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Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



roomtone posted:

In this case with Pete it obviously serves a purpose in keeping the business going - and if Pete couldn't pay, the rest of them would have to anyway

Yeah, the choice to bail out Pete seems mostly pragmatic to me, but I still think you're right. I think Don understands that this agency and the risk underpinning it was all because of him. And even if a junior partner bows out, that'd be the first domino of many to fall, which could easily kill the firm and would be both professionally embarrassing and poison to his future prospects. Avoiding that was probably worth the cost on that level. But absolutely: it's also another case of Don throwing money at a situation to absolve himself of feelings of shame or guilt. "I got my partners into this situation, and I want to fix it where possible to save face." I don't think he cares that much about Pete's esteem for him specifically, but he certainly does when it comes to Roger or Bert or the firm as a whole.

Don never stops throwing money at his personal mistakes, too. In S7, he gives Megan $1M straight-up, as a band-aid to slap over her righteous anger and his personal shame. He donates way more than expected of him to the veterans fundraiser because of his shame, tries to ply Dawn with extra money for helping him off-the-clock because of his shame. It does say a lot about his experience of poverty: so many of his problems growing up are linked in his mind with poverty, to the point that the solution he imagines for all of them is money. Even when it isn't appropriate. As an adult, he clearly assumes money fixes everything, and is shocked when it doesn't.


Though, re: Don being malicious...mostly he isn't, but wow does he get there sometimes. Certainly the Bobbi / Jimmy situation brought that out. I definitely view his weird alcoholic hazing of Ted in S6 to be malicious. And certainly his jealousy of Ginsberg's talent in S5 provokes something in him. "I don't think about you at all." When Don wants to be a dick, he commits.

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The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


Jerusalem posted:

The piece Perry shows enthusiastically off to Don is an abstract piece that appears to show a woman singing (or screaming?) in the foreground of a crowd of faceless people watching(judging?) her. Perry says it's called Number Four, but that's just the name, what it is about is what Midge sees when she closes her eyes.

Oh so that's what that is. I had thought the grid of yellow shapes might be a skyscraper at night, but the rest of it looked like, to use the technical term, "a bunch of smudgy squares"

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Taking the grid as a building/windows, the argument could certainly be made that it's also a woman hemmed in and feeling claustrophobic in a city of millions, buildings closing in on her, windows like expressionless/unreadable faces constantly pressing in on her when all she wants to do is scream and break free.

Whatever the case, Midge is.... not in a good place. :smith:

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



every time I watch that scene with Betty doing everything she can to keep Sally's therapist as her own, I can't help but remember the line "she is a child" from her own therapist back in season 1.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


I had a very spoiler filled dream that I can't wait to discuss after the next episode

Paper Lion
Dec 13, 2009






i always found the crowd of people getting angry at posters saying betty is childish to be kind of concern trolls, considering the show itself is basically screaming BETTY IS A CHILD at us quite frequently, and this episode in particular is one of the biggest exemplars. it's not just betty desperately trying to manipulate the psychologist so she can keep getting therapy without having to admit to therapy, but it's the way she behaves in comparison to sally, who is far far more mature than her, and to a degree more mature than quite a number of characters on the show in general. sally is calm, understanding, takes aboard criticism and thinks it through and really considers it, doesn't require other people to emotionally regulate for her because she's learned the skills to do that herself through her time in therapy. betty is the polar opposite, both in this episode and in general. as a direct citation in this episode, there's henry's tensing and fear when betty is about to start up her pitch to move house. you can see the split second where he's clearly anticipating her having a blow up and throwing the potato in his hands to deal with. to make him regulate her negative feelings, because she is literally incapable of it, the way a child is. there's also the direct comparison to glenn: he has the same childish insistence that he can put one over on the psychologist that betty must harbour considering the look of satisfaction she has when the psychologist capitulates to her demands, thinking she has slyly used her daughter to keep her own therapy intact. he also makes no real overture to sally and treats her as a kid would imagine adults treat each other, because she has that maturity, whereas his interactions with betty have historically been...:mrwhite:

Paper Lion fucked around with this message at 17:10 on Aug 24, 2021

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



yeah, Jerusalem does bring up valid points about Betty in their write-ups, but itís also simultaneously true that Betty is incredibly emotionally immature compared to pretty much any other woman in the show. (future spoiler) and that becomes even more glaringly obvious after Don and Megan gets married

GoutPatrol
Oct 17, 2009

*Stupid Babby*



ulvir posted:

yeah, Jerusalem does bring up valid points about Betty in their write-ups, but itís also simultaneously true that Betty is incredibly emotionally immature compared to pretty much any other woman in the show. (future spoiler) and that becomes even more glaringly obvious after Don and Megan gets married

I've mentioned it before, that starting in they deliberately turn Betty into a more unsympathetic character, which is the zag when everyone expected a zig in a standard Betty Freidan suburban housewife asks "is that all there is?" story. The final Carla interaction is just so needlessly cruel. Making Betty the war hawk about Vietnam is something you don't expect someone to be in a story about the 60s, when Henry is the voice of reason. And I was always under the assumption that Fat Betty happened before Fat Mac in Always Sunny, but it turns out Mac was a year earlier? You think Matt Weiner was pissed about that?

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



When Don first called her a child it really struck me as typical patriarchal bullshit, which was brought into sharper relief by the fact that Don (and other men) were often incredibly childish themselves but because they're the people in charge they get to dictate what is "adult" and what isn't.

This season in particular though it's been made clear that while Betty had a lot of legitimate problems with Don and their marriage and was very justified in a lot of the things she did, since "winning" (she got everything she wanted! Everything!) the fact it hasn't brought her happiness has really seen her lash out in very obvious childish ways*. She has really backslid a lot from the growth she had in season 3 as she put aside her blind devotion to Don. I don't mean that in a negative sense regarding the writing, it's a very justifiable and interesting character development and quite something to see unfold, especially in her interactions with Henry, her growing resentment of Sally, and her desperate need for "safe" therapy that she can pretend is anything else but what it is.

* I say childish but as others noted earlier, Sally could be expected to act this way given her age but she rarely does, short of losing her loving mind when she realized her runaway dream visit to Don was ending and she'd have to wake back up to the reality of life in the house with Betty again.

KellHound
Jul 23, 2007

I commend my soul to any god that can find it.

ulvir posted:

yeah, Jerusalem does bring up valid points about Betty in their write-ups, but itís also simultaneously true that Betty is incredibly emotionally immature compared to pretty much any other woman in the show. (future spoiler) and that becomes even more glaringly obvious after Don and Megan gets married

I forget which reviewer said it, but I remember reading a review of the last season which said while married to Don: Betty acts like a child when upset. Megan when upset acts kinda like a teenager.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







Which ep is tag team Roger and Sally at the big industry event? Has that been?

roomtone
Jul 1, 2021

The rising star of GBS!


sebmojo posted:

Which ep is tag team Roger and Sally at the big industry event? Has that been?

That's season five.

As for Betty's characizaition this season, I think it's really funny. Everything she does and says is terrible.

Her mistake was taking her chance for growth last season and instead using Henry as her escape hatch, which is just swapping one man for another as her way to define herself. You'd think Betty was waking up to the patriarchy when she finally threw Don out, but she actually just thought it was specifically Don who was ruining her life. If she had a good husband, everything would be perfect. So she gets one, and is confused and pissed off that she doesn't feel that much better. So she's looking for help without admitting she needs it (very clever stealth therapy ruse...) and lashing out randomly at anyone in her orbit.

roomtone fucked around with this message at 08:26 on Aug 25, 2021

KellHound
Jul 23, 2007

I commend my soul to any god that can find it.

roomtone posted:

That's season five.

As for Betty's characizaition this season, I think it's really funny. Everything she does and says is terrible.

Her mistake was taking her chance for growth last season and instead using Henry as her escape hatch, which is just swapping one man for another as her way to define herself. You'd think Betty was waking up to the patriarchy when she finally threw Don out, but she actually just thought it was specifically Don who was ruining her life. If she had a good husband, everything would be perfect. So she gets one, and is confused and pissed off that she doesn't feel that much better. So she's looking for help without admitting she needs it (very clever stealth therapy ruse...) and lashing out randomly at anyone in her orbit.

I think some of Betty's childish behavior is understandable, awful but understandable. She is basically getting over the trauma of being gaslight for over a decade by Don. It's pretty clear from her chat with Sally's therapist. She talks about being upset about Henry slamming a door. And then in the episode where the feds come to talk to her about Don, she is clearly bracing herself before telling Henry because she remembers how Don blew up. She is making SOME progress. But she is still ultimately childish because of how her parents treated her. Also, she needed an escape hatch. She basically has no skills job wise because she went from daddy's girl, to model, to housewife. And she always would lash out (remember her shooting the birds in season 1? And setting up her friend for an affair that she can then yell at her about?), it's just Henry has the skills (which the children lack) and the equal footing (which Carla lacks) to calm her down. I just think right now she looks worse than earlier seasons because without Don being awful back, she is having a one sided fight. But she is slowly realizing that fight isn't there (except for a couple of times when Sally is being well a teen later on).

KellHound fucked around with this message at 09:03 on Aug 25, 2021

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Season 4, Episode 13 - Tomorrowland
Written by Jonathan Igla & Matthew Weiner, Directed by Matthew Weiner

Don Draper posted:

I knew what I needed to do to move forward.

Far too early in the morning, Don is woken by light shining into his bedroom, causing him to shift in bed and call out a confused,"Hello?" Dr. Faye Williams emerges from presumably the bathroom, fully dressed and made up, a loving smile on her face as she "complains" that thanks to him she still has to pack for her 7am flight. Obviously he wanted (and she was happy to reciprocate) another night together before she went on a business trip but now she has to return to reality. Atherton pulling out of SCDP means they're now free to pursue a relationship openly, but it also means that their work and personal lives are no longer intertwined.

Don sits up and contemplates his day ahead, "joking"that she should put him out of his misery before she goes. She quickly assures him that his upcoming meeting with the American Cancer Society will be fine, that they called him because they loved the open letter he put in the New York Times, and they're going to love him when they see him in person. Don though can't help but feel sick, like something is going to go wrong, and tentatively Faye broaches a subject that she has been tiptoeing around

She's a psychiatrist, she understands what makes people tick, and she has information on Don that gives her an insight few others have. Maybe it isn't business that is making him feel sick? Maybe it is the fact he won't stop ignoring the open wound that is his secret past? If he took steps to tackle that head on, it would help him feel better about a lot of things. Don notes that isn't as simple as just doing it, but she is no fool, she knows that. It'll be hard, and painful, and rile up a lot of emotions... but she'll also be there to support him along the way. And then what? Well then he gets to just live a normal life like everybody else.

Still, for now it's a matter of dealing with the short term. So Don is going to go wow them at the American Cancer Society, then he's going to go on a trip to California with his kids and forget all about work for at least a few days, then he's going to return to New York and she will be there waiting for him. They kiss and they part, Don telling her that he will miss her. Then she's out the door, exactly the kind of supportive, understanding woman that Don needs in addition to somebody with the intelligence, insight AND training to help him most.

Don has never said he loves her, at least not out loud, but here is the woman (or at least the type of woman) that he needs in his life. Does he understand that? Or as with so much in his life is she just something he takes for granted and won't realize how badly he needed her until it's too late? Just like with Betty, just like with his family, hell even just like his relationships with his friends and co-workers?

At Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, the mail-cart is wheeled through worryingly empty corridors and past unused desks. The cuts to keep the Agency open were deep, and nowhere is that made more evident than who is pushing the cart: Joan Harris. An Office Manager who by all rights should be - if not a Partner - at least a Vice President or Chief Officer, she's proving to be exactly what she warned Peggy others would see her as: a glorified secretary.

