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The Summer Man

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The Summer Man
Season Four Episode 08
Air date 12 September 2010
Written by Lisa Albert, Janet Leahy
and Matthew Weiner
Directed by Phil Abraham

The Suitcase
The Beautiful Girls

"The Summer Man" is the eighth episode of Mad Men, Season 4 and the forty-seventh episode, overall.


Don makes the attempt to turn his life around physically and emotionally. Joey's autocratic ways creates friction with Joan, causing Peggy to intervene. Betty and Henry are caught unawares when they run into Don on a date. Betty forbids Don from coming to Gene's birthday party. As a man of perseverance Don finally gets a spontaneous date with Faye.

The summer man, don journal
A new man is formed, The Summer Man.
PeeChelleAdded by PeeChelle


Don creates a journal and does some serious self-analysis, deciding to cut back on his drinking habits and starts swimming (At the New York Athletic Club, which he was given a membership to in season 1 episode 9, "Shoot", but has never been seen at until now). We learn that he never finished high school, never paid much attention when he was there and never wrote a paragraph that was more than a few lines long and he admits to being "lazy".

"They say as soon as you have to cut down in your drinking, you have a drinking problem. I can't organize my thoughts, and typing feels like work. I've never written more than 250 words, not even in high school. 5 paragraphs, 50 words apiece. God, I was lazy. I should've finished high school. Everything could've been different."

As he comes out of the Athletic Club we see a new man, with a certain joie de vivre as he smokes a cigarette.

"Summers coming. I could feel it. I kinda thought I smelled corn, which is impossible. And there it was again. Perfume."

The summer man joan joey stan
Joey and Stan take sport in humiliating Joan, The Summer Man.
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Arriving back at the office Don approaches Miss Blankenship's desk who is recovering from cataract surgery, as a joke she calls Don, Roger.

In the office hallway we see the men of the office causing a ruckus with the new venting machine, hitting and bashing it. This prompts a disturbed Joan to come out of her office and asks what the problem is. Harry cowardly runs from the situation, not wanting to hear a heated Joan, when Joey claims that the machine took his watch. Turns out Ken watch trying to purchase something when the machine ate his change and in an attempt to retrieve the item Ken wanted Joey's watch got caught in the machine. Trying to solve the situation Joan suggest they put in another dime, Joey snaps "You think we didn't try that?" Resuming to hit the machine, Joan tells Stan to cut it out, and not to make her come out her office again, when Joey sarcastically exclaims "Sorry, Mom." This provokes Joan as she calls him into her office. In her office Joan calls Joey out on his particular disrespect for her as Stan pulls a moon on Joan's window causing Joey to laugh. Calling Joey "arrogant", Joey embarrasses her further by asking "what does [she] do around the office besides walking around and trying to get raped”
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"You were out of liquor" - The Summer Man.
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(not knowing about Joan being raped in the office by her now-husband). Humiliated Joan snaps at Peggy for cutting through her office as opposed to going round, claiming she could "use" the "extra steps" before leaving the office to go home.

Seeing Miss Blankenship stagger down the hall with extra liquor for Don, Peggy welcomes her back as Don instructs her to take the liquor back and get him some cigarettes. Before she does she says that Betty called saying Don "can't have the children this weekend because its Bobby's birthday" when Don corrects Ida saying its in fact "Gene's birthday" before she staggers back to the storeroom.

Arriving home Joan lugubriously sighs at Greg's packed suitcase as she kisses him. Asking if "[he] doesn't mind [she's] home early" Greg replies by saying Joan didn't want to "watch him pack" nor does she want to "say goodbye".
The summer man greg joan
"What am gonna do? Who am I going to talk to?" - The Summer Man.
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To which Joan replies she doesn't. Concerned they use live ammunition as a front, Greg leads her to the bedroom suggestively. This prompts Joan to say that doesn't "make it better" it "makes it worse" and in a moment of letting her guard down, she asks what is she "gonna do?" Who is she going to "talk to?" This arouses Greg to answer that she'll "talk to [her] friends at work." Causing Joan to break down into tears. After comforting her, Greg once again initiates going to bed with her.

"More and more everyday about Vietnam. Hope it's not another Korea. I sound like a little girl, writing down what happened today. Sunday is Gene's birthday party. I know I can't go. I keep thinking about him. He was conceived in a moment of desperation. And born into a mess. A list of things I'd like to do. One, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, go anywhere in Africa actually. Two, gain a modicum of control over the way I feel. I wanna wake up. I don't wanna be that man."

Don is at home once again logging in his journal, as he watches something on the TV about the war in Vietnam.
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Don battles with his drinking habits. The Summer Man.
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This makes him reflect on his time in Korea, before he writes about Gene being "conceived in a moment of desperation and being born into a mess" as he comments that he can't go to his birthday party. He goes on to list of things he wants to achieve, which include going anywhere in Africa, gaining control over the way he feels and to one day wake up and be "that man."

