Long Weekend (Mad Men)
|Mad Men episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Tim Hunter|
|Written by||Bridget Bedard|
|Original air date||September 27, 2007|
|Running time||47 minutes|
"Long Weekend" is the tenth episode of the first season of the American television drama series Mad Men. It was written by Bridget Bedard, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton and series creator Matthew Weiner. The episode was directed by Tim Hunter. The episode originally aired on the AMC channel in the United States on September 27, 2007.
Betty's father Gene comes to visit for Labor Day. Since the recent death of Betty's mother, Gene has found a new companion named Gloria, whom Betty dislikes. The three of them leave for their Labor Day weekend trip, with Don promising to join them the following day.
At Sterling Cooper, Don and the other ad men discuss the Richard Nixon campaign and meet with Rachel and her father about their plan to remodel her department store. Roger tries to convince Joan to spend the evening with him, but she rejects him in favor of going out on the town with her roommate, Carol. Joan's roommate is distressed because she was fired from her publishing job when she was made the scapegoat for her boss's mistake. Joan and her roommate bond over their anger at being used by men.
Pete informs Don that one of his accounts, Dr. Scholl's, is leaving for another agency because of their dissatisfaction with creative. Roger, still looking for companionship, offers to help take Don's mind off the lost client. They meet a pair of young twins at an ad audition, and invite them upstairs for drinks. In the now-empty office, Roger propositions both girls, while Don seems uninterested in doing anything but going home. Meanwhile, as they are getting ready to go out, Carol unexpectedly makes a heartfelt confession of love to Joan. Shocked, Joan deflects, tells Carol she's had a long day, and suggests they head out. The two of them pick up a pair of men to bring home. Carol, clearly heartbroken, resigns herself to spending the night with a strange man instead of Joan.
At the office, Roger suffers a major heart attack while attempting to have sex with one of the girls. He survives, but is hospitalized. Don watches sadly from the doorway of the hospital room as Mona and Margaret arrive and the family tearfully embraces. Don phones Betty and tells her he will be unable to join her and the rest of the family on their vacation. Betty expresses concern over Roger's condition, then shares her disappointment about her father's newfound relationship after her mother's still-recent death. Joan is notified of Roger's heart attack by Bert. She meets him at the office late at night to write a telegram informing their clients of what has happened and assuring them there will be no interruption in their services. Noticing Joan's tears, Bert tells her that she can do better, imploring her not to "waste her youth on age."
Pete arrives at the hospital just in time for Don and him to watch a highly persuasive TV ad for John F. Kennedy, which paints Nixon as inexperienced and out-of-touch. Feeling desperate for a connection, Don knocks on Rachel's door. Seeing him in distress, she lets him enter. Don tells her how uncertain he is feeling in the wake of Roger's heart attack, and makes several attempts at seducing Rachel before she finally agrees. Post-coitus, Don confesses secret details of his life to her. He tells her he was born to a prostitute who died in childbirth and was raised by his drunk father and abusive stepmother. After his father died from a horse kick when he was 10, Don was raised by his stepmother and her new husband, whom Don refers to as "those two sorry people."
A dynamic, substance-free Kennedy ad is watched by Sterling Cooper, followed by a dull but serious Nixon ad. Roger and Joan discuss the film The Apartment. Joan compares her situation with Roger to that of Shirley MacLaine's character in the film. Joan also compares herself to Doris Day in the films Pillow Talk and Midnight Lace, but then confesses she would rather be Kim Novak in "just about anything." Roger also mentions the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho. Roger flippantly calls Don, "Rochester" when asking him to bring ice cubes, in reference to how radio and TV comedian Jack Benny would address his butler Eddie "Rochester" Anderson.
The episode was received positively by critics at the time. Alan Sepinwall, writing for New Jersey's The Star-Ledger, praised the episode, saying that it and the show itself were "dense and layered" and "deserving of deeper analysis." Todd VanDerWerff, writing for The A.V. Club in 2014, was more critical of the episode, writing that the episode was "one of Mad Men's clunkier episodes" but he praised other aspects of the episode, including John Slattery's performance as Roger.