Arriving at Lane's office, she hands in his mail and he passes her a single envelope, telling her not to post it... it's for her. Standing up, with some satisfaction Lane explains that he and the other Partners have discussed her ongoing exemplary service, her obvious integral value to the continued operation of SCDP.... and have promoted her to Director of Agency Operations.

There it is. Recognition at last. Not a glorified secretary after all, Joan Harris - a woman in 1965 - is being rewarded for her hard work, her enormous competence, her level-head and massive contributions. She has been given a real role with real authority.... and no pay bump to go with it.

Oh. There THAT is. :sigh:

Apologetic, Lane explains that she of all of them understands the "dreadful reality" that given they've failed to bring on any new business for 10 weeks now, there simply isn't any money to bump up her pay... at least not yet. This turns the triumph bitter, though Joan of course keeps her cool and her composure, joking that it is "almost an honor". Because without the accompanying pay-bump, this is a token gesture at best, even if well-intentioned. Even if the money isn't there to allow a pay increase, Joan knows that once again she is simply being seen as a glorified receptionist, just one with an even more impressive title than that of Office Manager.



The moment of truth (just not THE moment of THAT truth) has come for Don. He and Pete Campbell sit in the boardroom of the American Cancer Society, at a long table surrounded by impressive board members who want to know an answer to the question: why did he chose NOW to write his anti-tobacco letter?

Don, ever the master of the pitch, knows to speak the truth, just elegantly packaged and omitting certain key facts. It was an impulse (true), because he knew what he needed to do to move forward (also true). There is no need (or point) in adding the extra truth that what he means by that was how he wanted to move the Agency (which he conflates with himself) forward from the perception that tobacco companies didn't want them as anything other than leverage for better deals with existing Agencies.

The Board, who probably aren't dummies and know he was being far from purely civic-minded, agree that as a gesture what he has done has value. Because they have a problem themselves: they know there is an advertising campaign out there that will work to reduce smoking (and thus, lung cancer) but they can't figure out what that is. They're tried frightening medical facts and they simply don't work, hell half of them are smokers themselves despite knowing all the dangers!

Don grasps on this with typical smoothness, happily admitting that he himself is also a smoker, immediately framing himself as just like them. He then hits them with bad news to make the better news that follows more palatable: they can forget their campaign working on the likes of themselves, any advertising aimed at their demographic is doomed to failure because they can't stop themselves smoking. But that is where his inside knowledge of the tobacco industry comes in, as he is quick to remind them again of his working knowledge of the "enemy's" strategy.

All new tobacco campaigns are based on one thing only: getting new smokers. They know that once they have them, they have them hooked and little to nothing will stop them from smoking. But they have to continually renew their audience, target young customers, appeal to them to get them started. THAT is what an anti-smoking campaign should target: teenagers. That confuses the Board, they know enough to know that teenagers are a tough demographic to crack, but Don disagrees. It might be true for other industries, but not tobacco. Tobacco successfully intrigues teenagers with the notion of smoking being "adult" as well as rebellious.

Having explained how tough their battle will be, Don now tells the Board his strategy for winning it. It's an old Don Draper standby, one that has served him well for years: sentiment. He cracks a joke about teenager's music that gets a laugh but also serves a greater point: teenagers might act cynical or rebellious but they also feel their emotions strongly. He offers to share his ideas to play on that and Pete - knowing to be quiet and only speak when necessary during this stage - is quick to agree Don's ideas are very interesting.

What Don offers is simplicity itself: create a series of commercials that air on popular teenage programming like American Bandstand, showing mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, baking cookies and playing catch and taking walks on the beach... and how cigarettes get between them, reducing their parents' lifespans and shortening the time they have together. This confuses the Board, rebellious teenagers hate their parents! That's irrelevant, Don explains, because the ads aren't designed to make teenagers think about their parents, but about themselves. What will THEY be losing? How will cigarettes affect THEM?

"They're mourning for their childhood more than they're anticipating their future," Don lays out,"Because they don't know it yet, but they don't want to die."

loving hell, that's morbid as gently caress... and probably deeply, deeply accurate. Once again Don - who thinks therapy is irrelevant - reveals an insight into how the human mind works, all in spite of the fact he has hosed up his own marriage and fatherhood because he can't (or won't) apply this insight to himself. The Board takes this in, intrigued but uncertain, and Don lightens the mood with one final joke: he can guarantee that Lucky Strike will absolutely hate this campaign!



Don and Pete return to SCDP, where Roger can't help but call out an awful pun across the room to asking if they got cancer. Don asks Megan to fetch Mr. Cosgrove then tells Roger they got a meeting for another meeting, but Pete is far more enthusiastic, saying that Don had them eating out of the palm of his hand.

Roger follows them into Don's office as Pete confirms that Roger's pick that the Board would be loaded with fatcats was right.... and that Don seemed to hit it off well with the CEO of Dow Chemical. Roger immediately picks up on the fact they made (among MANY things) Saran Wrap, which would be a good get for them, and suggests he take the CEO out onto the golf course to let him beat him in a game: the traditional way of making business deals for as long as Roger has been in advertising.

Pete though points out a strategy that himself and Don have agreed on: The American Cancer Society is a philanthropic organization so they can't risk trying to pick up business from their Board members in the usual way. Hence the arrival of Ken Cosgrove as summoned, because Don and Pete have an idea for how to avoid looking like they're just using the Society to make business deals.

Don hands out drinks and they shut the door, all three of the Partners eying Ken up greedily as Pete "casually" mentions how charming Dow's CEO Everett Marlowe is... oh and doesn't he happen to be friends with Ed Baxter? Ken's father-in-law at Corning? Why... wouldn't it be fun for Ken to invite Baxter and Marlowe to join him for a golf foursome this weekend!?!

All three sit waiting expectantly, the usually relaxed Ken looking deeply uneasy, assuring them that if Don impressed Marlowe at the meeting then surely he could call up and make arrangements instead? Don however points out that he just spent the morning convincing Marlowe that he is an idealistic businessman, how would it look if he called now looking for a meeting?

It would look bad, Ken agrees, and then makes a firm decision and returns to his usual relaxed, confident self as he makes it clear he will NOT be making that call. Because,"I'm not Pete." He says he's sorry about that, but Pete takes it as the insult it is even if it is true and actually one of the things that has made him so successful, saying it is very clear that Ken isn't sorry in the slightest that he's not Pete.

Despite this, Pete makes a pitch that would appeal to Ken... if he was Pete. Right now, Vick Chemical is their biggest client thanks to Tom Vogel, and Pete is offering Ken a chance to become the Account Executive responsible for the BIGGEST client at the Agency (a role once held by Roger Sterling). But Ken isn't interested, and what he lays out next might as well be an alien language to the other men in the room. He loves Cynthia's dad, he actually has genuine affection/respect for him... and he isn't going to put that at risk by leveraging him for a business advantage. After all, he knows that every account he has will eventually leave him.

Don thinks this is a pessimistic approach, even though Lucky Strike has shown clearly how true this is, but Ken isn't willing to take the risk of his business life interfering with his personal life. That in itself is alien to the others, as Ken declares that Cynthia is his life... his actual life. Because for all of Ken's own personal faults, he seems to realize something that the others in this room do not: advertising is his job, but that is all it is.

His wife, the woman he has pledged before God to have and to hold in sickness and in health, is the most important person in his life. She is the one he cares about, and his in-laws aren't assets, they're people whose company he enjoys and whose friendship he values. His work, which he is VERY good at, is simply work. His clients, who he manages with spectacular results, are simply clients. His REAL life is his personal one, and this is a position he will not be shaken on... and thank gently caress there is somebody at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce who feels that way.

Certainly that's not Roger, who grunts that if Ken is willing to "tuck it between his legs" then HE will make the call to Marlowe himself, risking undercutting Don's work because there's really no alternative. He IS going to drop Ken's name though, and Ken just shrugs at that: that's on Roger, he can do whatever he want, it doesn't impact on what Ken knows is the truth and that's enough for him. His confidence in his continued employment isn't shaken either by his refusal, as he stands and pointedly reminds them that he has to go and service the 30% of this Agency's remaining client base that are HIS clients.

He's been a creep and a lech and acted deeply inappropriately at times, but Ken Cosgrove seems to be a guy who has everything together and is fully comfortable with who and what he is, and has found a happiness and contentment in his personal life that the other, more "successful" men have been scrabbling at for years if not decades by this point.



At the Francis household, packing is well underway and moves are carrying things out to the truck as Carla empties out the cabinets in the kitchen. It seems the last 2+ months were enough for Henry and Betty to find a new place, and now the inevitable is finally happening, the once Draper/current Francis household is soon to be empty.

Into this emptying out arrives... Glen Bishop!?! Acting for all the world like it is the most natural thing in the world, he simply walks into the house, greets Carla, and asks if Sally is home. An uneasy Carla confirms that Sally is home but that he shouldn't be here, but does explain that today isn't Moving Day, that's just the Salvation Army collecting things that won't be making the move.

Glen explains that he saw Mrs. Draper's car wasn't there (he still calls her Draper, not Francis) and just wanted to say hi to Sally, and when Carla is still hesitant he applies an expert level of guilt (he's the child of divorcee, after all) and changes that to wanting to say bye. Feeling bad for the weird little boy, but probably worse for Sally who she knows likes him, Carla allows him upstairs to say a quick goodbye, but warns him he has to make it quick, because Mrs. Francis (Carla of course would never dream of saying Mrs. Draper) only went to the store and will be back soon.

Sally is in her room packing some things up when Glen knocks on the door and asks if she is "decent" before coming in. She doesn't seem overly surprised to see him, more a mixture of concerned/impressed after she warns him he shouldn't be here. He pushes past that though, noting that she is finally moving, and only really displaying emotion when he has a dismayed reaction to her saying she'll be in California over the weekend with her father. Is THAT where she is moving?

No, she explains, they're going to Rye (Bobby will be pleased!), but Betty and Henry will be finishing up the packing over the weekend while they're out of the way. Glen considers this information, pointing out that in a few years he'll be able to drive and he can come over and see her. This idea delights Sally, who promises to send him letters/postcards since she has his address. Trying to be cool, Glen says he's not concerned because he has learned to say goodbye to plenty of people in his time, but he is quick to share in the farewell hug she gives him.

He leaves, though not before asking if she will be going to Disneyland and requesting she get him something. He pauses on the landing to catch one last look back at her before he goes. Sally closes the door and returns to her packing, feeling a little lighter and happier for the goodbye. Glen in the meantime returns to the kitchen to make his exit... and Betty Francis comes walking through the door right into his path.

Oh shiiiiiit.

Carla turns too late and sees the confrontation, immediately trying to redirect Betty's anger by saying it was her fault. But Betty only has (furious) eyes for Glen, demanding he get out, furious when he doesn't move. "Why do you hate me?" he complains, and Betty spits back that she's fully aware of what he's doing by hanging out with Sally, accusing him that he could have been friends with anyone else.

Oh my God, she isn't scared about Glen being some boy with intentions for her daughter, she's been running under the mindset that he's simply using Sally to get at her!

Glen, who isn't as smart as he thinks he is but DOES have some perception thanks to his own experience as the child of a divorcee, snaps back at her that just because SHE is sad doesn't mean everybody else has to be. He moves past her and out the door, and now Betty turns her rage on Carla who is already trying to explain that while she is sorry she also didn't see the harm in letting him say goodbye.

Despite her own obvious belief that Glen is just using Sally as a conduit to be anywhere around her, Betty jumps straight to guilting Carla with the impression of impropriety, demanding to know if she left them alone, implying that somehow in the 20 seconds they were unsupervised they whipped their clothes off and banged. Carla firmly proclaims that they're just friends, and Betty coldly demands to know when Carla decided she was the kids' mother.

