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
191 votes
  • Plenty of emotion, plenty of underplayed majesty.

    The subtle nature of this show is one of its most endearing powers. The slow, untidy reveal of Don's previous life (here expressed in the opening with Don's strange moments of imagining the past; his birth, his adopted mother's taking of him in). This episode brings in new characters to be pulled into from the get-go; the agency has gone through tumultuous times, and here we find our cast rediscovering their limits and strengths. Major progression happens with some long-standing characters (Salvator not the least of which), and we see Draper at top form, his ability to grant ease to his subordinates while he himself is sometimes unhinged.

    The birth bookends--Don's birth at the beginning and his daughter asking for the story of her own--is a perfect example of how well paced, plotted, and timed this show can be--subtle, again, but not too cocky with it. Not the strongest episode of the show--any episode in which Ken Cosgrove and Campbell play major roles often leads me dangerously close to being bored (both seem almost too adolescent for me; their roles in the company barely discussed, their abilities too unevenly contrasted)--but a strong episode to begin the season with.