Mad Men: Tea Leaves

Posted on April 02, 2012

We thought it was signaled pretty hard last week, what with all the eyeliner and miniskirts, but in case there was any doubt left in the audience, it’s gone now, like a puff of pot smoke backstage at a Stones concert. The sixties are here in the world of Mad Men, in full force, with all the generational drama that came with the decade. Don tries to get a handle on the younger generation, first by questioning them and then, because he can’t help it, by lecturing them. Betty sits in her gigantic fainting couch of a house, glumly eating Bugles, and considering a world without her, where her ex-husband’s new wife will replace her after she’s gone and never a kind word will be said about her again. Roger continues his desperate attempts to stave off irrelevancy only to have the very last guy he hired overtake him and humiliate him. Even Peggy is feeling the sting of possible replacement by a younger, hipper version of herself. From pot-smoking teenagers to hipster Jews in the Allen/Bruce/Hoffman mold, to well-mannered black women quietly blazing trails, the world we all knew was going to hit these people like a tidal wave has finally landed on the shores of SCDP, leading to the lament that could define the series going forward: “When is everything going to get back to normal?”

Poor Betty. This may be the one storyline that gets the audience back on her side after last season’s ill-advised mama villainy that ended with firing Carla. Certainly we felt more sympathy toward her than we have since before she opened that box in Don’s desk drawer. If anyone in the early days of the show deserved a better life, it was Betty and here she is, having gone through hell to achieve it, more unhappy than ever; stuck in a dreadful mausoleum of a home and shoving food into her mouth to dull her disappointment. Her scene on the phone with Don was truly heartbreaking because it was the first time in years we saw the character drop any pretenses and be one hundred percent herself. What made it all the sadder was that the person underneath all the armor clearly has feelings for Don – or at least, for that part of her life Don represents. “Tell me what you always say,” she pleads with him, desperate for some reassurance. “Everything’s going to be alright,” he says in return, echoing the thousand times he lied and said the very same words to her back in the day. Please, please. I need you to lie to me one more time. I need to believe that lie for just the next few minutes. He understood that as well as she did and it’s why her phone call affected Don so much. The feelings he was having surprised himself. And let’s be clear here: we’re not suggesting either Don or Betty have “feelings” for each other in the sense that they want to get back together; just that they can’t ever escape how important the other one is to their lives and they’ve reached a somewhat comfortable place in their relationship where conversation has been reduced to codewords and phrases unique to them.

But if her frantic phone call with Don revealed a relationship slowly becoming comfortable, it’s apparently the only thing in her life that is. That HOUSE. Just as we all tried to drink in every detail of Don’s swanky new Manhattan pad last week, we suspect many viewers were cataloguing every detail of the Francis home this week, for entirely different
reasons. We can’t imagine that Betty would ever be happy in such a dreary place and we’re dying to know the story behind it. It seems unlikely that she and Henry managed to furnish that place top to bottom with antiques in such a short period of time, so we’re wondering if it wasn’t in Henry’s family already. We keep trying to put it in context with her life; like noting that she grew up in a semi-stuffy Main Line home herself, but her father’s house was Falling Water in comparison to that dungeon. Sally seemed fairly okay in her short scenes here but it sure doesn’t look like a fun house to grow up in.

And Henry is clearly a better husband to her than Don ever was; affectionate, caring, supportive and protective. He’s there for her, figuratively and literally, in every way that Don never was. So of course she’s as unhappy as she’s ever been. Without the excuse of Don screwing up her life, it’s become clear that Betty simply can’t be a happy person, no matter her circumstances. And it’s extremely telling that her most articulately voiced concern over her impending death was over the idea that Don’s “20 years old” wife (because the truth never gets to Betty’s pain the way an embellishment will) would raise her children and they’d never hear a kind word about her again. In other words, Betty’s main concerns were being replaced by someone younger and worrying about what people said about her. Even when faced with death, Betty remains the trivial, unhappy person she is.

Megan continues to shock us. We found her shrugging over Betty’s condition to be kind of cold, but we also think there was a subtext of some tension between the two of them, which is entirely to be expected but we’ll feel cheated if there isn’t at least one Betty/Megan confrontation this season. What we found shocking was that after Don informed her that he wouldn’t be spending the weekend in Fire Island with her and her young friends … she actually got him to change his mind and go. If you don’t quite grasp the significance of this, go watch any early episode where Betty could barely get Don to agree to sleep in his own house 5 nights a week. Go watch any episode where a woman tried to get him to do something he didn’t want to and he ran in the opposite direction, every single time. The second (or third) Mrs. Draper has talents and depths to her that continue to make her an intriguing addition to Don’s life.

On the flip side, Roger continues to decline and we fear the coming years are only going to be more and more disappointing for him. Pete’s a shithead; we think we can all agree on that. And his performance in the lobby was humiliating to Roger. But Roger has mistreated Pete since the day he hired him and he’s been coasting solely on his name and money ever since his one and only client left. As much as we feel bad for Roger, he earned this – and not because he’s smug or because he’s the older generation, but because he spent the last 6 years putting down people with talent and ambition while sitting around waiting for the recognition he felt was owed him simply by virtue of his last name. It surprised us to see him getting so chummy with Peggy. It’s kind of a refreshing take on the various office relationships going on. We rarely see these two together and here they are, commiserating like co-workers. Remember when she asked him for Freddie Rumsen’s office, only four years ago?

Stan seems to think Peggy made a mistake by hiring someone potentially more talented than she is, and the theme of the episode seems to bear this ominous prediction out. Maybe we’re getting cocky and complacent in our feelings, but we can’t imagine that Weiner and Co. will do much to unseat Peggy from her hard-won position near the top of the creative chain.  On the other hand, Michael’s work really was very good. And it didn’t escape us how much his return home to his father echoed Peggy’s return to see her mother and sister back in “Flight 1″ during season 2. Very similar apartment, very similar ethnic/religious tone. Michael Ginsberg IS Peggy Olsen. And we can’t be the only people who sensed an attraction, could we?

But we think the most telling moment of the episode (once again) came from Don: “We’re worried about you.” This in response to a pot-smoking teenager’s lament that grownups don’t want her to have any fun. Don can hang out backstage at a Stones concert, but he’s too square to get anything out of it (Harry, of all people, had an easier time of it) and when confronted with a Baby Boomer, can’t do anything but be a parental figure. That’s certainly appropriate on his part, but as someone whose entire professional life (and thus, his entire life) is based on his ability to understand people, his first response when face-to-face with the largest demographic in the history of the nation was to furrow his brow and lecture her. Don is no more ready for the youthquake than Roger is and understands it no better. It’ll be the Peggy Olsens and Michael Ginsbergs of the world who will wind up gently explaining to them that from now on, this is the new normal.

Just ask Dawn.

 

[Photo Credit: amctv.com]

    • http://www.facebook.com/andreas.stahl Andreas Stahl

      I forgot how amazingly good this show was. And to see you write about it to just reconfirms that belief: This is one of the best thing on television right now. I am so immersed in that world that I didn’t once think about anything meta, story developments, etc: What they show is what happens, and I believe every second of it. Compare this to almost any other show you write about about: This is powerful stuff.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        Completely agree. 

    • Cheri Lee

      “It’s always darkest before the Dawn” Roger Sterling is a hawt mess.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

        Laughing at that comment made me feel so wrong.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lucía-Gavello/1253586868 Lucía Gavello

          Laughing at Roger’s comments always makes me feel wrong… he’s such a witty little homophobic mysoginistic racist.

    • Yosa Addiss

      Oh, I totally understood Betty’s house on the first look- it is a castle!  Of course she would have a castle, and of course she wouldn’t realize that it was also a dungeon.  Brill!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

         It’s badly furnished. That house cries out to be fully furnished with huge pieces of furniture, massive draperies, enormous paintings. Instead someone with a 20th C. aesthetic has given it a sparse “modern” treatment and flat green walls. That out of scale light fixture in the front hallway is tragic.  In the real 1960′s probably every inch of that woodwork would have been painted a nice clean cheerful beige.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

      “it sure doesn’t look like a fun house to grow up in.”

      On the contrary, I would have LOVED to have grown up in a house like that – but I identified strongly with Wednesday Addams, so there you go.

      Otherwise – I really appreciate your commentary on this episode. I have to say (as a huge MM fan) that I found this the most boring episode of the series so far. Your insights helped me to see how it’s building up tensions that will be released later on.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

        I’m glad I wasn’t the only one.  I know the first few episodes can be a bit slow building up to the rest of the season, but I was pretty bored last night.  

        • cleep1000

          I had the same issue. Just wasn’t feeling it so much, after last week’s fabulosity.

      • luciaphile

         I LOVED the Francis house. Would kill to live in a place like that now.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

           In the mid 60′s it would have been considered an upper class eyesore. By the mid 1970′s it would be a Historic Treasure.

          • rosiepowell2000

            Perhaps the Francis home is ahead of its time in 1966.

          • malarkey

            If it survived the 70′s!! Grand old Victorians were still being torn down left & right in the 70′s where I live. It was only later, in the 80′s to early 90′s it would have been placed on the historic register. But I agree, that kind of house was an eyesore in the 60′s. 

            Personally, I love historical houses like that, and IMHO it should be furnished with period pieces. I would have LOVED to grow up in such a house.

        • Sweetbetty

           The set designers were very careful to light that house very dismally to make it look more like a mausoleum than an actual lived-in home.  I agree with whoever said that the house must have come to them fully furnished and decorated; I can’t imagine Betty decorating her home that way.  With more flattering lighting the house could look like a historic treasure.  But it does look huge with more rooms than they can possibly use so I’m wondering how they make use of all that space.  Many rooms are probably just shut off and unused.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

             There are probably rooms upstairs that haven’t been touched since 1945

            • P M

               Which makes me wonder: did Pauline decorate the house? Surely the 1st Mrs. Francis had different taste. Mother Francis strikes me as the Matriarch, with a capital M.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

            it was a DRAMATIC contrast to Don and Megan’s house

            • barbiefish

              Yes, there is a huge contrast between the two.  Strangely enough, I like them both a lot, as different as they are.  And when I was Sally’s age (I’m one year older than the character is) they both would have been fascinating to me for different reasons.

          • ballerinawithagun

            Your mausoleum comment is perfect. Exactly the way Betty is feeling. She is dying inside.

        • annieanne

          To me it looks like the second choice to film American Horror Story.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Curefreak Daniel Wheeler

         i thought it was quite dull and dreary too i was disapointed.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        my goodness, I thought it was anything but dull. LOTS of good lines and tension and interesting developments. 

      • John Gregor

        Ah!  So the line from last week where Don said (approximately) “Give my regards to Morticia and Gomez” was a reference to the house.  It didn’t make sense to me at the time as I didn’t really notice the exterior of the house.

        • deering24

          I think he said “Morticia and Lurch,” which was a nasty shot at Henry…:)

    • http://profiles.google.com/dorothymichael Dorothy & Michael n/a

      Yes, yes, OH yes.  To everything you said.  I think Peggy and Michael are going to be the forces of change within the company in a very short time.  They’ll bring out the best in each other. Thanks for this early morning post. 

      • EveEve

        Does anyone else think Ben Feldman’s (sigh…) Michael Ginsberg is going to become a fully-developed character very soon?  He’s getting the whole “family-background” treatment from from the start with the scene with his father in his apartment. 

    • allj

      I also loved the scene with Megan and Don at dinner with the Heinz people. Great way to begin the episode in which Betty reappears; the comparisons between the two Mrs. Drapers happened naturally.

      • mommyca

        I loved that scene because Heinz wife says to Megan (paraphrasing here): “oh, work talk! are you bored Megan?” and of course Megan is NOT bored and she is kind of surprised about that question, but of course, she says “oh yes”…. very nicely done….. 

        • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

          And the look on Don’s face shows surprise, understanding and pleasure that she has lied for the good of the agency.

    • Spicytomato1

      Great recap, thank you. One moment that stood out to me was when Don asked Betty on the phone if she wanted him to take the kids. It seemed to catch her off guard, as if the kids hadn’t even factored in to her thought process at all when she picked up the phone to call him. It definitely was not a “parent to parent” phone call. 

      Nagging makeup question that kept distracting me…was January Jones wearing a fat suit?

      • Sweetbetty

         She was absolutely wearing a fat suit.  And had an artificial double chin.  Her nose even looked fatter.

        • marishka1

          Even her hands were plumper.

          • ccinnc

             My son and I agreed that even her lips were fat.

            • Browsery

              I’m not great at spotting makeup (and I don’t try, because I don’t want to ruin the illusion), but those looked really fake.

            • cleep1000

              J.J. in a fat suit. Poor thing.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703335175 Hannah Shmulsky

              Yeah, she must be dying in that thing. Oh, the humanity!!

            • cleep1000

              Yeah, you know that had to be hard for her to do. She strikes me as someone used to relying on her looks. Although, that’s kinda perfect for the character she plays.

            • AnaRoW

               I just finished the episode and was wondering the same thing. I did a Google search and it doesn’t appear to have been a fat suit.  She actually did look like that towards the end of her pregnancy.

        • MK03

          I kept tying to spot the makeup last night, because I was sure she didn’t gain that much weight with her pregnancy. 

        • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com Julie

          but they forgot to fatten her legs– they were still slim!

          • Sweetbetty

             I’m larger than Fat Betty but my legs are good.  Fat has a funny way of depositing itself on various bodies.  I go up and down in weight and most of mine packs on at the midriff.  I have a friend who gains and loses and her’s always goes straight to her hips and butt. 

            • http://winemedinemecincinnati.com Julie

              That makes sense– I carry mine in my midriff and face– but I think they should have made her legs a bit plumper just so it didn’t look so much like a fat suit.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMU2QQUTAUEPU23MUTZBQ5W2PI Peter

              The fact that we’re calling her “Fat Betty” just made me laugh out loud. Oh goodness.

        • Megan Patterson

           I was more off put by when she got out of the bath and it was obviously someone’s body subbed in. Or like, they diigtally made her bigger? It was totally unproportional and weird looking!

        • Megan Patterson

           I was more off put by when she got out of the bath and it was obviously someone’s body subbed in. Or like, they diigtally made her bigger? It was totally unproportional and weird looking!

          • cleep1000

            Totally! That was a much older woman’s back and shoulders.

            • Sweetbetty

               Yes.  It was one thing to see a clothed chubby Betty but quite another to see her sagging, blotchy skin as she rose out of that tub.  Maybe that’s why I used the word “huge”, which some took exception to, to describe her.  It was just shocking to see a true representation of an abundant-size woman on TV.

      • Tina_M

        January Jones was pregnant in real life, so a fat suit was probably not necessary.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

          No, she was wearing a fat suit. This was full-body padding and a double chin, not a baby bump. Also, a body double was used for the tub scene. 

          • Tina_M

            My bad.  Perhaps I was thinking back to when *I* was pregnant and certainly wouldn’t have needed a fat suit or makeup to look fat.  It slipped my mind that JJ started out much skinnier and regardless of pregnancy would have needed a bit of help to look bigger. 

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

              I have not seen a lot of pictures of JJ pregnant, but I will bet she looked great. All belly

            • Browsery

              She started out very thin and she’s an actress who’s still a young woman so she of all people would be likely to avoid gaining a lot of weight.

              It made me feel good to realize it was fake weight because I’d feel sorry for anyone who had to lose that weight, especially in those circumstances.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

            Even her arms were chubby when she answered the phone. I think they were trying to show that she gained weight all over, which did not take over night. This has been a while in the making. The housecoats gave me goosebumps. How old do you think she is at this point? I was thinking around 33. “Middle aged” according to the Dr. Way too young for the housecoat thing. She is aging and giving up

            • Sweetbetty

               Oh, did you see how the Dr. using the term “middle aged” shook her?  That wad probably almost as bad as hearing the word “cancer”, which was never used except for when Don told Megan about Betty.

            • Patricia Biswanger

              The word “cancer” was used by Don when he told Roger.  And I thought it odd that he confided in Roger, though it showed that (a) he really is concerned about Betty, on some level, and (b) only another old-timer with a new wife would get it.

            • Sweetbetty

               You’re right; it was when he was talking to Roger, thanks for correcting that.  My point was that the actual “C-word” was only used once in the episode, like it was too horrible to even speak.  I thought there was a lot of significance in that scene, too.  As bad as feelings are between those two men, they have a lot of history together and Don probably feels more connected to Roger than any other man in the office.

