Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Mad Men, "A Night to Remember"

It's hard to single out one episode of this '60s drama's rich season 2. But this midseason episode was a great example of how the show broadened past last year's "Who Is Don Draper?" conundrum to tell its whole ensemble's stories, particularly its women's. (In some ways, Don was the least interesting major character this year.) In "A Night," Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) fences with the earnest young priest (Colin Hanks) who wants her to confess having had a child out of wedlock. That she doesn't shows how she's grown stronger since last season and yet still has not recovered from her choice. Joan (Christina Hendricks) briefly gets a job that requires her to be more than a pretty face — reviewing scripts for Sterling Cooper's new TV division — and is pushed out just when she proves to be great at it. And Betty Draper (January Jones) finally blows up at Don over his philandering. A showcase episode from a season of Mad Men that did right by its mad women.