LadyGhosts of TV Past

Mad Men: Ladies’ Room – A Bad Place to Cry, A Good Place to Overshare and Tip Poorly

Last time on Mad Men:

We met Don Draper, his new secretary, assorted sassy women, and Christina Hendricks’s breasts! Sal was (secretly!) gay! Don was (sort of secretly!) married! Everyone else’s tobacco was cancerous, but Lucky Strike’s was toasted! I almost gave pileofmonkeys an aneurysm when I wrote a 6,500 word recap that needed to be edited on Monday morning! Are you ready to do this?

But seriously, pileofmonkeys is awesome. [Copyeditor’s note: Public appreciation and the fact that I’m editing this on Sunday morning, in bed and with lots of time to spare, means all is forgiven. -PoM]

Credits! I like how Mad Men doesn’t have cold openings. There’s something comforting about shows that start with the same credits every time, and when you have faceless, animated credits, there’s no need to ever update them with new faces.

We get a closeup of an egg being cracked into a glass. Roger would like the waiter to add another egg, and a woman, his wife, based on the age-appropriateness of the woman sitting next to him, thinks he’s being silly. Roger says, “One egg is good, two eggs are better,” and I don’t know if that’s supposed to be a dirty joke because he sort of says it like it is? But I don’t get it. Please don’t explain it to me; I find dirty jokes with eggs in the punchline kind of gross.

Roger and his wife are sitting in a restaurant booth with Don and his wife. Don and Roger banter a little bit about whatever it is they’re bantering about today– this was before I got up to turn the volume up a few notches on my television because apparently the only button on our remote that doesn’t work is the “volume up” one, which is extremely irritating. I’d say “first world problems” or something to that effect, but I’m recapping Mad Men and I think that kind of speaks for itself.

Roger really just wants another drink, and his wife points out that they all get it, but will order their own, thank you very much. She is wearing some kind of headpiece that makes it look like a sparkley brown starfish is sucking her brains out, but, you know, in an awesome kind of way.

Okay, now that I turned the volume up it appears that Roger is reminiscing about his nanny with the giant bosom, like you do. The conversation turns to nannies (Roger approves of them, particularly their giant bosoms), then to psychiatrists (Roger does not approve of them, but his daughter goes to one– Roger’s wife: “She’s practically the last girl in our building to go!” I love how mothers know these things), then to Don. Roger wants to know if Don had a nanny, presumably so that they can compare notes on bosoms, but Betty, with a strange sort of pride that we will soon be able to identify as being able to say something– anything– definitive about her husband, says Don doesn’t like to talk about himself, “and I know better than to ask.”

Don humbly says it’s not much of a story. “Just think of me as Moses: a baby in a basket.” Okay, only if you’re Don Draper can you pull off “humbly” comparing yourself to fathers of Israel. Wish you were here, Rachel Menken. Roger loves it, though, and makes a toast, “to Moses and Don Draper.” They all drink, then Roger’s wife starts, “If the gentlemen will be patient”¦” which is apparently incredibly classy code for, “I have to pee,” though I’m sure that any woman who drinks with Roger on a regular basis has plenty of reason to come up with different ways to say that. Betty offers to join her.

As the ladies walk away, Roger leans to Don and says he thinks he may now know more about Don’s wife than he does his own. Don suggests that it’s probably because Roger’s wife is a better drinker. Like I said, plenty of practice.

In the ladies’ room (holla, episode title!), Betty fumbles with the clasp to her little beaded bag. I have to say that all little beaded bags now remind me of Hermione Granger, and I want to be like, “Careful, Betty! Oh! Those books were alphabetized!” Betty, unable to make her hands do her bidding, asks Mona, Roger’s wife, for some assistance. She asks if Mona has ever experienced ’60s-housewife-stress-related hand numbing, but Mona says no and offers to touch up Betty’s lipstick. Mona compliments Betty in a motherly way saying, “Look at those lips! Bet it’s not hard to hold onto a man with those!” And follows, “Don’t smile; it will make it harder.” Oh, Mona. You just said a mouthful. She instructs Betty to even out the lipstick by smacking her lips together, and Betty follows. Is there a verb for that? When you rub your lips together to even out your lipstick? Seems like there should be.

