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Marriage of Figaro
Season 1 Episode 03
Air date 2 August 2007
Written by Tom Palmer
Directed by Ed Bianchi

Ladies Room
New Amsterdam


Pete and Peggy face the reality of their shared encounter when Pete returns from his honeymoon. Don's relationship with a client takes a turn, coinciding with his daughter Sally's birthday party, that results in Don reevaluating his life choices.


While on the train, Don Draper is reading Life Magazine. He comes across a Volkswagen ad; a black and white photograph of the car with the word "Lemon" in bold letters. Someone approaches him, "Hey Dick," says Larry Krizinksy, "Old Dick Whitman, what are the chances?" Don awkwardly smiles as Larry fishes for information. Dodging each of his questions one by one, Larry proposes they get together before handing Don his business card and walking away. Don thinks about the man he has just encountered while the ticketmaster of the train is provoked into a surge of giggles after seeing the "Lemon" ad.

The revolutionary 60's "Lemon" Volkswagen ad. Marriage of Figaro.

Pete Campbell is finally back from his honeymoon. As he enters work, all the men ask for the details of his honeymoon. In the midst of his newfound commitment to Trudy, he offers his silence as a newly formed gentleman. When he gets to the office, passing secretary after secretary smiling and wishing him congratulations, he wonders why the office has become so friendly all of a sudden. Opening his office door, he finds a Chinese man, woman, and an elderly woman eating as chickens run about aimlessly. The entire office erupts in laughter, welcoming him back.

The office pulls a prank on Pete, upon coming back from his honeymoon. Episode: Marriage of Figaro.

"Have you seen this yet?" - Marriage of Figaro.

Turning up to work, Don hears about the Pete prank and states that "someone will finally be working in there." As he enters his office for a Secor Laxatives meeting, Sal, Harry, Paul, and Don discuss the innovative "Lemon" ad and Sal suggest that the upcoming Secor Laxative ad should be ironically funny, like the Volkswagen ad. Don vows that he doesn't know what he hates more, "the ad or the car." Roger lets himself in, announcing he "wants the Chinamen out of the building by lunch." They discuss the merits of the Volkswagen ad. "Love it or hate it, the fact is, we've been talking about it for the last 15 minutes," Don says.

"I'm married now." - Marriage of Figaro.

Later, Pete approaches Peggy to join them on the meeting with the creative team after Peggy hadn't included him on the memo; not knowing when he would be returning to work. Pete then tells Peggy that he's married now, to which she says she understands and that the night they shared "never happened," but is visibly disappointed. They join Harry, Paul and Sal in Don's office. After the meeting is over, Pete comments that it's "good to be back" and that he missed Don. Don replies "it must not have been much of a honeymoon"  then welcomes him back by asking Pete how married life is treating him. Pete shares that Trudy is "funnier than [he] thought" and he is in fact looking forward to going home. Pete suggests that he and Don go for dinner with the wives, Don cynically agrees. Pete leaves Don's office relieved to find Peggy is not at her desk.

"And the book opens to those pages by itself." - Marriage of Figaro.

Lady Chatterley's Lover 1959 edition.

Peggy accompanies Joan into the breakroom, where they run into Marge, one of the switchboard operators. Joan says she was on her way to the switchboard to return a book she lent to Marge, revealed to be D.H. Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover." When Marge asks Peggy if she would like to read it, Joan insists that wouldn't be a good idea, pointing to a page and saying it has "this word in it and all that." Joan proclaims she doesn't care how old it is, it is still a "testimony to how most people think marriage is a joke." Marge is clearly titillated by the fantasy of an extramarital affair. When Peggy asks if she could borrow it, Marge advises her not to read it on the train because it'll "attract the wrong element." As she is about to open the pages, Joan forces her to put it away.

Rachel Menken returns to SC, in Marriage of Figaro.

