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Mad Men Recap: Episode Five, "The New Girl"

Mad Men Rundown: Episode Five, "The New Girl"

Whoa — big episode of Mad Men this week with all of my favorite characters getting a good amount of screen time. One of my favorite characters from last season makes a return and we learn a whole lot about what happened to Peggy a while ago, including how she managed to keep her job after going through her secret ordeal.

I don't know about you, but there were some heart-stopping, high drama moments for me in this week's episode. Pressure continues to build within the Draper marriage as Don's lies keep piling up, Pete is a tool to his wife as usual, and there's some exciting news for Joan!

To read the rest of my thoughts and chat about the episode,


Don Draper: Once again Don succumbs to Bobbie's charms, and after getting thoroughly wasted he gets behind the wheel of his car for a late night tryst by the sea. As he guzzled hard alcohol while driving I thought, "I know they smoked while pregnant and stuff but surely they understood the hazards of drinking and driving?" And, of course, that's the moment when Don and Bobbie get into a terrible accident. Oh! But before all that they bump into Rachel Menken (yay! She's back!), who is now Mrs. Katz. Her husband seems a little less exciting than Don but likely not as much of a d-bag. There's a lot of clean up after the big wreck, including some more lying to Betty who is angry that Don didn't call her after his accident. Of course, he dismisses this argument from his spouse by calling her hysterical and telling her to help him get dressed.

Peggy Olson: We learn a lot about Peggy this week via flashbacks, including a diagnosis by the doctors in the mental institute: "psychoneurotic disorder" a.k.a. "refusing to admit she had a baby." Then we find out that Don visited her in the hospital and offered some eerie words of advice to poor, confused Peggy, like "Get out of here and move forward," and "This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened." This scene gave me chills all over; the way Jon Hamm delivers these lines is extraordinary. Later, Bobbie gives Peggy some constructive advice on how to get that corner office: stop being so deferential toward Don and start acting like his equal. Thus, Peggy asks Don to repay her for his bail, and when he hands her money, she calls him by his first name instead of her usual "Mr. Draper." The playing field has been leveled a little bit (both Peggy and Don now know destructive secrets about each other), and Peggy is learning how to leverage that.

Some more thoughts:

  • Did anyone else notice that Peggy's sister is hugely pregnant when she visits Peggy in the hospital? What do you think that's about? She could be pretending to be pregnant as a cover for Peggy, or perhaps the little boy we've been seeing this whole season is actually Peggy's sister's.
  • Um, what the heck was up with that guy who popped out of his office and played Mozart on his pants zipper? Oddest. Mad Men moment. Ever.
  • Ugh, Pete! He finds out that he does not have fertility issues (which we knew because of his baby with Peggy) and proceeds to rub that in his wife's face and treat her like a child. He is so despicable sometimes.
  • I like the addition of "the new girl," though I think she looks more modern than any of the other women. Like, 2008 modern. I'll be curious to find out more about her.
  • Joan has some great lines this week, and the one that made me laugh out loud was when she told the group of men gathered around near the new secretary to go and "Pitch your tents somewhere else."
  • Speaking of Joany — she's engaged! Cue break area squealing! We haven't seen much of this doctor love of hers, so we'll see how long this engagement lasts. Can you really see Joan out in the burbs next door to Betty raising kids? Me neither.

What did you think of last night? Were you as blown away as I was to learn about how deep Peggy and Don's relationship actually goes? Do you think we'll see more of Rachel? Do you prefer Peggy the power-playing office politico to Peggy the doormat?

