Great Moments in Mad Men: Season 2
Before that I’ve compiled a list from each season because let’s face it, there are some doozies. Take a peek and refresh your memory on what we’re in for come Sunday April 7th.
Disclaimer: If you haven’t caught up through season 5 I wouldn’t recommend reading the lists.
BETTY EXPLORES HER WILD SIDE
Remember back in season 1 when betty had a private moment in her mind with the salesman? Well, in the opening episode of the second season she takes it a step further. During a night out on the town with Don she encounters an old female friend of hers with an older gentleman.
As is proven many times throughout the show Betty more often than not has the mindset of a child. She is completely clueless that her friend is now what Don calls a “party girl” and not just dating around on the prowl for a husband. When Betty’s car breaks down and she needs help she takes the opportunity to explore her inner call girl and semi-propositions the mechanic.
It’s disturbing mostly because she teeters the line of confidence and complete inexperience. While she gives it the old college try there is something not quite right about it all, but then again at least we get a chance to see that activity does occur in her brain from time to time.
JOAN DECLARES SHE IS NOT A PHONY
She strikes again! It’s not just that Joan is given some of the best lines in the show but there is so much credit due to Christina Hendricks and her delivery. The way she holds her cigarette like she doesn’t give a shit and blows smoke in the faces of others. Ahh! It’s all so good.
After attending a party at Paul Kinsey’s where he tried to express just how liberal he is Joan gives him a piece of her mind when he accuses her of being rude to his girlfriend who is black. It’s really not worth trying to describe just what she says because every time I watch this scene I still walk away stunned. However, we do get another example of how far we have come in society since the Mad Men days.
DON GETS FEISTY WITH BOBBIE BARRETT
Don is the king of pulling the wool over people’s eyes so when Bobbie Barrett tries to sock it to him she fails miserably. She and Don take a moment away from the dinner table where his wife and her husband Jimmy Barrett sit with the owners of Utz Potato Chips Mr and Mrs Schilling. Jimmy had insulted Mrs. Schilling’s size and the entire dinner outing was planned around the idea that he would apologize for the disaster.
He putters around fliritng with Betty and ignoring the elephant in the room until Don gets frustrated. He and Bobbie take a little break around the corner to talk, but keep in mind these two have already done the nasty. When Don questions/demands that Jimmy apologize she tries to throw it in his face that Jimmy will get paid either way and tries to blackmail him. And with a move as old as time Don gets grabby and slips her the old hand up the skirt to do a little threatening of his own. Just watch…lady didn’t know what hit her.
SALLY DRAPER AS A SUNDAY BARTENDER
When the Draper gang decides to stay in for a Sunday Sally takes on the usual role for a little girl and that would be making drinks of course! Let’s not forget this isn’t the first time we’ve seen her skills behind the bar. She initially impressed us when she made cocktails for her mom, dad and their friends in season 1.
Take a minute and try to imagine a time when this was acceptable. I know, I can’t picture it either. I remember when I was younger not knowing what a beer was and taking to my dad upstairs when he forgot his drink. I still remember how scared I was when he told me never to touch that kind of can again which I stuck to all these years given that it was Budweiser. Putting all your fears aside for this young gal you must admit her drinks look pretty killer, as you in you will get shitfaced.
DON VISITS PEGGY IN THE HOSPITAL
This really is a moment that can’t be over-looked given that it serves as the base of the relationship between Don and Peggy. While the two have never been romantically involved they have a connection that might even run deeper than that. Both have major secrets from their past that will haunt them until their dying day but neither let it keep them from moving on.
In this flashback we see that Don found Peggy in the hospital after she had gone missing for quite some time. It’s clear in his eyes he knows exactly what to say to her and without missing a beat Peggy smells what he’s stepping it. Once the audience found this out it was easy to see why their connection remains so tight throughout the course of the show. Even in this episode later we see that Peggy feels she owes Don and doesn’t ask questions when getting him out of a bind after his car accident with Mrs. Barrett.
DON DRAPER IN A PINK TOWEL
I’m a big fan of any opportunity we get to see Jon Hamm with out his shirt off but this pink towel is killing the mood. Not to mention that everything in that bathroom looks like he could crush it. It’s as if Betty got the final word on every bit of decoration, which probably wouldn’t be far from the case in real life. Don Draper has bigger things to worry about, like his identity.
Don’t focus too much on the toilet to the left that looks like it will shatter when he sits on it. We get a cute moment where he is fatherly with Sally but like clockwork he becomes a weirdo. Could you imagine this guy as your father?
