|Mad Men character|
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson
|First appearance||"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" (1.01)|
|Last appearance||"Person to Person" (7.14)|
|Created by||Matthew Weiner|
|Portrayed by||Elisabeth Moss|
|Full name||Margaret Olson|
|Occupation||Copy Chief, Sterling Cooper & Partners (seasons 6-7) |
Copy Chief, Cutler, Gleason & Chaough (season 6)
Advertising Copywriter, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (seasons 4-5)
Advertising Copywriter, Sterling Cooper (seasons 2-3)
Secretary to Don Draper (seasons 1-2)
|Family||Katherine Olson (mother)|
Anita Olson Respola (sister)
|Significant other||Stan Rizzo (boyfriend) |
Ted Chaough (ex-lover)
Abe Drexler (ex-boyfriend)
Herman “Duck” Phillips (ex-lover)
Pete Campbell (ex-lover)
|Children||Son (with Pete Campbell)|
Margaret "Peggy" Olson is a fictional character in the AMC television series Mad Men, and is portrayed by Elisabeth Moss. Initially, Peggy is secretary to Don Draper (Jon Hamm), creative director of the advertising agency Sterling Cooper. Later, she is promoted to copywriter, the first female writer at the firm since World War II. She later joins Draper when he leaves Sterling Cooper to become a founding member of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. By the end of Season 4, Peggy is effectively Draper's second-in-command in the creative department. Towards the end of season five, Peggy accepts a job offer from another agency, CGC, and quits her job at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. However, following a merger between SCDP and CGC, Peggy finds herself working again with Don Draper.
Moss garnered critical acclaim for her performance and received six Primetime Emmy Award nominations, a Golden Globe nomination, three Critics' Choice Television Award nominations, and has been nominated for two individual nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards for her performance. She has also won two Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series along with the cast of Mad Men.
Peggy Olson is initially presented as an innocent but determined young woman, eager to be a success in her job at Sterling Cooper after having graduated from the respected Miss Deaver's secretarial school. She was born on May 25, 1939, and was brought up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York in a Roman Catholic Norwegian and Irish-American family. When she was 12 years old, her father died of a heart attack in front of her.
Peggy has an immense dislike of the double standard in the treatment and expectations of men and women.
At Sterling Cooper
In the pilot episode, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", which takes place in March 1960, Peggy begins work as a secretary for Don Draper (Jon Hamm). Her supervisor, office manager Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks), directs her in her duties as well as offers personal advice, which includes referring her to a gynecologist to obtain a prescription for birth control pills. When Peggy initially meets account executive Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), he makes rude comments about her appearance, and Don defends her. Later that night, after his bachelor party, Pete shows up at Peggy's apartment drunk. Despite Pete's offensive remarks earlier, Peggy sleeps with him. Months later, Peggy and Pete have another sexual encounter on Pete's office couch, early one morning before other employees arrive.
In "Babylon", Sterling Cooper executive Freddy Rumsen (Joel Murray) notices Peggy's sharp mind and creativity during a focus group for Belle Jolie lipstick. After hearing Peggy's insightful remarks during a brainstorming session, Rumsen comments that her performance "was like watching a dog play the piano". She is asked to write some copy for the campaign in addition to her other duties. The campaign is a success, and she is soon promoted to Junior Copywriter. She reveals herself to be highly ambitious, and her approach to her work is compared to Don's. Later, after Rumsen is fired, Peggy convinces Senior Partner Roger Sterling (John Slattery) to give her Rumsen's office.
In the fall of 1960, Peggy rips her skirt trying to pick something up off the floor. Soon afterward, she begins wearing oversize suits and baggy dress-and-jacket outfits, and she gains weight (Elisabeth Moss wore increasingly bigger padding and had makeup artists apply prosthetics to make her face and neck appear bigger.) Account executive Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) jokes to his male co-workers that Peggy looks like a lobster, because all her "meat" is in her "tail". Despite having coldly ended a brief affair with Peggy, Pete reacts strongly to Ken's remark and punches him in the face.