Betty, alluding to her hands and her neurotic emotional state, says it’s hard to hold onto anything these days, and starts to talk about herself for what we can assume is far from the first time that evening. She mentions that her mother died recently, and Mona looks sympathetic.

The restroom attendant interrupts to say there are other ladies waiting to use the mirror, and Betty and Mona walk away. One of the attendants leans back to say to the other, “Those purses get any smaller we’re gonna starve.” Don’t worry, lady. There’s a pile of gold and the lost sword of Gryffindor in those bags! You know Hermione always tips, though.

In the car on the way home, Betty leans against Don, saying how much she loves seeing him like that, and that when he’s with strangers he knows what he wants. Don says he likes to think he always knows what he wants, and I’d like to take a moment to laugh uproariously at how much I’m sure Don Draper would like to think that. Betty would like Don to slow down because the lobster and gimlets in her stomach “should get a divorce,” and the casual way in which she mentions divorce here is interesting given that we’ll soon see that the very idea of divorce is something that makes her feel panicked. Don remarks on her volume of drinks and says he took it for a case of nerves. Betty’s like, duh, I had to meet your boss, and my bosoms are not especially impressive! Okay, she doesn’t say the last part. She thinks that Roger was trying to get Don to open up to him. That’s what we all think, Betty. Don thinks it’s rude to talk about yourself too much. Betty rolls down the window and leans her head out into the cool breeze. Oh, girl. I’ve been there and if you’re going to vomit out the window, don’t do it toward the front of a moving car.

In bed, Betty asks Don if he did have a nanny, and he wonders why it matters. Betty wants Don to open up to her, too, and he offers that no, of course he didn’t have a nanny, but starts to get amorous to avoid any other questions. Time passes, and Betty is sitting up smoking in the dark next to a sleeping Don. She leans over and whispers, “Who’s in there?” like a little child.

At the office, Joan greets Peggy with, “Next step is accessories!” Heh. Peggy is thrilled to have gotten her first paycheck, which is, “Thirty five dollars a week minus six seventy five for FICA!” which she pronounces “feecah” questioningly because she’s adorable. Joan is not terribly impressed with that, though she allows, “You never forget your first.” Oh, Joan.

Peggy trails behind Joan into the ladies’ room (hey-o!) where they encounter another secretary sobbing into her hanky at the sink. Now listen, I don’t know about you guys, but when I am going to cry in the bathroom at work I am going to do it in a stall where: A) no one can see me, and B) I don’t have to look at my own ugly crying face in the mirror. Joan gestures for Peggy to leave the woman be.

In one of their offices, the Smarmies are extremely excited about spray deodorant, which is apparently a brand new thing. Sal reads the warning label about not lighting it on fire or puncturing the can, smirks, “Sound dangerous,” and turns to spray one of the Smarmies in the face with it with one of the most amazing deadpan faces I’ve ever seen. Smarmy Number Eight (?) tries to retaliate, but his sprayer doesn’t work. Make what you will of Sal spraying a man who can’t spray him back. Smarmy Number Eight snatches another can out of the hands of Ken (Nice Tits from last week), and he and Sal begin an enthusiastic game of monkey in the middle with it over Ken’s head, which is a fairly impressive feat since Ken is taller than both of them.

This goes on for a minute, with Smarmy Number Eight remarking on Ken’s remarkably poor ratio of size to level of basketball skill, until Don says, “I’m sure more research is needed,” stopping the horseplay immediately. Don smiles and says, “We should try it.” Paul, who is wearing the kind of beatnik cardigan that completely defines his character, wonders from safely out of firing range, “Who smells bad in here?” Don and Number Eight exchange mischievous looks as Ken is like, “No! Please!” and the Smarmies take it upon themselves to strip Ken on the desk and thoroughly spray him with deodorant. Ken is like uh, this is not the level of dignity that I anticipated rising to at work today, while one of the Smarmies says, “Just pretend it’s prom night, and you’re the girl!” Well. Okay, then. Let’s make rape jokes to ensure that everyone can tell how totally heterosexual this activity is, guys!

