While Don and his creative team at Sterling Cooper try to figure out “what women want” in order to better sell products to them, we see Betty and Peggy struggle to figure out how they are supposed to act and what they are supposed to say while consistently being forced away from articulating what they want at home and at work and in relationships.
Mad Men Season 1 Rankings: where did “Ladies Room” rank?
Mad Men’s “Ladies Room” came in as the #10 ranked episode of Mad Men’s 13 Season 1 episodes! Find more Mad Men Rankings here.
Here’s why “Ladies Room” was ranked as the #10 episode of 13 Mad Men Season 1 episodes.
CATEGORY – TV
SHOW – Mad Men
NETWORK/STREAMING SERVICE – AMC
GENRE – Drama, Period Show, Relationship Drama, Office Culture
EPISODE – “Ladies Room”
BEING RANKED FOR – Mad Men Season 1
RANK – #10 of Mad Men’s 13 Season 1 episodes
Mad Men, “Ladies Room” (S0102) review
While “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” focuses tightly on Don Draper and introduces to the world of Mad Men through his (smoky) eyes, we spend a relatively large chunk of time away from him during “Ladies Room” as the story lens widens to focus on Betty Draper and her domestic life in Ossining and Peggy Olson as she attempts to adjust to office life at Sterling Cooper. These story decisions pay off grandly over the course of the season as we get to further invest ourselves in characters from the large cast.
While Don and his creative team at Sterling Cooper try to figure out what women want in order to better sell products to them, we see Betty and Peggy struggle to figure out how they are supposed to act and what they are supposed to say while consistently being forced away from articulating what they want at home and at work and in relationships.
By our modern standards, the way in which Ken, Harry, and Dale brazenly hit on and demean Peggy during her lunch outing at the diner would be cause for the easiest case of sexual harassment ever. However, the gender roles of the time are such that Peggy and Joan are barely even able to acknowledge how bad these boys are acting. To whit:
- You know, maybe I shouldn’t tell you this, but you are the subject of much debate. Money riding on the outcome. – Harry
- Money for me? Peggy asks innocently.
- Now there’s even a third possibility: paying you. – Dale
And to make things even more outrageous, Ken pulls Peggy aside a moment later and tries to persuade her to “take the afternoon off” so that they can “go to the zoo.”
Of course, the girls volunteered to tag along on this little social outing and got received a free lunch out of it. And we see that it is treated merely as “just another day at the office” circa Sterling Cooper 1960 in many ways. But we see that it begins to take its toll on Peggy, who is as yet naive to the ways of office life in the big city.
Later in the episode, after a few charming if unsuccessful advances, Paul Kinsey full on throws himself at Peggy in his office. “We can pull the couch up behind the door,” he adds as part of his sales pitch.
Peggy becomes ruffled at being eyed at as “dessert” by all the men of the office and soon after becomes snippy with Joan about it. But it’s interesting – and Mad Men is expert at working at these kinds of multiple levels – that she has already hit on her own boss if but shyly (Peggy puts her hand on Don’s near the end of “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and slept with Pete on the night of his bachelor party.
“I’m from Bay Ridge. We have manners,” Peggy declares rather emphatically.
“Look dear, I don’t know you that well. But you’re the new girl and you’re not much, so you might as well enjoy it while it lasts,” Joan replies.
This review was originally published on TV Geek Army.
Mad Men, “Ladies Room”: episode and cast info
Air date – July 26, 2007
Mad Men creator – Matthew Weiner
Directed by – Alan Taylor
Writing credits – Matthew Weiner, Robin Veith
Jon Hamm – Don Draper
Elisabeth Moss – Peggy Olson
Vincent Kartheiser – Pete Campbell
January Jones – Betty Draper
Christina Hendricks – Joan Holloway
Bryan Batt – Salvatore Romano
Michael Gladis – Paul Kinsey
Aaron Staton – Ken Cosgrove
Rich Sommer – Harry Crane
Maggie Siff – Rachel Menken
Robert Morse – Bertram Cooper
Anne Dudek – Francine Hanson