Joan makes snide remarks to Peggy about her weight gain, joking that she will remain a virgin because of her appearance. Peggy calls Joan out on her condescending attitude, and states that she is not, in fact, a virgin. Joan is surprised to learn that Peggy is genuinely interested in copywriting, having believed she was using her opportunity on Belle Jolie to get close to Paul Kinsey (Michael Gladis).
At the end of Season 1, which takes place just before Thanksgiving 1960, Peggy is promoted to Junior Copywriter, heading up the new Clearasil account. Just after receiving the promotion, Peggy begins experiencing severe abdominal pain; she attributes it to a "bad sandwich" from the office cart and heads to St. Mary's Hospital in Brooklyn. She is shocked and in denial when informed she's actually in labor. As she gets up to leave, she collapses, and the hospital staff moves her into a hospital room in labor and delivery. She gives birth to a healthy baby boy, whom she refuses to hold or look at.
Season 2 begins 15 months later, on February 14, 1962, with a slim Peggy and no mention of the birth. Her long absence (not shown) is a mystery to Sterling Cooper's employees. One co-worker jokes during a meeting that "Draper knocked her up and she's dropped nine pounds, eight ounces." Pete has heard through office gossip that Peggy went to a fat farm.
It is revealed later in the season, through a series of flashbacks, that Peggy's family has covered up Peggy's sudden disappearance from Sterling Cooper. They tell Don that Peggy is in quarantine with tuberculosis. Don becomes suspicious and seeks her out at the hospital, where he finds her in a terrible mental state and realizes her hospitalization is not due to tuberculosis. It is not clear if he's learned of her pregnancy. He encourages her to forget about the entire thing, advising she should "move forward" and would be surprised at how easy it is to pretend "this" never happened.
During this time, Peggy's sister Anita (Audrey Wasilewski), who has since given birth to her third child, is resentful of Peggy and tells their new young parish priest, Father Gill (Colin Hanks), that Peggy seduced a married man, got pregnant, and was forced to give up their baby. (Later, in "The Suitcase", Peggy reveals that because only Don visited her at the hospital, her family believed he was the father of her child). Throughout Season Two, Father Gill, who is progressive, repeatedly tries to persuade Peggy to take confession, which Peggy consistently declines to do. By the end of the season, she leaves the church.
In the Season 2 finale, set during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Pete asks Peggy to come into his office for a drink. Pete states he has come to the realization that he never should have married his wife Trudy (Alison Brie); he should have married Peggy, instead, when he "had the chance". Peggy reveals that she had his baby and gave it away two years ago. This admission is shocking and hurtful to Pete, as Trudy has been unable to have children and wishes to adopt, an idea that Pete initially rejects, reconsiders, and then rejects again. Peggy walks away from Pete.
In Season 3 (1963), Peggy's ideas for advertising, while respected, are frequently ignored. In particular, her comment that Salvatore Romano's (Bryan Batt) proposed ad campaign for Pepsi's new diet cola Patio (involving a shot-for-shot remake of Ann-Margret's opening scene in Bye Bye Birdie) would not appeal to the target audience, is dismissed. When the ad in question is shot down by Pepsi (whose idea it was in the first place), she smiles to herself. When she attempts to get a raise, Don shuts her down.
Due to the lengthy commute from Brooklyn, Peggy decides to move to an apartment in Manhattan. She posts an ad at SC for a roommate. Following Joan's advice to make her ad about fun and good times, and post it somewhere other than at SC, Peggy finds a prospective roommate in Karen Ericson (Carla Gallo); her conversation with Karen reveals that Peggy is Norwegian, at least on her father's side (Karen is Swedish American, though Peggy tells her mother that Karen is Norwegian).
Peggy becomes romantically involved with Duck Phillips (Mark Moses), who is seeking to lure her and Pete away to his firm. In considering the move, Peggy is motivated by how underutilized she has been at Sterling Cooper, and by Draper in particular, who has shut down her attempt to get a raise. Nonetheless, she joins Draper and others in forming a new ad agency after he reassures her that he values her work. Peggy's relationship with Duck is complicated by his chronic alcoholism, and their relationship completely collapses after he gets into a drunken brawl with Draper in the SCDP offices.
At Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (SCDP)
In the fourth season (1964–65), Peggy perseveres as a trusted member of the SCDP creative staff, despite lingering resentment and patronizing from most of the men she works with. Her affair with Duck has ended and she has begun dating a man named Mark (Blake Bashoff). However, the relationship becomes strained as Peggy led Mark to believe he was her first lover. Mark breaks up with her following a fiasco on Peggy's birthday in which Mark planned a surprise birthday dinner, inviting Peggy's family, and she canceled last minute due to work. Peggy then becomes friends with Joyce Ramsay (Zosia Mamet), a photo editor for Life magazine and a lesbian. Peggy develops feelings for one of Joyce's beatnik friends, Abe Drexler (Charlie Hofheimer); their relationship is almost derailed because of his subtle and pernicious sexism and criticisms of advertising, but their relationship eventually develops into a romance. Despite friction over Peggy's work life, she accepts Abe's proposal to live together in her apartment. The relationship causes strain between Peggy and her mother Katherine (Myra Turley), who is concerned that her daughter is "living in sin" with a Jewish man.
In the episode "Far Away Places" her behavior appears to mirror Draper's behaviour in the first episode: smoking, heavy drinking, manipulative behaviour and meaningless sexual encounters. However, Peggy's relationship with Abe develops when they move in with each other in "At the Codfish Ball". She also meets Art Director Stan Rizzo (Jay R. Ferguson), who antagonizes her by making crude passes at her. After she lays down the law with him, however, he surprises her with a heartfelt apology, and the two soon become best friends.
In the season five episode "The Other Woman", Peggy accepts an offer from another agency, Cutler, Gleason and Chaough, to become their Copy Chief with a salary above the figure she requested. With the encouragement of Freddy Rumsen, Peggy finally quits her job at SCDP. When she tells Draper, he kisses her on the hand before she disappears into an elevator.
At Cutler, Gleason, and Chaough (CGC)
Peggy is widely respected by her superiors and feared by her subordinates at CGC. Her secretary recommends she try a little positive reinforcement along with her criticism, which gets mixed results. Peggy frequently works late, sharing gossip and news with Stan by phone. At one point, CGC partner Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm) kisses Peggy, and later, she reveals she has feelings for him as well.
In "The Flood", Peggy is nominated for a prestigious advertising award for her Heinz Baked Beans ad, which she developed with Draper's wife, Megan (Jessica Paré). They are the only SCDP/SC&P nominees, despite the fact that neither works there anymore. The evening is interrupted by news of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and in a final frame showing the CLIO Award in Megan's living room, the audience learns that Megan and Peggy won the award.
When Draper and Ted join forces to pitch Chevrolet, leading the two firms to merge, they turn to Peggy to draft the press release. Both are oblivious to Peggy's distress.
At Sterling Cooper & Partners (SC&P)
When Draper starts a new firm called Sterling Cooper & Partners, he asks Peggy to join, with the promise of greater creative control and a bigger salary. Joan assigns Peggy to the office previously used by Harry Crane and Pete Campbell, which features an awkwardly placed pillar. Peggy has been unanimously declared Copy Chief but finds it very difficult to serve two masters, as she is almost continually put in the middle of Draper and Ted's leadership squabbles.
In "The Better Half", Peggy finally admits to Abe how much she dislikes her new apartment and its dangerous neighborhood, announcing her intention to sell, even if she takes a loss. That night, she hears a noise and goes to check it out, armed with a homemade bayonet with which she accidentally stabs Abe. In the ambulance, Abe labels her an enemy to his beliefs, and they break up.
In "A Tale of Two Cities", Joan recruits Peggy to assist her in securing Avon as a client, but Peggy is distressed to discover that Joan has excluded Pete (whom Ted has ordered to handle that prospect) from the proceedings and is managing things on her own. Peggy and Joan have a heated discussion about their different paths to power. When Pete and Ted confront Joan, Peggy realizes Joan needs support from someone who believes in her, and so improvises a fake phone call to save Joan.
