The best "Mad Men" episodes have moved regular viewers to tears, anger, or anticipation of the next season of the original AMC drama. "Mad Men" follows the life of Don Draper, a Madison Avenue advertising executive during the 1960s. Draper seemingly has the perfect life with a Barbie-like wife, two children, a well-paying job in New York City and the charm and good looks to propel him to the top of his field. However, his personal life is an unabashed mess. He drinks way too much, he regularly cheats on his wife with just about any creature in a skirt and he's a war deserter who assumed another man's identity. Among the drama on the show, there have been several particularly moving "Mad Men" episodes. Here are five of the best "Mad Men" episodes that have aired.
In this "Mad Men" episode from season four, Peggy discovers that she's more committed to her job at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce than marrying her square boyfriend, Mark, and pleasing her overbearing mother. Rather than attending a birthday meal where he intends to propose, she spends the whole night working with Don. When Don learns that his old friend and first wife, Anna, has died of cancer, he dissolves into a blubbery mess and Peggy embraces him.
"The Wheel" was the final "Mad Men" episode of season one and one of the first times viewers got to see Don work his advertising magic on a campaign for Kodak. The show closes with Don giving the company's executives a presentation of his newest ad idea, marketing the Kodak picture wheel as a vehicle for family memories. During his speech Don uses the device to display a slideshow of his own family's happy times, saying, "It's not called the Wheel. It's called the Carousel." After hearing this line, one of the agency's copywriters, Harry, who is separated from his wife at the time, runs out on the office in tears.
"Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency"
During season three, Sterling Cooper went through a merger as it was purchased by the British ad giant Putnam, Powell & Lowe. The office is supposed to be taken over by Guy MacKendrick, Putnam, Powell & Lowe's wunderkind. After waltzing through the agency to meet everyone, the new executives and the old agency writers start to drink a little too much. When one of the office secretaries drunkenly attempts to drive a riding lawnmower through the office bullpen, she runs over Guy's foot, shooting blood all over several employees. Guy walked into the advertising agency, but he rode out on a stretcher, never to work again.
"Six Month Leave"
Roger Sterling, one of the agency's original founders, has a serious womanizing problem. He's been married to his wife, Mona, for many years, but he's also been carrying on with Joan Holloway, the agency's head secretary. Joan has enough of Roger's unwillingness to leave his wife and has gotten engaged, so naturally Roger's going to stop the wedding, right? Wrong. He ends up proposing to Jane Seigel, Don's new secretary who's been trying to hook one of these wealthy guys since she stepped foot in the office. Bad decision, Roger, very bad decision.
"The Beautiful Girls"
Joan got married to a doctor who was later shipped off to Vietnam, so she's still alone most of the time and still working at the ad agency. By the time "The Beautiful Girls" aired in season four, Roger is growing tired of his new wife and Joan is growing tired of holding down the home by herself. The two of them go out to dinner and, after they're mugged at gunpoint on the way home, they have a sudden tryst in the alley. Roger wants to resume their relationship, but Joan is having none of it. Later she discovers that she's pregnant with Roger's child.