Cut to Sally and Bobby watching TV (a news program about the Alabama attacks, by the way) when Phoebe, the nurse from next door, shows up, and Don, I'm not one to take Betty's side but having a babysitter while you have custody of the kids kind of isn't the idea, I don't think. But Don's got a date with Bethany, Jane's friend that we haven't seen since the season premiere, so Phoebe is up, and she brought her stethoscope for the kids to look at, which impresses Bobby. Of course, given his age, that's not too hard -- in fact, he's about the only person on the show more easily amused than Roger. Phoebe asks which one it is, and Don, thinking she's referring to the stable of women he has on hand, fixes her with a look, but she clarifies she meant which restaurant in case she needs to reach him, and he tells her Benihana's. Oh, ah so. Sally's the one who asks about Don's date, and when he tells her Bethany's name, she petulantly replies, "I don't like that." Heh. Don informs her that her approval isn't necessary, although he may feel differently when he arrives home...
...because sometime later, Bobby and Phoebe are watching cartoons when Sally emerges from the bathroom, and I hope Phoebe has some digitalis in her doctor's bag because she almost keels over -- Sally hacked off some of her hair. Bobby laughs that she looks like a "Mongoloid," which...okay, and Phoebe sends him off to bed before luring Sally over to the couch with the promise that she's not mad. What she is, however, is afraid that Don might actually deprive her of her life over this, but she's distracted from such thoughts when Sally points out that she has short hair and Don likes it. "Are you and Daddy doing it?" Phoebe is shocked, but Sally goes on, "I know what 'it' is. I know that the man pees inside the woman!" Well, that probably has hap...you know what? Never mind. Phoebe suggests she talk to her mother about such things, but Sally mutedly tells her she doesn't want to, and Phoebe may not be in a position to say this but you and I certainly are: I feel you, girl. Sally tells Phoebe she just wanted to look pretty, and Phoebe softens and leads her into the bathroom to attempt some damage control. And I'm sure Sally's reason will work on Betty with equal effectiveness!
At Benihana, things are also not going so great, as Bethany complains about the lack of intimacy in the setting, especially given that it's only their third date in five months. "Don't think I don't know why." I'd guess he's just periodically checking to see if you've moved someplace that's less strict when it comes to male visitors, but given this episode she probably thinks it's because of feelings or something. Actually, I think she does know it's about sex, or lack thereof, and the evening continues its downward slide when Ted Chaough appears and makes himself known to Don, and...oh, I didn't place him on first viewing with his hair not all over the place, but Ted is played by Kevin Rahm, who has been in a ton of stuff but whom I remember most from a brief stint when I was addicted to Judging Amy reruns. Yes, you can laugh.
Anyway, Ted introduces Don to his wife, and then throws some veiled barbs about Clearasil and Honda while Don looks like he wants to give this guy what I'd refer to, with much pleasure, as "a Jimmy Barrett special." When they part ways, Ted's wife is none too happy with his business-oriented dickish ways, while Don explains to Bethany that Ted is "some fly I keep swatting away." He adds that CGC hasn't done half of what SCDP has, but "the minute they declared themselves the competition, suddenly we were equal." Bethany has to work at it, but draws Don out of his reverie. He does, however, ask her to teach him how to use chopsticks, and across the room, Ted is watching Don with Manson Lamps so intent I'll have to be careful not to start referring to him as "the new Pete Campbell."
Don comes home and gets the bad news from Phoebe, including the part where the rescue operation was not a success and he'll need to take her to a salon. He angrily informs her that he's in for "a river of shit" from Betty, and insists that she take her fee as severance. She starts to say something, presumably about why Sally might have done what she did, but Don firmly tells her he's not interested in her advice, and kicks her out. On the one hand, I hope that's not all we see of Nora Zehetner, but I am kind of glad she didn't end up in bed with Don. Although I think she'd handle it better than Allison, not that that would be difficult.
And it's River of Shit time, as Betty's taking a nap in Henry's lap when they hear a honk from outside. Figuring it's Don with the kids, Betty gets up, and when she sees Sally wearing a hat and a guilty look, she pretty much knows what's coming. Nonetheless, she flips out when she sees the extent of the damage, and when Sally confesses that she's the one to blame, Betty doesn't even let her get halfway through an apology before slapping her hard in the face, like, complete with windup and all. The men are all "Hey hey HEY!" about it, and Sally, undeterred, says that it was an accident and she's really very sorry, but Betty isn't hearing it, and sends her up to her room, over Don's objections.
Henry has Bobby take Gene outside to play, and when it's down to the adults, Don tells Betty she didn't have to hit Sally. Betty agrees, and then yells upstairs, "Because it doesn't do anything!" You'll forgive me for finding that inappropriately funny -- in my defense, I'll say it's the only kind of funny Betty's really good at. She continues that Sally's got Picture Day coming up, and as punishment she can forget about an upcoming sleepover. Well, her instincts were pretty sharp on that one, I must concede. We get a close-up of Henry to show that he's concerned by how Betty is handling this situation, and Don tries to tell her that this is something kids do, but Betty seethes that she wanted long hair more than anything when she was a kid, and her mother threatened to cut her hair if she was bad. Of course, you'll notice she doesn't have long hair now, and that's all I'll say on that subject. She asks where the hell he was, and Don digs himself deeper when he mentions the presence of a sitter. She bites out that they might as well have been alone, and he snits in reply, "Because you're so good with them." True enough, but ineffective as a parting shot -- I would have gone to the subject of why they're still in the damn house months after he threatened to evict them.
When he's gone, Henry tells Betty he feels her -- after he got divorced, his weekends with his daughter Ellie were "sacrosanct" (I don't doubt your sincerity, but bring it down a notch there, guy), and here's Don not even taking a night off? Betty agrees, and wonders if a secretary, or "another whore" was watching them, and now I'm off thinking about Candace telling Sally about the birds and the bees and this is just not good, so let's get to the part where Henry tells Betty that all that is Don, not Sally, and girls do stuff like this, and not just the ones from broken homes. With an effort, Betty lets go of her anger and agrees that she was "impulsive," and Henry tells her he knows from experience that punishment will only make the situation worse, so Betty should reinstate the sleepover "when you're up there apologizing," like, is Henry The Betty Whisperer or what? She smiles that he's soft, and I would agree, BY COMPARISON.
Don arrives at the office and is immediately accosted by Pete, who'