In "The Quality of Mercy", Draper and Megan catch Ted and Peggy together at the movies during a work day. Their affection for each other is apparent and problematic to everyone in the office. Draper criticizes Ted for allowing Peggy to exceed the budget on an overly expensive but brilliant television ad. In a client meeting, Draper soothes the client's worries about the expense (which could clearly jeopardize the account), but attributes the ad concept to the late Frank Gleason. While this tactic saves the account, it takes credit away from Peggy, who had hoped to win a CLIO Award for it. Draper also subtly alludes to an inappropriate relationship between Peggy and Ted (which only the SC&P insiders catch). After this, Ted backs off from his and Peggy's romantic relationship. After finding out that Draper is undermining both her professional and personal life, Peggy calls him "a monster".
In the Season 6 finale, "In Care Of", Peggy leaves the office for a date in a revealing dress, smelling of Chanel No. 5. When she returns, Ted is waiting at her apartment; he states that he loves her and plans to leave his wife, and he and Peggy consummate their relationship. The next morning, Ted asks Don to let him manage the SC&P office in California, in an effort to put as much distance between himself and Peggy as possible, and to achieve a fresh start with his family. Don eventually concedes, and Ted informs Peggy of his plans. Peggy is angered by Ted's unilateral decision and says, "Well, aren't you lucky, to have decisions?"
Draper's erratic attendance and behavior start to cause concern, and in the wake of a disastrous Hershey's pitch meeting, the partners place him on a leave of absence of unspecified duration. Peggy, again working late, takes over Draper's office. Both developments echo Freddy Rumsen's placement on a "six month leave" and Peggy's taking over his office and accounts.
In Season 7, Peggy is seen competently managing the apartment building she owns and has developed a close friendship with Julio, a little boy who lives upstairs and comes over to watch television. Peggy is also given the opportunity to run an ad campaign for Burger Chef with Draper as her subordinate. Draper is initially reluctant to work for Peggy but later warms up to her leadership and creativity. He was expected to present the ad to Burger Chef, but decides to have Peggy take his place as it is fitting to her idea. Peggy gives a successful presentation and earned the agency Burger Chef. While her professional life has reached a pinnacle, however, her personal life becomes complicated when Rizzo, who has been her best friend for years, confesses that he has romantic feelings for her.
When Draper takes off after coming back to work, Peggy is angry, and he later calls her, saying a heartfelt goodbye. Afterward she engages in yet another argument with Stan that culminates in both of them admitting they are in love with each other. Peggy is last seen working, with Stan embracing her lovingly.
Peggy's relationship with Don Draper
Peggy is Don's secretary until she is promoted, thanks to Freddy Rumsen's telling Don about how she acted during the Belle Jolie focus group. Don allows Peggy to work on accounts but tells her that she is still his secretary. Peggy is often openly resentful of Don's demanding requirements and his refusal to express appreciation for her work, but is also conscious that he is the only one in the firm who views her as an equal to her fellow copywriters, notwithstanding her gender. At the end of Season 1, Don gives her a raise and promotes her, meaning she will no longer work as his secretary. As the series progresses, they develop a work spouse type of relationship.
During Season 2, Peggy and Don's relationship deepens after Don drives while intoxicated and gets into a car accident. Having no one else to call and under arrest for drunk driving, he calls Peggy, who bails him and his mistress Bobbie Barret (Melinda McGraw) out of jail. Bobbie stays at Peggy's apartment for a few days and constantly asks Peggy why she is helping Don so much. It is revealed that at the end of Season 1, Peggy gave birth to a son, which she gave up for adoption. Traumatized by the experience, Peggy is forced to stay in the hospital for a long time, and Don was the only one who cared enough to investigate her whereabouts and is also the only one who visits her in the hospital, besides her mother. Peggy and Don have an intense conversation in the hospital, and he encourages her to do what the doctors are telling her to do. At the end of the episode, "The New Girl", Peggy calls him "Don" instead of "Mr. Draper", which she has been doing since the beginning of the series.
