Mad Men: The New Girl
by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 25th 2008 12:04AM
(S02E05) "This is America. Pick a job and become the person who does it." - Bobbie, to Don
Is there any other show on TV right now that packs so much stuff into one episode? So many revelations, so many character developments, so many nuances? People who only have the attention span for music videos have complained that "nothing ever happens" on Mad Men, but I say that more happens in an episode of this show than three or four of most other shows on the air right now.
This episode was amazing. Not only did we get the background story on one of the big mysteries of the first season (if this was Lost the message boards would be going crazy right now), we got to see a different side of a few characters and the very welcome (if quick) return of an old favorite. Though I wonder how her new situation will affect Don in the upcoming episodes.
Speaking of message boards, some of the Mad Men fan sites have surmised that Don knows what happened to Peggy. I really wasn't sure of that, because in a way it seemed like wishful thinking, that she wouldn't be alone (aside from her mom and sister). But tonight we find out that Don actually tracked her down in the hospital. I'm not sure if his advice about forgetting what happened will do her any good in the end (we'll have to see, though I think Don was thinking of his own life quite a bit there), but at least she has a connection in the office.
I like Jane (SEXY SEXY SEXY SEXY SEXY SEXY SEXY), and I wonder how she's going to affect the office, other than the sight of seeing male employees we've never seen before standing at a filing cabinet drooling. And Joan is engaged now? Sorry Roger. You had your chance (well, as much chance as a married man can have I guess). Remember in episode one when Joan told Peggy that with any luck, Peggy would meet a man and not have to work at Sterling Cooper at all? I'm going to predict that Joan isn't going to think that way anymore, especially about herself.
And Joan isn't the only one with a permanent other. I was truly happy to see Rachel, but kinda crushed that she's married now and her name is Rachel Katz (hmmm, you would think Don would have heard about that, since he used to handle the Mencken account and stuff like that would get around). I wonder if this means that they haven't kept touch with each other and Don mailed that Frank O'Hara book to Midge?
Some more observations about this episode:
- I loved all of the refreshingly blunt talk about Pete, Trudy, and their attempt to have a baby. When Doc Stone tells Pete that he should talk to his secretary about getting a semen sample and Pete says "When she's free," I actually laughed out loud. When Pete finds out he already has a child (and Trudy finds out!), that's going to be explosive.
- I didn't see Don calling Peggy at all. Sure, it made sense when we saw that Don visited her in the hospital in 1960, but I got all happy when I saw her walk into the police station. I think Don actually owes Peggy now.
- If there's ever a spinoff of Mad Men, can I suggest Peggy & Bobbie? Just two girls in the big city, one single and one now divorced, trying to make it. Picture Laverne & Shirley, with more smoking.
- Speaking of Bobbie, I liked her a lot more in this episode. Her talks with Don were a little deeper, she was actually trying to be helpful with Peggy, and she just seemed more...nice? Hell, even Jimmy seemed nicer in his cameo.
- Wait, so Peggy's sister was pregnant last year or so??
- Why is this episode called "The New Girl?" Sure, Don gets a new secretary, but the episode titles for this show usually mean a few different things. It can't be Bobbie, because she isn't new. Can't be Peggy's kid, because that's a boy. Maybe it refers to Jane and also to the new attitude Peggy has (calling Mr. Draper "Don") after her talk with Bobbie.
- Several episodes have had a scene where the Drapers are having dinner and Don comes home and joins them after work. These scenes always depress me, because I want that family unit to survive and I have the feeling they're setting us up for a break-up in some way.
- Weirdest scene: Fred Rumsen coming out of his office in the middle of Jane and Ken's conversation, playing Mozart on his zipper.
- Least favorite scene: That stupid "Viva Viagra!" commercial in the second half hour. Painful to see such a terrible bit of advertising in a brilliant show about advertising.
|He's right. It was a mistake and she has to go forward.||157 (40.8%)|
|Not great, but he thought he was doing the right thing.||210 (54.5%)|
|Lousy! What a messed up Mad Man.||18 (4.7%)|