“Essentially a two-hander carried by Don and Peggy, last night’s electrifying Mad Men episode once again reinforced just why the 60’s set series deserved last week’s Best Drama Emmy,” says producer Richard Drew in an Atlantic.com discussion. “This really was TV at its best and yet more proof that we’re in a golden age of the medium. No wonder movie attendance is on the downturn.
“Last night’s show used the famous Cassius Clay/Sonny Liston rematch as a backdrop, but the real battle was between Don and Peggy, as they bonded and battled through the night, ostensibly over a Samsonite account but in reality the discussions were about much, much more.
“Neither character left the office for the whole episode and though a few characters came and went, essentially it was just Don and Peggy for a whole hour of TV. Yet the pace never slackened. Sometimes acting like father and daughter, at times brother and sister, and occasionally even squabbling lovers, this was a wonderfully unpredictable episode. A lesser show would have had Don and Peggy indulging in a one-night stand, but Mad Men is smart enough to always keep us on the edge. The drama could have gone in so many different directions.
“I love the bond between Don and Peggy, the secrets they share and the jagged mix of frustration and respect they feel for one another. By the end of the episode both had reached a temporary detente — but there’s no doubt there’ll be further battles ahead.”
Here’s a blow-by-blow summary from Movieline‘s Stu Van Airsdale.