Joan Harris and Roger Sterling
Roger and joan in babylon.jpg
First appearance Babylon
Final appearance Recurring
Gender Female
Residence Manhattan, NY
Parent(s) Gail Holloway (Joan's Mother)
Roger Sterling, Sr. (Roger's Father)
Child(ren) Kevin Harris (Roger's biological son)

This is a break-down of Joan Holloway and Roger Sterling’s relationship.

Season 1


Joan and Roger in Babylon.

During a brief run-in with Mona and Margaret, Roger’s wife and daughter, Joan and Roger share momentary eye contact before Joan cunningly and cleverly books Margaret a haircut for the afternoon.

Roger and Joan make after-work plans, in Babylon.

We cut to a hotel room, where Roger is laid on a rumpled bed, only in boxer shorts and suspender socks, talking about his 16-year-old daughter's past two relationships. From the bathroom, Joan comes out in only a slip and reminds Roger that she’s only a young girl and he is being too hard on her. After Roger tries to convince her to come back to bed, Joan reminds him she has to return to work. After bantering back and forth, Roger wishes Joan could get her own apartment where she could “cook for him” where Joan articulates the fact that it would be “half as much fun” if she lived alone.

In order to lighten the mood; Roger jokes she could get a bird, claiming they are “neat for animals”. After asking him whether he “likes things the way they are,” Roger expresses that he is happy and that he’s even contemplated leaving his wife, although he would like to “lock her up for a week,” insinuating he would like her all to himself. Joan emphasizes that although she has Roger, she’s on the look for a more “permanent situation” a fact Roger seems to not want to face.

During a test group for Belle-Jolie lipsticks, knowing full well Roger will be the other side of a two-way-mirror, in an attempt of slight titillation, Joan bends over the table to reveal her physique, while putting out a cigarette. A group filled with lascivious men stand to salute her, while Roger stares on in a libidinous daze.

Joan and Roger wait for taxis, Babylon.

After a day of complete bedlam, Joan once again meets Roger in a hotel room. After embracing her Joan hears bird sounds coming from a covered up object from across the room, she utters to Roger, “You didn’t.” Roger uncovers the object to reveal a bird cage, with a bird inside it. Joan laughs at the gesture, questioning, “What am I supposed to do with it?”

Roger soon tells her that he hates the thought of “sharing” her as he unzips her dress, to which she replies, “You don’t have to share me now.” While on the bed as Roger begins to talk about Mona, and in a moment of heated passion, Joan stops him to cover the birdcage back up, before they resume making love.

The episode ends with Joan and Roger getting dressed and making their way out of the hotel, while a collaborative montage of “Babylon” plays. They stand on the same side of the street, feet apart waiting for a taxi. ("Babylon")

In this episode we are introduced more and more into both Roger and Joan's characters. Roger we now know has an apparent womanizing side, and is very possibly unhappy with his marriage to Mona. It also questions Rogers capacity to be in a monogamous relationship, and begs the question whether he is capable of being in a one-woman-relationship.

On the other hand we see Joan as a fairly modern woman, in the means of she knows how to use her sexuality in order to get what she wants. Also it reinforces the idea that Joan is a firm believer in discretion, especially when it comes to her personal life and the personal lives of others; which she demonstrated in the previous episode "5G". The length of Joan and Roger's courtship is unknown until Season 4, where we learn that in fact their relationship dates back to the mid 1950s, signaling that Joan and Roger have invested a lot of time with each other.

Red in the Face

Joan declines Roger's invite. Episode: Red in the Face.

Roger flirts with the idea that Joan should come over to Roger’s house because Mona and Margaret are away for the weekend. Approaching her with the idea, while she freshens up, Roger sees a suitcase on Joan’s desk. Joan rejects the idea; citing that she could have taken her suitcase “anywhere this weekend, and I don’t mean your apartment.”

When Carol breaks up the moment between them, Roger takes Joan to one side and promises they will go away together one weekend, just not the one at hand. Joan claims she doesn't care if he takes her to “Cuba, I need a little notice.” Roger replies by teasing her that she has “a lot of rules.” ("Red in the Face")

We are once again clued into the nature of the relationship at hand. It is clear that Roger wants Joan at his beck and call, however we do know that Joan is not going to be Roger's toy forever, she is looking for a more "permanent situation" and whether Roger fits the bill is questionable.

The Long Weekend

Roger gives Joan an invitation, in Long Weekend.

