Man, did they pack tonight's episode full. It's tough to know where to begin, but since the show's writers began (and ended) this episode at church, it seems a logical place to start.
Over the course of three Sundays (Passion, Palm and Easter), Peggy and her family become increasingly familiar with visiting priest Father Gill (a guesting Colin Hanks who is looking more like his old man every day), whom they invite over for supper after mass. While he wows them with tales of his trips to Rome (funnily belittling his time at the Vatican: "It's one thing, but then you realize you're in Italy"), he also learns more about Peggy and her work, courtesy of her mother. After giving Peggy a lift to the subway, Father Gill asks Peggy for some pointers for his Palm-Sunday sermon, which she eventually obliged, by telling him to be prepared ("I'm covered in the content department"), and speak colloquially ("the sermon is the only part of Mass in English, and sometimes it's hard to tell.")
Of course, once Peggy's sister Anita learned of Father Gill's connection with Peggy, her jealousy went into overdrive. Comments from her mother about Peggy being "such a nice girl" and being glad Father Gill "had taken an interest in Peggy" sent her over the edge, leading her to spill her Peggy's secrets at confession. "I took something that didn't belong to me," Anita said. Indeed. Though she rambled through a couple of other bad deeds, she finally admits hating Peggy for seducing a married man and pretending like nothing's happened, all the while the rest of the family "falls all over themselves" to help her. This all builds to Peggy's conversation on Easter with Father Gill, when he handed her an Easter egg "for the little one," leaving Peggy with a knowing grimace on her face. (Hanks will be back for at least two more episodes, so I can't wait to see where this goes, so long as things don't get romantic. That seemed a possibility, but Gill was reserved around Peggy in their final scene, though I suppose he could have completely shunned her.) Worse for Peggy (or her mother) is the fact that now that just as she perhaps found a reason to become interested in the church and that lifestyle (of course she'd have to give up attending Mass hung-over, presumably), she's had it ripped away.
Meanwhile, back on "passion" Sunday, a friskier than usual Don (perhaps "re-energized" from his romp with Bobbie Barrett) had his advances on Betty thwarted when the kid's interrupt and find mommy and daddy "sleeping." They settle for a couple of drinks made by kid bartender extraordinaire Sally and dancing to a Bing Crosby record, only after Betty scolds Bobby for playing with the record player inappropriately. But that's just the beginning. Bobby later breaks Don and Betty's bed by jumping on it, burns his mouth on a hot pancake griddle, ruins the record player and lies to Betty about doing it. When Don fails to discipline him physically as Betty had hoped ("Do you think you'd be the man you are today if your father didn't hit you?") icy Don reappears, bringing the tension that's existed all season with him.
But the tension finally reached its boiling point tonight. After a bad day at the office (more on that later), Don loses his temper when Bobby refuses to quit playing with a toy robot and spills Sally's drink. When Betty looks to Don to again "do something," he throws the robot into the wall, shattering it. Betty finally unloads on Don about his unwillingness to "raise the children," and when Don threatens to "put her through the window," she pushes him. And he pushes back. No real injuries to speak of, but the moment was shocking, and definitely the climax of the night's episode. Don's never really been a hero in my eyes, but after last week's "power statement" with Bobbie and this physical explosion, a new layer has definitely been revealed.
The dramatic tone was quickly (and perfectly) undercut with Bobby's adorable apology and Don's explaining that "Dad's get mad sometimes." They talk about Don's father, and after a around of questioning, Bobby decides they "have to get [Don] a new daddy." This scene was so simple, yet so excellent, and also perfectly contrasts Don's relationship with Bobby versus his relationship with his own father. (He reveals to Betty than being hit by his father only made him "fantasize about the day he could murder him.) Don loves Bobby and that love is returned, while Don grew up hating his father, even changing his whole life to escape his past. This revelation changes Betty's views slightly, and she ends the night holding Don, despite all that happened.
Back at the office on Palm Sunday, Don - accompanied by Sally, because Betty is at the emergency room with Bobby (remember that burned mouth?) - and the rest of the team assemble for an urgent planning meeting for the American Airlines pitch, which was bumped up. After realizing that they've "got a lot of bricks but don't know what the building looks like," Don tells everyone to scrap everything (yes, even you Pete Campbell in your ridiculously era-appropriate tennis shorts!) because American Airlines, like America, doesn't have history, only a frontier. The plan is to look ahead to the company American is going to become. Pete is a little upset by this, but Duck, in a rare admission, concedes that "they lower the branch, Don picks the fruit."
Unfortunately, the fruit goes rotten, as moments before the pitch on Good Friday, Duck learns that Shel Keneally was fired, and their "in route" was lost. We didn't see the pitch (the attempt to "deliver a stillborn baby') which was as maddening as it was brilliant. The same emptiness I felt by not seeing what they pitched the airline parallels nicely the emptiness the characters perhaps felt while they went through the motions of a pointless presentation.
Though Don still harbors resentment for letting go of Mohawk airlines, Roger urges Don to let old business be old business. He explains to him that in their game it's all about the thrill of the chase and the even bigger thrill of landing a client. (All of this wonderfully underscores Roger's subplot in the episode, as he pays for a hooker, not simply for sex, but for "all that he wants," including a simple kiss and a date for dinner. Unlike his wife, who recounts their charmed wedding day, Roger simply wants to be on the hunt, for the feeling he gets once he makes a capture.) Needless to say, I believe what Duck has to say about future clients will be better balanced with Don's warnings.
A few quick asides (and there were plenty tonight):
" Sally was the perfect comedian tonight. Whether clapping ridiculously after a Don/Betty fight, commenting on Joan's "big ones," passing out after sneaking some leftover liquor or asking Paul if his black girlfriend was his maid, this little girl stole the show tonight.
" The secretaries also pulled their weight during the planning session. From the gum-chewer who was fired by Cooper to the ladies giving Peggy the evil eye because she was already eating though they had to "wait their turn" for dinner, all of these little unspoken intricacies were really being nailed tonight.
" Bobbie Barrett was back tonight, and was again in need of Don's services (both professional and personal it seemed). She had an idea for a candid camera show ("Grin and Barrett") featuring Jimmy as the host, if he could get out of his contract with Utz. Though Don refused to sell the show for Bobbie, he said he could try to convince the Shillings that having their spokesman on a national TV show could be beneficial, which earned him a locked door (Joan heard that!) "brainstorming session."
So, what did you think of tonight's show? What do you think is next for Peggy now that her secret is out? How much longer will Don and Bobbie's fling carry on? Were you shocked by Don's explosive behavior tonight? Share your thoughts and check back next week for more!
Man did they pack tonights episode full Its tough to know where to begin but since the shows writers began and ended this episode at church it seems a logical place to start Over the course of three Sundays Passion Palm and Easter Peggy and her family become increasingly familiar with visiting priest Father Gill a guesting Colin Hanks who is looking more like his old man every day whom they invite over for supper after mass While he wows them with tales of his trips to Rome funnily belittling his time at the Vatican Its one thing but then you realize youre in Italy he also learns more about Peggy and her work courtesy of her mother After giving Peggy a lift to the subway Father Gill asks Peggy for some pointers for his Palm-Sunday sermon which she eventually obliged by telling him to be prepared Im covered in the content department and speak colloquially the sermon is the only part of Mass in English and sometimes its hard to tellOf cours