Mad Men

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It's A Man's World

We open on a close-up of a waiter concocting something in a bowl that involves an egg yolk and lemon juice. He's at a semicircular booth containing Don, Betty, Roger, and Roger's wife Mona (Talia Balsam), and Roger asides to Mona that she should ask him for another yolk. "One egg is good; two eggs are better." I used to think that too, until my doctor started mentioning statins in every other sentence. Roger continues in this officious vein, trying to push drinks on everyone (not that that's any kind of difficult errand) and basically telling the staff to snap to it. Might as well get him slurry, boys -- I have the feeling that's the only time he's a decent tipper. Roger reminisces about the nannies he had as a child, the comedic highlight coming when he mentions that the first one he had was German. "My parents got rid of her after the Lindbergh baby." Hee. Betty pipes up that she and Don thought about getting a nanny, but they settled for a girl who comes in to clean and sometimes takes care of the kids. Roger takes the opportunity to complain about his daughter and the fact that she's now going to a shrink, although Mona doesn't see what the big deal is. Roger then asks Don about his childhood, but Don smoothly deflects the question, and Betty adds, "Don doesn't like to talk about himself." Even if I hadn't seen the rest of the season, I suspect I'd sense she's understating the case here. Roger mildly gives Don shit for being a self-effacing ad man, implying that that's too good to be true, but Don says his childhood isn't interesting, and they can think of him as having been a baby in a basket, just like Moses. That's fitting enough, considering everyone treats Don like he's capable of feats on the order of the parting of the Red Sea. Roger raises a glass to Moses and Don, and after everyone sips, Mona and Betty repair to the ladies' room. When they're gone, Roger muses that he may know more about Betty than about Mona, and Don cheerfully counters, "Maybe your wife is just a better drinker." Heh.

In the ladies', Betty takes her lipstick out of her little sequined bag. Unfortunately, her control of her hands seems to be on the fritz, so, trying to steady the quaver in her voice and explaining that her hands are a little numb, she asks Mona for some help touching herself up. Mona obliges, and smiles that with Betty's lips, it must be easy for her to hold on to Don, and they both share a chuckle. Oh, the humanity. Betty turns serious, though, saying that it's kind of hard to hold onto anything with running the house and taking care of the kids and all, and by the way, did Mona know her mother died three months ago? Mona regards Betty with an inscrutable smile, which would seem inappropriate if it weren't reminiscent of her far more famous namesake. Seriously, though, I don't know what that look was all about. "Yes, you dumb bint, you never fucking shut up about it"? Hmm, maybe that's the one. Anyway, the attendants keep them moving along, as other women are waiting to use the mirror, and when Betty and Mona are out, one whispers to the other that if women's purses get any smaller, "we're gonna starve." Well, I didn't see you rushing over to touch up Betty's lipstick.

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Mad Men

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