"Mad Men" Souvenir (TV Episode 2009) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Don and Betty renew their love affair while on a business trip to Rome, while Peter has a bout of infidelity with an au pair in his building while his wife is away.

  • It's the summer vacation season, and many New Yorkers are out of town, including Trudy. Pete, alone at home, is feeling a little restless. His restlessness is cured when he meets Gudrun, an au pair who is working for his neighbors. Pete decides to assist a teary eyed Gudrun with a problem she is having. In doing so, Pete runs into an old colleague, which is slightly embarrassing for both. In doing this favor for Gudrun, Pete expects more than just a little gratitude in return, which causes some problems. Upon Trudy's return, Pete makes an unexpected request from her. At the Drapers, Betty is buoyed by the help that Henry Francis has provided in at least delaying the reservoir project. Henry admits that he helped for one specific reason. Don, who is also taking time off from work, is unexpectedly called by Connie to make a two day site visit to one of his hotels in Rome. Although a work trip, Betty, on Don's invitation, accompanies him on this trip. The two end up having more than just a little fun while in Rome. Arriving home, Betty realizes that her life in Terrytown is not perfect. She also needs to have a heart to heart mother-daughter talk with Sally, sparked by an incident while Betty and Don were away but which encompasses many of the feelings Sally has been experiencing since Grandpa Gene's death.

  • It's the dog days of August and Don is at home with a few days off between trips related to the Hilton Hotels account. Betty Draper continues her journey into political activism by attending a local council hearing on the water reservoir issue. With the help of Henry Francis, they have the project postponed. Thrilled at the successful outcome, Betty decides to join Don on a quick business trip to Rome. Staying at the Rome Hilton, they have a passionate few days. Peter Campbell is also on his own as his wife is away visiting her parents. He makes the acquaintance of Gudrun, a neighbor's au pair. He decides to help her out and tries to return an expensive dress she borrowed from her employer and then stained with red wine. Peter is surprised when he meets the manager of the boutique. His subsequent entanglement with Gudrun also has a profound impact on him.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • "Mad Men"- "Souvenir"- October4, 2009

    It's the end of the day at Sterling Cooper. Pete asks his secretary her plans, she's off with some of the girls for the weekend. Pete's still working and at loose ends without Trudy around. He offers to take the boys for a drink. It's the dog days of August.

    Betty's at the table working on the "save the reservoir" materials, the kids are catching lightning bugs. Don goes to join them.

    Pete heads home to his empty apartment. He takes off his shirt ,flips on the hi-fi,and sits on the couch.

    Betty makes "save the reservoir" calls as Don watches TV. Hilton's office rings for Don. (He's been flying around the country doing Hilton-related work). He takes the call and makes notes on Betty's call sheet. He's been asked to go to Rome, for two days.Betty laments how much he's been gone. He invites Betty to come with. She says what about the baby. He offers the Waldorf, she snarks that that's just like Rome.

    The next morning Pete watches Davy and Goliath and naps.He goes to bring the trash to the chute and comes upon a crying girl who has a dress halfway down the chute. She's the Lawrence's au pair from 14 C. They want to send her home. She shows him the dress, she accidentally stained it. He says if she throws it away they'll think she stole it and she should just put it back and blame it on the kids. He says to give it to him and he'll see what he can do, taking note of the size and store. She thanks him.

    The alarm rings and Betty rises. In the kitchen she looks over papers. She goes to pick up the dry cleaning. She goes to put on some make-up as Sally watches. Sally looks in the mirror and smiles.

    At the hearing about the town meeting they wait for Francis. He arrives just in time to deliver a request from the governor's office for further study on the reservoir project. The mayor seems skeptical. (Apparently a water quality study says it wasn't good). They read it and say they'll suspend the project for now.

    Walking out Francine says how she is impressed with Francis. Francis says he doesn't know what will happen but it's politics so they'll delay. Francis walks Betty to her car. He offers to buy her coffee but nothing's open. She declines anyway and thanks him for coming through, especially given how busy he is. He says he puts his heart into things and people he thinks are important. He compliments Betty's dad car. He said he saw how happy she was in the meeting and thought "dear God did I have anything to do with that? Because that would make me happy." She says he did. He leans in and kisses her. She drives away. He watches.

    Betty arrives home and fills Don in and does a little happy dance. He hugs her. She says they should do the project up in Newburgh, since it's disgusting anyway. She casually mentions the help they got from a man in the governor's office.

    Later in bed, Betty can't sleep and wakes Don and says she wants to come to Rome.

    Pete goes to Bonwit Teller in search of the dress. The saleslady doesn't think she can help, thinking the label could've been from anywhere, the stain makes it unreturnable and it's last year's style anyway. Pete gets nutty and asks for the manager. The manager is Joan. Pete is surprised. She offers to help. He offers to pay, she says no worries. He asks how she is. She says never better and that this is just temporary. She asks after the office. He says it's fine. She says Greg is considering a new specialty, psychiatry, the latest thing. He says if she happens to run into Trudy to be discreet. She of course assents with a smile. After he leaves she leans on the counter and holds her head.

