As they enter Don's office, Joan runs down his upcoming schedule, but Don tells her to clear his week. Roger then enters, and after a minimal exchange about the family emergency, Don tells him he's leaving the next day to go to the Rocket Fair, and if he's doing this as an escape it does seem likely that he's given up on Betty taking him back. The crosscurrents in this scene are of course fascinating, what with the Roger and Jane thing out in the open and Roger and Joan's history and Roger knowing about Don's imploding marriage. Joan sits stock still as Roger tells Don that California sounds great for him -- "sunshine, bikinis" -- but aren't they already sending Campbell and Kinsey? Don: "Not yet." Heh. Roger tells him Pete's got to go -- "I've held his hand through thirty phone calls." Don doesn't reply, so Roger tosses Paul to the wolves by bidding Don bon voyage, adding that Joan can hold down the fort. Joan gives him a look that's equal parts anger at his familiarity, bitterness that he took away the one job around here she truly loved without even realizing it, and contempt that he actually went ahead and left his wife of twenty-five years for a woman who's basically her replacement. Don's tuned in and is on Joan's side for reasons plentiful and obvious, and Roger, sensing the chill in the air, takes off. Don then asks Joan to send a memo to Paul explaining the change in plans, and it's all Joan can do not to lick her lips like some fabulous pregnant predator right there. I mean, I have to amend my previous statement -- this is the job she truly loves. Don is clearly the worse for wear, as he's atypically slugging coffee in the afternoon, and Joan's reward for his generosity is to tell him to lie down and take a nap. "I'll keep the drunks away." If you want to be efficient, I'd just padlock the conference room.
Episode Report CardCouch Baron: A- | 2264 USERS: B
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