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Public Relations
Ep1Don
Production
Season 4 Episode 01
Air date 25 July 2010
Written by Matthew Weiner
Directed by Phil Abraham

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Shut the Door. Have a Seat
Next
Christmas Comes But Once a Year

"Public Relations" is the first episode of Mad Men, Season 4 and the fortieth episode overall.

Synopsis

Don faces the consequences on his cryptic disposition, while at the peak of his single life. Roger lines up a lady for Don. Pete and Peggy team up to take on Sugarberry Ham, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce has a potential new client, although due to Don's personal temperament; a client is lost. Betty and the children spend Thanksgiving with Henry's family. Harry comes back from California with good news.

Publicrelations

Don during his interview with Advertising Age. Episode: Public Relations

Detail

"Who is Don Draper?" a reporter from Advertising Age quizzes Don over lunch. Don dodges the question, saying that Midwesterners are taught not to talk about themselves. He does, however, explain his acclaimed Glo-Coat Floor Wax commercial.

Pete arranges a meeting for Roger and Don with Jantzen Swimwear, a potential client. Bikinis are grabbing market share from Jantzen's two-piece suits, and they want to compete "without playing in the gutter." Don is discouraged by their attachment to tradition and modesty.

John, Marsha

Peggy and Joey doing the "John, Marsha" skit. Episode: Public Relations.

In Don's office, Cooper complains about Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce's new headquarters, saying that it's too small. He refuses to pretend to outsiders, as Pete does, that the agency occupies two floors. Don scolds Pete for arranging the Jantzen meeting. "They're prudes," Don says. "Get me in a room where I have a chance."

Pete worries to Peggy about losing the Sugarberry Ham account. Peggy proposes that they hire actresses to fight over a ham at a grocery store. Pete says that publicity stunts aren't billable, but he agrees that the event could potentially generate news coverage, promoting the product simultaneously.

Public relations don roger

Roger lends some friendly advice. Public Relations.

Don's accountant, meanwhile, tells him that permitting Betty and Henry to remain in their Ossining home past the date stated in the divorce settlement is straining his finances. "Leave it alone," says Don. Shifting gears, the accountant asks, "How are your balls?" "Come on," replies Don.

Roger wakes Don from his afternoon nap to invite him to Thanksgiving dinner. Don declines. Roger offers to set him up on a blind date with Jane's friend Bethany. "You hit it off," says Roger with a grin, "come Turkey Day, maybe you can stuff her." Later that evening, Don sees the Glo-Coat ad on television and contemplates his success. A boy appears to be imprisoned in a Wild West jail cell, but the bars are really the upside down back of a wooden chair and he's really is in his mother's kitchen as she comes in with a mop. "Footprints on a wet floor — that's no longer a hanging offense" is the spot's punch line.

Screen shot 2010-08-16 at 11.25.55 PM

Bethany Van Nuys during her date with Don, Episode: Public Relations

Don takes Bethany out to a restaurant, where they discuss the civil rights movement and her career as an opera extra. Bethany allows Don a kiss on the cab ride home, but asks that Don accept her "weak no" when he tries to take it further.

At a dinner, Peggy and Pete congratulate two actresses for their convincing grocery store battle over the ham. The women begin to bicker again, accusing each other of hitting too hard at the store. Harry, just back from Los Angeles with a sunburn, tells Joan that he sold a Jai Alai special to ABC.

Public relations joan harry

A burnt Harry shares news with Joan. Public Relations.

The Advertising Age article describes Don as a "handsome cipher," and Roger complains, "You turned all the sizzle from Glo-Coat into a wet fart.” Roger changes the subject, telling him that Bethany enjoyed their date.

Pete excitedly tells Peggy and Joey, a junior creative staff member, how much Sugarberry liked the publicity stunt. Peggy envisions a campaign with the slogan, "Our hams are worth fighting for." Pete then informs the partners that his college buddy Ho-Ho is pulling the Jai Alai account because Don neglected to talk up the client in his interview. "That's the reporter's job," snaps Don. Lane says that Lucky Strike is now 71 percent of their billings. Cooper proposes a Wall Street Journal Interview in which Don will counter the
Peggy joey pete public relations

Peggy, Pete and Joey get lucky with Sugarberry Ham. Episode: Public Relations.

negative Advertising Age press. "Turning creative success into business is your work," says Cooper. "And you've failed." Harry Crane is very upset.

Betty and the Draper kids attend Thanksgiving dinner at Henry's mother's house. When Sally refuses to eat sweet potatoes, Betty forces a spoonful into her mouth. Sally gags on the potatoes and spits them out at the table at which point Betty takes her from the room and pinches her as punishment. Betty's new mother-in-law later comments that her children are afraid of her.

Betty henry thanks giving public relations

Thanksgiving at Henry's folks, in Public Relations.

Meanwhile, Don, for the moment without a steady girl-on-the side, hires a call girl. "Do it," he tells her during sex. She slaps his face. "Harder," he demands.

Peggy calls Don to tell him that one of the actresses in the publicity stunt is pressing assault charges against the other. Peggy needs bail and hush money. Peggy arrives at Don's apartment to pick up the cash with a man named Mark. "Do you want people to think we're idiots?" Don asks Peggy. Mark defends her. "Who are you?" asks Don. "I'm her fiance," Mark says. "Fiance?" Peggy asks him later. "It just came out," Mark explains

Peggy mark don public relations

Peggy gets into trouble with Don, in Public Relations.

Late that night, Henry and Betty are cuddling in bed when they hear Sally dialing the hall phone. Betty knows she’s calling Don. "You want to call him to complain how awful I am?" Betty asks Sally. Don takes Sally and Bobby to his apartment the next day. Baby Gene is with Carla, so Henry and Betty can have an outing. Don tells Betty that he would like to see his infant son and Betty replies with a careless shrug. When Henry and Betty leave for their evening out, Henry kisses Betty passionately in the garage in the car.

Peggy don public relations

Peggy faces the consequences of her publicity stunt, Public Relations.

Henry and Betty keep Don waiting the following evening. He requests that they move out or start to pay rent. "It's temporary," says Henry. "Trust me, everybody thinks this is temporary," Don snaps. Betty fumes after Don leaves, but Henry says that they should move out. Betty wants to spare the kids further turmoil. Later, Pauline, Henry's mother, warns him that Betty's children are "terrified of her" and says that Henry could have gotten what he wanted from Betty without marrying her.

Screen shot 2010-08-16 at 11.25.19 PM

Don during his Jantzen pitch, in Public Relations.

Peggy and Don argue about Sugarberry. Peggy says that sales are up, but Don criticizes her for risking the agency's reputation. "Nobody knows about the ham stunt," counters Peggy, "so our image remains pretty much where you left it," referring to Don's interview. "All we want to do is please you," Peggy tells him. In a second meeting with Jantzen, Don presents a racy swimwear layout. "So well built, we can't show you the second floor" is the slogan. A black bar conceals the model's breasts. The Jantzen execs recoil, stating that they are a family company. "You're too scared of the skin your two-piece was designed to show off," Don replies. Upset, Don ejects the executives from his office. "Call Bert Cooper's man at the Wall Street Journal," Don tells Allison. At lunch with the reporter, Don finally talks himself up. "Last year, our agency was being swallowed whole," he says. "I could die of boredom or holster up my guns. So I walked into Lane Pryce's office and I said, 'Fire us.' Within a year, we'd taken over two floors of the Time-Life Building."

Video Clip

Explanation of the while John... Marsha...

Cast

Guest Starring

Also Guest Starring

Co-Starring

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