"There's no need for that kind of talk," warns Carla after admitting yet again that she made a mistake. Theirs is a long-standing relationship, she's been with Betty through a lot (including the assassination of Kennedy) and though she understands Betty is her employer first and foremost she obviously believes there is some degree of mutual respect there between them.

What she hasn't accounted for, despite knowing Betty so well, is just how far Betty is willing to go when she feels wronged or, worse perhaps, backed into a corner. Eyes darting side to side for a moment as she faces the prospect of backing down and thus acknowledging in some way that she is overreacting, Betty decides to... wildly overreact! Reaching into her purse, she explains that she has been thinking about the great distance to Rye, and Carla immediately knows what is happening, what is going on, and she can't believe it.



Just like that, in a snapshot decision, Betty ends a relationship of years. They weren't friends, not technically at least, but Carla was a fixture of the home. An invaluable support, somebody who the children adored, part maid/part housekeeper, there to ease the pressure and facilitate the smooth running of the household. In one moment, Betty tosses all that aside, pulling out a handful of notes and thrusting them at her like she was a particularly unpleasant contractor whose work was done and she wanted gone, saying this will square them up to the end of the week.

When Carla doesn't take the money, not wanting to believe this wild overreaction could possibly be true, Betty has the gall to be angry at Carla for making this more difficult, acting as if she has no choice but to fire her. Reluctantly, Carla takes the cash, but as she removes her apron she points out that somebody has to look after the children. Betty immediately lashes out, asking where Carla's own children are, mockingly asking if they've all become doctors and lawyers.

"You'd best stop talking now," Carla quietly warns her. She's put up with a lot from this woman, including frequently biting her tongue over the Drapers (now Francis') lack of religious observance, Betty's obvious (emotional) affair with Henry while married to Don, Don's heavy drinking etc. But she isn't going to stand here and be insulted about the way SHE raised HER OWN family by this selfish woman, especially now that she no longer works for her. She turns to move into the house and Betty demands to know where she is going, and she explains she is going to say goodbye to the children.

In one final insult, Betty says this will only upset them and it isn't appropriate, maybe she can do it some other time. Which, in other words, means she can NEVER do it. This is it, the relationship is over, she's cast aside and doesn't even get to give a final hug or say a final goodbye, she's just removed from their lives without warning or even immediate awareness that she is gone.

Mustering up her dignity, Carla walks out of the Francis household in Ossining for the last time, seemingly never to return whether here or in Rye. It is true that she did overstep her bounds by making her own judgement on whether Glen could see Sally... but she acknowledged that and accepted her mistake. It isn't something worth firing her over, and it's more Carla challenging Betty's own take on the situation that drove her to this over-the-top reaction.

So there is Betty, left alone in a wreckage of her own making, having lashed out because she hasn't/refuses to learn to deal with her emotions in a constructive way. Viola and Carla were two entirely different characters beyond the extremely surface-level similarity of being the colored "help", but there is an obvious contrast to be considered here. Sally grew up adoring Viola, looking to her more than anybody else in her adulthood as somebody who could tell her the truth about her father. Now, in a childish fit of rage, she has taken away Sally and Bobby's own Viola.

In Don's office, his accountant Frank Keller is enjoying a less stressful than normal visit to see Don. This time the meeting isn't about the money he's leaving on the table by not (initially) collecting rent in Ossining, or his concern over Don setting up a Trust that Betty could access. Rather, this is all good news: he's sold his bungalow in San Pedro and made 10k in profit, and given the desirability of Ossining (in spite of Betty's claims of "low-caliber" people creeping in) where he is finally selling his other home, he stands to double the money he paid for it in the first place.

He even takes an optimistic view of the money Don put into the Agency. Don calls it a loss, but Keller insists that is an investment, and a wise one so long as he isn't impatient. In fact he actually suggests Don enjoy the harvest of the financial seeds he planted with those homes so long ago: enjoy himself, maybe buy a proper house of his own again instead of renting an apartment, tacitly suggesting he should be thinking about remarrying and enjoying domestic bliss.

Don lets that slide - he had that for 10 years and he hosed it all up - choosing instead to ponder the capital gains tax (there's always a catch with these guys, he's making tens of thousands of dollars in profit and bitching about getting taxed on it) which makes Keller smirk. A bit of rain is about to fall on this happy encounter though, as Megan buzzes in to let Don know that Mrs. Francis is on the phone with an urgent call.

"It's always urgent," he sighs when Keller asks if he should leave, picking up the phone and listening in disbelief as Betty explains she fired Carla. But... Carla was going to come to California with them! Yes, Don was forking out the cash for Carla to come on the trip and look after the kids while he attended a couple meetings, as well as to attend to Gene and manage the kids on the flight... and now with less than a day's notice he's being told she is gone. Furious, he insists he'll just hire her back for the weekend but Betty is adamantly no on that, saying she told the kids Carla was sick because she doesn't want Carla "poisoning the well."

Don can't believe it, while Betty of course lashes out and insists he doesn't get to question this decision since she has the children 99% of the time. She did at least apologize for disrupting his plans, but his plans are going to STAY disrupted, she will not allow Carla to see the children again. "Then don't take them, they're used to it!" snarls Betty, trying to turn the guilt back around onto Don. "We're going!" he snaps back, hanging up on her, all his good mood from Keller's accounting drained in an instant by a 30 second call from his ex-wife.

Joyce Ramsay arrives at Peggy's office with another woman in tow, whose good looks caught the attention of Harry as they passed his office. Joyce, who was taking an interested look around the now half empty offices as she came through, comments to Peggy that there was nobody at the front desk. Peggy doesn't attempt to explain why, artfully sidestepping this uncomfortable subject by explaining she already ate, assuming Joyce came to ask her to come to lunch. Not so, Joyce has eaten too, but she wanted Peggy to meet somebody she just ran into, the tall and beautiful woman at her side is Carolyn Jones... like Morticia!

They grab a seat on Peggy's couch, explaining that Carolyn just got fired while modeling pantyhose and needs to figure out how to make rent for the week. Carolyn is all smiles but there is a quiet desperation as she tries to lightly play off that she met Joyce while having a nervous breakdown in a Howard Johnson's - clearly Joyce wasn't exaggerating when she said she needed to make rent.

Suddenly Harry pops his head into the door, explaining to Peggy after practically gluing his eyes to Carolyn that he wanted to talk to her about his ABC meeting, serving the dual purpose of explaining his presence while showing off that he is a guy who has meetings with television networks. Peggy is no idiot and immediately grasps what Harry is after, not indulging in lecherous behavior by instead "mistaking" his query as to who the "lovely young thing" is by saying he's already met Joyce.

Harry ignores that entirely, speaking directly to Carolyn, taking a seat on the armrest of the couch beside her and practically drooling as he asks what her experience in modeling is, claiming he can't believe she'd get fired. Joyce and Peggy exchange,"Can you believe this rear end in a top hat?" looks as Harry tries to be smooth, but Peggy picks up with great interest Carolyn explaining that the Topaz Pantyhose people went crazy and fired the people who hired her before firing her too. Peggy barely manages to get out a,"Maybe," to Joyce's question on whether Peggy can find her work before directly asking Carolyn to repeat that part about Topaz firing people.

Sensing that there is no job to be found for Carolyn here, and also that Harry isn't going to stop leering, Joyce decides to usher Carolyn out, the poor girl still no closer to finding money for rent. Harry watches her go with naked lust, then offers a brief smile to Peggy and leaves... huh that's weird, what about the meeting with ABC you wanted to discuss!?!

Peggy doesn't pay Harry any mind though, and to be honest probably doesn't really consider Carolyn either. No, all that she can think about is that somewhere out there right now is a pantyhose company that fired their advertising agency and are in the market for a new Agency.



Don meanwhile is scrambling to find help for his trip to California. Which actually means, of course, that Megan is scrambling to find help for Don's trip to California. The hotel he'll be staying at has a service, but doesn't have girls who can take care of older children AND a two-year-old, or a two-year-old AND older children. So she's arranged to have two girls cover the two mornings that Don is having meetings, is trying to arrange somebody to go along to Disneyland with them, and is hoping that he can cover taking the kids to the Dodger game on his own.

None of this sounds all that great to Don, as this sounds like far from a vacation, juggling far too many different moving parts at once and reliant on two many different people/factors: it's a scheduling nightmare, expensive, and more an exercise in keeping multiple balls in the air than enjoying himself.

Welcome to being a parent, Don Draper!

Don ponders, and comes up with the most elegant solution possible... or rather, the one that makes life easiest for him. Why doesn't SHE come with them? He'll pay her twice what she makes in a week (note that he had to ask her how much that was, he has no idea) and give her some nights free so she can go out and enjoy herself in addition to looking after his kids.

Megan is startled, she doesn't have professional experience. Don doesn't care about that though, he cares about what is easiest. He already knows that Sally "loves" her, he knows that Bobby will be enamored by a pretty face (like father, like son), and Gene is... well Gene is tough, but he'll be fun!

In spite of the suddenness of this suggestion, Megan is intrigued and tempted. She's never been to California, and she does have an old college friend who has been insisting she make the time to visit. Don jumps on that, she can pick a night to go out with her old friend and Don will foot the bill... what does she have to lose? "Stop the advertising," Megan giggles, thoroughly charmed.

And so it is that the next day finds Don, Sally, Bobby and Gene in California... with Megan! The kids are immediately enthralled by the pool, stopping to run their hands through it as Don snaps at them that they need to ge checked in and pulling the old dad standby of claiming if they don't check into their room they'll have to spend the weekend locked in the car in the parking lot. Megan beams happily at the sight of happy children, Don being a dad, and the baby in her arms that has just openly accepted her as the lady to cling a tight grip to.

Back in New York, Ken and Harry come to see Peggy with good news. Ken followed up on Peggy's tip, and got a call back from Art Garten at Topaz Pantyhose... and yes that is his real name! Garten was both surprised AND impressed that Ken somehow knew about their previous advertising agency Dupre being fired. Even better than that, Harry explains, the firing came so abruptly that they've already paid for ad placements they now do not have ads to... well.... place in them! Which means they're eager to hear ideas, and they've invited them to meet on Monday to "pick up the pieces".

"I just told you that," Ken points out to Harry, who presented this info like he was part of the arrangements. Monday, of course, is a holiday, but Ken is happy to give up his and assumes Peggy will be too, because all they need to do to land this gig is not throw up on their own shoes during the meeting. Harry eagerly asks if they want him there to, and Peggy - no fool - points out that "she" won't be there, meaning Carolyn.

Hilariously, Harry doesn't pretend to be offended or confused, just simply nods and - having lost all interest entirely - walks away without a word. Ken watches him go but doesn't question it, instead turning to Peggy and offering a genuine and well-deserved,"Good work." Because while landing this account might seem like a gimme, they never would have known about it if Peggy hasn't spotted it and taken the initiative to get the tip to Ken. A 10 week losing streak might be about to end.

Evening in California, Don returns to his hotel room where Megan is sitting on the bed with an attentive Sally and Bobby, all of them awaiting his return to show off what Megan has spent the evening working with them on. Don watches, impressed, as his children sing Il ťtait un petit navire along with Megan. The stumble a little on the words and can't quite keep the tune, but it's impressive nonetheless: in the space of an evening Megan has taught them to sing a song in French.

They explain they sang the song to get Gene to sleep, and a beaming Don warns that they'll need to be careful not to wake him back up now. Megan fills Don in on the day's events while he was working, which consisted of the kids playing in the pool for four hours and then bouncing on the bed for another two. They've had a blast of a day and are hopefully tired out enough to sleep well, and a happy Don asks her to come by at 7am tomorrow to get Gene while Don takes the other two for breakfast "on the road".

