Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed. For as much as Mad Men is driven by Don Draper’s journey and by Pete Campbell’s slimy intransigence, it’s perhaps the great cable drama with the most great female characters. It features Midge for a brief time, and it gives us a taste of both Betty’s view of the world (which seems haunted by her fear that her looks will fade) and the glimmerings of what relationship she has with Sally. Henry travels to the city hall to help manage the crisis. When I saw this episode the first time, I thought it would never last, and now they have a kid together! Because he’s married and won’t leave his wife for her, there’s something at once fleeting and fun about this dalliance. See, she watched the pilot and didn’t glimpse the irony between the show’s presentation of sexism and its attitude toward that sexism. Spoiling Cooper (If you haven’t seen the whole series, do not read): Next time: Well, a week from today is Christmas, so I won’t be around then, nor will I be here on New Year’s Day. (All you Mad Men experts see also the classic episodes “Maidenform,” “The Beautiful Girls,” and “The Other Woman.”) “Babylon” deliberately links the limitations these women live within—the gilded cage that Joan ends the episode holding—to the bondage the Israelites struggled in until they built a homeland. Don takes a day off. But, man, when she unleashes both the “basket of kisses” bit and the little thing about how she doesn’t want to be just another color among hundreds in a box, it’s clear that the way the show held her at a bit of a remove, simply observing her—the same treatment it has reserved for Don up until this point—was completely intentional. Season 6 finds the characters dealing with the shocks and social upheaval of 1968, one of the most-turbulent years in American history. It’s almost certainly no accident the episode ends with Roger and Joan waiting at opposite ends of the same sidewalk, for different cars. The reason my friend feels this way and why it’s vaguely reasonable for her to feel this way is because Mad Men completely buries the lede. And immediately after that is TCA, so I’m going to have to take a bit of a long break. Peggy plans to purchase an apartment but is hesistant about its location. What does Don get from Midge that he doesn’t get from Betty? Mad Men often crassly and boldly wants us to ask ourselves “Who’s getting what here?” particularly since it’s a show that’s so often concerned with a philandering man who strays from his wife time and again. In this case, the story of the kids making fun of her for having her first kiss with a Jewish boy ends with all of them wanting to be blondes the next year. The first episode. At the New York Advertising Club's annual awards banquet, the festivities are overshadowed by the news of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, which sends the city into a panic. Don comes up with a secret plan to win a client. The episode includes the first major story for Joan, a triumph for Peggy, and a minor but hugely important story point for Rachel. I love his barely guarded disdain for all that’s going on around him, then how he seems at least somewhat moved by the performance of “Babylon.”. Don is surprised by his son. “Babylon” (season 1, episode 6; originally aired 8/23/2007). Her boyfriend seems uninterested in the entire process. Pete calls Trudy and offers to stay at her house, but she refuses. It’s as if the show, now nearly halfway into the run of its first season, can start letting some of its secrets slip. Megan is given more responsibility. The Don and Peggy friendship is so important to my enjoyment of the show going forward that I have a tendency to remember it occurring much, much earlier in the series than it actually did. The episode’s centerpiece involves Don taking Rachel out for lunch, that he might pick her brain about how to get people interested in traveling to Israel. In Part 1 of the Season 6 two-hour premiere, Don spearheads a new campaign, Roger gets some unsettling news, and Betty takes in a houseguest. Season 4. But those of you who are watching for the first time are in for some treats. Roger changes tack to make new business. Roger is plagued by a recurring dream. Season 2. Bobby is worried that Henry might be killed, but Don consoles him to sleep. Pete is blindsided by an unexpected guest. It’s the first episode of the show that functions more or less as a guided tour of the women of Mad Men, and that’s a mode that the show would return to at least once per season for as long as it ran. Copyright © 2010-2020 AMC Network Entertainment LLC. In many ways, “Babylon” feels like a freeing episode for writers Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton (who would remain with the show throughout its run) and director Andrew Bernstein. Season 6. Don doesn't agree with a client's direction. (Joan knows this, and Joan is rarely wrong about these things.) Don meets with a bizarre property insurance businessman who pitches a bizarre campaign involving a molotov cocktail; he claims he was visited by the ghost of Martin Luther King, Jr. and proceeds to speaks in a Native American language. ), Don going to the beatnik show is such a great sequence. And just based on the pilot, I can see where one might get that from the show, even if the built-in critique of Don Draper and his lifestyle has always been obvious to me. Perhaps most importantly, we finally start to get a sense of what Peggy’s all about, outside of the very slight glimpses we’ve gotten of the character in previous episodes. Rachel describes Israel as a place that must exist, a place that will allow Jewish people to have a homeland, no matter how little that matters to a woman whose whole life is in New York City. Peggy makes substantial plans for the future. Both characters felt a bit stranded at the edges of the action, mostly there to provide counsel or a sounding board for the two main characters, but by closing them up in a hotel room together, we get a quick picture of them and their relationship that sketches them both in with much greater detail than