Mad Men Episodes

2007, TV Show

Mad Men Episode: "Nixon vs. Kennedy"

Season 1, Episode 12
Episode Synopsis: The Sterling Cooper staff pulls an all-nighter watching Nixon-Kennedy election returns; an ambitious Pete directly challenges Don.
Original Air Date: Oct 11, 2007
Guest Cast Mark Moses Troy Ruptash Alison Brie
Full Episode
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Season 1, Episode 12
Subscription | Netflix
Length: 47:50
Aired: 10/11/2007
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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“Nixon vs. Kennedy” Season 1, Episode 12

The drama of election night can barely compete with the drama of office politicking that was going on tonight. This was a great penultimate episode. So let's get right down to it. Quite a few things in tonight's episode surprised me. I'll start with Harry. He always comes off as such a stand-up guy. He's married and although he sees no harm in looking, he's certainly never made a move on any of the girls in the office. Until tonight. His relatively harmless kiss with Hildy turns into a full-blown affair. The next morning they both seem uncomfortable - Harry can't stop trying to fix his broken glasses, and Hildy, in an effort to put him at ease, tells him it didn't mean anything. This is an interesting development and I have to say I really feel like Harry has finally broken himself out of the pack. Before tonight I always kind of thought he blended into the background, but tonight he really stood out to me. Other office shenanigans include Ken chasing Alison around the office and after tackling her, demanding to know the color of her panties. I went to a Mad Men event at the Paley Center last night and Matthew Weiner told us this was something that actually used to happen in the office (sorry, I didn't mean to name-drop but it was a great event). It was called "scuttle" and it involved the women being separated from their panties something they obviously couldn't show even though this is cable. Alison spends the night in Ken's office and sneaks out right after Hildy leaves Harry's office. There's also a dramatic interpretation of Kinsey's play, entitled "Death Is My Client." The office audience is rapt (probably because they're drunk), but Joan tells Kinsey she didn't like it. And did you see the look Joan gave Salvatore after he kissed her? Maybe he's fooled everyone else in the office, but he hasn't fooled her. I had to save the best for last. Don's world has really come crashing down around him. Concerned Don wasn't taking him seriously for the head of account services position, Pete threatened to tell Cooper Don's secret. After Trudy caught Pete looking through Don's box, Pete knew it was time to give it back, but not before seizing his opportunity. He tells Don he knows his real name. Pete says he'd be happy to keep the information to himself as long as Pete gets a promotion out of it. So Don freaks out. He goes to Rachel and asks her to run away with him. He wants to start over anywhere but he wants to leave as soon as possible. When Rachel realizes he hasn't really thought any of this through, she tells him to leave, but not before calling him a coward. This looks like it's the end for these two. Don seemed so happy with her but he brought this on himself. And who knew how Cooper would react when Pete shared his damning news? I'm so happy Don didn't give in to Pete's demands. I mean, I was talking to my TV. I'm not proud of it, but I'll admit it. I'm so happy Don did what he thought was right. Well, who knows if it's a good decision to hire Duck Philips but at least he didn't give in to Pete. If he had I would have lost so much respect for him. Don Draper makes it through another day. He may not be the best person, but he's earned (almost) everything he has. The flashback scenes in Korea were great. Jon Hamm really pulled off a young Dick Whitman. His accent was convincing and he sounded and looked so young. It was very enlightening to see how Don used to be when he was Dick. He was so scared during the attack. I have to give him some credit for thinking fast on his feet after the explosion. Dick knew the real Don Draper was close to being a civilian again. He saw an opportunity and he took it. He probably wasn't too happy to be asked to accompany "Dick Whitman's" remains home but in order to pull the switch off it wasn't like he could say no. It was sad to see Adam run after the train, so certain he'd just seen his brother. Here were some of my favorite lines: Pete: "I don't feel you've taken me seriously as a candidate." Don: "Candidate for what?" Kinsey: "The meaner you are the more I like you." Don: "When you threaten someone in this manner you should be aware of the fact that if your information is powerful enough to make them do what you want, what else can it make them do?" I was wishing Don would hit Pete. Did you see the way Pete got ready to defend himself, just in case things got physical? The real Don Draper: "What misconception traveled down the road and made you want to be here? A movie? Dick: "No. I just wanted to leave." Don (to Rachel): "I just don't want to be without you and I don't want to be here." Rachel: "You don't want to run away with me, you just want to run away." Pete: "Is this some sort of thing like in the movies where I have a gun and you don't think I'm gonna shoot you? I will shoot you." Cooper: "Fire him if you want, but I'd keep an eye on him. One never knows how loyalty is born." If I were a betting woman, I'd say Cooper now has Don's loyalty for life. Young Woman on the Train: "You've got your whole life ahead of you. Forget that boy in the box." Your home life has got to be pretty bad if you volunteer to fight a war, doesn't it? I'm not denigrating Don. My father fought in the Vietnam conflict and I have the utmost respect for him. I'm just saying he's running from his past pretty hard to wind up halfway across the world with a gun in his hand. I had no idea the Nixon/Kennedy election was that close. NBC put Kennedy's odds at 22 to 1. And a recount in Illinois alone would leave the country without a president for 30 days? Wow. I loved when Sally referred to the polling as "doing math" and Don telling his daughter that talk about the electoral college isn't appropriate for children. I have other tidbits from the Mad Men event I'd like to share but they are major spoilers. Read at your own risk. According to Jon Hamm (and remember Matthew Weiner was sitting right next to him), Don isn't Jewish. Anything's possible considering his questionable parentage, but as far as he knows, Don's not Jewish. According to January Jones, Betty doesn't have Lou Gehrig's, Parkinson's, or any other disease. As of right now her shaking hands are just a physical manifestation of her mental anguish. According to Matthew Weiner, Pete is in love with Peggy. Yes, he acts like he could care less about her and he's said some pretty hurtful things, but he isn't good with sharing. Peggy is his. If you want more Mad Men, check out our Online Video Guide and this Q&A with Christina Hendricks. show less
The drama of election night can barely compete with the drama of office politicking that was going on tonight. This was a great penultimate episode. So let’s get right down to it.Quite a few things in tonight’s episode surprised me. I’ll start with Harry. He always comes off as such a stand-up guy. He’s married and although he sees no harm in looking, he’s certainly never made a move on any of the girls in the office. Until tonight. His relatively harmless kiss with Hildy turns into a full-blown affair. The next morning they both seem uncomfortable — Harry can’t stop trying to fix his broken glasses, and Hildy, in an effort to put him at ease, tells him it didn’t mean anything. This is an interesting development and I have to say I really feel like Harry has finally broken himself out of the pack. Before tonight I always kind of thought he blended into the background, but tonight he really stood out to me.Other office shenanigans include Ken c... read more

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Premiered: July 19, 2007, on AMC
Rating: TV-14
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