Megan agrees and wishes the children goodnight in French, and they wave happily and whisper goodnight back. Don continues to be delighted by how well she is handling things, noting that she claimed to have no professional experience yet here she is being Maria von Trapp!

Unable to resist, Megan reveals that Don isn't the only one good at being selectively truthful. She doesn't have any professional experience... but she does have four nieces and six nephews! She backs out of the room with a big smile, Don pleased both by her performance of her duties as well as her technically tricking him. With her gone, it's just him and the kids, and he theatrically collapses onto the bed between them. They shush him but are delighted to have him to themselves, Sally asking how his meeting was. By way of answer he instructs them pick him up and move him to his own bed, giving them both the giggles.

The next morning, the "on the road" trip's purpose is revealed. Don has decided to belatedly fulfill an old promise, and for the first time ever Sally and Bobby find themselves at the house of Anna Draper. Anna herself is gone, of course, and the house has been largely emptied out after it's recent sale. But Stephanie is still here, opening the door and letting them in, the children with the slight timidity of kids brought to the house of somebody who is a friend of their parents but whom they don't know.

Don introduces them, but when they simply stare after she asks how they like California, Don speaks for them and says they love it. There is business to be done today, the house has been sold but the paperwork has to be signed, and the notary is late. Stephanie's mother has put all the paperwork in order for Don to sign (as Stephanie is moving out, presumably it was sold to strangers and not into the family?), and with that done the house will no longer be his.

Bobby doesn't know or care what any of that means, but he is fascinated by the fact that somebody was allowed to paint on the wall, something he's probably dearly love to do at his home. Don explains it was his friend Anna, who "used" to live her, explaining that Stephanie is her niece. The ever-observant Sally though picks out there are two names at the bottom of the wall, Anna and Dick.... who is Dick?

There's a quiet moment, Stephanie - who only knows him as Dick, did Anna or Don himself ever tell her more of the story? - waiting to see what Don's response will be. Surprisingly, perhaps taking at least a little stock of Faye's suggestion, Don openly admits that HE is Dick. He doesn't explain why, of course, but he introduces the idea to the children for the first time: sometimes he is Dick, not Don, that's his nickname... sometimes.

It's a hugely important moment for Don... and just another day for the kids. Daddy's sometimes called Dick? Okay fine time to move on to the next thing that catches out interest! He sends them out to the back to get lemons from the tree, and Don and Stephanie are left momentarily alone. He looks around at what is left inside the house: a piano and a few boxes.

Stephanie explains her friend is helping her move the piano back to her mother's, the rest goes to St. Vincent de Paul. Don is impressed, all that is left of Anna's worldly things is four boxes... and he actually appreciates that. She wasn't a woman of clutter, she long ago - by necessity - learned the importance of letting things go, a lesson that Don could also stand to learn given he often abandons thing but never quite lets go of them in his mind.

There was one thing Anna wanted him to have though, and Don is surprised when Stephanie hands him Anna's engagement ring, given to her by Don (how much does Stephanie know?). Doesn't she want it, Don asks, but Stephanie says he shouldn't play around with Anna's last wishes... plus she doesn't actually believe in marriage anyway. Don isn't quite sure what to make of it, so tucks it away and asks what Stephanie's plans are now? Will she go back to school?

Stephanie, either confirming or denying Don's earlier claim about young people depending on how you look at it, admits that she has no idea WHAT she going to do next and that is part of the thrill: after all, she has her whole life ahead of her. But then, so does Don, she claims, an idea that he seems to enjoy even if he's literally pulled out a cigarette as they spoke, further cementing the notion that it's incredibly difficult to break smoking as a habit.

But while he's all smiles and warmth with Stephanie, when she heads off the answer the door when the notary arrives, Don is left alone in the home of the closest thing to a pre-marriage family he had. He finds himself staring at he and Anna's "signature" on the wall, the 1964 painted next to it already feeling so long ago. His usual iron composure is shaken as he's overwhelmed by the sense of loss, the permanence of no more Anna really creeping in. The house is empty, her things are gone, soon this wall be painted over and the last act they shared in life will be gone. All he will have left is an engagement ring given to her by the man whose name he stole. Once again, he will have taken something of great value that belonged to another man for his own.



Returning to the hotel, the kids rush excitedly to poolside where Megan is in the water looking after Gene who is seated on the edge. They strip down to their swimming costumes, which they were wearing underneath of course, and ask Don to join them. He explains he doesn't have his bathing suit, but they don't see the big deal, insisting her join them, Bobby deciding to sweeten the deal with perfect kid logic that he's going to be a shark.... so there you go then, he can't miss out on that!

Megan, all smiles, points out that Don swims all the time in New York. More emotionally exhausted than he wants to admit even to himself, Don just says he's beat and collects up the kid's discarded clothes. He returns to the hotel room and sits on the edge of the bed, staring at nothing, contemplating this final severance of ties with Anna Draper. He's miserable and sad and alone... and he makes the best decision possible.

Rather than sitting and brooding, he takes Stephanie's words to heart. He has the rest of HIS life ahead of him. Like those teenagers he talked about, he doesn't want to die, and Anna's death and the sale of the house (and impending sale of the Ossining home) can of course only make him consider his own mortality. So does he wallow in that? No, he puts on his bathing outfit and he goes out into the sun to enjoy playtime with his children. His proposed advertising campaign is to show how smoking gets between children and their parents. Now Don has decided not to let his own dark thoughts cloud a rare weekend of joyful interaction with children who are fast growing up.

Cannonballing into the water, he delights Bobby by grabbing him and tossing him high into the air and crashing into the water again, then goes after Sally who squeals with excited faux-fear. A slightly alarmed Gene is comforted by Megan's beaming presence, and Don cackles happily as he plays with his children.

That evening, they run through a map of Disneyland and lay out their plans for following day. Sally points out that Gene can't go on the Mr. Toad ride, and signals her easy acceptance of Megan clearly when she further points out the unfairness of Megan not being able to go on the ride either when Don explains Megan will watch Gene while the others go on the ride.

Sally answers the door after a knock, and there is Megan and her friend Camille, all dressed up for a night on the town. She introduces them all to Camille, and explains she wanted to pop by to see if Don needed anything else before she left. Don, seated on the bed with Gene in his lap and Bobby by his side, beams with paternal affection as he says they'll be fine. Sally asks where they're going, as if the Whiskey a Go Go means anything to her.

Don wishes them a good evening and they leave, thankfully Don having not made a single comment on how pretty Megan looked, and especially not using his children as an excuse to do so. His mind appears to be entirely on the children right now, and he makes a point of circling Tomorrowland when Bobby asks to go there too because he'd rather fly a jet than ride an elephant (the Dumbo ride).

While Don is enjoying a rare bonding moment with his children in California, on the other side of the country in New York Henry Francis sits in what was Don Draper's home in what was Don Draper's furniture (notably, it is the fainting couch Betty bought after Henry pointed it out to her during the early stages of their emotional affair) and looking far from affectionate.

Betty comes home, calling out for him, and he responds to let her know where he is. She walks into the living room to find him drinking a beer in the dark, half packed boxes all around the room. She starts to explain why she was late, something about not being able to get the pilot light running at her meeting - presumably the Junior League - but Henry cuts her off angrily. Carla called.

Pretending innocence, Betty asks what she called about, and Henry snaps at her that she knows drat well what it was: she fired her and didn't tell him? Betty sighs, trying to take the beer from him which he pulls back, and she claims that she didn't tell him because she thought Carla would try and play on her sympathies. Henry is disgusted though, especially after learning from Carla that Betty also refused to give her a letter of recommendation.

Oh that is cold.

Appalled, he points out how long Carla worked for her, that he knows for a fact she doesn't steal and he refuses to believe that she'd really fire her over something as petty as "the neighbor boy". "She's not allowed to see him!" snaps Betty, immediately turtling back up into defense mode, becoming more enraged when Henry points out that Carla said they were just friends, essentially accusing him of taking Carla's side over her own.

But Henry won't be drawn into letting her reframe the argument, bringing this back to her. SHE refused to move from this house because she wanted the children to have stability, and yet now she's gone ahead and fired the nanny the kids had since they were babies!?! When Betty tries to insist that she's entitled to a fresh start, Henry loses his cool, yelling that there is no FRESH start, lives carry on whether she likes it or not! Hell, he knows that better than anyone, haven't they been living in Don's house all this time and he's just put up with it?

Betty is outraged at this, demanding that she'd like him to take her side "just once", as if he hasn't had her back 95% of the time in their marriage. Knowing this, Henry is even more pissed off, and lands a killer blow when he snarls with contempt that "no one's ever on your side, Betty."

He storms out of the room, disgusted by his wife, a childish end to the argument which is perhaps in some way appropriate. Betty has acted childishly in her impulsive reaction to fire Carla, and just as childishly refused to back down even a little, to the point of vindictiveness by not letting Carla say goodbye to the children AND refusing to write her a letter of recommendation. The honeymoon phase of their marriage is well and truly over, the happily ever after Betty wanted tarnished by the very thing that Henry just pointed out to her: lives carry on.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



In California, the children are sleeping and Don is sitting up drinking a beer of his own and reading The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (great book!) when he hears Megan arriving back to her room next door.

He ponders for a few seconds, putting his book down, and then makes a decision. He knocks on her door and she calls for him to wait a moment, then answers the door still all dressed up. He asks if he is bothering her (and perhaps, fearfully, bothering somebody else with her?) but she says she was just out on the balcony enjoying the air. Lamely, Don explains he wanted to go over the plan for Disneyland tomorrow, and she invites him in.

Cheekily, perhaps having had a little to drink at the Whiskey a Go Go or simply feeling comfortable enough to poke fun, she asks if she can be allowed to be involved in such highly important decisions. Don is unusually uncertain how to answer, seemingly unsure if she is joking or being serious, then admits sheepishly that with the kids asleep he can't turn on the television, and with a grin she lets him in, telling him to come stand out on the balcony with her since there's nothing on television anyway.

She admits that Camille isn't REALLY a friend, just somebody she lived with during college... and who she suspects had far too intense an interest in Megan's father, who is a professor. Still, it was an excuse to come out to California, so she took it, and now here they are standing looking out over the Pacific Ocean on a beautiful moonlit night.

Camille is an actress now, with the heady accomplishment of having been in two episodes of Hogan's Heroes, and Megan can't help but reveal her astonishment at the openly insulting way Camille told her that SHE could never be an actress because of her teeth. Megan has very, very, very slightly oversized teeth, something that she is probably painfully aware of and most other people NEVER notice. "I don't even want to be an actress!" she points out, clearly upset at herself for being upset that she was told she couldn't be something she has no interest in being.

"I love your teeth," Don assures her, placing a "supportive" hand on her side and turning her to look at him. Perhaps for want of something else to say, Megan says she took elocution lessons when she came to New York and her teacher said she had the mouth of a singer. It's the kind of semi-connected bit of trivia somebody says in an awkward moment when they're not entirely sure what to say next. But Don knows, he always knows, whether it is what to say or what to do, and what he does now is kiss her.

This time Megan is less sure than she was during their late night at the office, asking if they should be doing this here (his kids are just on the other side of the wall) but Don insists he hasn't been able to stop thinking of her. They kiss again, a perfect romantic fairytale moment in the cool evening air on the balcony of their hotel, the Pacific Ocean stretching out before them.

In New York, a woman whose own fairytale moment came and went trudges into her daughter's bedroom. Betty Francis, feeling alone and dejected and upset at the unfairness of it all, clambers onto her daughter's bed and lies miserable and alone. She came here because she didn't want to share the bed with Henry, presumably, but it's very fitting that she's in a 10-year-old girl's room. She's sulking, upset and aggrieved that she got called out for overreacting.