It’s Labor Day weekend in 1960. Roger proposes that he and Joan can do “anything this weekend,” because Mona and Margaret have left to go to Block Island. Joan suggests a movie, ‘The Apartment,’ with Shirley MacLaine. After joking around that he has already seen it with Mona and Margaret, he said would want to work in an office with a white-female elevator operator. In response, Joan is surprised, and questions, “You would?” and said the way the men treated that “poor girl” handing her around the office “like a tray of canapés”. Roger reassures her that their relationship isn’t like that, before resting his hands on her hips while making a light joke about a dream he had. Joan then instructs Roger she’ll maybe call him later, Roger reminds her they can go “anywhere.”

Roger ends up spending the night with Don and two twin sisters named Mirabelle and Eleanor Ames. Joan spends the night on the town with Carol, and eventually the two of them bring home one man each to their apartment; Joan’s man is a professor.

Joan types emergency telegrams, while silently holding back tears. Episode: Long Weekend.

Joan arrives at the office with the professor in tow to find Cooper alone at a typewriter, and Cooper immediately dismisses the professor. Cooper shares the news of Roger's heart attack to Joan, and instructs her that a telegram must be set to each one of their clients, reassuring them that business will not be affected. While Cooper reads off each client detail, one-by-one, Joan holds back tears while at her typewriter.

When leaving the office, Cooper advises Joan she could “do a lot better.” Thinking that Cooper is mentioning the professor, Joan explains “he’s just a friend,” without realizing Coooper meant Roger. Cooper explains “that’s not what I’m talking about my dear. Don’t waste your youth on age.” The scene ends with Joan operating the elevator, mentioning the earlier discussion between Roger and her. ("Long Weekend")

Yet again in this episode Roger invites Joan yet again to spend the weekend with him, only in this episode the nature of Joan and Roger’s relationship becomes clear when the 1960s movie "The Apartment" is mentioned. During a quick discussion between the two of them, Joan mentions that Shirley MacLaine's character; who plays a white, female, elevator-operator is treated like a "tray of canapés". Roger reassures Joan that their relationship is not like that however, at the end of the episode as Joan and Cooper exit the office, Joan operates the elevator for Cooper as he reminds her not to "waste her youth on age", meaning Roger, while simultaneously mentioning the movie.

Rogers philandering persona precedes him when he has a heart attack while having sex with Mirabelle; meanwhile, Joan reinforces her modern nature when she invites two men back to her apartment with her roommate Carol. Remember that the dress Joan wears when she and Carol hit the town is black. This later holds a lot of significance for Joan's character as she develops. Also, this dress exposes a lot of Joan's décolletage; which is uncharacteristic for Joan, yet not surprising due to the nature of her and Carol's whereabouts that evening.

Indian Summer

Joan is called to aid Roger, Indian Summer.

Roger is called into the office briefly to save face with the Board of American Tobacco on the heels of his heart attack. When arriving at the office, the office applauds his return, although realizing his “hair and skin” are “the same colour”.

Joan is called in to help is color, when stood at the door Roger greets Joan saying, “Hey honey.” Cooper and Don look in shock, before they eventually leave the room. Sitting parallel to him Joan, asks if she can kiss him, after which she plants a gentle kiss on his lips, leaving him breathless, before resuming make-up application to his face.

Joan applies lip color otot his cheeks, while Roger furiously talks about the presidential race. Joan reminds him to not get worked up because it’s “not good” for him. When Roger tells Joan that he misses her, Joan replies she misses too. Showing him the final result, Roger confesses to Joan that he has a lot of time to reflect on the things he is “sorry about,” however being with Joan “is not one of them.” Trying to trivialize the moment he claims she is the “finest piece of ass, I ever had. I’m so glad I got to roam those hillsides.” And in a moment of genuine sorrow Joan starts to cry. Comforting her, Roger explains that’s “not what he wanted.” Joan tells him he looks better before composing herself to leave the room. She begins to walk away as Roger grasps her hand and the two share one last stolen glance. ("Indian Summer")

This episode somewhat marks the fact that for now, they are leaving each other. In season 1 this is the last time that Roger and Joan are seen as a couple.

After his heart attack, Roger inevitably decides that he is going to try to make it work with Mona, however he does say to Joan that he "doesn't care who knows" about their affair, nor does he regret the time he spent with her. This signifies that in fact Roger does genuinely care for Joan, and perhaps could have loved her. The significance of this scene for Joan isn't anything she said, but it is in her facial expression. She so desperately wants to say so much, and wants to care for him but the bitter truth is that he belongs to an other woman. Even though she has invested at least five years in the relationship, she couldn't even enjoy the up most simple liberties such as, visit him in the hospital plainly because he simply isn't hers.

