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Mad Men Episode Review and Recap, "Seven Twenty Three"

Mad Men: This Week's 5 Maddest Moments

Far fewer feet were cut off in this week's episode of Mad Men, but there's still intense imagery. The way the episode kicks off, with a bloody Don, Peggy in bed, and Betty on a fainting couch, you know this installment, "Seven Twenty Three," is going to be explosive.

To talk about the episode and see my five maddest moments (spoilers ahead!), just


  • The Flash Forwards: Peggy, Don, and Betty are all shown lying down somewhere in vastly different situations — clearly these are the three paramount plot lines for the episode. I have to say, I really liked the subtle drama of the flashes.
  • Old Yeller: What's with Don yelling at the women in his life? Peggy is the first victim of his wrath when she dares to ask for a spot on the Hilton account. Then he shouts at Betty at home for having an opinion about his contract. What crawled up his gray flannel suit?
  • Duck, Duck, Peggy: When I wondered how Duck Philips would turn up this season, I did not think it would be in bed with Peggy. Duck's seduction of Peggy really only seemed like it was to get her to Gray; I didn't see a sexual thing coming. I mean, his name is Duck. He's not exactly the smoldering Lothario that Don is. Listening to his dirty talk is weird — even though it's pretty clean, it still scandalized me. The two tense encounters Peggy has with the main men in her life — Pete and Don — seem to be what make her vulnerable enough to have a "go-round" (I know, what?!) with Duck, who's sort of the anti-Don (Très has even more questions about this one-night stand). P.S. I love that no one notices that Peggy comes to work the next day in the same outfit she wore the day before. Classic.
  • Burt Blackmails: Am I dense for just not caring that much about the Conrad Hilton account? It's kind of cool to see real-life people integrated into the storyline, but he only appears to be there to press the contract issue. Right when I was telling my TV, "We get it Don, you don't like to be tied down," little old Burt Cooper shows up in Don's office and makes a reference to his knowledge of Don's true identity. And by making a reference, I mean he blackmails Don into signing the three-year contract. Burt's play is the most interesting thing about the contract; I'm glad it's finally wrapped up.
  • Don and the Bad Scene: You know you're having a bad trip when your dead, abusive dad shows up, tells you hillbilly jokes, and insults you. From the flashes of Don bloody and face down in a motel room, you know Don's headed for trouble when he leaves the house. He really sticks his foot in it this time; somehow, taking two barbiturates washed down with whiskey while driving seems excessive, even for Don. Fine, Don: no one can control you. Getting punched in the back of the head and then robbed is what his flash built up to; is this some kind of a rock bottom, or is he still on the way down? (By the by, it's realistic by now, but the fact that there's no fallout with Betty when Don takes off, stays out all night, and comes back with a facial wound cracks me up.)

So do you think we're going to see more of this Don/Dick Jekyll and Hyde thing? I won't be surprised if we do; the first scene of this season recalled Don's beginnings as Dick. What else were you intrigued by? Betty's involvement with the politician? Miss Farrell's somewhat bizarre interaction with Don about hitting on her? To talk more about the show, join the Mad Men Group in the BuzzSugar community!

Photo courtesy of AMC

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