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|
"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, to whom Betty takes an immediate dislike. The two 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.
Pete informs Don that one of his accounts, Dr. Scholl's, is leaving for another agency. Roger, still looking for companionship, offers to help take Don's mind off of 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, Joan's roommate Carol unexpectedly makes a heartfelt confession of love to her. Shocked, Joan does not acknowledge anything she said, and merely 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 embraces tearfully. Don phones Betty and tells her he will be unable to join her and the rest of the family on their vacation. Betty is uninterested in talking much about Roger's condition, choosing instead to complain more about Gene's relationship with Gloria. Joan is notified of Roger's heart attack by Bert. She meets him at the offices to write a telegram informing their clients of what has happened. Noticing her 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 see a highly persuasive TV ad for John F. Kennedy, which makes Nixon look inexperienced and out-of-touch. Feeling desperate for a connection, Don knocks on Rachel's door. Seeing that he is in distress, she lets him in. He tells her how uncertain he is feeling in the wake of Roger's heart attack, and the two make love. Post-coitus, Don confesses some of the details of his life to her. He was born to a prostitute who died in childbirth, he tells her, and was raised by his drunk father and abusive step-mother. 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."
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.
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.