Mad Men Season 3, Episode 12: "The Grown Ups" - Review


Last week, Don Draper suffered through a monumental event that brought his world down around him, as Betty revealed she knew the truth about his identity. But this week, the world came down not just for Don, but every single character on Mad Men and the world they inhabit - as President Kennedy was assassinated.


Anyone paying attention to the dates this season knew this was coming - especially when we saw Roger's daughter's wedding invitation several episodes back. That being the case, the first section of this episode did a great job of showing the calm before the storm - which is to say more of the usual angst and well crafted drama amongst these characters, that was about to get a huge sledgehammer smashed into the middle of it.


Pete found out that Ken had been given the elevated position by Pryce, after their several month long game of playing co-head of accounts. Pete's reaction was wonderfully in character - he was polite, while also stating, "I hope this was a difficult decision." And then he promptly went home and told Trudy he'd been fired, even though that wasn't the case.


I loved how Trudy at first tried to calm Pete down, as he pondered jumping ship to Duck's company, telling him he should stay put - only for her mood and outlook on the situation to change drastically, in the wake of the monumental events that took place soon after. As an aside, how great is Alison Brie? Seeing her do such wildly different work on Mad Men and Community simultaneously this season has been really fun to watch.


Like most reading this review, I wasn't born when Kennedy was assassinated - and have heard so much about how impactful it was, that it seemed there could be no new insight into that day. But Mad Men handled the situation perfectly - perhaps no moment better conveying the fact that the world had stopped then when Don, still unaware of the situation, walks into the office to find all the phones ringing and no one answering them, as most of his coworkers stood huddled together.


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