Mad Men

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California, Here I Come…

Later, Betty's making the bed and suffering Don to be in her presence when the aforementioned Viola (Nurse Laverne from Scrubs) enters -- she's apparently the longtime family maid, and she and Betty are obviously very fond of each other. After the initial hellos (Don and Viola have met before, not surprisingly) Don excuses himself, and Betty tells Viola she should be there every day. Viola says that's not up to here, and Betty spits, "Why not? You've been here longer than her!" Viola lets that go, but when Betty chastises her for letting Gloria and Judy "ransack the house," Viola puts a hand on a hip and asks, "You want to give me your temper?" I'll say no, because I'm getting the sense that when Viola fines you, you pay in blood. Betty, playing the part, turns and sits on the bed like a spoiled little girl, and complains that Gene doesn't even know who she is. Viola answers that he's "very very sick," and Betty breathes in this truth like fresh air: "You don't know how nice it is to hear someone say that." Seeing how much she needs her, Viola stops fussing with the bed and sits with Betty, who asks if Gene is dying. Viola tells her that she was at the hospital when the doctors talked to Gloria, and the prognosis is that he's just going to get worse. Betty's face starts to break as she confesses she doesn't know how much more she can take, and leans in as she cries that she's an orphan. Viola tells her that it's time for her to take care of her husband and children now. "You'll see. The minute you leave, you'll remember him exactly the way he used to be. It's all good outside that door." Betty looks like she wishes she didn't know this not to be true.

Later (Betty's wearing the same dress, so it's probably afternoon) she and Don arrive home. Don thinks their little floor-buffing session means they're reconciled, but Betty quickly disabuses him of that notion. He tries to suggest she needs him there because she's upset, but she deftly throws that in his face: "I am. And I know how you feel about grieving." Damn, she really did learn the art of conversation. He tries again, saying he thinks he should be there for her, but in a voice dripping with contempt, she practically laughs: "That's your reason." Flailing, he tries one last time to say he wants to be there, and she needs him there, but she asks, "Why? Nothing's changed. We were just pretending." The implication that their encounter was part of the act leaves him speechless, and unlike the other times when he tried at least not to seem like he was conceding, this time the defeat is naked on his face as he leaves. And no one's even mentioned the word "alimony" to him yet. When he's gone, Betty doesn't even look sad -- just curious as to what's going to happen. Now she knows how the rest of us feel!

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Mad Men

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