A day late, due to the holiday . . . but, really, could I miss commenting on Don and Betty? Did you see that coming? I noticed last week (or was it the week before?) that Betty had, without comment, returned to her blond, trim self; presumably in training for her upcoming role as political wife. Throw in a picture-perfect family scene of Betty and Don visiting Bobby and camp and joining him for a smiling rendition of “Father Abraham” (thanks, “Mad Men,” for sticking that song in my head for two days now), plus Don and Betty in adjacent rooms in a motel and . . . well, guess what happened. I was reminded, watching Don gaze at Betty, of Dr. Faye’s wise comment a few seasons back: “You only like the beginnings of things.” Betty seems to have gained some wisdom as well, noting that she knows that she won’t hold Don’s attention too long. Interesting how her attitude toward Megan has changed; the bitter jealousy (she used to call Megan Don’s “child bride”) has turned to a sort of distant sympathy: “That poor girl.” Betty’s now the other woman, however briefly; she knows the power belongs to whoever has Don’s gaze, and that Megan doesn’t have it. I think that was the beginning and end of the new Don-and-Betty, but I didn’t believe Don’s sudden attention to Megan for a minute; we’ll see who comes up next.
Speaking of Megan, Sunday’s episode finally answered a question I’ve been wondering about for two seasons now: Is Megan (as opposed to Jessica Pare) a good actress, or is she just a pretty face? Now, seeing her awkward work in the (ridiculous) soap-opera scene, we know; just as awkward was her handling of a pass from her female co-star. When we last saw Megan at the end of Season 5, she was a princess in a fairy tale; now she seems like an innocent in a mysterious world, trying to find her way home but not seeing it in Don’s eyes.
And, for those of us who’ve felt the “Mad Men” blood volume hasn’t been high enough since the foot-sliced-off-by-a-lawnmower incident back in Season 3 (one of the all-time great episodes, by the way): Peggy stabbed Abe! With a homemade bayonet! And then, in an instant-classic ambulance scene that I wish I’d written down every word of, asked, “Are you breaking up with me?” Um, yes, he is. (Loved the expression from the EMT.) This breakup was a long time coming; it never made sense that Abe could be with someone whose work was a mockery of all he believed in. But now all Peggy’s finding are closed doors: Ted’s, Don’s, the conference room . . . what’s next for her? The merger has put her in an untenable position; maybe she, like Harry, might be looking elsewhere.
What did you think of Joan’s beachwear? Bob Benson’s intentions? Roger’s grandparenting prowess? And am I the only one who’s been picturing little Kevin with white hair?