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Signal 30
5x5 Signal 30.jpg
Season 5 Episode 5
Air date 16 April 2012
Written by Frank Pierson
Matthew Weiner
Directed by John Slattery

Mystery Date
Far Away Places


Lane strikes up an interesting friendship. Pete entertains guests.


One night at his apartment, Pete is being kept awake by a leaking faucet in the kitchen. He eventually leaves Trudy and goes to fix it, doing so effectively and with self-satisfaction. The next night, he is attending a driver's education class, where he flirts with a teenage girl who is getting ready to go off to college.

Ken has continued his writing, and runs into Peggy while meeting with a publisher over lunch. He is secretive about his work and attempts to politely get rid of her. Peggy is unsettled by this, until Ken later explains his actions in the office.

Following a drunken celebration at a bar with other expatriates over England's 1966 World Cup victory, Lane excitedly tells the other SCDP partners that he has arranged a lunch meeting with a fellow Englishman he met at the bar, Edwin Baker, over possible representation for Jaguar Cars in America.

The Campbells throw a dinner party for the Cosgroves and the Drapers at their home. As the night progresses, Ken's writing career is accidentally brought up in conversation by his wife, leading to a re-telling of one of his stories. The guests are unsure of how to react to the science fiction storyline, apart from Don, who asks questions about the character. Afterwards, the wives retreat to the kitchen, where the faucet previously fixed by Pete bursts, spraying water everywhere. Pete rushes away to get his toolbox, but by the time he gets back, Don has already fixed it, explaining that Pete's previous fix was merely a coincidence.

Ken running into Peggy, in Signal 30.

Don repairing the leaky faucet, in Signal 30.

The next night, Pete returns to his driver's education class to find that a new student, Hanson (nicknamed "handsome") has the attention of the girl he previously flirted with.

Jenny Gunther

Lane receives advice from Roger about how to ensnare a client at dinner. Roger informs Lane to find the man's source of regret, and make it relatable to him, forming a "conspiracy" of feeling between the pair. Unfortunately, Lane's dinner does not go smoothly, as the representative of Jaguar appears to have no regrets in his life, and Lane is forced to plan another lunch to try again at confirming the new business. Upon hearing of this failure, Pete is offered an affirmation of his masculinity via letting Lane down softly and taking the task off his hands, forming a renewed alliance with Roger. At the dinner meeting, Edwin, the Jaguar representative, assures Don, Roger, and Pete of his business with them, but wants to have some fun. The executives visit a local brothel, and Edwin, Roger, and Pete all cheat on their wives, leaving Don alone at the bar.

Don and Pete in the brothel, in Signal 30.

He later shares a cab with Pete on the way home, where a drunken Pete criticizes Don as hypocritical for judging his adulterous actions. Don explains he is not judging, but he merely didn't know that Pete was miserable with his life. Pete replies that he has everything, to which Don warns him not to throw it away.

Lane and Pete physically fight each other, in Signal 30.

The next day, Ken is called into Roger's office and told directly that he is to stop writing in his spare time as he should not be dividing his attention between his job and his writing. Roger attempts to create a bond between the two of them, stating that they are both "unappreciated authors." When Don learns of Ken's writing success, he is supportive of it. In contrast, Roger denigrates it.

Lane catches Joan off guard, in Signal 30.

Later that same day, Lane storms into a partners' meeting, shouting at Pete about how Edwin's wife has found out about his adultery and is devastated. Edwin has withdrawn his business as a result. Lane blames Pete's methods for losing the account and Pete responds by citing Lane's redundant role at the firm and challenging his sexuality. To the surprise and shock of the other partners, Lane responds by challenging Pete to a fistfight. Pete and Lane exchange blows until Lane eventually gains the upper hand, leaving a bloodied and broken Pete on the office floor. Bruised and shaken, Pete retreats to his office.

Pete confessing to Don that he "has nothing", in Signal 30.

