In tonight's jam-packed episode (seriously, did anyone else feel like there were a bajillion scenes?) Don said, "I don't feel a thing." How true, despite Bobbie's beliefs that he is a "decent man" behind his many flaws. Like I said, it was one packed hour, so hold on tight.
We opened with Pete and his wife Trudy visiting a fertility specialist for some guidance after trying unsuccessfully to conceive for 18 months. As easy as it is to hate Pete, he was delightfully fun to watch in this scene, cracking jokes about seeing the nurse for semen analysis ("Whenever she's free") and his complete over-compensation about his manhood, prompting the doc to remind him that fertility has nothing to do with manliness. More intriguing was how once he was given the chance to open up, he seemed to think he was on the psychiatrist's couch rather than seeing a fertility specialist. He ran down his list of problems with the world, reflected on his father's passing and, naturally, showed disdain for the "creative crybabies" and "ungrateful turnips" he works with at Sterling Cooper. (Now
there's the Pete we're used to!)
That same Pete showed up during his "donnybrook" with Trudy after learning that his semen sample was "viable." (No kidding, just ask Peggy!) Relieved and re-assured of his manliness, he told Trudy that she should be happy about his results and now look forward to the doctor "blowing up her ovaries." Needless to say, that didn't go over very well, which led Pete to make his case against having the kid. Chief among them? Not being able to go see movies when you want. His immaturity was rightly pointed out by Trudy (remember him watching cartoons on Valentine's when the rest of the country was watching Jackie O. at the White House?), but she ultimately conceded the battle, explaining that her reaction was just a representation of how badly she wants a baby.
Meanwhile, the Bobbie and Don saga continued in alarming fashion. Bobbie invited Don out to celebrate the pilot order of "Grin and Barrett," promising him he could consider it "business." (Don's retort of "No, let's not confuse this," was apt and also revealing, perhaps suggesting he's no longer involving himself in this affair only as a power play.) Of course, the power struggle was still in effect (she ordered his drink for him, but he told her what she wanted to eat), and fittingly enough, the conversation turned to talks of negotiations - Don confessing he didn't like them and Bobbie expressing her love of "hand-to-hand combat". The pair was interrupted by Rachel Menken (excuse me, Rachel Katz), and loads of awkwardness ensued (more on that below).
Ultimately, Bobbie convinces Don to see her place out on the beach for a little roll in the sand. Both drunk (and drinking from the bottle while driving), they discuss what Don likes. We've already seen or heard references of Don's movie-watching habit this season, so it was nice to have him say himself (if not explaining) his fascination with film, foreign and otherwise. When Bobbie moved in to help Don "feel" something, he kept his eyes closed a little too long, meeting an oncoming car and crashing after swerving to avoid the collision. We learn that Don was at the legal limit of .15 percent blood alcohol level, and the local police want to assess a $150 fine, Don tries (unsuccessfully) to negotiate a way out of the station without paying the fine, but no dice. (He should have called in master negotiator Bobbie, since it's her forte. Ultimately, he has to call in backup, and who does he choose? Peggy!
I was shocked that he didn't call Roger (who could surely understand his situation, considering the messes he's been in
and that Don has helped him through) or at least one of his junior guys, but as we would later find out, his choice was an informed one. Peggy gets them out, offers to put Bobbie up at her place for the night and takes Don to rent a car, assuring him that she will "forget" all of this, but "doesn't want to be treated badly" if she reminds him of the accident. Peggy attends to Bobbie's needs the next day, but falls into conversation of why she goes to so much trouble for Don, especially since she is neither his secretary nor "in love with him." As Peggy gives all the right answers and puts Bobbie at ease that Don's relationship with Bobbie is "none of her business" and that she is not Bobbie's "competition," we learn through flashbacks that Don came to Peggy's bedside following the birth of her baby.
The scene was short, but unbelievably powerful, with Don urging Peggy to do "whatever they want you to do" and to "get out of there and move forward." Most striking was his insistence that she assume that the whole thing never happened, telling her that it will "shock (her) how much it never happened." Not only does this explain Peggy's willingness to help Don out in a pinch and her behavior regarding the baby thus far this season, but it also retroactively underscores all the other lines about "forgetting" throughout the episode (Bobbie saying she keeps forgetting the accident, Don, when forgetting to repay Peggy the bail money, saying "when you try to forget something, you sometimes forget everything, as well as Peggy's promise that she would "forget" the accident). More importantly, I couldn't help but see Don's earnestness in that scene being anything more than a reflection of the earnestness he once had about forgetting his old life and starting over.