Henry didn't exactly cover himself with glory with his own reaction, and moving is always a highly stressful time... but Betty threw away a valued 10-year-long working relationship with a woman with a close emotional bond with her children AND Betty herself, all in a fit of pique. That Betty is coming out of this feeling like SHE is the victim says a lot about her backwards slide into immaturity after she largely handled ending her marriage to Don (and controlling Henry and her own desire for physical intimacy) so well last season.

In California, Don and Megan lie in the bed staring into each other's eyes. Don asks if she thought this might happen when he asked her to come, and with a smile she admits it was the first thing that crossed her mind. She also admits she was going to miss him so much anyway, and when Don warns that she doesn't really know him she insists that she does: she knows he has a good heart, and he always tries to do his best.

"We all try," he allows,"We don't always make it," about as close as he can get to straight up saying he's done some bad, stupid and sometimes horrific things. "I've done a lot of things," is the best he can manage, but Megan assures him that she knows who he is now, words that must stab at his heart: because she doesn't, not really, she can't. Not just the simple details of his faked identity, but who he feels he is at heart: a fraud, an imposter, a fake who is going to be found out any moment now and revealed for the loser idiot hillbilly liar and thief that he thinks of himself as during his darker moments.

She notes with regret that it is getting light, and Don sighs that he should get back before his "little roosters" wake up, and Megan agrees: she doesn't want to confuse the children. This makes Don ponder something else though, and he outright asks her: will this happen again? Or will be for one night only like that time in the office? He admits he doesn't know why that is so important to him, and Megan responds with an answer that is half-question/half-explanation: "Because you're afraid?"

"You shouldn't be," she assures him, and with great relief Don kisses her again, then suggests they meet here again for dinner at 11pm, since the Disneyland fireworks are at 9 and this will give him time to put the kids to bed. "We'll be together all day," she replies, which is both a reminder that he won't have to wait till tonight to see her as well as her thrilling over the fact: they get to spend the ENTIRE day and night together, and that's clearly exactly as she wants it. For now, it seems, it's exactly what Don wants as well.



In New York, Ken and Peggy are lead into the main office of Topaz Pantyhose and introduced to Art Garten (Peggy having to correct her name). It's clearly not a big company, but it's a company that needs advertising and they're an advertising agency that needs companies... and thus, the four of them are here in a mostly empty office on a holiday Monday looking to make a deal.

Art, a brash and outspoken guy, admits that the model Dupre hired was beautiful, but he hated the idea behind their advertising ideas: she's Cinderella dressed up in Topaz Pantyhose... but she's not Cinderella and where the hell is she going!?! Ken and Peggy laugh and nod as if they too think this was an obviously terrible idea (it sounds unimaginative and standard but hardly bad), and Art explains that he doesn't really care WHAT the idea is so long as it is something that stands out. Hell, they can put Abe Beame into their advertisements if they want!

Peggy asks them what qualities they think makes Topaz unique, sneaking in like it was an afterthought that she has worn Topaz before, thus creating the impression she's a fan of their product and not just looking for their money. Art questions that though, is she wearing them right now?

"Yes," agrees Peggy, having anticipated this, and immediately segues into a camouflaged pitch, declaring as if the words are just coming naturally and not via a weekend of intense Creative development that she can wear them with anything: she can wear them to work, then go home and change everything BUT her hose before going out on the town.

"One pair, that's all you need with Topaz!" an enthusiastic Ken DOES declare completely off the top of his head without the benefit of ANY creative development. Peggy holds her smile but her eyes narrow angrily at Ken stepping outside of his lane, much like he did with Fillmore Auto when he told Don it would be "easy" to combine two different ideas. Art and his colleague aren't happy either, pointing out that if they only ever sold one pair to each customer they'd be out of busines.

"Topaz," says Peggy, thinking fast and improvising,"The only pair of pantyhouse you'll ever need. Bad for business. Good for you."

Art is impressed by that, it's funny and it does stand out, they're saying their product is so good they're not even interested in making money from it. That also isn't an idea he can run with however, but as a proof of SCDP's ability to come up with ideas, he's pleased.... but that's one, what else does she have? Peggy, of course, has plenty, because she always prepares meticulously. Pretending like she has to think more, she "casually" suggests it would be "fun" to show off different outfits: formal, business, sporty, etc, and include a tagline like, oh gee let her just come up with one "spontaneously": single pair, singular comfort.

He liked the first, and Art likes the second even more... but he's also insatiable. That's two, what else have they got? Peggy exchanges a strained smile with Ken, but she has her notes with her all filed away, she has plenty of ideas to suggest, even if that was her best. She's game to continue, but this clearly isn't going to be the straight walk in the park she thought it would be.

Don returns from the bathroom at the diner they're having lunch at, and pauses for a moment as he takes in the sight in front of him. In the booth, Sally and Bobby are chatting animatedly with Megan, little Gene having been taken out of his (now food splattered) high chair to stand next to Megan playing with his truck. It's a very domestic scene, and a happy one, and Don drinks it in, the missing portion of his life that he was largely fine with leaving behind at the end of last season to focus on what he thought would bring him fulfilment: running his own Agency.

Sally spots him and Megan turns to smile, and he rejoins them at the table where Sally and Bobby are having a heated debate over whether snakes used to have legs or not. Sally - 10-years-old - smugly dismisses Bobby for only having "baby science" because he hasn't been taught about evolution yet, while Bobby insists that "they found a skeleton" but has no other information than that when Sally demands more details.

Bobby hits back the only way he knows how when his older sister mocks him for being a "shortstuff", affecting a lisp (she has a VERY slight lisp, and like Megan with her teeth she probably notices/is concerned by it far more than anybody else) which enrages Sally. "Shut up!" she yells and makes to punch him, but knocks over her milkshake in the process.

The world freezes for the children, Bobby recoiling both from the spilled milkshake and the knowledge that punishment follows an accident like this. Sally is horrified, knowing that causing a spill is grounds for severe discipline. Gene... well Gene doesn't really know what's going on, but he knows something has everybody's attention. "Great!" snaps Don, reaching out quickly to pick up the milkshake before more spills. He's pissed off, motioning for a waiter, knowing that the lunch and probably much of the next couple of hours is ruined, because now there's going to be anger and recriminations and sulking and....

and Megan calmly pulls napkins out, smiles at the kids and reassures them not to be upset, it's just a milkshake. Don pauses, astonished, as Megan clears up the spill and then turns a happy smile his way and asks him to grab a straw or some napkins since this is her last dress she has to wear. He's... flummoxed. It was pure instinct that he (and the kids) reacted the way they did. They're too used to Betty, how she would have exploded at the kids for not listening or being clumsy, how she would have insisted that Don was being too lenient, how she would have fumed or otherwise taken it out on the kids and allowed it impact on the rest of the day together.

That's unfair to Betty, of course, she had her own problems to deal with through much of her marriage to Don and was often left overwhelmed and having to handle not just the day-to-day running of the house (even with Carla there) but to be the disciplinarian as well. But she did have a tendency to overreact, to get hostile or sullen, and Megan... just isn't. It's just another part of the "adventure" of this weekend, and so he helps her clean up the mess, staring with a mixture of pleasant surprise and disbelief at her, while Sally and Bobby exchange confused glances... they're.... NOT going to get yelled at?

The scene dissolves to Don back in his apartment. Apparently Disneyland has come and gone, and after one last night in California with Megan they have all flown back to New York and the kids presumably been returned to Betty and Henry, most likely at the new place in Rye. Don sits contemplating on the side of his bed, and sudden movement reveals what was unseen: Megan waking in his bed, asking if it is late.

"I wanted to let you sleep," Don says, the end of the trip not marking the end of their affair. He's been up a few hours, and she assumes something is wrong, but with a broad smile he simply says he couldn't sleep because he couldn't stop thinking about her. Smiling at the compliment, she points out that she's right here, and Don admits that he doesn't understand why but when he's with her, he feels like himself... or rather, he feels the way he's always wanted to feel.... because he's in love with her, and he has been for a while.

Oh..... oh Don.... :cripes:

She's startled by this admission, but that's nothing compared to the jolt she gets when Don suddenly pulls out a ringbox and presents it to her.

Oh my God, Don what are you doing?

He tells her to open it and she does, gasping at the beauty of the ring, and Don tells her that seeing her sleeping in the bed made him realize he wants to see that every morning when he wakes up.... and asks her to marry him.

DON WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!

Megan is overwhelmed, but also not quite believing it, struggling to wrap her head around this. Don, ever the expert at making his case, talks with wonder about all the things that had to happen for him to get to know her (like getting really loving drunk and banging your OTHER secretary, Allison, then handling the aftermath so badly she had a breakdown and quit?)... but they happened, suggesting it was meant to be. Finally, Megan throws caution to the wind, erupting into joyful yeses, and just like that Don Draper is engaged to be married.

....what the gently caress just happened?

They kiss hungrily, and Don slides the ring onto her finger, saying it's been in his family before correcting himself, not really his family but somebody VERY important to him. Megan though isn't really listening, unable to take her eyes off the ring, unable to believe this has happened, overflowing with joy as she babbles that she has to call her mother, still so unbalanced by the sudden shift in their arrangement that she admits she already called her from California (an amused Don notes he saw it on the bill) and actually asks if she should call from work.

Amused, Don tells her to go ahead and call from here, and surprises her (happily) when she asks how they'll handle work and Don doesn't hesitate in saying they'll just openly tell everybody. He's not ashamed, hell he wants to share his happiness with the world! "OKAY!" she gasps, still astonished, mind reeling at her sudden change in life, at the frequent reveals that Don isn't joking or that there aren't any qualifiers... they're just together now and that's that!

Don asks if she wants privacy or if he should speak with her, and Megan answers both those questions by asking if he speaks French (he doesn't, just loves French films). They kiss, then her mother is on the line and a joyful Megan is gushing down the phone to France with the exciting news: she's getting married!



At SCDP, the other Partners and Joan come to Don's office at his request, confused as to what this is all about. Don is only too happy to tell them: he's marrying Miss Calvet. They all stare in surprise, and Roger asks a question that really hammers home just how out of the blue this is.... who the hell is Miss Calvet?

Megan, Joan (of course) explains, and as far as I know this is legitimately the first time we learn Megan's surname. We've had a few tidbits of info about her, a large chunk of which came from this episode. Despite their earlier romp in this office, Megan has been background for much of the season: usually only noted for her beauty, but slowly coming to the fore as the season progressed. Even so, her sudden elevation to Don's fiance is shocking to the other characters and the viewers both: most of them know far less than we do and we know very little.

Her last name is Calvet, and she's French... or at least her mother is? Her father is a College Professor, an American one? Was she raised in America or France? She is interested in literature, she's good with kids thanks to multiple nieces and nephews (so she has at least one brother or sister), she took elocution lessons, she's intellectually curious and doesn't like being reduced to eye candy, and she's not sexually repressed (so presumably she WAS raised in France?). That's... pretty much it!

Lane is the first to offer his congratulations, perhaps with just a hint of envy, his own affair with the woman he thought would make him happy a (presumably) thing of the past now. Roger though still seems to be processing this news, asking,"Megan out there?" as he again tries to figure out how and when this happened. Don admits it's a surprise but she makes him happy, and it's something they both want. Amused but not mocking, Roger says they should get her in there, and Joan summons her in.

The others applaud her gently as Joan kisses her a kiss and slight embrace, Pete correcting Lane on some obscure social niceties by explaining you give the bridge "best wishes" and the groom "congratulations". Roger can't help with a little tease, calling for drinks and asking Megan to fetch the ice, before admitting the joke and gleefully telling Don that now he sees, THIS is the way to behave.

Yes, because of course for Roger this is the ultimate endorsement of.... himself! He proposed to another 25-year-old secretary of Don's, and Don looked down on him for it. Roger doesn't hold that against Don, rather he is pleased that Don has "seen the light" and realized that marrying your young beautiful secretary out of the blue is the right and good thing to do!

