Season 3, Episode 10

The Color Blue

The firm celebrates a milestone. Peggy and Paul compete on an account.

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Don arrives early for dinner one evening but informs Betty that he won't be spending the night. "Betts, I don't have a choice," he says. "I see how hard you're working," she replies. Don drives to Miss Farrell's apartment. "I want you to spend the whole night," she whispers. In bed, she describes a student who asked if everyone sees the color blue the same way. "People may see things differently," Don says, "but they don't really want to." In his office the next day, Don objects that there's "too much story" in a television commercial Paul proposes. Peggy improvises a shorter narrative that Don approves. Lane arrives with a check: Don's signing bonus. A rare smile from Don amuses Lane, who says that Don will be the final speaker at the upcoming Sterling Cooper anniversary party. He should be prepared for "prime time." Paul berates Peggy for making him look bad by refining his idea. "Nobody's keeping score," she responds. "I am," he says. "You do your work. I'll do mine. Let the chips fall where they may." In Lane's office, Rebecca weeps, ostensibly over a cabbie cheating her, but really because she remains homesick for London. "You like it here," she accuses. "The smells and the noise and the criminals at every level." That night, Don and Miss Farrell make love but are interrupted by the arrival of her brother, Danny. Don dresses to leave, but Miss Farrell wants the two to meet. Danny says he's lost his job because he has epileptic seizures. Don wishes Danny well, but Danny calls him arrogant after he departs. The next day, Roger and Cooper reminisce about their careers. Neither is looking forward to their company's fortieth-anniversary party. Roger loathes the thought of watching Don achieve an award "for his humanity." Likening the event to a funeral, Cooper says he won't attend. That night, the Drapers' phone rings. Sally answers, but no one responds. Paul and Peggy work late in their offices on a concept for Western Union: When is a telegram more appropriate than a phone call? Paul drinks steadily as he works. At home, Don locks some cash in his desk drawer. Hearing baby Gene cry, he puts the drawer's key in his bathrobe pocket. Back at Sterling Cooper, Paul has a sudden brainstorm about Western Union while chatting with a custodian. Paul celebrates with another drink. The next morning, Miss Farrell briefly boards Don's train. He asks if she called his house, and apologizes when she says no. "I don't care about your marriage, or your work, or any of that," she says. "As long as I know you're with me." She has found her brother a job at a VA hospital in Massachusetts, she adds. He'll be gone by evening. At the office, Lois wakes up Paul, who becomes frantic upon realizing that he neglected to write down his brainstorm. Lane's London bosses call. They're flying over for the party -- and, by the way, Sterling Cooper is for sale. Cooper's attendance is crucial, Saint John Powell says, "to encourage interest." Betty calls Henry Francis to inquire if he phoned her and hung up. He denies doing so and suggests that if she wants to talk, she needn't invent a pretext. Lane presents Cooper with several reasons to attend the party, finally succeeding by appealing to Bert's vanity: People will think he's ill if he doesn't. Betty, doing laundry, discovers Don's key. Opening his drawer, she sees his money stash, along with the cardboard box containing Whitman family photos, the army dog tags of Richard Whitman and the real Don Draper, the deed to Anna Draper's house, and the divorce decree dissolving her marriage to Don. That evening, Danny is still present when Don arrives at Miss Farrell's. She plans to drive Danny to Massachusetts, but Don, concerned about her returning alone late at night, says he will. Betty, meanwhile, sits home alone, staring at Don's memorabilia box. On their drive, Danny tells Don he has no intention of taking yet another menial job because just people don't understand epilepsy. Don pulls to the side of the road, offers Danny money and his business card, and lets him out of the car. Don returns to Miss Farrell's. He lies about delivering Danny to the hospital, and then kisses her. "Don, I don't want to," she says. "It's okay," he replies. At two in the morning, Betty returns the box to the drawer, places the key in Don's bathrobe, and goes to bed. From his office the next morning, Don calls Betty about the party. She says she doesn't feel well, but he insists she rally. Everyone is "expecting me to show up with the glamorous, elegant, stunning Betty Draper," he says. "I want to show you off, Betts." Before meeting with Don about Western Union, Paul confesses to Peggy that he had "something incredible" but can't remember it. He recalls a Chinese proverb: "The faintest ink is better than the best memory." Peggy's ideas don't impress Don, who turns to Paul. Peggy encourages Paul to admit that he lost his idea. Don commiserates. Peggy gets Paul to repeat the proverb. The key to their telegram pitch is in there somewhere, she says. Don agrees. "See, it all works out," he tells Paul. "Look how pretty mommy is," the tux-clad Don tells Sally and Bobby as the Drapers leave for the party that evening. In a limo, Roger's mother confuses Jane with his daughter Margaret. Jane is his wife, says Roger. "Does Mona know?" his mother asks. Lane, stuck in traffic with Rebecca, tells her Sterling Cooper is being sold. She's delighted. At the party, Roger introduces Don, alluding to his heroism in Korea and calling him a friend and "the man who will stand alongside me for the next forty years." To extended applause, Don kisses Betty and steps to the podium. "I'm very honored," he says.