The Mountain King
The mountain king
Season 2 Episode 12
Air date 19 October 2008
Written by Matthew Weiner
Robin Veith
Directed by Alan Taylor

The Jet Set
Meditations in an Emergency


An old friend and Don renew their acquaintance; Pete's personal problems impact a major account; Joan introduces her fiancé around the office.


Betty Hofstadt catches Sally Draper smoking and punishes her by locking her into a closet. Sassing her back, Sally says Don Draper left the family because Betty is "mean and stupid." Betty unlocks the closet door and lies and tells Sally that Don is on a trip and he would be very disappointed to hear how she's been acting. Sally promises to behave better.

Over the din of the Xerox machine, Peggy Olson brainstorms with Ken Cosgrove and Salvatore Romano about the Popsicle campaign. Sal and Peggy recall their mothers' ritual of breaking popsicles in half for the kids to share. Pete Campbell, meanwhile, learns that Trudy Vogel has scheduled an appointment with an adoption agency.

Bertram Cooper's sister Alice Geiger visits him to discuss the proposed sale of Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency. She finds the terms generous, but Bertram fears the merger will leave him feeling "as useful as the Queen of England."

Don, still in Southern California, flashes back to a long-ago meeting with the wife of the real Don Draper. Asserting that he's "been caught," she begs him to reveal her husband's fate. After initially resisting, Don tells the woman, Anna Draper, that her husband died in combat.

Back in the present, Don visits Anna in California, where she is giving a piano lesson. One of her students is playing "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg, to which Don remarks "It's scary" to the boy. After the lesson is over and the boy departs, Anna offers Don a beer, then asks "Are you in trouble?"

"We are not adopting a child. That's final," Pete declares to Trudy. The same night, Greg Harris loses interest during lovemaking when Joan Holloway gets on top of him after saying, "You're tired, let me do the driving". Moments later he apologizes for not knowing "all the things" she wants in bed.

Sipping beer on Anna's front porch, which, she reminds him, he paid for, Don says, "I've ruined everything. My family, my wife, my kids." He describes himself as merely "watching" his life. "I keep scratching at it, trying to get into it. I can't."

Pete receives a call from Tom Vogel, his father-in-law, who is putting the Clearasil account up for review, despite what Pete calls spectacular results. Pete is "distracted," Tom contends, because Trudy is unhappy; it's affecting his work. Tom should just pull the account right now, counters Pete, and stop meddling in his and Trudy's marriage.

Don flashes back to a Christmas Eve with Anna. Betty, the new woman in his life, is "so beautiful" and happy, he says. Don wants to marry her, but he and Anna will have to divorce. Anna consents; having a family will give Don "a chance at a whole new life."

Peggy presents the Popsicle campaign: "Take it. Break it. Share it. Love it." Her approach impresses the company's representatives.

Betty calls Sarah Beth, who admits to making "a terrible mistake" with Arthur Case, their friend from the stables. When Betty chides her for not knowing the difference between "wanting and having," she accuses Betty of encouraging her to have an affair. "No one made you sleep with him," Betty retorts.

After a repairman lectures Peggy about her coworkers' abuse of the copy machine, she tells Roger Sterling that since she brought in the Popsicle account on her own , she deserves Freddy Rumsen's old office. "It's yours," says Roger. "You young women are very aggressive," he states approvingly. Before leaving the office, both Roger and Peggy run into Joan, who is flaunting her new fiance Greg around the office, with a bouquet of roses in hand. Joan and Roger banter back and forth, which makes George jealous. Later that afternoon, before he and Joan leave for their date, he asks her to make him a drink in Don's office. "Pretend I'm your boss," he tells her. Joan agrees, but inside, Greg forces himself upon her despite her protests. He pins her to the floor, saying, "This is what you want, right?" and proceeds to rape her. Afterwards, he waits outside the office for Joan to adjust her clothing. They leave together, with Joan leaving his roses behind on her desk.

The next day, Bertram, Alice, and Roger meet to vote on the merger. Don's small share of the company makes his absence irrelevant, says Bertram. The partners agree to sell.

Joan congratulates Peggy on her new office. Peggy returns the compliment, calling Greg "a keeper." Ken and Harry Crane stop by with Paul Kinsey, who has returned from Mississippi. He describes his trip as the adventure of a lifetime but his happiness is short-lived when he and the others see Peggy moving into Freddy's office. "I'm the head of Television," Harry complains.

Betty gives Sally some new riding boots. She tells Sally that she and Don have had a "disagreement" and that she doesn't know where he is or when he'll return. In California, Don repairs a chair while Anna does a tarot reading for him. The chair fixed, he sees a copy of Frank O'Hara's "Meditations in an Emergency". She says the poems made her worry about him. He asks if he should be worried about the cards, but she says they reveal that he's unhappy only because he believes he's alone.

Sarah beth carson

Sarah Beth Carson

Pete asks Peggy how she scored her office. "I'm sleeping with Don," jokes Peggy. Pete chuckles before informing her that Clearasil is pulling its account. Peggy asks what happened to Don in California, and Pete replies Don just disappeared. Hinting that he knows things about Don's past, Pete adds, "He may not be coming back. He's done it before."

Back in California, a shirtless Don walks into the ocean, his eyes closed as the waves crash against him.


  • In this episode a tarot card-related easter egg is seen. Weiner Bros. is a production company of "Mad Men"; the Weiner Bros. logo is seen after the credits of each episode of "Mad Men". The logo of Weiner Bros. is a tarot card which has the text "Weiner Bros." written at the bottom of it; the Sun is seen at the top of the logo. At 42:06 in the episode the Weiner Bros. logo is seen among other tarot cards; however, in the TV show the text is changed to "THE SUN." (these cards are part of Anna's tarot reading).


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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" •
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