My Favorite Mad Men Episodes

By David Michael Newstead.

Season 1
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – We are introduced to Don Draper who successfully wins a major tobacco account for his ad agency, Sterling Cooper.

Season 2
The Gold Violin – Sterling Cooper employees are intrigued by an abstract painting by Mark Rothko. Also, Ken Cosgrove lets Salvatore Romano read a short story he’s working on.

A Night to Remember – Sterling Cooper pursues a business relationship with Heineken Beer, which is used as a central anchor in the story for an argument between Don Draper and his wife, Betty.

Season 3
The Fog – After researching the best advertising strategy for a client (a TV manufacturing company), Pete Campbell advocates focusing their ads to African-American consumers as a growth market. The TV company and the ad agency both dismiss the idea.

Season 4
The Chrysanthemum and the Sword – The plot revolves around the agency trying to do business with the Japanese (Honda) and Roger Sterling’s passionate opposition as a veteran of the Second World War.

Season 5
Far Away Places – Roger Sterling takes LSD.

Season 6
Man with a Plan – Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce merges with CGC, contrasting the stark differences between creative directors Don Draper and Ted Chaough. Also, the episode touches on the death of Bobby Kennedy.

In Care Of – Drunk Don Draper punches a preacher in the face.

Season 7 – Part 1
Waterloo – While working on a fast-food account, Peggy vents that the ideal of the American family doesn’t match up to reality.

Season 7 – Part 2
Lost Horizon – The ad agency is absorbed by McCann-Erickson where Joan’s leadership status suffers immediately in the face of institutional sexism. Soon after, she leaves the agency, but is only able to collect a fraction of the money she is owed.

Honorable Mention

Season 1
Babylon – Freddie Rumsen recognizes Peggy Olson’s talents, eventually causing to her become a junior copy writer.

Season 3
Wee Small Hours – Salvatore Romano is fired. This closes his character’s subplot as a secret homosexual in the unaccepting world of the 1960s.

Season 4
Waldorf Stories – Through flashbacks, we are able to see the characteristically dishonest way that Don Draper was able to actually get a job at Sterling Cooper.

The Summer Man – Don Draper (in the first person) reflects on the current state of his life.