Mad Men: Season 1, Episode 2

Ladies Room (26 Jul. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
7.6
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Don Draper is reluctant to talk about his past, or his childhood, whether with his wife Betty or his boss Roger Sterling. Joan Holloway teaches Peggy Olsen how to wrangle a free lunch out ... See full summary »

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Storyline

Don Draper is reluctant to talk about his past, or his childhood, whether with his wife Betty or his boss Roger Sterling. Joan Holloway teaches Peggy Olsen how to wrangle a free lunch out of some of the ad men. Roger Sterling raises the issue of working for the upcoming Nixon presidential campaign and while Don doesn't have much enthusiasm, senior partner Bert Cooper insists that they will go ahead and orders Don to put a team together. The creative team has to come up with an ad campaign for a new deodorant in an aerosol spray can. Betty Draper's doctor recommends that she see a psychiatrist. Written by garykmcd

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Drama

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26 July 2007 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In Spring of 1960, Don Draper makes a reference to banging a shoe on the table. Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev's famous "shoe-banging" incident did not take place until October, 1960. See more »

Quotes

Paul Kinsey: [Peggy knocks on the office door; Kinsey answers from inside] Bienvenue.
Peggy Olson: [pause] No, it's Peggy...
See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can Dream, Can't I?
(uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal
Performed by The Andrews Sisters
heard while the ogling men parade by Peggy typing at her desk
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"Most of the time it looks like you're doing nothing"
22 January 2009 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

After the introduction of the pretty large ensemble cast (so large that two regulars are missing in this episode), the second hour of Mad Men takes the necessary time to have a closer look at some of the more troubled characters, mostly female, as indicated by the episode's title (Ladies Room).

Specifically, two ladies are at the center of the plot: Don's secretary Peggy, who gets to learn from Joan how to get a free meal from the male staff (possibly without giving them anything in return), and his wife Betty (January Jones), who we got a very brief glimpse of in the pilot's last scene. On the surface, she may look like an ordinary '60s housewife, but in reality something's not all right, and after a minor accident with the car she thinks it's better to receive some expert advice. Don, on the other hand, has to deal with the new assignment from his boss Bertram Cooper (Robert Morse) to work on Richard Nixon's campaign and Roger's suggestion that he open up a little about his personal life.

Compared to the previous episode, very little time is devoted to the usual ad job the guys have to do (this time it's a deodorant spray), in favor of some crucial psychological development: Peggy is already starting to come off as more complex than she appeared to be, but the real core of the show is the Drapers, one terribly secretive (Don), the other profoundly insecure and confused (Betty). Together, however, they try their best to carry on their reputation as a normal, happy American family. Just like those you see in advertisements.

The claim made by some critics that this could be the new Sopranos is even more justified now than it was in the pilot. Sure, there's no nudity or violence, and the swearing is limited to the occasional S-word (this isn't HBO or Showtime, after all), but with mood, characters and dialogue so perfect, who needs extra flesh, blood and profanity?


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