When in "Maidenform" (Season 2) Peggy questions her male colleagues' categorizations of women as "Marilyns" or "Jackies", and asks which she is, Ken quips that she's Gertrude Stein, and the younger men laugh. Don quickly counters that Peggy is Irene Dunne, which Freddy supports with, "I love Irene Dunne".
In Season 3, Don and Peggy continue to rely on each other. However, their relationship becomes strained due to Don's anger and seemingly lack of appreciation for Peggy and her work. When Don decides to start his own advertising agency, Peggy is one of the first people he talks to. He assumes she will quit Sterling Cooper and follow him to his new agency, but is surprised and hurt when she declines, stating that she's tired of being on the receiving end of his anger when something doesn't work out for him. Don later goes to Peggy's apartment, and the two have an emotional conversation, in which Don asks her to go with him to his new agency. When Peggy continues to express reluctance, Don tells her that if she doesn't go with him, he will spend the rest of his life trying to hire her. Matthew Weiner, the series' creator, head writer, and showrunner, has stated that this conversation is essentially Don telling Peggy that he loves her.
Don and Peggy's relationship is further solidified in Season 4, when Don forces Peggy to work all night on her birthday (in "The Suitcase"). Though she is initially angry at Don for having to cancel dinner plans with her boyfriend to accommodate Don's work demands, Peggy and Don eventually make up and go to dinner.
They spend the night talking, and each reveals personal details about their life to the other. Peggy tells Don that her mother hates him because she thinks he fathered her baby. They also discuss the fact that everyone in the office assumes the two are either sleeping together or have slept together in the past.
Peggy asks him in a roundabout way why he never attempted to have an affair with her. He tells her that he has rules that he cannot break, to which she makes a snide remark and refers to his previous affairs. Peggy complains about dating, and Don responds that she's "cute as hell" and will find someone.
Peggy and Don return to the office building, where Peggy helps Don get through his drunken stupor. Duck unexpectedly shows up, also extremely drunk. He believes that Peggy and Don are romantically involved and calls her a whore. In response, Don attacks Duck, and the two drunkenly brawl. Peggy eventually gets Duck to leave and then returns to Don's office, where she finds him drinking again. Don apologizes to Peggy for embarrassing her, and the two fall asleep on his office couch with his head on Peggy's lap.
Later that morning, a distraught Don weeps in Peggy's presence after he learns of Anna's death over the telephone. When Don tells Peggy that he has lost the only one in the world who truly knew him, Peggy tenderly places a consoling hand on his shoulder and replies, "That's not true." which appears to calm him down. Later that morning, a sober Don calls Peggy into his office to talk about the ad they had been struggling with. Don abruptly stops the work related conversation by holding Peggy's hand, as a sign of gratitude for everything she did the night before.
Peggy appears surprised and disappointed when Don announces his engagement to Megan Calvet, his secretary. Peggy congratulates Don, and Don replies that Megan admires her and that Megan reminds him a lot of Peggy. Peggy interprets the gesture as a backhanded compliment, and in a private chat with Joan remarks indignantly that Don seems more excited about marrying his secretary than about her own success. Joan tells Peggy that Don is no less superficial and shallow than any of their other male superiors, and his engagement to Megan should come as no surprise.
Peggy and Don's relationship becomes more strained after Don marries Megan and promotes her to copywriter at SCDP. Peggy takes on the role of Megan's mentor and attempts to nurture her apparent talent (although it later turns out Megan is dissatisfied with being a copywriter). Don also gives Peggy more responsibility, as he has begun spending more time at home than at work. Peggy is often frustrated by her new workload, and matters do not improve when the agency hires another male copywriter - Michael Ginsberg - who seems to receive more credit than his supervisor Peggy does for the same amount of work.
After Peggy manages to save an account, she asks Don if she will be going to Paris with the remainder of the team and requests recognition for saving the Château Cheval Blanc client account (in the Season 5 episode, "The Other Woman"), Don grows angry and throws money in her face, assuming that she is asking for another raise.
This is Peggy's breaking point, and she realizes she can no longer stay at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Following Freddy Rumsen's advice, Peggy takes meetings with other agencies, ultimately choosing to go with Don's rival Ted Chaough at Cutler, Gleason, and Chaough, where she will receive more money and the title of Copy Chief.
