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

...before we cross-fade to another couple lying in the dark, Peggy and Ted. Ted suggests they go to Hawaii for Christmas, and Peggy enjoys the suggestion, but after a long moment she suggests he go home. He tells her he doesn't want to, nor does he want to sneak around, but she replies that she doesn't want a scandal, and she can wait. Well, you said it, hon. He starts to kiss her again, but she reiterates he should go, so he gets in the shower...

...and then he's getting undressed as a sleepy Nan tells him to come to bed, and he's like, "Okay!" in a voice befitting someone who's between torture sessions. He is so not cut out for this, which I guess is the point. He gets into bed, and after Nan cuddles up and tells him he's working too hard, his eyes remain wide like he hadn't considered how hard this would be. Well, like many situations on this show, the alternative is to be Don. Embrace the pain.

Pete trudges up the stairs, and Clara asks what he's doing back. He sighs that he needs a place to live, as his tenant has already moved in and he's "done in Detroit." Clara's like, I seeeee, and then tells him Bud's been trying to reach him. Pete asks if they found Dot, but Clara's uncomfortable expression is her only answer, so Pete sighs and tells her to let everyone know he's back. Frankly, I'm surprised they weren't waiting in a tableau at the top of the stairs, but I suppose there's an episode quota on that sort of thing.

Joan is getting something out of a cabinet in the break room when Caroline pokes her head in and says she's got to run to the bank. Joan asks if she wants someone on Roger's desk, but Caroline tells her she's not sure he's coming in, and she's worried about him. Joan skeptically asks what's wrong, so Caroline tells her Margaret and Brooks are bleeding him dry. With a note of amusement, Joan tells her Roger loves it, but Caroline assures her he's "forlorn" and adds that she'd invite him to her place, but between her newly-teetotaling husband and her nightmare of a kid (I'm paraphrasing), she doesn't think he could handle it. She heads out, and Joan looks like she's having an idea that maybe doesn't taste all that great.

Ted comes in to see Don, and Don's like, good timing -- why don't you sit in on Hershey's, since I'm going to California and you'll be taking it over? Ted, however, tells him that's not why he's there, and Don, sensing the gravity, offers him a drink. Ted actually considers it for a long moment, but decides against it, and after he sits down, he tells Don he's not sure how to say this, but he wants to be the one to go to California. Don's like, well, we can't both go, and Ted says he knows -- he's the one who needs to start over while Don stays behind and puts all that "energy and optimism" into the business. I mean, I give Don a lot of shit, I think deservedly so, but I'm surprised even he isn't cracking up at the idea of him injecting optimism into anything. Don thinks Ted means to take Peggy with him, but Ted, once again acting like he's a murderer in a church confessional, tells him no -- he means to take his family. "It's my only chance, Don. I've got kids. I can't throw this away. I can't go on like this." Not that I think he won't appear at all in the final season, but I'll miss Kevin Rahm; he really brings a believable and much-needed humanity to Ted and to the show. In fact, all the major new office characters have been exceedingly enjoyable; I may not have been a fan of a good amount of this season but I certainly give the show credit for injecting significant new blood so deftly. Don's not unmoved, but tells Ted he only wishes he could help him; in response, Ted pleadingly tells Don he knows he's a good man underneath. "I need you to help me put three thousand miles between me and her, or my life is over." Don points out that his own decision wasn't made lightly, and from Ted's POV he could probably argue the point, but I can buy that a night in jail is enough to shake even Don. He adds that Megan's already being written out of her show, so it's too late, and Ted defeatedly closes his eyes before getting to his feet and shuffling to the door. Don tries to tell him his infatuation will go away, and again, I don't want to think about what that means about his current feelings for Megan, but Ted's only response is to request that Don have a drink before the meeting. Don's expression turns quizzical, so Ted goes on, "My father was...you can't stop cold like that." Interesting. Looks like Don isn't the only one who has a complex relationship with alcohol. I mean, not that he was the only one before. Don takes Ted's advice, however reluctantly...

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