Mad Men – Ladies Room Review

Don continues to conceal his increasingly complicated personal life, even in the face of Roger’s (John Slattery) invitation to open up. Meanwhile, Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) pines for the absent Pete – still on his honeymoon – while fending off the advances of several of the men of Sterling Cooper.

Betty and Don

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Like the previous episode, the opening of Ladies Room does a great job of filling us in on the character of Don Draper without overdoing it. While we can all accept the idea of Don not wanting his boss to know too much about his history, the fact that his wife knows just as little is very illuminating. It also goes a long way to explaining the nervous woman that his wife has become.

This episode is really focused around the women in Don’s life. While he tries to figure out ‘What Women Want’ for a new ad campaign, Peggy is trying to figure out what she really wants. She has a job in the city and has just received her first paycheck, but she has to come to terms with the fact that as a woman (especially the new girl) she will always be having to deal with the office men trying to sleep with her. They even tell her over lunch that there is an office betting pool on who will get her in to bed first. Little do they know that she already slept with Pete before he left for his honeymoon, and she still seems to be holding a candle for him.

Betty in the meantime is dealing with her own problems, with her hands going numb on several occasions eventually leading to her crashing the car with the kids in the back. When she’s told to see a psychiatrist, we’re reminded how young psychiatry really is, and it’s only recently that it’s actually become accepted. Her discussions with Don over the matter highlight how little power this woman has in her own life. Even when she finally does get along to the psychiatrist, Don is filled in on every detail of the session later that evening by the doctor himself.

My main criticism of this episode is that it seemed to be lacking any significant conflict or tension. I know that this show is all about the characters, and I love that – but there needs to be something driving the story forward, and I felt that was a little lacking here. But it’s a minor quibble, the episode was still enjoyable.

What I liked – Nice character building.

What I didn’t like – There didn’t seem to be all that much tension in this episode.

Rating – 3.5 out of 5 (Enjoyable)

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