Mad Men: Season 1, Episode 12

Nixon vs. Kennedy (11 Oct. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.9
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 994 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 8 critic

Election night arrives and the staff of Sterling Cooper has a party while watching the returns. The election is close and it's obviously going to be a long night. Now a senior partner in ... See full summary »

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Lieutenant Donald Draper
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Storyline

Election night arrives and the staff of Sterling Cooper has a party while watching the returns. The election is close and it's obviously going to be a long night. Now a senior partner in the firm, Don Draper must hire a new head of account services, a post that Pete Campbell yearns for. Aware of Draper's secret past, he tries to strong-arm him into giving him the job. With his secret out, Don panics and he asks Rachel Menken to run away with him. Regaining his composure, Don calls Pete's bluff leading to a confrontation with Bert Cooper. Written by garykmcd

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Drama

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11 October 2007 (USA)  »

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Trivia

The title refers to election night as well as the battle between Don and Pete. Don is Nixon: an older self-made man, who Don even compares himself to earlier in the season. Pete is Kennedy: a younger man with a silver spoon upbringing. See more »

Goofs

Don's flashback to Korea is dated 1950 and appears to be summer, indicating the beginning of the war, yet Lt. Draper references the Chinese as the enemy. China entered the war in November 1950, at the onset of the Korean winter. See more »

Connections

References Highway Patrol (1955) See more »

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Gopher Mambo
(uncredited)
Written by Billy May and Conrad Gozzo
Performed by Yma Sumac
Played during office party
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User Reviews

If only Television was this good all the time...
16 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Mad Men is by now, in it's fourth season, one of the best television shows of all time. It cannot be denied of the power and talent it holds, and episode 12 of the first season reinforces that idea completely.

The episode on one hand is light, and focuses on a lot of characters that are usually in the background for the most part. The office holds a party for the Nixon/Kennedy election, not knowing that the final outcome will not be favorable to what they want. There is a brief scene where Joan and Salvatore are acting out a play that after a kiss between both, there is a very subtle expression on Joan's face... could this mean she suspects something?

The episode also shows just how much Peggy's sense of character and the way others see her has changed since the beginning of the season. It shows how much Moss shines, especially in a particular scene. Of course, we also continue the story of Pete finding Don's old belongings. Pete Campbell is the most unlikeable character on the show, and the nerve that he has to impose such an action on part of Don's behalf in this episode is ruthless, although not completely shocking. We always knew Pete was this type of character. We also see the truth to Dick Whitman's final fate in some amazing scenes.

Overall, this episode is so far the best o the first season, and having seen the four seasons of Mad Men, one of the best of the entire series. Films rarely get this good, not to mention even in the category of television, this series is going to go down in history.


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