Mad Men

Season 3 Episode 1

Out of Town

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Aug 16, 2009 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

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out of 10
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  • Mad Men is finally back! Sal and Don go out of town where a secret is revealed. Ken and Pete learn ther promotion is not what is seems. The British bosses get introduced.

    Mad Men is back and the episode starts with a very "Soprano-esque" sequence where Don views his birth. It turns out its his "real" birthday (not Don's but Dick's) We learn the rather grim way he originally got to be named Dick and the rather embarrassing circumstance of his birth. Don could never know any of this of course and it was very surreal. Everyone knows the writer of the show worked on the Sopranos, and they were known for doing this sort of thing, it was artsy but well executed.

    The great thing about this show is how the product ties into the show. For the new season, it is London Fog. At that time it only did raincoats but it was a big account and the firm sends Don and Sal to Baltimore to cement the client after Sterling Cooper cans Burt, the head of accounts. A case of mistaken identity happens when a pretty stewardess reads the name on Don's luggage that had his brother in laws name on it and gives Don carte blnche for infedelity as he casually assumes the new identity. (this time for fun and Sal played along) This led to the first great line of the new season as Sal remarks after the gorgeous stewardess practically picks Don up on the plane that "he never saw a stewardess that game" to which Don quizically replies "really?" Welcome to the world of Don Draper Sal! Don and Sal goes out to dinner with the stewardess and two other airline employees and they expand their cover story by saying they are accountants. When one of the employees seems to put Sal down for being an accountant, Don leaps to his defense by saying he is an accountant to then casually mentions they are accountants for...wait for it..the FBI! Now they got their cool back at the table. Watching it was like an instructional video on how to be a wingman to pick up girls. lol

    The big reveal was Don discovers Sal's homosexuality when a fire alarm goes off and while on the fire escape he sees a bellboy in Sal's room. Luckily for Sal, Don is where secrets go to die, so if he is discovered at the office, it won't be by Don. The theme of the episode ties into this as on the return trip, Don asks Sal to be honest with him (which Sal thinks means they are about to talk about what Don saw) and instead Don pitches an ad for London Fog with the tagline "limit your exposure" which obviously has many meanings considering the circumstances, and Sal obviously got it.

    At the office, the British bosses are introduced as well as setting up a story about the boss's male secretary, who obviously is defensive about it. The secretaries are perplexed with what to do with him, as this is quite a gender norm breaker for the time. He insists to all he is not merely a secretary, but is his boss' "right hand man". By the end of the episode however it is revealed his boss really only considers him a secretary.

    Finally Pete and Ken, in an amusing bit, both get told they will be head of accounts, although they do not find out until later they will split up the business and share the title. This is a tortose and the hair story as the show shows each of their interactions with the brit boss and they are a study of contrasts. Pete, the whiny corporate shill, makes a mess of butt kissing, forgets to ask if he will get a raise but gets the job anyway. Ken, Mr. Laid back, is pleasantly surpirsed, casually makes small talk and asks about salary and shakes his boss' hand. The Brit was obviously more impressed with Ken.

    Pete seeths about sharing duties with Ken, as Ken barely cares and Pete wants the status soo badly and tries to make it personal. Ken won't bite and points out to Pete the boss wants them to hate each other. Pete can see this too, but falls into the trap anyway because of his emotions.

    All in all an enjoyable episode, well acted, and keeps up the theme of tying the product into the story and keeps up the "nothing happens/alot happens" vibe of the show.