At 9 pm. At 3 pm, millions of Americans will gather in smoky rooms around their cathode ray tube televisions to watch the premiere of the fifth season ofmad Men, AMC's brilliant drama about the advertising world of the 1960s. What are you saying? You haven't watched a single episode, but do you really plan to? Fear not, because we've managed to condense the first four seasons into a concise Cliff's Notes-style synopsis. Now wait, are you waiting? Clock is ticking!
1960 Manhattan. Don Draper is a handsome creative director at the Sterling Cooper advertising agency, whose biggest account is Lucky Strike cigarettes. He has a wife, Betty, at home in the suburbs, but gets something from Midge, his artist lover, on the side. Betty is raising her two children Sally and Bobby ignorantly. Peggy is a new secretary at work who is tutored by Joan, a curvy firecracker who runs the show. Pete is an ambitious young manager who, despite being engaged to Trudy, is instantly smitten with Peggy. Don has an affair with Rachel, a Jewish department store heiress. Pete ends up sleeping with Peggy on his office couch. Ken, Paul and Harry are junior managers who treat women badly. Sal, the art director, is a closeted gay man. Everyone hates Ken when his story gets published in... yeah! --The Atlantic Month. Peggy shows when she refers to a garbage can of lipstick-stained wipes as "a basket full of kisses". Freddy, an old-school impersonator with a drinking problem, puts it on the bill. Bert and Roger, the two partners in the firm, want to support Nixon's campaign. Roger is married to Mona and has a daughter named Margaret, but has had an affair with Joan for years. Bert makes Don a partner. Don brings in Duck to keep up with the bills. Pete confronts Don about his secret past: he is actually Dick Whitman, and the false Don has traded tags with the charred remains of the real Don in Korea to escape the war. Bert doesn't care. Peggy is promoted. She doesn't go on Thanksgiving. Don waves Kodak to his merry-go-round. Peggy discovers that she is pregnant, gives birth and turns heads when her baby is introduced.
February 14, 1962 Trudy wants to have a baby but can't. Paul has an African-American girlfriend. Pete's father dies in an American Airlines crash. Jimmy is a name-calling comedian who stars in a campaign for Utz Chips. Jimmy's wife Bobbie has a crush on Don. Barrett insults Mrs. Utz. Don digitally stimulates Bobbie in the restaurant washroom. Padre Gil is a priest who befriends Peggy. Joan becomes engaged to a doctor. Don and Betty get into a drunken car accident on their way to have sex on the beach. Bobbie is recovering at Peggy's house. Don ties Bobbie to a hotel bed when she says she has been gossiping about his sexual prowess. Jimmy tells Betty about Don and Bobbie. Freddy urinates in his pants and is fired. Don hits Jimmy at the club. Don and Pete go to California and Don has an affair with a jet setter named Joy. Roger decides to divorce his wife and marry Jane, Don's sexy secretary who fired Joan but rehired Roger. Don visits the real Mrs. Draper and they team up. Joan's fiancé Greg rapes her on the floor of Don's office. Sterling Cooper agrees to be acquired by a British company. Betty becomes pregnant during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Betty sleeps with another man. Peggy reveals to Pete that she has given the child up for adoption.
Early 1963. Lane is the new CFO and is very British and uptight. Don and Sal go to Baltimore on business and Don finds out about Sal and the courier. Pepsi wants an ad like thisgoodbye little birda Patio Diet Coke. Betty's father moves again and has mild dementia. Nobody likes Roger's new wife, Jane, so she throws a big country club party to which he wears blackface. There, Betty meets Henry, an adviser to Nelson Rockefeller, and the two fall in love. Sal dances for his wife and she realizes he is gay. Duck, now with Grey, tries to fend off Peggy and Pete. Pete tries to sell Admiral Televisions to the African-American market, taunting everyone. Betty gives birth. Ken shows up at the office with a John Deere lawn mower. A secretary loses control and steps on the toe of a British leader hired to take over the company. Joan left the company thinking Greg would be chief resident, but he was passed over and forced to take a job at a department store's returns counter. Don is contacted by a guy he met at the country club party, who turns out to be Conrad Hilton. Connie wants Don to sign a contract, Don refuses. Henry kisses Betty. Lee, the descendant of Lucky Strike, tries to have sex with Sal in the editing room and is refused, resulting in Sal being fired from the company. Don starts sleeping with Sally's teacher, Suzanne. Betty opens Don's drawer and finds a box that proves he is Dick. She confronts him and demands a divorce. JFK is shot dead by Roger's daughter the day before their wedding. Sterling Cooper is for sale, Connie tells Don. Don, Roger, Bert and Lane hatch a plan to get themselves fired, then steal all the files to start a new company. They bring Joan, Peggy, and Pete, with whom they pair off. Betty and Henry fly to Reno for a quick divorce. Don gives up and moves into a small apartment in the West Village.