            • Browsery

              Don was extremely concerned, and I also think he was trying to make Roger feel better after being humiliated by Pete by sharing something something deeply personal.  Plus, Roger knows Betty, and even made a pass at her once when drunk.

            • kj8008

              As I have thyroid disease, I found more sympathy (and compassion) for Betty.  When she was at lunch with her ‘friend’ and she spoke of her feelings, I couldn’t help but I identify with her feelings of isolation in an everyday world.

              It could be a game-changer for Betty now – making her grow up even more.  Well-written episode folks.

              Everything WILL be ok, Betty.

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

              Yes, I thought it was pretty powerful, maybe because I’ve gone through that exact health scare…

        • serenitynow02

          That did not look like pregnancy chubby in many scenes, more like Eddie Murphy fat suit territory. I actually found it a little distracting because it did not look convincing all the time.

          • Spicytomato1

            I know, that’s why I asked. At first I thought it was pregnancy weight but then when she was laying in bed you could see a weird line at her jawline where the skin tone didn’t match.

            And that was tricky camera work when she got out of the tub because when they showed her face you could still see the chubby arm/shoulder.

            Ack! Hopefully she’ll drop the weight soon so as to eliminate the distraction, although from the looks of the sundaes she demolished I fear the fat suit will continue to get bigger.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

              The scene with Betty devouring the two ice cream sundaes was hilarious.

            • http://twitter.com/margot907 Margot Wiegele

              That scene reminded me of my mother and I thought it was really sad.

            • Jessi03

               Me, too!  It was exactly like that with me and my mom when I was a young teen.

            • http://twitter.com/margot907 Margot Wiegele

              That scene reminded me of my mother and I thought it was really sad.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

              How about when Sally watched Betty scarf down hers, and then didn’t want to finish her own?  Eep

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              Please Sally, don’t develop an eating disorder!!

            • Patricia Biswanger

              I think Betty is going to be developing an addiction to amphetamines, and the weight will fall off.

            • serenitynow02

              I thought about that. I don’t think her desire for “diet” pills is going to go away so easily. Especially since losing so much weight would require a lot more work than Betty is probably willing to do….

            • luciaphile

              Betty was so disciplined about her weight that when she was pregnant with Gene she was eating melba toast. It’s not about the work/will power. The weight gain is probably a combined effect from her thyroid and presumably a symptom of depression.

            • Sweetbetty

               That’s exactly where I thought this storyline was heading until the tumor was found.

            • TheDivineMissAnn

              Me too.

            • formerlyAnon

              Very era-appropriate. And not viewed with the kind of alarm we’d have today, or that there’d be in even ten years time.

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

              aha…

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UXHOYXPNJJ4MQH6IHYSI3G5ILI M

          Are you joking?  That was the worst fat suit ever.  They also did a terrible job with Peggy’s in season one.  But this was just as bad.  We saw JJ pregnant all over the place.  She didn’t look like that.  It’s such a bad job that it is distracting.  It takes away from the story for me. 

          • cleep1000

            Agreed. I couldn’t stop looking at “it” instead of at her.

        • Jessica Goldstein

          TLo posted some pictures of January Jones when she was pretty far along in her pregnancy and the woman looked marvelous. I’m willing to believe that she could have added some water weight at the very end, but unless the camera adds 30 pounds, I think they had use a fat suit, makeup, etc. here.

        • pottymouth_princess

           They didn’t begin filming until after JJ gave birth and she only gained like 20 lbs. They gave her a 50 lb. fat suit.

      • http://twitter.com/wednesdaydreams Natalie

        yes, she was, it’s done in shows all the time, they did it for Peggy’s character in season one. January Jones has always been very slim, even when she was pregnant.

        • amyfromnj

          Thank you! I tried telling this to my husband several times last night. He kept saying it was her pregnancy weight. I kept saying it is make up!!! JJ is a twig.

      • MilaXX

         yes she was preggers, but they made her overall fatter with padding

      • Browsery

        Not only was she wearing a fat suit, I assume she was wearing some kind of facial prosthesis that plumped out her cheeks.  Elisabeth Moss had one in the first season.

      • clairellis

        No way that was a fat suit. Did you see when she was getting out of the bath tub. Fat suits don’t jiggle that way. She’s still gorgeous, she just ate her emotions a little…well and she was pregnant…

    • UrsNY

      Michael Ginsberg is a good addition. I liked him. But it’s painful that the two characters I sympathize with the most are headed for conflict. I’m pre-wincing. I agree so much about Betty and about the Francis residence. Eeek! It’s a beautiful building that’s being cruelly abused by fugly decor. I love Don the Square. And Megan’s coldness didn’t surprise me. I predict she’ll less humane than Betty by the end.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

      I thought it was interesting that the episode was bookended by Betty and Don each being coaxed by the new spouse to go somewhere they didn’t want to go. It seems like Don “losing” bodes better for his new marriage than Betty’s “winning” does for hers.

    • Sweetbetty

      Several things that struck me during the show:  Betty was shown slightly chubby in a fat suit and double chin but that body double they used when she was getting out of the tub was *huge*, much larger than the clothed Betty we were shown.  I was half expecting Sally to show up backstage at the Stones concert, having snuck out with some friends and made herself up to look older.  Glad she didn’t; that would have been pushing the drama for this episode.  The young girl who was flirting with Don got one of his business cards; what do you bet she ends up contacting him one day in the future.  Did anyone else catch Roger’s reference to Dawn, the new black secretary, as “Always darkest before the Dawn”?  And his racist comments regarding the Jewish new hire?  Bigotry run deep in that man and he’ll end up suffering for it one day.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OSYAJATXUH3QX7ZDDF52GXG4PU Janie R

        Don’t forget the blackface “entertainment” he did at his party.

        • Sweetbetty

           Oh, yeah.  And didn’t he have a few choice comments last week when all the black people showed up in response to the fake advertisement?  If not then, I’m sure there were others throughout the seasons.  The man never misses an opportunity to slip in a racist comment.

          • Browsery

            I’m not denying he’s a racist, but Roger never misses an opportunity to make fun of anyone.  Remember the joke he made after the English executive had his foot run over by the lawn mower and it had to be amputated?

            Too bad, he was just getting his foot in the door.

            And it was funny.

            • Sweetbetty

               Yeah, Roger never misses an opportunity to make a twisted comment.  And I’m ashamed to admit that I find most of them very witty.  He should get out of advertising since he’s way past his peak and become a stand-up comedian.

            • jenno1013

              Roger reminds me very much of the character Rocket Romano on ER, always coming out with a cringe-inducing-yet-witty comment and knowing no boundaries whatsoever.

            • Browsery

              That’s why I love this show and I find it extremely relevant.  Most of the time the bigots I meet are not neo-Nazis or in the Klan.  They’re people sort of like Roger: smart, charming, but they have an alarming side.

              I loved his comment on how hiring a Jew would make the firm seem “modern,” as if it were a decorating decision.

              It will be interesting to see what happens with Dawn, but if the show is realistic a lot of her energy is going to be spent being the perfect Token Negro Employee.

            • formerlyAnon

              Every one of these observations is absolutely perfectly spot on.

            • emcat8

              I think that’s exactly where they’re going with Dawn — watching Harry with his usual horribly awkward and ridiculous interactions with people trying to talk to her was painful.

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              Painfully delicious.

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              Painfully delicious.

      • Browsery

        Roger’s racist.  He’s sexist.  He’s also nice at times and usually very clever.  Mad Men isn’t the kind of show in which all villains get their punishment in the end.  It’s more subtle than that, which is why I like it.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        huge?? wow, you have a strange sense of size… I disagree that the body double was bigger. I think it was about right, actually. 

      • librarygrrl64

        “Huge?” Really? The fat suit bothered me a LOT more than the tub scene, which at least looked like a real person (which I’m assuming it was).

        • Sweetbetty

           I dunno, maybe it’s just me, and I’m heaver than “fat Betty”, but that naked body looked a lot larger than the clothed Betty last night.  I even noticed the sound effects of her rising up out of the water, reminiscent of when I went whale watching and the whales breeched the surface of the water, that seemed to emphasize the mass of her body.

          • librarygrrl64

            I still wouldn’t use the word “huge,” but I did assume that it was a body double because there’s no way that Betty”s back is that broad, weight gain or not.

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              Exactly. Betty is not that broad. The double from the tub is truly “big boned”, whereas Betty has just “put on a few pounds”.

              A rare misstep for Mad Men.

      • michelle shields

        I was hoping the girl he gave the business card to was the daughter of the man from Heinz. Still a possibility?

      • deering24

        Yeah, Roger is in for one ugly fall because everything he’s relied on–wit, charm, status–is not going to be enough to keep covering his bone-deep nasty flaws–his sense of entitlement, laziness, and bigotry. I hope Dawn will be the first to start handing him his head. ;)

    • Scimommy

      Two points: I thought the Betty cancer scare made her put things in perspective for the first time in her life and try to enjoy the life she has (have sex with her husband, smell her son’s head, watch her kids play). I can’t quite figure out how to interpret the last scene – with Sally and ice cream in the kitchen. Is it that Betty has learned nothing from her experience and will continue her life as a bored, depressed housewife who finds comfort in food, or is it that she has learned to accept herself as she is and can now enjoy the ice cream guilt-free?

      Second point: when Don so uncharacteristically acquiesced to Megan regarding Fire Island, all I could think was “Just give it time…” For now he is in love with her and will do what she asks. I firmly believe it’s only a matter of time before he starts lecturing and domineering her.

      • sherrietee

         No, I’m sure she hasn’t accepted herself as is at all, and in fact, will soon be looking at Sally as her competition, as well as continue to try to live vicariously through her.  That’s a seriously unhealthy relationship.

        • Browsery

          Maybe, but Betty seem uncharacteristically kind to Sally.  Or maybe she just wanted her parfait. (Kidding).

          • deathandthestrawberry

            I agree. I think Betty was making an attempt to connect with her daughter. But Sally is getting older, and probably not that interested interested in eating ice cream with her mother. Or perhaps already aware of the emotional pitfalls with dealing with her mother. I felt very sorry for Betty throughout most of the episode.

        • MK03

          I suspect she’ll start hounding Sally about her weight. I was expecting Betty to snipe at her during the ice cream scene. Betty is very passive-aggressive, especially when it comes to Sally, so I would not be a bit surprised to see her start projecting her neuroses about her figure onto her daughter. Just one more thing Sally will have to tell her therapist about one day…

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

            actually, I think Sally was already neurotic in that scene, not wanting to get fat like her mom by eating the ice cream. it should have been a joyous fun moment with Mom, but she was horrified. 

            • Browsery

              I thought Sally was wise.   I’ve had enough of this ice cream and look at what’s happened to Mommy.  

              Funny, I can think of a number of times when she’s called Don “Daddy,” but not any when she referred to Betty as “Mommy.”

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

              true re: calling Betty Mommy. Mom, yes. Mommy no. 

            • luciaphile

              Or she was just uncomfortable spending time with her mother.

            • KaileeM

               Oh, I agree. Sally will probably have some issues with food or body image this season. Not just the sundae scene from this week, but she took interest in Megan’s “just black coffee for me” breakfast from last week’s episode.

          • Maggie_Mae

            In past seasons, we already saw Betty “concerned” about Sally’s weight.  And Betty’s mother had been rather cruel about hers….

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

              Yes – I think it was in Season 1 when they had a family photo taken and Betty said, “Sally looks fat.” She was about 6 at the time.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        oh no. There was guilt and sadness and despair in that ice cream eating…

        • Spicytomato1

          I agree. I thought JJ did a great job conveying all that in that scene.

      • sagecreek

        I just saw Sally developing an eating disorder…

      • BayTampaBay

        Sorry guys, but I must admit that I think Megan is just plain fun and I do not see Betty (except for Rome) as any type of fun whatsoever. 

        When Meagan “drags” Don out to do something, I am sure he has a goood time or is at least entertained. 

    • serenitynow02

      Don can hang out backstage at a Stones concert, but he’s too square to get anything out of it…
      Au contraire. Don may have been a fish out of water to some extent, but he also did not waste the opportunity to do a mini-focus group on that teenage girl, trying to figure out what about the Stones was appealing to her generation. You can bet he’s filing that away to use at some point. Harry was the real loser, pretending to be hip by telling an “insider” story about Charleton Heston that would not have resonated with any teen girl, and then signing up the wrong band to boot.

      I think Don is more interesting this season because he’s a bit less predictable. Let’s see how far that takes him.

      • sherrietee

         He was filing it away to use at the Heinz meeting as to why they do NOT want the Stones to be their ad for them to neatly avoid having to explain that he couldn’t even get in to meet with them in the first place.

        • Sweetbetty

           Is this in the same period that some ketchup commercial was using Carly Simon’s “Anticipation”?  I wonder if they’ll tie that in somehow.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1260924501 Frank Butterfield

            That happened a few years later.  “Anticipation” was released in 1971 and I think I remember the first time I saw that commercial was either 1975 or 1976.

          • Browsery

            I’m sure that “Anticipation” was in the 1970s.  Incidentally, I’ve read that “You’re So Vain” was Simon’s take on Mick Jagger.

            • Ogden1990

              I always thought it was referring to James Taylor, which makes a hell of lot LESS sense than Mick Jagger.

            • Jessi03

               Apparently all she’s said about it is that the man has an E and an R in his full name.  Top contenders are Mick Jagger, James Taylor, and Warren Beatty.

            • TheDivineMissAnn

              I believe Carly revealed the name of the person she was writing about to a man who had bid for it at a charity auction.  I think this was several years ago.

            • Jessi03

              That’s what I heard, too! Apart from that, I’d just heard the E.R. thing.

            • formerlyAnon

              Warren Beatty is the one I’ve always heard. Not that that means anything; the celebrity gossip of former years was even LESS reliable back when we didn’t have the Internet to cross-check every rumor.

            • girliecue

              If memory serves correctly, it was Warren Beatty. The Mick Jagger tie-in is that he sang back up on the song. Listen to it. It’s unmistakably Mick.

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              … but did you know she wrote “Anticipation” about Cat Stevens?

        • serenitynow02

          Perhaps. But I see it more as Don trying to understand a bigger generational concept than just the Heinz ad. He’s trying to figure out what makes these young whipper snappers tick.

      • jenno1013

        The Charlton Heston thing bugged me.  I just looked it up on imdb…Charlton Heston was 43 in 1966, so same age as Harrison Ford circa “Witness.”  Ben Hur came out only seven years prior.  A teenager then would have known who Charlton Heston was.  A teenager now not knowing?  Sure, but not then.

        • Sweetbetty

           I thought that, too.  I turned 18 in ’66 and I certainly knew who he was.  He may not have been one of my screen idols, but I and my contemporaries certainly knew who he was.

        • serenitynow02

          Sure she might have known, but I’m certain she would have cared less about him and had zero interest in Harry’s naked Heston tale. Heston would have been totally “square,” back then, when measured against the Stones or the Beatles. Especially since he was always very politically and socially conservative.

          Harrison Ford was a major figure in Star Wars, which understandably gave him major teenage cred, not at all the same thing with Ben Hur…

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      Betty & Henry’s house has the same vibe as the mansion at the end of Citizen Kane.  Soaring ceilings, rooms so huge the people in them looked diminutive, almost an echo when people speak. 

      I like that they worked in January’s pregnancy as weight gain, rather
      than attempting to camouflage her pregnancy with clothing, positioning,
      etc.   As so as the doctor told her the weight could stem from psychological issues, I thought BINGO!  You hit the nail on the head, Doc!

      Poor Betty, she had and has been given so much,  yet she lives a life unfulfilled.

      • MK03

        My mom and I were discussing Betty and her various issues, and she described that generation as the “lost women”: The last generation of women expected to be nothing more than a dutiful, passive housewife. They were young enough to see the changes on the horizon and want more for themselves, but were powerless to do anything about it when they were still “young.” The change came after their time, so to speak. 

        • http://twitter.com/lovingrightnow1 Gavin Darling

          ..thats my mum in a nutshell. 

      • Jessi03

         Good call on the Xanadu comparison! 

        • TheDivineMissAnn

          THAT was the name of it!  I couldn’t remember!
           

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

      The only thing I loved about this episode was the fact that Don’s secretary is named Dawn & the play on words that ensued.  I found it slow and relatively boring.  

