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Episode 8: The Hobo Code

Mad Men episode 108 main

Don is tormented as pieces of his secretive past begin to haunt him. Peggy's new success at work, and resulting boost in confidence, threaten her office relationship. Salvatore (Bryan Batt) gets a little too close with a client. Read more...

The elevator doors slide open at Sterling Cooper, and Pete enters. Just as the doors are about to close, Peggy rushes in. It's early and they are the first two employees to arrive. Both have big days ahead of them: Pete is moving into his newlywed apartment, and Peggy's copy is being presented to the Belle Jolie lipstick clients.

When they arrive on their floor, which is devoid of any ad men, Peggy enters Pete's office to see if he wants any coffee. He tells her to come in and close the door.

"Do you know how hard it is to see you walking around here everyday?" Pete says, grabbing her waist and leaning in for a deep, passionate kiss. Within moments, they're on his couch, Peggy unbuckling his pants and Pete fumbling with her skirt. A janitor walks into the bullpen, sees their bodies moving through the glass and pauses to watch before moving on. Moments later, Pete tucks in his shirt, and Peggy notices her torn collar -- from when Pete ripped it open. In an attempt to clear the air, Pete says that he hasn't looked over Peggy's copy as he promised. "I have all these things going on in my head, and I can't say them," he adds.

The phone rings, and Peggy leaves. The office comes to life before either can really figure out what just happened.

In the switchboard room, Joyce, Marge and the new girl, Lois Sadler, field calls. Salvatore's mother calls for her son. Lois connects them and listens in as they talk in a mix of English and Italian. Lois asks the others about Sal as they continue to transfer phone calls.

Elsewhere, Don sits outside of Mr. Cooper's office -- his shoes off -- nervous and unclear about why he has been summoned. Once he's invited in Cooper gives Don a $2,500 check for his talents. "I believe we are alike," Cooper says. "You are a productive and reasonable man, and in the end, completely self interested." He points to a book by Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, and tells Don to read a copy.

Later, Lois ventures over to the art department. She meets Marty and Duane before Sal saunters in. She coyly asks for directions back to the switchboard and then gathers the courage to say something he had said on the phone earlier: "Ciao ciao."

In the conference room, Fred Rumsen presents the ad campaign for Belle Jolie: "Mark Your Man." A poster on an easel shows a woman standing next to a man, a lipstick kiss on his cheek. Elliot, one of the Belle Jolie representatives, seems impressed but Hugh isn't satisfied. The brand has more colors than any other and this ad makes no mention of that. Frustrated, Don gets up to leave. "You've already tried your plan, and you're No. 4," he says and continues with the pitch. "Every woman wants choices, but in the end, none wants to be one in a box of a hundred. You are giving every girl who wears your lipstick the gift of total ownership." With that, Hugh asks Don to sit back down.

The men celebrate in Don's office and invite Peggy in for a well-deserved drink of her own. Elated with her writing success, Peggy gathers the switchboard girls as well as Pete and the other men for drinks at P.J. Clarke's. Lois even gives Salvatore a call to invite him along.

Instead, Sal meets Elliot at the bar in the Roosevelt Hotel. They share a drink as Elliot rhapsodizes about the wonder of New York City. Before long, their conversation changes tone. Elliot reaches across the table and drinks from Sal's glass. The sexual tension is obvious, but when Elliot asks if Sal would like to go see the view from his bedroom Sal declines, clearly embarrassed. "I know what I want to do," he says.

At P.J. Clarke's, most of Sterling Cooper is doing the twist on the dance floor. Peggy notices Pete sitting alone and twists her way to him. She asks him to dance, but he declines. "I don't like you like this," he says. Her eyes fill with tears as she returns to the crowd.

Meanwhile, Don knocks on the door of a crowded apartment. Midge is there, along with her beatnik friend Roy. Don pulls Midge aside. "Pack a bag," he says, pulling out his bonus check. "We're going to Paris." She has other plans -- to get high and listen to Miles Davis. After taking a hit from the joint, Don goes into the bathroom and looks at himself in the mirror.

We flashback to Don as young "Dick." He's outside of a farmhouse digging as his father Archie is working on a truck and Abigail Whitman is hanging laundry. A hobo approaches and asks if he could work to earn a meal. Abigail obliges and at dinner discovers that the hobo has especially good manners and actually hails from New York. That night, Dick brings him some blankets, and they begin to talk. Dick reveals that he's "a whore-child," and the hobo admits he's actually a traveler who gave up the conventional life to be free. He even shares the chalk codes -- a symbol for good food or a nasty dog -- that hobos write on the houses they pass. When the hobo leaves the next morning, Dick notices that on the gate is a picture of a knife: a dishonest man lives here.

Back at the apartment, Don takes a Polaroid picture of Roy and Midge, and once it develops, he notices something: They're in love. Then, some of the beatniks in the apartment harp on Don's lifestyle. "You make the lie," one of them says. "You invent want. You're for them and not us." With that, Don asks Midge to go to Paris again. When she declines, he endorses the check and sticks it in her bra. He goes home.

Mad Men Season 1

View photos from Episode 108, "The Hobo Code"

Guest stars:
Midge Daniels - Rosemarie Dewitt
Bertram Cooper - Robert Morse
Trudy Campbell- Alison Brie
Fred Rumsen - Joel Murray
Lois Sadler - Crista Flanagan
Hugh Brody - Bruce French
Elliot Lawrence - Paul Keeley
Judd - Brian Klugman
Roy Hazelitt - Ian Bohen
Archie Whitman - Joseph Culp
Hobo - Paul Schulze
Marge - Stephanie Courtney
Sally Draper - Kiernan Shipka
Robert Draper - Maxwell Huckabee
Hildy - Julie McNiven
Ross Beresford - Rick Scarry

Writer: Chris Provenzano

Director: Phil Abraham

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Next Episode: Shoot

Mad Men episode 109 main

A rival ad agency courts Don, involving Betty in their attempt to lure him from Sterling Cooper. As the presidential campaign heats up, the agency looks for new ways to counter the latest Kennedy ads. Tempers flare over Peggy.

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