...Joan. Peggy pulls her aside and tells her the whole mess -- she's not supposed to know where Don is, and she would have reminded him about the portrait appointment, but he slipped out before she had the chance. Joan, of course, wants the juicy gossip on where Don is, and playfully refuses to help Peggy unless she gives up the dirt. Peggy tells Joan and her enormous rack about Midge, and that Don went to see her the other day. "He came back all greasy and calm." Hee. Joan inhales her cigarette and gives Peggy a simple plan -- entertain Betty and the kids, tell them Don left and you forgot to remind him about the portraits, and wait for him to return and make his own excuse, which he will. "And then you just start apologizing for...well, just how stupid you are." Peggy: "It's probably what I would have done anyway." Hee, again. These two have such great interactions. Peggy realizes that she really shouldn't have told Joan Don's secret, and Joan agrees. "I'm not gonna tell anybody, but you shouldn't have told anybody that." Let's just hope Peggy never finds out the whole Dick Whitman secret.
Speaking of which, Adam asks where Don was all this time -- not that he's mad, he just wants to know. My God, this actor is killing me, because Adam is so desperately, twitchily in need of some connection with his brother that it's completely heartbreaking. Adam asks if he has a wife or kids, but that's closer than Don will allow, so he says he's going to go. Adam, abandoning any solicitousness, says he doesn't understand why Don is being like this, and that, as family, he just wants to be a part of Don's life. Don stands and tells Adam that's not going to happen. "I'm not buying your lunch, because this never happened." I'll have to remember that one next time I'm broke. Don leaves.
Peggy is following Joan's advice to the letter, and Betty engages her in small talk about her social life until she's rescued by a phone call. But it's just Joan, who mischievously asks how things are going. Peggy: "No thank you! I'm staying in." Heh. Betty asks Peggy if Don is treating her well, and Peggy smiles and says yes, and that Don has been very patient while she's learned the ropes. Betty tries a joke about how Don's such a chatterbox, but Peggy's too nervous to get it, so Betty has to explain herself. "You probably know more about him than I do." Peggy, recognizing this as dangerous ground, deftly shifts the subject to how beautiful Betty looks in the light in which she's currently sitting. Betty's touched, and if past occurrences are any indication, Peggy, this would be a good time to ask her for a bit of her hair. Don returns at that moment, though, and realizes his forgetfulness. Peggy gives a canned bit about how she's so embarrassed that she forgot to remind him, but Don picks up the cue, saying he forgot to check in before he went to the printer. The Drapers leave, with Don giving Peggy a generous "Don't worry about it" on his way out. Well, he's crushed someone else today, so I suppose his quota is filled. Peggy takes a ragged breath.