Mad Men: “A Day’s Work” Season 7 Episode 2 Review

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It’s Valentine’s Day 1969 and your favorite Madison Avenue clan is having a pretty terrible holiday.

A Day’s Work was a great episode for Dawn. It was quickly revealed that she is still Don’s secretary, as well as Lou’s. Her allegiance to Don is as strong as ever, making it rewarding for her to be one of Don’s only connections to the office at the moment. But of course Lou is unhappy with her, because Lou is terrible. Does he actually get along with one person in the whole office?

Meanwhile, Peggy has a depressing morning when she thinks she got flowers but they were actually for her secretary. Poor Peggy was the butt of every “you’re single” joke her coworkers could throw at her. She ends up taking it out on her secretary. Joan is left with some rearranging to do.

Frustrated, it is eventually pointed out to her that she’s working two jobs, as she has accounts now. This allows Joan to continue her climb up the corporate ladder. Joan continues to be the source of much of Mad Men‘s stronger character growth. Even more brilliant, she promotes Dawn to her current job. Not such a bad Valentine’s Day for the ladies of SC&P. Except Peggy.

Out of the office, Don struggles to find meaningful ways to fill his time. That is, until Sally Draper jump starts his day. In the city for the funeral of a classmate’s mother, Sally leaves her purse at a coffee shop and misses the train back with her friends. She tries to visit her father at the office only to find Lou. So she goes to his apartment.

The thing I appreciated the most out of this storyline was the reformed Don/Sally dynamic. Don changed the game with his children in the closing moments of Season 6 when he took them to the whorehouse he grew up in. Their is a new level of honesty and respect that Don has with his kids, especially Sally.  Don’s oldest is growing up so quickly. It could help him in the long run to see Sally develop into a mature adult, one that has learned from her father’s mistakes.

Don drives Sally back to school and she gets out of the car and wish her father a happy Valentine’s Day and squeezes in an “I love you” before shutting the car door. Their relationship is damaged, but it’s not longer broken. Sally might just be the first sign of Don getting his life together.

That being said, this season will greatly benefit from him going back to the office. The scenes at SC&P don’t work quite as well when you don’t have Don’s voice of reason commenting, albeit quietly, on things like Dawn getting promoted or Peggy whining about flowers. Sally was a great route to keep Don interesting this week, but I think it might be time. But her inclusion certainly made this entry stronger than the lukewarm premiere last week. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty


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