‘Mad Men: The Other Woman’ Review

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Don’s life was rocked this week by perhaps the three most important women in his life (sorry Betty).

The Other Woman was one of the best episodes of the season for one reason, a lot of things happened. Most of season five thus far has been slow, although clearly necessary, character development. With last week’s episode and much more so tonight’s, that development has begun to pay off. This week we got an answer on the Jaguar pitch, Peggy potentially leaving, and Megan trying out for a part on Broadway.

The beginning of the episode saw one of the Jaguar executives telling Pete over dinner that the only way they were getting Jaguar’s business was if he got to sleep with Joan. Pete continues the trend of being the worm of the office as he asks Joan to do this for them. But when Joan replies “you can’t afford me” Pete takes it literally and discusses with the partners. It was great to see the reservations of everyone except from Pete, with Don refusing to be a part of it. But the men ended up finding the price they needed to pay for Joan to do this, making her a partner. As a single mother in the ’60s Joan could obviously use the extra money. Christina Hendricks managed to show the turmoil within Joan perfectly as the story progressed.

To end this story we got an incredibly clever way of telling us what happened. First we saw Don approach Joan and tell her she doesn’t need to do this. Then we go to Don doing a fantastic pitch at Jaguar. This was then interlaced with Joan actually going to sleep with Jaguar’s executive. But then we saw that Don visited Joan just after she returned from her encounter. What a brilliant way of showing this event. It also made the look on Don’s face all the more heartbreaking when Joan joined them for the first time as a partner. Their success with Jaguar was exciting but the consequences may have been too severe. The tone struck as they found out the news was an incredible mix of fulfillment and disappointment.

The other major story this week saw Peggy shopping for another job after failing to get recognition from Don once again. Their meeting at the end was a bit of a tearjerker as Peggy tried to thank Don before telling him she was leaving. It was smart to have Don ask “what’s your price?” so soon after Joan had done her business. It was even smarter that Peggy didn’t have a price. Will she be back? God I hope so.

One final smaller story had Megan trying out for a Broadway play and possibly having to go to Boston if she got the part. Having not told Don he naturally got upset and she did what she does best, behaved like a child. But she didn’t get the part so now she can sulk all she wants.

The Other Woman was easily one of the best episodes of the season. I firmly believe that Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, and Elisabeth Moss did some of their best work yet in this fantastic entry. Where could all these changes go? Mad Men now has a lot of questions being asked, and that is a great thing going into the last two episodes of the season. (9.5/10)

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