Is it just me, or is there a lot of night driving in this season? I guess season 2 did have the car accident, and there was the scene in which Betty puked her faithful guts out, but Don spends an awful lot of his time these days driving people around at night. Anyway, he comes home and Betty asks if he’s going to be sleeping at home tonight, and he very casually says no. So that is how it is, huh? What a complicated arrangement these two have. She tells him that he is working too hard, and again, as often happens on this show, you are reminded for a fleeting moment that this is a program about middle-management advertising executives. It’s just like, huh? Is Don really working that hard where he never spends a night in his own bed? I mean, I know that in reality it is because he is raw-dogging the teacher, but he’s raw-dogging her under the guise of a man who is doing a socially recognized amount of work for his position in a particular industry. You can just picture the contemporary equivalent. Some 32-year-old riding into his loft on a razor scooter. “Are you sleeping here tonight,” his common-law partner asks. “No,” he says. “This Mountain Dew Code Black viral video isn’t going to film itself in a handheld docu-realistic style.”

And then Don goes and bangs that teacher.

But they are interrupted! By a knock on the door! A knock on the door? At this time of night/point in American history? Who could it be? What could it mean? It is the teacher’s brother, and she wants Don to meet him. Uh, there is absolutely no reason for that to happen. In a preview for next week’s episode there is a clip in which the teacher says that she doesn’t want to talk about the future because she holds no illusions about their relationship, she knows what it is, and she walked into it with both eyes open. Did she? Then why does she want to introduce her bruised-face brother to the married man she is secretly sexing? To what benefit? Anyway, Don meets him and it is awkward and he is not a junkie, OK? He has epilepsy, duh. Later, the teacher finds him a job as a groundskeeper at a hospital. Haha, that ought to work. That’s like telling a mouse that you got him a cheese-eating job in a mousetrap. Don says that he wants to drive the brother to the hospital. Huh? Why do you want to do that, married man hanging on to the only life he knows by a thread? Anyway, he drives him part way and then the brother explains that he is not going to the hospital because he knows what is waiting for him there and he would rather be roaming the streets. Don has to let him run away, because Don knows all about making the best life you can for yourself despite what other people might think of your methods. Don knows all about escaping into the night!

How else would you explain the locked drawer full of CASH MONEY?

Betty finds the secret keys to Don’s secret drawer in the pocket of his secret robe. She finds the CASH MONEY, and also the box of photos from Don’s secret life. Betty waits up all night for Don to come home so that she can confront him, but Don does not come home because he is too busy getting it wet. You know how he does! (Also, there is a call to the house with no one on the other end, and both Don and Betty think that the phone call is from their respective extra-marital relationships. Yikes, you guys. You should cryogenically freeze yourselves for 20 years until Couples Therapy is invented.) So eventually she puts the secret photos back in the secret drawer, and puts the secret keys back in the secret pocket of Don’s secret robe and she goes to secret bed. But now Betty holds a burning core of dark anger in her heart.

Meanwhile, Peggy is the best? Because Matthew Weiner obviously wanted this episode to touch upon the universal experience of the artist in which a breakthrough idea is found only to be lost when the creator fails to write it down. Kinsey and Peggy are in head-to-head competition to come up with a new campaign for Western Union, and Kinsey is gunning or Peggy’s FACE because he thinks that she always steals his thunder by…being a woman? Basically. He struggles for awhile, Kinsey-style.

But then he comes up with THE BIG IDEA. But he is drunk, so he also comes up with the BIG PASSING OUT ON THE COUCH. Kinsey is so embarrassed by this lapse, that he wants to just pretend that he didn’t think of anything, but Peggy insists that he tell Don the truth. And there is a sudden softening in Don. “I hate when that happens,” he says. WE ARE ALL ARTISTS HERE. And by we I of course mean the writers of this show. But anyway, then Peggy just goes right ahead and steals Kinsey’s thunder right back with her impromptu killer idea? Because the other point the writers want to drive home as they stroke the Emmys that they keep in the bathroom (it’s a conversation piece!) is that some people are just better than other people.