    Don and Betty arrive at a gorgeous Hilton in Rome. They're jet-lagged. Betty gets her cigarette lit by a bellman and says "grazie." A fruit basket awaits in their lovely room. Betty banters with the bellman in Italian. She loves the view. Conrad calls the room and Betty answers, he's excited to meet her and wants her to put the staff through its paces.

    They nap. When Betty awakes she calls for a salon appointment.

    Francine drops off her son with Carla because the board is having a secret meeting.

    Betty arrives at dinner with her hair all done up fancy in a gorgeous black dress. Two men at an adjoining table hit on her and offer to show her the city. One of them makes a crass joke and Betty banters back with them. Don arrives and sits at a separate table and asks to join her. The guys tell the Yankee to go home. They tell her to not give this guy the time of day since he's too old and ugly. He asks if they're making fun of him, she says a little. He keeps the pretense up saying he's only in Rome for one night. He joins her,the men depart, she tells him they said he was ugly. He wonders if that bothers her. She wonders if because she's dressed like that he thinks she's shallow. He says he's only hoping she's easy. He asks what brings her to Rome. She says she could take it or leave it. Hilton arrives. He calls Don an indecently lucky man.

    After dinner they head back to the room and make out. Betty thinks Hilton adores him. She says she can see what all the fuss is about. They're a little tipsy and warm. They kiss some more and start to undress each other. They fall onto the bed. We drift to the view of Rome at night.

    Back at the Draper house Sally and Ernie sit in the tub (fully clothed) pretending to be driving a car. Sally leans over and kisses Ernie (on the cheek). Bobby sees them and starts singing "Sally and Ernie siting in a tree." Sally leaps out of the tub and chases Bobby down and punches him, hard. Carla comes in and separates them.

    Pete delivers the dress to Gudrun. She is very excited. He offers to get her a drink something German: schnapps, Riesling? She thanks him but says her boyfriend is there. She kisses him on the cheek. He says he was glad to help.

    Pete goes back to his apartment and has a drink on the balcony. Much later, drunk he goes back to Gudrun and tells her since he went to so much trouble with the dress he deserves to see it on her. She's in her robe and says okay but he has to be very quiet.

    She shows him into her room an offers to get the dress but instead he stops her, shuts the door and says he'd like to kiss her. He does.

    It's morning in Rome. The phone wakes Don as Betty comes out of the shower. Hilton wants breakfast. Don says Betty already ordered, even though she didn't. She gets in with him and snuggles up. She asks if he heard the bells. He says he did and he likes sleeping on that side of the bed. They make out. He says he has to get up. She pouts. He tells her to order something so she can give a full report and heads for the shower. She looks out the window and stretches on the bed. Then she goes into the bathroom, drops her towel, and goes in to join him.

    We cut to them returning home. Carla puts the baby in her arms. Don says the trip was short and sweet. Carla tells Betty about the Sally situation. Carla leaves and Betty coos at the baby.

    Mr. Lawrence from 14C pays Pete a visit. Without ever saying what happens he tells Pete to stay away from his nanny. He doesn't seem that upset about it other than he's been listening to his nanny cry and heretofore it's been hard to find a nanny his wife gets along with. He says the neighborhood's lousy with nannies so to stay away from her, in fact, he says Pete should be smart and stay out of the building.

    The next morning Betty reprimands Sally. She says she didn't do anything, Betty says she has to learn to control her temper and makes Sally apologize to Bobby. Don and Betty are still enjoying the Roman afterglow.

    Trudy returns regaling Pete with tales of her family as they board the elevator so do Gudrun and the Lawrence children. Trudy compliments the clean house and calls him her little bachelor. She starts to kiss him and says she missed every part of him but he doesn't reciprocate saying he has to get to work. She thinks it's because he saw children in the elevator and feels guilty about her desire for kids. She says she told him she no longer cares, she wants what he wants. He asks if he missed her. He can't look her in the eye. She asks if something happened. He looks up teary-eyed and she realizes what this means. She goes to the bedroom and slams the door.

    Betty comes into the living room and surveys the monstrosity of the fainting couch. She calls Sally down and tells her about first kisses. She says boys should kiss her not the other way around and even though Sally thinks her first kiss is over, Betty explains how they're special and when you meet the right person that first kiss will loom large and Sally will have many first kisses.

    Pete comes home from work and he and Trudy small talk about dinner and her going to the market. He stops her and looks at her and says he doesn't want her to go away without him anymore. He takes her hand. He seems genuinely contrite. She says she won't, this seems to cheer her up considerably and she smiles.

    Francine drops off money for Carla and tells Betty about the secret board meeting and how they may have reversed their decision. She asks after Rome and Betty subtly admits they didn't see any sights because they were um, busy. Francine recounts a no-kids journey she took with Carlton and how magical it was. She then says they'll need to be vigilant about the reservoir. But this also means Betty will still be able to get help from high places. Betty says she's done with that. Don returns home and Francine shoots him a little Rome innuendo and departs.

    Later Betty seems grumpy and says she hates this town and their friends. He says they'll go away again. He tells her to look on her pillow. She opens a jewelry box with a coliseum charm for a charm bracelet. She says it's lovely and he will now be able to look at it when she tells the tale of their trip to Rome. She seems sad and mad for some reason.

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