Don just smokes his cigarette and laughs at the window sill. Peggy pops in to say that she’s been buzzing them (so I guess it’s Don’s office?) and that Bertram Cooper is there to see them. The Smarmies have the sense to look fairly chagrined and Ken struggles to get his clothes back on. Bert says he always thought that it was Roger who was responsible for the “Navy attitude,” by which I assume he means frequent displays of homoeroticism, but since Roger’s not there, he has to blame Don. Don says they’re working on a brassiere account. “We just figured out we can’t sell them to men!” Bert Cooper is not as charmed by Don as Don is, though, and they wander off to another meeting. The door closes and Ken furiously pulls his shirt back on.

The meeting that Don and Bertram were off to was about the Nixon campaign mentioned in the last episode. Don’s not thrilled about it, since they already did an ad that involved the man’s wife and dog. Roger, wistfully, “Dogs are winners!” Yes, Roger, you simple thing, you. Bert wonders if Don has a problem with Nixon, but Don just says he doesn’t vote. Bert snorts derisively, I probably would too, and explains that the last several years have been good to them as a company because they’ve been good to big business, so they’re going to do their darndest to get a Republican in the White House.

Hipster Cardigan Paul pops out– they were having their presidential campaign meeting in the hall in front of Don’s office– to see if Don’s still interested in having lunch. Don: “No.” Ha. Peggy, taking Don’s cue, pulls out a paper bag. Hipster Cardigan Paul begs her to tell him that isn’t her lunch, but Peggy firmly says that it is, even as Paul sells her on the merits of egg salad and “the worst cup of coffee in the world” for thirty-five cents from the food cart. As Paul leaves, Joan approaches and commends Peggy for her expertise at shutting down the budding lunch date. Peggy says it wasn’t that, it’s just that she’s poor, while pulling the world’s worst looking banana out of her bag. Joan feels me on that, and tells Peggy to get her things, “That sandwich is making me sad.” I can’t even see the sandwich through the plastic wrap, but based on the banana, yeah, I’m gonna have to agree.

In the break room the Smarmies titter about a post card from Pete Campbell’s honeymoon: “Greetings, from the wettest place on earth!” Boys in the ’60s: gross as ever. Joan leads Peggy through the break room talking suggestively about trying on “narrow sweaters.” Ken takes the cue and offers to buy them lunch, “Three on two, I know how you all like being outnumbered.” Harry, Nerdy Glasses Smarmy, says that really it’s two on two if we’re going there because he’s married. Ken, with exasperation: “You still have to eat lunch.” They talk about Pete’s honeymoon, Peggy feigning only mild interest in Pete’s doings, and Number Eight sticks the post card up on the bulletin board so that everyone can see that Pete is gross.

At lunch, Number Eight inquires of Peggy’s relationship status, with some translation help from Nerdy Glasses Married Harry, and Joan answers that she’s browsing, but disappointed in the quality of the merchandise. Ken offers to try her on a “forty two long,” and Number Eight clarifies that he’s not referring to his suit size. Yeah, we got that from his tone, thanks. Peggy is embarrassed at that kind of talk, but Number Eight continues that they all have questions about her with money riding on the outcome. Peggy wonders if there’s money in it for her, and Number Eight takes the opportunity to insinuate that she’s a prostitute. Joan thinks it’s time to be getting back to the office, and Ken pays for lunch.

