...but when she returns to Don's office to tell him she's taking off, he's second-guessing his idea, worried that they're abandoning the toughness angle. Having had just about enough, Peggy builds up a head of steam before saying that she was supposed to be at dinner an hour ago, and it's her birthday. Don, reasonably enough, asks why she didn't tell him, and when she angrily tells him that she thought what they're doing would only take a second, he asks if he's supposed to feel sick that he ruined her birthday, and wonders if she knows when his birthday is. Peggy: "I was your secretary!" Miss Blankenship or no, I'll take that as a yes. Don drunkenly tells her to get over birthdays and get gone, and she obliges on the second part...
...only to hesitate at the elevator. Oh, Peggy! When Trudy said twenty-six was still very young, she didn't really mean it!
Cut to Mark getting another call, and Peggy tells him that she won't be able to make it at all, adding that no one asked him to do this. Now the angry flip, Peggy? That's beneath you, but you'll get your punishment, as after Mark blurts that she told him she'd never had a surprise for her birthday, Peggy's mother has had enough of this crap and grabs the phone, chewing her daughter out for not appreciating the fact that a nice boy likes her. When Mark gets back on, Peggy apologizes again, especially for the part where he had to spend an evening with her mother, but Mark won't be placated, so Peggy goes on the offensive once more, saying that her mother has never even had a job so obviously couldn't understand, and by the way, he used her birthday "to get in good with a bunch of people who drive me crazy!" Mark asks if he should have invited Don, then, since she never stands him up, and the way the family peanut gallery exchanges "Ooh, girl" side-eyes at that one suggests their evening hasn't been a complete loss. He adds that he's into the evening for forty bucks already, so if she doesn't mind, he's going to enjoy his dinner, but when she mutters that she can't believe he's going to stay, that's it -- he dumps her and hangs up. Anita assures him that it'll be fine: "Couples fight. Ask Gerry." In a hilariously somber manner, Gerry nods, and I don't know that I could stand to be a regular viewer, but if they gave these folks a spin-off I'd watch at least an episode or two.
Peggy comes marching back into Don's office and goes straight to pour herself a drink as she tells Don she thinks she just broke up with Mark. Well, that's not quite how I heard it, but the point is really that she and the fetus are no longer an item, so I won't dwell on it. Don suggests she go home, but Peggy says no -- she's there to work. Don picks up on her tone, subtle like a piercing siren as it is, and asks if this is his fault, and she acidly replies that it certainly isn't because of her that he has no family or friends or anywhere to go. Don elects not to take offense, instead telling her again to go, but she says she has to be there, "because of some stupid idea from Danny, who you had to hire because you stole his other stupid idea because you were drunk." All true and stuff she's said before, but Don's not so easy to beat down when he hasn't been on a weekend-long bender, and tells her not to get personal, "and by the way, I know it kills you, but guess what? There is no 'Danny's idea.' Everything that comes in here belongs to the agency." Well, at least until it throws things around your office in a crying fit and quits. Peggy brings it around to the heart of her resentment, the Glo-Coat ad, and Don can't believe it, as he claims she gave him twenty ideas and he picked out a kernel of one that became that commercial. Peggy loudly demurs, saying that he changed it just enough so that it was his, and when he argues that her idea wouldn't have worked as a commercial (it would have involved shooting the kid in a dark closet), her voice breaks as she points out her got the Clio for it, and he never thanks her. He's had enough, though, barking that she gets paid for her ideas, and is young and will get recognition in time, and by the way, it's ridiculous for her to be counting her ideas when she's such a short way into her career. "Everything to you is an opportunity. And you should be thanking me every morning when you wake up, along with Jesus, for giving you another day!" My guess is she's not going to start tomorrow. Peggy's face breaks, which is Kryptonite even to Don, and as she rushes out in tears, he calls after her that he's sorry about her boyfriend. Peggy pushes past the janitor into the restroom and, regarding herself in the mirror, completely breaks down -- we're talking wracking sobs here -- and aside from just the general shock at seeing her lose it, it's such a contrast from that similar iconic shot from the beginning of the series where she willed herself into not breaking down in front of the bathroom mirror. I can't believe there's still half the episode to go, but if they're willing to do it I'm certainly willing to write about it.