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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

Join The Conversation
jadenirvana jadenirvana 7 years
Burt was definitely blackmailing Don, no question. Creepy when the doddering grandfather turns out to be the Godfather, but there we have it. I do think it's significant too that Don finally had to do something he didn't want to do. He's been so untouchable up to this point, always clever enough to find a way out of everything. Now it seems like everyone, from his wife to Roger, have Don's number and they're getting disillusioned. You're only an enigma if people are intrigued by you, after all.
glam-sugar glam-sugar 7 years
Ugh, Peggy and Duck grossed me out. I do think Betty was turned on by the politician.
jelibeann jelibeann 7 years
oh, that is exactly what i was thinking - burt KNOWS about don's past...i cannot wait for that to come full circle...i imagine burt having found don crawling through the streets begging for food and burt sort of taking him in as a "son"... i am still skeeved by duck's come-on...taking her clothes off with his teeth? so many things to comment on: - betty with the politician - don getting robbed - don telling burt to keep sterling away from him - sally's teacher I could go on...I just love this thing my boss and I can agree on :)
Briandiesel Briandiesel 7 years
wait, hold on everyone. We actually have an intelligent anonymous on our hands! That does actually make complete sense..
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
interesting theory, would explain the close up of him signing "Don F Draper", too
Entertainment Entertainment 7 years
Yeah, I had my doubts about whether Burt was actually blackmailing Don, but it had slightly sinister undertones...and it pushed Don to sign the contract. It was a prodding, nonetheless.
pargie pargie 7 years
Oh I never thought of that, good thinking lawkat08! It seemed out of character for Burt to blackmail Don. I like that idea better, about his real true identity making the contract nonbinding.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
this whole episode was a doozy, which I didn't think could happen after the John Deere accident
starlotus713 starlotus713 7 years
I wish they'd give Peggy an opportunity to stand up for herself. I love her to death but she's so pathetic!
JCP0240 JCP0240 7 years
Oh one more thing, when Don said "keep Roger Sterling away from me" was it because the phone call to Betty about trying to make Don sign the contract?
JCP0240 JCP0240 7 years
WOW i could not believe Peggy slept with Duck. The entire time I was cringing. Gross. I was weirded out by Sally's teacher, and I really hope Don does not go down that road. Brian the episode kept flashing back and forth so I see why the timing may have seemed confusing. Pargie I completely agree that Betty was really excited about knowing the politicion guy. That fainting sofa looks awful in their living room, but I love it. Of course Bert Cooper had to somehow use Don's identify against him at some point, I am surprised Don didn't have this in the back of his mind, or maybe he did who knows. Also what is up with Conrad Hilton he is ridiculous just letting himself into Don's office, sitting at his desk! Don was not too pleased. Also thought it was funny that Peggy had on the same outfit after sleeping with Duck/thought it was gross and come on Peggy don't you live in Manhattan now? Run home and change!
pargie pargie 7 years
I can't believe Peggy slept with Duck! What was she thinking? I also felt like she was being used. I love Betty. She's wild and she should have her own show. Am I wrong or was she turned on by the fact that she was going to see the politician guy? Is this also why she bought the victorian lounge sofa thingy?
Briandiesel Briandiesel 7 years
Peggy is wearing the same dress (green plaid with the bow on the front) at the beginning of the episode which was weird, and then she's wearing that same outfit the next morning after she sleeps with Duck. I thought that was weird.. The weird part of the whole episode was the timeline., and maybe I missed something but: when Betty is going to meet with that guy she says its Saturday. While Betty is meeting that guy, Don is at the eclipse ceremony. When Betty comes home, she gets the call from Roger. Then Don comes home from work and gets mad at Betty and leaves. Then he wakes up in the hotel and goes into work. Peggy left work to take the Hermes scarf to Duck and that was on Friday. So either they all work everyday or ?
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