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Mad Men S03E11: See Dick Cry

BOOM!

What an episode!

Betty and the kids are leaving for Philly. Uh oh, they are going to miss Halloween! (P.S. I love that this show’s holiday-themed episode is a Very Special Halloween episode.) Oh wait, they are not going to miss Halloween because there is still Halloween in Philly. Bobby is going to be an astronaut. (No he isn’t.) Just you wait. This whole thing is about to get flipped on its head. So, the family makes plans to leave. Betty wants some money and Don is like “go to the bank and get money, there is absolutely no money in this house. Not in any of the drawers, I promise you.” Betty is like “squint.” Meanwhile, Don makes plans to get away for the week with his lover. I guess she can take vacation because it’s the early ’60s and schools used to let out for an entire week for the cherished Halloween holiday. It was a time to be with family. Or fuck buddies.

Except that Don comes home the next day to wash his face before taking his lady love on a secret vacation, and he hears the kids calling out to him in the next room. The kids? BUT THE KIDS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE IN PHILLY! Then there is Betty. BUT BETTY IS SUPPOSED TO BE IN PHILLY. Well, they were in Philly, but then Betty talked to a lawyer about Don, and the lawyer made it pretty clear that Betty was kind of fucked, at least until she had it out with Don. I mean, that’s what it sounded like. It was kind of hard to hear his advice over the sound of Betty’s brother being a whiny bitch. So Betty and the kids came home early. Don is like “but I was only stopping home to change my shirt before leaving on a sex weekend I MEAN A CLIENT DINNER.” Betty is like “uh, no.”

Elizabeth Draper 1932-2012

Meanwhile, Yo Teach! is out in the car, waiting like a schoolgirl for Don. Or I guess waiting like a schoolWOMAN. The night before she had told Don that she entered into this relationship with her eyes wide open, but now she is realizing that she wants more from him even though she knows she can’t get it. Like, she wants to take him to a restaurant in Little Italy. And that’s mostly it. Mostly she just really wishes that he would divorce his wife and abandon his three children so that they could go eat cheese pasta in Little Italy. A girl can dream, can’t she? Sure she can. Especially when she spends all night alone sitting in a car. Because Betty is about to confront Don about his secret drawer, and that is going to put a damper on the secret sex weekend, 4 sure.

“Open this drawer.”
–Betty Draper

Don does not want to open that drawer! “This is my desk,” he says. As if we all know the secret bond between a man and his desk. “A man is the king of his desk castle,” is what the framed embroidery over Don’s office door says. Don opens the drawer because he is a man who has been to war, and has falsified his own death to escape his family, and he knows what is what. He is so shaky that he drops a cigarette. A CIGARETTE! And he tells her everything. And he cries.

Don Draper cries.

Betty is mad, but her heart melts, too. She wanted the truth and she could handle the truth. One has to assume that there is a certain amount of relief for her in discovering that all of her fears and concerns over Don’s secrets were completely legitimate and well-founded, but that now everything is out in the open. He is a liar, just like she always suspected he was, but at least now she knows. Which will make trick-or-treating much less awkward.

P.S. I love Bobby’s “hobo” costume. So much so that I am going to get myself a “hobo” costume. Mine’s going to be even better, though, because I am an adult, and I can make myself smell more convincingly of whiskey and vomit. And Bobby is going to be ashamed of his childish costume. But he will take pride in knowing that he inspired such a great costume in my costume. Why am I still talking about this?

Don goes to the office and his secretary is like “I thought you were going on a sex weekend.” Nosy. Don calls Yo Teach! and breaks up with her. She is crying. She wonders if he got caught, and he says that it is more complicated than that. True. She asks if she needs to worry about her job, and he says no, but it is actually the first time I even thought about how seriously she endangered herself. Her job! Everything she has!

Don Draper, shame on you. Always.

I did think that the final scene in which the guy at the trick-or-treating house asks Don “what are you supposed to be?” was a little HEAVY-HANDED, but I am willing to move forward because this was a great episode.

Speaking of how great this episode was: how about the Roger Sterling plotline? This season has not had enough Roger Sterling. He is such a charming and complicated character. His flirtation with the Dog Food Princess was so enjoyable to watch. Verbal sparring! A glimpse into Roger Sterling’s past! “The boxing”? The boxing! How about when she said “you were the one,” and he said “you weren’t”? POW. And you know that he’s not talking about his stupid wife, right? She’s so dumb. No, silly, he’s talking about Joan! They love each other, but they will probably never get together. Because Joan is too busy hitting her husband in the head with a vase. Ouch.

Great episode. A++++ would do business with again!