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Blowing Smoke

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Blowing Smoke
Don S4E12 Blowing Smoke
Season 4 Episode 12
Air date 10 October 2010
Written by Andre Jacquemetton
Maria Jacquemetton
Directed by John Slattery

Chinese Wall


Don Draper is visited by an old flame, Midge and sees first hand, she has fallen on hard times. Several business opportunities with major corporations are lost, when scared away by Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce's imminent collapse. The financial situation is suddenly realized, as a result redundancies are made. This causes Don to make an impulsive decision that will not only effect himself, but the other partners. Cooper makes a decision. Sally and Henry decide to make a chance, much to Sally's dismay.


Don has a secret meeting with an executive from Heinz, who's inner turmoil lies with the confectionery Ketchup, hoping to revitalize the image of beans; especially with its current image associated with the cold devastation of war. In a bid to try and dazzle the exec, he reminds Don that although he can't afford to move his business now, there is still the issue of whether SCDP will still be in existence in the next six months.

During dinner with Bobby and Gene, Sally expresses interest in eating dinner with Henry and Betty. An interest Betty takes highly too.

During a meeting determining the financial reality of SCDP, it is evident that their billing have shrunk by 50% and that not only is signing new business "of the essence" but it is crucial for the business to appear non-stagnant or worse "decaying". Dr. Geoffrey Atherton addresses the fact that SCDP should stick to what they do best; cigarettes citing that not only do they have the team assembled already but they also have Don. Comparing the company to a specific type of girl, and tobacco being their "ideal boyfriend", Geoffrey offers a meeting with Philip Morris, who are in the works of introducing a new women's cigarette.

During a series of vignettes with various SCDP employee's the reality is setting in for each individual, with their own point of view. Harry and Ken are worried for their jobs, Lane realizes they have to start downsizing, and Roger believes that they instantly should chase the bigger companies, which Cooper reminds him is impossible.

Faye provides Don with research on woman's previous cigarettes, telling Don Heinz was very impressed.

Sally and Glen are alone, where they discuss Sally's psychiatry sessions with Dr. Edna, while Glen offers Sally a cigarette. The conversation turns to Betty, where Glen reminds Sally that Betty has a particular distaste for him and children in general.

Coming out of the office Don is called over by a woman, revealing to be Midge. She claims that she has just gotten out of a meeting at Life Magazine, when she saw Don. Realizing she is looking recognizably skinnier, Midge taunts Don on his new company, "Draper Draper and Draper." Don surprised she is there, tells her if he were to run into her it would be in the Village, telling her he now lives on Waverly. Inviting him to come back with her and meet her husband, Don is apprehensive to accept her invite. Twisting his arm she says they'll eat together, he'll buy a painting and she needs a ride, because she lost her purse. Don accepts.

During a meeting with Dr. Edna, Sally seems to show a lot of progress. Getting a hold of her emotion when it comes to her mother. Dr. Edna reminds her that even though Sally gets stressed, Betty also has her stresses too. She also reminds Sally that she is very proud of her progress.

Arriving at Midges dilapidated apartment Don meets Midge's partner Perry, who is a play-write. While Midge freshens up, Perry exhibits Midges paintings, a series of abstract-expressionistic art that radiates what Midge sees when she closes her eyes.

While persuading Don to buy a painting, he subtly hints that Midge will do "anything" for Don to buy a painting, citing that the two of them are "not possessive" of one another, he also lets it slip that the fact that Midge ran into Don was non-coincidental. Midge returns knowing she shouldn't have left Don and Perry alone, Perry tries to relieve the tension by going out and getting groceries to make dinner, realizing he has no money, either does Midge, Don offers him $10. With that Perry leaves. Knowing Perry is just going to take the money and "put it into his arm", Midge reassures Don that all she wanted was to him to "buy a painting", nothing more. When Don asks "what's it like" Midge compares her heroin addiction to drinking "100 bottles of whiskey while someone licks your tits". Asking why Midge doesn't just go cold turkey, Midge affirms that its "heroin" and the fact of the matter is that she just can't even though its bad for her.

It is revealed that Perry is the one who talked her into the habit to distract her from her work, although now she realizes its a "full-time job". Giving Midge $120 cash, he leaves the apartment, when asking if her work is any good Don asks, "does it matter?"

