Season 4, Episode 8
The Summer Man
Joan and Peggy deal with high-jinx in the office.
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Alone in his apartment, Don keeps a journal. "My mind is a jumble," he writes. "I can't organize my thoughts." After swimming at an athletic club, Don heads to work, where he asks Miss Blankenship for Bethany's phone number. Joey loses his watch in a vending machine and mouths off to Joan when she reprimands him for his noisy attempts to retrieve it. Privately, he asks Joan, "What do you do around here besides walking around like you're trying to get raped?" Unnerved, Joan leaves the office. Miss Blankenship relays to Don a message from Betty that he can't have the kids during the coming weekend because it's Gene’s birthday. Joan arrives home as Greg is about to leave for basic training. "Who am I going to talk to?" she asks, breaking down in tears when he mentions her friends at work. Don reflects in his journal that Gene "was conceived in a moment of desperation, and born into a mess." Don also lists some goals, including visiting Africa and gaining "a modicum of control over the way I feel." After Mountain Dew rejects an ad concept, Don asks Joan to hire Joey full time to rework the campaign. Joan refers vaguely to his inappropriate behavior. "Boys will be boys," says Don. Harry tells Joey that with his looks, he could easily get a role on the television show Peyton Place. Harry was coming on to him, Joey later tells Peggy, who reproaches him for disrespecting Joan. Betty and Henry meet Ralph Stuben, a political aide, at a fancy restaurant. Betty becomes agitated when she notices Don and Bethany also dining there. Bethany, meanwhile, presses Don to show more of a commitment to her. Henry interrupts their chat to say hello; Betty glares as Don introduces Bethany. Stuben represents Congressman John Lindsay, who’s considering running for President and would want Henry to run the campaign. Betty eyes Don and Bethany while the two men speak. After downing a cocktail, she heads to the ladies room to smoke. On the drive home, Henry scolds Betty for ruining the evening. Don is taking too much space in her life and perhaps her heart as well, he suggests. On the cab ride from the restaurant, Bethany performs oral sex on Don. "She wants me to know her, but I already do," he later writes in his journal. As Don enters the office the next morning, he overhears Faye in a phone booth breaking up with a man. Betty apologizes to Henry for her behavior, explaining that Don was the only man she'd ever been with. As he leaves for work, Henry rams his car into boxes that Don is storing in the garage. Peggy's team is working on Mountain Dew when Joan enters Lane's office. The guys imagine a sex act occurring behind the closed door, and Joey draws a sketch of it. Henry calls Don to ask him to remove his boxes from the garage. Don agrees to pick them up on Saturday since Gene's party is on Sunday. Joan notices Joey’s pornographic sketch taped to her office window. No one in the creative lounge will own up to drawing it. Joan tells them she can't wait until they'll be fighting in Vietnam. Peggy shows Don the drawing, assuming he'll yell at Joey. "You want some respect?" Don asks. "Go out there and get it for yourself." Peggy orders Joey to apologize, but he refuses, saying that women have no sense of humor. Peggy fires him, holding her ground even after he agrees to apologize. Don, reviewing research with Faye, proposes that they continue their analysis over dinner. Faye tweaks him for not requesting a proper date. He invites her to dinner on Saturday night. In Ossining, Betty tells Francine about running into Don. "I misbehaved," Betty confesses. Don is "living the life," she explains. "He doesn't get to have this family and that." Francine cautions her to be careful. "Don has nothing to lose, and you have everything," she says. Peggy relates Joey’s firing to Joan, who snaps back: "All you've done is prove to them that I'm a meaningless secretary and you're another humorless bitch." On Saturday, Don picks up his boxes, which Henry has left on the sidewalk, then throws them away. In his journal, he considers the ways men stray: "We're flawed because we want so much," he writes. "We're ruined because we get these things and wish for what we had." At dinner, Faye describes her father to Don as "a handsome two-bit gangster like you." Don mentions that he isn't attending Gene's birthday -- and that Gene thinks Henry is his father. "All he knows of the world is what you show him," Faye comments. Don asks Faye how she convinces people to do what she wants. Faye relates a fable whose moral is that "kindness, gentleness, and persuasion win where force fails." In the cab home Don and Faye kiss, but he declines to take things further. "That's as far as I can go right now," he says. On Sunday, Don shows up at Gene's birthday party. "It's okay," Betty tells Henry. "We have everything," she says. Betty turns her gaze to Don. Smiling, he raises Gene over his head.