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At the Codfish Ball
5x7 At the Codfish Ball.jpg
Season 5 Episode 7
Air date 29 April 2012
Written by Jonathan Igla
Matthew Weiner
Directed by Michael Uppendahl

Far Away Places
Lady Lazarus


Don, Roger and Pete attempt to bring in new business. Sally comes to the aid of a relative.


One night, Sally calls Glen to complain about Pauline, who is babysitting her and Bobby while Betty and Henry are vacationing in Michigan. Pauline trips on the telephone cord outside the door and falls, injuring herself.

Emile and Marie Calvet arrive from Montreal in At The Codfish Ball.

Don hauls Megan's parents' luggage into the apartment. Her father Emile and mother Marie visiting from Montréal, argue in French. Megan asks them to speak English. Don takes a phone call from Sally about Pauline's accident. Later, during dinner while Don is absent, Emile criticizes Don and Megan takes offense. Don arrives with the kids, saying that Pauline broke her ankle. Sally says that Pauline tripped over a toy, and Don praises his daughter for how she handled the situation. Marie excuses herself from dinner. Megan goes to check on her, and finds her asleep with a burning cigarette still in hand.

Roger and Mona meet and he tells her about how his recent LSD experience has changed his life. He asks for her assistance on arranging meetings with prospective clients he will be meeting at an upcoming American Cancer Society dinner to honor Don for his published anti-smoking letter.

The next day, Megan approaches Don with an idea for the Heinz campaign: a mother serving her child beans in various historical contexts, from caveman times through to the future. They discuss different tag lines, and an excited Don tells Stan and Michael about the idea. Stan and Ginsberg complain about the last-minute Heinz change, while Abe calls Peggy and insists on meeting her for dinner.

Peggy tells Joan she thinks Abe is going to break up with her over dinner, but Joan thinks he will propose to her. Peggy arrives for dinner with Abe, who doesn't propose marriage, but rather that they move in together. She hesitates and then agrees.

Megan and Don, after Megan sells Heinz, in At The Codfish Ball.

At a dinner with Heinz, Megan learns that Heinz is planning to fire the agency. She secretly tells this to Don and prompts him to pitch the new concept at the table. Raymond is thoroughly impressed. Later in a cab, Don lavishes his wife with praise and kisses. Since their apartment is currently crowded, she suggests they have sex at the office.

The next morning, Peggy tells Joan that she and Abe are moving in together, worried that Joan will be disappointed in her. Joan calls it a romantic notion, and goes on to suggest that marriage may be overrated, stating that Greg had decided that his commitment to the U.S. Army is more important than his commitment to her. Ken recounts the Heinz meeting to everyone in the conference room. Don credits his wife, who calls it beginner's luck. Peggy congratulates Megan, who appears melancholy. Peggy tells her: "This is as good as this job gets."

The next day, Sally asks her father if she can go to the awards dinner. Emile and Marie quarrel again.

Peggy goes to Joan for advice. Episode: At the Codfish Ball.

That evening, Roger arrives and Marie helps him with his bow tie. Sally shows off her dress. Don tells his daughter to remove her makeup and boots before they leave.

Sally acting as Roger's date. Episode: At the Codfish Ball.

Peggy and Abe prepare dinner at her apartment. Her mother Katherine arrives and Peggy tells her that she and Abe are moving in together. Katherine opposes the idea and says she would rather Peggy just lie about it. She tells Peggy that Abe is just using her as practice before he decides to marry and have a family with another woman in the future.

At the ACS dinner, Pete introduces Don and Megan to Ed Baxter, Ken’s father-in-law. Ed compliments Don's talent and Megan's contribution to the Heinz campaign. Roger tells Sally about the event's attendees as Marie watches him from across the room. Later at the bar, Marie tells him that he should get everything he wants.

Sally on the phone to Glen in At the Codfish Ball.

Meanwhile, Emile tells Megan that she has changed, pointing to the idea that her love for Don has impeded her own future. Sally later enters a room down the hall and sees Marie giving Roger oral sex.

Ed tells Don that clients like his work but do not like him, because of the letter he wrote against Lucky Strike. Later at Don’s apartment, Sally calls Glen to describe Manhattan as “dirty”.


