Monday, May 27, 2013

Mad Men 6.9: Don and Betty

Well, who would have thought I'd be writing a review of a Mad Men episode that I call "Don and Betty" after all of these years?   Well, sure, it could have been about Don and Betty having one of their caustic arguments, or about some big problem or crisis with one of the kids.  But -

This episode was about Don and Betty in bed together, on a visit to son Bobby's summer camp, and a superb piece of story it was.

We first see Betty and Don from her backside, as she's leaning over a car, and attracting the rapt attention of the gas attendant whom Don is walking up to.  I'd recognize that ass anywhere, you can almost hear Don thinking.  The two go on to flirt at the camp, and when Betty walks into her room but leaves the door open, you know something transcendant is about to happen.

The dialogue is primo.  Betty asks Don what he's doing as he kisses her, Don responds "waiting for you to tell me to stop," but that turns out to be the last thing Betty wants at this time and place.  We've seen earlier how Betty enjoys being desired, but what's surprising is how much she enjoys this now from Don.

After, as they're in bed together smoking her menthol cigarette, Betty observes how much she loves what Don looks after they make love, but how that look will start to decay as his attention drifts elsewhere.   One of the best, most perceptive bits of dialogue not only in the series, but in a conversation between lovers in any fiction I've seen or read.

Betty also makes a memorable remark about Megan not realizing that the more she loves Don the more that will push him away, and the brief magical interlude is over.   When Don comes into the dining hall the next morning, he sees Betty-  but she's with Henry, and she's laughing and presumably having a good time.

I could talk about about some of the other fine threads in last night's episode - especially Peggy's consistent poor luck in love - but I don't want to detract or distract from that moment stolen in time with Betty and Don, or let it decay.

See also Mad Men 6.1-2: The Lighter and the Twist ... Mad Men 6.3: Good Company ... Mad Men 6.4: McLuhan, Heinz, and Don's Imagination ... Mad Men 6.5: MLK ... Mad Men 6.6: Good News Comes in a Chevy ...  Mad Men 6.7: Merger and Margarine ... Mad Men 6.8: Dr. Feelgood and Grandma Ida

See also Why "You Only Live Twice" for Mad Men Season 5 Finale ... Mad Men Season Five Finale

See also Mad Men Season 5 Debut: It's Don's Party  ... Mad Men 5.3: Heinz Is On My Side ... Mad Men 5.4: Volunteer, Dream, Trust ... Mad Men 5.5: Ben Hargrove ... Mad Men 5.6: LSD Orange ... Mad Men 5.7: People of High Degree ... Mad Men 5.8: Mad Man and Gilmore Girl ...Mad Men 5.9: Don's Creativity  ... Mad Men 5.10: "The Negron Complex" ... Mad Men 5.11: Prostitution and Power ... Mad Men 5.12: Exit Lane

And from Season 4: Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight ... 4.2: "Good Time, Bad Time?" "Yes." ... 4.3: Both Coasts ... 4.4: "The following program contains brief nudity ..." 4.5: Fake Out and Neurosis ... 4.6: Emmys, Clio, Blackout, Flashback  ... 4.7: 'No Credits on Commercials' ... 4.8: A Tale of Two Women ... 4.9: "Business of Sadists and Masochists" ...4.10: Grim Tidings ... 4.11: "Look at that Punim" ... 4.12: No Smoking!  ... Mad Men Season 4 Finale: Don and -

And from Season 3Mad Men Back for 3 and 3.2: Carvel, Penn Station, and Diet Soda and 3.3: Gibbon, Blackface, and Eliot and 3.4: Caned Seats and a Multiple Choice about Sal's Patio Furniture and 3.5: Admiral TV, MLK, and a Baby Boy and 3.6: A Saving John Deere and 3.7: Brutal Edges ... August Flights in 3.8 ... Unlucky Strikes and To the Moon Don in 3.9 ... 3.10: The Faintest Ink, The Strongest Television ... Don's Day of Reckoning in Mad Men 3.11 ... Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World in Mad Men ... Mad Men Season 3 Finale: The End of the World

And from Season Two: Mad Men Returns with a Xerox and a Call Girl ... 2.2: The Advertising Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ... 2.3 Double-Barreled Power ... 2.4: Betty and Don's Son ... 2.5: Best Montage Since Hitchcock ... 2.6: Jackie, Marilyn, and Liberty Valance ... 2.7: Double Dons... 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved? ... 2.9: Don and Roger ... 2.10: Between Ray Bradbury and Telstar ... 2.11: Welcome to the Hotel California ... 2.12 The Day the Earth Stood Still on Mad Men ... 2.13 Saving the Best for Last on Mad Men

And from Season One: Mad Men Debuts on AMC: Cigarette Companies and Nixon ... Mad Men 2: Smoke and Television ... Mad Men 3: Hot 1960 Kiss ... Mad Men 4 and 5: Double Mad Men ...Mad Men 6: The Medium is the Message! ... Mad Men 7: Revenge of the Mollusk ... Mad Men 8: Weed, Twist, Hobo ... Mad Man 9: Betty Grace Kelly ... Mad men 10: Life, Death, and Politics ...Mad Men 11: Heat! ... Mad Men 12: Admirable Don ... Mad 13: Double-Endings, Lascaux, and Holes

 

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