Joan thanks him with an exaggerated gracious air because Joan knows that gender relations are inherently farcical. Ken, however, thinks he should be getting something more than a thank you for lunch and suggests, with his hands on her waist, that Peggy “take the afternoon off” so that they can go to the zoo and “see what the animals are doing.” Joan is like oh, Ken, that’s not happening. Ken insists that his persistence is the key to his charm as Joan and Peggy walk away and Peggy thanks Joan for both the free lunch and the slight bolster against sexual harassment.

Back in the office, Paul walks up to Peggy’s desk and asks if she enjoyed her lunch with “the Hitler youth.” Oh, Paul, it’s cute how you think you’re better just because you have a cardigan. I should take this moment to be honest, because I feel Persephone is a place where we should be honest with each other, and say that I’d probably hit it, and even more honestly, I probably have. Moving on. Peggy says it was “a last minute thing,” the leading phrase of rejection since 1960. Paul hands her a file for Don then, in the flirty condescending tone that only guys like Paul can achieve says, “You can look too.” It should be noted that treating the girl like she might be a person with a brain who has an interest in what you do is an advanced flirting strategy that even Don doesn’t figure out how to deploy, though to greater success because he is Don, until season four.

Out in the suburbs, Betty and her friend and neighbor Francine (Francine! If you don’t love Francine yet, you will.) are sitting in the Draper kitchen discussing one of the new members of the school board, a divorced women with two children. Francine and Betty agree that it would be horrible to be divorced and have to worry about money and doing things alone at this point in their lives. They ponder this for a moment before Francine realizes that there are no noises coming from the rest of the house and that this is cause for concern. They call for the kids who are “playing spaceman,” which apparently involves Sally Draper running around with a plastic dry cleaning bag over her head. Betty calls Sally over and instead of admonishing her for engaging in activities with a high chance for suffocation, suggests that if the clothes from the bag ended up on the floor Sally is going to be “a very sorry young lady.” There are a few moments like this early on in the series in which I know they’re going for period accuracy, but it all feels a little too “wink wink nudge nudge bitches be crazy in the ’60s” to me. But yeah, it’s pretty funny.

And indeed a few moments later Betty is driving while the kids, without seatbelts of course, horse around in the back seat. She sees the aforementioned divorcée dragging boxes up her front walk and her hands start to shake. She looks down at them, and by the time she looks back up, she’s driving over someone’s well-manicured lawn and into a bird bath. It’s funny to watch the bird bath go rolling down the walk, but not because clearly Betty has got some Issues going on. She stares down at her hands for another moment before leaping out of the car and opening the door to the back seat where the children are both on the floor. “Are you okay?” she demands, but the kids both giggle. Isn’t mommy funny when she’s having a total suburban meltdown? Betty sinks into the lawn with her back against the car.

In one of the emotionally layered transitions this show does so well, as Betty wreaks mild destruction on suburbia, Don is getting one in downtown at Midge’s. He is suspicious of the little blue television set she has sitting on a footstool since she has always been against television. Midge, by the way, is wearing a wig and a silk robe. Because she is Midge. Don wants to talk about where the television came from and Midge wants to talk about television shows. I feel you, Midge. She rolls her eyes at Don’s jealousy, picks up the television, and tosses it out the window. Without breaking, she walks back to Don and asks, “All better?” Don meekly answers yes, and only then does Midge run to the window to check to make sure she didn’t kill anyone.

Back in the Draper kitchen the kids are eating and Betty is smoking. The woman lives on gimlets, dry cleaning fumes, neuroticism, and cigarette smoke. Don walks in and kids announce that their accomplishments for the day include going to the hospital and acquiring lollipops. Don, apparently already informed of the bird bath incident, doesn’t react with surprise; he simply inspects the children closely. Betty assures him that they’re fine, and he asks if that includes her. She admits to being a little sore and a little embarrassed, and I admit that I’m a little sad that we didn’t get to see Betty explain to a neighbor that she ran over her bird bath. Don is pretty much like, hey, sorry I couldn’t come to your car accident? I was drinking at work? Which I suppose is better than, hey, sorry I couldn’t come to your car accident, I was banging a beatnik. But not a whole lot. Betty accepts this without complaint, though, as Don snags a fish stick off of Sally’s plate.