While this is happening in Don's office, Ken comes and gives Peggy also surprising but welcome news: Topaz were impressed by ideas 2 and 4 (1, remember, was Peggy salvaging Ken's awful idea) and have given them a week to come up with a campaign. Thrilled, Peggy leaps into Ken's arms, they've done it! They've FINALLY landed a new client! Ken suggests they go "rub it in" and Peggy graciously offers to let him lead the way, but no Ken absolutely knows that this was a Peggy Olson get, and he's happy to let her take the well-deserved credit. She's earned it.

But as they approach Don's office and spot Pete exiting it, telling him they have great news, they're knocked off-balance by Pete sarcastically asking if THEY are getting married too. Inside, they see Megan hanging off of Don, the two kissing, Roger beaming at both, and Peggy feels a jolt of shock. They enter, asking what is happening, and Roger happily shares the news, astonishing both.

Ken is quick to offer warm congratulations to Don, and after a moment Peggy also congratulates Megan, though her choice of words is telling: "that's incredible, you must be so happy" but no offer of congratulations or endorsement of their marriage. The four stand smiling at each other but none of them knowing exactly what to say, the silence growing awkward until Megan notes the ringing phone and sheepishly points out that she guesses SHE should be the one to answer it.

With her gone, Ken gets them back on track, saying they have good news too and prompting Peggy to continue. Startled back to reality, Peggy explains they signed Topaz, a 250k account. Don is thrilled of course, how'd they do that? Ken continues to give Peggy all the credit, saying she found out about it and they met with them over the holiday. Don's own shock fades and he breaks out into a huge grin, exclaiming that this is great news, they broke the streak... what a great day!

"Good work, both of you!" he insists, shaking Peggy's hand enthusiastically. She's pleased, of course, and normally this kind of endorsement from her mentor would give her energy for days. She suggests they go let everybody know, since Topaz will want work in a week's time, and Don happily agrees. But she also tells Ken to go on without her and she'll catch up, closing the door so she can have a brief moment with Don.

"Wow," she says, half an accusation in her voice. Don admits that this has been going of for awhile (it hasn't, they had one night months ago they hooked up in California like 3 days ago), but acknowledges that he understands, and more importantly appreciates, her concern. Rather than press him, Peggy simply tells him that in that case she is happy for him... for both of them. But again, her choice of words is telling. She wracks her brain for a compliment for Megan, and all she can come up with is.... "She's very beautiful."

That's unfair to Megan of course, she's more than eye-candy and Peggy of all people should appreciate you don't judge a book by its cover (especially when that book is told by Bert Cooper not to read books!). But from her perspective, Don has simply lunged his way into a sudden engagement to his secretary whose only obvious and immediate assets are that she's stunningly beautiful. Maybe if she'd been able to attend that lunch with Peggy (that Peggy invited her to purely because Joyce and her friends wanted to ogle her) Megan's intellectual curiosity, education, background and drive would have become apparently. But she didn't attend, and for Peggy she has remained simply another pretty secretary who was content to sit at a desk and type until a man in the office scooped her up for hopefully marriage.... and in this case, landed a whale in Don Draper.

Don though sees far more in Megan, whether accurately or fogged by the endorphin rush of the situation, telling Peggy that Megan actually reminds him of her... she's got the same spark. He knows that Megan admires Peggy as much as he does (to be fair, Megan did openly tell Peggy how impressed she was by her earlier in the season, before Trudy ruined Peggy's evening and Don ruined it even more), and Peggy allows a smile and then offers him a hug. He briefly kisses her cheek and then embraces her, and with her face out of his eyeline Peggy's obvious discomfort/disbelief in Don's decision is made clear, before she's all smiles again as they part and she leaves the office.



Megan returns as Peggy leaves, she's took that call and lets him know who it was. Dr. Miller. Again.

Oh yeah. Faye. Remember her, Don?

Don winces, and Megan gives him the good advice that it isn't going to get any easier the longer he lives it. Which raises an interesting point: has Don told her about Faye, given her the heads-up in his excitement/enthusiasm to share the truth with her (though presumably not ALL the truth, including Dick Whitman)? Or did Megan ALWAYS know there was something between them, and just didn't draw attention to it? Or perhaps more simply has Don and Faye's relationship been completely out in the open since Atherton pulled out of SCDP?

Peggy meanwhile has gone straight to the most obvious place to go, and the person she's gone to see is clearly not surprised to see her, pondering sarcastically just whatever could be on her mind? It's Joan Harris of course, and Peggy closes the door and takes a seat to gasp out her disbelief at the ludicrousness of what Don Draper has just done.

"It happens all the time," Joan assures her, shaking her head at the utter predictability of it all,"They're all just between marriages. You know that."

Betty grabs one of her cigarettes and lights it, astonished when Joan ponders that he'll probably make Megan a copywriter since he won't want to be married to his secretary. The thought horrifies Peggy, who got the position by proving herself (over and over and over again) by the strength of her ideas and the quality of her writing... is THAT what Don meant when he told her that Megan admired her? Sweetening her up with the idea already in his mind of where Megan would go next?

Fuming, Peggy points out that she just saved the company, signing the first new business they've gotten since Lucky Strike... and yet that's not as important as getting married. Again! Joan can top that though, pointing out that SHE just got made the Director of Agency Operations... a title with no money, of course. "If they poured champagne, it must have been while I was pushing the mail cart," she smiles, the bitterness obvious despite her blase tone.

Peggy is horrified, a "pretty face" comes along and everything gets pushed out the window. Joan though insists that she learned a long time ago not to get all of her satisfaction from this job. Peggy considers that, the two women (both still young themselves, 26 and early 30s respectively) sitting bitching in the office about their hard work and constant effort being trumped by being young and sex.... she looks at Joan, and a smile breaks across her face, declaring,"That's bullshit!"

Joan can't help but giggle at being accurately called out, because of COURSE she's pissed off. She once told Peggy she never wanted her job, but it has always been obvious she is far more than just "another meaningless secretary", even in the season one days of being Office Manager. Joan did everything right, landed the dream husband, quit her job to be a housewife and of course everything went horribly wrong. But in the meantime, as she returned to work and especially to SCDP, she found out that she isn't just good at being one of the leading figures of an Advertising Agency, it is work she excels at.

Her reward for this hard work, for being the key that got SCDP their start in the first place? A title that sounds nice but effectively leaves her still in the same position she's always been in. Meanwhile a "pretty face" immediately leapfrogs her in social and financial standing simply by being a "pretty face", and it's not even the first time it has happened!

Peggy understood the travails and hardships of being a secretary, and she was very good at it while she had the role. But she always wanted more, and she worked hard and got it. She wrote her way out of a secretary's desk and into her own office, first shared and with a copy machine, later her own, then got poached to SCDP at the begging request of her mentor. She has excelled as the Agency's senior copywriter, she has built over the course of years a deep and trusting relationship with the notoriously closely guarded Don Draper, and she has just landed them their first new client in months to help pull the company from the brink of collapse.

And all that hard work? Some "pretty face" comes along and is suddenly engaged to Don and seemingly being prepped to jump up to a similar status to the one Peggy worked so hard to accomplish. Whether reducing Megan to just a "pretty face" is irrelevant, it's the perception both Joan and Peggy have, the idea that she's like all those other secretaries who saw marriage to an executive as a career path (hell, Joan told Peggy back in the first ever episode that it was a goal to aspire to!).

When you come face to face with something this unfair and seemingly inevitable? What else can you do but laugh? Surely the only other option would be to cry. So that's what they do, Joan Harris and Peggy Olson - often butting heads, sometimes rivals, sometimes reluctant allies - sit in solidarity and laugh at the utter absurdity of life for women in 1965.



Don sits in his office, phone on his thigh, dreading a call he has to make. Finally he mans up and makes the call, and it is picked up instantly by Dr. Faye Miller in her office. Horribly, her first reaction to hearing his voice is to break into a broad smile, joking that she was starting to worry he was ill. Quietly he tells her that he needs to talk to her, and she mentions she was planning to pop by for lunch.

"No, you shouldn't do that," he insists, and surely the most danger flare must go up in her mind when she hears that. He suggests they meet somewhere, and uneasily she asks what is going on. He explains that something happened and he wants to talk to her face-to-face, will she meet him for coffee. She agrees... and then shakes her head, her suspicions aroused and her mind screaming at her not to run through the social niceties that have been drilled into her all her life.

Instead she stands at her desk and informs HIM that she isn't going to go through the farce of sitting through a conversation and then coffee afterwards, he can just get to it now. She already knows, even if she doesn't want to believe, but knowing doesn't make it any easier when he tells her that he met somebody. Her entire face falls, a shiver of pure anguish running through her body. It's even worse when Don continues, he doesn't just meet somebody, they're not engaged.

"Are you kidding me?" she demands, but her anger is barely beating out the unfathomable sorrow already threatening to engulf her. Don admits it was a surprise for him too, but when she demands to know who it is he simply says it doesn't matter, what matters if he met somebody and he loves her. What he really means is that he doesn't want to admit it's his secretary, a fact that would only further hurt (and enrage) her, and offers an assurance that really doesn't mean much to her: she (Faye) has been very important to him.

Jesus Christ, Don. Maybe tell her you think of her like a sister next?

"So you're not going to put an ad in the New York Times saying you never liked me?" she asks bitterly, and when he tries to gently chide her she growls that she hopes they're very happy... and that whoever the other woman is knows that he only likes the beginning of things. Don can't allow himself to be hurt or concerned by her (probably very accurate) take on things, only gently promising that he's sorry he hurt her. "Goodbye!" she declares, hanging up firmly, trying to her best to hold it together.

She came onto the show as a character who immediately alarmed Don not just because she threatened exposure of his inner mind, but because she challenged his ideas on how things worked. Slowly he came to appreciate and even embrace her ideas, but he started from a position of distaste because she dared make a judgement call on him and insist that he'd be remarried by that time next year.... hey, guess that one turned out accurate!

It was Dr. Faye Miller who gave him insight. It was Faye who he turned to in his darkest hour and admitted his deepest and darkest secret to. But he never truly seemed to appreciate her in spite of that, or perhaps more accurately he resented her because of it. Because she is the one who pushed him to actually face up to his problems and resolve them, to expose his darkest secrets to the light, to struggle with them in the open and only then truly be free.

He ignored that and instead went with the easy option, the beautiful woman who made him feel good about himself in a way he surely assumes will simply last forever. He told Megan that she makes him feel like himself the way he WANTS to feel, but that's... that's love. The beginning of it anyway, and he felt the same way with Betty all those years ago, and how long till he was sleeping around on her?

No, maybe he didn't love Dr. Miller, but he needed her. Maybe as a therapist more than a lover, or maybe if he'd allowed himself to truly grapple with his issues it would have enabled him to appreciate her for the challenging, intelligent and empathetic woman she was and grow to feel a real and abiding love? In the end, he chose the woman who made him feel good instead of the woman who was good for him.

All of that is little comfort for Faye, who breached her own code of ethics for him... for nothing. Who lost a good contract because of his actions... for nothing. Who was forced to face up to her inadequacies as a maternal figure and was assured it didn't matter, only for Don to pass her over for a woman who immediately hit it off with his children. Who clearly put all her hopes and dreams for true life partner with him... for nothing.

What can you do in this situation? You laugh or you cry. So Dr. Faye Miller, an accomplished, intelligent, successful and respected woman, stands in her room and cries at the utter cruelty of life for a woman in 1965.



As for Don? Well he's sad but moments later when Megan returns, telling him she saw the light go off, and joins him to offer comfort, telling him that she loves him? Well that brings the smile back to his face, and she sits on his lap and they kiss, and all is right with the world and he's happy and content and in love again, all thoughts of Faye and the wreckage he caused in her life (and let's not forget Allison's) already forgotten while he gets everything he wants.

