Shoot (Mad Men)

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"Shoot"
Mad Men episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 9
Directed by Paul Feig
Written by Chris Provenzano
Matthew Weiner
Original air date September 13, 2007
Episode chronology
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"The Hobo Code"
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"Long Weekend"
Mad Men (season 1)
List of Mad Men episodes

"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.

Plot

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. Don is opposed to the idea, but eventually relents. Jim continues his pursuit of Don, but Don remains evasive. While Betty works on a photo shoot, Sally's dog Polly attacks and wounds 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. At the end of the day 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. Ken makes a sarcastic comment about Peggy's weight, leading Pete to sucker punch him in the jaw.

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. At Sterling Cooper, Don decides to turn down the job at McCann for good, and negotiates a pay raise with no contract from Roger, telling him that he is staying with Sterling Cooper because if he were to ever leave, it wouldn't be for another advertising job. However, this means that Betty's modeling job is over as well. When Don comes home that night, Betty does not tell Don that she was let go, saying instead that she made the decision to stay at home instead. The next day, Betty walks into the front yard with a lit cigarette and Bobby's BB gun and fires angrily at her neighbor's pigeons.

Cultural references

Don and Betty run into Jim Hobart during the intermission of Fiorello!, a musical which neither Don nor Jim seem to enjoy. Jim compares Betty's looks to 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 replaced by Exxon. The employees of Sterling Cooper watch Jackie Kennedy's Spanish language campaign ad.

Reception

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."[1] 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.[2]

References

  1. Sepinwall, Alan (September 14, 2007). "Mad Men: Gianna on the Spot". The Star Ledger. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  2. Johnston, Andrew (September 14, 2007). "Mad Men Fridays: Season 1, Episode 9 "Shoot"". The Star Ledger. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 

External links