5 Best ‘Mad Men’ Episodes

The 5 best “Mad Men” episodes illustrate the complexity of the characters, intricacies of the plot lines, and depth of the acting possible by the cast. Although season two was instrumental in revealing more pieces of the mystery that is Don Draper, the top five “Mad Men” episodes come from Seasons 1 and 3. For any fans that might be watching the series on DVD and aren’t quite caught up, beware: spoilers ahead.

  1. “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (Season 1). In the series pilot of “Mad Men,” the audience meets all the fascinating characters they will come to love and/or despise as the series progresses. The audience also gets their first taste of the early 60s, which is so different from the current era. Pregnant women smoke, men routinely cheat on their wives, and everyone drinks – constantly.
  2. “My Old Kentucky Home” (Season 3). This one had to be included in the list of best “Mad Men” episodes if only for the scene of Peggy Olsen smoking marijuana in her office and stating, “I’m in a very good place right now.”
  3. “Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency” (Season 3).This “Mad Men” episode contains the notorious scene involving an office party, a lawnmower, and a British man’s foot. In addition to the craziness of that particular scene, the episode marks the beginning of Don’s strange professional relationship with Conrad Hilton.
  4. “The Wheel” (Season 1). This episode from the first season of “Mad Men” is packed with developments. Betty discovers that her psychiatrist has been discussing her sessions with Don. Don discovers that his brother committed suicide. Peggy gets promoted, and then is shocked when she goes into labor – because she didn’t even know she was pregnant!
  5. “The Gypsy and the Hobo” (Season 3). Perhaps one of the most skillfully acted of all “Mad Men” episodes, “The Gypsy and the Hobo” features stunning performances from Jon Hamm and January Jones. The audience very rarely sees Don Draper lose his composure, but he does so when Betty finally confronts him regarding his many secrets.
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