In a more civilized cocktail room, Don is apparently attempting to mend fences with Rachel, and after the waiter drops off a "special" Mai Tai and a whiskey neat, Rachel, in a generously playful tone, asks if Don got in trouble for how he acted at the meeting. Don answers that question indirectly by apologizing for losing his temper and, basically, for talking down to her. She quickly accepts his apology, and says it was "refreshing" to hear out loud all the things she's assumed people have thought. I've been called some adjectives for doing the same thing, but I don't recall "refreshing" as being one of them. Don then turns the subject to Rachel's personal life, asking why she isn't married, and I'm just so certain he'd ask the same thing of an unmarried male in this situation. Rachel basically tells him that, somewhat bitterly saying that if she weren't a woman, she'd be allowed to turn the question around, and that she wouldn't have to choose between having a family and having a career. It's worth noting that Don doesn't seem to be wearing a wedding ring here, although I'm willing to believe that that's a character choice and not simply cheap misdirection, as he asks if the thrill of business is the reason she won't get married, and Rachel smiles and says yes, but also, she's never been in love. Don cynically tells her that love, the way she's thinking of it with the lightning bolt and the skipping through fields together, doesn't exist. "What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons." Rachel's unfazed by this declaration, so Don goes on that you're born alone and you die alone, and while the world tries to make you forget that truth, he never does. "I'm living like there's no tomorrow, because there isn't one." If he actually believes that, he must really hate Pete not to be out at his hedonistic bachelor party. Rachel sees deeper into Don than he intended, though, as she muses that she's never realized it before, but it must be hard to be a man. And it's important, I think, not to underestimate the importance of this point when thinking about how miserable the institution of marriage comes off on this show -- with men and women both pressured to fit into identities that clearly don't feel right or comfortable for them, what chance do they have to build a healthy relationship and family? Don's taken aback by this conversational turn, although he tries badly to hide it, but Rachel goes on that she doesn't know what Don actually believes in, but she does know what it's like to feel out of place, to be disconnected. "To see the whole world laid out in front of you the way other people live it. There's something about you that tells me you know it too." Don takes a moment and uncomfortably says he's not sure if that's true, and tries to deflect Rachel's spot-on reading of him by asking if she wants another drink, but she declines. Before she leaves, however, she informs him that he can tell Roger he charmed her, and she'll be back in the office Monday morning for a real meeting. Don says he'd like that, and Rachel heads for the exit...
Episode Report CardCouch Baron: A | 1553 USERS: B-
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