Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A | 2 USERS: A+
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A Change Is Gonna Come
that everyone should feel free to have both the prime rib and the filet of sole. "Help yourself. I mean that -- there are no waiters." Heh.

Mona's boyfriend is telling his table that when FDR died, the country got over it by bombing Japan, and they should do something similar now: "I say we hang Lee Oswald and then we take care of Texas. Hell, the whole South!" In order to fill in the "..." response from the table, Mona hilariously asks what everyone thought of the sweetbreads, and a woman in a wedding gown tells her she was right and...oh, wait, that's Margaret. I didn't recognize her with the grin on her face. Don't know if the JFK thing helped her gain some perspective on her problems, because it's hardly like the wedding came off without a hitch, but maybe that's the point -- it wasn't perfect, but it was hers, and it happened and she survived. Roger then appears and says the problem is solved, but Mona's like, not so much -- the cake isn't coming. In response, Roger steals the drink out of Mona's hand, and I bet she didn't think that was going to happen anymore now that they're divorced. When he steps away to down it, he sees Don staring blithely at him like he's enjoying this. But considering that Don's got a daughter with anger issues and a likely upcoming divorce, he should probably be looking at Roger with a lot more sympathy, a point that's underscored when Henry Francis enters and greets a young woman, observed by Betty. Jennifer babbles some crap about JFK wanting attention and not fitting in, so it's just as well Betty's attention is elsewhere; she's watching and, apparently, listening as Francis and the woman greet Margaret, for when the woman addresses Francis as "Daddy," Betty breathes a visible sigh of relief. As I've said many times before, she is so not cut out to have an affair.

Oh, there's Harry in the kitchen, crowded around a TV with Bertram, Ken, Jane, and two randoms. Oswald is on the screen, and Jane wonders, "How would you know that's what a monster looks like?" Well, if some of the conspiracy theorists are right, you wouldn't. Roger comes in and wonders what everyone's doing, and when Jane explains that Oswald is about to be interviewed, Roger sends one of the randoms off to buy a cake, an errand that will be interesting given that he's not allowed to speak. Roger then tells Jane that he needs her, as he's about to give his toast, but Jane replies that she's heard his toast a million times. "The President is dead. And I'll tell you something else -- our table has no one at it." Heh. Roger impotently says he consolidated the tables before giving up and asking Bertram to keep an eye on Jane, presumably so she doesn't blurt out scandalous gossip at an inopportune moment. Bertram and Jane remain to watch the press conference, but Ken follows Roger out...

...as do we. Roger first says he's cutting the toast short in acknowledgement of what's happened, and if that's true there's something to be said for having weddings the day after national tragedies. He then asks if someone could get his wife out of the kitchen so he can say something nice about her in her presence, "but while we're alone, I want to say something nice about my ex-wife." How very Roger Sterling. He tells her she's a "lioness" before adding, "and thank you for resisting the urge to eat your cub." Mona's face is like, I could have done that? Roger continues that it could have been an awful day, but instead of sitting around the TV, they're all there toasting the happy couple. He gets Margaret and Brooks up front and says their love and hope is giving strength to everyone there, and after everyone toasts their happiness, the band leader sends Roger and Margaret out for the first dance before, approximately two seconds later, inviting everyone to join them. Not how things are usually done, but maybe the photographer's home in front of the TV as well. Don drags a reluctant Betty out to the floor while Roger and Margaret have a nice dance together. After he looks over at Mona, Margaret tells him her mother is happy, and he snarks, "That's because she doesn't know his net worth just dropped by half." No wonder he wants to exterminate a bunch of people. Meanwhile, Betty's doing a terrific job of not looking at Don even though their faces are about six inches apart, but he mistakes her Francis-centered reverie for more JFK sadness and gets her attention to tell her everything's going to be fine. In all seriousness, she asks how he knows that, and after a long moment, he answers by kissing her. Again, not a bad strategy as a general rule, but given that it translates to "Because I'm saying I love you, even though I've been lying to you from the day we met," I think it's coming up short here. He assures her that she'll see, and she doesn't look convinced but at least he got her attention for a moment. Nearby, Francis's daughter asks why he keeps looking at Betty, and he's like, "What are you talking about?" with slightly less guile than Bart Simpson saying "I didn't do it." Everyone keeps dancing...

...and we cross-fade to later, with Betty coming out of the bathroom to find Don and Henry, and let's just say the blocking for the scene is not the most subtle directorial choice I've ever seen on the show, with Don and Henry standing close enough that there's "suspense" involved in her walk over to them, like she'd ever do something to make a public spectacle of herself here. Don is chatting obliviously while Henry stares at her in such a way as to render his earlier looks at her positively undetectable, like, he even turns toward her just as Don does the same, and I'm rarely one to criticize the show on a technical level but give me a break here. I mean, she waits for like five seconds before starting forward and they show the two of them waiting expectantly again. Ugh. Anyway, of course she goes to Don, and Harry asks Betty, "Did Jennifer fall in?" If she did and they didn't show it in favor of that bullshit just now, I'll be seriously pissed. Anyway, Betty and Don head out, and Francis turns to watch them go. Is he, like into her or something?

When we return, Roger is taking Jane into the bedroom in a fireman's carry as she babbles about how handsome JFK was. "And now I'll never get to vote for him!" HA! Jane steals the line of the episode, right there. He pitches her into bed and takes off her shoes, and I'm betting he's had some practice on that move considering he follows up its deft execution by almost tipping over from inebriation. Heh. He asks Jane if she wants him to cut her out of the dress, but she's already dreaming of a land in which JFK is still alive and you're allowed to vote for him as many times as you please no matter what age you are, so Roger, needing a bit more maturity and consciousness than she's got to offer at the moment, makes a phone call...

...to Joan, and take note of the fact he didn't need to look her number up despite the fact that she's only lived in this place since she's been involved with Greg. She's happy to hear his voice, and they commiserate about JFK for a moment before Roger reminds her that Margaret got married that day. "I wish you could have seen it. Oh my God, what a disaster." Hey, in his shoes, I'd be a lot happier with what actually happened than with everyone showing up but Margaret going home unhappy, and Roger at least follows up by admitting that they all pulled through. After a moment, he comments that he can't believe how quiet it is outside, but Joan tells him not everywhere -- Greg got called in to work the night shift at the ER, as life is still going on. Roger says he's glad Greg wasn't home -- he wanted to talk to her. He struggles for words, which is unusual no matter how much he's had to drink, and then blurts out, "Nobody else is saying the right thing about this!" She notes that he's really upset, and suggests it's because there's nothing funny about the situation, which is astute -- the guy who made jokes at a one-footed man'

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