Monday, January 26, 2015

Re-watching ‘Mad Men’: S2/Ep5, “The New Girl”

The relationship between Don and Peggy is one of the central threads of the entire series, and there are certain episodes where that bond jumps a level. This is one of them. When Don and Bobbie Barrett get drunk and Don crashes his car on the way to the shore, it’s Peggy he calls to bail them out. As a result, we see once again how Peggy is maturing, taking charge of the situation and handling Bobbie the next day. Everything between Peggy and Bobbie is A+-level stuff, and the subplots of Joan’s engagement and Pete and Trudy’s fertility problems are good, too. There is a ton to unpack and contemplate here, and this episode is just shy of being an all-time great entry. 

Best Scene: In a flashback, we see a post-pregnancy Peggy lying in a hospital bed, loaded up on drugs. And, suddenly, Don is there. It’s so surprising, Peggy has to ask him if he’s real or a hallucination. But he is very, very real, and he is here to get her out of this place. The intensity in Jon Hamm’s eyes here is incredible, and this is one of the best scenes of the entire series. It shows so much about Don; first, that he cared enough about Peggy to come find her, and second, his pathological (some might say psychotic) penchant for denial (which we also see when he completely forgets to pay Peggy back for the bail money).

Best Line: Don: “Peggy, listen to me. Get out of here, and move forward. This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.”

Grade: A-