      I too noticed that Megan got Don to change his mind and thought, WOW, that’s never happened.  They still appear in their newlywed phase, and though she seems to have parts of him figured out, I still question how long it will last with the obvious age gap causing some issues.  Though Megan’s clothes, again were to die for.  

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        She was SUPER stylish, especially compared to SUPER drab Peggy and SUPER shlumpy/old Betty

        • formerlyAnon

          I always think being easily amused is going to be a godsend when I’m old and confined to my nursing home.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Liz-Norris/26609454 Liz Norris

        I laughed at every single Don/Dawn joke. Because I’m easily amused, apparently.

        • Sweetbetty

           I used to work with a girl from upper NY state and she was appalled at the way I and others here in PA pronounced those two names the same.  She pronounced “Don” with more of an “a” sound, almost sounding like “Dan”, while she really drew out the “aw” of “Dawn” so you always knew which word she was saying.  I laughed at all the name jokes too, even Roger’s racist “always darkest” one.  Mad Men writers have a caustic wit.

      • Jessi03

         Oh, and Harry’s awkward Don/Dawn joke!  That made me more uncomfortable than nearly anything else that he did, which is saying quite a lot for Harry.

    • sweetlilvoice

      Thank you for posting the episode so quickly! It’s the best part of my Monday. I agree…there is tension between Peggy and Michael.  He’s as awkward as she is! And he was pretty cute too. I couldn’t believe he showed up in jeans..that right there tells you that times are changing. I started screaming when they showed Dawn! Yes!! Go girl. Poor Betty…her fat suit is as impressive as Peggy’s was in Season 1.

      I thought Betty looked very pretty though, younger than ever. The 60s styles can be very maturing and Betty looked so young without all the heavy makeup. It’s the redemption of Betty Draper.

      • mellbell

        Michael’s pants looked more like blue chinos than jeans to me, but I’ll have to see the Mad Style post to be certain.

        • Browsery

          Chinos sounds more plausible.  I’ll wait for verification! :-)

      • Browsery

        I didn’t notice the jeans.  It signals that Michael has no idea of what’s appropriate or he’s really down-and-out.  No one who had worked for an ad agency as he had would show up for a copywriter’s job in jeans.

    • marishka1

      How sad it was that Betty wasn’t really relieved to learn she didn’t have cancer; instead she realized that that means there is something wrong with *her*, which can’t be pinpointed and potentially cured with chemotherapy.

      • formerlyAnon

        Kind of a nitpick, and I do completely agree with the overall point you make. But whatever hope a doctor held out, nobody in the ’60s really thought of a ‘cure’ with cancer.  It was very much the disease that was not named, because people were terrified by the very word simply because almost everyone regarded it as a death sentence. Outcomes may have been improving, but they were still pretty dismal and perceptions of them were worse.

        • Verascity

           Yeah, I took it as more “she realized that means there’s something wrong with her *and she can’t blame it on a fatal disease*.”

        • deering24

          I wonder if Betty’s character is a bit of a Weiner nod to Jacqueline Susann. Betty shares a few thing in common with Anne Welles of the VALLEY OF THE DOLLS crew–classy, beautiful, a momentary “It” girl who slides into pills because having “everything” can’t give her what she needs. As well, Susan’s biggest secret (outside her autistic son) was having cancer and fearing the news “killing” her glam image.

      • artsykelly

        It’s pretty indicative of out fatphobic society… better to have cancer as a reason for being fat than simply being fat!

        • Browsery

          Well, she did look awful, and considering that her boring lifestyle is encouraging her to overeat, it was kind of depressing.  There’s not much she can change: She has three kids and is expected to stay home, no marketable skills, and she’s stuck in a hideous house for which she’s supposed to be grateful.

          I was shocked by her weight because she always seemed to be such a disciplined person in regard to things she thought important, such as appearance and grooming.

          • Spicytomato1

            Yes, I saw it as a big about-face for Betty, too. I can’t imagine the Don-era Betty munching on Bugles while watching a soap.

            • Jessi03

               Don-era Betty always had friends around, whether at home or at the stables.  I think Betty Francis is a very lonely woman. If I miss her friends, she must be going crazy without them.  Some of them were pretty hilarious, even if everything was a competition between them. 

            • kcarb1025

              She ran her friends off. They all got on her nerves for one reason or another, so voila, cut out of Betty’s life. She could make new friends and have stuff, even if it was just Junior League stuff, to do if she WANTED to, but she doesn’t. That was true in Ossining and it’s true in Albany.

          • Sweetbetty

             I thought it was telling, too, that she was sitting with Sally eating their ice cream sundaes.  It was as if she wanted a partner in crime.  In past seasons they shown Sally watching Betty getting ready to go out and fussing endlessly with her hair and make-up and that had to make an impression on Sally that it was very important for a woman to look as good as possible so she’s probably a bit confused at this new mom who doesn’t seem to care as much about appearances.

            • TheDivineMissAnn

              As you say, Sally liked to watch her Mom get fussing and primping and getting dressed for a night out.  Contrast that with the opening scene where Sally is unsuccessfully trying to close the zipper on Betty’s dress.  Maybe that’s why she didn’t finish her ice cream?

            • http://www.facebook.com/megania Megan Ishler Anderson

               THIS. All the comments above discussing that scene miss the point to my way of viewing it — Betty always wants Sally to be a mini-me. Before she played “Let’s both be thin and pretty!” and now she is playing “Let’s both be fat and find solace in food!” And Sally’s rejecting the ice cream is many things (maybe she is hungry, maybe she is developing an eating disorder, etc) but one thing it most certainly is — a line drawn in the sand.

          • deering24

            In addition, Henry’s mom is running him, so Betty doesn’t even have what little control over her household/life she had as Don’s wife.

        • Browsery

          I don’t know that it’s purely fatphobic.  You tend to get more sympathy and support if you’re dying than if you’re overweight.  Especially back then.

      • MK03

        Excuse my ignorance, but was chemo being used then? During Betty’s tea with Joyce (BTW, who is she?? Betty clearly has a history with her, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen her before), I was struck by the fact that Joyce had a full head of hair that appeared to be entirely her own. And she seems to have been getting treatment for a while, so it’s not like she was new to it. Admittedly, I don’t know much about cancer treatments back then, but it seems almost impossible that she wouldn’t experience any hair loss if she was getting chemo. 

        • NDC_IPCentral

           I’m going through chemo right now, MK03, and I used to work for a pharmaceutical company that developed and marketed oncological preparations.  46 years ago there were far fewer treatment options for cancer – and Joyce’s particular cancer was not mentioned.  I believe that radiation and surgery were the choices for the most part.

          • MK03

            Godspeed!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

          I wondered about that as well. I think it’s possible that radiation therapy was more prevalent than chemotherapy in the ’60s, and that it’s less likely to cause hair loss than chemotherapy (depending on where the radiation is targeted)?

      • http://needtherapy.tumblr.com/ skadi1

        I wonder if that’s because she actually DOES have cancer. Maybe she wasn’t relieved because there was nothing to be relieved about. We only have her word that it was benign.

        • Sweetpea176

          I wondered that, too.

        • GinAndPopcorn

          I thought that Betty lied about the results of the test, too.

        • the_stars_under_their_feet

          I thought about that, but I don’t think that that would be in Betty’s character. I think that she’s not that emotionally  strong, and would want the sympathy, as she can be so childlike.

    • formerlyAnon

      Megan is too young to have any empathy for Betty, even if Betty weren’t The First Wife. Young in maturity but also doesn’t see the world in the same terms Betty does – but is too close to the days when the Betty’s were the top of the only tree available to a woman to be able to have empathy/sympathy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

        That could be. Meghan cannot even fathom leaving children behind at her stage.

      • Browsery

        Megan’s jealous, but she also seems to lack empathy and I don’t think her age is an excuse.  She’s 25.  Betty’s first spoken reaction to her potential bad news was amazingly shallow and self-centered, but her concerns were understandable.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        Funny, I really didn’t see her not having empathy. She was a little abrupt about it, but I didn’t see it as cold, just trying to be the optimistic let’s live life young woman she is. 

        • serenitynow02

          I agree. Plus, I think she had about as much empathy as the young second wife could be expected to have at that point…

          • Sweetbetty

             I thought it was odd, though, that Megan never asked what exactly was wrong with Betty.  Don sat her down and told her that Betty was “sick” and she never questioned what it was.  I would have been full of questions but Megan really didn’t seem to want to discuss it.  And I thought that her comment that Betty “just needed something to call you about” was really catty.  I didn’t get the feeling that Betty was making up excuses to call Don on a regular basis.

            • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

              that comment was really catty… but the way she said it made me think she’s pretty secure and not actually threatened by Betty. 

            • Sweetpea176

              I thought it was more than catty and downright mean-spirited.   I’m still on the dislike Megan train.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

        Yeah, I think a big difference between Betty and Megan is that Megan isn’t a housewife. She has a job away from the home, and it will be interesting to see how all that plays out. I think perhaps the biggest fallout from that is that Don can no longer separate his family man home life from his fast and loose work life. Megan’s there in both now, which is probably not unintentional on her part. She doesn’t want to become another Betty.

      • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

         Megan is 26 and Betty is what, 33? Funny how that 7 years makes them seem like two different generations when they could easily be sisters. I don’t think Megan was unfeeling, she started saying to Don how much she “loves Sally and…” presumably the boys, but Don cut her off not wanting to contemplate that.  I think she was trying to assure him she’d take on the role of mother without question, but when he cut her off, she went with his wishes and moved on. I think it shows she’s pragmatic in her responses to things. Like at the dinner with the Heinz people (are those Teresa Heinz Kerry’s parents?) when the Mrs. asked Megan if she was bored with the biz talk too and Megan said she was. She probably wasn’t, but knew she was there to impress the older couple so agreeing with the wife was the pragmatic response.

        • CPT_Doom

          I think Betty is closer to 36 – Sally is 12 after all, and Betty worked for a time in Italy after graduating from college, so would likely have been born in 1930. She did claim to be 28 in the first season, but many people think she was deliberately lying – shaving just a couple of years off.

          • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

             well, 36 would explain her being called “middle aged” for the time. lordy…

          • BayTampaBay

            Per Wikipedia, Betty was born in 1932.

        • Sweetbetty

           If anything the Heinzs would be Teresa’s in-laws, not parents.  I was wondering the same thing.  Did we hear any first names of the Heinsz mentioned?

          • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

             Oh, you’re right, in-laws. I just googled it and Teresa’s husband was Henry John Heinz III and they were married in Feb, 1966 – the same year as this episode. BUT, his parents (Henry John “Jack” Heinz II and Mom) were divorced apparently years before (per Wikipedia). So, not sure about who these folks in the show were supposed to be. Maybe John II and his 3rd wife Drue who were married in 1953? But, Drue would have been younger and less “old school” wife based on her background. So, who knows…?

            • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

               Keep in mind that the folks working with SCDP on Heinz Beans are not the same folks running the Heinz Ketchup division. When they were first introduced, he explicitly said it’s a separate group/division of the company, which is why they’re seeking separate advertising.

        • BayTampaBay

          “Like at the dinner with the Heinz people (are those Teresa Heinz Kerry’s parents?)”

          NO! They would be her parents-in-law as Teresa married the almost sole heir to the Heinz’s fortune. 

        • cluecat

          I thought the aging first wife thing was a bit of a stretch given that the actresses are only four years apart (January Jones was born in 78, Jessica Pare in 82), and they look like the same age, about.  And, remembering Betty in her Vogue Italia getup so recently – it just seems like they don’t really know what to do with her character.  I’ve always thought she was all over the map and it’s a weak spot in the show.  Being bitch mom to Sally one episode, and in the next, shooting neighbor’s pigeons when he dared to mess with Sally’s dog.  (Who is apparently a victim of the divorce.)  She gets fiesty and screws a guy in a bar to get back at Don.  Now it’s Housewife Angst which was her kind of cliche, boring story line the first season. 
           It’s hard to believe that she would just disappear into her frumpy housecoat when she could be a super bitchy princess in her castle, dominating the Jr. league, and not-so-subtley showing off her $$ and status to Megan.  

      • http://twitter.com/mirrormirrorxx Paola Thomas

        I think Megan is just too self-absorbed to have much empathy, in a way which maybe has more to do with her extreme attractiveness than her youth.  She’s used to everything being all about her. Even in this situation, which affects her only peripherally, her reaction was to grumble about Don not paying attention to her and her friends, to say that Betty was using her condition as an excuse and then most, coldly of all, essentially to say, everything will be all right I’ll still be around, ‘you know how much I love Sally’.

        Interestingly I think this self-absorption means that she’s going to be a bad advertising person. At the moment, she’s OK, because she’s of the zeitgeist and of the demographic being advertised to, but she shows nothing of Don’s and Peggy’s ability to think outside herself and understand what other demographics are feeling.  I think we were already been shown last week that she’s actually a bad creative, which will cause even more problems for Peggy in that area.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

      It was painful to see Betty in that house. Her old home was probably the only thing she could control and now that is gone. I am not sure I agree with you that she can just not be happy. Yes the new husband is better for her, but is he what she wants or is he just better then what she had? His mother telling her to fix herself up because that is what he deserves? I also think it is understandable to worry that Don’s new wife would erase her from memory. And what about Don (worried that he may have to raise them). Or Meghan who it appears has not even considered the possibility that she may have to raise them. I really did feel for Betty.

    • formerlyAnon

      I so want Peggy to be happy and secure – asking a lot, I know.  I wonder if she’s going to wind up trying to have a relationship with Michael (I have always thought there was an expiration date on her current relationship), but given their backgrounds and their positions in the company, that’s going to be fraught if not completely doomed. Though I could see the two of them, eventually, branching off to form their own firm or one of them jumping to another agency for a good-enough offer.

      • CozyCat

        I agree.  Peggy’s smart enough to realize that she needs someone equally good to intellectually spar with.  I could see them as a pair who unseat Don as the creative genius of SCDP.  He’s largely pulled out of the creative process at this point and Peggy knows that both she and the firm need someone to get the place fired up.

        You can add Pete to the list of people carrying the firm into the future.  He was the one who wanted a client to advertise in Ebony–Blacks for him weren’t “outsiders” or someone to be prejudiced against,  they were an untouched demographic where there was money to be made.  And the fact that he was even thinking about demographics and market research showed that Pete is on the cutting edge.  (Although in true Pete fashion, he’s being a jerk about it…)
         
        The show is really demonstrating not only how the world is changing but how the business world is changing.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

          I love how Peggy has zero regard for Stan’s advice on hiring.

          • formerlyAnon

            One of the things I like about the depiction of Peggy is how realistic [some aspects of] her development is – she doubts herself, she gets more self confident, she plunges ahead sometimes a bit impetuously, she works her tail off for every chance – sometimes her forays into more responsibility & authority succeed and sometimes she makes a mistake and has to recover. She’s never shown as the brilliant one who sure-footedly blazes a trail to success, despite the odds.

            • Browsery

               She’s never shown as the brilliant one who sure-footedly blazes a trail to success, despite the odds. 

              True, but even Don wasn’t portrayed as merely brilliant and charming.  Remember how he pursued Roger to get him to look at his book and semi-tricked Roger into hiring him?

        • deering24

          Pete also was openly disgusted with Roger’s racist remarks–and how lightly the other execs were treating the black applicants in the waiting room.

    • MilaXX

      Micheal and Peggy should be interesting even though I was as initially put off by him as Peggy was.

      As for Megan getting Don to do what he didn’t want to, I saw it almost like how your parents are often more lenient with the younger sibling than they were the older ones. I do agree Megan definitely knows how to handle Don a whole lot better than Betty ever did.

      I also got the impression that Don was gathering info from the young girl at the concert.

      I don’t feel one bit of sympathy for Roger, but I don’t think getting Mowhawk airlines back is going to be the big coupe they are making it out to be.

    • jennmarie19

      One thing I thought of with Betty’s weight gain was a parallel with Grace Kelly. She (Kelly) was one of the most gorgeous women ever, married a prince, lived in a bit of a gilded cage and got quite plump in her later years. (Although she was still completely radiant in my opinion.) I just thought it was very poignant.

      Also, so sad that Betty seemed almost upset that the weight gain was not due to cancer. (“Now I’m just fat”)

      Excellent recap as always TLo!

      • http://annequichante.wordpress.com/ Anne

        Interesting about the weight gain thing, because as soon as the doctor said “thyroid” I was thinking, OH, she’s got a problem with her thyroid, I’ll bet that’s what caused (at least some of) the weight gain.  I wonder if they didn’t know the two were related when the show is set.

