|Smoke Gets in Your Eyes|
|Season 1 Episode 01|
|Air date||19 July 2007|
|Written by||Matthew Weiner|
|Directed by||Alan Taylor|
We are introduced to the world of 1960s advertising in America. Handsome, high-level ad executive Don Draper is living the high life, yet he struggles to find inspiration for a Lucky Strike ad campaign and juggles his marriage and extramarital affair. Peggy Olson, ushered into a new world as Don's new secretary, has difficulty fitting in with her co-workers, especially Joan Holloway, the ringleader of the secretarial pool. In the meantime, Peggy catches the eye of Pete Campbell.
Mad Men: A term coined in the late 1950s to describe the advertising executives of Madison Avenue. They coined it.
Donald Draper, the creative director for the Sterling Cooper ad agency, sits at a bar, drinking an old-fashioned and scribbling on a cocktail napkin. He strikes up a conversation with an African-American waiter about cigarettes, asking him why he chooses to buy the Old Gold brand instead of Lucky Strike. They are interrupted by one of the owners of the bar, who claims the waiter can be a bit too "chatty," but Don insists that the two of them were simply having a conversation. Searching for inspiration, the waiter says he "loves smoking," although "Reader's Digest says it will kill you." "Yeah, I heard about that," Don replies. He scopes out the room, observing all the fine-looking people smoking and chatting.
Don meets Midge Daniels later that day. He discusses business with her, trying to figure out what to talk about in his meeting with Lucky Strike the next day. Surprised that Don is "really there to talk," Midge listens and asks Don whether this is the part where she says that "Don Draper is the greatest ad-man ever and his big, strong brain will find a way to lead the sheep into the slaughterhouse." Don smiles and says he "doesn't want to go to school tomorrow," as Midge opens her blouse and they make love. The next morning as they both wake up, Don teasingly says that they should get married. Midge questions whether he thinks she would be a "good ex-wife," then hands him a watch, affirming that Don knows "the rules"—she doesn't make plans or breakfast. He then heads to work.
Arriving for her first day at work, Peggy rides the elevator with a few young executives from Sterling Cooper: Ken Cosgrove, Harry Crane, and Paul Kinsey. Ken instructs the elevator operator to take the "long way up" then leans into Peggy and whispers that he is "really enjoying the view." Paul turns the conversation over to Pete Campbell's bachelor party, swearing that Pete's fiance is a "nice girl." Harry asks, "who wants that?"
At Sterling Cooper, the young exec's make their way to Pete Campbell's office. Paul questions why Ken pulled the stunt with Peggy in the elevator and Ken tells him it was so she knows "what she's in for." In Pete's office, the smarmy young account man has a phone conversation with his fiancee, claiming he has no idea what the other men have in store for him while Ken holds a flyer to "The Slipper Room." Pete reassures her that he will stop by her place before he leaves, so her mother can "check under [his] fingernails." Surrounded by co-workers who are more interested in discussing the bachelor party, Harry confirms that Pete's fiancee's father is "loaded."
Joan Holloway introduces Peggy to her new job as Don's secretary. She gives her work and personal advice. She states that hopefully Peggy will avoid some of the "mistakes" Joan has made there, and as Paul walks past and says hello to Joan, Joan turns to Peggy and nods, "like that one." When they get to Peggy's desk Joan shares a personal moment with Peggy by confiding that the men they work for are looking for something between a "mother and a waitress and the rest of the time, well..." Joan leans in close to Peggy and advises her to "take a paper bag, cut eyes holes out of it, put it over your head, get undressed then look at yourself in the mirror. Really evaluate where your strengths and weakness are, and be honest." Peggy tells Joan that she always tries to be honest. On that cue, Don arrives with Roger Sterling in tow.
Inside Don changes into a fresh shirt while Roger highlights the importance of the up-coming Lucky Strike meeting. Roger insists that he isn't the one who is nervous, and trusts that Don "has something" to present them. Before leaving Roger asks whether Sterling Cooper has any Jews on their payroll, and Don replies "not on my watch", to which Roger reveals that they have a meeting with Menken's department store.
Don, settled in his office with antacid fizzing in his glass of water, struggles for inspiration as he rummages through his things. A medal with "Lt. Donald Draper" on the front reveals Don served time in the Army. Salvatore Romano enters with a mock-up of the new Lucky Strikes ad and asks Don if they should drink "before the meeting or after?...Or both?." They are joined by Dr. Greta Guttman, a researcher who gives Don a report that theorizes that the desire for cigarettes is actually a death wish, and people enjoy smoking because of that danger. Don proclaims the research report absolute poppycock and throws it in the trash.
