We open on Grandpa Gene, Sally and Bobby heading out to his Lincoln. Guess who’s driving? Grandpa’s working the gas, but it’s Sally at the wheel while Bobby sits in the back, looking happy.
Peggy is visiting her sister and mom. Peggy confides she wants to move to Manhattan to her sister, who is fairly supportive. “You really want to be one of those girls?” she asks. “I am one of those girls,” Peggy confidently replies.
The comic relief of the episode arrives in the form of Ho Ho, a former classmate of Pete Campbell’s, who wants to bring Jai Alai to America. Ho Ho is the son of a shipping scion, and he wants to spend his money on Paxti and Jai Alai, and Pete is the man who wants to help him. They meet with Pryce, Sal, Harry, and Paul, and come up with a plan for Paxti to star in an adventure program, run a musical spectacular on all three networks at once, ads in ladies magazines – not to mention radio. Pryce says it’s not really worth their time unless Ho Ho is willing to make an initial commitment of a million dollars. Ho Ho readily agrees, saying it’s only a third of his ad budget. The men need drool buckets. Don pops in to say hello, and gets a dinner invite from Ho Ho. Pete sees Ho Ho out, and returns to a dressing down from Don, who thinks the whole thing was undignified, and that Ho Ho’s dad, Horace Sr, would be pissed about the whole thing, especially since he has close ties to Bert Cooper. Pete argues it’s their job to help make Ho Ho’s dream a reality, and Pryce backs him up.
Grandpa Gene has a talk with Betty about his funeral arrangements. Betty doesn’t want to talk about it, but doesn’t really get a choice. Gene calls her Scarlett O’Hara, and says it’s his fault, he shielded her too much from the world. He calls Don a joker, and implies that Betty could have been more than she is. At this, she’s had enough, though the fit she throws plays on being “his little girl” and she tells him to keep it to himself, it’s morbid. I guess our parents always make us feel like children, even when they’re fictional characters on a TV show.
Harry, Ken, and Sal ask Don’s secretary what kind of mood he’s in. Before they have to go in, Don comes out. Turns out the director of the Patio commercial dropped out. Don doesn’t much care, and tells them to have Sal do it. Sal is thrilled. Don is annoyed they keep talking when he wants to leave, and the matter is settled.
Peggy hangs a sad little Working Girl Seeks Roommate card on the bulletin board at work.
Don sits reading the newspaper and enjoying an after work drink (as opposed to the during work drinks) while Grandpa Gene and Bobby open a giant box in the kitchen. Did I mention they’re using 9″ Chef’s knife? Don looks justifiably worried, but no one loses any fingers. It’s mostly war memorabilia, including a Prussian’s helmet. “This is where I got him,” Grandpa Gene says, sticking his finger through a bullet hole. Bobby is wide eyed, and Don is starting to look agitated. “War is bad,” Bobby says. “Maybe. But it makes a man out of you,” Grandpa Gene replies. “Ask your pop!” Grandpa Gene wants Bobby to have the helmet, but Don says, “It’s dead man’s hat.” “Keep it on, it’s yours,” Grandpa retorts. Don gets up, walks over to Bobby,takes the hat from his head, and leaves. End of story. Grandpa Gene moves on, finding a fancy fan. “There was this girl,” he says, as we go to commercial.
Kitty, Sal’s beard wife, is trying to entice him in bed with her new green teddy. He protests that he’s working, but Kitty knows something is wrong. “I’m not myself,” Sal agrees. “The past few months, something’s wrong,” Kitty protests. “I don’t need much, but I need tending,” she pleads. Sal opens up a little, saying that he’s been watching his job disappear. No one wants illustrations anymore – it’s all about photography. Kitty assures him he’ll do great, and then they talk about the Patio commercial. He ends up acting out the whole opening sequence, and he out Ann Margarets and Ann Margaret. Kitty watches rapt, but with the dawning realization that this is the gayest thing since Paul sang with his buddy Jeff in the last episode. I’m being flip, but it’s actually a very sad scene.
Don walks in to Bert Cooper’s office, where Horace Cook Sr. is waiting. They’re there to discuss Ho Ho’s Jai Alai dream. Horace Sr is well aware. Though at first he thought Ho Ho was gambling, Ho Ho is convinced of it’s financial potential. “And there’s no reason to doubt that,” Pryce opines. “Are you drunk?” is Horace’s quick reply. But that doesn’t mean he’s pulling the plug on Ho Ho’s dream. “If you refuse him, he’ll only go somewhere else. My son lives in a cloud of success, but it’s my success. Perhaps when that evaporates and his face is pressed against the reality of the sidewalk, he’ll be of value to someone.”
Paul, Lois, Harry and Ken are plotting. We cut to Peggy in her office, and know something is afoot. Lois is the voice, but it’s a team prank call in response to Peggy’s roommate wanted ad. Peggy is understandably unimpressed as they all dissolve into giggles on the other end of the line.
Grandpa Gene and Sally share some chocolate ice cream before dinner. Grandpa tells Sally how Betty used to be fat, and how Grandma used to drop Betty off in town and make her walk home to slim down. He says she reminds her more of his first wife than Betty does, saying, “You can really do something. Don’t let your mother tell you otherwise.” Sally is pleased and has a bite of ice cream. “It tastes like chocolate but smells like oranges,” Grandpa Gene says.
Fancy dinner with Ho Ho, Pete, and Don. Ho Ho continues to have grand plans for Jai Alai. Don tries to be the voice of reason, Pete looks like he wants to throw up on Don, and Ho Ho won’t be deterred. “If Jai Alai fails, it’s your fault,” Ho Ho warns. Spoiler – it’s Sterling Cooper’s fault!
