Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A+ | 6 USERS: B+
Draper's Eight we cut back to Ossining, where Don's waiting in the living room when Betty brings the kids in. Bobby fearfully asks what they did, as apparently this is the room they only enter for scoldings. I'd make a joke about how this will expand the room's horizons for him, but it's just a little too sad for that, especially since Sally looks like she's got half an idea what's coming already. Betty haltingly tells the kids that Don's going to be moving out, and Bobby looks instantly shattered as Don struggles not to look away. Betty goes on that Don will visit, but when Bobby asks why he's leaving, then, Betty looks to Don for help, which turns out not to be such a good idea when he says it will just be temporary. Kind of hilariously, Betty shakes her head at him, like, does she think he just made an honest mistake here? She tells the kids it won't be like when Don left the last time, and then Bobby heartbreakingly asks if it's because he lost Don's cufflinks, like, I thought we were having fun with this episode but that stuff suddenly seems awfully far away. He tells them he loves them both, but Sally finally finds her voice: "Then why are you going?" He tries to say he's not leaving, just living somewhere else, but she tells him that's going. "You say things and you don't mean them. And you can't just do that?" On top of everything else, now she's drawing an uncomfortable parallel to what he said to Connie. Damn precocious kids.

He goes to sit with her despite the fact that she tells him to go away, and she reminds him that he said he would always come home. He doesn't choose to throw any blame Betty's way, but that doesn't stop Sally from turning on her and asking if she made him leave. She denies that, saying they both decided, and Sally says it's still her fault because she made Don sleep in Baby Gene's room. "It's scary in there." Heh. Don says they can call any time and he'll come, but Sally has had enough and stomps out of the room. I cannot imagine doing multiple takes of this scene without at least several Kleenex breaks for both actors and crew. Bobby puts his arms around Don and tells him not to go, and Betty puts a hand over her eyes as Don assures him no one wants this, but he needs him to be a big boy. He rocks Bobby back and forth in his arms...

...and then Peggy opens her door to find him and tells him he looks awful. He asks if he can come in, and when she obliges, he sits and tells her she was right -- he's taken her for granted and been hard on her, but only because he sees her as an extension of himself. "And you're not." I think he means they're so similar that he expected her always to understand him, but it could be taken as saying he still thinks of her as a secretary, or that she's not as good as he is, and, underwhelmed, she hilariously thanks him for stopping by. He's not done, however, beckoning her to sit before asking if she knows why he doesn't want to go to McCann. She says it's because he can't work for anyone else, but he demurs -- it's because there are people out there who buy things, and "something happened, something terrible. And the way that they saw themselves is gone. And nobody understands that. But you do. And that's very valuable." He goes on that he's moving on, but he's not sure he can do it alone. "Will you help me?" She's a bit overwhelmed by the approval from him, so long withheld, and with brimming eyes, she asks what will happen if she says no. "You'll never speak to me again." He tells her that's not the case: "I will spend the rest of my life trying to hire you." Wow, Don's three for three at making up with SC people. And they never even played his theme music!

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Mad Men




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