As Don naps in the middle of the day he stares at a fly trapped in a ceiling light fixture and drifts in and out of consciousness as the sound of bombs replay in his head. Peggy comes in to wake Don, saying Pete is outside his office. After introducing herself to Don once again, Don instructs Peggy to "go outside and entertain" Pete as he spruces up. Not wanting to seem uncooperative Peggy pleads, "do I have to?" Slightly impressed by her wit, Don replies, "I see your point." Peggy offers Don aspirin before Pete bursts in. Pete is instantly attracted to Peggy inquiring whether she's "Amish or something" due to the way she dresses. Peggy politely replies that she is from Brooklyn. Pete advises her that she is in the city now, and it "wouldn't be a crime" if they see her legs. Don apologizes to Peggy for Pete's libidinous behavior, saying he "left his manners at the fraternity house." On the way to their next meeting Don tells Pete to knock off the playboy escapades as he is getting married and if he doesn't he'll end up as a lonely mid level exec.
Their next meeting is with Rachel Menken, for Menken's department store. Also in the room is David Coen, a token Jewish employee from the mail room. She wants the store to be the next Chanel. She does not appreciate their suggestion to offer coupons to housewives, proclaiming that Menken's is the type of store that "shares a wall with Tiffany's." Per Pete's suggestion, he asks why Rachel doesn't just go to a Jewish firm, and Rachel assures him that she was at a Jewish firm and that "their research favored coupons too." Roger reaffirms that "coupons work, housewives love coupons." Rachel says that housewives aren't the demographic she wants to appeal to, she wants people like Don to come into the store "because it's expensive." Don, fed up, storms out of the room after Rachel provokes and mocks his lack of preparation by snarking that "Sterling Cooper is known for being innovative" in a sarcastic tone. Pete follows while David remains to snack on the food laid out on the table and tries to get a Bloody Mary cocktail, only to get a dirty look from Roger Sterling.
Peggy is at the office of Dr. Emerson, an OB/GYN. Dr. Emerson reveals that Joan is the one who sent Peggy to get on the pill, and says Joan "must be a scream" and describes her as a "fun girl." He assures Peggy that there isn't anything wrong with a "woman being practical about the idea of sexual activity" regardless of her marital status, although if he catches her abusing the medication, he will take her off it. He blithely states that Peggy doesn't have to become the "town-pump" to get her "money's worth."
Peggy continues her tour of the office courtesy of Joan with gifts Joan had instructed her to pick up that day. Joan talks about Dr. Emerson, saying that he is "a dream." She goes on to state rather suggestively that "he has a place in South Hampton, [I'm] not saying [I've] seen it, but it's beautiful." Joan introduces Peggy to the "nerve center" of the office, the switchboard. She reminds Peggy to never provoke them, and to always be a "supplicant."
Their next meeting is with Lucky Strike meeting, Sterling Cooper's most important client. Roger Sterling, head of the company, joins in welcoming Lucky Strike to the office. The ad team banter back and forth over how Lucky Strike is a fine product (while everyone coughs and hacks) and how they have fashioned a "safer cigarette" and even invested in their own tobacco research facilities. Roger unfortunately announces that Sterling Cooper can no longer advertise that "cigarettes are safe." Don blankly stares at the empty pages of his report; the team flouders since Don still has no ideas to offer to Lucky Strike. Pete intervenes and offers Dr. Greta's "death wish" psychology. Shocked, the Lucky Strike men begin to leave, with Lee Garner, Sr. in particular disbelief over the ridiculous claim. Don suddenly comes up with an idea and saves the meeting, saying "advertising is based on one thing: happiness." In a moment of inspired genius, Don asks Lee Sr. how Lucky Strike's tobacco is made. When Lee explains that their tobacco is "grown, cut, cured and toasted." Don cuts him off and pitches the following line: "Lucky Strike; it's toasted." He makes the logical connection that if Lucky Strike cannot claim that cigarettes are healthy then neither can any of their competitors. While everyone else's cigarettes are poisonous, Lucky Strikes are "toasted." Within moments, the Lucky Strike folks are sold.