It’s the middle of the night in the Draper house, and Don’s awake. He heads down to his study and pulls a box out of a drawer stuffed with money. In the box is a picture of his dad and step mom. He stares at it intently, wondering.
Pete Campbell has Ho Ho’s signature on the dotted line. He sidles up to Don, pleased, and asks him to deliver the papers to Pryce. Don heads off to do so, interrupting a pick up game of Jai Alai in the temporary office Joan had Mr. Hooker set up in episode one. Pryce comes in, pleased as punch, and Don manages to wing a pelota into the ant farm. There’s probably a deeper meaning there, but the sight of Jon Hamm wearing a cesta thows me into such a fit of giggles, it’s beyond my grasp.
Grandpa Gene drives Sally and Bobby to school. Grandpa tells Sally he’ll be there to pick her up at 3 on the button. He’s off to buy fruit after he drops them off. Sally wants peaches, and when Bobby protests they give him a rash, Grandpa Gene barks, “Your sister likes ’em!” Sorry Bobby, you’re no one’s favorite.
Peggy meets Karen Erikkson, her future roommate. Karen is bubbly and fun, and her only dislike is sailors. Peggy pretends to be bubbly as well, and pulls it off about as well as her Ann Margaret “Bye Bye Birdie” impression. Karen just has to know – is Peggy Swedish, like she is? “Norweigan,” is her somber reply. Karen looks thoughful for all of about five seconds, then chirps, “Well, we won’t tell my parents!” Karen is bubbling with the excitement of looking for a place, but Peggy’s demanding work schedule is already coming between them. They manage to work out a time to apartment hunt, and Karen bounces off.
Sally and Bobby sit waiting dejectedly outside of school. Betty pulls up, and Sally wonders where Grandpa Gene is. “It must have slipped his mind,” is Betty’s terse reply, but she’s sure he’ll be there when they get home.
Poor Joan is stuck spraying the ants in the broken ant farm. Bye Bye ants.
And Bye Bye Sugar! It’s the Patio commercial, and they’ve managed to find a ringer for Ann Margaret, right down to her shrill yet slightly nasal voice. As the executives from Patio watch along with a who’s who of Sterling Cooper, there are no smiling faces. Peggy looks like she’s about to burst with “I TOLD YOU SO!”, but manages to keep it in. The Patio execs graciously take the blame, and leave. Harry wonders why it’s off, and Roger opines it’s because it’s not Ann Margaret. I feel the same way about Diet Coke vs. regular Coke.
Sally sits on the front steps of the Draper home, playing listlessly with a doll. A police car pulls up, and she shouts for Betty. He asks if she’s related to Eugene Hofstadt, and after she replies yes, he informs her he passed away at the A&P. There’s a moment where you wonder if she’s going to pass out, if the baby is going to be effected, but no, Betty pulls herself together to get the information Grandpa Gene had just given her on the funeral arrangements as the police officer follows her inside the house. Sally is left alone outside with her grief, which is heartbreaking.
Sal brings himself to Don’s office for what he presumes to be a dressing down, but Don won’t hear of it. “Must be horrible to have a client insist on something and then change their mind once they’ve seen it. I hope it never happens to me,” he quips. Don’s secretary interrupts, saying Betty is on the line and it’s urgent. Sal offers to leave, but Don tells him to stay. After a quick conversation with Betty, Don tells Sal he has to go. Sal offers his help, but Don tells him there’s nothing he can do, and not to ruin the one good thing that came out of the whole Patio debacle – Sterling Cooper has a new commercial director. “How do I know you’re not just saying that to make me feel better?” Sal asks. “You’ll know when I hire you again,” Don smiles, as he heads out the door.
Peggy is at her sister’s. She bought her mom a new TV to lessen the blow that she’s (GASP!) moving to Manhattan. Her mom says a lot of horrible things to her, but Peggy sticks to her guns. That’s our girl. Her sister tries to console her, and offers her some encouragement.
Sally hides out under the dining room table, still in her ballet clothes. Betty, Don, William and Judy are reminiscing around the kitchen table, and remembering how he was Eugene Hofstadt #2 because there were two Eugene Hofstadts at the bank. Betty looks awful. Judy says at least he’s with Ruth now, and Betty remembers how he used to wonder what would happen when he got to heaven and had two wives. “Knowing Gloria, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem,” William jokes. The gallows humor gets a laugh as we cut to Sally, still under the dining room table. Betty takes a bite of a peach, and Don chides her not to. “It was in his car all day,” he protests gently. “I don’t care,” is Betty’s hollow reply. “Why are you laughing?” Sally shouts, coming into the kitchen. She also looks a mess, with red eyes and nose. “He’s gone forever, and no one even knows that! He’s dead! No one even cares that he’s really, really gone,” she hurls accusations at the adults, as Betty grows more and more agitated. “Sally, go watch TV!’ Betty says sharply. Looking like a wounded fawn, Sally glances at Don, who gives her a steady look and nods. She walks back to the family room, spent, and lays down to watch the news that a Buddhist monk set himself on fire in protest of the South Vietnamese government.
Later, a fully clothed Don wakes up next to a fully clothed Betty. He lays the bedspread over her, then heads over to check on Sally. She’s sound asleep with The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire wrapped in her arms. He heads on down the hall to Grandpa Gene’s room, and we see that there have always been two beds in the room. A crib is set up for the next little Draper. Don folds up Grandpa Gene’s foldaway bed, then gazes out the window. It just one more reminder that Don Draper is always moving forward – but is it fast enough to stay ahead of the ghosts from his past? We head to the credits as “Over There” plays.