Out of Town
Mad Men Season 3 Episode 1 (08/16/09)
The third season premiere of Mad Men picks up approximately six months after the second season concluded. How do we know for sure? There were a number of signs:
- Betty and Don's relationship appears to be repaired; and her baby bump is very much showing. (Betty thinks it will be a girl.)
- The British takeover of Sterling Cooper is in full swing. We learn that the Brits have fired one-third of the U.S. workers at the firm; that an annoying guy named John Hooker is the male secretary for Lane Pryce, the British financial officer now in charge; and that Pete and Ken have both been named the new heads of accounts. It's a competition!
The installment actually opened with Don flashing back to how he entered the world: via a prostitute that was knocked up by his father, only for her to pass away and a midwife to pass him along to his father's wife.
As for the main storyline of the episode, it finds Don and Sal taking a trip to Baltimore in order to satisfy a concerned client. On the trip there, a stewardess comes on (big time!) to Don and a dinner date is arranged between her, Don, Sal, another stewardess and the pilot.
At the meal, Don makes up a story about his background (he's really good at that) and claims he and Sal are accountants. When the dinner is over, Don and this stewardness retire upstairs and, while each seems hesitant at first, end up sleeping together.
Meanwhile, in Sal's room, he can't work the air conditioner. Therefore, he calls a bellhop to comes to the room, fixes the AC - and makes out with Sal! They are about to go a lot further when the fire alarm rings. Sal is buttoning up his pants and the bellhop is putting on his shirt... when Don sees the scene through Sal's hotel room window!
On the plane ride back to NYC, though, Don is a cool customer, as always: he addresses the situation broadly and professionally, by selling Sal on his new ad campaign idea for the company they just visited (London Fog raincoats). The tagline of the campaign? Limit Your Exposure.
This seems to be a subtle message Don is passing along to Sal: hey, I'm not gonna judge your sexuality, but others might if you make it public. Limit that exposure, buddy.