Mad Men
Tea Leaves

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 6 USERS: A
Growing Concerns
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

In case you didn't notice, Jon Hamm directed this episode. Let's see if he's as good at this as he is at... everything else.

In the Rye Town Francis Estate, Henry is calling up the stairs to Betty to see if she's ready. Even with Sally and Bobby's help, however, she is not and that's due to the fact that she cannot get into her dress, despite repeated efforts that are making them all very unhappy. You see, the fat suit they put on Elisabeth Moss in Season One has been sitting around, alone and unloved, for years and someone apparently decided to take pity on it and put it on January Jones. And boy, is it as convincing as ever, down to the triple chin she's lugging around. Okay, yes, January Jones was also pregnant while they were filming this, but I don't think she was THAT pregnant. This is a sentiment I didn't -- forgive me -- see coming, but it certainly suggests that her sentiment to Don at the end of the fourth season that things weren't perfect hasn't faded. Henry calls again, so Betty sends the kids away and says she'll get it...

...but when Henry appears upstairs, he finds Betty in bed and she tells him she's not going to be able to go, citing "a woman's thing." Henry points out that he's going to a function with the Junior League of New York and asks if she can "play with pain," but while sports metaphors almost always work in changing a woman's mind, in this case Betty counters that Henry's mother will be there. "It'll be very endearing." If there's any sarcasm there she hides it well, but Henry does less of a good job with any disappointment he might be feeling, although he does give Betty a kiss before leaving. When he's gone, Betty looks, um, distressed. (It's going to be a challenge to avoid the cheap jokes here.)

Someone who is not having trouble getting into her dress is Megan, who's managing that even as she chitchats with her mother in French. After they're off, we learn that she and Don are on their way to a dinner with Raymond, the Heinz guy...

...and his wife, who's asking Megan for dining recommendations given that they're apparently in a French restaurant. After Megan politely explains that she's Canadian, Mrs. Raymond essentially tells them how homogeneous and small Pittsburgh is, which means it came a long way to become the fake home of Queer As Folk thirty something years later. Mrs. Raymond asks how Don and Megan met and I'm surprised they haven't rehearsed a response for this question, as Megan looks Don's way with mild panic on her face. Even though Don simply replies that it was at work, Megan feels the need to add that Don was divorced and while that's not quite as awkward as last week's dance, the statement does hang in the air for a fairly long moment. Mrs. Raymond, however, at least offers that that's none of her business and Megan recovers to ask after their teenaged daughter, who apparently is into the Rolling Stones. This segues into Raymond's idea of using the Stones' song "Time Is On My Side" in an ad, changing "Time" to "Heinz," and even though you can sense Don's internal eye-roll from 1966, it's hardly the worst advertising concept I've ever heard. It's certainly better than his thing with the picket signs last week. Raymond goes on that the Stones are going to be in New York and maybe Don could get them to record the ad while they're in town? Don replies that that's not exactly how it works and even back then I can only imagine the licensing costs would be a pretty penny, but goes on to add that they can certainly make inquiries. Mrs. Raymond then opines that the conversation topic is boring, getting Megan meekly to agree, but I can't imagine the rest of the dinner is going to be any more stimulating given that this is where the scene ends.

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