This week’s Mad Men: The Fog

don-sally-ep5

Oh, baby! Lots of stuff happening on Mad Men, let’s get down to business…

*********SPOILER ALERT, so in honor of Peggy finally having someone take her out for a business-related lunch, in a fancy restaurant with mini lamps on the tables and scrumptious Bloody Mary’s, please don’t read any further if you don’t want to know what happened in Episode 5***********

The stork stopped by, it’s a boy! …  Betty finally gave birth to the surprise baby, and oh boy, she was not a happy camper, throwing insults all over the place and making it clear to the hospital staff, and all of us wincing from the other side of the TV screen, that she is not excited about having another baby. Meanwhile, in the waiting room, Don seemed relaxed, reading the paper, a stark contrast to the other husband in the room, soon-to-be-first-time-dad Dennis Hobart, who could hardly contain himself. But was Don’s coolness due to this being the third time, or an honest lack of enthusiasm? I think both reasons are likely, but I also think Don may have had a possible moment of clarity when Dennis freaked out to Don about the thought of losing his wife during childbirth and then blurted out, “how could I love that baby?” We of course know Don’s mother died during childbirth. So did Don consider that even if he wasn’t thrilled about this new baby, that regardless, no baby should go unloved or carry the burden of  how he/she came into the world? After all, he did say to Sally later, during their midnight snack, that “not all surprises are bad.”

With Betty arriving home from the hospital, smiling and cheery, could it be possible that her “fog” lifted too (she even referred to the birth as a fog), is she ready to happily accept the new addition to the family, and not just go through the motions? Only time will tell. That scene at the end of the episode left room for way too much ambiguity: yes, back to business as usual, Betty tends to the children, but my goodness, she really took her time, there was no running to crying Baby Eugene’s side. And on top of it all, after all that labor and weird anxiety dream where she thought she was dying, she didn’t even get the little girl she was so badly hoping for.

Will Duck steal away Peggy & Pete?… Peggy asked for equal pay and got turned down by Don. Pete knows he is redundant, basically having the same job as Ken; and then got in trouble with a client and Roger and Burt for wanting to pursue the African-American consumer market. Peggy and Pete are both undeniably frustrated, and both are probably in their respective Manhattan apartments, right now, strongly considering Duck’s offer: to join him at his new firm, where ideas and creativity will be rewarded. I say the two of them should do it, I’d love to see how all of that goes down, and how the show deals with rivaling ad agencies, especially if one is  more progressive than the other–who can and will keep up with the times, for they are a-changin’.

Hot for teacher…one final thought: is Don considering going there [Sally’s lovely and young teacher]? I picked up that she was putting it out there as a possibility, but he didn’t seem entirely interested. Due to bad timing (um, time to go have a baby) or is he swearing off the relationship cheating and just sticking with convenient and no-attachment options [the flight attendant in Baltimore]?  Draper doesn’t love change, so I’m guessing it was timing…we may see something with those two down the road.

Ok, next week’s episode: “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency,” will feature a surprise visit at Sterling Cooper, and Joan gets some unexpected news.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Cindy So said,

    Excellent point about Hobart mentioning “How could I love that baby?” if his wife died in delivery. I didn’t make the connection to Don being the demise of his own mother, and that comment to sally over midnight eggs and hash. Brilliant! After reading 5 recaps, you were the only one that caught that one…you’ve got a talent my friend, seriously.


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