Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 2 USERS: A+
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Tit For Splat
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Just to get it out of the way, last time I asserted rather definitively that Don was Jewish, thinking that the episode theme was finally revealing the familial secret he's been keeping so desperately. I realize now that I jumped to conclusions -- while I still think that's where the show is going, the evidence is shaded, at the very least, so until the show lets us in on it, let's just say the jury is still out as to what Don is hiding. Sorry!

So the Jew/Gentile in question has just placed a call to his wife's shrink, Dr. Wayne, to whom he apologizes, saying he knows he's supposed to call at night, but he hasn't been alone. I wonder if that's his way of saying Midge is really stingy with her phone. Don inquires about Betty, too-hopefully asking if she's making progress, but the doctor tells him that it's only been a short period in therapeutic time, and Betty isn't particularly forthcoming yet. "Mostly she seems consumed with petty jealousies and overwhelmed with everyday activities." I think Betty's hanging out with the wrong crowd, because among most people I know, she'd fit right in. The doc goes on that Betty's emotions are juvenile, and Don looks a little beside himself as he says she wasn't always like this. I think we're being subtly informed of just how much Betty relied on her mother, and the doc agrees that the death of a parent can be "extremely destabilizing." Don's unsympathetic, but that's probably because his happiest dreams are the ones in which he runs over his parents with a backhoe. The doc says that as they continue, they'll hopefully get to shed some light on Betty's deeper issues. Don: "There are deeper issues?" Not everyone's a print ad, ass, and I choose to believe that the doc's response of "These are not groundbreaking revelations, Mr. Draper" is his way of saying the same. Slightly chastened, Don says he's concerned, and the doc, not unkindly but in a businesslike manner, says that he recommends they stay the course, and reminds Don that evenings are better for him to talk. Don looks very worried, at least for him, as he hangs up.

Close-up on Roger pouring some milk into a glass as he assures his wife via the telephone that he is drinking it; what she doesn't know is that he tops it off with some vodka, and what I wouldn't give to share her ignorance of that revelation. Seriously, I have enough of a hard time believing that the boozy Walker family can regularly get out of bed and make it to work, but the drinking on this show is beyond the pale. I understand it's the point, but I got it before the vodka in milk, MY GOD.

Anyway, we can deduce from the bespectacled Roger's end of the conversation that Mona is taking a last-minute trip out of town, and Roger orders her to bring Margaret with her; Bertram then enters, so Roger disconnects, and Bertram tells him that "the Nixon boys" are going to be stopping in at the end of the week. Roger asks if Nixon himself is coming. Bertram: "No, thank God, otherwise I'd have to move the piano out of my office." HA! Actually, if you have three minutes and want a more complete picture, check this out. It's not as funny as if W. had been caught on camera playing the nose flute, but it will do until that happy day arrives. Bertram flops down and hopes aloud that Nixon's people decide they need Sterling Cooper, and then scolds Roger for smoking so much: "It's a sign of weakness!" Dude, I don't know if that's the word I would use, given that smoking even one of those unfiltereds would be enough to kill me dead. Bertram, however, goes on Hitler scored all that appeasement at Munich by holding their meeting in an old palace that forbade cigarettes: "After an hour and a half of not smoking, Neville Chamberlain would have given Hitler his mother as a dance partner." Thinking of Hitler dancing is taking me to a Mel Brooks kind of place, which is probably not what Bertram intended. Roger, for his part, is unmoved by the story, so Bertram gets up to go with a "Good night, Peanut." Don't know if there's a story or a reference there. Nonetheless: Hee.

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