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Mad Men Episode Guide Page

Episode Description

Season 1

1 1-01 101 19/Jul/07 "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"

Joan and Peggy

By Suzanne

In 1960, ad man Don Draper is working hard to come up with a new ad campaign for Lucky Strikes cigarettes. He sits in a bar where others are drinking and smoking, having a good time. He's writing down ideas furiously on a napkin. He even asks the "negro" bus boy why he smokes Old Golds, and the man tells him that they gave that brand to him in the war, and he got hooked. He just loves smoking, he tells Don. Don writes that down. Don then visits his girlfriend, Midge, who writes for a greeting card company. She is a very modern girl. He chats with her about his problem with Lucky Strikes, like he did with the bus boy. Reader's Digest and others are saying that cigarettes can kill you. They flirt and have sex. Don suggests they get married, but Midge likes their current arrangement.

Almost everyone, especially the men, smokes and drinks throughout the episode, no matter where they are or what they're doing. Most of the women wear skirts or dresses (except Midge). Everyone in this episode is white except for the one bus boy.

In the morning, Don awakens hung over and goes into his office, where he changes into a new shirt (he has a neat stack in his drawer, all white) while Roger, his boss, chats with him about their upcoming meeting with Lucky Strikes. They also have a meeting with Menken Department Stores, a possible new client. Menken is Jewish, so Roger wants to find them a Jewish employee to make them feel more comfortable, but they can't think of any.

Meanwhile, ad man Pete, who is not as good socially as Don, is getting married, and all of the other young guys are looking forward to his bachelor party. They all flirt with the young girls at the office, and make passes at them, including the new girl, Peggy. Joan shows Peggy around. She will be Don's new secretary, but Joan and Peggy share the job for the moment. Joan gives Peggy lots of advice about how to act and dress on the job, and Peggy appreciates it. Everyone keeps telling Peggy to wear shorter skirts and show off her legs. Don meets Peggy, and then later, Pete meets Peggy, too. Pete makes lots of lewd comments to Peggy and asks her where she's from, so Don apologizes for him.

Don takes a nap, so Peggy awakens him for the meeting with Menken. Don is surprised to find that Menken is a woman (the daughter of the owner), Rachel. They don't get along at first. Their ideas and their manners collide. Don gets annoyed and leaves the meeting, saying that he won't let a woman talk to him that way. Pete tries to suck up to Don. Don advises him to be nicer to people so he won't end up alone with no friends. Later, Pete and the other guys invite Don to the bachelor party, but he declines.

Peggy goes to get birth control at a doctor recommended by Joan. He lectures Peggy on how she shouldn't be slutty as he examines her (even though it's clear that he may have slept with Joan).

Art director Sal shows Don the picture he drew for the Lucky Strikes campaign. A handsome man is lying on a deck chair in a bathing suit, smoking. Don suggests that he add a sexy girl instead. Sal tries to talk like a macho guy, but it's kind of clear to the audience that he's gay. Don and Sal get a visit from a German woman in their research department. She suggests that people smoke because they have a death wish. Don thinks it's nonsense and that it can't be used in the advertising, so he throws her ideas away.

At the Lucky Strikes meeting, they are all worried about how to sell cigarettes when everyone knows now that they cause cancer. At first, Don can't come up with any ideas. Pete tries to sell the death wish idea, but no one goes for it. As the client, Lee Garner, and his son, are walking out the door, Don realizes that the ads can say anything they want about the cigarette now because all of the cigarette companies are in the same boat. He asks the Lucky Strike executives how the cigarettes are made, so Garner tells him how it's done, and Don settles on the phrase "It's toasted" and explains the whole idea. It makes everyone happy, particularly Roger.  Don chastises Pete for using the German woman's ideas when he had thrown them out.

Peggy flirts with Don, but he makes it clear that she's just his secretary. He also gives her a hard time for letting Pete pick through his trash. She admits that Pete went into the office, saying that he left his pen there, so she had no idea what he did.

Roger asks Don to try again with Rachel Menken, so Don and Rachel meet at a bar. He charms her a bit, especially when he reveals that he doesn't think love exists. Don earnestly describes how he lives life as if there's no tomorrow. Later, Don goes home and we see that he has a beautiful young wife that welcomes him home with a kiss, and a promise of more; and two young children that he clearly adores.

Pete's party is at a strip club (the stripper is fat and does not get naked). Ken has found them girls, but they are not the type that will go very far, so Pete is disappointed. After he gets very drunk, he shows up at Peggy's place in Brooklyn. She lets him in, and it's clear that they are going to bed.

Main Photo from http://disparue.org/

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