Wow, things are heating up. In small matters, Sally gets a hangup, prompting Betty to call Francis and ask if it was he, and he tells her it wasn't, and not to call him again unless she's serious about seeing him. Also, there's mention that the family is finally selling Gene's house. Moving on to bigger stuff, Paul pitches an idea to Don for an Aqua Net commercial, but when he shoots it down as too wordy, Peggy modifies it to his liking, for which Paul chews her out in private and then challenges her to do her own work on the Western Union account and see who comes out on top. We get to see them both in action, and let's just say if what we see of Paul is an accurate representation of his typical day in the office, he's even more pathetic than I realized, but he does come up with an idea that pleases him greatly – except he passes out without writing it down, and in the morning he can't remember it. When he tells Peggy about it, she's sympathetic, but also unwittingly pulls another idea out of him that flies. Teamwork!
Don is still seeing Suzanne, and often, so he's there when her epileptic brother turns up, sending Don fleeing into the night, and this and other points of evidence make it clear that she's not going to play the game quite as privately or as detached as Don would like, but he doesn't run away permanently just yet. Instead, he offers to drive the brother up to Massachusetts, but the brother, knowing his condition won't let him hold down the new job Suzanne found for him, bails, but not before Don, as an act of atonement for how he treated his own brother, gives him his card and tells him to call if he's ever in trouble.
There's a party at the Waldorf for SC's fortieth anniversary, and Bertram and Roger would rather reminisce about old times than actually attend, although Bertram's the one of the two that actually decides not to go. Meanwhile, Pryce's wife has had it up to here with New York, and chews him out for apparently liking it. Pryce is then shocked when he gets a phone call from the British brass telling him they're putting SC on the market, and they'll need all hands on deck, as part of the party's purpose is to garner interest. Pryce displays some sharper people-reading than you might expect in convincing Bertram to attend, and then confesses the news about SC being up for sale to his wife, much to her glee. Considering the traffic they had to fight to get to the party, guess you can't blame her.
Don gets his bonus and stashes the cash away in his study, making me think he's still planning for a getaway at some point. And he may need it sooner than he thought, as Betty finds his keys due to a laundry oversight, and invades the locked drawer of his study -- in which she finds all of his Dick Whitman/Don Draper/Anna Draper memorabilia and evidence. She waits up to confront him, but he doesn't come home. When he calls her the next day, she tells him she's not going to the party, but she can't bring herself to confront him yet, and eventually backs off. The entire family attends, and after Roger gives him a long and rousing introduction fit for, say, JFK, Don gets up to give the closing speech as Betty stares at him, many emotions playing on her face. You may not be surprised to hear that none of them are good.
Don turns up at Suzanne's door, and she happily bids him inside. He points out a gold star stuck to her cheek and asks if she was grading papers, which makes me relieved that it wasn't left over from his last visit. She talks about three loaves of date nut bread she made and the fact that his service called, but Don is not interested in bake sales or overly demanding clients at the moment, although he is happy to hear that Hilton now should be in the air, as it means he can spend the night with impunity. After some lingering, soulful looks, he leads her into the bedroom, and I know this isn't premium cable but you'd think he'd at least take off his trench coat first.
While in the bathtub, Betty reads a hardback copy of The Group. Heh. If this foreshadows her pursuing a lesbian relationship with an Italian baroness, I'm not going to complain. I mean, she already knows the language, although I'd expect she'd have to expand her vocabulary a little.
Don and Suzanne lie in bed, and she tells him how in art class that day, one of her kids asked her how she knows if what she sees as the color blue is the same as what other people call it. When Don asks what she told him, she smiles that she gave him the truth -- she doesn't know that, and she never has. "But I love that he made me think about that again." Personally, I think introducing the prism through which the rest of the episode is going to be viewed is kind of a precocious achievement for an eight-year-old. Suzanne asks Don how he would have answered the question, and he replies that he would have told the kid that his job is about "boiling down communication to its essentials," and the truth is, "people may see things differently, but they don't really want to." Don's going to be in for a surprise when the intelligent design people come along. Picking up on the somewhat regretful tone in his voice and the unstated implication that he takes advantage of people's sensitivities, Suzanne asks if he feels bad about what he does, and Don deflects somewhat by answering that no one could feel as good about what they do as she does. She blushes with appreciation at the compliment to her chosen profession, and then offers that she wishes she could have known him at age eight. "I bet you were serious." Regular horsewhipping can produce that emotional makeup, I'm guessing. Don replies that he would have liked her. "Long, curly hair. No one has that anymore." They kiss...