The next day during a meeting with Peggy, Stan and Ken about Mountain Dew, Don calls Joan into his office. Before she arrive Don slowly observes both Peggy and Ken drink Rye as he debates whether to take a sip from his own glass. As Joan enters the room he breaks out of his daze. Don tells Joan that Mountain Dew needs a re-write and Joey's the man for the job, Joan protests by "checking on his availability" and questioning whether he's the "right fit" before making an excuse that he hasn't been a "gentleman with the girls" and making "blue jokes". Don replies with boys will be boys.

Peggy sets out looking for Joey, who is in Harry's office.
The summer man meetin
"He hasn't been a gentleman with the girls." - The Summer Man.
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Harry is creepily advising Joey he should go into acting because he is handsome. When Peggy locates Joey, she asks him what he did to push Joan's buttons. To which Joey replies he told off the "big ragu" and that she's just an "over blown secretary" who wears a "pen around her neck so people will stare at her tits." Peggy reminds Joey that she is an essential part of the office and that she and Lane basically "run the place".
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Betty struggles seeing Don, "living the life". The Summer Man.
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Arriving at a restaurant with Henry to have dinner with Ralph Stuben, Betty notices Don already seated at a table with Bethany Van Nuys. Clearly uncomfortable she asks if they can have drinks at the bar instead,Ralph reassures her that her and Henry will only be a couple of minutes, as Henry clutches her close. During their date, Bethany asks if Don is seeing someone else and for him not to lie because it'll just "hurt her more". Don assures her that she is the only woman he his seeing, and that he works all the time and they are still getting to know one another. When Bethany asks him whether he wants to be close with anybody again, Don replies "I do". On that cue Betty, Henry and Ralph interrupt Don and Bethany's date to acknowledge their presence. As Henry shakes hands with Don, Bethany following suit shakes hands with Betty. As they walk away Bethany questions "may goodness, what was that?" Don explains "that was actually my ex-wife. And her husband. And some slob who is about to have the worst dinner of his life." While at her table, Betty glares at Don and Bethany who appear to be having a good time, before excusing herself to the ladies room, there she sits on the toilet lid, patting herself down with a paper towel and smoking harshly on a cigarette as she pants, struggling for breath.

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Don and Bethany drive home, The Summer Man.
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In the car on the way home, Betty and Henry get into an argument about the way Betty conducted herself after seeing Don there, after exclaiming that she "hates him" Henry says that perhaps they rushed into their relationship, questioning whether Betty may still have feelings for Don. In a different car, Bethany and Don are in a the middle of a making-out session. Before they pull up to Bethany's apartment, Bethany unzips Don and starts felating him. After she leaves, Don is heard saying that "she's a sweet girl, who wants me to get to know her, but the truth is - I already do."

"She's a sweet girl and she wants me to know her. But I already do. People tell you who they are, but we ignore it; because we want them to be who we want them to be. I looked up at the Barbizon and I thought of all the women in there. One in every room. Touching themselves to sleep. I like sleeping alone, stretching out like a skydiver, cool patches to roll onto. I should appreciate it more."

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Don notices an aggrieved Faye. The Summer Man.
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The next morning Don overhears Dr. Faye Millerat the public phone next to the office floor elevator kicking out her current boyfriend from her apartment, demanding her key back and complaining about seeing his shorts always on the floor.

The summer man joan lane
"Or we'd end up with a bunch of fat secretaries..." - The Summer Man.
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On the same morning Henry is leaving for work, but doesn't wake Betty. She wakes just before he leaves. She apologies for the way she behaved the night before, although she does't like when she feels she has to to defend herself when it comes to her relationship with Don, because other that Henry he is the only man she has been with. Understanding, Henry leaves. In a moment of jealousy, before packing his car out of the garage Henry sees stacks of boxes containing Don's things, which he crushes with his car.

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Joey's cartoon of Lane and Joan, in the episode The Summer Man.
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Coming up for cocktails for Mountain Dew, Joey and Stan notice Joan go into Lanes office. When Stan asks "what do you think they're doing?" Joey replies, "Joan's on the desk, boobs on the blotter, Lanes behind her probably with a bowler hat on." Joey starts to doddle on a pad, as Peggy tells then to cut it out. While in Lanes office, Lane reckons the vending machine has been a great success and that perhaps they should get a sandwich machine. Joan in turn says that there have been a lot of complaints regarding the vending machine and if they were to get a sandwich machine, they would end up with "lots of fat secretaries who think afternoon is lunch time because there always another sandwich around the corner."

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Joan notices something. The Summer Man.
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Meanwhile Don is in his office when he gets a call from Henry. While Henry is on the phone he tells Don that he has bought a boat which he would like to store in the garage but doesn't have the clearance because of Don old boxes. Don says he'll come pick them up himself, to which Henry suggests Don should come Saturday because Gene's birthday party is on Sunday.

