I don't enjoy saying this, and I'm probably so far out in the cold with this opinion as to be out of the solar system, but I was expecting so much more from this episode. It actually detracted from instead of building on the momentum of the last couple episodes, in my opinion. Not that there weren't great things, of course, but on the whole it just didn't come together for me. Of course, Mercury has been in retrograde this week.
In an elementary-school classroom, Don and Betty are awaiting, presumably, a teacher, and since the setting is appropriate for a "You learn something new every day" revelation, I'll tell you that I had no idea pregnancy pads came in the size Betty is currently sporting. If I didn't know now that she's dropping the kid this episode I'd be worried her stomach would be heading into farcical territory. The teacher, who just happens to be she of the maypole dance (at least now we have an explanation of why the camera lingered on her so lovingly in that episode), then enters with the news that she was expecting another couple, but they're apparently not coming, which is good news for Don and Betty, because no matter how awful Sally's been lately they earn a relative gold star over "the Piersons" by being the parents that showed up. There's a cute little moment where the teacher realizes Betty isn't remotely going to fit into the one of the child desks and offers up her own chair, and after the teacher, with a pointed look Don's way, says that it's nice to see both of them there, they get down to business -- Sally initiated a fight with Becky Pierson, complete with hair-pulling and scratching. Frankly, I'm a little disappointed -- with all the trouble Sally's gotten into leading up to this, I was kind of hoping for some broken bones or at least an incident that left teeth marks. After a completely bizarre cut to a shot of Sally wiping blood from her face that feels like it belongs on an entirely different show, Don notes, hilariously echoing my sentiments, that no one needed stitches, as if anything less serious than that didn't raise an eyebrow back on the farm, which is probably the case. Betty pointedly adds that she hears the Pierson girl is "a bruiser," and the teacher admits she's heavy. "The children poke pencils into her sides when she's sitting because they think she can't feel it." I hope there's not that much of a difference when she's standing up, otherwise the children might have, if you will, a point. Betty is gratified to hear that Sally hasn't participated in such bullying, but the teacher points out that the fighting is atypical of Sally, and as such wonders if anything has changed at home. Betty haltingly admits that her father passed away about two weeks ago, and the teacher is immediately mortified at bringing up such a sensitive subject, but then wonders why they didn't notify her. She adds that Sally hasn't missed a day of school, and wonders if she went to the funeral; Betty replies that they wouldn't put her through that, and Don adds that he doesn't think children belong in graveyards, making me hope for his sake that Sally doesn't have a Goth phase anytime soon. The teacher notes that she now understands why Sally was asking so many questions about Medgar Evers's murder, prompting Betty to excuse herself to the ladies' room. When she's gone, the teacher apologizes again, but does add that Sally needs attention, as there's a "special pain" involved with losing someone at that age, although she's not sure if Don can understand that. However, Don simply replies, "I can," holding her gaze slightly longer than he might have, and between that and him showing up at all for the meeting, if he weren't single, I think he'd have the immediate opportunity to have sex in or on an elementary-school desk. However, Betty returns to put paid to any such possibility, and the teacher tells her any behavioral issues with Sally really can wait. Betty asks if she's sure: "I just want to put it behind us. I really just want everything to be okay for when the baby comes." And yet your strategy with your daughter almost ensures that that won't happen. The teacher's reply of "It's going to be a beautiful summer" doesn't exactly agree with me, but then it doesn't exactly disagree, either.