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The Hobo Code
Season 1 Episode 08
Air date 6 September 2007
Written by Chris Provenzano
Directed by Phil Abraham

Red in the Face


Don is tormented as pieces of his secretive past begin to haunt him. Peggy's professional and personal life reaches new strides. Pete finally moves in to his new apartment. The office celebrates a co-workers success at P.J. Clarke's. Lois, a switchboard employee sets her sights on a fellow colleague. Salvatore Romano gets a little too close with a client from Belle Jolie.


The elevator doors slide open at the Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency, and Pete Campbell enters. Just as the doors are about to close, Peggy Olson rushes in. It's early morning and the work day is starting. Due to the service elevator being out, a black janitor rides the elevator with them, much to Pete's dismay. Both have days ahead of them; Pete is moving into his newlywed apartment, and Peggy's copy is being presented to the Belle Jolie lipstick clients.

When they arrive on their floor, which is devoid of any ad men, Peggy enters Pete's office to see if he wants any coffee. He tells her to come in and close the door.

Pete and Peggy share a moment in The Hobo Code.

"Do you know how hard it is to see you walking around here everyday?" Pete says, grabbing her waist and leaning in for a deep, passionate kiss. Within moments, they're on his couch, Peggy unbuckling his pants and Pete fumbling with her skirt. A janitor walks into the bullpen, sees their bodies moving through the glass and pauses to watch before moving on. Moments later, Pete tucks in his shirt, and Peggy sees her torn collar; from when Pete ripped it open. In an attempt to clear the air, Pete says that he hasn't looked over Peggy's copy as he promised. "I have all these things going on in my head, and I can't say them," he adds. Peggy thought the reason he hadn't discussed it with her was because perhaps he didn't like the copy. Peggy seems relieved and now with the bullpen filling with employees, Pete whispers, "I'm sorry I ripped your blouse." Peggy replies, "Its OK." The phone rings, and Peggy leaves. The office comes to life before either can really figure out what just happened.

In the switchboard room, Joyce, Marge and the new girl, Lois Sadler, field calls. Salvatore's mother calls for her son. Lois connects them and listens in as they talk in a mix of English and Italian. Lois asks the others about Sal as they continue to transfer phone calls. Joan enters the switchboard to request that when Mona Sterling calls they put it through straight to her. Lois asks Joan for more information about Sal. Joan describes him as "handsome, extremely debonair, cologne but not the cheap stuff."

Burt presents Don with a bonus. Episode: The Hobo Code.

Elsewhere, Don Draper sits outside of Mr. Cooper's office, his shoes off, nervous and unclear about why he has been summoned. Once he's invited in Bertram Cooper gives Don a 2,500 dollar check for his talents. "I believe we are alike," Cooper says. "You are a productive and reasonable man, and in the end, completely self interested." He points to a book by Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged", and tells Don to buy a copy out of his bonus.

Later, Lois ventures over to the art department. She meets Marty Faraday and Duane Davis before Salvatore Romano saunters in and she coyly asks for directions back to the switchboard and then gathers the courage to say something he had said on the phone earlier: "Ciao ciao."

Pete, having a beverage in his office, is paged by a secretary informing him that his wife Trudy Vogel has arrived at his office. Surprised, he hides his drink in his desk and greets Trudy at the door. "Hello, homeowner!" she says, inviting Pete to their newly purchased home 30 blocks away. Pete is reluctant and wishes to wait until after work to meet her there. He raises his voice and says, "This is my office", telling Trudy that they fight when she "just shows up like this."  Pete then apologizes and offers to have a cup of the champagne she brought, but Trudy decides to leave, stating that they would have a long time to enjoy their home over their lives.

In the conference room, Freddy Rumsen presents the ad campaign for Belle Jolie: "Mark Your Man." A poster on an easel shows a woman standing next to a man, a lipstick kiss on his cheek. Elliot Lawrence, one of the Belle Jolie representatives, seems impressed but Hugh Brody isn't satisfied. The brand has more colors than any other and this ad makes no mention of that. Frustrated, Don gets up to leave. "You've already tried your plan, and you're No. 4," he says and continues with the pitch. "Every woman wants choices, but in the end, none wants to be one in a box of a hundred. You are giving every girl who wears your lipstick the gift of total ownership." With that, Hugh asks Don to sit back down.

