Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A+ | 4 USERS: A+
Are You Gonna Drop The Bomb Or Not?
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Couple bits and pieces before I get started: Two episodes ago, the Pembroke I linked to was the wrong one -- it should have been the (now-defunct) sister school of Brown, which makes a lot more sense geographically. And last episode, I was so focused on the hair of the mother in the artwork that I completely overlooked the obvious, which is that it was completely imitative of certain iconic Catholic imagery (either Christ or the Virgin Mary, depending on who you ask). That's ten times funnier and makes a hundred times more sense, given both the pitch and Peggy's storyline this season, so I am sorry for overlooking that. This show is so great, and although I'm probably in the minority I enjoyed this season even more than last, but man, from a recapping standpoint I am glad to have a break. Or I will be, as soon as I get through the intricacies of this week's offering. Here goes:

We open on a closeup of a framed needlepoint of a doe and her fawn, and the baleful eye that Betty is casting its way will add up very soon but for the moment makes it seem like she's the only person in the world who didn't cry when Bambi lost his mother. Betty's in an examining room in someone's house, that someone being a friendly older gentleman who seems to be her gynecologist, who enters and informs her that the spotting she had the week before was not caused by her horseback riding -- she's pregnant. Betty greets this news with a level of enthusiasm that could be used as inspiration by anyone whose life's dream is to resemble a block of wood. The doctor starts to run down the changes she'll have to make to her life, including stopping riding, and suggests she simply take it easy: "That's what husbands are for." Without informing him that that's precisely the problem here, Betty tells him she can not have a baby at the moment. That declaration hangs there for a long moment before the doctor says that if they're talking about what he thinks they're talking about, there are "alternatives," but given that she's a wealthy married woman, he can't believe she'd even consider such a drastic measure. "That is an option for young girls, who have no other options." Well, it's progress from The Cider House Rules, at least. Betty merely sits in silence, so the doctor takes her hand and assures her that as soon as she tells her husband and friends, she'll stop worrying. He steps out for a moment, and instead of undressing for her examination, as he requested, she leaves, grabbing her coat on the way. I'm glad it was hanging on a hook, because seeing her handle a coat hanger at this particular moment would have been more than a little uncomfortable.

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Mad Men




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