Mad Men

Season 1 Episode 8

The Hobo Code

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Sep 06, 2007 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

Write A Review
out of 10
236 votes
  • DOn looks inside

    We see flashbacks of Don's childhood in this superb installment of Mad Men. Don sees a bleak childhood where a hobo identifies his father an one who's untrustworthy. It's no surprise that Don wants to be as detached from this childhood as he can. Conversly, we see how he's having trouble fitting in with the emerging hippie culture he encounters at one of his girlfriends. We are left to wonder how he identifies himself.

    Meanwhile Peggy and Campbell do it again in his office, early one morning and Campbell is not just indifferent the rest of the day but is downright curt with both his wife and Peggy. He's another one that's not comfortable with himself.

    As i've said before, there is a lot of dysfunction. Great installment.
  • I did not think I would still be watching this show.

    After watching the first few episodes of this show I did not think it was going to grow on me. Guess what, it did grow on me. In this episode Don gets an unexpected bonus from Mr. Cooper but he does not know why. Don wants to take some his money and use it to take his mistress to Paris. When he goes to pick her up she does not want to go as she has friends over. Don realizes she is in love with another man and decides to leave. I am guessing the show is trying to show the start of the hippy movement in those scenes as his mistress is hanging with that clique. I have to say I still cannot stand Pete and what he is doing to Peggy but that is what makes the show, disliking and liking people. All in all this was another good episode and will be watching all of them.
  • Another fantastic episode! This show is starting to grow on me really quickly.

    Although some subplots seemed to be somewhat redundant during the first 30 minutes, all fell in to place quite neatly in the end. I loved Don's flashbacks! I'm glad they're finally really starting to unravel why Don is who he is. And god, I don't know who was more creepy: his mom or dad. Very unstable people, by the looks of it. Those scenes made a nice contrast too, with Don experiencing his first drug party with his girlfriend and her beatnik friends. Great stuff!

    Of course Salvatore is gay but still in the closet. We all knew that, but I still enjoyed his scenes with the client. Peggy "sold" her first copy, though the crew almost entirely changed her punch line. And she got a glass of liquor. What a reward!

    Betty was ignored in this episode, but I'm pretty sure we'll see plenty of our favorite housewife in the next.
  • Don has an early brush with a subculture that would someday annoy all of America. Peggy is attracted to Pete, Pete is attracted to Peggy, but Pete is also a yammering loser. Plus we continue to see flashbacks of Don's really, really creepy childhood.

    I liked this episode, no doubt about it. Don gets a bonus at work and decides to try and take his little Greenwich Village mistress to Paris with the money. Unfortunately she's hanging out with her beatnik friends and instead of leaving for Paris, suggests Don hang out with/endure them as they get high. I really loved these scenes, Don is such a high man on the totem pole in the normal world, but here he suffers a complete loss of status around these proto-hippies. You can feel his pain through the screen as these jobless drug abusers spout vague notions of why he sucks for having a normal life.

    Peggy has sex with Pete a second time, now in his office. Pete then spends the rest of the day in a joyless hunch, blowing off his wife when she comes to pick him up so he can supervise the move into their new apartment and then blowing off Peggy when she and the rest of the office go out to celebrate her successful copywriting work.

    But while Peggy suffers romantic problems, Salvatori is having no problems at all seducing a business client who is giving off like-minded signals. Until after drinks and dinner that is. Sal insead gets cold feet and refuses to go home with the guy (and his sad, gentle eyes). I thought Sal was kind of an out-in-the-open in-the-closet homosexual. At least that's how he's been coming across in previous episodes. But here we see he's not so very comfortable with who he is, and all the more so in a world where he can lose everything he has for being gay.

    Also we flashback to see Don as a child, a hobo drops by his family's farm and asks to work for food. Don's creepy parents agree (at least his mother does) and the hobo joins them for dinner. This dinner scene was also great, I really just hated Don's weird, weird, weird parents. Just clearly horrible, insane people. After dinner, little Don goes out to say goodnight to the hobo, but during a short conversation the transient tells Don a few tricks about how to 'live on the rails.' You can really understand why this guy cut himself off from his entire past. His childhood gives me the willies.

    All in all, a really great episode to follow up a really poorly written episode in last week's show.
  • We get a sneak peak at Don Draper's mysterious past as a wanderer comes to his childhood home and teaches him "the Hobo Code"

    Don gets high and remembers his childhood when a hobo came to call. His mother wants the hobo to stay and work; his father does not. The hobo teaches Don a "code" that all tramps use to identify houses. When he leaves, childhood Don finds a mark that means his father is a dishonest man. Foreshadowing of history to come, this episode further explores Don's mysterious history. We see he grew up dirt poor (looks like the dust bowl) and wasn't loved much by his family. The scenes at his mistresses apartment are also classic; emerging "hippy culture" at it's finest. All the "kids" see Don as the establishment and all they've come to hate in life. As Don looks in the mirror, we wonder if he hates himself as well.