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Stats & Data

April 27, 2014

"Okay." -Don Draper to everything.

So cold in here, I remark about my living room. My heart is palpitating and I run down a list of frightening possibilities. Did I have too much coffee? Eat something iffy? Is Betty back? It's that last one. Betty is back and Pete is missing and life is a mean game and time is a flat circle. "Why don't they love me?" Betty Francis posits of her children. She exhales smoke into her youngest son's open, sleeping mouth while holding his nose. She puts out her cigarette into his fleshy arm. She drinks raw cow's milk straight from a steel bucket. But, hey. It's good to see her, in that way that it's nice to see that the dude down the street from you is in jail because then at least you know where he is. 
Don watches a movie and ooh, I wanna know what it is so bad! I know this show, and just like the times on the alarm clock last week, this film means something. But what is it? He watches it in a sweater vest and then calls Dawn Chambers in Dawn's chambers and asks for a typewriter and onion skin and at first I thought he was ordering a sandwich. AL in LA is once again fabulous and calls Don up to be like, "No shade, but your girl's gone rogue" and Don's like "yeah but did she meet Rod Serling?" to which AL in LA had to be like "I mean ...yeah, she did, but that's not--". Don then hangs up and smiles because as long as his wife is stalking producers and crying into the Twilight Zone guy's country club ashtray, life is perfect. Unseen, AL in LA sips tea and extends his pinky out so far it scrapes the top of the Rockies. I hope to see him again.
Peggy's having a rough time at the office because men are wearing silk shirts around her. Stan wears a tan trench coat over a tan suit over a flannel over a turtle neck sweater in Tan. Peggy didn't win a Clio award for commercials and is still sad about the rose mix up because it was embarrassing and she is a woman in upper management. Meanwhile, on the interior of an active volcano near Poughkeepsie, Betty picks kitten flesh from between her jagged incisors with a talon. She meets a woman for coffee and makes the lady feel bad about living a fulfilling life. Betty claims that she is old fashioned in her desire to not work while her Draplings are still young. "If I worked, how could I fuck them up psychologically and cause them eternal misery?!" she screams, as lightning strikes the cafe and claims thirty-two innocent lives. She presses a hand to her mouth as she quietly burps up a cat skull. 
Right after the cafe massacre scene comes Harry Crane's computer meeting scene, as if the writers suddenly found a Post-It with Betty's and Harry's plot details jotted hastily upon it at the bottom of a Season 7 note pile. A scene is whipped up wherein Harry has to assure some gents that SC&P is doing just as well as those compyuder-wielding other companies at media stuff. The gents leaves and Cutler makes his jaw as square as he can make it, like if his head was a ball of warm dough that got dropped on the floor. "What is a compyuder and why don't we have one," he asks HC. HC's lip pouts out like an inflatable raft. He says he weely wants one but no buddy ever wistens to him! Jim Cutler asks Harry if Harry's job is to make people feel pity for him. "I don't really remember what my whole fuckin' deal is," he replies, wearing a full space suit. Nobody knows or cares what Harry Crane does, so if he wears a space suit I assume I missed something and dust my damn shoulders off as I focus on whatever's next. 
Don flies to LA to calm his insane wife down because she's not quiet and perfectly content with all things all the time. He gets to her place and she is ecstatic because she gets to pretend she's married to Jon Hamm in this scene, which is great for her. Don tells her he didn't have sex with the flight attendant so, uh, yeah, he's gonna need some major time in the bone zone now thanks. Then they do it or maybe she just like massages his belt buckle or something. He finishes up and instantly is like, "oh yeah and your agent called and you're messing things up for yourself". Don, don't ruin post-coitus-times for us. Women bask in a warm, sleepy, noodle-limbed euphoria in said moments, don't use that time to mention that your wife could handle her flubs a little better. Jeepers, you're a piece o'work. She calls him out on never picking up her calls in NYC and then calling her back from inside a silent vacuum. He is so sad that the pre-recorded chicka-chicka-clicka audio that he made and played when they talked didn't translate as typewriter sounds. She asks what his deal is; who he is and what he is and where he is and why he is. "Three years too late, sister," Don mumbles, lighting a match by striking it across her teeth and bringing it to a mouthful of cigarettes. She tells him it's over between them and he laughs and slaps her on the ass like a dumb monkey slapping its sad wife on the ass. 
Bobby #3 is going on a field trip and cries when Betty mentions that she's coming too. He mentions how excited he was to go; to see cows and where eggs get made. Betty laughs and calls him an idiot. They go to Farmer Cy's farm and Cy's daughter is Bobby #3's teacher and her nipple almost falls out onto Bobby's forehead on the bus ride over. Betty makes sure to address this scarring event because she thought her son should know and remember it every day for the rest of the school year. She smokes while the children run into the barn. Another mom makes a joke about Miss Teacher's titties. Betty realizes that the woman is inviting Betty to be catty in regards to a young hot woman and nearly breaths her happiness fire. The moms smoke and laugh and it escalates until Betty swoops her magnificent cape 'round herself. It settles and she is still there, which is about a thousand times more terrifying than if she was suddenly gone. Later she will let her son writhe upon a picnic blanket for denying her a bologna and cheese (which, by the way, another sandwich-less child enjoyed). She will hold this grudge for all of eternity and then wonder why her children hide under their beds when she tries to tell them goodnight.
Possibly-single Don meets with Don With Glasses for a meal and not-Hayden Panettierre reads some cue cards near Don's face. Don goes to meet Roger who answers his door like Christopher Walken in The Continental. Roger says Don can have his job back if he comes into the office the next day and promises it'll be weird. Then Rog's hippie girlfriend comes in with a BLT sandwich that probably smells and tastes like patchouli. Don leaves and calls Megan to say he's got his old job back for real this time and that he never should have lied. She sings "I Dreamed a Dream" into the phone and things are left in a weird spot. 
Don walks into the offices at SC&P and is met with literally every reaction a human could have to anything. This scene is like sitting in on an acting class where the teacher tells everyone to pick an emotion and react with it. No one seems to know what to do about Don; Lou Avery's balls shrivel up into his own butt, Ginsberg likes the way Don smells, Peggy sneers so hard her face folds in half. Don sits as the office scrambles to make sense of it all. They stand still and watch Don like he's a wild sex bear in the woods (pretend I wrote 'sex panther' instead). The partners all meet inside Burt Cooper's office in a variety of shoe-wearing states. They discuss Don's "leave of absence" and what would behoove the place financially. They end up calling the bear/panther in and telling him he can come back if he promises to not throw any parties if all of the other partners go out of town and leave Don in charge. ";)" says Don Draper.
Misc.: I know the talk of getting a computer in the office is smart and logical for the time period, but I don't care about it. They're gonna push this as a minor sub-plot and I just don't want or need it. Betty's travel agent pal called her "Betty Draper" and remained uncorrected, which is interesting, as was the abnormally chilly Joan in the partners meeting en re: Don's return. I understand that he tripped and crashed and wrecked the business last season but, like Don, I recall it all only as a blur. The attitudes and resentment toward him feel so unwarranted, but I suppose that what's happens when we see Mad Men through Don's warped eyes. "Field Trip" features a male and female on a trip that results in the female wondering why the male will never love her. Bobby might love Betty and Don might love Megan, but if they've decided it's not the case than there's nothing the boys can do about it. 
Krista writes weekly recaps. Follow her @potatoemporium.