October 26, 2009

two weeks of madness

"The Color Blue"

"How do I know what I see is blue is the same as it is to you?" 8-year-old named Charlie

This was definitely an episode about seeing the same color in different ways. Don and Betty's life together. Sterling and Cooper's aging agency. Peggy and Paul's Western Union assignment. Pryce and his wife on life in NYC.

But first...Betty opened the drawer! She opened it! The smile on her face when she realized the found keys were for the secret drawer was absolutely priceless. Her world is turned upside down. This is a serious fracture to the shell of the show. Let's face it, when Betty met and married Don, she was too selfish and wrapped up in his charm to care about knowing his past. It wasn't until she was settled in an unsatisfying life that she started to resent his secrets, and even then, it was more about the infidelity, which threatened her place on the pedestal. This is not to say poor Betty isn't a victim here. God knows what she is thinking after seeing those photos. Did he have a second family? Was he a bigamist? And the fact that she could look that good at the anniversary dinner after waiting up for him all night in the kitchen beside the box? Damn girl. How long can she keep this in and how will she use this information? As motivation to pursue a relationship with Henry perhaps?

In other news, Don is still all over the teacher, whose brother has epilepsy. I find Don's connection with him really interesting. Here's a guy who's trapped by an abusive disease, but he can't escape it and change his life the way Don did. He has to live with it. Don dropped him off and said "I swore to myself I would do this right someday." What did this mean? Was he giving this guy a chance like Dick Whitman had? Helping out the teacher after wronging so many women? Was he thinking of his little brother? I haven't figured that one out yet.

Back at the office, it's Sterling Cooper's 40th anniversary, and we learn that the agency is on the seller's block. What does that mean for Don's contract, which is now official? On the creative team, Peggy had a chance to shine with her quick thinking, and Paul is questioning his talent.

A few things...
  • Peggy burped into her recording device. "Sorry about that Olive."
  • Who the heck decided it was a good idea to keep the John Deer Assassin on staff?
  • Who was the prank caller? I think the teacher? Or maybe a mystery stalker?
  • "They're all expecting me to show up with the glamorous, elegant, stunning Betty Draper. I want to show you off Bets." Don, you don't even know.
  • Peggy and Don's identical reaction to Paul forgetting his idea. "I hate when that happens." Those two are so oddly cut from the same cloth.

"The Gypsy and the Hobo"

I won't pretend to care about anything else in this episode besides JOANIE HITTING HER HUSBAND UPSIDE THE HEAD WITH A VASE OF FLOWERS. Apologies for the caps, it was required. This woman is truly amazing (glad Sterling remembers that). Greg is a dumbass - and even more of a dumbass for joining the Army without telling her - but he does love her, and I truly believe he wants to make her proud. It's just too bad she needs to mother him like a small, whiny child. Please, please bring her back to Sterling Cooper, so she can go back to keeping the other whiny children in line. (Great interview with Christina Hendricks about the vase scene)

It broke my heart when Greg said "You don't know what's it like to want something your whole life and not get it." The man doesn't know his wife at all.

Ok, I'll admit that Betty and Don are worth mentioning. I've been thinking about how this scene would unfold since season one. You knew Betty would find out sooner or later. I have a love/hate relationship with Betty, but this episode was all about the love. I was expecting a tantrum, but she actually handled Don very well. She saw him literally fall apart before her eyes when he realized he secret was out, and by golly, she actually felt compassion for him. Those few moments with Don struggling to light a cigarette and hold back his fear were amazingly played by Jon Hamm (Emmy submission please). I honestly think Betty was relieved to finally "meet" Don, and also to feel like she was no longer partnered with this unbreakable man.

Betty had a really good point when she told Don she could have had a locksmith break open that drawer long ago. She had been afraid. Finally opening the drawer and confronting Don was actually a huge moment of growth for Betty. I was almost surprised to see her first emotion wasn't anger, but a feeling of hurt that Don didn't feel like he could tell her anything about his past.

Some of the lines from Don were truly heartbreaking:
"I was surprised that you ever loved me. "
"He came to me and I turned him away. He didn't even want help, he just wanted to be part of my life. And I couldn't risk all of this. He killed himself."

As for the teacher, is it bad that I found it a little hilarious that she got left in the car? Sorry, Suzanne. It's the big leagues in that house. You have no idea. I'm ready to be done with her, but I have a feeling Don isn't.

I'm skipping over Annabelle Mathis the horse slaughterer. Although I'm starting to like what they're doing with Sterling this season (in terms of his attitudes about his position in the firm), that story completely bored me.

And how about that spooky scene at the end? And who are you supposed to be? Yikes.


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