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Sep 29 2009, 5:56 AM EDT (current) mdashes 7 words added, 1 word deleted, 4 photos added
Sep 28 2009, 2:02 PM EDT alexberg

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Don Knocked Out on Motel FloorWe start with three characters in mysterious situations – Peggy in bed with a man, Betty lounging on an elaborate sofa, and Don, face-down, his face bloodied. Three puzzles that will be revealed in due time…

At home Don (with no visible wounds, so it’s pre-whatever happened) gets dressed for work. In the living room Betty and the interior designer want his opinion on the new décor. He offers only one comment – “move the end table and lamp to the other side of the sofa.” The designer, surprised, comments that he’s right. Is there nothing Don can’t do?

At Sterling Cooper Roger tells Don that he’s reading the galleys of David Ogilvy’s book “Confessions of an Ad Man.” He’s clearly envious that someone beat him to it, but claims it’s just “a thousand reasons why I’m so great.”

The Guys are waiting giddily outside Don’s office. Connie Hilton’s arrived unexpectedly and is inside. Don straightens himself and enters to find Hilton behind his desk. He’s surprised that Don arrives at such a late hour (9:30) and that there is neither a bible nor family pictures on his desk. “Maybe I was late because I was spending time with my family reading the bible,” quips Don.

Connie has a matter to discuss with Don – he has an “involvement” because he has “significant needs.” (This is the second time Connie has said something I just didn’t get, I’m afraid.) Don wonders why Hilton has come to him, then Connie offers three New York hotels for him to handle. “Having me in your life is going to change things,” he says when they part. Don turns around to applause from the staff.

Betty is meeting with local Junior League members in her newly refurnished home. They want oppose a water tank being installed nearby, and need to appeal to the governor. Betty offers that she knows someone in the governor’s office. Remember the guy who touched her pregnant belly at Roger and Joan’s party? Yeah, that’s the guy – Henry Francis -- and she doesn’t really know him, but she kinda wants to. An older woman also knows him (“He’s a big deal”) but says they have a better chance if Betty calls.

Betty calls, leaves a message for Henry, and he returns the call less than 30 seconds later. He’s from the area and would like to meet her the next day, Saturday. She feels so passionately about the cause that she agrees to meet. That’s selfless Betty!

Pete comes to Peggy’s office. She’s received a gift from Duck, an Hermes scarf. Pete says he doesn’t trust Duck. “Stop barging in here and infecting me with your anxiety,” she snaps. “Duck would love to hurt Don where it hurts,” he says, motioning to the two of them. Peggy hadn’t heard about Hilton, but has read his book.

The Sterling Cooper execs meet in Bert’s office to talk about Hilton. London is thrilled, says Lane, but there’s a glitch: Hilton’s lawyers need to see Don’s contract, which he refused to accept when the Brits took over. Lane hands him a draft of a contract; Don says he’ll think about it. Conrad Hilton, says Don, “will enjoy something he can’t have.” Bert says that this is the way it has to be not just for Hilton but for Sterling Cooper. He also reminisces that he met Hilton once: “He’s a bit of an eccentric, isn’t he?” (Takes one to know one, Bert!) Then we get one more glimpse of Bloody Don and Dressy Betty, as she caresses her thighs. Intriguing…

Betty at cafeBetty arrives at the cake shop where she’d arranged to meet Henry. He tells her the water tank is already under way, but if she knew somebody with some clout…. During the course of their mildly flirtatious meeting, we learn that Betty studied anthropology Bryn Mawr (“We all have skills we don’t use,” she says). As they’re leaving, people outside are trying to see the solar eclipse, Betty looks to the sun, and Henry shades her eyes. She feels a bit faint, and as they pass a furniture store he suggests that she needs the Victorian fainting couch in the window.

Don’s at a school outing where the kids are preparing to see the eclipse. Francine’s husband tells Don that he sees the teacher, Suzanne Farrell, when he runs. Does this mean we get to see Don in shorts? She and Don chat about summer plans and she implies that Don was flirting. She says, “You’re all the same – the drinking, the philandering.” She says, “This happens a lot.” “Nothing’s happening, we’re just talking,” he retorts. He asks how others live elsewhere. She says, “They don’t have as much, they don’t get as bored.” “I’m not bored,” he protests. And they both go to look at the eclipse.

Peggy makes a call to Duck; we’ve just seen a shot of her in bed with a man. He says she should come to the Pierre Hotel later, where they’re meeting with a client. That did look like a hotel bed, didn’t it?

Don and Roger talk about the contract – Don’s stalling – when Peggy comes in. She mentions Hilton, and he reams her out: “What do I have to do for you, Peggy? You were my secretary. You’ve got an office and a job a lot of full-grown men would kill for. Every time I turn around, you’ve got your hand in my pocket. Put your nose down and pay attention to your work.” Oh, Don, you’re driving Peggy right into Duck’s arms.

Roger calls for Don at home and reaches Betty. Roger wants her to use her influence on him. She finds it disrespectful Roger would go behind his back.

[Untitled]Peggy goes to the Pierre, ostensibly to return the Hermes scarf to Duck. He tempts her with the client roster, but she demurs. The shake hands and he says, “I’m just sorry I won’t be seeing you every day.” He goes in for the kiss, and she asks, “What do you want from me?” “I want to go in that bedroom with you, lock the door, take off your clothes with my teeth, throw you on the bed, and give you a go-around like you’ve never had.” Um, OK.

Betty and Don talk contract, and she presses him on why he won’t sign it. He insults her with, “As usual, you make it about you.” She makes the point that of course his work commitment has something to do with her. “It’s three years, Don. You don’t know where you’re going to be in three years?” she jabs. Don storms out and hits the road. He picks up a young hitchhiking couple who are headed for Niagra Falls to get married so the man can avoid the draft. They offer him a couple “reds” (phenobarbital), which he downs with a cocktail then tosses the glass from the window.

Next Don and the girl are dancing at a motel. Then the couple dance and ask if he wants to watch. Don sees his father sitting in the corner with a jug of moonshine, telling a joke. He insults Don: “You’re a bum, you know that. What do you do? What do you make? You grow ********.”bullsh*t.”

Don after beatingDon’s woozy, and the young man knocks him out. When he awakens, there’s a note that they’ve left him his car, but not much else (a dollar in his wallet).

Duck and Peggy wake up together at the hotel, and he suggests another go-around.

Back at the Drapers’ the interior decorator excoriates Betty: “What were you thinking? It’s awful!” Betty bought the Victorian fainting couch that Henry said she needed.

Don tells everyone at the office that he was in a fender bender. Peggy shows up at work in the same clothes. Bert’s in Don’s office, and offers that Sacajawea crossed the country with a baby on her back, and somewhere there’s a baby who thinks he discovered America. Don came in on others’ shoulders, he says, and now’s the time to pay us back. “Would you say I know something about you, Don?” he asks. “After all, when it comes right down to it, who’s really signing this contract anyway?” Don signs, and says he wants no more contact with Roger Sterling.

Don comes home to Betty on the fainting couch. “I signed it,” he says, barely looking at her, and heads upstairs.