Remember that Joan in the scene where she is aiding Roger is the same dress she wore in the episode "Babylon". This prompts the question that perhaps the color purple or perhaps the dress itself hold some significance. It seems as though if Joan is in a scene where she is laying her emotion out for Roger to see, she is wearing this dress.

Season 2

During the interim of Seasons 1 and 2, things seem to have cooled between Joan and Roger romantically. Joan has gained herself a serious boyfriend, who is a doctor, while Roger still is married to his wife Mona.

For Those Who Think Young

Roger grill's Joan on her new fiance, For Those Who Think Young.

Its Valentines Day, 1962 and Joan is called into Roger’s office. Here Roger quizzes Joan on Valentines Day, where Joan reminds Roger he loves Mona. Roger's attention turn on to the “Jewish doctor,” and Joan has to remind Roger again her boyfriend is “not Jewish”, citing that he “sounds like a little girl.” Clarifying he only wishes her “every happiness, knowing that the relationship is vicarious.” Joan claims she already knows what day Greg will propose to her, before Roger concludes that there should be a penalty for “passing that date”, and now face to face, inches away from each other Joan asserts that Greg knows. They are eventually interrupted by Herman Phillips Phillips. ("For Those Who Think Young")

Even though Roger and Joan are no longer involved, this is one of many instances that instigates the idea that both Joan and Roger have lingering feelings for each other. From this episode onward Joan and Roger demonstrate more than their fair share of flirtatious banter, due to a long romantic history its to be expected.

The New Girl

Roger reacts to Joan's engagement. The New Girl.

Joan announces her engagement to the entire office. During a brief scene between both Joan and Roger, Roger congratulates Joan in his office. Bantering back and forth Joan reminds Roger that she has “always been faithful” to whomever she was with and she always assumed he was unhappy with Mona and not the entire idea of marriage. When Roger ensures her that she was not "just another woman” to him, Joan responds by telling him “It doesn't matter now does it? I fell in love.” Roger looks genuinely hurt that she has moved on, and tells her it makes him sad, and it’s just “another reason not to come into work.” After saying she’s “not going anywhere” Roger affirms that she is, “you’ll see”. ("The New Girl")

In this episode, we can truly assert that Roger is saddened by the fact Joan has moved on and she has possibly found her "permanent situation." Roger also predicts that she'll eventually give up her job at Sterling Cooper and because a housewife. Also it is somewhat coincidental that Roger kind of sends Joan off into married life, in the same episode Joan is introducing his replacement "model" into the office.

The Gold Violin

Roger finds a new model, in The Gold Violin.

Curious about a new painting Cooper has in his office, Jane Siegal leads Sal and Ken into Cooper’s office after hours to sneak-a-peak. Finding out about the break-in from Paul Kinsey, Joan confronts Jane, who tries to lie her way out of it but Joan sees right through her. Provoking Joan by retaliating saying she “doesn’t need a mother,” Joan orders she pack up her things.

On her way out, Jane goes into Roger’s office telling him about Joan dismissing her. Roger tells Jane that Joan is going through a “rough time” with her engagement, while flirtatiously making inquiries about where she lives, calling her “little Jane on Jane Street.” Roger promises that he will see to her getting her job back by Monday morning.

Joan confronts Jane, in The Gold Violin.

Monday morning comes around and Joan sees Jane back at her post, questioning, “What on God's green Earth are you doing here?” Even questioning whether Roger had talked to Joan, Joan makes it clear he did not, asking why Jane was even talking to Roger in the first place. Jane goes on to explain that Roger said that Joan is consistently “impetuous but it’s not serious.” Then she asks whether she and Joan have a "problem"; Joan says that there is "no problem. It’s all very clear,” before she walks away. ("The Gold Violin")

This is a significant part in Joan and Roger's relationship because Joan realizes that Roger has set his eyes on a new model. Wearing once again the infamous purple "Roger dress," which Joan has worn twice before, in this instance it marks Joan's disappointment and perhaps humiliation of Roger's new conquest, realizing Jane is about to take her place. The also signified the beginning of their relationship, the end and now the recognition that not only has she moved on, but Roger has too.

Six Month Leave

Roger offers his support to Joan, in Six Month Leave.

