Severance Recap

In an office at SC&P, a scantily clad woman models a chinchilla coat for Don. As she moves the coat around her body, Don asks her to “show me how smooth your skin is.” She complies. Ted, joined by Pete and two clients, thanks her.

That night, Don eats at a diner with Roger and three women. Don recounts a childhood story about his stepmother and uncle. Roger insists Don likes to “tell stories about how poor he was.” Roger makes fun of their waitress, but Don defends her. Roger, feeling guilty, leaves a generous tip. Don thinks the waitress looks familiar and asks if they’ve met before. She says they haven’t.

Don arrives home, alone. He calls his answering service and receives several messages from various women. One is from Tricia, a TWA stewardess, who later arrives at Don’s apartment.

In the bedroom, Tricia finds an earring and asks Don if it belongs to another woman he’s sleeping with. Don responds that it belongs to “the woman he’s not sleeping with” – his ex-wife – and tosses the earring aside.

The next day, Joan, Harry and Peggy meet with two Topaz executives. The executives study a pair of L’eggs pantyhose in an egg-shaped container and suggest coming up with a gimmick of their own. Peggy warns against imitation.

Don arrives at work, greets his secretary, Meredith, and then steps inside his office for a nap.

In the kitchen, Mathis tells Peggy his brother-in-law is in town and that “he’s very handsome.” Peggy realizes Mathis wants to set her up and declines the offer.

In her office, Joan brings Don up to speed on Topaz. Don recommends department stores as a market and suggests asking McCann Erickson for help.

At Ken’s apartment, Ken presents a set of golf clubs to his father-in-law, who is retiring from Dow Chemical.

In the casting room, Rachel Katz (née Menken) walks in. “I’m supposed to tell you, you missed your flight,” she says. Don -- in bed with a woman -- awakes from his dream.

At Ken’s apartment, Cynthia encourages Ken to quit his job and pursue his writing. “You gave them your eye. Don’t give them the rest of your life,” she says. Ken insists he’s waiting for a raise.

The next morning, Don tells Meredith to set up a meeting with Rachel Katz of Menken’s department store to discuss Topaz.

At McCann Erickson, Peggy and Joan meet with two employees to discuss Topaz. The men behave disrespectfully towards the ladies, making crude remarks and jokes. One tells Joan that she should be in the brassiere business because she’s “a work of art.”

At SC&P, Ken meets with Roger and Ferguson Donnelly from McCann. Roger says Pete will take over the Dow account because McCann doesn’t want Ken on the business. “We don’t want you on any business,” Ferguson says. Roger follows up saying Ken will receive a generous severance package if he helps Pete secure accounts. Ken storms out.

In the elevator, Joan laments to Peggy about not being taken seriously during their meeting with McCann. Peggy brings up the way Joan dresses, to which Joan replies that she doesn’t dress like Peggy because she doesn’t look like Peggy. “You’re filthy rich! You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do,” Peggy snaps back.

In Don’s office, Meredith tells Don that Rachel passed away last week. Don is shaken by the news.

Peggy tells Mathis to give his brother-in-law her number.

Don returns to the diner and again insists he knows the waitress. “You don’t need a line. I know why you’re here,” she says. The waitress leaves to take a break and Don follows her into the back alley. The waitress kisses Don and they have sex. Afterwards, Don asks the waitress what time she gets off. She dismisses him and says, “You got your hundred dollars’ worth.”

At SC&P the next day, Ken tells Don about his firing and says it’s a sign of his “life not lived.”

In her office, Joan refuses a call from Dennis Ford at McCann.

In Ken’s office, Ken tells Pete he never fit in at McCann and that he’s better at writing than advertising. Pete encourages him.

Joan picks out new outfits at a department store.

In Don’s office, Ted and Don discuss Wilkinson’s casting call. Ted invites Don to a party and Don accepts.

At a restaurant, Peggy dines with Mathis’ brother-in-law, Stevie.

Don arrives at Rachel’s memorial service. Rachel’s sister tells Don that Rachel had leukemia. Irritated with Don, she tells him that Rachel “lived the life she wanted to live.”

Back at the restaurant, Peggy and Stevie are hitting it off. Peggy drunkenly suggests they fly to Paris together. Then, at Peggy’s brownstone, Peggy searches for her passport with Stevie. He kisses her. She pulls away and admits she doesn’t want to sleep with him on the first night because she wants him to be “more” than just a fling. They decide to postpone their trip to Paris.

In bed, Don listens to Nixon’s announcement about deploying troops to Cambodia.

In Roger’s office, Ken announces he won’t need a severance package because “my signing bonus from Dow is so big, it feels like a second helping.” Ken says he’s now head of advertising at Dow – making him SC&P’s client. “I’m very hard to please,” he warns as he leaves.

Peggy, hungover from the previous night, finds her passport in her office. Stan encourages Peggy to go to Paris and get to know Stevie, but she says it’s “nothing a couple of aspirin won’t fix.”

Meredith provides Don with research for a Topaz meeting with Mr. Rosenthal of Menken’s.

At the diner, Don tells the waitress he dreamt about a woman who has died. The waitress, Diana, believes Don is trying to make sense of Rachel’s death. Before walking away, she tells him to bring a date next time he comes. “I just work here,” Diana says.

Don sits at the counter, alone.


Written by MichaelDeBoey on Oct 29, 2015