Mad Men

Season 1 Episode 4

New Amsterdam

7
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Aug 09, 2007 on AMC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

8.5
out of 10
Average
239 votes
  • Pete makes a move and Betty has a strange experience at Helen Bishop's house

    8.5
    This episode had much less of a focus on Don Draper and brought us into the world of Pete Campbell and Betty Draper. I was surprised there was so little of Draper, but this shows the true strength of the cast. The episode also proved that Draper isn't as all-powerful as one would expect. He was given credit for two things that he didn't actually do, something that's worth noting.

    I'm not 100% sure of the actor's name but the guy who plays Pete did a great job today. Sure, he's a tough guy at work and he seems to be confident, but it's clear that his wife gets whatever she wants and that Pete doesn't have all the marital power that he wants. Watching him get shoved aside by his parents and by his wife's parents AND by his wife makes it hard to feel great about him almost getting fired. The writers have done a good job of making us actually feel sympathy towards him. He clearly wants to be an important man and his attempts to go over Don's head with the steel company was a daring move. But once again, in the end, we see Don Draper's power get the best of him.

    There was also a somewhat strange series of scenes where Betty babysits Glen, Helen Bishop's son, and he seems to pine after her in a way that a young kid shouldn't. I wonder if they'll do anything with this or just let it sit. But for the most part, it was nice to see more of January Jones.

    The show seems to be hitting its stride more. The characters are being fleshed out more and showing more emotion.. instead of getting straightforward stereotypes of 60's men and women, we're seeing some characters stray from their comfort zones, something that will make the show better and more enjoyable.
  • It's not what you know, but who you know.

    9.0
    As a period piece the show is near perfect, and it's a pretty good story too. In this episode we realize that not everything is what it appears to be.

    In this episode Don is challenged by the upstart Pete. While Don wields his power in firing Pete, the owner of the firm says no, it's different. We need Campbell for his name, it grants us access....and then he lists the country clubs and captains of industry. Consequently Campbell is retained while Don's boss makes it seem that it was Don who went to the mat for him. It's the devil having to eat crow.

    Meanwhile Pete has to eat crow when he's emasculated by his wife when she asks her father for help in aquiring new Park Avenue apartment. We also see a little into Betty and how she looks at Mrs. Bishop, the divorcee. Of course she gets nosy while babysitting Helen's very odd son. In a side note, I like the way AMC gives little factoids revolving around the following commercial. I'm sure that was a great selling point when courting advertisers for this show.
  • In doubt

    7.5
    Not really sure what to think of this episode. I've only just started watching this series and am still deciding whether to really like it, or just watch it because of the hype. This particular episode felt a little out of place in comparison to the first three. Good or bad? I don't know. It's great to see the characters of Don and Peter developing, but that makes it harder to sympathize with them. Don started out as the good guy (if you can be whilst cheating on your wife and abandoning her at the kids party) and Peter the obnoxious guy who was a little too eager to get ahead. More and more I start to dislike Don and feel sorry for Peter, because he is struggling with so many things in his marriage and work. But that's the problem, it's hard to feel sorry for him, because he was so annoying. That's why I categorize this episode as 'out of character'.
  • Another great contribution to the intruiging universe of Mad Men.

    8.9
    I loved the fact that this episode revolved around two of the most interesting character "conflicts" on this show: That of Don/Pete and Betty/Helen. I think on the one hand the show-off between Don and Pete was necessary and I'm very interested to watch things develop. It was a hilarious moment when Roger pretended that Don was "the only reason Pete was allowed to stay in the company." Nice.

    Betty and Helen's relationship is still very tense at the moment but it seems that babysitting Helen's kid is making Betty think about her marital position and the strength of women in general. In a way she tries to deny this, as evidenced in her chat with the psychiatrist (who remains creepily silent!) but things are definitely changing. I can't help but think that Don and Betty are, though they definitely remain products of their time, the most emancipated people of the bunch who are trying to break free from the time spirit in their own ways. Or am I reading too much into things?

    All in all, this episode is a nice addition to the already impressive list of Mad Men greatness.
  • The first big clash between Draper and Pete.

    9.0
    Great episode! I really enjoyed seeing another side of Pete. I couldn't stand before and now I kinda like him.

    It's a good thing that every character on this show isn't completely likeable or unlikeable. It makes things so much more interesting.

    I was laughing out loud during the scene where Roger tells Pete he is not fired. Great acting and great writing all around.
    Those characters have such great dynamics. And this is juste the 4th episode.

    Glen freaked me out too. Sure Betty is pretty, very pretty, but that didn't seem to be a simple childish crush. I'm not sure where they're going with the whole Betty/Hellen storyline and I'm not sure I like it either. I guess we'll see soon enough...

    The only thing I didn't like about this episode was that there was no Midge or Joan.

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