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Meditations in an Emergency

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Meditations in an Emergency
Meditations
Production
Season 2 Episode 13
Air date 26 October 2008
Written by Matthew Weiner
Kater Gordon
Directed by Matthew Weiner

Previous
The Mountain King
Next
Out of Town

While the Cuban Missile Crisis looms (October 1962), things at Sterling Cooper don't run as smoothly while Don is away; Betty receives some upsetting news.

Synopsis

Betty Francis, informed that she's pregnant, insists she can't have a baby now. Her perspective will change, suggests her doctor, after her husband and friends learn she's expecting.

Sterling Cooper junior executives speculate about management's plans for the company, and Pete wonders how to break the news that he's lost the Clearasil account. "Just tell the truth," Peggy advises. "People respect that."

"Must be nice. Needing time and just taking it," comments Betty when Don reappears at the stables, wishing he could "undo what happened." His admission that something did happen helps her realize she's "not crazy" but, she notes, life without Don wasn't all that different from life with him.

Pete admits to Herman Phillips that he lost Clearasil, but Herman Phillips says not to worry: Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency is merging with Puttnam, Powell, and Lowe. Herman Phillips will be the new entity's president, and he wants Pete to replace him as head of accounts. "I don't need his permission," responds Herman Phillips when asked if Don approves of the promotion. He believes Don's contract bars him from working for competitors; his only choice will be to accept Herman Phillips's authority.

Don watches President Kennedy alert the nation via television that the Soviet Union is erecting offensive-missile sites in Cuba. Don arrives at the office the next day to a stack of correspondence and Pete's questions about his disappearance in Los Angeles. "Did you ever think I left you there because I thought you could handle it?" Don asks Pete. From Roger, Don learns that the company has been sold.

Referring to the missile impasse, Father Gill delivers a sermon exhorting parishioners to prepare themselves for the most important summit meeting of all, the one with God.

At the beauty parlor, Betty tells Francine she's pregnant but doesn't want the baby. Francine murmurs about a "doctor in Albany" and says that in Puerto Rico they do "it" in a hospital, but also remarks that "sometimes the best thing is just to do nothing and wait."

Lois from the switchboard shocks Ken, Sal, Paul, and Harry with the merger news: "It's done. They take the keys Friday." She states that the new management wants to keep some of the existing staff, but there will be "redundant" employees. She makes the men promise one of them will take her off switchboard if they keep their jobs. One of the men replies "if", concerning their future employment.

Betty drops off the kids at Don's hotel that evening. After shopping, she heads to a bar, where a gentleman buys her a drink. She brushes him off at first, but later they have sex in an office at the bar.

"Don't you understand that this could be the end of the world, and you could go to hell?" Father Gill asks Peggy the same evening. Peggy can't believe God operates that way.

Trudy, fearing a nuclear attack, prepares to leave New York (taking the silver with her), but Pete declines to join her. Back at the office, Pete gives Don a head's up about Herman Phillips's new role at Sterling Cooper.

At home, Betty reads a letter from Don. He knows he's behaved badly and admits that she would quickly find someone new if they broke up, but that without her he'd be alone forever. "I love you," the letter concludes.

Saint John Powell anoints Herman Phillips as Sterling Cooper's president at a meeting with Roger, Don, and Bertram. "Good creative is important, but it can't be running the show," Herman Phillips asserts when asked to outline his vision for the new company. It should move into the business of buying advertising time and space, particularly television slots.

Don tells the assembled that if this is the agency they want, Herman Phillips is the right man, but that he won't be a part of it. Herman Phillips warns him to honor his contract or "walk out that door and start selling insurance." He doesn't have a contract, Don replies. (Roger concurs.) Before exiting, Don adds, "I sell products, not advertising."

"This doesn't affect the merger, does it?" quips Roger when Herman Phillips is asked to leave the room after ranting about Don's artistic temperament. "No. He never could hold his liquor," observes Saint John Powell.

Joan tells Don that Betty called and wants him to come home. Other staffers also leave the office, but Pete invites Peggy to stay and have a drink. "Can I tell you the truth?" he asks. Peggy knows him, and he knows her, "and I think you're perfect," he declares. She could have shamed him into her life forever if she'd wanted to, Peggy replies. "I had your baby, and I gave it away."

Don Reading MIAE

"Meditations in an Emergency"

Meditations in an emergency

"Meditations in an Emergency"

"Daddy! You're home!" scream Sally and Bobby when Don returns that evening. Pete sits in his office, his rifle pointed at the ceiling. Peggy, in bed, makes the sign of the cross and goes to sleep.

Later, Betty tells Don she's pregnant. He reaches for her hand across the kitchen table.

Cast

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

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