Later, Rachel Menken is back to discuss her department store. Don, Pete, and an executive from the research department join her in the conference room. The executive presents a report on her top competitors and recommends the store start a personal shopping service, private fashion shows and designer collections as ways to corner the market. He also proposes presenting the store in a more sophisticated, pretentious type of way, and incorporating a "less is more" principle, like their competitors such as Saks, Henri Bendel and Bonwit Teller. During the meeting Rachel and Don's attraction to each another is undeniable, with even Pete picking up on the chemistry as the pair repeatedly steal sideways glances.

"New junior exec." - Marriage of Figaro.

Rachel mentions that no one from Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency bothered to come into her store, since if they had they would know that Menken's already has a personal shopping service and a designer collection. Don promises to correct the oversight, while the other execs look in embarrassment. While Don is walking Rachel out, she comments that she is impressed with the way Don handled the meeting. On catching the men in a lie, Don jokingly says that it "wasn't a lie, it was ineptitude with insufficient cover." Don tells Rachel he will swing by the store that afternoon, as they see a chicken still roaming the halls of SC.

"He could be Batman for all we know." - Marriage Of Figaro.

Back in Pete's office, he and Harry discuss Don and Rachel's obvious attraction to one another. Harry lets Pete know that as married men, they have two happy years of marriage tops, and every once in a while, it doesn't hurt to enjoy the company in the "limited ways only a married man can." Pete goes on to assume Don always thought like that, provoking Harry to claim that nobody knows who Don really is, and that he could be "Batman" for all anyone knew.

"Medieval knights..." - Marriage of Figaro.

Don arrives at Menken's, where he meets Rachel in the foyer and her change of clothing. Rachel starts the tour by giving Don a brief history of the store. Menken's started off as a small store on 7th Avenue specializing in hosiery, and eventually pulling pieces from sweatshops. It moved to 5th Avenue when the previous occupants of the store failed to bring in business, and she remembers that her grandfather got the place for a "shekel." Roaming the store and remembering their encounter earlier that day involving one of Don's cufflinks coming loose, Rachel stops by the cufflinks counter and picks out miniature Medieval Knights. She puts them on him before resuming the tour. Coming up to the second floor, and finding a Menken's employee asleep, Don comments that the room is "too dark, too old-fashioned" for the customers Rachel is hoping to reach. Rachel takes Don to her favorite part of the store.

"You look nice." - Marriage of Figaro.

As he leaves for the day Pete walks by the herd of employees congregating around the secretary stations. Allison, the receptionist, invites Pete to tag along and go to a bar, but Pete apologizes and mentions he has plans. Peggy sees Pete coming her way and glances at him with needy eyes. Pete stops, looks at her, and says "you look nice," pointlessly reminding her that she is nothing to him in a misguided attempt to soothe her feelings. Peggy looks defeated.

"We're known for our service." - Marriage of Figaro.

Rachel leads Don up to the roof. When Don sees the that New York is "at her feet," Rachel comments the "view is okay" before crossing to multiple cages filled with guard dogs that patrol the store after hours. Rachel explains that the dog's names are Carla and Leona, and they are not the original guard dogs but the third generation. When she was nine years old she made her father's lawyers write into the bylaws of the store that Menken's guard dogs should be named only Carla and Leona "until the end of time".

Don and Rachel share a moment, in Marriage of Figaro.

The store was practically home for her and as a little girl she would go up to the roof and talk to the dogs. She says that "as a little girl, a dog can be all you need. They protect you and they listen." She confides that her mother died leaving her sister as her only source of company, and frankly the dogs were the "easier bitches to handle." Don tells her to not to try to convince him that she was "ever unloved," and with that Don kisses her. He confesses that he is a married man and shouldn't have kissed her. Rachel replies that she didn't ask because she "didn't want to know," and Don just "couldn't help himself" around her. Rachel requests Don be replaced by someone else on her account at Sterling Cooper.

Don is reminded of his night with Rachel. Marriage of Figaro.