        Other thoughts…couldn’t stand Michael Ginsberg at first, but I think he and Peggy are going to be an interesting team, and he’s the first Jew on the show since Rachel what’s-her-face from the first season.  I’m also looking forward to any developments with Dawn.

        • Vlasta Bubinka

          Actually, since Rachel Mencken, there have been other Jews: the Barretts; Jane Seigel, and Faye Miller.

          • mellbell

            And Jane’s cousin Danny (briefly a copywriter after Don borrowed one of his ideas and Peggy made Don hire him as compensation).

            • OmegaMu

              And, I assume,  Peggy’s current boyfriend, Abe Drexler.

            • Vlasta Bubinka

              I want to slap myself for forgetting him… he is so cute!

            • Vlasta Bubinka

              Yup, it is a doggie dog world.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

               Aww, I miss Danny.

          • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

            And Abe, Peggy’s current beau. 

          • Browsery

            I was never sure whether Jane was Jewish.  Roger is a bigot.

            • Vlasta Bubinka

              Yes, and most bigots have their “good Jew,” or “good Negro…” etc.

            • Browsery

              True, but they usually don’t marry them.  I think Jane could be German-American.

        • Jodie_S

           I believe they knew about the connection in the 60s because people in my family suffered from it. The (benign) tumor or nodules can cause hypothyroidism (or be a symptom of thyroid disease), resulting in weight gain.

          I was also wondering whether she might find some other, less therapeutic, way to obtain diet pills and other “mother’s little helpers.” 

          • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

            In 1961 I was given thyroid pills by an endocrinologist to help me lose weight. But what I really used them for was to keep me awake when pulling overnighters while studying for college finals.

        • reebism

          Abe Drexler (Peggy’s current boyfriend) is Jewish: although it hasn’t been explicitly stated, it was in the call sheet.

          I’m surprised people saw so much attraction between Peggy and Michael: Peggy’s clearly got a good match with Abe (a sexually and intellectually compatible boyfriend! Someone who understands devotion to work!), and Michael is the one person who makes socially awkward Peggy look competent in interaction with others.

          • Browsery

            I didn’t really see attraction.  I saw more fascination and frustration (of the non-sexual kind). 

            Peggy’s professional code is too strong for her to deny a chance to someone whom she thinks has real talent. She admires good work too much.  She responds to his exuberance and candor.  But Michael (who is quite cute) is such a loose cannon that she doesn’t know if this is going to be her best decision or her worst nightmare.

            • Sweetbetty

               Yes, I saw Peggy’s interaction with Michael more as a mother, or at least a big sister.  She wanted him to have his big moment but she also wanted him to behave like a good boy.

          • formerlyAnon

            Abe & Peggy are a good match, but one with an expiration date, I’ve always thought. He understands devotion to work, but if he’s as lefty as I came away thinking, he’s eventually going to denigrate her work either for being politically wrongheaded (however progressive they are for the times, the ad agency is going to fall firmly on the side of the military-industrial complex if that line gets drawn in the sand as Vietnam heats up) OR for being trivial (just selling more crap in the consumer culture & peddling metaphorical opiates to the masses).  And if he denigrates her work because it’s less important than whatever he wants her to be doing (working for the anti-war effort, coming home from work early to eat dinner with him, whatever), the relationship is going to be over.

            And eventually, given the times, they have to either get married or break up. Very, very, very few couples at the time chose to stay permanently connected but never married.  And I’d be surprised if his family would be any more thrilled with the religious difference than hers, possibly less so given the importance they’d see (If they were even faintly religious) in the future mother of their son’s children being Jewish.  She might convert, I guess, but I’ve never thought their compatibility & pleasure in each other’s company added up to the kind of commitment that’d take.

            • reebism

              You know, honestly, I can’t imagine Peggy getting married ever, or having (more) children. I realize it’s not up to me, but…can you really imagine a season of Mad Men where Peggy plans a wedding? It’s amusing, but on this show?  I think they’re both equally driven toward their work, and both understand what it’s like to put work first — though Abe’s biggest problem will remain that Peggy can divorce private feelings from public engagement. Clearly Peggy doesn’t have issues with Abe going out of town unexpectedly, or with him bringing up politics around her coworkers, even though it might be awkward — she didn’t bother interfering with Abe and Cooper, and it took Pete to step in between Trudy and Abe. 

              Coming from a Conservative Jewish household, I know well that pain — my aunt married a non-Jewish man sometime in the 70s and wasn’t disowned, though my mom was happy when they divorced — and I bet Peggy’s mom would be upset at the thought of having a Jewish son-in-law. Mixed marriages did happen though, especially among their set (NYC, him relatively assimilated, her no longer particularly religious — has Peggy even mentioned Catholicism since season 2?). And after all, my personal hero Judy Blume wrote “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret” was written in 1970, so it couldn’t be entirely unheard of. 
              I don’t mean to say that she’s met her final partner at age 26, or that she and Abe will be together forever, but just…I’m not in any rush for them to break up. :)

            • formerlyAnon

              I *can* see Peggy not marrying – but in that case my gut is that she’ll leave Abe & her next few relationships because eventually the guy will want marriage and she won’t be able to do it.

              I know the religion might be, but doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. My Irish Catholic aunt married a – talk about stereotypes – Jewish physicist – during the early 40′s – before the war was over, anyway. Not just a religious mismatch, a class one as well – she was my dad’s family’s Peggy – a nurse, eventually an R.N. with a COLLEGE DEGREE! – the first in her working class family – marrying a Ph.D.  Though neither of them were religious and my cousin ended up eloping because there were 4 or 5 religions practiced in their immediate families and she and her fiance just didn’t want to deal with it. (Now *that’s* the American melting pot folktale my generation was raised on.)

              I see the politics being a bigger issue than religion, honestly.  But above all, the tendency of men & women to eventually want to “settle down” and the fact that the only way they know to settle down is the model in which they were raised.  I can see Peggy trying to forge a new model – but will Abe (or whatever the guy of the moment is) be up to that?  When the rubber meets the road, I have not found radical politics to necessarily track with radical notions about marriage. Especially not in practice.

            • reebism

              I love that story! 

              Yeah, I can see Peggy having a fear of commitment. Abe has at least shown an ability to learn, but who knows? 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/SZGWWX5ORL2PR3H3F5JY5BTQXI Christie

        That’s interesting because I think that Matt Weiner is constantly making allusions to Betty being a Grace Kelly like figure, and so this would fit right in with that effort.  But instead of happy radiance there’s just this black hole of misery.  This is the first time in a long time that I felt myself empathizing with and rooting for Betty.  I was also kind of touched by the ending theme. One of the lyrics was something to the effect of you’re a blank page that a man will want to write on, and it really seems to espouse Betty’s role and way of life.  She is the blank page by which outsiders read the man she’s with, and she’s really beginning to resent that. With Don it was all those dinners with corporate folk, and with Henry it’s these political events, where she is just supposed to be a nice shiny reflection of her man.  It chafes…much like her underwear nowadays.

    • http://twitter.com/pinkwedges10 Pink Wedges

      I love your reviews! It’s the only one I read.

    • fnarf

      Oh, come on, Sally’s going to love living in that house — especially after she discovers the skeletons chained to the wall in the sub-basement dungeon. Maybe there are secret rooms!

      I thought the scenes with that girl backstage at the Stones was forced and lame. No way would she be talking to a guy like Don even for a second. The funny part was Don & Co. thinking for even a second that the Stones would do a baked beans ad — and rewrite one of their songs? Uh-huh. Don said “that was three years ago” — three years ago in Rolling Stones time was an eternity; in 1963 they hadn’t even had a serious hit single yet; they were still a lame R&B covers band.

    • http://callie-wanton.livejournal.com/ callie wanton

      fat betty in her housecoat and other 60′s sensations screams “grey gardens” to me. i’m creeped out.

      • Sweetbetty

         It just dawned on me that housecoats seem to be a recurring theme so far this season.  First we had Trudy in hers, then Joan but her’s was more of a robe than a housecoat, Megan in the one she took off so she wouldn’t get sweaty, now Betty.  Maybe we should start a new drinking game for every time a woman is shown in a housecoat or frumpy robe.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/SZGWWX5ORL2PR3H3F5JY5BTQXI Christie

      I am a bit mystified by people being bored by this episode. I saw a lot of situations that could be catalysts for intense developments.  I think everything with Betty was absolutely riveting, and shockingly understandable, given that she was such a huge bitch for so long. We saw the introduction of a black character, who, by her very name epitomizes the social hierarchy and structure.  She’s got the same name as the guy in charge, and is probably the lowest on the totem pole. Right before Roger, who Pete is actively relegating to obscurity.  I was also riveted by the Roger stuff, I don’t think we’ve ever seen him so defeated, and my god, the first substantive interaction between Roger and Peggy since, I don’t even know when.  Harry was an absolute spectacle of ridiculousness in this episode and he seems to be turning into a cartoon of a human being, it’s kind of sad.  Finally the introduction of Michael Ginsburg is just great.  Peggy will either become a rival, mentor, or lover or some sick combination of all three. If she becomes a lover, there’s the whole religious tension – NO WAY her family is going to accept their daughter being with someone Jewish. If she becomes a mentor, she’ll have really realized some tangible growth in her professional career, and if she becomes a rival I think we’re going to see some amazing fireworks with Don.  

      This episode was riveting to me because of the possibilities.  As Henry said in Betty’s dream, “If. If. If”  Now it’s just a matter of seeing how these Ifs play out. 

      • formerlyAnon

        Isn’t her current boyfriend, Abe, Jewish as well? Or did I just make that up by stereotyping from his name & the fact that he’s a lefty writer? (Secular leftist Jewish men having been the kind that ran in my younger-days social circles.)

        Which doesn’t change either her family’s reaction, or probably, the guy’s family’s reaction to the difference in religious upbringing.

        • Browsery

          I’ve always assumed he was Jewish, as have most people.  I didn’t realize that Faye Miller was Jewish.  I assumed she was Italian (in part because the actress playing her has an Italian surname and she mentioned that her father was a powerful gangster or tough guy, which made me wonder if she was making a Mafia reference and being an industrial psychologist was her way of breaking away).  But Matt Weiner said in an interview that he hoped people realized (“on some level” is the wording I believe he used) that she was Jewish.

          • Vlasta Bubinka

            She used Yiddish at times too. And a female in psychology/psychiatry was practically code for Jewish for some time. Not sure about Dr. Edna…

          • Sweetpea176

            There was plenty of Jewish organized crime in the early to mid 1900′s.

          • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

             There was actually a Jewish Mafia (or perhaps still is, I’m not really up on modern organized crime). Another show that referred to it was The West Wing when Toby was dealing with his father having been one of the gangsters involved with Murder Inc.

        • Browsery

          I’ve always assumed he was Jewish, as have most people.  I didn’t realize that Faye Miller was Jewish.  I assumed she was Italian (in part because the actress playing her has an Italian surname and she mentioned that her father was a powerful gangster or tough guy, which made me wonder if she was making a Mafia reference and being an industrial psychologist was her way of breaking away).  But Matt Weiner said in an interview that he hoped people realized (“on some level” is the wording I believe he used) that she was Jewish.

      • Sweetbetty

         Peggy’s current boyfriend, Abe, is Jewish so she’s already crossed that barrier.  I doubt he’s met her family, though, and they’d never accept him, so if she gets more serious with Micheal to the point that a meeting of parents takes place the fireworks will happen.  And then there’s Micheal’s father; he’ll be less than happy with his son hooked up to a Catholic girl.

        • formerlyAnon

          I’ve lost track of how old Peggy is – but I think not yet pushing 30 – to date she’s clearly preferred career development to pursuit of the traditional “career” of wife & mother so the easiest thing is to keep her boyfriend(s) away from her family.  But I anticipate, if the show continues long enough, that at some point she’ll have to make the conscious decision whether motherhood (more so than marriage though she’d just assume marriage would precede motherhood) is one of her goals.

          I think that the interaction of her [dis]satisfaction with her career trajectory, the traditional expectations of her family (and, probably, the family of any man she’d be seriously seeing) and her clear preference, to date, for the pursuit of a career will make that point in her life pretty fascinating. There are a lot of ways to handle it (including her more or less matter-of-factly dismissing motherhood as a goal) and I think all of them could be interesting.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.parker Sara Parker

             Per wikipedia, Peggy is 27.

            • formerlyAnon

              Thanks for checking! (It is fascinating in itself that we can check the details about fictional characters on wikipedia.)

          • BayTampaBay

            Peggy was born on May 5, 1939

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/SZGWWX5ORL2PR3H3F5JY5BTQXI Christie

          I’d forgotten about good ol’ Abe.  In that case Peggy and Michael will probably be mentor – mentee, or rivals. Either possibility is intriguing.   

          • UsedtobeEP

            I think they are going to hook up, Abe or no Abe. I haven’t seen enough of the show to have an opinion about Abe, but there was a lot of flustered chemistry going on there.

      • Browsery

        I certainly didn’t hate it, but it had less shape than other episodes I’ve seen.

      • Browsery

        I certainly didn’t hate it, but it had less shape than other episodes I’ve seen.

    • Browsery


      Go watch any episode where a woman tried to get him to do something he didn’t want to and he ran in the opposite direction, every single time. The second (or third) Mrs. Draper has talents and depths to her that continue to make her an intriguing addition to Don’s life.”

      –Don’s also getting older.  Even he has to realize he’s only going to get so many chances.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RHLSUVX3NCPB4OSS5BM7GZIXUE P. Capet

        he’s completely besotted with her and it makes me a little uneasy. 

    • joancarol

      I thought the “Jack Ruby” comment odd –has this jumped past the Kennedy assassination?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

        I didn’t catch the Jack Ruby comment, but, yes, the Kennedy assassination (and Oswald) happened in Season 3. Ruby would be at some stage of appealing his conviction right now.

        • joancarol

          I’m late to this party– only started watching last season. I need to go back and rewatch.

      • http://twitter.com/chylde bellalozza

        Roger’s daughter’s wedding in Season 3 happened right after Kennedy assassination.  Don’t you remember?

        • joancarol

          No, I don’t remember that at all! I must have missed that. Pretty big thing to miss!

      • http://profiles.google.com/kmasseng Kimberly Massengill

         Yes, JFK’s assassination was 11/22/63.  We’re in, what, 1967 or 1968…

        • NDC_IPCentral

           Season 5 has begun in the summer of 1966.

          • Browsery

            Yes, it started with Memorial Day Weekend, I believe.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1260924501 Frank Butterfield

        We’re way past that. Season 3 ended right after the Kennedy assassination.  This episode included July 4, 1966.

      • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

         The show is, I believe, currently in mid- to late-1966.

    • DCDY

      Am I the only one who thought Roger’s comment about “liking to watch things fall from this window” combined with his breakdown soliloquy in Don’s office seemed to foreshadow something very dark for Roger? Could he end the season seeing himself totally without options and suicidal? Maybe it is the fact that this season seems to echo Glengarry Glen Ross so much that I see a total breakdown for Roger as the logical conclusion. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

         As we were informed, the office windows at SCDP don’t open. I’d expect a fall from the roof as in the opening credits (which could mean something…)

        • Sweetbetty

           He could throw something through it to break it, though.  Possibly one of his past trophies or awards.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        did he say fall or did they say they want to throw things through that window? To me that scene foreshadowed that those two – Ginsberg and Roger will be up to childish things in the weeks to come – the way Ginsberg was sitting on that couch like a kid in the back seat of a car looking out the window. 

      • Sweetbetty

         I read somewhere that Jon Hamm said in an interview that somebody dies this season.  Roger would be as good a bet as any.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

          that would be awful…

        • formerlyAnon

          He’s had one heart attack. You didn’t bounce back from heart problems as easily 40 years ago as today, there was a lot less they could do for you. He needn’t even try to end his life – increasing stress and increasing drinking & smoking will take care of it.

        • sagecreek

          There’s also a contingent who thinks Pete will be the one to take a header.

        • Lilithcat

          Link?  Because it would really surprise me if Hamm said anything like that.  Weiner is seriously close-mouthed about even minor plot developments (that’s why no blogger or reviewer gets screeners anymore), and he would not be happy about such a disclosure.

