Mad Men

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A | 4 USERS: A-
Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em!
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!
First off, I just would like to address something from the recaplet. I originally wrote that Joan's fiancé "borderline raped" her. This was what I would refer to as "a slip of the brain," which happens way more often than I'd like. I tend to write the recaplets as quickly as I can (I'm an old man when it comes to my bedtime) and I don't pay nearly as much attention as I do when I'm doing the full recap. There's obviously no doubt that he full-on raped her, that there was no consent given, and usually if I miss something, it's a relatively minor deal to correct myself in the full recap, but not this time -- it's a highly sensitive subject, for obvious reasons, and I even have a good friend who endured a reasonably similar experience in college, so I'm very sorry that I used language that conveyed disrespect for the gravity of what happened, because that was not my intention at all. I thank the people who wrote me about it, and I really appreciate everyone who gave me the benefit of the doubt. I really mean that.

Okay. In the Draper house, we open on Betty calling crisp orders to her children before taking Don's paycheck (for just under $950, FYI) and forging the endorsement. You can't really get too upset with her, though, because as this episode so clearly reminds us, Don's basically been doing the same thing for years. Soon after, Betty's walking through the house when she catches a whiff of something in the air, and before you know it, she's opened the bathroom door and caught Sally with a lit cigarette. She yanks her daughter out of there by the hair and barks, "You could burn the house down." I suppose if she'd caught her drinking red wine, she would have lectured her on the potential of ruining the carpet. Betty tells her she won't be playing with her friends or watching TV anytime soon, and also that she's taking away her Barbie; then when Sally says she's mean, Betty responds, "You betcha!" Sarah Palin would be so proud. She tosses Sally into the closet and shuts the door, and Sally informs her she's telling Don when he gets back. "He left because you're stupid and mean!" This further provokes Betty's ire, but when Sally shows she's on the qui vive by asking why Betty won't let Don come home, the fight goes out of her, and she rests her head against the closet door in frustration before asking if that's what she thinks. Sally points out that his suitcase is there and he's not, and it's sad for Betty that she didn't even have to travel with TWA for them to screw her. Betty opens the door and tells Sally that Don's on a business trip, just like she said, but the cracks in the façade of this lie are clearly starting to show, at least to adult eyes. Sally asks if they can call him on the phone, but Betty deftly plays the hand she's been dealt as she points out that Don would be very upset to learn what Sally was just caught doing. Sally fearfully asks her not to tell, so Betty sends her on her way, saying she's going riding as soon as Carla gets there, "and I want a good report." When Sally's gone, though, Betty looks like she's getting to the end of her rope. There's a lot of that going around, which isn't surprising in the next-to-last episode of the season.

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Mad Men




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