Mar 31, 2015

Mad Cap: "A Day's Work"

Elisabeth Moss
Welcome to Mad Cap: a daily rundown of every episode of the acclaimed AMC series Mad Men. During this time, I will be compiling my thoughts and highlights as we travel through every moment and season of the Emmy-award winning drama that has come to define modern TV. The goal is to be a refresher on every moment for Don Draper and his band of advertisement executives leading up to the final season. Stay for all of the shocking moments and the brilliant acting performances, and make sure to chime in with your thoughts and criticisms on why the show means something to you.

Season 7, Episode 2
"A Day's Work"

"Just cash the checks. You're gonna die one day."
- Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm)


Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) goes to a funeral with her dorm mates. While they're out, she decides to try and visit Don Draper (Jon Hamm) at work. He discovers that he hasn't been working there in some time. He goes to his girlfriend's apartment and shocks him. Meanwhile, Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss) is getting frustrated because Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks) keeps moving the incompetent secretaries around that she can't fire due to racial reasons. Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) lands the Hershey's client, but gets respect from nobody, so he dates a prostitute. Don and Sally end up talking about his affair on the car ride back, stopping off for dinner, which features a dine and dash situation. Roger Sterling (John Slattery) talks to Pete about a temper tantrum he threw when he didn't get attention. Everything worked out. Don drops Sally off at her dorm and cries, realizing that she is growing up.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Kiernan Shipka
Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka)

Just as you think that the Draper family is being torn apart, things come together. Sally is starting to morph into Don with the least pleasing of traits. She smokes and disappears for long stretches of time. She even becomes invested in learning about his secrets. By the end, there's a sense that she is Don, or at least planning to inherit everything he stands for. She's becoming flawed and ambitious and it is amazing to watch her grow up. The final moments in which she forgives her father is particularly heartbreaking and reflects her growth and tolerance towards less acceptable behavior.

Left to right: Jon Hamm and Shipka
Best Scene

The moment is sudden, but it builds from an earlier moment. On the car ride back to Sally's dorm, the two begin to drift apart because of Don's affair. Over dinner, they talk things out and begin to make sense of their situation. After a dine and dash situation, they head back. There's a sense of connection that begins to come through the two characters and the feeling that Sally is maturing becomes more clear. For all of the moments the two spent together, the most powerful is one set to The Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year" as Sally walks into her dorm and leaves Don to drive home. After she utters the words "I love you," he begins to swell up and without crying, he gives a powerful response simply by watching this woman who is dressed very differently walk away. It is touching and brief, packing a punch as one of the most powerful Mad Men episode endings of them all.

UP NEXT: "Field Trip"

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