Season 7, Episode 7
Don receives a troubling letter. A risky venture entails a new future for Peggy. Roger gets an unexpected phone call. Pete butts heads with Cutler.
At home, Cooper watches television coverage of the Apollo 11 launch. Ted pilots a plane with two Sunkist reps. One rep says he imagines the experience is similar to “what it’s like for the astronauts.” Ted says, if the astronauts don’t make it, “all their problems will be over.” Ted cuts the engine and the plane descends. Later, Cutler and Pete reprimand Ted over the phone for scaring the Sunkist reps and expressing “a real feeling of wanting to die.” Ted says he doesn’t want to do advertising anymore and tells Cutler to buy him out. Lou tells Cutler, “Commander cigarettes is dead” because “they’re rolling it up with the rest of Phillip Morris.” Cutler says there will be other tobacco leads “now that people know we’re available.” Lou argues that the Commander meeting “turned me into a joke,” but Cutler says, “We don’t owe you anything, you’re a hired hand.” The Francis family receives guests: Betty’s old friend Carolyn, her husband Rick and their two sons, Sean and Neil. Pete, Harry, Don and Peggy practice for the Burger Chef presentation. Don advises Harry not to negotiate the terms of his pending partnership. Betty tells Carolyn she now thinks of Don as “someone a teenage anthropologist would marry.” Meredith hands Don a letter from the agency’s attorney outlining a breach of contract involving the Commander cigarettes meeting. Don storms into Cutler’s office. Cutler says Don broke his contract stipulations. Don says, “You set that meeting to force me out of the agency. What was I supposed to do?” Cutler says Don is “just a bully and a drunk.” Don calls the other partners, none of which knew about the letter, into the hall. Don asks for an immediate vote on his termination. Cutler (with Ted’s proxy) and Joan vote for it, while Don, Roger, Cooper and Pete oppose. Joan says she’s tired of Don costing her money. As the partners disperse, Joan tells Cutler, “You shouldn’t have done that.” In Peggy’s apartment, her neighbor Julio reveals he’ll be moving to Newark. Upset, Julio hugs Peggy and says he doesn’t want to leave. Emotional, Peggy comforts him. At home, Don phones Megan and says he’s getting fired. Don offers to move to California, but Megan doesn’t respond. “I’ll always take care of you,” he says. “I owe you that.” In tears, Megan says, “You don’t owe me anything. Goodbye, Don.” Roger confronts Cooper about Cutler’s efforts to force Don out. Cooper says, “No man has ever come back from leave. Even Napoleon.” Cooper explains he didn’t vote Don out because “a leader is loyal to his team.” [brightcove video=3584546113001 width=456 height=388/] The Burger Chef team flies to Indiana. Pete encourages Don to move to California because Ted’s gone “off the deep end.” Don says, “There’s no reason to go to L.A.” In a hotel room, Don and the team watch the moon landing on television. Roger watches with Mona, Brooks and Ellery. Cooper watches at home. Don phones the Francis home. He speaks to Sally, who criticizes NASA’s “waste of money.” Don says, “Don’t be so cynical.” Roger receives word that Cooper has passed away. At SC&P, Roger removes Cooper’s nameplate from his office door. Joan offers condolences. Cutler recommends giving Don “a send off along with Bert.” Roger asks, “Is this what would happen if I died?” Neil shows Sally how to use a telescope. She kisses him. Roger calls Don, tells him about Cooper, and says, “Now I’m going to lose you too.” Don stops by Peggy’s hotel room. He says she must give the Burger Chef presentation because, “If I win this business, and then I go, you’ll be left with nothing.” Peggy worries, but Don encourages her. Jim Hobart meets Roger at a diner. Roger proposes McCann buy SC&P as an independent subsidiary, “without Jim Cutler and all that baggage from CGC.” Jim says he’ll think about it, but tells Roger it won’t work without Ted Chaough: “GM thinks he and Don Draper are one person.” Peggy delivers the Burger Chef presentation. Burger Chef offers a place where “we can have the connection we’re hungry for,” she says. “There’s family supper at Burger Chef.” Don watches and smiles. Roger tells Don that McCann has offered to buy a 51% stake in “Sterling Cooper.” Roger explains he’d be president and Don would keep his “real job.” Don resists, but Roger insists, “Cutler’s not going to stop until the firm is just Harry and the computer.” Don acquiesces. The next day, Roger tells the partners about McCann’s offer, which requires “five-year contracts from everyone.” Roger says, “we finally turned this place into a legitimate threat, and they’d like to neutralize it with cold, hard cash.” Ted says he’s done with advertising, but Don convinces him to stay: “You don’t want to see what happens when it’s really gone.” The vote passes. Peggy tells Don they got the Burger Chef account. Roger announces Cooper’s death to the staff. Downstairs, Don turns and sees Cooper. Cooper dances towards Don, singing “The Best Things in Life Are Free.” Don looks again, and the office is empty. Don sits back against a desk, smile fading.