Mad Men

Season 2 Episode 11

The Jet Set

7
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Oct 12, 2008 on AMC
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
185 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Don takes a business trip to Los Angeles, where he hooks up with some interesting new acquaintances; Peggy's in the mood for an office romance; Duck contemplates the future at Sterling Cooper.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Fork in the Road

    9.0
    I loved this episode. After watching a presentation demonstrating how simple it would be for a nuclear bomb to wipe out the USSR, and the obvious implication that any of our lives could end at any moment, Don makes the impulse decision to abandon his conference and drive off to Palm Springs with a girl he has just met at the hotel pool. In Palm Springs he witnesses the opposite of what his life is; wealthy people living an idle existence with open sexual relationships, and Mexican food! His temporary (or permanent?) freedom from his life as he has created it is perfectly represented by his suitcase sitting on his doorstep in New York. This is his chance to once again abandon his life or face it, and we don't know what he'll do.



    Back at the office, we see what happens in the early 1960s when someone naively comes out to a random group of people; honestly not much has changed in many places. The look on Sal's face is devastating. But despite her catholic upbringing, Peggy is open to whatever life brings, so despite her confusion, she welcomes her new friend into her life. But like so many successful women, she laments to him about "picking the wrong boys". To which he replies that her style is wrong, and promptly gives her a proper woman's modern haircut. Perfection!



    We see how confident Duck becomes with alcohol; before he was slightly assertive, but with a drink or two he instantly becomes cocky and conniving. Watching the negotiations for Sterling Cooper to be sold without Don was nerve-wracking the first time I watched it, but knowing what is to come, it's delicious.



    Favorite prop: The Tiffany blue phone in the Palm Springs house

    Favorite guilty pleasure: Cocky Pete being brushed off by women at the pool in L.A.moreless
  • What the ... ?

    7.0
    What the heck was that? "Mad Men" is not "Mad Men" without Don Draper in New York working in advertising and married to Betty. Yep, there can be problems and disconnects with all of these situations, but it's going the wrong direction for Jon Hamm's Draper to revert to Dick Whitman and transform without provocation into a West Coast playboy.



    Yes, his wife is bla-beeblebleeblebedeeble and showing signs of early onset and things are far from perfect, but he still makes time for his kids and he's still the hot-skite creative director and junior partner in a more than reasonably successful ad firm on Madison Avenue. There are a few rungs on the ladder yet to fall before the onset of a full nervous breakdown, a vague drug-besimmered Palm Springs playboy commune and a bizarre bedroom scene with a father and a daughter and partial nudity. For G-d's sake, just minutes before his complete disconnect with all sense of what this show is and subsequent dive into the very middle of a David Lynch film, he'd been cracking the whip on Pete. "You wanna be here on vacation, Campbell? Cause I can make that happen." Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go over here and take leave of my senses. :P



    Meanwhile, poolside, he's still the god-king of all he surveys, whereas the moment he gets to Palm Springs he succumbs to heat stroke? I don't buy it.



    I did love Sterling's scene with Jane in bed. That was art from beginning to end. Sadly, Duck's making hay out of it (Hey! It's MR. SHEFFIELD! :P ) Wild. Peggy's acceptance of Kurt was nice, tho, especially after everyone else's pointless commentary on it.



    This was just a weird episode, and I for one am displeased.moreless
  • Don goes AWOL at a conference in California, Duck makes a bold move and Peggy finally makes a fashion forward move, with a little help from a friend.

    9.0
    One thing I love about serialized drama is how you need to keep breaking things in order to move the tale forward. At this point in "Mad Men," a lot of things are broken. Don and Betty are estranged, Roger is headed for divorce, Duck takes advantage of a weakness in the firm to move in for a big shakeup and Paul Kinsey is off in the South. On top of all of this, Kurt the German reveals he's gay to a roomful of stunned employees. This scene could have been played for laughs - the reactions of Ken and Harry espcally- but for the look on Sal's face. In the spaice of a minute, Sal's world collapses. He hears his coworkers (notably ken, whom he has a crush on) say homophobic things, he sees an unapologetic coming out. Bryan Batt played the scene beautifully. The scene where Peggy gets a haircut was wonderfully light. Glad to see that she got rid of the ponytail.



    As for Don, where's he heading as Dick Whitman? It's all these unresolved moments that get me to head back to the TV every week. Great episode.moreless
  • Don has new friends. Peggy picks another dud of a guy. Duck is making deals. All in all average and is setting up the next episode.

    5.5
    I found this episode to be slightly unrealistic. Peggy accepts a date from a foriegn copywriter who works at the office, and he announces he is gay They explain it by saying he is european, but this is the sixties and even europeans were not that open. Peggy asks him why she can't pick guys, and that is a good question since she does have lousy taste in men. (so far married Pete and now a gay guy) But she got a haircut out of it. lol



    Don picks up a 21 year old in L.A. and hangs out with her weird friends. This is why the episode is called the jet set as they are all very rich and spoiled. I am sorry to all the women on this site who swoon over Don, but I found the story about a 21 year old girl to be instantly blown away by him to be unrealistic again. He is good looking for 40, and I can see his other mitresses being blown away since they were his age,but guys his age are almost invisible to girls that age unless the women knows him, or knows they are super rich, etc... lol



    This story set up the climax of the season as it looks like Don is weighing whether to dissapear again. He actually called someone from his past when he was Dick, and blew off his job and did not come back to N.Y. He has everything the Dick side of him (lol pun intended) wants with this crowd. The 21 year old said he could see anyone he wanted and the people are fake like him and his name. Although it would make him extremely unsympathetic if he left his wife and kids, it is totally consistent with his character so it would not surprise me. (also this year jumped two years ahead so another jump next year would also not surprise me if he leaves and shows up in N.Y. several years later)



    Finally, there is a climax also with sterling cooper as Duck found a big deal for a larger firm to buy a majority share of the firm. He played both sides against each other for his benefit. He also took a drink for the first time. It has always been implicit on the show he has a drinking problem, so we will see where this leads.



    All in all, an average episode setting up future storylines.moreless
  • First time we've seen Don work his charm outside of New York, and it was very bond-esque.

    10
    From the the pool side martinis to the NASA conference, it really did look like Jon Hamm was walking on to the set of a Bond film as 007. From reading previous reviews a few viewers view this episode as a filler - not my take. I can see their view, but this episode was so much more. Its the first time Mad Men has taken advantage of the cinema era of the time. As I was drinking a scotch on rocks watching this ep I was applauding the vision of the writers. The pool side suits, young hot babes waling around in bikinis, the babe falling for Don straight away and then the mansion heat stroke (seemingly occurring after the host filled Don's glass) - ala Dr No and Don Draper living his second life as James Bond. Not only was this a very cool episode, I think it will go down as my favourite in this season to date.moreless
Laura Ramsey

Laura Ramsey

Joy

Guest Star

Philippe Brenninkmeyer

Philippe Brenninkmeyer

Willy

Guest Star

Justine Eyre

Justine Eyre

Rocci

Guest Star

Mark Moses

Mark Moses

Herman "Duck" Phillips

Recurring Role

Robert Morse

Robert Morse

Bertram Cooper

Recurring Role

Peyton List

Peyton List

Jane Siegel

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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