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Far Away Places
5x6 Far Away Places.jpg
Season 5 Episode 6
Air date 22 April 2012
Written by Semi Chellas
Matthew Weiner
Directed by Scott Hornbacher

Signal 30
At the Codfish Ball


This episode takes place over the course of one day in September of 1966 and features 3 storylines of various characters going about their day simultaneously. Peggy is rattled by a particularly difficult pitch. Don visits a potential client.



Peggy wakes up in bed with her boyfriend, Abe, and starts to get ready for work. She is very stressed and nervous about a pitch for Heinz that she has been working on for the past month. Abe asks if they can go to the movies after she is done from work, but Peggy isn't so sure because of how stressed out she is. He lashes out at her, claiming that her work life is taking over their relationship and she treats him like he is a focus group instead of a boyfriend. Abe gets upset with her and leaves, wondering if their relationship has just ended or not.

Peggy embodies Don for the day, after the Heinz pitch falls flat, in Far Away Places.

At the office, Peggy, Megan, and Stan are putting the finishing touches on their presentation prior to their meeting with Heinz. Don shows up and tells her that he is taking Megan away for the day to go on a trip to a Howard Johnson's hotel/restaurant, a potential client, which means Peggy will have to give the presentation by herself. Megan feels incredibly guilty for leaving Peggy right before a sales pitch, but decides to leave with Don anyway.

Despite her efforts and creativity, Peggy's pitch fails to impress the Heinz boss, who tells her she needs to stop writing down what he "asks for," and figure out what he "really wants" instead. Peggy snaps and says it's the best campaign he'll find anywhere, but the clients are not pleased with her sudden change in attitude. Following the meeting, Pete walks into the conference room and informs Peggy that she is no longer working on the Heinz account.

That afternoon, Peggy decides to take a break from the office and go to the movies. There she finds a man smoking marijuana and she asks for a hit of the joint. The stranger obliges, and he moves so he can sit next to her. The man starts her caress her leg, but she stops him and instead unzips his pants and gives him a handjob.

Peggy and Michael share a candid moment, in Far Away Places.

Peggy finally returns to the office in the late afternoon and notices Michael is arguing with his father. Michael berates her for "eavesdropping" and she decides to take a nap in Don's office, just as Don did in "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes". She is woken several hours later by Dawn, who tells her Don is on the phone. Don, for unknown reasons, is in a state of panic and asks if she has received any phone calls throughout the day. Peggy tells him she "doesn't think so," and profusely apologizes for what happened during the Heinz meeting, although Don has already hung up at this point. Peggy finally goes back to her office, where she works with Michael. When Peggy asks about Michael's life, he reveals that Morris Ginsberg is not his natural father. Michael was born in a Nazi concentration camp and was held in a Swedish orphanage until he was five years old. Peggy returns home, deeply affected by his story, and calls Abe. She tells him about Michael and asks him to come over to be with her.

Roger and Jane

Roger looking in the mirror during his acid trip, in Far Away Places.

On Roger's day, he begs Don to take him on a trip to a Howard Johnson's in Plattsburgh, hoping to get out of a dinner party with "Jane's snooty friends" and is subsequently disappointed when Don decides to take Megan on the trip instead. Roger and Jane go to the party, which is hosted by Jane's psychiatrist. After Roger asks Jane if they can leave, Jane tells Roger that he agreed to take LSD with the group. Jane begs him to stay, as it is important to her. Roger is initially unimpressed with the drug, but comes around after he his consciousness begins to change. He hears music where music is not, imagines he has time traveled to the 1919 World Series, sees an image of himself with both gray and black hair, and sees hallucinations of Don, who tells him "You are okay."

Roger and Jane return home, and begin to speak honestly and openly about their marriage for the first time. During this moment of awareness, Jane admits that she knows the marriage is ending. The next morning, a blissful Roger says goodbye to his wife, Jane, who appears somewhat regretful now. Tellingly, Jane remarks "It's going to be very expensive". Roger admits that he loved her at one time, but is finally at peace with his decision.

Don and Megan

Roger telling Don about Howard Johnson's, in Far Away Places.

