Thursday, August 14, 2014

Re-watching ‘Mad Men’: S1/Ep8, “The Hobo Code”

This is one of those episodes I wish didn’t end. There are basically three main threads, all stemming from Peggy’s first attempt at writing copy. Everyone chooses to celebrate her success (thanks to another great pitch from Don) in different ways, which gives insight into so many different characters: Sal meets up with a client, leading to a proposition he refuses; Peggy goes out drinking and dancing with most of the office, which Pete does his best to ruin; and Don retreats to Midge’s apartment, where he gets high with her hippie friends and, eventually, realizes there’s nothing left in this relationship for him (not that there ever really was anything meaningful there to begin with). The best part of the episode, though, is the titular flashbacks to Don’s life as a child on the farm where a passing vagabond shows young Dick his father is a dishonest man. Though they’ve gone away in recent years, it’s these flashback sequences that take “Mad Men” to a whole new level of television show.

Best Line/Scene: Bert hands Don a bonus check for $2,500 and then asks him if he’s ever read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” Bert then says: “When you hit 40, you realize you’ve met or seen every kind of person there is … and I know what kind you are. Because I believe we are alike. By that I mean, you are a productive and reasonable man and, in the end, completely self-interested. It’s strength. We are different. Unsentimental about all the people who depend on our hard work.” This is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series.

Grade: A

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