New Amsterdam (Mad Men)

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"New Amsterdam"
Mad Men episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 4
Directed by Tim Hunter
Written by Lisa Albert
Original air date August 9, 2007
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Mad Men (season 1)
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"New Amsterdam" is the fourth episode of the first season of the American television drama series Mad Men. It was written by Lisa Albert and directed by Tim Hunter. The episode originally aired on the AMC channel in the United States on August 9, 2007.


Pete's new wife Trudy visits him at the office, and the two of them go shopping for an apartment. When they find an apartment too expensive for Pete's salary, Trudy convinces Pete to ask his parents for the money. However, Pete's father refuses to loan him any money, stating that he does not think it would be "a good idea." When Trudy tells Pete that her family will be willing to help them, Pete feels conflicted. Meanwhile, Betty begins a tentative friendship with Helen Bishop after helping Helen to avoid her ex-husband.

The next day, Don is surprised when a client, Bethlehem Steel, rejects a proposed campaign. Pete, rather than stand up for the work, assures the client that they will plan another idea. When Don rebukes him, Pete expresses frustration that his ideas are not being considered because he is an account executive rather than a copywriter. That night, Pete meets privately with the client and pitches a new campaign idea to him without the knowledge of his co-workers. Meanwhile, Helen asks Betty to babysit her kids while she is gone for the evening. Betty is shocked when Helen's son Glen Bishop walks in on her in the bathroom. Later, he asks her for a lock of her hair, which she gives him.

During the next meeting with Bethlehem Steel, Don is enraged when the client again turns down his pitch, this time in favor of Pete's unauthorized idea. Don tells Pete that he is fired. Don and Roger meet with company founder Bert Cooper, who tells them that they cannot fire Pete due to his family's connections with New York's wealthy elite. Pete is not fired, but he is not told the reason why. Instead, Roger tells him that Don fought for his job. That night, Pete and Trudy begin moving into their new apartment. When a new neighbour appears impressed by Pete's wealthy family and Trudy enthusiastically shares one of his family stories, Pete suspects the true reason for his remaining at Sterling Cooper, and wanders away to stare dejectedly out the window at the New York City skyline.

Cultural references

Pete and his co-workers listen to the comedy album The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart, which Paul Kinsey compares unfavorably with Lenny Bruce. Don discusses an ad that will play during commercial breaks of Bonanza. Pete offers to take a client to a production of Bye Bye Birdie. Helen Bishop volunteers for John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign.


The episode received positive reviews from critics. Alan Sepinwall, writing for New Jersey's The Star-Ledger, praised the episode for developing and "humanizing" the character of Pete Campbell"[1] Andrew Johnston, writing for Slant Magazine similarly praised the episode for its development of Pete's character, as well as John Slattery's performance.[2] Todd VanDerWerff, writing for The A.V. Club in 2013, claimed that the episode was an example of how the series was "capable of such remarkable transcendence."[3]


  1. Sepinwall, Alan (February 11, 2008). "Mad Men: Mo' old money, mo' problems". The Star Ledger. Retrieved May 31, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Johnston, Andrew (August 10, 2007). "Mad Men Fridays: Season 1, Episode 4 "New Amsterdam"". The Star Ledger. Retrieved May 31, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. VanDerWerff, Todd (November 27, 2013). "Mad Men: "New Amsterdam"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 31, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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