On the heels of Marilyn Monroe’s death, the entire office is sober. Joan seeks escape in Roger’s office, where she mourns the iconic superstar’s memory. Identifying with Monroe's loneliness and despair, she loathes the possibility that perhaps one day she will end up like Marilyn. Roger compares Marilyn’s death to Roosevelt, citing that she is a stranger. Joan prepares to leave stating that he should be sensitive to those who felt like they knew her, explaining that “this world destroyed her”.

Joan reacts to Marilyn Monroe's death. Six Month Leave.

When Roger reassures her she will not end up alone, Joan reminds him that “one day [he] will lose someone important” to him, and that “it’s very painful.”

During the same episode, light is shed on Jane and Roger’s affair, and that Roger is in fact leaving Mona for Jane. ("Six Month Leave")

This is one of the many examples of Roger lending his support for Joan, even though they are not an item anymore, and that he still cares for her. Although this scene is more about Joan than it is about Joan and Roger as a couple, it is still worth mentioning. Remember that Joan is wearing purple in this scene, a color she usually wears when she is going through some sort of emotional turmoil. In this instance in is the loss of Marilyn Monroe, a person she identifies with greatly.

The Inheritance

Joan gives Roger a disapproving stare in The Inheritance.

Joan welcomes Don back from Betty's family emergency. Updating him on his correspondence, Roger interrupts the two of them, only just managing to get underneath Joan’s skin. She doesn’t even hide her emotion in her face, she lays it all on the line for him to see, the disappointment, frustration and quite possibly hurt. ("The Inheritance")

Although the encounter is brief, it is significant. In this scene, everything is said in front of Joan's face. The hurt, disappointment and frustration are all there. To learn that a man she was quite possibly in love with and invested more than five years of her life with, not to mention the better part of her youth with, is inevitably leaving his wife of twenty-five years, for a twinky hes even not committed a year with. Also we know Joan is a believer in discretion to be blatantly indiscreet with a secretary wouldn't go down too well either.

The Jet Set

The episode opens with both Jane and Roger in bed together, Jane is writing a poem how Roger makes her feel, telling him she “writes a lot of things, when [she] is inspired”. And in a state of whimsy, Roger proposes to Jane on the spot, to which she accepts. ("The Jet Set")

The Mountain King

Joan flaunt's Greg around the office, The Mountain King.

Knowing Roger has made his choice, Joan is desperate to flaunt her fiancé to the office. With a brief run-in with Roger and Peggy, Joan introduces Greg to the both of them before Peggy politely withdraws herself from the conversation. Telling both Joan and Greg he has dinner plans, Joan shares light on the fact that her and Greg do to at a fancy French restaurant. In moment of secret knowledge between them, Roger protests Joan’s palette when it comes to French food, defending herself Joan cites there is a new chef. The two steal a glance at each other before Joan and Greg resume touring the office.

In a moment of feeling emasculated and questioning Joan and Roger’s relationship, Greg rapes Joan on the floor of Don Draper’s office. ("The Mountain King")

The Mountain King is one of the many instances where although both Roger and Joan have moved on, relationship wise; there are still lingering feelings there. Roger demonstrates how much he knows Joan when hearing her and Greg are going to a French restaurant Roger subtly taunts Joan saying, "I thought you didn't like French food." And in a momentary action eye contact, Greg picks up on it. He avows to Joan, "that Sterling guy knows a lot about you". Defending herself Joan claims its because shes worked at Sterling Cooper for "nine years."

Season 3

During season 3, Joan is finishing her post as Office Manager and in the episode "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency" she leaves Sterling Cooper. Also during the interim of Seasons 2 and 3, Roger has married Jane.

The Gypsy and the Hobo

"I'm sorry it had to be for a favor." - The Gypsy and the Hobo.

Joan phones Roger in the hopes that he will help her find an office job. During a flirtatiously laced call Roger updates Joan with matter going on in the office such as, Mr Hooker rearranging the secretaries in the steno pool; this prompts Joan to ask “by cup size?” Roger replies by saying her knows where Joan would be sitting. When Roger asks Joan whether she “misses it” in the office, Joan is quick to question, “You mean do I miss you?”

"No, I'm glad you called me." - The Gypsy and the Hobo.

Roger admits that everything else is different in the office now. Finally when asking “what does [he] do” if he thinks of anyone he can send Joan over to, she playfully replies, “Look at you figuring things out for yourself.” They hang up.