Peggy breaks the news to Don immediately after he learns SCDP has landed Jaguar. Don mistakenly assumes she is asking for a raise and is shocked when she tells him that she's actually quitting. Don tells her to state the amount of money she is being offered at the other agency, and he will pay her more, but Peggy holds her ground. After using several failed tactics to get her to stay, Don gets increasingly emotional and angry, but finally accepts her two weeks' notice of resignation. He cruelly tells Peggy that she can leave that day instead of waiting the customary two weeks.
When Peggy holds out her hand for a handshake, Don takes her hand and kisses it, and refuses to let go until Peggy forcefully removes it. An emotional Peggy walks out, leaving Don in tears in his office.
In Season 6, SCDP and CGC merge, reuniting Peggy and Don, much to Peggy's disappointment. Don and Peggy's relationship is at this point extremely strained, cemented by Don's alcoholism and his jealousy of Ted. Most of Don and Peggy's interactions during this season comprises their fighting over the fact that Don constantly puts her in the middle of arguments between him and Ted, which makes her uncomfortable. Don confronts Peggy after she refuses to pick a side, telling her that it's her job to pick the best idea. Peggy argues that he only gets angry when she refuses to pick a side or when she sides with Ted. She tells him that both he and Ted are similar, except that Ted never hurts her like Don does. Don replies, "He doesn't know you," and walks out, leaving Peggy shaken.
In the Season 6 finale ("In Care Of"), Don is set to move to California with Megan, but puts his marriage on the line by allowing Ted to take his place, in order to save Ted's marriage after Ted has slept with Peggy. When Ted tells Peggy he is leaving, she grows angry and assumes this is Don's doing as revenge for her affair with Ted, but is shocked and confused when Ted tells her that he asked Don, and Don accepted.
The other partners place Don on a forced leave due to his behavior, making Peggy SC&P's de facto creative director. In a much talked-about tableau, the season closes on a shot of Peggy sitting at Don's desk chair, gazing at the New York skyline, in a pose reminiscent of Don's in Mad Men's title card.
During the most of the first half of Season 7, Don and Peggy are not in communication since Don has been placed on leave - though it is revealed that Don has been submitting work to Peggy through Freddy Rumsen (Peggy assumes it is Freddy's work). When Don is in the office waiting to see if he will be allowed to return, Peggy tells Don that his presence was not missed. After Don is allowed to return to work full-time (with some conditions), both Don and Peggy avoid seeing or talking to each other. In the fourth episode of the season, "The Monolith", Peggy is told that Burger Chef is interested in running an ad campaign and she will be put in charge. She is thrilled until she is told that Don must be on her team for this assignment since he hasn't been doing much since his return. Peggy calls the team into her office and assigns each person to write 25 tags. She avoids making eye contact with Don, as he glares at her during the entire meeting. After the meeting, Don goes into his office and throws a typewriter at the wall.
He spends the rest of the episode defying Peggy's orders by refusing to complete the assignment and does not attend meetings that Peggy calls. After Don drinks heavily in the office, Freddy, who has been helping Don stay sober, comes to the office to take him home. After Don wakes up, Freddy lectures him and convinces Don to keep his head down and do the work. Don, now sober, goes back to the office and tells Peggy he will have by lunch the 25 taglines she asked for.
The tension between Peggy and Don continues until episode 6, "The Strategy". Peggy is still struggling with Burger Chef, and is further discouraged after Lou Avery and Pete Campbell tell her she needs to be "the voice of moms" with the campaign and that it must focus on a happy family life. She finally has what she feels is a good campaign, but is shaken after Don innocently suggests something different. This causes Peggy to doubt the campaign, and she goes into the office to work during the weekend. She calls Don on a Saturday to tell him that his idea was horrible, and to yell at him for expressing himself. She also accuses him of doing it on purpose since he knows she will fret over the campaign.
