"Mad Men" Time & Life (TV Episode 2015) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • The partners discover that the firm is losing its independence and there's nothing they can do about it. Peggy is not sure if she wants to come along. Meanwhile, Pete and Trudy have trouble getting their daughter into private school.

  • While working on an account with Stan that involves children, Peggy muses about how terrible a mother she would be. Trudy is facing a difficult time getting Tammy into the pre-school she wants - a school at which a Campbell has attended for as long as Pete can remember - and as such, Pete decides to help Trudy smooth the waters with the school's administration to get Tammy a placement there. These and other personal issues take a back seat when a crisis occurs at Sterling Cooper from what looked to be a simple but devastating clerical oversight. It was not an oversight, but rather a calculated move. The Sterling Cooper partners want the crisis placed under wraps from the staff until they decide how best to handle it. Through the worries of the partners, Don believes he has stumbled onto a solution, which may take some maneuvering to achieve. One of those more difficult manoeuvrings entails getting Ken on side, he who still has hard feelings about being let go by Roger. As they deal with the issues, all the partners reflect on how this crisis will affect their own personal lives, especially their current relationships. As Peggy gets wind of what's going on, she too reflects on where she is in her life, and how giving her son away has affected her psyche.

  • When Roger receives a letter from the firms landlord saying their lease has been terminated, he's certain it's just a clerical error. A call to McCann Erickson confirms his worst fears: Sterling Cooper is being shut down with the staff moving over to their premises. They have a meeting with Jim Hobart the next day and Don eventually suggests that they try to keep as many of their clients as they can and service them from their small office in California. As word begins to spread around the office, near panic ensues. By the time they meet with Jim it's obvious the decisions they've made are irreversible. Meanwhile. Pete Campbell has a problem getting his daughter in the school of his choice; Ken Cosgrove is having fun as the head of advertising for Dow; and Peggy and Stan talk about the choices she's made in life.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Mad Men April 26, 2015

    Big news tonight and it ain't good.

    We open on Ken and Pete having a fancy dinner and Ken uncorking a fancy bottle of wine as he gives Pete an incredibly hard time about a campaign for a cleaning product. He claims he's afraid it will make people think of poop. Pete asks Ken if he wants him to redo the work. Ken says he hasn't decided. He's loving putting the screws to Pete. Don arrives and tells Ken not to worry about it and Ken promptly says "Okay." It is awesome.

    Don gets home and his answering service says Diana left two messages but then asked not to leave them. She did not leave a number. He says he will take his own calls the rest of the night.

    Roger opens the mail and calls Caroline in a panic and then yells to Joan, who asks him not to yell for her like that. Apparently, Dawn Chambers forgot to pay the lease. Joan says she'll take care of it. Dawn, Shirley, and Caroline are brought in and Roger says they're all fired. Dawn explains: McCann gave notice to the landlord and no one told her. Roger tells Caroline to get Ferg Donnelly on the phone.

    Don is in an elevator full of mom's and kids who troop out and head into SCP.

    Pete gets a call from Trudy. She is not good, Tammy didn't get into Greenwich Country Day. He says he will pull some strings.

    In a conference room Peggy tells the kids to play. They are having trouble since Peggy, Stan and another woman are staring at them. They are there to test out some toys. Peggy is frustrated. Stan says it's clear she hates kids and starts getting them to play.

    Roger calls Ferg about about giving notice on lease and asks him to fix it. And then Ferg drops the bomb: the whole SCP office is moving into the McCann building at the end of the month. They weren't supposed to find out this way. Joan listens in. Ferg says they're bringing them home. Roger asks if they are dissolving SCP. Ferg says it will be great. Roger hangs up. Joan hugs him. He asks, "What do I do?"

    Pete, Ted, Joan and Roger troop into Don's office and Roger breaks the news. Pete points out they have conflicting clients and that's why they exist. Roger points out this no longer matter, they're rent is too high. Pete says he's not going. Joan points out that they all have to go since they all have four year contracts and a non-compete clause. After all that, Roger is mad Jim Cutler wins. Roger wants them all to be dignified and keep it in this room until they have orders. Pete walks out. Don says they waited so long he thought they were safe.

    Pete asks Peggy into his office and breaks the news saying he would want to know and no one else would tell her and he wants her to have a leg up on the rats who fly the ship. He explains he has to go and is sad and that he has never worked anywhere else. She says he'll do great. He tells her this is for her ears only.

    Joan calls Richard and says she got bad news. He tells her he's coming and yells to his secretary to put him on the red eye to New York. She cries and dabs her cheeks.

    Meredith comes in with agenda items from Don's realtor and Mohawk Airlines and he says to cancel everyting and that it's personal. Lou calls and says he is moving to Tokyo because a Japanese animation company--the one that makes "Speed Racer"!-- is making "Scout's Honor" into a cartoon. He jabs Don and says he's not laughing now. Don agrees that he is not. Don lays back on his couch and suddenly gets an idea.

    He calls the partners into a meeting with a proposal: Sterling Cooper West. He say they can run a business out of the office and take all of the conflict clients with them: Burger Chef, Sunkist which is a lot of money in building. They think they might be able to get Dow too and Roger says he will take care of Ken. Ted says he doesn't want to go back to California. Don says that's good for them if he stays. Joan wonders about Avon. Don says that has to stay and she has to help settle them in with McCann. Now all they have to do is secure three accounts in 24 hours. They note they've done it before. Meredith watches them leave and knows something is up.

    Peggy has a meeting with a head hunter who says the landscape looks very promising. She asks who gave the best offer. He says: McCann Erickson. He really sells it saying it's a career builder and if she stays there three years she'll make four times as much as she is now and that she has to go through a place like that anyway so it might as well be them.

