It's Summer in the '60s in this week's Mad Men, and the latest episode, "Souvenir" is all about getting out of dodge or being left behind, and how it affects relationships.
Pete, Don and Betty are the focus of this week, though for once, Don isn't the one getting into trouble. Lots of mad moments from this episode, so to see what I thought (spoilers ahead!), just
- The kiss: Betty lets Henry kiss her after the reservoir victory at city hall. For all her previous flirtatiousness, she acts reluctant as Henry butts his head into the car aggressively — not that she doesn't kiss back or anything. Later, she tells Sally how special first kisses are and that you can never have the first one with someone again. This wistful speech sounds like it's coming from a blushing 15-year-old, and you know she's thinking of her own encounter. "I'm done with that," she says to Francine about the reservoir, but she means Henry, and I believe her — not because her guilty conscience will stop it, but because of Betty's immaturity. She got chased by a boy she liked, kissed him, now she's over it.
- Roman holiday: How glam were Don and Betty arriving in Rome? The '60s Italian movie star getup on Betty is a bit jarring, but I was into their sexy "strangers in Rome" game. As much as these two hurt each other in their marriage, I still find myself rooting for them, and when things are going great, their Ken and Barbie perfection is impossibly romantic. But when they come home and back to their real lives and real problems, it's heartbreaking to see Betty's bitterness.
- The affair of the party dress: Pete, Pete, Pete. The German au pair next door first brings out Pete's decent side, when he kindly offers to help the distraught girl with a stained dress. That is, until booze, loneliness, and general Pete Campbell-ness propel him into dirtbag territory. How far do things go? We can guess, but either way, it's horrible and a new low for Pete. Ugh, and how smarmy is the neighbor from next door when he comes over to confront Pete? It's totally OK to sexually assault nannies, bro, just not my nanny! Great advice.
- Willful wifely ignorance: I didn't completely hate Pete toward the end, because his sullen face when Trudy comes home actually showed shame, which is more than you can say for Mr. Donald Draper. Trudy seems to know exactly what went on in her absence, but stalking off and then accepting Pete's proposal that she not leave town without him again are all she needs to move past her husband's infidelity. Some things in this show are pretty hard to watch as a woman, and the relationship behavior is one of them. It's a bummer: the women are doormats because they were expected to be.
- Joanie & Petie: I was thrilled when Joan shows up at the department store to help Pete, looking all gorgeous and chic. Her interaction with Pete is a little more relaxed than it was at the agency, but the whole thing is still a little awkward. She's got to come back to Sterling Cooper, and I hope we don't have to wait too long; she's one of my favorite characters.
There was a lot of action for a show that's not usually known for it, and I love when we get to see the 1960s in another setting; in this case, Italy. What did you think? Do you really think Betty is done with Henry? What's your opinion of Pete now? And to talk more about the show, check out the Mad Men Group in the BuzzSugar community!
Photo courtesy of AMC