Mad Men Season 3, Episode 1: 'Out of Town' Review - Featured

The much anticipated Season 3 premiere of Mad Men finally came last night, and it left me just as intrigued and confused as last season's finale!

In the premiere, 'Out of Town,' we started with some peeks into Don's past, the parts he missed in personal memory including when he was born, how he got his original name, and how he got to the parents who raised him.

All this went on while he heated up milk which turned out not to be in his new bachelor pad because he couldn't sleep as I was beginning to imagine, but for Betty who since we saw her last, has gotten very pregnant.

Maybe other fans out there can help me out, but I found the Don-Betty interactions a little confusing. I guess by the end of the episode it seemed that while Betty and Don were still not happy and weren't ignoring Don's cheating, they were going to continue to live together to take care of their children including the new baby on the way.

At the beginning of the episode it seemed the show writers were trying to make us think Don was moving out because Betty mentioned that she packed his valise, but after that ended up being for his business trip (where he of course slept with a stewardess), from which he returned back home, it looks like he is sticking around.

So yes, still a little confusing, but basically just back to how it was before for the fake Draper family. They're just continuing to put on a happy face for the world for the sake of their children and to avoid the complications of divorce. Ah, the American dream.

As for the rest of the Sterling-Cooper crew, it was still all about the changes in the business as the head of accounts got fired, caused a huge scene, and then caused an interesting new development - Pete and Ken as co-heads of accounts! When the new British boss told both Pete and Ken they were going to be head of accounts, I thought he was seeing how a few of the guys reacted to get a sense of who would do best in the job. Luckily, he wasn't quite that cruel, but he also wasn't kind enough to mention the job would be split between the two of them.

But while they split everything, the goal may still be to get down to one guy, just allowing them to fight it out for a while first. My guess? Pete's going to either crash and burn or completely slaughter poor Ken.

Either way, the job opportunity gave us the chance to see who Pete wanted to celebrate with, and turned out it was a cheery Trudy, with no interaction with Peggy in sight. I was really hoping to see further reaction from Pete in this episode from Peggy telling him she could have had him if she wanted because she'd had his baby, but apparently this wasn't the time to deal with that situation. It seems like Pete and Trudy are reasonably happy, but it doesn't seem like Pete's had any particular revelation that he's madly in love with Trudy and doesn't want to be with anyone else.

As for revelations that were made, there was Salvatore's sexual preference revealed to Don through a hotel window! My previous impression of Salvatore from seeing him at dinner with a man who he rejected going any further with is that he hasn't actually gotten to the point in his homosexual tendencies to actually have any sexual interaction with a guy. Whether that's true or not, he was definitely about to, despite his hesitancy at the hotel on their business trip before the fire alarm rudely interrupted everyone's indiscretions.

It was interesting to see how Don dealt with the situation later when he and Salvator were flying home together. While Don said it in his confusing and narrative way of creating an ad that's tagline underhandedly applied, it seemed he was telling Salvator he didn't really care what Salvator did, but that he should be more careful and discrete. In other words, be like Don Draper - be whoever you want when you're out on the town or out of town with whoever you want - but in the light of day, always be a good professional and a good husband. Now that's a good lesson we can only hope Don passes on to his children.

So now that we're all caught up and everything is changing, yet somehow staying safe and the same for most of our characters, what will come next? Will Don and Betty really continue this painful unhappy life together? Will Peggy and Pete ever speak of their baby again? Will Joan really leave the company when she gets married? Say it isn't so! Comment with your predictions for the season and reactions to the premiere!



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Aug 17, 2009 3:21PM EDT

so you think betty noticed that it was a stewardess pin tht sally found in don's suitcase? i mean the look on his face.....


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Aug 17, 2009 6:09PM EDT

@themekedon4real - good question! I think Betty might've known, especially if she noticed Don's face. My question is if she cares anymore... are they living in the same house but without a husband-wife relationship beyond that?

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