Later that day, Peggy goes into Joan's office complaining that the vending machine has eaten her change, Joan tells her that it's only a nickel, to which Peggy replies with, "fine then give me a pack of lifesavers." Joan then turns to her drawer when she notices a pornographic drawing of her felating Lane taped to her window. Outraged she goes into the creative lounge demanding to know who did it, when everyone denies they drew the picture including Joey; Joan makes a speech about when they get called up to fight in Vietnam and when they are getting shot at, remember they are not dying for Joan because she never liked any of them. To which she goes back into her office and reassures Peggy shes not going home.

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Peggy fires Joey, The Summer Man.
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Peggy tells Joey she told him not to do that as she makes her way into Don's office with the drawing. Don tells Peggy to just fire Joey, because if Don gets involved it'll make Peggy look like a tattle-tale and if she wants respect, she should go out and earn it. As Peggy leaves Don's office Faye arrives.

Peggy calls Joey into her office, Joey immediately apologies to Peggy, Peggy then instructs Joey to apologies to Joan, refusing her he says that this is why he "doesn't like working with woman because they don't have a sense of humor." Offending Peggy further she fires Joey on the spot, asking how Don would feel about Peggy firing him, Peggy replies with "Don doesn't know who you are." On that note, Joey says his goodbyes to the men of the office.

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Don and Faye make plans, The Summer Man.
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Back to Dons office he and Faye are in a meeting discussing Filmore Auto Part, famished Don asks Faye if she would like to go to have dinner then and there. Faye renegotiates saying she would rather Don take her on a planned date, instead of tapping a date on top of a work day like an "after thought". To which Don agrees.

Later that night Francine stops by Betty's house to drop supplies off for the party on Sunday, when she asks whether Don is going to be there Betty shares that she and Henry ran into Don on a date in the city and that she misbehaved. Frustrated she says he is "living the life" being single and dating, saying he "can't have this family and that too". Francine reassures her that Don has nothing to lose, whereas she has everything.

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Joan gives Peggy a wake-up call. The Summer Man.
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Leaving work, Peggy takes the elevator with Joan. While in the elevator Peggy share the news that she fired Joey to Joan, sarcastically Joan replies "good for you." Not understanding Joan's attitude Peggy defends herself, by saying she was defending Joan and that the cartoon was disgusting. Joan explains at Peggy did it because she wants to be a "bigshot" therefore she was helping herself, and that she has already handled it and if she has wanted it to go further, she could have arranged a dinner with executives at Sugarberry Ham and Joey would have been finished. So all Peggy had proved according to Joan is that she is a "humorless bitch" while Joan is a "meaningless secretary."

The summer man don faye taxi
"I'm just gonna take you to your door." The Summer Man.
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As Don writes an other entry in his journal about how as humans, we are flawed because we want so much more than we have, he is seen picking up his old boxes as he watches Henry mow the lawn. Don is later seen putting the boxes in a dumpster, while Henry takes off his shirt in the kitchen not acknowledging Betty even though shes right there.

"When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him. He has a million reasons for being anywhere. Just ask him. If you listen, he'll tell you how he got there, how he forgot where he was going, and then he woke up. If you listen, he'll tell you about the time he thought he was an angel, or dreamt of being perfect. And then he'll smile with wisdpm, content that he'd realized the world isn't perfect. We're flawed because we want so much more. We're ruined because we get these things and wish for what we had."

On Saturday night Don takes the very emotionally vulnerable Faye out on a date and learns that she isn't ashamed of her working-class background; her father owned a candy store and clearly has mob connections. When Faye tells Don this, he seems relieved not to be involved with another high-born blonde. On the taxi home Faye realizes she doesn't even know if her current boyfriend has moved out, and impulsively asks where Don's apartment is and can they go there (which could be construed as an invitation for sex). Don dials back from his past philandering ways, insisting on continuing to her home, saying her front door is only as far as he can go right now.

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Don arrives for Gene's birthday. The Summer Man.
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The episode ends with Don arriving at Gene's birthday party, putting his gift on the gift table and embracing his son as Betty says to Henry it's OK that Don is there, because they have everything.




Guest Stars


Joan: "Who did that?"
Joey: "Did what?"
Joan: "That pornographic drawing. It's a very brave person, who does something anonymously."
Stan: "It's a very brave person who does [that], its still illegal in many states, you know."
Joan: "I can't wait 'til next year when all of you are in Vietnam. You will be pining for the day when someone was trying to make your lives easier, and when you're over there, and you're in the jungle and they're shooting at you? Remember you're not dying for me because I never liked you."
- Joan's reaction after Joey tapes a pornographic drawing of Joan and Lane, to Joan's window.

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