Mad Men (2007–2015)
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Babylon 

The Agency is looking to land an advertising contract to promote tourism to Israel. Don and his team try to come up with a theme but know so little about the country that they're stumped. ... See full summary »

Director:

Andrew Bernstein

Writers:

Matthew Weiner (created by), André Jacquemetton | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Hamm ... Don Draper
Elisabeth Moss ... Peggy Olson
Vincent Kartheiser ... Pete Campbell
January Jones ... Betty Draper
Christina Hendricks ... Joan Holloway
Bryan Batt ... Salvatore Romano
Michael Gladis ... Paul Kinsey
Aaron Staton ... Ken Cosgrove
Rich Sommer ... Harry Crane
Maggie Siff ... Rachel Menken
Rosemarie DeWitt ... Midge Daniels
John Slattery ... Roger Sterling
Talia Balsam ... Mona Sterling
Ian Bohen ... Roy Hazelitt
Rebecca Creskoff ... Barbara Katz
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Storyline

The Agency is looking to land an advertising contract to promote tourism to Israel. Don and his team try to come up with a theme but know so little about the country that they're stumped. So Don calls Rachel Menken to see if she has any ideas. Roger Sterling is getting tired of sneaking around with Joan Holloway and suggests she should get her own apartment but she knows better. Peggy comes up with an advertising concept during a testing session for a new line of lipsticks and she's subsequently asked to write copy. Written by dfg

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Hebrew | Spanish

Release Date:

23 August 2007 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After Don describes Israel as "utopia," Rachel tells Don that she learned at Barnard that "the Greeks" had two words for it (one meaning "a good place" and one meaning "the place that cannot be"). In fact, the word "utopia" was coined by Sir Thomas More in 1551, using Ancient Greek elements for a book written in Latin. The script is referring to possible homophones derived from Ancient Greek elements ("eu" + "topos" and "ou" + "topos," respectively) but not actual Ancient Greek words. See more »

Goofs

Earlier in the episode, the year is mentioned to be 1960. Later in the episode, Joan Halloway uses the phrase "The medium is the message." This phrase was coined by Marshall McLuhan in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, published in 1964. See more »

Quotes

Don Draper: Utopia.
Rachel Menken: Maybe. They taught us at Barnard about that word, 'utopia'. The Greeks had two meaning for it: 'eu-topos', meaning the good place, and 'u-topos' meaning the place that cannot be.
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Connections

Featured in Binging with Babish: Room Service from Mad Men (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Babylon
(uncredited)
Written by Don McLean
Performed by David Carbonara
Performed by the character Ian at the coffee house open mic session
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User Reviews

 
Exodus and utopia
23 August 2010 | by MaxBorg89See all my reviews

As hinted by the title, the sixth episode of Mad Men is one of its richest in terms of hidden meanings and deeper truths, while still retaining its standard polished exterior and exquisite dialogue scenes, which provide further development for previously underused characters.

The main storyline concerns the agency's task of coming up with an ad campaign to increase tourists' interest in Israel, but it quickly emerges no one, including Don, who even reads the book Exodus in search for advice, knows much about the country. As a last resort, Don resorts to Rachel's help, causing the woman to come to terms with her feelings for him. To further complicate things, he later spends some time with his occasional mistress Midge, and the experience turns out to be quite cathartic. Back at the office, Peggy shows unexpected skills that pave the way for a new career move, while Roger has to deal with his affair with Joan.

One of Babylon's most important scenes is a discussion between Don and Rachel on the subject of utopia, a word whose current meaning of "ideal world" is most likely a misinterpretation of the original Greek, which means "non-place", i.e. a place that doesn't exist. In a way, that word is the perfect summation of life at Sterling Cooper, where executives come up with pitches for titillating but ultimately unfulfilling fantasies in the shape of commercial campaigns, and everyone else lives in a sort of "dream world" helping bring these fantasies to life. It is also a perfect picture for Don's life, from his mysterious past - which makes his Draper persona a utopia of his own - to his shallow womanizing, and the concept enables Hamm to shine in another great set of scenes, notably with Maggie Siff. Additionally, the episode deserves praise for the direction Peggy is taking as a character, not to mention the delightful interaction between Christina Hendricks (one of the show's unsung heroes) and John Slattery, which give Mad Men the right to be part of a very special utopia: that of outstanding television.


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