The men celebrate in Don's office and invite Peggy in for a well-deserved drink of her own. Elated with her writing success, Peggy gathers the switchboard girls as well as Pete and the other men for drinks at P.J. Clarke's. Lois even gives Sal a call to invite him along.

Joan and Paul doing the Cha-Cha. Episode The Hobo Code.

Instead, Sal meets Elliot at the bar in the Roosevelt Hotel. They share a drink as Elliot rhapsodizes about the wonder of New York City. Before long, their conversation changes tone. Elliot reaches across the table and drinks from Sal's glass. The sexual tension is obvious, but when Elliot asks if Sal would like to go see the view from his bedroom Sal declines, clearly embarrassed. "I know what I want to do," he says.

At P.J. Clarke's, most of Sterling Cooper is drinking and doing the cha-cha. Joan and Lois gossip at the jukebox when Lois scopes the room for Sal, and Joan gossips about Peggy; "I'm not saying Peggy's got anything upstairs, but at Sterling Cooper things are happening mostly downstairs." Paul takes Joan to dance with him as the other secretaries look and gossip. Chubby Checker's "The Twist" blares out of the jukebox and the room bursts into hysterics. With mostly everyone doing the twist on the dance floor, Peggy sees Pete sitting alone and twists her way to him. She asks him to dance, but he declines. "I don't like you like this," he says. Her eyes fill with tears as she returns to the crowd.

Meanwhile, Don knocks on the door of a crowded apartment. Midge Daniels is there, along with her beatnik friend Roy Hazelitt. Don pulls Midge aside. "Pack a bag," he says, pulling out his bonus check. "We're going to Paris." She has other plans -- to get high and listen to Miles Davis. After taking a hit from the joint, Don goes into the bathroom and looks at himself in the mirror.

Archibald Whitman and The Hobo, in The Hobo Code.

We flashback to Don as young "Dick." He's outside of a farmhouse digging as his father Archibald Whitman is working on a truck and Abigail Whitman is hanging laundry. A hobo approaches and asks if he could work to earn a meal. Abigail obliges and at dinner discovers that the hobo has especially good manners and actually hails from New York. That night, Dick brings him some blankets, and they begin to talk. Dick reveals that he's "a whore-child," and the hobo admits he's actually a traveler who gave up the conventional life to be free. He even shares the chalk codes, a symbol for good food or a nasty dog, that hobos write on the houses they pass. Though the hobo was promised a quarter for work by Abigail, Archie simply tells him to be on his way. After the hobo leaves, Dick sees that on the gate is a picture of a knife: a dishonest man lives here.

Don comes to terms with Midge in The Hobo Code.

Back at the apartment, Don takes a Polaroid picture of Roy and Midge, and once it develops, he realizes something; they're in love. Then, some of the beatniks in the apartment harp on Don's lifestyle. "You make the lie," one of them says. "You invent want. You're for them and not us." With that, Don asks Midge to go to Paris again. When she declines, he endorses the check and sticks it in her bra. He goes home.


  • The voice actress playing Sal’s mom improvised some of her lines, displeasing some of the producers.
  • When Peggy talks to Don about “keeping a spare”, it’s a reference to what she’s learned from Don and his affairs, since he keeps a stack of spare shirts in his desk.
  • The actors featured dancing had to take dance lessons before shooting those scenes.
  • The conversation between Dick and the Hobo was shot in a barn down the road from the Disney Ranch. It was actually shot during the day, but the crew covered the sides of the barn with some drapes.
  • Pete originally looks at Peggy when he shows up at the end of the episode, but Vincent Kartheiser argued that it would be a more powerful scene if he didn’t, so they edited it out.


Main Star

Guest Star



Peggy: I'm going down to get some coffee, you want some?
Pete: Come in here. Close the door.
Peggy: There's no one here.
Pete: Close the door. Do you know how hard it is, to see you walking around here everyday?
Pete and Peggy reconnect in, "The Hobo Code".

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" •