As she cleans up in the kitchen, Betty tells Don some random gossip about Helen Bishop. Talk then turns to weight and the fact that Carlton has put on a few pounds, which Betty thinks indicates he's happy. When Don disagrees, though, she takes that to mean Carlton said something, and snits that he should be not merely happy but should be showering Francine with love, "after what he put her through." Of course, the undercurrent is that Betty is still seething at Don for what she perceives he put her through, and Don, picking up on the mood that's been building through the evening, tells her that he's not going to fight with her. "I'll say whatever you think I should say, but I'm not gonna fight with you." Duck only wonders what he has to do to get the same deal. Betty, her anger only augmented by being called out, stomps away with the kitchen trash to the porch, where Don can see her light a cigarette and sit in silence. He sighs raggedly and heads out of the room...
...and is then checking on his kids, which is another indication that he's become a family man just at the moment his wife thinks the least of his spousal and parental abilities. If the irony is making you feel bad for him, I'd suggest you ration your sympathy.
In their bedroom, Pete laughs a not-entirely-mirthless laugh and tells Trudy about a trivial argument he and his father had the last time they saw each other. He goes on that he and his dad would "fight about facts," as his mother described it -- they'd argue about things that had proven and verifiable answers. Trudy, upon hearing the specifics, settles the fight in Pete's dad's favor, prompting Pete to tell her that when he woke up that morning, he felt fine for a minute, but then he remembered. She encourages him to focus on the good times, and she's being very supportive but I still think Pete's going to need to occupy his mind with something more substantial. Or at least existent. I should note, though, that despite her desire for a kid, Trudy and Pete seem to have settled into married life far more harmoniously than I would have guessed from last season. Who knew?
At the office, Joan is gossiping to some secretary when Paul comes up and sends the girl on an errand. He then marches off, and Joan, picking up the vibe, follows and asks if something's wrong. He tells her he's avoiding her, and she responds by asking if he's worried about the typewriter. Heh. Paul's seething, though, and asks Joan what she said to Sheila, so Joan parries, "Describe her to me." Paul's stunned at what he takes to be her overt racism, and starts to say he knew Joan was a lot of things, to which she retorts, "I'm not a phony." With a sunny smile, she lights into him, saying that it's so obvious he's only with her in an effort to prove how interesting and bohemian he is. At a loss for words, he looks a combination of angry and devastated, and Joan taunts him further, asking him what part of what she said was wrong. He stomps off, and Joan watches him go with a satisfied look on her face. Now, I rarely mention media discussion of my shows in the recaps, because I rarely care about what a showrunner or creator was trying to do -- it's whether he actually succeeded that matters. In this case, however, I think I should mention that Matthew Weiner said he didn't intend for Joan to come across as racist -- just honest enough to call Paul on his crap. I think Joan did come off as racist in her interaction with Sheila, or at least willing to use racism to make her point, neither of which is acceptable, but I'm willing to give her the benefit of some doubt based on Weiner's stated intentions. It's not like I watch this show for the amazing likeability and political correctness of the characters, anyway.