Later Roger is seen making phone call out to various executive he knows sending Joan over to them to “whip their places into shape”. He cites that Joan is “very important” to him. ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")

This is the first encounter Joan and Roger have had since Joan's departure from Sterling Cooper. With lingering feelings running awry, Roger confesses that although Joan is sorry she called him for a "favor", Roger in turn his happy that she called him, stating that "You wanna be on some people's minds, some you don't". 

The Grown-Ups

"Hang in there, Red." - The Grown-Ups.

The day after President Kennedy’s assassination is Margaret Sterling’s wedding day. After an exhausting day, Roger puts a drunken Jane to bed where with great ease she passes out. Making a call to a homely Joan who is alone, attesting he needed to talk to her in this time of international mourning. Roger describes the wedding as a “disaster”, where Joan sympathetically calls Margaret “that poor thing.”; Roger insists everyone pulled through, including Margaret.  When Jane puts her arm around Roger, he moves it away as Joan and Roger continue their banter.

"You too." - The Grown-Ups.

Roger mentions its so “quiet out there” where Joan reassures him that life still goes on with babies being born and people getting sick, while Greg is working the late shift at the ER, much to her own surprise that Roger is “really upset” about it all, she confirms there’s “nothing funny” about any of it, when Roger comments no one is saying the right thing about the assassination. They both lean on each other to “hang in there” before hanging up. ("The Grown-Ups")

In this short, yet significant scene; we learn that although Roger and Joan have ended their union, they still take great comfort in knowing that they are both there for each other, whether it be in a phone call or in person for a only a few minutes. 

Shut the Door, Have a Seat.

"Joanie, I can't read your writing." - Shut the Door, Have a Seat.

During a secret operation to break into Sterling Cooper and retrieve client files, Cooper, Roger, Lane and Don find themselves at a dead end where they realize no one among them knows how the office works. Roger then insists me will “make a phone call” assuring Lane he will “be discrete.”

On that cue Joan arrives, blissfully happy to be there where she has already made a list of what needs to be done and has called some movers. Together along with Ken, Pete and Peggy they begin shifting files out of the office. Rogers mood visibly lightens as they shift files together.

The next day the team are working out of the Pierre Hotel where Joan is assigning everyone jobs, as the newly formed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. ("Shut the Door. Have a Seat")

Season 4

Its a year after the new formation of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

Christmas Comes But Once a Year

"Where's Mr Holloway?" - Christmas Comes But Once a Year.

Accidentally inviting Lee Garner Jr. to the SCDP Christmas party, Lane must expand the budget beyond their means, turning the party from “convalescent to Roman orgy.” Consulting Joan who makes the necessary improvements to the party Lane leaves Roger and Joan alone. Roger teases Joan about Lee Garner being somewhat infatuated with her, stating “he was all over you that time you wore the red dress, the one with the bow on the back, that makes you look like a present, could you wear it?” Flirting back Joan cites Roger’s impeccable memory before leaving his office.

During the party Joan and Roger consistently and playfully lock eyes and flirt, regardless of Jane’s presence at the party. ("Christmas Comes But Once a Year")

The flirtatious behavior between Joan and Roger in this season in particular is understandable. In Season 3 Joan and Rogers relationship was momentarily rifted due to both their marriages and mutual awkward tension on their parts, until the end of the season. In Season 4, jumping a year where season 3 left off; both Roger and Joan would've been working in close proximity after going so long without each other, stirring all kinds of feelings - while both of them still bare in mind, they are both still married.

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword

Joan and Roger share a candid moment. The Chrysanthemum and the Sword

When SCDP have the opportunity to sign the Japanese company Honda as a client Rogers anti-Japanese views from the war cause friction not only for him and Honda but also between him and his co-workers.

After a competitive battle to win their business Joan convinces Roger to bite the bullet, and let it go. She cites that “You fought to make the world a better place, and you won. And now it is”. ("The Chrysanthemum and the Sword")

The scene shown in the picture on the right in particular is a very interesting scene; all because Joan is one of the only people along with Cooper and Don who can actually confront Roger on his childish temperament. Especially in this scene where Joan advises Roger to put aside is animosity for the Japanese for the better of the company. Its a tender moment because Roger actually listens to Joan and once again, Joan is right.

Waldorf Stories

On the heels of SCDP winning a Clio Award for their Glo-Coat ad, Roger begins to reflect the first times he encountered Don Draper.

Flashback: Joan and Roger in the earl stages of their affair, The Waldorf Stories.