          • Sweetbetty

             Sorry, I can’t find anything.  I just have this vague memory of seeing Jon Hamm being interviewed and being asked about what happens on the upcoming season and him saying with a smile, “Somebody dies”.  I’ve googled it and can’t find anything so I must be mistaken.  Maybe it was another star talking about another TV show.  I dunno.  But people have died on every season of this show, haven’t they?  So someone dying isn’t out of the realm of possibility.  But I understand your point, that Jon would not have given it away even if it is gonna happen.

            • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

              Could the interview have been with the men from Desperate Housewives? I distinctly remember one of them saying on The View that someone would die this season. Of course, it was Mike Delfino.

            • Sweetbetty

               Nah, I doubt it, I don’t watch that show so wouldn’t have been interested in any interviews with those cast members.

      • TonyGo

         The writers seem to be hinting at something.  Megan on the terrace last week, Roger talking about hanging on to the ledge, the scene with the new guy and Roger at the window all seem like foreshadowing.

      • LaLeidi

         I was really struck by what Roger said to Don after Pete’s little show. Something like, “You are gripping the ledge with your fingers and the younger guys keep stepping on your fingers. At some point, you just feel like letting go.” I am not thinking that it was meant to literally refer to a suicide. I think his words are meant to echo of the images of the falling man in the opening credits. I assume that that falling man is Don and that his fall is coming as a result of the social changes of the late ’60s.

    • Joshau Norton

      I’m wondering if the whole Betty weight gain scenario is a pop culture riff on Liz Taylor. The late 1970s brought Elizabeth a new marriage to Senator John Warner (“Man of her dreams” #7) of Virginia. Liz would later say that the endless electoral benefits, fundraisers and hand-shaking was so boring. That’s why she put on so much weight

    • http://asskickingadviser.com/ Ass Kicking Adviser

      Ok, am I the only one who just stupidly assumed that Matthew W. would use January’s pregnancy as, you know, a pregnancy? Or leave her off screen and only show her face? The minute they showed her squeezing into her dress I laughed out loud, ‘Oh My God! Betty’s fat!’ Genius. Works perfectly with that tone of ‘decline’ that was so prevalent last week. And has there ever been an uglier living room in the history of the world that her and Henry’s?  I’d be binging on Bugles too.  Love Dawn, love Ginsberg, love Meighan lying to the Heinz wife the same way you would to your mother. Just nod and smile Megan, nod and smile.

    • ldancer

      Peggy already IS with a Nice Jewish Boy! She seems to have a pleasure-pain thing for annoying but smart Jewish dudes. I wanted to give that little pisher Ginsberg a zetz afn punim. Betty: my god, I feel for her. Treatment for subclinical hypothyroidism isn’t even that great now. Back then I’m sure there was no understanding of it. I read her out of control eating as ger finally letting out years of repression, but in a less than healthy way. And oy vey, that house! I don’t see much wrong with Megan. She’s young.

    • http://twitter.com/chylde bellalozza

      Wait. When is this taking place? The Rolling Stones played Forest Hills July, 1966. Season 4 ended October 1965. Did Betty really gain that much weight in 9 months? Doesn’t seem that realistic, but I suppose some people pack it on very quickly. I wonder if they’ll keep her heavy? I sort of like her better this way. She seems less neurotic, and more real.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        oh yes….

      • Joshau Norton

        According to Matt Weiner, they’re now in 1966.

      • MK03

        If she’s been eating nonstop (which is how they made it seem), she could have packed on a significant amount of weight in that time.

      • Sweetbetty

         When did we last see Betty, though?  Was she in the last few episodes of last season?  She could have already been packing on some pounds then.  And let me tell you, I, of the cursedly slow metabolism, would have no trouble packing on that much weight in nine months, or less.

        • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

            I think it was a little overboard in the weight gain department for the
          time frame from thin Betty to chubby Betty.  For an always slim woman
          to gain 40+ pounds in less than a year would take more than just eating
          bugles and ice cream. She still has a node on her thyroid, even though
          it was deemed benign, screwing things up. So, perhaps the thinking is
          that it’s slowed her metabolism to a near stand still, and then added
          onto that is the eating, which only spiraled as she feels worse about
          herself. But I predict she’ll gravitate towards diet pills and uppers –
          sort of a Main Line Valley of the Dolls story line. Funny how Harry’s
          constant assurances mean nothing to her. I was remembering she was very
          pregnant with Gene when they first met – he clearly thinks she’s
          beautiful regardless. I’m guessing it’s that she thinks she’s only
          valuable as a decorative object and when she’s not decorative, she’s
          nothing. And someone (Harry) who thinks she’s more than nothing is
          simply wrong – if that makes sense. Sort of the old Groucho Marx – I
          wouldn’t want to join a club that would have someone like me.
          (paraphrasing).

          • Vlasta Bubinka

            Betty has had an interest in her weight all along. Her mother used to badger her and taught her that she had to “earn her keep” by being beautiful. When she was a chubby girl, her mother used to leave her at the store, making her walk home. And then inferred she was a tramp when she later became a model after slimming down. And as someone who has always had a weight problem, my husband’s assurances mean nothing after years of being told I was less than because of how I looked. I suspect Betty feels the same way.

            • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

               Ah, I forgot that she was supposed to have been a chubby girl. Hmm… well, as someone also in the same position, it makes more sense.

      • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

        moving my comment…

        • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

           well, this showed up in the wrong thread…

      • Browsery

        I assume it’s still 1966, in addition to the concert, Henry works for John Lindsay, who was the Mayor of New York starting in 1966.  Betty’s weight gain did seem quite rapid.  I think she’s just as neurotic, just more openly depressed.

        • formerlyAnon

          Yeah, I think for Betty the choices are: Heavy, neurotic and with a greater degree of guilt and self-loathing or thin, neurotic and with a lesser degree of guilt and self-loathing.

          She has a loong way to go before she could be o.k. with herself. Aging isn’t going to help. (ETA: And I can’t help but think that she’s at the point in life – she’s had her children and is looking for something besides raising them to give her life some meaning – where a stereotypical political wife develops a drinking problem.)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1394670289 Kira Gartner

             If we get into the early 70′s she could do est . . . :)

      • girliecue

        I agree. She looks a lot less bitchy and more sympathetic with a rounder face and softer features.

    • TxMom2011

      Very well written guys.   Did anyone else notice how long it took for someone to actually say “cancer”? 

      • FashionShowAtLunch

        Yes, and I’m surprised it even came up at all.  As far as I’ve heard, people were still hesitant to even speak that word in the mid-sixties.

    • Browsery

      I thought it was ironic that Henry Francis is able to get the best medical “man” to see Betty immediately because his current boss, New York City John Lindsay, made a call.  Later in life, Lindsay, a very handsome, elegant, intelligent, very liberal Republican mayor who looked like he came from money, couldn’t afford health insurance.  The then-Mayor appointed him to some ceremonial posts so he would be eligible for municipal health benefits.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lindsay  

    • CatherineRhodes

      I think Don has met his match in Megan, she definitely “gets” him, and I like them together as the office power couple. She keeps him from spiraling into dreariness and he opens doors for her professionally.

      The Betty storyline is giving me whiplash. When we left the Francis household just 7 months before, Betty was Mommy Dearest who slapped Sally for cutting her hair and fired Carla on a whim while refusing to supply a reference. Henry was absolutely disgusted with the woman he had married. Betty was model-thin and they were living in the suburbs.

      Methinks it’s way too much radical change to be believable. I don’t buy that she’s so unhappy now that she’s compulsively eating her way into obesity. Just doesn’t play. She’s more miserable now than she was with cheating absentee husband? Also, Betty was always a smoker and drinker when she was miserable, not an eater. (Although it seems that Betty has quit smoking.)

      I think the storyline would work better if Henry was more meanspirited and critical about her weight — that they both felt trapped in this marriage and and were miserable, but didn’t want another divorce. In that case, Betty might compulsively eat for solace.

      We have a lot invested in these characters, so IMHO radical changes need to be well supported with a backstory that makes sense.

      • avidreader02

        But remember when Betty had that fling in the bar? She went right home and ate cold chicken out of the refrigerator.  I think Betty sees eating as a way of rebelling and being “naughty.”  For someone who has been defined her whole life by her looks, this is a way for her to express her unhappiness.

        • formerlyAnon

          Yes. She’ll eat in defiance and as extreme self-care (indulgence) and to self-soothe. 

          • CatherineRhodes

             But if she was eating in defiance, she would most likely let the rest of her appearance go too.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAMNQMUGFM4NNSPAQLZRODSD5I Angela

         Betty has always had a mean streak, downright violent in fact! My favorite episode from the first season is when she goes skeet shooting the neighbor’s pigeons cause he yelled at Sally and Bobby about the dog. And remember her smashing up the dining room chair? And shoving Don? Who shoves her right back? Slappng Sally and, oh, lots of atrocious behavior that was more tolerated in those days. Hmmmmm, maybe she was just hungry, lol! Anyway, having a sudden really vivid dream that she was dying, I think is why she is trying to reach out to Sally, who is having none of it. Her mom (typical of moms of that era, I think) has always picked on her about her weight, her hair, how she acts with boys, etc., and it may be too late to repair the damage to their relationship. She prefers her Dad.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/SZGWWX5ORL2PR3H3F5JY5BTQXI Christie

        I think that Betty’s mommy dearest routine was the beginning of her realizing that she is still pretty dissatisfied with her life, and that Henry isn’t the answer she was looking for.  I don’t see this as a radical change, I see this as a progression from the anger she was feeling toward herself at the end of the last season.  She was angry and unhappy, and now she is resigned and unhappy.  All just different forms of her all pervading unhappiness. 

      • http://twitter.com/rickmcginnis Rick McGinnis

         There’s a part of me that suspects Henry might prefer this dispirited, broken Betty – one who’s less able to fight back, or have flings, or let her bitchy side run rampant – a passive-aggressive streak that I’ve always seen as key to his character.

        • CatherineRhodes

           That’s an interesting point, that he’s a “facilitator” to her compulsive eating because he wants her to be more vulnerable.

          • Sweetbetty

             There is a sexual fetish that consists of “feeders” and “eaters”.  The feeders are usually men who not only find heavy women attractive but find it a way to keep control over the women, both physically and emotionally.

      • kcarb1025

        Unfortunately there are people in this world who believe they are always a victim, who say “if only ____ was different, if only I had ___, then I would be a better, happier person” but even if they have or get everything that anyone could possibly need, they are still never happy because there is always some big meanie face out there holding them back…. I know. My “father” was and still just like this, right down to the sitting on the couch all day, scowling, smoking and snacking, daring someone to talk to her/him and screaming at them when the smallest thing goes “wrong”. It’s completely believable to me that even getting a new, perfectly fine husband who dotes on her, that she is still moaning “woe is me”.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

         It’s not so much that she’s unhappy that she’s BORED. Don was exciting, interesting, painful, always a roller coaster. He kept her on her toes, which is quite uncomfortable but energizing. Henry has given her peace, and she’s wallowing.

        • CatherineRhodes

           That’s a good point — she needed the friction of having Don in her life.

    • ballerinawithagun

      Yes, Sally stopped eating her sundae because she is horrified by her mother’s appearance.

    • ballerinawithagun

      Yes, Sally stopped eating her sundae because she is horrified by her mother’s appearance.
      Betty will get her “diet pills”. My mother was taking them for awhile when I was Sally’s age, we had a very clean house…

    • StelledelMare

       Great recap, guys. I completely agree about Betty. I found myself feeling sympathy I indeed hadn’t felt since she found out about Don’s identity. That house though looks like a funeral home. Megan shocked me as well but not in a way that makes her intriguing really. I was more or less indifferent to her before. But her actions last night (and potential actions judging by the preview?) made me ease towards not liking her. Of course Don was a shitty husband but I feel like both Henry and Megan still haven’t realized that Betty and Don will always be apart of each others lives. I feel that Megan is also a child (not really because of age) but in a different way than Betty is/was. I thought that scene with them on the phone was wonderful and it didn’t escape my notice that he called her Birdy. It was sweet.

      Michael was rubbing me the wrong way at first but he may have potential.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

      My inner fangirl took hold of me while watching this episode, because I ship Peggy and Michael so hard now. And she really seems to be attracted to Jews- her inner rebel must be determined to subvert that Catholic upbringing. 

      • FashionShowAtLunch

        Me too.  And how adorable is he?  I wouldn’t mind it if he picked me up and swung me around.

        • http://www.facebook.com/mary.nease Mary Nease

          Someone commented on a different site’s recap that Michael looked an awful lot like Scott Baio, and holy shit, I see it too now. And a hilarious coincidence, I feel a Joanie/Chachi relationship brewing between Peggy and Michael. 

    • FashionShowAtLunch

      Also – not only did Pete humiliate Roger, but in the same sentence he also managed to undermine Peggy: “I hired a full-time copy writer.” Um, no, you did not.  Peggy got some more upper-level responsibility and Pete completely took credit for the hire.  I don’t know if that’ll turn out a big deal or not, I suppose depending on how much of a success this Ginsberg fellow is, but it’s just more evidence of his douchiness.

      • Sweetbetty

         I picked up on that too, and Peggy’s subtle reaction.  Petie better be careful; it’s one thing to alienate Roger, who is already irrelevant, but quite another to get on Peggy’s bad side since she’s part of the future and he’ll need her allegiance.

        • Jessi03

           My thoughts exactly.  What a slap in the face to Peggy!  Was it weird to anyone else that the new hire called her “Margaret” when he was talking to Don?  Maybe she introduced herself that way in order to sound more important, but it almost seemed condescending to me.

          • Sweetbetty

             I caught the “Margaret” too and wondered why he used it.  I don’t remember if it was shown where she introduced herself to him but since I’ve never heard her or anyone else, including her family and priest, refer to her as Margaret I assumed he took it upon himself to use that name.  I can’t decide if he was trying to honestly show respect to her or if he was trying to emphasize an age difference, with her the older woman and him the young up-and-comer.

        • Vlasta Bubinka

          He should be careful about Peggy too. She knows a Big Secret about him (and her) that could be a disaster for him.

          • Sweetbetty

             Yeah, but it would take a lot for Peggy to drop that bomb since it would hurt her as much as, if not more than, him.  At that time the double standard was still very much in effect where if a guy got a girl pregnant he was just sowing his wild oats but the girl was automatically tagged a slut.  Of course there is the matter that Pete was married at the time so maybe they are on more of an even footing…..

            • formerlyAnon

              Maybe – just maybe – on an even footing IN the office. If the wives found out as well as the guys, the  balance would definitely tip back to the double standard.

            • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

              Pete was engaged, but not married. Though they did hook up later (on his office couch) while he was married.

    • CatherineRhodes

      Don backstage at the Stones caused me to flashback to his fling with the Greenwich Village artist (who later became a junkie and hit him up for money). Remember she took him out with her hipster friends who chided him for being square? It was the same kind of scene.

    • Pants_are_a_must

      This episode was ice-cold. FREEZING. The POV of Don, Betty and Roger cast a huge shadow on the fact that the show is now functioning in America’s dawn of optimism. I guess it’s a sad cautionary tale about growing up, or growing old, but that feels very heavy-handed, doesn’t it?

      • Vlasta Bubinka

        Dawn of optimism? Really? Between the Kennedy assassination and Watergate, Americans were becoming more and more cynical. True enough that there was improvement for African-Americans, and later women and other minorities, but that all plays put against a backdrop of growing cynicism and alienation and distrust.

        • serenitynow02

          Not to mention the backdrop that was the nightmare of Vietnam. 

          And Kent State is just four short years away from this episode…

          • Lilithcat

             and Jackson State.

            But we all forget about Jackson State.  The difference between white students getting killed and black students getting killed. 

            Plus ça change  .  .  .

            • serenitynow02

              Your point is well taken.

              I do in fact remember the Jackson State killings; they occurred about a week after Kent State. I  mentioned Kent State because it was the opening salvo in that special brand of nightmare. The year this episode takes place is also the year that James Meredith, the first black to attend the U of Miss. was ambushed and shot while marching through that state. And in 1966, there are nightmares aplenty ahead for those involved in the Civil Rights movement… If we’re going to start enumerating, there’s a whole litany of reasons why this particular time in America’s history doesn’t exactly fall into the “dawn of optimism” category.

        • Pants_are_a_must

          I should’ve phrased that better. I meant that it was the time the baby boomers joined the workforce, and arguably would contribute to the US’s status as a financial and cultural superpower. It comes in direct contrast to the likes of Don and Roger, who grew up in the aftermath of the Great Depression.