Oh, and the British people want to go home. So go! England. Phooey! (Although I suppose in the midst of my patriotic disgust, I should point out that they probably will be going home soon because the British are going to be selling Sterling Cooper to the highest bidder. Uh oh. And right when the ink dried on Don’s employment contract. ENTER THE WAIST HIGH OFFICE WATER!)

In the end, Don is given an award. For being the guy everyone hates the most right now. Congratulations, Don.

Comments (36)
  1. This is probably the only excellent show on TV right now where I can relate to absolutely nothing that’s going on.

  2. So much Huh? going on in this episode. I was really looking forward to Betty confronting Don about his box of secrets, but that will have to wait until Don is finished showing her off at his award dinner, because Betty lives to be showed off.

    • I too was looking forward to the confrontation, but then realised that if she lets that issue brew a little first, then when it does come out, it will be a lot more violent and BETTY-SHIT-CRAZY!

  3. the first rule of cash money drawer is that you don’t talk about cash money drawer. i’m beginning to take perverse pleasure in betty’s awful parenting; sally, stop taking portentious hang up calls so personally! also: nice to see mary mccarthy getting a shout out.

  4. “You sure pour on the honey… then you lick it off.”
    “London calling, sir.”
    Peggy straight up kicking ass.

    I loved this ep and actually watched the replay directly after it.

  5. the brits are like a parody of themselves; “we want all the flowers in the vase.”

  6. I thought it was another great episode, but I am starting to feel like I did in season five of The Wire in that they cannot possibly find enough screen time to allow all the story lines to be continuous, and so no matter how great the episode is I leave it unsatisfied. These long stretches without Joan are bad enough, but what about the Pete, Peggy and Duck storyline? Pete’s wife has gotten so little love she decided to attend community college. What am I to think?! What about Sally Draper dealing with her shitty life and emotionally absent parents? What about any story line with the Rog Mahal? The Silver Fox is too talented to waste!

  7. I love this show and am totally addicted to it, but I also think it is the most deeply confused, convoluted, loose strings show ever. Lindsay was right when she wrote that the storylines unfold at the pace of an iceberg melting. Or something. Like, why show Betty finding the drawer and then not have that come to some sort of fruition in the ep? And where’s the damn baby? Is the baby in a drawer with a secret key too? I don’t get it. Why doesn’t Peggy give Don a few words, the way he speaks to her! Forget it, Blondie. It’s Madison Avenue Town.

  8. It was a great episode.

    The ending as Don accepted the award, he looked like Kennedy. Which makes me really excited for the next few episodes.

    And next week! Joan!

  9. Let me first say that I love this show, it’s wonderful, et. al.
    But does this show go a little too deep into the idea that “All married couples are balls of deep-buried repression and hate” and that the single women that Don meets (and bangs) are free-wheeling sirens? I mean, THE SIXTIES, I get it, but is it a little thick?
    That aside, my favorite stray parts:
    -The date bread that Don wraps in a napkin, and takes to work.
    -Paul playing at being “Mr. Progressive”, and then yelling at Peggy’s vagina.
    -Paul’s spooge towel.
    -The fact that Lois will apparently never be fired, even after being a total incompetent. Especially at not chopping off workers limbs.

    • Yeah, what exactly does it take to get fired there? Pee your pants? Be Gay? (The answer is to pee your pants and/or be gay).

      Seriously secret boxes, whatever; I cannot believe that Lois still has a fucking job.

    • Professor Latin here. Your usage of et al. is incorrect because it means “and others” and is used when you are naming several items. An example is: The idea was liked by Don et al. You wanted the old school etcetera instead.

  10. Kinsey jerking it to a photo of the dead-for-a-year-at-this-point Marilyn Monroe! Stay classy, Paul.
    And Peggy’s “How do you talk to Achilles?” – as if it were some idiom and Kinsey summoned the spectral spirit of the proverbial Achilles for inspiration. Oh, Peggy!

    • No, it was a model dressed up to look like Marilyn Monroe. Remember it was a Playtex ad with the same model made up to look like Jackie O and Marilyn? Jeez, give Kinsey a little credit for his drunken work masturbation.

