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Recap / Mad Men S 1 E 3 The Marriage Of Figaro

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Draper? Who knows anything about that guy. No one's ever lifted that rock. He could be Batman for all we know.

Pete Campbell returns from his honeymoon with tall tales and a big grin on his face. He does tell Peggy Olson that their fling before his marriage was for one night only. Don Draper runs into an old army buddy who knows him under the name of Dick Whitman. He also takes a tour of Rachel Menken's store but in a private moment, their mutual attraction becomes evident. The Drapers have friends over for their daughter's birthday party, including the divorcée who lives down the street. Don however is obviously unhappy with his lot in life and seems to be carrying a burden that is not apparent.


This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Alone Among the Couples: Helen Bishop is the only divorcee in a child's birthday party full of married people, mostly unhappily married people at that. Later Betty, after Don deserts the party.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Hinted at with many of the couples at the birthday party. The men chuckle over a rude joke told by a comedian about going to lunch rather than saving either your drowning wife or lawyer in front of their embarrassed wives, the children play "house" re-enacting scenes that likely took place at home like fathers hitting the bar after an argument or mothers sending their husbands to the sofa, some fathers creepily coming onto the divorced Helen Bishop, and the coup de grace of Betty being unable to voice her anger at Don deserting the birthday party.
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  • Exiled to the Couch: Re-enacted by some of Sally's friends during their game.
  • Funny Foreigner: An in-universe example. When Pete returns from his honeymoon, he's amused to find that his office mates momentarily rented out his office to some Asian people and their chickens.
    Pete: Who put the chinaman in my office?
  • Happily Married: Most of the couples try to put up this facade, the only ones to fit the trope are Hank and Joyce Darling who are caught by Don kissing.
  • Just Between You and Me: Rachel, mortified about making out with a married man, trusts that Don won't share what happened between him, or about anything she told Don about her past.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: An in-universe example, provided by discussion of the Volkswagen "Lemon" ad. Lampshaded by Don:
    Don: Love it or hate it, the fact is, we've been talking about it for the last 15 minutes.
  • Shout-Out: Pete refers to Rachel Menken as "Molly Goldberg" when seeing Don charm her in a meeting.
    • In the same conversation, Harry wonders if Don could be Batman.

How well does it match the trope?

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