During a series of vignettes we see a younger Joan and Roger in the mid 1950’s during the start of their union. Roger is first seen purchasing a fur coat from Hellers’; a speciality fur company where Don Draper is the sales associate. Roger describes he wants to make a purchase for a special lady to convey the message “I’m getting to know you, but I don’t want to scare you.” Roger and Don eventually settle on a mink coat.

Meeting for a rendez-vouz in a hotel room Joan describes the coat as perfect before trying it on in front of the mirror with Roger. Thanking him Joan says whenever she wears the coat she’ll think of “everything that happened the night [she] got it.”

During the Clio’s Roger grabs Joan’s hand under the table, before Don also grabs her other hand.

"You've crossed the boarder between lubricated to morose." Waldorf Stories.

Back to the present Joan, Don and Roger are in a bar celebrating SCDP’s victory. During a moment Joan reminds Roger he has past the boarder between “lubricated to morose” who is in a drunken haze, before leaving him in the bar. ("Waldorf Stories")

Once again we are reminded of their passionate affair, but this time it is revealed that Joan and Roger were in the early stages of their relationship in mid-1950's. When Roger visits Heller's store, it is before Don and Betty are married which we know they married in 1954, so by the time we see the Season 1 episode, "Babylon"; we realize the affair has already been going on for six years. This is once again an episode that is charmed with a brief but significant scene between between Joan and Roger because once again she snaps him out of his self loathing predilection before wishing him "goodnight".

The Beautiful Girls

Roger takes Joan to dinner, in The Beautiful Girls.

Roger irritates Joan by refusing to correct an error on a document, she leaves citing the mistake is “not cute”. Caroline shares the news with Roger that Joan’s husband Greg has been called up to Vietnam, explaining they've all “been walking on egg shells.” Realizing he “rubbed her the wrong way” Roger sends two masseuse’s to Joan’s apartment to “rub her the right way.”

Thanking him the next day, Roger invites Joan to dinner to “take [her] mind of things.” Joan reminds him that she forgot he is “incapable of doing something nice, without expecting something nicer in return.” Roger assures her he “honestly didn't mean anything” by his invitation. Later that day Miss Blankenship suddenly passes away at her desk. A somber Roger invites Joan once again to dinner, hesitant at first Joan accepts.

Joan and Roger reconnect. Episode The Beautiful Girls.

At a café, while sharing a portion of cherry cheesecake Roger tells Joan that he wishes she would “tell [him] about stuff.” Joan replies by saying her “husband doesn't like it”. She also shares the fact that she wasn't even consulted on Greg’s decision to join the Army, shocking Roger. Turning conversation over to his memoirs, Roger asks Joan whether or not she was a “little curious” as to whether there was a chapter in his book entitled “Joan.” To which Joan replies with “there better not be.” Amused Roger claims that “that’s the problem, whenever I look back…all the good stuff was with you.” Taking her hand he apologizes for constantly badgering her, stating he “just can’t help [him]-self.” Joan tells Roger that she “understands”, before taking a bite of cheesecake.

Roger tells Joan, he feels something. Episode: The Beautiful Girls.

While walking through a dodgy part of New York, Joan and Roger are mugged at gunpoint. Handing over all their belongings the mugger flees the scene, sending Joan into a fit of panic. Roger takes Joan in to an alleyway to calm her down, after freaking out about her wedding ring; Roger assures her that everything is OK and what counts is that they are both fine. And in a heat of rekindled passion Joan kisses Roger, reciprocating her gesture the two have sex.

The next morning, Joan is called into Roger’s office to help write Ida’s obituary; when Cooper leave them alone together, Roger apologizes to Joan, claiming what happened the night before was “in the heat of the moment” and that there “was a moment”. Joan replies by saying she “ isn't sorry”, however she reminds Roger of the fact that she and him are both married. Upon leaving Roger reminds her that he “feels something” between them and he know that she does too, and with that Joan leaves. ("The Beautiful Girls")

Season One promotional shot of Joan.

This is the climatic episode that solidifies the recurring idea that no matter what Roger and Joan are always going to have something between them, although due to not only Roger being married, but Joan only being 2 years into her marriage herself, and determined to make it work with Greg and trying not to fall back on the state of her relationship with Roger in Season 1, where she called herself a "tray of canapes". Remember that the style and color of the redish-fuchsia pink dress Joan wears in the scene where she rekindles her union with Roger is deeply reminiscent of the dress Joan wore during the Season 1 promotional photos. This may reflect Joan wanting to revisit a simpler time in her life, when she was in the peak of her youth, enjoying a frivolous affair. The dress she wears the next day however is almost the opposite, a very tumultuous pattern with varying shades of purple, pink and burgundy possibly reflecting her inner emotional turmoil with the turn of possible feelings resurfacing for Roger.

