Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: B+ | 1 USERS: A
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!
Carla and Betty are making a shopping list, and when Carla mentions she'd be happy to pick up some apples at an orchard after her service on Sunday, Sally asks Betty why they never go to church. After Betty lamely offers that they do go, and Sally points out that it's only on Christmas, Betty replies, "We don't need to go every week." Wow, a pronouncement that has no basis to it whatsoever and also manages to be insulting to Carla, who does go every week? Well done, Mrs., "Draper." Don arrives on the scene, and after Betty goes to get him a drink while noting he's home early, Don kisses the kids and asks Sally how her day was, prompting Bobby to inquire why Don never asks him the same question. Don: "I do. It's just your answer's always longer, so I thought I would start with Sally." You learn that brevity earns rewards in this household at an early age. After some talk about celebrating Halloween down at Grandpa Gene's one last time before they sell the place, Betty asks if Don will be sleeping there that night, and upon hearing a negative, tells him he's working too much. He tells her he doesn't have a choice, but with a fond smile, she reiterates that she sees how hard he's working. I don't know if she's amping up the wifely appreciation for Carla's benefit as a lingering effect of last week's tension between them, or if it's more setting up the theme of the episode, that being how differently people can see the same actions. But either way, she's kind of freaking me out.

Don turns up at Suzanne's door, and she happily bids him inside. He points out a gold star stuck to her cheek and asks if she was grading papers, which makes me relieved that it wasn't left over from his last visit. She talks about three loaves of date nut bread she made and the fact that his service called, but Don is not interested in bake sales or overly demanding clients at the moment, although he is happy to hear that Hilton now should be in the air, as it means he can spend the night with impunity. After some lingering, soulful looks, he leads her into the bedroom, and I know this isn't premium cable but you'd think he'd at least take off his trench coat first.

While in the bathtub, Betty reads a hardback copy of The Group. Heh. If this foreshadows her pursuing a lesbian relationship with an Italian baroness, I'm not going to complain. I mean, she already knows the language, although I'd expect she'd have to expand her vocabulary a little.

Don and Suzanne lie in bed, and she tells him how in art class that day, one of her kids asked her how she knows if what she sees as the color blue is the same as what other people call it. When Don asks what she told him, she smiles that she gave him the truth -- she doesn't know that, and she never has. "But I love that he made me think about that again." Personally, I think introducing the prism through which the rest of the episode is going to be viewed is kind of a precocious achievement for an eight-year-old. Suzanne asks Don how he would have answered the question, and he replies that he would have told the kid that his job is about "boiling down communication to its essentials," and the truth is, "people may see things differently, but they don't really want to." Don's going to be in for a surprise when the intelligent design people come along. Picking up on the somewhat regretful tone in his voice and the unstated implication that he takes advantage of people's sensitivities, Suzanne asks if he feels bad about what he does, and Don deflects somewhat by answering that no one could feel as good about what they do as she does. She blushes with appreciation at the compliment to her chosen profession, and then offers that she wishes she could have known him at age eight. "I bet you were serious." Regular horsewhipping can produce that emotional makeup, I'm guessing. Don replies that he would have liked her. "Long, curly hair. No one has that anymore." They kiss...

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Mad Men




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