Don ignores her and continues to spend time with Megan, who is visiting from California over the weekend. However, Don cuts Megan's visit short, and instead goes to the office on Sunday to help Peggy. They argue initially, but as the night goes on, they begin to get along like they used to. They bond over the fact that they both believe that the perfect, nuclear families do not exist.
Don confesses to Peggy that he is afraid he has wasted his life, and he doesn't have anyone who cares for him. Peggy tells Don that she traveled to several different states and spoke to hundreds of Burger Chef customers, and begins to cry because she doesn't know what she did wrong with the campaign. Don comforts her and tells her she's doing a great job. He continues to encourage her, and Peggy finally comes up with the perfect idea for the campaign.
The next night, the two of them meet with Pete at a Burger Chef to talk about the new campaign. Pete is unhappy that they are changing everything at the last minute and blames Peggy, but Don stands up for her, and the three eat dinner together as a family.
Don has started to become responsible and reliable after their reconciliation, and he and Peggy continue to support and encourage each other. In the final episode of the season's first half, it is revealed that the Burger Chef team will be traveling to Indianapolis, and Don will be presenting the Burger Chef campaign. During the run through meeting, Pete begins to pick on them, but Peggy and Don stand up for one another.
While staying in a hotel in Indianapolis Don, Peggy, Harry, and Pete gather to watch the Moon landing together. Harry points out that Peggy only brought a beer for Don and herself (which Don opens for her). Don and Peggy sit close to each other on the hotel bed as the four of them watch Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon.
Later that night, Don is informed that Sterling Cooper founder Bert Cooper (Robert Morse) has died and, as a result, he will be fired since Cooper's vote was needed for him to stay employed. Don immediately goes to Peggy's room and tells her she must do the Burger Chef presentation. He wants her to do it because if the meeting is a success, the account belongs to whomever did the presentation. Since he is getting fired, Don fears that if he does the presentation and it's successful, Peggy will be left with nothing. However, if she wins the account, she will be okay even if he leaves.
Peggy argues with him saying that it's too last minute, and she fears she will be unable to do it. Don encourages her, telling her he wouldn't be doing this if he genuinely didn't believe she could do it. Peggy continues to refuse, but finally accepts after Don tells her that although he hasn't watched her present, he has heard her - referring to the Season 6 premiere in which Don eavesdrops on Peggy's presentation with Heinz.
Don and Peggy smile at each other throughout the Burger Chef presentation. Then, they return to New York, where it is revealed that Don will be able to stay after Roger convinces another agency to buy them out, meaning they are an independent firm.
Peggy receives a call from Burger Chef saying they loved the presentation and want to get to work. She runs to tell Don, and the two happily share a hug.
During Season 7, after Peggy learns SCDP has been absorbed back into McCann-Erickson, she considers leaving entirely, but a headhunter convinces her that she is better off moving to McCann and remaining there for a few years, until she's built up her resume. Though frustrated by McCann's misogynistic culture and thrown by Don's sudden and unexplained departure, she is briefly tempted by Joan's proposal that they join forces and start their own agency. However, in the final episode, Peggy ultimately decides to stay at McCann, in part to remain with Stan, as they come to realize that a mutual love has developed between them.
- In Season 4, Episode 7, the day of the second Clay-Liston fight (May 25, 1965) is depicted as her 26th birthday.
- A phone conversation depicted in Season 6, Episode 1 between Peggy and Ted Chaough's family pastor reveals that Peggy's father was Lutheran and of Norwegian background, whereas her mother is Catholic and of Irish heritage.
- Revealed in Don and Peggy's late-night conversation at a diner in Season 4, Episode 7
- Chval, Lauren (2015-05-14). "The transformation of Peggy Olson in 'Mad Men'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2020-04-24.
- "The Mountain King". Mad Men. Season 2. Episode 12. 2008-11-19. AMC.
- "The Arrangements". Mad Men. Season 3. Episode 3. 2009-09-06. AMC.
- Deborah Lipp (January 7, 2009). "Peggy is neither a Marilyn or a Jackie". Lippsisters.com.
- Zuckerman, Esther (June 24, 2013). "The Loose Ends Left on 'Mad Men'". The Wire.
- Peggy Olson at AMCtv.com