Hands and Knees

Roger comforting Joan after she tells him she is pregnant.

Weeks after Joan and Roger’s “reunion” Joan comes into Rogers office, locking the door behind her citing she needs to “speak” with him. Thinking Joan is at the “tenderloin of [her] distress” Joan breaks the news that she is “very late”, implying she is pregnant. Trying to trivialize the moment, Joan explains it can’t be Greg’s due to the fact that he has been away more than seven weeks and now she is in a bind because she can’t go to her doctor. Roger reassures her that she has nothing to worry about and together, they will “take care of it.”

Seeing Roger’s Doctor; Dr. Howlett about aborting Joan’s baby, Howlett is appalled by Roger. He exclaims that he has “used” and “ruined” Joan, where Roger protests that he came of Howlett for his “discretion” not his “judgement.” Howlett sends Joan over to a “good man” in Morris Town, who performs the procedure for 400 dollars.

Roger and Joan discuss their situation at dinner, Hands and Knees.

Later at dinner Roger and Joan discuss what they are going to do about the situation they are in. Roger expresses the fact if Joan was to keep the baby it wouldn't be his child, yet if they were to get back together it would cause uproar, not to mention a scandal. Joan then tells Roger that she’s going to “take care of it”; which Roger agrees to. She also asks Roger not to come with her to the procedure.

Later at the abortion clinic Joan encounters a woman, the same age as her in hysterics about her daughter who is receiving an abortion. Joan empathizing with her, the woman gets the wrong idea thinking Joan also has a daughter in the same situation, after asking Joan how old her daughter is, Joan politely replies her “daughter” is fifteen.

Joan arrives at the abortion clinic. Hands and Knees.

Later we see Joan on a bus coming back from the clinic not knowing whether she went through with the procedure.

The next day Roger sees Joan in her office, where he enquirers about how she is Joan replies that she “feels good” and that “everything went fine.” Roger tells her that he wishes she could “hold” her; Joan reminds him they avoided a “tragedy” and that “life goes on”. Before going into a partner meeting Roger stares at Joan calling her “beautiful”. ("Hands and Knees")

A stolen glance between Roger and Joan. Hands and Knees.

For Roger and Joan in this episode, it isn't about what is said on Joan's part but rather what is not said. In the midst of all the craziness, Joan is nearing an age where in our times it wouldn't be considered out of the ordinary for a 34 year old woman to terminate a child, but in the 60's abortions were for young girls who were in trouble. That combined with the rude awakening the woman at the abortion clinic gives Joan that women their age simply don't get abortions and with Greg's absence from the family picture who knows when Joan will be able to conceive again; this perhaps is her last chance to have a child. Remember that while Joan is in the abortion clinic she dresses much more formally and matronly than she normally would, this is an attempt to redeem herself from the consequences of her indiscretion, we saw a similar dress pattern in Betty when she was having an affair with Henry in Season 3.

Chinese Wall

Joan is livid when she hears disturbing news. Chinese Wall.

When SCDP loses Lucky Strike as a client, the partners ask Roger to fly to Raleigh to try and convince Lee Garner Jr. to stay with them. However beunknownst to the office, Lucky Strike haven’t been a client for weeks. Roger sullenly and cowardly in a hotel away from mid-town calls Joan to confess. Livid she scolds Roger for “not telling her”.

"Roger, I can't do this anymore." - Chinese Wall.

Later that night Roger stops by Joan’s apartment, letting him in he kisses her. Stopping her she says, “Roger you came here to talk, we can talk.” Then refusing his advances, she questions why he is there, citing is it because she is a “port in a storm.” Roger claims it’s because he feels like “shit” and she “cares about [him]”. Joan hits Roger with the realization that she “isn’t a solution to [his] problems, [she’s] another problem.” Refusing to believe it he tells her they “belong together”, when Joan rejects him again she says “she can’t do this anymore”. Eventually resulting in them sharing a hug, Roger asks if the night the got mugged was the “last time”. Joan shrugs, leaving Roger to say “I wish I’d known that.” He then leaves. ("Chinese Wall")


Joan and her baby bump, Tomorrowland.