    • Judy_J

      This episode was hard to watch, and brilliantly written.  I hardly recognized January Jones.  That dress she was trying to get into in her first scene was surprisingly old fashioned, not at all the up to the minute fashion we expect from Betty Draper.  And that house!  I’d be eating Bugles non-stop (and drinking lots of wine) if I had to live in that dungeon.  To his credit, Henry does seem to genuinely care for Betty, but his mother is really hard to take.  Does she live with them? 

      • Sweetbetty

         I was wondering if M-I-L lived there too until she popped in that afternoon to give Betty advice about keeping her husband happy and taking pills to lose weight.  Betty greeted her at the door saying something like, “How nice of you to come over, even though a phone call would do”.

         Betty got off a couple of zingers to M-I-L that either went over her head or she chose to ignore.  She did catch the one where Betty asked her why she didn’t take the diet pills she was suggesting to Betty.  The look on M-I-L’s face was priceless, then she brushed it off by saying she couldn’t because she had a heart condition.

        • Judy_J

          That’s right…I remember that comment about her MIL coming over.  Poor Betty.  She’s really been dominated all her life…first by her dad, then Don, now Henry’s mother. 

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            Yet I think in her own way, Betty respected what she said. It got her out of the house, didn’t it?
            Imagine Betty having that conversation with her own mother. We never met Betty’s mom, but you know she would have been much colder. Henry’s mom (bona fide bitch that she is) was at least civil.

    • NDC_IPCentral

      Excellent recap, gentlemen, as always.  I can certainly tell you that Betty’s cancer crisis storyline was startling and unsettling to me, given my real-life situation.  I sympathized with her confusion and isolation, but she, in the waiting period, had far fewer treatment choices in 1966 than are available now.  The way the two most important men in her life reacted was, in fact, very compassionate.

      Her reprieve, though, means that she has to figure out why she’s put on weight (and the other Kittens’ comments about a problem thyroid gland are likely spot on) and how she’s going to handle it.  Betty’s always been consumed with appearances – hers, her home’s, her family’s – and Henry’s assurances that he loves her as she presently is won’t assuage Betty’s insecurities.

      We had parfait glasses, too, back then, and used them.  They seemed so elegant, and the desserts were fun to make and look at.

      • formerlyAnon

        She’s clearly got the whole complex of very common eating issues – appearance has been her #1 ace in the hole, it’s deeply rooted as the source of her self worth – but the flip side of the discipline she’s always exercised over her weight is that over eating can be a number of things: rebellion and self-care/self-soothing as well as a more mundane response to boredom and quitting smoking (if she’s done that, I’m not sure).  Add in her *middle aged* metabolism and possible thyroid issues – she’s going to end up in the arms of diet pills, I’m sure of it.

    • DoneAgain

      This episode infuriated me.

      Thyroid cancer is VERY rarely deadly.  They’ve had the same treatment for the most common types for fifty years: surgery and radioactive iodine.  Chemotherapy does NOT work on the most common types of thyroid cancer (papillary and follicular).  Furthermore, hypothyroidism does not make one overeat, unless one is prone to overeating when depressed! 

      Furthermore, these scenes were all filmed after she had the baby.  There were photos circulating of her in that housecoat after she had given birth and was back on set.

      • asympt

         Back then, anything involving the C word was terrifying.  They’re not even using the word, just once in the whole episode: that’s exactly right.  No googling to see prognoses and treatment options.  No discussions with doctors.  Just the C word, which was an assumed death sentence, little understood especially by lay people.

        And actually stigmatized.  Years later people were shocked, then admiring, when Betty Ford was brave enough to say out loud that she had cancer.  It started a change in how it was dealt with, socially and psychologically.

        And our Betty was overeating because she was depressed.  Coincidental with the medical issue.

        • http://www.deborahwiles.com/ GoodSally

           Also giving a voice to cancer at that time was Betty Rollin, who was a prominent journalist with breast cancer who wrote FIRST YOU CRY in 1976. She is still living, still writing, and I have never forgotten that book. It was amazing for the time — no one talked about cancer, and the word was synonymous with death.

          • CatherineRhodes

            I publish a magazine for nurses and before the 1970s there weren’t oncology nurses, there were only surgical nurses because the only treatment for cancer was surgery. Chemo, radiation, etc came later.

            During the early ’70s Richard Nixon (of all people) championed federal funding for cancer research and it was during that decade when treatment breakthroughs were starting to develop. You’re right about the two Bettys (Rollin and Ford) — they really opened up the public conciousness on the disease.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        ?? So what. Most people don’t know that and if you hear the C word or you hear LUMP and you need a SCAN you are scared, statistics be damned. And they didn’t say she was going to have to have chemo either. 

        And she wasn’t overeating because she had a hypothyroidism. She was indeed eating because she was depressed. I don’t know what you’re angry about. 

        I’ve been through this exact scare before. I know that a very high percentage of thyroid nodules are benign, but that doesn’t make it less scary. I thought it was a pretty realistic episode. 

        • DoneAgain

          I had thyroid cancer, it is scary and perhaps that is why I found this episode to be so infuriating, though I know I am not explaining myself very well at all!  Perhaps unsettling is a better word…this is after one viewing, so I will watch again…

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

            well unsettling I totally agree with…. :)

          • UsedtobeEP

            I have hypothyroidism, and before I was diagnosed, I was always exhausted. I wasn’t depressed, exactly, just washed out all the time. I thought maybe I was not eating enough to keep my energy up and eventually realized I was eating more carbs and sugar, trying to find that energy again. Caffeine, too. I gained some weight from it. No cancer though. I was lucky. Glad you are better. 

    • sagecreek

      OK, now Mad Men is showing clothes that I actually remember, so I have to have a little mid-life crisis. Seriously, that awful sweater Betty was wearing, the white one with the blue and green flowers? MY MOTHER HAD THAT SWEATER.

      I’m going to go lay down and put a cool rag on my forehead.

      • Browsery

        That sweater gave me traumatic flashbacks, too.  So did Meagan’s textured yellow sweater from last week.

      • EEKstl

        I know, I”m now of the age where I remember a lot of those styles, decor, etc. especially having grown up in NYC (granted, I was 5 but still…I REMEMBER IT!).  I need a moment…

        • Browsery

          I was 9.  Sally Draper is only a little older than I am.  I remember it well.  Not fondly, but well.

      • Laura Maki

         Don’t worry, I was born in 1990 and recognized that sweater. My grandma worn a very similar one until 2008. You just have an exquisite memory, no need for a lie-down!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

      I loved this episode. I was mesmerized. 

      I would die for that mausoleum house (but would do a bit of redecorating).

      Did anyone else notice Megan use the remote control on the TV near the beginning? I thought “Whoa!” We didn’t have one until years later. I didn’t even know they had them in the 60′s. I remember watching Laugh-In, etc. and having to get up to change the channel (with the big knob you turned that went clunk, clunk, clunk with each turn). 

      The backstage scene seemed a bit off to me. That girl talking to Don was too mature for her age or something. No girl there to see the Stones would have given him the time of day, or especially answer his questions about how she felt, etc. 

      I love Harry eating the little burgers in the car. Eating was definitely a theme in this one!

      Thanks, as always, for the great recap.

      • Lilithcat

        I would die for that mausoleum house (but would do a bit of redecorating).

        You and me both.  It has fabulous bones.

        I love Harry eating the little burgers in the car.

        White Castles and the munchies just go together, don’t they?

      • Sweetbetty

         Yes, the remote control TV caught my attention too.  I remember buying a new TV in the late 70s and consciously choosing to not have a remote control since I figured it would just be a “toy” for my kids to fight over.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

        Was it a wireless remote control? I remember my grandparents had a TV whose remote was connected by a cord.

        • Sweetpea176

          I remember at some point in the 70′s we got cable, so we had a cable box connected to the TV with a cord.  It had an array of 20 or so buttons — one for each channel.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAMNQMUGFM4NNSPAQLZRODSD5I Angela

         Oh yes, I remember the first remote! My older brother bought my mom a t.v. for Mother’s Day, but I’m thinking this was 1970. The t.v. still had only 13 VHF channels, and when you pushed “the clicker”, the dial went around, chunk, chunk, chunk…the volume went up and down, too, though no digital readouts yet!

    • FashionShowAtLunch

      “She just needs something to call you about”.  Megan, STFU please.  It was a TUMOR.  They share 3 children.  OF COURSE she’s going to call him. Jesus.  

      I did like the scene in the restaurant when the Heinz client’s wife was like, “Megan, this is boring, right?” and Megan felt compelled to agree although she clearly is a smart girl who is interested in going further in the ad game and would have preferred to continue participating in the conversation.  This might prove to be one of the things that inevitably screws up their marriage.  Don wants her at the office because “he wants her”, but how well would he respond to any significant career growth?  I feel like he’s happy just having her draw coupons but any more ambition might feel threatening to him.

      She is an interesting character, and this is a fascinating marriage. I don’t love her, but well done, writers.

      • formerlyAnon

        I do think Megan is too immature to have any empathy for Betty – but people were also less skilled at the mechanics of divorce than we’ve grown.  The whole industry of therapy and self-help for how to have a “healthy divorce” was just barely starting up. I think most people today realize that if 2 divorced people share kids, they’re tied to each other forever, unless there’s a complete rift with even the kids, but I’m not sure the Megans of 1966 had heard – or seen – that nearly as often.

        I like Megan – or at least I respect her in a lot of ways – and I anticipate her marriage is going to become more difficult. No matter what the details, or how much growth Don’s had (not, I suspect all that much) he’s still a damaged person when it comes to his intimate relationships with women.  He is emotionally needy and doesn’t even realize it and the way that plays out is going to be even more problematic with a younger wife.

      • formerlyAnon

        I do think Megan is too immature to have any empathy for Betty – but people were also less skilled at the mechanics of divorce than we’ve grown.  The whole industry of therapy and self-help for how to have a “healthy divorce” was just barely starting up. I think most people today realize that if 2 divorced people share kids, they’re tied to each other forever, unless there’s a complete rift with even the kids, but I’m not sure the Megans of 1966 had heard – or seen – that nearly as often.

        I like Megan – or at least I respect her in a lot of ways – and I anticipate her marriage is going to become more difficult. No matter what the details, or how much growth Don’s had (not, I suspect all that much) he’s still a damaged person when it comes to his intimate relationships with women.  He is emotionally needy and doesn’t even realize it and the way that plays out is going to be even more problematic with a younger wife.

      • bookish

         Megan said that in response to Don saying that she is always optimistic. I took that as her way of showing that she still has snotty thoughts, but she can keep them to herself for the most part.

        • FashionShowAtLunch

          I didn’t see how that was an appropriate response to being called “optimistic”, and I definitely did not see it as demonstrative that she can keep her snotty thoughts to herself. 

          • bookish

            She kept it to her herself until he said something. I didn’t think it was appropriate either, but that was how I interpreted the exchange.

            • FashionShowAtLunch

              Aha. gotcha – that’s what you mean when you say she can keep these comments to herself “for the most part.”

      • Lilithcat

         OF COURSE she’s going to call him. Jesus. 

        Henry, obviously, would not agree with that.  And I’m not sure Betty herself did, either.  After all, she didn’t tell Henry that she’d done so.

        • FashionShowAtLunch

          I didn’t think Henry’s response was appropriate either.

          • jessieroset

            I think Henry has a deep dislike towards Don and although it wasn’t adult of him, it did deem character-appropriate. 

            I just realized that Henry hanging up and saying that “nobody” was on the phone mirrored when Mrs.Farrell called the old Draper home and Don hung up on her and then told Betty that it was “nobody”.  Probably means zip though. 

        • Sweetbetty

           I’m not so sure Betty would have called Don, at least not that soon, if Henry had been at home to talk to about it.  Remember, she went from room to room shouting for him and when he wasn’t there turned to the only other person she felt she could talk to about something so important to her.  She may have called Don in a day or so, and most certainly if the diagnosis had been positive, but I don’t think she drove home thinking, I’m going to call Don right away.

          • Lilithcat

             Oh, I definitely agree with that.  But, having called him, it’s interesting that she didn’t tell Henry.

            • P M

               Also, couldn’t she have just called Henry??

            • Sweetbetty

               Yes, and also interesting that Henry didn’t tell her about Don’s call inquiring about the outcome of her tests.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

              And also, in that scene with Megan saying “she just needed an excuse to call you”, she assumed that BETTY had called DON to tell him the results were benign. He had just hung up the phone from calling HER. Right? And he didn’t correct Megan and say “she didn’t just call me – I called her.” Like he didn’t want Megan to know he cared enough to call and find out. Or something.

              Nitpicking details.

            • marishka1

              Or perhaps Megan was suggesting that Betty never really was *that* sick to begin with and was being overly dramatic.

            • Browsery

              They’re very important details and I noticed all of them.

        • judybrowni

          The kumbaya idea between divorced parents really didn’t kick in completely until ’70s: in the ’60s they could still ignore each other.

          • formerlyAnon

            I think it was true that they *tried* to ignore each other, and maybe many thought that would work. But I think the 70′s stuff grew out of the fact that it didn’t really work if there were kids. Unless one party pretty much walks away from the kids, sooner or later they’re both going to be unhappy (or, unhappier) with what’s going on if they can’t communicate effectively.

        • Sweetpea176

          My take was that Henry was upset, at least in part, that she had told Don before she told him.  Which I can understand, even if it’s a little irrational. 

    • royinhell

      I will not forgive them for teasing us with the idea of Don & Megan (and her friends) in swimsuits on Fire Island ’66… then not going there! 

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        But I love that she came home with sunburn!

    • BefWithAnF

      And when is Peggy going to update her fucking hair?!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

        When SCDP hires Kurt.

      • Susan Stella Floyd

        Yeah, it’s pretty Patty Duke.  Tired.

      • judybrowni

        The “flip” was still very much the ‘do in 1966.

        I attempted one for my high school year book photo in ’68.

        But, since I eschewed hairspray and teasing was never able to keep one going for longer than that photo.

        • Sweetbetty

           Agreed.  I graduated in ’66 and half the girls in my class, including me, rocked that hair style.  It’s sort of the iconic hair style of the 60s until the long hair of the hippies took over.

    • BefWithAnF

      And when is Peggy going to update her fucking hair?!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513515590 Cecily Squier

      Re: Betty and food: When she was in labor with Eugene, and they asked her what she had been eating, it was mainly noted that the nurse chided her for eating pineapple, a reputed abortifacient.  What I noticed was the rest of the meal: Cottage cheese and dry toast.  She was dieting in her third trimester.  I don’t think it’s too big of a stretch to assume she was dieting all of the rest of the time.

      • formerlyAnon

        Yup. An awful lot of appearance conscious women of the time lived on a similar diet. Black coffee & cigarettes, Tab or Fresca, cottage cheese, melba toast, a boiled egg, iceberg lettuce salads with lemon to dress them. And a couple of cocktails in the evening when their husbands came home from work. There was no such thing as too thin and nobody really understood much about exercise, muscle mass and metabolism. ETA: and how could I have forgotten : Grapefruit!

        • LANDRU3000

          It’s not only Betty.  Last week in the breakfast scene at her and Don’s place, Megan said “Only black coffee for me”. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

          It made me so sad when Don was making breakfast in the last episode, and Megan said, “Just black coffee for me.”

        • Sweetbetty

           Remember last week when Don was making the kids breakfast and he asked Megan if she wanted any pancakes?  Her response was, just black coffee for me.  I doubt a pancake had passed that girls lips in the last decade.

        • Susan Stella Floyd

           A lot of women NOW are doing that.

      • LaLeidi

        Don’t many women diet while pregnant? I am pregnant now, and every book and website reminds me that I am only supposed to gain only 25-30 pounds total. I have never had a weight problem and have never dieted, and I am shocked to be receiving these messages that I have gained too much weight. I eat a balanced diet and am only eating a bit more than before. I am supposed to go hungry with a growing baby inside me?

        • Kathleen Tripodi

          Congrats on your pregnancy!

          25-30 lbs. is much more generous than it used to be.  My grandmother was advised to gain less than 10 lbs. and was chided by her doctor when she gained 15!  This was in the early 50s.  My mom was 5 lbs. when she was born.

          When I was pregnant, I was always hungry.  I gained about 40 lbs., but was told not to worry about it because 25-30 was a “guideline.”

          • LaLeidi

             Thanks! It has been a hard road to get here, so I am extra excited.