Autumn 1964. Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is in a new building looking for clients. Don ruins an Ad Age interview by being too indifferent. Don dates Jane's friend Bethany, who won't let up. Sally befriends Glen, a neighbor to whom Betty once gave a lock of her hair, upsetting Glen's mother. Freddy is hired because he has the Pond account with him. dr. Faye is a researcher. Lee humiliates Don at the Christmas party. Don sleeps with his secretary Allison and is mean to her the next day. Don is going to California because Anna is dying of cancer. Don and Lane spend New Year's Eve getting drunk around town, hiring hookers for good measure. Pete convinces his father-in-law to give him Vicks' account. Trudy becomes pregnant. Allison cries during an interview with Dr. Faye then throws a paperweight at Don and runs away. Ida, a senile old woman, sits down at Don's table. Ted, Don's rival, taunts him. Roger yells at the Honda executives, so Pete yells at Roger. Sally cuts her hair, is caught masturbating, and sees a psychiatrist. Don wins a Clio for a Glo Coat commercial that was Peggy's idea. Stan, a nasty new art director, gets naked with Peggy. Peggy stays at the office to celebrate her birthday and hangs out with Don while her family waits at a restaurant with her boyfriend Mark. Don throws up, Duck tries to poop on Roger's chair and hits Don. The next morning, Don learns that Anna has died. The new employees are mean to Joan and Peggy fires one, but Joan is furious about this. Ida dies. Joan becomes pregnant with Roger's baby after the two have sex in an alley after the robbery. Don is being investigated by the government, but with Pete's help, they don't find out. Lucky Strike fires the company and all hell breaks loose. Trudy has the baby. Everyone freaks out. Don lights a full page adThe New York Times diesthat the company will never again open a tobacco account. Everyone is more afraid. Betty fires Carla, the children's longtime nanny, and Don asks Megan, the beautiful receptionist, to accompany them on a trip to California. He proposes to her and later reports to the office when they get back. Everyone is shocked.
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He has symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder, but he also appears to have an impulse control disorder.What was Don Draper's secret? ›
Donald Francis Draper is revealed through flashbacks to be the assumed identity of Richard "Dick" Whitman, born in Bunbury, Illinois in 1926 to Evangeline (Kelly Huddleston), a prostitute, and an abusive, alcoholic farmer, Archibald "Archie" Whitman (Joseph Culp).How many people has Don Draper slept with? ›
Well, we've done some intensive investigations and have found that over the course of the nine years that Mad Men was set, Don had sex or was intimate with 17 women.How did Don get PFC Dinkins lighter? ›
He also was stalked by a lighter given to him by Pfc. Dinkins, an Army guy on leave from Vietnam who talked Don into participating in his lovely oceanside wedding ceremony and accidentally swapped cigarette igniters with our hero. Don tried mightily to get rid of that lighter, but it kept showing up.What does Betty Draper suffer from? ›
When she sees her doctor, Betty is shocked to discover that her recent lightheadedness is a sign of aggressive, advanced lung cancer that has begun to spread throughout her body.Who did Don Draper love the most? ›
Don's first wife, Betty, remains his strongest romantic partner. She gave him over 10 years of her life and three children. Though his womanizing, distant attitude, and his secrets, along with her interest in Henry Francis, ultimately lead to divorce, Betty knows Don better than anyone.