That sentiment was also tied up in Bobbie's conversations with Don and, even more so, Peggy. Bobbie tells Don that you "pick a job and become the person who does it," and similarly urges Peggy (perhaps as a way of saying thank you for her hospitality) to "start living the life of the person you want to be." Peggy takes those words to heart, showing some assertiveness when asking for her reimbursement for the bail money and saying, "thank you, Don," as a way of also following Bobbie's advice to "treat Don as an equal in order" in order to get that corner office. This advice also says tons about the way Bobbie does business with Don, as we've seen quite clearly that she follows her on advice of not trying to be a man, but instead uses her power as a woman.
Through all of this, Don is fretting an emergency meeting with Bobbie's husband Jimmy, but when he finally comes in, he simply wants to thank Don for his help with the Utz people in allowing him to do his new TV show. (Patrick Fischler again made the most of every second he has on screen and this short scene was a nice little touch.) Escaping a confrontation about his and Bobbie's affair with Jimmy, Don heads home to his family (is the rehearsed "Daddy!" chime from the kids beginning to bother anyone else?), only to find that Betty has removed the salt from the table to help with his high blood pressure. (Don told her about his doctor's visit, explaining that the medication and alcohol mixture caused the accident.) "Why can't Daddy have salt?" little Sally asks. "Because we love him," says Betty, cueing yet another frowny Don moment, contrasting his "perfect" home life with his complete "wreck" of a life elsewhere.
A few other brief thoughts:
" Because it's only speculation, I didn't mention this in the full recap, but the first flashback showed Peggy's sister
very pregnant. Yet there is only one baby in the household that we've seen. So did Peggy perhaps give her baby up after all? Or did Anita adopt Peggy's baby after losing (or even aborting) hers? That would definitely explain some of the resentment, though it seems a bit of a stretch. The Peggy's baby mystery may never be solved!
" Joan's engaged! This and the addition of Don's new secretary added some levity to the episode. Joan's conversation with Sterling was as fun as always, and I can only hope that this marriage, if it does come to be, doesn't end their scenes together, because they are always fabulous. (John Slattery had me dying with the paddleball routine, the "It's good for mystique line," and of course his "jar full of pennies" outlook on marriage. Who else really wanted to see Sterling give Joan a "few paddles for good luck" on the way out the door?
" The new secretary was a new little sexpot, drawing attention from the usual suspects (except "married" Harry Crane). She had Ken Cosgrove tripping all over himself, and plenty of others noticing her, since she was willing to show a little more than other girls. A quick scolding from Joan put her in her place. (Nothing wrong with skintight clothes, I guess. Perhaps what she meant by there is still "plenty to see" I hope she sticks around for more than the month that it takes for Don to start caring about them at this point.
" Freddy Rumsen played Mozart on his zipper, and it was hilarious. (Nice way to work in a little culture!) Also, another great (if juvenile) gag: cutting from Pete looking through porn before giving his sample at the clinic to the beating of Roger's paddleball. Love it.
" I was glad we were given a break of "psycho Betty" this week. While she was none too happy about Don coming in very late after the accident (what did you make of the "You promised you wouldn't disappear like that anymore" line?), she was relatively caring in this episode, fearing Don's high blood pressure would take him away from the family, asking "What would we do without you?"
" I sincerely hope that tonight's scene is not the last we see of Rachel Menken. I thought the restaurant meeting was a throw-away scene for what I had long anticipated would be some sort of awesome reunion. Yes, much time has passed and the husband makes sense, but I just wanted much more out of Rachel's return. Don't let me down!
So what did you think of tonight's episode? Were you shocked by the flashbacks? What do you think about Peggy's baby back story now? What are your thoughts on the Don-Rachel reunion? Do you like how Bobbie and Don's relationship seems to be developing? Comment away, and check back next week for more!
In tonights jam-packed episode seriously did anyone else feel like there were a bajillion scenes Don said I dont feel a thing How true despite Bobbies beliefs that he is a decent man behind his many flaws Like I said it was one packed hour so hold on tightWe opened with Pete and his wife Trudy visiting a fertility specialist for some guidance after trying unsuccessfully to conceive for 18 months As easy as it is to hate Pete he was delightfully fun to watch in this scene cracking jokes about seeing the nurse for semen analysis Whenever shes free and his complete over-compensation about his manhood prompting the doc to remind him that fertility has nothing to do with manliness More intriguing was how once he was given the chance to open up he seemed to think he was on the psychiatrists couch rather than seeing a fertility specialist He ran down his list of problems with the world reflected on his fathers passing and naturally showed disdain for the