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Episode 6: Babylon

Mad Men episode 106 main

A taboo office romance is revealed. At a brainstorming session, Peggy proves to be more than a secretary, opening up new opportunities for her at Sterling Cooper. Meanwhile, Rachel faces her conflicted feelings for Don after he seeks out her advice on a new campaign. Read more...

As toast pops out of a stainless steel toaster, a can of frozen orange juice plops into a glass pitcher. Don, wrapped in his cotton robe, puts together a breakfast tray -- a china cup with coffee, a crystal vase with daffodils, the works. As he grabs the paper and heads up stairs, his foot lands squarely on a Wheel-O toy and he -- along with the tray -- crash to the ground.

Back on the floor, Betty and the children help Don up. Later that night, after putting the kids to bed, the two chat about Joan Crawford and how Betty thinks that her mother -- up until her death -- aged better. Don wishes she wouldn't be so melancholy, but she claims it's part of the mourning process suggested by Dr. Wayne. He teases her and as they are about to make love, she tears up. "I want you so badly, it scares me," she says.

At Sterling Cooper, Don meets with Nick Rodis and two men from the Israeli Tourism Bureau, Lily Meyer and Yoram Ben Shulhai. Nick, from Olympic Cruise Lines wants Israel to become a tourist destination. "If Beirut is the Paris of the middle east, we'd like Haifa to be the Rome," he says.

Roger's wife and 16-year-old daughter Margaret show up at his office. Margaret is getting a haircut, and Joan offers to set up the appointment. Later, in a hotel room, Roger lays on the bed in boxer shorts and stocking feet complaining about how his daughter has no motivation and has only dated two boys, one of which committed suicide. Joan comes out of the bathroom in only a slip. As she puts on her dress, she says he's too hard on her. He changes the subject: "This has been the best year of my life," he says. "Do you know how unhappy I was before I met you? I was thinking of leaving my wife." He says he wants her all to himself, but she reminds him that her social calendar is fine just the way it is.

Back at the office, Don, Paul and Pete sift through stacks of research on Israel -- including a copy of Exodus and the Old Testament -- as Salvadore doodles. They struggle to find anything to make the nation enticing. After the meeting, Don calls Rachel Menken and asks to meet for a drink, for business. She agrees to lunch the following day.

At home, Don is reading Exodus. Betty notices and confides that the first boy she ever kissed was Jewish.

The next morning, Ken and Salvatore poke into the office of Fred Rumsen, a life-long midlevel copywriter. He'd been clipping ads of Belle Jolie, a lipstick company but is ready to give up on the account. Moments later in the research room, Dr. Greta Guttman herds in a line of eager secretaries to test out the lipsticks. On the other side of the two-way mirror, the men enjoy the show, perhaps a little too much. As the girls apply different shades and answer questions, the execs gawk. They even salute to Joan's figure, a transgression noted silently by Roger.

Meanwhile, Don's at a luncheonette with Rachel. He needs her advice on his Israeli Tourism client. "I'm the only Jew you know in New York City?" she says. When he doesn't relent, she explains that Jews have been living in exile for a long time, first in Babylon and then all over the world. "We've managed to make a go of it," she continues. "It might have something to do with the fact that we thrive at doing business with people who hate us."

When Rachel returns to her office, she calls her older sister Barbara to tell her she met someone -- someone their father would hate.

Don, still wrapped up in the Israel campaign, gets a visit from Salvatore and Fred, who explains that while at the lipstick brainstorming session, Peggy made quite the revelation. She had called a trashcan full of blotted tissues a "basket of kisses." They decide to have her come up with some copy for the campaign.

Elsewhere, at a hotel, Roger gives Joan a fluttering tiger finch in an ornate birdcage in a flirty attempt to keep her occupied without other men.

Across town at Midge's apartment, she and Don -- engaged in quite a tryst -- are interrupted by a knock on the door. It's Roy Hazelitt who invites them to see a friend, Ian, perform at the Gaslight. Midge agrees to go and persuades Don to do the same. When they arrive at the Greenwich Village hotspot, a man is onstage reading the newspaper as performance art. Roy grabs a table and takes the spot next to Midge. Don looks on as they discuss his anti-establishment plans to create a cooperative theater. When Roy finds out Don's in advertising, he asks how he sleeps at night. "On a bed made of money," Don replies.

When Ian takes the stage, cradling a mandolin, he sings "By the Waters of Babylon."

Mad Men Season 1

View photos from Episode 106, "Babylon"

Guest stars:
Fred Rumsen - Joel Murray
Mona Sterling - Talia Balsam
Margaret Sterling - Elizabeth Rice
Barbara Katz - Rebecca Creskoff
Lily Meyer - Irene Roseen
Roy Hazelitt - Ian Bohen
Gaudy Hat - Flora Plumb
Delia - Susan Grace
Trudy Campbell - Alison Brie
Sally Draper - Kiernan Shipka
Robert Draper - Maxwell Huckabee
Hollis - La Monde Byrd
Charlie - Doug Hale
Round Mom - Allison Fleming
Waiter (Chop House) - Gary Ballard

Writer: Andre & Maria Jacquemetton

Director: Andrew Bernstein

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Next Episode: Red in the Face

Mad Men episode 107 main

Roger joins Don for an evening of dinner and drinking, during which Roger's behavior leads to a rift in their friendship. Though Don accepts his apology, there are further consequences for Roger. Pete faces trouble at home as he continues to struggle with the demands of his new marriage.

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