|Christmas Comes But Once|
|Season Four Episode 02|
|Air date||1 August 2010|
|Written by||Matthew Weiner|
|Directed by||Phil Abraham|
The Good News
"I hate this Christmas,"-Don Draper
In this episode, it's Christmas and divorce is in the air. For Don Draper, the holiday is anything but merry. Freddy Rumsen visits Roger Sterling and offers the agency Pond's Cold Cream, worth $2 million, in return for a job. Freddy, clean and sober for sixteen months, alludes to being in a "fraternity" with the client. Freddy's only request is that Pete Campbell, (who got him fired from the old Sterling Cooper), does not handle the account.
Roger accidentally invites the agency's biggest client, arrogant Lucky Strike heir Lee Garner, Jr. to the office Christmas party, which was originally planned on a shoestring budget. (The firm gives Garner a Polaroid as a Christmas present--a subtle slap to Kodak, Polaroid's largest competitor, which is a client of McCann-Erickson, the purchasers of the original Sterling-Cooper.) Joan quickly steps in to help make the celebration more extravagant for Lee, who shows up to the party with increasingly ridiculous demands. Lee eventually forces Roger to don a Santa suit and let party-goers sit on his lap, which makes everyone uncomfortable, especially Harry Crane.
A consumer-research company pitches its services to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and the company's female representative, Dr. Faye Miller, asks senior staffers to complete a very personal questionnaire that asks for family history. Don abruptly excuses himself from the presentation.
In Ossining, Glen Bishop has returned, now focused on Sally Draper rather than Betty. Glen reaches out to Sally, offering her advice on dealing with divorced parents. He later calls Sally at home to talk about her new life with Betty and Henry Francis, and she tells him that she misses her Don Draper. Late that night, Glen and a friend vandalize the Draper house, except for Sally's room, where he leaves his lanyard on her pillow as a calling card.
Peggy Olson has her own dilemma; a conflict with her boyfriend Mark Kearney, who is pressuring her to have sex before marriage. Mark ironically acuses Peggy of having traditional values and being "old-fashioned," when we know that Peggy has modern ideas about almost everything from career to sex. In previous episodes Peggy has had casual sex with at least one man she met in a bar, she slept with Pete, which resulted in an unexpected pregnancy, and she has an ongoing affair with Duck. Freddy Rumsen suggests avoiding sex before marriage if she wants Mark to ever respect her while also suggesting that refusing to sleep with him is, for the man, "physically uncomfortable." Peggy sleeps with Mark, leading us to wonder if she's attempting to do exactly the opposite of what Rumson recommends (given that she's told him he's old fashioned and is, herself, constantly making choices not to be), or if she's decided that Mark is not her "final" partner and therefore his respect is not worth courting.
After drinking himself into oblivion, Don engages in a one-night stand with his secretary, Allison, who has been extra attentive to him all week. The next morning, Allison's smile fades when Don hands her a "Christmas bonus" and curtly tells her that he "really overdid it." Don leaves the office for the evening, carrying the presents that Allison picked up for his children, and doesn't look back.
- Jon Hamm - Don Draper
- Elisabeth Moss - Peggy Olson
- Vincent Kartheiser - Pete Campbell
- January Jones - Betty Draper
- Christina Hendricks - Joan Harris
- Rich Sommer - Harry Crane
- Aaron Staton - Ken Cosgrove (credit only)
- Jared Harris - Lane Pryce
- Kiernan Shipka - Sally Draper
- Robert Morse - Bertram Cooper
- John Slattery - Roger Sterling
- Christopher Stanley - Henry Francis
- Alexa Alemanni - Allison
- Matt Long - Joey Baird
- Joel Murray - Freddy Rumsen
- Blake Bashoff - Mark Kearney
- Deborah Lacey - Carla
- Alison Brie - Trudy Campbell
- Cara Buono - Faye Miller
- John Aylward - Geoffrey Atherton
- Jessica Paré - Megan
- Darren Pettie - Lee Garner, Jr.
- Peyton List - Jane Sterling
- Laura Regan - Jennifer Crane
- Nora Zehetner - Phoebe
- Jared Gilmore - Robert Draper