluctant to share his personal problems with anyone much more with colleagues had no choice but to acknowledge his uncertain separation with his wife. Don could not stress enough that the matter is personal, and is not up for discussion.

Pete Campbell, Peggy Olson and Salvatore Romano meet with Freddie Rumsen to rehearse for their meeting with Samsonite. As usual, Freddie is already intoxicated, but this time he has gone too far. Freddie completely inebriated pisses his pants, and passes out. A mix of panic, disgust and aggression overcomes Pete Campbell after learning that their clients have arrived. Salvatore suggests that they push through with the meeting telling Peggy to cover for Freddie. All three agree. Freddie finds himself passed out on his couch with his trousers soiled. He decides to call it a day, and takes a shameful walk to the elevator trying his best to hide having pissed his pants. Unfortunately, the sound of his wet socks against his shoes did not help at all.

Meanwhile, Betty Draper has trouble adjusting to the separation she instigated. Acting unlike herself, she lets the day pass without making herself presentable. A doorbell rouses her from her nap. Completely forgetting that her friend, Sarah Beth whom she goes riding with, was stopping by to borrow a dress for the dinner she and Don were also to attend. Despite her appearance, she invites her in feigning illness. The woman who has been fantasizing about Arthur Case has been seeing a psychiatrist who diagnosed her as a bored housewife. Sarah Beth wonders what’s wrong with her, and becomes jealous that Betty does not have the same problem because Don Draper is perfect. This struck a nerve, and she politely sends Sarah Beth off.

Roger Sterling arrives in his office only to find Joan Holloway lying on his couch. Though it is unlike her, Joan acts much like the many secretaries at their office. She grieves for the movie star she hardly knew. Her behavior surprises Roger Sterling who then realizes that the young woman must have seen herself in the star who though surrounded by the many people who loved her they learn was in reality lonely. Unfortunately, Roger’s insensitivity just made her even more upset.

Don Draper spends some time with the kids, and brings them back home. The kids are unaware of their parents’ separation, and the eldest of the two starts to become confused. Don is confused himself, uncertain if their current situation will just blow over or if it is permanent. He, however, would like to know from his wife where they stand to at least provide their kids an explanation to his absence. Regrettably, Betty Draper has not yet decided.

A sober Freddie Rumsen drops by Peggy Olson’s desk to ask about the meeting. The young copywriter is happy to announce that it went well despite his absence. Freddie apologizes to Peggy for putting her in that situation. The young woman who has a soft spot for the man who discovered her talent is more than willing to put what happened behind. Unfortunately, Pete Campbell would not tolerate any of it. Don Draper is called into a meeting with Roger Sterling surprised to see Pete and Duck there ahead of him. Pete informs them of yesterday’s incident with Duck insisting on having Freddie pulled out of every account lest an incident more embarrassing happens again. With Freddie Rumsen being part of creative, Don Draper is asked to do the dirty job of having him fired. Though it is against his wishes, Don is left with no other choice but to accept to do the dirty deed.

Betty Draper continues to act depressed. Carla finds her in the study trying to unlock Don’s drawer. Seeing Betty still in her pajamas, she finds that the young woman needs to be made aware of her behavior. Betty at first is offended of Carla’s unsolicited advice, but later takes it. She fixes herself up, and goes out for a ride. Betty sees Arthur Case, and starts a conversation with him insinuating that Sarah Beth has a crush on him. She invites the young man to go out to lunch with them, and Arthur gladly accepts even offering to foot the bill.