    Roger meets with Ken and Pete and they explain about the dissolving of the agency and their scheme to take it to California. Ken thinks it's too bold a concept for a new guy like him to present. They sell him on Don. Ken says he fantasized that he'd be in this situation with Roger and says Pete is no innocent bystander either. He says he's toyed with them long enough and gives them a flat out no and leaves.

    Ted and Don work in the conference and Ted reiterates that his ex-wife is in California and he knows it means something to Don but it doesn't mean anything to him. Ted apologizes for taking his spot in the first place and says it was misguided. He mentions that he recently reconnected with an old college girlfriend. Don congratulates him and reiterates that it helps them if Ted stays. Joan arrives with the no from Ken. They decide to comb the files for other smaller fish.

    Pete and Trudy Tammy meet with the headmaster of Greenwich Country day and it turns out that there's an ancient family beef between this guy's family and Pete's and that's the real reason she didn't get in. He also insults Trudy so Pete hauls off and punches him in the face and calls him a coward.

    In the foyer a little girl is waiting for her mom. Turns out she's a momager who went to pick up her son from another audition. Stan and Peggy take the little girl into her office.

    Pete and Trudy go home and she tells him to ice his hand. She bemoans life as a divorced woman and how the husbands all hit on her and she doesn't have very many friends. She bemoans the fact that she should be glad people are getting fresh with her because in 10 years they won't. He calls her ageless and says he will solve the problem with a check. They have a moment. He gets an idea and asks to use the phone.

    The partners head out and wonder where Pete is and Joan says he talked Secor Laxatives into going with them and he will meet them there.

    As Stan and Peggy go over the lists of kids, Peggy tells him to decide. Suddenly the little girl, playing at Peggy's desk, staples her thumb and is bleeding and crying. Her mom finally shows up and she and Peggy get into it. The mom blames them for letting her play with dangerous things. Peggy blames her for abandoning her daughter in a midtown office building. Her mother insists the daughter loves to go on auditions. Peggy retorts that she bets mom loves cashing her checks. The woman yells at her "You do what you want with your children and I'll do what I want with mine." This stings Peggy.

    SCP begin to make their presentation and they all start smiling at their own ingenuity. Jim Hobart stops Don mid-sentence and tells him to sit down. He apologizes for the way it was handled but says they should all be happy since they've landed five of the most coveted jobs in advertising and all the resources that go with it including travel and an international presence. He tells them they are dying and going to advertising heaven. He looks at Pete and says Buick, to Ted and says Ortho Pharmaceutical, to Roger he says Nabisco, and to Don Coca-Cola. He says nothing to Joan. He tells them to stop struggling, they won, and to take the rest of the day off.

    They go to a bar Roger and get drunk. They drink to Cooper and Joan says she's glad he missed it. Joan and Pete depart early and she hugs them all and tells Don they went down swinging.Roger gets another round and Ted says he has a date. He tries to sell Don on a big firm and admits he's relieved and ready to let someone else drive. They make a toast to Lou Avery and Roger says the "Japs" are going eat him alive.

    In the cab on the way home Joan says its a disaster and that Hobart listed off accounts for everyone but her and that Pete shouldn't count on anything he said coming true. Pete says for the first time in his life he thinks things are happening for a reason. Joan points out that they both know they're never going to take her seriously. Pete smiles and says they don't know who they're dealing with.

    Stan and Peggy work but she can't stop thinking about that mom. She gets all worked up and Stan tries to agree with her but doesn't quite get it. He she's angry about not having kids. She notes he doesn't either and he jokes "Not that I know of." And that sends her on another rant about how that's funny because a man could just walk away. She starts spinning a tale of why a young woman who followed her heart and got in trouble and should be able to live the rest of her life just like a man does he sees. He agrees and says she's right. The lightbulb goes off and he asks her what she did. She lets it out and says her son is with a family somewhere. She says she doesn't know where but it's not because she doesn't care. It's because you're not supposed to know or you can't go on with your life. Stan apologizes and says he didn't know. She has a drink. She says you don't know lots of things about lots of people, that's the point. He says it's not.

    Roger and Don smoke and drink at the bar. Roger laments the end of the Sterling legacy. Roger says he always envied that Don was always reaching. Don says he always envied that Roger didn't have to. Roger says he has to go. Don wants to meet the woman. Roger says she wouldn't like it, and you wouldn't either and admits that it's Marie Calvet and says Megan knows. Don asks why he didn't tell him. Roger says he wanted to make sure it wasn't going away. Don points out that she is crazy. Roger says when he married his secretary Don was hard on him and then went and did the same thing. Don says for the second time today, he surrenders. Roger grabs his face and tells him he's okay and kisses him and leaves Don alone at the bar. Everyone has someone Don realizes.

    Don goes to see Diana but she doesn't live there anymore. The two gay guys who do offer him another drink. but then close the door.

    The next day at office Dawn and Shirley gossip about the fact that lists are being made about who is going. Meredith walks in and asks what's up but apparently they don't tell her because she storms into Don's office and asks what's going on and whether she's going with him in a month.. She points out by then he will have no home or office and wonders if she wants to lose her too. He says she's coming if she wants to and then asks if she can get him some Alka-Seltzer. She shouts no, that everyone's in a fright. He tells her to get Roger.

    Peggy's phone rings and it's Stan calling from office. He asks what she's going to do. She says she's going to McCann and that he can too if he wants and that everything is going to be fine. He says he is so dumb he believes her. She asks him to stay on the phone and they work in companionable silence.

    They call a meeting of the whole office. Don says they're proud to announce that they're moving to McCann and have been assured the transition will be as smooth as possible. There is a growing murmur among the rank and file and Harry tries to tell them it's good news. Don tries to address them that it's the beginning of something not the end but no one listening. Everyone walks off and leaves the five partners standing there.

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