I apologize for the lateness of this post. My computer, smart phone, and tablet were all held hostage by a group of small-town vets until I could produce their $500. So I am typing this from the library.
Bye Bye Betty
Did Matthew Weiner decide to get super meta with Betty’s (presumably final) storyline on the second to last episode of Mad Men? Things were looking up for the former Mrs. Draper. She’s finally living her dream and going back to school to learn psychology. She’s got a successful husband. All of her kids don’t totally hate her. She even had a nice moment with Don last week. But this is not a new beginning for Betty, this is the end. She’s been diagnosed with lung cancer and has a year at best.
Betty could fight for more time, yet chooses not to. She accepts that this is the end. Die young and leave a good looking corpse, that’s Betty’s motto. Just like it’s the end of Mad Men, get it!?!?!?
Meta stuff aside, this decision is definitely in-character for Betty. Her husband Henry doesn’t want to accept it. He wants her to fight for every scrap of life that she has left. Betty is content to go about doing business as usual. She knows how she wants to go down to the details on her funeral attire.
At least she finally took the time to write something honest to Sally. Their relationship has been a difficult one, with Betty wanting a perfect little Stepford daughter. Sally is anything but that. In her final words to her daughter, however, Betty finally accepts and loves Sally for who she is. Sure it’s too late to matter, even though it really isn’t because Betty is still alive and Sally is just peeking at her final note per her inquisitive nature. Betty wants to let Sally know these things, but she just can’t say it to her while she’s breathing. That’s just her way.
What’s your favorite Betty moment? Most people opt for shooting a gun on the front lawn with a cigarette dangling out of her mouth. Me? I go for “I’m smart, I speak Italian!”
There’s No Place Like Home
After walking right out of McCann Erickson, Don Draper decided to see America. He’s seen all the exciting stuff, like suburban Wisconsin and some corn fields. Now he’s in the magical land of Kansas. On his way to the Grand Canyon, Don’s car breaks down, setting him up for a classic short story, like Doc Hollywood. Look at these good, honest small town folk! They like their old Coke machine just the way it is. Yeah, there’s a restaurant, but it’s a couple miles down the road. What’s there to do on a Friday night? Well, there’s high school football, mister. You know, a fella could get used to a place like this.
Say, there’s even a Legion Hall full of fellow vets that Don can drink and be honest with. What a life! Except, Don isn’t one of them. The people treat him like a native, until they have reason to be suspicious of him. Then they kick his ass, Kansas style.
Of course, Don didn’t steal their money. He’s rich as hell! Why would he need to steal their “pocket change” (I love that Don considers $500 pocket change)? No, it was the shady bellboy, of course. Andy is an up and coming con man. Don is somewhat of an expert in the field and sees a kindred spirit in the young idiot. He doesn’t want to see someone else waste their life by living as someone that they’re not. That’s why Don’s willing to give away his sweet Caddy and just bum it with his Sears bag from this point. It’s the simple life for Dicky Whitman from here on out. Nothin’ beats the hobo life!
Pete Campbell Hair Watch
As I mentioned last week, we didn’t get a ton of WASPy Pete Campbell action. This episode was chock full of it. Our favorite shit taker, Duck Phillips, is back! And rest assured, his pants are all the way on. Duck’s got a helluva job opportunity for Pete, but he’s got to trick him into even taking the interview. Pete’s one of the few SC&P people to actually enjoy his new career at McCann Erickson. Pete Campbell was made for the big time.
Duck’s opportunity with Learjet is pretty big in and of itself. The deal keeps rising until Pete just can’t say no. A meeting with his brother reminds Pete that he is missing something: Trudy.
Learjet needs Pete to move to Wichita, Kansas. He could have a new start there with his wife and daughter. He could get away from New York and be a new man. He’s probably fooling himself. Maybe it could work though. There’s a chance to be a new Pete. That’s better than no chance at all. Thusly, Don gets the shit kicked out of him in Kansas as Pete moves there to start anew.
As for the hair watch portion of this, just look at that picture. A couple of years of being a full-time parent again is going to finish off that dome.
Harry Crane eats hamburgers for 25 minutes while sobbing. It is revealed that Mad Men was all a beautiful story told around a campfire by a man named Dick Whitman. Matthew Weiner reads Charles Dickens from a recliner for the remainder of the hour.