The episode opens with the Draper kids watching their neighbor release homing pigeons. You're totally a genius if you think those homing pigeons will be revisited. Next, we see Don getting chatted up by Jim Hobart, the head of rival agency McCann-Erickson at intermission for Fiorello! a musical about former New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Jim tells Don that he should ditch Sterling Cooper (zero) and get with M-to-the-E (hero). While Don and Jim's wife grab drinks, Jim tells Betty that she looks like an actress. She tells him that she used to be a model, and he says she'd be great for their Coca-Cola campaign and gives her his card. On the way home, Betty tells Don about it and he laughs it off. She reminds him that she used to be a model. The next day, Betty tells Ethel about the previous evening and says she did, in fact, used to model. Later, while in therapy, she tells her therapist the same thing. She also mentions that her mother pressured her to be thin. The doctor suggests that Betty's mad at her mother, but she seriously protests. She doesn't break anything, but she's pissed. At Sterling Cooper, the guys discuss their pro-bono work for the Nixon Presidential campaign. They're worried that Kennedy is going to win, but then laugh at the absurdity of the idea. Don starts getting all sorts of gifts from Jim, who seriously wants him to work at McCann-Erickson. Roger catches wind of the courtship and offers Don more money. Betty decides to audition for the Coca-Cola job and gets it! The first day she's at work, though, the homing pigeons return to the Drapers' neighbor's place and the dog grabs one. The neighbor tells the Draper kids that he will shoot their dog if it's ever in his yard again. Things were so much simpler back then. Betty loves going back to work. Pete and Harry come up with the idea of taking up ad space that would have been used by the Kennedy campaign with ads for the laxatives that they're working on. They're hoping to shut Kennedy out of the markets that are swing states. That is totally going to work. The bigwigs at Sterling Cooper love the idea. Peggy splits her skirt and Joan loans her a dress, which leads the guys in the office, Pete included, to discuss that she's gained a little weight. Later, Joan tries to tell Peggy that she should try to slim down. Peggy gets really defensive until she realizes that Joan isn't being nasty, she's just relaying the cold hard facts that a woman really isn't worth anything unless she's thin. Later, the guys are talking about Peggy again and Pete freaks out and sucker punches Ken. When Don sees the modeling shots of Betty, he realizes that they offered her the job just to try to lure him to McCann-Erickson. He marches into Roger's office and tells him that he's staying at Sterling Cooper. Of course, this means that Betty loses her job. She tells Don that she has decided to stay home, instead of modeling. But she did, in fact, model. Later, after Don has gone to work, she smokes some butts and shoots at the neighbor's birds while he protests.
Many thanks to Jeff for covering the recaplet for this episode while I was out of town on vacation.
We open on a shot of the Draper kids playing with their dog (have we seen the dog since Don brought him home instead of a cake?), and then we pan down to reveal Betty doing a little pruning while wearing chic white-framed sunglasses. Next door, a neighbor releases some pigeons we'll soon see appear to be of the homing variety; the kids are excited to see them fly, but Betty just regards them neutrally. She does respond to the neighbor's friendly wave with a smile, but that's probably because if you piss off The Pigeon Whisperer, you're likely to end up with at least one eye pecked out.
At the theater, Don has just lit a cigarette (...I know, it's not exactly catching lightning in a bottle) when an older guy approaches him. Don complains about having to sit through Fiorello!, but the guy is interested in talking business, mentioning that his agency got the Israeli Tourism account (from "Babylon"). I guess the Israelis didn't want the sophisticated approach after all, but I'm going to move on from that thought lest I distract myself by coming up with taglines they might have used, like "Visit Israel and Haifa great time." The guy ("Jim Hobart" is his name) tells Don that "Jesus over Rio" (also mentioned in that same scene in "Babylon") is the best tourist campaign he's seen in over twenty years, and mentions how he and some advertising bigwigs were talking about Don at the very exclusive New York Athletic Club. Hobart goes on to tell Don that he's too good for Sterling Cooper -- he should be over at McCann-Erickson with him, where he'd have five hundred people at his disposal, and that's just in New York. Don looks noncommittal but flattered, and then Hobart's wife "Adele" appears, soon followed by Betty; introductions are made all around, and then Adele somewhat pointedly tells Betty that Don was about to prove that he can talk about things other than advertising. I think Adele has heard her share of advertising war stories for this life and the next. Upon being told by Betty that Don is "very interesting," Adele leads him away to get the four of them drinks as he specifically ascertains that Betty would like champagne, leaving Hobart to ask Betty if she's an actress. I'd point out that, given that words are his business, that's a pretty hoary opening gambit from Hobart, were it not for the fact that Betty laps it up like it's one of the finest vintages of Cristal. She tells Hobart that she used to do some modeling, "a lifetime ago," and he says he's not surprised, as she's got some face. He adds she's a dead ringer for Grace Kelly, and Betty acknowledges that she used to get that all the time. Hobart then mentions a Coke campaign he's working on that he thinks Betty's "European face" would fit perfectly. Betty blushes and unconvincingly tries to say she's retired, but Hobart hands over his card and urges her to think about it. The end-of-intermission lights blink, and Adele, returning with Don, encourages everyone to drink up. I think they'll be able to handle that one. The two couples head for opposite sides of the theater.