Mad Men
In Care Of

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A- | 36 USERS: A-
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California, Here I…I Mean, "You" Come

Jon Hamm will be using this scene for his Emmy reel, no doubt, and rightly so; he's note-perfect, and if I've been down on Don this season it's because I've found the writing for him repetitive and predictable, but Hamm is always giving it his best. But given the look Ted's way before Don launched into this heartfelt speech, I wonder what was going through Don's mind -- did he finally realize that his pattern of escape wouldn't rid him of his demons? That, as the old saying goes, wherever you go, there you are? I don't really buy that the emotions Don was feeling about Hershey's, powerful as they obviously were, would be enough for him to complete torpedo a pitch like this, but it does make sense to me that he'd do it in aid of a bigger revelation that it's the way he's living his life that has to change, not where he's living it. That may make no sense, but it's a powerful scene, worthy of much analysis, not that anyone in the room agrees with me.

Cutler admirably tries to save the situation, but even he can't hide the irritation in his voice as he proclaims that Don's being modest, "but it's just this kind of theater that makes our work so different!" Hee. With looks Don's way ranging from pitying to baleful, the Hershey's guys, Cutler and Roger head out, leaving only Ted with Don, and Don wastes no time in calmly and definitively saying that Ted's going to California -- he wants him to. Flummoxed, Ted thanks him, and then Don goes out to Dawn to request his things. Roger rushes up and tells Don he shit the bed in there, but Don doesn't care, and when Roger asks if any of what he said is true, Don tersely tells him yes before saying he has to go. Probably mentally addressing Stan's earlier comment that he cares nothing for Dawn, he tells her, "Happy Thanksgiving, sweetheart," and she thanks him; she and Roger then silently watch as he heads off down the hall. I'd point out that now Stan isn't rid of Don, but the episode ain't over.

Pete and Bud are in the former's office hearing via speakerphone that their mother was determined to have been lost during a dance on the boat, and her body hasn't been recovered, as there are a lot of sharks off the coast of Martinique. He goes on that neither government is going to investigate, and the cruise line has fulfilled its obligations. After a rant from Pete about international waters, the cruise-ship guy tells Pete he has a PI ready to board the ship to get Manolo, and there are also wheels they can grease in Panama to have Manolo prosecuted, but the expenses might add up. We haven't heard the evidence, of course, but it does sound like everyone is certain this was murder for money, as the ship guy tells Pete that now that Manolo's aware of Dot's "limited financial resources," he may flee. Pete asks if he can call the guy back, and he and Bud sit for a moment in a silence borne of the uncomfortable realization that they just don't want to spend the cash. Bud finally gives voice to the feeling, saying that it won't bring her back. "She's in the water. With Father." Pete notes that she loved the sea, and then the two brothers sit in silence, each gazing at the only family he has left.

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