  11. I also like the whole thing about the Drapers being godless sons of pigs. “We don’t need to go [to church] every week!” Ok, Betty… But are you saying that Carla does?
    And Connie’s bit about Don not having a Bible in his desk a few weeks back. And Don makes that quip about his being at home reading the Bible to his family… No you weren’t, Don. No you weren’t.

  12. Great episode. But now my wife is going to go searching for my secret cash money drawer. Joke’s on her though, the only thing in there is porn (AKA an old Marilyn Monroe ad)!

  13. Not the crazy-eyed teacher? Not that dude Betty wouldn’t office fuck because it was tawdry? ….THEN WHO WAS PHONE?

  14. Anonymous  |   Posted on Oct 19th, 2009 +2

    Lois hasn’t been fired because they are all relieved that she got rid of that Brit Twit who can now never be their boss because he can’t play golf.

  15. Justin  |   Posted on Oct 19th, 2009 -2

    Parental skills of Balloon Boy’s Parents > Parental skills of the Drapers

  16. “sexing” -gabe

  17. I love this show, but this season is making feel like I am in a downward spiral of depression. I don’t like Betty but I felt vindicated that she would get to confront Don and then she doesn’t. Then at the Draper-a-looza she has to sit through this speech about what a family man Don is was just too much. I feel sorry for her, and again, I don’t like her. My favorite character this season has been Lane and I totally hope he pulls a Benedict Arnold on the Brits and stays with Sterling Cooper if they sell it. Then he can tell his wife to move to California and become a Lit professor who marries the Dean who cheats on her and then start making the move on David Duchovney.

  18. Pogslammer  |   Posted on Oct 19th, 2009 +5

    My prediction is that Don will receive a call from someone that has found his card on the epileptic brother’s dead body, the only contact information that was found, and he will have to choose between shattering the wholesome life of the teacher (and his relationship with her) and keeping them both in an idyllic fantasy world. Given that choice, I think I know what Don would do.

  19. I love Mad Men, but I wish the show wouldn’t take so long to fill us in on what happens to the supporting cast. Like what happened with Betty and Duck after they hooked up. What going on with Pete, I feel like its been forever since we’ve gotten any of him. And we haven’t seen Joan in ages. The show gives their supporting characters these great story lines, but it takes forever until we get back to them. If the show could fix this, it would be pretty much perfect.

    • Agreed. This episode was great, but we have only a few episodes left. Matthew Weiner, answer these questions please!
      1) When is Betty going confront Don?
      2) When are Pete and Peggy going to have it out about that whole “we have a child together thing”?
      3) SAL! Is Sal okay? Did he get any? He deserves to.
      4) Joan and Dr. Mediocre McRape need to split up. Do it.
      5) Carla gets a new job. Will she get one?

      You have 3 episodes left Mr. Weiner. Get crackin.

  20. PEGGY and Duck. Not Betty.

  21. a. I know that some folks think the drawer full of money is a hint that one day Don will pick up and leave in a hurry. But I think because he’s a child of the depression, he keeps some money in cash because he doesn’t totally trust banks? My grandparents had similar habits. He seems to look down on people (Roger Sterling) who leave their family.
    b. The nights away from home are possibly excused by the new Hilton account and the crazy hours that Connie has requested from Don by calling him at home in the middle of the night. At the moment he has wiggle room in this regard. Though probably not anymore now that Betty opened his secret drawer…

  22. You guys, I’ve figured it out!! The Brits are going to sell Sterling Cooper, and Miss Moneypenny will have to leave, and then they will RE-HIRE JOAN.
    -Encyclopedia Brown

  23. tianb  |   Posted on Oct 20th, 2009 -6

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  24. JP  |   Posted on Oct 20th, 2009 +2

    Really? Don looks down on Roger for leaving his family?

    I guess Roger should have just completely abandoned his family, changed his identity, and pay-off the members of his family that discover his new identity. But then again, Roger would have to eventually brush-off the inevitable suicide of his former family member, and thats never easy!

  25. Since others are pointing out characters they’d like to see more of, can I just say Remember the Alamo…KEN COSGROVE! :)

  26. “Yikes, you guys. You should cryogenically freeze yourselves for 20 years until Couples Therapy is invented.”

    And/or caller ID.

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