previous episodes had. I will next see you on January 29, when we will dig into “Red In The Face,” one of my favorite episodes of the whole series. Mad Men tends to view romantic relationships between people both as emotional and/or sexual connections and as a kind of business transaction carried out so that both parties can get something. I love those first five episodes. Joan goes to the beach. (The show toys with having us think it might be Pete before just as quickly yanking that away.) Joan is much clearer-eyed about the whole thing. And, to be sure, the shot of Peggy watching as tissues covered in lipstick are deposited in trashcans works a little too hard to underline this particular point. Roger courts a potential client. Joan brings a new business opportunity into the agency. I have a friend who refuses to watch Mad Men. Sally asks a friend for help. From writer and executive producer Matthew Weiner, Season 6 leads the audience into the captivating world of 1960's New York. Mad Men recap: season six, episode seven – Man With a Plan. By sleeping with Roger, she can get a few things she likes—like sleeping in a hotel room—but also someone worth sparring with. Peggy struggles to motivate the other creatives. I alluded to this above, but the reveal of the affair Roger and Joan are having is a minor masterstroke for the series. Mad Men Season 1; Mad Men Season 1 Episode 6; Top Shows. This reaches a new peak in the Joan and Roger relationship. Bobby tries to say a word of encouragement to a black theater attendant. New York City, 1960s. She knows that this is just, in some ways, a part of the job. And what would he get from Rachel that he wouldn’t get from either? Bobby starts to peel wallpaper off his wall when he notices it doesn't properly line up. (She’s the only Jew he knows; also, he really just wants to see her.) The other workplace scenes this season have subtly played off of how there’s no obvious successor to Don Draper. (Only Deadwood really comes close.) Mad Men is full of people who are constantly pushing toward some other, better life they can’t quite understand, a place that seems too good to be true, probably because it is. The partners disagree on a new campaign. Don attends a client meeting with his own agenda. Their lives have arrived at this sort of connection, but it can never last. In the ego-driven Golden Age of advertising, everyone is selling something and nothing is what it seems. https://madmen.fandom.com/wiki/The_Flood?oldid=23567. Season 7. The agency brings in an expert to get an added boost to help with their work. Season 6. “Babylon” (season 1, episode 6; originally aired 8/23/2007) In which everyone is in exile (Available on Netflix.) Pete and Ted have a conflict of interest. Don is distracted at work. It was always there, just waiting for the scripts and camera to turn their eyes toward it. She’s using the tools available to her to build a life beyond the one already on offer to her, even if it’s a life she can only visit a couple of times per week. Roger is a bit of a romantic, just spoiled enough his whole life to really believe that this whole thing with Joan is what saved his life and his marriage. Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce tries to placate competing clients. Not only do we get our first real glimpse of this major theme of the whole series, but we also learn that Joan and Roger have been sleeping together (in a sequence that makes both instantly snap into focus) and a touch more about Don’s childhood via a flashback to the birth of his brother. In the ego-driven Golden Age of advertising, everyone is selling something and nothing is what it seems. The female characters in the pilot weren’t exactly the most vivid, and she’s frequently described it to me as just another show about how cool it is to be a big, swingin’ dick, and how women should be submissive to said big swingin’ dicks. Mad Men is back for a seductive and intriguing new season. John Slattery and Jon Hamm each directed an episode in Season 6. (She seems to be the only one who’s actually brainstorming.) Mad Men has one of the more confident first seasons I’ve ever seen, and when I say that, I’m talking about episodes like this, where it really does seem as if everyone involved knows exactly where to go next. It’s all about wanting and longing and desire, but it hasn’t yet settled on the theme that will define much of its run: the casual dominance of the patriarchy and what happens when women start to ask for just a smidgen of power within that system. Yet Joan is trading in on the one thing she’s been told is of value in her life to spend some extra time with her boss, a man who, maybe just perhaps, she finds intellectually stimulating and fun to be around. Roger has his own agenda for Don. What Rachel doesn’t understand when she says this to Don—what he can’t tell her—is that she’s sitting across from a true exile, though a self-made one, a man who kicked himself out of his own country in hopes of building a new and shining world atop the bones of what was. Joan teases the guys with her physical attractiveness, but we see her innate intelligence all the same. Yeah, there are Carmela Sopranos and Skyler Whites out there, female figures who stand in male-dominated universes and either crumble in the face of them or try to fight back, but the cable dramas of the last 15 years have skewed very much toward the masculine, perhaps because the vast majority of them are greenlit, produced by, written by, and directed by men. Harry reveals his plans for the future to Pete. Peggy plans for the future. The guys are reduced to a bunch of lusty monkeys, howling and marking up the one-way mirror that lets them see into the session. Ken makes a proposal to Pete. I’m honestly impressed with how much mileage the show has gotten out of Joan and Roger. Megan's big night is ruined by an unexpected event. Betty calls Don and demands that he pick up the kids, but Don must drive through Harlem at night to get return to his apartment. Season 1. That evening, Megan tells Don she's disappointed that she can't read Don's emotions about King's death.