Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A+ | 3 USERS: A+
Parting Really, Really Is Sweet Sorrow...

...and speaking of Don-inflicted emotional distress, Betty turns on her bedside light, opens the phone bill, and examines it...

...and then she's making a call. Dr. Wayne answers, and Betty doesn't recognize his voice, but Wayne, thinking it's someone else, identifies himself. Betty disconnects and lets the receiver drop in shock. That's certainly not who she thought Don was having an affair with!

Don is actually sleeping alone, on the couch in his office. He seems to hear something and gets up groggily, no doubt having drunk several toasts to his dead brother. Coming to the door of his office, he sees Harry, in a t-shirt and tighty-whities (which are really endearing on him) heading back to his office with a wastebasket under his arm. Don beckons Harry into his office, and Harry, desperate for any kind of companionship, almost literally skips in and takes the drink Don offers him. Don, a little slurry, asks Harry what the benefit of the Wheel is; this leads to a discussion of how Harry used to take pictures in college. He talks about how he did a whole series of photographs that consisted solely of handprints on glass, and then goes on about how he's always been fascinated by the cave paintings at Lascaux. "The bison get all the attention, but there are also all of these handprints, tiny by today's standards, with paint blown all around them." He goes on that he thought it was "like someone reaching through the stone and right to us. 'I was here. And stop looking at those stupid bison.'" I may have inferred that last part. Don then does the head-lolling thing that signals it's time for bed, again, and he rudely dismisses Harry. Not that you have to stand on ceremony with someone who's currently showering in the bathroom sink, but given that Harry's setting his campaign wheels in motion, he could at least have said goodnight. Don puts out his cigarette, and we get an overhead view of him going back to sleep...

...and then we cross-fade into a parking lot that's flecked with snow. Betty gets out of her car and is walking toward the bank, I think, when she pauses and makes for another automobile. In it, we see Glen, Helen's kid who was the catalyst for the special on slapped divorcees in Aisle Five. Glen rolls down the window and tells Betty that he's not supposed to talk to her. She looks kind of surprised, and asks who told him that. Glen: "My mother and my father." Ouch. It's not like she should be surprised, but it can't make Betty feel too great that the divorced couple has gotten together on the issue of her being a freak. After a moment, though, Betty says she doesn't care, and tells him that she can't talk to anyone, and how sad she is. Thank GOD she's finally acknowledging this and breaking free of her mother's sweetness-and-light training -- realizing to what degree following society's conventions feels like prison, as so artfully shown in "Shoot." Now if she'll only admit it to someone who's hit puberty. Glen holds out his mittened hand for her, and she takes it as she begins to cry. He asks her not to, but she can't oblige him as she begs him to tell her she'll be okay. He says he doesn't know if that's the case, and that he wishes he were older, presumably so he'd be better placed to give her advice and solace. Betty: "Adults don't know anything, Glen." I'll back her up on that. Glen implies that his mom will be returning soon, and Betty wipes her eyes and leaves him.

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Mad Men




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