It’s Valentine’s Day, the perfect time to expose all the cracks and faults in any relationship. Season 2 opens even worse off for the employees of Sterling Cooper than Season 1 ended, if that’s possible. Don and Betty can’t consummate, Pete and Trudy are in a battle over having children, and Roger is pining after Joan, who is in what we will see is a terrible relationship with a mediocre med student. At the same time, Sterling Cooper is beginning to feel the effects of changing times; Joan is trying to figure out where to put this newfangled piece of equipment called a copy machine, while Don is interviewing young writing talent—that for some reason come in pairs. “Mad Men” season premieres are typically rather weak, serving more to put all the pieces in place rather than be something truly great in and of themselves. This one is not overly memorable in its own right, and it tries a little too hard.
Best Scene: As Peggy struggles to come up with a new tagline for Mohawk Airlines, Don gives an inscrutable treatise on what it means to be a copywriter, summing it up this way: “They can’t do what we do … and they hate us for it.” This is the first of many, many scenes to come of Don abusing Peggy in the name of creativity. Honorable mention goes to Don taking a young man’s hat off in the elevator as a sign of respect to a woman (even though in reality he rarely shows actual respect for them); it’s Don’s way of fighting against the burgeoning youth movement of the 1960s.
Best Line: Duck to Don: “You know, there are other ways to think about things than the way you think about them.”