Mad Men

Season 1 Episode 2

Ladies Room

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Jul 26, 2007 on AMC
out of 10
User Rating
286 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Betty consults with a specialist about her health issues; Don is pressured to help with Nixon's presidential campaign; Peggy fends off the advances of one of the copywriters.

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  • Boys will be boys.

    We see in this episode the new aerosol can of Right Guard. Let's sell it boys and they start carrousing like 12 year olds.

    We are seeing character development in this episode. Don's psyche is slowly being revealed (ever so slowly, he is rather reserved). We also see Don's wife and that she seems to have a nervous condition. What from? to the psychologist she goes...and who gets a report of it at the end. So much for patient doctor privilege.

    Joan the bombshell shows Peggy how to get the boys to buy them lunch. But all the flirtations that have to be cast aside. Peggy has conflict too. Is she a good girl or bad..or a little of both?

    I have a lot of hope for this show. Stay tuned..moreless
  • Don is forced to write an ad for spray deodorants and Peggy deals with the men of the office

    The second episode of Mad Men moves just as slow as the premiere episode, and it's a good thing I have an incredible amount of patience because this show seems to be all about building up the suspense, even if it takes up to ten episodes or so. The events in the episode can be split into three different sections: Don Draper and his creative team have to come up with an advertisement for a new spray deodorant. Meanwhile, Betty Draper, his wife who actually gets more than one scene here, begins seeing a psychiatrist. There's also Peggy Olsen, the new security, who has to deal with the men of the office who want to sleep with her.

    The episode is extremely methodical and slow, yet it helps us understand the characters even more. In just two episodes, we can begin understanding the characters as if we have known them for a long time. Even minor characters such as Paul Kinsey, the guy giving Peggy a tour, has a sort of personality that lacks in most other TV dramas.

    I'm particularly interested in Betty Draper's psychiatrist visit and how it connects to her life. It's pretty slimy of Don to be spying on her visits to the doctor, but I think it speaks to the role of men in the society as a whole. The show captures this period of time remarkably well, much better than I originally thought. Perhaps that's why it seems so boring to some people.. the 60's advertising agency wasn't the most exciting thing going on during the decade, but with a little bit of slow moving story comes a blooming of character and complications.

    I have high hopes that the season will continue to get better as time goes on.moreless
  • What Women Want.

    Emphasis still lies heavily on Draper, but this time round, it's Betty's turn to take the spotlight. After an admittedly ho-hum pilot, 'Ladies Room' establishes the politics of the office, lunch-time and continues to develop this sexualized, manipulative dance routine between both sexes, something I enjoyed much more here than the pilot.

    There's an emotional hook to this episode, a pivotal ingredient the pilot simply lacked, and that's mostly down to the character of Betty Draper, played magnificently by the very stunning January Jones. Her situation is frustratingly compelling; she's a strong woman who desperately wants out of her, funnily enough, Betty Crocker lifestyle; cooking is all Don thinks she's good at, and she knows this.

    Don, here, is portrayed in a rather despicable light. Of course his actions are considered norm of the time, well, most of them, anyways. At the beginning of the episode Betty is told she must find it easy to hold onto a man like Don, when in fact it's quite the opposite and, again, Betty knows this. Her tremulous hands are obviously a manifestation of her unhappiness at home and it is moments where Don highlights that she has a lovely home, diamonds and plenty of money keeping her safe that the true potential of this show shines through, it's telling of the time, and unfortunately such a mindset still exists today. But money cannot buy you love.

    Peggy is still the fresh meat on the block; there's a hint of jealousy to be found in Joan's reaction when Peggy stresses she can't take a step without someone checking her out. Joan is clearly the lioness of the office, and I can see Joan attempting to tarnish Peggy's image in future episodes. While a lot of this episode demeans women, there's equal screen time allowed to highlight the females of the series are certainly deadlier than the males.

    Overall, a marked improvement over the pilot. Don, as a character, still has a long way to go, although the writers are already breaking him down, but he's still far from likeable. He's channeling his own guilt into his job – he's clearly attempting to find out what his female counterparts desire and this is manifesting in his work. He cares for his wife, but he's more so her warden than a husband at this point in the game. I hope Joan and Betty make each other's acquaintance so Betty can take a few pages out of Joan's book.moreless
Mark Kelly

Mark Kelly


Guest Star

Bob Rumnock

Bob Rumnock

Waiter #1

Guest Star

Cecelia Antoinette

Cecelia Antoinette

Ladies Room Attendant

Guest Star

Rosemarie DeWitt

Rosemarie DeWitt

Midge Daniels

Recurring Role

John Slattery

John Slattery

Roger Sterling

Recurring Role

Robert Morse

Robert Morse

Burt Cooper

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Music during the closing credits: The Cardigans - "The Great Divide"

    • Peggy's weekly paycheck of $35 is roughly equivalent to $260 in 2008 dollars. Her being taxed almost seven dollars for social security seems a bit much for the time period. However she fails to mention any income tax withheld, which is accurate as most working class Americans did not earn enough to pay Federal income tax.

    • Vincent Kartheiser is credited as appearing in this episode, but doesn't make an appearance in it.

    • Robert Morse, who guest stars as Burt Cooper, won a Tony for his role in the 1961 musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Morse played J. Pierpont Finch, an eager window washer determined to get to the top in the New York business world with the help of a book that gives the show its name. Providing moral support, and romance, is loyal secretary Rosemary. Morse later went on to star in the 1967 film adaptation of the musical.

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (1)


    • Don Draper: I seem to remember a woman wasting a good piece of a beautiful afternoon reciting this diatribe against television that should have ended with her banging her shoe on the table.

      This is a reference to an incident at the United Nations on October 12th, 1960. Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev had made a comment condemning Western imperialism, and Filipino delegate Lorenzo Sumulong pointed out the hypocrisy of the statement when he said the Soviet Union had "swallowed up" Eastern Europe. Krushchev became so angry that he called Sumulong a "jerk" and "an American Stooge" and reportedly proceeded to bang his shoe on his desk in protest. This incident became a symbol of the strict, tyrannical nature of the Soviet Union for many Americans in the 60s, which is why Don used it in that context.