Mad Men

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There's That Past, Informing the Present Again

Betty's in with the psychiatrist, an older female redhead with a friendly face whose name we will soon learn is "Dr. Edna Keener," who says that from what Betty's already told her, the year has been quite eventful for her family, which is true in the way that a comet striking the Earth would be "quite eventful." Addressing what she perceives as an unspoken question, Betty tells the woman that she knows the second marriage seems fast, but she feels kids don't have the same concept of time as adults, and besides, Henry's really taken to Sally and Bobby. Dr. Edna (that's how she's going to have Betty and Sally refer to her, so why not) says that if Betty chooses to have her work with Sally, she'd like to meet her and then interview both Betty and Don. Betty sniffs that she doesn't think Don will come to see her. "That's his level of interest." Time will only tell whether that's true, I suppose, and Dr. Edna seems to agree as she moves on to ask if "this recent incident" is of greatest concern to Betty. To her credit, Betty doesn't, at least for the moment, bring up any social embarrassment and in fact says she thinks Sally's acting out mostly because of the divorce, but she goes on that Sally has in fact been different since her father Gene, with whom Sally was very close, passed away. Betty then pauses, seeming to struggle with expressing something, which Dr. Edna gives her the time to do, and she finally offers that she wishes Gene could have met Henry, and opines that they would have gotten along. That's obviously another dig at Don, but I do wonder if the obvious Daddy issues that were in play when Betty fell for Henry wouldn't have made Gene raise an eyebrow. Of course, he was kind of nuts, so who knows. Betty then moves on to her mother, and says if she had done what Sally did..."My mother was very strict about it." I can't see what Dr. Edna's writing on her pad, but I'd imagine it starts with "MOTHER MOTHER OH MY GOD MOTHER." She recalls a time her brother bought a "nudist" magazine, and when their mother found it, she nailed it to his bedroom door. I'm assuming she put it on the outside, right? Otherwise it just seems like the definition of a pinup. Dr. Edna gently asks about Betty and such practices, and Betty replies that she was "private" and "mostly" outgrew it, demurely declining to bring washing-machine-related exceptions into the conversation. But seriously, I know Betty went to therapy before, but I can't remember her discussing anything quite this potentially embarrassing with Dr. Wayne; the fact that she's confiding in this woman she's only just met is probably a good sign for the character. Anyway, Betty says she of course knows that children do this, but not in public, and she feels that Sally may have been punishing her. Dr. Edna, concentrating on the person before her, offers that that must be a terrible feeling, and Betty admits it is before saying, with a note of pleading, that she had to get divorced, not just for her own sake but to bring the kids some stability, "and in the end, she doesn't understand that it'll be better." Dr. Edna suggests that it might not be a bad idea for Betty to talk to someone, but while Betty doesn't refuse the suggestion as harshly as she might, she still says she's okay. Dr. Edna suggests that they at least meet once a month to keep up with Sally's progress, although she does say that she won't discuss any specifics of what she and Sally talk about, which Betty rather hilariously says is "better." Might as well wait until Mommie Dearest hits the stands and read it all at once! Dr. Edna suggests she and Sally "start" at four days a week, and I certainly hope the idea is for that number to go down over time rather than up. Dr. Edna goes to consult her date book, and when she's alone, Betty regards a dollhouse Dr. Edna has in her office and can't suppress a fond smile. Will wonders never cease?

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