            Gaining only 10 pounds is crazy! The baby and the placenta have got to weigh more than that.

            My doctor says my weight gain is fine. It is mostly fluid that is lost quickly after birth. But it bothers me that there are weight guidelines at all. I don’t feel like I have much control over how much weight I gain. If I gain more than normal, there is nothing I can do about it other than go hungry, which would be bad for my baby. The only guidelines should be about eating healthy foods.

            We have a very unhealthy relationship with weight and food in our country.

    • Bree The Vole

      I’m the rare fan who watches this show for Betty, but if they’re planning to kill a character off this season, it should be her. She has gone as far as she can as a character, and at this point fandom has so many issues with her that she’s just dead weight on the show. Because frankly death is the only thing left that could redeem her anymore.

      • formerlyAnon

        Oh, I dunno. She could drag herself out of the pit and come back as a happy, fulfilled person once her kids are raised/older. But I don’t see it happening before them and the intervening years would be No Fun To Watch, I agree.

    • http://theargiehome.blogspot.com/ Gus Casals

      I’m still all over the place on the Betty storyline. The pregnancy=fat equation was used once before in the show as a comment on the era re: Peggy, but this is not Sterling Cooper but the show executive producers.
      Anyway, if this story means more Pauline Francis, well, I can live with that. And it was refreshing that for all of Pauline´s bad vibe´s, Henry does truly love his wife, even if she´s not capable of enjoying it. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/JP-Trostle/752564021 JP Trostle

      I get what the writers were going for, but — no, sorry — I didn’t believe for a second that those teenagers didn’t know who Charlton Heston was. Even if they didn’t get the thing about the Voice of God (and what a terrible terrible choice it was for Harry’s commercial), there was no way you didn’t know about this particular superstar in the ’60s. OR the ’70s when I was that age. OR the 80s, OR the ….

      Now, maybe if Harry had said “Don Ameche” I would have bought it…

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/SZGWWX5ORL2PR3H3F5JY5BTQXI Christie

        I kind of saw that as an intentional slight by the teenagers, a sort of passive aggressive dig at the age differential, and a way to try and shut Harry down, it just took Don explicitly telling him to stop for Harry to pick up on it.  They were, for the most part, NOT INTERESTED in skeevy Harry. 

    • P M

      What perfect music to end the episode on – and THE theme song for Betty. Cancer scare? ‘OMG I’m fat!’ Henry wants Betty’s support? ‘OMG I’m fat!’

      • FashionShowAtLunch

        Yes! I was just going to post that.  “Sixteen going on Seventeen” was such a poignant and perfect choice.

        • P M

           Her reaction to the benign news could have been snatched from a teen reality show. ‘OMG I’M STILL FAT!’ Betty – you just cheated death.

          I also thought the song underlined what I think is one of the themes of the episode – ‘Grow Up!’. Pete (What a mean, MEAN put-down!), Roger, Don and Betty need to GROW UP. And so does Peggy, to some extent.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Exactly! And very on point time-wise too. 

    • ryaddictive

      love, love, love your insightful recaps.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NMLK23QK6C7NMLMVVYA5POXKJY WhiteMage

      did they plump her face up or did january really gain that much weight in her pregnancy? damn. but kudos for embracing it and not having her hide behind things or carry big bags etc.

    • fauxhawk

      I swear, Betty was disappointed that she wasn’t going to die of cancer. At least then she’d have a tangible reason to be unhappy.

      • P M

         No, now she’d have to deal with the fact that she was fat, with nothing else to distract her.

    • aarthi anantharaman

      I remember Don calling Betty and Francis, Morticia and Lurch in front of the kids. I’m assuming most conversations taking place at Don and Megan’s is relayed to Betty. So, I think Betty was not wrong in worrying about being badmouthed in front of her kids after she is long gone.
      I don’t think that makes her or her thought process trivial. Definitely sad, but not trivial.

      • formerlyAnon

        And even if the kids don’t repeat what they hear at dad’s, Betty was married to Don for more than a decade. She can probably imagine the kinds of cracks he’d make. Given the way her world revolves around her, she probably imagines more remarks than he’d ever actually make.

        • Sweetbetty

           Oh yeah.  Look how she exaggerated Megan’s age to be several years younger than she really is.  In her mind Don and Megan are probably sitting around their fabulous apartment drinking cocktails and making cutting remarks about her every evening.

      • CatherineRhodes

         So, is it understood that the Morticia and Lurch comment stems from their crazy haunted mansion?

        • judybrowni

          Yes, it’s a reference to the mansion.

          Henry’s gothic pile.

      • Browsery

        Actually, I think that if Betty died, she’d ultimately be beatified in the family history.  It’s so much easier to like a safely dead person.

    • http://howtofaint.tumblr.com/ How to Faint

      I loved the scene where Henry was on the phone, telling some guy “Well, tell Jim his honor is not going to Michigan… Because Romney’s a clown, and I don’t want him standing next to him!” Mittens! Your daddy got namechecked! 

      • Sweetbetty

         So it was Mitt Romney’s father he was referring to?  I wasn’t very politically aware at that time, and only slightly more now, so I thought it was Mitt he was referring to and wondering how old Mitt was at that time and when he started in politics.  Thanks for clearing that up.

        • Browsery

          Yes, he was referring to George Romney.

        • Lilithcat

           George.  Governor of Michigan.  Wanted to run for President in ’68, but put his foot way down his own throat, and ruined that plan, by saying that his earlier support for the Vietnam war was due to being brainwashed by generals while on a tour there back in ’65.

          • kcarb1025

            Like flip flopping father, like son.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

           Did you thnk Mitt Romney was like 90 years old? And there was a painting of him in the basement that looks like a wizened old man? I guess if anyone could afford it, he could.

    • TonyGo

       “You need someone

      Older and wiser

      Telling you what to do”

      The men (Don, Henry, even Stan and Harry) offered advice, sometimes unsolicited, and comfort to the “girls.” Peggy, Megan and the backstage girls are not “totally unprepared..to face the world of men”.  Betty might be. 

      • Lilithcat

         the backstage girls are not “totally unprepared..to face the world of men”.

        Oh, yeah, they are.  They don’t think they’re unprepared, they think they are little sophisticates, but they are going to be used and passed around like the needles that’ll end up in their arms.  That world was f**cked up.

        • Sweetpea176

          Their not thinking they’re unprepared is kind of what makes them unprepared.  I’d be worried about them, too. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

      I thought that Betty got fat because she no longer has to compete. When she was married to Don, she needed to maintain a shark-like leanness so she could remain attractive to him and keep some modicum of his interest and attention. Now, with a devoted husband, a mansion, and no young girlies to stave off, she has become complacent. Happiness is disappointing for Betty.

      • Sweetbetty

         I think the reasons that Betty gained weight are many and complex.  Your reason is probably one of them and so are the many that have been put forth in this discussion, but I don’t think we can assign any one reason to this change in her. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

           She’s bored. She can’t believe she finally has the pinnacle of what she thought would be happiness, and it’s just… lame. That’s my take on it.

        • BayTampaBay

          How about because it fit the story line??? LOL! LOL!

    • SVLynn

      I think Megan might end up being a bigger bitch than Betty was. She charmed Don by being Maria from Sound of Music with the kids initially, and now we are slowly seeing her true personality seep out. Oh Betty, I definately see a “mother’s little helper” addiction in her future plot.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

        She’s definitely manipulative.  And pretty darn good at it.

      • Susan Stella Floyd

         This is especially funny since the closing music was in fact from The Sound of Music.

      • judybrowni

        By the way, the “real” Maria Von Trapp was supposed to have been a ball-breaking, child-abusing bitch.

        Not saying that about Megan.

        It was my mother’s generation that was fed “mother’s little helpers” by their doctors, and I know of at least two destroyed by ‘em.

        • Sweetpea176

          My mother was prescribed amphetamines during her pregnancies.  And beer, because she didn’t gain enough weight.  Go figure.

          • BayTampaBay

            I bet those “diet” pills looked like they were covered in snake skin.  My mother had those same amphetamines all through the 60′s rolling around in the bottom of her purse.

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          Isn’t that what Francine was using during the Cuban Missile Crisis?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SG3724ISZXPYC4FGGZE6AFJHTY RoseR

      Loved the dig at Romney via his Daddy, which someone else pointed out earlier. 

      Another possible contemporary reference — when Harry is telling the Stones groupie about meeting Charlton Heston, he says they dropped in on him unexpectedly and caught him naked.   Anyone else think this could be a somewhat obscure dig at Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine move, where they dropped in on Heston at home when he had Alzheimer’s?   “In fairness I don’t think he even knew we were there, it was kind of an impromptu meeting.”  Maybe I’m way off here, but it was an odd story. 

      • kcarb1025

        Why would it be a dig at Bowling for Columbine? This is liberal show, I highly doubt the writer’s take crusty, evil Charlton Heston’s side on guns (or anything at all).

      • kcarb1025

        Why would it be a dig at Bowling for Columbine? This is liberal show, I highly doubt the writer’s take crusty, evil Charlton Heston’s side on guns (or anything at all).

    • http://profiles.google.com/withano Loren S

      I have a feeling it’ll become relevant somehow that depression is a common symptom of thyroid disease.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        nodules don’t always cause thyroid disease either, so she may not even have that. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ENBX3563Q4ZNCVRGSJVFIB7OAA Thom

       LOVED last night’s episode. A few points I thought of:

      Megan & Don with Mr. & Mrs. Heinz: She’s still insecure in presenting her marriage to others. “He was divorced” was her preemptive response to anyone calling her ‘homewrecker’ or ‘temptress’.

      I think Peggy was put off by Michael (I know because I’ve done this myself): he interviewed with a woman copy-writer, and in that dynamic of alpha female, he appealed to her ‘maternal’ instincts, practically pouring himself out to her like he would his mother. But of course, when he’s brought in to meet the Boss Man, he pulls it all together. He’s assumed a level of informality with Peggy, and Peggy doesn’t like for men to assume *anything*.

      That scene with Betty and the ice cream: Betty was obviously going to finish that ice cream, wasn’t she?

      Also, I’d love to hear more theories on the end credits music, because that song was so ironic and poignant played over Betty eating ice cream to herself.

      • Susan Stella Floyd

         It was “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from The Sound of Music, which came out in 1965.  Ironically, the male vocal lead on that song turns into a Nazi in the film.

    • AWStevens

      The first thing I thought when I saw Betty was, “Betty is fat!  YAY!  Wait… that won’t last long.  Twiggy is coming…” 

      Thank you TLo for an awesome, astute and satisfying review as always..

    • judybrowni

      With you, TLo, except for one thing: that Peggy’s family and Ginsberg’s are “Very similar apartment(s.)
      The big difference starts with: the bathtub in the kitchen at the Ginsbergs, which indicates a much lower rung on the income ladder for the Ginsbergs.

      My first two apartments in New York in the early ’70s sported the kitchen bathtub: one, had probably been a servant’s quarters in an off Madison Ave, townhouse — the other, was 19th century shotgun tenement, flat that had yet to be converted.

      Bathtub in the kitchen (with a cover on it, so it could double as a table or drainboard), meant no bathtub (or extra sink) in a bathroom. Just a tiny closet with toilet in it.

      Those apartments still dotted the city in the ’70s, even on the upper east side, they were dark, one room led into the other (shot gun style), they were cramped, and much less expensive than more modern apartments.

      Peggy’s family home was spacious by comparison, separate living room, dining room (or kitchen) big enough to seat the priest and guests for a Sunday dinner.) You’d be lucky to fit more than two Ginsburgs in that kitchen, and dining off a bathub isn’t really condusive to hospitality.

      And hour out in Brooklyn, Peggy’s home it might have even been a house, not just an apartment.

      That Ginsberg and his father live in a bathtub in the kitchen flat, is an indication that Peggy’s ethnic group had been assimilated earlier, been able to make a lower middle class living earlier than a Jewish family.

      Ginsberg is the firm’s first Jew, doubt that Peggy was their first Catholic. Ginsberg’s father may have been living in that apartment since the Depression (I moved out from the bathtub-in-the kitchen after my first two years in the city.)’

      For the Ginsbergs, the bathtub in the kitchen bespeaks the anti-Semitism in the professions.

      • LaLeidi

         I moved out of an apartment exactly like the Ginsbergs’ in the Lower East Side just a few years ago. That type of apartment is referred to as an “old law tenement.”

        • judybrowni

          Really, they’re still around? That’s a comforting thought. 

          I hope they’re still a deal, of sorts. My last was $200 a month, but I’ll bet that would be annoying for you to know.

          • LaLeidi

             My place was rent controlled (subletted to me), so I was not doing too bad. I believe the apartments were being renovated as tenants moved out. In a neighboring apartment lived an elderly Ukrainian women and her ancient mother. I can’t imagine how little they must have been paying.

            • judybrowni

              In the ’70s, the East Village was a mix of low-cost hipsterism and the Ukranian population, which made for some great little ethnic restaurants.

              My last apartment in New York was rent-controlled in Stuyvesant Town, I was paying $325 a month for a one bedroom, and I have still have dreams about moving back into that apartment!

              Not a reality I could sign on to, since I saw the same apartment going for $3,500 a month, a couple years ago. 

              I have a friend living in an excrutiatingly small rent-controlled loft in the flower district. He’s been there since 1968, and his rent is $400 a month (well, his Social Security is only $1,000 a month.)

              Several landlords have longed to evict him, and he had to spend $25,00 in legal fees to fend one off.

            • LaLeidi

               It’s such a NYer thing to compare rent! After four years, I decided I was working too hard for too little, even with my illegal sublet. It seems like it is increasingly difficult to get by in NYC if you are not wealthy.

      • Sweetpea176

        They dragged up a Jew from the mailroom or something to sit in on a meeting with Rachel Menken in Season 1.   Ginsburg might be the first in a “career” type job.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

          As others have mentioned, they had Danny Siegel on board for a while. Of course, he had family connections (Jane’s cousin), and he wasn’t exactly a trail-blazer. But still. And Faye Miller was Jewish, although I don’t know if you want to count consultants.

          • Sweetpea176

            I didn’t count Faye Miller, because she was a consultant.  And I just forgot all about Danny Siegel — even though I had read all the comments.  What can I say?  It was late….

    • Susan Stella Floyd

       This has been my experience, too.

    • http://twitter.com/jessicaesquire Jessica

      Thanks for this spot-on write-up! I thought Betty was at her most relate-able and vulnerable and yet everyone seems to think she was more unlikable than ever. If Betty was feeling like the icy bitch, she wouldn’t be finishing Sally’s sundae.

      • rowsella

         I agree.  After thinking about it, she really rebounded to Henry after her father died.   Betty has to “grow up” now.  I don’t really care much for Henry’s mother.

      • Sweetbetty

         I don’t know about that.  Being an icy bitch means you are suffering inside and many people turn to food for comfort.

    • pepper76

      I was born in the ’70s, and it seems like the late ’60s are always portrayed through the lens of the youth culture. What’s interesting to me about this season is that it’s one of the first times I’ve seen that era from the prospective of the people who were over 30. You really get a sense of their discomfort and feelings of vulnerability. The world as they’ve always known it is shifting under their feet. It’s also a bit timely in that it sort of parallels the sense of dread and uncertainty that we seem to be experiencing as a country in 2012. Fascinating stuff.

    • judybrowni

      Loved how Kiernan left the good-mommy-bonding-moment-with-ice-cream, but fast.

      Moments so rare on Betty’s part, that Sally is over expecting — or trusting — them.

      With the help of her analyst, she’s moved on.

      And I’ll bet dollars to donuts that previously Betty had previously lectured Sally about “fattening foods.” Shamed her, even.

    • rowsella

      I actually feel pretty bad for Betty.  If you remember, she had a domineering mother.   I don’t think she anticipated dealing with a critical mother in law when leaving Don.  She just never had that problem before.  To me, she seems very lonely.  The tenderness of her husband is very touching.  She is not unhappy with Henry, she is unhappy with herself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=733516833 Toby Wollin

      You know what will happen to Peggy? Think Mary Wells (and if you are not familiar with the name, look it up). She will wake up sooner than later and realize that she will never, ever make partner. it won’t make any difference how much business she brings in, how many awards she wins, how chummy she is with the big guys. She cannot win. She will have to leave and set up her own shop. If she is smart, she will take Joanie with her to run the place. 

      • LesYeuxHiboux

         Spin-off! Advertising Women.

