Shoot (Mad Men)
|Mad Men episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Paul Feig|
|Written by||Chris Provenzano|
|Original air date||September 13, 2007|
|Running time||46 minutes|
"Shoot" is the ninth episode of the first season of the American television drama series Mad Men. It was written by Chris Provenzano and series creator Matthew Weiner and was directed by Paul Feig. The episode originally aired on the AMC channel in the United States on September 13, 2007.
During the intermission of a Broadway show, Don and Betty run into Jim Hobart, the head of rival ad agency McCann Erickson. Jim makes Don a job offer, telling him that moving to McCann would further his career beyond what he could accomplish at Sterling Cooper. He also gives his business card to Betty, telling her that she would be a perfect model for their Coca-Cola campaign. Betty is excited by the offer, thinking back to her days as a model before she met Don, when she had exciting things to do, lived in the city, and worked. Don is opposed to the idea. When he gets home, he sees that Betty has prepared an elaborate meal, and frowns to consider that she won't be home to prepare such meals if she is working. She reassures him that she will still do so, and that her friend Ethel will watch the kids. He is concerned about the time away from home, but eventually relents. Jim continues his pursuit of Don, but Don remains evasive. Betty greatly enjoys her work on the Coca-Cola photo shoot. She is even excited when the phone rings at home and it's for her, about her job. While she is at the shoot, Sally's dog Polly attacks a neighbor's pet pigeon. The man tells Sally that if he sees Polly in his yard again, he will shoot her.
Meanwhile, Pete and Harry discuss how to assist with Richard Nixon's presidential campaign. Pete comes up with the idea to buy up ad space in swing states for Sterling Cooper client Secor Laxatives, thus preventing Nixon's rival John F. Kennedy from running competing ads. The strategy pays off, and Bert and Roger praise the idea. Peggy, struggling with her recent weight gain, accidentally rips her skirt. Joan offers her a new outfit, an ill-fitting dress. When Peggy returns the dress, Joan tries to give her advice about losing weight. Peggy tells her that she is more interested in being a writer than attracting men, which confuses Joan, who thought Peggy was only feigning interest in writing to get closer to Paul. Ken makes a rude comment about Peggy's weight, leading Pete to sucker punch him, causing a fight which is broken up by Paul who has Pete and Ken shake hands and make up.
Betty and Don find out about their neighbor's threat when Sally has a nightmare. Don is angry, but Betty convinces him not to confront their neighbor. Meanwhile, Don has been getting gifts from Jim Hobart—towels to remind him of a luxurious sauna, and golf clubs, which signals to Roger that Don is being wooed by McCann. Don is non-committal about what he is going to do. He says it's not about the money, but about access to even bigger accounts. But when the most recent package from Jim Hobart arrives, it's photos of Betty's Coke shoot. Don frowns as he looks at them, then immediately walks into Roger's office to tell him he is turning down the McCann job. He negotiates a pay raise with Roger—up from $30,000 to $45,000—with the addendum that he will have no contract. He tells Roger he is staying with Sterling Cooper and promises that if he were to ever leave, it wouldn't be for another advertising job. This also ends Betty's aspirations to be a model, and as he turns down the job, Don tells Jim that hiring his wife was the wrong move. When Betty is told on-set that she's lost the job, she fails to hold back tears at her disappointment. When Don comes home that night, Betty does not tell Don that she was let go, saying instead that she didn't like the idea of not being home enough to make him elaborate meals, and she was scared of Manhattan. Don says he doesn't care about his meals, only that she's a great mom to their kids, calling her an angel. Betty smiles as she agrees that that is what is most important, not giving any sign of her true feelings.
Don and Betty run into Jim Hobart during the intermission of Fiorello!, a musical about the former New York mayor, which neither Don nor Jim seem to enjoy. Jim compares Betty's looks to those of Grace Kelly. Later, when Betty is fired, she is told that the company is more interested in models with an Audrey Hepburn look. Betty compares her modeling career unfavorably to that of Suzy Parker. Hobart refers to McCann Erickson's account with Esso, a brand name that was later changed to Exxon in the USA but still uses Esso in Canada. The employees of Sterling Cooper watch Jackie Kennedy's Spanish language campaign ad.
The episode was received positively by critics. Alan Sepinwall, writing for New Jersey's The Star-Ledger, praised the episode, singling out Betty's story, the ending of which he described as "scary, tragic, funny, and kinda hot, all in one." Andrew Johnston, writing for Slant Magazine, called the episode "a relative disappointment" following "The Hobo Code," but still praised the complexity of the episode's story.