For Those Who Think Young (Mad Men)

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"For Those Who Think Young"
Mad Men episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 1
Directed by Tim Hunter
Written by Matthew Weiner
Original air date July 27, 2008
Running time 48 minutes
Episode chronology
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"The Wheel"
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"Flight 1"
Mad Men (season 2)
List of Mad Men episodes

"For Those Who Think Young" is the first episode of the second season of the American television drama series Mad Men. It was written by series creator Matthew Weiner and directed by Tim Hunter. The episode originally aired on AMC in the United States on July 27, 2008.

Plot

The episode begins on Valentine's Day, Wednesday, February 14, 1962, picking up after the previous episode that took place at Thanksgiving time, 1960.

Don visits the doctor for a checkup and learns that his blood pressure is high and that due to his age (36), he needs to slow down on his two-pack, five-drink per day diet.

Betty has become more commanding and assertive in the 15 months since the end of last season, when she was seeking comfort from an eight-year-old boy because she had no one to talk to. She has begun taking riding lessons.

At Sterling Cooper, a new copy machine has been delivered, and the creative staff is waiting for Don, who is late as usual in attending a noon meeting. While asking Don's new secretary, Lois, where Don is, Peggy, Don's old secretary and now copywriter, upbraids and humiliates Lois. Meanwhile, the other people in the office wonder why Peggy left work for three months and returned after having lost a great deal of weight. One rumor is a fat farm, another is that Peggy was "knocked up" by Don and delivered his child. Roger has recovered from his heart attack and is back at the office. Joan is dating a doctor. Head of Account Services Duck Phillips urges Roger to hire some younger people in creative to better market to younger people. Don finally arrives at the meeting, where they talk about pitching to Mohawk Airlines, following Duck Phillips' plan for the company to acquire an airline business. Don dislikes Paul's humorous ideas, and instead tells the staff to focus on the feeling of leaving the city, of adventure, of escape, of going somewhere you've never been, and about a stewardess in a short skirt. Don denigrates the idea that Creative needs to have more young people, but Roger insists.

Don takes Betty to the Savoy Hotel for Valentine's Day. While there, they run into Juanita, an old roommate of Betty's from her modeling days, accompanied by a business executive. Betty fails to recognize what everyone else knows—Juanita is a call girl. Valentine's Day is not very happy—Trudy is crying because she is having trouble getting pregnant. In the Draper's hotel room, a more confident Betty shows Don a sexy merry widow she has gotten. The boldness throws Don, and when they try to have sex, he is impotent. The evening ends with Betty and Don watching the Jackie Kennedy TV special, A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy. Also watching the special with their own significant others are Joan Holloway and her doctor-boyfriend, and Salvatore Romano, who is newly married. Pete sits alone watching it, eating the chocolate he'd purchased for his wife.

The creative team is worried about the interviews to hire younger creative team members, and wonder about the power Duck Phillips has over Don. Ken Cosgrove scoffs and says that Don has a rope underneath his desk that is tied around Duck's neck and one day he's going to pull it. Don hires two young Creative team members, aged 24 and 25, both named Smith.

Peggy and Salvatore meet with Don to show him mockups of the Mohawk campaign discussed. Don has changed his mind from his earlier sexy, adventuring Don, to one who is emphatic that it is not sex that sells, it's "You are the product. You, feeling something. That's what sells. Not them." Now, he wants to emphasize in the ad a cute little girl running to the plane, not the short skirts of the stewardesses, with the copy "What did you bring me, Daddy?". Don pulls out the paper heart given to him by his daughter, Sally, for Valentine's Day. Meanwhile, Joan has been wondering where to put the new copier. When she hears that Peggy's cruel comments to Lois led to her crying in the break room, she realizes the perfect place to put the copier—Peggy's office.

As the episode closes, the newly sentimental and attempting to be mature Don has arrived home in time for dinner, and he mails a copy of Meditations in an Emergency to someone, with the inscription "Made me think of you. –D."

Cultural references

When Don is at a bar, a beatnik is reading the Frank O'Hara poetry collection Meditations in an Emergency, published in 1957. Don is later seen reading it as well. The episode title, "For Those Who Think Young", is a reference to a Pepsi slogan of the time. Don and Roger commiserate that kids today don't drink coffee, they prefer Pepsi and Frosted Flakes. At The Savoy, live musicians are playing The Song of the Indian Guest from Sadko by Rimsky-Korsakov. Referring to Juanita's life as an escort, Betty's friend mentions the film BUtterfield 8.

Reception

The episode was received positively by critics at the time. Alan Sepinwall, writing for New Jersey's The Star-Ledger, praised the episode, and the new season of questions it was setting up, saying "Matt Weiner has said that we're going to find out everything in due time; I'm more than willing to wait when the episodes are this strong."[1] Noel Murray, writing for The A.V. Club, was cautiously approving, writing that "If I have one major complaint about this first Season Two episode–aside from my usual complaints that Mad Men can hit its points a little too hard–it's that not much seems to have happened after 15 months. Aside from Betty's transformation into someone less lost and more imperious, the only major hint we get that this is all taking place over a year after the last episode is Don's voice-over quote from an O'Hara poem: 'Now I am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to become beautiful again.'"[2]

References

  1. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (July 27, 2008). "Mad Men, "For Those Who Think Young": Get off my lawn!". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 
  2. ^ Murray, Noel (July 27, 2008). "Mad Men: "For Those Who Think Young"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 20, 2016. 

External links

  • "For Those Who Think Young" at AMC
  • "For Those Who Think Young" on IMDb
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