Don takes Megan away from Peggy's office, which upsets her because she feels like she is abandoning the team right before the Heinz meeting. Together they go on a 6 hour road trip to Plattsburg, New York, about 300 miles north of New York City, where they check in on a Howard Johnson's restaurant. Despite the long road trip, Megan is still upset that she isn't at work and feels that she is losing respect in the office because she is married to Don. Don makes the issue worse when he silences her complaints. After Megan orders pie, Don tells the waitress to forget the pie and orders Megan orange sherbet instead. Megan, put out, pushes away the ice cream, saying that it "tastes like perfume". The two erupt into a war of words, leading Don to complain about Megan calling her mother in French. Megan retorts that Don should call his mother. Hurt, Don walks outside, gets in his car, and drives away, leaving Megan in the parking lot. Don returns sometime later, and begins to worry when he can't find Megan. He searches for her, and in the process calls Peggy (the other side of the conversation from the first part of the episode), as well as Megan's mother in Montreal, which is only about 60 miles away.

Don and Megan fighting after he finds back at their apartment, in Far Away Places.

After waiting for roughly seven hours at the restaurant and phoning home repeatedly, Don starts to drive back to Manhattan. As he drives, he has a brief flashback of driving with Megan and his kids after their trip to Disneyland. Don arrives home in the morning to find Megan in their apartment with the security chain on the door. Don breaks the door down, violently struggles with Megan, and chases her through the apartment. Megan and Don collapse on the floor as Megan weeps. Don hugs her at the waist, saying "I thought I lost you."

The same morning, everyone returns to the office. Peggy seems much more relaxed and calm, Don lets Megan do her own work, and Roger appears to be as happy as he has been in a long time. But before Don can head into his office, he sees Bert in the conference room, who tells Don that he needs to get off his "love leave" and step his game up.


  • The casting call for the guy in the theater with Peggy was "Handjob Recipient".
  • In the commentary track for season 5, Matthew Weiner says that the "Frank Lloyd Rice" line was something he used to say at many of his wife's parties since she is an architect.
  • The Don/Megan part of this episode was derived from a friend of Semi Chellas, the writer of this episode. He and his wife had a fight and she disappeared afterwards. While she was gone, he realized how important she was to him.
  • Jon Hamm has said that going to Howard Johnson's was a big part of his childhood.
  • The scene outside of the Howard Johnson's was heavily CGI'd. The Gulf sign was actually a palm tree.
  • The line "every time we fight, it just diminishes us a little bit" was said by Matthew Weiner's wife in a fight once.


Main Star

Guest Star


  • Greg Allan Martin as John Frank
  • Kristin Miller as Olive Frank
  • Keith Allan as Steven Chase
  • Thomas Lumberg, Jr. as State Trooper
  • Lou Bonacki as Cabbie


Don: "Look at me. Everything is ok. You are ok. Now go to your wife."
Roger: "Why?"
Don: "Because she wants to be alone, in the truth with you. Just go already."-- During Roger's acid trip, he hallucinates - a man taking the form of Don Draper

Roger: "Why are you crying?"
Jane: "Its so, its perfect here."
Roger: "Lets go home."-- While hallucinating Roger sees himself, dancing with Jane.

Peggy: "Are you adopted?"
Michael: "Actually I'm from Mars. It's fine if you don't believe me, but that's where I'm from. I'm a full-blooded Martian. Don't worry there's no plot to take over Earth, just displaced."
Peggy: "Ok."
Michael: "I can tell you don't believe me. We're a big secret, they even tried to hide it from me. That man, my father; told me a story that I was born in a concentration camp. But you know that's impossible, and I haven't met my mother because supposedly she died there. That's convenient. Next thing I know Morris finds me in a Swedish orphanage, I was five. I remember it."
Peggy: "That's incredible."
Michael: "Yeah. And then I got this one communication. A simple order. Stay where you are."
Peggy: "Are there others like you?"
Michael: "I don't know. I haven't been able to find any."-- Michael and Peggy share a delicate moment, when they both have to work late.

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" •