Mad Men season 7, episode 2 review: The drama of transcontinental office politics


Credit: AMC

Credit: AMC

This week’s episode of Mad Men saw us build on the dysfunction we were introduced to in last week’s season premiere as things continued to get worse and in particular cases awkward for our cast of characters.

We caught up with Sally Draper, who is becoming more and more like her father as she continues to grow. After hardly caring about an upcoming funeral more than she does about what to wear to it, she attempts to talk to her father at SC&P only to find out that he’s not there.

It’s pretty clear that this is more than just a metaphor for her relationship with Don at the moment as it’s strained at best. But there’s a heartfelt angle to all of this as Don desperately doesn’t want to seem like a failure in the eyes of his daughter but has to lie to her in order to achieve this mirage.

Everything that is happy in [Don's] life is out in California … yet he continues to tether himself to New York. There’s a land of happiness awaiting Don out west, but he seems to be rejecting it out of pride.

Sally telling Don to ‘tell the truth’ in her note of absence also wasn’t something to take lightly in the context of what we know about their relationship. He ends up sharing a heart to heart with Sally in which she just flat out asks him why he’s too afraid to tell Megan he’s not interested in movie to California.

This is so Don, as just about everything that his happy in his life is out in California, right down to the place where he proposed to his new wife, yet he continues to tether himself to New York. There’s a land of happiness awaiting Don out west, but he seems to be rejecting it out of pride.

Then there’s Pete, who is throwing weight around that he seemingly doesn’t have. When a new account wants to join SC&P, Pete tries to make it one of his west coast clients. This doesn’t sit well with New York and Pete has to fight for the account that he’s not going to get regardless.

It does seem like Pete is out in California to twiddle his thumbs and the frustration is clearly starting to get to him. California has already changed Pete and his troubles with the east coast office of SC&P is only going to make him even more high strung and stressed out.

Things only seemed to get better for Joan, which is something that people may be mixed on seeing. After dealing with some masked racial tension in the office, it appears that she may be on her way up to becoming more important and it seems her hard work may be paying off.

Let’s not skate over the massive promotion for Dawn either. After getting kicked around the office, she finds a home not at a reception desk but in Joan’s old job as Head of Personnel. This is a huge promotion for Dawn that could change a lot of things.

We saw a lot happen in this week’s episode and while most of it was stressful and intense, we no doubt have some major events coming down the pike and some big changes feel like they’re right around the corner.

Tags: Mad Men Television

  • Sharra

    I’m sorry, WHAT?!
    “Things only seemed to get better for Joan, which is probably not what
    many people wanted to see. After dealing with some masked racial tension
    in the office, it appears that she may be on her way up to becoming
    more important without really having to work that hard.”
    Are you KIDDING? Joan is constantly working her butt off to keep that office running smoothly, and is never appreciated for it. She is completely underrated by everyone she works with and – even being partner – is dismissed by everyone (including Peggy, who isn’t even a partner). That place wouldn’t function without her in the first place, and now she’s bringing in accounts, too. Cutler said himself, she works two jobs (I can’t stand him, but I liked him in that moment).
    It’s about time she made it up in the ranks. She’s always worked hard and deserves a lot more than she’s been resigned to. Everything inside of me cheered at that part.
    And now Dawn gets Joan’s job? That kind of a promotion is huge for somebody like Dawn in an era where racism still plays such a big part in what jobs you can have (Burt Cooper, you make me weep.)
    I was surprised something could go so well for them, and I’m stoked. One big leap for mankind…

    • Halanefleur

      Joan is so cool that she made her promotion even more amazing by promoting Dawn in a masterful way of rewarding someone she likes while fulfilling everyone else’s stupid demands. Talk about being great. She’s more clever than all of them and their neurosis together.