Betty expresses relief that she was only going twenty-five, and Don blames the accident on “the way you drive.” Listen, Don, without spoiling future seasons I’m going to say that’s a bit rich coming from you. Secondly, people don’t just drive twenty feet up someone’s lawn to run over bird baths because they’re slightly incompetent drivers. Betty just smiles ruefully, and we know this isn’t the first time Don’s complained about her driving.

Sally and Bobby want to go watch Shirley Temple Storybook, which gives Don the opportunity to admit that something else must have been going on for Betty to slaughter a bird bath at twenty miles an hour. His first thought is that Sally must have been playing with the radio, but Betty says no, it was her hands. Don drops his tone and says that she has to get that taken care of. Like it’s a fucking parking ticket, Don? Christ. He says that the doctor they’ve been going to isn’t thorough, and when they leave his office he can hear the quacking. Betty has heard that line before, and says that the doctor at the hospital was perfectly competent, nice, older, with two children ten years apart. Don cuts her off there. He doesn’t need any more credentials. There’s nothing physically wrong with Betty, and the doctor suggested she see a psychiatrist. Don dismisses psychiatry as doctor for “I don’t know.” Betty elaborates that she might have a nervous condition, and Don raises his voice slightly as he says that if she’s nervous about driving they’ll practice in a parking lot. It’s probably wrong that when he says that for a second I’m all, you can “teach me to drive” any time, Don Draper, yes? Betty, however, is unimpressed that Don is making light of something the doctor has suggested is pretty serious. Don keeps using car metaphors dismissively. Betty backs down, and Don ends this serious conversation about his wife’s mental health by yelling at her to stop doing the dishes.

Later, Betty is wearing one of her many gorgeous nightgowns and Don is doing push ups. Don gets up and admits that he’s worried about Betty, whom he calls Birdy affectionately. They discuss the option of the psychiatrist more rationally now, but the decision is no less ultimately Don’s than it was before. Don asks if she’s unhappy, and Betty says of course she is. Don demands seventy-five dollars for this analysis, and Betty states what we already knew: her health decisions are up to Don.

Morning. Don is smoking pensively waiting for a meeting with his creative team to start. Paul, no longer wearing his cardigan, skitters in late, apologizing because someone threw himself in front of his train on the way there. The others are like, hm, suicide is a pretty decent excuse to be late, but Don starts the meeting, which is apparently about the spray deodorant, by asking what they have so far.

Paul declares that can is nothing less than space age and that they should promote it with spacemen. Don is unimpressed. They try the spaceman idea with different art. Don suggests that for some people thinking about the future creates anxiety. People like whom, Don? Huh? Don points out that spacemen pee in their pants. Touché.

He also brings up the fact that it’s women who are buying these products, women who make the decisions that eventually pay their salaries, which is certainly an interesting parallel to a state of affairs in which a woman cannot decide to see a therapist without consulting her husband. Number Eight suggests adding a “chesty alien girl.” Number Eight, I think you missed your calling as a Hollywood executive circa 2011. Sorry about that.

Don says he wants to know what women want. Sal doesn’t know but he wishes he had it. 1) Riiight. 2) Silly Sal, you have exactly what women want: nonthreatening masculinity. Don wants to know what women want, “but not in some bullshit research psychology kind of way.” It’s funny that Don is so dismissive of psychology because in the end both industries are trying to achieve the same thing. He’s simply afraid of someone quantifying what he has the innate ability to tap into.

Paul announces, “I’ve stopped trying to figure out what they think.” Don: “Maybe I should stop paying you.” Paul is disappointed. He pouts, pointing out that the can is right side up and the astronaut is upside down in the artwork. Yes, we see that, Paul. Don does that thing he does when his voice lowers and he rhapsodizes a little bit about a cowboy who always brings the cattle home safe. Sal looks a little mystified. Don wonders if there’s some “mysterious wish that we’re ignoring.” Well, in your case Don, I’m guessing your wife wants you to pay more attention to her and stop sleeping with Midge, but luckily for you she hasn’t been to therapy yet so she doesn’t know it.

