Mad Men
The Flood

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B | 4 USERS: A-
White People Problems

Henry enters the bedroom and tells Betty she left the TV on, but she's in a similar headspace as her son: "I don't feel right turning it off. But I don't want to watch it." After saying he thinks the violence has died down for the duration, he tells Betty she'll never have to worry about money, and given that that's the second time we've seen him tell her that, I wonder if she's going to live to regret not taking Don for what she could have. She asks why he'd bring that up, and by way of answering, he wonders what he's doing - he keeps thinking about walking through Harlem behind Lindsay. And while he admits that was exhilarating, "what was the cost of avoiding that riot? Police corruption, disrespect for authority, negotiating with hoodlums?" He tells her he wants to do things differently, and all this is in aid of the news that he's been offered the seat of a dead state senator, and since he was a Republican, he would be "basically unopposed." Betty's delighted, especially when she hears that the position could be a stepping stone to the state Attorney General position, but from how quickly her face falls when he says he can't wait for people to really meet her, you'd think he mooed in her face.

Don is sitting on his bed, and he looks so unsteady I'm surprised he hasn't been drinking straight out of that bottle on the nightstand instead of bothering with a glass. Megan enters, dressed in her nightgown, and after she tells him the kids are in bed, she's like, hey Drunky, how about letting me in on what's in your brain besides a BAC of somewhere over 2? She goes on that she didn't know what to say to Sally, but Don sighs that she's better with the kids than he is, and she doesn't understand. Megan: "I do. You don't have Marx; you've got a bottle." Don doesn't even acknowledge the burn, excellent though it was, so Megan sits with him and asks if "this" is what he wants to be to the kids when they need him. He admits that it isn't, and then takes a long moment before going on that he always wanted to be "the man who loves children." But he always faked it - from the moment the kids were born, he acted proud and excited, but he didn't feel anything. (He's using the second person, which adds to the effect, but it's easier to recap this way.) He goes on that his inability to love was exacerbated by his difficult childhood, and Megan looks concerned in a different way as he goes on, "You want to love them, but you don't. And the fact that you're faking that feeling makes you wonder if your own father had the same problem." It's been too long since Don's given us anything identifiable to work with, but this scene is the best he's offered in a long time precisely because the things he's saying are so difficult even to think, let alone to say. He goes on that suddenly, the kids are older and "you see them do something, and you feel that feeling that you were pretending to have. And it feels like your heart is going to explode." Is he that proud that Bobby bought Milk Duds all by himself? More seriously, if I were Megan, I'd wonder if this genuine feeling of love makes Don's infatuation with her pale in comparison, but I suppose it's a good sign overall for him to feel something human, and she puts a comforting arm around him. I feel you on the tender moment, Megan, but you might also want to get him some Alka-Seltzer.

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