THE MIND OF BERT COOPER
Upon repeat watchings of Mad Men it becomes easier to pick up on the oddities of Bert Cooper. The places he shows up without shoes are so strange and while he is sometimes a background character he really does play a large part in the show. When he acquires a Mark Rothko painting the office is a buzz wondering why on earth somebody would pay so much for fuzzy squares. This is a common argument among those not familiar with Rothko and this feeling in the office world of Sterling Cooper isn’t shocking.
When Harry Crane is called to Cooper’s office he’s under the impression (based off of rumors) that the big man will ask his opinion of the piece. As an audience member your expecting the same, that is until Cooper really lays eveyrthing out on the table. The man loves money! His mysterious purchase was really the choice of a wise business man. As he says the thing will double in value by the next Christmas. Bert Cooper really isn’t as complex as some would make him out to be.
While preparing for a big dinner at the Draper house Betty takes to cleaning the dining room chairs. When she discovers that one is a little off-kilter she decides that the proper solution would be to smash it to pieces. All while her kids watch in the next room.
There are plenty of moments to choose from where Betty releases her child mind but this is one of the more classic ones. I’m sure the fact that Don hasn’t been helping to prepare doesn’t help but honestly woman, get it together! I found myself wondering where they found a chair for the eventual dinner party. Now we all know what to do when we’re frustrated…break chairs!
ROGER OFFERS MARITAL ADVICE
Roger has a way with the ladies but I’m not quite sure he has skills in the marriage department. A strong loving marriage really isn’t at the heart of what Mad Men aims to represent. In episode 9 Don is still in the dog house with Betty because she suspects that he is cheating on her and Roger has taken notice. Apparently he comes in to early and hasn’t kept his dry cleaning going in and out under wraps tight enough.
He takes this moment to educate Don on the topic of marriage with quotes like, “I know marriage isn’t a natural state but you do it.” His solution for making an oopsies is something like you make a mistake, think it over and do “the grand gesture.” Then he offers Don the ultimate question, “Do you want to be right or do you want to be married?” I tell you what, Roger really is a romantic.
HELEN BISHOP AND BETTY DRAPER BOND
There’s nothing like a girly moment on Mad Men. Helen Bishop (Glen’s mom) comes over to the Draper residence to pick up her son and rip into Betty for being so strange with him. Little did she know ultimately she would end up in a mini-bonding moment. So far we’ve seen Betty talk shit about Helen and her single mother lifestyle as well as slap her in a supermaket. Classy lady.
Now, here we have Betty about to be divorced with two kids and suddenly Helen doesn’t seem that bad. She levels with Helen and gives her a glimpse into the not so perfect Draper affairs. Instead of judging Helen takes the high road and offers some of her experience. It’s always nice to see Betty acting like she can pull that stick out of her ass.
Let’s take a moment to look back at their previous encounter. Betty can’t slap for shit.
THE FELICITY MOMENT
Okay, so Peggy doesn’t chop off almost all of her hair like in Felicity but she certainly makes a gusty move. The reason her seemingly innocent haircut is so important is that she really leaves old naive Peggy behind after this. In fact it’s hard to think of her without the short bob with bangs we have come to love.
It’s not just that she looks more adult but she starts acting it too. Her little girl attire that Joan constantly came down on her for begins disappear and her shoes get a little more adventurous. Working in a man’s profession Peggy needed this boost to keep them on their toes.
PEGGY GROWS A PAIR OF BALLS
Here is where the haircut becomes so important. Had she not had the recent make over and boost in confidence I don’t think she would have been so direct in asking Roger for an office. The best part is when roger declares that, “you young women are very agressive,” she immediately responds apologizing for being impolite. But this is Roger! Naturally he finds it cute and I’m sure he was oddly turned on.
Moments between Roger and Peggy are few and far between but when they happen he always seems taken aback by her. As if somehow he didn’t know she existed until the very moment they started speaking.
PEGGY BLOWS PETE’S MIND
We’re fininshing off very much focused on the character of Peggy but that’s only because she has so much growth in season 2. In the season finale she has the awkward task of informing Pete she had his baby which he had no freaking clue about. Many shows would have had her keep the secret until it came out in a very big blow up, but not Mad Men.
She tells him very calmly when he declares his love for her that she could have had him. It’s a very sublte way of saying something much bigger. Dopey Pete takes his time connecting the dots and when he does his eyes fill with tears. It’s not easy for her but she gave him the push to move on from whatever was between them and focus on his wife. Something he should have already been doing.