Still in trouble at home, Don's been staying at the Roosevelt, which is pretty nice as far as doghouses go. He steps outside to get the paper, and it's bad news: Marilyn Monroe is off to straddle that big sewer grate in the sky. Meanwhile, somewhere in England, a teenager named Elton John is crying through a sparkly pair of pink-tinted sunglasses while he writes a song about candles and wind.
The starlet's suicide has turned the women of Sterling Cooper into a bunch of blubbering wrecks even Joan, who had more in common with the lonely bombshell than just a body type. Peggy, on the other hand, sees the silver (platinum blond?) lining, reminding Don that they're lucky Playtex didn't go with that Jackie/Marilyn campaign.
A call from Sally Draper asking when her daddy would be back from his "business trip" has clued Jane in on her boss's marital woes, and the ever mischievous secretary lets Don know that she's "there" for him. Only he very much does not want her to be. Keep your mouth shut about it, he says. I'm guessing she won't. [Me from 45 minutes in the future: You're right!]
Pete, Peggy and Sal step into Freddie Rumsen's office to prepare for a meeting. Freddie steps into the corner to think/accidentally pee all over his pants and shoes, because when he's this drunk, zippers are for Mozart playing purposes only. Shitfaced to an impressive degree, he barely even has time to get embarrassed over his incontinence before zonking out at his desk. The others are mortified (but stifling laughter, because, seriously Freddie), and an eleventh hour decision from Pete puts Peggy in charge of the presentation. It goes well, and afterwards, Pete rats out their inebriated coworker to Duck and Roger. Looks like Pete's "conniving little twat" side is back.
Jealous of anyone who doesn't have to abandon a beloved pet just to take a shot, Duck immediately demands Freddie be fired, and Roger, though far fonder of the longtime copywriter, agrees. Don does not, and quickly finds he and Duck at odds once again. But despite arguing for a slightly more lenient punishment of "nothing at all," Don's elaborate defense ("Come on! It's Freddie!") falls on deaf ears. Roger won't budge. Freddie's sentence: A six-month "leave of absence" really just a nicer way of saying "good luck with your future, which is not here." Don and Roger will deliver the news over drinks the following night.
Not knowing that his termination has already been determined, the back-up-and-about Freddie uses like three articles of clothing to hide that leg-length piss stain on his way out of the office. But even if word hadn't already spread, his squishy, urine-filled loafer is kind of a dead giveaway.
Don comes home for the first time in days, and Sally hugs him hard. He calls her "Salamander," which is pretty adorable. With the kids out of the room, he asks Betty how much longer they're capable of maintaining this whole secret separation thing. "Bets, what do you want?" he says, and she's like "to keep passing out on our furniture in the middle of that day, obviously." She makes a few cutting remarks about how Don can talk anybody into anything, which apparently doesn't apply to Jewish department store heiresses.
After her friend Sara Beth complains of boredom, Betty invites Arthur (the tactless cad from the horse park whose idea of seduction is telling a woman how super fucking depressed she looks) to lunch with the two of them. "The three of us should go out and have some fun," she says. Hmmm. But since this is "Mad Men" and not "Wild Things," no one's boobs get splashed with champagne, and no sweaty, three-way make-out sessions transpire. Instead, Arthur shows up to find Sara Beth lunching alone. It looks like Betty just wanted to engineer their tryst, not take part in it which seems fine by them. I guess this sort of quasi-infidelity is enough to sustain her right now, but I bet she crosses the line herself before the season's over.
Roger and Don break the bad news to Freddie, and decide to see him off the right way by making a night of it at some supersecret underground casino. Though the occasion is bittersweet, they end up having a great time, sort of like Freddie's a death row inmate getting a really juicy steak for his last meal or something. Also God must've heard my prayers this week, because Don runs into Jimmy Barrett and promptly JACKS HIS FACE. Unfortunately for the world, Don stops there, choosing not to shatter the comedian's trachea. (Fair compromise, God.)
At the end of the night, as Don loads Freddie into a taxi, Freddie admits that he has no idea what to do next. "If I don't go into that office every day," he says, "who am I?" Don is like, "dude, there's only room for one walking identity crisis on this show."
Later on, at another bar, Roger lets on that he knows of the strife at the Draper homestead, but insists he didn't hear it from anyone. Don then reveals that getting kicked out actually came as a relief. He tells Roger to "live your life," which Roger mishears as "LEAVE your WIFE."
The next day at work, Don promotes Peggy, and awards her every one of Freddie's accounts. But when she finds out he got fired, she's upset and guilty over the collateral damage. She didn't want it to happen like this, she says, and Don's like, "me neither. Isn't Pete a conniving little twat?" So Peggy runs off to yell at him for being an overambitious little tattle-tale, and practically tackles him in his office, but for once not in a sexual way.
Meanwhile, Mona, Roger's wife, bursts into Don's office and demands to know what the hell he said to her husband. Don's like "???" and Mona says Roger's leaving her for a SECRETARY. For a second I thought she meant Joan, but no: Roger's been sticking it to Jane, and surprise surprise, it was she who let slip about the Draper split. Don fires her on the spot, scowls at Roger, and slams the door.
Fun With Code Names
Roger: "I'm Dick Dollars. This is Mike Moneybags."
Casino waitress: "Are you winners or losers?"
Roger: "Losers tonight, but winners in general."