Paul is on his way out of Don’s office when Peggy asks how it went. Paul says he still has his novel. OF COURSE YOU DO, PAUL. Of course you do. They walk, and Paul starts to explain the whole operation to Peggy, but really to us. Peggy says she knows that the Creative Department tells the Art Department what to do, and Accounts tells Creative what to do. Paul takes umbrage and says that as a copy writer, no one tells him what to do but Don Draper. Way to make a stand, Paul. He explains, as they walk through the building, that what they really do is sell media time. He refers to radio as “my favorite aging whore,” and like I said before, there was a time in my life during which this would have been a selling line for me. He explains that accounting counts the money, and since what they buy is futures there’s no reason for the boss to go in there unless the whole company is going down in flames. He takes some time to malign accounts, particularly Pete Campbell, then geeks out about The Twilight Zone and threatens to kill himself if it gets canceled. Peggy has no idea what’s going on. We never do, sweetie.

I miss a few lines because I was having an extended mental moment for Geeks in Every Age and I’m trying not to go back when I miss things because I love pileofmonkeys a whole lot and don’t want her brain to explode. Anyway, somehow they transition to the topic of female copy writers. Peggy is surprised to find out that they exist, and Paul says, not without the kind of condescension that poor souls like my younger self find horrifically attractive somehow, that sometimes they’re “the right man for the job.” He rhapsodizes a little about some agency where all they do is get high and write copy, but Peggy has to go back to work now. I’ve got to say that the first time I watched this I was seriously confused that Peggy is not more into Paul, but, as has been established, that’s just my thing.

Roger, whom I feel like I haven’t seen in ages because it’s been about six episodes worth of time since I saw him in the context of writing this recap, walks into Don’s office and remarks that Don is never doing anything. He and Don have some manly bonding time over bitches: crazy, wanting psychiatrists. Roger says that they live in troubling times, and Don is like, “Really? Who could not be happy with all this?” Um”¦ people who are worried about the bomb, and the future? Like you said in your meeting earlier? It’s hard to tell sometimes if Don simply doesn’t listen to the things he says, or if he plays a different role for every person with whom he interacts. Roger compares psychiatry to a candy pink stove. Okay, then. Be aware that you’re saying that to a man with a lovely yellow silk throw pillow on his office couch, Roger.

Don walks into his house and greets the kids, “Beauty and the Beast.” In the dining room, Don pulls Betty into his lap and says that when he said she had everything he was wrong. Apparently what she was lacking was a white gold watch. Betty loves it, but launches immediately into an anxious spiral about how she thinks Sally has a bruise under her eye from the accident. Don: “I thought that was ketchup.” Betty continues that Sally could have gotten a scar, and while Bobby having a scar would have been no biggie, but if Sally had gotten a scar her life would have turned out miserable and lonely. Oh, Sally Draper. You in danger, girl. Don listens to all this with some dawning comprehension that not everything is quite right with his wife emotionally.

In the hallway outside of what turns out to be Midge’s apartment Don is sitting on the floor and smoking. Midge sashays in and points out that it’s nine a.m., asking if he got fired. No, he had to bring Betty to the city for an appointment– presumably with a therapist– and he called in sick. Midge doesn’t want to talk about Betty because it makes her feel like an asshole. Don’s like, fine, let’s do this, but first Midge needs him to break into her apartment through the fire escape because she lost her key.

At Sterling Cooper, Peggy is doing some typing when Sal walks up and inquires after Don. He isn’t in, so Sal announces that he’s going home and Peggy is not to tell anyone he was there.