Joan is seen walking around the office with a baby bump. Later she is seen talking to Greg over the phone about her pregnancy, revealing she didn't go through with the termination, passing it off as Gregs child. ("Tomorrowland")

Season 5

During the gap between Season 4 and 5, Joan has giving birth to healthy baby bo neamed Kevin and is currently finishing her last couple of weeks of maternity leave. She eventually returns back to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in the episode "Signal 30".

A Little Kiss: Part 1

During Don’s surprise birthday party thrown by Megan, Roger thanks Don for excluding to invite Joan, when really she was invited but being a new mother and still on maternity leave didn’t show. He thanks him for “purely selfish” reasons because if Joan were there he expressed he would have to buy “ear-plugs” for the ride home with Jane. ("A Little Kiss, Part 1")

A Little Kiss: Part 2

Roger meets his son for the first time, A Little Kiss.

Visiting the office with new baby Kevin in tow, Joan makes her way around the office while proudly showing off her new addition. Finally word gets to Roger of Joan’s arrival, and he meets his secret son for the first time, holding him with a cigarette dangling from him mouth. In an attempt to humour the situation he asks a radiant Joan “has anyone even seen this baby with you standing next to him?” And in a moment of eye contact Lane buzzes for his secretary Scarlett. ("A Little Kiss, Part 2")

Mystery Date

This episode marks the separation between Joan and her husband Greg, who inevitably chose his responsibilities in the Army over his responsibilities as a father. ("Mystery Date")

Far Away Places

Roger and Jane eventually decided to leave each other during an LSD trip where, Jane confesses her psychiatrist believes that Roger and Jane's marriage has been over for a long time, and that they were both waiting for each other to say it. ("Far Away Places")

Dark Shadows

When asking Jane to accompany him to a business dinner, where the client in question is Jewish, Jane spitefully asks Roger “Why don’t you ask Joanie? She’s a professional something”. ("Dark Shadows")

Christmas Waltz

Joan rejecting Roger's offer to financially support her and Kevin, in Christmas Waltz.

In a moment of drunken awry, Roger interrupts Joan in her office, where she tells him to keep it down. Following in to her office Roger cites that he knows “why [she] is mad.” He tells her that Jane is not “taking everything” to which she replies “it never occurred” to her, Roger reviews checks he sends Joan every month that she keeps sending back, not wanting Rogers financial help. Provoking her he sarcastically asks if the “army is taking good care” of her, and insists he can at least put Kevin through college. Joan reinforces that it’s better for Kevin, if he doesn't and if Roger isn't careful he “won’t even be a family friend.” Roger protests that it “isn't about honor”, and what matters is that they created Kevin together, to which Joan passively aggressively replies that “Now it’s some other lucky girl’s turn.”

"Would you like a tip too?" - Christmas Waltz.

The next day Joan is served with divorce papers from Greg. And during a heated moment with Meredith, the receptionist, Don escorts an angry Joan out of the office to test drive a Jaguar and later for drinks. While at a bar downtown, Joan and Don flirt while she shares her anxiety about moving on to a new relationship with a baby. Don assures and restores her confidence slipping her "mad money" after he scouts an attractive man with a lingering stare from across the bar before he retires home.

After her encounter with Don, she receives flowers from reception the following day, which Roger hand delivers to her office, before sending him away Roger morosely asks “how many times have I left you alone with flowers and a card from another man?” The flowers were sent from Don. ("Christmas Waltz")

The Other Woman

SCDP Partner;s land the Jaguar account, but at what cost?

Joan gets an indecent proposal from Herb Rennet, Head of the Dealer’s Association for Jaguar cars; one night with her in exchange for Jaguar’s business. Pete assembles the partners in his office to discuss payment towards Joan, eventually settling on a cash lump sum of 50,000 dolalrs. When Don protests the offer claiming he doesn’t want to “win business this way”. The partners vote without him. Roger expresses that the decision is merely up to Joan; however he refuses to contribute to the 50,000 dollar sum.

To look out for both his own interest and Joan’s long term financial situation, Lane suggests Joan requests a non silent, non negotiable Junior Partnership, compromising 5% stake in SCDP’s business. Upon asking whether Roger was involved in the negotiation of Joan’s proposal, Joan finds herself dumbfounded when she finds out that Roger did nothing to stop her from selling herself for the good of the company. ("The Other Woman")

While climatic tension and mixed ethics collide, Joan eventually sleeps with Rennet, much to Don's dismay. Landing SCDP with the Jaguar account, Joan receiving her promotion; as promised and Roger and her relationship still in question.

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