Don drives on a highway. A cop pulls him over. “You knew we’d catch up with you eventually,” the cop says.
Don wakes up from his dream, in a Kansas motel.
From his motel, Don is on the phone with Sally. He tells her that he’s going to the Grand Canyon next.
The next day, at Fairfield University, a young male student asks Betty if she’s lost. Betty, winded from walking up the stairs, falls face-forward.
Pete greets Duck Phillips at McCann and asks if he’s helping to replace Don. “I’ve done it before,” Duck says. “Is it true he left behind a couple million bucks?” Then, Duck asks to speak to Pete privately.
In Pete’s office, Duck asks for Pete’s help with persuading Learjet, a private aviation company, to hire Duck as a headhunter. “You can extol the wonders of McCann,” Duck touts. Pete hesitates, but Duck reminds him that he helped Pete for free after SC&P’s merger. Pete agrees to dinner with Mike Sherman at Learjet.
As Don drives, the car rattles and the engine stops.
Betty sits in the hospital with an injured rib. Dr. Buckley grimly asks Betty to call her husband. Her condition appears to be more serious than just her rib.
In the car, Henry says he’s going to sue the hospital. “That quack has some nerve scaring you like that,” he says. Betty reaches for a cigarette, but Henry crushes the pack and throws it in the back of the car.
A tow truck driver lets Don out at Sharon Motel. Inside, Del tells Don the mechanic called ahead and he’s reserved a room for him. Del then introduces Don to his wife, Sharon.
That night, Pete dines with Mike and tries to convince him that Learjet needs a senior marketing executive, whom Duck can hire. Mike says he told Duck he was looking for “someone who can rap his ring on the table and let everyone know that they’re with a friend.” Pete realizes Duck has tricked him into a job interview and says he’s happy at McCann.
The next day, Betty looks at an x-ray of her chest as a doctor explains to Henry that she has cancer and it has spread. “It’s aggressive and it’s very advanced,” he says. The doctor predicts Betty could have nine months to a year.
Andy, the housekeeper at the Sharon Motel, enters Don’s room with an update on his car then recommends Don go for a swim. Don gives Andy money to buy liquor for him.
Don checks out a woman lying near the pool. Her husband and kids arrive a moment later. Don nods a hello to the husband, then jumps in the pool.
Over the phone, Duck says Pete’s “already at a hundred a year” with Learjet and that Mike wants to meet Pete’s wife at one of two last round dinners – only one other candidate is in the running. “Help me turn it into a horserace,” Duck says. Pete reminds him of his divorce then mentions the million dollars he’d be leaving behind if he left McCann. Duck suggests Pete take the meeting, since he might want to sign Learjet as a client one day.
At home that night, Betty brushes her hair in the mirror. Henry discusses possible treatment options, but Betty says she’s not going to heal. Henry reprimands her for being morose. “You’re a very lucky woman,” he says. “You have been your whole life.” Betty still refuses to get treatment.
The next day, Andy knocks on Don’s door with liquor, but asks for more money. Don condemns his hustle. Andy asks how Don got rich. Don says he was in the advertising business.
At Trudy’s home, Pete tucks Tammy into bed.
Don drinks and watches TV in bed. The TV goes black.
Don enters the motel office to ask about his TV. He helps Sharon with her typewriter, prompting her to ask if he learned to type in the army. Don tells her he was in the service. She invites him to join her husband at the Legion with “everybody who’s a Vet and likes drinking.”
Back at Trudy’s, Pete asks Trudy to join him for dinner with Mike. Trudy says it’s “no longer one of my obligations” and insists she’d be uncomfortable as his date. Pete asks her to join him “for old times sake” instead. “I’m jealous of your ability to be sentimental about the past,” Trudy tells him. “I’m unable to do that,” she adds.
The next day, Sally and her roommate find Henry in their dorm room. He asks to speak to Sally alone. Henry tells Sally about Betty’s lung cancer and says Betty doesn’t want “you kids to know.” Henry says Betty is refusing treatment and asks Sally to speak to her. He sobs, as Sally comforts him.
Don pulls up to the Sharon Motel in his repaired Cadillac. Del asks Don to stay and join him at the Legion that night.
At the Francis home that evening, Henry walks in with Sally. Betty walks right past her and out of the room.
Don arrives at the Legion Hall and donates $40 to a fundraiser for one of the vets whose kitchen burned down. Del asks Don about his rank, to which Don answers that he served the 7th Infantry as a lieutenant in Korea.
Pete dines with his brother, Bud, who mentions having other plans. Pete says, “Your wife knows.” Bud insists “that’s the way we are.” Pete recounts a story about their father buying a diamond necklace for another woman. “I think it feels good and then it doesn’t,” Pete tells Bud.
At the Legion, Don converses with the vets. They introduce Don to Jerry Fandango, who also served in Korea. The lights dim as a dancer pops out of a cake.
Duck stops by Pete’s and admonishes him for standing Mike up, but says he told Mike that Pete wanted to come but was insulted by the offer. Duck says Mike is willing to give Pete close to a million dollars and thinks McCann will cut a deal for the rest in exchange for the account.
At the Legion, the vets question Don about being so quiet. After Floyd tells a personal story, Don confesses to killing his Commanding Officer. “I blew him apart… and I got to go home,” he admits.
Back at the Francis home, Sally accuses Betty of not wanting treatment because “you love the tragedy.” Betty says she watched her mother die and doesn’t want that for Sally. Betty adds, “It’s been a gift to me… to know when to move on.” She hands Sally an envelope with instructions for when Betty dies.
Don is asleep in his hotel room. Suddenly, Sharon opens the door to let three vets in. They grab Don and accuse him of stealing the donation money. Floyd hits him across the face with a phone book then takes Don’s car keys. Floyd tells Don he’ll give the keys back when Don returns the money.
Pete knocks on Trudy’s door at four in the morning. He announces his job offer and invites Trudy and Tammy to live with him in Wichita. At first, Trudy is hesitant, but Pete plows ahead. “Pick out a house and be my wife and family again,” he says. Trudy agrees and they kiss.
The next day, Don sits in his motel room, holding ice to his cheek. Andy stops by with liquor. Don shoves him on the bed and accuses him of taking the donation money. Andy comes clean. He tells Andy to return the money. “If you keep it, you’ll have to become somebody else and it’s not what you think it is,” Don warns Andy.
Don enters the motel office and sets a paper bag with cash in it on the counter. Del returns his car keys.
Outside, Andy asks Don for a ride to the bus stop.
At the Francis home, Betty kisses Henry, and then leaves for class.
In Sally’s dorm room, Sally reads Betty’s letter detailing burial arrangements including which dress, lipstick and hairstyle Betty prefers. At the end of the letter, Betty tells Sally that she loves her. Sally holds the letter to her chest and cries.
Don pulls up to the bus stop and tosses his keys to Andy. “Don’t waste this,” he says. As Andy drives away in Don’s Cadillac, Don sits on the bench and smiles.
Written by MichaelDeBoey on Oct 29, 2015