Down the hall, Peggy pays a visit to Paul and says that since Don isn’t there she probably can’t go to lunch with him. Paul corrects her that her boss’s absence means she can, in fact, go to lunch. She thanks him for the tour of the office the other day. He makes some cheesy comment about her eyes being wide and starts kissing her. When he breaks off to say that they can push his couch in front of the door–and what did I say about the office couches and their unsung heroics?–she stops him. Paul thinks this means that Don Draper got there first and panics a little: “I don’t even like to sit in Don’s chair!” Peggy thinks they have had a misunderstanding, but Paul wants to clarify that there is someone else and he hasn’t simply been rejected out of hand. Peggy says yes.

Peggy is in a poor mood as she pulls the cover onto her typewriter. Joan walks up and expresses that she hopes Peggy doesn’t think she’s finished for the day. Peggy isn’t feeling well, but Joan doesn’t give a shit since Peggy apparently can’t spell Terre Haute and needs to redo some letters. Peggy gives some lip and Joan asks, “What is wrong with you?” Peggy either mistakes this for a sincere question, or just needs to get some stuff off her chest and she complains that every time a man asks her to lunch he intends to have her for dessert. She wants everyone to leave her alone, and Joan is like really? She says Peggy won’t be a novelty for long, so she might as well enjoy it. Peggy isn’t thrilled with this advice.

We get a slow sequence of men walking past her desk and leering at her. Peggy opens her desk drawer to reveal that she’s taken Pete’s gross postcard off the bulletin board. Oh, sweetie. No. Just no. She looks at it sadly and takes off for the bathroom. I’ve got to say that it took me three viewings of this episode to connect this to Joan’s “You never forget your first!” line about Peggy’s paycheck. There’s another woman sniffling into her hanky, and Peggy takes one look at her in the mirror, steels herself, and adjusts her scarf. I get that Peggy is making the decision not to be one of those girl and all, but I hate that it means total suppression of emotions. Don’t these people know how to go cry in a stall, or the bathroom of a different office? I know that they don’t drive to work and can’t cry in their cars, but there are ways, people.

In her new therapist’s office, Betty is on a couch saying she doesn’t sleep well, she’s anxious, and her hands are fine now but they aren’t always. She’s rambling. She asks if people come in worried about the bomb, but the doctor doesn’t answer. She mentions that her mother passed away recently, and realizes she covered that already. She asks if she can smoke. Of course you can, Betty. It’s 1960. You can smoke anywhere. “We’re all so lucky to be here,” she says.

Downtown, Midge is getting ready to go to a reading. She has to be there to “act surprised when Jack Kerouac doesn’t show up.” She suggests that if Don’s going home, he should take a shower. Don thinks it’s because he’s manly. This reminds him of deodorant, and he asks her what women want. “One of the things has to be not being asked something like that.” Word, Midge. Don has a flash of brilliance: “What do women want? Any excuse to get closer.” Midge: “There’s that ego people pay to see.” Sassy. She leaves, and Don scribbles on a notepad. Where was that notepad last week when he was writing on napkins?

Betty and Don are ordering drinks and appetizers at a restaurant. Don wants to harangue Betty about how doctors will say anything you pay them to, but Betty is just happy to be out in the city with him. Don tells her a silly story about people giving dirty fake names to Ma Bell in lieu of an unlisted number. They hold hands at the table, and Betty is so thrilled for some of Don’s attention that it makes me more than a little sad.

They return from dinner, and Don retires to his office to make a phone call to”¦ Betty’s psychiatrist! The psychiatrist says Betty is a very anxious young woman, and Don is doing the right thing. The Cardigans’ “Great Divide” takes us to credits.

Next week: Pete Campbell (Pete Campbell!) is back and smarmy as ever; Betty throws a party; Don drinks; the show takes a cynical view of the institution of marriage. Surprise!

By (e)Kelsium

Kelsium lives in Southern California with her partner and collection of almost (almost!) kill-proof plants. She enjoys the beaches, but finds the lack of acceptable bagels distressing. She considers herself an expert in red lipstick and internet rage.

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