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Review and Recap of Mad Men Episode "Souvenir"

Mad Men: This Week's 5 Maddest Moments

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

Join The Conversation
girlie871 girlie871 7 years
This was ONE of my favorite episodes so far. My favorite part was when Betty and Don played the "stranger" game in Rome. Then I was bummed when Betty was rude to Don after he gave her the charm. I know he's a cheater but I'm with Buzz, I still want to see them make it. I also loved seeing Joan again I wonder how she fits into this seasons story line. I hope we see more of her.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
I think Betty thinks that their marriage is broken and that's the 'reality' of their life while the brief vacation where they play the 'happy couple' and 'sexy strangers' was great, they have to return to reality and she refuses to play the vacation 'roles' anymore because that's not the truth, while Don seems more comfortable playing a role... I've not watched the previous seasons, but their marriage from what I observe, seem very lacking in intimacy (well, sex is one thing but intimacy as a couple where the two can meet on equal ground and basically open up seems invisible). They're like 2 strangers (albeit they're pretty similar since they seem unfulfilled) living in the same house and share 3 children, sure they have a pretty pleasant lifestyle, but other than that, they're so distant. Betty seems to feel unfulfilled, maybe deep down, she feels that her potential seems to be wasted as a stay-at-home mother, but again, this is the life she has and she chose. It's sad watching how a woman basically 'kills' her own desires for something 'more' and tries to 'fit in' in the roles already written out for her. Don also seems unfulfilled for other reasons. I really want the two to actually start opening up with each other instead of just 'watching each other from apart' in the same house. Right now, they just don't mesh very well beside the sexual attraction that probably united them in the beginning. And I don't think she's 'forgiven or forgotten' whatever Don has done to the marriage (I read he used to cheat on her and when I watched the scenes when she gave birth seem to accentuate that in 'unconsciousness' she still has resentments). I love love love how they made up Betty this episode, she's almost 'pitch-perfect' in presentation but inside it's a lie (she's unhappy, perhaps even a mess). From the color of her lipstick, her hair style, her dress..damn, she reminds me of my mom growing up :p I was like Sally watching my mom when she's putting on her face and dress...:sigh:
buckley9383 buckley9383 7 years
This episode needed more Peggy- and more office scenes. Other than that it was pretty good :)
hausfrau hausfrau 7 years
I love how just about every character on this show I have a love/hate relationship with. I love Betty because she's so messed up but I felt bad for Don when he got her the charm and she was so ungrateful. I hope she keeps working on projects because its interesting to see Don come out in her when she does that.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I wasn't saying that she was doing well, but that I enjoyed seeing her because I like her character, which I thought I conveyed when I said I said you could see how unhappy she is.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
Joan was great??? Joan is MISERABLE. her husband is now abandoning surgery and focusing on psychiatry which takes YEARS to do, meaning that Joan is going to be a working woman for quite some time. she handled seeing Pete the only way she knew how, which was to take control of her situation and say that she only fills in so she gets the first pick at the new dresses. the end of that scene shows her hanging her head in shame! POOR JOAN how awful it must be to be so proud and work so hard to keep it all together.
Briandiesel Briandiesel 7 years
The Italian sexy stranger thing was the highlight of the episode for me. I loved it! Pete's situation was such a bummer for me. It had to happen so that we would get to see Joan (yay!) All around great episode! Officially HOOKED!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I hate Pete more than ever after last night's episode. Yes, he showed shame, which Don never really has, but I don't think you can compare the two. Don has cheated on Betty with willing women. Pete forced himself on an unwilling woman; those are two completely different situations, imo. And, I loved seeing Don and Betty in Rome. Betty is so immature, but at times I feel bad for her; she seems to have really given up what she really wanted out of life, albeit willingly. (Or maybe she just doesn't know what she really wants out of life.) Seeing Joan was great, but also heartbreaking. You could see how unhappy she is.
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