Mad Men recap: Surviving Accidents

When Don is arrested for drunk driving after crashing his car with Bobbie, Peggy comes to the rescue, recalling the moment when he helped her walk away from her child
Ep. 05 | Aired Aug 24, 2008

IDENTITY CRISIS Don's new status symbol doesn’t change his past

In this episode, titled ''The New Girl,'' the farm team at Sterling Cooper got to feast their eyes on a saucy new college grad with modern looks and loose shirt buttons. While Ken and company slobbered over her, Don didn't give her a second glance. At this point he doesn't even look at his girls until they've been with him at least a month, and we weren't supposed to be paying her much mind either. Turns out the new girl in question wasn't his hot new secretary. It was Peggy, and having taken their admirable time, the minds behind Mad Men have finally taken us back to her crossroads at the hospital.

This was a seamless script, where every line and scene bled naturally right into the next. Bobbie made Don come entertain her at Sardi's, where she groused about how now that Jimmy had landed the pilot, he was probably going to blow it by acting the fool. ''It's the big opportunity he's bound to ruin,'' she said, as Don's eyes slid across the dining room to make contact with Rachel. Turns out that in their time apart she married a nice Jewish boy (''I love comedians!'') without much of a sense of humor. When Don, stunned by the sight of the one woman he has ever fessed up to, tried to steer the conversation to advertising, Rachel looked slyly at a tipsy Bobbie. ''He's all business, isn't he?'' she said, onto their game. ''Well, you two enjoy working together.''

Don and Bobbie decided to take their business on a drunken bender to her beach house. But when the car rolled and Don was threatened with the drunk tank, he couldn't afford the fine. There was a great moment of suspense over whom he had called to come to his rescue. The camera focused in on some elegant ankles in modest pumps, and panned up to reveal a pair of white gloves clutching the needed dough. It was Peggy he trusted, a cool mind who wouldn't go hysterical on him. On the car ride home, she engineered their escape plan. Bobbie must not get sick in her brother-in-law's car, Don needed a rental car, Peggy would take the woman home with her and pick up her dry cleaning in the morning, and don't even try to tell her the best route to LaGuardia. Peggy was in control. ''No one in the office can know about this,'' Don told her. ''It's business.'' Peggy looked coolly back at him and agreed to the terms with a smart condition, one she learned to make after her messy debacle with Pete. ''You'll have to believe me that I'll forget this,'' she said. ''I don't want you treating me badly because I remind you of it.'' With that, Don was able to slump in grateful shame in the passenger seat.

NEXT: Peggy, postpartum

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