Mad Men
Tea Leaves

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 3 USERS: A-
Growing Concerns

Peggy enters Don's office thanking Dawn over her shoulder, which gets a chuckle from Roger, who's already inside. Peggy seems not to get it while Don exasperatedly explains that Dawn was the most qualified, but that's not why we're here... although it's reason enough from my point of view. But the meeting is so Don and Roger can bring Peggy up to speed about Mohawk and put her on the job of finding a copywriter for the account. Roger, continuing his battle with Pete even when he's not around to participate, tells Peggy he doesn't just want some hack with retail experience, but "a good-looking version of Don." Heh. Peggy plays along, saying that'll be easy...

...and then it's back to Betty, who's sitting in an examination room when a young, no-nonsense doctor joins her. As is her wont when dealing with an awkward subject, she shoots for "breezy" and misses by a mile in explaining that she's put on "a few" pounds, and hasn't had much luck losing them "for some reason." The doctor is kind enough not to suggest doughnuts as the culprit, instead merely saying what's happened to her is common, but Betty continues the faux-cheerful act as she says that "a friend" told her it'd be easier if the doctor gave her diet pills. The doctor looks her in the eye for the first time as he tells her he won't prescribe them without an examination. As he begins said examination, he goes on that when a housewife has a rapid weight gain, the cause is usual psychological; however, they first have to rule out medical conditions like diabetes and hypothyroidism. Presently he ceases the droning lecture and although that sounds good on paper, the fact that his next words are "I don't like that" with his finger on Betty's throat probably override any joy she might feel. He asks her to swallow as Significant Music plays...

...and then Betty's rushing into the Rye Town Francis Estate and calling for Henry. She gets no reply... the next thing we see is Don getting a buzz that Betty is on the phone. In a panic, she tells Don that the doctor found "a node or a nodule or something" on her thyroid, and they're not sure what it is, but it's definitely a lump and now she has to go to the city to see a specialist. Don, no stranger to people close to him dying of cancer, takes her seriously and offers to collect the kids, but that subject understandably only magnifies Betty's fears. So Don calls her "Birdy," probably for the first time since they divorced. After a moment, Betty asks him to say what he always says and he's right there: "Everything's gonna be okay." Interesting that the words she questioned right after the Kennedy assassination, the words that might have been as responsible as anything else for her decision to leave him are what she's begging to hear now. When they disconnect, however, Betty still seems terrified, while Don looks straight-up sad. He does not, however, run straight to his bar, at least not while the scene is still going on.

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Mad Men




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