      • formerlyAnon

        OH, I only wish we could see that. If she keeps holding off from a formal commitment to any and all boyfriends, I’d go so far as to say it’s quite possible.

      • BayTampaBay

        See Wikipedia…Mary Wells Lawrence…plop plop fizz fizz…good read

    • Logo Girl

      This episode takes place in the first year I was likely even remotely cognizant, and Bugles are one of the first snack foods I remember eating. Yes, of course, I put little “hats” on each of my fingers. I probably downed them with Hi-C (out of a can). That, or Funny Face Drink Mix.

      • holdmewhileimnaked

        afterwards would be otter popskoogle. or maybe during. & goofy grape kool-aid if there were a lot of kids around, too many for soda in cans. some of these things are still around. but not enough of them, sadly.

      • formerlyAnon

        I am, god knows, no snob about junk food. But Bugles are one of the few junk foods of my childhood that I will still buy every couple of years because once I liked them so much. The “‘today me’ says “eh, they’re fine.”  The ten-year-old me finds them delicious.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720086455 Sue Shea

         i forgot about funny face!!! thank you!
        (i was born in ’65)

    • http://needtherapy.tumblr.com/ skadi1

      I heard a theory that perhaps Betty really DOES have cancer. We only have her word that it was benign, and maybe, given what Joyce said, Betty has decided to keep it a secret. It would explain why she wasn’t as happy/relieved as Harry, why she didn’t call Don to tell him, and why she was suddenly trying to have a nice moment with Sally.

      • UsedtobeEP

        I wondered that myself.

    • barbiefish

      That and she developed a real affinity for southern fried chicken and the fixings (who can blame her?), which apparently she encountered a lot while campaigning with John. 

    • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

      Interesting. I had a very different take on the backstage scene. Sure, Don was the only old-school adult in the room but
      he was IMO surprisingly open to and interested in what was going on. He tried to do some market research, basically, on a new demographic. I didn’t feel he was being particularly preachy in his response to the girl’s remark about grownups. He is a grownup and comfortable with it. He simply responded honestly and appropriately, correcting her classic adolescent impression. The sad and slightly pathetic guy in that scene was Harry, who doesn’t want to be a grownup and is desperate to plug into the burgeoning youth culture when he’s obviously past that stage of his life and too inherently clueless to get it anyway. I LOVE Megan. What a breath of fresh air. I thought she was pretty nice about the Betty deal, actually, nicer than Henry on the other side of the equation. There’s a ton of chemistry between Don and Megan, I must say. Hot.A little surprised by the kinda bitchy, snippy side of Peggy. She’s evidently gotten more jaded over the years. I do agree there’s a spark of something between her and the new guy.

      • CatherineRhodes

        I really liked your analysis, TigerLaverada… It seemed like Don was comfortable being backstage while being appropriately detached, but at the same time curious about the experience. And I LOVE Megan. She is my new favorite character.

        • Cabernet7

          I liked that he was aware of how he looked.  When Megan said he was so square he had corners, he said he had to look like The Man.  He wasn’t there to fit in, he was there to exploit them for business. 

          • CatherineRhodes

            Cabernet, I think “exploit” might be too strong a word. I feel like he wanted to understand them, to see what “made them tick.” Sure it was for business purposes but isn’t that what we all do at our jobs, try to identify our customers?

            • Cabernet7

              Yeah, “exploit” may be too strong.  I just think it’s interesting that he seems to be owning up to being “The Man”.  I think on some level he knows that marrying Megan makes him look as foolish as he accused Roger of looking at the Derby Day party.  So he’s overcompensating in the other direction, if that makes any sense.

    • amyfromnj

      Is anyone else getting annoyed that wether or not this was a fat suit is still being debated? It was sooooo obviously a fat suit. I don’t know, this whole episode bugged me. As if Betty couldn’t <<<>>> be a happy woman if she wasn’t a size four.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

         She wasn’t happy at a size 4 and she’s not happy now. She just can’t be happy, period.

        • rowsella

           I don’t think there was such thing as a size 4 in Betty’s time.  My mother says that by 1966 they may have come out with a size 8 but prior the smallest size was a 10.

      • holdmewhileimnaked

        depends on the person.

        i remember getting into it w/ my mother about this. my mother didnt care very much about appearance, in fact she was way ahead of her time in lots of ways–definitely in this one. she thought all the focus on what one looked like in the 70s/80s was despicable, horrid stuff. i’d gained a lot of weight myself, very badly, from being both post-divorce & post-anorexia–it was really sad, i was about eighteen. too long a story. but i was devastated by the weight gain–i mean, my whole life had been built around my looks, i was an actress, i was a model, that sort of thing. my mother just could not understand why this would disrupt my life to the point that i was no longer really living.

        but it did. i remember her telling me about a patient she had [she was an analyst] who was a model & was all kinds of upset cos people thought she wasnt very bright. to my mother this was a way way worse thing to have happen than what i did to myself. but to me, oh heavens no. it wasnt. &, in truth, it wasnt. not in the 80s.

        but that’s only part of my point. the rest of it is that for a person like the betty character, her looks would also be the core, the very pith of her life. the character & i are, elsewise, nothing at all alike. but i know what it was like to be pithed by this problem & i can imagine her character would feel real similar.

        i gotta go back to bed now. dentist wednesday which means teeth & face pain will be made somewhat better. but it’s bad when it’s bad. i am just lucky it isnt as bad as it once was. for that i actually am grateful.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SG3724ISZXPYC4FGGZE6AFJHTY RoseR

      Michael’s Pop offers a semi-precise date here for episode, in case anyone cares.   He reads from the paper that Pete Fox of the Red Sox died.  Fox’s date of death was July 5, 1966.  

      • http://twitter.com/idrisraja Idris

         that and we saw the kids playing with sparklers on the front law of the francis home implying that it was July 4th weekend

    • Alexandra

      I was just at the Tenement Museum in New York on Saturday and was stunned when they showed Michael Ginsburg’s apartment.  It was nearly identical to the Depression era tenement apartment at the museum.  From the small table under the window separating the kitchen from the parlor (those windows had to be put in due to new codes at the turn of the century) to the bathtub in the kitchen with the counter on top of it, it was staggering how alike it was to the recreated apartment I had just been in.  Seriously, amazing set design.  I had chills watching it, it’s so accurate.

      • Lilithcat

        Typical Lower East Side apartment.   (Well, not anymore.  My grandmother would plotz to know that the LES is considered “edgy” and that you can spend $5,000,000 – yes, million – for an apartment on Rivington Street!)

      • ldancer

        I loved that scene between Michael and his tateh. I just finished a graphic novel about the Lower East Side and I spent a lot of time researching those apartments. Originally they didn’t even have those windows cut into the inside dividing wall. As soon as I saw Michael entering that apartment, and heard his father speak, I was interested in him.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charlotte-Sanders/100000745060624 Charlotte Sanders

           Can anyone tell me what the prayer meant or what it was that Michael’s father said over him at the end of that scene??  I don’t know any Hebrew and only understood the Shalom at the end, but every single time I look at that scene and hear those lines, I start to cry… LOve, love, love this show.  Just something about that scene that is heartbreaking and lovely at the same time.   Anyone know?

          • Sweetbetty

             I can’t help you with that but am I the only one who got the feeling that Michael was rather reluctant to be embraced by his father and prayed over?

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charlotte-Sanders/100000745060624 Charlotte Sanders

               It seemed that he was a bit weary of it as if this happened all the time and too much, probably all of his life, therefore no big deal and even annoying at this point.

            • Sweetbetty

               Yes, that’s the feeling I got about Michael exactly.  Thanks for putting it into words.

      • judybrowni

        I successively lived in two bathtub-in-the-kitchen apartments in the early ’70s in New York! On the Upper Eastside.

        Fairly easy to come upon then, if you went for the cheap apartments listed in the newspapers. One was obviously former servant’s quarters in a Madison Ave townhouse; the other obviously a former tenement apartment from the late 19th-early 20th century.

        If you scroll down a page or two, you’ll come upon someone currently living in a rent-controlled one in the east village! Can’t be converted until elderly residents move out, apparently.

        And in Manhattan, if you have a rent-controlled apartment, you just refuse to die.

      • formerlyAnon

        I can attest that there were still some of those tub-in-the-kitchen apartments in D.C. in the mid-eighties. And we thought they were way over-priced, then.  I can’t imagine they haven’t all been renovated by now.

      • rowsella

         My mom lived in one of those apartments in NYC when she first came to this country in the 1950′s.  There was a shared/common toilet room on each floor and her parents had a metal tub in the kitchen that she bathed in.  I think they were called “cold water flats.”.  I think they lived in an apt. in Queens.

      • LaLeidi

        As I posted in response to another comment, I lived in an apartment just like that until a few years ago. They have not all been renovated.

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      i’m sorry to ask such a stupid question but is there anywhere online one can watch this show? not the old episodes but the current ones? i dont care if theyre a couple days late. it turns out i am really sick–not gonna kill me sick, but gonna be sick for some time ’til i get better, nothing for anyone else to really worry about, just painful & annoying, teeth & face pain again–anyway, it is gonna keep me needing a bit of rest for a little while. so i thought i would watch this but i cant–& now since i cant work for a couple of weeks i certainly cannot buy a television. oh heavens no.

      anyway [redux], does anyone know?

      • Sweetpea176

        Just type “watch Mad Men online” into your browser and you’ll get lots of results.  Some of them will be bad links or files removed, but you’ll find it.  It’s usually up on the internet somewhere by midnight or so after airing.  (I don’t have cable.)

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

        itunes

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

          And AMC’s hosting the 2 hour premier on their own website for free.

    • http://twitter.com/helloacid Andrea Cid

      “Very similar apartment, very similar ethnic/religious tone.” — I didn’t know what to make of Michael until you guys drew this parallel to Peggy. Love your Mad Men recaps and Mad Style posts. Incredibly insightful. Any hope for a Game of Thrones recap? :)

    • ChaquitaPhilly

      No boredom here! It’s been sooooo long. Loved it all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hellene2 Hellene Jakinovich

      You are so right!!  “The Who Sell Out” with Daltrey sitting in a tub of Heinz Baked Beans.  Pre-Tommy.  

      • serenitynow02

        I was beginning to think I was the only one old enough to remember!

    • Tafadhali

       I think I’m really going to like Michael. His interactions with Peggy had me cracking up when I caught up with the show last night — the awkward door-opening, calling her “Margaret”, nearly twirling her from excitement at the end. I think he’ll be an interesting addition to the office.

      I’m also very excited about their finally being a character of color working at SCDP, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do with Dawn in the future.

      I think one of my favorite moments in the episode, though, was a totally throw-away background line from Henry when Betty was answering the phone. Did anyone else catch him calling Mitt Romney’s dad a clown?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720086455 Sue Shea

         i did!

    • Emmyllou

      “Youthquake” . . . (sigh). I’d forgot that word. Mary Quant, Biba, Carnaby Street and so much more. I’m catapulted back. Great word.

    • BayTampaBay

      Unborn fawns and other buddies,

      What do you consider the dates for the baby boomers?  I have seen 1944-1960 and 1944-1964.  I was born in 1962 and do not consider myself a Babby Boomer.

      • Sweetbetty

         Those born between the years 1946 and 1964, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  I was born in ’48 and had my first child in ’66 so if I had been born two years earlier and had my first child at the same age we both would be Baby Boomers.

         I worked with a man around my age and one day I mentioned something about “us Baby Boomers” and he took exception and asked in a snide way if I considered myself a baby boomer.  I told him it wasn’t a matter of “considering”, that we both were born during those years so we just were.  He didn’t like being labeled and put into a category.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      All I know, is that Don needs to keep Sally AWAY FROM HARRY CRANE.

    • meeo b ward

      From what I remember, I don’t recall seeing Betty smoking.  Maybe she’s over eating and gaining more weight because of that?
      Amazing how fast Betty was to revert to her childish, wicked self immediately after getting news that the tumor was benign.  Something really struck me about the short phone call between Henry and Don.  When Henry hung up the phone, I got the sense that he was very bothered that Betty had contacted him.  I could also picture Betty waiting a while, either by accident or on purpose, before telling Don that everything was okay.
      My god, could I go on and on about this show!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1394670289 Kira Gartner

      Technically demographers date the end of the baby boom as 1964 – that has to do with birth statistics and that sort of thing. But personally I agree that the “cultural” baby boom (i.e. what most people are referring to when they talk about “baby boomers” etc.) ended around 1960. I was born in 1964 and definitely don’t feel like I’m part of that generation.

    • elzatelzabelz

      I guess I just don’t care that much about Betty. But…as a mother, her comment that Megan is 20 to me just meant that her kids would never remember her (Betty) as a mother. That is sad. The new copywriter drives me batty.

    • Sweetbetty

      I hadn’t heard this mentioned before so maybe it’s common knowledge and I’m once again the last one to the party, but I read that Matt Weiner intends to end the series after the seventh season.  I had no idea that an end had already been established and am sad to know that.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

        I’m not. I much prefer it when shows end while they’re strong, and I also prefer it when writers know in advance when the end is and can make sure that the story arcs fit that timeline.

        I think it’s much sadder when shows trail along until no one cares anymore, just to wring every drop of money out of a franchise.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Amen! See SATC movies.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Amen! See SATC movies.

        • Sweetbetty

           I know what you mean, but I just hate to see the show end.  I’d love to
          see the characters all grow older and see where life takes them.  If it
          does end after season 7, I’ll bet in a decade or so there will be a Mad
          Men, the Next Generation series with the kids of the present characters
          carrying on the legacy of SCDP in the ’80s.  Could have potential or
          could be a disaster.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        The timeline makes sense for the final episode to have Sally going to Woodstock. :)

        • sweetlilvoice

          I have been betting for years now that Ms. Sally goes to Woodstock. I think that would be a great turn.

        • sweetlilvoice

          I have been betting for years now that Ms. Sally goes to Woodstock. I think that would be a great turn.

        • barbarasingleterry

          Woodstock happened in 1968.  Sally is 11 or 12 now?  It is a little stretch to think she would find a way there at 13 or 14.  Because the movie wasn’t released until 1970 we tend to forget it happened 2 years earlier.  I just saw the movie again on TV and didn’t realize it came out so far after the concert itself.  A lot fun seeing those groups and bands when they were just starting out.  Crosby, Stills and Nash said in the movie it was their 2nd gig!

          • Sweetbetty

             The passage of Mad Men time doesn’t always correspond with the passage of real-life time.  If the series ends in two more years our time it could easily be four years in MM time, making Sally 16 or so and just the right age for a rebellious child to go off to Woodstock with some maybe-older friends (maybe Glenn?).

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            Woodstock was August 1969. Sally is about 12 now (July 1966), so I don’t think it’s a stretch. 

    • KLeigh

      Something that hasn’t been pointed out is that in the Betty/Don relationship, Don had to be the one to tell Betty everything was going to be okay. With Megan and Don, when Don told Megan the news about Betty, SHE was the one to say, “It’s okay.” I don’t know if anyone else picked up on it, but I thought it was a not so subtle way to compare the two relationships.

    • Jenny66

      It didn’t occur to me until a few days after watching this, but I think one of the reasons Betty’s cancer scare affected Don so much may have to do with the fact that Anna Draper died from cancer, and that was a huge lost for him.

    • http://twitter.com/ParrotTalkBack Ana R.

      I just watched S1:Ep13 again and it struck me that Betty also asked Glen Bishop to tell her she would be alright. And she was wearing her blue jacket, the one she wore when she was flirting with that guy at the stables. Kinda sick, no?

    • clairellis

      my one quibble (very tiny one) Don said It’s gonna be ok, not alright. I’m only sure about the bc I just watched it. But the line either way is very sginificant. Betty needed Don and Don kinda needed Betty. He needed to say that to comfort himself bc now he’s thinking about loosing her and he needs comfort. I thought it was one of the best episodes ever. I’m only on the 3rd ep of the season, but I really liked this one. Also Megan is a little catty with the whole ‘She just wants a reason to call’ comment. To me that showed a little lack of confidence in her ability to keep Don on a semi tight leash.

      Anyone else think this? I realize I’m behind but I have no actual friends to discuss it with so I need virtual ones!

    • Linlighthouse

      Hello everyone, two years later. Just a quick comment that as a born New Yorker, I don’t find the Don/Dawn joke believable. In New Yorkese, The names would sound completely different (think Mike Meyer’s Coffee Talk shtick).