"Time Zones," the premiere episode of "Mad Men," opens with Freddy Rumsen's monologue. He is pitching a brilliant idea in front of Penny for Accutron Time account. It is later revealed that Don Draper is using Freddy as his proxy to pitch his creative ideas to Sterling Cooper & Partners and other ad agencies.
Don Draper is still on an indefinite leave. Megan, however, is not aware about his paid, unemployment status. Don goes to Los Angeles to meet her and maintains the pretence of a working man. Megan's acting career is showing positive signs of progress, while her relationship with Don is turning cold. She has her list of don'ts for Don and is not happy when he orders a huge T.V. set for her apartment, without asking her.
Don bonds with an attractive widow on his flight back to New York. When the woman says to him that his wife may not like their closeness, Don confesses, "She knows I'm a terrible husband." Don turns down the woman's offer of giving him a ride.
Meanwhile, Lou Avery, the new boss in Draper's absence, is making it difficult for Peggy. He rejects her ideas and tells on her face that he is immune to her charms. Also, a brief, awkward encounter with Ted adds to the growing pile of Peggy's woes. At the end of the episode, Peggy breaks-down in the living-room of her house. She kneels down and cries.
Roger is cohabiting with a group of hippies in his house, which has turned into a house of debauchery. His daughter has gained some of kind spiritual wisdom. She sets-up a meeting with him to tell that she has forgiven him. Roger is amused and is not keen on accepting her forgiveness.
Joan is yet to become a partner of SC&P in the real sense, as the men of her professional world still see her as a secretary, with no real value. Ken wants her to meet the new head of marketing, Wayne Barnes, at Butler Footwear, as he wants to keep the halo of his high position. Barnes turns out to be a prick. He does not see Joan as someone worth talking to, and drops marketing terms such as 4Ps to make it obvious. Barnes threatens to fire SC&P, as he has plans to develop an in-house agency. Joan takes the help of a university professor to get a crash course in education. The next time when Barnes calls, she is well-prepared to handle the call, with confidence, and buys her company some time.
Pete looks like a free man and is enjoying his stay in Los Angeles. Despite his list of complaints, he feels Los Angeles has a vibration.
Except Peter, it looks like Don, Peggy, Roger and Joan are experiencing their personal hell.