Mad Men (2007–2015)
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Meditations in an Emergency 

Under the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Don returns to New York just as Betty finds out that she is pregnant. Meanwhile, everybody at Sterling Cooper contemplates their futures as news of the merger slowly leaks out.


Matthew Weiner


Matthew Weiner (created by), Matthew Weiner | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Hamm ... Don Draper
Elisabeth Moss ... Peggy Olson
Vincent Kartheiser ... Pete Campbell
January Jones ... Betty Draper
Christina Hendricks ... Joan Holloway
Bryan Batt ... Salvatore Romano
Michael Gladis ... Paul Kinsey
Aaron Staton ... Ken Cosgrove
Rich Sommer ... Harry Crane
John Slattery ... Roger Sterling
Robert Morse ... Bertram Cooper
Mark Moses ... Duck Phillips
Colin Hanks ... Father John Gill
Anne Dudek ... Francine Hanson
Ryan McPartlin ... Gentleman


The Cuban Missile Crisis is preoccupying the minds of Americans. Nuclear war is a very real possibility and as such, many are thinking about where and with whom they would want to die. Trudy wants to be with her parents, whereas Pete wants to stay in Manhattan. Father John uses the crisis as a basis for one of his sermons and also ties in with it a private conversation with Peggy about her life. Betty learns that she's pregnant and because of the state of the world and her family, she's not sure she wants to keep the baby. Coinciding with this news is Don's return back to New York, he who wants to resume his life as it was, both personally and professionally. Don's return does not alter Betty's feelings, but a night alone on the town while Don has the children gives Betty the opportunity to figure out what she wants and needs to do. At Sterling Cooper, Don is surprised by the news of the merger, whereas the accounts and creatives executives are wondering about what's going on, most ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

26 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the hair salon Francine offers Betty a "Miltown" -stating that "It's the only thing keeping me from chewing my nails off." Miltown was one of many names given to the drug Meprobamate, a tranquilizer. Wallace laboratories named their version of the drug after the borough of Milltown, New Jersey. Meprobamate was also one of the first drugs to be widely advertised to the general public. See more »


When Betty takes a drink, we see from her profile that she's holding a cigarette in her right hand, but when the camera cuts to a frontal shot, her hand is empty and the cigarette is resting in the ashtray. See more »


Peggy Olson: One day you're there, and then all of a sudden, there's less of you. And you wonder where that... part went; if it's living somewhere outside of you. And you keep thinking maybe you'll get it back. And then you realize, it's just gone.
Pete Campbell: Why would you tell me that?
Peggy Olson: I'm sorry Pete.
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Featured in The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards (2009) See more »


Stranger On The Shore
Written by Acker Bilk
Performed by Acker Bilk
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User Reviews

The best episode of Mad Men so far
15 August 2018 | by pjgs200See all my reviews

So far, I've liked almost every episode of Mad Men, but there aren't many that really stand out to me. I wasn't a big fan of "The Jet Set," but I think I've enjoyed this season a lot more than the first. This episode in particular was very good, with strong performances, good writing, and great direction. The last ten minutes of this episode were gripping. 8 out of 10

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