The next morning is Sally's birthday party. Don is woken by Sally when Betty instructs Don to construct the "P-L-A-Y-H-O-U-S-E" for Sally. Don teases Sally by asking how he is going to construct a pony. An excited Sally runs around the house while Betty tells Don he has a bacon and egg sandwich waiting for him. As she leaves the room, Don stares at his Medieval Knight cufflinks. While Don constructs the playhouse in the backyard, helping himself to a few beers, Sally and Bobby watch their father work. Meanwhile, Betty and Francine sit inside the house with rollers in their hair and prepare the food for the party. They discuss the guest list for the party when Betty mentions she invited Helen Bishop since Helen caught Betty buying balloons at the market, so it didn't seem right not to invite her. Francine comments that she has seen Helen walking around at night and asks Betty where she thinks Helen is walking to. Betty simply replies, "I don't know," as the two look out the window and see Don hard at work.

Sarah Beth Carson

Women gossip as the children play. Marriage of Figaro.

Soon, guests begin to arrive at the Draper residence, including Francine Hanson and her husband Carlton Hanson, Joyce Darling, Henry Darling, Nancy Wallace, and Chet Wallace and Jack and Marilyn Farrelly. They gather in the dining room, where Betty plays the perfect hostess, dishing out mint juleps as Don makes conversation with the guests. The aria "Voi che sapete" from Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro Song" plays on the radio in the background. The children run riot while the ladies gather in the kitchen to gossip. Helen arrives late with her son Glen and hands Betty a present wrapped in Christmas paper.  Betty introduces Helen to everyone, while Don leads Glen into the yard to play. The men seem quite taken with Helen, especially Francine's husband Carlton. Betty resumes bossing Don around, asking him to pick up the cake and go around the party with the video camera. The women end up sharing stories from their honeymoons, and when they eventually come around to Helen, everyone becomes uncomfortable. Helen insists she doesn't mind, sharing that she and her ex-husband, Glen's father, went to Paris. Marilyn eventually raises the subject of where Helen goes on her strolls, and Helen replies she goes "nowhere, I just like to walk, it clears my mind." This response raises a few eyebrows.

Don films the party. Marriage of Figaro.

Don goes around the party capturing moments with his new 8mm camera, including the kids running around and the guests conversing with each other. Helen scours the house for Glen, and Carlton sees her again. He offers to take Glen to the beach one Sunday or perhaps just throw a ball around with him. Helen rebukes him, saying that it's nice of him to offer, but she doesn't want Carlton getting attached to the family in that way. Carlton covers by claiming he didn't mean anything by his invitation, and she shouldn't feel the need to tell Francine about their discussion. As Don wanders around he stumbles upon Helen and Carlton and witnesses a tender moment between Joyce and Henry.

Sally receives an unexpected birthday gift, in Marriage of Figaro.

Betty witnesses Don and Helen outside talking and watching the children play, and in a moment of insecurity, sends him away to pick up the cake. Coming home with the cake Don looks at the house but drives straight past it. After an hour, Betty wonders where Don has gone. Helen volunteers her Sara Lee cake to be used since Don has not returned. Don has driven to a remote area, and sits in the car, drinking and musing. He arrives back home long after the party has ended with a golden retriever. "I don't even know what to say," says Betty. Don sits in the living room with Sally, Bobby, and their new dog Polly.


  • Helen Bishop drives a Volkswagen, the car featured in the “Lemon” ad.
  • According to the season 1 commentary track, the Menken's scenes were shot at an old bank in downtown Los Angeles.
  • The “beer” from the fridge in the garage was actually carrot juice; It was the only period-appropriate pull-tab can the production crew could find.
  • Darby Stanchfield, the actress who plays Helen Bishop, was asked to cut her hair for the role, but refused. Ultimately Matthew Weiner decided it was a good idea to keep her character different from housewives.
  • Helen has a different hairstyle and clothes to signify a difference between herself and the other women. She’s the only one wearing pants of the group and she wears a lot of bold colors throughout the season.


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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" •