Back at Sterling Cooper, the blood drive has commenced. Salvatore Romano shows off his bravado boasting that he could do another round of blood giving. Their conversation leads to Freddie Rumsen, and the mad men start to make fun of their drunken colleague. Don Draper arrives, and the men continue to make fun of Freddie Rumsen. Much to their surprise, this upsets Don causing him to reprimand the men for laughing at another man’s misfortune. Night came, and it was time to fire Freddie Rumsen. The three go out to dinner as planned. Roger Sterling informs Freddie that he has to take a six-month leave of absence. Don Draper informs him of the consolation -- a full salary, and an opportunity to come back. Freddie though aware of his blunder tries to hold on to his job, but the decision has been made. After years of service at Sterling Cooper, it all ends to a termination masked as a six-month leave. Learning that there is no way to dissuade the men from their decision, Freddie accepts his fate. Though it was a dismissal, Don and Roger decide to give Freddie a fitting send off. They visit an underground casino, and have yet another round of drinks. Freddie seems to be having a great time unlike Don. Either Roger Sterling knows Don or his situation too well. Immediately, he informs him of his knowledge of his marital problems. As though adding insult to injury, Jimmy Barrett arrives. Don Draper loses his composure, and punches the man in the face. The three men leave before being forced out of the club. It is their cue. It was time to end the night, and face reality. They put Freddie Rumsen in a cab, the man uncertain of his future. It might be over for Freddie, but not yet for Don and Roger. The two continue their interrupted conversation at another bar. Don admits to his separation with Betty though still unwilling to discuss it. Roger could not understand the man’s reluctance, and supposes that Don feels bad about the whole thing. Don Draper corrects him, and confesses that he actually feels relieved. His statement catches Roger by surprise, and he assumes that Don has fallen in love with another woman. Don makes it clear that it is not so, which makes it even more confusing for him.

Don Draper is back at the office as though he did not just drink the previous night away. He calls in Peggy Olson to his office commending her for taking over the Samsonite presentation, and informing her that she is to replace Freddie as the copywriter for that account. Surprised, Peggy asks about Freddie, and learns that he has taken a six-month leave. As a result, she will be taking over all of his accounts. Though it is a step-up for her, Peggy wishes that she got the promotion under different circumstances. Furious she barges in Pete Campbell’s office upset at what he has done. Pete could not understand why Peggy feels sorry for Freddie. She makes it known of her debt of gratitude to the man who recognized her talent, and gave her the chance to become a copywriter. Pete Campbell argues that if it were not for him, Peggy would still be a junior copywriter.

Arthur Case arrives at Café Soleil, and joins Sarah Beth who did not know that the young man would be joining them for lunch. Betty Draper is nowhere in sight, because she purposely set the two up.

Meanwhile at Sterling Cooper, Mona Sterling barges in Don Draper’s office accusing him of breaking her twenty-five years of marriage. Roger had used Don Draper as a stimulus to leave his wife for a secretary whom he was having an affair with. Mona steps out of Don’s office only to find her soon-to-be ex-husband at the door begging her not to make a scene. Mona leaves without making a scene, while Roger tries to console Jane who had started to sob. Don completely unaware of the affair learns for the very first time that Roger had been seeing his secretary. He tells Roger Sterling that he wants her out.


Watch the Mad Men Episode Six Month Leave
Previous Mad Men Episode Summary: A Night to Remember
Next Mad Men Episode Summary: The Inheritance
More Mad Men Episode Summaries

6 Pennies for your thoughts:

Anonymous said...

At the beginning of this episode, Betty is standing at the top of the stairs watching Carla leave with the children. She she mumble something mocking Carla under her breath? I can never quite hear exactly what she says.

Comprehensive Episode Guides said...

Hmmm...I'll try to watch it again, and see if I can decipher it. If anyone here already knows what it is, please feel free to share.

-CEG

Michael said...

Netflix subtitles say, "All right, let's go."

Comprehensive Episode Guides said...

^Thanks for sharing that, Michael! Appreciate it.

-CEG

Logan said...

Hey, I've been watching Mad Men, then reading your episode guides to make sure I caught everything. Absolutely love your guides.

As for Betty standing at the top of the stairs, I don't think she ever mumbles anything.

Comprehensive Episode Guides said...

Thank you for your comment, Logan. I'm glad you love the guides. I really need to re-watch that scene. It piqued my curiosity.

-CEG