Mad Men (2007–2015)
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The Grown-Ups 

On the weekend of the John F. Kennedy assassination, Pete finds out that he lost the promotion to Cosgrove, Roger Sterling's daughter's wedding goes off as planned, and Betty musters up the courage to respond to Don's confessions.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Salvatore Romano (credit only)


It's November 21, 1963, and no one seems to be particularly happy. The heating/cooling system at Sterling Cooper isn't working properly, so people are either freezing to death or sweltering in the heat. That is nothing compared to the news Pete receives: Ken has been made sole Vice-President of Accounts. This news makes Pete contemplate his future. Don is upset that no one has been hired to replace Sal, and it doesn't look like Lane is in any hurry to do so. Margaret Sterling's wedding is in two days and she is still upset that her step-mother, Jane, is planning on attending. Jane, on the other hand, is angry that Roger dotes on his daughter more than he pays attention to her. The unlikely allies in the Sterling family feud are Roger and Mona. But none of these unfortunate goings-on compare to the news the world hears the following day: that President John F. Kennedy has been assassinated. This news places a pall over the world, and makes people reconsider attending the Sterling ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 November 2009 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The statesman whose mourning address is shown on TV footage after the Kennedy assassination is the mayor of Berlin (and later West German chancellor) Willy Brandt. See more »


After Duck and Peggy have sex in the hotel room, Duck plugs in the TV and turns it on, whereupon the picture shows up instantly. Television sets in 1963 used vacuum tube technology and required several seconds to warm up before the picture would appear. The TV used in the show was likely a modern set made to look like a vintage set. See more »


Peggy Olson: What are you doing here?
Don Draper: The bars are closed.
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References Singin' in the Rain (1952) See more »


The End Of The World
Performed by Skeeter Davis
[Closing credits]
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User Reviews

Wonderfully Different
21 August 2016 | by (Ossining, NY) – See all my reviews

We weren't sure if "Mad Men" would deal with the Kennedy assassination. But when, almost a season back, we saw the wedding invitation that was on that very day, we knew they would. We didn't know when. After all, time in "Mad Men" is strange.

Well, here it is. I was expecting it to happen in the middle of the wedding, but I'm glad it didn't. It's much better, if you ask me, the way they handled it; with a somewhat comic twist. It's interesting how the episode handling the most tragic event in the course of the show is so... funny. And it's good comedy, too. It's very dry. Roger never stops telling one-liners, as per usual in "Mad Men," and there's something darkly funny about how empty the wedding is and their attempts to pretend it's still packed. And of course, the funniest moment in a long time on the show was Roger's phone call with Joan about the wedding. "You should've seen it, Joanie. What. A. Disaster."

With that being said, there's also plenty of room for tragedy in the episode. There's Pete, not getting the job he wanted, and his sulking over it and plans to move on. There's Don and Betty's now increasingly on the rocks marriage, which, by the end, explodes into "I don't love you anymore," one of the most tragic sentences in the show's run. And of course, there's the JFK assassination itself, and everyone's devastating reactions to it. There's a moment, when Peter and Paul Kinsey are talking, with the television on. It's playing some random show, and the volume is low, and it cuts to a mandatory broadcast. They don't notice it, but if you listen closely, it is in fact, the news of the attack. And there's a sinking feeling in your gut that keeps wondering, "when will they look at the TV?"

It's truly one of "Mad Men"'s crowning achievements.

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