Photos courtesy of AMC

Join The Conversation
janetwrogers janetwrogers 8 years
You know, fudgeit, I noticed that too. I think they are definitely trying to keep up the suspense. I think it could turn out the baby was adopted, could turn out that her sister took Peggy's child after her own child died or she miscarried or something . . . right now I'm leaning towards adoption, but who knows?
bushra bushra 8 years
with regard to the adoption theory, i'm not sure about this as in the first episode of the season Peggy's sister asks her if she is going to say goodnight, at which point Peggy heads for the children's bedroom and we see the little blond boy (also pointed out in Episode 4) in his cot.
supertramp supertramp 8 years
A little late but u also have to wonder if her child came out healthy b/c she didn't know she was pregnant and was still drinking.
gidigirl gidigirl 8 years
Does anyone know if it is possible to see these episodes online? For some reason i can only seem to find the 1st episode of the 2nd season on am DYING to see the rest of the episodes.. Also how come Mad Men isnt listed under the directory for Fave T.V show?
ThreadKiller ThreadKiller 8 years
lylpookie, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I'm so excited. I had no idea they repeated the episodes during the week. Yes, August 31st is the next time they'll replay it. Have I said THANK YOU yet? ;-)
lylpookie lylpookie 8 years That should give a schedule of when the episodes air on AMC for repeat. I think August 31 might be the next days?
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 8 years
Best episode of the season. My husband commented last week that it was a little boring. I agreed. Still good, but not exactly rocking our socks off. This week was the exception. I was waiting for Rachel Menken to reappear and it was quite the appearance. Buzz, you are right about the way Jon Hamm delivered those lines to Peggy. Bone chilling. I saw the pregnant sister but I assumed there were two little ones that age. Now I realize there is more to the mystery. I can't wait to find out if that is Peggy's child or not.
fionamcbree fionamcbree 8 years
That said...Don & Pete's character's are flawlessly written. They care about keeping their wives in pretty dresses, a nice home and being the envy of other men. Stable, loving, FAITHFUL relationships be damned! Awesome! (for television, not for real, 21st century relationhips ya'll) *wink*
fionamcbree fionamcbree 8 years
I LOVE this show & your comments! I think the kid was adopted. At confession Peggy's sister said "she had a child out of wedlock" and everybody's trying to help her, etc. she didn't say "I'm raising that lil' bastard--ok, she wouldn't have said that back then--but she would've thought it. I think her mom's helping her be "psychotic", help keeping the adoption a secret, etc. so people won't shun Peggy and her sister's sick of the act bcuz she's the one with kids and really needs help. The priest at the end (Tom Hanks' son?!) was awesome. Many woman of that era forfeit education/jobs and married young because they were raised to find a good "PROVIDER" not a nurturing, loving, compassionate man (like today) so I think Pete & Don's wives character's are superbly written. They're allowed to have a little tantrum but that's HIS house and they'd better not forget it. No matter what he does or says, they've got all the things worth accepting a jerk as a husband for; a nice home, pretty dresses and the envy of other women. Joan's a workin' gal. Her husband would've gotten something thrown at his head. :o) Looking forward to your comments next week! Can't wait to see what
ThreadKiller ThreadKiller 8 years
I'm so glad I found your site because I forgot to watch last night with all the Olympics hoopla and I'm so mad I missed it. Does anyone know of anyplace they show the episodes online? I've looked everywhere. Thanks!
janetwrogers janetwrogers 8 years
At the moment, I think Peggy's baby was adopted. Do you remember after she gave birth, there was a scene where she was lying in the hospital bed and a nurse brought the baby to her and said, "Don't you even want to hold him?" and Peggy just turned away? I think she wouldn't hold him because she was in disbelief and because she didn't dare hold him or else she wouldn't be able to give him up. I thought it was sort of sinister how she was so disoriented in the hospital flashback this week and the doctor said they had given her lots of drugs to make her talk . . . did anyone else find that creepy? I wondered if they were trying to find out who the father of the child was. I'm amazed that as drugged up as she seemed to be that she could take Don's advice and tell them whatever they want to hear just to get out of St. Mary's.
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
I don't think Peggy hurt her baby. She didn't know she was pregnant and then suddenly had a baby. That has to be pretty shocking so instead of dealing with it she disassociated herself from it. She has tried to block that part of her memory and refuses to acknowledge it. I think that her sister was pregnant at the same time and is taking care of Peggy's son with her own children.
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