While with Dr. Edna, Betty vents her problems with Henry, while Dr. Edna discusses Sally's progress. Asking whether shes "cured" Dr. Edna assures her that psychiatry is a continuum and in the light of Sally's progress she wants to cut her sessions to once a week, and sends Betty to a colleague of hers. Betty insists she doesn't need a psychiatrist, hearing this Dr. Edna realizes Betty is much more comfortable talking to her, although she is a child psychiatrist.

Its the day of the meeting with Philip Morris. As the partners assemble in the reception, Geoffrey turns up solo, claiming that Philip Morris has given the cigarette account to Leo Burnett. Outraged the partners gather in Dons office, where Don cites that they are letting them die, and the reason why Philip Morris didn't show is that they are "desperate", and taking from the "scraps". Lane shares that as a company they will last at least six months, granted that each of the senior partners put forth $100,000 and the junior partners put upfront $50,000 each for collateral, together with the fact that drastic staff cuts have to be made too.

During another one-on-one Sally and Glen discuss their dreams. Sally shares the notion that the idea of "forever" scares her, she also shares her modernistic views on religion, sharing she "doesn't believe in God."

In his office, Pete reveals that Philip Morris used SCDP's situation to leverage a better deal with Burnett. Went Peggy enters she quotes Don, on changing the name of the company, and start over; "if you don't like what they're saying about you, change the conversation". Don exclaims that, that isn't possible to start over, because they've "just started."

Meanwhile at the Campbell compound, Trudy reveals she received a call about a loan application, mislead thinking its for a new house Pete shares the unfortunate new of him having to put up collateral for the company. Outrage Trudy forbids Pete from giving anymore more to the company, protesting that they simply don't the money and the money the do have is for their daughter, Tammy's future.

Staring at Midge's painting Don is inspired to write the infamous article "Why I'm Quitting Tobacco".

The next morning all the partners storm into Don's office exclaiming that the article is "suicide" and business "euthanization". Cooper highlights the fact that Don did it for personal gain and in that gesture of self involvement, humiliated the other partners by not giving them as much as a nod and as an act of protestation Cooper resigns his post. As the other partners leave the office, Megan is however impressed with the letter, and extends her admiration towards her.

The rest of the company, are in the creative lobby discussing lay-off's, when Cooper walks passed the office with all his belongings wishing the rest of them "good luck" Stan mentions he didn't think they'd start by firing Cooper. Peggy is then called into Don's office.

Anxious Peggy arrives, when Don asks who Peggy can lay off, she is however relieved it is not her getting fired. Don mentions that Peggy is yet to say something about his letter, when Peggy in an attempt to shed light on the situation says she "thought [he] didn't go in for that sort of shenanigans" grinning, quoting him yet again, remembering the episode "Public Relations" when Peggy and Pete pulled a publicity stunt.

Driving, Betty sees Sally and Glen meet up, Glen quickly makes a run for it. Returning home, Betty forbids Sally from once again seeing Glen, Sally cites that Betty "doesn't know [Glen] at all."

With a box of her things Faye arrives at Dons office explaining that due to Don's stunt, her company had to resign. Happy about it she states that its a "fair trade" for letting Don and her date in the open.

Before leaving Faye swings by Peggy's office, where Peggy shares she is genuinely sorry that she is leaving the company, and she has a great deal of respect for Faye, due to the fact she does her job so well without having to play any games.

When Henry returns home early from work, Betty makes the suggestion they should move away from Ossining to Rye, in a desperate bid to keep Sally from Glen, although she uses the excuse of the neighborhood is being "overrun by low caliber people" as a front. An upset Sally runs to her room, and begins to sob.

During a partners meeting Joan addresses her fellow colleagues that they should start making redundancies now to avoid anymore damage to morale. Roger shares the news with the group that the American Cancer Society called Don several times eventually calling Roger in an prestigious attempted to have SCDP create an anti-smoking ad. Positive about the call Don and Roger remind an apprehensive group that at least someone "called them", and this is a lucrative business "opportunity". Before the lay-off's begin, Lane tells Pete that Don paid Pete's share of the collateral knowing Pete couldn't afford it. As Danny walks into Dons office the two share a moment as Pete lets Don know he is grateful.

As the day goes on the surviving employees of SCDP as a large number of sober employees leave in tears.


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