Life for a rich white man in... well, forget the year, really.

Sometime later, presumably very early in the morning given there is still light outside, Joan Harris sits at home on the phone to Vietnam, sharing all the gossip with Greg. She's openly contemptuous of Don's folly, delighting in his foolishness and how he's ended up just like every other executive falling for a pretty young secretary, sneering at the fact that Megan is 25 which just makes it all the more a cliche.

Greg doesn't care about Don though, he wants to know if she's "showing" yet, as obviously the photo of her doesn't change. Joan promises to send him a new photo, and cheekily he points out she knows what he REALLY wants to know, and with a loving roll of her eyes she promises him that yes "they" are bigger, utterly delighting Greg even if it tortures him to know his beautiful wife and her somehow even more enormous breasts are so far from him.

Forget that though, there's a revelation for you! Given we never saw anything between Joan's conversation in the waiting room and her ride back to New York afterwards, there was always the thought in the back of the mind that maybe she DIDN'T go through with the abortion. But there was nothing to indicate otherwise, after all she told Roger it was taken care of. But no, it seems that looking at that mother her own age with a daughter also getting an abortion triggered something in Joan.

So the plot thickens, she's following Roger's advice after all, just without him knowing. She's still pregnant, and has told Greg she is pregnant, and since he's not there in person and his departure was not THAT long before her one night stand with Roger, there's no reason to suspect the child isn't his. Only one person currently knows that she is pregnant, and whenever everybody finds out only two people will know who the father truly is. Roger already told her the kid could never be acknowledged as his, so how will he react to this? She is, after all, not asking for anything for him after having already made it clear they are over as a couple, and she clearly means to raise the child as Greg's. But how will he really feel knowing he has another child? Will he demand what is his (unlikely) or seethe in private and sulk and throw tantrums (likely)?

Joan though either is willing to take that risk or simply doesn't care. The baby may not be Greg's biologically, but it will be his child.... and more importantly, it will be HERS. So she says goodbye to her husband (Vietnam so far doesn't seem like hell to him outside of the heat, if anything the paper ball hitting his head and his reaction makes it seem like so far he's just goofing around not doing much of anything) with a promise from him that he'll call again on Thursday, they share,"I love yous" and then hang up. Joan didn't get the money she deserves, and her husband is a place she doesn't want him to be... but this? THIS is she going to have for herself, no matter what.



At the former Francis household, Betty checks on her make-up in the dim light of the now emptied out kitchen. There's a single box on the counter, and she takes a moment to consider the room before collecting it and going when she hears a noise. She calls out a nervous,"Hello?" and a voice calls back asking if it is Mrs Truxton.... Don's. "It's me!" she calls back, and Don enters the kitchen to find his ex-wife standing in their ex-house, alone together again for the first time this season.

She's surprised to see him there, as he is to see her. He reminds her that he had a listing with the realtor at 7pm, and she doesn't question that, simply saying she didn't realize that was today. She forgot about emptying the cabinets in the guest bath, she explains, and Don asks if that means she wasn't that thorough? "I guess not?" she says, confused, and he offers a wry look towards one of the higher cabinets, approaches and opens it, sinking his arm deep in and feeling around till he finds what he was hoping to find... a bottle of Rye.

She can't help but smile, of course HE would know where all the liquor was in the house. She pulls a cup out of her box and he pours her a drink, admitting that he does like her new house (so presumably he dropped the kids off there), it has a lot of character. Even now though she isn't satisfied with this brand new thing, sighing that she'll probably have to tear out the kitchen.

That can't help but raise a pleasant memory, as she looks around the now empty kitchen and asks Don if he remembers what this place was like when they first moved in. He does, taking the proffered cup from her and taking a sip himself, as Betty frowns and agrees that her new place is different at least?

"Isn't that what you wanted?" he asks, and she considers for a moment before she admits that she doesn't know, and tentatively adds that things aren't perfect. Whether Don understands that they're not talking about the new house but the new marriage isn't clear, which makes his reply hit all the harder. If things aren't perfect, he shrugs, she'll just move again. She takes the cup back when offered and tells him that so much change has made things difficult, which is a hard thing for her to admit but which again Don quite seem the grasp the significance of.

Because he has his things on his mind, as he decides now is as good a time as any to tell her.... he getting married. She absorbs that for a second, not entirely sure how to react, then asks if it is to Bethany Van Nuys? "No," says Don immediately, the look on his face saying that the very thought it was preposterous (poor Bethany, that blowjob in the back of a cab clearly didn't work as expected). He explains it is "someone at work" without elaborating that it's his secretary, and for a second I half expected her to ask if it was Peggy... but I wonder if she remembers Peggy exists?

"I'm very happy for you," she manages to get out at last, after putting the cup down. It's very clear she isn't, which raises the question of why. Despite still being obsessed with him at times, there is no sense that she longs for a return to their marriage, more that she's dismayed by her marriage to Henry not continuing to be the fairytale it started as. But part of her, perhaps, always took a kind of satisfaction or sense of rightness from her idea that Don would be alone as punishment for ruining their marriage (make no mistake, for all her childishness, it was absolutely and completely Don's fault their marriage failed), even as she insisted he was probably running about sleeping with everybody he could and having a grand old time.

Satisfaction and "rightness" not so much in the sense that she took pleasure in his pain, but that it proved she was right and he was wrong. He failed the marriage and she ended it, and in return she got the loving new understanding husband and the kids and the house and kept all their friends and all the benefits that came from their union.... and he got nothing because he was in the wrong and he screwed it all up. Except her husband increasingly questions her decisions, her daughter keeps causing her problems, they had to rent the house from Don, it got vandalized and Glen shimmied his way back in and she felt less and less in common with the friends and committees that made up so much of daily life here. While Don has met somebody and gotten engaged, and moved on with his life and is happy when she is not.... even though HE was in the wrong and SHE was in the right? Which means maybe.... she wasn't in the right? Maybe what she believes isn't the truth?

Perhaps Don understands some of this, or simply knows her enough to know that the news of his engagement has shaken her and that it pains her to force herself to do the right and mature thing and tell him that she is happy for him. "It's okay, Betty," he promises her, and she regains control of herself and proves that she also knows him enough to make an educated guess. She knows his secretary helped watch the kids while they were in California... is that who he is marrying?

He nods that it is, and she takes this in silence, perhaps judging him, maybe pitying him, already reframing her reaction in her mind to try and find some way to look at this as more evidence of why Don wasn't a suitable husband. The doorbell rings, presumably Mrs Truxton, breaking the spell of the once adoring couple sharing a quiet and private moment together, and they're back to a divorced couple discussing the details of visitations and custody.

He goes to open the door, but she calls him back, removing the house-key from her keyring. She hands it to him and offers him her congratulations, as symbolic a sign of the end of their marriage as you can get. "Thank you," he says, as Mrs Truxton rings the doorbell again, a bell tolling to mark the end of something.

The episode and the season itself ends to the tune of I Got You Babe as Don lies in bed in his apartment, Megan curled up beside him, looking out the window. But that's not where I want to end this write-up. The passing of the key isn't the only symbolic part of this penultimate scene, and it's a fantastically framed and choreographed moment to wrap up the scene.

With a bottle of rye (like the place Betty is moving to) between them, a final shared cup to truly mark the end of their marriage sitting on the counter, Don and Betty go their separate ways. Literally speaking, inside the now hollowed out house where they spent the greater bulk of their marriage, they move in different directions. Don is going one way, Betty is going the other, and a marriage that ended in season 3 is well and truly, seemingly irrevocably over now. Here is where the season truly ends, in the same house where the first episode of the first season ended, seen for presumably the last time. There is no more Don & Betty. Now there is simply Don, and there is simply Betty.

https://i.imgur.com/vxVxhVC.mp4

Episode Index

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 23:40 on Aug 28, 2021

Mover
Jun 30, 2008

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Nobody wants to think they're a type :v:

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

by Jeffrey of YOSPOS


And there it is.

Jerusalem posted:

They kiss and they part, Don telling her that he will miss her. Then she's out the door, exactly the kind of supportive, understanding woman that Don needs in addition to somebody with the intelligence, insight AND training to help him most.

Don has never said he loves her, at least not out loud, but here is the woman (or at least the type of woman) that he needs in his life. Does he understand that? Or as with so much in his life is she just something he takes for granted and won't realize how badly he needed her until it's too late? Just like with Betty, just like with his family, hell even just like his relationships with his friends and co-workers?

Started reading this just now and cackling because of what comes later in the episode

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



I love how Megan slowly creeps to the foreground of the show across the course of the season. Even then, it still comes as a shock when Don proposes to her, and despite what he tells Peggy about it going on for awhile, they've literally only been in a romantic relationship for like 2 days when he proposes.

I'm fairly certain that this episode is the first time we learn her surname, so Roger not knowing who the hell Miss Calvet is really comes across strong: everybody just knows her as Megan. She's the pretty face, the girl Peggy shows off to Joyce, that was there to sit at the front desk and be a pleasant thing for the likes of Keller to look at. The girl told not to read a book because it interfered with her pleasing image as a woman whose only required "value" was that she was very pretty. It's unfair to her that everybody (including Peggy and Joan) seem to assume she doesn't have any other qualities than her beauty, but there's also been no opportunity for them to see her as anything other than that... and certainly not as somebody Don Draper would suddenly propose to.

Maybe it'll all work out great or for the best, but it's very telling that Don throws aside Faye in favor of Megan: the woman who makes him feel good as opposed to the woman who was actually good for him. That sucks for Faye, and I suspect it's eventually going to suck for Megan too.

roomtone
Jul 1, 2021

The rising star of GBS!


The transition between the end of the California sequence to the proposal scene has always been weird to me. Maybe it's supposed to be - but I remember the first time I saw it, I didn't even realise that they weren't in the hotel anymore and were actually back in Don's apartment.

Then once I realised it, I thought - okay, well it must be been a narrative ellipsis where weeks passed in that fade transition. But now that I think about it, the topaz pantihose meeting happens that weekend and they announce it's success on the same day Don and Megan announce their engagement. So it actually was just a couple of days, after all.

I always think about it when I come to this point in the show because Don's love admission there feels like bad writing, at the first impression - but that's only because I'm familiar with characters just wildly attaching to new characters in TV shows when it hasn't been earned. The difference here is that feeling of 'eh?? ...you do?' is intentional.

Don's normally so jaded about absolutely everything but from the flashbacks we've seen he wasn't always like that, it was during the years with Betty he drifted that way, so he's probably felt some kind of spark with Megan that he hasn't felt in years and is just grabbing it with everything he's got. The man's high as gently caress. Although, I do like them together in this episode and Megan's gradual then sudden rise to the forefront is cool.

roomtone fucked around with this message at 22:52 on Aug 28, 2021

Lady Radia
Jul 13, 2021

Despite everything, it's still you.


Jerusalem posted:

Maybe it'll all work out great or for the best, but it's very telling that Don throws aside Faye in favor of Megan: the woman who makes him feel good as opposed to the woman who was actually good for him. That sucks for Faye, and I suspect it's eventually going to suck for Megan too.

I feel like this reading is spot-on and what the s4 Mad Men thread landed on too. Don had a choice between working hard on himself and being with someone who would push him, or taking the easy way out..

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



People who think Faye was a somehow superior choice to Megan are falling into a trap. not that I necessarily blame them. but it's the same as California. wiener subtly pushes them as cure all's for dons problems. And just like no amount of running away will ever save don, no woman in his life would have saved him either.

Don needs to learn to love and accept himself before he himself can be loved and accepted.

honestly it's masterful writing from Weiner. he's managed to slip the viewer into the same toxic easy answer mindset as don, so much so they don't realize they're in it.