After the meeting, Roger encourages Don to reconsider the presidential campaign for Richard Nixon before being interrupted by Ken, Harry, Pete, and Paul. Roger sees that Don is about to engage in "light camaraderie" with the boys, but before he leaves, he asks Don to "patch things up" with Rachel Menken and reveals that her account would gain an additional $3 million for the firm. Don reluctantly accepts, calling him a whore. The boys once again ask Don to join them for Pete's bachelor party, but Don declines and wishes them a good time without him.
While the rest leave, Don catches Pete alone and calls him out for using Greta's research. Peggy then comes into Don's office and congratulates Don on his victory and thanks him for defending her from Pete's vulgar behavior. She takes Don's hand only to have her gesture backfire when Don chastises her for allowing Pete to go through his garbage and get the report. Peggy defends herself by saying that Pete claimed he had left his fountain pen in Don's office and she hadn't meant to go behind Don's back. Don advises her to go home and put her curlers in because she'll have a fresh start tomorrow.
Pete and the guys head out to the gentlemen's club and soon find themselves surrounded by girls. Pete, however, is not happy. While Ken, Harry and Paul flirt Pete finds himself alienating one of the women by being too forceful with his come-ons. One woman asks what the clan do for a living and Harry proclaims themselves to be "the finest ad-men in all of New York, hell, in all of the world."
Don tries to talk to Rachel a second time after their disappointing meeting. She asks whether Don "got into trouble," and he admits he acted unprofessionally and shouldn't have treated her as "anything less than a client." Rachel immediately accepts his apology. While offering her a cigarette, Don tries to explain that he was under a lot of pressure due to another account but Rachel deems his outburst refreshing, since she was only "hearing all the things I had assumed." Don changes the subject by grilling Rachel on why she isn't married, and Rachel explains that she finds business to be a thrill, and she doesn't "wear an apron" because she has never been in love. Don explains his philosophy on love and life before Rachel realizes that it must "be hard being a man too." After drinks Rachel gives Don the good news that his firm has her business.
With the bachelor party over, Pete shows up at Peggy's door. "I wanted to see you tonight," he whispers. She lets him in.
Don heads home, taking the train out of the city. He pulls up to a house, walks in, and kisses his wife, already in bed. He walks to another room to see his young children fast asleep.
- "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" was shot in April 2006, a full year before the rest of the season was filmed.
- "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" is the only episode of "Mad Men" to be shot in New York City. Every other episode is shot in Los Angeles or the various location shots.
- The scene with Don and Roger in Don’s office was the first scene to be filmed in the entire series.
- According to the Season 1 commentary track, the picture of Trudy on Pete's desk is actually Matthew Weiner's mother, since the part hadn’t been cast yet. Later episodes include a picture of Alison Brie.
- Remy Auberjonois, the actor who plays Dr. Emerson, was cast for a different part, but switched to that role after the original actor didn’t show up. Matthew Weiner also considered playing the part of Dr. Emerson.
- Jon Hamm as Don Draper
- Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson
- Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell
- January Jones as Betty Hofstadt
- Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway
- Maggie Siff as Rachel Menken
- Remy Auberjonois as Walter Emerson
- Darren Pettie as Lee Garner, Jr.
- Rosemarie DeWitt as Midge Daniels
- John Cullum as Lee Garner, Sr.
- John Slattery as Roger Sterling
- Bryan Batt as Salvatore Romano
- Michael Gladis as Paul Kinsey
- Aaron Staton as Ken Cosgrove
- Rich Sommer as Harry Crane
- Gordana Rashovich as Greta Guttman
- Henry Afro-Bradley as Busboy
- Jack O'Connell as Bartender
- Bess Rous as Marjorie
- Julie McNiven as Hildy
- Stephanie Courtney as Marge
- Zandy Hartig as Ivy
- Kristen Schaal as Nannette
- Heather Klar as Wanda
- Jamie Proctor as Cleo
- Emma Roberts as Camille
- Mark McGann as Old Waiter
Don: "She won't get married, because she's never been in love. I think I used that to sell nylons."
Rachel: "For a lot of people, love isn't just a slogan."
Don: "You mean love, you mean the big lightning bolt to the heart, where you can't eat, you can't work - you just run off and get married and make babies. The reason you haven't felt it is because it doesn't exist. What you call love, was invented by guys like me, to sell nylons."
Rachel: "Is that right?"
'Don: "I'm sure about it. You're born alone and you die alone, and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you, to make you forget those facts - but I never forget. I'm living like there's no tomorrow; because there isn't one."
Rachel: "I don't think I realized until this moment that it must be hard, being a man too."
-- Don enlightens Rachel, in Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.