  • The episode's title is named after a song and dance routine performed by Shirley Temple in the 1936 film "Captain January". In the episode, Roger gives Sally a Shirley Temple, non-alcoholic cocktail, at an award ceremony.
    • In the season 5 commentary track, Matthew Weiner says that the Shirley Temple is supposed to be a symbol of "a child trying to be an adult," referring to Sally throughout the episode. After Sally witnesses Marie fellating Roger, she finishes the Shirley Temple, showing how she has had adulthood forced upon her.
  • In the first scene, there is a guitar player playing "At the Codfish Ball" in the backroom; Matthew Weiner had requested someone to practice the guitar, so they ended up choosing the theme for this episode.
  • The helmets of the two lacrosse players in the first scene were found on eBay. They came in bad shape and the costume design crew repainted them and then scuffed them up again to make them seem more realistic.
  • The bar in the scene with Roger and Mona is actually the set used for Roger's office. The crew constructed it to look like a bar.
  • In order to achieve the homespun Heinz executive look with Raymond, Janie Bryant, one of the show's costume designers, did not give him collar stays.
  • The extra next to Don when he receives the award is one of Matthew Weiner's friends. He "wanted to give her an award" because she was very helpful and encouraging to him in his work.


Main Star

Guest Star


  • Nicholas J. Benson as Boy


Marie: "Emile is confused, his eyes and his politics are having a fight."
-- Marie on Emile.

Peggy: "Can I have a cigarette? Joan?"
Joan: "Do you want to close the door?"
Peggy: "I thought everything was going great but, now I have this terrible feeling about Abe. I think he's gonna end it."
Joan: "Why?"
Peggy: "He wants to have dinner, and he knows weekdays are hard, and we just saw each other last night, and he wouldn't take no for an answer."
Joan: "Well, its been my experience, when a man insists on a meal, he has something important to say. It's usually a proposal."
Peggy: "Really? Well, that's you."
Joan: "Men don't take the time to end things, they ignore you. Until you insist on a declaration of hate."
Peggy: "Someone dumped you?"
Joan: "Peggy, I'm just like everyone else. If he's going to end it, which I doubt, you'll know what to do. But if he's going to propose, you'd better have your answer prepared; especially if it's 'no'."
-- Peggy goes to Joan for advice.

Seasons of Mad Men
Season 1 • "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" • "Ladies Room" • "Marriage of Figaro" • "New Amsterdam" • "5G" • "Babylon" • "Red in the Face" • "The Hobo Code" • "Shoot" • "Long Weekend" • "Indian Summer" • "Nixon vs. Kennedy" • "The Wheel" •
Season 2 • "For Those Who Think Young" • "Flight 1" • "The Benefactor" • "Three Sundays" • "The New Girl" • "Maidenform" • "The Gold Violin" • "A Night to Remember" • "Six Month Leave" • "The Inheritance" • "The Jet Set" • "The Mountain King" • "Meditations in an Emergency" •
Season 3 • "Out of Town" • "Love Among the Ruins" • "My Old Kentucky Home" • "The Arrangements" • "The Fog" • "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency" • "Seven Twenty Three" • "Souvenir" • "Wee Small Hours" • "The Color Blue" • "The Gypsy and the Hobo" • "The Grown-Ups" • "Shut the Door. Have a Seat" •
Season 4 • "Public Relations" • "Christmas Comes But Once a Year" • "The Good News" • "The Rejected" • "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" • "Waldorf Stories" • "The Suitcase" • "The Summer Man" • "The Beautiful Girls" • "Hands and Knees" • "Chinese Wall" • "Blowing Smoke" • "Tomorrowland" •
Season 5 • "A Little Kiss, Part 1" • "A Little Kiss, Part 2" • "Tea Leaves" • "Mystery Date" • "Signal 30" • "Far Away Places" • "At the Codfish Ball" • "Lady Lazarus" • "Dark Shadows" • "Christmas Waltz" • "The Other Woman" • "Commissions and Fees" • "The Phantom" •
Season 6 • "The Doorway, Part 1" • "The Doorway, Part 2" • "The Collaborators" • "To Have and To Hold" • "The Flood" • "For Immediate Release" • "Man With a Plan" • "The Crash" • "The Better Half" • "A Tale of Two Cities" • "Favors" • "The Quality of Mercy" • "In Care Of" •
Season 7 • "Time Zones" • "A Day's Work" • "Field Trip" • "The Monolith" • "The Runaways" • "The Strategy" • "Waterloo" • "Severance" • "New Business" • "The Forecast" • "Time & Life" • "Lost Horizon" • "The Milk and Honey Route" • "Person to Person" •