Also, "fat farms" were fairly prevalent in the 1950s and 1960s. People didn't deal with issues in public and instead slipped away privately and without notice. I wish I could find an article I once read in a history class because it went in depth about what would happen there. Some women would use them as detox centers or to get away from their home life. They used fad diets so clients lost weight quickly but didn't keep it off.
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
I guess I am the only one who feels sorry for Pete. He is a complete a**hole but I see him the same way I see Betty. He is trapped in a world that he doesn't really want and it is suffocating him. He made a career, got married and now is trying to have a child he doesn't know if he wants. His behavior is deplorable by today's standards but so are many characters. I don't think Pete knows how to be sensitive or caring because that wasn't how he was raised. I see the same thing in Don, which is why I think Pete is drawn to him. I really love this show and its writing. Can't wait for more.
lylpookie lylpookie 8 years
Does anyone else wonder if Peggy...hurt her child? I'm trying to figure everything out, and while there is nothing out there to indicate this, it could be a reason why they took the baby away. She refused to acknowledge it and somehow harmed it? I dunno...just thinking aloud here (well, I guess not really aloud...). Did anyone else catch the, "you promised you wouldn't stay out like this anymore" comment that Betty said to Don. I guess that indicates that he found out she knew he had been cheating and that they have been trying to "make things work." Also could explain why he's more hesitant about Bobbie...but still doesn't make it better since he still goes through with it.
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
angelfromlsu - I thought the same thing! First of all, what a wacky excuse for not coming home on a given night, "Hi honey, I feel bloated. I'm going to the fat farm...yeah nothing fishy going on here..." Second of all, what? Were there "fat farms" back then that people could check into whenever? If so, what exactly did "fat farms" offer in terms of services? So many questions.
supertramp supertramp 8 years
Bobby gave Peggy some constructive critism not Betty. I'm with u on how the flashbacks gave me chills and the bump was an other, "u think u know but i'm gonna keep tricking u" moment and u know what I'm loving every bit of it.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 8 years
What is up with the Fat Farms????
Candybee Candybee 8 years
I think Peggy's sister was covering up for her OR what if we found out she LOST a baby during that time? Crazy! LOVE.THIS.SHOW The zipper symphony was definitely a way for the writers to show the immaturity and boyishness of the "professional" men in that office. Ridiculous. And Pete- are you kidding me? I loved when they were arguing and she left the room & he said, "Come back here!" I looked over at my husband like, "you wouldn't dare."
Row-D Row-D 8 years
PS. And all that being said, I don't particularly like Bobbie either. HA!
Row-D Row-D 8 years
Don does seem to be making some poor decisions. But the description of his affair with Bobbie as violent I find unfair. She is a strong woman that needs an equally strong(if not stronger) male to take her own. That's what she finds attractive about Don. We'll see where it goes(scenes from next week, yowza!) but I caution us to immediately judge what people do in the bedroom. There's more hairpulling going on that you think....
badhabit badhabit 8 years
Great episode! I immediately noticed that Peggy's sister was hugely pregnant while visiting her in the hospital-I guess she could have been wearing a fake belly but since the baby was already born, strapping on one of those would seem to negate the purpose, if the purpose was trying to pass it off as her own. I'm thinking the sister had a baby and we don't know what happened to Peggy's...there definitely aren't two of the same age babies around. Maybe Peggy did something to hers and that is what sent her into the institution? Or maybe it was adopted? However, having to take care of Peggy's baby seemed to be one of the sister's motivations for unleashing her frustration in last week's ep. So I'm not sure. I loved Peggy in this episode-so self controlled around Bobbie's prying questions-definitely modeling herself after Don. Also I loved her outfit when she went to ask Don for the money-she finally looked like a businesswoman and not a secretary. Just when Pete starts to become a tiny bit start to dispise him again!
Taadie Taadie 8 years
I wish Pete's wife would have kicked his a**! When he told her that she had to get over it and he wasnt involved in this baby stuff anymore I wish she would have thrown something at his head. Ugh! But Don is totally melting down. He seems to have moments of clarity, like when he got home and realized that Betty had taken the salt out of the food because she is concerned about him. He had that look on his face, he looked so heartbroken. Now if only he would have some more self control.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 8 years
Awesome freaking episode. I feel like I need to watch it again to fully absorb it!
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
The entire time Don and Bobbie were driving I just knew an accident was coming. I also wondered how long Peggy was going to ignore the way the office works and get in the game. I am pretty happy with this season so far and I am excite for more.
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