Sunday, September 11, 2011

Out of Town – Mad Men Episode Summary 3.1

Don Draper catches Salvatore Romano with the bellboySynopsis: 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.

Episode Summary: Don Draper wakes up in the middle of the night, and makes himself something to eat. Suddenly, he remembers Abigail Whitman having yet another miscarriage, and her young mother working as a prostitute. Later, he imagines her mother in her deathbed, and himself still a baby. The milk in the pot he was cooking overflows, breaking his reverie. His dream resumes with the midwife knocking on Abigail’s door bringing with her in a crate, the infant Don Draper, then called Dick. Later, Don Draper brings the hot milk to his pregnant wife, and helps her get back to sleep. Continue reading...

The merger starts to take effect as Don Draper, Lane Pryce, and Bertram Cooper gather to inform the new head of accounts, Burt Peterson, the unfortunate news that is his sacking. Peterson loses his head, and makes a scene to let everyone know of his termination causing worry among his colleagues. Having witnessed the outburst, Joan Holloway confronts John Hooker whom she blames for the man’s unbecoming behavior. Joan expected Mr. Hooker to have instructed Mr. Peterson’s secretary to inform him beforehand of the reason for his meeting with the senior partners as this would have prepared him for the news that left him distraught. This unsolicited advice peeves Mr. Hooker for he sees himself not a secretary, but Lane Pryce’s right-hand man.

Pete Campbell anxiously meets with Lane Pryce only to learn that one man’s misfortune is another man’s gain. Thinking that he too will be terminated, Pete is surprised to hear that he has been made the head of accounts. However, he has been told to keep a tight lid on it until the announcement has been made, and the specifics of his new position have been settled. Pete privately celebrates at his office, informing only his wife. Meanwhile, Mr. Pryce calls in Ken Cosgrove to inform him that he has been made head of accounts, and warned him about sharing the news before the official announcement.

Don Draper and Salvatore Romano are on a plane to Baltimore when Don gets an invitation from one of the flight attendants. One who cannot resist a woman; Don has dinner with Shelly and her two colleagues, and brings along with him Sal. Don assumes the name of William Hofstadt after his brother-in-law stamped his name on Don’s luggage after borrowing it. Seeing how gullible they are, he continues his charade by fooling the attendants into believing that he and Sal are G-Men posing as accountants as part of their investigation on James Hoffa.

Later, Shelly invites herself to Don Draper’s room. Although the stewardess got a sudden attack of conscience after remembering that she is engaged, the woman could just not resist Don. Meanwhile, Salvatore Romano returns to his sweltering room alone, and finds that the air conditioning is broken. The bellboy comes to his room to fix the air conditioning, and immediately recognizes that Sal is gay. The young man makes the first move, and gives the nervous Salvatore a kiss. On their way to have sexual intercourse, the fire alarm bell rings. Don Draper climbs down the fire escape, and is shocked to see Sal with the bellboy.

Probably still shaken with the previous night’s events not so much because of the fire, but due to Don’s discovery of his homosexuality, Sal arrives late in the meeting with London Fog. The mad men meet with father and son, and find that the young heir is concerned of their business’ limitation, and has been considering going into the umbrella, bags, and hat business. Don assures him that London Fog has already established itself as a raincoat company, and no matter what happens, it is going to rain.

Seeing Joan waiting at the elevator, Peggy wastes no time to complain to her about her secretary’s tardiness. Despite Joan’s hinting of not wanting to hear her complaints early in the morning, the young copywriter just continues on ranting about how Lola, her already engaged secretary, has been flirting with John “Moneypenny” Hooker whom she learned has been passing on work to Lola. Joan, who also is engaged, could not wait to leave Sterling Cooper.

Pete Campbell gets the startling news that he and Ken Cosgrove were made heads of accounts. Unlike Ken Cosgrove, Pete is annoyed with having to share the coveted position. Each gets half of Sterling Cooper’s account to work on from which they will be evaluated, and would be later decided on who ultimately becomes the head of accounts. Pete Campbell could not contain his annoyance, and confronts the clueless Ken Cosgrove who genuinely is excited about being given the chance to prove himself worthy of the title. Trudy arrives with a gift to celebrate her husband’s recent promotion only to find him in a sour mood. Soon she learns the reason of his aggravation, and understands that it is a consequence of his husband’s ambition. Pete, she finds, is insatiable. She, however, advises him to hide his emotions from his employers, and instead use his energy into beating the competition.

Sal anxiously flies back to New York with Don Draper. He has not heard a peep from Don about the embarrassing incident until Don in his subtle yet loaded way of getting his message across speaks to him about an idea for an ad, which in reality is advising him to stay in the closet. The two return to the office, and Sal wastes no time to create the artwork based on Don’s idea. His fellow mad men love it, but are more anxious to learn about his out-of-town trip with the legendary Don Draper to which he says nothing about their escapades except for the fact that there was a fire at the hotel.

Don Draper hears of the competition between Campbell and Cosgrove, and is surprised to learn that it was a directive from London. Pete Campbell rushes to Don’s office to speak to him about the tight spot he is in, but finds Roger Sterling in the room, and shortly after Bertram Cooper arrives. He follows his wife’s advice, and puts on a mask to hide his true feelings about the current setup.

Joan Holloway is up to something. She has turned Burt Peterson’s old office into one that an employee from Putnam, Powell, & Lowe could occupy should they visit the New York office. She also informs him that it is an office he could use for when it is vacant. Moreover, Joan gives him the opportunity to pick a secretary to do his typing. John Hooker has fallen into Joan’s trap, which he quickly becomes aware off when his boss comes for a visit, and tells him that although it is a good idea to have an office for PPL visitors, Mr. Hooker is not to occupy it. His secretary having his own office is a ghastly idea given that their mother company had just dismissed a third of Sterling Cooper’s workforce. Mr. Hooker is to sit out front like the rest of the secretaries.

Don Draper returns home to be a father to his kids. After being forced into confessing about breaking the clasp of her father’s suitcase, Sally apologizes to her father, and explains her behavior as an attempt to keep her father from leaving as he did so before. Don reassures his daughter that he will always come home. As the child unpacks his father’s suitcase, she comes across Shelly’s wings. Both mother and daughter are unsuspecting as to how Don came across the pin. Slightly shaken probably from guilt, Don becomes teary eyed as his daughter asks him to tell her the story of the day she was born. Seeing her husband could not continue, Betty finishes the story for him.

Watch the Mad Men episode Out of Town
Previous Mad Men Episode Summary: Meditations in an Emergency
Next Mad Men Episode Summary: Love Among the Ruins
More Mad Men Episode Summaries

2 Pennies for your thoughts:

Anonymous said...

Pryce? Where did he come from? Was he in a previous episode?

Comprehensive Episode Guides said...

Lane Pryce is an employee of Putnam, Powell, & Lowe, the company that bought Sterling Cooper. He was made Financial Director of Sterling Cooper as a result of the merger. His character was introduced in this episode.