Joan goes to comfort Lane, only for him to misinterpret the affection as romantic, attempting to kiss Joan. Joan, startled, stands and opens the door, but does not leave. She instead stays with Lane and forgives his action, claiming that he had done to Pete what everyone in the office had wanted to do for a long time.

Peggy and Ken share a moment, in Signal 30.

Peggy, excitedly, tells Ken the story of Lane beating up Pete. Ken takes great pleasure in this, and then tells Peggy about his conversation with Roger and that he suspects Pete informed Roger, after learning about his publishing deal during the dinner party.

Later, Pete talks about his despair at the day's events with Don in the elevator, wondering how the fight occurred when he thought they were all friends. Close to tears, he blurts out that he has nothing, but Don doesn't respond.

The episode ends with Ken writing in bed under a new pen name. Pete is shown back in his driver's education class, watching helplessly as Hanson sits with the girl he used to flirt with, and the dripping sound of the leaky faucet replaying in his mind.


  • This was the third episode directed by John Slattery.
  • The episode begins in late July 1966 and ends during August 1966, the 1966 World Cup Final, where England defeated West Germany 4-2 in a match that was filled with controversy. The Charles Whitman shooting rampage and the crash of Braniff Flight 250 in Nebraska are also mentioned.
  • The toolbox that Pete puts down in the beginning of the episode belonged to Matthew Weiner's grandfather.
  • In the meeting with the partners, Don doodles a noose on a piece of paper, foreshadowing events later in the season.
  • In the commentary track for season 5, Matthew Weiner says that Ken being scolded for writing was loosely based on something that happened with Victor Levin, a producer on the show. He worked in an ad agency and was reprimanded by his boss when he was caught indulging his dream in the middle of his job.
  • Jared Harris filmed the fight scene between Lane and Pete with a bulging disk in his neck. There had to be a body double for one shot because Jared Harris couldn't bend his neck a certain way.


Main Star

Guest Star


Pete: "He didn't ask you because he thinks, you're a homo."
Lane: "I can't believe the hours I've put in, to help you become the monster you are."
Pete: "I was doing my job."
Pete: "Your account? You have no idea, what you're doing. In fact, as far as I can tell, our need for you disappeared after you fired us."
Burt: "Mr. Campbell!"
Lane: "That'll be enough of that. Mr. Campbell, you and I are going to address that insult."
Pete: "Are you kidding me?"
Lane: "No, you're a grimy little pimp. I warn you, as soon as I raise my hands; it will be too late to run."
Pete: "Fine, do you want to take your teeth out? Or do you want me to knock them out?"
Roger: "I know cooler heads should prevail, but am I the only one who wants to see this?"
-- Lane challenges Pete, after Pete insults him.

Joan: "What happened?"

Lane: "What do I do here? I mean, truly?"
Joan: "Something essential."
Lane: "You could do it."
Joan: "If they've tried to make you feel different then them, you are. That's a good way to be."
*Lane kisses Joan, catching Joan off guard.*
Lane: "I just seem to find no end, to my humiliation today. I'm sorry."
Joan: "About what? Everyone in this office has wanted to do that to Pete Campbell."
-- Joan comforts Lane, after his scuffle with Pete.

Peggy: "Did you hear? Lane kicked the crap out of Pete."
Ken: "I can't believe he beat me to it."
Peggy: "What did Pete do?"
Ken: "I don't know, but I know he told Roger about my writing."
Peggy: "Why did you tell him?"
Ken: "Cynthia let it slip, hell - she bragged about it."
Peggy: "Well, you can't blame her, I read the one in Galaxy about the girl who lays eggs. Wow."
Ken: "Well, thanks. But Ben Hargrove is dead."
-- Ken has a candid moment with Peggy.

Pete: "I'm not as virtuous as you. So you just cut me loose?"
Don: "What was I supposed to do? Step in? Punch Lane?"
Pete: "Why were we having a fight? At work? This is an office. We're supposed to be friends. I have nothing Don."
-- Pete makes a tearful admission to Don.

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" •