Synopsis: 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.
Episode Summary: Don Draper watches the Samsonite team present their idea for an ad around Danny’s slogan of “Only Samsonite is tough”. The funny ad will feature football player Joe Namath as the endorser of the suitcase, but Don is not laughing and even reproaches Peggy for it. Peggy Olson returns to her office, and finds a birthday gift from Duck Phillips; it brought a smile to her face. The gift is a business card for a creative director at an agency Duck plans on creating where she is also to be a named partner. She is thrilled with the idea, but soon learns that it is nothing but a delusion brought about by Duck losing his job at Grey. Peggy finds herself appeasing a drunkard who finds himself on the verge of a breakdown.
Don receives an urgent message from Stephanie, but knowing what it must be about he decides to forego returning the call. Roger then arrives at his office to tell him that the evening he had been looking forward to for months has been ruined by an obligation to entertain the Pond’s client who happens to be a recovering alcoholic just like Freddie Rumsen. Don uses Samsonite as an excuse to get out of the dinner and the much-awaited fight between Liston and Clay even though their presentation is not due for two weeks leaving Roger to spend the evening alone with the client and Freddie, and dreads having to go through the night without a drop of alcohol.
Peggy is on her way to dinner with her boyfriend at The Forum of the Twelve Caesars to celebrate her twenty-sixth birthday when Don calls for her, and demands that she present to him what they have so far in spite of her informing him that she was already on her way out. She presents to him all the ideas they worked on, but Don rejected them all and demanded that the two of them work on it together that night. Mark is already at the restaurant when Peggy calls him from the office to inform him that she will be late, unaware that Mark has invited her family to join them for dinner.
Don and Peggy are going over ideas for the Samsonite ad when Don’s phone start to ring, but the man has no intention of answering it probably afraid that Stephanie is the person on the other line. Peggy answers the phone only to find out that it is just Roger calling to beg Don to come to his rescue, but Don would not budge. She then gets an angry phone call from her boyfriend who learning that she is thinking of skipping dinner is left with no other choice but to tell her that her family is there at the restaurant as well. Peggy decides to leave, but Don becomes upset at her that she finally puts her foot down and tells him that she was supposed to be at her birthday dinner an hour ago. Don instead of apologizing for ruining her birthday plans becomes even more upset with her, but lets her off the hook. The thought of having dinner with her family must have pushed her to decide not to come at all, and after being scolded by her mother Peggy becomes upset with Mark for inviting her family believing that he did so to get on their good side. Peggy and Mark’s argument on the phone leads to their awkward break up, making her family accidental witnesses.
Don is surprised to see Peggy back at the office, and is even more surprised to hear that she and her boyfriend broke up. He tells her to go home, but she tells him the real reason for her not refusing his demand that she work late. Peggy confronts Don on him having to hire Danny after he stole his idea, because he was too drunk to think of one of his own. Moreover, the root of her animosity is revealed to be that of Don getting all the credit for her work, which started all the way back with Glo-Coat that garnered him a CLIO and recognition in spite of it being Peggy’s idea. Peggy didn’t even get a thank you for it, and up until now Don finds that it is not his obligation to show her gratitude for coming up with great ideas, because it is what the agencies pays her for. She is brought to tears, but still stays at the office. Meanwhile, Don is still at the office as well speaking into the recorder that ran out of tape. He finds a roll of tape that contains Roger’s memoir Sterling’s Gold, and invites Peggy to listen to it with him. In those recordings, Roger makes startling revelations including an affair with Ida Blankenship, Don’s now aged secretary, and Bert Cooper’s orchiectomy. The tape provided such a comic relief to Don that he thought it was a good enough olive branch to give to Peggy, and it worked.
The phone rings again, and Peggy finds Don’s face turn pale at the sound of it. The man becomes relieved at realizing that it is not his phone. Don then buys Peggy dinner to celebrate her birthday. The two ends up talking about work over dinner, and they don’t mind. Don learns that Peggy hasn’t been on a plane, and he uncharacteristically speaks to her of his past with him being a yokel and being sent to Korea for a war he briefly served at and claims not having killed anybody but did see people get killed. Peggy then shares that her father had a heart attack while watching sports on TV and died in front of her, and learns that Don had a similar experience with his father dying in front of him after being kicked by a horse. After seeing a roach on the wall, Don and Peggy continue their chat at a bar, and he learns of her insecurity. Peggy is accused of having gotten the job after sleeping with Don, a rumor that people find farfetched but still believe that they joke about it. Don makes an excuse of having to keep rules at work, which kept her from sleeping with her and assures her that she is an attractive girl. Peggy, however, makes it known that she is aware of him sleeping with one of his previous secretaries. Moreover, she informs him that her mother believes that Don was the one who got her pregnant. Their conversation is interrupted by news that Cassius Clay won the fight after knocking out Sonny Liston after just two minutes of boxing.
Don and Peggy return to the office with a plan to pack up and go home, but Don started feeling sick that she helps him to the men’s room, and soon finds his boss on his knees retching. She then hears a man calling her name, and finds another drunkard at the office. She sees Duck with his pants down in Roger’s office trying to defecate on Roger’s chair mistaking it for Don’s. Peggy manages to stop him from doing so after informing him that he is in the wrong office. Duck begs her to come with him, and seeing that Don is at the office as well mistakes him to be her lover. Don is surprised to learn that Peggy was having an affair with Duck, but defends her when he calls her a whore. The two get in a fight where Duck comes up the winner. After getting rid of Duck, Peggy returns to the office to attend to Don who still has not fully sobered up, but nonetheless asks her for another drink. Peggy hesitates, but learns that he is getting himself drunk in order to have the courage to make the phone call he has been dreading. Don asks Peggy to sit beside him, and lies on her lap. He never gets to make the phone call that night for the two of them fall asleep. He, however, was awakened by a woman’s footsteps and finds the ghost of Anna happily entering his office then leaving it suitcase in hand. Don finally makes the phone call early that morning, and learns that Anna passed away. Peggy watches Don as he puts down the phone and surprisingly finds her boss weeping after confirming that the only person in the world who really knew him died. Don sends Peggy home, but the young woman decides to just sleep in her office. The sound of a whistle wakes her, and she finds herself surrounded by her obnoxious team. Peggy checks on Don, and finds him to be back to his usual self with an idea for the Samsonite ad that used the historic fight as inspiration. However, there is something in him that has changed, which told Peggy that her being with him at his time of grief is not forgotten and much more is appreciated.
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