Lady Radia
Jul 13, 2021

Despite everything, it's still you.


Gaius Marius posted:

People who think Faye was a somehow superior choice to Megan are falling into a trap. not that I necessarily blame them. but it's the same as California. wiener subtly pushes them as cure all's for dons problems. And just like no amount of running away will ever save don, no woman in his life would have saved him either.

Don needs to learn to love and accept himself before he himself can be loved and accepted.

honestly it's masterful writing from Weiner. he's managed to slip the viewer into the same toxic easy answer mindset as don, so much so they don't realize they're in it.


Youíre kind of missing the entire point of the dichotomy. Itís not that sheís the solution, itís that she is symbolic of the kinds of change in himself and his mindset he needs to make. Hence why Megan is the counter example - sheís the easy out, easy pushing away of problems, in that symbolism.

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



Lady Radia posted:

Youíre kind of missing the entire point of the dichotomy. Itís not that sheís the solution, itís that she is symbolic of the kinds of change in himself and his mindset he needs to make. Hence why Megan is the counter example - sheís the easy out, easy pushing away of problems, in that symbolism.

No I'm absolutely not Faye isn't the kind of change don needs to make, It's what viewers trick themselves into believing he needs. It's the same with California.

Sash!
Mar 16, 2001




Jerusalem posted:

The girl told not to read a book because it interfered with her pleasing image as a woman whose only required "value" was that she was very pretty.

I always took that very differently. Reading a book is an engrossing activity that is harder to disengage from and gives approaching people pause when trying to interrupt the reader. A magazine is trivial and interruptible. It is also, conveniently, full of ads, which sort of makes it look related to the place of business.

That's also how I've always had it play out in the real world. I've had quiet or slow periods at work where no one would bat an eye at someone reading the news or wikipedia or something, but busting out a book would be roundly discouraged.

Lady Radia
Jul 13, 2021

Despite everything, it's still you.


Gaius Marius posted:

No I'm absolutely not Faye isn't the kind of change don needs to make, It's what viewers trick themselves into believing he needs. It's the same with California.

Again, and I mean this without trying to sound rude, I think youíre ignoring or rejecting the obvious symbolism. Yes, Faye herself, and indeed any woman like her, is not the kind of change needed, but the introspection she pushed for [i]absolutely[i] is. Don needs to do the hard thing of changing himself, acknowledging his flaws, and internalizing where heís broken. Instead he picked the easy way out. The show is.. super explicit about this! Itís not a subtle TV show.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



From memory she states that she was told her reading a book "didn't look right", and that she doesn't enjoy reading the magazine at all but has to read SOMETHING because otherwise she's just... sitting there. Also I believe that Bert is sitting there in the background and of course HE gets to read whatever the gently caress he wants. I like to think that HE was the one who told her (or worse, it was Pete) not to read, and I really get the impression that they were more concerned about the imagery for people walking through the door than whether Megan would be too focused on what she was reading to immediately greet them. They want clients to walk in and see a very attractive woman, and it's a (gross) running joke that Keller openly leers at her and tells Don how much he enjoys looking at her whenever he comes to visit.

Also this reminds me why I am so happy I don't work in an office. I actually did a brief stint on a front desk waaaaay back before I went to college and goddamn was that a miserable and boring job, and the books I brought with me really got me through the inactive parts of the day.

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



Lady Radia posted:

Again, and I mean this without trying to sound rude, I think youíre ignoring or rejecting the obvious symbolism. Yes, Faye herself, and indeed any woman like her, is not the kind of change needed, but the introspection she pushed for [i]absolutely[i] is. Don needs to do the hard thing of changing himself, acknowledging his flaws, and internalizing where heís broken. Instead he picked the easy way out. The show is.. super explicit about this! Itís not a subtle TV show.

I disagree Putting the onus on someone else "Fixing" you is an toxic way to have a relationship. Having a Psychologist Girlfriend would be just as much of a quick nonfix as having Betty as a Rich society wife, or Megan as a good with children wife. Faye knew jackshit about what Don's actual life was like any insight she had was just as superfluous as Megan knowing that his birth name is Dick.

Faye could not push forward Don towards introspection because Don himself was not in a place that he could have allowed that of himself.

Lady Radia
Jul 13, 2021

Despite everything, it's still you.


Gaius Marius posted:

I disagree Putting the onus on someone else "Fixing" you is an toxic way to have a relationship. Having a Psychologist Girlfriend would be just as much of a quick nonfix as having Betty as a Rich society wife, or Megan as a good with children wife. Faye knew jackshit about what Don's actual life was like any insight she had was just as superfluous as Megan knowing that his birth name is Dick.

Faye could not push forward Don towards introspection because Don himself was not in a place that he could have allowed that of himself.


Again, thatís the whole point. Thatís why Don picked Megan. I feel like youíre disregarding that Don picked the toxic-woman-who-saves-me act he actually did in favor of revising the record here, and what the show EXPLICITLY states, which is Don picked the easy way out here, rather than what Faye represented

Bismack Billabongo
Oct 9, 2012

Wet


I am very excited for Jeru to experience season 5 since itís the best one. I am not good at analyzing stuff so I wonít try but S4 is excellent and I cherish that sweet sweet Suitcase. Thank you for the great write ups Jeru.

Goofballs
Jun 2, 2011





Back in the day I found the episode kind of confounding. Don being led by his dick isn't new. Don proposing an insane escape to some lady isn't new. Getting engaged and telling everyone feels nuts to me. I felt confident he was going to gently caress things up with Faye but his escape hatch from intimacy is a permanent relationship in the eyes of everyone else? It just didn't feel like Don.

Still doesn't I guess. I know they were bringing Megan more and more into the storyline so they were going to do something with her but I can't help but wonder if the Faye actor wanted out or less hours and the Megan actor didn't so they just adapted. I just find, 'you kept the kids upbeat at Disneyland so marry me' insane.

The rest of it all works. Joan and Peggy laughing about it is perfect. Its just up until this point it doesn't feel like Don has any special connection to Megan, they have sex but its not I love you sex. Its isn't this fun for both of us. What's her favorite flower Don? Eh the french ones. Does she take milk with her coffee? She makes me coffee. He doesn't know her at all. I felt bad for Midge but Don knows way more about her.

It could be he was reaching out for some ideal platonic relationship that consists of I don't know, good with kids, hot and that's it in response to spiritual emptiness. Just didn't feel like it when watching. He had a solid relationship with Faye even if he was of course being a poo poo on the side.

Goofballs fucked around with this message at 02:22 on Aug 29, 2021

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk







She's the boundless promise of tomorrow, faye is the dreary necessity of yesterday

Blood Nightmaster
Sep 6, 2011

“また遊んであげるわ!”


The Take did what I thought was a pretty good post-series character study on Megan a while back--spoilers for the rest of the show, of course:

https://youtu.be/WdVUocAerQw

ElectronicOldMen
Jun 18, 2018


I remember watching this episode along with the live viewing thread as it quickly imploded. Wonderful times.

I think what makes it work for me, alongside the purposeful abruptness of it all, is the fact that I for some reason expected Don to be better than this. Even though up until this point we have seen Don go through some terrible things and also do some terrible things for some reason up until this episode I never believed that Don would just marry his secretary. It just seemed too cliche and pathetic.

On rewatching the series I quickly realised that I had no reason to think Don wouldn't go for the easy way out. And Don has time and time again made impulsive and dramatic decisions. I guess it is fitting that I had been fooled by the image of Don I had in my head instead of looking at the reality of the character I had been shown.

stromboni
Dec 22, 2008


ElectronicOldMen posted:

I remember watching this episode along with the live viewing thread as it quickly imploded. Wonderful times.
haha watching this episode live felt surreal. Like, is Don losing his mind? Is the show? Obviously the hindsight of the next season helps

Jerusalem posted:

Roger can't help with a little tease, calling for drinks and asking Megan to fetch the ice, before admitting the joke and gleefully telling Don that now he sees, THIS is the way to behave.
For a character who gets a lot of the best lines, this one is still an all-timer. Perfectly Roger, a character who always shows a hint of awareness but only just enough to convince himself heís self-aware, stopping short of having the real self-awareness to understand the destructiveness of his behavior or correct it

stromboni fucked around with this message at 16:21 on Aug 29, 2021

Crespolini
Mar 9, 2014



Gaius Marius posted:

I disagree Putting the onus on someone else "Fixing" you is an toxic way to have a relationship. Having a Psychologist Girlfriend would be just as much of a quick nonfix as having Betty as a Rich society wife, or Megan as a good with children wife. Faye knew jackshit about what Don's actual life was like any insight she had was just as superfluous as Megan knowing that his birth name is Dick.

Faye could not push forward Don towards introspection because Don himself was not in a place that he could have allowed that of himself.


It's not that Faye has an obligation to Don. Rather, if he could have recognized why she'd be better for him than Megan and more, actually acted on that and chosen Faye, it'd have been a large and healthy step for him towards fixing himself.

ANOTHER SCORCHER
Aug 12, 2018
Probation
Can't post for 14 days!


This is a great episode because Don really does listen to Faye's advice and take a big step forward in making peace with himself - he brings his children to Anna's home and tells them about her and his "nickname". That he would couple this with a tremendous step backwards as a psychological counterbalance makes sense.

Bismack Billabongo
Oct 9, 2012

Wet


I think when taking the season five premiere under consideration it is crucial to remember that there was a much longer layoff between Tomorrowland and the next episode. AMC wanted Matthew weiner to cut costs by writing some characters out and he refused to do so, AMC ended up backing down but the dispute went on for a while. This is important because as has been mentioned Tomorrowland was seen by a not insignificant portion of viewers as baffling at best or a shark jump at worst. Those people were wrong but the important takeaway was that this seemingly out of nowhere proposal twist lingered in peopleís minds for almost two years. Imagine if these sad fucks tried watching the Venture Brothers.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Everything about AMC bewilders me. I get wanting to not run wild with money but it seems like every single hit show they make they immediately insist the next season be set inside a single room with only one chair.

Goofballs
Jun 2, 2011





SlipkPIe posted:

haha watching this episode live felt surreal. Like, is Don losing his mind? Is the show? Obviously the hindsight of the next season helps


He absolutely looks like he is when he's proposing. He's bug eyed like someone having a religious vision or a manic episode. The normal Don madness is he knows what he's doing is wrong but he can't seem to stop himself because his vices flatter him whether that's alcohol or affairs.

Offhand I think he's proposed running away to like 3 women by this point, Midge, his kid's teacher and the lady who owned Menkins department store. There might be a fourth I'm forgetting. The fantasy was always totally vague though, escaping all this. This time around what he's proposing has real world consequences that he is capable of foreseeing in detail that he knows he won't be able to walk back. It just didn't seem like the shithead we know.

Jerusalem posted:

Everything about AMC bewilders me. I get wanting to not run wild with money but it seems like every single hit show they make they immediately insist the next season be set inside a single room with only one chair.

There are walking dead episodes that are etched into my mind where characters restate basic positions over and over with camera changes to make it feel like there's momentum. Or the episode is there is a zombie down the well. What oh what will we ever do about the zombie in a well.

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Bismack Billabongo
Oct 9, 2012

Wet


Jerusalem posted:

Everything about AMC bewilders me. I get wanting to not run wild with money but it seems like every single hit show they make they immediately insist the next season be set inside a single room with only one chair.

Yeah itís baffling. This show was definitely more critic bait as opposed to a huge ratings smash (not saying thatís a bad thing, this is my favorite tv show ever front to back) but it was like they were trying to choke it out in the cradle.

Besides who of the main cast would really make sense to write out? Cooper is the only one i can think of and heís really not integral to the show at this point.

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