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Season 1, episode 12 ("Nixon vs. Kennedy")
Who it involved: Don, Pete and Bert Cooper
Why it's memorable: It's the culmination of a season's worth of tension between Don and Pete, and between the show and the audience over what exactly Don's big secret is. Having earlier shown us a flashback where terrified soldier Dick Whitman steals the identity of the real Don Draper, "Nixon Vs. Kennedy" then gives us some wonderful, funny gamesmanship between Pete (who now knows the truth) and Don (who is prepared to run away to avoid having his shame exposed), including them running to founding partner Cooper's office to tattle on the other, then having to stop to remove their shoes to suit their boss's Far East fetish. And after so many weeks of making us wonder what would happen if one of the partners knew the truth, the show zags beautifully and has Cooper decide Don's past matters much less to him than the value he brings the agency in the present.
- Alan Sepinwall