Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A | 1 USERS: B-
YOU GRADE IT
My Left Foot…
tlight on. He places the doll on her dresser before withdrawing, which turns out not to be the greatest idea when moments later, he hears screaming from Sally's room -- she woke up and saw the doll and figured there were nefarious forces at work. Besides the ones at Mattel, I mean. Don rushes in and holds her, but when Betty appears with the crying Baby Gene, Sally screams again, and Polly barks for good measure. Betty, it will shock you to hear, has little sympathy for the child that should know better than to wake her up, and by the way, his absence in the scene makes me seriously wonder if Bobby is still alive, given that all the racket hasn't stirred him. When Betty and the baby are gone, Sally tells Don that Grandpa Gene's not supposed to be there anymore, but the baby has his name and looks just like him and is in his room, "and I bet when he starts talking, he's gonna sound just like him too!" If that's true, he's going to be working a lot bluer than the kindergarten teachers are accustomed to. Don firmly tells Sally that Gene's a baby and only a baby, and since ghosts don't exist she can just go to sleep...

...but when he rejoins Betty, he confronts her about Sally being scared of the baby because of the name, saying it has to stop. Of course, this didn't seem to enter into his thinking last week, which is why his complaining about the name seemed petty, but anyway, Betty will brook no dissent -- Gene was her father, and that was his name, and passing on names in this manner is what people do to remember the ones they've lost. Don: "He hated me, and I hated him. That's the memory." Betty loudly repeats that Gene is the baby's name, and then Sally enters and apologizes for waking the child. Betty softens and tells her it's okay and everything's fine, and sputter about that one to yourself as Don leads Sally out...

...but not back to bed. Instead, they head into Baby Gene's room, and Don picks his son up, sits down in a chair with him, and has Sally approach. With her dad there to protect her, Sally looks less like she's nearing a creature intent on stealing the breath right out of her, and she even smiles a bit as she looks at her brother. Don tells her he's just a baby, and they don't know who he is yet or what he's going to be. "And that is a wonderful thing." Unafraid of the unknown, is Don Draper, and Bob Dylan's "Song To Woody" kicks up as we go to credits.

John Ramos is a writer and film producer living in Los Angeles. You can reach him at couchbaron@gmail.com.

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Mad Men

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